Samuel  Nail

            Samuel Nail, a leading old and respected citizen of Addison Township, is a. native of what was then Rowann County, North Carolina, where he was born September 1, 1809, being the sixth in a family of thirteen children, born to  Henry and  Mary (Keller) Nail.  They were natives of Germany and Pennsylvania, respectively.  The former was born in 1771, and came to Pennsylvania with his parents in 1774.  About two years later they moved to North Carolina, where his marriage with Mary Keller occurred in 1799.  The family emigrated to Indiana and Shelby County in 1824, first settling in what is now Brandywine Township, and continued residents of this county until the father died.  The mother survived him a few years, and died in Illinois.  The immediate subject of this biography remained at home and assisted his parents on the farm, until he attained the age of twenty-two years.  He received a very limited education, in consequence of the poor facilities for schooling then in existence.  January 8th, his marriage with  Cherry Wray  was solemnized.  He has always made farming his occupation and has been uniformly successful.  He now owns 420 acres of well improved land in this county, sixty acres in Fulton County, and eighty acres in Missouri, beside some property in Fairland.  All of this is the accumulation of himself, assisted by an economical and industrious wife.  They both are members of the Methodist Church, and have always tried to lead true and consistent Christian lives.  In politics, Mr. Nail was originally an old line Whig.  Since the downfall of that party, he has usually voted for the best man without regard to party lines.  Cherry (Wray) Nail,  wife of the above was born September 30, 1813.  She was a daughter of  James and  Tabitha (Bass) Wray, who were natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively.  They came to Shelby County about 1822, where they resided until their deaths.  James Wray, Mrs. Nail's father, was born January 13, 1787, and died October 8, 1865.  Her mother was born July 5, 1789, and died March 30, 1851.  The father was a minister of the Gospel.  Samuel and Cherry Nail have had seven children, three boys and four girls:  Daniel W.,  James H.,  John W.,  Melinda,  Rebecca,  Harriet A.,  and  Nancy E.  Daniel W. Nail was born February 3, 1841.  He married  Lizzie Parker, and they have three children, viz.:  Harry, (who has lately wedded  Nora Bass,)  Gracie  and  Carrie.  James H. Nail was born December 25, 1844.  He has been twice married, and his wedding with his present wife,  Mary Howe,  took place December 30, 1883.  Melinda Nail, now   Heistand,  was born June 9, 1834.  Her husband's name was  Benjamin Heistand, whose biography is given elsewhere.  She is the mother of four children:  Rebecca, now  Mrs. Samuel Hoover Mary E., wife of  George Ballard,  and  Sarah, consort of  Mr. M. R. Montgomery Samuel, the fourth, died several years ago.  Rebecca Nail, now  Thomas; see biography of  Allen Thomas.  Harriet A. Nail was born May 12, 1849.  She was united in marriage to  Mr. Henry Malpas, August 2, 1867, and they now have three children:  Samuel H.,  Charles H.,  and  Raleigh McRae.  Nancy E. Nail was born June 5, 1851, and is now the widow of  William F. Francis, who died August 10, 1880.  Three children were a result of this union, only one of whom is now living, viz.,  Hattie Francis.  John W. Nail was born April 27, 1856.  He married  Miss Laura Gray June 30, 1882.  They have had two children, one now is Cherry Nail, alive, Maud.  Mr. Samuel Nail, the principal subject of this sketch, has nineteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.  Most of this large family are engaged in the pursuit of farming.  The family of Mrs. Malpas lives in Indianapolis.  The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Nail are presented on the opposite pages of this volume.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, "Addison [Township] Sketches," pages 595-596, Brant and Fuller, Chicago, 1887.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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