History of Jackson County, Michigan"
When Tompkins was set
off as a separate township, some of the townsmen wished to name it
after David Adams, but he modestly fell in with the suggestions of Col.
R. II. Anderson, to have it named after Hon. Daniel D. Tompkins, of New
York, of whom he was a great admirer. David Adams built the first
farm barn in the township. He was buried March 1, 1879, in the
quiet little graveyard that he had helped to purchase and
beautify. After his long and useful life of 79 years and six
months, he passed peacefully away, leaving his wife, two sons—G. P. and
W. H. Adams— two daughters—Mrs. Gr. J. Townley and Mrs. J. Pope—also 10
grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, to mourn him. His
death was the first in the family for over 47 years.
Richard Townley, in his historical sketch, states
that the first settler in Tompkins township was Nicholas Townley, who
was born in Pennsylvania, and moved to Tompkins County, N. Y., with his
father's family, at the age of four years. He entered land in
Tompkins township in September, 1834. This was on sections 19 and
30, upon which the first ground was broken the same fall, and a log
house was erected, the first in the township. Jan. 5, 1835, Mr.
Townley prepared to go back East, for the purpose of bringing his
family to their home in the then far West. His son Edward had
come with him to Tompkins, and it was decided that he should remain
behind while his father was absent on his journey. The latter, on
the date mentioned, placed a double harness on one of his horses; and
saddling and mounting the other, bade his boy good-bye, and started on
his four-weeks trip for Tompkins County in the Empire State. He
went by way of Canada, and, encountering snow in that province, paused
in his journey long enough to construct a jumper, in which he rode
across the line to near Rochester, New York, where he left it, and
again mounting his horse rode the rest of the distance on horseback,
arriving at his destination about Feb. 5. As his son Anson was in
business there, it was finally thought best to not remove the family at
that time, and April 8, 1835, Mr. Townley, accompanied by his son
Richard, the present county treasurer, and at that time 13 years of
age, set out on his return with a wagon containing some articles of
household furniture, provisions, etc., and on the last day of April
they reached the farm in Tompkins, having made the journey by way of
Ohio. The remainder of the family, consisting of Mrs. Townley and
five children, came in June. A piece of land on section 21 was
entered prior to 1834, but none of it was improved until two years
later, when some 10 acres were broken.
The next settler was Gardner G. Gould, who came with
his family from Parma, and took up his residence on section 4, where he
lived until his death, some three or four years ago. Mr. Gould
was a good and respected citizen, and was for several years Supervisor
of the town. His widow is still living, as are also a large
family of children. In September, 1835, David Adams, of Lyons,
New York, visited the township and located 360 acres of land, upon
which he settled with his family in the spring of 1836.
In October, 1835, Auren Lyon and wife, the third
family to arrive, came in and settled on section 17, on the old Clinton
road, on the farm now owned by Edward W. Forel. The same fall
Joseph Wade and James Davenport entered land from the Gov. eminent,
upon which they settled. In 1836 there was quite an influx
of settlers, among whom were Robert II. Anderson, Silas Pomeroy, Loring
Sherman, James A. Nichols, Simeon Edson, Eben Dorr and many
others. The pioneers were industrious and thrifty, and had plenty
to eat, although at times of the plainest description. Occasionally,
families would be compelled to subsist upon potatoes and milk, but
usually venison could be obtained of the Indians, who, in those days,
roamed at will over all sections of the State.
The first child born in Tompkins was a girl in the family of Rev.
Marcus Harrison, but the little new-comer survived but a short
time. The oldest native-born child in the township now living is
Ellen L., daughter of Nicholas Townley, who first saw the light in
June, 1836, being the second child born in the district.
The first school was taught by Miss Mary Hurlburt,
the present wife of Anson Townley, Register of Deeds of this
county. This school was taught in a small log school-house, on
the land owned by James Davenport, on section 19.
In June, 1837, a terrible event occurred about half
a mile from this school-house, the particulars of which are as follows:
A man named Mason, who had been in the neighborhood a year or more and
had a large family, was complained of to the authorities for abusing
his wife. A constable was deputized to arrest him, and he was
taken before Squire Adams, a justice of the peace, on Sunday afternoon,
and not wishing to proceed with the examination on that day, the
prisoner was allowed to go on his own recognizance, he promising to
appear next day for trial. That night Mason put a handful of
powder into a musket, and charged it with bullets, which he dug from a
tree that had been used as a target by some of the settlers. He
then left his weapon at the foot of his bed, and rising early the next
morning, took the gun and, going out into a grove of trees a short
distance back of the house, placed the muzzle of the gun against his
heart and then discharged it with a stick. A hole was blown
through his body large enough to admit a man's arm. This was the
first death of a grown person in the township. Coroner Whipple, of
Sandstone, summoned a jury, a verdict was rendered in accordance with
the facts, and the suicide was buried in a grave dug near where he
perished by his own hand.
The first religious service held in the township was
conducted by Rev. Mr. Parks, a Congregational or Presbyterian minister,
living in Sandstone, and was held at the house of Nicholas Townley,
some time in the summer of 1835. The congregation was composed of
the neighbors in Sandstone and the nine members of Mr. Townley's
family. Soon after, the Rev. Marcus Harrison held divine service
regularly in the house of Mr. Townley. The first religious
service held in the east part of the town was at the house of Robert H.
Anderson, on section 24.
The first township election was held at the house of
Joseph Wade on the first Monday of April, 1838. At this election
Nicholas Townley was elected supervisor, James Davenport town clerk,
Jesse Ferguson treasurer and collector. Mr. Townley was again
elected the following year when the county commissioner system came
into vogue, and for three years acted as county commissioner. Up
to the spring of 1838 Tompkins was a part of Sandstone Township.
