Branch County, Michigan
Representative from Branch county in 1835, 1836 and 1837, was born in Ashfield, Mass., in October, 1792, and was of the seventh generation from John Alden, of Mayflower fame. He moved with his father's family to Rome, N. J., in 1800, where he passed his boyhood days and acquired an education with the privations incident to these early days. He studied medicine with Dr. Rathburn, of Camden, N. J., completing his course in Cincinnati in 1824. and acquired an enviable reputation in the profession. He came from Ripley, N. J., to Coldwater in 1834. In 1838 he was appointed by Governor Mason Commissioner of Internal Improvements, and was acting Railroad Commissioner at the time of the construction of the railroad from Detroit to Pontiac. He died at Detroit, November 26, 1833, and was followed to his grave by six hundred officials and laborers, who insisted on paying the expenses as their tribute to a friend and an honest man. He left a wife, four sons and five daughters. Among those living are Judge Isaac Alden, of Montana; Rev. Willis Alden, of Oregon; and the wives of the late Roland Root and H. C. Lewis, and of Hon. H. Haynes, of Coldwater. [-- Source: Early History of Michigan with Biographies of State Officers, Members of Congress, Judges and Legislators: With Biographies of State Officers, Members of Congress, Judges and Legislators, By Stephen D. Bingham; Published by Thorp & Godfrey, state printers, 1888; Contributed by Barb Z.]
The name of this gentleman, who is in the prime of life and the midst of his usefulness, is favorably known throughout Algansee Township and vicinity as that of a citizen energetic and well to-do, and who is carrying on one of the finest farms within its limits. This comprises 105 acres of land located on section 7, is devoted to general farming and stock-raising, and is the source of a handsome income. Our subject has spent his entire life in this State, having been born in Jackson County, July 30, 1841, and reared at the homestead of his father, in Algansee Township, who was also a farmer by occupation. The latter, Jehial Bartholomew, was a native of Dryden, N. Y., and married Miss Susan Baldwin, also a native of the Empire State. They came to the Territory of Michigan in 1832, settling on a tract of land located about three miles from the present site of Jackson, and there they resided for a period of twelve years. Thence they came to Branch County, and the father purchased 140 acres of land, upon which stood a log cabin with a stick chimney, and a few acres only of which were cleared. Although the land which out subject now occupies is the same, such is the change which has been brought about in its condition, it would be by no means recognized by one not having watched the transformation. Here the father of our subject spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1875. The mother is still living and a resident of Cold water. The parents of our subject suffered all the trials and hardships peculiar to life in a new country, bearing up bravely under difficulties, trials and discouragements, and in due time reaped their reward in the possession of a good farm and a comfortable home. The log cabin in time gave place to a substantial frame dwelling, and the ham and other necessary structures arose gradually as needed. The father added eighty acres to his first purchase, and at the time of his death possessed an unincumbered estate for the benefit of his family. The household included four children, three of whom lived to mature years. Aurilla was first married to Edwin Gray, who died, and she was then married to Marcus Wakefield, and resides near Vinton, Iowa; Almand is a resident of Cold water. The father of our subject was Republican in politics after the organization of the party, and a member in good standing of the United Brethren Church.
Lyman Bartholomew was in the fourth year of his age when he settled in this county with his parents, and early in life was taught to make himself useful about the homestead. He assisted in clearing the farm and improving the land, and acquired a limited education in the common school Upon reaching manhood the first important event of his life was his wedding, which occurred Jan. 25, 1865, at the home of the bride in Ovid Township, the maiden of his choice being Miss Augusta N. Galbreath, who was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, Sept. 16, 1846. Her parents, William and Martha (Hicok) Galbraith, were natives respectively of Ohio and New York State, and came to Michigan in 1850, settling in Ovid Township, this county, where they resided until 1870. Thence they removed to Newaygo, where they are still living. They have five children, of whom Augusta N., the wife of our subject, is the eldest; Sarah, Mrs. Henry Dudley, resides at New Carlisle, Ind.; Frank lives in Newaygo; Jennie is the wife of Newton Thompson, of Lake County, and Cassius lives with his parents.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew resided at the homestead two years, and then our subject purchased fifty acres of land on section 17, in Algansee Township, where he lived until the death of his father. He then purchased the interest of his mother and sisters in the homestead, where he has since resided, and is now the owner of 105 acres of land, with one of the best brick residences in the county, a good barn, and all other buildings required for the convenience and comfort of a progressive agriculturist. His first frame residence, which he put up in 1876, was destroyed by fire four years later. Two children only were born to our subject and his wife: Nora F., a resident of Algansee Township, and Nellie S., who has not yet flown from the home nest. Our subject is a strong temperance advocate and favors prohibition. When casting his vote he uniformly supports Republican principles. He has served as a member of the School Board in his district, and takes a lively interest in those projects set on foot for the advancement of his community. In the earlier days he was a member of the Chain Lake Channel Company which constructed the waterway from Quincy to Kinderhook Corners. For some years he owned and operated a sawmill. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
BICKFORD, Ira P.
In presenting this biographical notice of one of the leading men of Branch County, and a gentleman who is thoroughly representative of its progressive element, we deem it our duty first to advert briefly to the life story of those from whom he derives his origin. Daniel Bickford, the grandfather of our subject, was one of the early pioneers who have long since gone to their reward. He was born in one of the New England States, and there grew to manhood, and was united in marriage with Mrs. Eunice (Trask) Knapp, whose parents resided in Keene, N. Y. By her first marriage she became the mother of one child. Soon after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bickford left their New England home, and directing their steps westward, settled in Seneca County, Ohio, whence they soon afterward removed to Huron County. In 1837 they disposed of their possessions in the Buckeye Slate, and coming to Michigan, settled in Algansee Township, this county, where the father purchased about 140 acres of unimproved land, and there passed the remainder of his days in the noble occupation of making "two blades of grass grow where but one grew before." They reared a family of six children, as follows: Jonathan, who is deceased; Lydia, Mrs. Brown; Charles, Stephen, Judith, and Sarah (deceased).
