It is not an easy task to describe adequately a man who has led an eminently active and busy life, and who has attained a position of relative distinction in the community with which his interests are allied. But biography finds its most perfect justification, nevertheless, in the tracing and recording of such a life history. It is then with a full appreciation of all that is demanded and of the painstaking scrutiny that must be accorded each statement, and yet with a feeling of satisfaction, that the writer essays the task of touching briefly upon the details of such a record as has been that of the honored subject whose life now comes under review.
James F. Webb is a native son of the Hoosier state, having been born in Franklin county, February 7, 1856. His parents were Jacob H. and Lydia (Price) Webb, the former of Preble county, Ohio, and the latter of Maryland. The paternal grandfather was Tyner Webb, also a native of Ohio. Jacob H. Webb was reared in the Buckeye state, was a shoemaker by trade and also followed farming to some extent. He moved to Franklin county, Indiana, in 1836, where he worked at his trade and also owned town property. He came to Maxwell, Hancock county, in 1880 and his death occurred there in 1888. His wife died some ten years later. Both were members of the Methodist church. Their children, six in number, were as follows: Minerva became the wife of John Baker; Lyman is deceased; Oscar is a farmer and cattle raiser at Protection, Kansas; James F. is the subject; Emmons lives in Maxwell and Edgar at Indianapolis.
James F. Webb lived at home until his eleventh year and afterward worked at different occupations. In 1870 he came to Buck Creek township, Hancock county, and there followed farming until 1875. He then bought a farm in Center township, but sold it in 1878 and located on his present place, one and three-fourths miles northeast of Maxwell, on section 4, same township. The tract, which was mostly cleared land, comprised seventy acres and had been known as the Shipley farm. Here he has since successfully carried on general farming and also gives considerable attention to live stock, raising cattle, horses and hogs. In 1891 Mr. Webb started a saw-mill on his place and has since done a splendid business in that line. He does all kinds of custom work and ships large quantities of material to Greenfield and Indianapolis.
Mr. Webb has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Cassie Merchant, of Center township, this county, the daughter of John P. and Melinda Merchant. They had one child, a son, Oscar, a farmer of near Mendon. Mrs. Webb died May 6, 1877, and for his second wife Mr. Webb chose Miss Julia A. Shipley, their marriage being consummated February 7, 1878. She is a native of Center township and the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Pratt) Shipley, early pioneers of Hancock county, coming from Preble county, Ohio. The children of this second union were as follows: Charlie is at home; Rosa became the wife of B. Whitworth, of Henry county, Indiana, and they have one daughter, Nora; Willie, Albert, Ethel, Lydia and Nellie, at home.
Politically, Mr. Webb is an earnest and active Republican, and for two years he was postmaster at Maxwell, where he conducted a store. Both he and wife are members of the United Brethren church. He has always been a hard working man and by his strenuous efforts has achieved a well-earned success. He has been prominent in all affairs affecting the welfare of his county and occupies an enviable standing among its public-spirited and enterprising citizens.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 261-262.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 9, 2002.
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