"History of Huntington County, Indiana"1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 722-23
David Phebus. The distinction of being the largest land owner in Jackson township belongs to David Phebus. The credit for such achievement becomes the greater when it is recalled that David Phebus at the age of twenty-one was known in the country district of White county, where he was reared, as a reliable and industrious young workman, but entirely without capital, and with all his prospects in the future.
David Phebus has been an industrious worker all his life, and has well earned the fine competency which is now his. Born in White county, Indiana, May 11, 1851, David Phebus is a son of Silas and Martha (Harvey) Phebus. The parents were both born in Ohio, and were early settlers of White county. David Phebus was reared on a farm, got his education in the district schools, and grew up at a time when book learning was much disparaged in favor of the practical training of the fields and woods. He learned to swing an ax and follow a plow almost before he learned the multiplication table. In attending school and working at home, he continued until he was eighteen, and then gave all his labor to his family until he was twenty-one. At that date he started out to make his own way, and was employed at day or monthly wages for several years. Samuel Ramey, of White county, for whom he worked, took a liking to the young man, and in order to encourage him and give him a start, sold a tract of land on credit. Assuming this obligation, Mr. Phebus strained every effort to acquit himself of his obligation and in time had not only paid for the land, but had got it into a high state of cultivation. Finally he sold that and bought one hundred and twenty acres and continued to prosper year in and year out. In 1903 Mr. Phebus sold his White county interests, and came to Huntington county, where he now owns four hundred and eighty acres. Sixty-seven and a half acres of his farm lies in Whitley county. His fine estate, with its principal residence and excellent barns and other improvements, lies one mile west and two miles north of Roanoke, and twelve miles northeast of Huntington. As a general farmer and stock raiser, Mr. Phebus has been realizing handsome profits from his long experience.
Mr. Phebus married Alice Taylor of White county, where she was born and reared on a farm and had her education in schools of the same character as those attended by her husband. Their family of children are named as follows: Walter, who is unmarried and lives at home; Mabel, a graduate of the common schools; Frank, who lives at home; Bernard and Bernice, twins, the latter being the wife of Glenn Hartley of Michigan; Merl, living at home; Charles, who is unmarried and lives at home. Mr. Phebus, though a Democrat, has never interested himself in politics, and it is as a hard working and prospering citizen that he has contributed most to the community.