St. Clair County MI

Wales Township was organized in 1841, with Clark S. Cusick, Supervisor. It forms one of the finest agricultural districts of the county; is well watered by Pine River and Perry Creek; is girt by the Chicago & G. T. R. R. and the Detroit & G. T. It. R., and within easy distance of the county seat. Among the first permanent settlers were John Lamb, N. Bartlett, "William Chortier, Joshua Tompkins, the Kings and others named in the list of original entries. The United States lands in this township were first purchased in 1830. The buyers of that year were Abner Coburn, Joseph Pitcairn, S. Mosier, J. L. Barton, E. A. Seymour, Henry Mandel, Elias Eddy, Orus Field, Benjamin F. Tower, Edwin Jerome, Serino Smith, N. Dickinson, "William Kellogg, William H Haggerty, Ebenezer Williams, Linus S. Gilbert, Curtis C. Gates, Avery W. Stowell. Bowen Whiting, Henry J. Avery, H. F. Stockbridge, Samuel B. Linscott, Luke Hemmingway, T. J. Dudley, A. Earl, Samuel Swift, Hiram Bellows, Julius Day, Hugh Gray, Hugh Moffatt, Nathaniel T. Ludden, Hiram Sherman (1837), Anthony Wells (1837), Joseph Chortier, Isaac Hall, Samuel Ufford, Hamilton Morrison, John Beach, Phineas Davis.

The population in 1845 was 114; in 1854, 441; in 1864, 1,010, and in 1880, 1,820. The area is 23,520 acres, and the equalized valuation $361,735. In 1881, there wore 650 School children enrolled.

Grange Lodge, No. 450, of the Patrons of Husbandry of South Wales, was established in 1876. The installation of officers of the Patrons of Husbandry took place January 15, 1876, at the Wales Schoolhouse. The Acting Master, Joshua Tompkins, was the installing officer. His opening address, in explaining the duties of the thirteen officers composing the Grange, was lucid and eminently to the point This old gentleman deserves more than a passing notice. He is the first man that ever entered the primeval wilderness of Wales, over forty years ago, and has lived on the same spot where ho then pitched his tent, a good citizen, highly respected by his neighbors and all who know him. There were none else of the old settlers of early days present, but John Lamb, Sr., now nearly eighty years of age, as frosh and agile as a man of forty years, and, like his neighbor, Mr. Tompkins, highly respected. The following were the officers installed: Master, John A. Lamb; Overseer, Thomas Dunning; Lecturer, David Hawkins; Steward, Jerome Harp; Assistant Steward, Charles Reich; Chaplain, Eli Dutton; Secretary, Melvin Lamb; Treasurer, Abram Yarger; Gate Keeper, James Hill; Ceres, Mrs. James Hill; Pomona, Julia Tompkins; Flora. August Reich; Stewardess, Mrs. Nettie Jeffers. The concluding sentences of the installation were that, directly or indirectly, no partisanship should be exercised by one brother with another, in politics or religion, and only a word of honor now being administered.


Clark S. Cusick, 1842; Joshua Tompkins, 1843; Joseph Dutton, 1844-45; Benson Bartlett, 1846; Lewis Persel, 1847-18; Joseph H. Dutton, 1849; J. H. Dutton, 1850; John Lamb, 1851; Hiram King, 1852 ; Mr. Beach, 1853; W. D. Miller, 1854-57; Joshua Tompkins, 1858; J. P. Tompkins, 1859-60; W. W. Hartson, 1861-64; J. Tompkins, 1865; D. F. Willoughby, 1806-67; Robort Bailie. 1868; W. W. Hartson, 1860-72; R. Bailie, 1873 78; William W. Hartson, 1879; Darwin Drake, 1880; George Clausen, 1881-82.


