Erastus  W. McDaniel

          Erastus W. McDaniel, who has been a practicing lawyer for over thirty-seven years, is a resident of Shelbyville, a former member of the law firm  McDaniel & Myers, and there are other relationships and activities that distinguish his name among the citizens of Shelby County.
          He was born in Jasper County, Illinois, February 28, 1863.  His grandfather, John McDaniel, was a native of Kentucky.  He was reared by some Indians, who afterwards told him that his parents had died of the cholera before his earliest recollection.  He lived with Indians in the Kentucky backwoods, and became proficient in all the arts and woodcraft of the Red Men.  He was quite a good sized boy when the War of 1812 broke out and he acted as a hostler in  Gen. William Henry Harrison's army.  He was present at the battle of the Thames, near Detroit, when the great ally of the British, Tecumseh, was killed.  After the war he returned to Kentucky and lived among white people.  He married  Hannah Brown, of a distinguished Southern family.
          Andrew J. McDaniel, father of the Shelbyville attorney, was born in Decatur County, Indiana, and about 1856 moved to Illinois.  In October, 1867, he returned to Indiana and bought a farm in Liberty Township of Shelby County.  On this farm he lived out his life, and the land is still owned by his children, of whom there were four in number.  Andrew J. McDaniel married  Emaline Palmerton.
          Erastus W. McDaniel was four years of age when his parents located in Shelby County.  He grew up on the home farm, attended the local schools, and during his youth and early manhood was associated with his father in the operation of the farm, part of which he now owns.  He attended the Central Normal College at Danville, and was teacher of schools in Rush and Shelby counties.  In the meantime he was studying law, pursuing his reading with the firm of Hord & Adams, and in 1892 was admitted to the bar, since which date the law has commanded his utmost attention. He also has farming interests.  Mr. McDaniel was appointed county attorney and served in that office from 1900 to 1905, and from 1913 to 1917 was assistant reporter of the Supreme Court under  Phillip Zoercher.  From 1918 to 1922 he was city attorney of Shelbyville.  He has filled all the chairs in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a member of the Indiana State and Shelby County Bar Associations, and has been quite active as a Democrat, serving on party committees.
          Mr. McDaniel married  Eva L. Bidinger, of Rush County.  Her father, Jefferson Lantz, was a son of  John Lantz, a pioneer who came from Kentucky to Indiana in 1820 and became one of the largest land owners in Shelby County.  He was a man of great public spirit and was an important character in the pioneer history of the county.  Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel have one son,  Frank L., a farmer by occupation.  He married  Ida Niehaus, of Cincinnati, and the three grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel are  Jack,  Marilyn  and  Bobbie.
          During the World war Mr. McDaniel helped in all the war drives, selling Liberty Bonds, War Stamps and raising funds for the Red Cross, and was chief of the American Protective League, one of the valuable agencies cooperating with the Department of Justice.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT,  Vol. 3, By Charles Roll, A.M., The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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