John Wallace Rigg, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John Wallace Rigg

JOHN WALLACE RIGG. This is a practical age and today more than ever before, whatever their vocation or calling, men are measured by what they accomplish. The keen and growing interest in the basic industry of agriculture in our country at this period is drawing more than usual attention to those men who have already made a success of that vocation, and to be distinguished as a successful farmer today is an honor that vies more and more with that of a successful commercial career or that of a professional calling. Among the prominent farmers of Porter county, Indiana, who through their unaided exertions, and the exercise of perseverance and sound judgment, without any or with but limited capital to aid them in starting, have nevertheless attained positions of influence and prosperity, mention is deserved by John Wallace Rigg, whose fine homestead is located in Porter township and known as "Forest Home."

He comes of staunch Scotch ancestry, as might be inferred from that portion of his name which indicates his maternal descent and is also that of one of Scotland's most famous heroes and patriots. Born in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, August 28, 1846, he is the second of six children that came to William and Mary (Wallace) Rigg. The father was a native Virginian, born in the Old Dominion state on June 4, 1818. At the age of twelve he accompanied his parents to Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, where he grew to manhood and resided until he brought his own family to Porter county, Indiana, in 1861, having previously purchased, in 1859, a quarter section of land in Porter township, on which the family took up their abode. He was educated in the common schools of his native state, in Lawrence county and in the city of Pittsburg, and was a successful man in business life, having acquired 300 acres of good land in Porter county where occurred his death on March 12, 1906. In political affairs he was originally an old line Whig, but on the disintegration of that party he transferred his allegiance to the newly organized Republican party and thereafter supported its men and principles, casting his first Republican presidential vote for General John C. Fremont in 1856. In an official capacity he served nine years as trustee of Porter township and was always interested in the work of the public schools. He was also at one time president of the Porter County Agricultural Fair Association. He was married in Pennsylvania to Mary Wallace, also a native of that state. She was a tender and solicitous wife and mother and a consistent member of the Presbyterian church. The parents and their only daughter are deceased, but their five sons are living and are as follows: Robert N., a farmer residing at Waterloo, Iowa; John Wallace, of this review; Sidney J., retired resident of Valparaiso and city assessor there; William B. and Samuel E. both farmers in Porter township.

John Wallace Rigg was about fifteen years old when his family took up their residence in Porter county, Indiana, and his educational advantages were those of the common schools. He remained at the parental home until past his majority, and being the son of a farmer and reared to farm life it was but natural that he should choose his father's vocation as his own. Since beginning life on his own responsibility he has given his whole attention to agriculture and stock-raising and with energy, persevering industry and good business acumen has so managed his affairs as to rank today as one of the most enterprising and prosperous farmers of the county.

On March 30, 1873, Mr. Rigg was united in marriage to Miss Florence Adele McGinley, and with his wife located on a farm of 185 acres in Porter township which they had purchased and for the greater part of which they went in debt. There were many trials and discouragements in the earlier years of their struggle, but today that tract of 185 acres forms the nucleus of their attractive homestead of 285 acres, known as "The Forest Home." This land all lies in Porter township and furthermore is totally free of debt, a point of which they may well feel proud. .Both devoted themselves assiduously to the development of their home, and the comfortable country residence and all the other improvements thereon they have placed there themselves. The success they have achieved, their useful activities and honorable lives make them worthy representatives of the best citizenship of Porter township.

Mr. and Mrs. Rigg are the parents of twelve children, four sons and eight daughters, nine of whom are living, namely: Mary, the wife of Clayton Stewart, a farmer residing at Hagerman, New Mexico, and they have five children -- Helen, Merle, Lucile, Keith and Lola Belle; James, a resident of Washington township, Porter county; William I., who is still at the parental home, is a practical farmer and is a Republican in political affairs; Iva, the wife of Walter Atwell, a successful farmer of Porter township, and they have four children -- Florence, Harry, Margaret and Bernice; Bessie F., now Mrs. Loren Cornell, of Boone Grove, Porter county; Blanche, who married Ross Ludington, a farmer in Porter township, and has one son, Russell; Goldie, who graduated from the common schools in 1907 and from the Boone Grove high school with the class of 1910; Glen, who has completed the common school course and one year of high school work; and Josie, who graduated from the common schools in 1910 and is now in the second year of the high school.

Mrs. Rigg was born in Knox county, Ohio, August 18, 1856. She is the second of five children, three sons and two daughters, born to Isaiah and Mary (Leedy) McGinley and is the eldest of the three that are yet living, the other two being William O. McGinley, a farmer in Union township, Porter county; and Robert L. McGinley, the youngest of the family and a farmer residing near Mora, Minnesota. The father of Mrs. Rigg was a native of Ohio, in which state he was reared and remained until 1868, when he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Union township, Porter county, Indiana, on which he thereafter resided until his death, January 24, 1902. Politically he was a Democrat and at one time served as trustee of his township. Fraternally he was a member of the Masonic order, and in religious faith he was a Methodist. Mrs. McGinley, who is yet living and has attained the age of eighty-three, is remarkably alert in mind for one of her years and is passing a beautiful old age at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rigg.

Mr. Rigg is a Republican and cast his first presidential vote for Ulysses S. Grant. He has served on the Porter county advisory board for years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rigg are citizens of the highest standing in their community and enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.

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: 424-431

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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