History of the Joseph and Susan Stapelton Harding
Family of Fort Wayne Indiana

ca 1832 to 1906

Joseph Harding
April 1832 to Nov. 1905
Susan Harding
April 1831 to May 1906


Joseph and Sophia Harding > Joseph and Susan Harding > Robert and Cora Bell Harding > Ross Buchman and Dessie Virginia Harding > Marshall Harding Buchman and Winifred Geddes Buchman > Joseph Geddes Buchman.

1831 April.  (Exact birth date unknown.)  Susan Stapleton was born in Maryland to Prudence Stapleton (40) and (unknown first name) Stapleton (unknown age).  She had at least one older brother, Joshua (6) and at least one younger brother (Robert, who was born in 1834).

1832 April.  (exact birth date unknown).  Joseph Harding was born in Maryland to Sophia Young Harding (age unknown) and Joseph Harding, Senior (age unknown).  He was the youngest of five children, with older brothers Edward, John and Vachel, and an older sister, Rebecca.

1834 Age 3.  The Stapleton family moved from Maryland to Ohio.

1850 Census.  No records yet found.

1856 February 28.  Joseph Harding (23) and Susan Stapleton (24) were married at an unknown location.

1860 Census.  Age 25.  Farmer.  Living in the Vermilion Township of Erie County (about 40 miles west of Cleveland), Ohio with his wife Susan (28), their daughter Laurella (2) Susan's mother Prudence Stapleton (62), and his wife’s brother Robert Stapleton (26).

March 5 1863, Robert Harding was born in Erie County, Ohio, the only son of Joseph and Susan Stapleton Harding.  At the time of his birth he had two older sisters, Laurella Harding (5), and Carrie B. Harding (2).  He would later be joined by two younger sisters; Nellie (born in October 1865) and Jeannie (born November 17 1868).

1866  Age 31.  The Joseph Harding family moved from Erie County, Ohio to Allen County, Indiana.

1870 Census.  No record yet found.

1880 Census June 10.  Age 50.  Farmer.  Living in the Saint Joseph Township of Allen County Indiana with his wife Susan (51), their son Robert (17) a laborer, and two daughters, Nellie (14) and Jennie (12).

March 28 1890, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 2.

Mr. Robert Harding and Miss Cora Miller, both of Chamberlain, in this county, were married by Reverend R. M. Barns, D.D. at the Wayne Street parsonage yesterday.

July 10 1890, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 3

A party of ladies spent a very delightful day Wednesday, at the home of Mrs. J. Whiteleather’s parents, Mr. And Mrs. Joseph Harding, near Maysville.  Those present were Mrs. Dr. Brittingham, Mrs. Dr. Gard, Mrs J. S. Bittingham, Miss Alice Stocking and Mrs. J. F. Whiteleather, of For Wayne, Mrs C. Lipes, of St. Louis, Mo., Mrs J. R. Hartsell and Mrs. J. G. Stokes, New Haven.


February 13 1892. Ethel G. Harding was born to Robert and Cora Harding.


February 29 1896, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 1


Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding, of East Wayne street, celebrated the fortieth anniversary of their marriage yesterday.  A party of friends and relatives were entertained in the evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding, of 389 East Wayne street, were tendered a surprise last evening by their children, it being the fortieth anniversary of their wedding.  Inner was served at 5 o’clock on an elegant set of china presented to them by their children, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Stokes, Mrs. Carrie Whiteleather, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Sloat, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harding and the grandchildren, Masters, Hallie Stokes and Clyde Whiteleather, Misses Maude Whiteleather and Ethel Harding.  In the evening Miss Nellie Harding entertained a party of friends at progressive pedro in honor of her guest, Miss Lizzie Rump, of Columbia City.


December 30 1896, The Fort Wayne News, page 1.


The J. T. (sic, should be J. F.) Shell
Loan and Investment Company Enlarges Its Scope.

The J. F. Schell Loan and Investment company is now one of the solid institutions of Fort Wayne.  It was started in Fort Wayne only two years ago, but under the management of Mr. Schell has grown in popularity and business worth.  The company has been built up to a standard of efficiency and has just been reorganized with the following stockholders, all of whom are well known in this city: Joseph Harding, J. L. Gruber, Dr. L. S. Null, C. C. Cissell, L. A. Hirons, Joseph H. Grier, O. N. Heaton, Jackson Valentine, Dr. S. D. Sledd, W. E. Schell and J. F. Schell.

