Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Milton Edward Shirk  



Milton Edward Shirk Birth 21 Nov 1849 in Peru, IN Death 9 May 1903 son of Elbert Hamilton Shirk and Mary Wright


marrried June 6 1878 Worcester, Massachusetts Ellen Walker Birth 26 Oct 1857 in Massachusetts Death 25 Oct 1940 Chicago Cooi County Illinios daughter of Joseph H Walker and Sarah Ellen Harrington

    Mrs Ellen Shirk, 83, widow of Milton Shirk, former prominent Peur banker, and mother of Joseph H. SHirk, president of the Peru Trust Company, died of a complication of ailments today at her home in Chicago. She had been in a serious condition for several days.

    Funeral services will be conducted in Hyde Park Baptist church 5800 Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago at 4:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon, It was announced that permanent internment would be made in Mt. Hope cemetery here at a later date.

    Survivors include the sone named and two granddaughters, Mrs. James Fowler of Peru and Mrs. Harry C. Usher of New Haven, Conn

    Born in Worcesdter, Mass, the deceased was the daughter ofm Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Walker.

    She was married to the late M. Shirk on Jun3 6, 1878.

    Her husband, who was president of the Old First National Bank here, died in 1903.

    Mrs. Shirk had resided in Chicago for more than 25 years.


Their children:
    Elbert Walker Shirk Birth 19 Nov 1879 in Peru, IN Death 6 Sep 1919 in Cook County, IL,

    Joseph Henry Shirk Birth 6 Jan 1881 in Indiana Death 1953 married 16 Nov 1909 - Tippecanoe County Indiana Helen Martha Royse Birth 20 Aug 1885 in Lafayette, Tippecanoe, Indiana Death: 1966 daughter of Frank Royse and Mary Agnes Subline


Culver Citizen - 21 May 1903 - Death of Milton Shirk. - Milton Shirk, one of the wealthiest men of northern Indiana, dies at Peru last week. While at his cottage on the east side of the lake some time ago, he had a stroke of paralysis which caused his death. He was president of First National Bank of Peru, and was a millionaire. He was well known here, having spent the last 6 or 9 summers at his cottage on the east side of the lake.

Milton and Ellen Walker had two sons: Elbert and Joseph. Elbert died in 1919. He and his wife Mary never had any children. I believe Joseph had two daughters - Steve Spiller Rootsweb Message Board.

Peru Daily Chronicle - May 13, 1903, Wednesday
Submitter: Betty Quier

Buried but Not Forgotten

The obsequies of the late Milton Shirb [Shirk], held yesterday afternoon, were largely attended. The Casket was taken from the residence to the Baptist church at 2:30 o'clock, where very impressive services were conducted by Rev. Dr. D. H. Cooper, assisted by Rev. Harry Nyce and Rev. Glen Kenny, pastor of the Baptist church at Tipton.

The services closed at 3 o'clock and the remains were then returned to the family residence, where at 4 o'clock private services for the family and relatives were held. At 5 the cortege left for Oak Grove cemetery where the remains were interred in the family burying lot.

The funeral arrangements were in charge of R. H. Bouslog. The pallbearers were A. N. Dukes, J. O. Cole, Judge John Mitchell George, George C. Miller, George B. Forgy and G. R.Chamberlain; honorary, and George Kenny, Avery Tudor, C. N. Hall, Frank I. Deibert, D. A. Shute and F. M. Stutesman.

Among the near relatives from out of the city present besides a number of others and immediate friends were: - E. W. Shirk of Chicago, brother of the deceased, Hon. and Mrs. J. H. Walker of Worcester, Mass., parents of Mrs. Shirk; Mr. and Mrs. George Walker of Newton Center, Mass, Joseph Walker of Brooklyn, David Shirk of Logansport, only uncle of the deceased, Mr. and Mrs. B. B. Clark of Red Oak, Ia., Mrs. Nannie R. Shirk of Tipton, Mrs. Martha Goodwin of Brookville, John O. Shirk of Brookville, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Shirk of Muncie and Mrs. and Mrs. James Shirk of Delphi.





Indiana Obituary

Milton Shirk, Millionaire Banker of Peru - Paralysis the Cause.

Special to the Indianapolis Jounal

Peru, Ind. May 9 - - MIlton Shirk died tonight from the effects of the paralytic stroke which overcame him Monday night.

