Jackson County, Indiana, History & Picture Archive

Reading: 1886: History of Jackson County, Indiana. Brant and Fuller.

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ELIAS M. ALTER, of Medora, comes of rather distinguished
ancestry, who were originally of Swiss nationality, and are of the
earliest families of Pennsylvania. He is the fourth child born to
David M. and Margarett (Ritner) Alter; the former came to In-
diana in 1853. His mother is the daughter of Gov. Joseph Rit-
ner, who was governor of Pennsylvania at one time. Elias M.
was born September 21, 1843, in Alleghany County, Penn., and
came to Indiana with his father, who, together with his brother,
were contractors in the construction of the Ohio & Mississippi
Railroad, in 1852. They settled in Lawrence County, at the town
of Lawrenceport. After the completion of the railroad enterprise
he, with his parents, moved to Washington County, he then being
fourteen years of age, and engaged in farming, which he followed
until he entered the United States service, in 1862, in Company
B of the Sixty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, where he served
three years, his time expiring just about the close of the war.
During his service he was with his regiment in every battle in
which it took part. He was captured by the enemy at Richmond,
but was paroled in a short time. After his discharge he attended
school several terms, and became a teacher in the public schools,
teaching in Lawrence, Bartholomew and Clarke Counties several
terms. He moved to Medora in 1869, and took the position of
salesman and book-keeper in the now firm of Henry Zollman &
Co., which position he still holds. In 1882 he was elected trustee
of Carr Township, and re-elected in 1884, which office he still
holds, and has so conducted it as to give satisfaction to all. He
has otherwise not been in public office. September 26, 1878, he
was married to Sarah A. Poole, daughter of the late Col. John W.
Poole; she was born September 5, 1852. To them have been
been born three children: Edwin M. (deceased), Blanche, born
January 30, 1881, and Mabel, born July 13, 1883. Mr. Alter is
a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a Republican in poli-
tics. He is a man of culture and ability.

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