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

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVIII  


One of the most familiar family names in this part of the country is that of WISEMAN.

LORENZO D. and AGNES (HUFFORD) WISEMAN were both natives of Ohio. SAMUEL WISEMAN, father of L. D., was a native of Pennsylvania and an early settler of Ohio having located in Fairfield Co., a great many years gone by. Lorenzo was born in 1812. In his younger days, he followed the carpenter's trade, but later engaged in farming in Hancock County, Ohio, where he lived until 1867. In the fall of '67, he came to Union Township, locating in Marmont (Culver). It was here that his death occurred, on January 23, 1890. "He was a man of high standing in the community where he resided," says A. C. THOMPSON, "and for sixty years was an active member in the Methodist church, in which he held various official positions, including that of class leader and Sunday-school superintendent. He assisted in the organization of a number of congregations, superintended the construction of several church edifices, and in addition to his other religious work, rendered valuable assistance, in public worship by his superior gift of song."

L. D. WISEMAN was twice married. First time, he was wedded to FRANCES HOOPER, in June, 1834. They had seven children, of whom the following were living as late as 1890:
    William T., a practicing physician of Coffey County, Kansas
    Elsie, widow of A. S. STRADLEY of Dunkirk, Ohio
    Charlotte, wife of T. J. ROSE of Henry County, Ohio.

by his second marriage, which was with AGNES HUFFORD, Mr. WISEMAN had seven children. These were:
    Mrs. SAMUEL ALLEN of Pulaski County, Indiana
    Lorenzo D., who died in the winter of 1874,
      leaving a widow, FRANCES (WILHELM) WISEMAN, and one child, Rosa E.
    Mary C., wife of J. H. HILL of Kansas
    B. W. S., who became the well-known doctor
    Hannah M., wife of Rev. M. H. WOOD
    Samuel J., the druggist of old Marmont
    Livingston C., resident of Marmont and still a resident of Culver.

In the 'seventies, during L. D. Wiserman's [WISEMANís] early residence in Union Township, he was the owner of a tract of land just west of Marmont. It was a long, narrow strip of around 76 acres, due west of town. It was long east and west, and reached to the Doll Road, a bit outside the limits of the old community.


Dr. B. W. S. WISEMAN was born in Hancock County, Ohio, June 24, 1852. He remained in his native State until fifteen years of age, during a part of which time he attended the common schools. Later, he continued his studies in the high schools of Napoleon, Ohio, and Plymouth, Indiana.

For some time he taught school, meanwhile reading medicine under the instruction of Doctors Edmonds and Durr of Marmont. In the winter of 1876-77, he entered the University of Michigan medical department, studied at Ann Arbor for some time, then became a student in the college of physicians and surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, graduating in March, 1880. Subsequently completing a course in the college of physicians and surgeons at Chicago, he began the practice of his profession at Marmont. He continued here for a short time, then moved to La Porte County, but soon returned to Marshall County.

In 1885 he removed to Chicago, where in addition to other professional duties, he became interested in the Convalescent Women's Home. Being compelled by ill health in his family to leave the city, ?lie? again located in Marmont in 1887. He remained in this community until his death. He was married in 1877 to ROSE M. BUSWELL of Marmont. The children are:
    Charles S.
    Gertrude A.
    Donald H.
    James S.
    Clara R.
    Allie E.
    Ethel H.

This is an interesting family. The doctor once wrote: "My children are all sharers in the tendency towards things musical, which is traditional with the family."

Charles Sumner, the oldest boy, was born at Culver, March 22, 1879, attended the public school and was a cadet at Culver Military Academy for three years. He figured prominently in the conduct of the Academy band, and was teacher of brass instruments and assistant to the musical director for two years. In 1901 he began the study of medicine, and in 1905 graduated from the Fort Wayne College of Medicine. He located at Lakeville in 1907, and practiced some time there. He is now at Union Mills, Indiana. He was married in 1906 to IRMA GARVER of Fort Wayne.

His sister, Gertrude Agnes, was born February 28, 1881, at Culver, was educated in the public schools and received special instruction in music at the Ohio Northern University, under the tutorship of the celebrated Professor OWENS. She was married, November 11, 1899, to CLARENCE D. BEHMER, who in recent years retired as assistant postmaster at Culver, where they still reside.

The doctor's next son was Donald Hughes, born June 10, 1883, who died in Chicago, February 5, 1887, while his father was practicing there.

James Stanley was born August 27, 1885, and died in Culver on September 3, 1890.

Clara Belle, (born December 27, 1887), after graduating from Culver High School, taught for a while in the public schools. She became the wife of R. SHAFER of Lakeville.

Allie Elsinore, who was born June 12, 1890, graduated from Culver High School and entered Miami University in Ohio, taking special instruction in music. She is now Mrs. RAY FISHER of Culver.