Joseph H. Dutton, 1841; Maurice O'Donnell, 1841; Joshua Tompkins, 1841; John Finkle, 1841; David Donaldson, 1842; Joseph Dutton, 1842; Ebenezer Cole, 1842; Denson Bartlett, 1843; Joshua Tompkins. 1844; James M. Merritt, 1844; Joseph Dutton. 1845; H. S. Woodin, 1845; William Ferry, 1846; Holy S. Worden, 1847; Addison Bartlett, 1848; Joshua Tompkins, 1848; John Lamb, 1849; Joseph M. Beach, 1849; Hiram King, 1849; Joseph M. Beach, 1850; Benson Bartlett, 1851; Alfred Godell, 1853; John Lamb, 1854: Samuel Gibbs. 1855; Drury F. Willoughby, 1857 65; John Lamb, 1858; James H. Dutton, 1859 -63; W. D. Miller, 1860; D. D. Fish, 1862; William Eaton. 1862; Darwin Drake, 1864; Jacob C. Franz, 1865; John Lamb, 1806; Moses Hart, 1867-72; John T. Smith. 1868; W. J. Cowles. 1869-73; John Allen. 1870: Byron F. Park, 1871; Darwin Drake, 1875-79; William Griffith, 1875; Moses Hart, 1876; Byron F. Park, 1877; W. II. Bailey. 1879; Moses Hart, 1880; William Smith, 1881; Nathan C. Green. 1882.

The whole Republican ticket was elected in Wales Township, 1882. Supervisor—Charles Clausen. Clerk—A. B. Fitch. Treasurer—William Smith. Highway Commissioner—-Joseph Stevenson. Justice of the Peace—Nathan C. Green. Drain Commissioner—George Smith. School Inspectors—Robert Bailie, one year; Isaac Green, two years. Constables—Lewis Fitz, Benjamin Signora, George White and Jay King.

Goodels, in Wales Township, is fifteen miles northwest of Port Huron. There is a Baptist Church, school, a saw and grist mill there.

BIOGRAPHICAL. The following personal sketches of old settlers and other citizens form an essential part of the history of this district They contain the mintutice of its history:

MRS. ANGELINA BARTLETT, proprietress of hotel and farm. Section 22, P. O. Wales, was born in Canada, within six miles of London. June 8,1818, where she lived until fifteen yearn of age, when her parents removed to Plympton, Canada, where she remained with her parents four years; her educational advantages were limited to the common schools. On October 7, 1834, Miss Angelina was married to Mr. Benson Bartlett, of Madison County, State of New York. In 1837, she came, with her husband, to Port Huron, where she lived for about five years, where her husband carried on a farm, at the end of which time they came to the town of Wales, and, for a time, settled on a farm until, finally, Mr. Bartlett bought forty acres of wild land in Section 22, which he improved. In 1853, they put up a temporary building for a hotel, which was run as such until 1856, when they built the present hotel building, where she still resides, and carried on the hotel and farm, and has done so since the death of her husband, some nine years since.
The Wales Post Office is located in the hotel, and has been for twenty years, excepting two or three years, Mr. Bartlett being the Postmaster until his death, since which time "Mrs. Bartlett has been the Postmistress, her adopted daughter, Mrs. Grover, acting as Deputy. Mrs. Bartlett had one child, Oscar, who enlisted in the Twenty-second Michigan; was in several battles, and taken prisoner at the battle of Chickamauga. and confined in Libby prison two months, then to Bell Island, and finally to Danville, Va., where he "died of small-pox, January 23, 1864, in his thirtieth year, the disease of which he died having been contracted in prison. Mrs. Bartlett adopted a young girl, whom she reared, and who is married and still lives with her. She also adopted a niece, at the tender age of four years, whom she reared until nineteen years of age, when she married and left her. Mrs. Bartlett nursed her father-in-law in his last illness, he being nearly eighty-four years of age at his death; she also took care of her husband during his last illness, which was of long duration, he being sixty-two years of age at the time of his decease. Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett, like so many others, commenced life without means, with nothing but their great affection for each other, strong hearts and willing hands, and secured a competence for their declining years. The late Mr. Bartlett was noted for his courteous bearing, his genial, kindly disposition, and a keen sense of the ludicrous. Mrs. Bartlett has had a busy, active life, seeing and enduring all the privations incident to pioneer life, and it is now gratifying to know that she is in comfortable circumstances, in the evening of her useful life. Mrs. Bartlett is a healing medium of great power, and has been for some thirty years, during which time she has performed many remarkable cures. She has a noble, dignified and commanding appearance ; has a genial, kindly and benevolent disposition, is possessed of a great desire for the happiness of all mankind and is greatly beloved and respected by all who know her.

