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Richard Gladden Biography


Richard Gladden, one of the most venerable and honored citizens of Lauramie Township, Tippecanoe County, was named for his paternal grandfather, who was a native of Leeds, England, but came to America when sixteen years of age, during the war of the Revolution. Our subject remembers well his esteemed ancestor, and of hearing him relate incidents of the great war between the mother country and her rebellious American colony. On one occasion, while Richard Gladden, Sr., was working in a field, a party of British soldiers rode up, and one of the officers, calling the youth a rebel and a few other names less pleasant, ordered him to go ahead and take down the bars of a fence near, that he and his soldiers might pass through. There being no question in this case that "discretion is the better part of valor," the young man obeyed, and was not sorry to see the little band of Tories disappear in the distance.

Having mastered the miller's trade, Richard Gladden, Sr., gave much of his attention to that calling, and his services were in requisition, far and near, for years, as he thoroughly understood how to put the machinery of a mill in place, and was noted for his skill at dressing buhrs. For his day, he was a man of good education, was a bookkeeper and a methodical businessman. In the early times of Ohio he removed to Montgomery County , where he entered and improved a farm of about one hundred and twenty-five acres, in addition to which he operated a flour and gristmill in Perry Township , same county, for many years. He was married in Virginia to a lady whose name is not remembered, and they had one son, James. His second wife, of English descent, was Catherine Hiatt, and their two sons, Joseph and William, were born in Virginia . James and Joseph Gladden were drummer boys in the War of 1812, connected with Virginia regiments. The father lived to a venerable age, dying when in the neighborhood of one hundred years. Rev. Washington Gladden, the celebrated minister and author, is of the same stock, and is probably descended form a brother of Richard Gladden, Sr.

William Gladden, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia , in 1795, and when he was twenty years of age he married, in Montgomery County , Ohio , Magdalena Yost, daughter of Anthony and Catherine Yost, of sturdy Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. The latter, pioneers of Montgomery County , were well-to-do farmers, and gave to each of their children land or its equivalent. In religious faith they were Dunkards, or German Baptists. They lived to reach a good old age and to see their children honored and respected in their several homes and spheres in life. The were named, in order of birth, John, Jacob, Abraham, Anthony, William, Polly, Betsy, Magdalena , Catherine, Sally and Susan.

After his marriage William Gladden settled on a sixty-two acre farm, which had been entered in Perry Township by his father, and for several years he continued to dwell in Montgomery County . At first he built a rude round-log cabin, and later a hewed-log house took the place of the former humble home. Later he sold his farm and bought a quarter section of land in Preble County , Ohio . This he cleared and made a fine homestead, but the spirit of the frontiersman was in him, and in the spring of 1834 he made another move to the westward. His brother Joseph had previously settled in Lauramie Township , Tippecanoe County , and, having persuaded Mr. Gladden to come her also, he returned with a two-horse team and assisted in the removal of the family. They made the journey in a wagon drawn by four horses, and were seven and a half days on the way, the men camping out at night while the rest of the family were sheltered at hospitable houses along the route. They located on a quarter section of land on Wildcat Prairie, the place having been improved by the former owner, and a one-story frame house erected. The numerous plans and improvements, which the new owner contemplated, were cut short by his untimely death, in August 1835, when he was but forty years of age. He was a man who was looked up to and highly esteemed by all, and while he lived in Montgomery County he was a Justice of the Peace, and at one time was a Captain of a company of the Ohio State Militia. His widow, who was a member of the German Baptist Church , survived him but five years. Their children were Elizabeth, Richard, John, Joseph, William, Harrison, Jacob W., Catherine and Sarah Jane.

The birth of Richard Gladden occurred February 1, 1818 , in Perry Township , Montgomery County , Ohio . He attended a subscription school for three months at a time for four winters, this comprising his entire educational advantages. Through he was but seventeen years old when his father died, he assumed the management of the homestead, and succeeded quite as well as did many of the older farmers of the neighborhood. He was of inestimable assistance to his mother in the rearing of her large family, and always took the attitude of a father toward his younger brothers and sisters. From choice he has devoted himself to agriculture, and has made a comfortable livelihood by hard, persevering toil, at the same time winning a name for integrity and fairness in all his dealings, much more to be desired than a fortune. Subsequent to his marriage he bought forty acres of land in Lauramie Township , and as he prospered he invested in more land until he now owns two hundred and sixty acres. This he cleared, improving it with substantial buildings, and ultimately making of the place one of the best in the township. In his early manhood he was a member of the Sons of Temperance, and has always favored the temperance cause. Politically, he was an old-line Whig, voting for W. H. Harrison, and later became the stanch Republican that he has been for years. He was Trustee of Lauramie Township three years, and Election Inspector several years.

ON the 31st of October 1841 , Mr. Gladden married Magdalena , daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stoner) Ellis, pioneers of Montgomery County , Ohio , and of Welch and Dutch descent, respectively. About 1828 Mr. Ellis entered land in Lauramie Township , Tippecanoe County , and finally owned some four hundred acres. He was a son of Roland and Frances Ellis, the former of whom went down the Ohio River before Cincinnati was founded, and settled in the southern part of Montgomery County , Ohio . To the marriage of our subject and wife four children were born, namely: Markus P., William H., Emma C. and Eliza. Mrs. Gladden, who was a kind, affectionate wife and mother, loved by all who knew her was called to the better land October 4, 1877, and is remembered by many of the older residents as a lady of great force of character and sterling virtues.


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