ALONZO GLEASON. We are gratified to
be able to place in the hands of our readers a brief biographical sketch of Mr. Gleason,
who is so well known throughout Cohoctah Township, Livingston County, and who is
most highly esteemed personally, as is also his family. He is a native of the Empire State,
having been born June 20, 1831, in Wheeler, Steuben County. His parents, Elijah and Elizabeth
Murphy) Gleason, were also New Yorkers by birth. The father carried on farming operations, and
in the spring of 1836 came by lake to Michigan, where he entered one hundred and thirty-six acres
of land on section 6, Hartland Township, and in the fall of 1837 established his home, and
continued here until his death, which took place on the 15th of April, 1850, when
he had reached the age of sixty-two years. His first wife, Abigail Smith, to whom he was united in 1810, brought him five sons and five daughters. She was born March 7, 1793, and
died in 1822. His next marriage was with Mrs. Elizabeth Billings, nee
McMurphy, who bore to him one son and three daughters, and had two daughters by
her previous marriage. She passed from earth December 8, 1849, four months and seven days previous to the decease of
her husband. He was a Whig in his political views, and besides his farming operations was engaged in carpentry.
Having received ordinary school advantages and thorough drill upon the farm, our subject learned the trade of a carpenter, and in the fall of 1854, having spent several years in remunerative labor purchased a farm of eighty acres in Hartland
Mich. In the spring of 1857 he exchanged this for one hundred and twenty acres of timber land in Saginaw County and two years later disposed of this for the fifty acres where
he now resides. Of the one hundred and ten acres on section 7, which he now holds,
he has improved fully seventy acres, and has also eighty acres on section 6, which has been partially improved.
He early became interested in the principles promulgated by the Republican party, and is now an earnest worker for the cause of prohibition.
Elvira Thorp was the maiden name of the lady who became the wife of our subject July 8, 1857.
She is a native of Michigan and was born in Fenton, Genesee County, August 25, 1840, being a
daughter of Norris and Eliza Jane (Richmond) Thorp, who were born in New York,
he September 14, 1814, and his wife April 9, 1820. It was about 1835 when they came to Fenton, and for twenty-one years he filled the office there of Deputy
Sheriff. After a residence of many years in Fenton they lived for some fifteen years on a farm
north of Holly, Oakland County, where his wife died October 1, 1881. He ended his earthly labors
May 16, 1884, at Fenton. They were the parents of six children--Melissa, Elvira, Ella L.. John J., David F. and Lucena. Ella died
young, and John and David served their country during the Civil (856)
War. The parents have long been connected with the Close Communion Baptist Church.
Six children enlivened the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gleason, the first born being Ellery and Emery, twins; and the next born being May Bell and Jay Dell, twins, after whom came Clarence and Clarinda, the last-named dying at the age of
fifteen years. May B. is now the wife of John Schrepfer. For some twenty-five years our subject and his wife have been loyal and earnest members of the United Brethren Church, and all of the children are united with their parents in one household of Christian faith. Since the contemplation of the house of worship which was erected some eighteen years ago.
Mr. Gleason has been a Trustee, and he is much relied upon where good judgment and sound discretion are needed in connection with a truehearted devotion to the cause of Christianity.
CALLAHAN, a member of the firm of Bailey & Callahan, publishers and proprietors of the North Lansing Record, was born near Lansing, March 26, 1870. His parents were Russell B. and Dellia (Rockwell) Callahan. The father was born near Sparta, Ohio, and when fourteen years old came with his parents to Michigan, locating near the present city of Lansing. He engaged in the insurance business, and was also in the office of the Secretary of State for about six years under Harry A.
Conant, remaining with succeeding officers until a change of administration.
He still resides in Lansing, honored by all who know him for the integrity of his life and his genial
kindliness of heart. Two children were born to them, our subject and his sister Georgia.
The gentleman who forms the subject of this sketch was educated in Lansing, graduating
from the High School in this city in June, 1890. Afterward he was employed temporarily with the
State Republican and thence entered the office of the Saturday
Call, being thus engaged until he embarked in his present business. The North Lansing
Record was established in the spring of 1891, the first issue being May 1, with Messrs. Bailey &
Callahan, editors and proprietors. It is independent in politics and is devoted to the interests of the
people of North Lansing, from whom it receives cordial support. It is a weekly paper, and has a
subscription list of about one thousand. Mr. Callahan has entire charge of the editorial department, while
Mr. Bailey manages the composing room. As a young man of enterprise and push, Mr. Callahan
undoubtedly has a bright and honored future before him, and will, should his life be spared, become
a power in the political and journalistic world.
He whose name is at the head of this sketch is one who has been associated with the growth of the county and country for nearly forty years past, having
come here in 1856, at which time he settled on section 20, Handy Township, where
he was the owner of eighty acres, only part of which was improved. It bore a log house and a frame granary, which, however, was adequate to the products of those early days, when the fields bore above their green or golden carpet
an arabesque of rich black stumpage, which was perhaps beautified by a wild rose or an unruly blackberry vine, that trailed its luxuriant length and luscious fruit against the effective background.
Our subject continued in the place as it originally was for about twenty years and then bought
a tract of land across the road on section 29, where he resides at the present time and which he has
improved by erecting a good, substantial dwelling and fine barns and granaries.
He now farms two hundred acres of land which he has under the finest state of cultivation. Mr. Judd was born in
Onondaga County, N.Y., November 28, 1824. He is a son of Ozias and Martha (Baker) Judd, natives
of the Empire State. They came to Washtenaw County, this State, in 1831 and settled in the township of Lodi, which at that time was an almost
impenetrable forest. There the father took up eighty acres of Government land which
he improved to such an extent before his death that the (857)
work was easily carried on and perfected by his son. Our subject's father was the first Township Clerk to be elected to that office in this district. He was associated with the Democratic party in his vote and political following and like the majority of early settlers was a Mason, for in those early days the loyalty of fraternity was needed to mitigate in as great a measure as possible the hardships of the period.
Six children came to the fireside and were welcomed to the board; they are
Lucema, Amarilis, our subject, Betsey, Esther and William. Lucema is now Mrs.
Carmer; Amarilis is Mrs. Crain. Our subject's paternal grandparents were Ozias and Licema
(Hulett) Judd. They were from the Eastern States. The former was a blacksmith by trade though he followed the calling of a farmer for the greater portion of his life. He came to Washtenaw County, this State, where he continued agricultural pursuits until his decease. He was the father of three
The original of our sketch received the educational advantages offered at the district schools in which he was reared. When his attention was
not demanded by school work he aided his father on the farm. He continued to live at home until thirty-two years of age, after sixteen years of age having had entire charge of the farm. In the year of 1866 Mr. Judd was married to Miss Frances
Mather, who was born in Washtenaw County, in the township of Scio born October 1, 1833. She was the daughter of Calvin and Marilla (Newcomb)
Mather, natives of New York State. They were early settlers in Washtenaw County, whence they came to Handy Township, this county, where the father lived until his decease. He was Road Commissioner and Township Treasurer and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him. A friend to young and old, rich and poor,
he was generally called by the affectionate and familiar title, "Uncle Cal."
