AETNA B. CURTIS
Source: History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: AW Bowen, 1913, pp 1170-1172.
Aetna B. Curtis, one of the leading and most progressive agriculturists of Coal Creek township, Montgomery county, has proved what one can accomplish who has industry, application and foresight while yet young in years. His family name is an honored one all over the land. Prominent citizens of varied professions and business, distinguished authors, orators, judges, statesmen, soldiers and farmers have borne the name of Curtis, and all alike, both rich and poor, have been the descendants of sterling English ancestry. More than two centuries ago the name of Curtis was a familiar one among the struggling colonists who laid the firm foundation of our national independence. But in whatever field members of this old family have labored that have been known as earnest, honest, intelligent workers, leaders in their several communities.
Aetna B. Curtis was born in the township and county where he now resides on May 16, 1884. He is a son of Daniel W. and Julia A. (Stout) Curtis, a well known family of farmers of this county.
Daniel Curtis was undoubtedly named in honor of his paternal grandfather, Daniel Curtis, who was a native of Maryland and a man of more than ordinary courage and ability. He served as a soldier in the early history of the United States, and afterward, marrying a Miss Pocock, also a native of Maryland and a lady of excellent family connections, transmitted to his descendants the love of his country and the ardent patriotism of the true American. This couple became the parents of eight children, most of whom lived to marry and rear children of their own. They were Levi, Jane, Joseph, Mary, James, Temperance, Wesley.
Levi, the eldest son, was the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1817. He married Elizabeth Dick who was born in Hartford county, Maryland, in 1821, the daughter of Adam and Temperance (Wadlow) Dick. Adam Dick was a native of Pennsylvania, a worthy man and a good citizen. He was also a soldier in our earlier wars. The parents of Daniel Curtis settled in Montgomery county, Indiana, in a very early day, and were prosperous, the father leaving behind at his death a comfortable estate.
Daniel Curtis enjoyed the advantages afforded by the district schools, and grew up to manhood amid the scenes and early associations of his life. He was married when twenty-five years of age to Julia Stout, which union resulted in the birth of two children, one of whom died in infancy; the other being Aetna B., of this sketch.
Daniel Curtis became a well known manufacturer of tile at the town of Wingate, and he also devoted much of his life to farming. As a tiller of the soil he had a wide experience and profitable results. His father left him an inheritance of three hundred and thirty acres of valuable land, and, as a wise investment, Daniel Curtis added to his farming property a fine tract of four hundred acres of land. In 1881 Mr. Curtis bought an interest with Maurice J. Lee in the tile mill business, of which he had the management during the rest of his life. At the expiration of five years he purchased Mr. Lee's interest, and from 1886 until his death he was sole proprietor of the business which he built up to large proportions through his able management, honest dealings and wise foresight.
Daniel Curtis was not a politician in the ordinary acceptation of the term, but he was well informed as to the matters of his day, especially the conduct of local affairs, and was a Democrat, adhering strictly to his party's principles. Fraternally, Mr. Curtis was identified with the Knights of Pythias, and socially had a host of friends in the community where he spent his life. He was born in 1853, and he was called to his eternal rest on November 17, 1902, at the age of forty-nine years, when in the prime of life, having been born in the year 1853 and spent his life here. His widow is still living, making her home with her son, Aetna B., of this sketch, and she is now fifty-five years old.
Aetna B. Curtis grew to manhood on the home farm and he received his education in the common schools of Wingate and Depauw University at Greencastle. Early in life he turned his attention to farming and is still active, being now the owner of one of the finest and most desirable farms in the northwestern part of the county, consisting of four hundred and ninety-two acres, which is under a high state of improvement and cultivation, and where general farming and stock raising are carried on extensively. He has an attractive home and numerous substantial outbuildings. Everything about the place denotes good management and thrift.
Mr. Curtis was married on October 12, 1904, to Mabel E. Burd, daughter of John H. and Jennie E. (McCarty) Burd, both natives of Iowa, where they continued to reside until Mr. Burd's death two years ago, after which the mother moved to California where she now resides.
One child has been born to our subject and wife, Homer Bryan Curtis.
Religiously, Mr. Curtis is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is prominent in fraternal circles, being a member of Knights of Pythias at Wingate; Free and Accepted Masons, No. 633, Mercer Lodge; the Commandery at Crawfordsville, the Scottish Rite at Indianapolis, and the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Murat Temple, also at Indianapolis.
-- typed by kbz