In that year the town was organized, by act of the Legislature,
approved March 6, 183S, and it is proper to add that the township of
Tompkins took its name from Daniel D. Tompkins, a former Governor and
distinguished citizen of the Empire State. The name was proposed
by Robert H. Anderson, then a citizen of the town, but now a citizen of
the town of Rives. Mr. Anderson, Anson Townley and Jesse Ferguson
are the only persons now living who were present at the meeting held to
recommend the organization of the town and give it a name.
Such are a few of the facts connected with the very early pioneer
history of this township.
Of those who may be properly claimed among the
pioneer settlers of Tompkins in addition to those already mentioned
are; Marcus P. Wade, Willis S. Wade and family, John C. Southworth and
wife, Thomas Godfrey and wife, Richard Lord and family, Silas Pomeroy
and family, Apollos Lincoln and family, Daniel and John Smith, Warren
Sanborn, George W. Rhea, John E. Brown, Jotham Wood, George Wood,
Joseph C. Wood, James Churter, Asahel Bryant, and others who settled on
From this begininng Tompkins has steadily increased
in prosperity, thrift, and population until the present time.
From a single family of nine persons, its population, in less than half
a century, has grown to probably not less than one thousand four
hundred persons, who have the advantage of schools, are blessed with
church privileges, and have pleasant and comfortable homes. The
wilderness there has been made to blossom as the rose, and enjoyments
are realized year after year by the descendants of the early pioneers.
Tompkins Lodge, No. 193. I. 0. 0. F., located at
Tompkins Center, was organized July 25, 1872. The following were
charter members: Samuel Western, Robert Godfrey, William
Hetfield. The first officers were: Rodney Simmons, N. G.; William
H. Western, Y. G.; George W. Barnes, Sec.; Marcus P. Wade, Treas.
The present membership is 25; present officers—Ewing French, N. G.;
Eber Simmons, V. G.; Robert Cox, Sec.; Lee Botsford, Rec. Sec.; Lewis
Barson, Treas.; Marcus P. Wade, Chaplain. The lodge is in a
prosperous condition for the number, having only lost one member.
The hall is used by the Odd Fellows and Masons jointly, and is used for
lodge purposes only.
Brief biographies of pioneers and other prominent citizens of Tompkins
township constitute an essential feature of its history, and
accordingly we publish them in this connection:
George W. BARNS was born in Galen, Wayne Co., N. Y.,
April 15, 1822; is the oldest child of John and Mary Barns; the father
was a native of New York; mother of Ireland, and came to America when
she was three years old; father died in New York, in 1873, and the
motHer in 1871. George W. left his native county, came to
Michigan and settled in this township on his present farm in section 8,
in 1863. He has been married twice, the first time to Miss Martha
Ann Rhea, March 8, 1855, who died July 24, 1809. The second time
he was married to Mary S. Cook, March 1, 1871, daughter of Peter and
Abigail (Holben), and was born in West Fayette, Seneca County, N. Y.,
Nov. 23, 1840; she came to this township in 1860. Mr. and Mrs.
Barns are the parents of 1 child—Anna E., born March 14, 1872. Mr.
Barns is a member of Lodge No. 152 of I. O. 0. F., at Onondaga.
In politics he is an uncompromising Republican.
Charles BISHOP was born in the city of Bristol,
England, June 22, 1813; is the fourth son of James and Elizabeth
Bishop; he emigrated to America in 1847, and settled in the State of
New York; about the year 1850, made his first land purchase of a farm
in Oswego County; three years later came to Michigan and settled at
Kinneville, Ingham County, and in 1862 settled in this township.
Oct. 18, 1852, Mr. Bishop was married to Miss Hannah D. Hutchings, of
Dryden, Tompkins Co., N. Y., daughter of John and Abigail Hutchings,
and was born in that county July 2, 1812. Mr. Bishop's parents
never left their native country, and Mrs. Bishop's parents also died in
their old home. Mr. Bishop is an ardent Republican; enlisted in
the army in 1861 and served till he was discharged for sability.
Joseph B. CHRISTIE was born in Hillsboro, Oneida
Co., N. Y. Jan. 17, 1845, is the second son and fifth child of James
and Mary Ann Christie, father native of New York City, and the mother,
of Ireland; they were married in New York and came to Oakland county,
Mich., about the year 1847, and in 1849 settled in this township.
Joseph B. was married to Miss Martha Jane Darling, Dec. 25, 1867,
daughter of Lewis and Jane Darling, and was born in Concord, this
county, May 10, 1849; her father was a native of Vermont, and her
mother of New York; the latter died in this county in 1868, and the
former in 1876; Mrs. Mary Ann Christie died in June, 1877. Mr.
and Mrs. Christie have had 6 children—Horace E., Mary J., Homer J.
(deceased), Adelbert S., Kate E. (deceased), and Wheeler L.
(deceased). Mr. Christie is in sympathy with the late Greenback
movement; he has 270 acres in sections 14 and 11, and his farm is one
of the best improved in the township.
Samuel W. CHRISTIE was born in Camden, Oneida Co.,
N. Y., June 27, 1847, and was brought to this State in his infancy by
his parents, who first settled in Oakland county and afterward in this
county. He was married to Miss Helen Robinson March 10, 1872, the
daughter of William and Maria Robinson, who is a native of Sodus, Wayne
Co., N. Y.; was born April 19, 1850; her parents are natives of the
same place and have never moved from the place of their nativity.