Jonathan K. Bickford, son of Daniel Bickford and the father of our subject, and his wife, Phebe A. Purdy, were both born in Canada, where their respective parents resided for a short time, and when small children they were brought by their parents to Huron County, Ohio, where they grew to maturity. About 1836 Mr. Bickford came to Michigan, and entered land on section 18, Algansee Township, which he labored to convert into a farm and prepare for the reception of his bride. His marriage took place in 1840. in the same township, to which his wife's parents had removed from Ohio. After marriage he settled on this farm, on which he continued to reside until his death, in May, 1882. Besides this farm of 140 acres he owned several farms at various times, and gave each of his three sons a farm of eighty to 100 acres, besides valuable property to his daughter. He amassed money by buying wild land, which he cleared and sold at a largely advanced price. In politics he was a Republican, and served his township fifteen years as Highway Commissioner, he was a member in good standing of the United Brethren Church, and was a hard-working and worthy pioneer, whose name is kindly remembered by all who knew him. Mrs. Bickford is still living, and makes her home at the old homestead. Their family comprised five children, who are recorded as follows: C. M. is a farmer, residing in Harper County, Kan.; Charles D. died in Comanche County, Kan., in 1887; Ira P. is the third in order of birth; Eunice T. became the wife of E. .S. Frederick, and died in Harper County, Kan.; Olive E. was first married to Alvine Dove, and some time after his death she became the wife of Edgar Aldrich, of Cold water. The subject of this biographical sketch was born on section 18 Algansee Township. March 12, 1814, and has been a resident of this township continuously ever since. He was reared to farm pursuits, acquiring at the same time such education as was obtainable in the public schools of the township, and was thus engaged until his marriage. This important event in the life of our subject occurred in 1865, Miss Mary Craig being the second contracting party. Mrs. Bickford was born in Sandusky County. Ohio, April 27, 1846, and is the daughter of Harrison and Adeline (Lybarker) Craig, natives respectively of Vermont and Pennsylvania. They were married in Ohio, and about the year 1852 left the Buckeye State, and coming to Branch County, settled in Algansee Township, where they resided until the death of the father in 1861; the mother is still living. Their family numbered three children, as follows: Mary, the wife of our subject; Melissa, Mrs. Lewis Dove, and Sarah, the wife of Samuel Knecht The parents were members of the United Brethren Church. After marriage Mr. Bickford brought his bride to the old homestead, where they still reside, and he now owns a total of over 100 acres of land, while Mrs. Bickford owns forty acres. On this large body of land ore raised in abundance the products of this climate, while the farm is supplied with the modern machinery for their successful cultivation and harvesting, and with buildings for storage and for the protection of the fine grades of domestic animals.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Bickford has been blessed by the birth of four children: Ela, the wife of Alva C. Ayres: Alice. Ethbert and Dora. Mr. Bickford has acted as executor of his father's estate, and has also been the administrator of other estates, which his tact and ability settled satisfactorily. In politics he is a Republican, and is a man of influence in his party. The maternal grandfather of our subject. Horace Purdy, also came to Algansee Township, where he was among the earliest pioneers, and the first town meeting was held at his residence. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
Furniture dealer and undertaker, resides in Cold water, and is conducting successfully an extensive business in his line of industry. He was born at Gorham, Ontario Co.. N. Y., March 27, 1821, and is the third in a family of eleven children born to William and Lydia (Mapes) Blodgett, and recorded as follows: Analine was born at Gorham. Oct. 8, 1816, and became the wife of Nathan Leisenring, of Variek, Seneca Co., N. Y.; Sarah was born at Gorham, Oct. 29, 1818, and married Cornelius Denham of Ontario County, N. Y.; Uri, our subject; Jennett was born the 24th of August, 1822, and became the wife of George Orr; William F. was born Feb. 2, 1825; Emeline was born July 23, 1827, and became the wife of Amenzo Hoard; Eames was born Feb. 8, 1830, Lydia E. was born Aug. 30, 1832, and became the wife of Peter Pitcher, of Gorham, N. Y.; Carlton was born Nov. 29, 1834, and died in childhood; Catherine was born May 28, 1837, and an infant died unnamed. Of these seven are still living.
William Blodgett was born at Clinton, Oneida Co., N.Y., May 10, 1794, while his ancestors were natives of Massachusetts. The grandfather of our subject, Ludim Blodgett, removed to Oneida County at an early day, and reared a large family; he was a farmer by occupation, and subsequently removed to Ontario County, where he cleared a farm of 300 acres, and resided there until his decease. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and politically, a Whig, while religiously, he was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was a highly esteemed and respected citizen. The father of our subject resided at the homestead until about twenty years of age, when his father gave him and his brother fifty acres of land each, within a short distance of the homestead. He added to his share until he had 150 acres of land, which he had cleared from the wilderness, and resided there until his decease, in 1883. He served through the War of 1812, and was honorably discharged at its close. Although he was identified with no church, he was a man of unimpeachable character, frank and upright from convictions of conscience. His wife, who survived him one year, was born in Coxsackie, N. Y. in 1798, and was the fifth in a family of seven children born to Israel Mapes and his wife, whose record is as follows: Jason; Analine became the wife of Royal Stearns, and subsequently married Joshua Hicks; Keziah married Daniel Hoyt, and after his death became the wife of John Robson; Hiram; Lydia, the mother of our subject; Hannah married Ephraim Blodgett, brother of William Blodgett, the father of our subject; Harriet; Mercy was born of a second marriage of Israel Mapes, and became the wife of Neman Barnes. Our subject's grandfather died when his daughter Lydia was a small child, and she, with the remainder of the children, except Jason, went to live with her eldest sister, who had married Capt. Royal Stearns. Here they remained until they grew up and settled in life. Lydia Mapes obtained her education in the common schools, and was a lady of great energy and perseverance. After her marriage she was a hard-working woman, and a woman more devoted to her husband and family never lived. Though she was not identified with the visible church, she was held in high esteem for her benevolent disposition and many Christian virtues. She died in Ontario County, N. Y.. in 1884.
Uri Blodgett was reared at his father's homestead until he attained his majority, working on a farm in summer, and attending the common schools in winter. At the age of twenty-one he engaged to learn the trade of a cabinet-maker, hiring for three years with his uncle. Hiram Millard, at $40 per year. He was a natural mechanic, and at the end of six months his uncle released him from his contract, and recomended him to Mr. Beach of Geneva, N. Y., where he could have greater facilities than his uncle could furnish him. Our subject worked for the first year at $50, besides board and washing, and he then went to Canandaigua, N. Y., and engaged with Mr. Linnell at $10 per month, besides board and washing. After being thus employed two years, he went to Canada, where he was employed fur some time at Hamilton and Guelph. He then returned to Canandaigua, and spent about a year working for Mr. Linnell, and then started for the West, determined to try his fortune in Michigan. In 1846 he made his advent into Hudson, and engaging in the furniture business on a small scale, by industry and economy he made a success of the enterprise. In those days there was but little money in circulation, and he took in payment for his goods anything that could be utilized in his family. At the end of two years he returned to his father's homestead in Ontario County, taking with him his wife, whom he had married in 1846, and whose maiden name was Emeline Brightman. They remained with his father one year, and in the spring of 1849 they retraced their steps westward, and Mr. Blodgett commenced work at his trade in Coldwater. When he landed in this town he had a cash capital of $S0, but he rented a shop and began business by making ordered work. During the second year of his settlement he erected a small house, and exchanged a house and lot in Hudson that he bought previous to his return east for property at Coldwater, and used the house for a shop, while it was also used for the first postoffice in Coldwater. As his circumstances warranted. Mr. Blodgett increased his business, built an addition to his shop, put in an engine, and commenced to manufacture on a larger scale, and in 1852 he exchanged this property for a factory, and another building for a store. In 1863 he built the store which he now occupies on Monroe street, 84x24 feet, and three stories in height, with a basement. He also built a warehouse in the rear, 40x40 feet and two stories in height, for finishing, upholstering, etc. He carries more stock in his line of goods than any other house in the city, and his industry and good judgment have brought their legitimate reward, as he is now in possession of a handsome competency. His residence, situated on Hill street, is one of the most attractive in the city, and is the abode of comfort and happiness.