Mr and Mrs Shirk were at their Lake Maxinkuckee cottage when we was stricken. He was brought home at once and specialists were called from Chicago, but he could not be brought to full consciousnessbr>
Mr Shirk was fity-three years old and was the eldes son of E. H. Shirk, who died seventee years ago, at that time considered to be the wealthiest man in northern Indiana. The father made successful and heavy investmenets in lands in Iows, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, southern Indiana, Chicago and elsewhere. He established banks at Peru, Tipton, Delphi and Mionticello. He had large mercantil, lumber and manufacturing interests in many places. All the property was kept and managed profitably. When the children, Milton Shirk, Mrs. R. A. Edwards, of Peru and Elbert Shirk, of Chicago, divided the estate some years ago it was worth over twelve millions, and has since increased to a great extent. br>
The first National Bank, of which Milton Shirk was president, is one of the strongest in Indiana. Its deposits have at times reached nearly two and a half millions. br>
Mt Shirk partially built the elegant Baptist Church of Peru. He had just given largely to Franklin College.br>
His widow, who was Miss Ellen Walker and Joseph, are left. Mr. Shirk had been in poor health for years and spent two years in Europe to recuperate. - - The Indianapolis Journal, Sunday May 10 1903br>





Will of Milton Shirk

It Gives $5,000 Each to Franklin College and Peru Baptist Church.

Special to the Indianapapolis Journal

Peru Ind., Mar 11 - The funeral of Milton Shirk, the banker, is tobeld at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, with public services at the First Baptist Church and private services following at the residence.

The interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, by the side of his parents.

Mt SHirk;s will has bee files for record and probate this soon because of a very importany real estate transaction that is pending in Chicago and which demands a copy of the will.

G. R. Chamberlain, assistant casshier the the First National Bank, went to Chicago todat to deliver the copy.

The Shirk estate consists of banks, factoried, farms, forest and other real estate and interests in half a dozen states and is worth between $12,000.00 and $15,000.00

After providing for the payment of the testator's debts the will alots to ohis widow $5,000 in lieu of th amount allowed by law and gives her in fee the Shirk hous in Peru, with the contents and the land appurtenant thereto, besides one-third of aall the testator's real estate, whereever located.

There follows a gift of $5,000 cash to the trstees of Franklin College to be paid within six months after Mr Shirk's death, the same to be added to the permanent endowment fund of the college. A similar gift of $5,000 is made to the trustees of the First Baptist Church of Peru, to be invested in United States bonds, the income to be devoted to paying the pastor's salary. Provision is made for the reversion of the last-named sum to the Shirk heirs if any portion of the sumis lost and the church does not promptly make it good.

The remainder of the estate real and personal, is devised to the two sons of the deceased and the widow Ellen Walker Shirk, is named as executrix, with full power and without bond.

This will was made on June 6, 1902. A codicil, dated the same day, provided that in eventt of the death of Mrs. Shirk before her husband the son of the testator, Elbert Wright Shirk, should become executor on the same terms as provided for Mrs Shirk as ececutrix. - - The Indianapolis Journal, TUesday, May 12 1903




Twentieth century Peru (1905)
Shirk & Miller Dep't Store (Very nice Pencil sketch & bio on page 37) . . . . insert between pages 36 & 37
Shirk, E.H. - Founder of the Shirk & Miller Dept. Store. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38, 64
Shirk, E.W. - President of The First National Bank, Peru, Indiana (name only). . . . . . 86
Shirk, Milton - President of The First National Bank, Peru, Indiana. . . . . . . . 86, 92, 108





Milton Shirk. Honored and respected by all, there is no man in Peru who occupies a more enviable position than Milton Shirk in financial circles, not alone on account of the brilliant success he has achieved, but also on account of the honorable, straightforward business policy he has ever followed. He possesses untiring energy, is quick of perception, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution; and his close application to business and his excellent management have brought to him the high degree of prosperity which is today his. It is true that he became interested in a business already established, but in controlling and enlarging such an enterprise many a man of even considerable resolute purpose, courage and industry wo uld have failed; and he has demonstrated in truth of the saying that success is not the res ult of genius, but the outcome of a clear judgement and experience.

