Benjamin G. Faut, farmer, living near Finley, Hancock county, Indiana, was born in the town of New Palestine, February 14, 1867, son of Ernest W. and Mary (Manche) Faut, the latter a native of Hancock county.
Ernest W. Faut was born in Bremen, Germany, March 30, 1835, and was one of a large family of children. He received a good common school education in his native city and while still a youth mastered the blacksmith trade. In the year 1852 or 1853, when seventeen or eighteen years old, he came to America with a second cousin. They were on the water nine weeks and landed in New Orleans, from which point they came up the Mississippi river by boat to St. Louis, where young Faut followed his trade for about two years. He then came to Hancock county, still relying on his trade as a means of livelihood and when twenty-five years of age was united in marriage with Mary Manche. They took up their residence in New Palestine, where he conducted a blacksmith shop for the next twelve years. In the meantime he purchased a tract of twenty acres about one-half mile north of New Palestine and eighty acres in another piece a short distance east of the town. These he later sold and in 1872 bought his farm of one hundred and sixty acres about a mile east of New Palestine, where he took up the vocation of farming and passed his remaining days. About one-third of the land was cleared when he bought it and there was a log cabin and stable. He energetically set about clearing the balance of his land and draining it and in 1876, erected a large and commodious residence of nine rooms, the brick for which he burned himself the previous summer. He also built large barns and other outbuildings in keeping with the general character of the place. He purchased land from time to time until at his death he owned between nine hundred and one thousand acres and was considered one of the most successful farmers of the county. His death occurred on September 17, 1908, at the age of seventy-three, his wife having preceded him into the Great Beyond some four years, in December of 1904. Both were devout members of the German Methodist Episcopal church of New Palestine, and from the time he became a citizen of this community he gave his political support to the Democratic party. Ernest W. Faut and wife were the parents of six children, as follow: William, who died at the age of three years; Fannie E., wife of Chris Schilling; Benjamin G., the immediate subject of this sketch; Julia L., wife of Edward Rauschaupt; Anna Belle, who died when twelve years of age, and Walter, residing near New Palestine.
Benjamin G. Faut spent his earliest years in new Palestine and was four years of age when his parents moved to the farm, where he grew to manhood. He received his education in old No. 6 school, known as the "Gates" school and his first teacher was Vinnie Gates. He was early taught by his father to help with the work of the farm and from the time his studies were completed until twenty-four years of age, he was his father's assistant. On November 22, 1891, he was united in marriage with Jennie N. Richman, born in Sugar Creek township on the old Richman place in January of 1874, a daughter of Anton F. and Mary (Meier) Richman, both from early pioneer families of this section. There were six children in the Richman family, but three of whom survive: Charles, Flora, wife of William Lantz, and Jennie N.
About five years after marriage, Benjamin G. Faut bought eighty acres, part of the old Brandenburg homestead, for fifty-five dollars per acre, and his next purchase was with his father, being the Grove Service farm of eighty-seven and one-half aces in Brandywine township, for which a price of forty dollars per acre was paid. His next purchase was a tract of forty acres from the Knierihm heirs, for which he paid one hundred and eighteen dollars per acre. He next bought the old Freeman place of one hundred and forty-five acres, in 1911, paying one hundred and ten dollars per acre. These various tracts, with the one hundred and eighty acres inherited from his father's estate, make Mr. Faut's holding total five hundred and forty-five acres and he has under his personal management all but about two hundred acres. The home place has a beautiful and modern residence of ten rooms surrounded by an attractive lawn and trees. There is also a substantial barn, forty by sixty, good double corn-crib and granary, buggy shed and garage, all in perfect keeping with the surroundings. Mr. Faut divides his attention between general farming and the raising of live stock, and is uniformly successful with his crops. He feeds on an average of one hundred and twenty-five hogs for the market annually, favoring the Duroc-Jersey breed. He has on an average of from twenty-five to thirty head of cattle with twenty head of good grade Percheron horses, including colts.
There are four children in the Faut family: Mabel, wife of John Faut, residing in Sugar Creek township; Ezra, Hazel and Flora, all single and at home with the parents. Both Mr. and Mrs. Faut are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at New Palestine, of which society he serves as trustee, secretary and treasurer. He is also vice-president and director of the New Palestine Bank and is connected with other business interests. Politically, he gives his support to the Democratic party and is well an favorably known as one of the more substantial citizens of the township. He enjoys the confidence and respect of all who know him.
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 1110-1112.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 20, 2001.
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