Our subject was united in marriage, Oct. 15, 1846 with Miss Emeline Brightman, who was born at Fall River, Mass., Oct, 2, 1826. and was the sixth in a family of twelve children born to Samuel and Phebe (Marble) Brightman, the former also born in Fall River. Nov. 8, 1794, and the latter born August 26 of the same year. Samuel Brightman was a sea captain, and commanded a merchant sailing-vessel, named the 'Crawford," that he built himself. It was launched at Fall River the day before our subject's wife was born, and was employed in the merchandise trade for Boston merchants, and between Boston and the West Indies. On the first voyage the captain became sick with yellow fever in the West Indies, and remained there until he recovered. He then returned to his home, but his health was so impaired that he could not make the next voyage, and placed his brother Henry in charge of the vessel. Contrary to instructions, the captain allowed four Italians to board the vessel at the West Indies, and they raised a mutiny and killed all the crew except the first mate and the colored cook, the former of whom, whose name was Dobson, was an Italian, which fact saved his life. Making one of the mutineers captain of the vessel, they engaged in piracy, but soon afterward, while off the coast of North Carolina, the pirates were exposed by the first mate, and arrested, tried, and hung at Raleigh, in that State. This vessel was sold by Mr. Brightman shortly afterward. In 1820 he built the "Constitution," and launched it at Fall River. He subsequently sailed in the "Hesperian" from Havana, in the West Indies, to Paris, France, and brought back a cargo of French goods. He also circumnavigated the globe, spending two years on the voyage, and traded with nearly every nation existing thereon. When about seventeen years of age Samuel Brightman took a trip to the West Indies to study practical navigation with Capt. Wilson, of Fall River. On the return trip the captain became intoxicated, and the crew were taken sick, except the cabin boy, with a Southern epidemic, and Samuel Brightman and two boys brought the vessel into New York Harbor.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Blodgett resulted in the birth of three children - Isabelle, Katy and Starr. Isabelle was born June 28, 1848, and on the 19th of January, 1870. was united in marriage with David Merrill, of Milwaukee. Wis. She was educated at the High School, and was graduated from the Coldwater Female Seminary. She has four children - Ralph, Lizzie and Lina (twins), and Frederick Starr. Katy was born April 17, 1852, and died in infancy, Aug. 16. 1854. Starr was born April 19, 1855, and was educated in the public schools of Coldwater; he is now engaged in business with his father, and the firm is known as Blodgett & Son. Starr was married, June 14, 1877, to Miss Minnie, the daughter of E. B. Lyman, of Coldwater, and a native of Vermont, where she was born, near Rutland, in 1858. At the age of twelve years she came to Coldwater. where she received her education, and resided until her marriage. Of this union there have been two children: Ethel, June 6, 1878, and Katy, who died in infancy. In politics Mr. Blodgett affiliates with the Republican party, and in religion he and his estimable partner are liberal, and are honored members of society, in which they occupy a prominent position. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
BROWN, J. Wesley
Retired from active business and residing in Cold water, was born in the town of Perrinton, Monroe Co., N. Y., Aug. 27, 1827, and is the eldest in a family of eight children born to Asahel and Deborah (Comstock) Brown. Asahel, son of Abner and Hannah (Birdsall) Brown, was born at Stafford, Monmouth Co., N. J. in April 1803, and died at Cold water, Branch Co., Mich., June 8, 1874. Deborah, daughter of Jesse and Rachel Comstock, was born at Farmington, Ontario Co., N. Y., July 15, 1808, and died at Algansee, Branch Co., Mich., Dec. 23, 1881. Asahel Brown and Deborah Comstock were married at Palmyra. N. Y„ Aug. 16. 1826. The children born to them are recorded as follows: J. Wesley the eldest, born as above stated; Emily was born Dec. 4, 1828. and becamce the wife of A. G. Barnes; Rachel C. and Hannah C., twins, were born Aug. 27, 1832; Rachel married Archibald McNaughton, and Hannah became the wife of Dr. Hawkins King; the former died at Fremont, Ind., March 12, 1863. These wore all born at Perrinton, N. Y. Othelia was born Sept. 28, 1835; Omar B. was born Feb. 24, 1842; Combe E. was born Oct. 8, 1844, and Omar C. was born Oct. 5, 1849. All of these were born at Algansee, Mich. Omar B. died Sep 3, 1848, and Combe September 7 of the same year. For a sketch of the life of the parents of our subject, see history of Hon. Asahel Brown elsewhere in this album.
J. W. Brown was reared to farm pursuits at the home of his father until twenty-four years of age, and received an education in the common schools, and then began life for himself on a farm of 160 acres given him by his father in California Township. The land was entirely unimproved, but our subject and his young wife, whom he had married Oct. 8, 1651, mid whose maiden name was Helen E. Tripp, engaged in earnest in its improvement and cultivation, and remained on it until the autumn of 1858 when they removed to Coldwater, which has been their home ever since. Mr. Brown subsequently sold this farm, and for three years was engaged as clerk, after which he began business for himself, in 1861, forming a partnership with H.J. Woodward and Platt Gilbert, under the firm name of Woodward, Brown & Co. In less than a year, however, he sold out his interest on account of ill-health, and in 1868 he formed a partnership with Uri Blodgett in the furniture business. which they conducted about seven months. Mr. Brown then sold out his interest, and in 1866 he bought an interest in the hardware firm of Mockeridge, Green & Co., and this partnership continued about three years. Mr. Brown then disposed of his interest in the business, and has since lived a retired life in his elegant and well-appointed home in the city. In addition to his fine homestead he owns considerable real estate and does some business in money loaning. Mrs. Helen E. Brown was born at Worcester, Otsego Co., N. Y.. Dee, 21, 1883, and is the younger of two children born to David and Sally (Flint) Tripp, the former a native of Decatur, N. Y., where he was born July 1, 1807.
In tracing the ancestry of the Tripp family we have the following record: David Tripp was born on the 21st of February, 1768. and died on the 28th of November 1828. His wife, Mary (Dickinson) Tripp, was born on the 1st of June, 1772 and died on the 10th of June, 1847. Their children were: Lovina who became Mrs. Elliott, was born May 4, 1790, and died Nov. 30, 1860; Patience, who also became Mrs. Elliott, was born Aug. 2, 1791, and died in November 1884; Polly was born Jan. 28, 1793, and died Dec. 4, 1854; Nancy, who became Mrs. Parker, was born May 11, 1794, and died Jan. 11, 1848; Nathan was born May 22, 1796, and died June 24, 1871; Elizabeth, who also married an Elliott, was born May 6, 1798, and died Feb. 14, 1852; Robert was born March 4, 1800, and died May 6, 1875; Hannah, who became Mrs. Delemeter, was born June 25, 1802, and died March 22, 1851; Emily wns born Nov. 7, 1804 and died Oct. 8, 1840; David was born July 1, 1807, and died Oct. 2, 1875: George was born April 10, 1809; Stephen was born Feb. 13, 1811 and died Jan. 24, 1836: Marcia M., who became Mrs. Case, was born May 13, 1813, and died May 17, 1887; Reumath, who became Mrs. Piatt, was born Nov. 14, 1816; Celestia was born July 14, 1820, and died Oct 5, 1860.
The ancestry of Sally Flint, the mother of Mrs. J. Wesley Brown, is as follows: S. Phineas Flint was born March 28, 1780, and died June 8, 1823, in Worcester, Otsego Co N. Y.; Permelia (Houghton) Flint, who became by second marriage Mrs. H. F. Perry, was born May 27, 1788, and died Dec. 8, 1856, at Kinderhook, Mich. The children of the above who were born at Worcester, N. Y., are: Jacob, who was born March 6, 1806, and died Oct. 3, 1856, at Worcester, Otsego Co., N. Y.; Sally, who became Mrs. Tripp, was born Nov. 26, 1808, and died Oct. 19, 1879. at Cold water. Branch Co., Mich; Matilda, who became Mrs. Osborn, was born Sept. 9, 1810: Hartwell was born May 12. 1812; Mary Olive was born Aug. 18, 1814, and died Nov. 16, 1814, at Worcester, N. Y.; Marcia M., who became Mrs. Chase, was born Oct. 16, 1815; Amos was born May 5, 1817; Horatio was born May 25,1820, and died July 26,1887, at Worcester, N. Y.; Mary B., who became Mrs. Lobdell, was born Dec. 2, 1822, and died July 1, 1884, at Fowler, Ind.
Mr. Tripp came to Branch County in 1836, accompanied by his wife and two children, and settled in Kinderbook Township, ten miles south of Cold water, on a farm of eighty acres, which his brother had entered from the Government for him, and erected a log house. Previous to his removal to this county he had for nearly two years operated a rented farm in Pembroke, N. Y. The migration was accomplished by means of ox-teams, as many as five yoke being sometimes required to draw the loads through the cottonwood swamps. The father remained on his farm engaged in its cultivation, and lived to see the fruit of his labors before his decease, which occurred in that place, Oct. 2, 1875. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, and held the office of Township Supervisor, and also served a number of years as Justice of the Peace. He was an active and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and just and honorable in his public and private relations. He was one of the early pioneers of this county, coming at a time when the red men were the principal inhabitants of the forest, with here and there a white settler. By honest and patient industry and economy he accumulated a good property, which he seemed to enjoy, free from the anxiety that makes wealth a source of care to so many people. He was kind to the poor, ever ready to assist those willing to help themselves, but he had little sympathy for the indolent. In his final illness he was strong in the faith that had been his support and comfort in health and prosperity, and his funeral services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Ide, assisted by Rev. Janner, Rev. A. Virgil and Rev. W. B. Chappell. He left an aged companion, with whom he had traveled life's rugged road for over forty years, and also besides the wife of our subject a son. Lester H. Tripp, at present a resident of Kinderhook.
