Otter Tail County Historical Society,
Fergus Falls, Minnesota

    Everett E. Inman, one of the county's pioneers and best known man of Inman Township, was born on July 25, 1872, son of Captain John B. and Hattie Inman. Everett E. Inman being the first white child born in Inman Township. Captain John B. Inman was born in Medina County, Ohio in 1848, and removed with his parents to Minnesota in 1854, locating on a farm in Stearns County. He served in the Civil War as a drummer boy in Company E. First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, enlisting at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, December 30, 1864 and was discharged therefrom, September 22, 1865. His entire service was garrison duty about Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, the regiment occupying thirteen forts in and about Chattanooga. He was not yet seventeen when mustered out with his regiment. His father, Captain Thomas Eddy Inman, was a Captain of Company D, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was stationed at Fort Abercrombie, North Dakota during the war of 1861 and it was here he was advised by the Indian Chiefs of the forthcoming of the terrible Indian massacre which broke out in 1862 in Minnesota. He was a the time commander of Fort Abercrombie and promptly advised the United States Government of the situation and the only reply received was that he was unduly exercised.

    This country at that time was a frontier pure and simple and it was no unusual sight to view great droves of buffalo roaming between the Red River of the North and the Wild Rice River. They still were using dog trains for transporting mail from Fort Abercrombie to Georgetown, and thence to Pembina, which was the British boundary line.

    When war with Spain was declared, John Inman, the former drummer boy, was chief signal officer of the Illinois National Guard. While the signal corps was not a part of the state troops, it was known as the United States Volunteers, the officers of which were commissioned directly by the president. He federalized the signal corps and as Captain commanded it in the Puerto Rican Expedition.

    This efficient contribution from Illinois was a credit to the State and was highly spoken of by Major General A. W. Greely, chief signal officer of the United States Army. General Greely had not fortgotten the valuable assistance to Western Union Telegraph Company rendered him when the U. S. Army was constructing their weather bureau system and establishing forts and he was prolific in his commendation of the efficiency of the Illinois signal corps. General Greeley will be remembered as one of the early explorers in search of the North Pole.

    Captain John Inman has been active in the Grand Army of the Republic for many years, having served as post commander, junior vice department commander, and department commander of Illinios and on September 2, 1925, was elected Commander-in-chief of the G.A.R. at Grand Rapids, Michigan. His administration as commander-in-chief secured increase and pensions amounting to more than sixteen million dollars the first year. Every old soldier's pension was increased from $50.00 to $65.00 per month and each widow who was married to the soldier before or during his service in the Civil War received increase from $30.00 to $50.00 per month.

    Captain Inman was a retired official of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Upon his return from the Civil War he accepted a position with the Northern Pacific Railroad in connection with the Western Union, which corporation he served for forty-three successive years, twenty-five of which latter were spent as manager of the local office in Springfield, Illiniois, embodying their legistlative business.

    Captain Inman, and his father Captain Thomas E. Inman, settled in Otter Tail County in 1870, taking up claims in section 26, Inman Township, where they built log houses and cleared up the land. One of these log houses stood until 1933 when it was destroyed by fire. Captain Thomas E. Inman, who also was a minister, farmed, operated a store and Post Office, and the U. S. Hotel in Inman township, and on Sunday would preach in different parts of the country.

    Captain John Inman only remained on the farm a few years when he accepted a position as operator on the Northern Pacific Railroad at Fargo, North Dakota. As an operator at Fargo, he flashed the first news to the world of the Custer Massacre on June 25, 1876. Rarely, indeed, is to be found in one man such a combination of virtue as jeweled the life of Captain John B. Inman who passed to the bivouac of the dead on the Sabbath Day, December 29, 1929, with life's work well done.

    Everett E. Inman, the subject of this sketch, attended the common school of Inman Township, and lived with his mother on the farm.

He was married in November 1901 to one of the first grade teachers in Otter Tail County to Miss Amelia M. Battis. They were married in Wadena by Rev. John Watson of the Methodist Church. Miss Amelia M. Battis was the daughter of Richard and Sarah Battis, who lived on a farm at Dover, Olmstead County, Minnesota.

    Miss Battis attended the common school of Dover and Winona Teachers College and taught school in Otter Tail County for twenty years. She continued to teach school for some time after her marriage. By this union they had no children.

    Mr. Everett E. Inman is one of the old and respected citizens of his neighborhood and is regarded as a first class farmer, who attends to his business and his life on the "live and let live" principle. Mr. Inman was the Inman Township correspondent of the Wheelock's Weekly for ten years; clerk for the school board for twelve years; town treasurer for five years and Justice of the Peace for twelve years.

    Mr. Inman and wife are members of the Methodist Church. In political life Mr. Inman is a member of the Republican party.

            Interviewed: Everett E. Inman
            Dated: May 19, 1938