G.  W.   Ferris

          An honored veteran of the War of the Rebellion and a gentleman of high standing and sterling worth, George W. Ferris  is entitled to specific notice among the representative citizens of Shelby county, enjoying as he does the confidence and esteem of a large circle of friends and holding distinctive prestige in a community which has been his home for many years.  Mr. Farris is a native of Iroquois county, Illinois, where he was born July 6, 1841, being a son of  Daniel  and  Sarah (Trimble) Ferris.  On the paternal side he is descended from sturdy New England ancestry, his grandfather, Bostic Ferris, coming from the state of Connecticut, while his mother's people belong to an old Kentucky family which figured in the pioneer history of that commonwealth and has been represented in Shelby county, Indiana, since about the year 1824.  The family of Daniel and Sarah Ferris consisted of five children, three of whom are living, vis:  Seth, a farmer of Van Buren township;  Justice, of Kansas, and  George W., the subject of this sketch, the names of the deceased being  Matilda  and  Ambrose. After the death of  Daniel Farris, which occurred in Illinois, his widow returned to Shelby county, where both had formerly lived, and spent the remainder of her life in Van Buren township.
          George W. Ferris was quite young when deprived of a father's care and guidance, and only three months old at the time of his mother's return to Indiana.  He was reared in the country, experienced his first contact with the world as a laborer in the fields, and grew to maturity with a strong and vigorous body and a mind well adapted to encounter the exigencies and vicissitudes of life.  On the breaking out of the great rebellion he was among the first of the young men of Shelby county to sever home ties and tender his service to the Union, enlisting September, 1861, in company I, Fifty-first Indiana Infantry, which was mustered in at Indianapolis in October following, and shortly thereafter assigned to the Fourth Army Corps.  Mr. Farris was not long in reaching the scene of hostilities and, during the three years and two months his regiment was at the front he experienced all the realities of warfare and made a record replete with duty faithfully and cheerfully preformed.  Among the more important actions in which he participated were the bloody battles of Shiloh and Stone river, and later, while engaged with the enemy at Day's Gap, Alabama, he was shot and taken prisoner.  With a number of comrades as unfortunate as himself he was sent to Richmond, Virginia, where until his exchange, he was incarcerated in old Libby, which has gone into history as one of the most noted as well as dreaded prisons in the South during the war.
          At the expiration of his period of enlistment Mr. Ferris returned to Shelby county and resumed the pursuit of agriculture, which he followed until accumulating a sufficiency of this world's goods to enable him to discontinue active life a few years ago, and spend the remainder of his days in retirement.  While engaged in his chosen vocation he was energetic and enterprising, devoted great attention to his family interests and kept abreast of the times in all tings relating to the science of agriculture.  He moved to his present farm in 1868, and since that time has bought his land to a high state of cultivation and made a number of substantial improvements, including good buildings, fences, etc, and sparing neither pains nor expense to render his home beautiful and attractive.  His farm, which includes a quarter section and lies in one of the most favorable agricultural districts of Van Buren township, produces abundant crops of all the grains and vegetables grown in this part of Indiana, and represents a value of at least a hundred dollars per acre.
          Mr. Ferris was married August 17, 1865, to  Miss Anna J. Copple, who was born August, 1842, in Shelby county, being a daughter of  Daniel  and  Barbara (Plummer) Copple, both parents belonging to old and well known families, who came from North Carolina to this part of Indiana when the country was a wilderness.  Mr. and Mrs. Ferris have had nine children, viz:  Oliver P., born November 17, 1866;  Daniel, December 20, 1867;  Seth Alvin, January 27, 1869;  Esther, March 28, 1870;  Ollice, March 16, 1872;  Della, May 12, 1873;  Matilda, December 26, 1875;  Justice, March 10,1877, and  Juda, who was born on the 16th of October, 1878.
          Politically Mr. Ferris votes the Republican ticket, but he is not a politician, though well informed concerning the great issues upon which the public is divided.  He has always been a quiet, law-abiding citizen, interested in all that tends to promote the welfare of his fellow men and lending his active influence to the right side of every moral question.  He holds membership with Dumont Post, No. 18, Grand Army of the Republic, Shelbyville, his wife being identified with the Woman's Relief Corps, of that city.
History of Shelby County, Indiana,  Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., first published in 1909, pg 835-837.
Copied by Lorraine Llewellyn

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