Rives Township
History

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Methodist Church 1910 Rives Junction
Methodist Church 1910 Rives Junction
Contributed by Paul Petosky

From "The History of Jackson County, Michigan" 1881



   Samuel Prescott, one of the first settlers of the county, was born at Sanbornton, N. H., Aug. 31, 1800, and wrote the following interesting reminiscences for Hon. H. H. Bingham, President of the County Pioneer Society, in 1879;
    "The first family that settled north of Jackson, down the Grand river, was that of Lyman Pease.  He arrived in the summer of 1830, and the same season broke 10 acres of ground, which he sowed to wheat.  The same fall John McConnell came, and put in three acres of wheat, and was followed the same season by James and Osgood Fifield, with their families; also by Stephen Fifield, George Fifield, William Fifield and John Stephens.  In June 1831, Samuel Wing and family, Edward Morrill and Samuel Prescott moved in also.  In the spring of 1832 Rosevelt Davis and family settled in the same neighborhood, and early the following year, 1833, Nathaniel Morrill, Stephen Towne and families also became settlers in Blackman.  About this time Samuel Prescott sold his place to Mr. Morrill, and bought a farm on sec. 34, in Rives.  He was the first settler in that town.  This was in 1834.  The same year John Berry and Eleazer Clark moved into Rives, and in the fall Isaac Kirby and Charles Evans settled on the east side of Grand river, and Joseph Whitney, William Whitney and Pardon T. Fisher and families took up land north of Grand river, on the Grand river road.  This was the first surveyed road north of Jackson.  About the same time Milton J. Draper, Alfred Draper and Lyman Draper settled in the northwest part of Rives.  Robert H. Anderson moved in also, in 1835, and Philip Van Horn and family in 1836.  In 1834 Samuel Prescott erected the first house in the township."
    The town was organized into its present township limits in 1837, the first town meeting being held at the house of Oliver True, who lived on section 27.  E. B. Chapman was elected supervisor.  After they had got together, they found that no one had provided paper, pens or ink, and one of the men had to walk three miles to the nearest house to procure the requisite articles.
    Samuel Prescott was the first postmaster in the town, an office being established at his house, and called the West Rives post-office.  The present postoffice is located at Rives Junction, a small settlement which has sprung up in the woods since the Grand Rapids and Lansing roads formed their junction at this place.  Sarah Prescott, a daughter of Samuel Prescott, was the the first child born in the town.
     Mr. Chapman, father of the first female child born in Jackson County, was the first supervisor of Rives, and Alva True, father of the first twin male children born in the county, second Supervisor.  It is thought that these were the first male children born in the county.
    The Free-Will Baptist Church of Rives was organized in October, 1838.  The first members were: Asahel King and wife, Jesse Cole and wife, H. G. Cole and wife, Jesse Brown and wife, Nancy Merrill and David Brown.  The meeting at which this organization was completed was held within the log house of H. G. Cole, on section 21, S. W. of N. E. quarter.  The weekly meetings were held in the house of H. G. Cole for some years, until the erection of the log building, near the present school-house, in which their meetings were held for a period of three years, when the old log house gave place to a more pretentious frame building, and in this they assembled weekly for about five years.  After this the authorities ordered that school buildings should be reserved for school purposes only, and so the congregation was forced to meet in their primitive and original church, referred to above as the log building.
    In 1863 a brick school-house supplanted the frame, and in this building their meetings were held until Nov. 9, 1880, when the new church of Rives was dedicated.  The corner-stone of this church was laid in May, 1880, and the building opened for worship in November of the same year.  The local press noticed the important event thus: "The new Baptist church at Rives Junction was dedicated on Tuesday, Nov. 9, the dedicatory sermon being preached by Rev. Theodore Nelson, of East Saginaw.  The attendance was large, and the debt of $350 on the building was-promptly raised.  This is the first church erected in Rives township."
    The elders connected with the Church in Rives from 1838 to the present time are:—Messrs. Haddo, 1838; Whitman, 1838; Handee, 1841; E. Freeman, 1843; F. Freeman, 1845-6; J. S. Osborn. 1846;. missionary preacher, 1854; Allen, 1856; Dunham, 1858; Lemon, 1860.  The Church of Rives was without a regularly paid minister for a period bordering on 10 years, after which Mr. Fressenden took charge and held the position for eight years.  Rev. Lyman Trumbull, Jr., succeeded and still continues to administer to the mission.  The membership comprised 60 communicants, but recently has fallen to 30.
    The elders connected with the Church in Rives from 1838 to the present time are:—Messrs. Haddo, 1838; Whitman, 1838; Handee, 1841; E. Freeman, 1843; F. Freeman, 1845-6; J. S. Osborn. 1846;. missionary preacher, 1854; Allen, 1856; Dunham, 1858; Lemon, 1860.  The Church of Rives was without a regularly paid minister for a period bordering on 10 years, after which Mr. Fressenden took charge and held the position for eight years.  Rev. Lyman Trumbull, Jr., succeeded and still continues to administer to the mission.  The membership comprised 60 communicants, but recently has fallen to 30.
A farmers' club exists at Rives, which is alive institution, resolved to sustain the interests of the farming community with as much zeal and skill as other interests are maintained.  At present D. H. Ranney is president and A. E. Butler, secretary; Caleb An-gevine, Alva C. True, John Grady, John True and others are also-active members.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

