Hon. Harry G. Strickland

Hon. Harry G. Strickland, former representative from this district in the Indiana General Assembly, one of the directors of the Greenfield Banking Company, former city clerk of Greenfield, a former well-known newspaper man and for years one of the best-known merchants of that city, was born in the old town of Centerville, over in Wayne county, this state, but has been a resident of Greenfield since 1878. He was born on July 12, 1866, son of Richard J. and Ann E. (Hamlyn) Strickland, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of England, both of whom were for years residents of Greenfield, honored and respectd by the entire community.

Richard J. Strickland was born in Ross county, Ohio, September 30, 1830. He was educated in Vermont, having been given excellent opportunities in the way of schooling, and early became interested in the newspaper business. He was only a practical printer, but a writer of force and ability and when he came to Indiana as an ambitious young newspaper man in the early fifties quickly made his influence felt. He became the owner and editor of a newspaper at Richmond, going thence to Cambridge City, where he published a paper for a time and then located at Centerville, where he was engaged in the newspaper business until he moved to Greenfield in 1878. As editor of the Wayne County Chronicle at Centerville, which town at that time ws a place of far greater pretension than it makes today, Richard J. Strickland became one of Indiana's best-known newspaper men and his paper exerted a wide influence thereabout in its day. While there he also established the old Odd Fellows Journal, later and now known as the Odd Fellows Talisman, the official organ of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Indiana, and for years conducted that journal, becoming in that time one of the best-known Odd Fellows in the United States. When Centerville became too greatly overshadowed by the neighboring city of Richmond, Mr. Strickland moved his newspaper plant to Greenfield, the county seat of this county, arriving there in 1878, and there he began the publication of the Hancock Jeffersonian and continued as editor and publisher of that paper until he sold it in 1889 and retired from the newspaper business, after many years of active and useful service in that connection. Upon retiring from business Mr. Strickland returned to his old home at Centerville, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring on May 29, 1898.

Richard J. Strickland's widow survived him more than ten years, her death occurring on May 15, 1910. Ann E. Hamlyn was born in Devonshire, England, October 4, 1830, and was nineteen years old when she came to this country with her parents. The family settled in Hamilton county, Ohio, entering a considerable tract of land on what is now Walnut Hills, Cincinnati's most attractive residence section, and there she lived until her marriage to Mr. Strickland. She was one of thirteen children born to her parents only one of whom is now living, Mrs. Lizzie Golden, of Acton, this state. To Richard J. and Ann E. (Hamlyn) Strickland eight children were born, of whom four now survive, those besides the subject of this biographical sketch being as follow: Ben, assistant clerk for the Indiana state board of printing, with offices in the state house at Indianapolis, a biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Mrs. Addie Chambers of Hastings, Oklahoma, and Mrs. Grace Taylor, of Indianapolis.

Harry G. Strickland's boyhood was spent in his native town, Centerville, and his elementary education was received in the excellent schools of that fine old town. He was about twelve years old when his parents moved to Greenfield and he continued his schooling in the public schools in that city, being graduated from the Greenfield high school with the class of 1884. From earliest childhood he had had the run of his father's printing office and "knew the case" even before he was big enough to "chin" the "frames," thus gradually absorbing all details of "the are preservative of all arts" and becoming a very competent printer. Upon leaving the high school he went to Indianapolis where for two years he was employed as a printer in the office of the old Daily Journal. He then went to Washington, D.C., where he was employed in the government printing office for a year, at the end of which time the failing state of his father's health required his return home and he was in practical charge of the publication of the Jeffersonian until his father sold that excellent old paper in 1889. Harry G Strickland then entered the grocery store of his brother Hamlyn (now deceased), at Greenfield and remained there as a clerk until 1893, in which year he established a grocery store of his own, which he ever since has conducted with much success, long having been recognized as one of the leading merchants of Greenfield. Mr. Strickland's business interests are not confined wholly to his mercantile establishment and since 1907 he has been serving as a member of the board of directors of the Greenfield Banking Company.

Wholeheartedly and unselfishly, for years Mr. Strickland has given of his time and his energies to the public service and there are few men in central Indiana who have a wider or more influential acquaintance in the political circles of the state than he. He served a term as city clerk of Greenfield and for some years gave equally efficient service to the local public as a member of the city council. In 1906 Mr. Strickland was elected, as the nominee of the Democratic party representative from this district to the lower house of the Indiana General Assembly. His service in the house during the session of 1907 commended him so highly to the people of his home district that he was re-elected in 1908 and was again returned in 1910, serving with equal fidelity and efficiency during the sessions of 1909 and 1911. During his lengthy service in the house Mr. Strickland was a member of some of the most important committees of that body and he exerted a wide and wholesome influence upon the legislation of that period. As a member of the Masonic fraternity, Harry G. Strickland ranks with the very highest in that ancient order, the honorary thirty-third degree, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, having been conferred upon him in 1910. He passed up through the York Rite and is past grand commander of the grand commandery of the Knights Templar of Indiana, as well as a noble of Murat Temple, Oasis of Indianapolis, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Mr. Strickland also has fraternal affiliations with the Greenfield lodges of the Knights of the Maccabees, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Haymakers, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest.

On November 7, 1889, Harry G. Strickland was united in marriage to Nettie Williams, a graduate of the Greenfield high school, who was born in Greenfield, May 10, 1867, a daughter of Joseph and Clarissa (Thomas) Williams, the former of whom died at Greenfield in 1876 and the latter on March 8, 1910. Joseph Williams came from Pennsylvania to Indiana and was for years a well-known carriage manufacturer at Greenfield. He and his wife were the parents of four children, those besides Mrs. Strickland, who was the second in order of birth, being Herman Williams, of Indianapolis; Mrs. Charles Perry, of Greenfield, and Frank Williams, who for the past twenty years has been associated with Mr. Strickland in the grocery business at Greenfield. To Harry G. and Nettie (Williams) Strickland three children have been born, one of whom died in infancy, the others being Harriet, born in 1899, and Richard, 1903. Mr. and Mrs. Strickland are members of the Presbyterian church and take a proper part in the various social and cultural activities of their home town, earnest promoters of all movements designed to advance the common welfare hereabout.

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 957-960.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 15, 2001.

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