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Clare County, Michigan
Biographies
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ATWOOD, William A.
Senator from the Thirteenth District in 1887, comprising Genesee and Livingston counties, was born in the town of Newfane, Niagara county, New York, April 11, 1835. He spent his early boyhood upon a farm and had the educational advantages of a common school, and one term at the Wilson Academy. At the age of seventeen he learned the jeweler's trade and three years after went to Galt, Canada, where he engaged in the stave, cooper and shingle business with his brother, Jesse B. Atwood. In 1859 he sold out his interest and returned to Niagara county and engaged in farming, and built a shingle mill which was burned in 1863. He again went to Canada and was in the lumber business. In 1806 he removed to Flint, with his brother, J. B. Atwood, and B. W. Simington, and with them built a large saw mill and began the lumber business on Flint river, and continued the same up to 1879. He continued with his brother in the lumber business in Clare county until 1883. In 1876 he associated himself with Orren Stone, in the woolen manufacturing business in the Flint Woolen Mills, and still maintains his interest in that business. In 1883 he purchased an interest in the hardware business and is now a member of the firm of Wood & Atwood. For the past ten years he has been a director and vice president of the Genesee County Savings Bank. In 1881 he was elected mayor of Flint. He has been a Republican since the formation of that party, and was elected to the Senate of 1887-8 by a vote of 7,334 to 5,436 for ex-Governor Josiah W. Begole, Fusionist, and 1,590 for F. B. Clark, Prohibitionist. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

BROWN, Giles W.
Senator from the Twenty-eighth District in 1881-2, comprised of Midland, Gratiot, Clare, Gladwin and Roscommon counties, was born at Green Oak, Livingston county, Mich., January 28, 1837. Having received an academic education at the Seminary and the Normal School at Ypsilanti, he engaged in teaching for several years. He graduated from the Law Department of the Michigan University in the spring of 1865, and was admitted to the bar in the same year, by the Supreme Court, in session at Detroit. He removed to Ithaca, Gratiot county, in 1866, where he has since resided, practicing law a portion of the time. He held the office of County Superintendent of Schools from 1867 and 1871, and again from 1873 to 1875. He was renominated for the same office, when it was abolished. He has held several minor local offices, such as President of the village of Ithaca, and Justice of the Peace. From 1876 to 1881 he was Judge of Probate of Gratiot county. As the Republican candidate for Representative, he was elected over Theron A. Johnson. National, and Mortimer H. Stanford, Democrat. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

ESTEE, Free
Representative from the counties of Isabella and Clare in 1885, was born on a farm in Coe, Michigan, December 12, 1856. His early education was obtained at a log school-house. At the age of sixteen he began teaching school, which profession he followed four years, teaching winters and summers, and attending school during the spring and fall terms. He graduated from the law department of the State University in 1879. Practiced law at Greenville, Ohio, for one and a half years. Returned to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in 1881, where he has since resided. Has held the office of justice, school inspector, and secretary of board of school examiners. Is one of the directors of the First National bank of Mt. Pleasant. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

FANCHER, Isaac A.
Representative from Midland, Isabella, and Clare, in 1873-4, and Senator in 1875, was born in Florida, N. Y., Sept. 30, 1833. He was educated at Amsterdam academy, N. Y.; studied law at the law university at Albany, and was admitted in 1860. In 1803 he emigrated to Michigan and settled in Mt. Pleasant. He has been prosecuting attorney of Isabella county six years, and chairman of tho republican county committee six years. He is one of the board of control of the state school at Coldwater. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

