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Wilkins, John

            Mr. Wilkins was from Hillsborough, Ohio. He came to this place in the summer of 1821, while the town was being laid out, and, in connection with Mr. Daniel Yandes, established the first tan yard, in 1822.  During his long residence Mr. Wilkins was one of our most respected citizens; he was an honest man and an exemplar Christian.  When he first came to this place, and for several years after, he was a single man; but finally returned to Ohio, and there married.

            He brought the first one-horse carriage to this place, the wood-work of which he made himself.  The bed of this carriage was set on wood springs running between the axles.  There was no surplus iron or fancy work about it, although it was the most fashionable carriage in the place, and the young ladies would take it as a great compliment to be invited to take a ride in Johnny Wilkins’ carriage.  After Mr. Wilkins returned from Ohio with his bride, his carriage was not in so much demand, especially by the young ladies. 

            He was a plain, unpretending man, always disposed to attend to this own business in preference to that of his neighbor’s.  He died in 1868, without a struggle or a murmur, and hi life went out like the flame of a candle that had burned until there was nothing left.  Are we not led to believe by the manner of his death that there is something in being a true Christian, and that God has his own way of calling his chosen people home.  As he lived so he died, without giving trouble to any one.  May his children emulate the example of their father. 


Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp.  78-79.