Berrien County, MI
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. Babcock died when he was a few weeks old, and then the helpless little one was given into the tender care of Mr. and Mrs. Erastus 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 boy. He was apt and intelligent, and in every possible manner repaid with grateful affection the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. 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 fine 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. Babcock 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. Harlow 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. Babcock 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 Babcock and Miss Emily Stewart were united in marriage. Mrs. Babcock 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 Grace complete the list of the children who yet gather about the family fireside. 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 and possess the high regard and sincere friendship of a large circle of acquaintance. [Portrait and biographical record of Berrien and Cass counties,Michigan..." Chicago: Biographical publishing co, 1893; tr by C. Walters; KT]
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]
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 Carpenter, 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. ["History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties", Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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]
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 Sodus, 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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Lewis Pub. Co., 1906) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Lewis Pub. Co., 1906) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Charles Lyon, the efficient Mayor and Postmaster of Cerrillos, was born in Niles, Michigan, on the 13th of August, 1858, and is a representative of the noted Lyon family of America. In his constitution are the sturdy qualities of English and Scotch ancestors, and in his life are manifest some of the best characteristics of that people. His father, Charles Lyon, was born in the State of New York, and removed to Michigan very early in its history. He married Miss Martha Colridge, a native of Massachusetts who had emigrated to the Wolverine State in 1831. Mr. Lyon for many years was a mill-owner of Niles, and did a successful business. Both he and his wife were members of the Episcopal Church and were prominent people in that part of the State. His death occurred in the seventy-fourth year of his age, and Mrs. Lyon now resides in Jackson, Michigan, at the age of sixty-eight.
We now take up the personal history of Charles Lyon, knowing that it will prove of interest to many of our readers, for he has a wide acquaintance and many friends in New Mexico. He was fifth in the order of birth in a family of twelve children, of whom ten are now living, and in the public schools of his native city acquired his elementary education, which was supplemented by a course in the Michigan State Normal School. In 1879 Mr. Lyon came to New Mexico, locating in the Cerrillos mining district, and has since been engaged in prospecting, locating and developing various mines. He has handled considerable property of this kind, and is still the owner of various valuable mining tracts. In his chosen field of labor he has met with good success and is everywhere spoken of as an honorable and reliable business man. On the 22d of July, 1893, Mr. Lyon was united in marriage with Miss Maggie Raney, a native of Arkansas, and their union has been blessed with a lovely little son, Charles Maxwell. They have a pleasant home in Cerrillos, and have the warm regard of many friends. Mr. Lyon is a stanch Democrat in his political views, and has ever done all in his power to advance the interests of his party. He was appointed Postmaster of Cerrillos in 1893, and on the 10th of July, that year, took possession of the office, since which time he has managed its affairs to the satisfaction of all concerned. He is a capable and obliging official, and in March, 1895, he was nominated and elected by his party to the office of Mayor of Cerrillos. His administration is worthy of high commendation, and he is known as a public-spirited citizen, ever ready to advance the interests of his town. He has succeeded in freeing Cerrillos from debt, in securing a surplus in the treasury, keeps the streets in good condition, and an era of prosperity seems to have dawned upon the town since he became its chief executive. He has the good will of all who know him, and his circle of friends is limited only by the circle of his acquaintances. [Source: "An Illustrated History of New Mexico . . .;" The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895; transcribed by GT Transcription Team]
MOYER, Henry J.
Henry J. Moyer, whose residence in Berrien county dates from an early period in its development, now resides on section 9, Oronoko township. He was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, November 27, 1841. His father, Daniel Moyer, also a native of that state, came to Berrien county in 1852 and located on the farm where his son Henry now resides. Only fourteen acres of the land had been cleared at that time. He began its further development and improvement and continued actively in farm work up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 15th of January, 1859, when he was about forty-four years of age. He married Miss Lydta Besthel, also a native of Pennsylvania. She long survived her husband, reached the advanced age of eighty-two years. In their family were four sons and four daughters, of whom two died in infancy.
Henry J. Moyer, the third child and eldest son of the family, was twelve years of age when be came to Berrien county, Michigan, he was reared upon the farm where he now resides, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, for he was put to work in the fields and assisted in their improvement from the time of early spring planting until the crops were harvested in the late autumn.
In 1862 he abandoned the plow, however, that he might strike a blow in defense of the Union, enlisting as a member of Company C. Twenty-fifth Michigan Volunteer Infantry as a private. He served almost three years and was in many of the important battles of the war,. including the engagements at Missionary Ridge, Knoxville, Kingston and others. The last battle in which he participated was at Nashville and he was honorably discharged at Jackson, Michigan, returning to his home with an honorable military record made with faithful and valorous service on the field of battle. When his military life was ended Mr. Moyer resumed farming upon the old homestead and with the exception of one year spent in Berrien Springs has continuously lived upon this farm, which comprises one hundred and eighty acres of good land. He carries on general agricultural pursuits and has a well developed property, equipped with good buildings and modern accessories, including the latest improved machinery.
In 1872 Mr. Moyer was married to Miss Sarah M. Stemm, a daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Reiber) Stemm. This marriage has been blessed with eight children, of whom Mary A., the second in order of birth, is now deceased. The others are still living, namely: Clementine, John C., Charles C., Verna, Lester, Edna and Ralph. Mr. Moyer is a member of Kilpatrick Post, No. 39, G. A. R., of Berrien Springs, and has filled most of its chairs, while in its work he has taken an active and helpful interest. His political allegiance is given to the Democracy and he is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is well known in the county, having for fifty-four years been a resident of Oronoko township and as one of its pioneer settlers is largely familiar with the history of the county as it has emerged from frontier conditions and taken on all the evidences of an advanced civilization in its material, industrial and commercial circles. ["A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County Michigan"; by Orville W. Coolidge; pub. 1906]
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 record of Berrien and Cass counties,Michigan..." Chicago: Biographical publishing co, 1893] Birth - 5 Mar 1826 in Painted Post, Steuben Co., New York --Death: 9 Aug 1906 in Michigan
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.[History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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. [History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880) Contributed by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
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