GIBERSON, John
John Giberson has been engaged in legal practice at Clare since March, 1887. Prior to that date he was a resident of Chase, Lake County, and was elected on the Prohibition ticket to serve as County Prosecuting Attorney. Since coming here he has been the City Attorney for six years. In the local civic societies he is identified with John Q. Look Lodge No. 404, A. F. & A. M.J with the Uniformed Rank of the Knights of Pythias, and with the Knights of the Maccabees.
The parents of the gentleman just mentioned are William and Mary Ann (Larley) Giberson, both natives of New Brunswick, where their marriage was celebrated. They emigrated to Michigan, their first location being at Milford, Oakland County, after which they settled in Genesee County. For many years the father was engaged in running hotels at different towns between Flint and Saginaw. In his declining years he retired from active life, and died at Mt. Morris. June 8, 1882, aged seventy-six years. His wife also died at Mt Morris, after reaching her eighty-fourth year.
In a family of ten children John Giberson is next to the youngest. Two of the number died in childhood, and the others are as follows: Elsie. Mrs. Abraham, of Lapeer, Mich.; Augusta. Mrs. Stearns, who died at Clare; Mrs. Mahala Smith, a resident of Detroit; Mrs. Martha Garland, whose home is in Arbela, Tuscola County; Mrs. Esther Hughes, who died at Mt. Morris; William,a farmer and merchant of Clio, Genesee County; and Ella, Mrs. Bates, of Wingleton, Lake County, this state. The birth of John Giberson occurred in Genesee County, Mich., October 22, 1848. He obtained his education in the common schools, and remained under the parental roof until he was married, October 18, 1870. The lady of his choice was Miss Susan, daughter of David Clark, a farmer, whose home was in Kent County fur many years prior to his death. Mrs. Giberson was born in Livingston County, this stale, and by her marriage has become the mother of three children, namely: Albert R., William Clark and Mary Grace.
On beginning the active business of life on his own account, John Giberson became his father's successor in the hotel business at Mt. Morris, and was thus employed up to 1873. For one summer he was manager of a hotel at Lapeer, after which he came to this point, and, in partnership with his brother, engaged in general merchandising. This connection, under the firm name of Giberson Bros., was in existence until the fall of 1875, when they closed out their interests and located at Evart. They also owned a shingle-mill, which they operated for several years. From 1877 until the fall of 1878 our subject conducted a grocery trade. It was in the spring of 1879 that Mr. Giberson began the study of law at Evart, and a year later he was admitted to the Bar of Osceola County. He continued his studies, however, and that fall entered the law department of the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated as a member of the Class of '81. A year later he went to Manistee, and for about twelve months was engaged in law practice with S. W. Fowler. Subsequently he practiced at Chase, Lake County, and then came to Clare. Both he and his wife are members of the Congregational Church, and have the good-will and friendship of all why have the pleasure of their acquaintance.

HANCE, John W.
Senator from the counties of Gratiot, Isabella, Clare and Midland in 1883, was born at Marengo, Ohio, in 1848, of German and Welsh parentage. Came to Michigan in 1865, and has since resided in Isabella county, being engaged in farming and real estate business. Republican in politics. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

HOPKINS, Samuel W.
Representative from Isabella and Clare counties, in 1877 79, was born in the town of Exeter, R. I., April 1, 1845. When eleven years of age he moved to Connecticut and worked on a farm summers and taught school winters, and acquired an academical education. In 1866 he graduated from the union business college in Cleveland, Ohio, and from the law department of the University of Michigan in 1872. He was admitted to the bar in Grand Rapids, and removed to Mount Pleasant and began practice, which he still continues. He has been several times a member of the board of education, town clerk, and justice. In 1874 he was elected prosecuting attorney. In politics a Republican. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]
 
PATTERSON, Joseph H.
Was born in Ireland in 1801, came to America in 1819 and located at Lockport, N. Y. In 1828 he removed to Adrian, Michigan, where he settled on a farm. He was prominent in early Michigan politics, was a member of the constitutional convention of 1835, and Representative in 1839 and 1848. He is said to have given the names to four counties in the state: Antrim, Wexford, Roscommon and Clare. In politics a Democrat. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]