    We add a number of interesting personal sketches, as illustrative of the high standing of this enterprising township:
   
    Marvin ANDERSON, farmer; P. O., Jackson; was born in Tompkins Township, this county, Dec. 22, 1839, a son of Col. R. H. Anderson, of Irish ancestry.  He lived with his father until he was 21 years old, when he engaged in farming for himself, on one of his father's farms located in Rives and adjoining the old homestead.  Jan. 31, 1866, he was married to Miss Adelaide Esmond, a native of Michigan, and of American ancestry.  They have had 4 children, all of whom are living.  He has been solicited repeatedly to take some of the offices of his Township, but not desiring to be thus encumbered, he has declined.  His early education was acquired at a district school, but since his school-days he has improved his time by reading good books.  The improvements on the place were put there by him; he has built a house, barn and made other improvements of a like character until now the place is one of the best in the Township.  The farm was a part of the old homestead given him by his father.  Mr. Anderson's politics are Democratic.

    R. H. ANDERSON, farmer, section 32; P. O., Jackson; was born in Ireland, March 10, 1810, and removed with his parents to this country in 1817, landing in the harbor of New York after a boisterous voyage of about one month.  He remained with his parents until 1834, when he came to Michigan and settled in Jackson County, Rives Township, where he remained until about 1836, when he moved to what is now Tompkins Township, but after living there for some considerable time, he became dissatisfied and returned to Rives, where he has since resided.  He was elected Vice-President of the Pioneer Society for the town of Rives in 1878 and is holding the office at the present time.   Being the fifth settler in Rives, he is very closely connected with the history of the township even before its organization, although he has lived in other townships in the county and might be termed a pioneer settler, yet we think that having first settled in Rives and now a resident of that township, we will be safe in putting him down as one of its pioneers.  In 1838 he named Tompkins Township; there being three names before the commissioner, a choice became necessary, and Mr. Anderson's name prevailed, and the town has since been called Tompkins.  In 1850 he was elected Representative to the State Legislature, but never qualified; in the same year he was elected Associate Judge, which office he held, with credit to himself as well as to those who elected him, for one term; not wishing to engage in active political life, he would not consent to a re-nomination, although repeatedly solicited to do so, and after the expiration of the term, he returned to his farm and has since been engaged in farming.  Mr. Anderson takes a great interest in the history of his county, and it is to him and others we are indebted for the success with which we have met.  He has been elected to every office in the township, with the exception of Supervisor.  A portrait of Mr. Anderson will be seen in this work, p. 731.

    Caleb ANGEVINE, farmer; P. O., Leslie, Ingham Co., Mich.; was born in the State of New York, July, 1825, son of Bartholomew and Sarah (Peters) Angevine; came with his parents to the State of Michigan in the spring of 1854 and settled on section 24, Rives Township, Jackson Co., where he resided until the spring of 1876, when he moved to Ingham County, village of Leslie, but in the spring of 1880 he moved back to Rives Township, and went upon his farm, where he has since resided.  In 1851 he married, and has had 4 children: Sarah, Maggie, Ida and Nettie.  Mr. Angevine has been Supervisor of Rives Township 7 years, and of Leslie, one; he administered the affairs of the Township so well that it was only by his removal that the office was given to another of the worthy citizens; his father came to the State rather fore-handed, and bought a large tract of land, which, at his death, was divided among his children.  Being a number one farmer he has added to the fortune left him by his aged father, and to-day he is one of Rives' first citizens in every respect.  In politics Mr. Angevine has been a Republican since the organization of the party, until recently, when he cast his influence and vote with the Greenbackers.  His early education was rather limited, going to school in the winter and working on the farm in the summer; but since he left school he has acquired a very extended knowledge by reading good and useful books.

    Edward BLACKMORE, farmer, was born in Genesee county, N. Y., June 14, 1842, of English ancestry; his father came to this country in 1837; lived with his parents until their death.  In 1848 they moved to the State of Michigan and located on section 14, Rives Township, where they lived until their death.  Aug. 15, 1869, he was married to Miss Rhoda Miner, a native of this State.  By this union there were born 4 children, all of whom are living.  In April, 1880, his wife died, leaving this large family of small children in the care of her youngest sister, who, by the appearance, takes the place, as nearly as one can, of the deceased mother.  Mr. Blackmore's early education was obtained at common district schools, and these were attended only in winter, when there was nothing else to do; but after he had arrived at the age of manhood, he went to several high schools, and since that time he has improved his mind by reading useful books.  He has been Township Superintendent of Public Schools.  This office he held for several terms, with credit to himself as well as to his constituents.  Other offices of the township have been tendered him by his fellow townsmen, but he has no time for such delicacies.
    Mr. Blackmore has in his possession an old clock, owned by his father, Jesse Blackmore.  Fearing lest there would be no clocks in America, he bought this one in the old country and brought it to the States.  He was surprised to find that there were clocks here.  It keeps good time, and has never been repaired since he has owned it.
    He is a member of the M. E. Church, as was his wife in her lifetime.