Milton Shirk was born in Peru, -- the present place of his residence, -- November 21, 1849, and is the eldest son of Elbert Hamilton Shirk, whose name is so closely interwoven with the commercial interests of Miami County as to become an integral part of its history. He, too, was a native of this state, born in Franklin County, in 1818, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Stout) Shirk. The former came from Ohio to Indiana, and the latter from Kentucky. In boyhood the father of our subject pursued the ordinary life of the farmer's son in a country where the farms were comparatively new and the advantages limited. He attended the district school through the winter months and after he had attained his majority entered Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio, where he remained for two years, studying ancient and modern languages and mathematics. For the ensuing two years he was employed as instructor in the Rush County Seminary, in Rushville, but the commercial instinct was paramount in his nature, and he early sought the opportunity of engaging in a vocation more congenial and at the same time more lucrative than that of teaching.

With that purpose in view Elbert H. Shirk located in Peru in 1844 and formed a partnership with John Harlan, an established merchant of the town. From that time until his death, in 1886, his career was one of unbroken prosperity and almost unparalleled success. In June 1845, he wedded Mary Wright, of Franklin County, a lady of English descent and of rare gentleness yet strength of character. Their home life was ideal in its beauty and harmony, and exerted a strong influence over Mr. Shirk in all his future career. From that time forward the two lives were blended as one in sentiment, in purpose, in domestic tastes, in hope and enjoyment, and no other force in the career of Mr. Shirk had such an effect upon him as did the quiet, gentle influence of his home.

He terminated his first mercantile partnership at the end of one year, but in that time he had mastered the principles of mercantile life, and continued business on his own account. He studied the markets and adapted his purchases to the wants of his customers. He made money rapidly and his profits were clean. Every year witnessed an expansion of trade with corresponding enlargements of substantial wealth. He made the most of his opportunities, which he was quick to note, and at the same time did not lose sight of the possibilities of the future in the work of the present. He was sagacious and far-sighted, and this characteristic was an essential factor in his accum ulation of wealth. On one occasion when he visited New York for the purpose of purchasing merchandise, he discovered in the hands of brokers a large number of depreciated land warrants, issued by the government for services rendered in the Mexican War. Having knowledge of the fertile prairies of the west and foreseeing the rapid development of new states and territories, he invested all of his cash in those land warrants, which he used at par value in the purchase of rich agric ultural lands in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. These lands he exchanged at a profit with farmers who desired to go west for valuable improved farms near his home in Indiana. This was the inauguration of a series of real estate transactions that were continued systematically through all the years that followed and contributed greatly to the colossal fortune he accum ulated. While conducting these operations he anticipated the phenomenal growth of Chicago by a concentration of the largest investments in that city.

In 1857 Mr. Shirk opened a private bank for deposits, which was the foundation of the strongest fiscal institution ever established in Indiana. It became the nucleus of the First National Bank of Peru, which he organized in 1864, soon after the enactment of a law by congress authorizing such banks. Although it was incorporated as the First National, it has been popularly known as "Shirk's Bank." As a matter of course its founder was elected President and annually reelected, no other name ever being considered in connection with the position during his lifetime. His banking operations were conducted strictly according to law, and the favorable conditions immediately following the war enabled the judicious banker to make large profits. IN a few years hundreds of thousands of dollars were added to the surplus and invested in United States securities bearing good rates of interest. Dividends were declared and paid semi-annually with unfailing regularity, and the well-established and unassailable reputation of the President for integrity, sound judgement and financiering ability brought deposits to his bank from all sources until the aggregate sometimes amounted to ten times its capital stock; and they sustain about that ratio at the present time.

In the management of his mercantile interests Mr. Shirk exhibited great wisdom in the selection of his employees. He was rarely mistaken in his estimate of the honesty and capacity of a boy. His confidences were seldom or never misplaced. Among the boys whom his intuitive judgement selected was George C. Miller, who entered his store in 1862, was trained in all the departments and details of the business and entrusted with responsibility. In 1873 he was admitted to a partnership and in a few years became manager of the store. His success as a managing merchant is due to the impression made on his youthf ul mind by the counsel, example and sympathy of his employer. Mr. Shirk's business enterprise were essentially of three classes, banking, mercantile and real estate. He knew every detail of merchandising as a buyer and seller. He was familiar with the theory and practice of banking; in a word he was a broadminded, far-seeing financier with great mental grasp and remarkable penetration. Had he lived and operated in New York to Chicago his fortune wo uld probably have been far greater, and the achievement wo uld have been less marvelous than the one that crowned his forty years residence in Peru.

