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 Washington Columbus Duncan

Washington Columbus Duncan

Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Death 3 Oct 1953 (aged 102)
Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana, USA
Burial Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section 29, Lot 266
Memorial ID 100375950 · View Source
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Washington Duncan and Elizabeth Jane "Jennie" Buskirk were married July 26, 1880 in Brown Co., Indiana. The following biographical sketch mentions their first two children, Edith and Jessie. After that was published, they had five more children: son William Tilden Duncan, daughters Naomi Ghamas Duncan, Grace Flint Duncan, and two infants who did not survive.

Washington Duncan and Jennie separated sometime after 1910 and divorced in 1915. Jennie was residing with their son William in Clay Co., Indiana in 1920, and with daughter Grace Duncan Ender in 1930, in Dorchester Co., Maryland. Jennie reported herself widowed on the 1920 and 1930 censuses; Washington (W.C. Duncan) reported himself divorced in 1920, yet was listed as married in 1930 and 1940. There is no evidence he married a second time. Jennie (Buskirk) Duncan died May 16, 1939, in Washington, D.C.

Historical and Biographical Sketches,
Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana (1884)
Edited by Charles Blanchard
History of Brown County
Nashville and Washington Township Biographical Sketches, p. 762

Hon. W.C. Duncan is a son of Alexander Duncan and Sarah F. Duncan, both of whom are still living at their old home, six miles southwest of Nashville in Brown County, Ind. Both the father and mother were born, reared and married in North Carolina; after this marriage they removed to Indiana, settling for a time in Fayette County; soon thereafter they removed to Marion County, where W.C. Duncan was born on the 25th of June, 1851, and is the ninth child in a family of fourteen children, consisting of five boys and nine girls.

On the 23rd of March, 1860, with his father's family, he came to Brown County, and settled upon a farm six miles southwest of Nashville. Here he was brought up in the habits of industry, honesty and frugality. He early evinced a desire for knowledge, and obtained a good education in the common schools, as taught in District No. 11 in Washington Township. He commenced teaching in the common schools of the county at the age of eighteen, and continued to teach and labor upon the farm until the 24th of June, 1871, when having accumulated enough money to pay his way for a considerable time in school, he was examined and admitted to the Freshman class at the Indiana State University at Bloomington.

He attended college regularly for more than two years, until, after entering and attending one term of his junior year, he was again compelled to seek employment as a teacher to supply himself with the necessary funds to further prosecute his studies. But while out of college, he continued to study, and before the end of the year, returned, and with his class passed examination and entered the Senior class.

Graduating in 1875, for one year he engaged in teaching, and returned in 1876 and entered the Law Department. But in the winter of 1877 he again taught school for a term. In the spring of 1877, he re-entered upon the study of his chosen profession, the law, in the office of Richard L. Coffey, in Nashville. Here he continued until the winter of 1878, when he entered upon the practice in partnership with W.W. Browning of Nashville.

On the 23rd day of April, 1878, he was nominated by the democracy of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for Prosecuting Attorney for the counties of Bartholomew and Brown, and in October following was elected to that office, and entered upon his duties on the 27th day of October, 1879. During most of his term of office he resided in Bartholomew County, and became largely and favorably known to the people of that county. In Nov. 1881, after the expiration of his term of office, he again resumed regular practice at Nashville, and on the 17th of June, 1882, he was nominated by the Democrats of Bartholomew, Brown and Monroe, as a candidate for state senator, and after one of the most heated campaigns ever known, was in the fall of that year elected state senator, and was member of the legislature of 1883, in which he distinguished himself by his industry, courage and integrity. His votes will all be found consistently in favor of a strict construction of the constitution; of the largest amount of personal liberty of the citizens consistent with the public good; of liberal support of the state's great charities and benevolent institutions and universities, and other educational facilities. He was likewise always found as earnestly opposing jobs, schemes, subsidies and all repressive legislation. Although next to the youngest member of the Senate of 1883, he was accorded recognition as one of the most determined and energetic members of that body.

Mr. Duncan is the senior member of the firm of Duncan & Percifield, now engaged in the practice of law at Nashville.

On July 26, 1880, he was married to Jennie Buskirk, a daughter of Michael Buskirk, now of Clay County, Ind. Two little girls--Edith and Jessie--have been born of this union.

Mr. Duncan claims for himself nothing but the ability and willingness to work with devoted energy for whatever cause he may espouse. He is the architect of his own fortune, and is in every sense a self-made man. He is a man of strong convictions and firm friendship. If at times he appears reticent and unwilling to express his preferences, it is not because he lacks courage or convictions. He always abides his time. He never fritters away his opportunities. Mr. Duncan is now but thirty-two years of age, and few men so young have accomplished so much as he, or seen so much of life and honor.




  • Created by: Donna Kuhlman
  • Added: 8 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100375950
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Washington Columbus Duncan (24 Jun 1851–3 Oct 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100375950, citing Garland Brook Cemetery, Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Donna Kuhlman (contributor 46950937) .