    Wm. BLACKMORE, farmer, of English descent, was born in Devonshire, England, June 26, 1823; in 1831 his father immigrated to this country, landing in New York after a stormy and perilous voyage of 21 days, and immediately moved his family to Genesee County, N. Y., where he remained until the spring of 1850, when he moved to the State of Michigan and settled in Rives Township, Jackson county.  In 1843, May 21, Mr. Wm. Blackmore married Miss Julia Ann Farley, a native of New York, born Feb. 11, 1826, of American ancestry, and in 1848 he immigrated to this State and located on section 24, Rives Township, Jackson County, where he resided until 1854, when he purchased a farm of 60 acres in section 12, in the same town and county, where he has since resided.   Upon his arrival he had but 50 cents, and he cut and split rails for the first cow that he ever owned; he soon after bought a few young cattle and put them on the place; by selling these he made the first payment on his place of $500; from this time on he has been prosperous and has never been unable to meet any of his many demands.  His family has consisted of himself and wife, they never having had any children; he has been obliged to do all the work alone with the exception of what he has hired.  A few years since, his health being poor, he determined to return to his native land and there live the remainder of his days.  Extensive preparations were made, and in the course of a few months they were completed, and we imagine seeing him impatiently awaiting the Eastern bound train which would carry him with lightning speed to America's great metropolis, where he was to take steamer for Liverpool and from thence by rail to his birthplace.  After a calm and speedy voyage of but 10 days, his destination was reached in safety.  He was disappointed; the country and climate were not what he had anticipated they would be, and after a brief visit of two or three days, he took his leave, returning again to Liverpool by rail, set sail for New York, getting into Jackson after an absence of only 22 days.
    He has held nearly every office in his township and is at present Supervisor, which office he has held for nearly 10 years.  Mr. Blackmore and wife are honored and respected members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He has a commission to preach, which was granted by the General Conference in 1873.  He is a strong advocate of Republican principles, and has been elected to all its offices in the township.

    Samuel BOLTON (deceased); P. O., Leslie; was born in Lebanon County, Pa., Feb. 14, 1812, and is by trade a blacksmith.  In 1836 he migrated to Wayne County, Ohio, where he united in marriage with Miss Shuey, a daughter of Henry Shuey, a native of Pennsylvania, born Nov. 25, 1819.  They have 4 sons and 3 daughters, 4 of whom are living—John H., Jerry, Mollie and Kate.  Mr. Bolton died Aug. 2, 1877, a man highly respected by all who knew him.  He left his widow in comfortable circumstances.  Had 3 sons in the army—John H., William and Jerry.

    H. G. COLE, farmer; P. O., Rives Junction; was born in Concord, N. H., Feb. 17, 1808, of American ancestry; he resided with his parents in Concord until 1810, when they moved to New Jersey, taking him with them.  In 1835 he with several others, was attacked with the Western fever, and immediately started for what was then known as the far West; they came to Jackson county, and commenced prospecting for a future home; having at last chosen a favorable location he returned, and in the spring of 1836 he immigrated with his family to the Territory of Michigan.   He traveled by canal from Syracuse to Buffalo, and from Buffalo to Detroit by steamer, and from there to Jackson with a team; they had considerable difficulty in crossing the swamps, miring at times, and having to call to their assistance some fellow traveler who had a good yoke of oxen.

    Marvin, DORRELL, farmer; P. O., Jackson; was born in Mohawk County, N. Y., April 17, 1801, and remained with his parents until 1821, when he bought his time and got a power of attorney from his father to make contracts, etc., and have them binding, after which time he remained in the same county, until the spring of 1833, when he went to Herkimer County, N. Y.  During seven years of his time he was engaged in Farming—from 1828 to 1835; he was Constable and Sheriff, and did collecting.  During the years 1835-'6 and '7 he was Captain of a boat on the Erie Canal.  Thinking there were greater inducements being held out to young men in the West he came to the State of Michigan, in the year 1837, and located on section 20 in Rives Township.  Previous to coming to Jackson County he sent a draft for $1,400 by Allen Bennett to purchase land in Jackson County.  Mr. Bennett was to have half of the profits, or 14 per cent, of the entire investment; the former was given.  In 1834 he married Miss Mary B. Sargeant, native of the State of New York.  Upon arriving in Jackson, he left his family in the city, and hired their board for about one month, when he became tired of the prosy life of Jacksonburgh, and rented a log house about one mile north from where he now lives, until he could build.  In the fall of 1837 he built a log house 18x26, and moved into it.  He remained on this place for about 10 years, when in 1847 he was selected as Deputy Sheriff by the agent, and confirmed by the State Board of Inspection; there he remained for four years; at the expiration of his time, not fancying the work which he had to perform, he concluded to retire from active life.  For a few years he lived in the city of Jackson, and did nothing but look after the interests of his many farms; but being a man unaccustomed to so tame and moderate a life, again engaged in business.  In the year 1870 he bought half interest in the carriage factory at Jackson.  But owing to the hard times and manipulations of unscrupulous men, he sunk nearly $50,000 in less than seven years.  Being thus pilfered of a large fortune he returned to his farm in Rives, on section 30, where he has since resided.  While engaged in the carriage business he purchased one-third interest in the Gravel Road, and expended $2,000 in repairing.  The public becoming incensed, tried to get a bill passed annulling the power of the corporation, but not succeeding in this they at last compromised, and Mr. Dorrell agreed to give up the road by a certain time if they would use their influence in obtaining travel, that he might recover the money expended in putting the road in repairs; they did not do this, and when the time had arrived to withdraw and give up possession, concluded that as they had not lived up to their part of the contract he was under no obligations to them and would continue to take toll until he had secured the money outlaid in graveling. Public feeling now ran high, and a band of masked men took the gate-keeper and bound him to a tree, and set fire to the buildings; after they had consummated their diabolical scheme they loosed him; immediately he informed Mr. Dorrell, who went in search of the incendiaries, but now ace of them could be found; since this time the road has been in the hands of the people.    Mr. Dorrell, has 1 child.

