Biography of Hon. Charles W. Biddle

HON. CHARLES W. BIDDLE, Elected in 1910 and now representing Madison County in the state legislature. Hon, Charles W. Biddle is one of the ablest members of the agricultural community of this County and state. He was born and reared in the Township where he makes his home, has been steadily progressive both in business and in his civic ideas, and has the complete confidence of his fellow citizens, in any public capacity.

Mr. Biddle resides in Adams Township, in a very attractive and valuable farm homestead on section eighteen, six miles southeast of Anderson 0n the Columbus Pike, He was born in Adams Township, November 23, 1662, and his entire life has been spent within the limits of Madison County, His parents were -lames M. and Esther (Slaughter) Riddle, The paternal grandfather, Caleb Biddle: a native of North Carolina, brought his family from that state to Madison County in 1829, when James Biddle was about twelve years old, By reference to the general history of this County, published in this work, it will be seen that the year 1829 was one of the pioneer years in the settlement and development of Madison County.

The Biddle family have therefore been factors and useful citizens in the history of this County from its earliest years to the present time, and each generation has Produced useful and honored citizens, James M. Biddle, the father, who was born in North Carolina in 1817, received part of his early education in North Carolina, and also attended country schools in Adams Township of Madison County, from the age of twelve years. He lived on the old Biddle homestead, which his father had entered from the government until his marriage, His wife, Esther Slaughter, was born in Pennsylvania in 1829, and her family also were among the early settlers of Madison’ County. After their marriage they lived on the Biddle farm in Adams Township of one hundred acres, and James Biddle added to the original estate until he was the owner of two hundred and forty acres. His life time was chiefly devoted to the improvement and productive cultivation of this place, and he erected good buildings, fenced the farm, and made it a very valuable property, He lived there until his death in 1892, his wife dying about five years later in 1897, She was the mother of the following children: George H., living in Wayne County; Mary Alice, wife of Charles Mitchel; Margaret, wife of Harvey M. Davis: Jerusha, wife of S. R. Manzy; John, a farmer of Adams Township; Charles W., the subject of this sketch; and Ida, wife of Miles Elsbury, who resides on the old Riddle homestead. All the children except George reside in Adams Township.

Charles W. Biddle was reared on a farm, when a boy attended the district schools, knows and is known by practically all the old generations of the County, and continued working on the home farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then began as an independent agriculturist, but continued to live and work a part of the homestead until he was twenty-seven years old, At that date he married Miss Nellie M. Gray, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Gray, both of whom were well known in Madison County, Mrs. Biddle was a talented young woman and had taught school in Adams Township two terms previous to her marriage. After his marriage he continued on the old place for a time, and in 1898 bought his present place in Adams Township, ninety-eight acres of choice land, There he erected a modern dwelling, a new barn and outbuildings, and under his supervision the fields have been well fenced, and all the place supplied with modern machinery, He raises first-class stock, hogs, cattle and horses, and is one of the rural residents of Madison County, who have made farming pay by application to the same business principles which bring success in other vocations of life.

Mr. and Mrs. Biddle are the parents of the following children: Ward G., a graduate of the Pendleton high school, and now engaged in teaching at Pendleton; Howard J., and Jesse S., who are both in Pendleton high school.

For a number of years Mr. Biddle has been one of the factors in Democratic politics in Madison County and Adams Township. After serving in some of the minor responsibilities of civic affairs, he was elected representative of Madison County in 1910, and again in 1912, and has served to the present time, Among the important committees of which he has been member were the Roads Committee, the Railroad Committee, and the Public and Municipal Corporation Committee, During the session of 1913 Mr. Biddle was chairman of the Roads Committee, before which was brought many important bills, At this time he introduced a road bill which was passed, and is known today as the Biddle Road Law, It changed the Township road system, Its great value is that it requires all road tax above twenty dollars to be paid in cash, This broke up the practice of railroads and other large corporations letting out their road tax work for the entire state to contractors who in the past have made thousands of dollars a year in working them out at a loss to the Townships and roads.

Fraternally he is well known in Masonic circles, being a member of Ovid Lodge, No, 164, A. F. & A. M., at Columbus, and is also affiliated with Tahoe Lodge No, 232 of the Improved Order of Red Men, His residence, situated on Columbus Pike is attractively located and in front of the house stands a massive native white oak, a tree that when in full foliage is an admirable feature of the entire farm, and is often commented upon by those who pass by, Charles W. Biddle is known as a successful business man, an influential factor in politics, and also for his genial social character.



Madison County IN,

Forkner, John. History of Madison County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: The Lewis publishing company, 1914.

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