Among the honored veterans of the civil war is James H. Estey, who upon the battle fields of the south manifested his loyalty to the Union cause, valiantly aiding in the defense of the stars and stripes. As a citizen in days of peace, he is likewise true to all his duties, and manifests an active and public-spirited interest in every movement calculated to prove a public benefit. He was born in Lost Creek township, three miles north of Casstown, Miami county, on the 11th of December, 1840, his parents being Michael and Mary (Swindler) Estey. The father was born in New Brunswick and when a child came to Miami County with his parents, David and Anna (Knoop) Estey, who came direct from New Brunswick to this locality. The mother died when her son James was quite small, at which time the family were living in Shelby county. The father afterward removed to Indiana, later to California and is now living in Jasper county, Missouri.

    After his mother died the subject of this review spent two years with his uncle in Miami county and later resided with George Blaker in Lost Creek township, becoming a member of Mr. Blaker's family when eight years old, and there remaining until he had attained his majority. He had one brother and two sisters, the former being Silas V. Estey, who became a member of the Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On the second day of the battle of Chickamauga he was missing and was probably killed. He was at that time in his twenty-fifth year. One of his sisters, Emily J., became the wife of Silas French, and after his death married A. D. Howard. During her married life she resided in the west, her death occurring at Anoka, Minnesota, on the 16th of December, 1899. Aldazera, another sister, became the wife of Joseph French, brother of Silas French, and for a number of years they resided in Miami county, but are now living in Macon county, Missouri.

    After the mother died the children were scattered, James H. Estey remaining with Mr. Blaker, where he had a good home, receiving the educational advantages that the public school afforded. After the inauguration of the civil war he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting September 2, 1861, in Company A, Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry. During the first year of his service his regiment was in West Virginia in the Kanawha valley. Later the troops were sent to Kentucky and attached to the army of the Ohio, operating in the eastern part of the state under General Burnside. In January, 1863, after the siege of Knoxville, Mr. Estey re-enlisted in the Eighth Ohio Cavalry and returned home on a furlough. When his vacation time had expired he again went to West Virginia and participated in the Shenandoah valley campaign under Sheridan, the company being engaged much of the time on guard duty. Subsequently the command was stationed at Beverly, West Virginia. Mr. Estey was four times wounded: a ball piercing his thigh, caused him to remain in the hospital for more than a month and has occasioned him trouble ever since. At another time a bullet smashed a silver pencil case in his pocket. His wounds were all sustained in the skirmishes while serving with the cavalry. While at Shafer mountain, Virginia, all the members of the company, with the exception of the pickets, were captured by guerrillas, but were soon released, except the captain and a few of the men. Mr. Estey entered the service as a private and was afterward promoted to the rank of first sergeant. The government now grants him a pension, for his wounds have in a measure disabled him for active duty in business life. After nearly four years of service he received an honorable discharge in July, 1865, returning to his home with a creditable military record.

    Mr. Estey afterward rented the farm of his employer, Mr. Blaker, and operated it until his marriage, which occurred on the 29th of April, 1869, Miss Debby Roe becoming his wife. She was born March 20, 1852, in Brown township, and is a daughter of John S. and Mary (Wright) Roe. They went at once to Atlantic City, Idaho, and Mr. Estey spent one year in the quartz mines of that locality. He then engaged in gardening and farming, after which he visited various places in the west, remaining in that section of the country for six years, the last two years being spent in Kansas. He became discouraged with the conditions in that state, however, where the hot winds, the chinch bugs and the grasshoppers completely destroyed their crops. Accordingly, in 1874, they returned to Ohio, locating ten miles north of Sidney, Shelby county, where they remained four years, after which they again came to Miami county. In 1884 Mr. Estey purchased his present farm in Elizabeth township and now has seventy-two acres of rich land, which he cultivates, raising both grain and tobacco. He has recently engaged in growing nursery stock and has about five acres of land devoted to that purpose. He is very energetic and resolute in the prosecution of his business interests and his unflagging industry and capable management have brought to him a comfortable competence.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. Estey had been born a daughter, Elsie M., who is a graduate of the Tippecanoe high school, and was also at one time a student in the high school of Anoka, Minnesota. She is now the wife of William Fletcher Bohlender, who is associated in the nursery business with his father, Peter Bohlender. Mr. Estey and his wife are members of the English Lutheran church at Tippecanoe City and are people of sterling worth, who enjoy the confidence and good will of a large circle of friends. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and is connected with Ranger Post, G. A. R., of Tippecanoe City, whereby he maintains pleasant relationship with the boys in blue with whom he went to the front during the civil war. As a citizen he believes in advocating all measures for the public good, giving his support to whatever he believes will contribute to the material, social and moral welfare of the community.

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