    Lyman DRAPER, farmer, sec. 31; P. O., Jackson; was born in Troy, K Y., Jan. 10, 1815, son of Addison and Mary (Eldred) Draper, of American ancestry.  Dec. 23, 1833, he married, and in 1836 came to this State and located in Jackson County, in Rives Township, where he has since resided.  Mr. Draper is one of the early settlers, and has, since the organization of the township, taken a very active part in its business.  He is broken down from over work in his younger days; but he has not to regret that there is anything undone that was within his power to do, and one of the few who can say that the world has been made better by his living in it.  He enlisted two sons, Addison and Austin, in our late civil war, both in 1864, and commanded by Col. Eckerson.  They took part in a number of very prominent engagements, and in 1866 were mustered out and came home to pursue their labors in another field.

    John F. DREW, Representative from the first district, Jackson County, was born in the town of Shelby, Orleans Co., N. Y., Dec 3,1828.  Mr. Drew was compelled to rely on a common school for his education when a youth, and it was pounded in with a ferule in good old-fashioned style.  In 1866, he immigrated to the town of Rives, Jackson County, where he now resides.  He has borne his share of town offices. While a resident of the State of New York he served his district in the Assembly of the State one term.    His occupation is that of drover.

    John B. GRUNDY, farmer; P. O., Rives Junction; was born in the State of New York, Sept. 19, 1836, and was brought by his parents to Michigan in 1837; they located in Leoni Township, Jackson County.  Here they remained for quite a number of years, and then moved to Rives Township, where Mr. Grundy died, and Mrs. Grundy still resides with her son, John B.  Oct. 21, 1860, he married Miss Adelaide Crippen, a native of Michigan, and they have had 1 child—Edna C, who is now attending school at Jackson.  Mr. Grundy's early education was good; he has attended several high schools aside from the district school of his neighborhood, which gives him superior advantages.  He has a well-improved farm which has been made so by his own industry and exertion, and his mother, although she has seen the frosts of many winters, has left a good memory, and what is still better, very good health.  In 1863 Mr. G. enlisted in the 1st Mich. Engineer Corps; after taking part in a great many engagements, without receiving as much as a scratch, he was mustered out of the service in 1865.  He was a warm supporter of all war measures, and a strong advocate of Abolition principles.  He is an honored and respected member of the Congregational Church.

    James C. HILLS, farmer, sec. 25; P. O.,Jackson; was born in Allegany County, N. Y., April 17, 1834, the son of Silas and Emily (Beldin) Hills, natives of Vermont, and of American ancestry.  He came to this State in the spring of 1858 and obtained employment in the brick yard owned by Benjamin Porter and John Jones, remaining with them for six months, when he moved to Rives Township, sec. 35, and remained there until the fall of 1860; from there he moved to sec. 25, and bought a farm, on which he has since resided.  His father, Silas, was the third settler in the town of Wellsville, Allegany Co., N. Y.; he put up the first saw-mill, grist-mill, store and hotel; was the first carpenter to introduce the balloon frame in the county.  Mr. James Hills came to this State with a view of permanently locating, and at an early date to procure a home within its boundaries; having no definite point in view when he left home, he made inquiry and was advised to stop at Jackson, which he did, and to-day he is in comfortable circumstances and has the respect of a people that appreciates an energy and industry that has overcome mountains of difficulties in order to obtain the desired home.  Nov. 21, 1855, he was married to Frances E. Wright, by whom he has had 11 children; but 4 of them are now living—Lewellyn, Manville, Myrtie, Vinna.  He is an honored and respected member of the M. E. Church, with which he united in 1874.  He is a warm advocate of Republican principles, casting his first vote for the first Republican candidate.

    William T. JACKSON, farmer, sec. 7; P. 0., Rives Junction; was born in Berkshire County, England, Aug. 8, 1806; was reared on a farm; when 18 years old came to Canada, where he remained four years, when he came to Michigan in 1844, and bought a farm, and has resided on the same since.  He married Miss Abigail S. Smith, a native of Vermont; she was born March 7, 1809.  They had 7 children, 2 of whom are living—Emeline, now Mrs. Burleson, and Mary C, now Mrs. Prentice; has 80 acres of land, 55 under good cultivation, valued at $60 per acre.

