(Alexander  and)  Henry  S.  Cory

          Shelbyville has never had a finer family than the Corys.  They have been identified with Shelby county from a time running well back into the pioneer period, and have figured conspicuously in the mercantile, social, industrial and general life of the county.  The founder was  Alexander Cory,  who was born in Preble county, Ohio, June 20, 1820, and reared by  Alexander Rittenhouse,  an uncle, who for many years was prominent in business at Freeport.  He was only seven years old when brought to Shelby county, but under his uncle's tutelage developed into a merchant of broad views, unflagging industry and a sagacity that eventually made him one of the leading promoters of his day. An evidence of his precocity is furnished by the fact that he became his uncle's partner when only fifteen years old.  He married when twenty-one years old and then engaged in business for himself, having three hundred dollars in cash and five hundred dollars' worth of merchandise.  He dealt in grain and live stock later in life, marketing the grain at Madison, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio, delivering the same in wagon trains and returning home with merchandise.  He also drove hogs and cattle to those points.  He built a saw-mill and cut lumber to build the Hanover Mills.  He achieved success and accumulated wealth, by combined operations in merchandising and milling and dealing in real estate.  It was in 1850 that he built the Hanover Mills, at that time the largest concern of its kind in the county and one of the best in the state.  In 1847 he assisted in building the Knightstown and Shelbyville Railroad, of which he was made a director.  At his own expense he built a large warehouse and depot to accommodate public traffic.  In 1855 he removed to Shelbyville and purchased the Shelby Mills, where he did a large business in flour and grain, besides conducting a general store on the public square.  In fact his enterprising spirit led him into many activities, both of a public and private nature, and he was a factor in the development both of city and county.  One of his public services never to be forgotten, was his interest and aid in constructing gravel roads and building iron bridges in the county, Shelby county's first step forward towards modern development.  He was a Democrat and served as county commissioner, when the county poor house was built.  When he died, March 14, 1864, the feeling of general sorrow was attested by a public funeral such as is seldom accorded a private citizen.  Rev. J. J. Smythe, a prominent Presbyterian minister and life-long friend, conducted his funeral.
          February 23, 1841, Alexander Cory married  Loretto,  daughter of  Rev. Samuel Morrison,  a noted Methodist minister of his day.  She was born at Kingwood, Preston county, Virginia, November 30, 1823, and came with her family to Shelby county in 1826.  Their marriage was happy, for both husband and wife were possessed of a distinct individuality and were above the average in strength and character.  Their seven children all inherited more or less of the parental traits.  Anna E., the eldest daughter, is the widow of  Quincy A. Parker,  of Shelbyville;   Mary E  ., the second daughter, married  Samuel Parker Wadley,  of Dubuque, Iowa;   S. Frances  , who married  William S. Major,   has long been one of the social lights of Shelbyville;   Frank, the eldest son is now a resident of Petoskey;  Laura G., now Mrs.   George W. Stout,  of Indianapolis, and  Loretto, are the younger sisters.
          Henry S. Cory,  the fifth child, was born at Shelbyville, Indiana, November 30, 1856, and attended school as he grew up until the completion of his sixteenth year.  He then went on his mother's farm and continued in this line for three years, when he began clerking in different stores of his native city.  Meantime he kept an eye on the farm, assisted his mother in her business affairs and exercised a fraternal outlook over the welfare of his younger sisters.  Finally he decided to go into the grocery business at Indianapolis, but soon returned to Shelbyville.  For a while he held a position in the First National Bank, but gave this up to establish himself in the furniture business in which he has since been exclusively engaged.  His place on South Harrison street has long been one of the city's business features, and Mr. Cory, by the exercise of good judgment, watchful care in celling and buying, as well as scrupulous honesty in his dealings has made a success and prospered.  His business occupies two floors, forty-four by one hundred feet, employing four clerks and always containing a fine assortment of the best selected furniture.
            January 1, 1893, Mr. Cory married Elese Phillips,  of Indianapolis, by whom he has a daughter, Katherine, born in December 1894, and now in school.  Mr. Cory is a member of the Order of Ben Hur and Court of Honor, a gentleman of much affability, of pleasing address and decidedly a maker and holder of friends.  He ranks high in the business circles of Shelbyville, and the county has no more popular citizen.
From 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 577-579.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming

Note from Don Mitchell:  In 1922, Sarah Frances Cory was the widow of William Stephen Major when she donated her home and lot in Shelbyville for the W. S. Major Hospital, as had been specified in her husband's will."  See p. 79 of the 1992 History of Shelby County, Indiana - History and Families.

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