He believed in humanity and maintained a high standard of morality. To those who knew him best his life was much more than a financial success. In politics he was a Whig and Republican, and was always informed on the issues of the day, but left to others the management of party affairs and the contest for official preferment. He was a member of the Baptist Church, observant of Christian duties and liberal in his contributions to church and charitable work. When the congregation of which he was a member undertook to build a commodious house of worship he paid half the cost. It is a pleasing commentary on the influence of good example that his family later contributed one-half the cost of the superb edifice built by the same congregation in 1894.

Mr. Shirk was rather slight and apparently frail physically, but his nervous energy and willpower were very great. His cordiality and courtesy were unfailing, and his self-control was perfect. His home life was ideal; when he crossed his threshold he put aside all business cares and anxieties and entered heartily into the delights of his own fireside. He delighted to entertain his friends and his hospitality was most generous and pleasing. After a long, usef ul and honorable life, he passed away April 8, 1886, and his wife, surviving him several years, died in August 1894. The surviving members of the family are two sons and two daughters.

Milton Shirk, the eldest, was trained in the details of banking and succeeded his father as President of the First National Bank. His educational advantages were such as the public schools afforded, supplemented by thorough business discipline under his father. In 1867, when but eighteen years of age, he entered the bank of which he is now President, and was soon afterward made cashier, which on the death of his father he succeeded to the presidency, becoming a worthy successor of that able financier. Under the wise management of the son the estate has largely increased in value and the bank is in a most flourishing condition. Milton Shirk is a public spirited and progressive citizen and occupies a conspicuous place among the representative men of Peru and Miami County. On the 6th of June 1868, he married Miss Ella Walker, daughter of Hon. Joseph H. Walker, of Worcester, Massachusetts, and they have two sons, -- Elbert Walker and Joseph Henry.

Alice Shirk, the elder daughter, was married January 1, 1880, to R. A. Edwards, then professor of English literature in Knox College, of Galesburg, Illinois, and now cashier of the bank. Their children are Richard Elbert, Milton Arthur, Mary Alice, Clara Ellen and Florence Esther. The younger son, Elbert W. Shirk, married to the only daughter of John W. Murphy, the oldest wholesale dry-goods merchant of Indianapolis. He is Vice President of the First National Bank, of Peru, although a resident of Chicago, where he has large business interests, including the presidency of a trust company.

Cass, Howard, Miami and Tipton Counties, Indiana, Portrait and Biographical Record (1898 Lewis Publishing Co.}






MILTON SHIRK, President of the First National Bank, and eldest son of E.H. and Mary Shirk, is a native of Miami County, Indiana, born in Peru on the 21st day of November 1849. His educational advantages were those afforded by the city schools, which, supplemented by a thorough business training under his father, have enabled him to successfully discharge the duties of a very active business life. In the year 1867, when but seventeen years of age, he entered the First National Bank, of which he was, in a couple of months, promoted cashier, and on the death of his father in the spring of 1886, succeeded to the presidency of the same, a position he holds at this time. Thoroughly familiar with all the details of the business. Mr. Shirk on the death of his father became president not only of the First National Bank in the city, but also of banks in Monticello, Delphi and Tipton, and their present successf ul condition is largely due to his superior management. He is a worthy successor to his distinguished father, and has already carried financial success into all his business enterprises, including in addition to the banks referred to, large transactions in real estate, and also the mercantile business, having at this time a one-third interest in the large goods house of Shirk & Miller, in Peru. He is a marked example of those sound, practical business qualifications which secure the confidence of the people and those personal qualities that win and retain the public esteem. As a successful financier, he has few, if any superiors in the State, and as a public spirited and courteous gentleman, he occupies a conspicuous place among the representative citizens of Peru and Miami County. On the 6th day of June, 1868, was solemnized his marriage with Miss Ellen Walker, of Worchester, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Shirk have two children, viz.: Elbert W., born November 9, 1879, and Joseph H., born January 6, 1881.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township




History of Miami County, Indiana : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests (Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1914,) pgs. 542-3

Note: He was the son of Elbert Hamilton and Mary (Wright) Shirk - an account of the family starts at pg. 541. The bank was long known by the familiar title of "Shirk's Bank".

