John Newton Bartholomew, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John Newton Bartholomew

JOHN NEWTON BARTHOLOMEW. One of the oldest native sons of Porter county is Mr. John Bartholomew, now living retired at Kouts. For seventy-five years he has lived here, has succeeded as a farmer and business man, and has borne all the varied responsibilities of life with honor and integrity. He is a representative of that class of American citizens who have done so much for the benefit of the country, the men who till the soil. His life has been a successful one, and he has been able to retire from active work before the burden became too heavy for his shoulders, but if one were to talk with him one would quickly realize that his life had not been spent amid the dust and turmoil of the cities. It is not surprising that the farmer who spends his days in the companionship of dumb brutes, and whose work brings him close to the heart of nature should have a simpler and broader view of the big problems of life, than the man of the city whose mind is so burdened with petty cares, such as the fear that he may miss the seven-thirty train for the city, that he has no time to spare for the really vital things. Therefore the cry, "Back to the farm," has more than an economic significance, it means that the farm is the place where moral strength may be gained, where the resiliency of mind and body necessary to meet the shock of modern conditions may be found. Of these facts men like Mr. Bartholomew are the proofs.

A member of one of the pioneer families of this county, he was born here in March, 1837, a son of Joseph and Mary (Spencer) Bartholomew, who came here from Ohio, their native state. Besides John, the members of the family were Belinda; Delia; Maria, now a resident of Newark, New Jersey; Eli; William; Alvin D. and Calvin, twins, the latter dying in infancy, and Alvin became a prominent lawyer of Valparaiso.

John Bartholomew grew up amid almost pioneer conditions, received his education in one of the old schools of the early years, and lived at home assisting in the farm work until he was twenty-five years old. Then in 1862 he was married to Miss Phoebe Jones. She has traveled the journey of life with her husband now for half a century, and they are among the oldest married couples of the county. She was born in Clinton county, New York, a daughter of Ahira and Eunice (Lobdell) Jones, both her parents being natives of Rutland county, Vermont. The other children in the Jones family were as follows: Catherine; Ephraim; Casendana; Charles; Rachel; Dennis, who was a soldier of the Civil War; and Edgar, who died at the age of two years. When Phoebe Jones was seventeen years old she came out from New York to visit her sister, and thus met Mr. Bartholomew, and the acquaintance ripened into marriage. The young people began their wedded life on a farm of one hundred and eighty acres in Porter county, and with few luxuries and much hard work they together laid securely the foundation for abundant prosperity. Their land they improved and by planting shade trees and choice varieties of fruits made an attractive and valuable homestead for themselves and children.

The four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew were Girdon, Gertrude, Maria and Kate. They were well educated in the home schools and the Valparaiso high school, and Maria was instructed in music at the University of Valparaiso, and afterwards taught vocal music in Pleasant township. Girdon and Gertrude became successful teachers in this county. Girdon married Miss Jennie Salisbury, of Valparaiso, and their three children were Kate, Marion and Harold, of whom Marion died at the age of two years. Girdon was for a number of years owner of a book store in Valparaiso, and is now employed in the book department of Lowenstein's store. Maria Bartholomew married Edward Case, who is employed in railroad work and resides at North Judson. When their one child, Norma Louise, was seven months old, the mother, Mrs. Case, died. Then her sister Gertrude, after eleven years of residence in Colorado, was taken away, and death also claimed the third daughter, Kate, so that their son alone is now left to Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew.

They are members of the Presbyterian church at Kouts. and the Bartholomews for generations have been supporters of their faith. Mrs. Bartholomew herself is a member of the church of the Latter Day Saints, all her people having been connected with that church. Mr. Bartholomew has always been loyal to the principles of the Democratic party, and is one of the faithful admirers of William J. Bryan. Mrs. Bartholomew's grandmother was Rachel Stark, a niece of General Stark, the Revolutionary hero. A Bible now one hundred years and more old, presented by Rachel Stark to her father, is still a treasured possession of Mrs. Bartholomew.

In 1902 Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew moved from their country estate to a home in Kouts, where they enjoy the pleasures of friendship and the quiet contemplation of a past which has combined many pleasures with its sorrows. Their home is cheered by the presence of their granddaughter, Norma, now nine years old and a student in the local school. Mr. Bartholomew and his brother William are ardent lovers of fishing, and for years have owned a boat and spent many pleasant hours along the Kankakee river. Of the five brothers in the Bartholomew family not one was ever sued or took recourse in the law. They were good citizens and upright men, preferring a good name to great riches, and their record is one to be prized in any community.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 394-396

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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