1910 Parma- North Side of Main St
Parma News & Harness Shop - Church St 1914
Michigan Central Depot 1911
Nicholson Residence 1910
Pesbyterian Church 1910
Parma Depot 1909
All Contributed by Paul Petosky
History of Jackson County, Michigan"
organization of this township was effected under an act of the
Legislative Council, approved March 11, 1837, directing that “All that
portion of the County of Jackson, designated in the United States
survey as Township 2 South, of Range 3 West, be and the same is hereby
set off and organized into a separate township, by the name of Parma,
and the first township meeting therein shall be held at the house of
John Graham, in said township.” The first township meeting was
held at the house of John Graham, in April, 1837, at which time John
Barnum was elected supervisor. At a subsequent election, held
Aug. 21 and 22, 1837, for representative 77 votes were polled in the
township, 41 for Isaac S. Crary, and 36 for Hezekiah G. Wells.
The township of Parma was comprehended originally in
the district known as Spring Arbor, which included what are now
designated as the townships of Pulaski, Hanover, Concord, Spring Arbor,
Parma, Sandstone, Springport, and Tompkins.
The first land entered in the township was located
by George Ketchum, being the farm now owned by B. F. King, better known
as the Barber place. Here was kept what was known as "Ball's
Tavern," the name of the occupant being emblematically made known by a
large wooden ball placed on the top of a tamarack pole. This land
was located in 1831, but was not settled upon immediately. The
first permanent settler was Elihu M. Goold, who located a farm, now
owned by Horace King, in the fall of 1832, and came on with his family
June 19, 1833. He was soon surrounded by neighbors, and Parma now
took her place among the prosperous and enterprising settlements of
Jackson County. Henry Nicholson came in 1835 and located land,
and became a settler in 1837.
The first railroad station in this vicinity was opened in 1845, and was
known as Gidley's Station, situated on the line of the Michigan Central
railroad, 86 miles west of Detroit, and 10 miles west of Jackson.
Outside the village there is an old Quaker church,
which, however, is not now occupied, the sect having become almost
extinct in this section, and the Campbell church near the north line of
the town. There are four school districts in the town and six
The surface of the township is generally rolling, it
is very well watered and has a soil unsurpassed in fertility. All
crops raised in Michigan are grown here with certainty and abundance.
On the 25th of January, 1866, a great conflagration
visited Parma village and destroyed much valuable property. The
business portion of the village was entirely destroyed. Since
that time, however, the Aldrich Block and other substantial business
blocks have been erected, and the place is rapidly growing in wealth
The plat of Parma village was made by James M.
Gould, on April 5, 1848. It was first called Groveland.
This was, however, changed to the present name in 1849. The
village was not incorporated until Dec. 31, 1864. The first
election of village officers took place in Washington Hall, on the
first Tuesday in March, 1865. Parma was for years widely known as
Cracker Hill, and even letters for Parma were often so directed.
The first store in Parma was erected by William
Kassick in 1846. Lyman Warren and Lafayette Fisher were
associated in the grocery business, and Walter Fergurson was also
engaged in the same kind of trade at an early day. In 1849 P. E.
Aldrich moved his store here from Gidley's Station, where he had been
both postmaster and merchant. J. P. Robbins, Esq., moved his
store to Parma the same year, and carried on the manufacture of boots
and shoes. Mrs. Zimri Laurence moved in also from Gidley's.
The first warehouse was built by Isaac Cushman, in 1848, the growth of
the County in agricultural wealth demanding a place where goods could
be stored, and where grain and produce could be exchanged or shipped
away. Levi Summers erected a blacksmith shop in 1849, and Asa
Caswell had a shop of the same kind in 1848. Dr. P. K. Gibson was
the first physician in Gidley's, and Dr. Brown at Parma. Dr. A.
B. Crawford and Dr. D. W. Armstrong came shortly after.
The Union church was built in 1851, and was owned
jointly by the Presbyterians and Methodists, one society occupying the
house one week and the other the next. They continued to worship
in this way until 1868, when the Methodists sold out their interest,
and erected a very fine brick church. This church is in the
township of Sandstone, as is also the fine high-school building.
The Baptists have a very good house of worship also.
The village is a pretty and lively place, located
mainly on the south side of the Central railroad, which passes through
it. It has a population of 1,000 people, and is well built up
with excellent private and business houses. It contains three
churches, thirteen stores, a lodge of Masons, Odd Fellows, and Good
Templars, a Grange, one steam flouring-mill, one sash, door and blind
factory, a splendid Union school—which stands among the best in the
State —and the usual number of shops, etc.
Biographical and family sketches of several of the representative
citizens and pioneers follow here as a fitting close of the history of
this part of the County:
John M. BALL, Jr., Parma village, was born in
Cortland County, N. Y., in 1827. His father, John M. Ball, is one
of the early pioneers of Michigan, having come to the State in 1834
from Cortland County, N. Y., and was born in New York city Dec. 10,
1804; his father, Abram Ball, was a land speculator and a native of
Jersey City, and married Phoebe Ogden; he died when John M. was four
years of age; his mother came to Cortland County, where he received his
schooling. He afterward learned the woolen manufacturing business
at Oxford, Chenango Co., where he remained five years; returned to the
town of Willet, and then came here. In 1826 he married Miss Sarah
Barton, daughter of Peter Barton, a thorough and thrifty farmer.
