LAROSE. This gentleman, who is a partner with Mr. Voiselle in
the decorating and frescoing business, exhibits some of the finest traits of the French nation, from which he has sprung. His marked intelligence, acumen and shrewdness, his facility in
language and the taste which he has displayed in business all mark him as belonging to the French
people. He was born in Oswego, N.Y., May 22, 1850, and his father, whose name was Francis
Xavier, was a native of Quebec, while his grandfather, Fournie De Larose, was a native of France.
The father dropped the title, and as the grandfather died in Quebec some years ago, the prefix is
The father of our subject was a ship carpenter, who learned his trade in youth and located at Oswego, where
he was engaged in building the canal boats, and at various times was working at his trade in Buffalo, Toledo, Milwaukee, Chicago and Quebec. He also took contracts to build bridges, mills and houses, and his last days were spent in Troy, N.Y., although he had passed some time at Portland, Me., and was in the United States service in the Department of Engineers and Mechanics all through the war. When he passed away, in 1873, he had completed fifty-three years of life.
The mother of our subject, Leonore DeLisle by name, was born in Quebec, her father, Antonias De Lisle, being a farmer. She died in Troy and left thirteen children, seven of whom grew to maturity and six are still living. The son of whom we are writing was in
Milwaukee from the age of four until he reached the age of ten, and then was in Quebec for some years, being educated in English, German and
French. When eleven years old he was apprenticed to the painter's trade, and after four years of service he went to Troy. When only sixteen years old he was so good a workman as to receive $2.50 a day. He traveled and found work in various cities, visiting Savannah, Ga., and afterward Detroit. In December, 1877, he came to Lansing, Ingham County, and was employed upon the State Capitol. Here
he worked with Mr. Voiselle, as they two did all the best work in the frescoing of this magnificent building, after which they formed a partnership, which still stands.
The pleasant home of Mr. Larose, which is at No. 719 Allegan Street, is presided over most graciously by the lady who became his wife in Detroit in 1876. She bore the maiden name of Melvina Robarge, and her birthplace was Quebec, although she grew to womanhood in Detroit. They have three lovely
children--Mary Maud, Ervy Emerson and Edith Rose. Mr. Larose belongs to the order of the Royal Arcanum, and both he and his partner are members of the National Builders' Exchange and of the Master Painters of the United States, in which association Mr. Larose is Sergeant at Arms. Like his partner, he affiliates with the Democracy, and like him does not take an active part in public affairs, being content to cast his vote according to his conscience and best judgment.
EARLE. Our subject is a man
who has had much experience in various directions although he is comparatively a young man. Few men fall into a position at the outset of their career which is suited to them in every way, and few men really settle down to the serious business of life, making anything of it that in the least resembles a success, until they are about forty years of age. It is no sign that because a young man changes his occupation that he is vacillating by nature, for
he who knows how to get out of a wrong position and one to which he is not adapted, shows more discretion than be who, knowing he has made a mistake, is too stubborn to acknowledge it by making a change. Previous to
settling down in his present lucrative and large business Mr. Earle occupied himself in various ways, and in each he gained an experience that will be of value to him in the general current of commercial life.
He is now a member of the firm Earle & Lewis, the largest hardware house in the city of Mason, Ingham County.
Our subject was born in Ontario, March 20, 1853.
He is a son of George and Jane (Maxon) Earle, the former a native of New York and the latter of Canada. Our subject's boyhood days were spent on a farm, and from the district school in the neighborhood he was early trained in the branches common to an English education. After
he had finished school he began for himself, first engaging-in teaching, but
he soon found he was not adapted to this work. He then followed railroading, being station agent on the Michigan Central road for a
number of years. He then was a partner in an elevator for a period of four years, at the end of which time he began clerking in the hardware store in which he is now a partner. He was thus engaged for about three months when he became a partner under the firm name of
DuBois & Earle. He has ever since remained in the firm, it being now run under the name of Earle & Lewis, Mr. Lewis having purchased Mr. DuBois' interest June 1, 1891. The firm carry a very good stock of hardware and farming implements, the latter being of the latest and most approved styles.