DARWIN DRAKE, teacher and farmer, Section 3, P. O. Goodell's, was born in the town of Gouverneur, 8t. Lawrence Co., N.Y. July 14, 1885, and graduated from the normal department of the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary, where he fitted himself for the noble profession of teaching. Mr. Drake has taught school thirty years—ten years in the State of New York, four years in Iowa, and the balance, to the present time, in the State of Michigan. In 1870, he bought forty acres of partly improved land in Section 3, in the town of Wales, where he now resides, and has improved the balance of his farm. He carries on his farm in connection with his occupation as school teacher. Was Postmaster of Goodell's, Mich., ten years, Superintendent of Schools eight years, and is now, and has been for a number of years, Justice of the Peace ; Mr. Drake is also Chairman of the School Board of Examiners for the county of St. Clair; is a member of the Baptist Church, teacher in the Sabbath school and Bible class, and also holds the office of Deacon. Mr. Drake was married to Miss Lodema Burch. of Gouverneur, New York State, November 19, 1858, by whom he has had two sons—Harvey E. and Charles B. Mrs. Drake is also a member of the Baptist Church, teacher in the Sabbath school, and takes an active part in the church work, as well as works of benevolence. Both of the sons have received a liberal education, Harvey E. having just returned from the Law Department of the State University of Ann Arbor. Mich., where he was admitted to the bar; has taught several terms, and is now about to enter a law office in Port Huron. Charles B. is also a teacher. Mr. Drake is a gentleman of fine attainments, and possesses a knowledge of men which he has acquired by some travel, and large contact with the people of various sections. He is governed in his actions by what he considers the right, and desires to deal justly and equitably with all. His position as a member of the School Board of Examiners is one of great responsibility, the duties of which are discharged with conscientious fidelity and credit to himself, as well as universal acceptance by his constituents.

WILLIAM W. HARTSON, farmer, Section 32, P. O. Memphis, was born on the 27th day of February, 1835, in Madison County, N. Y. When he was two years of age, his parents moved to Oswego, N. Y., where be lived until grown up, meantime receiving the ordinary common school education, and also learning the cooper's trade. In 1856, Mr. Hartson came West and bought forty acres of wild land in the town of Wales, in Section 32, which he has improved, and on which he now resides. To the original forty acres he has since added two more forty-acre farms, which arc also improved. He also owns 180 acres of timber land in Section- 34, and in an adjoining township, a part of which is improved. His business is general farming ; also deals some in stock. He has on his home farm a fine orchard, which, when the seasons are favorable, produces abundantly. Mr. Hartson has been Supervisor of his town, and also Register of Deeds for the County of 8t. Clair for six years. In 1860 and 1870, Mr. Hartson represented his district in the Legislature. The term for which he was elected and served was one of universal quietude, and afforded none of its members an opportunity for the exhibition of legislative ability: yet what he did do was well done all through the term, proving that his services were creditable to himself, and eminently acceptable to his constituents. He is a Freemason, a member of the St. George's Society, and was a member of the Grange. Mr. Hartson was married to Miss Lavinia Engle on the 28th day of March, 1858, by whom he has four children — Gratia, William N., Charles Elmer and George W. Gratia is married and living in Columbus; William N. is a teacher, but is at this writing taking a normal course. Mr. Hartson enlisted in the Thirtieth Michigan, which was subsequently consolidated into the Fourth Michigan ; he served for eight months in Company I. He saw but little fighting during his term of service. Besides the property heretofore mentioned, Mr. Hartson also owns property in Port Huron and Fort Gratiot. William W. Hartson served as teacher for nine terms, and did well his share toward building up the county. Mr. William W. Hartson is eminently a self-made man, having started in life without means, save his own strong will and determination to succeed; he has, while yet in the meridian of life, accumulated wealth, as well as educated himself mostly, and lives in the enjoyment of the confidence and esteem of his friends and neighbors, and has enjoyed also the filling of offices of both honor and profit.
(Wm. Hartson died 24 Dec 1907 - is buried at Memphis Cemetery, Macomb Co)

