Shelby  County  Indiana


Find-A-Grave  Obituary
November 2005
Iraq War Casualty ----------
          Corporal Jonathan Fleming Blair,  21, died November 19, 2005 near Bayji, Iraq, during combat operations.  He was a member of Co. B, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101 Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.  He has been awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Expert Markmanship for M-16 Rifle and the Combat Infantry Medal.  He was a senior at Elmhurst High School on 9-11, when the tragedy occurred. At that point he determined he would join the armed forces after graduation and do what he could to help make this country a safer place.  He joined the Army in October, 2002, after graduation.  He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.
          Survived by his mother,  Vicki J. Blair;  sister,  Jessica Blair;  father,  Kent Blair;  two half-brothers,  Kent Jr., and  Aaron Blair; one step-sister,  Tammy Jo;  three nieces,  Gracie,  Autumn and  Erin;  his maternal grandparents,  John and Theresa Bennett;  maternal great-grandmother,  Opal Syndram;  fraternal great-grandmother,  Zelda Garrison;  25 aunts and uncles and 29 counsins.  He was preceded in death by his fraternal grandparents,  Richard and Beverly Blair.  Service is 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at Waynedale Baptist Church, 633 Lower Huntington Road.  Arrangements by Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Home for Funerals.
Birth: Jan. 4, 1984, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Death: Nov. 19, 2005, Salah ad Din, Iraq
Contributed by Arliss Hoskins/Findagrave

The  Shelbyville  News
Monday, January 18, 1960
Ex-Local Newspaper Employe Dies at 94
Funeral rites Tuesday in the Ewing Mortuary for  Charles Blair, 94, native of Shelbyville and one-time circulation manager for the old Shelbyville DemocratDr. H. R. Page  will officiate.  Burial in Forest Hill cemetery.
Home here was at 340 Broadway, had been ill with complication of diseases for the last five years and his death occurred at a nursing home in Lafayette Saturday.  Resided in Lafayette for the past four years.
Born in this city December 9, 1865, a son of  Alonzo  and  Nancy Blair.  Survived by three children, E.W. Blair  and  Mrs. Maynard Kint  of Lafayette and  Mrs. Arthur McClanahaq  of Frankfort.
50-year member of the Knights of Pythias.
Submitted by  Bob McKenzie
Summarized by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Thursday September 11, 1952
(Daily of Friday September 6)
Miss Flora Blair, 93, prominent retired grade school teacher in the Shelbyville schools, died today.
Sister of Circuit Court Judge Alonzo Blair, deceased, born in Shelby county, September 14, 1859, the daughter of  Circuit Court Judge Alonzo [Sr]  and Nancy Byland Blair.
Graduated from Shelbyville high school with the class of 1881 and taught in the local schools for 47 years, retiring in May, 1927.  Member of the First Presbyterian Church and was organist there for 20 years.
Survived by a brother, Charles, at the family home, 340 W. Broadway, and several nieces and nephews.  Parents, a brother and a sister preceded her in death.
Ewing Mortuary.  Burial Forest Hill Cemetery.
Contributed by Barb Huff
Summarized by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Wednesday August 11, 1943
Funeral Services Will Be Conducted Here
Thursday Afternoon At 2 O'Clock
          Alonzo Blair, former judge of the Shelby Circuit Court, died at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday at the home of his daughter,  Mrs. Harold [Pauline] Hammond, and Mr. Hammond, at Hammond, Indiana, after an illness of two years.
          He was married to  Miss Carrie Ryan  in [September 26] 1900.  Her death occurred several years ago.  To this union one daughter was born.
          Surviving are the daughter, Mrs. Harold [Pauline] Hammond; a granddaughter, Nancy Blair Hammond; one brother, Charles Blair, of this city; two sisters, Miss Flora Blair, of Shelbyville, and  Mrs. Mary Bergen, of Washington, D.C.
