Herron - William Parke - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Herron - William Parke

Source: Crawfordsville Journal, Monday June 20, 1927

William Parke Herron has wrapped about him the cloak worn thin  in the Long Campaign, and laid him down upon the couch of his  fathers.
Taps sound his passing on.
The reville will blow for him in some brighter clime.
And he will answer "Present."
Capt. Herron for a generation has by common consent ranked as  Montgomery County's first citizen.
And never was rank more richly deserved.
Never was a community graced by a lovelier or more wholesome  character.
In this little epitome of America the phrase applied to  Washington "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts  of his countrymen," well befits him.
As a youth of 18, a mere boy, he left Wabash College with the  Godspeed of its splendid war faculty in response to the call of  his country.
He carried the courage and blessing of a Roman mother, who  gave him, her all, without a visible sign of hesitation.
It was this quiet courage which bore him triumphant through  all his life.
In a brief time he was brevetted a Capt. for bravery and  efficiency.
He served throughout the war, with increasing rank and  distinction.
Severely wounded on several ocassions, he spent years after  peace in regaining his shattered health.
And the stamina of family stock could not be denied.
Restored to health he entered the activities of peace as  lustily as he had those of war.
Twice chosen County Treas, and party lines were forgotten, he  grad. into the presidency of the First national Bank in the early  90's.
Taking this in situation at a low ebb he made it a household  word in Western Indiana for stability success and all that makes  for sterling banking excellence.
His was the pride of service.
His patrons were as his family.
We were all "hi, folks".
And no one was ever more loyal, none more devoted.
It is said of him that in nearly 40 years of banking, he was  never known to advise an investment that proved unsafe.
In 1900 the reorganized Wire mill, still the city's premier  industry, was built around him.
He has been a pioneer stockholder in practically all this  city's successful industrial enterprises, and has served many of  them as an officer and director with signal devotion and  ability.
Always as generous of his means as of his time and talent, he  did his full share in the city's benevolences and civic  undertaking.
The list of honors and distinguished positions held by him as  State and National affairs is an imposing one.
In this amazing era we take wonders as a matter of course.
Nothing astonishes, we refuse to be surprised.
We daily touch elbows with the great of the earth and the  noblemen of God, rarely sensing our privileges and our  blessings.
A community never fully values even its material resources and  can never approximate its assets in spiritual worth.
Here is a rich, full life; spanning in its 84 years in the  community our development from a wilderness to a veritable Grand  Army of the Republic (GAR)den spot of the earth.
A life of accomplishments, a life of complete service; a life  as simple and kindly and clean as that of a child.
From the humblest beginnings, without parade, this man has  achieved all that the human heart and human ambition holds dear;  fame, wealth, position, family happiness, honor and the love of  his fellowmen; and above all the joy of realizing he had been  chosen its one of the Builders of the Temple.
He was the last survivor of the four bank heads holding over  from the former generation: Ramsey; Somerville; Elston, Herron,  all dominant figures in the community's life and growth.
The Old Guard!
And what a guard it was.
How faithfully it guided and stood sentry over the affairs of  this locality.
One by one they dropped with armor still on.
One by one they have gone to a goodly reward.
All have kept the faith all have fought a good fight.
But none more gloriously than the lovable, genial Capt has  upheld the tradition: "The Old Guard dies; but never  surrenders." - typed by kbz  
Source: History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: AW Bowen, 1913, pp 1201-1204.

CAPT. WILLIAM P. HERRON. In a brief sketch of any living citizen it is difficult to do him exact and impartial justice, not so much, however, for lack of space or words to set forth the familiar and passing events of his personal history, as for want of the perfect and well rounded conception of his whole life, which grows, develops and ripens, like fruit, to disclose its true and best flavor only when it is mellowed by time. Daily contact with the man so familiarizes us with his many virtues that we ordinarily overlook them and commonly underestimate their possessor. Nevertheless, while the man passes away, his deeds of virtue live on, and will in due time bear fruit and do him the justice which our (76) pen fails to record. There are however, a number of elements in the life record of Capt. William P. Herron, one of the most substantial and representative citizens of Crawfordsville and western Indiana, that even now serve as eamples well worthy of emulation, and his fellow townsmen are not unappreciative of these. He is one of the progressive men of this section of the state, having spent his life in his native county of Montgomery where his forebears were early pioneers, his family having been prominent in the growth and civilization of the locality for the past three quarters of a century or more. He has done much toward the general development of his chosen city and has won and retained the confidence and good will of all who know him. He is a splendid example of the virile, progressive, self-made man, of keen discernment and sound judgment, and at the same time a follower of the principles embodied in the Golden Rule in all his relations with his fellow men, and therefore he has ever enjoyed their confidence and good will. Thus for many reasons the name of Captain Herron is eminently deserving of perpetuation on the pages of this history, not the least of which is the fact that he is an honored veteran of the greatest civil conflict the world has ever known, for none of our citizens could wear a greater badge of honor than the distinction of having served the government in the memorable four years of war between the states.

