The gentleman whose life history is briefly outlined in this sketch is an honored representative of one of the oldest families of central Indiana and since the year 1876 has been identified with the progress and development of Hancock county. In various capacities he has demonstrated abilities of a high order and his services have been appreciated by the people among whom he has lived and acted his part in the great drama of life.
David H. Gobles paternal ancestors were among the sturdy pioneers of Kentucky at a time when that now prosperous commonwealth was the common battling ground of warring tribes of savages. It was not inaptly termed "the dark and bloody ground," for among its hills and within its somber shades were enacted many of the bloodiest tragedies the pioneer period in the great middle west was for years noted. William Goble, the grandfather of David, was born in the fort at Maysville, Kentucky, November 22, 1789, his parents having migrated thither some years prior to that date, but from which of the eastern colonies is not known. His wife, Elizabeth Clark, also a native of that state, was born November 9th of same year in which the husband first saw the light of day, and about 1824 they came to Indiana and settled in the county of Rush. They were among the early pioneers of that section of the state and left the impress of their individuality upon the community which they assisted to found and to the growth of which the contributed many of the best years of their lives. He served with distinction in the war of 1812 in the army commanded by Gen. Harmer and, with many of his comrades, was made a prisoner by the British and their savage allies at Hulls surrender at Detroit. He lived to a ripe old age, dying at Attica, Indiana, in the month of March, 1874; his wife died previous to that date, having been called from earth in the year 1862.
Among the children born to William and Elizabeth Goble was a son by the name of Isaac, whose birth occurred in Butler county, Ohio, November 15, 1813, some years before the family moved to the Hoosier state. He married in Rush county, Indiana, December 14, 1837, Elizabeth McBride, daughter of David McBride, an early settler of what is now Center township, Rush county. Mr. Goble improved a farm in Rush county in 1849, removing to Allen county, returning to Rush county and later, in 1865, took up his abode in the county of Grant, where his death occurred December 22, 1889, his wife preceding him to the other world in July of the same year. Isaac Goble was a man of great industry and energy and a fine type of the strong, honest yeomanry of the period in which he lived. He helped removed the timber from the old National road and worked for some time on that well-known highway, which proved such an important factor in inducing immigration to Indiana in the early thirties and later. He was always a farmer, quiet and unostentatious in manner, and is remembered as a pious member of the Primitive Baptist church whose ward was as good as his bond among the people by whom he was known.
Isaac and Elizabeth Goble reared a family consisting of the following children: David H., of this sketch; Sarah A., deceased; William Alexander who died in childhood; Robert Jackson died at Camp Lavenne, Tennessee, while in the service of his county in the late Civil war, and is buried in the national cemetery at Nashville; Samuel, a farmer of Grant county; Nancy S., deceased; Susannah B., deceased; Mary Elizabeth, deceased; Margaret J and Rhoda C., residing in Grant county, and Joseph B., deceased.
David H. Goble is proud to claim Indiana as the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Center township Rush county, on the 13th day of November, 1838. In early boyhood and youth he enjoyed such limited educational advantages as were provided by the subscription schools but in spite of the meager facilities he obtained a thorough knowledge of all the common school branches. He remained under the parental roof until reaching manhoods estate, meanwhile assisting his father and younger brothers to conduct the farm and becoming familiar with lifes practical duties and experiences. Reared to farm labor, he turned his attention to husbandry on attaining his majority and, appreciating the true dignity of the vocation when compared with other callings, threw into the work all the strength and energy which he possessed.
In the year 1860 Mr. Goble selected a companion with whom to tread lifes pathway, Miss Malinda Newhouse, of Rush county, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Zion) Newhouse, becoming his wife on October 7, of that year. Her parents were natives of Virginia. They were among the pioneers of Rush county, settling in an early day on Ben Davis creek and later moving to the township of Center, where they spent the remainder of their days. After his marriage Mr. Goble rented a little farm in Center township, Rush county, where they lived four years and then purchased a small place which he improved and made his home until 1872. In that year he sold his farm for a liberal sum and in the fall of 1872 purchased a hundred and twenty acres of wild land in Grant county, upon which he erected a small log house and began the work of removing the timber and preparing the soil for tillage. By dint of hard work he succeeded in clearing about fifty acres and after living on the place four years, sold out in 1876 and in August of that year purchased a home in Greenfield and took up his residence in the city.
