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B I O G R A P H I E S


BABCOCK, Charles M.
An enterprising general agriculturist and extensive wheat-grower of Sodus Township, Berrien County, has passed his life from early boyhood in the State of Michigan, and during the entire period of his residence here has made his home within the limits of the township, he was born July 17, 1852, in Noble County, Ind., but has for nearly thirty years been identified with the changing scenes of Berrien County, where he is now spending his days of honored and busy usefulness. The parents of Mr. Babeock died when he was a few weeks old, and then the helpless little one was given into the tender care of Mr. and Mrs. Krastus Harlow, who were to him as parents. The Harlows at that time lived in Indiana, and it was not until Charles was twelve years of age that they removed to Michigan. Our subject attended the district schools of Wayne Township, Noble County, Ind., and aided his foster parents in the daily round of agricultural work incidental to the life of a farmer hoy. He was apt and intelligent, and in every possible manner repaid with grateful affection the kindness of Mr. and Mi's. Harlow. When the family came to Michigan, Charles, who was the only child in the home, attended the schools of Sodus Township and added still further to the stock of knowledge previously gained.
It was in 1864 that the Harlows settled in the township, where the father purchased land and erected a tine and commodious residence, substantial barns and other improvements. Until he was twenty years of age our subject spent the winter months in study, the spring, summer and fall in work upon the Harlow homestead, but at this age he gave his entire attention to farming. In 1873 Mr. Babeock purchased fifty acres of land adjoining the farm of Mr. Harlow, and with industrious energy and unflagging ambition began life for himself. After a time the failing health of Mr. Marlow made it necessary for Our subject to again return to the care of the old homestead,and in 1889 he received full charge of the lands, which he profitably managed until the death of his true friend and father, Mr. Harlow, who passed to his rest respected by all who knew him, June 1, 1891 In the mean time Mrs. Harlow, a mast estimable Christian lady, had died two years previously, and our subject was bequeathed by the will of Mr. Harlow all of his lands and property. Without any delay Mr. Babeock at once came into possession of all property, personal and real, which had formerly belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Harlow,and has since resided upon the old home farm, which yields annually an abundant harvest of wheat, to the cultivation of which grain the fertile fields are mainly devoted.
In October, 1876, Charles Babeock and Miss Emily Stewart were united in marriage. Mrs. Babeock was the daughter of John Stewart, a well-known and old-time resident of Pipestone Township. Two daughters and three sons have brightened the home with their cheerful presence, and four of the little ones yet survive. Effie died in early infancy; Erastus Harlow, named in honor of the beloved foster father, is the eldest son; John S., Edwin M. and (¦Jrace complete the list of the children who ,vet gather about the family lireside. Our subject is not identified with any church or denomination. Fraternally, he is a member of Coloma Lodge No. 144, of Coloma, and is a member of the National Providence Union, and also belongs to the Patrons of Husbandry located in Sodus Township. Mr. Hancock is, politically, a Republican, and an earnest advocate of the party. He occupied with ability the office of Drainage Commissioner, and, a man of efficiency and excellent judgment, is among the citizens of the township who may be depended upon to assist liberally in all matters of mutual welfare and enterprise. Our-subject, his accomplished wife, sons and daughter worthily fill positions of useful influence mid possess the high regard and sincere friendship of a large circle of acquaintance.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien & Cass Co 1893


BERRIEN, Charles Denis
St Paul. Res 751 Laurel av, office Century bldg. Insurance and real estate. Born Jan 1855 in Niles Mich, son of Charles Ford and Mary Frances (Stow) Bentley. Married 1887 to Mary Day Ferdort. Educated Niles Mich High School 1873; Ann Arbor Mich High School 1875. Removed to St Paul 1878; clk Mannheimer Bros; salesman Auerbach, Finch, Culbertson & Co 1879; trav salsn Campbell & Burbank 1886; railroad business 1886-90; sec U S Savings & Loan Co 1890-94; organized Old Colony Cooperative Bank Providence R I 1895-96; member of firm Bentley & Kenna organized 1904 real estate, insurance, loans and investments. Member Roosevelt, Commercial and St Paul Choral clubs, Brotherhood of St Paul and Royal Arcanum; trustee St Paul Bethel Assn; chairman executive committee Children’s Home Society of Minn.
[Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. Publ. 1907 Transcribed by Rhonda Hill]


BOYLE, Christopher Stephen
A retired merchant residing in Benton Harbor, was born in the city of New York on Christmas Day, 1829. He is the son of John Boyle, a native of Ireland, and a pioneer of Webster Township, Washtenaw County, Mich., who settled on a farm near Ann Arbor in May 1836, and there resided until his death, in October, 1870. The mother of our subject bore the name of Bridget Quirk, and was born in the Province of Minister, County Tipperary, Ireland. Her father, Daniel Quirk, served for twenty-one years in the British army, and died in the Emerald Isle. Mr. Boyle was also born in the Province of Munster, County Tipperary, Ireland.
At the age of six years our subject removed with his parents from New York to Michigan, where he grew to manhood on his father's farm in Washtenaw County. In the spring of 1852, he joined the Argonauts who were journeying Westward to seek their fortune in the new El Dorado. Driving five yoke of cattle, he made the long journey from St. Joseph, Mo., to Placerville, Cal., in one hundred and twelve days. Upon arrival at his destination, he engaged in gold-mining and also for a time worked in a sawmill. In February, 1855, he returned via the Isthmus of Panama to New York City, and thence came direct to Washtenaw County, Mich.
After working on a farm in Washtenaw County for one year, he went, in the spring of 1856, to Osawatomie, Kan., but returned in a few weeks. On his return he removed to Watervliet, Berrien County, Mich., and there secured employment in a sawmill, remaining in that position for two years. Later he worked on a farm in Bainbridge Township, engaged as a tiller of the soil for three years. In the spring of 1861 he removed to St. Joseph, and for one year was proprietor of a meat-market there. In the spring of 1862 he opened a meat-market in Benton Harbor, which he conducted for five years. Then, disposing of that business, he opened a grocery store, and soon gained a large and profitable trade with the people of Benton Harbor. In January, 1890, he closed out the business and retired from active labor. He is the owner of valuable real estate in the city, including his residence on the corner of Territorial and Fourth Streets. Politically, Mr. Boyle is a Democrat. For two terms he served as Trustee of the village, and in the spring of 1892 he was appointed Sewer Commissioner, which position he still holds. He is a man who takes an intelligent interest in local affairs as well as in matters of general importance, and has decided opinions upon all subjects of the day. Socially, he is identified with Lake Shore Lodge No. 298, A. F. & A. M.; Calvin Brittain Chapter No. 72; and the Council at St. Joseph. His marriage took place on the 31st of March, 1857, and united him with Miss Carolina Scherer, a native of Germany, and a daughter of David Scherer. Mr. and Mrs. Boyle are the parents of two sons and one daughter: William C, David C. S. and Carrie H.
Portrait Biographical Berrien & Cass Co 1893