The officers of the newly organized company are as follows:

President – J. F. Schell.
Vice-President – Joseph Harding.
Secretary – Miss L. A. Hirons.
Treasurer – W. E. Schell.
Attorneys – Vessy & Heaton.

Mr. Harding, the vice-president, is one of the prominent and well known residents of the county, having been engaged in the farming business for thirty-three years.  The others are well known residents of this city

The references of the company as to their standing are: J. F. W. Meyer, of Meyer Bros. & Co., wholesale druggists; the Hon. J. B. White, of the White Fruit House; Charles Pape, president of the Peters Box and Lumber company; J. H. Keil, of Keil & Keil, wall paper and decorations; Golden & Patterson, clothiers and hatters; John Dalman, ex-county treasurer; George W. Linden, farmer, New Haven.

Their books show that the company has done a business of $160,000 during the last year, and this will be largely increased during the year now dawning.

President Schell is surely to be congratulated on the business success he has won.  He is pushing the business of the company to the front, and through its instrumentality both borrower and lender are benefited, thus making him a man who is doing good in a business way to both the city and the counties in which the company secures and negotiates loans.

The business of the company is that of negotiating loans on farm and city property for investors, in a manner which is absolutely safe. They devote all their time and attention to this line of businesses, and their loans are made only after a careful examination of titles and personal inspection of the property on which the money is loaned.  It is the only company i the city that makes a specialty of this line of business.  They loan money in any sum to suit the borrower at the lowest rate of interest and commission which can be obtained.

The books used by the company are undoubtedly as convenient and complete as are to be found anywhere, and were originated and planned by Mr. J. F. Schell, and having agents in all the adjoining counties, are kept daily advised of any mortgages or liens that may be filed against farm and city property.  In this way they make their investments absolutely safe and trustworthy, and both the loaner and borrower are protected.


November 8 1897, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 1.


Mrs. Laurella Stokes Summoned
to Eternal Rest.

Mrs. Laurella Stokes, wife of J. G. Stokes, died at her home, 336 East Washington street, Sunday morning, November 7, 1897 at 1:30 o’clock.  Mrs. Stokes was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding, and a sister of Mrs. Carrie B. Whiteleather, Mrs. Henry Sloat and Miss Nellie Harding, all of this city, and Robert Harding, of St. Joe township, this county.

She was born in Erie county, Ohio, July 14, 1857.  She leaves a husband and son, with a large number of friends and relatives to mourn her loss.

The funeral will take place from the residence, 236 East Washington street, Tuesday at 2 o’clock p. m., Rev. L. L. Henson officiating.  Interment will be made at Lindenwood cemetery, and will be private.


March 24 1899, The Fort Wayne News, page 5.




“Will Mr. Schell be subject to criminal prosecution?” was a question propounded to Mr. Joseph Harding, vice-president of the Investment company by a News reporter today.

Mr. Harding was positive in his statements that he would be prosecuted.  “If no one here takes it up,” said Mr. Harding, “there are Cleveland parties who say they will send Schell to the penitentiary if it takes a fortune to do it.”

Mr. Harding said that while Schell was not in confinement, his house was watched day and night and that it would be impossible for him to get away.


April 6 1899, The Fort Wayne News, page 5.


Monroeville Breeze: Joseph Harding, of Fort Wayne, was in town yesterday trying to arrange with the Schell creditors.  The company may arrange to meet the demands if they can get time: stop the heavy expenses in courts and lawyer fees and may close out the business in an honorable way.


April 12 1899, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 2.


The Schell Directors Will Settle

BORROWED $50,000.

Money Secured From the
Trust Company.

The Six Men Gave a Blanket
Mortgage on the Property
Which They Still Own.

The directors of the J. F. Schell Loan and Investment company have completed their deal with the Fort Wayne Trust company and a blanket mortgage on the property of G. W. Linden, Joseph L. Gruber, F. W. Antrup, Jackson Valentine, Jiram Porter and Joseph Harding is given as security for the $50,000 which the trust company has loaned them.

