John Press Baxla, a substantial farmer and landowner of Delaware County, Indiana and for many years one of the leading sheep breeders in the county, residing on the Johnson Road in Hamilton Township, rural mail route No. 1 out of Muncie, is a native son of this county and has lived here all his life.
Mr. Baxla was born on a farm in Mt. Pleasant Township, west of Muncie, the place now occupied by Marion Williams on the Cornbread Road, September 27, 1852, and is a son of Hiram A. and Hannah (McKimmey) Baxla, the latter of whom was born in Wayne County, Indiana, and was but a child when she came with her parents to Delaware County, back in settlement days.
Hiram A. Baxla was born in the vicinity of the city of Xenia, in Greene County, Ohio, and was but a lad when he came to Indiana with his parents,
Julian Baxla and wife, the family settling on the farm on the Yorktown Road in this county, Julian Baxla becoming one of the substantial pioneer farmers of that section of the county. There Hiram A. Baxla grew to manhood. After his marriage he purchased a tract of 110 acres of his father's farm and continued to live there until in 1881, when he moved to Hamilton Township and established his home on a farm of 326 acres which he had bought there, a part of which place is now occupied by his son, John.
There he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, both dying in 1898.
They were the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are still living, the subject of this sketch having four sisters, Ruth E., Flora E., Sarah A. and Nancy J., and three brothers, Julian S., James W., and Marion D. Baxla. Reared on the old home farm in Mt. Pleasant Township, John Press Baxla completed his schooling in the Muncie High School and from the days of his boyhood has been devoted to farming.
He continued farming in association with his father until after his marriage, when he secured from his father a tract of forty acres, where he is now living on the Johnson Road in Hamilton Township, and there he ever since has made his home, meanwhile increasing his holdings until now he owns eighty acres and has a well improved farm.
From the days of his young manhood Mr. Baxla has given much attention to the breeding of purebred sheep, with special reference to Rambouillets, and has done much to advance the standards of sheep raising in this county. He is a member of the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders Association and maintains a fine flock on his place, his special interest in sheep covering a period of nearly fifty years.
He is a Republican and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
It was on March 2, 1884, that John Press Baxla was united in marriage to Alice Needler, of the New Corner (Gaston) neighborhood.
Mr. and Mrs. Baxla have one child, a daughter, Aurah C., who married H. L. Deen and has two children, Francis and Virginia. They also reared in their home Delorus A. Bunton, who married Melvin Tyler, of Muncie, and is now living in California.
Mrs. Alice Baxla is a daughter of James and Catherine (Walker) Needler, the latter of whom was born in Preble County, Ohio, in 1836, and was six years of age when she came with her parents over into Indiana, the family locating about four miles from the present town of Matthews in Grant County.
James Needler was born in Grant County, where he made his home until after his marriage when he came over into Delaware County and bought a farm of 120 acres in the New Corner (Gaston) neighborhood, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1883. His widow survived him for twenty-five years, her death occurring in 1908.