Randolph County, Indiana
John E. Cheeseman
farming can be carried on in the manner in which John E. Cheesman, of
near Winchester, Randolph county, does it and one meets with the success with
which he has met and is meeting, it is a decided pleasure; but, unfortunately,
not all of us have been blessed by nature with as much clear foresight and
sound judgment in tilling the soil, neither have we all such well situated and
productive farms. He is a man who would have, no doubt, succeeded in any
community, for his thinking powers, coupled with his persistent energy would
soon surmount the obstacles found any place. At the same time he has been
laboring for his individual advancement, he has not neglected his duties as a
citizen and neighbor.
Mr. Cheesman was born April 25, 1857, in Wayne county,
Indiana, near the city of Richmond. He is a son of Davidson and Ann (Taylor)
Cheesman. Both parents were born in Wayne county, from which they removed
to Randolph county on February 5, 1867, locating in White River township, about
five miles southwest of Winchester, engaging in farming which they always
followed, becoming large land owners. The father was very successful in a
business way and became one of the influential men of his community. He was
originally a Democrat, but later in life voted the Prohibition ticket. He is
still living, having arrived at the advanced age of seventy-seven years, his
birth having occurred on December 18, 1836. His wife also attained a ripe old
age, passing to her eternal rest on January 1, 1908. To these parents
nine children were born, six of whom are still living, namely: John E.,
of this review; Minnie, now the wife of Clarkson Puckett, of
Randolph county; Cora B., wife of George Davis, of Richmond,
Indiana; Taylor D. lives in White River township; Edward K. has
remained on the home farm; Suda is the wife of John L. Botkin, of
near Farmland, this county; Mattie Jane died in infancy; Nancy A.
and Clara Belle, both deceased.
John E. Cheesman was reared on the home farm and he worked there
when a boy. He received a common school education, remaining with his parents
until his marriage on February 1, 1879, to Mary C. Clayton, a
daughter of Samuel A. and Elizabeth (Ludwick) Clayton, of Randolph
county. The father spent his entire life on the same farm, being born and
having died there, the latter event occurring on February 14, 1900. His
widow still lives on the old home place.
To our subject and wife five children, three sons and two daughters, have
been born, namely: Clayton E., who married Ila Wilson and is
living in Anderson, Indiana; Flora B. is now Mrs. Oliver C. Miller,
of Delaware county, this state; Garry E. is at home; Lola E. is
the wife of Horace D. Hurst, of White River township; Hugh H. is
After his marriage the subject of this sketch located on a farm just west
of the old home place where he lived until 1901, when he purchased the Captain
Pegg home and removed thereto, and here he still resides, five miles
southeast of Winchester. His place consists of one hundred and thirty acres of
finely improved and valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation.
He also has a farm of ninety acres one mile east. Here he carries on general
farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, making a specialty of raising
potatoes, hogs and fine cattle. He has a good group of buildings on his place.
Mr. Cheesman has always been a Republican in politics and has been
active and influential in the affairs of the same. He has been a member of the
Republican County Central Committee frequently and always discharged his duties
in a manner that reflected much credit upon his ability and to the eminent
satisfaction of all members of the party in this locality. He has also been a
frequent delegate to county and state conventions. In 1906 he was a candidate
for county commissioner, but met with defeat. Nothing daunted he again made the
race in 1908 and was elected, and assumed office January 1, 1910, serving
until January 1, 1913, in a manner highly satisfactory to his
constituents, doing much for the general good of the county. He was again a
candidate in 1912 by unanimous consent, but was defeated in the
landslide of that fall. Among the commendable things that took place during his
incumbency should be mentioned the improved road system which was extended more
miles than during any other three years of the history of the county. He is a
hearty advocate of public improvements.
Mr. Cheesman is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and
the Encampment and his wife belongs to the Rebekah lodge. He is a man of
pronounced views and broad intelligence, being well-read and a thinking man,
and is recognized as one of the country's best citizens.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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