The Oldest Man in the County

When Clark Millikan died in February, 1926, at age 101, he was the oldest man in Hamilton County, IN. He was a little over 2 months shy of his 102nd birthday.

He was the patriarch of the Millikan family in Indiana. He was born in Randolph County, NC on April 12, 1824. His parents were Samuel Millikan (1789-1871) and Sally Clark (1800-1869).

He was married to Nancy Adams in 1851 and they had a daughter, Nancy Angeline (1852-1926). Nancy died soon after Angeline was born. Angeline never married & lived with her father all of her life.

Then in 1855, he married Lydia Hinshaw (1833-1917), who was the daughter of Trustum (1801-1869) and Martha (1799-1871) Hinshaw. Lydia’s parents were from two branches of the proliferative Hinshaw family originally from Ireland.

Clark came to Indiana in 1864 (there’s a story there, to be told later) and his wife and family came up from North Carolina in 1865.

Clark and Lydia had 7 children:

  • Lewis Elwood (1855-1949) my Great-Great Grandfather
  • Unnamed infant born in Nov and died in Dec 1857
  • Florence Ellen (1860-1923)
  • Lunda Martitia (1862-1947)
  • Alice Martha (1864-1926)
  • Anna Florence (1869-1945)
  • Lucetta J. (1875-1878), was 2 years old when she died.

He worked as a farmer, with a thriving dairy farm in Hamilton County, southeast of Sheridan. He started with 80 acres and added 17 more.

So what factors in his life helped to get him to such a ripe old age? I assume he worked hard on the farm and that itself would seem to run a person down. But maybe that just kept him going.

Here’s a picture of him chopping wood at the age of 95!

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Then there are news clippings from his 99th year that say that he “set out 500 sweet potato plants alone and harvested the fall crop without assistance.” (Wabash Plain Dealer, Dec 13, 1923)

His obituary from the Sheridan News (Feb 5, 1926) also states that Clark “had a wholesome philosophy of life and did great good during his long life.”

So maybe it was a combination of hard work and “good living” that got Clark to the milestone of being “the Oldest Man in the County.”

© MJM 2016

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