Honored and respected by all, there is no man in Center township who occupies a more enviable standing in agricultural circles than George W. Souder, not alone on account of the success he has achieved but by the honest, straightforward policy he has pursued. His long years of excellent management have brought to him a high degree of prosperity and today he occupies a conspicuous place among the successful men of the county. In a large sense he has demonstrated the truth of the adage that "success is not the result of genius but the outcome of clear judgment and practical experience."
George W. Souder was born in Rush county, Indiana, August 31, 1841. His parents were John and Nancy (Stipp) Souder, both natives of Bourbon county, Kentucky, where they were reared and married. In 1836 they removed to Rush county, Indiana, making the trip by wagon. They bought one hundred and seventy acres of land in Jackson township, on which were some minor improvements, including a cabin, and this he cleared and added to until he owned in all about three hundred and eighty-five acres. He followed farming exclusively and was successful in his operations. He was a Whig in politics and upon the disintegration of that party affiliated with the Republican party. Though taking a commendable interest in public affairs, he never held a public office of any kind. Religiously he was a member of the Presbyterian church. To his union with Nancy Stipp were born the following children: Elizabeth is the wife of William Bead, of Rushville, Indiana, who is now retired, but who formerly held the office of county treasurer and township trustee; William M., of Kokomo, Howard county, Indiana, a dealer in rubber goods; George W.; Amanda is the widow of David Fleehart, of Rushville, this state; John F. is living at Newton, Kansas, and is engaged in farming and stockraising; Solomon is the manager of the gas plant at Rushville; Mary L. is the wife of Charles W. Parker, a retired farmer living at Richmond, Indiana; David is a farmer in Rush County, Indiana.
George W. Souder received a good common school education, supplemented by attendance at the high school. Upon the completion of his education he engaged in teaching, which occupation he followed for two years. He remained at home until the death of his parents. He owned some land in Rush county, but sold that and came to Hancock county in February, 1881, purchasing one hundred and eighty-seven acres of farming land in section 6 and 7, Center township, formerly known as the Dickerson homestead, on which was a house and barn. He has made many improvements on this place and engaged in mixed farming, besides his agricultural interests being largely engaged in stockraising, owning about seventy-five head of Poland China hogs, fifty head of shorthorn cattle and some good horses. He has some splendid orchards, including two hundred apple trees, one hundred peach trees and fifty pear trees and a large amount of small fruit. To all the details of these varied interests Mr. Souder gives his earnest attention and as a result his success has been marked in each line. His property throughout shows evidence of careful management and is a source of considerable income to its owner.
May 23, 1876, George W. Souder was united in marriage to Miss Ann Eliza Cowan, the daughter of Hugh B. Cowan, of Rush county, Indiana. This union has been a most happy one and has been blessed with the following children: Wynema is a graduate of Washington College, Tennessee, in the class of 1900; Hugh C. is a graduate of the Greenfield high school and is a teacher; John S., who is at home, graduated from the Greenfield high school in the class of 1901; Bertha graduated in the class of 1902; and James Ralph and Claude R. were both students in the school, the latter, however, dying July 19, 1902, aged fourteen. It will thus be seen that Mr. Souder is pursuing the most commendable policy of giving all his children good practical educations. Politically he believes that the policy advocated by the Republican party is that best suited to the requirements of the American people and to it he gives his warm support. Religiously he is affiliated with the Presbyterian church, in which body he is an elder and an active member.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 344-346.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 30, 2002.
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