John R. Andis was born on October 18,1837, in Brandywine township, Hancock county, son of Alexander Andis, who was born in Virginia and who came here in the early pioneer days and entered a tract of land from the government. He cleared it, built a log house and barn and this house burned down. He then built a brick house in which he lived for a number of years, but finally tore this down and built a two-story frame. He was a Democrat in politics. The mother of John R. Andis was Isabella (Smith), who was born in Virginia. Her family came here from Virginia, and the county was then a wilderness. Alexander and Isabella Andis were the parents of the following, John R., who is the subject of this sketch; Morgan, Samuel, Margaret, who married Alexander Osborn; and Mary, who maried Uriah Lowe.
John R. Andis was married in 1861 to Parmelia Kiger who was a daughter of John and Sarah Kiger of Brandywine township, and who had spent her life there. To this union the following children were born: Sallie, Jessie, Clinton, Jackson P., Robert P. and Harlan, who died when eleven years old.
John R Andis received his early education in the common schools on the old bench seats split out of trees and most of his school days were spent in a log house with open fire-place. John Thomas and William Roseberry were two of his teachers, and Robert Andis, one of his cousins, was his last teacher in the Scott school house. John R. Andis stayed at home and helped his father until he was married. He bought sixty-two acres east of here at thirty dollars an acre and in trade, later on, he made fifty dollars an acre on this, but he had cleared most of the land, and ditched it and put it in cultivation. He built a frame and log house and barn and split the rails with which it was fenced. He helped run a threshing machine for four or five years, one of the old style machines run by horse power. He and his wife used the old spinning wheel and wove their own cloth from which their clothes were made. To get his mail he had to go to Greenfield, twenty miles.
Mr. Andis now owns two hundred and forty acres and he has given to each of his five children a forty-acre tract. He has earned all this by hard labor and in addition to this he paid his way out of the army, besides having to pay security debts. He has cleared and drained all his land and put it in a high state of cultivation, well ditched and well fenced. He has built three houses and one barn. All of his farms have barns and all these he has repaired. His house on his present place is a two-story one. His present house is a cottage of seven rooms which he built this year and is a snug, neat home for him and his wife. He has a fine orchard and raises hogs, horses and cattle. He is a Democrat in politics, has been road supervisor and is now a member of the county council, having served one term and two years on his second term. He and his wife are both members of the Christian Union church. He is one of Hancock county's most progressive farmers. He helped to build the Brandywine pike and also helped prepare the roadbed for its construction.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 968-969.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 19, 2001.
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