Mr. Judd has been awarded several local offices by
virtue of his fitness. He has been Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Highway Commissioner and School Inspector and has been instrumental in interesting the townspeople in the building of good roads. Religious and educational bodies
never appeal to him in vain, nor do individuals who stand in need of his kindly word or patient sympathy ever turn away from him
unregarded. Three children have risen up about the parents to call them blessed in their latter years. They are Helen, Ozias and
Marilla. Helen is now Mrs. Grover, of Handy Township; Ozias is Supervisor of this township at the present time;
he also fills the offices of School Inspector and Township Treasurer. Politically
Mr. Judd is a Democrat. He also was a Mason. Mr. Judd has accumulated a handsome fortune and is determined to fully enjoy it in the latter part of his life. He has a beautiful home and is surrounded with all the comforts of life.
CHESTER AND SEBASTIAN
This worthy father and son who have been in partnership in business and on the farm for about a quarter of a century and are among the
progressive and prosperous agriculturists of Leroy Township, Ingham County, claim their descent from the noted discoverer, Sebestian Cabot, who came with his brother John to the New World centuries ago. Their richly cultivated
farm and handsome home and excellent farm buildings area standing monument to their industry and good management and their two hundred acres of land, in which they are equal partners, comprise an estate which is a credit to the township.
Chester Cabot was born September 22, 1811, in Herkimer County,
N.Y., and is a son of Justice and Lydia (Robinson) Cabot, natives of New England. He is the youngest of their eleven children and was only seven years old when be removed with his parents to Monroe County, N.Y., where
he grew to manhood, receiving his education in the district school, which gave him a good foundation for future studies, which
he has carried on by himself through reading.
The most interesting event of the young manhood of our subject was his marriage in New York
to Mary Penner in 1835. Only one child of this marriage
survives--Sebastian. After the death of (858)
Mrs. Mary Cabot, Mr. Cabot was united with his present wife in 1853. Before her union with him she was the widow of Mr. Tuttle.
Mr. and Mrs. Cabot had one son, who is deceased. Mr. Cabot is a natural mechanic and throughout his life as a farmer
he has done his own blacksmithing and woodwork whenever needed on the farm, and during his residence in Monroe County, N.Y.,
he and his son Sebastian were in partnership in a wagon and carriage factory and a blacksmith shop in which they were engaged for a number of years and kept three blacksmith fires going. They finally exchanged the shop for the farm upon which they now live in Leroy Township, and in 1870 made their home upon it, where they have since resided. They work together most harmoniously. They have
personally done most of the work upon their fine barn and excellent house and they own together two hundred acres of land, most of which is under cultivation, as they have themselves cleared the timber from one hundred and thirty acres.
While living in New York Chester Cabot served for some time as Supervisor of the township and also filled the office of Assessor, besides other
official positions. Sebastian Cabot was born September 26, 1836, and was married in 1867 to Sarah Ingalsbe who died in 1872. Both the father and son are earnest Prohibitionists in their political views and ever active in the temperance cause.
JACOB GANSLEY. The paper of
which is gentleman is the owner and proprietor, is the Michigan Staats
Zeitung and is the only German newspaper published in Ingham County. Five years ago, about 1886, it was established in Lansing, and now enjoys a circulation of about five hundred, being independent politically, with a tendency toward the principles of the Democratic party. Mr. Gansley purchased the paper December 19,1890, and now employs William Richmond as editor.
Mr. Gansley was born in Germany December 16, 1859, and received his early education in his native land. In 1873 he crossed the broad Atlantic, locating first in Detroit, and for four years
he was engaged in the liquor business in Saginaw, this State. He came to Lansing in 1886, and entered the store of his uncle, George
Gansley, as a clerk. On November 11, 1886, he embarked in business for himself and opened one of the finest fitted up saloons in the city. Here he has since done a prosperous business. With the exception of occasionally serving as a delegate,
he has not taken an active part in politics. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Follows, the Knights of Honor, the Arbeiter Society, Leider Krantz and Turner
Verein. His wife, with whom he was united in marriage , September 15, 1887, bore the maiden name of Hattie Holmes, and resided prior to her marriage in Saginaw.
WILLIAM BLEEKMAN is the owner of and
resident upon the fine farm located on section 10, Wheatfield Township, Ingham
County. His father was a native of Connecticut who in an early day removed to Fulton County,
N.Y., where he was married to Miss Diantha Dibble, also a native of Connecticut. There they passed their lives, the decease of the father occurring in the
Empire State. It is a fact to be remembered that our subject's father and mother were members of
the Universalist Church at a day when that sect was but little known. Our subject was reared in the
Empire State and when he had reached manhood was married to Miss Harriet,
daughter of Daniel Gildersleeve, a native of New Jersey and an early settler of New York, going to that State with his parents when a boy fifteen years of age.
His wife was Silence Earl before her marriage. They were the parents of
ten children, three sons and seven daughters. On the death of the father in New York the widow came to Michigan, and her decease took place in Ingham County while with her children.
As the years went by a group of young people gathered about the sober and occupied lives of their parents and our subject became the father of six children whose names are M. Ella, Ida and Ada
(twins) Louisa, Georgiana and Josephine, all of whom are living and married, with the exception of Josephine who remains at home with her
parents. In 1855 Mr. Bleekman came to Michigan and settled in Wheatfield Township, Ingham County, on eighty acres of land to which
he afterward added forty acres. It was all heavily timbered and he at once began the work of clearing and improving, now having one hundred and ten acres under cultivation.
As can be imagined by one who has been in the timber regions of Michigan and who knows
how hard it is to get laborers, the work of improving our subject's place has been slow and arduous.
He has built a good house and barn and is the possessor of a fine farm that is under a fine state of cultivation. The hardships of pioneer life are as familiar to him as have become the comforts of modern agricultural life.
On his advent here the pioneers had full chance to exercise their skill, for the deer and wild turkey with which the forests abounded had hardly
become afraid of mankind, and were easily shot. The first pie for which Mrs. Bleekman could afford pastry was made of venison. He and his wife have lived together for about forty-six years. and their friends hope that they will have an opportunity to celebrate with them their golden wedding. Sometime ago they took a trip back to their native State and came back more than contented with their lot in life.
Mr. Bleekman is a Democrat in his political following and is a warm adherent of his party.
He has been Justice of the Peace a number of years and has also been Treasurer and Highway
Commissioner. He stands high in the esteem of his fellow townsmen.
