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Full text of "Compendium of history and biography of Kalamazoo County, Mich."




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TITUS BRONSON. 

See Page 67 



COMPENDIUM 



OF 



HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY 



OF 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICH. 



ILLUSTRATED 



DAVID FISHER and FRANK LITTLE, Editors 



rv 



'A people that take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything 
worthy to be remembered with pride by remote generations." — MACAULAY. 



CHICAGO 
A. W. BOWEN «fc CO. 

Publishers, Engravers and Book Manufacturers 



Tell me a tale of the timber lands — 

Of the old-time pioneers ; 
Somepin' a pore man understands 

With his feelin's well as ears. 
Tell of the old log* house, — about 

The loft, and the puncheon flore — 
The old fi-er place, with the crane swung out, 

And the latch-string- thugh the door. 

—James Whitcomb Riley. 



FOREWORD 



From innumerable sources of information — many of them broken, 
fragmentary, and imperfect — from books, records, manuscripts, pri- 
vate documents and personal information and knowledge, the very 
capable editors have gathered much of value respecting this favored 
county of Kalamazoo and its savage and civilized occupancy. The 
historian and his corps of efficient assistants have zealously endeav- 
ored to separate truth from error, fact from fiction, as these have come 
down to them from the already half-forgotten days in legend, tradition 
and the annals of the past. The people of the county can well con- 
gratulate themselves that so learned men and so able and conscien- 
tious editors as Mr. David Fisher and Mr. Frank Little could be ob- 
tained. 

The publishers herewith desire to express their thanks to those 
of the citizens whose patriotic and loyal interest in the county of 
their birth or residence have caused them to give a generous and loyal 
assistance to this enterprise, by their financial support rendering its 
publication possible ; to those who have contributed the excellent por- 
traits, scattered as fitting illustrations throughout its pages, thereby 
greatly enhancing the value of the volume ; to all whose willing serv- 
ice and unfailing courtesy have ever fully responded to aid in the 
efforts to make this memorial history a valuable and thoroughly com- 
prehensive exhibit of the events and the people of old Kalamazoo 
county. The publishers feel a satisfaction in being able to so credit- 
ably place these writings in an attractive and enduring form, and 
trust that their faithful efforts will be suitably appreciated. 

A. W. Bowen & Co. 



History may be formed from permanent monuments 
and records, but lives can only be written from personal 
knowledge, which is growing every day less and less, 
and, in a short time, is lost forever. 

—Samuel Johnson. 



CONTENTS OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER I — Early Occupancy 19 

First inhabitants — High degree of civilization — Evidences of abo- 
riginal life in Kalamazoo County — Three pre-historic races prior 
to the white man — Progenitors of the Esquimaux — The Mound 
Builders — The American Indians — Indications of early labors and 
public works — The Cahokia m ounds — "Monk's Mound" — The Ca- 
hokia tribe — Mounds in Kalamazoo County — Mounds on Gull 
Prairie and in Cooper, Comstock and Pavilion Townships — "Old 
Fort" — The "garden beds" — The era of civilized possession — Lux- 
uriant vegetation — Wild game. 

CHAPTER II — Indians, Their Life and Character 25 

Original title to Kalamazoo land held by the Pottawattamie 
Indians — Treaty of 1795 — Chicago treaty, 1821 — Important ces- 
sions — This treaty the basis of all land titles in Kalamazoo County 
— The Match-e-be-nash-e-wish reserve — The Nottawasepee — First 
survey of town site of Kalamazoo — Location of early villages — 
Indian manners and customs as described by an early writer — 
Final removal of the Indians — Some resistance — Indian trails — 
Villages and early trading posts — Early traders. 

CHAPTER III— Indian Sugar Making 31 

The "sugar bush" near Galesburg — Squaw bees and male drones 
— Method of "boiling down" and "sugaring off." 

CHAPTER IV— Topography and Physical Geography 31 

Nature prodigal in her gifts — Geographical location and boundary 
of Kalamazoo County — The name Kalamazoo of Indian origin — 
Geological features — Exquisite primitive scenery — Land mainly 
covered with timber of many varieties — Prairies — Origin of Kal- 
amazoo river — Drainage of the county — Gull lake — Long lake — 
Gun lake — White's lake. 

CHAPTER V— Pioneer Life 37 

Life and customs of the early days as described by an early 
writer — Early means of subsistence scarce — "Johnny-cake" pop- 
ular — Conditions favorable for the development of character — 
Early settlers characterized by attainment and culture — Every 
settler an aristocrat — Conditions in eastern states encouraged 
emigration — Evolution in living arrangements — Orchard plant- 
ing — Pioneer bill of fare — Logging bees — Furnishing of the cabin 
— Spinning and weaving — Early accounts of Kalamazoo County — 
Sale of government land — Land speculation— Building of roads, 
canals and railroads. 

CHAPTER VI— Deforesting ' 48 

Primal necessity for destruction of timber — Lack of legal protec- 
tion of forests — New England back-logs and their inspiration — 
First frame building — Wonderful display of Aurora Borealis in 
183G — Present necessity for restoration of the forests. 



CONTENTS OF HISTORY, 

CHAPTER VII — Condensed History 51 

Early schools — Mrs. Charlotte Hubbard Daniels — Early pupils — 
Effective work during Civil war — Thanksgiving dinner for the 
soldiers — Early privations and lack of facilities — Few books or 
papers — Old Indian trading post — Early settlers — Description of 
William Harris's cabin — Early stores — First preachers of the 
Gospel in Kalamazoo County — Railroads — Kalamazoo & Lake 
Michigan Railroad — Kalamazoo & White Pigeon Railroad — Kala- 
mazoo, Allegan & Grand Rapids Railroad — Grand Rapids & In- 
diana Railroad — Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad — Railroads 
harbingers of prosperity — Many substantial improvements — Rail- 
road mileage in Kalamazoo — State Asylum for Insane — Kala- 
mazoo Board of Trade — Government lands — Population of county 
at different periods — Agricultural and commerical statistics — Kal- 
amazoo County pioneer meeting — Kalamazoo village — Kalamazoo 
in 1891 — Titus Bronson — Abolitionism — Underground railroad — 
Children's Home — Fire and water works — Fire companies — Man- 
ufacturing industries — Celery culture — Banks — Lilies Cigar Com- 
pany — Michigan Traction Company — Phelps & Bigelow Wind- 
mill Company — Kalamazoo Telegraph — Noteworthy Events — Vil- 
lage and city officers — Fraternal organizations — Colored societies. 

CHAPTER VIII— The Holland Settlement 89 

Advent of the first Hollanders in 1847 — Paulus den Bleyker and 
his extensive purchase of land — Known as the "Dutch Governor" 
— A prosperous colony. 

CHAPTER IX— History of Galesburg Since 1880 . 91 

Gradual and substantial growth of the place — New buildings — 
Neat and elegant residences — Michigan Traction Company — Edu- 
cation — Libraries — Ladies' Library Association — Mutual Improve- 
ment Club — Fraternal societies — Religious bodies — Newspapers — 
Industries. 

CHAPTER X — The Banking Business of Schoolcraft 95 

Thomas Griffiths & Company — M. R. Cobb & Company — First Na- 
tional Bank of Schoolcraft — E. B. Dyckman & Company — Nesbitt 
& Miller — Kalamazoo County Bank. 

CHAPTER XI — The Churches at Alamo 96 

The Methodist church here first — Members of the first class — 
Methodists and Presbyterians unite in building the first church — 
Ministers who have officiated — Organization of the Presbyterian 
church — The Congregational church and its ministers. 

CHAPTER XII — State Asylum for the Insane 99 

Early legislative provisions for its establisment — Construction of 
the buildings — Destruction by Fire — Boards of trustees — Descrip- 
tion of the buildings and the system of operation — Superintend- 
ents and roster of present officers. 

CHAPTER XIII — Kalamazoo Educational Institutions 102 

Numerous educational advantages — Kalamazoo College — Michi- 
gan Seminary — Western State Normal School — Nazareth Acad- 
emy — LeFevre Institute — St. Joseph's Institute — Parson's Busi- 
ness College — Public schools. 



CONTENTS OF HISTORY. 

CHAPTER XIV— Michigan Female Seminary 105 

Organized under auspices of Presbyterian church — Erection of 
Buildings — Early principals — Rev. John Gray, D. D. 

CHAPTER XV — Ladies' Library Association of Kalamazoo 106 

Formation of society in 1852 — First officers — Erection of library 
building — Early meetings and entertainments — Description of 
building — Contributors. 

CHAPTER XVI — Ladies' Library Association of Schoolcraft 110 

Organized in 1879 — Incorporated in 1886 — Erection of Library 
building in 1896 — Generous donations — Present officers. 

CHAPTER XVII — Religious Organizations Ill 

Large church-seating capacity — St. Luke's Episcopal church — Ro- 
man Catholic church — First Presbyterian church —North Presby- 
terian church — First Congregational church — First Methodist 
Episcopal church — Simpson Methodist Episcopal church — Damon 
Methodist Episcopal church — East Avenue Methodist church — 
Grant Chapel — Free Methodist church — First Baptist church — 
Bethel Baptist church — Portage Baptist church — Second Baptist 
church — People's church — Christian Science church — Jewish Syn- 
agogue — First, Second, Third and Fourth Dutch Reformed 
churches — Salvation Army — Church of God — Bethany Mission — 
Douglas Avenue Mission. 



INDEX TO SKETCHES, ETC. 



A 



Abbey, Perley L 298 

Adams, H. Dale 427 

Adams, John W 303 

Adams, Samuel 303 

Alexander, Miss Lydia 195 

Alexander, Peter F 195 

Allen, Oscar M., Sr 182 

American Carriage Co 269 

Anderson, Edward 534 

Anderton, Thomas 363 

Angle Steel Sled Co 455 

Armstrong, Mrs. Huldah M. 420 

Arnold, Delevan 304 

Arnold, Hiram 304 

B 

Bacon, George W 544 

Bacon, Martin 251 

Bailey, John C 380 

Baker, Robert 120 

Balch, J. B 267 

Balch, Nathaniel A 563 

Balch, R. Curtis 455 

Baldwin, C. E 547 

Baldwin, Levi 400 

Baldwin, Wallace W 400 

Barber, George A 325 

Barbour, Searles D 460 

Barnard, Thomas W 379 

Barnea, Reuben 438 

Barnes, Alvin B 202 

Barnes, Tillotson 202 

Bartshe, Daniel F 130 

Beckwith, Henry 333 

Beckwith, Warren 333 

Beebe, Orlena 142 

Bell, Charles 247 

Bennett, Robert 259 

Bennett, William H 259 

Best, Lewis C. , 479 

Big Four Mercantile Co.... 180 

Bigelow, M. J 273 

Bishop, Henry 529 

Bishop, Henry L 529 

Bissell, Edward A 256 

Bissell, Elijah N 257 

Blumenberg, A. L 535 

Bond, Amos 417 

Bond, George G 417 

Borden, Mace S 414 

Bragg, Leonard G 284 

Briggs, Henry C 206 

Brooks, Henry E 136 

Brown, Charles 470 



Brown, Charles, Sr 470 

Brown, Condon J 265 

Brown, Ebenezer L 513 

Brown, Frank L 449 

Brown, Jeremiah N 457 

Brown, Lorenzo F 373 

Brown, Nelson C 442 

Brown, Stephen F 510 

Browne, Samuel A 177 

Browne, William H 177 

Brownell, W. L 190 

Bryant, Damon 140 

Bryant, Mc. M 140 

Bryant, Noah 212 

Buckham, George 450 

Buckhout, Romine H 544 

Burdick, Lewis S 409 

Burdick, Victor G 366 

Burdick, Willis J 287 

Burke, Lawrence N 256 

Burnham, Giles C 279 

Burroughs, Luther 426 

Burrows, Julius C 527 

Burson, James W 512 

Burtt, William M 310 

Bush & Paterson 242 

Bush, Fred 242 

Butler, Hiram 548 

Butler, Paul T 548 

C 

Campbell, Albert L 285 

Campbell, John P 315 

Cannon, Leander 424 

Carder, Edwin A 219 

Carney, Claude S 229 

Carney & Yaple 229 

Carpenter, Albert 405 

Carpenter, Ira 405 

Carson, Oliver D 433 

Chamberlin, Milton 509 

Chandler, David R 253 

Chapin, John F. 456 

Chase, Nehemiah 320 

Chenery, Henry 316 

Citizens Mutual Fire Ins. Co. 247 

Clapp, Ashley 307 

Clapp, Thaddeus S 432 

Clarage, Thomas 565 

Clark, George 317 

Cobb, Jerome T 339 

Cobb, Moses R 518 

Cobb, Stephen S 528 

Cobb, William B 340 

Coe, Walter M 568 

Coleman, Frank 452 

Coleman, William H 452 



Coller, Frank S 121 

Coller, Eli H 121 

Collins, Ferdinand V 422 

Collins, Nahum C 476 

Collins, Stephen P 476 

Collins, William G 422 

Comings, James R 201 

Comings, Sherman 202 

Cook, Edson W 417 

Cook, Omar G 505 

Cooley, Calvin W 125 

Cooley, Charles S 125 

Cooley, Edwin J 387 

Coon, Lemuel W 499 

Corbin, Edwin 169 

Corbin, Palmer 170 

Cornell, Albert B 249 

Cornell, Joseph B 335 

Crane, James A 186 

Crane, Jay D 160 

Crooks, Charles G 314 

Crooks, George W 296 

Cropsey, Alexander 428 

Cropsey, Jesse R 428 

Crouch, Albert 490 

Curtenius, Edward F 376 

Curtenius, Frederick W. . . . 525 



D 



Daniels, Henry J 518 

Dardinger, Roe . 461 

Davis, George B 211 

Davis, James M 336 

Davis, William L 396 

Delano, Ephraim 162 

Delano, Nelson H 162 

Deming, David E 159 

Deming, George 160 

Den Bleyker, John 565 

Desenberg, Meyer, Sr 284 

Dewing, Charles A 192 

Dewing, William G 191 

Dewing, William S 191 

Dewing & Sons 191 

DeYoe, Edwin W 219 

DeYoe, William 220 

Dir, William H 497 

Doolittle, William F 569 

Doubleday, Abner D 288 

Doubleday Bros. & Co 288 

Doyle, Charles E 367 

Doyle, James E 269 

Drake, Benjamin, Jr 308 

Drake, Francis 308 

Drake, George N 377 

Dudgeon, John 563 



INDEX TO SKETCHES, ETC. 



Duncan, Charles C 533 

Duncan, Delamore, Jr 467 

Duncan, Delamore, Sr 467 

Dunkley, George 208 

Dunkley, Joseph 207 

Dunn & Clapp 431 

Dunn, Robert G 462 

Dunn, Sidney 462 

Dyekman, Evert B 517 

E 

Eames, Gardner T 278 

Eames, Lovett 278 

Eclipse Governor Co 118 

Edmunds, Judson A 463 

Edmunds, Obadiah 463 

Edwards, John M 440 

Eldred, Louis S 532 

Eldred, Thomas B 532 

Elwell, H. N 217 

Evers, George M 258 

F 

Fellows, Henry W 559 

Fidelity Building & Loan 

Ass'n 28 7 

Finlay, Archibald 554 

Finlay, Thomas B 350 

Finley, David 534 

Fisher, David 122 

Fisher, Levi B 413 

Fisher, Reuben 414 

Fleisher, Benjamin . 506 

Fleisher, Simeon 506 

Fletcher, Benjamin 511 

Fletcher, C. A 378 

Fletcher, Zechariah 511 

Folz, Samuel 231 

Foote, Charles E 264 

Forbes, Calvin 298 

Forbes, James P 298 

Ford, Charles B 283 

Ford Manufacturing Co.... 283 

Frakes, Joseph 416 

Frakes, Wallace F 416 

French, Dorr 269 

Fuller, George 270 

Fuller, H. J 215 

G 

Gates, Lyman N 390 

Gates, Orvin M 503 

George, Michael 492 

George, Nicholas 492 

Gibbs, John 136 

Gibbs, William A 137 

Gibson, Samuel A 218, 527 

Gilchrist, Clark D 396 

Gilchrist, George 396 

Gilchrist, John 337 

Gilkey, John F 240 

Gilkey, Patrick H 241 

Gleason, Isaac 384 

Gleason, T. P 497 

Gleason, William A 384 



Glen, Alexander 148 

Glen, E. H 148 

Globe Casket Co 254 

Goodale, John C 349 

Graves, B. F 522 

Gray, Emmett M 536 

Gray, John 328 

Guthrie, John 489 

Guthrie, Thomas' E 131 

Guthrie, William J 489 

H 

Haines, Charles H 496 

Haines, David 496 

Haines, David H 176 

Hale, Ezekiel N 425 

Hale, Henry A 259 

Hale, Ozro M 425 

Hall, Henry A 367 

Hamilton, John 474 

Harding, Albert J 180 

Harper, Alfred 491 

Harper, George M 491 

Harrigan, Daniel 189 

Harrington, George W 305 

Harrington, Samuel 305 

Harrison, Bazel 406 

Harrison, George F 530 

Harrison, John S 406 

Harrison, Owen W 408 

Harrison, William 546 

Haskins, Ezra 263 

Haskins, John G 263 

Hatfield, James H 508 

Hawley, Edward 293 

Hays, Charles B 439 

Hazard, James 227 

Hazard, Jesse W 226 

Hill, Manfred 477 

Hill, Norman A 477 

Hill, Warren W 410 

Henderson-Ames Co 356 

Henderson, Frank 355 

Henika, Emanuel C 200 

Henika, Emanuel E 140 

Henika, Hosea 334 

Hobden, John H 453 

Hoch, Daniel 495 

Hodge, Fred M 218 

Hodges, W. S 267 

Hodgman, Francis 178 

Ploek, Walter 250 

Holcomb, A. A 130 

Holmes, Andrew J 337 

Holmes, George A 141 

Holmes, John H 141 

Home Savings Bank 329 

Honselman Candy Co 273 

Honselman, George 273 

Hopkins, Henry 260 

Hopkins, James H 260 

Howard, H. G. M 456 

Howard, John E 136 

Howard, John W 443 

Howard, Stephen 135 

Howard, William G 22 7 

Howland, Simpson 364 



Hoyt, Henry E 440 

Hoyt, Jonathan C 464 

Hoyt, Ransford C 463 

Hoyt, Stephen 464 

Hubbard, Silas 326 

Hudson, Grant M 536 

Hudson, Richard 536 

Huggett, Benjamin 436 

Hull, Latham 553 

Hunt, Washington R 409 

Huntley, Anson W 148 

Huntley, Asher G 149 

Huntley, Ezekiel W 149 

J 

Jackson, H. Clair 255 

James, John W 458 

Jenkinson, Robert D 419 

Jenkinson, William 479, 494 

Jenkinson, William, Sr 494 

Jewett, Norman C 239 

Jickling, Robert 187 

Jones, Charles W 345 

Joy, S. D 543 



K 



Kalamazoo Cold Storage Co. 266 

Kalamazoo College 561 

Kalamazoo Corset Co 508 

Kalamazoo Gas Co 176 

Kalamazoo Gazette 294 

Kalamazoo Hack & Bus Co. 215 
Kalamazoo Interior Finish 

£0 439 

Kalamazoo Paper Co 218 

Kalamazoo Publishing Co. . 497 
Kalamazoo Railway Supply 

Co 438 

Kalamazoo Sanitarium 378 

Kalamazoo Sled Co 528 

Kalamazoo Spring & Axle Co. 286 
Kalamazoo Stove Works. . . . 423 

Kauffer, Hale P 329 

Kent, C. S 550 

Kent, James A 293 

Kent, Simeon 293 

Kester, William H 252 

Kilgore, George E 166 

Kilgore, Hiram A 275 

Kilgore, William 166 

Kimble, Charles 481 

Kimble, Emory 119 

Kimble, Lewis C 481 

Kimble, Ransom E 482 

King Paper Co 245 

Kinney, Nathan S 454 

Kinney, Niles H 454 

Kirby, William S 539 

Kleinstueck, Carl G 327 

Kline, Joseph 469 

Kline, William A 469 

Knappen, Eugene F 239 

Knappen, Frank E 222 

Knappen, Henry 238 

Knickerbocker, John S 570 

Knight, William G 498 



INDEX TO SKETCHES, ETC. 



Kuhn, Daniel E 492 

Kuhn, Frederick. 493 

Kuhn, Philip E 493 

L 

Lamb, John A 357 

Lane, M. Henry. 277 

Larsen, Louis 439 

Latta, Albert 446 

Lawler, James 327 

Lawler, John J. . . 327 

Lawrence, Daniel 444 

Lawrence, Thomas S 444 

Lay, Frank B 276 

Lee, John 399 

Lee Paper Co 507 

Little, Frank 145 

Little, Henry 142 

Little, William H 146 

Longman, Arthur 485 

Longman, John 485 

Luce, Frederick 139 

Luce, Levi 139 

Luce, Newton 408 

Luttenton, Henry J 385 

Lyon, Ira 128 

Lyon, Lucius V 128 

Mc 

McBeth, William L 435 

McCreary, George 471 

McCreary, Preston J 471 

McCreary, Samuel S 472 

McElvain, Joseph W 126 

McKain, Allen 475 

McKain, Charles H 475 

McKeown, Samuel 559 

McKinney, R. D 254 

McLaughlin, James H 454 

M 

Marvin, Henry M 364 

Marvin, Huntington M 280 

Mason, Edwin 360 

Master, Sheridan F 228 

Maxson, Charles A 356 

May, Charles S 522 

May, Dwight 526 

Meredith, Evans 515 

Meredith, Warren 387 

Merrill, David B 205 

Michigan Nursery and Or- 
chard Co 356 

Middleton, John W 570 

Milham, Frank H 209 

Milham, John 152 

Milham, John A 388 

Milham, Robert E 152 

Milham, William 162 

Miller, Conrad 252 

Miller, H. Brooks 230 

Miller, Joseph 523 

Mills, Alfred J 299 

Mills, John E 157 

Minnis, Albert C 488 



Monroe, Ebenezer W 399 

Monroe, Joshua 509 

Montague, Henry 197 

Montague, Stephen 197 

Montague, Stephen F 377 

Montague, William F 376 

Morrison, Charles E 420 

Morrison, James 420 

Morrison, Willis W 419 

Morse, Charles A 480 

Mottram, Charles V 181 

Munger, Isaac G 397 

- N 

Neasmith, Freii W 546 

Neasmith, James M' 547 

Neumaier, George 268 

Nichols, Leroy 338 

Nichols, Loyd 235 

North, Wallace B 276 

Notley, Francis 482 

Notley, William F 473 

O 

Oakley, Peter 567 

Oakley, Walter E 567 

Odell, Josiah 540 

Odell, Lewis H 540 

Oliver, Willard W 283 

Osborn, Harris B 248 

Osborn, Piatt S 248 

Osterhut, Cornelius 500 

P 

Parker, B. F 274 

Parker, George W 225 

Parker, Isaac M 225 

Parker, James 309 

Parsons, Frank J 413 

Parsons, Jonathan 353 

Paterson, Thomas 245 

Pattison, James 450 

Peake, Ira 319 

Peake, Ira M 319 

Peck, Charles A 198 

Peck, Horace B 200 

Peck, Horace M 199 

Pierce, Horace H 531 

Pierce, Isaac 531 

Pierson, David J 545 

P. L. Abbey Company 298 

Pomeroy, Jabez 167 

Pomeroy, Norton 167 

Pool, Abijah 368 

Pool, Nathan F 368 

Porter, Wade 490 

Potter, Allen 172 

Pratt, Arthur 245 

Prindle, George 394 

Puritan Corset Co 190 

Ramson, Ira A 505 

Randall, Bradley 451 



Randall, Jerome 451 

Rankin, John M 323 

Ransom, Fletcher.. 175 

Ransom, John N. 175 

Read, George F 323 

Reed, Heber C 354,388 

Reed Manufacturing Co. . . . 354 

Reese, Hiram 459 

Reese, John 459 

Resh, Benjamin 560 

Richardson, Gould 421 

Richardson, John H 421 

Riley, Augustus J 441 

Rishel, David E 495 

Rishel, E. C 119 

Rishel, John 119 

Roof, George 542 

Roof, Morris 449 

Rorabeck, Charles 359 

Rowe, F. F 294 

Russell, Darwin J 345 

Russell, Wilson A 344 

Ryder, J. W 229 

S 

Sager, Albert J 445 

Sales, John J 441 

Sanford, Tilly 170 

Sanford, Zardis 170 

Schau, Jacob 232 

Schau, John 530 

Schau, Philip 232 

Scheid, Jacob 226 

Schroeder, Jacob 433 

Schroeder, William 433 

Scramlin, Jonas 540 

Scramlin, Melvin 541 

Searle, Charles 171 

Selkrig, John M 169 

Shafter, William R 529 

Shakespeare, William 335 

Shay, Frederick 246 

Sherman, Henry P 549 

Sherman, Perry: 549 

Sherwood, Hulbert 313 

Sherwood, Kirk N 313 

Shields, James 395 

Shoudy, John M 437 

Shutt, Henry P 393 

Shutt, John 393 

Skinner, Henry V 160 

Skinner, Joseph 160 

Skinner, Jarvis H 330 

Slater, Leonard 370 

Slocum, Arthur G 561 

Smith, Albert 543 

Smith, Albert W 423 

Smith, William... 543 

Smith, Walter C 180 

Snow, Ansel 343 

Snow, Orrin 340 

Snyder, Andrew 314 

Southard, Henry 403 

Southard, Samuel L 403 

Southard, William B 403 

Southerland, Lot 300 

Southerland, Smith 300 



INDEX TO SKETCHES, ETC. 



Steers, George 220 

Stevens, Andrew J 138 

Stevens, Isaac 138 

Stevens, Pelick 192 

Stewart, Nathaniel H 188 

Stock, James 499 

Stockbridge, Francis B 533 

Stoddard, A. H 150 

Stoddard, Lucien 151 

Stoddard, William S 151 

Stratton, Lucas 386 

Strong, Arthur 451 

Strong, Edward 375 

Strong, E. A 127 

Strong, Solomon 127 

Strong, William 374 

Strough, Baltis 128 

Strough, Daniel 127 

Stuart, Charles E 208 

Superior Paper Co 267 

Sweet, Peter 165 



Taft, Miner C 357 

Tallman, James 358 

Taylor, James A 266 

Taylor, Walter R 216 

Telfer, Robert R 324 

Thayer, Cyrus 550 

Thomas, Joseph S 344 

Thomas, Nathan M 515 

Thompson, William 424 

Tiffany, Arthur 349 

Titus, Edward P 221 

Titus, Ezekiel 221 

Tobey, Samuel H . 443 



Townsend, George V 552 

Trask, Luther H 290 

Travis, Cyrus E 158 

Travis, James H. 156 

Travis, Jonathan 158 

Tripp, Allen C 318 

Tripp, William 319 

Tyler, Frank H 348 



U 

Upjohn, Sibley W. 
Upjohn, Uriah.... 



210 
210 



Van Antwerp, John 478 

Van Antwerp, Samuel C. . . . 478 

Van Bochone & Sons 524 

Van Bochone, Benjamin.... 524 

Van Bochone, Garrett 347 

Van Bochone, John R 347 

Van Bochone, Richard 524 

Van Bochone, Sanborn 524 

Vanderbilt, Clarence J 156 

Van Deusen, Edwin H 117 

Vandewalker, John 196 

Vandewalker, William 196 

Van Duzer, Jesse M 394 

Van Halst, Cornelius 295 

Vickery, Wallace 415 

Vosburg, Barnard 434 

Vosburg, Edwin W 306 

Vosburg, John W 435 

Vosburg, William B 318 



W 

Wagner, Jacob 132 

Wagner, Jacob K 132 

Wagner, William 186 

Walker, Cyrus A 155 

Walker, John 155 

Wallace, William 149 

Waterbury, Joel 297 

Weed, Charles G 557 

Weeks, George 373 

Wenham, James 147 

Wheeler, John 346 

Wheeler, John B 551 

Wheeler, Jonathan A 551 

White, Albert R 379 

White, William R. B 383 

Whitney, Norman K 237 

Whitlock,. Orson K 237 

Whitney, Norman S 236 

Wicks, Fred V 287 

Wing, Spencer J 474 

Winslow, A. D 534 

Winslow, George C 558 

Winslow, George W 558 

Williams, Chester A 168 

Williams, Richard 155 

Williams, Tom 155 

Worden, Russell 487 

Worden, Silas F 486 

Wood, T. C 369 

Woodbury, Jeremiah P 289 

Z 

Yetter, Henry 397 

Young, Andrew 562 

Young, J. L. W 255 



INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Titus Bronson Frontispiece 

Allen, Oscar M Facing 182 

Bailey, John C " 380 

Baldwin, Wallace W " 400 

Barnes, Alvin B " 202 

Bronson Park " 72 

Bryant, Noah " 212 

Burdick Street, looking North " 72 

Burtt, William M " 310 

Bush, Fred " 242 

Chase, Nehemiah " 320 

Court House " 82 

Cropsey, Jesse R " 428 

Daniels, Henry J " 518 

Finlay, Archibald " 554 

Finlay, Thomas B " 350 

Finlay, Mrs. Thomas B . " 350 

Finlay, William " 554 

First County Court " 52 

Fisher, David . " 122 

Fuller, George " 270 

Gates, Lyman M " 390 

Hays, C. B " 438 

Hill, Warren W " 410 

Hopkins, James H " 260 

Hoyt, Jonathan C " 464 

Hudson, Grant M " 536 

Kalamazoo College " 34 



Kalamazoo in 1832 Facing 62 

Kalamazoo River. " 34 

Kalamazoo Public Library " 102 

Knappen, Frank E " 222 

Latta, Albert " 446 

Latta, Mrs. Albert " 446 

Little, Hemy-. ?>1L*iA?. " 142 

Main Street, looking West " 72 

Marvin, Huntington M " 280 

Mason, Edwin " 370 

Milham, John " 152 

Milham, William " 162 

Notley, Francis " 482 

Osterhut, Cornelius " 500 

Potter, Allen 1 " 172 

Public Institutions " 92 

Schau, Philip " 232 

Skinner, Jarvis H " 330 

Slater, Leonard " 370 

Snow, Orrin " 340 

Southerland, Smith " 300 

Southerland, Mrs. Smith " 300 

Stevens, Pelick " 192 

Stevens, Mrs. Pelick " 192 

Titus Bronson's Cabin " 62 

Trask, Luther H " 290 

VanDeusen, Edwin H " 117 

Wagner, J. K " 132 



PART FIRST 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY 
MICHIGAN 



FULLY HISTORICAL 



Out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, tra- 
ditions, records, fragments of stone, passages of 
books, and the like, we doe save and recover 
somewhat from the deluge of time. — LORD BACON. 



CHICAGO: 
a. w. bowen & CO. 

1906 



We tell to-day the deeds of story, 
And legends of the olden time; 
While voices, like an unseen glory, 
Still charm us as a silver chime. 

The old and new join loving hands, 
The Past before the Present stands; 
The ages give each other greeting, 
And years recall their old renown; 
Their acts of fortitude repeating 
That won for them historic crown. 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY 



OF 



KALAMAZOO CO., MICHIGAN* 



EARLY OCCUPANCY. 

How many races of people have made their 
homes on the American continent no records 
have come down to us to tell. Evidences of at 
least one nation of a high degree of civilization 
having occupied this soil prior to the Indians are 
plentifully scattered all over the land. It may 
be that the mines of the Upper Peninsula of this 
state and the mounds of peculiar construction 
of Ohio and other states belong to still another 
pre-existing people than those now classed as 
mound builders. We do not know, nor is it per- 
tinent to the object of this work to know, whether 
civilizations after civilizations have been de- 
veloped on this soil from childlike conditions, 
and after attaining magnificence and power, have 
passed into oblivion. Some writers assert that 
at least three distinct peoples have here made 
their permanent homes. There are abundant 
evidences in Kalamazoo county of its occupancy 
by at least one higher race of people than those 
we call the aborigines. This race lived here long 
years. They loved and were married. They 
reared families and performed the functions of 
life in their way as we perform them today, and 

2 



who shall say that they may not in some way 
have possessed a higher culture and a deeper 
acquaintance with arts and science, with the mys- 
teries of life and of creation, than do we. 

Be that as it may, if they did exist they long 
since passed from the earth. Their earthly sor- 
rows and joys long since ceased to be and where 
they trod the hills, valleys and prairies of this 
fair county they were succeeded in an equally 
as transitory an occupation by the Indians, who, 
in turn, after years of hunting and warring, ram- 
bling over the pleasant dales and hills, bathing 
and fishing in the limpid waters of the lakes, de- 
parted hence, the silent footfalls of their moc- 
casined feet becoming less and less frequent un- 
til they were heard no more and left the land in 
loneliness to await the coming of the whites. 

These pre-histcric peoples have been named 
in this order : First, that race, who were the 
progenitors of the present Esquimaux; second, 
the Mound Builders, who have been variously 
credited to different epochs and to different races, 
one of them accredited as being the one who built 
the wonderful cliff dwellings in the arid regions 
of the southwestern North America, and of 
whom remains a feeble remnant in the Zuni 



20 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



tribes or Pueblo Indians ; and the third, the 
American Indians. 

S. W. Durant, in his valuable "History of 
Kalamazoo County," says: "Remains of gigantic 
labors are found among the copper regions of 
Lake Superior and the unknown races that 
worked the mines must have had a knowledge 
of naval architecture and navigation beyond any- 
thing which the subsequent Indian possessed, for 
we find that the copper deposits of Isle Royale 
were visited. This compelled a sea voyage of 
from fifteen to forty-five miles, the nearest part 
of Keweenaw Point being nearly fifty miles 
away. The native copper was no doubt trans- 
ported to a more southern region to be trans- 
formed into the various implements which are to 
be found entombed with the human bones in the 
mounds of the vanished race." 

In this connection we give an account of what 
may be the place where this material was manu- 
factured, the pre-historic occupation here de- 
scribed through a section of the Mississippi river 
valley in Missouri and extending further north 
and covering the sites of Rock Island and Mo- 
line. All of this extensive section of the Missis- 
sipi valley bears evidences of being an enor- 
mous manufactory, and when our civilization 
first dawned upon the land, remains of enormous 
canals, connecting the Mississippi river with va- 
rious of its tributaries, could be traced beneath 
a deep accumulation of the sedimentary soil 
brought down by the Mississippi during the 
enormous continuance of ages from the coun- 
tries of the north. 

Below the mouth of the Missouri river, for 
some fifty or sixty miles, the Mississippi is bor- 
dered on the east by a rich alluvial plain, once 
the center, according to modern archeologists, 
of a large population of pre-historic inhabitants. 
These early inhabitants built in this region, gen- 
erally known as the American bottom, a series of 
mounds that are still visible among the Caho- 
kia, the largest native earthwork in America, sit- 
uated not far from the city of St. Louis, and 
named in honor of the Cahokias, an extinct tribe 
of Indians. Although comparatively little can 
now be known about the history of this interest- 



ing section, where the farmer's plow has already 
lowered and altered the shape of many of the 
mounds, the region is considered the richest in 
the country in possible future discoveries of arch- 
eological importance, and, in a recent publication 
of the Peabody Museum of American Archeol- 
ogy and Ethnology, D. I. Bushnell, Jr., has de- 
scribed the appearance of the group "as the 
mounds looked when first seen by European eyes ; 
their history, so far as it can be at present sur' 
mised, and the various objects that have already 
been unearthed in their vicinity. The large num- 
ber of unusually large mounds that stood on 
either side of the Mississippi, and the great quan- 
tity of pre-historic implements and utensils that 
have been discovered mark that region as an im- 
portant center of population of the prehistoric 
tribes of North America." 

The Cahokia group of mounds stands near 
the center of the American Bottoms, about six 
miles distant from the Mississippi river, and just 
south of the Cahokia creek, a small waterway 
that may have easily served the original rnound 
builders as a connecting link with the Mississippi, 
and with the far-spreading area of prehistoric 
North America. The main group, which sur- 
rounds the truncated rectangular pyramid of 
that giant Cahokia, which still rises several hun- 
dred feet above the original surface, includes 
some seventy-six mounds. Extending from this 
group, in a south of west direction, a chain of 
large mounds ends in a group of smaller ones 
near the Mississippi, and before St. Louis oc- 
cupied the site, some twenty or more mounds 
stood on the opposite bank. 

Seven miles north of Cahokia stands a group 
of eleven mounds with several isolated earth- 
works not very far distant. Other smaller ele- 
vations have entirely disappeared under ages of 
cultivation. - The great mound of Cahokia itself 
has been partly cultivated and is often spoken of 
as "Monk's Mound," in memory of the Trap- 
pist monks who planted their wheat on its sum- 
mit nearly a century ago. These monks, when 
the explorer Brakenbridge visited them in 1811, 
were living in several cabins located on one of 
these smaller elevations, probably the one im~ 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



21 



mediately southwest of Cahokia. In referring to 
Cahokia itself, he says : "The step or apron has 
been used as a kitchen garden, and the top is 
sowed with wheat." 

Taken as a whole, these remarkable artificial 
elevations are rectangular on conical in shape. 
Cahokia itself apparently consists of a series of 
high terraces, the area of the base being about 
sixteen acres. Regarding the name Cahokia, Prof. 
Putman, of the Harvard Peabody Museum, has 
said: "While there is not the slightest evidence 
that the Cahokias of the time of LaSalle were the 
builders of this and of the other mounds in the 
vicinity it is a gratification to be able to thus 
perpetuate the name of an extinct tribe of 
American Indians in connection with this monu- 
ment of an unknown American nation, rather than 
that of a religious order of foreign origin/' 
These Cahokias were one of the two Illinois 
tribes (the other was the Tamaoas, who have left, 
so far as is yet known, no memorial whatever) 
frequently mentioned by early explorers of the 
Mississippi valley. They are now very much a 
part of the ancient history of North America. 
The site of an ancient village of Cahokias and 
Tamaoas, visited by Charlevoix in 1721 after 
the two tribes had been amalgamated, was prob- 
ably not very far from the present settlement which 
perpetuates the name of the former tribe ; and it is 
here that the party of Tamaoas taken to France 
in 1720 may have returned after their visit to 
the gay French capital and their presentation to 
royalty. In 1769 Pontiac was murdered near the 
same villiage. 

Just why the mounds were built is an unan- 
swered and apparently unanswerable question, 
hardly more likely to be definitely settled than 
the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask 
of European history. The mounds were 
built, and the Man in the Iron Mask did 
inhabit the Bastile, and that is all that re- 
search, archeological or historical, has been able 
to find out about either. One theory concerning 
the mounds, says Mr. Bushnell, can be readily 
disposed of — they were not burial mounds. In 
seven mounds that have been opened on elevated 
ground, the finding of potheads, bits of chipped 



chert, and the indication of fire, all on what ap- 
peared to have been the original surface, would 
point strongly to their having been remains of 
ruins of earth-covered lodges. Early explorers 
mention seeing such Indian lodges in different 
parts of the valley. 

Mounds, however, that can be partly account- 
ed for on the theory that they are actually the re- 
mains of ruined dwellings — such dwellings as the 
traveler Tonti had in mind when he wrote in 
1698: "I was surprised to see the grandeur of 
the village and the order of the cottages ; they 
were placed in divers rows, being all made of 
earth," — are comparatively few in number. Many 
of the mounds were clearly erected as they now 
exist, possibly as elevated sites on which the build- 
ers erected their homes in the same manner as 
later the Trappist Monks utilized them as an ele- 
vated foundation for their cabins. Mounds of 
this class are found in vast numbers in certain 
sections of Missouri, more than eight hundred 
having been counted within an area of less than 
ten miles in one county. In another place in the 
eastern part of the state more than five hundred 
occur within a three-mile radius. If each of 
these mounds was once occupied by a separate 
habitation, they indicate therefore the presence 
of a very large prehistoric population centered 
in this part of North America. 

In some of the smaller mounds, however, 
skeletons have been discovered, but not in such 
condition as to suggest that the mound was neces- 
sarily the original place of sepulchre. The bones 
had evidently been disturbed after their interment 
and in the immediate neighborhood fragments of 
pottery and indications of fire suggest rather the 
floor of a prehistoric home than the bottom of a 
tomb. Very few of the mounds have been care- 
fully investigated. What may be concealed under 
the surface of such a monumental pile of earth 
as Cahokia is therefore a tempting question for 
archeologists. 

Kalamazoo county has several well defined 
mounds. The one that is in the most public place 
is that in Bronson Park at Kalamazoo city. It 
is a perfect circle, in solid contents, according to 
measurements made by the late Henry Little, 



22 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



containing ;three thousand nine hundred' and nine 
ty-four feet with diameter at base of fifty-eight 
feet. and, a height of fifty-seven inches. Several 
excavations at different times in the last fifty years 
have revealed nothing concealed in its interior save 
a small amount of charcoal but, as in the early 
settlement a cellar was dug in the mound, what- 
ever was contained therein of the nature of relics 
was then probably taken out and destroyed. The 
mound was left in. a much dilapidated condition 
until about 1850, when some of the appreciative 
citizens restored its form and it has since re- 
mained as we see it today. . 

Two mounds on section 15 on Gull Prairie 
were early in evidence, but like many others, the 
ravages of civilization have taken them out of 
existence. On section 14 of the same town- 
ship were four mounds. Three of these were 
double the size of the first two, being fully forty 
feet in diameter. The fourth resembled the small- 
er ones, having a width of twenty feet. Exam- 
inations made in one of the larger mounds shows 
nothing but earth in its composition. In Cooper 
township human bones were found in a small 
mound on section 30. On section 16 in Cooper 
township the remains of three earthworks or sup- 
posed fortifications existed, from which many 
human bones were taken by the early settlers. 
Another mound was situated on the east side of 
the river. 

In Comstock township, in section 22, on an 
island in the Kalamazoo river, was a large mound, 
diamond shaped, twenty feet high and covering 
over an acre. In 1831 a maple tree, thirty inches 
in diameter, was growing thereon. On section 13 
in Comstock township was a circular mound, 
twenty-five feet in diameter, only raised from 
the surrounding ground by about thirty inches. 

A small mound on section 30, in Pavilion, on 
the shore of Long lake, was opened in 1876, in 
which were found two human skeletons. The 
mound seemed to have been built over and around 
the bodies, and to have been once surrounded by 
a ditch. An oak tree, eighteen inches in diameter, 
was growing on this mound when it was first 
seen by the settlers. 



Mr. Little is authority for the statement that 
when the first white people came to the town of 
Climax a mound, to which the appellation of 
"Old Fort" was given, was to be seen on Climax 
prairie, its size being about two-thirds that of the 
Kalamazoo mound. North of this mound, in the 
edge of the timber land and on top of an elevation, 
was a circular work including somewhat less than 
two acres of land. This contained both a parapet 
and a ditch, the latter having a width of from 
sixteen to twenty feet and a depth of from two to 
three feet. This enclosure when first seen by the 
pioneers was covered by large trees. Other 
mounds existed in Climax and a similar "fort," 
but smaller, stood on section 1 . This looked much 
like a circus ring. 

About a mile west of the "old fort" were a 
number of these strange "garden beds," cover- 
ing several acres. These beds were from six to 
eight feet wide and from two to ten rods long. 
The paths between them were from six to eight 
inches deep and from one to three feet wide. The 
beds were irregular in shape and size. A still 
larger number of these beds were found less than 
a mile east of the "old fort." These lay in dif- 
ferent angles with each other, as if cultivated by 
these people. The antiquity of these "beds" is a 
mooted question. They are found in many parts 
of not only this county, but this state, and in 
some instances covered the ancient mounds, sug- 
gesting that they were made by a later race than 
the Mound Builders. 

Henry Little says that in the early days of set- 
tlement they covered fully ten acres south of the 
Kalamazoo mound. Among these were some of 
wheel form. In Schoolcraft, especially on section 
7, were many acres of these "gardens." Fully 
one hundred were seen counted on a mile square. 
They were also seen on Prairie Ronde, on To- 
land's prairie and in various places not hereto- 
fore enumerated. The size greatly varied, some 
including three hundred acres, others being only 
four or five acres in extent. An exhaustive article 
on these beds, with numerous illustrations, con- 
tributed by Bela Hubbard, Esq., appeared in the 
American Antiquarian of April, 1878. These 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



23 



beds were of various forms, rectangular, triangu- 
lar, elliptical, circular or wheel-shaped, and com- 
plex, evincing, in many instances, mechanical skill 
and cultivated taste. Many of those found in this 
county were laid out as regular parallelograms. 

