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Abiel G. Plummer has been a citizen of Lake county since the years 1852, for over half a century, and he thus belongs to the pioneer class of the citizens of the county and state. It was a matter of great pleasure to his many friends throughout the county that he was able
recently to celebrate his eightieth birthday, and he has lived this long life so usefully and worthily that he is venerated and held in the highest esteem by all who know him.
He is a native of New England, and was born in the state of New Hampshire, May 24, 1824. He is of true colonial stock, and it is related that the earliest progenitor of the Plummer family was Francis Plummer, who came from England in the year 1633, only thirteen years
after the advent of the Pilgrim Fathers upon the shores of New England. Abiel G. is the only son and the second of the five children born to Ephraim and Lucy (Gerrish) Plummer. His sisters are all living. Mary, the oldest, is the widow of Henry Dodge, a former agriculturist at Webster, New Hampshire, and she has three daughters living: Priscilla, the widow of Luther Gage, is a resident of Pennicoke, New Hampshire. Helen is also a resident of Pennicoke; and Frances, widow of Albert Reed, lives in Jersey City.
Ephraim Plummer, the father of this long-lived family of children, was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, August 29, 1793, and died July 20, 1872, his birth having occurred six years before the death of George Washington. He was a farmer and received a meager education. His home was near that of the celebrated Daniel Webster. He espoused the cause of the Whig party until it was merged with the stronger Republican organization, which he supported until his death. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational society of which the Rev. Dr. Wood was pastor for half a century. His wife was also a native of the same part of New Hampshire as her husband, and at her death on March 29, 1879, she was seventy-five and six months old. Mr. Abiel G. Plummer was reared in his native state and had only a common school education, which was much supplemented and rounded off by the subsequent practical experience of life. He had early become acquainted with farming in all its phases, and when he reached his majority he began on his own account with only his energy and industry as his capital. When he was twenty-four years old he concluded to come west and lay the foundation of his substantial career, and he made the journey to Niles, Michigan, partly by rail, partly through the Erie canal and partly by the lakes. His first wages in Michigan were a dollar a day for hard manual labor, and while he was getting started he was always willing to do any work that would afford him an honest living. In 1852 he came to locate permanently in West Creek township, Lake county. In the preceding year he had bargained for three quarter sections of land in this township, and this was the land upon which he worked and wrought so as to bring him his present easy circumstances.
Mr. Plummer has some old parchment deeds which are valuable souvenirs in his household and interesting relics of the past. One was executed April , 1843, and signed by President Tyler, another was signed by President Polk and executed December 1, 1848, and of the same date and signature are two other. There are only a few of these documents in the county, and they are therefore the more precious as heirlooms and antiquities.
When Mr. Plummer came to this township Lowell contained but two houses, and there was not a railroad in the entire county, now so crossed and recrossed by great trunk lines. His first home was a little plank house, and in the early days he has seen as many as fifteen deer at one time on his premises. The old Indian trail led across his land, and wolves were still plentiful. He has thus witnessed all the great development that has transformed this county so wondrously in the past half century. He used to drive into the city of Chicago when the stockyards were located on the Lake shore. One of his greatest pioneer accomplishments in this county was the breaking of three hundred and twenty acres of virgin prairie with ox teams.
June 5, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Kate Baughman, and three sons were born to them, Frank and Edwin living at the present time, and elsewhere in these pages will be found the personal history of Mr. Frank Plummer, who manages the old homestead. Mrs. Plummer was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio, June 9, 1932, being one of the ten children, five sons and five daughters, born to Jacob and Sallie (Ritter) Baughman. She has a sister and three brothers still living: Barbara, who is the widow of Edward Knisely, of Lowell; John, who is a carpenter and joiner by occupation and a resident of Arlington, Washington; Jacob, a retired farmer of Lowell; and Jay D., who is a farmer at Jackson, Minnesota. Jacob Baughman, Mrs. Plummer's father was born in Pennsylvania of old Pennsylvania German stock, on February 9, 1798, and died October 4, 1853, in Lake Prairie, this county. He was a farmer by occupation. His wife was born in Pennsylvania, April 30, 1799, and died in West Creek township of this county. She was a member of the Evangelical church. Mrs. Plummer was reared in Ohio until she was seventeen years old, and received her education in that state. She came with her parents to Porter county, Indiana, in 1849. She is a kind-hearted and genial lady, and in many ways has smoothed out the rough places where family and friends were treading. She and her husband have together traveled life's journey for forty-nine years, and it is the hope of all their numerous friends that they will the next year celebrate their golden wedding.
Mr. and Mrs. Plummer began their wedded life in West Creek township and continued in the pursuits of agriculture there for many years. In 1901 they moved into the town of Lowell, and there live a retired and peaceful life. Mr. Plummer owns about seven hundred acres of land in West Creek township, and his career of industry and honest dealing has brought him comfortable circumstances. He is a stanch Republican, and began casting his ballot for president when the Whig candidate, Zachary Taylor, ran for the office. He has voted for all the Republican nominees from Lincoln down, and has served as a delegate to the county
convention. Mrs. Plummer is a member of the Evangelical church.
[Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography of Lake County, Indiana.
Rev T.H.Ball editor-in-chief, Lewis, Chicago, 1904, pp.488-91]
Submitted by Philip Ritter
E-Mail philr@leland.Stanford.EDU