Among the many gallant young men from Indiana who hastened to rally round the flag when the tocsin of war sounded at the outbreak of the late Rebellion was Ransom R. Olvey, now engaged in the noble pursuit of agriculture in Vernon township, Hancock county. He was born in Rush county, Indiana, in 1833, and when one year old was brought to Hancock county by his parents, Enoch and Martha (Denney) Olvey, the former of who was a farmer and pump maker and died in Green township, this county, a good many years ago.

To Enoch Olvey and wife were born the large family of thirteen children, of whom Ransom R. was the third in order of birth. All of these have been called away save four, namely: Ransom R.,; Levi D., of Green township; Noah, in Oklahoma; and Lavinia, wife of Monroe Gant, who also reside in Oklahoma. Enoch Olvey was a son of Fielding Olvey, who was born in North Carolina and died in Madison county, Indiana, at the advanced age of eighty years while James Denney, the maternal grandfather of Ransom R. Olvey, also a native of North Carolina, who came to Hancock county, Indiana, in 1826, died in Green township at the age of seventy-five.

At the age of twenty-one years Ransom R. Olvey began working for himself on the home farm and was so occupied until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he enlisted, in 1861, in Company B, Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for ninety days, and at the expiration of this term re-enlisted for one year. He was then discharged and returned home, and about thirty days later he re-enlisted for three years as a member of Company C, Seventy-ninth Indiana Infantry, with which he served gallantly until the cessation of hostilities. Among the many serious engagements in which Mr. Olvey took a part were the following: Bull Run, Winchester, Mailisburg, Centreville, Stone River, Gettysburg, Mossy Creek, Buzzard Roost, Huntsville, Mariatte, Sharpsburg, Chattanooga, Nashville, Pine Orchard, Knoxville, Strawberry Plains and Crawford Springs. At Mossy Creek Mr. Olvey had his coat collar shot off and at Chickamauga a rifle bullet passed through his canteen; from a kick by a mule which he was hitching to a wagon he was so injured that he was confined for some time in hospital, where he came so near losing the sight of his left eye for want of proper treatment, this eye having been injured at the same time his collar was blown off at Mossy Creek.

On his return from the army Mr. Olvey resumed his farming in Vernon township, and May 4, 1868, married Miss Martha Fuqua, who was born in 1848 and is a daughter of Richard H. and Mary J. (Hanger)(Hangen?) Fuqua, natives respectively of Kentucky and Virginia and the parents of nine children, of whom Mrs. Olvey is the oldest. Of these nine, four besides Mrs. Olvey still survive, namely: Joseph, Asa, George and Hester, the wife of John Valentine. Those deceased were named Sarah Elizabeth, who was married to William McKinley; Mary M., who was the wife of Ham Helms; Susan, who was married to Wood VanZant and died March 1, 1901, and John W. The father of this family, Richard H. Fuqua, was a very prominent and influential farmer in Hancock county, Indiana, having been brought here by his parents when he was but ten years old, and here died at the age of forty-nine years. Mary J. Fuqua, mother of Mrs. Olvey, died June 1, 1891, when seventy-two years old.

John Hangen (Hanger?), grandfather of Mrs. Olvey, was born September 24, 1799, and died when seventy-nine years old, and his wife, who had borne the maiden name of Esther Alford and was a native of the Old Dominion, was called away in 1869. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Olvey has been blessed with two children, viz: Dora Lee, wife of Jesse bond, has had one child, Halsy Bond, who now makes her home with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Olvey; Rosetta, the younger child of Mr. and Mrs. Olvey, is married to Edward Stewart, of Fortville, and is the mother of one child, Martha Elizabeth Stewart.

Ransom R. Olvey is an honored member of Sol. D. Kempton Post No. 228, G. A. R., at Fortville and is a Democrat in politics.

In a guessing contest, in 1890, as to the number of inhabitants of the state of Indiana, the prize, a Vose piano, valued at seven hundred dollars, was awarded to Mr. Olvey. This gentleman occupies a very high position in the esteem of his fellow-citizens, has a delightful home and a most valuable farm in Vernon township and is now, after his long and useful career, enjoying his declining years in a well-deserved ease and comfort.

Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 438-439.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI Aug 15, 2006.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward / Columbus, Kansas / tcward@columbus-ks.com

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