Indian occupancy was succeeded by the new 
era, that of civilized possession. When the few 
first pioneers looked on this land it was not the 
landscape of today that they beheld. Although in 
its peculiar wild and virgin aspect it was wonder- 
fully attractive, still a dense and tangled jungle 
of heavy cedars, tamaracks and cypress, mingled 
with maples, elms, oaks, walnuts and other ever- 
green and deciduous trees, covered much of the 
ground, which, water-soaked and fungus-bearing, 
was much like a marsh, even where extensive 
swamps did not exist. The rivers and creeks, 
choked by fallen and rotting logs and the debris 
of ages, moved languidly in their beds, while 
smalled streams, dry or scarcely discernible, kept 
sinuous courses through the extended marshes 
and forests*, and . furnished' homes for thousands 
of finny inhabitants, the watery surface being 
made much more extensive by the numerous dams 
made by the plentiful beaver. 

The oak openings and ridge lands presented 
another aspect. John T. Blois writes of it in his 
very admirable "Gazetteer of Michigan/' pub- 
lished in 1838: "To the traveler the country pre- 
sents an appearance eminently picturesque and de- 
lightful. In a considerable portion the surface 
of the ground is so even and free from under- 
brush as to admit of carriages being driven 
through the uncultivated woodlands and plains 
with the same facility as over the prairie or the 
common road. The towering forest and grove, 
the luxuriant prairie, the crystal lake and limpid 
rivulet are so frequently and happily blended as 
to confer additional charms to the high finishing 
of a landscape whose beauty is probably unriv- 
aled by any section of country. " 

The occupation of Kalamazoo county before 
the coming of the whites has left little signs of its 
existence. Whatever prehistoric peoples may have 
rambled along its pleasant hillsides or bathed in 
the limpid waters of its lakes, they departed hence 
and left no traces except the mounds and gardens 



heretofore mentioned. The thrilling events of 
border Warfare and of Indian atrocities recorded 
no deed of bloodshed on this fair land. Teeum- 
seh, Pontiac and other valiant and historic Indian 
chiefs concocted their dark designs against the 
whites in other places, by other streams, and the 
Indian history of this section is largely one great 
blank. Bands of warrior's going to slaughter and 
destroy, or returning home from savage forays, 
no doubt traversed the great trail crossing the 
county. Perhaps disconsolate captives were also 
hurried along its winding way, but no record has 
been made and the tongues that might tell were 
generations ago palsied by death. 

In the construction of this great Indian trail 
that led across the state from one great lake to 
another, and also in its branches, the red men 
avoided the larger marshes, kept on the highest 
attainable ground and crossed the streams at the 
best natural fording places. The wild grasses 
grew with great luxuriance on every kind of 
ground. The blue joint of the prairies attained a 
height of five or six feet, and the luxuriant wire- 
grass and redtop grew in great abundance on both 
openings and prairies, while immense expanses of 
wild rye, standing from six to eight feet in height, 
afforded a pleasant sight to the new comer. All 
of these were nutritious, and the cattle brought 
from the East had ample provision supplied by na- 
ture in great abundance. The ground, especially 
that of the prairies, was literally covered with a 
profusion of wild flowers of every conceivable 
hue — crimson, purple, violet, orange, yellow, 
white, etc. 

Another attraction to the pioneer was the pure, 
clear water, plentifully found in all parts of the 
county. The lands being equally well adapted to 
tillage and grazing, would please all classes of 
agriculturists. Deer were here in abundance, and 
other wild animals gave zest to the pioneer's quest 
for hunting. The streams, lakes and marshes 
were inhabited in great numbers by beavers, otter, 
mink and other fur-bearing animals, whose soft 
coats were readily exchangeable for "store-goods" 
needed in the pioneer home. 

Squirrels, black and gray, and of other varie- 
ties, were everywhere. Enormous flocks of wild 



2 4 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



geese, ducks and swans ruffled the waters of the 
lakes and ponds, while the wild turkey, the crane, 
the partridge, the quail, woodcock, snipe, prairie 
hen and wild pigeon furnished not only sport to 
the hunter, but most delicious additions to the 
primitive larders. It is probable that at this time 
no other portion of the Union possessed so many 
waterfowls or could furnish so many or varied 
attractions to sportsmen. 

"Every kind of wild fruit which is, and some 
kinds that are not only lavished in superior abun- 
dance, but sometimes in superior quality," is the 
way an early settler wrote of the attractions to the 
pioneer in that direction. Cranberries were so 
plentiful in the open, water-covered marshes as 
often to make them appear in the fall like great 
red fields. 

When these advantages were known to the 
people in the Eastern states, it is no wonder that 
a great tide of immigration set in. For at least 
the third time a new race was taking "seizin" of 
the soil. The Indians roamed here and traveled 
to and fro on their mysterious way for many 
successive generations. The demoralized rem- 
nants of a once powerful tribe had been sent to the 
West, leaving a few, faint, fast-disappearing 
tokens of their nomadic life. In this particular 
portion of the state the preceding races left few 
signs and slight evidences of occupancy, but they 
were here. They lived, loved, warred, fulfilled 
their destiny and passed away. 

The Indian here next existed, fulfilled his des- 
tiny, and he, too, has gone. Will the record of 
the third, the Caucasian race, in the time to come, 
be that of the others? In the early swarming 
hither of the pioneers there seems no possibility of 
such an accomplishment. As we look today in the 
opening years of the twentieth century, at Kala- 
mazoo county in its magnificent state of com- 
pleted civilization and high intellectual standing, 
the thought of such a passing away seems the airy 
nothing of an airy dream, nevertheless, two races 
at least have thus passed away. What will be 
the destiny of the third? 

Every fable has a moral, and all history 
should have. There are many lessons to be 
learned, even in the changes of events in Kala- 



mazoo county during the years that have passed 
since hither came the forerunner of the long con- 
course of westward emigration which here found 
abiding homes. They are not lessons peculiar 
to this soil, but such lessons as our common hu- 
manity everywhere teaches us. It is the solemn 
one that men do not bear prosperity ; that power 
and capacity for achievement come only from the 
toil and discipline of sorrow ; that men of one 
generation become strong, and make life too 
easy for the next. 

In many cases in this county we have seen the 
sturdy pioneer come to the annual fairs with his 
cereals, his flocks and his herds. His children 
appear in their day with fast horses and costly 
equipage, while the third generation is seen com- 
ing on foot, empty-handed and hopeless, the fam- 
ily name being no longer upon the tongues of 
men. While this has been going on, toiling boys, 
denied opportunities, have been working their 
way frugally and with untiring industry to opu- 
lence and place, to curse their posterity with too 
much unearned wealth. 

In physical progress since the surveyor's 
chain first gave the settlers freedom to here ac- 
quire a home, the dreams of the poet have been 
surpassed. The achievements of six hundred 
years have been cumulative and multiplied, or 
the tree taking root in all the centuries, fed by the 
toil, endurance and suffering of all, has at last 
suddenly blossomed and borne fruit. 

How hopeless was the pioneer in the flower- 
covered wilderness, but his descendants are now 
citizens of the world, sharers in all of its lux- 
ury and glory. All continents and all seas min- 
ister unto them. It took long months for the pio- 
neers to hear from across the sea, yes, even from 
their old homes in the East ; now the world's his- 
tory of each day is read at every fireside of the 
continent on the day of its occurrence. For years 
a few horseback carriers conveyed all the mail 
coming to this county and going past into the 
further West. Now the almost hourly railroad 
trains transport tons of mail daily. 

If the. great object of life was splendid struc- 
tures, the multiplication and diffusion of lux- 
uries, well might men rejoice, but the solemn 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



25 



question, here and elsewhere, is whether these 
things, representing temporal riches, are making 
men better or happier. Every continent is strewn 
with the voiceless wreck of the works of men's 
hands and with graves. Nationalities and lan- 
guages have disappeared. This has not come 
from. convulsions of nature, but from the degen- 
eracy engendered by prosperity. 

In this very territory, as told before, are relics 
of the Mound Builders. The pioneer planted 
with hope above their warning graves, while ad- 
dresses and political speeches have often been 
pronounced from platforms erected on the mound 
in Bronson Park. The same natural, moral and 
social laws that gave them life and wrought 
destruction of these ancient residents should re- 
mind us that there is no exemption from social 
corruption. The greatest trouble of the civili- 
zation of today is the power of monopolies, the 
restlessness of labor, the wildness of the scramble 
for gold, the violence and blindness of party 
spirit, the passivity of the average citizen and 
the character of the politicians, who look to their 
own interests and forget their country. 

The safety of the land lies in our intelligent 
agricultural population cherishing with wise con- 
servatism the good of the past and valuing their 
homes as to make them ever loyal patriots in the 
lines of national honor. The republic founded 
in this new land of freedom by the Revolutionary 
patriots can not last long without the stability of 
an agricultural interest, which can and will hold 
the balance of power and cry "Halt !" whenever 
the hosts of corruption seem marching the land 
to political ruin. 

One successful demagogue, reeking with cor- 
ruption, yet elevated to place, followed by popular 
applause and worshiped for successful stealing, 
while virtue is ridiculed and a drug upon the 
market, will do more to demoralize young men 
than the example of a thousand saintly lives can 
do to lead them to a better life. All history 
warns us that Nature has not among its possi- 
bilities greater woe than yet may come to Kala- 
mazoo county, if its citizens forget God and his 
laws. No matter what fields may be reclaimed, 
what temples may be reared, what magnificent 



edifices and structures erected, if men and women 
are not growing better, the pomp and splendor of 
civilization is as sad as the flowers that embellish 
graves and the human race will remain powerless 
in the clutch of an evil destiny, ever to drop lower 
and lower into a degeneracy from which a steadily 
increasing inharmony and weakness could only 
spring. 

CHAPTER II. 

INDIANS, THEIR LIFE AND CHARACTER. 

The Pottawattomie Indians held title to the 
lands of Kalamazoo county until the Chicago 
treaty of 1821. Before this, at Greenville, Ohio, 
on July 30, 1795, a treaty of peace between the 
United States, represented by General Anthony 
Wayne, and various Indian tribes brought into 
the ownership of the whites nearly two-thirds of 
the state of Ohio, a considerable portion of In- 
diana, and a large number of small reservations 
within their remaining territory, among the latter 
being a strip six miles wide along Lake Erie and 
the Detroit river, the post of Mackinac, the island 
on which it stood ; the island of Bois Blanc, and 
a piece of land to the north of the straits, six by 
three miles in 'extent, a piece six miles square at 
Chicago ; another of the same extent at Fort 
Wayne ; one twelve miles square at the Mau- 
mee rapids, and various others. The Indians were 
to be allowed the privilege of hunting upon the 
ceded lands, and the government and people of the 
United States were to freely navigate the lakes 
and streams within the Indian territory. The 
consideration which the tribe received from the 
United States was twenty thousand dollars in 
goods, distributed at the treaty equally among 
them, and an annuity of nine thousand five hun- 
dred dollars ,in goods thereafter forever. The 
annual payments were to be divided among the 
contracting nations as follows: to the Wyan- 
dots, the value of one thousand dollars ; to the 
Delawares, one thousand dollars; to the Shaw- 
nees, one thousand dollars; to the Miamis, one 
thousand dollars ; to the Ottawas, one thousand 
dollars ; to the Chippewas, one thousand dollars ; 
to the Pottawattomies, one thousand dollars, and 



26 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



to the Kickapoos, Weas, Eel Rivers, Piankeshaws, 
and to the Kaskaskias, the sum of five hundred 
dollars each. 

At the Chicago treaty of August, 1821; the 
Pottawattomies ceded to the United States all of 
their lands lying south of Grand river with the ex- 
ceptions of five small reservations, one of them 
being in Kalamazoo county and covering the site 
of Kalamazoo city. The Chippewas, Ottawas and 
Pottawattomies were represented in force and the 
latter tribe, as occupants of the land, having the 
consent of the other tribes, their allies in peace 
and war, took the leading part in the cession. The 
official description of the ceded lands describes 
it as "a tract of land extending nearly across 
the state'' and "Beginning on the south bank of 
the St. Joseph river of Michigan near Pare aux 
Vaches (a short distance above its mouth) ; thence 
in a line running due west from the southern 
extremity of Lake Michigan ; thence along the 
line to the tract ceded by the treaty of Fort 
Meigs in 181 7 (which was far to the east of 
Kalamazoo county), or, if that tract should be 
found to lie entirely south of the line, then to the 
tract ceded by the treaty of Detroit in 1807 (the 
western boundary of which was twenty miles 
west of Lake Erie and the Detroit river) ; thence 
northward along the tract to a point due east to 
the source of the 'Grand river; thence west to the 
source of that river; thence down the river on 
the north bank to its junction with Lake Mich- 
igan ; thence southward along the east bank of the 
lake to the mouth of the St. Joseph river; thence 
up the river to the place of beginning." 

In consideration of this cession, the United 
States agreed to pay to the Ottawa Indians one 
thousand dollars a year forever, in addition to 
one thousand five hundred dollars annually for 
fifteen years to support a teacher, a farmer and a 
blacksmith. The Pottawattomies were to be paid 
five thousand dollars annually for twenty years, 
besides one thousand dollars a year to support a 
teacher and a blacksmith. This treaty is of 
peculiar interest, as these provisions were among 
the first attempts made by the United States 
government to civilize the savages. 

This treaty is the basis of all of the land 
titles of Kalamazoo county. The Kalamazoo res- 



ervation was called in the treaty 'the Match-e-be- 
nash-e-wish reserve. In September, 1827, all 
of the Pottawattomie reservations mentioned in 
the Chicago treaty were exchanged for a con- 
solidated reservation called Nottawasepee, a por- 
tion lying in St. Joseph county and the rest in 
Kalamazoo. The Match-e-be-nash-e-wish land 
was by this exchange brought into white pos- 
session. .The Nottawasepee Reservation included 
one hundred and fifteen sections, sixty sections of 
it lying in Kalamazoo county and including all 
of the township of Brady and a short strip two 
miles wide on the west side of Wakeshma, be- 
sides a strip two miles wide on the east side of 
Schoolcraft township. 

The township covering the site of Kalamazoo 
city was surveyed in 1827 by John Mullett and 
became township 2 in range 11 west. The reser- 
vation remaining was surveyed in June, 1829, by 
Orange Risdon. By a treaty made at a council 
held at the Indian reservation in St. Joseph 
county in September, 1833, the Pottawattomies, 
through the kindly influence of gifts from the 
whites of military trappings, baubles and inex- 
pensive trinkets of the value of ten thousand 
dollars, ceded all of the lands still held by them in 
the state to the United States. They were to 
retain peacable possession of these lands for two 
years when they were to remove to a new reser- 
vation selected for them west of the Mississippi 
river. They, however, manifested such reluct- 
ance at leaving the state at the end of the two 
years that they were allowed to remain for five 
years longer, when the strong arm of the United 
States government forced them from their Mich- 
igan home and escorted them to their new land 
of freedom in the unknown West. 

Their villages in this county were located 
on Gull prairie, on the site of Galesburg, on 
Prairie Ronde, in the town of Portage, at Kala- 
mazoo and at other places. The settlement at 
Kalamazoo was doubtless the largest and most 
prominent. Here the chief, who is variously 
spoken of as Saginaw and Noonday, held his 
residence, and at the advent of the whites 
sixteen diverging trails centered. Evidences of 
a large Indian population at this locality are 
plentifully supplied by the three burial grounds 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



which were found within the present city limits. 
Here was probably the best fishing grounds of the 
entire western portion of the Lower Peninsula, 
for the largest fish of Lake Michigan could come 
up from Kalamazoo river and here, during the 
springs and early summers of many successive 
vears, a year's supply of fish was caught in a 
short time by a great number of people. 

The Pott aw attorn ies were by nature Indians of 
peace with agricultural tastes. They cultivated 
extensive tracts of land and the "Indian- fields" 
are said to have occupied hundreds of acres. 
Whether these fields were identical with the pre- 
historic gardens alluded to elsewhere we can not 
assert with any certainty. The menial work of 
the aborigines was done by the squaws. These 
Indians loved to cover themselves with gaudy 
blankets and to display gewgaws, medals and any 
thing of a brilliant or a showy character. Their 
ponies they decorated in the same manner and 
these were highly valued and well cared for. 
Good at hunting and in the trailing game, the 
warriors were as brave on the warpath as they 
were peaceful at other times. James Fenimore 
Cooper laid the scene of his novel "Oak Open- 
ings" in the Kalamazoo valley. This indicates 
that he possessed a fine appreciation of the Indian 
character. 

Indian manners and customs are graphically 
described in a letter received by Henry Bishop, of 
Kalamazoo, in 1880. A. H. Scott, the writer, was 
then a resident of St. Joseph and was probably 
as conversant with Indian life as any man in the 
county. It was published in the Kalamazoo Tele- 
graph of January 14, 1880, as follows: "I came 
to Kalamazoo county early in June, 1833, as a 
member of the family of James Smith, in company 
with his brother Addison. Hosea B. Huston and 
E. Lakin Brown carried on the merchandising 
business under the name of Smith, Huston & 
Company, and had two stores, one at Schoolcraft 
and the other at Kalamazoo (or rather at Bron- 
son, as it was then called). I soon picked up 
enough of the Indian language to enable me to 
trade. with them. They then owned a reservation 
of land ten miles square, which took in the eastern 
part of Gourdrieck prairie, and had a small village 



or collection of wigwams in the grove just east of 
the prairie, on the farm now owned by James N. 
Neasmith, Esq. The wigwams were all built with 
a frame of poles, covered with elmbark, with the 
exception of the wigwam of the chief, Saginaw, 
which was built for him by his friends among the 
early white settlers, of logs and covered with oak 
shakes. You wish me to inform you how they 
received the first settler, how they lived and how 
much they mingled with and how they traded with 
the white men. First, I think, as a class, they re- 
ceived the early settlers very kindly, and were in- 
clined to live peacefully with them. Second ques- 
tion, How they lived. Deer were plenty in those 
days, and, as they were good hunters, they had no 
difficulty during the greater part of the year in 
supplying themselves with meat. They also used 
the flesh of the raccoon, muskrats, etc., for food. 
Fish were plenty in the rivers and lakes. They 
understood how to catch them both with spear 
and hook. They raised corn on land that some 
of the early settlers plowed and fenced for them. 
In their season wild fruits, such as blueberries, 
blackberries, etc., were obtained by them for feed, 
and also to 'swap' with the white man for flour, 
salt, sugar, etc. Third question. How much they 
mingle with the white man? In our stores and 
the dwellings and cabins of their acquaintances 
they make themselves very much at home. The 
squaws and pappooses would come in crowds and 
sit down on the floor (never taking a chair) till 
they were so thick that you could hardly find a 
place to put your foot. They turned out en 
masse on all public days, and at horseraces and 
shows. They were greatly delighted with cir- 
cuses. Shooting matches and foot races they took 
great delight in. In answering the fourth ques- 
tion, How they traded with the white man, I an- 
swer that the trade with the Indian at that early 
day was mainly an exchange (or as they call it, 
'swap') of their furs, venison, dressed deerskins, 
moccasins, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, 
etc., for flour, salt, tobacco, powder, lead, sugar 
and all the articles that the Indian used to clothe 
themselves. I never knew an Indian to offer to 
sell to white people any part of the carcass of a 
deer except the ham. The price for a ham of 



28 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



venison was always two shillings, no matter how 
great or small it was. Whenever we sold a squaw 
any goods that had to be made up into any of 
their garments, a needle and thread for each gar- 
ment must be given. Only the goods for one gar- 
ment would be bought or swapped for at a time. 
It required a good knowledge of their ways and 
much patience to be a successful dealer with the 
Indians. We frequently sold them goods on 
credit, and found them about the same kind of 
paymasters as the ordinary white man ; some paid 
promptly, some after a long time, and some never 
paid. They would have been splendid customers 
if they had been blessed with plenty of money ; 
but they were poor and shiftless, and I may say 
with truth, a vagabond race, and consequently 
their trade was of no great value. They received 
an annual payment from the government, which 
was mainly in necessary goods for their use and 
comfort, and a small amount of silver money. 
The money was soon gone, and in most cases did 
them no good, but the goods furnished by the 
government was just what they needed, and added 
greatly to their comfort. 

"In regard to the personal characteristics of 
any noted Indian, etc., I would say that the best 
specimen of an Indian that I ever saw in those 
early days was Sagamaw, the chief of all the 
Pottawattomies in and about Kalamazoo county. 
The name 'Noonday' was probably his popular 
appellation. He was a man of great good sense, 
of noble bearing, of great integrity, and in every 
way a dignified gentleman. He was called a 
great orator by his people. He was a true friend 
to the whites. I have heard him make speeches 
to his people, and, although I could not under- 
stand him, his manner and voice were very in- 
teresting, and the effect of his speech on his 
people was very great. 

"Sagamaw was the only Indian that I ever saw 
who was polite and attentive to his squaw. When 
they came to the store at Schoolcraft to do their 
trading, he would help her off her pony, and when 
they were ready to return he would place his hand 
on the ground by the side of her pony, and she 
would place her foot in it, and he would lift her 
with apparently great ease into her saddle, and no 



white man could have shown more respect and po- 
liteness. If he wished for any credit at the store, 
he had it, and paid it promptly. Any Indian that 
he told us it was safe to trust was sure to pay 
us. He always told us never to trust his son, Cha- 
na-ba, who was a very worthless fellow. 

"In regard to the number of Indians that lived 
in Kalamazoo county and vicinity at that early 
date, I can not make any estimate that would be 
of value. They were continually coming and go- 
ing and scattered about in little squads. In re- 
gard to the effect it had on the character of the In- 
dian to closely associate with the white race, I 
have no doubt the effect was bad. He seems (as 
many writers have said) to take in all the vices 
of the white man and reject all his virtues. Whis- 
key, the great demoralizer of the white man, was 
and is the principal factor in the destruction of all 
that is good in the Indian character, when he 
comes in contact with the white race. 

"The longer the Indians remained here among 
the whites the more worthless they became. Game 
became scarce, they were too indolent to work, 
and they became drunkards and beggars. The 
great end and aim of most of them was to get 
whiskey to get drunk with, and as it cost onlv 
twenty-five cents per gallon, they generally got all 
they wanted. When they purchased whiskey 
they usually announced that they were going to 
get 'squabby' (drunk). The quality of the 
whiskey sold to the Indians was very bad, hav- 
ing been watered and drugged for their especial 
use. I recollect, in 1833, that some Indians came 
to Schoolcraft from Kalamazoo and made bitter 
complaint to Addison Smith about H. B. Huston. 
They said that he put so much T>ish' (water) in 
his whiskey that it made them sick before they 
could get 'squibby' (drunk). As to myself, I sold 
no whiskey whatever to the Indians, except dur- 
ing the first two or three years after my arrival 
in Schoolcraft. What I have said about the In- 
dians has been mainly about those whose head- 
quarters were near Schoolcraft." 

In November, 1840, the federal government 
took stern measures in the removal of the Potta- 
wattomies to the west of the Great Father of 
Waters. It sent soldiers to aid the Indian com- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



29 



missioner, Hon. H. M. Rice, who was later promi- 
nent in Minnesota. At the various Indian vil- 
lages camps were established and at each the 
troops conducted the regular western cowboy 
"round-up" operations to capture the Indians. 
The fated children of the forests and plains were 
dragged like the western steers into an enforced 
temporary captivity, all of their home ties being 
relentlessly severed. One writer states that Mr. 
Rice "performed his duties with fidelity and with 
utmost kindness." 

The Indians did not resist, but the young men 
would break away from control whenever they 
could do so, and the squaws concealed themselves 
so adroitly that it required great skill and much 
time on the part of the soldiers to gather them in. 
Guarded by an armed escort, each company was 
brought to Kalamazoo, some Indians coming 
from St. Joseph and Hillsdale counties, and here 
they were joined by other parties brought from 
the North and West. Not alone the Pottawatto- 
mies, but the Ottawas felt in this manner the re- 
lentless hand of destiny in their complete sever- 
ance from the only home they ever possessed and 
held dear and the complete breaking of all of the 
tender ties of association, which the Indians in 
their silent, taciturn manner conceal so warmly 
under an exterior of stolidity. 

Of the many Indian trails leading to and 
through Kalamazoo, the principal one was that 
which came to be known as the Washtenaw trail, 
which crossed the state from east to west nearly 
on the line of the Michigan Central Railroad. 
Along this trail were Indian villages at Ypsilanti, 
Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Gull Prairie, Kalama- 
zoo, Schoolcraft, South Haven and St. Joseph. 
At these places were important centers of savage 
population and the most of the inhabitants were 
Pottawattomies. These trails became the routes 
followed by the pioneer visitors and the first sur- 
veyors of roads found the routes of the trails, al- 
though winding and devious, the best adapted to 
the condition of the country, for they had been 
selected by the Indians, the acknowledged great- 
est masters of woodcraft. 

Concerning the villages and early trading 
posts, Louis Campau, one of the most prominent 



fur traders of the early days, wrote, "Before and 
at a short time after the war of 181 2 there was a 
line of Indian villages from Ypsilanti to the 
mouth of the St. Joseph river, located as follows : 
At places where are now Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, 
Jackson, Battle Creek, Gull Prairie, Kalamazoo, 
Prairie Ronde, South Bend and St. Joseph, all of 
the Pottawattomie tribe. There were trading 
posts at some of these places. At Ypsilanti, Mr. 
Schamber had a post ; at Jackson, Mr. Bacrotiea ; 
at Kalamazoo, Mr. Numaiville ; at Elkhart, Mr. 
Mordaunt; at South Bend, Mr. Bertrand; Ben- 
nett & Brother were traders at Michigan City. 
When I passed through Kalamazoo, in 1827, 
there were but two log houses there (traders' 
cabins)." Following Numaiville at Kalamazoo, 
Rix Robinson was stationed in the employ of the 
American Fur Company. He was succeeded by 
Gurdon S. Hubbard who wrote to the State Pi- 
oneer Society in 1875 : "I was then eighteen 
years old. This was my second charge of a post, 
following Rix Robinson, who was transferred to 
Grand River. Under me were five good men, 
one being Cosa, a pure-blooded Indian. We had 
strong opposition from traders at Bertrand and 
Coldwater. My trade was with the Pottawatto- 
mies and the Ottawas, and we were kept on the 
go all winter carrying our goods on our backs to 
the Indian hunting camps, returning laden with 
furs and peltries. The season was a success. I 
sold all my goods and got pay for say nineteen- 
twentieths. I left early in the spring, my boat 
heavily laden, entering Lake Michigan and reach- 
ing Mackinac early in May. In the fall I had 
buried in the sand at the mouth of the Kalamazoo 
river some very heavy articles because of the rap- 
ids. In March I took a large canoe and with 
one man went after them. We camped at the 
foot of the rapids in a snowstorm. In the morn- 
ing (still snowing) we with great effort poled 
up the rapids. We had reached the upper end, I 
being in the bow poling, my man seated using the 
paddle. A tree had fallen into the river. Pushing^ 
out to round it, the current being still strong, the 
bow struck it and my man being careless, the 
canoe would have upset if I had not jumped into 
the water. Telling my man to follow me down 



3° 



COMPENDIUM GF HISTORY OF 



the rapids, I swam and reached my camping place 
in safety, though much exhausted."- This was 
Mr. Hubbard's third year of service with the 
American Fur Company, of which the noted John 
Jacob Astor, of New York city, was the founder. 

Mr. Robinson stated that the first trading-hut 
at Kalamazoo was on the north side of the river, 
and was erected in the fall of 1823, by an old 
Frenchman by the name of Numaiville, who 
traded there that fall and during the winter of 
1824, and in the spring returned to Mackinac. "In 
the fall of 1824 I caused more substantial build- 
ings to be erected, and employed the same old 
man as clerk to trade for me for a number of 
years, my own trading-post being on the Grand 
river. 

"This old Frenchman could not read or write 
a single word, but would keep the accounts by 
hieroglyphics or imitation-pictures, and rehearse 
them to me in the spring with almost exact ac- 
curacy in the name of the article or the price. I 
continued to occupy the place by different clerks 
until 1837, when I closed up my Indian trade. I 
generally visited the post once, and sometimes 
twice, during the winter, but never remained 
there more than a day or two at a time. I some- 
times kept men there to trade the whole year 
round, but generally only during the fall, winter 
and early part of the spring. In the month of 
May we generally left in our Montreal barges for 
Mackinac, returning again in October." 

This little trading post, built partly of logs 
and partly of bark, stood not far from the ferry 
within the enclosure and near the southwest cor- 
ner of Riverside cemetery. Mr. Robinson, after 
1837, settled permanently in Ada, Kent county, 
where the principal one of his numerous trading 
posts was located, and became extremely promi- 
nent, serving very creditably as a member of the 
state legislature and as a useful member of the 
state senate in 1846, 1847, l8 48 and 1849. His 
intelligence, the purity of his private life, which 
distinguished him above the ordinary class of 
"traders," gave him prominence when civiliza- 
tion became dominant in the West. With in- 
flexible integrity and untiring assiduity he nobly 
fulfilled every trust reposed in him, and died*, as 



he had- lived, "without fear and without re- 
proach." 

Beside Robinson and Hubbard there were 
other traders stationed at Kalamazoo, either as 
employes of these, or traders on their own ac- 
count. Among them were Recollet, Peter Co- 
teau, and one Leiphart. "Recollet had two daugh- 
ters who were the pride and idols of his heart. 
Year after year they unfolded new graces and 
new beauty, and made the wilderness a merry 
place with their ringing voices and laughter. 
Like the waters of the Ke-Kalamazoo they loved 
so much, the current of their lives flowed sweetly 
and smoothly on. Fearless as Indian braves, 
lithe and sinewy as the wild deer, tireless as 
eagles, and sure-footed as the scout, there was 
not a nook, hillside or streamlet for miles around 
which they did not explore ; not a spring, lake or 
meadow brook but returned their fresh mocking 
glances, laved their Camillan feet, or bubbled up 
fresh breakers to kiss their thirsty lips. But at 
last the time came when the father, who had long 
wrestled with the thought of separation, yielded 
to what he believed to be his duty, and determined 
that they should be educated and fitted for a bet- 
ter life— for he held 'the gray barbarian lower 
than the Christian child.' He went with them to 
Montreal and placed them in a convent. They 
were permitted twice to revisit their old home, and 
finally, their education completed, they started 
once more homeward. But they were destined 
never to tread the old familiar hills. While on a 
brief visit to Mackinac they were both drowned, 
the boat in which they were enjoying an excur- 
sion being .overturned by a sudden storm. 

"When the sad tidings reached the aged father, 
he became like one who, by a sudden stroke, is 
deprived of all hope and comfort. He remained 
here but a little time afterward, and disappeared, 
none knew whither. 

"The stock in trade of these frontier posts, 
brought from Detroit on packhorses through the 
wilderness which then covered the lower penin- 
sula, or in batteaux from Detroit and Mackinac, 
consisted of ammunition, tobacco, blankets, cloth- 
ing, beads, hats and caps, steel traps, spears, 
hooks, a small assortment of boots and shoes, and 
a generous supply of white men's fire-water." 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN 



3i 



CHAPTER III. 



INDIAN SUGAR MAKING. 



Roswell Ransom, Cyrus Lovell and Ralph 
Tuttle, of Toland prairie, in the spring of 1832, 
visited the Indian "sugar-bush," some three miles 
southwest of Galesburg. Reaching the locality, 
they beheld an interesting scene. Here was a 
hive of busy workers, "Nitch-e-naw-bees," gath- 
ering sap from the trees and "toting" it to the 
camp. And they found the workers in this hive, 
like those of another, composed of the squaw- 
bees, while the males played the drones' part by 
idly looking on, which they seemed to enjoy 
hugely. Long poles, supported by stakes driven 
into the ground, held a number of iron kettles 
filled with sap, while a small fire was blazing un- 
der each kettle. From the boiling liquid columns 
of smoke arose in wreaths and ringlets that float- 
ed away among the treetops. The fresh sap, 
brought from the troughs under the trees, was 
poured into the first kettle, while the one next 
to it was filled up from the first and the third 
from the second, and so on to the last, which 
was used for "sugaring off." In the second 
kettle our visitors noticed some strange objects 
bobbing up and down with the boiling sap. These 
they, on closer scrutiny, found to be chipmunks, 
squirrels and an occasional woodchuck. The 
squaws were cooking them for those lazy drones 
lounging about the camp, who were called their 
husbands. The dusky matrons, taking the cold 
sap in their mouths, would spurt it over ladies 
filled with hot sugar to cool it off, and then pre- 
sent it to their white visitors to eat. But they 
were ungallant enough to decline eating any of it. 

The Indians did not make their sugar in cakes 
as much as we do. Their usual process was to 
stir it with a stick while it was cooling, thus 
graining it. They put this, in quantities of one- 
half bushels or less, into mococks, which were 
made of birch bark sewed together with thongs 
from slippery elm bark. These mococks, filled 
with sugar, were strung in pairs over the pony's 
back, making him look like an eastern donkey 
loaded with paniers of oranges. Thus loading 



the ponies, they would bestride them and go to 
the "she-mo-ka-man's" cabin to "swap" for quas- 
gun (bread), sammock (tobacco), or any other 
article they wanted. 

CHAPTER IV. 

TOPOGRAPPIY AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 

Nature was prodigal of her gifts when she 
created this section of the American Union. Kal- 
amazoo county is a typical county of the rich 
southern portion of the state. It is in the south- 
western part of the Lower Peninsula in the sec- 
ond tier of counties from the southern boundary 
of the state. Distant from Lansing sixty miles, 
lying one hundred and thirty miles nearly due" 
west from Detroit, thirty-three miles north of In- 
diana and due east from Lake Michigan forty-four 
miles, it is very conveniently located, having fine 
communication with commercial centers and ex- 
cellent shipping facilities by the various railroads 
traversing it. It is in the forty-second degree of 
north latitude and the eighth degree of longitude 
west of the Washington meridian, containing the 
congressional townships Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 south 
of the base line and ranges Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12 west 
of the principal meridian. It comprises 368,640 
acres of land according to the survey, but, by rea- 
son of the convergence of the range lines and 
errors of the first surveyors, its actual area is a 
few hundred acres less. 

Kalamazoo county is surrounded as follows: 
Allegan and Barry counties on the north, Cal- 
houn county on the east, St. Joseph county on the 
south and Van Buren county on the west. There 
are sixteen townships within its boundaries, Al- 
amo, Cooper, Richland, Rose, Oshtemo, Kalama- 
zoo, Comstock, Charleston, Texas, Portage, Pa- 
vilion, Climax, Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft, 
Brady and Wakeshma. 

The name of Kalamazoo is of Indian origin. 
George Torrey in 1867 writes thus of the name: 
"On Toland's Prairie there had once been an In- 
dian village, and it was here, according to tradi- 
tion, that the name Kalamazoo had its origin. A 
friend, Mr. A. J. Sheldon, to whom the writer is 



32 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



indebted for many incidents and historical notes 
regarding the Indians, says in a recent letter, 
'There is no reason to doubt the truth of this 
story, as I took great pains to* ascertain the true 
meaning of the word while among the Indians. 
Schoolcraft and the other authorities say its 
etymology is Kee-Kalamazoo, it boils like a pot. 
or the boiling pot, receiving this appellation from 
the numerous small boiling-like eddies on the sur- 
face of the river now bearing the name. 

"The Indian tradition is that many moons ago 
Toland Prairie was the site of an Indian village, 
where one day a wager \vas made that a certain 
Indian could not run to a specified point on the 
bank of the river and return to the starting place 
before the water, then boiling in a little pot over 
the campfire, should have fully boiled away. The 
race was made; the result has not been handed 
down to us, but the beautiful river was ultimately 
given the name it now bears, Kalamazoo, where 
the river boils in the pot, although at first but a 
small part of the stream was so called." 

Geologists have placed Kalamazoo county in 
the "Waverly group" of geologic strata, assigned 
by Dana and Winchell to the carboniferous 
period, but by others to the upper half of the 
Devonian. This group extended in a circular belt 
around the center of the Lower Peninsula of 
Michigan, having a width of from twenty to 
eighty miles and covering fully one-half of this 
peninsula, or about twenty thousand square 
miles. This group is the reservoir of the vast 
accumulation of salt brine, which is the source 
of the great wealthy of the salt factories. It also 
furnishes nearly all of the good building stone of 
the peninsula, being the source of the supply also 
of the "Huron grindstones" so familiarly known. 
This formation is thought to be the thickest, 
about one thousand two hundred feet, in the 
northern and central portions of the group. 

The upper division is mostly a sand rock, 
having inferior beds of shales, to the depth of 
three hundred to three hundred fifty feet. The 
lower strata are mostly shales, more abundant in 
fossils than those of the upper division. The 
whole formation is filled with salt brine. This 
is generally stronger in the lower beds, although 



in some places the order is reversed, as at Sagi- 
naw. The Waverly rocks must be reached by 
boring in this county. The depth of the super- 
imposed drift can only be obtained by this pro- 
cess. Two hundred feet or more of the drift rest 
upon the rock, for the Kalamazoo river has no- 
where cut through the alluvium to this group. 
The' thickness of the Silurian and Devonian 
formations in this county are probably from four 
thousand to five thousand feet. These forma- 
tions carry coal measures in many sections, but 
not here. Brine from which salt can be obtained 
can probably be found by boring from one thou- 
sand tv/o hundred to one thousand five hundred 
feet in any part of this section. 

At the time of its first occupancy by the 
whites the county was a marvel of wild, untrained 
beauty. Its exquisite scenery rivalled the effects 
produced on many of the old estates of Kent and 
Somersetshire in England, where landscape gar- 
deners for centuries have exhibited their skilled 
artistic talent. At this early period a luxuriant 
growth of forest trees of primeval date covered 
the greater portion of the land, and these were di- 
versified by stretches of prairie oak-openings, 
marshes, bluffs and ravines, that alternated in a 
wild yet pleasing disorder. 

Three-fourths of the county was classed as 
"timbered lands." Numerous varieties of oak 
grew in these dark forests in massiveness, many 
of giant size. Several varieties of hickory, wal- 
nut, elm, beech and maple here cast their shadow 
of their variegated leaves in the long, dreamy 
days of the Indian summertime. Basswood, black 
cherry, tulip, sycamore, ash, pepperage, birch, 
beech and cedar gave great variety to the land- 
scape, and, here and there, a few pines brought 
their solemnity to heighten the effect. 

The frequent oak openings appeared like a 
succession of cultivated orchards, as they were 
scattered amid the expanses of the giant speci- 
mens of the heavy forests. One of the finest of 
these oak openings occupied the site of the pres- 
ent beautiful capital city of the county, and a 
rare wisdom has preserved many of the original 
trees to beautify the City of Homes in this open- 
ing decade of the twentieth century. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



33 



The whole of the southern part of the state 
is picturesque and beautiful, this county well 
maintaining pre-eminence in this regard. The 
drives are interesting, presenting fine expanses of 
river and valley lands, hills, prairies, lakes and 
streams. Modern residences of artistic archi- 
tecture, quaint old residences dating back to early 
days, dales of exquisite beauty, hills of emerald 
verdure, orchard trees, and fields of waving grain 
flit past the carriages or the automobiles of the 
traveler or those on pleasure bent, each mile giv- 
ing new charms and the whole showing a rural 
presentation of country life in manifold forms of 
beauty, utility and grace. 

The pure air of this section in combination 
with its attractions of health and enjoyment have 
for years attracted thither during the enjoyable 
summers large numbers of people from the great 
cities and manufacturing towns of this and other 
states, and in many places the summer cottages 
form lively little centers of life, while in still more 
retired locations white tents are pitched in num- 
bers along the shores of the lakes and ponds, by 
the sides of the streams or under the trees, where 
the summer breezes sing sweet songs of rest to 
the tired children of the cities. 

Compared with the vast stretches of prairie 
land in Indiana and Illinois, the prairies of this 
state are small in size and few in number. Their 
richness equals those larger ones, however, the 
black soil producing heavy and valuable crops. 
In this county the prairies worthy of especial 
mention are Prairie Ronde, Gourdneck, Gull 
prairie, Climax, Grand, Toland's, Dry and Gen- 
esee. 

Prairie Ronde stands fully at the front of this 
number and is one of the largest, if not the very 
largest of the state. This level stretch of from 
fifteen thousand to twenty thousand acres ex- 
tends some distance into St. Joseph county, at 
least thirteen thousand acres of it belonging to 
Kalamazoo. This has been preserved in Ameri- 
can literature by James Fenimore Cooper, in his 
exciting pioneer story, "The Oak Openings/' 
Today thousands of pleasant homes are located 
on its productive soil, making a rural scene of 
rare beauty. 



Gull prairie has nearly three thousands acres 
of fertile lands, where other homes nestle under 
groves and orchards of charming appearance. 
Gourdneck prairie, of twenty-five hundred acres ; 
Climax, of eight hundred acres ; Grand, of eight 
hundred acres ; Toland's, with five hundred ; Gen- 
esee, of four hundred, and Dry prairie, of three 
hundred, conclude the list of these rich plains, 
which, in all, comprise over twenty-one thousand 
acres of as fine land as the state can show. 

The more or less precipitous escarpments 
along the margins of the river valleys are called 
"bluffs." They vary but slightly in height in 
this county, but do increase in size as they pass 
westward toward Lake Michigan. The .township 
of Oshtemo claims the highest elevation of the 
county, the top of the bluff there being fully two 
hundred feet above the river and three hundred 
and fifty feet above Lake Michigan. The high- 
est point on Prairie Ronde is two hundred and 
seventy-eight feet above the lake and seven hun- 
dred and thirty above the sea. The general height 
of the county is from eighty to one hundred and 
fifty feet above the bed of the Kalamazoo river. 

Kalamazoo river in an early geological period 
was of enormous volume, filling the valley to the 
height of the upper terrace from bluff to bluff. 
The valley, like that of the other streams, was 
eroded from the original level of the Southern 
Peninsula, this erosion dating from the Cham- 
plain geological era, that closely followed the sub- 
sidence of the immense continental glacier, whose 
irresistible onward movement toward the south 
and southwest covered the entire region between 
Lakes Huron and Michigan with the worn and 
shattered debris of the crystalline and sediment- 
ary rocks of the Upper Peninsula and Canada. 

Powerful currents of fresh water followed the 
melting of the great glittering masses of ice. 
These, in their rapid movements toward the lower 
level of the lakes, excavated the various river 
beds of the Lower Peninsula. As the frozen 
masses of ice slowly disappeared under the high- 
er temperature of the lower altitude the supply 
of water furnished to the streams diminished, 
with the result that they became slowly and stead- 
ily smaller in volume, until, when the glacial ice 



34 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



had all melted they shrank to their present size, 
leaving the sharply' defined terraces to mark the 
various periods of their intenser activity. 

The river has its sources in Hillsdale and 
Jackson counties and pursues its way with many 
windings northwesterly to Lake Michigan. The 
current is gentle, except where "rifts," as the 
small rapids of the stream are called, interrupt its 
placidity. "Estimating its winding course to be 
one hundred and fifty miles, its total fall approx- 
imates three hundred feet. Its volume is quite 
uniform when heavy rains or floods do not in- 
crease its size. This regular flow is caused, first, 
by the numerous unfailing springs pourmg their 
limped waters into its channels; second, by its 
receipts from the large number of lakes and 
marshes that hold back much of the accumulated 
water supplies of early spring and by the level 
character of the country through which it flows. 

From the days of the first settlement of the 
county the lower fifty miles of this river was 
used as a waterway, many crafts traversing it 
until the construction of the railroads rendered 
them useless. 

Canoes, barges and flatboats, and even steam- 
boats, have sailed for pleasure and for profit upon 
its tranquil current. The principal branches of 
this river within the county are Augusta creek, 
Gull lake outlet, Portage creek and Spring brook. 
At Augusta, Galesburg and at Kalamazoo the 
stream has been diverted to great service in man- 
ufacturing. The townships of Ross, Charleston, 
Comstock, Cooper and Kalamazoo are traversed 
by the river and much of the consequence and 
importance of the county seat in the pioneer days 
and later periods came from its location on this 
beautiful river. 

Over half of the county is drained by the Kal- 
amazoo river, the remainder coming into the wa- 
tershed of St. Joseph river of Lake Michigan. 
Ross, Richland, Cooper, Alamo, Kalamazoo, 
Comstock west of Charleston and Portage and 
portions of* Oshtemo, Texas and Pavilion are in 
the Kalamazoo valley, Climax, Wakeshma, 
Brady, Schoolcraft and Prairie Ronde, with parts 
of Charleston, Portage, Texas and Pavilion, are 
in that of St. Joseph river. 



