Portrait and Biographical Album
Ingham & Livingston Counties

BIOGRAPHIES - Pages 340-353

340) CAPT. JOHN R. PRICE. If modest worth will not "blow its own trumpet," the pen of the biographer must speak its praises. Those
who are loudest in their own behalf are not always appreciated most highly by their neighbors, and the reverse of this fact is also trite, as may be attested to by every one who knows the "old Marshal" of Lansing, Ingham County. Capt. Price, who was the Marshal of this city in its first days and held the office until within the last few years, is not a man who speaks his own praises, but he is warmly appreciated by every man, woman and child in this city and his resignation from that office on account of age was deeply regretted. His services to the country are appreciated by those who know his story and genuine regret is felt that technicalities should have deprived one who is so worthy from receiving a pension as a token of it nation's gratitude.

     Capt. Price was born July 1, 1816, in South America Township, Middlesex County, N.J. His father, Xerxes Price, was a native of Connecticut, born September 24, 1777. The grandfather of our (
341) subject, Ebenezer Price, had his nativity September 13, 1748, and was a manufacturer of brick and stoneware in New Jersey, and lived to the age of eighty-one years. The father, who was also a manufacturer in the same line, dealt extensively in these wares and remained throughout life in New Jersey, dying October 24, 1845. He was a stirring business man but during his last years lived a retired life. His wife bore the maiden name of Nancy Letts and was a native of New Jersey. Her father, Francis Letts, was a New Jersey farmer of Welsh descent who took part in the War of the Revolution. The mother died in 1829.

     Of the nine children of Xerxes and Nancy Price four are now living. Our subject, who was next to the youngest in age, remained upon the farm in Middlesex County until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he took a position as cook upon a boat and thought some of shipping in the general service upon the high seas. He went to Brooklyn and was accepted to go on a three years' cruise on the ship "Hornet," but through the influence of his brother-in-law who advised him to learn his trade he withdrew from this engagement, although he dearly loved the water and could sail a boat when he was fourteen years old. He was now apprenticed to the carpenter's trade and came to Batavia, Genesee County, N.Y., in 1831, and there remained three years and six months.

     In 1834 Mr. Price came to Michigan and located in Sandstone, Jackson County, where he continued to work at the carpenter's trade. In 1837 he went to Albion, Calhoun County, where he engaged in the manufacture of fanning-mills and there continued until his marriage in 1843. This great event took place in Marengo Township, Calhoun County, his bride being Miss Jane Powell, who was born in Oneida County, N.Y. He now decided to go upon a farm, and renting one in Marengo Township, continued there for four and a half years, raising wheat which he sold at forty-eight cents per bushel.

     It was in April, 1847, that Mr. Price came to Lansing and in June he bought a tract of land all covered with timber, upon which he built a house and in February of the next year removed hither. This is the same place where he now resides and it comprises four acres within the limits of Lansing and near to the business portion of North Lansing. He also owns a nice farm in Olive Township, Clinton County, which is finely improved. Here he engaged in the manufacture of fanning-mills and for a year and a half operated a Seymour sawmill in North Lansing. He had lumber enough to supply a hundred mills and was rapidly making money, when he left home and all, in 1861, at the first tap of the drum, and raising a company, which was known as the Williams Rifles, tendered himself and his company to Gov. Blair.

     Capt. Price was at that time fifty-one years old and therefore beyond the legal age for enlistment, but his patriotic devotion to his country and his strong sense of the justice of the Union cause, caused him to overcome the obstacles in the way of his enlistment. His company was made part of the Third Regiment, Michigan Infantry, under the title of Company G. They were mustered in at Grand Rapids and the company was tendered the electing of their own Captain which he received by an unanimous vote. He was also appointed Captain of the camp at Grand Rapids and after a short time went on to Washington with his company. He remained in service until the marching caused him to give out, as he had taken sick in Detroit and could not endure such hardships. They were on their way to the battle of Bull Run when he was prostrated by sickness, and remained in camp until he resigned, in August, 1861, his term of service having lacked just eight days of three months, which excludes him from obtaining a pension. He was in feeble health for some time after his return and since that time has followed farming. The farm which he now has is as fine land as can be found in Clinton County and since he has come to so venerable an age, he rents it out and lives a retired life. He owns the stock upon his farm and has half the increase of it.

     The four children of our subject are Clara, Mrs. Wood, of Lansing; Mary J., Mrs. Twait, of Lansing; Ella J., who died at the age of six years, and William A., who is in Mississippi. Capt. Price has held various positions of trust and responsibility, having served one term on the School Board and (
342) was Commissioner of Highways for several years in Lansing Township and Treasurer for one year. He is an Elder in the Franklin Street Presbyterian Church and has been Sunday-school Superintendent having served in that capacity in the first Sunday school which was organized in this city, and being one of the organizers of that Sunday-school an that Presbyterian Church. He is conceded to be the oldest settler in North Lansing. He is an ardent Republican of the old-fashioned kind and true patriot in every sense of the word. He has served upon both the grand and petit juries and was the first Marshal of Lansing. He is remembered as being the Marshal on the occasion of the first Fourth of July celebration and the first Republican rally and procession in 1854. Until within a very few years this venerable and beloved citizen has been induced to act as Marshal upon all great occasions, as Lansing people do not think a grand procession quite complete unless he is at the head.