Milton Shirk, the oldest in his father's family, and who for many years continued the large business and financial activities founded by his father, was born in the city of Peru, November 21, 1849. He attended the public schools of his home town, but acquired his best training under the supervision of his father, and in connection with his actual experience in business. At the age of eighteen in 1867, he entered the First National Bank, soon after advanced to cashier, and on the death of his father was elected by the directors to the office of president which he held for many years. He continued the same conservative policies of financial management by which his father had created a bank second to none in strength and resources in Northern Indiana, and he also applied his able management to increasing the vast resources established by his father and which were largely left to his management. Up to the time of his death which occurred in 1903, Milton Shirk was foremost in the business life and civic affairs of Peru. He was a Baptist and active in the work of the church.

On June 8, 1876, the late Milton Shirk married Miss Ellen Walker, a daughter of Joseph H. Walker of Worcester, Massachusetts. They were the parents of two children, ELbert Walker Shirk and Joseph Henry Shirk

Elbert Walker Shirk, one time president and now sole owner of the United States Cement Company at Bedford, Indiana and president of the Indiana Manufacturing Company, of Peru, is one of the leading men in business circles of the county. Mr. Shirk was born in Peru, and has passed the greater portion of his life thus far in the town. He is the son of Milton and Ellen (Walker) Shirk,and was born on November 19, 1879, and reared here. In 1893 Mr. Shirk entered Worcester (Mass.) Academy, from which he graduated in 1898, and in which year he entered Harvard. His career in the famous institution of learning was cut short near the close of his third year of attendance, owing to the sudden illness of his father which necessitated his return to the home circle and the subsequent death of the parent prevented his return.

Soon there after Mr. Shirk entered the employment of Indiana Manufacturing Company as a laborer, and continued thus for a year and a half, while he went through a thorough training in the details of that business. He then left the factory to go into business of looking after the estate which his father has left, which, with his own private interests, have been sufficient to occupy his time to the uttermost. His private concerns at that time were chiefly confined to southern plantation and timber lands, and later he became interested in the cement business at Bedford, Indiana becoming president of the United States Cement Company and later taking the over the entire property in his name. In 1903 Mr. Shirk became president of Indiana Manufacturing Company, of Peru succeeding his father in that office, and in 1911, upon the death of A. N. Dukes, took over the active control of the affairs of the concern. When J. H. Shirk became president of the Peru Trust Company, Mr. Shirk became vice president of the concern.

Mr. Shirk is popular in business and social circles throughout the community, and his fraternal relations are far reaching in their scope. He is a member of the Masonic order, affiliating with the Knights of Templar Bedford and the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of Mystic Shrine at Indianapolis, and the Peru Commercial Club, the University Club of Chicago and the Columbia Club of Indianapolis.

On March 7, 1905, Mr. Shirk was married to Miss Mary Kimberly, of Neenah, Wisconsin.





Another layman whose name is loved by Indiana Baptists was Elbert H. Shirk of Peru. He was born in Franklin county, Indiana, in 1818; was reared on the farm, and when he had reached young manhood he attended Miami University,, Oxford, Ohio, that being very near his home. He taught a few terms of school, but as the commercial instinct was strong he sought a held for the exercise of his business talents. He came to Peru in 1844 and engaged in mercantile life and was successf ul.

In 1845 he and Miss Mary Wright were married, and their home soon became a center of social and religious influence. His husiness grew beyond the store; he was diligent in studying the markets and in seeing opportunities for safe and profitable investments. It is said of him that at one time when he was in New York, laying in a supply of goods, he discovered in the hands of some brokers a large lot of depreciated land warrants; he knew that they were for lands in the west where pop ulation and wealth were rapidly increasing, and that to buy them wo uld be financially wise; he gradually exchanged these warrants to men who were anxious to go west, for their lands nearer home; in this way he added largely to his fortune. He also anticipated the rapid growth of Chicago and the investments in real estate which he made there yielded large returus. He opened a private bank in Peru, and this had uniform prosperity for his fellow citizens had unbounded confidence in his business wisdom and integrity. In time this became the First National Bank of Peru and one of the strongest institutions of the kind in Northern Indiana. He was not completely absorbed in busi ness; he took a deep interest in young men who were looking forward to a business life. Many a man wo uld gladly express his gratitude to Mr. Shirk for the training and the inspiration received. He was an earnest christian man, and a Baptist, and as soon as the way opened for the organization of a Baptist church in Peru he and his family were ready to give, their f ull support to the enterprise. He was glad to pay half the cost of the first meeting-house, and doubtless his family gave as large a proportion of the cost of the present elegant edifice. His benevolence was not ostentatious, yet he was a constant giver. He early became interested in the building up of Franklin College, and representatives of that i nstitution were not turned away when they sought an interview; his gifts grew larger as he knew more of the college and its work.

