MICHIGAN TRAILS -
GENEALOGY and HISTORY

BIOGRAPHIES


ANDREWS, George
BICKFORD, Harry W.
BRONSON, Harrison A.
BUCK, Gertrude
CHURCH, Florence Humphrey
COMIS, Ezra
COMSTOCK, Darius
COMSTOCK, O.C.
CONANT, Omar D.
CONANT, Shubael
COOLEY, Thomas M.
COOPER, George B.
COUZENS, James J.
DABLON, Claude
DESNOYERS, Peter
DICKINSON, William Edmund
DUNSTON, Thomas D.
DURYEA, Minor J.
EDWARDS, Rev. T.E.
FLANNIGAN
HORNER, John Scott
HURLBUT, L.A.
JOSEPH, Edwin
WEST, Byron D.

Early History of Michigan
......Miscellaneous Biographies

Mini Bios- They Came From Michigan

BICKFORD, Harry W.
Harry W. Bickford died of tuberculosis at his home in Orion, Mich., Sunday morning,. after an illness of five months. Two weeks ago he returned from Los Angeles to the East. He leaves a widow, a brother, Arthur, and one sister, Mrs. W. C. Orrell. The brother and sister live in Flint, Mich.
(Los Angeles Times – June 6, 1908 –Submitted by Dale Donlon)

BRONSON, Harrison A.
East Grand Forks. Lawyer. Born Nov 19, 1873 in Numica Mich, son of Charles H and Clementine F (Fowler) Bronson. Married June 18, 1901 to Alice LaChance. Attended high school Sauk Center 1889-90; graduated Univ of N D, A B 1894; A M 1895; U of M, LL B 1901. Was principal Baldwin Seminary St Paul 1898-99. Practiced law in St Paul 1901; East Grand Forks 1901 to date; member firm of Bronson & Collins. Lecturer on real property and municipal corporations law dept Univ of N D; author: Bronson’s Recitals on Municipal Bonds,” “Bronson’s Lwa of Fixtures,” Analysis Notes and Cases on Real Property.” Dir First State Bank East Grand Forks. Member Commercial Club, Fortnightly Club, Nat Geographic Society and N D Historical Society.
[Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. Publ. 1907 Transcribed by Renae Donaldson]

BUCK, Gertrude & CHURCH, Florence Humphrey
The recent deaths of Gertrude Buck, '94, and of Florence Humphrey Church, some time member of the class of '93, at the extremes of the United States, illustrates the far-flung and varied influence of the University of Michigan. * Back in the early 90's these two women were members of a close-knit group of five girls representative of the best traditions of Michigan homes, but with aptitude and outlook quite diverse. All went their several ways to service. Two have lived full lives without a twilight ; the others are still carrying on. Florence Humphrey's life consisted of two complementary elements, love and service, and for these she gave her life. Drawn by her deeply religious nature to the Student Volunteer Service under Robert Speer, she left the University of Michigan in her junior year to enter the newly developing Y service as secretary at Bay City. In 1894 she joined her college mate, J. E. Church, Jr., ' 92, Professor of Classics at the University of Nevada, and blended her life interests with his. To her earlier studies at Oberlin and Michigan she added a university residence at Munich and obtained the degrees of B.A. and M.A. at Nevada, thus gaining a breadth of view and maturity of training that fitted her for the executive leadership that came to her unbidden. She became a founder and president of the Nevada Woman's Faculty Club, vice-president of the University of Nevada Alumni Association, president of the Reno Twentieth Century Club, vice-president of the Nevada Suffrage Association and W. C. T. U., when campaigns for suffrage and prohibition reached their successful conclusion, president of the Nevada Federation of Women's Clubs and their National Director, a founder and vice-president of the Intermountain and Coast Federation of Women's Clubs, and spokesman of the far western States at the biennial council of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. In a word, she became the champion and servant of womankind. Service with her became rare leadership, for she had the faculty of understanding the heart of women and drew from each her best endeavor even when the intercourse must be mainly by letter. Honors also sat lightly upon her, but duties became a sacred obligation. Consequently, duties clamored ever at her door. Perhaps the greatest tributes paid her were from the Governor of Nevada, who placed in her care the correspondence that brought the Nevada Legislators together, mostly at their own expense, to ratify the national amendment enfranchising women, and the spontaneous expression of regret from even the remote clubs of the State that their leader was gone. Pioneering is not necessarily limited to the West, as is shown by Gertrude Buck's service in the East. Perhaps rather it is a spirit emanating from college training. At any rate, it was richly abundant in Florence Humphrey, despite an innate shrinking from criticism and longing for peace. In addition to pioneering in mass movements, she did the things that were then counted strange and unusual, but are now growing popular as the beauties of nature are being gradually revealed and understood. True to her instinct at Michigan that led her and her mates to sight some distant point in the landscape and then go cross-lots on a journey of discovery, she was one of the first women to ride horseback more than one thousand miles along the Sierra from Yosemite to Shasta, descending into the one and scaling the other. Once she glorified her Christmas week by camping amid the mountain crests carpeted with fairy snow and canopied by night with gleaming stars, and reluctantly admitted that she was unfitted for winter mountaineering only when the clambering reached the extreme of fifteen hours per day. Eventually her ashes will rest, like Helen Hunt Jackson's, on a mountain peak, overlooking Lake Tahoe and the glories of the universe. Though cut off in her prime, she lived an ideally double life, for she inspired her husband to love and to teach literature and art in its intimate relationship to the human soul. That her life and her love may grow even more rich after her, a memorial art library is being assembled that will interpret the beauties of the mountains and the lakes and the deserts to the lonely dweller, who has a gallery of nature's masterpieces at his door, providing he has the eye to behold. To this also will be added the masterpieces of man in order that beauty of color may join the beauty of sound in idealizing the isolated home life of the West. *Reprinted from the "Michigan Alumnus." " Professor of English. Vassar College. One of the originators of the "Little Theatre" movement.
Contributed by Kim Torp
Source: Nevada Historical Society Papers By Nevada Historical Society Published by State Printing Office, 1922
Member of the Nevada Historical Society By J. E. C. "A MICHIGAN GIRL IN WESTERN SERVICE"