Mr. and Mrs. Christie are the parents of 2 daughters and 2 sons—Ruby
E., Edith M., Clarence W. and Joseph R. In politics Mr. Christie
is a Greenbacker. He has 180 acres of land in his farm, and 100
of it was taken from the original tract his father entered from the
Government; the latter is now a resident of Homer, Calhoun Co.
A. M. COOK was born in this township, Jan. 5, 1844,
the eldest child of John M. and Amanda M. Cook, who settled in this
township about 1842, and were natives of New York; the father died in
this county in 1865; the mother resides at Leslie, Ingham Co., this
State. Mr. Cook was united in marriage with Jennie E. Cockburn
Oct. 22, 1866, daughter of William and Margaret J. Cockburn, and was
born Jan. 17. 1846. Mr. and Mrs. Cook are the parents of 4
children—John N., Charles Y., Mabel and Borden D. In politics Mr.
Cook identifies himself with the Greenback party; is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, and is Justice of the Peace at the present
time. Wm. Cockburn died in this county May 19, 1858.
Francis DACK is a native of England, and was born
March 8, 1836; he came to this country with his parents, James and Mary
Ann Dack, in the year 1841, and settled in Brighton, Monroe Co., N. Y.;
both parents died in that county; the mother Nov. 14, 1864; the father
Feb. 14, 1877. Francis came to Michigan, and settled on his
present farm in this township in 1861. He was united in marriage
with Miss Anna Hopcraft, April 1, 1863, daughter of Thomas and Hannah
Hopcraft, natives of England; was born May 6, 1845. Her father
died in 1861, in this township; mother is still living. Mr. and
Mrs. Dack are the parents of 7 children—Caroline F., Mary Ann, William,
Elizabeth O, Adeline, Eveline and Francis E. In politics Mr. Dack
supports the Greenback party; was formerly a Democrat. He has 290
acres of land in sections 8 and 9, with good improvements, all of which
he has made himself; they are supporters of the Methodist Church and
Samuel W. EARLL is the third son and fifth child of
Peter and Elsie Earll, natives of New York, who came to Michigan, and
settled in Ingham county in 1839. He was born in New York, Aug
15, 1825, and came with his parents to this State; remained in Ingham
County until 1850, when he moved to this township, and settled on
section 4, his present farm, which now contains 136 acres. He was
married to Mrs. Nancy Earll, widow of Levi Earll, April 19, 1853.
She was the daughter of Robert and Annie Montgomery, natives of
Ireland, and was born in Bennington, N. Y., March 13, 1821; came to
Michigan in 1838; returned to New York in two years; came back and
settled permanently in Michigan in 1817. Her parents settled in
Onondaga, Ingham Co., Mich., in 1849, and died in 1863. Mr.
Earll's parents also died in this same county;
mother about 1861, and
father in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Earll have had 2 children—Annie
Jane, married Adelbert M. Cook; Mary Alsie is living with her
parents. In politics Mr. Earll is identified with the Republican
John S. FIFIELD (deceased) was born in Salisbury,
Merrimac Co., N. H., Sept. 9, 1805, the son of Enoch and Abigail
Fifield, natives of New Hampshire. The family came to this State
as early as 1833 and settled in Blackman township, this county, where
the father died in the spring of 1853 and the mother in the winter of
1851. John S. was twice married; the first time to Miss Mary A.
Pease, Nov. 9, 1834, daughter of Lyman and Frances Pease, and a native
of Massachusetts; came to this county not long before her
marriage. Mr. and Mrs. F. were the parents of 5 children—George
B., James S., Dorothy A., Jerome E. and Mary A., all deceased.
Mrs. Fifield died Nov. 20, 1848, and Oct. 9, 1849, Mr. F. married Miss
Rhoda Pope, daughter of Henry and Rhoda Pope, who was born in Galen,
Wayne Co., N. Y., Feb. 24,1820. Her father was a native of New
Jersey and her mother of New York. They came to Michigan and
settled in Springport, Jackson Co., in 1838, where the father died in
1852 and the mother in the spring of 1847. By the second marriage
7 children have been born—Ruana M., Maryland C, John S., Charles S.,
Henry W., Libbie and Etta J.; Charles S., Henry W. and Libbie are
deceased. Mr. Fifield died Feb. 23, 1872. In the earlier
part of his business life he was engaged in the lumber trade; later he
gave his attention to farming. Mrs. Fifield is a member of the M.
E. Church, as also was Mr. F. many years before his death. He was
present and helped to effect the organization of the Republican party
in Jackson, and was a zealous worker in the Republican cause. He
came with his family to this township in 1855, when he purchased the
farm on section 19, where his widow yet resides.
Clark FOOTE was born in Middlebury, Addison Co.,
Vt., Dec. 16, 1791; was the oldest child of Freeman and Silence Foote,
natives of Massachusetts, who were the parents of 5 children—2 sons and
3 daughters, all born in Vermont. Clark, the subject of
sketch, was married to Miss Harriet Boardman Sept. 18, 1818. She
was a native of Middlebury, Vt., and born April 26, 1797, daughter of
Joel and Esther Boardman. Mr. and Mrs. Foote have had 7
children—Horace B., married Delia Havens; Henry
C.; Wallace T., married Hilah E. Foote; Harriet D., wife of Lewis L.
Leggett; Helen C, wife of Norman W. Boardman; Harriet S. (deceased),
and Charles H., married Mary T. Smith. They were all born in
Middlebury, Vt. Mr. Foote emigrated from his native township in
the spring of 1845 and settled on land in this township, which he had
purchased from the Government 10 years previous, and here he has lived
ever since, now in his 90th year; his wife is in her 84th year.
