Deere - Joel - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Deere - Joel

The Life Story of Joel Garnett Deere  In pamphlet form, written by one of his sons.  Many thanks to Sharon M. Rohrer, for making it available to the website.

Source: Family Histories of Montgomery County, Indiana 1823-1988 p 138

Joel Deer (sic) Sr. founder of Deers Mill was born Feb 7, 1789 in Culpepper Co Va. When he was 22 years old he enlisted in the Army for the War of 1812. He married Sarah Garnet May 15, 1817; she was b. July 18, 1792. After they were married they moved to Boone County Ky. Five children born to this marriage:  Samantha; Sophia; John; Edmond; Joel G. When Joel G. was six months old his parents migrated to Montgomery County, his mother riding horseback bore the baby in her lap all the way to Montgomery County. Joel Sr's wife Sarah died when Joel G. was about 15 years old. Later Joel Sr married Susan Mallory. The Deer family was one of the early settlers of Montogmery County and their names are enrolled on the list of pioneers of the state. Joel Sr's parents came to this country from Germany. Joel Sr. made his family comfortable in a log cabin he built on a government section of timberland on Sugar Creek. His foresign and business ability suggested the necessity of a Grist Mill and a sawmil! l in his neighborhood which he built in 1829. Joel G. and his brother Edmund puchased the mill from their father. Deers MIll was known as the oldest of its kind in the state of Indiana. Samantha the oldes daughter born july 3,1 1818 married Alfred Mitchell b. Dec 18, 1815. They were married in Montogmery Co Feb 14, 1838 and to this union 9 children were born: Sarah; Sareptha; Benjamin; Sophia; Mary Annie; Harriet; Theresa Jane; Martha and Valore. Theresa Jane (Jenny) was born Jun 39, 1855 married GIlbert Blake from Parke County. He was born June 6, 1852. They were married December 1881. She died March 5,1 942 and he died Feb 14, 1930. They were the parents of a son who died in infancy and a daughter Jessie who married Zura Monroe. They had two daughtesr Helen Wanetah and Naomi. Helen Wanetah married Eldo Bannon and they were the parents of Virginia Bannon Kelsey and Max Monroe Bannon. Naomi married Cyril Cox and they had a son Donald Dean Cox. Max and Virginia live near Parkersburg and Don lives in Lafayette and they are the great, great, great grandchildren of Joel Sr

Source: Beckwith, H.W. History of Montgomery County, Indiana.  Chicago: HH Hill, p 324

The mills of Brown Twp were among the first enterprises of the primitive days. The first built in this township was situated on the south bank of Sugar Creek known as "ear's Mills" being built by Joal Dear (sic) an early pioneer.  Some years following it was destroyed by high water to which Sugar Creek in those days was subject.  It was afterward built by Joan Dear and William Canine, with a sawmill attached both of which are being succesffully operated.  In an early day, VanCleaves mills were built on Indiana Cree, a few miles above Sugar Creek into which the former empties. These mills were built by Samuel Vancleave who emigrated to this township at an early day from Kentucky.  And in a few years this mill was in competition with another having been built by Thomas GLenn and Cleb Conner who also were from Kentucky.  This mill was built on Indian Creek two mils above its junction with Sugar Creek and was successfully operated until after the reduction of water supply.  Although this stream furnished abundant water power in the early settlement of the township, after clearing up the land in this and adjoining townships, and reducing the lowlands by subdrainage, the supply of water has been so reduced that these mills have been removed.

Source:  Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana.  Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893 Page. 516

Joel G. DEER.  The Deer family are numbered among the early settlers of Montgomery Co. and their names are enrolled on the list of pioneers of the state.  The grandparents of our subject came to this country from Germany, arriving here about the close of the last century; they settled in Virginia and became identified with the best interests of the community in which they resided.  The father of our subject was born in Virginia in the year 1789 and at the age of 22 enlisted in the army for the War of 1812, being in active service during the famous opening year of that conflict. Our subject's mother was a member of the old GARNET family, of Virginia and was a lady of most estimable and lovely character.  After his marriage Joel Deer, the elder, moved to Boone CO Kentucky where our subject was born in the year 1818.  Joel G. Deer was only a few months old when his parents migrated from Ky. to Montgomery Co Indiana and located near where our subject now resides.  They entered a Government section of timber land, whereon our subject's father soon erected a log cabin.  Joel Deer, Sr. was a man of more than ordinary ability and enterprise for even pioneer days and after making his family comfortable in their cabin, his foresight and business ability suggested the necessity of grist and sawmill in his immediate neighborhood.  Not many months elapsed after his arrival in the Hoosier state before we find him the possessor of an excellent milling plant and the progenitor of a business which has since grown to immense proportions.  His family consisted of 5 children, the youngest of whom is Joel G. Deer, whose life we here sketch.  Joel Deer received his education in the common schools of Brown Township and when 21 married Miss Mary E. McGREGG.  At the time of his marriage, he received from his father a present of $1,000 with which to start in life, which sum he invested in land on the shores of Sugar Creek.  Some years after his marriage he joined his brother in a partnership and together they purchased their father's extensive milling interests.  The Deer Mills are known as the oldest enterprises of their kind in the state of Indiana, it being 62 years since the father started this enterprise in the crude building fashioned by himself in the early pioneer days.  The wife of Joel Deer has borned him 9 children and the living members of his family form a more than ordinarily interesting group.  One son, William E, gives promise of becoming a prosperous business man.  He is possessed of much of the ability which characterized the success of his grandfather and is at present associated with his father in the milling business.  The history of the Deer mills shows that their proprietors have not enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity for the year 1877 the whole plant was destroyed by fire at a loss of $20,000 there being only $4,000 insurance on same.  The same pluck which characterized the pioneer grandfather was fully displayed by his son, who quickly rebuilt and by patient industry brought the enterprise up to its old standard.  In addition to his milling interests, Joel Deer owns 500 acres of land, located near Sugar Creek.  In the year 1888 he was elected County Commissioner on the Republican Ticket and held the office one term.  He has not been a very active politician preferring to attend strictly to business, but he adheres to the tenets of the republican party and can always be counted on to assist in its campaigns.  Socially, Mr. Deer is a Mason, in good standing and enjoys the confidence of his fellow citizens as a man of upright principles and more than ordinary business ability
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