The mother of Mrs. Brown was born in Otsego County, N. Y., Nov, 26, 1808, and was united in marriage in 1829, after which time her life was closely allied to that of her husband until his death, after which she became a member of our subject's family, and remained until her decease, which occurred Oct, 19, 1879, after a severe illness of three months. She had been a confirmed invalid since 1875, but during her great suffering she was patient and cheerful, endearing herself to all with whom she associated by her firm hope and trust. In early life she was a member of the Congregational Church, but upon coming to Kinderhook she united by letter with the Methodist Church and lived a consistent Christian life. Her remains were taken to Kinderhook, and were buried from her loved church by the side of her husband. Mrs. Brown spent her girlhood days at her quiet home, and receiving a good education in the schools of Kinderhook and Coldwater, taught school a number of terms previous to her marriage. Her union with our subject resulted in the birth of one child, Jacob Birdsall, who was born May 17, 1858, and resides at home with his parents. At the age of nine years our subject accompanied his parents to Algansee Township from Lenawee County, and at that time there were no bridges, and they were compelled to ford the streams. The family crossed Hog Creek on two logs lashed side by side, and the cattle, hogs and other domestic animals swam across after the oxen. After crossing the creek our subject and his mother pushed forward as rapidly as possible, and staid that night with Mr. Cass in California Township. The house in which Mr. Cass then lived was built by laying poles from one limb of a tree to another, and standing puncheons up against them. It required all next day to reach their home in Algansee Township, arriving on the evening of July 8, 1836. The father of our subject had purchased so large a tract of land that it was impossible to have near neighbors, so he sold 160 acres of it in order to see the smoke from the cabin of a pioneer neighbor. Our subject assisted his father in the cultivation of the land until he had reached the age of twenty-four years, and then purchased a part of the original tract, and commenced life in the second log house erected on his father's farm. Two years later he removed to Kinderhook, where he remained only one year, however, and then returned to hie farm and erected more suitable buildings, and Mrs. Brown stoutly maintains that, notwithstanding its humble appearance, it was cozy and comfortable, and they enjoyed life there just as much as in their present elegant mansion. The parents of Mrs. Brown arrived at Waterhouse Corners July 3, 1836, having come via Toledo, Ohio, by means of an ox-team. Their experience in crossing Big Cottonwood Swamp was such as to impress itself indellibly upon their memory. Her mother came near being drowned, and they had to leave their heaviest goods by the roadside, or they could never have accomplished the journey. They forded the river west of Coldwater, and took refreshments with Wahskokie, the Indian chief, July 2. At night they asked permission to stay over night at the house of a pioneer, and were informed by the hosted that they could stay, but that she had nothing in the house but meal to eat, and no place for them to sleep. As they had a supply of provisions with them, an excellent supper was soon prepared, and the lady, whose husband was away in search of work to earn something upon which to live, enjoyed their company very much. As Mr. and Mrs. Brown look back upon their life in this county, and contrast its inhospitable condition with its present remarkable development, it must be hard to realize that such a transformation has been effected within the lapse of half a century. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
Born in County Armagh, Ireland, Feb. 22, 1795 and emigrating to America in 1820, settled at Morristown. Lawrence Co., N. Y. He married Eliza, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Downs, who was born May 25, 1795, in Ireland, and accompanied by her brother and a nephew, sailed for America in 1821, and settled in Utica. N. Y.
Samuel Craig and Eliza Downs were school children together in their native country, but each came to America ignorant of the locality of the other, and meeting accidentally in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., were married Dec. 2, 1823. On the 28th of March, 1831, they came to Michigan, and located in Girard Township. They experienced all the vicissitudes of pioneer life, both in their Journey to their new home and after their settlement. The same year the parents and their four children were all taken sick, and continued so during the entire fall. Mr. Craig, however, was not discouraged, but battling with circumstances, he finally began to reap the reward of his labors, and increased his wealth until at the time of his death, March 2, 1847, he owned about 800 acres of land. His wife departed this life Dec. 22, 1878, and was buried by the side of her husband in Girard Cemetery. The family of our subject included six children, four of whom were sons, and are recorded as follows: Mary J. was born in Morristown, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Oct. 28, 1824; James was born in the same place, June 27, 1826 and died Aug. 28, 1841; David also was born in Morristown, Nov. 15, 1827, and now resides in Grant County, Kan.; Daniel was born April 10, 1830, in Hillsdale County, and died Aug. 28, 1841; Samuel was born Sept. 4, 1831, the first white child born in Girard Township, and died Jan. 2. 1856, at Eureka, Cal.; Eliza was born June 29, 1836.
Upon the death of our subject the property was divided among the children, and Eliza received for her share the eighty acres that her father bought from the Government in 1831, and on which the house stands. This has been her home since she was two years of age, and she has had entire control of the farm of 257 acres since her father's death. Mary J. Craig has always lived with her sister, and she also has a farm, which she has given over to the management of her sister, and also holds a half-interest in a tract of 100 acres which they have bought together. Their large farm is well improved and is operated by hired men. These ladies are prominent and worthy members of society, and are honored and respected as pioneers of Branch County.
Lawyer; born, Sherwood, Mich., (Branch Co) Feb. 18, 1856; son of Jerome B. and Elizabeth M. (Wells) Fuller; graduate University of Michigan, Ph.B., 1880; Law Department, University of Michigan, LL.B., 1881; married, Ypsilanti, Mich., May 24, 1878, Alexandrine Egoroff. Has practiced in Detroit since 1880. Member Detroit Bar Association. Republican. Mason, Knight Templar, Shriner, Odd Fellow. Office: 48 Buhl Blk. Residence: 771 Lincoln Av. [Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908. NOTE: Jay Fuller is buried at Detroit in Woodmere Cemetery]
The prosperity of any community depends upon its business activity and the enterprise manifest in commercial circles is the foundation upon which is builded the material welfare of town, state and nation. The most important factors in public life at the present day are therfore men who are in control of successful business interests and such a one is Mr. Gray, the leading lumber dealer of Valley City. He was born in Branch county, Michigan, October 7, 1840, and is a son of B. D. Gray, a native of Hinesbury, Vermont, who came west in the early thirties, and in 1849 made the trip overland to California. For some time he was engaged in contracting and building in San Francisco, and many of the important buildings of that city were constructed by him. Our subject attended school at Constantine and Coldwater. Michigan, and at the age of fourteen began his business career as a clerk in the general store of Miles & Culf, with whom he remained for three years. He then accepted a position with John W. Shively, for whom he worked for the succeeding twelve years. After resigning that position he entered the employ of Morris, Demming & Company, of New York, as a traveling salesman, selling hats, caps and furs throughout southern Michigan and northern Indiana for five years. In 1879 he left Michigan and came to Valley City, North Dakota, on the first five-car emigrant train which came into the state over the Northern Pacific Railroad. He at once entered land near the city, upon which he lived for one year, engaged in agricultural pursuits, and then took up his residence in Valley City, where he was interested in the farm machinery business until 1885. In that year he took the agency for the Gull River Lumber Company and has acted as such continuously since. On the 10th of April, 1899, the Valley City State Bank was organized and he was elected vice-president of the same, which office he is now filling with great tact and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. He is the only man in Valley City who has been continuously engaged in business since his arrival in the state, and is now connected with various business enterprises. He is energetic, progressive and persevering and generally carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.