The deal for the loan was completed late yesterday afternoon.  The wives of the directors were all in the city with their husbands and only Mrs. Harding declined to sign the mortgage.  She declined absolutely to sign away her rights to her interest in Mr. Harding’s property.  The fact that Mrs. Harding did not sign the mortgage did not deter the trust company from making the loan, as the property of the other directors is supposed to be worth in excess of $50,000.


May 5 1899, The Fort Wayne News, page 5.



Proceedings in involuntary bankruptcy have again been brought against all of the directors of the Schell concern collectively and against four of the number individually. . . .

There were no cases brought individually against Joseph Harding, Jackson Valentine or J. F. Schell.  When asked why this distinction was made, Mr. Bittinger said: “We did not bring cases against these men individually, as they have given up practically everything they have for the settlement of the business.


May 5 1899, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 1.


More Trouble for Schell Directors





Another interesting chapter in the tangled affairs of the bankrupt Schell Loan and Investment company was opened this morning when three creditors of the concern filed petitions with United States Commissioner Logan asking that the courts declare Mr. Schell and those who were directors of his company bankrupt.

The outlook is for an extensive litigation over the affairs of the defunct company. . . .


May 16 1899, The Fort Wayne News, page 4.


Judge Hench yesterday rendered three judgments against Joseph Harding, of the Schell Investment company.  They were in favor of Amie Chusse, for $175; Martin Bloom, for $346, and John T. Black for $348.  The attorneys for Harding held that the judge could not render a judgment against him on account of the proceedings in bankruptcy now filed against the Schell Investment company.  Judge Hench held that the bankruptcy proceedings were not against him individually, but as a director of the company, thereby not preventing the court from giving a judgment against him personally.


March 24 1900, The Fort Wayne News page 3

Miss Nellie Harding, who has been ill at Thurman Ind., has returned home.


May 16 1900, The Fort Wayne News, page 4.




There will be a great deal of surprise in financial circles when it is learned that Mr. Joseph Harding today filed a petition in voluntary bankruptcy.  Mr. Harding, it is well known, was vice-president of the Schell company, which recently came to grief.  At the time the company failed petitions were filed by Mr. John Evans and other creditors to throw Mr. Harding and his associates into involuntary bankruptcy, but these proceedings were bitterly fought, with the result that Judge Baker, of the United States court, ruled in favor of Mr. Harding and the other members of the company.  After all this resistance the voluntary action of Mr. Harding was unlooked for.  The explanation seems to lie in the fact that at the time it was proposed to throw the directors into bankruptcy they did no know exactly what effect it would have, but since that time Mr. Harding, at least, has come to the conclusion that it is the best way out.

Mr. Harding places his liabilities at $90,267.34, all of which indebtedness is set out in detail and his assets at $6,435, of which $345 is claimed as exemption.  The papers will be sent by Clerk Logan to Judge Baker for adjudication.


May 19 1900, The Fort Wayne News, page 4.

In the District Court of the United States
For the District of Indiana

In the matter of        )
      Joseph Harding,)  In Bankruptcy,

To the creditors of the said Joseph Harding, of Fort Wayne, in the County of Allen and the district aforesaid, a bankrupt.  Notice is hereby given that on the 17th day of May, A.D. 1900, the said Joseph Harding was duly adjudicated bankrupt, and that the first meeting of his creditors will be held at my office in the Bass Block, in Fort Wayne in said district on the 2nd day of June, A.D. 1900 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, at which time the said creditors may attend, prove their claims, appoint a trustee, examine the bankrupt, and transact such other business as may properly come before said meeting.

Referee in Bankruptcy
Fort Wayne, Ind., May 19, 1900.


1900 Census June 2.  Age 68.  Farmer.  Living at 45 Hammer Street, Fort Wayne Indiana with his wife Susan (69) their daughter Nellie (34) and Elizabeth Ramp (38) a boarder.


July 11, 1900, The Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel, page


News of the death of Clyde Whiteleather, of this city, at Green River, Wyo., came in a telegram to his mother, Mrs. Carrie B. Whiteleather of South Harrison street, last evening.  The telegram gave no particulars of the death, but from the fact that the young man was employed on the Union Pacific railroad at that place it was inferred that the death must have been due to an accident. 

This morning, however, Mrs. Whiteleather received a letter from the Union Pacific company’s physician at Green River, written several days ago, stating that the young man was suffering from typhoid fever and had entered the hospital July 6.  The physician at that time regarded his condition as very favorable, and expressed the belief that the patient would recover. 