Captain Herron, banker, widely known business man and enterprising citizen, was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, June 17, 1843, and is a son of James D. and Rebecca (Young) Herron. The father was born on January 26, 1798 in South Carolina and at an early age removed to Ohio. In 1825 he came as an early pioneer to Montgomery county, Indiana, and entered land from the government, establishing the family home thereon, and by hard work developed a good farm and became a very influential citizen among the early pioneers, and here he continued to reside until his death on October 21, 1874. His wife, Rebecca Young, was born November 2, 1802, in Ohio. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania. The paternal grandparents of the Captain were Scotch people and they emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary war, and the grandfather fought in that conflict of the colonies with Great Britain. He was taken prisoner by the English and was held by them for a period of two years. After his release he settled in South Carolina. Capt. Herron grew to manhood in his native county and received a good education in the common school. He was a student in Wabash College when in 1862 he laid aside his text-books and espoused the Union cause, having then been a student in that historic institution for a period of three years. He enlisted in Company B, Seventy-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but after the battle of Stone's River, Tennessee, he was transferred to Wilder's Brigade of Mounted Infantry and was made captain of his company. He participated in many important campaigns and hard-fought battles, proving, according to his comrades, to be a faithful and fearless soldier. He was severely wounded at the great battle of Chickamauga, by a piece of shell. He was also wounded in the engagement at Farmington, Tennessee. For a period of six months and during Wilson's raid he acted as major, and at the close of the war was made a provost marshal of Macon, Georgia, his division capturing the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. He recalls many interesting reminiscences of his military career. Thus after an enviable record as a soldier in defense of the stars and stripes he was honorably discharged in 1865. Mr. Herron is a member of McPherson Post, No. 7, Grand Army of the Republic, and a Past Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, Department of Indiana. His rough life had undermined his health, and for a period of three years thereafter he resided in the northwest, which at that time was very little developed, and there he recuperated his energy. Returning to Crawfordsville in 1870 he engaged as a bookkeeper for a period of three years.

In 1873 he was elected treasurer of Montgomery county, serving with satisfaction to the people until 1875, when he launched out into a business career, becoming president of the local gas company. His success as a business man has been continuous from that time until the present, and he has become one of the financially strong men in this section of the state and is widely known as a progressive and alert, broad-minded man of affairs. He is at this time president of the First National Bank of Crawfordsville, and president and treasurer of the Wire Nail Company. In these great industries he has been the principal motive force, his able management and wise counsel insuring success, and a large and rapidly growing business is carried on in each. He is, at the present time, secretary of the Board of Trustees of the State School for the Deaf, and a member of the Military Park Commission. Having been known as a man of exemplary habits from his youth he has ever enjoyed the confidence and good will of all who have come into contact with him and is universally respected as a business man and citizen. Captain Herron was married on January 20, 1875, to Ada Patton, a lady of culture and the representative of an excellent family of Lafayette, Indiana, of which she was a native and where she grew to womanhood and received a good education. This union has been blessed by the birth of six children, namely: Charles, who is a captain in the Twenty-third United States Infantry, now stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison; Jessie is the wife of J. B. Stutzman, of Washington, D. C.; William P., Florence, Fred I. and Austin H. The Captain is a man of pleasing personal address, unassuming, charitable and obliging in his impulses, and is uniformly courteous. -- typed by kbz
Source: H. W. Beckwith Montgomery County, Indiana History. Chicago: HH  Hill, 1881, p. 240

Capt. W. P. Herron, president of the gas company,  Crawfords\ville,was born June 1, 1844, in a rural district of  Montgomery County, Indiana, and is the son of James D. and  Rebecca Young) Herron. His father, James D. Herron, was born  January 26, 1798, in South Carolina, and in an early day moved to  Ohio, and in 1825 entered land in Montgomery County, Indiana, and  made his home here till he died, October 21, 1874.
Mrs. Rebecca Herron was born November 20, 1802, her parents  being natives of Pennsylvania.
Capt. Herron's grandfather was a Scotchman, he having brought  his wife and children from the land of Burns prior to the  revolutionary war, in which conflict he fought for the  independence of his adopted country in the American navy, and at  New York was taken prisoner by the British fleet, and held by  them for two years.
After the war closed he settled at Newbury, South  Carolina.
Mr. Herron attended Wabash College three years, leaving his  books to enter the civil war in July 1862.
He enlisted in Co. B, 77th Ind. Yols., under Capt. A. 0.  Miller, and served till the close of the war.
He was transferred at Stone River from the infantry to the  cavalry service, becoming one of the famous Wilder's brigade,  whom the rebels called "Wilder's Hellians," so constantly were  they engaged.
Mr. Herron was wounded at Hoover's Gap, Rock Springs, and  Chickamauga, at the last place quite severely, by a piece of  shell.
During these stirring events Mr. Herron had not remained  throughout a private, but was first made second lieutenant at  Bowling Green, and promoted to the captaincy of a cavalry company  at Stone River. For six months during the Wilson raid he acted as  major, and at the close of the war was made provost marshal.
His division won the honor of capturing Jefferson Davis.
August 1865, Mr. Herron closed his soldier's life by an  honorable discharge.
Hardship and exposure had completely broken his constitution,  and for five years he suffered from a lung affection, to  alleviate which he traveled quite extensively through the  northwest.
In 1870 he was engaged as book-keeper for McClure, Fry &  Co., of Crawfordsville, also in the County clerk's office, and in  1873 was elected treasurer of Montgomery County, which office he  h~d two years, and was then elected president of the  Crawfordsville gas company, which position he still occupies. he  is also a director of the Crawfordsville coffin factory.
Mr. Herron was married January 20, 1875, to Miss Ada Patton,  daughter of Jacob Patton, Esq., of La Fayette, Indiana.
They have two children, Charles and Jessie. Mr. Herron is a  member of the Knights of Pythias society. He has always been  found in the ranks of democracy. -- typed by kbz
Back to content