Porter County and the War of 1812Veterans of the War of 1812 in Porter County . . . .

Background Information
The War of 1812, between the United States and the British Empire, was fought from 1812 to 1815. There were several immediate causes for the U.S. declaration of war. First, Great Britain had put into place a series of trade restrictions to impede American trade with France, a country with which Britain was at war. Second, Britain had implemented forced recruitment of U.S. citizens into the Royal Navy. Third, the British military was providing substantial support to North American Indians who were offering armed resistance to the expansion of the American frontier to the Northwest. American expansion into the Northwest (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin) was impeded by Indian raids. Although the British made some concessions before the war on neutral trade, they saw themselves as having the right to reclaim their deserting sailors, and also as the protectors of the native Indians from encroaching settlers. The British also had the long-standing goal of creating a large "neutral" Indian state that would cover much of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

Porter County War of 1812 Veterans

Cornell, Isaac
Private, 135th Regiment (Christy's) Pennsylvania Militia
Born: April 17, 1792
Death: January 22, 1874
Burial: Cornell Cemetery in Boone Township
Biographical Sketch: Isaac Cornell was born on April 17, 1792, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph and Mary (Van Kirk) Cornell. He married Priscilla Morgan and they were the parents of the following eleven children: Alvin, Morgan, Ira, Harriet, Milan, Rebecca, Lucretia, Phebe, Van Kirk, Craig, and Maria. At some point in time after his service in the War of 1812, Isaac Cornell migrated to Crawford County, Ohio. From Crawford County the Cornell family emigrated to Boone Township in Porter County during the spring of 1835, being the first permanent white settlers in that township. A newspaper item published on July 17, 1878, in the Porter County Vidette (p. 3, col. 7) states that "we remember he was a man that was loved and respected by all who knew him. He might truly be called the poor man's friend. It is said that several times he has been known to refuse to sell wheat and other produce in times of scarcity to men who had the money to pay for it, and let poor men have it who had not the money to pay for it. He said to the men who had money, 'You can buy elsewhere as you have the money to pay for it, and the poor man that is without it can't do that.' He will live in the hearts of the people for years to come." Cornell passed away on January 22, 1874, and was buried in the Cornell Cemetery in Boone Township.

Curtis, Eliphalet David
Private, 1st Regiment (Bloom's), New York Militia
Born: August 2, 1781
Death: April 5, 1865
Burial: Sedley Cemetery in Union Township
Biographical Sketch: Eliphalet David Curtis was born on August 2, 1781, in Brookfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, the son of Ephraim and Rachel (Bishop) Curtiss. Eliphalet served as a private in the 1st Regiment of the New York Militia during the War of 1812. Curtis emigrated to Porter County in 1838 and settled near Porter Cross-Roads, where he died on April 5, 1865. He was interred in the Sedley Cemetery in Union Township. The Sedley Cemetery is very small; only three burials are recorded in the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's (NWIGS) index for this cemetery. Eliphalet's burial record in the NWIGS index incorrectly lists his given name as Elizabeth. According to county records, Eliphalet's son, Seth Curtis, deeded a half-acre plot located in the northeast corner of the southeast corner of Section 18 to Union Township for use as a cemetery. The cemetery is located behind a farm between Sedley Road and County Road 375 West and is difficult to find. Only one tombstone was found to remain in the cemetery during its last reading on November 10, 1993.

Curtis, John
Born: May 14, 1788
Death: November 12, 1865; age 77y, 5m, 29d
Burial: Blake Cemetery in Portage Township
Biographical Sketch: John Curtis was born on May 14, 1788, and enlisted for service in the War of 1812 at New York. Curtis emigrated to Porter County in 1836, settling near Wheeler. He died on November 12, 1865, and was interred in the Blake Cemetery in Portage Township.

Folsom, Robert Peasley
Born: 1797
Death: July 30, 1882
Burial: Cornell Cemetery in Boone Township
Biographical Sketch: Robert Folsom was born in 1797. He served for five years in the regular army and fought in the War of 1812. Sometime around 1842 Folsom emigrated to Porter County where he settled in Yankeetown, located four miles northeast of Hebron. At the time of his death at his residence on July 30, 1882, he was the oldest man (84 years) living in Porter County. Folsom's remains were interred in the Cornell Cemetery in Boone Township.

Powell, Myron
Corporal, 4th Regiment (Williams') Vermont Militia
Born: Circa 1793
Death: November 1, 1865; age 72
Burial: Union Street (Old City) Cemetery in Valparaiso
Biographical Sketch: Myron Powell was born circa 1793 and enlisted for service in the War of 1812 at Vermont. Shortly after the war Powell moved to Western Reserve Ohio, and then to Porter County. Powell died in Porter County on November 1, 1865, and was interred in the Union Street (Old City) Cemetery in Valparaiso.

Rice, James
Private, 2nd Regiment, Ohio Militia, Captain Isaac Butler's Company
Private, 1st Regiment Ohio Militia, Captain Joseph W. Ross' Company
Born: November 27, 1795
Death: August 6, 1874; age 74
Burial: Hebron Cemetery
Biographical Sketch: James Rice was in the area of Wythe and Russell Counties, Virginia, which later became Tazewell County.  James’ family moved from Virginia to Gallia County, Ohio in the early 1800’s. James served as a private in the Ohio Militia in Captain Isaac Butler’s Company (August 9, 1812, to October 9, 1812).  He again enlisted in Captain Joseph W. Ross’ Company (September 1, 1813, to March 1, 1814), serving in the Detroit, Michigan, area until discharged.  In 1850, James filed a Land Bounty claim with the U.S. Government for this military service and was awarded 160 acres of government land located in Iowa.  He later sold his interest in that land to another individual who took possession of the land in Iowa. On February 21, 1815, James Rice married Violetta “Zeletty” Keeton in Gallia County, Ohio. The marriage produced seven children: daughters Irena, Fatima, and Esther, and sons Edward W., Taswell (T. S.), Elias M., and James V.  In late 1834, James Rice purchased land equating to approximately 120 acres in Athens County, Ohio. The James Rice family lived at this location until September 1856 when James and Violetta sold the family farm and moved to Eagle Creek Township, Lake County, Indiana.  All seven children and their families moved with them to Indiana.
[Biographical sketch prepared by Ruth Rice Patterson]

Information abstracted by Steven R. Shook


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