NOBLE. This well-known citizen and farmer of repute, whose estate is situated on section 11, Unadilla Township, Livingston
County, is a son of Albert C. Noble, a Connecticut farmer, and Harriet A. Woodruff, a native of Massachusetts. These respected parents were married in New York where they resided
until they came to Michigan in June, 1843, and settled on an improved farm of one hundred
and fifty-eight acres, where Charles Woodruff now lives. The father died February 15, 1864, and the
mother's life ended July 30, 1871. Only two of their nine children have passed on to the other
life. The mother was an earnest member of the Presbyterian Church and gave to her children
instruction in the duties of a religious life. The father was a stanch Republican in his political
views and warmly interested in the prosperity of the party.
The natal day of our subject was November 19, 1840, and he first saw the light in Monroe County, N.Y. As he was a small child when
he came to Michigan he received his education here in district No, 5, and at the age of nineteen began life for himself. In 1862, after two years of working for neighboring farmers he went to Minnesota and there spent two years working in the
pineries, in the northern part of that State, but about this time he heard of the death of his father and decided filial duty and inclination both led him home to care for his mother, and he remained with her until her death taking charge of the old farm.
Sarah M. Haviland was the maiden name of the young lady who became Mrs. Noble, July 13, 1873. She is a daughter of Lewis J. and
Adeline (Stewart) Haviland, who were early settlers in losco Township, this county, where her father
now resides on the old homestead, as the mother had passed away some years ago. Mrs. Noble who was born June 26, 1845, in losco Township, is well educated and has taught school for some fifteen terms. No children have blessed their home, but she has employed her activities in outside work which has been a benefit to the neighborhood. She is an efficient member of the Presbyterian Church. She and her husband adopted a young girl of nine years, Izena Haviland by name, and had her name legally changed to Izena Noble. This
daughter they reared to womanhood and she is now the wife of William Cadwell of East Jordan, Mich.
One hundred and ten acres of fine land forms the estate of Mr. Noble and ninety acres of this are under the plow. With the exception of the house, all the buildings upon the farm have been
(860) put up by him. Besides carrying on general farming he makes something of a specialty of fine Merino sheep of which
he now has some seventy head. Draft horses of the Percheron and Clydesdale breeds are to be found upon his place and
he has a fine young mare of blooded stock which was a J. W. Bailey colt.
He has been Treasurer of the school district for six years and is strongly devoted to the interests of the Republican party.
DICKERSON, deceased. The memory of the good who have departed
this life should be tenderly cherished by those who are left behind, and the record of a man who has achieved worthy work in a community should be kept green for the benefit of the rising generation, that they may study and copy the excellent traits which made him worthy of their respect. This former prominent resident of Locke Township, Ingham County, was a native of Ontario County, N.Y., where he was born November 27, 1828. His parents were Abram and Lucretia Dickerson.
He was reared to manhood in his native county and received the rudiments of his
education in the early schools of New York.
This gentleman was united with the companion of his choice December 19, 1853, his bride being Ann Carr, who was born July 23, 1832, in England. Her parents were Robert and Sarah Carr and they
emigrated to this country when their daughter was but four years old. Her home was in Amsterdam, N.Y., until she reached her ninth year, and then her parents removed to Ontario County, where she grew to maturity. To Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson were born four children--Etta, now the wife of Henry Rann of Shiawassee County and Ella, wife of
Lyman Bennett, of Perry, Mich. The other two died in infancy. In 1853 our subject came with his wife and located in Washtenaw County, Mich., coming thence to Ingham County,
where they located in Locke Township, making their home on the farm where the widow now resides. Here they lived from 1868 to 1883 when Mr. Dickerson died on the last day of the year.
He had much pioneer work and had cleared up and developed a farm. His property was gained by his own exertions, as he had no one to start him in life. He left to his family one hundred and eighty acres of land, one hundred of which are now the property of the widow, and it all represents the product of his life-work.
In his death the county lost one of its best and most respected citizens. He was a Republican in his political views and had served as Highway Commissioner in Locke Township. It is said that he had no enemies and it is universally conceded that his intelligence and enterprise brought him into the front rank among the citizens of the township. His widow is prominent in social and church circles, being a member of the United Brethren Church.
GIBBS. Although in the
meridian of life, our subject is to the "manor born " of the agricultural fraternity. He
was born June 6, 1845, in the town of Avon, Oakland County, this State, and is a son of Graham
and Amanda (Toms) Gibbs. He is a grandson of Calvin Gibbs, who was born in New York, and who was by calling a farmer. He died while
comparatively a young man, but was the father of four sons and four daughters. The sons were Calvin,
Monroe, Graham and Austin. The daughters were Julia, Clarissa, Emily and Charlotte.
The grandsire of the worthy subject of our sketch came to Michigan and settled in Macomb County about 1822 or 1823. He staid for a time at Red River, and then proceeded to Troy, Oakland County, where he died in 1824. His widow afterward married a Mr. Marvin, and her decease took place in St. John's, in 1880 at the age of ninety-two years. She was
a lifelong member of the Baptist Church, and a devoted and consistent Christian. Our subject's father was born in Herkimer County, N.Y., and with his parents came to Michigan and settled in Avon, being one of the very first to settle in Oakland County. He now lives in Pontiac, at the age of seventy-eight.
His wife still survives. They are the parents of two children--Emma and Charles H., the latter being the gentleman of whom we write, The family are of the Episcopal persuasion.
Mr. Gibbs' mother was born in Bloomfield, N.Y. She was the daughter of Alvin and Minerva (Phelps) Toms, and was one of seven children born to her parents, there being three
sons--Robert P., Joel P. and Justice W. The daughters were Olive, who was Mrs. Wilcox;
Amanda, who married Mr. Gibbs, and Maria, wife of Judge Powell. The family is of Scotch ancestry. The early training of our subject was that of a farmer's lad, and the rudiments of his education were acquired in the district school in the vicinity of big home. He also went to Pontiac to school. At sixteen years of age
he began his work as a bread-winner, entering a store at Saginaw.
In December, 1864, Mr. Gibbs enlisted in the army and was assigned to duty as teamster in a wagon train, serving most of the time on the road between Raleigh and Springfield, Mo. At twenty-three years of age, having purchased eighty acres of his father's farm
he began life for himself. With the exception of one year spent in Waterford and one at Knoxville, our subject lived on the old homestead until 1885. He then sold his place and went to Knoxville, Tenn., in August, 1888, where
he purchased one hundred and fifty acres, where he resides on section 5, of Deerfield Township on the place known as the Hawley farm.
The farm upon which Mr. Gibbs resides is one of the finest in the county; his barns
are very large and well-built; his residence is a home of comfort and enjoyment; his fields are well tilled and the stock sleek and well fed. Previous to this time he was a dairyman. He
had the first herd of Guernsey cattle in Michigan. The subject of our sketch is a fervent Republican in his political belief. He was married June 13, 1868 to Eva L. Davis, who was born in Avon, August 29,1852. She was a daughter of Harry W. and Elizabeth (Swan) Davis natives of Madison and Albany, N.Y., respectively. Mr. Davis was a farmer
and came to Avon, Oakland County in an early day. He there resided until his death which occurred in 1858. He was an old soldier in the Mexican War.