WITHERSPOON, Pierre De Everett
Located in Clare in the spring of 1895, was for some years the leading physician and druggist of Harrison, where he made settlement March 5, 1881. More surgical cases have fallen to his share than to any other practitioner in this section. Many persons are injured in the mills, and very few young physicians have had as much emergency surgery practice as he. He has a fine library and a full and complete line of surgical instruments. In order to perfect himself more thoroughly in his profession, he took a special course in operative surgery at the New York Polyclinic in 1892, and also attended the Chicago Polyclinic at another time. Me belongs to the Michigan State Pharmaceutical Association, and has conducted his drug business for nine years. The paternal grandfather of the Doctor was a native of eastern Pennsylvania and a descendant of one of two brothers who settled in the United Stales in very early times. One of the family had the honor of being President of Princeton College. The Doctor's parents, James W. and Nancy (Edgington) Witherspoon, were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. The former was born in Beaver County, and removed to Stark County, Ohio, where he met his future helpmate in life. In 1854 he went to Fulton County, Ind., and settled on a tract of unimproved land, which he cleared and made fit for use. The Indians had not departed for the western reservations, and the country was very wild. In October, 1862, Mrs. Witherspoon departed this life, an infant child dying at the same time. After selling his Fulton County farm, the father purchased a tract of timber, which he gave to his Only son, our subject. He then returned to Pennsylvania, and after marrying a second time settled in Alliance, Ohio, where he became an employed of the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne A Chicago Railroad. He was killed by a train February 7, 1864.
Dr. Witherspoon was born in Fulton County, Ind., April 3, 1857, and after his father's death he went to live with his grandparents, William and Susannah Witherspoon, near Darlington, Pa, He worked on their farm and attended the district schools until 1872. He then hired out as a farm hand for some three years, attending school during the winter. Returning to the county of his birth, be was employed by an uncle at farm labor, and in the moan time attended school, after which he taught for two terms. He next was offered a position as section-man on a railroad in Wabash County, and held the place for one winter. The following summer he worked at farming in Fulton County, but was taken sick and went to Pennsylvania. For a time after his recovery he worked on the farm of a Presbyterian minister. Step by step the boy had worked his way until he was now approaching manhood. Being ambitious, he desired to enter it profession and read medicine with Dr. W. A. Sawyer, of Darlington, Pa. In the fall of 1878 he entered the medical department of the Michigan State University, and was graduated July 1, 1880. In partnership with Dr. U. S. Strauss he opened an office at Ohioville, Pa., but at the end of a few months located in Newgarden, Ohio. In February, 1881, the Doctor married Emma J. Prye, who was born in Lawrence County, Pa., and was orphaned at an early age. The young couple began housekeeping in Harrison, but hardly a year had elapsed when the wife returned to Pennsylvania on a visit and was stricken with pneumonia, which caused her death. She left a son Urban V. In 1883 our subject married Lydia J. Hosler, by whom he has a daughter, Grace P.  A leading man in the ranks of the Republican party, Dr. Witherspoon was President of the Village Board of Harrison, a member of the Council and City Health Officer. For six years he served as Commission of the Poor, and was also at one time Coroner of Clare County. He is a member of both the subordinate lodge and encampment of the Odd Fellows' society, is a member of the Uniformed Rank of the Knights of Pythias, being Chancellor of Harrison Lodge No. 96, and is also a Knight of the Maccabees. For a time he owned a half-interest in the abstracts of titles of the county. [Portrait and Biographical Record of Northern Michigan. Chicago 1895.]   NOTE: He is buried at Kent Co MI - Fairplains Cemetery - Died 30 Jun 1931

WOODRUFF, Henry
Senator from Clare and other counties in 1885, was born at Seneca Falls, N. Y., Feb. 18, 1818. Removed to Flat Rock, Mich., in 1833, to East Saginaw in 1855 and to Glare county in 1871. He served two and a half years as captain in the 23d Michigan infantry. Has been a sheriff and judge of probate. In politics Whig and Republican. [Bingham Michigan Biographies - Early History with Biographies of State Officer 1887]
 


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