WILLIAM J. CURTNER, proprietor of the well equipped drug store at Carlisle, was born January 14, 1854, in Carlisle, Indiana, son of James A. and Symira (Ledgerwood) Curtner. The father was born in Kentucky and came to Carlisle, Indiana, when a young man, remaining there until his death, which occurred January 31, 1864. He served in the army during the Mexican war. He was of Scotch and German descent. By trade he was a harness and saddle maker, and conducted his business on the spot where his son's drug store now stands. He is said to have been an exceptional workman at his trade, and his workmanship was known far and near for both its beauty and quality. He voted the Republican ticket and was a charter member of Carlisle Lodge, No. 50, of the Odd Fellows order, at Carlisle. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

The mother of William J. was born one mile southwest of Carlisle, on the old Ledgerwood homestead, which was the first place settled upon anywhere north of Vincennes. The great-grandfather, James Ledgerwood, was a native of South Carolina and located in Kentucky when a young man and came to Indiana in the spring of 1793, and in the fall of that year returned to Kentucky, intending to move his family the following year, but on the banks of the Ohio river he was captured by the Indians, who took him to a point near Detroit, Michigan, and there held him a prisoner for seven years. He then returned to Kentucky and got his family, coming to Carlisle in 1803. Here he built him a cabin of logs, a mile southwest of the town. He was granted some land west of Carlisle by the government on which to build a mill, which he operated until his death. This grist-mill was willed to his son William, who operated the same until his death, giving it to three of his sons, Thomas, Joseph and William, Jr. William and Joseph died soon after their father's death, when the property fell to Thomas, who operated it until his death, when the old pioneer landmark was sold to Benjamin Watson, and he in turn sold to a Mr. Abbey, who moved it to near Dugger, where it now stands, although abandoned for milling purposes. A wonderful story of early days could be told had this old mill but the power of speech. James Ledgerwood and wife reared a family of five children and one of their sons, Samuel, united with the Christian church of Sullivan county at about the date of its organization.

Mr. Curtner's grandfather, William Ledgerwood, was born in Kentucky, coming with the family to Sullivan county when a mere lad. Here he grew to man's estate and married and reared a family of twelve children. He married Catherine Jenkins, born at Chester District, South Carolina, November, 1792. She moved to Sullivan county, Indiana, when yet a girl. She started with her father and mother about 1804, and after being on the journey about two weeks, her father, Thomas Jenkins, died. The children of this family were: Sarah, Eliza, Catherine, William, Thaddius, Martha, John and Richard. The last named was killed by the Mexicans while in the army. The great-grandmother of William J. Curtner had a brother named William Gill, who came to Sullivan county before she arrived. Gill township was named in honor of him, as was "Gill Prairie." Mr. Curtner's grandmother, Catherine Jenkins, and her sisters and brothers located four miles southwest of Carlisle. The mother joined the Shakers and took her daughters with her. Subsequently, William Ledgerwood married Catherine and took her from the Shaker society, which community bore an interesting part in the early day history of this section of Indiana. Grandmother Jenkins and her daughters, Sarah and Eliza, were among the division of the Shakers who went to Kentucky, locating at Shakerstown, which place is still in existence. There Grandmother Jenkins died before the Civil war and Sarah became head eldress of the Shakers at Shakerstown, holding the position until incapacitated by old age, dying when about ninety-four years.

William Ledgerwood and wife reared twelve children-eight sons and four daughters; only one of the sons, Wesley Ledgerwood, bore children. He died in Iowa, leaving a large family. The daughters all married and bore children: Martha married John Curry; Elizabeth married Col. W. D. Blackburn, who was killed in Louisiana during the Civil war; Nancy married W. G. Culberson; Symira married James A. Curtner and they were the parents of five children, as follows: two died in infancy; John M., residing at Wabash, Indiana, was born June 20, 1851; he is a banker; William J., of this notice; Flora, born August 11, 1857, died about 1880; she married Dr. R. L. Jenkins, now deceased, and their child was Amy, who now resides in California.

William J. Curtner was reared and educated at Carlisle and attended business college at the old Garvin & Heinley College in Terre Haute, Indiana. When nineteen years of age he entered the drug business, at first clerking in Carlisle, and later purchased an interest in the business, and has been thus engaged ever since. The business is now operated under the firm name of W. J. Curtner & Sons. They carry a full line of pure drugs, paints and wail paper. Mr. Curtner owns a part of the old Ledgerwood homestead-eighty-three acres-of which the deed has never been changed from the family. He also is interested in the Building and Loan Association, of which he is president. Politically, he is a Republican and in fraternal societies he is a worthy member of both the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders at Carlisle.

He was united in marriage, September 14, 1876, to Emma A. Griffin, born in Sullivan county, January 6, 1859, a daughter of James L. Griffin, ex-county recorder, and a minister in the Christian church. The children born of this union are: James F., born July 6, 1878, married Ada M. Shepherd, born in Sullivan county; they have one son-William Ledgerwood; Ada M., born December 22, 1880, married William B. Akin, former editor of the Times, at Sullivan, but now of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and they have one son, Edgar W., born April 2, 1886, unmarried and in business with his father; Flo, born January 4, 1892, unmarried and at home, and will be graduated from the high school in 1909. The eldest child of the family died in infancy. Mr. Curtner is a member of the Methodist church and his wife of the Christian church.