Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Bourne, Nathan


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Nathan Bourne (p 948)

An honored citizen of Springfield Township and a worthy representative of one of the prominent pioneer families of Franklin County, Nathan Bourne is now practically living retired, having laid aside business cares to enjoy the fruit of his former toil. As a farmer and stock raiser he met with well- deserved success in his labors, and is today one of the most prosperous men of his community.

In the township where he still resides, Mr. Bourne was born December 23, 1823, a son of Ezra L. and Cynthia (Eaton) Bourne. He traces his ancestry back to Richard Bourne, who belonged to an eminent and distinguished family of England and who immigrated to America in 1637. He was highly educated and was a man of letters. The first public mention of him at Plymouth was when he was admitted as a freeman. In 1638 he went to Sandwich, Massachusetts, and took an active part in shaping the settlement of that place. The following year he was honored with the office of deputy to the court of Plymouth, under Thomas Armitage, and from 1641 until 1670 served as surveyor of highways. Later he was authorized to purchase land at Succansasset, now Falmouth, and was appointed receiver for the town. He was one of the leading spirits in all of the important business connected with the settling up of that locality, and also assisted in finding homes for the Indians, among whom he zealously worked as a missionary, and through him many were brought to a knowledge of the eternal life.

Ezra L. Bourne, father of our subject, was born in Massachusetts, Sunday, February 28, 1787, and was a son of Nathan and Patience Bourne, also natives of that state, where the former spent his entire life. After his death the latter came to Indiana and made her home with her children until she, too, was called to the world beyond. In their family were six sons and two daughters, namely: Ezra L., Nathan, Michael, Richard, Maharshal, Samuel, Lucy and Elizabeth, all of whom became residents of Franklin County, Indiana, Ezra and Elizabeth being the first to locate here.

On the 18th of March, 1814, Ezra L. Bourne was united in marriage with Miss Cynthia Eaton, who likewise was born in Massachusetts, May 12, 1784. Soon after their marriage they started for Indiana, and the journey, which was made with a team and wagon, consumed seven weeks. There were few settlers here when they took up their residence in Franklin County, the country was almost an unbroken wilderness, and most of the land was swampy and covered with a heavy growth of timber. Bringing some money with him, the father entered considerable land from the government, and to its improvement and cultivation devoted his energies with good success. In the east he had worked at the blacksmith's trade, also in Franklin County, Indiana, and here he followed farming. He entered four hundred and forty acres of land in Hamilton County, and owned valuable tracts in Butler County, Ohio. His investments almost invariably proved successful, as he was a good financier and an able businessman. He was also possessed of that New England tact, enterprise and thrift which always enabled him to make the most of his opportunities, and at his death he left a fine estate. Politically he was a Whig, and religiously was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. At all times he was a social, genial and companionable gentleman, was charitable and benevolent, and had a high standard of integrity and honor. He died May 20, 1864, and his estimable wife passed away December 5, 1861. In their family were the following children: Oliver, deceased; Caroline, wife of P. Smith; Mrs. Mary Galloway; Mrs. Cynthia Ware; Mrs. Elizabeth Brady; Nathan, our subject; and Ezra L., who lives near the old homestead.

Nathan Bourne, of this review, was reared in much the usual manner of farmer boys in a frontier settlement, aiding his father in clearing and improving the home farm. He remained under the parental roof until his marriage and then commenced farming on his own account upon a part of the old homestead in Springfield Township, where he erected a house. After living there for five years he removed to the farm where he still makes his home. Besides his valuable tract of two hundred acres he has another place, and throughout his active business career was successfully engaged in general farming and also in raising and dealing in stock. Like his father, he is a good businessman of known reliability, and has prospered in his undertakings, so that he is now enabled to lay aside the arduous cares of business life and live retired, while he rents his cultivated land and utilizes the pastures for stock.

On the 27th of February, 1845, Mr. Bourne wedded Miss Martha J. Ross, who was born in Butler County, Ohio, January 15, 1825, the only child of Nathan and Sarah (Statan) Ross. Her father died before her birth, while looking up a location in another part of this state. Her mother afterward married Nathan Bourne, an uncle of our subject, and made her home in Franklin County until her death. She belonged to a prominent family of farming people in Butler County, Ohio. The children born to our subject and his wife were as follows: Anderson, who is engaged in business in Hamilton, Ohio, and also owns two farms; Ezra L., a farmer living near his father, and also in business at Oxford, Ohio; Sarah L., wife of Isaac Moore, also an agriculturist; Cynthia M., wife of George H. Hitchner, a farmer; Margaretta, wife of William Baughman, a farmer; and Carrie, wife of Frank Shafer, who follows the same occupation. Mr. Bourne has given all his children substantial assistance in starting out in life, and they have become useful and honored members of society. The family hold membership in the Harmony Presbyterian Church, and are held in high regard by all who know them. Politically Mr. Bourne is an ardent supporter of the men and measures of the Republican Party, with which his family have all been identified, and he never withholds his aid from any enterprise which he believes calculated to prove of public benefit, or which will in any way advance the interests of his fellow men.