          Judge Blair was elected prosecuting attorney of Shelby and Johnson counties, serving from 1896 to 1900 and for Shelby and Rush counties, 1900 to 1902.  He became judge of the Shelby and Rush Circuit courts in 1910, serving both counties until 1913 when Rush county was given a separate judge.  In 1916 he was re-elected judge of the Shelby Circuit Court, serving until 1922.  He was active in Democratic politics in this county.
          Funeral services will be held at the Ewing mortuary in this city at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, with burial in Forest Hill cemetery.  The body will arrive here this afternoon.  Friends may call at the mortuary after 7:30 o'clock tonight.
Submitted by Barb Huff

Alonzo Blair   (1870-1943)
Picture from  Picturesque Shelbyville,  compliments of Sheila Knobeloch

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Saturday December 26, 1936
Stricken In Indianapolis, Mrs. Alonzo Blair Passes Away Suddenly
          Mrs. Carrie Blair, 61 years old, wife of  Judge Alonzo Blair, died at the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis at 5:10 o'clock Thursday afternoon.
          Mrs. Blair, with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, had gone to Indianapolis for a pleasure and Christmas shopping trip and was fatally stricken with the heart attack while there.
          While Mrs. Blair had been in poor health for about two years, her death was unexpected and was a great shock to the family.
          She leaves the husband, former Judge of the Shelby Circuit Court, a daughter, Mrs. Harold W. [Pauline] Hammond, and a granddaughter, Nancy Blair Hammond, of Hammond, Indiana.
          The deceased was a niece of the late  Dr. S. P. McCrea,  Albert McCrea  and  Edward McCrea.  She was born at Marseilles, Illinois on November 19, 1875 and was married to  Alonzo Blair  in September 1900.
          She was a member of the First Presbyterian church and the daughters of American Revolution, having served the local chapter as regent.
          Funeral services will be held at the home, 103 North West street Monday morning at 10 o'clock with Dr. C. A. Bowler, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, officiating.  Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery in charge of Charles M. Ewing, funeral director.
          Friends may call at the home any time until the hour of the funeral.
Submitted by Barb Huff

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Saturday, July 5, 1913
Death Occurred This Morning At Six-Twenty O'Clock
At Her Home In West Broadway Street
Mrs. Blair Had Resided In This County All Of Her Life
          Mrs. Nancy Blair, widow of the late  Alonzo Blair, died at her home, No. 340 West Broadway, this morning at 6:20 o'clock.  Her death was caused by old age.  Mrs. Blair had been in a feeble condition for the past year, and for several months had been unable to leave her bed.  She suffered an injury to her hip in a fall during the winter, and suffered much from that.  Mrs. Blair was one of the pioneer residents of the county, having resided here for eighty-one years and more.  She was widely acquainted and enjoyed much the visits of her friends, after she was unable to leave her home.
          Mrs. Blair was the daughter of  Elijah  and  Rosanna [Huffman] Byland.  They came into the county from Boone County, Kentucky, March 31, 1831.  On their arrival here they purchased a farm in Liberty township, on which they lived for the remainder of their lives.  Mrs. Blair was born on the farm in Liberty township August 29, 1831, making her at the time of her death eighty-one years, ten months and four days old.  She was the second of a family of eleven children.
          She was married January 20, 1853, to Alonzo Blair, who resided in this city at the time.  Mr. Blair died July 10, 1879, at the age of forty-seven years.  On the tenth day of the present month, Mr. Blair will have been dead thirty-four years.
          Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Blair, the eldest dying while young.  Mr. Blair being a student in Asbury College at Greencastle at the time.  Asbury College has since been called Depauw University.  The four children who survive their mother are;  Mrs. Mary E. Bergen, of Lafayette, Indiana;  Miss Flora Blair, a teacher in the city schools;  Charles Blair  and  Judge Alonzo Blair, Judge of the Shelby Circuit Court.  Mrs. Blair is also survived by one brother, Fountain Byland, of this city.