The two children born to him and his wife were Eva L. and Harry J. Mrs. Gibbs' father was a son of Isaac and Roxy (Wilson) Davis, who
came to Madison from Connecticut at an early day. He died in the first-named place and his widow came to Michigan, her decease occurring in New York, in 1866 at the age of eighty-eight years.
Four children have graced the domestic realm, of which our subject is head. They are Eddy C.,
Harry G., Emma M. and Amelia M.
LINTSFORD B. DEMEREST. Truth and purity in the end always win the day, and the exponents of these principles inevitably gain an ascendancy over those who
are careless as to these potent principles. He of whom we write has always adhered to the principles of temperance, morality and truth, and has the respect and regard of his fellow-men. He is a farmer living on section 28, Handy Township, Livingston County, and is the proprietor of eighty acres of land which
he devotes for the most part to the raising of Short-horn cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, etc. His place is one of
the representative farms of his township, being a model of neatness, scientific
culture and productivness.
Mr. Demerest is a native of the Wolverine State and is thoroughly acquainted with the condition of its soil, its atmosphere, etc., and thus has the advantage over many agriculturists who are obliged to familiarize themselves with a new tract. He was born in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, this State, the 16th of August, 1843, and is a son of John and Ann K.
(Dey) Demerest, natives of Rockland and Seneca Counties, N.Y. John Demerest came to Washtenaw County, Mich., in the year of 1841, and was here married. He came to Livingston County in October, 1849, and settled in the same township where he has since lived. Since being here
he has held the office of Commissioner. Our subject's paternal grandparents were John and Nancy (Phillips)
Demerest, natives of Rockland County. They came to Michigan in 1842, settling in Allegan County, where they lived for two or three
(862) years and then removed to this county. Our subject's grandfather who was a Democrat, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Nancy Phillip's father
was Gilbert Phillips, a native of New York, where he carried on his trade, which was that of a carpenter and joiner.
He also was a Democrat as is the father of our subject.
The immediate progenitors of our subject still occupy the old homestead which their son and our subject conducts. The father is seventy-six years of age and his wife sixty-six years old. They have only two children,
he of whom we write, and William. The latter is a druggist in Webberville.
He has a very pleasant home over which presides his wife, who was in her maiden days a Miss Mary Cruse, of Marion Township. Both husband and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and William is a Democrat and an Odd Fellow.
Our subject was educated in Handy Township and then took a commercial course at Albion, this State. He learned the carpenter's
trade, which he followed for some years. He has always made his home with his parents and since 1879 has taken
charge of the farm. The confidence that his fellow townsmen repose in his judgment and ability is shown by the fact that he has been elected to fill several township offices, having held that of Treasurer for two years.
Mr. Lintsford Demerest was united in marriage in 1874 to Miss Matilda A. Saunders. She was a daughter of Frederick and Mary (Love) Saunders, natives of England, who came to America in the early history of Michigan and settled in the township of Marion, this county, where they engaged in farming. The mother died in Shiawassee County, to which place they had moved in the spring of 1875. Mr. Saunders is one of the representative agricultural men of that county and has been very successful in his business. Mrs. Demerest died November 6, 1885. He contracted a second marriage, Miss Mary J. Saunders becoming his wife April 6, 1888. She is a sister of his first wife.
Our subject has a family of three children, whose names are Alta M., Bertha B. and Laverne J. Mr. Demerest now belongs to the Industrial party.
He is also a member of the Farmer's Alliance and of the Grange. In their church associations he and his wife are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which body our subject is Secretary of the
Board of Trustees. He is a believer in the temperance cause, as he is in all progressive movements, but that of temperance is particularly vital to him and
he would gladly do all he could to see it advanced. Mr. Demerest is a man who is looked up to with all deference and regard by his associates and fellow-townsmen.
CLEMENTS. Not a few of the
farmers of Marion Township, Livingston County, had their nativity in this
very county, and among such we find some who are of foreign parentage, but who have brought
inherited traits to bear in developing the newer civilization of our Western country. He of whom we write was born of English parentage in Marion
Township in January, 1849.
Thomas Clements, the father of our subject, was born in England in 1817, and although he had very scant opportunities for an education devoted himself with great industry and foresight to his work as a farmer. Finding, however, that there was but little opportunity for him to attain much financial success in the old country, he determined to come to America. After spending some time in the United States and Canada, Thomas Clements returned to England to bring hence the one whom
he had chosen as his wife Martha Holmes. Upon his return to this country he came to Detroit, and in 1845 made his home in Marion Township, where he first bought eighty acres which he afterward disposed of and bought one hundred in another part of the township, and somewhat later added
to it by purchase of another hundred.
The father of our subject resides now on section 17,
Marion Township, and of his nine children our subject was the third in order of age. In 1865
he lost the wife of his youth and in 1867 he was again united in marriage. By this wife, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Robbins, he has one daughter.
His political views bring him in sympathy with the Democratic party. One of the most interesting experiences of his life is his trip to California in 1852, when he went overland and spent a year or two
in the mines, coming home by way of Panama. At one time while on his trip the party left the trail and took a short cut, during which excursion
they were attacked by Indians. Once when he was untying his horse an arrow from in Indian bow struck the tree over his head and
he only escaped by the speed of his horse. He stopped at Salt Lake City where
he had the questionable distinction of stacking grain for Brigham Young.
In early youth our subject's school advantages were limited but he was not content with a narrow education. He therefore after reaching his majority worked until he had earned $200 and then devoted that sum to his expenses while at school in Howell. He then bought one hundred and twenty acres of land to which he has since added twenty more, and in 1874 he married Lydia
Papworth, daughter of Thomas Papworth, an Englishman, who had seven children, his daughter Lydia being born in 1850. To this wife were born three children, Ida L., George G. and Grace. In 1887 Mrs. Lydia Clements was called to her eternal home.
The lady who now presides with so much grace and dignity over the household of Mr. Clements was, at the time of her marriage with him, a widow, having one child, Alice J. She was Mrs. Ellen
(Twilley) Beach, daughter of James Twilley, who came to Brighton from England at an early day and had a family of five daughters. Mrs. Clements was born in England in 1848 and she has now two beautiful children, Gail H. and Glendon T. While the Protestant Methodist Church was being built in West
Marion Mr. Clements was one of the Trustees who had charge of that responsible work and
he is now Steward in this church, where he and his wife are active and devout members.
The declarations of the Democratic party embody the political views of Mr. Clements, and
he is active in his advocacy of the claims of that party. He was the first Township Superintendent of Schools which Marion Township ever had, and has also filled with efficiency and satisfaction to his constituents the offices of Justice of the Peace and
Supervisor. He is now starting into the fruit business and has from four hundred to five hundred peach trees, twenty pear trees and forty plum trees
upon his place. He has also planted one hundred grape vines and one hundred dewberry
bushes. His registered Galloway cattle are valuable adjuncts of his farm and
he has some of the best sheep for fine wool in the township, but they are
not of the registered grades.
