Ira M. Biggs, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Ira M. Biggs

IRA M. BIGGS. Porter county ranks as one of the leading agricultural counties of our great commonwealth, and this is mainly due to the fact that in every community there is a more than usual percentage of exceptionally progressive and well-posted tillers of the soil. One of the successful farmers of Liberty township and an ex-trustee of that township is Ira M. Biggs, a native son of Porter county, a scion of one of its pioneer families and who has devoted his entire life to his chosen vocation.

In his veins is Scotch-Irish and German blood, strains that make for hardihood, thrift and an alert mentality, and for quality they stand pre-eminent among all that have mingled in the shaping of American character. The original progenitor of this family in America was the great-grandfather of our subject. Henry Biggs, a native of Germany who immigrated to the United States and settled in Virginia. The grandparents of Ira M. were Ira and Nancy Biggs, the former a Virginian by birth and the latter a native of Scotland, though of Scotch-Irish descent. Ira Biggs was reared to manhood in the Old Dominion, but was married in Ohio, and a short time thereafter came to Liberty township, Porter county, Indiana. That was in 1835. About a year after their removal to this state their eldest son, Jonathan, was born. He grew to manhood in Porter county. When the cloud of Civil war hung heavily over our nation and threatened its perpetuity, imbued with the generous sentiments which actuated the young manhood of the north, Jonathan Biggs responded to the call for volunteers and enlisted in Company C of the Ninety-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. This regiment was organized at South Bend in August and September, 1862, was mustered in October 21, and left the state in November for Memphis, Tennessee, where it was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. It participated in the siege of Vicksburg, and after the surrender of that city the regiment moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where in the siege that followed it was under heavy artillery fire for three days and then took part in the destruction of railroads and public buildings and in the capture of Brownsville. Returning to Memphis by the way of Corinth, Iuka, Decherd and Stevenson, it reached Chattanooga in time to take part in the battle of Missionary Ridge. The Ninety-ninth Indiana joined in the pursuit of Bragg's retreating forces, but at Graysville, Tennessee, it joined the movement for the relief of General Burnside, then besieged at Knoxville, the regiment making the march almost barefooted, without regular rations, and nearly destitute of clothing and blankets. On May 1, 1864, it moved on the Atlanta campaign and took part in the actions at Resaca, Dallas, Big Shanty, in the seven days of skirmish about Kenesaw Mountain, and in the battle before Atlanta on July 22, where it bore a very gallant part. After joining in the pursuit of Hood, it marched to Savannah with the right wing of the army and from there proceeded northward through the Carolinas, on to Richmond, and then to Washington. It was mustered out June 5, 1865. This regiment saw continuous and hard service in defense of the Union, only the more important engagements having been mentioned in the above account of its movements. Having fulfilled his soldier's duty, Jonathan Biggs returned to his home in Porter county, where shortly afterward he wedded Emeline S. Phares. Ira M. Biggs, the immediate subject of this sketch and the eldest of their eleven children, was born October 22, 1867. The other six surviving children are: Martha Ann, now Mrs. J. R. Draper, of Chicago; Mary, the wife of Sherman Laughting; Katherine, now Mrs. Theodore Ameling, of Miller Station, Indiana; Robert P., a resident of Chicago; and Frank and Benjamin H., both residents of Liberty township, Porter county. The parents are deceased, the father having passed away on February 21, 1910, and the mother on August 20, 1905.

Ira M. Biggs remained at the home of his parents until twenty years of age, when he began life independently on the farm where Gus Anderson now resides, continuing there one year. With the exception of one year spent in Portage township, his whole attention has since been given to farming in Liberty township, where he is the owner of a comfortable homestead of ninety-six acres in section 19.

Mr. Biggs was married on June 25, 1890, to Miss Alpha R. Nulf, a daughter of Edward and Mary Nulf, of Liberty township. They have become the parents of nine children, eight of whom are now living (1912): Niles L., who married Miss Jessie E. Ray and resides in Iowa, and they have one son, Wallace Ray Biggs; David Martin, Edith Grace, George D., Bessie M., Jessie I., Harvey R. and John L., all of whom are at home. Alice G. Biggs died when three years of age.

In politics Mr. Biggs is a Republican and served as trustee of Liberty township from 1905 to 1909. Fraternally he affiliates as a member with Chesterton Lodge, No. 379, Free and Accepted Masons, and with Lodge No. 12, Independent Order of Foresters. Mrs. Biggs is a Lady Forester and both are members of the Order of the Eastern Star at Chesterton. They are people who stand high in the esteem of their community and it is with pleasure that the publishers of this volume preserve in this enduring form the record of those facts of family history which will he increasingly valued and appreciated in future years by the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Biggs.

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: 724-726

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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