Ethel Huldah, the youngest, was born August 6, 1893.

Dr. WISEMAN's widow is still living in Culver. Before her marriage site [she] wits [was] ROSELINE MARY BUSWE1L [BUSWELL], daughter of JOHN and CLARA (WILFORD) BUSWELL, both of English birth and ancestry.

Dr. WISEMAN took a great deal of interest in the history of his family. He spent years of spare time in exhaustive research, communicated with members of the family near and far, made numerous trips in search of data, financed the undertaking, and finally wrote a book, "WISEMAN Genealogy and Biography," which with its 134 pages is one of the most complete and authentic works of its kind to be found anywhere. In this volume, the writer traces the lineage of the WISEMAN family in America, mentioning also the WISEMANs of history and the WISEMAN baronetcy. Concerning the American WISEMANs, lie goes 'way back to Isaac WISEMAN, who with his wife Elizabeth and a large family of sons and daughters, emigrated from Berks County, Pennsylvania, to Rockingham County, Virginia, soon after the War of the Revolution. "Tradition says that he, or his immediate progenitor, came to the colonies from Wales," the doctor writes. "The name, however, is not Welsh, but decidedly English or Anglo-Saxon, and is probably of remote. Saxon or German origin, the resemblance to the German 'Weismann' favoring this assumption."

Isaac WISEMAN's children were eleven in number. The family did not remain long in Rockingham County, most of them moving along with the parents to Monroe County, now a part of West Virginia. John, one of the sons, was a Methodist minister, commissioned by Bishop Ashbury. He served in both the Colonial militia and in the Continental line in the Revolution, and was with WASHINGTON in the historic winter quarters at Valley Forge.

It is through Samuel WISEMAN, the fifth son of Isaac and Elizabeth, that the Union Township WISEMANs trace their descent. He was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, February 15, 1771, and in his boyhood accompanied the family to Rockingham County, Virginia. When he grew to manhood, he married MARY BOWYER who was of German descent. Her parents lived probably in Maryland. In about the year 1805, Samuel and his family left Virginia and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, settling on Walnut Creek near where New Salem now stands.

It is at this stage of the story of the family that Dr. WISEMAN throws light, most interestingly, on the quality of stuff of which his pioneering forbears were made. Speaking of Samuel, his grandfather, the doctor says: "He was one of the hardy pioneers who, following up the explorations of DANIEL BOONE and General SIMON KENTON, planted the banner of civilization deep in the primeval forests of the great Buckeye State. His little family lived in the wagon while he cut logs and built a cabin, the nearest neighbor being miles away." How much this is like the experiences of the first comers to Union Township. The doctor quotes an incident from a history of Fairfield County: "JAMES HOOPER, coming up one day to look at their land, heard the sound of an axe to the west, and following the sound, came to a man cutting logs for a cabin, his family living in his wagon in the woods. In answer to the inquiry as to his name, he answered, `Samuel WISEMAN.' On returning to his father's cabin, in the Teal settlement, James told his mother the joyful news, that he had found a neighbor. 'What is his name?, she said. _ SAMUEL WISEMAN, _ James replied. said she, he has a wise name; would to God he is a wise and good man'."

The doctor continues the story: "Here he and his wife 'Polly' braved the perils and endured the privations to which the early settlers were subjected and walked their Christian lives with fortitude and patience. He raised a large family of sons and daughters all of whom have passed into the great beyond years since. The devotional was largely predominant in his nature and he was possessed of the highest degree of personal integrity. Family worship was maintained in his household long after failing sight made it impossible for him to read the usual scripture lesson preceding the evening supplication. A visit made, to him in the autumn of 1860 by the writer when a boy of eight years, in company with his parents, is still a refreshing memory; this was a few months before his death and the impression made by tilt, sight of this grand pious character has been a lasting one. His bearing was that of a patriarch and his is smile like a benediction." His death occurred May 4, 1861, and was the immediate result of an accident. His wife, who was born October 15, 1771, survived him nearly six years, dying March 18, 1867. The remains of both rest in the cemetery near New Salem, Ohio.

LORENZO DOW WISEMAN, son of Samuel, was born February 3, 1812, near New Salem and grew to manhood in Fairfield County, Ohio. He was twice married; first to FRANCES SWAYZE HOOPER, daughter of Rev. JAMES HOOPER (no doubt the little lad, grown up, who figured in the pioneer incident). She died July 9, 1844. The second marriage was to AGNES (HUFFORD) HILLIARD, daughter of CHRISTIAN and MARY MAGDALENA (RENNER) HUFFORD, April 3, 1845. The second wife died December 1, 1894.

Writing of his father, Dr. WISEMAN says: "He was a teacher of old time singing schools, those accessories to civilization and Christianity, the value of which cannot be estimated, perhaps, this side of the great life beyond."