HON. JACOB KANOUSE. Undoubtedly of
German descent, our subject belongs to a family whose more recent representatives
have been closely associated with the growth and history of New Jersey. The representative of
the present generation, of whom we are writing, residing in Cohoctah Township, has been a
Representative of his district in the State Legislature. Now one of the leading farmers and citizens
of this vicinity, he was born August 23, 1817, in the town of Rockaway, Morris County, N.J., and
is a son of Peter and Sarah (Cook) Kanouse, and a grandson of Jacob Kanouse, who in turn was a son
of Jacob Kanouse, who came from Germany. He came here in Colonial days and was a
representative of the class of toilers whose native shrewdness and wit was their only stock in trade, for he was
sold to pay his passage hither. His wife, who accompanied him, was also sold to the same man to
whom her husband was bound, and together they served for seven years, after which they married
and were successful in accumulating a handsome property, comprising over two hundred acres of
land. The first wife, who was the companion of his days of poverty and privation, bore him four
children, all sons; she died and he married again. The second wife presented him with three sons and
one daughter. As was the custom at that time, on the decease of the first wife she was interred on his
farm. The frame house in which they lived when beginning life still stands, and his descendants,
who are very numerous, find in it a fitting memorial of the industry, sacrifice, prudence and economy
of their early progenitor.
Our subject's grandfather was born in Morris County, N.J., and
was reared a farmer. As the domestic altar was raised the household was enlarged to include four sons, whose names were Joseph, Peter, Frederick and Conrad, all of whom married, with the exception of Conrad, who died in the War of 1812. The father died in New Jersey. Our subject's father, Peter Kanouse, was a native of New Jersey, and early learned the blacksmith's trade. During the War of 1812 he went to New York City to help defend the city, and in 1836 he determined to strike out in a new line from the rest of his family and came West, going
up the Hudson River and west by the Erie Canal to Buffalo, where
he took a boat for Detroit, and settled in the town of Burns, in Shiawassee County, this State. He entered three hundred and twenty acres of land on section 27. Of this
he gave each of his children eighty acres, reserving a life interest in eighty acres for himself. Originally
he was a Whig, but later became a Republican. His decease took place on the farm which
he had purchased, August 24, 1871, at which time he lacked only four months of being eighty years of age. The father of six children, only four grew to maturity; these are Jacob, Edmund, Peter and Agnes. These all reared families. Adherents of the Presbyterian Church, our subject's father and mother were the first representatives of that body in this section and were instrumental in organizing a church of that denomination here. At the time of their advent here there was no store, mill or church within forty miles. For twenty years after coming to this State the elder Mr. Kanouse worked at his trade.
The mother of the original of our sketch was born in 1793, in New Jersey. She was a daughter, of Henry and Sarah
(Ryerson) Cook, farmers of New Jersey of Holland-Dutch origin. They had four sons and four daughters. Our subject's mother died September 12, 1870. Mr. Kanouse received only a common-school education in his youth;
he is a man, however, to make the most of every opportunity and has learned much by observation. As soon as
he was strong enough to swing the hammer he began to learn the trade of a blacksmith and when seventeen years of age went to
New York City, where he worked for one year, and at the end of that time came to Michigan with his father and for forty years was engaged in working
at his trade; at the same time he was the proprietor of farming interests. His trade, which was chiefly the ironing of breaking plows, left him time to attend successfully to his other business. On coming to the State
he entered land, which was afterward patented by his father, and cleared twenty acres of the eighty, which was his portion of the estate.
In 1844 he of whom we write sold his tract and bought two hundred and ninety acres where
he now resides on section 5, Cohoctah Township, Livingston County, paying
$3 per acre for his purchase. He made a payment by trade in flour at $4 per barrel, drawing it to Detroit and Pontiac, and did not free his place from debt for five years, although he was quite successful in crops.
He planted forty acres to wheat the first year and it yielded him a return of five hundred bushels. For a time
he was very closely pressed for the necessities of life, but since that time
he has never wanted for anything. For twenty years his brother Peter was in business with him. They kept no account whatever of the possessions of either, but at the end of that time divided the farm and each took half of everything. Our subject now owns one hundred and five acres, having given ten acres to his son and sold him twenty acres, besides fifteen acres disposed of to another.
Mr. Kanouse and his brother made all the improvements that the estate boasts. Our subject served for six or eight years as Supervisor of the township, his first election taking place in 1851.
He was also Justice of the Peace for twelve years and was elected to the State Legislature in 1860, and although the popular majority was against him,
he received the election by a majority of seventeen, and while thus engaged served on the State Affairs Committee. In the fall of 1872
he was elected Probate Judge, and as a Republican has been active and influential in politics, and is proud of having been one of the original Abolitionists.
The marriage of Mr. Kanouse took place December 17, 1840, at which time he was made one with Miss Mabel Drake, who is a native of
County, N.Y., and a daughter of Gideon and Maria (Pope) Drake, who came to Adrian, Mich., in the fall of 1835, thence removing, in 1838, to Burns Township, where he entered and cleared a farm. Our subject and his wife are the parents of four children--Luther C., Mary A., Emma J. and Nettie J. The eldest son was a lieutenant in the late war, belonging to the Sixth Michigan Cavalry. Mary A. is the wife of William Randall; Emma is the wife of George E. Foster. In 1864 our subject was appointed by Gov. Blair to
go South and take the votes of the soldiers of the First, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Michigan Cavalry. Mr. and Mrs. Kanouse have
been active members of the regular Baptist Church for fifty years and our subject has served as Deacon and Clerk for many years. Both are members of the first church organized here.
REV. WINFIELD S. SLY is the founder and
general manager of the Rocky Beach Benevolent Association, which was organized
for the purpose of rescuing and placing orphans and indigent children in good private homes. Its central office is at Lansing, where all gifts and correspondence should be addressed to the general manager. It was incorporated under the laws of the State in 1888 with our subject as President and General Manager, T.
Slenou, M. D., of Jackson, Mich., as first vice-president, W. S. Moore, of Jackson, second vice-president, J. N. Graham, of this city as secretary and E. B. Carrier, treasurer. The institution is supported by free-will offerings. The children are maintained in receiving homes in Lansing or remain in the institution at Rocky Beach until permanent homes can be secured for them.
This institution has been greatly prospered, besides having found places for many little ones who might otherwise have been miserably left to grow up to lives of ignorance and crime. Buildings are being erected on handsome grounds
belonging to the association on the south shore of the Little Traverse Bay. Here children fourteen years old or
under, are taken under the care of matrons and preceptors appointed by the association until of age or adoption by private families, and that the milk of human kindness is richer than often it is credited with being, is shown by the fact that the people of this and other states have sent in applications often amounting in number to more than there are children in the institution, offering to give these homeless waifs comfortable homes and protection, with such educational advantages as they are obliged to guarantee the association before it will give them into their charge.
