When John MEANS, grandfather of the gentleman whose
name heads this review, came from the old Tar state (North Carolina) to Shelby county, Indiana, in 1827, he found
Moral township where he located very wild and only sparsely settled. Here in those early days he kept a tavern
where stage and travelers stopped, it being frequented by teamsters hauling goods from remote trading posts. Only
about ten acres of the land on which he settled were cleared, but being a man of thrift he soon had a home and
when he died he owned two full sections of good land. He was one of five sons of William MEANS, a native of Rockingham
county, North Carolina. The latter was the son of Robert, Jr. He and his father, Robert, Sr., were both natives
of Rockingham county, that state. Although there is some doubt as to the lineage of this family preceding the last
named, it is believed that Robert MEANS, Sr., was the son of William MEANS, a very large man who, with his brother
and father, John MEANS, came from Ireland in 1718 and 1720, settling in Bucks county, Pennsylvania.
John Lewis MEANS was born in the southeast part of Marion county in 1848. He is the son of Alexander and Julia
Ann (PHEMISTER) MEANS. The latter was the daughter of Charles and Judith PHEMISTER, who came from Bourbon county,
Kentucky, in 1833 and settled in the southeast part of Marion county, near the Shelby county line.
John Lewis MEANS has no brothers living and only one
sister, Mrs. Nancy Jane KING, wife of Abraham S. KING, who lives in Moral township. When our subject was six years
old, his parents moved from Marion county to Moral township, Shelby county, and it was here that John L. MEANS
attended school and grew to manhood on his fatherís farm, which he helped develop. When he was fifteen years old
his father died and from then on he managed the farm, and although only a boy he made it yield a comfortable living
for the family. In 1872 he was married to Elizabeth SMITH, daughter of Tinsley and Sarah (MURNAN) SMITH, of Moral
township, and to this union three children have been born: Charles W., Laura Maud, who married U. E. TINDALL, and
Carrie. After he was married Mr. MEANS continued to work on the farm left by this father. He also purchased forty
acres adjoining this place, making in all one hundred twenty-one and one-half acres. Mrs. MEANS also has two hundred
acres adjoining and also two hundred acres in Moral township that is rented out. This land is all very valuable,
is under first-class improvements and excellent management. In 1898 Mr. MEANS bought a home in Shelbyville at 134
West Mechanic street, where he has since resided, although he still manages his farm. His home is a well-kept,
substantial and attractive place, where the many friends of this popular family delight to gather.
Mr. MEANS has given his children every advantage and
they show very readily that they have been reared in a wholesome home atmosphere and they are all favorites with
a large circle of friends. Charles MEANS is in charge of the shoe department in MEANSí department store, and lives
next door to his father. He married Eva KINSLEY, daughter of George KINSLEY. The married daughter, Mrs. TINDALL,
also lives near her fatherís residence. Her husband is an attorney, and he has a liberal practice in Shelbyville.
They are the parents of one child, Glen. (See sketch of U.E. TINDALL on another page of this work.) Carrie MEANS
is still a member of the home circle.
Mr. and Mrs. MEANS are both members of the Baptist church, while their daughters
belong to the First Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. MEANS and their children are held in high esteem by
all who know them.
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, Page 346.
Contributed by Cindy Jones