    Joseph KILPATRICK, farmer, was born in the State of New York, in 1830, where he remained with his parents until he was married, Nov. 2, 1850, to Miss Hannah Philips, also a native of New York State; they had 4children, all of whom are living.  Jesse Kilpatrick, a brother of Gen. Kilpatrick, who so nobly fought in defense of his country in the late civil war, is father of the subject of this sketch, Mr. Joseph Kilpatrick; his brother William is now Senator from his district in New York State.  Their early education was attended with considerable difficulty, but Joseph has by reading acquired an extended knowledge, and is master of the  occupation which nature directed him to choose.  Before the war he was a staunch Democrat, but thinking that his party was pursuing the wrong course, he became a Republican, and since that time he has advocated Republican principles as strenuously as he had Democratic principles before the war.   In 1847 he immigrated to this State, first settling in Washtenaw County, but thinking that he could enrich himself more rapidly, he came to this county and located in Rives Township, where he now resides.  He is determined to give to his children an education sufficient to enable them to engage in any business they may choose.

    Benjamin C. LEWIS came to this State in the spring of 1834 and located in Napoleon Township, this county, where he resided until after the war.  He was born in the State of New York, where Rochester is now situated, Aug. 24, 1829.  Aug. 11, 1862, he enlisted in the 17th Mich. Vol., Co. E; after taking part in some of the principal engagements of the war, he was mustered out of the service June 3, 1865, and paid June 7.  In 1865 he was married to Miss Eleanor Peterson, a native of the State of New York.  Her parents came to this State in 1835 and located in Columbia Township., this county, where they resided until their death.  Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have 3 children—Wilbur, Francis E. and Levada O.  In the spring of 1860 he went to California to seek a fortune in the gold regions, but not having as good success as he had anticipated, in 1862 he returned to Michigan.  After the war he moved to Rives Township, where he has since resided.  In 1856 he voted for Buchanan, but in 1864 he voted for Abraham Lincoln, and has since voted the Republican ticket.  We find him a man of great energy, who has made a mark in this life in his capacity.  His opportunity for early education was limited, having to go a great distance after doing half a day's work before daylight.  He takes a great interest in the educational welfare of his children, and they are now being sent to school every day.  His wife, who is also a great lover of historical reading, encourages them by buying good and useful books for their reading.

    E. Guy LYMAN was born in the northwest part of Ohio, June 23, 1842, son of Elijah and Sarah (Dyer) Lyman, of American ancestry.  In 1851 he went to Iowa, where he remained until 1854, when his parents moved to Jackson County, this State, and located in Leoni Township. They located in this township on account of school privileges offered them.  Mr. Lyman had attended the common school until he came to this county, where he was sent to the high school at Leoni.  Here he improved his time, and became proficient in the branches taught there; he has attended several other schools of considerable merit.  Since he left school he has taught several terms, and in 1878 he was elected Township Superintendent of Public Schools. March 13, 1868, he was married to Miss Lida J. Rankin.  By this union there have been born 4 children—Cecelia Rankin, Anna, Edwin and Roy. 
    Thomas Dyer, a distant relative of Mr. Lyman, was born in England and came to this country in 1612, settling in Boston, where he died in 1676.  Since that time the name Thomas has been kept in the family as a test name.  Mr. Lyman is an honored and respected member of the Christian Church; politically he is a warm supporter of Republican principles, casting his first national vote for Abraham Lincoln.

    William PEEK, farmer; P. O., Jackson.  Mr. Peek was born in Fulton County, N. Y.; here he lived with his parents until he was 18 years old, when he immigrated to Oneida County, where he remained until he was 22 years old; then he visited his parents in Fulton County, and remained with them for about two years, and in 1854 he came to Michigan and cast his lot with the pioneers of the then new State, locating in Rives Township, where he has since resided.  Sept. 12, 1852, he was married to Miss Helen M. Conover, and they have had 4 children, of whom 3 are living, one attending school at Leslie.  Mr. Peek is by trade a blacksmith, and when he first came to Michigan he worked at his trade in Blackman, but not being suited with his business there, he moved to Rives and located on the old Gravel Road; here his business improved and he had a good patronage as long as he remained; but after accumulating a snug little fortune he bought him a farm in Rives, where he now resides.  In 1877 the citizens of Rives Township elected him Justice of the Peace, which office he is now holding.  He has also held other offices of trust in his township, but not aspiring to office, he has not been brought before the people.  Mr. Peek cast his first vote for James Buchanan in 1856, after which time he voted the Democratic ticket until a few years ago, when he united with the Greenback party, and now works with them with the same untiring energy that he did when an advocate of Democratic principles. "Believing that I am right," he says, " I shall go ahead, knowing that victory is ours in the near future."  His early education was rather limited; but by dint of perseverance he has acquired a very extended knowledge, which of course is practical.  He is schooling his children, and they are improving their opportunity.

