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Title: The Fink Family
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These are some facts about the Fink Family as referred to in the History of Warren County, published in 1966.

Great-grandfather Andy Fink was born April 16, 1828. He was burined at Carbondale in Liberty Township. He owned land 1 1/2 miles east of Butler Corner, 1 mile south and 1/4 mile east of Warren Co. Home. Carl Bever says he was a man of his word and he wouldn't back away from a fight.

Grandfather Charles Jacob Fink was born in 1864, 1 mile northwest of the Pot Holes in Warren County. He passed away July, 1944 and was buried at Hoopeston, Ill. Her father was a Civil War veteran and was married to a full-blooded Cherokee Indian.

Grandfather Charlie worked in the coal mines along Fall Creek. He was also a carpenter by trade. I remember him as a strong and gentle man with a white mustache and a quick temper.

Charlie and Mary were blessed with seven children: Naomi, Andy, Ernest, Nettie, Flossie, Dorcas and Ralph. Granny Hartz, wife of Tobias Hartz, was the midwife who was present for most of these births.

Ernest was born in May, 1901, and Flossie in January, 1906. Naomie, Ernest, and Andy attended the Fink School, 1 mile south and 1/4 mile east of the Warren Co. Home, where George DeMotte was the teacher, around 1907.

Around 1908 the family moved to Bravo, Michigan, where Charlie worked on a dairy farm for Henry McCarty, a friend who had moved from Warren Co. to Michigan earlier. While in Michigan, Ralph was born at Sagatuck. Around 1910 Charlie developed a lung ailment and the doctor advised him to go to Florida because he needed to get away from the damp cold weather near Lake Michigan. Being a carpenter by trade he built large bows over a big wagon covered it with canvas and headed south with his wife and seven children, all their belongings, a dog, and a cow. Ernest and Flossie recall when they passed thru South Bend and other towns people threw rocks at the dog and yelled "Gypsies" at them.

Arriving back in Warren County they stayed overnight with a relative, Kit Briggs, who lived northeast of Judyville and that's as close to Florida as they got.

After a few weeks they settled into the Mankey House, three-fourths of a mile north of Carbondale. Charlie went to work for Herman Briggs, who lived southwest of Judyville. He did carpenter work and built a lot of board fences. Ernest worked for Ed Martin that summer plowing corn for fifty cents a day. A man's wages was a dollar a day and board. Ernest was ten years old and walked the mile and a half morning and evening, arriving at 6 a.m. to feed and harness his team.

In the fall of Charlie and Ernest worked in the coal mine, along Fall Creek. The children attended Butler School, north of Carbondale. Seventeen year-old Naomi came down with tuberculosis. She is buried in the Carbondale Cemetery.

Flossie Fink Swanson recalls Annie Hunter delivered mail with horse and buggy from Williamsport. She remembers the farmers used to scoop snow so the mail could get through.

Charlie and Ernest worked for John T. Judy doing carpenter work and at the livery stable.

In 1916 Ernest graduated from the Eighth grade Grade at Judyville. Final Exams were sent to the County Superintendents Office in Williamsport where they were graded then returned by mail to the Judyville Post Office.

The Commencement was held in the Opera House in Williamsport, where each graduate was required to speak a piece. Ernest said when he got up to speak a train came through. Also graduating in this class from the Cline School was Roy Swanson, who later married Flossie Fink.

In the summer of 1916, the family moved to Attica where Charlie, Andy and Ernest all worked at the Car Coupler, now Harrison Steel Casting.

In 1918, Ernest had a new Ford Car which was traded for a team of horses, a wagon, a plow and a cow and the family moved back to Pine Creek near the Twin Bridges in Liberty Twp. Later they moved to a farm one mile north of Judyville, where they farmed for John F. Judy. They buried many rocks on this farm that were larger than cars.

Andy operated a blacksmith shop in Judyville at this time. Arnet Davis confirms that one Sunday morning, a group of some fifty farmers gathered at the store in Judyville after passing the corn liquor around a few times and some serious betting Andy out ran a man on a horse around a city block. Andy was also a good wrestler.

From here the family moved to Hoopeston, Illinois where Charlie and Ernest worked for the canning company. Uncle Tom Fink was tractor boss at the canning company so Ernest got a job driving hard rubber tired Fordson tractor, pulling sweet corn wagons.

He would leave Hoopeston around one a.m. with ten to twenty wagons, depending on how muddy the roads were. He hoped to get back to the canning company by four p.m. He also recounted plowing corn for the company. You picked your mules from a group of some two hundred and hoped they were broke and willing to cooperate.

I don't remember my Grandmother Mary, as she passed away in June of 1936, but from what I've heard she must have been a lot like Flossie, kind and caring for others. I've been told there are a few people as good as Flossie, but none better.

Grandmother gave testimony at a Christian Camp Meeting in Anderson, Ind., that when the Lord called her home, she wanted to be doing His work. That very night she was called to pray for a sick person at the meeting. Around midnight she returned to her bed and within the hour the Lord called her home.

Andy lived most of his adult life in Hoopeston, Ill. working at the Moliable Co. and the canning companies. He also farmed in Warren Co. for five years around 1947. From here he moved to Bismarck, Ill. and worked at Harrison Steel in Attica.

He married Lacy Solomon and they had three children, Dale, Opal, and Vernon.

Nettie married Harvey Probasco and lived in Milford, Ill. Their children were Howard, Frank, Don, Betty, Katharine, and Ella Mae.

Flossie married Harvey Swanson, they have farmed in Warren, Fountain, and Tippecanoe counties for over 60 years and now reside on the Frank Swanson Farm in Liberty Twp. They were blessed with five children - Charles, John, Tom, Mary Jane and Carolyn.

Dorcas graduated high school at Hoopeston, Ill. she married Ralph Hunt and lived in Highland, Ind. Ralph was a postal employee and they had two children - Phyllis and Connie.

Ralph lived in Attica and worked at Harrison Steel for over 35 years. He married Mary Jane Deck, they had three children - Robert, Beverly, and Barbara Dawn who passed away in early infancy.

Ernest lived his married life in Liberty and Warren Twps. in Warren County. He married Bessie Jones in 1922 and she passed away in 1931. There were no children in this marriage. In 1933 he married Weltha Whitlock and to this marriage nine children were born - Charles E., Herman, Joyce, Jack, Larry, Linda, Judy, Mike and Kathy. All graduated from Warren County High Schools - Williamsport, Pine Village, and Seeger. Seven still live in Warren County, one in Fowler and one in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ernest will be remembered by many for his statement to Ura Seeger - "You furnish money for the school and I'll furnish the kids." We've lost count of how many kids and grandkids have graduated from Seeger. He was president of the school board when Seeger was built. He had farmed, worked at Harison Steel, drove a bus for eight years and served 8 years as trustee of Liberty Twp. He loved to square dance and help his friends and neighbors.

Date: 9/1/1989
Origin: Backward Glances
Author: Charles E. Fink
Record ID: 00000119
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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