Shelby County Indiana
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
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.
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
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
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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