Both are orthodox in their religious belief; had been members of the
Congregational Church about 15 years when they emigrated West; since
that time they have been in fellowship with the Wesleyan
Methodists. Mr. Foote has been a Republican since the
dissolution of the Whig party; has never missed but one Presidential
vote since he reached his majority, and then he was absent from the
Horace B. FOOTE was born in Middlebury, Addison Co.,
Vt., June 21, 1819. He left his native State and came to Michigan
in the autumn of 1836 and settled at Niles, where he engaged as a clerk
in a store two years, then returned to his native State and entered
upon the same business. He then went to the State of New York,
where he was employed as bookkeeper and paymaster for an iron-mining
company, in which business he continued for several years, then
returned to Michigan in 1843, and settled in this township. The
year following he made his first land purchase of his father, a lot he
had bought with several others from the Government more than a decade
previous. A year later he purchased another lot of his uncle's,
which was from his father's original tract, and is the lot on which his
present home is built. Another highly important event in the life
of Mr. Foote was his marriage with Miss Delia M. Havens, Nov. 11, 1847,
who was born in Clinton county, N. Y., May 13, 1827. Mr. and Mrs.
Foote have had 7children, viz.: Albert H., Caroline F., Henry W.,
Harriet E., John C, Charles H. and Katie E. Albert H. married Georgiana
Jackson, now deceased. Caroline F. is the wife of Frank D. Hyde;
Henry W. married Etna Green; Harriet E. (deceased) was the wife of
Riley C. Rhines; John C. married Kate M. Wenman; Charles H. and Kate E.
are yet at the paternal home. Mr. Foote and wife are members of
the M. E. Church; in politics Mr. Foot is a stalwart Republican, and
was present at Jackson when the party was organized. The house in
which he lives has been built about a third of a century, and is the
oldest frame house in his neighborhood; he has held, at different
times, positions of public trust, but has never been ambitious for
Thomas GILKES was born in Oxfordshire, England, May
9, 1832; is the second son of Nehemiah and Hannah Gilkes. The
family came to America and settled in Livingston County, Mich., in
1836. Mr. Gilkes has one brother and two sisters living in
Michigan; one sister, Mrs. Hannah Mann, lives in this township.
He married Miss Miriam E. Britton, Nov. 16, 1854, who was born in Ann
Arbor, Mich., Dec. 18, 1834, and was the daughter of Claudius and Sarah
Britton; father was a native of Vermont and mother of New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes are the parents of 4 children, viz.: FloraE., born
Sept. 23, 1855, wife of H. S. Pulver; Ethel M., born April 14, 1857,
wife of W. D. Losey; Claudia M., born May 29, 1871, and T. Britton,
born April 24, 1877. Mr. Gilkes settled in this township in
1868. He is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church and was a
delegate from the conference of the West Michigan District to the
convention in Baltimore in 1877, for the purpose of effecting a union
of the Churches North and South, which had been long divided on the
question of slavery; the cause being removed, the union was there
effected. Mr. G. is a Democrat in polities; is a thorough
temperance man and cast his first vote for the Maine liquor law in this
Oliver G. GOOLD, one of the first settlers of this
township, was a native of Connecticut; came to this county from Orleans
county, N. Y., in the year 1834, and settled in what is now Parma
Township; he then moved in September, 1835, to this township and lived
here till his death, which took place Feb. 24, 1875. He was born
Aug. 29, 1801; was married to Miss Sarah Booth, Jan. 9, 1825, who was
born in Williamson, New York, April 26, 1808. Mr. Goold bought
296 acres of land in this township, on which he settled and made a
farm. Mr. and Mrs. Goold are the parents of the following named
children: Harriet Emily (deceased) was the wife of George G. Goold;
Oliver G, now living on the old homestead, married Rosiana Jenna
(deceased); G. G. Goold married Roan Banister; Lucas D., married
Frances Helen Dwight; Sarah Jane, married Delos Collins; Susan Maria
(deceased); Charles Homer, killed at the battle of Mission Ridge Walter
W., died in the service in 1863; John Quincy, married Rosa A. Bryan;
Dewitt H, married Basha E. Wilcox, and Josephine P. (deceased).
Mr. Goold was not a member of any Church, but was a strictly moral
man. Mrs. Goold has been a member of the M. E. Church half a
century. Mr. Goold was a Whig in the life-time of that party and
joined the Republican party at its birth. He served his township
in the capacity of Supervisor several terms.
George G. GOOLD is the third son of Henry L. and
Harriet Goold, and was born in Carlton, Orleans Co., N. Y., Aug. 7,
1818. He emigrated West and settled in this county in the year
1838; was here about five years before he made a purchase of any land;
then bought 50 acres in section 4 of this township, the site of his
present home; commenced at once to make improvements, and has since
bought 100 acres, which is in section 8. Mr. Goold was married to
Miss Emily H. Goold, of this township, July 4, 1843; she was the eldest
daughter of Gardner G. Goold, and was born in Gaines, Orleans Co., N.
Y, Sept. 14, 1825, and died in this township Jan. 13, 1867. Mr.
and Mrs. Goold had 8 children, as follows: Harriet Adelaide, Mary
Rosetta, married I. H. Weatherwax, and Sarah Maria, (deceased), Burr
(deceased), Gurdin L., married Amelia C. Krausse; Walter E.; Harry C.
(deceased), and Clarence A. (deceased). In politics, Mr. Goold is
a Republican; was formerly a Whig.
George HAYWARD was born in Wiltshire, England, May
12,1827, and is the oldest child of Jasper and Martha Hayward. He
left his native land and came to America in 1850, and settled in New
Jersey, where he remained about three years; from there he went to the
State of New York; staid a little over four years, and then returned to
New Jersey; remained there till the spring of 1864, when he again left
and emigrated to this State and settled in this county; has been a
resident here ever since, living on section 10. His only sister
lives at South Haven, Mich.; they came to America together, their
father having died when they were children. In politics, Mr.
