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Biography of John Wilson Tyndall

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Biography of John Wilson Tyndall

Posted: 1035491764000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Tyndall, Egley, Chilcote, Wagers, Campbell, Beatty, Heller
From "Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana," Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1918, pp. 472-4.

HON. JOHN WILSON TYNDALL, editor-in-chief for Adams County of this publication, has been a man of varied interests and awaits in the county for over thirty years.

His chief business at present is with the Krick, Tyndall & Company, manufacturers of drain tile at Decatur. This company was incorporated in 1898. Their plant has an immense output, aggregating in value over $100,000 a year, and the product is shipped all through Northeastern Indiana, Northwestern Ohlo and to Michigan. They have facilities for making all kinds of tile anywhere from three inches to twenty-seven inches in diameter. It is one of the leading industries of Decatur and the raw material is obtained from a splendid supply of clay in this immediate vicinity. From forty-five to fifty persons are given employment in the business.

The manufacture of clay tiles was begun here in 1892 by Henry Krick. Mr. Tyndall has been identified with the business since 1896. At that time he had just completed his last term as city engineer of Decatur. His part in the business has been chiefly as sales manager, the office he still holds.

Mr. Tyndall has spent all his life in Adams County and was born in Blue Creek Township, October 30, 1861. He grew up and received his early advantages in the schools of Blue Creek, and afterwards attended Valparaiso College, where he took work in the commercial, scientific and classical departments and was graduated in 1885. He paid all his own expenses at college by teaching. He taught his first term at the age of seventeen and for the four years before he reached his majority paid his father $100 annually for his time.

While attending school Mr. Tyndall also took up the study of civil engineering and surveying and in 1886 was nominated and elected to the once of county surveyor. He filled that office continuously for four terms, eight years, and at the same time was city engineer of Decatur and held that office altogether ten years. He was city engineer by appointment two years and by election for two four-year terms. It was while Mr. Tyndall was city engineer that the city waterworks were installed and the first brick paving laid on the streets.

In the fall of 1904 he was elected on the democratic ticket for the State Senate. That year he was one of the two senators of Indiana chosen from the democratic party. The other senator was from the southern part of the state. Mr. Tyndall represented his constituency in Northeastern Indiana with credit and efficiency throughout the two sessions. He has always been active in local politics, and has served as chairman of the Democratic County Committee and in other capacities.

The Tyndall family is of Irish and Welsh ancestry, and was founded in this country by three brothers who came from England, two of them before the Revolutionary war. The one from whom Mr. Tyndall is descended located at Philadelphia soon after the war for independence. The grandfather, Ortalie Tyndall, with two brothers, William and Henry, came to Ohio from Pennsylvania and located in Crawford County. There the boys yew up and William and Henry later moved to Van Wert County, Ohio. Ortalie came in early times to DeKalb County, Indiana. He married a Miss Chilcote. They spent the rest of their lives on their pioneer homestead and that land is still owned by the family, being occupied by a grandson of Ortalie named William Tyndall. Ortalie and wife lived to be about eight years of age. They were active members of the English Lutheran Church and he was a whig in politics.

John C. Tyndall, father of Senator Tyndall, was born in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1827, but grew up in DeKalb County, Indiana, and he married in Van Wert County, Ohio, Miss Rachel Wagers, a native of that county and a daughter of John and Anna (Johnson) Wagers, who were pioneers of Van Wert County, moving there from Harrison County, Ohio. The old Wagers' farm in Van Wert County is still owned by a descendant, Joshua Wagers. John C. Tyndall after his marriage walked with his young bride through the woods, a distance of ten miles, to their new home in Blue Creek Township of Adams County. Mrs. John C. Tyndall died at this home when John W. Tyndall was five years of age. In 1861 John C. Tyndall had gone into the Union army as a member of Company H of the Forty-seventh Infantry, and served nearly two years until discharged for disability. He never recovered his former health and his death on July 2, 1885, was the direct result of illness contracted in the army. He was a prominent democrat, served several times as assessor and for twelve years was justice of the peace. He married for his second wife Athe Ann Campbell, who was of Scotch ancestry. Later they sold the old farm and bought another nearby and it was at this home that John C. Tyndall died. His widow afterwards married John Beatty and moved to Oklahoma, where she died when well advanced in years. John C. Tyndall had children by both wives.

John Wilson Tyndall married at Decatur Miss Mary Heller, who was born in that city in 1870, a daughter of the late Judge Daniel Heller and a sister of Mr. John H. Heller, president of the Decatur Democrat Company. Mrs. Tyndall was the youngest graduate of the Decatur High School, and at the age of sixteen began teaching, a work she continued for several years until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Tyndall have two sons. Daniel Heller Tyndall, born in 1893, is a graduate of the city high school, spent one year in the State University of Ohio and one year in the Indiana State University, and is now associated in business with his father. He married Catherine Egley of Berne, Adams County. The second son, Ralph, was born in June, 1901, and is still carrying on his studies in the high school.

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