Michael Essick
HON. MICHAEL L. ESSICK, a lawyer and citizen of excellent reputation, was born in Ohio, Feb. 20, 1834. His parents were Samuel and Grizella (Todd) Essick. They were natives of Pennsylvania. He was of German and Scotch descent; while she was of Scotch and Irish lineage. The name Essick is of German origin. Mr. Essick's parents were married in their native state about the year 1830. Immediately after their marriage they moved into Ohio, where they lived until 1839, in which year they moved into Indiana and settled in Miami county, where they continued to reside till death ended their long and useful careers. The father died in the year 1878, and thirteen years later the mother's death occurred. They had eight children, of which only three are now (1896) living; The father was a tanner by trade. Beside following his trade he was also a farmer and merchant. He was of strong force of character, a man of strong brain power, and was universally respected, such distinguished men as Colfax, Fitch, Jernegan and others were his friends and admirers, and they were frequently his guests. He was the first abolitionist in Miami county, and his house was a station for the historic "underground railway'' system, and conveyed many fugitive slaves on horseback. Many were the nights that the subject of this sketch, though then a small boy, led the fugitives on the path that conducted the slave further in his flight for freedom. Samuel Essick and his good wife are still remembered in Miami county where they were hardy pioneers, leading most exemplary lives They were members of the Lutheran church for many years and contributed much to the upbuilding of the church of their choice. Their son, whose name introduces this review, was brought up on the farm. The labors of his youth consisted in farm work and assisting his father in his tannery. After attending the county schools, he spent four years in Wabash college at Craufordsvlle He then studied law. In the year 1857 he went west, and on March 4 of that year landed at Manhattan. Kan. There he purchased a yoke of oxen and began hauling rock for the building of a school house. Later he was engaged in surveying. Then he opened a law office in Manhattan, and soon afterward was elected state senator. He was a member of the senate of the session of 1861-62, and gained an enviable reputation as a legislator. He was the prime mover of the legislation that located the present state industrial school at Manhattan. In August 1862, Mr. Essick enlisted as a private in Company G of the Eleventh Kansas volunteers. In 1863 he was discharged for promotion. He was made first lieutenant in the Sixth Kansas cavalry, and later was commissioned to raise the "Leavenworth Post battery," of which he was commissioned first lieutenant. He refused the commission, and with this act his war record ended. While in the service he participated in the following engagements among others: Battles of Prairie Grove, Cave Hill, Maysville and Van Buren. At the close of the civil war Mr. Essick found himself a poor man and the prospects for money making in Kansas were not encouraging, consequently he determined to return to Indiana, In 1865 he located in Rochester, and became the owner and editor of the Chronicle, remaining as such for about three years. In 1867 he became circuit prosecutor for a judicial circuit then consisting of eight comities. He held this position for two years, performing the duties of the office with fitting ability. Since then he has been actively engaged in practice of law at Rochester. While living at Manhattan, Kan., he married (Oct. 31, 1858) Miss Ellen L. Rowley (a lineal descendant of Hannah Dusten), then teaching school near Manhattan. She was born in Ohio, but losing her parents when she was a small girl, she was brought up by a brother at Angola, Ind. She had poor educational advantages, but her love of books was strong and she educated herself by close application to her books, and became a teacher early in life. She has always been a student, and today she is well educated. She is of literary tastes, and has the reputation of being a good writer, though she has never made special literary efforts. She is a zealous member of the Presbyterian church, and a leader in social circles. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Essick there are two living children. The elder, Vivian, is married and is farming in Fulton county. The younger, Samuel, is a young man of good education, and a successful career is anticipated for him by his friends. In April, 1896, Mr. Essick was nominated by the republicans for judge of the Forty-first judicial district, which is composed of the counties of Marshall and Fulton. Mr. Essick's career has been a varied experience, embracing almost every phase of man, and yet, one of extended research and thirst for Knowledge.
History of the United States and State of Indiana. Part 3
Special Edition for Fulton County

Elia Peattie, National Publishing Company, Chicago,Illinois, 1896