The young man was nineteen years of age and was the son of the late J. F. Whiteleather, who formerly conducted the Fort Wayne Business college.  During the Spanish-American war Clyde Whiteleather was a member of the Twenty-eight battery and later worked in the Pittsburg blacksmith shop in this city.  He left Fort Wayne about six months ago and went to Chicago, where he worked for about three months before leaving for the west, where he secured a position as a brakeman on the Union Pacific. 

Arrangements are being made to bring the remains to Fort Wayne for interment. 


March 5 1901, Dessie Virginia Harding born to Robert and Cora Harding.


June 4 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 6.


Miss Nellie Harding, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding, of Washington street, has returned home from Phoenix, Ariz., where she spent two years in a vain hope to recuperate her health.  She is not improved and it is feared she cannot long survive.  She was accompanied home by her sister, Mrs. Whiteleather.


June 7 1905, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 2.

Mrs. Jeannie Sloat, of Moline, Ill., arrived in the city last night, having been summoned on account of the condition of her sister, Miss Nellie Harding.  Miss Harding died a short time after her sister’s arrival.


June 7 1905, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 3


Miss Nellie Harding No More – Death’s Shadow Upon Many Homes

Miss Nellie Harding, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding, died at 4 o’clock this morning at the family home, 1218 West Washington street, after an extended illness from tuberculosis.

Miss Harding was about 38 (sic, should be 34) years of age, and had spent the past two years at Phoenix, Ariz., in the hope of regaining her health.  For some months, however, she had declined rapidly, and but a week ago was brought back to this city to spend her final days with her parents.  She was a most estimable young woman and leaves many friends.

The surviving relatives include the parents, two sisters, Mrs. Jeannie Sloat, of Moline, Ill., and Mrs. Carrie Whiteleather, of this city, and a brother, Robert Harding, of St. Joe township, where the family formerly resided.  Mrs. Sloat reached the bedside of her sister but a few hours before death intervened.

Funeral services will be held from the residence Friday afternoon.


June 8 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, page 6.


Miss Nellie Harding, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding , 1218 Washington boulevard west, died Wednesday morning after a long illness of tuberculosis.  Miss Harding went to Phoenix, Ariz., about two years ago in quest of health, but she gradually grew worse and about a week ago, realizing that the end was not far distant, she returned to Fort Wayne to spend her remaining days with her parents.   She was thirty-eight years of age and a most estimable woman who enjoyed the esteem of a large circle of friends.  She leaves, besides her parents, two sisters, Mrs. Jeannie Sloat, of Moline Ill., and Mrs. Carrie Whiteleather, of this city, and a brother, Mr. Robert Harding of St. Joe township.  The funeral services will be held at the residence Friday afternoon.


June 8 1905, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 7.


Harding – Funeral services of Miss Nellie Harding will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the residence, 1218 W. Washington street.


June 14 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 7.


Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sloat, of Moline Ill., are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harding.

(NOTE: Mrs. Henry Sloat, is Jeannie Harding Sloat, their youngest daughter.)


November 3 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, page 1.


Joseph Harding, Respected
Citizen, Hangs Self in Barn

Brooded Over Financial Losses
Until Life Became Unbearable – Dead
Five Hours When Found.

Joseph Harding, for twenty years a resident of Allen county and for five years a citizen of this city, hanged himself yesterday afternoon in the barn in the rear of the premises of his daughter, Mrs. C. B. Whiteleather, at 1218 Washington boulevard west.  His body was not found, however, until midnight.

Mr. Harding left the home of his daughter, Mrs. Whiteleather, about 5 o’clock, stating at the time that he would go down town to collect some money that was due him.  His daughter awaited his homecoming and kept supper on the table, thinking that he would come in at any moment.  At 7 o’clock the members of the household noted that he was remaining away from home longer than was his wont, but concluded he was attending a political meeting somewhere in the city, or that he had gone to the home of his brother for a visit.

When the hour of 9 came the family grew uneasy and a systematic search was started.  Success did not follow immediately and it was nearly midnight when his body, cold in death, was found by his nephew in the loft over the barn.  The young man was horribly shocked by his discovery, and after informing the other members of the family of the tragedy he telephoned the police, who in turn called Coroner Stults to the scene.  Upon the arrival of the officers the body was cut down and given into the hands of Undertaker Peltier to be prepared for burial. 

