Randolph  County,  Indiana

F. Marion  Harter

            This gentleman is another of the old soldiers whom it is a delight to honor. They are getting fewer and fewer in number and their march is not as quick and full of meaning and fire as it was fifty years ago when they were fighting for the perpetuity of the Union. But it thrills one to see them in their old uniforms, with their tattered flags flying and their forms bent as they hobble along on their canes at reunions or on Memorial day or the Fourth of July. And how interesting it is to hear them tell the story of the dreadful hardships they endured in the hospitals or on the harassing marches, or in the battles and skirmishes, or in the prison hells of the Southern Confederacy. But their time is short now, so all persons should join in honoring them for the sacrifices they made when they were young and full of the love of life, but which was offered free and gladly on the altar of their country.
            F. Marion Harter, for many years one of the successful agriculturists of Randolph county, who is spending his old age in quiet retirement in his cozy home in Winchester, was born in Union county, Indiana, near College Corner, Ohio, on May 20, 1833. He is a son of Joseph and Catherine (Adams) Harter. The father was born in Pennsylvania and the mother was a native of Butler county, Ohio. They grew up in their respective communities and received meager educations in the old-time schools. The father came to Ohio when a boy and there married and he and his wife came to Union county, Indiana with the early pioneers and traded a horse, saddle and bridle for one hundred and sixty acres of land in the woods. They were courageous and set to work with determination, clearing the land and erected thereon a log cabin. Their possessions increased with the years and they had a good home and farm there. In this log cabin the subject of this sketch was born, and, being a pioneer child, he found plenty of hard work to do when growing up. He received only a meager schooling, attending schools in his neighborhood for only three months a year for a few years. The parents spent the rest of their lives on this farm, the mother dying in 1837 when our subject was four years old. The father survived some twenty-six years, dying in 1863.
            F. Marion Harter was married on September 3, 1857 to Mary Ellen Murphy, daughter of Eli J. and Mary (Booth) Murphy, both natives of Hamilton, Butler county, Ohio, and there also occurred the birth of Mrs. Harter. She received the usual common school training.
            On August 13, 1862 Mr. Harter enlisted in Company H, Eighty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served very faithfully until August 12, 1865. He was never at home from the day of his enlistment until he was mustered out of the service. He was in the army in the Southwest and fought in twenty different battles, including the last battle of the war, some of which were among the most important of the war. He was under General Grant at the siege of Vicksburg. At Canon Crow, Louisiana, September 3, 1863, he was taken prisoner and confined in a prison camp on Red River at Alexandria not far from New Orleans. He was confined for six months and then exchanged and rejoined his regiment at Pensacola, Florida. With all his active service he was never wounded. His regiment traveled by rail over six hundred miles, by steamboat over seven thousand miles and marched over eighteen hundred miles before its mustering out at Galveston, Texas, on August 12, 1865. Mr. Harter immediately returned home and rejoined his family in Oxford, Ohio, to which place his wife and two children had removed, and soon thereafter he removed with his family to Greensfork township, Randolph county, Indiana, and here engaged in farming until 1878 when he moved to White River township, near Winchester, and continued farming with his usual success, also was engineer at the pumping station of the Big Four Railroad until 1888. He continued general farming and stock raising until 1904, when, having accumulated a sufficient competency to insure his declining years from want, he retired from the active duties of life and moved to Winchester where he has since resided.
            Four sons have been born to our subject and wife. also four daughters, named as follows: Joseph P., of Oklahoma; Sarah C., deceased; Franklin, deceased; Mary is at home; Emma is deceased; Catherine who married Lawrence Myers, lives in Texas; Howard lives in Wayne county, Indiana; Edward is deceased.
            For many years Mr. Harter voted the Republican ticket, but in 1896 he turned Democrat and has since been loyal in the support of that party. He has always been active in public matters. He is a member of the Nelson Trusler Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Winchester. He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1856. He and his family affiliate with the Methodist Episcopal church. He is now eighty-one years of age, but is as well preserved as many men ten or fifteen years younger, having been a man of good habits all his life. He is widely known in Randolph county and highly respected.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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