Otis (Bill) Garner Family Biography

Otis (Bill) Garner was well known in Brown and Lincoln Townships for his wit and humor and for being a "good neighbor" He was born on October 6,1893 in Brown Township in the old Garner homestead on land that has been in the family for about 100 years. He died in that same house on May 18,1973.

Otis (Bill) Garner was the second son of Charles C. and Sarah Iva Patterson Garner. Charles was a farmer born in Hendricks County on January 16, 1867. He died on September 1, 1948. Sarah was born on April 20,1873, and died in February, 1953. Bill 's brothers were Chester, Herschel and Victor, all deceased. His sister is Doris Hall of Lafayette, Indiana.

Bill's paternal grandparents were Harrison and Frances Lowder Garner, who helped found the Bethesda Baptist Church. Dan and Sarah McDaniel Patterson were his maternal grandparents.

Solomon Garner, a great-grandfather of Bill, entered about 200 acres of land in Brown Township between 1832 and 1836. Much of this land is still owned by Garners.

Bill went to Sambo Grade School in Brown Township and attended Brownsburg High School. On August 15, 1917. Bill Garner married Mary Fordyce, the daughter of Oliver M. and Emma V. Gossett Fordyce. Mary was born on March 30,1898 in Brown Township, as were her mother and father. Mary's paternal grandparents were William and Emily Roberts Fordyce.

The Rev. Nathaniel and Mary Greenfield Fox Gossett were Mary 's maternal grandparents. Rev. Gossett was born in 1820 and died in 1903. He was a Methodist minister who founded several churches in Boone and Hendricks counties. He came to Washington Township in 1833 by covered wagon from North Carolina.

Rev. Gossett had nine months of schooling and finished his education by reading newspapers, history books and the Bible. His ancestors can be traced back to the Revolutionary War. Mary Greenfield Fox, his wife, was born on November 22,1822 and died on October 23, 1910.

Bill and Mary Garner have three children: Geraldine Hooksma, born on May 8,1919; Margie Unger, born on May 15,1921. and William E., born on January 27, 1933.

Geraldine is married to Milton Hooksma, a teacher in Hammond, Indiana. They have two children, Patricia Wade and Stephen Weiland, a son by a former marriage.

Margie is married to Dr. L. L. Unger. She is a nurse, lives in Decatur, Illinois, and has two children, Nicholas and Michael.

William is married to Norma Mitchell, has one daughter, Jill, and lives in the Garner family home in Brown Township.

Bill Garner was an expert on water pumps and had his own plumbing and electrical contracting shop for a number of years in Brownsburg. He was a member of the Bethesda Baptist Church, the Masonic Lodge and the Republican Party. During the years he was in business, he was a member of the Brownsburg Lions Club.

Bill and Mary Garner celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1967 with 250 guests at 0an open house at their home.

History of Hendricks County, Indiana, Page 292

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