Hayward has been a life-long Democrat.
James HOPCRAFT is a native of England, and came to
America with his parents in the spring of 1856. They settled in
Rochester, N. Y., and stayed there one year, then moved to Michigan,
and settled in this township in April, 1857. James is the third
child. His father, Thomas, died in this township July 19, 1861;
his mother, now 68 years of age, is living on a farm adjoining her
son's farm; she is a native of England. James lived with his
mother until March 18, 1877, when he was married to Effie M. Hazelton,
of this township; she is the daughter of James and Sarah Hazelton, and
was born in Onondaga, Ingham Co., this State, Feb. 7,1857; 1 child,
Clarence C, has blessed their home. Mr. H.was formerly a
Democrat, but is now interested in the Greenback movement. He is
at present located on section 4.
Thomas KIRBY was born in Winthorp, Nottinghamshire,
Eng., Nov. 28, 1833, the second son of James and Jane Kirkby, who were
natives of England, and died in their native land. Thomas, with
two brothers, John and Lewis, left England and came to America in the
spring of 1854, stopped in the East a few weeks, came to Michigan, and
settled in Sharon, Washtenaw Co., where Thomas remained about six
years, then sold to his brother John and came to Grass Lake, this
county, where he stopped about one year; he moved to Columbia from
Grass Lake, where he engaged in farming and lived there about three
years; then moved to Liberty Township, where he bought 160 acres of
land; farmed that about two years, sold out and came to this township;
rented a farm three years, then bought the farm on which he now resides
in section 16. He was married to Miss Mary J. Towers, Aug. 24,
1862, at Columbia; she was born in Knipton, Leicestershire, England,
Aug. 5, 1837, daughter of James and Alice Towers, who came to this
country with their parents in 1849, and settled in Canastota, Madison
Co., N. Y. In 1852 she came to Michigan with her parents and
settled in Columbia, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Kirkby have 1
child—Cora D., born Feb. 8, 1866. Mrs. K. is a member of the
Methodist Church. Mr. K. is a brother in the Tompkins Lodge of A.
F. & A. M., No. 326. In politics, he is a Green-backer.
Michael S. LOSEY was born June 26, 1818, in Sparta,
Steuben Co., N. Y.; is the third son of John and Charlotte Losey,
natives of New Jersey; the mother died in New York and the father
emigrated to Michigan in 1840, and settled in this township, where he
died about the year 1855. The family consisted of 9 children, 8
of whom settled in Jackson county, the other settled in Kent county;
all are living—the eldest being in her 75th year, and the youngest in
her 57th year. Michael left his native State, came to Michigan
and settled in Ingham county in 1840; lived there about six years and
then came to this township, and located on section 35; lived there
nearly 19 years, when he bought 160 acres on section 36, moved up on
it, and has remained there ever since, adding 80 acres to his original
purchase. Mr. Losey has been twice married, the first time in
1840, to Miss Hannah Bradford, a daughter of William and Concurrence
Bradford, born in New York Oct. 6, 1818, and died Nov. 5,1858; their
children were: Lucretia A., Concurrence M., Hannah L., Amos E.
(deceased), Wilson D., John C. (deceased), and Ligurius. Mr.
Losey was married the second time to Mary L. Thompson, April 3, 1859,
daughter of Dennis and Esther Thompson, natives of Massachusetts.
Mr. and Mrs. Losey are the parents of Jennie F. and Edith C., both
living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Losey are Seventh-Day Adventists,
and Mr. Losey was originally a Whig, but is now a Republican.
Mrs. Hannah MANN was born in Marion Township,
Livingston Co., Mich., Jan. 6, 1841, the daughter of Nehemiah and
Hannah Gilkes, natives of England. Dec. 19, 1862, she was married
to Albert A. Mann, who was born in Otsego County, N. Y., Sept. 15,
1836, and died in this township Nov. 7, 1876. They had 5
children: Ardella, now the wife of John F. Losey, of this township;
Burt L., Lois L, Milo G. and Albert A. Mr. Mann was a member of
the Methodist Protestant Church, also Mrs. Mann. He was
identified with the Democratic party in his life-time, and belonged to
the Masonic fraternity. Both were firm in all that pertains to
the principles of temperance. Mrs. Mann's parents died in
Livingston County, this State—the mother in 1847 and the father in
1875. Mrs. Ardella Losey and Burt L. Mann are members of the same
Church with their mother.
Chester POMEROY was born in Bloomfield, Livingston
Co., N. Y., April 18, 1821; the youngest son of Silas and Hannah
Pomeroy, the father a native of Massachusetts, and the mother of New
York State. They left New York and came to Michigan in the spring
of 1837, and settled in this township, where they lived on section 35
till death called them away. The mother died March 18, 1864, aged
71; the father died Feb. 21, 1880, aged 88; he was a minister in the
Wesleyan Methodist Church; Mrs. P. was a member of the same
Church. Chester, the subject of this sketch, learned the
printer's trade at the age of 12, in Westfield, N. Y., and went into a
printing office in Jackson the year the family emigrated to this State;
the paper published in that office was the Jacksonburgh Sentinel,
edited by Nicholas Sullivan. Mr. Pomeroy worked on different
papers in Jackson about 15 years, the Jacksonburgh Sentinel Michigan
Democrat, Michigan Freeman, Michigan Farmer, the Jackson Patriot
and the Jackson Citizen. Mr. Pomeroy was joined in marriage with
Miss Elizabeth Weed, Dec. 7, 1848, daughter of Calvin and Eliza M.
