From the turmoil of war to the quiet and peaceful pursuit of farming was not such a far cry for John A. Vernon, one of the progressive and well known farmers of Moral township, Shelby county. He was born February 18, 1845, in Hamilton county, Indiana, the son of Noah and America (Hennis) Vernon, well known at the time as early settlers of the Hoosier state. They were people of sterling qualities and were known to be both industrious and honest with all their neighbors. They moved to Shelby county, Indiana, when John A., their son, was a small child. They later moved to Tipton county, where they farmed and where they both died. After the father's death, in 1862, John A. Vernon returned to Moral township, Shelby county, and engaged in farming until 1863, in which year he decided to join the Union army in defense of the flag, consequently he enlisted at New Palestine in Company B, Ninth Indiana Calvary, as a private. He was but seventeen years of age at the time of his enlistment, but although young in years he proved to be a gallant soldier. His command was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, under General Wilson. During his early days as a soldier he was the victim of sickness, and in April, 1864, he was sent to a hospital. Later he was detailed as a nurse in the offices of the general hospital, where he ably performed his duties. In the autumn of 1864 he was given a furlough home from Nashville, Tennessee, for thirty days. At the end of that time he returned to the hospital service, where he continued his work for some time. In 1865 he served on different plantations in the South as a guard. He finally received an honorable discharge on August 28, 1865. Having been on detached duty so long he took no part in any of the great battles of the war, but was in a number of skirmishes, principally with bushwhackers.
Completing his army service young Vernon returned home to the peaceful pursuits of life and again resumed farming, which he has successfully carried on ever since, now owning a good farm of forty acres, which he has drained and improved and brought to a high state of cultivation. He remodeled the dwelling and otherwise beautified the surroundings.
Mr. Vernon was married on April 18, 1866, to Mary C. Cartwright, who was born in Moral township, February 1, 1846. She is the daughter of John and Isovela (Oldham) Cartwright, both now deceased. They were married in Virginia and were among the early settlers of eastern Indiana. George Cartwright, brother of Mrs. Vernon, served in the Union army one year as a member of Company I, Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteers.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. John A. Vernon: Noah W., who died September 20, 1903 and left surviving, as his only heirs, his widow, Adda (Doty) Vernon, and three children, viz: Nina, Olive and Mary. Orville D. lives in Addison township; he married Mana Huffman (deceased), and two children were born to them, Arthur and Zaner. Anna B. Vernon married Frank Mohr; they live in Moral township and are the parents of these children: Hazel, Onie Belle, Clara Lucille and John. William H. Vernon is deceased; he married Corda Smith and they became the parents of these children: Roy, Merritt, Anna May, Arthur, Dorothy. John Elmer Vernon, who lived in Brandywine township, married Maggie Mohr, and they have two children, Ray and John S.
John A. Vernon and wife are members of the East Union Baptist church, and the former is one of the trustees of the same, having long been an active member of this congregation. In politics he is a staunch Prohibitionist, and has worked in the interest of his faith for many years. He is a member of Moral Lodge, No. 466, Knights of Pythias, and he assisted in organizing this lodge, being a charter member of the organization. Mr. Vernon is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is at this writing commander of the local post. Both he and Mrs. Vernon number their friends by the scores throughout the county as a result of the upright and industrious lives they have lived.
Transcribed from Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana. Pages 981-2
Surnames: Cartwright, Doty, Hennis, Huffman, Mohr, Oldham, Smith, Vernon, Wilson
Contributed by Mary Harrell Sesniak