Family Stories

Captain Adam Liter Biography

from Ohio County, Kentucky, Biographies

Captain Adam Liter, Ohio County, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, July 14, 1822, and is the sixth of a family of seven children born to Henry and Mary (Ament) Leter, the former of Pennsylvania and latter a native of Kentucky, and both of German descent.  At a very early age, Henry Liter removed with his parents to Bourbon County, Kentucky, the whole country being at that time one vast, dense cane-brake.  The family was among the earliest settlers of the county, and for protection against the Indians, were obliged, with other families to live in the fort at Bryant’s Station some three years.  Here his father, the grandfather of our subject, bought wild land some four miles from Bryant’s Station, where he subsequently improved a farm, upon which he resided until his death, and reared a large family of children.  Here Henry Liter received his education, and after attaining his majority he bought wild land near the old homestead, which he was obliged to pay for twice, in consequence of a defective title, as did also many of his neighbors; he afterward improved a farm upon which he resided until his death, which occurred in 1862 at the age of some eighty or ninety years.  He was twice married, rearing a family of twelve children, eight of whom attained manhood and womanhood.  He was a life long member of the Presbyterian Church, in which he officiated as deacon for many years.  Captain Adam Liter received only a very limited education in youth, but has by his own effort since acquired a fair business education.  He was employed on his father’s farm until he was seventeen years of age, when he commenced to learn the stone-cutter’s trade, but after a few months abandoned it and returned home.  Soon after this he went to learn the confectioner’s trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years, after which he followed the trade on his own account, at Madison, Indiana, for five years, when he was compelled to abandon it on account of failing health, caused by inhaling the fumes of burning charcoal.  He was then engaged in flat-boating for three years, running hoop poles and staves down the rivers to New Orleans.  This proving unprofitable, and becoming encumbered, he engaged in steam-boating on the Green River, at which he was eminently successful until the breaking out of the Civil War.  He, with his two boats, was then pressed into government service.  In 1862 he sold these boats, and in the following year, 1863, built two new ones, both of which were soon pressed into government service and transformed into war vessels in the tin-clad fleet.  For these, however, he was handsomely remunerated.  In 1864 he built another boat, which he sold soon after the war.  The principal part of his steam-boating was on the Green River, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Evansville, Indiana.  He was, however, to some extent engaged in boating on the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  Before and during the war, bought four farms on the Green River, in Ohio County, near South Carrollton, aggregating about 1,000 acres.  He was also the owner of some eight slaves.  Soon after the close of the war he leased a coal mine near Spottsville, on the Green River, which he operated for about two years.  In 1871 he settled on his farm near South Carrollton, upon which he now resides and where he has since been extensively engaged in farming and stock raising.  He is one of the most successful farmers in the county, taking and reading several agricultural journals, and keeping fully abreast with all modern improvements.  He was married July 15, 1846, to Sarah C. Foster, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio; three children were born to them, two of whom – sons – are now living.  Captain Liter and wife are members of the United Baptist Church.  He is a member of the I. O. O. F., having three times passed all the chairs and is now a member of the Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana.  He took his degrees in Morning Star Lodge No. 7, of Madison, Indiana; afterward helped to organize Madison Lodge No. 11, of same place, and still later helped to organize Crescent City Lodge No. 22, of Evansville, Indiana, of which he is still a member.  He is a Democrat.

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