BRIGGS, Fred G.
Fred G. Briggs, living on section 19, Wesaw township, where he is devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits, is numbered among the worthy citizens that Ohio has furnished to Berrien county, his birth having occurred in York township, Medina county, January 5, 1865. His father, Giles Briggs, was born on Schenectady county, New York, on the 15th of December, 1824, and was a son of Giles and Katherine (Putnam) Briggs, the former a native of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania. In their family were twelve children, including Giles Briggs, Jr., who when a small boy of about twelve years accompanied his parents on their removal from the Empire State to Ohio. He was a resident of Medina county for a long period and in the spring of 1865 came to Michigan, where he resided continuously until his death, which occurred on the 19th of December, 1885. He prospered in his business undertakings and left a farm of seventy acres. His political allegiance was given to the Democracy and his religious faith was that of the Methodist church, in which he held membership. He wedded Miss Mary Louisa Broadbeck, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, April 19, 1835, a daughter of Frederick and Christina Magdalena (Annamas) Broadbeck, who were natives of Wurtemberg, Germany, and whose family numbered twelve children. Unto Mr and Mrs Giles Briggs were born four children: Orra Deen, the wife of Albert Hinchman, a resident farmer of Wesaw township; Mary Christina, who died at the age of twelve years; Fred G., of this review; and William Benjamin, who is also living in Wesaw township.
Fred G. Briggs was only about three months old when brought by his parents to Michigan, the family homestead being established in Wesaw township near the farm upon which the subject of this review now resides. Throughout his entire life he has been connected with general agricultural pursuits, having been reared to the occupation of farming, for in his youth he assisted in the labors of the fields when not occupied with the duties of the schoolroom. He is today the owner of one hundred and eighty acres of rich land in section 19, Wesaw township, where he has made his home for twelve years. He has erected all of the buildings upon the place and has a well improved property which returns to him good harvests because of the care and labor he bestows upon the fields. Everything is done in a practical and progressive manner and the work is followed by excellent financial results.
On the 2nd of December, 1891, Mr Briggs was united in marriage to Miss Orpha Carpneter, who was born in Buchanan township, July 9, 1865, a daughter of Marcus and Martha A. (Lape) Carpenter, natives of Ohio. Mr and Mrs Briggs have become the parents of six children: Terry Arthur, Glenn A., Ruth Mary, Raymond C., Marie and Lee Kenneth.
In his political affiliation Mr Briggs is a Democrat but without aspiration for office. He holds membership in the Christian church at Three Oaks and is well known in the community where he resides as a man of genuine personal worth, while in his business career he has displayed those traits which are worthy of emulation, his industry and enterprise being the salient features of his prosperity.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Lewis Pub. Co., 1906


BURTON, Mary (Pattison)
This estimable lady was born in Leicestershire, England, Jan. 3, 1815, and was the youngest in a family of three children. Her mother died about 1818, in England, and her father emigrated with his children to America in the same year, settling at Philadelphia. For five or six years the daughter lived with a family in Washington. On the 23d of January, 1833, she was married to James Burton, who was also a native of England, and who had come to America in 1827, and settled in Pennsylvania. Mr and Mrs Burton became the parents of five sons and four daughters, and five of the number are now living. After living in different localities for several years, Mr Burton settled, with his family, in the township of Pipestone, Berrien Co., Mich., on what is now the Burton homestead, where his death occurred, Sept. 13, 1854.
A farm of eighty acres was left to his widow and seven children. Mr Burton was acknowledged to be an honest, industrious man, a good manager, a worthy citizen, and a generous and true friend. Mrs Burton died in 1878, and her loss was mourned by a large circle of friends. Her presence at the bedside of the sick was a comfort; her benevolence was bounded only by her means. William and Edward Burton, sons of the above, cause this biography and the accompanying portrait to be inserted in this volume. William served three years during the war as a sergeant in the 17th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. These gentlemen are both Republicans. Their father never took an active part in politics.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


EVANS, Thomas
Thomas Evans was born in Wales, March 5, 1828, and was the sixth in a family of twelve children. His father, John Evans, emigrated, with his family, to the United States in 1838, and settled in Portage Co., Ohio, where he remained until his death, in March, 1849, his occupation having been that of a farmer. Thomas Evans remained at home with his mother, working on the farm, thrashing and at various other employments, until April, 1852, when he went to California. His stay in the new El Dorado was of short duration, however, and in October, 1853, he returned to Ohio. Jan. 25, 1854, he was married to Miss Margaret, daughter of David and Elizabeth Jones, who were also natives of Wales. The children of Mr and Mrs Evans are four in number: Allie E., born Nov. 29, 1856; Charles D., born Jan. 21, 1859; Henry J., born March 10, 1860, died Aug. 16, 1871; Frank F., born Oct. 16, 1863. In November, 1854, Mr Evans and his wife came to Michigan, and after paying his bills at Berrien he had eighteen dollars left. The journey from Berrien to Sodus, eight miles, was performed on foot. In July, 1855, Mr Evans purchased eighty acres of land, on which he now resides, and paid for it mostly by chopping cord-wood. He has since made an additional purchase of two hundred and twenty acres, and is now a successful and enterprising farmer. His early advantages for obtaining an education were limited, and after coming to this country he attended school but very little. Mr Evans voted for two Democratic Presidents, but has since been a staunch Republican, and during the great civil war maintained his position by volunteering and serving in Company I, 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. In 1867, Mr and Mrs Evans joined and have since been members of the United Brethren Church.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


FISHER, Daniel
Mr Fisher's parents, John Fisher and Elizabeth (Shupe) Fisher, were of German descent, although natives of Giles Co., Va. Their son Daniel was born in the same county, near Parisburg, March 6, 1801, and after becoming of sufficient age employed his time at farming and working at the blacksmith's trade, which he had learned. In June, 1829, he was married to Miss Lucinda McCoy, and removed the next year to what is now Howard township, Cass Co., Mich. -- driving a six-horse team from Virginia to that place; he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of government land and settled upon it; he furnished the lumber for the first frame building erected in Niles; worked two months and a half for the Indiana at Carey Mission; and upon the organization of Howard township was elected supervisor and treasurer, serving two terms in that capacity.
Mrs Fisher became the mother of seven children, -- Paris Decatur, John Harvey, George McCoy, Daniel Madison, Harriet Maria, William Henry, and Giles Montgomery, -- and died Nov. 9, 1867. July 8, 1873, Mr Fisher was married to Mrs Fannie (Harvey) Rathbun; and in March, 1874, removed to the township of Niles, Berrien Co., and located three miles north of Niles City, having rented his former home. For twelve years he has been a member of the Advent Church. Politically, he was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party, of which latter he has since been a supporter. Mr Fisher has retired from active business, and is enjoying the comforts of life in a quiet way at his pleasant home near Niles. Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


FORLER, Henry C.L.
Lawyer; born, Niles, Mich., (Berrien Co) Oct. 19, 1874; son of George K. and Catherine (Smith) Forler; educated in public schools of Niles and Detroit College of Law, graduating, LL.B., 1901; married at Detroit, June 24, 1903, Isabel Nesbitt. Was in office of Judge Alfred J. Murphy previous to graduating in law; has since been in general practice. Democrat. Member Detroit Bar Association. Office: 37 Buhl Blk. Residence: 96 Pitcher St.
Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908


FISHER, Josephus
No citizen of Sodus township is more closely allied with all its interests than the subject of this sketch, Josephus Fisher, who was born in Portage Co., Ohio, Oct. 14, 1828. His educational advantages were limited. Schools of that day were not good, and if they had been of the best, farmers' sons were then needed at home, and usually went to school only a few months in the winter. On July 4, 1850, Josephus married Miss Phebe Ann, daughter of John and Jane Gano. they have had six children, the first-born dying before being named; John, -- at this time clerk of Sodus township; Usania, Alice, George, and Edna. Four are living, two married and two living at home. After his marriage, Mr Fisher farmed in Ohio four years on a farm given him by his father. In January, 1854, he moved to Sodua, purchasing ninety-six acres on section 24. He found some difference in farming this land and the cultivated live he had left in Ohio. His first home here was such as all the early settlers had, -- a log house. He has made an addition of one hundred and eight acres to his farm, and many improvements on it.
In 1861 he was elected supervisor of Sodus township, and filled this position ten and a half years and resigned. He was elected treasurer, which office he filled five years. In 1879 he was elected highway commissioner. He is a member of the Grange Lodge, No. 123, of Sodus township, and was Master one year. At this time he is Treasurer of the lodge.
He is a Republican in politics. He has been a member of the Disciples Church for twenty-six years, serving as elder of this body for ten years. His father's family consisted of nine children, -- six girls and three boys, -- all living in different States. Mrs Fisher's father was one of the early settlers of the county. Her father's family consisted of six children, -- three boys and three girls, -- four of whom are living in Sodus township.

Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


GARRATT, William L. (M.D.)
It gives us great pleasure to make mention of this worthy gentleman, as he is not only a prominent physician, but a good citizen of Watervliet, Berrien County. Dr. Garratt was born in Wayne County, N. Y., August 22, 1840, and is the son of Mott and Nancy (French) Garratt. Isaac Garratt, the grandfather of our subject, was horn in Dutchess County, N. Y., in the Colonial days. His father came from Ireland and settled in Dutchess County in an early day, and there reared eight sons and two daughters, five of whom lived to bo over ninety years old, and all were of the Dunker religion. Prior to the War of 1812, Isaac Garratt moved to Prince Edward County, Canada, and settled near Picton, where he spent the rest of his days, and died about 1845, at the great age of ninety years. His wife was a Miss Carman in her maiden days, and proved herself a faithful companion and loving mother.
The father of our subject was born in the month of September, 1787, in Dutchess County, N. Y. In his youth he was pressed into service in the War of 1812, fighting bravely in the British ranks, but as soon as he came from the war he went to Wayne County, N. Y., where he settled on a farm and immediately began to improve it. In addition to this land he purchased more, and in time was the owner of two or three good farms. In politics,he was formerly a Whig, and in the latter years of his life became a stanch supporter of the Republican party. Our subject's father was married three times—first to a Miss Carman, who bore him thirteen children, nine of whom reached their majority. The mother of these children died in the Suite of New York about the year 1834, and some time after Mr. Garratt married Nancy Strong, a widow with three sons, Lyman, Luciusand Cephas. By her second marriage, Mrs. Strong became the mother of live children, all of whom are still living but one. They are: Rebecca, George W.,
Naomi, now Mrs. Pierce, and William L., and all make their home in Watervliet. The mother of the above-named children died in Wayne County, N. Y., February 22, 1852. She was a native of Massachusetts, her birthplace being in the town of Amherst. She was born in 1800, and was the daughter of French parents, who were among the early pioneers of Massachusetts.
Our subject remained on the farm with his parents until he was fifteen years old, in the mean time getting all the education that hccould. On reaching his fifteenth year, William started in life for himself and soon found employment in a printing office, beginning with Pomeroy Tucker, in Palmyra, N. Y., on the Wayne Democratic Press. Eight years after, Mr. Garratt began the study of medicine, but had barely started when the Civil War broke out, and he enlisted January 1, 1864, in Company H, Ninth New York Heavy Artillery. He was immediately transferred to the hospital service in Washington and vicinity, and in 1865 was discharged as a hospital steward. After the horrors of war were over, the Doctor attended lectures at the Buffalo Medical College in the winters of 1866-67, and at the close of that period went to Lyons, Ohio, where he formed a partnership with Dr. L. D. Hill. There he successfully practiced for fifteen years, and in the spring of 1880 located in Waterviiet, where he has since continued practice, with the exception of two vears time which ho spent in Ohio.
Dr. Garratt has taken a great interest in the upbuilding of the town of Waterviiet, and in company with a Mr. Pierce erected the first evaporation system in the village in 1887. Politically, our subject is a warm-hearted Republican and always uses his influence in that direction. He attends all the conventions and is also a promi- nent member of the Knights of Honor and other societies.
October 6, 1868, our subject was married to Miss Adelia Parker, a native of West Unity, Ohio, and a daughter of Dr. J. C. and Maria (White) Parker. Dr. Parker was born in New York and moved to Davenport, Iowa, in 1852. When the war broke out he formed a company, over which he assumed command, but resigned before reaching the field, and died soon after. His widow still survives, and is now the wife of Mr. Port. She has had four children, two sons and two daughters.
Mrs. Garratt's paternal grandfather, Jerred C. Parker, was a native of Onondaga County, N. Y., and an early pioncerof Ohio. Her maternal grandfather, William P. White, was born in the same county and was a captain in the militia during the late war. He was a merchant and saddle-maker in early life and sul>sequently followed the occupation of a farmer. He was twice married, lirst to Mary Pixley, who l>ore him one child, Maria; and later to Polly Higbee, who became the mother of two sons, Whitfield and Isaac.
Our subject and his wife arc the parents of three children: Van C. Edna L. and Lavern. They were both active members of the Haptist Church in Davenport, Iowa, and since their removal to Michigan have been members of the Congregational Church in this village. They are both good workers in all societies connected with church work and aid both financially and spiritually in the upbuilding of the cause. Dr. Garratt is widely and favorably known, and his Sterling worth and strict integrity have won him the confidence and the high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
Portrait and Biographiea 1893


GILLETE, George Mahlon
Minneapolis. Res 314 10th av S E, office 2921 Minnehaha av. Steel manufacturer. Born Dec 19, 1858 in Niles Mich. Married Oct 18, 1883 to Augusta M Perkins. Educated in Univ of Michigan; graduated from literary dept 1880. V pres Electric Steel Elevator Co; v pres and treas Minneapolis Steel & Machine Co; pres Gulf State Co. Member Minn House of Representatives 1903. Member Minneapolis, Lafayette, Minikahda and East Side Commercial clubs; engineer’s Club New York.
[Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. Publ. 1907 Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]


GOWDY, Franklin
Franklin Gowdy, a leading citizen and prominent general agriculturist and fruit-grower of New Buffalo Township, Berrien County, Mich., is well known nnd highly esteemed, and has occupied with distinction most of the township offices, ever giving to public duty the faithful consideration demanded, nnd discharging every trust reposed in him with able efficiency. Our subject is a native of Oneida County. N. Y., and was born on March 5, 1831. His parents, Elam and Lucy (Stroud) Dowdy. were long-time residents of the Empire State, but the father, a native New Englandcr, was born in Connecticut, October 20, 1788.
The paternal grandfather, John Dowdy, was also born in Connecticut, in 1760. He was an eloquent Baptist divine, and served bravely m a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Surviving to reach his ninety-fourth year, he died at the restdunce of his son Elam in 1854, in Batavia, Kane County, IL where he had passed the latter years of his life, tenderly cared for by the father and mother of our subject. Elam Dowdy was a man of energy and enterprise. Discerning the larger oppurtunites of the West, he removed from New York to Illinois in 1852 and settled in Kane County, which he made his home for a period of twelve years.
In 1864, Mr. Dowdy came to Michigan, then a venerable man, and three years later, in 1870, passed away, aged eighty-two years. His good wife, who was born in Vermont August 19, 1798, survived her beloved husband and companion five years and died in Berrien County in 1875. elam and Lucy Dowdy were the parents of eight children, of whom Franklin was the seventh in order of birth. Reared in Oneida County, N. Y., he gained his education in the district schools of his birthplace, and later accompanied his parents to Illinois, remaining witli his failier and mother until 1862, when with his family he settled in Berrien County, Mich.
Our subject was united in marriage in the State of New York with Miss Mary A. Millard, a native of Allegany County. The wedding took place October 5, 1856, at the residence of the bride's parents. William C. and Polly (Ripenbark) Millard. The father and mother of Mrs. Oowdy were well-known and highly esteemed residents of Allegany County and were of English and Welsh ancestry. Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers were men of note. Grandfatber Ripenbark fought with gallant courage in the War of 1812, while Great Grandfather served in the War of the Revolution. The union of our subject and his estimable wife was blessed by the birth of eight children, five of whom are living, as follows: Luna G., the wife of John B. Streed. an attorney in Cambridge, IL; Frank M.,a successful physician in New Buffalo; Herbert. W. H.; Mary Kinora; and Bessie. The deceased were, Elizabeth, Cora and Lillie.
The maternal great-grandfather of our subject, John Stroud, was a man of great strength of chaacter and steadfast resolution. He served with Washington in the War of the Revolution and afterward made his home in the Green Mountain State, where the maternal grand father, John Stroud, Jr. was born, and at a good old age died. The Strouds were people of position in New England, and some of the mother's family were members of the legislature. One of the sons of Grandfather Stroud was born, reared, and died at the good old age of eighty-five years, upon the same farm, having spent his four-score years and live without a single removal from the homestead. The parents of our subject were devout members of the Baptist Church, but two of the great-uncles of Mr. dowdy, brothers of the paternal grandfather, were ministers, preaching in the Universalist Church.
Since 1862, Franklin Gowdy, with his family, has made his home in Berrien County, but for some time previous resided in Chlkaming Township, and there engaged in getting out wood and lumber and shipping the same to the Chicago market, Our subject with a brother, J. F. Dowdy, and several others built a large pier on Lake Michigan to facilitate the handling and shipping the products of the woods. In about l861, Mr. Dowdy purchased the land he now owns for the timber, and built a sawmill, which he operated for several years. After his land was fully cleared he turned his attention entirely to the culture of fruit and the tilling of the soil. Beginning in 1861 with the purchase of forty acres, he added one piece after another, until he now has a tract of two hundred and sixty acres brought up to a high state or productiveness, and improved with an attractive residence, commodious barns and sheds. The valuable homestead, three miles northeast of New Buffalo, has been the constant residence of Mr. Dowdy since 1863, and during this period of thirty years he has been an important factor iu the development of the best interests of the township.
Politically a stalwart Republican, our subject cast his first Presidential vote for Fremont and has ever been faithful to the principles of the "Party of Reform." Taking an active part in local issues, Mr. Dowdy has held with executive ability the official positions of Justice of the Peace, Clerk of Chikaming Township and has served clticiently as Supervisor, Treasurer and Highway Commissioner of the township of New Buffalo. Straightforward, energetic and enterprising, he is a liberal- spirited citizen, and possesses the high regard of a host of friends.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Berrien Co 1893


