Biographical Sketches of Dearborn County Notables


James Buchanan Eads, one of the most innovative engineers in American history, was born in Lawrenceburg about 1820. After years of experience as a salvager along the Mississippi, he was asked to help the Union cause during the Civil War. He responded by building armor plated gunboats capable of attacking Confederate forts along the river. Following the war, he became the chief engineer for the first Mississippi River bridge, located at St. Louis. At that time it was the longest bridge in the world. Eads capped off a long career by creating a thirty foot deep ship channel from New Orleans to the sea.


Born in Aurora, Indiana in1896, Noble Cain was a well known composer during the early and middle years of the Twentieth Century. He composed and arranged compositions for unaccompanied singing. His best known composition was "Chillun, Come on Home". He earned international recognition during his years as Director of the Chicago Acappella Choir. Dr. Cain also served as musical director of NBC and taught in the Chicago musical College, Northwestern University and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.


Elmer Davis, born in Aurora in 1890, forged a career in news, both with the New York Times, and with the Columbia Broadcasting System. His expertise as so highly regarded he was appointed to head up the Office of War Information during World War II. He was also the author of numerous books, both fiction and fact, and published dozens of essays about his life and times. Davis died in 1958.


Aurora was the birthplace of Edwin C. Hill, born in 1884, and a well known feature writer for the New York Sun and King Features. Hill also authored several books. In 1923 he became the director of the Fox NewsReels, shown in every movie theater as part of the price of a ticket. Hill became a radio broadcaster in 1932. He died in 1957.


Edward Eggleston, author of "The Hoosier School Master", lived in Dearborn County when he was a Methodist Circuit Rider in the 1850's. Eggleston served 10 churches in the area around Lawrenceburg. He is said to have drawn upon his experiences when he wrote his classic novels of rural Indiana.


Two Indiana Governors were born in Lawrenceburg, Albert Gallatin Porter, who once operated a ferry across the Ohio river between Lawrenceburg and Kentucky, served from 1881-1885. Winfield Taylor Durbin served from 1901-1905.


Two American presidents had ties to Dearborn County, although neither was born here. William Henry Harrison, born in Virginia in 1773, became the secretary to Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair. He married a daughter of John Cleves Symmes, and lived just across the Great Miami River from Lawrenceburg. He was appointed the first governor of the Indiana Territory and was elected President in 1840. During his inauguration, Harrison caught cold, and died just a few weeks later.  Benjamin Harrison, his grandson, grew up on the Harrison farm near Cleves, Ohio. Family records detail the family's ties to Lawrenceburg, only a mile or two away. Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States from 1889 to 1893.



David Armstrong is the author of Power Training For Football and has had articles published in NSCA Journal, Coach & Athlete, Scholastic Coach and USA Weightlifting Senior Coaches Manual.  Mr. Armstrong is currently Strength and Conditioning Coach and Adjunct Professor of Physical Education for Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The owner of Armstrong & Sons, Inc and Power Training Concepts; Mr. Armstrong has been a Charter member of Certified Strength & Conditioning Association since 1988 and Senior International Coach (governing body for Olympic, World Championship, and Pan American Games). He currently resides in Aurora with his wife and their two sons.


Barb Martin, author of The Haunted Pogo Stick, lives in Aurora with her husband and two miniature Schnauzers.  She worked with children in an Elementary School Library for nearly twenty-five years.  Her next book will be about a multi-cultural child.


An avid golfer and the author of Strengthen Your Game, Bret Martin lives in the Hidden Valley Lake community.  He graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology.


Linda Gondosch, a longtime resident of Lawrenceburg, has authored numerous children's books and began her publishing career while residing here.  Gondosch, a former teacher, holds a Masters Degree in Education.  She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.


Michelle Stegman grew up in Kentucky & Hamilton, OH. She attended Miami University where she studied English and History. Mrs. Stegman possesses a keen interest in science as well. Mrs. Stegman who writes novels of the Historical romance genre lives in a 160 year old log cabin with her husband, Ron and her daughters Kira and Shana. Ron Stegman is the author of Family Memories, a teacher's guide on family relationships with stories as told to the author.


A resident of Dillsboro, Dr. Weiss has authored A Little of Dis and Some of Dat. The book contains "kitchen tested" recipes use the "cook to taste" method of his German grandma. Dr. Weiss added cute stories and anecdotes which he hopes the reader will find different, delightful and delicious!


Internationally known jazz guitarist Cal Collins, was born in Medora, Indiana in 1933. Born into a musical family, he has been playing publicly since the age of five and working regularly as a musician since his early teens. His big break came in 1976 when he began touring with Benny Goodman. He came to the attention of Concord Jazz Records and obtained a recording contract. Mr. Collins recorded a total of twenty-six albums with Concord. Six of those were as leader and the rest with such notable artists as Rosemary Clooney, Scott Hamilton, Woody Herman, and others. Mr. Collins died in 2001.