    Daniel PERRINE, farmer, was born in the State of New Jersey, in 1805; in 1816 his people moved to Seneca County, town of Fayette, where they resided until their death.  June 4, 1828, he married Miss Howell, and in the spring of 1829 he moved with his family to Livingston County, N. Y, and in 1840 he returned to Seneca County, remaining thereabout seven years.  In 1853 he concluded to seek a home in the West, and immediately acting upon this determination, he started for the State of Michigan, arriving in the spring, and settling on sec. 8, this township.  He has a family of 8 children.

    Charles F. RANNEY, farmer, sec. 22; P. O., Jackson; was born in Lorain County, Ohio, April 1, 1833; raised on a farm and received an elementary school education.  In 1851 went to California by water, crossing the Isthmus of Panama on foot; engaged in mining in California three and a half years; afterward was employed in harvesting and hauling to the mines. He afterward engaged to James Meyers, of Ohio, as herder, when he was sent to Salt Lake City to buy stock, and remained through the winter, returning the following spring.
    Just opposite Mr. Meyers', across a river on what was called Sides Bottoms, were two families,—Col. Stephenson's and a Mr. Cronk's —consisting of some eight or nine persons.   One morning Mr. Ranney got up and imagined he heard some one halloing on the opposite side of the river, and crossed over in a boat, found a boy named Morrisey, brother-in-law of Col. S., who told him that the Indians had come down from the hills and set fire to the shanties, which consisted of pitch-pine boards, and cotton cloth and paper partitions, which burnt like powder, and all the two families had been burnt up with the exception of himself and Mr. Cronk.  All this he found to be too true.  They found Mr. Cronk under a tree, but he died in the course of the day.  It appeared that their object was not to steal, but to satisfy an old grudge against Col. Stephen son, only taking one horse.  After looking over the scenes he went back to the bluff and raised a party of men and followed the Indians, capturing the one that stole the horse and brought him back, when he was tried and hung.  The people in that vicinity organized a company and went into the Indian country, where they hunted them down like deer.  While out with a party and passing some bluffs an arrow was shot from one of the bluffs, passing through a man's hat, striking Mr. R. in the foot, passing through a heavy pair of boots as well as the foot; so he cut off the upper end and drew it down through the bottom of his foot.  The party dodged out of sight, but no Indians were to be seen.
    After coming back to Ohio, Mr. R. was engaged in various pursuits, and in 1868 came to Jackson County, where he has since resided.  He married Miss Fannie Stanley, a native of England, who was born Nov. 11,1839. There were 5 6ons—Henry J., Alvirus C, Arthur F.. Frank L. and Adelbert D.

    David H. RANNEY, farmer, sec. 22; P. O., Jackson; was born in Middlesex county, Conn., July 18, 1820. "When 11 years of age his parents emigrated to Lorain County, Ohio, in 1831, where he bought land and made a farm, where he died Oct. 4,1875, at the age of 81; his mother died May 20, 1867, at the age of 70.  David remained on the farm until he was 21 years of age, when he went to work by the month, at $12 per month.  Afterward engaged in making pearl-ash on his father's farm, where he remained four years.  While at home he was married to Miss Elvira L. P. True, daughter of Alva True.  There was a drouth in Ohio, and stock was very low; could buy a good cow for five dollars, and Mr. Ranney laid out his money in stock and drove them to Michigan, where he bought 40 acres of land at eight dollars per acre, and remained two years, when his health failed and he sold out and returned to Ohio; bought 50 acres of the old homestead where they lived two years.  He moved thence to Rockport, where he engaged in hotel-keeping two years; sold out and moved his family to Pittsfield, when he spent one and a half years in California; then he returned to his family in Pittsfield and engaged in a general store and hotel, and was appointed Postmaster; in four years he sold out, came to Michigan, and in 1860 bought his present place, there he has remained since. Has 100 acres of land, 80 under good cultivation, valued at  $60 per acre.

    Joseph SMITH, farmer, was born in Dover, England, Dec. 17, 1819, and in 1830 came with his parents to this country; they located in Oneida County, N. Y., where they remained until 1836, when they moved to Jackson county, Michigan, and settled in Tompkins Township, on sec. 13; here Mr. Joseph Smith resided with his parents until he was married, his father then giving him 40 acres of land; he built a house and moved into it and went to housekeeping for himself.  Soon after he bought 140 acres in sec. 19, Rives Township, and in 1867 commenced the erection of a large frame house, which he completed in 1869, and immediately moved into it.  Along about this time his wife died, and he married again soon after.
    His second wife lived but a short time, and in 1871, April 21, he married Mrs. Eliza J. Thomas, who was mother of 3 children— Curtice Tussing, Zena V., Lenie N.
    Mr. Smith had 3 children by his first wife—Alice E., Wm. D. and Minnie G.    By his second 1—Homer B.
    Mr. Smith has one of the best farms in Rives Township, but badly represented on the map.  The swamp lands there located are exaggerated, and we feel safe in saying that there is not one acre of land that is not tillable on this entire place.  Although he has not held office in his township, it is not because he has not been solicited by his friends, of whom he has many, but because he is not favorably inclined toward a life of care and anxiety.  His chances to obtain an education were rather limited, attending school only in the winter season, and in summer working on the farm; but seeing the need of an education he has stored his mind, by reading, with useful information, and is a practical business man.  His children are receiving an education from the care of a devoted parent, which will fit them for the age in which they live.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith are honored and respected members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Leslie.  He has been a Republican ever since the organization of the party, taking a deep interest in the welfare of the country.

