William C. Talcott, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William C. Talcott

WILLIAM C. TALCOTT, son of Joseph and Rebecca Talcott, was born in Dalton, Berkshire County, Mass., December 25, 1815, and during the first year of his age his parents moved their family to Madison, Lake Co., Ohio, where he resided with them till the age of ten, and then with others until nearly twenty, when he came to La Porte County, Ind., in August, 1835; in the spring of 1837, he came to Porter County, where he has resided ever since, except perhaps the years of 1843 and 1844, which were passed at Waterford, La Porte County, and 1845 and 1846, near South Bend. He was married, May 1, 1838, to Miss Maria Luther, who has borne him six children, of whom two sons and one daughter died young. Of the three surviving, Harry is a District Judge in Kansas; Joseph, is a postal clerk between Crestline and Chicago; the youngest, Charles, is his father's partner in the publication of the Porter County Vidette at Valparaiso, and is also Treasurer of the School Board. William C. Talcott became religious at the age of fifteen, and began studying for the Presbyterian ministry, but during his studies his faith in endless punishment became so shaken that he abandoned the intention. Becoming pretty well established in the belief of Universalism, he acted as a pioneer preacher of that creed for about ten years, when he lost his faith in spiritual worlds and beings, and since 1845 his creed has consisted of "doing as you would be done by"; and in that year he founded a community on this basis near South Bend, which failed only through a disagreement among the investors in the land, whereby the better part of the promised site was lost. In 1840, Mr. Talcott was elected Justice; was appointed Probate Judge in 1849, and was elected to the same office in 1850; he resigned in 1852, to accept the Democratic nomination for Assemblyman, but being an earnest temperance and anti-slavery advocate, was defeated. In 1856, he was elected Common Pleas Judge, and was twice re-elected, serving twelve years, after which he for six years practiced law. His experience as a publisher began in 1846, at South Bend, where he started the Spirit of Reform, hoping to advance a reform in spelling, of which he is still a devoted advocate. In 1847, he bought a half-interest in the Western Ranger, published at Valparaiso, and was partner in it nearly two years; then bought the other half, entitled it the Practical Observer, made it a temperance, anti-slavery and otherwise reformatory Democratic paper until 1854, and after that Republican till 1857, when by reason of employment on the bench he sold out. But in 1874, he purchased the Vidette, as the successor, by another name, of what he sold, and after a few months his son, Charles, R., became a partner with him, and since then the firm has made that paper what it is. Mr. Talcott has had some experience in Porter County in surveying, teaching, preaching, farming, publishing and practicing and administering law, and his experience in these things, with his economic tendency of mind, have made him a devoted advocate of the economical reforms as advocated for years past in the Vidette. His life has been a peaceful one, a plain and tolerably temperate and healthy one, and since relieved of apprehension of hell-fire for himself or others, whom he cared for measurably as himself, a happy one, he having been growing happy with increasing years despite the lack of hope of anything beyond this life but sleep, believing that he is habitually the happiest person in the world.

Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 274-275

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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