GILBERT W. LEWIS is a member of the firm Earle & Lewis, hardware merchant, at Mason, Ingham County. A sketch will be found of the senior member of the firm in another part of this volume. The young men are both enterprising and ambitious and have already built up a good reputation and business in the place of their choice. Our subject is a native of the Empire State having been born in Oakfield, Genesee County, N.Y.. February 9, 1858. He is the son of Irvin and Emeline (Beardsley) Lewis, the former a native of Connecticut although of English ancestry, and the mother having been born in Alexander, N.Y., and being of mixed Scotch and French ancestry. The elements that he gets from this mixed ancestry are evident in the sturdy independence, the speculative insight that he is determined to have into every subject in which he is interested, and the Yankee ingenuity that he brings to bear in argument and trade.

     Up to the age of fourteen the original of our sketch spent most of his time in the school room and then graduated from Carey Seminary, New York. His father had died when he was but a lad of ten years of age, and his mother, who married again, came with her husband to Michigan, locating in Hillsdale County in 1872. Here they located on a farm which they continued to operate until our subject had attained his eighteenth year. He then left home to gain a living for himself and spent one, year in Logan County, Ill., where he worked in an elevator. He then returned to Hillsdale County, and from there went to his old home in New York where he re-visited familiar scenes remaining some six months. He then returned to Hillsdale County, this State. and at the age of twenty-one united his fate for better or worse with that of Miss Ida M. Linsday, of Litchfield, Hillsdale County. Their marriage was celebrated October 30, 1878. The lady is a daughter of J. B. and Emeline (Mead) Linsday. She was born April 11, 1857, in Hillsdale County, Mich.

     After his marriage Mr. Lewis accepted a position as a freight agent at Lansing on the Michigan Southern railroad. He occupied this post for about eight months and then engaged as clerk in a hardware store belonging to Dart & Bowen, in Lansing. There he remained for three and a half years, when he changed his position and was employed with W. D. Sabine, also a hardware merchant, for one year. He then traveled for six months as a salesman, after which time he was engaged in the city of Indianapolis as a clerk in a hardware store for a space of one year. From there he came to Mason and for one and a half years clerked in the hardware store of A. O. DuBois, and then traveled on the road for a Cleveland hardware firm for four years. This brings him up to January, 1891, when he purchased the interest of his old employer, Mr. A. O. DuBois, and the firm was re-established under the name of Earle & Lewis.

     Mr. Lewis is a follower of the Republican party, in spite of the duty on tin. Socially he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and has found that his fraternizing with the men in this society has been of great advantage to him, not only in a social way, but from a business standpoint. The firm of which Mr. Lewis is a junior member enjoys a good trade. They sell very close and are enabled so to (
343) do by their knowledge of the best markets in which to purchase, and by their upright manner of doing business. They enjoy the confidence of the community and all other business houses; have a good word to say for the young firm. Mr. Lewis has but one brother whose name is Merrill L. Lewis. He travels for a Cleveland hardware house and his home is located at Marion, Md., where he has a delightful residence that is presided over by a gentle, refined little woman and two charming daughters.

JOSIAH W. DOWNS. Among the well-known citizens of Lansing Ingham County, who were early settlers here in the pioneer days, we are pleased to present the sketch of a septuagenarian of such character and worth as Mr. Downs, who has now retired from active life and is spending his last days in the lovely home in the city, which was the scene of his labors in his early manhood. His home is surrounded by a beautiful little fruit farm of two and one-half acres, in which the old gentleman delights, and which he is able to superintend profitably. He has been a resident of this cit y since New Year's Day, 1857.

     Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, is the native home of this gentleman, who was born July 29. 1821. His father, James Downs, was born near the old Natural Bridge in Virginia and his father, John H., was the son of a Protestant Irishman from the North of Ireland. The family lineage is traced to the scotch nobility. The grandfather was a shoemaker by trade, first in Virginia and afterward in Maryland, and in 1812 he removed to Ohio and located eight miles from Mansfield, on a farm, which he improved and somewhat later sold before returning to Mansfield.

     The father of our subject was a miller by trade and operated a mill for Mr. Marshall on Clear Fork, Richland County, Ohio, and later bought a farm adjoining and carried it on while continuing his Milling. In 1830 he sold this property and removed to Mansfield, where he took up the making of brick, in which he was successful, and died there in April, 1838, at the age of forty-two years. He was a devout and earliest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

     The mother of our subject was Deborah, daughter of William VanDorn, and belonged to one of the old Dutch families of Eastern New York, being born in Saratoga County. Her father at the age of fifteen entered the Revolutionary Army and served throughout the continuance of the war, after which he resumed farming. About the year 1812 he located in Washington Township, Richland County, Ohio, two miles from where the grandfather of our subject, John Downs, made his home. There was longevity in the family on both sides and the mother lived to complete eighty years and then passed away in Ohio, in 1878. She had nine children in her household and Josiah was third in order of age. He is the only one of the brothers who is now living although none of the sisters have passed away.

     In Richland County Ohio, this boy grew to the age of nine years upon the farm, after which he went to Mansfield three months each winter to attend school, and began helping also in the brick-yard, his earliest task being carrying brick, and when sixteen years old in molding brick, his usual task being three thousand a day. When the father died the sons carried on the business through the next season, getting out some sixty thousand bricks, and then decided to drop this business and learn trades.