She was born April 28, 1807. His first location in Michigan was
in Washtenaw County, in Pittsfield Township where he engaged in farming
until 1864, then removed to Parma, and for a time engaged in the
grocery trade; in 1878 he closed out his business and retired.
They have raised a family of 10 children, J. M., Jr., being the oldest,
and was seven years of age when his family moved to Washtenaw County;
he received most of his schooling there. He has been a
stock-dealer most of his business life, and has been twice married, the
first time in 1853, to Miss Mary E. Thompson, by whom he had 4
children—George W., Sarah E., Frank A., and Carrie U. Mrs. Ball
died in 1865, and in 1867 Mr. B. married Mrs. Needham Darling, whose
maiden name was Harriet Huntley, daughter of Rufus Huntley, a
blacksmith of Tompkins Township. She had by the first marriage 4
children—Addison M., Theresa A., Rufus O. and Needham M. Mr. and
Mrs. Ball have 2 children—Hattie E. and Rosa O.
Ezra BARNES, son of John and Hannah Barnes, was born
in Saratoga County, N. Y., March 2, 1809. When he was about three
years of age his father's family removed to Delaware County, where he
resided until he was 27 years old; in the spring of 1836 he came to
Michigan. The first two years he lived in Allegan County, and
worked by the month and day until he could get some land in that
County, which he traded for the farm he now owns in Parma. In
May, 1839, he married Mariette Woodworth, daughter of Perry and Lucinda
Woodworth, who died in 1847, leaving 2 children—Lydia B. and Addie
B. In 1852 Mr. Barnes was married to Charity Costor, daughter of
Christopher Costor; she was born in Oswego County, N. Y., in
1811. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes had 2 children—Myron E. and Althea,
dec. Mr. Barnes has always followed farming, in which he has met
with fair success, having now a good home and a farm of several hundred
acres. He has been Justice of the Peace of Parma Township for a
number of terms.
Amasa M. BUCKNUM, M. D., was born in Westtown,
Otsego Co., N. Y., June 28, 1824. He is son of Samuel Bucknum,
who is a native of Dutchess County, N. Y., and was for many years a
farmer there but later a fruit-grower of South Haven, Mich., where he
still resides at the age of 84. He married Clarissa Conkite,
daughter of John Conkite, a German and a farmer of Dutchess
County. Samuel Bucknum was son of Amasa Bucknum. He was a
physician of 50 years' practice at Stanfordville, Dutchess Co., and was
of English nativity and education. Dr. Bucknum came West with his
parents in 1835. They located first in Concord Township, but
removed to Spring Arbor in 1837. He has been twice married; his
first wife was Miss Jane Eddy. Their marriage took place Dec. 11,
1850. She died Sept. 13, 1868, leaving 3 children—Miss Arvilla,
now wife of D. C. Wood, a merchant of Denver, Colorado; Evora, a
teacher of Bay City, Michigan; Henry H., a student in the medical
department of the Michigan University. Sept. 7,1873, he married
Miss Harriet C. King, and by this union they have 2 daughters—Gertie,
born Dec. 30, 1872; Katie, born May 2, 1877. Dr. Bucknum received
his education at the Albany and Castleton medical colleges, and
received the degree of M. D. from the latter in 1849, since which time
he has practiced his profession in Parma with much success. He is
a member of Parma Masonic Lodge No. 183, F. & A. M.; Jackson
Chapter, K. & A. M., and Jackson Commandery, No. 9, Knights
Templar. He is also a member of Jackson County and the Michigan
State medical societies, and the American Medical Association.
Julius E. CLAPP, Parma village, was born Dec. 13,
1840, in Columbia Township, Lorain County, Ohio. His father was
Henry W. Clapp, a shoemaker by trade, whose family consisted of 6
children—Louise M., Henry W., Jr., Mira J., Francis J., Julius E. and
Sarah B.; his wife was Sophronia Clark, daughter of John Clark, a
farmer of Southwick, Mass., where she was born April 23, 1803.
Henry Clapp came to Jackson County in 1834 and settled on a piece of
new land in Sandstone Township. He worked from time to time at
his trade for Mr. Asa M. Petrie, a boot and shoe dealer of Parma.
Julius spent his school days at Sandstone, and afterward learned boot
and shoe making under his father's instructions ; then entered business
with his father in Parma village in 1862. This arrangement
continued until the time of his father's death in 1865; he has since
continued the business alone, on Main street, carrying, in connection
with his manufacturing department, a stock of boots, shoes, harness
fixtures, etc. He married Dec. 28, 1864, Miss Frances A. Andrews,
daughter of John W. Andrews, then of Parma, but later of Teconsha, this
State. They have 2 children—Edward J. and Nellie M.
