from Goodspeed, Weston A., ed. Counties of Porter and Lake Indiana. Chicago: F.A. Battery & Co., 1882. p. 660-661:
HENRY SURPRISE was born in Chesterfield, N.Y., December 1, 1832, and is one of ten children born to Peter and Rosanna (Taylor) Surprise, both natives of Canada. Peter Surprise was married in Canada, and soon after removed to New York, where he owned a farm, and was engaged in farming and burning charcoal. About 1830, he was burned out, and in 1834 or 1835 he moved to Cedar Creek Township, Lake Co., Ind., where he pre-empted 160 acres, on which he built a cabin, and afterward exchan.ed for a like claim of John Driscoll, which he improved. For several years, Mr. Surprise was engaged in burning charcoal. He also invested in boots and shoes to sell the settlers, These were stored in a cabin on his claim, which was destroyed by fire and the contents consumed. He is now living with his son Henry, over eighty years old. Henry Surprise is without educational advantages, but is a shrewd business man and well informed on general topics, He worked for his father until his majority, and afterward by the month for two years, and then purchased forty acres of unimproved land in Cedar Creek Township, which he cultivated and built a frame house. He also had a breaking team for thee years. To this land he has added until he now owns 534 acres in Cedar Creek Township. He has been one of the most extensive and successful dealers in stock in this county. On April 15, 1860, he was married to Elizabeth Hill, a native of Decatur County, Ind., daughter of James and Mary (Skinner) Hill. To Mr. and Mrs. Surprise have been born four children, three of whom survive--William H., Albert J. and Jasper M. In politics, Mr. Surprise is a Republican, and he is one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers in the county; he has also been engaged extensively in the broker business for several years.
The following article, found in the Local History clipping files as Lowell Public Library, came from page 1 of the April 22, 1920, Lowell Tribune:
Married Sixty Years
Few couples are granted the privilege of living sixty years of married life together, but this great pleasure has been given to our esteemed citizens, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Surprise. Last Thursday, April 15th, was the sixtieth milestone of their marriage. Notwithstanding the weather conditions, a large concourse of their relatives, friends and neighbors gathered at their home in the evening and helped them celebrate this happy and extraordinary event. A very interesting program has been arranged, consisting of music, vocal and instrumental, readings and recitations, among which was an original historical poem that did great credit to the author and to the candidates for remarriage, who at the close of the program were placed in position and the beautiful words were spoken and the vows re-affirmed that sixty years ago had launched them out on the sea of life. Rev. Brown in clear and defined accents performed the ceremony and promised to be with them when they celebrated their next sixtieth anniversary. A wedding is never complete without a charivari, and those present proceeded to give the bride and groom of sixty years an old-fashioned charivari. A bounteous wedding repast was served consisting of everything that was good to ear.
Mr. and Mrs. Surprise have spent their entire wedded life near Lowell and have seen many great changes take place since they began life together. Sixty years ago this part of the country was a vast wilderness and they were among the pioneers that helped to make it the rich country it is today. They have three sons, William of Rock, Kansas, Jasper, of Lowell, and Albert, who makes his home with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Surprise enjoy the friendship of a large circle of friends and we join them in extending best wishes and congratulations and wish for them many more years of happiness and may they live to enjoy many more anniversaries.
Obituary of Henry Surprise from the "Sixty Years Ago" column of the Lowell Tribune (Feb. 2, 1983):
[Sixty Years Ago]
January 25, 1923
Henry Surprise, son of Peter and Rosanna Surprise, was born December 1, 1832 in Chesterfield, N.Y. and died at this home northeast of Lowell, Thursday, January 18, at 4 p.m. He was the fifth child of a family of ten children. His father lived to the age of 111 years. Henry Surprise was united in marriage April 15, 1860, to Elizabeth Hill and for almost 62 years they traveled life's journey together. Four children were born to them. Three sons, William H. of Rock, Kansas, Albert H. and Jasper M. of Lowell, and their mother survive, together with nine grand-children, to mourn his going. One brother, Oliver Surprise, of Lowell, twin sisters Alvina Wheeler, of West Creek township, and Lovine Kehoe, of Buffalo, Kansas are living.
Last updated on August 21, 2008.
Go to Henry Surprise, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.