CHARLES S. KING, farmer, Sections 11, 12, 13 and 14. P. 0. Thornton, was born in the town of Sterling, Macomb Co., Mich., December 7, 1834, where he resided with his parents until he was nineteen years of age, spending his time on his father's farm and attending school winters. In 1853, he came to Wales, where he bought eighty- acres of wild land in Section 11, to which he added until he now owns 340 acres of land. 160 acres of which he has improved and operates as a general farm. He also raises some good stock and buys and sells stock, deals in Poland-China hogs of pure blood. Mr. King is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church and takes a deep and active interest in its prosperity, and has held several positions in it at various times. He has been Treasurer of his town four years, and has always been a school officer in his town, nearly, since settling in it. He was one of the original incorporators of the Macomb & St. Clair Fire Insurance Company. He was for four years a member of its Board of Directors, and has been one of the company's agents since its organization. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Wilcox, of Shelby, Macomb Co., Mich., on the 12th of November, 1862, by whom he has had four children—George W., Minnie E., Mary H. and Emeline E. Mrs. King was a native of Holly. N. Y. State; from there she moved with her parents to Waterport, Orleans Co., Western N. Y., where her father was engaged in the woolen manufacturing business, running ten looms and other necessary machinery. In 1850, her father bought a farm near Albion, N. Y., where she attended the Phipps' Ladies' Seminary, of Albion, N. Y., for nearly four years, with the intention of graduating, but before the course was completed her parents came West in 1854 and settled in Shelby, Macomb Co., Mich. In the spring and fall she attended the academy at Disco for a number of terms, teaching in the mean time during the summer and winter seasons. After this she taught school up to 1862, when she was married to Mr. Charles S. King. Mrs. King has for many years been an active, sincere and faithful worker in the church service and was for many years a teacher in the Sabbath school. She is a kind, consistent and sincere Christian lady, greatly respected by all who know her. In early life Mr. King manifested, great mechanical genius, the development of which, at various occupations, has been of great value to him. Commencing life without fortune, he has amassed wealth, and earned and enjoys the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens, thus proving that his executive abilities are of a high career.

JOHN A. LAMB, insurance agent, Section 20, P. O. Wales, was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., the 10th of August, 1832, where he resided with his parents and attended the common schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he came West with his parents, who settled in the town of Wales, on Section 20, where he now resides. On arriving at the age of twenty-one, he started out in life on his own account, and for ten ears worked on wages for various parties, at the end of which time he bought 120 acres of land in Section 1, town of Wales, where he lived two years, at the end of which time he was elected Register of Deeds for St. Clair County for the term of two years. At the end of his official term he, in company with Mr. Frazer bought out the abstract business of Mr. Frank Whipple, in which business the firm continued for three years. In connection with the abstract business the firm also engaged in real estate transaction on its own account, and acted as agents for the Agricultural Insurance Company of Watertown, N. Y-, also, the Watertown Insurance Company. At the end of this time he sold out his interest in the firm and returned to his farm, bringing with him his agencies of the insurance companies, which he still retains and is doing a large and lucrative business, requiring the services of several clerks. In the latter part of 1882, he added to his business by accepting the agency of the Continental Fire Insurance Company. lie also, at one time, represented the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee. He was Town Clerk for a number of years, and is a member of the Masonic order, having passed through the Chapter. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the K. O. T. M.'s. Besides his farm property, which amounts to 365 acres of valuable land, all rented for cash rent, he also owns property in the city of Port Huron, St. Clair County. In connection with his large and increasing insurance business, he also does more or less as a speculator. Mr. Lamb was married to Miss Helen A. Carpenter, of Port Huron, on the 16th day}' of July, 1865. They have six children—Clara E., George, Statira, John, Blanch and Sarah; Pearl W., deceased. In 1868, Mr. Lamb, against his wishes, was nominated by the Democrats to represent the Third Representative District of St. Clair County, but was defeated by a small majority. Again in 1870, without solicitation on his part, he received the nomination for Register of Deeds for St. Clair County, and was elected. In the nominating conventions of 1872 and 1874, he was nominated for the same office by the same party, and was defeated by a small majority, and again in 1876 he was nominated by the Greenback party. He was in each convention nominated for the same office by the Democrats, but was defeated by small majorities. At the time of the first election the majority against his party was from 1,600 to 2,000, thus showing, in an emphatic manner, his popularity. All of Mr. Lamb's children, except the two youngest, are preparing for the normal course. The late John Lamb, father of John A., was a native of Petersburg, N. Y. Coming West in 1847, he settled on wild land in St. Clair County and cleared up about 100 acres. He was an ardent advocate of all measures calculated to benefit the public. He was Supervisor, and Justice of the Peace for several years. He was the first Postmaster of the town, and much respected by all who knew him. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-three years and six months. Mr. John A. Lamb belongs to that class of men who by their great energy and force of character complete their educations while they are building up their fortune. Compelled by force of circumstances to commence at the bottom round, he has, by continued persistent effort, aided by his "great executive ability, accumulated large property, built up a flourishing and still growing business as an underwriter, and from what can be seen has the most flattering prospects before him for the future.

