Lintonians of the Past: James M. Humphreys

Biography of James Madison Humphreys


Biography taken from: Biographical Memoirs of Greene County, Ind: With Reminiscences of Pioneer Days, Volume 3 -1908

James Madison Humphreys, funeral director and dealer in furniture, is a native of Greene county, born on Lot 3, of the original plat of Linton. March 6. 1859. His father, Madison Humphreys, also born in Greene county, belonged to one of the earliest pioneer families of this part of the state and the name has been intimately associated with the county from the beginning of its history. Madison Humphreys was a farmer by occupation, an honest, hard-working man, and most exemplary neighbor and citizen. By industry and thrift he accumulated a handsome competence, including valuable land, some of which is still in possession of his family. In his young manhood he married Elizabeth Lund, who was born in England, but came to this country with her parents in childhood and spent the remainder of her life in Greene county, Indiana, dying at the age of sixty-four, in 1897. Mr. Humphreys departed this life December. 1858, about three months prior to the birth of the subject of this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Humphreys were the parents of three children that grew to maturity, the oldest of whom, a son, by the name of Richard, died shortly after attaining his majority. Clara E., widow of John Middleton, lives in Terre Haute. Several children died in infancy, of whom Stephen Hale received a name.

James M. Humphreys received a common school education, and. when old enough to begin life for himself, turned his hands to any kind of honorable labor he could find to do. In this way he spent the time until his twenty-first year, when he entered the Clark and Sullivan School of Embalming at Indianapolis to fit himself for the undertaking business, to which he had already devoted considerable attention. In due time (1895) he was graduated from that institution, after which he resumed control of the business he had established five years previous to that date, and which he has since conducted with success and financial profit, being at this time proprietor of the largest and most complete furniture and undertaking establishment in the city. Mr. Humphreys carries a full stock of the latest and most approved styles of furniture, also a complete line of caskets and other goods pertaining to sepulture, and, being an accomplished undertaker, familiar with every detail of the profession, his patronage has grown steadily in volume and importance until he now easily stands at the head of both lines of business in the city of Linton. Mr. Humphreys is a Democrat, but has never held office nor sought public honors of any kind. Like the majority of wide-awake enterprising men, he manifests a lively interest in fraternal matters, being an active and esteemed member of the Masonic, Elks and Odd Fellows orders, and also belongs to the insurance organization known as the Woodmen of the World, and in religion is identified with the Methodist Episcopal church.

On August 29, 1878, was solemnized the ceremony by which Mr. Humphreys and Ida B. Listman were made husband and wife. Mrs. Humphreys is a native of Stockton township, Greene county, the daughter of Francis A. and Caroline Listman, and has borne her husband five children, the oldest of whom, a son, by the name of Elmer, dying when only six months old: Ira O., the second son, is associated with his father in business. He is married and the father of one child. Homer L., the third in order of birth, employed in the store, is also a man of family, consisting of a wife and daughter. Oscar is his father’s assistant, and Mary, the youngest of the number, is pursuing her studies in the Linton schools.

Mr. Humphreys was chief of the first fire department and served fourteen years in the volunteer company and about three years after the city took up the work as paid department and is the only one now living of the first brigade.


Additional Bio Taken From Obituary: Linton Daily Citizen - April 7, 1939

From 1883 until 1915 Mr. Humphreys had been engaged in the funeral directing business n Linton. IN 1915, however, he sold out his interest to Harry Welch. Since 1895 he had been associated in the furniture business here with Peter Schloot and Seph Inman, and at the time of his death was a partner in the firm of Humphreys – Schloot and company.

In banking affairs, too, the deceased was widely know. He had been one of the principal organizers of the Linton Peoples Trust company, and at the time of his death was serving as vice-president of that banking institution.

He had been one of the organizers of the Fairview Cemetery association, and was acting as president of that association.

In park work, too, the deceased had been prominent in Linton. He was the main promoter of the Linton City park on “A” street northeast, and had served on the local City park board for many years. In recognition of his work with the park, members of the Linton City council recently voted to re-name the local recreational area “Humphreys Park,” in his honor.


James M. Humphreys Grave

Biographical Memoirs of Greene County, Indiana

Linton Historical Archives – Cloud Folder

Humphreys Park