Among the successful farmers and stock raisers of Clear Creek township deserving of special mention is James M. Puriance, who was born in Huntington county, Indiana, December 8, 1844. He first saw the light of day on the old homestead in Jackson township, and there grew to maturity, assisting his father with the work of the farm and attending the common schools during the winter months. He is a son of James and Sarah E. (Ferguson) Purviance, who were among the early pioneers of Jackson township, this county.
He remained under the parental roof until his twenty-fifth year, when, on the 3d day of March, 1869, he was married to Mary Jane Mishler, a native of Huntington county, Indiana, born October 20, 1847, and a daughter of Abraham and Rebecca (Smith) Mishler, early pioneers of this county. The year following Mr. Purviance's marriage he settled on the place where he now resides. On taking possession of his place Mr. Purviance found an area of but thirty acres ready for cultivation, and he at once addressed himself to the work of clearing more land, a task beset with many formidable difficulties. Imbued with a laudable desire to provide a good home for his family, he spared no time from his labors, which in due season were rewarded, as he now has a beautiful farm, nicely improved, his brick dwelling being one of the largest and most commodious private residences to be found within the limits of Clear Creek. His place consists of one hundred and eighty acres, of which one hundred and forty are under cultivation, the general condition of the farm bespeaking for the proprietor a familiarity with all the details of agriculture as now pursued by the most progressive and up-to-date men in this part of Indiana.
While the raising of crops is a prominent feature of his general business, Mr. Purviance is also a stockman of considerable repute, his place containing a number of fine cattle and hogs, while his horses are of superior breed and very valuable. For some years past he has devoted considerable attention to sheep of the Oxford Downs breed, of which he now has a large flock, and has supplied many of his neighbors and friends with quite a number of these fien (sic) animals.
From 1890 to 1893 Mr. Purviance, in addition to farming, carried on a dairy business, which he found reasonably remunerative by reason of his proximity to Huntington, his place being less than four miles from that city.
He served as trustee of Clear Creek township eight years, and as a public servant discharged his duties in such a wise and efficient manner as to cause his constituents no regret for choosing him to the place.
In the latter part of the great Rebellion Mr. Purviance went to the front as a member of Company B, One Hundred and Fifty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, enlisting in 1865, and mustered into the service at Kokomo. From that place he proceeded with his regiment to Indianapolis, thence to Clarksville, Tennessee, and later to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where he did various kinds of military duty. Subsequently he was transferred with his command to Louisville, where he received his discharge, returning immediately thereafter to Huntington county to again engage in the peaceful vocation of civil life.
Mr. Purviance has a family of six children, namely: Grace M., a student of Central College; Marshall R.; Blanche R.; Clements A.; Ruth S.; and Agnes J., all of whom live with their parents.
Mr. Purviance is a Republican in politics, a member of the James R. Slack Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Huntington, and in every respect is a citizen worthy the high esteem in which he is held by his numerous neighbors and friends of Clear Creek. With a well-established character for integrity, honorable living and an unblemished record, he has borne well his part, and is destined to exert a still more wholesome influence among his fellow men as the years roll by. He is one of the county's most estimable citizens, and this simple tribute to his sterling worth has been fairly and honestly earned.