Other streams worthy of mention are the Big 
and Little Portage creeks and Bear creek, drain- 
ing the southern portion of the county, and the 
one that, having its source in the township of 
Alamo, flows into the Paw Paw river in Van 
Buren county. The other streams of fair pro- 
portions flow southerly from Schoolcraft and 
prairie Ronde. The lakes abound with fish of 
various kinds, which afford fine sport to fisher- 
men, while the streams are stocked with trout 
"and here and there a grayling." 

The springs of the county are mostly crystal- 
line in their purity and softness. Some of them 
however, possess mineral properties, and one on 
section 27, in Cooper township, has deposited a 
large quantity of calcareous tufa. About ten 
thousand acres of Kalamazoo county are cov- 
ered with water in the form of lakes and ponds. 
There are about forty of these, ranging in size 
from fifteen miles in circumference to much 
smaller dimensions. Those large enough to be 
designated as lakes are Gull, having 2,000 acres 
of surface; Austin, with 1,200; Indian, 700; 
Long, 610; Rawson, 400; Gourdneck, 370; 
Eagle, 350; West, 300; Paw Paw, 170; Crooked, 
150; Howard, 150. 

Gull Lake lies twelve miles northwest of 
Kalamazoo city. Its greatest length is six miles. 
Formerly reached only by a wagon road, in 1887 
the Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railroad 
brought it into direct touch with the outside 
world. From Hawkes Landing carriages run 
to the railroad at Yorkville. The waters of this 
lake are clear and full of fish and they afford ex- 
cellent bathing facilities. The irregular shore 
line with its grassy beaches romantically touches 
meadows and hillsides, forests and clearings, 
cultivated lands and unbroken wildwood. A de- 
lightful steamer trip of from twelve to fifteen 
miles is not the least of the attractions of this 
favored spot. A grove of several acres in extent 
stretches for some distance along the shore where 
ample hotel accommodations and facilities for 
camping parties are afforded. 

Long Lake, eight miles south of this city, is 
touched by a spur of the Grand Rapids & In- 
diana Railroad and quite a popular summer re- 




-i N 

a o 

s r 

w 
o 
w 







KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



37 



sort of village proportions has been here devel- 
oped. The lake is from four to five miles long 
in its extreme length and on its surface several 
steam and gasoline launches glide on frequent 
pleasure trips. The surroundings on this gem of 
lakes are very handsome. One of the most beau- 
tiful of the slopes of land stretching gracefully 
down from the uplands to the water's edge has 
been thickly covered with summer cottages. Many 
of them are truly artistic and of generous propor- 
tions. 

Gun Lake, twenty miles from Kalamazoo city, 
has been made the permanent summer camping 
place of several of the city clubs, who wisely 
chose one of the finest of nature's creations to 
occupy and show their earnest appreciation of out- 
door life in such surroundings. 

White's Lake, in close proximity to this city, 
is noted as a popular picnicking resort. A vaude- 
ville theater and other attractions draws thither 
many whose tastes or means prevent them from 
going to more distant locations for recreation. 

CHAPTER V. 

PIONEER LIFE. 

A. D. P. Van Buren, an early settler, gave a 
number of interesting and gossipy articles on life 
and customs of the early days in a local news- 
paper, which space forbids us to give in full, 
but from which we extract sufficient to indicate 
something of the wild, free and independent life 
of the man who lived in close touch with nature 
as a pioneer. He says : "My parents, a sister and 
myself, on the first of October, 1836, left our 
home at New York Mills, Oneida county, N. Y., 
and took passage at Yorkville, one-half mile dis- 
tant, in the line boat 'Magnet/ on the Erie Canal, 
for Buffalo. As we left, we heard the whistle 
of the locomotive at Utica, two miles east. Rail- 
way travel in New York was completed to that 
city at the time. The next time we heard the 
'whistle' it was in 1845, m the young and pictur- 
esque village of 'Kalamazoo. One week's travel 
on the Erie Canal brought us to Buffalo. Here, 
taking a new steamer, the 'United States,' we 
3 



made a speedy trip up the lake to Detroit. The 
boat was crowded with people, mostly emigrants 
from various parts of the East, bound for the 
West. Each family had with them all the par- 
aphernalia for starting new homes. My father 
and son-in-law, Edwin Dickinson, had the year 
before visited Michigan, and, after making a pur- 
chase of land, returned. Two of my brothers, 
Martin and Ephraim, had preceded us, going in 
the spring of 1836 to erect a log house for the 
family, who were to come in the fall. As we 
stopped off the steamer at Detroit, we found 
Ephraim, who had come from Milton, Calhoun 
county, one hundred and twenty-five miles dis- 
tant, with two yokes of oxen before a lumber 
wagon, to take the family and their goods to the 
new home. 

"Detroit at that time was the rendezvous for 
all emigrants who came west by the lake. Here 
they stopped to get their outfit, if they had come 
without it. Here they made preparations, got 
needed supplies and started out to begin a new- 
life in the woods. There were some half-dozen 
not very imposing brick blocks, and no very grand 
buildings of any kind at that time in Detroit. 
There was not much prepossessing about the 
place, the muddy streets discounted largely on 
the whole town. They, although apparently im- 
passable from this mud, were yet full of the stir 
and turmoil of business, mostly of the teams pass- 
ing and repassing. Conspicuous among these 
were the emigrant wagons, of various and non- 
descript kinds, sizes and construction, — some with 
the rude canvas cover and some open, some drawn 
by one yoke of oxen, some by two, and some by 
three. Occasionally horses were used. These 
wagons were loaded with boxes filled with house- 
hold goods, the largest ones being placed at the 
bottom, the next smaller on these, and so on to 
the top. Then the various articles of the house- 
hold paraphernalia were 'stuck on' or fastened 
here and there upon or between the boxes, look- 
ing as if they had budded, blossomed and branched 
out from the load. The sturdy emigrant and 
his resolute wife were seated in front on the load, 
and cropping out here and there on the boxes 
behind there were bonnets and little hoods, caps 



38 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



and curly -heads, and occasionally, following be- 
hind, hitched with a rope to the wagon, was 'old 
crumple-horn/ while various other cattle, of 
diverse and sundry ages and sizes, were driven 
by some of the older boys, attended by 'old Bose/ 
the dog. We followed, on leaving Detroit, a 
wagon track, which for the first thirty-six miles 
wound through heavy timber lands. It seemed to 
us as the worst road that mortal ever traveled. 
Some idea may be had of its condition from the 
phrases and stories then in vogue about it. It 
was called a hard road to travel/ 'one continuous 
mud hole/ 'a road without a bottom/ 

"The first interior county of the state was set- 
tled in 1817. This was Oakland, on the great In- 
dian trail connecting Detroit with the Saginaw 
valley. The counties further west were visited 
by the first pioneer settlers about 1827 and the tide 
of immigration increased rapidly for ten years, 
when the conditions were such as to preclude the 
occupancy of more public lands. A well beaten 
Indian trail traversed the state from east to west, 
which divided the center of the state, one leading 
southwesterly across along the route later used 
by the Michigan Central Railroad, the other 
taking a more southerly course. 

"When we were established in the new home, 
we began to cast about us for means of sub- 
sistence. As was most usual, when the pioneer 
reached his lands here and erected his cabin, his 
money was all gone. We were left to our own 
resourse— labor. This was all the capital we had. 
My brothers had cut hay for the cattle from the 
marsh near by. But we must have winter stores 
for the family and corn for the cattle, the pigs, 
and the hens. The latter two were yet to be pro- 
cured and paid for somehow or other. The 
settlement on Goguac was about five years old. 
This was our Egypt for wheat, corn, potatoes, and 
other necessary supplies. There we found a 
chance to husk corn and dig potatoes on shares, 
and by dint of various kinds of labor we secured 
some wheat and pork. Many things were not to 
be had for money or labor. Here the rich and 
poor were on a level. Wheat and corn suggested 
a gristmill. The nearest one was at Comstock 
on the west or Marshall on the east,— some seven- 
teen miles to either of them. 



"At the new home all was virginal. Out-of- 
doors was beautiful, wild Michigan. Our cattle 
had a boundless range to feed and roam over in 
the oak paths and Indian trails that meandered 
through them. From the door of our log house 
we could often see long files of Indians, on foot 
and on ponies, wending their way along on these 
trails that were in places worn down to a depth 
of two feet. There always appeared to us to be 
strange, romantic history connected with the lives 
of these wandering children of the forest. Deer 
also could be seen feeding at leisure, or trooping 
by the door in droves. Occasionally in the night 
we would hear the lone cry of the wolf. The deer 
went foraging through the corn fields, or snuf- 
fling round the 'betterments' for a pig, while the 
fox paid nightly devoirs to our henroost. The 
weather remained remarkably fine through the 
fall. Such Indian summer days used once in a 
while to visit us in New York, but here they 
seemed to be 'to the manor born/ and we had 
them by the week full. 

"As there was never any wheat raised the 
first year, this was the discouraging time with the 
settler. Corn was sooner raised, and 'Johnny- 
cake' for a while was the staff of life. Pork was 
scarce because hogs were scarce. Every thing of 
the cattle kind was used, the cow for milk and 
butter, and the ox for labor. A cow or stout heifer 
was sometimes worked by the side of an ox. In 
the spring of 1837 provisions of every kind 
were very scarce and dear. Wheat was over two 
dollars a bushel, corn and oats very high where 
they could be bought at all, potatoes were ten 
shillings a bushel, and it was necessary to go to 
Prairie Ronde, a round trip of about sixty miles, 
to get them at that price. There was a primitive 
gristmill one-quarter of a mile from our home, in 
a small Indian hamlet on the banks of a rush 
bordered lake. On several occasions we had no- 
ticed the squaws grinding corn at this mill. It 
was constructed in this manner— a long pole or 
sapling was pinned to a tree like a wellsweep, 
the lower part of which was pestle shaped; the 
top of the stump was hollowed out to hold the 
corn. The sweep was then worked up and down 
by one of the squaws, while another steadied and 
directed the pestle, which, as it came down, 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



39 



mashed the corn in this crude mortar. We con- 
cluded not to take our grist to this mill, and as 
the Battle Creek mill was not running, we went 
to the one at Marshall. This with an ox team 
was a two or three days' trip. 

"We would occasionally kill a deer, and then 
venison would supply our tables with meat. My 
father had brought fiye hundred pounds of cod- 
fish from New York and this was exchanged for 
pork with our neighbors. This exchanging was 
called paying the 'dicker/ This 'dicker' was all' 
the money we had and was of denominations so 
various that we can not name them. Each settler 
was a banker, and all his movable property (large 
and small) was his bank stock. He paid for an 
oxyoke by giving its equivalent in so many 
pounds of pork. This was the first original start 
or trade, giving the products of one kind of labor 
for those of another. 'Dicker' was all the money 
the settlers had until real money found its way 
into the settlement. The pioneer did not take 
the poet's advice, 'neither a borrower nor a lender 
be.' During the first decade of his life here he 
'spelled his way along' with the axe and the plow ; 
borrowing sometimes was the very means to help 
him out of difficulty and set his enterprise going 
again." 

"Everybody borrowed and everybody lent, and 
by it business was kept prosperous and suffering 
often avoided. If the thing needed could not be 
borrowed or paid for 'dicker/ necessity then took 
the settler into pupilage and taught him how to 
make what he wanted, from an axhelve or plow 
to a house and barn. All undergoing common 
hardships made all equal and all friends. For 
developing neighborly traits, for leveling distinc- 
tions, and for carrying out the letter of the Scrip- 
tural rule, 'Do as you would wish to be done by,' 
the settling of a new country is unsurpassed. It 
was here that a man went for what he was worth, 
not for station or his wealth ; whether American, 
Scotch, Irish, or other nationality, the Man was 
taken into account, not the Mantle. If a settler 
went to the mill he lent his grist to every one who 
wished to borrow at the log cabins he passed on 
his way home. Sometimes, on reaching his house, 
of a large grist he would have but little left. 



"A shed, constructed of logs, covered with 
marsh hay, answered for shed and barn. The first 
crop of wheat, cut with the old hand-cradle, was 
bound, drawn and stacked near the shed. Near 
the stack a spot of earth was cleared and made 
smooth and hard for a 'thrashing-floor.' On this 
the wheat was threshed with the old flail. It was 
then cleaned of the chaff by the old handfan. In 
process of time, Dickey, of Marshall, made fan- 
ning-mills and the threshing machine made its 
appearance. Much labor was saved by its use. 
During the winter and spring, when fodder be- 
came scarce, trees were cut down and cattle 
driven to the forests to browse on the buds and 
tender part of the limbs. By this means, and 
sometimes only by this, the cattle were carried 
through the winter and early spring. 

"In a little sunny glade, hard by the stream 
that ran through the farm, was an Indian corn- 
field. Their cornhills, with the stubble yet stand- 
ing in them, marked the spot where the previous 
year Mr. 'Lo' had engaged in corn-planting. • The 
little mounds of earth showed where they had 
buried their corn. Their favorite camping ground 
was the banks of the little lake. This lake was 
made by the beavers. The dam was at its foot, 
but the Indians, years gone by, had captured all 
the beavers and sold their skins to the Eastern 
fur traders. The beavers were succeeded by those 
other builders, the muskrats, who took possession 
of this lake, and, erecting their houses, increased 
in numbers and flourished for many years. 

"The pioneer from Detroit followed the blazed 
Chicago trail or road until he struck off north or 
west or reached his lands on the line of this road. 
When he reached his wilderness possessions he 
pitched his tent and went to work in the wilder- 
ness to erect a home. He had his rifle, axe and 
plow, energy and courage, and, sometimes, a 
plucky wife to aid him. He brought a meagre 
outfit of household goods, perhaps, but his money 
was all gone. With these small means the work 
began. This was an embryo settlement, a,nd 
meant not only a log house in the woods, but a 
clearing. It meant school houses and churches, 
machine shops and stores, township and county 
organizations, villages and cities. It meant the 



40 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



reproduction of Eastern life in this wooded terri- 
tory. It meant a great and glorious state in the 
future. 

"Some of these pioneers were unlettered, par- 
ticularly those of the earliest era, yet even among 
their number were men of marked ability, whose 
talents would dignify and honor any station of 
life. Among them were women whose attain- 
ments and culture fitted them to adorn any social 
circle in the most refined cities of the continent. 
Even those settlers who were uneducated were not 
ignorant or uninformed. They possessed strong 
practical sense and native ability of a high order, 
fully equal to those who came after them. They 
were educated in a school that perhaps best fitted 
them for a life of usefulness in the conditions in 
which they were to exist. They were accom- 
plished masters in woodcraft. They could handle 
an axe as deftly as a fencing master his foil. They 
could construct a cabin as quickly and in accord- 
ance with the same natural idea of harmony that 
a beaver or a muskrat develops in the formation 
of its residence. Game was abundant everywhere 
and delicious fish were abundant in the numerous 
lakes and streams. Hunting was not an accom- 
plishment, but an every-day pursuit. The rifle 
was found in every cabin. Its use was familiar 
to all from early childhood and the owners had 
steady nerve and quick sight. There were no 
'purse-proud' families. All lived in log houses, 
and were bound to each other by neighborly acts 
of kindness. Pride of dress was in its healthy, 
normal state. Ten-dollar boots and hundred-dol- 
lar bonnets had not got into* the new settlement; 
neither had Mrs. Lofty and her carriage, and dap- 
ple grays to draw it, nor had Mrs. Grundy pulled 
the latch-string at the door of a single log cabin 
in the settlement. She and all her kith and kin 
were East. It was fashionable to live within your 
means and the best suit of clothes you could af- 
ford to wear was the fashionable one. All classes 
worked together for a living and thrived. Wealth 
and leisure were not here to create distinctions. 
Aristocracy was not in these regions. Yet every 
settler was an aristocrat — one of true nobility, who 
had earned his title by useful toil in the high 
school of labor.' ' 



The "latch-strings" ever "hung out." Isolated 
in the wilderness, subject to common hardships, 
participating in the same simple enjoyments, the 
living of the settlers in complete social equality 
caused true friendship and genuine benevolence to 
be cultivated and universal. Wealth was not 
necessarily a passport to respectability. Their 
character was the unaffected and genuine charity 
taught in the Scriptures, They would repair to 
the cabin of their destitute neighbor "down with 
the chills" while his family was "suffering from 
the ager," and with the gentlest kindness minister 
to his ailments, relieve his distress and provide for 
all their needs. If the afflictions they sought to 
relieve were the result of "shiftlessness," intem- 
perance or other faults, they would administer a 
just rebuke or endeavor to correct the fault by a 
wholesome and sometimes a rough reprimand. 

Humanity was their distinguishing trait, but 
exhibited in the rough manner peculiar to the 
pioneer. Many and many a benefaction was con- 
ferred in the form of a huge jest. They throve on 
practical jests, which were as plentiful as the 
occasions on which they could be carried out. 
Even the judge upon the bench was not exempt, 
his judicial ermine being no protection against 
the banter of his friends. 

Whence came the settlers that laid broad and 
deep the foundation of freedom in this land of 
great possibilities? Most of them were of New 
England birth or parentage and had passed years 
in the settlement period of western and central 
New York, with perhaps a later settlement in 
Ohio. A strange condition existed in New York 
that forced a large number of its worthy, intelli- 
gent farmers to seek new homes in a state where 
land in its virginal beauty and wildness could be 
purchased at a price that the poorest might be able 
to pay. 

Western and central New York at that time 
lay in the paralyzing grasp of great land monopo- 
lies like that of the few Dutch merchants of Am- 
sterdam, popularly known as the Holland Land 
Company (that controlled that great area called 
the Holland purchase), the Morris grant, the Pul- 
teney estate and others. The New England 
states and the Hudson River valley had sent an 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



4i 



intelligent and valuable population thither, who 
purchased lands from these companies on contract, 
placing their ready money, if such they had, into 
clearing and improvements of their farms. Here 
they gave their labor for years, and after the inev- 
itable hardships, self-denials, and privations of 
the first few seasons in the wilderness, most of the 
settlers had an abundance, much more than 
enough for their own use. But there was no mar- 
ket. It was only by converting ashes into "black 
salts" that they could get money to pay their taxes. 
The interest upon their debt at the land office was 
accumulating from year to year. The company 
was indulgent, but compound interest quickh 
magnified the amount of indebtedness, and the full 
sum sooner or later must be paid. 

The shadow rested on every home. Many sold 
their contracts for a trifling pittance. These were 
the people who in a great measure sought new 
homes in the fertile west, numbers coming to 
Michigan. To these unfortunate, enterprising 
sons of toil, who had left behind them all the re- 
sults of years of earnest, industrious labor, this 
became the land of promise. They hastened to it 
with strong arms, iron wills and resistless energy 
to lay the foundations of new communities. The 
journey now performed almost by the light of a 
summer's day, then required weeks of travel 
through wilderness paths and unbridged streams. 
These settlers represented the best New England 
ideas of life, duty and religion. They were the 
finest productions of the Anglo-Saxon stock. Each 
pioneer as he came into the wilderness was the 
most perfect embodiment that six thousand years 
of progress could furnish of all the elements to 
lay rightly the foundations of new communities. 
They were a superior race. They built up, trans- 
formed and developed the conditions they here 
found, until, as the ultimate result of their per- 
sistent efforts, we find the Michigan of today an 
aggregate of communities, in which comfort, 
wealth, intelligence and culture are preponderat- 
ing factors, and Kalamazoo county is an educa- 
tional center attracting students from near and 
far away sections of the state and county. 

Such communities have not appeared as an 
exhaltation. The germ of this superior civiliza- 



tion is in the spirit of Christianity, asserting the 
divinity, the brotherhood, the equality, the immor- 
tality, the infinite worth of man. It was reserved 
for this county to take a marked advance in the 
cause of human freedom. This is quite fully 
shown in the history of abolitionism appearing 
elsewhere in this volume. 

The period of bark-covered cabins was of short 
duration. These were made of light material or 
poles that could be placed in position by help at 
hand. As soon as the country began to be settled 
and sawmills were built where boards could be 
obtained, the more substantial log houses were 
built. They were quite uniform in size, usually 
about eighteen by twenty-two feet in size, some- 
times with a projection in front of ten feet, and 
the roof resting on the beams that supported the 
chamber floor. This projection was called a 
"stoop," a word of good Dutch origin, and under 
this were placed the pots and kettles, the wash- 
tub, the wooden washbowl, splint broom, and 
other necessary utensils of the household. In the 
construction of this house straight trees of uni- 
form size were drawn to the site chosen for the 
home, the neighbors within a radius of a dozen 
miles were invited to the "raising," and all made 
it a religious duty to attend unselfishly forgetting 
the duties of home. 

In the erection of these houses no foundation 
was required except the four logs marking the 
size of the building, that were laid up on the level 
ground. Then four of the best axemen each took 
a corner and cut a saddle and notch to hold the 
logs in position as they were rolled on skids to the 
proper place. They were usually made a "story- 
and-a-half" high, the upper portion being the 
sleeping room of the family, access thither 
being gained by a ladder or by pins 
driven into the logs on one side of the 
house, and, occasionally, rough board stairs. 
Three or four hours in the afternoon generally 
sufficed for the "raising," and then occurred a 
bountiful repast of all the luxuries of the place 
and period. When the body of the house was 
"up" the logs were cut away for the door and 
windows (which were usually made of single 
sashes of four, six or nine 7x9 panes of glass), 



42 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



the floor laid with -'puncheons" (split logs with 
the inside dressed off with an ax or an adz and 
laid smoothly up for a solid floor) or unplaned 
boards, the spaces between the logs filled with 
split pieces of wood and plastered with mud, the 
gables boarded, the roof made of "shooks" or 
shingles, and a log or stone chimney built with 
jambs, having an iron crane for the pot9 and ket- 
tles. Here was a home where happiness would 
enter as freely as into the marble palaces of roy- 
alty. The generous Indians were of valuable as- 
sistance in the "raisings" of the primitive pioneers. 
As the settlers were so far distant from each other 
it was often impossible to gather enough of them 
to quickly perform the lequisite labor, and the In- 
dians were the "main help" on these occasions. 
Mr. Van Buren says, "I know of an instance 
where but two white men were present at the 
"raising," the rest being Indians, who lifted cheer- 
fully and lustily in rolling up the logs." They also 
assisted much at raising in after years. Only let 
them know that "Che-mo-ko-man raise wigwam, 
like Indian come help him," and you could count 
on their aid. 

The early settlers liberally planted apple and 
other fruit trees, and in a very few years' time 
the fine orchards were so plentiful that in the fall 
fruit could readily be obtained without cost by 
taking the time and trouble to gather it. Henry 
Little says : "Among the pioneers of Gull Prairie 
there were several from New England, where it 
was supposed by many that stony or rocky land 
was as good as, if not preferable to, any other for 
apple-trees; even the steep side-hills and their 
summits were graced by the apple-trees, provided 
they had the everlasting rocks. About the begin- 
ning of the present century, one of my neighbors 
being about to set out an apple-orchard, and hav- 
ing none but sandy land to put it on, in his great 
wisdom, conceived of the brilliant idea of carting 
from abroad large flat stones, and placing one at 
the. bottom of each hole for the roots of the tree 
to rest on. It so happened that there were not 
stones enough, and the last, tree was set without 
any. The fate of that tree was commented upon 
and watched by all the neighbors with profound 
interest. Notwithstanding all the adverse predic- 



tions put forth, that tree flourished as well as the 
others. 

"In the autumn of 1835 J. F. Gilkey brought 
from Indiana or Ohio about one hundred apple- 
trees, one-half of which he set out south of his 
house; but the cattle had access to them and a 
few years thereafter not a vestige of the trees re- 
mained. The other half of the trees Judge Hins- 
dell set out west of his barn among the standing 
girdled forest trees. These girdled trees were 
afterward felled and burned without injury to 
the apple-trees. Those good old trees have faith- 
fully served their day and generation, and now, 
after a lapse of thirty-eight years, still remain as 
enduring monuments of the genius, thrift and re- 
markable enterprise of that wonderful, active and 
successful man. In 1835 John Barnes and Loyal 
Jones each set out eight or ten peach-trees, which 
were two years old at the time of setting, and 
were I believe the first peach-trees set upon Gull 
Prairie. At an early period of the settlement of 
the prairie Augustus Mills set out a goodly num- 
ber of the common red, sour cherry-trees. In 
1844 they were great trees and had borne fruit 
several years. At that time there were many 
young sprouts or offshoots, one or two feet high, 
that had sprung from the roots of the large trees, 
a few feet from the trunks." 

We will still further quote from Mr. Van 
Buren : "Tea, coffee, sugar and butter were rarely 
seen on the settlers' tables. An herb called 'tea- 
weed/ a kind of wild Bohea, that grew in the 
woods, was used by some of the settlers. The 
leaves were steeped like our imported teas, and the 
decoction was drunk. But it was soon abandoned 
when the green or black teas could be had again*. 
Crust coffee or a coffee made from wheat or other 
grains browned, was in common use for drink at 
table. Our pioneer mothers and their daughters 
found many occasions when they could not enjoy 
the accustomed tete-a-tete with their lady visitors, 
over cups of fragrant Young Hyson or Bohea; 
but their tea-table chats were had over their flow- 
ing cups of crust coffee, and there was many a 
wish from the young ladies for the good time 
coming, when they could once more 'turn up their 
tqacups' and have their 'fortunes told/ Teapots 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



43 



were ransacked and old tea-grounds were saved 
by the girls for the purpose of having their for- 
tunes told by some of the older matrons, who knew 
something of the gypsy art of divination." 

The usual meal consisted of a platter of boiled 
potatoes, piled up steaming hot, and placed on the 
center of the table, bread or "Johnnycake," per- 
haps some meat boiled or fried, and an article 
largely partaken of was a bowl of flour-gravy, 
looking like starch, made something like it, of 
flour and water, with a little salt, and sometimes 
it was enriched by a little gravy from a piece of 
fried meat. This was the usual meal, and it was 
eaten and relished more than the sumptuous meals 
on many tables now-a-days. The table was always 
swept of all the edibles on it. Nothing but the 
dishes remained after the meal. The dog, the pigs 
and the chickens fared slim. "Tell me what a 
people eat and I will tell you their morals. " 

The old. pioneer bill of fare was simple and 
wholesome. Its morals can easily be deduced. 
The old iron crane, tricked off with its various 
sized pot-hooks and links of chain, swung from 
the jambs at the will of the housewife, who hung 
on it the kettles containing the meal to be cooked 
for the family, and pushed it back over the fire, 
where it hung till the meal was prepared for the 
table. Pigs, chickens and spareribs were roasted 
splendidly by suspending them by a wire before 
the fire. The baking was mostly done in the old 
brick oven, that was built in one side of the chim- 
ney, with a door opening into the room. The old 
iron-covered bake-kettle sat in the corner under 
the cupboard, and was used for various baking 
purposes. Many will remember the much-used 
"tin reflector" that was placed before the fire to 
bake bread and cakes, and how finally it baked 
the Pinkeye and Neshannock potatoes. 

A few years' time after the settlers had es- 
tablished their homes, improvements had so pro- 
gressed that the bountiful crops could find no 
market, wheat selling as low as thirty-five cents 
per bushel ; pork and beef, two dollars and two 
dollars and fifty cents per hundred in goods or 
store pay — they could not get salt for it; oats, 
ten cents, and corn, twenty cents per bushel; 
butter, if very good, brought five cents in 1843. 



In the spring of 1837 flour sold at nine dollars 
per hundred pounds; oats as high as two dollars 
and fifty cents; corn was scarce, a frost the pre- 
vious summer, on August 27th, killing most of 
it. Flour, pork, butter, cheese, dried apples, in 
fact, most of the necessities of life were imported 
from Ohio. 

In the timber lands logging-bees were com- 
mon. The neighbors for miles around were in- 
vited to come with their ox teams to such a place 
on a specified day, and punctually at the appoint- 
ed time would be there assembled, sometimes 
fifty or more men and sometimes their wives and 
children. Operations were always begun at the 
lowest edge of the field, the logs being drawn 
and rolled into a heap on a down grade more 
easily. When the men got to work, there was 
always a strife to see who would first reach the 
opposite side of the field and the encouraging 
shouts of the teamsters to the animals could- be 
heard for miles. The oxen seemed to partake of 
the excitement and it was marvelous to see the 
speed with which the logs were moved. After 
the logging was completed sport commenced. The 
strength and activity of the various teams were 
tried by turning them "tail to/' with several feet 
of slack log chain, and dropping the hooks to- 
gether, and starting at the word "Go." The best 
in the three trials was declared the winner and the 
victors were usually the team that made the first 
start. This finale of the bee created much merri- 
ment. The whisky jug was an important factor 
at all of these gatherings. It gave strength and 
activity to the men, it was believed, and increased 
the hilarity. In no case must the supply be ex- 
hausted. The last act in a logging bee drama 
was a substantial supper of meats, pies, cakes, 
sauces and all good things of the housewife's 
larder given in a bountiful profusion. Then the 
men would go to their homes happy with the 
thought that each had bestowed his best efforts 
to foster good will and encourage his neighbor 
in the battle of life. Spinning bees were com- 
mon, especially when one of the matrons fell vic- 
tim to malarial fever or other diseases, and was 
unable to prepare her web of tow and linen cloth 
for summer use. In such a case someone of the 



44 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



family, with a team loaded with flax and tow, 
would visit every house within some miles' dis- 
tance, leaving enough of his load at each house 
for a day's work of the inmates, with an invita- 
tion to supper at their house some days later. 
No woman of Kalamazoo county was ever known 
to refuse her share in the work of this kind, and 
on the appointed day each one with her skein of 
yarn under her arm, the roses of health upon her 
cheeks and with the pulsations of generous kind- 
ness throbbing in her heart, would enter the sick 
neighbor's home, where she and all her fellow 
workers were received with the strongest evi- 
dences of friendship and love. 

During the log-cabin era feather beds were 
considered indispensable. The rough boarding 
of the gables of the house would warp and it was 
frequently the case in winter that the snow would 
be several inches deep on the floor and bed cover- 
ings. Hence every well ordered family had its 
flock of geese. Each young lady expected to 
receive upon her marriage at least one or two 
feather beds to complete her housekeeping outfit 
of linens and flannels which she had long been 
preparing. Geese feathers were a ready medium 
of exchange for goods at the pioneer store or at 
the occasional wagon of the peddler. 

The furniture of the house was extremely 
plain and inexpensive; square-legged bedsteads, 
with rope or dark cordage, around which were 
not infrequently depended a drooping fringe of 
network or calico, tipped with tasty little tassels, 
and called a "valance." Sometimes, near the win- 
dow stood a chest of drawers, near it a square- 
legged stand, over which hung a looking-glass 
brought out by "mother" from her eastern home 
in a feather bed. In close proximity stood the 
unvarnished, often unpainted, table of natural 
wood and domestic manufacture, while several 
splint-bottomed chairs stood in the nooks and 
corners. On shelves against the walls, or in the 
tall cupboard, in some of the wealthier homes 
were displayed rows of bright pewter plates 
standing on edge, most prominent among them 
being the great pewter platter always in use on 
Thanksgiving and Christmas occasions. Nearly 
all of the clothing and linen of the family was 



made at home. Most of the little clearings had a 
patch of flax, which it was the business of the 
farmer to prepare for the. spinning wheels of the 
women. In doing this he used a simple machine 
called a brake, following this by the hetchel and 
swingle, by these producing a soft and pliable 
mass, twisted into a head of flax, ready to be spun 
and woven. 

In most of the little log cabins, the big and lit- 
tle wheels were actively operated by "mother" 
and daughters. The mother would sit at the little 
wheel, distaff in hand, one foot upon the treadle, 
while perhaps the other was jogging a cradle con- 
taining a tiny rosebud of humanity ; a low, sooth- 
ing lullaby, more charming than the soft coo of 
the dove, meanwhile filling the air. One of the 
girls would be seated beside a basket of tow, 
carding it, with a pair of hand cards, into bolts 
one foot long and two inches wide, while a sister 
would be moving backward and forward with a 
nimble step beside the big spinning wheel of fully 
twelve feet circumference spinning the bolts into 
varn. Thirty "knots" were an ordinary day's 
work, some, however, producing forty "knots." 
Each knot contained forty threads of six feet, 
two inches in length, or about two hundred fifty 
feet. Occasionally a damsel might be seen who 
could who could "spin her forty knots a day," 
and then pass the evening knitting by the light of 
the ruddy fire. 

During the winter and early spring the 
women had "spun and wove" enough tow and 
linen cloth for the summer clothing of the family. 
The men and boys had their clothes made from 
cloth made of linen warp and tow filling', which 
was full of "shives," that rasped and scratched 
the body for weeks like a thousand needles. The 
mothers and daughters had pure linen cloth for 
their clothing, for dresses, striping or checking 
a piece with copperas, and, in this primitive ap- 
parel, their eyes shone as brightly and their smile 
was as bewitching and attractive as can be seen 
today. During the summer months the women, 
as well as the men and boys, went about their 
home duties with bare feet. 

The weaving was done by women, one or two 
skilled in the art dwelling in each neighborhood. 



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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



45 



The price for weaving plain tow, linen or flannel 
cloth w r as about six cents a yard, from six to ten 
yards being a good day's work. The tow-and- 
linen cloth was made up into clothing for the 
"men folks/' dress for the "females" and into 
sheets, pillow-cases and towels, and then came 
on the making of flannel and winter garments. 
Nearly all of the farmers owned a flock of sheep, 
which were carefully yarded nightly to protect 
them from the wolves, which were so numerous 
and destructive that, at nearly every town meet- 
ing, the question of bounty on wolves occupied a 
large share of the proceedings. The wool taken 
from the sheep was hurried to the carding mill, 
there to be made into rolls, and soon the girls 
were again busy at the spinning wheel, their work 
being valued at seventy-five cents a week. A day's 
work was thirty knots of warp and forty knots 
of filling, but some of the more active would spin 
twice that amount. From this spinning and sub- 
sequent weaving resulted the chief part of the 
family's winter clothing, although most of the 
young women owned a calico dress, the most pop- 
ular color being blue. Those "boughten dresses" 
cost twenty-seven cents a yard, and were rarely 
worn, only being bought to light on Independence 
Day or at New Year's dances and were expected 
to last for years. No carpets were seen on the 
floors, and, as long as this simple life continued, 
and money was not invoked to bring in luxurious 
furnishings and surroundings, universal content- 
ment reigned and merriment and cheerful songs 
and jollity were the life, not only of each home, 
but of the community as well. 

In 1838 the pioneer days were in their prime 
and the sturdy Easterners had made their full ex- 
tent and imprint on the soil of this country, 
where, like William the Conqueror, in his 
conquest of England, they took fast "seizen" 
of the land, as is shown by that very ac- 
curate and painstaking work, the "Gazetteer 
of Michigan," published by John T. Blois in 1838. 
This historian says: "Kalamazoo county is 
bounded on the north by Allegan and Barry, east 
by Calhoun, south by St. Joseph, west by Van 
Buren. It was organized in 1830 and contains 
five hundred and seventy-six miles; the seat of 



justice, Kalamazoo. The water courses are the 
Kalamazoo, the Portage, Four-Mile creek, Gull 
creek and Bear creek. The organized townships 
are Alamo, Brady, Charleston, Climax, Corn- 
stock, Cooper, Kalamazoo, Pavilion, Portage, 
Prairie Ronde, Richland and Texas. The villages 
are Kalamazoo, Schoolcraft and Comstock. Kal- 
amazoo county is generally level, though suffi- 
ciently undulating to conduct off the waters in 
healthy streams. It is divided into prairie, open 
and heavily timbered lands. About one-third of 
the county is heavy timber, beech, maple, ash, 
bass wood, white wood, butternut and black wal- 
nut. There are eight prairies, viz. : Prairie 
Ronde, Gourdneck prairie, Dry prairie, Genesee 
prairie, Grand prairie, Toland's prairie, Gull prai- 
rie and Climax prairie. These contain about one- 
eighth of the county. Every portion of the county 
is susceptible of and admirably adapted to agricul- 
ture. The soil is a black loam, rich and fertile 
in the extreme. There are numerous mill sites in 
the different parts of the county, with hydraulic 
power sufficient to support the most extensive 
manufactures. The principal mill streams are 
the Portage river, of St. Joseph, and the Portage 
river, of Kalamazoo and Gull creek. The Kala- 
mazoo river runs through the county, near its 
geographical center, and is skirted with heavily 
# timbered and open lands of the first quality. The 
settling of this county commenced in 1829. In 
1830 two or three townships of land were offered 
for sale by the general government. In 183 1 the 
balance of the land of the county, save a reserva- 
tion of one township, was brought into the 
market. The public lands in this county were 
mostly taken up by actual settlers though some 
of a good quality yet remain unsold. It belongs 
to the Kalamazoo district. Kalamazoo county 
elects two representatives and belongs to the sixth 
senatorial district, which returns two senators to 
the legislature. The population is 6,367." 

From Clark's "Michigan State Gazetteer," 
published in 1863, the following excerpts may in- 
dicate not only the condition of the county at that 
time, but its solid and gratifying progress along 
the lines of the highest citizenship. In the county 
at the time were 4,787 dwellings, 4,668 families ; 



46 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



the population being in i860, 24,663. Every por- 
tion of the county is susceptible of cultivation 
and will produce in the greatest profusion all 
kinds of cereals and root crops, also all kinds of 
fruit adapted to this latitude. The soil in most 
parts is a rich, black loam, with occasional patches 
of warm and light sandy soil, the latter producing 
sweet potatoes and Indian corn in astonishing 
perfection. 

"Kalamazoo village, the county seat, is one of 
the most beautiful towns in* the western states, 
and is noted as a center of wealth and refinement. 
In i860 it contained 1,940 occupied farms, with 
137,663 acres of improved land and 129,276 acres 
of unimproved land. There was owned in the 
county 54,576 sheep and 13,697 swine. The crops 
included 585,235 bushels of wheat, 548,691 bush- 
els of corn, 147,529 bushels of oats, 128,033 bush- 
els of potatoes, 141,490 pounds of maple sugar, 
187,160 pounds of wool, 496,158 pounds of but- 
ter and 68,237 pounds of cheese. There were nine 
flouring mills, manufacturing 157,250 barrels of 
flour annually. The thirty sawmills, twenty-two 
water and eight steam mills, manufactured 7,590,- 
325 feet of sawed lumber annually. The number 
of children attending public school was 7,oy8, and 
the total amount of district taxes was $14,338.17. 

"The sale of government land at the 'Kalama- 
zoo land office from its establishment up to 1838 
was as follows : 1831, 93,179.36 acres; 1832, 74,- 
696.17; 1833,95,980.25; 1834, 128,244.47; 1835, 
745,661.34; 1836, 634,511.82; 1837, 3 I 3355- I 5- 
The total amount entered was 3,086,138.56 acres, 
the price being one dollar and twenty-five cents 
per acre. The vacant public lands in the district 
in 1838 still subject to entry, amounted to 449,- 
056.15 acres; 83,001.69 acres were occupied by 
Indian reservations ; 95,663.60 acres were school 
lands, while the lands appropriated to universities 
amounted to 35,014.84 acres. The land office 
was established first at White Pigeon in 1 83 1, 
with Abraham Edwards as register and Thomas 
C. Sheldon as receiver. In the spring of 1834 
the office was removed to - Kalamazoo, where it 
should have been located at first. The description 
of the Kalamazoo land district • has been, given 
on another page t)f this work, to which we refer 
the reader for more detailed information. 



"To give an idea of pioneer conditions before 
1838 we will say that the recognized villages of 
the state in 1825 were Port Lawrence, on the 
Maumee, Monroe, Frenchtown, Brownstown, 
Truax's, near Detroit, Mt. Clemens, Palmer, on 
the St. Clair, Tecumseh, Pontiac, and Saginaw* 
Orange Risdon, of Ypsilanti, made the first map 
of the surveyed part of Michigan in 1825. In ad- 
dition to the old, six new counties were added to 
this map. These were Washtenaw and Lenawee, * 
both organized in 1825 ; Saginaw and Lapeer, in 
1835; Shiawassee, in 1837; and Sanilac, in 1838. 
On this map the average village is indicated by 
four black dots. Detroit had twenty dots; Ann 
Arbor, ten; Woodruff's Grove, eight; Ypsilanti, 
three; Dexter, two; while Dixborough, with the 
name as black and much larger than any of them, 
had not even a speck. At the same time the pos- 
sessions of Benjamin Sutton, the pioneer of 1825, 
covered two sections of land in Washtenaw 
county." The roads in 1824 were the Chicago 
road, starting from Detroit, with a fork at Ypsi- 
lanti to Tecumseh, and one to Ann Arbor, and a 
road from Detroit to Pontiac and Saginaw. The 
most noted of these was the old Chicago road, 
which was cut through from Detroit to Ypsilanti 
in 1823. That old pioneer, John Bryan, was the 
first white emigrant that passed over this road. 
Soon after it was cut through, he drove an ox- 
team before a wagon carrying family and house- 
hold effects from Detroit to Woodruff's Grove, 
which place he reached on the night of October 
23, 1823. 

In 1835, John Farmer mapped out Michigan 
with its improvements at that date. I find that 
old map the most valuable and interesting of his- 
tories. Just one decade had elapsed in the new 
pilgrim's progress, between Orange Risdon's map 
of 1825 and John Farmer's of 1835. During this 
time civilization had taken up its line of march 
with its emigrant wagons, or with knapsacks or 
staff, on the old Chicago road westward from 
Ypsilanti, and all along its route the sound of the 
axe was heard breaking "the sleep of the wilder- 
ness"; 'while clearings were made and hamlets 
sprung- up at -Saline, Clinton, Jonesville, Cold- 
water, Sturgis, Mottville* and at other places on 
toward Chicago. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



47 



The same busy work of progress was going 
on from Ann Arbor westward, along the old Ter- 
ritorial road, where log cabins arose and villages 
appeared as if evoked by magic. For on the map 
of 1835 we find located west of Ann Arbor, Lima, 
Grass Lake, Jacksonburg, Sandstone, Marshall, 
Battle Creek, Comstock, Kalamazoo and St. Jo- 
seph, on the lake. Emigration had pushed out 
from Detroit, on the Grand River road to Sara- 
nac and on to Grandville. There were other roads 
branching out north and south from these main 
roads, leading to the various improvements in the 
lower part of the peninsula, and dotting the map, 
here and there, were heralds of progress — post- 
offices, sawmills and gristmills. 

In 1840 the pioneer era practically ended, al- 
though there was much pioneering still to be 
done, for, with the passing away of hard times 
and the incoming of numerous settlers, the early 
difficulties and deprivations ceased to exist, and a 
course of rapid and prosperous development en- 
sued. The era of speculation in enhanced and 
fictitious prices of lands offered for sale at ex- 
horbitant prices to guileless and unsuspecting 
purchasers in the east had a short and not bene- 
ficial effect on the prosperity of the state and Kal- 
amazoo was in a measure unfavorably affected by 
there operations as well as by the "wildcat" bank- 
ing methods that for a number of years made the 
state an actual stench in the nostrils of honest 
financial institutions of the conservative East. 

Roads occupied much attention. In the terri- 
torial days great labors were expended in con- 
structing turnpike roads under the authority of the 
federal government. These were six rods wide 
and well made, following nearly the courses of 
the rough primitive roads, which the settlers were 
compelled to use, but not so winding or devious in 
their ways. These drained in some degree the 
swamps, the others either wound around or caused 
the settlers to wallow through and smooth the 
inequalities of the higher lands. There were five 
of these territorial and early state roads, all com- 
mencing at Detroit and sending branches into all 
the southern portion of the state. The principal 
one of these was the Chicago road, leading from 



Detroit to Chicago. This road forked into two 
branches in the central part of the state and had 
between 1830 and 1840 probably more travel than 
any other road in the United States. 