Yesterday afternoon Mr. Harding assisted his daughter, Mrs. Whiteleather, putting up a stove in the sitting room of the residence, and after the work was done he remarked:

“You and your mother can now keep warm.  Don’t know that I will be anywhere.”

          In view of his rash act, his daughter believes that he had made up his mind at that time to kill himself.

Mrs. Whiteleather said last night in conversation with a representative of the Journal-Gazette, that her father had been “blue” and downcast ever since the failure of the Schell Loan company in Fort Wayne.  When that scheme was first inaugurated Mr. Harding was drawn into it, and with every confidence in the world of making a fortune he made investments which ruined many other citizens of Fort Wayne and Allen county.  Mr. Harding lost his fortune, saving only that portion which lawfully belonged to his wife.  All told, his daughter estimated his loss at about $15,000.  When he realized that his farm, which was located on the Maysville road, and his savings were completely swept away, he became remorseful and brooded constantly over his misfortune.  This condition lasted until life became unbearable and he decided to end it all in death. 

When the patrol wagon, with Sergeants Pappert and Harkenrider and Patrolmen Golden and Bloom arrived at the scene of the tragedy, the body was found suspended from a rafter of the roof and a strap was tied tightly around his neck.  In preparing to kill himself he stood on a box, and after adjusting the noose, kicked his footing from beneath him and became suspended in midair.  He strangled to death.  

An Old Resident

Mr. Harding came to Allen county about thirty years ago, and with the help of his faithful wife he amassed a comfortable fortune which would have kept him in plenty during his life.  He purchased a farm and after improving it, bought another.  The crash came, however, and he lost the products of a long life of hard work and careful saving.  Then he came to Fort Wayne and lived for several years in a house on Harmer street, and about six months ago took up his home with his daughter.

          Mr. Harding was well known throughout the country and after coming to Fort Wayne, dealt in country produce, buying it from farmers and selling it to consumers in the city.  In this manner he added to his already wide acquaintance. 

          Mrs. Whiteleather said last night that her father had shown no signs of insanity and she believes that he was in his right mind when preparing to take his life, as every detail was carefully planned.  He even left his watch in the house before going on his journey into eternity.

          Mr. Harding was born in Maryland seventy-five years ago, and when a young man came to Ohio to live.  About 1869 he moved to Allen county to reside permanently.  He leaves his wife and three children to mourn his loss.  The children are Mrs. Whiteleather, Mr. Robert Harding, who lives on a farm, and Mrs. Henry Sloat of Moline, Ill.  A brother, Herschel Harding, resides in Lakeside.  The deceased was a good husband and a kind father and was respected by all who knew him.  His hold of friends will, indeed be shocked to learn of his tragic end.  He was a familiar figure about the downtown streets, where he was wont to stop his horse and from his wagon deliver produce to his customers.  Mr. Harding was a well read man and his conversation was always interesting.  He had many decided opinions, especially in politics, and he did not fear to express them at any time or in any place. 

          His death would have been sad in any event, but the motive ascribed for his rash act, that at losing his money in his old age, adds to the pathos of the case.


November 4 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 9.


Loss of Money Cause of the Suicide of Joseph Harding.

Worry over the loss of his fortune will be the reason given by Corner Stults for the old man’s suicide.  Shortly before the decedent left his home Thursday afternoon he was known to have $10 to $20 in change about his person but this money was not found about the body.  It is probable that he lost it somewhere, and his aged wife, who is almost prostrated over the tragic death of her helpmeet, believes that the loss of this sum added to his years of worry over the loss of his fortune, may have been the immediate cause for his (unreadable) to end his life.

The funeral will be held Monday morning at the residence of his daughter, 1218 Washington boulevard west, but the exact hour was not decided upon last night. 


November 5 1905, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, page 7.

Funeral Announcements.


The funeral of Joseph Harding will be held at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon from the house, 1218 Washington boulevard west.  Interment will be made in Lindenwood cemetery.


May 21 1906, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 2.


