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Capt Norval Blackburn
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Birth: Jan. 16, 1841
Death: Jan. 15, 1901
Adams County
Indiana, USA

Civil War Service:
Norval Blackburn
Residence Decatur IN. Enlisted on 12/9/1863 as a Private. On 12/9/1863 he mustered into "C" Co. IN 11th Cavalry. He was Mustered Out on 9/19/1865 at Fort Leavenworth, KS

* 2nd Lieut 3/1/1864
* 1st Lieut 8/1/1864
* Capt 6/1/1865

Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis
Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887

NORVAL BLACKBURN, publisher of the Democrat, is a son of Thomas K. and Anna Blackburn, natives of Pennsylvania. They were married there, removed to Holmes County, Ohio, in 1833, to Stark County, same State, in 1849, and in 1850 to Indiana, settling in Adams County. They resided here, engaged in farming, until 1865, since when they have lived on a farm in Newton County, this State. They reared a large family; Norval was the fifth child, and is the third of those now living.

He was born January 16, 1843, and lived with his parents on the farm until twenty years old, receiving a common-school education. In September, 1863, he enlisted as a private Company C, Eleventh Cavalry, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and he was afterward promoted successively to Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and Captain. He was mustered out September 19, 1865. During the next nine years he was successively engaged in several pursuits in Adams County. In December, 1874, he was appointed deputy sheriff, which office he filled for four years. In 1878 he was elected clerk of the court, which office he entered November 1, 1879, and vacated November 1, 1883. A few weeks after the latter date he bought a half interest in the Democrat, and in February following he became sole proprietor. May 14, 1885, he was appointed postmaster of Decatur, and between the post office and the conduct of the official newspaper of Adams County, Mr. Blackburn is a very busy man.

His long service as a public official has made him universally known in the county, and he is always spoken of as a liberal, popular citizen. He is a member of the Masonic order and of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Blackburn was united in marriage August 21, 1869, with Sarah J. Stoops, daughter of James Stoops, of Decatur. They have been given four children; of these, two, Nellie and Hattie, are living.

Snow's History of Adams County, Indiana, John Fletcher Snow, B. F. Bowen,
Indianapolis, IN, 1907, (image 643)

Farming, the work of a soldier, the publication of newspapers and years spent in public office all contributed to make up the busy life of Norval Blackburn. In each of these varied callings he distinguished himself and left behind him a name revered by all who knew him. He was born on a farm in Holmes county, Ohio, January 16, 1843. His father was Thomas K. Blackburn and his mother was Ann A. Blackburn. Both parents were sturdy people, who played their parts in reclaiming a wilderness and in making it productive and pleasant. His parents came from Stark county, Ohio, to Adams county, Indiana, in 1858 and settled on a farm near the present city of Decatur.

The father of Norval was a farmer by occupation all his life and died at Goodland, Indiana, when upward of seventy years of age. His mother lived to the ripe age of eighty-four and died at Fort Wayne. Of a family of fourteen children that were born to his parents Norval was the fifth in order of their birth. He was seven years of age when his parents forsook their Ohio home and made a new home in this state. His early years were spent on the parental farm and he gained his education in the schools of his district. As he grew he took an active part in the management and operation of his father's farm, and remained a helper of his father until his twentieth year.

At this time the war spirit was flooding the entire country and Norval was caught in its current. In September, 1863, he enlisted in the Eleventh Indiana Cavalry as a member of Troop C, which regiment was brigaded with the famous One hundred-and-twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. A short time after joining his troop he was promoted from the ranks to a second lieutenancy, and a short time afterward was again promoted to command his troop as its captain. With his regiment he took part in a number of important engagements and battles of the war and was present at the battle of Nashville. He was mustered out of the service with his troop September 19, 1865.

After leaving the service he returned to his home in Adams county and engaged in the saw-mill business. He continued in this employment for about nine years and was successful. In 1874 he was chosen a deputy sheriff of Adams county and served in this capacity faithfully and well for four years. In 1878 he was elected clerk of the Adams county circuit court and held this important office until 1883. At the conclusion of his service as court clerk he purchased a half interest in the Decatur Democrat and in February of the following year he became sole proprietor of this publication and also founded the Daily Democrat. He published this paper with uniform success for the ensuing twelve years. Failing health caused him to retire from the active management of his newspaper property, and in 1896 he disposed of it.

While owner of the Democrat he was appointed postmaster of Decatur by President Cleveland and served in this capacity from 1885 to 1889. However, the newspaper business had still a firm hold on him, and in 1899 he founded the Weekly News, a Democratic paper, which paper he conducted in the interests of the taxpayers of Adams county until his death, which occurred January 15, 1901.

Mr. Blackburn was married at Decatur August 21, 1869, to Miss Sarah J. Stoops, who was born in Monongahela county, West Virginia, May 2, 1843. She was a daughter of James and Mary (Smalley) Stoops, who came to Adams county from their West Virginia home in October, 1852. For a time Mr. Stoops lived on a farm in Adams county, but later removed to Decatur, where he engaged in the harness and saddlery business. Both parents died in Decatur, the father at the advanced age of eighty and the mother at seventy-two.

Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn, two of whom, Nellie M. and Hattie, the wife of Scott Bockover, are living. The two other children died while still young. Mr. Blackburn was one of the strong men of the community in which he lived. His death was mourned by a large circle of friends, and these unite in declaring that his life was spent in the betterment of his fellows. He was a member of the Samuel Henry Post, Grand Army of the Republic; a Royal Arch Mason and a Democrat all his life. Both Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn united with the Methodist Episcopal church and both early took an active part in church work. Few men achieve the degree of prominence in life and active affairs that fell to the lot of Mr. Blackburn, and few have gone to their final reward with greater certainty that it will be a reward honestly and fairly won.
Family links: 
  Thomas K Blackburn (1816 - 1890)
  Ann Blackburn (1815 - 1899)
  Sarah J. Stoops Blackburn (1843 - 1927)
  Nellie M. Blackburn (1875 - 1942)*
  Hattie Blackburn Bockover (1881 - 1945)*
  William Blackburn (1836 - 1923)*
  Norval Blackburn (1841 - 1901)
  Robert Blackburn (1845 - 1911)*
  Anne L. Blackburn (1847 - 1892)*
  Emily Blackburn Crane (1848 - 1905)*
  Frances D. Blackburn Glenn (1850 - 1909)*
  Jane B. Blackburn Gray (1853 - 1915)*
  James H. Blackburn (1854 - 1931)*
  Ada Blackburn Abbett (1858 - 1909)*
*Calculated relationship
Capt Co C 11th IN Cav
Decatur Cemetery
Adams County
Indiana, USA
Created by: JC
Record added: Jul 01, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38952448
Capt Norval Blackburn
Added by: Alicia Kneuss
Capt Norval Blackburn
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Barbara Baker Anderson
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