     Josiah was apprenticed to a tailor in Mansfield and after three years at the trade he worked as a journeyman at Ashland and New Haven, and subsequently returned to Mansfield and started a shop. But this was not of long duration, as, in May, 1840 he joined the volunteer army, entering Company A, Third Ohio Infantry, and serving for one year in the Mexican War, with the rank of Second Sergeant. He was sent to Cincinnati under Col. Curtis, and next went to New Orleans, and joining Taylor's army sailed in Gen. B. F. Butler's Division to Mexico.

     The regiment was kept at the garrison at Mattawora on duty for five months and then spent one (
344) month at Comargo, whence they marched to Monterey and Buena Vista, where his regiment took a train of two hundred wagon loads of provision encountering parties of "Urears", Mexican plunderers, all along the way but they made their way through in safety. They remained in Buena Vista until after the battle of Vera Cruz, when their term of service having expired, they were discharged, being mustered out at New Orleans, June 25, 1847 returning by boat to Cincinnati.

     Sergeant Downs now settled down to work at his trade and to establish a home of his own and was married October 28, 1847, in Ohio, to Miss Lydia Spiteler, a native of that State and daughter of Daniel Spiteler, who was a potter by trade. Our subject continued in the tailoring business, until 1855, when he removed to Auburn, Ind., where he carried on business in clothing and furnishing goods, and eighteen months later removed to Crestline, Ohio, where he entered into partnership with Mr. Greenfield, and enlarged his stock. Five months later he removed to Goshen, Ind., and the following January, in 1857, he located in Lansing, opening a fine line of clothing and piece goods as a merchant tailor. His partnership here with Mr. Greenfield lasted for eighteen months, and then Mr. Downs sold out his interest and renting a room, started in as a custom tailor and did well at it for twelve years, after which he sold his business to Messrs. Murray and Dixon.

      When this gentleman first came to Lansing he purchased an acre of land where the Lansing Wheel Works now stand, and resided on that spot during the days of the war, when he sold it and bought something over five acres adjoining the corporation. Here he built a house and set out an orchard. After selling his shop he still continued as a cutter and fitter, and his old customers still sent for him to do their special work. He finally sold his little place and bought two and one-half acres where he now resides, building his present home in 1874. During this time he was superintendent of the tailoring department at the Reform School for seven years, while Johnson & Howe were superintendents of the school. At that time he was so much troubled with neuralgia in the head that he gave up his in-door work and devoted himself to his garden and fruit farm, until he entirely overcame this trouble.

     Ten children form the household of our subject and his faithful companion, whom we will enumerate as follows: Oscar B., a baker in Saginaw; James, who resides in Lansing; Carrie, now Mrs. Mark Aldrich, of Grand Fork County, Dak.; Milton B., a cabinet-maker and the finest workman in the city; Franklin, who died at the age of six years; Julietta married Mr. Durand, who is in the employ of the Michigan Central Railroad at Ypsilanti; Mary married William C. Hinman, the City Clerk; John is a member of the Metroplitan Police; William M., a carriage trimmer; Minnie is attending school at Ypsilanti and Bertha is a member of the Class of '83, in the High School at Lansing.

     Daniel Spiteler, the father of Mrs. Downs, was born near Fredericksburg, Pa. and his father, Simon, a Hollander, came to Pennsylvania, where he carried on a farm and died in Canton, Ohio. Daniel Spiteler had a pottery at Mansfield, and afterward came to DeKalb County, Ind. where he bought a farm of eighty acres near Spencer and carried on the double vocation of farmer and potter. His death took place when he was sixty years old. His excellent wife bore the maiden name of Caroline Neagent and had her birth in Greencastle, Pa., and her father, William Neagent, was a native of England, who made his home in Greencastle, where he was a prominent man and a leader in the Masonic order. He was one of the committee who came to Detroit to form the first Masonic lodge in Michigan and during that trip died on the River Raisin. The mother died in Ft. Wayne after reaching her seventy-eighth year. They were both earnest and devoted members of the Baptist Church, and the judicious and faithful parents of nine children. Mrs. Downs was their first-born and first saw the light July 1, 1828 near Mansfield which was her home until 1856, when she removed to Spencer, Ind., where she resided until her marriage.

     Mr. Downs has served his township one year as clerk, and has also been School Director a year. He is identified with Lansing Lodge, No. 33. A. F & A. M. He joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Auburn, and is also a member of the Association of Mexican Veterans. His political views ally him (
345) with the Democratic party and in religion he is a Universalist, being Deacon and Trustee in that church, while his wife inclines to the Spiritualistic faith. It is a delight to visit this valued and experienced citizen, who makes every guest his friend by virtue of his courtesy, affability and intelligence.