Mrs. Susan Harding, widow of the late Joseph Harding, died at 6:15 o'clock Saturday evening at the residence of her daughter. Mrs. Carrie Whiteleather, 1218 Washington boulevard east, with whom she had made her home for the past year. Mrs. Harding was 70 years of age, and her death was due to stomach trouble, after an illness of seven weeks. She was a native of Maryland and came to Allen county more than thirty-five years ago, residing for many years in St. Joseph township, the family removing to the city eight years ago. Surviving relatives include two daughters.  Mrs. Whiteleather, of this city, and Mrs. Henry Slont of Moline, Ill., one son, Robert Harding, of St. Joseph township, and a brother, Joshua Stapleton, of Cedarville.  Funeral services from the residence Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock, Rev. Dr. Moffat officiating.

(NOTE: Cedarville is about eight miles northeast of Fort Wayne, Indiana.)


Joseph and Susan Harding are buried near their three daughters, Jeannie, Nellie, and Laurella in the Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  (North 41 04.54572 by West 85 10.45341.)


February 16 1907, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 7 of 10.

County Parties

An enjoyable party was that given by Miss Ethel Harding at her country home Wednesday evening in honor of her fifteenth birthday anniversary.  Music and games were the amusements of the evening.  Luncheon was served.  Those present were the Misses Lizzie and Sophia Goeglein, Mildred Chausse, Minnie Koester, Cleony McDougall, Clara Devaux, Myrtle Heath and Ethel Harding and the Messrs., Casper Vonderau, Freddie and Harvey Koester, Freeman Chausse, Otto Goeglein, Walter Goeglein, Grover Guillaume, Bertie McDougall, Johnny, Charlie and Bernie Saurer and Alfred, Jessie and Eddie Devaux.


November 20 1908, The Fort Wayne Gazette, page 7 of 11.

Country Parties

At the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harding, of St. Joe township, Miss Ethel Harding entertained a number of friends recently.  The guests played cards and danced until a late hour when a sumptuous supper was served.  Mrs. Frank Pillod furnished music for the dancing.  Guests were the Misses Fannie Perkins, Anna Prange, Mary Tillbury, Ethel Stauffer, Eva Sauer, Clara Weraux, Iva Snyder, Viona and Hazel Boals, and Messrs. Ernest Leichner, Edward Lake, Ben Saurer, Charles Saurer, Lloyd Boals, Jerry Wheeler, Fred and Harry Koester, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Black and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Spindler, Mr. and Mrs. Dayton Jenness of Fort Wayne, and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hall.


1910 Census May 2.  Robert Harding -- Age 47.  Farmer.  Living in the Saint Joseph Township of Allen County near Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wife Cora (42) and their two daughters Ethel (18) and Dessie (9).  Both of his parents are recorded as having been born in Maryland. 


April 19 1912, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, page 2.

George W. Miller Passes Away at His Home on Ridge Road.

George W. Miller, aged 89 years, a pioneer settler of Allen county, died Thursday afternoon at his home on the Ridge road five miles west of Maysville.  Death was due to infirmities of age.

Mr. Miller was one of the most prominent farmers in the district and for more than forty years lived on the farm on which he died.  He enjoyed a wide circle of friends and his home was always suggestive of welcome hospitality.  Mrs. Miller died several years ago. 

Surviving are two sons and two daughters – George and Edward (sic, should be Edwin) Miller of Milan township; Mrs. Warren Wade of Maysville, and Mrs. Robert Harding, who resides ten miles east of Fort Wayne.

Funeral services Sunday afternoon at 1 o-clock from the residence and later from the Taylor Chapel church.

(Note: The above obituary was reproduced in the April 24 edition of The Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, page 3:  Much of the rest of that issue was devoted to the arrival of survivors into New York City following the sinking of the Titanic.)


September 7 1916, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 2.


Miss Ethel G. Harding daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harding, and Bert S. McDougall, son of Theodore F. McDougall, both residing near Taylor Chapel church, were quietly married at the home of the bride at 2 o’clock p. m. Wednesday, September 6.  The bride and groom are both members of the Taylor Chapel church and are held in high esteem by their many friends.  The bride’s sister, Dessie Harding, played the wedding march.  It was a ring ceremony and was performed by Rev. J. M. Stewart, pastor of the Fort Wayne M. E. circuit, in the presence of the groom’s parents and grandmother and the parents of the bride, Mrs. J. M. Stewart and Miss Dessie Harding and Miss Etta Waite of Fort Wayne, Ind.  After congratulations a bountiful wedding dinner was served.  The wedding was kept a profound secret but in some way their friends found it out and the affair closed with an old fashioned country belling. 