Wm. M. CONANT, son of Clark and Samantha Conant, was
born in Essex County, N. Y., in September, 1838. His family moved
to Addison County, Vt., while he was yet an infant, where they lived
until 1853, then came to Michigan, settling in the town of Parma, where
Mr. Conant still lives. William M. was married March 7, 1867, to
Mary J. Richardson, daughter of F. F. Richardson, who was born in
Sandstone Township. Dec. 23, 1845. They have 2 children—Blanche
and Maud. Mr. Conant was educated in the schools of Vermont; is a
member of the Parma Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and is engaged in working
his pleasant farm, 2 miles west of the village of Parma.
William W. DEAN was born in De Peyster, N. Y., Oct.
16, 1829. He came West with his father, Nathan Dean, in
1835. He was married to Isabel Chapel, Sept. 23,1852, and they
had 5 children— Frank, Nettie and Emery J., deceased; Fred G. and Mary
J., living. Mr. D. married Maria B. Anderson Feb. 13, 1868; and
they have 1 child—James Arthur. In November, 1852, Mr. Dean
located on section 12, Parma Township, where he has since
resided. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the M.
E. Church. P. 0., Parma.
James DOREMUS, son of Jacob and Esther Doremus, was
born in the town of Romulus, Seneca Co., N. Y., Nov. 4,1809. He
came to Michigan in the spring of 1831, with his father's family,
settling near the Delhi Mills, in Washtenaw County. In January,
1834, he married Rebecca Barber, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth
Barber, of the same place, who was born in Washington County, N. Y., in
1811, and came to Washtenaw County in 1831. Of their 10 children,
but 4 are living—Edward, Thomas, William and Julia.
Mr. Doremus lived near Delhi until the spring of
1840, when he came to Jackson County, settling on a farm about a mile
west of the village, where he still lives. Mrs. Doremus died May
8, 1879. They have both been worthy members of the Presbyterian
Church since their residence in Michigan.
R. J. EDGAR, one of the substantial merchants of
Parma village, and a pioneer of the State, was born in the town of
Salem, Washington Co., N. Y., Feb. 1, 1813. His father, Robert
Edgar, was at that time a farmer of Salem Township; he was a man of
broad views, and in politics an Andrew Jackson Democrat. He
afterward became a resident of Albion, Oswego Co., where he died in
1840, at the age of 72. He was a native of Scotland, and married
Miss Jane McAllister, who was of American descent. Their family
consisted of 6 sons and 2 daughters—David, John H, Robert J., Joseph,
William, Ebenezer, Mary and Sarah. Robert J. was the third son
and received his schooling at Williamstown, Oswego Co., and came to
Michigan in 1839, locating at Grass Lake, Washtenaw Co.; he entered the
mercantile business there, carrying a general stock. In 1844 he
sold his business and made an extended tour through the Western States,
then returned to Michigan and located at Parma, where he has since been
engaged in his chosen calling. Sept. 2, 1855, he married Miss
Elizabeth Acker, daughter of Cornelius Acker, of Orwell, Oswego Co., N.
Y, and they have 1 son-William B., and 1 daughter—Josie M.
Charles W. FAILING, son of Henry and Elizabeth
(Hone) Failing, was born near Marshall, Calhoun Co., Mich., April 19,
1835. His father was a native of New York, and mother of Vermont;
they lived near Rockport, N. Y.; came to Michigan in the spring of
1832, settling near Marshall. They had 4 children—Wesley M.,
Charles N., James H. and Margaret. Mr. F. is now living at Homer,
at the age of 83 years. Mr. Failing, the subject of this sketch,
lived near Marshall until he was 20 years old, when his family moved to
Albion; he lived there three years, going to school and clerking; in
the spring of 1858, they removed to the town of Parma, on the farm
known as the old Graham farm, and a few years later, he and his older
brother bought their present farm. May 16, 1866, he married
Theresa Colby, daughter of Alonzo and Harriet Colby, who was born in
Albion, Mich., Feb. 11, 1841. They have 1 child—Henry A., born
Jan. 22, 1868. Mr. F. is a farmer; both are members of the M. E.
Church, of Albion.
John FARRELL, one of the respected citizens of Parma
village, was born in Longford County, Ireland, Sept. 29, 1807.
His father, Michael, was a farmer of the same County and was born Jan.
1, 1777. John lived in Ireland until 1850, when he sailed from
Dublin to New York. His first work in America was on a farm on
Long Island, where he remained until 1856, then came to Battle Creek,
Mich., and worked at the mason's trade; in three years he came to Parma
village and followed the same business until he acquired a fine
property, then retired from active work. He married, Jan. 21,
1830, Miss Margaret Duffey, daughter of Terence Duffey, a farmer of
Seneca County, N. Y.; they have 7 children living—Mary, now widow of
Michael Harrison; Bridget, now Mrs. Jonas Wall; Maggie, wife of Peter
Furguson; Lawrence, a grocer of Jackson; Kate, now Mrs. Samuel Miller;
Michael, a cooper of Parma, and John, a grocer of Chelsea, Washtenaw
Co. Mr. and Mrs. F. have 30 grandchildren.