His son Milton when be came into manhood manifested the same tendency to business life that had characterized his father; in fact, he gave himself up to business at so early an age, and with such absorption that, while yet in the prime of his years, he became infirm in health. And like the father, he too was deeply interested in religious matters and was an earnest and active member of the Baptist church in Peru, and gave freely for its support; but his benefactions were not confined to his church; he made several gifts to Franklin College and, as well, to other objects that are fostered by the denomination to which he belongs. He sought rest in travel, but with all his aid from that source, and the physicians' care, he could not resist the encroachments of disease; he died in middle life. His spirit and purpose were fully shared by his Wife, who takes delight in extending encouragement to worthy causes.

The daughter, Mrs. Alice S. Ed- wards, also shares in large measure her father's prudence, christian devotion and liberality; she has contributed more than once to Franklin College when its needs have been presented.

One of the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Shirk is a member of the Board of Directors of the college, as was the father and grandfather.

Mrs. E. H. Shirk, the mother, died in 1894: the father in 1886. The family has been liberal in its benefactions to the college, having given, up to this time, not less than $30,000; and this liberality has been recognized by the Board by placing a bronze tablet in the entrance hall of the new Library building. pg. 279-282 Indiana Baptist History 1798-1908





Men of progress, Indiana : a selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life : together with brief notes on the history and character of Indiana (Indianapolis: Indianapolis Sentinel Co., 1899) 302-4

Milton Shirk , is the son of Elbert H. Shirk and Mary (Wright Shirk was born in Peru, Miami county, Indiana November, 21, 1849. ...At the time of his death, his son Milton Shirk was thirty-seven years of age, and upon him had devolved the responsibility of managing the estate, and he was fully equipped for the task.

Milton Shirk's education was obtained in the common schools of Peru, except for a brief attendance at a military school in Cincinnati. Notwithstanding the fact that he was born to wealth he was not sent to and never entered the charmed circle of a Greek fraternity, and has no football, baseball, running, jumping or rowing tournament record, but he was an athlete in business. he entered his father's private bank as an assistant cashier. The private bank of 1857 became the First National Bank of Peru in 1863, and Milton as cashier was probably the youngest man in the United States to hold such a responsible position.

As a youth he was distinguished for the gentility of his disposition ad good-fellowship. He was universally pop ular and eminently democratic in his social relations, but possessed the faculty of thrusting aside anything which interfered with strict attention to business. When his father died he succeeded to the presidency of the First National Bank of Peru,l a position he still occupies, and the institution stands at the head of its class in the country for excellency of management. In addition to the presidency of the Peru Bank Mr. Shirk is the president of the Tipton county bank of Tipton, and the Citizens' Bank of Delphi.

The boundless confidence of which his father reposed in him was not misplaced as to ability, fidelity and integrity. His mental fac ulties were of a character that enabled him to grasp an immense business with all of its intricacies and complications and guide it with the hand of a master. He is not only the head of three banks, but he is a partner with the firm of Shirk & Miller of Peru, and president of Indiana Manufacturing Company of Peru, Ind.; employing 400 hands, besides having the oversight of more than one hundred farms in various localities throughout the state. Necessarily, to successfully manage such an estate demands mental fac ulties of the highest order. An average man wo uld find himself swamped, but in the case of Mr. Shirk method prevents confusion and success demonstrates that Mr. Shirk is one of the foremost businessmen in the state.

Mr. Shirk has a brother and sister to share with him the wealth which their father accumulated - Mrs. R. A. Edwards and Elbert W. Shirk.

When about twenty-two years of age Mr. Shirk became a member of the Baptist at Peru,...

...On June 9, 1878 Mr. Shirk married, Miss Ellen Walker of Worcester, Mass. daughter of Hon. John H. Walker,...and to this union two sons have been born viz: Elbert Walker [Shirk and Joseph Henry Shirk]....



