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Marion Best Stults

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Marion Best Stults

Posted: 17 Feb 2008 2:42PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Stults, Smith, Best, Kennedy, Lyle, Mishler
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 492-493

Marion Best Stults, dealer in furniture and undertaking, was born in Clear Creek township, Huntington county, Indiana, May 13, 1855. His father Jacob Stults, a native of Starke county, Ohio, born February 3, 1824, was the son of John Harmon and Catherine (Smith) Stults, both of German descent. The subject’s great-grandfather, George Stults, was born in Germany, came to America some time between the years 1740 and 1750, and settled in North Carolina. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and died a short time after the close of that conflict.

John Harmon Stults, the grandfather of our subject, was born in North Carolina June 10, 1779. He moved to Pennsylvania and there married in 1806, and later, 1816, removed to Starke county, Ohio, where he remained until taking up his residence in Whitley county, Indiana, in the year 1848. In 1855 he became a resident of the county of Huntington, and died here ten years later at the good old age of eighty-six. His wife was born in Pennsylvania in 1783, the daughter of George Smith, who was taken prisoner by the British in the war of independence. She departed this life in Huntington county in 1862.

Jacob Stults, father of the subject, was the ninth in a family of ten children, and grew to manhood on a farm in the state of his nativity. He begun (sic) teaching school in 1845 and continued that useful calling for a period of twenty-one years. In 1851 he purchased eighty acres of land in Clear Creek township, upon which he resided until 1888, when he retired from active life, making his home in the city of Huntington from that time until his death, on the 10th day of October, 1897, at the age of seventy-three. He was twice married, first, on the 25th of March, 1852, to Miss Margaret E. Best, daughter of James C. Best, of Huntington county, a union resulting in the birth of one child, Marion B., whose name introduces this article. The second marriage was solemnized May 18, 1856, with Miss Harriet Kennedy, of Virginia, daughter of John and Ann (Lyle) Kennedy. To this marriage were born four children: Maggie E., Sherman P., Addie B. and Howard B. Mr. Stults was originally a Whig in politics, but afterward became a Republican, remaining such until death. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, successful in the accumulation of this world’s goods and is remembered as a law-abiding and in every respect a most exemplary citizen. Marion B.’s mother was a native of Kentucky, but when quite small was brought by her parents to Indiana, September 15, 1839; she died in Clear Creek township in 1855, at the early age of twenty-nine.

The subject of this sketch was an infant two weeks old when deprived of his mother, and his boyhood days were spent on the home farm, where he soon became acquainted with the hard work necessary to the cultivation of the soil. During his minority he attended the public schools of his neighborhood and later entered the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, where he remained about two years, pursuing his studies in that institution with the object of preparing himself for the profession of teaching. From the fall of 1873 to 1879 he taught in the district schools, and in the latter year was elected county superintendent of schools, the duties of which position he discharged very efficiently for one term of two years.

In November, 1862, Mr. Stults engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Huntington, and has since conducted the same with success and financial profit, being at this time the proprietor of the largest establishment of the kind in the city. As superintendent of schools Mr. Stults was instrumental in introducing many needed reforms into the educational system of Huntington county, and labored diligently to raise the standard of teaching. In this he was fairly successful, while his popularity has never been exceeded by any of his predecessors or successors in the office. As a business man he is straightforward and methodical, possessing excellent judgment, and by diligent attention and fair dealing has succeeded in building up a large and lucrative trade, which promises additional growth as the years go by. Promptness in meeting every obligation has gained him enviable popularity and has won for him an abiding place in the respect and confidence of the people of his adopted city.

Mr. Stults was married, in December, 1879, to Miss Lydia Mishler, of Clear Creek township, a daughter of Jacob Mishler, a well known farmer of that part of the county. The fruit of this union is one child, a daughter, May, who is still under the parental roof.

Mr. Stults in a Republican in politics and one of the party’s active workers in Huntington county. From 1895 to 1898 he was a member of the city school board, and while serving in that capacity did much toward bringing about the prosperity which the schools to-day enjoy.

Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic order, Amity Lodge, No. 483, Chapter No. 27, Council No. 51, Huntington Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar, and in addition to which he is a member of Huntington Lodge, No. 93, Knights of Pythias. In religion he subscribes to the creed of the Methodist church, with which his wife is also identified. He is indeed one of Huntington’s representative business men, and his life forcibly illustrates what can be accomplished by concentration of purpose together with indomitable perseverance directed and controlled by correct moral principles.

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