Ratcliff - Miles - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Ratcliff - Miles

Source:  Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana- (Chapman Brothers, 1893) p 663

RATCLIFF, Miles one of the prominent citizens of Parke County, became the owner of 80 acres of the farm where he still lives as early as 1840.  This was then all a wilderness and had only a little log cabin upon it by way of improvement.  As the years passed, bringing bountiful harvests in return for the care and labor bestowed upon the farm, our subject was enabled to extend the limits of his farm, until it now comprises over 500 acres, where in connection with the raising of general farm products he raises a good grade of stock.  Many official positions have been bestowed upon him by his fellow townsmen, who have always reposed great confidence in his judgment and integrity.  Among other positions he has held that of Township Trustee for many years and for about 16 has been Justice of the Peace.  In his younger days he began the study of law, and was admitted to the Bar of Parke County about 1845 and has practiced some ever since. This knowledge has been of great benefit to him along business lines, if in no other way and is, no doubt, in part responsible for his success.  Thomas Ratcliff, father of our subject, was born in England, and came to the US with his parents when quite young, becoming a resident of NC.  There he grew to manhood and was married. His parents died before he had reached maturity and he was bound out to learn the trade of hatter, which occupation he followed until his removal to Indiana.  When he left the south his means were limited and he emigrated to Ohio , taking all his earthly effects in a wagon.  Settling in Highland County, he opened a hat factory which he ran with fair success.  In 1826 he came with his family to Indiana remaining one year on a rented farm in Hendricks county after which he became a resident of Fountain County, locating near the Parke County line, within 1 1/2 miles of where our subject now lives.  there he entered about 200 acres from the Government of heavy timberland, which he lived to see quite well improved.  He accumulated several hundred acres and gave each of his children a farm.  The first house 18 x 20 feet in dimensions, he put up was made of round logs, but the more substantial modern house which succeeded this was made of hewed logs.  Though farming was his principal pursuit, he was somewhat of a horse dealer, buying and settling quite extensively.  He was a member of the United Brethren Church, as was also his mother, who came, however, of a Quaker family.  For several years Mr. R. was justice of the Peace in Ohio , and was a Whig in politics.  His death occurred at the age of 75 while his wife survived him a few years.  Our subject is the 7th in a family of 9 children, the others Being: William; John; Hannah; Dorcas; Elizabeth; Thomas; Margaret and James. A t the age of 18 he started out to learn the carpenter's and millwright's trades.  Previous to this he had obtained what education he could in the old log schoolhouses of Parke & Fountain Counties.  In 1843 he married Susan, daughter of Lancelot EWBANK.  Seven children graced their union: Mary A, who became the wife of Benjamin D. Sanderson; James; Louisa, wife of James M. SOWERS; Jacob W; Jonathan A; Charles H and one who died in infancy.  After the death of his first wife, Mr. Ratcliff wedded Elmira Angel, who was born in KY but reared in Putnam County, Indiana. Her parents, William and Elizabeth TRUELOVE Angel, were both natives of North Carolina, and died when she was 7, after which she was taken to be raised by her maternal grandmother. Mr. and Mrs.. Ratcliff have 3 children; Calra, now the wife of J. W.  GLASCOCK; Minnie, wife of Ebert YOUNGBLOOD; and Miles A., Jr. who lives at home.  In 1860 Mr. Ratcliff joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Alamo, Montgomery County, since which time he has been connected with the organization, now belonging to Lodge No. 498 of Marshall.  he is also a member of Lodge No. 24 K of P of Kingman. For over 52 years our subject has been an earnest worker in the Christian Church, to which his wife also belongs. No man in the community is more highly thought of or better deserves the confidence which has been given to him by his fellow citizens. - transcribed by kbz
Back to content