Following the state roads were the primitive 
railroads and canals. These deserve to be men- 
tioned. During the decade alluded to, were in- 
corporated in Michigan the Romeo & Mt. Clem- 
ens Railroad in 1833, the Detroit & Maumee Rail- 
road in 1835, the Allegan & Marshall Railroad in 
1836 (this had a capital of four hundred thou- 
sand dollars and was designed to connect Mar- 
shall and Allegan, passing through Battle Creek, 
Comstock and Bronson The charter demanded 
the completion of twenty-five miles in four years, 
its length to be fifty miles. The state loaned one 
hundred thousand dollars to this company). The 
Monroe & Ypsilanti Railroad was incorporated in 
1836. The Kalamazoo & Lake Michigan Rail- 
road was incorporated in 1836, with four hun- 
dred thousand dollars capital, to run from Kala- 
mazoo village to the mouth of South Black river 
in Van Buren county. The charter required a 
commencement of work within three years, the 
construction of twenty-five miles in six years and 
the completion of the forty miles in eight years. 
The Monroe & Ann Arbor Railroad was also in- 
corporated in 1836. The Constantine & Niles 
Canal or Railroad Company was incorporated in 
1836, with a quarter of million dollars as capital, 
to connect the St. Joseph river by either railroad 
or canal with the places named. 

In 1837 Michigan was admitted as a state of 
the federal republic and its youthful pride 
launches out into great schemes of internal im- 
provements. Loans of funds from the state for 
the improvement of navigable rivers, the build- 
ing of canals and for the construction and opera- 
tion of three grand trunk lines of railways, to the 
amount in all of five million dollars were provided 
for by the legislature and active work w r as com- 
menced in all parts of the Lower Peninsula, par- 
ticular attention being given to the three lines of 
railroads, the Southern, the Central and the 
Northern. The Detroit & Shiawassee Railroad 
was started under a charter granted in 1837. The 



4 8 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Saginaw & Genesee Railroad, the Gibraltar & 
Clinton Railroad, the Pontiac & Huron River 
Canal Company, the Owasso & Saginaw Navi- 
gation Company, the River Raisin & Grand River 
Railroad Company, the Macomb & Saginaw Rail- 
road Company, the St. Clair & Romeo Railroad, 
the Shelby & Belle River Railroad, the Clinton & 
Adrian Railroad, the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad, 
incorporated in 1833, the Detroit & Pontiac Rail- 
road, incorporated in 1834, the Shelby & Detroit 
Railroad, the Palmyra & Jacksonburg Railroad, 
the River Raisin & Lake Erie Railroad, the Au- 
burn & Lapeer Railroad, the Ypsilanti & Tecum- 
seh Railroad, the Mottville & White Pigeon Rail- 
road and the Medina & Canandaigua Railroad 
were all chartered before 1838, and it will be seen 
that the question of transportation was the chief 
one then in the minds of the people. 

Some of these roads amounted to nothing, 
charters lapsing and the state aid given freely to 
the earlier roads, being withdrawn. The earliest 
roads leading toward the relief of the Kalamazoo 
valley was the Erie & Kalamazoo, chartered by 
the territorial legislature on April 22, 1833, t° con- 
nect the Maumee valley of Ohio with that of Kal- 
amazoo. Commencing at Port Lawrence, Ohio, 
now Toledo, it passed through the important 
towns of Sylvania, Blissfield, Palmyra and' Adrian 
onto the headwaters of the Kalamazoo river. The 
road was completed to Adrian, thirty-three miles, 
and opened for business on October 1, 1836. The 
cars were first drawn by horses, but the Toledo 
Blade of January 20, 1837, announced the arrival 
of the road's first locomotive. The Palmyra & 
Jacksonburg Railroad, now the Jackson branch 
of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, was 
built in 1838 to Tecumseh by the same company. 
This road made Tecumseh its western terminal 
point for twenty years. In 1844 the Erie & Kal- 
amazoo Company became involved financially and 
the road was purchased by the state of Michigan, 
which united it with the great Southern line it 
had built from Monroe to Hillsdale in 1843. * n 
1846 the state sold both roads to the Michigan 
Central Railroad, which was completed to Kala- 
mazoo on February 2, 1846. It was not finished 
to Chicago until May, 1852. 



CHAPTER VI. 



DEFORESTING. 



The work of deforesting the country which 
has been going on to stem the cold of the intense 
winters for the long years during which Euro- 
pean civilization has been present on this conti- 
nent, nearly three centuries, can be best appre- 
ciated by the present struggle to keep up a fuel 
supply from the woods. The primal necessity 
for clearing away land incumbrances of heavy 
timber that the cultivation of the soil might take 
place needs no explanation, but the deprivation 
of later generations of a necessary supply 
of wood and timber was not presented to the pio- 
neers, and the thing that should have been done, 
the replanting of sufficient land to keep up a good 
supply was never thought of nor done. These 
replanted forests would have provided full sup- 
plies for the building, fire and other purposes 
for which our forest timber is available. Germany 
has fully demonstrated what magnificent results 
can be obtained from a wise and systematic cul- 
tivation and fostering of forests. Under this cul- 
ture the trees have reached a ripeness for decay, 
and have been and are replaced to meet the loss 
and no deforesting is possible. The trimmings 
and refuse of forest preserves now provide a 
handsome store for fuel annually. 

The United States have been behind hand 
as separate nationalities in considering the pro- 
tection of the forest supply, never apparently 
thinking anything about this important subject. 
Corporations and private owners of real estate 
have mercilessly cut off the timber for its sale 
for immediate profits. Therefore the dense masses 
of forest growth which should have been kept 
in full existence to hold back the water supply 
for streams like the Hudson, Connecticut, Mis- 
sissippi, Missouri, Platte, Saginaw, Kalamazoo 
and other rivers have passed away. 

All states have barely escaped the deprivation 
of a water supply. The United States are just 
in time to protect the sources of the Mississippi 
from degenerating into a barren watercourse and 
the Yellowstone Park will save the Missouri 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



49 



from a barren drainage. And since irrigation 
has made the western portions of the country 
fruitful, a double obligation is laid upon our 
people to increase water sources by the regenera- 
tion of forests and the protection of trees from 
vandalism. 

Yet there were periods when to obtain ground 
for tillage, the forests of civilization had to be 
shorn. Tree trunks, branches, stumps had to be 
made way with by an indiscriminate conflagration. 
The pyres of log heaps were piled up, generation 
after generation, until the general devastation 
cried from the ground to high heaven. And this 
holocaust was apart from the timber, boards and 
shingles needed for the homes of the country or 
industrial uses of growing population. Nor in 
the enumeration of forest depredations was the 
discount of the backlogs and foresticks of the 
fireplaces of New England fully reckoned. It is 
amazing that the assaults of two hundred years 
have left a tree standing. 

But let no iconaclast belittle the backlogs of 
New England, which evolved warmth and pro- 
vided the cooked food for the living of the house- 
hold, yet from whose smoke wreathed fireplaces 
were sent forth cogitations which changed the 
conditions of the world. The backlog students 
caught the inspirations of patriotism, stateman- 
ship, politics, morality, divinity, romance, and 
poetry from the genial and diffusive warmth of 
glowing embers. The Winthrops, Miles Standish, 
Jonathan Edwards, Aaron Burr, the Beechers, 
Longfellows, Whittiers and Emersons were back- 
log students and a long catalog of their contem- 
poraries. Going further back the list might in- 
clude the patriotic band, calling themselves ' in 
their Indian disguise, "Mohawks," who destroyed 
the tea in Boston Harbor, and the other incipient 
patriots of the Revolution. Who will assume to 
estimate the warmth, the glow of patriotism im- 
parted by the consuming of the backlog, in spur- 
ring the uprisings, the expressions of human na- 
ture in every direction? 

The Indian trails ran like a network in every 

direction and occasionally the dusky red men 

would be seen in solemn file as they rode along 

'the forest glades. A large portion was annually 



cleared by the fires, which kept down all kinds 
of undergrowth. * The great trees of the forest 
and the scattering oaks of the openings made the 
whole country appear like one vast park, which 
indeed it was, nature's own. When the fresh 
grass was making its first appearance in the 
spring it looked like a broad wheat field, and later 
on it was all carpeted with the sweetest wild 
flowers. Game of all kinds was plenty, and so 
were wolves and other beasts of prey. The set- 
tlers gathered much of their winter's hay from 
the adjacent marshes. The miasma from these 
marshes and the newly-plowed soil brought with 
it a great amount of malarial sickness, which the 
settlers had to combat as best they could as phy- 
sicians were scarce. 

Without the glowing fires and warm hostel- 
ries where would have been the satisfaction of 
winter sleigh rides and country balls? Or, giving 
revery the rein, how could the Pilgrims and Puri- 
tans have buffeted the blasts around Cape Cod or 
the grim winters of New England without the 
the primeval wood fires? Whence the fiery coals 
for the footstoves of church pews, or the cords 
of wood for the huge church boxstove. Or the 
warming pans of glowing embers to temper beds 
in frosted chambers. The forests conquered the 
cold and frost and made civilization possible. 

With communication instantaneous around the 
world it would be available to test the old adage 
that weather conditions move in fifty year cycles. 
Recollections are vivid of seasons of snow tem- 
pests sweeping over the land and piling up the 
huge drifts and three feet falls on a level, filling 
sunken ravines to the depth of fifty feet. 

One severe winter, in the early settlement of 
Michigan, was remarkable for its destitution, both 
in fodder and grain stuffs. Forest browsing and 
food makeshifts did not save stock, two-thirds 
or half of the farm cattle dying by starvation, 
survivors showing a spring array of skin and 
bones. 

There were no ready communications whereby 
the abundance of portions of the country could 
supply the necessities of the famine stricken. 

Yet the long and waiting winters had their 
reliefs in social neighborhood gatherings, in farm- 



50 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



house visits, balls, dancing parties, dinners, sup- 
pers, by family invitations. District spelling 
schools, writing schools, singing schools gave 
young people satisfactory recreations. 

Winter was especially set apart for the down- 
fall of primitive forests. Maples, sugar, curled, 
grained, hard — all of the large timber was 
doomed to cordwood for remorseless domestic 
fires. The clearings for summer fallows furnished 
the great log heaps to be consumed for the fall 
sowing of grain. 

Many trees were cut down and made into 
logs for sawmills, six of which were in operation 
at a time on one flooded stream within the dis- 
tance of a mile. During the season of fallow burn- 
ing it was no uncommon episode, the alarm spread 
along the country road by some farmer's wife 
on a bareback horse, calling for help to fight the 
spread of fire into adjacent woodlands by digging 
trenches or back firing. 

Neighborhood bees were got together not in- 
frequently to cut the timber and clear lands. With 
the ruthless consumption of wood there was a 
singular immunity from house conflagrations. 
Slaughtering of hogs for pork packing, beeves 
and sheep for home consumption called for out- 
door fires and steaming caldrons of hot water. 
Within doors, the perambulating shoemaker, the 
tailoress tarried until the wants of each household 
were met. Spinning, weaving, knitting around 
the heaped-up, warm fireplace went on without 
interruption. Making buckskin mitts became 
quite an industry, the sewing by the pair being 
entrusted to the wives and daughters of neighbor- 
ing farmer families. Patent medicine concoction 
and pill making were occasional industries. Do- 
nation parties were an annual occurrence, the so- 
cial features, acquaintance, and plenteous good will 
swelling the charitable features to provide one- 
half of the minister's salary. 

The first frame building was put up by Judge 
Eldred in 1833. It was a large barn, forty by 
eighty feet, with twenty-foot posts and a massive 
frame. Assistance to raise it was gathered from 
a wide circuit, including Battle Creek, Gull, 
Gourdneck and Toland prairies. A considerable 



number of Indians also helped to raise it. Asa 
Jones, of Gull prairie, was the boss carpenter 
who framed and superintended it. Everything 
was in perfect order, help was plenty, and the 
great frame went up without a hitch or delay of 
any kind. When it was done, the Indians gazed 
at it in wonder, and exclaimed, "Majash wig- 
wam!" in utmost astonishment. This was the 
pioneer raising in town, and was enjoyed as all 
such meetings are. A two-year-old heifer was 
killed and cooked for the company, and, in the 
words of one of those present, "they had a big 
time." The old barn has been cut in two. One 
part still stands where it was built, and the other 
was moved away and is doing duty on another 
part of the farm on which it was first located. 
Large as the barn was, it was filled to overflowing 
with wheat the first year. 

The winter of 1836 was marked by wonderful 
displays of Aurora Borealis. On one occasion 
the snow-covered ground presented a bright crim- 
son, as if tinged with blood. The night was bright 
moonlight. People were frightened, not compre- 
hending the character of the phenomenon. Weeks 
went by, on account of the slow circulation of 
news, before complete scientific authority pub- 
lished the true character of the strange and alarm- 
ing electric disturbance. 

The devastating necessity of making use of 
forest growth for land cultivation, for warmth, 
utility, for the promotion of genial social con- 
ditions, for the backlog studies, the romances and 
idealism of the household, the student or philos- 
opher, no longer exist. The new era demands 
that for one tree cut down six new ones shall 
be planted. The pristine beauty and grandeur 
of country can be restored as the latest mark 
of true civilization. The hearths of the land can 
be preserved secure and honored by changing the 
backlog for the handsome illuminated fireplace. 
Wood pulp has had its day. Let other wastes 
furnish paper materials. The age of wood calls 
for a rest and a chance for growth. Winter's cold 
even can be abated by substitutes of gas, coal and 
electricity. Give the trees time to reoccupy the 
land. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



51 



CHAPTER VII. 



CONDENSED HISTORY. 



A writer in a Kalamazoo paper contributed 
in February, 1904, an obituary of Mrs. Charlotte 
Hubbard Daniels, which contained so much of 
interesting and valuable historical matter that we 
transcribe it. Mrs. Daniels was born two miles 
from Middletown, Vt., on February 19, 1824, and 
died in February, 1904. Like many of the little 
girls of her day, she went to district school. 
When about ten years of age she came to Kala- 
mazoo and attended a school situated where the 
Jewish synagogue now stands on South street, 
east. The late Honorable Nathaniel A. Balch, 
father of Mrs. John den Bleyker, and the late 
Silas Hubbard, father of Mrs. C. G. Klienstueck, 
were among the schoolmasters. Charlotte was 
later a pupil for three years at the school known 
as the Old Branch (of the University of Michi- 
gan), then located at the corner of Park and 
Walnut streets and later moved to the northwest 
corner of Bronson Park. 

At this school the late Volney Hascall, who 
at one time owned and edited the Kalamazoo 
Gazette, received his education. Another pupil 
was David Hubbard, who afterward studied law 
with Stewart Miller and practiced in Schoolcraft. 
The names of these men will recall to the pioneers 
of Kalamazoo county Paul Rawls, who studied 
law with the late Charles E. Stewart, father of 
Mrs. W. G. Austin, of Kalamazoo. Another 
name known to the early settlers was that of 
Samuel Rice, who studied law with Stewart & 
Miller. He became a soldier in the Mexican war 
and died in that conflict. Another of this earlv 
day was William G. Austin, uncle of Alderman 
Austin, of Kalamazoo, his namesake. These men, 
with the exception of Mr. Hascall and Mr. Aus- 
tin, were participants in the Mexican war. An- 
other pupil at this school was the late O. L. 
Trask, who was much younger than Mrs. Dan- 
iels. He was a brother of Mrs. H. L. Cornell. 

It is because Mrs. Daniels was so closely iden- 
tified with the early history of Kalamazoo that 
these reminiscences appear in connection with 



her life and death. The story was published just 
as Mrs. Danields told it to the writer one August 
morning in 1901. The Old Branch school had 
much to do with the education of Kalamazoo 
people who were young in its day. Among oth- 
er pupils later, as the old days went by, were Mrs. 
H. L. Cornell and Mrs. W. H. Stewart, the lat- 
ter of whom now resides at the corner of Lovell 
and Henrietta streets in this city. Among the 
teachers at this institution were the late Dr. and 
Mrs. J. A. B. Stone. 

Mrs. Daniels was married January 19, 1841. 
Of her children, Mrs. G. T. Bruen and Joseph 
A. Daniels, both of Kalamazoo, survive. Three 
sons are dead — George Daniels, James G. Dan- 
iels, late of Salina, Kans., and Albert A. Daniels, 
at one time the city treasurer of Kalamazoo. 
Mrs. Daniels was associated with the Episcopal 
church from its establishment in this city. She 
was confirmed by the late Rt. Reverend Bishop 
McClosky as a member of one of the earliest 
classes to which he administered this rite in Kal- 
amazoo. She attended the first church services 
ever read from an Episcopal prayerbook in what 
is now the city of Kalamazoo. This service was 
held in the fall of 1834 in the school house stand- 
ing on the present site of the Jewish synagogue. 
In the early days, of which this bit of biography 
and local history tells, there was not a profes- 
sional nurse in Kalamazoo. The usual amount 
of illness occurred in the young country and Mrs. 
Daniels often stood at the bedside of the sick 
and dying, ready and willing to alleviate suffer- 
ing. Many are the men and women into whose 
eyes she looked as a sympathizing and relieving 
nurse when they were young. 

At no time was Mrs. Daniels more prominent 
in good work than during the Civil war. At that 
time there were one hundred and eight sick sol- 
diers in the upper story of the Humphrey block. 
The United States government made no provi- 
sion for delicacies in this improvised hospital, but 
the steward would be given dainties for a dozen 
sick soldiers at a time by Mrs. Daniels. It will 
be recalled by the old residents that at one time sev- 
eral regiments were camping at the national fair 
grounds located near the present site of the Mich- 



52 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



igan Buggy Company's plant. A Thanksgiving 
dinner was given to the soldiers by the Ladies' 
Relief Corps, of which Mrs. T. P. Shelden, of 
St. Luke's church, was president. Thoroughly 
imbued with this good work, Mrs. Daniels got 
six of her neighbors to join with her in providing 
a dinner for these men who became ill in the 
service of their country. These ladies were Mrs. 
Israel Kellogg, Mrs. James Taylor, Mrs. J. W. 
Winslow, Mrs. Edwin Burdick and Mrs. Tobias 
Johnson. The dinner was a great success. There 
were five or six turkeys,. The tempting tables 
were the talk of the town, many of the promi- 
nent men and women of the day viewing them 
after the feast was ready. Such events were not 
every day or even yearly occurrences when Kal- 
amazoo was young, and there was much praise 
and many exclamations of admiration for the 
work and generosity of the ladies. It was no less 
an honor then than now to be invited to carve, 
and this honor was enjoyed by G. H. Gale, now 
of Detroit; the late John Bates, of Minneapolis; 
Guy Penfield, Capt. H. C. Dennison and the late 
J. B. Daniels. Miss Harriet Kellogg, Miss Lib- 
bie Taylor, later Mrs. C. R. Bates; Miss Kate 
Winslow, now Mrs. W. L. Hunter, Miss Mary 
Daniels, now Mrs. G. T. Bruen ; G. C. Winslow 
and George Daniels, now deceased, all waited on 
the table at this famous dinner. It was said that 
up to that time there had never been spread such 
a table in Kalamazoo. "The gratitude of those 
soldiers was something delightful to be told to 
children and to children's children during long 
years as the history of Kalamazoo becomes old- 
er." Some Kalamazoo county soldiers were of 
the hundred invalids. Lieutenant Bedford, an 
officer, told Mrs. Daniels that each lady should 
have six men detailed to carry dishes. 

There were no flags, no evergreens and no 
grace, as the Reverend Mr. Hurd, the Episcopal 
minister, who had been selected, was ill. "One 
soldier who was accustomed to the hard tack of 
the army was so impressed with a certain kind 
of the food that he took a breastpin he had worn 
for years and said it was to be given to the lady 
who had done that portion of the cooking. The 
lady proved to be Mrs. Daniels. She accepted 



the gratitude, but required the soldier to take 
back his gift. Such was the lack of convenience 
at the time for serving large public dinners that 
the dishes were taken home to be washed. Noth- 
ing of the best linen, china or silver was lost, 
however, and nothing was broken. It was in- 
deed a great philanthropic and social event, and 
Mrs. Daniels was at the head of it all. 

Some of the people residing in the more mod- 
ern days of the twentieth century do not know 
of the hardships, the privations and the lack of 
facilities of those who came before the days when 
civilization was established in this old town, many 
of whom now sleep in Riverside or in Mountain 
Home. Suppose they had not accomplished re- 
sults produced by willing sacrifices and had not 
started good work along various lines, where 
would we have been today, and what would we 
have enjoyed in these later times in Kalamazoo? 
If these noble pioneer men and women had 
put their hands to the religious, philanthropic, 
intellectual and social plows merely in a half- 
hearted way and only to look backwards and 
give up, to what end would it have all been done ? 
So are we today grateful to those pioneer men 
and women who gave the town its start and con- 
tinued their interest day by day and year by year. 
Are we telling the old stories and traditions to 
each succeeding generation, thus preserving the 
spirit of the free life of the early days ? 

During the early life of Mrs. Daniels there 
were no such mail facilities as at present. The 
mail was brought at short intervals by pony ex- 
press from Detroit. There were no such oppor- 
tunities for reading then as now. Dickens' "Pick- 
wick Papers" were being printed by installments 
in an eastern newspaper and the days were count- 
ed red-letter days when the weekly paper came 
and Mrs. Daniels read the story aloud to Mr. and 
Mrs. Caleb Sherman, G. W. Winslow and others. 
There were not many books in the place eith- 
er, but Mrs. Daniels read such authors as Robert 
Burns, Thackeray and J. Fenimore Cooper. 
There were the "Leather Stocking" tales, "The 
Deerslayer," "The Pathfinder," "The Last of the 
Mohicans" and histories of local coloring — "The 
Oak Openings" or "The Bee Hunter." 





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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



55 



Mrs. Horace H. Comstock lived in Kalama- 
zoo, and for a time in Comstock Hall, and Mrs. 
Daniels was her guest while Mrs. Comstock was 
entertaining her distinguished uncle. Mrs. Com- 
stock was lovely in person and in manner and 
entertained very handsomely. She and her hus- 
band acted often as host and hostess to the men 
who were the leaders in public affairs. For while 
the place was yet young it did have part in af- 
fairs of public importance. Among these affairs 
was the location of the county seat of Kalamazoo 
county. Comstock, Galesburg, Schoolcraft and 
Kalamazoo all aspired for that honor. The con- 
test was very spirited, but Kalamazoo "won out." 
The men to whom Kalamazoo is indebted for the 
county seat are General Burdick, T. C. Shelden, 
Epaphroditus Ransom, later governor of Michi- 
gan ; Lucius Lyon and others. 

It is stated in a pioneer history in the public 
library that the late Judge H. G. Wells and Mrs. 
J. B. Daniels were the referees to decide whether 
Judge Basil Harrison was the original character 
of the "bee hunter" in Cooper's novel of that 
name. The claim had been made that a Mr. 
Walker, a hunter, who brought game to sell to 
the pioneers, was the original. Mrs. Daniels gave 
Mr. Cooper much information which appeared in 
this book. At the time there was no market in 
Kalamazoo, neither were there any cattle to kill. 

Another old landmark was the old Indian 
trading-post which was located about where is 
now the gate of Riverside cemetery. At this spot 
was the only ford in the river. Many are the 
old Indian traditions, legends and blood-curdling 
stcries that were related in the early days of this 
fair city. 

Mrs. Daniels told us of a deed done by the 
Indians — the burial of a dead chief in something 
that resembled an open corncrib, so constructed 
that die logs almost came together. The aper- 
tures were, however, sufficiently large to admit 
the air. About a year after arriving in Kalama- 
zoo she herself saw a chief so disposed of. She 
saw the skull, the bones of the face and legs, the 
teeth and one arm. This dead chief was thus 
placed to rest near the old trading house where 
a Frenchman bargained for furs. Let us hope 
4 



the Indian still dreams of his happy hunting 
grounds. 

The primitive and painted warrior who stood 
upon the bank of what is now Kalamazoo river, 
a quarter of a century ago, could not have imag- 
ined in his wildest dreams that if a child of his 
could live to see a stately city rise from the prairie 
and point its hundreds of factory chimneys to- 
ward the azure sky. But such a vision became 
palpable — and he himself bote reluctant evidence 
of this first step toward this wondrous trans- 
formation. The white man came, and the red 
brother abandoned his tepee and disappeared be- 
fore the wave of civilization. 

Kalamazoo is now a progressive city of thou- 
sands of progressive people full of business and 
bustle and toiling tirelessly. Her citizens are 
pleased with her past, proud of her present and 
confident of her future. The fleeting years have 
made much of her and she stands today a queen 
amid queens and destined for great ends. Men 
come and go; clouds form and burst; stars rise 
and fade ; but fair Kalamazoo came to stay. 
Her pulse beats with enduring vigor and the chill 
of decrepitude can never reach her heart. Kala- 
mazoo was settled by sturdy men from New Eng- 
land and their descendants are here today. They 
are not rainbow chasers, but citizens with a world 
of faith in their own right arms. Unaided, they 
have established a wonderful manufacturing mu- 
nicipality. Without soliciting outside capital, they 
have built hundreds of industries whose product 
foots many millions every year, and constantly 
growing. They have created a city with broad 
paved streets, luxurious homes, unequalled water 
and sewer systems and perfect fire and police 
protection; a city where good government and 
enterprise march hand in hand. The early settler, 
Titus Bronson, who located here in 1829, is 
spoken of elsewhere. Following him as a resi- 
dent, William Harris built his cabin in the spring 
of 1830, on a trail leading from Kalamazoo to 
Grand Prairie, in the valley, very near what is 
now the corner of West and Water streets. Here 
he was visited late in the season by Rodney Sey- 
mour. Lot M. and Noah North, who had been 
at work at Ypsilanti during the summer. Mrs. 



56 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



D. S. Dillie, then living on Gull prairie, was a 
sister of Mr. Seymour. He and his companions 
made a short stop on Gull Prairie, and then pro- 
ceeded to the crossing of the Kalamazoo, near the 
site of the future village. They crossed the river, 
possibly by Harrison's ferry, and following up 
the stream, now dignified by the name of Arcadia 
creek, finally found their friend Harris and his 
rude domicile. It would be deemed a sorry affair 
in these days of invention and luxury, but, as it 
was (with the exception of Bronson's • claim 
shanty, unoccupied, and the trading-house across 
the river) the only building in all the broad val- 
ley, it might well put on airs. 

It was built in true pioneer style, and was as 
primitive a structure as has been seen since the 
days when "prehistoric man" disputed his rights 
with the cave bear and the gigantic hyena of 
"ancient days." It was built of logs, laid flat 
upon the ground, and carried high enough to 
allow the dwellers to stand upright under its 
"shed roof," which all slanted one way, and was 
composed of poles covered with marsh grass, mak- 
ing a very humid shelter in "falling" weather. 
Its floor was of earth, leveled and packed down 
solid and smooth, and it had only openings for 
door and windows, against which were hung 
blankets and shawls in cold or damp weather. A 
fire was kindled outside in pleasant weather, and 
in stormy days in the center of the wigwam, 
from which the smoke escaped through a square 
hole in the roof. The furniture consisted of a 
campkettle, a frying pan, a few knives and forks 
and iron spoons, a couple of three-legged stools, 
a few tin plates, a table, made by splitting a bass- 
wood log, hewing it down with a common axe, 
and putting three legs on it, and a bedstead, made 
by inserting the ends of two poles into the wall 
of the cabin, and supporting the other ends by 
crotched sticks driven into the ground; over this 
frame were laid small poles, or stretched strips 
of elm or basswood-bark, and these were covered 
with the scanty bedding of the family. A few 
wooden pegs driven in the logs served for a ward- 
robe and a shelf made of a split pole laid upon 
other wooden pins answered the purpose of a 
cupboard and pantry. 



In 1830 Colonel Huston, who already had a 
store in Prairie Ronde, built a store on what is 
now the corner of Main and Rose streets, and 
filled it with goods for the settlers' accommoda- 
tion ; no doubt, "taking the wind out of the sails," 
to a greater or less extent, of the French trader 
across the river. In 1869 Nathan Harrison erect- 
ed a cabin on the site of the old River House, on 
"Harrison's half-acre," at the confluence of the 
Portage creek and the river, which was then only 
a few rods above the site of the present bridge 
on Main street. Mead took up his abode with 
Harris, his brother-in-law, and Hall erected a 
dwelling on Arcadia creek, near the river, below 
the railroad bridge. 

A daughter of Rev. Henry J. Hall said in 
a published article that "Thomas Merrill and 
Henry J. Hall were among the first who blabbed 
the gospel way through the timber to the wigwam 
of the Indian and the cabin of the first settler, the 
man whose gun and axe were his trusty and 
yet always silent comrades. The first picture of 
Bronson (Kalamazoo), two or three traders' huts 
with 'Uncle Tommy' Merrill (as he was called) 
on his little Indian pony and my father standing 
a few steps away. They were sent off as home 
missionaries from Boston, Mass., and made this 
city their first halting place. I believe the first 
sermon ever preached in this locality was under 
a big oak by one of these two co-laborers in those 
pioneer days. Later on, 'Uncle Tommy' Merrill 
built himself a little cabin on the farther hilltop 
from the old college building, and I have often 
been there in former years. In passing, may 
mention that Prof. Olney had a cottage in the 
early '60s on the left as you went up through the 
woods, and Prof. Anderson a more pretentious 
house on the right-hand side; this all before the 
war of the Rebellion. For many years my father 
kept up his circuit riding from Fort Wayne up 
to Bronson, as it was then. 

"It took him between two and three months 
to make the trip. At different places we set up 
the household altar, at the fort on the Maumee, 
Ontario, Ind., and later in Lagrange county, and 
finally back to Kalamazoo, in the last years of Dr. 
and Mrs. Stone's residence on the hill. Here, at 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



57 



a ripe old age, full of love to his fellow men, 
Elder Hall rounded out an almost perfect life and 
was not, for God took him. Father Lebel and the 
elders and the ministers of the Presbyterian and 
all the other churches sat side by side to hear the 
last words said over the coffin lid, so did they 
honor his life among them all. 'Uncle Tommy' 
Merrill was followed by Rev. T. Z. R. Jomes, 
who worked many years for the Baptist college. 
Luther Robe and others were of his day and 
generation." 

Following Harris came Nathan Harrison, Wil- 
liam Mead and Elisha Hall, who, with Titus 
Bronson, surveyed and laid out the nucleus of 
what was afterwards called Bronson village. From 
this time on the village saw many of the usual 
changes natural to the growth of any locality and 
nothing of importance transpired until 1832, when 
a town election was held at Titus Bronson's cabin, 
at which time there were elected one supervisor, 
four highway commissioners and three assessors, 
one collector, two constables, two overseers of the 
poor, two pound masters, seven overseers of high- 
way,, and five school commissioners. In the year 
1832 Dr. Abbott was appointed postmaster and 
the mail was carried weekly by Mr. Lucius 
Barnes in a covered wagon, his being the first 
stage line. The first marriage to be performed 
here was contracted in 1833, between Ethan 
French and Matilda Houndson, and later, in Feb- 
ruary of the same year, James M. Parker and 
Tamar Walter, and on February 17th, John Smith 
and Jemima Edginton, Squire Lovell performing 
the ceremony in each instance.. The first term 
of the Kalamazoo circuit court was held in the 
school house on South street, the grand jury hold- 
ing their deliberations under the trees contiguous. 
The "bar" of Kalamazoo county, if not equal in 
all respects to that of the Queen's bench, was 
nevertheless as wise in its own conceit and regard- 
ed as equal to any emergency by their numerous 
clients. The Hon. Charles F. Stewart occupied 
a prominent position as an attorney, sharing hon- 
ors very closely with Elisha Belcher, who was 
also considered a formidable pleader at the bar. 
Perhaps the leading event in the year 1836 was 
the establishment of the first newspaper here. In 



October the Michigan Statesman, published at 
White Pigeon, was removed and its publication 
begun at this place by Messrs. Gilbert and 
Chandler, and from that day to the present time 
Kalamazoo has not been wanting in an intelligent 
and faithful press to champion her cause, to defend 
and improve her interests and to advocate her 
claims. 

Mrs. Jack Hudson, a daughter of that sterling 
pioneer, Frederick Booher, writes very interest- 
ingly of her recollections of Kalamazoo since 
1834 in the Gazette of 1880. We make generous 
clippings from her recollections : "In June, 1834, 
my father, mother and brothers George and John 
and myself arrived at the ferry near the site of 
Riverside, seated in a one-horse wagon. Four other 
teams were ahead of us and we waited until dark 
before we could cross. We began pioneer life in 
the Kalamazoo House, kept by Ira and Cyren 
Burdick. The next morning both landladies were 
shaking with the ague. Our goods soon arrived 
and we rented and commenced keeping the hotel. 

"Then the hamlet of Bronson contained seven 
frame houses, six log houses with shingle roofs, 
two block houses and a number of board shanties. 
Main street was at that time grassgrown on 
either side and famous for its clusters of wild 
strawberries. Several times that summer I gath- 
ered a quart of those delicious berries on Main 
street between the Kalamazoo House and the 
present site of the court house. 

"Such was the rush of people buying land that 
all the floors were nightly covered with weary 
travelers. We would give up our own beds and 
many times I would be sent to pass the night at 
the residence of Mrs. John Parker's mother on 
the corner of Main and Rose streets, where Mr. 
Parker had a store fronting on Main street. His 
mother, his sister Ann and himself lived in the 
rear of the building. 

"The mud was so deep that I was carried in 
the arms of our cook, Jim Donelson, to hear Rev. 
Mr. Robe, the first minister, preach. 

"Other early preachers were Rev. Jeremiah 
Hall, Baptist; Rev. Mr. Woodbury, Presby- 
terian; O. F. Hoyt, Fenton, Stout, Foote, Kelly 
and George Cole, early Episcopalians. The early 



58 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



physicians were Drs. Abbott, Barrett, Stark- 
weather and Starkey. Dr. Starkey lived in a 
building on East Main street, near where Mr. 
Jannesch's gunshop stood at a later date. He 
was an excellent chemist and kept a drug store in 
the front part of his house. 

"Dr. Starkweather boarded with my parents in 
the Kalamazoo House. He later resided on Main 
street near the location of the Burdick House. 
Dr. Stuart and Dr. Axtell were of the later date. 
Dr. Stuart resided for many years at the present 
residence of Emil Friedman, on Main street, and 
he cultivated rare medical plants. Dr. J. B. Cor- 
nell and Dr. Edwin Altee were other physicians." 

The United States land office stood on the 
main street and after the lands were all sold it 
was used by Sweetland & Company as a lumber 
office. The land officers in 1834 were Thomas 
C. Shelden, receiver ; Thomas P. Shelden, deputy 
receiver; Major Abram Edwards, register; Al- 
exander Edwards, deputy collector. 

Railroads. — The first railroad proposition to 
which the prominent people of this county gave 
their support was the Kalamazoo & Lake 
Michigan Railroad. Corporators of this road 
were Hon. Epaphroditus Ransom, Charles 
E. Stuart, Edwin H. Lothrop, Horace H. 
Comstock and Isaac W. Willard. The road 
was incorporated by legislative action on 
March 28, 1836, the route of the road 
being specified as "from the mouth of the South 
Black river in the county of Van Buren to the 
county of Kalamazoo/' The country was much 
too new to render the building of such a road pos- 
sible by the people and foreign capitalists wisely 
refused to advance funds to build it. The Kala- 
mazoo & White Pigeon Railroad was constructed 
from White Pigeon to Constantine in 1852, on to 
Three Rivers in 1855 an d completed to Kala- 
mazoo in May, 1867. This road of thirty-eight 
miles was an important aid to the settlers along 
its route, having stations at Schoolcraft, Portage 
and Kalamazoo. It was later consolidated with 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, 
of which it now forms one of its important 
branches. The Kalamazoo division of the Lake 
Shore road also includes the road originally char- 
tered and built as the Kalamazoo, Allegan & 



Grand Rapids Railroad, which was opened for 
traffic from Kalamazoo to Allegan on November 
2^, 1868, and to Grand Rapids on March 1, 1869, 
and had a length of fifty-eight miles. Kalamazoo 
and Cooper are its stations in this county. Both 
of these roads were built by Ransom Gardner. 
The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad is an im- 
portant one, running north from Fort Wayne, 
Ind., to Petosky, Mich. This road reaches with- 
in twenty-five miles of Mackinaw Straits and was 
completed to Kalamazoo in 1870. Its stations in 
this county are Kalamazoo, a division point; 
Vicksburg, Austin and Cooper. The Kalamazoo 
& South Haven Railroad, incorporated on April 
14, i860, "to construct a standard gauge road be- 
tween the two cities mentioned in the charter,"" 
came into being through the active co-operation 
of the citizens of the territory adjacent to the 
line of the road. Citizens of the city of Kala- 
mazoo took twenty-five thousand dollars of the 
stock, the town of Kalamazoo raising twenty-six 
thousand dollars by taxation. Alamo voted ten 
thousand dollars as a township, residents of that 
township subscribing five thousand dollars. The 
second of the state roads, the Chicago road al- 
luded to elsewhere in these pages, aided much in 
the early development of the country. It ran 
from Detroit to Chicago, two hundred and fifty- 
tour miles, and the travel for years was almost 
one untnding procession. But, as the population 
of the state increased, this road nor wagon roads 
could satisfy the people. By 1840 the construc- 
tion of railroads had become quite general. The 
state legislature from the first held to the theory 
that the state "could legitimately and profitably 
build and manage any kind of public works that 
the people demanded. Accordingly laws were 
freely passed to grant monetary aid to contem- 
plated roads, many of which became failures. As 
one example, a law was passed in February, 1842, 
authorizing the commissioners of internal im- 
provement to pledge the net proceeds of the 
Southern Railroad for five years in order to build 
the road from Adrian to Hillsdale and to fully 
iron the road. 

The people were not mistaken in thinking 
that these wonderfully increased means of trans- 
portation woud be harbingers of prosperity. The 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



59 



railroads, acting harmoniously with the great de- 
velopment of the state, gave rapid movement of 
crops and merchandise. The products of the 
farms, that had been so long valueless by reason 
of the almost impassable and nearly unfathom- 
able roads leading to the Eastern markets on Lake 
Erie, now had easy and rapid transportation. 
The money received from their sale came back 
in amounts which in comparison with those of 
previous years were greatly to the benefit of the 
settlers. The railroads also furnished abundant 
facilities for incoming emigrants, and during the 
spring and summer of several of the closely fol- 
lowing years not a week, not a day even passed 
without some newcomer from the east arriving 
to make his home amid the forest trees of the 
somber woods, on the rich prairies or in the pleas- 
ant scenery of the fertile "openings." 

From 1840 great improvement took place in 
the condition of the farms and in the character 
of their buildings. The massive stumps left from 
the primitive methods of clearing now began 
to rapidly disappear through the destructive in- 
fluence of time. Although log houses remained 
the rule, even outside of the village, here and 
there modest frame houses were to be seen. 

Four great railroads afford transportation fa- 
cilities for Kalamazoo. Their numerous branches, 
if counted separately, would almost double the 
number. The Michigan Central's Niagara Falls 
Route connections with Lake Michigan, the Chi- 
cago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw connections with the 
Pere Marquette & Grand Trunk, together with 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, 
and Grand Rapids & Indiana practically control 
the rate, situation and competition does the rest. 
Fifty passenger trains arrive and depart daily, 
bearing their thousands of travelers to all parts 
of the county and the aggregate of freight ton- 
nage in and out of Kalamazoo is the second in 
the state of Michigan. Much credit is due these 
railroads for the many advantages placed before 
the shippers of this city in the way of side tracks, 
spurs, etc., for the speedy and advantageous han- 
dling of the enormous amount of freight in and 
out of Kalamazoo. The Michigan Central Rail- 
way, the pioneer railway of the state, has at all 



times maintained a close relationship with the 
interests of its patrons, both freight and passen- 
ger, and stands willing and ready at any time to 
co-operate with any movement which has for its 
purpose the advancement of Kalamazoo. 

To the ordinary observer it is a difficult and 
by no means satisfactory task to place even a fairly 
accurate estimate upon the number of miles of 
track owned by the various transportation com- 
panies within the confines of the city limits. Much 
interest, however, is attached to the correct mile- 
age, inasmuch as the passenger traffic and freight 
business form an important item in the city's com- 
mercial life. 

There are five transportation companies, with 
lines entering and crossing the city, and, as a 
matter of course, side tracks and switching facil- 
ities must be provided, which increase to a great 
extent the trackage within the city limits. All of 
the steam roads have switching yards of greater 
or less magnitude and numerous switches and in 
some parts a double-track system adds to the 
length of track of the Michigan Traction Com- 
pany. The total number of miles owned by the 
Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railway, includ- 
ing the various spurs, switches and side tracks, 
amount to a little over eight miles. Only a single- 
track passenger service is maintained by this 
road, the bulk of its trackage being confined to 
switch yards and other adjuncts of freight service, 
such as sidings connecting the main line with 
various manufactories. The Lake Shore & Mich- 
igan Southern Railway has in the city eight miles 
of switching tracks, sidings and spurs, besides 
the three miles of track used for through traffic. 
The bulk of the company's mileage is located in 
the north yards and a portion is also devoted to 
sidings connecting spurs running to many of the 
large factories, whose freight business is suffi- 
ciently important to warrant the outlay necessary 
to put down the sidings. 

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad track- 
age is made more formidable by the extensiveness 
of the switching facilities of the south and north 
yards. The total number of miles of track owned 
by this company within the limits of the munici- 
pality aggregates approximately fifteen miles. 



6o 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



The largest number of miles of track possessed 
by any of the companies within the city limits 
is owned by the Michigan Central. This com- 
pany maintains in many places a double- track 
service which swells the trackage total to a notice- 
able extent. At present eighteen miles of track 
are operated by the Michigan Central in this city, 
distributed in the switch yards and the double- 
track through-service. With the completion of 
the new yards near the paper mill, these figures 
will be materially increased. 

The Michigan Traction Company operates in 
its various local service lines over twelve miles 
of track, distributed on the street lines and in 
the switches. Double-track service in many of 
the streets, which was recently installed, has in- 
creased the trackage of this company to a notice- 
able extent. In spite of the excellent switching 
facilities furnished by the transportation com- 
panies in this city, the enormous freight traffic 
is often productive of blockades, which, during 
the "rush season," frequently, to some extent, tie 
up the shipping of local firms. Almost every 
year a stagnation of traffic, caused by insufficient 
switch track is experienced by the various roads. 

State Asylum for Insane. — This institution is 
situated on what is known as the Lake View 
drive, within five minutes ride by electric car of 
the center of the city and, with its grounds, is one 
of the beauty-spots of Kalamazoo. Situated on 
the top of Asylum Hill and commanding a view 
of the city, it certainly is a delight to the sense 
of sight. As can be seen, the buildings are large 
and commodious, library and museum facilities 
are afforded to the inmates, the best of food and 
treatment is accorded them, and light labor, when 
deemed expedient by the superintendent, is pro- 
vided. Every known method of medical and 
curative treatment is resorted to to restore these 
unfortunates, when possible, to their right minds. 
The superintendent of the institution is Dr. Al- 
fred I. Noble. 

Kalamazoo Board of Trade. — With a roster 
showing two hundred and fifty members, — repre- 
sentative citizens, and energetic, public-spirited 
men who have supreme faith in and are entirely 
loyal to the best interests of -Kalamazoo as an 



entity, — the newly organized. Board of Trade of 
Kalamazoo began business at 143 South Burdick 
street, second .floor. The first officers were H. B. 
Colman, president; Samuel Folz and A. K. Ed- 
wards, vice-presidents; F. G. Dewey, treasurer; 
Charles Hathaway, secretary. The scope of the Kal- 
amazoo Board of Trade is as broad, primarily, as 
the limits of the city and county. Any tangible 
business proposition that will add to the business 
value of our city or county will receive sincere 
consideration at the hands of the Board of Trade. 
Any enterprise of a public character which will 
make for the advancement of the general welfare 
will receive the attention and hearty co-operation 
of the board. It is the policy of the organization to 
work in harmony with all similar bodies in Mich- 
igan for the industrial, commercial, agricultural, 
financial and educational development of the com- 
monwealth, always, however, with local interests 
dominating. Kalamazoo has resources of facil- 
ities second to those of no other city in Michigan 
and is seeking new enterprises. The Board of 
Trade does not deal in "bonus" attractions. Every 
help that can be given will be extended to genuine 
business propositions, in the way of securing sites 
for factories, buildings and power for manufac- 
turers, help, both men and women and wherever 
possible, concessions in rents, purchase price and 
the like. Located at the intersection of one of the 
most important trunk line systems of railways in 
Michigan, and in the very center of the finest agri- 
cultural section of the state, Kalamazoo is already 
one of the leading industrial centers of Michigan, 
and seeks to add to her good fame in this direction, 
and the Board of Trade, harmonious, young and 
strong, is prepared and willing to exert its influ- 
ence to secure the full realization of this ambition. 
Government Lands. — The United States 
government established in the early territo- 
rial days five land districts in Michigan 
for the convenient sale of its lands — De- 
troit, Monroe, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Grand 
River. The "principal meridian" from which all 
government surveys were made was a line run- 
ning due north from the mouth of the Auglaize 
river, a subsidiary stream of the Maumee which 
empties into the Maumee at Defiance, Ohio. The 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



61 



base line of this meridian crosses the Auglaize 
fifty-four miles north of the south boundary line 
of Michigan and forms the northern boundary 
of Wayne, Washtenaw, Jackson, Calhoun, Kal- 
amazoo and Van Buren counties. The Kalama- 
zoo land district was bounded on the east by a 
line commencing at the northeast corner of town- 
ship 3 north, range 7 west, and running south 
to the base line and by the line dividing the third 
and fourth ranges of townships, west, commenc- 
ing at the base line and running south to the 
southeast corner of township 4 south, range 4 
west, also by the line dividing the fourth and 
fifth ranges of townships west, commencing at 
the northwest corner of township 5 south, range 
4 west, and running south by said line to the 
southern boundary of the state; on the south 
by the line dividing Michigan and Indiana; on 
the west by Lake Michigan ; on the north by the 
line dividing townships 3 and 4 north, com- 
mencing at the northwest corner of township 3 
north, range 6 west, and running with said line 
west to Lake. Michigan ; and by so much of the 
base line as divides the fourth, fifth and sixth 
ranges of the townships west. 

