Michael W. Helton

Michael Woolery Helton was the older brother of my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Helton) Seward. The following article was found on the Indiana biographical web site. It was copied from page 569 of Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana. Historical and Biographical, Charles Blanchard, Editor. Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co., Publishers, 1884.

MICHAEL W. HELTON (deceased) was born May 24, 1829, in Lawrence County, Ind., and was the eldest son of Andrew and Hannah (Woolery) Helton. He was reared in his native county until eighteen years of age, and there received the rudiments of an education, removing thence to Bloomington, where he entered the State University. A few years later, his parents moved to Bloomington, remaining until their deaths, which occurred - the father's on April 5, 1874; the mother's April 29, 1870. He was for some time engaged in the dry goods business in Bloomington. He built the Bloomington City Mills, which he ran for some time; then opened a title abstract and real estate office; at the same time he was in the insurance business, which he continued to carry on until his death, which occurred January 18, 1873, at his residence in Bloomington, aged forty-three years seven months and twenty-four days. He had served as Trustee of the State University for many years. He was married, January 29, 1868, by Prof. Ballentine, to Mrs. T. L. Carter, in Bloomington, daughter of Isaiah W. and Lucretia Cron, respected citizens of Bloomington. They had two children - Lewis C.1 and A. K.2 He was one of the most active workers in the Presbyterian Church, and was well known and respected by the entire community. Though he was much afflicted, yet he was never known to murmur at his afflictions, and was active and industrious up to the last two days of his life, it being part of his religion to be always employed in doing good. He sought the comfort of others more than his own. He made a profession of religion in the Second Presbyterian Church of Bloomington, and was an earnest, faithful follower of Christ.

Michael was also the subject of a Bloomington newspaper column. The author copied some information verbatim from the biosketch above without attributing her source. It's one of a number of similar columns which my grandmother clipped and pasted in her scrapbook:


By Mrs. Wesley Hayes

Michael W. Helton, who for sometime was a leading merchant of Bloomington, was born May 24, 1829 in Lawrence county, Indiana. He was the son of Andrew and Hannah Woolery Helton.

When he was 18 years old he came to Bloomington and entered the state university. A few years later his parents came to Bloomington and remained until their deaths - the mother passed away April 29, 1870 and the father April 5, 1874.

Mr. Helton built the Bloomington City Mills which he ran for some time at the same time he was in the insurance business, which he continued to carry on until his death, which occurred January 18, 1873 at his residence in Bloomington. He served as trustee of the state university for many years. He was married January 29, 1868, by Prof. Ballentine, to Mrs. T. L. Carter, of Bloomington, daughter of Isaiah W. and Lucretia Cron, respected citizens of Bloomington. This union was blessed with two children, Lewis C. and A. K. He was one of the active members of the Presbyterian church and was always employed in doing good for others.

The following advertisement of Mr. Helton was published in the local paper, which was published by Howard Coe, called the Bloomington Republican:

Bloomington Mills

We would announce to the citizens of the surrounding country, that these Mills are in complete running order, and would respectfully solicit their patronage. We shall endeavor to do our "custom work" with the utmost dispatch. Having in our employ men of experience and skill, and having the most approved machinery, we flatter ourselves that we are able to give essential satisfaction, both as to quality and quantity. We will grind either for toll or exchange flour for wheat. Terms: One-sixth toll. Exchange: 38 pounds of flour for white wheat and 36 pounds for red wheat and a bushel of bran for each merchantable bushel of wheat. Grists to be ground we would prefer to be as much as 8 or 10 bushels. 50,000 bushels of wheat wanted! The highest market price for wheat and corn. Flour, meal and feed always on hand and for sale. Extra family flour from selected white wheat, put up in half and quarter barrel bags, and always warranted.

Bloomington, Ind., August 20, 1858.

Michael's widow Theresa was enumerated in Bloomington in the 1880 census along with their two sons and her son by her first marriage, Ollie Carter. Absalom's name was listed as Abraham and their family name misspelled as Heltin. Par for the course for a 19th century census!

Ollie's wedding was mentioned in this brief note in the Bloomington Telephone for 25 Oct 1884, on page 4:

Ollie Carter and Miss Ettie Reeves, a young lady of Spencer, were married Sunday, Oct 1st, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Carter took a trip to Louisville returning the following Tuesday. They will live on West 6th Street.

Lewsis moved away to Chicago as is indicated by the following news item from the front page of the Bloomington Republican Progress, 4 Jan 1893:

Lewis Helton, who holds a position in a Chicago railroad office, spent Christmas with his mother in this city.

He soon moved on to Michigan City, Indiana, according to this note on the front page of the Republican Progress for 5 April 1893:

Lewis Helton has been sent from the Monon freight office at Chicago to Michigan City, where he has been given a better position.

1 Lewis Cron Helton (1868-1906).
2 Absalom Ketcham Helton (1870-1932).
This page was last updated 25 Nov 2004.