          Funeral services will be held at the home Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock, the Rev. E. R. Worth, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, of which Mrs. Blair was a member, officiating.  Interment will be made in Forest Hill cemetery in charge of Ralph J. Edwards.  The funeral services will be private, but all friends of the family are invited.  Friends may call at the home Sunday afternoon at three-thirty o'clock.
Submitted by Barb Huff for  Don Byland  and  Bob McKenzie

The Glenwood Opinion Tribune
Mills County, Iowa
April 25, 1901
          Clarissa Blair was born in Shelby county, Indiana March 12, 1841, died a April 19, 1901.  Was married to  A. H. Emarine at Winterset, Iowa, December 25, 1856.  To this union 11 children were born, eight of whom were here to attend the funeral.  Moved to Glenwood in 1865.  Residing here until 1882 when they removed to Pottawattamie county, finally to Council bluffs, where they have since resided.  Funeral services were held at the residence in Council by Rev. Albert Venting.
Respectfully submitted for other researchers by Craig Poole
Am researching the line of  Emarine-Emerine  family, and various sources have her as Clarissa Black, and  Blair.

Indianapolis Sentinel
August 6, 1879
Page 4
ELSEWHERE in our columns will be found a most feeling tribute to the memory of the late Alonzo Blair, of Shelbyville. It is the heart-offering of an old friend, who was, to all intents and purposes, Mr. Blair's political godfather, and will bring tears to the eyes of nearly everybody who enjoyed any intimacy with the deceased and understood the really true and tender parts of his nature.
Submitted anonymously

The   Shelby   Democrat
Thursday  July 17, 1879
Page 2 column 5
The Last Sad Tribute to the Memory of
Alonzo Blair
Eloquent Funeral Oration Delivered by
Rev. George Sluter
Sketch of His Life--Skillful Analysis of His Per-
sonal and Mental Characteristics--Touching
Story of His Kind-Heartednes--
A Lawyer, Politician and
          As announced in our last issue, the funeral of Mr. Blair was to have taken place on Saturday afternoon; but at the urgency of many friends of the family, the services were postponed until Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, in order to afford opportunity for parties from abroad to be present.  At the appointed hour the services were opened with the beautiful hymn, beginning with the words:
"Go, bury thy sorrow,
The world hath it share;
Go, bury it deeply,
Go, hide it with care."  etc
          Selections of Scripture were then read commencing with the passage, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee."
          Mr. Sluter's sermon was based upon St James, 4: 14: "What is your life?  It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away."  His main propositions were:  First--the uncertainty of life, its brevity, and the certainty of death.  Second--the certainty of a future state.  Third--that, therefore, the question of highest consequence to us all is that of preparation for the world to come.  Upon this momentous and personal theme, the light of nature and the utterances of reason are insufficient.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone that points out the way to a peaceful and triumphant death and a blissful immortality.
          After affectionately and urgently appealing to his hearers to lay to heart this sudden and solemn Providence, by which time and eternity are brought into such close conjunction, and imploring all to prepare for death, by faith in Jesus Christ and the diligent use of the means of grace, he concluded with the following words:
          "As Mr. Blair has for many years occupied a position of prominence and influence in this community, and as indeed he has been in the circles of political life a representative and leading ,man throughout the whole state, it would be inappropriate were I to fail to speak of his life and character."