Weed, and was born in Orangeville, Wyoming Co., N. Y., Oct. 22, 1830;
came to Michigan with her parents in 1843, and settled in this
township, on section 36; her mother died March 20, 1864; her father
Sept. 28, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. P. have 2 children—Ellen J., born
Sept. 16, 1849, the wife of Mortimer E. Bartlett; B. A., born June 8,
1859, living with his parents; Mr. and Mrs. P. and children are all
members of the Seventh-Day Advent Church. In politics Mr. Pomeroy
is a Republican. His father was among the first Supervisors of
this township, also one of its early physicians.
Truman M. SANFORD, son of Truman and Silence
Sanford, was born in Greenville, Greene Co.. N. Y., July 8, 1814;
father and mother died in that place. He left his home and went
to New York city at the age of 15, and engaged as a clerk in a store; a
few years later he commenced trade for himself, which he followed until
he came to Michigan, in 1851, when he purchased a farm on section 30,
and commenced tilling the soil; in that honorable avocation he
continued till the time of his death, which occurred in Springport,
May, 1875, with the exception of four years in trade at Parma.
Mr. Sanford was joined in marriage to Helen C. Snyder, Dec. 17, 1849;
she was born Jan. 19, 1829, and was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann
Snyder, of New York City. They had 9 children—Mary, married
Walter H. Chase; Frank M., married Minnie G. Townley; Lyman D., married
Ida J. Wilcox; Seymour H., Helen C, Truman M., Cornelia H. (deceased),
Edward B. and Harry T. Mr. and Mrs. Sanford were members of the
Presbyterian Church. Mr. S. was a Democrat. Mrs. Sanford's
mother died in Springport, June 22,1871; her father is living, in the
76th year of his age.
John C. SOUTHWORTH was born Nov. 18, 1812, in German
Township, Chenango Co., N. Y., the oldest child of John and Nancy
Southworth; father a native of New York, and died in his native State
Oct. 23, 1853; mother a native of Connecticut and came to Michigan in
1854, and died in this township, April 21, 1877. John C. came to
Michigan and settled in this township in the Fall of 1839. He was
married in the State of New York, to Miss Ann Jenet Harris, May 4,
1837, who was born in Scipio, Cayuga Co., N. Y, Aug. 16, 1816, and was
the daughter of John B. and Sarah Harris; the former was a native of
New Jersey but settled early in New York, and died in that State in
1832; his widow was born on Long Island and came to this county and
settled in 1838; she died in this township, in 1863. Mr. and Mrs.
Southworth are the parents of 3 children— George C, born Aug. 30, 1843;
Millard F., born Feb. 16, 1851; Ann Jenet, born July 29, 1856, and died
Aug. 31, 1856. There were only about 30 families in this township
when Mr. Southworth settled here. He was Postmaster here over 16
years; is a Democrat in his political faith and is a member of the
Masonic fraternity. He has lived on the site of his present home
about 40 years, where he and his family have experienced all the trials
and hardships incident to pioneer life.
George A. STIMSON was born in Mendon, Monroe Co., N.
Y., March 19, 1820; the 12th child of John, and the 3d child of Sally,
the second wife of John Stimson; father was a native of Massachusetts,
and mother of Connecticut; her father, Increase Claflin, was in the
battle of Bunker Hill, and a soldier through the entire Revolution; two
brothers of George A., Gilbert and Lovett, were soldiers in the war of
1812. The father died in Orleans County N.Y., in 1831; the
mother, George and three of his brothers left New York, and came to
Michigan and settled in Romeo, Lenawee Co., in the spring of 1838,
where the mother died in 1851. George A., the subject of this
biography, was married to Miss Marietta Stevens, March 27, 1846, the
daughter of Levi and Anna Stevens, born in Sheldon, Wyoming Co., N. Y.,
Dec. 3, 1821; and came to Michigan with her parents and settled in
Romeo, Lenawee Co., in 1836; was one of the pioneer teachers of that
township. Mr. and Mrs. Stimson came to this county and settled in
Jackson in 1849, where they remained about 17 years, Mr. Stimson
working during that time at his trade, building and finishing
houses. From Jackson they moved to Liberty township, where they
settled on a farm, and after living there about seven years they moved
to this township, their present home, on section 28. They have 1
son—Silas R., living with his parents; he married Maggie C. Snedeker,
and they have 1 child— Mamie A. Mrs. Stimson's grandfathers,
Caleb Stevens and Silas Rawson, were both Revolutionary soldiers.
Mr. Stimson's family are all members of the Regular Baptist
Church. Mr. Stimson was present at the organization of the
Republican party at Jackson; was a Whig previous to that time, but
enlisted under the Republican banner at that date, and has walked in
that political faith ever since. Mrs. Stimson has a copy of
Bunyan's Holy War, a book once belonging to her maternal
grandfather. Mr. Stimson is a member of the Masonic brotherhood
and belongs to Lodge No. 326, at Tompkins.
Albert A. STORMS was born in Barry, Orleans Co., N.
Y., April 2, 1831; is the third son and fourth child of Peter and
Filura Storms, both born in Vermont; they left New York and came to
Michigan in 1837, and settled in Columbia, Jackson Co. In 1865
Albert moved from Columbia to this township and settled on section 6,
where he yet lives. His father died at this home in 1872, at the
age of 77 years; the mother is living with Joseph Storms, a brother of
Albert, in Hillsdale county, this State; she is over 80 years of
age. Albert A. was married to Miss Ann E. Towers Jan. 27, 1856;
she was the daughter of James and Alice Towers, and was born in
Knipton, England, July 12, 1841, and came to America with her parents
in 1849; they first settled in Madison County, N. Y. In 1851 Mrs.
