Biography from History of Clay Co., Indiana, Vol. II, au: William Travis, publ. 1909 William Francis WEBSTER Prominent among the native-born citizens of Dick Johnson township is William Francis Webster, who is the worthy representative of a family that for four-score years has been actively identified with the agricultural prosperity and progress of Clay county, his grandfather, Daniel Webster, having located in this part of the state in 1829. Mr. Webster was born in this township January 4, 1863, a son of John Lewis Webster, of colonial ancestry. Tradition tells us that two brothers named Webster came to America a century or more before the Revolution, and that one of them, who settled in New Eng- land, numbered among his descendants Noah Webster, the lexicographer; John, the scientist; and Daniel, the statesman. The other brother located in Virginia, where succeeding generations occupied the homestead which he improved. In 1829 Daniel Webster came from Virginia to Indiana, entered government land in Dick Johnson township, and on the farm which he reclaimed from the wilderness he and his wife, whose maiden name was Rhoda Arthur, spent the remainder of their lives. A native of Virginia, John Lewis Webster was born October 9, 1823, in Franklin county. At the age of six years he came with the family to Dick Johnson township, and was here brought up. He remained beneath the parental roof-tree until attaining his majority, assisting his father in the pioneer labor of clearing and improving a homestead. For a number of years after he was engaged in the manufacture of shingles, subsequently, in 1867, going to Brazil, where for six years he was engaged in the lumber business. Going then to Indianapolis, he was there a real estate dealer and agent until 1879. Returning to Dick John- son township, he then bought land in section twelve, and after living there a few seasons sold and bought the farm now owned, and occupied by William F. Webster, his son. Here he carried on general farming until his death, July 6, 1897. He married first Fanny Brenton, who bore him ten children. His second wife, the mother of the subject of this brief sketch, was before marriage Martha Malissa Deupree. She was born April 17, 1834, in Johnson county, Indiana, near Franklin, and as a young woman taught school a few terms. Her ancestors for a number of genera- tions resided in Virginia, where her father, Joseph W. Deupree, was born December 22, 1809; her grandfather, Thomas Deupree, June 12, 1786; and her great-grandfather, William Deupree, July 7, 1759. The latter, who was of French Huguenot descent, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and a life-long resident of his native state, dying there June 16, 1854. His wife, whose maiden name was Amy Pettes, was born in August, 1761, in Virginia. Thomas Deupree, also a life-long resident of Virginia, died June 15, 1825. He married Martha Hatchitt, who was born March 15, 1790, and who survived him, after his death coming to Indiana to live with her children and dying in Johnson county December 20, 1865. Joseph W. Deupree settled in Johnson county, Indiana, in 1833, and from the heavily timbered tract of land which he bought hewed the farm on which he resided several years. Going then to Davis county, Iowa, he carried on farming until ready to retire from active pursuits, when he settled in Bloomfield, that county, where his death occurred January 21, 1878. He first married Sally Ann Nichel, who was born September 29, 1816, and died August 26, 1834, when her daughter Martha Malissa was an infant. He married second Mary J. McAlpine, by whom he had seven children. The wife of John Lewis Webster died February 18, 1895. Having completed his early studies in the district schools of Brazil William F. Webster attended the public schools of Indianapolis for awhile. He was but sixteen years old when his parents returned to Dick Johnson township, and he has been a resident of the township since that time and of the place he now owns since 1889. He has in his possession the parch- ment deed of his farm given by the government to Simon Archer, the original owner, and also has Mr. ArcherŐs tax receipt, bearing the date 1828, Samuel Rigley, collector. As an agriculturist, Mr. Webster has met with excellent success, and has made improvements of much value. Very soon after moving on to the farm he erected a good frame house, which in 1904 he remodeled, putting in all modern equipments. On August 4, 1887, Mr. Webster married Frances Alice Alma Har- desty, who was born in this township, a daughter of William Hardesty. Born in Kentucky, William Hardesty came when a young man to Indiana, and for awhile lived in Putnam county. Subsequently taking up his resi- dence in Dick Johnson township, he was here employed in tilling the soil until his death, in 1884. He married Charlotte Akers, whose father, Luke Akers, left his native place, Franklin county, Virginia, in 1828, and with his wife and two children came across the country with a pair of horses and a wagon to Indiana. Taking up land in Dick Johnson township, on section fifteen, he built from round logs a cabin in which the family lived for some time. Later he built a double house of hewed logs, and to this he subsequently put on a frame addition, and in it spent his remaining days, dying February 7, 1858, aged fifty-seven years. He married Jane Webster, a daughter of Daniel and Rhoda (Arthur) Webster, and she survived him, passing away March 16, 1872, aged seventy years. Mrs. Charlotte (Akers) Hardesty survived her husband many years, dying March 27, 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Webster are the parents of three chil- dren, namely: Edwin Arthur, born October 4, 1896; Marcus Harold, born September 3, 1895; and Virgil Milton, born December 27, 1899. In May, 1908, Mr. Webster received the Prohibition nomination for sheriff of Clay county. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ [Back to;Clay County Bio Page] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ [Back to;Clay County ]