Cornelius N. Irwin has been a resident of this township forty-one years last January. He was born in Guilford County, N.C., May 25, 1836; his parents were John and Hannah Irwin, natives of North Carolina. Cornelius spent his boyhood and youth on his fatherâ€™s farm, his early education was fair for that day, his father taking quite an interest in schooling his children. At the age of twenty, or in the winter of â€™46, Cornelius and his uncle, Robert Irwin, bade a good bye to home and friends, and set out on foot to cross the mountains, and seek a home in the west. They arrived at Robert Irwinâ€™s in this township, in about twenty-eight days, having walked the entire distance from Guilford County, N.C. For a number of years he could name every town he passed through en route, a part of the distance was traveled through drifts of snow. After his arrival here he engaged as a laborer. On August 29, 1848, he was married to Elizabeth Swaim, daughter of Simeon and Nancy Swaim, whose biographies are found elsewhere in this work. She was born October 31, 1824, in Stokes County, N.C. When about the age of thirteen, her parents emigrated to this county, and she has resided here ever since. They were blessed with seven children: Eunice A., Nancy L., Samuel L., Robert C., Ruth E., William N., and Elizabeth, of whom Samuel and Elizabeth are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Irwin are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they have been united over thirty years. Mr. Irwin has always upheld the principles of the Republican party, and has never missed a vote in his life, and has cast every ballot in Salamonie Township. He began working the road at the age of twenty-one, and continued to work each year until he was fifty. In 1848, he purchased a tract of partly improved land, in Section 23, a cabin was on the land and into this he moved his family. There he resided for a number of years; 1876 he purchased the farm he now resides on, which lays in Section 26. When Mr. Irwin came to Salamonie Township, this part of it was considered very poor land on account of the flat surface of the soil, but by good husbandry, what was considered a swamp, forty years ago, has been transformed into fine, beautiful farms. The general development of the country has been great, the old by-roads have been replaced with fine public highways, civilization has come to stay, and there are but few of the pioneers left, to tell the story of pioneer life. Mr. Irwin began life a poor boy, and had to work out to get his start in life. When he arrived here, he was $10 in debt, but by dint of industry and perseverance he has provided himself with a comfortable home, where he expects to spend the rest of his life. Mrs. Irwin, one day heard the hounds baying, and, on going out, found a deer cornered near the roots of an old tree; she took a mattock and killed it.
History of Huntington County, Indiana. (Brant & Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Biographical Sketches of Salamonie Township, p. 816 and 817.