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Peter R. Goble

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Peter R. Goble

Posted: 1087057561000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Goble, VanScoy, Groves, Barsh
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington county, 1901, pages 645-647

There is no better history more eagerly sought than that which truthfully
delineates the rise and progress of the state, county or community in
which we live. There is pleasure as well as profit to every inquiring
mind in contemplating the lives and struggles of the early settlers in
all parts of the great west; how they encountered and overcame every
species of trial, hardship and danger to which human beings were
subjected. But it strikes more forcibly and fills the mind with more
immediate interest when confined to the county or township where one may
meet some representative of the gray-haired actors in those early scenes,
whose rugged days are almost spent, and whose bravery and fortitude in
encountering and overcoming the hardships of pioneer life are now
recognized as the corner-stone in the grand commonwealth under which we
now live, and whose deeds, in connection with hundreds of others in the
first settlement of our vast domain, have compelled the civilized world
to acknowledge Americans to be invincible.

One of the potent factors in the pioneer period of Huntington county,
Indiana, is the venerable gentleman whose name appears above, and who has
borne well his part in bringing this section of our commonwealth to the
front in all that relates to its prosperity and present advanced state of
enlightenment and civilization. Peter R. Goble was born in Perry county,
Ohio, near the town of Somerset, on the 20th day of February, 1824. His
parents, Peter and Hannah (VanScoy) Goble, were early settlers in the
above county, and there reared a large family, thirteen in all. By a
second marriage he became the father of three other children, making a
family of sixteen, the major portion of whom grew to maturity and became
heads of households.

When a boy the subject of this sketch learned the cooper's trade in his
father's shop, and for several years worked at the same in the county of
his nativity. Subsequently he became proficient as a stonemason, and for
eight years followed that trade during the summer months, devoting the
winter seasons to the manufacture of barrels. He also paid close
attention at times to farming, and from his earnings in these different
occupations managed to lay by a considerable sum of money, sufficient to
enable him to establish a home of his own, and on March 23, 1845, he was
married to Miss Caroline Groves, a young lady who had been his playmate
from youth. In October, 1849, Mr. Goble and his little family moved by
wagon to Huntington county, Indiana, consuming twelve days, making the
trip with many difficulties by reason of the almost impassable condition
of the roads. On reaching his destination he located in Clear Creek
township, where he purchased eighty acres of land, paying for the same
the sum of three dollars and a quarter per acre. When he moved into the
little cabin, which had been previously erected for the reception of the
family, fully two-thirds of the place was under water, and the remainder
covered with a dense growth of timber--elm, poplar and walnut
predominating. The dwelling, situated in the midst of a thick wood, was
reached by a narrow road cut through the timber and swamp, and the
prospect was anything but encouraging. Deer and other wild animals
roamed the woods, and but little skill was required to keep the table
supplied with the choicest kinds of meats, while the small fruits which
everywhere abounded afforded an agreeable variety to the bill of fare.

Mr. Goble addressed himself to the labor of making a farm with heroic
fortitude, and in time succeeded in clearing a respectable area, which
was planted with corn, potatoes and other vegetables, all of which
yielded abundantly. By means of drainage the fertility of the soil was
greatly enhanced, as was also its value, and to this feature Mr. Goble
gave particular attention. By much labor and patient waiting his efforts
were at last crowned with most gratifying success, and a fine farm, with
all modern improvements, replaced the dreary wilderness of swamp and
woods. Here he lived and prospered, increasing the value of his estate
by adding improvements year after year until 1888, when he became the
possessor of a competency sufficient in volume to enable him to pass the
remaining years free from care. Accordingly he retired from active life
to the village of Goblesville, so named in compliment to him.

Clear Creek township has been blessed with few men as energetic and
prosperous as Peter R. Goble. He is a striking example of what strong
arms, and undaunted will, and intelligence directed and controlled by
high moral principles can accomplish in the fact of opposing conditions.
With no education beyond that obtained in a poor subscription school,
taught in a little cabin two miles distant from his father's house, he is
nevertheless a remarkably well-informed man, and with no capital save an
inborn determination to succeed he has acquired a fortune more than ample
for his own wants, besides giving to his children sufficient to enable
them to start in life with every prospect of success. In early life he
manifested strong religious convictions which led him to unite with the
United Brethren church, and from that time to the present, a period of
over sixty years, his daily acts have been such as result from the faith
he professes. For a number of years he was class-leader in the local
congregation to which he belongs, and it may be truthfully said that his
whole life is a grand, simple poem of rugged, toilsome duty, faithfully
and uncomplainingly performed toward God and his fellow men. While past
the allotted three-score-years-and-ten Mr. Goble is still in possession
of his mental powers, and with the exception of the usual infirmities
incident to old age is quite active and vigorous. He recalls with much
pleasure and satisfaction the scenes of his early trials and struggles as
a pioneer, and looks back over a long and well-spent life with few if any

All who know the kindly old gentleman unite in sounding his praises and
extolling his virtues, and it is the wish of his many neighbors and
friends throughout Clear Creek that his days may yet be many in the land,
and that his influence may still be exerted in behalf of all that is good
in life. His good wife, with whom he has traveled hand in hand through
success and trial, joy and sorrow for over a half-century, is still
living to be a companion and solace as he proceeds onward in the twilight
of life's journey. She was born in the state of Ohio April 15, 1827, and
is the mother of nine children, whose names are as follows: Samuel,
deceased; John; Amos, deceased; Hannah, wife of David Barsh; Isaac;
Aaron, deceased; Harriet, deceased; Adaline, deceased; and Shirley,

Thus briefly has been set forth the salient features in the career of
this venerable gentleman and worthy citizen. Of faults, if any, they
were few, but overshadowed by the many virtues which have crowned his
life. His good name has never been impeached, and his example is
certainly worthy of emulation by young men fortunate enough to have lived
within the sphere of his influence.

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