John  Blessing


            John Blessing  was born in Frederick County, Maryland, on the 3d of March, 1828.  His father,  John Blessing,  was a native of Virginia, but died in Maryland when our subject was quite young.  The mother of Mr. Blessing was  Mary Ann (Kesselring) Blessing,  a native of Frederick County, Maryland, and where she died.  Our subject was raised on the farm, and at nine years of age began supporting himself.  In 1847, he came to Ohio and settled in Montgomery County.  In February, 1848, he enlisted in the United States army and was attached to Company D, 8th Regiment Regulars and ordered to the seat of war in Mexico.  He only served .six months, then was discharged at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, August. 1848.  He returned immediately to Montgomery County, and for some time was engaged in the distilling business.  From 1S51 to 1852, he was engaged in raising tobacco.  In 1853, he began running a canal boat from Cincinnati to Toledo. In 1857, he engaged in the distillery business at Little York in Montgomery, upon his own responsibility.  In August, 1863, he came to Shelbyville and was engaged in the distillery near this city until 1866, when he sold out and during the following year engaged in the hardware business until 1869.  During the latter and the year fol lowing, he erected the large and commodious structure known as *' Blessing's Opera House."  Mr. Blessing has invested some of his capital in bank stock and has been a director of the First National Bank since 1865.  He has also for many years been President of the Shelby County Joint Stock Agricultural Association.  Mr. Blessing is one of the most progressive men in the city.  He has been a leading spirit in all of the public enterprises of this vicinity.  He is a self-made man, and as such deserves high honor for what he has accomplished.  He was married in 1851, to  Miss Martha J. Otey,  of Montgomery County, Ohio.  They have three children,  Emma R.,  Jennie  and  Gertrude.  Mrs. Blessing died in 1875.  Her husband has since wedded  Miss Mary Linville,  of Lancaster County, Penn.  In politics, Mr. Blessing is a Republican.  He is a member of Shelby Lodge No. 39, I. O. O. F., and he and his wife are Presbyterians.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, "Shelbyville Sketches", Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887, pages 472-473.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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