When L. D. WISEMAN settled in Marmont in the fall of '67, he first occupied the little old house that used to sit comfortably and composedly under the pine trees on a knoll near the railroad station. That house still exists in Culver, though it no longer is in its original position. It was moved in recent years to another site. It is said to be among the most ancient, if not the very oldest house standing in the town today.

L. D. WISEMAN'S interest in church work and the erecting of churches has already been mentioned, but it should be added that he directed the building of the original Methodist Church in Marmont.

The children of L. D. and FRANCES (HOOPER) WISEMAN:
    William T.
    Elsie (STRADLEY)
    Charlotte (ROSE)
    Elizabeth Agnes (who married EZRA PHELPS
    Lula, married W. S GIBBONS and lives at Rochester, Indiana
    Mary Angeline (died in early childhood)
    Samuel Clay (also died young)
    Isaac (who did not survive the hour of birth)

The mother rests in the cemetery at Culver.

The children of L. D. and AGNES (HUFFORD) WISEMAN:
    Alma, (who married SAMUEL COLWELL ALLEN in 1869
      and who died near Monterey and was buried in the cemetery there)
    Lorenzo D. (of Marmont)
    Mary Catherine
    Benjamin Winifield Scott, (the doctor)
    Hannah Margaret
      (who became the wife of Rev. M. H. WOOD and resided in Newtown, Indiana)
    Samuel Judson
    Livingston Caples.

Lorenzo Demus was the oldest son. The letter "D" usually supplanted the odd middle name of "Demus," which was a contraction of "Nicodemus," he having been named for his uncle, Dr. NICODEMUS HUFFORD. Lorenzo was born near New Salem, Ohio, March 13, 1848, and came with the family to Union Township in '67. He taught in the public schools of both Ohio and Indiana and was, for a time, clerk in a general store, owned by Dr. G. A. Durr , at Marmont. While engaged in teaching school, his health failed in the winter of 1872-73. He went to Kansas the following spring. The change did not help materially, so some time late _ 73 he returned with his little family to his father's home in Marmont. where he died January 30, 1874. His wife was FRANCIS WILHELM, daughter of ANDREW and MARY WILHELM. She married Mr. WISEMAN in 1871.

Mary Catherine, a sister of Lorenzo, was born January 27, 1850, in Ohio, and was married at Culver, August 29, 1869, to JAMES H. HILL. They resided for some years in and near Culver, then moved to Nebraska, later to Wyoming, and finally to the State of Washington. The husband died in the winter of 1909-10. There were seven children. One of them, JAMES ROWLAND, graduated at West Point in June, 1909, and was assigned to duty in the U.S. Cavalry in the Philippines.

SAMUEL JUDSON WISEMAN was born in Ohio June 1, 1857, and came to Union Township in '67. He taught school for two years, and in 1880 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa. Later he abandoned medicine and went into the mercantile business. He was married in 184 to Mrs. CLARA VIRGINIA (MCKEE) GALENTINE of Bourbon. There were five children.

Livingston C., the youngest, was born January 7, 1860, and came to the, township in '67. In his young manhood he clerked in a general store at Burr Oak and became postmaster there. In Marmont later, he went into the business of dry goods and groceries with his brother Samuel, and still later became proprietor of a drug store which he conducted two or three years. For some time he was a special patrolman for the Maxinkuckee Association. His wife, EVA BRITTANNIA (LELAND) GROVE, is of Puritan stock and a descendant of CYRUS (?) LELAND, one of the Pilgrim Fathers.

BENJAMIN WINFIELD SCOTT WISEMAN was called the dean of Marshall County physicians. He was a skilled doctor, but his remarkable personality, his wit and philosophy, often did as much for his patients as the art of medicine. During his practice of the profession he went through the stages of horseback, carriage and automobile transportation. Part of this time he was the only physician in the Marmont community, and served the people day and night without thought of his own health. He was on the surgical staff of the Vandalia Railroad, and for a period was the surgeon at Culver Military Academy. He possessed an unusual memory and was a voracious reader. He was widely known for his humor and everyday philosophy, and his love for his fellow men. For many years he conducted a singing school in Culver. He was postmaster for eight years. Over a long period he was an active figure in politics and "reveled in a hot campaign when he would write and sing campaign songs he had composed to fit the occasion." He died at his home in Culver November 4, 1933, aged eighty-one, and was buried in the Culver Masonic Cemetery.

The doctor's mother, AGNES (HUFFORD) WISEMAN, had dwelt in the twilight of life at her son's home, and it was there that she had passed away, December 1, 1894.

Ethel Huldah, youngest daughter of Dr. WISEMAN, became the wife of FRANK TABER of Culver.