Storms came to Michigan, and settled in Columbia township. Mr.
and Mrs. Storms have 3 children—Alice 0., born April 7, 1861; George
V., born Nov. 20, 1868, and Frank B., born July 21, 1871. Mr.
Storms is a member of the A. O. U. W., Lodge No. 2, Onondaga. In
politics he identifies himself with the Greenback party, was originally
Joel SWAIN was born Jan. 12, 1821, in Royalton,
Niagara Co., N. Y., the eldest son of Aaron and Claramond Swain, the
father a native of New York, and the mother of Vermont. They left
the State of New York, and came to Michigan in October, 1828, and
settled in Lodi, Washtenaw Co.; after living there about two years they
moved to Pittsfield in the same county, where Mrs. Swain died in
1833. Mr. Swain married the second time in 1834, Miss Louisa
Morgan, and the same year the family moved to Summit, this county,
where Mr. Swain bought 160 acres of Government land; after improving
and living there till 1840, he moved to this township, and settled on
section 18. In 1853 he moved to Berrien county, where he died in
1874. Joel, the subject of this sketch, has lived in this county
since 1834, and in this township since 1840. He made his first
land purchase of 64 acres in sections 9 and 17 in 1844; in 1856 he
settled on his present farm, which is in section 5. In October,
1850, he was married to Miss Deborah A. Sherman, daughter of Lowing and
Hannah Sherman, who was born in Peru, Clinton Co., N. Y., Oct. 1, 1825,
and came with her parents to Borneo, Lenawee Co., Mich., in 1835.
Mr. and Mrs. Swain have had 5 children—Harvey M., married Almira
Hudson; Homer D., (deceased), Lee, Hattie A., and Cynthia E. Mr.
Swain has been a member of the Masonic fraternity about 18 years; in
politics he is a Democrat; has experienced all that is incidental to
John T. TOWERS was born in Knipton, England, Oct. 6,
1835, eldest son and second child of James and Alice Towers, both born
in England, and came to America in 1849 and settled at Canastota,
Madison Co., N. Y.; in 1852 they left New York and came to Michigan and
settled in Columbia, this county; his father died in that township Aug.
27, 1868; his mother is yet living in the 72d year of her age.
John, the subject of this sketch, came to this township in 1858;
remained one year; returned to Columbia, and the next year came back
and settled permanently. Feb. 20, 1861, he was married to Miss
Cynthia Sherman, the fifth child of Lowing and Hannah Sherman, and was
born in Bern, Clinton Co., N. Y., April 1. 1832; her parents were
natives of Vermont, and she came to this State with them in 1835; her
father died in this township in 1860; her mother is yet living on the
old homestead with her daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Towers. They have
had 3 children— Nora V, born Oct. 8, 1863; Lucy Isabelle, born Jan. 1,
1866; James F., born May 26, 1868. Mrs. Towers is a member of the
M. E. Church. Mr. Towers is a member of the Blue Lodge at
Onondaga, the Chapter at Eaton Rapids, the I. O. O. F. at Onondaga, and
the A. O. U. W., Sanborn Lodge, No. 2, at Onondaga; has belonged to the
Masonic fraternity about 19 years, and the Odd Fellows two years,
and the United Workmen four years. In politics
he is a Democrat, but affiliates at present with the Greenback
party. Mr. Towers' father was a soldier in the war of 1812.
Richard TOWNLEY is the third son and fourth child of
Nicholas and Hannah Townley; his father was the first settler in this
township; was born in Ithaca, Tompkins Co., N. Y., Sept. 26, 1821; he
came to this county with his father in April, 1835. When he
reached his majority he purchased 40 acres of land in section 19; he
has added 160 acres to the original 40, all in the same section except
40 acres, which is in section 30. He was united in marriage with
Miss Louise Van Fossen, Nov. 12, 1843. She was a native of
Livingston county, N. Y., and died Aug. 5, 1875, leaving 6 children—
Victoria, Inez, Janet, Irving, Montgomery and Bertha; all are living
except Inez. Mr. Townley was married to Miss Jane M. Perrine, of
Rives Township, Feb. 27, 1877; she was a native of Seneca County, N.
Y., and came to this county with her parents in her early girlhood
days. Mr. Townley has been Supervisor of his township 11
successive years, and was then elected County Treasurer one term in
1878; he is a member of the Presbyterian Church, as were also his
wives. He was a Whig in politics until the Republican party was
organized; he is now identified with the Greenback party. He has
been a life-long farmer and in that occupation has been successful; had
no school advantages after he was 12 years of age; is practical,
self-made and a thorough business man.
Marcus P. WADE was born in Wayne County, N. Y., July
27, 1815; the second son and fourth child of Joseph and Rhoda (Rundie)
Wade; came with his parents, brothers and sister to Michigan in 1834,
and settled in Washtenaw County, where they lived till April, 1836;
then moved to this county, and settled in this township. His
father died July 18, 1846; his mother, Dec. 28, 1861. Marcus P.
was married to Miss Nerrissa Cranson, Sept. 24, 1839, a native of
Niagara County, N. Y., and born April 8, 1820. She died in this
township April 13, 1847, leaving 2 children—Ellen L. and Nerrissa
A. Ellen L. is the wife of Andrew Healey, and lives at Albion,
this State; Nerrissa A. (deceased) was the wife of Erastus E. Thompson,
and lived at East Saginaw at the time of her death. Mr. Wade was
the second time married, Jan 4, 1848, to Miss Abigail C. Giles; they
have a daughter and son—Mina E., now the wife of Theodore Weston, of
Leroy, Ingham county, and Charlie A., living at the old homestead with
his parents. The present Mrs. Wade was born in Rupert, Bennington
Co., Vt., March 12, 1823; came to Michigan and settled with her
parents, in Washtenaw County, in 1844. Mr. Wade has been a
communicant in the M. E. Church over 40 years; his family are also
members of the same church. He was a Whig until the Republican
party was organized, when he joined its ranks, and from its principles
and its doctrines, he has never swerved; he is also a member of the I.
