John F. Wiggins was born four miles northeast of Greenfield, Indiana, March 6, 1869. He was the son of John F. and Martha (Clayton) Wiggins; the father was born in Rush county, Indiana, in 1840; the mother was born in 1846 at the Clayton home, one-half mile east of Greenfield, Indiana.
The paternal grandparents, Garret and Harriet (Toadvine) Wiggins, were both natives of Kentucky, and lived on a farm. Coming to Indiana they lived for a short time in Rush county, and, in 1842, located on an eighty-acre farm in Hancock county, where they spent the remainder of their days. It was in the home on this farm that John F. Wiggins was born. Philip, the eldest son in this family, remained in Kentucky and was a soldier in the Confederate army during the Civil War. The other sons were: Joseph, Loss, George and John F., the father of the subject of this sketch. Loss, George and John F. served in the Union army during the Civil War-George was never heard from after the war.
The grandparents on the maternal side were Joseph and Ruth (Roberts) Clayton; he was born in Pennsylvania and she in Virginia. Joseph Clayton went to Virginia when a boy of seven years and lived there until his majority, and there was married. In 1845 he came with his wife to Hancock county, Indiana, and located on a small farm one-half mile east of Greenfield, known as the Clayton homestead. There he died about 1870; his wife died on July 17, 1907, lacking but a few days of being one hundred years old. She was born in Washington county, Virginia, August 31, 1807. James Clayton, a son, served in the Union army during the Civil War.
John F. Wiggins, father of the subject of this sketch, was educated in the common schools and supplemented this elementary education by much reading in later years. He enlisted on August 25, 1861, in Company B., Eighth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, a three-months regiment, and served until expiration of term; then re-enlisted in the Eighteenth Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, for a term of three years and served until the close of the war. After his discharge from the army he returned to Indiana and has since been engaged in farming, now living in Madison county, where he owns a farm of forty acres. He had ten children, eight of whom are still living; his wife is dead. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
John F. Wiggins, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the common schools, and afterward engaged in teaching school in Blue River township. He attended the Normal school at Marion, and also the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute. He was elected prosecuting attorney in 1896 and served until 1900, then returned to school teaching for several years. In 1908 he located in Fortville and engaged in the practice of law and has followed this vocation since. In his preparatory law studies he had for this preceptors Marsh & Cook and Jackson & Felt.
In 1894, John F. Wiggins was married to Maude Houk, of Fortville, and has two children, Bessie and Iona. He is a member of the Sons of Veterans order, the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, and has been a member of the Odd Fellows at Fortville since 1893.
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 987-988.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 19, 2001.
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