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~Isaac S. SINCLAIR~
Putnam County, IN

c. 1775 - 1852
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Isaac S. Sinclair

The importance that attaches to the lives, character and work of the early settlers of that part of Indiana of which Putnam County is a part and the influence they have exerted upon the cause of humanity and civilization is one of the most absorbing themes that can possibly attract the attention of the local chronicler or historian. If great and beneficent results -- results that endure and bless mankind -- are the proper measure of the good men do, then who is there in the world's history that may take their places above the hardy pioneer. To point out the way, to make possible our present advancing civilization, is to be the truly great benefactors of mankind for all time. This was the great work accomplished by the early settlers and it is granted by all that they builded wiser than they knew. Among the sturdy old pioneers whose efforts counted for much in the early development of this part of Indiana, mention should be made of Isaac Sinclair, who occupied a position of prominence in the community where he lived. He was a native of the state of Virginia, where he was reared and educated. Subsequently he emigrated to Kentucky and in about 1822 he came to Indiana, locating in the northern part of Owen county. He had married Anna Patterson and they were the parents of the following children: William, John P., Isaac P., Samuel S., Cynthia, Morris, Ann and Eliza. These children all came with their parents to their new home in the Hoosier State and here grew to honorable manhood and womanhood. The family located three miles north of where Cloverdale now is, but several years later located in Owen county. The father afterwards returned again to Putnam county and spent his latter days with his son Samuel. His death occurred about 1852, his widow surviving until near the close of the Civil War. Isaac Sinclair was one of the grand old men of his day, his life being characterized by an integrity of purpose and a consistency of conduct that won for him the unbounded confidence of all who knew him.

Of the children of Isaac and Anna Sinclair, brief mention is made as follows:

William, during the late twenties and early thirties, owned land three miles south of Cloverdale, but eventually he moved to Kentucky and did not again return to Indiana.

John P. married Sarah Martin before he came to Indiana. He became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was numbered among the early "Circuit riders." He first lived a mile west of Cloverdale, but later located three miles south of that place, where he cleared land and made a good home. About 1850 he went to Greencastle and afterwards made several other changes in location, eventually locating about a mile north of Putnamville. About 1854 he engaged in running a sawmill at Cloverdale. He returned to the old home south of Cloverdale, but his last days were spent near Putnamville, where his death occurred. He was survived by three sons and six daughters, namely: Strange W., Isaac L., John T., Serelda, Nancy, Mary, Lucinda, America Ann and Elizabeth.

Isaac P. Sinclair, Jr., lived just west of Cloverdale in his young manhood. He married America L. Martin, of Kentucky, a daughter of Thomas Martin, who came from that state to Indiana with Isaac Sinclair, Sr., and entered land north of Cloverdale. He afterwards located near Cloverdale, but a few years later moved over into Owen county. Later in life he bought a farm three miles south of Cloverdale, where his death occurred. From his home west of Cloverdale Isaac Sinclair, Jr., moved to Owen county, but two or three years later he returned to the southern part of Putnam county, where he built a large and attractive brick residence about 1840. In 1848 he moved to Greencastle, which was his home during the remainder of his life. He was engaged in the management of a warehouse there at the time of his death. he had also laid out an addition to the city of Greencastle and had erected several houses. He died on October 25, 1854, and was survived many years by his widow, whose death occurred in 1878.

They were the parents of four sons and four daughters, namely: John P., Thomas Martin, Lee W., Isaac S., Minerva, Martha Ann, Elizabeth, and Eliza J.

Of these children, John P. lived on the home farm until 1848, receiving his education in the public schools of Greencastle. He married Rebecca A. Hardin. He spent most of his life in Putnam county, removing in 1875 to Iowa, where his death occurred.

Thomas Martin died at the age of about seventeen years.

Lee W. spent his early years in Greencastle, looking after the warehouse for his father, and was also engaged in the wool business. He married Eliza Brandt and went to Salem, Indiana. Later he went to south Chicago, where he operated a woollen [sic] mill, and then went to West Baden, Indiana, where he is now engaged in running the West Newton [sic] Springs Hotel. His first wife died in 1873 and he subsequently married Caddie Percise. [Note 1.]

Isaac Simpson Sinclair, son of Isaac P., Jr., was born 1840 on the farm in the southern part of Cloverdale township, where he remained until eight years of age, after which the family made several moves, though the greater part of his time was spent on the farm, occupying the brick residence built by his father. About 1895 he moved to Cloverdale and engaged in the hay business, and in 1900 he moved to his present home, a fourth of a mile west of Cloverdale, where he operates a good farm. The family are members of the Church of Christ at Cloverdale. Isaac S. Sinclair married, in 1862, Minerva Piercy, daughter of Jacob Piercy, Jr. the latter's father, Jacob Piercy, Sr., came from Kentucky to Indiana in about 1822 and bought land a mile north of Cloverdale. Jacob, Jr., married Rosanna Hedrick and they had five children, of whom three died in childhood, the two survivors being Mrs. Sinclair and Mary Jane, who became the wife of William H. Truesdale. To Mr. and Mrs. Isaac S. Sinclair were born six children, Albert P. Alfred Lee, Charles S., Luella, Mary Winnie and Curtis C. Of these, Mary Minnie [sic] died at the age of two months, Curtis C. at the age of ten years and Alfred Lee at the age of twenty-two years. Luella, who is now at home with her parents, formerly taught school, having attended the normal school at Greencastle.

Minerva, daughter of Isaac P. Sinclair, became the wife of Alfred Glazehook and during her later life lived at Rensselaer, Indiana.

Martha Ann became the wife of James McKenzie and spent most of her married life in Cumberland county, Illinois, [Note 2.]where her death occurred.

Elizabeth became the wife of Richard Lennon and lived at St. Louis, Missouri.

Eliza J. married Hiram T. Crawley, and they formerly lived on a farm in Putnam county, later moving to Greencastle, and then to Indianapolis, where they now reside.

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Note 1. Lee Wiley Sinclair was a self-made millionaire and built the astounding West Baden Springs Hotel which still stands today in southern Indiana.   Back

Note 2. Martha Ann and James McKenzie moved to Shelby County, Illinois, not Cumberland County as stated here. Martha died at age 27 years, 7 months and 2 days about 1861. They had three children: Minerva Emma (1854 - 1901); Lee Wiley (1856 - 1946); and Alfred (born c. 1859)  Back

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Image of Pages 292 and 293

Image of Pages 292 and 293

Transcribed March 28, 2000 by J. L. McKenzie.

SOURCE: Weik's History of Putnam County, Indiana,
Pages 292-295, published 1910.

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Thanks is due to Bill Arthur for finding this document and providing it to me.

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