Shelby County Indiana Biographies
WARREN BIGLER. It has been said that wherever a group of prominent Indiana Republicans are gathered Warren Bigler, of Wabash, is present either in person or in influence. Mr. Bigler for over half a century has been a power in Indiana party politics. His home city of Wabash has a high degree of respect for him as a business man and as a public spirited citizen, whose support has insured the success of many important undertakings. Mr. Bigler is what is known as a practical idealist, energetic and forceful in getting things accomplished, and at the same time few men have a more intimate association with science and literature, and he could be properly classed among Indiana intelligentsia.
He was born in Shelby County, Indiana, September 24, 1851, being the only one of the children to grow up in the family of Louis and Malissie Bigler. His father was born in Pennsylvania and came to Shelby County in 1848. In the early years he was a Mississippi River steamboat captain. In Shelby County he operated a flour mill.
Warren Bigler was educated in Shelby County, attended the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, and for two years was a teacher in his native county. On moving to Wabash he established the Wabash County Abstract Company and from 1890 to 1895 was associated with Captain Atkinson in the firm of Atkinson & Bigler. For thirty-five years he has carried on a mortgage and loan business.
Mr. Bigler married Miss Carrie Major, of Shelbyville. They have one son, Herbert S., who was educated in the University of Michigan and for a number of years managed his father's plantation in Louisiana. Herbert Bigler married Lucy H. Herring and they have a daughter, Mary, who is the wife of Robert L. Adams, connected with the Indiana State Highway Commission. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have a son Robert Lewis, Jr., born July 26, 1927.
Mr. Warren Bigler for thirty-four years has been a trustee of the Presbyterian Church of Wabash. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Club of Indianapolis, but his chief hobby for over half a century has been party politics. He was one of the most prominent supporters of Charles W. Fairbanks. Governor Hanley appointed him in 1905 to fill out an unexpired term as state auditor. Three years after coming to Wabash he was elected, in 1878, a member of the Republican city committee, served ten years as secretary and chairman of the city committee, for eighteen years held executive positions in the county committee and has given twenty-six years to the work of state and district committees. He was for five years a member of the Wabash city commission, for eighteen years a school trustee, and six of the eight school buildings were erected while he was in office. Largely through his personal efforts the Carnegie Library Building was acquired for Wabash. For eight years he was a member of the board of the Eastern Hospital for the Insane at Richmond and is now serving his third term as a trustee of the Indiana State School for the Deaf. These various services frequently overlapped, but he has given a total of forty-five years to public affairs and fifty-four years to executive responsibilities in the Republican party. He has attended national party conventions since 1880, almost the only important one up to 1920 which he missed being that of 1896. Mr. Bigler's constructive influence in Wabash should not be overlooked. He erected several business blocks and has otherwise aided in the building program in the city. While he was secretary of the old Board of Trade two of Wabash's largest permanent industrial plants were secured for the city.
A very busy life has not interfered with his life long habit of reading good literature. He has used the resources of a fine private library, and because of his extensive knowledge of books he was offered the post of state librarian at Indianapolis. His hobby is higher mathematics, and he is perhaps one of the very few men in Indiana who can propound the Einstein theory of relativity. Mr. Bigler has been an extensive traveler, his travels having taken him allover Europe and through Central America, and anthropology is another of the learned sciences of which he has more than a passing knowledge.
INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT, Vol. 3, By Charles Roll, A.M., The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
Contributed by John Addison Ballard
To contact researchers listed above, use the Surname Index