The association is exceptionally well organized and is reaching out a
beneficent arm to all parts of the country. They aim to have a local Superintendent and Advisory Board in every rural school district, and in every ward of large cities, and in each town and village to receive or collect supplies or money and to ascertain what homes or families desire to adopt children. They also find and report to Mr. Sly, the general manager, such children as are in need of homes. The institution is distinctively religious but not sectarian. It has
had the highest degree of encouragement in receiving offers of homes from a moral and high class of people. Especial attention is given to the class of applicants and homes in which the wards of the institution are placed.
The scope of the work which the Rev. Mr. Sly has organized is not confined to the State, but is national in that it has offerings and applications for children from almost every state and territory in the Union, besides from Canada and Mexico. The
Orphans' Voice the organ of the association is a folio published monthly in the interest of the institution and has at present a circulation of 10,000 copies. This is edited by our subject.
Rev. Winfield S. Sly was born in Lockport, Ill., August 21, 1848 and is a son of Seneca Sly. He received his education at the Northwestern
University at Evanston, Ills., and also studied at the Garrett Biblical Institute, and was ordained to the ministry in 1869, his first charge being in
Kinmundy, of that State, thereafter serving as pastor at Shipman and Alton, Ills., and at
Petoskey, Jackson and Lansing, Mich. His time is now exclusively occupied in Evangelistic work and in connection with the
When a lad of fifteen years of age, our subject's blood was stirred by the accounts of the heroism of our nation's preservers, and
he enlisted in Company H, of the One Hundred and Thirty-second Illinois Infantry and was sent to the department of the Cumberland. He was engaged the most of his time on garrison duty in Kentucky, and remained in the army until the expiration of his term of service near
the close of the war. Our subject married Miss Maggie W. Woolworth, who as an orphan child, was adopted from the American Female Guardian Society of New York City, by Mr. and Mrs. Paris Woolworth, of Plainfield, Ills., and by them reared as their own child until she was married. From her
Mr. Sly received his first stimulus to his work and she is now an able assistant in the good that is being done by the association. They have one daughter who is twelve years of age, Her name is Fannie
W. and their tender love for her makes them more appreciative of the position and the dangers that surround a young person who is without parents and left to the mercies of the world.
JEWETT. dealer in hardware,
stoves, ranges, steam-fittings, etc. in Howell, Livingston County, was born here in 1847, and resides in his birth-place.
He is the son of the Hon. George W. and Annis P. (Melendy) Jewett, natives of Durham, Conn. and of New Hampshire respectively. The father's younger days were spent in the mercantile business and at the age of twenty-one
he removed to Moravia, N.Y., where for several years he engaged in the mercantile trade and was married. Shortly after this event
he left New York in the fall of 1836 and came to Michigan, where he located four hundred
acres of land in Livingston County, one hundred acres of it lying within the city limit of Howell.
George Jewett returned East and brought on his bride to this new and wild home.
He built the first frame residence in the city and lived in it for three years after which
he built the magnificent home which still remains on his farm half a mile
from the court-house. He died in 1851 and his wife, in 1877. He filled various important
offices, being the first County Clerk and being twice a member of the Legislature. He did much
business for others and was a very active and prominent business man
thorough out his life. He and his wife were charter members of the Presbyterian Church which
he helped to organize and build.
The children of the Hon. George W. and Annis Jewett are William B., Jeanette, Sarah F., Mary, Lizzie, Ellen, and our subject. Their mother was one of the most practical and capable women in Michigan and after her husband's death attended to the business of his large estate, and in her business management she was complimented by men of affairs. Besides these active qualities she
had unusual literary attainments and refinement and also took a leading part in church matters, doing
much especially to support the musical part of the church service.
After working upon the old homestead until he was twenty-two, Mr. Jewett embarked in the business which now engages him. He built the Jewett Block in 1872 and is one of the organizers and directors and President of the Electric Light Company of Howell and has been in the City Council three times. Thirty acres of the old farm have been platted and sold as the Jewett Addition and he still retains fifteen acres about the old home.
He was married in 1883 to Miss Eva A., a daughter of Edward J. and Cornelia A. (Howland) Mills,
and she has two children, Annis C. and Charles G. They are both members of the Presbyterian Church and Mrs. Jewett is a woman of fine literary attainments and musical ability.
The family to which the Hon. George W. Jewett belonged has been considerably noted in business and manufacturing circles. His brother, Samuel P., was prominently identified with the business interests of Ann Arbor and for twenty years was the Chicago Agent for the manufacturing firm of Jewett & Root of Buffalo, N.Y. Another brother, John C., of Buffalo, has the largest factory in the world for the making of refrigerators and birdcages, while Sherman S. has also been in the manufacturing business for fifty-five years
at Buffalo, and Guernsey is a capitalist at Moravia, N.Y. Dr. Charles, of Moravia, now deceased, had one of the most beautiful places in that section and James H., of Buffalo, a manufacturer of boots and shoes, is also
an enterprising and successful business man.
BROKAW. The prominent and well-known farmer whose name we now give has his fine farm located
upon section 27, Putnam Township, Livingston County, one-half mile south from the village of Pinckney. He has good reason to feel proud of his parentage, as his father, Isaac Brokaw, was a man of unusual ability
who, in company with John C. Birdsall originated what is now known as the Birdsall Clover Huller. He was a mechanical genius and was always throughout life interested in machinery. The machine was first known as the Birdsall & Brokaw Clover Huller, but Mr. Brokaw in the course of time sold out his interest which is now held by Mr. Birdsall of South Bend, Ind.
Isaac Brokaw was through most of his life a farmer and was born in Seneca Count y,
NY. He took to wife Lavina Cate, who was also a native of the Empire State and who came with him to
Michigan in 1870, and settled on the farm where our subject now lives. She still survives, but was bereaved of her husband in a most terrible disaster, as
he was killed by the cars at Dexter, Washtenaw County, in 1885 when he was sixty-two years old. Her three children are all living, namely: our subject, Sarbra E. and Helen C.
He of whom we write is a native of the Empire State and was born August 12, 1849. The common schools of his native home supplied his education and
he spent one year in Michigan some twenty-seven years ago, during which time he attended the district school here.
He then went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania and remained there some six years.
The young man now decided to go West and in 1871 sought the great city of Chicago where he was engaged in boring artesian wells. Still following the star of empire he went to Ft. Russell Wyoming
Ty., where he pursued the same line of work so successfully as to build up quite a reputation. After a year and a half
he went into the gold mines near Ft. Russell and also in the region of the Black Hills,
Dak. and spent five years there. During one year he made three trips from
Cheyenne to Deadwood. That was the year of the Custer massacre and as matters were
very much unsettled at that time he had frequent brushes with the Indians, but
he says that during his experience in the oil region he met a much rougher set of men than he did in the Black Hills
at Wyoming. As he was not making his fortune in the mines he decided to leave that part of the country and in
1879 he came to Michigan and settled upon the farm where he now resides and which has been his home from that day to this.