The original of our sketch was married in November, 1887, to Miss Mary Seeley, a daughter of Col. John and Caroline (Frederick) Seeley. The lady was born in Ingham County, in June, 1862.
By this marriage one little girl has made her advent into the household and is one of the most important members therein. Her name is Earnestine and she was born in Mason December 26, 1889. Our subject is a Republican in politics and has once been Alderman in the first ward of the town. He filled the position of City Clerk for two years, and is now Supervisor of the Second Ward.
Mr. Earle is the oldest of a family of twelve children, nine of whom are still living. Four
brothers reside in this State. John runs a bakery in Owosso. Charles and Frank run a bakery in Adrian, and James is in a bakery
at Flint. Mr. Earle's mother still survives, making her home in Canada. His father died in 1878. Mr. Earle is one of the brightest
and most progressive business men of Mason and well deserves the confidence and respect of the citizens which are reposed in him. The offices that he has held in the gift of the township have been conferred by reason of his superior intelligence and his good executive ability, and that confidence
has never been found to have been misplaced.
JOB T. CAMPBELL, was born in the
township of Onondaga, Ingham County, July 9, 1855, and is a son of
Marshall and Maria Campbell, who moved to that township from Buffalo, N.Y., in 1850. At the tender age of
seven years he suffered the loss of his mother who died in 1862, and the family of twelve children, of which he was one, was soon scattered. At
twelve years of age he began the work of maintaining himself, and was engaged by the month in
working upon a farm during the summer and in the winter he attended district school, working
before and after hours in order to pay for his board, his first six months' work bringing him $42.
In December, 1873, our subject went to Erie County, N.Y., and there dwelt one year, during which
he spent three months in school in a district on what is known as the Transit road, and during five months of that year he was engaged in work on North Buffalo dock, handling wood
and coal for the firm of Chester & Esser, and the remaining four months
he was employed as an apprentice molder in the Malleable Iron Works of Pratt
& Letchworth in that city. The financially hard winter of 1874 and 1875 reduced wages to such a degree that he could not earn his board there, and he returned to Michigan and was employed as a
hired hand on different farms, as before spending his winters in
attendance at the district schools.
In the winters of 1878 and 1879, he taught school at the brick schoolhouse three miles east of
Eaton Rapids, and June 27, 1879, he graduated (297)
from Leslie High School after eight months spent at different times at the institution. In the spring of 1880, he was appointed Deputy Clerk of Ingham County, which position
he held for three years, having full charge of the office for two years,
while his principal C. C. Walker, was engaged ex-officio, as clerk of
the Supreme Court at Lansing April 16, 1883, Mr. Campbell became the owner and publisher of the Leslie
Local, published at the village of Leslie. He was very successful in this venture, and August 20, 1886, more than three years after
he had purchased the paper, he sold out his business at a largely advanced price. Soon thereafter he purchased the Pinckney
Dispatch of Livingston County. This he sold in January 1888 and then entered the
Law School at Ann Arbor, having given considerable attention to the study of law during his other occupations.
After spending five months at Ann Arbor, he of whom we write returned to Mason where
he was admitted to the bar by Judge Erastus Peck, June 19, 1889. He practiced his profession very
successfully at Mason, until November 11, 1889, when finding newspaper work more congenial and an opportunity offering,
itself he purchased the Ingham County News, a pioneer paper devoted to the interests of the county, and this
he now publishes most successfully. June 16, 1884, Mr. Campbell was married to Miss Eva M. Huntington, of Mason. She was born in that city October 21, 1859. Her father, Collins
D. Huntington, was born at St. Albans, Vt., February 25, 1831, and came to Ingham County in his boyhood. He is a member of one the oldest and best known families in this county. Mrs. Campbell's mother, Margaret (Lewis) Huntington, was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., December 31, 1834, and came to Michigan with her parents who settled in Ingham
County, when but three years of age. They were married March 26, 1854. Mrs. Campbell is one of the most busy
and industrious little housewives, and a decided helpmate to the subject of this sketch. Wherever
their home has been he has enjoyed the confidence of the people who have tendered him important positions of trust.
