WILLIAM M. NAGLE, one of Shelby Township's old and respected pioneers, was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, December 7, 1808, a son of JOHN and MARY NAGLE, who were natives of the same county and of German descent. They were the parents of ten children, and of this once numerous family but one is living-Frederick, a resident of Ohio. The father was a mason by trade, and was an expert workman. WILLIAM M. NAGLE began learning the tailor's trade at the age of fourteen years, serving an apprenticeship. He then worked at his trade as a journeyman for several years, when he engaged in business for himself. He was married June 19, 1828, to MISS ELIZABETH BETZER, who was also a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania, and to them were born twelve children, ten of whom yet survive: WILLIAM, ALBERT, MARTHA JANE, wife of THOMAS DAVIS; THOMAS, ELIZABETH, wife of NOAH HOFFMAN; RACHEL, wife of JOHN SWITZER; JAMES, MARY and FRANK (twins), the former married to JACOB SWITZER; and SARAH, wife of O. THORNBURG. CHARLES, the second child, and JOHN, the fifth child, both died at the age of nineteen years. The latter was a member of Company D, Tenth Indiana Infantry, during the War of the Rebellion, and died May 12, 1864, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, of disease contracted in the army.
MR. NAGLE remained in his native State until 1832, when he removed with his family to Ross County, Ohio, locating at Adelphi, where he followed his trade for seven years, with good success. In 1839 he came to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, making the journey drawn by five horses, and while on the way had a narrow escape from being robbed by highwaymen. On coming here he located at Indian Hill, in Shelby Township, where he bought a tract of 260 acres, paying for the same $2,000. Here he made a good home for his children, all of whom have become honored and respected members of society. His house, erected at a cost of $2,200, was one of the best in the township, and his barn and farm buildings were substantial and commodious, and two orchards were on the land, the entire surrounding showing care and thrift. Here on this farm MR. NAGLE made his home until 1886, when he retired from active life, and spent his remaining years at Otterbein, Indiana, enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life, and surrounded with all the necessary comforts of life. He always took an active interest in the causes of education and religion, and gave liberally of his means toward their advancement. He was a worthy and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Otterbein, and served his church as class leader two years, and and as a citizen he stood high in the estimation of the people. MR. NAGLE lived to have thirty-three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He died January 4, 1888, and is buried at Montmorency Cemetery, in Tippecanoe County.
Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, pp. 418-421
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1888