James  Robert  Means

          Anyone who wishes to hear, at first hand, what the early pioneers went through, may do so by talking to the venerable farmer above mentioned, who, after a long and laborious life, is now enjoying the sweets of retirement.  He will tell you of the overland trip from North Carolina, made in 1830 by his parents, William and Mornin (BELTON) MEANS.  He will describe to you the wild aspect of things in eastern and central Indiana, with the interminable forests, the howling of wolves and its bands of prowling Indians.  His father first resided in Johnson county as a farmer, but in later years followed his calling in Shelby and Marion. In addition to agriculture, which was crude and unprofitable in those days, the old North Carolinian set up a distillery, for the products of which there was much demand among the brawny settlers.  In the course of years this worthy couple were gathered to their fathers and headlines on old tombs in the MEANS cemetery indicate that they found a resting place there many years ago.  They had a large family and their descendants would puzzle the mathematician at “old settlers’ meetings,” if not well versed in numbers.  Elizabeth, the oldest, married Charles PERRY, a native of Kentucky, who located in Marion county, Indiana, about 1836, and died in 1872, leaving a son, Charles W., who was born January 3, 1848, and who married Martha WILKINS, resides in Moral township and has four children,  Marshall,  Clarence,  Maude and  Ezra.  Mrs. PERRY is the daughter of John W. WILKINS, now deceased, a native of North Carolina, who married Caroline JOICE.  Marshall PERRY, who married Sarah ARNOLD, has five children,  Cecil,  Kenneth,  Gilbert,  Esther  and  Gladys.  Clarence PERRY married Lena STEWART and has three children,  Roy,  Emmerald  and  Ezra.  Maude PERRY married Vorce CARTRIGHT.  Ezra PERRY married Gertrude BARTLETT and has two children, Marie and Doris.  The other children of William MEANS were:  James Roberts;  Mary, wife of Linville JOICE, both now dead;  Nancy, wife of George WILKINS, of Hancock county;  Thomas P., deceased;   Martha, wife of William HICKMAN, deceased; John, deceased;  Sarah, wife of William GRAHAM;  Ruth, wife of William MCCANSEY, and  Richard.
          James Robert MEANS, second in this list of children, was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, August 3, 1827.  As a boy he was right up against all the hardships of pioneer life, never saw the inside of a school-house and never knew what it was to take a vacation.  He has been a farmer all his life, only stopping when the approach of old age suggested retirement.  He has lived for forty years on the farm which still constitutes his home and is, perhaps, the oldest citizen in the township and one of the oldest in the county.  He was married in 1848 to Elizabeth J., daughter of A. BAILES, one of the pioneers of Shelby county, of which she herself is a native.  Mr. and Mrs. MEANS have had five children, all of whom are living.  James is a resident of Sullivan county, Indiana.   William is a farmer of Moral township.  Mary, wife of William SHEPPARD, resides at Geneva, Colorado.  Charles lives in Marshall county, Indiana, and  Henry, in Texas.
Excerpt from:  History of Shelby County Indiana by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A.,  Assisted by well known local talent. Illustrated.
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