This district embraced all of the counties of 
Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, Calhoun, Kal- 
amazoo and Van Buren and all of the counties 
of Allegan and Barry except the northern tier 
of townships in each, which were placed in the 
Grand River district. The land office of this 
district was located at White Pigeon in 1831 and 
removed to Kalamazoo in 1833. Two or three 
townships were offered for sale, and some lands 
were entered in 1830, notably by Titus Bronson 
and Stephen Richardson. The sales in 1831 were 
93,179.36 acres at a cost of $117,128.26; in 1832, 
74,696.17 acres at a cost of $98,060.23; in 1833, 
95,980.25 acres at a cost of $123,465.25. The 
year of the largest sales was 1836, when a grand 
rush of easterners crowded all of the houses of 
entertainment and the amount of business was 
so great at the land office that they were 
months behind in their work. During this year 
1,634,511.82 acres were sold, the government re- 
ceiving $2,043,866.87. The vacant lands remain- 
ing unsold in the district in 1837 were 449>°56.i9 



acres ; the school lands, 95,862.60 acres ; the uni- 
versity lands amounted to 35,914.84 acres, while 
the Indian reservations amounted to 83,001.69 
acres. 

The population of the county by the census 
of 1850 was thirteen thousand, one hundred and 
seventy-nine and the wealth of population and 
improvements went steadily forward. The re- 
maining forests were rapidly falling before the 
settler's axe, thousands of fertile acres were 
yearly uncovered to the sun and smiling orchards 
took the place of gloomy elms and towering oaks. 
The decade from 1850 to i860 also witnessed the 
full change from log houses to framed ones. Out- 
side of the villages few framed houses were 
erected before 1840. From 1840 to 1850 a small 
number had taken the place of their rude prede- 
cessors, and between 1850 and i860 a majority 
of the settlers were able to enjoy the luxury of 
comfortable framed, brick or stone houses. 
Pumps took the place of the picturesque "sweeps" 
which in every pioneer's dooryard greeted the eye 
afar and from which depended the "old oaken 
bucket." Changes from inconvenience to con- 
venience were to be seen everywhere in the 
county, and prosperity was the order of the day. 

An important factor in the growth of this 
section of the state was the opening of the rail- 
road to Chicago in 1852. The disastrous panic 
of 1857 but slightly left its impress on the per- 
manent prosperity of the county. It was so slight 
in proportion to the terrible crash of 1837 that 
after a year of depression the business of the 
county manifested its old vitality. The popula- 
tion which in 1837 had been 6,377, in 1840, 7,389, 
and in 1850, 13,179, in i860 had nearly doubled, 
showing the grand record of 24,746. 

As would be expected, from its Puritanic or- 
igin, the politics of the county has ever been 
Whig and Republican. In 1836 the Democratic 
party had innings, Martin Van Buren re- 
ceiving two hundred and thirteen majority over 
William H. Harrison. In 1840 the New England 
element manifested itself, the vote standing 954 
for Harrison, 744 for Van Buren. In 1848 Tay- 
lor, Whig, had 1,010 votes, Cass, Democrat, 880* 
and Van Buren, Free Soil, 495. In 1856 Fre- 



62 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



mont, Republican, had 2,803 votes, Buchanan, 
Democrat, 1,620. In the momentous election of 
i860 Lincoln received 3,230 votes; Douglas, 
2,031. 

The great Civil war affected this county as it 
did all parts of the North. The taking away of 
so many men as volunteer soldiers, the young, 
stalwart and vigorous being usually the fated 
ones, to fill the ranks of the Union army, was 
seriously felt in all business circles and in the 
industrial development of the county, for until 
the war closed in 1865 labor was at a premium. 
With the issuing of "greenbacks" by the gov- 
ernment, prices, not only of labor, but of all com- 
modities, greatly increased, and a period of in- 
flation ensued which was probably beneficial to 
this section, as the products brought high prices 
and the large amount of money sent home by the 
soldiers added much to the wealth of the various 
communities. All kinds of business flourished 
and "times were good." Notwithstanding the 
great drain on the population during the first 
half of this decade the number of inhabitants in- 
creased to thirty-one thousand, four hundred and 
forty-six by 1870. 

The decade from 1870 to 1880 saw the com- 
plete fulfillment of the development of the origi- 
nal wilderness conditions to the highest civiliza- 
tion of modern times. The county had become 
as old as the counties of the east from which had 
come its original settlers, and under the law of 
progress the ultimate had been attained. Aside 
from the reclamation of a few marshes and the 
drainage of some low-lying lands the agricultural 
possibilities of usual country farming had here 
been fulfilled. The natural law that draws 'men 
to centers and away from the country had com- 
menced its operation, and it is very probable 
that this decade indicated the greatest population 
that the county will reach for many years. 

It may be of interest for purposes of com- 
parison to know what were the agricultural and 
manufacturing interests thirty years ago, so we 
will give some statistics of the conditions of these 
industries in 1874. There were then 343,467 
acres of taxable lands ; lands exempt from taxa- 
tion, 1,874.25, the value of the latter being $333,- 



165. The number of farms was 1,520. These 
contained 158,078 acres. There were 72,691 
acres in wheat, about 27,000 in corn and 96,888 
bushels of potatoes were raised; 22,870 tons of 
hay were produced, 283,991 pounds of wool, 
2,743,476 pounds of pork, 16,128 pounds of 
cheese, 728,266 pounds of butter, 48,387 pounds 
of maple sugar and 61,457 pounds of fruit were 
harvested and marketed. The apple and grape 
industries were well represented. Celery culture 
had not attained sufficient proportions to attract 
much attention. The stock of the county con- 
sisted of 9,411 horses, 88 mules, 278 oxen, 8,260 
milch cows, 16,740 hogs, while 63,854 sheep were 
sheared in 1873. 

The manufacturing establishments in 1874 
numbered ninety-one, of which twenty-eight were 
operated by steam and twenty-six by water. These 
industries employed 1,766 operatives, and with 
their capital of $853,650 produced goods valued 
at $1,748,369 yearly. There were fifteen flour- 
ing mills, two operated by steam ; nineteen saw- 
mills, one shingle mill, five planing mills, four 
foundries and machine shops, two steam imple- 
ment works, one "musical instrument" factory, 
one carriage factory, one fanning mill factory, 
three chair factories, one stave factory, four wind- 
mill factories, one "novelty" factory, one wooden- 
ware factory, one paper mill, three shoe factories, 
one cooperage plant, four breweries, two soap and 
candle factories, two marble and stone shops, two 
tanneries, one "stove works" and various other 
plants of this character. 

During the latter portion of the nineteenth 
century the population of both the county and the 
city advanced rapidly, as did also the commercial 
importance of the city. In 1880 there was per- 
haps no town of its size in the state that did a 
larger business. One thing that did much to 
bring about this result was the increased facili- 
ties offered to manufacturers by the important 
railroads. 

An historical event worthy of preservation 
here was the Kalamazoo County Pioneer meet- 
ing, which occurred at the "court house yard" in 
the city on August 5, 1880. The program of this 
enjoyable reunion of both early settlers and later 



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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



65 



residents was thus printed: Meeting to be 
called to order by the Hon. L. F. Brown, presi- 
dent of the Kalamazoo County Pioneer Associa- 
tion, at 10 A. M. ; prayer by the Rev. J. T. Robe, 
the first minister of any denomination that ever 
preached in Kalamazoo; address by President 
Brown ; response by Hon. H. G. Wells, president 
of the Pioneer Society of Michigan; adjourn- 
ment to partake of a dinner spread on tables in 
the court house yard ; music by the band at 1 P. 
M., which is the signal for assembling at the 
speakers' stand." Then followed addresses by 
Hon. Charles E. Stewart, of Kalamazoo ; John 
J. Adams, Lenawee; Albert Miller, Bay; M. 
Shoemaker, Jackson ; W. J. Baxter, Hillsdale ; 
O. C. .Comstock, Calhoun; Levi Bishop, Wayne; 
F. H. Thompson, Genesee; Jonathan Shearer, 
Plymouth. These were followed by vocal music, 
"The Young Pioneer," and the benediction by 
Rev. M. Bradley. Speeches were then made by 
old pioneers. 

Hon. H. C! Briggs gave an interesting "talk/' 
He said in part that in 1836 his father, mother, 
brother, sister and himself left the far East in 
a one-horse wagon, having a sheet thrown over 
the wagon bows, and found their way to Allegan 
county after four weeks of hard travel. Upon 
their arrival their cash capital was one dollar, 
which was paid for horse feed. "For two years 
the family subsisted on suckers and milk for the 
reason that it was 'brain food.' The diet failing 
in good results in that direction, the family re- 
moved their home into the wild woods eight miles 
from a settler or a road. Here they struggled for 
years in clearing a way for a home. At that time 
there was not five dollars in money in the town- 
ship. There were no aristocrats. Everybody had 
the best of land. Company both ate and slept in 
the parlor and was not tucked off into a back 
room. People had a fine ear for music. I have 
traveled one hundred miles to hear a cowbell. 
For years there were no schools and when one 
was finally established in a log house the teacher 
was paid one dollar and twenty-five cents a week 
in store pay. There was no money to buy either 
tea or coffee or to pay postage, which cost twenty- 
five cents where now we pay but two. Tea was 



made from sage, and coffee from browned bread 
crumbs. People were, however, just as happy 
then as now." 

Hon. Levi Bishop, of Detroit, said that in 
1836 he left New York state for Michigan. On 
reaching Marshall he started on foot for Kalama- 
zoo county. When he reached Comstock he was 
so fatigued that he could go no further, but, after 
refreshing himself with a bowl of bread and milk 
at a settler's cabin, he again started on his way 
to Kalamazoo, where he arrived with his feet 
blistered and very sore. He entered land and 
returned. He traveled all over the state in pio- 
neer days and was never molested, never seeing 
any of the dangers some of the old pioneers told 
of experiencing in the early days from bears, 
wolves and Indians. When he entered his land 
the land office was two weeks behind time in its 
business, the town was full of people and the old 
Kalamazoo House fed men night and day as fast 
as the tables could be cleared or?, being then un- 
able to take care of the crowds of land buyers. 
The floors of all the rooms and the halls were 
nightly covered with tired and disgusted men. 

Dr. Comstock said that the first salutation 
that a stranger received here was "What will 
you have to drink?" 

Hon. Erastus Hursey, of Battle Creek, said 
that he came to Kalamazoo September, 1830, 
from the South in search of a farm. The only 
white man he found here was Judge Basil Har- 
rison, who kept a ferry at the mouth of the Port- 
age and ferried him across the river. 

This ferry was in operation from the very 
earliest settlement, Nathan Harrison succeeding 
his father in the ownership. It was put out of 
business in 1835 by the building of a trestle bridge 
across the river. This bridge cost four hundred 
dollars, of which the federal government paid 
one-half. 

At a town meeting held in April, 1834, it was 
voted to raise one hundred dollars as a wolf 
bounty, four dollars to be paid for each scalp 
taken in the town until the money was expended. 

An old Thanksgiving dinner is thus de- 
scribed: In the fall of 1838 invitations were sent 
out to all the settlers in the county, and on that 



66 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



especial day teams were sent for those who could 
not come otherwise. The good matrons superin- 
tended the cooking of the dinner, which consist- 
ed of wild turkeys brought in by the Indians, im- 
mense spareribs roasting before the great open 
fireplace, huge mince pies, pumpkin pies and pud- 
dings, all baked in the large brick oven, for cook 
stoves no one had. The turkeys and meats were 
suspended by stout tow strings before the open 
fire and slowly turned. The sauce of the meal 
was stewed cranberries brought in by the Indians. 
Not a fruit tree was here to bear fruit like that 
of the old Eastern homes. Extensive tables were 
spread and the many guests passed a very enjoy- 
able day and fun and mirth and jollity ruled su- 
preme. 

Kalamazoo Village. — From President E. W. 
De Yoe's exaugural address at the last meeting 
of the village trustees, we extract the following: 
"With the coming of your board came through a 
committee, of the citizens a request of a commis- 
sion to draft a charter providing for a city gov- 
ernment to be submitted to the legislature of the 
state for enactment. In compliance therewith, 
a committee was appointed, the charter prepared, 
carefully revised and submitted to the people, who 
by an informal ballot adopted and recommended 
its passage. The preparation and review was a 
matter in which you manifested a deep concern. 
Upon you has devolved the duty of setting up the 
machine of a city municipality, nothing remains 
to be done but 'pulling the throttle' and starting 
out from the station heretofore known as the 'Big 
Village/ which, we trust will be run on the same 
lines of general prosperity that has characterized 
our village for several years. In 1836 the legis- 
lature passed an act /that from and after the 31st 
of March inst. the name of the township of Ar- 
cadia be changed and allowed to that of Kalama- 
zoo/ Those days were, comparitively speaking, 
prehistoric. The education, culture and refine- 
ment of our people have contributed in no small 
degree to spread the fame of our enterprising vil- 
lage. The pleasant, cheerful homes, the well-or- 
dered churches, the fine schools and seminaries 
of learning, the beautiful place of public amuse- 
ment, the extensive public and private libraries, 



the several charitable institutions, all betoken a 
spirit of enterprise reflecting credit that touches 
the pride of every Kalamazoo man, woman and 
child. This happy, thriving and prosperous con- 
dition we turn over to the new city as a legacy 
from the village for their fostering.'' In the 
financier's report of Thomas R. Bevans, of the 
same year, we extract thus : "Today we stand 
practically out of debt and the financial record of 
our village from 1842 to 1884 shows clearly that 
the men governing us have been economical and 
prudent. Unlike many other places, no rings have 
ever been formed for the purpose of depleting 
the public treasury and our trustees have always 
evinced a desire to work for tfye real interest of our 
beautiful village. It should be remembered that 
careful legislation makes a strong factor in the 
matter, inducing outside capital to seek investment 
where it exists and this explains why parties are 
prospecting here with a view to investments in 
our midst. Kalamazoo as a city should certainly 
be entitled to some of the floating capital and will 
have it soon. The importance of careful legis- 
lation by our successors at the birth of the new 
city will be apparent to all and the past financial 
record for prudence and economy we trust will be 
maintained in and under the new form of city 
government." 

Kalamazoo in 1891. — From the exaugural ad- 
dress of the Hon. William E. Hill in 1891, we 
extract as follows : "During the past fiscal year 
there has been purchased and paid for, real estate 
to the amount of about seventeen thousand dollars, 
fifteen thousand dollars of which was paid for the 
Howard lot, which was selected by Dr. E. N. 
Van Deusen and wife as their choice of a site for 
a public library, they having donated the magnifi- 
cent sum of fifty thousand dollars toward paying 
for the library building. We should appreciate 
this whole-souled gift, coming as it did from two 
of pur most respected citizens. It grieves me that 
a few of our people forget and allow .themselves 
to grumble at, the extra tax they had to pay in con- 
sequence of the purchase of the library lot. 

"They should look at it in this light, that while 
our citizens only had to, pay fifteen thousand dol- 
lars in extra taxes, two citizens, Dr. and Mrs. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



67 



Van Deusen gave fifty thousand dollars, other 
private citizens paying one thousand dollars, we, 
as taxpayers, paid fifteen thousand dollars and got 
sixty-six thousand dollars' worth of property. 
This library, when completed, will belong to our 
citizens and it is for each one's benefit. It is not 
only for those living now in Kalamazoo, but for 
all who may be citizens for all time to come. 

"During the past year the city has purchased 
the triangular piece of land (known as the flat- 
iron) located west on Main street, near the Mich- 
igan Central Railroad crossing, at a cost to the 
city of one thousand dollars, private citizens pay- 
ing one thousand six hundred dollars. The build- 
ings have been removed, the lot graded and cement 
walks laid, thereby making it pleasing to the eye 
and a great source of gratification to our citizens, 
and this is not all. It is a matter of great safety 
to all who pass over that railroad crossing. If 
this had been accomplished three years ago, that 
terrible railroad accident that occurred at this 
crossing in which the lives of five of our citizens 
were lost, would in all probability not have oc- 
curred. We have in the past year purchased a 
new pumping engine, a duplicate of the one we 
have been using in our new pumping house, at 
the cost of sixteen thousand dollars for machinery, 
foundation and connection. It has been located 
alongside of the old one and in conjunction with 
it. thereby doubling our pumping capacity and 
the two are a source of much pride to citizens, as 
well as a great source of safety to their property." 

Titus Bronson. — The first settler on the soil 
of Kalamazoo city was Titus Bronson. In June, 
829, he came from Ann Arbor, following the 
'Treat St. Joseph trail and fording the river at the 
trading station, continuing along the trail until 
he reached the mound now conspicuous on the 
grounds of Bronson Park, where he camped for 
the night, placing a pine torch in the ground 
before the door of his little tent to keep away the 
wolves. The next morning he made a close ob- 
servation of the valley and poncluded to make 
hi is home here at once. 

During the season he erected a rude cabin 
and entered the land. In Mr. Van Buren's sketch 
of Bronson he says that Branson's practical dis- 



cernment recognized not only the beauty but the 
utility of the location, saying to himself, "This 
will be a county seat." On the site he chose for 
his home he built a hut of tamarack poles which 
he brought from the neighboring swamp, and 
covered it with grass. He passed the winter of 
1829 and 1830 at Prairie Ronde, in 1830 going 
to Ohio for his family. With his wife and eldest 
daughter, he came to Kalamazoo with a wagon 
drawn by a yoke of oxen. Anxious hours, weary 
days and shelterless nights were spent upon their 
journey hither ward. 

They were the first inhabitants of Kalamazoo, 
the beginning of what has become a great, pros- 
perous, as well as a very beautiful city. On 
account of the illness of his wife, the tamarack 
hut was not considered a suitable home for the 
cold weather, hence the winter was passed by 
the family and Stephen Richardson, a brother of 
Mrs. Bronson, who had come with them to the 
new home, at the little settlement of Prairie 
Ronde. 

Early in the spring of 1831 Mr. Bronson 
erected a log house on the northwest corner of the 
present Church and Main streets. In June, 1831, 
he entered the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 15 in his wife's name, Mr. Richardson 
at the same time entering the west half of the 
same section. Mr. Bronson also entered land 
in other parts of this county. During this time 
he had laid out the village of Bronson, and se- 
cured the location of the county seat here. He 
very generously contributed to the public the 
land extending from the corner of Rose and Bur- 
dick streets west to Park street and south to south 
street, including one square of sixteen rods as a 
court house site, and one square of sixteen rods 
as a site for a jail, one square of sixteen rods for 
an academy, one square of eight rods for a com- 
mon-school building, also four squares of eight 
rods each to be given to the first four religious 
denominations that were incorporated in the vil- 
lage. These tracts include what is now Bronson 
Park. To these gifts he added a lot of two acres 
for a cemetery. 

In the latter part of 1831 General Justus 
Burdick, a Vermonter, purchased a portion of Mr. 



68 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Bronson's village property. In 1836 other parties 
acquired a controlling interest and the name of 
the village was changed from Bronson to Kala- 
mazoo, which so depressed Mr. Bronson that he 
soon sold all of his interests here, removed first 
to Davenport, Iowa, then to Henry, 111., and 
finally in 1852 to Connecticut, where he died, a 
poor man, in January, 1853. The more probable 
reason for the change of name to 'Kalamazoo is 
that a much more populous township in Branch 
county was named Bronson. 

Abolitionism. — Nothing in the early history 
of the county more clearly shows the advanced 
thought and liberality of New England than the 
number of strong men who came here from that 
section and were early of the despised class called 
abolitionists. The "underground railroad" had 
many stations in Michigan and some of the most 
prominent of the citizens of Kalamazoo countv 
were its conductors. Dr. Nathan M. Thomas, 
the first regular physician in this county, located 
at Prairie Ronde in June, 1830. By heredity and 
by education he was a strong anti-slavery man 
at the time when it required a hero's fortitude 
to proclaim that doctrine. Believing it to be a 
great moral as well as a political question, he 
considered it would be best met by a high moral 
stand in politics, thinking moral suasion insuffi- 
cient to remedy the evil of slavery. 

In 1837 Dr. Thomas, with four hundred and 
twenty-two other voters of Grand Ronde and 
Brady, sent a petition to congress asking its op- 
position to the admission of Texas, a slave-hold- 
ing republic, as one of the United States. This 
was the first memorial sent from Michigan on 
this subject. So Kalamazoo was prominently a 
pioneer in the cause of freedom for the blacks. 
At later periods this strong body of men sent nu- 
merous petitions to congress asking for the abo- 
lition of slavery in the District of Columbia and 
against the admission of any more slave states 
into the Union. In 1838 and 1839 Dr. Thomas 
took the matter into politics and in 1840 he active- 
ly aided in the formation of the Liberal party, for 
whose presidential candidates he cast his ballot. 

There is at the present writing residing at 
Tiis home near the asylum building in Kalamazoo 



city one of the strongest men of the earlier period, 
Henry Montague, who has passed his ninety-first 
year of life and is of sound mentality and pos- 
sessed of physical powers equal to many of thirty 
years less his age. He was from early youth 
an advocate of temperance and anti-slavery. Be- 
fore he attained his majority he was battling for 
personal liberty in his native Massachusetts 
agaip,»st the proslavery element in the town of his 
residence, headed by a leading deacon in the 
church. 

Coming to Michigan in 1836, he was a dele- 
gate to the first temperance convention of the 
state, which was held at Ann Arbor. The senti- 
ment of the majority of the delegates was for an 
abstinence from distilled liquors, but Mr. Mon- 
tague tried strongly to have the convention de- 
clare for total abstinence. In January, 1837, he 
located in Oshtemo, and in February was a del- 
egate from Washtenaw county to the first aboli- 
tion convention of Michigan, twenty-five dele- 
gates meeting at Ann Arbor. 

The first fugitives from slavery came to Kal- 
amazoo county in the spring of 1837, they being 
a man and his wife who were escaping from Vir- 
ginia and a young man from Alabama. They 
came to Mr. Montague's house, tired, hungry and 
in dread of being captured by their former own- 
ers, who were hot on their trail. Mr. Montague 
took them to a neighbor's house, where a warm 
meal was hastily prepared for them, and then 
Mr. Montague drove them to Galesburg and was 
relieved of his charges by Hugh M. Shafter, the 
father of General Shafter of the Spanish-Ameri- 
can war. From this time Mr. Montague, so long 
as need existed, kept an open station of the under- 
ground railroad. 

In 1839 the abolitionists of this county aided 
liberally in the establishment of an anti-slavery 
newspaper in this state, and in 1845 Dr. Thomas 
was the cadidate for lieutenant-governor on the 
ticket of the Liberal party, James G. Birney 
heading the state ticket. The anti-slavery party 
then cast three thousand five hundred votes. In 
1848 the Free Democratic or Free- Soil party ab- 
sorbed the Liberal party and the abolitionists of 
the county were found loyally supporting the new 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



69 



organization. In 1852 Dr. Thomas was one of the 
presidential electors, John P.- Hall being the can- 
didate for President. The abolitionists were in 
hearty accord with the views of the state mass 
meeting held at Jackson on July 17, 1854, at 
which the Republican party was organized. 

The anti-slavery men of this county were 
largely in evidence at the state mass convention 
of the Free Democrats held in Kalamazoo at an 
earlier date, and where a committee of sixteen 
members was chosen to go to the Jackson meet- 
ing and as accredited agents to merge the Free 
Democratic party of Michigan in the new organ- 
ization, if the platform adopted was of a satis- 
factory character. This was found acceptable, 
and the new Republican party thus received a 
valuable element of strength. In November, 1861, 
one hundred and sixty-seven citizens of School- 
craft and vicinity sent this petition to Congress : 
"To the. Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States: In accordance with justice, 
the spirit of the age, and to meet the approval 
of the good and true throughout the world, and 
with a view of restoring four million native 
Americans to their rights, and bringing the war 
in which we are now involved to a speedy termi- 
nation, the undersigned, citizens of Kalamazoo 
county and state of Michigan, respectfully pray 
your honorable body to so exercise the right with 
which you are invested, under the war power of 
the government, as to declare slavery by act of 
congress totally abolished." 

The "underground railroad'' had several sta- 
tions in Michigan, a prominent one being in 
Schoolcraft. The first train that arrived brought 
but one fugitive, an escaped slave from the far 
South. He entered Michigan in October, 1838, 
and passed through Schoolcraft, Battle Creek, 
Marshall, Jackson and Detroit. Other fugitives 
soon followed along this route, which became the 
main line of this travel for many years, the rail- 
road extending from the borders of the slave 
states north and east to the Canada line. Its cars 
fan for nearly twenty years and the number of es- 
caping slaves had been variously computed from 
r >ne thousand to one thousand five hundred, and 
some of these became useful citizens of this state, 
most of them, however, passing over into Canada. 



During the Civil war many of these fugitives 
were mustered into the service of the Union army 
and made brave soldiers. One incident is worthy 
of being handed down to coming generations to 
incite loyalty to freedom. Four young negroes 
came from Kentucky on the underground line to 
Schoolcraft in 1856. Here they settled. After 
the Civil war commenced they all desired to en- 
list, but on account of the race prejudice existing 
they had a hard time enlisting, finally doing so in 
different regiments. At the capture of Charles- 
ton the four met, and, as they marched through 
the streets of the captured metropolis of the 
South Carolina, in unison they sang the stirring 
strains of Julia Ward Howe's grand anthem of 
freedom, "John Brown's body lies moldering in 
the grave, but his soul goes marching on." 

Children s Home. — One of the laudable in- 
stitutions of Kalamazoo is the Children's Home, 
which was incorporated under the state law gov- 
erning incorporations on April 28, 1888. The 
good people who had originated the home had 
labored zealously in a quiet but eminently useful 
way for several years and by this time the work 
had advanced to such proportions that a legal or- 
ganization was demanded. As stated in the char- 
ter, the object of the home is "the maintenance 
of homes for vagrant children without friends 
and for the instruction of indigent children gen- 
erally in the various occupations of the life by 
training them in virtue and usefulness and for 
finding them permanent homes in suitable fam- 
ilies, and also to give them a common-school 
education and a moral religious training." Ad- 
mission to the home is confined to females. None 
are debarred entrance from inability to pay, but 
when parents and friends of the applicant are 
able to pay, a charge of twenty-five to fifty cents 
a week is made to provide food and clothing. 
Many of the inmates of the home are full or part 
orphans, having no relatives to care for them. 
As often as it is possible to do so, good homes are 
provided for the children, the managers of the 
home reserving in all cases the right to oversee, 
protect and care for their wards. 

The, incorporators were William C. Deming, 
David Fisher, Henry Bishop, Francis B. Stock- 
bridge, Mary J. Kent, Jane A. Deming, Kate 



70 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



W. Hitchcock, Cynthia Brooks and Fanny E. M. 
Strong. William C. Deming was the generous 
donator of the ground upon which the home was 
erected at a cost of nearly eleven thousand dollars. 
The necessary furnishings of the home have been 
mostly contributions from friends of this good 
cause. The home receives its support from a small 
endowment fund and liberal donations. The use- 
fulness of this wise institution is manifest in the 
number of children who are here given the ad- 
vantage of a Christian home, the average number 
of inmates being twenty-eight. Frequently, how- 
ever, there have been forty children receiving its 
benefits. A matron and a housekeeper are em- 
ployed who are responsible for the good care of 
the inmates of the home. The officers are 
assisted in their labors by a board of managers 
composed of ladies of influence who visit the home 
weekly for consultation and concerted action con- 
cerning its needs. 

Fire and Water Works. — In 1881 the village 
published a history of the fire and water works 
from their first introduction on April 10, 1843, t0 
April 18, 1881. We extract from this as follows: 

The very capable committee having this work 
in hand were the following gentlemen : William R. 
Coats, George H. Chandler, James H. Hopkins. 
They found that in the early days of the settle- 
ment each citizen could obtain excellent water by 
digging a well of from ten to sixteen feet in 
depth. The water was found in a stratum of sand 
and gravel and was amply sufficient for domestic 
purposes. Fires becoming frequent as population 
increased, other and greater water supplies were 
needed. 

The beautiful Arcadia creek, a small stream, 
entering the village from the southwest, had its 
source of supply at an elevation of one hundred 
feet above the outlet, and its waters, though not 
sufficient to propel heavy machinery, were classed 
as valuable water rights. It was used as the 
power of numerous small enterprises, turning- 
lathes, chair and cabinet works, planing mills 
and wood-carving machines. Thus the village 
could not change the course of the stream to take 
the water from its users and was forced to be 



content with the water after it had passed the last 
mill. 

The Swazey wool carding plant, on the south 
side of Main street, was impelled by water 
brought from the Arcadia in a race or flume, which 
ran close to the sidewalk, and which had a gate, 
which closed for the limited operations of the 
"bucket brigade," that dipped up the water in 
buckets at the time of fire. Similar arrangements 
were made for the same use at different points 
along the Arcadia, which latter were used as sup- 
plies for fire engines. The Michigan Central 
Railroad, when building its station, laid pipes to 
the Arcadia through which it brought water for 
the tank at the station. 

Superintendent Brooks of the company offered 
the overflow from the tank to the village and the 
first reservoir of the village was built to receive it 
in the court house yard, the water coming from 
the railroad in wooden pipes. How long the res- 
ervoir was used we do not know, but in 1854 
George N. Bollen put in a dam on the Arcadia 
between Rose and Burdick streets and there built 
a woodworking shop. In i860 it is recorded on 
the village journal that he in that year agreed to 
pump water into this reservoir from his shop. 
This water was brought in iron pipes and a force 
pump provided by the village filled the reservoir. 
After the Bollen dam was removed the pump was 
operated at the Lawrence and Gale foundry, later 
at the Kalamazoo Iron Works, and until the Holly 
system was introduced in 1869. 

A brief summary of the official action in this 
direction will be of interest. On June 5, 1843, a 
village ordinance was passed requiring all occu- 
pants of buildings to provide two ladders and two 
buckets or pails to be kept especially for fire pur- 
poses. On October 7, 1844, it was ordered that 
the burning of bonfires, etc., be prohibited from 
sundown until sunrise; also the firing of anvils, 
cannbns, etc., within the village limits. December 
14, 1844, the first fire wardens, N. A. Balch, L. 
W. Whitcomb, Charles E. Stuart, L. H. Trask 
and Israel Kellogg, were appointed and instructed 
to expend five dollars out of any funds on hand 
and to solicit from citizens additional the amount 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



7i 



needed for the purchase of a good and sufficient 
fire hook," which was the first remembered "im- 
plement" for fire purposes purchased by the vil- 
lage. 

The "Kalamazoo Hook and Ladder Company" 
was organized on March 11, 1846, with Alexan- 
der J. Sheldon as foreman. This was the pioneer 
fire company of the place. During 1846 fifty- 
nine dollars and three cents was appropriated and 
expended for "hooks, ladders, ropes and other 
articles." One hundred fire buckets and a suitable 
wagon or truck and other apparatus were also 
bought. Mr. Sheldon was later advanced to be 
the chief engineer of the new fire department. 

On May 3, 1847, a petition was handed to the 
board of trustees asking for an appropriation of 
one thousand dollars, to be raised by tax, to buy 
a fire engine and needful apparatus. Nothing was 
done, for on May 1, 1848, D. S. Walbridge, 
Horace Mower and T. P. Sheldon were on the 
committee to consider the same subject. Their* 
report advising the expenditure of seven hundred 
dollars was "laid on the table." On October 2, 
1848, a tax of three mills on the dollar was or- 
dered and a committee chosen to confer with the 
owner of water rights on Arcadia creek for the 
use of the water of the stream. In November the 
above tax order was rescinded. On February 5, 
1850, the marshal was instructed to purchase six 
ladders. The first important fire of the village 
occurred on February 9, 1850, when were burned 
all the houses on the north side of Main street, 
from the site of the Burdick House west to the 
building on the northeast corner, — five stores, 
three carpenter shops and the office of the Tele- 
graph newspaper. 

On March # 9, 1850, the "Rescue Hook and 
Ladder Company" was organized, with Benjamin 
F. Orcutt, foreman, and forty-one members. Au- 
gust 7, 1850, Alexander Buell, L. H. Trask and 
William E. White were appointed a committee 
"to examine and report upon the probable expense 
of bringing water into the village." This is the 
first action on record concerning supplying the 
place with water for domestic purposes. 

In 1851 William R. Watson and Alexander 
Buell were as a committee in negotiation with the 



Michigan Central corporation for the reservoir in 
the courtyard spoken of before. On May 19, 
185 1, the construction of this reservoir was favor- 
ably reported by the committee, Kellogg, Watson 
and Clark ; hydrants to be placed at the corner of 
Main and Burdick, and Main and Portage streets. 
The reservoir was put into use in the summer of 
1851. On May 5, 1851, White & Turner's foun- 
dry and machine shop were burned, loss eight 
hundred dollars. On July 7, 1852, an ordinance 
was passed organizing and regulating a fire de- 
partment. On January 5, 1852, a vote of thanks 
was passed by the village board to J. J. Perrin, 
Henry Colt and Moses Ward for personal skill 
and bravery in extinguishing a fire in the loft of 
Parsons & Wood's store. In 1852 also The Fire- * 
man's Hall Association organized and built a hall. 
In May, 1853, tne Michigan Central Railroad sta- 
tion, Henry Cook & Company's warehouse and 
several other buildings were burned, one life, the 
first by fire in the town, being lost. On June 6, 
1853, H. S. Gage and J. C. Hays were made a 
committee to procure ground whereon to build an 
engine house, etc. On July 8, 1853, one thousand 
one hundred dollars were appropriated to buy a 
fire engine and apparatus, Allen Porter being ap- 
pointed to do this business. Four cisterns, each 
having a capacity of from one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred barrels and to cost twenty-five 
dollars each, were ordered built in front of Gov- 
ernor Ransom's residence, Dr. Abbott, N. A. 
Balch, B. Hoskins and Ira Burdick being chosen 
to superintend the work, but they were never 
made. 

On July 25, 1853, the first engine of the town 
was purchased. It was originally bought by Ran- 
som & Arnold for their distillery. It was called 
the "Cataract" and cost one hundred and twenty- 
nine dollars. The purchase included the use of 
another but smaller engine, the "Star," whenever 
needed. 

MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 

'Kalamazoo, known far and wide as the "Cel- 
ery City," still retains that fair name, and has 
added unto it the extended recognition of Kala- 
mazoo as a manufacturing city. 



72 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Perhaps no city in Michigan has progressed 
as rapidly along manufacturing lines as has Kal- 
amazoo. Within the past four years she has 
come to the front in ways that are amazing, and 
now ranks third in the state in regard to bank 
clearings, the amount of labor employed, salaries 
paid, and the amount of freight tonnage and trans- 
portation. These are not boastful and idle state- 
ments, but are based on the report recently made 
by the Michigan board of census officials. 

With its population of over thirty thousand, 
Kalamazoo has more diversified industries than 
any other city of like population that can be 
named. As a railroad center her condition could 
not be bettered, as four railroads furnish facili- 
ties for shipping to all parts of the country. 

New manufacturies are locating in Kalama- 
zoo continually, and at present she can boast of 
over one hundred ninety-two manufacturing in- 
stitutions, eighty-eight of which are incorpo- 
rated, representing a capital of over ten million 
dollars, employing over six thousand people and 
having a pay roll of about three million five hun- 
dred thousand dollars. 

There are two hundred and twenty-three es- 
tablished celery growers and shippers in the city, 
representing over one million dollars in exports 
annually. 

Kalamazoo is known widely as the center of 
the paper making industry, having eleven well-es- 
tablished paper mills, representing in value over 
four million dollars, with an annual capacity of 
over sixty thousand tons, and employing one 
thousand five hundred and sixty people. Paper 
from these factories is sent to all parts of the 
country. 

The American Playing Card Company, one 
of the largest card factories in the United States, 
is one of Kalamazoo's most thriving manufac- 
tories, and represents a large capital. It has re- 
cently been enlarged in order to take care of its 
large business. 

Through its corset factories, also, Kalamazoo 
has become widely known. It is the home of the 
American Beauty corset, made by the Kalamazoo 
Corset Company, and of the Puritan corset. The 
Kalamazoo Corset Company is the largest exclu- 



sive corset factory in the United States, and has 
recently been forced to enlarge its capacity. These 
two corset factories represent an annual output 
of over one million two hundred and twenty 
thousand dollars, and employ about one thou- 
sand- hands. 

The* vehicle industry of the city is well repre- 
sented by eight concerns — automobile, buggy and 
wagon factories — employing over seven hundred 
and thirty men, and representing an annual out- 
put of over one million, eight hundred thousand 
dollars. Among these factories are the Michigan 
Automobile Company, the Burtt Automobile 
Company, the Michigan Buggy Company, the 
Lull Carriage Company, and the American Car- 
riage Company. 

Although not the "Windy City," Kalamazoo 
is well to the front in the windmill industry. She 
has two windmill factories representing an out- 
put of two hundred thousand dollars annually. 

She numbers two sled factories — the Kalama- 
zoo Sled factory and the Angle Sled factory, the 
former being one of the largest of like concerns 
in the country. The Clark Engine and Boiler 
Company is one of the oldest business concerns in 
Kalamazoo, and supplies a large market with en- 
gines and boiler products. The railway supply 
industry is carried on by three successful con- 
cerns, representing an annual output of over four 
hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars. One of 
our city's most successful mail-order businesses 
is done by the Kalamazoo Store Company, a com- 
paratively new concern, which carries on a large 
mail-order business. The Globe Casket Factory, 
one of Kalamazoo's pioneer factories, is the only 
one of like character in southwestern Michigan, 
and has always carried on a large business. The 
cigar manufacturing industry is carried on by 
eighteen companies, all of which do a thriving 
business. The largest of these are the Lilies 
Cigar Company and the Verdon Cigar Com- 
pany. Two of Kalamazoo's most success- 
ful factories are the Humprey Manufactur- 
ing and Plating Company, makers of the cele- 
brated Humphrey heaters, and the General Gas 
Light Company, manufacturers of the famous 
Humphrey lamp. The Henderson- Ames Company 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



75 



is one of the largest regalia factories in the world, 
and does a mammoth business. The manufactur- 
ing chemists' industry is sustained by the Upjohn 
Pill and Granule Company, a concern known from 
coast to coast, and the P. L. Abbey Company. 
There are also several smaller concerns. The 
Merchants' Publishing Company, a comparatively 
new concern, and the R. E. Bartlett Company 
carry on the label and price-mark industry. Kala- 
mazoo has three garment factories, whose prod- 
ucts are well known. 

The lumber industry is carried on by Dewing 
& Sons and by North & Coon, both of which are 
old and well established concerns. Much of the 
paper made in Kalamazoo's various paper mills is 
used by the Paper Box Company and by the Kal- 
amazoo Stationery Company, two well known con- 
cerns. The Dutton Boiler Company holds an 
enviable place in the list of Kalamazoo's factories, 
it being an old established concern. The Reynolds 
Wagon Company and the Bullard Davenport-Bed 
Company are two recent additions to Kalamazoo's 
long list of factories. 

Aside from being widely known as a manu- 
facturing city of varied industries, Kalamazoo 
holds sway as a mercantile center as well, as is 
shown by the many stores and business insti- 
tutions that may be seen on her streets. It is here 
that her thirty thousand inhabitants come to pur- 
chase necessities and luxuries of all kinds, and not 
only do her own inhabitants come to this center but 
also the people from many surrounding towns and 
from the fruitful and fertile farms around about. 

The banking institutions of Kalamazoo are 
institutions of which she is justly proud. She 
boasts of eight banks in all, four national banks, 
three state banks and one private bank. An enor- 
mous business is carried on by the concerns which 
possess over seven million dollars in resources 
with deposits exceeding over five million five 
hundred thousand dollars. The banks are as fol- 
lows : City National, E. C. Dayton, president ; 
First National, J. A. Pitkin, president; Kalama- 
zoo National, E. J. Phelps, president; Michigan 
National, Charles Campbell, president; Central 
Savings, A. L. Blumenberg, president; Home 
5 



Savings, V. T. Barker, president; and Kalama- 
zoo Savings, F. B. Monroe, president. 

The dry^-goods business is represented by 
many concerns, the most important being Gilmore 
Bros.' dry-goods store, which is one of the most 
complete in the state, J. R. Jones & Sons, W. W. 
Olin & Son, A. L. Flexner's, George Bruen's 
and Charles White's. All of these stores are 
strictly up-to-date and do a splendid business. 

Kalamazoo has many grocery stores, situated 
in all parts of the city. The leading ones are 
A. B. Scheid's, E. B. Russell's, A. L. South- 
hurd's and A. C. Baker's. Sam Foly's, George 
Taylor's and M. Cramer's Son are leading cloth- 
ing stores. H.F.Weimer and Frank Cowlbeck run 
up-to-date haberdasheries. Kalamazoo has many 
fine jewelry stores — the leading ones being A. 
C Worthey's, F. P. Darey's, F. W. Hendricks, 
and Pyl & Wykel's. In furniture stores Kalamazoo 
excels most cities of her size — the principal ones 
are the Ihling-Cone Company, the People's Out- 
fitting Company and A. T. Prentice. The city 
has innumerable drug stores, the leading drug- 
gists being H. G. Colman, E. M. Kennedy, F. N. 
Maus, David McDonald and J. L. Wallace. Two 
attractive candy stores are located in Kalamazoo, 
one being run by Miss K. A. Meadimher and 
the other by Miss Belle McLaughlin. Kalamazoo's 
leading hardware stores number three — the Ed- 
wards & Chamberlain Company, John Van Male's 
and Larned & Shandrews. Many neat cigar stores 
are doing business in Kalamazoo — the leading 
ones being Whitley Karls', S. P. Fitzgerald's 
and Chenewerk's. The leading music stores are 
the Benjamin Temple of Music and Reem's Music 
Store. Two splendid art stores are to be found 
in Kalamazoo — one run by James Geary and the 
other by E. E. Labodie. Many other mercantile 
pursuits are engaged in in Kalamazoo, and most 
of the merchants are doing a hustling business. 

The Lilies Cigar Company. — Kalamazoo is 
justly proud of the fact that she possesses one of 
the largest cigar manufactories in America, and 
the very largest in the state of Michigan. This 
is a potent factor in the business welfare of the 
city, employing many work-people and paying 



pr 



7 6 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



out a generous amount of money. We allude to 
the Lilies Cigar Company, which employs over 
two hundred fifty operatives, with a weekly pay- 
roll of over two thousand five hundred dollars. 
Starting in business in 1870, the record of the 
company is one of steady prosperity. The main 
office is on Jackson boulevard, Chicago, where 
the famous El Sueto cigar is made. The business 
in this city is ably managed by Samuel T. Gold- 
berg. An eastern office is located at 116 Nassau 
street, New York city. 

The Central Michigan Nursery. — Incorporat- 
ed in 1894, produces nursery, greenhouse and 
small fruit stocks. Extensive greenhouses, to- 
gether with several hundred acres of land, are lo- 
cated at Kalamazoo, and their large business de- 
mands and uses a branch at Three Rivers. The 
offices and salesrooms are located at 306 West 
Main street, and in connection with this business 
they plan and execute landscape gardening, the 
beautifying of home grounds and of public and 
private parks. In Kalamazoo are grown the flow- 
ers, including roses, bedding plants, etc., and or- 
namental trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. At 
the nursery, south of the city, the grounds are 
solely devoted to nursery stock. At Three Rivers 
are grown strawberry plants, grape vines, rasp- 
berry, blackberry and other small fruit stock. 

The Lull Carriage Company. — Kalamazoo is 
rapidly coming to the front as a carriage manu- 
facturing center, and greatly enhancing the com- 
mercial importance of the city. The grade of ve- 
hicles produced has reached the highest standard 
since the inception of the industry. The improve- 
ment in the work produced has been largely due 
to the Lull Carriage Company. With the organi- 
zation of this company in September, 1902, came 
the policy which was the result in only high grade 
product. The policy has been followed out to 
the letter and has had its effect upon the attitude 
the buggy trade is assuming. The Lull Carriage 
Company comes as successor of the Lull & Skin- 
ner Company, following the dissolution of H. 
A. Crawford and J. F. Beuret, who formerly 
were engaged in the carriage manufacture in 
Flint. The large plant operated by the company 
covers three and a half acres at Grace and Pitcher 



streets, near the tracks of the Grand Rapids & 
Indiana and Lake Shore railroads, from each of 
which a switch enters the plant. The establish- 
ment has the unusual capacity of ten thousand 
vehicles and five thousand sleighs and cutters. 
About one hundred and seventy-five employes 
are steadily at work in the factory. The officers 
are L. C. Lull, president; J. F. Beuret, secre- 
tary : H. A. Crawford, treasurer. 

The Kalamazoo Paper-Box and Card Com- 
pany. — This important manufacturing industry 
is the outgrowth of a vigorous firm organized in 
August, 1897, as the Kalamazoo Paper-Box 
Company. This began business in the Hall block 
on North Church street at the crossing of the 
Michigan Central Railroad. This block was 
burned in 1898, when the business was removed 
to Water and Edwards streets, its present home. 
Four thousand feet of floor space was here oc- 
cupied, and, in August, 1900, six thousand feet 
were added, to which, in January, 1903, six thou- 
sand four hundred feet more was placed in serv- 
ice. These additions testified to the rapid growth 
of the trade, which included paper boxes only. In 
December, 1903, an advance movement was made 
and eighteen thousand feet of floor surface was 
again added to the plant. A full and expensive 
outfit for the manufacture of playing cards was 
installed. As fine a quality as is placed on the 
market is here produced under the personal su- 
perintendence of S. N. Barker, the vice-president 
and efficient general manager. 

South Side Improvement Company. — Kala- 
mazoo is essentially a city of homes. It has been 
well said that if you house your labor according 
to the most approved sanitary and hygienic 
knowledge there need be no fear of strikes. Per- 
haps no one in many a mile of distance has con- 
tributed more to do this than has Charles B. 
Hays, the owner of that tract of land formerly 
the mustering campground of the Civil war, now 
known as the "South Side." Less than eight years 
ago the land was comparatively a waste and un- 
promising section, with a millrace running di- 
agonally across it and having but a solitary resi- 
dence, which was located on Portage and Reed 
streets. Mr. Hays, in August, 1896, became the 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



77 



owner and founded the South Side Improvement 
Company, of which he is the secretary and busi- 
ness manager. A wonderful transformation has 
been accomplished, the district being today a 
beautiful and artistic suburb of Kalamazoo. 
Messrs. O. M. Allen and H. C. Reed, deceased 
were the original investors in the property. Mr. 
Hays, the secretary, from the first, becoming 
later sole owner. In 1899 the South Side Im- 
provement Company was organized and pur- 
chased the old fair grounds from the Stockridge 
and Eggleston estates and as much land adjoining 
on the side of Portage street. 

"South Side" is only one mile from the Kala- 
mazoo House and is fully thirty feet above the 
adjoining lands, thus giving good drainage. The 
view of the surrounding country is entrancing, 
the beautiful city, with its church towers, public 
buildings, asylum and seminary, standing out in 
bold, yet rich relief, in the distance. The tract 
presents now the appearance of a cultivated park. 
Modern homes with sanitary plumbing, correct 
system of heating, ventilating and lighting are 
furnished on terms attainable by all. Over one 
hundred of these model homes have been con- 
structed, and still the number grows. As a result 
of the association of Messrs. Allen, Reed and 
Hays in this enterprise, Kalamazoo has been 
much benefited, these important industrial homes 
having been called into existence : The Bryant, 
the Superior, the King and Imperial Paper com- 
panies, the C. B. Ford Body Factory, the Michi- 
gan Buggy Company, and the Kalamazoo Rail- 
way Supply Company. Through the advent of 
these plants, the taxable property of the city has 
been increased more than one million dollars. 

Burtt Manufacturing Company. — This busi- 
ness was established in 1901 and incorporated on 
October 1, 1902. The products are the celebrated 
Cannon automobile, which is made in three styles, 
ranging in price from six hundred and fifty dol- 
lars to one thousand three hundred and fifty dol- 
lars, the manufacture being inaugurated in 1903. 
The house is unable to fill its orders on account 
of the great demand for and the popularity of 
the automobiles. They also manufacture the 
well known Schau cold tire setters, of which they 



are the exclusive makers, the D. & L. gasoline 
engines and automobile fittings. The stock- 
holders and officers are as follows: President, 
Frank Burtt; secretary and manager, W. B. 
Cameron; J. M. Burtt, H. M. Burtt, C. T. Burtt, 
and T. W. Resch, of Detroit. 

The Kalamazoo Gas Company. — This incor- 
poration was organized in 1899. The officers are 
H. D. Walbridge, president ; John J. Knight, 
vice-president; F. W. Blowers, secretary and 
general manager; David H. Haines, treasurer; 
Claude Hamilton, assistant treasurer. Its manu- 
facturing plant is the most complete in the state ; 
all the apparatus being of the latest design. It 
is located on Spring and Pitcher streets, while its 
offices are at 127 South Rose street. This com- 
pany has facilities for supplying the public with 
gas of a high grade for illuminating, heating and 
industrial purposes, their products giving general 
satisfaction. It has an excellent service, employ- 
ing a large corps of employes. Its already 
extensive mains are rapidly being enlarged and 
extended to meet the persistent demands for gas. 

General Gas Light Company. — This is one of 
the successful manufacturing houses of the 
county. Its specialty is the celebrated Hum- 
phrey Gas Arc Lamps, which have revolutionized 
the commercial lighting gas companies. To A. 
H. Humphrey and his associates is due credit for 
the fact that today gas competes successfully 
with the arc electric light. The extensive plant of 
this company occupies the entire square embraced 
by Church, Water and North Park streets. The 
annual output is over sixty thousand lamps. 
Branch offices and distributing stations are main- 
tained in New York, San Francisco and Havana, 
and London and Bremen in Europe. A large 
porcelain enameling plant is a feature of the busi- . 
ness, and they also use the entire productions of 
a large glass manufacturing house of Pennsyl- 
vania. 

Kalamazoo Valley Electric Company. — This 
company was established years ago, with an 
amended incorporation in 1898. It does a general 
electric light and power business, with these 
plants: 3,000 horsepower at Trowbridge, 1,- 
400 horsepower at Plainwell, 3,000 horse- 



78 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



power at Otsego and a 1,000 horsepower 
steam plant at Kalamazoo, with sub-stations lo- 
cated at Allegan, Otsego, Augusta, Galesburg, 
Battle Creek, Marshall, Albion and Parma. The 
company transmits power ninety miles to the 
Michigan Traction Company, and the Jackson 
Light and Power Company, also furnishes power 
to the Jackson Suburban Company. The com- 
pany also owns other water-power rights, and 
when these rights are developed it will control 
one of the largest and finest transmission systems 
in the United States. The company now fur- 
nishes power to a large list of consumers. The 
lighting service is exceptionally fine and the de- 
mand is steadily increasing. Electric power serv- 
ice being so available, many manufacturers have 
come to this city. The officers of the company are 
W. A. Foote, president; James B. Foote, secre- 
tary and treasurer; W. P. Stephens, superin- 
tendent. The office is located at III Chase block. 
The Michigan Traction Company, a Michigan 
corporation, operates electric street railway lines 
in the cities of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, and 
an electric interurban between those cities. The 
combined trackage of the system is over fifty 
miles. Evans B. Dick, of New York, is presi- 
dent ; Gerald Holsman, vice-president ; H. C. 
Winchester, secretary and treasurer; D. A. He- 
garty, also of New York city, is general superin- 
tendent of the roads, as well as of those of the 
Railway Company General, a Pennsylvania cor- 
poration, which controls several street railways 
and electric companies. The local superintendent, 
S. J. Dill, is an experienced and progressive 
street railway manager, under whose administra 
tion the Michigan Traction Company has made 
marked progress. The company procures its 
electric power from the Valley Electric Com- 
pany and operates forty-eight cars. It has a car- 
barn, repair and paint-shop at Kalamazoo, a car- 
barn at Battle Creek, and is provided with a large 
rotary snow plow and an adequate equipment 
to keep its trackage open during the winter. It 
employs about one hundred and sixty-five men, 
and has a payroll aggregating nine thousand dol- 
lars per month. It has placed a number of new 
and modern cars in service upon its lines and is 



now engaged in making extensions to its trackage 
at both Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and is pre- 
paring to erect an extensive steel bridge over the 
Michigan Central Railway at Galesburg. The in- 
terurban cars reach Gull Lake and Yorkville by a 
branch line from Augusta, furnishing excellent 
service to picnic parties, summer residents and 
the guests of the hotels at this lake. At Kalma- 
zoo, during the summer months, vaudeville enter- 
tainments are nightly provided at the Casino and 
the grounds owned by the company at Lake 
View. At Battle Creek is a fine service to Go- 
guac lake, a beautiful sheet of water, at which 
bathing, dancing and many other attractions are 
installed which is regularly maintained. The 
company does an extensive freight business be- 
tween Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and purposes 
to increase its facilities in this line of its business. 
The Phelps & Bigelow Windmill Company. — 
This company has been in consecutive business 
existence in Kalamazoo for fully thirty years, 
within that time building up the largest windmill 
trade of any house in this line in Michigan. Their 
specialty is the I. X. L. brand. Their produc- 
tions comprise steel windmills, steel towers, steel 
tanks, steel feed-cookers, steel tank-heaters, steel 
sub-structures, wood-wheel windmills, wood tow- 
ers, wood tanks, tubular well supplies. The 
windmill is simple, substantial and in great de- 
mand. The company was awarded the first pre- 
mium on both steel and woodwheel windmills 
three years in succession at the Kansas and Mis- 
souri Interstate Fairs of 1891, '92 and '93. 

THE KALAMAZOO TELEGRAPH. 

The Michigan Telegraph, as it was called, was 
started as a weekly newspaper in August, 1844, 
the first number appearing on the 10th of that 
month. It was started as an ardent Whig organ. 
Henry B. Miller was editor and publisher. The 
office was in a little low building on Portage 
street, just south of the present Humphrey block. 
George Torrey, Sr., subsequently became part 
owner. In November, 1845, Mr. Miller disposed 
of his interest to William Millikin, and the paper 
was published by Millikin and Torrey in the 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



79 



basement of a building on the corner of Main 
and Rose streets. The following spring the office 
was moved to the second story of a building on 
the southeast corner of Main and Burdick streets. 
In 1847 tne nam€ 0I the paper was changed to 
the Kalamazoo Telegraph. Mr. Torrey continued 
as editor. In 1849 Samuel N. Garitt became 
owner of the Telegraph. In January, 1850, Garitt 
sold out to George A. Fitch & Company. Feb- 
ruary 5, 1850, fire destroyed the plant, but in two 
months a new plant was installed. Mr. Fitch had 
H! E. Hascall associated with him from 1858 to 
November, i860, while Mr. Fitch was state 
printer. H. C. Buffington & Company leased the 
office in November, i860, and continued in charge 
for about a year. He was succeeded by R. F. 
Johnstone for a year, Mr. Fitch returning to the 
helm. The friends of Mr. Fitch claim that he 
deserves the credit for first suggesting the name 
"Republican party" to the party that succeeded 
the Whig party. An editorial was written by 
him and published 'in the Telegraph just prior to 
the memorable Jackson convention, suggesting 
the name "Republican." The Telegraph, under 
Mr. Fitch, was the first journal to advocate the 
formation of a new party, the first to define its 
purpose and the first to predict its great triumph. 

In 1865 Thomas Fitch was associated with his 
brother, and Rev. Dr. James A. B. Stone, presi- 
dent of Kalamazoo College, became editor. In 
July, 1866, the Fitch Brothers sold out to Clement 
W. and Horatio H. Stone, sons of Dr. Stone. In 
April, 1867, the office was removed from the 
House block to the old postoffice building on 
Burdick street. 

In April, 1868, the Daily Telegraph was es- 
tablished on a firm footing by the Stone brothers. 
December 9, 1869, the Kalamazoo Telegraph 
Company was formed, Rev. George W. Harris, 
of Detroit, becoming editor. Mrs. L. H. Stone 
was a frequent contributor. The daily at the be- 
ginning was a morning paper for a year, later 
made an evening paper. It received the Asso- 
ciated Press news from the very first. 

March 4, 1870, Horatio H. Stone died. In 
October following, James H. Stone, a son of Dr. 
Stone and Harry H. Smith, late journal clerk of 



the national house of representatives, became the 
proprietors. Under the management of Stone 
& Smith an unpleasantness over an attack on 
Senator Chandler arose, arid Smith retired, selling 
his interest to Herman E. Hascall in November, 
1871. November 25th the plant was agairi seri- 
ously injured by fire. February 2, 1872, Mr. Has- 
call died ; and in January, 1873, the' entire proper- 
ty passed into the hands of James H. Stone. At 
this time Dr. Stone was postmaster and James H. 
Stone, deputy. In March, 1874, L. B. Kendall 
bought a half interest in the Telegraph, and 
Messrs. Stone and Kendall published the paper. 
Mr. Kendall was appointed postmaster, and later 
Lyman M. Gates purchased Mr. Stone's interest, 
Mr. Kendall and Mr. Stone not agreeing as to 
the paper's treatment of local politicians. In Oc- 
tober, 1874, the Kalamazoo Publishing Company 
was organized, composed of L. B. Kendall, L. M. 
Gates, O. and R. Illing, Dwight May, George M. 
Buck and Arthur Brown. Later the company re- 
organized with L. B. Kendall, W. L. Eaton, E. T. 
Mills and E. E. Bartlett as owners. Mr. Eaton 
was editor and Mr. Bartlett business manager. 
Edward Fleming, for years a noted Washington 
correspondent, and Henry L. Nelson, who sub- 
sequently became noted as a writer and especially 
as editor of Harper's Weekly, were Mr. Eaton's 
predecessors. Mr. Eaton had as an associate 
editor Clarence L. Dean, subsequently one of the 
editors of the Detroit Free Press and later on the 
Kansas City Star, and still later special newspaper 
representative and part owner of Barnum & 
Bailey's great show. 

In August, 1888, the Telegraph was sold to 
Hon. Nelson Dingley, Jr., a member of congress, 
and his son, Edward N. Dingley, ©f Lewiston, 
Me., the latter becoming editor and manager. 
In 1890 the Telegraph was moved into a new 
building on South Burdick street. The paper 
grew rapidly in circulation and influence; and 
soon its new quarters on Burdick were inade- 
quate. In June, 1903, the handsome and com- 
modious five-story building on South street, 
known as the Telegraph building, was begun. In 
June, 1904, the entire Telegraph plant, with many 
additions in the way of machinery and appliances; 



8o 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



was installed in the Telegraph building. The 
Telegraph plant and building is now one of the 
sights of Kalamazoo. The building has electric 
elevators, nineteen suites of offices, a mammoth 
steam heating plant and a newspaper plant second 
to none in the state outside of Detroit. 

The Telegraph since 1888 has had a remark- 
able growth and holds a commanding position in 
Kalamazoo and southwestern Michigan. It is an 
independent Republican paper, fearless and enter- 
prising. The Evening Telegraph is published in 
four editions daily. The Saturday Telegraph is 
always a special number with special attractions. 
The Semi-Weekly Telegraph circulates in 
every village and hamlet in southwestern 
Michigan. 

Edward N. Dingley, the editor and general 
manager of the Telegraph, was born in Auburn, 
Me., August 21, 1862. He graduated from Yale 
University in 1883, and from the Columbian Law 
School, Washington, D. C, in 1885. He worked 
for some time as a special writer on the Boston 
Advertiser and Record and while in Washington, 
D. C, was an active newspaper correspondent. 
In 1888 he moved to Kalamazoo and began his 
career in Michigan. He has always been active 
in politics and public affairs, and in 1898 and 
1900 was elected a member of the state legisla- 
ture from Kalamazoo. In June, 1898, he was 
also made clerk of the ways and means committee 
of the national house of representatives, serving 
until January 1, 1900. As a member of the state 
legislature of 1901 he was chairman of the ways 
and means committee. In 1901 Mr. Dingley 
compiled and published a biography of his fa- 
ther, entitled "Life and Times of Nelson Dingley, 
Jr." . Mr. Dingley was president of the Michigan 
League of Republican Clubs in 1897, and was 
Michigan's candidate for national president at 
the Omaha convention. He was a member of the 
Michigan delegation to the Republican national 
convention in 1900 at Philadelphia, and was 
Michigan's member of the committee on res- 
olutions. He has been a frequent contributor 
to magazines on political and social questions. 
He is an active Mason (Knight Templar) 
and Elk. He married Miriam G. Robinson, 



of Boston, Mass., in December, 1888. They have 
had five children, Irene (deceased), Nelson, Mi- 
riam (deceased), Madelen and Edward. They 
reside in Kalamazoo on the remodeled Hydenburk 
estate on West street hill. 

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS. 

In 1880 a writer describes Climax to be the 
"garden town" of the county, the village of the 
same name having a population of three hundred 
people. This is located in the eastern part of the 
township, eighteen miles from Kalamazoo and ten 
miles from Battle Creek. The Chicago & Grand 
Trunk Railroad runs through the town. Mr. 
Hodgman had then just erected the finest business 
block of the village, containing a large public hall ; 
here are also a grocery store, a shoe store, a har- 
ness manufactory, the county surveyor's office, a 
good hotel, owned by John O. Wilson, a hard- 
ware store, two drug stores, a dry-goods store, 
meat market, a flour and feed store, kept by G. 
Hanover, who purchased fully one thousand 
bushels of wheat daily, a carriage manufactory 
and a blacksmith shop. Doctors Jackson and 
Seeley were established here in medical practice. 
Doctor Loyell, a wealthy gentleman, was then 
living here a retired life. The cemetery is worthy 
of especial mention. One noticeable and attractive 
monument costing fifteen hundred dollars is that 
erected by Mrs. Isaac Pierce upon the last resting 
place of the body of her husband, who was one of 
the early, brave and industrious pioneers of the 
township, leaving, after a useful life, a hundred 
thousand dollars to his family. 

In 1782 Recollet and Numouville, French 
traders, erected a trading post on the east site of 
the Kalamazoo river. 

A sewer system to cost twenty thousand dol- 
lars was voted favorably upon in the regular meet- 
ing of the village board of Kalamazoo on Sep- 
tember, 1880. This provided for three miles of 
main sewer. 

Col. Ertran Allen, a prominent business man 
for twenty years in Kalamazoo, died on January 
5, 1880. 

Mrs. N. A. Balch, prominent in literary and 
society circles, died on January 7, 1880. She was 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



81 



very philanthropic and had a large circle of 
friends. 

James Green, an old settler and noted musi- 
cian, died on January 19, 1880. 

Gen. D wight May died on January 28, 1880, 
and was buried with Masonic honors. 

George E. Cochran, superintendent of the 
schools of Kalamazoo, and prominent Freemason, 
died on February 7, 1880. 

Newton Luce, born in Texas on March 16, 
1835, a prominent citizen and Odd Fellow, died 
on February 9, 1880. 

On February 12, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Orange 
Pike celebrated their golden wedding. They were 
settlers on new land in Portage in 1854, where 
their subsequent lives were passed as industrious 
farmers. 

David Meredith, a wealthy old-time resident 
of Portage, died on February 18, 1880. 

In 1880 Galesburg had six hundred popula- 
tion, comprising three churches, three dry-goods 
stores, two groceries, one hardware, two drug, one 
jewelry and one shoes tore, one saloon, one res- 
taurant, one hotel,, one harness shop, one pump 
and windmill manufactory, six live-stock mer- 
chants, a cooper shop, a lumber yard, a foundry, a 
planing mill and two physicians. 

At Galesburg in 1880 a flourishing Ladies' 
Library Association of sixty members was in ex- 
istence. The board of directors was composed of 
Mrs. F. Town, Mrs. R. G. Smith, Mrs. J. Allen, 
Mrs. S. Barlow, Mrs. C. Beach, and Mrs. B. A. 
Wing. The officers were at that time Mrs. R. G. 
Smith, president; Mrs. M. M. Proctor, vice-pres- 
ident; Mrs. M. B. Olmstead, secretary; Mrs. F. 
Town, assistant secretary; Mrs. W. A. Blake, 
treasurer; Miss Ella Dunning, assistant librarian. 

Lester Davis, an old and honored resident of 
Charleston, died on February 26, 1880. He came 
irom Otsego county, New York, in 1854 and made 
a permanent settlement on eighty acres in Charles- 
»on. 

William A. Wood, a prominent banker and 
financier, died after, a brief illness on March 8, 
1880. He was born in Rochester, N. Y., March 
26, 1828. In 1836 he accompanied his parents 
to Marshall, Mich., where he resided until 1849, 



when he came to Kalamazoo and became a clerk 
for Woodbury & Parsons. In 1850 he engaged 
in trade with Jonathan Parsons, in 1854 becoming 
a clerk in the banking house of Theodore P. Shel- 
don & Co. Later he was in the dry-goods trade 
with Joel J. Perrin, as Perrin & Wood. On June 
16, 1856, he became a member of the new banking 
house of Woodbury, Potter & Co., which, on Jan- 
uary 1, 1859, was changed to Woodbury, Potter 
& Wood. This house existed until July 15, 1865, 
when it was reorganized as the Michigan Na- 
tional Bank, Mr. Wood being its first president. 

The receipts of the United States government 
from the Detroit district of internal revenue dur- 
ing the month of March, 1880, were as follows : 
Tobacco, $52,988.72; cigars, $7,005.59; beer, $10,- 
584.04; special, $253.69; miscellaneous, $143.17; 
making a total of $81,075.12. 

Hon. William A. Howard, who died early in 
1880, left an estate of one hundred and seventy- 
five thousand dollars, of which he bequeathed one 
hundred thousand dollars to religious and char- 
itable institutions. 

William Eldred, a resident of the town of 
Climax since 1832, died at his home there on 
March 9, 1880. The town when he made it his 
home was a wilderness. His axe felled some of 
the earliest trees cut in its clearing process and he 
was the builder of the first frame barn of Charles- 
ton township. He was a classleader and a stew- 
ard of the Methodist church for thirty-six years, 
and assisted in the construction of three Methodist 
churches, one at Augusta and two at Galesburg, to 
which he contributed eight hundred dollars. 
Schools and Christian benevolence had no warmer 
friend in the town. 

Guyon Fisher, an old resident of the county, 
was accidentally shot to death by a gun that he 
was carrying on March 13, 1880. He once owned 
and ran a flouring mill in Combtock. He was 
prominent in local Democratic politic^. 

Aladic Parker, an old citizen of Cooper, where 
he had lived since 1844, died on April 5, 1880. 
For some years he resided with his daughter, 
Mrs. Thomas Brownell, at Kalamazoo. 

Nelson Parsons, an early settler, died in Texas 
on July 25, 1880. By economy and close atten- 



82 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



tion to business he was prospered and became 
a wealthy man. 

Henry D. Rogers, who in 1834 located in the 
township of Charleston on a fine tract of land, 
died on July 1, 1880, aged sixty-eight years. He 
was a postmaster of Galesburg for seven years 
and was an honest, estimable citizen. 

In 1880 the village of Scotts, in the towns of 
Pavilion and Climax, is thus described : It lies on 
the Chicago & Grand Trunk Railroad, thirteen 
miles southeast of Kalamazoo. It contains two 
dry-goods stores, one hardware store, a drug 
store, a flouring mill, a hotel, two new and com- 
modious store buildings, a large grain warehouse, 
a livery stable and other enterprises. No village 
in the state is backed up by a more productive 
rural district and large shipments of wheat, corn, 
cattle, hogs, sheep and lumber are sent out from 
the village. 

VILLAGE AND CITY OFFICERS. 

For purposes of reference, we give the last 
board of trustees and officers of the village of 
Kalamazoo and the mayor, aldermen and other 
officers of the city government, which took office 
on April 14, 1884; the village then ceasing to 
exist. 

Village officers: Edwin W. DeVoe, presi- 
dent ; David Bumell, John DeVisser, Edward Mc- 
Caffrey, Romine H. Buckholt, Thomas H. Bev- 
ans, Thomas O'Niell, Allen M. Stearns, Adolphus 
Van Sickel, trustees; Frederick Cellen, clerk; 
Frank C. Dudgeon, treasurer; John H. Blanev : 
marshal; Robert F. Hill, attorney; Herman H. 
Schaberg, health officer; George S. Pierson, en- 
gineer; Hugh Biggs, chief engineer of fire de- 
partment; Michael F. Blaney, assistant engineer: 
Clarence Clark, secretary and treasurer; Bryon J. 
Healy, captain of paid department; Frederick 
Cellem, water commissioner ; George H. Chandler, 
engineer of water works ; Charles Healy, assistant 
engineer ; John Dudgeon, Frank Little, Frederick 
Bush, sewer commissioners; George S. Pierson, 
engineer of department. 

1884— Allen Potter, mayor; Fred Hotop, 
Hugh J. McHugh, Charles H. Bird, Theodore 



A. Palmer, George C. Winslow, Hale W. Page, 
Otto Ihling, Albert L. Lakey, George Fuller, 
John F. Schlick, aldermen; Lawrence N. Burke, 
recorder ; Stephen H. Wattles, marshal ; A. Sid- 
ney Hays, treasurer; Chauncey Strong, clerk; 
Edwin M. Irish, attorney; George S. Pierson, 
engineer; Henry B. Hemenway, health officer; 
Byron J. Healy, chief engineer and captain of 
fire department; Frederick Cellem, water com- 
missioner; George H. Chandler, chief engineer 
and superintendent of water works. 

1885 — Edwin W. DeVoe, mayor; George 
Fuller, Fred Hotop, Otto Ihling, John W. 
Rose, George C. Winslow, Jacob Levy, 
Edward McCaffery, John W. Rowley, John F. 
Schlick, Daniel Waterbury, Lawrence N. Burke, 
judge of recorder's court; Fred Cellem, clerk; 
A. Sidney Hays, treasurer ; R. John Lamb, mar- 
shal ; William G. Howard, attorney; William 
Mottram, M. D., health officer; George S. Pier- 
son, engineer; F. J. Ballast, assistant engineer; 
Byron J. Healy, chief engineer of the fire de- 
partment, and captain of paid department; Wil- 
liam Athey, assistant chief of fire department; 
John McKey, Jr., water commissioner; George 
H. Chandler, Charles A. Healy, assistant en- 
gineers. 

!gg6 — Edwin W. Devoe, mayor ; George Ful- 
ler, Fred Hotop, Otto Ihling, John W. Rose, 
Geo. C. Winslow, Jacob Levy, Edward McCaf- 
fery, John W. Rowley, John F. Schlick, Daniel 
Waterbury, aldermen; Lawrence N. Burke, 
judge of recorders court; Fred Cellem, clerk; 
A. Sidney Hays, treasurer ; R. John Lamb, mar- 
shal ; William G. Howard, attorney; William 
Mottram, M. D., health officer; George S. Pier- 
son, engineer; A. E. Ingerson, superintendent of 
streets; Byron J. Healey, chief engineer of 
the fire department. 

x gg7 — Peyrton Ramney, mayor; Fred Ho- 
top, John W. Rose, Albert L. Lakey, Samuel S. 
McCamly, Abe R. Garrison, Jacob Levy, Theo- 
dore A. Palmer, James N. Stearns, William M. 
Beeman, John B. Allen, alderman ; Lawrence N. 
Burke, judge of recorder's court; Chauncey 
Strong, city clerk; Martin Verhage, treasurer: 
Syman M. Gates, marshal; William Hare, as- 




COURT HOUSE. 

By" court* 'sy of the Gazette. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



85 



sistant treasurer; Elbert S. Rose, city attorney; 
Edwin C. Taylor, M. D. ; George S. Pierson, en- 
gineer ; Byron J. Healy, chief engineer of fire 
department, and captain of paid department; 
Phenix A. Duffir, water commissioner; George 
H. Chandler, chief engineer and superintendent 
of water works; Charles A. Healy, assistant en- 
gineer. 

1888 — Otto Ihling, mayor; Jacob Levy, Theo- 
dore A. Palmer, James A. Stearns, Homer Man- 
vel, John P. Allen, Fred Cellem, William H. 
Cobb, William E. Hill, Henry Stern, James A. 
Taylor, aldermen ; William W. Peck, judge of 
recorder's court ; Chauncey Strong, clerk ; Mar- 
tin Verhage, treasurer; Syman M. Gates, mar- 
shal ; William Hare, assistant marshal ; Elbert S. 
Rose, city attorney ; Adolph Hoch stein, M. D., 
health officer; George S. Pierson, engineer; Wil- 
liam M. Beeman, street commissioner ; Byron J. 
Healy, chief engineer ; William H. Athey, as- 
sistant chief; Phelix A. Duffir, water commis- 
sioner ; George Chandler, chief engineer and su- 
perintendent of water works; Charles A. Healy, 
assistant engineer. . 

1889 — Otto Ihling, mayor; Fred Cellem, Wil- 
liam E. Hill, William H. Cobb, Henry Stein, 
James A. Taylor, Jacob Levy, Edward McCaf- 
fery, James N. Stearns, Walter Hock, James W. 
Strithers, aldermen ; William W. Peck, judge of 
recorder's court; George R. Balch, clerk; Alger- 
man S. Hays, treasurer; Thomas F. Owens, mar- 
shal ; Joseph H. Harper, assistant marshal ; 
James H. K. Kinnard, city attorney; Adolph 
Hochstein, M. D., health officer ; George S. Pier- 
son, engineer; John DeSmith, street commis- 
sioner; Byron J. Healy, chief engineer; William 
H. Athey, assistant chief; Hugh Biggs, water 
commissioner; George H. Chandler, chief en- 
gineer and superintendent of water works ; 
Charles A. Healy, assistant engineer. 

1890 — William E. Hill, mayor; Jacob Levy, 
Edward McCaffery, James N. Stearns, Walter 
Hock, James W. Struthers, John A. Lamb, 
Thomas Gleason, J. R. Biger, Herbert H. Ever- 
hard, James H. Taylor, aldermen ; William W. 
Peck, judge of recorder's court; George H. 
Balch, clerk ; Edgar Baseman, treasurer ; Thomas 



Owens, marshal; Joseph H. Harper, assistant 
marshal ; James H. Kinnam, attorney ; A. B. Cor- 
nell, M. D., health officer; Frank C. Balch, en- 
gineer; Hathaway McAllister, street commis- 
sioner ; Byron J. Healy, chief engineer ; William 
H. Athey, assistant engineer; Harry Reid, super- 
intendent of fire alarm; Hugh Biggs, water com- 
missioner ; George Chandler, chief engineer and 
superintendent of water works ; Herman Watson, 
assistant engineer. 

189T — Frederick Bush, mayor; John Lamb, 
Thomas P. Gleason, Josiah R. Birge, Herbert 
H. Everhard, James A. Taylor, J. Fred Knapp, 
Thomas Wilson, John J. Morse, Lawrence Hol- 
lander, Patrick H. Burke, aldermen ; William W. 
Peck, judge of recorder's court; T. F. Giddings, 
city clerk; Albert A. Daniels, treasurer; W. H. 
Cobb, marshal ; John W. Thomson, assistant mar- 
shal ; C. Van Zwaluwender, M. D., health offi- 
cer ; Edwin M. Irish, attorney; George S. Pier- 
son, engineer; Charles C. Curtenius, street com- 
missioner; Byron J. Healy, chief engineer and 
superintendent of fire alarms ; William H. Athey, 
assistant chief; Edgar Roseman, water commis- 
sioner; Wilbur F. Reed, chief engineer and su- 
perintendent of water works ; Herman Watson, 
Henry Hobbs, assistant engineers. 

1892— William E. Hill, mayor; William R. 
B. White, Samuel A. Brown, William E. Upjohn, 
Herbert H. Everhard, James A. Taylor, Fred 
Knapp, Thomas Wilson, John J. Morse, Law- 
rence Hollander, Patrick H. Burke, aldermen; 
William W. Peck, judge of recorder's court; F. 
F. Giddings, clerk; A. A. Daniels, treasurer; 
William Hare, marshal ; A. B. Huntly, assistant 
marshal; C. Van Zwaluwender, health officer; 
Edwin M. Irish, attorney; Miner C. Taft, engi- 
neer ; William H. Cobb, street commissioner ; By- 
ron J. Healy, chief engineer ; John G. Ter Harr, 
water commissioner; William F. Reed, chief en- 
gineer water works. 

1893 — James W. Osborn, mayor; George L. 
Gilkey, Hutson B. Colman, Charles C. Curtenius, 
Lawrence Hollander, Patrick N. Burke, William 
R. B. White, Thomas Wilson, William Upjohn, 
Julius Schuster, James A. Taylor, aldermen; 
William W. Peck, judge of recorder's court; 



86 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Chauncey Strong, clerk; Charles H. Gleason, 
treasurer; William Hare, marshal; C. A. Mer- 
rill, assistant marshal; George P. Hopkins, at- 
torney ; Miner G. Taft, engineer ; Adolph Hock- 
stein, health officer; Peter Moileck, street com- 
missioner; Byron J. Healy, chief engineer fire 
department; Wilbur F. Reed, chief engineer wa- 
ter works; William Hall, marshal. 

1894 — James W. Osborn, mayor; Frederick 
Cellem, John W. Rose, Charles A. Fletcher, Jul- 
ius Schuster, Ezra Baker, George L. Gilkey, H. 

B. Colman, Charles C. Curtenius, Lawrence Hol- 
lander, Patrick H. Burke, aldermen ; W. H. Peck, 
judge of recorder's court ; Chauncey Strong, 
clerk; Charles H. Gleason. treasurer: William 
Hare, marshal ; C. B. Allen, assistant marshal ; 
George P. Hopkins, attorney ; Miner C. T.aft. 
engineer; Adolph Hockstein, health officer; 
James R. McCall, street commissioner; Byron J. 
Healey, chief engineer of the fire department ; 

' Wilbur F. Reed, chief engineer of the water- 
works. 

1895 — Otto Ihling, mayor ; John Adams, Ezra 
Baker, Richard R. Brenner, Fred Cellem, Charles 
H. Ford, John W. Rose, Julius Schuster, Ira 
Snyder, aldermen; William W. Peck, judge of 
recorder's court ; Charles Gleason, clerk ; Law- 
rence Hollander, treasurer ; William Hare, mar- 
shal ; Charles P. Allen, assistant marshal ; George 
P. Hopkins, attorney ; Minor C. Taft, engineer ; 
Adolph Hockstein, health officer ; J. B. McCall, 
street commissioner ; Noah Dibble, inspector ; By- 
ron Healy, chief engineer fire department; Wil- 
bur F. Reed, chief engineer of water works. 

1896 — James Monroe, mayor; Fred Cellem, 
James I. Upjohn, Washington W. Okin, Jacob 
DeKam, Patrick H. Burke, Richard R. Brenner, 
Charles B. Ford, Charles C. 'Curtenius, Jonathan 

C. Adams, Ira Snyder, aldermen; William W. 
Peck, judge of recorder's court ; Charles H. Glea- 
son, clerk : Lawrence Hollander, treasurer ; Wil- 
liam Hare, marshal ; Charles B. Allen, George P. 
Hopkins, Miner C. Taft, engineers; Alvin Rock- 
well, health officer; James R. McCall, street com- 
missioner; Byron Healy, chief fire department; 
Wilbur Reed, superintendent water - works ; 
Henry C. Hoagland, superintendent lighting 



plant ; John G. Hopper, inspector ; George Bilkert, 
assistant inspector. 

1897-8 — Allan M. Stearns, mayor; William W. 
Peck, judge of the recorder's court; George C. 
Winslow, assessor; Charles H. Gleason, clerk; 
William Murray, treasurer; Calvin Rasor, 
marshal ; E. S. Roos, city attorney ; M. C. 
Taft, engineer; A. H. Rockwell, health officer; 
John W. Bosman, city physician ; Byron J. Hea- 
ley, chief of fire department ; H. C. Hoagland, 
superintendent and chief engineer of the lighting 
plant ; H. T. Martin, city inspector ; Thomas F. 
Owens, street commissioner ; William A. Rich- 
ards, superintendent of the poor. 

1899 — W. J. Howard, mayor; John A. 
W r heeler, R. R. Brenner, Milton Westbrook, A. 
H. Humphrey, C. Varburg, A. J. Curtis, Jacob 
Dekam, Martin Verhage, Frank Burtt, H. H. 
Congdon, aldermen ; William W. Peck, judge of 
recorder's court ; Samuel McKee, clerk ; John H. 
Hoffman, treasurer ; Burr Greenfield, marshal ; 
F. J. Walsh, health officer; Byron J. Healey, 
chief of the fire department. 

1901 — A. H. Prehn, mayor; H. H. Prehn, 
R. R. Brenner, Milton Westbrook, John A. 
Staketee, C. Varburg, A. G. Curtiss, Walter 
Hoek, Jacob Levy, Frank N. Mans, Herbert E. 
Congdon, aldermen ; T. W. Brown, judge of re- 
corder's court; John DeVisser, clerk; Peter J. Ba- 
den, treasurer; George C. Winslow, assessor; E. 
W. Buckley, engineer; Burr Greenfield, chief of 
police ; Byron J. Healey, chief of fire department ; 
W. F. Reed, superintendent of the water works ; 
George Houston, water commissioner ; H. H. 
Schaberg, health officer ; F. J. Welsh, city physi- 
cian. 

1902-3 — Edmond S. Rankin, mayor ; John S. 
McLarty, Richard R. Brenner, Frank Flaitz, 
John A. Steketee, George C. Winslow, A. Jud- 
son Curtiss, Edgar Raseman, Jacob Levy, John 
A. Louden, Herbert E. Congdon, aldermen; 
Thomas W. Browne, judge recorder's court ; Al- 
bert L. Campbell, assessor ; John DeVisser, clerk ; 
Peter J. Baden, treasurer ; Harry C. Howard, at- 
torney ; George Houston, water commissioner; 
Burr Greenfield, chief of police; William S. 
Downey, assistant chief; E. W. Buckley, city en- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



87 



iineer; H. O. Statler, health officer; Francis J. 
Welsh, city physician; John Owens, street com- 

riissioner; Henry P. Raseman, chief of fire de- 
partment; Wilbur F. Reed, superintendent and 
chief of water works ; Frank Burtt, superintend- 
ent and chief of lighting plant; Sidney Cather- 
man, superintendent of poor; George Bailey, 
superintendent of Riverside cemetery. 

1904 — Samuel Folz, mayor; John S. Mc- 
Larty, Richard R. Brenner, Frank Flaitz, Thomas 
V an Urk, George C. Winslow, Horace E. Rals- 
ton, William G. Austin, Dudley C. Rollins, John 
A. Louden, Bernard Benson, aldermen ; Thomas 
W. Browne, judge recorder's court ; Albert L. 
Campbell, assessor ; Harry W. Bush, clerk ; Jo- 
seph Adams, treasurer; Harry C. Howard, at- 
torney ; George Houston, water commissioner ; 
George Boyles, chief of police ; George H. Seller, 
assistant chief ; Minor C. Taft, engineer ; Ralph 
P. Beebe, M. D., health officer; Will H. Scott, 
M. D., city physician ; Martin Verhage, street 
commissioner; Henry P. Raseman, chief of fire 
department ; Wilbur F. Reed, superintendent and 
chief of water works ; Edward W. Messany, 
superintendent and chief of lighting plant ; Wil- 
liam H. Johnson, superintendent of poor ; George 
I 'ailey, superintendent of Riverside cemetery. 

1905 — James W. Osborn, mayor; Richard R. 
Hrenner, John P. Riley, Charles Clarage, George 
IT. Henshaw, Horace E. Ralston, John M. Big- 
gerstaff, Dudley C. Rollins, Peter Molhoek, Ber- 
nard Benson, Henry R. Hinga, aldermen ; Lynn 
]>. Mason, judge recorder's court; Albert L. 
Campbell, assessor; Harry W. Bush, clerk; Jo- 
seph Adams, treasurer ; William R. Fox, attor- 
ney ; George Houston, water commissioner ; 
( *eorge Boyles, chief of police ; George H. Seiler, 
assistant chief; Miner C. Taft, city engineer; 

>avid Walton, Edwin J. Manning, Westley J. 
;>ameral, building inspectors; John J. Knight, 
v harles A. Blaney, Otto Ihling, board of police 
and fire commissioners ; Ralph P. Beebe, M. D., 
health officer; Will H. Scott, M. D., city physi- 
cian; Archer W. Huff, street commissioner; 
ilenrv P. Raseman, chief of fire department ; Wil- 
' :i ir F. Reed, superintendent and chief of water 
•'•'orks ; Edward W. Messany, superintendent and 



chief of lighting plant ; George H. Young, super- 
intendent of poor; George W. Bailey, superin- 
tendent of Riverside cemetery. 

FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS. 

In Kalamazoo are to be found representatives 
of all the leading fraternal organizations, the 
lodges of which are, as a rule, in a healthy and 
flourishing condition. Their growth has been 
steady and substantial and their influence in the 
city all that could reasonably be expected of so- 
cieties whose organizations are based upon the 
immortal principles of friendship, charity, love, 
benevolence and the other higher virtues, and 
whose mission it is to bind together in close bonds 
of unity and mutual good will those who have at 
heart the best interests of their fellowmen. The 
societies are well officered, wisdom and modera- 
tion have prevailed in the various meetings and 
the affairs of the bodies have been managed with 
admirable skill and tact, so that in a large degree 
they have proven a powerful stimulus in not only 
forming the characters and shaping the lives of 
the members, but indirectly of benefiting the 
public at large. Among these societies may be 
mentioned the following: 

Ancient Order of United Workmen, Kalama- 
zoo Lodge, No. 7. — Meets first and third Thurs- 
days of each month at Auditorium. 

Degree of Honor, Liberty Lodge, No. 34. — 
Meets second and fourth Fridays of each month 
at No. 106 East Main street. 

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, 
Kalamazoo Lodge, No. 50. — Meets every Thurs- 
day, 8 P. M., at Elks Hall, No. 118 East Main 
street, third floor. 

Catholic Knights and Ladies of America. — 
Meets second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. 

Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, St. Au- 
gustine's Branch, No. 17. — Meets second and 
fourth Mondays of each month at No. 118 East 
Main street. 

Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, Branch 
No. 28. — Meets second and fourth Mondays of 
each month at Foley Guild Hall. 

Coming Men of America, Kalamazoo Inde- 
pendent Lodge, No. 393. 



88 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Deutsche Order of Harugari, Einheit Lodge, 
No. 645. — Meets second and fourth Wednesdays 
of each month at the Auditorium. 

Deutsche Order of Harugari, Schiller Lodge, 
No. 651. — Meets second and fourth Wednes- 
days at No. 109 West Kalamazoo avenue. 

Independent Order of Foresters, Court Kala- 
mazoo, No. 1 53 1. — Meets first and third Fridays 
of each month at No. 114 East Main street. 

Grand Army of the Republic, Orcutt Post, 
No. 79. — Meets first and third Tuesdays in each 
month at G. A. R. Hall, 208-212 North Rose 
street. 

Woman's Relief Corps is also represented here 
by a strong and efficient organization. 

Union Veterans' Union, Dwight May Com- 
mand. 

Improved Order of Red Men. — Meets second 
and fourth Fridays of each month. 

Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, Mishan 
Lodge, No. 247. — Meets first and third Sundays 
of each month in the vestry room of the Jewish 
synagogue, East South street. 

International Congress, Howard Assembly, 
No. 15. — Meets every Tuesday in Woodmen's 
Hall. 

International Congress, Kalamazoo Assembly, 
No. 49. — Meets every Thursday in Woodmen's 
Hall. 

Knights of the Maccabees, Burr Oak Tent, 
No. 57. — Holds review on second and fourth 
Mondays of each month, in Maccabee Temple. 

Knights of the Maccabees, Kalamazoo Tent, 
No. 692. — Meets first and third Mondays of each 
month, in Maccabee Temple. 

Knights of the Maccabees, Valiant Tent, No. 
867. — Meets second and fourth Mondays of each 
month, at No. 106 East Main street. 

Knights of the Maccabees, Uniform Rank, 
Celery City Division, No. 15. — Meets on the sec- 
ond Tuesday of each month, at Maccabee Temple. 

Ladies of the Maccabees, Burr Oak Hive, No. 
220. — Meets on the first and third Tuesdays of 
-each month, at Maccabee Temple. 

Ladies of the Maccabees, Kalamazoo Hive, 
No. 202. — Meets on the first and third Fridays 
of each month at Maccabee Temple. 



Ladies of the Maccabees, Valiant Hive, No. 
780. — Meets on the second and fourth Fridays of 
each month, at Maccabee Temple. 

Knights of Pythias, Kalamazoo Lodge, No. 
25. — Meets every Friday, at No. 125 East Main 
street. 

Knights of Pythias, South worth Lodge, No. 
170. — Meets every Tuesday, at No. 125 East 
Main street. 

Knights of Pythias, Uniform Rank, Kala- 
mazoo Division, No. 9. — Meets every Monday at 
No. 121 East Main street. 

Knights of Pythias, Endowment Rank, No. 
292. — Meets on call and at annual election, at No. 
107 West Main street. 

Rathbone Sisters, Syracuse Temple, No. 37. 
— Meets every Tuesday, at No. 107 West Main 
street. 

Free and Accepted Masons, Anchor Lodge 
of S. O., No. 87. — Meets on first Wednesdays on 
or before the full moon, at Masonic Temple, cor- 
ner of West Main and North Rose streets. 

Free and Accepted Masons, Kalamazoo 
Lodge. — Meets Monday before the full of the 
moon and at the call of the worshipful master, at 
Masonic Temple. 

. Royal Arch Masons, Kalamazoo Chapter, No. 
13. — Meets on Tuesday before the full of the 
moon and at the call of the high priest. 

Royal and Select Masters, Kalamazoo Coun- 
cil, No. 63. — Meets on Thursday after the full of 
the moon, at Masonic Temple. 

Knights Templar, Peninsular Commandery, 
No. 8. — Meets first Friday of each month and at 
the call of the eminent commander, at Masonic 
Temple. 

Order of the Eastern Star, Corinthian Chap- 
ter, No. 123. — Meets on Thursday on or before 
the full of the moon, at Masonic Temple. 

Modern Woodmen of America, Kalamazoo 
Camp, No. 851. — Meets on the second and fourth 
Wednesdays of each month, at No. 210 North 
Rose street. 

Modern Woodmen of America, Sylvan Camp, 
No. 4626. — Meets every Wednesday, at its lodge 
room on North Burdick street. 

National Protective Legion, Kalamazoo Le- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



89 



crion, No. 133. — Meets on the second and fourth 
Thursdays of each month, at No. 129 West Main 
street. 

National Protective Legion, Progress Legion, 
No. 43. — Meets on the first and third Tuesdays 
of each month, at 106 East Main street. 

National Union, Kalamazoo Council, No. 199. 
- Meets on the first Monday in each month, at 
No. 208 North Rose street. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Burr Oak 
Encampment, No. 118. — Meets on the second and 
fourth Mondays of each month. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Burr 
Oak Lodge, No. 270. — Meets every Wednesday, 
at No. 125 West Main street. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Canton 
Colfax, No. 12. — Meets on the first and third 
Mondays of each month at No. 107 East Main 
street. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Kalama- 
zoo Encampment, No. 78. — Meets on the first and 
third Mondays of each month, at No. 107 East 
Main street. 

Independent Order, of Odd Fellows, Kalama- 
zoo Lodge, No. 7. — Meets every Tuesday, at No. 
107 East Main street. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Unity 
Lodge, No. 407. — Meets every Thursday, at No. 
IT4 East Main street. 

Daughters of Rebekah, Burr Oak Lodge, No. 
184. — Meets on the second and fourth Fridays of 
each month, at No. 125 West Main street. 

Daughters of Rebekah, Social Lodge, No. 35. 
— Meets on the first and third Wednesdays of 
each month, at No. 107 East Main street. 

Daughters of Rebekah, Triple Link Lodge, 
No. 265. — Meets on the second and fourth Wed- 
nesdays of each month, at No. 114 East Main 
street. 

Royal Arcanum, Burr Oak City Council, No. 
600. — Meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays 
of each month, at No. 104 East Main street. 

Tribe of Ben Hur, Kalamazoo Service Court, 
No. 4. — Meets on the first and third Tuesdays of 
each month, at the Auditorium. 

United Home Protectors' Fraternity, Kalama- 
zoo Lodge, No. 70. 



Woodmen of the World, Kalamazoo Camp, 
No. 38. — Meets on the first Tuesday of each 
month, at No. 103 East Main street. 

COLORED SOCIETIES. 

Knights of Pythias, Damon Lodge, No. 6. — 
Meets on the first and second Thursdays of each 
month, at No. 215 North Rose street. 

Free and Accepted Masons, Central Lodge, 
No. 10. — Meets on the' first Monday of each 
month, at No. 215 North Rose street. 

Knights Templar, St. John's Commandery, 
No. 5. — Meets on the second Monday in each 
month. 

Royal Arch Masons; Central Chapter. — Meets 
the second Monday in each month, at No. 215 
North Main street. 

Order of the Eastern Star, Zorah Chapter, 
No. 3. — Meets at No. 217 East Main street. 

Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, Kala- 
mazoo Lodge, No. 3900. — Meets on the first and 
third Wednesdays of each month, at 125 West 
Main street. 

Ladies' Auxiliary, Household of Ruth, No. 
1068. — Meets on the first and third Tuesdays of 
each month, at No. 125 West Main street. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

TH-E HOLLAND SETTLEMENT. 

In 1847 tne fi rst Hollanders came to Kalama- 
zoo. They came with the full assurance of more 
religious freedom. The church in Holland had 
become extremely liberal and many seceded from 
the parent church. On their arrival here they 
were taken into the homes of American families 
and several gentlemen furnished conveyances to 
transfer these strangers in a strange land, with 
their belongings, to their future home on the 
shores of the Black lake to what then became the 
Holland colony, now known as Holland, Zealand, 
etc. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of many 
friends, it did not deter Paulus den Bleyker from 
making preparations to embark for America, eager 
to embrace the opportunity to test the promises 



90 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



offered by the United States. Among the first 
Dutch arrivals, the largest company who came to 
Kalamazoo consisted of twenty-seven persons un- 
der the leadership of Paulus den Bleyker. Leav- 
ing Holland August 14, 1850, they landed in Kal- 
amazoo the following October. Mr. den Bleyker 
and a part of his company stopped at the Sheri- 
dan House now occupied by the Chase block. 
Through the carelessness of a waitress three men 
were poisoned and died, one of whom was a Mr. 
Brown, of Grand Rapids, father of Mrs. J. J. Per- 
rin and another was one of the newly arrived Hol- 
landers. On account of the increased illness of a 
little invalid son, Mr. den Bleyker rented a house 
of John Marsh, brother-in-law of Governor Ran- 
som, and moved into it with his family, where the 
young child passed away. At the same time a 
number of the Dutch party, though in good health 
during their recent voyage, upon their arrival here 
sickened and died from what seemed a summer 
difficulty. The impression of the citizens was 
naturally unfavorable to foreigners with a strange 
language and habits which appeared peculiar and 
connecting the illness of this party with the deaths 
at the hotel, some of the trustees of the village 
jumped at a conclusion and attributed it to cholera; 
took the family from their new home and moved 
them to the wooded outskirts of the town into a 
hastily, rudely constructed and incomplete build- 
ing, subjecting the inmates to the storms and se- 
verities of the late autumnal season, excluding 
them by quarantine from procuring such comforts 
as are necessary to the relief of the sick, thereby 
inviting suffering, additional illness and death. 
Among those who rendered them efficient service, 
the names of the Rev. A.S. Kidzie and Dr. Marsh, 
the son of John Marsh, will long be remembered. 
Soon after their release from this terrible ordeal, 
Mr. den Bleyker purchased the Judge Wells 
place of four hundred acres in Texas town- 
ship. At that time one of the most extensive 
landed proprietors in the then village of Kalama- 
zoo was supposed to be Epaphroditus Ransom, 
who had just completed his term as first governor 
of Michigan, from the new capitol at Lansing. 
The Governor Ransom home extended from 
Lovell street over stretches of upland covered 



with beautiful trees, chiefly the burr oak, and over 
the marshy stretches (now the noted South celery 
fields), for nearly a mile to the present line of 
Reed street, and about ten rods east of Pine street, 
to half way between Rose and Park streets. Forty 
rods south of Lovell street stood the home which 
the Governor had built for himself, a structure 
which in those early times of the country might be 
said to honor the office of its occupant. It was r: 
substantial frame building entered by a portico 
leading through a large door, situated between nar- 
row Venetian windows, having access to a long 
hallway connecting with spacious rooms on each 
side. One day Paulus den Bleyker, accompanied by 
his interpreter, appeared at the Governor's house. 
This man who had but recently been released 
from the pest house, and had been considered one 
of the poverty-stricken and despised emigrants, 
was now anxious to enter into a negotiation for 
the purchase of this beautiful tract of land, with 
its orchard, its double line of trees extending 
from the private gate way on Lovell street (sit- 
uated between the Dr. O. H. Clark home and the 
Krause property) to the house. His proposition 
to the Governor was to purchase the entire farm, 
not a portion. In reply from the Governor the 
amount needed would be twelve thousand dollars, 
which at that time was considered a large sum, 
but the amazement was still more intense when 
this man late from foreign soil was ready to close 
the deal, so the gold was exchanged for the land. 
From the time of the settlement in the Gov- 
ernor Ransom house, Mr. den Bleyker was ever 
after known as the "Dutch Governor." Realizing 
the desirability of platting this farm into town lots, 
he secured the services of the village surveyor, S. 
H. Trask, father of Mrs. H. S. Cornell, to assist 
in the undertaking and thus furnished to the vil- 
lage the extensive tract of land known as the 
den Bleyker addition. When Mr. den Bleyker 
was fully ready he removed the gates to his pri- 
vate entrance at Lovell street and opened up Bur- 
dick street south about a mile. The main portion 
of the old home he at that time removed from the 
center to front the extended street from its east 
side. The old dwelling known as the "Dutch 
Governor's" home stands with its white paint and 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN 



9i 



green blinds, shaded by the same native bur oak 
and in the rear a few of the original trees of the 
old orchard planted over sixty years ago. One 
or two years later, understanding the needs of his 
compatriots, and considering it his Christian duty, 
lie went to the then Holland colony and built and 
established a much needed lumber and flour mill 
combined. Before this these people had been ne- 
cessitated to take their grain to be ground to 
Allegan, twenty-seven miles distant. For two 
vears he spent his time with his family, partly in 
Holland and Kalamazoo, but finding this too ardu- 
ous, he disposed of his Holland mills and devoted 
his time thereafter in Kalamazoo. 

Paulus den Bleyker was born in the province 
of South Holland, December 23, 1804, was left an 
orphan at nine years of age and was adopted into 
the home of a friend who was possessed of high 
principle and religious zeal. Having acquired a 
common-school education, combined with keen 
observance, he gained a large portion of his 
knowledge. At the age of eighteen, according to 
the laws of the Netherlands, he was required to 
enter the army, serving his country for nine years, 
and was called into active service during the rev- 
olution between Belgium and Holland, at which 
time Belgium became a secedant from the Nether- 
lands. Having distinguished himself by his sol- 
dierly bearing, mathematical precision and correct 
demeanor, he rose to the office of sergeant quar- 
termaster and major, equivalent to the rank of 
colonelcy in the United States. At the close of 
his army life he went to the province of North 
Holland, where he married. He carried on agri- 
culture and also, in connection with two gentle- 
men friends as partners, he engaged in a venture 
the undertaking of which required both enter- 
prise and capital. This reclaiming land from the 
Zeuder Zee and the dyking in of an area on the 
north of the island Lexel, was an onerous task, 
but this tract proved an acquisition to them and is 
i'ow known as the "Eendractel Polder." Mr. 
den Bleyker died in Kalamazoo, April 8, 1872. 
leaving three children, John den Bleyker and Miss 
Martha den Bleyker, residing in Kalamazoo, and 
toimmen den Bleyker, of Tacoma, Wash. He was 
a Christian man, conscientiously devoted to his 



religious views, adhering to the faith of the Dutch 
Reformed church in its strictest sense. Ever 
considering himself unworthy to publicly pro- 
fess, he was ever full of doing kindly deeds, 
and ever ready to respond to the needs of the 
poor, but, according to the Bible, never allowed 
his right hand to know what his left hand did. 
After his death many were the attestations 
made to his family of help rendered by him 
to the poor and suffering. In all his business 
ventures caution and precision were exercised. 
He was scrupulously conscientious, enterprising 
and energetic, sympathetic, just, liberal and lenient 
towards his debtors, especially kind and loyal to 
those of his own nationality. Conservative as a 
politician, always voting for the one he considered 
the best man for the office, regardless of party, — 
so it can be truly said he was a strong man, who 
never turned a deaf ear to the distress and embar- 
rassments of others. From his- quiet life, though 
busy and useful, came the consciousness to his 
children that this long life was blest. 

CHAPTER IX. 

HISTORY OF GALESBURG SINCE l88o. 

During the past twenty-five years the changes 
in Galesburg have been radical, but so gradual 
that only by comparison with the condition years 
ago are they noticeable. In size the village has 
grown but little ; in appearance it has improved to 
a striking degree. One of the first changes oc- 
curred in 1886, when Charles Cory purchased 
the brick building known for many years as the 
"Old Brick/' then in a ruinous condition, re- 
moved it and erected in its place a brick block 
that for several years was the pride of the village. 
In 1 89 1 the two wooden store buildings adjoining 
on the west, owned, one by Dr. W. A. Burdick, 
and the other by I. V. Brown, were destroyed by 
fire and were, the following year, replaced by 
neat brick buildings. The Masonic Temple, also 
of brick, was built soon after. In 1900 H. H. 
Warren purchased a lot on East Battle Creek 
street, removed the frame building that stood 
there to the rear of the premises and built Hotel 



92 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



Warren, a handsome brick structure. This was 
purchased in 1904 by F. M. Lortei, who im- 
proved and beautified it until it now compares 
favorably with many large city hotels. It is now 
known as the Hill House. The same year ( 1900) 
Charles Towsley added a brick block to the same 
street. The town hall, also of brick, was built in 
1901. In the meantime all of the older business 
buildings, both brick and frame, had been greatly 
improved and modernized until the business por- 
tion of Galesburg presents a thoroughly neat and 
attractive appearance. 

In the residence portion of the town the 
changes have been no less noticeable. The re- 
moval of fences and improvement of houses have 
greatly added to the attractiveness of the place, 
while the care of lawns and streets has become a 
source of pride to almost every resident. Many 
years ago maple trees were planted along both 
sides of nearly every street. These have grown 
to noble proportions until the tree-lined streets 
are now a marked beauty of the place, exciting 
the admiration of all who visit the town. For a 
number of years no new dwellings were erected, 
but during the past fifteen years many modern 
homes have been added to the place, which, with 
the remodeling of older ones, have made the vil- 
lage one of the most beautiful in the state. For 
many years a grove of oak trees, owned by W. A. 
Blake, occupied a large portion of a block in the 
west part of town. A few years ago this was di- 
vided into village lots and sold and now forms 
one of the pleasantest residence portions of the 
place. 

In 1900 the Michigan Traction Company com- 
pleted the construction of an electric railroad from 
Kalamazoo through Galesburg to Battle Creek, 
an innovation that has proved an untold conven- 
ience to the villagers and nearby farmers and also 
brought about increased business activity. Not 
many months later the old oil lamps, for whose 
dim light former citizens had been most thankful, 
were discarded and the streets were lighted by 
means of electricity. This method of lighting was 
soon introduced into the business places and grad- 
ually into many residences. In 1904, in conse- 
quence of the double tracking of the Michigan 



Central Railroad, a part of a high wooden bridge 
that the Michigan Traction Company had built 
over that road was removed and in its place a 
steel bridge, which for strength and engineering 
triumph is unsurpassed in this part of the state, 
was constructed. This bridge is eight hundred 
feet long and more than twenty-two feet above the 
rails below. 

Coexistant with material progress has been 
the intellectual. The Galesburg union schools 
have made long strides during the past twenty- 
five years toward efficiency and usefulness and 
have become the pride of the community. The 
corps of teachers now numbers six, besides a 
teacher of vocal music, and the pupils enrolled 
have become far more numerous than a few years 
since. Especially is this true in the higher grades 
where the foreign attendance, coming from all 
surrounding districts and villages and even from 
other counties, greatly swells the ranks of pupils. 
The courses of study have been gradually im- 
proved and new branches added until now four 
distinct branches are taught. Since 1876 the 
graduates number one hundred and eighty, many 
of whom have become widely known, while they 
are few who are not now filling positions of use- 
fulness and trust. In 1899 Mrs. Melinda J. 
Schroder presented to the school the "William J. 
Schroder Memorial Laboratory Equipment," in 
memory of her husband, who was always deeply 
interested in educational advancement. This, 
with what the school already possessed and what 
has since been added as the advance of modern 
science necessitated, gave to the school a most 
valuable means of instruction in the natural sci- 
ences, indeed seldom equalled in a small village. 
In addition to this the supply of maps, charts, 
globes, books of reference, etc., is very complete. 
The library, selected with greatest care, has grad- 
ually grown to seven hundred volumes and in- 
cludes books of history, poetry, fiction, etc., suit- 
able to the needs of pupils of all ages. 

Besides the school library there is a township 
library, containing over five hundred books of the 
best literature. The largest library in the place 
is owned and managed by the Ladies' Library 
Association. This organization dates back to 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



95 



1876, when it was started in a very humble way 
with only twelve books, which were donated by 
the members. From this modest beginning it 
lias grown steadily to a library of thirteen hun- 
dred volumes that, in choice of selection if not in 
number, compares very favorably with the libra- 
ries of cities. Too much can not be said in appre- . 
ciation of the influence of this institution in the 
village. Not only has good literature been made 
easily accessible to all residents, but the standard 
of literary tastes has been perceptibly elevated by 
the untiring efforts of its members.. It is the 
present hope of the organization to erect a suit- 
able library building soon. 

Besides this organization there are numerous 
others. The Mutual Improvement Club, a 
women's literary society, has been in continuous 
existence since 1895, and is affiliated with the 
State Federation of Women's Clubs. Fraternal 
societies are numerous. Prairie Lodge No. 92, 
Free and Accepted Masons, organized in 1856, the 
Order of Eastern Star, the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs, the Knights of 
the Maccabees and Ladies of the Maccabees, the 
Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen, the 
Grand Army of the Republic and the Galesburg 
Protective Association, which has been in exist- 
ence since 1851, are all popular. 

Four churches flourished for many years, but 
the members of the Adventist denomination grad- 
ually removed to other places and services in their 
building were finally abandoned. The house stood 
empty for several years, then was sold and remod- 
eled into a dwelling. The Methodist Episcopal, 
Congregational and Baptist churches, with their 
Sunday schools, young people's and junior so- 
cieties and their various ladies' organizations are 
all in a thriving condition and are actively en- 
gaged in spreading the gospel in the community. 
Early in the '80s a weekly newspaper was 
started in a modest way under the name of "The 
Enterprise." It did not prove profitable and fre- 
quently changed editors. J. B. Smiley at length 
purchased it and made it a publication of con- 
siderable local fame, his original poetry being one 
of its leading features. As a humorous poet Mr. 
Smiley gained considerable note. In 1888 a sec- 

6 



ond paper was started by Henry Ford. This 
was named "The Argus," and in 1891 was made a 
semi-weekly. The two papers continued as rival 
publications until 1903, when, Mr. Smiley's health 
failing, Mr. Ford purchased his outfit and the 
Enterprise was absorbed by the Argus. The 
latter is at present a wide-awake, up-to-date paper, 
with a circulation of fifteen hundred, and is the 
most active and popular advertising medium be- 
tween Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. 

Other industries in Galesburg are such as are 
befitting a village of its size. There are two ho- 
tels, two general stores, two drug stores, two 
groceries, a bank, a meat market, a furniture 
store and undertaking establishment, a book store, 
a harness shop, two hardware stores, two milli- 
nery stores, a bakery, a barber shop, a cigar and 
confectionery store, a shoe store, a restaurant, a 
livery barn and two blacksmith shops. Four prac- 
ticing physicians, two lawyers and a dentist are 
among the professional residents. The Gold 
Medal Remedy and Extract Company is a new 
organization, formed in 1904, and at present en- 
gaged in building up a business. — [Henry Ford.] 

CHAPTER X. 

THE BANKING BUSINESS OF SCHOOLCRAFT. 

In 1866 William Griffiths and J. C. Moore, of 
Three Rivers, and Thomas Griffiths, of School- 
craft, under the firm name of Thomas Griffiths & 
Company, bought and shipped grain and did a 
general banking business, which was continued 
for four or five years. On April 1, 1867, I. W. 
Pursel, E. B. Dyckman, M. Hale and M. R. Cobb, 
all of Schoolcraft, started a bank under the firm 
name of M. R. Cobb & Company, with a capital 
of eight thousand dollars. They continued to 
receive deposits until December 9, 1870. On this 
date the First National Bank of Schoolcraft com- 
menced business, with a paid-up capital of thirty- 
five thousand dollars, and on January 28, 1871, 
they had a paid-up capital of fifty thousand dol- 
lars. The officers of this bank were E. B. Dyck- 
man, president, M, R. Cobb, cashier, and G C. 
Dyckman, teller. The First National continued in 



96 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



business until January 10, 1876, on which date E. 

B. Dyckman & Company commenced business 
with a capital of fifteen thousand dollars. The 
members of the firm of E. B. Dyckman & Com- 
pany were E. B. Dyckman, I. W. Pursel and M. 
R. Cobb. The officers were E. B. Dyckman, 
president, and M. R. Cobb, cashier. They con- 
tinued in business until, after the death of Mr. 
Pursel, in 1878, Myron M. Cole purchased the 
interest of Mr. Pursel, and the business continued 
under the same firm name until after the death of 
Mr. Dyckman, in October, 18881. Nesbitt & Mil- 
ler commence business in January, 1882, and the 
business of E. B. Dyckman & Company was 
closed up. The firm of Nesbitt & Miller was com- 
posed of Thomas Nesbitt and Philip D. Miller, 
both of Schoolcraft. They continued in business 
until February, 1891, when the Kalamazoo 
County Bank, of Dwiggins Starbuck & Company, 
was started, with E. W. Bowman as cashier. In 
1893 a state bank was organized by Mr. Bowman, 
under the name of the Kalamazoo County Bank, a 
state bank; E. W. Bowman was president and 
Charles E. Stuart cashier. In July, 1897, the 
present bank, the Kalamazoo County Bank of C. 

C. Duncan & Company, was organized with C. C. 
Duncan, president, and C. E. Stuart, cashier. 

CHAPTER XL 

THE CHURCHES AT ALAMO. 

The Methodist church has the distinction of 
being the oldest organization. It had its origin 
in a class that was formed in a log house on the 
township line north of Jug Corners, in 1842, by 
Rev. F. Gage. The members of this class were 
Thomas G. Carpenter and wife ; F. Montague and 
wife; T. Johnson, J. Johnson and others. Ser- 
vices were held at various places in the township, 
as convenience dictated. The brick school house 
at the Center, the Hackley school house and one 
known at that time as the Spalding school house 
were the principal places. 

In 1867 the societies of the Methodist Epis- 
copal and Presbyterian churches united to form 
a house of worship, which was dedicated and 



opened for services in 1869. At the time of their 
union and occupancy of the new edifice, they 
numbered fifty members. In 1880 they numbered 
seventy-five members. 

From the erection of the church to 1880, the 
following ministers have officiated. Rev. T. J. 
Congdon, Rev. William Cogshall, Rev. E. D. 
Young, Rev. C. T. Van Antwerp, Rev. J. S. 
Valentine, and Rev. E. H. Day. 

The Rev. Congdon retired from the ministry 
soon after he closed his pastorate here. He bought 
a house and store at Alamo Center and moved 
his family from Cooper (he resided at Cooper 
and preached at Cooper and Alamo) to his new 
home. Here for several years he kept a general 
store and the postoffice. Well does the writer 
remember, when but a little schoolgirl in company 
with her mates of receiving many treats of candy 
from the kind old gentleman. After a time he 
sold the store and purchased a farm on the op- 
posite side of the street, where he erected a fine 
dwelling. After a few years, as he realized that 
age and infirmity were creeping upon him, he 
sold his property at the Center and, with his 
family sought the genial climate of California. 
After a short residence in that sunny climate, 
he heard the call of the Master to that "Great 
Beyond" where we trust he heard the welcome 
words, "Well done; enter thou unto the joys 
of thy Lord." 

Rev. Van Antwerp now resides at Lake View, 
Montcalm county, Mich. He has retired from 
active work on account of his health and it is 
hardly expected he will be adequate to perform 
the duties of a pastor again. His aged and in- 
firm father-in-law resides with him. 

Rev. E. H. Day died of pneumonia at Cad- 
illac, Mich., March 31, 1904, at the age of seven- 
ty-six years. Mr. Day closed a five-years pastorate 
in Lawton, and retired from the ministry, in 
which he had served fifty-one years. He enter- 
ed the ministry at the age of twenty-four years 
and was sent by the Methodist Episcopal church 
to the Indians west of Lake Superior. Arrived 
at the Sault, he waited two weeks for a steam- 
boat to be drawn over the rapids by horse power. 
By the first trip of this steamer, the first on the 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



97 



lake, he reached La Pontie, a post of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, thence by a small boat to 
his station, a small place about twenty-five miles 
above what is now Duluth. Here, one hundred 
miles from a white man, from supplies and a 
postoffice, he labored three years. His next work 
was among the miners at Cliff mine, on Eagle 
river and Ontonnagon, at each place he spent 
two years and built a church. Then he went 
among the Indians in. Allegan county and 
near Hastings; there we see him on his first 
appointment among the white churches, at Char- 
lotte, Hastings and vicinity, making the rounds 
of eighteen stations, one hundred and forty miles, 
on foot, once in three weeks. He, with Rev. 
Bush, his able helper, was a leader in the great 
revival at Alamo in 1878. During his life he 
witnessed some five thousand conversions. Well 
done, faithful servant, it is meet you should enter 
your reward. Of the other ministers spoken of 
the writer can give no account. Since 1880 the 
names of some of the ministers who have served 
the people are Rev. C.T. Van Antwerp, Rev. Wal- 
lace, deceased, Rev. Cottrell, and Rev. Boswick. 
During the present summer the church was 
struck by lightning, the steeple demolished and 
other damage done. It has been nicely repaired 
and with its symmetry and fresh coat of paint 
is an imposing structure, an honor to Alamo. 

The Presbyterian church was organized May 
17, 1865, by Rev. S. Osinga, acting pastor. The 
individuals who enrolled their names as its first 
members were J. Tallman, S. D. Barbour, C. W. 
Barber and wife, S. Love, Jane E. Love, Mrs. H. 
Maregang and Lydia Bachelder. S. D. and C. W. 
Barbour were elected as the first elders and a peti- 
tion was forwarded to the Kalamazoo presbytery 
to be taken under its care, which was granted. 
The first communion was held in the school house 
at Alamo Center, June 11, 1865. The society 
united with the Methodist church in 1867, for the 
purpose of erecting a house of worship. After 
the erection of the edifice some of the members 
united with the Congregational church. As far 
as my knowledge extends, there is at present no 
Presbyterian organization in Alamo. 

Congregational Church. — The following 



extract was taken from the early records of the 
church referring to its organization: 

"Alamo, Mich., October, 1849. 

"At a council, called by letters missive, by the 
brethren interested, and by the Rev. Isaac C. 
Crane, for the purpose of organizing a church in 
this place, there was present I. C. Crane, of this 
place ; Rev. A. S. Kedzie, of Kalamazoo ; Broth- 
er M. Everett, of the Congregational church, 
Kalamazoo ; Brother L. Fasler, of the Congrega- 
tional church of Otsego, and Brothers James Tall- 
man and Julius Hackley, of this place. The Rev. 
I. C. Crane was appointed moderator and the Rev. 
A. S. Kedzie was appointed scribe. The council 
was opened with prayer. After a full discussion 
of the subject by the council and by the brethren 
interested, it was resolved that this council recom- 
mend to their brethren that they be formed into a 
church. The following persons then presented 
letters of admission and recommendation from 
the churches with which they were connected, 
viz : James Tallman and Elizabeth Tallman, from 
the church at Lodi Plains, Mich. ; Julius Hackley 
and Dorothy Hackley, from the church at Otsego, 
Mich. ; Searles D. Barbour, from the church at 
Oxford, Mass. : Charles Barber, from the 
church at Kalamazoo, Mich. ; Rev. I. C. Crane, 
from the Methodist Prostestant church ; Agnes 
Tallman and Martha Green were received on pro- 
fesion of faith. The church then made choice of 
Brothers Julius Hackley and C. W. Barber as 
deacons, who were then set apart to the office with 
prayer by the council. Brother Searles D. Bar- 
bour was appointed scribe. The church then ad- 
journed. 

Isaac C. Crane, 

Moderator. ,, 
"A. S. Kedzie, Scribe." 

Their first pastor was Rev. I. C. Crane and 
in 1853 the following officers were unanimously 
elected: Malon Everett, Julius Hackley, dea- 
cons ; Charles W. Barbour, clerk ; Julius Hackley, 
treasurer of benevolent fund. Rev. B. F. Mon- 
roe began his work as pastor in 1853, and con- 
tinued his pastorate for three years, after which 
the church became extinct. An effort was made 
to revive the organization in 1863, and in June of 



9 8 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



that year Rev. S. Ozinga began his labors and 
continued them until May 5, 1867, when his fare- 
well sermon was preached. In the summer of 
1867 Rev. B. F. Monroe returned to this field of 
labor, and in December of that year the church 
was organized. At the next meeting the follow- 
ing persons presented themselves for member- 
ship : S. D. Barbour, C. W. Barber and wife, Ju- 
lius Hackley and wife and Mrs. Selkrig. Julius 
Hackley and C. W. Barber were elected deacons, 
and S. D. Barbour, clerk. All the above men- 
tioned have been called from the church terrestrial 
to the church celestial. The first and youngest 
to receive the call was S. D. Barbour, who passed 
away at the age of fifty- four ; he died September 
13, 1873. The last in this list to receive the call 
was his brother, C. W. Barber, whose summons 
came August 24, 1903, at the age of seventy-six 
years. Agnes Barber, his wife, departed this life 
October 8, 1893, at the age of sixty-three years. 
Lydia Bachelder's death occurred February 12, 
1888. Mrs. Selkrig died about 1877 or 1878. 
Mrs. Hackley 's work closed June 24, 1890, at 
the ripe age of eighty-one years. Mr. Hackley, 
her husband, traveled on nine lonely years without 
his helpmeet, after which he was called to meet 
her where loneliness is unknown. Mr. Hackley 
lived to be the oldest of the group, he having 
reached his ninety-first milestone. Mr. Monroe 
was the first minister to serve in the new edifice, 
he acting as pastor during its construction. The 
two churches added materially to the growth of 
our little village. The day of the raising of the 
church here the children scampered upon the back 
seat of the old brick school house, where, from 
the windows they could watch the men heave the 
ponderous beams in position ; with what keen ap- 
petites they viewed the long tables set in the par- 
sonage yard, being piled with choice viands by the 
noble and good women of Alamo. The little 
people's turn came at last. The men feasted and 
departed. There was a superabundance for all. 
The tables fairly groaned under their weight. 

After a pastorate of three years Rev. Monroe 
resigned in. March, 1870. He was succeeded by 
Rev. Elam Branch, who began his labors in July 
of the same year and closed them April 1, 1872. 



The following year Rev. Armstrong served Alamo 
and Cooper. Rev. E. Dyer came June 29, 1873, 
and continued to minister to the people until Rev. 
F. W. Bush was installed April 1, 1877. He re- 
mained about four years. He worked harmoni- 
ously with his Methodist brother, Rev. Day, and 
through their efforts many were added to the 
churches. Mr. Bush has visited Alamo several 
times since his pastorate here. A few years ago 
he delivered the Memorial Day sermon at Alamo. 
Quite recently he was called to officiate at the 
funeral of one who used to listen to his sermons 
during his pastorate here. Mr. Bush, though past 
the prime of life, is still in the ministry and at 
present located at Clarksville, Mich. 

The church membership in 1880 numbered 
ninety-two. The deacons at that date were Jo- 
seph Coshun, Penuel Hobbs and C. W. Barber; 
the trustees, H. C. Van Vranken and Oliver 
Brocway; clerk, C. W. Barber. 

Since 1880 the church has lost greatly through 
death and removal ; the present membership is 
about ninety. The following are some who have 
served as pastors since 1880: Mr. Lanphere, Mr. 
Bradley, Mr. Keightley, the latter two were na- 
tives of England; these two have passed to their 
reward. Mr. Keightley died at his daughter's in 
Detroit, June 24, 1894, at the age of three score 
years. His first work was as a missionary in the 
east part of the state; his health failed and he 
gave up this work and preached at several places, 
Alamo being among the number and nearly the 
last place. 

"Beautiful toiler, thy work all done, 
Beautiful soul, into glory gone ; 
God giveth thee rest." 

His widow has visited Alamo three times, the 
last time being during the last summer. We all 
enjoy the visits of so genial and Christian a woman 
as Mrs. Keightley. May she make many such 
sojourns in Alamo. 

The next minister to Alamo was Mr. Web- 
ster, then Mr. Hurbert, then Mr. Andrus, then 
Mr. Lillie, then Mr. Randal, next Mr. Snyder, 
Mr. Malar, Mr. C. Maxfield, Rev. Malar and Mr. 
O. Johnson. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



99 



This church, like her sister church, received a 
touch of the electric fluid ; but it did much less 
damage. I do not just remember the date, but 
think it was about 1894 or 1895. 

Joseph Coshuri is still serving as deacon, one 
of the oldest members of the church, a faithful 
and stanch member. May it be many years before 
he hears the bugle call to join the soldiers over 
the river. The other deacons are Alvord Peck 
and Westley Edwards. 

Both churches are provided with furnaces and 
are well lighted. Services are held nearly every 
Sunday. In the Congregational in the morning 
and in the afternoon at the Methodist; in the 
evening at both. Memorial Day services, in charge 
of H. P. Shutt, are held annually, alternating with 
each church. 

CHAPTER XII. 

STATE ASYLUM FOR THE INSANE. 

This admirable institution, which represents 
the finely organized charity of the state to one 
class of its unfortunate citizens, has been in opera- 
tion for many years, and its history is peculiar and 
unique. The Michigan Asylums for the Insane, 
the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, were established in 
1848. The reasons for associating, under a single 
board, three institutions, having nothing in com- 
mon, either in their general object, construction, 
organization or management, do not appear in 
any state document or paper, but in that year 
petitions from various sections of the state were 
presented to the legislature, asking for the adop- 
tion of some method of care for the insane, and 
the superintendents of the poor of Kent, Saginaw 
and Wayne counties also asked for some provision 
for the same object. 

In a special message, dated February 28, 1848, 
Governor Ransom recommended that "provision 
should be made for the establishment of a hos- 
pital for the insane and an asylum for the deaf 
and dumb at the earliest period consistent with 
the existing obligations of the state." This mes- 
sage was soon followed by an enactment, estab- 
lishing such institutions, providing for , the ap- 



pointment of a board of trustees, which was to se- 
lect suitable sites and erect buildings, and appro- 
priating eight . sections of salt spring lands for 
these purposes. In 1849 tn€ Governor announced 
that from the conditions then existing, he would 
defer the appointment of the board and renewed 
his recommendation that other provision than that 
made in the previous act should be speedily 
made and that suitable grounds should be selected 
and set apart for the erection of proper buildings. 

In 1850 Messrs. Hascall, Stuart, Cook, Taylor 
and Farnsworth presented their first report as 
trustees, saying that they had located the Asylum 
for the Insane at Kalamazoo, the citizens of that 
place giving to the state fifteen hundred dollars 
in addition "to a site for the asylum, containing 
ten acres of land." The legislature this year ap- 
propriated five thousand as an asylum fund. In 
185 1 the trustees recommended the sale of. the ten 
acres at Kalamazoo and the purchasing of one 
hundred and sixty acres in the vicinity and urged 
a more liberal appropriation. In 1853 Governor 
McClelland commended the asylums of the state 
to the favorable notice of the legislature, which 
appropriated twenty-three thousand dollars to be 
used as a purchasing and construction fund in 
1853 and 1854. The trustees, Sheldon McKnight, 
Bela Hubbard, P. J. Spaulding, Israel Kellogg, 
and Joseph B. Walker were authorized to sell the 
ten acres formerly donated. By this time the 
very beautiful, attractive and desirable location 
where the asylum now stands had been purchased. 
It contained one hundred and sixty acres, for 
which eight dollars an acre was paid. 

Before 1856, $17,487.48 had been expended in 
preliminary work to the construction of buildings, 
in labor on the central building, etc. In 1855-6 
sixty-seven thousand dollars was appropriated as 
an asylum construction fund. In 1857 the con- 
nection which had obtained from the first legis- 
lation on the asylums between the Flint and Kala- 
mazoo institutions was severed and a separate 
board appointed for each. The state building 
commissioner at the time reported to the legisla- 
ture that the building was "very perfectly adapted 
to the purposes of its erection, losing nothing 
when compared with the most expensive asylums 



IOO 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



in sister states." They adopted for their rule of 
action the embodied experience of the Associa- 
tion of Medical Superintendents of American 
Asylums, and by the early appointment of a medi- 
cal officer, "with the view of having the building 
erected so far under his supervision as to secure 
his approbation when finished, all capricious modi- 
fications and changes in plan and policy have been 
avoided/' The buildings and surroundings were 
erected in accordance with plans furnished by 
that eminent specialist in the care of the insane, 
Dr. John P. Gray, who was elected superintend- 
ent in 1855, one year later resigning to become 
the superintendent of the New York State Asy- 
lum. From 1856 to March, 1878, Dr. Edward H. 
Van Deusen guided the affairs of the asylum. 

On February 11, 1858, the central building 
was totally destroyed by fire, which seriously de- 
layed progress, but in 1859 tne trustees reported 
to the legislature that they were nearly ready to 
care for ninety patients, and asked for sufficient 
monies to increase the capacity so that they could 
provide for one hundred and forty-four patients. 
The progress was greatly hampered at this time 
by the difficulty of obtaining funds, although the 
state made a liberal appropriation, and the im- 
possibility of obtaining the appropriations of 1859 
and i860 was a serious blow to the state's interest 
in this direction. The asylum was fully equipped 
and organized for the reception of patients by 
February 24, 1859. Eleven years had slowly 
passed from the time of the first organization 
until it was formally opened (this event occurring 
on August 29, 1859), and much suffering had re- 
sulted. From the organization and opening of 
the south wing to the building of the north wing, 
seven years of time, three hundred and fifty pa- 
tients could be accommodated. From the com- 
mencement of the north wing until provision was 
made for the male department (which offered ac- 
commodations for three hundred) five years 
elapsed. 

In 1859 tne act °^ organization, under which 
the affairs of the asylum are yet conducted, be- 
came a law. The first board of trustees was Dr. 
Z. Pitcher, Messrs. Coggeshall, Montague, Pratt, 
Trask and Woodbury. The first meeting was 



held on March 30, 1859, when L. H. Trask was 
chosen president of the board and J. P. Woodbury, 
secretary. Dr. - Edwin H. Van Deusen was re- 
elected superintendent, and on April 23d the first 
patient was received. David A. McNair was elect- 
ed treasurer on March 30, 1859, and on April 28th 
the code of by-laws was adopted. William Brooks 
succeeded J. P. Woodbury as secretary of the 
board on June 14, 1859. The first religious serv- 
ices were held in one of the little parlors of the 
south wing on November 6, 1859. The north 
wing was completed, furnished and prepared for 
occupancy in September, 1869, at a cost of $27- 
091.70, this building being the completion of the 
originally planned asylum, the foundation of 
which was laid in April, 1854. 

In 1871 two additional buildings, an "asylum 
extension" of sufficient capacity to accommodate 
two hundred and fifty patients, was ordered 
erected, and eighty thousand dollars was appro- 
priated by the legislature to be expended in 1871 
for that purpose and one hundred and forty thou- 
sand for 1872. These buildings increased the 
size of the asylum so much that more than five 
hundred and fifty patients could be cared for 
easily and raised it in rank and efficiency to the 
standing of the large and admirable institutions 
of New York and other older states. The rooms 
were made commodious and cheerful and the 
solidity and excellent character of the work were 
vouched for by experienced builders. 

The chapel building was completed in 1872, 
the dedicatory services being held on June 30th. 
Many citizens of Kalamazoo and citizens of Mich- 
igan and other states gave generous contri- 
butions to this work. From the time the 
first patient was admitted for treatment in 
April, 1859, the total number of inmates of 
the asylum up to July 27, 1904, was 9,576; 
1,591 receiving treatment at that time. The es- 
timated annual increase from the admission of 
the first patient to the present time in. the number 
yearly is fifty patients. 

On April 5, 1872, the trustees met with a great 
loss in the death of one of their number, Dr. Zina 
Pitcher. He was a trustee of the asylum from 
its separate organization in 1859 un til his death— 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



IOI 



thirteen years. Standing high as an authority 
in his special field, he held, with marked ability, 
the office of president of the board of trustees of 
the Michigan State Asylum for the Insane and 
for the Deaf and Dumb from 1856 to 1859, when 
he commenced his official connection with the 
Kalamazoo work. Dr. Pitcher was eminently 
fitted to discharge the duties of his onerous office. 
Having conscientious fidelity to duty, a broad 
professional experience and an enlightened judg- 
ment, he had in a high degree the qualities essen- 
tial to the proper inauguration of a beneficent 
public institution. Among those not heretofore 
mentioned, his acute and vigorous intellect, his 
great Christian philanthropy and his heartfelt 
sympathy for not only the insane, but for all suf- 
fering persons, must be especially noted. During 
his long term of service he acted on the commit- 
tee on the appointment of the medical staff, dis- 
charging the difficult and delicate duties with a 
wise and far-seeing sagacity. 

What is known as the "colony system," the 
most advanced and beautiful system yet devised 
to the treatment of the class of diseases known as 
mental disorders, has been fully adopted here. 
The asylum farm proper has been enlarged until 
it now embraces in its area three hundred and 
forty acres. In 1885 the Brook farm, lying north 
of the city of Kalamazoo, was purchased. This 
contains two hundred and fifty-six acres and is 
admirably adapted to give healthful labor and 
cheering recreation to the class of patients as- 
signed to its care and labors. Forty-seven men 
are now under treatment here and the duties of 
the farm are largely attended to by them. In 
1887 tne Hinds farm, now known as the Colony 
farm, at this writing comprising three hundred 
and fifty-seven acres, became the property of the 
asylum. Here the cottage plan was first inaugu- 
rated and has been most fully carried out. On 
this farm, which was most beautifully adapted by 
nature for its present mission, are now located 
four cottages, the Van Deusen, giving a home to 
thirty-five women; the Palmer, furnishing rooms 
to twenty-nine women ; the Pratt, occupied by 
seventy-two men ; the Mitchell, caring for seventy- 
nine women. "Fair Oaks" is devoted to the use 



of the medical staff of the asylum as a residence. 
The colony system deserves a word of atten- 
tion in this connection. It is like a pleasure re- 
sort in many of its features, combining, however, 
more of the characteristics of a home, where the 
household duties and the work of gardening are 
done under freedom of action, thus affording 
regular occupations to distract the mind from 
troubled thoughts, and at the same time making 
the patient self-supporting to quite an extent. In 
other words, construction of quarters for four 
hundred patients, under the "room" method, 
would cost the state four hundred thousand dol- 
lars ; under the colony plan, one hundred and 
twenty thousa-nd. By large pleasure grounds, 
long walks within the inclosure "far from the 
maddening crowd," the complete isolation of the 
quieter patients from the noisy ones, and the ad- 
vantages, mentioned heretofore, of exercise at 
liberty in the open air and an opportunity to keep 
busy at pleasant employment, a very beneficial 
effect is produced. This colony method does not 
obtain, however, in treating persons suffering 
from acute diseases, accompanied by great ex- 
citement and uncontrollable impulses. For the 
most part these privileges are enjoyed by chronic 
cases of mild character and of long standing. 

