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William H. D. LEWIS

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William H. D. LEWIS

Kim Davis (View posts)
Posted: 2 Dec 1999 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Lewis, Douglas, Weaver, Shearer, Moody, Swail, Webster, Meech
William H. D. Lewis, one of the pioneers of Huntington County, settled with his parents in the woods of Union Township in 1835. This was the first white settlement in the township. He was born in Niagra Co., NY, October 20, 1820, being the eldest of eight children--5 boys and 3 girls born to John and Mariam P. (Douglas) Lewis, both natives of the state of NY, of English descent. When William was about 3 years old his father removed to Poughkeepsie, NY and for a short time he continued the business of merchandising, a pursuit he had previously been engaged in at Niagra Co. Thence he went to New York City and conducted a livery until he came to this county as aforesaid, in 1835. In 1844 our subject accompanied his father to Ft. Wayne, whence he became his partner in mercantile pursuits. The firm name was Lewis and Son. A year later they came to Huntington. Here they resumed merchandising and also took charge of a large saw mill which they had purchased, at the junction of the Wabash and Little Rivers. About one year later their store was moved to the site of the mill and the two industries received their attention a number of years, abandoning the store in 1851, and the mill in 1856. In the spring of 1857, he engaged in the hardware business in this city, in connection with his father and William Hunter. The name of this firm was Hunter & Lewis. Later on it was changed to J. & C. H. Lewis & Co. It thus continued until dissolved by the death of his father in 1870. The firm then did business until 1878, under the name of C. H. Lewis & Co. William Lewis then formed a partnership with his son in law, J. R. Weaver, and for six years they conducted a dry goods and notion store in this city. In April, 1884, the store was moved to Decatur, IL, where it is now conducted by Mr. Weaver. Mr. Lewis, however, still retains his interest. He was married November 16, 1845 to Minerva L. Shearer, a native of NY, born 17 December 1824. She was the daughter of Merrick and Asubah (Moody) Shearer. She died August 12, 1849, and on the 7th day of December, 1851, Mr. Lewis was married to Celinda W. Swail, who was born in the city of Thorold, Canada, June 13, 1831. She was the daughter of James H. and Louisa (Webster) Swail, the former a native of Ireland, and the latter a native of Utica, NY. Her father was of English and her mother of English and Scotch descent. By his first wife Mr. Lewis had one child, Lucy A., married to J. R. Weaver, and resides in Decatur, IL. Mr. Lewis and his present wife have had six children, Douglas W., William H., Anna L., Willie, John H. and Jennie H., all of whom died in infancy, except Anna L. She became grown, was married to B. F. Meech, in April, 1880 and died in April 1883, leaving one child, Charles L., who is now with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. Our subject is a member of Mystic Lodge of F. & A.M., No. 110, Huntington Chapter No. 27, Huntington Council No. 51, La Fontaine Lodge of I.O.O.F. No 42, and of Silca Fons Encampment No. 88. He was the first Mason initiated, and at present is both the oldest Mason and Odd Fellow in Huntington County.

p. 505/506 History of Huntington Co., IN. (Brant&Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Huntington City and Township biographical sketches.

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