Walter FERGUSON, Parma village, is one of the
earliest residents of this section, and was born in Clarence, Erie Co.,
N. Y., Nov. 26, 1812. His father, James Ferguson, was a native of
Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., N. Y., and came to Erie County, in
1811. James was a son of Robert Ferguson, who was a
Scotchman. When Walter was only four years of age his father
died, and his mother, with her family of 13 children, moved to Batavia,
Genesee Co. Walter is the youngest son of the family, and
received his schooling at Batavia, where he lived 14 years; much of his
time was spent on farms in the surrounding country, and two years were
passed in Canada; he came to Michigan in 1831 and settled at Ypsilanti,
Washtenaw Co., bringing his mother with him; they afterward moved to
Sharon Township, where they lived on a farm until 1839, experiencing
the many hardships of an early pioneer life. He next disposed of
his farm property, came to Parma and engaged in general merchandising
in a small, way, but by diligent attention to business and shrewd
economy, he built up a good trade and amassed a large property.
Business reverses overtook him, however, and he was compelled to
sacrifice his property and settle his obligations at a heavy
loss. Mr. Ferguson was married June 1, 1835, to Miss Mary
Perkins, daughter of Annis Perkins, a mechanic of Batavia, N. Y.; she
was born in Smithfield, Bradford Co., Penn., Jan. 28, 1816; their
children are—Anna (deceased), Goodrich, Grace, Ida, Charles, Walter,
Jr., Lamont, Daniel and Elizabeth. Mr. Ferguson's mother was
Hannah Parkhill, a native of Cherry Valley, N. Y., and was born Jan.
23, 1773; she died at Parma in December, 1854.
Henry W. GIFFORD, son of Theron C. and Lydia
(Withey) Gifford, was born in the town of Cambridge, Washington Co., N.
Y., Aug. 8, 1819. His father was of English and his mother of
Scotch descent; both were natives of New York. His father's
family had for many generation been a seafaring people; lived in
Washington County until 14 years of age, when the family moved to Wayne
County, N. Y.; in three year3 they removed to Summit, Cayuga Co., N.
Y., where Henry worked for Captain Fellows for three years, then spent
several years in his native town. In March, 1843, he married
Annie E. Hoag, daughter of Asa Hoag of that place; was born in
Rensselaer County, N. Y., Feb. 2, 1820. In 1844 Mr. Gifford came
to this town, where he has since lived. They have 2
children—Calista, now Mrs. Win. E. Thornton, of Detroit, and Jessie L.,
now Mrs. Frank Teldmon, of Parma. Mr. G. came to this town at an
early day, and has followed farming; he has succeeded in making a good
home for himself and family.
George P. GODFREY, farmer on section 4; P. O.,
Devereaux; was born Jan. 6, 1821, in Bloomingburg, Orange Co., N. Y.,
and is a son of Elijah and Catherine (Slawson) Godfrey, natives of New
York. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools,
and attended the Middlebury Academy. In 1845 he emigrated to this
State, and located in this township, where he has resided ever since;
he has owned and lived on several different farms; he purchased the
site of his present home in the spring of 1855. Was united in
marriage March 7, 1843, to Miss Eunice Coy, born June 27, 1824, in
Orleans County, N. Y. They are the parents of 9 children, 6 of
whom are now living, viz.: Frances J., now Mrs. J. S. Geiger; Charles
H., Harrison W., Frank B., Byron C. and Victor F. The deceased
are—Clark P., Harlow D. and Emmett B. Two of his sons, Charles H.
and Harrison W., enlisted in the war; the former served 22 months, and
the latter six months, and both received honorable discharges at the
close of the war. Mr. G. was elected Justice of the Peace this
spring. He owns 135 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre.
He has given all his children a good start in life. Politically
he is a Republican. He was appointed Postmaster at Devereaux in
the spring of 1880.
N.B. GRAHAM, son of John and Cora Graham, was born
in Painesville O., January, 1825; while he was yet an infant, his
parents removed to Erie County, N. Y., and in September, 1832, settled
in Parma. Here Mr. G. attained the age of manhood, and in
December, 1847, he married Mary Pierce, daughter of James Pierce, who
was born near Rochester, N. Y., in 1830, and came with her parents to
Michigan while yet an infant; she died May 19, 1879, leaving 5
children—Asaph J., Helen, now Mrs. Henry Tunnicliff, of Sandstone;
Elsey, William L. and Mary Jane. Mr. G. has always followed
farming. In 1852 he went to the Golden State, where he spent
about 18 months, then returned to this County. His father, John
Graham, came here in 1832 and purchased a large tract of land in the
west part of Parma Township; he built a hotel, over which he presided
many years, and as a landlord he became known through Southern
Michigan. Here the first ball in Jackson County was given.
The pioneers came from far and near to attend it, and the receipts for
the evening were $11. In 1845, Mr. Graham built the Bath
Mills. He died in October, 1848, at the age of 63 years. He
served in the war of 1812; his 9 children are all dead except the
subject of this sketch.
Daniel HEDDEN, a resident of Parma village, and one
of its most thorough-going merchants, was born Jan. 26, 1827, at
Phillipstown, Putnam Co., N. Y. His father, Clark Hedden, was a
farmer, a native of Fishkill, Dutchess Co., N. Y.; his grandfather,
Moses Hedden, was also a farmer, and was born in the old town of Rye,
Westchester Co., N. Y. Mr. Hedden lived in the vicinity of his
native home until 1853, and received his schooling there. He
learned the currier and cloth-dresser's trade, and afterward the
tailor's trade, to which business he has since given his principal
attention. His father's family consisted of 6 children, Daniel
being the second. He came West in 1854 and located in Parma
village, opened a tailoring shop, and since that time has enjoyed a
steadily increasing patronage and the esteem and confidence of his
patrons and fellow citizens. March 8, 1849, he married Miss Mary
Hiller, daughter of Garret Hiller (deceased), of Wappinger, Dutchess
Co., N. Y.; she was born at the above place Dec. 1, 1829. Mr. and
Mrs. Hedden are members of the Methodist Church, and in politics he is
James HELMER, son of Philip and Lania (Harter)
Helmer, natives of New York, and of Dutch ancestry, was born in
Manlius, Onondaga Co., N. Y., Jan. 17, 1820. His mother died when
he was two years old; after her death he lived with his grandmother and
aunt until nine years of age, then worked on various farms for seven
years, after which he was bound out for five years to learn the
blacksmith's trade, which trade he followed until 1847; he then
followed the Erie canal two months, sinking $600, all he had. In
the fall of the same year he emigrated to Michigan, and followed his
trade and anything he could find to do. In 1853 he purchased his
present home, where he resided two years and sold out and returned to
New York, remaining there one year, then returned to Michigan. In
1866 he purchased the old homestead again and has resided there ever
since. Was united in marriage Sept. 15, 1843, to Miss Laura J.
Worden; they are the parents 6 children, 5 of whom are living, viz.:
Albert M., John, William H., James E. and Joseph. He has held the
office of Township Treasurer two years, and Highway Commissioner one
year. Mrs. H. is a member of the M. E. Church. Mr. H. now
owns 180 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre. Politically, he
is a Democrat, and a hard worker in the temperance cause; farmer on
section 2; P. O., Parma.
John HOAG, son of Asa and Elizabeth Hoag, was born
in Rensselaer County, N. Y., in March, 1818. He was reared on his
father's farm, receiving his education in the common schools of the
county. In 1836 he married Caroline Hunter, daughter of Jeremiah
and Betsey Hunter, of Rensselaer County, who was born in this county
October, 1815; they have 7 children—Anson, Mary, now Mrs. Wm. Ludlow;
Abram, Frances, George, William, and Delphine. Mr. Hoag was
raised a Quaker, his family having been adherents to that faith for
many generations. In the spring of 1842 he came to Michigan,
settling in Parma, in what is known as Quakertown, where he still
lives. He has followed farming during his life, in which he has
been quite successful. For several years past he has been engaged
in dealing in grain at Devereaux, quite extensively.
John B. HUBERT, farmer on section 14; P. O., Parma;
was born Aug. 7, 1810, in Roxbury, Morris Co., New Jersey. His
parents were Peter and Sally (Bellows) Hubert, natives of New Jersey
and Connecticut. He was reared on a farm and received an
elementary education in the common schools. At the age of 20
years he went to New York State and resided there about 14 years.
In 1844 he came to Michigan and located on his present farm. Was
united in marriage June 14, 1834, to Miss Sally M. Waldron, born May 6,
1812, in Dryden, Tompkins Co., N. Y.; they are the parents of 6
children, of whom 2 are now living, viz.: Bradford L. and Edwin
G. Mr. H. and his estimable wife started for Michigan with 3
children, in company with Mr. Miner, in a wagon; after getting 40 miles
on their journey 1 of their children was taken sick and they were
compelled to stop; the child died after 10 days sickness. They
then went back to Dryden, N. Y., and started via water; the next day
after their arrival in Ingham County., Mich., one of the other children
was taken sick and died; they then came to this township. He has
seen a great many hardships, but has survived them all. He owns
75 acres of land, valued at $50 an acre. His son, Bradford L.,
was born Oct. 9, 1845, in Parma Township, and now resides in section
13; he was reared on a farm and received a fair education, and also
took a commercial course in the Albion College and graduated. He
remained at home until 21 years of age. Was united in marriage
Sept. 10,1867, to Miss Elizabeth Hemingway, born Nov. 30, 1845, in
Northfield, Washtenaw Co., this State. They are the parents of 3
children, viz.: Franklin E., Jennie E. and Bertha E. He owns 90
acres of land, valued at $60 per acre. Politically he is a Republican.
John JEWELL was born Oct. 2, 1817, in Dutchess
County, N. Y., and is a son of Isaac and Charity (Shaw) Jewell, natives
of New York. He was brought up on a farm and educated in the
common schools. In 1843 he emigrated to this State and located in
Springport Township, where he purchased a farm of 120 acres of timber
land; he cleared the land and built a residence and other
buildings. He resided there until 1867, when he sold out and
purchased a farm in Hillsdale County, and resided there three years,
when he sold that place and went to New York and stayed about six
months; then returned to this County and purchased the site of
his present home. Was united in marriage Dec. 19, 1840, to
Miss Abigail Barton, born July 4, 1816. They are the parents of 2
children, viz.: William H. and Martha A., the latter now
deceased. Mrs. J. is a member of the M. E. Church. Mr. J.
now owns 70 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre. Politically he
is a Republican; farmer on section 1; P. 0., Parma.
Sylvester S. KEELER is a native of New York; came
West in 1814, and located on section 12, Parma Township; where he now
resides. He married Mrs. Cullem, of Rockford, Ill., and they have
3 children. Mr. Keeler is a member of the National Greenback
party. P. O., Parma.
Oscar S. LUDLOW, son of Stephen and Ann (Star)
Ludlow, natives of New York, and of Welsh descent. He was born
Oct. 30, 1844, in Springport Township, Jackson County, Mich., and was
reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. He remained
at home until 23 years of age, then purchased a farm on section 1,
where he now resides. Was married Feb. 27, 1870, to Miss Harriet
Landon, by whom he had 1 child, Stephen H. Mrs. Ludlow's parents,
Ezekiel and Dorcas Landon, came to this State in 1837, and located in
Parma Township, where they resided until their death; her father died
Sept. 25, 1867, and mother Sept. 25, 1857. He has held the office
of Township Treasurer one term. Mr. Ludlow is a member of the
Congregational Church and his wife a member of the M. E. Church.
He owns 274 acres of land, valued at $70 per acre. Politically,
he is a Prohibitionist; farmer, on section 1; P. 0., Parma.
Clark W. MACKYE, (deceased) was born in New Paltz,
Ulster Co., N. Y., March 6, 1803; only son of John Mackye, a farmer of
that county. He was educated at New Paltz and came to Michigan in
1832; settled in Parma Township, and located 160 acres of land
adjoining the present village of Parma. From time to time he
added to his estate until he owned 300 acres. He married, Oct. 6,
1827, Miss Margaret Dunn, daughter of Robert Dunn, a farmer of Ulster
County; she was born Aug. 8, 1807, and has had 10 children—Arad,
Caroline, now Mrs. Philo Hicks, of Parma, Elizabeth, Jeremiah, Jane,
Harriet, Elihu, Mary, and Vilinda.
Charles MC GEE, for the past 21 years a resident and
business man of Parma village, was born in Bolton, Warren Co. N. Y.,
Feb. 27, 1821. His father, Thomas McGee, was a shoemaker by
trade, also a farmer, and settled on section 22, Concord Township, in
1832, with a family of 10 children—Sarah, J. T. Storr, Mary, Henry,
Charles, Thomas, Edward, Melville, Evelina C. and Frederick. The
mother of this family was Miss Polly Storr, and a native of Washington
County, N. Y. Charles received his schooling in Concord Township,
learned the molder's trade, and came to the village of Parma in
1861. In 1864 he entered the foundry business on Main street,
where he has to the present time done a paying and thriving
business. Feb. 22, 1849, he married Miss Mary E. Cushman,
daughter of Joseph F. Cushman, of Pulaski, and they have 3
children—Alice A., Sarah E. and Charles. Mrs. McGee died Oct. 29,
1865, and Mr. McGee married, Nov. 19, 1866, Miss Caroline Knowles, of
Parma village, daughter of William Knowles, a farmer of Parma Township;
they have 2 children—Henry E. and Thomas E. Mr. McGee is a Good
Templar, and himself and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church of
John NICHOLSON was born Nov. 13,1841, in Parma
Township, Jackson Co., Mich. His parents were Henry and Elizabeth
(McNab) Nicholson, and of Irish-Scotch descent. He was reared on
a farm. His father came to Michigan in 1836, and entered 120
acres of land of the Government in Parma Township; he returned to New
York the same year. In 1838 he returned and settled on his farm,
where he remained until his death, which occurred July 19, 1878; his
mother died Oct. 28, 1875. He was united in marriage Jan. 23,
1867, to Miss Mary A. Davis, by whom he has had 3 children, namely:
Caroline, Charles H. and William C. Mr. N. has held several
township offices. He now owns 210 acres of land, valued at $60
per acre. Politically he is a Greenbacker; P. O., Parma.
Mrs., N.'s parents emigrated to Michigan in 1836, and settled on
section 20, where he resided until 1874; he now follows the shoemaker's
trade at Albion, Mich.; her mother died Dec. 16,1861.
Merritt PECKHAM, son of Benjamin Peckham, was born
in Parma, Feb. 11, 1841. When he was 18 years of age he went with
his father's family to Albion; in a short time he returned to the farm,
where he resided until Aug. 9, 1862, when he enlisted in Co. E, 20th
Mich; served through the war, and was discharged in May, 1865.
The next three years he spent in traveling in different parts of the
United States; the summer of 1868 he spent in the State of New
York. Here he became acquainted with Helen M. Wilcox, daughter of
Charles Wilcox, of Sterling, Cayuga Co., N. Y., and Oct. 28, 1868, they
were married. Mrs. P. was born in Lansing, Rensselaer Co., N. Y.,
Dec. 25,1848. Soon after their marriage they came to Parma, where
they have since lived. They have 1 child—Benjamin. Mr. P.
is engaged quite extensively in stock-raising and farming.
Oliver W. PERRY was born May 22, 1815, in
Canada. His father, James Perry, was born in 1784, in Malone, N.
Y., and died in this township, Aug. 8, 1849. His mother was a
native of Rutland, Vermont, where she was born in 1787, and died in
1835, in Murray, Orleans Co., N. Y. Mr. Perry came to this State
from Orleans County, in June, 1837. In 1839 he bought 40 acres of
land, which he sold in 1845, and the next year purchased the present
farm, consisting of 107 acres of land in sections 29 and 32; it is
considered among the best farms in the vicinity, and is located three
miles east of Albion. There are two dwellings on the place, one
of which is occupied by Mr. Perry's son, O. H. Perry, who works the
farm. Mr. Perry married Sophronia Graham, Mar. 16, 1843, and they
have had 3 children, as follows: Daniel M., born June 28, 1844, and
died Oct. 18, 1863; Mary E., born in February, 1846, and died, aged one
day; Oliver H., born Jan. 16, 1847. The mother died Aug. 10,
1849; she was the daughter of John and Chloe Graham, of Parma.
Sept. 16, 1852, Mr. Perry married Mrs. Sarah Graham, widow of Lorenzo
Graham, of Parma; their 5 children were—Olivia, born Jan. 11, 1858,
died Aug. 31,1865; Ida, Feb. 10, 1860, died Feb. 2, 1861; Sobina, Jan.
7, 1862, died Aug. 30, 1865; Jennie M., March 7, 1864, died Aug.
27,1865; William P., Feb. 29, 1868; Mrs. Perry died Oct. 11, 1880; she
was the daughter of Isaac and Phebe Lewis, of New York. Oliver H.
Perry was married July 2, 1871, to Mary J. Williams, of Brookfield,
Eaton Co., Mich; she died Sept. 6, 1872. Nov. 5, 1873, Mr. Perry
married Mary Verplank, of Albion. Their children are—Sobina, born
Jan. 26,1875; Jessie M., June 21, 1877; and Daniel H., Nov. 26,
1880. Mrs. Perry is the daughter of D. H. and Abigail Verplank,
and was born Dec. 6, 1848. Her mother died Feb. 2, 1881.
Mr. O. H. Perry is a member of the Odd Fellows order of Albion.
His family descended from four brothers who came from England at an
early date, and three of whom settled in the Southern States.
Daniel D. PETRIE, Parma village, was born April 15,
1830, and is a son of Peter D. Petrie (deceased) who was a shoemaker by
trade, and emigrated from his native town, Little Falls, Herkimer Co.,
N. Y., where he was born Dec 29, 1800. Peter D. was a son of
Peter D. Petrie, who was a native of Germany and one of the early
pioneers of Western New York. He was a miller and mill owner, and
was murdered by a band of Mohawk Indians in his own mill, but not until
he had killed seven of the savages with his only defensive weapon, a
sled stake. Peter D. Petrie, Jr., had 4 sons: Sherman, Austin,
Daniel and Asa. He was a shoemaker by trade, which business he
followed until he came to Michigan in 1838, locating 560 acres of land
in Concord Township. He married Mrs. Ann Bucher, widow of Sherman
Bucher; her maiden name was Ann Merrill, her people being Jersey
Dutch. Daniel D. was married May 27, 1855, to Miss Charlotte
Walker, daughter of Asa Walker, a business man of New York city, and
they have 5 children, viz.: Alice M., Carrie A., Lawrence B., Ward L.
Asa M. PETRIE was the fourth and youngest son of
Peter D. Petrie, Jr., and was born in Lenox, Madison Co., Aug. 16,
1832, and came West with the-family as above stated. He received
his first schooling at Concord, and finished at Albion, Calhoun
Co. He learned the shoe and harness maker's trade of his father,
and came to Parma and entered business in that line in 1854, where he
has since lived, commanding a lucrative trade. He married Feb. 2,
1853, Miss Caroline F. Brunson, daughter of William Brunson, an early
settler, having come to Parma in 1837. They have had 6
children—Orlando M., Emma M., Carrie A., Myrtie M., Edith Grace and
Frederick F. RICHARDSON, a retired farmer of Parma
village, was born in Leroy Township, Genesee County, N. Y., March 21,
1815. His father, Jared Richardson, was a native of New England,
and a farmer by occupation. Jared Richardson married Lovina
Butterfield, a native of New Hampshire. Their family consisted of
6 sons and 2 daughters—Jared L., Frederick T., Abram C, Sophia L., E.
Wesley, Manly B., Lenora L. and William N. They lived in Leroy
Township until 1826, and moved to Chautauqua County, where they
remained until 1834, then came to Michigan and settled in the town of
Romeo, Lenawee Co. Here they remained but two years, and came to
Sandstone. Frederick moved to Parma Township, and settled on
section 26; lived there until 1881, when, owing to loss of health, he
sold, and has retired to Parma village. He was married Jan. 14,
1844, to Miss Emma C. Fellows, daughter of Silas Fellows, a farmer of
Washington County, N. Y. He came West in 1840 and located in
Sandstone. They have had 4 children —Mary J., now Mrs. William
Conant; Charles F., Mabel, now Mrs. Franklin Sampson; Sophia is
Philip SMITH was born May 2, 1805, in Camborough,
Canada. He was the son of Jabez and Charity Smith; father was
born in 1766, in Massachusetts, and died in Canada in 1849; mother was
a native of New Jersey, and died when Philip was five years of
age. The latter removed to this State in 1868, previous to which
time he pursued the vocation of farmer and builder. He purchased
72 acres in section 33, on which he lives, and also owns 105 acres
lying in Concord, opposite his residence in Parma. Politically he
is a Republican. Feb. 21, 1833, he married Ann Eliza Hurd, of
Yates, Orleans Co., N. Y., daughter of Isaac and Phebe Hurd, natives of
New Jersey, and was born Jan. 5, 1809, in Lansing, Tompkins Co., N.
Y. From this marriage they have 3 children—Orris, born Feb. 16,
1835; Wells, July 20, 1836; and Henry J., June 18, 1838. The last
named enlisted in the 17th Independent Battery, N. Y. Vol., under Capt.
Geo. P. Anthony. His period of enlistment was three years,
and the war closed but three months previous to its
expiration. P. O., Albion.
Lewis VER VALEN is the youngest of a family of 6
sons, and was born in La Grange, Dutchess Co., N. Y., Sept.
2,1838. His father, Abram Ver Valen, was a farmer of Dutchess
County, and married Catharine Dubois, daughter of Lewis Dubois, a
native of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., as was also her father. Lewis
received his schooling at Lagrange, and acquired the wagon-makers'
trade. He came West and located at Parma village in 1865, and
established his present wagon manufacturing and general repairing
business. In 1868 he married Miss Hattie Ward, daughter of Deacon
F. B. Ward, one of the earliest and most highly esteemed pioneers of
Spring Arbor Township. They have 1 son—Ward.
John WOODLIFF is the son of John and Mary Ann
(Raisin) Woodliff, natives of Lincolnshire, England. His father
was born in 1813 and died in this township Nov. 7, 1860; his mother was
born about the year 1811, and is still living in Summit. Mr.
Woodliff was born in Lincolnshire, England, June 12, 1843, and came
with his parents to this country when eight years old. He learned
the trade of builder and has pursued it with success. He owns 40
acres of land in section 34, valued, with the buildings, at
$4,000. Five years ago he built a handsome and commodious house
which is an ornament to the place. He married March 17, 1872,
Julia Hammill, of this township; a sister of James Hammill, attorney of
Jackson. They have 3 children, as follows: Mark, born Feb. 11,
1873; James H., March 30, 1876, and Mary V., Jan. 14, 1878. Mrs.
W. is the daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Higgins) Hammill, both of
whom are still living. She was born at Springport, June 23,
1847. Mr. Woodliff is located five miles from Albion, one and
one-fourth from Concord station, and three miles from Parma. He
is National in politics. P. O., Parma.
Deodatus E. WRIGHT was born April 27, 1812, in
Williamstown, Mass. His father, Frederick Wright, was born in
Berkshire County, Mass., in 1785, and died in 1859, in Sheridan,
Calhoun Co. He came to this State in 1836 and settled in
Concord. His wife, Sophia (Thomas) Wright, was born in
Massachusetts in 1781, and died in Parma in 1848. In 1837 Mr. D.
E. Wright came to this town, remaining a part of a year, then returned
to New York to dispose of his property and remove his family, which he
accomplished in May, 1839, settling on section 30. Oct. 12, 1836,
he married Serena Fox, of Huron, Wayne Co., N. Y.; born May 25,1816, in
Huron. Her father, Roswell Fox, was a native of Connecticut, and
died when his daughter was two years old. Her mother was born in
Canada, and died in March, 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Wright have had 10
children, whose births occurred in the following order: Nathan E. was
born April 26, 1838, and died April 11, 1874; Charlotte E. was born
April 6,1840; Hannah was born Oct. 12, 1843, and died March 22, 1844;
James K. was born March 3, 1844; Asahel P. was born Aug. 15, 1846;
Alberts., March 9, 1848; Smith W., Nov. 30, 1851, and died Sept. 27,
1873; Philo D., Feb. 14, 1854; L. T. A. I., June 25, 1856; Ida A., Feb.
29, 1864. James K. and L. T. A. I. are attorneys, practicing law
at St. Louis, Mich. A. P. is engaged in the hardware trade in the
same place. Albert is a farmer in Huron County, and Philo D. is
on the homestead with his parents. Mr. Wright purchased 50 acres
of land on his first journey to Michigan, to which he has added from
time to time until he now owns 160 acres, beside 40 acres in Eaton
County. He has been Supervisor 11 years, and Justice of the Peace
33 years. He belongs to the National party. P. O., Albion.
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