|Source: NMHS Newsletter May 1997
from Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists Newsletter, used with permission
Vol 25, Number 4, Winter, 1993-94
Henry Heeter, son of Sebastian Heeter and his second
wife Elizabeth RARICK was the first of eleven children
born to this couple. He was born in Pennsylvania on 19
July, 1796. He no doubt received his name from his
maternal grandfather, Henry Rarick. It is assumed that
Henry Rarick and his wife Catherine came to Ohio from
Pennsylvania the same time that Sebastian and his family
came. They are both buried at Ellerton, Montgomery Co.,
Ohio. He died 18 January 1817 at the age of 62 and she
died Sept. 1829 at age 74.
Henry Heeter lived with his parents and came with
them to Ohio about 1813 or 1814. Henry would have been
17 or 18 years old and was with them until he was
married to Hannah VANIMAN. She was born 13 Dec. 1800.
She was the daughter of John and Catherine (MARTIN)
Vaniman. John Vaniman was born in England and came to
this country at an early age.
Henry Heeter and Hannah Vaniman were married 9 May
1819. It is believed they lived on the Vaniman homestead
or somewhere near. It is known their first child Abraham
was born there. They had a daughter Catherine who died
11 Feb 1828 and is buried in a cemetery nearby. Then
Hannah's father, John, died 22 October 1823 and
according to John's will, each of his sons and daughters
was given 80 acres of land except for Hannah Heeter and
she no doubt received an equal amount in money as Henry
Heeter then purchased land two miles north of New
Lebanon 7 August 1825. Three years later on 25 October,
1818, Henry Heeter purchased 80 acres across the road.
He purchased it from John Musselman for $210. Henry and
Hannah's last eight children were born while they lived
On 10 December 1851, Henry made sale of all his
personal property. On 24 December 1851, Henry sold all
of this land except six acres for $8000 and moved to
Chester Township, Wabash County, Indiana. He was more
than 54 years old when he made this move and started all
over again. Sometime in the latter part of January 1851,
he arrived in Indiana, the weather being very cold. At
this time he was living in a cabin and in February 1851
he was still living in a cabin and in a letter to his
son in Ohio, he quotes some prices: corn 28cents a bu,
potatoes 25cents per bu, two ten foot logs very large
for 25 cents. three at 25 cents, two cherry logs at
60cents, wheat 60 cents.
In March 1851, he purchased twelve head of cattle for
$75.00. Five of them were milk cows and he sold one milk
cow for a $10.00 gold piece. In July the same year, he
was harvesting his wheat crop and he had four cradles
(working). He was paying $4.50 an acre to have land
cleared. Living in those days and time was very simple.
Henry complained many times of bad roads and the
problem of transportation. Those living at that time
could not travel very far in the winter time. When he
traveled from his home in Indiana to see his son and
daughter in Ohio, it was a three-day journey.
Sometime in the first of the year 1854, Henry Heeter
bought a new mill for $400. The story is told that when
Henry's son-in-law Jacob Ulery, was thinking about
getting ready to buy a threshing machine, Jacob Ulery's
father and Henry Heeter went to see Jacob and tried to
talk him out of it. When they left they asked Jacob what
he was going to do. He said, "I am going to buy that
threshing machine." I have heard it stated before that
it has always been a characteristic of the Heeters and
their descendants to own or operate heavy machinery such
as saw mills, steam engines and threshing machines. When
the first electric traction car ran from Dayton, Ohio to
Richmond, Indiana in 1898, it was operated by Allen
Heeter and in later years there was another Heeter who
was on the same road.
The last year of Henry's life his house caught on
fire and burned down. They had gone to meeting (church)
and when they came home, it was gone. He had another one
constructed and they were living in it by the fall of
1859. It is also to be noted that this house burned
years later after Henry's death.
Throughout Henry's life, as he lived in Indiana, he
never forgot his mother. Many times he would make
inquiries about her welfare. She outlived him by more
than seventeen years.
Henry Heeter was always concerned about the welfare
of the members of his family and also his friends. He
often wrote about the Eel River country and his home in
Indiana. His life came to a close 2 October 1860 at age
64 years. His wife Hannah survived him more than 25
years. She died 10 April 1886. They are both buried in
Note: Both Henry and wife are buried in the Old Cripe
cemetery, Wabash Co.