1920 Census January 12.  Robert Harding. Age 56.  Living in the Saint Joseph Township of Allen County near Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wife Cora (51) their daughter Dessie (18), and Robert Kessler (57) a Farm Hand. 


1920 September 1.  Handwritten letter from Robert Harding to his wife and family.

Martinsville, Ind.
Sept. 1, 1920

Dear wife and family. 

Received your letter yesterday.  Will answer and let you know I am not improving very fast – think I am some stronger.  The doctor said I had better take a walk downtown every day.  Will stop at the station and see if I can find your fur.  How is Dessie, and Ethel?  Mr. and Misses from Shelbyville went home Saturday afternoon.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller went home this Morning.  It rained here nearly all day Sunday so it wosant (sic)  very plesant (sic).  Rote (sic) Carrie a postal Sunday.  Was pleased to hear every thing was all right.  Was sorry to hear (something) was so bad.  How is Keesler getting a long?  Think I will stay until about one week from Sunday, unless I gain faster and the doctor thinks I had better stay longer. 

I guess this is all for this time so will close from



February 15 1922, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, page 16.

Robert Harding, 59, a retired farmer of off St. Joe township died at 8:20 o’clock yesterday morning at the Lutheran hospital following an operation.  Mr. Harding had been in failing health for the past two years, but his condition had not been regarded as serious until last Friday.  He was then at once removed to the hospital. 

The deceased was born in Erie county O., and moved to Allen county with his parents at the age of three years.  He was a member of the Taylor Methodist Episcopal church

Surviving are the widow and two daughters, Mrs. Ethel McDougal and Miss Dessie Harding, one sister and a nephew and a niece. 

The body was removed to New Haven and will be taken to the late residence in St. Joe township today. 


Handwritten biography of Robert Harding, by Dessie Harding Buchman

“Robert Harding was born in Erie County Ohio March 5, 1863.  Departed this life Feb. 14, 1922.  Age 58 yrs, 11 Mo. 9 days.  He was united in marriage to Miss Cora Miller, Mar 27, 1890.  To this union was born two daughters Mrs. Ethel McDougall & Miss Dessie Harding.

“Mr. Harding had been a sufferer for the past two years, his condition was not considered serious until the past week, when he became seriously ill and was taken to the Lutheran hospital where he underwent a very serious operation which proved fatal Tuesday morning at 8:20 o’clock.

“He had been a resident of St. Joseph Twpt. For thirty years.  He was a devoted husband, a kind and loving father, and highly respected throughout the community.  He leaves the wife, two daughters, and one sister, a niece, a nephew and a host of friends to morn his loss.  The family extends their thanks to friends and neighbors during their sad bereavement.


December 22 1923, Ross Alfred Buchman and Dessie Virginia Harding were married in Fort Wayne Indiana.

May 24, 1937, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, page 2.

The Deaths:  HARDING

Cora Bell Harding, 68 (sic) living on the Hicksville-Harlan road, died of coronary thrombosis at 8:45 o’clock Saturday night at Blue Lake, Whitley county, where she had been residing for several weeks.  Mrs. Harding had been spending the winters with a daughter in Allen county.  She was the widow of Robert Harding who had died in 1922 and was a member of the Taylor Chapel Methodist Episcopal church in St. Joseph township.  Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Bert McDougal of R. R. No. 9, Fort Wayne and Mrs. Ross Buckman (sic) of 2415 Weiser park avenue.  Two grandchildren also survive, Gloria McDougal and Marshall Buckman (sic).  Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm Tuesday at the home of Mrs. McDougal here and at 1:45 p. m. at the Taylor Chapel M. E. church with the Rev. J. M. Stewart and Rev. James H. Royer officiating.  Interment will be at the Odd Fellows cemetery at New Haven.   The Harper Bros. funeral home at New Haven will have charge of the services. 


Robert Harding and Cora Bell Miller Harding are buried near their daughters Dessie and Ethel, their son-in-laws Ross Buchman and Bert McDougal and their granddaughter Gloria McDougal Yoder, in the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery, near New Haven, Indiana.