In the fall of 1882 Mr. Campbell was nominated by
the Republicans to the office of County Clerk. He ran far ahead of his ticket but with all the others was defeated by a combination of the Democratic and Greenback parties of the county. While a resident of Leslie, he was three times elected Clerk of the township, and was a member of the Common Council of the village for a time, and was at the time of his removal, a member of the School Board. May 17, 1889, he was appointed Circuit Court Commissioner of Ingham County by Gov. Luce, the term of office expiring December 31, 1890. At the present time our subject is President of the Mason Board of Education, and Supervisor of the First Ward of that city, having been elected to the former position September 2, 1889, and to the latter April 6, 1891.
Socially his associates testify to his usefulness and draw upon him in many ways. He is Master of the Masonic Lodge, a trustee of the first Presbyterian Church of Mason, and has for years been active in forwarding Sunday-school work. While people of the vicinity frequently call him out for public addresses on social, memorial and patriotic occasions. Since leaving home as a boy, he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources, and the good practical education he enjoys has been obtained at the expense of many privations and hard knocks.
It will not be amiss here to give a short sketch of our subject's father, Marshall Campbell. He was born in Berks County, Pa., October 13, 1808, and is still living, now a resident of Onondaga, Ingham County. His father was Matthew Campbell, born in 1779, who was left an orphan at a very tender age, having had but little recollection of his parents. Marshall Campbell's mother was Catherine Boyer, who was born in Montgomery County, Pa., and who was one of a large family whose members and connections are scattered throughout the State, and whose ancestors emigrated from Prussia soon after Penn's Treaty. Matthew Campbell was early bound out as an apprentice to learn the manufacture of spinning wheels, and served such apprenticeship until he was twenty-one years of age. In the year 1800,
he started out in life for himself, working hard at his trade and in 1807 was married to the above named Catherine Boyer. As man and wife they
struggled hard for a fortune but the passing (298)
years brought them but little and in 1825, with Marshall and seven other children, they emigrated to Williamsville, Erie County, N.Y., where they arrived after a hard jaunt of fourteen days over the hills and mountains. In 1827, Marshall learned the cooper's trade, at which he worked for several years. In 1831,
he went back to Pennsylvania and taught school that winter at a place called Skippackville, near Sumneytown. He was a Baptist in faith, but from the Dunkards and Quakers who lived there, he imbibed a more liberal view of Christianity than he ever before had, and has ever since believed that where true and living faith exists, there is the Church of God.
In 1832, Marshall Campbell began clerking for a coal, lumber and produce dealer on Schuylkill Canal, but that year the Asiatic cholera made its first appearance on this continent, and was particularly severe at Philadelphia. Mr. Campbell was taken sick and fearing the results he went to his home in New York. He soon returned to Pennsylvania, however, and entered the employ of his uncle Daniel Boyer a general merchant at Boyerstown. From there he entered the employ of the keeper of the poor house of that county, keeping the books of the institution and looking after the wants of the one hundred and fifty paupers. He was there about five years, and was during that time married to
Miss Maria Boyer.
In 1841, the young couple moved to Black Rock now known as North Buffalo, N.Y., where he worked at his trade as a cooper and in the meantime discharged the duties of village and township Clerk. In 1850 they came to Ingham County, Mich. and settled on
land in Onondaga, where they built a log house and cleared up a good home. Twelve children were born to them, whose names in order of ages are as follows: Boyer H., Catherine, Sarah, Daniel, Matthew, William, Homer H., Angeline, Charlotte, Job T., Marshall L. and Maria. They are all still living with the exception of
Matthew who was drowned in the Kankakee River, in Illinois, March 9, 1890, and Maria (Mrs. Davis), who died in Leslie Township, February 16, 1891.