JARVIS, Burton
the son of Zadok and Lucy (Owens) Jarvis, who were natives of North Carolina, was born in Rowan County, in that State, Sept. 6, 1816. His father's circumstances were not of such a nature that the youth could be given extensive educational advantages, and his school-days altogether numbered about one year. In 1834 he emigrated to Michigan, and located first in La Grange township, Cass Co., afterwards in Pokagon. During the first years of his residence in Michigan he boated on a river in the summer, and chopped wood, etc., in the winter. Oct. 15, 1840, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Sparks, whose parents were also from North Carolina. In 1842 he became possessed of the land settled upon, and cleared the farm up0on which he now resides. The place has ever since been occupied by him, with the exception of four years and a half spent in Niles and one year in Buchanan. Mr and Mrs Jarvis are the parents of five children, of whom but one -- Lucy Ann, married, and living in Buchanan -- now survives; three sons and a daughter having died, -- one in infancy, one seven, one twenty-four, and one twenty-eight years old. Until 1844, Mr Jarvis was a Democrat. He voted for James G. Birney; supported the Republican party until 1872, when he cast his vote for Horace Greeley; and since 1876, when he voted for Peter Cooper, he has been a Greenbacker. His farm consists of three hundred and twenty-eight acres, which is in a high state of cultivation and very productive. His improvements can be seen in a view of his premises, which is given upon another page.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


JERUE, Frank
The subject of this sketch was born in 1844, in Canada. Came to Berrien County in 1855. When he was about eighteen years old the war of the Rebellion broke out, and, loyal to his country, he responded to the call to arms, enlisting in the 25th Michigan Infantry, July, 1862. He served as a private until he was discharged, July, 1865. He was wounded at Atlanta, Ga., July 28, 1864, and was then absent from his regiment five months, the only time he was absent during his term of service.
Mr Jerue made his first purchase of land in 1868, of forty acres, to which he has since added thirty acres, making a farm of seventy acres, which, though small, is an excellent and profitable one. His father and friends are all Democrats, but he has always been a firm supporter of the Republican party. Is a member of the United Brethren Church, he and his wife having united with it only a short time ago. They had previously been members of the Methodist Church. Mr F. Jerue married Miss Clara, daughter of George and Jane Parish, who were married in 1836 and reside in this county. They have had six children; two only are living, viz., Frank A. and Clyde S. The father and mother of Mr Jerue were married in 1843, in Canada, and Mr Jerue was the oldest of their eight children, -- four boys and four girls. His father is now a resident of this county.

Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Lewis Pub. Co., 1906)


KAISER, Barney
An energetic and progressive farmer and honored citizen of Chikaming township is Barney Kaiser, who has spent many years of his life in Berrien county. His birth, however, occurred in Saxony, Germany, June 12, 1865, his parents being George and Barbara (Smith) Kaiser, also natives of Saxony. The father died on the old homestead in Wesaw township, Berrien county, Michigan, in 1888, at the age of sixty years, but the mother is still living, having reached the age of sixty-two years. The following children were born to Mr and Mrs Kaiser: Barney, the subject of this sketch; William, of Montmorency county, Michigan; Kathie, who died when about twenty-eight years of age; Mary, who died at the age of two years; John; Annie, the wife of George Hanover, of Buchanan, Michigan; Frank, who resides with his mother in Wesaw township; and Rosa, the wife of Louis Mulch, of Lake township.
When eight years of age Barney Kaiser accompanied his parents in their emigration to the United States, the year being 1873, and after remaining in New York city for one year they came to Niles, Michigan, where one year and a half was spent. Their next location was at New Buffalo, but two years later removed to and purchased a farm of forty acres in Wesaw township, where Mr Kaiser continued to make his home until his marriage. In that year, 1893, he purchased a part of his mother's farm, which yet constitutes a part of his present place. He is now the owner of eighty acres of well improved land on section 24, Chikaming township, and in addition is the owner of eighty acres in Montmorency county, Michigan. He farms one hundred and sixty acres adjoining his place for A.G. Childs, which he has conducted for the past twelve years, and he is engaged in both grain and stock farming. His political support is given to the Democratic party, and he is at present serving as a justice of the peace, while for a number of years he was a school officer. His religious affiliations are with the Congregational church at Three Oaks.
In 1893 Mr Kaiser was united in marriage to Katie Smith, a cousin, and she was also born in Saxony, Germany, February 1, 1870. When but two years of age she came to the United States with her parents, she being a daughter of William Smith. Five children have been born of this union -- May, Lucy, Elmer, Henry and Margaret, but the last named died in infancy.

Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Lewis Pub. Co., 1906)


KEMPTON, Lester H.
A prosperous general merchant of Glendora, Weesaw Township, Berrien County, Mich., is one of the most popular and enterprising citizens of his locality, and has held, with marked efficiency, many of the important township offices. Born within the borders of the county, December 9, 1860, be enjoys a wide acquaintance and the confidence and high esteem of a host of life-time friends. His parents, David K, and Mary (Henderson) Kempton, were both natives of New York. The father, born August 27, 1819, was the son of William Kempton,a native of Vermont, who later made his home in the Empire State, where he died in 1828. David F. Kempton and his estimable wife are both living. They journeyed from New York State to Michigan in 1855, and, locating in Berrien County, have since continued to make their home in this part of the State. The father is by trade a blacksmith, and long ago purchased one hundred and twelve acres of woodland, which, with the aid of his sons, he has cleared, cultivated and improved. The deed of the land was given when James K. Polk was President. Unto the parents was born a large family of six sons and five daughters. Lester H. was the seventh child in order of birth, and, reared upon the old Berrien County homestead, attended in childhood the common schools of the district, afterward receiving the benefit of one year of instruction in the High School of New Troy, and finaily completing his studies in the Commercial College in Grand Rapids. He served an apprenticeship to the mercantile business one year in the store of R. B. Jennings, at Troy, and then, on account of his health, varied his employment with the outdoor work of the home farm for two years. In 1882 Mr. Kempton engaged in mercantile business at Hill's Corners, and in 1891 removed his interests to Glendora, where he now resides. He carries a stock of about $2,500 and does a good and rapidly extending business in the country round about. Upon April 8, 1893, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Florence Hartsell, a native of Berrien County, an accomplished lady and a social favorite in the neighborhood of her home. Mrs. Kempton is the daughter of Jonathan and Laura (Harger) Hartsell, prominent and highly respected residents of Weesaw Township. Mr. Hartsell is a native of the State and was born in Cass County, November 11, 1830.