Mr. Goble moved to Greenfield with a view of giving his children the benefit of the excellent school advantages of the city. In August, 1881, he purchased the Home and School Visitor, a small periodical which had been established seven months before by the county school superintendent, Aaron Pope, whose death occurred in July of that year. Its circulation was then but a few hundred. The third number thereafter was enlarged to a sixteen-page pamphlet, in which form it continued till January, 1883, when it was placed into its present form of a thirty-two-page journal. In 1883 Mr. Goble decided to place it in the public schools as a supplemental reader, an idea that immediately met with the heartiest favor on the part of the leading educators, who recognized this as the pioneer effort in placing supplemental reading in the schools of the state and whose value was apparent wherever introduced. Its reception was so marked and its influence so decided that within one year it had reached every section of the state, a growth that has continued to the present, till its value is now recognized by every educator in the state. Its corps of contributors number the ablest specialists of the state and its articles are all prepared with special view of the interest and value they will have upon the youth. Believing that advertising should not be placed before the pupils, all advertising is strictly excluded, the editor reserving the freest right to make editorial comment on this or any subject, the views expressed not being in any manner controlled by extraneous influences, that which is of known value being commended, while as distinct criticism is offered of questionable methods, book or appliance.
Mr. Goble has one of the finest and best arranged printeries in the state, outside of the large cities, the plant representing a capital of over ten thousand dollars. The presses are the latest and most approved type, the other appurtenances being equally modern and first-class and the quality of the work turned out compares favorably with the best specimens of printing done in metropolitan offices. Mr. Goble does all kinds of printing, from ordinary job work to general publishing, the paper which he regularly issues being a model of typography as well as a thoroughly up-to-date publication form a literary point of view. It is designed, as the title implies, to be a home and school journal and in its columns are to be found productions from some of Indianas best literary talent, while its editorials demonstrate not only genuine literary merit, but also a profundity of thought and an acquaintance with the leading and general questions of the day that show the writer to be a deep thinker as well as a polished writer. The general quality of the work done in Mr. Gobles office is its own best advertisement and so steadily has the business grown in magnitude that the services of from ten to fifteen men are required to operate the plant and meet the demands of the public.
In addition to the printing business Mr. Goble is largely interested in horticulture, for which from boyhood he has had a decided taste and liking. To him this department of husbandry has a peculiar fascination and to gratify his taste he has expended much of his earnings, owning at the present time the finest and most valuable fruit farm in Hancock county. It is admirably located about one mile west of Greenfield, on the national turnpike, and contains all the choicest varieties of fruits grown in this latitude. Mr. Goble is a gentleman of broad culture and refined taste and when not busy in his office spends some of his most pleasant and agreeable hours among his fruits and flowers, which to him appear to possess intelligence and souls. He also finds time to hold converse with the good and great minds of all countries and all ages through the medium of their writings, having a large and carefully selected library where, withdrawn from the busy world without, he meets face to face as it were the men and women whose intellectual heritages have made the world wiser and better.
Mr. Goble is a religious man and a member of the Primitive Baptist church. Mrs. Goble is also a member. By their lives they have been influential in impressing upon the minds of many the sublime fact that religion develops in humanity the greatest good in this life, fitting them for the full and complete life in the beautiful land across the river.
Mr. and Mrs. Goble have six children, namely : Millie Ann, wife of Andrew Trees, of Shelby county; they have two offspring, Clancy and Florence; Mary Elizabeth, the second born, married John Bourne, and is the mother of three children, Mabel, Grace and Harold; James Newton is in his fathers employ and is recognized as one of the enterprising business men of Greenfield; he is also married and his wife, formerly Miss Atta Stokes, of Defiance, Ohio, has borne him four children, Eva, Hugh, Ruth and Paul; Isaac A. married Dora James, of Ohio, and is the father of two children, Naomi and Bruce; he is also in business with his father, holding an important position in the printing office; Maggie M. is the wife of Luther Pollen, of Indianapolis, and her marriage has been blessed with one child, Gertrude; Everett, the youngest of the family, was born in 1873 and died in the year 1874.
It is no idle panegyric to say that Indiana, and especially Hancock county, is indebted to such men as David H. Goble for much of the prosperity which it today enjoys. With great energy and endurance, he has felled forests and converted them into fertile fields, improving his mind as he improved his land; he has labored to promote social and moral reforms, has been a friend of education and with the best powers of heart and brain has pressed the claims of the religion of the Nazarene upon the minds and conscience of his fellow men. Through the medium of his paper he has been a strong intellectual force in the community, influence for the right public morals and to a large degree directing and controlling the realm of thought. With the object in view of conserving the general welfare, he has discharged fearlessly and conscientiously the duties of citizenship and in every relation with the people his demeanor has been that of an intelligent, wide-awake, enterprising, courteous Christian gentleman. Being still in the prime of his mental powers he may be congratulated upon his prospect of many future years of public usefulness. The portrait of Mr. Goble which appears in connection with this sketch was taken on his sixty-third birthday.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 346-350.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 31, 2002.
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