In 1879 Mr. Gray married Miss Mary M. Barnes, of Goshen, Indiana, a daughter of James and Mary Barnes,, now deceased. The father was one of the early settlers of Goshen, always took an active part in the affairs of the city generally, and was engaged in the banking business there for years. Mr. and Mrs. Gray have two children, a son and daughter, namely : Henry B. and Amy M. The family occupy one of the most modern and beautiful dwellings in Valley City, it being located in the northwest portion of the place, and its hospitable doors are ever open for the reception of their many friends. Mr. Gray has taken quite a prominent and influential part in public affairs, and has served as mayor of the city three years and president of the school board for the same length of time. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Renae Capitanio]
Minneapolis. Res 217 8th av SE, office 621 Metropolitan bldg. Public accountant. Born Jan 21, 1855 in Gilead Mich, son of David N and Marion (Gray) Green. Married Jan 21, 1880 to Mattie A Grinnell. Educated in the public schools of Coldwater Mich and Mayhew Business College Detroit Mich. Engaged as bkpr Toledo; teller First Nat Bank Valley City 1881-82; part owner and cashr Bank of Lisbon 1882-87; member of firm of Wendell & Green public accountants 1891 to date. Mayor Lisbon ND 1884-85. Member Masonic fraternity. [Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. Publ. 1907 Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]
NIVISON, William W.
Pleasantly located on section 30, Algansee Township, w which has been his home since 1885, although his residence in the county dates from 1854. He is engaged in general farming on a well-cultivated tract of forty-three acres of land, and has an attractive home, giving evidence of culture and refinement. Mr. Nivison also farms rented land from which he realizes good returns.
William W. Nivison was born in Seneca County, N. Y., June 15, 1842, and is the son of Nathan and Matilda (Kniffen) Nivison, of whom a sketch appears in the biographical notice of George Nivison, found elsewhere in this work. His childhood years were spent after the uneventful manner common to farmers' sons, alternating between the district school and the farm. and learning in both schools lessons which might be utilized in after years in securing a name among men for honesty and ability. Hoping to better their condition, and to find enlarged facilities for their children, the parents removed from their native State to this county, and settled in Algansee Township.
In 1862 the subject of this sketch cheerfully responded to the call for troops to aid in suppressing the Rebellion, and enlisting in the army, was mustered into service with Company M, 5th Michigan Cavalry. With this company he served as long as their services were needed, and was mustered out of the service July 6, 1865. Mr. Nivison participated in several skirmishes, and experienced many of the horrors of war. On one occasion, in 1864, while on a long march, his horse dropped dead from fatigue, and he was obliged to walk a long distance, which so exhausted him that illness ensued, and he was confined to Lincoln Hospital for a period of eight months, being very sick during the entire time. He was in Washington at the time the assassin's bullet laid low our lamented President, and was one of the men detailed to assist in the capture of Booth. He acted as one of the guards who watched over the prisoners held for complicity in that dark deed, the memory of which lingers in the hearts of all nations. He is also one of the men who guarded Lincoln's funeral car after its return from Springfield, to prevent the car from being defaced by relic hunters.
Upon the completion of his military duties, Mr. Nivison returned to Branch County and resumed the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, which he continued to follow until 1872. He then entered the service of the United States Express Company, at Cleveland, Ohio, where he remained two years, succeeded by seven years in the same service at Union City, Ind., and nearly three years at Youngstown, Ohio. He then removed to this county and settled upon his present farm.
Our subject was united in marriage, Feb. 24. 1869, with Mary Olive, daughter of Gideon and Parmelia (Twist) Mason, and a native of Algansee Township, where she was born Feb. 18, 1852. Gideon Mason was a native of Ohio, and was married in that State, whence he subsequently came with his family to Branch County. In 1852 he started for California across the plains and was never heard from after leaving Council Bluffs, Iowa. His fate is shrouded in mystery, but it is supposed he was murdered by Indians or Mormons. He left two children: Eva I., who became the wife of W. H. Simpkins, and Mary O., wife of our subject. About 1857 the widow of Mr. Mason was muted in marriage with Roswell D. Tift, by whom she had one child, Lizzie; Mrs. Tift died in 186. Mr. and Mrs. Nivison have a family of three children - Vernon H., Raymond M. and Ruth W. Mr. Nivison has a large share of inventive genius, which he has turned to good account in the invention of the 44 Badger post-hole augur, for which a patent has been applied, and together with his brother George he is manufacturing those machines and is meeting with good success. In politics our subject gives his adherence to the Republican party, and socially, he is a member of the I.O.O.F., both Subordinate and Encanpment Lodges at Coldwater, and is also a member of Sedgwick Post No. 37, at Union City, Ind. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
OAKES, Dustin C.
A successful banker of Coopersville, Ottawa County Mich., and well known as a man of practical business ability, has been prominently connected with various lending interests of his present locality. He is a stockholder in the Coopersville Creamery, and when the building was erected in 1803 was elected Treasurer. He is also largely interested in the elevator business of the village. Our subject is a native of Michigan, and was born in St. Joseph County, his parents being among the earliest settlers in that part of the State. His father, David Oakes, was a native of the Empire State, but when only a little lad journeyed with his father and mother from New York to the Westward, the paternal grandparents then making their home in Ohio. David Oakes and his wife emigrated to the Wolverine State in 1852, and, locating in the dense woods of St. Joseph County, the father entered with energetic industry into the clearing, cultivation and improvement of a farm. A man of ability, he had received a thoroughly practical education in the schools of Ohio and had taught in his early manhood. He was guided by upright principles and was a courageous and truly patriotic American citizen. When the Civil War broke out, David Oakes, raising a company of volunteers, was commissioned Captain and enlisted under Gov. Blair. The father served with gallantry under Gen. Rosccians. but shortly after the battle of Murfreesboro died from the exposure and fatigue incidental to the campaign. A year later our subject lost his mother, so that at the early age of eleven years he was left without a home and had to make his own way in the world after that.
The surviving children of the parents family were Dustin C. our subject, and Jessie F., now Mrs. H. R. Curtis, of Lyons. Mr. Oakes passed the days of childhood and attained to manhood in St. Joseph County. Ambitious and self-reliant, he worked out by the month to acquire the means to educate himself in the Agricultural College, from which institution he graduated with honor in 1874. Immediately following the completion of his studies, Mr. Oakes taught school for one year, and achieved success as an instructor.
In 1876 Dustin C. Oakes and Miss Nora, daughter of Rufus Kelly, of Lyons, were married. For the succeeding five years our subject prosperously engaged in the tilling of the soil. He served as Deputy County Clerk for one year, then soon after entered into banking, to which latter business he has devoted himself mainly since 1883, when he settled in Shelby, Oceana County, his permanent home for a half-score of years, upon January 1, 1891, Mr. Oakes removed to Coopersville and bought his present business of D. O. Watson A. Co. and continuing in the same has prosperously extended the original interest, and in his present relations with the public enjoys the entire confidence of the community by whom he is surrounded. A It bough comparatively a new-comer in the village, our subject is now recognized as an important factor in the promotion and development of local enterprise.
Two children, a daughter and son, have with their bright presence cheered the pleasant home. Mr. and Mrs. Oakes occupy a prominent social position and are foremost in the good works of their locality. Fraternally, our subject is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has received the highest degree in that ancient and honored order. Widely known and highly esteemed for his business and social attainments, Mr. Oakes is universally respected and possesses the best wishes of a host of friends. [Portrait and biographical record of Muskegon and Ottawa counties Michigan ... By Biographical Publishing Company 1893; Transcribed by Christine Walters.]
