Matthew R. Montgomery
Sarah J. Heistand
R. Montgomery is a native of Shelby
County, Ind., born in Marion Township, on the 21st day of February, 1854. ... His boyhood and youth, until he was
twenty years of age, were spent working upon the farm and attending the common schools, in which by diligent application
he became quite a good scholar. At the age of twenty, he began teaching, and was thus engaged winter seasons for
a period of ten years, acquiring the reputation of an able and competent instructor during that time. In 1880,
he engaged in the insurance and real estate loan business, which he still continues, and in which he has met with
the most encouraging success. Politically, Mr. Montgomery is a Republican, but in local affairs votes for the man
instead of party. May 10, 1877, he married Miss
Sallie Hiestand, who was born in
Wisconsin, in the year 1855. Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, but one is now living, viz.,
Charles R. Montgomery.
From History of Shelby County, Indiana,
1887 published by Brant & Fuller,
Chicago, pg 515.
Submitted by Melinda
A busy life, with constant effort in various lines
of endeavor, has brought the reward that always comes to those who wait and work. Though hardly beyond the prime
of life as yet, Mr. Montgomery may look around with satisfaction and pardonable self-complacency on what he has
done and what he has to show for it. This is a good deal, as he is recognized among the class of citizens usually
denominated "solid" and is a figure of importance in the business as well as financial circles of Shelbyville.
The family on both sides of the house is of Ohio origin. William Montgomery
having been born in the Buckeye state on January 14, 1801. While growing up on a farm he managed by working at
odd times to perfect himself as a carpenter and his natural turn for mechanics made him one of the most skillful
workmen of this day. He studied draughting, made many of his tools and drew all his own plans for houses and barns,
many of which he built during the days of his activity. At one time he owned a large farm north of Shelbyville,
which he afterward sold and bought another south of town, and finally moved to Shelbyville. He died on August 23,
1868. He married Mary Young, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, on March 12, 1820,
and came in 1825 with her parents to Rush county before Rushville had been established. She is full of reminiscences
of the old days and though now in her ninetieth year, is still bright and cheerful. Her memory is excellent and
she can recite favorite lines of poetry. One of her favorites is the poem of Rev. William Farmbro, describing the
falling meteors of November 13, 1833, which Mrs. Montgomery declares was one of the most appalling and majestic
sights ever witnessed in the heavens. William and Mary Montgomery became the parents of seven children: William L., living;
K. died in infancy; Cyrus W., Amos H., Emma A., wife of Charles
W. Johnson, of Rush county; Johanna and Martha
E., both unmarried, have the care
of their aged mother at the home on West Mechanic street. They are expert seamstresses and busily engaged in dressmaking.
By the father's first marriage there were three children: Robert and
James, deceased, and Jane, who married Samuel Sleeth, of Nebraska; George H. lives at Des Moines, Iowa, and
Ann, who first married Jefferson Hulch, deceased, and then Daniel Meloy, also dead, lived at St. Louis with her children; she
too since died.
R. Montgomery was born in Marion
township, Shelby county, Indiana, February 21, 1854. As he grew up he worked with a half-brother on his farm and
began to support himself when fourteen years old. He saved his money and in 1875 went to Hartsville College, where
he paid his own way. So eager was he for an education that he almost ruined his health by
overstudy, but qualified
himself so as to be able to pass the necessary examinations and obtained an eighteen months' license to teach,
which showed a two-years' grade. The next ten years were spent in teaching schools in the county and at Shelbyville,
meantime devoting three years to diligent study at the Danville Normal. He soon achieved high reputation as a teacher
and his ability in that line brought him more offers of employment than he could fill. In fact, he was universally
recognized both within and outside the profession, as one of the most competent educators the county ever had.
While busily engaged he was requested by requested by Taylor Winterrowd to take charge of a fire insurance company,
doing business at Shelbyville, and in the county, which offer he finally accepted for five years, did a prosperous
work. Eventually he added real estate and loans, having a partner for a brief period, but most of the time conducting
his business alone. Being a hard and persistent worker, full of push and the enterprise for enlargement and improvement
he finally established his business on a solid basis, which for years has steadily increased in volume and profit.
His dealings are largely in Shelby county lands and farms and his judgment of values in this kind of property is
not surpassed by any of the county's business men. May 10, 1877, he married
daughter of Benjamin and Malinda Hiestand,
by whom he had four children: Bennie,
Alberta, Charles R. and Arthur. All of these are dead but Charles R., who was born July 5, 1882, and is an employee in
his father's office. November 27, 1904, he [Charles R.] married Fay, daughter
of N. F. and Cora L.
Johnson, farmers and stock raisers
in Phillips County, Kansas. Charles R. is well educated and an expert typewriter, owning a nice fifteen acre farm
near the city and is a young man of excellent business standing. Mrs. Montgomery (Sarah J.) died June 5, 1888,
and on December 26, 1889, Mr. Montgomery (Matthew R.) married Lulu, daughter
of James and Barbara
(Kessler) Carlisle, of Jennings County.
By his second marriage, Mr. Montgomery has one daughter, Grace Elizabeth,
who was born at Shelbyville on August 5, 1892. She is a student in high school and shows a natural talent for elocution
and historical investigation. Mr. Montgomery served one term in the City Council and has often been appointed executor
and administrator of estates. He is a director in the Farmers' National Bank, and also in the Union Building and
Loan Association of Shelbyville. His fraternal relations are with the Elks, Odd Fellows, Red Men and Knights of
Pythias, and he and his family worship at the First Presbyterian church.
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.
Contributed by Melinda Weaver and Phyllis Fleming.