     WILLIAM A. DRYER. When one investigates the beginnings of history, considerable research is necessary in order to make clear the first settlements and the early records. It is believed that the first settlement in Ingham County was made by Mr. Rodgers upon section 36, Stockbridge Township, in 1835, but the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch is the oldest settler now living within the bounds of the county. He is well known all over the county, and especially in Lansing and vicinity, where he has been prominent in the township as Supervisor and the other positions of trust. He is a most delightful and entertaining talker, as he knows all the stories of the early pioneer life. At the time of his first settlement here he had to procure work in the more settled portions of the State, and he more than once walked a distance of thirty-five miles to get work. At one time he obtained work at Dexter, laboring seven and one-half days in haying and harvesting to procure one hundred pounds of flour, and then he walked home again the twenty-five miles distance and returned with his ox-team to haul it back, making in all eleven and one-half days of work for one hundred pounds of flour. He is a man of remarkable mind, keenly alive to all the issues of the day, and with a rich fund of experience.

     Mr. Dryer had his birth in Cazenovia, Madison County, N.Y., March 9, 1813, his father, Allen Dryer, and his grandfather, who bore the same name,  both being natives of the old Bay State. The name was formerly Dwyer, and the original ancestor was a Hollander, but when he was in England he was conscripted and to escape the draft he migrated to America, where he located in Massachusetts and changed the name to Dryer. The grandfather came from Massachusetts and became an early settler of Madison County, N.Y., where he carried on a farm. His father also bore the name of Allen.

     The parents of our subject removed from Massachusetts to New York after their marriage, and his father became Postmaster and Justice of the Peace in Cazenovia, and having reached the age of seventy years, died there in 1842. He had a brother who lived to the remarkable age of one hundred years and nine days. He was a Whig in his political attachments. His wife, Esther Bullock, was a daughter of Benjamin Bullock, a Massachusetts farmer, and she died at the age of sixty-six years, in the same year which saw her husband's demise. They were earnest and active members of the Presbyterian Church, and had the remarkable and blessed experience of seeing all of their thirteen children grow to years of maturity. There was not a death in the family until after the youngest son had reached the age of twenty-three years, during which year the father and mother and four of the sons were carried to the grave in three months by a fever.

     The children of this family were of follows: Barzilla, who died in 1842; Adelia is now ninety-four years old, and has her home in Bath Township, Clinton County; Esther died at Battle Creek; Lucy passed away at Fenner, N.Y.; Almira died in Clinton County, Mich.; Rufus died in New York; David resides in Bath, Clinton County; Margaret is with our subject; Mary died in Lansing in 1888; William A., our subject; James died in 1842; Matilda's death occurred in Canada; and Benjamin died in 1842.

     William Dryer was educated in the district schools of Cazenovia, and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to the carriage builders' trade, at which he served for four years, and then worked at the business until he reached the age of twenty-three. In 1836 he came to Michigan, reaching this point in June. He traveled by boat to Buffalo, by the "Old Michigan" to Detroit, and then came prospecting on foot, and finally decided to locate in Michigan, although he had intended to make Illinois his home, When he left Ypsilanti (
346) he was taken very sick, and as his partner had gone to Illinois, he was in quite a desolate condition; however, he entered eighty acres of land in White Oak Township, on section 21, which was a dense forest. He went on foot back to Detroit, and in the fall brought his wife and one child, and building a log house, began to climb the ladder of life on the very bottom round. His residence was a log shanty with a roof made of split red oak shakes, and the floor of split basswood, evened by an adz. He proceeded to clear the farm, and found his nearest market at Ann Arbor, and his most numerous neighbors Indians, with whom he learned to talk in their dialect.

     In 1845 Mr. Dryer sold his property in White Oak Township, and bought land in Pinckney, Livingston County, where he kept a shop and worked at his, trade for three years. In 1848 he removed to Lansing, making his home here on the 2d of November, and putting up a shop. He made the first wagon that was ever manufactured in Lansing, and also the first carriage. The axles of this vehicle were made out of iron-wood poles which were taken from an old log house. For two years he carried on the manufacture of wagons and carriages, and then entered the employ of Smith, Turner & Seymour, in building the plank road between Lansing & Howell. In their interests he had charge of the store at Leroy and also of a sawmill, where the planks for the road were manufactured. This work occupied him for two years, and subsequently he entered the mercantile business, into which he was aided by "Zach" Chandler, who helped to establish his credit for the purchase of goods. He carried on this store for four years upon Center Street, North Lansing, and made a success of it, but he then sold out this business and purchased a farm.

     The property which Mr. Dryer now bought comprised one hundred and eighty-five acres, all in the woods, situated upon section 7, Lansing Township. He located upon this land and proceeded to improve it, and in 1856 hewed out and built a log house. He was nominated by the Republican party as Representative in the Legislature, but was defeated by the Hon. O. M. Barnes. He continued to reside upon his farm until November 1889, when he retired from active life, and selling that property came to live in Lansing. He was the first citizen of Ingham County to introduce fine sheep here, Merinos being his bobby, and he had over four hundred head in his flock. He also introduced thorough-bred Short-horn cattle, and was one of the originators of the Central Michigan Agricultural Association, of which he was the first President, an office be held for two years. He is still one of its firm friends, and was a Director continuously until his retirement from active duties. At its fairs he has taken many premiums, and was ever active in promoting its interests.