"Indiana State Gazetteer Business Directory 1882-83"

First National Bank: E H SHIRK, pres; Milton SHIRK, casher; capital,$480,000





Indiana Baptist History 1798-1908 Franklin, Indiana, 1908, W. T. STOTT pg. 280 - 282

... His son Milton when be came into manhood manifested the same tendency to busines s life that had characterized his father; in fact, he gave himself up to business at so early an age, and with such absorption that, while yet in the prime of his years, he became infirm in health. And like the father, he too was deeply interested in religious matters and was an earnest and active member of the Baptist church in Peru, and gave freely for its support; but his benefactions were not confined to his church; he made several gifts to Franklin College and, as well, to other objects that are fostered by the denomination to which he belongs. He sought rest in travel, but with all his aid from that source, and the physicians care, he could not resist the encroachments of disease; he died in middle life. His spirit and purpose were fully shared by his Wife, who takes delight in extending encouragement to worthy causes. The daughter, Mrs. Alice S. Edwards, also shares in large measure her father's prudence, Christian devotion and liberality; she has contributed more than once to Franklin College when its needs have been presented. One of the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Shirk is a member of the Board of Directors of the college, as was the father and grandfather. Mrs. E. H. Shirk, the mother, died in 1894 and the father in 1886. The family has been liberal in its benefactions to the college, having given, up to this time, not less than $30,000; and this liberality has been recognized by the Board by placing a bronze tablet in the entrance hall of the new Library building.





The words with in [] I have not been able to decipher:

802 117 [annum:. nnroarma.] by him of the rent from the assignee, cannot be afterwards released by the lessee. [V V- lf V]

9. [UBUBY]- ASSUMPTION 0F [·QON'1‘RAO'.|‘.,, V .¤AV .2 V .. ; ,, V V]

There is no usury in the assumption of a valid contract providing for 8 per cent. interest, though between the making and the assuming of the contract legal interest was reduced from 8 per cent. to 7 per cent.

In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern Division ~Northern-District — of Illinois.

Ill , march, _ 1891 L Smith _99 year lease of certain real estate in Chicago, W. Shirk, in whose name the legal title [it] lien stood. The leseer agreed to pay rent, taxes, special assessments and insurance. The lease contained covenants that the lessee would not assign without the consent of the lessor; that, if an assignment were made, it should be [evidagcellg] by an instrument in writing containing a clause sufficient in law to the effect that the assignee personally accepts and assumes all the terms, covenants, and agreements in the lease, and will personally comply with, [ahdkl‘le] bound by them; rand that the lessor might declare a forfeiture for areas to any of the lessee’s covenants.

I n December, 1895, Smith assigned, their expired term to, Adams, plaintiff in error. The assignment was evidenced by a written instrument executed by Smith and Adams, which contained the clause provided for in the lease, whereby Adams assumed all the terms, covenants, and agreements in the lease, and agreed personally to comply with and be bound by them.

A written consent to the assignment was endorsed thereon, signed by Elbert W. Shirk, Milton Shirk, and Alice S. Edwards. Under these writings Adams entered and retained possession until February, 1897, when he assigned the un-expired term to Petterson as March, 1891, when the lease was made, the realty was under mortgage; which was paid in April, 1895.

In November, 1891, Elbert W. Shirk [rouveyeairau] an divide done-third interest in the realty to his mother, Mary Shirk, an undivided two-ninths interest to his brother, Milton Shirk, and a like interest to his sister, Alice S. Edwards. This was in fulfillment of the purpose of the purchase, in which he acted for himself and his relatives [na‘1ned], but there was nothing in the deed to him to indicate that others were interested in the purchase.

Mary Shirk died testate in August, 1894. By her will she gave and devised all her estate, real and personal, to her three children named, as trustees, to pay debts and legacies, and to hold the residue intact as one fund, the income of which should belong to the three children for their own use, until the expiration of the trust on the death of the last survivor, when the principal sho uld be divided per stirpes among their children then-living. The will also gave their trustees full power to sell, convey, and rent real estate in which the testatrix ha d an interest, and to deal with her business interests at their discretion. When the lease was made. that Illinois statute authorized 8 per cent interest, which was reserved in the lease upon delinquent installments of rent, and upon taxes, special assessments, and insurance paid by the lessor. The maximum legal rate had been reduced to 7 per cent. prior to the assignment from Smith to Adams.