COMIS, Ezra
He was elected a member of the Michigan Legislature from Calhoun County in 1836, and was the first Speaker chosen under the State Constitution, and he had previously been a member of the Convention which formed the said Constitution. He was also a general in the militia service; reputed a man of talents and strict ingegrity. Died in Detroit February 1837. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

COMSTOCK, Darius
He was of Quaker parentage, and one of the original contractors of the Erie Canal, and a number of the locks at Lockport were constructed under his supervision. Having made a fortune in that capacity he emigrated to Michigan, purchased an extensive tract of land in Lenawee county, and founded the village and now the flourishing city of Adrian. He was a worthy and sagacious man, and took an active part in developing the resources of the State, throughout the length and breadth of which his name was synonymous with prosperity and enterprise. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

COMSTOCK, O. C
He was born in New York in 1784; received a good­ education, and prepared himself to officiate as a Baptist preacher; was elected to the New York Assembly in 1810 and 1812; and was a Repre­sentative in Congress from that State from 1813 to 1819. He subsequently officiated as Chaplain of the National House of Representatives; and hav­ing. after sojourning for 3 time in Illinois, taken up his residence at Mar­shall Michigan, remained there until his death, which occurred on the 11th January, 1860. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

CONANT, Shubael
He was for a. great many years one of the most influential, cultivated. and enterprising citizens of Detroit, and did much by his sagacity as a merchant to promote the prosperity of the city and State. He emigrated to the West from Massachusetts ; had a brother, who resided on the River Raisin, at Monroe,. who was a prominent physician, and also a man of ability and refinement Mr. Shabael Conant was a man of rare judgment, by the exercise of which he acquired a hand­some property, and stood high as a man of character and benevolence, always taking a. deep interest in the welfa.re of Detroit and the entire State of Michjgan. As early as the year 1819 he established, in conjunction with two other Detroit.citizens,.the first grain and saw mills in the town of Pon­taic. He was never married and died in Detroit in 1865 or '66, leaving a name which will alvways be kindly remembered by the older citizens of the State. The writer regrets that he cannot be more particular in his notice, but if pleasant personal recollections were suited to this place he would have no trouble in writing an entire essay. And this remark holds true in regard to nearly all the pioneer citizens whom it is his pleasure to mention in this volume.