     This venerable gentleman was, on the 24th of October, 1834, united in marriage with the wife of his youth, in Hamilton, Madison County, N.Y. This lady was Miss Betsey H. Newell, a native of Morrisville, and she passed from earth in 1861. Her nine children are: Mary, Mrs. J. E. Warner, of Lansing: Dr. Newell enlisted in 1864 in the Seventeenth Michigan Infantry, and served as Assistant Surgeon until the close of the war; Elbridge, a farmer in Lansing Township; Esther was Mrs. G. W. Christopher, and died in 1887; Adelaide and James W. both died in infancy; Helen A. died in 1880 at the age of twenty-four; William F., a farmer in Bath Township; and Betsey K. is Mrs. E. M. Johnson, of Owosso. Newell Dryer enlisted as a private, and his father went to Gov. Crapo and obtained for him (ahead of forty-seven other applications) a commission as Assistant Surgeon. This able physician, who is now practicing in Bath, Clinton County, is a graduate of the Buffalo Medical College.

     The second marriage of the gentleman of whom we are writing took place in 1861, and he was then united with Mrs. Sarah Britton, who was born in Steuben County, N.Y., and came to Michigan with her parents in 1879, locating in Wayne County, where they lived upon a farm. Her first marriage took place in Ann Arbor, and she afterward lived in Pinckney, where Mr. Britton died, and subsequent to that event she located in Lansing in 1852. When Mr. Dryer was residing in White Oak Township, he served as Supervisor and Township Clerk as well as School Inspector. He helped to organize the township and the county, and served as County Commissioner, being also Chairman of the Board for two years. In Lansing Township he was Supervisor for fourteen years, and during most of that time was Chairman of the County Board. He helped to build all the schoolhouses, and had a broad acquaintance throughout the county. He is a member of the State Pioneer Association, as well as of the Ingham County Pioneer Association, and was its honored President for many years.

     The Methodist Episcopal Church is the religious body with which our subject is in sympathy, and he has been an official member of it for many years, but he also sympathizes warmly with all religious movements, and has aided in the erection of every church in Lansing. In his early days he was a Free-soil Democrat, but when the Fugitive Slave Law came into force, it sent him with many others into the newly formed Republican party in 1854. His first Presidential vote was cast for Martin Van Buren, and his second for John C. Fremont. Since that time he has been a pillar in the Republican party, and until recently he has attended nearly every county and congressional convention, and was a member and Chairman in the Republican Committee of Ingham Comity for years.

      WILLIAM HENRY RAYNER, is a farmer and stock-raiser, who owns two hundred and eighty acres of land within the corporate limits of Mason. His farm is located on section 9, of Vevay Township, Ingham County, but his residence is in the city proper. The distance between his residence and the farm which he operates being so short that he can readily go from one place to the other. Mr. Rayner was born in he town of Brutus, Cayuga County, N.Y., April 24, 1836, He is the son of John and Emily (Meech) Raynor, the father a native of Orange County, N.Y., and the mother of the town of Brutus, where our subject was born.

     Our subject's parents came to Michigan when their son was but three years of age, and they located in the village of Mason, at a time when there was but a limited chance for the lad to obtain many educational advantages, as they were in such financial position that he had to work on the farm at the time when he should have been in school. He had a great desire to become a surveyor and although he never had any opportunity of studying the science of surveying in school, yet he gave what time he could to the study, while engaged in farming until he became quite an expert at the business, even going so far as to construct some of his leveling instruments. He was recognized in the neighborhood in which he lived as being an ingenious young man, and his services were frequently in requisition as a surveyor. He still possesses an instrument for leveling that he himself made, that cannot be surpassed by any instrument made at the present time. He served faithfully upon his father's place until the age of twenty-one, giving his time to the very day, but immediately after began to do for himself.

     William Henry Rayner began to work by the month or day, or any other way in which he could earn money, and in a short time he had made a position for himself, and was recognized throughout the township as a progressive go-ahead young man. In two or three years he was elected Constable, in which capacity he served for eight years and he has served as County Surveyor some twelve or sixteen years, although not consecutively. He has also frequently performed the duties of City Engineer.

     Our subject began to feel himself in a position in which he could have a home of his own, and on September 6, 1866, he made Miss Frances Robbins the presiding genius over his domestic affairs, as well as the custodian of his best affections, his companion and helpmate. She was born in Alaiedon Township, Ingham County, March 15, 1846, and is a daughter of William H. and Lydia M. (Wells) Robbins. Our subject and his wife are the parents of three children, Robbins B. Rayner, (
348) born December 4, 1873, Rie M., born May 13, 1875, and William P. born January 16, 1881. Our subject is a believer in the Bible, of which he has always been an ardent student, believing it to be the Book of books, and from a literary standpoint, without parallel. In politics he is a Republican, giving his vote and influence to that party in its purity of principle. Mr. Rayner owns a good home in Mason, but takes great delight in his farm and farm life. His place in the country bears evidence of intelligent and skillful management. He has on his place a little log cabin to commemorate log cabin campaign times. Mr. Rayner has on his place a line park and grounds, which is the only park in the village.

D. M . NOTTINGHAM, M. D. The standing of a right-minded and skillful physician in an intelligent community is one of great honor and repute, but it is one which must be attained through years of hard labor and conscientious pursuit of the work which came to hand. No one, more than a physician, knows how true it is that a man who would obtain a good standing in his profession must work hard and devote himself unflinchingly to duty through all the years of his career. Negligence in such a one is criminal and is justly considered unprofessional, while the devotion of his best knowledge and highest powers to every case which comes, to his hands is only his duty. Such devotion has brought Dr. Nottingham to the foremost rank among the Homeopathic physicians of Ingham County, and has brought to him the largest practice of any physician of his school, and Lansing is proud to claim him as one of her prominent citizens.