    Thomas P. SMITH, farmer; P. O., Jackson; son of Daniel and Mary (Betten) Smith, natives of England, of English descent; was born in the town of Tompkins, Jackson Co., Dec. 31, 1836.  His father and mother died when he was quite young and he was compelled to support himself; necessity drove him out into the world, and taught him economy and perseverance.  Oct. 29, 1859, he married Miss Mary Wood.  They have had 9 children; all are living.
    His early education was attended with considerable difficulty, most of the time having to walk from three to four miles, and this in the winter months, when it was extremely cold.  He has preserved some of the school-books used by his father when attending school in England; these consist of an old magazine from which he read, and a hymn-book from which he spelled.
    Mr. Smith has the books that he used when he attended school and they are well preserved.  His father after coming to this country realized the need of an education more than ever before, and consequently began to look about to ascertain if there was not some way by which he could now obtain that which is more precious than gold.  At last he found that he could attend a night school, and he procured the books necessary to admit him to the school; this school he attended for a short time when it was disbanded; he now gave up all hope of obtaining anything more than education enough to do the business connected with farm life.  Had Mr. Smith lived it is quite probable that he would have given his children a liberal education.  About 20 years ago Mr. T. P. Smith united with the Methodist Church, and since that time he has been a firm believer and a steadfast Christian.  He is a Republican; cast his first vote for Fremont, in 1856.

Thomas W. SPENCER, farmer, sec. 25; P. 0., Jackson; was born in Cortland, N. Y., June 20, 1830.  In his early life he worked at the tanner's trade for his father, Michael Spencer, who followed that business.  He came to Jackson County, where he married Miss Ann Elizabeth Tower, daughter of John and Mary Ann Tower, natives of New York, who emigrated to Illinois and located in Ogle County.  She was born in December, 1837.  The fruit of this marriage is 5 children—Hattie, born April 26, 1857; Albert E., born Sept. 25, 1860; Frederick W., born Sept. 30, 1862; Lizzie E., born April 20, 1866; Ethel M., born March 8, 1877.  Has 120 acres of land, valued at $75 per acre.

    George H. STEELE, farmer, sec. 23; P. O., Jackson, Mich.; was born in Orleans County, N. Y., Feb. 18,1836; was raised on a farm and received a common-school education.  His father was a native of New Hampshire, mother of New York State, who emigrated to Michigan in 1836 and located on sec. 23, where he made a farm and where they both died.  When Mr. Steele came to the county it was a vast wilderness, inhabited by wolves, deer and bear, and the Indians were as thick as the wolves.  In 1859 he went to Colorado for the purpose of mining, where he remained but a short time, then came back and followed farming until 1863; then took a trip to the northern part of Montana, and from there to the British Possessions, but remained a short time; then went to Cariboo, where he stopped a short time; then to Lewiston, Idaho, where he spent the winter; thence to south part of Idaho, where he worked on a gulch mine.  The next fall he came back to Michigan.  In 1872 he was married to Charlotte Brewster.  She was born in Geauga County, Ohio, in 1837.  Has 75 acres of land, valued at $60.

    James TAYLOR, farmer, was born in the State of New York, Oct. 19, 1831; here he remained with his parents until they came to Wayne County and located in Van Buren township.  In 1855 he came to Rives Township and located on sec. 15, on the old Patton Morrison place, where he has since resided.  His mother died March 29, 1836, while they were living in Ohio.  After the death of Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Taylor, thinking that he could better the condition of his children, moved to Michigan, which was at this time comparatively a wilderness.  But by his industry he has brought out of chaos harmony and union.  In his father's family there were 12 children, of whom there are 5 now living; James is next to the youngest.  Mr. Taylor was married to Miss Polly Poste, a native of the State of New York, and of American ancestry.  Her father, Cornelius Poste, came to Michigan some time about 1830, but located in Washtenaw.  There were 7 children in her father's family.  His early education was rather limited.  He is a warm supporter of Greenback principles, and when he came to this State he first located in another county about 10 years, when he was persuaded to take a large farm and work on shares.  In the spring of 1832 he came to this State, but did not locate until along in the fall.  Some time in the winter of 1834 he moved to this county in order to better his condition; but after he came to the State he was troubled with sickness.

    A. G. TRUE, farmer, sections. 21 and 22; P. O., Jackson; was born in Genesee County, N. Y., May 7, 1828; when eight years of age his parents emigrated to Jackson County and located on sec. 27; took up Government land and made a farm.  The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, and received but a limited common-school education, having to go from four to five miles to school, through wilderness.  In 1850 he went to California, crossed the plains with horses, and was 86 days making the journey.  Mr. True, in company with a Mr. Fifield, crossed over the Nevada mountains, where the snow was 15 feet deep, and had the honor of sleeping over night with old Kit Carson.  After arriving in California he engaged in mining, where he remained 18 months, then returned to Michigan, and remained one winter, and the following spring went back to California, crossing the Isthmus; he remained but a short time, when he returned to Jackson County, where he engaged in farming and has remained in the same business since.  Mr. True has been twice married; for his first wife he married Miss Angeline Jones, of Ohio, who died March 20, 1866, leaving 3 children—Ida May, Minnie M., Alva, Jr.  For his second wife he married Miss Helen Knowlton, who was born in Ireland, April 20, 1845.  By this union there were 2 children—Dudley C. and Winthrop C.  Has 335 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre.