MELVIN LAMB, farmer, Section 20, P. 0. Wales, was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., December 31, 1833, where he lived with his parents until about fourteen years of age during the greater part of which time he attended the common school. On the 3d day of November, 1847, his father started with his family for the West, coming by way of Erie Canal to Buffalo, and then by the steamboat Cleveland to Detroit, Mich., from which place they immediately proceeded to Pontiac, Mich., where they remained until the following spring, when they came to Memphis, situated on the line of Macomb and St. Clair Counties. The road from Pontiac lay through a wilderness, and of the worst possible kind. Many of the roads were what is known as corduroy roads, which means that logs were cut of sufficient length, but without much reference as to uniformity of size, and laid lengthwise across the opening for the road. Let some of the young people of the rising generation ride two or three miles on such a road now and they will be able to form some sort of an idea of the style of roads the early settlers had to build and enjoy. At Memphis the family remained for one year on a rented farm. In 1849, the family came to Wales in a sleigh, arriving on the 3d day of May. In these days wagons were scarce, there being only one in the town of Wales; of course it was slow and tedious traveling by sleigh on bare ground, but then as a rule, the pioneers and early settlers everywhere, of necessity, had to forego many necessities and suffer many privations. In Wales the family settled on Section 20, where Mr. M. Lamb still resides with his family; his father bought 120 acres of wild land, not but an acre cleared. In 1862, he bought another 80-acre lot adjoining, making 200 acres, 132 of which is now improved. In 1877, in connection with his brother, John A., they bought out his father's farm, but did not assume control of the property until after the time of his father's death, which occurred in 1882, at the ripe age of eighty-three years and seven months. In 1882, he bought of Mr. E. B. Cotter, forty acres in Section 20, most of which was improved and does a general farming business: has been School Assessor for the township for six or seven years, and School Inspector three years, and is a member of the Ancient Order of Freemasons, and was a Good Templar, and has aided in organizing schools in the township. In 1859, Mr. Lamb moved a family by wagon to Mifflinburg, Penn., sixty miles west from Harrisburg, where he engaged in hauling iron ore to the mills in Mifflinburg, through one winter. In the following spring he engaged in the butcher business for four months, and in August took a contract to carry the United Slates mail from Mifflinburg to Lewiston, a distance of forty-five miles for four years. At the end of twelve months he sold out his mail contract, August 24, 1861, and rode seventy-one miles and enlisted the same day in the Logan Guards of Lewistown, which, subsequently, was absorbed by the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, in Company A. On the 26th of August they started for Harrisburg, where they went into Camp Curtain September 16; the regiment left Harrisburg for Washington, marching through Baltimore at 10 o'clock A. M,, arriving at Washington at 9 P. M. While stopping at Harrisburg, he went to hear President Lincoln address a vast concourse of people, on the momentous question of the hour; was at the battles of Ball's Bluffs. Winchester and Cedar Mountain. At the battle of Winchester they were defeated by Stonewall Jackson's forces, and compelled to fall back as far as the Potomac; was also at the battles of Second Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam. Mr. Lamb, who was in several battles, was never wounded but had his clothes hit several times. On the 9th of August he received a sunstroke which disabled him for further service. March 20, 1863, he received his discharge from Company Convalescent, Virginia. On the 28th day of September, 1867, Mr. Lamb was married to Mrs. Harriet P. Lamb, and has four children—Cynthia and Susie, twins, Augustine and Kittie. Besides his fine farm Mr. Lamb also owns business property at Lamb's Corners. It is such men as Mr. M. Lamb constitutes our country's pride. Immediately prompt in responding to the requirements of his Government, and the demands of humanity; enterprising, yet careful, being guided successfully by his executive ability. A kind husband and indulgent father, and in all respects a most exemplary citizen. The late Mr. John Lamb, father of M. Lamb, was a gentleman of great energy, force of character, enterprise and public spirit. The late Mrs. Cynthia Lamb, mother of Mr. M. Lamb, was a woman of rare qualities of head and heart, possessed of great firmness, seemingly austere, yet tempered by a genuine kindness for her own, and a love for the welfare of all mankind. Such people are fairly represented, and honored by their sons, Mr. Melvin and John A. Lamb.