     Dr. Nottingham, who is the ex-President of the Michigan State Medical Society, is the son of James Nottingham, a Virginian, and the grandson of an Englishman who came from Nottinghamshire, England, to America, where he located in Virginia for a short time before removing to Delaware County, Ind., where he died, when the father of our subject was but a little boy. The grandfather was a man of means and connected with the English nobility, yet in some way the mother was left in destitute circumstances at his death, and was obliged to struggle hard to rear her family, who lived according, to the pioneer ways of that day in Indiana.

     When the father of our subject was ten years old he was bound to a shoemaker, and after learning that trade he drifted into cabinet-making, and engaged in the manufacture of furniture under the firm name of Nottingham & Kirby, which firm is still carrying on business at Muncie, Ind. James Nottingham was one of the first settlers at Muncie, and he helped to clear the ground where the Court House now stands. He was successful in business, and owned some farming land there, which he finally traded for a farm at Jonesboro, Grant County, Ind., where he followed farming until his death, in 1886, at the age of seventy-six years.

     During the late war, when "copperhead" views were rampant in Indiana, James Nottingham was called upon to act as enrolling officer in Grant County. As there was then a very strong sentiment against the draft among those who did not sympathize with the Union cause, there were efforts made at resistance and it made his office a very dangerous one. They threatened to hang "Old Jim" Nottingham and burn his property.

     This gentleman was a prominent man in many ways, being a Trustee of the township, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for fifty-four years, and was at the time of his death one of the oldest members of that order. For forty years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and did good service, both as a Class Leader and as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. He was a man of mark in the Agricultural Society and as a sheep owner, as he raised fine sheep of all kinds. His good wife, who bore the name in maidenhood of Sarah J. Heal, was born near Mansfield, Ohio; her father came from Maine and became an early settler of Ohio. She, now resides on the old homestead. All but one of her fourteen children are now living.

     Three brothers of our subject were in the Civil War namely: J. C., who served for four years in (
349) Eighth Indiana Infantry, and was then wounded and taken prisoner, but after being four days in the hands of the rebels was exchanged just before reaching Libby Prison; Owen P., who was in the Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry for about three years, and John M., who was one of the "Ninety-day boys" in the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry. 

     D. M. Nottingham was one of the younger members of his father's family and was born in Jonesboro, Grant County, Ind., January 5, 1855. He was reared on the farm and attended the district school, and when twelve years old was sent to Fairmount Academy, Ind., to prepare for college. When sixteen he entered the Indiana State Normal School, at Terre Haute, where he studied for three years, spending his vacations in learning the harness trade with his brother. At the same age he began teaching, and after two years in this profession in Grant County, Ind., he then, in 1876, engaged in the harness business in Fairmount, Ind.

     It was in that city that Mr. Nottingham met and married, on the 28th of May, 1876, Miss Elizabeth C. Baldwin, a native of Fairmount, who was a graduate of the Wesleyan College, at Wheaton, Ill., and who had been teaching for two years in Wabash County, Ind. She was the daughter of Jonathan Baldwin who founded that town and laid it out and named it after Fairmount Park, at Philadelphia, that beautiful tract of land where our Centennial Exposition was held. Jonathan Baldwin was born in Pennsylvania and was a Quaker, but "married out of meeting" and was expelled, as the church required its members to marry in the church.

     Although young Nottingham continued after marriage for about a year in the harness business, he could not quell his earnest desire, which he had cherished from early boyhood, to study anatomy and chemistry and thus fit himself for a medical career. He therefore began the study of medicine under Dr. J. C. Nottingham, now of Bay City,  and in 1879 entered Hahnemann Medical College, at Chicago, taking his diploma in 1881. He first located at Bronson, Mich., and there continued in the practice of medicine until 1884, when he removed to Lansing. During the seven years of his sojourn in this city he has built up a splendid practice, and now owns a fine residence at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lenawee Streets, which he built in 1889.

     The two children of Dr. and Mrs. Nottingham Bret J. and Emma L. While living in Bronson the Doctor was President of the School Board and resigned that position upon his removal to Lansing. He has been Supervisor for one year and for two years was Alderman of the Sixth Ward. He is prominently identified with the Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Royal Arcanum. He is examining physician for different insurance companies. He is the Ex-President of the State Medical Society and active in the Republican ranks. The Congregational Church is the religious body with which Dr. and Mrs. Nottingham find themselves in sympathy, and their position in the social circles of Lansing is exceptionally good.

JOSEPH W. BARKER. Everyone has a good word to speak for the veteran groceryman of Lansing, Ingham County. He is not only up to standard in his weights and measures but also in good fellowship, being genial, intelligent and well informed. He is the oldest grocery dealer here and his faith in the capital city and its desirability as a business location has been rewarded, for he is now the possessor of a very comfortable fortune which he has amassed in his legitimate business. He deals exclusively in the articles that are used in the household, table staples and luxuries.

