Edwin C. Huntington, a prominent and successful farmer and banker of Cumberland, Indiana, is a representative of one of the eminent families of the United States. Mr. Huntington is a native of Marion county, having been born on February 6, 1860, and is the son of Spencer W. and Sarah (Taffe) Huntington.
Spencer W. Huntington was a native of the state of New York, where he was born on September 1, 1812, and died at his home in Warren township, Marion county, Indiana, on January 6, 1895. He was the son of Chandler Huntington, who was a native of the state of New York and was of English descent. The family was a prominent one during the Revolutionary times and later in the early history of the state of New York.
The Articles of Confederation went into effect on March 1, 1781, and continued in operation until Washington was inaugurated President on April 30, 1789. Although the Constitution of 1787 provided that Washington should be inaugurated on March 4,1789, it was not until the last day of April that he reached New York to take the oath of office. During the eight-year period, from 1781 to 1789, the colonies were governed by a unicameral congress, each state having from two to seven representatives. This congress had the power, each year, to select one of its members as its presiding officer and to select the judges who composed the supreme court. The first presiding officer thus selected was Samuel Huntington, a brother of the grandfather of Chandler Huntington. Thus he in a sense became the first head of the United States, that is, in so far as being the presiding officer of the first Congress provided by the Articles of Confederation.
Chandler Huntington was born and reared in New York state and was a farmer and carpenter. There he was married and there four of his children were born, after which he and his family decided to locate in Indiana. They traveled to Pittsburgh on the Alleghany river and thence down the Ohio to Cincinnati and from there they entered southeastern Indiana for a short distance on one of the small streams. There they remained in the houseboat all winter, having landed the boat on the farm of General Harrison. In the spring they exchanged the boat for three hundred pounds of bacon and thus supplied they proceeded on their journey to Shelby county, where they located on an eighty-acre tract of timber land, just south of Freeport. The farm is now known as the Hughes farm. After locating the tract, Mr. Huntington walked to Brookville, a distance of fifty miles, in order to enter the land from the government.
It was fortunate that a part of the land had been burned over, as this made a clearing where they could erect their house and stable. Mr. Huntington at once began the task of clearing and cleaning some of the ground so that he might plant his first crop. This done he continued the task of clearing more land and in time added another eighty acres to his farm. He later built the first grist-mill at Freeport, which was run by water power and is still in running order. Mr. Huntington spent the remaining days of his life on the old homestead.
Spencer W. Huntington came with his parents to their new home in Indiana when but seven years of age. Here he spent his boyhood and received his education. When twenty years of age he moved to Marion county with his brother, Nelson, and engaged in the saw-mill business on Buck Creek, just below Cumberland. He continued in the business for some years and at the same time bought live stock which he drove to Cincinnati and sold. When twenty-nine years of age, Spencer W. Huntington was united in marriage to Theresa Ann Buchanan, the daughter of Thomas Buchanan and wife, of Marion county. To this union were born seven children, three of whom lived to maturity; Marion, Milton and George. Mrs. Huntington died in 1858.
In 1859 Spencer W. Huntington was married to Sarah Taffe, who was born in 1822 and was the daughter of George and Catherine (Herod) Taffe, of Clark county, Indiana. George A. Taffe was a native of Kentucky and came to Indiana in an early day, where he was a pioneer in both Marion and Clark counties. In Marion county he entered land where Brookside Park, Indianapolis, is now situated. To this union four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Huntingon: Edwin C., John T., Laura and Maud[e] H. John T. is a resident of Indianapolis; Laura is the wife of Frank Askern, of Warren township, and Maude H., is the wife of Eugene Darrach and resides in Indianapolis.
After his first marriage, Spencer W. Huntington engaged in farming on sixty acres just west of Cumberland, and which place he bought a few years later and after the railroad was built. There he lived the remainder of his life. He was most successful in farming and during the Civil War made considerable money from the sale of hogs, cattle and hay. Before his death he was the possessor of some eight hundred acres of land in Marion and Hancock counties. He was a man of high ideals and strict integrity, believing in the teachings of the Universalist doctrine, although he did not belong to the church. He died on January 5, 1895, his wife having died in February, 1894.
Edwin C. Huntington spent his early life on the farm of his father and attended the district school After finishing the common school course he attended the State Normal College at Bloomington, Illinois, one year, then after nearly two years at Butler College he completed a course at the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Indianapolis. He returned to his home after completing his school work and took charge of the home farm.
On January 6, 1885, Edwin C. Huntington was united in marriage to Carry May Furgason, who was born in Sugar Creek township on February 22, 1862. She is the daughter of Thomas C. and Margaret (Pickle) Furgason, both of whom were old settlers in the county.
One year after his marriage Mr. Huntington and his wife moved to the north part of the township, where he rented one hundred and sixty acres of his father. A few years later Mr. Huntington bought the east eighty and at the same time his father presented him with the other eighty. This has been his home since that time. He later purchased more land and received some of the old home place, making him some two hundred and thirty-five acres.
The farm is under a high state of cultivation and well improved, with a beautiful ten-room house, a large barn and other substantial buildings. Here Mr. Huntington engages in general farming and stock raising. He raises about one hundred head of hogs and seventy-five head of cattle each year. He also keeps eight or ten head of horses.
To Mr. and Mrs. Huntington have been born the following children: Anna E., Sallie, Irene, Edwin, Paul and Carrie May. Anna E. is the wife of Russell Bartlow, of Warren township, Marion county. They are the parents of one child; Irene. Edwin died in infancy; Irene is the wife of John Hill, of Sandborn, Indiana; Paul, Sallie and Carrie May are at home.
Mr. Huntington was one of the incorporators of the Cumberland Bank, in 1908, and was elected the first president, which position he filled until 1912, when he was elected assistant cashier. He is still a member of the official board. Fraternally, Mr. Huntington is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias, belong to the former order at New Palestine and the latter at Greenfield. He is a Republican in politics, but does not aspire to office.
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 993-996.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 22, 2001.
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