One of the progressive agriculturists of Noble township, Shelby county, and a native born citizen of the same is William Avery, whose date of birth occurred February 17, 1860, the Oscar and Elizabeth (Brooks) Avery, an old and influential family of this
locality. Oscar Avery was born in 1832. The Avery family came to this county in a very early day and settled on Flat Rock creek in Noble township, and to its several members as much as to any other family is due the subsequent development of the same. Here Oscar was born and here he helped develop the farm which his father entered from the government. Oscar grew to manhood in this community and married here, the maiden name of his wife being Elizabeth Brooks, the daughter of a family who also settled here in a very early day. He went to New Albany, Indiana, where he still resides. To Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Avery twelve children were born, five of whom are now living, namely: Edwin, of Texas; William, of this review; Dudley, of Noble township; Eugene, a conductor on the Chicago & Alton Railroad; Lester, of Salisbury, North Carolina. He is assistant superintendent on the Southern Railroad.
William Avery was reared on the farm and educated in the common schools; also studied in the Danville Normal School, where he prepared himself for a teacher, which profession he followed with great success for a period of thirteen years, having during that time taught many district schools, giving the utmost satisfaction to both pupil and patron. He was principal of the Waldron schools for a period of five years. But believing that greater opportunities awaited him in the business world, he abandoned teaching, and is now a contractor of bridges and macadamized roads. He has been eminently successful in the contracting business and he has turned over many large jobs during the past few years. He also finds time to do general farming on one hundred and sixty acres of land which he owns in sections 5 and 6, Noble township. He has a good farm, which he manages successfully, although very busy with his other work. He keeps a large number of excellent teams for his work in contracting and on the farm. He has a beautiful modern residence, and good barns and outbuildings.
Mr. Avery married Ella McNeeley in 1880. She was born and reared in Shelby county, and her family has long been well known in this locality. To this union three children have been born, one dying in infancy. Those living are Clyde, who is now twenty-six years old, works with his father in his contracting and other business; Stella is the wife of C. C. Curtis.
Mr. Avery's first wife died in 1897, and he married a second time, his last wife being Ida M. Marshall. She is a woman of refinement, and to this union one child, Lois Bernice, was born in 1899.
Mr. Avery is a member of Waldron Lodge, No. 234, Free and Accepted Masons; also belongs to Lodge No. 422, Knights of Pythias, at Waldron, and Lodge No. 197, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is past chancellor and post noble grand. He is a member of the Grand Lodges.
Mr. Avery is a Democrat in his political relations, and he very faithfully served his county (Shelby) as Collector from 1896 to 1900. He is well known throughout the county and is generally popular.
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, pages 685-686.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming