The township of Leoni, organized under the act of
the Territorial Legislature in 1836, is the most extensive division of
the county, containing no less than 50 sections. The new township
was formed from the north part of Napoleon and the south-eastern
portion of West Portage or Henrietta,—two tracts of land containing
over 29,000 acres. The Portage river forms the northern
boundary. The town then comprised a part of Napoleon, Grass Lake,
as well as all to the north of range 1 and 2, east. The Michigan
Central road runs through the town, and has stations at both Michigan
Center and Leoni, the only settlements in the town. There are two
churches in the town, a Methodist and a Congregational. The
Methodists had a college at Leoni village, but it has not been in
operation for some time, and the buildings have lately been secured by
the citizens, who intend starting a Normal school, to be called the
Central Normal School. The Methodists first opened their school
about 25 years ago. The Congregational church is located at
Michigan Center. There are two post offices in the town, one at
the Center and the other at Leoni.
The first election of township officers took place
in 1836 at the house of Isaac Howe, and resulted in the choice of
Josiah Mills for first supervisor. Many prominent citizens have
since filled that position, the last supervisor being A. A.
Sullivan. The justices of the peace are John P. Kaywood, John
Haylie, Myron Craft and John Stuart. H. P. Gardner is town clerk,
and Henry Scofield, treasurer.
Harriet Jacobs, the wife of James Jacobs, who died
in April, 1832, constituted the first subject for an obituary notice in
Allen Knight was the first school-teacher, having established himself
in a log building one-half mile east of the present village of
Leoni. The first school-house was built the same year, and was
located in township 3 south, range 1 east; the name of the first
teacher is not to be found on the record ; nor is that of the teacher
who took charge of the school established at Leoni in 1835. There
are now 11 school-houses in the township.
The first sermon preached in the township was that
by Rev. Elijah H. Pilcher in 1832. The house of Jos. H. Otis was
the church on that occasion. The Free-Will Baptists formed a
congregation there at a later date, and the Methodist Episcopals in
Moses P. Crowell was the first postmaster, or incumbent of the office
held at present by H. P. Gardner.
This township has been the scene of many of the
strange and sorrowful events recorded in the pages of the county
The early settlers of Leoni were : Richard Scott,
Josiah Mills, John Quick, D. H. Mills, E. G. Mills, M. W. Coolbaugh,
Julius Sekeil, L. P. Penneld, C. D. Coykendall, Jesse Rosier, Algernon
Cooper, John Palmer, A. S. Palmer, Gilbert M. Walldorff, Jesse B.
Walldorff, Orlin Walldorff, Jonathan Smith, Geo. A. Smith, Charles H.
Smith, Andrew J. Murray, Aaron Murray, Truman T. Lawrence, Solomon
Showers, Abram Showers, Edward M. Barnes, Homer Barnes, Lorenzo B.
Bagley, Isaac Bagley, Joseph B. Lockwood, David H. Lockwood, Isaac
Sekeil, Calvin Cooper, Joseph Price, E. J. Price, Richard Price, Theo.
Updike, Tyler Main, Ezekiel Ladu.
The manufacturing interests are represented at
present by a cider-mill, an apple-jelly factory, and a pump
factory. Formerly the industries inaugurated and fostered by Col.
Shoemaker held a high place among the manufacturing establishments of
Jackson and surrounding counties; but as his attention was turned to
more extensive works and greater enterprises, he disposed of his
interests in the manufactures of Leoni.
The following summary of history from the pen of Z.
M. Barber deals extensively with township happenings. He states,
that in the spring of 1831, Joseph H. Otis, of Vermont, James Jacobs,
Ira W. Kellogg, David Laverty and James Lake came from Niagara County,
N. Y., and located farms near the village of Leoni, Mr. Otis choosing
that part of sections 1 and 2, in town 3 south, range 1 east, upon
which the village of Leoni now stands. After the location of
their lands and preparing for their future homes, they all returned and
brought back their families in the fall of the same year.
"Isaac Barber and Z. M. Barber, the writer of this
sketch, came back with their step-father, Jos. H. Otis. At that
time we found that Mr. David Sterling had squatted on the southeast
quarter of section 2, which is about 80 rods south of the village of
Leoni. He claimed to have located there in the spring of 1829,
and with the help of the Indians had built a small log house, and the
same year broke up three acres and sowed it in wheat. On the
arrival of Father Otis and family, we found in readiness only the body
of a log house; but we all went to work with a will and soon found
ourselves comfortably quartered in our new home; and during the fall
our new colony got all well settled in small log houses.
"The following winter Joab Page came from Vermont
with his family, and occupied a part of our house. He came
prepared to build a saw-mill, bringing his mill irons with him.
He located his mill about a mile and a half southwest of Leoni village,
on the stream running through Leoni. The following spring a
number of families came in and settled in the vicinity. Among
them were Jacob Sagendorph, Joel F. Parks, Abram, Theodore, John Quick,
Elder Limbacker, Josiah Mills and Bildad Bennett. Elder Limbacker
preached the first sermon in a small log school-house about a half-mile
east of the village.
"In the spring of 1832 we came to Jacksonburgh to
attend a township meeting,—the whole county comprising but one
township. In 1833 the Territorial Legislature divided the county
into four townships—Grass Lake, Napoleon, Jackson and Spring
Arbor. Leoni village was situate in the north part of
Napoleon. In the winter of 1833 Ira W. Kellogg commenced getting
out timber for a grist-mill. Moses I. Crowell had been appointed
postmaster, Father Otis had opened tavern in his double log house, and
a line of stages had been established, running between Detroit and St.
Joseph. All these improvements seemed to attract the attention of
immigrants. In the summer of 1834 Mr. Otis secured the services
of H. J. Goodale to plat the village of Leoni. In the fall Mr.
Kellogg started his mill, which was a joyous event to the old pioneers
of the county, as hitherto they had been compelled to go to Dexter for
their milling. About this time immigrants were coming in rapidly,
and our village was filling with speculators and adventurers.
"In the winter of 1833-'4 a gentleman who had quite
a business tact came to our place and wanted to form a company to go
into the general banking business, and he proposed to furnish a large
share of the capital. He found no difficulty in starting the
enterprise, and after the company was formed he selected a location
three-quarters of a mile north of the village, which was afterward
known as Bogus Island. Surrounded by an almost impenetrable
swamp, an oak stump was the base of operations. Dies and printing
materials were procured, and all the necessary arrangements having been
made in the winter, business commenced in the spring. Soon money
began to be more plenty. The hotel was crowded with
strangers. The circulation of their money increased, and in many
cases their paper money was readily exchanged for coin. With this
company whisky seemed to be the chief article of trade.
Everything seemed lovely, and the future was full of promise, when one
day some of the Jacksonburgh officials dropped down on them, causing no
little uneasiness among the members of the company at first; but
through some arrangement between the parties, the money and fixtures
were taken to Jacksonburgh, leaving nothing behind but the old oak
stump. What was done with the money and fixtures has never been
made public. It was then Leoni against the world.
"In 1835 John M. Whitwell commenced selling goods in
Leoni, and supplied a long-needed want, and our mothers and sisters
could sport in new calico dresses and Navarino bonnets."
Leoni township was organized in 1836, by taking the
north part of Napoleon and the southeast part of West Portage, now
Henrietta, making the largest township in the county, containing over
29,000 acres. Josiah Mills was elected the first supervisor.
Time passed and the pioneers of Jackson county
proved in the main to be an energetic, enterprising and noble race, as
is evinced by their public schools, their well-cultivated farms and
tasteful, rural homes, with all the comforts and appointments of
life. Forty years ago the pioneers of Jackson county were mostly
young men and women who came to this county, and set themselves up in
business, and commenced the active duties of life, full of hope in the
future. Forty years, and one by one they have fallen and been
laid aside, and we pass on until the old faces, once so familiar to us,
are so seared by time, and so seldom seen, that our greetings are
almost as strangers.
In 1836 William Jackson came through Leoni looking
for wild land, which was very scarce in those days. Leoni
appeared to him a second garden of Eden, and the natural beauty of the
location made such an impression on his mind, that in October, 1838, he
chose it for his home, and engaged in the sale of dry-goods, groceries,
Sapington's ague-pills, and Peleg White's salve, and subsequently sold
Pratt's pills and Lond's ointment. Jacksonburgh was then a mere
territory, adjoining the independent State of Leoni.
The villages of the township are Leoni and Michigan
Center. The M. C. R. R. passes through each, and on each
conferring all those benefits which result from the proximity of the
iron way. The dwellings of the people are neat and substantial,
the farms extensive and fertile, and the entire face of the country
bears evidence of prosperity and progress.
The following returns of the November election show
pretty clearly the strength of political parties within the township :—
Electors—Hancock, 157; Garfield, 189; Weaver, 52. Governor—
Holloway, 169; Jerome, 181; Woodman, 47. Congress—Pringle, 132; Lacy,
186; Hodge, 78. Senator—Wilson, 139; Goodwin, 183; Palmer,
73. Judge of Probate—Powell, 154; Gould, 179; Anderson, 66.
County Clerk—Covert, 152; Van Horn, 187; Moe, 59. Register of
Deeds—Townley, 166; Ray, 178; Hinshaw, 57. Sheriff—-Winney, 107;
Lockwood, 184; Terry, 108. Treasurer— Wheeler, 152; Ludlow, 182;
Townley, 63. Prosecuting Attorney—Barkworth, 106; Shark, 197;
Hewlett, 96. County Surveyor, —Bean, 155; Crowl 186; Cook,
58. Circuit Court Commissioner— Merwin, 205; McDevitt, 211;
Blair, 184; Welch, 192; Merwin, 206; McDevitt, 212. Coroner—Finn,
150; Olmstead, 152; Bedford, 188; Thurman, 185; Cook, 60; Curtis,
58. Representative —Bunker, 169; Yarrington, 175; Brown, 50.
Of some of the more prominent pioneers and other
citizens of Leoni township, it is proper to speak more in detail, as
their lives have been so closely identified with the history of this
section of the county.
Mrs. Elizabeth ALDRICH was born in Seneca County, N.
Y., June 23, 1832, daughter of Jacob and Octavia (Warner) Newkirk, of
the same State; came with her parents to Ohio at a very early age;
moved to Adrian in 1842; received the education which the schools of
that day offered, and married Geo. N. Aldrich in 1850. In 1857
Mrs. Aldrich moved to Jackson with her husband. He was employed
by Alonzo Bennett, and was subsequently overseer of one of the prison
factories in the employ of Mr. Bennett and in that of Col.Withington,
which position he held until his death in May, 1873. They were
the parents of 2 children—Helen Octavia, born in May, 1851, and died in
May, 1875; and Libbie A., born Nov. 23, 1856, now Mrs. E. B. Miller, of
Leoni. Mrs. Aldrich moved to Leoni in the spring of 1870, when
she caused her present house to be built.
Lorenzo BAGLEY, an old and well-known resident of
Leoni Township, was born in Seneca County, N. Y., Oct. 12, 1812.
His parents were William M. and Elizabeth (Frazer) Bagley, natives of
New Jersey, and of German descent. Mr. Bagley received such an
education as was available in the common schools of that early day; was
brought up to farming pursuits; came with his mother to Michigan, June
8, 1837; located on section 24, which he greatly improved. He
married Elmira Burkhart, a native of Cayuga County, N. Y., and their
children areas follows: Frank F., born in 1849; George, 1851; Minettie
E., in 1853; Ida J., Feb. 22, 1856; Dora A., 1859; Nelson W., 1861;
Alfred F., 1867; and Mina A., July 30, 1870. Mr. Bagley was a
resident of Gratiot County some seven years, then sold out and came
back to the old homestead, which he inhabited at the death of his
mother in 1863, at the advanced age of 81 years and six months.
He has since resided there, and with his family are prominent members
of the M. E. Church. During the colonization of this district,
Mr. Bagley was often times compelled to travel to Detroit for flour and
other articles; during one of such trips, the traveler, oxen and wagon
got so completely fixed in one of the many swamps on the old trail,
that the horses and oxen of advancing immigrants, numbering two of the
former and two of the latter, in addition to his own span, failed to
draw that wagon from the bed of mud; the traveler resolved to leave the
wagon in its position until the dawn of the morrow, when, with the aid
of his horses and stout oaken levers, that which seemed to be lost was
saved, and Mr. Bagley was enabled to go his way rejoicing; having
reached Detroit he purchased two barrels of flour for $11 each and set
out on his homeward journey. During the return trip he disposed
of one barrel for $17, and thus were the olden days passed by.
Zimri M. BARBER was born Sept. 18, 1816, in Niagara
County, N. Y., the son of Benedict and Laura (McNall) Barber.
Having received a common-school education, he labored on the farm until
the age of 19, when he learned the carpenter's trade.
Subsequently he attended school at Jackson under Hon. H. H.
Bingham. His family removed to Michigan in 1831 and located on
the site of his present home, in this township. Mr. Barber on his
arrival here, worked at the trade of wheelwright seven or eight
years. In 1841 he purchased the homestead from J. H. Otis, his
stepfather. The barn which stands on the roadside east of the
house was the second frame building erected in that district.
During the earlier years of settlement Mr. Barber brought wheat to the
Detroit market, sold it at 75 cents per bushel and lost six days in
making the trip. In 1846 he entered into partnership with Peter
C. Lawrence, and conducted a store at Leoni for some time. He
went to California in the winter of 1850, where he made a stay of five
years; returning in 1855 he resumed his farming labors; but found that
his former partner had contracted debts amounting to $1,600, including
$300 Government claim; these claims he settled, and soon after married
Mrs. Hannah Tinker, a Pennsylvanian, They were the parents of 5
children, 2 of whom are living, viz.: Fred. C, born June 18, 1856, now
a telegraph operator at Leoni; and Kate A., born May 12, 1863.
Mrs. Barber died Feb. 12, 1878. A reference to the historical
chapters of this work will show the important part taken by Mr. Barber
in the affairs of the county. His nephew, Albert M. Barber, has
for many years labored in the interest of his uncle, and is the
recognized inheritor of the property.
L. B. BEARDSLEY was born July 31, 1817, in Monroe
county, N. Y., son of Charles and Hannah (Shoules) Beardsley; received
a fair education in the common schools of Tompkins County, where the
family removed previous to their migration to Michigan in 1836.
Mr. Beardsley first located in Rives Township, where he engaged in
farming; subsequently moved to Jackson, where he was engaged in buying
wheat and wool for Hayden & Co. He married Eleanor Shaw in
1843, and they have had 5 children, 3 of whom are living. Mrs. B.
died in 1854, and March 9, 1856, Mr. B. married Miss Mary Ann Walker,
born in Monroe county, in 1819. He has retired from business, and
now resides at the village of Leoni, enjoying well-earned repose.
Ephraim BEEBE was born Oct. 11, 1808, in Vermont; is
the son of Ephraim and Tryphena (Hale) Beebe. In his early years
Mr. B. walked to the district school every morning and returned every
afternoon, the journey being six miles to and fro, which was made over
an ice-encumbered lake. The family moved to a district in New
York State now called Wyoming County, in 1822, where the education of
Mr. Beebe was finished. There, also, he learned the trade of
shoemaker, after which his travels led him to Canada, where he married
Miss Mary Buck, of Erie County, N. Y., in 1831. They are the
parents of 6 children, 5 of whom are living. Returning to New
York in 1833, he purchased a small farm, made several changes, and in
June, 1837, came to this county, locating in Pulaski Township; came to
Leoni in July, 1849, locating on the section now occupied by Ansel
Norton, and moved to his present home in 1851. He has been
honored with several township offices, and has contributed to all
Chester Du BOIS, born Aug. 28, 1822, in Saratoga
County, N. Y., is the son of Cornelius and Deborah (Payne) DuBois;
received a liberal education in the common school and the academy of
Galway, Saratoga Co., N. Y. Following the example of his five
brothers, he taught school for some time, but ultimately turned his
attention to farming, and labored on the old homestead until his
immigration to Michigan in 1848. That year he bought the premises
he now occupies, and returned to New York in 1849, where he married
Miss Mary Taylor, daughter of John Taylor, of Saratoga County.
They have 3 children, viz. : H. D., born Nov. 18, 1852; Hattie A., July
4, 1854, and William J., Feb. 17, 1858. During the civil war Mr.
Du Bois was active in such measures as tended to procure troops, and
since that period has taken an important place in the economy of the
township of Leoni.
Daniel BOYNTON was born in Grass Lake Township Sept.
9, 1843, and is the son of Zerah and Permelia (Buss) Boynton, natives
of Vermont, and of English ancestry. His father come to Michigan
in 1835; is one of the old pioneers of Grass Lake Township, where he
still resides. Daniel received a very liberal education, attended
the Michigan Collegiate Institute at Leoni for a number of years, at
which institute he completed his education; taught school three
winters, managing his father's farm during the summer. He was
married July 3, 1864, to Mary E. Burkhart, born in Jackson County March
18, 1844; their children are as follows: Edgar M., born Oct. 9, 1865;
Lottie E., April 4, 1868; Harry Ward, Oct. 7, 1874. Soon after
marriage Mr. Boynton purchased 160 acres of land on sections 22 and 23,
this township; went into partnership with Mr. A. Watts in conducting
the "Wild-Cat Mill," which firm continued until the purchase of Mr.
Watts' interest by Mr. Boynton and his father in the spring of 1876,
since which time Mr. B. has successfully conducted the same; he has
recently moved from the mill to his farm, where he has erected a
commodious residence and is rapidly making improvements. He was
elected Supervisor in the spring of 1878, which office he very ably
tilled for two successive terms. He is very popular and highly
esteemed throughout the county. Has been Superintendent of
Sabbath-schools for a great many years, and, with his family, are
members of the Congregational Church at North Leoni.
Almon CAIN was born April 23, 1806, in Herkimer
County, N. Y., son of Barney and Clara (Crane) Cain, of the same
State. He received the ordinary common-school education; was a
boatman on the Erie canal some 14 years; was the owner of three boats,
and a successful carrier until his retirement in 1834, when he began
the commission business in produce at Buffalo. He continued a
commercial life until 1852, when he came to this township to take
possession of land which he entered in 1835, aggregating 200
acres. April 14, 1855, he married Dorcas Nicholson, from Monroe
county, N. Y., 20 years his junior. Mr. and Mrs. C. have 3
children, viz.: Harriet R, born Feb. 19, 1856; Ida M., June 13, 1858,
and Almon H., April 22, 1861. Mr. Cain is a self-made man,
energetic, and holds a place in the ranks of useful citizens.
Samuel CHAPPELL was born in England, March 28, 1825,
the son of Samuel and Mary (Sampson) Chappell. The family
emigrated to America in 1836; located in what is now Wyoming County, N.
Y., where Samuel received a common-school education; was raised to
farming pursuits, in Genesee County, N. Y., where his parents resided
some years. In 1841 they came to Michigan and located in Columbia
Township. After returning to New York State for the purpose of
closing up some unfinished business connected with his father's estate,
Mr. C. returned to Michigan. He was married July 4, 1849, to
Harriet Morton, born in Tompkins County, N. Y., May 23,1832. They
have 5 children, as follows: Alice C, born Jan. 23, 1851; Edgar, Aug.
20, 1853; Eva, April 3, 1855; Barry O., July 30, 1862, and Dora, Nov.
9, 1864. For some three years after marriage, Mr. C. lived in
Washtenaw County; in 1852 came to Jackson County; made several
removals, and finally located on section 35, in 1873. Mr. and
Mrs. Chappell are prominent members of the M. E. Church; are active
workers in behalf of the Sabbath schools, in which Mr. C. is a popular
teacher. He was a member of the Barry Horse Guards, at that time
a famous organization, a full account of which is given in the chapters
relating to the military history of the county, on another page.
He was elected Supervisor of Springbrook Township in 1872, but has
always had an aversion to holding public offices.
Joshua CLEMENT, a popular farmer and stock-raiser,
of Leoni Township, was born in Orange County, N. Y., Sept. 3, 1818, and
is the son of Bartlett S. and Catherine (McClough) Clement, of
English-Irish descent. He received quite a liberal common-school
education; was brought up on a farm and taught school several years;
clerked in Ithaca, New York; afterward returned to farming
pursuits. Upon the removal of the family to this county in the
fall of 1843, they located and remained in what is now Summit Township
some two years. Mr. Clement was married March 19, 1845, to
Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Elihu and Elizabeth Bennett, who settled
in Jackson County in 1836. This marriage was blessed with 3
children, as follows: William H., born May 27, 1846, died March, 1872;
Katie E., born May 13, 1848, died in September, 1865; Bartlett E., born
May 13, 1850, and is now residing with his father. One year after
marriage Mr. Clement assisted his father-in-law in the management of
his farm. In the spring of 1848 removed to his present home,
where he has since resided. He now owns 265 acres of valuable
land with fine improvements. Mr. Clement has held all the minor
township offices; has been School Director almost constantly; is a
staunch supporter of popular education; was elected Supervisor nine
terms, and by appointment, to fill a vacancy one term. In the
fall of 1870 he was elected a member of the Legislature, and
represented his district in the regular term of 1871, and the special
term in the spring of 1872. William H. was educated for the
medical profession; was a promising student at the time of his death.
Calvin COOPER, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in
Rensselaer County, N. Y., Dec. 27, 1819, the 2d son of Ferdinand and
Charity (Barringer) Cooper, natives of New York, and of Scotch-German
ancestry. Mr. Cooper received a common-school education and was
was brought up on a farm. He was married Nov., 1840, to Polly
Caldwell. They have had 3 children, of whom 1 is living—Ambrose,
born July 17, 1847. Mrs. C. died in 1849. Mr. C. lived in
Washtenaw County, where he moved in 1845; in Lenawee County, where he
remained about five years; and in December, 1857, came to Leoni
Township, where he has since resided. Mr. Cooper was married
April 24, 1850, to Sarah Thomas, born in 1826, in Orleans county, N.
Y. This marriage was blessed with 7 children, 3 of whom are
living, as follows: Ella M., born June 27, 1857, now the wife of John
F. Soper; Fred G., born June 17, 1862; and Dora K., Jan. 8, 1864.
Mr. C. is a self-made man, and is highly esteemed by all who know
him. Mrs. Cooper is a devoted member of the M. E. Church.
E. S. CRADIT was born Oct. 18, 1812, in Orange
County, N. Y., son of Henry and Elizabeth (Seurs) Cradit, of New York;
removed to Tompkins County, N. Y., with parents in early youth;
received a liberal education, and labored on his father's farm until
the period of his marriage, in 1836, to Miss H. Corwin, of New
Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. Cradit were parents of 8 children, 2 of whom
are living, viz.: Wm. F., born April 27, 1851; and Theo. E., born Feb.
12, 1859. One of the deceased sons, Charles H., enlisted in the
3d Mich. Cavalry, and participated in the affairs of Corinth and Holly
Springs, but was killed April 25, 1865, while en route from New Orleans
to Mobile. Mr. Cradit located his present home in the fall of
1836, and, like the other pioneer farmers, converted the wilderness
into a garden. A portrait of Mr. Cradit will be found on page 417.
Joseph W. DAVIS, born Oct. 6, 1827, in Niagara
County, N. Y., is a son of George and Polly (Darling) Davis; came to
Michigan in 1835, with his parents, who resided for a time at Jackson,
and procured a deed of section 31, in April, 1837, which document bears
the signature of President Van Buren; afterward went to the township of
Leoni. Jos. W. remained at home until 1850, when he went overland
to California, occupying six months in making the trip. There he
engaged in mercantile and mining business; returned after a four years'
stay, and resumed occupation of the old homestead in June, 1854.
He was married March 17, 1859, to Miss Christiana C. Dutton, and their
3 children are—Adell, born in 1861; Zimri I., 1863; and Horace R, May
18, 1865. Mr. Davis has held a few responsible township offices,
and is a man of large experience. His father, one of the old
settlers, died in 1850.
Mrs. Seloma Bagley DAVIS was born Aug. 19, 1807, in
Cayuga County, N. Y.; attended the common schools of the district until
the removal of her family to Ashland County, Ohio, in 1818, where she
completed her studies, and married John Davis, Sept. 3, 1825. Mr.
Davis was born in 1802 in the State of New York; removed to Ohio, and
subsequently to Leoni Township in the spring of 1838, when he settled
on the "Kufus" farm, changing in 1844 to his present location, which
was then a dense wilderness, with the exception of a clearing of
two acres. Of their 8 children, 3 survive: Laura was born May
24,1824; David S., Jan. 31,1826, died Sept 16, 1880; Job T., Oct. 18,
1828, died 1841; Cynthia A., Mar. 24, 1830; Theresa, June 14, 1833,
died 1854; Sarah, Feb. 13, 1836; Emily, Oct. 5, 1838; and Roenia A.,
Nov. 24, 1845, died 1863. Mr. Davis died Oct. 30, 1880, aged 78
H. A. DRAPER was born July 22, 1838, at Rives,
Jackson Co.; his father was F. M. J. Draper, and mother Maria L.
(Smith) Draper, of Erie County, N. Y. Mr. Draper passed through
the ordinary common-school course and completed his studies under Prof.
Ripley, at the West Union high school. In 1860 he married Miss
Isabella Anderson, who was born in Tompkins Township March, 1841.
They are the parents of 5 children, viz.: Ida M., born in 1861, now
Mrs. D. S. Underwood, of Leoni; Charlie M., born Dec. 29, 1862; Tad
Warren, born Aug. 14, 1867; Osmer Cole, born Dec. 11, 1871, and
Randall, born May 24, 1875. Mr. Draper purchased a tract of land
in Rives, where he dwelt until 1874. That year he bought the
Rhodes farm, improved it and made it his home. Mr. and Mrs.
Draper are members of the M. E. Church, of Leoni, near which village
their farm of 190 acres and residence is situated.
Jacob R. ENGLISH was born April 21, 1804, son of
Jacob and Mary (Sutton) English, of New Jersey; received a limited
education; with his family removed to Pennsylvania in 1810; returned to
New York after a 12 years' stay, and engaged in mercantile pursuits in
Tompkins County, N. Y.; subsequently he was employed in the manufacture
of fanning-mills seven or eight years, and was married to Miss Jane
Updike, of New York, in 1846. They were the parents of 3 sons and
6 daughters, all living. After marriage Mr. E. removed to Stark
County, Ohio, where he remained 17 years. In 1852 he came to
Michigan, located in Grass Lake Township, where he remained five years,
and subsequently purchased his present farm in Leoni. This he
improved, converting from a wild state into fertile fields.
Truman FARR was born Oct. 29, 1805, at Fort Ann, N.
Y., son of Reuben and Lucy Farr; received a liberal education in the
common schools of his native county, after which he labored on his
father's farm; June 8, 1826, he married Harriet Mead, and their
children are—Hortensia, born in 1828; Geo. M., 1830; Mary M., 1832;
Horace, 1833; Edwin R, 1837; and D. C, Sept. 18, 1839. Ten years
after marriage Mr. F. came to Michigan, and located in Washtenaw
County; a year later, took up his residence in Lenawee, where he met
with many troubles. His wife and children were suffering from
malaria, and himself from enemies, who defrauded him of 160 acres of
land. He was employed in a manufacturing establishment 27 years,
after which he purchased a farm in Washtenaw, where he remained four
years, returned to Lenawee County, and lived until 1857, when he moved
to Norvell Township, and seven years after purchased a farm in
Leoni. In 1867 he returned to Washtenaw, and settled on his
farm near Leoni village in 1876. He purchased the Richard Scott
farm toward the close of 1880, on which he purposes to
reside. Mrs. Farr died Oct. 23, 1878.
Andrew J. FREELAND was born in Seneca County, N. Y.,
April 16, 1820, son of Peter and Anna (Demorest) Freeland, of New
Jersey; received a fair education in the schools of his native village,
and subsequently in the select school at Jackson, kept by Mr.
Southwick. His father came to Jackson village in 1835, followed
an Indian trail seven miles southwest, now Summit, where he settled,
and remained until 1848, when A. J. went to Leoni Township to work for
Col. Shoemaker. In 1851 he was abducted by the railroad
conspirators, tried in Detroit and sentenced to a term of
imprisonment. This incident is given fully in the county
history. The troubles of 1851 and his unjust imprisonment have
been felt by this man keenly, nor can he forget the series of
treacherous arts which were made use of to destroy him, with his fellow
citizens. In 1835 he married Miss Matilda Welch, and they had 4
children. His mother died in 1879, aged 86 years.
H. P. GARDNER was born July 13, 1843, son of Hiram
and Sarah (Crowell) Gardner, natives of New York State, and of English
ancestry. They came to Jackson County in 1835; entered land in
Grass Lake Township, where they resided some six years; located in
Leoni in 1843; they are still living, aged respectively 77 and 74
years. The subject of this sketch received a liberal education in
the common schools; also attended the Leoni Collegiate Institute for
several terms. He remained with his parents about two years, until the
breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enlisted in the 20th Mich. Vol.
Inf.; was actively engaged in many battles, including Vicksburg;
Jackson, Miss.; Loudon, Tenn.; Blue Spring; Knoxville; battle of the
Wilderness, May 8 to 11, 1864; Spottsylvania, May 12, where he was
wounded. After recovery, was sent on special duty to Washington,
where he was mustered out in June, 1865, by orders from the War
Department. An interesting memento in Mr. G.'s possession is a
pocket Bible, in which is imbedded a minie ball which was aimed by a
rebel sharp-shooter, and would doubtless have accomplished the mission
of its sender, had not the little book been there to stay its
progress. At the expiration of the war, Mr. G. took up his
residence in Jackson, where he engaged in business. He was
married Jan. 1, 1866, to E. A. Dipple, born in Darlington, Wis.; they
are the parents of 3 children, as follows: Cora E., born Nov. 26, 1866;
Nellie G., March 6, 1869; and Willie D., born in Leoni, Dec. 26,
1870. Mr. G. remained in Wisconsin two years; returned to Leoni
about 1870, where he has since resided; was appointed Postmaster in
1870, and still holds the position; also station agent, and the only
merchant in Leoni; was elected Township Clerk the spring of 1877, and
is President of the village. Mr. Gardner is a genial gentleman
and very popular with all of his acquaintances.
Edward GREENWOOD is a native of England, born Jan,
30, 1826, 3d son of Edward and Mary (Weaver) Greenwood. nHis early
education was very limited, although he made quite successful efforts
to acquire the common branches after reaching the years of
manhood. He was married June 2, 1851, to Elizabeth Towers, born
July 21, 1830; they are the parents of 11 children, 4 of whom are
living—Eliza Ann, born Aug. 5, 1859; Willard T., April 21, 1861; Mary
Jane, Aug. 5, 1869, and Harriet Elizabeth, May 29,1874.
Immediately after marriage, in company with several brothers and other
friends, they emigrated to America; they came direct to Grass Lake
Township, where himself and wife were employed for about two years;
afterward worked a farm on shares for two seasons; then rented a farm
three years, until his purchase of 80 acres, one mile east of where he
now resides; lived there seven or eight years; sold out and in 1866
purchased the premises which he has since occupied. He has made
many improvements, including the handsome family residence, which was
erected about 1875. His success in life is the result of
frugality, perseverance and industry. Himself and family are
members of the M. E. Church at Leoni.
Wm. H. HUDSON was born Nov. 27, 1816, in Vermont,
son of Samuel and Polly (Field) Hudson; received that education which
the curriculum of the common schools then established, offered.
In 1836 he traveled westward, arrived at Dunkirk, took a boat to
Detroit and thence to Jackson. During this journey he had one
companion, his ax, and a little cash. The last two he soon lost;
his comrade stole a dog while en route, and sold said animal for
$3. On reaching Jackson, Wm. H. was employed in the mill of Ford
& Son, with whom he remained seven years. Feb. 3, 1839, he
married Miss R. M. Palmer; they have had 6 children, 2 of whom are
living. Mr. Hudson entered agricultural life after marriage, but
returned to his trade, which he followed for a short time, when he
moved to Michigan Center in 1846; worked for Col. Shoemaker five and
one-half years in the mill; removed to a farm, and ultimately purchased
the mill at Leoni, which he conducted three years. In 1856 he
entered into partnership with Col. Shoemaker, and sold his interest to
Mr. Wisner in 1863, when he re-entered the agricultural lists and now
possesses a fine farm of 200 acres, well improved.
O. H. KELLOGG was born Jan. 17, 1828, in Tompkins
County, N. Y., son of Stephen and Electa (Strowbridge) Kellogg, of the
same State; received a liberal common-school education and then entered
upon the duties of an agriculturist. His marriage with Hannah
Jane Carpenter took place July 4, 1851, and their 2 children are—Electa
M., born May 21, 1853, and Frank E., born in 1855. In 1856 Mr. K.
with his family removed to Newaygo County, Mich.; entered 320 acres of
land, which he disposed of in 1858, and removed to Leoni Township, the
same year; after varied changes he selected the site of his present
dwelling in 1879, improved it, and it now appears to be the home of his
future years. He has filled several minor township offices in a
very efficient manner. His father, Stephen Kellogg, in his 80th
year, still lives on the old homestead in New York.
Abram MAXSOM was born May 10, 1830, in Wyoming
County, N. Y., son of Abraham C. and Diana (Matteson) Maxson, of
Vermont. He came to Michigan with his parents in 1836, who
entered 320 acres, sections 19 and 20, where Mr. Maxson now
lives. He labored on the homestead farm, in the capacity of a
millwright, and on the railroad, until his marriage with Miss Catherine
E. Welch in 1850. Subsequently he purchased land near his
parents' homestead, where he dwelt four years. This property he
disposed of, and in its stead bought 118 acres on section 17, where he
resided until 1855. He enlisted in the 26th Mich. Vol. Inf.,
Sept. 8, 1862, with which regiment he served until the close of the
war, and returned to his home July 23, 1865. His father died
April 4, 1876, at the ripe old age of 80 years. Like many of his
neighbors, he surmounted every obstacle, and is now one of the
prosperous citizens of the county.
Samuel MILLER was born July 23, 1810, son of James
and Charity (Updike) Miller, of New York State. He received a
fair education; was brought up to agricultural pursuits until 1861,
when he enlisted in the 12th U. S. Inf.; was mustered into service, but
was discharged in the course of a month owing to physical
disability. He was married Jan. 22, 1863, to Miss Caroline E.
Smith, and they are the parents of 5 children—Eva M., born 1864; Emma
J., Dec. 30, 1866; Elgin L., 1868; Emory O., 1871; and Eda S., Nov. 29,
1874. Mr. Miller purchased his farm in 1869; his dwelling was
burned in 1876, resulting, it is said, from the explosion of an oil
lamp. In 1871 he was stricken with paralysis, from which he has
now almost recovered; his farm of 200 acres and the improvements make a
very valuable property, which his own industry created.
Ansel NORTON, a native of Connecticut, was born in
1804. His parents moved to Monroe County, N Y., in 1806, and to
Michigan in 1846. March 3, 1831, he married Maria Morrill, born
in Vermont in 1814, and they are the parents of Mary R., born Feb. 11,
1832; Ruth M., Dec. 13, 1834; Nathan S., July 15, 1843; and Charles M.,
Sept. 7, 1848. In 1846 he located 120 acres on section 35, Leoni
Township, where he lived until 1863, when he moved to his present home.
John PALMER, one of the pioneers of Jackson County,
was born in New Jersey, May 6, 1810, and is the son of Edward and Mercy
(Hall) Palmer, natives of England. John's education was quite
deficient; attended school but 13 days in his life; was employed as a
farm hand until he went to the State of New York, where his mother
resided. Was married in Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1833, to
Hannah Laycock. They have had 7 children, of whom 4 are now
living—2 daughters and 2 sons, all residents of Michigan. In
June, 1835, Mr. Palmer came to Michigan, remaining in Washtenaw County
one year. The following year he located in Leoni Township, one
mile east of his present home. The country was then a
wilderness. Indians were numerous; 15 or 20 of them would
frequently camp on his premises. They were peaceable; would often
ask for food, which they would promise to pay for. They would
have drunken frolics. On one occasion Mr. Palmer remembers, he
approached a party of them who were sleeping off the effects of one of
their drunken orgies. One of their number, a sober Indian, was on
watch. When asked by Mr. P. if they were drunk, he muttered "No;
sick, sick." They finally disappeared the latter part of
1836. Wolves abounded. A yearling "crittur" was devoured by
them within 15 rods of Mr. Palmer's house.
Mr. P. cleared over 200 acres of land, also worked
at shoemaking-jointly with farming, following those occupations many
years, considering himself fortunate when receiving 75 cents per
day. He accumulated a handsome property, which he resided upon
until some three years ago. He had previously distributed his
property between his sons. He now owns 40 acres, one and a half
miles west of the old homestead, where he is actively engaged in
improving his farm and in making preparation to erect a new residence
the coming season. Mr. Palmer has been twice married. The
first Mrs. Palmer died Dec. 1, 1866, and Mr. P. was again united in
marriage July 23,1871, with Laura H. Addison, born in Dutchess County,
N. Y., April 21, 1822. They are both members of the M. E. Church
in Leoni. Mr. Palmer has held minor township offices. Has
been successful, and is a self-made man. After making his first payment
on his land, had 25 cents cash capital on hand.
Timothy PANGBORN, hotel-keeper, Michigan Center, was
born in Champlain, Clinton Co., N. Y., Dec. 14, 1821, and was the son
of Elisha and Betsy Pangborn (deceased), natives of Connecticut.
The father died Jan. 16, 1879, in his 99th year, and the mother in
1876, in her 86th year. Both died at Sand Lake, Mich. The
subject of this sketch received his education in the common schools of
New York State. He followed lumbering with his father, then went
to Ohio, where he engaged in the milling business for a number of
years, and from there came to Jackson County, Mich., where he dealt in
stoves and hot-air furnaces for a number of years, then engaged in the
restaurant and oil business, the latter in Canada; after which he moved
to Michigan Center, where he opened the Mineral Springs in 1869, and at
the depth of 237 feet struck the mineral water which has proved so
valuable. Its bicarbonates of lime and magnesia are peculiarly
grateful to the stomachs of those who are inclined to dyspepsia, and
its iron oxide is of use as a tonic. It also contains
bicarbonates of potash, soda and iron, and chlorides of potassium,
sodium, calcium and magnesium, with traces of silica and alumina.
This water is prescribed for rheumatism, paralysis, dyspepsia and all
forms of kidney disease. He now has-fitted up one of the neatest
and most convenient places in Jackson county for amusement near the
lake, and can at all times supply the public with pleasure boats.
In 1841 he was married to Harriet Peal, who was born
in New York State in 1822, and their family consisted of 2
children—Hiram and Edward, both of which are deceased. Aug. 4, 1880 he
lost his wife.
Joel F. PARKS, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in
Cayuga County, N. Y., Dec. 2, 1814. His parents were Moses and
Maria (Nelson) Parks, also natives of New York, and of English
descent. He received a very fair education, principally at the
district schools. His father died while Joel F. was quite young,
which event placed him in a responsible position as head of the family,
where he remained until of age, when he removed to Genesee County, N.
Y, living there some 10 or 12 years. He came to this township in
1832. April 15, 1833, he was married to Nancy Richie; they were
the parents of 10 children—7 daughters and 3 sons; 8 are now living,
nearly all being residents of Jackson County. Mr. P. resided a
short distance west of Leoni for many years. In the spring of
1864 he removed to his present location, where he has made many fine
improvements. He has held several of the township offices,
including the Supervisorship three terms. He was First Lieutenant
in the Jackson Rifle Co., one of the earliest military organizations of
this county; is one of the few remaining pioneers; an active supporter
of all religious and charitable objects.
Jefferson O. PLUMB was born in Sunbury, Delaware
Co., O., Jan. 31, 1818. His parents were Prisman P. and Abigail
(Slawson) Plumb, the former a native of Delaware, the latter of New
York State, and of English-German ancestry. He was educated in
the common schools, afterward attending Shaw's Academy at Euclid, Ohio,
two terms; during the period of his studies, he was reading medicine
and studying the same under the instruction of Dr. Elijah Burton; took
a course of lectures at Willoughby Institute; went to Ypsilanti in
1841, where he practiced medicine; also taught school two years;
located in various places in Michigan, where he was engaged in the
practice of his profession; lectured on physiology and chemistry; was
Professor of Natural Sciences and Higher Mathematics in Ypsilanti
Seminary, in connection with Prof. Estabrook, where he remained eight
or ten years. In the fall of 1866 he was authorized to select a
competent professor to fill the chair he had lately vacated in the
Ypsilanti Seminary; was placed in charge of the Jackson schools on a
salary of $2,000 per year; was tendered further lucrative positions,
but in deference to Prof. Lowell, decided to decline them; resumed his
old position at Ypsilanti at a liberal salary, where, during a chemical
experiment, a severe affliction befel him in the loss of an eye.
In 1868, when his eyesight was somewhat restored, his former patrons in
Jackson established a select school of which he took charge, and
conducted it in the most successful manner, two years. In 1868 he
purchased the farm of 160 acres, where he now resides.
When four years old Mr. P. was injured by falling
from a fence which caused paralysis of the hip, injuring the nerves of
motion, leaving him a cripple for life. He was married in
Ypsilanti in 1843, to Laura M. Knapp; they were the parents of 6
children, but one of whom is living—-Frank O., now in mercantile
business in Saginaw. Mr. Plumb was married in 1872 to Gertrude B.
Sager; this union is blessed with 1 son—Charles G., born Feb. 17, 1873.
William PURDY was born March 7, 1817, in Ulster
County, N. Y., youngest son of Enoch and Esther (Lane) Purdy; received
a limited education in the school of his native county, worked on the
farm, and in the lumber regions of the Catskill mountains until
1842. He married Miss Abigail Cure, and they are the parents of 5
children, 2 of whom are living, viz: Barbara E., born in 1845, now Mrs.
Wood, of Grass Lake; and James M., born in 1850. Mrs. Purdy died
in September, 1877. In 1851 the family located temporarily at
Grass Lake, and the following year purchased 93 acres of land from
Walter Miller, to which 25 acres have since been added. Geo W.
Purdy enlisted in the 12th U. S. Inf., in September, 1861; took part in
the Virginia campaign and died at Yorktown April 7, 1862.
Isaac C. QUICK was born May 25, 1825, at Ulysses,
Tompkins Co., N. Y.; is the son of Abraham and Charity (Pichez) Quick,
of New Jersey. Isaac C. received the ordinary education afforded
by the common schools of his time. His father's family came to
Michigan in 1831, resided at Grass Lake about two years, then removed
to the southeast part of Leoni Township; and again, in 1837, moved 80
rods west of Keywood's Corners.v June 19, 1860, Isaac married Miss Lucy
Voorhees, and resided at his father's house until 1865, when he removed
to his present home. vHe is the father of 3 children, viz.: Abram D.,
born April 25, 1861; Augustus O., Feb. 26, 1863; and Mary, Sept. 19,
1868; they attend the local school.
John B. QUICK was born Sept. 25, 1837, in Leoni
Township, son of William and Eliza (Anderson) Quick of New York, who
came to Michigan in 1834 and located south of Leoni. John B.
labored on the homestead farm until his marriage, in 1858, to Miss
Abbie Woodward, of Simcoe, Canada, whose parents were among the early
settlers of Waterloo Township. Mr. and Mrs. Quick are the parents
of 9 children, of whom 6 are now living, viz.: Mary E., Sarah
Elizabeth, Abigail Jane, Cora, Herbert J. and Carrie A. Mr. Quick
resided near his father's house until 1862, when he purchased his
present farm of 80 acres; he built his present residence in 1875.
He devotes his attention to the growth of peaches and berries; has been
honored with township offices from time to time, and continues to be
active in all questions of economy connected with his township.
A.D. ROGERS, son of Isaac and Lucy (Davis) Rogers,
of Massachusetts, was born June 13,1805; was educated in the common
schools of Washington County, N. Y., and afterward, when the family
moved to Ashtabula County, O., in 1815, he attended the Jefferson
Academy, and taught school there, a profession he followed until
1850. In 1827 he married Miss Anne Davis, born in New York, in
1809; they are the parents of 6 children, viz.: Urban, born 1838;
Isaac, N., 1836; Sophia, 1847; Henry C, 1841; Wm. W, 1846, and Mary,
1848; 2 are deceased. Henry C. served in Col. Shoemaker's 13th
Inf. through its various battles, and fell, mortally wounded, at
Murfreesboro, Jan. 6, 1863. Mr. Rogers resided for a time in
Michigan, but did not locate permanently until 1851, when he entered
land one mile east of his present home; in 1871 he erected a new house
and made many improvements. He has taken a deep interest in
educational and Church matters, and is esteemed throughout the township.
Jacob SAGENDORPH, farmer and stock-raiser; was born
in Batavia, Genesee Co., N. Y., July 5, 1832; he is the oldest son now
living of Jacob and Mary (Perry) Sagendorph, natives of New York State,
of German descent. His father was one of the pioneers of this
county, having located in Leoni Township, on section 32, in 1832; he
died in 1870; his mother is a resident of Jackson. Mr. S.
received a liberal education in common schools and at more advanced
institutions; attended the Michigan Collegiate Institute several years;
was brought up to farming pursuits. He was married in October,
1852, to Viola A. Wakeman, who was born in Steuben County, N. Y., in
1836. In 1860 Mr. S. successfully conducted a hotel in Jackson
one year; then commenced a mercantile career which continued until
1874, during which time he conducted an extensive business in
groceries, provisions, etc. In the latter year he disposed of his
business in Jackson, and returned to the old homestead in Leoni
Township, where he has since resided. Mr. S. is one of the
original Prohibitionists, having been a delegate to the Chicago
convention in 1869, and an ardent supporter of the Hon. Neal Dow, for
the Presidency, in 1880. He is a gentleman of culture and
esteemed by all of his acquaintances. Himself and Mrs. Sagendorph
were members of the Christian Church while residing in Jackson, but now
attend the Congregational Church at Michigan Center.
Henry SCOFIELD, was born in Washtenaw County, Mich.,
Sept. 14, 1838; he is the son of John and Mary (Johnson) Scofield,
natives of New York and New Jersey respectively, and of English
descent. Henry received a liberal common-school education, and
was reared on a farm. In 1860 he was married to Adelia Lockwood;
they are the parents of 3 children, as follows; Minnie A., born Oct.
9,1865; Ada May,Feb. 23,1869; and Etta, Dec. 4, 1872. Mr.
Scofield was a resident of Chicago some 15 years, where he was
extensively engaged in the commission business, and later in the meat
trade. The advanced age of his parents required his return to the
old homestead in 1877, where he has since resided. He has been
School Director constantly since his return to Leoni, also township
Treasurer in 1879 and '80; is a successful farmer and genial
gentleman. John Scofield, father of Henry, was born Dec. 5, 1803,
in Dutchess County, N. Y. Early in life he learned the trade of
tanner and currier, also that of shoemaker, which business he commenced
in Penn Yan, New York, about 1827; was married March 29, 1829, to Mary
Johnson, born Dec. 25, 1811; they reared a family of 8 children.
They came to Washtenaw County in 1834, and justly rank with the old
pioneers of this State. In 1837 they moved to Grass Lake
Township; entered land there but remained only a short time; returned
to Washtenaw County; again removed to Grass Lake Township; and finally
located in this township on section 23, in the Spring of 1852.
Mr. S. is a vigorous and intellectual old gentleman, and with Mrs. S.,
who is also active both mentally and physically, are members of the M.
E. Church, and conspicuous in all that tends to promote Sabbath-school
Samuel SHAW was born June 9, 1819, at Manchester,
England, son of Henry and Mary (Sutton) Shaw; received an education
which the public-school system of his native land could then afford; he
was reared on the farm, and labored for others on their lands, until
1848, when, with his brother, he emigrated, and settled in Niagara
County, N. Y., where he remained two years. In 1850 he came West,
located in Lenawee County, Mich., returned to New York, and again
sought a home in Lenawee, where he married Mrs. Mary Gallop, in
1852. He is the father of Wesley R. Shaw, born March 7, 1853, now
a farmer of Leoni. Mrs. Shaw died in May, 1875. In 1870
she, with her husband and family, moved to Leoni Township, where Mr.
Shaw now resides, having recently purchased a farm there. He is a
self-made man, and his present easy circumstances are due entirely to
his own exertions.
Phebe SLEYTON was born Sept. 30, 1805, in Madison
County, N. Y., daughter of Ebenezer and Hannah (Bump) Sleyton, of
Vermont. Her ancestors were engaged in the battle of Bennington,
and she, it is said, went thither with a dinner to the banded
patriots. Her parents removed to Tompkins County, N. Y., thence
to Madison. In 1835 Mrs. Sleyton came West with her
brother-in-law and sister, settled at Michigan Center, and was married
July 1, 1838, to James Sleyton, formerly of Niagara County, N. Y.
He entered land in Leoni Township early in 1836, proved a successful
farmer, and after a useful life of 72 years, 44 of which were passed in
this county, died June 26, 1880. Mrs. Sleyton is a member of the
W. M. Church.
D. W. SMITH was born December, 1833, in Jefferson
County, N. Y., son of David Willard and Hannah W.(Adams) Smith.
After receiving a fair common-school education, he went to learn the
machinist's trade, and ultimately got a position in the Utica &
Syracuse R. R. shops. In 1850 he entered the service of the W.
& R. railroad; was engaged as engineer in the construction of that
road; ran the first engine into Watertown, and piloted the first engine
into Cape Vincent. In 1852 he married Miss Eliza A. Beltzinger,
of Schuyler County, N. Y., and they became the parents of 6 children,
viz.: H. W., born, 1854; D. W., 1856; Charles E., 1858, died July 3,
1874; Geo. W., 1860; Fred E., 1862, and Lottie E., 1867. In 1856
he purchased a farm at Ypsilanti; sold out and took a position on
the M. C. R. R.; was foreman of saw-mill at Saginaw city; removed to
Jackson in 1869, and entered the J., L. & S. R. R. Co's. service as
engineer; subsequently took charge of the locomotive and car depots of
F. W., J. & S. R. R., and ultimately purchased farm of 100 acres in
Leoni Township in 1879, where he now resides. The experiences of
Mr. Smith are varied and happy, and for a man now in his 48th year his
prospects are bright indeed.
George W. SMITH, M. D., was born May 24, 1836, in
Tompkins County, N. Y., son of Abraham and Mary Ann (Garrett) Smith,
natives of New Jersey and New York respectively. In 1844 the
family settled in Grass Lake Township, and subsequently moved to Union
City, Mich. At the age of 18 years Mr. Smith resolved to learn
the carpenter and joiner's trade, which business he pursued 16 years,
during which time he built some of the finest, dwellings-known at that
period in Leoni Township. His marriage with Miss Emma S. Land, of
Ashtabula County, Ohio, was celebrated March 7,1861. Four years
after this event, the Doctor moved to Ohio, where he remained until
1874. There he commenced the study of medicine, which study was
completed at the Michigan University. He came to Leoni in 1874,
and entered on the practice of his profession; he is the only physician
in the township. Mrs. Smith previous to her marriage, was
Preceptress at the Michigan Collegiate Institute at Leoni in its
Jonathan SMITH, a well-known agriculturist of Leoni
Township, was born in Seneca County, N. Y., May 10, 1809, the oldest
son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Pickell) Smith, the former of
Massachusetts, the latter of New Jersey, and of English and German
descent. Jonathan received a liberal district-school education;
was brought up to farming pursuits; came with his mother to Michigan in
1837; located in Leoni Township; entered land in Leoni, also in
Henrietta. He remained with the family some two years. In
1839 he was married to Lorinda Smith; their children are as follows:
Lafayette G., born July 29, 1839; George A., April 25, 1842, now a
resident of this township; Charlotte E., Dec. 20, 1848; Addison J.,
July 7, 1851; the latter died in infancy. More than mere mention
is due to the memory of their oldest son, Lafayette G. He
enlisted in the 12th U. S. Inf. in 1861; participated in nine different
engagements before Richmond; was wounded and taken prisoner at the
battle of the Wilderness; with other prisoners was recaptured by Gen.
Sheridan; sent to the hospital in Washington where he died in
July. Mr. Smith removed to his present home in the spring of
1867, where, in his declining years, he is enjoying the fruits of a
life of industry; has been School Commissioner for years without
intermission; is a warm supporter of popular education, a member of the
Congregational Church and esteemed by all who know him.
Truman A. SMITH was born Sept. 3, 1847, the second
son of Peter and Julia A. (Pease) Smith, of N. Y., old settlers of
Jackson County, who located in Grass Lake Township at an early day, and
moved to a new home in Leoni during the year 1847. Peter Smith
died in January, 1871. The subject of this sketch studied in the
schools of Leoni, and for some years devoted his attention to
farming. In September, 1872 he married Miss Emily B. Reese, of
Shelby, Rockfield Co., born in Ohio, 1853. His mother is still
living, and has attained her 62d year.
Erastus SPARKS was born in Cortland County, N. Y.,
Aug. 19, 1820. His parents were Erastus and Philotha (Higgin)
Sparks. He received a fair common-school education in New York
State and Ohio, to which latter State the family removed in 1830.
He was married in 1843 to Miss P. A. Moore, born in Ohio in 1825; they
have had 4 children—Leman E., born August, 1844, now conducting the
milling business in Chelsea, Mich.; Almira, born in 1846, drowned while
bathing on the coast of Florida in July, 1877; E. R., born Sept. 14,
1852, an engineer on the M. C. R. R., and a resident of Niles,
Mich. After marriage Mr. Sparks was engaged in farming on the old
homestead in Ohio until 1856, when became to Leoni and became
interested in the flouring mills at that place; he remained till 1869,
and sold out to his partner and purchased an interest in the Michigan
Center Mills, where he remained about two and a half years, then
returned to Leoni; resumed his former proprietorship in the mill there,
where he has since remained; was elected Justice of the Peace in 1873;
declined to qualify. Mr. and Mrs. Sparks are members of the M. E.
James H. STEARNS was born March 11, 1835, in
Berkshire County, Mass., eldest son of Alanson and Eliza Ann Stearns;
received an ordinary education; learned the carpenter's trade at the
age of 21, and combining it with the labors of the agriculturist,
continued a dual vocation for years. In 1851 he came to Norvell
Township, whither his father's family came three years later. In
1864 he located a farm in this township, where E. Underwood now
dwells. In 1858 he married Miss Ellen Huise, who died four years
later. His marriage with Miss E. L. Bliss was performed October,
1865. Mr. Stearns has traveled through the Northwestern, Central
and Southwestern States, accompanied by his family, and his horses and
conveyance. In 1876 he returned to Michigan, took up his
residence in Leoni, and has since dwelt here. Mr. Stearns'
father, brother, and hired man were drowned in Gillett's lake, June,
1870. The sad affair cast a gloom over the people which time
could scarcely lighten.
John, STEWART was born Sept. 28, 1810, in Montgomery
County, N. Y., son of Alexander and Margaret (Sinclair) Stewart,
natives of Scotland; attended the schools of his native town until 18
years of age, when the family removed to Madison County, N. Y.; he
continued to attend the academy near his new home ; followed the
farmer's plow for a period, then learned the trade of builder and
architect. In 1840 he married Miss Julia A. Stanton, daughter of
Judge N. P. Stanton; they are the parents of 6 children, two of whom
are living. Mrs. S. died in 1859. Mr. Stewart carried on
the building business in New York State nine years after marriage, then
came West in 1849, and settled in Jackson, where, in partnership with
Judge Stanton, he erected a hotel; subsequently he was appointed head
of the Public Building Department of the State, toward the close of the
war he went to Marshall to engage in the agricultural implement
business, with Wm. Hammond, of the State's Prison Agency. During
Mr. Stewart's residence at Marshall he married Mrs. Electa M. Sheldon,
author of The Early History of Michigan. He has been Justice of
the Peace, Postmaster, and ticket agent of M. C. R. R. at Michigan
Center, and the purchaser of the old homestead of Captain Abel F. Fitch.
Augustus A. SULLIVAN, a prominent farmer and
stock-raiser of Leoni Township, was born in Lenawee County, Mich., May
6, 1845. He is the youngest son of William M. Sullivan, one of
the early settlers of Jackson County. Some of the incidents of
his eventful life will be found in the chapter devoted to pioneer
history. Mr. Sullivan received a liberal education in district
schools and afterward attended the Michigan Collegiate Institute at
Leoni several years, where he completed his studies about 1863.
He taught school a number of winters ; followed farming in the summers;
was Tp. Clerk in 1876-77-'79. In 1878 he was married to Nellie M.
Rogers, born in this county in 1860; they have 1 child—Clarence M.,
born Oct. 12, 1879. Mr. Sullivan was elected Supervisor in the
spring of 1880. His popularity within the county is unquestioned,
and he is looked upon as one of its worthy and substantial citizens.
H. R. THOMPSON was born Sept. 30,1838, in the
district now known as Schuyler County, N. Y., and is the eldest son of
William and Samantha (Harmon) Thompson. Having received a liberal
education in the district school, he learned the trade of
gun-smith. In September, 1858, he came to Jackson, commenced
working at his trade there, and continued it until 1871,—the period of
his election to the office of City Treasurer. He married Mary A.
Purdy, of Elkhart County, Ind., in 1859, and they are the parents of 2
children, viz., Willie, born May 6, 1860, and Annie L., born Oct. 19,
1867. Early in 1874 he moved to Leoni, and purchased 137 acres of
the old C. H. Smith farm, where he now resides. His father died
Aug. 29,1876, and his mother Dec. 15, 1880, aged 62 years.
Erastus THURSTON was born in Erie County, N. Y.,
April 12, 1833. His parents were Thomas and Electa (Wilcox)
Thurston, natives of Vermont and New York respectively, and of English
origin. Mr. T. was educated in the common schools and brought up
to farming pursuits; remained with his parents until their removal to
Michigan the spring of 1850, when they located on the home now occupied
by Mr. T. He was married October, 1853, to Cornelia H. Slosson,
born in Tompkins County, N. Y., Jan. 5, 1835; their children are—Loine,
born April 30, 1855, now Mrs. Hiram Eddy, of Leoni; Carmi J., Dec. 2,
1858, died Aug. 28, 1863; Willie G., Nov. 12, 1863; Marion Thurston
Hilton, March 15, 1860. Mr. T. resided in Waterloo Township some
eight years; in 1863 removed to the old homestead in Leoni, where he
has since remained. His ancestors are celebrated for their
longevity, his grandfather having died in 1850, at the patriarchal age
of 97 years, 8 months and 17 days; his father, Thomas Thurston, March,
1872, aged 86. In this connection a few words regarding Miss
Samantha Thurston, the oldest sister of the subject of this
sketch. After her mother's death she assumed all the
responsibilities of a mother, and conducted the affairs of the old
homestead with an earnestness and well-directed zeal, which claimed the
unqualified approbation and admiration of her relatives and neighbors.
Thomas O. THURSTON was born May 23, 1853, in this
township, second son of V. D. and Almira (Allen) Thurston; received an
elementary education in the schools of the district, and subsequently
attended the Union school at Jackson. In 1876 he visited Kansas, and
returning in the course of a year, purchased his present home; is also
the owner of lands in Waterloo Township. He married Miss Nellie
A. Slosson Nov. 25, 1879, born in Clinton County, N. Y., in 1857; they
have 1 child—Bertha A., born Nov. 26, 1880.
V. D. THURSTON was born Aug. 13,1818, in Erie
County, N. Y., son of Thomas and Electa (Wilcox) Thurston; was educated
in the schools of the district, labored on the farm, served three years
of mercantile life, and returning to the old homestead remained there
until the immigration of the family westward in September, 1850.
He married Almira Allen in 1850, who was born in Vermont, and was the
mother of 3 children, viz. :—Herbert D., born April 7, 1851; Thomas,
May 25, 1853; Jabez A., Feb. 3, 1858. The year of his arrival in
this county he located on a farm of 500 acres in this township.
In 1852 his present dwelling was completed, and since that period he
has continued to reside there. Mrs. Thurston died May 25,
1864. Her sons were educated in the schools of Jackson and Grass
Lake. In 1867 Mr. T. married Harriet Peckham, a native of Monroe
County, N. Y. In political matters he is not ambitious, yet the
people of the township conferred upon him important offices.