White Bear Lake. Office 507 Nat German American Bank bldg. St Paul. Lawyer. Born Oct 29, 1860 in Coldwater Mich, son of Col Henry C and Harriet (Champion) Gilbert. Received his education in the high school of Coldwater Mich and law dept of the Univ of Michigan. Removed to St Paul 1886 and enter the firm of Morphy & Gilbert which was changed in 1892 to Morphy, Ewing, Gilbert & Ewing then to Morphy, Ewing & Gilbert until 1899. Practiced alone until 1902; then formed the present firm of Gilbert & Greenman. Chairman of School Board of White Bear Lake; pres of Library Board White Bear Lake. Member of the Commercial Club St Paul, Minn and Ramsey County Bar assns.; Loyal Legion , Royal Arcanum and Commercial Law League of America. [Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. Publ. 1907 Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]
Lawyer; born, Wilmington, N.Y., Nov. 23, 1827; son of Jared and Statira (Barlett) Pond;; came with parents to Michigan, 1832, and settled on a farm in Branch Co.; educated in district school, Wesleyan Seminary (now Albion College) and University of Michigan, graduating, 1854; married Miss Harriet L. Pearl. Studied law in office of E.C. & C.I. Walker, Detroit, and was admitted to the bar, 1856; formed partnership with Jedediah Emmons, and later with John S. Newberry and Henry B. Brown, the latter now one of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Practice has been confined almost exclusively to railway business. Office: 703 Union Trust Bldg. Residence: 546 Woodward Av.[Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908 by Albert Nelson Marquis]
RUMSEY, Howard Daniel
Howard D. Rumsey, like many of the enterprising and prosperous men of Ferry county, has resided here but a few years, but has shown, during that time, commendable energy and interest in opening up the country. He lives seven miles south from Curlew and there does general farming and raises stock.
Howard D. Rumsey was born in Brants (s/b Branch) county, Michigan on October 4, 1859, the son of Peter and Temperance (Bond) Rumsey, natives of New York and Virginia respectively. They settled in Michigan in 1845, which was continuously their home until 1877, when the father died. His widow is still living in Allegan county of that state. Ten children have been born to them, as follows: Johnson, Frank, Howard D., Edward, Barton, Scemilda, Servina, Melville, Fay and Martie. From the public schools of Sherwood, in Michigan, our subject gained his educational training and at the age of nineteen, started out in life for himself. For six years, he and his brother, John, operated a threshing machine and clover huller and also did other work. Then he came to Minnesota where he learned the blacksmith trade and for twenty years worked at it in Minnesota, Missouri, Montana and Idaho. In 1890, Mr. Rumsey came west and after one year, returned to Minnesota. Two years after that, he went to Missouri and again came back to Minnesota, which was his home until 1897, then he journeyed to Montana and worked at his trade and also did farming. In 1900, he came to his present location, seven miles south from Curlew. Here he took up a homestead, half of which is now under cultivation. He raises some stock and has improved his place in good shape. In 1883, Mr. Rumsey married Miss Ida, daughter of Edward and Jane (Hagen) Bartlett, natives of New York. They were pioneers to Michigan and later journeyed on to Minnesota, where the father died. The mother is still living in that state. They were the parents of two children, Ida, wife of our subject, and Merritt. To Mr. and Mrs. Rumsey, one child has been born, Elver. In political matters the principles of the Democratic party appeal more strongly to Mr. Rumsey and he is a stalwart in their ranks.
Fraternally, he is a member of the M. W. A. He is a man of good standing and is respected and esteemed by all who know him, having shown by his excellent labors in this county, his industry and substantiality. [Source: "An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington"; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904. Tr. by Rhonda Hill] Howard is buried at Curlew City Cemetery, Ferry County, Washington, along with his wife Ida S. (Bartlett) Rumsey / per Gary at Rootsweb Web/World Connect]
A physician and surgeon of good standing in the village of Bronson, has been numbered among its citizens since the spring of 1868. He was graduated from Bennett College in Chicago, and subsequently attended a course of lectures in Michigan University, Ann Arbor. He has spent the greater part of his life in the Wolverine State, of which he is n native, having been born in Gilead Township, this county. Dec. 21, 1840.
Josiah and Mary (Miller) Sanders, the parents of our subject, were natives of Ohio, the father of Welsh and English descent, and the mother of Dutch and Irish. Their ancestors were pioneers of Virginia. North Carolina and Georgia. Their family consisted of eight children, of whom Levi, our subject, was the eldest born, and the others were Amos, Elizabeth, Rachel, Emma, Jessie, John, and Josiah Jr. Of these six are living, and two are residents of New Mexico, and four of Michigan. The mother died in Gilead in May, 1864, The father is yet living, and residing on the old homestead.
Dr. Sanders spent his boyhood under the home roof, acquiring a common-school education, but early in life announced his intention of becoming a member of the medical profession. After completing his studies he was married, June 20, 1867, to Miss Lucinda Jameson, who was born Aug. 14, 1843. in the State of New York, and is the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Davis) Jameson, also natives of that State. The father is deceased; the mother is still living, in New York. To the Doctor and his wife there have been born seven children, namely: John R., Lola L., Lowell L., Emory, Bonnie F., Erwin and Milton J. The eldest is seventeen years of age and the youngest four, and they are all at home with their parents. Our subject began the practice of his profession in Jamestown, Ind., on the 1st of April, 1863, with Dr. L. P. Waterhouse, with whom he continued five years. Thence he came to Bronson, where he is now in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative business. In 1885, on account of impaired health, he abandoned practice for a time, and going to Indianapolis, was engaged in lecturing on "the diseases of the eye" and "surgery." Two years thus employed afforded him the needed rest and change, nnd he has now resumed his practice with renewed vigor.
Dr. Sanders, politically, is an active Republican and a zealous defender of the principles of his party. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member in good standing of the Mystic Lodge No. 141. at Bronson. The pleasant family residence is located on Madison street, and its inmates enjoy the society of hosts of friends. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
THAYER, Warren Lionel
The first appearance of Warren L. Thayer in Oklahoma was as a harvest man. About fifteen years ago he took up a Government claim in Harper County, and his prosperity and influence has been steadily growing ever since. He is now one of the leading citizens and business men of Laverne. His birth occurred February 27, 1880, at Union City, Michigan, a son of Robert M. and Frances M. (Blosser) Thayer. His father, who was of Scotch parentage, was born June 17, 1855, at Jackson, Michigan, and was a lumberman until he came to Oklahoma in 1901. In that year he took up a claim in Woodword County and became active in the organization of Ellis and Harper County. He now owns and operates a large stock farm seven miles from May. Robert M. Thayer was married in 1877 and his wife was born November 30, 1854, at Logan, Hocking County, Ohio, a daughter of Abraham and Miriam (Graffis) Blosser, who were natives of Pennsylvania and of Dutch stock. Mrs. Thayer had a college education and is an active member of the Methodist Church. Their children are: Warren L.; Goldie, who was born March 23, 1888, and is now the wife of Bert B. Waltman, a railway official in Denver, Colorado: Pearl Blanche, who was born August 3, 1891, and is now the wife of Bynum Bouse, a rancher at Des Moines, New Mexico; Ernest Blaine, who was born May 7, 1894, and now lives at Laverne, Oklahoma; and Katie Lorena Thayer, who was born July 16, 1896, and is now the wife of W. T. McNeil of Beaver City, Oklahoma. At the age of seventeen Warren L. Thayer completed a high school course at Knoxville, Tennessee, and at the age of twenty-one graduated A. B. from the Ewing and Jefferson College in Blount County, Tennessee. It was with this education and preliminary experience that he came to Grant County, Oklahoma, and spent his first season in the harvest fields. He also taught school one term. Then in 1901 he settled on his claim of Government land in Woodward County, and by hard work and good judgment has become one of the extensive farmers of that section, having a large tract under cultivation. For one year he was connected with the Spearmore State Bank of Laverne, but is now engaged in a prosperous life insurance business at Laverne. He is also interested in oil properties in Oklahoma and Texas as a promoter and developer, and having read law in the intervals of his business pursuits was admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1916 and is now prepared to practice his profession. Mr. Thayer is a member of the Masonic Order, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Politically he is a republican. On January 12, 1910, at Coleman, Texas, he married Miss Sallie May Smith, who was born at Alvarado, Texas, January 8, 1887, a daughter of Thomas and Emma (Quinn) Smith, natives of Texas. Mrs. Thayer is a granddaughter of Deaf Smith, a pioneer scout and frontiersman in Texas, a historic character in the Texas Revolution, and his name is indelibly impressed upon Texas geography in Deaf Smith County, which is now the largest county in area in the United States. Mrs. Thayer completed her education in a Texas college. They have three daughters: Helen, born January 19, 1911; Dorothy, born August 24, 1918; and Virginia Pauline, born February 16, 1916. [A Standard History of Oklahoma: An Authentic Narrative of Its ..., Volume 5; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn; Transcribed by Andaleen Whitney. Additional Information on Rootsweb World Connect by Glen E. Carter: Father was Robert Morton Thayer b 17 Jun 1855 Lansing, Ingham Co MI d 19 May 1942 Harper OK Mother was Frances Margaret Blosser b 30 Nov 1854 Logan, Hocking OH d 23 Mar 1936 Harper OK Warren L. Thayer died 26 Jun 1948]
TIFT, Albert J.