In July, 1899, prior to the commencement of this action, Adams procured from. Smith awritten release of the obligations Adams had assumed in the assignment from Smith to him. The defendants in error, Elbert W. Shirk, Milton Shirk, and Alice S. Edwards, personally and as trustees under the will of Mary Shirk, refused to recognize the assignment from Adams to Petterson; and, as citizens of Indiana, they brought this action in assumpsit’s to recover from, Adams, a citizen of Illinois, for delinquent rent accruing In 1898 and the first quarter of 1899, and also for taxes and special assessments paid by them, together with 8 per cent interest thereon. Adams tiled pleas of the general issue, of usury, and of want of jurisdiction, on the ground that Elbert W. Shirk was a citizen of Illinois. The replication was in general denial of the special pleas. There was no conflict in the evidence. The facts herein before stated were proven. Respecting Elbert W. Shirks citizenship, he testified as a witness for defendants in error substantially as follows: "Prior to 1896 I resided in 0hio - - - bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F1/0117/001/00000819.txt

Elbert Walker Shirk

Elbert Walker Shirk Birth 19 NOV 1879 Peru, Miami, Indiana Death 06 SEP 1919 Cook Co., IL married 07 Mar 1905 Redland, California Mary Emma Kimberly Birth 02 APR 1881 Neenah, Winnebago Co., Wisconsin Death 15 OCT 1979 San Bernardino, California Burial Neenah, Winnebago County, Wisconsin daughter of John Alfred Kimbrerly and Helen Cheney

They had no known children.

The Redlands Fortnightly Club, Redlands California. The club was founded January 24th, 1895 and is believed to be the second oldest literary club in the United States.

THE FORTNIGHTLY CLUB
OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA - Founded 24 January 1895
Journey of Uncertainty
by Steve Spiller

Also preparing to leave for Europe was Lt. jg Elbert Walker Shirk of the United States Navy Reserve Aviation Corps. The Lt. had left the security of the mid-west and a loving wife, and leased his manufacturing business to a cousin, allowing the Lieutenant to participate in the war effort.

At age 38 he had not been required to register for draft when the United States entered the war.

On May 11, 1918 he enlisted in the Navy. ....Elbert Shirk grew up in Peru , Indiana a small town north of Indianapolis along the banks of the Miami River . He was born of privilege on November 11, 1878.... Milton Shirk continued the prosperous ways of his father. When he died in May of 1903 his estate had an estimated value of $5,000,000. ......

J. Alfred Kimberly and Helen Cheney Kimberly had seven children... Their youngest was Mary Emma Kimberly, but to family and close friends, she was always "Bobbie" or "Bob." ....

Elbert was on his way to Redlands for the couple's March 1905 wedding, when a telegram he sent was delivered to Mary in Barstow on her way to Redlands , with the actual words written below the coded message. They married on March 7, 1905 in a home on Cedar Avenue rented by her parents, J. Alfred and Helen Cheney Kimberly...

Elbert Shirk continued to seek relief from the painful, hot and throbbing ear infection that had shadowed him since June 23rd of 1918.

On August 12, 1919 he sought treatment in Chicago from a Doctor Peterson. A week later, Elbert checked into Chicago 's St. Luke's hospital on South Michigan Street...

Mr. Kimberly's daybooks revealed the seriousness of Elbert's illness as well as relief that Elbert survived this first operation..."Elbert's operation as a success. ...
    Thursday, September 4 - Operated on Elbert. He is a very sick man meningitis...

    Friday, September 5 - Elbert has another operation. Last hope.

    The following day Mr. Kimberly wrote, "Elbert going No hope."The finality of "No hope" was reinforced by Kimberly as he underlined the words signaling the inevitable.

    He followed the next day with, "Elbert died last eve 9:00 We go to Peru for funeral."....
Mr. Kimberly and others escorted Elbert's body to Indianapolis where his body was cremated as he requested and the ashes interred. His remains were later removed and placed in the Kimberly family mausoleum in Neenah 's Oak Hill Cemetery . A small American flag was placed over the box. Nearby was an emblem displaying the Croix de Civique, an award presented to Elbert from the Belgian government...

Within a year Mary gave up their Richmond , Indiana apartment and moved to Redlands to be with her aging parents.....and sent to Kimberly Crest. Many would eventually be used in the home, while others in crates, trunks and barrels would remain virtually untouched until after her death in 1979...







Peru Mount Hope Cemtery 411 North Grant Street [Peru Twp., Miami Co.] Peru, Indiana
SHIRK Elbert W. 15 Mar 1858 15 Sep 1918
SHIRK Joseph Henry 1881 1953
SHIRK Helen Royse 1885 1966
SHIRK Milton 21 Nov 1849 9 May 1903
SHIRK Ellen W. 26 Oct 1857 25 Oct 1940






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