Cassius Morgan Curry

Cassius Morgan Curry, president and treasurer of the New Milling Company, former city treasurer of Greenfield, for twenty-five years manager of the old Hart & Thayer store and since discontinuing that latter connection prominently identified with numerous enterprises hereabout, long having been regarded as one of Greenfield's most active and progressive citizens, is a native son of Hancock county. He was born on the old Curry farm in Center township, about four miles northeast of Greenfield, August 1, 1860, son of Isaiah A. and Mary C. (Thomas) Curry, both natives of this county an for many years considered among the most useful and influential residents thereof.

The late Capt. Isaiah A. Curry, an honored veteran of the Civil War, for two terms treasurer of Hancock county, for two terms treasurer of the city of Greenfield, one of the organizers of the Capital State Bank, of which he was vice-president at the time of his death, and in all ways vitally interested during his long and active life in the promotion of the best interests of this community, also was a native of this county, having been born on the farm noted above, son of Morgan Curry, who was the son of Isaiah Curry, who came to this state with his family from Virginia in 1828 and located on a homestead farm in Center township, this county, where he established the Curry home, the Currys thus having been among the very earliest settlers of Hancock county. Isaiah Curry erected a small log cabin in the woods several miles from any neighbor and began to develop his homestead tract, but died about five years later. He left six sons and four daughters, of whom Morgan Curry was the third in order of birth. Morgan Curry married in this county, Sophia Haney, member of one of the pioneer families, and established a home adjacent to that left by his father. There he died in July, 1851, at the age of thirty-eight years, and his widow survived him many years. They were the parents of seven children, of whom Isaiah A. Curry was the eldest.

Isaiah A. Curry was born on July 16, 1835, and with the exception of the time spent in the service of his country during the Civil War, spent all his life in this county. He grew to manhood on the home farm and on December 31, 1857, married Mary C. Thomas, who also was born in this county, April 4, 1840, daughter of Alfred and Jane (Plough) Thomas, pioneers of that same neighborhood. Isaiah A. Curry and wife set up their first domestic establishment on a farm of ninety-five acres in the neighborhood of the old Curry home and there reared their family. In August, 1862, Isaiah A. Curry enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil War as a private in Company B, Ninety-ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served with distinction until the close of the war. He was a fine figure of a soldier and was rapidly promoted, holding in succession the ranks of sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain of his company. He received a certificate of honor, when first lieutenant, for bravery and efficiency and his duty as a soldier was ever foremost in his thoughts. The survivors among "the boys," as he loved to speak of his comrades in arms, never tire of telling of Captain Curry's care and attention in behalf of his men in camp or upon the battlefield. His love and devotion, manifested in many acts of kindness, proved an inspiration to them and they all bear testimony that a brave soldier never drew sword. He never said,"go," but "come on, boys," was the cry to which they responded on many a terrible battlefield. Captain Curry saw active service about Corinth, Memphis and Vicksburg, later participating in the Chattanoga and Knoxville campaigns with Grant, being at Lookoout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He made the memorable forced march for the relief of Knoxville and was with General Sherman throughout the Atlanta campaign and on the famous march to the sea.

Upon the completion of his military service Captain Curry returned to the farm and remained there until 1882, in which year he moved to Greenfield , he having two years before, in 1880, been elected to the office of county treasurer. He was re-elected in 1882 and thus served two terms in that office. Upon retiring from office he gave his attention to the insurance business and did well. In 1898 he was elected city treasurer of Greenfield and in May, 1902, was re-elected to that office, his further service, however, being prevented by death two months later, his death occurring on July 12, 1902. Captain Curry was one of the promoters and organizers of the Capital State Bank of Greenfield and was vice-president of the same at the time of his death. He was a Democrat and for years was looked upon as one of the leaders of that party in this county. Captain and Mrs. Curry were Methodists and their children were reared in that faith. There were six of these children, of whom four grew to maturity, the subject of this biographical sketch being the eldest of these.

Cassius M. Curry received his elementary education in the local school in the neighborhood of his home and supplemented the same by a course in the old Spiceland Academy. He then entered the Bryant & Strattton Business College at Indianapolis and was graduated from that institution in 1882. At the age of eighteen he began to teach school and was thus engaged for six terms, after which he entered the employ of Hart & Thayer, general merchants at Greenfield, as a bookkeeper. He proved his efficiency in this position and presently was advanced to the position of general manager of the store, a position he maintained for twenty-five years, or until the division of the old store in 1908, at which time be bought the main department of the store and continued conducting the same until he sold it in 1911. In the meantime he had retained management of the extensive overall factory which the Hart & Thayer firm had established in 1905 and is still general manager of the same. After selling his store Mr. Curry took up the manufacture of specialties under the name of the Specialty Manufacturing Company and operated this factory at Greenfield for two years, after which it was moved to Indianapolis, Mr. Curry still retaining his interest in the concern, being the secretary-treasurer of the same, the manufacture of cheese-cutters and meat-slicers being the company's principal line. In 1912, Mr. Curry was elected president and treasurer of the New Milling Company, of Greenfield, and still holds that position. Since its organization in 1913, he also has been president of the Greenfield Chautauqua Association and he has been vice-president and one of the directors of the Capital State Bank at Greenfield since 1905. Mr. Curry is a Democrat and for years has been regarded as one of the leaders of that party in Hancock county. Upon the death of his father while serving as city treasurer in 1902 he was appointed to fill the unexpired term and was re-elected to that office. His sister, Mrs. Fayme A. Moxley, acted as his deputy and was in practical charge of the office during his incumbency.

On August 2, 1881, Cassius M. Curry was united in marriage to Florence C. Frost, who died in 1902, leaving two children Lulu, widow of Herbert E. Leech, of Greenfield, and Noble M., who married Hazel Scott and is now living at Peru, Indiana, where he is the manager of a hardware store. On June 30, 1904, Mr. Curry married, secondly, Edna J. Long, of Wabash, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Curry are members of the Bradley Methodist Episcopal church and for years Mr. Curry has been one of the most active workers in that organization. He followed his father as a membr of the board of trustees in 1902 and served as president of the board for twelve years, since which time he has acted as secretary and treasurer of the board. He is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men and of the Knights of the Maccabees. Mr. Curry has a fine home on the National Road at the western edge of Greenfield, well set in beautiful grounds and declared by many to be the finest house between Greenfield and Indianapolis. He also owns a valuable farm [in] Monroe county and is quiet well circumstanced.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 850-853.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 12, 2001.

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