    Orrin TRUE, farmer; P.O. Jackson; was born in Rives Township, Jackson County,Mich., Nov. 5, 1836; son of Alva and the former a native of New Hampshire and the latter a native of New York, and of American ancestry; he remained at home until Oct. 16, 1857, when he married Miss Eliza Byan, a native of Michigan; by this union there have been born 4 children—Lory, Susie, Kitty and Mary, all of whom are living.  Mr. Orrin and Orville True are the first white male twins born in the county, and the first white male children in the township.  Orville is now living in Ingham County.  At present Mr. Orrin True lives in Rives Township, on sec. 16; he has just completed a large frame house.  His early education was rather limited owing to the distance they had to go to school; for quite a number of years they had four miles to walk, and then could only go to school in the winter time; he has frozen his hands, feet and ears many times before he could reach the school-house.  After he had grown to manhood the school district was divided and a school-house was built within two miles of his father's house; he attended this school for a short time, but his education has been obtained since he left school, by reading.  Mr. True is an honored and respected member of the M. E. Church, as is also his wife.  He is a war Democrat, and holds as sacredly to the principles advocated by the old-time Democrats as he does his religion; some of the offices of the township have been given him to administer, which has been done in a manner satisfactory to the inhabitants of the township.

    John S. TRUMBULL, farmer; P. O., Rives Junction; was born in Connecticut, March 3, 1807, the son of Benjamin and Mary (Mather) Trumbull, natives of Connecticut, of American ancestry.  He lived with his parents until 1834, when he left the scenes of his boyhood and came West to seek a home in its wilds and a fortune in its growth. In his wanderings he came to this county, where, being pleased with the country and climate, he began the laborious task of picking out a future home; at last he located in Sandstone township, where he remained but a short time, when he removed his effects to Cass County.  On returning, he settled on sec. 24, Rives Township, where he now resides.  In 1840 he was married to Miss Tunnicliff, and they have had 4 children, all of whom are living.
The subject of this sketch is a brother of Hon. Lyman Trumbull, of Chicago, the eminent Statesman.  He is a supporter of Democratic principles, as advocated by Gen. Jackson and others.  Mr. Trumbull is now in his 74th year, yet he has left a great memory and a mind finely balanced and singularly gifted, and had he been politically educated, would have marked out a pathway bordering upon political perfection.  Mrs. Trumbull died in 1875, lamented by all who knew her.

    Ephraim VAN HORN, son of Philip and Margaret (Peck) Van Horn, was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., the 29th day of March, 1818.  In 1836 he removed with his father to this State.  Philip Van Horn bought out R. H. Anderson, who had erected a log house on the place, and here he kept an open house for about nine years to accommodate the immigrants that were pouring in with great rapidity.  In 1845 Mr. Van Horn departed this life, and the property came into the possession of his son, Ephraim, who had acquired a liking for the business, now hung out a sign and his house was swarmed with immigrants  who had  come  to the new State to seek a home; but at last tiring of the busy life connected with hotel-keeping, he sold out, thus breaking the bonds that had fettered him for nearly 25 years.  In the spring of 1837 we find Mr. Ephraim Van Horn aiding in the erection of the first log house on the east side of Grand river, belonging to Mr. Jno. Westren, who had bought a large tract of land in 1836.  He has been three times married: his first wife's name was Alvina True; his second, Mary A. Morrill; and his third, Mrs. Sarah F. Ellice.  Leander T., a doctor in Homer, has a very extensive practice.  Daniel Van Horn, brother of Ephraim Van Horn, enlisted from Ingham County in 1863, and was out one year, when he was taken sick and discharged; but improving in health he re-enlisted and soon after died at Coldwater.  Ephraim Van Horn cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren, and has since that time voted with the Democrats, until the Greenback party was organized, when he espoused their cause, and has since been closely identified with their interests.

    William H. WOOD, blacksmith; P. O., Rives Junction; son of Harry and Celinda (Gardner) Wood; father of English descent, but born in this country; mother of German descent and a native of the United States, being born in Pittsford, Monroe Co., N. Y., May 6, 1821.  The subject of this sketch learned the trade of blacksmithing of his father when a boy and has always followed the same.  In 1835 his father moved to Bloomfield, N. Y., where he was married to Miss Electa Walker.  She was born in Lyons, N. Y., in 1819.  There were 4 children, 1 of whom is living.  After marrying he continued in business in Bloomfield three years, when he moved to Perrington, where he remained four years in the same business, then moved to Ogden, near Rochester, and remained one year, then to Orleans County, where he was engaged in the grocery trade and shoemaking; afterward came to Michigan, where he has remained since. In politics is a Republican.


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