Shelby County Indiana
Oliver Drury Alsman
This well known business man and representative citizen is a native of Rush County, Indiana, where his birth occurred on April 18th of the year 1862.
His parents, John W. and Caroline (Hamilton) Alsman, were born in Pennsylvania and Indiana, respectively.
John W. had five brothers in the Union army during the Civil war, and the necessity of his remaining at home to take care of the family is apparent.
Mrs. Alsman had two brothers among ten children: Louisa, who married
William Leisure; Lizzie, wife of Thomas L.
Langston; Mollie, now Mrs. George Cline; Oliver
D., of this review; William H., who married Ella
Spencer; John, deceased; James G., whose wife was formerly
Ella Hinton; Charles, deceased; Thomas O., who married
Miss Nellie Williams, and Samuel, who married Mary
Foley. The maiden name of the mother was Caroline Hamilton.
She was born in Fayette County, Indiana, of Scotch-Irish parentage, and had two brothers and three sisters.
John Alsman, the subject's grandfather, was a Virginian and an early pioneer of Rush County, Indiana, where, in the year 1832, he entered the quarter section of land now owned by his son, John W.
His ancestors came to this country from Germany many years ago, and settled in Virginia, removing thence to Pennsylvania, where they became well-to-do tillers of the soil, several of the family having also engaged in educational
work. The Alsmans have ever been a sturdy, industrious people, honorable in their dealings with their fellow men, and wherever the name is known it stands for sterling worth and a high order of citizenship.
Oliver D. Alsman spent his early life on the home farm in Rush County and grew to maturity impressed with the idea that a man should earn his livelihood by honorable endeavor.
After finishing the common school course, he attended for one year the Rush County Normal and subsequently spent two terms in the Central Normal College at Danville, where he completed the special teachers' course.
With the exception of supplying for various parties from time to time, he has discounted teaching for employment more to his liking, and much more remunerative.
In July of the year indicated, Mr. Alsman accepted a position with the
Hodell Furniture Company, of Shelbyville, where he remained three and one-half years, at the expiration of which time he entered the employment of the
Kent & Senour Flouring Mills Company, with which he continued for a period of seven and a half years, when he severed his connection with the firm to engage in the real estate and insurance and loan business, to which he has since devoted his attention.
Since engaging in his present undertaking Mr. Alsman has built up a large and lucrative patronage, doing an extensive real estate business in Shelby and other counties, and meeting with gratifying success in the way of loans and rentals, insurance and general brokerage.
He has a well-equipped office in the Knights of Pythias building, where he meets many of his patrons, besides carrying on an extensive correspondence, his interests in many parts of Indiana and other states growing so steadily in magnitude and importance as to require his constant attention.
Mr. Alsman's domestic history began on March 6, 1887, when he was united in marriage with
Joanna Butler, of Rushville, Indiana, daughter of Andrew and
Lizzie (Newbould) Butler, for many years well known and estimable residents of that city.
Mr. Butler died some years ago, since which time his widow has made her home with her five children, all of whom are daughters, and highly esteemed in their respective places of residence.
Mr. and Mrs. Alsman have no children of their own, but take a lively interest in those of their relatives and friends, being fond of young people and delighting in their society.
In his political views Mr. Alsman is a Republican, and as such wields a potent influence for his party in Shelby County, though not a partisan nor an aspirant for official honors.
He holds membership with Lodge No. 129, Knights of Pythias, and Lodge No. 457, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and with his wife is a member and regular attendant of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Shelbyville.
Mr. Alsman is a gentleman of pleasing presence, easily approachable, and stands high in the esteem and confidence of the people of the city.
By persistent effort and fair dealing he has won a place among the enterprising business men of Shelby County, and is worthily entitled to the success which has resulted from his steady application and honorable methods.
The Alsman home is at 26 St. Mary's Street.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, pgs. 494-496.
Copied by Melinda (Moore) Weaver 5/25/2004
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