     Our subject came to Michigan in 1844 and located in Oneida Township, Eaton County. Four Years later, in June, 1848, he came to Lansing and has since made this his home, entering to the appetites of epicures in all sorts of tempting delicacies. He was born in Byron, Genesee County, N.Y., November 7, 1829. He is a son of (
350) Augustus Barker who was a native of Oneida County, N.Y. Our subject's paternal grandfather was Joseph Barker, born in Oneida County where he was engaged as farmer. He, however, located in Genesee County in an early day, settling in Byron Township. The father of our subject served in the War of 1812, in which he was a musician in the Continental Army. He was at Buffalo when it was burned. Our subject's father came to Michigan and settled in Oneida Township, Eaton County, in 1845. He bought an improved farm there, but two years later while on a visit to New York for his health he died in his native county. He was a strong anti-slavery man and also an ardent temperance advocate. Throughout the greater portion of his life he was a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church.

     Mr. Barker's mother was previous to her marriage a Miss Polly Eastman. She, like her husband, was a native of Genesee County, N.Y., and a daughter of Hiram Eastman, a farmer at that place. He died near London, Canada. Our subject's mother brought in to the world five children, of whom he of whom we write was the youngest in order of birth. He was reared in New York State until he was sixteen years of age and in the fall of 1845 they came West, bringing their household goods by team and wagon. He had shipped to Grand Rapids and intended to locate there, but; stopped at the home of an aunt, who induced them to stay in Eaton. The journey hither occupied three weeks and when they reached its end the country was indeed wild enough. There were unbroken forests that seemed almost impenetrable, with their closely-growing trunks of huge trees and thick tangled underbrush through which only the wild animals of the forests could force a passage. There were plenty of wolves and plenty of Indians and our subject became familiar with several of the noted chiefs. He attended school at the log schoolhouse in the district. The seats that they occupied were only slabs with pegs in the ends for legs. The books and other school appliances were varied and crude.

     In 1848 the original of our sketch came to Lansing and began to work at the mason's trade under John N. Bush, He remained with him for three years and then continued the same work with Mr. Alcott as a partner, then went back to Mr. Bush, after which he was engaged in work alone and then the firm became that of Bush & Alcott. He worked on the old offices of the capitol and if there is good foundation to the legislative halls that will preserve the old building from rocking in times of trouble it will no doubt be due to the careful and conscientious workmanship of our subject. In 1871, Mr. Barker left the mason's business and entered the furniture business in North Lansing, which was run under the firm name of Barker Wilbur. In 1873 he sold out his interest and formed a partnership with Daniel Parker in the grocery business. They started their business in the opera house block and the firm continued together under the name of Barker & Parker until the former was stricken with writer's paralysis. Six months later he was so much better that the firm bought out the Bunn & John grocery adjoining the post-office. There they continued for one year, in the meantime erecting a fine double brick store of their own. This our subject is now the owner of, and they continued in the grocery business here until Mr. Parker died, February 16, 1881. He had purchased the stock one month previous to his decease. This grocery house is the one that has been longest established in the city.

     Mr. Barker owns a fine residence on Capitol Avenue and Saginaw Street; he is also the owner of other property that is very valuable. His marriage took place in this city in 1854, he was united to Miss Elsie Maiden, a native of Utica, N.Y., who came to Wayne County, Mich., with her parents when three years of age, thence all came to the city of Lansing in 1847. This marriage has been blest by the advent of three children who are Arthur A., Ina L. and William H. The eldest was born in Youngstown, Niagara County, N.Y.; Ina L. is now Mrs. Dr. Cameron, of Lansing William H. enlisted in the regular army April 30,1889, when twenty-five years old. He belongs to Company E., of the Fifth United States Artillery, and is stationed at the mouth of the Columbia River. The eldest son also served five years in the regular army.

     Our subject has been an Alderman from the (
351) Fourth Ward for two years and Supervisor one year. For two years he was a member of the School Board and while thus in office did efficient work. Socially he belongs to Capitol Lodge, No. 66 F. & A. M., and was Master of his lodge during the war. He belongs to the Royal Arcanum and in his church relations is a member of the Free-Will Baptist denomination and has held various positions in this body. He was on the building committee as Chairman and is and has for years been a Deacon in the church. He has for many years been Superintendent of the Sunday-school and is a strong Prohibitionist.

HENRY H. DARBY, M. D. Of the younger followers of Esculapius practicing in the city of Lansing, Ingham County, none are more progressive in their professional ideas and tendencies than our subject. The tendency of the time in professional circles is a dissatisfaction with one's acquirements and a feverish anxiety to rend the veil of future discoveries and inventions, taking to one's self all the advantages that may be utilized. On the whole the writer believes this to be a wholesome condition of affairs. Dr. Darby is no exception to the rule, being ambitious to stand at the head of his profession. He unites to his medical practice a knowledge of surgery. He is located at North Lansing and there has a very remunerative practice.