          "Alonzo Blair was born March the 29th, 1832, in Jackson county, Indiana.  He died in Shelbyville, Indiana, July 10th, 1879, in the 48th (sic) year of his age.  His father passed away when he was quite young, and in consequence of this there were serious difficulties in the way of his education.  But his determination had been formed at an early period, that, come what might, he would train his intellect and acquire useful information.  At first he worked in summer time and went to school in winter.  And so assiduously did he apply himself and so successful was he, that he was soon able to maintain the position of a teacher.  He had formed the purpose of attaining to eminence in this county.  To attain that end, he devoted a number of years to teaching the district schools of the outer townships and going from one district to another.  He took great pains to do the duties of a teacher thoroughly well, made himself acquainted with the people and succeeded in winning their good will.  It was through this that his name first came before a county convention, and then from entire obscurity before, he astonished everyone by gaining the nomination for Clerk of the Circuit Court over a candidate who bore on his side the powerful prestige of relationship to the Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks.  He was elected to this office and then re-elected, holding it from 1859 to 1867.  Before this he had been married--on January 20th, 1853.  Upon retiring from the office of Clerk of Shelby county, he removed with his family to the city of Indianapolis, where he became the manager and proprietor of a well known hotel--the Palmer House.  Dissatisfied with this business, he returned after an interim of a short time to Shelbyville, where he has ever since continued to reside."
    "He now devoted himself to the practice of law and reached a high degree of eminence as a successful practitioner.  He was also prominent in the political movements of his party in the county and in the State.  He was Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee of Shelby county in 1876 and 1878, and during the memorable campaign of 1876 he was one of the foremost and active members of the Central Committee of the State.  Mr. Blair was a man of very strong, intense, and marked character.  He possessed many qualities that fitted him in an extraordinary manner for the duties of a lawyer and a politician.  As an attorney, he invariably did his utmost for his client--and even, in his last moments, the ruling passion strong in death--found his wandering mind adjudicating by a friendly compromise, a difficult administrative case.  Although he was an intense partisan, and became heated when acting as an advocate, he still contrived always to maintain pleasant and friendly relations with the members of the bar.  And many and many a time after the stormiest of scenes in the court room, it is said he was as courteous and pleasant as ever with his opponents when they met after adjournment.  His mind was uncommonly fertile in expedients of defense, and his theory resources were absolutely unlimited.  In fact, he was never at a loss for a rejoiner.  He too much pride in accumulating an extensive and valuable law library, and I have been told by Messrs. Robert Clark & Co., of Cincinnati, that he purchased more law books than any other lawyer in the State.  One of his rules as an attorney was, never to allow parties to a suit to separate except as good friends."
          "is well known and has been admired by friend and foe.  From boyhood up he was untiring in his energy, and in the heroic determination to accomplish what he had undertaken.  In estimating the life of Mr. Blair, this fact must not be overlooked, that a successful man in great measure achieves his trimphs by thwarting his opponents.  It is the defeated who decry the conqueror.  This is one of the disadvantages and sorrows of a successful man--that his reputation in the community is oftentimes below his true character.  And there are many points in the character of a public man, that can be understood and known only in the comparitively small circle of his own family and personal friends."
          "Thus I have been told by one who knew Mr. Blair well and for several years was a next door neighbor, that he was a man of deep and tender sympathy in time of trouble; that he had never in all his life received a more pleasing and grateful attention while under the gloom and shadow of an irreparable bereavement than from him.  It is the testimony of those who knew him well, that he was a true friend and even enthusiastic in his friendships.  Scores of young men have from time to time studied law under him, and received from him aid and assistance in their profession.  And it is said that all of them with but one exception, parted from him with feelings of kindness and gratitude.  A life-long pecualirity of his was the ardent affection for children.  Meeting the school children on his way to and from his office, he knew every one of them by name and always had something pleasant and cheerful to say to them.  He possessed an uncommon power of remembering names and faces, and would always greet those he met in a very agreeable manner."
          "He entertained peculiar ideas in regard to the training of his children.  He was anxious that they should have both good education and accomplishments.  But he was deeply under the conviction, that if children would not receive an education and improve the advantages of good schooling, that then they ought not to receive anything else from their parents.  He argued that they would then be likely not to be capable of saving property and taking care of it--or if they did, that they would be people of such sordid character as to be of little advantages to themselves or the world.  He had a deep concern for the moral welfare of his children, and on one occasion he sent to me to inquire a suitable religious paper that would tend to instill sound moral ideas."
