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Title: John C. Nern
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The gentleman to whom the reader's attention is now called, one of the best known farmers of Prairie township, Warren county, Indiana, and one of the community's most representative citizens-John C. Nern-was not favored by great inherited wealth or the assistance of influential friends, but in spite of this, by perseverance, industry and a wise economy, he has attained a comfortable station in life. His career is one that should encourage others to press on to greater achievements. When he started out in life on his own account, he set to work to overcome all difficulties that might lay in his path to success, and the comfortable competency and the high standing which he now enjoys is the result. Earnest perseverance, careful management and a willingness to work even in the face of obstacles-these are the elements which brought him prosperity, and while he has labored for his own advancement he has at the same time ever been vigilant in his efforts to forward the general interests of the community.

John C. Nern was born on December 15, 1856, in Prairie township, Warren county, within two miles of his present home and he has never lived at a greater distance from his birthplace. His father, John Nern, was born on February 26, 1828, in Prussia, and in 1849 he emigrated to the United States, locating in Berks county, Pennsylvania. In 1852 he came to Warren county, Indiana, where he remained until his death, which occurred on June 6, 1910. The subject's mother, whose maiden name was Anna Barberg, was born September 18, 1830, in Baden, Germany. About 1854 she came to Williamsport, Indiana, and here, in 1855, she met and married Mr. Nern. They began their married life here in a very modest way, having as their capital stock or earthly possessions only their native German honesty, industry and intelligence. But these elements were the secrets of their success and eventually they became the owners of two hundred and eighty acres of improved land, besides a good home. They became the parents of five children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the oldest. Two brothers, Conrad and Frank, are now living near the subject, and two brothers died in childhood. Mrs. Anna Nern is now making her home with her son Conrad.

The subject of this sketch received his education in the common schools of Prairie township and as soon as he was old enough he assisted in the labors of the home farm. He remained with his father until he was married, when he started out in life on his account, receiving at that time some assistance from his father, as was the German custom. With this small start, the young couple energetically went to work to acquire a good farm and home, and eventually their efforts were crowned with success, as their present valuable property attests. He has exercised good judgment in his business affairs, his investments having been wisely made. During his boyhood land near him could be bought for eight dollars per acre, and he bought his home farm at forty dollars. The same lands are now held at from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars per acre. He has been active himselft in encouraging and assisting in the improvements which have brought about this remarkable increase in values.

On April 24, 1881, Mr. Nern was united in marriage with Mary A. Fry, a native of Warren county, born October 30, 1856, and the daughter of George and Margaret (Kuhns) Fry, who were of German nativity, having emigrated from the fatherland to the United States, locating in Pennsylvania, and coming to Warren county in 1854. They were closely identified with the development, having frequently assisted in the work of the fields. To Mr. and Mrs. Nern have been born nine children, of whom six are living, namely: William H., Frank, Rose E., now Mrs. Robert Turner, Charley, Roy and Earl. The first four are married and have homes of their own, while Roy and Earl are still with their father. On August 10, 1912, Mrs. Nern passed to the silent land, at the age of fifty-five years, seven months and nine days, having been preceded in death by three children, Carrie, in 1892, aged three years; George, in 1897, aged one year, and Anna, in 1911, aged twenty-one years.

Mr. Nern and his wife were formerly members of the Presbyterian church, but usually affiliate with and assist the Locust Grove Methodist Episcopal church, it being in the neighborhood of their home. Politically, Mr. Nern is a Democrat, having been reared in that faith and holding to its principles. His own business affairs have demanded all his time and he has never sought public office. He takes an intelligent interest in public affairs, having been at all times an advocate of public improvements and has taken a leading part in road building in the township. He is a man of inflexible integrity and because of the genuine worth of his character he has earned and retains the high regard of all who know him.


[Page 786-788.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001080
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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