Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Brookville’s Renaissance Man

Matson Insurance is partnering with Jefferson County History Center to offer readers a look into Jefferson County’s past. Today, Brookville’s Renaissance Man is being showcased.

[Pictured above: Two of Ira Fuller’s books can be found in the archives of the Jefferson County History Center. The JCHC would like to locate two others. (Courtesy JCHS)]


Ira C. Fuller was a farmer, timberman, investor, oil and natural gas speculator, photographer, traveler, hotel owner, mill owner, storekeeper, banker, and author. A Renaissance man is one with broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.

In fact, Fuller’s friend Alfred Truman wrote upon his death in 1913, “…he became scholastic in bearing and a man of worldwide conception and information…Mr. Fuller’s business career was varied in the extreme, the writer failing to recall another in any sense its equal in comparison.”

Raised on a farm in Winslow Township with 14 brothers and sisters, he learned to read and write during the short school terms typical of the first half of the 19th century.

In 1899 he published The Romance of Jude, one of four books he wrote. The others were The Mysteries (1900), Tutelary Gods and Ancient Spirits, and Poems and Essays.

(The History Center is interested in locating copies of the last two.)

As the end of the 19th century drew near, and Fuller entered his 70s, he was drawn to the Spiritualist Movement. Friend Alfred Truman wrote, “His labors on metaphysical investigation largely comprised his work in after life, serving to keep his mind active and afford him solace throughout his declining years.”

Ira C. Fuller, Jefferson County’s Renaissance Man, died in 1913 at the age of 85 with “his mental faculties unimpaired.”

Copyright@Jefferson County Historical Society, Inc.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Matson Insurance in Brookville.


Submitted by the Jefferson County History Center.

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