O. O. F. He is an adept at “story-telling;" is prudent and
economical, but not in the least penurious. Mr. and Mrs. Wade
have a strong love for traveling, and have visited numerous cities in
the Eastern and Middle States and many in the West; are famous for the
preservation of family relics. Mrs. Wade has an hour glass that
has been in the Giles family over 250 years; has also in her possession
a bed-quilt made by her grandmother, over 100 years ago, and they have
a pair of pillow-cases made by Mr. Wade's mother, over 75 years ago.
Benson J. WOOD was born in West Bloomfield, Ontario
Co., N. Y., March 6, 1844, the youngest child of John and Harriet Wood,
natives of New York; came with his parents to this county in the spring
of 1868, where his father died Aug. 31, 1874. His mother is now
living at his home at the age of 74 years. Mr. Wood married Miss
Emily A. Whiteman, Nov. 30,1871. She was born in Hanover
Township, this county, Dec. 28, 1845; her parents were born in Genesee
County. N. Y., and came to this county about the year 1840; returned to
N. Y. in 1850, where the mother died in 1861; the father is still a
resident of that State. Mr. and Mrs. Wood have had 2
children—Frank C. and Mary E. Mr. Wood is a member of the
Methodist Protestant Church. In politics he is a Republican; was
census enumerater for this township in 1880.
Calvin WOOD was born in Sand Lake, Rensselaer Co.,
N. Y, March 7, 1811; is the sun of John and Sarah Wood, natives of the
same State. He left his native State and came to Michigan in the
spring of 1854 and settled in Rives Township, this county, on section
19; in 1868 he moved to section 13, this township. He learned the
trade of stonemason, brick-laying and plastering at the age of 16, and
followed it as a business 22 years; the remainder of his life he has
been a farmer, giving his undivided attention to that vocation.
In 1835, Jan 1, he was married to Miss Sarah A. Finch, the daughter of
Lewis and Lucy Finch, born in Sand Lake, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., March
10, 1811. They have had 9 children—James S., married Sarah E.
Smith; Mary (deceased), was the wife of T. P. Smith; John W., married
Permelia Draper; Lewis F., died in 1862 in the service of his country;
Albert, died in infancy; Henry K., married Susan E. Gray; Angeline
(deceased); Helen (deceased); Morgan F., married Mary Hay. Mr.
and Mrs. Wood are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church; they joined
the M. E. Church about 50 years ago. Mr. Wood is a Republican and
a radical temperance man. His father died in New York about the
year 1815, and his mother in 1845.
Henry L. WOODARD was born in Cohocton, Steuben Co.,
N.Y., June 2, 1832, the son of John R. and Permelia Woodard, the former
a native of Vermont and the latter of New York. John R. came to
Michigan in 1835, and purchased 80 acres of Government land in Summit
Township, section 34, this county. In 1836 the family left New
York and came to Spring Arbor, where they remained about three years,
then moved upon the land purchased in 1835; the father died in 1847;
about a year and a half later the family returned to New York; Henry
remained there about three years when he came back to this county and
settled on the old homestead in Summit Township. He remained here
till about the year 1859, when he changed his location to another part
of the township; remained about two years and moved to section
27. In 1869 he sold his farm and was appointed keeper in the
State's prison at Jackson, which position he held about four years when
he settled again on a farm he had bought in this township, where he now
lives. Mr. Woodard was married to Miss Marion E. Wheelock May 13,
1855; she was born in Watertown, Jefferson Co., N. Y., May 15,1836; was
the daughter of Leonard F. and Elizabeth P. Wheelock, the former a
native of Vermont, and the latter of the State of New York. Mr.
and Mrs. W. are the parents of 5 children: Carrie H., wife of Champ
Green, born Oct. 10, 1858; Leonard E., born Sept. 22, 1861; Libbie M.,
born Jan. 29, 1863; Minnie E., born Oct. 29, 1864, died Aug. 19, 1865,
and Harry L., born July 7, 1870. Mrs. W. is a member of the
Baptist Church. In politics Mr. Woodard is a Greenbacker.
His mother is living in Champaign County, Ill., with her youngest son,
Elnathan; she was born in 1812.
Jotham WOOD was born in Richfield, Otsego Co., N.
Y., Feb. 28, 1819; was the third son and fourth child of Jotham and
Anna Wood, natives of New Hampshire. The Wood family left New
York and came to Michigan in the spring of 1831, and settled in what is
now Blackmail Township, this county. Mr. Wood, the subject of
this sketch, settled in this township, section 22, in the spring of
1843, and here he has resided ever since. He was married to Miss
Leonora King, April 6, 1866; she is a native of Clyde, Wayne Co., N.
Y., and came to this township in July, 1853; this has been her home
ever since. Mr. and Mrs. Wood are the parents of 2
children—Nellie T. and Homer E. In their religious belief Mr.
Wood is a Liberalist, and Mrs. Wood a Spiritualist. Mr. Wood is a
Greenbacker in the strict sense of the term; was elected Supervisor of
his township two years. His advantages in school were such as the
average boy of his time enjoyed, school in the winter and work on the
farm in summer. Mrs. Wood has a Bible that has been in her family
106 years; it was published in 1769.
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