DANIEL LYONS, teacher, is a native of the state of Ohio, and was born December 20, 1853. He received his education in that State, and is a graduate of Mount St. Mary's College at Cincinnati. He came to this State in the spring of 1880, and located in St. Clair County, in the town of Wales, and since then has been engaged in mercantile business, teaching and farming. He was married, April 19, 1880, to Mrs. Margaret Burns, a native of this State. Has four children—Phillip, Dennis, Ella and an infant.

DANIEL RIESH, blacksmith and farmer. Section 22, P. O. Wales, was a native of Union County, Penn., having been born on the 15th of November, 1822, where he was raised and lived till he was twenty-one years of age. He received a common school education, and learned the blacksmith's trade. In 1843, he moved to New York State, where he lived three years, at the end of which time he came to the town of Wales, in St. Clair County, where he purchased forty acres of wild land, in Section 22, which he has improved and works, in connection with his blacksmithing business, which he has followed for forty years. Has been Constable for several years, and aided in organizing the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is one of the Trustees and has been for a number of years. Was married a second time, to Miss Augusta Engle, of Germany, in 1846, and has four children by her, and three children by his first wife—Sarah, Henry and Elizabeth: and by second wife—Augusta, David, Mary and Hattie. Mrs. Riesh is a member, also, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and an active worker and teacher in the Sabbath School. Mr. Reish's children are all well educated. Augusta and Mary are teachers, having graduated from the-normal School; Augusta and David are married. Mr. Reish is a self-made man, having started in life without means and only a limited education; has for many years filled the honorable position of a Christian gentleman, a kind and indulgent husband and father, a useful citizen and an ornament to society.

JAMES WEBB, farmer. Section 3, P. O. Goodell, was born in Caledonia, State of New York, in August, 1839. In 1838, his parents moved to Canada, where he lived till nineteen years of ago. Up to 1870 he followed farming, at which time he came to the town of Wales, St. Clair County, in April of that year. Here he bought 140 acres of wild land in Section 5, 100 acres of which he has improved. In 1877, he bought 100 hundred acres of partly improved land in Section 3, where he has resided up to the present time. He has rented his three farms to his sons, and is now about to move to Port Huron, where he intends to engage in the milk and garden truck business, on a place just outside the corporate limits, his post office being Port Huron. Mr. Webb was married to Miss Ann Craig, of Canada, on the 28th of March. 1831. by whom he has had thirteen children—William, Robert, George, John, James H., Samuel, Duncan, Margaret. Francis. Charles A. and Joseph H. Westly and Thomas deceased in childhood. Mr. Webb has been Road Commissioner in his town, and he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, and consistent workers and observers of its requirements. As may be seen, Mr. Webb has done well for his country, and deserves well to enjoy the competence which his years of toil have secured for him.

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