Has for the last twenty-two years been comfortably located on his well-ordered homestead, which lies on section 32 in Algansee Township, and where he settled in May 1866. A native of Washtenaw County, this State, he was born Sept, 11, 1835, and is the son of David and Mary Tift, who came to Michigan during its pioneer days, and made for themselves a good record among the people of this section. Our subject was but a year old when his parents removed with their family from Washtenaw to this county, locating in Algansee Township, where our subject was reared to manhood, and remained with his parents assisting in the development of the new farm until after the outbreak of the Rebellion. In August, 1862, he was constrained to proffer his services as a Union soldier, and enlisted in Company M, 5th Michigan Cavalry, in which he served until after the close of the war, being mustered out July 4, 1865.
While on duty near Fairfax, Va., he was injured by the fall of a horse, from which he has never fully recovered. He participated in many of the important battles of the war, meeting the enemy at Winchester, where he received a gunshot wound in the left knee, and was also at Gettysburg. During the last six months of his services, being expert in the use of tools, he served as a blacksmith for the company. He had the inexpressible satisfaction of witnessing the surrender of Gen. Leo at Appomattox, and received his honorable discharge.
Upon returning home Mr. Tift resumed farming and prepared to settle down in life. He was married, in February, 1867, to Miss Eveline H.,daughter of Matthew Hungerford, and with his young wife settled down on the farm where he now resides. This then comprised but eighty acres, to which he afterward added, and has now 120 acres. with a good two-story brick residence, and other buildings to correspond. To our subject and his wife there were born five children, namely: Charles L., who was married before he was eighteen; Ina, Lewis D., Vernie W. and Eva B. Mr. Tift was formerly a Republican, but although independent of party lines, is strongly in sympathy with the National Greenback party. Religiously, he finds consolation chiefly in the doctrines of the Regular Baptist Church.
Matthew Hungerford, the father of Mrs. Tift, was a native of Genesee County. N. Y„ and the son of Eliphalet, also a native of the Empire State. But little is known of the family history prior to the time of the latter. He came with his family to Michigan during its territorial days, and settled in Oakland County, where Matthew upon reaching manhood was married to Miss Sarah Burgess, who was also a native of New York, and came with her parents to Michigan in her youth. She was occupied for some time as a teacher in the pioneer schools, and after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. H., in 1856, came to this county, settling in Algansee Township. The father departed this life in 1875, and the mother followed in 1876. Their family consisted of five sons and five daughters, six of whom are living and residents of Michigan and Indiana. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
A farmer residing on section 20, Algansee Township, which is the old homestead of his father, David Tift, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Tift now owns 100 acres of land, well improved and containing a good residence, with suitable and convenient out-buildings for the shelter of his stock and the preservation of the products of the soil.
The subject of this notice was born on the place he now owns, Oct. 30, 1838, and was reared to farm pursuits, obtaining such education as the district schools of that day afforded. He was early initiated into the duties of farm life, and passed his life in the manner common to pioneer sons until his marriage. This important event occurred Nov. 18, 1860, when he led to the altar the maiden of his choice, Miss Frances A. Grice, who was born in this county, and is the daughter of Peter and Sarah Grice.
The father of Mrs. Tift, Peter Grice, is a resident of California Township, settling in Branch County Mich., in 1837. His birth took place across the ocean, Jan. 25, 1816 in Yorkshire. England, and he is the son of Mathew and Ann Grice. The family emigrated to America in 1828 and settled in Canada, where the parents resided until their decease. Peter is the only one who came to the United States, which has been his home since he readied the age of nineteen, at which time he settled in the Empire State. In 1830 he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Walter, and one year later they migrated to Michigan to found a home in the West. The wearisome journey from Jefferson County, N. Y. was made in a sleigh in the winter season, and they have since resided in Brauch County, with the exception of three years, which they spent in Indiana. Mr. Grice followed farming for many years, but he is now a veterinary surgeon. Mr. and Mrs. Grice have hail six children cluster around their western home - Charlotte, Frances A., George W., Hannah, Mathew and Abraham. In religion Mr. and Mrs. Grice are identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are prominent in every good work.
In 1864 our subject bade good-by to his young wife and child, and enlisted in the service of his country to help subdue the Rebellion. He was mustered into the service with an independent company, and participated in the battle in front of Petersburg, besides in numerous other skirmishes. He was seized with illness and was obliged to go into the hospital, where he remained for three weeks. The company to which he belonged became known as the A. D. Michigan Sharpshooters, and was at last mustered out of the service in June 1865. Mr. Tift at once returned to his home, and beating his sword into a plowshare, forgot the sanguinary scenes of the last year in the peaceful vocation of agriculture. Upon the death of his parents he purchased a part of the homestead, which increased his possessions to their present area, 100 acres. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Tift has been blessed by the birth of three children—Clara M., Dora A. and Horace J. In politics Mr. Tift is a stanch Republican, and has served us Justice of the Peace, performing the duties of the office in n business- like manner. He is n prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has been Class-Leader for about tun years, and is held in good repute as a man of integrity and honor wherever he is known. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
TIFT, Roswell D.
Well known throughout Algansee Township, is a native of this State, having been born in Washtenaw County, April 20, 1833. His father, David Tift, was a native of Allegany County, N. Y., where he grew to manhood and became thoroughly familiar with farm pursuits. When setting about the establishment of a home of his own he was married to Miss Mary Minier, a native of his own State, and they, In October, 1832, made their way to the Territory of Michigan and lived in Washtenaw County for five years following.
The parents of our subject upon coining to this county, in 1837. settled first in Kinderhook Township but a year later sold the land which the father had entered from the Government and entered another tract of 160 acres, in Algansee Township, northeast. This was covered with timber, and after erecting his log cabin the father set about clearing his laud and bringing the soil to a productive condition. The parents endured all the hardships and privations incident to life in a new settlement, but in due time were rewarded in the possession of a comfortable homestead, a neat frame dwelling, and the various other buildings which grew up around them as their land developed and their means increased. Here they spent the remainder of their lives, the mother dying in November, 1858, and the father in February, 1850.
Of the six children born to David and Mary Tift the record is as follows: Fanny E. became the wife of Martin Hiscock, and is a resident of Linn County, Iowa; Roswell D., our subject, was the eldest son and second child; Albert J. and Jerome 15, are farming in Algansee Township; Allison during the late war enlisted in the 11th Michigan Infantry, and died, from disease contracted in the service, at Home in 1863; Horace N., also a Union soldier, enlisted in the 5th Michigan Cavalry, and yielded up his life as a sacrifice to his country, in Andersonville Prison. The parents were members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Roswell D. Tift was a little lad five years of age when his parents came to this county, where he acquired a limited education and learned the whole secret of successful fanning. His life passed in an uneventful manner until he was twenty-seven years of age, when he was united in marriage, March 1, 1860, to Miss Permelia Mason, who was born in Huron County, Ohio. Mrs. Tift was the daughter of Walter T. and Sarah Mason, who were native born Americans and spent their first years in Algansee Township. Our subject and his wife commenced life together in a modest dwelling in Algansee, where Mr. Tift still followed agriculture until 1864, in hopes that the war would soon come to a successful close, but there being to prospect of this in the near future he, with his brother Jerome B., enlisted in an independent company, which was subsequently consolidated with the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters, and being sent to City Point, Va., remained in the service until after the close of the war.