After the family came to Michigan they dwelt happily and prosperously at the homestead until the death of the mother in October, 1862, whose
cares, augmented by the enlistment of her three eldest sons in the Rebellion, bore her to her grave and deprived the family of her whom they most needed. The three sons served through the War and returned but from the hour of their going and the death of their mother, the family was scattered forever on earth. Mr. Campbell afterward married
Mrs. Vashti Cochran, who is still living and who brought with her to the family a daughter, Ella. His life has been one of hard work but a good example to all. Honesty and industry are his virtues and in his declining years, he looks with pride and affection upon his remaining children and hopes for a blessed futurity. Within his recollections are the Wars of 1812, 1845 and 1861, and wherever he could by thought, deed or sacrifice,
he has exercised a noble patriotism. In the Township of Onondaga, where his hard work for his county was done, he was a member of the Township Board for many years, and as an early Justice of the Peace, settled many a controversy between his neighbors. By working at his trade, and making his adz and hammer ring from four o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock during the winter, and on the farm from daylight until dark during the summer, he succeeded in rearing his family to take care of themselves and in paying for the farm purchase. At the age of eighty-three he is still hale and hard at work.
MARTIN J. STABLER. The future of our great commonwealth depends upon the stability and integrity of the young people of to-day, and among those who are contributing to the general progress is the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs and whose life thus far has been
crowned with success. One of the young and enterprising agriculturists of Lansing Township, Ingham County, his pleasant estate is located on section 7, where he is the fortunate owner of seventy-six acres of fine land. He has embellished his farm with a commodious residence of modern style of architecture, and elegantly furnished with everything that can contribute to
the comfort of the household. Mr. Stabler devotes considerable attention to the breeding of stock and has large barns and good stabling, as well as other outbuildings which a progressive farmer now deems
essential to the proper management of his estate.
Mr. Stabler is now in the early prime of life, having been born January 28, 1860. His parents, Charles and Barbara (Roller) Stabler, were natives of Germany, and possessed those qualities of thrift and energy which are prominent characteristics of
that nation. About the year of 1848 they emigrated to America, and immediately after landing,
proceeded to Michigan and settled in Ann Arbor. That city then bore but few indications of its present high development and was only a little hamlet in the midst of uncultivated surroundings. After residing there three
years the parents removed to Lansing, where Martin J., of this sketch, was born. He is proud to claim the capital city as his birthplace and now ranks among the most influential native-born citizens of Ingham County.
At the age of three years our subject accompanied his parents in their removal to Clinton
County, where he was reared to manhood. He received a good education of which
he is making practical use, and keeping thoroughly posted upon all events of interest he ranks among the well-informed men of the community. Until he was
twenty-four years of age he worked for his father, in the meantime acquiring habits of thrift and
prudence. On October 4, 1883, he was happily married to the lady who now gracefully presides
over his household. She bore the maiden name of Mary L. Burke and is the daughter of John and
Elenora Burke, natives of Germany. In that country Mrs. Stabler was born September 3, 1861, and thence at the age of four years she accompanied
her parents to the New World. They sojourned in Ohio until 1872, when they removed to Clinton
County, Mich., where they still reside. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stabler, a daughter,
Florence E., who was born May 16, 1887.
Always interested in every movement calculated to advance the general welfare of the county,
Mr. Stabler feels that the best interests of the commonwealth are subserved by the Republican party and
his vote and sympathies are usually with the candidates pledged to the principles of that party. Realizing his ability his fellow-citizens have often called upon him to aid in the carrying on of public affairs and these duties
he has always discharged to the satisfaction of all. He was Treasurer of Lansing Township two years and was there as elsewhere faithful to the trust reposed in him.
He and his amiable wife are members of the German Methodist Church and enjoy the esteem of those who have been associated with them since they first located on section 7.