E. E. UNDERWOOD was born Aug. 26, 1806, son of
Samuel and Jemima (Fletcher) Underwood, of Massachusetts. He
received his education in the common school of Otis, Berkshire County,
Masschusetts. He went with his parents in 1814 to New York State,
lived at Parma, Monroe County, and came with them to Michigan in 1832,
locating his present home the same year. Mr. Underwood took care
of his parents until their decease. He married Miss Margaret
Ammerman Sept. 16, 1844; their children are—Mary M., born in 1848;
Letta A, 1851; Daniel S., 1854; Ida A., 1858; Fred J., 1862; Henry E.,
born in 1846, died May 8, 1858; and Martha, born in 1852, died in April
of the succeeding year.
Anson UDPIKE was born July 15, 1818, in Tompkins
County, N. Y., son of Ralph and Margaret (Ritchie) Updike, of New
Jersey; was educated in the common schools of his native village.
In 1827 his father's family moved to Washtenaw County, improved a farm
there and three years later sold out and moved to this county in
1830-'l, where they located one and one-half miles west of Grass Lake
village. Mr. U. was one of the pioneers, and first Supervisor of
the township of Grass Lake. Mr. Anson Updike labored on the old
homestead until his marriage in March, 1839, to Harriet S. Updike, of
Tompkins County, N. Y. She is the mother of 8 children, 5 of whom
are living, viz.: Montgomery, Matilda, Herman, Sidney and Milo K.
Mr. Updike farmed and also conducted a saw-mill in Waterloo Township 8
years, and subsequently a grist-mill. He went to California in
1850, where he was a miner and a farmer; returned in 1854; resided for
a time at Leoni, and in 1859 purchased 270 acres, to which he has added
since 130 acres, with farm buildings. In 1871 he erected a fine
dwelling-house, and continues still to advance with the times.
Jacob A. UPDIKE was born Nov. 19, 1821, in New
Jersey; eldest son of John S. and Margaret (Apger) Updike, of New
York. The family moved to New York State during the infancy of
Jacob A., and in this State he received the education which the
district schools of the period afforded. He married Miss Caroline
Updike Nov. 19, 1845; 2 of their children are living. Mrs. Updike
died March 25, 1863, and on July 16, 1864, Mr. U. married Miss Delrow,
born in New York in March, 1828. In 1848 he traveled westward and
settled near Leoni village, and in 1863 erected his present home.
Leonard S. WALDO was born April 5, 1817, in New
Hampshire, son of Justus and Samantha (Beckwith) Waldo, of
Vermont. While he was in his infancy his parents moved to New
York State, where he attended school until 1833, the period of their
removal to Michigan. In 1834 the family removed from Washtenaw
County to Leoni and entered a tract of land on the Territorial
Road. Mr. Waldo purchased his present farm about 1844 while yet
in its wild state; reclaimed it; erected buildings and converted it
into one of the garden spots of the county. Justus Waldo died at
his son's residence Dec. 9, 1872, in the 90th year of his age.
Mr. Leonard's wife, formerly Miss B. St. John Marvin, to whom he was
married April 7, 1860, died Jan. 6, 1862. Nov. 9, 1869, he
married Caroline Miller, to whom were born 2 children, Franklin L.,
April 10, 1871, and Mary S., May 9, 1873.
Robert WATTS was born April 12, 1796, in
England. He attended school until 16 years old, after which he
labored on the farm. Subsequently he worked at Aberdeen and St.
Ives, and returning, lived at home until 26 years old, when his
marriage with Miss Sarah Cook was celebrated. This lady was the
mother of 12 children, of whom 5 are living. He emigrated in
1844, after the death of his wife; resided eight years in Ohio; married
Miss Susan Teachout in 1846, who bore him 4 children. Mr. W. came
to Michigan in 1852, located at Leoni, and is now the owner of a
fertile tract of land containing 75 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Watts
are members of their respective Churches, which, in the
first instance, is the Congregation of Disciples, and in the second
that of the Congregationalists.
Edmund K. WEBB was born March 6, 1830, in Jefferson
County, N. Y., son of George and Julia S. (Skinner) Webb; was educated
in the common schools of the district, and afterward in the Black River
Institute at Watertown. In 1853 he married Pamelia Adsit, of
Montgomery County, New York, by whom he had 3 sons and 4
daughters. He enlisted Sept. 27, 1862, in the 29th Wis. Vol.
Inf., with which regiment he served throughout the campaign. He
participated in the siege of Vicksburg, in the affair at Champion
Hills, and in the Red River campaign, April 8, 1864; he aided in the
construction of a dam across Red river, served a full term, and was
mustered out at Madison, Wis., July 11, 1865. In the spring of
1866 he moved to Leoni Township, purchased his land there in 1868, and
entered upon a permanent residence. He has held many township
offices. Himself and his wife are zealous members of the M. E.
Church of Leoni.
Wm. H. WELSH, a well-known farmer and stock-raiser,
was born in Clinton County, Mich., March 27, 1840, and is the only son
of Benjamin and Susan (Boughton) Welsh. His father came to
Michigan about 1830, first locating in Wayne County; was there some six
years; went to Clinton County in 1836; was one of the pioneers of that
section which was then very sparsely settled, his nearest neighbor at
one time being nine miles distant. He kept the first house of
entertainment in that part of the country; removed to Leoni Township in
1842; located upon sections 3 and 4; afterward lived a retired life in
Jackson some seven years; he died at the residence of his son in this
township Sept. 1, 1877, aged 74 years and three months. William
H. acquired a very general education, which would fit him for many
walks in life, as well as that of his choice—a farmer. He
remained with his parents until his marriage, in 1861, to Ellen H.
Sherman, born in Washtenaw County in 1842; they have 3 children, as
follows: Frank B., born March 5, 1862; Mary Ellen, Dec. 21, 1864; and
William H, Jr., Feb. 26, 1868. For about eight years following
his marriage, Mr. Welsh conducted the farm for his father; subsequently
built a fine residence on a portion of the old homestead; also made
numerous other improvements. Himself and family are worshipers in
the Congregational Church, at Michigan Center. Mr. W. has never
sought public office, although he is an influential citizen and a
Mrs. Elizabeth WHIPPLE, a native of Pennsylvania,
was born Jan. 20, 1824, daughter of Garrett Codbury and Mary Hannah
Codbury, of Pennsylvania. During her early years her parents
moved to New York State, where she attended the common school. In
1836 she came West with her father and settled in the northern portion
of Leoni, where she continued her studies, and subsequently taught the
district school there two terms. She married O. C. Whipple, Dec.
14, 1853, who was born in New York, Sept. 29, 1825. Their
children are— Edwin B., born Jan. 16, 1856; L. O., born May 7,
1860; and Ulmer V., born Jan. 6, 1867. Mr. Whipple died Oct. 17,
1870, at Jonesville, after a very active life, being Supervisor during
two terms, School Director, temperance worker, and a successful farmer.
John N. WINFIELD was born Feb. 7, 1826, in Yates
County, N. Y., son of Henry and Mary (Wilson) Winfield. After
receiving the ordinary education then offered by the district school,
he devoted his attention to the farm. His marriage with Miss
Hannah M. Coykendall took place Dec. 16, 1847; they are the parents of
4 children, namely: Mary, born May 29, 1853, now Mrs. R. S. Towle, of
Beloit, Wis.; John F., 1855; Herbert E., 1858; and Asa L., July 23,
1861. Mr. Winfield remained in New York 12 or 13 years after
marriage, and tenanted the old homestead until his removal to Michigan
in January, 1860, when he purchased the farm where he now resides.
Benjamin WINNE was born March 21, 1815, in
Rensselaer County, N. Y., son of Martin and Annie (Sweet) Winne;
received a limited common-school education; was raised on the
farm. In 1831 he engaged in the farm and lumber business in
Delaware County, where he labored until emigrating Westward May 3,
1837. He located at Saginaw, and cleared the land where East
Saginaw now stands. In July the same year he turned his steps
toward Leoni Township; located at Michigan Center; helped to build the
first mill-dam, and the saw and grist mill the following year. He
married Miss Betsy Naylor in 1834, the mother of Peter Naylor, now of
Grass Lake; was occupied in farming and constructing the M.C. R. R. for
years. In 1841 he married Huldah Laycock, by whom he had 4
children. He engaged in the distillery business at Michigan
Center in 1841, and later worked in Col. Shoemaker's distillery four
years. He removed to Leoni in the fall of 1848 and worked for
William Jackson. The distillery was built at an early period, but
has disappeared. Mr. Winne has now turned his attention to cold
water instead of alcohol; he is known as a well-digger. Mrs. W.
is also an active temperance worker, a member of Leoni Prohibition
Club, of which Jacob Sagendorph has been President for many years; she
also wrought the first Prohibition banner made in the State, and
carried it in procession at the Prohibition convention held at Jackson
in 1874; she is a member (original) of the Woman's Rights Club.
Her husband served with the 1st Michigan Regiment of Mechanics and
Engineers from 1861 to 1863. Her son, Eugene, served with the 2d
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, through the campaign; was wounded several
times, and fell, mortally wounded, while skirmishing outside of
Jackson, Miss., July 11, 1865.