     The Prairie State was the scene of the nativity of the subject of this sketch, he having been born in the village of Paris, Hunter Township, Edgar County, the year previous to the firing of the first gun at Sumter. His natal day occurred April 8, 1860. He is a son of Dr. Benjamin F. Darby, who was born in Hampshire County, W. Va., where our subject's grandfather was a farmer. The old gentleman removed at an early day to Nebraska and there died. Soon after attaining his majority our subject's father came to Illinois. He was a physician and surgeon and located in Hunter Township, Edgar County, where he is still one of the most prominent and skilled practitioners of the locality. He is an ardent worker in the church, belonging to the Methodist Episcopal persuasion. His wife was prior to their marriage, Miss Susan Kerns, like himself a native of West Virginia. She passed away front this life in Hunter Township and was there laid away with the greatest tenderness and respect, for she was much beloved by friends and neighbors, being an estimable woman of striking qualities. She was the mother of eleven children. Only four of these, however, are now living, and of these our subject is the youngest.

      Dr. Darby was reared in his native place and from 1877 to 1879 he was an attendant at Prof. Hurty's Academy, formerly known as Edgar Collegiate Institute at Paris and then went to Valparaiso, Ind., where he was a student for one year, after which he began the study of medicine, reading under his father's direction until 1881. Early influences and surroundings had their effect upon our subject, for he was in a manner prepared for his work before he began it, and when he entered college was enabled to accomplish three years' work in two years. In 1881 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, and was graduated in 1883 and thus was entitled to add the initials M. D. to his name. After graduating he at once began the practice of his profession in partnership with his father in Hunter Township and continued to be thus associated and engaged until 1886.

     At the date above mentioned our subject came to Michigan and located in Morrice, Shiawassee County. There he built up a good practice and stood high in the estimation of the people of the community, remaining with them until 1890. Desiring a broader field, not only for practice, but for self progress, he at that time removed to North Lansing and has since been engaged in his profession at his present locality. He is a prominent young physician and already has a good patronage. In college he was an indefatigable student and every spare moment outside of his regular course was given to special studies. He has made the diseases of women and children a specialty and is particularly successful in that branch of treatment. In surgery he is conversant with the latest and (
352) most approved methods, having a perfect equipment in the way of instruments for any operation.

     Our subject's marriage took place in this city December 15, 1886, at which time he was united to Miss Margaret Cameron, a daughter of Capt. A. Cameron, a veteran of the late war. She was born in Lansing, and was here educated. One child has been born of this union, a daughter, whose. name is S. Beatrice. The Doctor is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees. Liberal in religious matters himself, his wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

JOSEPH W. COLLINS is a general farmer owning and occupying a fine estate of two hundred and ninety acres of land located on section 35, Lansing Township, Ingham County. Mr. Collins was born in the township of Rose, Wayne County, N.Y., September 16, 1818. His father, Moses F. Collins, was for many years a resident of the same county and a farmer by occupation. The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Mary Wade; she also was a native of Wayne County, N.Y. Mr. Collins made his home with his parents at Rose until he was eighteen years of age, helping with the farm work and during the winters attending the district school.

     When in his eighteenth year our subject's family moved to Michigan and settled in Washtenaw County at a distance of three miles from Ann Arbor. Mr. Collins entered the academy at Ann Arbor and took the preparatory course for the University, which he entered with the second class that was formed after the organization of the University. After taking a limited course of study our subject began teaching. His work in this respect was marked with success. He continued teaching for several terms in different parts of the county.

      Mr. Collins was early converted to Christianity and was a diligent student of the Scriptures. So devoted had he been to the study of the Word of God that he was licensed to preach at the age of twenty-five, and became a Wesleyan Methodist minister. He followed the calling of a preacher for eight years consecutively, but he has been engaged in the work more or less regularly for a period of twenty years.

     The original of our sketch was very happily married when in his twenty-seventh year to Miss Lucy Ann Raymond, who at that time was twenty-three years of age. Their nuptials were solemnized in 1835. Of this union two children were born--Florence who died when she was three years of age, and Evangeline, born in the year of 1850, married Albert Felton. She is the mother of four children--Ray who is seventeen years of age; Alfred, thirteen; Floyd, ten; and Winnie three years old (1891). Mr. Felton's family are residents of Alaiedon Township, Ingham County.

     Mr. Collins moved to Lansing in 1850 and owned a farm of sixty acres within what is now the city limits. The farm was situated where the school for the blind now stands, our subject having donated the land now occupied by the school for that purpose. His first wife died October 19, 1855 and he was again married to Laura Glines, February 7, 1857. They moved on a farm near Alaiedon where they remained for five years. He then purchased the farm whereon he now resides. Ten children have been the result of this marriage; four died in infancy. Florence Collins, born in 1861, is the wife of A. Black of Delhi; they have one daughter, a child two years old. Arthur, who was born in 1863 is a school teacher and telegraph operator, now living at Plymouth where he is in charge of the telegraph station at that place. He married Mary Foote and is the father of two children-Clifford and Zoah--four and two years old respectively. Ernest J. born in 1868 married Miss Edna Darrah and lives in Lansing Township; their union has been blest by the advent of one child still a babe, Judson D., who was born in 1871; Franklin N., in 1876 and Alice, who was born in 1878, are still at home.

     In politics Mr. Collins is a Republican. During the war he was a strong Abolitionist. As a minister of the Gospel he was blest with a great degree of success in bringing souls to their Master and was never happier than while engaged in ministerial work. An intelligent and well-informed man reading all that comes within reach that bears upon (
353) the questions of the day, he is interested in the progress and advancement of the times. He is well and favorably known throughout Ingham County as being a man of unimpeachable integrity and honor.

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