SETH A. PADDOCK. One of the representative men of Mason, Ingham County, whose financial growth has been synonymous with the history and growth of the town is the gentleman whose name is at the head of this sketch and who is so intimately connected with many of its interests. He is a member of the firm of S. A. Paddock & Son, dealers in lumber, lime, coal,
etc., and also of the Electric Lighting Company of Paddock & Henderson. Mr. Paddock has a charming home in the city that is made ideal by the presence of his gracious and lovely wife, and the love that is shed between the members of the family, and the appreciation of each individual effort to bring about
the happiness and content of others.
Seth A. Paddock was born in Commerce Township, Oakland County, Mich., January 6, 1836. He is the son of Charles
H. and Huldah M. (Gates) Paddock, both natives of Herkimer County, N.Y. They came to Oakland County in 1834. The head of the family was a merchant and miller.
He built the flourishing mills in Oakland County and after they were burned he rebuilt, eventually selling them. In 1852, he with his family moved to Hudson, St. Croix County, Wis.
The gentleman of whom we write, served an apprenticeship of about three years to the trade of a carpenter and builder, and was then engaged in
journeyman's work for a similar space of time, after which he went to contracting and jobbing, in which he was reasonably successful. He was married September 11, 1860 to Miss Mary A. Ayres, of New York City at the time when they were married, although she had formerly lived in Oakland County, Mich., where Mr. Paddock formed her acquaintance previous to going to Wisconsin. On beginning their married life
he took his wife to Wisconsin and there they lived until 1863, his eldest child being born there. At the last named date
he moved to Jackson, Mich. He followed selling territory for a patent right, and at the same time was engaged in recruiting for the army. He cleared the second and third ward of Jackson, Mich., of draft under contract, and in the fall of 1865, he removed to Mason, and here became engaged in the work of architectural drafting and contracting. He has been the architect for the principal buildings erected in this city. He
superintended the building of the first Baptist Church at Portland, Ionia County, and finally became a partner of the firm of Brown, Paddock & Co., builders and contractors, and specialists in architectural drafting. Mr. Paddock was naturally gifted in the line of architectural and artistic drawing and had cultivated this gift assiduously making special preparation for his architectural work.
Our subject has been particularly fortunate in a business way. A genial, whole souled man, he has commended himself kindly and favorably to all classes of business men. He prides himself on the fact that he never had to ask for a day's work in his life and yet always received the highest wages. After a time he bought out one partner in the firm of contractors to which he belonged, and about five years later he bought out the other. He is not only the builder, but also the owner of the Paddock Block of Mason, which is a fine brick structure that is imposing in dimensions and style of architecture.
Mr. Paddock is the father of six children, of whom three died young. Those living are Minnie, born March 14, 1865, Harry E. and Fred E. The only daughter and eldest child, Minnie, is now the wife of G. J. Charles. of Lansing, who is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business. They
are the parents of one child, Harry E. who was born in April, 1867, is a partner with his father. He has made
himself a home, and has a wife to whom he is entirely devoted. He is a pleasant young man and successful in business. The youngest son, Fred E. was born December 16, 1873.
Our subject was formerly a Democrat, but of late years he has been a Republican, the stand that that party has taken in the advancement and perfection of commercial life, suiting his ideas of government. Mr. Paddock has served two terms as Supervisor of the Second Ward, and also been a member of the School Board for several years. He has been one of the main supports of the Presbyterian Church, aiding it
greatly, not only pecuniarily but by example and precept. He is also a member of several secret societies and is a Royal Arch Mason. Although the original of our sketch acquired nothing by inheritance, he has been able to accumulate a handsome little fortune, and this has been accumulated by his own efforts. Mr. Paddock's father's decease occurred at Santa Barbara, and there his mother, only sister, and three brothers still reside. One brother is in business in Wisconsin.
