from Ball, T.H., editor. Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography
of Lake County, Indiana with a Compendium of History 1834-1904.
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1904. pp. 437-440:
John Dwyer, whose intense and well directed activity in
business affairs has won him success, is now living a retired life
in Lowell and enjoys in high measure the respect and esteem of
the community. He is an honored veteran of the Civil war, has
served as auditor of Lake county and in all relations of life has
been found trustworthy and loyal. A native of Knox county,
Ohio, his birth occurred on the 26th of June, 1834. His grand-
father, James Dwyer, was born in the north of Ireland, and on
coming to America settled in Maryland. His father, John Dwyer,
was a native of Maryland and settled in Knox county, Ohio, in
1808, becoming one of the pioneer residents of that portion of
the state. He was a carpenter and joiner and also a cabinet-
maker, and he carried on business at Mount Vernon, Ohio,
along those lines. His remaining days were spent in the
Buckeye state, where he died at the age of seventy-eight
years. His political allegiance was given to the Democracy in
early manhood, but in 1856 he joined the ranks of the new
Republican party and voted for John C. Fremont. His religious
faith was indicated by his membership in the Baptist church.
His wife bore the maiden name of Sarah Martin and was a
native of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, where she was
reared. She, too, spent her last days at Mount Vernon, Ohio,
and passed away at the very advanced age of seventy-seven
years, there being only a week's difference in the date of hers
and her husband's death. This worthy couple were the parents
of three sons and eight daughters, all of whom reached years
John Dwyer, the ninth child and second son of the family,
was reared in Knox county, Ohio, and pursued his education in
Frederickton Academy and in Oberlin College. He learned the
trade of a millwright in the county of his nativity, serving a full
term of apprenticeship, but soon afterward gave up the
business. He followed that pursuit for nine months in Iowa. In
1854 he removed to Lake county, Indiana, settling at Crown
Point, and engaged in farming one mile east of the city, carrying
on that pursuit for about three years.
In the meantime Mr. Dwyer was married on the 28th of
December, 1856, the lady of his choice being Miss Cornelia A.
Clark, a daughter of Jabez and Marrelle E. (Burrows) Clark, in
whose family were seven children, two daughters and five sons.
Mrs. Dwyer, the second in order of birth, was born in Tompkins
county, New York, June 27, 1837, and was but,seven months
old when she was brought to Lake county, Indiana, by her
parents, who located at Lowell. The father was a farmer by
occupation and, securing land from the government, at once
began its cultivation and development, transforming the wild
tract into richly cultivated fields. He continued to carry on
farming up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1876,
when he was sixty-eight years of age. His wife died in her
eighty-eighth year. Mrs. Dwyer has one living brother, Perry
D. Clark, of Lowell.
In the year 1857 Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer took up their abode
upon a farm a half mile south of Lowell, and there he devoted
his energies to general agricultural pursuits for about a year
and a half. At that time they removed to a farm two and a
half miles northwest of Lowell, where he was engaged in
agricultural pursuits until 1861. Feeling then that his first
duty was to his country he joined the boys in blue, enlisting
as a member of Company B, Twentieth Illinois Volunteer
Infantry. [NOTE: Mr. Dwyer was actually in Company B of the 20th Indiana.] He joined the army as a private, but was soon
afterward made corporal, and he served from June, 1861,
until May 5, 1864. He took part in a number of the leading
battles of the Army of the Potomac and was wounded in the
shoulder at the battle of Gettysburg by a minie ball. He was
again wounded at the battle of the Wilderness on the 5th of
May, 1864, being struck in the knee by a minie ball. This
necessitated the amputation of the left leg above the knee,
and on account of his severe injuries he was honorably
discharged September 25, 1864.
Mr. Dwyer then returned to Lowell. He certainly made
great sacrifices for his country and yet he has never
regretted the part which he performed in the preservation of
the Union. On again reaching Lake county he took up the
work of school reaching, but after he had spent a month in
that way he was appointed by Schuyler Colfax to a clerical
position in the war department of Washington. Removing to
that city he remained for seven years in that department, on
the expiration of which period he resigned and returned to his
old home in Lake county in 1871. In the same year he was
made a candidate for the position of county recorder and was
elected the following fall for a term of four years. During that
period he made his home in Crown Point, and in the discharge
of the duties of the office he was found most capable,
efficient, prompt and faithful. On his retirement from official
service he returned to Lowell and located on a farm a half mile
southwest of the town, there remaining until 1882, when he
sold his farm property and removed to Greencastle, Indiana, in
order to educate his family. Not long after his removal to that
place he was reappointed to a position in the war department
at Washington and remained as a clerk there until 1890, when
he again resigned and returned to Lowell, where his family had
previously located. He has since lived retired in the enjoyment
of a rest which he has truly earned.
Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer are the parents of seven children, but
John Byron died at the age of three years and twins died in
infancy, while Bessie Eliza died at the age of seventeen months.
The others are Cassius C., Schuyler C., who is an attorney at
Lowell; and Sylvia May, the wife of Roy M. Abrams, of Indian-
Mr. Dwyer has been a life-long Republican, never faltering in
his allegiance to the party, which stood as the defender of the
Union in the dark days of the Civil war and which has ever been
the champion of progress, reform and improvement. He is a member
of the Grand Army post at Lowell, and thus maintains pleasant
relations with his old army comrades. He has a wide and favorable
acquaintance in Lake county, and during his residence elsewhere
he has felt the keenest interest in the development of this portion
of the state. In all life's relations he has been true to duty and in
matters of citizenship is as loyal to-day as when he followed the old
flag upon battlefields of the south.
The following May 25, 1872, Lowell Star article was found on page 5, column 1:
Mr. Jno. Dwyer is erecting a new house on his premises near the Methodist Church.
The Lowell Star, Aug. 17, 1872, page 5, column 3, had a list of soldiers who were supporters of Grant in that election. Among them was John M. Dwyer of the 20th Ind.
The Lowell Star ran the following article about John M. Dwyer when he was running for the office of Lake County Recorder. (Mr. Dwyer won the election with a comfortable margin, by the way.) The article ran in the October 12, 1872, issue on page 4, column 3:
John M. Dwyer--Our Candidate for Recorder
John M. Dwyer, Republican candidate for Recorder of Lake county, was born in Knox county, Ohio, in 1834. During his youth and early manhood he attended school at Fredricktown Academy and at Oberlin college. After leaving school he was apprenticed to a Millwright and learned the trade. He removed to Lake county in the summer of 1854, his occupation from that time to the breaking out of the rebellion being farming. In June, 1861, he enlisted for the war, leaving his family, growing crops, and small prairie farm in the care of others. One week thereafter, while in camp at Lafayette, he received word that his house had taken fire, and that it, together with all his household effects, was entirely consumed.
During three long years of the war he participated in all the hard fought battles with the old 20th Ind., some thirteen in number. At the battle of Gettysburg he received a wound in the shoulder, but returned to his regiment after an absence of two months in the hospital, and remained until May 5th, 1864, being the day Gen. Grant opened battle with Lee in the Wilderness, just across the Rapidan. In the afternoon of that day the Twentieth, along with the old Kearney Division, deployed in line of battle and moved through the thick and tangled undergrowth for a distance of half a mile. The line just in front was soon heavily engaged; the deadly minnie balls tore and cut through the foliage of the dense thicket, and men were wounded and struck dead by scores by the unseen foe, with no immediate chance of retailiation. One of these balls struck Mr. Dwyer in the knee, lodging in the knee joint. He hobbled alone to the rear, found an ambulace train, and was taken to the field hospital. By nightfall he, with several thousand others, lay about on the ground, shrieking, groaning, or calling for water. Early next morning the fight was renewed. The roll of musketry exceeded the roar of ten thousand thunders, and the battle of that day was waged with varying results. Streams of wounded poured in from the front, and thousands were that night transported to Fredricksburg, 15 miles to the rear. Four days elapsed before Mr. Dwyer's wound could be attended to, owing to the vast number of the wounded. His wound was of such a nature that amputation was found necessary, and his leg was taken off above the knee. In this condition, still in the field hospital, day after day went by, provisions were scarce, and nothing but hard tack to eat, the daily allowance for four days being four to the man. Fourteen days after receiving his wound, Mr. D. with others was taken to Fredricktown. The roads were terrible, and the jolting tore open the wounds of some and they bled to death, while others were singing that they were "glad to get out of the wilderness." Mr. D. arrived at Washington on the 28th of May, 23 days after receiving his wound, without once having had a change of clothing, with wound open and fly-blown, bone protruding, etc. Here he lay upon his back for long months, the hottest of the season. By the middle of September he was on his way home, accompanied by his wife, where he arrived in time to vote for Lincoln in the fall of 1864.
Mr. Dwyer has held a position in the war department at Washington a great portion of the time since the war, but he prefers to live here with his family and friends, where living is cheaper. He now comes before the people of this county, and asks their support for the office of the Recorder, and when the votes are counted next Tuesday, it will be seen whether the people of this county are ready and willing to recognize the services of a maimed soldier, who writes a better hand than any one else in our county, and is in every other way qualified to fill the position, or whether they will "turn their backs on the past," and forget what they owe to those brave men who went to the front. -- Register
Last updated on October 30, 2007.
Go to John M. Dwyer, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.