Shelby  County  Indiana
Biographical  Sketches

Rev.  Samuel  Hawkins

           The subject of this sketch is a member of a family that has been closely identified with the material progress of Indiana for many years, and no name is better known within the confines of Shelby county than that of Hawkins. The Rev. Samuel D. Hawkins  first opened his eyes upon the world in Washington township, where he now resides, nearly sixty-two years ago, and in his capacity as a minister of the Gospel has done much toward the uplifting of its people in a spiritual way.
          The subject was born September 17, 1847, being the son of  Thomas and Rebecca (Higgins) Hawkins,  and was a grandson of  William Hawkins,  a product of Virginia. When quite a young man the father of the subject, hearing of the many advantages that Indiana offered for the pursuit of agriculture, decided to leave the Old Dominion state and take up his residence amid new scenes. He stopped off in Ohio for some time, and it was there that he met and became enamored of  Rebecca Higgins, with the result that their courtship culminated in marriage. The newly wedded couple settled in Washington township. The young bride was the daughter of  William Higgins, New York state being the place of her nativity.  As the fruits of this alliance, eight children were born:  John M.,  Julia A.,  Joshua S.,  Mary J.,  Sarah E.,  Thomas C.,  Rebecca L.,  and  Samuel D., the subject of this sketch.
          Of the above named children,  John M. and  Samuel D. Hawkins are the only survivors, the former being a resident of Bartholomew county.  The educational advantages of the subject were decidedly limited, the institution of learning that he attended being the typical log school-house of the early days; during the time that he was not absorbing knowledge he performed the hard labor that is usually allotted to the boy on the farm.  Early in life he was imbued with an ambition to enter the ministry, taking great interest in spiritual matters. His ambition to fill the pulpit was finally realized, and for forty years he has preached the Gospel, being at present pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, South.  In that period he has spoken words of tender eulogy over the graves of many Shelby county citizens who have passed to the great beyond.
          Mr. Hawkins was married to  Elizabeth Cochran, daughter of  John Cochran, December 12, 1865.  She was born in Shelby county, January 12, 1848.  Five children were born to the couple, as follows;  Alonzo S., farmer, Shelby county;  Anna D., widow of  Wellington Spurlin Mary E., wife of  Wilder Spurlin, Shelbyville;  Samuel E., a farmer in Shelby county;  Jesse A., is a school teacher, and has studied law.  He has been admitted to the Shelby county bar.
          The subject of this sketch has, the greater portion of his life, been a member of the Methodist church, of which he is a minister. His wife is also a member of the same denomination. As a minister the Reverend Hawkins has been unusually successful in the ways of securing great numbers of accessions to the church.  He is of a sympathetic nature, and possessed of considerable magnetism, being highly respected by people in all walks of life. His views on all public questions are broad and liberal. Insofar as politics is concerned, he has always affiliated with the Prohibition party.
          Mr. Hawkins is possessed of abundant means, having attained financial success through untiring energy and frugal habits.  He is the owner of ninety-four acres of very fertile land near Lewis Creek, and is estimated to be worth ten thousand dollars in real estate and cash.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana,  by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 778, 779
Contributed by Barb Huff

Notes from Linda Chesser:
Samuel's grandfather,  William Hawkins, b. 17 Dec 1741 in King George Co. VA d. 02 Mar. 1818 in Jessamine Co. KY was my husband's fourth great-grandfather through his daughter,  Sarah "Sally" Hawkins,  who married  John Chesher (Cheshire, Chesser)  on the 18 Jan 1795 in Fauquier Co. VA.  They had three children:   William Chesser  1798 VA-1819 m. Sarah Dewitt  in 1816 OH, and had  one daughter, Mary Ann Chesser   1819-1900 who m. 1839  Alonzo Stiles,  all  OH.  Sarah Dewitt Chesser  then married  David Eberhart  in 1824 OH;  James P. Chesser  1800 VA-1858 IN  m. Sarah Spurling  in 1820 OH, and  Mary Catherine (?) Chesser   b. 1803 VA-d.? m. unk.  before their father.  John Chesher died in abt. 18 04.  Sarah Hawkins Chesher then  married  Abraham Hill  in 1805 VA.  He had been married before, but  this couple  had at least four sons and a daughter, some of whom came to Shelby Co. IN with their older half-brotherv James P. Chesser.  The sons were  William,  Isaac,  Jacob  and  Thomas Hill.  James P. Chesser was the progenitor of the Chesser families in  Shelby, Decatur , Bartholomew,  Tipton and Howard Counties, Indiana; and  Coles County (Mattoon) Illinois.  He had  come to Shelby County from Warren Co. OH in late 1834 or early 1835 with his wife and  four children.  They  had four more children in Shelby County before Sarah died in 1851.  In 1852, he married  Rosannah Lee Lemar,  the  widow of  Robert Lemar  and mother of  seven children.  Rosannah then  had  two  Chesser children.  The Jackson Township wheat farmer  died Oct 1858 and is buried next to Sarah  and her beautiful marble gravestone at Patterson Cemetery which was originally the Van Benthuysen Family graveyard.  Rosannah Lee Lemar Chesser then married  Ira R ice Cowles  of Connecticutt  in Shelby County in 1867 and moved to Tipton County Indiana.

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