James V. B. Fix
Notable among the first settlers of Eastern Indiana are the ancestors of James V.B. Fix, who was
born May 16, 1831, in Washington township, Shelby county, Indiana. He was a son of a sturdy pioneer,
Aaron Fix, who was born near Dayton, Ohio, in 1809. Aaron was a son of Philip Fix, who lived in Pennsylvania, and who married Abigail Hays, of Ohio, in 1821.
Philip Fix went to Shelby county, Indiana, in 1821, and located at Flat Rock, Washington township. He entered one hundred sixty acres of land, and started to improve the tract. He subjugated its wildness and he lived to enjoy his home, he and his wife dying on the old farm. Five children were born to them as follows: Aaron, father of James V.B. Fix; Sarah married Elisha Townsend; Henry married Armenta Morris; Abigail married John McDonald; Antha M. married William Lackey.
Aaron Fix was a self-taught man, and he obtained the rudiments of an education, as most boys of his time did, by attending a country school for a few weeks out of the year and studying at home. He was a man of considerable influence, and served as Justice of the Peace of the township for sixteen years. In 1830, he was united in marriage to Margaret A. Van Benthusen, a native of new York City. She was a daughter of James and Sarah (Smith) Van Benthusen, of New York City. After their marriage, the Van Benthusens
removed to Ohio, and later went to Shelby county, Indiana, where they became one of the leading and influential families of the county. He served with Thomas A. Hendricks
as one of the first Representatives in the
Legislature from this county, and assisted in the revision of the constitution of the state, and in blazing a trail for
a pike road from Shelbyville to Columbus, Indiana. While he was still serving his county as a legislator he died
in Indianapolis in 1850. He was a large owner of real estate, and a man of prominence in the affiars of the state.
His widow married a second time, being united to John Moore. The children by his first wife [?] were:
Margaret Ann, mother of the subject of this sketch;
William died in Blookfield, Iowa, at the age of eighty-one years; Mary Ann
married William Clark; Catherine married Leonard Guiles, Shelby county; Daniel removed to Missouri and died there. He was the husband of
Rebecca Hughes; John married Sarah Clayton, removing to Iowa and died there; Stephen married Margaret Kendall
, lives in Iowa; James is married and lives in Missouri; Aaron, who was a soldier in the Civil war, is an inmate of the Soldiers'
Home at Lafayette; two children died in infancy. Aaron Fix was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the
Baptist church. He died in 1874, and his wife in 1877.
The children of Aaron Fix were: James Van Benthusen
, whose name heads this review; Susan, widow
of John Karney, now lives in Missouri; John, deceased, remained single;
Abigail married Joseph Robinson and is deceased;
Anthony, deceased, married Joseph Patterson, also dead; William and Philip, deceased
in early years; Mary Ann
married Henry Woodward, of Shelbyville, Indiana;
Stephen A., married Lennie
Doran; Aaron married Callie Puffenbarger, died in 1907, in Greenwood, Indiana.
James V.B. Fix obtained an education in the common schools of the county and lived with his parents until the
age of twenty-one, when he removed to Owen county and farmed there for six years. He married the first time
Rulannie Randolph, of Washington township, Shelby county, in 1852. She died in 1854; there were no children.
In March, 1857, he went to Nebraska and Kansas, finally locating in Kansas, where he bought a claim of two
hundred eighty acres in Nehama county. He lived there two years and part of that time assisted a government
force in surveying roads and laying out sections in the county. He returned to Shelby county in 1858, and purchased the land where he now lives in section 36, Shelby township.
He married the second time, Mahala Ann Burkett, of Owen county, Indiana, she dying in 1874. There were seven children by this marriage:
Margaret, deceased; John A., a farmer in Scott county, Indiana, who married
Jane Jackson; Stephen S., lives at Greenwood, Indiana, married
Phoebe Dill; James, who married Miss Endicott, is now superintendent of
oil fields near Bakersfield, California; Charles, deceased; William M. married
Dollie Smith, deceased. He is now living with James; Walter
James Fix married the third time in 1876 to
Arabelle Karney, who was born in Washington township,
Shelby county, and a daughter of John and Susan Karney.
James V.B. Fix has two children by his third
wife, as follows: Voris M., a farmer in Shelby township, who married
Margaret Cherry and has two sons; and Leota who married
Edward Stephens, of Shelby township.
James V. B. Fix is a Democrat in politics and has served four years as a Justice of the Peace. He became a member of the Free Will Baptist church in 1859. His present wife is a member of the Christian church. He
has long been identified with the farming interests of the county in which he lives, and is known and respected
by a large circle of friends.
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 619-620.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming