James Oliver Huffman
The substantial citizen whose name introduces this sketch is one of the best known and most highly
esteemed men of the township in which he resides [Marion], the name he bears having been familiar
in Shelby county ever since the first appearance of white settlers in this highly famed part of the state.
George B. Huffman, the subject's father, was born in Dayton, Ohio, but when quite young
accompanied his mother to Shelby county, where he grew up in what is now Marion township, and
received such educational training as the indifferent subscription schools of those days afforded.
When a young man he engaged in teaching, which he followed with gratifying success for a number of
years, and later was elected Justice of the Peace, which office he filled with marked ability for many
years. He was long familiarly known as "Squire Huffman," a title he bore to the end of his days, and
during the formative period of the county few men were as influential as he, and none stood higher in
the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens.
"Squire Huffman" was a man of great energy as the amount of land he cleared and improved attests,
beginning, as he did, with a small patch around his little cabin home and continuing his labors until the
dense forest on his farm was removed and the soil reduced to cultivation. In an early day he marketed
the most of his crops and produce at Greensburg, but later took such an active and prominent part in
developing the resources of the country that, largely through his instrumentality, good trading points
were established nearer home. Before her marriage Mrs. Huffman was Mary Plummer, a native
of North Carolina, who came to Shelby county with her parents, who were also among the pioneers.
A mere child when the family settled in Marion township, she grew up to young womanhood amid the
vicissitudes of the early days, and in due time became the wife of the gentleman with whom the residue
of her life was so closely interwoven, and to whom she bore eleven children, five living, viz: E.T.
Huffman, James Oliver, of this review; Mrs. Katherine Winton, John Riley and William
James Oliver Huffman is a native of Shelby county, Indiana, and dates his birth from February
26th, of the year 1854. His early life on the home farm in Marion township was devoid of thrilling in-
cident or tragic experiences, having been spent at manual labor in the fields during the summer seasons,
and in the district schools in the winter time. He grew up a strong and rugged lad, and as he advanced
toward the years of manhood became self-reliant and amply able to discharge the duties which fell to
him as his father's assistant on the farm. On attaining his majority he engaged in agriculture for himself,
and has since pursued the same with the success which comes from consecutive industry and judicious
management, being at this time one of the representative farmers of this township.
In the year 1876 Mr. Huffman was united in marriage with Sarah Elizabeth Harold, daughter
of J.W. Harold, of Greenfield, this state, but formerly a resident of Brandywine township, Shelby
county, where Mrs. Huffman's birth occurred on the 7th day of November, 1858. Mr. and Mrs.
Huffman are the parents of four children, the oldest of whom, Lillie May, was born December 25,
1876, married George C. Rhoades and lives in Van Buren township, Shelby county; Mamie
Ethel, the second daughter, was born April 30, 1883, is the wife of Evan Lewis, of Hanover
township; Bertha J., whose birth occurred February 21, 1887, is unmarried, the above being the
living members of the family. There is one child deceased, a son by the name of Judge Walter, who
was born July 14, 1881, and departed this life at the age of eleven years.
Mrs. Huffman's family were among the early pioneers of Shelby county, her grandfather moving to
this part of the state when the country was but sparsely settled, and entering land in the township of
Brandywine, where he cleared and improved a farm and attained high standing as a citizen. He reared
a family of nine children, the majority of whom grew to mature years and became well situated, Mrs.
Huffman being the eldest in the number.
As indicated in a preceding paragraph, Mr. Huffman has devoted his attention very closely and suc-
cessfully to his chosen calling, and is now the possessor of a comfortable fortune, owning a fine farm
on which is a large and commodious residence, which is equipped with all the comforts and conven-
iences calculated to make rural life agreeable and desirable. The farm, which is near the boundary
line of Marion and Van Buren townships, in one of the most productive sections of the county, is well
adapted to general agriculture and pasturage, and in fertility and all that goes to make a first class
country home compares favorably with any other place in the vicinity. Mr. Huffman has ever tried to realize in his own life and conduct his high ideal of manhood and citi-
zenship. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias Lodge, at Fountaintown, is a Republican in his political
affiliation, and, with his wife, hold membership with the Christian church, in the good work of which
both are prominent and influential.
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 976-978.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming.