John  Totten

           John J. Totten, a prominent young farmer and stock-dealer of Brandywine Township, was born in Van Buren Township, this county, November 16, 1853.  He was the eldest of thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters, born to  William S. and  Mary J. (Andus) Totten,  the former of whom was born in Virginia, and accompanied his parents to this county when he was yet a child less than one year old.  The latter was born in this county.  His parents now reside in Brandywine Township.  He was reared upon his father's farm in this county and at the age of ten he accompanied his parents to a farm in Brandywine Township.  He attended the common schools in which he received the necessary instruction for a good practical education.  He continued with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-three, when on the 4th day of February, 1877, he was married to  Mary M. Oldham,  who was born in Brandywine Township, this county, November I, 1857, and daughter of  Joseph and  Matilda (Harrell) Oldham, old residents of this country.  Immediately after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Totten, located in Fairland, but a year later they removed to their present home one-half mile south of that place, where they have ever since resided, excepting a temporary residence of six months in Shelbyville.  Since his marriage the entire attention of Mr. Totten has been given to the buying, feeding and selling of live-stock, in which business he has been very successful.  During a period of ten years his business in this direction has gradually increased until it has reached an aggregate of over $50,000 worth of stock bought and sold annually.  Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In politics the former is a staunch Democrat.  He owns a handsome farm of 120 acres, nearly- all of which is in an excellent state of cultivation.  His farm is fitted up with good fences and buildings and is a very desirable location.  He also superintends the management of his farm in connection with his live-stock interests.  He is a shrewd, pushing and energetic young business man, and he and wife are first class citizens.  Mr. Totten began life without a dollar, but through industry, economy and good business tact, he has, though young, already accumulated considerable property and is now recognized as one of the substantial citizens of the county.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887, "Brandywine Sketches", pages 626-627.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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