WILLIAM M. DOBIE. The gentleman whose name is at the head of this sketch is a general farmer, owning a fine tract of land comprising two hundred and forty-five acres on sections 15, 16 and 22, Alaiedon Township, Ingham County. He was born in Adrian, Lenawee County, Mich., October 28, 1838, and is a son of Alexander Dobie, one of the old pioneers of Alaiedon Township. Our subject's mother was previous to her marriage, a Miss Maria Willey. Her decease took place October 20, 1848. Mr. Dobie remained at home until he was nineteen years of age, at which time he went to the Pacific Coast, where he remained for seventeen years, spending most of tile time in farming and stock-raising.
The first years spent by our subject on the coast was given to California, but the rest of the time
was spent in Nevada. He was very successful in his stock business and also had a short experience of mining. On returning from the West he came home and assumed the proprietorship of his father's farm, which
he worked for a year or so and then bought the nucleus of his present farm, making the purchase of forty acres in 1877, and to this
he added from time to time until he is now the owner of a finely-productive farm of two hundred and forty acres of land lying in a body.
Mr. Dobie was married April 19, 1877, to Miss Louisa C. Mayer, of Lucas County, Ohio, and a daughter of John Mayer, a farmer and an old pioneer in that section of the country. He was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany. Our subject and his wife are the parents of four children, whose names were as follows: Lulu A., born May 7,1880; Laura Ann, February 7, 1883; William A., February 21, 1885; and Elmo, January 19, 1888. Mr. Dobie has made a success in his efforts in agriculture. He enjoyed the advantage of aid from his father
at the outset, but the great portion of his property has been acquired by his individual efforts and constant attention to his calling. Politically, he is a Democrat and has been honored by his party in having been elected Justice of the
Peace an office which he held during one term. He has made many improvements on the farm since coming here, having brought the best of judgment and taste to bear in his management. Personally,
he is a pleasant man, thoroughly reliable in every way and one of Alaiedon's best citizens.
CHARLES S. FITZ
SIMMONS. The extent
to which a community indulges in the delights of the floral world may well serve as
a measure of its culture and progress. Lansing, Ingham County, is not behind in this matter and
attests, not only in its beautiful homes and the highly cultivated grounds which surround them, but also in its patronage of those who engage in floral culture, to the love of its people for g true
beauty and the best things of nature. A fine trade has been built up by our subject in the line of a florist's business, as he is the proprietor of the Riverside Greenhouses which is a flourishing institution and supplies a large amount of first-class work to the people of Lansing. Besides his trade in flowers he has an excellent business in market gardening, having ten acres of garden one mile south of Lansing.
Mr. Fitz Simmons was born June 26, 1854, in Camden Township, Hillsdale County, Mich. His father, Stephen, was born in Chemung County, N.Y. The grandfather, Thomas, was also a native of Chemung County and in 1837 came to Michigan and located in a log house in the woods near Wheatland, Hillsdale County. With him in this house (measuring
16 x 20 feet) lived also the pioneer who has been familiarly known as old Uncle Henry Humphrey. They were farmers and hunters and at first lived by their guns.
About a year later they removed to Camden in the western part of that county, and going into the woods Mr. Fitz Simmons hewed out a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He was a prominent man in his day, being Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Methodist Episcopal Class-Leader, and served as a delegate to the famous convention which was held under the old oaks at Jackson in 1854, at the time the Republican party sprang into existence. The family is of Norman-French extraction.
The father of our subject spent his boyhood days in New York. He began working on the Erie Canal as a tow boy and came to Michigan when a young man. He took a course of study in civil engineering and became the County Surveyor of Hillsdale County. At the time when he went into the army he owned a farm of one hundred and sixty acres which he had entered from school lands when he was twenty-one years old. It was in the spring of 1864 that Stephen Fitz Simmons enlisted in Company
I, Eleventh Michigan Cavalry. His regiment was ordered South and he never returned home, as he died of pneumonia at Lexington Ky., in 1865. He was an earnest Republican in his political views and a warm supporter of the Government for which he gave his life.
