Family Stories

Robert E. Wilber Biography

from Ohio County, Indiana – Biographies

Robert E. Wilber, born in Duchess County, New York, June 21, 1806, is a son of Robert and Mary (Smith) Wilber, also natives of New York, and who, in the fall of 1813, removed to Indiana, traveling over the mountains to Pittsburgh by wagon, thence by flat-boat to Roger Brown’s, near Rising Sun.  Their horses were sent overland through Ohio.  Mr. Wilber remained on the river one year and raised one crop, then purchased 160 acres on Laughery Creek about one mile below Hartford, where he located with his family in the spring of 1815.  Here he resided about twelve or fifteen years when he purchased 160 acres about one mile above Hartford, where he resided till his death.   Mr. Wilber was a man of much native ability, and during his residence in Duchess County, N. Y., he held the office of deputy sheriff and also served as collector.  Through all his business life he was noted for his honesty and uprightness.  After he settled in Ohio County he was appointed a justice of the peace by the governor of this Territory, and served until Indiana was organized as a State.  His wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church before they came to this State, and subsequently he united with that society.  He was the father of seven children, all of whom grew to maturity, four now surviving: Eliza A., now widow of Benjamin Walker, residing at Madison; Allen B.; Robert E. and Dewitt C.  Robert E., the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood fully acquainted with pioneer life.  He was married, September 30, 1841, to Elizabeth Newman, a native of England, and a daughter of Timothy and Frances Newman, natives of England.  By this union they had six children, four now surviving: David S., Robert O, Ethan A. and William T.  Mrs. Wilber died May 29, 1883, aged sixty-four years.  In 1833 Mr. Wilber and his brother entered upon the general mercantile trade in Hartford, where they continued in business (except from 1839 to 1844) until during the war of the Rebellion, when they sold their stock.  In connection with their merchandising they have loaned a great deal of money, and thus carried on quite a brokerage business.  In all their transactions they have met with excellent success, having a wide reputation as a business firm.

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