Vincent L. Early was born in Brownstown, Indiana, on August 9, 1852, a son of Samuel S. and Bertha (Beem) Early. Samuel S. Early was born in Tennessee, near Clinch Mountain. He came to Indiana while quite young and settled in Jackson county. He was very prominent in politics all his life and he was a Democratic office-holder almost all his life. He married Bertha Beem, who was born and raised in Jackson county. Her parents were old residents and farmers of Jackson county, the father was a ranger in the war of 1812. He accumulated large land holdings and at one time owned almost a whole township in Jackson county. They were the parents of the following children: Frank E., who is a retired merchant of Rushville, Indiana; Ida Hamilton, of Belleview, Kentucky; Newton, who is now deceased, and Vincent L., the subject of this sketch. Samuel S. Early died in 1882 and his wife died in 1860.
Vincent L. Early was educated in the public schools of Brownstown and entered the drug business as a clerk as soon as he was out of school. He remained in this position for three years and later went to Indianapolis, where he worked as a clerk in the Patterson Brothers drug store in that city. He remained in that position for five years, after which he went to Greenfield, Indiana, and entered the drug business for himself. After a few changes in location he finally, in 1884, took up his present place of business. Here he has done a prosperous business and now controls one of the largest stores in Greenfield. During the winter season there is a force of three people employed and during the summer months this force is increased. General drug supplies, paints, wall paper and glass is the stock carried. In addition to this store, Mr. Early has other interests. He was the originator of the Building and Loan Association of Greenfield, and he was also the instigator of the Greenfield Real Estate Exchange, which did so much for Greenfield during the gas boom. It was through this organization that the glass factories, the plow works and the stove foundries were brought to Greenfield. He was also the instigator of the present telephone system of Greenfield and partly controlled this system until recently. The first telephone installed in Greenfield was in the Early drug store and the first telephone company consisted of Mr. Early, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hough. Mr. Early is a Democrat in politics, but has profited by the example of his father and has "stayed out of politics." He is a Mason and is the oldest active business man in Greenfield.
Mr. Early has been twice married. His first marriage was in 1880, when he married Lena Gwin, who was a native of Greenfield. To this marriage the following children were born: Nellie Fort, who lives in Indianapolis, and Ines May, who is stenographer in Washington, D.C., in the office of Senator James, of Kentucky. The first Mrs. Early died in 1885, and in 1886 Mr. Early was married to Mrs. Liza (Conover) Fitz, who was born in Greenfield. She was the daughter of James O. Conover, a merchant of Greenfield, who also has interests in Madisonville, where the daughter received a part of her education, having received the remainder in the schools of Greenfield. There was one child, a son, John J., by this marriage. He is a member of the present drug firm and is employed in the store.
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 893-894.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 24, 2001.
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