Mr. Tift, after receiving his honorable discharge, resumed farming in Algansee Township, but one year later, in April 1866 his home was made desolate by the death of his wife, who left a daughter, Eleanor Lizzie, four years of age. In 1870 Mr. Tift contracted a second marriage with Miss Lucy R. Shumway, who was born in Lenawee County, Sept. 10, 1850, and is the daughter of Alfred and Nancy M. (Davis) Shumway, well-known residents of this part of the State, and a sketch of whom will be found in another part of this volume. To Roswell D. and Lucy R. Tift there have been born four children - Levi S., Eli D., Riley D. and Perry R. The eldest is sixteen years of age and the youngest eight years.
The Tift homestead comprises 138 acres of land, the larger part of which is in a productive condition and yields in abundance the rich crops of Southern Michigan. The buildings are neat and substantial, and thoroughly adapted to the requirements of the modern agriculturist. Mr. Tift during his early manhood worked considerably as a carpenter, and being able to put up his own buildings mostly, has thus saved an outlay of hundreds of dollars, while at the same time they were completed in a most thorough and substantial manner. Mr. T. has been chiefly engaged with his own concerns, carefully avoiding the responsibilities of office. which his fellow-citizens would have been glad to have him assume, and has simply served as Township Clerk. He was in former times a Republican, but of late years has been strongly in sympathy with the National Greenbackers, while in religions matters he is a member in good standing of the Congregational Church. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
Proprietor of Wakeman's Mills, located on section 27 in Algansee Township, was born in Tompkins County, N. Y., Aug. 17, 1821. He is of German ancestry, but the first representatives of the family crossed the Atlantic generations ago mid but little is known of their history. John Wakeman, however, the father of our subject, was the son of John Wakeman. Sr., and was born in Connecticut, April 27, 1791. The father of our subject grew to manhood in his native State, where he served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade and was married to Miss Ruth Adams, who was born Jan. 10, 1793 also in Connecticut. Some time after marriage they removed to New York State, settling in what was then Cayuga County, but after its division John Wakeman found himself a resident of the new county of Tompkins. His farm lay near the town of Hector, but he worked at his trade mostly until the completion of the Erie Canal, then, turning ship carpenter, he built several boats, all of which he was fortunate in selling soon after their completion, but he reserved one for a time and made trips on the new thoroughfare on his own hook. He was thus occupied in farming, boating and carpentering until his boys became young men and desired a wider field of operations and better prospects than those afforded in the Empire State. John Wakeman now sold out and removed to Ohio, which was then the “far West.” He settled in Huron County, ten miles south of what is now the beautiful city of Norwalk, purchasing in 1833 450 acres of land; 100 acres of tills had been cleared, but the remainder was covered with heavy timber. The father, with the aid of his sons, soon reduced the whole to a state of cultivation, and as the boys became of age he gave them, with the exception of one who preferred cash, 100 acres of laud. This son took his money for educational purposes, entering the medical college at Worthington from which he was graduated with honors, and became a successful physician.
The parents of our subject resided in Ohio until 1855, then coming to Michigan settled in Algansee Township, this county, where the father died at the home of his son Eli in 1859. The mother had passed away three years before, in 1856. Of their nine children seven grew to mature years: William H. was a miller by occupation, and died in Taney County, Mo.,in April, 1888;.John A., a physician, is located at Centralia, Ill.; Sherwood engages as a farmer and miller in Fairfield, Ohio, and was for many years the partner of his brother, William H.; he died at Fairfield in 1881. Bradley, a youth of great promise, engaged in teaching, and died at the early age of eighteen years; Eli, our subject, was the fifth child; Harriet became the wife of Dr. Abram Bronson, and died in San Jose, Cal.; Miranda died in childhood at the age of nine years. John Wakeman was moderately successful in life, and he and his estimable wife while residents of New York State were connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. They reared their children to habits of industry and economy, and they all became praiseworthy and reputable citizens. Eli, of our sketch, was a lad twelve years of age when the family removed to Ohio, where he completed his education in such schools as the country afforded; he occupied himself in a manner similar to the sons of pioneer farmers, and shortly after reaching his majority was married, Nov. 9, 1842, to Miss Louise Benson, who was also a native of New York State, and died at her home in this county in June, 1874, leaving two children - Mortimer B., and Elma L., now the wife of John Flaherty.
Our subject, June 25, 1886, contracted a second matrimonial alliance, with Mrs. Helen M. (Ells) Wakeman, who was born in Harperafield, Delaware Co., N. Y., June 16, 1821. Her parents, Elihu and Sarah (Harper) Ells, were natives respectively of Connecticut and New York. The family removed to Huron County, Ohio, in 1841, where the parents died, leaving eleven children. Helen M., in 1847. was married to Sherwood Wakeman. by whom she became the mother of two children; Fred H. is a miller of Sparta, White Co.. Tenn.; Clara Belle is the wife of Burton Cherry, of Huron County, Ohio. The others are all deceased.
Eli Wakeman, our subject, in the spring of 1844, purchased, in company with his brother. John A., a foundry at Fairfield, Ohio, where he learned the trade of molder and was engaged in this business three years. Then, on account of failing health, he was obliged to abandon it, and removing to Seneca County, purchased a sawmill, which he operated until 1854. He then chartered near, loaded thereon his household goods and mill machinery, and coming to this county settled in the woods of Algansee Township. Here he purchased eighty acres of wild land, which still forms his place of residence, and where he has established a comfortable home. He still operates the mill which he first planted. In 1878 he added the machinery of the gristmill, which is the only institution of its kind in the township. Mr. Wakeman cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Harrison; he was a Whig and a Free-Soiler until the abandonment of the old pary, when he endorsed Republican principles, but he is now so strong a temperance man that he has well nigh identified himself with the Prohibitionists. He has always declined becoming a candidate for office, although frequently urged to do so. Socially, he is a member in good standing of the I. O. O. F., belonging to California Lodge No. 283, in which he has passed all the Chairs. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
WAKEMAN, Mortimer B.
Of Algansee Township, is the son of Eli Wakeman, well known throughout this locality, and from his youth up has been a partner in the business of his father. He was born in North Fairfield, Huron Co., Ohio, Jan. 17, 1844 and came with the family to this county when a mere child!. He pursued his first studies in the common schools, and later took a commercial course in the Eastman College, at Chicago. He early in life developed superior business talent, and was recognized as one of the rising young men of the community, where he has been prominent since his boyhood. He is now serving his fourth term as Supervisor of Algansee Township, of which he has also officiated as Treasurer. He has been Postmaster at this point six years, Notary Public several years, and is Secretary of the Building Committee of the Branch County Court-House. Politically, he votes the straight Republican ticket, and is a member in good standing of the First Congregational Church.
Mortimer B. Wakeman, not long after reaching his majority, was married May 5, 1808, to one of the most estimable young ladies of California Township, Miss Abbie M., daughter of Norman and Sally (Welsh) Melendy. who was born in California Township, this county, Jan. 28, 1848. They occupy a neat home in the southern part of town, and are the parents of two bright children, a son and daughter, Sherwood and Lorena. The parental history of our subject will be found on another page in this work. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Branch County Michigan; Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1888]
WISE, Lester E.
Real estate; born, Branch Co., Mich., Aug. 23 1858; son of Christian and Minerva (Saxton) Wise; educated in public schools of Angola, Ind., and Coldwater, Mich.; married at Battle Creek Oct. 6, 1880, Gertrude Beach. Member real estate firm of Irvine & Wise treasurer Rouge River Salt Co.; vice president Detroit Contracting Co. Michigan agent Florida East Coast Ry. Land Department. Member Detroit Board of Commerce, Detroit Real Estate Board. Recreation Travel. Office: 214 Moffat Blk. Residence: The Lenox. [Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908]
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