Politically, Mr. Kempton is a pronounced Democrat, he cast his first Presidential vole for Grover Cleveland, and in order to reach the polls walked from Galien, where he was engaged in a store, to the home district. Fully possessing the regard of the many who have known his record as hoy and man, our subject has held, since attaining his majority, various positions of trust- Elected School Inspector in 1884, he faithfully devoted his service for two years to the cause of educational advancement, and for three years occupied the office of Township Clerk. For four successive years he was elected to the responsible office of Supervisor, and discharged the work involved to the great satisfaction of his fellow-townsmen, who would have continued him in the position, but Mr. Kempton, deciding that he had done his share toward the mutual welfare as a public officer, declined any further appointment. Mr. and Mrs. Kempton, occupying a social position of useful influence, are prominent factors in the various benevolent enterprises and social life of the township, and in their attractive home receive and entertain an extensive and life-long acquaintance.
Portrait & Biographical Berrien Co MI 1893


KEPHART, George
One of the prominent business enterprises of Berrien Springs is the grocery store owned and managed by the gentleman with whose name we introduce this sketch. His establishment is stocked with full and complete assortments of everything in the line of staple and fancy groceries, fruits and vegetables in their season, teas and coffees, and grocers sundries. The complete knowledge of the business possessed by the proprietor is shown in the great care taken in the selection of the stock, by which he has commended himself to the favor of the citizens of Berrien Springs and vicinity. The establishment is a favorite one with the people here, and the energy of the owner has secured for it a steady and growing success. Elsewhere in this volume will be found an account of the life of Dr. Philip Kephart, father of our subject; also of his mother, whose maiden name was Susan Kimball, and whose father, George Kimball, was one of the early settlers of Berrien County. The subject of this sketch was born in Berrien Springs on the 24th of February, 1858, and gained the rudiments of his education in the public schools of this village. Later he entered the Northwestern University at, Evanston IL. where he was a student for three years.
Afterward he conducted his studies in Chaddock Commercial College, of Kalamacoo, from which institution he was graduated in 1878. Forming a partnership with his brother Augustus in 1880, under the firm name of A. Kephart & Bro., our subject embarked in the general mercantile business at Berrien Springs. After a connection of seven years the firm was dissolved and the business sold. In the fall of 1886 our subject and his brother Walter, under the firm name of Kephart Bros., purchased the grocery store of Boling Bros. & Co., and conducted a lucrative business until 1892, when George purchased his brother's interest, and has since conducted the business alone. He is one of the intelligent and enterprising merchants of Berrien Springs, and his activity is rapidly advancing the commercial status of the village.
March 4, 1886,occurred the marriage of George Kephart to Miss Delia Eaton, the accomplished daughter of Wheeler Eaton, of Tecumseh, Mich. One son, George, Jr., has been born of this mariage. In his political affiliations Mr. Kephart is a stanch Republican, but has never been solicitous for office, preferring to devote his energies entirely to his business. He served as Trustee of the village of Berrien Springs for three years, and in office, as well as in private life, endeavors to promote the interests of the village where he makes his home.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien & Cass Co MI 1893


KEPHART, Phillip
Late of Berrien Springs, was born in Carroll County, Md., on the 30th of January, 1807. He was the son of David Kephart, an early settler of Maryland, of German descent, and a man of sterling virtues and indomitable energy, who lived and died on tile old homestead of his father. The mother of our subject was Margaret, daughter of Philip Reister, of Reisterstown, Md., and of direct German extraction. The subject of this sketch enjoyed excellent opportunities for acquiring an education, advantages far superior to those of the majority of boys in that day. He studied for some time in a private sclool and later entered Garrison Forest Academy, where he conducted his literary studies for some time.

Having chosen the profession of a physician, our subject entered the Baltimore Medical College and pursued his studies there until his graduation in 1833. After practicing in Baltimore for a short time, he opened an office for the practice of his profession in Memphis, Tenn., and subsequently became a general practitioner in Somerset County, Pa. While there he formed the acquaintance of a young lady named Susan Kimmel, who was attending school in Somerset. As she became his wife on the 2d of September, 1840, some mention of her parentage and life will be of interest to our readers.

Born in Somerset County, Pa., in 1822, Susan Kimmel was a child of eleven years when, in 1833, she accompanied her parents, George and Mary (Lobengire) Kimmel, to the new home in Michigan. Mr. Kimmel had come to this State as early as 1829, and pre-empted land, entering ten thousand acres in what is now Oronoko Township. Thither he brought his family and established a home in the unsettled part of thle State, clearing tile land and devoting his energies to tile tilling of the soil. Desirous of giving his daughter better advantages than were afforded in that newly-settled country, he sent her back to the old Pennsylvania home to attend the school there.

After the Doctor's marriage he carried on a general practice in Somerset County, Pa., for one year, and thence came to Berrien Springs, Mich., where he remained until death terminated his career. He was actively identified with the progress of this village and contributed to its material advancement.

His death occurred on the 23d of September, 1880, at which time it was recognized that a public-spirited citizen, skillful physician and upright man had been removed from the community, and his fellow-citizens joined with the immediate relatives in mourning his loss. He had been actively interested in the organization of the Republican party, and was one of its firm upholders to the day of his death.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien & Cass Co MI 1893


KNAPP, Joseph
Joseph Knapp, son of Nathan Knapp, is one of a family of ten children, and was born in Tioga Co., Pa., July 18, 1835. His parents were natives of New York, and his father was a soldier in the war of 1812. The son remained at home until he was twenty-seven years of age, acquiring a fair education. In 1853 his father removed to Michigan and located at Berrien Springs, and two years later changed his residence to Watervliet township, and purchased land on section 17. He died Sept. 12, 1877, his wife's death having occurred April 12, 1874; both are buried in the Coloma Cemetery, and a fine monument to their memory has been erected by their son, Joseph Knapp. Joseph was married March 19, 1862, to Mrs Maria Clark, of this township, and by her is the father of three children, -- Edward, born April 30, 1963; Hiram, born July 6, 1865; Annette, born Oct. 20, 1867. After his marriage, Mr Knapp settled on forty acres on section 17, where he still resides, having since added to it ninety-six acres. Mrs Knapp had three children by her first husband, and Elisha, the oldest, is now living with Mr Knapp. In 1871, Mr Knapp engaged in the manufacture of fruit-baskets, and has been very successful in that business. In 1874 his building, with all its machinery, was destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt within sixty days, and he now gives employment to a number of persons, varying from twenty-five to thirty-five. In April, 1875, he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife. Feb. 27, 1876, he was married to Mrs Josephine Warner, a native of Vermont, from which State her parents -- also natives thereof -- removed to Michigan in 1856, after having spent a few years in Massachusetts. By her first husband she had one child, -- Olive H. Warner, who was born in Williams Co., Ohio, Nov. 26, 1863. In political matters, Mr Knapp is a Republican, although he claims the privilege of voting for the persons who seem to him best fitted for office. He is a member of the Christian Church, and donates liberally to all religious denominations.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


IRA OVERACKER
It is in the fruit industry that the prosperity of Berrien County finds its impetus. No location on the continent excels that of southwestern Michigan for the encouragement offered to fruit-growers in supplying the means for their success. With a constant increase of population, the incentives to industry and rewards open to enterprise exist here to a degree not exceeded by any portion of the United States. It is not strange, therefore, that a large number of judicious and ambitious men have settled here for the purpose of developing fine fruit farms, and have met with flattering success.

On section 9 St. Joseph Township, lies a fruit farm belonging to Mr. Overacker and consisting of twenty-six and one-half acres,of which twenty-three acres are devoted to the cultivation of fruit. Here he raises apples, pears, grapes, peaches and every variety of berries, shipping his products to the principal markets, where they find a ready sale at fair prices. Our subject is a native of New York State and was born in Rensselaer County April 10, 1816. The family of which he is a member originated in Germany and was represented in America during the early period of the history of the United States.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, John Wendell Overacker, was born in Dutchess County, N. Y., and at the age of nineteen enlisted in the Revolutionary War, where he did valiant service in defense of the Colonics. He married Miss Anna Wethawax, and they became the parents of seven children. Of their four sons, Michael was the eldest. He was born in Dutchess County, N. Y., and was reared to manhood in Rensselaer County, the same State. During the War of 1812 he enlisted in the ranks and served with valor and fidelity in the cause of the United States. He married Miss Mary Hoffman, who was born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, N. Y., being one in a family of seven children.

After his marriage Michael Overacker located in Rensselaer County, N. Y., where his son, our subject, was born April 10,1816. He afterward made his home in Otsego County, whence he removed to Tompkins County, and there resided until his death in 1860. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, six of whom grew to maturity, and three are now living, viz.: Albert W. a farmer residing in Tompkins County,N. Y.; Archibald D., who resides on the old homestead in New York; and Ira, our subject. The deceased are: Alida, who died in girlhood; Angeline, who married Francis Van Pelt, and died in Tompkins County, where her husband was engaged in farming; Jacob, who died in Tompkins County; and Eliza, who was called hence at the age of two years. The father of this family, through industry,and notwith- standing the fact that he was handicapped by poverty and lack of education, succeeded in accumulating a large and valuable property. He was a Whig in his political relations and was a man of note in his community.