          "For years and years his carriage was seen at the funeral of every poor man, white or black.  His was not an ear impervious to the entreaties of those in need.  One instance only will suffice to illustrate this trait.  Many years ago when a New York benevolent society had sent a car-load of destitute boys and girls that they might here find homes and friends, all the children had been selected by various citizens except one.  But this one was so thin and bony that nobody wanted him.  The children were gone and their new found friends were gone, and the court-room where they had been had become destitute except that there stood that lean, dark-haired and dark-eyed little waif.  It was drawing near the hour of noon, and the officers of the county were going to their dinners.  The little boy felt that he was going to be left alone.  He began to cry piteously.  There were others there--but it was Alonzo Blair who was moved with compassion, took the poor, homeless wait to his own home, made him the playmate and companion of his own children, gave him the best educational advantages accessible and finally had the proud satisfaction of seeing his ward enter the Sophomore class of Harvard college, the greatest literary institution in our country.  He treated this boy as his own child, with the fondness and affection bestowed upon an only son.  On one occasion little Tommie [Thomas Fenton Taylor] got hurt by an accident.  Mr. Blair instantly dispatched a messenger for the family physician.  The message was carried and responded to with the utmost haste, but not enough so to meet the deep anxiety of an affectionate foster father.  The delay was too long for him.  He would not bear to see the little boy's sufferings unrelieved.  The physician met Mr. Blair, running his horses in a famous gallop, 'For God's sake hurry, doctor!" was all he could say as he turned back."
          "This child deeply appreciated his benefactor, and when in after years, he was found and reclaimed by his own relations--a distinguished and wealthy family in the East--the loss to Mr. Blair was so keen and anguishful that he could not speak of the separation except with tears."
          "As Mr. Blair had himself been a teacher, he never lost that interest in educational matters.  He had mastered an excellent plan for a classical school for boys and girls, to be located in Shelbyville and patronized by the county.  He intended to found a joint-stock corporation and erect a splendid building for this purpose.  I cannot but regret that the plan was not carried out, for a more appropriate location for a college could hardly be found.  There are manhy people in the world who talk and act to little or no purpose.  They shoot atlong range, reckless whether they hit or miss.  Mr. Blair was of the small and select number of those whose very presence was a power.  It was a presence that coult not but be felt.  He had the very rare gift of being able to grapple with men in direct face to face contact, and winning them over to his views and measures.  His success was in a great degree due to the unmeasurable fund of pleasantry and drollery that characterized his conversation, and a fascinating off-hand way of soothing those who disagreed with him."
          "These are some of the principal events of the life and the leading features of the character of Mr. Blair.  It is a well known fact of natural history that the hyena invades the sacred enclosure of the grave and feasts on the flesh, even of the dead.  And so there are sometimes human hyenas who would tear up the remnants of mortality and beslime the name and fame of departed ones, and gloat in exaggerated pictures of their imperfections.  But we here today are not of that number.  I am persuaded better things of you.  We all believe in the sentiments of the Great Thinker who said, 'Noble spirits war not with the dead.'  With the humane and pure Whittier, we will say of our friends, when they lie before us in the cold and awful embrace of death:
'Breathe over him forgetful ease
Of all save deeds of kindness."
          "I have said much of Mr. Blair and much in his favor. But every sentiment, every fact and every word has been carefully weighed and measured, and is given upon authority equal to any in the social and religious circles of our community."
          "I have said much, and it has been a heartfelt pleasure to me.  I only wish I could say more.  I heartily wish that I could speak of Mr. Blair's spiritual development as of his intellectual and social power.  But spiritual development is a rare, rare fruit on human soil.  The censorious, bitter, fault-finding Christians are many; but the loving, charitable, forgiving Christ-like--where are they?  They are few and far, far between.  And when they are tempted to wreak their dislikes upon the dead--because they have been imperfect and full of human frailty--it were well to remember that the truest and best friend they ever had has himself said, 'Let him that is without sin among you, cast the first stone!' "
Submitted by  Bob McKenzie
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