CONANT, Omar D.
He was born. in Cooperstown, Otsego county, New York, in 1818 ; removed with his father, who was a clergyman, to Huron connty, Ohio, in 1824; graduated in 1842 at the Western Reserve College; from 1845 to 1847 he was employed in the Geological Surveys of Lake Su­penor; and in 1848 he settled at Port Huron Michigan in the practice of law. In 1850 he was elected Judge of St. Clair County; was a Senator in the State Legislatu.re from 1855 to 1859, during the latter year serving as President pro tem.; was a. delegate to the Baltimore Convention of 1864; also a Presidential Elector at the ensuing election in 1865, and messenger from Michigan to carry the vote to Washington; in 1866 he was a member of the State Constitutional Convention; and in 1868 he was elected a Representative from Michigan to the Forty-first Congress, serving on several commitees but especially the Committee on Commerce. He resides at Port Huron, and was re-elected to the Forty-second Congress. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

COOLEY, Thomas M.
He was born at ttica,:New York, January 6, 1824; studied law in Palmyra; removed to Michigan in 1843; completed his legal studies at Adrian, where he was admitted to the bar in 1846: and spent the two following yeas practicing his profession in Tecumseh, after which he settled permanently in Adrian. In 1857 he was appointed by the Legislature to compile the General Statutes of Michigan, which were duly publisbed in two volumes; in 1858 he was appointed Reporter of the Su­preme Court., held the position until 1864, and published eight volumes of Reports; in 1850 he was made Jay Professor of Law in the University ot Michigan, which office he holds at the present time; in 1866 he published a Digest of Michigan reports; and in 1868 (through Little, Brown & Co.) a "Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations which rest upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union," Which work has been eminently successful. In 1864 he was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court by 17,000 majority .and in 1869 re-elected by a majority of more than 30,000 for the term which ends in 1878. Notwithstanding the pressure of his public duties, he has found time to prepare for early publication a new edition of Blackstone; and among the important cases which have been decided since he went upon tbe bench are first, one declaring tbe Military Suffrage Act unconstitutional; and another declaring Railroid Subscriptions void ­both of which have been extensively discussed by the public at; large. The present residence of Judge Cooley is in Ann Arbor. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

COOPER, George B.
Born at Long Hill Morris County, New Jersey, June 6, 1808; received good common-school education; removed to Michigan in 1830; served in the two Houses of the State Legislature; served two terms as State Treasurer of Michigan; held the position of Postmaster at Jackson for eleven years; which be resigned when chosen Treasurer; and was elected a Representative from Michigan to the Thirty-sixth Congress. His seat, however, was contested by William A. Howard. and before the. close of the first session the latter was admitted. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

COUZENS, James J.
Father of Late Senator Succumbs in California at 88 --- LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 – James J. Couzens, retired Michigan business man and father of the late Senator Couzens of Michigan, died at a hospital here yesterday of pneumonia. His age was 88. He had been a resident of Pomona for four years.
(New York Times – January 31, 1937 –Submitted by Dale Donlon)

DESNOYERS, Peter
He was born in France in 1713; came from Paris to America in 1790; lived at Gallipolis a number of years and afterwards in Pittsburg, from which p1ace he removed to Detroit in August, 1796, where he resided until his death. In consequence of his loyalty as an American citizen he received a donation of land on the river Detroit, under an act of Congress in 1807; was subsequently United States Marshall for the Territory; also, State Treasurer in 1889; and during his long residence in Detroit was considered one of the most influential men of the city, as well as a leading spirit among the French population. Source of Information: Biographical History of Michigan E.B. Smith & Co. 1871

DUNSTON, Thomas D.
Ex-Lieut. Gov. Dunstan -- CHICAGO, May 23 — Ex-Lieut. Gov. Thomas B. Dunstan of Michigan died tonight at the Auditorium. Death was caused by a complication of diseases. His wife and four children, one son from West Point, and his oldest daughter from Vassar College were present at his death. He was elected Lieutenant Governor at the time Hazen S. Pingree was made Governor. As President of the Michigan School of Mines, Mr. Dunstan gained distinction in the work of technical education. He was President of the Victoria Copper Company and owned stock in the Quincy, Adventure, and Rhode Island mines.
(New York Times – May 24, 1902 –Submitted by D. Donlon)

DURYEA, Minor J.
LYNCHBURG, Va., May 9 – The Rev. Minor J. Duryea, former prison evangelist and a native of Michigan, who had made his home here three years, died yesterday at the age of 80. He was assistant chaplain of the Michigan State penitentiary for a number of years and did much evangelistic work in the West Virginia coal fields, Indian schools of Oklahoma and Federal prisons of Southern States. During pastorates at Blanchard and Ashley, Mich., he built a Methodist church and a Congregational church at Elkhart, Ind. His widow, a son, Jasper Duryea of Detroit, and a daughter, Mrs. William Eichelberger of Cambria, Mich., survive.
(New York Times – May 10, 1934 –Submitted by D. Donlon)