An infant when taken by his parents to Otsego County, N. Y., our subject was six years of age when he accompanied the family to Tompkins County, the same State, and his education was received in the common schools. In 1847 he came West and, being pleased with the soil and climate of northern Illinois, he purchased four hundred acres in Ogle County, buying the propeity of the Government. After he had spent two years alone upon the place, he took unto himself a wife, being married October 25, 1849, to Miss Anna Maria Dusenberry, a native of Tompkins County, N. Y. She is a lady of unusual intelligence, and taught eighteen terms of school in Wayne County, N. Y., and Kane and Ogle Counties, IL. At the age of only sixteen she commenced to teach, and occupied a position in the public schools of Elgin when seventeen. It was at that age that she accompanied her brother, Cornelius, to Illinois and settled in Ogle County, remaining there until her marriage.

In this connection a brief mention of the ancestors of Mrs. Overacker will not be amiss. Her father, David Dusenberry. was born in Sand Lake, Rensselaer County, N. Y., September 18, 1791. Her grandfather, Jacob Dusenberry, was likewise a native of that county, and married Anna Sweltland, by whom he had seven children. David, upon attaining to manhood, married Miss Ann Andrus; her father, Benjamin, was a native of Hartford County, Conn., and as a partial compensation for his services in the Revolution he was a pensioner of the Government for a number of years. Mr. Dusenberry was a minister in the Baptist Church and also a teacher for many years prior to his death, which occurred July 27, 1842. His wife passed away November 20, 1875, after having become the mother of six children.

For 18 years after his marriage, the subject of this sketch resided in Ogle County, IL. Upon disposing of his lauded interests there he came to Michigan, and in Berrien County purchased a ten-acre fruit farm on the lake shore, where he made his home for nine years. In May of 1877 he came to his present farm, where he has since engaged in the occupation of a fruit-grower. A Republican in his political views, while in Ogle County, IL., he held the offices of Supervisor of the township, Trustee and County Commissioner, and has aided the progress of the community in every way possible.

Childless themselves, Mr. Overacker and his estimable wife have opened their hearts and home to four children, upon whom they have bestowed the most careful training and to whose welfare they are tenderly devoted. These adopted children are: George Crane, who now resides in Arkansas; Christine Fretts, a nurse residing in Chicago; Lillie Smith, who married Henry Kennedy and lives in South Dakota; and Fred H. Barbour, who was taken into Mr. Overacker's home when an infant of four weeks,and is now superintendent of an orange grove in Arizona.
Portrait Biographical Berrien & Cass Co 1893


POST, Elmira (Vanderhoff) Groves
There are in Buchanan few ladies who enjoy the regard of the people of the village to so large an extent as the estimable lady whose name introduces these paragraphs. She is one of the pioneers of Michigan, where the greater part of her useful life has been passed. Steuben County, N.Y., is her birthplace, and March 5, 1832, the date of her birth. Her father, David Vanderhoof, was born and reared in New Jersey and after his marriage settled in Steuben County, N.Y., where he was engaged as a tiller of the soil. Thence he came to Michigan, residing first in Cass County and later establishing his home in Berrien County. His was the first white family to establish a home in the county and he built the first frame house in Bertrand Township. He was a pioneer farmer of the township, where he remained until his death, at the age of eighty-three.
The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Phoebe Titsworth and was born in New Jersey, being of English descent. Her death occurred at the age of fifty years. She was the mother of four daughters and four sons, all of whom grew to maturity. After her death, Mr. Vanderhoof was again married, choosing as his wife Lavonia Wells, and they became the parents of eight children. Mrs. Post is the youngest child born of her father's first marriage and is the only one now living. When about ten years of age she accompanied her parents to Michigan, and for a time was a pupil in the school at Edwardsburgh, Cass County. In her childhood she had few of the advantages so common to the little girls of this generation, for she was obliged to aid in the work of sewing, cooking and mending at a time when most girls are playing with their dolls. However, those childish experiences developed in her traits of self-reliance and nobility of character that made every acquaintance a warm friend.
Miss Elmira Vanderhoof was first married to John Groves, a native of Augusta, Me., and a prominent and successful attorney-at-law. For a time he practiced law in the South and came to Michigan in 1843, being the first lawyer to locate in Buchanan. A Democrat in politics, he served as Representative to the State Legislature for two years, and also held many high official positions in the county. His death occurred in 1852. Of this union two sons were born: John D., who is engaged in business at Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Charles W., who is at home, and is clerking in the store of John Morris.
In 1857 occurred the marriage of Mrs. Elmira Groves to John N. Post, who was born near Amsterdam, N.Y., and for some time was engaged in traveling for a large Eastern house. After his marriage he entered into business at Buchanan, and for several years was prominently connected with this place, contributing effectively to the various movements originated in its behalf. He died in Minneapolis, Minn., February 2, 1869. The two children, born of his union, Nellie V. and Anna, are also deceased. Mrs. Post is so unassuming and modest that to speak prominently of her goodness and the many kindnesses with which she has brightened the lives of others would not be appropriate. Long after she shall have passed hence, her memory will be treasured by her hosts of friends, and as the perfume lingers, even though the flower is crushed, so will her good deeds, the fragrance of her beautiful and useful life, linger long after she will have entered into her final rest.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien Co MI 1893
Birth - 5 Mar 1826 in Painted Post, Steuben Co., New York --
Death: 9 Aug 1906 in Michigan


RENBARGER, Henry
Henry Renbarger was a native of Indiana, born Feb. 25, 1830. His boyhood was passed on a farm, rendering his father such assistance as farmers' boys in those days usually were called upon to give. Soon after reaching his majority, and upon the 7th day of September, 1851, he was united in marriage with Miss Louisa J., daughter of John and Martha Martin. The following year he came to Michigan, renting land until 1855, then located on the farm where the family now reside, purchasing 160 acres, to which he afterwards added 36 acres.
Mr and Mrs Renbarger were the parents of eight children, viz., Winfield S., born June 18, 1852; James A., March 9, 1854; Martha A., Oct. 12, 1856; George W., Feb. 4, 1859; Elsie M., Sept. 23, 1861; Nancy E., April 22, 1864, died May 19, 1864; Elmira L., born May 25, 1865; and John H., born May 28, 1868.
Politically, Mr Renbarger acted with the Democratic party. In religion he was what is termed a liberal, never belonging to any church organization, but left behind him a name honored and unsullied, respected by all who knew him, and a memory ever green in the minds of his friends and family. His death occurred upon the 20th day of September, 1876.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


