Thomas S. Hacker
Thomas S. Hacker, father of Mrs. Jesse
Meloy [Elizabeth], was born March 18, 1790, and his wife [Margaret Keith] on the 17th of December, 1793,
both of German descent. They, too, were among the first permanent of Shelby county, locating in Sugar Creek township,
on land which Mr. Hacker entered and which his grandson, Thomas E. Meloy,
now owns. When Mr. Hacker came to this part of the county his neighbors were few and far between and the absence
of churches or any attempts at religious instruction had a bad influence on the community, and caused Mr. Hacker
much concern. To remedy the matter he walked all the way to his former home in Virginia to induce a minister to
come to the new settlement, and it was through his influence that a missionary of the Methodist Protestant church
located here, being the first preacher to hold public worship in Sugar Creek township.
On his trip to and from Virginia Mr. Hacker met with a number of interesting experiences, one of which is worthy of note in this connection. At a place in Ohio, where he was entertained for a night, the lady of the house had biscuits for supper, the first he had seen for a long time, as the early settlers of Shelby county had, as yet, raised no wheat, and subsisted very largely on corn bread, which for many years constituted the principal part of their bill of fare. Before leaving the backwoods inn the next morning to resume his homeward journey, he asked the landlady for a few biscuits to take to his children, who had never seen such bread and who were at a loss to know what to do with the strange kind of cakes when they were placed on the table.
Mr. and Mrs. Hacker experienced their full share of the hard work and self-sacrifices of the pioneer period, spent the best part of their lives on the farm in Sugar Creek township which Mr. Hacker developed from the forest, and, dying, left to their descendants the memory of good actions, noble aims and high ideals.
From 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, pp 939-940.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming