Monthly Archives: February 2019

The Pioneers of Osceola County, Michigan

Charles H. Holden

CHARLES H. HOLDEN, of Reed City, Mich., the subject of this sketch, was born April 18, 1832, at Groton, Grafton Co., N. H.

His father, Josiah Rhodes Holden, was born in Groton, Feb. 22, 1797, and was married to Joanna Reed Danforth, Jan. 24, 1824.

She was born in Londonderry, N. H., March 10, 1800.

Of their six children but three survive: Hon. E. G. D. Holden, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Mrs. Fannie L. Fowler, wife of a prominent lawyer and capitalist at Manistee, Mich.; and C. H, of this sketch.

When the latter was an infant of two months his parents matured a long considered plan of removing West, and set out for Illinois.

Reaching Buffalo, they took passage for Cleveland, having learned of the disturbed condition of the country in that then undeveloped and remote section, where fabled resources awoke the smoldering fires of dormant ambitions, and lured the footsteps of the young and ardent towards its goals of promise.

The difficulties with the Sacs and Foxes culminated in the conflict known in history as the “Black Hawk War.”

The rumors which found their way easterly, at first vague and filled with an undefined terror, gradually assumed the tangibility of fact, and the tide of immigration stayed its waves in the nearer and more peaceful commonwealth of the Buckeye State.

The summer sped on and various complications detained those who had paused to await the end of the Indian trouble, and when the region of the Northwest was again free from the turmoil of strife it was too late to press on to the original destination.

The approach of autumn portended winter which with its associations bore little of encouragement to navigators to untried regions, and many families clung to the ties which, though so recently formed, borrowed from circumstances an added strength, and settled to await the advent of another spring.

Josiah R. Holden was among the heads of families who “had gained a foothold, but born of a sorrow which to him seemed irreparable.

In one short week the grim messenger, death, invaded that happy family and took to its icy embrace two boys, one-half of his family group,—the first and third,—leaving the second and the subject of this sketch, then an infant.

In 1834 they started from Cleveland for Chicago, which then comprised Fort Dearborn and two trading posts.

They made the trip on the first steamer that made the passage of the Straits at Mackinaw.

Ten days after reaching Chicago they went to Will County, ILL., and located on 160 acres of prairie and timber land situated on the Du Page River in the vicinity of Joliet.

The senior Holden entered into the work of the pioneer settler with all the vigor, hopefulness and energy of purpose he inherited from his ancestral stock and which associations of the place of his birth had fostered and preserved in their native strength.

He erected a hotel and had succeeded in establishing a line of business connections which promised future realizations in proportion to the spirit and deserts of their originator, when the financial crisis of 1837 supervened, and by its reduction of values, aided by the complications attendant upon the miscellaneous currency, appropriately styled “wild-cat money,” overwhelmed the relations of business, and Mr. Holden was forced to dispose of his estate at a sacrifice, which was synonymous with financial ruin.

Leaving his family settled at Plainfield, in Will County, he went to Arkansas to retrieve his losses, and after an absence of three years returned and removed his family to Moorsville, near New Albany, Indiana.

In 1845 they came to Michigan and settled on a farm of 160 acres situated twelve miles from the city of Grand Rapids.

The territory of Kent County, which is now one of the finest samples of the probabilities of Michigan, as well as a manifest of the character of her pioneers and their efforts, was then undeveloped, and Mr. Holden of this sketch, then a boy of 13, was the father’s assistant in the work of clearing the home farm.

The parents yet survive and reside in Grand Rapids, aged respectively 87 and 84 years.

Their two sons are in the fullness of their manhood and have crowned the ambitious hopes of the father and the unfaltering trust of the mother with the honors of their distinguished and successful careers.


Hon. E. G. D. Holden, of Grand Rapids, is one of the “eminent men of Michigan,” and wrought every step of his upward career by hard, systematic work, until he has a record which reflects luster on his entire generation.

His election to the position of Secretary of State of Michigan is among the most signal triumphs in the register of the Peninsular State.

Charles H. Holden has descended from illustrious ancestry, and belongs to a race that has been made conspicuous by distinctive traits.

The student of history may always turn from his futile and bewildering guest in search of a reliable basis whereon to found a just opinion of a large majority of the characters of history to the records of the Puritans.

Though they have been the objects of derision, contumely and vituperation, no assault has availed to hurl the class from its position. It has stood statuesque in the history of the world since the days of Elizabeth, and its appellation is the synonym for, sound morality and unswerving purpose.

The records of business since the period of the earliest dissenters, in all avenues, exhibit traces of their inflexible methods.

They have been the founders of some of the most substantial and popular financial projects; they have shone peerlessly in literature; they have walked unflinchingly to the block and bared their throats to the headsman’s ax with firm fingers, and invited the fatal blade with the same calmness in which they were wont to stretch themselves for repose on luxuriant couches in palatial homes.

It is a grand type of humanity, and its fineness of grain is still inbred in our own composite nationality.

It is like the essence of the cassava, preservative and antiseptic, and from its reproduction in succeeding generations it receives a fresh impetus, and takes in renewed vitality.

The name of Holden first appears in the records of the New World in 1609, when Richard Holden, a refugee Puritan, from the town of Leyden, came to America, followed in r61r and in 1612 respectively by Justinian and Randall Holden, of the same persecuted fraternity.

The earliest traceable ancestors of the family of C. H. Holden was John Holden, born in 1692, from whom the line is intact.

In the maternal line he is of Scottish origin; his mother being descended from the Greggs of Ayrshire, and traced to 1690.

The earliest independent individual purpose of Mr. Holden, of this sketch, was to obtain an education, and he availed himself of every advantage of the public schools in the sections of Illinois where his parents resided, and after their removal to Kent County, Michigan, alternated his seasons of labor with study at the terms of winter school.

He served the family interests faithfully and well, and at 18 his father gave him all the aid he could toward the accomplishment of his plans,—the control of his time, —that he might pursue his educational project untrammeled.

He had sufficient means to enter the academy at Plainfield, Illinois, where he spent a year preparatory to becoming a student at Oberlin, Ohio.

At the latter place he took a classical course of study, in which he was occupied three years, earning money to defray his expenses by teaching winters; the fourth, or final, year of his collegiate course was passed at Knox College, Illinois.

On leaving college he was free from debt; his industry had earned all he needed, and his frugality had expended his earnings to the best possible advantage, and best of all he had the eminent satisfaction of knowing that what he had accomplished was his own work, and at the cost of no sacrifice at home.

He entered the office of Patterson & Champlin at Grand Rapids, Mich., as a student of law, and read under their supervision two years, gaining much advantage from their office relations ; after which one year was spent in Columbia Law College, Washington, D. C, where he was graduated.

After a year’s practice in Grand Rapids he finally located at Grand Traverse, and in the fall of 1858 was elected Prosecuting Attorney and Circuit Court Commissioner for that county.

The territory then embraced within its limits now comprises the counties of Leelanaw, Antrim, Kalkaska and Benzie.

The district politically was Democratic, yet he was elected over his competitor, Frank Stevens, by 23 majority, being the only one on the Republican ticket that was elected in the county that year.

He was re-elected in 1860 and officiated until the President’s second call for troops, when he felt the need of arduous service in behalf of the national integrity, and he abandoned a prosperous business and raised a company of volunteers, afterwards known as the “Lake Shore Tigers,” Co. A, 26th Mich. Vol., and was mustered as its First Lieutenant on the 11th day of September, 1862.

During the spring of 1863 his regiment participated in the Blackwater campaign near Suffolk, Va., against Longstreet.

During the draft riots at New York City in July, 1863, his regiment was ordered to New York, and Mr. Holden was placed on the staff of Gen. Canby, as Commissary of Subsistence.

The arduous work of providing for 30,000 troops hastily concentrated at the city of New York during this emergency required rare executive skill and prompt action in meeting and providing for the wants of the soldiers.

How well he discharged the duty of this trust may be inferred from the fact that he, a volunteer officer, was retained in preference to old line regular officers, who never looked with favor upon the volunteer service.

During this period Mr. Holden handled millions of dollars for the Government in purchasing supplies for the army and in disbursements to the various hospitals in and about the city, and, be it said to his credit, every dollar was accounted for to the last farthing, as the records of the Department will show.

On the 15th of October his regiment was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac and became a part of the First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, under Gen. Hancock, in which capacity the regiment remained until the close of the war.

The cessation of the hostilities afforded opportunities to retrieve errors and for the recognition and acknowledgment of meritorious services.

Mr. Holden received two brevets first as Major, and lastly Lieutenant Colonel. On being relieved of his obligations as a soldier, he was appointed to a position by the Secretary of the Treasury in the Loan Branch, Treasury Department, where he was attached to the bureau for printing and disbursing the 7-30 bonds.

Later he was attached to the Second Auditor’s office, where he remained until 1870.

In June, 1869, he was chosen to represent the 5th Ward, afterwards 20th District, Washington, D. C., in the City Council: he was re-elected in 1870, and chosen President of the Board of Common Council, being the 69th and last Council of said city.

During his administration and management of the trust reposed in him by his constituency, he advocated and perfected many plans, such as parking the avenues and a system of drainage, which has since been adopted, placing the city upon a plane its founders intended it should occupy and become the handsomest city on the continent.

The plan here inaugurated was taken up and carried forward by the new life which had been infused by the new order of things, and Washington of to-day is the pride of the nation and the most beautiful city in the world.

During the years 1869-70-71-72, Mr. Holden contributed to “the city in beautiful brick blocks, aggregating over a hundred residences, with an outlay of capital involved of more than half a million dollars.

He was also largely engaged in the purchase and sale of real estate.

It is said of him that he rarely, if ever, made a mistake in buying real estate; his purchases always panned out with a profit, and in a few years he had risen to the foremost rank among the live business men in Washington City.

But success in any vocation is not absolutely assured.

The panic of 1873 had its depressing effect on values, and with it the consequent roll of disaster; the business men of the entire country were the chief sufferers; fortune vanished as if by magic, and lack of confidence and general distrust pervaded the business world.

Mr. Holden was not alone in adversity, and when the storm had spent its fury he found himself bereft of his entire fortune!

In 1878 he visited the West, determined to retrieve past losses, by commencing again at the bottom in new and untried fields, unaided save by the light of experience.

Reed City, Osceola Co., Mich., was the point selected, and in the month of June, the following year, he opened an office for the transaction of business as an attorney and dealer in real estate, and continued the management of his relations alone until Oct. 31, 1881, the date of the admission of Charles A. Withey, the firm style becoming Holden & Withey.

This firm is now the most prominent in Northern Michigan and is largely interested in real-estate operations in connection with a large and lucrative law practice.

Mr. Holden has done much to improve, enlarge and beautify Reed City; he has been instrumental in adding additions and a beautiful park to the city; last season he purchased the Heath-House Block, and more than doubled its dimensions and leased it for a term of years to Norman Johnson, M. D., Manager of the Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota Hospital Company.

This institution is now one of the largest and best conducted hospitals in the State.

It is also a sanitarium.

The edifice is brick, four stories in height above the basement and covers a little over an acre of land, and is the most attractive structure in the city.

The firm own a large amount of village and farm property; they also issue a monthly, the title of which is Real Estate Bulletin.

In the year 1869, while a resident of the National Capital, Mr. Holden became a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is now a member of Lafayette Chapter; also Columbia Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar, and Knights of Pythias, all local organizations of Washington City.

In 1883 he was elected Commander of Stedman Post, No. 198, G. A. R., of Reed City, and is now serving his second term; he is also Commander of the Soldiers and Sailors’ Association of Northwestern Michigan, an organization including within its limits the northwest quarter of the State.

Mr. Holden was married Feb. 9, 1859, to Fannie E. Brooks, daughter of Horatio and Elizabeth Brooks, of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Holden died in infancy.

The portrait of Mr. Holden which is presented on a preceding page is a fitting accompaniment to the biographical annals of Osceola County.

His youth’s first endeavor was as a pioneer laborer in the development of Northern Michigan, which has supplied some of the best elements in the progressive history of this country; and to it he has brought the energies of his manhood’s prime, which are among its most valuable factors in its present condition of promise, fast approaching fulfillment and the fullness which characterizes adjacent, as well as remote, sections of the Peninsular State.


E. J. Terrill, merchant and Postmaster at Avondale, and farmer, section 26, Hartwick Township, was born July 23, 1837, in Middletown, Vt.

His father, Ezra Terrill, was a farmer in the Green Mountain State, where he was born in the town of Middletown in Rutland County.

In early life he was a miller.

Later he went with his family to the State of New York, where he reared his family.

In 1865, the Terrills, father and son, came to Michigan, where they remained at that time but a year, going in 1866 to Jones County, Iowa.

There the mother, Orra (Newland) Terrill, died, June 11, 1870.

She was born in Vermont. In March, 1881, Mr. Terrill, of this sketch, removed his family to Hartwick Township, whither he came a month earlier and bought 40 acres of land, on which some improvements had been made.

He afterwards erected a building for a store, put in a stock of goods worth $1,200, and has since transacted a fairly good business as a merchant.

On the establishment of the post office at this point he was appointed Postmaster.

The senior Terrill died at the home of his son, March 9, 1883.

Mr. Terrill is a Republican in political sentiment.

He was married Feb. 20, 1862, at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., to Bertha Bachelor, and they have the following named children: Orra L., born July 2, 1863; Inez M., March 14, 1867; Irma L., Aug. 23, 1869, and died Oct. 8, 1870; Albert K, Nov. 18, 1872.

The mother is the daughter of Nathaniel and Lucretia (Ward) Bachelor.

Her parents were natives respeciively of Vermont and Massachusetts, and they located in North Amherst, Mass., where the mother died.

The father went to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., married a second time, and died there in March, 1862.

Mrs. Terrill was born in Conway, Franklin Co., Mass., and was 12 years of age when she was taken by her father to the State of New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Terrill are members of the Baptist Church.


Jacob Swarthout, farmer, section 32, Sherman Township, was born in Waterloo, Seneca Co., N. Y., Aug. 16, 1843.

John Swarthout, his father, was born at Seneca Falls, N. Y., and has been a farmer and blacksmith during his active life.

He is of German extraction and married Amanda Taylor, a native of Wayne Co., N. Y. She died in 1848, in Seneca County.

The father is a resident of Ionia County, and is 84 years of age.

Soon after the death of his wife he removed with his family to Hillsdale Co., Mich., removing later to his present location.

After the death of his mother when he was five years of age, Mr. Swarthout was under the care of his father until he was 11 years old, when he took the control of his course of life into his own hands.

He found home and employment among the farmers of Hillsdale County until he became a fireman on the Michigan Southern Railroad.

He “fired” about 13 months, after which he was entrusted with an engine on the same road, although he was not yet 15.

He served in that capacity three years.

He enlisted Aug. 21, 1861, under the second call of President Lincoln for men to aid in the restoration of a “solid” Union, enrolling in the First Michigan Cavalry, under Colonel Broadhead, who was killed in the second battle at Bull Run.

Mr. Swarthout was in the cavalry 15 months, and was a participant in all the fights in which his regiment was involved, among which were Winchester, Oliver Heights and the capture of Harper’s Ferry.

He was discharged for disability, but soon re-enlisted in Battery F, Light Artillery, from Flint, Mich.

His command accompanied Sherman through the Georgia campaign, and he fought in the following engagements: Resaca, May 14; Pine Hill, June 10; Lost Mountain, June 15; around the Kenesaw Mountains, June 22; Atlanta, July 21, 22 and 27. (These were contests of 1864.)

Aug. 4, 8, 9 and 1 1, the forces were in action near Atlanta, where Battery F had the honor of throwing the first shell.

Mr. Swarthout also took part in the battle near Kingston, N. C., March 10, 1865.

He received his discharge July 8, 1865, at Jackson, Mich., and returned to Hillsdale County.

He resumed his former occupation of farmer, in which he continued four years.

In October, 1869, he came to Osceola County, where he made a homestead claim of the real estate he has owned ever since, situated on section 32, Sherman Township, and consisting of 80 acres of land.

The entire acreage was in its forest condition, and he has now 55 acres under most creditable cultivation, and forming one of the most desirable and valuable farms in the township.

He has recently built a large barn.

He is a skilled farmer and a trusted, respected citizen.

Politically he is a Republican, and has served as Township Treasurer.

He was married Nov. 26, 1868, in Hillsdale Co, Mich., to Emma Convis.

They have one child— Ethel—born April 23, 1870.

Mrs. Swarthout was born Aug. 22, 1849, in Wheatland Township, Hillsdale County, and is the daughter of Philo D. and Huldah (Halleck) Convis.

The father still resides on the homestead where the mother died, in July, 1867.


William W. Cushman, farmer and lumber, man, resident on section 22, Middle Branch Township, was born Jan. 25, 1843, in Penobscot Co., Maine.

He was reared on a farm and remained on the family homestead until he was 20 years of age.

In 1863 he began to operate as a saw-mill assistant on the Penobscot River.

Two years later he came to Michigan and engaged in lumbering in the region of the head-waters of Cass River in Tuscola and Sanilac Counties, proceeding thence to Rouge River in Kent County, where he was similarly interested.

Later he went to the State of Wisconsin, returning afterward to Michigan.

In 1869 he made a claim of 160 acres of land in Middle Branch Township, on which he at once settled permanently, and engaged in lumbering.

To this he has added 150 acres by later purchase.

His lumbering operations have been transacted on the Middle Branch and Muskegon Rivers, and have chiefly occupied his time.

The improvements on his farm are still limited.

He is a Democrat in political preference, and has served as Road Commissioner and School Inspector.

Mr. Cushman was married Sept. 1, 1872, in Hartwick Township, to Laura E. Coil.

She was born Nov. 6, 1847, in Mercer Co., Ohio, and accompanied her parents to Osceola County when she was 12 years old.

The children born to herself and husband are six in number: Sumner, Linwood, Mark W., Lucretia J. and James W.

An infant died unnamed.


David Shadley, farmer, lumberman and stockman, resident on section 24, Hartwick Township, was born Dec. 26, 1841, in Hardin Co., Ohio.

He is of German and Irish descent, and his parents were natives of the State of Virginia.

They came later to Ohio, and are now buried in the family burial place in Hardin County.

Mr. Shadley was sent to school while a child, but on acquiring sufficient growth and strength he was called to make practical use of both on his father’s farm, where he continued his efforts until his marriage, Feb. 26, 1863, to Elizabeth J. Clark.

Her parents, Thomas and Mary (Judah) Clark, were born in Fairfield Co., Ohio.

She was born May 7, 1841, in Fairfield Co., Ohio, and soon after her parents removed to Seneca County in the same State.

Ten years later, in 1851, they went to Hardin County, where they now reside and manage extensive farming interests.

They are aged 67 and 70 years, and are prominent members of the community to which they belong.

Mrs. Shadley was educated in Hardin County, and resided with her parents until her marriage at 19.

Her six children were born in the following order: Clement L., Dec. 27, 1863; Llewellyn M., Aug. 9, 1865; Samantha A., Nov. 8, 1866; Lewis L., May 10, 1869; Esther R., July —, 187i; Homer O., Nov. 28, 1876.

In March following his marriage, Mr. Shadley located on a farm in Hardin County, which he conducted four years.

They set out from thence in April, 1867, and traversed the entire distance to Hartwick with a team, coming in a pioneer wagon, and consuming 23 days in the trip.

There was no thoroughfare built over the last six miles of their route; snow lay four feet deep on the ground, and they had to cut their road into the bush.

Their rate of travel was so slow that they were obliged to sleep in their wagon in the dense woods.

They had brought with them their household effects, and on arrival at their destination they had no shelter for either themselves or their belongings, and they lived in their wagon until it was possible to construct a rude house.

Mr. Shadley had made a homestead claim of 160 acres, and later bought 160 acres additional, making a splendid farm of a half section in extent, of which 200 acres is in a cultivated condition.

Since his arrival and settlement, Mr. Shadley has operated extensively in several branches of lumbering, and has arrangements completed for “putting in” about 2,000,000 feet in the winter of 1884-5.

He is a Prohibitionist in political opinion, and has been Township Supervisor several years; is now a member of the School Board.

Mrs. Shadley is a member of the sect known as Seventh-Day Adventists.


Arthur Blanchard, farmer, section 29, Hersey Township, was born in Onondaga, New York, October 15, 1857 and is the son of Loren and Ester (Marsh) Blanchard.

The parents are residents on section 32 in Hersey Township.

The father works to some extent as a carpenter.

The family came to Michigan in 1860, first fixing their home in Sharon Township, Washtenaw County.

The father bought 160 acres of land, where he operated as an agriculturist until 1872.

On selling the place he removed to Ann Arbor, returning thence to a second farm in Sharon Township, of which he became the owner, comprising 80 acres.

In 1877 he again sold out and purchased 80 acres in Hersey Township.

In 1882 he bought 80 acres additional.

Father and son are in partnership, and both equally interested in paying for their joint property, the second purchase of land being in the son’s name.

The latter was married Aug. 28, 1881, to Anna Richards.

Alice A., only child, was born June 8,1882.

Mrs. Blanchard is the daughter of William R. and Lydia A. (Edwards) Richards.

Her father was a soldier in the Union service and was captured by the rebels at Olusta, Florida, Feb. 12, 1864, and incarcerated in the stockade prison at Andersonville, where he died July 19, 1864, from the combined effects of exposure, hardship and hunger.

He was born Aug. 23, 1813, in Monmouthshire, England, was married in his native country and in 1844 emigrated with his family to the United States, locating primarily at Hopkinton, Mass., where he operated as a blacksmith.

The mother died in New England.

Mrs. Blanchard was born Jan. 12, 1852, at Hopkinton.

She is a lady of more than ordinary intellectual abilities and culture, and during 1881-2 was School Superintendent of Hersey Township.

Mr. Blanchard is a Republican in the truest sense of the term.

Philip Haslam, farmer on section 32, Richmond Township, is a son of John and Ann Haslam, natives of Ireland.

His father died in that country and his mother emigrated to America, and died in Noble County, Ind.

The subject of this sketch was also born on the “Emerald Isle,” the date of his birth being Jan. – 6, 1819.

He came to this country in 1849 and lived in the city of Rochester about eight years, then in Auburn, same State, for a while, then some time in Lenawee Co., Mich., then in Indiana, and finally, in the fall of 1858, he came to this county, taking possession of 80 acres of land where he now resides and has 60 acres in cultivation and good productive condition.

Mr. H. has served as Overseer of Highways; in political science he takes the views of the “National” party, and in religion he is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, of which Mrs. H. is also a member.

He was married in Auburn, N. Y., to Julia O’Neil, and they had seven children, viz.: John J., Sarah, Catherine, Mary J., Julia, Elisha and Abigail: the last two are deceased.

Mrs. H. died, in this county, in May, 1878, and Mr. Haslam was again married, in Auburn, N. Y., to Mrs. Ellen, nee Loven, widow of John Chester, who died in Auburn.

She has two children by her first husband,—Maria and John.


Isaac Smith, farmer, section 30, Burdell Township, was born May 8, 1834, in Huron Township, Wayne County, New York.

Daniel Smith, his father, was born in Ontario, and descended from New England parentage.

He was a mechanic in early life but entered the ministry, and although more than 80 years old, he is still actively engaged in parochial labor, in Kansas.

Isaac’s mother, Grata A. (Stage) Smith, was born in the State of New York, of New England parentage, and spent her whole life in the Empire State.

She died in August, 1847, in Huron, Wayne County.

Her six children outlived her, and are still living, with one exception.

Mr. Smith was 13 years of age when his mother died. Later, his father went to Wisconsin, where the son accompanied him and remained with him until he reached the age of 19, when he came to Manistee, Mich.

There was at that date—1858—scarcely a settlement at that point.

He continued to operate there three years, meanwhile purchasing in Berrien County 40 acres of land, located in Three Oaks Township.

In June, 1854, he settled on his farm, where he resided some years, and combined his farming operations with the manufacture of brick and tile.

He enlisted in the 25th Mich. Vol. Inf., and was wounded in the lower right leg by a rifle shot, at Tubb’s Bend, on Green River, Ky.

He was sent to the hospital at Louisville, and thence to Madison, Wisconsin, on sick leave, where he officiated as nurse, nearly a year, and was transferred from there to Indianapolis to guard rebel prisoners.

He received his discharge July 8, 1865, and returned to Three Oaks, resuming his agricultural operations.

He was married Sept. 18, 1865, to Barbara A. Sevice.

Their children are Mabel and Lucas H.

In the spring of 1871, Mr. Smith removed with his family to Osceola Co., Mich., and entered a homestead claim of 160 acres in Burdell Township.

The settlers were few in number, remotely situated, and the forest was unbroken where he settled.

He has improved his farm until it is one of the finest in the township, and includes 100 acres cleared and tillable land.

His first wife died, and he was again married April 21, 1878, in Dover Township, Lake County, Mich., to Mrs. Sarah E. (McNary) Hicks, daughter of Isaac and Lucretia (Rellyea) McNary.

She was a widow and by her former husband she had one child,— James W.,—born May 7, 1861.

She was born in Binghamton, Broome Co., N. Y., Sept. 19, 1840, and came with her parents to Chicago when she was seven years of age.

They remained there but two years, becoming alarmed by the appearance of cholera.

They went to Elgin, Ill., whence her father went two years later to Iowa.

The family settled in Fayette County, where she was educated.

She was first married at Brush Creek, in May, 1860.

Her father is a farmer in Nebraska and is 73 years of age.

Her mother died in Iowa, in 1868, at the age of 54.

Mr. Smith is a Republican in political sentiment, has been Justice of the Peace and held the various school offices.

The family attends the Christian Church, of which the parents are members.


Anthony Wenzel, of the manufacturing firm of Wenzel Brothers at Le Roy, was born in June 19, 1848, in Austria.

His parents , Joseph an Caroline Wenzel, removed to their family and interests from Austria, New York, the father obtaining his first employ in this country from Barber & Sons, woolen manufacturers in that city.

Seven years later he again transferred his family to Wisconsin, settling on a farm 13 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

After one year of agricultural effort they returned to Auburn and the senior Wenzel again engaged with his former employers, remaining in their service about six years.

In 1864 the family came to Dorr, Allegan Co., Mich., where the homestead is still retained.

They were among its earliest pioneer settlers.

Mr. Wenzel operated as his father’s assistant until he was 20 years of age, when he obtained a situation in a shingle-mill in the township of Dorr.

After pursuing this occupation some time, the manufacturing firm of Wenzel & Sons was established with the father at its head.

A year later the organization became Wenzel Brothers.

The partnership existed five years and its business transactions were managed chiefly in Ensley Township, Newaygo Co., Mich.

The firm dissolved in 1879, and in the spring of the following year Mr. Wenzel came to Osceola County and engaged in stocking a mill which was managed by his brother.

In the fall of 1882 the present association was instituted, which has since prosecuted the manufacture of lumber and shingles, and is doing an extensive business in hard-wood planing.

They have producing capacity for 40,000 feet of lumber daily, and 40,000 shingles, and they own 200 acres of timber land easily accessible from their works.

Mr. Wenzel is the individual owner of 11 improved lots in Le Roy village.

He was formerly a Republican, but is now an adherent of the Prohibition element.

He was married at Dorr, April 22, 1870, to Ellen Burke, and they have had four children: Harry F., who was born Feb. 8, 1873: Caroline R., Oct. 10, 1874; Irvin L., Dec. 22, 1877; and Albert, born April 18, 1880, who died July 9, 1881.

Mrs. Wenzel was born Oct. 15, 1852, in Medina Co., Ohio.

She is the daughter of Thomas and Betsey (Quinn) Burke, natives of Ireland, who emigrated to the United States after their marriage, and who located in the Buckeye State.

In 1867 they removed thence to Allegan Co., Mich., where the father died May 6, 1880.

The mother is still a resident there.

Mr. Wenzel holds the office of Trustee in the Baptist Church at Le Roy, and is Sunday-school Superintendent.

Isaac Grant

Isaac Grant, liveryman and proprietor of the Upton Avenue Mills, at Reed City, was born Jan. 25, 1846, near St. John’s, Clinton Co., Mich., and is the son of Charles and Emmeline (Gillett) Grant.

His earliest known paternal ancestor, Ebsnezer Grant, was born in Scotland, at an unknown date.

Isaac Grant, son of the latter, was born April 4, 1760, in Goshen, Conn., and became a soldier in the Continental Army before he was 17 years of age, serving under “Mad” Anthony Wayne, and participating in the bayonet charge at the ford of Stony Point.

His command of 40 men were captured at Fort Washington and placed on the prison ship “Grosvenor” in New York Harbor.

The entire number were seized with smallpox.

A surgeon visited them and left a dose for each man.

All but four took the medicine and died.

Isaac Grant was one of the survivors.

After the close of the war he went to Lenox, Mass., and studied medicine.

He married Hannah Tracy, of that place, and settled at Colerain in the same State, removing later to Whitingham, Vt.

He went thence in 1801 to Chenango Co., N. Y., where he practiced his profession and was one of the founders of the first medical society of that county.

He continued a practitioner there until compelled by advancing years to withdraw from active life, and removed to Genesee Co., N. Y., and later to Albion, Mich., where he died Nov. 9, 1841.

His wife died Oct. 30, 1841, ten days preceding his own demise.

They had nine children.

Charles, fifth son and child, was born Oct. 2, 1794, in Colerain.

He was a drafted man in the war of 1812, and served throughout the contest.

He married Peggy Hines, March 26, 1816, and they had three children.

The first wife died, and Feb. r, 1831, he married Matilda Closs.

They became the parents of two children.

The mother died Aug. 26, 1833.

Mr. Grant was a third time married June 10, 1838, to Emmeline Gillett, and they had eight children.

Mr. Grant was reared on the home farm in Clinton Co., Mich.

He was 15 years of age when the Civil War stirred the patriotism of young and old, and he experienced from the first the common enthusiasm.

The fault of his youth was one that time was gradually and surely remedying, and he enlisted Oct. 3, 1863, at St. John’s, as a private in Co. I, 10th Mich. Cav., Captain Ayres.

His command was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and took part in the Stoneman raids, serving until Nov. 11, 1865.

Mr. Grant was a participant in 52 battles, of more or less importance.

On leaving the army he returned to Clinton County for a time, and removed thence to St. Louis, Gratiot Co., Mich., and there engaged in the flour and feed business, operating in that avenue at that point about two years.

In 1870 he went to Mount Pleasant, Isabella County, where he established himself in general trade.

A year and a half later he transferred his locality to Baldwin, Lake Co., Mich., and there pursued the same vocation for a year.

At the end of that time he entered a claim of 160 acres of land near Baldwin, where he located and commenced active operations.

In 1874 he was elected Sheriff of Lake County on the Republican ticket and served his term.

In 1880 he was reelected to the same position.

He also held other official positions, and officiated as President of the County Agricultural Association two years.

In February, 1883, he went to Chase, Lake County, and bought a livery stable, which he continued to manage until Sept. 3, 1883, the date of his sale of the property.

Sept. 9, he became the proprietor of his livery business.

His stables contain about a dozen horses on an average, and are fitted with necessary and suitable livery equipments.

He purchased his mills of T. V. Childs, in the fall of 1884 (current year).

They include saw, grist and planing mills, and are fitted with the best quality of modern appurtenances.

They derive a special value from their central location.

Mr. Grant is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Post Stedman, No. 198, and he belongs also to the Sons of Industry.

He was married Oct. 25, 1868, at Salt River, Isabella County, to Daney Clark.

She was born Aug. 11, 1850, in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Robert and Martha Clark.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Grant were born as follows: Rena M., May 11, 1870; Alda M., Aug. 29, 1873; Clark D., April 25, 1875; Howard, June 1, 1879; and Annie, May 11, 1881.

Mr. Grant is an active, enterprising man and possesses the quality and degree of business energy which guarantees the future solidity of Osceola County.

He is a fine specimen of physical manhood, is six feet one and a half inches in height and weighs 215 pounds.


Rev. John Farsberg, Pastor of the Lutheran Church located at Tustin, was born Nov. 9, 1834, in Sweden.

His father, Johan H. Farsberg, died when he was in early childhood, and thereafter, until the age of eight years, he was cared for by his mother, Christiana Farsberg, in the home of his maternal grandfather.

In 1842 he went to live with an uncle to be instructed in the business of a blacksmith, and later he worked as a puddler in a foundry.

When he was about 30 years of age he was appointed Government Inspector of the machine shops throughout the kingdom of Norway.

He spent one year in the traverse of the country in the discharge of the trust.

On the expiration of his commission in 1866, he came to the United States and remained about a year in the city of Chicago, where he obtained employment as an axle-filer in various carriage factories.

He became at the end of that time a missionary among his countrymen, and after laboring among them some months he returned to his trade as a mechanic, and operated three years in the manufacture of plows.

He went thence to Moline, Ill., where he officiated in the Lutheran ministry one year.

He went thence to Henry County in that State, and preached two years in the country.

In 1874 he returned to his former field in the city of Chicago, where he acted as a missionary about three years.

He next proceeded to Rock Island, Ill., and spent a year in study at the Swedish seminary, and at the close of his course was regularly ordained a minister.

In 1877 he took a final leave of his people in Illinois, and, answering to an urgent call from Osceola County, he located at Tustin.

On his arrival he found the society without organization or place of worship, and he at once entered vigorously into the work of remedying the deficiency.

He has organized churches of his faith at Tustin, Reed City, Cadillac, Hobart, Morley and Bounds’ Mill, all of which are now included in his circuit save at Reed City.

At Tustin he has added 125 members to his society, and the membership over which he has charge, aggregates 500 in round numbers.

Since his arrival in Osceola County he has been instrumental in erecting five church edifices and a parsonage.

He has been indefatigable and unremitting in his parochial labors, and has often labored both day and night in his periods of effort.

He is an earnest and zealous promoter of the principles of the Republican Party.

Mr. Farsberg was married in 1866, in Norway, and three months after he came to Chicago, where his wife died six months later, leaving no child.

He was again married Dec. 26, 1878, in Chicago, to Betsey Kunoson, who was born Oct. 22, 1845, in Sweden.

She was well educated in her native land, and when 18 years of age came to Chicago with her parents, who went later to Minnesota, where they are farmers.

Mr. and Mrs. Farsberg have had four children, one of whom, John, is not living.

Those who survive are Antony W., Anna M. and Joseph T. Martin W. Westfall, proprietor of the hotel at Leroy which bears his name, was born April 17, 1843, in Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., and is the son of James and Elizabeth Westfall.

When he was 16 years of age, his parents removed from his native State to Lenawee Co, Mich., and settled at Hudson.

He took possession of a rented farm a year later, which he conducted several years, coming thence in August, 1866, to Osceola County.

He located on a farm and was one of the first settlers north of Reed City.

He lived on the place where he made a claim five years, and improved 20 acres.

Meanwhile, he operated on the road grade of the track of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, between Ashton and Leroy, and he “got out” 10,000 ties for the road.

Subsequently he bought out a man who was making preparations to erect a block-house hotel, but before his arrangements were complete he changed his plan and drew the lumber 12 miles for the building of a frame structure for the same purpose, which was the first building at Leroy.

He had a large number of boarders, chiefly railroad men, and at one time numbering nearly 100.

He has since built two structures for hotel purposes, the first having been consumed by fire.

In 1872 he took possession of the Westfall House, of which, together with three village lots, he is the proprietor.

He owns, besides, 80 acres of land under good cultivation, in Newaygo County.

Politically he adheres to the present principles of the Democratic Party.

He has been Treasurer of his township two years, and is present Village Marshal.

He was married Dec. 25, 1864, to Frances E. Fairchild.

She was born Oct. 12,1841, in Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., and came with her parents to Hillsdale Co., Mich., when she was two years old.


Robert M. Westfall is an adopted child.

When 17 years old Mr. Westfall enlisted, enrolling as a soldier in the Union Army, Nov. 29, 1861, in the 27th N. Y. Inf., and was assigned to Co. B.

The regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, and was discharged in June, 1863.

Mr. Westfall participated in eleven battles and some minor skirmishes, escaping unhurt from battle casualties.

He took a severe cold which settled in his head and caused permanent loss of hearing.

Four of his brothers enlisted, and all escaped injury save two who received slight wounds.


Joseph Patterson, founder of the Osceola County Democrat, the pioneer Democratic journal published in Osceola County, and still its editor, was born April 26, 1855, in the township of Raisin, Lenawee County, Michigan.

He is the son of Hon. J. H. Patterson, member of the first Constitutional Convention of Michigan.

In 1866 the family removed to Jefferson, Cass County, Michigan.

Mr. Patterson received a good common-school education, supplemented by a thorough course of study at the High School at Kalamazoo where he graduated in 1879.

He subsequently studied law with Howell & Carr, attorneys at Cassopolis, Michigan, and in the spring of 1881 he was admitted to the Bar.

He removed to Evart in the fall of 1884, and founded the journal with which he is connected as owner and editor.


Ebenezer M. Braden, farmer on section 13, Leroy Township, is the proprietor of 80 acres of land lying adjacent to the village of Leroy and justly considered one of the most valuable places in the township in point of merit.

He was born Dec. 19, 1831, in Seneca . N. Y.

Louis Braden, his father, is a native of Seneca County, where he has spent his entire life, and is still a resident.

His mother, Electa (Moore) Braden, is a native of the same State.

Their family comprises nine children, all of whom are living.

The parents are each 76 years old, and are in fine health.

Mr. Braden is the oldest of his parents’ children, five of whom reside in the State of New York, the remaining four being residents of Michigan.

He remained at home until he was 22 years of age, and was instructed in all the details of farm labor.

He was married in the winter of 1856, in Victor, Ontario Co., N. Y., to Mary S. Pound.

She was born in August, 1831, in the State of New York, and died Sept. 21, 1869, in Allegan Co., Mich., leaving four children, three of whom still survive her, Cornelia, Charles D. and Clarence A.; Frank is deceased.

Mr. Braden was a second time married April 19, 1871, in Texas Township, Kalamazoo Co., Mich., to Sarah A. Angell.

One child has been born of this marriage; Ewell L.

Mrs. Braden was born Nov. 30, 1838, in Galen, Wayne Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of James and Lucy (Tabor) Angell.

Her parents were natives respectively of Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

They came to Michigan in 1868, settling in Kalamazoo County.

They passed the closing years of their lives in the home of their daughter in Osceola County.

The father died July 12, 1879, the mother, April 28, 1877.

They had 10 children.

Mr. Braden removed his family to Leroy Town; ship May 6, 1873.

He operated as a saw-mill assistant three years, and in 1876 bought 80 acres of land on which he has since established himself as one of the leading farmers in this portion of the county.

He is a decided Republican, and has been Supervisor one year.

He is a Baptist in religious faith and connection.


Gideon A. Estes, merchant, formerly of the mercantile firm of Bevins & Estes, operating at Tustin, was born May 21, 1844, in Madison Co., N. Y.

His parents, John and Jane (Allen) Estes, were natives of the same State, and were of New England origin and English ancestry.

The latter died in her native State in 1849.

The father was a farmer and died in 1865, in Madison County.

Mr. Estes was under the protection of his father after the death of his mother until the decease of the former, soon after the son attained his majority.

The latter set out for Michigan and secured a homestead claim at the land office in Ionia, located in Leroy Township, Osceola County.

On turning his face toward the wilds of Northern Michigan, he found himself the possessor of a cash capital of 56 cents, wherewith to begin the world.

His surplus assets were his manhood’s energy and determination to get on in the world, and his young wife.

On reaching section 28, Leroy Township, they found themselves in the depths of the wilderness, with no communication with the world at large save by the trails which temporary sojourners had made all over the county.

They made a clearing, erected a shelter and entered courageously upon the pains and pleasures of pioneer life, meeting success and comfort from the untried and almost trackless forest acres.

Mr. Estes labored assiduously, and at the date of his change of locality, his farm manifested the character of the labor and energy he had expended in its improvements and in a frame farm house, which was the work of his own hands.

In 1876 he sold the place to William Hooper, came to Tustin and formed a business relation with George W. Bevins, which continued to exist five years, and was altogether prosperous and satisfactory.

In 1881, Mr. Estes entered into the enterprise in which he has since operated, with gratifying results.

He is the owner of some valuable property at Grand Rapids, and also of several improved lots in Tustin.

Mr. Estes was the incumbent of nearly the entire list of local official positions while a resident in Leroy Township.

In political connection and opinion, he belongs to the National Greenback element.

He was married Jan. 15, 1867, in Madison Co., N. Y., to Lotta Lyon, who was born Aug. 24, 1844, in the same county where her parents lived and died.

She accompanied her husband to Osceola County, and aided him in the accomplishment of his pioneer plans in the township of Leroy.

She died May 28, 1878, at Tustin.

One of her two sons survives her, namely, Clayton, who was born June 18, 1875.

Clifford was born July 25, 1870, and died Jan. 31, 1875.

Mr. Estes was again married July 6, 1879, at Elkhart, Ind., to Mrs. Barbara N. (Dunn) Wellner.

She was born June 30, 1841, in Paisley, Scotland, where her father was a weaver.

She was about three years of age when the family emigrated to the United States, settling in Auburn, N. Y., where she was first married.

George W., elder son, is a resident of Buffalo. N. Y.; and John T. the younger, lives at Tustin.

With her husband, she is a member of the Baptist Church.


George W. Minchin, of the firm of Minchin Brothers, proprietors of the Evart Review, is a native of Michigan man born at Pontiac.

Born of humble parents who gained their living for themselves and family by hard labor, young Minchin soon had to begin to look around for himself; and in the fall of 1889.

After receiving a common-school education at Pontiac, he entered the printing-office of the Pontiac Bill-Poster, then owned by Wm. P. Nisbett, now of the Big Rapids Herald.

From office “devil” he rose to be foreman before the expiration of his apprenticeship.

In the spring of 1873 he left Pontiac to take the position of foreman in the Ludington (Mich.) Appeal office, founded at that time, and held that position over two years, when he resigned and went to Reed City, and accepted the position of local editor upon the Reed City Clarion, in the spring of 1875.

From here he went to Toledo, where he worked at his trade in the Commercial job-printing room for nearly two years.

Then, with his brother Jesse T., he purchased the Reed City Clarion from Mr. T. D. Talbot.

This they found in very bad condition, financially and otherwise, but succeeded in putting it upon a first-class footing,—upon equal standing with the best of country papers.

In September, 1879, Mr. Minchin received the commission of Railway Postal Clerk from the Government of the United States, which position he still holds, to the credit of both himself and the service.

Minchin Bros, sold the Clarion to Charles E. Barnes in 1880, and bought the Evart Review, George W. still retaining a half interest, while his brother continues as editor.

The latter is also President of the village of Evart.

Mr. George W. Minchin, the subject of the above outline, was married at Ludington, Sept. 14, 1880, to Miss Alice Bennett, of that city, and now has a pleasant home of his own at Evart.


Joseph H. Powell, farmer, section 6, Orient Township, was born April 13, 1840, in Pittsburg, Pa., and is the son of Ephraim and Catherine (Connor) Powell.

His father was born Oct. 31, 1806, and died Dec. 24, 1867.

His mother was born in May, 1810, and died in 1881.

Their deaths took place in the city of Pittsburg.

Mr. Powell lived in the place of his maturity until he was 20 years of age, when he went to Greenwood Township, Crawford Co., Pa., settling there in 1860.

He enlisted in the Union service Feb. 26, 1864, enrolling in Co. G, 14th Pa. Cav.

The command was assigned to Averill’s Division in the Valley of the Shenandoah.

The first battle in which Mr. Powell was an active participant, took place May 15, 1864, at Newmarket.

He was again under fire June 5, at Piedmont.

June 16, he was engaged in a skirmish at Buchanan on the James River, and fought at Lynchburg on the two days following.

He was in action at Liberty on the 20th, and at Salem on the day thereafter.

The command came down the valley to Parkersburg, went thence to Martinsburg and advanced to Winchester, where it was engaged June 22, 23 and 24, after which it fell back across the Potomac at Williamsport and pursued General Imboden after he had burned Chambersburg, following him until he was driven from Virginia’.

General Sheridan succeeded to the command, and on the 17th of September, the battle of Acquia Creek was fought.

Two days later an engagement at Winchester took place.

On the 21st occurred the fight at Fisher Hill, and on the 23d Mr. Powell was wounded in the shoulder of the left arm, by a pistol shot at Mount Jackson.

He went thence to Port Republic, and from there was sent to the hospital at York, Pa. His recovery was speedy and he rejoined his regiment at Winchester.

He received his final discharge Aug. 17, 1865, and returned home to Crawford Co., Pa.

He resumed the occupation of farmer, operating as a laborer by the month and also as a renter.

In 1868, he determined to seek a later settled portion of the country, and accordingly made his way to Michigan, driving a horse-team through to Snow’s Corners, Ionia County, reaching there April 20.

After a residence of one summer at that place, he came, Oct. 20, 1868, with his family, to Orient Township.

He had made a homestead claim on the Fourth of July previous, and in September made a clearing and built a log house, to which he removed his family on the day stated, arriving at their home after dark.

About 60 acres of the farm is now improved and cultivated, and a good frame house replaces the log cabin of the pioneer days.

Mr. Powell is independent in political views and favors the Prohibition element.

He was appointed Township Treasurer in 1873, and was elected to the office in the spring of 1874.

In the spring of 1876, he was elected Supervisor and was subsequently re-elected in 1877, and in 1880.

He acted six years as School Moderator.

His marriage to Catherine Carroll took place Feb. 26, 1860, in Pittsburg, Pa., and they have had three children: Margaret Ann was born Nov. 19, 1860, and was married July 4, 1881, to James McDonald; an unnamed infant died at the age of six months; Ephraim J. was born May 17, 1863.

Mrs. Powell was born Feb. 2, 1840, in Greenwood Township, Crawford Co., Pa., and is the daughter of William and Margaret (Brooks) Carroll.

Her parents died in Crawford County.

Mr. and Mrs. Powell are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Charles M. Rich, civil engineer and lumberman, resident at Tustin, Burdell Township, was born Feb. 8, 1848, in Piscataquis Co., Maine.

He is the son of Charles W. and Albina S. (Kittredge) Rich, both natives of Massachusetts.

In 1864 they removed to Ohio, and are now living near the village of Elyria in the Buckeye State.

Mr. Rich went to that State five years previously, and during that time was in charge of his uncle, I. S. Metcalf, residing at Elyria, Lorain County.

He attended the Union School at that place until the removal of his parents to Lorain County, and after he was again an inmate of the parental household he continued his studies until he completed a full course and was graduated at the High School.

At the age of 21 he determined to acquire a practical knowledge of the profession of civil engineering, and to that end he devoted his time, working for a while for his board; but soon, by close application and diligence, secured positions of trust and profit.

Continuing in the service, he obtained employment on different engineering works in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Md., until the year 1876, the date of his removal to Tustin.

He came here primarily in the real-estate interest of his uncle, E. W. Metcalf, of Elyria, Ohio.

In the spring of 1877 he purchased 240 acres on section 24, Burdell Township, and in the same year he platted one-half of the village where he resides, locating 48 lots.

He has since made sale of nearly the entire number.

He is the proprietor of a fine residence in Tustin village, and owns 160 acres of land on section 26, in Burdell Township.

He has recently purchased 560 acres located on sections 2, 12 and 24 of the same township, and is operating as a lumberman and dealer in real estate in his own behalf.

Since his first removal to Michigan he has spent three years in Ohio in his professional capacity.

The marriage of Mr. Rich to Callie Meloy occurred Dec. 25, 1873, at New Lexington, Perry Co., Ohio.

They have one child—Wilder M.—born Aug. 9, 1884.

Mrs. Rich was born Sept. 23, 1848, in New Lexington, and is the daughter of William and Sophia (Thomson) Meloy.

Her father was born in Pennsylvania and was by vocation a cabinet-maker.

He was a man of prominent standing in Perry Co., Ohio, and during his life-time held several positions of responsibility and trust, among which were those of County Auditor and Treasurer.

He died in Perry County, in the fall of 1882, aged 73 years.

Her mother was born in Ohio and descended from German ancestors. She is still living, in Perry County, and is 64 years of age.

Mrs. Rich was carefully educated, and at the age of 18 years commenced teaching, which profession she pursued with success five years.

Politically, Mr. Rich is a Republican.

In religious preference he is a Presbyterian, while his wife adopts the tenets of the Baptist faith.


William H. Allen, lumberman at Evart, was born Dec. 3, 1837, in Ontario Co., N. Y.

His father, Albert A. Allen, was a native of the Empire State and was for some years 1 a minister of the Methodist Church.

He died in Holly, Oakland Co., Mich., Feb. 9, 1882, at 77 years of age.

William’s mother, Laura (OySterbank) Allen, was born in May, 1806, in Green Co., N. Y., and is a member of the household of her son at Evart.

Three of six children of whom she became the mother are living,—Laura M., wife of Andrew Seeley, at Palmyra, N. Y.; Alpheus D., bookkeeper in Detroit; and William H.

Mr. Allen began to prepare for the vocation of machinist when he was 16 years of age.

In 1855 he came to Michigan, where he worked at his trade, and later conducted abstract business in the counties of Kent, Genesee and Muskegon.

He was one of the earliest to enlist in the service of the United States, entering the army of the Union in April, 1861, enrolling for three months under the first call for troops.

He became a member of Co. F, Second Mich. Vol. Inf., and soon after re-enlisted for three years, as a private.

He fought at the First Bull Run, at Fair Oaks, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Malvern Hill, in skirmishes without number and also served on detailed duty.

At the end of two years he was discharged, on account of ill health, at Philadelphia, and returned to Flint.

After working a short time at his trade, he went to Muskegon and operated in real-estate and abstract business.

Going thence to Big Rapids, he was employed two years as clerk in a drug store.

In 1870 he came to Evart and resumed his occupation of drug clerk, which he pursued about two years, meanwhile becoming interested in lumbering in the behalf of capitalists at Muskegon, buying timber and logs.

He has since been continuously engaged in the same line of business.

He is the owner of a residence and two lots at Evart, and of several tracts of farming land variously located in different parts of the county.

Mr. Allen was married Nov. 26, 1867, in Muskegon, to Sarah J. Dale.

They have two children, namely: William J., born Jan. 1, 1870, at Big Rapids, and Bessie C., born May 5, 1881, at Evart.

Mrs. Allen was born Oct. 9, 1840, in Monroe Co., Mich.


William Bellows, senior member of the law firm of Bellows & Stone, of Reed City, was born January 14, 1858, at Mishawaka, Indiana.

Charles Fitz Roy Bellows, his father, who lives at Ypsilanti, Michigan, was born November 29, 1832, near Bellows Falls, Vermont, a place founded and named by Col. John Bellows, a paternal ancestor of Mr. Bellows of this sketch.

The family is an old New England one, the first member of which, John Bellows, came from England in the year 1635, and his descendants were distinguished in Colonial matters and in the Revolutionary War.

In 1837, when five years of age, Mr. Bellows’ father removed with his parents from Vermont to Michigan, making almost the entire journey in a pioneer wagon with ox team, and settled on Climax Prairie in Kalamazoo County, where his father made a large claim of land.

The grandfather of the Mr. Bellows of this sketch is still living, at the age of 85, on the land he located when he came to this State, still farming, having nearly 400 acres under a high order of cultivation.

His wife died on the farm, about the year 1866, leaving a large family, of which Charles F. R. Bellows was the oldest child and only son.

From the date of the removal of the family to Michigan, the boyhood of Charles F. R. Bellows was spent on the farm, employed in clearing and improving it in a then almost unsettled country, having but few advantages of society or schools, and leading the well-known life of the pioneer boy.

He afterward attended the college just established at Olivet, and the State Normal School, and, leaving the farm, entered upon the life of a teacher, successively at Constantine, Mishawaka and at Decatur.

At these places he was Principal of academies and graded schools, and devoted his entire time, not otherwise employed, in the study of mathematics, for which he had an unusual adaptation and faculty, enabling him to enter the advanced course in civil engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

After graduating with honor at the University he continued teaching, and by his industry and ability has placed himself at the head of the profession which he has pursued since.

He is at present Professor of Mathematics in the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, a position he has filled for 18 years.

As an author of a number of text books on mathematics, and a lifelong teacher of wide acquaintance, he is well known as a leading educator of the State.

He has been prominent as well in political and journalistic circles, and founded the first Republican paper in Van Buren County.

He is a Mason of eminence, and in 1883 was the Grand Master of the State of Michigan.

The mother of Mr. Bellows was Julia E. Walker, whose family were early settlers in Oakland Co., Mich., and were also identified with the early growth of the State.

Being the son of a teacher, William E. Bellows enjoyed every advantage of education and training) being a pupil in the graded schools under his father’s supervision and at the age of 12 years entering the State Normal School.

He was a member of the Classical Course until his graduation, in the class of 1877, being particularly proficient in mathematics and ancient languages, his especial delights, and the study of which he keeps up to the present time in his active professional life.

While in school he spent his summer vacations on the farm, encouraging a strong physical as well as mental growth.

In 1878, after teaching district schools several winters while finishing his course, he became Principal of the Union School at Saugatuck, Allegan Co., Mich., where he remained three years, and afterward assumed control of the graded schools at Allegan in the same capacity for two years.

As a teacher, he was practical, enthusiastic and devoted to thorough instruction and systematic management, and was held in high esteem by pupils and patrons.

At the age of 23 he began the study of law, at first during the leisure he could get from school work, and afterward in the law office of P. A. Latta at Allegan and Capt. E. P. Allen at Ypsilanti.

He was admitted to the Bar at Ann Arbor, in the Washtenaw Circuit, July 25, 1882, but continued teaching and the further prosecution of his legal studies until the spring of 1883, the date of his selection of Reed City as his field for the practice of his profession.

The formation of his present partnership relation was entered into a short time afterward, and the firm are already engaged in an extensive and prosperous practice.

Besides legal business proper, they deal extensively in real estate, solicit fire and life insurance and lend money.

As a young lawyer his industry and native ability are making an impression in the community, which is the source of much important and profitable business.

Mr. Bellows is a Republican in politics, born and bred, takes a deep interest in public affairs and is a rising man in local politics.

He did effective work in the campaign of 1884 in his county for the Republican ticket, and his services as a campaign and his services as a campaign speaker are appreciated.

He was married September 3, 1879, at Detroit, to Adelade E. Weir.

They are the parents of three children: Bertha C., born July 23, 1880, at Saugatuck; Lewis Fitz Roy, Feb. 11, 1882, in Allegan; and Florence A., born September 29, 1883, at Reed City.

Mrs. Bellows was born December 25, 1860, at Manchester, Washtenaw County, Michigan and is the daughter of Lewis H. and Susan Weir.


Peter Bittner, M. D., resident physician at Reed City, was born Jan. 17, 1850, at East Oxford Co., Ont.

He is the son of Henry and Mary (Alles) Bittner, and his father k is a prominent land-holder of Osceola County, having 200 acres in a fine agricultural condition in Richmond Township, and also is the proprietor of other tracts in the county, and of lots in the corporation of Reed City.

Dr. Bittner was reared on a farm and studied winters, attending school at Big Rapids and also at Grand Rapids.

At the age of 18 years he entered the office of Fred Wood, M. D., at Big Rapids and studied medicine under his instructions two years and three months.

Meanwhile he attended two full courses of lectures at Bellvue Medical College, N. Y., where he was graduated in the spring of 1871.

Immediately after, in April, he came to Reed City.

His father owned 280 acres of land, of which a plat of 120 acres is now in the city limits and known as ” Bittner’s Additions.” (To the first, the second and third additions have since been made.)

These interests required the personal supervision of interested parties, and Dr. Bittner came here to attend to the accumulating business.

In 1872 he opened an office for the practice of his profession, which he prosecuted three years.

In 1874 he took charge of a Church of the Evangelical Association at Owosso, and officiated as its Pastor one year, going successively to Marshall, where he was occupied in a similar capacity one year, to St. Joseph two years, and to Lansing one year.

In 1879 he resumed his medical practice at Reed City, which he continued two years, and, at the expiration of that time, he assumed charge of a church at Ionia, Michigan, officiating there two years.

His health becoming impaired, he again returned to Reed City, where he is engaged in office practice and prescriptions.

In 1883, associated with his brother, Josiah Bittner, he built a mill-dam, situated on section 14, Richmond Township, and located on the Hersey River.

They built a flouring mill, with a capacity of 80 barrels of flour daily besides custom work.

The mill is fitted with 10 pairs of rollers and all modern improvements.

The brothers have a joint ownership in 40 acres of land, constituting the mill-site.

Mr. Bittner is the proprietor of the property where he resides, and 16 acres of land in village lots at Reed City.

He was married in Fredonia, Calhoun Co., Mich., Nov. 9, 1871, to Barbara Gutekunst.

Their seven children were born in the following order: Lidas H., Oct. 1, 1872; Lottie M., Jan. 19, 1874; Austin H., Dec. 6, 1875; Adolph, Sept. 28, 1877; Simon P., Sept. 15, 1879; Omar N., Aug. 24, 1881; Almira B., Nov. 9, 1883.

Mrs. Bittner was born Oct. 14, 1847, in Fredonia, Washtenaw Co., Mich.


J. F. Proctor, farmer, section 24, Hersey Township, was born Aug. 6, 1834, in Barton Township, Orleans Co., Vt.

He is the son of Dan and Augusta (Mason) Proctor.

His father was born Feb. 14, 1807, in Manchester, Eng., and emigrated to the United States in 1820.

He first located in Boston, Mass., and removed thence to Craftsbury, Orleans Co., Vt., setting up his business there as a blacksmith.

He owned a small farm in Michigan; whither he removed in 1849, and died Feb. 28, 1855, in Keene, Ionia County.

The mother was born in Craftsbury, Vt., Feb. 15, 1804, and died at the home of her son, Sept. 30, 1883.

Cynthia M., Alfred A., J. F., Helen E. and Benjamin Franklin, their five children, are all living.

Mr. Proctor was married soon after becoming of age, and settled in an unorganized portion of Montcalm Co., Mich., whence he removed, Jan. 1, 1856, to section 16, Crystal Township, together with his eldest brother.

They each made a claim of 40 acres of land, on which Mr. Proctor remained six years, and removed to North Shade, Gratiot Co., Mich.

Three years later he made another transfer of his home and family, to Hubbardston, Ionia County.

Not long afterward he embarked in the grocery trade at Matherlon, combining that business with hotel-keeping and conducting both about one year.

His venture proved disastrous, and as he suffered almost total loss of his resources except his ability to labor, he engaged as head-sawyer in the mill of Cogswell & Aldrich, with whom he operated in that capacity three years.

He next managed a saw-mill at Langston, Montcalm County, three years, and in the spring of 1872 he came to Hersey and operated as head-sawyer, scaler and foreman in the lumber camps of D. A. Blodgett.

In the spring of 1875 he took possession of the farm on which he has since pursued his agricultural interests, and he i also for some years continued the work of scaling, prosecuting that business eight winters.

He owns 120 acres of land, on which there was a small improvement when he took possession.

He has passed three winters near Harrison, Clare County, acting as foreman in the shingle-mill of D. F. Diggins, and removed his family there.

In the fall of 1863 Mr. Proctor was drafted into the Union service from Gratiot County, but on reporting at Corunna, Shiawassee County, was released being the only dependence of his widowed mother.

The law was afterward changed, and he determined to enlist, as he considered the prospects of his being again drafted were more than likely to be realized.

He decided to enroll in the Third Michigan Infantry.

On meeting the recruiting officer at Pewamo, he stated his circumstances, his large family, and the necessity of his presence to secure their well-being.

The officer informed him that he could enlist him and administer the oath in such cases made and provided, give him custody of his papers, and should he be drafted he could report for duty to the regiment as an enlisted man.

He escaped the draft, and the necessity never arose.

Mary W. (Smith) Proctor

Mr. Proctor was married Sept. 16, 1855, to Mary W. Smith, and they have eight living children, and four deceased.

Fred was born Jan. 21, 1857, Frank, March 7, 1858; Charlie, January 5, 1860; Dan, August 25, 1861; Viola, April14, 1863; (died March 19, 1864; Clyde, born Jan. 12, 1865, died May 13, May 13, 1882; Louisa was born April 11, 1867; Willie, March 17, 1870; Ralph, Feb. 28, 1872 (died March 3rd following); Verne, born May 13, 1873, died Sept. 24 of the same year; Arthur C. was born Sept. 25, 1875; Albert E., April 11, 1877.

Mrs. Proctor was born May 23, 1833, in Novi, Oakland Co., Mich., and is the oldest of four children born to her parents.

She has one brother and two sisters —Edgar, Abigail R. and Emily.

Her father and mother, A. C. and Lorinda (Simmons) Smith, reside at Easton, Ionia County, where the former is a citizen of prominence.

He has served several terms as Sheriff, and has been County Surveyor some years.

Mr. Proctor is present Supervisor (1884) of his township. In political opinion he is a Democrat.

His paternal grandfather was in somewhat straitened circumstances in England, and, leaving his family there, all save his oldest son, he set out with him in a sailing vessel for the United States.

Adverse winds drove them into the Northern Ocean among the icebergs, where their food gave out and they were in danger of starvation as well as shipwreck.

But other vessels in the same vicinity, with more abundant stores, shared with them, and after six months of storm and stress they landed in Nova Scotia.

The senior Proctor was a blacksmith and moreover was bent on proceeding to the United States, but was deterred by an English law enacted after the war of 1812, prohibiting mechanics belonging by nativity to Great Britain from going to the States.

He fixed his location as near the boundary line as he could, and undercover of becoming a permanent settler he took up 200 acres of land, on which he settled and commenced active life as a blacksmith.

After a year he succeeded in getting on board an American sloop with his tools, but he was discovered by the British authorities and all the most valuable portion of his equipment was confiscated, leaving him only the commonest sort of an outfit to commence his work of carving out ways and means to secure the comfort and presence of his family.

A month later he succeeded in his purpose and reached Boston.

He went thence to Lowell, in the Old Bay State, where he produced the first lace-making machinery in this country.

His maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mason, was a descendant of the Howards, whose names are associated with the earliest colonial history of Massachusetts.

His grandfather, Elder Mason, was the first Baptist clergyman in Craftsbury, Vt.

At the date of his settlement there, the most primitive methods of travel prevailed, and he once drew his wife on a hand-sled nearly 58 miles, she carrying in her arms their oldest child.

That of Mr. Proctor is especially valuable to this volume, as he represents the elements on which this country was founded and which has perpetuated its institutions.

He is a pioneer by inheritance and in his own experience.


Isaac W. Howe, M. D., practicing physician at Ashton, Lincoln Township, and a prominent resident in that vicinity, was born in Potter Co., Pa., May 8, 1835, and attended the common school until about 19 years of age.

He then began the study of medicine in his native county, under Dr. Willard Whitney, and applied himself to his chosen studies with great assiduity.

In due time he became qualified to pursue his calling successfully.

In the fall of 1868, he came to Michigan, resided in Wayland, Allegan County, about a year, and then came to Osceola County, locating in Lincoln Township about half a mile west of Ashton.

It was his intention to engage in mercantile business, and he sold the first goods in the township.

About a year afterward he went to Lake County, this State, and took possession of 80 acres of land, under the provisions of the homestead laws, in Ellsworth Township.

After residing there until the spring of 1879, he returned to Ashton, where he has since resided and followed the practice of his profession.

He has erected a fine residence, which he now occupies.

Besides the 80 acres of land which he owns in Lake County, he also owns some village property at Ashton.

In regard to religion, the Doctor, as well as his wife, is a member of the Baptist Church, and has been a devoted worker for the cause of Christianity for 26 years.

He is a Republican in his political views; has held the office of Township Treasurer in Lake County for a year and a half, resigning that office on account of being elected Sheriff of that county.

This office he had two years; was also Under-Sheriff four years, and Superintendent of the Poor of the same county for a term.

Dr. Howe was married in Potter County, in his native State, Jan. 18, 1855, to Miss Emeline Harvey, who was born in Tioga Co., N. Y., Feb. 16, 1834.

Her parents, Joel and Polly (Gee) Harvey, were also natives of the same county.

The children in the family of Dr. Howe have been Florence D., Iva G. and Elmer W.

The first mentioned died when a year and eight months old.

The Doctor’s father, William Howe, was a native of the Empire State, and his mother, Abigail, nee Kibbie, of the State of Massachusetts.


L. B. Winsor, attorney, member of the law, real-estate and insurance firm of Cooper & Winsor, at Reed City, was born Jan 24, 1858, in Providence, R. I.

His father, James A, W. Winsor, was born Aug. 31, 1813, in Rhode Island, and married Ann C. Chillson, who was born Nov. 12, 1817, near Elmira, N. Y.

Three of their seven children are still living.

When Mr. Winsor was about five years of age his parents became residents of Hillsdale, Mich.

On reaching suitable age he became a student at the college there, studying in the scientific course, and was graduated in the spring of 1877.

He entered the Law Department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, immediately after terminating his course at Hillsdale, and was graduated in 1879.

He had previously acquired a fundamental knowledge of law in the office of Dickerman & St. John, of Hillsdale, Mich.

In the fall of 1880 he came to Reed City, where he became an associate with Ransom Cooper, and their business relations are still in existence.

They have established a satisfactory practice in the legal profession, and represent the Liverpool & London & Globe Fire Insurance Company, the Phoenix, Orient, British American and American.

In the spring of 1880 Mr. Winsor was elected City Attorney, and has been successively re-elected to the same position.

He is connected by membership with the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to Blue Lodge, No. 363, at Reed City, to Royal Arch Chapter, No. 112, at Reed City, and to Pilgrim Commandery, No. 23, at Big Rapids.


Walter M. Davis, dealer in boots, shoes, harness, furniture, etc., at Evart, was born in Washington Township, Macomb Co., Mich.

His father, Stephen H. Davis, was born in the State of New York and is an early settler of Macomb County.

He is engaged in the sale of agricultural implements at Romeo in that county.

His mother, Sarah Maria (Scott) Davis, is a native of the State of New York.

They are the parents of nine children.

At the age of 18 years, which period of his life he had passed on his father’s farm, Mr. Davis went to Ray, in his native county, to prepare for the business of a harness-maker.

He served a period of three years, and in 1868 he opened a shop for the transaction of business in that avenue at Ray, which he conducted two years.

In October, 1871, he came to Evart, accompanied by his brother—Henry A. Davis —and they erected buildings beside each other for the prosecution of their respective enterprises—-harness-making and the sale of furniture.

The death of H. A. Davis occurred in December, 1878, and, in company with M. C. Williams, the surviving brother purchased the stock of furniture, becoming sole owner three years later by purchase.

His business has continued to expand, and he has increased its connections by the addition of boots and shoes, and also keeps a full line of undertaker’s goods.

He also owns a hearse. Mr. Davis owns the building in which he established his business primarily, which is 20 x 62 feet in dimensions, rents the structure built by his brother, which exceeds his own in size, and also occupies a large store house opposite, 20 x 80 feet in size.

He erected the building in which the post office at Evart is located and where he formerly operated. His stock in the various departments of his business averages a value of $10,000.

He owns his village property, consisting of a house and three lots, and also a 50-acre farm situated adjoining the village of Sears.

Mr. Davis is a member of the School Board and is the present Village Treasurer, in which position he is serving his seventh term.

He was married in Grand Rapids to Elizabeth Wolf, a native of the city of Buffalo, N. Y.

Their children were born in Evart as follows: Earl S , June 12, 18811 , and Glenn S., Sept. 23, 1883.

Politically he is an out and out Republican.


Charles K. Edwards, farmer, section 20, Orient Township, was born Jan. 29, 1846, on the Isle of Wight.

His father, John Edwards, was born Nov. 9, 1803, in Wales, and is of mixed English and Welsh origin.

He married Elizabeth Kinver, a lady of English birth, born in 1793, and in 1855 emigrated with his family to Oakwood, Victoria Co., Ont., where he is now living, in advanced age.

The mother died there June 3, 1877.

Mr. Edwards was educated in the public schools of Victoria County chiefly, and was sent for a few months to a school of higher grade.

He was reared to manhood on a farm, and, on obtaining his majority, rented a farm in the vicinity of his boyhood’s home, which he conducted two years.

Soon after he determined to test the rumored advantages of the Peninsular State, and in December, 1870, he came to the township of Orient, where he made a homestead claim of 40 acres of land, to which his family removed in March, 1871.

He has made a later purchase of 60 acres additional, and of the whole has improved 50 acres; has also erected a frame barn of good quality, and suited to the increasing demands of his farm.

On coming to Orient Township, Mr. Edwards drove an ox team from Lake Station on the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad, which then terminated there, and worked between seven and eight days to cut a road to his present place of residence.

He was married Jan. 29, 1867, to Mary E. Toole.

She was born Feb. 24, 1845, in Oakwood, Ont., and is the daughter of William and Finette (Pillen) Toole.

The former is a native of Pennsylvania and is of American birth and Irish and German descent.

He was born in December, 1814, and is living in Oakwood, Ont.

Her mother was of German extraction, born in Portland, Ont., and died in Oakwood, Jan. 24, 1869, aged 47 years and four weeks.

The children bom to Mr. and Mrs. Edwards are recorded as follows: Finette S., born Oct. 5, 1869; William W., May 28, 1872; Cecil W., June 27, 1874 (died by accidental drowning May 19, 1877); Sidney J., June 28, 1876; Clarence B., Dec. 3, 1878; and Percy B., Sept. 2, 1882.

Mr. Edwards is an adherent and sustainer of the principles of the Republican Party.

He served a vacant term as Justice of the Peace, and was elected to the position twice successively, discharging its incumbent duties 11 years.

He has been Highway Commissioner three years.

School Inspector five years and Moderator three years.

Mrs. Edwards belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Andrew C. Adams, merchant at Ashton, was born in Erie Co., Pa., Nov. 22, 1844.

His father, Elijah Adams, was a native of the State of New York; and his mother, Eunice, nee Van Tassel, was born in Pennsylvania.

Andrew received a good common-school education until he was 16 years of age, when, Aug. 31, 18611, his patriotic ardor led him to enlist in the service of the Government for the suppression of the great insurrection and for the common weal of his country.

He joined the Eighth Mich. Vol. Inf. and served four years, during this period being a participant in at least 20 general engagements, and came out of them all without having received a “scratch”, of injury!

He was honorably discharged from the service, after the close of the direful contest, and until 1875 he was employed in different saw and shingle mills in various parts of this State.

He then came to Ashton and engaged in mercantile business, where he has since continued.

His store is a fine one and would do credit to a much larger place.

He has a complete stock of general merchandise and is enjoying a good patronage and fair success every way.

On the 13th of February, 1884, his store took fire, and the building, with the contents, was entirely consumed; not even his books were saved.

The loss was estimated at $2,000 over all insurance.

But he is not the man to be discouraged in life’s noblest ambitions by disaster.

As sure as he continues to have average health and strength, he will be industrious and economical, and begin again to accumulate.

Mr. Adams has held the office of Township Treasurer six years, also the positions of School Director and School Assessor, and in the winter of 1883 he was appointed Notary Public.

In his principles concerning national government he is identified with the Republican Party.

He was married at Wayland, Allegan Co., Mich., Jan. 1, 187 1, to Augusta E. Dillabough, a native of Canada.

There are two children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, namely, Frederick C. and Robert E.


John Witt, farmer, section 22, Lincoln Township, is a son of Lui and Catherine Witt, natives of Germany, where also John was born, Nov. 14, 1840.

When 24 years of age he emigrated to England and thence to Canada, living one year in Quebec and spending one summer in Detroit.

He came to this county in 1864 and took possession of 80 acres of land under the provisions of the homestead law, since which time he has added 80 acres more.

One-half of his whole landed estate he has in a condition of good cultivation, and upon the premises he has erected a fine dwelling, also good barns, etc. Indeed, they are among the best in the county: Politically, Mr. Witt is a Republican, and in a public capacity he has served his fellow citizens as School Assessor.

He was married at Big Rapids, Mecosta Co., Mich., June 4, 1871, to Miss Matilda Morty, a native also of Germany.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Witt are Ida, born March 13, 1873; Agnes, June 2r, 1874, and died Dec. 9, 1875; Ella, July 13,1877; Matilda, Jan. 30, 1880; Otto, Dec. 3t, 1881; and Paul, March 1 1, 1884.


Henry W. Carson, better known to his generation as “Kit Carson,” proprietor of the hotel and boarding-house at Sears, Orient Township, was born Nov. 3, 1837, in Yates Township, Montgomery Co., N. Y.

His father, Stephen Carson, is deceased. He died Dec. 7, 1883, aged 85 years.

The mother, Elizabeth (Williams) Carson, is living in Crawford Co., Pa., where her husband died, and is 75 years old.

The family went to that section of Pennsylvania in 1852, where the father engaged in farming.

In earlier life he was a carpenter.

Mr. Carson was 15 years of age when he went to the Keystone State with his parents.

Sept. 23, 1865, he came to Genesee Co., Mich., and located at Clio, where he spent seven years engaged as a lumber manufacturer. He built four saw-mills at Clio, Genesee County.

Later on he removed to Osceola County, arriving Sept. 2, 1871, and locating at Big Lake, two miles south of Sears.

He built two miles of railway with iron track, running from Sears to Big Lake, for facilitating lumber manufacture and transportation.

It was the first piece of locomotive railroad constructed by a single individual in the United States, and was designated the “Orient, Big Lake & Chippewa Road.”

Mr. Carson operated it five and a half years.

At the end of that time he sold out and located on his farm for a time, while he was building a saw-mill between Loomis and Coleman.

Six months after its completion he sold it, and in 1879 built a mill at Chippewa, which he managed a year.

On disposing of that he again resided for a time on his farm which had been occupied by his family since their removal to the county.

In 1880 he established a lumber yard at Harrison, which he conducted 20 months, and lost the property by fire, which entailed a loss of $1,000.

He then built a mill at Big Lake, which he managed three months and sold.

His next venture was the renting of the hotel which he is now conducting.

When he first came to Sears in 1871 it contained six buildings, five of them engaged in the sale of liquor.

Mr. Carson is a Republican in political principles and connections.

He has officiated as School Director and Highway Overseer.

He is everywhere known as “Kit Carson,” all his social and business correspondence being addressed to him under that style.

He was married April 27, 1863, in Crawford Co., Pa., to Melvina Collins, and they have had five children: Minnie E., who was born April 14, 1865, in Crawford Co., Pa., married Frank Jeffs, Dec. 7, 1881; Alice M. was born Sept. 15, 1867; Laura M., Dec. 21, 1870; Henry H., May 27, 1878, in Orient, and died June 15, following; Mattie E., Sept. 3, 1879.

Mrs. Carson is the daughter of John P. and Abigail (Robinson) Collins.

The former was born Jan. 21, 1820, in Pennsylvania, and resides in Crawford County in that State.

Her mother was born in 1823, in the State of New York, and died July 29, 1869, in Crawford County.

Mrs. Carson was born Sept. 23, 1847, in the county where she was reared, and is one of nine children born to her parents, four sons and five daughters.


Frank H. Nix, photographer at Reed City was born March 29, 1854, in Fulton Co., New York.

His parents, Frederick and Hattie (Heidner) Nix, are natives of Prussia, where the former was born Feb. 26, 1818, the latter in 1826.

The father resided in West Bend, Wis., where the mother died, in 1865.

Four of their eight children are living, namely: Emuel, who is a farmer near Mitchell, Dakota; Theodore, who is a photographer at Evart; and Lizzie, who is the wife of Henry Lenn, Principal of Schools at Oshkosh, Wis.

Mr. Nix was a farmer until the age of 16, when he came to Michigan and engaged as a salesman at Manistee for George Nungesser, general dealer in merchandise, continuing in that employment five years.

He then came to Cadillac and became interested in the book and stationery business; a year later he came to Reed City, and opened the business of a photographer on a small scale.

He has now a fine gallery and an extensive business.

Mr. Nix is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and of the Patriarchal Circle.

He was married at Cadillac, Mich., Nov. 7, 1873, to Sarah F. Baker.

She was born Feb. 4, 1852, in Decatur, Mich.

Their children were born as follows: Edwin, Nov. 28, 1874; Harry E., Oct. 2, 1876; and Mabel A., June 16, 1880.

Mr. Nix owns his residence, which he built, and other village property.

He and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.


William A. Higbe, of the real-estate firm of J. M. Reed & Co., resident at Reed City,was born Jan. 20, 1854, in Newark Valley, N. Y.

Charles Higbe, his father, is a prominent farmer of Newark Valley; he was born in the State of New York, in August, 1816.

William’s mother, Caroline (Lincoln) Higbe, was born in November, 1820.

At the age of 18 years Mr. Higbe entered the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston, Pa., and after two years of study was graduated in the business department.

He engaged as a clerk in Newark, and operated in that capacity until 1876.

In 1856 his father made a hunting tour through Northern Michigan, and, judging favorably of the outlook, he formed the association since known to business circles as “J. M. Reed & Co.,” with J. M. Reed (after whom the city is named), Ozias J. Slosson, F. H. Todd and himself as members.

They made claims including about 4,000 acres of land, most of which seemed and proved favorable for agriculture.

Mr. Todd is deceased, and his interest lapsed to his associates.

Mr. Slosson is also deceased, and his sons—Willis M. and Arthur—inherit his claim.

Mr. Higbe represents his father, and is a heavy owner in his own behalf.

The firm platted a considerable amount of the territory they held, including the main portion of the town and J. M. Reed & Co’s First Addition.

They still hold a large amount of farming land and village property on sale.

In 1882 Mr. Higbe built Higbe’s Opera House Block at Reed City, a brick structure 55 x 80 feet in extent, with two business apartments on the ground and Opera House above.

Mr. Higbe is associated with T. W. Adams, of Big Rapids, in the management of the “Northern Michigan Theatrical Circuit,” including the towns of Big Rapids, Stanton, Reed City, Cadillac and Manistee, and they control the places of amusement in those towns.

Mr. Higbe owns his residence and considerable other village, property.

In company with L. B. Avery, he built the skating rink at Reed City, a building 52 x 120 feet in dimensions, with a solid maple floor in excellent condition.

He was married July n, 1876, in Newark Valley, to Emma, daughter of John Butler.

She was born in Tioga Co., N. Y., Nov. 22, 1857.

One child; Eugenia, was born April 1, 1877, to Mr. and Mrs. Higbe.


Joseph A. Braden, farmer and teacher, residing at Leroy, was born July 11, 1840, in Seneca Co., N. Y., and is the son of Lewis and Electa (Moore) Braden (see sketch of E. M. Braden).

He obtained his elementary education in his native county, and in the spring of 1866 came to Texas Township, Kalamazoo Co., Mich., and became interested in farming.

He remained there until his removal in 1875 to Osceola County.

He engaged in the employ of Kellogg, Sawyer & Co., for a time, and in 1878 he purchased 80 acres of land lying within the corporation of the village of Leroy, nearly all of which is under improvement.

Mr. Braden obtained a thorough education and preparation for the teacher’s profession at Kalamazoo.

He began to teach in 1860, and has for some years made it his business in the winter seasons.

He became a soldier in the Union service during the war of the rebellion, enlisting April 30, 1861, in Co. D, 27th Reg. N. Y. Inf., under Col. Slocum.

His command was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and he was a participant in the first battle of Bull Run and in all the engagements of the McClellan campaign.

He passed through his period of service uninjured and received an honorable discharge at Elmira, New York in June, 1863, having won the earnest esteem and appreciation of his comrades and officers.

He is a republican in political principle and record.

His marriage to Lucy Angel too place March 23, 1864, in Galen County, New York.

They have had two children, James L. and Adriance.

The latter is not living.

Mrs. Braded was born March 20, 1845, in Wayne County, New York.


Elias Smith Richardson, M. D., practicing physician and surgeon at Reed City, was born April 11, 1842, in Kent Co., Ont.

His grandfather, Edward Richardson, was a pioneer of Michigan, and died in Detroit in 1810, where he was in the hotel business.

After his death, his family removed to the homestead in Kent Co., Ont.

Isaac M. Richardson, the father of Dr. Richardson, was born July 2, 1805, in Detroit, and died in May, 1882, near St. Charles, Saginaw Co., Mich.

The mother, Mary A. (Smith) Richardson, was born in 1813, in Niagara Co., Ont., and died in 1865, in Oakland Co., Mich.

Their family comprised 14 children, eight of whom survive.

Dr. Richardson is the eighth of his parents’ children in order of birth.

He was reared on a farm and obtained a fair education, which he utilized in the profession of teaching, engaging in that vocation five years and attending the union school at Pontiac between the terms of labor.

In October, 1868, he entered the Medical Department of the University at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated with the class of 1870.

On obtaining his credentials he opened an office at Pontiac as preliminary to a medical career.

After a trial of six months he decided on a change of locality and went to the Saginaw Valley, operating in that region four years.

Becoming convinced of the deleterious effects of the malarial climate, another change of location was inevitable, and Dr. Richardson, in 1874, fixed upon Osceola County as a desirable field for his business, and also to re-establish the vigor he had lost in the miasmatic climate of the Saginaw region.

He began his practice at Evart, removing thence in 1876 to Reed City and established himself permanently as a practitioner.

He is the oldest resident physician at that point, and has secured a substantial recognition of the genuineness of his merits in his professional capacity; and by his conscientious discharge of duty, his abilities and skill, and his character as a cultivated, self-respecting gentleman he has won the confidence which is the crown of his manhood.

He possesses traits of decision and independent judgment which place him beyond the pale of modern empirics, and he repudiates the pretensions and criminal tendencies of the schools of quackery in medical practice with all the disgust and contempt which are their inherent and fundamental deserts.

In 1873 Dr. Richardson was made a member of the State Medical Society of Michigan, and in 1883, by special invitation, attended the American Medical Association at Cleveland.

He was at one time a regular correspondent of the Medical Summary, and is still an occasional contributor to its columns.

He is a member of the Union Medical Society of Northern Michigan; and belongs to the Reed City Lodge, No. 316, I. O. O. F.

He has officiated five years as Meteorological Observer in behalf of the State Board of Health, and two years as Observer for the United States Signal Service.

Dr. Richardson has been County Physician one year, and has officiated two years as Coroner.

He was married Sept. 1, 1869, in Romeo, Macomb Co., Mich., to Clarinda M. Waugh, and they have four children: Merari A., who was born June 15, 1870, in Pontiac; Judson E., July 29, 1872, in Saginaw; Clare VV., Dec. 22, 1877, at Reed City, where also Don Dio was born, Feb. 24, 1881.

Mrs. Richardson was born July to, 1841, in Bloomfield, Oakland Co., Mich., and is the daughter of Sheldon and Charlotte Waugh.

Her parents came from New York to Bloomfield in 1825, where they joined the pioneer agricultural element.

Her father died Aug. 18, 1874, at Pontiac; her mother is yet living, in Oakland County.

The period through which the country was passing during the later youth of Dr. Richardson and which awoke in him a conscientious interest, shaped his convictions on general topics after radical methods.

He was a staunch Republican from the outset of his active political career, and also of decided temperance principles.

He believed politics to be the medium to secure redress from all immoral grievances, and felt compelled to change his convictions regarding the integrity of the pretentions of the Republican Party concerning prohibition of the liquor traffic.

Accordingly, in December, 1860, associated with others of similar opinions, he organized a Prohibition Club for the purpose of awakening a local interest in the matter.

After the organization of the Union party at Jackson, Jan. 9, 1884, he moved that the club adopt its principles and operate in harmony with its object.

At the first local election thereafter a temperance ticket was put in the field, which was defeated by the joint action of the Democrats and Republicans.

The indignation, disgust and contempt of Dr. Richardson over this result led him to the renunciation of the old party and to become its bitter opponent in all its temperance pretensions.


Nelson A. Ferguson, farmer, section 6, Orient Township, was born Sept. 9, 1828, in Chautauqua Co., N. Y.

His father, Michael Ferguson, was born in Schoharie Co., N. Y., and was chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits during his life. His wife, Eunice (Packard) Ferguson, was a native of the State of New York, and of Scotch and Welsh lineage.

In 1830 they removed with their three children to Marion Co., Ohio; there they bought a farm, which was their abiding place for a time.

Later they went to Lucas County in that State, coming thence about 1848 to Ionia Co., Mich., where father and son settled on a farm in Ronald Township.

The mother died in that township in March, 1861, aged 76 years.

The death of the father occurred in Fairfield, Montcalm Co., Mich., in 1870.

He was 88 years of age.

Mr. Ferguson, the subject of this sketch, was reared to the vocation of his father.

He was married May 25, 1847, in Ohio, to Anna E. Jones. She was born near Lebanon, Ohio, in 1831, and is the third child of Samuel B. and Eliza (Peterson) Jones.

The latter was born in Pennsylvania, ‘and died in 1848, in Henry Co., Ohio.

The former is a resident of Bushnell, Montcalm Co., Mich.

He was born in 1797, in New Jersey. His family included four sons and three daughters.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson were named Waterman, Walter, Perry A., Franklin P., Emma J., Flora J., Eva E., Georgianna, Henry A., Nelson E. and Fred E. Nine children yet survive.

Mr. Ferguson became a soldier during the Civil War, enlisting in Co. A, 21st Mich. Vol. Inf.

He was in action only at the battle of Perryville, in which he encountered a degree of hardship which completely exhausted his endurance.

On the second night after the engagement he was seated in a chair near a fire, and becoming unconscious from over-fatigue he fell, and was so badly burned as to cause his discharge from the service.

He is a Democrat in political connections.

He officiated three years as Superintendent of the Poor, nearly five years as Supervisor, several terms as Justice of the Peace, two terms as School Inspector and one term as Township Treasurer.

He removed to his present location in Orient Township Dec. 12, 1868, and made a homestead claim of 40 acres of land, on which he has since resided.

Winfield Scott Gerrish

Winfield Scott Gerrish, deceased, son of the Hon. N. L. Gerrish, of Cadillac, and brother of Mrs. Rose Quigley, of Evart, was born Feb. 15, 1849, in Lee, Penobscot 1 Co., Maine.

He was early trained in the details of the lumber business in all its branches, his father being engaged in that business in Maine during his early boyhood.

In 1857 he accompanied his parents to Wisconsin, whence, in 1861, they removed to Croton Township, Newaygo Co., Mich.

Hon. Nathaniel L. Gerrish, now of Cadillac, was born in Dover, Maine, Feb. 16, 1819.

He grew to manhood amid the influences of the leading industry of the Pine Tree State, and was a born and bred lumberman, passing his entire life thus far in the various avenues of that branch of business.

He was married Feb. 12, 1843, in Lee, Penobscot Co., Maine, to Caroline Gatchell, and they became the parents of four sons and three daughters, namely: Ebenezer W., Rose A. (Mrs. Quigley), Winfield Scott, Leslie F., Mary A., Abner H. and Esther C.


The son, W. S., when 12 years of age, was in strong and active boyhood, eager to begin his share in the work of the world, and, with his inherited tastes and inclinations, was trained by association and circumstances in the business to which his father devoted his life and ambitions.

Young Gerrish was primarily educated in the public schools, and in 1864, when 15 years old, was sent to Grand Rapids, to the academy, where he remained one season, receiving meanwhile an appointment as cadet in the naval school at Annapolis.

He matriculated there in 1865, but, finding the career of a midshipman distasteful and irksome, with his father’s approval he abandoned the position at the end of his first year, and returned to Michigan to enter upon an active business career as a lumberman.

He was 18 years old in the winter of 1867, and during that season he began operations as a lumberman on his own responsibility, and took a contract to “put in logs” on the Muskegon, along which line he operated during the remainder of his life.

In 1869 he settled at Hersey, where he was a resident eight years.

In the autumn of 1873, he made an extensive logging contract with Messrs. Avery & Murphy, to put in a large amount of logs on the Tom and Dock Creeks, in which he experienced difficulties of an unusual character, chief of which was the shrinking of the streams to the proportions of a rivulet, an obstacle which required the building of dams and draining of lakes to raise the creeks to a height necessary for the accomplishment of the business.

The terms of the contract were finally fulfilled, and the reputation Mr. Gerrish won for perseverance under embarrassments that would have daunted and baffled men of larger experience, was of infinite value to his future career.

John L. Woods, the veteran developer of the lumber interests of the north of Michigan, becoming interested in the pluck and perseverance of the young lumberman, and recognizing the value of his predominating traits of character, made him a proposition to take an interest in a tract of 12,000 acres owned by him on the upper waters of the Muskegon, which he accepted, believing it to be the opportunity of his life, and which he afforded a broad field for the exercise of his abilities.

IR In 1874, associated with E. H. Hazel ton and others, he purchased a large tract of timber land in town 18 north, 5 west, Clare Co., Mich., a location considered practically worthless for lumbering, as it lay remote from the river.

While attending the Centennial at Philadelphia, in 1876, he observed in Mechanics’ Hall a small Baldwin locomotive, whose operations suggested to his practical mind its feasibility as an accessory to the achievement of a lumber project in Clare County.

A vivid picture of a horse that could draw logs without snow painted itself on his imagination, and he returned home with perfected plans for the accomplishment of the enterprise.

In January, 1877, the first logging railroad in the United States was built, and connected Lake George in town 18, 5, with the Muskegon River, a distance of six miles.

Within the following year the road was extended.

During the first year it was operated, the “put” was 20,000,000 feet; with the new facilities in 1879 the “put“ reached a maximum of 114,000,000.

In the spring of that year Gerrish & Woods bought an interest in the Hamilton mill at Muske_ gon, where the former fixed his residence in 1880.

Mr. Gerrish, within that year, purchased a share of the Wilson mill at Muskegon and continued to hold a proprietary interest in several shingle-mills.

In 1880, also, he made a purchase of the Saginaw Bay & Northwestern Logging Railroad, buying the route in company with W. J. Miller. During the next two years the firm transported 90,000,000 feet of logs annually on its track.

In 1879 Mr. Gerrish passed the most active year v of his business career.

He banked and put into the Muskegon River 130,000,000 feet, and in the year following put in 100,000,000 feet.

During these two years he was recognized as the champion individual logger of the world.

The maximum number of men employed by him in his varied interests in 1880 was 4,000 in round numbers.’

Mr. Gerrish was married July 1, 1869, to Lina W. Probasco, of Croton, Mich.

He died in Evart, May 19, 1882, at the residence of his sister, Mrs. Rose A. Quigley.

He was a man of the keenest moral sensibilities, and an earnest advocate and promoter of temperance principles.

He was himself an abstainer from the use of liquor in the strongest sense, never tasting it in any form.

At the time of his death he was engaged in the construction of an elegant residence at Muskegon, at a projected cost of $30,000.

The publishers of this work take a peculiar satisfaction in presenting the portrait of Winfield Scott Gerrish.

It is a perpetual memorial to the life and influences of its prototype, and adds a special value as does the record of his busy career.

See the page preceding the commencement of this sketch.


David Weigel is the oldest of the permanent pioneer settlers of Orient Township, and is a resident on section 4, where he entered a homestead claim, and of which he took possession April 19, 1867.

He has placed 52 acres under good improvements.

Mr. Weigel was born Nov. 8, 1838, near Carlisle, Cumberland Co., Pa.

His parents, Jacob and Catherine (Ressler) Weigel, were of German descent, and were educated in both English and German.

The former was born in 1806, and died in Wilmot, Ind., aged 42 years.

The latter was born Aug. 17, 1810, and still resides where her first husband died.

Both were natives of the Keystone State.

Mr. Weigel was but ten years of age when his father died, and his mother was again married a few years afterward.

He was educated with some care in early youth, and completed his education by attending school from the age of 18 years to the attainment of his majority, at Goshen, Ind.

He has been occupied at various times in teaching, engaging in that business during two terms in Iowa and four terms in the State of Indiana.

On the 27th of July, 1862, he enlisted in Co. E, 124th Ill. Vol. Inf., his command being assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division and Seventeenth Army Corps, under General Logan, Corps Commander.

After the action at Vicksburg the regiment was transferred to the Sixteenth Corps, under General McPherson.

His regiment was engaged in the fight at Fort Gibson, Baker’s Creek, Jackson, Champion Hills and Vicksburg.

After the transfer to the Department of the Gulf, Mr. Weigel was in action at Mobile, and went thence to Montgomery, where he was discharged, Aug. 15, 1865, and went to Wilmot, Ind.

He was wounded in Mississippi while on scouting duty.

The detail was lying on the ground and a six-pound Parrott ball, on a voyage of discovery, dropping in among the men, cut off one man’s arm and also one knee-pan belonging to the same individual, passed over to Mr. Weigel who lay next behind, and inflicted a severe injury to his right arm.

He was yet incapacitated when discharged from the army, and engaged during the following winter in teaching school.

Mr. Weigel is independent in political views and action.


Lorenzo A. Barker, editor and proprietor of the Clarion at Reed City, was born Aug. 16, 1839, in Naples, Ontario Co., N. Y.

George W. Barker, his father, was born March 1, 1815, in Deerfield, Mass., and was married Sept. 7, 1835, to Weltha Tyler.

She was born June 21, 1816, and they became the parents of five children.

Their first born died on the day of birth, April 6, 1837; Lorenzo, born Aug. 16, 1839, is the oldest living child; Bruce, born Jan. 13, 1842, died March n, 1845; Alida, born Aug. 4, 1844, died Jan. 14, 1846; Eugenia, born Jan. 31, 1850, is the wife of Monroe Dickinson, a merchant at Boyne Falls, Charlevoix Co., Mich., and they have one child, Vera Ione.

The father was during a number of years a merchant in the State of New York, and later transferred his family and mercantile interests to Italy Hollow, Yates Co., N. Y. In 1853 another transfer was made, to Battle Creek, Mich., where the senior Barker engaged in the daguerreotype business, and is now a photographer at South Arm, Charlevoix County.

The mother of the subject of this sketch died at Italy Hollow, in 1852.

Mr. Barker passed a year in farm employment after the removal of the family to Michigan.

In 1854, he entered the office of the Battle Creek Journal to learn the art of printing, and was an attaché of the Journal until the year in which rebellion started abroad in the land in its blind and misguided fury.

All through the course of the earlier months after the attack upon the Federal fort at Sumter, while his fingers recorded the disasters of the opening campaign and also the varied literature which arose from the exigencies of the time, he was awakening to the fact that men with the true fire of patriotism blazing in their breasts were surely needed at the front, and he was led by the growing impulse to throw himself early in the contest into the heat of the fray.

He enlisted at Battle Creek, Sept. 28, 1861, in Co. E, Berger’s Sharpshooters.

The style of the organization was changed to Company D, of the same regiment, which was known as the 66th Illinois Western Sharpshooters.

Mr. Barker was in action at Mt. Zion, Mo., Dec. 23, 1861; Fort Donelson, Tenn., Feb. 13, 14, 15, 16, 1862; Shiloh, April 6-7; siege of Corinth, April 20 to May 30; Iuka, Sept. 19; Corinth, Oct. 3-4, after which he was occupied in camp duty and guerrilla warfare until his discharge Dec. 23, 1863.

He immediately re-enlisted on the same date at Pulaski, Tenn., in the same command, returning home on a veteran’s furlough of 30 days.

On the expiration of his leave of absence he rejoined his command at the front, and the regiment marched to Chattanooga to join General Sherman in the Georgia campaign.

Mr. Barker was under fire at Ball’s Knob, May 9, 1864, and Resaca, May 14; and at Rome Cross Roads, May 16, was wounded in the left foot, but recognized no disabling injury and went into battle at Dallas May 27; Kenesaw Mountain, July 3; Nickajack Creek, July 4; before Atlanta, July 22; Jonesboro, Aug. 31; Atlanta, Sept. 2; Lovejoy Station, Sept. 3; Nashville, Dec. 16, 17, 18; Big Salt Creek, Dec. 21; Columbia, S. C., Feb. 17, 1865; Bentonville, N. C., March 2; Kingston, March 10; Goldsboro, March 24; Rolla, April 12; Richmond, Va., May 13, and thence he went to Washington, D. C., for the final scene, the Grand Review.

He was mustered out of the service of the United States at Louisville, Ky., and received his discharge at Springfield, Ill, July 7, 1865.

He retained ownership of his rifle, which he had carried from 1862—a Henry Repeater, 16-shooter—and having the names and dates of the battles engraved beside the lock.

He was discharged as Sergeant.

He came to St. John’s, Clinton County, whither his parents had removed.

In 1867 he went to Sioux City, Iowa, and became an employee of the Journal published at that place.

Later he engaged on the Sioux City Times, where he continued until he founded the Sibley (Osceola Co., Iowa) Gazette, issuing its first number July 5, 1872.

He continued its publication until May 30, 1873, when he sold the journalistic enterprise to Messrs. Riley & Brown.

May 26, 1875, he assumed the management of the Chelsea (Iowa) Bugle, and his connection with that paper ceased in October of the same year.

In 1876 he came to Michigan and took charge of the Hastings (Barry Co.) Banner, which he conducted as foreman and manager until April 27, 1877, when he established the Lake City (Missaukee Co.)

Journal, whose publication he continued until May, 1884.

He then sold the paper to H. N. McIntyre, and bought the Reed City Clarion.

He issued the first number May 30, 1884, and has already a fine circulation and a steady growing popularity.

He has a large and increasing job patronage.

The office facilities include two presses, comprising an improved C. B. Cottrell & Sons cylinder press, fitted for hand and steam power, and is the only power press in the county.

The other is adapted to the requirements of job work.

The Clarion is a nine-column folio.

Mr. Barker is a Republican, and is deservedly popular in the local ranks of the party, was elected Presidential Elector in the Blaine & Logan campaign of 1884, and is a member of the West Michigan Press Association, of the I. O. O. F., the Knights of Pythias and the G. A. R., Stedman Post, No. 198, Reed City.

Mr. Barker was married April 16, 1876, in Shenandoah, Iowa, to Mrs. Eliza Jane (Reagan) Grant.

She was born May 20, 1843, in Jackson Co., Mich.


Joseph Giles, Liveryman and drayman, resident at Hersey, was born October 17, 1844, near London, Ontario.

His parents, Stephen and Ann (Evans) Giles, removed when he was four years old to St Clair, Michigan.

When he was 12 years of age, Mr. Giles left home to make his own way in the world.

He found ready employment as a saw-mill hand and was a sailor on the lakes several seasons.

In 1871 he came to Hersey and engaged in driving logs on the river through one season, and subsequently engaged in his present occupation on a limited scale.

He has five horses, and is the only representative of his line of business at Hersey.

He owns his barn and fixtures and three lots therewith; also his residence and two lots connected with it.

He was married in Lexington, Sanilac Co., Mich., July 3, 1870, to Hannah Scollay.

She was born in Lexington, Oct. 22, 1855, and is the daughter of Abel and Abbie Scollay.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Giles—Harry A., Jan. 7, 1872; Charles, Sept. 27, 1876; and Lewis, June 16, 1878.


Asa Buck is one of the pioneer business men of Reed City, where he established himself as a marketman in the fall of 1873.

He was born July 19,1846, in Wayne Co., N. Y.

He has been a resident of Michigan since infancy, when his parents removed from the State of New York, and settled on an 80 acre farm in Ingham County, situated five miles from Lansing.

His father, Loren W. Buck, was a native of the Empire State and married Louisa Smith, who was born in the same State.

He was a builder by vocation, and aided in laying out the grounds of the old capitol structure and in erecting the edifice.

Later the family removed to Lenawee County, and afterward to a farm in the township of Noble, Branch County.

Meanwhile, in 1858, the father went to California, and while there occurred the upheaval of interests and issues of the country by the advent of the civil war, and he enlisted from the Golden State in Co. I, First California Vol. Inf., and spent three years in the military service of the United States, serving chiefly in frontier warfare in New Mexico.

Asa and Adolphus entered the army from Michigan, the enlistment of the former occurring at Coldwater in March, 1863, in Co. I, Ninth Mich. Cav., Capt. J. H. McGowan.

The Ninth Michigan Cavalry is distinguished in more than one particular.

Its record of march is one of the most remarkable in the history of the war, as it traversed more than 3,000 miles of territory by battalion the first year of its services, exclusive of skirmish and deploy service.

The regiment fired the last volley at the rebels prior to the surrender of General Johnson.

The preservation of this fact is due to a published notice by a Southern lady in a book of which she was the authoress, and her knowledge of it was due to her appreciation of the gallantry of the officers of the Ninth, who had paid willing tribute to her beauty and enjoyed the hospitality their sincere admiration of her character and position won from her, though she belonged to the losing side.

The fact is authentic, as she was in a situation to observe the progress of events, and her interest in her friends of the Ninth preserved one of the most valuable facts in the record of the regiment.

The Ninth was also the only cavalry regiment of Michigan that marched through to the sea with Sherman, and took part in the closing actions of the campaign under General Kilpatrick.

Mr. Buck was a participant in the varied experiences of the historic progress across the States of Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

His brother Adolphus enlisted in the same company and regiment, and they served together until the close of the war.

The father and two sons joined their savings from the war and purchased 211 acres of land in Branch County.

Of this, Mr. Buck of this sketch held a claim of 60 acres.

In 1870 he went to Angola, Ind., and passed two years in the meat business, and also operated as a carpenter.

In the fall of 1883 he came to Reed City, accompanied by his parents.

Associated with his father, he engaged in the meat business, their partnership existing until the father’s death in December, 1883.

Mr. Buck continued the prosecution of his business alone until March, 1884, when he rented his stand and retired.

On coming to Reed City he bought the site of his business building and built a market.

He also owns a store building, situated on the west side of his first property.

He and his father erected the fine and substantial brick block on the corner of Upton Avenue and Chestnut Street, of which he is still one-half owner.

Their business was successful from the outset, with the exception of one disaster by fire in January, 1875, when they met a loss of $700, partially covered by an insurance of $500.

Besides the property enumerated, Mr. Buck owns two residences, nearly eight acres of land adjoining Reed City on the northwest and 37 acres a little more than a mile north.

He belongs to the subordinate lodge of Odd Fellows and to the Encampment, is a member of the Patriarchal Circle and of the Princes of the Orient and of Post Stedman, No. 98, G. A. R.

He has served two terms as member of the Council.

The marriage of Mr. Buck to Lydia M. Wood occurred July 11, 1869, in Ovid Township, Branch Co., Mich.

Mrs. Buck was born in November, 1850, in Bethel Township, Branch County, and is the daughter of Dyer and Mary Wood.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Buck were born as follows: Bertha, Aug. 3, 1871; Charles, Feb. 27, 1878; and Lee, Nov. 18, 1882.


Robert A. Allured, of the Evart Hardware Company, was born March 7, 1849, in the city of London, England.

His father, John Allured, was a native of England and a bookmaker by trade.

He married Elizabeth Daggs and died in the land of his birth.

In 1855 his widow, with one son and two daughters, and her parents, emigrated to the State of New York, and settled in Monroe County near the city of Rochester, where the subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, and later was in the employment of a butcher in the beautiful city of the Genesee Valley, where he passed three years.

Emma, youngest sister of Mr. Allured, is the wife of William Wallace, of Rochester.

Her sister Elizabeth is an inmate of her home.

In 1868 he came to Flint, Mich., and entered the hardware house of Newton & Hubbard as salesman.

He remained an employee in the business until July, 1873, the firm changing four times within that period.

In that year he came to Evart and, associated with O. M. Brownson, founded a trade in hardware.

The relation was in existence five years, when the business and its connections became the sole property of Mr. Allured.

The establishment where the business was instituted was built by Mr. Brownson, and consisted of a single structure 24 x 60 feet in extent.

He made two additions, 20 x 60 feet, at a later date.

The dimensions were increased by Mr. Allured in 1881, the building now being 44 x 132 feet, with a cellar, and two stories in height.

The incorporated company originally comprised R. A. Allured, M. E. Parkinson and Elmer F. Birdsall.

Mr. Parkinson withdrew from the firm Aug. 20, 1884.

The stock in trade is valued at an estimate of $15,000, and includes all articles common to that branch of business, besides agricultural implements, among which the Champion Mower and Reaper is made a specialty.

Mr. Allured was married March 23, 1876, in Evart, to Alice L. Brownson.

Two children have been born to them, one of whom died in infancy. Karl B. was born March 10, 1883.

Mrs. Allured was born May 25, 1852, in Pontiac, Oakland Co., Mich,, and is the daughter of Oscar M. and Lucy M. Brownson.

She and her husband are members of the Presbyterian Church.


Garrah D. De Goit, assistant salesman with G. W. Bevins, merchant at Tustin, was born Nov. 4, 1859, in Van Buren Co., Mich.

His father, William De Goit, was born on the Atlantic Ocean while his parents were en route to the United States from France, 1 their native country.

He grew to manhood in the State of New York, married Lavinia Dennis, and removed to Michigan, where he is living in retirement, settling later in life at Tustin.

The mother is of French parentage and was born in the province of Ontario.

Mr. De Goit accompanied his parents in extreme childhood to Grand Rapids, where he obtained his earliest education.

Later, in 1874, he went to Ionia, and there he added materially to his acquisitions of information by attending the High School for two years, returning at the end of that time to Grand Rapids, again entering the excellent schools of that city as a student.

After completing his education, he was variously occupied until 1878, the date of his making a location in Osceola County.

On coming to Tustin he spent two years as printer in the Tustin Advance.

He obtained employment as a laborer for j& a few years, and in 1882 he secured his present situation.

He is a Republican of decided principles.

He was married Dec. 30, 1883, in Tustin, to Addie was born Dec. 6, 1861, in Cato, New York, and was educated at Weedsport.

Her parents reside in Burdell Township, whither they removed in 1879.

After coming to Michigan she engaged in teaching until her marriage.


James C. Corbin, Lumberman, resident at Leroy, was born June 10, 1845, in Van Buren County, Michigan.

He was left an orphan in early childhood by the deaths of his parents, the demise of his mother occurring when he was but two weeks old, and that of his father a few years after his birth.

He was in the care of one family from the death of his mother until 1853, being then eight years old.

He lived in various families until he was 17, and in the fall of 1862 he enlisted in Merrill’s Cavalry, as it was known, being an independent organization, doing guard duty and being on scouting service.

Mr. Corbin was in battle only in the action at Little Rock, Ark., and was honorably discharged at Nashville Tenn., after the war was closed in 1865.

After being mustered out, he returned to Michigan and went to Holland, Ottawa County, and obtained employment during three succeeding years.

He was married Sept. t3, 1868, in Wayland, Allegan Co., Mich , to Julia A. Hill.

She was born in 1850, in Grand Rapids, and died Dec. 1, 1878, in Leroy.

One daughter—Hattie May—died before her mother.

Burt E. is the only surviving child.

Mr. Corbin was married June 26, 1881, in Ithaca, Gratiot Co., Mich., to Miss L. Meade.

Mrs. Corbin was born and educated in Gratiot County.

The family came to Leroy Township in the fall of 1874.

Mr. Corbin purchased 160 acres of land on section 17, and a little more than a year after he exchanged it for 80 acres located in another part of the township, of which he was the owner two years, lumbering meanwhile in the interest of Hood, Gale & Co., of Big Rapids.

In the fall of 1879 he sold his farm and embarked in a drug enterprise, which he prosecuted between two and three years, selling in 1882 to his associate in the business.

He then entered quite extensively into the manufacture of lumber, running a saw and planing-mill.

The former establishment was burned in August, 1883, and he has since reconstructed the planing-mill, in which he is doing an extensive business.

He is independent in politics.


Joshua W. Matthews, Treasurer of Osceola , County, was born Feb. 3, 1826, in the township of Troy, Oakland Co., Mich.

His father, Solomon J. Matthews, was born in Livonia, Livingston Co., N. Y., June 6, 1799.

He was a farmer and removed to Oakland Co., Mich., in 1822. He died in Troy Township, Aug. 14, 1850.

Susan (Whitney) Matthews, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Livonia, in 1800, and died in Troy Township, in 1864.

They had nine children, eight of whom lived to maturity and seven of whom still survive: Almeron S. is Deputy U. S. Marshal at Pontiac, Oakland County; Jane (1st) is deceased; Jane Ann, Mrs. Nathaniel Voorhies, resides in Troy Township; Susan C. is the wife of F. C. Voorhies, of the same place; Enos R. is a produce merchant at Rochester, Oakland County; Solomon S. is U. S. Marshal at Pontiac; Cordelia.

Mrs. Lewis Hickox, is deceased; Mary married James C. Voorhies, a carriage-maker at Rochester, Oakland County.

Not long after the death of his father, Mr. Matthews purchased the family homestead, comprising 120 acres of well improved and cultivated land, of which he continued resident until 1866, when he removed to Pontiac to discharge the duties of Assistant Revenue Assessor, to which position he had been appointed, and in which he officiated more than five years.

Associated with Henry Nichols and E. C. Martin, in 1879, he bought a half interest in a sash, door and blind factory at Pontiac, the firm style becoming Martin, Matthews & Nichols.

The relation existed actively about two years, when he interested himself in the manufacture of hoisting machines for building purposes, selling the products in Chicago.

In the fall of 1872, he came to Evart, Osceola County, and bought a half interest in a steam saw-mill, forming the manufacturing firm of Lamb & Matthews, which existed until January, 1877.

In the fall of 1876, Mr. Matthews was elected Sheriff of Osceola County, on the Republican ticket, and in the fall of 1878 received a re-election.

He was elected County Treasurer in the fall of 1880, and in 1882 was re-elected.

In 1861 he was elected Supervisor of Troy, Oakland Co., Mich., and he has served three years in succession in the same office in Osceola Township.

In 1883 he was elected President of Hersey village.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and belongs to Evart Lodge, No. 320, located at Evart.

Mr. Matthews was married Oct. 22, 1848, in Bloomfield Township, this county, to Hannah E. Beach.

Their children were three in number.

The first born and youngest died in early infancy.

Chloe Ann, born Aug. 17, 1850, is the wife of Justus H. Prall, a builder in Pontiac.

Mrs. Matthews was born in Cayuga Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Thomas C. and Lodema (Ford) Beach.


Ransom Cooper, prosecuting Attorney of Osceola and member of the firm of Cooper & Windsor, Attorneys, real estate and loan agents at Reed City, was born May 12, 1854, near Corunna, Shiawassee Co. Mich.

His father, Andrew H. Cooper, was a native of New York, and a farmer by vocation.

The son was but six months old at the date of his father’s death.

After that event his mother, Sarah (McGilvrey) Cooper, returned to Sterling, Cayuga Co., N. Y., where she lived with her children seven years, returning when Mr. Cooper, of this sketch, was seven years old, to Caro, Tuscola Co., Mich. She died in 1879.

Ransom was a pupil in the common schools of Tuscola County until he was 17 years old.

He became a teacher, which pursuit he followed until he I was 20, when he entered the Literary Department of the University at Ann Arbor, where he studied two years.

He went thence to Port Austin, Huron Co., Mich., where he followed the business of teaching three years, meanwhile studying law under the instructions of the Hon. Richard Winsor and his partner, Horace G. Snover, a leading law firm of the Huron Peninsula.

He was admitted to the practice of law at the Bar of Michigan at Bad Axe, Huron County, in August, 1879, and in the following month established his legal business at Reed City.

He formed a partnership under the style of Colgrove & Cooper, which relation continued one year, when the present firm was established by the substitution of L. B. Winsor, and its connections are still operative.

The house has founded a substantial law business, deals to a satisfactory extent in real estate, and represents the following fire-insurance companies: Liverpool & London & Globe, American, British, Phoenix of Brooklyn, and the Orient.

Mr. Cooper was nominated on the Republican ticket in the fall of 1880 for Prosecuting Attorney, and made a successful campaign against the candidate of the opposition element, scoring a triumph of 700 majority.

He was re-elected in 1882, without opposition.

Mr. Cooper is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

He is prominently interested in local school matters.

His marriage to Lillian B. Colgrove occurred Dec. 31, 1878, at Charlotte, Eaton Co., Mich.

Edith Belle, only child, was born at Reed City, Nov. 20, 1882.

Mrs. Cooper was born March 20, 1857, and is the daughter of Charles H. and Catherine Colgrove.


John A. Lindstrom, salesman for G. W. Bevins, general merchant, is a native of Sweden, where he was born Sept. 30, 1853, in Wermland.

He is the son of Nels and Kate Lindstrom.

His mother dying when he was a child of eight years, he was cared for by others until he was 17, when he returned to the home of his father.

A year later they came to the States, and located on a farm in Sherman Township, in Osceola County.

The senior Lindstrom is a successful farmer of the same township.

Mr. Lindstrom succeeded in obtaining an excellent and thorough knowledge of the use of the English understanding of the customs of American people, was occupied as a common laborer.

In 1880 he entered upon the duties of his present position, which he has discharged with ability and fidelity.

He is a supporter of the tenets of the Lutheran religion and is a Republican in political adherence.

He was married in Tustin Aug. 5, 1881, to Huldah M. Olson, who was born Jan. 16, 1858, in Westevrik, Sweden, where her father is a merchant.

She grew to womanhood in her native land, coming to the United States in 1880.

She is the mother of two children, – Alfdis S. and Florence I.


Alanson J. MoCarn, farmer and lumberman, located on section 8, Sylvan Township, was born March 17, 1842, in Plymouth, Wayne Co., N. Y.

Jonas McCarn, his father, was a native of New York and removed his family in 1856 to Perry, Shiawassee Co., Mich., where he died, Sept. 11, 1884, aged 75 years.

His mother, Abbie McCarn, was born in the Mohawk Valley, in New York, and is living in Shiawassee County, aged 72 years.

Mr. McCarn was a pupil in the common schools of his native place until the removal of the family to Perry, when he was 14 years old.

A year later he took the direction of his career into his own hands and when 17 years of age began teaching.

He pursued that calling as a vocation until the second year of the war, when he entered the army.

He enlisted Oct. 31, 1862, in the Seventh Mich. Cav., Co. G, in which he was appointed Sergeant.

His company was under Lieut. Geo. W. Hill, and the command was assigned to the Army of the Potomac.

He was in some of the hottest and hardest fought battles of the war, among which was the action at Gettysburg, where he received severe wounds.

A shot passed through the right lung, emerging from his body under his right arm and crashing through the muscles of that member.

He was transferred from the field hospital at Gettysburg to Finley Hospital, Washington, D. C., whence he was discharged June 2, 1865.

Soon after his return he was married and rented a farm in Perry Township, which he occupied about six years.

In 1876 he sold his farming interests and bought village property at Perry Center, and established a mercantile enterprise which he continued to conduct until his removal to Evart in the autumn of 1874.

He embarked in the same business at that place and managed its relations one year.

At the end of that time he purchased 200 acres of unbroken forest land in Sylvan Township, becoming one of the earliest settlers north of the Muskegon River.

He has since sold a small portion of his place and added 80 acres in Hartwick Township to his possessions.

He has made many improvements on his property.

In 1883 he became the proprietor of a saw-null and has since managed an extensive lumbering manufacture.

In political preference he is a Republican of decided opinions.

He has held several important local official positions, as Supervisor, Treasurer, etc., and is present School Inspector.

He is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows at Perry Center.

Mr. McCarn was married June 26, 1865, to Evelyn M. Durant.

Their children were born as follows: Charles, May 14, 1866; Ernest, Jan. 8, 1872; Lynn, April 26, 1881.

Their mother is the daughter of Nathaniel and Harriet (Bridger) Durant, and was born Nov. 3, 1842.

Her father died in Huron Co., Ohio, when she was four years of age.

Her mother was born in England and died in 1881 in Perry.

Mrs. McCarn was carefully educated and began teaching when 18 years of age.

Willis M. Slosson

Willis M. Slosson, member of the business firm of J. M. Reed & Co. at Reed City, was born May 25,1849, in Newark Valley, Tioga Co., N. Y. Ozias J. Slosson, his father, was born in 1805,at Great Barrington, Mass.

Associated with James M. Reed and Charles Higbe, he came to Northern Michigan in 1856 and aided in the location of Reed City, the firm consisting of Messrs. Reed, Higbe and,Slosson, becoming by purchase the proprietors of more than 4,000 acres of land lying in Osceola and Newaygo Counties.

They platted the city, and two of its thoroughfares—Slosson Avenue and Higbe Street—now perpetuate the memory of their names.

The senior Slosson retained his citizenship in Tioga Co., N. Y., but aided in the development of this portion of Osceola County, and at the date of his death was still one of the leading property-holders in the county.

He died in Newark Valley, Feb. 11, 1862.

The demise of his wife, Mrs. Ann F. (Fisher) Slosson, took place Feb. 7, 1872.

She was a native of Francistown, N. H.

Their family consisted of five children—three sons and two daughters.

Mr. Slosson of this sketch is the youngest son. Arthur B., the oldest, is present Deputy Sheriff of Osceola County, and resides at Reed City.

Edwin Slosson, second son, is a grain merchant at Sabetha, Kan. Willis M. Slosson was reared to manhood and trained in the business habits of his father, remaining on the homestead at Newark Valley until the age of 22 years.

He then went to Kansas, and in partnership with William B. and Samuel Slosson, his cousins, established the business to which his brother Edwin succeeded by an exchange of interests, the younger brother taking his place in the real-estate firm at Reed City, Michigan.

This is where he is engaged in furthering the interests of the business house of which his father was one of the primary members, and which is engaged in the sale of its landed tracts.

(The brothers Slosson purchased the claims of their sisters.)

Mr. Slosson owns also individual property at Reed City, including a business building on Upton Avenue, occupied as a drug store and photograph gallery, a half interest in the lot and building leased as a law office by Messrs. Bellows & Stone, attorneys, and other village property.

He is officiating for the second time as President of the village, of which he has been Trustee two years.

He is prominent in the Order of Masonry, belonging to the several bodies, – Blue Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter and Commandery.

He is also connected with the American Order of United Workmen.

His marriage to M. Ella Butler occurred May 20, 1874, in Newark Valley.

She was born Nov. 20, 1854, and is the daughter of John and Jane Butler.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Slosson were born as follows: Leonard B., April 13, 1875; Lawrence M., Oct. 25, 1878; and Edna E., April 2t, 1880, at Reed City.

The two elder children were born at Sabetha, Kan.


George Halladay, merchant and farmer, residing on sec. 10, Lincoln Tp., was born in Leeds Co., Ont., March 8, 1820.

When he was six years of age his father died, and at the early age of eight years he went to live with his brother-in-law, remaining with him until about 17 years of age.

He then started out in the world to take the management of his affairs into his own hands.

He learned the trade of carding and dressing cloth, worked at that business for five years, next engaged in farming for a period of seven years, and then returned to his trade, which he followed for 1 o years.

In 1870 he came to Michigan, settling at Ashton, Osceola County, where he took possession of 80 acres of land under the regulations of the homestead law, and where he now resides.

He has also bought 40 acres on section 9.

During the spring following his settlement here he built a store in Ashton and began business, in company with his son, Frayer, with $1,000 worth of dry goods and groceries.

Their business so increased that they had to enlarge the store building and add largely to their stock.

During the spring of 1884, Mr. George Halladay sold his interest in the mercantile business to his son and retired to the farm in Lincoln Township, where he now owns 160 acres of land, and has about 70 acres in a state of good cultivation.

Mr. Halladay has held the office of Township Treasurer one year, and Overseer of Highways eight years.

In his political views he is identified with the Republican Party, and in religion he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife.

He was first married in Canada, Dec. 3, 1844, to Miss Mary White, a native of Ontario.

They have had four children, namely, Frayer, Nancy, Samantha and Adelia.

Mrs. H. died July 22, 1852, and Mr. H. was again married, in Ontario, March 9, 1853, to Phebe Wing, who also was a native of Canada.

By this marriage four children were born, viz.: Annetta, Ida, Wright and Burton.

The second wife died Sept. 30, 1881, and Mr. Halladay chose for his third wife, in Cedar Springs, Kent Co , Mich., Oct. 11, 1883, Mrs. Elizabeth (nee Robinson), widow of David H. Wightman, who died Feb. 15, 1880.

By her former marriage she has had eight children, as follows: William J., Henry H., Clarinda C., Lewis D., Mary E., George S., Louisa, Isabella and Louisa Arabella (twins).

Mrs. H. was born in Otsego Co., N. Y., Sept. 23, 1827.


Conrad V. Priest, merchant at Sears, was born at Bath, Ontario, Jan. 5, 1847, and is the son of Ezra D. and Alatheria (Shorey) Priest.

The senior Priest was born in 1809, in Vermont.

His earlier business life was passed in the manufacture of carriages in Bath, whither he removed from his native State, and where he was a pioneer.

He engaged in a mercantile enterprise there, which he conducted 23 years.

A few years before his death he went to Ernesttown, Addington Co., Ont., where he died.

The mother was born in Addington County, in April, 1811, and resides in Napanee, Ont.

Mr. Priest passed his childhood, youth and early manhood in Bath, coming thence to Osceola County in 1873, reaching Evart July 3, and proceeding in September of the same year to Sears.

He established his mercantile business at first in company with George Hume, who sold two years afterward to William Belfour, the firm style becoming Priest & Belfour.

In the winter of 1879 Mr. Belfour was crossing the bay of Quinte on the ice, when the horse they were driving broke through and disappeared, dragging the sleigh and its occupants into the water.

The horse was drowned, but the men saved their lives.

Mr. Belfour took cold, which resulted in quick consumption, and he lived but a few months.

Since his death Mr. Priest has conducted his business affairs alone.

His average stock represents a cash value of $10,000, and his annual transactions aggregate $40,000. He buys every variety of farm produce, and sells everything required by farmers and other patrons.

He buys and presses about 500 tons of hay annually, which he sells to lumbermen.

His business location is one of the best in this section of country.

Mr. Priest is thoroughly educated, and possesses fine scholarly tastes.

He obtained a comprehensive knowledge of common branches at the district schools, and of classics and higher mathematics in an academy.

He has a special liking for geography and history, and is a discriminating reader, keeping himself informed in business channels and current events.

He was married April 15, 1872, to Elizabeth J. Belfour, and they have been the parents of five children, the two oldest of whom died in infancy unnamed.

Lillian Irma was born July 13, 1879; Hattie H., Dec. 18,1881; Nettie M., April 12, 1884.

Mrs. Priest is the daughter of Gabriel and Ann (Armstrong) Belfour, both of whom were natives of the north of Ireland.

Her mother was killed in October, 1868, near Bath, Ont., by a train of cars while crossing a railroad on her return from a provincial fair.

Her father resides in Bath, and is 72 years of age.

They had six children, of whom Mrs. Priest is fifth in order of birth.

She was born in Bath July 16, 1847.

She has one sister and three brothers.

One brother lost his life, as stated in the account of William Belfour.

Mr. Priest is a Republican in political principle and action.

He is an honored and trusted citizen, and has been Postmaster four years, Justice of the Peace six years, and Township Treasurer five years.


James W. Turner, Liveryman and proprietor of sale and feed stables at Evart, was born April 3, 1843, in Medina, Orleans County, New York.

His father, Edward Turner, was born on Norfolkshire, England.

His mother, Hannah (Starn) Turner, was a native of England, and their family included five children.

In 1844 they moved to Batavia Township, Genesee County, New York, where he worked as a blacksmith for a time.

There the father became an invalid and never resumed active business life.

Mr. Turner was the oldest child of his parents, and when he was twelve years of age went to live with Hiram Hunn, in the township of Alexandria, with whom he remained four years.

His father’s falling into ill health when he was 12 years of age, threw upon him the support of the family.

He was occupied in farm labor by the month six years, when he rented a farm and operated in that method of agricultural pursuit five years.

In March, 1866, he came to Bushnell Township, Montcalm Co., Mich., where he was engaged in farming two years. While residing there his father died.

He went thence to Palo, Ionia County, where he was a farmer and butcher, coming to Evart in the fall of 1872, and there engaged in butchering, in partnership with Rowland S. Comstock, a few months.

In the spring of 1873 the latter sold his interest to Frank E. Turner, and the brothers managed the business jointly until 1878, operating also in real estate, buying tracts of land and putting them in good condition for farming; after which they were sold.

In 1878, Mr. Turner purchased his brother’s claim and continued farming, and also embarked in’ the purchase and shipment of horses.

In 1880 he founded the business in which he is at present engaged.

On his arrival at Evart, he bought the property he now owns, and established his meat market, which he removed in 1880, and erected the buildings where is now operating.

They are constructed of brick, main portion being 40 x r 13 feet in dimensions and with an addition 20×92 feet for a carriage room.

A wash-room 20×30 feet is connected therewith, also a large frame barn.

He keeps about twenty horses with necessary livery fixtures of a good grade, and combines a considerable traffic in buggies and wagons with his other operations, dealing especially in the Big Rapids wagons and the Columbus baggies.

He has an extensive livery business and deals largely in horses. His farms are on an extensive scale, and he has 235 acres under cultivation.

He has bought and sold cattle, sheep and horses since he was 18 years of age.

There is a brick-yard on his farm near the village of Evart, where, in company with E. C. Cannon, he has been engaged in the manufacture of brick.

Mr. Turner belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the A. 0. U. W.

His marriage to Julia A. Case, took place March 1, 1864, in Alden Township, Erie Co., N. Y.

They have two children,—Susie E, born Aug. 30, 1871, in Palo, Ionia Co., Mich., and Nina A., born Sept. 21, 1874, in Evart. Mrs. Turner was born June 7, 1843, in Millgrove Township, Erie Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of James E. and Susan (Dixon) Case.

The mother of Mr. Turner resides at Evart. Carrie M. is a widow and resides in the village of Gaines, Genesee Co., Mich.; Henry D. is a butcher at Evart; Frank E. is a liveryman at Chase, Lake Co., Mich.; Rose resides at Evart.


John Q. Patterson, Attorney, insurance agent and Notary Public at Reed City was born Aug. 26, 1827, in Wayne Township, Steuben Co., N. Y., and is the son of John and Ellinor Patterson, both of whom were natives of the Empire State.

The father was a ship carpenter by vocation, and in 1835 settled with his family in Putnam Township, Livingston Co., Mich., where he bought a farm of 80 acres.

The mother died there. The senior Patterson died in Stockbridge, Ingham Co., Mich.

Ten children were born to them: William, Mary A., Zera, Jane, Delilah, Ellinor, John Q., Martha, David and Henry.

The oldest and youngest are deceased.

Mr. Patterson was brought up on a farm, and at 21 years of age entered Michigan Central College at Spring Arbor, where he remained four years; teaching in the winter seasons.

In 1855 he engaged in traffic in stock and produce at Ovid, Clinton County, and operated in that line until the date of his enrollment in the military service of the United States.

Dec. 20, 1863, he enlisted at Ovid, and was assigned to a company as Second Lieutenant, the chief officer being Capt. A. B. Wood, and the company being attached to the 27th Mich. Vol. .Inf. in March, 1864.

The command was assigned to the Ninth Army Corps, First Brigade and Third Division, and on the 29th of April became a part of the Army of the Potomac.

The regiment participated in the 14 days’ fight in the Wilderness, and in the engagements of the campaign through to Petersburg, including North Anna, Cold Harbor and Bethesda Church; and at the siege of Petersburg, June 18, 1864, Lieutenant Patterson was wounded by grape shot in both lower limbs, an injury which consigned him to the hospital for several weeks.

On recovery he was detailed for recruiting service and served in that capacity, recruiting for the 30th Mich. Reg. Inf.

He returned to Washington in charge of a detachment of men, and proceeded thence to the front.

He was in the siege of Petersburg; and at Hatcher’s Run, Oct. 27 and 28, 1864, while in charge of a front line of pickets, he was wounded in the left shoulder by a sharpshooter’s bullet, which ranged down through his chest, cutting off three ribs and emerging from his body at the angle of the ninth rib.

He was sent to the field hospital, where he remained five weeks, and was transferred to the City Point Hospital, whence he was sent, two weeks later, to Washington. He remained there some time and afterwards went to Georgetown Seminary Hospital, where he lay ill twenty days with lung fever.

He returned to his home in February, 1865, and received an honorable discharge for disability April 28, following.

He was made First Lieutenant of his company May 5, 1864, and maintained that rank until he was discharged from the service.

After reaching his home he continued some time in precarious health, and as soon as sufficiently recovered, studied law.

He began the practice of his profession at Ovid, and was admitted to the Bar of Michigan in 1868.

In 1873 he removed to Reed City, where he continued his law practice. Later he became associated with W. H. Palmer, with whom he remained about two years, and operated singly, in a satisfactory practice, until 1882, when he purchased the National Hotel, put it in thorough repair, and conducted its affairs as a hostelry until the spring of 1884, when he leased the property and resumed the business of an attorney.

In September, 1884, he sold his interest in the hotel.

In his insurance connections, he represents the Home, of New York, the North British and Mercantile.

He is the proprietor of considerable village property.

Mr. Patterson belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows, to the Grand Army of the Republic, and has served two terms as member of the Village Board of Trustees.

He was married July 4, 1855, at Dexter, Washtenaw Co., Mich., to Ellinor S. Torry, and they are the parents of five children, namely: Emma, who is the wife of Peter A. Auer, clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington.

Mr. and Mrs. Auer have two children, Harry and Nellie.

De Ette married Charles K. Esler, foreman on the Grand Haven (Mich.) Herald; Lee and Dana are the names of their children.

Wilber is a clerk at Reed City.

Ezra D. is an assistant teacher in the Spencerian Business College at Washington, D. C., where he was graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1883.

Bertha is the youngest daughter. Mrs. Patterson is the daughter of Seth B. and Eliza Torry.


George Reed, merchant and farmer at Milton, Lincoln Township, is a son of Joseph and Mary (Crawford) Reed, the former a native of England, and the latter of Ireland.

In their family were three children, namely: Mary, now the wife of G. Wilson, and resides in Lincoln Township; George, the subject of this sketch, and James.

Mr. Reed was born in Canada, Jan. 22, 1838, and lived in the Dominion until 1865, when he made a tour of the Western States in search of a place to locate.

In 1867 he came to this county and took possession of 80 acres of land in Lincoln Township, under the regulations of the Homestead Law, settled upon the place and resided there nearly seven years.

He then sold that place and purchased another 80 acre tract, in the same township, which he still owns.

He made this place his residence until the spring of 1884, when he commenced business in the mercantile line at Milton June.

He has a satisfactory trade.

In connection with his store, he has a restaurant and a hotel, suited to the demands of the transient public.

Thirty acres of his farm are cleared and in good cultivation.

Mr. Reed is a Republican in his views of national government, enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens, and as to local official positions he has been Highway Commissioner two years.

He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The marriage of Mr. Reed took place in Berrien Co., Mich., Dec. 18, 1878, taking for his wife Mrs. Miranda, nee Smith, widow of Adolphus Griffin.

By her first marriage her children were Stella, Nettie and Dolphie.

By her present marriage there was one son, Joseph by name, who died when three days old.

Mark Ardis, merchant at Evart, and a prominent landholder and business man of Osceola County, was born Oct. 20, 1843, in Newtown-Hamilton, County Armagh, Ireland.

His parents, William and Mary (Boyd) Ardis, are still residents of their native land.

Mr. Ardis was bred to the occupation of a farmer until he was 14 years of age, when he became a clerk, and was employed in that capacity until he came to the United States.

He reached Ionia, Mich., in January, 1867, and entered the insurance and brokerage office of Fred Hall & Co., where he operated as book-keeper until the fall of the same year, when he came to Hersey, and engaged as a salesman in the mercantile establishment of James Kennedy, continuing in the position until he entered the employ of D. A. Blodgett, in 1871.

In the fall of the same year he established his business at Evart, first instituting a general mercantile enterprise, in which he is still operating, his business requiring a stock valued at an average of $15,000, and comprising all articles of merchandise suited to his patronage.

He also conducts a private banking business, buys and sells exchange, makes collections, etc.

He first established his business in a building which he still owns, located opposite the postoffice at Evart, and later removed to his present stand, also his property.

He owns a fine residence, the grounds comprising four lots and 30 acres of land in the northwest part of the corporation.

40 acres of land on section 3, Evart Township, 160 acres on section 18, Middle Branch Township, and 80 acres on section 32, Osceola Township.

Mr. Ardis has served two terms as Village Treasurer.

He was married May 21, 1872, in Brooklyn, N. Y., to Annie, daughter of Philip and Mary Redmond, a native of Ireland.

Their children were born as follows: Minnie E. B., Aug. 14, 1873; Emma M., May 17, 1875; Jennie H.„ July 13, 1876; William F. S., July 31, 1879; Walter R., Oct. 20, 1883.


Charles G. Loase, Banker at Reed City was born February 4, 1842, in Detroit, and is the son of John G. and Margaret (Keiser) Loase.

In early life his father was a car builder, and later a merchant in Detroit, where he died.

Mr. Loase obtained his early education in the “City of the Straits,” and operated there to some extent as a clerk.

In 1859, when he was. 17 years of age, he went to California and became interested in mining, in which he was engaged five years.

Returning to Michigan, he passed a year in Jackson County, next a period of time at Greenville, Montcalm County, and engaged in building.

In 1873 he embarked in a mercantile enterprise at Altona, Mecosta Co., Mich., which he prosecuted until his removal to Reed City in 1879.

On Jan. 1, 1880, he established his banking business, and has since been engaged in the transactions common to such institutions.

He owns a residence at Greenville, and a valuable farm of 80 acres in Deerfield Township, Mecosta County, all under cultivation.

Mr. Loase was married Sept. 3, 1867, at Greenville, to Frances Norton.

She was born Feb. 27, 1846, and is the daughter of Myron H. and Sarah (Skinner) Norton.

Her father was born in Oakland Co., Mich., was extensively engaged in farming, in Ionia Co., and for a number of years engaged in banking in Greenville, and is 70 years of age.

The mother was born April 12, 1816, in Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Loase have four children: Mertie was born March 26, 1872, in Greenville; Ernest was born July 26, 1876, in Altona, where the third child, Blanche, was born, July 22, 1878; Clara was born April 1, 1881, at Reed City.

enry A. Clark, Register of Deeds of Osceola County, resident at Hersey, was born July 10, 1850, in Seneca Co., Ohio, at a point two miles south of Tiffin.

His father, Thomas Clark, was born in April, 1819.

He married Mary Judea and settled on a farm in Seneca County, whence he removed with his family, about 1853, to Hardin Co., Ohio, buying a tract of land containing 280 acres.

He is the proprietor of 160 acres, in fine and valuable agricultural condition.

The mother was born in 1814. Seven of their nine children are living: Catherine, now deceased, married Josephus Mustard, a farmer and hotel-keeper in Mason Co., Mich.; Ann M. married R. G. Hubbell, of Ada, Hardin Co., Ohio; Ebert died in Hardin Co., Ohio; Elizabeth J. is the wife of David S. Shadley, a farmer in Osceola County; Lloyd H. resides in Preston, Hardin Co., Ohio; Oliver is a farmer in Middle Branch Township; Henry A. is next in order of birth; Littleton G. is a farmer in Hartwick Township; Mary S. married George Dempster, traveling salesman, and resides in Hardin Co., Ohio.

In 1867, when he was 16 years of age, Mr. Clark came to Hartwick Township in company with his brother-in-law, D. S. Shadley, who was the first settler in the township, and is still a resident there, on section 24.

Young Clark aided him two years in clearing and improving his farm.

On March 9, 1870, Mr. Clark located 143 acres of land in Middle Branch Township, section 30, and cleared 80 acres, remaining there until the fall of 1880, when he was elected Register of Deeds, on the Republican ticket, defeating the candidate of the opposition by a majority of 72t votes.

He was re-elected in the fall of 1882, scoring a triumph by 576 votes.

He removed to Hersey in December, 1880, where he is the owner of a residence and three lots, also of 119 acres of farm land on section 21, Osceola Township.

He also owns an interest in several hundred acres of wild lands, variously located.

He was Supervisor of Middle Branch Township six years, and has served as Justice of the Peace, and in other official positions.

He is a member of the Masonic Order and belongs to Lodge No. 311, at Hersey.

Mr. Clark was married Nov. 11, 1869, in Grand Haven, Mich., to Mary A. Muschawaeck, and they became the parents of three children: Mary Estella was born Oct. 4, 1871, and died Feb. 5, 1872; Rosella J. was born Feb. 8, 1874; and Walter C. was born April 12, 1876, and died Aug. 4, 1878.

Their mother died in Middle Branch Township March 15, 1879.

She was born Jan. 23, 1851, in Germany, and is the daughter of Wolfgang and Walberga Muschawaeck.

Mr. Clark was a second time married in Dearborn Township, Wayne Co., Mich., March 3, 1880, to Mrs. Mary E. Builer, widow of John R. Butler, by whom she had one child, Herbert R.


John N. Allen, grocer and provision merchant at Evart, was born April 19, 1833, in Monroe Co., N. Y.

He is the son of Jeremiah and Charlotte Allen, and was reared to the age of 16 years on a farm.

His first independent movement in business was as a traveling salesman, in which capacity he operated 13 years.

In 1864 he bought a farm situated near Pontiac, Oakland Co., Mich., whence he went to Port Huron and from there engaged in exploring for oil in the Dominion of Canada, and speculating in oil stocks at Port Huron and Detroit.

He went next to Southfield, Oakland County, where he bought a 40-acre farm, on which he operated three years, going thence to Northville, Wayne Co., Mich., where he became interested in a large peach orchard.

In the fall of 1872 he came to Evart and bought the site of the building where he is now transacting his business, and erected the structure in which he continued to prosecute the grocery trade without intermission.

He is the owner of 160 acres of land on section 10, Evart Township, with 35 acres under culture.

He is serving his eighth term as Township Clerk of Evart.

Mr. Allen was married July 14, 1864, at New Market, Canada, to Jennie C. Hoag, and their children were born as follows: Cora, Sept. 20, 1865, near Pontiac; Annie, June 2, 1867,at Port Huron; Edith, March 17,1873; John, Sept. 21, 1877, and died June 2, 1884.

The two last children were born at Evart. Mrs. Allen was born Dec. 6, 1843, in Somerset, Niagara Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Aaron and Marinda (Bennett) Hoag.

Her parents were natives of the State of New York.


Amos G. Tennant, farmer, sections 17 and 20, Orient Township, was born April 4, 1831, in Venango Co., Pa.

His parents, tj-W John R. and Lydia A. (West) Tennant had four sons—Elisha A., William M., Amos and John G.

Their father was born of English parentage Feb. 2, 1798, and in 1833 went to Ashtabula Co., Ohio. In 1844, the family removed to St Clair Co., Mich., and thence to the county of Macomb, where the mother died, in May, 1870.

She was born April 10, 1800.

The father was a farmer all his active life, and after the death of his wife he still continued to live with his son Amos until his death, which occurred March 28, 1877.

In 1855, Mr. Tennant went to South Saginaw, where he engaged as a saw-mill hand, and later became superintendent of a saw-mill, in which capacity he operated two years.

He was occupied in a similar capacity in East Saginaw two years, going thence to Galesburg, Kalamazoo Co., Mich., where he was engaged in the manufacture of lumber from 1858 to 1864.

On the first of September, in that year, he enlisted in the Union Army, enrolling in Co. I, 28th Mich. Vol. Inf., and going with his regiment to the front as First Sergeant.

May 8, 1865, he was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and Sept. 12 of the same year he was made First Lieutenant, serving in that capacity until he was mustered out of the service June 5, 1866.

His first battle was at Nashville, the regiment being under the command of General Thomas, and afterwards assigned to the 23d Army Corps.

Mr. Tennant was never in the hospital on sick leave, and was in all the active duty where his regiment was engaged.

On being mustered out he returned to Richmond, Macomb Co., Mich.

He became interested in his former employment, and remained in Macomb County until the last days of March, 1872, when he started with a team for Osceola County, where he arrived April 3, and found the snow two feet deep on the ground.

The contrast was rather disheartening, as the farmers of Macomb County were plowing when he left that section a few days earlier.

The family reached their new home by the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad from Saginaw.

He settled on section 17, where he purchased 40 acres of land.

He has improved 50 acres, has an excellent frame barn, and a good log house.

He was married Jan. 1, 1858, to Albina U. Warner.

She was born Sept. 9, 1839, in St. Clair Co., Mich., and is the daughter of John and Hannah (Wilkins) Warner.

The latter was born in St. Alban’s, Vermont, in 1818, and died at Galesburg, Mich., in February, 1860.

Her father was also born in St. Alban’s in 1811, and died in Wayne Co., Mich., about 1875.

They had two children; Celia, now Mrs. Andrews, only sister of Mrs. Tennant, lives in Orient Township.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Tennant were born as follows: Florence M., Dec. 17, 1858 (died May 17, 1881); Ida H., June 14, 1860; John R., Oct. 7, 1861; Gerald E., April 9, 1863.

Mr. Tennant is a Republican in political affiliation, and has served a term as Justice of the Peace.

Mrs. Tennant is a member of the Disciples’ Church.


Nathaniel Clark, Register in the United States Land Office, is a pioneer resident of Reed City.

He was born Oct. 2, 1821, in New Jersey, and is the son of John and Amelia (Decker) Clark, both of whom were born in the same State and were of English and German lineage.

His father was born July 11, 1799 and died Sept. 6, 1867; the birth of his mother occurred Nov. 30, 1798, and her demise took place Jan. 19, 1878.

They were married Sept. 2, 1820.

His father moved to Livingston Co., N. Y., in the fall of 1825, where he purchased a farm.

Mr. Clark was reared to manhood on the farm.

He was married Sept. 10, 1844, in Brushville, Livingston Co., N. Y., to Maria Hanford.

She was born March 2. 1824, in Parma, Monroe Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of John and Polly Hanford.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark have been the parents of 11 children, nine of whom are living: Nelson B. was born July 4, 1845, in Sparta, Livingston Co., N. Y., and deals in hemlock bark at Fremont Center, Newaygo Co., Mich.; Annis A. was born Feb. 8, 1847, and lives in Santa Barbara, Cal.; George S., Jan. 1, 1849; Mary E., Feb. 14, 1851; Emma F., Jan. 12, 1853; Ellen T., March 21, 1855; Irvilla, March 11, 1857, and died Nov 26, 1859, John H., Nov. 9, 1858, and died Nov. 26, 1859; Percy H., Sept. 20, 1860; Lillian M., Aug. 16, 1863; Myrtle M., May 10, 1867.

The mother of Mrs. Clark was born March 11, 1794, and she died July 21, 1832.

Her father was born Jan. 28, 1789, and died in the spring of 1862.

In 1847 Mr. Clark went to Jefferson Co., Pa., and engaged in farming, lumbering and merchandise, conducting his combined interests 13 years.

In 1860, he came to Michigan and became interested in lumbering at Vassar, Tuscola County, operating in that line of business for some time.

In the year preceding the close of the war he entered the military service of the United States, enlisting in August, 1864, as a private in the 29th Reg. Mich. Vol. Inf.

He served primarily as a wagon-master of the regiment and afterwards, as brigade wagon-master, and remained in the army until the close of the war. His oldest son was Orderly.

On obtaining his discharge he returned to Tuscola County, to the present site of Cass City, where he engaged in mercantile business and erected the first building for trading purposes in the place.

He established his business in the same avenues in which he had operated at the outset of his independent career, and trafficked extensively as a merchant and lumberman, and also carried on his farming interests.

During a portion of the time he was a member of the mercantile firm of Craw & Clark, located at Caro.

He sold his interests there and came to Reed City in 1871.

At that place he founded a mercantile and lumber trade, which was in active existence two years, and in 1873 he went to Chase, Lake Co., Mich., and operated in general merchandise.

In the fall of 1876 he secured a soldier’s claim of 160 acres of land in Custer Township, Mason County, which he proceeded to place in good agricultural condition, with good buildings, orchards and other farm appurtenances, and with 65 acres wholly cleared.

He sold the property in the spring of 1881 and settled at his home at Reed City, where he had continued to maintain his residence.

In 1881 he was elected Supervisor of Richmond Township, which he resigned in April, 1884, to accept the position under the United States Government of which he is still the incumbent.

The duties of Receiver are discharged by W. H. C. Mitchell.

At Reed City, Mr. Clark owns a residence and two lots, and is also the proprietor of 10 acres of land in the southwest part of the village.

He is a Republican in politics and belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic.

At the time Mr. Clark made his location where he resides at Reed City, he had to clear the lot, cut brush and build a road through one square to Upton Avenue.


William F. Tule, farmer section 21, Orient Township, was born Feb. 3, 1851, in North Toronto, Can., and is the son of George D. and Anita (Darlington) Tule.

The father was born in Pennsylvania, of German parentage.

He was a farmer by occupation.

The mother was born in Ireland and died in 1855, in North Toronto.

Their family included four children, all of whom are living, and in 1872 they left the Dominion and settled in Osceola County, on an unimproved tract of land in Orient Township, which the father bought of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad Corporation.

The death of the father occurred Dec. 21, 1872, within the year of the arrival of the household in Orient Township.

Both parties were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Tule’s sisters, three in number, are married.

Caroline C. is the wife of Albert Van Ness, residing on section 16, Orient Township, and was married May 5, 1873; Charlotte N. was married March 4, 1878, to W. D. Strait, and resides in Sylvan Township; Harriet E. was married Oct. 8, 1884, to William D. Clapp.

Mr. Tule is a Republican.

Since his father’s death he has remained on the homestead.

William R. Mapes

William R. Mapes, capitalist and speculator at Evart, was born March 9, 1827, ten miles north of Tunkhannock, Pa., and is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Miller) Mapes.

His father was a lumberman and farmer in the Keystone State and in 1844 changed his residence to Ridgebury Township, Bradford Co., Pa., where he conducted a hotel one year, going thence to Southport, N. Y.

Mr. Mapes accompanied the family in their changes of locality, and was 18 years of age when they went to reside at the place last named.

There he engaged in farming and teaming, and also learned the business of a millwright, which he followed several years.

In 1855 ne came to Berrien Co., Mich., where he pursued his trade a year, and in 1856 interested himself in lumbering.

In 1862 he became a member of the construction corps in the service of the Government, and continued in that employment until the termination of the war.

On returning he came to Lawrence, Van Buren County, where he owned a saw-mill and passed two years in lumbering.

In 1867 he removed the mill to Bangor, in the same county, and after another two-years pursuit of the same business at that point, made another removal of his property, to Deerfield Township, also in Van Buren County.

He continued his operations there until the fall of 1871, when his mill burned.

He then sold his property in March, 1872, and transferred his residence to Evart.

He bought a business stand, and, associated with William A. Wightman, established a hardware store.

At the end of two years he sold his stock but retains ownership of the building.

He at once interested himself in lumbering, which he has handled to greater or less extent ever since, and has gradually combined the other lines of traffic in which he is engaged.

He is connected with the Order of Masonry, and is a member of Lodge No. 320, at Evart. He is serving a second term as Treasurer of Osceola Township.

He is a staunch and active Republican, and is one of the Trustees of Evart, to which position he has been elected three times.

He was married in Watervliet, Berrien Co., Mich., to Lydia Warren, daughter of John Warren and a native of Niagara Co., N. Y. The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Mapes appear on other pages.


George W. Morris, of the firm of Morris & Martin, proprietors of the Reed City Flouring Mills, was born March 22, 1835, in the township of Ray, Macomb Co., Mich.

Benjamin Morris, his father, was born Oct. 24, 1809, in Morrisville, Madison Co., N. Y., and in 1833 came with his father (the mother having previously died) to the township of Ray, in Michigan, where the family settled on 80 acres of Government land, which was purchased at the rate of $1.25 per acre, and is still known as the “Morris farm.”

Jacob Morris was born March 20, 1785, in Massachusetts, and died Aug. 4, 1860.

His parents went to Madison Co., N. Y., where their place of settlement grew to large proportions, and was named for the family, Morrisville, which is the county seat of Madison County.

The grandmother was born July 26, 1785, and died Oct. 10, 1816.

Benjamin Morris died April 25, 1881, at Reed City.

His wife died Jan. 15, 1869, at Orion, Oakland Co., Mich.

In 1856 the family removed to a farm near Birmingham, Oakland County, where they resided about seven years.

In 1863 the farm in Bloomfield Township was sold, and a grist-mill in the same county purchased, in company with W. W. Martin.

This connection continued three years, when R. W. Nye became interested in the same enterprise.

Eventually, Mr. Morris became sole proprietor by purchase, and conducted the affairs of the mill singly until 1877, when it was sold, and he came to Reed City, where, associated with E. B. Martin, he built the mill now managed by Messrs. Morris & Martin.

It is 48×56 feet in dimensions and three stories in height above the basement. It is fitted with four sets of double rollers and three pairs of buhrs, with other modern fixtures.

Its capacity per day is 100 barrels of flour, and incidental custom work.

The site of the mill includes about 10 acres of land.

Mr. Morris is the owner of 40 acres of land in Richmond Township, in an excellent agricultural condition, and also owns his residence and three village lots therewith.

His marriage to Lovinia Martin occurred in the township of Bloomfield, Sept. 27, 1860.

She was born July 25, 1841, in Troy Township, Oakland County, and is the daughter of William W. and Samantha (Stockwell) Martin.

The former was born in January, 1806, in Cayuga Co., N. Y., and in 1825 became a pioneer of Oakland County, where the family was among the earliest of the permanent settlers.

He is now living in Reed City.

The mother was born in the State of New York and died in Birmingham, July 27, 1879.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris have two children: Samantha A., who was born Sept. 25, 1861, and is the wife of Maurice W. Stevenson, real-estate broker of Grand Rapids; and Hettie E. was born April 25, 1864, and married George S. Preston, liveryman at Big Rapids.


Oliver L. Millard, Clerk of Osceola Count, resident at Hersey was born June 26, 1845, in Lockport, Niagara Co., N. Y.

His father, Junius A. Millard, was born in November, 1817, in Niagara County, and is now a fanner in Pittsford Township, Hillsdale Co., Mich. His mother, Narcissa (Haroun) Millard, was born in October, 1827, in the city of Syracuse.

Two of their three children are now living: Bertram J. is a traveling salesman and grocer at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo Co., Mich. Emma L. died at the age of 11 years.

In 1829 the family located in Pittsford Township, the father buying 80 acres of land which has since been the homestead.

Mr. Millard was reared to manhood on the home place, and was a member of the parental household until his marriage Jan. 1, 1867, to Maria J. Miner.

She was born in the same township, March 1, 1844, and is the daughter of James H. and Phebe Miner.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Millard were both born in Pittsford Township. Herbert A. was born April 8, 1868, and Emma L., Nov. 7, 1871.

Mr. Millard continued a resident there until his removal to Osceola County in February, 1873, when he secured 80 acres of land on section 6, in Rose Lake Township, of which he took possession and commenced the labors of a pioneer, clearing and otherwise improving his land, erecting necessary farm buildings, and placed 60 acres in good agricultural condition, with excellent orcharding.

While a citizen of Rose Lake Township, he was alternately elected to the offices of Clerk and Supervisor, holding one position or the other every year he was a resident there, with one exception.

While in Hillsdale County, he served two terms as Township Treasurer.

In the fall of 1882 he was elected County Clerk, on the Republican ticket, by a majority of 424 votes over the opposition candidate.

In December following he removed to Hersey, to facilitate the discharge of the duties pertaining to his position.

He owns his house and lot, and, in company with Henry A. Clark, is the proprietor of 320 acres of land in Richmond and Marion Townships.

He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife.


Ellery C. Cannon, merchant at Evart, was born Dec. 28, 1842, in the township of Shelby, Macomb Co., Mich.

The family to which he belongs is one of the most prominent in the history of the development of Northern Michigan, with which it has been inseparably connected from the Territorial days of the Peninsular State.

His father, Rev. John Cannon, was born Sept. 22, 1808, in Saratoga Co., N. Y., whence he removed with his family in 1834 to Macomb County.

He is the proprietor of 60 acres of land in Shelby Township, and occasionally officiates in his capacity of minister of the Christian Church.

Geo. H. Cannon, his uncle, has made the family patronymic prominent in his position of surveyor, in which he has been engaged for a long period of years, and has operated, over a wide-spread territory in Michigan, in the employ of the United States Government.

The mother of Mr. Cannon, Sallie (Cook) Cannon, was born in Saratoga Co., N. Y.

She is the mother of seven children.

Mr. Cannon was reared on a farm in his native township, and was occupied in the quiet pursuits pertaining to agriculture, when the nation was suddenly convulsed by the advent of civil war.

He enlisted Aug. 9, 1862, at Washington Corners, Macomb County, in Co. B, 22d Regt. Mich. Vol. Inf., Captain Keeler.

He was discharged at Detroit July 20, 1865, after the close of the war.

He was an active participant in the various battles in which his regiment was engaged, and encountered the arduous service which characterized the field record of the “Twenty-second,” passing safely through the hard-fought battle of Chickamauga, where his regiment went into action with 600 equipped men, only 50 of whom afterward responded to their names at roll call.

On being discharged from military service, Mr. Cannon returned to his father’s farm. In 1868, associated with his brother, John W., he founded a mercantile enterprise at Washington Corners, and there managed a successful business.

In September, 1871, he came to Evart and opened a branch store under the same firm relations which existed until January, 1876, when it became S. B. & G. H. Cannon, the former being sole and resident manager.

In partnership with Geo. F. Andrus, he owns a farm of 190 acres, situated on the Muskegon River, three miles north of Evart, 50 acres being cleared and cultivated.

Mr. Cannon is a Republican in political connection.

He has been Treasurer of Osceola Township two years, Supervisor four years (is present incumbent), member of the Village Board four years, has served three terms as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and in various other positions.

He was the first Treasurer of Evart village, and occupied the position three years.

He is the Treasurer of the Osceola County Agricultural Society and has held the position eight years.

Mr. Cannon has served as Treasurer of the Masonic Lodge at Evart, of which he is a member, since its organization.

In the fall of 1884 he was elected a member of the lower House of the Legislature of Michigan.

Mr. Cannon is one of the leading business men in Osceola County.

He is justly accorded first rank in ability, integrity and reliability of judgment and character.

His marriage to Harriet N. Sybrandt occurred Dec. 28, 1868, at Washington Corners.

Their only child – Emma E. – was born at the same place, March 8, 1870.

Mrs. Cannon was born Jan. 12, 1841, in Niagara Co., New York.


Frayer Halladay, merchant at Ashton, is a son of George and Mary (White) Halladay, who were natives of the Dominion of Canada, married and settled in Leeds Co., Ont.

Mr. George Halladay remained in Canada until the fall of 1870, when he came to Osceola County and settled in Lincoln Township, where he still is a resident.

He had a family of eight children, named in the following order: Frayer, Nancy, Samantha, Adelia, Annetta, Ida, Wright and Burton.

The subject of this biographical outline was born in Leeds Co., Ont., Oct. 15, 1846, and received as he grew up a common-school education, remaining at home until 18 years of age, after which he attended the commercial college at Hamilton, Ont., for three months.

On leaving home he went to New York State and “worked out” one summer, and then returned to his father’s in Canada.

Soon afterward he went to Wentworth County, in the Dominion, where he was employed two years as engineer in a saw-mill.

In the spring of 1869 he came to Michigan and remained at Grand Rapids until the following fall, when he came to Osceola County and took possession of 80 acres of Government land in Wexford County, but did not finally “prove it up.”

The following spring he opened a general store at Ashton, where he now keeps a stock of merchandise in all the branches suited to the demands of the country.

His is the largest store in the place, and he enjoys an extensive patronage, doing a business of about $25,000 yearly.

Besides, he owns 760 acres of land, most of which is located in Lincoln Township.

He has about 80 acres under cultivation.

Until May, 1884, his father, George Halladay, had an interest in the store, and the firm was known as “Halladay & Son.”

During the month named Mr. H. bought out his father’s interest, and thenceforward has carried on the business alone.

Mr. Halladay has held the office of Supervisor of Lincoln Township for five years, being re-elected to the position in the spring of 1884.

He has also held the position of Township Treasurer three years, and all the minor official trusts in the town.

In his views of political affairs he is a Republican, and since April, 1877, he has been Postmaster of the village of Ashton.

He was married at Mound City, Ill., Nov. 30, 1875, to Miss Elizabeth McIllmurry, who was born in Canada.

To Mr. and Mrs. H. have been born three children, namely: Grace M., LeRoy W. and Eva.


Jesse T. Minchin, editor of the Evart Review, was born July 25, 1856, at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Mich.

His father, Thomas Minchin, was born Sept. 1, 1826, in Winchcome, Gloucestershire, Eng., and became a citizen of the United States and of Michigan in 1850.

The mother, Elizabeth Minchin, was born Oct. 14, 1816, at Baisingstoke, Hampshire, Eng., and came thence in 1857 to Michigan.

Mr. Minchin acquired a common-school education at Pontiac, where in 1874 he entered the office of a local newspaper and obtained a thorough and practical knowledge of printing in all its details, and of the “ins and outs” of journalism.

He speedily took foremost rank in the guild and operated as foreman of the Pontiac Bill Poster, his Alma Mater, during 1876-7-8.

In July, 1878, he went to Reed City, and, associated with his brother, George W. Minchin, purchased the Clarion, which they conducted jointly until December, 1880.

At that date the proprietors sold the paper and purchased the Evart Review, which they have since managed and are still conducting in co-partnership.

In 1879 Mr. Minchin served as Clerk of Reed City.

He was elected Secretary of the Osceola County Agricultural Society, in 18811, and discharged the duties of the position three years.

Since removing to Evart he has served as a member of the Board of Education, on the Board of Water Commissioners, and is the present (1884) President of the village.

He was married Nov. 14, 1877, to Minnie M. Murray, of Pontiac, Oakland Co., Mich.

She was born Nov. 11, 1863, and is the daughter of Seth T. and Jennie M. (Collier) Murray.

Mr. and Mrs. Minchin are the parents of three sons, torn as follows: Jesse M., March 24, 1880; Eber W., July 2, 1883; and George B., June 24, 1884.


Timothy V. Childs, retired miller and farmer, resident at Reed City, was born Jan. 29, 1820, in Genesee Co., N. Y., and is the son of Elias and Tamar (Vincent) Childs, both of whom were natives of Vermont, where they were married.

A few years after that event, they removed to the State of New York, going thence to Medina Co., Ohio.

Later they came to Kalamazoo, Mich., and there the father died, Nov. 3, 1847.

He was born April 23, 1780.

The mother died in Livingston Co., Mich., Aug. 13. 1865.

She was born Aug. 12, 1781.

Their family comprised 13 children, only two of whom are living.

Asa Childs is 82 years of age, and resides in Tiffin, Ohio.

Mr. Childs is the youngest of the family, and was reared under the personal care and supervision of his parents, working as a carpenter with his father and also on the farm.

He accompanied his parents in their removals, and was the custodian of their comfort in their declining years.

He was married Oct. 8, 1840, to Sarah E. Jones.

She was born Aug. 16, 1816, in Geneva, Ontario Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Frederick and Polly Maria Jones.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Childs resided in Medina Co., Ohio, a number of years and Mr. Childs was there engaged as a farmer.

In 1844 he came to Yorkville, Kalamazoo Co., Mich., removing thence to Otsego, Allegan Co., Mich., where he became the proprietor of the Exchange Hotel.

The house was burned about two years after and Mr. Childs entered the grocery and provision store of S. D. Foster as a salesman.

Two years later he engaged in the same business independently, and two years after exchanged his business for a stage route and necessary equipments, the line running between Kalamazoo and Allegan.

He managed its affairs eight years and bought a farm of 120 acres in Allegan County, in the township of the same name.

In April, 1873, Mr. Childs came to Osceola County and founded a grocery, provision and general supply business suited to the necessities of the then embryo village, which is now Reed City.

About five years later he erected a saw, grist and planing mill, located on Upton Avenue in a central situation.

He continued their proprietor until December, 1884, when he exchanged his claim in them for a farm of 200 acres of land near Baldwin, Lake Co., Mich.

The place is valuable both in fact and promise, 70 acres being in first-class agricultural condition.

Mr. Childs is a Republican; he was a Whig in the days of Harrison, for whom he cast his first vote, and he has since acted consistently with his political convictions, and voted straight with the element to which he has belonged throughout.

Mrs. Childs is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Allen Campbell, cashier of the bank at Evart, was born March 4, 1844, in Columbia Co., N. Y.

His father, John Campbell, was born in Argyle, Scotland, and learned his trade of machinist at Aberdeen, in the “land of heather ‘and mist.”

His mother, Barbara (Russel) Campbell, was also born in Scotland. Both are deceased.

On emigrating to this country they settled in the State of New York, where they became farmers and reared their family.

Mr. Campbell was occupied during the years of his minority preceding the age of 18 years in obtaining his education and on the family homestead.

He came to Michigan in 1855, and enlisted at Fenton, Genesee County, Sept. 15, 1861, as a private in Co. F, First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics.

He soon received promotion to the position of Quartermaster’s Sergeant, and later was made Second Lieutenant of Co. D, in the same regiment.

He was in the service until the close of the war, participating in the engagements at Mill Springs, Perryville, Stone River (where 600 of his regiment withstood a charge made by 2,000 rebels), and was under fire in all the fights in which his regiment was involved in the famous march through Georgia to the sea, and fought at Chattanooga, Atlanta, Savannah, Averysboro and at Bentonville.

The command went to Washington for the Grand Review, whence Mr. Campbell came to the township of Groveland, Oakland Co., Mich.

He bought 140 acres of land, of which he made a model farm, with superior orcharding and stocked with numerous varieties of fruit.

At the same time he began to operate in loans to some extent. He was prominent in politics and a zealous, declared Republican.

In 1882 he was placed in nomination by his party to represent his district in the Legislature of Michigan, but “achieved defeat” from the well-known strength of the Democratic element in that section of the Peninsular State.

In the fall of 1883 he removed to Evart and established a private banking house.

His range of business includes the transactions common to similar institutions.

Mr. Campbell is a member of Post Sedgwick, at Holly, Mich., Grand Army of the Republic.

He was married May 17, 1866, in Groveland Township, to Mary L., daughter of John S. and Mary L. Warrin.

Mrs. Campbell was born in the State of New York.

Gilbert M. Clark, farmer, section 4, Lincoln Township, is a son of James M and Hannah B (Collister) Clark.

His parents, who were natives respectively of Massachusetts and New York State, had a family of six children, the second of whom is the subject of this sketch.

He was born in Lorain County, Ohio, July 14, 1845, attended common school until he was 20 years of age, and also for a time the preparatory department of Oberlin College.

After quitting school Mr. Clark engaged in farming, which has been the chief occupation of his life.

He came to Osceola County in the spring of 1881 and purchased 380 acres of land in Lincoln Township, where he now is a resident and has a fine farm of 100 acres in cultivation.

In his political views Mr. C. is a Republican, and was once elected Justice of the Peace, but did not qualify.

He was married in Ashland Co., Ohio, Feb. 22, 1871, to Miss Lydia A. Biddinger, who was born in that county, May 2, 1849.

Her parents, David and Fanny (Peck) Biddinger, were natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania.


William Tennant, farmer, section 20, Orient Township, has been a resident of Osceola County since 1868, and of Michigan since September, 1844.

He removed hither from Ionia with an ox team, camping out one night, two and a half miles west of Evart, the snow being two feet in depth.

He crossed the Muskegon River on an old scow one mile west of Evart, or where that village now stands, its location being then covered with pine.

From thence Mr. Tennant cut his way through to the farm of his son-in-law, John Smith, with whom his family remained from March to July.

Meanwhile he located the farm he has since occupied, went to the land office at Ionia and placed his first papers.

He built a log house on the place, to which he removed his family and where they took up their abode, living the first three weeks without a floor in their cabin.

The nearest trading point was Hersey, 20 miles away, and there was the only post office in the county.

Those who desired to cross the river were obliged to wade the stream or impel themselves across it on a species of raft made of two logs fastened together with a plank or slab.

Mr. Tennant came near drowning on one occasion when crossing in this primitive manner.

Flour was $16 to $18 per barrel, and pork 25 cents per pound.

The woods abounded in deer, bear and wolves.

The first were so plenty that they were as a rule encountered whenever a trip was made into the woods.

Wolves frequently came and lapped water near the cabin door.

Mr. Tennant was born Aug. 19, 1822, in Colchester, near New London, Conn., and is the son of John R. and Lydia A. (West) Tennant.

His father was born Feb. 2, 1798.

His family wen^ from Connecticut to New York, and thence, after a residence of a few years, to Allegheny, Venango Co., Pa.

Half a dozen years later they came to Lake Co., Ohio, and after three years to Ashtabula County in the same State, where they resided 15 years.

In 1844 another removal was made, to China, St. Clair Co., Mich.

This was their home seven years, after which they settled on a farm in Richmond, Macomb County.

After residing on this 14 years they took possession of a farm in Ionia County.

In 1868 the place was sold, and the family of William Tennant came to Orient.

The father died in Orient, this county, aged about 77 years.

The mother was born April 10, 1800, and died at the age of 70 years, in Richmond, Macomb Co., Mich.

Mr. Tennant was married Oct. 9, 1844, in St. Clair County, to Betsey Burdick, and they have had six children: Mary A. was born in 1845; Helen, Feb. 2, 1848; Emma J., Sept. 29, 1850; George, Jan. 1 1, 1855; Esadine, July 16, 1859; William J., April 12, 1863.

Mrs. Tennant was born March 24, 1824, and is the daughter of Jewett and Huldah (Wright) Burdick.

The mother died in 1878, aged 76 years.

The father’s death occurred in 1881, when he was 84 years of age.

They died in Madison, Lake Co., Ohio.

Mr. Tennant adopts the principles and issues of the Republican Party.


Andrew Dahlstrom, Pastor of the Swedish Free Church and farmer on section 15, Lincoln Township, is a son of Andrew and Mary Dahlstrom, natives of Sweden, who passed their lives in that country.

The subject of this sketch was also born in Sweden, June 19, 1845, and lived in his native country until the fall of 1866; then lived in Norway a year and a half; next, he emigrated to America and spent a year and a half in Wisconsin; then worked at cabinet-making (which trade he had learned mostly of his father) in Chicago until the spring of 1873, when he came to Osceola County and purchased 40 acres of land, where he now resides.

He has since added by purchase 80 acres more, so that now he has a total of 120 acres of good agricultural land, 65 acres of which are in a state of good cultivation.

On his arrival in this county, Mr. Dahlstrom started a Sunday-school, and soon afterward he was called by his countrymen to preach the gospel.

Accordingly, his time is now thus chiefly occupied, and he is consequently under the necessity of hiring laborers for his farm.

Both as Pastor and farmer, Mr. D. exhibits the traits of industry and careful judgment characteristic of his native country, and a brilliant success is therefore in prospect for him in this pioneer land.

On political matters, he votes with the Republicans.


Alexander Fraser, farmer, section 27, Cedar Township, was born June 2, 1845, in Haldimand Township, Northumberland Co., Ont.

He is the son of John and Margaret (Aird) Fraser.

The latter is living with a son in Brighton, Ont.

The father disappeared 25 years ago and has not since been traced.

The family included seven children, as follows: Isabella, Alexander, William, Catherine, Anna, Maggie, Jessie, Mary (deceased) and James.

Mr. Fraser was reared a farmer, in which occupation he has passed his life.

In the spring of 1865 he moved from the Dominion to the vicinity of the city of Rochester, where he passed three years in farming, working by the month and, during the seasons for packing trees for shipment, worked in the nurseries.

In 1868, in the fall, he removed to Grand Rapids and passed the winters of three years as a lumberman.

He passed the summers in varied employments until 1871, when he came to Hersey Township and bought 40 acres, of land of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Company.

Later, he sold the place and engaged as foreman of a lumber camp, his wife acting as cook. He continued in this employment five years, and in 1882 he purchased 160 acres of land.

Of this 100 acres are chopped and 80 acres are logged, and the place is supplied with a good frame barn and house.

Mr. Fraser’s prospects for becoming one of the solid men of Osceola County are unusually good.

He was married July 4, 1870, to Jane Ann, daughter of Elihu and Almira (Garrett) Rawson.

Her father lives in Brighton, Ont., where her mother died, in March, 1881.

Mrs. Fraser was born in Watertown, Jefferson Co., N. Y. She is the oldest living of six children.

Timothy is deceased. Charles, Clark W., Sarah, Margaret and Isaac are living. Henry is deceased.

Mr. Fraser will take out his naturalization papers in this current year (1884), and identify himself with the Republican Party.


James Gavin, farmer and lumberman, resident on section 26, Hersey Township, is the proprietor of 80 acres of land, which constitute the family homestead, and also owns 40 acres on section 25, in the same township.

He was born March 27, 1845, in Hastings Co., Ont.

His father, Andrew Gavin, was born in Ireland, and after his marriage he emigrated, in 1840, to the Dominion of Canada.

The parents were resident there until their removal to Evart, Osceola County, in 1881.

They are living in quiet retirement, and are nearly three score and ten years of age respectively.

Mr. Gavin became the master of his own fortunes at the age of 18 years.

He judged that Northern Michigan held an opportunity for a man with rugged, unbroken health and determined energy, and he came to Osceola County.

He has operated during each succeeding winter as a lumberman, and since his purchase of his farm has vigorously pushed his agricultural interests through the farming seasons.

He was married April 23, 1873, to Annie Collins, and they have a family of six children, born as follows: James A., Feb. 20, 1874; Ellen A., Oct. 17, 1875; Abbie C., Sept. 22, 1877; William H., March 5, 1879; Anna, Sept. 23, 1880; Ezetta, Dec. 12, 1883.

Mrs. Gavin is the daughter of Morris and Abbie (McCarty) Collins.

Her parents reside in Hartwick Township, Osceola County, and of 12 children born to them, but one is deceased.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Gavin are Maggie, Patrick, Florence, Jay, Abbie, Albert, Ellen, Mary, Morris, James and Daniel.

Mr. Gavin is a Democrat.


Charles W. Ball, book-keeper in the general mercantile house of Mark Ardis at Evart, was born July 3, 1849, in Goshen Township, Hampshire Co., Mass.

His parents, Warren J. and Almira C. (Tower) Ball, were both natives of Hampshire Co., Mass., and reside on their farm in the Bay State.

Mr. Ball left his paternal home when he was 18 years of age and came to Ionia, Mich., where he became an employee of the Hon. John C. Dexter in his flouring mill located in that place.

In December, 187 1, Mr. Dexter opened a supply store at Evart, for the benefit of the lumbering population, and in 1873 admitted Mr. Ball to a partnership, which existed until the demise of Mr. Dexter.

Preceding the copartnership, the former had pursued a course of study at the Agricultural College at Lansing, where he was graduated in August, 1873.

The business is still in existence, the interest of Mr. Dexter having been sold and Mr. Ball retaining his claim.

He established a trade in groceries and provisions after the death of his partner, which he managed 18 months, acting at the same time as Express Agent.

In the spring of 1880 Messrs. Dexter & Ball erected the Novelty Flouring Mills, having two run of stones and a producing capacity of 50 barrels of flour daily, besides feed and custom work.

The mill is now owned by Mr. Ball and Osman Tower, and is operated by parties who have leased it.

In March, 1884, Mr. Ball entered upon the duties of

George W. Bevins

George W. Bevins, Postmaster and merchant at Tustin, was born Aug. 30, 1851, in Livingston Co., N. Y.

His father, John Bevins, was also a native of the Empire State, and in 1859 removed with his wife and children to Kent Co., Mich., settled on a farm and was continuously a resident there until his death in 1866.

The mother, Mary (Sabin) Bevins, was born in the State of New York, and died in Kent Co., Mich., in the same year in which the demise of the husband and father occurred.

Their family comprised five children, three daughters and two sons.

Mr. Bevins is the fourth child of his parents in order of birth, and is the elder son.

He was eight years of age when he accompanied the family to Michigan, and he was educated principally in Kent County.

When he was 15 years of age his parents were both removed by death, and he went to Smyrna, Ionia Co., Mich., and became a member of the family of his uncle, where he worked on the farm summers and went to school winters.

He came to Leroy, in Osceola County, where he attained his majority and became a salesman in the store of his uncle, J. E. B;vins (see sketch), where he operated in the same capacity four years.

In 1876 he came to Tustin and established a mercantile business, associating G. A. Estes with himself in its prosecution.

In 1878, the prosperity and extension of the relations of the firm requiring more commodious quarters, they erected a building 36 x 60 feet in dimensions.

Five years after the organization of the firm Mr. Bevins succeeded to the sole proprietorship, and since that date he has made an addition to the structure, 22 x 40 feet in extent, for the accommodation of the post office.

His stock of merchandise is varied and extensive, and represents a cash value of about $7,000—annual sales amounting to $25,000 on an average.

Mr. Bevins is the owner of several improved village lots.

He is also the proprietor of 126 acres of land, situated in Burdell Township.

Of this, 30 acres are under improvements.

He is a born and bred Republican, a thoroughgoing, active, energetic business man, and has invariably aided and sustained all measures for the permanent well-being of the community of which he is a member.

He has served ten years as Notary Public, and six years as Postmaster, to which post he was appointed in 1878.

He was married June 4, 1876, to Laura L. Moon, and they are the parents of two children—Eva M. and Elton, born respectively May 14 1877, and May 22, 1882.

Mrs. Bevins was born July 5, 1852, in Erie Co., Penn., and is a farmer’s daughter.

Her parents are quite advanced in years, but are enjoying a hale and hearty old age.

She acquired a good education and officiated some years as a teacher.

The portrait of Mr. Bevins on the opposite page is a valuable addition to the Album of Osceola County, in view of his efficiency as a public man and as a representative of a family to whom the county owes much.


Lyman W. June, farmer, section 5, Cedar Township, was born Dec. 29, 1845, in Huntington, Lorain Co., Ohio.

He dates his origin back to the period of the colonial settlement of America, and is of unmixed descent.

His parents, William C. and Mary S. (Whiton) June, are living in Lorain Co., Ohio.

The former was born in Vermont, the latter in Massachusetts.

They are aged respectively 76 and 60 years.

They had nine children, all of whom attained adult age save one, who died in infancy.

They are named Edwin, Olivia, Louisa, John, William, Lyman (deceased), Lyman (2d), Henry and Milo.

The Civil War was upon the people of this country before Mr. June was 15 years old.

He enlisted as a soldier for the Union Dec. 10, 1863, in Co. E, 128th Ohio Vol. Infantry.

His regiment belonged to the 20th Army Corps, but he was detailed for provost guard duty and had his headquarters as custodian of the prison of commissioned officers at Johnson’s Island, where he operated during his entire period of service.

He was stationed there at the time of the attempted liberation of the prisoners by the rebels.

On being mustered out of the military service he became a carpenter and soon acquired an excellent reputation as a craftsman.

He continued to operate as a builder five years, and at the age of 22 years he attended Baldwin University, remaining there one year, when he went to the Western Reserve Seminary and continued as student and teacher one year.

Afterward he went to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he was a student one year at the Wesleyan University.

After operating four succeeding years as a teacher in the same institution, he returned to Ohio and became interested in the lumber business, which he pursued five years.

Next, he came to Greendale Township, Midland Co., Mich., and passed two years as a lumberman and millwright.

At the end of that time he was burned out and lost all his personal property.

He owned 160 acres of land, which is yet in his possession.

After his disastrous loss by fire he operated some time as a millwright and headsawyer, and then came to Osceola County and bought “80 acres of land in Cedar Township, of which he cleared several acres.

He was married June 8, 1871, to L. Melvina Mills, and they have had five children: Mary E. was born April 19, 1874, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Bartholomew was born Dec. 15, 1876; Martha J., Sept. 3, 1879; Eva Pearl, Jan. 19, 1882, in Midland.

The second and third children were born in Huntington, Ohio.

One child is deceased. Mrs. June is the daughter of Galen A. and Elizabeth \$ (Stratton) Mills, both of whom are living in Berea, Ohio.

Her father has been a merchant, but has retired from active business.

The family contained nine children, born in the following order: Priscilla A., James, Margaret, Mrs. June, Artemus, Daniel, Samantha, Ida and Inez.

The great-great-grandfather of Mrs. June, James Parks, lived to the age of 111 years.

He was a renowned Indian hunter, and was much dreaded by the red-skins who infested the frontiers during the early history of the Colonies.

Six of the savage family made their appearance to him at one time, when he was in the forest splitting rails to fence his garden.

They placed themselves between him and his gun and informed him that he was about to die.

He acquiesced in the decision making one proviso, that they should assist him in splitting the remainder of the rails, so his wife could have the fence as intended.

They assented, and he instructed them how to take hold of the log with their fingers to expedite the rail-splitting!

He took the maul and, speedily knocking out the wedge in the log, they were all prisoners in a moment.

He obtained his gun and slaughtered the entire party!

Mr. June is a Republican in political sentiment, and is actively interested in school matters.

He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


John Isaacson is a farmer on section 5, Richmond Township.

He was born in the kingdom of Sweden, April 16, 1854; his parents, Allen and Eureka (Daniel) Isaacson, were also natives of that country.

He emigrated to the “land of opportunity ” in 1871, coming directly to this county and purchasing 80 acres of railroad land, where he now resides, and has about half his landed estate in a condition of good and productive cultivation

He was married in Big Rapids, Mich., to Christiana Anderson, who also was a native of Sweden.

Mr. and Mrs. Isaacson have become the parents of two children, namely, Alice S., one who died in infancy, and Ida C.

In his principles concerning the welfare of this nation, Mr. Isaacson, as well as nearly all Swedes, sympathize with the Republican party.


Stephen R. Jones, Postmaster at Hersey, was born Oct. 15, 1826, in Yates Co., N. Y.

His father, William B. Jones, resides in Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., and is in his 83d year.

His mother, Abiah (Raplee) Jones, was a native of New York, and died in 1833. The family removed from Yates to Steuben County when Mr. Jones was a small boy.

When he was 19 years, of age he returned to his native county to acquire a knowledge of the builder’s business, which he pursued some years.

He was married in Milo, Yates County, April 20, 1852, to Alvira Miller, and they are the parents of a daughter, Adell M.,—born Feb. 18, 1855.

She is well educated and has been engaged in teaching in Hersey and vicinity.

Mrs. Jones is the daughter of Daniel and Susan Miller, and was born Dec. 23, 1827, in Yates Co., N. Y.

In the spring of 1865 Mr. Jones became a resident of Matherton, Ionia Co., Mich., where, in company with George Lance, he rented a building and put in a sash, door and blind factory, which they managed jointly three years.

At the end of that time Mr. Jones sold his interest to-his partner, on account of impaired health.

He established his residence at Hersey in the spring of 1871 and brought his family hither in the fall of the same year.

His first business venture was in the management of a planing-mill for D. A. Blodgett, which he conducted four and a half years.

His further operations as a mechanic were interrupted by an accident received from one of the saws in the mill, which deprived him of his left hand.

He was appointed Postmaster of Hersey in January, 1884.

All the members of the family belong to the Baptist Church.


Frank A. True, jeweler at Evart, was born Sept. 27, 1855, at Flint, Mich.

His father, William W. True, is a native of Montrose, Pa., and has been in the business of a silversmith about 35 years, and is still engaged in it at Flint.

His mother, Rowena (Blair) True, was born in Vermont, and is still living.

Mr. True entered his father’s store when he was 13 years of age, to learn the business, and was engaged in the acquisition of its details until he was 20.

He had meanwhile obtained an excellent education, which he completed at the schools of higher grade.

In 1875 he went to Cleveland to enter upon the duties of foreman in the jewelry establishment of Jerry W. Coon, where he operated one year.

In 1876 he came to Evart and bought the business of William Livingston, and has since prosecuted the trade in his line with success.

He deals in watches, jewelry, plated ware and all articles suited to his trade.

His stock averages an estimated value of $4,000, and he transacts a considerable business in repairs.

In February, 1884, he founded a branch store at Meredith, which is conducted by his brother, Charles E. True.

The stock at that point is valued at $2,000.

Mr. True was married Oct. 15, 1879, at Evart, to Harriet A., daughter of Hon. John C. Dexter.

She was born Feb. 23, 1852, in Ionia, Mich., died June 29, 1880, at Evart, and is buried at Ionia.


John B. McFarlane, lumberman and farmer, section 2, Sylvan Township, was born July 9, 1835, in Beauharnais Co., Quebec.

Andrew McFarlane, his father, was a native of ‘W Scotland, and came to America soon after his marriage to Jane Bryden, settling in the Dominion of Canada.

Later he came to Lapeer Co., Mich., where he died, about the year 1869.

The mother was born in Ireland, and is still living, in Lapeer County, aged 82 years.

They had 10 children.

Mr. McFarlane has been a resident of the Peninsular State since the age of 12 years.

His first labor was in the lumber woods at Mill Creek, Lapeer County, in the employ of Wm. Ellison.

Subsequently he went to Wisconsin and later to Minnesota, where he was occupied in lumbering. In 1854 he made a trip down the Mississippi River on a raft of logs, stopping at Vicksburg.

He commenced operations there as a wagon-maker, which business he prosecuted until the secession of the State.

He was one of the first to enter the Confederate service as a measure of policy and safety, and enlisted in Co. I, 20th Miss. Vol. Inf., known as the “Jasper Rifles,” under Colonel Russel, General Floyd, Brigade Commander.

He was in active service until the fall of Fort Donelson, when he was taken prisoner and sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago.

He made his escape from that place by scaling its walls, and returned to Lapeer County, glad to find himself once more under the protection of the Stars and Stripes, and with no love for the Confederacy.

Soon after his return he came up the Muskegon River and resumed his wonted occupation as a lumberman in the interests of Green & Mason, of Mecosta County.

He was married in 1864, and, with his wife, went to Wisconsin.

From there he returned a few months later to Osceola and Mecosta Counties, where he has since operated extensively in timber lands and in lumbering as a jobber and contractor.

He was engaged some years in the manufacture of lumber at Evart, but the crisis of 1873 caused such a shrinkage of values that it crippled his business at that point of operation.

He is the owner of 4,000 acres of land situated in various portions of Osceola County, which includes 220 acres of improved land, nearly all of which is comprised in the homestead estate.

Mr. McFarlane is a Republican in political preferences.

He was one of the first Supervisors in Osceola County, and has officiated in that position two years in Middle Branch Township.

He was married March 20, 1864, in Barton Township, Newaygo County, to Hattie S. Marsh.

They have had six children,—Archibald L., St. John, Edmond P., Aloney C., an infant (deceased) and Winnie M.

Mrs. McFarlane was born Jan. 7, 1846, in Dundee, Monroe Co., Mich.

She is the daughter of Carlos Marsh, a native of Vermont, and the first permanent settler in Barton Township, Newaygo County.

He died in Middle Branch, June 25, 1879.

The mother, Phoebe Ann (Palmer) Marsh, is still living.


Theron F. Nix, photographer at Evart, was born May 1, 1848, in Bleeker Township, Fulton Co., N. Y., and is the son of Frederick and Etta (Heidner) Nix.

He was reared on a farm and obtained his education chiefly by attending school during the winter seasons.

He left the shelter of the parental roof at the age of 20, and was variously occupied at Milwaukee and Manistee five years.

In July, 1879, he came to Evart and purchased the business of Eli Wightman, photographer.

His business has been prosperous from the outset. He owns his residence and the lot connected on Oak Street.

His marriage to Cynthia M. Bauslaugh occurred at Paris, Ontario, May 22, 1883.

They have a daughter – Matie – born March 8, 1884.

Mrs. Nix is the daughter of Henry and Maria Bauslaugh, and was born in Paris, Brant County, Ontario.

Mr. Nix belongs to the order of Odd Fellows.


Rufus F. Morris, farmer, section 32, Richmond Township, was born Feb. 8, 1827, in Medina Co., Ohio.

His father and mother, John and Sally (Jennings) Morris, were born respectively in Virginia and Ohio.

On the event of their marriage they settled in Medina County, subsequently resided in various counties and both died in Geauga Co., Ohio.

They had eight sons and four daughters.

Mr. Morris is the oldest son, and during the years of his life until he was 22 he attended the schools of the Buckeye State and labored on his father’s farm.

The subsequent year he worked in a grist-mill, spending the year following in working the homestead farm on shares.

He conducted a rented farm one year, and in 1854 came to Allegan Co., Mich., and bought 80 acres of land, on which he was occupied in agricultural pursuits until the fall of 1862.

On selling out he came to Osceola County and entered a claim of Government land in Richmond Township.

On this he has since resided with the exception of nearly four years while discharging the duties of the Office of County Treasurer, when he was a resident of Hersey village.

He owns about 50 acres of his original purchase and has cleared and placed under excellent tillage about 30 acres.

Mr. Morris adheres to the principles upon which was grounded the National Greenback political organization.

He was elected County Treasurer in 1869 and served one term and part of a second.

He has been Supervisor of Richmond Township two years, and has held in succession nearly all the positions of trust pertaining to the control of local township affairs.

Mr. Morris is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

His marriage to Esther Hazen took place Nov. 11, 1852, in Geauga Co., Ohio.

Four children were born to them: Francis, John, Elnora and George F.

The first named died when but three weeks old.

Mrs. Morris was born Feb. 27, 1834, in Geauga Co., Ohio, and is the daughter of Francis W. and Polly (Giles) Hazen.

She is the third child of six born to her parents.

In 1862 the shadow of a dread calamity fell upon the happy and united household.

The mind of the wife and mother became unsettled and for three months her reason left its high citadel.

She was taken to the asylum at Kalamazoo, whence she returned to her home perfectly restored, as was hoped and believed.

In the fall of 1870 the cloud again lowered over her intellect.

She was again removed July 22, 1871, to Kalamazoo, and the same experience has been repeated over and again.

She returns at intervals to her home and hope is again lighted, but in a brief time the darkness and unrest of unbalanced reason again hold her in their grasp, and she is conveyed to the asylum, where she receives every tender consideration that can be brought to bear for her welfare.

In 1873, Elnora, in the promise of her late girlhood, became similarly afflicted, and finds with her mother a retreat at Kalamazoo, where all that skill and patient treatment can devise for her recovery is being done.

It is a merciful decree of Almighty God that the clouded intellect experiences little of realization of its own misfortune.


Leonard Reed, farmer, section 22. Lincoln Township, is a son of Truman and Lucy (Hicks) Reed, who were natives of the State of Vermont, married and settled in New York State, and came to Michigan about the year 1846, first settling in Washtenaw County.

They afterward made their, residence in various counties in this state.

Mr. Truman Reed died at the residence of his son Leonard in Osceola County, Dec. 23, 1876; his widow is still living.

Of their family of eight children the subject named at the head of this sketch was the eldest.

He was born in Erie Co., N. Y., Oct. 18, 1832, and has resided in Michigan since he came hither with his parents.

He came to this county in the fall of 1867, taking possession of 80 acres of land where he now resides.

Here he settled and began improvement, with a view to making a desirable home.

He now has 30 acres in good tillable condition.

Sometime after his purchase of the land he disposed of 40 acres.

Mr. Reed has held the office of Highway Commissioner, School Director for nine consecutive years, and School Inspector.

In his views of national affairs he is a Republican, and both he and wife are members of the Disciples’ Church.

The marriage of Mr. Reed took place April 6, 1851, in Berrien Co, Mich.

His wife, Mary A., was born June 2, 1832, in. Brown Co., Ohio, and is a daughter of John and Elizabeth Hanover.

(See sketch of John Hanover.)

Mr. and Mrs. Reed have nine children, namely: Mary E , Rose, Frank, Wesley F., Ida, Walter, Lena, Clyde and Charles.


Newton Crocker, Postmaster at Reed City, was born March 23, 1836, in Lockport, N. Y. Joseph Crocker, his father, was a native of Cape Cod, Mass., and was born in 1801.

He married Sarah Pomeroy, who was born in 1806 in Hamilton, N. Y.

Their family comprised six children, of whom Mr. Crocker of this sketch was third in order of birth.

They were named Charles, Daniel P., J. Newton, Hannah, Orpha and Robert L.

Their father died in Lockport.

Mr. Crocker was reared on the paternal homestead, and on reaching his majority acceded to the possession of 60 acres of the farm where he had passed the previous years of his life.

He came to Michigan in March, 1867, and began business as a stave and heading manufacturer in the village of Allegan, in the county of the same name.

He operated at that point four years. In December, 1-872, he transferred his interests to Reed City, and, associated with Henry Lonsbury, founded a grocery and provision trade, their relation existing one year.

On its termination, he became a salesman with R. B. Simpson, and was occupied in that capacity about three years.

He received the appointment of Postmaster in September, 1877, and has conducted the business of the position with satisfaction to the general public.

He was elected Justice of the Peace in the spring of 1873, and in his position as magistrate is engaged in the transaction of a large amount of business.

He owns the post office building and the lot where it is located, also two tenant houses.

Mr. Crocker is a member of the Odd Fellows Order.

He was a member of the Village Board for four years upon the first organization, and upon the resignation of Charles Clark as President of the village, he was appointed by the Board to fill the vacancy.

He served two terms as Township Clerk and one as Village Assessor, and for four years was agent for the American Express Company, while acting as Postmaster and Justice of the Peace; and was also a member of the School Board upon the organization of the district.

He was married Jan. 8, 1862, at Lockport, to Thankful Stedman.

They have had three children: Joseph, who was born Aug. 6, 1863, and is a mail agent on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad; Lena, who was born July 21, 1866; and Valie, who was born Sept 9, 1876, and died Feb. 4, 1881.

Mrs. Crocker is the daughter of Ferrand and Thankful Stedman, and was born in Newfane, Niagara Co., N. Y.


John Finkbeiner, dealer in general merchandise at Hersey, and sewing-machine agent, was born Dec. 5, 1842, in Wurtemberg, Germany, and is the son of Daniel and Agnes Finkbeiner.

He was reared to agricultural pursuits in his native country, and in 1868 emigrated to the United States.

On landing he proceeded directly to Hersey, and on arriving obtained employment as a farm assistant two months, after which he engaged as a clerk in various establishments.

In the spring of 1874 he instituted the business enterprise in which he has since been interested.

His stock includes dry goods, groceries, sewing-machines and other merchandise suited to the demands of his patrons.

He is agent of the Howe, American and Victor Companies, and has a fine trade.

Mr. Finkbeiner was married June 16, 1874, at Hersey, to Elizabeth Balzer.

They have had six children, namely; William, Julia and Albert are deceased; the surviving children are John, Ezra and Emma.

Their mother is a native of Canada.

Mr. Finkbeiner owns his store and lives over his sales-rooms.

He is the owner of four village lots.

He is a member of the Village Council, and with his wife, belongs to the Evangelical Church.


Frank S. Postal, of the firm of F. S. Postal Bro., proprietors and managers of the Evart House, located at Evart, Mich., was born Oct. 8, 1843, in Avon Township, Oakland Co., Mich., and is the son of William F. and Eliza (Gray) Postal.

His father was born near Bath, Genesee Co., N. Y., April 6, 18i7, and resides with his son at Evart.

The mother was born Sept. 23, 1817, in the same place, and died Jan. 17, 1880, in Sterling, Macomb Co., Mich.

Four of their children are living: Charles was drowned when two years old; Wellington resides at Evart, and is employed by his brother; Frank S. is third in order of birth; George is deceased; Augusta is the wife of Philo Hamlin, a miller in Paris, Mich.; Thomas is deceased, and Fred is associated with his brother in the management of the Evart House.

When he was 25 years old, Mr. Postal owned a farm containing 80 acres in Sterling, Macomb County, on which he resided three years and which he partially improved, putting it in fine condition.

In November, 1871, he sold the place and came to Evart.

The hotel of which he is now the owner was then in process of erection by James H. and Willard G. Trowbridge and Bela Davis.

He bought the interest of the latter, and the house continued under the management of Trowbridge Brothers & Postal eight years.

In 1878 Mr. Postal purchased the entire property, which he conducted singly until August, 1882, when he formed his present business relation with his brother.

They have greatly increased the facilities and accommodations, which are now adequate for the comfort and welfare of nearly 100 guests.

The fixtures of the house are in every way calculated to meet the requirements of the traveling public and patrons.

The hotel is the leading establishment of its class at Evart, and controls the traveling patronage.

There are stables in connection with every appurtenance for caring properly for 50 horses, and there are first-class barber and bath rooms attached.

Mr. Postal is a member of the Evart Land Company, which is doing an extensive local business in real estate, and also in the Upper Peninsula, in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada.

The office of the company is in the Evart Bank Block, adjoining the hotel and the firm transacts a large amount of business both in their own property and on commission.

Mr. Postal is also connected with the Northwestern Casket Company, located at Minneapolis, where the firm have a large factory for the production of undertakers’ merchandise, and employ two traveling salesmen.

He is the owner of a considerable amount of real estate at Evart, comprising two dwellings and lots in the western part of Evart, the site of the skating rink and two stores on the southwest corner of Main and Seventh Streets, in Osceola Township, also 640 acres of land on section 5, 80 acres on section 35, Hartwick Township, 80 acres, section 36, Osceola Township, 40 acres on section 13, Evart Township, and 80 acres in Antrim County, near Mancelona.

Mr. Postal is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Royal Arch Chapter, and Pilgrim Commandery at Big Rapids.

He was married March 22, 1883, to Ellen Wright, a native of Durham Township, Grey Co., Canada.

A son—James R.—was born to them in Evart, March 5, 1884.


Frederick Kaphaem, farmer, section 33, Richmond Township, was born December 2, 1830, in Germany, his parents, John and Henrietta Kaphaem, being also natives of the same country, where they passed the entire course of their lives.

When 23 years of age, in 1853, he emigrated from his native land to the Dominion of Canada, where he was a resident 20 years, engaged in farming.

In the fall of 1873 he came to Osceola County and became a land-holder in Richmond Township, by the purchase of 80 acres of land on section 33, on which he has expended his energies to the best purpose, and has placed 50 acres already under a good order of cultivation.

He was married June 24, 1855, in Erie Co., N. Y., to Ida Oberlin, and they have had eight children —Minnie, Charles, William, John, Wesley and David.

Two children died in infancy.

Mrs. Kaphaem was born in Germany.

She and her husband are members of the Evangelical Association.


Joseph W. Ash, farmer, section 6, Lincoln Township, is a son of George and Mahala (Bradley) Ash, natives of Canada, who married and settled in Niagara Co., N. Y., where Mr. Ash, senior, was born May 25, 1800, and died Nov. 9, 1S39.

His widow, after his death, was married to Joseph Cardinal, moved to Osceola County, and died in Lincoln Township, April 18, 1880.

By her first marriage she was the mother of three children, and by the last, of two, namely: Joseph W., Elizabeth A., Hiram L., Huldah C. and George D., -in the order here named.

Mr. Ash, the first of the above mentioned children, was born July 22, 1830, in Niagara Co., N. Y., and received his education mostly in the common schools of his native State.

When he came of age he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed until the year 1868.

In 1853 he came to Michigan and settled in DeWitt, Clinton County, and a year afterward he removed to St. John’s, that county; and three years still later he went to Kansas with an emigration company, where, in company with several others, he laid out the village of Geneva, Kan.

After remaining with them about a year, he returned to Niagara Co., N. Y., and a year later to St. John’s, Mich., where he resided until 1868.

Then he came to this county and took possession of 80 acres of land in Ashton, under the provisions of the homestead laws.

It was the east half of the southeast quarter of section 4, which is now the principal portion of the site of the village of Ashton.

He platted the town in company with Simeon Vanakin and Spencer Preston.

In 1875 he purchased 80 acres of land on section 6, where he has since lived and at present has about 40 acres in a good state of cultivation.

As a man of executive talent and well adapted to serve his fellow citizens in a public capacity, Mr. Ash has been entrusted with the office of Supervisor eight years, and that of Sheriff of the county in 1871-2.

He has also taken an active and prominent part in all the educational interests of his community.

In all matters pertaining to the welfare of the neighborhood, township and county, he is consulted by those who know him, with great confidence in his foresight and judgment.

He has also held the office of Notary Public for a period of eight years, and from 1875 to 1880 he was President of the Osceola County Agricultural Society.

He was Postmaster at Ashton from 1872 to 1876.

Politically he is identified with the Republican Party, and religiously with the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife.

He was married in Lewiston, Niagara Co., N. Y., July 3, 1853, to Eliza A. Leggett, daughter of Elijah Leggett, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

She was born in Porter, Niagara Co., N. Y., April 6, 1835.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Ash are seven in number, namely: Zoa E., George F., Mabel (who died in infancy), Glen E., Delia A., Eddie E. and Alta M.


Sylvester Ross, farmer, section 21, Hersey Township, was born May 14, 1852, in Norwich, Oxford Co., Ont.

His father, Hopkins Ross, was born April 6, 1808, and married Mary Mustard for his first wife.

She has been dead more than 20 years, and the senior Ross is now living with his second wife in the township of Hersey.

He is a farmer and carpenter, and has passed many years in the prosecution of these callings.

Mr. Ross of this sketch came to Osceola County with his father in 1864.

In April, 1876. he settled on the place he now occupies.

He has been engaged in lumbering, and has operated several years as foreman of a lumber camp. He is a Republican in political convictions and action.

He was married May 14, 1878, to Eva M. Cutter, and they have three children, born as follows: Florence J., March 16, 1879; Sylvester R., Jan. 9,1881; Adelbert Clyde, Aug. 10, 1883.

Mrs. Ross was born Feb. 25, 1855, in Richburg Township, Allegany Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of William O. and Matilda B. (Satterlee) Cutter.

Her father was born April n, 18n1, and died July 1, 1880, in the village of Stanwood, Mecosta Co., Mich.

Her mother was born in Allegany Co., N. Y., April 17, 1826, and is living with her daughter, Mrs. Ross.

Their family consisted of four children.

One daughter died when she was four years of age. William B. Cutter and Adelbert S. Cutter are living.

Mr. Ross is one of seven children born to his parents,—William Hopkins, Nelson A., Mary J. and Sarah J. (twins), Sylvester, Daniel (deceased) and Martha M.


Jacob J. Reik, liveryman and dealer in lumber, horses, buggies and real estate, at Evart, was born July 11, 1849, in Seneca Co., Ohio.

His father, Welch Reik, was born in Germany, also the native place of Jacob’s mother, Regina, nee Librandt.

They became the parents of eight children.

In 1852 the family removed to Coldwater, Mich., where the father bought 80 acres of land, on which they were resident five years.

In 1857 they removed to the village of Coldwater, and the father opened a grocery trade, in which he operated about ten years.

The mother died in Coldwater in 1866.

Mr. Reik’s father is a member of his family, and is aged 78.

On attaining size and understanding sufficient, Mr. Reik entered his father’s store as an assistant, in which capacity he aided until the business terminated.

At the age of 13 he established a grocery business on his own responsibility at Branson, Branch County, which he conducted four years.

He then entered Hillsdale College to secure a satisfactory education, and was a student there three years.

In the fall of 187 1 he came to Evart and opened a bakery and grocery together, which he continued to prosecute eight years.

In 1879 he established the livery business, and gradually, as opportunity has served, has added the other lines of traffic in which he is engaged.

He owns several farms, including 180 acres of land, with about 80 acres under cultivation.

He raises horses, making specialties of the breeds known as Magna Charta and Hambletonian.

In his real-estate transactions he buys and sells pine and farming lands.

Mr. Reik is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to Lodge No. 320, at Evart.

He was married Nov. 23, 1877, at Evart, to Isadora Pepper.

They have one son—Charles M., born at Evart, Oct. 13, 1881.

Mrs. Reik is the daaghter of Charles and Nancy Pepper, and was born near Detroit, in Wayne Co., Mich.


Luther M. Tozer, farmer, section 6, Richmond Township, is a son of Benj. N. and Jedediah (Woodworth) Tozer, who were natives of the Green Mountain State.

His father was a Captain of the war of 18i2, and took part in the battle of Lake Champlain.

After the close of that war he removed to Canada, where he spent the remainder of his life.

He had six children.

The gentleman whose name heads this sketch was born in the Dominion of Canada, Nov. 18, 1819.

He emigrated to the State of New York, lived there awhile and also in other States of the Union until the fall of 1867, when he came to Osceola Co., Mich., and, under the provisions of the Homestead Laws, took possession of 80 acres of land on section 6, where he has since lived and now has about 50 acres in a fine state of cultivation.

Mr. T. has served his fellow citizens in the capacity of Commissioner of Highways; in political matters he is a Republican, and both he and wife are members of the Baptist Church.

He was married in Canada, Feb. 12, 1850, to Fanny E. Clayton, who was born in New Brunswick, Oct. 11, 1826.

Her parents, Archibald and Zilpah Clayton, were also natives of the same province.

Mr. and Mrs. Tozer have been the parents of seven children, namely, Eusebia L., Morland \V., Emily B., Eunice M., Benjamin N., Luther E. and William H.

The last named died when he was five and a half years of age.


Wilfred V. Harrington, farmer, section 28, Lincoln Township, is a son of William and Miranda (Adams) Harrington, both of whom were natives of Rutland Co., Vt.

Soon after their marriage in that State they removed to Niagara Co., N. Y., and in 1840 to Jackson Co., Mich., where she died, Nov. 7, 1856, and Mr. H. Nov. 13, 1865.

They had a family of n children, namely: Alberto, Caroline, Harriet, Diton, Lerona, Pulaski, Susan, Esther, Irwin, DeKalb and Wilfred V.

The last named, who is the subject of this sketch, was born in Jackson Co., Mich., Nov. 3, 1844; was 12 years old when his mother died, and was then “bound out” by his father for three years to learn the mason’s trade.

Soon after he completed his term of apprenticeship, the great civil war was inaugurated by the impetuous “fire-eaters ” of the South, and he patriotically concluded that “laying” the insurgents was more important than laying stone, until the insurrection was wholly suppressed.

Accordingly, in July, 1861, he joined the First Mich. Inf.

This first term of service, however, was comparatively short, and the next year he re-enlisted, in the 11th Mich. Vol. Cav., and served one year, when he was discharged for disability.

After recruiting his physical abilities at home for about five months, he enlisted for the third time, in the cavalry regiment denominated “Merrill’s Horse,” and served until the last insurgent “laid “down his arms.

He was wounded three different times: first, at the battle of Corinth, by a spent ball, in the left arm: secondly, at Independence, Mo., by a bayonet thrust in the right knee and thirdly, at Eastport, Miss., by a throw from his horse.

The last injury was a serious one.

After receiving his discharge, he returned to Jackson Co., Mich., but his health was so poor that he was unable to prosecute any kind of business for more than a year.

On convalescence he resumed his trade and followed it until 1875, when he came to Lincoln Township, this county, and, in company with John H. Freeland (see sketch of the latter), he bought 80 acres of land where he has since resided.

In company with Mr. F., he owns 70 acres, most of which is under cultivation and in good agricultural condition.

Mr. Harrington has held various public offices in his township, being at present Chairman of the School Board, and has been Constable two terms.

In his views of national policy he acts with the Republicans.


Charles L. Gray, senior member of the firm of Charles L. Gray & Co., manufacturers and dealers in lumber and shingles of all grades and lengths, and merchants, at Evart, was born Oct. 22, 1849, in Lancaster, Ohio.

He was reared on a farm near Marion, Linn Co., Iowa, from the age of six to eighteen years.

In the spring of 1871 he came to Evart and entered the employment of Dermont & Co. as a clerk, the firm operating in the same building in which his own business is now transacted.

Later he became a bookkeeper for J. B. & P. C. McFarlane, lumber dealers.

He began to traffic in lumber products, and eventually was admitted to a partnership in the lumber firm of Davis, Berry & Co.

A year later this association was succeeded by a partnership bearing the present style, which was followed by the firm of McFarlane & Gray, a relation which existed about two years, when the present business connection was established, its members being Charles L. Gray, B. G. Colton and William Latta.

Their mills are located at Evart, Hartwick and Sunrise Lake.

The capacity of the two last named is 125,000 shingles daily, and about 5, 000 clapboards.

They employ about 7 5 men.

Previous to forming his present business relations, Mr. Gray was interested in the firm of Gray & Spires in the manufacture of lumber, shingles, etc.

He is a member of the firm of Gray & Curtis, lumber and shingle manufacturers at Evart, their works being capable of producing 25,000 feet of lumber daily, 35,000 shingles and 2,000 broom-handles.

They employ 20 men and run a planing-machine in connection with the mill.

Mr. Gray is a member of the Evart Land Company, which is engaged in the transaction of general real-estate business in the interests of its members and on commission, and control large tracts of land in Michigan and in Canada, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The firm includes F. S. Postal, J. C. Creith, Allen Campbell and C. L. Gray.

This is one of the stanchest real-estate business houses in Northern Michigan, and has an enviable and wide repute for reliability.

The warehouses of the business concerns with which Mr. Gray is connected are located at Evart, near the depot.

His individual property includes his residence and about 3,000 acres of fine farm lands.

He also owns an exceptionally good farm of 80 acres on section 14, Evart Township.

Mr. Gray is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

He has served three terms as a member of the Village Board of Evart, one term as Township Clerk, and three terms as Township Treasurer.

In 1880 he acted as Census Enumerator of Evart Township.

Mr. Gray was married Oct. 19, 1872, at Evart, to Charlotte M. Bennett, and they now have three children: William L., born Oct. 11, 1874; Blanche L., April 20, 1877; and Elizabeth T., Dec. 6, 1880.

Mrs. Gray was born June 16, 1849, near Montreal, Can.


Joseph H. Jenkins, farmer, section 20, Hersey Township, was born Dec. 10, 1831, in Parma Monroe County, New York.

His father, John Jenkins, was born March 17, 1795, in Pennsylvania, and was of Yankee extraction.

He was a farmer and mechanic, and followed those callings jointly all his active life.

He married Catherine Whitaker, and in 1835 moved to Northfield, Washtenaw Co., Mich., where he bought 120 acres of land and resided eight years.

In 1843 he sold the place and bought 220 acres of land in Portland, Ionia Co., Mich., where he died, March 17, 1856.

The mother of Joseph H. was born Feb. 28, 1798, in the State of New York, descendant of German ancestors.

She died in Clinton Co., Mich., at the home of her son.

They had seven children, – Palmer, Philetus, Sylvester L., Joseph H., Margaret, Catherine and Sally A.

Mr. Jenkins was the custodian of his parents during the latter years of their lives, and when he came to Osceola County for the benefit of his health in 1877 he transferred the care of his mother to another brother.

He reached Hersey village in January of the same year named, and rented a house for three months.

At the end of that time, early in April, 1877, he bought the farm which he has since occupied.

It comprised 120 acres, with a small clearing of four acres, a log barn and a shanty for shelter.

He has cleared in eight years 65 acres, built an excellent frame house and has fitted the place with modern fixtures, including a wind-mill.

He is a Democrat in political connection and opinions, and has been Highway Commissioner three terms.

He was married Sept. 16, 1857, to Mary A. Kinney.

They became the parents of two children. A son was born Sept. 9, 1858, and died when three days old.

Emma A. was born Dec. 10, 1859, in Portland, Ionia County, Michigan, and was married Dec. 25, 1879, to Albert Sturdevant, and resides at home.

The mother was born Aug. “28, 1839, in DeWitt Township, Clinton Co., Mich., and is the daughter of Fernando C. and Huldah (Clark) Kinney.

The mother died April 4, 1875, Portland.

She was born in 1818, in Rutland Co., Vt.

The father was born May 1, 1812, in Cleveland, Ohio, and resides in the township of Hersey.

Mrs. Jenkins is the oldest of her parents’ children. Sarah, Sylvester, Delilah, Jerome and Hattie are the names of her brothers and sisters.


Charles H. Coles, jeweler at Reed City is the son of William F. Coles.

The latter was born July 31, 1821, near the city of Rochester, New York, and married Celestia L. Harries, a native of Heath, Massachusetts, where they were married January 17, 1858.

Oliver Coles, father of William F., was a native of Belchertown, Mass., and married a native of the same place, who died in Pembroke, New York, aged 68 years.

Her husband was a farmer and died in Bedford, Mich., when he was 68 years old.

Mr. Coles is one of four children, three of whom are living. Jennie C. married Luman Foote, a farmer in Charlotte, Mich; Charles is next in order of birth; William H. is deceased; Katie C. is the youngest and only daughter.

The family came, when Mr. Coles was six years of age, to Union City, Branch Co., Mich., where they resided two years.

The father was in the jewelry business for 40 years, and taught the trade to his son in all its details.

The latter came to Reed City, Jan. 28, 1882, and opened his present establishment.

He has the leading jewelry business in town, and deals in all articles common to the traffic.

His stock is valued at an estimate of $3,500.

Mr. Coles is a member of the Sons of Industry.

His father removed with his family to Reed City in the fall of 1883.


Joseph Ellis, farmer, section 16, Hersey Township, was born Jan. 11, 1816, in Colchester, Chittenden Co., Vt., and is the son of Andrew and Hannah (Mack) Ellis.

The family included eight sons and two daughters.

The father and two sons—William and Lyman— were soldiers in the war of 1812, and were in the battle of Plattsburg.

The others were named Cornelius, Andrew, Apollos, Freeman, Mary and Hannah.

The parents died in Essex, Chittenden Co., Vt., aged respectively 82 and 62 years.

Two of the sons made their way to Ohio, one of them traversing the entire distance of 700 miles on foot.

At 16 years old Mr. Ellis left home and obtained employment during the summer of 1832 on the Erie Canal, and in the fall proceeded to Erie Co., Ohio, where he joined his brothers.

He worked by the month for one of them for a year, when he learned the business of a cooper, which was his occupation for 40 years, working at it from 1834 to 1854 in the Buckeye State.

In the year last named he removed to Woodbridge Township, Hillsdale Co., Mich., owning a farm there he purchased before leaving Ohio. He was a resident there 21 years, working as a cooper and improving his land.

At the time he took possession, there were three acres chopped and the clearing contained a plank house.

The remainder of the tract was in a wild condition.

In 1865 Mr. Ellis sold the place and bought another, two miles distant.

He occupied the latter farm until 1872, when he sold it and bought a residence in the city of Hillsdale.

Three years later he made an exchange of his house and lot for 148 acres of land in Hersey Township.

The place comprised 20 acres of cleared land; 30 acres chopped, and was supplied with a log house and barn.

Mr. Ellis is a Republican, and while resident of Woodbridge was Township Treasurer.

Owing to deafness he has never held office in Hersey Township.

He was married Sept. 21, 1844, to Emmeline Pearl.

Their children were born as follows: Burton J., Dec. 26, 1846; Ida, Nov. 10, 1848; Edward, March 10, 1851; Dora, Dec. 1,1858. Mrs. Ellis was born Dec. 16, 1821, in Berlin Township, Erie Co., Ohio, and is the daughter of Oliver and Mary (Sexton) Pearl.

Her mother was born in Connecticut, and died in Ohio, May 15, 1884, aged 88 years and five months.

Her father was born in Ellington, Tolland Co., Conn., Dec. 5, 1796, and died in May, 1835.

Their children were Oliver S., Ansel H., William, Albert, Addison H., Jerome, Mary A., Marilia M., Harriet and Mrs. Ellis, who was fifth in order of birth.


James G. Robbins, farmer, section 34, Richmond Township, was born March 12, 1818, in Tompkins Co., N. Y., and is the fourth son of David and Mary (Burleigh) Robbins.

His parents were born in Connecticut and had a family of nine children.

Mr. Robbins was a resident of the State of New York through his youth and early manhood, removing when 23 years of age to Potter Co., Pa.

In May, 1835, after a residence in the Keystone State of 14 years, he came to Big Prairie Township, Newaygo County, Mich.

In February, 1856, he bought 160 acres, of land, a part of which has since constituted his homestead.

He is the owner of 69 acres of the original tract, and has 55 acres under cultivation and improvements.

Mr. Robbins is a Republican in political bias and has been Township Clerk, Highway Commissioner and Overseer.

His marriage to Olive E. Slade took place in Whitesville, Allegany Co., N. Y., Jan. 17, 1841, and they had eight children, viz.: Nancy M., who married Anson Berger, of Richmond Township (see sketch); Franklin S. (see sketch), Charlotte E., wife of A. McFarlane (see sketch); Ellen, who married John Sims, and died in Richmond Township, in July, 1869; Ada, Mrs. L. F. Gerish, of Duluth, Minn.; Charles W.; Mary, wife of E. C. Baumgardner (see sketch); and an infant who died unnamed.

The oldest daughter is the first white child married in Osceola County, and Mary is the first white girl born in its limits.


George Hicks, farmer, section 23, Hersey Township, was born Dec. 2, 1842, in Allegan County, Mich., and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Eady) Hicks.

His father was born May 26, 1793, in Oxfordshire, England, and was a soldier in the British service; he was on the route to America in 1813 to take part in the second struggle between the Colonies and Great Britain, when the vessel foundered on the coast of Newfoundland, and the soldiers were ordered back to England, arriving there seasonably to take part in the battle of Waterloo.

The father came to Canada in 1815, and took up a farm near Ottawa, where he resided until March, 1837, the date of his coming to Michigan.

He first reached Detroit and came thence on foot to Allegan County, where he secured his claim of land from the Government, returning to Canada for his family, whom he brought to this State in 1838.

He died on his farm in Watson Township, Sept. 14, 1877.

The mother was born Jan. 1, 1804, near London, Eng., and died in Trowbridge, Allegan County, in February, 1884.

They had 14 children—Thomas, Mary, Joyce, John, Jane, Elizabeth, Delilah (deceased), Ann, George, Robert (deceased), Hannah, Emily, Robert (2d) and Martha.

On removal to Michigan, the senior Hicks found himself at Detroit with his wife, six children, and one dollar in money.

On leaving the place in Allegan County, where he had built a small log hduse to shelter his family, he had engaged a man to meet him at Detroit with a team, to transport them to their home, but nothing was to be seen of either team or man, and the father, mother and six little ones walked to Battle Creek, a distance of nearly 100 miles, where they met the expected assistance.

Mr. Hicks was educated in the public schools of Allegan County.

When he was 17 years of age he came to Osceola County and engaged in lumbering on the Muskegon River, arriving here in September, 1859.

He combined that vocation with that of a hunter and trapper, in which he became expert and successful.

The avails of the last season in which he was engaged in that line of business, were $1,200.

He left Hersey May 10, 1861, less than a month after the assault on the Federal flag at Fort Sumter, an event that awoke in him a deep interest, to which he gave unmistakable expression by enrolling in the military service of his country.

He enlisted July 29, 1861, in Co. A, 16th United States Infantry.

The command was assigned to the 14th Army Corps, and the regiment was under fire at the first battle” of Shiloh, General Rosecrans, commander.

The brigade included the 16th United States Inf., the Louisville Legions, the 19th United States Inf., and the 6th Indiana.

Mr. Hicks was also in action at Perryville and Stone River, and at Chickamauga sustained two wounds; a bullet passing through one arm above the elbow, and a second through the right side of his neck.

He was captured late in the day of the same action.

The regiment went into battle 700 strong, and at roll-call only one officer and 47 men responded to their names!

The rebels took 42 prisoners belonging to the regiment.

Mr. Hicks was sent to the famous Libby prison at Richmond, whence, after nearly eight months of captivity, he was paroled, May 7, 1864.

The date of his capture was Sept. 20, 1863.

One sacred remembrance of that day was a sight of General Garfield in action on the field.

On being paroled, he came to Annapolis, Md. When he was taken prisoner he weighed 240 pounds, and on reaching Annapolis his weight was only 100 pounds!

After his health and strength were restored he rejoined his regiment, once more taking up arms for the flag, July 26, 1864, his command being stationed near Atlanta, Ga.

He received his final discharge Aug. 9, 1864, the period of his enlistment having expired.

After a brief tarry at his home he went to Helena, Montana Territory, accompanied by his brother.

At St. Cloud, Minn., they bought two yoke of oxen and proceeded to Fort Abercrombie, joining a train en route for Helena.

Arriving there, he engaged in prospecting, in which avenue of occupation he operated six years.

He went north, and his brother took a southerly route.

He found gold to some extent, but not in startling quantities, and in 1872 he made his way back to Osceola County.

He was married March 16, 1873, to Alice A., daughter of Ebenezer and Rosamond (Buttrick) Jones.

Her father was born in 1787,1n New Hampshire, and died in Allegany, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., Aug. 11, 1859.

He was of Welsh descent and was for many years a lumberman on the Alleghany River in the State of New York.

His family removed from the Granite State to Wyoming Co., N. Y., in 1817, before canals or railroads existed, even in imagination, traveling in pioneer wagons with two horse teams.

The mother of Mrs. Hicks was born Oct. 10, 1809, in Hawley, Franklin Co., Mass., and died March 4, 1884, in Hersey Township.

Mrs. Hicks was born Dec. 17, 1849, in Allegany.

Her mother was twice married.

Of the first union, James E., Charles B. and Isabel Humphrey were born.

After she married Ebenezer Jones, she became the mother of Ebenezer, Henry T. and Mary A.

Mr. Hicks is a Republican and a Prohibitionist in political connection and views.


Ira H. Whitney, editor and proprietor of the “Union Banter”, published at Reed City, was born in the township of Hartland, Livingston County, Michigan, March 12, 1856.

His parents, John W. and Elizabeth (Davis) Whitney, are still residents of Hartland.

The former is a native of Massachusetts; the latter was born in Rhode Island.

Their family included five sons and three daughters.

Mr. Whitney was occupied in the avenues of employment in which the sons of Michigan farmers are trained, and in the acquisition of his education, until he was 18, and at that age abandoned agriculture in order to put into practical effect a determination to prepare for the career of a printer.

He entered the office of the Milford Times, published at Milford, Oakland Co., Mich.

After becoming familiar with the details of the craft he was made foreman and officiated in that capacity until he went to Ludington in 1883, to take a similar position on the Ludington Record, where he operated about four months.

In 1883 he came to Reed City, and for a few weeks was employed as foreman on the News, when, associated with H. E. J. Clute, he established the journal known as The People.

Its first issue appeared Nov. 24, 1883, and it was managed by Messrs. Whitney and Clute about four months, when they dissolved, and the former, in company with his brother, John M. Whitney, founded the Banner, published in the interest of prohibition principles.

It is a folio of five columns, published weekly, and is steadily growing in influence and popularity.

The marriage of Mr. Whitney to Katie A. Fralick occurred Dec. 20, 1882, at Brighton, Livingston Co., Mich., and they are the parents of one child—Cecil —born April 25, 1884, in Hartland, Livingston County.

Mrs. Whitney was born May 16, 1858, and is the daughter of John and Catherine Fralick, of Brighton, Livingston County.


Gardam Wilson, farmer, section 32, Lincoln Township, is a son of Shepard and Elizabeth (Gardam) Wilson, natives of England, who emigrated to Canada in 1832 and lived there the remainder of their lives, Mrs. Wilson dying February 29, 1880 and Mr. Wilson January 19, 1882.

In their family were eight children, namely: Ann, Gardam, Samuel S., Elizabeth, John C., Albert C., and Marietta.

The oldest son and the subject of this sketch was born in Canada, July 7, 1832.

He received a common-school education, which was rather limited; but, being a diligent reader, he has advanced himself to a considerable extent.

He remained at the parental home until about 25 years of age, when he started out into the world for himself.

He first rented a farm, on which he resided for eight years, and then for three years he acted as agent for the Massey Manufacturing Company, of New Castle, Ont.

In February, 1867, he came to Osceola County and took possession of 80 acres of Government land under the regulations of the Homestead Law, in Lincoln Township, and the following autumn he moved his family from Canada to the place, which was then an unbroken wilderness.

Here he commenced the struggles and tedious trials and privations characteristic of frontier life.

He at once built a log house and began the arduous task of clearing his land; and, to know how well he has succeeded, one has to visit his place, as the improvements, the present condition of the farm, and the initial outlines for future advantage are too elaborate for description here.

Of his present possession of 80 acres, about 6o are improved.

His wife also owns 80 acres, on section 30, of which 14 acres are improved.

In reference to political affairs, Mr. Wilson is identified with the Prohibition Party.

He has held the office of Township Clerk one year, School Director two terms, School Inspector three terms, Township Treasurer one year, Supervisor of Lincoln Township 1883-4, and during the latter year was Census Enumerator.

In the fall of 1884 he was nominated on the Prohibition ticket for County Treasurer.

He was Secretary of the first county convention held in Osceola County.

In 1857 Mr. Wilson was licensed to preach the gospel, and during the earlier settlement of this county he was a tireless worker in the cause of Christianity.

He nearly always preached two times each Sunday during his residence in Canada.

Often, after working hard during the week, he would ride 20 miles to fill an appointment; but in the course of time age and enfeebled health forbade such arduous duties in a great measure, and he gradually confined his energies to his farm work.

Both he and his wife have been active and prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a great number of years.

Mr. Wilson was married in Ontario, Oct. 7, 1856, to Miss Mary Reed, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Crawford) Reed.

Her mother died Sept 24, 1883, and her father, still surviving, is a resident of Lincoln Township. Mrs. W. was born in Canada, Dec. 6, 1836.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are seven in number, born as follows: Alice A., Sept. 23i 1S57; Albert G., April 15, 1859; Florence A., Oct. 8, 1860; John J., June 10, 1862; George S., Oct. 29, 1863; Adelia M., June 27, 1867; and Elizabeth M., May it, 1878.

The first mentioned is now the wife of Robert Gamble, and resides in Lake Co., Mich.


Benjamin R. Cole, carpenter and joiner, at Reed City, is one of the oldest settlers of Osceola County, of which he became a resident in 1866, when he located on section 6, Richmond Township.

He was born Aug. 11, 1832, in Hornellsville, Steuben Co., N. Y.

His parents, Solomon and Laura (Rathbun) Cole, were natives of the same place, where they were engaged in agriculture.

In 1839 the family removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., and the father bought a farm of 80 acres, and made another removal to a farm in Ottawa County, where he died, Nov. 13, 1849.

The mother died there, June 4, 1864.

When he was 23 years of age Mr. Cole was well settled in life, and was the owner of a farm of 80 acres in excellent agricultural condition, but lost his hard-earned property through dishonest trickery; and, his wife dying about the same time, he decided to enter the army, and accordingly enlisted, July 30, 1861, at Grand Rapids, enrolling in Battery E.

The command was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. Mr. Cole was in the service until March 18, 1863, when he was discharged as Second Sergeant.

Among his engagements were Mill Springs, Pittsburg Landing, Lookout Mountain and Stone River.

At the last named he was injured by a leap from a wounded horse belonging to his battery, three of his ribs being broken and other injuries resulting, which caused his discharge and disablement for a period of two years.

In 1866 Mr. Cole secured a homestead claim of 80 acres on section 6, Richmond Township, on which he settled June 19 of the same year.

He cleared 70 acres and placed the farm in excellent condition.

He was one of the movers in the separation of Osceola from Mecosta County, and also in the organization of the townships of Lincoln, Sherman and Hersey.

In 1880 he built his residence at Reed City and took possession, where he has since resided.

He belongs to the Masons and to the Grand Army of the Republic.

He is a Republican of decided standing: has officiated as Justice of the Peace four years, as Highway Commissioner six years and eight years as School Inspector.

Mr. Cole was married Dec. 5, 1857, in Grand Rapids, to Sarah A. Camp, and they had two children,—John S., now a herder in Montana Territory, and Zuleika, now deceased.

His wife died in Ottawa County, Mich., and he was again married Oct. 22, 1865, in Hornellsville, N. Y., to Elizabeth Robins.

She was a native of that place, and died Oct. 19, 1880, at Lansing.

Mr. Cole was again married, at Hornellsville, to Jennie Domielson, a native of Hornellsville, where she was born May 1, 1853.

Mr. and Mrs. Cole are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Reed City.


Newton S. Gwynne, farmer, section 22, Hersey Township, was-born Jan. 6, 1857, in Kent Co., Mich., and is the son of Thomas and Jane (Saunders) Gwynne.

His parents were both natives of England.

His mother died in Kent County, in 1860; his father entered the military service of the United States, and died of fever in 1864, in a hospital at Nashville, Tenn.

In 1869 the grandparents of Mrs. Gwynne, who were residents of Iowa, disposed of their property there, came to Kent County and removed with him and his only sister to Hersey Township, when they bought the farm now owned by the grandson.

The sister married William Engle and resides at Fisher Station, six miles from Grand Rapids.

The grandfather died July 20, 1881; the grandmother’s decease occurred Aug. 20 of the same year.

The former was the guardian and custodian of two farms left to his children by the father of Mr. Gwynne of this sketch.

The latter was married April 12, 1881, to Rosetta, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Saunders) Smith, both of whom reside in Hersey Township.

Mrs. Gwynne was born March 18, 1860, in South Haven, this State.

She has a brother, Franklin S. Smith.

The family is Congregationalist in religious principle.


William S. Davis, of the manufacturing firm of Beardsley & Davis, was born March 18, 1846, in Camden, N. J., and is the son of Bartholomew and Hettie (Hunt) Davis.

His father was born in September, 1819, in Maidstone, Kent Co., Eng., and emigrated to this country about 1840.

He went back to England in 1847 with his wife and two children, and returned alone in 185910 Pennsylvania, expecting to send for his family.

His wife died in Maidstone, and the two children, William, a boy of 13, and his sister, aged 11 years, came alone across the ocean.

A friend met them in New York and took them in charge to the city of Pottsville, Schuylkill Co., Pa., where they joined their father.

The latter now resides on a farm in New Cambria, Mo.

Mr. Davis obtained his education chiefly in the night schools of the section of Pennsylvania where he resided in his youth, and when 14 years old was apprenticed to learn the trade of shoemaker.

After working three years he determined to become a soldier in the Union service, and enlisted in 1863, in the 39th Pa. Vol. Inf., to serve 100 days.

On being discharged from that service he enlisted in Co. A, 12th Pa. Vol. Cav.

The regiment was in the Army of the Shenandoah, under Sheridan, and was in the service at the date of the precipitated flight of Gen.

Early up the Valley of the Shenandoah, and was left at Charleston, Va., when Sheridan joined General Grant on the James River.

Mr. Davis Wjs in battle at Monocacy, Cedar Creek, Winchester and Berryville.

Just before the surrender of Lee the regiment to which Mr. Davis belonged was transferred to Gen. Hancock’s Division.

He received his discharge July 17, 1865, and returned to Pottsville, whence he went a few months later to Philadelphia and fitted himself for a machinist and engineer.

He passed two years in his preparations, and followed his trade until he engaged, in 1880, in the manufacture of hoops at Edgerton, Kent County, in which he was occupied one year.

In 1882 he formed a partnership with W. L. Beardsley, in the manufacture of shingles, a relation which still exists.

The mill has a daily producing capacity of 55,000, and as a rule is run nearly to its maximum.

They employ a working force of 22 assistants, including two packers.

Three teams are required to put in logs, and the pine resources will keep the mill operating about two years, or until 1886.

Mr. Davis was married Feb. 9, 1871, to Mary E. Alexander.

Gertie A., adopted daughter, was born Feb. 11, 1870.

Mrs. Davis was born Jan. 31, 1847, and is the daughter of William G. and Amanda (Margrum) Alexander.

Her father is a mechanic. After marriage Mr. Davis was in charge four years of the machinery of the Huntsville Coal Co. in Randolph Co., Mo.

He is a Republican in political sentiment, and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, as also does his wife.


John Hanover, farmer, section 28, Lincoln Township, is a son of Isaac and Susan (Marquiss) Hanover.

The parents, who were natives of Pennsylvania, removed after their marriage to Ohio, and spent the remainder of their life there.

In their family were three children, namely, Rebecca, John and William.

The eldest son, the subject of this sketch, was born in Adams Co., Ohio, Nov. 15, 1810.

When very young his father died and the three children were all “bound out” till of age; but John started out in the world to take care of himself when he was 18 years of age.

He worked in various capacities and in different places for nearly four years.

Shortly afterward he bought a farm in Highland County, Ohio, which he carried on about two years.

Some five years later he came to the Peninsular State and settled in Berrien County, where he remained almost 12 years.

He then sold his farm there, spent a short time in Iowa, returned to Berrien County, this State, and, after residing there until the fall of 1865, he came to Osceola County and took possession, under the homestead law, of 80 acres of land in Lincoln Township, where he has since lived.

He now owns 67 acres, and has almost 50 acres improved and in a state of good cultivation.

With regard to national issues, Mr. H. is a member of the Republican Party.

He was married in Brown Co., Ohio, to Elizabeth Marquiss, who is a native of that county, born Jan. 11, 1811.

Mr. and Mrs. Hanover are the parents of 11 children, viz.: Isaac P., Mary A., William H. Cyrenus, Eliza E., Francis M., Charlotte J., John A., Sarah E. and Jacob G. W., who are living, and Lucinda, who died at the age of one year.


Milton Moffitt, farmer, section 30, Cedar Township, was born April 2, 1841, in Wayne, Erie Co., Pa., and is the son of Jesse and Dorothy (Wheeler) Moffitt.

His paternal grandparents were Scotch and German by birth, and his father was born in Attica, N. Y.

He was a shoemaker by trade, but passed most of his life in the vocation of farmer.

He was about 50 years of age at the time of his death in 1849.

The mother is yet living, in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Moffitt was reared to the profession of farming in his native State, and on becoming of age learned the blacksmith’s trade, which he followed at Corry, Pa., until his removal in 1875 to Osceola Co., Mich.

He rented a farm in the vicinity of Ashton, Leroy Township, which he conducted three years.

In 1878 he bought 80 acres, on which he has since operated.

It was wholly unimproved, and he has placed 20 acres under cultivation.

He is the mail-carrier between Hersey and Penasa, the latter office being stationed in his house.

His wife is the Postmistress.

Mr. Moffitt was married April 8, 1863, to Martha A. Stone, and their children were born as follows: Eva E., Frank A., Dora I., Hubert M. (deceased); Walter G. (deceased), Ernest (deceased), Isaac B., Archie C., Bertie and Daisy.

Mrs. Moffitt was born books (26)

William Horner

William Horner, proprietor of the planning-mill at Reed City, was born in St. Catherines, Ontario, Aug. 23, 1851.

His father, Samuel Horner, was born in 1817 in the North of Ireland, and emigrated to the United States, landing at New York.

He afterward went to Canada, where he taught school, and in the State, of New York more than a score of years.

His mother, Elizabeth (Walker) Horner, was born in 1819, in Ireland, and is now living at Stratford, Ont., with her youngest son.

The ancestral origin of the Horner family dates to the French Huguenots who fled to the North of Ireland to escape religious persecution.

The father of Mr. Horner died at Brockville, Ont., on the St. Lawrence River, when his son was but 11 years old.

He was then under the necessity of contributing to the support of the four young children, who were deprived of the father’s care and protection.

After the death of the father the family removed to Baltimore, Md., where Mr. Horner engaged as a telegraph messenger and operator until he was 15 years of age.

They then removed to Stratford, Ont., and he became an assistant in a mercantile establishment, and was occupied in that line of business until he was 19 years of age.

He commenced operating as book-keeper with Scismgeour Bros., of Stratford, continuing in that capacity six years.

In 1877 he went to Desoronto, Ont., and was there employed by H. B. Rathbun & Son, as contractor in their lumber and ship-building interests, in the manufacturing department in which he required the aid of 20 assistants.

In 1880 he went to Warren Co., Pa., in the capacity of superintendent of a wholesale sash, door and blind factory, owned by L. D. Wetmore & Co.

In January, 1882, associated with S. E. Cormany, he bought the site of an old saw-mill at Reed City, containing one and a fourth acres of land.

They removed the ancient structure and rebuilt, constructing a building 65 X200 feet in extent, with a brick engine-house attached.

The producing capacity of the establishment is 60,000 feet daily of matched and planed lumber.

They also manufacture two car loads of boxes weekly and employ an average working force of 15 men.

The partnership existed six months, when Mr. Horner purchased the interest of his partner and later admitted W. W. Foster, the latter association continuing operative until July, 1884, when the entire interest became the property of Mr. Horner by purchase.

The works are being operated at present (1884) to their full capacity, Tuning about 15 hours daily.

The marriage of Mr. Horner to Maggie Pullar took place Dec. 30, 1874, at Stratford, Ont.

Maggie (Pullar) Horner

Their children were born as follows: Samuel, May 28, 1876; Mamie E., Sept. 24, 1878; Anna L., Jan. 12, 1882; and Frank, Feb. 19, 1884.

Mrs. Horner was born Jan. 15, 185 1, in Scotland, and is the daughter of Andrew and Mary Pullar.


Willard Gould, farmer, resident on section 5, Hersey Township, was born March 14, 1837, in Percy Township, Northumberland County, Ontario.

His father, Jewett Gould, married Mary A. Park. He connected himself with the Mormons, with whom he was living in Utah when last heard from.

The mother is a resident of Belleville, Ont.

Mr. Gould was reared on the farm of his maternal grandparents.

Before he attained his majority he was apprenticed to a shoemaker for five years, but he found the confinement irksome and the plan was abandoned.

On reaching the age of 21 years he learned the builder’s trade, but finding it distasteful he bought a farm in Canada, which he managed eight years.

He sold out in 1869 and came to Lake County in Michigan, where he bought 160 acres of land, and was its occupant seven years.

In 1876 he removed to a tract of land in Hersey Township, which he had purchased while living in Lake County, and two years previous to removal thereto.

He owns 120 acres with 45 acres under excellent improvements.

He is a Republican, and has always been active in the educational matters of his township.

He was married Oct. 31, 1857, in Percy, Canada, to Louis Ireland.

Three of their children are deceased, -Martha E., Alfred S. and Purcilla.

Esther A., William A., John, Charles H. and Mabel C. are living.

Mrs. Gould is the daughter of Isaac and Hester (Tallman) Ireland, both of whom died in Canada.

She was born April 20, 1845, ‘n Percy, Ont.


Noah Terpenning, farmer, section 18, Richmond Township, is a son of Merenes and Peggy Terpenning.

The latter were natives of Orange Co., N. Y., where they resided for a time after marriage, and then removed to Cortland County, same State; here they lived until their death.

They had a family of nine children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth.

He was born in Cortland Co., N. Y., Jan. 27, 1820, and remained at home until 25 years of age, when he started out in life for himself.

He occupied and managed a rented farm for nearly 20 years, and then purchased a farm, in the same county, on which he remained till April, 1883, when he came to this county and bought 73 acres of land where he is now making his home. He has all his land cleared and well improved.

He was married in Tompkins Co., N. Y., May 4, 1843, to Miss Christean Butts, who was born Nov. 29, 1821, and whose parents were Michael and Adaline (Searles) Butts, natives of New Jersey.

Mr. and Mrs. T. are the parents of three children, Cyrus, Arthur and John.

The first named is a carpenter and joiner, and resides in Cortland, N. Y.; Arthur is a carpenter and owns a farm and resides in Virgil, same county.

Two of them served in the war of the Rebellion, Cyrus enlisting in Co. I, 122d Reg. N. Y. Infantry serving three years.

He was wounded twice on the same day at the Battle of the Wilderness.

Arthur enlisted in Company F, 182nd Regiment New York Infantry, serving seven months.

Both receive an honorable discharge at the close of the war.

John is a farmer, and is living with his father, having an interest in the farm.

As to political affairs, Mr. T. is a Prohibitionist.


Emmet R. White, dealer in drugs, medicines, books, stationery, etc. at Reed City, was born at Elk Creek, Pennsylvania, September 27, 1852, and removed to New York, in 1862, with his parents, Welcome W. and Abbie (Hoard) White.

He went west in 1877, and in 1879 came to Reed City and engaged as a clerk for his brother in the drug store.

He entered the business as a partner in December, 1882.


Oscar M. Brownson, dealer in real estate and loans, at Evart, was born August 6, 1826 in Somerset, Niagara Co., N. Y.

His parents, Luman and Lucy (Barbour) Brownson, were natives of Vermont.

The former was born Dec. 26, 1800, the latter, Feb. 5, 1801.

They had five children, of whom Mr. Brownson, of this sketch, is the oldest. Amanda E. married C. C. Farrar, a capitalist of Flint, Mich.

Their children are Lucy D., Frank L. and Edward B. Sopronia L. married Geo. H. Holman, of Flint, a dealer in grain, lime, coal, etc.

They have two children, Arthur B. and Harriet, wife of George Bishop.

Mr. and Mrs. Bishop are both graduates of the High School at Ann Arbor, and are farming in Dakota.

Samuel N. Brownson, second son, is a farmer and stockman in Greenwood Co., Kan.

He married Mattie Adams, of Pontiac, Mich., and they have five children— Edith M., Frank L., Freddie O., Clara and Mabel.

The fifth child in the family of the senior Brownson died unnamed.

Mr. Brownson remained under the paternal roof until he was 25 years of age.

He acquired the education of the common schools in early youth, afterwards passing a year at the famous school at Oberlin, Ohio, and a like period of time in the High School at Romeo, Mich.

After completing his education he began teaching, in which he was occupied eleven terms.

In 1853 he bought a small tract of land containing 40 acres in Oakland County, four miles west of Pontiac, where he devoted his energies to the nursery business, and also engaged in raising fruit, being occupied there 13 years.

At the end of that time he removed to a farm situated eight miles north of Pontiac, on which he was resident four years. In 1869 he went to Flint, where he became interested in the hardware business as a member of the firm of Holman, Farrar & Co.

After four years of business connection with his brothersin-law, Mr. Brownson came to Evart, where he arrived July 1, 1873, and, in company with Robert A. Allured, opened a hardware store.

He erected a brick building for the transaction of their business, and a few months later doubled its capacity by building an addition of the same dimensions, to which he made another addition between three and four years later.

The business relations of Messrs. Brownson & Allured were in existence’ about six years, when they were terminated by the sale of the senior partner’s interest to his associate, and Mr. Brownson, began to operate in real estate and loans sufficiently to retain his interest in active business life.

He is a Notary Public, and transacts the business common to the position.

He owns 250 acres of farming land in Osceola County, and in 1882 built his fine residence at Evart, and has two village lots connected therewith.

He is also the owner of a tenement house and several village lots, variously located.

Mr. Brownson was married June 19, 1851, in Almont, Lapeer Co., Mich., to Lucy M. Johnson.

They have had two children, only one of whom survives—Alice L., wife of Robert A. Allured (see sketch).

She was born May 25, 1852. Charles H. was born Nov. 8, 1855, and died in the prime of his young manhood, Aug. 16, 1880.

He married Mira Spaulding. Mrs. Brownson was born in Wales Township, Erie Co., N. Y., Jan. 26, 1824, and is the daughter of Samuel and Sally Johnson.

The parents came from the Empire State to Almont in 1834, when that portion of Michigan was in its earliest pioneer period and when the State was in its Territorial days.

Mr. Johnson was born Sept. 20, 1797, in the State of New York. Mrs. Johnson was born Oct. 28, 1793, in Whitehall, N. Y., and died in Almont, Dec. 30, 1865.

Mr. Johnson died in the same place, Feb. 15, 1845.

They had four children.

Dr. Hosmer A., oldest son, was born Oct. 6, 1822.

He has risen to a distinguished position, solely through his own efforts, working his way through the University at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in 1849, with the degree of B. A.

In 1850 he went to Chicago and entered Rush Medical College, graduating there as one of its most accomplished students.

He is one of the founders of the Chicago Medical College, of which he has been a Professor, since its establishment, and has held the Chair of Physiology.

In 1861 he was made a member of the Board of Medical Examiners for the State of Illinois, of which body he became President.

He married Margaretta A. Seward, niece of Hon. Wm. H. Seward, of distinguished memory.

Mrs. Brownson is the second of her parents’ children.

Emmeline L. married E. B. Hough, a farmer of Almont, and died Jan. 25, 1867.

James y F. is a farmer in Kansas.

He married Emma Fish of Flint, sister of a prominent physician of Flint, and of Dr. Fish, of California.

Mrs. Brownson began teaching when 16 years of age, and continued in the profession until 27 years old.

Mr. Brownson is a gentleman of decided moral convictions, and acts fearlessly in consonance with his views.

He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and he is officiating as a Ruling Elder in that body, to which position he was elected in 1875.

He donated liberally to the building of a church edifice for the benefit of the denomination to which he belongs, and aided personally in its erection.

The entire cost of the structure was $5,000, to which sum Messrs. Brownson and Allured contributed $2,000.

Mr. Brownson is one of the most prominent actors in the cause of Prohibition in the State of Michigan.

He is earnestly interested in the progress of the party as antagonistic to the liquor traffic, and has aided in the organization of eight local prohibition clubs.

He was delegate to two State Conventions of 1884, and to the County Conventions of the same year.

He attended the National Convention held at Pittsburg, July 24, 1884, in the capacity of delegate from his State, and was nominated on the Prohibition ticket of Michigan for Presidential Elector from the Ninth Congressional District.


Peter Cody, farmer, section 21, Hersey Township, was born April 4, 1816, in the County Carlow, Ireland, and is the son of James and Mary (Dunne) Cody, both of whom are natives of Ireland.

On June 22, 1830, they sailed from Dublin, with their family, including four sons and six daughters.

All are yet living but two of the latter.

They were born as follows: Mary A., Peter, Hanora (deceased), Margaret (deceased), John, James, Ellen, Bridget, Andrew and Jane.

Their father bought a farm in Simcoe Co., Ont., on which he resided about 15 years, when the place was sold, and another purchased where the family removed, and where the father died.

The township was named Tassarontio.

The mother also died there.

Mr. Cody was in charge of his parents during the last years of their lives.

After they were deceased he bought a farm in the county of Bruce, in the Dominion, where he resided 15 years, coming thence in 1869 to Osceola Co., Mich., where he bought 80 acres of land in a wholly wild state, from the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company, in Hersey Township.

He has cleared and placed 65 acres under culture, has erected a good frame barn, and is rapidly approaching assured competency.

On removal here he left his family at Big Rapids, took possession of his farm Oct. 17, 1869, and built a log house.

He was married Sept. 8, 1843, to Loretto Doyle, and they are the parents of 13 children, born as follows: James, July 15, 1847; Margaret, Dec. 15, 1849; Maria, March 13, 1851; Loretto, Sept. 5, 1852; Elizabeth, May 16, 1854; Peter, Aug. 12, 1855; Bridget, Jan. 18, 1857; Andrew, June 11, 1858; John, June 24, 1860; Daniel, Feb. 2, 1862; Ellen, Oct. 13, 1863; Edmond, June 23, 1865 ; Ann, Feb. 9, 1867.

Mrs. Cody was born about the first of April, 1821, in County Carlow, Ireland, and is the daughter of James and Bridget (Dunn) Doyle.

Her father was born in the same county, and died in Canada.

Her mother was born in Queens Co., Ireland, resides with Mrs. Cody, and is nearly 89 years of age.

They came to America with four sons and two daughters, having buried two sons in their native land.

They are named Daniel, Edward, James, Matthias, Bridget (deceased) and Loretto.

The family are Roman Catholics.

Mr. Cody is a Democrat in political affiliation.


Jacob W. Thomas, farmer, section t8, Cedar Township, was born Nov. 11, 1815, in Gettysburg, Pa.

He has been a resident of Osceola County 15 years without intermission, having settled on his farm May 15, 1869.

He entered the claim for his land under the provisions of the Homestead Law.

His father, Charles Thomas, was a stone mason by trade, and descended from Welsh ancestry.

He married Elizabeth Schroder, a German.

Their children were named Hannah, Jacob, John, Susan, Mary, William, Catherine, Elizabeth and Joel.

Mr. Thomas has one sister living, Elizabeth by name.

She resides in Lincoln Township.

The father died in 1844, at the age of 63 years, in Logan Co., Ohio.

The mother died in 1860, in Hardin Co., Ohio, aged 60 years.

They were natives of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Thomas was instructed in farming and in the calling of his father.

He followed the latter business about 40 years before he settled permanently to the vocation of farmer.

His parents removed to Champagne Co., Ohio, when he was 15 years of age, and he accompanied them later to Logan County, and subsequently to Hardin County.

He was married in July, 1842, to Jerusha Hutchinson.

They had two children, only one of whom is living, P. S., born Aug. n, 1844, in Logan Co., Ohio. Ellen was born in 1850.

Mr. Thomas is independent in political opinions and connections.

He is serving his eighth term as Supervisor, in which position he has acted consecutively since 1876, with the exception of the year 1883.

He has discharged the duties of Township Treasurer two years, Highway Commissioner three years, and has been a long time Justice of the Peace.


John H. Auer, merchant tailor and Notary Public at Reed City, was born Oct. J6, 1823, in Nickenich Rhein, Prussia.

His parents, Anton and Margaret Auer, were also born in Prussia, and Delonged to the farming community.

In 1837, when he was 14 years of age, and had fulfilled the requirements of the law of his native land in his attendance at school, he entered upon an apprenticeship to acquire a knowledge of the trade of tailor, serving two years, after which he managed his relations in the capacity of a journeyman.

He opened business in his own behalf in the place where he learned his trade, in which he met with success.

He left the land of his nativity in 1854, and came to Schenectady, N. Y., where he engaged with a tailoring house as cutter.

In 1858 he went thence to Perry, Wyoming Co., N. Y., and founded a business in his own interest.

Next he went to Moscow, Livingston Co., N. Y., and established himself there in the same calling.

He went next to Mount Morris, where he remained two years.

In 1863 he came to Almont, Lapeer Co., Mich., where he operated similarly until September, 1868.

Two years previous he came to Lincoln Township on account of ill health, and entered a claim of 80 acres of land on section 32.

In 1868 he abandoned his professional business and removed to his farm, and he operated as a pioneer farmer, made an extensive clearing and resided thereon until his health was re-established and his farm in comparatively fine condition. He is still its proprietor.

In the fall of 1875 he again commenced the pursuit in which he has since been engaged at Reed City.

He is doing an excellent business, which requires several assistants.

Arthur J., his son, acts as operates as traveling salesman.

He owns his place of business, his residence and other village property.

He served four years as Justice of the Peace in Lincoln Township, as Superintendent of Schools of Richmond Township, and as member of the City Council two years.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Sons of Industry.

The marriage of Mr. Auer took place in Germany, Nov. 22, 1848, Mary Schuld becoming his wife.

Two of their six children were born previous to their emigration to America.

Peter A. is a clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington; Mary married William B. McDonald, a farmer of Lincoln Township; Catherine was born in Schenectady, and married P. T. Morris; Elizabeth married L. C. Dill, station agent at Traverse City; she was born in Schenectady; Henry was born, in Moscow, N. Y., and is clerk in a store at Cadillac; Arthur J. was born in Mount Morris, Dec. 7, 1862.

Their mother died March 24, 1863, in Utica, N. Y.

While living at Almont, Mr. Auer was married at Detroit, Feb. 22, 1866, to Laura Jane White.

She died Jan. 19, 1883, at Reed City. Mr. Auer was again married in April, 1883, to Lena Houseman, born in Baden, Germany.

James H. Drake, farmer, section 18, Lincoln Township, is a son of Cornelius and Polly (Boggs) Drake, who were natives of the State of New York, and had a family of 12 children.

All of these, with the exception of a daughter, grew up to years of maturity.

The subject whose name heads this paragraph is the eldest son and third child in the family of his parents.

He was born in Steuben Co., N. Y., Feb. 1, 1833, made his home with his parents until 29 years of age, and then worked out until the fall of 1857, when he came to Osceola County and took possession of 80 acres of Government land where he now lives, and settled upon it one year later.

At present he has about 32 acres under cultivation, and, is laying well the foundation of a good home.

Mr. Drake is independent in his political views, and has served his community as Overseer of Highways.

Both he and wife are members of the Baptist Church.

He was married in Le Roy Township, this county, Dec. 5, 1872, to Miss Mary Boyer, daughter of William and Elizabeth Boyer.

Her father was a native of the State of New York, and her mother of New Jersey.

Mr. and Mrs. D. have one child, Millie L. by name, who was born Jan. 28, i»7S


Thomas H. Peacock is the pioneer manufacturer of Reed City, where he located in 1876.

He manufactures and deals in sash, doors, blinds, frames, store fronts, moldings, brackets, dressed lumber, lath, shingles, etc.

His business establishment is situated at the junction of the Grand Rapids & Indiana and Flint & Pere Marquette Railroads, both roads having side-tracks running into the mill and constituting one of the best possible points of shipment, exceeded by no other in Northern Michigan.

When running to their full capacity, the works require 27 assistants.

Mr. Peacock was born Aug. 7, 1847, at Stocktonupon-Tees, county of Durham, Eng.

His parents, Isaac and Jane (Smith) Peacock, are natives of the same shire, and in 1855 emigrated with their family to the United States, settling in Canandaigua, Ontario Co., N. Y.

Their family comprised six children, three of whom survive.

Joseph is a machinist at Shortsville, N. Y.

Sarah is the wife of Frank Jessup, a machinist of Shortsville.

Thomas Peacock had a natural taste for the profession of his father, by whom he was instructed in its details, entering the shop for that purpose when he was 12 years of age.

He soon obtained a practical knowledge of it, which he perfected at Silby’s Island Works at Seneca Falls, N. Y., remaining there three years to complete his apprenticeship in his chosen business.

Previous to his 17th birthday he entered the military service of the United States, enlisting Sept. 6, 1864, at Canandaigua, in Company K, Second New York Cavalry, and was mustered in as Sergeant.

Immediately upon going to the front he became acting Sergeant-Major.

His regiment was assigned to the First Brigade and Third Division, commanded by General Custer, under whom Mr. Peacock passed the entire period of his military life.

He was first in action at Cedar Creek, where his regiment was in a position next the “right front.”

The cavalry charge of Oct. 19, 1864, is one of the most celebrated events of the Civil War, and Mr. Peacock was a participant in the action in which it is recorded that Sheridan snatched victory from defeat and drove the Confederates from the Shenandoah Valley.

He was also in the fights at Five Forks and at Dinwiddie CourtHouse, and was present at the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House.

Besides the prominent actions in which the cavalry was engaged, it was in almost unintermitted skirmish fighting and deploy duty, and participated in the final Grand Review at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Peacock received his discharge at Alexandria, Va., July 26, 1865.

The family of Mr. Peacock, senior, remained in Ontario Co., N. Y., until 1872, the father operating as a machinist and manufacturer of agricultural implements.

After the return of Thomas Peacock from the war, he proceeded after a short delay to Jonesville, Hillsdale Co., Mich., and passed two years in the labor of a machinist.

In 1867 he went to the city of Rochester, N. Y., and worked in the foundry and machine shop of Woodbury & Booth several years.

In the spring of 1872, associated with his father, he came to Greenville, Montcalm Co., Mich., and under the firm name of I. & T. H. Peacock, they engaged in the successful manufacture of agricultural implements until December of the same year, when their works were destroyed by fire.

The loss entailed was $6,000, which was total, owing to their being wholly without insurance.

They rebuilt and were soon again in working order on borrowed capital, but the financial stringency of 1873 inflicted another disaster, and both father and son abandoned their project and operated as journeymen until 1876.

Within that year Mr. T. H. Peacock resolved to make another venture in the way of operating independently, and after prospecting a short time fixed p upon Reed City as presenting a possible fair field for effort, and father and son again embarked in the tide of manufacture.

They again borrowed the necessary capital and established a foundry.

Disaster again threatened them from circumstances and the times, as the locality had then no demand for their wares, and with exactly the correct judgment their establishment was converted into the line of productions in which it has since been utilized.

In 1878 Mr. Peacock of this sketch purchased his father’s interest and has since managed the business alone.

The senior Peacock is engaged as a machinist and general blacksmith at Reed City.

Mr. Peacock was made a Mason at Reed City, and belongs to Blue Lodge No. 351, and to Royal Arch Chapter No. 63.

He is a member of the Stedman Post, No. 98, G. A. R., and instituted the Lodge of Odd Fellows at Reed City.

His residence is located adjoining his place of business, where he owns 11 lots, in.

Block No. 1, near the Junction of the Grand Rapids & Indiana and Flint & Pere Marquette Railroads.

He was first married 1864, at Manchester, N. Y., to Mary A. Metcalf, and they became the parents of two children: Herbert was born April 26, 1869; and Gladis May died in infancy.

Their mother died March 18, 1878, in Reed City, this county.

Mr. Peacock was a second time married Oct. 2, 1879, in Hastings, Barry Co., Mich., to Eugenia J. Cole.

They have two children, – Thomas I., born Sept. 18, 1881, and Florence May, born Oct. 30, 1884.

Mrs. Peacock was born in Seneca Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of John and Jane Cole.


William Purchase, hotel proprietor and farmer at Ashton, is a son of Samuel and Huldah (Parsall) Purchase, natives of New York.

In their family were eight children, six sons and two daughters, the third son being the subject named at the head of this sketch.

He was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., July 28, 1821, and received a moderate common-school education.

His advantages for education were somewhat limited by the fact that the family lived in a new country, and as soon as the boys were old enough they were put to manual labor upon the farm, to aid in support of the household.

Young William was industrious, and was in the habit, even after a hard day’s work, of taking his book by fire-light and poring over the problems that seemed to promise utility in the battles of life.

He lived at home until 24 years of age, when he struck out among strangers for himself, namely, in Hillsdale Co., Mich.

There he purchased a piece of wild land, and after residing upon it about five years, he removed to Ottawa County, this State, and followed farming there for nearly 30 years, that is, until 1880, when he came to this county and became proprietor of the hotel at Ashton, which he is now conducting.

He also purchased 70 acres of land, 20 of which are under cultivation.

Mr. Purchase is a Republican in his views of national issues, and both he and wife are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

He was married in Hillsdale County, this State, April 13, 1849, to Emeline Hungerford, and they had two children, named Lucretia and Louisa; the latter died in infancy.

Shortly before her death, however, Mrs. P. died, of consumption, and Mr. Purchase was again married, July 7, 1852, in the same county, to Mary East,vay, who is a native of England, and was brought to this country when an infant.

The children by this marriage are Leroy T., Emeline and Lorenzo.


Enos H. Marvin, farmer, section 16, Richmond Township, is a son of Stiles and Almeda (Merlatt) Marvin.

His father was a native of the State of New York, and his mother of Michigan.

In their family were seven children, namely, Enos H., the subject of the sketch, Ida, Guy, Minnie, Nora, Myrtie and Ray.

Mr. Marvin, whose name heads the above paragraph, was born in Wright, Ottawa Co., Mich., Jan. 1, 1853.

He lived at home until 21 years of age, attending school and working on his father’s farm.

After he became of age he labored upon the same farm, on shares with his father, for one year.

He continued to reside in his native county until the spring of 1881, when he came to Osceola County and purchased 160 acres of partly improved land, where he now resides.

He keeps 12 cows, and is engaged in supplying the people of Reed City with milk; he has a good patronage and is enjoying satisfactory success.

The marriage of Mr. Marvin to Miss Ida Powell, a native of the State of Illinois, took place Jan. 1, 1874 in Berlin, Ottawa Co., Mich.

Mr. and Mrs. M. have four children; their names are Lula, Roy, Visa and Orisa.


Conrad W. Fulmenshauser is an agriculturist on section 20, Richmond Township.

He was born Dec. 25, 1834, in Germany, of which country his parents, Conrad and Margaret Fulmenshauser, were also natives.

The latter passed all their lives in their native When 18 years old, Conrad W. emigrated to this country and first located in Canada.

He lived there until 1863 and then moved to this county, taking possession of 80 acres of land under the regulations of the homestead laws.

Here he is now a resident. To his original entry he has added by purchase 120 acres more, and he has about 110 acres in productive cultivation.

In national affairs M. F. is identified in his principles with the Republican Party.

He was married in Canada in 1854, to Catherine Schultz, who was born in Germany in 1832. They have had six children, namely: Maggie, Conrad, John, Henry, Catherine and William.

Mr. F. has been Overseer of Highways in his township, and is esteemed as a worthy citizen.


Anthony Poulliott, blacksmith, resident on section 18, Hersey Township, was born in 1846, in St. Bernard, Canada.

He is the son of Peter and Catherine (Octo) Poulliott, of French lineage, and residents of Chanla, Ont., where they belong to the agricultural class.

Mr. Poulhott learned his trade in the Dominion, and is accounted a master of his business, which he is prosecuting with success.

In 1857 he went to Montreal, whence he removed to Montcalm Co., Mich.

In September, 1873, he came to Hersey Township.

He passed the entire season in lumbering.

Besides his homestead he owns 40 acres of land on section 16 and 120 on section 5.

His premises where he resides are in first-class order, with excellent buildings.

He was married Dec. 14, 1868, to Nancy Maher, and the following is the record of their children: Eward was born Aug. 16, 1871, in Grand Rapids, and died on his birthday in 1873, Big Rapids; Frank was born Sept. 16, 1873; Margaret, Oct. 26, 1875; Mary, Nov. 2, 1878; and Anna, Sept. 26, 1882.

Mrs. Poulliot is the daughter of James and Mary (Whalen) Maher.

Her father died Nov. 13, 1871, in Bloomer, Montcalm Co., Mich., when about 67 years of age.

They had 12 children, six of whom are living, – James, Mary E., Elizabeth, John, Edward and Mrs. P., who is the oldest of the family and was born Aug. 29, 1851, in Chili, Monroe Co., Mich.


Solomon Hoffine, farmer on section 4 of Richmond Township, is a native of the “land of Penn and of the honest Quakers,” being born in York Co., Pa., Aug. 14, 1830.

His parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Grone) Hoffine, were also natives of the same State.

On arriving at the age of legal responsibility, Solomon left home and struck out into the world for himself.

First he spent three years as a farm laborer, and then for 12 years he managed a rented farm; next, he bought a farm of 40 acres in Wayne Co., Ohio, which he afterward sold, and bought 50 acres in Summit County, same State.

On the latter he 1ived and labored for 10 years, and then sold it and I came to this county, in the fall of 1879, and purchased a tract of 120 acres in Richmond Township, where he has made it his home.

Since first purchasing, however, he has disposed of 80 acres.

In his views of national questions Mr. Hoffine sympathizes with the Republican Party.

He has served his fellow citizens in the capacity of Overseer of Highways.

He was married in Wayne Co., Ohio on July 5, 1856, to Mary J. Bartell, who was a native of that State, and was born Jan. 28, 1834.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoffine have had three children, namely: George E., Medora, who died when three months old, and Clara A.


Franklin S. Robbins, farmer, section 34, Richmond Township, is the son of James f G. and Olive E. (Slade) Robbins.

He was born May 5, 1843, in Potter Co., Pa., and is the oldest of seven children born to his parents.

They removed to Osceola County when he was 12 years old, locating there in February, 1855.

He obtained little education save the practical variety that comes from early acquaintance with labor and effort, and he passed his youth in farming and lumbering.

In 1862 he became a soldier in the service of the United States, enlisting in the Third Michigan Infantry.

He served two years, and was a participant in all the important engagements of the Peninsular campaign and in smaller affairs without number.

On obtaining his discharge he became sutler’s clerk for William H. Gomersall, and was in his employ until the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House and the collapse of the Rebellion.

He accompanied his employer in a similar capacity to Fort Ringgold, Texas, and after a year of service there formed a partnership with him in mercantile business.

A year later he disposed of his interest by sale and returned to Osceola County, with the intention of giving his attention exclusively to agriculture.

To this end he purchased 80 acres of land in the township of Richmond, where he established his homestead.

In 1869 he opened his house for the accommodation of the traveling public, such an establishment being a necessity of the times.

The place was known as the “Osceola House.”

In the same year he began lumbering and has continued that business ever since.

He conducted the hotel seven years, and in 1876 rented it.

He has handled a considerable amount of real estate in various parts of the county, and is present owner of 320 acres within its limits, and of 80 acres in Mecosta County.

His homestead farm contains 240 acres, including 200 acres in an advanced state of cultivation.

His elegant residence was built in 1879.

His home surroundings are considered the finest in Osceola County.

His stock includes 31 head of cattle, 18 horses and 50 hogs, and his farm is supplied with all the best modern agricultural implements.

He is also the owner of valuable real estate in the city of Grand Rapids.

His farm products for 1884 included 714 bushels of wheat, 1,277 bushels of oats, and 2,500 bushels of corn.

His cut of hay amounted approximately to 80 tons.

He was married in Rio Grande, Texas, June 14, 1866, to Emma B. Haymond.

Their children are Howard G., born April 3, 1868; Hattie L., born Feb. 11, 1870; Minnie M., born May 19, 1871.

Mrs. Robbins was born May 28, 1848, in Fairmont, West Virginia, and is the daughter of Jonathan and Harriet (Wilson) Haymond.

Her parents were born and married in West Virginia, where her father operated some years as a merchant.

In 1857 he went to Central America, where he made his home ever after, save at brief intervals when he returned to the United States.

He returned there for the last time in September, 1881, since which time no trustworthy intelligence of him has reached his family.

His wife died in Richmond, Va., in December, 1865.

Six of their ten children attained adult age,—Mary, Benjamin, Louisa L., William P., Emma B. and George ,H. Louisa L. was born in Virginia, in 1843.

She went with her father to Central America in 1866, whence she returned to Texas in 1871.

In 1873 she became the wife of Capt. B. B. Scott, and removed to Brownsville, Texas, her husband being appointed Attorney of the 15th Judicial District of Texas.

She died at her home in Belton, Texas, Jan. 7, 1878, leaving two children.

She was a woman of very lovely character and her loss was deeply deplored by her family and friends.

Mr. Robbins is a leading citizen of his county and township.

Although popular and possessing to an unusual degree the confidence of the community of which he is a member, he has persistently refused to hold office.

He has so managed his business interests as to develop the section where he resides, and is widely honored and respected.

His influence is felt and exercised in all laudable enterprises of general importance, and he secured the post office station at Crapo in 1869, naming it after the Governor.

He was the first incumbent of the position of Postmaster, which he held many years.

In 1884 he spent some time in travel on the Pacific coast, visiting Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington Territory.


John H. Freeland, farmer, section 28, Lincoln Township, is a son of Jonathan C. and Sophronia (Crawford) Freeland.

His father was a native of New Brunswick and his mother was a native of Canada.

They married and settled in Michhe died at Bunker Hill, Ingham County, this State, Jan. 20, 1880: his widow is still living.

They had six children, viz.: Saloma, Erwin J., Henry C., John H., Hartman A. and Drusilla.

The subject of this biographical outline was born in Lenawee Co., Mich., July 16, 1843, and remained at home until 23 years of age, when he purchased a tract of land in Ingham County, this State, on which he lived a year.

He then concluded that he could better his fortunes by a removal to the frontier, and accordingly came to Newaygo County and took possession of 80 acres of land under the provisions of the homestead law, in Barton Township; but after a residence there of two years he moved to Big Rapids and followed the mason’s trade for about two years; he next came to Reed City and worked at his trade four years; and finally he came to Lincoln Township, this county, in the spring of 1875, and, in company with W. C. Harrington, purchased 80 acres of land, where he settled and has since resided.

He also owns, in company with Mr. H., 40 acres on section 29, and in his own right one-half of 70 acres more, all of which is under good cultivation.

Mr. Freeland has risked his life on the campgrounds, skirmish lines, battle-fields, etc., of the army in defense of his country, enlisting Sept. 4, 1864, in the 12th Mich. Vol. Inf., serving one year and returning home without having received serious injury.

He has held the office of Highway Commissioner four terms. In his views of governmental policy he is a Republican.

Mr. Freeland was married at Leslie, Ingham Co., Mich., Oct. 13, 1866, to Miss Rozilla, daughter of George and Ada (Whitmore) Hull, her father a native of Vermont and her mother of Massachusetts.

She was born in Pike Co., Ind., July 3, 1850. Mr. and Mrs. F. have been the parents of one child, Clarence L., who was born Aug. 6, 1868, and died Sept. 15, 1882.


Christian Frohlich is a farmer on section 18, Richmond Township.

He is a native of Germany, as was also his father, Jacob Frohlich.

He was born in 1824, and in 1855 came to Canada; after living in that Dominion seven years, he came to Osceola County and took possession, under the provisions and regulations of the Homestead Laws, of 80 acres where he now resides.

He has added to his homestead 80 acres more by further purchase, and he now has about 60 acres improved and in a good productive condition.

In religion he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church.

He was married the first time in Germany, to Mary Bram, in 1855, and they were the parents of four children: Anna, Henry, John and Albert.

Their mother died in Canada. Mr. Frohlich was again married, in Osceola County, in 1866, to Dorothy Hopp, who is a native of Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. Frohlich have been the parents of four children: Jacob, Mary, Reka, and Freddy.


William Berger, farmer, section 35, Richmond Township, was born Dec. 12, 1829, in Germany.

When about five years old his parents, John and Catherine (Lux) Berger, left their native country with their family and emigrated to the State of New York, where they settled in Wayne County.

Mr. Berger remained there until the spring of 1855, the date of his removal to Osceola County.

He settled in the township of Richmond, and is one of the earliest permanent settlers.

He bought 240 acres of land, established his residence there and has been its occupant continuously ever since.

He has brought to bear the best quality of thrift and energy, and has about 180 acres under excellent improvements.

He affiliates with the Republican element in politics, has held the offices of Justice of the Peace and Highway Commissioner, and has officiated two years as Township Treasurer.

He was married Nov. 12, 1859, in Mecosta County, to Abigail Montague, and their seven children were born as follows: Harvey W., Charles E., Ida M. (married Abraham Seeley, April 11, 1883, and resides in Crapo), George W., Hattie M., John J. and Laura A. Mrs. Berger was born March 30, 184o, in Kent County, and is the daughter of James and Laura L. (Hungerford) Montague.

Her parents were natives of New England.


Andrew J. Johnson, deceased, formerly farmer and blacksmith, resident on section 26, Hersey Township, was born “May 28, 1840, in Trumbull Co., Ohio.

He is the son of Ichabod and Mary A. (Whitmore) Johnson.

The latter survives, and resides in Farwell, Clare Co., Mich., with her son.

His father died on his farm in Hersey Township, in 1876.

He was a mechanic and blacksmith by vocation, and taught his son the latter trade.

He was a resident of California some years, and meanwhile Mr. Johnson of this sketch was under the care of an uncle.

He spent some years in hunting and trapping in Northern Michigan, and in 1861 he enlisted in the Third Michigan Infantry.

He was wounded twice in his left leg, and also received an injury to his scalp and was mustered out in 1864 for disability, having  participated in about a dozen heavy engagements.

After the war he took possession of his present farm, consisting of 80 acres, and has improved 15 acres.

He was married Jan. 6, 1866, to Mary A. Jones, and they have been the parents of seven children, born as follows: Alice May, Jan. 12, 1867 (died Sept. 1, 1868); Charles A., Oct. 12, 1868; Mary E., March 4, 1871; George W., Dec. 13, 1873; Wm. P., June 8, 1877; Courtland W., Oct. 24, 1880.

Mrs. Johnson is the daughter of Ebenezer and Rosamond (Buttrick) Jones, and was born June 7, 1846, in Allegany, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y. She has two brothers and one sister living,—Ebenezer H., Tyler and Alice A.

Andrew J. Johnson died Feb. 23, 1880.

He was the oldest of 13 children born to his parents, several of whom died in infancy.

Those who attained maturity were Ann, Richard M., Sidney, Ichabod B. and Ellen Martha. William, Martha (1st), Mary, Ella and Joseph are deceased.

The mother of Mrs. Johnson lived with her about 10 years and died March 5, 1884.

Her father died when she was a child, in Allegany, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y.


Henry Walker, farmer, section 8, Richmond Township, is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Schoonover) Walker, who were natives of the honest old State of Pennsylvania.

In their family were seven children, – five sons and two daughters, – the subject of this sketch being the third son.

He was born in Tioga County, in the State of New York, Aug. 25, 1824.

He remained at the parental home until 24 years of age; then, being naturally skillful with tools and mechanical work, he commenced in the world as a carpenter and builder, and followed that trade exclusively for ten years.

He then bought a saw-mill in Pennsylvania, which he operated for two years, when he sold out and moved to Illinois, and entered into partnership with his uncle in a steam saw-mill in Kendall County, that State.

After continuing in that relation for two and a half years, he returned to the Keystone State and for a time engaged in carpenter work.

Next, he went back to the old farm in Tioga Co., N. Y., resided there four years, and then went to Elmira, N. Y., resuming his trade there for one year.

Next, he returned to farming, in the same State and in Bradford Co., Pa.

Finally, in the spring of 1875, he came to this county, and purchased 100 acres of partly improved land (having about 20 acres cleared) on the section, where he has, since made his residence.

He now has about 65 acres improved and in a good condition of cultivation with fine farm buildings, etc., and in 1883-4 he built a commodious residence, which he now occupies.

Mr. Walker has held the several school offices in his community, and in his views of the common weal he sympathizes with the Prohibition element.

He was first married in Bradford Co., Pa., Nov. 24, 1852, to Sarah J. Carner, who was born in the same county, in 1837.

By this marriage there were two children, named Mary E., who was born Jan. 1, 1853, and Horace P., Oct. 7, 1855.

Mrs. Walker died June 18, 1858, in Illinois, and Mr. W. was again married, in Waverly, Tioga Co., N. Y., Jan. 9, 1863, to Julia Walker, who was born July 17, 1841.

By this union three children were born, viz.: Fred,’ April 14, 1865; Lewis, June 15, 1867; and Alvah J., Sept. 6, 1858.

Mrs. Julia Walker died Feb. 23, 1874, and Mr. W., in Delaware Co., N. Y., chose for his third wife Hannah C. Hinckley, who was born in, that county, May 13, 1838.

Her parents, Birch and Mary (Traverse) Hinckley, were also natives of the Empire State.


Joseph Earnest, farmer, section 21, Richmond Township, was born Jan. 5, 1842, in Germany.

His parents, John and Caroling Earnest, emigrated thence to Canada in 1849; settling in Oxford Co., Ont., where they were residents during the remaining years of their lives.

They had 16 children, eight of whom died in infancy.

Five sons and three daughters reached mature years.

Mr. Earnest was seven years of age when he bid final farewell to the land of his birth.

He lived in Ontario until his removal to Michigan in the winter of 1861, the date of his locating in Mecosta County.

He remained in the township of Wheatland one year, proceeding in 1862 to Osceola County.

He became a farmer and lumberman and operated various points some years.

In the autumn of 1871, he bought 80 acres of wild land in Richmond Township, of which he is still proprietor, and of 80 acres additional acquired by later purchase.

His property is situated on sections 21 and 28, and he has cleared, improved and put under cultivation, 115 acres.

His farm is skillfully managed, and the buildings, of recent erection, do credit to the township, and compare favorably with farm structures throughout the county.

Mr. Earnest is a Republican and has acted in the capacity of Overseer of Highways.

He was married Feb. 3, 1863, in Richmond Township, to Mrs. Elizabeth (Waylerter) Nakle, and they have had two children,—Joseph and Daniel.

The latter died July 15, 1883, when 11 years of age.

Mrs. Earnest was born Dec. 17, 1838, in Germany.

Her first husband, Philip Nakle, died in 1862.

They became the parents of five children.

Two died when in infancy.

Adam died June 5, 1883, aged 2 years.

Philip and John survive.

Mrs. Earnest is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


George W. Troyer, farmer, section 4, Hersey Township, was born May 13, 1856, near Toronto, Canada.

His parents, Christopher and Margaret (Clark) Troyer, came from the Dominion to Ionia Co., Mich., in 1862, his father buying a farm in Lyons.

In the fall of 1878 they came to Hersey Township, where the father and son bought 40 acres and 120 acres respectively, on which they have since lived and labored.

The senior Troyer was born March 31, 1827, and is living with his son.

The mother was born in 1834, and died in Canada in 1863.

Mr. Troyer began life independently when 14 years old, working as a farm assistant by the month, which sort of labor he continued until 1878, when he learned the business of a carpenter; and in this he has been more or less occupied ever since.

Since his removal here he has also engaged in farming and lumbering.

He was married March 22, 1881, to Nettie E., daughter of James and Mary R. (Scranton) Coakley.

They have two children, – Frank J., born Sept. 1882, and Harvey C., born Sept 13, 1884.

Mrs. Troyer was born Aug. 15, 1859, in Grattan Center, Kent Co., Mich.

Her father was born July 24, 1834 at Verban, Kings Co., Ireland, and was married Jan. 19, 1859.

His wife was born Dec. 21, 1834, in Washington, Macomb County, Michigan.

She died in Grattan, Aug. 24, 1863.

Mr. Troyer is a Republican in political principles, and is actively interested in the educational matters of his township.


Alexander McFarlane, farmer, section 26, Richmond Township, was born Aug. 4, 1832, and is the son of Andrew and Margaret (Gray) McFarlane.

His parents were born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada about the year 1830, where the family resided until the death of the father.

After that event the mother removed with the five surviving children to Mecosta County, where she is still a resident.

Five of their children died in infancy.

Mr. McFarlane was a resident of the Dominion until 1855, the year of his removal to Michigan.

He passed some months as a laborer in Newaygo and Mecosta Counties, and in the spring of 1858 he bought 160 acres of land on section 26, of Richmond Township.

At that date the settlers were like angels visits, – few and far between, – and the entire- county in the most primitive condition, as but three years had elapsed since the first permanent settler I had established his residence here.

He has placed about one-half of his acreage under tillage.

Mr. McFarlane was appointed one of the Inspectors of the first election held in Osceola County, has been Justice of the Peace, Treasurer, Overseer of Highways and Commissioner of the same, and has officiated as one of the County Superintendents of the Poor.

He was married January, 1860, in Crapo, Richmond Township, to Charlotte R. Robbins.

Their children were born as follows: Andrew, April 28, 1862; Franklin P., April 8, 1864; Jennie A., April 1, 1866; Neil G., May 11, 1867; Ethel M., May 2, 1869; Bertha E., Sept. 18, 1872; Lena B., June 18, 1878. Jennie died May 27, 1866; Neil died Sept. 10, 1881.

Mrs. McFarlane is the daughter of James G. and Olive E. (Slade) Robbins.

She was born Jan. 27, 1845, in Potter Co., Pa., and was 11 years of age when her parents settled in Osceola County, where they were among the earliest settlers.

Mr. and Mrs. McFarlane are members of the Congregational Church.

He is an ardent Republican, a man of clear understanding, safe judgment and possesses an abundant store of information gleaned from extensive reading.


John F. Radcliffe, owner, manager and editor of the Osceola County Outline, agent of the American Express Co., Coroner and Justice of the Peace, located at Hersey, was born Feb. 26, 1829, in the township of Perry, Lake Co., Ohio.

His parents, William and Margaret (Kelley) Radcliffe, were both natives of the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea.

After their marriage they emigrated to the United States and settled in Lake Co., Ohio.

Later the family removed to Mentor, Ohio, where the senior Radcliffe pursued his vocation of tailor until his death in 1856, at the age of 61 years.

The mother was born Sept. 6, 1804, and still resides at Mentor.

She is in the possession of the activity and firm health of her years of prime.

Mr. Radcliffe decided early in youth on the pursuit of a machinist as a calling, and at 17 entered upon a course of preparation in a machine shop, and persevered in operating in that line to the fulfillment of his purpose three years, when failing health compelled him to permanently abandon the project, and he obtained a position on the literary staff of the Painesville Telegraph, to whose columns he had been a miscellaneous contributor since the age of 15 years.

In 1853 he commenced a series of contributions to the local department of the Detroit Tribune, and wrote stories for its literary columns, continuing his connection with that journal about 18 months. In 1855 he was made local editor of the Toledo

Blade, the first incumbent of the department after the establishment of the piper, operating in that avenue about two years, and working successively on the Commercial and Herald, contemporaneous journals published at Toledo.

Meanwhile he officiated two years as clerk in the post office of that city.

In 1858 he went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and superintended the publication of the Cedar Valley Times, remaining in the position until the advent of civil war.

In 1861 he received notification of his military obligations as a member of the 14th Regiment Ohio Militia, to which he belonged, and was summoned by the superior officer of the organization, Colonel (afterwards General) Stedman, to report for duty and rejoin “Company A.”

He arrived in Ohio too late, the regiment having obtained its quota and gone to the front.

At the urgent request of Colonel Stedman he went to Waterloo, De Kalb Co., Ind., and took charge of the Waterloo Press, a local Union journal, which he managed four months, and at the end of that time he leased the office, fixtures and relations of the paper for a year, after which he assumed the management of the Kendallville (Ind.) Standard, his family remaining at their home in Waterloo.

In 1863 he bought the Press, and continued its publication until the destruction of his office in 1867 by fire, a disaster which involved the proprietor in considerable loss.

He resumed operations after a short delay, continuing but a brief period when he established the Air Line in the same place.

In the fall of 1870 he came to Hersey, having fallen into precarious health, to take control of the paper now known as “the Osceola Outline”, coming here for the purpose at the solicitation of D. A. Blodgett and Dr. Norman Teal, the latter at that time acting as editor.

Mr. Winchell, later the founder of the Plainwell (Allegan Co.) Independent, and subsequently elected to the Legislature of Michigan, came simultaneously to aid in establishing the Outline on a permanent basis.

The first copy was issued Jan. 5, 1871.

In May, 1872, Mr. Radcliffe succeeded to the sole control by purchase, and in 1881 changed the name of the paper to its present style.

At the date of his removal to Hersey the site of the place was chiefly in its natural condition, and the present location of his residence and office was covered with primeval forest.

In 1873 he purchased “block 68,” cleared a small “patch” and erected a building for his business.

His residence is on the same tract.

He is the owner of 80 acres of land on section 13, Richmond Township, and holds 240 acres additional in different parts of the county.

In 1877 he was appointed express agent.

Soon after coming to Hersey he was elected Justice of the Peace, and has continued the incumbent of the position.

In the fall of 1880 he was elected County Coroner, and has been successively reelected.

In the fall of 1884 he was elected Treasurer of Osceola County, by a majority of 633.

The marriage of Mr. Radcliffe to Mary French occurred in 1855, at Painesville, Ohio.

She was born in Perry, Lake Co., Ohio, and is the daughter of Nathaniel and Abigail French, a family of Vermont origin.

They have two children,—Harriet, the wife or George W. Moore, lumberman in Missaukee Co., Mich.

She is a graduate from the female Seminary at Painesville, Ohio.

Lucy E. is at home with her parents.

Mrs. Radcliffe is an able assistant in the mechanical department of the Outline.


John Mitchell, an old settler of Richmond Township, was born in Germany, March 12, 1835, and when he was 15 years of age emigrated thence with his parents, Frederick and Frederica Mitchell, to Hamilton, Ontario, and later to London.

His father was a farmer in “das Faderland,” and followed the same vocation after reaching the New World.

Mr. Mitchell’s first important move in the world was his settlement in a matrimonial enterprise.

He was married Sept. 15, 1859, near Stratford, Ont., to Elnoia Ruppert.

She was born Nov. 16, 1837, in Prussia.

Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have nine children, namely: Adam, Maggie, Annie, Mary, Grace, Catherine, John, Lewis and William.

Adam is married, and is a farmer in Richmond Township; Maggie married Jerry Golkey, a hotel-keeper at Chippewa Lake; Anne is the wife of John Roth, at Reed City.

Mr. Mitchell came to Michigan in June, 1862, and located a claim of 80 acres on section 22, Richmond Township, of which he is still the proprietor, and also 80 acres respectively on sections 27 and 28, and 120 on section 29 of the same township.

He has about 200 acres under cultivation and in fine farming condition.

In 1882 he opened a bar and billiard-room at Reed City, where he traffics in the articles common to similar establishments.

He built the building where he operates in 1882, and retains his residence on his farm two miles south of Reed City.


William L. Stiege, farmer, section 10, Richmond Township, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., June 29, 1835; his father, Carl Stiege, was a native of Germany.

In the fall of 1865 the subject of this sketch came to Osceola County and took possession of 80 acres of land on section 10, under the regulations of the Homestead Laws, and has since resided there.

He has 45 acres under good cultivation, and a comfortably equipped home.

He also is in possession of some village property.

Mr. Stiege was married in Newaygo Co., Mich., Oct. 3, 1867, to Miss Mary Roberts, and they are the parents of six children, namely: Sanford, Lewis, Louisa, Josephina, Albert and Benjamin.


Hiram Wetherell, farmer, section 17, Hersey Township, was born April 20, 1816, in Con. quest, Cayuga Co., N. Y.

He is the son of Noah and Betsey (Mott) Wetherell, both of whom are deceased.

The father was born in Massachusetts, was a soldier of the war of 1812, and fought at the battle of Lundy’s Lane.

The parents died about the year 1840, in Cayuga Co., N. Y., and were separated in their deaths only six days.

The mother was born in the near vicinity of the Catskill Mountains in New York.

In 1840 Mr. Wetherell removed from his native State to Livingston Co., Mich.

He purchased 80 acres of land in the township of Conway, removing thence to Grand Blanc, Genesee County, in 1861.

He was in the hotel business there 18 months, in which he was fairly successful.

He exchanged the property for 80 acres of land in the township of Montrose in the same county, coming thence to Hersey, in 1880.

He bought nearly 67 acres of land on which he established his homestead.

He is a Republican in principle and has held the Supervisorship f every township in which he has lived, except Hersey.

He was one of the delegates to the Convetion in Livingston County when the party was organized.

He was Treasurer of Montrose seven years, was Justice of the Peace and State Road Commissioner.

He opened the road from Chesaning to Clio in 1875.

He was married June 19, 1834, in Conquest, Cayuga Co., N. Y., to Mahala Ferdig.

Their children [were born as follows: Cynthia, Sept. 4, 1835 (died March 24, 1857); Hannah J. was born Dec. 15, 1837; Mary E., April 24, 1840; Eri H, Oct. 18, 1842; Hiram, Jr., Nov. 6, 1846 (died Nov. 8, 1852); Helen, December 15, 1852.

The mother was born Dec. 4, 1815, in Conquest, and is the daughter of John and Hannah (Waters) Ferdig.

Her parents died in Middleville, Barry Co., Mich., aged respectively 60 and 55 years.

The golden-wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Wetherell was celebrated by their children in June of the current year.

Two of their daughters reside in Osceola County.


Henry K. Smith, harness and trunk maker at Reed City, was born July 27, 1848, in Truro, Colchester Co., Nova Scotia.

His parents, William C. and Renew (Nelson) Smith, were natives of the same province, where his father died, in May, 1872.

The mother is still living there, aged 76 years.

Mr. Smith is the ninth of ten children born to his parents, and passed the first 17 years of his life on a farm.

He served from that age until he was 21 years old, at Truro, in acquiring his trade.

He opened his business at Woburn Center, Mass., and after a trial of six months’ duration he returned to his home and soon after opened a shop at Maitland, 12 miles from the place of his birth.

Two years later he went to Lowell, Mass., and operated there and at Bath and in other towns.

He came to Reed City in 1876, and established himself in the business of harness-making.

Meanwhile he erected the building in which he is now managing his business, which is two stories in height above the basement, is 23×55 feet in height, and constructed of brick.

His business relations require the aid of four assistants.

Mr. Smith was married Sept. 26, 1877, to Julia E. Stoddard, and their three children were born as follows: William R., July 31, 1878; Mary R., deceased, and Mabel, born Aug. 26, 1883.

Mrs. Smith was born in Detroit in June, 1847, and is the daughter of Rodman and Mary Stoddard.


James H. Hope, farmer, section 20, Hersey  Township, was born Feb. 17, 1842, in Kalamazoo, Mich.

His parents, Edward and Amelia A. (Stevens) Hope, are both natives of the State of New York.

His father is of mixed English and Scotch parentage; his mother descended from Irish and Dutch ancestry.

They were early settlers in Kalamazoo County, where the father erected the first frame barn built in the township of Texas.

They live on a farm two miles from the village of Edmore, Montcalm Co., Mich.

Mr. Hope was reared on a farm, and Aug. 7, 1862, he enlisted in Co. H, 25th Mich. Vol. Inf.

His regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, Second Division and 23d Army Corps, General Schofield commanding, and was mustered out of the military service of the United States June 24, 1865, at Salisbury, N. C.

Mr. Hope fought at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., and his regiment was in breastworks at the time of the surrender of General Johnston.

They came to Jackson, Mich., where they were paid off, and after reaching home Mr. Hope spent a year in recovering his former state of health.

He became interested in farming, and operated two years as manager of his father’s farm.

He next went to Nebraska and worked one season by the month, returning thence to Kalamazoo County, remaining there one year.

In 1871 he came to Hersey Township and secured a claim of 80 acres of land by purchase from the individual who had become its proprietor under the Homestead Law.

Mr. Hope found himself obliged to go back to first principles to protect his title and re-entered the claim.

About 15 acres were partially improved, and the clearing had a small log house.

The latter is now their home, and the entire place manifests the care and energy of the owner.

Mr. Hope was married Jan. 29, 1870, to Sarah J. Ross, and they have one child—Cora B.—born June 3, 1872.

Mrs. Hope was born June 7, 1850, in Norwich, Ont.

Her mother, Mary (Mustard) Ross, died in Norwich when her daughter was about nine years old.

Her father, Hopkins Ross, is living in the village of Hersey.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hope are named Wm. H., Nelson A., Mary J. (twin sister of Mrs. H.), Sylvester, Daniel (deceased), and Martha A.

Three brothers and a sister of Mr. Hope are all living.

They are Charles E., Mary A., Isaac H. and Chauncey C.

Benjamin F. Gooch

Benjamin F. Gooch, farmer, section 25, Richmond Township, is one of the earliest settlers in Osceola County and is as closely associated with the history of the “first things ” of the county as any other member of its pioneer element.

He has been a resident of Michigan since early childhood, his father, Benjamin Gooch, having removed from his native State to the Territory of Michigan in 1834.

He was a merchant and lumberman in Maine, where he was born, and married Lucy Boyington.

In the year named they set out with their family of nine children to found a home in Michigan.

They traveled westward on the Erie Canal, and while in the immediate vicinity of Rochester, in the middle of the night, the wife and mother rose from her berth, made her way to the deck, and as the watchman observed her she suddenly walked overboard and sunk from sight!

The watchman roused the occupants of the boat, and in half an hour her lifeless body was rescued from the cold waters.

Every effort at resuscitation was made, but in vain, and she was buried in the beautiful cemetery of Mount Hope in the southern suburb of the city of Rochester, and the bereaved family pursued their sad journey to their destination.

The senior Gooch had disposed of all his business interests on leaving the Pine-Tree State, and the money realized—all in gold was in a belt clasped around the body of the wife, and was the means of her death, as its weight prevented her rising to the surface.

The family located in Wayne Co., Mich., where, later, the father married Phebe Sherman, and they became the parents of four children.

In 1848 they removed to Kent Co., Mich., where the father died of small-pox.

His wife died in 1847, in Plymouth, Wayne County.

Mr. Gooch of this sketch was born March 20, 1831, in Machias, Washington Co., Maine.

He was but three years old when he was deprived of his mother’s care.

Until he was 16 years of age he passed his life in the manner common to farmers sons in a pioneer period.

He was a level-headed boy, having a well-balanced temperament, formed of the excellent traits of a mixed Scotch and English ancestry, the former predominating and descending to him in the maternal line.

The element of actives; effort is his leading characteristic and has marked all his life.

He is an embodiment of the principle of doing a duty himself instead of delegating what needs to be done to the chance of a transferred duty.

His education consisted chiefly of a comprehensive knowledge of Daboll’s Arithmetic, obtained by resolute braving of the wintry winds daily a distance of nearly two miles, where he was a pupil in a log school-house with horizontal windows, stone fire-place, “stick” chimney and slab seats.

But in this instance, as in thousands of others, the achievements of Mr. Gooch attest the value of rugged training and lack of the effeminating appurtenances of the life of to-day, which fosters weakness and extracts the vigor and fire from the human composition.

The capital was removed from Detroit to Lansing at a time when that portion of Ingham County was, a wilderness, and in three localities the eager citizens began to build with all haste.

A Mr. Randolph, who owned a foundry, engaged the senior Gooch to draw a load of stoves to Lansing, and Benjamin was sent with the team.

Mr. Randolph gave him in addition a quantity of cast-iron boot-jacks to peddle in the city on commission, which he did, and sold them when there was not a painted building in the place.

All finishing material had to be drawn from Detroit Y with teams, and the people waited for the advent of winter and snow in order to facilitate transportation of heavy merchandise.

In 1849 Mr. Gooch went to Virginia, where he worked by the month in a steam saw and grist mill, and also aided in the management of a carding machine.

He operated in that capacity until 1853, when he returned to Michigan and engaged as a farm assistant and as a lumberman in the woods near Grand Rapids.

In the fall of 1855, in company with three other men and driving an ox team, Mr. Gooch proceeded to the northern extremity of the thoroughfare in Mecosta County, to a point four miles north of the present city of Big Rapids, when the site of the plucky and prosperous city was not marked by a single structure.

On the fifth day of September he began cutting a road northward into the wilderness, crossing the boundary of Mecosta County into Osceola County on the 14th day of the same month.

This was the first wagon road in Osceola County.

A few settlers had come in the previous spring, and had utilized the water routes, coming hither by means of canoes on the Muskegon, the general method of travel in Northern Michigan previous to the day of railroads and State thoroughfares.

The line of road constructed by Mr. Gooch extended to Cat Creek, a distance of 16 miles.

The party were joined by Delos A. Blodgett, who made a permanent settlement and became inseparably connected with the development of Osceola County, but who removed to Grand Rapids, where he is now a resident.

Nicholas Rescoe also came with them.

He is still a resident of the county.

In the latter part of November, Mr. Gooch hired a Mr. and Mrs. Dildine and their daughter—eleven years old—at Grand Rapids, and moved them to Cat Creek.

It is believed these were the first white women within the county limits.

In that winter Mr. Gooch shot a large number of deer, and a lynx.

He has still in his possession a robe made from the pelts of six wolves which he killed the same winter.

The exigencies of the time in which he became a resident of Northern Michigan developed his abilities as a hunter, and he has shot deer in the counties of Kent, Newaygo, Mecosta, Osceola, Missaukee and Clare, at a date when the present sites of Big Rapids, Reed City, Hersey and Evart were fair fields for the hunter’s harvest, which he gathered with his rifle on more than one occasion.

Mr. Gooch passed the winter in the discharge of his duties as foreman of a logging party and lumber camp, and in the spring of 1856 pre-empted 160 acres of Government land where he has since maintained his residence.

Later, he bought 40 acres additional.

He made a small clearing on his original purchase, built a log shanty and entered with characteristic vigor and energy into the work of clearing his farm.

He is now the proprietor of 200 acres of land, of which no acres are free from stumps and in valuable farming condition.

In the spring of 1857 he set out 100 apple-trees on his farm, which he bought from John Foxbury, of Walker Township, and drew from Grand Rapids with an ox team, a distance of 75 miles, as the road was constructed.

Many of these trees are still in a flourishing condition, some of them having branches 15 feet long.

When these trees were planted the ground was still the resort of deer, wolves and foxes.

The orchard scheme of Mr. Gooch was the source of much comment among the farmers of Grand Rapids and vicinity, as it was firmly believed that apples could not be raised so far north as Osceola County.

He was told by one distinguished gentleman that some of his trees would live and blossom on the south side and perhaps one or two apples might mature on the south side of the core, but the severity of the climate would prevent the sap circulating all around the apple.

The apple crop of the orchard in 1884 (current year) is 400 bushels.

The fact is, the fruit is more perfect and hardy than in regions farther south.

A prominent faculty of Mr. Gooch, and one which has been of inestimable value to him as a pioneer and in other capacities, is his superior abilities as a pedestrian.

In the fall of 1857 he was troubled by a decayed tooth.

The only available instrument in the settlement was an old-fashioned pair of turnkeys, and on their application to the tooth it was crushed, proving only an aggravation of the difficulty.

Mr. Gooch retired with a determination to endure the suffering, but it proved too much for his endurance, and he arose before morning and started afoot for Grand Rapids, walking the entire distance to that city, where he procured the services of L. D. Rogers, who is still living and pursuing his profession in the same place.

Traversing the distance from Richmond Township to Grand Rapids in those early days was a common practice with Mr. Gooch, who has preserved no record of the number of times he has made the trip—”hundreds of times.”

The first school-house in Osceola County was built on the northwest quarter of section 25, Richmond Township, and was donated by Mr. Gooch for the purpose to which it was devoted.

The first official dignity borne by Mr. Gooch was that of Highway Commissioner, his jurisdiction including the entire county, which was then attached for municipal purposes to Mecosta County, and known as Green Township.

In the spring of 1861 the township of Richmond was organized, the meeting for that purpose being held at the house of D. A. Blodgett.

Nine votes were cast. Mr. Gooch was elected Town Treasurer, Justice of the Peace and School Inspector.

Mr. Gooch was one of the Judges of Election.

The echoes of the shot at Sumter in their journey round the world aroused the spirit that actuated the pioneers of Osceola County in their toil and privation, and Mr. Gooch, in May, before the wave of patriotism had surged across the continent, made another journey on foot to Grand Rapids to search for a recruiting officer, full of an invincible determination to lend his aid to preserve intact the integrity of his country.

He went thither alone, and was the first enlisted man from his county.

He enrolled in Co. F, Third Mich. Vol. Inf.

The regiment was mustered in 1,040 strong, Col. Daniel McConnell commanding.

Mr. Gooch was under fire in all the important engagements in which his regiment was involved, and in the common experiences of skirmishes and deploys.

He was in the first battle of Bull Run, and afterwards, while stationed at Arlington Heights, to guard against rebel invasion, he had some interesting experiences.

On one occasion, when foraging in the corn and potato fields beyond the line of Union pickets, the party was discovered by the rebels, who sent a shell into the field they had just left.

No one was injured, but they returned to gather the potatoes dug by the missile, which they ate with a grim relish, in consideration of the murderous intent which failed of its purpose and added to their stores.

During his period of military service, Mr. Gooch received four wounds.

At the battle of Fair Oaks he sustained an injury to his right arm from a gunshot, and in the same conflict a piece of shell struck his right shoulder; but he remained in the ranks.

The regiment went into the second fight at Bull Run with about 500 men.

The command was deployed to make a feint attack upon the main line of the rebel army, a movement which depleted the ranks of the “Third” to a fearful extent, roll-call showing that 20 more than half the number who went into action were either killed or wounded.

All the color bearers and color guards were killed or wounded.

Mr. Gooch had borne the regimental standard presented by the ladies of Grand Rapids since the siege of Richmond, and during the second fight at Bull Run he was shot through the right thigh.

After spending two months in the hospital he came to Grand Rapids on recruiting service, for which he was specially detailed.

He rejoined his regiment previous to the battle of Gettysburg, where he was a fourth time wounded, by a minie-ball, in the calf of the right leg.

This injury was so severe as to cause him to be sent to the hospital, and his life was seriously imperiled by the appearance of gangrene in the wound, and from which he remained eight months in the hospital.

He was discharged June 21, 1864, and returned to his farm.

He is a member of Post John J. Bagley, Grand Army of the Republic.

Brother – Amos Gooch volunteered, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Mexican War, was in General Wool’s Brigade and died in his country;s service at Puebla, Mexico, July 30, 1847. In the great War of the Rebellion, Mr. Gooch had four brothers, besides himself!

Charles enlisted in W. Virginia Volunteers at Mannington, Marion, County, and was killed at Winchester, Va., near Harper’s Ferry.

Horace enlisted in the Sixth Mich. Cav. at Grand Rapids, and was killed July 14, 1863, in Major Weber’s charge at Falling Water, Mo.

John volunteered in the Michigan Regiment of Engineers and Mechanics, served his time and was honorably discharged.

And still another brother volunteered in the 12th Regulars, was wounded and taken prisoner, served his time of enlistment and received an honorable discharge.

Six brothers in one family!

Scarcely another family in the whole State of Michigan can make such an exhibit of patriotism as that.

Here are deeds that speak louder than words, giving evidence of a self-sacrificing heroism not describable in words; and all the surviving brothers still “vote as they shot” by a firm adhesion to the principles upon which the Republican party was founded.

In the spring of 1865 Benjamin was elected Supervisor of Richmond Township, which then comprised the entire county.

In the fall of 1866 he was elected Surveyor of the territory of Osceola and Mecosta, then included in one county, and held the position two years.

Since the organization of the county he has officiated as Superintendent of the Poor, a number of terms as Justice of the Peace, and has served several times as Director of the County Fair.

He has been also a Director of the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company of Osceola, Lake and Wexford Counties.

Mr. Gooch is a Republican in the completest sense of the term.

He did not vote for President on becoming of suitable age, being 90 miles from his polling place.

His first Presidential vote was cast for John C. Fremont, and his suffrage has been cast in an undeviating line for the nominees of the Republican National Convention.

He took an active part in the Blaine and Logan campaign.

He is a member of the fraternity of Masons and belongs to the “Old Settlers’ Union ” of Mecosta County.

A fact worthy of note is that Mr. Gooch, D. A. Blodgett, and Luther O. Schofield, the three first settlers in the vicinity of Hersey, used neither whisky nor tobacco in any form.

Mr. Gooch brought the first cow, pig and hens into the county.

His portrait appears on another page, and will receive a hearty welcome from the pioneer patrons of this work, as well as from later settlers of Osceola County, who have learned his worth as a man, neighbor and citizen.

Desdemona (Harrington) Gooch

He was married Oct. 17, 1865, in Ionia, Mich., to Desdemona Harrington.

Sylvia E., adopted daughter, was born June 8, 1868, in the State of New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Gooch are of the class who grow old gracefully.

They rank among the bon camarades of 1 their generation, as is exemplified by an account of a ‘maple sugar frolic which transpired in their “sugar bush” in the season of 1884, and at which were present representatives from all classes, conditions and generations.

The assembly disposed of the proceeds of nine barrels of sap in the course of two hours!

The central source of enjoyment was the complete manufacturing system of the works, consisting of pipes, pans, siphons and fire arches.

Mr. Gooch has 600 buckets and hundreds of trees, and the gathering is done by horse-power.

The occasion was one of the most satisfactory of local county entertainments.

Mrs. Desdemona Harrington Gooch was born in Charleston, N. H., one chilly day in October, the 17th, more than 50 years ago (1830 or 31), but was born in the day-time, however, and has loved the light ever since and kept cool.

When a child of seven or eight years her parents left their Eastern home and moved West and commenced pioneer life in the near vicinity of Grand Rapids.

There were no district schools in those days in that region, and she was taught at home with her younger sister and brother by an elder sister who had been educated in the East.

Before she was 16 she had read Rollins’ Ancient History and Josephus, besides Scott’s and Byron’s poems, and worse yet, Young’s Night Thoughts, Milton’s Paradise Lost and other similar productions.

Her mind did not give way, however, as might be supposed.

She didn’t even die, but came very near it; was very sick for more than a year, and was only saved by a kind mother’s intelligent care.

She recovered, and went to Grand Rapids, which had grown somewhat, and attended Prof. Everett’s Academy. The Professor was a man of gigantic intellect, and she nearly worshiped him for his knowledge.

Mrs. Everett taught the female department, was remarkably sweet-tempered and agreeable, as gentle and considerate as a kind mother to all her pupils.

Both of them understood making learning a delight, and she loved them both, and does yet.

She left the academy to teach a district school, but returned again in company with her younger sister, after which she taught the village school of Newaygo a year, rode thither from home, a distance of 36 miles, on horseback (no stage-coach nor railroad from Grand Rapids to Newaygo then),—rode a vicious black horse belonging to Benj. Wright, who then carried the weekly mail between the two places.

Nearly every foot of the road led through dense, primeval forest, but she enjoyed its gloomy grandeur, also the spirited paces of the horse. He would pace, trot or gallop, at the behest of his rider.

And here let it be stated, the same horse carried home the teacher in addition to the weight of the mail bags, when the school term was done.

Then she attended the union school on the east side one term to study French and the higher mathematics.

She also taught one term in the same school while Rev. James Ballard was Principal. Meanwhile Grand Rapids had become an incorporated city.

Afterwards she taught two years in succession in the upper department of the same school when Prof. Chesebro was Principal.

Her health began to fail, went home to rest, then taught the village school at Laphamville (now Rockford) several terms, after which she taught the winter term of school in 1860-1 in Big Rapids.

She returned home and commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Henderson, of Grand Rapids.

Helped run a soldiers’ aid society during the war of the Rebellion (being Secretary of the same) and continued teaching off and on till the close of the war, when she was married.

Mrs. Gooch is the daughter of John and Phebe (Field) Harrington.

Her parents were natives of Vermont, where they were married, and after a residence of some years removed to New Hampshire, coming thence in 1838 to Kent Co., Mich.

Daniel Field, the maternal grandsire of Mrs. Gooch, descended from an ancient English family, whose record was traceable back to its two Norman and Saxon sources.

He married Hannah Whitman, and they became the parents of 13 children, all of whom are deceased.

The sturdy, independent traits which distinguished the stocks in which their families had their origin, have marked each successive generation and are faithfully reproduced in the character of Mrs. Gooch.


Frank Shields, farmer, section 17, Rose Lake Township, is a son of Alexander and  Jane (Robertson) Shields, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Scotland.

Sometime after their marriage in Scotland the parents emigrated to the American continent, and after a residence for a time in Canada they came, in 1864, to the Peninsular State and settled in Kalamazoo County.

Mr. Shields, senior, died in Canada while on a visit to his daughter.

The subject of this sketch was born on “Scotia’s Isle,” Feb. 22, 1841, and was almost 12 years old when the family emigrated to America.

In 1861 he came to Kalamazoo County, lived about two years there, and then went to Allegan County, this State, where he was employed about 13 years by Kellogg, Sawyer & Co.

In the spring of 1876 he came to this county and purchased 80 acres of land in Rose Lake Township, but remained in the employment of Kellogg, Sawyer &Co. until the spring of 1880, when he settled upon his land, which he now occupies, and where he has 48 acres in a good tillable condition.

Mr. Shields is a citizen of high standing in his community, and has been honored with the office of Township Treasurer for a term of two years.

In his political views he sympathizes with the Prohibitionists, and as to religion both he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.

The marriage of Mr. Shields to Miss Belle McGonegal took place at Battle Creek, Michigan, June 7, 1871.

She was born in Scotland September 15, 1852.

Her parents were William and Mary C. McGonegal were both natives of Ireland.

Mr. and Mrs. Shields have four children, namely, Nellie M.; Anna M.; Frank C.; and Lizzie B.


George H. Bassett, farmer, section 22, Le Roy Township, was born Sept. 16, 1845, in Licking Co., Ohio.

His father, William Bassett, was a native of Martha’s Vineyard, and descended from French ancestry, who came to this continent in the early Colonial days in search of freedom from religious persecution.

He married Permelia Skeels, a native of the State of New York, of English and German extraction.

The family removed to Licking Co., Ohio, where the father died, in 1850, aged 40 years.

The mother died in Ohio, in January, 1879.

Mr. Bassett began his struggle for an independent livelihood at the age of 14 years, and operated as a laborer in various avenues until the advent of the rebellion.

He was early awakened to the dangers which assailed the Federal Government, and enlisted June 21, 186 1, in Co. C, 39th Ind. Vol. Inf. The regiment was afterwards mounted and became the Eighth Ind. Vol. Cav., and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, Gen. Buel, Corps Commander.

Among the battles in which Mr. Bassett was in action were the celebrated engagements at Shiloh, Corinth, Bridgeport, Ala.; and at the conflict of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, he was wounded by a rifle ball, the shot entering the joint of the left hip, whence it was extracted three weeks later.

In September, 1863, he rejoined his regiment in Tennessee and continued in active service until the war was over.

He received an honorable discharge June 24, 1865, at Madison, Ind.

He was a second time wounded in the arm, in North Carolina, which was but a slight injury, and did not wholly disable him from duty.

On finding himself at liberty to resume the life of a civilian he came to Bluffton, Wells Co., Ind., where he was employed in a saw-mill until 1867, when he came to Saginaw County, Mich. In the spring of 1868 he made a homestead claim of 80 acres of land in Le Roy Township, and later entered a similar claim on section 8.

He was one of the first of the permanent settlers in the township previous to its organization, which he was largely instrumental in effecting.

In the fall of 1878 he exchanged the tract of land on which he had resided more than 10 years for 80 acres of land which is now his homestead, and of which 30 acres is under improvement.

He is a Republican in political preference, and from the beginning of his residence in Le Roy Township has been active in the promotion of its local interests.

He has officiated as Supervisor seven years, as Township Clerk one year, Treasurer two years, and in other positions of less importance.

Mr. Bassett’s marriage to Alice Randolph took place Dec. 25, 1875.

They have no children, but adopted two,—Lennie and Edith. The latter is not living.

Mrs. Bassett was born in Allegany Co., N. Y., in March, 1855, and is the daughter of Jonathan F. and Almina (Eastwood) Randolph.

Her father is deceased.

He was born in Pennsylvania, and was a pioneer settler of Osceola County. Mr. and Mrs. Bassett belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

William Hoffmeyer, farmer, Section 17, Richmond Township, was born in Allen County, Indiana, April 22, 1846.

His parents were natives of Germany.

William spent his life in his native State until the fall of 1875.

He then came to Mecosta County, Michigan where he has since resided.

At present he own 80 acres of land, of which he has 20 acres subdued for cultivation and in good condition.

He has held the office of School Moderator.

Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church.

Mr. Hoffmeyer was married in the village of Big Rapids, Michigan, on the first day of April 1873 to Frederika Traptrow, who was born in Germany August 14, 1847.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoffmeyer had six children, one of whom died in inancy.

The names of the living are Fred, Susanna, Ida, may and Emma.


Peter Carlson, farmer and stockman, resident on section 27, Le Roy Township, was born Sept. 29, 1832, in the southern part of the kingdom of Sweden.

His father was a farmer in that country and died when the son was about three years old.

His mother remained the guardian of her seven children, and Mr. Carlson was in her maternal care until her death, when he was 15 years of age.

He then found himself thrown on his own resources, and he engaged as a farm assistant.

He was occupied in that manner until 1860, when he was married, in Sweden, to Betty Swantson.

They have had 10 children, three of whom are deceased,—Tilda (1st), John (1st) and Nannie; Ida, Charles, August, John (2d), Tilda (2d), Alma and Francis yet survive.

Mrs. Carlson was born in July, 1835, in Sweden.

After marriage MY Carlson purchased a farm in Sweden and was its manager until his removal to the United States in 1870.

He sold the place before setting out for America.

Landing at the port of Boston he resided there a brief time and proceeded to Troy, N. Y., whence he went to the State of Indiana.

Later he made another removal, to Lamont, Ill., where he was employed in quarrying stone.

He arrived with his family in Osceola County in 1872 and purchased a farm of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company, which included 40 acres of land, and was situated on section 27, Le Roy Township.

Sometime after, he sold the place and purchased 80 acres located in a different part of the same section.

To this he has added 80 acres by subsequent purchase, and has improved 50 acres and erected excellent farm buildings.

Mr. Carlson is a Republican of decided character, and, with his wife, belongs to the Lutheran Church.


James B. Sprague, farmer, section 30, Rose Lake Township, is a son of Harlow C. and Angeline (Sayles) Sprague, the former a native of New York State and the latter of Canada.

They married and settled in Ionia Co., Mich., but afterward moved to Indiana and, after a residence there for a time, to the State of Iowa.

In 1871 they came to Osceola County and located in Rose Lake Township, where they still reside.

Of their eight children, three are deceased, – L Sarah, Rebecca and Silas.

The living children are Jasper, Francis, Amelia J., Almeria and James B.

The latter, the youngest of the family and the subject of this biographical outline, was born Feb. 24, 1862, in Lake Co., Ind., and remained with his parents until the present time.

In the spring of 1884 he was elected Township Clerk, having served in that capacity a short time previous to his election, by appointment.

In his views of national issues he advocates the principles of the Republican Party.


Daniel S. Taplin, M. D., practicing physician and surgeon, at Reed City, was born in Orleans Co., Vt., July 31, 1844.

His parents, Richard and Susan (Ordway) Taplin, were life-long residents of the Green Mountain State.

The former died Feb. 9, 1853, in Orleans ^\ County, aged 38 years.

The mother died in the same place, in November, 1865.

Five of their seven children are living,—Julia, George, Mary, Daniel and Merrick.

At the age of 22, Dr. Taplin followed the fashion of his forefathers and bought a farm in Irasburg in his native county.

In 1870 he disposed of his landed interests and engaged in the business of cotton manufacturing for some years, after which he became a student in the office of Dr. J. Conant at Great Falls, N. H, where he read medicine preparatory to attending lectures, three years.

He entered Detroit Medical College, and continued his studies and afterwards entered upon his career at Manton, Mich., and practiced six years.

In the winter of 1879-80 he attended the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was graduated in the spring of 1880.

He established his permanent business at Reed City in September, 1881, and has secured a fair recognition in his profession.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

Dr. Taplin was married June 2, 1876, to Mary Abbott, daughter of Sheldon and Sarah (Cawley) Abbott, natives of Vermont, where Mrs. Taplin, the fifth child of a family of six, was born, at Barton, Dec. 28, 1841, and where the father is still living, at the age of 88 years.

He is an extensive farmer and lumberman.

The mother died at that place in 1853.


William L. Hooper, mechanical engineer and farmer on section 28, Le Roy Township, was born Aug. 13, 1837.

His father, Richard Hooper, was born in England and bred to the vocation of ship carpenter.

He married Augusta Lancaster, and later emigrated to Oxford Co., Ont.

Soon after their arrival in the Dominion of Canada their son was born.

The father became Superintendent of the Canada Ship-building Company, in which capacity he operated many years.

He is now 84 years of age, and resides in Woodstock, Oxford Co., Ont.

The wife and mother is 80 years old, and the pair of octogenarians are in the possession of perfectly preserved faculties of mind and body.

Both grandsires of Mr. Hooper passed most of their lives in the British naval service.

His maternal grandfather died from the effects of a fall from a ladder while on duty, breaking his neck thereby.

He was 94 years of age.

The mother was born on shipboard in Plymouth Harbor, and was brought up on the sea.

Mr hooper remained in the place of his nativity until he was 20 years of age.

On the 17th of February, 1861, he left his home for San Francisco, Cal., and operated a short time as a miner in the Golden State, but on the outbreak of the gold excitement in British Columbia he proceeded there and entered into a company for mining purposes; but, the venture proving unprofitable, the relation was soon dissolved, and Mr. Hooper engaged in the capacity of engineer, of which he had acquired a practical knowledge in San Francisco, entering the employment of J. G. Jackson, a prominent miller and lumberman of Mendocino Co., Cal.

He continued in the same position 12 years, obtaining a large salary.

Meanwhile he made seven visits to his parents in Canada. He was a prominent musician, and connected with several brass bands.

The exposure to which he was subjected in his business resulted in a partial paralysis of his lower limbs, and by medical advice he determined to come East.

On May 8, 1876, he started for the city of Philadelphia, but on reaching Ann Arbor, Mich., the home of the parents of his wife, a change in plans was made, and they went to Ontario.

By advice he decided to come to Northern Michigan, and he accordingly bought 80 acres in the township of Le Roy.

The place has since been his homestead, and from a slightly improved state when he became its owner he has brought nearly all the acreage into a valuable condition, having 56 acres under good cultivation.

Dec. 27, 1883, his residence and a part of its contents were destroyed by fire, and in its place he has since erected a large frame house, at a cost of $1,500.

He is a Democrat in political persuasion.

Mr. Hooper was first married in January, 1867, in Woodstock, Ont., to Margaret Cumming.

She was born in Scotland, and died March 17, 1869, in San Francisco, of heart disease, aged 36 years, leaving a daughter,—Margaret A.

The latter was born in California Aug. 20, 1868, and resides with her grandparents in Canada.

She is a cultivated young lady, and is on the eve of receiving her third diploma from the Ontario College, which completes her course of study.

Mr. Hooper was again married, March 13, 1872, in Dexter, Mich., to Lizzie H. Edwards.

Six children have been born of their union,—Percy W., Emma G, Daisy M., Charles R., Eugene L. and Alice E. Mrs. Hooper was born Aug. 14, 1851, in Ann Arbor, and is the daughter of Thomas and Louise (Kellett) Edwards.

Her parents were born in New York State, and are both deceased.

She was educated in the schools of Ann Arbor, and is a member of the Baptist Church.

Mr. Hooper was brought up in the Church of England.


Belah G. Moulton, farmer, section 18, Rose Lake Township, was born in the county of Jefferson, State of New York, on the 14th of February, 1846.

He was brought up at the home of his parents, and was 12 years of age when his parents removed to this State with their family.

At the early age of 18, Mr. Moulton demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice his health and even life for the support of the legitimate Government of his country, by enlisting, Feb. 26, 1864, in the 13th Mich. Vol. Inf., and serving honorably until the close of the war.

He then returned to Allegan Co., Mich., where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits.

He continued there until the fall of 1871, when he came to this county and settled upon a quarter section of land in Rose Lake Township, of which he had taken possession under the provisions of the homestead laws the previous spring.

At the present time he owns a fine farm of 320 acres, and has almost 200 acres in a state of good cultivation.

In 1881-2 he erected a magnificent barn, 38 x 76 feet in dimensions, with a wing 32 x 64 feet.

The horse barn is 30 x 40 feet in size.

In quality these buildings are second to none in this entire county.

Mr. Moulton’s business capacity and integrity have been attested by his election to the offices of County Superintendent of the Poor for four years, Supervisor of Rose Lake Township four years, Township Treasurer three years, etc., etc. In respect to political issues he is classed with the Republican Party, and in religion he, as well as his wife, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Moulton’s parents, Belah D. and Corinda J. (Walls) Moulton, were natives of the Empire State, and their children were, in order, Irving L., Belah G. and Ida J.

The subject of this sketch was married in Martin Township, Allegan County, Dec. 6, 1871, to Miss Mary C., daughter of Cortland B. and Clarissa (Snyder) Smith.

She was born in Otsego Coonty, N. Y., May 4, 1851.

Her father was a native of Vermont and her mother was born in New York State.

They came to Michigan in 1854, settling in Allegan County, locating in Rose Lake Township, where they now reside.

Mr. and Mrs. Moulton are the parents of seven children, namely: Forest R., Belah D., Charley B., Myrtle M., Earl L., Verne V. and Harry G.


Albert B. Sawyer, lumberman at Sawyerville, Rose Lake Township, was born in Charlemont, Franklin Co., Mass., Oct. 4, 1820, the youngest son in the family of six children; from the age of 6 to 18 years he lived away from home, his mother having died when he was young.

He was brought up on a farm, and from the age of 18 to 22 he worked out in that vocation by the month.

According to his inherited nature as a Yankee, he then struck out as a peddler, in which business he continued for a period of six years.

About the year 1850 he moved to Ohio and remained in that State about two years, engaged in the stove business.

This he sold out, and came to Michigan, locating in Wayland, Allegan County.

During the following year he was engaged in different occupations, and then he was employed by Israel Kellogg for almost nine years, stocking the mill and piling lumber.

Next, he returned to the village of Heath, in the same county, and formed a partnership with David Coy in the business of running a steam saw-mill.

Two years afterward Mr. Coy sold out his interest in the mill to Israel Kellogg, Mr. Sawyer’s former employer at Wayland.

They continued together some two or three years, when Mr. Kellogg made his son, J. E. Kellogg, a present of his interest in the business.

This relation continued about five years, when they closed in that county.

In 1871 Mr. Sawyer came to Osceola County and purchased 3,000 acres of timbered land. In the spring of that year, in company with J. E. Kellogg, he commenced the erection of the steam saw-mill at

“Sawyerville,” named in his honor.

Here they employ, on an average, 40 men the year round, the mill having a capacity of 100,000 feet of lumber daily.

In 1872 they also built a tram road from Sawyerville to LeRoy, for the purpose of conveying their lumber to the railroad.

In the fall of the same year, Mr. Sawyer erected a fine residence, which he has since occupied.

When he located his mill here, not a stump was to be seen between Sawyerville and Le Roy.

He cut the way through in order to get in his boilers and heavy machinery for the mill.

During the winter seasons they put in large numbers of logs, sometimes exceeding 10,000,000 feet.

In their work they have 50 horses and oxen.

They also own two stores, one at Sawyerville and one at Le Roy, where they have an extensive trade.

In politics Mr. S. is a staunch Republican.

His parents, Elias and Harriet (Williams) Sawyer, were natives of Massachusetts, married in Charlemont, and resided there during their lives, the father a carpenter and joiner by trade.

They had six children, namely, Ellsworth, Ethan, Charles, Emily, Albert E. and Persis.

Mr. Sawyer was married in June, 1861, to Ann Ritchey, of Martin, Allegan Co., Mich.

They have five children,—Mary Jane, Willard W., Alice, Isabella and Albert B.


Charles M. Pierson, section 31, in Hersey Township, was born March 6, 1855, at Pierson, Montcalm County, Michigan, where his parents, George M. and Nancy E. (Peck) Pierson, are now living.

They have been residents of Montcalm County since the fall of 1854, when they removed there from the State of New York, and made a home in the depths of the wilderness, so unbroken and new that they were obliged to cut their road to their location from the main route of travel for several miles.

The father was twice married and has three children by his first wife, viz.: Theodore M., Florello J. and George J. Charles M., Thomas P., Mary E., Albert L. and Minnie L. are the children of the second marriage.

Mr. Pierson is the eldest of the children born of the second marriage and remained under his father’s care until he was of age, when, in 1876, he came to Hersey Township and bought 116 acres of land of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company.

He has improved about 33 acres and erected a good farm house, and is rapidly establishing his property in the most desirable condition. Mr. Pierson is a Democrat in political sentiment.

He was married Dec. 25, 1877, to Eva E. Hastings, and they have two children,—George E., born Aug. 17, 1882, and Grace E., born June 19, 1884.

Mrs. Pierson was born April 27, 1856, in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Edward H. and Mary E. (Streeter) Hastings, who are now residents of Lakeview, Montcalm Co., Mich.

Their children—Eva E., Etta A. (see sketch of F. T. Turner), Ethan E. and Ina May—are all living.


Wilhelm Blank, dealer in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, flour, feed, corn, oats, lath, shingles, lime, cement and other building materials; also wines, liquors, beer, tobacco and cigars, at Reed City.

He was born May 20, 1845, in Natzton, Germany.

He was a herder and farmer in his native country, and emigrated in 1868 to the United States.

He passed the first two months after his arrival on this continent in Baltimore, coming thence to a locality in the vicinity of Chicago, tarrying there but a brief time, and proceeding to Wisconsin, ‘and eventually to Michigan.

He went to Morley, Mecosta County, and engaged in railroad construction, from May, 1869 to 1870.

In 1870 he came to Reed City, and in June, 1871, opened a saloon which he conducted until 1874, when he added the balance of the stock, the entire catalogue representing a value of about $6,000.

Mr. Blank was an early comer to Reed City, and in company with E. Trout bought a railroad shanty, which they managed jointly six months, since which time Mr. Blank has operated alone.

He also owns, besides his store, 160 acres of land near Reed City, and two houses and lots in the city.

His marriage to Bertha Kuehl occurred Jan. 19, 1875, at Reed City, and they have two children: Charles, born Nov. 15, 1876, and William, born March 11, 1878.

Mrs. Blank was born in Germany, Jan. 16, 1848.


John Riggs, farmer, section 22, Le Roy Township, was born Feb. 14, 1834, in Bourbon Co., Ky.

His father was of New England parentage and of English lineage, was a mechanic in Kentucky and in 1840 removed his family to Shelby County and later to Mercer Co., Ohio.

The mother, Rachel (Plummer) Riggs, was born in 1805, and is a descendant from genuine “Blue-Grass” ancestry.

She resides with her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth J. Bailey, in Le Roy village.

Mr. Riggs was a child of six years when his parents moved to the Buckeye State, where they resided for a time in Pickway, Shelby County.

After the death of his father, he succeeded to the cares and responsibilities of the family, being the oldest of three children left fatherless, and has since cared principally for his widowed mother.

He was married in Auglaize Co., Ohio, to Sarah A. Bennett.

She was born in Shelby County, and reared there and in the county where she was married.

Her parents were well-to-do farmers in the Buckeye State.

Eight children have been born to herself and husband, four of whom are deceased – Elizabeth, Thomas G., an infant and Rachel.

Those surviving are Permelia F., Emma A., Ida F. and Martha J. My

After marriage Mr. Riggs followed the trade of a shoemaker until the folly of the Southern States culminated in armed rebellion, and he entered the army before the war had passed through the first year of its existence.

He enlisted March 22, 1862, in the 57th Ohio Inf., Co. C, and the regiment was attached to the command of General Sherman.

He was a sharer of the chances of war in some of the most hotly contested battles in which the corps of General Sherman was involved and was wounded June 22, 1864, at Kenesaw Mountain, receiving a gunshot wound in the left eye.

He remained in a hospital until the close of the war.

After receiving his discharge he resumed his trade at Coldwater, Mercer Co., Ohio, remaining there until the date of his removal to Michigan.

In 1869 he came to Paris, Mecosta County, where he worked as a shoemaker a few years, coming meanwhile to this township and county, where he located the farm on which he now resides, and of which he took possession in 1870.

He owns 80 acres of land, of which he has improved all but 10 acres, and placed it in fine farming condition.

He adheres to inflexible Republican principles in his political views.

He has been Justice of the Peace and has also discharged the duties of minor official positions.

The family belongs as members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Sylvester Bowker, a farmer on section 32, Rose Lake Township, was born in Cayuga Co., N. Y., on the fourth day of February, in the year 1847.

He received a common-school education and remained in his native State until 1867, when he came to Barry Co., Mich.

Residing there until the spring of 1869, he came to this county and homesteaded 80 acres of land in Rose Lake Township, where he has since made it his residence.

He now owns 120 acres of land, and has 74 acres of the same in a fair state of cultivation.

He thus has a very fine farm, for this pioneer country.

Mr. Bowker has been entrusted with public office of some responsibility, having been School Director, Overseer of Highways, Vice President and Director of the Osceola, Lake and Wexford Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company.

The marriage of Mr. Bowker to Miss Carrie Brogden took place Feb. 6, 1867, in Cayuga Co., N. Y.

She was the daughter of Abraham and Catherine (Gay) Brogden, and was born in Cortland Co., N. Y., July 16, 1842.

Mr. and Mrs. B. now have two children, namely, Katie S. and Clifton.

The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. B., in his principles of national government, is a Democrat.

His parents, Jefferson and Sophronia (Henderson) Bowker, were natives of the State of New York, and married and settled in Tompkins County, that State.

The former died in Cayuga County, in the Empire State, in 1857, and the latter is still living.


Horton B. Peck, dentist at Reed City, was born Dec. 8, 1828, in the township of Butler, Wayne Co., N. Y.

Horace Peck, his father, was born May 24, 1789, in Connecticut, and died in Butler, Nov. 15, 1865, aged 77 years.

His mother, Anna (Burch) Peck, was born April 1, 1793, in Washington Co., N. Y., and died in August, 1878, in Butler.

They had nine children.

Mr. Peck learned the jeweler’s business when he was 17 years of age, and after completing his term of service went to the academy at Clyde, Wayne Co., N. Y., and spent a year there as a student.

On the termination of his studies he engaged as a salesman in a drug store, where he was occupied six months.

In November, 1848, he began to prepare for his profession, and after five years of practice he opened an office at Wolcott, Wayne Co., N. Y., pursuing dentistry there 13 years.

He went thence to South Butler, in the same county, and operated there jointly in the drug business and as a dentist.

In August, 1866, he came to Lowell, Kent Co., Mich., and entered upon his profession of practical dentist, operating at that point six years.

He moved to Middleville, remaining six months, going thence to Caledonia and entering the drug business.

He settled at Reed City in 1875.

His office was the first in the line of dentistry established at that point, and Dr. Peck has succeeded in establishing a first-class trade.

Dr. Peck is a charter member of the first lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows at Reed City.

He was Town Clerk in the township of Butler, Wayne County, and has officiated two years as Treasurer of Reed City.

His marriage to Phebe J. Calkins occurred April 20, 1854, in Westbury, Wayne Co., N. Y.

Mrs. Peck was born Feb. 4, 1835, in Butler Township.

The family includes five children: Annie J., born in Wolcott, N. Y., March 22, 1857, married Cornelius Crawford, a druggist in Caledonia, Kent Co., Mich.; Nathaniel W. was born Aug. 28, 1859, in Wolcott, N. Y., and is a jeweler at Reed City; Bethiah C., born July 15, 1864, in Wolcott, N. Y., married Clark Williams, of Reed City, baggage master in the employment of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad corporation; Sarah C. was born April 11, 1867, in Lowell, Mich.; Fred L., born May 16, 1872, in Lowell, is the youngest child.


Frank T. Turner, farmer, section 29, Hersey Township, was born Aug. 27, 1852, in in Foxcroft Township, Piscataquis Co., Maine.

His parents, Bradman A. and Fidelia Turner, are natives of Maine and still reside in the county above named.

They have four sons,—Charles P., Frank T., Walter L. and George A., all of whom are living.

Mr. Turner passed the years of his minority on his father’s farm.

In the fall of 1872 he came to Michigan and worked two winters in the lumber woods, after which he returned to his native State, where he operated as a farm assistant by the month, nearly two years.

In March, 1875, he came to Detroit, going thence after a brief stay to Montcalm County, where he operated the winter subsequent in the lumber woods.

In March following, he engaged in farming in the same county, becoming interested also in lumbering in its various branches.

He came to Hersey Township in the spring of 1881 and purchased the property on which he has established his homestead.

It comprised 40 acres of land in a wholly wild condition, of which he has cleared and improved 15 acres.

Mr. Turner is present Township Treasurer (1884), in which position he is serving his second term.

He is also School Assessor.

He was married June 3, 1878, to Etta A. Hastings, and they have one child – Ethan Altan – born May 12, 1882.

Mrs. Turner was born Jan. 15, 1860, in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Edward H. and Mary E. (Streeter) Hastings.

They are residents of Montcalm County and are the parents of four children.

Mr. Hastings was born in Vermont; his wife is a native of St. Lawrence Co., N. Y.

Mr. Turner is a Republican in political opinion, and, with his wife, is a member of the Methodist Church.


Loren Blanchard, farmer, resident on section 32, Hersey Township, was born Jan. 27, 1831, in the town and county of Onondaga, N. Y.

His father was English by descent, and was a farmer all his life and married Susan Fellows, of New England origin.

Mr. Blanchard was a resident of Onondaga until he attained to man’s estate, when he bought a farm in Marcellus Township.

Four years later he sold the place and returned to his native town, became a land-holder and lived there nearly seven years.

In the spring of 1861 he bought 160 acres of land in Washtenaw Co., Mich.

In 1867 he sold the place and removed to Ann Arbor to obtain better educational advantages for his children.

A year later he returned to the neighborhood whence he had removed, and bought a farm which he occupied seven years.

In the spring of 1877 he came to Hersey Township, where he made a permanent location.

He was in financial difficulties when he came to Osceola County, and he bought his farm, teams and cows on time, relying on energy and industry to enable him to overcome his indebtedness, which he has accomplished, and has added 80 acres to his possessions in company with his son Arthur.

Mr. Blanchard was married in the fall of 1852 to Esther Marsh.

She was born Jan. 5, 1833.

They have three children: Augusta M., born Aug. 24, 1853; Arthur J,; Irving B. born September 3, 1860.

Mrs. Blanchard is the adopted daughter of Ebenezer and Rebecca Carr.

The former died in Manlius, New York; the latter died in 1878, in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Mr. Blanchard is a republican and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


David Mason, deceased, formerly a farmer on section 32, Richmond Township, was born Oct. 12, 1829, in Essex Co., New York.

He married Sally Fairbanks and settled in Chautauqua County, in the Empire State.

Later he removed to Pennsylvania, and came thence in the spring of 1877 to Osceola County.

He purchased 80 acres of land on which he operated until his death.

Three children constitute the issue of his first marriage, – Frank A., Flora and an infant who received the name of the surviving sister, and who died in extreme infancy.

The mother died in Chautauqua County, and Mr. Mason subsequently married Christina Albord, a resident of the same county. Two children – Lynn A. and Alice M. – were born to them.

Mr. Mason was an influential and leading citizen of Richmond Township, where he was an early settler in the history of the township.

He died March 4, 1884, and ten days later was followed by his wife, who died March 14, 1884.


John Johnson, farmer, section 27, LeRoy Township, was born November 6, 1844, in Wexshire, Sweden.

His father, John Johnson Senior is living in the same place in the “old country”, and is 85 years of age.

His mother, Augra (Guhands) Johnson, has attained the same age.

They have been farmers all their lives and reared their sons to do the same thing.

Mr. Johnson became self-sustaining when he was 12 years old.

He came to the United States with a brother.

They made their first stop at Muskegon, where they were employed in a saw-mill; they went thence to Grand Rapids and found employment as laborers in the construction of a railroad.

They made their way next to Indiana and from there to Illinois, where they labored together on the Green River Canal.

They returned to Grand Rapids, where they operated a year, and in 1869 purchased 80 acres of land of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company together.

They purchased 80 acres additional at a letter date, of which they are still joint owners, and which is in excellent farming condition, with fine buildings including a valuable residence.

Mr. Johnson was married December 19, 1877, at LeRoy to Johanna Carlyle, and they have three children, Johanna E.; Charles A.; and Amanda.

The mother was born in Sweden, October 13, 1859.

Her parents were farmers in that country and in 1870 emigrated with her family to the United States, locating in Illinois.

They became residents of LeRoy Township in 1873.

Mr. Johnson is a republican in political faith and principals and sustains the issue of that element.

He and his wife belong to the Lutheran Church.


Warren S. Denniston, farmer, section 32 Hersey Township, was born Oct. 8, 1854, in Eckford Township, Calhoun Co., Mich.

His parents, Samuel and Rosanna (Fenton) Denniston, are members of the community of farmers in Eckford Township, Calhoun County.

His father was born on Grand Island in the Niagara River, and is about 65 years of age.

His mother is 55 years old.

They had eight children, – Alice, John M., Warren S., Asahel A., Rosanna (deceased), Mary, Emory (deceased) and Elmer.

Mr. Denniston was married in 1874, when he was 20 years of age, and remained at home until he attained his majority.

On reaching that period he assumed the management of his father’s farm, which he conducted two years.

In 1877 he purchased a small tract of land, on which he resided about 18 months.

At the expiration of that time he sold his home and again became interested in the management of the family homestead, continuing to operate thereon two years, when, in December, 1880, he came to his present location in Osceola County.

He bought 40 acres, which included 10 acres already chopped, three acres logged and without buildings.

He erected a log domicile in which he resided one year, and it is now utilized as a hen-house.

Within the short time he has been a resident of the place he has placed 36 acres under thorough cultivation, doing nearly all the necessary work himself.

He is a Republican in political faith and action.

Mr. Denniston was married July 20, 1874, to Elva F. Hart.

Two children have been born to them, – Melinda S., April 12, 1875, in Walton Township, Eaton Co., Mich., and Ora L., June 19, 1884, in Hersey Township.

Mrs. Denniston was born Nov. 5, 1854, in Walton, and is the daughter of William and Judith A. (Stone) Hart, the former of whom was born Dec. 10, 1814, and the latter in 1820, – both in the State of New York.

They died near Olivet, Eaton Co., Mich.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. a Denniston were born in the order here named: Ada M., Alanson M. (deceased), Eber D., Carrie, Elva F. and Eunice A.


Anson Berger, farmer, section 34, Richmond Township, was born Oct. 13, 1835, in Germany, and is the son of John and Catherine Berger.

The parents emigrated to the United States from Germany, and settled in Wayne Co., N. Y., where the mother died in 1861, and where the father still resides, aged 84 years.

They had a family of eight children.

Mr. Berger is the youngest son, and was in infancy when his parents became residents of the State of New York.

He has lived in Osceola County since 1856, when he bought 80 acres of land in Richmond Township.

His farm now includes 85 acres, of which all but 20 acres is in tillage.

Mr. Berger is politically identified with the Republican Party.

He has been Constable three years, besides having officiated as School Assessor and Overseer of Highways.

He was married in the township of Richmond, July 24, 1859 to Nancy M. Robbins.

Their children are eight in number; Anna L.; Carrie J.; Etta V.; Evaline K.; Ada R.; Franklin H.; Leona M.; and Nina M.

The first daughter is the wife of James W. Gregg of Pennsylvania.

Carrie married Clarence A. Whitney and lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Mrs. Berger was born December 8, 1840, in Potter County Pennsylvania, and is the daughter of J. G. Robbins.

Mr. and Mrs. Berger are the first couple married in Osceola County.


Peter Gunkel, farmer, section 22, Le Roy Township, was born May 25, 1830, in Prussia.

He obtained the education required by the laws of his country, remaining at school until 14, when he was apprenticed to acquire the blacksmith’s trade, serving nine years and six months.

He afterward entered the German army and was in the military service three years.

In 1856 he came to this continent, locating in Hamburg, Ont.

In May, 1857, he was married, in Ontario, to Mrs. Catherine (Bentley) Bender.

She was born in Hesse Darmstadt Aug. 2, 1832, and came to the American continent when 14, her father’s family locating in the Dominion of Canada.

Her first husband died there about 1855, leaving her with one child, Katie.

Six children have been born of her second marriage, namely: Caroline, Oct. 25, 1859; August, July 5, 1861; Minnie, Feb. 28, 1863; Charles, Nov. 26, 1865; Eliza, Sept. 12, 1875; John, born Nov. 25, 1865, died Oct. 14, 1883.

After his marriage Mr. Gunkel followed his trade in Ontario until 1869, the year in which he removed his family to Michigan.

He was a pioneer settler in Le Roy Township, locating a homestead claim on which he has since been resident.

The period in which he became a citizen of the township was one of the severest in point of hardship for the settlers in the early history of Osceola County.

There was no work to be had.

For weeks, no salt could be obtained, and often there was no bread.

Sometimes a few potatoes could be procured, and only the abundant wild game in the forest prevented general suffering from actual starvation, which for a long period was imminent.

Mr. Gunkel succeeded in keeping “the wolf from the door,” and as his family maintained good health he weathered the season of privation.

His farm is in excellent condition, with good and suitable farm buildings.

Mr. Gunkel is a Republican of the genuine stamp, realizing the full value of republican institutions to this generation.

He has educated his children, and his family are honored and respected, as they deserve.

The parents are members of the Lutheran Church.


Frank A. Mason, farmer on section 32, Richmond Township, is the son of David G. and Sally (Fairbanks) Mason.

(See sketch of D. G. Mason.)

He was born Jan. 16, 1851, in Chautauqua Co., N. Y.

He attended the schools of his native county until he was 13 years of age, and since that time he has been actively engaged in agricultural pursuits, working as a lumberman in the seasons of that business.

He owns 40 acres in Mecosta County, including 15 acres of improved land. In political faith and connection he is an adherent of the Republican Party.

He was married June 10, 1876, at Big Rapids, to Cynthia, daughter of Abner Joslin.

She was born in Pennsylvania, Aug. 3, 1844.

Henry L. Watson, Secretary and member of the Ashton Lumber Company, located at Dewey’s Station, Le Roy Township, was born April 9, 1857, in Onondaga County, New York.

His father, John Watson, was a descendant from New England ancestry and was born in New York.

He came to Grand Ledge, Michigan, where he was extensively engaged in lumbering.

His mother, Rebecca J. (Lee) Watson is also a native of the Empire State, and both parents are now residents at this place.

Henry Watson was 10 years old when his father transferred his family and interests to Michigan, where they settled in Eaton County, in the vicinity of Lansing.

Thence they went later to Grand Ledge, where Mr. Watson completed his education.

When he was 19 years of age he became self-sustaining and engaged as a saw-mill assistant in Ashland Township, Newaygo County.

He went thence to Baldwin, Lake County, where he engaged in teaching in the public schools.

Eventually he engaged with Dewing & Sons in the lumber business at Baldwin, their interests being transferred to Le Roy Township, this county, in the fall of 1880.

In the spring of 1883 the Ashton Lumber Company was organized, of which Mr. Watson was made Secretary, holding equal shares in the profits of the business.

Since the organization, he has acted as resident manager. He is an adherent of the Republican Party, and is Justice of the Peace.

He was married Sept. 23, 1877, at Grand Ledge, to Myra J. Lamson, and they have three children,— Edward H., Flora E. and Lee.

The parents of Mrs. Watson, Henry and Harriet (Robinson) Lamson, were born respectively in Vermont and New York, and were farmers.

The father is deceased. Mrs. Watson was born June 11, 1858, in Grand Ledge, where she was reared to womanhood.


Peter A. Auer, Clerk in the Second Comptroller’s Office in the Treasury Department at Washington, D. C, was born April 15, 1849, on the Rhine, Prussia.

His parents, John H. and Maria Auer, are natives of Prussia, and removed with their family in 1853 to the city of New York, and afterwards resided successively in Schenectady, Perry, Moscow and Mount Morris, in the Empire State, where his father pursued the business of tailor, later removing to Almont, Mich., and afterwards to Reed City.

(See sketch of J. H. Auer.)

Mr. Auer was carefully educated, and at 17 became a clerk in Almont.

He attended school after a year’s service in that calling, and continued his

studies a similar period. In 1868 he interested him-self in insurance business, in which he operated two years.

In 1870 he engaged in teaching, in which he was occupied two years.

In October, 1872, tie came to Reed City and entered upon the pursuit of the same calling; also for a year was Deputy Postmaster.

He obtained a position as Clerk in the Treasury Department at the National Capital, and attended the Law Department of the Columbian University, where he was graduated, in the spring of 1877.

Since that date he has discharged the duties of his position in the Department, and at intervals has practiced as an attorney.

Mr. Auer was married in 1875, to Emma L. Patterson, daughter of J. Q. Patterson, of Reed City.

(See sketch of J. Q. Patterson.)

Mr. and Mrs. Auer have two children, namely: Harry, born May 10, 1878, and Nellie, born April 19, 1881.

In March, 1882, Mr. Auer was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, and is also qualified to practice in the Circuit Courts of Michigan, to which privilege he was admitted at Hersey.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Blue Lodge and Chapter.


Samuel A. Wells, a farmer on section 32 of Rose Lake Township, was born in Fayette County, Ind., June 17, 1844.

Until 1870 he lived in his native State, except what time he was in the army.

He enlisted in August, 1862, in the 75th Ind. Reg. Vol. Inf., served three years and came home unharmed.

In the year 1870 he came to Osceola County and “took up” 160 acres of valuable land in Rose Lake Township, under the special act of Congress relating to lands for soldiers.

Here he settled and has since lived, having 50 acres improved and in good tillable condition.

He was married in Huntington Co., Ind., to Lydia J. Shields, a native of that State, and they have one child, Mary Alice.

Mr. Wells’ parents, John and Susanna Wells, were natives of North Carolina, who married and settled in the State of Indiana.

While working in a well, Mr. W. received injuries from which he died.

Mrs. W., his widow, is still living.

Mr. Wells, the subject of this sketch, has been honored with the public offices of Highway Commissioner, Justice of the Peace and School Assessor.

In political matters he sympathizes with the Republicans.


Will L. Beardsley, shingle-maker, resident in Hersey Mills on section 29, Cedar Township, was born Aug. 21, 1842, in Albany, N. Y.

He is the son of Leonard and Gertrude (Lamphier) Beardsley.

His father was a merchant in Albany and died there in 1852.

Both parents were natives of the State of New York.

The mother is still living, in Cannonsburg, Kent Co., Mich.

She was born in August, ‘824, and has been the mother of three children.

One daughter, Catherine C., is living; another daughter, Carrie, is deceased.

Mr. Beardsley came with his mother when 11 years of age, in 1853, the year succeeding the death of his father, to Grand Rapids, removing the following year to Cannonsburg.

His mother bought a farm and established thereon a mill for carding wool, in which pursuit, combined with farming, Mr. Beardsley was engaged about seven years.

Within the first year of the war he enlisted in Copany H, 21st Michigan Infantry.

The regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division and in the corps of General McCook, attached to the Western Army.

Among the most important battles in which he was under fire were those of Perryville, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain.

He was in service throughout the war and received an honorable discharge in May, 1865.

He returned to Cannonsburg and resumed the occupations of former years.

In 1866 he began to operate as a land locater in the northeastern part of Michigan, in which he met with success until the financial stringency of 1873, which terminated his labors in that direction.

He engaged a year in farming, and in 1875 he opened a mercantile enterprise at Ada, Kent County.

He sold his business at the end of a year and became interested in lumbering at a point 15 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Four years later he erected a steam shingle-mill at the same point, where he operated a year, removing the mill thence in 1880 to Cedar Township, where it is still operating.

The business is prosperous and bids fair to be a permanency.

Mr. Beardsley is a Republican in political principle and action.

He served four years as Township Clerk while resident in Cannonsburg.

He was married Jan. 1, 1868, to Victoria Bell Livingston, and they have four children, viz.: Orlo M., Adazell, Ella Bell and Retta M.

Mrs. Beardsley was born Sept. 16, 1848, in Canada, and is the daughter of John and Malinda (Woods) Livingston.

Her parents died in Richmond, Ont.

Their other children were named as follows: Nancy M. (deceased), Sarah, Carrie E., Happy L., Ada, Harvey and John V.


David M. Tillman, farmer, section 33, Richmond Township, was born Feb. 13, 1852, in Allen Co, Ind.

John Tillman, his father, was born in Pennsylvania and married Sarah Castleman, a native of Ohio.

After their marriage they settled in Allen County, and are now resident there.

In their family have been six children,—Delilah, David, John, Margaret, Henry and a child that died in infancy.

Mr. Tillman of this personal account is the oldest son. He studied in the public schools until he was nearly 20 years of age, when he became a student in the Normal School at Valparaiso, in his native State.

At the age of 23, in 1877, he came to Osceola County.

He worked as a farm laborer by the month a short time, when he rented a farm, which he continued to manage two years.

In the summer of 1882 he bought the farm which now constitutes his homestead, and which contains 80 acres of land.

It was under some improvements, and at this writing – two years later – 50 acres of the place are subject to the plow.

Mr. Tillman is in affiliation with the Democratic Party and its issues.

He has officiated as School Director of the District in which he resides.

He was married Sept. 2, 1877, in Richmond Township to Ida M. Noyer, and their two children were born as follows; Lee C., September 28, 1880, and Frederick E., May 21, 1883.

Isaac J. and Catherine (Ole) Noyer, the parents of Mrs. Tillman, were natives of Pennsylvania.

She was born May 4, 1860, in Randolph County, Indiana.

Andrew H. Brandow

Andrew H. Brandow, lumberman and dealer in real estate at Evart, was born April 5, 1846, in Greene Co., N. Y.

His father, John H. Brandow, was in early life a farmer.

He was born in Greene Co., N. Y., Feb. 24, 1820, and was married June 8, 1844, to Abigail Hornbeck, a native of Sullivan Co., New York, born Feb. 28, 1824.

Andrew H. is the oldest of their children; Eli is a farmer in Hartwick Township; Nelson A. operates at Muskegon in the interests of William A. Daugherty, buying timber and logs; William B. died when 20 months old.

In March, 1860, the family came to Newaygo Co., Mich., where the father engaged in lumbering, and in 1865 formed a partnership with his son, in the prosecution of lumbering interests.

He is now retired and resides on a valuable farm comprising 120 acres in Croton Township, Newaygo Co., Mich.

In 1868 Mr. Brandow closed his business relations with his father and came to Osceola County, embarking as a contractor, putting in logs in the interest of non-residents, in which he operated extensively, the “put” amounting some years to 15,000,000 feet.

He was considered the heaviest operator for his age on the Muskegon at that date. He formed a partnership with John A. Bell, which was in existence and operative about seven years.

At the same time he owned a half interest in a sawmill at Evart, associated with W. A. Wightman, and also owned a shingle-mill located four miles north of Evart in Osceola Township.

His real-estate proprietorship includes about 7,000 acres, a third of which is in pine timber.

He owns a valuable farm in Algoma Township, Kent County, which is included in the limits of the village of Rockford, and is the proprietor of a farm of 80 acres in Missaukee Co., Mich.

In 1883 he formed a business association with Stephen F. Dexter, which continued one year.

In addition to his more important occupations, he deals in all variety of lumber products.

He is a member of the Order of Masonry.

Mr. Brandow was married June 13, 1871, in Rockford, Kent County, to Mary A. Pierson.

They have had one child, Arthur C, born April 10, 1874, in Evart, and died Aug. 8, of the same year.

Mrs. Brandow is the daughter of Aaron B. and Clarissa M. Pierson, and was born Nov. 25, 1852, in the State of New York.

The portrait of Mr. Brandow, accompanying this sketch, deservedly embellishes this Album, being that of a representative business man of this enterprising county.


Angus McKay, farmer, section 28, Hersey Township, is the proprietor of 200 acres of land where his homestead is located, on which he settled in March, 1882.

The farm was in a wild condition with the exception of a small “slashing.”

He was born Sept. 1, 1854, in Oxford, Ontario Co., Ont., and is the son of William and Christina (Graham) McKay.

His father was a soldier in the British Army and belonged to the 93rd Highlanders, and after his removal from Scotland, his native country, to the Dominion of Canada, he was appointed a militia Captain.

He died Jan. 4, 1868, in East Zorra, Oxford Co., Ont., at the age of 75 years.

The mother is a native of Scotland and resides on the homestead in Ontario.

Mr. McKay was educated in the common schools of Canada, and was reared on a farm.

After reaching his majority he managed a portion of his father’s farm, which had been divided into shares.

In March, 1882, he sold his interest and came to Hersey Township.

He has cleared and otherwise improved 32 acres of his farm.

He is a Republican in political sentiment and action.

His marriage took place Jan. 16, 1878, to Anna McKay, and they are now the parents of two children, – Agnes M., born May 18, 1880, and George A., June 4, 1882.

Mrs. McKay was born Sept. 19, 1856, in Oxford Co., Ont.

Her parents, Alexander and Dorothy (McDonald) McKay, were residents of West Zorra, where the father died Feb. 4, 1881; the demise of the mother occurred in May, 1863.

They had five sons and six daughters, all of whom are living.


Robert W. Hall, hardware merchant at Hersey, was born Oct. 20, 1853, in Oxford Co., Ont., and is the son of William and Mary (Pavey) Hall.

His father was a native of England, and after his emigration from the land of his birth he was a farmer in the Dominion of Canada, where he died about 1860.

Mr. Hall became an assistant in a mercantile establishment at Bell’s Corners, on the Ottawa River, in Canada, where he operated three years, subsequently passing three years as a farm laborer.

In August, 1874, he came to Michigan, and operated two years as a lumberman in Osceola County, after which, in company with his brother John, he opened a store for the sale of general hardware merchandise, which they managed jointly five years.

At the end of that time Mr. Hall became the sole owner by purchase, and has since continued its management singly.

His stock of stoves, ranges, agricultural implements, etc., averages about $5,000.

He makes a specialty of the sale of Jewel stoves, deals in spouting and other building fixtures, and manages a fully equipped repair shop.

In 1880 he started a furniture store, associated with H. T. Lewis.

They were burned out in March, 1884, sustaining a loss of $1,000.

Mr. Hall has established a small furniture and undertaking business over his hardware store, and is doing a satisfactory business.

In 1881 he opened a harness shop, which is constantly stocked with an assortment of all goods common to similar establishments.

In 1884, with John H. Manning, he bought a saw and shingle mill in Hersey, with a capacity for the daily manufacture of 40,000 feet of lumber and 35,000 shingles, and requiring the assistance of 35 men.

During the season he has a threshing-machine in operation in the surrounding country, in charge of a competent manager.

Mr. Hall owns his residence and two lots therewith, and three other village lots; also 160 acres of pine land in Cedar Township.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, – Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery.

He is also an Odd Fellow. He has officiated two years as Village Councilman, and is present President of Hersey village.

He was Treasurer of Richmond Township two years.

Mr. Hall’s marriage to Maggie Beers occurred Jan. 2, 1882, in Baldwin, Lake Co., Mich., and they have one son, William, born June 4, 1884.

Mrs. Hall is the adopted daughter of Dr. Beers, who died near Hersey in 1878.

She was born in Portland, Mich., in 1862.


Daniel W. Gould, farmer, section 8, Highland Township, was born July 13, 1843, in the State of New York. His parents went when he was six months old to Stark Co., Ohio, and four years later removed to Calhoun Co., Mich. His father, Rev. Joseph Gould, was for a long period of years a minister in the Baptist Church. After growing old in the exercise of his parochial efforts, he retired, and at the time of his death was an inmate of the family of his son, James Gould, at Kalamazoo. He died in 1876, aged 86 years. Abigail Gould, the mother of Daniel W., was born in New England and was of English descent. She died in Athens Township, Calhoun Co., Mich., April 2, 1861, aged 65 years.

Mr. Gould is the youngest of four children born to his parents, and he was under parental control and attended school until the age of 18 years.

He entered the army of the Union during the first year of the Civil War, enlisting July 28, 1861, in the 44th Illinois Vol. Infantry, enrolling in Co. H.

The regiment was commanded by Colonel Noblesdoffs, and was assigned to the Army of the West.

Mr. Gould was in six different campaigns and 36 battles, among them Pea Ridge, Farinington, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca and others of equal importance.

He was present at the siege of Murfreesboro, Jonesboro and Franklin.

At the last he received a gunshot wound in the left side, which inflicted permanent injury.

He escaped capture by the rebels and was mustered out of service at Galveston,Texas, in September, 1865, after a period of active military service including four years and two months.

He returned, after his discharge, to Athens Township, Mich., and became a farmer, pursuing that profession there two years.

He set out for Osceola County in September, 1867, and entered the papers securing a homestead claim of 160 acres of land in Highland, – the second settler who came into the township, – and made a permanent location.

The stillness and quiet of the unbroken forest pervaded the entire surroundings, and he set himself vigorously to the task of converting the wilderness into a home.

He has since sold 80 acres, and has about seven-eighths of the remainder under improvements.

Mr. Gould is a Republican and true to the principles for which he braved the fate of war.

He has been Highway Commissioner and Treasurer of his Township.

His marriage to Jane Teal occurred July 3, 1865, in Battle Creek, and they are the parents of three children; Edith, Frank and Jennie.

Mrs. Gould was born in September, 1845, in Jefferson Co., N. Y.

Her father has been deceased some years.

Her mother resides in this township.

Mrs. Gould came to Michigan in 1861.

She and her husband belong to the Baptist Church, of which society Mr. Gould is Clerk.


John B. Byers, farmer, section 36, Burdell Township, was born April 29, 1838, in Bavaria.

At the age of eight years he found himself thrown on his own resources, and he earned his own living thenceforward as well as he could, until his marriage, which occurred Jan. 21, 1851, to Wealthy Bigameyer.

They have had nine children,—Henry, Mary, William, John, Charles, Anna, Ella, Frank and Delia.

The mother was born June 21, 1831, in Bavaria.

Two years after marriage Mr. Byers came to America.

He landed at the port of New York with his little family, and resided in that city about two years; he went thence into the country and passed four years as a general laborer.

In 1856 he went to Geauga Co., Ohio, where he operated as a farm laborer until the breaking out of the Rebellion, which afforded him an opportunity to better his fortunes and to prove the spirit in which he adopted the issues of the country for which he had abandoned the home of his birth.

He enlisted Dec. 20, 1861, in the 128th Ohio Vol. Inf., Co E, under Col. C. W. Hill.

The duty of the regiment was chiefly to guard the rebel officers taken prisoners of war and confined on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay.

He received an honorable discharge Jan. 17, 1865. He returned to Geauga County, where he continued to reside until the fall of 1868, the date of his coming to Michigan.

He secured a claim of 80 acres on section 36, where he established his homestead permanently.

The condition of things was primitive; there were no roads and the township of Burdell was for some time afterward unorganized.

He has made extensive improvements on his farm, and erected excellent buildings.

In political faith he is a Republican, and in religion the family are Catholics.

His children are all unmarried, and there has been no death in his family.


Charles D. Francisco, farmer, section 28, Hersey Township, was born Sept. 25, 1857, in Ontario Co., N. Y.

His parents, Henry D. and Charlotte (Chaffee) Francisco, are natives of the State of New York.

They came thence in 1861 and located in Grattan Township, Kent Co., Mich.

n 1868 they removed to the township of Bowne in the same county, whence, in 1876, they came to Hersey Township and located on section 33, where they are now resident.

(See sketch of H. D. Francisco.)

Mr. Francisco accompanied his parents in their several removals, and was 18 years old when they came to Osceola County.

He was married Sept. 23, 1882, to Alta Sturdevant, and they are now the parents of one child, Orra V., born Jan. 8, 1884.

The mother was born June 19, 1858, in Yates Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Sheppard and Olivia (Cooper) Sturdevant.

Her parents are living in Reed City, and he father is estimated to be one of the best mechanics in Osceola County.

John, Francis and Alta are their three children.

Mr. Francisco belongs to the Republican element in politics.


Amos B. Perrin, Superintendent of the Graded Schools at Reed City, was born May 22, 1847, in Sherman Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan.

He is the fourth child of his parents, Andrew and Eliza (Burch) Perrin.

His father was born in Livingston Co., N. Y., and resides in Park Township, St. Joseph Co., Mich., in retirement, his youngest son being in charge of the management of the farm.

The mother of Amos B. was born April 6, 1822, in Niagara Co., N. Y., and died in St. Joseph Co., Mich., Sept. 18, 184-.

Five of their eight children are living.

Mr. Perrin was a pupil in the common schools and an assistant on his father’s farm until he was 17 years of age, when he entered the preparatory department of Hillsdale College, where he was a student four years, teaching winters to secure means to defray his expenses.

He passed the school year of 1873-4 at the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, and on leaving that institution he went to Benzie Co., Mich., and took charge of the schools at Frankfort, as Superintendent, officiating in that capacity four years.

He passed the year following at Parkville, St. Joseph Co., Mich., and in 1878 entered upon his present incumbency.

The assistant teachers are seven in number, and the department individually controlled by Mr. Perrin contains 82 pupils.

The school is in a prosperous condition, and under the management of Mr. Perrin is advancing to a grade commensurate with the progress of Reed City.

The first class graduated at any school in Osceola County took their diplomas in June, 1883.

He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry and of the Odd Fellows, and during the last two years has officiated as a member of the County Board of School Examiners.

He was married June 26, 1877, at Frankfort, Benzie Co., Mich., to Clara, daughter of Lucius and Betsey Marvin.

She was born Aug. 5, 1858, in Tuscola Co., Mich. Her father is a merchant.


William H. Hawkins, of the firm, of Hawkins Bros., grocers at Reed City and Ashton, was born in Ashtabula Co., Ohio,  September 15, 1849.

His parents, Joseph and Lucy (Hill) Hawkins, were natives respectively of New Hampshire and Ohio.

William H., the subject of this sketch, lived at home with his parents until 12 years of age, and then worked upon a farm for three years; next, he was apprenticed for two years to learn the mason’s trade, and followed this occupation until 1882, where he formed a partnership with his brother, Harvey W., at Reed City, for the purpose of carrying on the grocery business.

In this line they succeeded well, and last spring (1884) they established a branch store at Ashton, where Mr. Hawkins, of this sketch, is in charge, and having a good trade.

In his political principles Mr. H. acts with the Prohibitionist party, and he is a member of the Masonic Order and of the A. O. U. W.

In Genesee Co., Mich., April 18, 1875, Mr. Hawkins married Miss Flora Graham, daughter of R. W. and Sarah J. (Warner) Graham.

She was born in Flint Township, that county, Sept. 20, 1855.

The children now in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins are three in number, namely: Lulu F., Daisy G. and Ralph W.


Nelson J. Tabor, farmer, section 4, Sherman Township, was born December 13, 1847, in Franklin County, New York.

He was educated in the common schools, and instructed in the duties of farm labor, in which he engaged independently at the age of 19, and on attaining his majority he came to Michigan and secured a homestead claim of 80 acres in Sherman Township.

He devoted himself without delay to its reclamation from a state of nature, and settled permanently, becoming a resident thereon in 1869.

He has accomplished a good degree of successful effort and has 50 acres under cultivation and supplied with all necessary farm buildings and fixtures.

Mr. Tabor is a Democrat.

He was married March 23, 1883, in Cadillac, to Fanny Barton, and they are the parents of two children—Ernest and Orion W. Mrs. Tabor was born July 20, 1854, in Big Prairie Township, Newaygo County, and is the daughter of William and Dorothy (French) Barton, natives respectively of the North of Ireland and of France.

She is niece of Judge James Barton, whose abilities, position and public services in Newaygo County have acquired for him a fame which will live as long as the county has an organic existence.

Mrs. Tabor has been educated with care, and when she was 20 years of age she entered the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, where she completed a course of study and was graduated.

She has been a successful and popular teacher.


Christian J. Fleischhauer, grocery and provision merchant at Reed City, was born June 6, 1842, at Waterloo, Ont.

His parents, John and Mary (Youngblut) Fleischhauer, are natives of Germany and are still living at Gad’s Hill, Ont., where the father is enjoying a retired life.

Previous to the age of 17 years he was reared on a farm, and in 1859 he commenced his career in mercantile life as a salesman in a general store.

Later, he established himself in the same business in company with Joseph Schaeffer in Waterloo.

Two years after, his partner purchased his interest, and he operated as a clerk in the employment of B. Devitt as book-keeper and salesman for some time.

In 1870 he became book-keeper in L. Breithaupt’s leather and shoe finding house at Berlin, Ont., where he was employed about two years, when he engaged as a traveling salesman for the same house, operating in that capacity more than five years.

In July, 1877, he moved from Berlin, Ont., to Reed City, Mich., and founded his business at Reed City in the same month. In the fall of 1882 he took possession of his present quarters in the Opera Block.

His stock is valued at $3,000, and comprises a well-selected assortment of groceries and provisions, crockery and glassware, and his business also includes a jobbing trade in kerosene oil.

He requires the aid of three assistants.

He is the owner of his residence; four lots therewith, a dwelling and lot in another part of the city, a business building opposite his stand and three lots variously situated in the city.

He was married Oct. 18, 1864, in New Hamburg, Ont., to Elizabeth Gingrich.

Their children were born as follows: William G., Aug. 20, 1865; Alfred M., March 31, 1867, at Waterloo, Ont.; Mary A., at Berlin, Dec. 28, 1870; Arthur E., at Berlin, June 27, 1874 (died Oct. 15, 1880), at Reed City; David S., at Berlin, Ont., Jan. 27, 1877.

Mrs. Fleischhauer was born in Wilmot Township, Waterloo Co., Ont., and is the oldest daughter of Michael and Mary Gingrich, and have both died since she was married.


Samuel J. Lyon, farmer, section 2, Sherman Township, was born June 24, 1849, in Madison Co., N. Y.

He was subject to the parental control until he was 21 years of age and acquired a common-school education.

On attaining his majority he engaged in farm labor as opportunity served, in which avenue he was occupied until his marriage, April 10, 1872, at Utica, Oneida Co., N. Y., to Delia J. Cooper.

They have two children—Lena M., born Dec. 12, 1874, and Frank S., Dec. 2, 1880.

Mrs. Lyon was born Jan. 26, 1851, in Madison Co., N. Y.

Her parents, Isaac and Mary Miller, were born in the same county and belonged to the farming community.

Her father died in 1873 in the Empire State.

The mother is 60 years of age, and is a resident of Sherman Township.

Immediately after his marriage he was tendered and accepted the supervisorship of the agricultural laborers on the farm owned by the famous Oneida Community, and officiated in that capacity between two and three years, but sustaining no other relation to the order than that of one who had skilled labor to sell, – a commodity the society had occasion to purchase.

Leaving his position at Oneida, he set out westward with his family and commenced lumbering in the woods of Chippewa Co., Wis.

He was occupied there in that field of effort until his removal to Osceola County in the spring of 1876.

He purchased immediately 51 acres of land, where he established his homestead.

Later, he added by purchase a similar acreage and at present (1884) the two farms have a combined amount of land under cultivation aggregating 65 acres, which has been brought up to the quality of farming common to the section where it is located.

He is a Democrat in political faith and action.

He is present Justice of the Peace, and has held other positions of minor importance.


Erastus A. Carroll, proprietor of the National Hotel at Reed City, was born Sept. 26, 1832, in Utica, N. Y., and is the son of Chauncey and Harriet (Gibbs) Carroll.

His father was a farmer and a cooper, and reared his family on a farm in the Empire State.

His first business enterprise was as a farmer, and he afterwards combined with his agricultural relations the operations of a stock dealer.

He began butchering afterward, and pursued that business eight years in East Bloomfield. He passed three years afterward in the hotel business.

In March, 1884, Mr. Carroll came to Bay City, Mich., to prospect.

In April following he came to Reed City and rented the National Hotel for five years.

It is one of the principal hotels in Reed City, and has accommodations for 75 guests, and is fitted with the necessary accompaniments suited to the demands of the traveling public.

Mr. Carroll is a member of the A. O. U. W. and of the order known as the Select Knights.

His marriage to Charlotte Barnes took place Oct. 20, 1857, in Farmington, N. Y.

She was born Nov. 25, 1831, in that place, and is the daughter of Stephen and Rachel Barnes. Stephen B. Carroll was born Feb. 18, 1860, and is a farmer in East Bloomfield, Ontario Co., N. Y., on a fine farm of 155 acres.

Gertrude A. Carroll was born April 5, 1863.

There are two children from the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll.


Clarence H. White, M. D., practicing physician and surgeon at Reed City, was born June 12, 1848, in Erie Co., Pa.

When he was 12 years old his parents, Welcome W. and Abbie (Hoard) White, removed from the Keystone State to Chenango Co., N. Y.

On the paternal side of his descent he is of mixed English and Irish origin.

On his mother’s side he descended from Henry Hoard, who went with his family in 1800 from Connecticut to the Holland Purchase in Western New York.

He was a soldier of the Revolution and fought at its initiatory battle at Lexington, where he carried an old “Queen’s Arm,” a munition of war immortalized in the “Biglow Papers,” and undoubtedly a facsimile of the one that “Granther Young brought back from Concord busted.”

It is a Queen Ann musket, and was issued by the English Government to the Indians in Canada to fight the French in their war with that people in 1754.

The son of Henry Hoard, also named Henry, the maternal grandsire of Dr. White, enlisted in the service of the United States when the British made the attack on Buffalo, in 1812, and presented himself for duty armed with the musket that did service in the war of the Revolution.

The weapon that bore a part in three wars is now in the possession of Dr. White.

On the removal of his parents to Chenango County, he became a student at the old Sherburne Academy and was graduated in 1867.

On leaving school he began the study of homeopathy in the office of J. C. Owen.

He came thence to St. John’s, Clinton Co., Mich., two years later, and began to read for his profession with his uncle, Oliver C. Joslin, remaining under his instructions until 1871.

He attended one course of lectures in the Medical Department of the University at Buffalo, and subsequently completed his studies at the Medical College at Fort Wayne, Ind.

In 1871 he came to Paris, Mecosta County, by then the terminus of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, where he began his practice and also engaged in the sale of drugs.

He removed in 1877 to Hersey, and he continued his practice two years, sold his business and came to Reed City in the fall of 1878.

Associated with his father, he erected the building in which he has since transacted his business.

Dr. White is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and of the Masonic fraternity. He has served the county four years as Coroner, and has been Mayor of Reed City one year.

He is the United States Pension Examining Surgeon, and in 1883, when the Board of Examining Surgeons was instituted; he was made its President, and still occupies the position.

He is a member of the Northern Michigan Medical Society and the Surgeon of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Corporation.

He was married July 1, 1877, to Anna M. Hardy.

They have one child, Floyd G., born March 12, 1879, at Hersey.

Mrs. White was born in 1856, at Cooperstown, N. Y., and is the daughter of William and Maria Hardy.


Joseph Shank, farmer, Sherman Township, resident on section 14, was born Jan. 26, 1821, in Portage Co., Ohio.

His father was a native of New York, lived most of his life in Virginia, and died in 1842, in Portage Co., Ohio.

His mother, Mary (Cliff) Shank, was born in Virginia, and died in May, 1870, in Allegan Co, Mich.

Mr. Shank remained under the paternal care through his minority and attended school most of the time until he was 22.

After arriving at that age he was occupied as a farm laborer by the agriculturists in the vicinity where he was reared, and operated in that capacity until his marriage, in March, 1848, to Sarah Crow.

Nine children have been born to them, two of whom are deceased,—Joseph L. and Samuel B.

Those who survive are Martha M., Alonzo M., John W., William, Nicholas B., Mary A. and Albert M.

The mother was born July 31, 1827, in Portage Co., Ohio, and is the daughter of Samuel and Martha (McCullough) Crow.

Her father was born in Virginia and died in Ohio.

Her mother lives with her children in Osceola County.

She is 84 years of age and was born in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Shank was for some time after his marriage a farmer of Portage County.

He came thence in 185 1 to Allegan Co., Mich., where he was a resident a number of years, and while there exchanged his farm for another in the same county.

In 1867 he secured a homestead claim of 80 acres in Sherman Township.

Three families only preceded their settlement in this part of Osceola County, and the nearest market for necessary supplies was Big Rapids.

Mr. Shank has improved 40 acres of his farm.

He was active in establishing the municipal regulations of the township, of which he was elected second Supervisor.

He has been Highway Commissioner and held minor official positions.

He is a Democrat in political views, and is regarded as an upright and reliable citizen.

He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife.


Wellington J. Law, M. D., practicing physician and surgeon at Le Roy, was born July 29, 1850, in York Co., Ontario.

Dr. Law is a descendant from ancestors of Scotch and English extraction, his immediate progenitors being of American origin.

The race is remarkable for tenacity of life, particularly in the maternal line of descent.

His parents, and Elizabeth (Klinck) Law, are living in retirement near Toronto, and are aged respectively 77 and 70 years.

His maternal grandmother is yet living, at Peoria, Ill., and is 105 years old!

Dr. Law obtained a good fundamental education in the Dominion of Canada, and on attaining his majority, he matriculated at the Detroit Medical College, where he completed a full medical course, and was graduated in 1881.

On receiving his credentials as a physician he established his business at Le Roy.

His earnestness in his profession, his integrity and conscientious fidelity to the important trusts confided to his skill and judgment, have won for him a merited popularity, and he is steadily advancing to prominence as a medical practitioner.

He is a Republican in political proclivity, and has officiated as Health Officer of the village and Township of Le Roy.

He is the owner of four village lots.

Dr. Law was married July 29, 1884, at Manistee, Michigan to Miss E. Norine La Croix.

She was born in the State of Illinois, January 26, 1862, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Henry D. Francisco, farmer, section 33, Hersey Township, was born Dec. 10, 1832, in Ontario Co., N. Y.

His father, John H. Francisco, was born in Ontario County, in 1797.

His ancestors were Spaniards and the descendants in the United States had their origin in one individual who came here 50 years, or thereabouts, previous to the War of the Revolution, married among the Hollanders of the Mohawk Valley in the State of New York, and became the father of seven sons of stalwart stature.

One son, six and a half feet in height, became a soldier of the Revolutionary War and was in action at the battle of Stillwater, near where his family had settled.

John H. married Nancy Kinsman, who was born in Bennington Co., Vt., in 1807.

She was of mixed Welsh and New England lineage.

Two of the brothers of Henry D. lost their lives while in the military service of the United States – one being killed in the battle of Winchester; the other died in the hospital from sun-stroke.

Mr. Francisco was a resident of Ontario County during his minority.

He taught school winters, working meanwhile as a carpenter during the intervening seasons.

In December, 1861, he came to Grand Rapids, where he purchased land and resided 14 years.

In the spring of 1876 he removed to an improved farm in Hersey Township, which comprised 60 acres. He has cleared and otherwise improved 45 acres.

He is a Republican in political sentiment, and while resident in Kent County was Justice of the Peace, a position to which he was elected in Osceola County and in which he has served altogether 18 years.

He acted as Supervisor in 1878.

Mr. Francisco was married July 23, 1854, to Charlotte Chaffee, and they have been the parents of six children: Charles I), was born Dec. 25,1857; Kate C, Sept. 23, 1864; Orville Grant, Nov. 5, 1868; Jennie M., March 25, 1870; Frank C., Jan. 25,1875; one is deceased.

The mother was born Dec. 29, 1837, in Yates Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Ephraim and Jane (Blair) Chaffee.

Both died in Middlesex, Yates Co., N. Y.

They were natives of New York, and their ancestors were French Huguenots, who settled in Massachusetts.


Edward H. Woods, book-keeper for Kellogg, Seymour & Co., at Sawyerville, was born in New Baltimore, Stark Co., Ohio, March 31, 1858.

In his early life he attended the common schools and also Mount Union College in his native county; but the greater portion of his life, prior to his coming to Osceola County, was spent in Portage Co., Ohio.

On his arrival in this county in the spring of 1879, he engaged in teaching for a short time; then for two years he was engaged as book-keeper for James E. Bevins, and since that time for the firm of Kellogg, Seymour & Co.

Under the old school law Mr. Woods has served as Township Superintendent of Schools, and under the new law as member of the County Board of School Examiners, being Secretary of the Board during the last year of his term.

In his views of national policy he is a stalwart Republican.

In Reed City, May 13, 1880, Mr. Woods was married to Miss Mary I. Tomlinson, who was born in Portage Co., Ohio, Oct. 1, 1859, and they have had three children, namely: Nellie, Berenice B. and Rae Dean.

The first mentioned died at the age of 14 months.

Mr. Woods’ father, Hiram F., was a native of Ohio, and his mother, Lydia H., nee McBride, was a native of Pennsylvania.

After their marriage they settled in Pennsylvania, and afterward removed to Stark Co., Ohio, thence to Portage County, where Mr. W., senior, died, July 30, 1881.

Mrs. W. afterward, in the summer of 1881, came to this county, and finally departed this life at Le Roy, Feb. 1, 1882.

They had seven sons and seven daughters, in which family Edward H., the subject of this sketch, was the youngest son.

Anthony M. Sample

Anthony M. Sample, farmer, section 14, Hersey Township, is the proprietor of 120 acres of land, including 80 acres cleared improved and in fine agricultural condition.

He was born March 6, 1810, in Beaver Dams, Schuyler Co., N. Y., and is the son of David and Margaret (Latta) Sample.

They removed to the Dominion of Canada in 1822, and died near Belleville, the father’s decease occurring about 1842; that of the mother took place about 1854.

At the age of 18 years the father of Mr. Sample placed him to learn the business of a carpenter, which he pursued, as opportunity served, about 15 years.

He remained a resident of Canada until 1865, the year of his removal to Hersey.

On coming here he bought 80 acres of land, to which he has added materially by later purchase until he owns his present fine estate, and has given each of his six sons land enough to make a start in the world for himself.

He was married Jan 8, 1831, to Mary A. Potts.

She was born April 3, 1816, in County Fermanagh, Ireland, and died Nov. 3, 1851, leaving 10 children, born as follows: Eliza E., April 12, 1834; Juliana, Feb. 5, 1836; John G. W., June 19, 1838; Sally, April 19, 1840; Nancy E., Aug. 2, 1842; Henrietta, Aug. 22, 1844; Prince A., July 14, 1846; George M., May 26, 1848; Anthony W. and Mary A. (twins) June 13, 1851.

The mother was the daughter of Thomas and Sally Potts.

Mr. Sample was a second time married Jan. 12, 1853, to Lettie A. Lucas, who was born in 1825, and died June 23, 1874, leaving two children, — Daniel W., born in August, 1854, and Chauncy M. born in September, 1855.

The third marriage of Mr. Sample, to Susan Lucas, occurred Aug. 23, 1874.

She is a sister of the second wife, and was born Dec. 22, 1838, in Canada.

Their parents, Daniel and Catherine (Goslin) Lucas, were natives of Canada.

The father died in July, 1878, and was 80 years of age at the time of his decease.

The mother was born Jan 14, 1804, and resides in Canada.

Four children have been born of the third marriage: Lettie A., April 9, 1875; Margaret C, Sept. 6, 1877; Elijah, June 28, 1879; Lovicy J., Jan. 1, 1881.

Mr. Sample is independent in political principle, and has taken much interest in school matters.

His portrait, on another page, is that of a representative farmer of Osceola County.


Laban J. Lemert, miller and farmer on section 27, Osceola Township, was born Oct. 6, 1823, in Cohocton Co., Ohio.

Lewis Lemert, his father, was born Aug. 5, 1802, in London Co., Va., of Holland Dutch parentage, and was taken to Ohio when he was five years old, residing there until 1828.

In that year he went to Crawford County, in the same State, where he died, Aug. 5, 1882, being 80 years old.

The mother, Ruth (Purdus) Lemert, was born in Bedford Co., Pa., of French ancestry, and went to Ohio about 1808 with her father’s family.

She died May 12, 1880.

Of their family of nine children, six attained adult age, and there are four survivors at this writing (1884).

Joshua is a merchant at Nelsonville, Ohio. Eliza—Mrs. Rouse—is a widow and resides at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Wilson C. is a prominent business man living at Bucyrus, Ohio.

He has been interested in the construction of the Nickel Plate Railroad in Kansas, and is the owner of 1,200 acres of land in Iowa.

Mr. Lemert, of this sketch, is the oldest born of the family.

He grew to manhood on his father’s farm, and acquired a very thorough and practical knowledge of agricultural pursuits.

At 21 he devoted his time and attention to the acquisition of an education and attended the university at Delaware, Ohio.

His first employment afterward was as a clerk and book-keeper in a mercantile establishment at Matherton, Ionia Co., Mich.

Soon afterward he became owner of the stock and business relations by purchase, and he continued the management of the business there 13 years, operating after the first two years as Postmaster also.

He disposed of his affairs at Matherton Oct. 9, 187 1, and proceeded to Osceola County.

He arrived at the latter date at Evart, and 15 days later received the appointment of Deputy Sheriff.

He held the position until April, 1872, when he was elected Supervisor of the township and Justice of the Peace, and also received the appointment of Postmaster at Evart.

He was the chief instrument in securing the establishment of the office at that point.

In the fall of 1873 he built a grist-mill near the village site on Chippewa Creek.

He began its practical operation in December, 1874, which he has since prosecuted.

He is the owner of 84 acres of land adjacent to the mill, on which he has made great improvements.

He is a Republican of most decided proclivities.

Mr. Lemert was married Dec. 30, 1849, in Wyandot Co., Ohio, to Phebe Bentley.

Mrs. Lemert is the daughter of Andrew and Eliza (Brownell) Bentley.

Her parents, were both natives of New York, and came to Ohio in 1S38, settling in Wyandot County, whence they removed in 1854 to Ionia Co., Mich.

Her father died there in the spring of 1860.

The mother died Feb. 13, 1855, in the same county.

Mr. and Mrs. Lemert have a daughter, Alta, now Mrs. Samuel E Clay, and resides at Williamstown, Ingham Co., Mich.


Charles Johnson, farmer, section 27, Le Roy Township, was born October 18, 1837, in Sweden, and accompanied by a younger brother, he came to the United States.

They obtained employment in different location until 1868, when they came to Osceola County and located 160 acres of land, on which they have lived and operated together sharing mutually the benefits accruing.

Mr. Johnson was married August 17, 1884, to Ida Petersen.

She was born in Sweden and came to Michigan from the land of her birth in June, 1883.

Her parents are living in their native country.

Politically Mr. Johnson is a Republican.

He is a member of the Lutheran Church, as is also his wife.


Byron G. Colton, member of the business 3 house of Charles L. Gray & Co., merchants, manufacturers and dealers in lumber, shingles, etc., at Evart, was born Aug. 17, 1856, in Genesee Township and County, Mich.

His parents, Elon and Harriet (Begle) Colton, are natives of the State of New York, where the former was born July 9, 1822, the latter, March 6, 1829.

The families of which they were members came to Macomb Co., Mich., when they were young.

After their marriage they settled in Genesee County, where they are still resident.

Seven of their ten children are yet living.

Mr. Colton is the sixth child in order of birth, and was reared on his father’s farm during his childhood and early youth.

He abandoned agricultural pursuits when 17 years of age and learned telegraphy, which he pursued as an occupation seven years.

He came to Evart in the spring of 1879 and officiated as telegraph operator in the office of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad Company.

Two years later—in 1881—he opened a store where he is now doing business, and after six months he admitted George V. Seeley to a partnership.

A year afterward the latter sold his interest to the original owner, and not long after Charles L. Gray purchased the interest he has since held, and consolidated his extensive lumbering relations with the mercantile connections.

On Jan. 1, 1884, William Latta was admitted to an interest in the business, the firm style becoming Charles L. Gray & Co., and the relations of the house are steadily expanding and increasing.

One mill is situated on River Street at the foot of Sixth, where 15 men are required as assistants in the manufacture of lumber and broom-handles.

At another mill, located in Hartwick Township, they employ 15 men, and manufacture shingles and four foot clap-boards.

A third mill, at Sunrise Lake, requires a complement of 20 assistants and is devoted to the manufacture of shingles and other lumber products.

Their stock of merchandise represents from $8,000 to $10,000 in value, and includes dry goods, groceries, and all articles suited to their trade.

The mill site at Evart occupies several acres, and the company owns two large warehouses near the depot for storage purposes.

Mr. Colton is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

His marriage to Nettie Tupper occurred at Grand Blanc, Genesee Co., Mich., April 15, 1877, and they are the parents of one child, Etta May, born in Evart, April 12, 1882.

Mrs. Colton was born at Grand Blanc, Nov. 12, 1855, and is the daughter of Benajah and Charlotte Tupper.


Arthur Sunderlin, resident at Reed City, was born February 11, 1853, in Potter Co., Pa.

His father, Cyrus Sunderlin, was born Jan. 8, 1814, at Wayne Junction, Steuben Co., N. Y.

The latter passed his early life as a farmer, and later became a merchant.

In 1876 he came to Reed City and leased the Evergreen House, which he managed some time, and afterwards assumed charge of the St. Elmo House, in which he died, March 3, 1884.

The mother, Sarah M. (Barnes) Sunderlin, was born Feb. 11, 1822, in Troy, Bradford Co., Pa., and is now a resident of Reed City.

Their six children lived to mature age; but Mr. Sunderlin, of this sketch, is the only survivor.

He was brought up as a farmer’s son, attending school winters until the age of 18 years, when he became a teacher and taught two terms of winter school.

He studied during three terms in the Woodhull Academy in Steuben County, and, when 20, entered the State Normal School at Edinboro, Pa., where he pursued a defined course of study and was graduated in the spring of 1875.

He went to Oberlin, Ohio, and passed a few months as a student at the famous college there, after which he again engaged in teaching in his native State, where he was occupied in that profession two years.

In 1877 he came to Reed City and officiated as Principal of the schools two years, entering meanwhile upon the study of law, in which he is still engaged.

In 1879-80, he discharged the duties of Superintendent of Schools of Richmond Township, and in the spring of 1880 was elected President of Reed City.

At the Senatorial Convention of the Prohibition Party, held at Reed City, Sept. 16, 1884, he was placed in nomination for the incumbency.

Mr. Sunderlin was married Dec. 27, 1877, at Home Wood, Beaver Co., Pa., to E. Jennie Coffin, and they have two children, – Louis K., born Oct. 2, 1880, and one born Dec. 1, 1883.

Mrs. Sunderlin is the daughter of John D. Coffin.


Oliver Clark, farmer, section 30, Middle Branch Township, was born Aug. 28, 1848, in Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio.

His parents, Thomas and Mary Clark, are natives of the Buckeye State and removed from Seneca County to Hardin County in the same State in 1851.

They have been farmers all their lives and have reached advanced age.

Mr. Clark was three years old when his parents located in Hardin County.

He obtained his education in the common schools, and worked on his father’s farm until he was 17 years of age.

His first independent action was his enrollment in the military service of the United States.

He enlisted Aug. 23, 1864, in the 180th Ohio Vol. Inf., Co. A, Captain Howell, the regiment being commanded by Colonel Warner.

After six months he was seized with illness, and was assigned to the hospital at Newbern, N. C.

A month later he was transferred to the hospital on David’s Island, New York Harbor, where he was discharged in June, 1865.

After his return to Ohio he remained a year with his parents, and afterwards was occupied at various points as a farm laborer, until he was married.

In 1867, the year following that event, he made a homestead claim in Middle Branch Township, securing 140 acres of land.

At that date this section of Osceola County was wholly unsettled; not a road had been built nor a tree cut.

He had hardly settled in his new home when his house and its contents were burned.

He again erected a log house, and with his wife and child managed to obtain the barest livelihood.

There was no work to be had.

Swamp hay was $40 per ton, and could not be afforded even for a bed, and they slept on hemlock boughs.

The famous salt famine of Northern Michigan occurred at this time, and the family was destitute of that sanitary article for seven weeks.

Many other necessities were equally scarce, and their only food for nearly a year was potatoes, eaten from a borrowed tin plate!

A barrel of salt, the first brought in, by a man named David Shadley, was sold in the vicinity for $18.

The wife worked during the winter of 1868, and earned the money to buy their first cow.

Mr. Clark is still the owner of the first purchase of land he made in the township, and of 160 acres additional.

He has 150 acres under excellent improvements and supplied with good and necessary farm buildings.

He is a Republican of fixed and earnest principles, has been Township Clerk two years, and has held various other official positions.

He was first married Sept. 24, 1867, in Hardin Co., Ohio, to Lydia E. Connor.

She was born in the same county and there grew to womanhood.

She died in the Hospital for the Insane at Kalamazoo, Mich., leaving three children, – John W., Thosia B. and Byron L.

Mr. Clark was again married Oct. 23, 1877, in Middle Branch Township, to Agnes Mitchell.

She was born July 3, 1858, in Bruce Co., Ont., and is the daughter of Joseph and Mary A. (Kingshott) Mitchell.

Her parents were born respectively in England and Ontario, and are both of English parentage.

They reside on section 4, Middle Branch Township. ,


Thomas P. Pierson, farmer, section 29, Hersey Township, was born December 11, 1856, in Pierson Township, Montcalm County, Michigan.

His father, George M. Pierson, was born in Naples, Ontario County, New York, has been a carpenter most of his life and is also a farmer.

The parents yet reside in Pierson.

Mr. Pierson remained under the guidance of his father until he was of age, when he obtained employment in a shingle-mill, continuing in that occupation six years in various parts of the State.

In 1883 he took possession of the farm which has since been his field of operation.

About five acres were under improvement at the time of his purchase, and he has cleared 17 acres, built a frame house, and by his vigorous industry is fast putting his affairs into prosperous condition. He is a Democrat in political views and relations.

He was married May 6, 1883, to Martha Jacobus, who was born Feb. 22, 1862.

She has two brothers and two sisters and a half-brother—Frank E., George E., Elizabeth, Minnie E. and Warren.

Her father, Edward Jacobus, resides at Vistula, Ind., where her mother, Christina (Daun) Jacobus, died, July 26, 1871.


William J. McIlwain, farmer, located on U section 26, Evart Township, was born ‘p May 12, 1849, in Newtown-Hamilton, County Armagh, Ireland.

His father, Isaac McIlwain, was a native of the same county and married Margaret Scott.

She died April 12, 1862, and was about 50 years of age when her decease occurred.

The senior McIlwain is still a resident of the Green Isle, and is 62 years old.

Mr. McIlwain, of this sketch, landed at the port of New York, May 21, 1873.

After a delay of one week, he came to Evart, where he arrived May 28.

His first employment was as a clerk in the store of Mark Ardis.

He afterwards formed a partnership with his employer, which continued two years.

After their dissolution he resumed his former relation as salesman, in which he still continues.

In 1877 he bought his farm, with only five acres under culture.

The place is now in fine .condition, with 70 acres under the plow and with excellent farm buildings of all varieties necessary to a high order of agriculture.

He was married Sept. 19, 1876, to Ida M. Wightman.

They have had five children: Mary M. was born July 4, 1877; George J., July 3, 1878; Maggie E., July 19, 1882 ; William Joseph, June 5, 1883, and Allie Louise, June 23, 1884.

One child is deceased. Mrs. McIlwain is the daughter of George R. and Mary (Crandall) Wightman, who were born in Homer, Cortland Co., N. Y.

Her father was born Oct. 18, 1808.

He is a physician by profession, and is now resident at Wayland, Allegan Co., Mich.

Her mother was born Aug. 31, 1815, and died June 17, 1883, in Evart.

They had 12 children.

Mrs. McIlwain was born Sept. 22, 1855, in Galesburg, Kalamazoo Co., Mich.

The brothers and sisters of Mr. McIlwain are George, James, John, Mary, Jane and Samuel.


Francis D. Lacy, of Nirvana, Lake Co., Mich., was born in Western New York on the 5th day of May, 1838.

He is the youngest son of Eli Lacy, who raised up a family of six boys and four girls.

His father moved to this State in the year 1840, and settled in the wilds of Oakland County upon 120 acres of land, marsh and lake, about one-third of which was upland of an inferior quality, and the remainder entirely worthless. »

Eli Lacy was a man of respectability and fair intelligence, but his financial abilities were lacking, and had it not been for the wonderful qualities of his wife, her good physical health and untiring ambition, it is hard to say what would have been the result in raising up a family of ten children, and in what condition they would have been launched out upon the world.

As it was, the family passed through many privations and was forced to exercise a frugality which has scarcely a parallel on record.

Thousands have passed through a more degraded poverty, but the cases where a family of such high order of intelligence has been forced to so low a condition of destitution, are certainly uncommon.

Imagine what a burden of anxiety must have rested upon the inadequate abilities of parents, struggling to their utmost to furnish food and raiment and educate so large a family, and at the same time somebody standing ready to snatch the last dollar at hand to Day the interest on an old calloused mortgage which held a death grip upon the freedom of the household!

Children attending school in cold winter weather, wearing blue drilling trousers without lining or drawers, and otherwise lightly clad, and suffering with the cold as the children of this family were often compelled to, have learned to demonstration what “hard times ” mean.

An older brother, now a wealthy citizen residing in Reed City, went bare-foot the winter through, and did chores in the barn, and often slid down hill as a pastime; and in relating the fact, remarks that it was not so much a matter of romance as of stern reality.

This brother, V. E. Lacy, always bore his privations with fortitude, and labored for the comforts of others, denying himself; being half way from the oldest to the youngest, he was last to be provided for; and yet he doubtless did more for the comforts of home than all the others together; and even since leaving home for himself, he has rendered much for the comforts of parents and sisters, as also has Francis, of whom we are narrating.

These blessings have doubtless been showered back upon both of them, as they are both well situated in life, with happy families around them.

In those boyhood years, it required but little to constitute a ^ luxury.

A toy like a penny jewsharp, a slate pencil or goose-quill pen, or stick of candy, were all worthy of remark, and well relished by children of such poverty.

A new garment made by that industrious mother, or a new pair of shoes, would make the lucky wearer the center of attraction for a time, and let those only who have experienced the situation judge how “good” the red leather “looked.”

Francis was mentally bright and physically active.

He became a good scholar, and at the age of 16 engaged as a teacher.

This vocation he followed for several years, “until,” as he expressed it, “he became unfit for anything else, and a few more terms would make him totally unfit for that!”

At intervals, during the years of his teaching, he learned the printer’s trade and, having a taste for literature, indulged in writing considerable for the press, and acted at times in the capacity of editor.

Having quite a fondness for poetry, he wrote occasional pieces, and in the year 1860, published his first pamphlet, entitled “Leisure Hours.”

In 1862 he published “The Ray of Light,” and in 1863 a treatise on mental philosophy, to be used as a phrenological chart in giving delineations of character.

Engaging in this profession, he followed lecturing for a time, but having an opportunity of studying more carefully the anatomy of the human brain, and the nature of its convolutions, he rather concluded that the old theory of phrenology as advocated by Fowler & Wells was somewhat a farce, and therefore dropped the subject to engage in the study of legerdemain.

In this he soon became proficient, and, being without money to start with, constructed his own apparatus, and bought on credit a horse, buggy and harness.

He now boldly struck out in his new profession, and, meeting with good success, soon paid for these, and contracted for 80 acres of land, costing $1,400, near Laingsburg in this State.

Wearying of this business, after following it for about three years, he engaged as a partner with his brother, V. E. Lacy, near Lapeer, this State, in the manufacture of shingles.

This business prospered, the same as anything else that V. E. ever took hold of, and at the end of three years they dissolved partnership, each buying a mill for himself; and in the year 1874 Francis shipped his mill and household goods to Nirvana and established himself there for making shingles, and also engaged in merchandise, where he will be found comfortably situated at the present time.

Since he has been at Nirvana he has suffered some severe losses.

His mill was burned, and at the time when the loss fell most heavily upon him, and in other ways has had numerous financial set-backs; yet he has passed through them with scarcely a riffle to disturb his good humor; and, being surrounded by a beautiful wife and four sparkling eyed children, he has but little to regret.

He still continues to ply the pen, and within the last two years has published two works, – “Nature’s Harmony,” a philosophical treatise, and “Star Lake Romance,'” a poetical story—both of which do credit to the author.

And thus we have narrated the history of one who commenced in the lowest degree of poverty, and has arisen to a fair height in both fame and fortune.

When he had made some progress in the accumulation of property, and was standing well in society, he thought favorably of taking a wife.

Some there were of the gay and fashionable circles, and some who were wealthy, among the ladies, whom he flattered himself that he could win; but being interested with a beautiful child 13 years old, Eunice A. Stevens, the daughter of William and Delilah Stevens, who lived far back in the lowest of poverty, he took pleasure in providing her with nice clothing and furnishing her with books for intellectual culture.

She bore the appellation of “The Rustic Angel ” and “Lacy’s Gypsy Princess” until 1872, at which time she had reached her 14th year; and on the 8th day of November, of that year, in the presence of a pleasant circle of friends at Lapeer, Mich., he married her.

She was arrayed like a princess on the occasion, much to the admiration of those present, but greatly to the contempt of many who envied her.

Eunice A., nee Stevens, the wife of Francis D. Lacy, was born on the 28th day of October, 1858.

On the 19th day of August, 1874, she gave birth to her first child.

Lately before this ordeal, they moved from near Lapeer to Nirvana, and it is thought her fatigue proved fatal to the child: it lived but 12 hours.

His name was entered upon the family register as Herbert Emmanuel.

Arthur Jay, the second son, was born Sept. 30, 1876; Rollo Guy was born Jan. 27, 1879; Plato Ray, April 17, 1881; and Florence May, March 17, 1884.


William Lambert, woolen manufacturer at Reed City, was born Nov. 23, 1837, at Cavan, Ontario, and is the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Amos) Lambert.

His father was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1808, and his mother in Dalkeith, Scotland, in 1818.

They moved to Ontario in 1832, settling in Cavan, and are now living in Ailsa Craig, in the Dominion, to which point they moved in 1859.

Mr. Lambert left the parental home in 1856, going to the township of London, where he resided most of the time until his removal to Reed City, arriving June 2, 1883.

Here he purchased a building a mile and a quarter from the city for the purpose of converting it into a woolen mill; but, finding that a poor investment after a nine months’ trial, he purchased the building he now occupies in Reed City, where he is setting out in good earnest in his chosen business

He was married Oct. 9, 1858, in the city of London, Ont., to Miss Ann Waugh, the daughter of Robert and Margaret (Robson) Waugh, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of the North of England. Mrs. L. was born in Lobo Township, Ontario. May 13, 1841.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lambert have been born six children, as follows: Robert A., Sept. 9, 1859, in the 15th concession, Land Township, Ont.; Margaret, Jan. 3, 1861, at the same place: Isabella, j June 1, 1863, at Varna, Ont.; William A., May 11, £ 1865, in Carlisle, Ont.; Elizabeth M., July 24, 1867, in London Township, Ont.; and Richard A., Nov 28, 1868, in the same township.


Charles Carmell, farmer, section 3, Sylvan Township, was born Dec. 31, 1836, in Marine City, St. Clair Co., Mich.

His father, Moses Carmell, was born in the Dominion of Canada, and descended from French ancestors.

He was a carpenter and joiner, and pursued his vocation at Marine City until his death in 1867.

Julia (Cushway) Carmell, his mother, was born, married, and passed the entire course of her life at Marine City.

She was of French descent, and died about 1848, leaving seven children.

Two of her children’s deaths preceded hers.

Mr. Carmell remained in the protecting care of his father until about 17 years old.

At that age he became a saw-mill assistant in the lumber mills of his native county and acquired superior skill in the position of sawyer.

He pursued that business during the winter seasons and through the summers of several years he was a sailor on the lakes, operating at first as a common seaman, and later as first mate.

In 1856 he went to Saginaw City, where he was a sawyer in the extensive lumber mills for some years.

Meanwhile he purchased a home in South Saginaw and resided there until 1872, working at his trade, and as foreman for a boom company.

He went thence to Lowell, Kent County, where he remained ti months, going from that place to Evart, Osceola County.

In the spring of 1877 ne Purchased 40 acres in Sylvan Township, all in timber and situated on the line of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad, where he established a permanent home, went vigorously to work to reclaim his land from its wild state, and he now has 20 acres under cultivation, with comfortable buildings.

Mr. Carmell was married April 24, 1859, in East Saginaw, to Mary A. McNally.

She was born Aug. 26, 1838, in County Down, Ireland.

Her parents, Thomas and Mary A. (Forley) McNally, came from Ireland to America in 1852, and located primarily in Albany Co., N. Y., where the entire household was employed in the cotton factories situated at Cohoes.

After a stay there of four years, they came to Michigan and settled in the forest on the Flint River, 16 miles from East Saginaw, and at so early a period that it was still an unbroken wilderness and inhabited by Indians.

Later, the daughter went to East Saginaw, where she was soon after married.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Carmell: Lizzie (Mrs. Birdsall), Josephine and Willie; the latter died in infancy.


Luther T. Elmore, farmer, section 32, Sylvan Township, was born April 5, 1840, in Ontario Co., N. Y.

His father was a tailor by profession and reared his family on a farm.

The son, who is the subject of this sketch, was under his father’s care until the period of his majority, when he entered the Union Army, the Civil War having broken out just after he arrived at his 21st birthday.

He enlisted in Co. F, 26th Mich. Inf., under Capt. Lemuel Saviers, now of St. John’s, Mich.

He was in the service throughout the remainder of the war, and was honorably discharged June 4, 1865, at Washington, D. C.

He went to Jackson, Mich., whence he enlisted, and later was assigned to duty at the Government bakery at Alexandria, Va.

In May, 1867, he came to Osceola County, and made a homestead claim of 160 acres in Sylvan Township.

He is one of the pioneer settlers of this portion of the township, and has improved about 60 acres of his land.

He was the leading active mover in securing the organization of the township, and has been Clerk and Notary Public.

He is a Republican in political creed and connections.

The marriage of Mr. Elmore to Clarissa E. Jones took place Dec. 25, 1869, in Orient Township.

She was born in Ronald Township, Ionia Co., Mich., May 13, 1852; and came with her parents to Osceola County in 1868.

Her parents were the first settlers of Orient Township, where they are still living.

Mr. and Mrs. Elmore are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

They have two children, Lizzie M., born Aug. 17, 1812, and Rosie V., born March 18, 1875.


James A. Lunney, farmer, Osceola Township, section 14, was born Nov. 7, 1847, in Halton Co., Ont.

His father, Hugh Lunney, was born in the north of Ireland.

He married Ann Noble in his native land, and when 22 years of age came to Ontario, where he became a lumberman of prominence, and resided until his death, Sept. 19, 1868, at the age of 49 years.

The mother is 58 years old, and lives in Gaylord, Mich.

Mr. Lunney was sent to the public schools of Ontario until he was 16 years old, and he passed three succeeding years assisting his father in lumbering.

In 1866 he came to Saginaw and became a member of the lumber firm of J. Henry & Co.

The relation existed seven years, the company transacting extensive operations in lumber and shingles at Hemlock City, Saginaw County.

In 1877 he came to Osceola County and purchased 160 acres in Osceola Township, a part of which was under cultivation.

He has added by later purchase to his home place until he holds 300 acres, and he also owns 700 acres in Clare County, Mich., which is principally in timber.

He has been engaged to a considerable extent in lumbering operations since he settled in this county.

The mill of the firm with which he is connected, situated on section 2, Hartwick Township, was recently destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of several thousand dollars.

Mr. Lunney has improved 115 acres of his homestead, and is now erecting an elegant residence designed to cost $5,000, and finished throughout the interior in hard wood of beautiful grain.

He aims to put his entire surroundings over which he has control in the best possible condition.

His business firm owns 1,400 acres of land, in which he holds an interest.

It comprises both pine and hard wood, and is all situated in Osceola County.

Politically Mr. Lunney is a Republican.

He was married Sept. 11, 1869, in Holly, Oakland Co., Mich., to Mary Ennes.

They have had two children: Vernon H. was born May 11, 1873, in Hemlock City; and Elmer M., Sept. 26, 1880, and died Feb. 29, 1884.

Mrs. Lunney is the daughter of James R. and Catherine (Reed) Ennes, natives of New York.

They reside at East Saginaw, where her father is manager of a carriage factory.

Mrs. Lunney was born Nov. 5, 1846, in Erie Co., Ohio.

Her parents became residents of Holly in 1869.

Alonzo M. Shank

Alonzo M. Shank, Sheriff of Osceola County, and proprietor of the Hersey City Flouring Mills, was born May, 2, 1850, in Hancock Co., Ohio.

Joseph Shank, his father, was born in the same county, Jan. 6, 1822.

In 1853 he removed his family and interests to a farm in Heath Township, Allegan County, coming thence in 1867, to Sherman Township, Osceola County, locating on an 80-acre farm, now in fine condition for agricultural purposes.

The mother, Sarah (Crow) Shank, was born July 31, 1828, in Hancock County.

Seven of their nine children are living.

Martha married Ashley Babbitt, a farmer in McPherson Co., Kansas.

Mr. Shank, of this sketch, is the second in order of birth.

John is a farmer; William Nicholas is a shingle manufacturer; Mary married Charles Marvin; Albert is still at home.

With the exception of the first and second they are residents of Sherman Township.

Joseph and Samuel are deceased.

In 1872 Mr. Shank secured 80 acres of land on section 10, Sherman Township, and he now owns 80 acres situated on the same section, having added 80 acres by later purchase.

In 1871 he began the manufacture of shingles in Heath Township, operating in that line of business two years.

In 1873 he took possession of his property in Sherman Township, where he has 130 acres of his land under cultivation, and is largely engaged in the raising of hay for the Cadillac market.

In the spring of 1878, he moved into Hersey, to manufacture shingles for W. S. Gerrish, running two mills, one within the corporation, the second situated one and a half miles east of the depot.

He continued their management four years.

In 1882 he bought a meat market and grocery, to which he gave his personal supervision one year, and then rented the stand.

In September, 1883, he bought a half interest in the Hersey City Flouring Mills, owned by A. Root.

Their joint ownership continued until Aug. 22, 1884, when Mr. Shank became sole proprietor by purchase.

The mill has three runs of stones, two sets of rollers, and a producing capacity of 70 barrels, besides the custom grinding of feed, etc.

Two assistants are employed.

Mr. Shank is a Mason, and belongs to the Blue Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter and Commandery.

He was elected to the position of Sheriff of Osceola County in the fall of 1882, on the Republican ticket, receiving a majority of 500 votes over the nominee of the opposition element.

Essie E. (Deffenbaugh) Shank

He was married June 19, 1870, in Sherman Township, to Essie E. Deffenbaugh.

Their children were born as follows: Bessie, Jan. 27, 1873; Cora, Feb. 6, 1875; Byron L., July 3, 1883.

Mrs. Shank was born May 4, 1853, in Morrow Co., Ohio, and is the daughter of Jacob and Hannah Deffenbaugh.

In the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Shank, on other pages of this work, may be seen the fair types of the element on which the assured progress of Osceola County is based.

Intelligent, energetic, trustworthy, and public-spirited, Mr. Shank may be considered a representative of the spirit which gives the county an impetus in an onward course, notwithstanding the depression of the times, which have not yet corroded nor dimmed the luster of the era of the present of Osceola County.


Andrew J. Mapes, farmer and joiner, resident on section 14, Hartwick Township, was born Dec. 3, 1836, in Mayfield Township, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio.

His father, Rufus Mapes, was born in the State of New York, was a farmer, and died in 1875, in Ohio.

His mother, Abigail (Allen) Mapes, was a native of Maine and related to the celebrated Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame, better known as the “Hero of Ticonderoga.”

She died in Cuyahoga County, Jan. 14, 1882, and was the mother of 17 children, nine of whom are still living.

Mr. Mapes represents number 14 in the list of his parents’ children, and he passed his minority under the parental roof.

On being released from his filial obligations he began to serve an apprenticeship for his trade, and after he had acquired a thorough knowledge of its details, he engaged in its prosecution and continued to pursue it as a vocation until 1866, the date of his removal to Michigan.

He settled in Osceola (now Hartwick) Township, securing a homestead claim of 120 acres of land on section 26 and purchasing 160 acres on section 14.

He lived on the first named property six years, working meanwhile at his trade in connection with farming.

In 1876 he removed to the farm situated on section 14, where he has improved 70 acres.

Politically he is a Republican of a decidedly radical type, and has served his township as Clerk.

He was married Nov. 27, 1869, in Mayfield, his native place, to Atnah M. Hawkins, who was born March 25, 1837, in Otsego Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Smith and Lucy V. (Gardner) Hawkins.

She celebrated her 30th birthday dressing the first white child born in the township of Hartwick: this was Miss Emma, daughter of Loyd and Sarah Clark.

At that period her neighborhood was about 40 miles from the nearest physician or drug store, and Mrs. Mapes was for many years the only attendant upon the sick for many miles around.

In 1879, the only year she kept a record, she spent 200 days in this service.

On July 3, 1883, while she was riding horseback, she was thrown off and nearly killed, the injury being so great as to fracture the hip bone.

In her religious views she is a close-communion Baptist, with which Church she first connected herself, remaining with them as long as she was within convenient distance of their places of worship; she is now a member of the Disciples’ Church.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Mapes are: Rufus S., born Dec. 3, 1864, and Melvin A., March 25, 1870.

Mr. Hawkins was born Nov. 4, 1809, in Otsego Co., N. Y.

His father, Rufus Hawkins, was born in Rhode Island, of English parents.

Mr. Hawkins remained in New York until he was 27 years old, when he came to Michigan and settled where Battle Creek is now situated, and moved thence to Ohio in 185 1, where he remained until 1866.

He then moved to Hartwick Township, settling on 160 acres on section 24, clearing 35 acres with his own hand.

He was a man of poor health and had not been able to do any labor, having been a school-teacher for 21 years.

The school-room being too confining for him, he started out with a wagon load of dry goods and crockery, which he peddled through the country, selling goods all the way from Ohio to this township.

He had located his land here the year before.

His mother was born in Rhode Island in 1759, of German and English descent, and went to New York in 1800, where she remained until her death.

Mr. Hawkins was the first settler in Hartwick; was the first Supervisor of the township, holding the position for many years.

A man had come in here before him, but Mr. Hawkins’ was the first land located.

He and wife were members of the Baptist Church, joining in 1841.

They came to Michigan in 1837, settling where Battle Creek now stands and residing there 14 years.

They then moved to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, and after 14 years’ residence there, in 1866, they came to this county, where they both have since died, he at the age of 73 and she at the age of 63 years, and they are buried on the farm of Mr. Mapes, where is located the little grave-yard designated by the family name.


John J. Arndt, one of the first settlers and most widely known citizens of Osceola Township, is a resident on section 23, and is the proprietor of 260 acres of land.

He was born Oct. 21, 1824, in Prussia.

He was a pupil in the schools of his native country until he set out alone without money to make his way to America.

He shipped on a sailing vessel as a deck hand, and worked his passage, which consumed freight weeks.

This was in 1837, and he landed at the port of New York.

He proceeded soon after to Waterloo, Ont., where he found occupation as a farm assistant on the estate of John Eyte, and continued in that gentleman’s employment eight years.

After leaving his service he bought 100 acres of forest land in Perth County, on which he began operations in his own behalf, and placed the entire acreage under improvements.

In 1873 he sold the place and came to Osceola Township, buying 340 acres of land on section 23.

He has sold 80 acres and placed nearly all the remainder under improvements.

The farm is justly ranked among the most valuable in this section of the county.

It is supplied with three flowing wells.

He is a Republican of an unmistakable and inflexible stamp, and has held local official positions for 12 years.

In 1858 he connected himself with the Evangelical Church, in whose interests he has been an unremitting and zealous laborer.

He has discharged the duties of all its offices and has been for many years Superintendent of the Sunday school, for whose welfare he has labored untiringly.

He was first married in Perth Co., Ont., in 1849, to Barbara Riffer.

She was born about 1828, in Germany, where her parents passed their entire lives.

She came in youth to Perth Co., Ont., where she died Jan. 13, 1863.

Of six children of whom she became the mother three are deceased – Elizabeth, Maggie and Lizzie.

Henry, Christina and Mollie survive.

Mr. Arndt was a second time married in 1864, in Perth Co., Ont., to Rebecca Leibert.

She was born in Ontario, of German parentage, and died in October, 1868, in Osceola Township, aged 33 years.

Of her six children, two preceded her to the land of the hereafter, – William and Betsey. John, Katie, Mary and Simon are living.

The wives of Mr. Arndt were both members of the Evangelical Church.


John Hoover, farmer, section 14, Evart Township, was born June 18, 1837, in Stark Co., Ohio.

His parents, Solomon and Margaret (Ringley) Hoover, removed from the Buckeye State in the fall of 1837, to the city of Wabash, Ind., where his father died Aug. 6, 1854.

Mr. Hoover was 16 years old, and was made executor of the estate by the will of his father, which entailed upon him the care of his mother, and he discharged the duty until the close of her life, Aug. 7, 1881.

She was born March 29, 1792, and was the mother of nine children.

Four sons and a daughter survive her: George, Mary, David, William and John. Daniel, Adam, James and Elizabeth are deceased.

Mr. Hoover grew to manhood in Wabash, and in March, 1867, came to Osceola County, where he had entered a homestead claim of 80 acres the year previous.

Besides improving his farm, he has engaged in lumbering during the winter seasons.

He affiliates with the Republican Party.

He was married Feb. 10, 1859, in Wabash Co., Indiana, to Eva Lenon.

Their children were born as follows: Charles E., March 30, 1860; Elizabeth, Nov. 24, 1861; Araminta, Feb. 23, 1863; Mattie, July 3, 1864; Daniel W., Feb. 12, 1866; George W., Nov. 19, 1867; John H, Dec. 26, 1868; Nettie S., Dec. 8, 1876.

Mrs. Hoover is the daughter of Daniel and Sophia (Saunders) Lenon.

Her father was a native of Miami Co., Ohio, and was a soldier in the Union service.

He died of diarrhea, June 19, 1864, in the hospital at Chattanooga.

Her mother died Dec. 13, 1880, in Wabash Co., Ind.

Their family included seven daughters and one son, born as follows: Sarali C., Elizabeth, Eva, Ruth C., Martha, Barbara, Phebe E. and John W.


Daniel Oaks, owner of the Oaks House at Reed City, and a saloon-keeper in that place, was born Nov. 24, 1835, in Worcester Co., Mass.

His father, Joel Oaks, was born in New Hampshire and died in Massachusetts, which was the native State of the mother, Abbie (Pierce) Oaks, who died at East Saginaw in 1880.

Mr. Oaks is the youngest of nine children born to his parents.

He was reared on the farm in the Bay State until he was 15 years of age, after which he obtained employ in the factories about five years,

He came to Detroit in 1855, and there became interested in the traveling entertainment business, in which he was occupied a long term of years.

He came to Reed City Jan. 1, 1872, and erected a small building on the south end of the lot which is his present location, and which was designated the “Blue Front.”

In 1882 he built the hotel which bears his name.

It has a frontage of 100 feet and is 75 feet deep, is three stories high and can accommodate a large number of guests.

The house commands a liberal share of the best patronage.

The first floor has three store apartments.

Mr. Oaks built his present place of business in 1881.

It is constructed of brick, 80×50 feet in size, and is two stories in height above the basement.

He deals in the merchandise common to similar establishments.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is one of the Council.

Mr. Oaks is public-spirited and takes a considerable interest in local politics.

He was married in August, 1876, at Bowen’s Mills, in Barry Co, Mich., to Mrs. Ellen E. Gates.

She was born in Allegan Co., Mich., and has a son by her former marriage, McGinley Gates.


John H. Lanphear, farmer, resident on section 30, Sylvan Township, was born Dec. 12, 1836, in Columbia Co., N. Y.

His parents, James A. and Rebecca R. (Shufeldt) Lanphear, were natives of the State of New York, and were descended from parents born in New England of English and German origin.

They are now in advanced years and reside in Columbia County.

Mr. Lanphear is the oldest of five children born to his parents, all of whom are living.

Two reside in the State of New York and two live in Massachusetts.

At the age of 19 he began to serve an apprenticeship in a machine shop, and spent 10 years in that business in Chatham, N. Y.

In 1877 he came to Jackson, Mich.; coming a year later to Osceola County, he located on 160 acres of land in Sylvan Township, of which he is still the owner of all but 40 acres which he has since sold.

He bought 40 acres on section 29 adjoining his homestead, and has placed 100 acres under improvements.

His farm buildings are creditable and suited to the needs of his farm.

He is a Republican in political opinions, and has served four years as Supervisor, Clerk two years, also as Treasurer and Highway Commissioner, and is at present a School Inspector.

He was married in Columbia Co., N. Y., to Hattie M. Messenger.

Their children are Frank C., James I., Carrie A. and Anna M.

Two died in infancy.

Mrs. Lanphear was born in Massachusetts, and removed in her childhood to New York.


John H. McMullan, farmer, section 26, Evart Township, was born Jan. 16, 1831, in Kilkenny Co., Ireland, of which county his parents were also natives.

His mother was born Nov. 2, 1809; his father, April 22, 1810.

They emigrated to America in i832, with two children—John and Mary Ann—(the latter is now deceased) and located at West Guillemsbury, Simcoe Co., Ont.

They purchased 100 acres of land, and soon after sold a portion of the property to a relative.

The remainder was sold soon afterward, and they entered a claim of 200 acres in the township of Mara, Ontario Co., Can.

They maintained a residence thereon about r8 years, when the father sold the farm and engaged in a mercantile enterprise in the same township, combining therewith the manufacture of potash.

He was Postmaster at that point for 18 years.

In 1865 Mr. McMullen sold his Canadian property entire, and in the fall of the same year came to Ottawa Co., Mich., where he remained three years on a farm, of which he became the owner.

He was not satisfied with the place, and in 1868 sold out and removed to Evart Township, where he bought 80 acres of wild, unimproved land.

He has cleared away the forest and has 62 acres in excellent farming condition, with good and valuable farm buildings.

He now owns 160 acres.

He is a Democrat in political connection and views.

He was married in Orillia, Ont., in 1864, to Jessie Elder, and they are the parents of eight children, viz.: William J., bom Oct. 22, 1864; Harry, Oct. 7, 1866; Julia, Oct. 19, 1868; David D., July 18, 1871; George M., Dec. 29, 1873; May, May 12, 1877; Ernest O., Feb. 29, 1880; Ada E., Nov. 6, 1882.

Mrs. McMullen is the daughter of James E. and Jeannette (Wilson) Elder, who reside in Mara, Canada.

She was born March 25, 1847.

The record of her brothers and sisters is as follows: Mary H., Jane L. (deceased), Wilhelmina, John E., James T., David W., Christina F., George M. and William M. Following is the record of the brothers and sisters of Mr. McMullen: Mary Ann (deceased), Ada, William A., Margaret A., Louisa (deceased), George M., Jane E. (deceased), David and Emma.

William C. and Margaret (Nesbitt) McMullen, the parents of Mr. McMullen of this sketch, removed to Osceola County in 1868 and reside on section 26, Evart Township.

The family is in sympathy with the Episcopal Church.


Alfred Davis, farmer and merchant, located on section 8, Hartwick Township, was born Feb. 18, 1844, in Steuben Co., New York.

His father and mother, George and Nancy (Holden) Davis, were natives of New England, of English descent, and were farmers by calling.

The county of Steuben was the scene of nearly the entire course of their earthly career, and there they both died, the former in October, 1866, the latter in 1880.

They had three children. Vincent resides in Steuben County; Matilda died in her native county in 1879.

Mr. Davis is the eldest, and attended the common schools until he was 16 years of age.

He remained at home until he was 22, when he engaged in general farm labor.

He was married March 22, 1862, in Steuben County, to Elida E. Robinson, a native of the same county, born April 9, 1844, of New England parentage and origin.

Wilbert, Emery, Benjamin, Denis and Daniel are the names of their children.

All but one are attendants at the public school of the district in which the family reside.

Mr. Davis was a farmer in his native county until 1870.

In the spring of that year he secured the homestead where he has since resided, which included 160 acres of land, then entirely wild and unbroken.

Of the original acreage he owns 79 acres, most of which is improved.

He is engaged in the sale of articles of merchandise, for which there is a local demand, and he manages his store in conjunction with the post office, of which he is the official, to which position he was appointed in 1881.

He is independent in political views and actions, and is Justice of the Peace and Township Treasurer.

His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Delos A. Blodgett, lumberman and farmer, was born March 3, 1825, in Otsego Co., New York.

He is the son of Abiel D. and Susan (Richmond) Blodgett.

His father was born in Plymouth, N. H., April 21, 1794, was Sheriff of Otsego Co., N. Y., two terms, and otherwise a prominent citizen of that county.

His mother was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Mass., November 19, 1796.

They were both of English descent.

There were five children born to them, namely: Albert A., Delos A., Ellen C., Helen R. and Harriet E.

Delos A., the subject of this biographical sketch, was named for Dr. Delos White, of Cherry Valley, N. Y., then his father’s family physician, and was always called by his parents and schoolmates “Doc:” hence the cognomen of to-day.

When he was four years of age his father sold out his farming interests in Otsego County and settled in Erie Co., N. Y., near Springville.

Here Delos was reared and educated, going to school betimes, and helping his father on the farm.

When he was of sufficient age he was sent to the Springville Academy, where he remained, pursuing his studies during the school months, until the age of 20.

At this period—the spring of 1845—his father sold his farm, to be delivered to the purchaser the following year, with the intention then of going west and settling in Illinois.

Having a desire to see something of the world, Mr. Blodgett then formed his plans to make what was then considered an extensive tour.

Accordingly he set out from his parental home, and, having a preference for Western navigation, descended the Alleghany River.

From this he went down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and on this great “father of waters” was carried to New Orleans.

Here and at Vicksburg, he spent most of his. time, working at whatever would favorably present itself, until the fall of 1846, when he joined his parents, who had in the meantime purchased and settled on a farm in McHenry Co., Illinois.

Here he remained for two years, working with his father on the farm and attending school winters at the Geneva (Wis.) Academy.

In the fall of 1848, believing that by age and knowledge he was able to take care of himself, and probably do something more, he again left his home and started out to seek his fortune, arriving at Muskegon Village, his objective point, soon thereafter.

At this place he worked a year and a half at lumbering.

In July, 1850, he formed a partnership with Thos. D. Stimson, “pooling their issues,” for the purpose of engaging in the lumbering or logging business up the Muskegon River.

They bought them a canoe, and p» loading it with supplies, haying implements, etc., started up the Muskegon.

With this canoe, they paddled, pushed and worked their way up the river, camping out nights and often wading, one pushing and the other pulling their little barge, which contained all their earthly possessions, up the rapids or over shoals until they reached a point 200 miles from their starting point, which was some miles above any other lumbering camp.

This was at the place where the little river – which has since become historical and known, as the “Doc and Tom,” deriving its name from the given names of these two pioneers – effects a confluence with the Muskegon River.

One of their night camps was made at the mouth of the Hersey branch of the Muskegon River.

Here Mr. Blodgett was struck with admiration of the beautiful level of land bordering these rivers on the west side, and the magnificent elm forests, and made up his mind that if fortune favored him he would someday be the owner.

They arrived at their destination in August, looked up their beaver meadows and cut their hay for their coining winter’s work.

This accomplished, they returned to Muskegon on foot.

Buying their oxen, supplies and other camp equipments, and hiring their men, they returned, driving their oxen before them.

From Big Rapids (which was then an unbroken wilderness) they had to drive their oxen through the thickest of woods, without any road or even a trail, to the mouth of the Doc and Tom, their future lumbering camp.

Here they labored through the winter, getting out their logs.

In the spring of 1851 they constructed some canoes, and when the river opened put in their camp outfit and started down the river, driving their logs before them, until they readied the rear of the main “drive.”

Then Mr. Blodgett returned to Croton, purchased some potatoes, which he hauled to Big Rapids.

These he loaded into his canoe and started for the mouth of the Hersey, the place that had so captivated his fancy the previous summer.

The land all about here then belonged to the Government.

On arriving here he availed himself of the squatter’s right, selected his land and chopped and logged off a piece by hand and planted his potatoes.

This was the first crop planted, and Mr. Blodgett was the first settler in the territory now embraced by Osceola County.

This land lay near the Muskegon River on the south side of the Hersey branch, and is embraced in the present village plat of Hersey and his now adjoining farm.

When done with his planting he looked up more pine lands in this and Muskegon County, and from this began his afterward extensive lumbering operations.

In 1852, he cleared up more ground, enlarging his potato crop, purchased the first 40 acres from the Government, which was the beginning of the farm now known as the “Blodgett Farm,” in Hersey.

Mr. Blodgett continued to lumber winters and farm summers, purchasing additional lands from time to time, until the spring of 1858, when, with L. O. Schofield, of Branch Co., Mich., he erected a saw-mill and grist-mill at Hersey.

Before these mills, however, were fully completed, he purchased the interest of Mr. Schofield.

All the lumber used up to this time in putting up farm buildings was drawn from Newaygo County, a distance of 60 miles.

In the fall of 1859, he was married to Miss Jennie S. Wood, daughter of John and Clara L. Wood, of Woodstock, III.

She was born Aug, 26, 1841, at Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Pa.

He returned to Hersey with his bride, where they settled down to domestic life.

Of this marriage there were two children: John Wood, born July 26, i860, and Susan Richmond, born May 26. 1865.

In 1861, Mr. B., with B. F. Gooch and others, or ganized the first township, which then embraced the entire territory of the county, and which was called Richmond, from his mother’s family name.

At this first election Mr. Blodgett was chosen Supervisor. He was instrumental in bringing about the organization of the county, which was effected in 1869, and caused the county-seat to be located at Hersey, where it still remains.

Upon the advent of the railroads, he platted the village of Hersey, in and about which his farm lands were located.

In 1870, he commenced the erection of his large and handsome residence, which was completed in 1871.

In this beautiful home he resided until the fall of 1881, wien he removed to Grand Rapids, where he now resides.

Mr. Blodgett started out in life with a purpose and worked up to it.

During the last 15 years, Mr. Blodgett has been extensively engaged in lumbering in Osceola, Missaukee and Clare Counties.

He is also the surviving member of the firm of Blodgett & Byrne, who are largely engaged in lumbering in Roscommon and Crawford Counties.

Here they have an extensive tract of fine pine timber, and operate a steam railroad, the track of which is laid with steel rails.

With this road they put in at the head of the Muskegon River from 25,000,000 to 30,000,000 feet of logs a year, which is floated down to Muskegon where they have their mills.

Mr. Blodgett has a natural taste for farming, and takes great pride in it.

He has several farms in different parts of the State; but his best farm, and the one to which he has given the most attention and in which he has the most pride, is at Hersey.

Here he is breeding the Norman and Percheron stock, having first imported this breed of horses direct from France.

Mr. B. has been eminently successful in his business operations, and is to-day one of the largest lumber operators in the State.

While this has been the result of his labors, it is gratifying to know that his successes have not been accomplished at the expense of his manhood, or his humanity, which is too often the result.

His hand is ever ready to help the poor or aid the deserving, while his heart always welcomes an old friend or acquaintance.

He is a pronounced Republican, and has been active and prominent in the politics of the county, as well as that of the State.

He has been a leading figure and an important factor in the growth and development of Osceola County from its first settlement to the present time; his individuality is clearly wedded to its annals and traditions; his life is a part of its history, which would be incomplete without this, his biography.


George F. Taylor, farmer, section 29, Hersey Township, was born May 15, 1846, in Portland, Ionia Co., Mich., and is the son of Charles and Mary (Olmstead) Taylor.

The latter died in April, 1859, in Portland. His father was born in 1817, and in 1836 came to Plymouth, Wayne Co., Mich., where he remained a year, going thence on foot to the township of Portland, at that date containing but four settlers.

He arrived there in the spring, when the roads were impassable; and as all supplies were brought from Detroit subsistence was a matter of some difficulty.

For two weeks Mr. Taylor’s food consisted of greens and fish.

He was unmarried and made his way into the wilds of Michigan to establish himself preparatory to his founding a home. He returned to New York, and was married.

Mr. Taylor remained with his father five years after attaining his legal freedom.

He was then married and rented a farm, which he conducted one year, going thence to Portland village, where he was employed three years on the railroad.

He passed the year subsequent as a farm assistant, working by the month, when he became interested in the business of boring wells, and followed that calling two years.

In 1878 he came to Hersey Township, but did not take possession of the farm on which he now operates until 1883.

He was married April 22, 1872, to Delilah Kinney, daughter of Fernando C. and Huldah (Clark) Kinney.

Her mother died April 5, 1875, in Portland, and was nearly 64 years of age.

Her father has married again and resides on a farm in Hersey Township.

She was born June 10, 1846, in Portland, and is the third child of six born to her parents.

Mary A., Sarah A., Jerome and Harriet are living.

Sylvester was a soldier of the 27th Mich. Vol. Infantry, was wounded at Petersburg and was buried at City Point, July 6, 1864.

He sustained a flesh wound in the thigh, a bullet passing entirely through the limb, from the effects of which he died at the City Point Hospital four days later.

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have been the parents of three children.

Elroy B. was born June 4, 1876, and died March 1, 1877.

An unnamed infant died when four days old.

Ray B. was born Jan. 27, 1883.

Mr. Taylor is an adherent of the Democratic Party.


William Bennett, farmer, section 14, Evart Township, was born Oct. 14, 1833, in Steuben Co., N. Y., and is the son of Thomas and Angeline (Jamison) Bennett.

The former was born April 5, 1810, in Steuben County. In 1869 he came to Michigan and is now a resident on section 28, Evart Township.

The mother of William was born June 14, 1809, and died Feb. 9, 1865, in Steuben County.

In the maternal line of descent Mr. Bennett is of Scotch lineage.

His father’ came of Dutch ancestry.

He was reared on a farm in his native county and during his minority remained under his father’s control.

On reaching the period of his legal freedom he went to Oconto Co., Wis., and engaged as foreman for the lumber firm of Eldredge & Balcom, with whom he continued a year.

At the end of that time he returned to the county where he was born, and again engaged for a time in agricultural pursuits.

He went back to the employment of Eldredge & Balcom in the Badger State, and after a service of six months he went to Butler Co., Iowa.

He bought a farm which he owned three years.

Meanwhile he went to Pike’s Peak, there interesting himself in mining.

He came back to Iowa, sold his farm, and in May, 1868, came to this State and settled near Georgetown, Ottawa County, on Grand River, for two years, then one year in New York State, then for a time on Grand River again, and finally came to the township of Evart, where he bought the farm he now owns.

In the fall he went again to the State of New York, and during the winter which succeeded he managed a lumber camp in Pennsylvania.

In the spring of 1869 he returned to Osceola County and engaged as foreman in the lumber interests of Edward Cole, for whom he operated three years.

In 1872 he came to this township and commenced lumbering for Wright & Grove, and continued one year in their employment, his family meanwhile residing on the farm on which there were no improvements except a log house.

He has now 30 acres under the plow and a good frame house and barn.

Mr. Bennett is a Democrat in political conviction and action.

He has acted through four terms as Supervisor, has been School Director since he came here, and has served one year as Highway Commissioner.

He was married Dec. 14, 1858, to Frances A. Benaway, and they are the parents of seven children: Thomas was born Oct. 1, 1859; Alonzo, June 16, 1861; Elliott L., May 4, 1864; William, April 8, 1866; Carrie, Feb. 1, 1869; Jennie, June 23, 1871; Mortimer, April 23, 1873.

Mrs. Bennett is the daughter of Thomas and Lettia (Brewer) Benaway.

The former was born Jan. 9, 18i3, in Dutchess Co., N. Y.; the latter April 15, -809, in New Brunswick, N. J.

They had five children: Esther A. and Morgan M. are living; Andrew and Sarah A are deceased.

Mrs. Bennett was born Feb. 9, 1838, in Steuben Co., N. Y.

Mr. Bennett has two brothers— Benjamin R. and John J. Thomas is deceased.

Mary A., Addie and Permelia are his surviving sisters.

Nancy, Eliza and Sarah are not living.


Eli L. Hayes, Supervisor of Richmond Township, was born Jan. 25, 1852, in New Haven, Conn.

His father, Eli D. Hayes, was born Sept. 25, 1825, and is still pursuing the business of wood engraver and landscape painter, in which he has passed his life.

His mother, Cordelia (Lewis) Buck, was born April 6, 1828, in Newton, Fairfield County, Conn.

Mr. Hayes was a resident of New Haven and attended school until he was 17 years old, when he engaged as a surveyor with his brother, and acquired a practical knowledge of the business, which he followed several years.

At the age of 18 years, he engaged in surveying for wall maps for F. W. Beers & Co. and C. O. Titus, following the calling in portions of Michigan and in Osceola County.

In 1879 he settled in Reed City, and in company with a man named Lewis, founded a grocery and crockery trade, under the style of Hayes & Lewis, the relation existing five years, and including a traffic in builders’ materials.

They afterward sold their entire interests and are now arranging and settling their business affairs.

Mr. Hayes is the proprietor of a considerable amount of properly at Reed City, and owns ten acres of land in the vicinity of New Haven, Conn.

He was married Sept. 17, 1879, at Reed City, to Anna Lewis, and they have one child, Eli, born July 2, 1880.

Mrs. Hayes was born Sept. 14, 1856, in Sanilac Co., Mich., and is the daughter of William and Emmeline Lewis.


John Hoffmeyer, farmer, section 24, Osceola Township, was born May 8, 1833, in Perth County, Ontario.

His parents were born in Germany, where his father pursued the vocation of millwright.

They emigrated from the fatherland in early life, settling in Canada.

The father died there about 1863.

In 1866 the mother became an inmate of the family of her son.

She died in 1883, aged 81 years.

Mr. Hoffmeyer was a pupil in the common schools until he was 19 years old.

He began his career of independence as a teamster, which was his business about three years.

In the fall of 1855 he went to Toledo, Ohio, where he obtained employment in the ship yards.

He continued to work there and as a carpenter two years. In 1857 he went to work in the machine shops of the railroad at Toledo, and in the switch-yard, and was appointed fireman on the Michigan Southern Railroad.

Six months of service in that position was succeeded by an appointment as engineer for the same corporation, in which capacity he operated two years.

He next engaged as engineer on the Cleveland Railroad, where he was occupied three years.

In the early 1860’s, associated with another man, he purchased a canal boat.

After 18 months of canal experience he disposed of his interest in inland navigation property and returned to Toledo, where he again engaged in the ship-yards.

One year later he came to Osceola County and labored a year in the saw-mills of D. A. Blodgett.

At the end of that time he located on the Muskegon River, at a point now included in Osceola Township.

This was in 1866, and he was the first permanent settler in the township, his nearest neighbor being 16 miles distant.

He secured his farm under the regulations of the homestead law, including 160 acres of land.

He is now the owner of 270 acres of land in Osceola Township and 510 acres in the county.

He has a choice and valuable farm, now comprising 1 to acres of improved and cultivated land.

He is a decided Republican and radical in his political views.

He has officiated five years as Justice of the Peace and held several other official positions in Osceola Township.

He was married Oct. 7, 1855, in Toledo, to Mary A. Dane.

They have had eight children.

Two died when infants.

Edward, Frank, Charles, Laura, Alonzo and Ella M. are living.

Mrs. Hoffmeyer was born Sept. 28, 1833, in England, which was the native country of her parents, Richard and Ann Dane.

The family came to Ontario in 1841, where the father died about 1850, and the mother July 25, 1884.

The death of the father left a family of six children dependent upon the exertions of the older members.

Mrs. Hoffmeyer was the oldest and devoted herself to the maintenance of the family until her marriage.


Charles Peel, farmer, section 23, Hartwick Township, was born October 12, 1838, in Leicestershire, England.

His father, William Peel, emigrated from his native country with his wife and children in 1842, locating in Avon, Lorain County, Ohio.

Pr. Peel was three years of age when his parents became residents of the Buckeye State, where he remained during the years of his minority and obtained his education in common schools.

On obtaining his majority he came to Michigan, making his first location in Jamestown, Ottawa County, where he engaged in farming on 40 acres of land, of which he became proprietor by purchase.

In the second year of the War of the Rebellion he enlisted at Grand Rapids in the First Regiment, Mechanics and Engineers, enrolling in Co. H, Capt. W. P. Ennis.

His command joined the Army of the Cumberland and Mr. Peel was a participant in the battles of Perryville, Lavergne, and Bentonville, besides being in various minor affairs.

He escaped without wound or capture, and was honorably discharged June 19, 1865, after a military service of more than two years.

He was made Corporal, and in August, 1864, was promoted to Second Sergeant.

He returned on leaving the army to Oakfield, Kent Co., Mich., where he engaged as assistant in a saw and shingle mill, spending three years in that employment.

In 1867 he purchased 40 acres of land in that township, on which he operated two years, going thence to Greenville, Montcalm Co., Mich.

Some months later he sold his interests there, and in the same year, 1868, he purchased 40 acres which has since been his home.

He is now the owner of 120 acres, and 80 acres of the tract are under improvements and cultivation.

He is an exceptionally good farmer.

Mr. Peel was formerly a Republican, but is now a supporter of the principles of the Prohibition element.

He has officiated in his township as Treasurer and School Assessor.

He was married Jan. 1, 1860, in Paris, Kent County, to Lucy A. Leman, and they have had seven children, – William A., Albert W., Elnora, Percy J., Harvey F., Howard E. and Frank E.

Mrs. Peel was born July 6, 1840, in Newfane, Niagara Co., N. Y., and was 12 years of age when, she came with her parents to Paris, where she was reared and educated.

She is a member of the Baptist Church.


George Shay, liveryman, at Reed City, was born October 12, 1834, in Schoharie, New York, and is the son of William and Anna (diver) Shay.

His father was a miller and owned a mill on Foxen Creek, a stream which flowed through the township.

In 1844 the family removed their residence to Cleveland, Ohio, where Mr. Shay was employed in the Cuyahoga Works, and acquired a knowledge of engineering, in which he was occupied several years.

He came to Salem Township, Michigan, and bought a small farm on which he was resident until his removal in 1875 to Isabella County, where he owned 40 acres of land, and there maintained a residence two years.

He came to Reed City in the spring of 1877 and founded his present business.

He has about 15 horses generally in his stables and livery appointments suited to his patronage.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the A. O. U. W.

He has officiated six years as member of the Village Council.

Mr. Shay owns his business premises, residence and other village property.

His marriage to Martha M. Higginson took place April 15, 1857, in Superior, Washtenaw Co., Mich.

She was born Oct. 16, 1837, in Detroit.

Their children are, William, Emma and Ida.


George W. Leeman, farmer and lumberman, resident on section 23, Hartwick Township, was born April 26, 1840, in Albany Co., N. Y.

His father was born in the north of Ireland, of Scotch parentage.

He came to the United States with his parents when he was two years old and resided in Albany Co., N. Y., many years.

He was married there and soon afterward came to Michigan and settled in the township of Paris, in Kent County, and afterward to Oakfield, where he lives now, aged about 78 years.

The mother, Sallie A. (McKinley) Leeman, was of Scotch descent, and was born in Albany Co., N. Y.

She died Sept. 19, 1883, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Sarah E. Mowitt, whom she was visiting.

They had 12 children.

Mr. Leeman is the fifth child in order of birth. He came to Kent County when he was 14 years of age.

After securing a good practical education and living at home with his parents until he was 24 years of age, he became, in 1864, the owner of 80 acres of land, which he increased to 120 acres by later purchase in the township where his father was a landholder.

In 1867 he sold his property and removed to Osceola County, purchasing 40 acres of land on section 23, Hartwick Township, on which he settled, and later purchased a like quantity of land in addition.

He afterward sold the latter to E. J. Terrill, and has placed all the remaining portion—his original purchase—under improvements.

In political affiliation Mr. Leeman is a Republican with prohibition principles, and he has officiated as Highway Commissioner in his township and as Justice of the Peace.

He was married Nov. 10, 1864, in Greenville, Montcalm Co., Mich., to Hannah M. Huff.

They have one child,—Gracie Bell, born Feb. 22, 1876.

Mrs. Leeman was born June 23, 1839, in Orion, Oakland Co., Mich.

She attended the common schools of her native county until she was 15 years old, and after her parents removed to Greenville she completed her education in Montcalm County.

She began teaching there, and continued that calling until she had served 17 terms successful labor as an educator.

Her parents, John and (Fuller) Huff, are still living in Montcalm County, and are aged respectively 72 and 67 years.

They are of German descent, he a native of the State of New York, and she of Vermont.


Frederick J. Fleischhauer, wagon and carriage manufacturer, general blacksmith at Reed City, and manager of the Clifton House, was born Sept. 23, 1854, in Waterloo, Ontario.

He is the son of John W. and Mary Fleischhauer, and was reared on his father’s farm in Waterloo Co., Ont.

He was 17 years of age when he began to acquire the knowledge necessary to the prosecution of the business in which he has been actively engaged for many years, and he served an apprenticeship of three years at Wellesley, in his native county, afterwards becoming a journeyman and operating in that method eight years.

In 1881 he went to Milwaukee, Wis., and, three months later, proceeded to Reed City, where he opened his shop in December, 1881.

He is doing a successful business, requiring two assistants in the various departments except in wood work, all of which is made by his own hands. ,

He purchased the Clifton House in October, 1883.

The establishment accommodates a limited number of guests and has a restaurant attached.

The property belongs to his wife.

He is the owner of his shops and their sites.

Mr. Fleischhauer was married Oct. 19, 1883, at Reed City, to Ernestine Treptow.

She was born in Canada Sept. 13, 1857.

One child, Edward F., was born of their union, at Reed City, Sept. 23, 1884.

Mr. Fleischhauer has one daughter by an earlier marriage, Caroline, born in November, 1879, in Richmond Township.


Warren A. Wagar, Supervisor of Sylvan Township and farmer on section 28, was born Aug. 17, 1840, in Yates Co., N. Y.

Charles Wagar, his father, was a native of the same State and followed the pursuit of agriculture in Yates County until his death, which occurred in 1841, within the first year of the life of his son.

His mother, Sophronia (Wier) Wagar, is a native of New York, and is now a resident of Wayne County in that State, and is aged 67 years.

After the death of Mr. Wagar she again married.

Warren was a member of his mother’s family until he was 13 years of age, when he found a home with a young man named Gage.

Between three and four years later, he became an inmate of the household of Morgan Gage, father of his former patron, with whom he remained until he was 22 years of age, attending school and obtaining a knowledge of the builder’s trade. 1

He was married Aug. 27, 1862, in Yates County, to Mary A. Green.

She was born in that county and died there in June, 1864, leaving one child, Charles, who was born Oct. 9, 1863.

The wife and mother when dying urged his speedy union with a friend to whose care she wished to entrust her infant child, and in accordance Mr. Wagar was married Feb. 16, 1865, to Jennie M. Van Liper.

She was born Nov. 9, 1845, in the State of New York, and is the daughter of Jeremiah Van Liper.

One child constitutes the issue of this marriage, Elnora, born Sept. 23, 1866.

After his marriage Mr. Wagar was occupied at his trade, which he pursued with success until 1877 in his native State.

In that year he concluded to seek a home in Michigan, which he did and made his location on the place where he now resides, April 27, 1877.

He at first purchased 120 acres of land, to which he added five acres soon after.

Later, he sold 40 acres, and has about 20 acres of the remaining 85 acres under the plow.

He is the owner of a half interest in 80 acres’ of pine land on section 24.

Politically he is a Democrat and has been Justice of the Peace two years; is the present incumbent.


Wellington Welch, farmer, section 25, Hartwick Township, was born Aug. 16, 1843, in Euclid, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio.

His parents, Sardis and Marinda (Dillie) Welch, were natives respectively of Connecticut and Ohio, and of Scotch and French descent.

The former died in 1857, the latter in 1880.

Mr. Welch is the youngest of the six children included in his father’s family, and was reared at home.

When he was 18 he entered the Union army to aid in quelling the Rebellion, enrolling in Co. C, the color company of the 18th U. S. Inf., under the command of Lieut. Col. O. L. Shepherd, and attached, after being mustered into the service, to the Army of the Cumberland.

He was in active service in 13 engagements, among them the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Hoover’s Gap, Mission Ridge, and the campaign under Sherman till the fight before Atlanta.

He received two gun-shot wounds at Stone River,—one in the arm and one in the hip.

He was hit five times in the same engagement, his clothing being severely torn.

Among other casualties it sustained was the scalping of his cap, the top of which was taken cleanly off!

He was discharged before Atlanta, Aug. 7, 1864, from Co. B, First Battalion.

The company was so cut to pieces at the battle of Stone River that a sufficient number was not left to form as a company, and the remnant was transferred, Mr. Welch going to Co. B.

He returned to his home and resumed his place as assistant on the family homestead, his brother, Orlando B., enlisting in another company and regiment.

Soon after his return to his home he entered the commercial college at Cleveland and completed a course of study in 1866.

He spent two years subsequently in farming.

His marriage to Cecelia Dillie occurred Oct. 14, 1868, in the place of his birth, and they have one child, Alice L., born April 21, 1870.

Mrs. Welch is the daughter of Milton and Lauretta (Lilly) Dillie.

Her father was born in Pennsylvania, her mother in New York.

They are now residents of Euclid, Ohio.

In January, 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Welch came to Michigan to establish a home, and made a homestead claim of 120 acres of land on section 28, in Hartwick Township.

The place was entirely wild, and in an unsatisfactory location, and after a year’s residence they decided to make a change, and purchased 40 acres, afterwards 40 acres more, in the same township, three-fifths of the tract being now under cultivation.

Mr. Welch is a Republican.

He has been Township Clerk four terms, and is now School Director.

He is Clerk of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, of which he and wife are members.

He has been connected with the Odd Fellows.


John Smith, farmer, section 12, EvartTownship, was born Sept. 7, 1833, in York, Washtenaw Co., Mich.

His parents, Harmon and Eliza (Davenport) Smith, are natives of the State of New York.

They removed in 1847 to Ronald Township, Ionia County.

His mother descended from the Davenport brothers, – John, Isaac and Morris, – whose posterity has kept intact the lineage record from their emigration to this country in the Colonial period, and who were Quakers in religious sentiment.

She was born July 19, 1812, either in Dutchess or Orange Co., N. Y.

The father was born Sept. 27, 1805, in Lima, Livingston Co., N. Y.

Mr. Smith went to Iowa when 23, and after passing a year in the Buckeye State returned to Ionia.

He came to the township of Evart Feb. 11, 1867, at a period when the natural condition of the county afforded ample scope for the indulgence of his tastes and proclivities for hunting and trapping, which he turned to profit, and which he has pursued more or less ever since for sport when no necessity urged.

He settled on 80 acres of land, where he has since resided.

He was married, in Orient Township, Dec. 12, 1865, to Mary Ann Tennant.

She was born Dec. 29, 1845, in Macomb Co., Mich., and is the daughter of William and Betsey (Burdick) Tennant, of Orient Township (see sketch).

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have had six children: Harmon, born Dec. 17, 1867; Rhoda, Oct. 7, 1871; Alva, March 20, 187- Ida born Sept. 11, 1869, died Oct. 26, 1879; Alva, born April 12, 1876, died Nov. 13, 1879; Ethan, born Dec. 7, 1873, died Nov. 1, 1879.

These children died within three weeks, of diphtheria.

Their mother joined her little ones gone before to the land of the silent majority April 1, 1881.

Mr. Smith is a Democrat. He has been Treasurer three terms, and Highway Commissioner and Justice of the Peace one term each.


Herman Stephan, farmer, section 20, Richmond Township, was born in Germany, Sept. 15, 1843, of which country his parents, Gottlieb and Julia Stephan, were also natives.

They emigrated to the Dominion of Canada in 1855, when their son was 13 years of age.

The latter remained there until 1862, the date of his removal to Osceola County.

His first homestead claim of 80 acres is included in the farm of 118 acres of which he is now the owner, and of which 98 acres have surrendered to the forces of energy, judgment and perseverance that have been brought to bear on them, and are under creditable and profitable cultivation.

In the fall of 1863 Mr. Stephan enlisted in the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, and remained in the military service of the United States until the close of the war.

Still true to the principles for which he braved the fate of the war, he is a supporter and endorser of the issues of the Republican Party.

He was first married Sept. 19, 1865, in Richmond Township, to Mary Ruppert, and they had four children, – Ernest, William, Laura and Julia.

Their mother died Sept. 17, 1875.

Mr. Stephan was again married Nov. 21, 1875, to Elizabeth Schnatz.

She was a native of Germany, as was her predecessor, and was born April 4, 1853.

Two children born of the second marriage died in infancy. Four survive,—Mary, Catherine, Herman and Lizzie.

The parents belong to the Lutheran Church.


Charles M. Collins, senior member of the firm of Collins & Amspoker, manufacturers and dealers in furniture and undertakers’ wares, at Reed City, was born July 1, 1844, in Brant Co., Ont.

At the age of 23 years Mr. Collins took leave of the farm where he had been brought up, and went to Stratford, Ont., where he obtained a situation in the agricultural house of Sharman Brothers as traveling salesman, in which capacity he passed a year; he then spent two years in the acquisition of the trade of a cabinet-maker at St. Mary’s, Ont.

He went then to Atchison, Kan., and operated in that line a few months.

He removed next to a farm in Brantford, Washington Co., Kan., operating as a farmer and builder until the date of his coming to Reed City, in the fall of 1876.

He bought the site of his present business stand, erected a building and commenced the sale of furniture.

In 1879 he erected a brick building in the rear of the store, fitted it up with machinery and began the manufacture of the wares in which he deals.

He formed a partnership with T. J. Amspoker, Oct. 1, 1881, and they have a stock which represents a cash value of about $10,000, and transact annually an extensive business.

The warehouse of the firm fronts on Higbe Street.

Mr. Collins was married at Norwichville, Dec. 25, 1866, to Mary Ann Clemmens.

She was born in Bronte, Ontario, June 1, 1845, and is the daughter of Thomas Clemmens.

They have five children: Lillie was born Feb. 25, 1868, in Stratford, Ontario; Leland was born April 17, 1871, in Brantford, Kansas, where Gertrude was born October 20, 1874; Frankie was born June 18, 1879; and Georgie, May 23, 1880.

The two last named were born at Reed City.


Stephen H. Allen, farmer, section 36, Burdell Township, was born Feb. 22, 1818, in Kentshire, England.

At the age of 16 he entered the British sailing service and became a sailor on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

During the 20 years in which he was a seaman, he was engaged t2 years as a marine and in the naval military service during the war with China in 1840-1, and was on the coast of Africa five years, engaged in the capture of slave vessels.

He sailed on all the seas and oceans of the Eastern continent and visited all the European nations that had a seaboard.

He came to the port of New York in 1852, where he was soon after married to Eliza Conway.

They have had seven children: William E. was born Feb. 15, 1853, Joseph P., Nov. 1, 1855; Edward E., Sept. 26, 1861; Stephen, Feb. 22, 1862.

Stephen H. (1st) John and Mary are deceased.

Mrs. Allen was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, Dec. 5, 1832, and lived in her native country until her marriage.

After that event Mr. Allen established a mercantile business in Brooklyn, and also operated as a ship-rigger, carrying on both branches of business until 1859, the year of his removal to the West.

He located first in Chicago, where he resided three years.

Among his experiences in the Garden City were two disastrous fires, which involved heavy loss and inconvenience.

He came thence to Plymouth, Ind. where he was variously employed four years.

He removed his family in 1874 to Kalamazoo, where he left them, and came to Osceola County.

He located a homestead claim of 80 acres, on which he made some improvements and returned to Kalamazoo.

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was then in process of construction, and he became an employee of the corporation, and worked on the line until it reached the vicinity of his home, where he brought his family for the first time.

There the first opening in that part of the county was made at a time when Reed City was but little more than begun, and Cadillac had no existence, either in fact or fancy.

His place is now nearly all improved and has suitable and good farm belongings.

Mr. Allen continued to work on the line of railroad as it extended north until it reached Rapid River, when he returned to his farm labor.

He is a Democrat in political persuasion, and is an Episcopalian in Church connection: Mrs. Allen is a Catholic.

He has been Justice of the Peace nine years and held the various school offices.


William H. Staninger, farmer on section 12, Osceola Township, was born Oct. 11, 1841, in Mercer Co., Pa.

He received a common-school education, and at the age of 20 years he began to operate as a farm laborer, coming to Michigan in 1854.

In the course of the second year of the war he entered the army, enlisting Aug. 6, 1862, from Lenawee County, in the 18th Regt. Vol. Inf.

His Captain was Charles R. Miller, latterly a prominent citizen of Adrian.

The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and the period of Mr. Staninger’s military service was two years and ten months, or until the practical close of the war.

He fought at Decatur and Athens, Ala., escaping unhurt, and received his discharge May 16, 1865, at Huntsville, Ala.

He returned to Lenawee County, and was occupied on his father’s farm until March, 1870.

At that date he severed his business relations there and proceeded to Osceola County and Township, securing 200 acres of wholly unimproved land.

All surroundings and circumstances were of the pioneer order, neighbors were remote, supplies high-priced and market far away; but all obstacles were surmounted with cheerful courage and unremitting toil, and Mr. Staninger has 90 acres of well-improved land.

He is an adherent of the party whose interest he fought for and to which he clings with perfect loyalty.

He was married March 3, 1866, in Morenci, Lenawee Co., Mich., to Alida J. Partridge.

She was born March 3, 1850, in Lenawee County, and is the daughter of Ira J. and Sachra M. (Berger) Partridge.

Her parents were born and married in the State of New York, and came to Michigan about 1834.

Her father died March 28, 1884, in Osceola County.

Her mother lives in Adrian and is 63 years old.

Two children are included in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Staninger: Viola, born Sept. 3, 1867; and Earl, April 14, 1884.


Henry H. Freedman, cigar manufacturer at Reed City, was born June 16, 1854, in Hungary, of which country his parents, Joseph and Lena Freedman, were also natives.

He was brought up on a farm and emigrated to the United States in 1870.

He passed two years at Cleveland, Ohio, and returned to the land of his birth in 1873. He visited there six months and again crossed the sea to America, locating in Coldwater, Mich.

He learned his business of cigar-making of B. S. Tibbitts of that place, and continued to operate in Branch County for some years.

In February, 1883, he came to Reed City and established his business, which has gradually grown in popularity and increased in extent.

He employs eight men, and is putting upon the market the cigars known to the trade as the “Unknown,” the “Eclipse,” “Osceola” and “Reed City.”

He puts out about 35,000 monthly and rolls all kinds of manufactured tobaccos.

Mr. Freedman is a member of the Masons, – lower body, Royal Arch Chapter and Jacobs Commandery, No. 10, at Coldwater.

He also belongs to the Encampment.,

He was married June 27, 1877, in Coldwater, to Louise Graff, and they have one daughter— Blanche—born Feb. 24, 1884, at Reed City.

Mrs. Freedman was born June 17, 1857, in Rochester, N. Y.


Edward Baumgardner, farmer, section 33, Richmond Township, is the son of Jacob and Catherine (Koutz) Baumgardner, natives of Switzerland and Pennsylvania respectively.

After their marriage they settled in Ohio, and subsequently moved to Van Buren County, Michigan, going thence to Ionia County where they remained until death.

They had four children,—Edward C., Noah and Seymour. One died in infancy.

Mr. Baumgardner was born Sept. 16, 1852, in Van Buren Co., Mich.

He was a student at public schools until he was 18 years of age.

He remained at home three years after that age, when he began to work by the month, in which method he operated seven years, farming summers and in the lumber woods winters.

In 1876 he bought 80 acres of land in Richmond Township, under some improvements, on which he settled in the spring of 1882.

Two thirds of the place is now in a good state of cultivation.

In political connection he is a Republican and has held the office of School Assessor.

He was married in Richmond Township, April 10, 1879, to Mary J. Robbins, and they have two children,—L. J., born Jan. 24, 1880, and Leo V., born Dec. 18, 1882.

Mrs. Baumgardner is the daughter of James G. and Olive E. Robbins.

(See sketch of J. G. Robbins.)

She was born June 4, 1861, in Richmond Township, and is the first white child born in Osceola County.


Robert Nixon, farmer, section 35, Evart Township, was born Feb. 11, 1844, in Belleville, Hastings Co., Ontario.

His parents, John and Margaret Nixon, were natives of Ireland.

They came to America in the early part of the present century, settling first in Ottawa, Can., where they resided a few years, and removed to Madock Township, Hastings Co., Ont., where they have since resided.

Mr. Nixon commenced the life of a lumberman when he was 17 years of age, and operated as such in the Canadian forests, where he spent five winters, meanwhile passing the summer seasons on the lakes as a sailor, operating on his last trip as mate.

In 1861 he came to Cape Vincent, Jefferson Co., N. Y., and in 1865 settled permanently in Osceola County, since which time he has passed every winter season in the woods except two.

In 1877 he bought an unimproved farm, on which he located, and now has 40 acres cultivated and 10 acres chopped (1884).

Since coming to Michigan he has operated as foreman of the camps of different parties.

His first employment in that capacity was with Brown & Nestor, on Tobacco River.

He was next with Smith Brothers at Sturgeon Creek, and subsequently with Shaw & Williams and Mark Fleitze.

Mr. Nixon is a Republican in political sentiment, and served two years as School Director in Chippewa Township, Mecosta County.

He was married Aug. 7, 1874, to Jane McCormick, and they are the parents of four children: Flora, born Jan. 3, 1876: Charles, June 20, 1877; Wellington, Jan. 26, 1879; Manly, Oct. 13, 1882.

Mrs. Nixon is the daughter of Archibald and Flora (McCallum) McCormick.

Both parents died in Puslinch, Wellington Co., Ont., the demise of her father occurring when she was a year old, and she was wholly orphaned when she was two years of age.

She was born Aug. 7, 1855, in Puslinch, and has two brothers – John and Archibald.

She is a member of the Presbyterian Church.


Nathan O. Pettibone, farmer on section 28, Hartwick Township, and civil engineer by profession, is the son of Roswell and Harriet (Ball) Pettibone.

His father was born about 1788, in the State of Vermont, and probably underwent as many years of pioneer experience as any man who ever lived.

Vermont was admitted as a State in 1790, and the events in her history immediately preceding that era form some of the most interesting records of the annals of the settlement and adjustment of this continent.

In 1826 he came to Oakland Co., Mich.

At that date few white men aside from the Indian traders were permanently settled in the State, and in that section the “Lo” family were more numerous than agreeable.

He secured considerable tracts of valuable land in that county, whose agricultural facilities are well known, going later to the county of Monroe.

In 1838 he purchased a small property in Hillsdale County, where he lived a little more than 30 years and died, in t87o, aged 82 years.

He was a soldier of 1812, enlisting from the State of New York.

While in Monroe Co., Mich., the famous Toledo “War” was on the carpet,’ which served as the source of much excitement, and he was in a community of Southern Michigan when the place was greatly disturbed by the chances and apprehensions resulting from the Black Hawk War.

The mother of the subject of this sketch was born in New England and died in February, 1835, in Monroe County.

Five children survived to bless her memory, four of whom are yet living.

A daughter, Harriet, was married in Washtenaw Co., Mich., and is deceased.

John is a farmer in Clare County.

Lydia (Mrs. Duesler) resides on a farm near Hersey.

Sarah (Mrs. Brockway) lives at South Allen, Hillsdale Co., Mich.

Mr. Pettibone was born May 30, 1830, in Farmington, Oakland Co., Mich., and was little more than four years old when his mother died.

He was cared for by the family survivors and reared to the age of 18 years with few school privileges, owing to the pioneer condition of the country.

On approaching manhood he realized keenly his deficiencies, and devoted every leisure opportunity to the acquirement of information to remedy the defect.

Feeling that he was and should be in need of a thorough knowledge of grammar, he’ procured a copy of Brown’s text-book on that subject, then holding a place of honor in the common curriculum of study, and committed not only the “Rules” to memory, but also nearly the entire work.

A thorough familiarity with the book is in itself a liberal education.

At the age of 21 he commenced teaching, which vocation he followed until he entered the military service of the United States, a little more than a year after the breaking out of the Rebellion.

He enlisted Aug. 28, 1862, at Angola, Steuben Co., Ind., in the 74th Volunteer Regiment of that State.

The regiment joined the Army of the Cumberland, and Mr. Pettibone participated in its chances until his discharge in the winter of 1864.

He was under fire at Perryville and at Hartsville.

On obtaining his liberty once more he returned to Southern Michigan, and in the spring following (1865) he came to Osceola County.

He secured a homestead claim in the- township and near the village of Hersey, situated on the Muskegon River.

At that period there was not a location made north of his place for many miles along the course of the river.

His education and tastes fitted him to supply a peculiar demand of the place and period, and he at once gave his attention to land prospecting and surveying, in both which avenues he has continued to operate with gratifying results.

In 1875 he purchased 100 acres of land in the township of Hartwick, where he has operated as a farmer and been active in his professional duties.

In political principle and connection he is a Prohibitionist.

He has been County Surveyor three terms, Township Treasurer and Supervisor, and held all the minor local offices.

He was married in September, 1875, near Independence, Iowa, to Amelia Roberts.

Of their five children one is deceased.

The others are recorded as follows: Elva, married; Fred resides in Colorado; Emma and Frank live at home.

Mrs. Pettibone was born in 1833, in Dexter, Washtenaw Co., Mich., and is the daughter of George and Temperance (Monroe) Roberts.

Both her parents are deceased. She is a member of the Congregational Church.

James E. Bevins

James E. Bevins, Judge of Probate and Postmaster at Le Roy, was born in the town of Conesus, Livingston Co., N. Y., July 27, 1843.

He received a common-school education by working on a farm in summer and attending school in the winter: also attended high school at Bergen Academy, Genesee Co., N. Y., two terms.

He came to Michigan in the spring of 1866; worked at the carpenter’s trade during the summer in Kent County; went north in the fall and worked for J. H. Rogers in Mecosta County one year in a store.

Built a store at Paris in 1867, and commenced mercantile business in partnership with his brother under the firm name of Bevins Bros.

Mr. Bevins was married to Miss Alice Haynes, Oct. 3, 1869.

In 1870 he homesteaded in Osceola County; built branch store at Le Roy in fall of 187 1 and moved on the homestead in Le Roy Township.

He was appointed Postmaster in March, 1872, and still holds the office.

He bought 80 acres of land where Le Roy stands, and platted the village in 1873.

He has served two terms as Supervisor of his township, once by appointment and once by election.

He was agent for the United States Express Company four years.

Was elected President in 1883, when Le Roy was incorporated as a village, and re-elected in 1884, receiving every vote cast at the election.

He voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and voted the Republican ticket ever since.

At the Republican County Convention of 1884 he received the nomination for Judge of Probate, and was elected by 773 majority, running ahead of his ticket in the county and in his own township.

In Le Roy he had 130 majority over both the Democrat and Prohibition candidates, the vote standing: J. E. Bevins, Rep., 179; D. McGovern, Dem., 34; W. A. Lewis, Pro., 15.

Mr. Bevins’ parents were John and Olive (nee Hubble) Bevins.

His grandfather on his father’s side came from Wales, and his grandmother was a German.

His mother’s people came from Connecticut and settled in Conesus about the year 1812.

The subject of this sketch is the youngest of 12 children, six boys and six girls.

His mother died when he was six years old, and his father married a Miss Mary Ann Perry, about 1852, and by her had three children,—two sons and one daughter,—making a family of eight boys and seven girls.

His father died in Chili, Monroe Co., N. Y., in 1864, at the age of 72 years, leaving all of his 15 children alive at the time of his death.

Four of the children have since died all being over 50 years of age at the time of their death.

One of the children (a boy), by his second wife, was drowned at the age of 27 years.

Mrs. Bevins was born in Cayuga Co., N. Y.

Her parents came from England and moved to Kent Co., Mich., when she was 12 years old.

Mr. and Mrs. B. have had three children,—two girls and one boy.

They lost their first child, a girl, when she was only five weeks old.

They now have the two: the girl, Jessie M., is 13, and the boy, John W., 9 years old.

Mrs. B. is the Deputy Postmistress, and has attended the post office the most of the time for five or six years.

Ever since Mr. Bevins’ advent into Osceola County he has been intimately identified with its growth and progress.

In every enterprise looking to the better development of the country, the material advancement of its wealth and the welfare of its people, he is ever to be found in the van.

Just such men are required to open up and settle a new country and develop its resources to the best advantage

While Mr. Bevins is enterprising, he is also cautious, safe and judicious in all undertakings, bringing to bear rare good judgment and business ability in carrying out any plan.

While serving himself and his family, he has also served his neighbors in various official capacities and always with that same devotion, earnestness and unselfishness he has served his own.

In public positions he has ever won the favor and good will of the people, as in private life he commands the respect and wins the esteem of all who are fortunate enough to know him.

As the subject of the foregoing brief biographical outline has proved himself a thorough representative of that class who rise in the world by adherence to good maxims, the publishers of this Album take especial pleasure in presenting his portrait in connection herewith, on the page preceding the commencement of this sketch.

John Lennon, farmer on section 25, Hartwick Township, and lumberman, was born August 16, 1837, in County Carrol, Ireland.

His parents emigrated to Montreal, when he was 11 years of age, in 1848.

His father dying a few years later, Mr. Lennon found himself at the head of the family, he being the oldest of 10 children deprived of a father’s care.

He devoted his efforts to the discharge of the duty until he was 20 years of age, when he came to Michigan.

He became a lumberman at Mill Creek, St. Clair County, where he operated three years, going thence to Lapeer County, following the same pursuit until 1876, the date of his coming to Osceola County and to Hartwick Township.

He purchased 120 acres of land on sections 25 and 26, in a wholly wild condition, and later became the proprietor by purchase of a like quantity of land in addition.

He has cleared and improved 70 acres and erected excellent farm buildings.

The entire tract in his possession lies in a solid body.

He is a Prohibitionist in principle, and has served three years as Highway Commissioner.

The marriage of Mr. Lennon to Ellen J. McFarland took place at Goodwin, Lapeer Co., Mich., Jan. 27, 1861.

They have had 11 children—May J., Margaret L., Anna, Deborah, Nancy E., James, John, Grace, William and Florence.

One child died unnamed.

Mrs. Lennon was born Feb. 28, 1844, in Ontario.

Her father, Andrew McFarland, was a farmer in Lapeer County, where he died, in October, 1858.

She was 10 years old when her parents removed to Ontario from Quebec, and five years later they settled in Michigan.


George H. Gilbert, proprietor of the Gilbert House at Reed City, was born in Schuyler, Herkimer Co., N. Y., June 19, 1843.

His parents, Josiah and Tilda (Whitaker) Gilbert, were natives of the Empire State, and died there.

Mr. Gilbert, when about 14 years of age, began to operate as a buyer and shipper of cattle, in which he was engaged 11 successive years.

In July, 1862, he enlisted in Co. C, 121st N. Y. Vol. Inf., under Capt. Fish, and went to the front as Third Sergeant.

He was in the service until the close of the war, and was in the Army of the Potomac.

He was in the actions of the second Bull Run, Antietam, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court-House, Cedar Creek, Crampton’s Pass, Frederick City, Winchester, Petersburg, Fredericksburg, Sailor’s Creek, or Oliver Mountain, and was present at the surrender of General Lee.

Mr. Gilbert was discharged as Orderly Sergeant, and returned to the State of New York and passed two years in the vicinity of the city of Utica, on a farm.

In the spring of 1867 he came to the village of Newaygo, in the county of the same name, and engaged in the meat business.

He officiated as manager of the Jarse House two years, and in 187 1 came to Reed City, where he bought a building site, removed the timber, literally “cleared the bush,” erected a building and established a saloon and billiard-room.

In the following year he built the hotel which he is now managing.

It is 24 x 96 feet in extent, is two stories in height, with a basement, and has accommodations for an average of 40 guests.

His hotel was destroyed by fire the morning of Jan. 17, 1885.

Mr. Gilbert is a member of the order known as the Princes of the Orient, and also of the Odd Fellows.

Beside his hotel property he owns 90 feet of frontage on Slosson Street, with a barn, 80 acres of land in Mason County and 160 acres of land in Lake County.

He was married in Schuyler County, New York, August 27, 1866, to Amoretta Sterling and they have two children; Vara, born in January, 1870, in Newaygo; and Ira, born in July, 1879, in Reed City.

Mrs. Gilbert was born in August, 1844, in Schulyer, New York.


David J. Hood, Manager and Overseer of the County Poor Farm, located on section 28, Sylvan Township, was born in Crawford Co., Pa.

He was reared to the age of 18 years on his father’s farm and attended the common schools.

On attaining the age named he devoted his abilities to the acquisition of the carpenter’s trade, following it as a vocation in Pennsylvania and Missouri until 1876, the year of his removal to Osceola County.

In August he came to Reed City and a few days later purchased of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Corporation a tract of land in Richmond Township containing 80 acres.

It was in an unimproved condition, and he has now 45 acres under the plow.

He took charge of the poor farm in Sylvan Township March 18, 1882.

He has succeeded in conducting its affairs with satisfaction to all concerned.

The occupants of the farm have numbered 17, the maximum.

There are eight persons now in his charge.

Politically, Mr. Hood is a Republican, with strong prohibition views.

He was married June 14, 1850, at Evansburg, Crawford Co., Pa., to Rosanna Stewart.

She was born in that place Aug. 16, 1831, where in former days her father was a merchant.

Later he removed to a farm where he passed the remaining days of his life.

Her mother died also in Crawford County.

Mrs. Hood was well educated and previous to her marriage engaged in teaching.

She has been the mother of 11 children:

J. Stewart is a manufacturer of pumps at Akron, Ohio.

Melbourn resides at Reed City.

Ellsworth lives at Rockford, Mich.

Margaret (Mrs. Hoover) lives at Chase, Mich.

Ray and Clyde reside at home.

Five are deceased,- Perida, Adelaide, an infant, Burton and Harry, the two last died at Reed City.

Mrs. Hood is a member of the Congregational Church at Reed City.


Warren A. Wagar, Supervisor of Sylvan Township and farmer on section 28, was born Aug. 17, 1840, in Yates Co., New York.

Charles Wagar, his father, was a native of the same Stale and followed the pursuit of agriculture in Yates County until his death, which occurred in 1841, within the first year of the life of his son.

His mother, Sophronia (Wier) Wagar, is a native of New York, and is now a resident of Wayne County in that State, and is aged 67 years.

After the death of Mr. Wagar she again married.

Warren was a member of his mother’s family until he was 13 years of age, when he found a home with a young man named Gage.

Between three and four years later, he became an inmate of the household of Morgan Gage, father of his former patron, with whom he remained until he was 22 years of age, attending school and obtaining a knowledge of the builder’s trade.

He was married Aug. 27, 1862, in Yates County, to Mary A. Green.

She was born in that county and died there in June, 1864, leaving one child, Charles, who was born Oct. 9, 1863.

The wife and mother when dying urged his speedy union with a friend to whose care she wished to entrust her infant child, and in accordance Mr. Wagar was married Feb. 16, 1865, to Jennie M. Van Liper.

She was born Nov. 9, 1845, in the State of New York, and is the daughter of Jeremiah Van Liper.

One child constitutes the issue of this marriage, Elnora, born Sept. 23. 1866.

After his marriage Mr. Wagar was occupied at his trade, which he pursued with success until 1877 in his native State.

In that year he concluded to seek a home in Michigan, which he did and made his location on the place where he now resides April 27, 1877.

He at first purchased 120 acres of land, to which he added five acres soon after.

Later, he sold 40 acres, and has about 20 acres of the remaining 85 acres under plow.

He is the owner of a half interest in 80 acres of pine land on section 24.

Politically he is a Democrat and has been Justice of the Peace two years and is the present incumbent.

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History of Early Alpena County, Michigan from 1903

David Dykins Oliver


In order to show the progress and development of Alpena county, it will be necessary to go back to the earliest days of its settlement by white people, and to show the circumstances, conditions and influences by which they were surrounded at the time of such settlement, as these have much to do with their future prosperity and happiness, and determines in no small degree the character of their popular institutions.

And hence this work would be incomplete without referring to the History of the State of Michigan—at the time and since its admission into the Sisterhood of States.

An act was passed by Congress, on the loth day of June, 1836, for the admission of Michigan as one of the States of the Union; but with the then humiliating condition, that it would relinquish its claim to the southern boundary, (which was a narrow strip of land extending from Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, and claimed by Indiana and Ohio,) and accept instead thereof, the Upper Peninsula, which was then an unexplored region, and considered of no probable value.

In December, of the same year, a packed convention met and agreed to the conditions imposed by Congress; and Michigan was admitted as one of the States of the Union, on the 26th of January, 1837.

In the winter of the same year, Canada became involved in a quasi rebellion, and the country becoming too warm politically for the healthful exercise of the writer’s American proclivities, be resolves to quit the Queen’s Dominions, (as he was only a visitor,) and he crossed the dividing line, at Port Huron, into the State of Michigan, which was then undergoing some material changes, financially and politically.

Steven T. Mason was elected first Governor.

He was a young man, of more than ordinary ability,—had been Secretary and acting Governor of the Territory while in his minority; and now, with the young State, was merging into manhood and freedom, with many wants and ambitions to satisfy; and the young State and its young Governor, without experience, launched out into many extravagances, and committed many errors, which resulted in financial ruin to the State and its inhabitants.

There was some question at the time, as to who got the money; but there was no disputing the fact that the State got the experience.

At this time, (1876), when we have railroads and telegraph lines traversing the State in every direction, it is impossible for the present generation to fully comprehend the situation or feelings of the people of our State in those days.

Then there was no railway communication with the east; nor was there any convenient way of traveling by land between Detroit and Chicago.

A large portion of the State of Michigan, at this time, (1838,) was an immense forest, the most of which was unsurveyed, and but little known.

It was, therefore, not only desirable, but necessary, that the lands should be surveyed and explored; and that certain improvements should be carried into effect, in order to develop the resources of the country.

Uncle Sam was doing his part.

The public lands were being surveyed by Deputy United States Surveyors, who done the work under contracts, at a certain price per mile.

In the fall of 1838, the writer hired with Messrs. Alvin and Austin Burt, who had a contract for surveying lands on the Aubetsies River, in the northwestern part of the Southern Peninsula.

We started—fourteen in number, and four pack horses—from Washington, in Macomb county, and traveled west through the counties of Oakland, Shiawassee, Livingston, Ionia and Kent, to Grand Rapids.

Sometimes we traveled in a road, and other times in an Indian trail; and much of the way through wood and marsh, without trail or road.

The first night out, we camped where Fenton now is.

This was the first time that the writer had ever camped out in a tent, but not the last.

Here was a log house and a small clearing.

The next day we passed through Shiawassee county, near the village of Owosso, where there was a clearing in the oak woods, and a small cluster of buildings; but the people were in excellent spirits and good working order, for the survey of a railroad had been made through their town only a short time before, and they felt confident that it would be made in a very short time.

We struck another clearing near the Looking glass River, but clearings were “few and far between” on our line of march.

In passing through Livingston County, we were terrorized by snakes.

In the marshes and low lands we found in profusion a species of rattlesnake called the Mississauga, many of which we killed, and which kept us in constant dread.

On the plains we had some experience with the blue racer.

One day one of the advanced party saw a large snake of this kind, and gave chase, but the snake kept at a safe distance ahead of the man, running with his head high above the ground and small bushes.

Finding he could not overtake the snake, he gave up the chase and started to return, when, to his astonishment and terror, he found the snake returning also, and with a loud yell, he started on double quick to reach the rest of the party.

When, almost breathless, he came to a halt among us, there was his snakeship at a respectful distance, his head above the bushes, his tongue flashing derision at the whole party.

He looked immensely good natured, and as though he was king of snakes, and was out on a reconnoiter.

Capt. Darins Cole was one of the party and one of the packers, and who proposed to unpack one of the horses and surround and capture the snake, as it was a very large one, or run it down with the horse.

But his snakeship seemed to understand what was transpiring, as well as the ancient one in the Garden of Eden, and before we were ready to surround and take him in, he respectfully withdrew, and could not be found.

In Ionia County, we met Douglass Houghton, the then State Geologist.

He was on one of the early geological surveys.

He had an Indian for a packer, and his pack-horse was a coal black one, and his camp tins were new and bright and were hung on both sides of the animal, making a singular appearance, and rattling when he traveled, as though he belonged to a charivari party.

In due time we reached Lyons, which we found quite a lively little town in the woods, containing about five hundred inhabitants, who were hoping for and expecting a railroad in a very few years.

From this place to Grand Rapids we traveled in a very passable road for a wagon, and saw some settlements, placed at long intervals.

We halted at Grand Rapids a short time, to make some purchases and recruit our provisions, as this was the last village we would see for many months?

Grand Rapids, at this time, (1838,) had the appearance of a growing little village, with say fifteen hundred inhabitants.

It had water communication, by boats on the river, to Grand Haven.

It had a bank, a sawmill and two painted buildings, which were used as stores.

It was the center of considerable trade in general merchandise and peltry.

From this place to Aubetsies River, a little over one hundred miles north, was a howling wilderness, with only an Indian trader at the mouth of Muskegon River, a small sawmill at White river, and a Missionary Station at Manistee.

The writer has given a short sketch of this trip across the State, in order to show the condition at this time (1838) of that strip of country over which the palace cars of the Detroit & Milwaukee railway now (1876) travel, and conveying the traveling public with dispatch and comfort.

The travel west, at this time, was very large, and most of it was by steamboats, around the lakes.

Some of the boats were large and commodious, and although they would not compare in structure with those of the present day, yet they conveyed passengers with comfort, safety and dispatch.

Judge Campbell, in his excellent work, “Outlines of Political History of Michigan” says, in regard to improvements:

“The first State legislature was chiefly directed to the development of the resources of the country.

Roads were laid out in every direction, and placed under local supervision, so that the people most nearly interested might have means of preventing neglect and dishonesty.

Railroads were chartered whenever asked for.

The University and School lands were put in market on long time.

The State prepared, as soon as possible, to enter upon a general system of internal improvements, whereby all parts of its jurisdiction would be made readily acceptable and be brought within easy reach of market and business facilities.”

“One of the first and best schemes devised to further the development of the State resources, was the organization of a complete geological survey.

In February, 1837, an act was passed for the appointment of a State Geologist, to conduct such survey, and annual sums, increasing from $3,000 the first year, to $12,000 the fourth, were appropriated.

Doctor Douglass Houghton was selected to fill the office.”

“In addition to some smaller debts, it was determined to borrow five million of dollars to expend in various public works. It was expected that by the aid of this sum and such other donations as might be received from the United States, three trunk railroads could be built across the State, two canals made, several rivers improved so as to be navigable, some small railroads finished, and a ship-canal opened round the falls of the Ste. Marie river.

“A Board of Commissioners of Internal Improvements had already been appointed.

On the 20th of March, 1837, this Board was directed to survey three railroad routes across the peninsula.

The first was the Michigan Central, from Detroit to the mouth of St. Joseph River, in Berrien County.

The second was the Southern, to run from the mouth of the River Raisin, through Monroe, to New Buffalo.

The third was the Northern, to run from Palmer, or Port Huron, to Grand Rapids or Grand Haven.

A purchase was to be made of the Detroit & St. Joseph Railroad, which had gone partly through Washtenaw County.

Five hundred and fifty thousand dollars were appropriated to these roads at once, four hundred thousand for the Central, one hundred thousand for the Southern, (both of which included private railroads to be purchased,) and fifty thousand for the Northern.

Twenty thousand was appropriated for surveys of a canal, or combined canal and railroad, from Mt. Clemens to the mouth of the Kalamazoo River, a canal from Saginaw River to Maple or Grand River, and river surveys on the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo and Grand Rivers, for slack water navigation.

Seventy-five thousand dollars more were to be expended on some of these and other works.”

When the geographical position of the State is studied, it will be seen that this scheme of improvements was not without merits, was within the range of possibilities and usefulness, and within the means of the State, had the five million loan been properly negotiated and expended.

The State, at the time of its admission, was out of debt; was entitled to five per cent from the sale of the public lands, which then amounted to $450,000, and it had received and was receiving large donations of land from the general Government; and these, with the five million loan, and the accumulating earnings of the improvements as they progressed, would have been ample for finishing the contemplated work; and this will more fully appear, when we take into consideration that railroads were not then as perfect and costly as at present.

Judge Campbell says in regard to them: “In a level country, well supplied with wood, the cost of building and ironing a railroad was very trifling, and its rolling stock was also cheap and scanty.

The original capital stock of the Detroit & St. Joseph Railroad Company, the corporation which began the Michigan Central railroad to Marshall, was recorded in 1846, as having been two millions of dollars.

In private hands it would probably have been less; and the capital stock of the $1,500,000, aided by the earnings properly managed, would have been adequate, according to the plans first devised, to build the road; although the subsequent improvement in track and stock would have made new arrangements necessary, if the road had been built as slowly as was then customary.

Twenty miles a year was, in those days, rapid railroad building.

The passenger cars were small vehicles, holding no more than from eighteen to twenty-four passengers, and not much, if any, heavier than the large stage coaches.

The iron was flat bar iron, from half to three-fourths of an inch thick, spiked on wooden sleepers which were lightly tied, and on tracks not perfectly graded or heavily ballasted.

The locomotives weighed from two to six or seven tons, and drew corresponding loads.”

The emigrants and settlers in Michigan were mostly from New England and the-State of New York; were intelligent and enterprising, and well calculated to advance the material interests of the State, and to build up strong communities.

They had unbounded confidence in the disposition and ability of the State to perfect its plans of improvements, and had not the remotest idea that there was a possibility of a failure.

They purchased lands in the midst of the forest, but on the lines of the proposed railroads and canals, and commenced to clear farms, erect mills and factories, and to build up towns and cities, with the hope and expectation that the day was not far in the future when they would hear the breathings and snorts of the iron horse.

Their wealth was more in the future than the present, and depended largely, if not wholly, upon the State completing its railroads and canals.

Another institution, which depended for its life and usefulness on the internal improvements, was unlimited banking.

It was a scheme calculated to help develop the resources of the State, but the foundation of its security rested in real estate, the value of which depended entirely upon the completion of the improvements promised by the State.

Judge Campbell, in speaking of the law, says: “In 1837, a general banking law was passed, which was supposed to contain better securities than any other similar scheme, and included the safety fund plan, in addition.

Any persons residing in a county of the State, including among them at least twelve freeholders, could organize banks of from $50,000 to $300,000 capital; and care was taken that at least one-third of the stock should always belong to county residents in good faith, and for their own use; and on executing the preliminaries and paying in thirty per cent in specie, they could proceed to business.

Ten per cent was payable on the stock every six months, until all the capital was paid in.

Before beginning banking business, bonds and mortgages, or personal bonds of resident freeholders, satisfactory to the County Treasurer and County Clerk, were to be filed with the Auditor General, to the full amount of the circulation and indebtedness.

Neither the circulation nor the loans and discounts were to exceed twice-and-a-half the amount of the capital stock.”

During the years 1837, ’38, ’39, hope and expectation were standing on tip-toe.

Surveying parties, employed by the State and United States, could be seen moving in every direction, and large districts of the State were surveyed and brought into market.

Large, anxious crowds assembled at the land sales, many of whom, for want of better accommodations, lived in tents during the time the sale lasted.

At these sales, large purchases were made, sometimes as high as thirty thousand acres a day, and the utmost activity was manifested in every part of the State, in regard to its general improvements, and everybody had his pockets filled with engravings which passed current for money.

But in 1840, a reverse came, like the shock of an earthquake; and but very few in the State escaped without injury.

When the people learned the true state of affairs, and that the State would go no further with its improvements, all business became at once paralyzed.

Real estate dropped to nominal values, while the banks that were secured by it became worthless.

No greater commercial calamity ever overtook the people of the State.

Those who were considered wealthy in money and property suddenly found they had but very little.

Their property was in the midst of a forest, without a hope of communication, and they could not work, for they had nothing to work with, as their money was worth less than their real estate.

The laborer could get nothing for his work, and what he had already earned was worth but little, if anything.

Many made their exit from the State, while others, like the Roman Senators, resolved to stay and die with their property, as they could not sell it, and afterwards their property made them rich, and thus it was some could not be poor when they would.

Others refused to be rich when they could.

In the spring of 1839, the surveys in the State of Michigan were continued.

Lewis Clason and Thomas Patterson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, had the sub-division of townships 27, 28, 29 and 30 north, and from range 4 east, to Lake Huron; and John Hodgson, Esq., of Detroit, Michigan, had the contract to run township lines north of the third correction line.

The writer hired with Mr. Clason, for eighteen dollars per month, to carry the chain, which was considered fair wages in those days.

The parties of Clason and Patterson left Pontiac, in Oakland County, Michigan, in the early part of April, 1839, some of them in a lumber wagon in advance, and the balance with the packhorses, brought up the rear.

We traveled with the wagon as far as Pine Run, as it was then called and this being the terminus of the wagon road, each one was compelled to “make his pack and play it alone.”

The road from Pine Run to Saginaw City was in progress of construction, under the system of internal improvements, and was one of continual variation, changing from dry land to low, wet swamp, and back to dry land, and from an Indian trail up through every stage of progress, to a good wagon road.

After much hard traveling, we reached Saginaw River, and were ferried across to Saginaw City.

Here was an isolated town of about seven hundred inhabitants, who were all very hopeful and sanguine in the future growth and prosperity of the place.

Their only communication with Bay City, or Lower Saginaw, as it was then known, and the outer world, was on the Saginaw River; in the summer by small boats and vessels, and in the winter by sleighs and dog trains on the ice.

They had a large public house, a bank, two or three sawmills, and as many stores.

The principal occupation of the people was fishing, hunting, lumbering, and trading with the Indians for furs, which were then very plentiful in the northern part of the Southern Peninsula.

Harvey Williams and a man by the name of McDonald were the principal Indian traders, who made yearly visits along the shore, to buy furs; and sometimes came as far north as Thunder Bay River.

From this place we went down the river to Lower Saginaw, now Bay City, where we found a half dozen or so of frame buildings, a warehouse, a dock, and a small steam sawmill, called the “McCormick Mill.”

We camped in a beautiful oak grove where the city of Wenona, where West Bay City is now located.

Here Mr. Clason chartered an open scow of about eighty tons burden, and the property of a man named Umpstead.

This was the largest craft to be chartered at that time, in Lower Saginaw.

It is remarkable to observe with what sagacity the early settlers made their locations.

There is scarcely a place that the writer has visited, not even the solitary log house situated in the midst of the forest that has not grown to be a place of considerable importance.

After staying at Bay City a few days, to let the ice move out of Saginaw Bay, we embarked on board this champion of the Saginaw’s, for Thunder Bay.

Mr. Clason and his party were landed at Au Sable River, and Mr. Patterson and his party continued their voyage to Devil River, in Thunder Bay, where they built a depot for the supplies.

The survey work was all finished in due time, and we all met at the depot, near the mouth of Devil river, to wash up, and to determine how to get home.

While we were thus engaged, Pete Wa Watum, an Indian from the Au Sable river, came along with a large birch canoe, and Mr. Clason hired him to take all of us to Thunder Bay Island, where we could take a boat for Detroit; excepting the packers and their horses, who would travel to Presque Isle, and take a steamboat there.

This was the writer’s first sailing in a birch canoe, and on the waters of Thunder Bay.

On Thunder Bay Island was a lighthouse, kept by Jessey Muncy, a very clever man, who lived there with a large family, and done some fishing with gill-nets.

Here we were treated very kindly by Mr. Muncy and family; and after feasting on whitefish for a few days, we were put on board of a schooner, which was bound for Detroit.

William Ives, Esq., who subsequently ran the first lines of survey for the United States in the Territory of Oregon, was second in the party and compass-man for Mr. Clason.

Messrs. Clason and Ives had the misfortune to have all their spare clothing stolen, so that when they came out of the woods they had no change of clothes.

The writer’s clothes, fortunately being in another place, escaped the hands of the thief, and so he was favored with a presentable suit, and enough to lend Mr. Clason, who was nearly of the writer’s size, to make him look respectable.

When dinner was ready, this being the first meal on board the schooner, Mr. Clason and the writer were notified for the first table, with officers, while Mr. Ives, who ranked much higher in employment than the writer, waited for the second table, with sailors and common hands, simply because he had the misfortune to have his clothes stolen.

The thief, perhaps, with the stolen clothes on, was seated at first table somewhere, and enjoying himself hugely, in the company and confidence of the wise and good.

This little episode taught the writer the fact, which he then noticed, and from which he never has been compelled to retreat, that people, as strangers, are judged by their fellows, more by the purity of the clothes they wear, than the purity of heart, character or employment.

This was the first Government survey made in Alpena County.

It was conceded by the whole survey party, that the entire tract that we had surveyed was worthless; that the Government would never realize enough from the sale of the lands to pay for the surveying.

Mr. Clason was so confident of this, that he said: “I live in Cincinnati, and am able to do what I agree, and I will give any of you a good, warranty deed of any township of land that we have surveyed, for your wages, and will bind myself to purchase the land of the Government for you, should the land ever become so valuable that the Government could sell it to other parties.

“Not one of the parties would accept Mr. Clason’s offer.

This is not the only report of the kind on record.

Judge Campbell, in his History of Michigan, has the following:”

The first necessity of the country was more people.

No lands had been surveyed before the war, except the old private claims.

In 1812, among other war legislation, an act was passed, setting aside two million of acres of land in Michigan, as bounty lands for soldiers.

As soon as the war was over, and circumstances permitted, Mr. Tiffin, the Surveyor General, sent agents to Michigan, to select a place for locating these lands.

Their report was such as to induce him to recommend the transfer of bounty locations to some other part of the United States.

They began on the boundary line between Ohio and Indiana, which was the western limit of the lands surrendered to the United States by the Indian treaty of 1807, and following it north for fifty miles, they described the country as an unbroken series of tamarack swamps, bogs and sand barrens, with not more than one acre in a hundred, and probably not one in a thousand, fit for cultivation.

Mr. Tiffin communicated this evil report to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, Josiah Meigs; and he and the Secretary of War, Mr. Crawford, secured the repeal of so much of the law as applied to Michigan.

They were stimulated by a second report of the surveyors, who found the country worse and worse as they proceeded.

In April, 1816, the law was changed, and lands were granted instead, in Illinois and Missouri.

This postponed settlement, but it saved Michigan from one of the most troublesome sources of litigation which has ever vexed any country.

It was in that way a benefit.

But the report of the surveyors is one of the unaccountable things of those days.

Surveyors are usually good judges of land, and not likely to be deceived by the water standing on the surface of the ground where the nature of the vegetation shows the soil cannot be marshy or sterile.”

In the spring of 1840, the Surveyor General gave contracts to survey about half of Alpena county, the whole of Presque Isle county, the most, if not all, of the county of Cheboygan, to John Hodgson, Sylvester Sibley, Henry Brevoort and Henry Mullet, all of whom, with their surveying parties, left Detroit soon after the opening of navigation in the spring, on the steamer Madison, for Presque Isle.

The writer was employed by John Hodgson, as an assistant surveyor or compass-man.

Hodgson had the sub-division of towns 31 and 32 north, and from range 4 east, to Lake Huron shore.

We all had a jolly time on the boat going up, and were all landed, with our supplies, at Presque Isle.

This was a wooding station for the steamboats going round the lakes, and the only inhabited spot at that time, between Mackinaw and Bay City.

It was also the first fishing station on Lake Huron shore, north of Saginaw Bay.

The fishermen used hooks, seines and gill-nets, and had considerable trade with the boats, in furnishing them with fresh fish.

After stopping a few days at Presque Isle, to make arrangements for leaving the supplies, and packing them to the work, which supplies were to be carried on the backs of men and horses, the several parties started for their work.

The writer, in making the survey near the mouth of the An-a-makee-zebe, or Thunder river, as it was called by the Indians, discovered the site of a house that had been burned, some square timber, and an excavation for a mill-race; and on enquiry since, was told that Mr. Donseman, from Mackinaw, with other parties from the State of New York, had, sometime prior, attempted to build a sawmill at that place, and were driven away from their purpose by the Indians.

In running the section line between sections 22 and 23, on approaching the river near the foot of Second Street, city of Alpena, we were discovered by some Indians, who were camped a little further down the river, and who were all drunk.

They consisted of the Thunder Bay band, excepting Sog-on-e-qua-do and his family, who were camped at the “Ox-Bow,” a peninsula made by a large bend in Thunder Bay river, and who gave us our dinner of boiled sturgeon the day before, which we all ate with a relish.

It was the first sturgeon the writer had ever eaten, and being very hungry, thought it very nice.

As soon as the Indians saw us, they began to gather themselves up as best they could, and approached us, having the old chief, Mich-e-ke-wis, or Spirit of the West Wind, at their head.

They all looked very sour, and did not return our salutations.

The old chief came very close to the writer, and said, in the Indian language: “White man no good. This place is all mine; you go away.”

The writer replied that the Great Chief at Washington had sent us to run lines and explore the country, and we did not like it, and as soon as we had done our work we would go away.

He, finding I could answer him in his own language, and noticing that the writer gave some orders to the men, which they obeyed, said to the writer; “Are you chief?” and being answered in the affirmative, he said, “You are welcome to do your work.”

Up to this time not a word had been spoken by any of the accompanying Indians; but when the old chief said “You are welcome to do your work,” their countenances changed, and they all said, “aw-ne-gwi-naw,” which is “certainly.”

Then each one took our hand and said, “bo-zoo.”

The old chief then said: “We have had a big drunk; we can give you nothing to eat or drink, for we have used up all the women left us to eat; but if you will go to the wig-warn, I will show you my regalia.”

We went with him, and he showed what the white man seldom gets a look at.

The old chief took from a trunk, a large broadcloth blanket, worked with beads and ribbons, a large otter skin tobacco bag, called a “koosh-kip-it-aw-gun,” and elaborately worked with beads and ribbons, a large peace-pipe, beaded leggings, cap and moccasins.

He had a splendid worsted sash, which was presented to him by the British Government, and beaded belts to wear round his leggings, to keep them in place, and some other things of minor importance.

For the writer this was a feast.

We borrowed the Indians’ only canoe, and crossed the river to camp, putting it out of their power to annoy us during the night.

In the morning, we used the Indians’ canoe to cross the river, and after establishing the corner of sections 23, 24, 26 and 27, in township 31 north, of range 8 east, and doing some meandering on the bay and river, we bid, as we supposed, a long adieu to the first experiences at the mouth of “Thunder River.”

The Thunder Bay baud of Indians then numbered about twenty-five, with Mich-e-ke-wis as council chief.

He had seen nearly, if not quite, one hundred winters; was admired by his people for the wisdom of his counsel, and had much influence over them, in favor of the British Government, whose friend he was, and continued to be as long as he lived.

He drove Mr. Douseman and his party away from the river, and showed the same disposition toward the writer, who probably saved himself and party some trouble, in being able to speak a little of the Indian language.

He was the father of a large family, some of whom were then in 1840, grown up men and women.

The names of his older sons were Wa-gamaw-ba, Ba-ga-nog-ga, and Nee-zhe-was-waw-ba.

If his record was right, he had seen one hundred and ten years, ere he went to his Father, in the beautiful “hunting grounds towards the setting sun.”

He once said to the writer, at Ossineke: “I remember when these pine trees here were very small.”

Some four or five years prior to his decease, which occurred about 1857, he called all his children and people together, and told them that he was nearly blind, and no longer of any value to his family or his people.

He then gave one of his sons, whom he had educated for his successor, his regalia, before described, and installed him in his office as council chief, and presiding over all their religious ceremonies.

He then distributed his goods among his children; and never after was he seen dressed in anything but a common Indian blanket.

He thus prepared himself to meet the “pale horse and rider,” worthy the admiration of those who, in a Christian point of view, think themselves much wiser and better, and who style him

“The poor Indian, whose untutored mind

Sees God in the clouds, and hears Him in the wind.”

Sog-on-e-qua-do, or Thunder Cloud, was a war chief.

He was an O-taw-waw.

He was not very well liked by his people, on account of his temperance proclivities; he was very much opposed to the Indians getting drunk, and he lectured them too severely to please them.

He was the only Indian the writer knew who could keep whiskey in his wig-wam and not get drunk.

He was brave and independent; none of his people ever wished to oppose him, or measure war clubs; nor did any avaricious trader ransack his shanty for furs, without his consent; and he could quiet an Indian drunken row in “double quick.”

He was honorable and scrupulously honest, as the following incident will show: In 1848, the writer cut and put up two stacks of wild hay, at Squaw Point.

Late in the fall, Sog-on-e-qua-do’s boys were playing near one of the stacks, and set it on fire, and it was consumed.

He immediately came to see the writer, at Ossineke, and enquired of him what the certain stack of hay was worth.

The writer, not knowing what his object was, mentioned the value of the hay to him.

Sogon-e-qua-do then said: “My boys, in their play, set it on fire and have burned it, and I have brought you these furs to pay you in part for it, and next spring I will bring you the balance.”

Being somewhat surprised at so beautiful an example of the Golden Rule, by a savage, the writer said to him, that, as he had been honest enough to come and inform him of the fact, and had offered to pay for the hay, he, the writer, would charge him only what the hay cost him to put it up; and that the furs he had brought would pay the amount.

He looked at the writer a moment, and then putting his hand on his breast, said: “I am a man; I will pay the balance in the spring.”

The winter passed and spring came, and so did Sog-on-e-qua-do with a bundle of nice furs, worth much more than the whole stack of hay, and threw them down, and insisted that the writer should take them for the balance on the hay.

Here is an act that challenges our admiration, and which is worthy to be placed on record as parallel with that instructive one related in the twenty-third chapter of Genesis, where Abraham bought the cemetery of Ephron, among the children of Heath.

He bought a lot in Alpena, and built a frame house on it.

He also built a small house at Squaw Point, where he lived much of his time, using a cook stove in his house, and cultivating a small piece of ground.

He died, believing in the traditions and religion of his fathers, and was buried after the manner of the Indians, except that the Rev. F. N. Barlow preached a funeral sermon, and he was laid in the cemetery of the whites.

Shortly after he was buried, his grave was desecrated by some unscrupulous thief, who took from the grave his gun and some other things that had been deposited in the grave with him, to use on his journey to the hunting ground beyond the setting sun.

He left one son, by the name of No-quash-cum, who lives on the same lands that his father occupied before him.

Ba-zhick-co-ba, or Put Down One, was a strong, athletic man, who supported himself and family entirely by hunting and fishing.

He was much in favor of the Canadian Government; despised the idea of living like a white man, and loved his “Scho-ta-waw-boo,”—fire soup—dearly.

Nain-a-go, or Ant, was a good hunter and a companion of Ba-zhick-co-ba in his trapping and hunting expeditions, and lived after his fashion.

These men and their families composed the Thunder Bay band of Indians.

After finishing up the survey work with Mr. Hodgson, the party went out to Presque Isle.

Here the writer hired with Sylvester Sibley, to help him finish up his surveys.

The improvements at Presque Isle were owned by Lemuel Crawford, of Cleveland, Ohio, and consisted of a dock, store, and frame dwelling, a log barn, and a few log shanties.

They were all built on Uncle Sam’s land, which had not yet been surveyed, and therefore it was thought advisable by those in command, that they should be on the best of terms with the surveyors.

As the survey of the harbor and its vicinity was assigned to the writer, he was treated with very kind regard by the proprietor and his people.

Here the writer made the acquaintance of Simeon M. Holden, William Cullings and Robert McMullen.

They were mechanical geniuses, and well calculated to live in and promote the growth of a new country.

Mr. McMullen had the greatest variety of talent, working when occasion required, in the blacksmith shop, the carpenter shop, the cooper shop, at boat building, and mill writing.

Mr. Holden subsequently moved to Thunder Bay Island, where he built the first frame dwelling in Alpena County, in 1846.

He was the first permanent settler in the county, his occupation being fishing with gill-nets.

After residing on the island a few years, he moved to where Harrisville is now located, where, in company with Crosier Davison, he built the first sawmill in Alcona county.

After working the mill a few years, he sold his interest in the property, and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was waylaid, murdered and robbed of five hundred dollars.

Messrs. Cullings and McMullen still survive, and reside in Alpena and Alcona counties.

It was late in the fall when the surveyors finished their work and returned to Presque Isle, on their way home.

It had been blowing a gale of wind for some time, so that no boats had gone up the lakes for a while, and only one or two was expected down that season.

Among the steamers expected down was the Madison, which brought the surveyors up, and which was a high pressure boat, the exhaust of which could be heard for fifteen miles away.

We were all very anxious to get this boat, for should we miss it, we might be compelled to travel on foot to Flint, if not to Pontiac, a distance of about two hundred miles.

A watch was set, day and night, to catch the first sound of the Madison’s exhaust and signal her in, and to make doubly sure of her calling.

After anxiously waiting for about a week, at 9 p. M. the watch yelled “Steamboat,” and for ten minutes every one shouted at the top of his voice, “Steamboat! Steamboat!”

Such a shout Presque Isle never heard before, and probably will never hear again.

The Madison came into the harbor, and we all boarded her for Detroit.

The Government lands in Alpena and adjoining counties were offered for sale by the United States, in 1843.

In the fall of the same year, the writer again visited Alpena County, accompanied by a man by the name of Youngs, whom the writer hired as a hunter and trapper, for the purpose of studying the nature and habits of animals, and obtaining their skulls as specimens of phrenology.

Youngs stayed in the woods until February, when he came out to Thunder Bay Island, leaving the writer alone in the forest, who stayed until May, and obtained many fine specimens, some of which he now has, of the otter, beaver, lynx, marten, raccoon, fisher, bear and mink.

These animals were then very plentiful, and easily taken.

The writer learned much in regard to the nature and habits of these animals, and unlearned very much that he had learned from books prior to his going into the woods.

Many who write works on Natural History, are not themselves acquainted with the animals or things they describe, for they have never interrogated or examined nature for themselves, but have taken their knowledge from the schools, and the repositories of dead men’s hearsay knowledge and speculation.

The writer’s inexperience in trapping did not afford him a very large quantity of furs, but what pleased and paid him for his trouble and privation, was the fact that he found, upon examination, and comparing the phrenological formation of the skulls of those animals he had studied, with their nature and habits, they harmonized beautifully, and in every respect with each other, and established in the mind of the writer, beyond a cavil, the fundamental principles of phrenology.

If any man, however skeptical he may be, but willing to know truth, will go with me into the forest, and there study the habits of the beaver and the fisher, and compare their skulls with their habits, and with each other, he can not hesitate one moment to acknowledge the principal truths claimed for that science which enables us to know ourselves.

In order to further prosecute his studies, and at the same time make a living, the writer prepared himself as well as he knew how, for the further study of animals, and trapping for their furs.

He hired a Frenchman, who pretended to understand trapping, but when the little schooner was ready to sail for Thunder Bay River, he refused to go.

The writer, supposing he would find someone on his way, that he could hire, continued his journey, without finding any one to hire, and was landed on the 18th day of September, 1844, at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, alone.

From that time to the 20th of May following, he saw not the face of a white man—for he had no glass—or heard the crack of any rifle but his own.

On coming down to the mouth of the river, in the spring, he found Washington Jay, his wife and daughter, and a man by the name of William Dagget, who had moved there late in the fall, from Thunder Bay Island, for the purpose of making some staves for fish barrels.

They built a log house, near Second and River streets, in Alpena, and cut timber and made some staves, on the present site of the city; but the most of their cutting was done near the great bend in the river, called the “Ox Bow.”

This was the second house built by white men on the present site of Alpena, and Mrs. Jay and her daughter Emma were, in all probability, the first white women that had ever visited the place; they certainly were the first to live here.

In September, 1844, Jonathan Burtch and Anson Eldred purchased two pieces of land at the mouth of Devil River, it being the first lands purchased of the United States in Alpena County, and the patents were issued in 1848.

In the fall and winter of the same year (1844) they erected a water-mill on Devil river, with two upright sash saws, and driven by two old fashioned “flutter wheels,” and cut with both saws, when run twenty-four hours, the large sum of eight thousand feet of lumber.

This was the first sawmill erected in Alpena county.

At this time mulley saws were more generally used, and were receiving many improvements; but large circular saws, for cutting lumber, were yet in the creation of genius.

The mill that cut two million feet of lumber was “A1” on the list, and those were “few and far between.”

Lumbermen did not then buy large tracts of timber lands, to lumber on, for they could cut all they wanted on Government lands, without being called “timber thieves,” or asked for pay for the timber.

This state of things continued until 1850, when Uncle Sam came down upon the lumbermen, like an avalanche, and threatened destruction to them all.

But a compromise was had, by which the lumbermen were to pay the costs made by the Government, and a promise “to do so no more.”

In 1845, Mr. Burtch located forty acres more at Devil River, and Mr. Eldred located two fractions on Thunder Bay River.

The writer sold his winter’s catch of furs, in Detroit, for two hundred eighty dollars in silver, by stipulation, and two hundred eighty dollars in paper money.

Furs being sold in foreign countries were about the only product that would command the specie at this time.

The writer then purchased a small stock of goods of B. G. Stimson, Theodore H. Eaton and Moore & Foot, of Detroit, Michigan, and took them to Thunder Bay Island, where he built the first store in Alpena County.

Thunder Bay Island had now grown to a large fishing station, numbering thirty-one fishing boats and one hundred and sixty persons.

Their catch of fish in 1846, was a little over twelve thousand barrels.

The people were mostly from Ohio and the Saginaws.

In the summer of 1847, the writer purchased the Devil River mill property of Jonathan Burtch, and moved there late in the fall of the same year.

The place was called by the Indians, “Shing-gaw-ba-waw-sin-eke-go-ba-wat.”

Shin-gawba was, as the Indians believe, the name of a Divine Chief, who lived a long time ago.

He told his people that, after his death, his spirit would come back to where these stones were placed, for the presents his people might deposit near them.

The Indians do verily believe that his spirit does come back to these stones, to receive the spirit of the things they present to him near these stones.

This belief has the coloring of Spiritualism.

Waw-sin-eke, signifies Image Stones.

Go-ba-wat, signifies to put down more things than one.

When the writer first visited Devil River, in 1839, he saw, near the mouth of the river, two large stones standing together.

One was a gneiss rock, with bands of quartz, and having the appearance of being worn into its present shape by the action of the water.

It weighed about three hundred pounds.

The other stone was about four feet long, and in shape like the trunk of a man’s body, minus head, legs and arms.

It had very much the appearance of being moulded from lake sand, and concreted with some substance having the appearance of bark.

It was hard on the outside, but soft and easily crumbled where excluded from the atmosphere.

At this time, near and around the stones, were large quantities of pipes, tobacco, beads, ear jewels, silver broaches, bell-buttons and other kinds of trinkets.

When the township was organized, the writer named it “Waw-sin-eke,” but, like many other Indian names, it was misspelled Os-sin-eke, the whole Indian name of the place being too long to retain.

A fisherman came to Devil River while the writer was absent, and, wanting some anchor stones for his nets, seized the Shin-gaw-ba stones and carried them to the bay, thus depriving the place of valuable relics and Shin-gaw-ba of his presents.

These stones are found through all the country of the Chippewas.

The Indians say, that a long time ago, some Iroquois captured two Chippewas, near Devil River, and put them and their image stones in a canoe, and started across the bay.

When they reached near the middle of the bay, they threw the stones into the water, when, suddenly the water boiled and spouted up, and capsized the canoe and drowned the Iroquois, while the Chippewa prisoners succeeded in saving their lives, retaining the canoe and reaching the place from whence they started.

When they went upon the land, they found, to their surprise, the stones had preceded them, and were standing in their places, as they did before they were moved.

Whether their story is true or false, the stones failed to capsize the fisherman when he threw them into the bay, or came out of the water since.

The river was called “Reviere Au Diable,” by the early mail carriers, who spoke the French language, and who sometimes in the fall and spring found much difficulty in traveling the large marsh between the river and the south point of Thunder Bay.

So the river was named after his Satanic Majesty, not because it was a bad river, but because it kept bad company.


In 1849 and 1850, Robert Dunlap and E. Baily, of Chicago, Illinois, purchased of the United States, the lands round the mouth of Thunder Bay river.

In 1855, they sold these lands to John Oldfield, James K. Lockwood, John S. Minor and George N. Fletcher, for thirty dollars per acre; Oldfield owning a quarter interest, Lockwood and Minor a quarter interest, and Fletcher owning a half interest.

The following letter, handed the writer by G. N. Fletcher, Esq., indicates the first visit of the proprietors to Alpena, prior to making the “Baily purchase”:

Port Huron, Aug. 4th, 1855.

G. N. Fletcher, Esq.,

St. Clair.

Dear Sir:

I propose to take my vessel, the John Minor, and in company with my partner and other parties interested at Thunder Bay River, to make an exploring expedition to that place.

Ample time will be given to make all necessary observations at that place, at as moderate expense and with as much comfort as circumstances will permit.

Your company, together with any persons you would like to take with you, will be acceptable.

Please to advise me, by note, if you will or will not go, so that I may give you notice of our sailing, which we propose to make about the 1st Sept.

Very truly yours, (Signed,) J. K. LOCK WOOD.

David D. Oliver purchased some lands at Devil river, in 1851, and in August of the same year, W. L. P. Little, of East Saginaw, purchased a fraction or two, on the bay shore, which would be in the northeast fractional quarter of section 27, in town 31 north, of range 8 east, in his own name, as security for the purchase money; but the purchase was made for Walter Scott, for a fishery.

Scott moved his family to Thunder Bay River in the fall of the same year and tried the fishing, and found it a failure, on these lands.

Scott then, considering the lands of no value, failed to pay for them, and Little, as he thought, was left with a piece of poor property on his hands.

Scott traded with the Indians and looked up pine lands for Lewis & Graves, John Trowbridge & Bros., and some others, until September, 1856, when Messrs. Lockwood & Fletcher & Co., desirous of getting him away with his whiskey, before their men should come up to work, bought all his buildings, and some other things, for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.

Scott left Alpena in the spring of 1857.

Early in 1857, Mr. Little offered his property at Thunder Bay River, to the writer, for five hundred dollars, half down, and the balance in a year.

Although the writer was considered by some of his contemporaries as extravagant and “luna” in regard to the value of property in Alpena county, and its future growth, yet he was not controlled by the moon, or any other influences, enough to accept this Little property, which now comprises a large portion of the best residences in the city.

The writer think it will now be conceded by those who have noted the rapid development and growth of the city and economy, that his idea did not reach the reality by as much, as they thought him above it.

Subsequently Mr. Little came up in the price of his properly at Alpena, to fifteen handled dollars, and sold it to S. E. Hitchcock, who now resides upon a portion of it.

He subsequently made it an addition to the Tillage, now city, of Alpena.

The Union School house stands on a portion of this property.

In 1850, Congress passed an act, granting all the swamp land to the several States, but the United States Land Offices continued to the lands as before the grant was made, until the latter part of 1859.

In 1852, Congress passed an act, granting seven hundred and fifty thousand acres of land for the purpose of constructing a ship canal around the falls of the Sault Ste. Mario, and thereby connecting the commerce of the lower lake» with that of Lake Superior.

A company was duly organized to prosecute the work, known and styled the “Sault Ste., Marie Ship Canal Co.,” and in 1853, commenced selecting their lands.

Parties of “land lookers” were sent out by the company, into all parts of the State, and finding large bodies of good pine in Alpena county and vicinity, it led other parties, desirous of purchasing pine lands, to look in the same direction.

In 1853, George N. Fletcher employed Daniel Carter, Esq., to look up and locate some pine lands on the waters of Thunder Bay River.

Mr. Fletcher purchased the lands in the name of Thomas Campbell, of Boston, Mass., about eight thousand acres, up to 1857, in which he owned an interest, and he had been a purchaser and holder of pine lands in Alpena County ever since.

John Trowbridge & Bros. commenced locating pine lands in 1854 or ’55, and in two or three years had purchased about thirty thousand acres.

Frank H. Page and David D. Oliver located and purchased about two thousand acres. G. H. Lester purchased, near Turtle Lake, about nine hundred acres.

Lewis & Graves, of Detroit, purchased about three hundred acres; and Elisha Taylor, of Detroit, purchased about five hundred acres, near the rapids; and Capt. J. J. Maiden purchased a lot in section 27, town 31 north, of range 8 east.

This comprises most, if not all, the land holders and lands purchased in the county, prior to its organization, in 1857.



Alpena county is bounded on the north by Presque Isle county, east by Thunder Bay, south by Alcona county, and on the west by Montmorency county, which, at present—1876—is attached to Alpena county for judicial purposes.

It includes townships 29, 30, 31 and 32 north, of ranges 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 east, taking in all of Thunder Bay and the islands. It has an area of about one thousand four hundred and forty square miles.

It contains approximately three hundred ninety-one thousand six hundred eighty acres of land.

The surface descends a little to the south and east, and is from gently rolling to rolling.

The timber is of great variety, and is no indication of the soil on which it grows.

Sometimes a rich argillo-calcareous loam is covered with white and black birch, aspen, balsam, tamarack, cedar and a few small sugar, hemlock, and Norway and white pine.

The principal timber is pine, hemlock, sugar, beech, cedar, balsam, white and black birch, black ash, elm lynn, poplar, spruce, etc.

The soil is mostly a rich loam, reposing on limestone rock, and containing all the elements necessary to make the agricultural capabilities of Alpena county compare favorably with any county in the State.

A few spots of arenaceous soil is met with, but it contains large quantities of carbonate of lime and magnesia. I

t also contains considerable ammonia, and it only requires a little addition of vegetable matter, and a sprinkling of salt, to make it very productive, so long as the ground does not suffer for want of rain.

The salt produces chemical action in the soil, and dissolves the silica.

On this kind of land, the seed should be put in with a drill or hoe, so that it will be covered the proper depth, and the land prepared by a roller, so as to enable the soil to hold the moisture, and in no case should the land be raised above a level.

Thunder Bay River enters Thunder Bay on the southwest quarter of section 23, in township 31 north, of range 8 east, and is the principal stream in the county.

The river, with its branches and their tributaries, take their rise in, or run through, the counties of Montmorency, Oscoda, Alcona, Presque Isle and Alpena, and drains and affords log-running facilities for thirty-nine townships.

The river is 197 feet wide where it divides the city, on First Street, but is much wider between this point and the mill dam.

With nine feet of water on the bar, and fourteen inside, it is navigable only three-fourths of a mile.

The river, from its mouth to the Broadwell Rapids, by its serpentine course, is about five miles; and the river rises thirteen feet.

It is from four to six rods wide.

Near the section line between 15 and 22, the river passes over a limestone ledge, now covered by water of the dam, nine feet four inches, which the writer believes to be identical with the limestone found at Sunken Lake.

From the foot of the rapids to Trowbridge-s dam is 231 chains, by the river, and the fall of the water from the summit level of the Trowbridge pond to the foot of the rapids is sixty-five feet; and the river is from eight to twenty rods wide.

At the time the writer made the survey, he noticed at one place an exceptional dip in the rock, a short distance above the Broadwell pond, where the dip of the rock was east, but was only three and one-half feet in forty rods.

The Trowbridge dam slacks the water up the river a short distance above the North Branch, and the perpendicular fall of water from this point to the bay is seventy-eight feet.

From the level of the Trowbridge pond to the head of Long Rapids, the rise cannot be less than seventy-eight feet more.

The river is rapid above this place, and runs over limestone ledges, in town 31 north, of range 4 east, town 30 north, of range 3 east, and has a rise of not less than fifty feet more, making a total fall of water from range one to Thunder Bay, of two hundred and sixty feet.

All the tributaries are rapid streams, showing no lack of drainage for the laud.

Devil River is a small stream, taking its rise in a small lake near Thunder Bay River, and runs south through Mud Lake, and empties into Thunder Bay, twelve miles south of Alpena.

It has a log-running capacity for about six miles.

Long Lake is a beautiful sheet of inland water, being in Alpena and Presque Isle counties.

It is eight miles long and from one to one and a half miles wide, surrounded by good farming lands, densely covered with hardwood.

The waters are well stocked with fish, the principal being pike, bass and sunfish.

The outlet of Long Lake, called by the writer “Crystal River,” from the clear, crystal appearance of the water, is a large stream in the spring, and dwindles to a small brook in the summer.

It runs nearly east from the outlet to Lake Huron, and on its way passes through two small lakes, mostly surrounded by high bluffs of limestone.

In one of these lakes is a subterranean passage for the water, of sufficient size to pass nearly the entire stream during the lowest stages of water in the summer.

The city of Alpena is located at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, which enters Thunder Bay near its head, in forty-fifth degree of north latitude, and eighty-three degrees and fifty minutes west longitude, in sections 22, 23 and 27, in town 31 north, of range 8 east, and is the county seat of Alpena county.

It is, by section line, twenty miles west.

and one hundred and ninety-two miles north of Detroit, and twenty miles east and ninety-six miles north of Bay City.

It is north from Ossineke twelve miles, and west from Thunder Bay Island twelve miles, and south from Presque Isle harbor about eighteen miles.

At the time the writer first visited the place now occupied by the city of Alpena, there was, on the east side of the river near the foot of Dock street, a narrow ridge of land extending east, along the bay shore, for about eighty rods.

Near the river, and extending to the bay, was a beautiful oak grove, containing about four acres, where the Indians camped, feasted, drank their “fire soup,” sang their war songs, danced their war, religious and festive dances, held their councils, and buried their dead and feasted their spirits.

North of this, and near the river, was a narrow ridge, crossed by a small stream, on its Way to Thunder Bay River, and covered with a thicket of white birch, aspen, cedar, and a sprinkling of Norway and white pine, and east of this was a dense cedar and tamarack swamp.

This ridge widened as it extended north, until it reached the vicinity of Walnut Street, where it was about forty rods wide, and covered with a belt of large timber, of hemlock and pine.

It thence extended north, into open Norway pine plains.

On this ridge was a deep-worn Indian trail, from the mouth of the river to the then rapids, near the section line between sections 15 and 22, in town 31 north, of range 8 east, and now covered by the mill pond, where the Indians fished for sturgeon, pike, pickerel and suckers, which were in abundance, and sometimes whitefish.

From this point were two trails, one extending north, through section 16, to Long Lake, and the other extending up the river.

On the west side of the river, also, was a small ridge.

A line, commencing near the foot of Second Street, and thence running to the corner of Chisholm Street and Washington Avenue, and from thence reaching the bay a little below Messrs. Campbell & Potter’s dock, would separate the ridge from the swamp.

All of that portion east and south of this line, and reaching to the bay, was a sandy ridge, covered with small pine, white birch and yellow oak; and all west of this line, for a mile or more, was a dense tamarack and cedar swamp, filled with water, and well stocked with batrachians, whose loud prate gave token of approaching spring.

By the united efforts of thousands, the timber has been removed, the swamp drained of its water, and the croakers, like the smoke of the Indian’s wig-wam, are growing less every year, and soon will be known as only a something of the past.

This swamp, so abhorrent a few years ago, has become valuable property, on which, in 1876, is standing beautiful residences, the abode of intelligence, peace and plenty.

From Second Street, north a few rods, was a small brook, winding its way to the river, and bounded by a cedar swamp about fifteen rods wide.

North of this swamp was a piece of high land, containing about thirty acres, which was well timbered with white pine and hemlock.

This ridge narrowed to a strip near the river, and extending north to the Norway and spruce pine plains.

On this ridge, also, was a deep and well-marked Indian trail, which had been tramped by moccasined feet for many centuries.

It led to the rapids, before mentioned, and thence to the big bend of the river, near Messrs. Campbell & Potter’s sawmill, where it became two, one leading up the river, and the other following the sandy ridge to Shin-gaw-ba-waw-sin-eke-go-ba-wot—now Ossineke.

These Indian trails were of much importance to the early surveyors, land-lookers and settlers, being the principal means of communication by land between various parts of the country.

These were called “paths” by the first explorers and settlers, and this is the reason for finding a “Pathmaster” in the list of the first officers of the township of Fremont.


Geologists have represented the geological formation of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, as a slightly depressed basin, having its center in or near Jackson and Ingham counties.

As you travel any direction from this central point, you pass over the outcropping edge of various lithological strata, in a descending series, until you reach the granite formation; hence, Prof. N. H. -Winchell, in his notes on the geology of the Thunder Bay region, published in the Pioneer, in 1870, says: “As one goes toward the north from Saginaw Bay, along the shore of Lake Huron, he passes over the outcropping edges of rocks lower and lower in the geological series, until he reaches Lake Superior.

The same is known of the Michigan side of Lake Michigan, northward from Grand Rapids.”

The writer believes this to be true, only in part, and as confined to the shores of the lakes, but not true in regard to the interior of the State.

His travels and explorations in nearly all parts of the State, have led him to the conclusion that the interior of the northern portion of the Southern Peninsula has not been sufficiently explored by competent geologists, as to warrant them in coming to any definite conclusion concerning the geological structure of this region.

A little observation will teach us that all rivers, wherever they run over stratified rocks, do not run with the dip, but over the outcropping edges.

Whenever they run with the dip, they seldom show the rocks; the streams are mostly sluggish, and the rocks generally covered with alluvial deposit.

This being the case, the sources of rivers indicate the highest portion of country; and a little study of their courses and their descent, and the rocks over which they run, will give us an approximate idea of the geological structure of the district of country through which they run.

In referring to the rivers of the Lower Peninsula, we find the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and Grand rivers rising in the interior of the southern part of the Southern Peninsula, and carrying the summit level east of the center of the State, and running west and northwest with a moderate descent, over the outcropping edges of rocks, dipping slightly toward the center, empty their waters into Lake Michigan.

The Shiawassee River, rising in the same vicinity, runs north and mingles with the waters of Saginaw River, while the Clinton, Huron and Raisin rivers take their rise on the same summit level, and pour their waters into St. Clair Lake and Detroit River.

After admitting that these rivers run over the outcropping edges of rocks dipping slightly toward the center of this geological basin, then allow the writer to invite the reader to go with him into Roscommon, Crawford and Otsego counties, where we will reach another summit level, which is estimated to be one thousand feet above the level of the lakes.

Here the Muskegon and Manistee, two large rivers, take their rise, and after running south and southwest, over ledges of rock dipping slightly to the northeast, discharge their waters into Lake Michigan.

The Cheboygan, Pigeon and Black rivers rise in Otsego county, run north over ledges of limestone, dipping south, and lose themselves in the lakes of the Cheboygan River.

The Thunder Bay and Au Sable rivers take their heads in small lakes in Otsego and Crawford counties, run east, with a rapid descent, over outcropping rocks, which dip to the west and northwest—with some local exceptional dip to the east, near Thunder Bay—pour their waters into Lake Huron.

The Tittabawassee River, commencing in and running near Roscommon County, runs south, and loses itself in Saginaw River.

The Boardman, Elk and Pine rivers, take their sources on or near the summit level, and run west, into Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.

Here we have another well-defined geological basin, which, to practical geologists, is very little known, and especially that portion comprising the counties of Alpena and Montmorency.

In 1859 and 1860, Prof. A. Winchell made some geological explorations in Alpena county and its vicinity, and subsequently it was visited by Prof. N. H. Winchell, but neither of them carried their explorations far enough to determine, in the faintest degree, the geological character of Alpena county; and they are not certain in regard to the super-position of the rocks, or the groups to which they belong.

But the most important fact, entirely overlooked by geologists, in regard the geological formation of the Lower Peninsula, is the depression between those two basins.

A line drawn from the mouth of Saginaw River to the mouth of the Muskegon River passes nearly in the bottom of a synclinal valley between the two places.

The Tittabawassee River running south from the northern basin and the Shiawassee River running north from the southern basin; these rivers, with their branches, and other streams, establish the important fact that there is a depression running entirely across the Southern Peninsula, near its center, and dividing it into two parts or basins.

This being a fact, we find the gypsum beds at Alabaster, and coal at Rifle River, to belong to the northern basin.

Prof. N. H. Winchell says, in one of his notes to the Alpena County Pioneer, published in 1870:

“There are various interesting problems, yet unsolved, connected with the geology of the Thunder Bay region.

The foregoing ‘notes’ have merely indicated the outlines of its prominent features.

These indications even, are too often based on conjecture, rather than actual observation.”

Although the explorations now made are indefinite and of no available benefit to the county, yet they afford important suggestions, and will assist materially in any further survey; and, therefore, the writer has copied from the reports, all that he deemed of any probable value.

In the groupings of the rocks in this region of the State, all the reports are vague and ambiguous, if not contradictory.

Prof. A. Winchell, in his report for 1859 and 1860, says: “The elevated limestone region, constituting the northern portion of the Peninsula, consists of the higher members of the Upper Helderburg Group, which gradually subsides toward the south, and in the southern part of Cheboygan county, as nearly as can be judged, sinks beneath the shaly limestones of the Hamilton Group.”

In the “Atlas of the State of Michigan,” Winchell calls these limestones the “Little Traverse Group,” and says:

“This is composed chiefly of the Hamilton Group proper, of the New York geologists; but as the lower limits of the Hamilton have not yet been clearly fixed upon in the State, we apply the above terms to a series of limestones outcropping in the vicinity of Little Traverse Bay and Thunder Bay, and constituting physically a single mass.

They have been the subject of considerable study.

In 1860, we made an official survey of the Little Traverse strata; in 1866, a special survey and report, and in 1869, the ground was again officially examined, and as the result of all our studies, we submit the following: generalized arrangement:

“IV. Chert Beds.

“III. Bluff vesicular magnesian limestone overlaid by characteristic crinoidal beds.

“II Bituminous shales and limestones, composed of (b) Acervularia beds above, and (a) Bryozoa beds below.

“I. Pale-bluff massive limestones. comprising (b) Cenostroma beds above, and Fish beds below.”

The total thickness was set down provisionally at 141 feet, which is probably too low.

This grouping will apparently hold good over extensive region.

On the Geological Map of Michigan, this group occupies the shore north from Little Traverse Bay to Thunder Bay, and round the bay as far as Ossineke.

Prof. N. H. Winchell says:

“The Hamilton limestones and shales, and the Huron shales, furnish the geological basis of the Thunder Bay region”; but he is somewhat puzzled in regard to the arrangement and super-position of the various strata, as will appear by his remarks, before quoted, and by the following to the Pioneer:

“It has been remarked that the natural dip of the strata is toward the center of the State, in all places.

This, however, is so slight as to be almost imperceptible to the eye; and hence, the natural beds generally appear horizontal, unless local causes have produced exceptional dip.”

Now, it has been found that rocks which underlie the Thunder Bay district are much affected by an exceptional dip.

Along the lake shore, and in the limits of Thunder Bay, the exceptional dip eastward is always found.

This is true as far north as Nine Mile Point, but it is not noticeable within Thunder Bay, and as far inland as Broadwell’s mill, dip toward the bay.

This downthrow of the rocks accounts for the occurrence of higher members in the Hamilton at the mouth of Thunder Bay River than at the “Big Rapids,” thirty miles west.

Prof. A. Winchell, in his report of 1859-,60, page 69, says: “On the east side of Thunder Bay Island, the rocks of the Helderberg group are seen overlain by a black bituminous limestone, abounding in Atrypareticularis, and numerous other Brachiopods allied to the types of this group, (Hamilton).

The locality furnishes, also, two or three species of trilobites, (a) Favosites, a large coral allied to Acervularia, and some small fish remains.

The same beds are again seen at Carter’s quarry, two or three miles above the mouth of Thunder Bay River, and here it contains the same fossils.

It is seen again on the south shore of Little Traverse Bay, replete with Brachiopods and Bryozoa, and is here eighteen feet thick.

The exact order of super-position of the rocks constituting the Hamilton group, has nowhere been observed.

The bluffs at Partridge Point, in Thunder Bay, are believed to come in next above the bituminous limestones of the localities just cited.

The rock here is, at bottom, a bluish, highly argillaceous limestone, with shaly interlaminations, the whole wonderfully stocked with the remains of Bryozoa, and not a few encrinital stans.

Above these beds, which are but five feet thick, occurs a mass of blue shale, six feet thick; still higher is a massive limestone, below filled with Bryozoa, encrinites and Brachiopods; above, little fossiliferous, the whole with interlaminations of clay.

At the upper rapids of Thunder Bay River, still a different but entirely detached section was observed, and it is yet impossible to collocate it with the others.

At the upper rapids—northeast quarter of southwest quarter of section 7, town 31 north, of range 8 east—on the south side of the river, limestone is seen in a bluff fifteen feet high, dipping east-southeast about five degrees.

At Squaw Point, on the main land, south of the island, near the residence of the old Indian Chief ZwannoQuaddo, the black slates are found in places, in a cliff ten feet high.

The exposed surfaces are very much discolored by oxide of iron.

On the opposite side of the State, the black shales are seen at the southeast extremity of Mucqua Lake, in Emmet county; on the north side of Pine Lake, section 3, town 33 north, of range 7 west; near the outlet of Grand Traverse Bay, section 3, town 32 north, of range 9 west, and a few miles south of there, and again near the head of Carp Lake, in Leelanau county.

The greatest observed thickness in this part of the State, is twenty feet.”

From the foregoing statement, we draw the very probable conclusion, that three distinct kinds of rock are found outcropping on and near the shores of Thunder Bay; that the carbonaceous limestones belong to the Helderberg or Little Traverse group; that the black bituminous limestones belong to the Hamilton group, and the black slates, seen at Squaw Point, belong to the Huron group.

That an exceptional dip of the rocks exists in many places in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, and that they are much disturbed and displaced.

The limestones termed the “Little Traverse Group,” compose the surface rock on and near the lake shore, from Little Traverse Bay, northward to Thunder Bay.

In Cheboygan County, they reach as far south as the small lakes of Cheboygan River.

In Presque Isle County, they probably reach as far west as the western extremity of Long Lake; and they cover most of that portion of Alpena County north of Thunder Bay.

These limestones lie nearly horizontal, as observed along the shore of Lake Huron, and measured from the level of the lake.

The high bluffs on the lake, at Crawford’s Quarry, are about sixty feet high, and the one opposite Middle Island is of about the same height.

The rock from here south gradually subsides, until it reaches Little Thunder Bay, where it forms an escarpment abutting on the bay, about thirty feet perpendicular.

They probably dip slightly toward the center of the northern basin, with some local exceptional dip in the vicinity of Thunder Bay; but the western limits of their disappearance, under higher formations, have not been determined.

These limestones are fine grained, highly crystallized and handsomely clouded, by the unequal distribution of the fossils and bituminous matter they contain.

They are susceptible of a high polish, and when the large corals—especially the Favose and Cyathophylloids, which are abundant—are cut and polished; they present a very beautiful and agate-like appearance.

Some years since a quarry was opened near Adams’ Point, by Mr. Crawford, and is now known as Crawford’s Quarry; and subsequently another quarry was opened nearly opposite Middle Island, by Mr. Litchenberg, and large hopes were entertained at the time, that samples would be found largo enough to place the Lake Huron marbles with the most esteemed varieties; but no such samples have yet been found, and it is extremely doubtful whether they ever will be, as the rock is very much shattered.

If the black bituminous limestones spoken of, belong to the Hamilton group, then this group of rocks in the Thunder Bay region is inconsiderable, not being in any known place more than six feet in thickness; and the same may be said of what is known of the Huron slates noticed at Squaw Point, whose aggregate thickness would probably exceed one hundred and twenty-five feet.

Townships 31, 32 and 33 north, of ranges 6, 7 and 8 east, are remarkable for the abnormal and broken condition of the rocks.

Ledges with large cracks and cavernous fissures, sink-holes or basins, in many of which streams of considerable size disappear, and exceptional dip in the rocks in various directions.

A ledge of limestone, fifty feet high, occurs in the south part of section 35, in town 33 north, of range 7 east, faced on the north by a small lake, whore can be seen large cracks and cavernous partings partly filled with detritus.

These openings in the rocks run with the strike, sometimes for one-fourth of a mile.

The dip could not be well ascertained.

North of the partings, the rocks were much broken up, but south of the partings they dip in some places, slightly to the southwest.

The strike bears southeast for about half a mile, in a well-defined cliff, and then becomes very much broken and irregular, and which is very distinctly marked on the section line between sections 1 and 2, in town 32 north, of range 7 east.

This ledge is traced in a northwest direction, into the northeast quarter of section 33, where it is about fifty feet high, and faced on the northeast by a long but narrow lake, apparently very deep.

Here, again, are large partings in the rocks, and cavernous chambers, similar to the former, but the rocks are more broken and irregular.

Here the dip appeared to the west, and the strike bending round the west side of the lake, had a trend southeast and north twenty degrees west.

In the northwest quarter of section 16, town 32 north, of range 7 east, occurs a similar ledge, about twenty feet high, and also faced on the northeast by a small lake.

Here are partings similar to those first mentioned.

In the northwest quarter of section 14, in town 32 north, of range 7 east, near the section line, is a very singular basin.

It is nearly round, two hundred feet or more in diameter, and about seventy feet deep.

It was tunnel-shaped for about forty feet, and then the rocks became perpendicular; reposing at the bottom in what appeared like a cavern, was a small lake of nice, clear water.

The writer did not examine the rocks, nor did he ascertain whether the water in the lake was in motion, or in repose.

In the southwest quarter of section 5, in the same town and range, is a stream eight feet wide, which approaches from the northwest, a cliff of limestone, about twenty feet high, and at the foot of this cliff is an irregular cavernous looking basin, about thirty feet deep, into which the stream descends and disappears at the bottom.

But the most remarkable basin in this vicinity is the one known as “Sunken Lake,” on the west side of section 32, in town 33 north, of range 6 east.

This is a wonderful and interesting locality, and affords a key, when placed in skillful hands, to unlock many, if not all, the geological mysteries attached to the Thunder Bay region.

When the writer visited this beautiful and interesting spot, in 1866, he was exploring for pine timber, and was not prepared, and did not examine anything critically or geologically.

All of his measurements and descriptions are only approximate, and are given to assist those who hereafter may desire to examine the several localities, from curiosity or for scientific purposes.

A few rods west of Sunken Lake, at this time, was a sink-hole of recent formation.

It was oval in form at the top, its major axis being about one hundred feet over, was perpendicular on its west side, and about seventy feet deep, with water at the bottom.

Commencing at the bottom and reaching up the side of the basin for thirty feet, was a coarse grained, buff colored, smooth, compact, argillaceous sandstone, and appeared to be the side of a fault in the sand rock.

Reposing upon this was about three feet of black slates, similar to those met with at Squaw Point; and resting upon these slates, and reaching to the surface, is a laminated limestone, from thirty to forty feet thick, well and variously stocked with fossils.

Near the west side of this “hole in the ground” the limestones commence to dip to the east, and plunge over the edge of the sandstone, at an angle of about sixty degrees, to the bottom of Sunken Lake, which is not less on the west side than seventy-five feet deep.

The rock continues under the lake as far as it could be traced.

Here is a very singular and extraordinary exceptional dip to the east; but what is still more singular, is, that the limestones are not cracked or broken, but lie over the precipice made by the faulted underlying rock, as though it had flowed over them in a soft state, and hardened on its passage, leaving a hollow space between them and the margin of the rock, forming a channel of a subterranean river.

The strike of these rocks was traced only about forty rods, bending to the east on the bottom sides of the lake, and forming the west half of Sunken Lake.

Between this downthrow and the more northern limestone is a valley filled with drift, composed of very coarse gravel, sand, clay, etc., with a few large boulders.

The North Branch of Thunder Bay river, which is thirty feet wide near Sunken Lake, and capable of floating saw-logs for twenty or more miles above the lake, in making its channel to Thunder Bay river, passes over a portion of this drift bed; and that portion of the drift between the channel of the river and the drift flanking the west side of the lake, being very porous, filled with water from the river, and was pressed with great force through the small cracks and seams in the limestones.

In time these holes through the rocks were made large enough to pass sand and small gravel, and then commenced the hollowing out of the lake.

The limestones becoming denuded, were split and crumbled by the frosts of winter, presented additional mouths to invite water from the river, until it quit its old bed, turned at right angles with its old channel, cut a new one for half a mile to the lake, and after making a few gyrations, sank beneath the rocks, to pass in subterranean darkness to the waters of Little Thunder Bay, where it is indefinitely ascertained that it emerges.

The apertures in the rocks are not yet large enough to admit the whole river in time of a freshet, and the surplus water returns to its old channel, affording the lumbermen a small chance to run their logs past this difficult place.

This subterranean stream, in all probability, follows the strike of the faulted sandstone, which we think bears about east-southeast from the lake.

At the same time the writer examined Sunken Lake, he discovered a very interesting sink-hole, or basin, somewhere about southeast from the lake, and thinks it was between sections 15 and 16, in town 31 north, of range 6 east.

It was situated in the midst of a heavy growth of sugar, beech and hemlock timber.

The hole was nearly round, and about two hundred feet in diameter.

The alluvium and drift was about fifty feet deep, and the cavern below was spacious enough to take this immense mass of matter and the large forest trees, and hide them in the chambers below; it had fallen entirely out of sight.

In sinking the first well in Alpena, the lithological structure was noted for 64.5 feet, and it is remarkable that after passing through the alluvinm and drift for 30 feet, and through only two feet of limestone, a quartz rock was reached, 18 feet thick, carrying copper, and perhaps gold.

If the records be true, the chances for gold would be better than for salt from the Saginaw basin.

Taking all these facts into consideration, we are drawn to the inevitable conclusion that the Saginaw salt group and the carboniferous limestones found in the lower basin, compose the nine hundred feet of rock piled up above the sandstones seen at Sunken Lake.

That the Saginaw salt lies in a valley between the two basins, and extending from Saginaw Bay to Muskegon.

That Alpena city and its immediate vicinity is on the outcropping edge of the northern geological basin, and below the Saginaw salt group; and that if salt is ever found here, it will be taken from the Onondaga salt group of rocks.

And now that roads have been made into the interior of the county, affording good facilities for reaching every part of it, that a few hundred dollars would be well expended by the county, in employing a competent geologist to make a proper survey of this most interesting portion of the Southern Peninsula.


At the time the public surveys were made in Alpena, Presque Isle and Cheboygan counties, all that part of the peninsula was known as the Thunder Bay region, and was attached to Mackinac County, for judicial purposes.

In 1854 or ’55, the land district was divided, and a Land Office was established at the village of Duncan City, in Cheboygan County.

Subsequently these land districts were sub-divided, with offices at Traverse City, East Saginaw, Ionia, and Detroit, Alpena County being in the Detroit district.

In 1840, boundaries were made, and names given to twenty-nine northern counties.

One of these counties was named after an ancient chief of the Thunder Bay band of Indians—”An-a-ma-kee,” or Thunder.

The name was changed to Alpena, in 1843, but for what reason, is not known to the writer, but he thinks the name a phonetic rendering of the word “Aw-pe-na,” which – means Partridge, in the Indian language.

The point of land between Squaw Bay and Alpena is known by the Indians as “Aw-pe-na-sing,” or Partridge Point, and the name of Alpena was probably taken from the name of this point, through the influence of the Hon. Henry Ashman, who was well acquainted with the Thunder Bay coast, spoke the Indian language, and was subsequently a member of the State Legislature, from Midland county.

In seems to be a word of recent coinage, as the writer can find no place on the globe of the same name.

The word should be spelled “Awpena,” to mean Partridge, and if rendered into English, as it is now spelled, would be, “not quite a Partridge.”

In speaking of Squaw Bay, reminds the writer of the origin of the name.

Places sometimes receive their names from trifling circumstances.

The writer named the bay “Squaw Bay,” from the following incident: In the winter of 1850 or 51.

Robert McMullen was traveling across the bay and when about the middle of it.

He discovered some one fishing through a hole in the ice; and on approaching near, he found it to be Na-o-tay-ke-zhiek-co-quay, the daughter of the old Chief Mich-e-ke-wis, who was then camped on Partridge Point .

The Indian maiden was fishing, with her head covered with a blanket, and when she heard approaching footsteps, she bounded to her feet, with a frightened look, and without waiting for any apology from Me, she started for the point, with the fleetness of the antelope.

When McMullen told the writer of his adventure, he said to him: “We will call that bay ‘Squaw Bay,’ and since that time it has been known by that name.

In 1853, Cheboygan County was organized, and Montmorency, Presque Isle, Alpena, Oscoda and Alcona counties were attached to Cheboygan County, for judicial and municipal purposes.

In the spring of 1855, the first assessment of taxes was made in Alpena County.

The assessor from Cheboygan came as far as Presque Isle, and returned, having assessed the whole territory, without seeing any of it, as many assessors have done since, and are now doing in most of the northern counties.

No tax was collected in Alpena County for this year.

In 1856, the second assessment, and the first collection of taxes, was made by Cheboygan county, and which tax so collected, amounted to a little over five hundred dollars.

After making the Bailey purchase, the proprietors deemed it advisable to have a county organization for the success and convenience of their enterprise; but it required considerable “cheek” to ask the State Legislature to organize a county where it was a dense wilderness, and where men had to be immigrated to hold the offices for conducting the first election, and where there was only one resident freeholder in the district sought to be organized.

It also required not a little courage, end liberality, to incur at such a time, the expense of organizing and running a new county, where their property would eventually have to pay a large proportion of the expense.

In order to make a fair showing before the State Legislature, the proprietors, in 1856, came to Thunder Bay river, bringing with them E. A. Breakenridge, a surveyor, to make a temporary survey of a village, to give it a name, and ascertain where the two squares were that they intended to offer to donate to the county, as a site for the county buildings, in the event of, and as an inducement for establishing the county seat at this place.

This was in the year of the Fremont campaign, and Messrs. Fletcher, Lockwood and Breakenridge, being “Fremont men,” and the Canada parties, Messrs.

Oldfield and Minor, having no prejudices; they had resolved to call the prospective village “Fremont.”

They had brought with them a Fremont flag, which they raised on a pole when naming the town.

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter was one of the party, but being opposed to Fremont, he refused to help raise the pole, declaring that he “would not help raise a flag that he would not support.”

He moved his family to Thunder Bay River in November, 1856, and the same fall obtained signers to a petition for the organization of the county of Alpena.

In regard to this petition, Mr. Carter says, in a letter to G. N. Fletcher, under date of February 14th, 1857: “I got the petition, and went up and down the shore, and the folks were all glad to see it.

I got fifty-one names.

Mr. Harrison, owner of the mill at the Highlands, would not sign it.

He wants the county seat at his place, or be set in Saginaw district.”

In February, 1857, through the energy of the proprietors and the personal efforts of Hon. J. K. Lockwood, the Legislature passed the following act, organizing the county of Alpena:

An Act to Organize the County of Alpena, and to locate the County Seat thereof.

Sec. 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, that the county of Alpena shall be organized and the inhabitants there of entitled to all the rights and privileges to which, by law, the inhabitants of other organized counties of this State are entitled.

Sec. 2. The county seat of said county is hereby established at the village of Fremont, at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, in said county: Provided, That the proprietors of lands therein shall convey to said county, for the exclusive use thereof, for county buildings and county purposes, free of all charge, the following described lots, to wit: Two entire blocks, each twenty-four rods square, lying between Eighth and Ninth streets, and River and Lockwood streets, in the village of Fremont, as surveyed by E. A. Breakenridge, Esq., in the year (1856) eighteen hundred and fifty-six, on section twenty-two (22), in town thirty-one (31) north, of range eight (8) east, in said county.

Sec. 3. There shall be elected in said county of Alpena, on the first Tuesday of November, eighteen hundred and fiftyseven (1857), all the several county officers to which, by law, the said county is entitled; and said election shall, in all respects, be conducted and held in the manner prescribed by law, for holding elections for county and State officers: Provided, That the county officers so to be elected, shall be qualified, and enter upon the duties of their respective offices, on the first (1) Monday of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-eight (1858), and whose term of office will expire at the time prescribed by the general law.

Sec. 4. The board of canvassers of said county, under this act, shall consist of the presiding inspectors of election from each township therein; and said inspectors shall meet at said village of Fremont, on the first Tuesday after the election, and organize, by appointing one of their number chairman, and another secretary of said board, and shall thereupon proceed to discharge all the duties of a board of county canvassers, as in other cases of election for county and State officers.

Sec. 5. The Sheriff and County Clerk, elected by the provisions of this act, shall designate a place in the village of Fremont for holding the Circuit Court in said county, and also suitable places for the several county offices, as near as practicable to the place designated for holding the Circuit Court; and they shall make and subscribe a certificate, in writing, describing the several places designated, which certificate shall be filed and preserved by the County Clerk; and thereafter the places thus designated shall be the places of holding the Circuit Court and the county offices, until the Board of Supervisors provide suitable accommodations for said court and county offices.

Sec. 6. The counties of Alcona, Oscoda, Montmorency, and that portion of the county of Presque Isle lying east of range 4 east, be and the same are attached to the county of Alpena, for judicial and municipal purposes.

Sec. 7. All acts, and parts of acts, contravening the provisions of this act, the same are hereby repealed.

Approved Feb. 7th, 1857.

Mr. Lockwood, finding that “the presiding inspectors of elections from each township therein,” referred to in the fourth section of the above act, had declared “non est inventus,” procured, ten day later in the session, the passage of an act, as an amendment to the fourth section of the first act, which is as follows:

Sec. 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, That this act shall stand in lieu of section four (4) of said act, and that Daniel Carter, Harvey Harwood and D. D. Oliver are hereby made and constituted a board of county canvassers, who shall act as inspectors of election; and said inspectors shall meet at the said village of Fremont, on the first Tuesday after the election, and appoint one of their number chairman, and another secretary of said board, and shall thereupon proceed to discharge all the duties of a board of county canvassers, as in other cases of election of county and State officers, and shall have the power to act as a Board of Supervisors in and for said county, for the organization of townships therein, and for other purposes, and to hold their office until there be three organized townships in said county, and until other supervisors are elected and qualified: And provided, that that the first Board of Supervisors of Alpena country hold their offices until three towns were organized in the county, and to fill any vacancy in the board, if one should occur.

After being duly notified of their appointment, and about the first of Jane, 1857, the members of the new Board of Supervisors for the county of Alpena, met for business, and organized by making Daniel Carter chairman, and. having no County clerk, D. D, Oliver was made secretary.

Mr. Harwood soon moved out of the county, and left the chairman and secretary to have it their own way.

They were both inexperienced in county business, and were at least one hundred miles from a precedent; without books, or anything to guide them in their new position; and not a man in the county that could legally administer an oath, and but one in the county who knew anything about township business, and his knowledge done them no good us as Board of Supervisors, and they had no townships organized; but something must be done by the Board of Supervisors, and they did it as well as they could.

The first and most important business before the board, was to settle with the neighboring Board of Supervisors of Cheboygan County, and get back a part, if they could, of the $500 tax which the county of Cheboygan had collected of Alpena County and its territory the preceding winter.

Carter and Oliver made two trips to Cheboygan, in a sail boat, at a large expense, to meet the supervisors there, who avoided them, and they failed to make a settlement.

Oliver then went to Lansing, and had a talk with the Auditor General, in regard to the matter, who told him if he would forward certain papers from Cheboygan, before the fourth day of July, 1857, he would charge back the tax to Cheboygan county, and credit Alpena county with the same.

Oliver then made another expensive trip to Cheboygan, procured the necessary papers, and sent them to Lansing; but heard nothing from the Auditor General, until he was threatened with publication, and then he received the following letter:

Auditor General’s Office,

Lansing, Nov. 13th, 1857.

D. D. Oliver, Esq.

Dear Sir:—I have just received your letter of the 11th inst. I am not conscious of any neglect in answering your letters. I received your letter of July 10th, with statement of the Board of Supervisors of Alpena county and certain transcripts from the records of Cheboygan County. I answered you at once, stating that I had not the power to help your county, referring you to Sec. 99 of the Tax Laws of 1848, as giving the Auditor such, and all the power he has to cancil the sale of lands. You wrote me again on the 21st August, which was attended to by repeating the answer made to yours of July 10th. I understand a letter was received, in my absence, a few days since, and which has been mislaid, but from what I learn of its contents, I could have answered only as heretofore, that I have not the power to do what you wanted me to do.

I am, very respectfully,

Signed,’ ‘WHITNEY JONES, Aud. Gen’l.

This letter from the Auditor General explains the inwardness of the whole matter, and closed up the tax business between Cheboygan and Alpena counties.

The next business before the Board of Supervisors, was the organization of the town of Fremont, but the board could not act without a petition, and as there was not freeholders enough to sign the petition, the organization of the township was tabled, to wait for the further growth of the place.

The next care of the board, was to provide suitable books for the county records, and to obtain the statutes from the Secretary of State, and other matters, as the following letter from the writer to G. N. Fletcher, Esq., will show:

Detroit, Nov. 18th, 1857.

G. N. Fletcher.

Dear Sir:—A small craft, chartered by Craig & Bro., left for Sugar Island, the night I arrived down. I told them you wished to send something up, but could not tell how much, or what it was. I shall leave for the upper country in a few days, and would like to meet you before I go. I learn by some persons from the shore, that the vessel arrived there safely, and that it brought but little, and took most of the folks away with her. I have written to the Governor, to appoint a Notary Public, and also written to the Secretary of State, for some books. I hope to get returns in two or .three days. What is to be done about the county books? If they go up this fall, they must go up soon. I think you had better come down and see what can be done, for I cannot get them. I am using my time and money in doing the county business, and that is all I feel able to do.

Yours respectfully,

Signed, D. D. OLIVER

To be a supervisor then, was to work without pay and pay your own expenses; and it wore the seat from many a pair of supervisor’s pants before the board became smooth enough to afford four dollars for six hours’ work, and step over to a full treasury and get your money.

In August of 1857, the schooner John Minor came into Thunder Bay river, bringing Mr. Addison F. Fletcher, who came in the interest of G. N. Fletcher, Esq., and who superintended the structure of a rough board store, which was located on Water street, at or near its junction with Second street, the schooner having brought the lumber for that purpose.

He –  A. F. F. – took an active part in the early affairs of the town and county, being the first clerk of both.

He assisted the writer in designing the seal of the Circuit Court, and suggested that, “If we have the river, we should have the pine trees.”

He, at one time, owned the best property and residence in the village of Alpena; but he never had much faith in the large growth of the place, and has, up to 1876, persisted in remaining a noun in the singular number.

In September, 1857, Mr. Joseph K. Miller came to Fremont, and with him came a number of settlers.

He was a man beyond the middle age; was well educated, and experienced in business.

He was a theologian of the severe school, and an inveterate hater of tobacco and whiskey.

He was from Boston, “The Hub of the World,” and having some fanciful notions of himself and the place he came from, he placed but little value in the people among whom he came to live.

He was very scrupulous in doing what he supposed to be right; but he differed with many of his neighbors in what was right.

It is evident that man has no standard of right and wrong, for what is right in one part of the world, is wrong in another part.

What is right in one nation, is wrong in another; what is right among one class of people, is wrong among another class; what is right in the manifestations of religion of one people, would be wrong in the manifestations of religion of another, and what would be right with one person, would be wrong with another.

Eight and wrong seem to be fictions, invented by parents, societies and nations, for their guide and government, and a person is said to be doing right when obeying those rules or laws, and doing wrong when violating them.

Right and wrong with the individual depends upon his phrenological make-up—his education and growth, and his surrounding influences.

These form the conscience which the individual is bound to and will obey.

In proof of the above remarks, the writer refers to the fifth chapter of Matthew, and the history of the political struggle between the northern and southern States, from 1860 to 1865.

Soon after Mr. Miller arrived in Fremont, he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the Board of Supervisors, made by the moving away of Harvey Harwood, Esq.; and now, the board, being full, was prepared to obey the organic law.

Without observing technicalities, the board proceeded to organize the township of Fremont.

This township was made to comprise the whole of Alpena County proper, and all the territory attached to it, for judicial and municipal purposes.

Mr. Miller, in a letter to George N. Fletcher, Esq., and dated at Fremont, Oct. 23d, 1857, says, in regard to the petition necessary to be presented to the Board of Supervisors:

“On examination of the statutes more minutely, I find it requires twelve freeholders to organize a township, as that number must petition the supervisors for organization.

We had one petition signed by sixteen electors, but there are only two freeholders among them all – Mr. Oliver and myself – so we must make ten of the others freeholders before the day of election, the first day of November.”

On the 4th day of November, 1857, as provided by the organic law, the first election took place in Alpena county, and the township officers entered upon the duties of their several offices as soon as they could be qualified, there being no person in the county who could legally administer the oath of office.

Mr. Miller says, in a letter to Mr. Fletcher, dated Nov. 4th, 1857: “We had our couty election to-day, and all passed off pleasantly and satisfactorily.

Addison, County Clerk; myself County Treasurer and Register of Deeds.

Our neighbors down the shore came up, and we had quite a respectable turn-out; one boatload from Messrs. Harris’ place, at the Highlands, and one from Black River.

If Addison has not left to return, tell him he must ascertain where he must go to be qualified for County Clerk, by taking the oath of office, and take it before coming up, as his services are wanted immediately.”

The official records of the election read as follows: “In pursuance of notice for the first township election, posted according to law, in the township of Fremont, in the county of Alpena, and State of Michigan, held on the fourth day of November, 1857: Present, David D. Oliver, Joseph K. Miller and Daniel Carter, the board of inspectors, appointed by the supervisors, to hold said election. Chose David D. Oliver, chairman of said board, and Joseph K. Miller, secretary, and appointed Addison Fletcher, clerk; also Isaac Wilson to officiate as constable for said election. Polls were opened, and the following persons were elected to the several township offices:

Supervisor—James S. Irwin.

Township Treasurer—Daniel Carter.

Township Clerk—Addison Fletcher. Highway Commissioners—Daniel Carter, David D. Oliver, James Thomas.

Justices of the Peace—Russell R. Woodruff, David D. Oliver, Lewis Atkins, Isaac Wilson.

School Inspectors—David D. Oliver, George B. Melville.

Constables—James Thomas, Robert Bowman, Willis Roe.

Pathmaster—William Sherman.

Signed, DAVID D. OLIVER, Chairman,


J. K. MILLER, Secretary.

Isaac Wilson was from the Highlands, as the place was then known—now Harrisville; and Willis Roe was from Black River.

The following is a list of the county officers elected at the first election, held on the 4th day of November, 1857:

Sheriff—William R. Bowman.

County Clerk—A. F. Fletcher.

County Treasurer—J. K. Miller.

Register of Deeds—J. K. Miller.

County Surveyor—David D. Oliver.

Circuit Court Commissioner—David Plough.

Coroner—A. F. Fletcher.

It will be observed that in the list of township officers, the clerk is “Addison Fletcher,” and the clerk of the board of election has signed his name “Addison Fletcher,” while in the list of county officers his name is written “A. F. Fletcher.”

This discrepancy can be explained by saying the clerk of the board of election neglected to write his name in full.

At the general election, held on the 2nd day of November, 1858, the whole number of votes cast was thirty-five, and were all cast in favor of the general banking law.

The county officers were all re-elected; and party politics showed itself, only in the State ticket.

Moses Wisner, Republican, for Governor, received twenty votes, and Chas. E. Stewart, Democrat, for Governor, received fifteen votes; the balance of the State ticket run about the same, except for Representative in the State Legislature, and for that office, Daniel Carter, received twenty-one votes.

At the time Alpena County was organized, all the northern counties had been thrown into a Representative District, without any regard to their condition, location, or convenience.

The election returns for the district were to be made to Traverse City, in Grand Traverse County, that being the largest town in the district.

The people of Alpena County, finding it impracticable to make returns of election to Traverse City, in time to Joe used in the canvass, resolved to have the pleasure of voting for a Representative peculiarly their own, and so gave their first vote for Daniel Carter.

In 1860, Alpena having grown to some importance, resolved to send a Representative to the State Legislature, and request a seat for him in that body, not in opposition to the regular candidate for that office, who was a resident of Grand Traverse County, but conjointly with him, as the territory was ample for two districts, with divided interests.

Capt. A. E. Persons was nominated for this important and experimental position, and was elected, receiving nearly all the votes of Alpena County and its territory.

Captain Persons accepted the nomination and election, as complimentary, but was not a little surprised when requested by his constituents to go to Lansing.

He regarded the matter of going to Lansing but little better than a farce, and that, as a matter of course, he would be rejected.

But being assured and encouraged by his friends, who thought differently, and who agreed to fund his expenses, in case he was not seated, he made up his mind to “Try the thing on,” and prepared himself with his credentials; went to Lansing; presented himself at the bar of the House of Representatives; was administered the oath of office, and took his seat with as much freedom and matter of course as if he had been a regularly elected member from the oldest counties.

No questions were asked and he was addressed as “The member from Alpena.”

This affair, for boldness of conception and execution, has few if any precedents in the annals of legislation.

This gave importance and notoriety to Alpena, among her sister towns and brought tio her shore many seeking for labor, settlement, or speculation.

Captain Persons was a man of energy, with sound judgment, and kind and obliging manners.

He was a faithful friend to his Government daring the long struggle with rebellion, and by attending to the wants of his county, he gave pride and satisfaction to his friends and constituents.

Subsequently, the district was changed, and in 1867, was composed of the counties of Midland, Isabella, Iosco and Alpena and their territory.

The right of selecting a man for Representative from this new district was claimed by Alpena, and conceded by the other counties: and the Hon. James K. Lockwood was elected.

No better man could have been selected to take care of the scattered interests of this district, the combined population of which numbered about five thousand.

Ten years of experience had made him familiar with the wants of people living in new counties.

While he was a member of the Legislature, he did what he could for the scattered interests of his district, and gave general satisfaction.

He made a strong effort to secure the swamp lands to the exclusive use and benefit of the several counties in which they were located; but he was opposed by the southern districts, which had no swamp lands, and was defeated.

He was always a persistent guardian of the interests and well-being of Alpena, and ready at all times to encourage and assist in any and every enterprise that had for its object the improvement of the place.

When he now looks back over two decades, to the time he was lobbying for the organization of a county with only one resident freeholder in it, in contrast with the present city (1876) and county, with their organizations, improvements and wealth, he can feel a conscious pride that he was one of those who were instrumental in bringing around these grand results; and the writer thinks he sometimes whispers to himself, “Who thanks me for all this?

If I had done more for myself, and less for the county, I would be the better off for it.”

In 1874, the Hon. Worthy L. Churchill was elected a representative in the State Legislature, ostensibly from Alpena.

He was a young man, and mostly a stranger to the people of his district and their wants; had then but little interest in the growth of Alpena, and has the credit of being instrumental in defeating a bill for the appropriation of land to aid in the construction of a railroad from Alpena, and to connect with the Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw railway.

If this be true, the people of Alpena have reason to say to him, in spirit, as Balak said to Baalim, “I called thee to curse mine enemies, and behold, thou hast altogether blest them.”

The people becoming dissatisfied with the name of Fremont, petitioned the Legislature to change it to Alpena, and in February, 1859, it was so changed, by the following act:

An Act to change the name of the village of Fremont, in the comity of Alpena.

Sec. 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, that the name of the village of Fremont, in the county of Alpena, and State of Michigan, be and .the same is hereby changed to Alpena.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

Approved February 29th, 1859.

The first township organized after Alpena, was Ossineke, in 1867.

Prior to this, Harrisville had been organized into a township, and subsequently was made the county seat of Alcona county.

The township of Corles was organized at the same time that Ossineke was, but lived only a brief period, and then returned to the embrace of Alpena.

The organic territory of Ossineke consisted of town 29 north, of ranges 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 east.

The first meeting was held at the boarding house of D. D. Oliver, on the first Monday in April, 1867, D. D. Oliver, George B. Melville and G. W. Hawkins being inspectors of election, and G. B. Melville to post notices.

The Board of Supervisors was now composed of Daniel Carter, of the county; Obed Smith, of Alpena; D. D. Oliver, of Ossineke, and L. R. Dorr, of Harrisville.

As soon as these towns were organized, Messrs. Carter and Oliver ceased to be county members of the Board of Supervisors, as by the law organizing the county of Alpena, their terms of office should expire as soon as three towns were organized in the county.

They bad been on the board together a full decade.

They differed in politics, Carter being a Democrat and Oliver a Republican; but they made it a standard principle never to allow party politics to interfere with the interests of the county.

They had always worked together in harmony, for the benefit of the Thunder Bay region, and especially Alpena; and now, when they retired from the Board of Supervisors, they did so with the consciousness of having performed the duties of their trust without fear or favor, and at all times to the best of their abilities.

They left no bonds for the county to provide for, except those given to the brave men who volunteered to help silence the thunders of a southern rebellion, and give freedom to three millions of slaves.

Their names are as follows: James J. Potter, Moses Bingham, Arthur Irwin, Denton Sellick, James Whalen, Frank Squires, John Kaufman, Solomon Evans, John Ellsworth, George Plude and John Dawson.

The township of Corles, having failed to keep up its organization, the Board of Supervisors was convened, on the 19th day of May, 1868, to take some action in regard to the matter.

James K. Lockwood, Ira Stout and David D. Oliver were appointed a committee to present the matter to Judge S. M. Green, for his advice.

The committee made its report to Judge Green, and the organization was restored to Corles.

At this session of the board, a resolution was passed, to purchase a piece of land at Harrisville, on which to erect buildings for a poor house and farm, at a cost of $5,000, to be raised by tax of SI,000 a year, until paid.

The board at this session was composed of Ira Stout, of Alpena; Lawrence R. Dorr, of Harrisville, and David D. Oliver, of Ossineke, Oliver having been elected Supervisor of that township.

Sometime in 1868, the township of Alcona was organized; and after the spring election of 1869, the Board of Supervisors was composed of the following gentlemen: James K. Lockwood, of Alpena; L. R. Dorr, of Harrisville; D. Stewart, of Corles; E. R. Haynes, of Alcona, and David D. Oliver, of Ossineke.

On the 20th of May, 1870, the Board of Supervisors was called together, for the purpose of organizing the township of Rogers, in Presque Isle County.

Heretofore Alpena had taken the lead of all the towns, in political matters; but now a shadow was stealing over it, calculated to injure, if not to crush it.

During the past winter, Alcona County had been organized, taking with it the unorganized county of Oscoda and the organized towns of Harrisville and Alcona; and the township of Corles having failed to keep up its organization, it left only two organized towns in the county of Alpena, the Supervisors of which were Charles W. Richardson, of Alpena Township, and George J. Robinson, of Ossineke.

The petition for the organization of the township of Rogers was signed by many of the best men in Alpena, they little dreaming that they were furnishing means for much annoyance, if not for their own destruction.

A remonstrance had been made, but Supervisor Robinson had it his own way, and wishing to befriend Mr. Molitor, organized the township.

Alpena, like the bird after which it was named—partridge—had now grown to good size, and had grown fat and plump, under the fostering care of its old guardians, was now watched by a number of Hawks, who were only waiting for its protectors to be absent, to pounce upon and gobble it up.

One of these Hawks had his nest at Rogers City, and another at Ossineke, and a third had a temporary nest in Alpena, but carried all his spoils to a more permanent one, in Canada.

After considerable maneuvering, the time came for the descent, when the bird dodged under a city charter, and was safe.

The Board of Supervisors again met on the 20th of September, 1870, and there were then present, Chas. W. Richardson, of Alpena; George J. Robinson, of Ossineke, and Albert Molitor, of Rogers City, and the Clerk.

At this session commenced a series of aggressions by the majority of the board, which was so continued that it compelled the people to seek relief in a city organization.

In a speech made by Hon. Seth L. Carpenter, at a caucus held in the Evergreen Hall, March 29th, 1871, where the people threw aside party politics to put in nomination the best men from both parties to fill the first offices of the new city, and at which caucus he, who was nominated for the first Mayor, said: “So far the organization of the city of Alpena has been a necessity, urged upon us by the aggressive majority of our Board of Supervisors, whom we charitably believe misrepresented the small minority of the inhabitants of the county.

But their aggressions have been of such a character as to drive our citizens en masse, without regard to party politics, to seek relief by a city organization.”

Among the aggressive acts of the Board of Supervisors, passed at this session, and subsequently, before the 20th of January, 1871, were resolutions giving the Sheriff the illegal salary of $1,000 per year; to the County Clerk the large salary of $1,200 per year; to the County Treasurer $1,000, and the Prosecuting Attorney $1,000 per year.

They detached large territory from Alpena, and attached the same to the townships of Ossineke and Rogers.

They considered favorably a petition of J. B. Tuttle and S. E. Hitchcock, for locating a site for a court house on lauds belonging to Hitchcock, and for raising money for building the same.

They also passed a resolution, making S. L. Carpenter, George J. Robinson and Albert Molitor a board of commissioners of immigration; and, also, “It shall be the duty of said board to encourage immigration, by such measures as they may, in their discretion, deem proper.”

Supervisor Robinson offered a resolution to purchase a tract of land at Ossineke, for the poor farm.

After these aggressions  had been continued for some time, the citizens of Alpena became alarmed, and held several meetings, to determine what course to pursue.

They finally held a meeting on the 8th day of February, 1871, “To take into consideration the propriety of having a city corporation.

At this meeting, William Jenney, Esq., was called to the chair, and P. M. Johnson was made secretary.

The meeting passed a resolution, requesting the Board of Supervisors “To take no action for the purpose of incorporating the village of Alpena.”

A committee was appointed by the chair, to draft a charter for the city, to be presented to the people of Alpena, for their consideration. Messrs. S. L. Carpenter, J. H. Stevens, J. A. Case, A. W. Comstock, D. McRae,

J. D. Holmes and A. Hopper were appointed such committee.

They were instructed to present such charter to the adjourned meeting.

“The deficiencies of our present township government’ were the cause which led to these proceedings.

Soon after the committee report was made, a petition was signed by one hundred and twenty-one citizens of Alpena, and forwarded to Lansing, asking the State Legislature for a city corporation.

A remonstrance was also sent, signed by forty-nine persons; and Mr. Bostwick and five others who signed the petition, also signed the remonstrance, saying, “They did not know the character of the petition when they signed it.”

An efficient corps of lobbyists accompanied the petition, and it was not long before the attention of the Legislature was given to the pressing demands of the citizens of Alpena, and a charter was granted them, the first section of which reads as follows: “That so much of the township of Alpena, in the county of Alpena, as is included in the following described territory: The southwest quarter of section 13, the south half of sections 14, 15 and 16, the whole of sectons 21, 22 and 28, the west fractional half of section 24, and fractional sections 23, 26 and 27, in town 31 north, of range 8 east, in the State of Michigan, be and the same is hereby set off from said township of Alpena, and declared to be a city, by the name of the City of Alpena, by which name it shall hereafter be known; and by that name may sue, and be sued, implede and be impleded, complain and defend in any court of competent jurisdiction.

May have a common seal, and alter it at pleasure, and may take, hold, purchase, lease, convey and dispose of any real, personal and mixed estate, for the use of said corporation.”

The law provided also, that there should be three wards in the city, and so giving it three Supervisors.

The city charter provided, also, that the annual election of city officers shall be held on the first Monday of April of each year. The Mayor, Comptroller and Treasurer were to be elected annually; the Recorder every two years, and the full term of the Justice of the Peace was three years.

On the ward tickets two Aldermen were to be elected at the first election, one for one year and one for two years, and thereafter one.

Alderman to be elected each year, and to hold office for two years; the Common Council to be composed of the Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen; The officers to be appointed by the Common Council were Attorney, Marshal, Street Com missioner, Director of the Poor, and Engineers of the Fire Department.

At the first city election, the following gentlemen were elected to fill the first offices: Seth L. Carpenter, for Mayor; Abram Hopper, for Recorder; James A. Case, for Comptroller; Albert L. Power, for Treasurer; George Richardson, Justice of the Peace for three years, and Ira Stout for two years.

In the First ward, Alexander McDonald, for Supervisor; George Richardson, for Alderman two years; John H. Stevens, for Alderman for one year, and Frank Drew for Constable.

In the Second ward, James J. Potter, for Supervisor; Henry S. Seage, for Alderman for two years; Ira Stout, for Alderman for one year, and Richard Campbell, for Constable.

In the Third ward, James McTavish, for Supervisor; Samuel Boggs, for Alderman for two years; Gordon Davis, for Alderman for one year, and Timothy Crowley, for Constable.

The incorporation of the city was thought, at the time, to be a fearful experiment; that it would subject the citizens to a large increase of taxes, and result in financial ruin and death.

But this was their only alternative, and the people preferred to take the chances of committing suicide, than to endure uncertain torture and ruin that threatened them by the aggressive acts of the majority of the Board of Supervisors. Contrary to the expectations of the most hopeful, the experiment has proved a success, paying for all it cost, if not more.

The city government, with few exceptions, has been conducted with wisdom and economy, and if the citizens have to pay more taxes, they have more conveniences and better protection for life and property.

While it required the united efforts of all the people to make the experiment a success, yet the city is largely indebted to the integrity, economy and perseverance of its executive officers, who were leading business men, and personally interested in the growth and prosperity of the city.

Their names are given in succession, up to and including the centennial year of 1876.

The first Mayor was Seth L. Carpenter; the second Mayor was Albert Pack; the third Mayor was Andrew W. Comstock, and the fourth Mayor is George L. Maltz.

The following is a list of city officers in 1876: Mayor, Geo. L. Maltz; Recorder, A. R. McDonald; Comptroller, J. D. Turnbull; Treasurer, Charles B. Greely; Justices of the Peace, Paul Dane, A. R. McDonald and Chas. A. D’Aigle.

Supervisors—First ward, Thomas G. Spratt; Second ward, Ira Stout; Third ward, Marshall N. Bedford. Aldermen—First ward, Charles H. Rice and George Richardson; Second ward, James Tims and J. P. Healy; Third ward, Jason Gillett and J. D. Sheahy. Board of Education—First ward, B. F. Starbird and H. R. Morse; Second ward, J. C. Viall and Ira Stout; Third ward, Paul Dane and D. McRae.

City Attorney, V. C. Burnham; City Marshal, Douglass Scott; Chief Engineer, A. L. Power.

The incorporation of the city had detached a large portion of the inhabitants from the township of Alpena, yet there remained enough to keep up the organization, and N. M. Brackinreed was elected Supervisor.

He was a good scholar, a persevering business man, and well calculated to build up the much reduced interests of the township.

On May 8th, 1871, the Board of Supervisors of Alpena county, met for business, it being the first session of the board after the city election, and was composed of the following members: N. M. Brackinreed, of Alpena; A. McDonald, First ward, city; J. J. Potter, Second ward, city; J. McTavish, Third ward, city; G. J. Robinson, Ossineke, and Albert Molitor, Rogers.

At this session Messrs. Robinson and Molitor were absent.

The Hawks did not care to meet the bird they had so much sought to maim or destroy, which, retaining its name, had changed to an Eagle of formidable dimensions, and on which the Hawks could now have but little impression.

One of the Hawks, through the influence of the people of Alpena, who wished to be rid of him, obtained a quasi organization of the county of Presque Isle, where he continued to depredate, until he became so intolerable that he was shot. But little inquiry has been made in regard to who it was that did the shooting, the people all seeming to say, “Sic semper tyrannis.”

On the 15th of March, 1873, the Board of Supervisors met for the purpose of erecting two townships—one to be called Long Rapids, and the other Wilson. The territory embraced in the township of Long Rapids is as follows: The north half of town 31 north, of ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 east, and the whole of town 32 north, of ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 east. The first annual meeting was to be held at the Jones school house, in the Louden settlement, on the 7th day of April, 1873. W. H. Marston, J. 0. Carr and John Louden were appointed to act as a board of inspectors of election, and William E. Jones to post notices.

The territory embraced in the township of Wilson was as follows: Commencing at the southeast corner of section 36, in town 30 north, of range 7 east, running thence northerly on the town line between ranges 7 and 8 east, to the northeast corner of section 1, in town 30 north, of range 7 east; thence easterly on town line to the southeast corner of section 36, town 31 north, of range 7 east; thence northerly on town line, to the northeast corner of section 24, in town 31 north, of range 7 east; thence westerly on section line, to the meridian; southerly on meridian line, to the southwest corner of section 31, in town 30 north, of range 1 east; thence easterly on town line, to the place of beginning.

The first annual meeting was to be held at the boarding house, on the Luce farm, on the 7th day of April, 1873. Noble M. Brackinreed, George Herron and Charles B. Greely were made inspectors of election, and X. M. Brackinreed to post notice of election.

The members comprising the board at this time, and who voted for the erection of these townships, were, G. J. Robinson, of Ossineke; X. M. Brackinreed, of Alpena; D. McRae.

City Comptroller; A. L. Power, First ward, and John D. Potter, Second ward.

At the end of this chapter is given a list of the county officers and a list, also, of the several township officers from the time of their organization, up to and including the centennial year of 1876, so far as the writer is in possession of the facts.

This is done for the benefit of those who may wish to use this work for reference.

The first officers elected in the township and county of Alpena, are given in full before in this chapter, and also the city officers of 1876.


Representative in State Legislature, from Alpena county— Alonzo E. Persons.

Sheriff—John W. Glennie.

County Clerk—David D. Oliver.

Register of Deeds—Abram Hopper.

County Treasurer—David Plough.

Prosecuting Attorney—Oliver T. B. Williams.

Judge of Probate—David D. Oliver.

Circuit Court Commissioner—Oliver T. B. Williams.

County Surveyor—David D. Oliver.

Coroners—Levi O. Harris and Hugh Johnson.


Supervisor—J. K. Lockwood.

Township Clerk—A. Hopper.

Township Treasurer—H. R. Morse.

Justice of the Peace—Martin Minton.

Commissioner of Highways—S. E. Hitchcock.



Sheriff—A. J. Gary.

County Treasurer—David Plough.

Judge of Probate—J. B. Tuttle.

Prosecuting Attorney—Obed Smith.

County Clerk—Robert White.

Register of Deeds—Abram Hopper.

Circuit Court Commissioner—J. B. Tuttle.

County Surveyor—David D. Oliver.

Coroners—Samuel E. Hitchcock and Josiah Frink.

County Supervisors—-D. D. Oliver and Daniel Carter.


Sheriff—J. C. Parke.

County Treasurer—David Plough.

Judge of Probate—J. B. Tuttle.

Prosecuting Attorney—Obed Smith.

County Clerk—Robert White.

Register of Deeds—A. Hopper.

Circuit Court Commissioner—J. B, Tuttle.

County Surveyor—David D. Oliver.

Coroners—S. E. Hitchcock and Josiah Frink,


Supervisor—James K. Lockwood.

Township Clerk—A. Hopper.

Township Treasurer—James A. Case.


Justices of the Peace—Obed Smith, four years; Frederick N. Barlow, three years.

Highway Commissioner—James Cavanagh,


Supervisor—Ira Stout.

Township Clerk—A. Hopper.

Township Treasurer—J. A. Case.

School Inspector—A. W. Comstock.


Justices of the Peace—James Cavanagh: to fill vacancy of F. N. Barlow, Meade X. S. Macartney; to fill vacancy of Martin Minton, P. M. Johnson.

Highway Commissioners—Samuel Boggs and Thos. Murray.

Constables—Timothy Crowley, John McKay and Thomas Gillan.


Sheriff—Orin Erskine.

County Treasurer—Josiah Frink.

Judge of Probate—J. B. Tuttle.

Prosecuting Attorney—Obed Smith.

County Clerk—Fulton Bundy.

Register of Deeds—A. Hopper.

Circuit Court Commissioner—Truman P. Tucker.

County Surveyor—P. M. Johnson.

Coroners—J. W. Glennie and L. V. Vincent.


Supervisor—James K. Lockwood.

Township Clerk—Abram Hopper.

Township Treasurer—A. L. Power.

Justice of the Peace—J. A. Case.

Highway Commissioner—Thomas Murray.

School Inspector—F. N. Barlow.

Constables—Timothy Crowley and Wm. Andrews.


Supervisor—Charles W. Richardson. Township Clerk—Abram Hopper. Township Treasurer—Albert L. Power. Justice of the Peace—Ira Stout. Highway Commissioner —Daniel Carter. School Inspector—Andrew W. Comstock. Constables—William E. Rice, Fulton Bundy, E. K. Potter and Orin Erskine.

Overseers of Highways—First district, George Richardson; third district, Albert Merrill; fourth district, Geo. C. Herron; fifth district, James O. Carr.


Sheriff—James Cavanagh.

County Treasurer—-Abram Hopper.

Judge of Probate—David Plough.

Prosecuting Attorney—Obed Smith.

County Clerk—F. Bundy.

Register of Deeds—James A. Case.

Circuit Court Commissioner—Obed Smith.

County Surveyor—John Lyman.

Coroners—James J. Potter and Isaac Wilson.


Supervisor—David D. Oliver.

Township Treasurer—George J. Robinson.

Township Clerk—Fayette Jones.

Justices of the Peace—Charles E. Blauchard aud Dougald Me Arthur.

Highway Commissioners—David Oliver and Amasa Chaffee.

Constables—John Ellsworth and Amasa Chaffee.

School Inspectors—-David D. Oliver and R. E. Gallup.



Supervisor—David D. Oliver.

Township Treasurer—George B. Melville.

Township Clerk—Reuben E. Gallup.

Highway Commissioners—William Cole, Joseph Reed and John Riddle.

Justices of the Peace—Joseph H. Parsons, Samuel Ellsworth aud Robert B. Oliver.


Supervisor—George J. Robinson.

Township Treasurer—John Ellsworth.

Township Clerk—Alonzo Randall.

Highway Commissioners—A. M. Chaffee, Jeremiah Patnod and Duncan McKillop.

Justices of the Peace—Samuel Ellsworth. Duncan McKillop, Jeremiah Patnod and William Shortland.

School Inspectors—G. J. Robinson and D. McKillop.

Constables—J. J. McFall, James Powers and William Johnson.


Sheriff—James Cavanagh.

County Clerk—Seth L. Carpenter.

County Treasurer—Abram Hopper.

Prosecuting Aitorney—J. B. Tuttle.

Register of Deeds—Alex. McDonald.

Circuit Court Commissioner—J. H. Stevens.

County Surveyer—T. McGinn.

Coroners—D. Carter and . Simons.



Sheriff—Thomas B. Johnston.

County Treasurer—A. Hopper.

County Clerk—Chas. N. Cornel?.

Prosecuting Attorney—V. C. Burnham.

County Surveyor—Thomas White.

Register of Deeds—A. McDonald,

Circuit Court Commissioner—John H- Stevens.


Sheriff—Thomas B. Johnston.

County Treasurer—Abram Hopper.

County Clerk—Charles N. Cornell.

Register of Deeds—Alex. McDonald.

Prosecuting Attorney—V. C. Burnham,

County Surveyor—Thomas White.

Circuit Court Commissioner—John H. Stevens.


At the spring election, seventy-six votes were cast in this township.

Supervisor—James A. Case.

Township Clerk—Conrad Wessel.

Township Treasurer—Henry L. Oppenborn.

Highway Commissioner—Patrick Egan.

Justices of the Peace—Richard Naylor, James B. White, William Lumsden and William Pulford.

School Inspector—James Glennie.

Constables—Walter Gavagan, Jeremiah Sears, Chas. Cook and Chas. Gierke.


At the spring election, this township cast one hundred votes; nearly three times as many as was cast in the county of Alpena and all her territory in 1858.

Supervisor—John Ferguson.

Township Clerk—Joseph Cavanagh.

Township Treasurer—Darwin J. Soper.

Justices of the Peace—H. Hodgins, W. W. Hicks, James O. Carr and A. AV. McFarland.

Commissioner of Highways—David McNeil.

School Inspector—Albert Milton.

Constables—Charles Keating, John McMillen and John Vance.


This township cast sixty votes. at the spring election,

Supervisor—Noble M. Brackinreed.

Township Clerk—Pardon BuelL

Townsbip Treasurer—John McSorley.

Justices of the Peace—J. McSorley, George M. Green. Jas. Kimball and George C. Herron.

Highway Commissioner—Richard M. Cornell.

School Inspector—X. M. Brackinreed.

Constables—Thomas Smith, Robert McLeod, Joseph Wviuan and Daniel F. Carr.


Snpervisor—Israel G. Sanborn.

Township Clerk—Chris Rimer.

Township Treasurer—

David Oliver


Justices of the Peace—Israel G. Sanborn, David Oliver, Jas. Lewis and John Force.

Highway Commissioner—John E. Sanborn.

School Inspector—Martin Benjamin.

Constables—Andrew Poths, James Lenox, John P. Profrock and Thomas Sampson.




The “Jay House,” built in the fall of 1844, as mentioned in Chapter I, was built near the corner of River and First Streets.

In the fall of 1846, a party of four families of French halfbreeds, came from Mackinaw to the mouth of Thunder Bay river, for the purpose of hunting and trapping.

They occupied the “Jay House,” and built two others.

Of course, they could not be called settlers, for they came there only to spend the winter, and went away again in the spring.

Walter Scott came to Thunder Bay River in 1851, for the purpose of fishing and trading with the Indians. He moved away in 1857, and so did not become a settler.

The first settler that came to Fremont, was Daniel Carter, who moved his family to Thunder Bay river in the fall of 1856.

He came in the interest of G. N. Fletcher, and was accompanied by a few men, who came to work during the winter.

Mr. Carter’s family consisted of wife and daughter, and were the first resident ladies of Fremont.

Mr. Carter and men chopped a narrow strip of timber, on both sides of the river, and cut the timber in Thunder Bay River, nearly up to the South Branch, with a view of clearing it for running logs.

This was the first work done, looking toward the improvement of the place.

When A. F. Fletcher came to Fremont, in 1857, a number of mechanics came with him.

He brought lumber for building a store and boarding house, and under date of August 30th, he writes to G. N. Fletcher, Esq., and says: “I arrived safely here Wednesday noon, and found Mr. Carter at home.

He had been to Duncan, had not commenced the boarding house, but we will have it up day after to-morrow.

I am building that and the store a little stronger than you spoke of, as Dan. says it would not last through the winter, if I did not.

We cannot tell where the store ought to be, but will get it as near as possible.”

At this time only a temporary survey of the town had been made, and for this reason, it was impossible to know where to place the building.

In September of the same year, John McNevins came to Fremont with some men, to make some timber for a mill dam, to be erected across Thunder Bay river; but the work was soon after discontinued, on account of the unparalleled depression in financial matters.

It may be well to remark, that the year that Alpena county was organized and assumed a place among the sister counties of the State, was remarkable as being the most depressing year, financially, that this country ever saw; business being good in 1856, when placed in contrast with 1857.

The following letter, written by John Oldfield, Esq., to George N. Fletcher, and dated Dunville, Ontario, Oct. 14th, 1857, gives a plain and concise statement of financial affairs at that time; it says:

“Your favor of 8th instant, in relation to Thunder Bay affairs, came to hand last evening. I immediately saw Mr. Minor, on the subject, who is decidedly of the opinion, as well as myself, that it will be imprudent to attempt to go on with the work, unless, indeed, that you are prepared to furnish the means yourself. As far as I am concerned, I cannot furnish one dollar towards it; indeed, there is such a general depression in all financial matters here, that I cannot raise money enough to run my mill, and intend shutting down. All business seems completely paralyzed; nobody pays, nor can pay, and I find myself with a large amount of bills receivable, some past due, and others falling due at an early date, but no money, and no prospects of getting it. Even clear lumber, in Albany, will not bring the cash. With all these depressing circumstances staring us in the face, Mr. Minor and myself can see no other way but to stop the work, and, consequently, do not think it worth going up to lay any of the piers this fall, as you suggest. “Yours truly,

“Signed, J. OLDFIELD.”

Mr. Fletcher, owning a half interest in the property, and not being so much affected by the hard times as his co-partners, for the reason that he had sold his mill property at St. Clair, prior to the panic, was disposed to go on with the work, hut the other proprietors not furnishing means, the company’s work ceased.

Mr. Fletcher continued to make improvements in his own interests, and it was very fortunate for the people of Alpena County, and its organization, that he was able and willing to do so.

In the fall of 1857, Mr. G. N. Fletcher, in company with other parties, started a store in Fremont, under the firm name “Miller, Fletcher & Co.”

They kept a general assortment of such goods as are wanted in a new, isolated place, even whiskey and tobacco, and these articles Air. Miller was very much opposed to handling.

The work on the mill dam, for the Thunder Bay Dam Co., as it was called, was discontinued; but Mr. Fletcher continued to give employment to most of the people of Fremont, on his own account, and built a dock, and a large building on the corner of Second and Water streets, and known in 1867 as the “Myers Block.”

It should have been known as the “Miller Block” for he had the care of building it, and occupied it for many years.

It will be referred to in the rest of this work as the “Myers Block.”

All the proprietors, except G. N. Fletcher, having business relations other than at Fremont, were much embarrassed by the unprecedented hard times that shook many off their feet, financially, did but little for the improvement of Alpena, during 185T and the first half of 1858.

In the fall of 1858, men began to multiply in Alpena, “and sons and daughters were born unto them.”

Financially, matters having improved a little, Messrs. Lockwood, Minor and Fletcher resolved to go on with the work at Fremont.

In pursuance of this resolution, the schooner J. S. Minor came to Fremont, having on board about thirty persons, among whom were Messrs. E. K. Potter, Abram Hopper, W. Stevens, Moses Bingham and Thomas Murray.

Alexander Archibald and family and Samuel Boggs and family were among the number.

Many of those who came were mechanics.

Messrs. Archibald and Murray came for the purpose of lumbering for the firm of Lockwood & Minor, having a contract to cut, haul and run onto the rapids, one million feet of logs, more or less, at one dollar and seventy-five cents per thousand feet, being the first contract by the proprietors of Fremont, for cutting logs on Thunder Bay river.

Mr. Archibald, after building a frame house for his family, near the corner of Second and River streets north, (for buildings in Fremont at this time were few, and not far from the woods,) commenced to cut his supply road to the lumber woods, this being the first road made in the county that exceeded a mile in length.

He made this road nearly on the same line that the so called Section Line Road is now on, until he reached section 13, in town 31 north, of range 6 east, and thence northwest to Thunder Bay River, in section 2, of the same town and range.

Men’s wages at this time were from $11 to $16 per month, and they agreed to stay and run the logs in the spring.

The very low price for putting in the logs, and the wages of the men, show that there was not much “boom” to business at that date.

Edward K. Potter

Mr. Edward K. Potter scaled and marked the logs for this camp this winter, and to him must be accorded the honor of scaling the first log on Thunder Bay River, not barring the honor due the scaler who scaled in the camp of Alvin Cole during the same winter.

It is claimed by William Boulton, in his History of Alpena, that Mr. E. K. Potter measured the first cargo of lumber “that left Alpena, and that the schooner Meridian, Capt. Flood, carried the first cargo of lumber from Alpena.

” If he had, added the word “City,” he would have been correct.

In writing a history of the county, nice distinctions should be observed, between the whole county, and a certain locality, where both have the same name.

While it would be true that Mr. Potter measured the first cargo of lumber that left Alpena city, and that the schooner Meridian, Capt. Flood, carried the first cargo of lumber from the city of Alpena, yet it would not be true in regard to the county of Alpena, for the writer measured a cargo of lumber, and shipped it on his schooner, the Marshall Ney, John W. Paxton, Captain, before the county had an organization.

In December, 1858, Messrs. John Cole and Alvin Cole arrived in Fremont, accompanied by a large number of men.

Alvin Cole came for the purpose of lumbering for George N. Fletcher, having taken a contract of him, similar to the one taken by Messrs. Archibald and Murray.

The logs were to be cut in the same vicinity, and banked near each other in the river.

John Cole was a millright, and came to Fremont for the purpose of building two large sawmills, to be run by water power.

One was to be erected on the east side of Thunder Bay River, for George N. Fletcher, and the other on the west side, for the firm of Lockwood & Minor.

The timber was all made, hauled and framed for the mill, during the winter and spring.

The mill dam was not built, according to expectations, on account of some disappointment or disagreement among the proprietors.

The work of building the two sawmills was suspended, for the reason that they had no dam for water, and the two mill frames were piled away to await further consideration and development.

The timber for the Fletcher mill was burned in 1860, in a sweeping fire that burned over a large district around Alpena, and came very near burning what there was of the town.

Although this was considered a great loss to Mr. Fletcher at the time, yet it was a blessing in disguise.

It saved his timber until it was more valuable, and relieved him of the embarrassing perplexity that attended milling at that time, in Alpena, and in which his co-partners were soon after engaged; and while their business did more to build up the village, it put less money into their pockets.

The mill frame made for Lockwood & Minor was not put up for several years.

The survey of the village of Fremont, by E. A. Breakenridge, was only a temporary one, without map or record, and was made for the purpose mentioned in Chapter III.

As by law, it was imperative that a survey must be made of the village, and a map of the same be placed on record in the Register’s office, with a conveyance to the public of the right of way of the streets of the same, before lots could be legally sold, the proprietors were resolved to have the survey made and recorded.

In April, 1858, the writer was engaged by Messrs. Fletcher, Lockwood and Oldfield, to make the survey, under their supervision, all of them being in Fremont at the time, Mr. Oldfield being particularly anxious to have a thorough survey made.

The writer then organized his party for the work, and after ascertaining the variation of the needle, and administered the oath to his chain-bearers, proceeded to make the survey, as follows: Commencing at the southeast corner of section 22, thence north nine and one-half degrees east, 3.78 chains, to a point where he planted a post.

From this post he projected a line bearing north, fifty-one degrees east, and south, fifty-one degrees west, for a base line, and named it First Street.

He then projected another line, bearing north, thirty-nine degrees west, and south, thirty-nine degrees east, from the post for a meridian line, and called, it River street.

On this meridian line, south to the bay, posts were set at proper distances, and at all proper places between this line and the river. On this meridian, northward to Thunder Bay River, posts were placed at proper distances.

Posts were set at all proper places between this line and the river, and the river was meandered up to the section line between sections 21 and 22.

The base line was carried east, across the river, to a point designated by one of the proprietors, and another post was planted, and another meridian line projected, and named Fletcher street.

On this meridian line, south thirty-nine degrees east, to the bay, posts were set at proper distances, between this line and the river.

The meridian line was also extended north, thirty-nine degrees west, from the said post, to Beech Street, and posts set at proper distances on this line, and between it and the river.

Then Beech Street was run north, fifty-one degrees east, to Oldfield Street, and thence on Oldfield Street to Bridge Street, and posts set on these streets at proper distances; thence north, fifty-one degrees east, on Bridge street, to Miller street, and thence north, thirty-nine degrees west on Miller street to Mackinaw street, and posts were set at proper places.

Soon after the field work was completed, the writer made a map of his work, and presented it to J. K. Lockwood, who approved of it, and went with the writer to Mortimer L. Smith, in Detroit, who made two copies on cloth, one for Mr. Lockwood and one for the writer, and which copy the writer has yet in his possession.

Mr. Fletcher was not satisfied with the survey, for the reason that some of the streets reached the river, and that the meridian, on both sides of the river, was too close to it for mill purposes.

The proprietors, after making many important alterations, bad the mutilated and changed map of Oliver’s survey lithographed and put upon the records, ostensibly as the survey of E. A. Breakenridge.

There is no acknowledged survey of the city on record, nor is there any original field notes on record.

E. A. Breakenridge is credited with the survey, and Oliver with the mistakes, if any are found.

The west square, belonging to the county, was named Victoria Square, in respect to the proprietors who resided in the Queen’s Dominion; and the east square was called Jessie Square, Jessie being the name of the wife of General Fremont, after whom the village was named.

One half of the proprietors then resided in Canada, and hired their help there; and the other half resided in Michigan, and per sequence the town and county received their immigration from both places.

They were hardy, industrious and enterprising people, who came for the purpose of making for themselves homes, and to build up communities and industries for themselves and their children; and to learn how well they have done their task, you have only to look over Alpena county in 1876.

In January, 1859, provisions began to be very scarce in Fremont and in the lumber camps, and by the last of February; many people were reduced to whitefish and bread.

It was utterly impossible to get anything from Saginaw, by land, and the writer having people at his place (Ossineke,) to care for, could render but little assistance.

The people bore their privations with remarkable fortitude.

All remained at their work, as though they had plenty, until in March, when they were relieved by the appearance of Mr. Lock wood’s schooner, the J. S. Minor.

This visit from “General Scarcity” was repeated for several years, but only once succeeded in driving any one away.

This shortage of provisions was occasioned, not so much by the inability or unwillingness of the proprietors to furnish the supplies, as by the incalculable increase of population, outside of those employed by the proprietors.

Every year the supplies were largely increased, but the increase of consumers was still in advance of the supplies, and it was not until outside parties began to bring in provisions that the defect was remedied.

The following letter, from E. K. Potter to the writer, and dated June 2nd, 1876, with liberty to use, graphically and humorously characterizes the events at that time. He says:

“In the fall of 1858, Lockwood & Minor inaugurated the first lumber operations on the Thunder Bay River.

Contracts were let to Archibald and Murray, and Alvin Cole.

It being something new to provide a supply of everything for six months, in a country as new and undeveloped as this was, it is not to be wondered at that the supplies run short long before spring, and by the first of February, 1859, that -General Scarcity,’ you spoke of, was here in full dress uniform.

I was in the lumber camp that winter, and with sorrow beheld the last piece of pork hung up by a string, over the center of a rude table, as a reminder of happy by-gone days of peace and plenty.

Mr. Whitefish stepped in and took the place of honor which had been occupied by Hog, and held the balance of power from that time until the 16th of March. Mr. J. K. Lockwood being informed of our sad state, had his good schooner, the J. S. Minor, fitted out and started for Alpena, or Fremont, as it was then called at that time, with pork, beef, sugar, etc., and she arrived as above stated, on the 16th of March, and to all appearances, it was just as cold and winter-like as at any time during the winter.

We all felt rejoiced to hear the news in camp, that the Minor had arrived with provisions, and we all sung Mr. Lockwood’s praise, as many a poor man and his family have had occasion to do since; and I will here say to Mr. Lockwood, more than to any other man, belongs the credit of starting and keeping in motion the then small lumbering operations which gave employment to the few who were here, and thus securing the necessaries of life until better times should change the then discouraging situation of affairs, it being right after the dreadful panic of 1857, which will be remembered by all, as the hardest times this country had seen for fifty years.

Messrs. Lockwood & Minor built the so-called -Island Mill,’ in 1860, which was the principal means of support for this then small and poor village, for three or four years. One pair of horses did the log hauling for the mill in the summer, and the lumber woods was the present site of Alpena. Down timber and burnt timber, and in fact everything that would make a piece 6×6, was hauled to the little mill, and squared, and the block ends cut off, and shipped to Cleveland, and pork, flour, tea, sugar, etc., brought back in return, and thus, from year to year, the ‘log’ was kept rolling, until to-day we have, from this small beginning, which has been so imperfectly described, a city of nearly, if not quite, five thousand inhabitants, an honor to the founders, who, while striving to advance its interests and that of its inhabitants, in all proper ways, have not, by selfishness, grown rich in this world’s goods, but they have the satisfaction of knowing that they helped their fellow man.

“Yours respectfully, “Signed, E. K. POTTER.”

The writer would here suggest, that those who have come to Alpena, of later date, who cannot do a day’s work for the city or county, or even for the celebration of the “Glorious Fourth,” without being paid for it; who came here after a town was made for them, by the old pioneers, and when the coffers of the treasury were well filled; who never underwent any hardships or expense for the city or county, should well remember, that many privations had to be endured, and many days’ labor performed for the city and county, without pay, by the proprietors and first settlers, ere a town was built up for their reception; and the men who were wise, prudent and persevering enough to build up and govern the county, until it had grown to opulence and influence, should be allowed at least a complimentary voice in making the laws, and not considered over-selfish if they wish to have a “hand share” in the spoils, when any are had.

Mr. Fletcher and the firm of Lockwood & Minor having failed to build the two water mills referred to, were anxious to have their logs manufactured into lumber, and gave sufficient inducement to Messrs. Obed Smith and Harman Chamberlain, of St. Clair county, to determine them to erect a steam sawmill at Fremont; and in the spring of 1859, they commenced the work of building the first steam sawmill in Alpena county.

They pushed forward the work with vigor, and in August or September of the same year they sawed the first boards. This was an important, and an encouraging event.

All before had been failure, disappointment and expense, without any adequate returns.

Now the mill would give employment to the people, and the proceeds would furnish the means to purchase the necessaries of life.

The first work done by this mill, was to cut the logs belonging to the firm of Lockwood & Minor.

This occupied the balance of the season of 1859, and a part of 1860.

In the summer of 1859, Mr. J. K. Bingham came to Fremont. He brought with him, what was then considered a large stock of merchandise.

He landed his goods on the north side of the river, (the reason will be given in the chapter on temperance,) and proceeded at once to erect a store, on Dock street; and in a few weeks a second store was added to the village.

He then commenced the erection of a public house, near his store, on Dock Street, and sometime in September, the first hotel in Fremont was finished and opened to the public.

In the summer of 1860, John Trowbridge & Bros. leased the Smith & Chamberlain mill.

They also purchased Mr. Fletcher’s logs, as they were then situated in the river.

They thought they could get better sawyers in the State of Pennsylvania, than they could in Michigan, and there they engaged Mr. George Bundy, to come with a crew of men, and saw their lumber.

When Mr. Bundy came with his men, to saw the logs, behold, the logs were all fast on the “Big Rapids” and nothing less than a big flood would get them off.

Trowbridge & Bros. then procured a charter from the Board of Supervisors, to build a dam across Thunder Bay River, in section 1, in township 31 north, of range 7 east, for the purposes of flooding and manufacturing.

Then they proceeded to make the dam, and in September or October it was ready for the first flood.

A few of the logs reached the mill that fall, and the balance in the spring, and were sawed during the season of 1861.

All the lumber sawed from these logs, was made into one raft, and towed to Chicago.

It reached that place without much, if any, injury, and was the first and last raft of sawed lumber taken from Thunder Bay River.

At this time, a bitter feeling existed between John Trowbridge & Bros. and the proprietors of Fremont, growing out of an affair that took place in 1858 and 1859.

In Thunder Bay River was a middle ground, covered with water, except in low stages of the river.

The Trowbridge Bros. claimed that this middle ground was an island, unsurveyed, and consequently belonged to the United States.

The proprietors of Fremont claimed that it was a middle ground, and a part of the river, and the right to it was purchased with the adjacent lands.

On this middle ground, the Trowbridge Bros. built a board shanty, to hold it by pre-emption, and the proprietors of Fremont, or some of their representatives, pulled it down.

This was repeated two or three times, and the Trowbridge Bros., finding they could not hold it in that way, resolved to have the disputed “middle ground” surveyed by a United States Deputy Surveyor, as an island.

In order to do this, it was necessary to bring into this survey, certain other unsurveyed islands in Thunder Bay and vicinity. These islands the writer, a short time prior to this, had been authorized by the Surveyor General to survey.

By false representations, the order to the writer to survey the islands, was revoked by the Surveyor General, and a Deputy Surveyor sent on to make the survey.

After the surveyor’s report was sent to Washington, and a strong remonstrance was sent from the proprietors of Fremont, the writer sent a detailed account of the whole transaction to the Surveyor General, and nothing since has been heard from the survey, and the islands remain as they then were, and the proprietors of Fremont were victorious.

In 1860, Lockwood & Minor, finding the Smith & Chamberlain mill was in the hands of John Trowbridge & Bros., and operated by them, foreign to the interests of Fremont, resolved upon building a steam sawmill on the disputed -middle ground.”

They commenced the work accordingly sometime in July, and pushed it with such vigor, that in six weeks from the time they struck the first blow, they were cutting lumber with one six foot circular saw.

This was called the “Island Mill”, because ii was situated upon the disputed island.

The importance of this mill is given in Mr. Potter’s letter, to which the reader is referred.

Sometime in 1859. Mr. Hilliard Broadwell came to Fremont.

He came for the purpose of locating a site for a water mill.

He was very conservative in his principles, from in his own opinions, and familiar with water sawmills in the “old way,” and nothing would do him but a water sawmill.

He selected a site on the long rapids, and in the spring of 1860, commenced to erect a mill dam across Thunder Bay river, on section 7. in township 31 north, of range 8 east, which was finished in July or August of the same season.

He then erected a sawmill, on the east bank of the river, having two upright sashes, carrying two saws each.

The lumber was taken to Trowbridge Point, on a tram railway, and shipped.

This mill was operated a few years by Mr. Broadwell, but was found to be too primitive to be profitable, or compete with later improvements in milling, and was abandoned, and is now one of the old things of Alpena County.

A large portion of the improvements made in 1861, consisted in finishing up buildings, clearing the ground around them, making fences, etc.

Some short sidewalks were made this year.

From 1858 to 1862, a number of dwellings had been erected, and among the most noted were: One by J. S. Irwin, a cottage, between River and Minor streets, and then “way up in the woods”; one built by A. F. Fletcher, on the corner of Water and Second streets, a two story building, and for a long time the best dwelling in the village.

It was occupied for a time, in 1861 and 1862, by Mr. Leroy Bundy, as a hotel, for the best visitors to Alpena.

Mr. Bundy was Postmaster for a short time, and was Deputy County Clerk in 1861 and 1862.

John Cole built a large dwelling near the corner of Water and First streets, and Samuel Boggs built a cottage on River and Second streets.

John W. Glennie built a two story dwelling on the corner of Chisholm and First streets; and William E. Jones built a cottage on the corner of First and River streets.

David Plough built a cottage on First and River streets; Martin Minton, a cottage on the northeast corner of River and Second streets; and on the opposite corner Oliver T. B. Williams erected a large dwelling, which was destroyed by fire before it was entirely finished.

Daniel Carter lived on Water Street until 1859 or 1860, when he erected a large dwelling on Chisholm Street, and moved into it, from Water Street, the same year.

At his house on Water Street, was held the first election, the first session of the Board of Supervisors, the first session of a court.

It was made the first post office, the first boarding house, and for a long time the hospital, where all the sick and wounded, who had no home in the village, were taken and cared for by Mrs. Carter, who was the only physician in the county, and she did good service, as many have good reason to remember.

In 1862, Lockwood & Minor commenced to build another steam sawmill, on the east side of River street, between Sixth and Seventh streets.

They had got the frame up, when the fire from the woods, which was near, spread into and through where the town now is,—1876,—by a strong wind, burning the mill frame, together with a number of dwellings, and destroying a large quantity of rubbish.

This so happened on the fourth day of July, and admonished the people, more than an oration, to clear away the timber around their dwellings.

The mill frame was soon replaced, and in October the mill was completed, running one six-feet circular and a siding mill.

This was known as the “Home Mill.”

In 1861, Samuel E. Hitchcock, familiarly known among his friends as “The Deacon,” came with his family to reside in Fremont; and in 1862, erected a fine dwelling on Chisholm Street, near the bay.

He had his lands surveyed, and made them an addition to the village of Fremont.

In pursuance of an agreement with the Board of Supervisors, “The Deacon,” in 1863, erected a large and commodious building, on the corner of Washington avenue and Chisholm street, and finished it, for county offices, and a room for holding the courts; and also for holding church and Sabbath school.

It was known as “The Deacon’s Court House.”

As soon as it was finished, and accepted by the Board of Supervisors, a lease was made for five years, and longer if the county of Alpena desired, with a provision that the court room might be used on the Sabbath, for the purpose of holding church and Sabbath school.

The year 1863 was not remarkable for the number of new buildings erected, but much improvements were made in finishing and enlarging those already erected, in clearing grounds, making fences, and improving the streets with ditches, sawdust and sidewalks; so that, in 1864, the little village began to assume the appearance of civilization.

The year 1864 is remarkable in the history of Alpena county, as the one from which it can date the commencement of its rapid growth and prosperity.

“General Scarcity” was superseded by “General Plenty,” and has held command ever since.

Although a fierce and bloody war had been and was then raging in the southern States, and General Grant was fighting his way from the Rapidan to Richmond, and General Sherman was advancing step by step from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and a heavy draft, for soldiers and revenue, had been made on the northern States, yet they were prosperous in their business relations, and rapidly increasing in material wealth.

This was particularly so with Alpena.

Greenbacks were first issued in 1862, and in 1864 began to be frequently seen in Alpena.

The supply of pitch and tar from the southern States, and articles manufactured there, being cut off by the blockade, brought Norway pine into demand, and tar and turpentine reached fabulous prices.

This brought a large number of people to Alpena, to look for Norway pine to manufacture into timber and lumber, and the Norway pine stumps to manufacture into tar and turpentine.

Lester, Long & Co. built a steam sawmill, on the east side of River street, between Fifth and Sixth streets.

This mill run one large circular saw and lath mill—capacity about two million feet of lumber and one million pieces of lath, and employed about twenty men.

They also built a boarding house near the mill.

This year, the “Home Mill,” belonging to Lockwood & Minor, was destroyed by fire, involving a heavy loss to them.

It was re-built the same season, and now—1876—belongs to Bewick, Comstock & Co.

This rear—1864—the Thunder Bay Dam Company’s dam was finished and a large water mill built, on the east side of the river, by John Oldfield.

It ran one large circular saw, one muley, with edgers, slab saws and lath machines.

It employed about forty men.

Mr. Oldfield built, in connection with his mill, a large boarding house, barn, and a few small dwellings.

Mr. Bowen built a storehouse and dock, on the south side of Dock Street.

Messrs. Doer &. Fairchild erected a manufactory for making tar and turpentine from Norway pine stomps and many hundreds of these were made into tar, turpentine and charcoal.

They sold their interest to Martin Minton, who, in 1365, built another factory, at Ossineke.

This was a lucrative business as long as the war lasted, but when the war ended, prices of tar and turpentine soon dropped so low that there was no profit to the manufacturer, and it ceased to be an industry in Alpena County.

This year—1864—the first bridge was built across Thunder Bay river. (For particulars see chapter on roads.)

In 1865, William Jenney and Elisha Harrington built a large steam sawmill, on the east side of River street, and north of Fourth street.

This was, when erected, and is, in 1876, the largest mill in Alpena.

They run one gang, one muley saw, and two large circular saws, with lath machines, edgers, slab saws, etc.

They also erected, near their mill, a large boarding house, and store, and a few dwellings.

This property changed hands, and in 1876 belonged to Hilliard, Churchill & Co.

In 1863, the Smith & Chamberlain mill was destroyed by fire, which was strongly suspected to have been the work of an incendiary.

This year—1865—it was re-built, on the site of the burned one.

It run one gang, one muley saw, one large circular saw, and lath mill.

Has a capacity to cut about six million feet of lumber, and about one and a half million pieces of lath per season.

The property, in 1876, belongs to Folkerts & Butterfield.

The First Congregational Society of Alpena, commenced this year—1865—the erection of a large and beautiful church, on the north side of Second Street.

It is a wooden structure, and cost about $6,000—finished in 1868—and is, in 1876, the largest and best church in the city.

This year— 1865—two large hotels were being built; one on the corner of Fletcher and Dock streets, by J. R. Beach, and called the Union Star Hotel, and the other on the west side of Chisholm street, by Julius Potvin, and known as the Alpena House.

They were finished in a style to accommodate the traveling public, and were expected to supply a need long felt by the citizens of the village.

In 1866, E. P. Campbell & Co., built what is known as the Campbell & Potter mill.

It is located one and a half miles due west from the mouth of Thunder Bay river, and on its most southern bend.

A tram railway was made from the mill to the bay, a little over a mile in length.

A large and commodious dock was built out in the bay, for the purpose of piling and shipping lumber, and landing goods.

The mill run one muley saw and two large circular saws, and a lath mill—had a capacity to cut six million feet of lumber, and a million and a half pieces of lath per season.

At or about this time, G. S. Lester, under the firm name of C. Thompson & Co., erected a large shingle mill, a short distance north and east of the Campbell & Potter mill, using the tram road and dock of E. P. Campbell & Co. for shipping purposes.

It run a rotary machine and one Chicago, and had a capacity to cut about ten million shingles during the season. These very important improvements were soon followed by others, as a matter of necessity.

The two mills would give employment to about fifty men, who must board near their work; and being separated then from Alpena, by a mile and a half of a dense tamarack swamp, it became necessary to erect suitable buildings for their accommodation; and a cluster of dwellings and other buildings were soon erected near the mills, and this cluster of buildings was known as Campbellville.

The next necessity that presented itself, was a road on the section line, and direct between the two places; and the first step to be taken in that direction, was to drain the swamps.

Two large ditches were made, one near and parallel to the tramway, and the other near and parallel with the section line, to the bay.

These ditches drained a large portion of the surface water, and enabled the people to open a road for pedestrians, but it was some time before teams could travel over it, during the spring and fall.

This year—1866—two shingle mills were built; one on the north side of the river, near the bay, by Thomas Robinson, who introduced the first planing machine into Alpena.

This was a great desideratum.

Prior to this, all lumber had to be dressed by hand, or brought from Detroit, and as mechanics’ wages were from three to five dollars per day, and board, it made building very expensive.

The other shingle mill was built by Hopper & Davis, on the north side of the river, and west of Chisholm Street.

Both of these were burned, the former in June, 1867, and the latter is unknown to the writer.

L. M. Mason & Co. completed the water mill, commenced by Lockwood & Minor in 1858, the frame of which was made at that time, by John Cole.

This mill is located on the west side of the dam, and runs one muley saw, two shingle machines, and a lath mill.

Although Alpena had as few crimes to punish, perhaps, as any county in the State, of its age and population, yet it was necessary that it should have a place where disorderly persons could go and be taken care of.

In 1864 or 1865, the Board of Supervisors made a contract for clearing Jessie Square, and erecting a suitable building for a jail.

It was built on Chisholm Street, and made of two-inch plank, doubled, and fastened together with spikes driven close together.

It had three or four cells, well made, and strong; two light rooms for prisoners, and ample rooms for turnkey and family. Attached to this was a woodshed and stable.

It was painted the Scotchman’s “muckle dun” color, and made a very unimposing appearance.

In 1866, three church edifices were in construction—Catholic, on Chisholm Street; Congregational, on Second Street, and Episcopal, on Washington Avenue.

These will be noticed in another chapter.

The increase of population, the erection of dwellings, public buildings and places for doing business, depended largely on the enlargement of the improvements made for the manufacture of lumber, and followed them as rapidly as could be expected.

Most of the buildings were substantial structures, either as business places or dwellings; and many of the residences were spacious, tastefully made and commodious.

At this time, a large portion of the business of the village was transacted on Water Street, and the leading mercantile firms were as follows: Benjamin C. Hardwick, on Water Street, dealer in dry goods, groceries, clothing, boots and shoes, crockery, hardware, etc. L. M. Mason & Co., merchants and lumber dealers; store on Water Street; miscellaneous merchandise.

A W. Comstock & Co., on Second Street, near the bridge, carried a fine assortment of miscellaneous goods.

A F. Fletcher & Co., on Water Street, dry goods, ready-made clothing, boots, shoes, etc. Mason, Doty, Luce & Co., lumbermen and merchants; store on Fletcher street; carried a large assortment of miscellaneous merchandise.

Hopper, Davis & Co., dealers in dry goods, groceries, clocks, jewelry, etc., on the west side of Water Street.

Mason, Lester & Co., lumbermen and merchants; store on Water Street; a large assortment of miscellaneous merchandise.

Bolton & McRae, dealers in choice groceries, provisions and liquors, on the corner of Dock and Fletcher streets.

William P. Maiden, the first physician and surgeon in Alpena, opened the first drug store, on the corner of Second and River streets, and carried a fine assortment of goods in his line.

F. N. Barlow and J. H. Noxen, under the firm name of Barlow & Noxen, introduced the first hardware store in Alpena, on the corner of Second and River streets; carried a fine assortment of hardware, iron, stores and tinware.

Martin H. Minton and John Creighton, manufacturers of and dealers in boots and shoes, and harness, on Second Street. Wm. West, shoemaker and dealer in boots and shoes, on Second Street.

H. Hyatt, this year—1866— built the first bakery, and commenced the business of baking. It was known as the Eagle Bakery.

He also erected a building and opened a meat market, near his bakery, on Water Street.

Although both of these improvements were much needed and duly appreciated by the people, yet the village was not large enough to make the business very lucrative.

The upper rooms of this building were nicely fitted up for a Masonic hall, and this was the first one occupied by the Masonic fraternity in Alpena.

At the door of this hall, many excellent citizens knocked and were admitted, and brought from darkness to light, and presented with the tools and instructions whereby they could work out the problems of life, on the square and compasses, -with temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, and to travel on the level of time, toward that Divine Architect Who has made all things well, and Who uses neither trestle-board or patterns, and never made a mistake.

Besides the business places already mentioned, Alpena had a number of mechanical establishments, great and small, five public houses, only two of which could be honored with the name of “hotel.”

These were the Union Star Hotel, owned and kept by J. R. Beach, and the Alpena House, owned and kept by Julius Potvin.

Both houses were well managed, and were rivals for business; were favorites with the public, and a satisfaction to the business men of the place.

Alpena also possessed one or two billiard rooms, and a number of drinking places. We will now leave the village for a time, to look after the surroundings.

In 1862, John Trowbridge & Bros. lumbered a large quantity of short logs, and put them into the North Branch of Thunder Bay River; and the same season built a small shingle mill propelled by water, near the dam, in section 1, town 31 north, of range 8 east, and a boarding house near the same.

In 1863, the Trowbridge Bros. lumbered long timber, from section 16, town 31 north, of range 8 east, and in the autumn of the same year, undertook to raft it to market.

They proceeded to make cribs of the long timber, and load them with short logs.

When the raft was nearly finished, and which contained about two and a half million feet of lumber, a furious storm arose, which lasted long enough to tear the raft to pieces, and scatter the timber in every conceivable disorder along the shore of the bay.

They then built a small steam sawmill, near the first point east of Alpena, and about two miles distant, and subsequently known as Trowbridge Point.

Here they cleared a small piece of ground, made a dock, and erected a number of buildings.

They spent the season of 1864 in removing the logs from the bay shore to the mill, and sawing them, and which cost them nearly as much as the logs were worth, resulting in a large loss to the parties.

In 1865- and 1866, Trowbridge Bros. built a large water mill, at the dam, for sawing lumber, and made a tram railway from the mill to their dock at the point, and being about seven miles in length.

The mill run one muley saw, one six-foot circular saw, one shingle machine, and a lath machine.

Up to this time, little or no attention had been paid to tilling the soil.

Indeed, it was almost the universal belief that the land was too poor, and the climate too arctic to produce good crops, and that it never could be a good farming country.

In an article published in the Pioneer, in November, 1866, headed “Our Prospects,” and written over the signature of “Don Pedro,” is the following: “The question is this; you have all heard it, so do not look for anything new.

What is there to sustain Alpena when the lumbering is done with, but farming? and will that pay for the undertaking, or, in other words, reward the laborer?

Reader, this is a question which comes home to the bosom of all who have an interest in the futurity of Alpena; and it is one that should be agitated and pushed forward for one sole and particular reason: that is, the lumbering must surely come to an end and then there must be some other resource to fall back upon, or Alpena will then soon sink into decay, and the tenements now so rapidly going up, will become but stables for the wandering kind.

Fruits will not generally become a source from which we shall ever reap much benefit, although Prof. Winchell has even gone so far in his geological statements as to declare that the best fruit country in Michigan is from this latitude, extending to the Straits.

But let that be as it may, there is no one who will deny the fact that this is a first class grazing country.”

Then, after admonishing the people to raise hay and stock, he says: “All kinds of roots, so far as I can ascertain, grow in large quantities and of good quality.

The cereals do quite well, but not enough so to warrant a cultivation of them.

The writer has answered the same question many times, by stating what he now writes, that there is good farming lands enough in the county to support Alpena, when the pine timber is exhausted; but the question need not fret the questioner, for he will be in his grave long before lumbering ceases to be an industry of Alpena.

It was truly refreshing to many, at that time, to learn that the country was not totally barren, and absolutely worthless, when stripped of its pine timber, and that the timber would last longer than one decade; and hence the importance of Don Pedro’s discovery and announcement, “that this is a first class grazing country.”

The writer cultivated some land, at Devil River, and raised good crops; but this was attributed to its peculiar situation, the abundance of manure, and the extra care and cultivation.

In 1861 or 1862, Alexander Archibald and Thomas Murray purchased a piece of land, on the rapids, below Broadwell’s mill, of Elisha Taylor, of Detroit; built a house and barn, and moved his family there; cleared four or five acres of land, and sowed it with oats and grass.

They harvested a very good crop, and were satisfied with their experiment, and would have proceeded to make the first farm in the county, had not the property changed into the hands of Mr. Broadwell, with whom they were at enmity, and they abandoned the contract and the place.

Mr. Broadwell also cleared aud cultivated with success, a few acres near his mill.

In 1860 or 1861, a man known by the name of Antwine, cleared a few acres of land and tilled it, at the confluence of the North Branch with the main river, and about the same time, G. N, Fletcher selected a piece of land, in section 29 or 30, town 31 north, of range 7 east, and had from ten to fifteen acres cleared.

He sold or rented the same to John King, who moved on to it with his family, and stayed two or three years.

King raised large quantities of potatoes and bagas, and sold them by the quantity, or sleigh load.

This was the first produce raised in the county, and sold by the quantity.

This seems to be all that was done in the farming line, up to and including 1866.

In the future of this chapter, it will be impossible to follow in detail the rapid growth of the village; and I shall notice, only in a general way, those that do not introduce some new industry, or necessarily promote other improvements.

In 1867, the business men of Alpena began to feel their financial strength, and the want of larger facilities tor transacting their business.

Their harbor deficient, their roads bad, their docks, warehouses and business places too small.

A “Harbor Improvement Company” had been organized, and considerable work had been done in the way of building piers and dredging, yet the water on the bar was too shallow to admit large vessels and steamers, and the company resolved to extend the piers into twelve feet of water, during the winter of 1867 and 1868; and this was expected to remove the harbor difficulty.

The only roads, at this time, connecting Alpena “with the rest of the world,” during the winter season, was the East Saginaw and Au Sable River, and the Duncan, Alpena and Au Sa that purpose two sets of machinery were necessary.

Oliver not being able to finish the mill with a gang, and finding that the engine was able to run two large circular saws, put a circular in place of the gang, which did good work.

Subsequently, the property went into the hands of Cunningham, Robinson, Haines & Co.

They not knowing the design of Oliver, put into the mill the gang, and retained the two circular saws, thereby crowding the mill with saws, which the stream was not able to supply with logs.

Book 3

The year 1868 gave a new impulse to mill building.

A young man of good business capacity, stern integrity, and persevering industry, came from the State of Ohio, to Alpena, and purchased a site for a steam sawmill, on the north side of the river, next to the bay.

Backed by a father who was a man of means, and who declared that “Frank was a good boy,” he commenced the erection of a mill, near the end of the north pier, and then out in the bay.

This was an undertaking of considerable magnitude, and was a very important improvement to Alpena.

It extended the limits of the town, and gave a better appearance to its front.

It would give permanency to that side of the pier, as the offal from the mill would soon fill in and about the pier, and make it solid and free from the attacks of the waves from the bay.

The pier would be an advantage to the mill, for with a very little modification and expense, it could be used as a dock for piling and shipping lumber.

This mill was commenced in 1868, and finished in 1869.

It ran one large circular saw and one muley saw, and a lath mill.

It had a capacity to cut about five million feet of lumber per season, and about eight hundred thousand pieces of lath.

It employed about twenty-four men, and is known as the Gilchrist mill.

A lumber and shingle mill combined was built this year—1868 —on the north side of the river, and named the Chamberlain mill, by A. P. Fletcher & Co.

It ran one large circular saw, which is capable of cutting two million feet of lumber per season, besides doing the necessary work for the shingle machine.

For the manufacture of shingles, it ran one Valentine doable cutter, one Evarts single cutter, and one hand machine.

It also ran a lath mill, edgers, slab saw and cant slasher.

Its capacity for shingles is about twelve millions per season, and five hundred thousand pieces of lath.

The manner of working tip the timber in this mill is very economical.

The logs are first taken to the circular saws, and all the upper qualities of limber taken off.

The balance of the logs are cut into cants of proper size for shingle bolts, and then passed to the cant slasher and cut into blocks for the shingle machines.

The only objection to cutting timber in this way is, that some of the shingles are cut with the grain of the wood, instead of being cut across it.

The mill employs about forty persons, men and boys.

The company also built a large dock for piling and shipping their products.

Bewick, Comstock & Co. commenced to build a shingle mill and dock, on the south side of the river, above Second Street.

It was not finished until 1869.

It runs one Valentine double cutter, and one Evarts single cutter.

The logs are cut into blocks with a drag saw.

The daily cut of this mill is about seventy thousand, and it gives employment-to about twenty persons.

A small shingle mill was built in 1867 or 1868, by Hagerty & Co. on the bay shore, near Campbell & Potter’s dock.

It run one single cutting machine, with a capacity to cut two or three million shingles per season, and employed eight persons.

A. H. Doty built a shingle mill, on the north side of the river.

It run two single cutting machines, with a capacity to cut about six million shingles per season, and gave employment to thirteen persons.

At what date this mill was built, the writer is not able to give.

In regard to the first shingle mill erected in Alpena, the writer has passed over until now, not being able to get the particulars.

J. S. Minor, under date of March 16th, 1878, to the writer says:  The first shingle mill was built by G. S. Lester; run a Valentine machine; twenty men; twelve million; and since destroyed.”

The rapid increase of mills caused a corresponding increase in the cutting of timber.

In the spring the river was packed with logs for miles, so that those having logs in the rear would have to wait for them until the logs in the front had been moved.

Every one having logs to drive, in the spring, was anxious to get in ahead on the drive of logs.

This sometimes caused contention and strife.

Some mills were compelled to be idle in the spring, on account of the jam of logs in the river, unless logs were wintered over in their booms; and it became necessary that some arrangement should be had whereby logs could be delivered at the different mills, during the summer seasons they were needed.

On the 25th of April, 1868, a number of citizens of Alpena met at the office of L. M. Mason & Co., and organized the Thunder Bay River Boom Co. The capital stock of the company was $10,000, in one hundred shares of $100 each.

Officers were elected as follows: President, B. F. Luce; Secretary and Treasurer, S. Mitchel Noxen; Directors, B. F. Luce, P. M. Johnson, Wm. H. Potter, E. Harrington, and S. Mitchel Noxen.

If civilization means a great number of wants and their supply, then Alpena had reached a high state of civilization, for her wants were many, and as soon as one was satisfied, another stood ready to claim attention.

Prior to 1867, all machinery and foundry work for the mills at Alpena, was done at Detroit or Saginaw, and sometimes a small break caused a serious delay.

A foundry and machine shop was very much desired by the mill owners, but this question stood in the way: Is there work enough to make it pay?

David Crippen was the first man that undertook to answer the question.

He was a practical machinist, and by hard work and prompt attention to the wants of his customers, he has been able to answer the question in the affirmative.

He came to Alpena in 1867, erected a foundry and machine shop, built up a trade, and made the business a success.

The visit of the “Fire King” will be noticed in the chapter on fires.

A fruitful source of mortification and regret to the people of Alpena was a deficiency in accommodations for visitors, and this led to the erection of the Fletcher House.

This want was felt, more or less, from the lime of the incipient village, to the opening of that house.

To meet this desideratum, Samuel Boggs, in 1867, commenced the erection of a large and commodious hotel, on the north side of Dock Street, near the river.

It was finished and opened in 1868, and known as the Huron House, and became a competitor for business, with the Star Hotel Both of these houses run expresses to the boats, and the traveling public was pleased and satisfied.

But this state of things lasted only until 1871 when both hotels were swept away by a fire, the details of which may be seen in the chapter on fires.

In 1868, Dr. Wm. P. Maiden built a three story building, on the corner of Chisholm and Second streets.

He designed the first story for a drug store, the second story for offices, and the third for a Masonic hall.

The Alpena House, destroyed by fire January 1st, 1868, was re-built, on the site of the old one, in 1868 and 1869, and will be noticed in the chapter on fires.

The frame of the Union School house was raised in August, 1868, the details of-which are given in the chapter on education.

In 1865, the oil excitement reached Alpena, and in the Thunder Bay Monitor of April 8th, we find the following:

“notice.—The stockholders of the Alpena Oil Company will meet at the Court House, on Friday evening, April 14th, at 7 o’clock, to organize, and transact such other business as may lawfully come before them.






D. D. Oliver, of Ossineke, made this company a proposition, that, if they would locate the well at Squaw Point, on lands belonging to him, he would contribute $1,000, and would deed the company five acres of land, provided they should find anything valuable.

This proposition was accepted by the first stockholders, who agreed with the writer, that Alpena was too near the dip of the rock, or edge of the basin, to find much brine or oil.

Subsequently, men became stockholders, who had more property interests in Alpena than knowledge of geology, and either thought or pretended to think, that oil could be found in Alpena as well as in any other place, and this divided ideas and interests delayed the operations of sinking a well until in January, 1869, when new arrangements were made to feel into the “bowels of the earth,” for oil, salt, or whatever might be of value.

The first work in putting up the derrick and necessary buildings was done in January.

The location selected was near E. Harrington’s mill. In March, 1869, Mr. Hagerty, who had a contract for sinking the well, reported the lithological structure for 64.5 feet, as follows:

1st . Various strata of sand, gravel, boulders, 30 feet.

2d. Limestone, 2’

3d. Quartz rock containing considerable copper ore, 18’

4th. Shale, 4’

5th. Soapstone, 3.5’

6th. Limestone, 7’

Total, 64.5 feet.

After this, but little attention was given to the structure or kind of rocks, but generally limestone, with some layers of shale and soapstone.

At 600 feet, a vein of mineral water was reached, which flowed with such force as to keep the borings clear, without pumping.

The well was sunk to a depth of 1,185 feet, and when the tubing was put in, in 1870, it was discovered that the drill had stopped in a solid rock of salt.

The brine was very strong, but could not be obtained in paying quantities.

It was supposed by some that, by letting the water flow upon this bed of salt, it would soon dissolve and form a reservoir for brine, of sufficient size to establish a business in salt making.

But this kind of rock does not dissolve as readily as manufactured salt, (chloride of sodium,) for, mixed with it is often sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) chloride of calcium, magnesium, etc., which renders the rock hard, and not easily dissolved.

The proprietors, G. N. Fletcher, Wm. Jenney and E. Harrington, being disappointed in regard to obtaining brine, turned their attention to the mineral water.

Mr. Fletcher submitted a quantity of the water to Dr. S. P. Duffield, a practical chemist, of Detroit, Mich., for a quantitive analysis, with the following result:


Specific gravity, 1.012


Bicarbonate of soda, 15.736

Bicarbonate of lime, 55.136

Bicarbonate of magnesia, 62.920

Bicarbonate of iron, 1.840

Sulphate of lime, 30.056

Silica and aluminum, 3.088

Chloride of sodium, 68.256

Organic matter and loss, .928


Total mineral constituents, 237.032 grains.

Sulphurated hydrogen gas, 3.91 cubic inches.

Carbonic aicd gas, a trace.


Another well was bored by Mr. Hagerty, in 1874, on the east side of Thunder Bay River.

At 700 feet a vein of very soft water was struck, which flowed the full capacity of the well.

At 950 feet a mineral vein was reached; and at 1,050 feet salt rock.

It is somewhat remarkable, and to be regretted very much, that a minute and detailed record of the geological character of the several strata of rock was not made.

It might have led to valuable results.

The first hardware store was started by Barlow & Noxen, in 1866.

Mr. Noxen soon left the firm and J. J. Potter stepped into his place, and with Mr. Barlow built up a large trade.

In March, 1869, Mr. Barlow retired from the business and E. K. Potter filled the vacancy.

The firm soon was changed to Potter Bros. & Co., and so re-organized, the business was well managed and is now one of the largest mercantile establishments in Alpena.

The same year, Mr. Barlow commenced to build a clapboard mill, on the south side of the river, near the pier, for the purpose of cutting clapboards and door stuff.

It ran one clapboard machine and sapper.

Subsequently, it was changed to a shingle mill, running one double and one single machine.

Had a capacity to cut 100,000 shingles per day, and employed twenty-seven persons. It was owned in 1876 by Edward White, and valued at $8,000.

In 1870, the people of Alpena had become exceedingly prosperous, in the general acceptation of the term in this country—people are prosperous according to the accumulation of wealth, over and above paying their expense of living.

To show how prosperous the people are, we have only to show their surrounding conditions and influences, and their accumulation and increase of property and population, and we can do this in no better way than to show the acts and statistical reports of the people themselves, or through their representatives.

The population of Alpena proper, in 1864, was 674, and in 1870, according to the state census, was 2,756, an increase of 459 inhabitants yearly.

The vote cast in 1864 was 69, and that in 1870 was 519, a yearly increase of 75 votes.

This verifies the statement, before made, that Alpena dates its prosperity and rapid growth from 1864.

From its organization to 1864, six years, it had accumulated only 69 voters, while from 1864 to 1870, six years, it more than doubled that number each year.

The valuation of property, as made by the Board of Supervisors, and as shown by the census, was made upon the town of Alpena, which, in 1860, comprised the whole county.

When the towns of Ossineke and Corles were organized, in 1867, it materially changed its territory.

Alpena was again metamorphosed in 1871, by the organization of the city, and again changed by the organization of the towns of Wilson and Long Rapids.

A large portion of the accumulation of wealth belonged to the village of Alpena, and when connected with other territory and subject to such changes, the figures of the supervisors fail to express fairly the rates of increase of values in the village.

In 1868, the equalization of the assessment rolls were as follows:

Alpena, $700,000.06

Harrisville, 524,879.25

Alcona, 230,013.02

Ossineke, 137,961.89

Unorganized territory, 620,505.37

Total, $2,217,359.59

In 1870, the several tax rolls were equalized at the following amounts:

Alpena, $769,917.24

Ossineke, 142,660.00

Unorganized territory, 576,152.66

Total, $1,488,729.90

The two years above have been selected: First, to show the change in value by a change in territory, and second, to select two years in which no change had been made in Alpena territory.

But this shows only the ratio of values for the two years, is found to be $69,917.18.

In July, 1862, Congress enacted a law, imposing a tax of five per cent on all incomes over and above one thousand dollars net, and now, by giving a list of persons in Alpena, who paid an income tax in 1866 and in 1868, and the amounts on which they paid their tax, will better show their increase of wealth than any estimates made by the supervisors.

The following is the income tax lists (exclusive of legal exemptions’) for Alpena County, for the years 1866 and 1868, as furnished by E. B. Chamberlain, assistant assessor, 15th division, 6th district:


Henry Bolton, $966.62

Samuel Boggs, 926.00

Andrew W. Comstock, 500.00

Wm. B. Comstock, 500.00

John Campbell, 240.00

James Cavanagh, 283.84

Alexander H. Doty, 900.00

‘Temple Emory, 2,000.00

Addison F. Fletcher, 781.34

John W. Glennie, 136.65

Elisha Harrington, 8,676.55

Benj. C. Hardwick, 1,162.00

Thos. H. Hunt, 800.00

Phineas M. Johnson, 781.34

Edward Sachpell, 600.00

Benjamin F. Luce, 2,356.66

Donald McRea, 743.34

William P. Maiden, 293.00

William Norris, 341.00

S. Mitchel Noxen, 4,656.91

John Oldfield, 4,531.91

Chas. Oldfield, 4,531.91

D. D. Oliver, 9,795.00

William H. Potter, 2,600.00

Edward K. Potter, 230.00


Henry Bolton, $578.24

A. W. Comstock, 1,500.00

Wm. B. Comstock, 1,500.00

James Cavanagh, 3,007.88

Josiah Frink, 200.00

A. F. Fletcher, 500.00

Thos. H. Hunt, 1,500.00

Elisha Harrington, 7,213.00

Jas. K. Lock wood, 3,957.50

Benjamin F. Luce, 4,290.00

Donald McRae, 578.23

Henry R. Morse, 313.73

S. Mitchell Noxen, 2,631.80

Charles Oldfield, 2,631.80

James J. Potter, 613.05

William H. Potter, 6,375,00

It may not be uninteresting, to some of the readers of this book, to how in this place.

The various circumstances that conspired favorably for the growth of Alpena and that which exercised the largest influence, was the then so-called “depression greenback.”

Most of the wealth of Alpena in 1864, was her immense forests of pine timber and the accumulation of wealth by the people depended mostly upon the low price and easy purchase of those lands.

For the purpose of settlement and drainage of the swamp lands, the Legislature in 1859 passed a homestead law, by which ant settler or occupant of eighty acres of swamplands upon making application to the Commissioner of Land Office, was entitled to certificate of purchase conditioned that the settler should live on the land continuously for five consecutive years.

That also, within three months, from the date of such certificate, the settler should file with the Commissioner of State Land Office, a certificate from the Supervisor of the Township which the land is located, Together with his own affidavit that he is  in actual possession and occupancy of such land, that he shall not cut or carry away any valuable timber, except upon lands cleared for cultivation – complying with these provisions and proving the same at the expiration of the five years, he would be entitled to the deed of the land from the State of Michigan.

In 1862, Congress also passed a homestead law, by which any person male or female, being the head of a family or a male twenty-one years of age, and a citizen of the United States or had declared his intention to become a citizen, and who had always been faithful to the government, and by paying a small registration fee, was permitted to select and occupy one hundred and sixty acres of land, from any United States Lands, subject to entry at one dollar and twenty five cents per acre, and that, by living on the land for five consecutive years, and making proof of this to the Register of the Land Office of the District where the land belonged, was entitled to a patent of the land from the United States.

In 1862, Congress established a Department of Agriculture at Washington, D. C, and in 1863 made a grant of lands to the several states, to aid them in establishing an Agricultural College in each state.

Some of the states selected their lands, while others, being remote from the land districts, put their certificates on the market, and sold them for what they could get, being always less than one-half their cash purchasing value at the United States Land Office for lauds.

For the purpose of drainage and reclamation of the swamp lands, the Legislature, in 1859, made a law granting swamp lands to aid in making roads and bridges, and in 1861 appropriated about four hundred thousand acres for that purpose. Subsequently a large portion of the swamp lands have been used in the same way.

The law provided that, if the contractor elected to take lands for the construction of any road, as soon as his contract was accepted by the Board of Control, he had a right to select a portion or all the lands called for by his contract, and the Commissioner of the State Land Office would withdraw them from the market and hold them during the life of the contract; that whenever the contractor finished two miles or more of the road, and it was accepted by the local road commissioner, be was entitled to receive deeds of so much land as he was entitled to per mile for making the road.

As soon as the contract was accepted by the Board of Control, the Swamp Land Commissioner credited the contractor with the amount of the contract.

This was called “unmatured scrip.”

As fast as the contractor finished his road and had it accepted by the Road Commissioner, he was credited with so much “matured scrip,” on which he was entitled to deeds.

This scrip was transferable by an order from the contractor, drawn on the Commissioner of the State Land Office. This scrip was placed upon the market and sold at a low figure, sometimes for less than one-half its purchasing value for land

Besides these substitutes for cash, in the purchase of pine and other lands, were “bounty land warrants,” issued to all persons who had been soldiers in the service of the United States.

Those issued to soldiers of the war of 1812, were in the State of Michigan exempt from taxation for three years after the date of the patents.

During the years 1865, 1866 and 1867 the prices of those substitutes, in the hands of middle men or brokers, ranged about as follows:

Land warrants of 1812, 40 acres, $ 40 to $ 48

Land warrants of 1812, 80 acres, 88 to 94

Land warrants of 1812, 120 acres, 109 to 115

Land warrants of 1812, 160 acres, 134 to 140

Agricultural college scrip, 160 acres, 104 to 108

Swamp land scrip, on the dollar, fifty to fifty-two cents.

It may not be without interest to some of the readers of this book, to notice the condition of the currency of the country, at this time.

Hon. E. G. Spaulding, in his history of the greenback, on page 198, says:

“Gold and commodities continued to advance in price.

On the loth of January, 1864, gold was $1.55; on the 15th of April, $1.78; on the loth of June, $1.97, and on the 29th of June, $2.35 to $2.50, which showed that the legal tender notes were only worth forty cents on the dollar in gold.

The next day, the 30th of June, 1864, Mr. Chase resigned the office of Secretary of the Treasury.

At this time the inflated paper issues, outstanding, were over $1,100,000,000, and in a few days thereafter, gold reached its highest quotations, $2.85, or more accurately speaking, greenbacks depreciated until they were worth in gold thirty-five cents on the promised dollar, at the board of brokers, in the city of New York.”

It may be well to examine this point a little, to ascertain whether gold appreciated, or as it is asserted, “that greenbacks depreciated.”

Facts support the allegation that, among the business men and laboring classes, in the United States, gold appreciated, the same as other property.

Foreigners, and those basing their values on gold, claimed that the greenbacks had depreciated, but this was a fact, only when the greenback was taken out of the United States.

Gold and foreign currency, not being used as a legal tender, became property, and with it fluctuated in prices.

In 1864, a gold dollar would buy, say $2.50 in greenbacks, and in 1876, it would buy only $1.12.

Now, the greenback would buy as much government land, in 1864, as it would in 1876.

The taxes, State and county, were no more on the dollar, in 1864, than in 1876, and the greenback dollar would pay as much tax in 1864, as it would in 1876, and the greenback dollar would pay as much debt, in 1864, as in 1876.

The gold dollar could not force the payment of any more taxes or debts, in 1864, than it could in 1876, nor could it buy any more government land, unless it was exchanged for legal tender.

Surely there was no depreciation shown by these facts, and if the people had to pay high prices for what they purchased, they also received high prices for what they sold, whether that was labor, lumber, iron or merchandise.

All these circumstances combined to make it extremely easy for any person to become the possessor of a piece of pine land, which was rapidly increasing in value.

Many, who had gold or Canada currency, exchanged it for “the depreciated greenback,” receiving two dollars or more for one, and then purchased scrip or land warrants, at about fifty per cent below their value, for land, making it cost the purchaser from twenty to thirty cents per acre, in gold.

Many, in this way, were becoming wealthy, who did not appear on the income tax list, or add much to the figures of the Supervisor.

These conditions extended to Alpena and her surroundings and was applicable more or less to all the Northern States.

The following quotations from the Alpena Pioneer, of various dates, will give you a better idea of the condition of things about the Village, and the thrift and activity of the people, than any report made by the writer:

May 8th. 1869.

James Hunt has laid the foundation for an upright to his house.

Charley Cornell is making his lots look much better by clearing them up.

M. B. Spratt and Frank Starbird are improving the appearance of their houses, by new fences.

J. B. Turtle has bought a house on State Street.

J. H. Stevens has purchased the next lot, and has the lumber on the ground for building.

Will it be safe for two lawyers to live so close together?

Deacon Hitchcock is erecting a feed store, next to Hueber’s meat market .

Kesselmeyer has bought the residence of Robert Carnes, and has raised a two story building for a barber shop, grocery, etc.

Dr. Maiden’s new office and fence are a great improvement to his premises.

W. M. Sutton has traded houses with E. K. Potter, and is building an office between his house and Dr. Maiden’s.

E. K. Potter has a large pile of lumber on the site of the old drug store.

We expect to see a hardware store there before long.

J. W. Hall is building a cabinet shop for our friend Aber; also a dwelling house; and Mr. Todd a tailor shop and dwelling house, making that corner look lively.

May 15, 1869.

We are pleased to see the improvements going on in the way of paint and shade trees.

The idea of getting shade trees in this sand is quite discouraging, but when it proves successful, the beauty of the improvement more than repays the trouble.

J. S. Minor is entirely refitting the residence purchased of Leroy Bundy, and building a fence.

W. H. Phelps has erected a very convenient and substantial dwelling on Third Street.

Ira Stout is finishing another for himself by its side, while the street is being extended south of the section Hue Bridge, and five or six new buildings going up, the owners of which we did not learn.

Going back to Chisholm Street, we found a new fence, nearly finished, around Rev. Mr. Barlow’s house, also preparations for building on John Blakely’s lot. (Wonder if this isn’t a shadow, which a future event casts before.)

The new coat of paint, on Mr. Mortimer’s house, improves the appearance of this corner, and. we observed some timbers on the site of the old Alpena House, which was burned down last New Year’s.

On Lockwood Street, several buildings are going up, which causes our village to gradually creep towards Campbellville. We learn that Henry Potter intends to make an addition of forty acres to the village, this spring.

November 20th, 1869.

Burrell’s Hotel is improving very fast in its appearance.

Its new coat of paint, and its blinds, making it one of the most presentable buildings in town.

Z. M. Knight has covered his new store and is finishing it up.

It will show a neat front to Water Street.

Abe Crowell is building a tasty residence near the Court House, which, with Mr. Chisholm’s new house on the opposite side, makes that street look more attractive.

From our window we can see the goodly proportions of Mr. Gilchrists’ new residence, beautifully located on the banks of the river.

On Chisholm Street, Mr. Potvin’s hotel makes glad the waste place, where the old one burnt last New Year’s.

This new building needs another story to make it look well.

John Blakely’s cottage gives a very sunny appearance to that side of the street and makes a very desirable cage for the bird he caught this week.

The progress of agriculture, from 1866, was more than a doubtful experiment.

The writer, having been correspondent of the county of Alpena for the Agricultural Department at Washington, from 1863 to 1870, and compelled to make monthly returns to the department, during that time, his attention was called to that department of industry.

Perhaps more than anyone in the county, and as he traveled over the country, in making surveys and exploring for pine lands, he naturally noticed the soil and its adaptation to raising farm produce, and he became early convinced, by observation and experiment, that there was but very little fault in the soil or climate, and that the application of intelligent labor, would place Alpena county among the best agricultural districts in the State.

In the fall of 1865, the writer located the southeast quarter of section twenty-five, in town thirty-one north, of range six east, and the southwest quarter of section thirty, in town thirty-one north, of range seven east, being the first burnt lands purchased, for farming purposes.

He sold these lands to Dr. J. B. Truax, H. Sawyer and H. King.

Sometime in 1866, Sawyer, for defending J. K. Miller and G. N. Fletcher, against the attack of some drunken men, was the next day assailed by a mob, headed by one Crawford, whom Sawyer shot and killed instantly.

For this he was arrested, tried, and bound over to the Circuit Court, and sent to Saginaw to jail, as there was none in Alpena, by the same class that assailed him, but he never had a trial, as the people refused to appear against him.

More about this affair in the chapter on temperance.

In consequence of this sad affair, Sawyer and Dr. Truax surrendered their contracts and left the place, while Mr. King paid for his land and became the first permanent farmer in the county.

The writer subsequently sold the Truax quarter section to N. M. Brackinreed, in 1868, and the Sawyer lot to Pardon Buell, for farming purposes.

This became the nucleus of a settlement.

In 1867, Charles B. Greely and George B. Erskine commenced to clear a farm in section nineteen or twenty, in township thirty-one north, of range six east.

The land was densely covered with large sugar maple, beech and hemlock timber, and it required a good ax, a strong arm, much will power, and persevering industry to make a large farm in this place.

Fortunately, they possessed all these requirements, and constantly the sound of the ax and the crash of falling timber, could be heard, until a large piece was ready to be piled into log heaps and burned.

This was done, and the ground was planted with potatoes and baga turnips, and Mr. Greely reported that the first crop brought them over one thousand dollars, besides what they used for the family and seed.

This was the largest sale of farm produce that was raised in the county.

The chopping, clearing, and planting continued until 1871, when they found that, from being the possessor of a good ax each, and some other “traps,” in 1866, they were now the owners of a farm of two hundred acres, and more than one-half of that cleared, with a good house and barn, etc., good teams, wagons, and farming implements, and this mostly made from the land.

Their prospects, at this time, were exceeding prosperous, but a dark cloud suddenly came over their sunshine.

About two years prior to this, Mr. Erskine brought to his forest home a charming bride, a lady of about twenty-four summers, and who by her industry, cheerful disposition, and accommodating spirit, made her endearing to her husband, and his home bright and cheerful, and won for her the kind regard and respect of all that knew her.

In June, 1870, she went to the State of Maine, to visit her mother, and while there, died, soon after giving birth to a son, that also died at, or soon after, its birth.

When the sad news of the death of his beloved wife and darling son, reached Mr. Erskine, it gave him such a shock, and cast such a gloom over his once happy home, that he could not bear the thought of living there longer, and Mr. Greely, sympathizing with him, they sold the farm and came to the city.

In 1876, the property belonged to Mr. Emerson, having passed through several parties.

Soon after Messrs. Greely and Erskine commenced their farming, they were followed into the woods by Mr. Kimball, who located a farm on the south side of them, and Mr. Green, who located near them on the northeast, while A. R. Richardson commenced to clear a large farm, a mile or so east of them, and who soon had a large clearing, with a good frame house and barn.

This formed the beginning of another settlement.

About the same time, 1866 or 1867, James A. Case and William Hawley commenced to clear farms on Thunder Bay River, in section thirty-one, in township thirty-two north, of range seven east, and John Mainville and one or two others, located in section twenty-eight, of the same town and range, and while Mr. Case was debating with himself, whether farming there would pay, and the probability of any more settlers.

Mainville was disputing his rights with a family of beavers, for the occupancy of an old beaver pond.

This, with Antoine’s clearing, at the mouth of the North Branch, was the first settlement in this township.

In 1867, James Demster, William Pulford, David Dunn, and a few others, settled on homesteads a few miles east of Alpena city, and about the same time, E. Woodruff and Alex. Macaulay and others, settled on and near Partridge Point.

Richard Naylor commenced farming about three miles northwest from the city, and a few other settlers at other points, so that, in June. 1869, the writer reported to the Department of Agriculture, at Washington, thirty-six farmers in the county.

In 1870, the Rev. F. N. Barlow commenced to build a large steam sawmill, and booming grounds, out in the bay, near the south pier.

He commenced the work, by running a large crib around an area of the bay, sufficiently large to hold his logs, and drove piles for the foundation of his mill, out in the water, to be filled in around it with the refuse from the mill, which was afterwards done.

This mill was finished in 1871, and run one large circular saw, one of J. B. Wayne’s iron gangs, two patent edgers, one gang lath mill, one drag saw, two clapboard sawing machines and one sapper, for clapboard bolts.

It had also, in connection, a planing mill, with one large iron planer, and a clapboard planer, one re-sawing machine, two ripping saws, and one butting saw.

This mill gave employment to, from forty-five to fifty men, and was valued at fifty thousand dollars.

The refuse from the mill soon filled all the places, that refuse could be used to advantage, besides making steam.

A large wrought iron refuse burner was made, ample in capacity, for burning the accumulations, together with machinery for conveying the refuse, directly from the saws to the burner.

This property changed owners several times, passing from Mr. Barlow to George Prentiss & Co., and from them to the Alpena Lumber Co.

In 1876 it is owned by Mr. Churchill.

The city of Alpena is indebted to the thrift and business push and capacity of Mr. Barlow, in this enterprise, for the large and important extension of territory, the stability of her harbor improvements, the accumulation of fifty thousand dollars of wealth to the city, and the addition of, at least, one hundred inhabitants, and while Mr. Barlow got more experience out of the operation, than money, yet it was a permanent good for the place.

In 1871, A. R. Richardson built, on Maine Street, the first brick dwelling in the city.

Soon after the fire, in April, Bolton Mc McRae built a large, three story and basement brick block, on the corner of Dock and Fletcher streets, being the first brick store in the city.

This rear a telegraph line was extended from Bar City to Alpena, and will be noticed in the chapter on communication.

Events in history take place in regular succession, the same as the events in a persons life, and it is impossible for any event to take place before its antecedent.

So with the growth of Alpena.

Among its first wants were streets and roads and as soon as these became well made, horses and carriages were in order, and needed; and people who con Id not keep a horse and carriage, borrowed, or hired of those who had.

Until a livery stable became necessary, as one of the appendages of the city. J. R. Beach was the first one in the city to keep horses and carriages for hire.

In 1871, McDade & Co. built and maintained a livery stable, on the corner of Washington Avenue and Second Street.

In the winter of 1872 and 1873, John S. Minor built his new mill, on the old disputed middle ground.

It was planned for two five and a half foot circular saws.

In 1876, he employed twenty-four men, and cut, with one circular saw, five and a half million feet of lumber.

Prior to 1872, all the banking business for Alpena was done in Detroit.

But very little currency was taken at Alpena, for the reason that there was no safe place for deposit.

Mill men in Alpena checked out of Detroit banks, and payees generally spent a large portion of the money in Detroit; and this dwarfed the trade of Alpena, and kept it without money.

On the 1st of March, 1872, Charles Bewick.

Andrew W. Comstock and William B. Comstock organized The Alpena Banking Co., with A. W. Comstock as cashier.

In April of the same year, Geo. L. Maltz and J. L. Whiting organized The Exchange Bank, with Geo. L. Maltz as cashier.

These banks brought a large amount of currency into the city: supplied the needs of the business men of Alpena, and became very important institutions of the place.

A large hotel was erected this season, by George N. Fletcher, of Detroit, under certain arrangements with the people of Alpena, and called the Fletcher House.

It is situated on the bay shore, and occupies the whole space between Water and River Streets, one front of one hundred and forty feet facing the bay; one front of one hundred and forty feet facing Water Street, and fifty-one feet fronting on River Street, the whole being forty-five feet wide.

The building is three stories high; the first story fifteen feet, the second story fourteen feet, and third story twelve feet, and surrounded by a mansard roof and observatory, which commands a view of the bay, with its islands and various points.

This house is warmed by steam, and lighted with gas manufactured for the purpose.

It is intended to be, in all its arrangements, a first class hotel.

Although Alpena was considered a very healthy place, yet it sometimes happened that people died there; and it therefore became necessary to have a place to bury them.

For this purpose, and to locate and establish the first cemetery in the city of Alpena, Daniel Carter, in July, 1873, donated to the city, ten acres of land, from the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 21, in town 31 north, of range 8 east.

We too often find cemeteries located so near growing towns, that they soon become surrounded with buildings; become a nuisance, and have to be moved.

This one, however, is located near the western limits of the city, on the Section Line Road, so called, and so far away that it never will be reached by the buildings of the city.

It is located on a sandy plain, covered with spruce pine trees, and when properly improved will be a very peaceful spot to repose this “mortal coil,” when the spirit that gave it life has left it and gone to higher spheres.

The only objection to it is its homogeneousness.

The first white person buried in this cemetery was a man by the name of Peter Duclos, and the first Indian buried there was Pe-na-se-won-aquot, son of the old chief Sog-on-e-qua-do.

Directly after the great fire of July 12th, 1872, the City Fathers passed an ordinance, establishing a fire limit, which was very much opposed, as being unnecessary in so small a town; but it had this good effect, that it caused parties on Second street to re-build with brick, and gave an impulse to the structure of such buildings as gave permanency and beauty to the place; and from this time until 1876, brick buildings were the order of the day.

In 1873, A. McDonald erected a fine brick block, on Second Street, and in the same or following year.

Potter Bros. & Co., F. S. Goodrich and Chas. C. Whitney built large brick stores, on Second Street.

In 1875, Pack and Blackburn erected fine brick stores, and in 1876, Deacon Hitchcock built the brick Centennial building, on the site of the old court house.

Other large and substantial buildings were erected on the burnt district, during this time, the details of which the writer has not been able to reach.



Alpena has been a great sufferer from fires. Perhaps no place of its age and population has been visited by the fire king so often, and with such terrible effect, as Alpena.

In 1860, an extensive fire run through the woods adjoining Alpena, destroying much valuable timber, both standing and made into flat and square timber, and destroyed a large mill frame belonging to G. N. Fletcher, and one of the mill frames made by John Cole, in the winter of 1858 and 1859.

In 1862, another fire from the woods, destroyed Lock wood & Minor’s new steam mill, shortly after being enclosed, and burned, also, a number of small buildings, the loss being considerable for Lockwood & Minor at that time.

In 1863, the large steam mill belonging to Smith & Chamberlain, was destroyed by fire, resulting in a loss to the owners and to the place, that cannot be estimated.

The property was valued at $30,000.

It was thought by many, at the time, to have been the work of an incendiary.

A shingle mill, built and owned by Thomas Robinson, in 1866, and running in connection with the shingle mill, the first planer brought to Alpena, was destroyed by fire, in 1867.

This was a ruinous loss to Mr. Robinson, as he had placed in it all the means he had; was without insurance, and was unable to re-build.

Another shingle mill, built in 1866, and owned by Hopper & Davis, was burned soon after Robinson’s.

This fire so crippled their business relations that for a long time the mill was not re-built; and the damaging result to their future prosperity could not be estimated.

And still another shingle mill was destroyed by fire, but I cannot state the time.

This mill was the first of its kind erected in Alpena, and was built by G. S. Lester.

A tar factory, owned by Martin Minton, was submitted to the flames.

Some other fires occurred between 1863 and 1869, the particulars of which the writer has not been able to procure.

Soon after the burning of the shingle mill and planing mill of Thos. Robinson, Scott Doane, Moses Bingham and J. B. Beers formed a co-partnership, for the purpose of carrying on the general planing business, and making doors, sash and blinds, on the north side of the river, near the bay.

On the 1st of June, 1868, Beers retired from the firm, and the business was continued by Doane & Bingham.

They run a surface planer and matcher, a large molding and sash machine and other auxiliary saws and machinery.

At this time, a demand arose among the lumbermen for grinding feed, and Mr. Bingham, being a practical miller, as well as an excellent mechanic, resolved to supply the want.

The firm soon started a feed mill in connection with their sash factory, capable of grinding three hundred bushels of feed per day.

All went on well until the 3rd of May, 1S69, when the fire king, which seemed to rare had his headquarters near Alpena in those days, burned the upper story of their sash factory, together with a quantity of dry lumber.

Since 1866, some daring experimenters in farming had raised, contrary to expectations, a large quantity of wheat, and they wished to have it made into flour.

The firm determined to meet the exigency.

They soon enlarged, and changed their feed mill into a grist mill, with a bolt and other machinery for making flour with success.

This gave great encouragement to the farming interest.

The firm was now doing excellent work, and progressing finely, until October 1st, 1870, when the fire king made them a serious visit.

Not to be foiled again by “that hose,” this time HE started the fire in the engine room, and in a few minutes the factory and mill were in flames.

Nothing was saved, nor had they any insurance.

For years of labor they had only a mass of blackened ruins and disappointed hopes.

But they possessed intrinsic value in themselves, and had the confidence, esteem and sympathy of the people.

By their persevering toil and fair dealing, they had built up an industry which the people of Alpena could not afford to see blotted out.

The Alpenians never allowed a necessary institution to die, and that which they needed they always made strenuous efforts to obtain.

Meetings were held by the people, and arrangements soon made for money and credit for the firm, so that they could commence at once to re-build on the site of the old factory; and in June, 1871, they came out with a new edition, revised and enlarged by the authors.

It would seem that “His Fire Majesty” took particular delight in destroying the public houses of Alpena, for every one erected prior to 1872, was given to the flames, except the re-build of the Alpena House, the first one being destroyed on the 1st of January, 1868.

This was a large loss to Julins Potvin, the proprietor, who, as soon as he had recovered a little from the daze occasioned by the fire, commenced to re-build a larger and better house, on the site of the burned one, and soon had it ready for the accommodation of the public.

In 1863, a court house was finished, by Deacon Hitchcock, according to a contract between him and the Board of Supervisors, and was known as the “Deacon’s Court House.”

This was burned in 1870, under circumstances which gave rise to suspicions that it was the work of an incendiary; but no proof of the fact could ever be elicited.

In the summer of 1870, the dwelling of Fulton Bundy was given to the flames, and a “right smart” fire it was.

And in February, 1871, another fire occurred, which consumed the foundry and machine shop of David Crippen, valued at $5,000, and insured for $2,000, together with a boarding house belonging to Lockwood & Minor, and valued at $1,800, and insured for $1,000.

The north side of Dock Street had been built up with good buildings.

Next to the river, on the north side, was a large and commodious public house, owned and occupied by Samuel Boggs, called the Huron House, and on the opposite side of the street was a large building, used as a store and storehouse, owned by J. C. Bowen, and occupied by Folkerts & Butterfield.

On the northeast of Dock and Fletcher streets was the store and residence of Bolton & McRae.

On the opposite corner was the Union Star Hotel, and next to it, north, was the Evergreen Hall, so named by the ladies of Alpena, for the tasteful manner in which J. R. Beach, the owner of this and the Star Hotel, had decorated it with evergreens for some festive occasion.

Moses Bingham owned and occupied a large dwelling, on the next lot north of Evergreen Hall.

At this time, business on the east side of the river began to assume a lively appearance; the bridge was in fair condition, and the hotels run carriages to the boats, for passengers, so that visitors to Alpena could find good accommodations.

“But a change came over the spirit of their dreams,” the powers that “dominate behind the scenes” had engaged the fiend to destroy their property and bright anticipations, for on the 9th day of April, 1871, about noon, the alarm of fire was given, from the billiard saloon of Guild & Clewley, in the Beebe block, situated near the center between the Huron House and Bolton & McRae’s store.

It was soon discovered that all the buildings on that side of the street would be destroyed, as everything was very dry, and the village had no engine or any organized fire company, so everything was in confusion, as might be expected, under the circumstances.

It was soon seen that the most that could be done, was to save what of the furniture and goods they could, and let the fire burn itself out.

Accordingly, the people got two lighters from the opposite side of the river, on which they piled the contents of the buildings nearest the river, and carried them beyond the reach of the fire; but many of the goods and furniture of the Star Hotel and other buildings in the vicinity, were carried into the streets and there burned before they could again be moved.

When the fire reached Bolton & McRae’s store, the wind was blowing quite fresh, and soon carried the flames across the street, to the Star Hotel and other buildings in the vicinity, which soon became a heap of ruins.

The principal buildings destroyed in this fire, were the Huron House, owned and occupied by Samuel Boggs, and valued at $10,000.

He had an insurance on the property of $2,000 only, and this was for the benefit of Benj. C. Hardwick, who then held a mortgage on the same.

The Star Hotel and Evergreen Hall, owned and occupied by J. R. Beach, and valued at $12,000.

He also had a small insurance of $3,000 on his buildings, for the benefit of T. Luce & Co.

Those parties were the greatest sufferers by this fire.

The small insurance only paid the indebtedness on their property, and left them nothing with which to re-build.

For their industry and enterprise, they had nothing left but the lots and blackened ruins, and the furniture saved from the fire; but they were both good mechanics, and of cheerful and hopeful dispositions, and not being easily discouraged, they soon gathered up what they had and commenced work, in hopes to retrieve their losses; but the destroyer was still on their tracks, as the sequel will show.

The building occupied by Folkerts & Butterfield, and owned by J. C. Bowen, was valued at $4,500, and insured for $3,000.

The goods of Folkerts & Butterfield were covered by insurance.

The building owned by Henry Beebe, valued at $3,500, had no insurance.

The dwelling of Moses Bingham, valued at $2,500, with no insurance.

Both of these losses were severe, but did not fall with such crushing weight upon Mr. Beebe, as he had means to re-build, as it did on Mr. Bingham, who had so recently sustained a heavy loss in the burning of the Doane, Bingham & Co. sash and blind factory.

The building and goods of Bolton & McRae were fully insured, which prevented a ruinous disaster to them and much loss to the place.

Others sustained losses, which the writer is unable to particularize.

The city felt a severe loss in the destruction of Evergreen Hall, as it deprived the people of any hall suitable for holding public entertainments, and the city was again without hotel accommodations for the traveling public.

There is an old saying: “There is no great loss without some small gain.” and this may be applied in a very small way in this case.

It taught the people of Alpena, and the newly made “City Fathers,” the extreme necessity of organizing a fire company, and procuring a steam fire engine: and this business must have been among the first of their official acts, for in May, 1871, the first fire company was organized, by electing the following officers:

Foreman—A. L. Power.

Assistant Foreman—Fred. Buchanan.

Secretary—G. W. Hawkins.

Treasurer—L. B. Howard.

G. W. Hawkins, J. T. Bostwick and William Johnson were appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws.


A. W. Comstock,

James Walker,

S. S. Meade,

J. T. Bostwick,

N. Carpenter,

E. G. Johnson,

Will. Hitchcock,

Win. Johnson,

John Kesten,

Geo. Speechley,

H. S. Seage,

A. L. Power,

Fred. Buchanan.

Geo. W. Hawkins.

L. B. Howard,

Geo. Plough,

Theo. Luce.

Thos. H. Lester,

Fred. Smith,

C. E. Wilcox.

A. F. Fletcher,

Abe C rowel 1,

D. G. Aber,

S. A. Aber,

M. McCollum,

R. Bradshaw,

M. McLeod,

R. J. Kelley,

John D. Potter,

J. R. Beach,

C. C. Whitney,

Thos. C. Lester,

A. D. Stout,

Henry Nipbee,

Roland Galbraith.

Andrew Guyld,

George Jones,

James Murray,

William Wall,

Frank Northrop,

Burt Buchanan,

books (5)

On the 4th day of July of the same year, a well uniformed and equipped fire company, with a steam fire engine, was, for the first time, paraded in Alpena, and his Honor, Mayor Seth L. Carpenter, addressed them in a very appropriate speech.

The engine and company were named after an old chief of the Thunder Bay band of Indians—Sog-on-e-qua-do.

His name is mentioned in the first chapter.

Soon after the destruction of the Star Hotel, J. B. Beach rented the American House of Gelos Potvin, and commenced again to keep a public house, as they were at this time much in demand.

He opened sometime in May, and in October of the same year, was again compelled to flee before the devouring flames.

This time his loss was not large, as he saved most of his furniture; but he lost his business, and no man can be thrust out of business without sustaining considerable loss.

Only a part of the house was consumed, as the fire company was promptly on the ground, and did good service.

The success of this engine led the people to suppose that they were safe from the attacks of large fires.

But the fire king was laughing to think what a “big smoke” he would give them the next season, and show them how utterly inadequate was such an engine to quench his wrath, when once fairly kindled.

In the spring of 1872, we find Mr. Beach proprietor of the Burrell House, but the same destroyer was still on his tracks, and followed him there, and he was again burned out in the big fire, this time losing all he had.

Soon after the loss of the Huron House, Mr. Boggs purchased some property of Dr. W. P. Maiden, on Second Street, and commenced to erect a hotel called the Sherman House.

He had scarcely finished and opened it, before it was swept away in the great fire—the fire being particularly severe on the hotels.

The account of the great fire we shall give as we find it in the Alpena Pioneer Extra, of the date of July 13th, 1872.


Loss of Property $200,000—Insurance $80,000.

Sixty-Five Buildings Burned—Four Persons Burned to Death, Others Badly Burned.

At fifteen minutes to five o’clock yesterday afternoon, July 12th, the barn in the rear of the Sherman House, a house recently opened, and owned and occupied by Samuel Boggs, was discovered to be on fire.

The alarm was given, and the engine in position promptly, but there was some delay in getting up steam.

The fire being among hay, spread with fearful rapidity, and in an incredibly short time the Sherman House and Goodrich’s jewelry store were enveloped in flames.

The engine commenced to play, but the wind blowing fresh from the northwest, carried the fire with astonishing rapidity across the street, into the row of business houses on the south side of the street.

Crowell & Godfrey’s building, the Burrell House, McDonald’s building, Blackburn’s building, the Huron House, Maltz’s residence, and the barns and offices, etc., in that block, were soon all ablaze.

Mayor Pack’s residence and office were burned.

Potter & Bros’, hardware store, McDade & Gavagan’s hotel, and Comstock’s mill and boarding house were burned.

Aber’s building and furniture rooms, and the whole row of houses on the north side of River Street to Luce’s mill.

The fire raged until about six o’clock, before its limits were confined, when it had destroyed about three and a half blocks, containing about sixty-five buildings.

Among the heaviest losers were Potter & Bros., Anspach & Co., C. Burrell & Co., A. Pack & Co., George L. Maltz & Co., P. McDade, F. S. Goodrich, and Charles C. Whitney.

These might not have been the greatest sufferers, as many lost all they had.

The Alpena Weekly Argus office was entirely destroyed.

But the saddest record we have to make, is the burning to death of three persons, and badly burning of three others, one of whom has since died.

Mrs. Westbrook, keeping a millinery store, on Second Street, perished in the street, in front of her store, and could not be rescued until nothing but her bones remained.

The bones of two others, supposed to be men, have been found.

George Westbrook, son of the milliner, was so badly burned, in trying to rescue his mother, that he has since died.

A sailor named Kelly, and George Westby, Barlow’s engineer, are very badly burned.

Doubts are entertained of Westby’s recovery.

One of the men burned is supposed to be John Lavin.

The county papers were saved.

We subjoin an imperfect list of sufferers and their losses, as hastily estimated:

books (6)

The county papers were saved.

This last paragraph can be explained by saying that, soon after the court house was destroyed by fire, in 1870, the court and county offices, and the court and county records were removed to rooms in the Potter block, on Second street, and had again to pass through the uncertainties of a large fire; but they were all saved.

The experience of the last fire convinced the city officials that their fire department was too small to work successfully against a large fire.

In July, 1875, at a special meeting of the Common Council, a resolution was passed, for the purpose of purchasing one of Silsby’s No. 4 size rotary steam fire engines, for the sum of $5,850, with hose cart and hose.

The engine was soon after purchased, and a fire company organized, called Alpena No. 2.

Robert Oliver was appointed First Engineer.

Soon after this, a change was made in the management of the fire department.

And now they had the engines and a proper organization, there was a scarcity of water; and large tanks had to be made in various parts of the city, for a supply.

These tanks proved to be only a partial success, as the water was muddy, and many of them with a scanty supply.

It is hoped that not far in the future, the city will be well supplied with water from the river or lake; and until this supply of water is had, but little progress can be made against fires, as the following will show:

In June, 1875, E. Harrington’s house and barn were burned, valued at $1,500; insured for $3,000; Robert Napper’s blacksmith shop and wagon factory, valued at $6,000, and insured for $1,500; H. J. Eaton-s residence, valued at $3,000, and insured for $2,000.

On February 25th, 1876, Henry Beebe’s block was a second time destroyed by fire.

Building and stock valued at $12,000, and insured for $4,000.

Michael O’Brien lost his stock of boots, shoes, leather, etc, valued at $1,000, and insured for $1,000; and soon after this the residence of Dr. Jeyte was destroyed, valued at $4,000, and insured for $2,300.

On the last day of November of the same year, the Myers block, so called, and the oldest building in the city, was burned.

How it caught fire was a mystery.

Some other fires occurred, the details of which the writer has not been able to obtain.

This chapter is the most gloomy and thankless of any in the history of Alpena, but it affords some food for careful thought and study.

In looking over the list of sufferers by the several fires, you will find that those who needed insurance the most, had the least, and some had no insurance at all.

Our fellow citizens, Samuel Boggs, J. R. Beach, Thomas Robinson and others, are poor men this Centennial year, simply because they did not keep fully insured; and Mrs. Westbrook and son probably owe their shocking and untimely deaths to the same cause.

Many not only lost their property by the fire, but being without insurance or means to re-build, they were swept out of a lucrative and monopolized business worth to them many times the value of the property they lost.

It is impossible to reach the exact value of property destroyed by fires in Alpena, between 1857 and 1876, but we can approximate very nearly, and keeping within the bounds of certainty, we have the very nice sum of $342,900.

In 1875, the assessed valuation of property in Alpena City was $906,640, so that, by these figures, one-third of the entire accumulations of the people for eighteen years had been destroyed by fires.

About $100,000 of this loss has been paid back by the insurance companies, leaving a dead loss upon the industry of the people, during that time, of twenty-five per cent.





Long before the writer came to Thunder Bay, and probably since the establishment of the military posts at Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinaw, a mail route had been established between these points and Saginaw, and carried along the west shore of Lake Huron, on the backs of men or on sledges drawn by dogs, and for that reason the mail is placed in this chapter, before steamers or roads.

The conveyance of the U. S. mail was entrusted to the care of Frenchmen and half-breeds, and was carried on their backs, but mostly on what they called a trainaud, and drawn by dogs over the ice and snow.

The trainaud was made of two flat pieces of oak, maple or birch wood, about one-half inch thick, six or seven inches wide, and from nine to fourteen feet long.

These were fastened together with cross-bars, and nicely turned up at one end.

On this the mail was placed, with their camp and provisions, and fastened to the trainaud with cords attached to the cross-bars.

The dogs were placed tandem, or one before the other, and attached to the trainaud by long traces.

The dogs were generally large, muscular animals, well trained for the work, and capable of much endurance; and in early times were often very fancifully harnessed.

The harness consisted of a buckskin collar, with harness of some bright metal, and extending about six inches above the neck of the dog, and turned with a whorl at the top, in which was suspended a nice little bell.

The straps were all made of black leather, with large housing of red broadcloth, when the dog was of a dark color and blue when the dog was of a light color.

The housings were fringed with a long yellow fringe, and nicely worked with beads all over.

The men were rapid travelers, making trips from Bay City to Sault Ste. Marie in four days, under favorable circumstances—a distance of about two hundred and twenty miles—and in two instances they made, under a reward, a traverse from Bay City to Devil river, in seventeen hours—a distance of one hundred miles or more.

Having given some idea how the mail was carried on the Lake Huron shore, at the time Fremont was first settled, we now proceed to give some details in regard to the establishment of the first post office in Alpena County.

Among the many privations that are experienced by the early settlers of a country, is the absence of reading matter and mail facilities.

The American thinks it a hardship to do without his newspaper, if only for a short time, and receives it again with as much eagerness as he does his “bread and butter,” after being without his dinner.

The first settlers of Alpena were no exception to the rule, and Mr. Carter says, in a letter to George N. Fletcher, under date of the 14th of February, 1857: “I want you to send more papers; we read everything all to pieces.”

As soon as A. F. Fletcher arrived in Fremont, he became sensible of this great want of mail, and in his first letter to his cousin, G. N. Fletcher, he says: “You ought to write to Washington about a post office.”

Soon after this letter, a petition went to Washington, for a post office at Fremont, and on the loth of January, 1858, the papers arrived “from Washington, establishing a post office at Fremont, with Daniel Carter as postmaster, together with blanks and other things necessary for the newly made postmaster to exercise the functions of his office.

From 1850 to this time, the writer received his mail in the winter, through arrangements made with the postmaster at Bay City, and the mail carriers, the writer’s mail being made into a sealed package and carried outside the mail bags; and in summer, by arrangements with the postmaster at Detroit, and his schooner and other vessels coming to Devil river for lumber—receiving his mail quite regularly during the winter, and at intervals of from one week to one month during the summer.

Soon after the operations of the post office at Fremont had commenced, it was discovered that there was another Fremont in the State, and some letters occasionally went to the wrong Fremont, and the people had the name changed to Alpena Post Office.

Then letters sometimes went to a place called Alpine, and the name of the post office was again changed to Thunder Bay Post Office, and subsequently to Alpena Post Office, which name it still retains.

Having a mail route established along the lake shore, for the winter season, the mail came regularly once a week during the winter, but having no mail route established for the summer season, the office had to depend on such arrangements as the postmaster could make with the postmaster at Detroit, and circumstances.

When any responsible person went to Detroit, and to return soon, he was authorized to carry the mail; and about the last words to those leaving for Detroit, were, “Don’t forget the mail.”

This state of things continued only one summer.

Mr. Carter petitioned the department at Washington, to establish a mail route between Bay City and Fremont, in the summer season.

They replied that they could not establish a mail route, but would grant him the whole proceeds of the office for the purpose of carrying the mail.

During the summers of 1859, 1860 and 1861, Mr. Carter procured the mail to be carried between Bay City and Alpena, as often as it could be carried, in a small boat; and at the end of the three years, Mr. Carter found himself to the good, less expenses, about two hundred dollars.

The mail was then carried by steamers, running between Alpena and Bay City, for the proceeds of the Alpena post office and the other offices along the shore, and what the people donated, until July, 1866, when a regular mail route was established; and from that time until 1876, there has been a daily mail carried on the boats, and as regular as the weather would permit.

Up to 1863, the winter mail had been carried by “dog train,” along the shore.

This winter, the arrangement was changed, and the “dog train” came only as far as Fremont, and returned.

Mr. Carter, under a sub contract, carried the mail between Fremont and Bay City, and continued to carry it in the winter, until the summer route was established, in 1866.

It was then carried by stage, until 1876.

Mr. Carter’s house was made the first post office, and this, as well as many other of the institutions that now belong to Alpena, took their incipient growth at Mr. Carter’s house.

For remuneration as postmaster, Mr. Carter was to have sixty per cent of the revenue from the office, yet his salary for the first year did not reach the moderate sum of five dollars.

Mr. Carter resigned the office in April, 1860, but was not relieved until October, when E. K. Potter was appointed his successor, and following him in office was Leroy Bundy.

William D. Hitchcock

The present incumbent, in 1876, is William D. Hitchcock, and the fourth on the list of Alpena postmasters.

The office is now one of considerable importance, being made a money order office in 1868.

Its revenue, in 1875, being $3,027.31; and the amount of orders issued reached the sum of $24,036.09.

In 1867, through the influence of the writer, a post office was established at Ossineke, called the Ossineke post office, and the appointment of George B. Melville as postmaster.

The revenue of the office, for the first year, was a little over three hundred dollars.

In 1876, there were four post offices in the county, two as above stated, and one called Long Rapids post office, with John Louden as postmaster, and one called East Side post office, with Mrs. Ellen Roberts as postmistress.

By Water.

Prior to 1844, but little was known of Alpena County, and its waters were very seldom visited by any craft larger than a fishing boat.

In 1845 and 1846, Thunder Bay Island becoming a large fishing station, made it profitable for steamboats going around the lakes, to call at this island, for freight and passengers.

In 1846, the fishermen on the island entered into an agreement’ with two steamers, to call at the island every trip up and down during the season, when the weather would permit; and it became a habit with all the steamers to land passengers at the island, and call for them when signaled for them to call, by hoisting a flag.

And this habit, once obtained, continued until 1859; and most of the travel to and from Fremont was by this route—the freight mostly coming on sail vessels.

After the sawmill was built at Devil River, vessels occasionally came there for lumber.

In 1852, the writer purchased the schooner Marshall Ney, and run it regularly from his mill, at Devil River, to Cleveland, for four years.

Occasionally, during this time, small vessels came in search of freight or trade.

In 1859 and 1860, the business of Fremont having largely increased, steamers found it profitable to make occasional trips there, and Capt. Darins Cole, owner of the steamer Columbia, was induced by the people of Alpena, to place his boat on the route between Fremont and Detroit, and in a short time began making regular trips.

The Columbia being a small boat, was able to land her passengers and freight on the dock inside the river, while the Forest Queen, that came to Fremont only when she could obtain a profitable freight, was compelled to lay outside the river, and discharge her freight and passengers on lighters and boats, on account of the sandbar at the mouth of the river.

In the spring of 1860, we find the following in the Detroit papers: “Steamer Columbia, Darius Cole, Master, leaves Detroit every Monday, at 2 p. M., arrives at Bay City Wednesday morning, and leaves Bay City for Thunder Bay every Wednesday morning, at 10 o’clock.”

At the same time, the Forest Queen made trips to Tawas, every Friday, and every other Friday extended her trips to Au Sable, and sometimes came to Fremont.

From 1859 to the fall of 1864, the Columbia continued to make weekly trips from Detroit to Alpena, and the Forest Queen came when she could get a paying freight.

In 1863, the Genesee Chief, Capt. Clark, run on the Bay City route, and continued on that route until the fall of 1867.

In the fall of 1864, the Sky Lark, Capt. A. G. Ripley, came on the Bay City and Fremont route, and the “old Columbia receded.”

The Sky Lark continued to make bi-daily trips each season, until the summer of 1866, when she was sold to western parties and taken off the route, and the steamer Huron, Capt. D. Cole, run in the Sky Lark’s place during the remainder of the season.

In 1867, the steamer Alpena, Capt. John Robeson, run on the route between Detroit and Alpena, making regular trips; and the Huron, Capt. D. Cole, run with the Genesee Chief, on the Bay City route.

During the years 1867 and 1868, the harbor of Alpena had been so much improved by piers and dredging, that steamers could enter the river, and in 1868, a new impulse was given to mill building in Alpena, and consequently a large increase of freight for that place, as well as a corresponding increase along the shore.

In the spring of 1868, the steamer Huron, Capt. D. Cole, started on the Bay City and Alpena route, and in July, the steamer Geo. W. Reynolds, Capt. Benj. Boutell, run with the Huron, on the same route.

On the 4th day of July, the steamer Metropolis made her first visit to Alpena, and run on the route the remainder of the season.

The Marine City run this season, on the shore route, from Detroit to Alpena, in place of the Alpena, and extended her trips to Mackinac Island.

In 1869, the steamer Metropolis, Capt. Cole, run on the Bay City route, and the Marine City, Capt. John Robeson, run from Detroit to Mackinac.

Business having largely increased in Alpena and on the bay shore, in 1870, the Metropolis, Capt. Cole, started on the Bay City route in the spring, and in October, the steamer Sandusky, Capt. McGregor, was placed on the same route; and the Marine City, Capt. John Robeson, run on the shore, from Detroit to Mackinac.

In 1871 and 1872, the steamer Sandusky, Capt. John Stewart, run on the Bay City route; and in 1872, the steamer Lake Breeze, Capt. Lathrop, run with the Sandusky, on the same route; and the Marine City, Capt. John Robeson, continued to run from Detroit to Mackinac, and the propeller Galena, Capt. Broadbridge, made regular trips from Cleveland to Alpena.

About the middle of the season of 1873, the steamer Dunlap, Capt. Brown, and the steamer John Sherman, Capt. John Stewart, were placed on the Bay City route, the Dunlap continuing on the route until after 1876.

She was sailed in 1874, by Capt. Snow, and in 1875 and 1876 by Capt. A. G. Ripley; and the Sherman, Capt. Stewart, run with the Dunlap in 1874.

In 1875 and 1876, the steamer Dove, Capt. Knowlton, run with the Dunlap on the Bay City route, and the Marine City, Capt. John Robeson, continued to run on the shore route, between Detroit and Mackinac Island.

In the meantime, the propellers Wenona, Capt. L. R. Boynton, and the Galena, Capt. Broadbridge, run from Alpena to Cleveland.

By Roads.

The first meeting of the Highway Commissioners took place at the house of Daniel Carter, on March 26th, 1858, and, “On motion of D. D. Oliver, it was voted to form two road districts:

“Road District No. 1, to be bounded as follows: Commencing on Thunder Bay, where the east and west center line of town 30 north, of range 8 east, intersects the bay; thence west, to range line between ranges 7 and 8; thence north, to town line between 31 and 32; thence east, to range line between ranges 8 and 9; thence south, to Thunder Bay; thence on margin of bay, to the place of beginning.

“Road District No. 2, to be bounded as follows: North by Road District No. 1; thence east by Thunder Bay, to the town line between towns 28 and 29; thence west to range line between towns 7 and 8, and thence north, to the south boundary of District No. 1.”

At the second meeting of the Highway Commissioners, which soon followed the first, a petition, signed by Joseph K. Miller, Addison F. Fletcher, David Plough, Daniel Carter, Moses Bingham, Abram Hopper, James S. Irwin, Lewis Atkins and David D. Oliver, was presented to the board, to lay out and establish a road, “commencing near the mouth of Thunder Bay river, and thence by the most feasible route to the mouth of Devil river,” this being the first township road surveyed in the county.

The petition was accepted, and the county surveyor was requested to make the necessary survey of the road.

At the spring election of 1859, a motion was made by the electors, and carried, and the following was placed upon the records: “Voted to raise the sum of one hundred dollars, according to the report of the Highway Commissioners, for the purpose of surveying and establishing a road from the mouth of Thunder Bay River to Devil River.”

The records do not show that any one was authorized to levy and collect the tax, but nevertheless the tax was levied and collected, as the same has been done many times in towns where their organizations were much older than Fremont.

The writer made the necessary survey of the road the same season, but too late in the fall to do any work on the road.






The first highway tax roll was made in 1858, by Lewis Atkins, township clerk, for Road District Mo. 2. Only four parties appear on the roll, subject to road tax, as follows:

Page and Oliver, taxed 112 days, 4 hours.

David D. Oliver, taxed 1 day, 7 hours.

Andrew Horn, taxed 5 days, 6 hours.

John Dawson, taxed 1 day, 3 hours.

The highway tax roll of District No. 1, the writer has not been able to obtain.

The people all along the Lake Huron shore, and especially those at Fremont, were very anxious to have a road opened between Bay City and Fremont.

Indeed this road bad become a necessity, and a petition was drawn up and signed by nearly all on the shore, and presented to the State Legislature, who, in 1859, passed the following act:

Sec 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, That Daniel Carter, of Fremont, C. C. Chilson, of Bay County, D. D. Oliver, of Devil river, Allen Terry, of AuSable, and Charles H. Whittemore, of Tawas City, be and the same are hereby appointed commissioners to lay out and establish a state road, from Saginaw City, in the county of Saginaw, to Cheboygan, in the county of Cheboygan, touching at Tawas City, AuSable, and Fremont, on Thunder Bay.

Sec. 2. For the purpose of the further construction and improvement of said road, there is hereby appropriated all the non-resident highway taxes, not otherwise appropriated by law for State roads, within six miles of the line of said road, on each side thereof, for the year 1859, and for five years thereafter.”

The act also provided that the Highway Commissioners, of each township, through which the road should pass, should adopt and work the same, and it also provided that “said commissioners” should receive the large sum of “one dollar and fifty cents per day, for each day they were so engaged in laying out said road.”

Soon after the commissioners had received notice of their appointment, a meeting of the commissioners was called to meet at Tawas City, that being the central point.

The only way to reach that place from Fremont, was either to foot it down the shore or go in a small boat.

Accordingly Messrs. Carter, of Fremont, and Oliver, of Devil River, two days before the meeting was to take place, started for Tawas City, in the said small boat.

They reached the place of meeting, in good time and found all the newly appointed commissioners on hand, excepting C. C. Chilson, of Bay County, who had but little interest in the road.

The commissioners met and, after thoroughly discussing the matter, and considering the great wisdom and munificence of the Legislature in passing the act, came to the conclusion that there would not be money enough collected during the said five years, to keep a brushed road that length in repair, after it had been laid out and made, as at that time but little land had been purchased along the line of the proposed road, and after voting the enterprise a failure, they adjourned sine die.

Thus ended the first effort for a road from the Saginaws to Alpena.

After a week spent in this useless effort, Carter and Oliver returned, having spent their time and money, for which they could not expect any remuneration, except the consciousness of having faithfully discharged the duties imposed upon them by the people, and the imposition imposed upon the people by the Legislature.

The subject of a State road, from Bay City to Cheboygan, was not dropped, but the subject continued to be agitated until, in 1861, the State Legislature passed a large bundle of bills for making State roads, and among them was the following:

Sec. 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, There shall be laid out and established, by commissioners to be appointed by the Governor, upon the most direct and eligible route, between the places hereinafter designated, the following State roads: (The 22d in the list is) a road from Duncan, in Cheboygan county, to AuSable River, in Iosco county, via Alpena, to be known as the Duncan, Alpena and AuSable River State Road.

Sec. 3. To secure the construction of said road, there is hereby appropriated an average amount of six hundred and forty acres of State swamp land to the mile.”

David Plough, of Alpena, was appointed commissioner on the Duncan, Alpena and AuSable State Road.

No provision having been made, by the Legislature, for laying out this road, excepting the lands, the Board of Supervisors met and passed an order, to accept lands of the State of Michigan, for the benefit of the county, and issue road orders, provided they would be accepted, for making the survey of the road, in lieu of the land, and they authorized the commissioner to make a contract accordingly, and in April, 1862, he made a contract with the writer to make a survey of the road, for the sum of five dollars per mile, payable in county orders, or lands, at the option of the surveyors.

The road was to be surveyed under the supervision of the commissioner, the writer furnishing all things needed for the work.

On the 31st of May, 1862, the writer commenced the survey of the road at AuSable River.

His party consisted of David Plough, commissioner, and Daniel Carter looking out the most feasible route for the road; A. J. A. Micholowski and Frank Trowbridge, for chain men; John King and Isaac Isaacson, for packers; Robert Newell, for axmau, and Elijah Degroat, for cook.

The survey was made in due time, and the report accepted by the Board of Control, at Lansing, in the fall of 1862.

In July, 1863, the first contracts were made for the work on the road.

The largest contractors on the road were S. O. Harris and J. B. Babcock.

Mr. Plough remained commissioner for a number of years, and was variously praised and blamed, as interest or prejudice prompted, but he was honest, and failed to make money out of the road, when he could have seen “millions in it.”

Here the speculative ideas of Plough and Oliver were at fault, for the extensive knowledge that Oliver had at that time of pine lands, and the extensive influence and power exercised by the Commissioner of State Lands, in letting and accepting contracts, would have made the business extensively profitable; but all this passed like a panorama, with but little thought, if any, in that direction, and so the wisdom, that comes after the fact, is worthless.

A short time prior to the survey of the Duncan, Alpena and AuSable State Road, a State road had been made from East Saginaw to AuSable river, called the East Saginaw and AuSable State Road, but was only passable for teams in the winter, on account of the condition of the AuGres swamps, and it was, after repeated efforts and appropriations of swamp lands, that it became passable in the summer season.

The road, from the AuSable to Alpena, was finished during the summer of 1864, and that winter a stage line was run by Daniel Carter, between Alpena and Bay City, and the people rejoiced that they had a way out of the woods during the winter.

In order to carry the mail, Mr. Carter, in 1863, run teams between Alpena and Bay City, by traveling sometimes in a bushed road, and sometimes on the ice, on the lake shore, but this way of traveling was risky and disagreeable.

The Legislature had failed to connect the two roads, by one-half mile of road, and a bridge across the AuSable River.

In the winter of 1866 and 1867, through the Hon. J. K. Lockwood, an appropriation of swamp lands was made for the improvement of the road, and for building a bridge across the AuSable River, and in 1867, the connection of the roads was made by a bridge across the river.

The road, from Alpena toward Duncan, was continued to be made slowly, and in 1865, Daniel Carter built a bridge across Thunder Bay River, on the contract of G. N. Fletcher.

It was many years before this road was finished to Duncan, and indeed, in 1876, it is not passable for teams, the whole length, in the summer.

From the organization of the township, to 1870, most of the proceeds of the road tax were expended on the streets of Fremont.

A bridge had been made, in 1865, across Thunder Bay River, connecting Dock and Second streets, and paid for from the proceeds of the road tax.

It was a poor experiment, and soon went to decay.

A road had been surveyed and cut out for a bush road, on the west side of the river, from Fremont to the Broadwell mill, at the rapids, and some work had been done, on what is known in 1876, as the section line road.

When the Duncan, Alpena and AuSable State Road was surveyed, it was carried in a direct route from the town line, near Greenbush, in Alcona county, to Ossineke, in Alpena county, and passed west of Harrisville and Black River.

It was surveyed there instead of following the lake shore, through the instance of S. O. Harris, who compromised with the commissioner, and paid the writer thirty dollars for backing up on his line, from Harrisville to Greenbush.

What his object was, the writer was not informed.

The people along the shore still needed a road, and, in 1865, an appropriation of swamp land was made for a State road from Ossineke to Harrisville, following the shore to South Point and Black River, and late in the fall of 1866, the road was opened for winter travel.

Obed Smith was the principal contractor and builder of this road.

On the 3rd of May, 1869, a meeting of the citizens of Alpena was called, for the purpose of taking into consideration the condition of the old bridge.

At this meeting the Highway Commissioners were requested to examine the bridge and report at the next meeting.

On the 15th of May, the commissioners, D. Carter, Thos. Murray and Samuel Boggs, made their report, and the following resolution was passed:

“Resolved, That a new bridge be built by tax, on the present site of the old one, and to be finished by the first of May next.”

A motion was also made and carried, requesting the Board of Supervisors to call a meeting and take the necessary steps to build a county bridge. J. K. Lockwood, Chairman; A. Hopper, Clerk.

This meeting had the desired effect, and during the winter of 1869 and 1870, a good and substantial wooden bridge was placed over the stream, connecting Dock and Second streets.

This bridge is good in 1876.

For several years, during the winters, much talk and agitation was had by the people of Alpena, and those along the bay shore, in regard to a railroad along the shore, to Alpena, but was always dropped during the summer.

In January, 1875, quite an impulse was given to the railroad agitators by a man of the name of Jefferds, who proposed to build a railroad, from Alpena, direct to Sterling, on the Saginaw and Mackinaw road, and the spring opened with a fair prospect of a railroad to Alpena, and made quite a stir for a short time.

The road was surveyed, and grounds cleared for a site, for workshops, and an engine house, and some of the road cleared and graded.

Had the people of Alpena “boosted” the enterprise a little, as much as they will have to do, in all probability, when they get a road, they would have had one this summer, but they had lapsed into their usual summer complaint, and Mr. Jefferds not being able to build the road, it was abandoned.

In the winter of 1875, five sections of swamp lands were given by the State, to build a State road, from Alpena to Long Lake, and called the Long Lake State Road.

The five sections of land, being insufficient to build the road, it being six and one-half miles long, a sum of $700 was raised by the people for that purpose, and in July, of the same year, a contract was made for building the road, and in 1876, the road is being made.






As soon as practicable after the township meeting, held on the 5th day of April, 1858, the School Inspectors of the township of Fremont, met for the purpose of forming a school district, and as much territory as could be allowed by law, was incorporated into School District No. 1.

Soon after this, a school meeting was called, and Addison F. Fletcher was elected the first School Director.

Mary L. Carter

Miss Mary L. Carter was hired to teach the first school, and after being inspected, commenced teaching, m a small cooper shop, made of rough boards, which was then the best building that could be procured for a school house, and which stood on lot 10, in block 3, of the village plot.

The writer has not been able to find a record of this school, and thinks that no record was kept.

The second school was commenced on the 23d day of May, 1859, and ended on the 20th of August of the same year. The report is as follows:


Number of days taught, 69

Number scholars enrolled, 28

Whole number days attendance, 1,246

Average attendance, 18 4-69

Signed, MARY E. TROMBLY, Teacher.

Accepted Aug. 30th, 1859, Signed, ADDISON F. FLETCHER, Director of School District No. 1.

This school was taught in an upper room in what is now called the Myers block, on the corner of Second and Water streets, on lot 13, in block 3, of the village plot.

This building was completed in the fall and winter of 1858.

The first floor was used as a storehouse, and the second was used for county and other purposes, viz: Circuit Court room and county offices, school room, church, Sabbath school, printing office, and all public gatherings.

We give below the names and ages of the scholars attending this school, as being of some importance, should the record be preserved for the next Centennial year, and may be interesting to some of the present generation:

books (7)

The first male teacher was M. R. Clark, who taught only twenty-two days, ending September 22d, 1859. David Plough, Director.

Soon after the Rev. C. G. Bisbee came to Alpena, in 1860, he was hired to teach the school, but he made no report until the 27th of February, 1862, when the number of scholars enrolled was fifty-one, doubling in two-and-a-half years.

Following Mr. Bisbee, as the next school teacher, was Leroy Bundy, who only taught forty-eight days.

In 1863, the school was taught by C. P. Butler, who had an average attendance of twenty-five scholars during the summer term.

The winter term ended April 29th, 1864, and was a full term, with an average attendance of twenty-two scholars.

The report is made, but not signed.

Miss Kate Barclay taught the summer term of 1861, but made no report.

In 1863 and 1861, the first district school house was erected in the county.

It was located on lot 2, in block 20, of the village of Fremont, and was the construction of Samuel Boggs.

J. B. Tuttle taught the first school in this house, and consequently was the first teacher who taught in a district school house in Alpena County.

His report is as follows:

Report of a term of the public school, taught in District No. 1, of Alpena village, Alpena County, Michigan, during the winter and spring of 1864 and 1865. School began Jan. 3d, 1865 – School closed April 1st, 1865.

Number of days taught, 71

Number of scholars enrolled, 94

Number of days attendance, 4,047

Average daily attendance, 57

Signed, J. B. TUTTLE. Dated at Alpena, April 1st, 1865.

This report shows a rapid increase of scholars, and a corresponding increase of inhabitants in Alpena County, more than doubling in two years.

In 1865, another district school house was erected, on the east side of the river, and a school taught there.

The large increase of population rendered it necessary to have more school room, and the School Board, deeming it advisable to erect a Union School house, took the necessary steps in that direction and in 1867, the Legislature authorized the building of a Union School house, by the following act:

An act to authorize the formation of Union School District Number One, of the township of Alpena, in the county of Alpena.

Sec. 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, That the School Inspectors of the township of Alpena, in the county of Alpena, are hereby authorized to organize the said township of Alpena, or so much thereof as they may deem necessary, into a school district, to be known as Union School District Number One, of said township.

Sec. 2. Said school district shall be organized according to the provisions of the school laws of the State, and all moneys lawfully voted to be raised in said district, by tax or loan, shall be a valid debt against all the property in said district.

Sec. 3. This act shall take immediate effect.

Approved March 27th, 1867.

Soon after the passage of the preceding act, bonds were issued and negotiated, and the necessary funds raised for the construction of a Union School house, and in 1868, a suitable building was erected, under the supervision of David Plough, as directed by the School Board.

The building was located on grounds, donated to the township, for school purposes, by S. E. Hitchcock, and it cost, in round numbers, the sum of $20,000, when finished, furnished, and the ground cleared off and fenced.

When first built, it was on the margin of the forest, on the west, isolated, and in a swamp.

Noble M. Brackinreed taught the district school, on the southwest side of the river, after J. B. Tuttle, until the Union School house was finished, when he was transferred to it, as principal teacher.

Charles T. Brockway was engaged as the first Superintendent, and in November, 1809, the Union School commenced its regular operations, under his supervision.

Mrs. Sutton, Mrs. Stevens, Mrs. Vanlnwegen, Miss Doane and Miss Barclay were engaged as teachers.

They were inspected by Messrs. Comstock and Barlow.

The school was divided into four grades—the primary, secondary, senior and junior.

Each grade was divided into two classes, called the A and B class, excepting the senior grade, which was divided into three classes, the highest of which pursue the higher English branches, and is in every respect a High School grade. Scholars were taken into the school at the age of six years.

F. S. Dewey succeeded Mr. Brockway, as Superintendent, in 1871 or 1872, for he says in his report of 1874: “In 1872, or two years ago, I changed the course of study.”

He divided the school into five grades, of two years each, primary, secondary, intermediate, grammar and high school. It now takes ten years to go through the course.

Mr. Dewey is Superintendent in 1876.

The writer has given the names of the teachers, in the Union School, as reported in 1874, with their salaries, showing the condition of the school, at this time.

But little change from this was made in the school up to 1876.

F. S. Dewey, principal, salary $1,400 per year.

Miss H. S. Bachman, assistant principal and teacher of grammar school, salary $600 per year.

Miss L. J. Bachman, intermediate teacher, salary $500 per year.

Miss Godfrey, secondary, salary $450 per year.

Miss Ella Myers, secondary, salary $450 per year.

Miss Mary E. Smith, secondary, salary $450 per year.

Miss L. Rutherford, primary and secondary, salary, $400 per year.

The whole number of pupils in school was 374, and the number of scholars enrolled was as follows:

Boys, 325;

girls, 281.

The number of seats in all the rooms was 450.

In 1876, there are fourteen school districts in the county, and twelve district school houses.

In the village is a Catholic school, a German school and a Norwegian school.


We are indebted to the proprietor of the Pioneer for the following letter, written to him by D. R. Joslin, in regard to the history of the Alpena County Pioneer.

We give all of his letter that is pertinent.

Mr. Joslin says:

“In the year 1862, I was publishing a paper at Port Austin, in Huron County, called the Huron County Reporter.

During the winter of 1862 and 1863, hearing of a commencement of a village, at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, and the fine prospects of a large and thriving village, not far in the future; the large amount of pine lands on the river and its branches, and the large amount of lands, which appeared upon the- tax rolls, and not satisfied with the prospects of Port Austin, I was induced to correspond and learn the prospects of locating a paper at Alpena.

Accordingly 1 corresponded with O. T. B. Williams, the Prosecuting Attorney.

He took an immediate interest to encourage the enterprise, and so did all the people of the village, which, at that time, contained about 250 inhabitants, and according to their means, subscribed a liberal donation of $200 to aid in establishing the paper.

Accordingly, about the 26th of April, 1863, on Sunday, I arrived with my printing office, at Alpena, on the Forest Queen, which anchored out in the bay.

Freight was loaded on scows and poled in.

The printing office was landed off the scow, on Miller’s dock, Sunday, and procuring a room over Miller’s store, now the Myers block, and commenced immediately to set up the office, and in order to secure the tax printing, must issue by the 1st day of May, which, by working day and night, with one hand, issued on the last day of April, a twenty column paper, having five columns per page, of 17.5 inches a column, of which twelve columns were reading matter, called the Thunder Bay Monitor.

It was hailed with great satisfaction and well patronized.

The issue of the first year was about 150 copies, which was very large, according to the population, for at that time, there were only two mills in the place—Messrs. Lockwood & Minors, on Water Street, and the Island mill—the Chamberlain mill just burned.

One dry goods store, Mr. Hardwick’s.

Messrs. Lockwood & Minor kept a- few things, but could hardly be called a store.

Mr. Miller kept a small grocery store.

Mr. Bingham kept the only hotel, a small two story wood building, on the north side of the river, which had to be reached from the south by a boat, if one could be found, if not, go over on a saw log, or stay where you were.

These composed the business places of the town; therefore the paper was almost destitute of home advertisements, so we had to look abroad for advertisements to fill up, many of which were of little profit.

The tax list, which was large, was a great relief to the expenses.

The next year, three other mills were built, and a number of stores and hotels, having double the population and business, and gave the advertising columns a much better appearance, and helped greatly to its support. I continued to publish the paper until the fall of 1865.

Being so unfortunate as to lose my wife, causing a derangement in my business, in the month of November, 18G5, I sold the office to D. D. Oliver.

Mr. Oliver immediately installed J. A. Case as editor, and J. Honsburger as publisher.

Sometime in the spring of 1866, Mr. Oliver changed the name of the paper to the Alpena County Pioneer, which has continued since.”

In 1867, Oliver sold a half interest in the paper to Robert S. Toland, and the paper was conducted under the firm name of Oliver & Toland.

Finding the paper too small for the growing business of the town, Oliver, through the direction of Toland, enlarged it to a twenty-four column paper, being 24×16.

Oliver resided at Ossineke, and having business there, could not see to the management of the office, and consequently the business run behind expenses about five hundred dollars, up to the spring of 1868.

James K. Lockwood

James K. Lockwood and Oliver were very anxious to have the paper live a Republican, and after some talk in regard to the matter, Oliver sold his interest in the office to Lockwood, at a certain price, with conditions that Toland should have the same chance with him as he had with Oliver, and that George McFadden, who was employed in the office, should have the privilege of buying the half interest in the office, if he should so elect, at the same price that Lockwood purchased of Oliver, it being the object of Lockwood and Oliver to make the business live.

In 1868, we find the Pioneer published by Toland & McFadden.

Had these young men taken the advice of Oliver and Lockwood, and had been more persevering and economical, they might have had, at the Centennial year, a good property, a successful business, and an honorable standing among the citizens of Alpena.

But they could not see what the result would be, and in June, 1868, McFadden turned over to Lockwood, his interest in the Pioneer office, and for a short time, the business was run in the name of Lockwood & Toland.

In November, 1868, Lockwood & Toland sold the Pioneer office to Albert C. Tefft.

Mr. Tefft was not a practical printer, and says, in an issue of his paper, in February, 1871: “Not being a practical printer, we have had some bad luck in not presenting so ‘clean’ a sheet as we wished sometimes.”

Mr. Tefft purchased the business to keep, and by industry, economy and good management, has made it a success, when practical printers had failed, and as a reminder of this fact, Mr. Tefft says, in an issue of his paper of the 22d of February, 1871: “Two years ago, when we first took charge of the Pioneer, its proprietors informed us that it had never been a paying institution, but that each succeeding owner had lost money in trying to sustain it.”

In September, 1871, Mr. Tefft enlarged it to a nine column paper, of 24×30, and put a new head on it, making it a large and respectable paper, and which was a true index of the growth of Alpena.

A second paper was started in Alpena, in June, 1871, owned and edited by J. C. Viall, and called the Alpena Weekly Argus.

It is Democratic in politics, and a champion worthy the steel of the Pioneer, and will have a tendency to arouse the Republican proclivities of the editor who has had his own way so long that his Republicanism was becoming egotistical.

The Argus office and its contents were completely destroyed in the great fire of July 12th, 1872.

He had no insurance, but the people, with their usual generosity, soon helped the editor to renew his paper, and in 1876, it is a successful and important institution of the city.

Sabbath Schools and Churches.

Soon after J. K. Miller came to Fremont, lie commenced to teach a Bible class on the Sabbath, at the house of Daniel Carter.

The class consisted of only five persons, being the children of James S. Irwin and Cyrus Erwin.

In the spring of 1860, the first Sabbath school was organized, with J. K. Lockwood as superintendent; W. H. Potter, treasurer and librarian, and A. Hopper, secretary.

In the summer of the same year, the Rev. C. G. Bisbee came to Fremont, and soon after took charge of the Sabbath school, as superintendent.

Mr. Bisbee was a man of considerable talent; was well educated, but not a good orator.

He was a good man, kind and obliging, and won the love and regard of all who knew him; and no one ever left the place with more well-wishes than the first minister of Alpena.

He was industrious, and taught school for two years after he came to Fremont, partly for his support, as the then newly organized church did not feel able to wholly employ and pay a minister.

He held preaching services and Sabbath school in the first room over the store now occupied by J. Myers, on the corner of Second and Water streets.

As soon as Deacon Hitchcock had finished the court house, the church and Sunday school were held in it, and Mr. Bisbee continued superintendent until he went away, in the spring of 1865, when Deacon H. Hyatt was elected in his place.

Mr. Hyatt was followed as superintendent, in the spring of 1860, by Rev. W. D. Russell, who left Fremont in September of the same year, when Wm. D. Hitchcock, the present superintendent, in 1876, was elected.

Mr. Hitchcock has done much to elevate and systemize the school, and bring it up to a high standard of excellence, and has succeeded in gaining the affectionate regard of the children of his school; and will be remembered kindly by the coming generation, when those who occupy higher positions will be forgotten.

There is another name that has taken high rank in the annals of the first Sabbath school, and in the remembrances of the children, and which deserves honorable mention in this connection—Julia F. Farwell.

She has always taken a lively interest in the school, and done much for its advancement.

She always had charge of the class called the “Birds’ Nest,” being a large class of small scholars, and with her received elementary teachings.

In 1860, the whole number of scholars in attendance was twenty-five.

In 1866, the scholars had increased to 126.

In this year, the Episcopal Sabbath School was organized, and in 1867, the Methodist, Baptist and Catholic schools were organized, all of which drew more or less scholars from the old school; yet, in 1875, the scholars had increased to 193, divided into twenty-seven classes.

This school belongs to the First Congregational church, and is held in the church, being the first and largest school in Alpena.

The officers, in 1876, are as follows: Wm. D. Hitchcock, superintendent; T. M. Luce, assistant superintendent; Belden W. Smith, secretary; John D. Potter, treasurer; Eugene Motley. James Johnston and Charles Watrous, librarians; Henry S. Seage, George Nicholson, Mrs. W. H. Potter and Nannie Person, choir, and Mrs. F. H. Armstrong, organist.

Church Organization.

On the 2d of March, 1862, an organization was effected, under the name and style of “The First Congregational Church, of Alpena.”

The organic members were as follows: C. G. Bisbee, S. E. Hitchcock, Samantha Hitchcock, Julia F. Farwell, Elizabeth Mooney, Emily H. Plough, B. C. Hardwick and Lydia J. Martin.

The Rev. C. G. Bisbee was the first pastor, and held church in the upper room of a building, standing in 1876, on the corner of Second and Water Streets, and now called the Myers block, and continued to hold services there, until the court house was built, in 1863, on the corner of First and Washington Streets, and was then adjourned to the court house, and the church and Sabbath school continued to be held in the court house, until their church was finished and dedicated, and then law and gospel, that had so long been in such fearful proximity, was separated.

Gospel says: Steal not.

Law says: Steal by night and steal by day, but do it in a legal way.

The church is a wooden structure, costing $8,000, and was built all the way from 1865 to 1868, and dedicated October 4th, 1868.

A bell was purchased in 1860, and placed in the church, at a cost of $420. The value of the property, in 1876, is about $10,000.

Soon after the Rev. C. G Bisbee left the pastorate, his place was filled, for a short time, in 1864 and 1865, by the Rev. Thos. F. Hicks, and following him, the Rev. W. D. Russell filled the pulpit until 1866, when he left the place.

During the year 1867, services were held by the Rev. D. C. White, and the Rev. F. N. Barlow, a Baptist minister.

It must be borne in mind that, up to about this time, it required all the people in Fremont, without drawing any lines, to fill a church, “and they could hardly.”

In the latter part of 1867, the Rev. Rufus Apthorp accepted a call to the pastorate, and continued to officiate until 1870, when he was succeeded by the Rev. A. B. Allen, who fills the pastorate in 1876.

Baptist Church.

On the 15th day of October, 1867, steps were taken to organize the society, known as the First Baptist Society, of Alpena.

F. N. Barlow was the first minister. The organic members were as follows: P. M. Johnson, D. Carter, E. Harrington, C. L. Kimball, W. M. Sutton and John Nicholson.

Catholic Church.

In 1864, the Rev. Patrick Barnard Murray came to Alpena, in the interest of the Catholic Church, and held services and attended to the needs of the Catholic people, as best he could without a church.

In 1865, he purchased of David D. Oliver, all the land in Oliver’s addition to the city of Alpena, east of Chisholm Street, for $300, Oliver donating $100, for the purpose of building a church, and in 1866, the Rev. Murray succeeded in erecting a good and substantial church, and was dedicated as the Saint Bernard Church.

In the Catholic Church, the Bishop owns the church property in fee, and the presiding pastor or priest is president, secretary and treasurer of the local church.

As soon as the church was finished, a Sabbath school was commenced, and in 1870, a week day school was commenced, having about 100 scholars.

The Catholic churches count their members by families, and in 1876, Saint Bernard’s church numbered about 300 families, and was presided over by the Rev. Father John Van Gennip.

The schools, at this time, numbered 250 scholars in each, and taught by four teachers—the Sisters of Charity.

The value of the church property, in 1876, is $10,000.

If our dwellings in the spirit world are built up of the good deeds we do here to our fellow beings, and that each good deed is a separate piece of the structure, then we think that the Sisters own many of the best dwellings in the summer land, and many people, when they arrive there, Will be surprised and disgusted at the shabby looking dwellings they have erected.

Episcopal Church.

This church was organized on the first of February, 1865.

The Rev. G. O. Bachman was the first rector, and held his first services on the 9th of July, 1865.

He remained in charge of the church for eighteen months, and was relieved by the Rev. H. H. Brown, who remained in charge for six months, and was succeeded by the Rev. W. W. Rafter, in June, 1868, and who is still rector of the church, in 1876.

Public Library.

In the paper of 1868 and 1869, was a notice of a public library, kept at the residence of Chas. W. Richardson, and open to the reading public every Saturday.

Mrs. S. A. Mather, president; Mrs. H. R. Morse, secretary, and Mrs. C. W. Richardson, treasurer and librarian.

It is said to have been organize in 1864, by four ladies, and called “The Ladies’ Metropolitan Library.”

This was the first library, for public reading, in the village, and reflects much credit on the benevolent ladies, who got it up.

Long will they be remembered.



Soon after the writer was elected Justice of the Peace, in 1857, he purchased a justice docket and Tiffany’s Justice Guide, being the first docket and law book used in the county.

Ai the spring election of 1858, Daniel Carter was elected Justice of the Peace, and the writer, having no desire to do any business in the justice line, turned over to Mr. Carter his docket and law book.

Some time, during the summer of 1859, Leonard Jewell came into the river with a sail boat, having liquor on board, to sell.

As soon as he commenced to sell his liquor, J. K. Miller brought suit against him, before Daniel Carter.

There were, at that time, no lawyers in the town, and Mr. Carter, very young in the business.

However, it so happened that Obed Smith, who was then a Justice of the Peace, in St. Clair County, and who had some experience in law matters, was in Fremont, on a visit.

So Mr. Smith, after instructing Mr. Carter, in regard to his duty as Justice of the Peace, then acted as counsel for Mr. Miller.

The case was tried.

It was proved that he had sold liquor unlawfully, and he was fined.

The boat was anchored out in the stream, and the Constable had taken the rudder ashore, to prevent the boat leaving until they had got through with it.

Jewell pretended that his money, to pay the fine, was on board the boat, and requested the privilege of going after his money, which was readily granted, supposing that he could not go away without his rudder, but what was their surprise, when they saw him sailing out of the river, steering his boat with an oar.

There was no boat to chase him and bring him back, so they had to let him go, but he never came back to sell liquor.

This was the first law business transacted in the county.

Under the constitution of 1850, the Judiciary was changed, making eight Circuit Judges, and each presiding over certain districts, called Judicial Circuits.

This number was soon enlarged, and in 1857, Alpena was placed in the Tenth Judicial Circuit, which was composed of the following counties: Saginaw, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Iosco, Bay and Alpena, with unorganized counties attached to them for judicial and municipal purposes.

Subsequently, the Circuit was changed, and in 1876, Alpena is placed in the 18th Judicial Circuit, composed of the counties of Bay, Iosco, Alcona, Alpena, Presque Isle and Otsego.

The constitution of 1850, also fixed the salaries of all officers, and making the Circuit Judge’s at $1,500 a year, a sum barely sufficient to pay the board and traveling expenses of some of the Judges in the northern counties, and they were compelled to seek relief through the several Boards of Supervisors, who, in order to do justice, which the Legislature had not done, they were compelled to violate the laws of the State, and become a law unto themselves.

The first session of the Circuit Court was held in the Myers block, in October, 1860, and presided over by Judge Woodworth.

The court officers were: William R. Bowman, Sheriff, and Addison F. Fletcher, Clerk. Oliver T. B. Williams was the only resident lawyer.

He had moved to Fremont, in the spring of 1860.

He was a man of considerable ability, and in the fall of 1860, was elected first Prosecuting Attorney.

Judge Woodworth held but one or two sessions of court, and was succeeded by the Hon. James Birney, who held but one session of court each year, until the fall of 1865, when the Honorable Jabez G. Sutherland was elected.

Judge Sutherland held two sessions of court each year, until 1870, when he was elected to Congress.

The Hon. T. C. Grier was appointed to fill the vacancy, and held the May term for 1871.

Judge Grier died before the time of holding another session of the court, and the Hon. Sanford M. Green was elected to fill the judgeship, and who is the presiding Judge in 1876.

Alpena has been very fortunate in her selection of Circuit Judges.

All have been able lawyers, old and experienced jurists, and well headed.

The court officers, in 1876, are:

Thomas B. Johnston, Sheriff.

John Thompson, Under Sheriff.

George W. Jones, Deputy Sheriff.

Charles N. Cornell, Clerk,

Alexander McDonald, Deputy Clerk.

Victor C. Burnham, Prosecuting Attorney.

A. M. Haynes, Reporter.

John H. Stevens, Circuit Court Commissioner.

The Circuit Court continued to be held in the Myers block, until 1863, when the first session of the court was held in the, so-called, Hitchcock Court House, and all the county officers, and records, were moved there, and so remained, until 1870, when the building was destroyed by fire, and many of the records and papers were burned.

The court records, records of the Board of Supervisors, the records of marriages, deaths, naturalization, some assessment rolls, account books and vouchers.

The court and offices were then removed to rooms over Potter Brothers’ hardware store, where they remained until they again passed through the ordeal of fire, but this time without being scorched, as everything belonging to the court and records, were saved.

The Court was then held in the Union School house, until the Potter block was finished, when the court and county offices were removed to rooms prepared for them, over the hardware store of Potter Bros., where they remain in 1876.

The following are the members of the Alpena bar, in 1876: Obed Smith, J. B. Tuttle, R. J. Kelley, J. D. Turnbull, J. D. Holmes, J. H. Stevens, V. C. Burnham, A. R. McDonald.

All survived the Centennial year, excepting Obed Smith, who died at his residence, in Alpena, on the 20th day of November, 1876.

He was the oldest member of the bar, being an octogenarian.

He was admitted in 1852. He was a Mason, in good standing, and was buried with Masonic honors—the Alpena bar attending his funeral in a body.

He was one of the early settlers of Fremont, having built the first steam sawmill in the county, in 1859.

In 1865, he built the first bridge across Thunder Bay River, between Dock and Second streets.

He was active in business, temperate in habits, truthful in his expressions, and was just in his dealings with his fellow men.



The writer has given a list of the names appearing upon the first and original tax roll of the county, and the valuation of real estate and personal property, and the tax assessed to each person.

There seems to be some mistakes in this roll, which the writer has been able to point out below, and a discrepancy between this roll and the first highway tax roll, which he cannot explain.

Mr. Irwin, when he made the first assessment tax rolls, was inexperienced in township business.

He had no prior rolls to look at, and no one to instruct him in the matter, that was wiser than himself.

The property, to be assessed, was scattered from South Point to Middle Island, and the only way to reach it was by small boat, or foot it along an Indian trail along the lake beach.

The value of real estate, ah! what was it worth?

Any nominal sum that might be placed upon it.

Under those circumstances, would it be anything strange to find some mistakes?

It would be something unusual if there was not.

Real estate. Personal. Am’t of tax.

The first disbursement, from the road tax, was to pay for surveying a road, from near the mouth of Thunder Bay River to Devil river.

The first disbursement of the county funds was to pay J. K. Miller for making a transcript of the records of lands, from the counties of Mackinac and Cheboygan, which lands belong to Alpena County, and were recorded in those counties, while Alpena was a part of their territory.

The writer has given the valuation of property in Alpena County in 1858, and the amount of tax spread upon the tax roll, in order to show the financial condition of the county when it was organized.

And now it may not be uninteresting to the reader to give the assessed valuation of property in the county in 1875, and the financial condition of the city in 1876, as a contrast, and showing the rapid growth of the county; and also serving as a starting point for another Centennial.

At the annual meeting, on October 11th, 1875, the Board of Supervisors equalized the real estate and personal property in the city of Alpena and the several townships, subject to be taxed, as follows:

City of Alpena, $788,270 00

Township of Alpena, $100,000 00

Township of Long Rapids, $300,000 00

Township of Wilson, $299,256 00

Township of Ossineke, $350,000 00

A resolution was passed as follows:

Resolved, That the several Supervisors of the county of Alpena, are hereby authorized and directed, by the Board of Supervisors of Alpena County, to spread upon their assessment rolls for the year 1875, the following sums, and for the following purposes, to wit:


For contingent expenses, $2,400 00

For highway purposes, $1,496 28


For contingent expenses, $4,092 48

For highway purposes, $1,592 48


For contingent expenses, $8 400 00

For highway purposes, $521 73


For contingent expenses, $600 00

For highway purposes, $2,880,00

For school purposes, $700 00

And it was also, Resolved, That the several amounts to be raised for State and county purposes, for the year 1875, in the several townships and city of Alpena, in the county of Alpena, be apportioned as follows, to wit:

City of Alpena—State tax$ 325 00

County tax, $6,870 00

Township of Wilson—State tax,$ 122 50

County tax, $2,605 00

Township of Long Rapids—State tax, $123 00

County tax, $2,615 00

Township of Alpena—State tax, $41 00

County tax, $875 00

Township of Ossineke—State tax, $143 39

County tax, $3,035 00

These resolutions were adopted by the following vote: Ayes, Bedford, Lewis, Louden, Phelps, Spratt, Turnbull, White and Brackinreed.

Nays, none. Cornell, Clerk of Board.

In March, 1876, the Comptroller and Treasurer of the city of Alpena, made a report to the Mayor and Common Council, as follows:

From the Comptroller.

Gentlemen:—I would most respectfully submit the following report, in reference to the finances of said city, for the present fiscal year, beginning April 1st, 1875, up to March 20th,


Outstanding contingent orders, April 1, 1875, $ 901 61

Contingent orders issued since, $8,697 45

Outstanding fire orders, April 1, 1875. $406 75

Fire orders issued since, $2,250 47

Outstanding police orders, April 1, 1875, $345 38

Police orders issued since, $1,007 50

Outstanding street orders, April 1, 1875, $195 95

Street orders issued since, $2,807 08

Outstanding bridge orders, April 1, 1875, $34 40

Bridge orders issued since, $721 15

Outstanding engine bonds, $2,000 00

Coupons on above, $300 00

Interest on coupons, $24 66

Interest on orders redeemed, $310 53

Total, $20,002 92

Contingent orders redeemed to date, $7,557 10

Contingent orders now outstanding, $2,057 68

Fire orders redeemed to date, $2,322 47

Fire orders now outstanding, $324 74

Police orders redeemed to date, $1,262 88

Police orders now outstanding, $90 00

Bridge orders redeemed to date, $745 35

Bridge orders now outstanding, 10 15 Signed, J. D. TUENBULL. Comptroller.




In the spring of 1859, the first marriage was celebrated in Alpena County.

Miss Mary L. Carter being the first young lady that had come to the county as a permanent resident, assumed the right to be the first married; and in harmony with previous arrangements, it was recorded:

Married, March 10th, 1839, at the residence of the bride’s mother, by David D. Oliver, Esq., Justice of the Peace, George B. Melville to Mary L. Carter, both of Fremont.”

The record of marriages was burned in the court house, in in 1870, and not having any more of the records in his possession, the writer will not be able to notice any more of the early marriages of Fremont.

The records kept since the fire, shows that, from February 11th, 1871, to June 1st, 1876, two hundred and forty-four marriages, three hundred and sixty-seven births, and one hundred and ten deaths have been recorded.



This subject involves the feelings of so many persons now living in Alpena, that a full discussion of the subject cannot be had; and the writer would omit the subject entirely, did it not play so conspicuous a part in the early settlement of the county; for he would find it extremely difficult to use the truth so sparingly as not to contradict the conceived ideas of some, and not offend others.

Almost every town, when new, has had its “roughs,” and “spreeing” time, and Fremont was not an exception.

Pontiac, Oakland county, Michigan, was noted, in its early days, for its “spreeing,” and a facetious gentleman, well known there in 1840, by the cognomen of “Salt Williams,” who said he “had an altercation with a man, and told him to go to hell or Pontiac, and the great fool went to Pontiac.”

Fortunately most of the proprietors and early settlers of Fremont were temperate people, and opposed to the introduction and traffic of spirituous liquors; and consequently the “spreeing” season of Alpena was not long, but it was not without its evil effects.

The writer had been much annoyed and injured in his business, at Devil River, by the sale of whiskey to his men, by one Walter Scott, who resided near the mouth of Thunder Bay River, and fished, looked pine lands, and traded with the Indians.

A number of times his life and property had been in peril, during the drunken sprees of his men, and in one instance, his mill was shut down for a month, in consequence of a drunken spree of his men.

Those who live in a well settled country or in a city where, if a man gets drunk and abusive, he is taken care of by the Sheriff, Constable, or the Police, can form no adequate idea of the annoyance, hardship and peril that liquor makes in a new place.

There you must either abscond, or be prepared to defend yourself by physical force.

In the spring of 1862, the schooner Helen, from Saginaw, came into Thunder Bay River, to bring supplies for Walter Scott.

This happened on Sunday, and some of the writer’s men saw her come in, and knew that she would have liquor on board, as Scott had run out of that article toward spring.

So two or three were delegated, by the others, to go to Thunder Bay River and bring three gallons of whiskey.

We had finished the winter’s logging, and run the logs to the mill, and were intending to start the mill, to run night and day, that Sunday night, at midnight, but when the time came to start, we found only one man that could work, or could be trusted in the mill.

We had seen what was going on, and had placed in our pocket one of Colt’s revolvers, as a protector, while watching the mill.

Soon after daylight, in the morning, as we were standing in our door, we heard a loud noise in the men’s sleeping room, across the way, and soon an old German came down the steps, his face streaming with blood, and following him were three or four men.

We stepped quickly forward, and as we passed into the street, the old German passed us, going into the house.

We asked, what was the matter, but received no response.

We then passed on to meet the men, who said the German had committed some offense; had got drunk and went to bed and left them, and that they had gone to wake him up and give him hell.

Before they got through with their “yarn,” the German appeared with a shot gun, loaded with nine buck shot.

As soon as they saw the German with the gun, there was a scattering, each one dodging out of sight, as quick as possible, except one who was standing close to us, and did not at once take in the situation, but when he did, he clung to us for dear life.

The old German came within two rods of us, with the gun cocked and pointing at us, said: “Get out of the way or I will shoot.

I will kill him.”

We told the old man that he would do wrong to shoot us, for we could not get out of the way of the man; to put down his gun and go into the house, and we would settle the matter all right, and after talking, perhaps two minutes, which seemed a much longer time, he put down the gun and started for the house.

As soon as the gun was laid down, the man behind us ran and seized it by the muzzle, and gave it a whack across a log and narrowly escaped setting the gun off, pointing at his breast.

In the meantime, those who had been hidden away came out, swearing that they “would kill the Dutchman,” and all made a rush for the house.

We quickly made up our mind that we had business on hand, and we felt for our revolver and a small round stone, to grasp in the hand, to support it, and give weight to the blow, and started on the run for the house.

A number had reached it before us, some with sticks and other things they had picked up.

Two had reached the German and were whacking away at him.

As we went into the house, we reached from the shoulder, for every head that came in our way, until we came to the old man, whom we told to go upstairs, and on obeying, we followed him to the stairway.

By this time, those that their heads had come in contact with the hand that had the stone in it, were rushing for us, and to go up the stairs, when we turned round with the revolver in our hand, and with words well qualified, we told them that we would shoot the first man that made any more disturbance; for them to go home and get sober and pack up their things, for they would all be discharged, and go down on the schooner Helen.

This made a quietus.

We then sent the only sober man we had to Thunder Bay River, to engage the schooner to call at Devil River, on her way down.

The next day the schooner came in, and, reluctantly, they all went aboard.

Some were good men, and had been with us for a number of years, and we felt loth to let them go, but under the circumstances, we could not retain those and not the whole.

We then went to Detroit, by the way of Thunder Bay Island, and hired a new crew of men and women, and put them on board a small propeller, called the Clifton, that had just started to run on the shore, from Detroit to Alpena, and came up as far as Port Austin.

Here, the boat went into the harbor, to discharge some freight, and in backing out, she struck a rock and went on so fast, that she could not get off.

We then took all our freight and persons on shore, found a place where the ladies could stay, and went into camp with the men.

We were here two weeks before any craft came in, that could take us to Saginaw.

After reaching Bay City, we hired a craft to take us to Devil River, where we arrived, after four weeks’ absence.

Although we had succeeded in keeping the sale of liquor from Devil river, yet so long as it was sold within reach of the men, it was impossible to escape the pernicious effects of the occasional sprees, and we were pleased to learn that the parties, about to operate at Fremont, were opposed to the sale of liquor.

Soon after Mr. Miller came to Fremont, an informal meeting was had, at which were Daniel Carter, J. K. Miller, J. S. Irwin, A. F. Fletcher, and the writer, and it was verbally understood and agreed to use all proper means to keep the sale of spirituous liquors from Devil river and Fremont.

This was the first combination against whiskey, in the county, and although not very strongly bound together, yet firm enough to have kept whiskey from the place for a long time, had Mr. Miller not taken so much responsibility on himself, and left more for his neighbors.

Several attempts were made to sell liquor from small boats, but they were severely dealt with, and generally quit the place in disgust.

In 1859, J. K. Bingham came to Fremont, bringing with him a general assortment of goods, that he supposed would be needed in a new country, and among other things, a few barrels of assorted liquors.

He saw Mr. Miller, and requested him to store the goods in his warehouse, for a few days, until he could build a store.

Mr. Miller, learning that Mr. Bingham had liquors, refused to give it storage, and no other storehouse being in the place, Mr. Bingham was compelled to provide storage for his goods, which he did by landing them on the east side of the river, where he covered them with boards, set a watch over them day and night, and commenced to sell his liquors, and before Mr. Carter or the writer had any intimation of the facts, the business had got so far established, that it would require more effort than they wished to accept, and more responsibility than they wished to incur, under the circumstances, to stop it.

Mr. Bingham was a man of energy, had a fair education and address; had considerable means, and much influence at that time, as Moses Bingham was his son, and had been in Fremont for some time, and he was acquainted with Abram Hopper and others, from his part of the State.

He was not long in winning the respect and sympathy of a large portion of the citizens of the county.

Had Mr. Miller quietly taken possession of the liquor, and then notified his friends what he had, and all went to Mr. Bingham, in a body, and requested him to send the liquor away, and stating our reasons, he would have complied with our requests, and liquor, for a long time, might have been kept out of the place, with but little effort, had it been well directed.

Mr. Miller was very conscientious in regard to handling whiskey and tobacco, and so utterly refused to have anything to do with Mr. Bingham’s liquors, and for this hasty and conscientious act, he made an enemy of Mr. Bingham, alienated very much the sympathies of friends, lost much of his influence among the people, and caused himself, for many years, to be treated with discourtesy, by those who were in favor of the liquor traffic, and which sometimes took on a form of open abuse, which was not approved by the majority.

These abuses, after a time, extended to everyone who was opposed to seeing a drunken mob in the street, and finally culminated in a man, by the name of Crawford, being shot and killed.

This was a sad affair, and created much excitement and heated discussion at the time, the details of which cannot, with propriety, be given here, or at this time.

Whether this affair was a fortunate or unfortunate one, it did much good for the county.

It made a line of demarcation between rowdyism and law and order, and showed a large majority for the latter.

It showed the roughs, that they were not masters of the situation, as they supposed they were, nor did they receive the sympathy they expected from the people.

In 1867, a man by the name of Sprague, was arraigned before the Circuit Court, for heading a drunken mob, and fined, and whiskey, in large quantities, ceased to abuse people in the streets, and marked the end of the spreeing time of Alpena.

The same causes, which produced a change in the spreeing, also divided the people, in regard to the temperance question, and for some time a bitter feud was carried on between the parties.

In February, 1870, a temperance organization was effected, called the Temperance League of Alpena, its object being the suppression of the liquor traffic, in the place.

The officers of this powerful organization were: for President, Capt . A. E. Persons; for Secretary, F. S. Goodrich; for Treasurer, James J. Potter, and for executive committee, Wm. H. Potter, Scott Doane, Wm. D. Hitchcock, Christopher Burrell and T. M. Luce.

The following paper was drawn up, which explains itself; “We, the undersigned, agree to take the number of shares set opposite our names, at $5.00 each, subject to such assessments as the Executive Committee of the Temperance League may find necessary to make, in order to carry on the work of organization. The capital stock to be $2,000.00, or more.”

The names of the stock-holders are given, to show the power and influence of this combination against the sale of liquor. W. H. Potter, W. J. Roe, A. E. Persons, T. M. Luce, Balfor Lee, J. J. Potter, Scott Doane, J. D. Potter, Fred. S. Goodrich, W. D. Hitchcock, C. Burrell, F. H. Vroman, H. M. Jacobs, J. C. Park, Robert Rayburn, Samuel Dafoe, E. K. Potter, C. W. Vail, Henry S. Seage, B. R. Young, A. C. Tefft, A. N. Sprait, J. W. Marshall, F. S. Dewey, Benjamin Richards, James Oglevie, H. Cook, Rev. F. N. Barlow, C. C. Whitney, T. Lang Taylor, Z. M. Knight, M. B. Spratt, A. Miller, G. W. Jones, A. Crowell, A. L. Powers & Co, C. E. Wilcox, Wm. E. Rice, James Tuggy, Thos. G. Spratt, Herman Chamberlain, E. M. Raymond, Chas. N. Cornell, H. M. Hyatt, A. Hopper, A. F. Fletcher, P. M. Johnson & Co.. Folkerts & Butterfield, J. W. Van Horn, S. E. Hitchcock, C. H. Trask, W. H. Sexton, S. L. Meade, J. Van Dusen, Fred Miller, Geo. 11. Nicholson, E. C. Barlow, W. Nason, H. R. Morse, F. D. Spratt, D. G.Aber, T. Luce & Co., E. White, B. Williams, C. L. Kimball, Rev. A. B. Allen, D. Plough, C. H. Rice, Geo. Masters, W. McMasters, J. S. Minor, Douglass Scott, A. L. Seaman, and Hugh Mellen.

Many who were favorably inclined toward the temperance cause, refused to take stock in this combination, on account of the belligerent attitude, its extreme measures, and the bitterness then existing between the parties, alleging that action on the part of the League, would endanger the property of Alpena.

Among those were: Geo. N. Fletcher, David D. Oliver, Daniel Carter, and J. K. Lockwood.

The League went into operation, and for two years a fierce struggle ensued with various vicissitudes of success and defeat, the details, or discussion of which, cannot, with propriety, be given here, nor would they be amusing or instructive, if they could be.

It is enough to say, that the League never accomplished its object, and the animosity of the people was smothered in the great fire in 1872, which swept away much of the cause of contention, and mingled the sympathies of the citizens in the great calamity that had overtaken both parties.

Two criminal prosecutions were made, growing out of the affair.

Prejudice condemned the parties and sent them to prison, but justice liberated them, and sent them home, as nothing could be proved against them.

It is to be regretted that the temperance cause has been so extreme and intemperate in its movements.

Time, talent and money enough have been expended to have accomplished all necessary good that was sought, had it been properly directed.

While it will be readily conceded that much good has been done to persons and localities, through the cause, yet it would require but little argument to prove that it has utterly failed to destroy liquor or decrease its manufacture and sale.

The obvious reason is, that it has always tried to do too much at a time, and to have some events transpire before their antecedents; or, in other words, to do an impossibility.

Whenever it asked and obtained a passage of law in its favor, it was always so stringent that it was impracticable, and only led to litigation, without any good result.

When the temperance organizations shall cease to be so extreme in their views, and change their belligerent attitude—shall be willing to treat the opposition with as much respect and amiability as the Savior did Satan in the wilderness—shall endeavor to modify the cause, rather than cure effects—prefer making their own drunkards, to having them made by others; then they will make some headway against the monster that is destroying its thousands every year, and has, by repeated liberties in the shape of strictures by the temperance cause, grown to its maximum of poisonous effects.

The first society of Good Templars was organized sometime in 1866, but for some cause, soon became disorganized, the records of which the writer has not been able to find.

The present society of Good Templars was organized October 3rd, 1873, under the name and style of Alpena lodge, No. 775, I. O. of G. T.

The charter members were: J. J. Potter, D. P. Lester, K. M. Donnelly, John D. Potter, Alex. Campbell, Nettie Riddle, William Powell, J. D. Holmes, D. B. Hagarty, Mark Young, Johnson Hamilton, with J. J. Potter first Worthy Chief Templar. The following are the officers installed in Alpena lodge, No. 775, I. O. of G. T., May 5th, 1876:

W. C. T.—A. Harshaw.

W. V. T.—Miss Jennie Campbell.

W. S.—J. C. Brockler.

W. T.— H. A. McTavish.

W. M.—C. C. Snider.

W. I. G.—Miss Belle McKenzie.

B. H .S.—Miss Belle McNeil.

L. H. S.—Miss Ruby Huston.

W. C— H J. Eaton.

W. A. S.—Miss Mary Pickering.

W. F. S.—James H. McDonald.

W. D. M.—Miss Mary McTavish.

W. O. G.—John B. Cole.

Installing Officer.—Alex. Campbell.


We find the following prepared.

On December 28th, 1860, being St. John’s Day, the following officers were installed:

W. M.—Seth L. Carpenter.

S. W.—F. N. Barlow.

J. W.—A. Hopper.

Sec’y.—Charles Oldfield.

Treas.—William H. Potter.

S. D.—W. E. Rice.

J. D.—Geo. W. Hawkins.

Stewards.—John McKay, James A. Case.

Tyler.—Dennis Babcock.

“The Alpena lodge of F. and A. M. has enjoyed a greater degree of prosperity than any other lodge of its age in the State.

It was organized in 1865, when our town was very small, and it was difficult to find Masons enough who would remain in town until we could establish a lodge.

With true Masonic perseverance and industry, a dispensation was finally procured, and Bro. Wm. P. Maiden was appointed Master.

No brother could have been called to preside over the lodge, who would have devoted more of his time, talent and energy than did Bro. Maiden.

The lodge immediately commenced to thrive and flourish in the most satisfactory manner.

A hall was elegantly fitted up, over Hyatt’s bakery, and a large class of the most excellent citizens knocked at the door for admittance.

Every stranger admitted the work to be excellently done, and our members visiting other lodges were masters of their work.

Bro. M. was elected in 1866, and re-elected in 1867, during which time the lodge has been in most excellent condition, and has found it necessary to procure a larger hall, which it has done, over the drug store.

Bro. Maiden retires from the Mastership of the lodge, with a noble record and the gratitude of all his fellows.”

Bro. Carpenter, who succeeds him, is an excellent man and Mason, an accomplished scholar, and a worthy citizen, and no doubt will discharge the duties of his office with ability and honor.

Lodge 199, F. and A. M., was organized in 1865, but did no work until 1866, when they obtained a hall over Hyatt’s meat market, and proceeded, under a dispensation, to open the first lodge, with the following officers and members:

W. M.—William P. Maiden.

S. W.—Orin Erskine.

J. W.—Josiah Frink.

Sec’y.—James K. Lockwood.

Treas.—Chas. Rice.

S. D.—James J. Potter.

J. D.—David Plough.

Stewards.—O. H. P. Allen, Chas. B. Greely.

Tyler.—H. N. Harvey.

Members: John Newton, P. M. Johnson, Robt. J. Taylor,

A. C. Tefft, Geo. B. Erskine, and William Long.

Second W. M., Seth L. Carpenter; third W. M., Chas. H. Rice; fourth W. M., A. Hopper; fifth W. M., C. H. Rice; sixth W. M., L. B. Howard, in 1876.


Thunder Bay Chapter, No. 74, R. A. M., held its first convocation in Masonic hall, August 30th, 1870, working under a dispensation, but was chartered January 10th, 1871, the first officers of which were:

High Priest—Henry Bolton.

King—Charles H. Rice.

Scribe—William D. Hitchcock.

Charter members: Henry Bolton, W. D. Hitchcock, S. L. Carpenter, Alex. McDonald, Chas. Oldfield, A. C. Rice, Charles H. Rice, Geo. W. Hawkins, A. W. Smith, J. B. Erskine, Chas. B. Greely, F. N. Barlow.

Second High Priest, A. Hopper; third High Priest, W. D. Hitchcock; fourth High Priest, Z. M. Knight.


In 1868, A County Bible Society was organized, as auxiliary to the American Bible Society, by the election of the following officers:

President—Rev. F. N. Barlow.

Vice-President—C. L. Kimball.

Corresponding Secretary—Rev. Rufus Apthorp.

Treasurer—W. D. Hitchcock.

Executive Committee —Rev. John Maywood, O. Mather, H. Hyatt, Benjamin Richards and M. B. Spratt.


Was organized in May, 1870, with the following officers:

President;—William D. Hitchcock.

Vice-Presidents—C. T. Brockway and B. Richards.

Corresponding Secretary—Dr. McSween.

Recording Secretary—J. D. Holmes.

The Board of Managers were as follows: A. B. Blakely, A. D. Hermance, B. Haywood, J. M. Blakely and D. W. Campbell.


In September, 1868, the American Protestant Association was organized, at Evergreen Hall, entitled Pine Grove lodge No. 5.

The first officers elected are as follows: John Kesten, W. M.; Alex. Campbell, W. D. M.; John Smith, R. S., Dougal McArthur, F. S.; James Dixon, A. S.; William Waltenbury, Treasurer; John A. Sloan, Conductor; Henry Wickerson, Assistant Conductor; William Hamilton, Lt.; W. H. Harvey, O. T.; J. R. Beach, Chaplain.


The first notice for the organization of a band, appeared in the Pioneer of the 20th of June, 1868, through the instance of the writer, who first agitated the matter, and donated the first ten dollars toward purchasing the instruments, which cost the sum of $350.

On August 1st, 1868, the organization of the band was completed, by the election of the following officers:

President—P. M. Johnson.

Vice-President—Dr. Wm. P. Maiden.

Secretary—A. Hopper.

Treasurer—C. F. Lacy.

Directors—R. S. Toland, J. B. Tuttle, W. D. Hitchcock.

The band was composed as follows:

First Eb Cornet, Chas. F. Lacy.

Second Eb Cornet, F. A. Pennington.

Bb Cornet, Chas. Golling.

First Alto, Geo. F. Howard.

Second Alto, Thos. B. Johnston.

Third Alto, Scott Doane.

First Bb Tenor, Denton Sellick.

Solo Baritone, Abram Hopper.

Tuba, Sylvester Williams.

Tenor Drum, Robert S. Toland.

Cymbals, Willie B. Boggs.

Bass Drum, Joseph C. Park.

Mr. Howard, Teacher and Manager.


In April, 1874, a meeting was called, for the purpose of forming an agricultural society, but no action was taken at this time; but on the 30th of May, when the citizens of Alpena county met and organized the Alpena County Agricultural Society, by adopting a constitution and by-laws, and electing the following gentlemen directors to manage the affairs of the society for the first year: W. H. Potter, Seth A. L. Warner, J. K. Lockwood, James J. Potter, D. P. Buker, W. H. Phelps, James A. Case, Joseph Cavanagh, N. M. Brackinreed and W. H. Sanborn.

The object of the society was the promotion of agricultural, horticultural and domestic industry, by the use of competition prizes.

The officers shall be elected annually, by ballot, and shall consist of a President, a Vice-President in each organized township, who shall have the care of the society in his township, and shall be presiding officer of any meeting pertaining to the society in the absence of the President, a Secretary, Treasurer and Executive Committee.

The by-laws give the general duties of the officers and the general management of the society.

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Michigan…History of the Grand Traverse Region

Morgan L. Leach, M. D., was born in Clarence, now Lancaster, Erie County, N. T., April 6, 1821.

He came to Michigan in 1825, and his last visit to the State occurred in 1842, when he became a resident of Mundy, Genesee County.

Up to his thirteenth year Dr. Leach attended the old-fashioned district school.

By the death of his father, the main care of the family devolved upon him at the age of 20.

Deprived of school privileges, he made good use of such opportunities as fell to his lot, and gained a fair proficiency in some of the higher studies.

Later he turned his attention to medicine, and graduated from the Medical College of the University of Michigan, March 25, 1858.

In the war of the rebellion he served in the 1st Michigan Cavalry, and afterward as assistant surgeon in the 9th Michigan Cavalry.

On General Banks’ retreat from the Shenandoah Valley he was badly wounded, and fell into the hands of the enemy.

At the close of the war he resumed the practice of his profession, and at times engaged also in various business projects, together with literary work.

Dr. Leach was married to Mrs. Lemira M. Coy, of Duplaln, Mich., and after her death to Mrs. Emily Caroline Wisner, of Mayfleld, Mich.

For the last few years Dr. Leach has made his home at Traverse City, Mich.

Thomas Tomlinson Bates, of Traverse City, Mich., was born December 13, 1841, at Keeseville, N. T.

His father was Rev. Merritt Bates and his mother was Eliza A. Tomlinson, of the old New York family.

His father was a Methodist Episcopal clergyman, and an active and uncompromising anti-slavery man through all the 35 years preceding the civil war.

He was educated in the public schools, and at 16 began life for himself.

A year later he was general helper in a bank at Glens Falls, N. Y.

At 18 he occupied an important position in a banking house in Memphis, Tenn., but came north at the outbreak of the civil war.

He removed to Traverse City in 1863, was cashier for Hannah, Lay & Co. two years, and resigned to open a real estate office with Hon. D. C. Leach, whose interest in the business he bought in 1871.

In 1876 he bought from its owner, D. C. Leach, the Grand Traverse Herald, a paper established by his uncle, Hon. Morgan Bates,

In 1858, and he has been editor and publisher ever since.

In 1897, in connection with J. W. Hannen, he established the Morning Record, changing it in 1901 to an evening publication.

Both papers are republican in politics, Mr. Bates having always taken an active part in the work of that party in the State.

Though never a political office-holder, with the exception of the position of postmaster, he was several years chairman of the township and county committees, and he also served ten years, from 1880 to 1890, as a member of the State Central Committee, the longest consecutive service ever given on that committee by any member of the party.

He has been a member of the board of trustees of the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, located at Traverse City, since it was opened, in 1886, was president of the board for seven years, and was also a member, and chairman, of the building commission of the same institution.

He Is president of the Traverse City Railroad Company, and has been on its board of directors since its organization in 1871, and has in every way been active In the development of Northern Michigan.

He was married in 1867 to Miss Martha Cram of Traverse City, and his family consists of one son.

George G. Bates, who is in the publishing business in Chicago, and two daughters, who reside at home.

The work of collecting materials for a history of the Grand Traverse region was commenced without any well-settled purpose as to the use to be made of them, further than to put them in shape convenient for preservation, for the benefit of some future historian.

As the work progressed, the abundance and richness of the material obtained made it evident that a work might be written of great interest to the present generation.

How far the writer has succeeded in the attempt, remains for his readers to determine.

A few simple principles have guided the author in the execution of the work.

It has not been written in the interest of any person, party, or clique.

To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and to make of the truth an interesting narrative, has been his constant aim.

In case of conflicting testimony, of which there have been but a remarkably small number of instances, he has carefully and impartially examined and weighed the evidence, and has given the statement of what to him appeared to be the truth, without fear or favor.

It should be borne in mind that this is a local history; hence it properly contains elaborate descriptions of local events and incidents, and reminiscences of personal adventure, that would be out of place in a history of a State or a nation.

That the work is imperfect cannot be denied; that it contains inaccuracies of minor importance is highly probable.

Should it ever attain to the honor of being published in book form, the author will be glad to avail himself of all possible aids in correcting in that edition the faults of this.

To this end, friendly criticism and communication of further interesting facts are cordially invited.

M. L. Leach.

Traverse City, December, 1883.


The Dim and Shadowy Past—An Ancient People—What is Known of Them—Mounds and Earthworks—Ancient Manufactories of Stone Arrow-heads—Pottery—Copper Ornaments—

Probabilities in Regard to the Occupation of the Grand Traverse Country by the Mound-Builders.

The history of a country differs in some points from the history of a people.

The latter traces a people through all their migrations, and portrays their life in the different countries they have occupied; the former confines its investigations to a single country, and treats of all the different peoples that have at any time inhabited it.

In our inquiry regarding the early occupancy of the Grand Traverse country, we soon pass beyond the domain of authentic record, into the dim and shadowy realm of conjecture.

When the white man came, he found the Indian here; but the Indian had been preceded by another people.

Of that other people there is no tradition, or at most but a very vague and uncertain one.

All we know of them is gleaned from scattered and scanty monumental remains, brought to light by accident or the researches of the antiquarian.

Yet these remains are sufficient to enable us to construct a theory of their civilization, religion, and civil polity, having a tolerable degree of probability.

This ancient people have been named the Mound-Builders, from the numerous mounds of earth, some of them of immense magnitude, found in those parts of the country they inhabited.

They were an agricultural people, having made considerable advancement in the arts of civilization.

They manufactured pottery of clay, and various implements, weapons, and ornaments of stone and copper.

They constructed extensive earthworks for religious uses.

They worshiped the sun.

They offered human sacrifices by fire.

They offered sacrifices of their most valuable goods, on altars made of burnt clay, and then covered up altar and ashes, and the burned fragments of the offerings with mounds of earth.

They laid their honorable dead in shallow graves, and heaped huge mounds of earth above them.

The mysterious rites of sepulture were celebrated by the aid of fire, and sometimes a human victim was sacrificed above the grave.

The writer has in his possession the fragments of a burned human skull found in a mound in such a situation as to warrant the above statement.

Two bodies had been laid in shallow graves, and a mound partly built above them.

On a level spot, on the gartly-built mound, a body had been burned, and then the bed of ashes, with the burned ones lying upon it, had been covered with earth by the completion of the mound.

Their government, whatever its form, was strong enough to control the mass of the people, and hold together large bodies of men in the service of the State.

They built extensive fortifications, in positions well chosen for defense, that in primitive methods of warfare, must have been well-nigh impregnable.

They carried on an extensive internal commerce, exchanging the products of one region for those of another.

Such are some of the facts antiquarians have been able to establish in regard to the ancient people who, long ages ago, had their seat of power in the Mississippi valley, and spread their colonies over the country from the Alleghenies to the Rocky Mountains, and from the great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

There is indubitable evidence that the Mound-Builders wrought the copper mines of Lake Superior—that the work was carried on by large bodies of men through a period of hundreds of years—but evidence that they established permanent settlements there is wanting.

The most reasonable theory is that the laborers spent the summer in the mines, but retired for the winter to a more genial clime; hence it becomes an interesting problem to determine the northern limit of their permanent abode.

It is evident that they had populous settlements in some of the more fertile districts of the southern part of the State.

Farther north their remains are found less frequently, and are of a less imposing character.

Characteristic earthworks (whether built for defense or for civil or religious purposes is uncertain) are found in Ogemaw county.

Mounds are known to exist in Manistee County.

That outlying colonies extended north to the Grand Traverse country scarcely admits of a doubt.

Around Boardman Lake, near Traverse City, several small mounds formerly existed, some of which have been destroyed in the search for relics.

Several sum 11 burial mounds have been opened within the village limits.

The sites of several ancient manufactories of stone arrow-heads have been found.

Boardman River in Traverse City, such a location was discovered, marked by the presence of great numbers of chips of flint, or hornstone, the refuse of the material used for making the arrow-heads.

At Charlevoix the soil for a foot or more in depth on the top of the bluff north of the mouth of the river contains great numbers of these flint chips, together with some unfinished arrow-heads that were spoiled in making and thrown away.

Another well-marked site of an arrow-head manufactory is on the farm of John Miller, on the north shore of Pine lake, about a mile from the village of Boyne City.

Fragments of ancient pottery, having the markings common to the pottery attributed to the Mound-Builders, are found at the locality last mentioned, and also within the village limits of Boyne City, as well as sparingly in other places.

At Charlevoix, in excavating a cellar, an ancient grave was opened, in which were found a great number of beautifully-finished flint arrowheads and a quantity of copper beads.

In the same locality, some boys amusing themselves by running up and down the steep bank of the “Old River,” discovered a piece of copper protruding from the gravelly bank.

An examination resulted in the finding of two knives and two bodkins, or piercing instruments, all of copper.

The evidence seems conclusive that the Mound-Builders, the most ancient inhabitants of the territory of the United States of whom we have any knowledge, had extended their scattered frontier settlements into the Grand Traverse country.

Here, perhaps, mining expeditions from the more populous south called to make their final preparations for the northern summer trip, and here some of the returning miners were accustomed to spend the winter.

That ancient people have long since disappeared.

Of the reason and manner of their disappearance no record remains, except, perhaps, a vague and shadowy tradition, which seems to imply that they retired towards the south before the fierce and savage race that succeeded them in the occupancy of the country.


Migrations of the Ottawas—First Meeting of the Ottawas and Chippewas —The Three Brothers—

The Underground Indians—The Mush-quah-tas —An Unpardonable Insult—A Tribe Blotted Out.

When northern Michigan first became known to the white man, the Ottawa’s, a tribe of the Algonquin family, occupied the region now known as the Grand Traverse country.

Their origin as a tribe is veiled in the

It may be objected that the Indiana made and used flint arrow-heads and stone axes, and that therefore the finding of these relics is no evidence of the former presence of the Mound-Builders.

I freely admit the possibility that in the cases mentioned the arrowheads were made by the Indians, but I am fully convinced that at least three-fourths of all the stone implements and ornaments found in the United States are the work of the Mound-Builders.

In regard to the pottery of the Grand Traverse country, its marking and general appearance place it with the pottery of the Mound-Builders.

As to the copper ornaments and implements, the fact is well established that the Indians knew nothing of the copper mines, and did not put copper to any practical use till the white men taught them now. .

obscurity of the past.

Tradition says that they came from the east, advancing up the Ottawa River, in Canada, and then westward by way of the north shore of Lake Huron and the Manitoulin Islands.

The reason for the migration is not known.

There may have been no special reason beyond the common exigencies of savage life which necessitate removal, or they may have been influenced by the proximity of their fierce and powerful neighbors, the Iroquois, with whom they were always at war.

The advance westward was slow and gradual, being interrupted by pauses of varying duration.

At the great Manitoulin Islands the tribe for a long time made their home.

At Sault Ste. Marie they first met the Chippewa’s, who inhabited the country bordering on Lake Superior.

The two tribes were mutually surprised to find that, though previously each had had no knowledge of the existence of the other, their languages were so nearly alike that they could converse intelligibly.

A council was held, the subject was discussed, and the history of each tribe rehearsed, but the tradition does not tell us that the mystery of the likeness of the languages and the probable consanguinity of the tribes was solved.

The Ottawa’s were brave and warlike.

As they advanced westward they fought and vanquished those who opposed their progress; with those that were friendly they smoked the pipe of peace.

Friendly intercourse with the Chippewa’s and Pottawattamie’s resulted in the formation of a sort of loose confederacy of the three tribes, who styled themselves, “The Three Brothers.”

During the period of the earlier intercourse of the whites with the Indians of the Northwest these tribes seem to have held undisputed possession of nearly the whole of the Lower Peninsula.

The Ottawa’s remained for some time established in the vicinity of the Straits before they extended their settlements along the shore of Lake Michigan.

During this period, though they were at peace with their immediate neighbors, they gratified their thirst for battle by frequent warlike expeditions against distant tribes.

They often passed south around the head of Lake Michigan, and westward beyond the Mississippi, sometimes, it is said, extending their forays almost to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

They brought home many western prisoners.

Some of these were called by the Ottawa’s, Underground Indians, on account of their custom of digging pits in the ground for dwellings.

The Underground Indians were brave and intelligent, and made excellent counselors.

The captors often intermarried with their captives, and the descendants of the latter, in many cases, were closely related to the royal families of the Ottawa’s.

Some of the most noted Ottawa chiefs of later times were descended from the Underground Indians.

At that time a portion of the present county of Emmet was the home of a small tribe, called the Mush-quah-tas.

Their principal village was situated in a beautiful valley in the northeast part of the township, now called Friendship.

The name of the tribe signifies, “The People Who Roam over the Prairies.”

They were of Algonquin stock, as is proved by the fact that their language resembled the Ottawa, while the tribal name and their recognized affinity to the Underground Indians seem to point to a western origin.

The Mush-quah-tas were intelligent, peaceable, and industrious, cultivating large fields of corn, and seldom going on the warpath.

They had been on friendly terms with the Ottawa’s since the arrival of the latter in the country, though it is probable that some degree of concealed ill-will existed on both sides.

It was a sad day for the Mush-quah-tas, when, by their own foolish act, these friendly relations were disturbed.

There was a small village of the Mush-quah-tas on the lake shore, at what is now called Seven-Mile Point.

A small party of Ottawas, returning in their canoes from an expedition against the Sacs, having lost some of their comrades, as they came near the village, commenced wailing for the dead, according to the Indian custom.

The Mush-quah-tas, hearing the distant sounds of grief, instead of preparing to join in the mourning, as would have been proper, rashly determined to express in an emphatic manner their disapproval of the marauding expeditions of their neighbors and their contempt for those who engaged in them.

Accordingly, as the canoes touched the beach, their occupants were pelted by the young men and boys of the village with balls of ashes wrapped up in forest leaves.

The Ottawa’s retired sullen, burning with the spirit of revenge, and soon reported the occurrence to their own people.

To the proud Ottawa’s, the insult was such as could only be wiped out with blood.

A joint council of the Ottawa’s and Chippewa’s was held, in which it was determined, if possible, to annihilate the Mush-quah-tas.

Living in the principal village of the Mush-quah-tas, was an old man and his two married sons.

Whether the old man, hearing of the affair at Seven-Mile Point, shrewdly surmised that the insulted Ottawa’s would seek a bloody revenge, or, as the tradition seems to imply, was impressed with a true prophetic presentiment of coming evil, he faithfully warned the people that their village would soon be overwhelmed by enemies, and earnestly counseled retirement to a place of safety.

Finding his counsel disregarded, he, with his sons and their families, removed to the shore of Little Traverse bay, fixing his temporary abode near the present site of Harbor Springs.

It may have been that a calm summer’s night had nearly passed away.

The first faint glimmering of light in the east heralds the approach of morn.

The village of the Mush-quah-tas is still wrapt in slumber.

The sleeping mother gently clasps her baby to her breast, unconscious of approaching danger.

The maiden dreams of her lover; the young man of glorious feats of the chase or of war.

The old brave lives over again the experiences of the youth or dreams of the happy hunting ground to which he is hastening.

Dark forms, crouching in the shadows, are stealthily approaching, on this side a long line of Ottawa braves, on that their friends and allies, the Chippewa’s.

The lines close round the doomed village.

Home of the crouching figures are already at the very doors.

So noiseless and stealthy has been the approach that not even the watchful dogs have been alarmed.

Suddenly there bursts upon the night air a sound to make the blood curdle, a deafening chorus of demoniac yells, as if uttered in concert by a legion of frantic furies.

Full well the startled Mush-quah-tas know the fearful import of that sound, the war whoop of their enemies.

Full well they know there is no avoiding the death struggle.

The old brave reaches for his war club, and the young man strings his bow, but their assailants are quick and powerful, and the stone hatchets are wielded with terrible effect.

Crushed and mangled they go down, slain but not conquered.

The maiden covers her face with her garment and quietly bows her head to the fatal blow.

The mother loosens her clasp of her frightened infant, seizes the nearest weapon, and, with the fierceness of a tigress at bay, springs upon her foes.

Her blows tell, but fierceness cannot long avail against strength and numbers. She falls mortally wounded.

Her dying eyes are turned lovingly upon her child.

A brawny warrior seizes it by the feet, whirls it high in air, dashes it with crushing force upon the earth, and flings its bleeding and lifeless body upon its mother’s bosom.

The surprised Mush-quah-tas, taken at a disadvantage, make a brave fight, but victory does not long waver in the balance.

As the sun rises upon the scene, all the inmates save one of that doomed village lie stark and bloody on the ground, or are being consumed in the rapidly-burning wigwams.

The revenge of the insulted Ottawa’s is complete.

This battle, says the Ottawa tradition, was one of the most terrible ever fought in this region.

Only a young man escaped, who carried the news of the disaster to the three families at Little Traverse bay.

Some of the Mush-quah-tas living in the small outlying villages escaped.

The remnant of the tribe removed toward the south and established themselves near the St. Joseph river, where for a time they enjoyed a degree of prosperity.

But they were not safe.

After intercourse had been opened between the French and the Ottawa’s, and the latter had been supplied with guns and axes by the French traders, it occurred to them that these implements would be effective in battle.

Anxious to put them to the test, they resolved to try their effectiveness on their old enemies, the Mush-quah-tas, who as yet were unacquainted with firearms.

Accordingly, an expedition was fitted out, destined for the St. Joseph.

As the Ottawa’s approached the village of their enemies, each man carrying a gun, the Mush-quah-tas mistook the weapons for clubs, and came out with their bows and arrows, anticipating an easy victory.

But they were soon undeceived, and suffered a second crushing defeat, from the effects of which they never recovered.

The tribal organization was dissolved, and the few Mush-quah-tas remaining alive were scattered among the neighboring tribes.

After the destruction of the principal village of the Mush-quah-tas and the removal of the remnant of the tribe to the St. Joseph, the Ottawa’s gradually extended their settlements toward the south, along the shore of Lake Michigan.

In the forest were plenty of beaver, marten, and otter, but not many deer.

At the approach of winter, they generally went south to hunt, returning in the spring.

The fish in the lakes, during the proper season, furnished an abundant supply of food.

They were caught in gill nets made of twine manufactured from the inner bark of the slippery elm (Ulmus fulva).

The manufacture of the twine was a part of the work of the women.

The bark was macerated in the lye of wood ashes, to remove the mucilage, beaten to separate the fibers, and spun by hand.

It was the work of the women, also, to dress the game, cure the skins, cultivate their limited corn-fields, pound the corn in wooden mortars and prepare the hominy, gather the fuel, and perform the general drudgery of the household.

The men, when not engaged in fishing or the chase, or in forays into the homes of distant tribes (for all distant tribes were considered lawful plunder), reclined in listless idleness in the shelter of their bark wigwams, or engaged in the athletic sports common among the Al gonquin people.

We see in the Ottawa’s what may be called a fair average example of Indian character.

In common with others, they were brave, suspicious, treacherous, generous as friends and cruel and implacable as enemies.

Marquette says that they were addicted beyond all other tribes to foulness, incantations, and sacrifices to evil spirits, but the estimates of Indian character of all the early Jesuit missionaries should be taken with many grains of allowance.

As a tribe the Ottawa’s were never strong in numbers.

Their own tradition says they were more numerous at the time of Pontiac’s war than ever before, and that that period was the most glorious of their existence; yet historical records seem to show that they could not bring more than a few hundred warriors into the field.


Jesuit Missionaries—Principal Missions—Point St. Ignace—Father Marquette—First White Men in the Grand Traverse Country—L’Arbre Groche—Schemes of Pontiac—Massacre at Mackinac—Father Jonois—The English Prisoners Carried to L’Arbre Groche—The Release.

When, about the year 1650, the Huron settlements at the southeastern extremity of the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron were broken up by the victorious Iroquois, and the people scattered in various directions, a remnant, known as the Tobacco nation, migrated towards the northwest and fixed their abode on the Island of Mackinac.

There they were joined by a band of Ottawa’s from the Isle des Allumettes of the Ottawa river, the ancient home of the Ottawa nation, and, it is said, by some Ottawa’s and other Algonquin’s from the western shore of Lake Huron.

After remaining several years at Mackinac, and finding themselves still harassed by their enemies, they moved again westward, and took possession of the islands at the entrance of Green bay.

From thence they migrated southward and westward, coming in contact with the Illinois, and afterward, on the banks of the Mississippi, with the Sioux.

Quarreling with the Sioux and being driven from their country, they retreated to Point St. Esprit, near the Islands of the Twelve Apostles, in the southwestern part of Lake Superior.

The Jesuit missionaries, who had done some of their most successful work among the Huron’s, followed the flying remnants of their flock into the depths of the northwestern wilderness.

Two principal missions were established, one named St. Esprit, at the point of that name, on Lake Superior, the other at Sault Ste. Marie.

About 1760 a third mission was founded at Green Bay.

The mission at St Esprit was of short duration.

About 1671 the Sioux commenced open hostilities upon the Huron’s and Ottawa’s and so terrified them that they abandoned their settlement and fled.

Marquette, who was in charge of the mission, followed his panic-stricken flock.

They coasted Lake Superior, passed the mission at the Sault, and descended the St. Mary’s river.

The Huron’s stopped in the vicinity of Mackinac, fixing their abode on Point St. Ignace.

The Ottawa’s continued on to the Great Manitoulin Island.

The Huron’s were afterwards joined at St. Ignace by bands of Ottawa’s from those occupying the country in the vicinity of the Straits.

A new mission was now established at St. Ignace, and placed in charge of Marquette.

The missions were centers from which radiated influences that, in a wonderful degree, affected the lives and fortunes of the Indians.

Each was in reality a sort of triple establishment, consisting of the mission proper, under the control and management of the zealous, determined, and wily Jesuits, a military post, kept by an officer and a few French soldiers, and a straggling village, inhabited by a motley company—traders, adventurers, and voyageurs—Frenchmen, Indians, and half-breeds.

Unlike the English the French colonists readily adapted themselves to the manners and customs of the Indians.

A few Frenchmen brought their wives to the western wilderness, but no disgrace attached to the marrying of an Indian woman, and in many localities families of mixed blood became the rule, rather than, as in the English border settlements, the exception to the rule.

The salvation of souls, the aggrandizement of the Society of Jesus, and the glory of France were the objects aimed at by the leading spirits of the mission, to which the greed of gain, manifested in much sharp practice in trade, was scarcely subordinated.

So cleverly was the intercourse with the Indians planned and executed, through a long series of years, that the northwestern tribes became the firm friends and allies of France.

During the war between France and England, ending with the surrender of Canada to the English in 1760, commonly called in this country the French and Indian war, though living far distant from the principal theater of action, they rendered valuable service to the French.

It is said that even on the farthest shores of Lake Superior, the wigwams of Indian braves were garnished with English scalps.

The Grand Traverse country came properly within the territory over which the mission at St. Ignace essayed to establish politico-ecclesiastical control.

For two years after the establishment of the mission, Marquette was its animating spirit.

Popular belief credits him with having preached the gospel to the Ottawas along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, but it is not sustained by the record.

There is no evidence that he ever visited the beautiful wilderness country bordering on Grand Traverse and Little Traverse bays, or that he even coasted along the shore.

It is probable that his arduous duties at the mission left no time for extended journeys, and that he found ample opportunity for the fullest exercise of his persuasive powers on the residents and visitors of St. Ignace.

With Marquette it had long been a cherished project to visit the great river of the west, the Mississippi, wonderful accounts of which he had received, while at St. Esprit, from the Illinois and the Sioux, who visited him there.

When, after two years’ residence at St. Ignace, he was permitted to set out on his tour of discovery, in company with Joliet, he passed westward to Green Bay, and then to the Mississippi by way of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers.

Returning, he passed up the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers, crossed the portage to the Chicago, and from the mouth of that stream coasted along the western shore of the lake to Green Ray.

After spending the winter and summer there, he set out on a visit to the Illinois, taking the route of the western shore of the lake and the portage to the Des Plaines.

On his return, in the spring of 1675, he started to coast for the first time along the eastern shore of the lake.

A disease from which he had long been a sufferer assumed increased violence, and it soon became evident that he could not long survive.

At the mouth of a little river, supposed to be somewhere north of the stream that bears his name, he peacefully passed away, and was buried by his faithful attendants, Pierre and Jacques, who then pursued their lonely journey to St. Ignace.

A year afterwards a party of Ottawa’s returning from their annual winter hunt opened the grave, washed and dried the bones, enclosed them in a box of birch bark, and carried them to St. Ignace, where they were received with solemn ceremony, and buried beneath the floor of the little chapel of the mission.

It is possible that some devoted and adventurous missionary, burning with a desire to promote the spiritual welfare of the Ottawa’s of the Grand Traverse country, had visited them in their own villages, or that some trader, bent on schemes of profit, had coasted along its western border or even penetrated the interior previous to the death of Marquette, but, if so, there is no record of it.

As far as we know, Pierre and Jacques, lonely and sorrowful, returning in their canoe to St. Ignace, were the first white men to look upon the placid waters of the two beautiful bays, one of which gives its name to the country.

The next was La Salle’s lieutenant, Henri de Tonty, who, with a party of men, passed southward along the shore, late in the autumn of 1679, and, after great hardship and suffering, joined his commander at St. Joseph.

Since the death of Marquette, nearly a century had rolled away, when the stirring events of Pontiac’s war furnished material for an interesting chapter of the history of what was then the northwestern wilderness.

Some of those events fall properly within the scope of the present narrative.

In the Grand Traverse country and the region adjacent some important changes had taken place.

A military post had been established at Mackinaw, not on the island of that name, but on the south side of the Straits, at the place which, since the military occupation of the island, has been known as Old Mackinaw.

Around the fort had grown up a little French village.

It is said there were thirty families living within the palisade, and as many more in the immediate vicinity.

The Huron’s had left St. Ignace, and settled at Detroit and Sandusky, where they had taken the name of Wyandots.

The mission had been transferred from St. Ignace to L’Arbre Croche (The Crooked Tree), south of the Straits. L’Arbre Croche seems to have been used by the French as a general name for the Ottawa settlements along the shore of Lake Michigan in the western part of what now constitutes the county of  Emmet.

The village of L’Arbre Croche proper, so named from a crooked pine tree, a conspicuous and convenient landmark for the voyageurs coasting in their canoes along the shore, was on the site of Middle Village of the present day.

Another landmark, conspicuous to the hardy voyageurs of those days, was a huge cross of cedar timber, standing on the brow of the bluff, at what is now, from the circumstance, called Cross Village.

Whether it was erected by Father Jonois, or someone who preceded him, is not known.

By whomsoever erected, it has stood there till the present day, being repaired or renewed by the willing hands of the Catholic Ottawa’s when natural decay made repair or renewal necessary.

The Ottawa’s of L’Arbre Croche, under their head chief, Nee-saw-kee, could muster 250 warriors.

Many of them were nominal Catholics.

Profiting by the instruction of the missionaries, they had made some advancement in civilization, and cultivated the ground to a greater extent than formerly.

South of L’Arbre Croche, in the western part of the Michigan peninsula, there were other settlements of Ottawas, and there was a strong hand in the vicinity of Detroit, under the immediate chieftainship of the renowned Pontiac.

The principal village of the Chippewas in the northern part of the peninsula was on Mackinac Island.

The village contained a hundred

Parkman, in his History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac, says that the name of the Ottawa chief at L’Arbre Croche has not survived in history or tradition.

This is a mistake.

His name, Nee-saw-kee is familiar to the Ottawa’s of today.

His grandson, Neesaw-wa-quat, a chief of the Little Traverse Indians, died in 1867.

warriors. There was another smaller village at Thunderbay, where dwelt their chief, Minavavana.

There were also numerous settlements of the Chippewas in the Saginaw valley and on Grand River.

A part of the Wyandots, as we have already seen, were living at Detroit, and the Pottawattamies occupied the southwestern portion of the peninsula.

Theoretically, the peninsula, or at least the northern part of it, belonged to the Ottawas and Chippewas, the former claiming the western and the latter the eastern portion, the boundary between them being an imaginary line drawn due south from the fort at Mackinaw.

At the close of the French and Indian war, in accordance with the terms of capitulation agreed to by the French at Montreal, all the military posts of the northwestern wilderness passed into the hands of the English.

The Indians throughout the region were the enemies of the English and the firm friends of the French.

It was with ill-concealed displeasure that they saw the English come among them.

The haughty and sometimes brutal treatment received from the latter, so different from the easy familiarity and kindness of the French, instead of tending to allay the irritation, had only the effect of increasing it.

The first English traders at Mackinaw, who came after the removal of the French garrison and before the English troops arrived, ventured there at their peril.

They succeeded in propitiating the Chippewas, but the Ottawas of L’Arbre Croche, a strong body of whom were at Mackinaw, were bent on mischief.

The traders saved their goods, and perhaps their lives, only by arming their followers, barricading themselves in a house, and holding the Ottawas at bay till the arrival of the troops assured some degree of security.

Pontiac, an Ottawa by birth or adoption, having won distinction at the head of a numerous body of his braves at the memorable battle of the Monongahela, contributing not a little to the defeat of Braddock’s army, now smarting under wrongs both fancied and real, and foreseeing the probable ruin of his people before the increasing strength of the English, conceived the bold plan of cutting off all the frontier military posts almost at a single blow.

So well were the arrangements of the wily chieftain carried out that, in a short time, with the exception of the garrison at Detroit, not a British soldier remained in the region of the great lakes.

The fall of Mackinaw, next to Detroit the most important post in the western country, has been a theme of thrilling interest to both the historian and the writer of romance.

In the events grouped around the tragic fate of the garrison, the people of the region the history of which we are endeavoring to trace bore a conspicuous part.

When, towards the end of May, 1763, the Chippewas of Mackinaw heard that Pontiac had already struck Detroit, they at once resolved on the immediate destruction of the English at the fort.

Their number had recently been largely increased by the arrival of several bands from other localities.

Though confederate with the Ottawas of L’Arbre Croche, they determined to proceed independently of the latter, securing all the plunder and glory to themselves.

It was the 4th of June, the birthday of King George.

The Chippewas came to the fort, inviting the officers and men to come out and witness a game of baggattaway, their favorite ball-play, which had been arranged between them and the Sacs, several bands of whom, from the Wisconsin River, were encamped in the vicinity.

The unsuspecting commander allowed the gates to be thrown wide open, and some of the soldiers went out to watch the game.

The Indian women collected near the entrance, each with a weapon concealed under her blanket.

When the excitement of the game had apparently reached its height, the ball received a blow that sent it over the palisade, into the area of the fort.

It seemed an accident, but was really a well-executed part of the plan of attack.

In an instant there was a rush of players through the gateway, as if to recover the ball, but, as they passed the women, each snatched a weapon, and fell upon the nearest unsuspecting and defenseless Englishman.

The bloody work was quickly completed, and a general cry was raised of “All is finished.”

There were at the fort 34 officers and soldiers, constituting the garrison, and four traders.

Of these, one officer, 15 soldiers, and one trader were killed.

The others were made prisoners.

Of the prisoners, five soldiers were soon afterwards killed by an infuriated brave who had not been present at the assault and took this method of expressing his approval of what had been done and of his hatred of the English.

It is uncertain what would have been the fate of the remaining prisoners, had there been no check to the doings of the Chippewas.

Probably most of them would have met death by torture.

Their lives had not been spared from motives of humanity or clemency.

The French had looked coolly on, neither helping the Indians nor offering protection to the English.

The latter, however, found a friend in Father Jonois, the Catholic missionary at L’Arbre Croche.

But by far the most effectual aid came from the incensed Ottawas.

Confederates of the Chippewas, it was their right to be consulted in matters of such moment as the destruction of the English, or, at least to be invited to join in the execution of the project.

Regarding themselves as slighted and wronged, if not insulted, they resolved to revenge themselves by taking the control of matters into their own hands.

A party of seven Chippewas, with four prisoners, started in a canoe for the Isles du Castor (Beaver islands).

When about 18 miles on their way, an Ottawa came out of the woods and accosted them, inquiring the news, and asking who were their prisoners.

As the conversation continued, the canoe came near the shore, where the water was shallow, when a loud yell was heard, and a hundred Ottawas, rising from among the trees and bushes, rushed into the water, and seized the canoe and prisoners.

The astonished Chippewas remonstrated in vain.

The four Englishmen were led in safety to the shore.

The Ottawas informed them that their captors were taking them to the Isles du Castor merely to kill and eat them, which was probably not far from the truth.

The four prisoners soon found themselves afloat in an Ottawa canoe, and on their way back to Mackinaw, accompanied by a flotilla of canoes, bearing a great number of Ottawa warriors.

Arrived at Mackinaw, the Ottawas, fully armed, filed into the fort and took possession of it.

A council of the two tribes followed, in which the wounded feelings of the Ottawas were somewhat soothed by a liberal present of plunder, taken from the whites.

The prisoners seem to have been divided, the Ottawas, because they were the stronger party, or for other reasons, being allowed to keep the greater number.

The Ottawas soon after returned to L’Arbre Croche, taking with them Capt. Etherington, Lieut. Leslie, and 11 men.

They were disarmed, but, probably through the influence of Father Jonois, treated kindly.

Father Jonois performed a journey to Detroit in their behalf, bearing a request to Major Gladwyn for assistance, but that officer, beleaguered by a horde of savages, could do nothing.

In the meantime Capt. Etherington had found means to communicate with Lieut. Gorell, commanding the little garrison at Green Bay, requesting him to come with his command immediately to L’Arbre Croche.

Gorell had the fortune to secure the good will of the Menomonies, 90 of whom volunteered for an escort.

As the fleet of canoes on the way approached the Isles du Castor, warning was received that the Chippewas were lying in wait to intercept them.

Immediately the Menomonies raised the war song, and stripped themselves for battle.

The alarm, however, proved to be false.

When the party reached L’Arbre Croche they were received with honor and presented the pipe of peace.

After a series of councils, to which the Chippewa chiefs were invited, the latter reluctantly consented not to obstruct the passage of the soldiers to Montreal.

Accordingly, on the 18th of July, the English, escorted by a fleet of Indian canoes, left L’Arbre Croche, and, going by way of the Ottawa River, reached Montreal the 13th of August.


The Period Following Pontiac’s War—The War of 1812—Military Operations on the Island of Mackinac—Indian Barbarities—Golden Age of the Ottawas of L’Arbre Croche—Extent of their Settlements—Indian Houses—Gardens—Hunting Grounds—The Jesuits Again—Churches Built.

From the massacre at Mackinac in 1763 up to the close of the war of 1812, a period of 52 years, we are able to gather from history and tradition only meager accounts of events occurring strictly within the limits of the Grand Traverse country.

It was not at any time the theater of active war.

The Ottawas were still the only inhabitants, except here and there an adventurous fur trader, or possibly a zealous Eoman Catholic missionary.

That the Ottawas of L’Arbre Croche were concerned, directly or indirectly, in most of the Indian troubles of the northwestern frontier, occurring during the period alluded to, scarcely admits of a doubt.

They were probably represented at the grand Indian council held near the mouth of the Detroit river in 1786.

Some of their warriors, no doubt, were present at the battles in which Harmer and St. Clair were defeated, and some of their braves may have fallen before Wayne’s victorious army on the banks of the Maumee.

One of their noted chiefs, Saw-gawkee, a son of the former head chief, Nee-saw-kee, was a firm believer in the Shawnee prophet Waw-wa-gish-e-maw, or, as he is called by the historians, Elkswatawa.

It does not appear that either Tecumseh or the prophet visited L’Arbre Croche in person, but the influence of the prophet was sufficient to induce a deputation of Ottawas from that vicinity to visit the distant Indian villages on Lake Superior, with a message he professed to have received from the Great Spirit, intended to rouse them against the Americans.

When in 1812, war was declared between the United States and Great Britain, Capt. Roberts, commanding the British post on St. Joseph’s island, was able in a short time to gather around him a thousand Indian warriors for the capture of the American fort on the Island of Mackinac.

It is probable that nearly the whole force of the Ottawa warriors of L’Arbre Croche and the scattered bands around Grand Traverse Bay were engaged in that enterprise.

The affair ended in the complete success of the British, happily without the sheddirg of blood.

Two years later, when the Americans, under Col. Croghan, attempted to retake the fort, they were foiled, mainly by the large force of Indians the British commander had again been able to gather to his standard.

In this attempt the Americans suffered severe loss.

The most shocking barbarities were practiced on the bodies of the slain.

They were literally cut to pieces by their savage conquerors.

Their hearts and livers were taken out and cooked and eaten, and that, too, it is said, even in the quarters of the British officers.

More than 40 years afterwards, when the Indians had become friendly towards the Americans, and the settlements of the latter had reached the Grand Traverse country, Asa-bun, an Indian of Old Mission, used to be pointed out as one who had been seen running about with a human heart in his hands, which he was devouring.

Another, a chief by the name of Aish-qua-gwon-a-ba, was credited by the settlers, whether justly or not, with keeping a number of scalps, the trophies of his prowess at Mackinac, carefully hidden away in a certain trunk.

In reviewing the history of the Indian tribes of the United States, one cannot avoid the conclusion that the greatest hindrance to the increase of population, and, indirectly, to the development of an indigenous civilization, was not so much the privations incident to a peaceful savage state as to the destruction of life by constantly-recurring wars.

There seems little doubt that if the number of deaths by violence during a given time could be ascertained, it would be found not to fall far below the number of births for the same period.

This remark applies more especially to the Indians as the Europeans found them; not to those of the present time, where whites and Indians live in mingled or adjacent communities, in the border settlements.

The sudden partial transition from their mode of life to that of their white neighbors and the adoption of many of the worst vices of the white men with few of their virtues, are doing more to hasten the extinction of the race than was done by all the Indian wars of which we have any knowledge.

If, as their tradition asserts, the Ottawas were at the height of their power and glory at the time of Pontiac’s war, a later period was the golden age of those at L’Arbre Croche, with reference to the prosperity that comes from peaceful pursuits.

At the close of the war of 1812 the occupation of the warrior passed away.

Quarrels with their Indian neighbors of the south and west, and with the Iroquois of the east, had already ceased.

Thenceforth there was no opportunity to take an enemy’s scalp.

The arts of war gave place to the peaceful pursuits of savage life.

There followed as much prosperity as savage life, improved by the first dawning’s of civilization, in a country well fitted by nature for the habitation of a people in just that stage of advancement, was capable of producing.

The lakes, streams, and forests, with their cultivated gardens of no mean extent, supplied an abundance of food; their peltries, bartered at Mackinac, procured various articles of comfort and luxury.

The baleful effects of fire-water were yet but seldom felt; the ruinous influence of vicious white-men had not yet begun to warp the Indian character.

The concurrent testimony of witnesses still living goes to show that, previous to the time when the first adventurous white men erected their cabins in the Grand Traverse country, there was a degree of physical comfort, moral culture, and social and domestic happiness among the Indians far exceeding what the observation of a more recent period would lead one to believe.

Their condition was much better than that of the ordinary American savage of the average historical writer.

Their principal and most permanent settlements were at Cross Village, Middle Village, Seven-Mile Point, and Little Traverse; but between the first and last of these places, wigwams, singly and in groups, were scattered at intervals all along the shore.

A few families had their home at Bear creek, on the south side of Little Traverse bay.

There were gardens on the height of land, a mile or more back from the shore not far south of the present village of Norwood, and a camping place, frequently occupied, on the shore.

There were gardens on the peninsula in Grand Traverse Bay and a village at Old Mission.

West of the bay, a small band had their home on the point afterwards known as New Mission, and another on the shore of Lake Michigan, at or near the site of the present village of Leland.

Their dwellings were of various sizes and shapes, and were constructed of a variety of materials.

The most substantial and permanent consisted of a frame of cedar poles, covered with cedar bark.

One of these, called o-maw-gay-ko-gaw-mig, was square or oblong, with perpendicular walls, and a roof with a slope in opposite directions, like the simplest form of frame houses among white men.

Another, the ke-no-day-we-gaw-mig, had perpendicular end walls, but the side walls in the upper part were bent inward, meeting along the middle line, thus forming the roof in the shape of a broad arch. Houses of this kind were sometimes 50 or 60 feet long, and had places for three fires.

The ne-saw-wah-e-gun and the wah-ge-nogawn were light but very serviceable houses, consisting of frames of poles covered with mats.

The former was cone-shaped; the latter regularly convex at the top.

The mats, ten or twelve feet long and three or four wide, were made of the long, slender leaves of the cat-tail flag (Typha), properly cured and carefully sewed together.

When suitably adjusted on the frames, with the edges lapping, they made a serviceable roof.

Being light, and when rolled up not inconvenient to carry, they were used for traveling tents.

Houses of mats were often used for winter residences in the woods, and were not uncomfortable.

The ah-go-beem-wah-gun was a small summer house for young men, usually constructed of cedar bark, on an elevated platform resting on posts, reached only by ascending a ladder.

Winter houses in the woods were sometimes built of slabs or planks of split timber.

They were often cone-shaped, and were made tight and warm.

They were called pe-no-gawn.

In the woods, even in winter, they sometimes lived in temporary wigwams of evergreen boughs, which they managed to make comfortable.

The Indian houses were without windows.

The fire was built upon the ground, in the center if the lodge was small; or there was a row of fires down the middle line, in a long ke-no-day-we-gaw-mig.

A hole in the roof, above each fire, served for the escape of the smoke.

A raised platform, a foot or a foot and a half high, covered with mats, along the sides of the room, served for a seat during the day and for a sleeping place at night.

The mats, some of them beautifully ornamented with colors, were made of rushes found growing in shallow lakes, ingeniously woven together with twine manufactured from the bark of the slippery elm.

In their gardens they cultivated corn, pumpkins, beans, and potatoes.

Apple trees, the seed for which was originally obtained from the whites— either the Jesuit missionaries or the fur traders—were planted in every clearing.

Wild fruits, especially choice varieties of wild plums, were grown from seed introduced from their distant southern hunting grounds.

At the time of the present writing, fruit trees of their planting are found growing wild in the young forests that have sprung up on abandoned fields.

The gardens were frequently some distance from the villages.

The owners resorted to them at the proper season to do the necessary work, living for the time in portable lodges or in temporary structures erected for the occasion.

Though they hunted more or less at all times, winter was the season devoted more especially to that pursuit.

Then the greater part of the population left the villages and scattered through the forest.

The chain of inland lakes in Antrim County, having its outlet at Elk Rapids, was a favorite resort, on account of the facilities for fishing, as well as for hunting and trapping.

Many plunged into the deeper solitudes of the forest and fixed their winter abode on the Manistee, the Muskegon, or the Sauble.

Others embarked in canoes, and coasted along Lake Michigan to its southern extremity, from there making their way to the marshes of the Kankakee and the hunting grounds of northern Indiana and Illinois.

Several families had their favorite winter camping place on the northeastern shore of Boardman lake, within the present corporate limits of Traverse City.

Here the women and children remained while the hunters made long trips in the woods, returning to camp with the spoils of the chase several times during the winter.

One principal advantage of the location was the abundance of pickerel in the lake—an abundance that seems fabulous to the white fishermen of the present day.

They were caught with spears through holes cut in the ice, and were an important addition to the winter supply of food.

In spring traders came from Mackinac, and sometimes from other places, to barter goods for furs.

Not infrequently, however, the Indian hunter, accompanied by his wife and children, preferred to visit the center of trade with his peltries, in person.

Then, sometimes, there was a brief but fearful indulgence of the Indian’s appetite for strong drink.

At home sobriety usually prevailed.

How long the Jesuits continued active work at L’Arbre Croche after the time of Father Jonois is not known.

There seems to have been a long period during which the Indians were left to themselves.

The great cedar cross remained standing on the brow of the bluff at Cross Village, a memorial of the devotion and zeal of the early missionaries, but their teachings had been forgotten.

It is said that when the ground was afterwards reoccupied only one Indian could be found who could prove himself a Christian by making the sign of the cross.

In 1825 the Catholics sent a missionary to reoccupy the long-abandoned field.

Seven-Mile Point was chosen as a center of operations, and a church was immediately built.

The building was about 20 feet by 40 in size, constructed, like the better class of Indian houses, of the most suitable materials readily obtainable—cedar timbers for the frame, and for the covering cedar bark.

Seven-Mile Point not proving a satisfactory location, in 1827 the mission was moved to Little Traverse.

At the latter place a church of cedar logs was built the following year.

About the same time a similar church was built at Cross Village.

The work of the missionaries was successful, a considerable number of Indians readily becoming Catholics.

About 1839 and 1840 the population was greatly diminished by a sudden exodus, caused by distrust of the Indian policy of the United States government.

Fearing to be forcibly removed beyond the Mississippi, fully one-half of the Indians, it is said, took refuge in Canada.

In the preceding pages the author has endeavored to narrate succinctly the events known to have occurred in the Grand Traverse region while it was yet a strictly Indian country, and to portray truthfully the situation as it was when the first adventurous white men essayed to establish permanent homes within its borders.

In those that follow, it will be our duty to trace, as faithfully as the material at hand will enable us to do, the varied fortunes of the early pioneers.


The two Missionaries—Consultation With the Indians—Site for Mission Chosen at Elk River—The Track of a White Man’s Horse—House Built—Sorrowful News—Visit From Indian Agent—Removal to Mission Harbor—School Opened—A Mixture of Races—Two Civilizing Agencies.

In May, 1839, a Mackinaw boat, with four men at the oars and two passengers, rounded the point that, jutting out from the peninsula into the east arm of Grand Traverse bay, forms the little cove known as Mission Harbor.

The passengers were Rev. John Fleming and Rev. Peter Dougherty, missionaries of the Presbyterian board.

They had spent the previous winter at Mackinac, and now came to the country of Grand Traverse Bay, which to the white man was then almost a terra incognita, for the purpose of establishing a mission among the Indians.

They had brought supplies from Mackinac, including doors and windows for a house.

On all sides the country was seen in its primeval wildness and beauty.

The shores were fringed to the water’s edge with foliage of various shades of green.

In the crystal flood on which their frail craft floated, the shore scenes were reflected, as in a mirror of liquid silver.

Of the presence of man there were no signs visible, save a few bark wigwams, in a narrow break in the fringe of forest, from one of which a thin column of blue smoke curled lazily upward.

The adventurers landed near where the wharf has since been built.

They found only one Indian in the village.

He informed them that the band were encamped at the mouth of the river, on the opposite side of the bay.

The Indian made a signal with a column of smoke, which had the effect of bringing over a canoe, full of young men, who came to inquire who the strangers were and what was wanted.

The next day a chief, with a number of men, came over.

Messrs. Fleming and Dougherty informed him that they had come, by direction of their agent at Mackinac, and by permission of their great father, the president, to establish a school among them for the instruction of their children, and to teach them a knowledge of the Savior.

The reply was that the head chief, with his men, would come in a few days, and then they would give an answer.

On the arrival of the head chief, Aish-qua-gwon-a-ba, a council was held for the purpose of considering the proposal of the missionaries.

At its close Messrs. Fleming and Dougherty were informed that the Indians had decided to unite the bands living in the vicinity, and locate near the river, on the east side of the bay.

If the missionaries would go with them they would show them the intended location of their new villages and gardens, so that they could select a good central site for their dwelling and school.

About the 20th of the month, the white men, in their boat, accompanied by a fleet of Indian canoes, crossed the bay, landing at the mouth of the river, where the village of Elk Rapids is now situated.

The Indians proposed to divide their settlement into two villages.

After looking over the ground, the missionaries chose a location, something more than a quarter of a mile from the river, on the south side.

The day after the missionaries landed at Elk River the Indians came to their tent in great excitement, saying there were white men in the country.

They had seen a horse’s track, which contained the impression of a shoe.

Their ponies were not shod.

Shortly after a white man came into the camp.

He proved to be a packman belonging to a company of United States surveyors, who were at work on the east side of Elk and Torch lakes.

He had lost his way, and wanted a guide to pilot him back to his company.

An Indian went with him several miles, returning in the afternoon with the man’s hatchet in his possession, having taken it on the refusal of the latter to pay him for his services.

The next day the whole company of surveyors came in and encamped for a short time at the river.

Immediately after deciding upon the location Messrs. Fleming and Dougherty commenced cutting logs for the construction of a dwelling and schoolhouse.

Hard work and the discomforts of a wilderness, the latter of which were doubly annoying to the inexperienced missionaries, filled up the next few days.

Among other evils from which they could not escape, the sand flies were a terrible torment.

Finally the body of the house was raised, the doors and windows brought from Mackinac were put in their places, and the gables and roof were covered with sheets of cedar bark purchased of the Indians.

Then an unexpected blow fell upon the devoted missionaries, crushing the hopes and changing the life prospects of one, and plunging both into deep sorrow.

A messenger came from Mackinac with intelligence that Mr. Fleming’s wife had suddenly died at that place.

The bereaved husband, with the four men who had come with them, immediately embarked in their boat for Mackinac.

He never returned to the mission.

Mr. Dougherty was left alone.

With the exception of the surveyors at work somewhere in the interior, he was the only white person in the country.

After the departure of his comrade Mr. Dougherty, with the assistance of Peter Greensky, the interpreter busied himself with the work of finishing the house, and clearing away the brush in the vicinity.

Once or twice the cedar bark of the roof took fire from the stove-pipe, but fortunately the accident was discovered before any serious damage was done.

The old chief, Aish-qua-gwon-a-ba, and his wife, perhaps to show their friendliness and make it less lonely for the missionary, came and stayed with him several days in his new house.

About the 20th of June Henry R. Schoolcraft, Indian agent at Mackinac, arrived in a small vessel, accompanied by his interpreter, Robert Graverat, and Isaac George, an Indian blacksmith.

From information received at Mackinac, Mr. Schoolcraft had come impressed with the notion that the harbor near the little island, on the west side of the peninsula (Bower’s Harbor), would be a suitable point at which to locate the blacksmith, carpenter, and farmer, that, by the terms of the recent treaty, the government was obligated to furnish for the benefit of the Indians.

Looking over the ground, and consulting the wishes of the Indians, he finally came to the conclusion that Mission Harbor was a more suitable place.

Accordingly, Mr. George was left to commence operations, and Mr. Schoolcraft returned to Mackinac.

Soon after the departure of Mr. Schoolcraft, Ah-go-sa, the chief at Mission Harbor, accompanied by the principal men of his band, visited Mr. Dougherty, saying that most of the Indians at that place were unwilling to move over to the east side of the bay, and offering to transport him and his goods across to Mission Harbor, and furnish him a house to live in, if he would take up his residence with them. Convinced that, all things considered, the harbor was a more eligible site for the mission, Mr. Dougherty at once accepted the proposal.

Leaving what things were not needed for immediate use, and loading the balance in Indian canoes, he was ferried across the bay to the scene of his future labors—the place where he had first landed, not many weeks before, and which, under the name of Old Mission, has since become famous as a center of development of the agricultural interests of northwestern Michigan.

The next day arrangements were made for opening a school, with interpreter Greensky as teacher, in the little bark wigwam that the Indians had vacated for Mr. Dougherty’s use.

Then followed a hard summer’s work.

Mr. Dougherty and Mr. George commenced the construction of a house for themselves.

The logs for the building were cut close along the border of the harbor, floated to a point near where they were to be used, and then dragged to the site of the building by hand.

Of course, the work could never have been accomplished without the aid of the Indians.

The house was covered with shingles, such as the two inexperienced men were able to make, and a few boards brought from Mackinac with their fall supplies.

The building was so nearly completed that the men found themselves comfortably housed before winter fairly set in.

Desiring not to be left alone while the Indians were absent on their annual winter hunt, Mr. Dougherty induced the chief, Ah-go-sa, and two others, with their families, to remain till sugar-making time in the spring, by offering to help them put up comfortable houses for winter.

There is some uncertainty about the style of these houses.

We are informed that the offer was to help them put up log or slab shanties.

If finally the latter was determined on, the slabs must have been rough planks, split out of suitable logs with beetle and wedges, and smoothed with an ax.

Whether the shanties were built cone-shaped or not, by placing the planks on end in a circle, with the tops inclining inward, like the Ottawa pe-bone-gawn, does not appear.

Before they were finished, the weather had become so cold that boiling water had to be used to thaw the clay for plastering the chinks in the walls.

Mr. Dougherty’s house stood on the bank of the harbor, east of the site afterwards occupied by the more commodious and comfortable mission house.

The chief’s shanty was built on the south side of the little lake lying a short distance northwest of the harbor.

The cabins for the other two Indian families were located a little way south of where the mission church was afterwards built.

In the fall Mr. John Johnston arrived at the mission, having come by appointment of Mr. Schoolcraft to reside there as Indian farmer.

During the winter the mission family consisted of the four men—Dougherty, George, Greensky, and Johnston.

Mr. Johnston had brought with him a yoke of oxen for use in Indian farming.

There was no fodder in the country, unless he may have brought a little with him.

Be that as it may, he found it necessary to browse his cattle all winter.

In the spring of 1840 the log house which had been built at Elk Rapids the previous year was taken down, and the materials were transported across the bay and used in the construction of a schoolhouse and woodshed.

Until the mission church was built, a year or two after, the schoolhouse was used for holding religious services, as well as for school.

In the fall of 1841, besides Indian wigwams, there were five buildings at the mission—the schoolhouse and four dwellings.

All were built of logs, and all, except Mr. Dougherty’s house, were covered with cedar bark.

The dwellings were occupied by Mr. Dougherty, missionary, Henry Bradley, mission teacher, John Johnston, Indian farmer, and David McGulpin, assistant farmer.

Mr. George was still there, and there had been another addition to the community in the person of George Johnston, who had come in the capacity of Indian carpenter.

As regards race, the little community, the only representative of Christian civilization in the heart of a savage wilderness, was somewhat mixed.

John Johnston was half Indian, with a white wife; McGulpin was a white man, with an Indian wife. All the others, except Greensky the interpreter, were whites.

As the little community represented two races, so also it represented two distinct agencies, working in harmony for the improvement of the physical, intellectual, and moral condition of the Indians.

The blacksmith, carpenter, and farmer were employes of the United States government, appointed by the Indian agent at Mackinac, and subject to his control.

It was their duty to instruct the Indians in the simpler and more necessary arts of civilization.

The missionary and his assistants, the interpreter and teacher, were employed by the Presbyterian board, and supported by missionary funds.

The only assistance they received from the government was an allowance for medicines dispensed to the Indians.


Mrs. Dougherty—The Dame Family—Lewis Miller—The Mission School —First Frame Building—Church Built—First White Settlers—Scattering of the Indians—Removal of the Mission—Manual Labor School —The Mission Discontinued.

In the fall of 1841 an event occurred that must have created a little flutter of excitement in the quiet and isolated settlement at the mission.

It was on a pleasant morning in September that the little schooner Supply came into the harbor, having on board as passengers, besides Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty and their infant daughter, Henrietta, two persons whose names have since become intimately associated with the events of the early history of the Grand Traverse country.

These two persons were Deacon Joseph Dame and Lewis Miller.

We are not informed at what time Mrs. Dougherty first came to the mission.

On the occasion referred to, she and her husband were returning from a visit to Mackinac, where they had gone some time previously, in order to be within reach of suitable assistance at the period of Mrs. Dougherty’s confinement.

Deacon Dame had received the appointment of Indian farmer, as successor to John Johnston, and came to enter upon the duties of his office.

With him were Mrs. Dame, their eldest son, Eusebius F., and two daughters, Almira and Mary.

Another daughter, Olive M., came the following year.

Lewis Miller was an orphan, left alone to make his way in the world.

His birthplace was Waterloo, Canada West; the date of his birth, September 11, 1824.

The year 1839 found him in Chicago.

From that city, in 1840, he made his way to Mackinac.

Here he became acquainted with the Dames.

A strong friendship grew up between him and Mr. and Mrs. Dame.

When, in 1841, Deacon Dame received his appointment as Indian farmer and commenced preparations for removal to his new field of labor, Miller, then 17 years of age, resolved to accompany him, more for the novelty of the thing than from any definite purpose with reference to the future.

Except the children who came with their parents, he was the first white settler in the Grand Traverse country who did not come in consequence of an appointment from the Presbyterian board or the Mackinac Indian agency.

Eusebius and Almira Dame were in their -teens; Mary was younger.

During some portion of the time for the next year or two, the three, with young Miller, were pupils in the mission school.

A true picture of that school, could one have been handed down to us, would be a picture of absorbing interest.

Except the Catholic mission school at Little Traverse, it was the first in the Grand Traverse country.

Imperfectly we may picture to ourselves the small, roughly-built, log schoolhouse, with its covering of cedar bark; a few Indian children, half dressed, according to civilized notions, looking with wondering eyes upon the mysterious characters of the books put into their hands; the four white pupils, conscious of the disadvantage of isolation from the great world of learning and refinement, yet ambitious to excel; the patient, hopeful teacher, sowing the seeds of truth according to the divine injunction, not knowing “whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether both shall be alike good.”

Then we may picture the surroundings—the scattered group of log houses and Indian wigwams; the forest, lovely in the tender green of early summer or gorgeous in gay autumn colors; the bay, placid and shimmering in the golden sunlight or lashed into foam by the furious north wind; the Indians, idle and listless, arrayed in scanty costume or decked with a profusion of savage finery; the few white people, intent on the labors of their several stations and apparently content in the discharge of duty, yet sometimes casting regretful glances backward to other days and other homes.

And we may wonder how, when the Indians had gone to their hunting grounds, and winter had come down from the north in all his fury, shutting them up within the limits of their little settlement almost as effectively as locking them in a prison, they managed to keep cheerful during the dreary, monotonous months, till the opening spring permitted the re-establishment of communication with the outside world.

About 1842 the construction of a more commodious dwelling and a mission church was commenced by Mr. Dougherty.

The dwelling, since known as the mission house, was the first frame building erected in the Grand Traverse country.

The church had solid walls, of hewn cedar timbers laid one upon another and kept in place by the ends being fitted into grooves in upright posts.

The timbers were brought from the east side of the bay in a huge log canoe, or dug-out, called the Pe-to-be-go, which was 30 feet long, and, it is said, was capable of carrying 20 barrels of flour.

At the present writing, 40 years after the completion of these structures, the mission house, enlarged and improved, is occupied as a dwelling by Mr. D. Rushmore.

The church is owned by the Methodist Episcopal society of Old Mission, and is still used as a house of worship.

The little log schoolhouse in which Mr. Bradley taught Miller and the young Dames, in connection with his classes of Indian boys and girls, was accidentally burned several years ago.

During the next ten years some changes occurred at the mission.

Mr. Bradley as teacher was succeeded by a gentleman by the name of Whiteside.

Not liking the position, Mr. Whiteside soon resigned, and was followed by Mr. Andrew Porter.

Changes were also made from time to time, among the employees of the Indian agency.

Some of them remained in the country after their connection with the agency had terminated, and turned their attention to farming or other pursuits.

Among such appear the names of John Campbell, Robert Campbell, Wm. R. Stone, and J. M. Pratt.

Among the earlier settlers not connected with the mission or the agency, were H. K. Coles, John Swaney, and Martin S. Wait.

O. P. Ladd and his brother-in-law, Orlin Hughson, settled on the peninsula as early as 1850, but remained only two or three years.

E. P. Ladd, having come on a visit to his sister, Mrs. Hughson, in May, 1852, was so well pleased with the country that he at once determined to make his home here.

G. A. Craker arrived in April of the same year, and immediately hired out to Mr. Dougherty.

The little group of wigwams and log cabins at the harbor had grown to a village of considerable size.

The Indians had generally abandoned their early style of wigwams, and were living in houses built of hewn logs and whitewashed on the outside.

Seen from a distance, the village presented a pretty and inviting appearance; a closer inspection did not always confirm first impressions.

According to their original custom, the Indians lived in the village and cultivated gardens some distance away.

The gardens, or patches of cultivated ground, were of all sizes from one acre to six.

The Indians had no legal title to the soil.

By the terms of treaty, the peninsula had been reserved for their exclusive occupation for a period of five years, and after that they were to be permitted to remain during the pleasure of the government. The period of five years had long since expired.

Their landed property was held by sufferance, and was liable at any moment to be taken away.

The project of removing them beyond the Mississippi was at one time seriously entertained by the government, or at least it was so understood.

The prospect was not pleasing to the Indians.

A deputation sent to examine their proposed new home in the west, reported unfavorably.

They determined not to be removed, preferring to take refuge in Canada, as a large part of the Indian population of Emmet county had done several years before.

At this juncture the adoption of the revised State constitution of 1850 made citizens of all civilized persons of Indian descent, not members of any tribe.

Here was a way out of the difficulty.

They could purchase land of the government, settle down upon it, and claim the protection of the State and the general government as citizens.

The land on the peninfrala was not yet in market; that on the west shore of the bay was.

By the advice of Mr. Dougherty, several families agreed to set apart a certain amount, out of their next annual payment, for the purchase of land.

A list of names was made, and the chief was authorized to receive the money from the agent at Mackinac, which he brought to Mr. Dougherty for safe keeping.

Having made their selections on the west side of the bay, some of their most trusted men were sent to the land office at Ionia the following spring to make the purchase.

If the general government ever seriously entertained the project of removing the Indians of the Grand Traverse country beyond the Mississippi it was abandoned, and several townships, in which are now the counties of Leelanau, Charlevoix, and Emmet, were withdrawn from market and set apart as reservations for their benefit.

Within the limits of these reservations, each head of a family and each single person of mature age was permitted to select a parcel of land, to be held for his own use, and eventually to become his property in fee simple.

As already indicated, the lands on the peninsula were not yet in market.

The Indians held possession of considerable portions, but could give no legal title to the soil.

They could, however, sell their possessory rights, and white men, recognizing the eligibility of the location for agricultural pursuits, were not backward in becoming purchasers, taking the chance of obtaining a title from the government at a future time.

The combined effect of the several circumstances narrated above was to cause a gradual scattering of the Indians of the mission settlement.

Those who had purchased land on the west side of the bay removed to their new homes.

Others removed to the lands they had selected in the reserved townships.

Seeing that the Indian community at the mission would finally be broken up, Mr. Dougherty wisely concluded to change the location of the mission itself.

Accordingly, purchase was made of an eligible tract of land, suitable for a farm and manual labor school, on Mission Point, near the place now called Omena, in Leelanau County, to which he removed early in the spring of 1852.

Considering the scattered condition and migratory habits of the Indians, it was thought that the most effective work for their Christianization and civilization could be done by gathering the youth into one family, where they would be constantly and for a term of years under the direct supervision and influence of teachers.

And then a well-managed industrial school, it was thought, could not fail to exert, in some degree, a beneficial influence on the parents and youth of the vicinity who did not attend, by a practical exhibition of the advantages of education and industry.

In this respect the new location of the mission was well chosen, being in the vicinity of those families who had purchased land of the government, and who, it might reasonably be expected, would profit by its example.

Mission Point had been occupied by a band of Indians, called, from the name of their chief, Shawb-wah-sun’s band, some of whose gardens were included in the tract purchased by Mr. Dougherty.

There were apple trees growing there, at the time of the purchase, as large as a man’s body.

Tradition says that the band had inhabited the western shore of the bay for a long time, and had once been numerous and powerful.

The manual labor school was opened in the fall following the removal.

The number of pupils was limited to 50—25 of each sex.

Young children were not received, except in one instance, when the rule was suspended in favor of two homeless orphans.

When received into the school, the pupils were first washed and clothed.

The common clothing of both sexes consisted of coarse but decent and serviceable material.

The boys were employed on the farm; the girls in housework and sewing.

At five o’clock in the morning the bell rang for all to rise.

At six it called all together for worship.

Soon after worship breakfast was served, the boys sitting at one table, the girls at another.

After breakfast all repaired to their daily labor and worked till half-past eight, when the school bell gave warning to assemble at the school-room.

The boys worked under the supervision of Mr. Craker.

Every boy had suitable tools assigned him, which he was required to care for and keep in their proper places.

Mr. Craker kept the tools in order, so that they were always ready for use, and each boy could go to his work promptly.

A considerable portion of the mission farm was cleared, and afterwards cultivated, by the labor of the boys.

The girls were divided into classes or companies, to each of which was assigned some particular department of domestic labor, changes being made weekly so that all could be instructed in every department.

In the school-room were two teachers—one for the boys and another for the girls.

Miss Isabella Morrison of New Haven, Ct., was for many years the girls’ teacher.

After her resignation the place was filled by Miss Catherine Gibson, till the mission was discontinued.

Miss Gibson was from Pennsylvania. In the boys’ department, the teachers were successively Miss Harriet Cowles, Miss Beach, Mr. John Porter, and Miss Henrietta Dougherty.

Miss Cowles came from near Batavia, N. Y., Miss Beach from White Lake, N. Y., and Mr. Porter from Pennsylvania.

Concerning the mission, it only remains to mention that the financial embarrassment of the board, growing out of the war of the rebellion, necessitated the discontinuance of the work.

The school was finally broken up, and the mission farm passed into other hands.

Looked at from the Christian standpoint, the mission seems to have been moderately successful.

A good understanding was always maintained between the missionaries and the Indians.

Mr. Dougherty testifies that the latter were uniformly kind.

Both at Old Mission and Mission Point a considerable number were hopefully converted.


Personal Incidents and Reminiscences—Wading the Boardman—A New Way to Dry a Shirt—Sleeping in Barrels—A Tribute to Mr. Dougherty —The Dougherty Family—Romance of the Early Days—The First Wedding—Bridal Trip in a Birch Canoe—Lewis Miller as an Indian Trader—Marriage at Mackinac and Tempestuous Voyage Home— “Where is the Townt”

During the period of Mr. Dougherty’s residence at Old Mission, there being no physician in the country, he was often applied to for medicine and advice for the sick.

On one occasion, after Mr. Boardman had established himself at the head of the bay, at the place where Traverse City now stands, he was called to prescribe for Mrs. Duncan, who was keeping the boarding-house at that place. He found Mrs. Duncan very sick.

Two or three days after, not having heard from his patient in the interval, he became anxious for her safety, and resolved to get some information in regard to her condition, and to send a further supply of medicine, or repeat his visit.

There were some men from Boardman’s establishment getting out timber at the harbor on the west side of the peninsula (Bowers’ Harbor), which they were conveying home in a boat.

Hoping to get the desired information from them, and to send the necessary medicine by them, he walked across the peninsula to their place of labor.

The men had gone home with a cargo.

Thinking he might get to Boardman’s in time to return with them on their next trip, he started for the head of the bay on foot, making his way as rapidly as possible along the beach.

There was no bridge over Boardman River near the boarding-house, and, on his arrival, the skiff used for crossing was on the other side.

There was no time to lose.

Not to be delayed, he quickly entered the stream, and waded across, the cold water coming up to his chin.

Fortunately, he found his patient much improved; unfortunately, the boat in which he had hoped to return was already nearly out of sight, on its way back to the peninsula.

Mr. Dougherty would have been hospitably entertained, could he have been persuaded to remain, but he felt that he must return home.

Not stopping to put on a dry suit that was offered him, he partook of a hasty lunch, and set out on his return.

Some one set him across the river in the skiff.

As soon as he was out of sight in the woods he resolved to dry his clothes without hindering himself in the journey.

Taking off his shirt, he hung it on a stick carried in the hand, spreading it to the sun and air, as he walked rapidly along.

The day was warm, and the sun shone brightly.

When the shirt was partly dry, he exchanged it for his flannel, putting on the shirt, and hanging the flannel on the stick.

It was near sundown when he reached home, thoroughly fatigued, but happy in the thought that his patient was getting well.

The next day he was so sore and stiff as to be scarcely able to move.

Some years later, after the removal of the mission to the west side of the bay, Mr. Dougherty had an adventure that may serve to illustrate the wild character of the country, and the shifts to which the settlers were sometimes reduced.

While seeking supplies for his school one spring he heard that a vessel carrying a cargo of provisions, had been wrecked on the shore of Lake Michigan, somewhere south of Sleeping Bear Point, and that consequently there was flour for sale there at a reasonable price.

In those days the wrecking on the shore of a vessel with such a cargo, while it was, as now, a misfortune to the owners and underwriters, was not infrequently a blessing of no small magnitude to the inhabitants.

The captain of the unfortunate craft was usually willing and even anxious to sell, at a moderate price, such provisions as could be saved from the wreck, and the people were only too glad to buy.

Starting early one morning, Mr. Dougherty wafted across the country, to the Indian village of Che-ma-go-bing, near the site of the present village of Leland.

From Che-ma-go-bing he followed the shore round the bay, since marked on the maps as Good Harbor, passed the place afterwards called North Unity, and round the point separating Good Harbor from what was then known as Sleeping Bear bay, but since called Glen Arbor bay, his point of destination being the residence of John Lerue, who he knew lived on the shore somewhere in that region.

The walk was long and fatiguing.

When the shades of evening fell upon the landscape he had not reached Mr. Lerue’s cabin.

At ten o’clock he came to a small shed on the beach, where some cooper had been making barrels for the fishermen on the coast.

It was now too dark to travel, and he resolved to pass the night there.

The air was chilly, but everything was very dry, and he feared to make a fire lest the shed should be burned.

One less conscientious than Mr. Dougherty, and less careful of the rights of others, would not have hesitated for such a reason, but he preferred a night of discomfort to the risk of injuring a fellow being.

A backwoodsman of more experience would, no doubt, have found a method to make everything safe, while enjoying the luxury of a camp fire.

Looking about for the best means of protection from the cold, he found two empty barrels, each with a head out.

It occurred to him that these might be converted into a sleeping apartment.

It required some little ingenuity to get into both at once, but after considerable effort he succeeded.

Bringing the second barrel so near that he could reach the open end, he worked his head and shoulders into the first, and placing his feet and legs in the second, drew it up as close to the first as possible.

In telling the story years afterwards,

Mr. Dougherty declared that he slept, and could not recollect his dreams, but, as his business was urgent, the luxury of his bed did not keep him long the next morning.

He was out early, and soon found Mr. Lerue’s house, which was not far off.

He now learned, what would have saved him a toilsome journey had he known it a day earlier, that the flour had been removed to Northport, which was only a few miles from the mission.

After breakfast Mr. Lerue guided him across the point that separates the bays, and he set out for Northport.

Arriving there after dark, he was disappointed with the information that the flour had all been sold.

After a night’s rest, not in barrels, on the beach, he had no alternative but to return home empty handed.

Mr. Dougherty was a graduate of Princeton theological seminary.

He was a person of strong convictions, energetic and persevering in labor, in manner gentle and pleasing.

His life work was well done.

Blest with a companion of superior natural and educational endowments, and the sincerity, sweet disposition, and polished manners of the ideal Christian lady, the social atmosphere of his home produced a healthful moral effect on all who came within the sphere of its influence.

Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty were fortunate in their children, of whom there were nine—one son and eight daughters.

Two of the daughters died in childhood.

The other children grew up to be an honor to their parents and a blessing to the communities in which their lots were cast.

At the proper age most of them were sent east for a few years for the sake of the educational advantages that could not be had at home.

The society of the early days of the Grand Traverse country was largely indebted to the Doughertys for the refinement that distinguished it from the coarseness too often found in border settlements.

Those early days had their romance, as well as their stern realities of hardship and endurance.

The first wedding in the Grand Traverse country would, no doubt, form a pleasing episode in the history we are tracing, were all the incidents of the affair placed at the disposal of someone capable of weaving them into shape with an artistic hand.

It has already been mentioned that Deacon Dame’s oldest daughter, Olive M., came to Old Mission the next summer following the arrival of the family.

She had passed the winter in Wisconsin, where she had been betrothed to Mr. Ansel Salisbury.

In the fall after her arrival Mr. Salisbury came to Old Mission to claim his bride.

Mr. Dougherty was anxious that the Indians of his flock should profit by acquaintance with the institutions of Christian civilization.

The opportunity to show them a form of marriage recognized by the white man’s law and the church was too important to let slip; consequently, by the consent of all parties, it was arranged that the ceremony should take place in public.

At a convenient hour in the morning the little schoolhouse was filled with a mixed company of whites and Indians.

There was no newspaper reporter present to describe the trousseau of the bride or the costumes of distinguished guests.

We must draw upon the imagination for a picture of the same.

We see the bride in simple attire, as became the occasion and the surroundings.

There are the Indian women, in their brightest shawls and elaborately beaded moccasins, and the Indian men, some of them clothed in a style only a degree or two removed from the most primitive undress, all looking gravely on, apparently unmoved, yet keenly observant of all that passes.

The whites are dressed in their Sunday best, which, to tell the truth, is in most cases somewhat rusty, their hilarity scarcely veiled by the gravity inspired by the solemnity of the occasion.

The hymeneal rite is simple and impressive—the more impressive from the simple earnestness of its administration.

Then we see the group of friends on the shore, waving adieus amid smiles and tears, as the newly married couple float away in their canoe, on the bridal tour.

Mrs. Dame accompanied her daughter as far as Mackinac.

The craft in which the company embarked was a large birch-bark canoe, navigated by four Indians.

They proceeded directly across the bay to the east shore.

There the Indians got out a long line manufactured from basswood bark, and running along the beach, towed the canoe rapidly after them.

At night they had reached the mouth of Pine River, where they made their camp.

The next morning the Indians hoisted a