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From a 1897 supplement to the North Vernon Plain Dealer
William B. Prather
City Surveyor of North Vernon
    William B. Prather, city surveyor of North Vernon, was born on the site where the city now stands, November 8, 1841, and is its oldest living citizen. His father Col. Hiram Prather, was one of the three men who founded the original town of Tripton, his associates being the late Col. Hagerman Tripp and E. P. Hicks. Mr. Prather's primary education was received in the schools of North Vernon, and suplemented by a commercial course at Indianapolis, where he also learned civil engineering. Later he learned the trade of wood turner and carver. At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Fifty-fourth Indiana Regiment of Volunteers, being mustered out after eighteen months' service with a highly creditable record. Returning to North Vernon he worked at his trade of woodturner for a year, but relinquished it to become a school teacher, which calling he followed for two years. He then opened a civil engineer's office in North Vernon, and was largely employed by railroad corporations for several years following. Mr. Prather is the present city engineer, and in connection with his duties as such, performs considerable work of the same character for the county. His office is in the North Vernon State Bank building at the corner of Hoosier and Fifth streets.     In politics Mr. Prather has always been a loyal Republican, and has taken an active interest in the welfare of the party since reaching man's estate. He has served four terms as county surveyor, and is the present trustee of Center township. He resides in an attractive home of his own on Hoosier street, and possesses the esteem and confidence of his felow townsmen in the fullest degree. He was married May 28, 1869, to Miss Belle Keeler (Kellar) of Brewersville, and has a family of two daughters.

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