RICHARDS, George B.
George B. Richards, an enterprising citizen of Berrien County now conducting successfully an extensive furniture business in the village of Buchanan, is a native of his present locality and was born in the township on the 18th of November, 1859. Educated in the schools of Buchanan, he remained with his father until his twenty-first birthday, when he began life for himself as a market gardener. He followed this occupation for some time, then entered into mercantile business as a clerk, and in 1891 established himself as a dealer in furniture, and has a well-stocked store and enjoys an excellent and rapidly-extending trade. Politically a Republican, Mr. Richards is intimately identified with the local management of the leading offices of the township, and in 1890 was elected Township Treasurer, was re-elected in 1891, and in 1892 and in 1893 was elected to the responsible position of Supervisor of the township, the duties of which office our subject is now discharging to the great satisfaction of his fellow-townsmen. In 1879, George B. Richards was united in marriage with Miss Clara Roe, daughter of Jesse J. and Anna M. (Whitman) Roe, early settlers of the village, widely known and highly respected. Mrs. Richards is a member of the Christian Church and a most estimable lady, active in the social and religious life of Buchanan. One son, Robert, has blessed the home,
Alfred Richards, the father of our subject, was one of the pioneer settlers of the village of Buchanan, and, born in Wilmington, Del., November 5, 1822, was a young man twenty-eight years of age when he came in the pride of early manhood to seek his fortune in the broader fields of the West. He was theson of Henry and Sarah (Bergh) Richards, who early in life made their home in Delaware, but were both natives of England. Henry Richards, emigrating to America in 1818, settled in Delaware, and there married, but later returned to his native land, where he died. His wife, Sarah Bergh, was the daughter of George Bergh, who left England in 1820 and located in Philadelphia, but later made his home in Wilmington, Del., dying in the latter State. He and his good wife reared six or seven children, who located in and about Philadelphia, being among the family of Friends in that part of the United States. George Bergh, the maternal grandfather of Alfred Richards, was a prominent member of the Quaker sect, and commanded universal esteem. Five children gathered in the home of Henry and Sarah (Bergh) Richards. Emily, the eldest-born, married CharlesGibb, of New York City; George H. is deceased; Louisa married John Grain and resides in Sing Sing, N. Y.; Mary became the wife of James Blandfoid, and died in Sing Sing, N. Y.; Alfred, the youngest-born, received most of his education in Sing Sing, N. Y., and resides in Buchanan.
Acquiring the trade of a carriage-maker, the father of our subject worked for some length of time in Bridgeport, Conn. Journeying to Michigan in 1848, he spent one year in Niles,and at the end of the following twelve months located in Buchanan Township and engaged in the manufacture of wagons, but few carriages l>eing made in those days. After conducting an extensive and profitable business as a wagon manufacturer for four or five years, Mr. Richards entered into milling and lumbering on a large scale. He prospered steadily until the financial panic of 1873, when he disastrous closing of many large firms with which lie did business crippled him seriously. He, however, remained in business the next ten years, but, failing to enjoy the success which had at first attended his efforts, he sold out and retired from the active cares of mercantile life. In 1847 the father and mother of our subject, Alfred and Laura E. (Martin) Richards, were united in marriage. Mrs. Richards, a devout Christian lady, and a valued member of the Adventist Church, passed away in 1887, at the age of fifty-eight years. She was the mother of six children. Emily is the wife of Charles Terricre, of Minneapolis, Minn.; Anna is the wife of Eli Eaton,of Buchanan; Lama is the widow of Frank G. Anderson; Susan is the wife of C. Roe,of Buchanan; George B. was the fifth child; and Alfred resides in Buchanan. Like his wife,Mr. Richards is a member of the Adventist Church, and has ever been active in religious and benevolent work. He is politically a Republican, and has for five years as Township Supervisor materially assisted in the promotion of needed improvements. He was Treasurer of the township for two years and served with ability as member of the Village Board of Commissioners. Surrounded by his children, all occupying positions of busy usefulness, Alfred Richards is entering upon the evening of his days among a large circle of oldtime friends, by whom he is universally esteemed.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien and Cass Co MI 1893


RICHARDS, Joseph
Joseph Richards, Superintendent of the Zinc Collar Pad Manufacturing Company, at Buchanan, and President of the City Board, was born in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio, March 2, 1848. His father, George H., was born in Bristol, England, and when quite small emigrated thence to America in company with his father, George H. Richards, Sr., and the family located at Sing Sing, N. Y., where a permanent home was established. The father of our subject learned the trade of a blacksmith, and after locating in Ohio followed that occupational Marietta. In 1855 he came to Berrien County, Mich., and settled in Buchanan Township, where he operated a farm. Later he sold the place and, moving into the village, retired from active business cares. His death occurred in 1888, when he was about seventy years old. He was a Democrat politically, and in his fraternal relations was a Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
The mother of our subject, Lucy W. (Record) Richards, was born and reared in Marietta, Ohio, and now resides in Buchanan. Of her union eight children were born, all of whom lived to mature years. Those living are: Sarah, wife of K. Morris; Joseph L., of this sketch; Martha E., who married S. Barmorc; Haltie, wife of W. S. Wells; Mary, Mrs. George Rogers, and George H., a resident of Minneapolis. Joseph L. was about seven years old when lie accompanied his parents to Michigan, and his boyhood was principally passed on his father's farm in Buchanan Township. After completing the studies usually taught in the district schools, he entered his father's store as clerk, but his tastes not being in that direction, he soon sought more congenial employment. For a time he worked in a factory and afterward spent one year in Charlotte, Mich., and another twelve months in southern Ohio, in the oil regions.
In 1871 Mr. Richards went to Chicago, intending to carry on his studies at a commercial college, but his ambitions in that line were temporarily suspended by the great fire. Later he finished the course in Detroit. Upon the organization of the Buchanan Wagon Factory he was elected Secretary, and afterward was chosen General Superintendent of the enterprise, holding the position about four years. Upon the inception of the Zinc Collar Pad Company lie was one of the prime factors and leading men in the movement, and his interest in its success has been unflagging. During the administration of President Cleveland, he was appointed Postmaster at Buchanan, and discharged the duties connected with that position for two years, when the demands of his business, as well as a dislike for the place itself, induced him to tender his resignation.
During the latter part of 1887 Mr. Richards look charge of the Kansas City territory in the interests of the Minneapolis Harvester Works, he had held the position only about nine weeks when his father was taken ill, and upon his death, in 1888, our subject assumed the management of the present enterprise, which he has since conducted. He carries on an extensive business throughout the entire continent, including Portland, Ore.,and New York City, as well as several foreign cities. Politically he is a Democrat. He has served as Township Trustee, Village Clerk, and as member of the City Council. In 1893 he was elected President of the Village Board, and in that honored place serves with the highest zeal and devoted loyalty. He is a Mason and belongs to Buchanan Lodge No. 68, and Niles Commandcry No. 12.

Mr. Richards undoubtedly owes much of his success to the influence of his wife, a lady of refinement and sound common-sense. He was married in Buchanan in 1873 to Miss Mina C., daughter of George and Mina C. Smith. Three children have blessed this union, their names being Daisy, George H. and Joseph L.
Portrait and Biographical Berrien and Cass Co MI 1893


RIDENOUR, William
This gentleman was born in the State of Ohio, May 18, 1830, and was the sixth of a family of seven children, the offspring of Jacob and Lettie (Brown) Ridenour. Jacob Ridenour was a native of Maryland, and at an early age removed to Ohio with his father, who was German by birth. The wife of the latter was born in Virginia, in 1795, that being also the native State of her father. Her mother, who was a native of Kentucky, survived to the great age of one hundred and four years. The parents of William Ridenour are still living, at an advanced age. In the fall of 1832 they removed to Michigan, and located near the Crystal Springs in Cass County. When William had reached his sixteenth year he made his first purchase of land, including forty acres in Cass County, paying for the same at the rate of two dollars and fifty cents per acre, and laboring by the month in order to earn money to meet the payments. His life away from home was, therefore, begun as a farm-hand for wages usual at the time. By industry, perseverance, and economy he at length was in possession of a well-improved though small farm. In 1854 he disposed of it, and purchased that on which he now resides, a view of which is inserted in this work. In this same year (1854) he was married to Miss Brown, who bore him two children. They, with their mother, were all buried by the stricken husband and father during the year 1861. In June, 1862, Mr Ridenour was married to Mary, daughter of Henry and Lodema Shaul, who were natives of New York, but removed to Michigan when their daughter was but seven years of age. This union has been blessed with one child, a son, Henry, born May 27, 1863. The advantages for obtaining an education were limited in Mr Ridenour's case, as the backwoods schools were hardly up to the standards of those of the present day. His religious views are of a liberal nature, and in politics he is a Republican.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