EDWARDS, Rev. T.E.
WASHINGTON. Mich.. March 22 - The Rev. Timothy E. Edwards, dean of the Michigan Methodist Conference and one of the oldest preachers of his faith in the United States, died yesterday, a few days before his 101st birthday. Born in Cornwall, England, April 1, 1834, he came to Michigan in 1864, after having held pastorates in Ontario and Iowa.
(New York Times – March 23, 1935 –Submitted by D. Donlon)

FLANNIGAN
Michigan Jurist Dies in Chicago -- Chicago, Feb. 17 – Justice Flannigan of the Michigan Supreme Court, died in a hospital here today.
(Los Angeles Times – February 18, 1928 – Submitted by D. Donlon)

HURLBUT, L.A.
Oldest Michigan Alumnus Dead --- Norwich, Conn., May 17 – L. A. Hurlbut, 85 years old, the oldest living graduate of the University of Michigan, died here today. He was graduated from the Ann Arbor University in 1867. Three years later he was admitted to the bar in Michigan and since in Florida and Connecticut. He leaves a wife.
(New York Times – May 18, 1927 – Transcribed by D. Donlon)

JOSEPH, Edwin
Leaving his parental home at the age of seventeen, and beginning the battle of life for himself amid the hard conditions but boundless opportunities of the frontier, Edwin Joseph, of San Miguel county, one of the most successful and progressive ranchmen and stock-breeders of the Norwood mesa and located about three miles southwest of the town, has been true to the example and the spirit of his parents and in close touch with the on-flowing tide of American life which has overspread the country and redeemed its waste places to civilization and useful productiveness. He was born in Michigan in 1852, and is the son of John and Dollie Joseph, who in early life left their native state of New York and sought a new home within their hopes might expand and flourish in the wilds of Michigan, at that time as undeveloped as wild, as full of privation and danger to the hardy pioneer as this section was when he came into it. He was taught the value of thrift and industry on his father’s farm, and in the common schools of his native place secured a limited knowledge of books and imbibed the spirit of independence and self-reliance that has characterized the pioneers of our country from its earliest history. In 1869 he became a resident of Colorado, settling at Denver, then a city of about five thousand inhabitants. Here he engaged in handling stock until 1871, when he moved into the Del Norte region, were he continued the enterprise he had begun at Denver. In 1875 he went to the San Luis valley where he again followed the stock industry, and from a year prior to this time he was occupied also in prospecting until 1878. The next year he came to the Norwood mesa and located the ranch he now occupies and which has since been his home. This ranch was the first piece of patented agricultural land within the limits of San Miguel county, and its beautiful and productive appearance and character fully justify his wisdom in the choice of it as the base of his operations in a permanent employment of his faculties, tastes and skillful industry. He has converted it into one of the attractive and valuable rural homes in this portion of the country. The stock industry, to which he has sedulously devoted himself since settling here, has grown extensive and prosperous around him and through his judicious management he now has a fine herd of some two hundred cattle, all well bred and worthy of the best markets. Besides being energetic and constant in attention to his private business, he is earnest and full of force in attention to the public interests of his community, being one of the leaders of the Republican party in this section, and giving the people admirable service as a county commissioner. In every line of public life and enterprise he is active, vigilant and influential, and is easily accorded a position as one of the leaders of thought and activity in the county. He was married at Del Norte in 1875 to Miss Jennie Herendon, a native of Missouri. They have one son, Horace, who was the first white child born within the limits of the present county.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Marilyn Clore)

WEST, Byron D.
INSPECTOR DIES HERE Prominent Mason, and Insurance Man of Michigan Was In California on Leave of Absence Byron D. West, aged 75 years, insurance Inspector, for Michigan, died in this city, Monday, at the home of his son, Dr. F. B. West, No. 1563 West Eleventh street, and was buried at Calvary cemetery yesterday morning. West had been prominent as a Mason for fifty years. He had been in California on a leave of absence for the past four months, accompanied by his wife and his son, Byron. He has two other sons in Michigan in the insurance business, and a fifth son, Raymond West, residing here. He also leaves two daughters in Michigan. Dr. West has received telegrams of sympathy for the family from many eastern cities, as West was a Shriner and Knight Templar, as well as one of the oldest and most prominent insurance men in the country.
(Los Angeles Times – March 9, 1911 –Submitted by D. Donlon)

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