Elizabeth Stevens was the maiden name of her (304)
who became the mother of our subject and Massachusetts was the State of her nativity. Her father was a farmer in the old Bay State, who removed to
New York and later to Michigan, where he was one of the early settlers in Lenawee County, locating on the Chicago Pike, west of Tecumseh. After remaining there a few years
he removed to Woodbridge, Hillsdale County, where he improved eighty acres of fine land. This family of Stevens was of
the best stock of New England and boasted that in their veins ran blue blood, which assertion was well carried out by their true and upright lives
and their love for all of the best things of life. The mother died in 1856. Our subject was the
only child of his parents, but his father was married a second time to Miss Adeline Beem who was born
in New York, and had three daughters. She now resides in Sturgis this State.
Charles S. Fitz Simmons was born June 26, 1854 and had his early training and education upon a farm, taking what schooling
he could acquire in the log schoolhouse with slab benches. After his father's death he remained at home until
he was sixteen years old, as from the age of ten years he had the responsibility of looking after the home farm. The old home was disposed of by sale in the family lived on eighty acres in Woodbridge where the youth remained until
he reached the age of eighteen years. He spent one winter in the pine woods at Newaygo, working in lumber, and the was for awhile with an uncle in Tecumseh, Lenawee County. He attended school at that place in the old Union High School and put a four years course into three years, taking
fifteen months tuition in Latin extra, and at the same time learned the printer's trade, by means of which
he supported himself and paid his tuition. He was graduate from that school in 1876.
After leaving school the young man engaged in various lines of business, in store, saw-mill and other ways until 1879, and then with what money he had accumulated purchased a manufacturing business This, however, did not prove remunerative, so in 1881
he came to Lansing as he already had connections here which drew him to this place. He had married in December,
1880, Miss Delia Dingman, daughter of William H. Dingman, from Schoharie County,
N.Y. He was a manufacturer of paper and also had charge of a woolen factory at Leeds, Greene County, N.
Y. also at Stuyvesant Falls, where he was an enterprising and successful manufacturer. Later he came to Michigan
and located in Tecumseh and a few Years later retired from business and came to Lansing, where for several years
he was in the grocery business. He finally retired from active work and died here in
1884 at the age of seventy years. His excellent wife, Phebe Emeline Hinckley, was born in Lee, Berkshire County, Mass., and passed from life in
Tecumseh in 1888. Of their eight children four grew to maturity, and the wife of our subject is
the oldest now living. She was born in Lee, Mass., reared in New York and completed her education
at Ashland Seminary, after which she taught for a short time.
The young couple located on a farm in Meridian
Township where they carried on general farming and gardening, and it was while living there
they that they conceived the, idea of starting a greenhouse for the Lansing trade. In 1889 Mr.
Fitz Simmons obtained a lot on Kalamazoo Street, but could find no building here which
he could make use of as a greenhouse. He began with a small business and has enlarged his place from what it
was at first., 18 x 72 feet, until he now has a plant which covers eight thousand square feet and is
gradually increasing it. The raising and propagation of plants and cut flowers occupies his energies
and he keeps flowers on hand to supply room decorations and floral designs. His greenhouse is
heated by hot water and hot air, and he has a fine garden of ten acres to supply stock for his market
garden business, as well as a beautiful flower garden in connection with the greenhouse.
He devotes three acres to celery, in which he is unusually successful and
he is said to have the largest celery bed in the county. He owns a boat house
which he rents and also another house.
A terrible affliction befell this excellent couple in
1889 when, upon January 19 and 23, their only children, Madge D. and Alvin C., were snatched
from their arms by that terrible scourge--scarlet fever. Mrs. Fitz Simmons is a devoted member of
the Plymouth Congregational Church and is active (305)
in the Ladies' Society and other church benevolences. Like his father and grandfather, our subject is attached to the Republican party. In 1876 he joined the First Regiment in the Michigan Militia, in which he did service until 1883, and left it with the rank of Sergeant. This regiment was in 1879 called out to quell the labor riot at Jackson and then proved itself efficient and ready for action.
Elsewhere in this volume will be found a
lithographic portrait of Mr. Fitz Simmons.