SCHWENK, John C.
An extensive general agriculturist prosperously handling a high grade of stock and industriously tilling the soil of two hundred and twenty fertile acres, four miles southeast of New Buffalo, Berrien County, Mich., is a citizen of executive ability and has with great acceptability held the most important official positions in the township. Numbered among the leading agriculturists, Mr. Schwenk has been identified with the growth and history of his present locality from his youth. Born August 19, 1849, about six miles from Buffalo, Erie County, N. Y., our subject was the son of John and Elizabeth (Ueuss) Schwenk, both parents being of German birth and parentage. It was in 1848 that the father and mother crossed the ocean to America. Landing in New Orleans, they remained there for a time, but during the terrible epidemic of cholera left the South and made their home in New York. They lived in the Empire State upon a farm until, removing to the West, they settled in Michigan and located permanently in New Buffalo Township, Berrien County. The father had in his native country combined the trades of a cooper and brewer.
Soon after their arrival in Berrien County the father and two brother's purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, heavily timbered. This land, cleared and cultivated, is now laid out into fine farms. The land was all improved by the Schwenk family, who were energetic and industrious. The paternal grandfather, Henry Schwenk, died in his native land. The father of our subject survived about twelve years after he made his home in the township, and passed away in 1869. His excellent wife, now a resident of New Buffalo, was blessed by the birth of ten children, five sons and five daughters. During the cold winter of 1864 the family were violently attacked with scarlet fever, and three sons and two daughters succumbed to the terrible disease. The devoted mother, caring tenderly for her children, experienced many trials and sufferings in those days. She is now sixty-five years of age and is not far separated from the remaining members of her family. John C. was the eldest of the ten children, and, educated mostly in Berrien County, received only six months of schooling all told. As soon as old enough he was obliged to take an active part in the daily work of life. Ambitious to improve his stock of knowledge, Mr. Schwenk took private instruction from the book-keeper of his father, and by close and intelligent observation and reading has gained a varied store of practical information.
Our subject was married January 21, 1871, to Miss Barbara Groop,a native of Ohio,and a daughter of Frederick and Barbara (Yenney) Gropp. The parents of Miss. Schwenk were early settlers of La Porte County, Ind. Mrs. Gropp died in New Buffalo Township April 10, 1893. Our subject and his estimable wife are the parents of two sons, Charles F. and John R. The family are attendants of the German Lutheran Church, of which Mr. and Mrs. Schwenk and the parents of our subject have been active and influential members. Politically, Mr. Schwenk is a prominent Democrat and has for years almost continuously held office. He cast his first Presidential vote for Greeley, and later served with efficiency two terms as Highway Commissioner. He was Township Treasurer one term, and in 1889 elected Supervisor, lias held that important office ever since, and now. with faithful ability, is discharging the duties of his fifth term. Especially interested in all matters concerning educational advancement and extension he has for twenty-one years as School Director aided materially in bringing the schools of the district up to their present high standard of scholarship and instruction. Fraternally, our subject was a charter member of the Knights of the Maccabees, and carries $2,000 insurance in the order. As a leading factor in New Buffalo Township improvements and as a sincere and earnest man, conscientious in his work of life, Mr. Schwenk is appreciated by all who know him, and he possesses the high confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen.
Portraits and Biographical Berrien/Case Co 1893


SMITH, Fred Wilbur
Lawyer; born, Cass Co., Mich., Sept. 1, 1871; son of William H. and Melissa (Jones) Smith; educated in public schools and University of Michigan, graduating, LL.B., 1894; married at Buchanan, Mich., (Berrien Co) May 1, 1895, Rose M. Simmons. Began practice at Decatur, Mich., 1894; removed to Detroit, 1895, and has since practiced as member firm of Smith & Curtis; member common council, 1899-1905 (president, 1902); secretary to Mayor George P. Codd, 1905; police commissioner since Mar. 1,1906. Republican. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Mason, Knight Templar (Detroit Commandery No. 1). Clubs: Fellowcraft, Harmonie Society. Recreations: Outdoor sports. Office: 839 Majestic Bldg. Residence: 402 W. Willis Av.

Source: The Book of Detroiters Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908


SMITH, Sebastian
This gentleman, the son of George Smith, is the third in a family of five children, and was born May 11, 1826, in Redfield, Kennebec Co., Me., of which town his parents were also natives. When he was thirteen years of age Sebastian Smith went to New Brunswick, where he lived and worked with his uncle, Oliver Smith, until he was twenty-four. July 9, 1850, while in the province named, he was married to Miss Harriet, daughter of John and Rebecca Barker, and by her was the father of five children, three of whom are now living. In 1849, before he was married, his uncle died and left him executor of his will. In 1854, after the final settlement of his uncle's business, he came to Michigan, and selected a site for a future home, and sent for his family, which arrived in the fall of 1855. His uncle's affairs were in such a state that he could pay his nephew nothing, and the latter, upon his arrival in Michigan, was the possessor of the very small sum of fifty cents; but he soon found employment at rafting lumber for the firm of Medbury & Aldrich, who had just become proprietors of the Watervliet Mill. He remained in their employ nearly two years. In the fall of 1856 he formed a copartnership with Henry R. Holland, and together they built a saw-mill on Mill Creek, and operated it two years, when they dissolved partnership. At that time Mr Smith had accumulated one hundred dollars in cash, as the result of his extreme labor. The panic of 1857 dealt roughly with him, he only saving one hundred and sixty acres of land (on which was an incumbrance of fifteen hundred dollars), ten thousand feet of lumber, and five bushels of corn (which he never received), and seventy-five cents in cash. He again found employment in rafting lumber, and in 1868 built a house on his place which cost sixteen hundred dollars, his father furnishing him with means to pay off the indebtedness upon his land. In 1859 his house was destroyed by fire, but was repaired in ninety days. To this farm he has made numerous additions, and now owns five hundred and thirty-two acres, of which two hundred and fifty are improved, sixty being included in an apple orchard. Mr Smith has been an extensive shipper of fruit; in 1878 one car-load of apples -- one hundred and fifty barrels -- was shipped from his orchard direct to London. The farm shown in the view accompanying this notice is located on section 14, about two miles from the homestead, and one mile north of the village of Watervliet; it contains one hundred and twenty acres, twenty of which are set to fruit, and twenty more will be utilized in the same way in 1880, when Mr Smith's entire orchard will contain one hundred acres.
Mr Smith is a Democrat in politics and belongs to no religious body. Until he was thirteen his years were spent on his father's farm, where he found plenty of hard work and but small opportunity to obtain an education. By perseverance, however, aided by his mental and physical vigor, he became possessed of much practical knowledge, which fitted him for the duties of life in no small degree.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


VETTERLEY, Edward
Edward Vetterley was born on the 15th day of September, 1833, at Wagenhausen, a village in Switzerland. In 1844 his parents emigrated to the State of New York, bringing Edward, two brothers, and one sister with them. There he remained a number of years, and then removed to Three Oaks, Berrien Co., Mich. On the 13th of June, 1869, he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Heosi, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Heosi. Mr Vetterley was in the employ of the Michigan Central Railroad Company for over ten years, always proving himself worthy of the trust and confidence placed in him. The remainder of the time he carried on his farm with good success. He had a good German education, although his advantages were rather limited, as he never attended school in America. He was in politics a Democrat. He was a member of the German Evangelical Church from 1849 until the time of his death, and was ever found ready to do his duty as a zealous Christian. He was an affectionate husband and loving father as well as an estimable man and worthy citizen. His death occurred on the 23d day of March, 1874. His widow, Mrs Vetterley, is one of the few women who are capable of acting as the head of a family, and she has successfully managed the estate since the decease of her husband.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)


WITTER, Mrs. Mary
Mrs Mary Witter, formerly Mrs Huston, was born in Ohio, Feb. 10, 1804. Her father, Jesse Frame, was a native of Virginia, removing to Ohio in 1803. Her mother's maiden name was Nancy Abshir, who was also a native of Virginia, and married Mr Jesse Frame about 1779. Mrs Witter was the third child in a family of twelve children, and was married to Mr William Huston, Dec. 20, 1827, in Ohio, removing to Michigan in 1840, and settling where Mrs Witter now lives. Mr Huston died March 11, 1845, leaving six children to be provided for. Mrs Huston succeeded by industry and perseverance in keeping the family together until all had reached maturity. In 1852 she was married, the second time, to Samuel Reynolds, who died in February, 1857, there being only two weeks difference in the time of his death and that of her son, Jesse Huston, a promising boy of seventeen years. In 1859 she was the third time married, this time to Mr John Witter, and removed to Portage Prairie, where she remained nine years, or until the death of Mr Witter. She then returned to her old home in Galien township, making her home with her daughter, Mr Weldon, who died in 1877, leaving her children to be cared for by her mother.
Mrs Witter is a remarkable woman; having had no early educational advantages and having seen but little of society, yet it will afford any one pleasure to visit her. She is ever ready to lend a helping hand to those around her needing assistance, and has always found enough of this to do; neighbors and friends calling upon her in sickness of when needing assistance, and always receiving it. Many weaker minds would have been crushed by the sorrow that has overtaken her during her lifetime, having been called to mourn the loss of so many of her family, -- four of her children have passed on before; but ever remembering that these dark clouds overshadowing her have silver linings, she goes on cheerfully fulfilling her mission.
Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden - History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880)