Mr. Brokaw now found a settled life so much more conducive to his happiness than the roving experiences of the past few years that
he decided to make his home still more permanent by taking to himself a wife, and he was married in 1881 to Clara Louise, daughter of George and Martha (Allison)
Reeves, who were old settlers in this township and who are now both deceased. Mrs.
Brokaw is a native of this township. One child only has been granted to this interesting couple, Kitsey R., who was born July 12, 1886.
Mrs. Brokaw is a lady of unusual intelligence and culture for after availing herself thoroughly of the advantages offered in the district school
she had taken a course of study at the seminary in Monroe, Mich., and thus fitted herself for
the position of a teacher, which she filled previous to her marriage.
Mr. Brokaw is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees at Pinckney and in that organization
he is Commander.
Our subject has ever been interested in political themes and is well-read upon all matters of public interest, keeping himself fully abreast with the trend of the times. He affiliates with the Republican party and works earnestly for its success. He was a candidate for Sheriff on the regular
ticket but was defeated. His popularity in the township is attested by the fact that
he is now serving his fifth term on the Board of Supervisors and he has frequently been a delegate to important political conventions. He is a strictly temperate
man in (868) principle and practice and an ardent supporter of every movement looking toward morality and the improvement of the Commonwealth.
Mr. Brokaw devotes himself mostly to general farming, carrying on the work on a beautiful tract of eighty acres. He is one of the first to introduce the Jersey cattle into this township and has been unusually successful in handling them. He also is financially interested in the business of threshing and has been ever since coming to this township. His general intelligence, his broad experience and comprehensive knowledge of men and the world have fitted him to take prominent places in public life and
he is often called upon to act for his fellow-townsmen in the transaction of public business.
HUDSON, of Lansing, Ingham County, proprietor "The Senate" was born at Huron, Erie County, Ohio, July 12, 1848. For a sketch of his parents the reader will consult the biographies of H. and A. Hudson. He was reared in Huron and Milan, Ohio, until he reached the age of eleven years and then came to Lansing, where he continued his education and helped his
father until he had passed the age of nineteen, since which time he has been engaged in running a sample room. He built the Senate Block, and later rebuilt and remodeled the Hudson Block, a large
three story building 66 feet front by 80 feet deep, and is half-owner in the building at the corner of Washington Avenue and Washtenaw Street.
Mr. Hudson is engaged to some extent in the real-estate business and has also devoted much time and attention to breeding blooded pugs and beagles, and has imported more pugs than any other man in the State. Some of his dogs have sold at a very high figure and one brought
$787.50. He has the finest dog kennel in Michigan.
The subject of this sketch was united in marriage in
London Canada, with Miss Lillie Higby, a native of that city and they have one adopted child who is now ten years of age. Mr. Hudson is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and belongs to the encampment at Lansing. He is also a
member of the fraternity of Elks and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a Democrat in his political
views. His wife is a devout member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
HON. GEORGE W. BRISTOL was born in Chautauqua County, N.Y., May 25, 1843, and is the son of Huram and Nancy (Griffin) Bristol, who were pioneers of Ingham County, having settled two miles west of Mason in the fall of 1843, where the father cleared the first five acres of his farm, working nights after having worked at his trade, blacksmithing, at Mason during the day. In 1867 Huram Bristol removed to Mason and engaged with D. J. Darrow in the mercantile business. He was for many years Justice of the Peace and was a man of strict integrity, widely known and
universally respected. In 1859 he, with six others formed the First Presbyterian Church of Mason, and served as an Elder until his removal from the city. He
died December 30, 1882.
George W., the subject of this sketch, received a good
common-school education, afterward attending for a time the Lansing Academy. He engaged in farming with his father until the year 1868, when he came to Mason where he has ever since resided, and entered into the employ of Bristol & Darrow in the dry-goods business. In 1870 he began the study of law under Judge
Chatterton, and in 1873 was admitted to the bar. His principal practice has been in the probate court.
Mr. Bristol has held many responsible positions and his intelligent administration while holding these positions, together with his honesty and integrity of purpose, have given him that standing among men that he so richly deserves. He has been City Attorney, Supervisor of his ward, and also member of the School Board for several years. He has held the office of Circuit Court Commissioner of Ingham County for two terms, being first elected in 1874, and at one of these terms he was one of the only two who were elected on the Democratic ticket. He was Secretary of
the Ingham County (869)
Agricultural Society for twelve of the most successful years of its career. He has been connected with the probate office for a number of years, and in 1887 was appointed Probate Registrar, which position he held until June, 1891, when upon the resignation of Judge Q. A. Smith
he was appointed Probate Judge of Ingham County, by Gov. Winans, which office
he now holds. His large experience in probate practice, and familiarity with the details of the office make him
pre-eminently fitted for this position.
Early training left its impress upon Mr. Bristol and he has for many years been a member and also one of the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity ever since
he was twenty-one years of age and also belongs to the order of the Knights of Pythias.
May 16, 1866, he was married to Miss Hattie W. Stanton, daughter of Daniel
H. Stanton, an early pioneer of Ingham County, having located a farm purchased from the Government in the township of Delhi in 1841. They have two daughters; Hattie E., the elder, is the wife of Rev. Frank G.
Ellett, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Concord, Mich. Nina E. is a student in the Literary Department of the Michigan University.
Politically Mr. Bristol has always been a stanch and consistent Democrat. casting his first vote for Gen. McClellan in 1864.
HARTMAN. The beautiful home of this gentleman is one of the pleasant sights which is seen by the traveler along the highways of Genoa Township, Livingston County. It is a large brick house which was erected in 1874 at a cost of some $3,000, and near it are the excellent barns which shelter the stock and crops of Mr. Hartman. This sturdy German farmer has made a decided success of agriculture in his adopted country and has become thoroughly Americanized.
Our subject was born in Hessian Germany, November 3, 1823, and his father, John Hartman, Sr.,
had his nativity in 1780. He served in the German Army for ten years but never saw active service other than throwing up fortifications in Poland during the Napoleonic wars. He came to America in 1829, landing on the 18th of November, and at once made his home in Montgomery County, N.Y., where he lived for seven years and then came to Michigan, reaching Detroit in May 1836. During the ensuing February
he came to Livingston County and settled on this section where he bought eighty acres of land from the Government, receiving a deed which was signed by Martin Van Buren. He built a log house in the middle of the eighty acres near to what was known as a "cat-hole" so that he might easily procure water. To this door the friendly Indians came and solicited food. Deer were then abundant and venison was plentiful. After clearing up this farm
he made it his home until death intervened at the age of seventy-five years.
