John M Mavity, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John M Mavity

JOHN M. MAVITY. As a newspaper worker John M. Mavity is well and favorably known throughout Porter county, and his identification with the Valparaiso Vidette as editor and proprietor of that thriving paper, one of the leading journals of northern Indiana, has brought him considerable prominence in the state. He was born May 14, 1862, in Decatur county, Indiana, which at that time represented the home of his father, Rev. John A. Mavity.

The ancestry of the Mavity family is especially interesting, and reveals a record of deeds of which the present generation is justifiably proud. The name is of Norman origin, as is the family. The great-great-great-grandfather of John A. Mavity, the father of John M. Mavity of this review, was a soldier in the army of William the Conqueror, Prince of Orange, and that ancestor eventually settled in Ireland, where the grandfather of John A. Mavity was born. Jesse Mavity, who was the grandfather of Mr. Mavity of this sketch, was the son of William Mavity, a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The latter was born in Ireland in 1747 and came to Virginia in 1765. He served through the Revolutionary war as a sergeant major of the Second Battalion in the Fourth Regiment, in command of General Waller of Virginia. William Mavity left a diary which contained a map of a most interesting nature, indicating the position of the New York troops, Lincoln's and Stevens' regiments, also showing the headquarters of Colonel Dabney and General Washington, the British redoubt and the French troops at the time of the siege of Yorktown. The record of tile family thus entitles members of the house of Mavity to membership in the Societies of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, an honor highly prized by all true Americans.

Rev. Jesse Mavity was a clergyman of the Christian church. He was born in Virginia, but came to Indiana when eighteen years of age, and continued to be a resident of that state throughout his brief, but singularly active life of thirty-seven years. He left a son, John A., who, like himself, became a minister in the Christian church. He was born in Madison, Jefferson county, Indiana, and was reared in that county and the adjoining county of Ripley. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served three years. After the war he was ordained as a minister in the Christian church, and throughout his life held pastorates in many cities in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. His last years were spent in Valparaiso, and he died there at the advanced age of seventy-five years, after a life of good works in the cause of his church. He married Susan Z. Wise, a native of Jefferson county, Indiana, where her father, Thomas Wise, a Virginian, located in 1806. She lived to reach the good old age of seventy-nine years, and was the mother of four children: Rev. Jesse H., located at Windfall, Indiana; John M., of this review; Thomas W., deceased; and a daughter who was taken from them in early life.

The education of John M. Mavity was secured in the public schools and he completed his studies at Marion Normal School at Marion, Indiana, at the Northern Indiana Normal School, now Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, and at Franklin College, at Franklin, Indiana, after which he engaged in the teaching profession and taught for several terms, his experience as the exponent of education continuing until 1889. In that year he embarked in journalism and for eleven years thereafter he was editor and proprietor of the West Lebanon Gazette, at West Lebanon, Indiana. He sold out there in 1900 and located at Cambridge, Illinois, where he purchased the Cambridge Chronicle, a paper which he continued to publish for three years. Selling his interest in that paper in 1903, Mr. Mavity returned to Indiana, locating in Valparaiso, where he purchased the Vidette, since which time he has issued both daily and weekly editions of the paper, and under his management the circulation of both papers has been largely increased. Since assuming possession of the Vidette office Mr. Mavity has entirely remodeled the plant, installing new and up-to-date machinery, and fitting the plant with every appliance of a mechanical nature necessary to give to the people or Valparaiso and northern Indiana a thoroughly modern and timely newspaper, equal in many respects to the news editions of many a larger city.

Mr. Mavity is fraternally identified by his membership in the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Yeomen of America; he is also a member of the Sons of Veterans and with his family is a member of the Christian church, in which members of his family have been prominent and active since the organization of the denomination many years ago.

On July 7, 1886, Mr. Mavity married Laura Frances Hendricks, a daughter of John L. Hendricks, of Hedrick, Porter county, Indiana, and they are the parents of two children, Mae and John Earl.

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: 603-605

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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