Allen  G. Fessenbeck

          An enterprising farmer of Brandywine township, and one of the representative citizens of the community in which he resides, is  Allen G. Fessenbeck,  a native of Shelby county, Indiana, and a son of  Lewis Alexander  and  Lydia (Allen) Fessenbeck, the father born in Germany, the mother in Massachusetts.  Lewis A. Fessenbeck came to the United States with his mother when about sixteen years old, and during the four years ensuing lived in New York City removing at the expiration of that time to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained until his twenty-fourth year.  About 1847 or 1848, he came to Shelby county, Indiana, and locating near the Ray curch in Brandywine township, engaged in the mercantile business in that locality, conducting for some years a general store and at intervals hauling products and other salable articles to Cincinnati, where he purchased his goods, making the trip to and from that city with a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen and one horse, the latter used as a leader of the triple team.
          After doing a fair business for several years in that locality. Mr. Fessenbeck disposed of his stock of merchandise and bought a farm in Brandywine township, on which he lived about six years, when he traded for the land which his son now owns and which at that time was heavily timbered, and with few exceptions very much as nature had created it.  In due season he cleared the land, made a number of substantial improvements,and as the years went by added to its value until it became one of the best and most desirable farms in the township, which reputation it still sustains.
          Mr. Fessenbeck was a man of great industry, and by well directed efforst and superior management accumulated a comfortable competency, being in easy circumstances and among the well-to-do citizens of the townshp at the time of his death.  He was a Democrat in politics, and a leader of his party in Brandywine township, serving one term as County Commissioner, and for many years was an influential member of the Methodist Protestant church.  He departed this life in 1881, when a little past seventy-four years of age, and with his faithful wife and companion, was laid to rest beneath the quiet shades of the old Center cemetery.
          Mrs. Fessenbeck was a daughter of  Nathaniel Allen,  of Massachusetts, who made the long journey from that state to Shelby county in a one-horse wagon, his daughter being about six years old when the family arrived at their destination in the newly settled township of Brandywine.  She preceded her husband to the grave by about eighteen months, being something in advance of seventy-one years when called to the other world.  The children of this estimable couple, six in number, were as follows:  John K.,  of Clark county, Illinois;  Nathaniel,  Elizabeth,  Jacob,  James  and  Allen G., all deceased except John K. and the subject of this sketch.
          Allen G. Fessenbeck  was born near his present place of residence, in Brandywine township, February 26, 1852, and grew to maturity on the farm, with the rugged duties of which he early acquired a very practical knowledge.
          Shortly after engaging in agriculture for himself, Mr. Fessenbeck was united in marriage to Martha A. Weir, daughter of Samuel and Maria Weir, of Brandywine township, a union terminated by the death of Mrs. Fessenbeck, September 20, 1886, at the early age of twenty-eight years. Later, on January 17, 1894, he contracted a matrimonial alliance with Mrs. Emma Ray Hasler, who was born in Shelby county on the 11th day of November, 1865, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Ray, the former deceased, the latter living in Shelbyville. Mr. and Mrs. Fessenbeck have one child, a daughter, by the name of Orpha Glen, who was born on February 25, 1896, and who is her moth- er's companion and assistant in managing the household. By her previous marriage with Mr. Hasler, Mrs. Fessenbeck had a son, Earl, whose birth occurred March 9, 1889, and who departed this life October 15, 1908.
          Mr. Fessenbeck has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, with the result that he is now well situated, as far as material wealth is concerned, owning a finely improved farm, and in addition thereto a sufficient amount of this world's goods to enable him to enjoy life and have no concern for the future.  A Democrat in politics and a firm believer in the principles of his party, he has never sought nor desired public honors, although well fitted by nature and training to fill any office within the power of his fellow citizens to confer upon him.  He has an abiding faith in revealed religion, and has for many years been connected with the Methodist Protestant church, and a member of the board of trustees of the congregation to which he and his wife belong.
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 531-533.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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