The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Maria Rohr, was also born in Hessian Germany, and her children had their nativity in the fatherland with the exception of one. The mother died at the age of fifty-four and four of her seven children survived her. Both she and her husband were identified with the German Lutheran Church. The home in Germany and the nine weeks on the briny deep are remembered only dimly by our subject. He attended to his education in the log schoolhouses of Livingston County during the winters and helped about the farm work in the summer. He drove a breaking team of from four to seven oxen over many an acre of land, and after he began to work for wages received from $7 to $10 a month.
At the age of twenty-four the young man undertook independent work and bought eighty acres of land, twenty of which were prepared for cultivation, and aside from that beginning he has placed upon this farm every improvement which will be found here. Ten years later he added an equal acreage to the first purchase and has placed it all in good condition for crops. He was married in 1847 to Maria
Westphal, who was born in 1830, in Prussia, Germany. She has reared nine children, namely: Hannah (Mrs.
Stanlick), Henry, (870)
Peter, Sophia (Mrs. Trescott), Charlie, Maria, Frederick, Alma (Mrs. Collit), and Emily (Mrs. Phillips).
Beginning with empty hands but a sturdy integrity and brave determination to succeed our subject has now acquired one hundred acres of beautiful land in a high state of cultivation, having sold fifty acres to his son-in-law, Edward
Trescott. His success is worthy of record as it is the result of his own endeavors.
He and his wife are one in religious faith and both are members of the German Lutheran Church. The Republican party receives the endorsement of Mr. Hartman who has
served as Township Treasurer for one term.
BIRD. A worthy representative of the agricultural fraternity, Mr. Bird has retired from active business life and is
now enjoying a well-earned respite from severe labor, having a pleasant residence in Williamsville, Unadilla Township, Livingston County.
He is a son of Furman Bird, a native of Warren County, N.J., and a farmer. His grandfather was
Edward Bird, who was of English descent and a man of some note in his day, being a member of the Legislature and Justice of the Peace.
He was a farmer by occupation residing in Warren County, and with his wife, whose maiden name was Susanna Furman, lived to a good old age. His mother was Mary Ann (Davis) Bird, also a native of
New Jersey. Her father, David Davis, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Bird, Sr., were married in their native State and there resided until they came to the Wolverine State in 1833, first settling at Ann Arbor
on a farm. There was but a small settlement there at that time, a log house serving as a tavern. The farm comprised eighty acres of land, and was about one mile from the village.
The energies of our subject's father bent to the improvement of his place, and before his decease
he erected a good frame dwelling house and fine barns. Both parents have passed away from the
scene of their most active labor. Of ten children born to his parents our subject is the only one now living. His early training in a religious way was in the Presbyterian Church. Our subject's father was a Deacon in that body before coming to Michigan. His decease took place in 1839, at the age of
sixty-five years. His wife died in 1856 at the age of seventy-two years. Politically the father was a Jacksonian Democrat. Mrs. Bird was an unassuming Christian woman whose real worth was known only to her intimate friends, so quietly did she perform her many deeds of kindness. The poor and needy found in her a helper, and she was a warm friend of missions ever willing to deny herself for others, as the following incident will show. Her means were very limited; there fell to, her at one time the small amount of $300. Instead of using it for her own comfort she gave $200 to the cause of missions and loaned the remainder to a feeble church to build a house of worship, reserving nothing for herself. Mrs. Bird was the only daughter of David Davis. She had two brothers, Samuel and Chambers, who were farmers by occupation and resided in Warren County,
The brothers and sisters of our subject were as follows: Betsey, Sloan, Samuel, Elijah, Mary, Edward, John,
Joseph and Susannah, all except the latter marrying and settling in Southern Michigan. Joseph, the youngest, came to his death in the gold mines of California; he left a wife and one child. John lived and died on the old homestead, where his wife and family still reside.
The original of our sketch first saw the light of day March 4. 1813, in Warren County, N.J. On coming to Michigan he was twenty years of age, and had received his education in the East, having had the advantages offered in a district
school. He was reared on a farm and was early familiarized with agricultural duties.
He remained at home with his father until coming to Livingston County, giving him his services until he reached his majority and working for wages after that time.
Mr. Bird came to this county and located on a farm of one hundred and seventy-two acres in Unadilla Township,
on section 30. The land is what is known as oak openings, and it was patented to
(871) him directly from the Government. There were at the time more Indians than white men, neighbors of the latter sort, being very few. He was obliged to borrow money to pay for part of his land and bought two yoke of oxen on credit. Building a log house he began the work of clearing, which
went on slowly as he had no help and had to depend upon himself entirely.
Our subject's marriage took place March 6, 1839,
at which time he was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Piper, a daughter of William and Agnes Piper, natives of Scotland and early settlers in Unadilla Township. Mrs. Bird was born September 12, 1816 in Scotland. She died December 1, 1880. This worthy couple have been the parents of six children, three of whom are now living. They are William F., Mary E. and Almira R. William was born August 24, 1840; his first wife
was Elgiva Barton, a native of Maine; at her death she left four children, the eldest of whom, a noble boy nineteen years of age, was drowned while bathing in the lake at Williamsville. The maiden name of his second wife was Ella Lake. He lives near Ann Arbor and has five children, three of whom are by his former marriage. Mary E., was born March 26, 1845; she is now the wife of V. E. Ives and lives in this township; she is the mother of two children.
Almira R., born January 15, 1848, is the wife of A. B. Dunning and lives in Sturgis. Mr. Dunning is a prominent lawyer in that city.
He and his wife are the parents of two children.
The original of our sketch has been constantly improving his farm and has added to it. At one time he had three hundred and seventy-two acres and had cleared off two hundred and fifty, which were in a good state of cultivation. This he sold and retired from agricultural work.
He is a member of the Baptist Church and has been a deacon in the same for over fifty years. He was one of the original builders of the First Baptist Church of this township and has been in active member since. In former years our subject took a lively interest in Sunday-school work and for some time was Superintendent of
the same. In the absence of a pastor he carried on the meetings for two years. Deeply appreciative of the benefits of
a good education, he gave his children the best advantages that time and circumstances would allow. Some of them are graduates of the college at Ypsilanti. Of
his deceased children Agnes D. became the wife of Halsted Gregory and was the mother of one child; she died April 4, 1874; Chambers
D. died January 1, 1884; he married Diana Danten and was the father of one child; Justin V., who was the husband of Anna Striker and the father of one
child died July 7, 1882. Our subject has been Assessor of his township. In early days he was a Democrat, but on the agitation of the Slavery question
he became a Republican and from this party has transferred his allegiance to the Prohibitionists, having always been an ardent advocate of temperance principles.
Mr. Bird deserves the greatest credit for his life work. He started out empty-handed and carried on his farm forty-seven years, making it
a success pecuniarily. He has lived to see his children all associated with the Baptist Church and honorable and honored men and women. In early days the main supporter of the church,
he has always been a faithful and enthusiastic helper in Gospel work. He well remembers, in an early day, when the the nearest market was at Detroit or Ann Arbor, and the products of his farm had to be conveyed thither by ox-team or horse and