ANDREW JACKSON STEELE is a man who can lay many claims to prominence in Sullivan county. He is a member of one of its oldest and most prominent pioneer families, and to him and his brother- in-law, William A. Lambright, is given the credit of the discovery of coal in this vicinity, which has added much to the wealth of the county. In lieu of this discovery they were given the option on several hundred acres of land, but much time elapsed before a road could be built to the land.

During many years Mr. Steele has been engaged in general farming and stock raising in Jackson township. When he reached the age of twenty-two he left his parents' home and rented land in Ohio until he came to Indiana, where during a couple of winters he was engaged in coal mining and also did contract work for a company engaged in bridge and road building. After coming to Sullivan county he bought twenty- five acres, the nucleus of his present estate, which contains one hundred and twenty acres, and in addition his wife also owns a small farm near by. He is a shareholder in the Hymera State Bank at Hymera. In 1896 he was a candidate for the office of representative to the state legislature, and throughout the years of his maturity he has been prominent in public affairs, voting independently. He is a member of the United Mine Workers, and was a Knight of Labor.

The Steele family came originally from Scotland, which was the birthplace of James Steele, the great-grandfather of Andrew J., and he was a younger brother of Lord Steele of that country. During the colonial period he came to America and located in Virginia. His son Basil, the grandfather of Andrew, was born in North Carolina June 26, 1775, but from there moved to Virginia and later to Ohio, where he died on July 3, 1857. His wife, nee Rachael Sparling, was born June 30, 1777, in Virginia, and her death occurred in Ohio December 30, 1874, aged ninety- seven years and six months. Among their children was David Steele, who was a farmer and stock raiser throughout his entire business career, and his death occurred in 1900, surviving his wife, Elizabeth Vermilion, for some years.

Andrew J. Steele, a son of David and Elizabeth (Vermilion) Steele, was born in Harrison county, Ohio, September 1, 1847, and received his education in district school No. 4 of Washington township, that county. On the 13th of November, 1869, he was united in marriage to Eliza Jane Lambright, a daughter of Henry and Mary Jane (Shivers) Lambright, both of whom were born in Ohio, near Urichville. The paternal family were early resident there, and the old home farm which belonged to her grandfather is still in the Lambright name and the heirs are endeavoring to hand the estate from one generation to another. Her parents came to Sullivan county, Indiana, in 1883, locating in Cass township, where both spent the remainder of their lives. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele, namely: Ernest O., who is married and resides on a farm near Hymera; Claudius Wilbert, at home; Nina Florence, the wife of Harry Ladder, of Arkansas; Mary Elizabeth, deceased; Joseph Victor, of Illinois; Henry David, deceased; Oliver, at home; Ella Frances, the wife of Porter Campbell, of Jasonville; and Lutie May and Ona Eva. both at home. Mr. Steele is independent in his political affiliations. Mr. and Mrs. Steele have in their possession two of the old parchment deeds -one executed under the hand and seal of President John Tyler and bears the date of Aug. 1, 1844. and the other by President Martin Van Buren and dated Aug. 1, 1839. These deeds are valuable souvenirs in old Sullivan county.