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Israel H. Heaston

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Israel H. Heaston

Huntington County volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 5 Jan 2000 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: HEASTON, GOODLANDER, REED, REID
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901

Israel H. Heaston, real estate and loan agent, was born near Hagerstown, Wayne county, Indiana, September 23, 1843, and is the son of Jacob and Catherine (Goodlander) Heaston, natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Paternally Mr. Heaston's ancestors were German--his grandfather having been born on the shores of the historic Rhine, and many members of the family still live in various parts of the fatherland. When a young man the grandfather came to America, settling in Rockingham county, Virginia, where he lived for many years, dying later in Ohio at a great age.

Jacob Heaston was reared in the county of Rockingham, and when a young man accompanied his parents to Butler county, Ohio. Thence he removed to Indiana, locating in the county of Wayne, not far from Hagerstown. He continued in that part of the state in the pursuit of agriculture until 1847. In September of that year he came to Huntington county and purchased two hundred acres of fine land in the township of Lancaster, where he engaged in farming and stock raising, continuing the same upon quite an extensive scale until his death, and amassing a comfortable competence. He was one of the successful men of the township, and all who knew him respected him for his integrity and many sterling qualities of mind and heart. For many years he was a prominent member of the German Baptist church, and until the breaking out of the great Civil war was an active supporter of the Democratic party, but changed his political views during the progress of that conflict.

After a long and useful life he was called from the scenes of his earthly labors at the ripe old age of eighty-two years. His wife, who was born in the city of Philadelphia, reached nearly the same mile-stone on life's journey as did her husband, and died on the old homestead in Lancaster township, widely and favorably known for her unblemished Christian character and her numerous acts of charity and benevolence.

Reared amid the active duties of farm life, Israel H. Heaston's youthful years were devoted to honest toil and he early learned to place a proper estimate on the labor of his hands. The common schools of his neighborhood afforded him the means of a practical English education, and while still a student heard the country's call for voluneers to do battle for the defense of the national Union. On the 1st of August, 1862, he entered the service, enlisting in Company E, Seventy-fifth Indiana Infantry, with which he shared the fortunes and vicissitudes of war in the Army of the Cumberland, and under General Sherman throughout the Tennessee and Georgia campaigns, participating in the bloody battles of Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Dalton, Resaca, the various operations around Atlanta, and the celebrated march to the sea. During his period of service he never missed a battle in which his regiment took part, nor was he ever absent from a march or found wanting at the call of duty, however onerous or dangerous. He bore his part well, as a brave and gallant soldier until the close of the war, and received his discharge at Indianapolis in June, 1865, with a record of which any man might fell(sic)deservedly proud.

After the war Mr. Heaston was engaged in farming on the home place until 1873, in July of which year he moved on to a farm of his own in Rock Creek township, and operated the same until his election as auditor of Huntington county by the Republican party in the fall of 1886. In August of the following year he moved to the county seat in order to look after the duties of his office, and has ever since been one of the city's most progressive and public spirited residents. His record as auditor is replete with duty well and faithfully performed, and he left the office with the good will of all the people, irrespective of party. Once before, in 1882, he was a candidate for the same position, but failed of success by a majority of only seven votes against him, the county at the time being overwhelmingly Democratic. Prior to moving to Huntington, he served two terms as trustee of his township, and in the late Spanish-Amercan war he discharged the duties of paymaster's clerk for a period of one year, being mustered out of the United States service in June, 1898. In 1890 Mr. Heaston for the third time made the race for auditor, but could not succeed in overcoming the formidable Democratic opposition, though running far ahead of his ticket. In the spring of 1888 he was elected to represent his ward in the city council, being at that time the only Republican member of that body. He was largely instrumental in bringing about many much-needed improvements, and by carefully looking after the city's interest earned the reputation of a most faithful and industrious municipal legislator.

For many years Mr. Heaston has been recognized as one of the leading Republicans of Huntington county, ever ready to make any reasonable sacrifice in behalf of party interests, and in a number of campaigns rendering services which in a large measure resulted in success at the polls, being chairman of the Republican central committee from 1892 to 1896. While holding decided opinions and with the courage to express them fearlessly, he is by no means offensively partisan, his popularity being unbounded by party lines, and his friends being as many in one party as another. He is a man of sound judgment and unimpeachable integrity, and of late years, in addition to his business as dealer in real estate, his services have been much in demand in the settlement of estates and the transaction of other business requiring more than ordinary intelligence and forethought. In his private affairs as well as his public capacity he has met with encouraging success, and is now the possessor of a handsome property, including valuable holdings in Huntington and a good farm in Jefferson township, all of which represents the labors of his own hands and brain. In every relation to which he has been called he is recognized as possessing a strong sense of truth and justice, and it has ever been his aim to mould his life and character in harmony with these principles. He has discharged every trust reposed in him with commendable fidelity, and whether a citizen in the private walks of life, a brave defender of the flag or as a public servant, his career has been above reproach, and he stands to-day among the most highly respected and substantial citizens of the county of Huntington. Mr. Heaston was united in marriage March 8, 1866, to Miss Phoebe C. Reed, daughter of Hosa Reid, Esq., of Wabash county, this state.

To Mr. and Mrs. Heaston four children have been born, two of whom, Myrtle and Clarissa W., are living; the other two dying in infancy. Mr. Heaston is a member of James R. Slack Post, No. 137, Grand Army of the Republic, of Huntington.

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