The site of the asylum is a most admirable one, 
on a height of land overlooking the beautiful 
valley of the Kalamazoo river at an eleva- 
tion of over one hundred feet. Over one- 
fifth of the grounds is covered with a fine, 
thrifty growth of forest trees, principally 
oak and hickory, and the extensive grounds in 
front of the buildings are covered with a scatter- 
ing growth of oaks, that stand out clear and free 
from underbrush, adding to the general beauty 
of the place, and furnishing highly appreciated 
shade to the inmates in the hot days of summer. 
Arcadia creek, a clear, rapid stream, runs through 
the asylum farm and the land gradually falls away, 
presenting knolls, hollows, plains and ravines in a 
great variety until the valley of the creek, west 
of the buildings, had attained a low level, ' suffi- 
cient to give the best of drainage facilities. The 
soil of this farm is a sandy loam, very product- 
ive and easily tilled. 



102 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



From its inception the asylum has been espe- 
cially favored by the high character and special 
ability of the men who have been in charge. Dr. 
Gray and Dr. Pitcher have already been men- 
tioned, and it is not too much to say that nowhere 
in the whole extent of the American continent 
could an individual have been found as compe- 
tent to wisely and tenderly conduct its affairs as 
was Dr. E. H. Van Deusen, to whose devoted 
endeavor from 1859 to 1878, as its medical super- 
intendent, very much of its national reputation, 
as a model institution in its line, has been de- 
rived. His successor, Dr. George C. Palmer, was 
a superintendent of like character. He held of- 
fice until June 1, 1891, when, on his resignation, 
he was succeeded by Dr. William M. Edwards, 
who had been connected with the medical staff 
since May 1, 1884. Dr. Edwards stood in the 
same rank in the estimation of the people as did 
his distinguished predecessors. He died in April, 
1905, and was succeeded by Dr. Alfred I. Noble 
as superintendent. Dr. Alfred I. Noble was born 
in Fairfield, Me., forty-nine years ago, and his 
entire life as a student was passed in his native 
state. After graduating from the schools of Fair- 
field, he entered Colby College in 1879 an d grad- 
uated with honors in the class of 1883. His 
course there was academical, and upon gradu- 
ating he entered the medical school of Bowdoin 
College. He was graduated in 1886 and went 
to Boston, where he practiced for a short time, 
and then came to Worcester and entered the in- 
sane hospital. During the first of his being there 
Dr. Noble served as a medical attendant, but he 
rapidly rose from one position of trust to another 
until seven years ago he was made assistant su- 
perintendent under Superintendent Hosea M. 
Quinby. His medical staff is in perfect accord 
with him, being most faithful, competent and 
efficient co-workers in their human treatment 
of the suffering and in all lines of sanitary 
science. 

The present roster of trustees and officers, we 
will here give: Trustees— Alfred J. Mills, presi- 
dent, Kalamazoo; Erastus N. Bates, Moline; 
Chauncey F. Cook, Hillsdale ; Harris B. Os- 
borne, M. D., Kalamazoo; C. S. Palmerton, 



Woodland ; Charles E. Belknap, Grand Rap- 
ids. Resident Officers — Alfred I. Noble, med- 
ical superintendent ; W. A. Stone, assistant 
superintendent. Assistant physicians — Herman 
Ostrander, George F. Inch, Frances E. Bar- 
rett, Charles W. Thompson, Emory J. Brady, 
George G. Richards, S. Rudolph Light; John A. 
Hoffman, steward ; Edwin J. Phelps, treasurer. 
The total number of employes now is three hun- 
dred. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

KALAMAZOO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. 

One of the many good reasons for which the 
citizens of Kalamazoo are proud of their beautiful 
city is for its wonderful educational advantages. 
These institutions are not only numerous, but are 
all well in the front ranks of institutions of a like 
nature. These are of an exceedingly high 
standard, and have, for merit alone, become favor- 
ably known as educational institutions of great 
excellence. No western city of equal size and 
very few eastern cities can compare with Kala- 
mazoo in variety and standard of educational 
institutions. Thousands and thousands of dollars 
are represented by the property owned by these 
institutions. 

Kalamazoo College is the oldest established 
educational institution in the city, being founded 
in 1835 by" the Rev. Thomas Merrill. It enjoys 
the distinction of being one of the first co-educa- 
tional colleges in America. For the past twelve 
years Dr. Arthur Gaylord Slocum has been its 
president and has brought it to its present pros- 
perity. It is affiliated with the University of Chi- 
cago, and has a faculty of cultured and competent 
instructors. 

Michigan Seminary is another of Kalamazoo's 
institutions of learning that is widely known. It 
is a high class school for young ladies and is under 
the competent guidance of the Rev. John. Gray, 
the president of the institution. 

The Western State Normal School is a com- 
paratively recent addition to Kalamazoo's educa- 
tional institutions, and commands a beautiful 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



105 



view of the valley from Prospect Hill. Dwight 
B. Waldo is president of the institution, which 
has one of the- most cultured and able faculties in 
the state. 

Nazareth Academy, a Catholic institution, is 
located two miles east of the city, and is a school 
of high rank in every way. The other Catholic 
institutions are Le Fevre Institute and St. Joseph 
Institute. 

Parson's Business College is a commercial 
school of high rank and of splendid reputation. 
It graduates every year numbers of excellent 
bookkeepers and stenographers. 

The public schools of Michigan are well known 
for their excellence throughout the country. The 
public schools of Kalamazoo are in the front rank 
of the schools of Michigan. There are seven 
graded schools at present, with negotiations being 
made for a new one on Reed street. The Kala- 
mazoo Central High School is one of the finest in 
the state, as is also the new Vine street school, 
which is inspected almost every day by out-of- 
town visitors. About one hundred and fifty 
teachers are employed by the board of education, 
who demand scholarship and good character in 
teachers. Perhaps more than eny thing else she 
possesses, Kalamazoo should be proud of her 
public schools. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

MICHIGAN FEMALE SEMINARY. 

This popular and important institution, which 
numbers among its graduates many of the best 
and brightest ladies in this and neighboring states, 
was incorporated in December, 1856. It was or- 
ganized under the auspices of the Presbyterian 
church in the synod of Michigan. A tract of 
thirty-two acres of land, on the east side of the 
Kalamazoo river, was purchased as its site. It 
has a fine, healthful and commanding location 
upon the slopes and uplands of the bluff, covered 
by magnicent oaks, and falling away gradually to 
the river valley below. It was determined by the 
founders to place the buildings upon the crown 
of the hill, so as to command a magnificent view 



of the city and widely surrounding country. Ac- 
cording to the original plan, the building was to 
be a brick structure, in the form of a Latin cross, 
two hundred and nineteen by one hundred and 
forty feet in dimension, four stories in height, 
with basement and attic in addition. The style 
of architecture was to be Norman and the plan to 
include a large central building, and a wing upon 
either side, connected by wide corridors. It was 
to be finished in the most approved style, heated 
with steam, lighted with gas, supplied with hot 
and cold water and offering accommodations for 
three hundred pupils and a corps of twenty teach- 
ers. The estimate cost was one hundred thousand 
dollars. The work of construction was begun in 
1857, but was attended with delays and interrup- 
tions until i860, when it was suspended until 
after the close of the war. It was renewed in 
1866, when the Rev. John Covert was engaged to 
take charge of the work, and to have the building 
ready for occupancy at as early a date as possi- 
ble. Luther H. Trask, one of the devoted friends 
of the movement, was appointed superintendent 
of the work, with W. H. Coddington to assist. 
The central building alone was completed at that 
time, and the school opened to pupils January 
30, 1867. A frame building, which was erected 
some time afterward upon the south side of the 
main edifice, w r as removed in 1892 to make way 
for the new Dodge Hall. This was a handsome 
four-story, brick structure, complete in every re- 
spect, one hundred and ten feet in length and fifty 
in depth and connected with the main building 
according to the original plan. In 1903 a two- 
story brick building, with class rooms, library 
and studios was added, and greatly aids in the 
efficiency and comfort of the work. The trustees 
are indebted for Dodge Hall to the bequest of the 
late Mr. Willard Dodge, of Kalamazoo, and for 
Recitation Hall to generous gifts from Mr. C. C. 
Chapin, of Chicago, and Mrs. H. B. Peck and 
her daughters, Mrs. Cannable and Mrs. Wads- 
worth, as a memorial to their husband and father, 
the late Mr. H. B. Peck, of -Kalamazoo. The 
foundations were laid in 1857 for a wing, similar 
to Dodge Hall, upon the north side of the main 
edifice. When the trustees are enabled to erect 



io6 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



this building, so much required, the plan of the 
founders will have been carried out and one of 
the most commodious, handsome and complete 
school properties secured which is anywhere to be 
found. 

Dr. George Duffield, of sainted memory, pas- 
tor of the First Presbyterian church, Detroit, was 
the first to realize fully the necessity for such an 
institution and was most active in his endeavors 
to promote its interests and lived to see his desire 
accomplished. Shortly before his death he deliv- 
ered the first commencement address. It is fitting 
that his portrait should adorn the seminary wall 
and with it those of the early trustees, Rev. Dr. 
A. T. Pierson, then of Detroit, Mr. Elisha Taylor, 
still living in Detroit, Mr. Hughart, of Grand 
Rapids, with Messrs. Trask, Tomlinson, Wood- 
Ward, Curtenius, Parsons, Humphrey, Dr. Sill 
and Judge Wells, of Kalamazoo, who by their 
devotion and self-sacrifice laid broad and deep 
the foundations of an institution which has been 
a source of benefit to so many. 

The names of two honored ladies should be 
especially mentioned as very intimately associated 
with the success and usefulness of this work. 
These are Mrs. Moore, of Three Rivers, the first 
and for many years efficient principal of the semi- 
nary, and Mrs. M. J. Bigelow, of this city, for 
several years before her marriage the much es- 
teemed principal. 

The people of Kalamazoo and friends of 
Michigan Seminary generally recall with satis- 
faction and gratitude the advent of the present 
president, the Rev. John Gray, D. D., to the helm 
of its affairs at a critical period in 1900. He is a 
native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, being the son 
of Mr. John Gray, lumberman and miller of that 
city. After completing his studies in the Model 
Grammar School and University College, Toronto, 
he entered upon the study of divinity in the Theo- 
logical Halls of Knox College there. Immediately 
upon his graduation he accepted a call to St. An- 
drew's Presbyterian church, in the city of Wind- 
sor, in his native province. He remained there for 
twenty-two years, was successful, in building up 
a large and influential congregation, which he 
left to. accept a call to the First Presbyterian 



church in Kalamazoo, in 1893. It was during 
his seven years' pastorate in Kalamazoo that, as 
a trustee in the institution, he became deeply in- 
terested in and learned the requirements of Michi- 
gan Seminary. He took with him to the work 
a well trained mind, a large experience and much 
native energy, so that, as was predicted, he has 
proved a great success. Many difficulties have 
been overcome, the conditions of the property im- 
proved, the attendance increased and the course, 
academic, college and musical, is readily accepted 
without examination in the best institutions in 
the country. 

President Gray, while pastor in Windsor, 
married Miss Bessie Sutherland, only daughter 
of Mr. Donald Sutherland, manufacturer and 
miller of New Market, Ontario, and sister of the 
Hon. R. T. Sutherland, K. C, M. P., of Wind- 
sor, and at the present time speaker of the domin- 
ion house of commons. They have two daughters, 
Gertrude S. and Muriel J., who with President 
and Mrs. Gray and her aged mother, Mr. Suther- 
land, reside in the seminary building and form an 
interesting and important element in the social 
life of the institution. 

CHAPTER XV. 

LADIES' LIBRARY ASSOCIATION OF KALAMAZOO. 

From time to time in the "Burr Oak" village 
there had been gatherings for literary pursuits, 
but the hour came when it seemed necessary that 
these informal convenings should assume a more 
businesslike air. The Ladies' Library Associa- 
tion was organized at the home of Mrs. Frances 
Dennison, in January, 1852. The following la- 
dies were chosen its first board of directors : Mes- 
dames D. B. Webster, L. H. Stone, Lyman Ken- 
dall, Nathaniel A. Balch, Milo J. Goss, Bruce S. 
Travor, William Dennison, Elon G. Huntington. 
Miss Hannah L. Trask, now Mrs. H. L. Cornell, 
was its firstTibrarian. The library was formally 
opened on Friday, March i£, 1852, at the resi- 
dence of Col. G. W. Rice, where it was kept for 
a few weeks. • It was then removed to a small 
room over Austin & Tomlinson's store on the 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



107 



northwest corner of Main and Burdick streets, 
where it was held until the spring of 1853. In 
April of that year the supervisors, recognizing 
the importance of this organization and its. in- 
fluence upon this then village, placed at their dis- 
posal a pleasant room in the court house where 
the library found a home for nearly six years. In 
1859 the association was reorganized and incor- 
porated, new quarters secured in the southeast 
corner of the basement of the Baptist church, at 
a rental of thirty dollars a year, and occupied un- 
til 1867. Through the generosity of the board of 
village trustees, two rooms in Corporation Hall 
were obtained at a nominal sum of one dollar for 
years, and there it remained until October, 1878, 
when it returned to its old quarters in the Baptist 
church basement till the completion of its own 
library building, May, 1879. The lot upon which 
this building stands was presented by Mrs. Ruth 
Webster, costing one thousand three hundred and 
seventy-five dollars. The plan of the proposed 
home for the library, after its twenty-six years of 
frequent change, was furnished by a Chicago ar- 
chitect for seventy-five dollars. Frederick Bush 
contracted to erect the building for eight thousand 
dollars. The contract did not include stained 
glass windows, tiling the vestibule, gas fixtures, 
book cases or cabinets, mantels, nor any work 
outside the building. All these were added, with 
the stage and scenery, at a cost of about two 
thousand dollars. The cost of the stained glass 
windows was six hundred and fifty-two dollars, 
which was much under price, as the makers, W. 
H. Wells & Brother, would not duplicate them 
under fifteen hundred dollars. A building fund 
of something under two thousand dollars had 
accumulated through Mrs. Webster's careful 
management and this was raised to five thousand 
dollars by subscription ; the three thousand was 
borrowed from Mr. J. P. Woodbury, five hundred 
for two years and twenty-five hundred for three 
years, at seven per cent. No salary had been paid 
any officer of the association except to the libra- 
rian between the years i860 and 1863, when she 
received twenty-five dollars per annum. 

A "social meeting," as it was called, was held 
in the earlier years of its existence one afternoon 



each month, when papers were read and discus- 
sions held informally. An evening "reading 
class" was instituted in 1861, the first meeting be- 
ing at the home of Mrs. Alfred Thomas, where 
the Guild House stands, Mrs. James Hubbard and 
Mrs. L. H. Stone being the readers and all at- 
tending paying five cents. It was resumed the 
following winter with a season ticket of one dol- 
lar for those who chose, the profits being divided 
with the Soldiers' Aid Society. These fortnightly 
socials were continued, somewhat modified as to 
the entertainments, under the name of Library 
Socials, for several winters from 1863 to 1868. 
In the winter of 1867-8 Mrs. Stone gave a course 
of historical studies of twenty lessons. In Octo- 
ber, 1868, a second course was given; in January, 
1869, a third course of twelve lessons ; in October, 
1869, a fourth course was begun. The charge for 
these historical courses was at first five dollars, 
and then three, the profit being divided between 
Mrs. Stone and the association. A drawing class, 
under Mrs. John Cadman's instruction; a French 
class, taught by Mrs. Volney Hascall, in the sum- 
mer of 1873 ; winter lectures by distinguished 
lecturers were furnished each year from 1854 to 
1862, two or three years in connection with the 
Young Men's Library Association. Single lec- 
tures were given from time to time, notable 
among which, one by John B. Gough, the gross 
receipts of which were four hundred and ninety- 
two dollars. In 1870 a series of Shakesperian 
readings were kept up fortnightly in the evening. 
In the summer and fall of 1873 Mrs. Stone gave 
a series of conversations on foreign countries and 
travels. As an outgrowth of these classes came 
the Library Club in 1873. The annual member- 
ship fee was fifty cents till 1867, when it was in- 
creased to one dollar. 

To return to the building : Above the large 
front triple window may be seen the words "La- 
dies' Library," and in the stained glass the let- 
ters "L. L. A." The front lower window is 
called the Woman's window, the only one in- the 
building. - The center of the transom,, from Mrs* 
Browning's Aurora Leigh, ."Aurora and .Rod- 
ney,", on her birthday morn, "Aurora, the earliest 
of Auroras.". On each side of this are two of 



io8 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



the five learned women of Bologna, "Novella and 
Tambrone." The library transoms are to Amer- 
ican authors, Longfellow's "Courtship of Miles 
Standish," Bryant's poem "The Waterfall;' Whit- 
tier's "Mable Martin," Rip Van Winkle, met by 
his dog, belongs to Washington Irving. At the 
east end of the library is the memorial window, 
placed to the memory of Mrs. Ruth Webster by 
her many friends. The window is in three sec- 
tions, on the central of which is an oval, pointed 
at both top and bottom and inclosing a lozenge, a 
figure indicating, according to heraldry, that the 
deceased was of the female sex. Across this, on 
three transverse bands, we read "In Memoriam, 
Ruth W. Webster, Nov. 27, 1878." Two in- 
verted torches cross each other over the lozenge, 
emblematic of death; under the same an antique 
lamp burning, emblematic of life. The border 
of the oval is a design in mingled olive branches 
and ivy leaves ; the former meaning peace, the 
latter, immortality. About this central figure are 
various heraldic devices and conventionalized 
flowers. Above the oval in a medallion is a 
winged hour-glass, which tells the flight of time. 
Within a still higher compartment are heavenly 
cherubs and a crown, from either side of which 
falls a branch of pomegranate and palms ; the 
fruitful pomegranate tells of the blessedness of 
good works, when coupled with the victory of 
faith, while the crown and the angels speak of 
hope verified and the Christian inheritance gained. 
Beneath the oval, on a tablet, is inscribed, 
"Twenty-five years treasurer and fifteen years li- 
brarian of the L. L. A." About this entire di- 
vision runs a border of thorns and reeds, which 
bring to remembrance the person of the Savior. 
The left section is filled principally by the graceful 
leaves of the palm, everywhere emblematic of 
victory. In this same we find the lily, represent- 
ing purity, and a stalk of golden fleece, which be- 
ing interpreted, means the joy of heaven. On the 
center of one of these ribbons, running diagonally 
across the trunk of the palm, are placed the words, 
"Faithful unto death." The central portion of 
the section on the right is filled with ripe wheat 
and poppies, which tell of a life of good works 
and the final sleep of death. The motto here is, 



"She has wrought a good work." Above these 
sections in medallions are, on the left, the globe, 
book, ink stand with pens, etc., so frequently 
seen, and on the right a sickle and a handful of 
gathered grain. . The border on either side is 
conventionalized palms and roses of Sharon. 

The different transoms of the auditorium are 
devoted to Tennyson, with Scott and Burns on 
either side, Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe and the 
novelists, Dickens, Cooper and Hawthorne. An 
illustration for Tennyson's "Elaine" has been used 
for one of the decorations. "The Guardian Maid 
of the Strand," a scene from Scott's "Lady of the 
Lake," is the representative design for that au- 
thor. The Burns selection is "Tarn O'Shanter 
Crossing the Bridge," with the witches on the 
track and a real consolation it is that "A running 
stream they dare na cross." For the front window 
a scene from Shakespeare's "King Lear" stands 
between portraits of Dante and Michael Angelo, 
"Cordelia bending above and looking upon her 
sleeping father." The design illustrative of Mil- 
ton is from his life. The blind poet is dictating 
to his two daughters, loving and ever faithful, 
the words of his immortal poems. This brief but 
beautiful quotation from one of his shorter pro- 
ductions, accompanies the scene, "They also serve 
who only stand and wait." For Goethe, the scene 
is Faust in his library, but the words — 

"Here I stand with all my lore. 
Poor fool, no wiser than before" — 

must not be taken too literally, for the picture has 
him sitting down. The window of novelists has 
Dickens in the center. The illustration is from 
the "Old Curiosity Shop," being "Nell and her 
grandfather." Cooper is very well typified by 
two Indians looking at a dripping mill wheel; 
"The pale faces are masters of the world." Haw- 
thorne's "Hilda feeding the doves" comes from 
the "Marble Faun." 

All along through these years special effort 
has been made to adorn the walls. Admirable 
copies of paintings such as "Lot's Daughters," 
after Rubens' original in the Louvre; "Vittoria 
Colonna," Uffizi Gallery, painted by Michael An- 
gelo; also from the Uffizi Gallery at Florence, a 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



109 



pair of "Fra Angelico's Angels" ; a fine picture of 
"Dante and Beatrice/' from Ary Schefler. Dante 
says his last vision of his beloved was crowned 
among the supreme blessed as far above him as 
the region of thunder is above the center of the 
sea. The whole history may be found in the last 
cantos of the Purgatory continued, through the 
Paradise, to the scene which the painter has evi- 
dently chosen. A fine copy of "Madam Le Brun" 
of herself. "Love Triumphant" and "Love Treach- 
erous," originals in the Vatican, designed by Ra- 
phael and executed by his favorite pupil, Ginleo 
Romano. They are framed in Byzantine style. 
Albrect Durer," portrait of himself at Munich. 
"The Fonianno," after Raphael, in the Uffizi Gal- 
lery, Florence. "The Melon Eaters," after Mu- 
rillo, in the Pinakothek, Munich. "St. Cecilia," 
copied from Romanelli's original in the Capitol at 
Rome. "Street Musicians," after Van Ostade. 
"Pompeiian Ora," Raphael. Linda de Chamon in 
scene from opera, by Donizetti. Some fine land- 
scapes, the "Golden Gate," by L. Holtz, a Dan- 
ish artist ; "Pine Lake, Wisconsin" ; others by A. 
F. Bonier, Hansen, Knapp and Sanderson. To 
friends we are indebted to much of art presented ; 
to the Misses Helen and Mary Bates, Mrs. D. B. 
Webster, Mrs. John Cadman, Will Park, Walter 
O. Balch, Mrs. John Dudgeon, Miss Mary Pen- 
field, Mrs. W. H. De Yoe, Col. Robert Burns, 
Mrs. Lorenzo Eggleston. The pictures to which 
references has been made were purchased by a 
committee, some of whom were sent to Chicago to 
make selections. The committee consisted of Mrs. 
Van Wyck, Mrs. L. P. Sheldon and Mrs. J. B. 
Sill. The pictures from abroad were chosen by 
Mrs. Stone, not so much for the beauty of the 
nictures themselves, but because they seemed to 
have a special message to an organization like 
this. For instance, in the one of "Madam Le 
!>run," Mrs. Stone noted particularly the artist 
long contended with and over which she tri- 
umphed to become a member of the French Acad- 
emy of Arts. Madam Le Brun produced her best 
work at eighty. The lesson taught is only ob- 
tained by arduous self-training. In addition to 
these, we have hundred of large photographs of 



cathedrals, of ruins, of celebrated frescos and 
paintings, a megalithoscope. 

Would time permit, it would add interest to 
read the record of gifts received and the names 
of donors from the earliest day to the present, 
but Kalamazoo is under obligation to those who 
have with so much labor, time and money made 
these beautiful, instructive chef d'oeuvre accessi- 
ble to all. For the purchase of many of these we 
are largely indebted to the talents, musical and 
dramatic, of the people of Kalamazoo. Their ver- 
satility of genius and power of execution as a 
source of advancing the financial interest was ex- 
ceedingly gratifying. For the chairs in the audi- 
torium we are indebted to Dr. and Mrs. Joseph 
B. Sill. The chandelier was presented by Mrs. 
Van Huzen, of Albany, N. Y., a friend of Dr. and 
Mrs. E. H. Van Deusen; the latter made it pos- 
sible for it to be transported and placed in posi- 
tion, free to this institution. The cases and con- 
tents in this same room were gifts from Mr. and 
Mrs. Alfred Thomas. The president's table, to- 
gether with the sofa and large chair in the library, 
from Mrs. Ruth W. Webster. The piano from 
Mrs. Elia Marsh Walker, of Chicago. The 
handsome table in the library from Mrs. Benja- 
min F. Austin. The presentation of books and 
curios recall the names of Hon. Samuel Clark, 
Hon. Charles E. Stuart, Hon. David S. Wal- 
bridge, Dr. and Mrs. J. A. B. Stone, Hon. Allen 
Potter, to whom more than any one man we are 
indebted for our beautiful building, through his 
personal exertion among the friends of this asso- 
ciation. We can say "We owe no man." Colonel 
and Mrs. Curtenius, Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Seeley, 
Hon. and Mrs. Jonathan Parsons, Mr. and Mrs. 
George Torrey, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Peck, Mr. 
and Mrs. W. G. Dewing, Rev. and Mrs. Conover, 
Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Woodward, Mr. and Mrs. 
Kendall Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Babcock, 
Mrs. F. C. Van Wyck, Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Burn- 
ham, Judge and Mrs. H. G. Wells, Hon. and Mrs. 
N. A. Balch, Mr. and Mrs. E. Woodbury, Mr. 
and Mrs. L. H. Trask, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Cor- 
nell, Mrs. Emeline House, Mr. and Mrs. L. H. 
McDuffie, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Griffiths, Lieuten- 



na 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



ant Gardner, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Kate Bishop, Mr. 
and Mrs. L. P. Sheldon, Hon. and Mrs. J. C. 
Burroughs, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Blount, Mrs. 
Carrie Trask, Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Gibson, Mr. 
and Mrs. D. O. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Hill- 
house, Dr. and Mrs. H. O. Hitchcock, Rev. and 
Mrs. O. P. Hoyt, Mrs. L. E. Eames, Mr. and 
Mrs. D. Woodford, Dr. Maurice Gibbs, Lieut. 
Gov. Charles S. May and scores of others did 
time permit, who have generously contributed. 
The library shelves, with their over three thou- 
sand volumes, and the museum, bespeak the love 
that existed in their hearts for the betterment and 
enjoyment of those who might be privileged to 
enjoy this treasure house. It was founded in 
generosity and is conducted without pecuniary 
profit to any one. 

Mrs. John den Bleyker. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

LADIES' LIBRARY ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLCRAFT. 

The Schoolcraft Ladies' Library Association 
was organized July 8, 1879. There were eighteen 
charter members, and before the close of the year 
the number had increased to sixty-nine. The 
assets for. the year were the membership fees, the 
proceeds of a dinner furnished for the Pioneer 
Picnic, and a donation of twenty-five dollars from 
James H. Bates, given the week after organiza- 
tion. A part of this fund was immediately 
expended in the purchase of books, Hawthorne's 
works, the novels of Dickens, Scott, Thackeray 
and George Elliot, being included in the first 
purchase. 

Of the first large membership many never be- 
came working members, and dropped out at the 
close of the first year, and the club grew gradu- 
ally smaller until in the year 1883-4 often not 
more than four or five were present at its meet- 
ings. This was the most discouraging time in the 
history of the club, but a brighter day soon 
dawned. Mrs. L. H. Stone came to the rescue 
and directed the study of the club for two years. 
Many valuable books were bought on the sub- 
jects studied, a regular meeting place was ar- 



ranged at Mrs. Kirby's, and since that time the 
club has steadily advanced in influence and 
numbers. 

The society was incorporated under the name 
of the Ladies' Library Organization, in 1886, and 
some years later, finding its quarters too small 
for its growing library, as well as for the meet- 
ings of the club, the project of building was con- 
sidered. On October 8, 1895, at a regular meet- 
ing of the club, it was decided to purchase a lot 
and build a club house, and one year from that 
date, October 8, 1896, saw the building dedicated 
free from debt. Generous donations were re- 
ceived from the residents of the village and from 
friends away who had formerly lived here, the 
chief among these— save for Mr. Bates — being 
Prof. Edward M. Brown, of Cincinnati, Ohio. 
But to James H. Bates, of Brooklyn, N. Y., was 
the club indebted for its success, as he gave more 
than half the cost of the building. In addition to 
this he gave many valuable presents to the 
library from its organization in 1879 to n ^ s death 
in 1901. Among these are a collection of books 
formerly owned by Dr. Lyon, of Kalamazoo; a 
copy in oil of Andrea del Sarto's "Holy Family" ; 
a number of fine engravings of noted men ; several 
hundred dollars for the purchase of books ; a copy 
of the Latin poets bearing date of 1516, one of the 
famous Aldine editions ; the complete works of 
Sir Walter Scott, one hundred volumes, dated 
1834-38, containing illustrations by Turner, Land- 
seer and other noted English artists ; a Knight's 
Shakespeare; and a work on natural history of 
forty volumes beautifully illustrated with colored 
drawings. 

The club house owned by the Ladies' Library 
Association is located on Hay ward street. It is 
built of red brick, with slate roof, and consists of 
one story and basement. There is a well lighted 
assembly room, a vestibule, and a book room con- 
taining on its shelves about fourteen hundred well 
selected books. 

The association is now entering upon the 
tenth year of occupancy of its pleasant club house 
with a membership of seventy-nine. Its meetings 
are held weekly on Tuesdays at 2 130 P. M. These 
and many other matters relative to the club may 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



in 



be found in its printed calendars, which have 
been issued yearly since 1895-6.' The officers 
for the present year 1905-6, are Miss Ella 
Thomas, president; Mrs. Alice Shaw, secretary; 
Mrs. L. A. Brown, treasurer, and Miss Mary P. 
Cobb, librarian. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS. 

The many churches and religious institutions 
that flourish in Kalamazoo speak well for the char- 
acter of her citizens in general. All of these in- 
stitutions show a decided gain in membership 
from year to year, and their influence is widely 
extended. 

The churches supported by the citizens of 
Kalamazoo represent thousands and thousands 
of dollars in property, and are gems of ecclesi- 
astical architecture. They are well supported in 
every way, and their excellent locations and beauti- 
ful buildings speak well for the financial condi- 
tions and generosity of Kalamazoo people. Their 
ministers number among Kalamazoo's most prince- 
ly and cultured men, and are respected and loved 
by the community in which they dwell. 

There are few cities in the United States that 
have a church-seating capacity of sixty per cent. 
of the entire population, but this is what Kala- 
mazoo has. Nearly seventy per cent, of her peo- 
ple are church adherents, and thirty per cent, are 
church communicants. Kalamazoo, a city of thirty 
thousand inhabitants, has twenty-six churches, and 
five miscellaneous religious institutions, and of 
this number four are Baptist churches, five are 
Methodist Episcopal, two are Presbyterian, five 
are Dutch Reformed, and two are Lutheran. 

St. Luke's Episcopal church is one of the 
handsomest edifices in the city, and, together with 
St. Luke's Parish House, the gift of Dr. and Mrs. 
E. H. Van Deusen, forms one of the most beauti- 
ful sites in the city. It is located on west Lovell 
street, and is built in the form of the Greek cross, 
with a handsome entrance tower in the northeast 
corner. The English ivy that overgrows the 
white stone gives it an air of beauty, peace and 



quiet. The interior is even more beautiful, the 
color scheme being soft browns and reds. It 
is one of the most beautiful churches of its size 
in the country. The chancel and altar are beauti- 
ful in every detail, as is also the small chapel open- 
ing off from the east transept. Inside of this 
beautiful house of God, peace truly settles on one's 
soul. It has an exquisite and costly pulpit, read- 
ing desk, litany desk and baptismal font. The 
parish house is also of white stone and is as well 
equipped and handsome in appearance and con- 
struction as could be imagined. 

The history of St. Luke's Episcopal church is 
very interesting. It was organized on March 
22, 1837, and held services on the site now occu- 
pied by the Y. M. C. A. The Rev. John Fenton 
was chosen rector in 1839. In i860 the church 
divided into two bodies, St. John's and St. Luke's 
church. Under the leadership of the Rev. Robert 
Ellis Jones these two parishes were united in 
1884, and soon afterward the present church 
was erected. The present rector of St. Luke's 
is the Rev. Hanson Peters, who was chosen in 
1902. Some of Kalamazoo's oldest and most rep- 
resentative citizens are members of St. Luke's 
vestry. 

The beautiful and costly church of the Roman 
Catholics, which is elsewhere described, is one 
of the largest and most attractive churches in 
Michigan and has a large congregation. This 
church is built on the Norman order, with two 
fine towers. 

The First Presbyterian is the largest of like 
denomination in the city, and is situated on the 
corner of Rose and South streets, opposite the 
Public Library. It is in the style of the Renais- 
sance, and is complete in appointments, and ex- 
ceedingly convenient and roomy. It tends toward 
the cheerful in both arrangement and decoration, 
and has one of the largest congregations in the 
city. The present building was erected in 1884 
Dr. H. W. Gelston is the present pastor. The 
other Presbyterian church is the North Presby- 
terian church, located at the corner of north 
Burdick and Ransom streets. This is an attractive 
church, whose seats are always well filled. 

The First Congregational church, beautifully 



112 



COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY OF 



located on the corner of Park and South streets, 
opposite Bronson Park, is a comparatively new 
edifice. The church was organized in 1835. The 
present building unites the advantages of a large 
auditorium, Sunday-school room, parlors and 
kitchen. It is a building of modern design, and 
has unusually handsome windows. The Rev. S. 
Woodbury was the first pastor, and the present 
one is the Rev. Howard Murray Jones. The 
present membership is over six hundred. 

Of the many Methodist Episcopal churches in 
Kalamazoo, the First Methodist is the largest 
and oldest. It is situated at the corner of Lovell 
and Rose streets and is of Norman-Gothic style 
of architecture, having a handsome steeple. The 
present minister is the Rev. W. M. Puffer, who 
was called here in 1901. * The first Methodist 
sermon preached in Kalamazoo was delivered by 
the Rev. James T. Rabe at the home of Titus 
Bronson in 1832. The first church stood at the 
corner of South and Henrietta streets, the second 
on Church and Academy streets and the present 
edifice was built in 1867. The congregation num- 
bers seven hundred members. The other churches 
of like denomination are the Simpson Methodist 
Episcopal church, at the corner of Elm and North 
streets, the Damon Methodist Episcopal church 
in Portage street, the East Avenue Methodist 
church, Grant Chapel and the Free Methodist 
church on First street. 

The First Baptist church, one of the oldest in 
the city, is „ situated at the corner of Main and 
Church streets, and is of the Gothic order of 
architecture, having a tall tower from which deep 
toned bells peal forth the hour of day. It is a 
large church and prosperous in many ways. This 
church was organized in 1836, the first pastor 
being the Rev. Jeremiah Hall. The present 
pastor is the Rev. J. E. Smith and the congre- 
gation numbers about seven hundred members. 



Other Baptist churches are the Bethel Baptist, 
on north Edwards street, the Portage Baptist, 
on the corner of Portage and Lake streets, and 
the Second Baptist church, at the corner of Kala- 
mazoo avenue and Walbridge streets. 

One of the finest and most modern church 
edifices in the city is the People's church, at the 
corner of Park and Lovell streets. This is built 
of beautiful red sandstone, and has a large audi- 
torium and parlors. The Rev. Caroline Bart- 
lett Crane, widely known throughout Michigan 
and the middle west, was for many years the 
pastor of this church. The present pastor of 
this Unitarian church is the Rev. Joseph P. 
MacCarthy. 

A recent addition to Kalamazoo's list of 
churches, which is already long, is the Christian 
Science church, located at the corner of South and 
Park streets, facing Bronson Park. This church 
has come rapidly to the front and is increasing 
almost daily in membership. This church, which 
was organized in 1898, has an attendance of over 
one hundred and fifty. 

The Jewish Synagogue, located on east South 
street, is one of the oldest churches in the city, 
and has a large and devoted congregation. 

Aside from the churches already mentioned, 
there are many smaller ones, such as the First, 
Second, Third and Fourth Dutch Reformed 
churches. Of the miscellaneous religious organ- 
izations there is the Salvation Army, whose bar- 
racks are on North Rose street, the Loyal Tem- 
perance Legion, the Church of God, the Bethany 
Mission and the Douglass Avenue Mission Hall. 
All of these religious institutions are steadily gain- 
ing in strength and influence. Their well filled 
congregation rooms on Sunday mornings be- 
speaks the nature of most of Kalamazoo's citi- 
zens who so loyally revere and support these 
institutions. 



PART SECOND 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY 
MICHIGAN 



LARGELY BIOGRAPHICAL 



We have undertaken to discourse for a little upon Men, their 
manner of appearance in our World's business, how they have 
shaped themselves in the World's history, what ideas other 
men have formed of them, what work they did. -CARLYLE. 



CHICAGO: 

A. W. BOWKN & CO. 

1906 



7-8 



The wheels now roll in fire and thunder, 

To bear us on with startling speed; 
They shake the dust of Nations under 

The flowers of forest, mount and mead. 
The old-time worthies still are near; 
The spirit of the Past is here: 
And, where we tread, the old mound builders 

Looked forward through the mist of Time 
As we look back. The scene bewilders, 

And all the distance is sublime. 





•&<sCs<L&o^. 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY 



OF 



KALAMAZOO CO., MICHIGAN 



DR. E. H. VAN DEUSEN. 

The kind and beneficent face of Dr. E. H. 
Van Deusen, one of Kalamazoo's oldest and most 
honored physicians, is doubtless known to every 
resident in Kalamazoo county. His deeds of phi- 
lanthropy, done in his quiet and modest way, and 
his noble character have won for him the love of 
hundreds who have in some way been benefited 
by him. Affable and courteous in his manner 
towards all, he is exceedingly unobtrusive and re- 
tiring; fond of domestic life and the society of 
i.iends, but shunning crowds, both social and po- 
litical. The public knows but little of the count- 
less deeds of charity and helpfulness due to the 
kindly hearts and gracious hands of Dr. Van 
Deusen and his devoted wife, both of whose lives 
should a'ct as a spur to good deeds. Edwin H. 
Van Deusen, A. M., M. D., was born at 
Livingston, Columbia county, New York, 
(M August 29, 1828. His parents were 
Robert N. Van Deusen, a merchant and miller, 
•''•id Catherine Best, daughter of John Best, a 
farmer of Columbia county. He attended the dis- 
trict school during his boyhood, and then took a 
preparatory course of three years at Claverack 
- cademy, now known as Hudson River Institute, 
alter which he entered Williams College, gradu- 



ating at the age of twenty. The degree of Master 
of Arts was conferred upon him three years later 
by this college. In 1848 he entered the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons at New York, gradu- 
ating two years later, at which time he accepted 
a position on the staff of the New York Hospital, 
where he remained three years. In 1853 he re- 
ceived the appointment of first assistant physician 
at the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, 
which he held until 1858. Provision was made 
for the establishment of the Michigan Asylum for 
the Insane by an act of the legislature of Michi- 
gan in 1848, and in 1855 Dr. Van Deusen was ap- 
pointed medical superintendent of the institution. 
The locating committee purchased one hundred 
and fifty-seven acres of land for the establishment 
of the institution, and Dr. Van Deusen, who had 
visited Kalamazoo frequently in 1855, 1856 and 
1857 resigned his position at the Utica Asylum, 
of which he was then assistant medical superin- 
tendent, and removed to Kalamazoo in the fall of 
1858. On July 22, 1858, he had married Miss 
Cynthia A. Wendover, daughter of John Thomp- 
son Wendover, Esq., a merchant of Stuyvesant- 
on-the-Hudson. They have one son, Robert T. 
Van Deusen, who was born on April 6, 1859. He 
is now married and resides at Stuyvesant, 
N. Y. Up to 1858 the appropriations by the legis- 



n8 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



lature for the asylum had been insufficient to carry 
out the proposed plans, and in February, 1859, 
Dr. Van Deusen, with the assistance of Dr. Fos- 
ter Pratt, secured one hundred thousand dollars, 
the first large appropriation of the legislature. 
Under his supervision, active building operations 
were commenced. On August 29, 1859, the in- 
stitution was formally opened. The center build- 
ing and the contiguous half of what is now the 
south wing of the female department were then 
finished ; the south wing was completed in the 
next two years, and the north wing about six 
years later, while what is now the male depart- 
ment was finished in 1877. Dr. Van Deusen at- 
tained a success in this work that is seldom met 
with in the history of public buildings of this 
character. Dr. Van Deusen served as a member 
of the commission appointed to select the loca- 
tion and supervise the construction of the Eastern 
Michigan Asylum for the Insane at Pontiac, and 
acted on a similar commission in connection with 
the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane at 
Traverse City. He also served for six years as a 
commissioner on the Michigan state board of 
charities and corrections. He held the position of 
medical superintendent of the asylum until Feb- 
ruary, 1878, when failing health, brought on by 
excessive labor, compelled his resignation. Pos- 
sessed of a thorough knowledge of the institu- 
tion's requisites, a wonderful grasp of detail, and 
a brilliant executive ability, his name was a 
synonym of success in a broad field of labor — that 
of treating and caring for the insane of the state. 
His health has not permitted the active contin- 
uance of his profession, and since his resignation 
as medical superintendent of the asylum he has 
lived a quiet life in his pleasant home in Kalama- 
zoo, but his twenty years of useful labor and self- 
sacrificing work in connection with the asylum 
will never be forgotten. Both he and his wife are 
active and devoted members of St. Luke's Epis- 
copal church, at which they are constant attend- 
ants, Dr. Van Deusen having served on the vestry 
for years, and having been chairman of the build- 
ing committee when the church was built in 1885. 
In 1892 St. Luke's church, through Dr. and Mrs. 
Van Deusen, secured its admirable parish house, 



which is justly regarded as one of the most 
commodious and attractive in the country. 
Aside from this they performed another great act 
of public benevolence — by presenting to the citi- 
zens of Kalamazoo their present beautiful public 
library. Thus they have founded a great public 
benefaction, of which every intelligent member 
of the community can partake for all time to 
come. All of these deeds of charity and public 
benevolence have been done without any ostenta- 
tion, and when known, Mr. and Mrs. Van Deusen 
have discouraged public notice of them. 

THE ECLIPSE GOVERNOR COMPANY. 

This' progressive and enterprising corpora- 
tion, whose product is one of the most useful and 
effective for its purposes of all the varied devices 
manufactured in Kalamazoo county, which is a 
verv prolific region in industrial invention and 
activity, was founded as a copartnership in 1892, 
with J. E. Kimble, Ransom Kimble and Dr. Mc- 
Kain. They started an enterprise in the manufac- 
ture of the Eclipse governor for use on steam 
engines, and continued their operations under the 
partnership until 1899, when they organized the 
stock company which now conducts the business, 
with a capital stock of twenty thousand dollars, 
of which eight thousand dollars were paid in. 
and J. E. Kimble, president, Mrs. Frankie Kim- 
ble, vice-president, and Roy C. Kimble, secretary 
and treasurer. In 1900 the company built its 
present plant, which has a capacity of three thou- 
sand five hundred governors per year, and the 
output of which is sold in all parts of the United 
States and portions of Canada. The industry 
employs regularly more than thirty men and the 
demand for the product is always equal to if not 
ahead of the supply. Emory Kimble is the in- 
ventor of the governor, as he is of many other 
useful mechanical contrivances which are manu- 
factured in this neighborhood. He invented the 
accolating piston engine known as the Kimble 
engine, which was formerly manufactured by the 
Kimble Engine Company of Comstock, capital- 
ized at seventy-five thousand dollars, that after- 
ward became the Comstock Manufacturing Com- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



119 



pany, and is still operating under that name. He 
then designed and built the Jewel auto engine, 
made first and now by the C. H. Dutton Company, 
of Kalamazoo, which is still a much desired and 
extensively used mechanism and has a large sale. 
Later Mr. Kimble designed the Gem automatic 
engine for the Clark Manufacturing Company, of 
Kalamazoo, and still later the governor now made 
by the Eclipse Governor Company of Vicksburg. 
Mr. Kimble, whose inventive genius and me- 
chanical skill have been so prolific and have en- 
riched the industrial life of this county with so 
many useful creations for the convenience of man 
and the benefit of manufactures, was born in the 
county, Brady township, on November 16, 1850, 
and is the son of Lewis C. and Amanda M. (Os- 
born) Kimble, venerated pioneers of the county, 
who have long been at rest from earthly labor 
and a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in 
this volume. Their son Emory was reared and 
educated in his native township, leaving the home 
farm at the age of twenty, and entering the gro- 
cery trade in company with his father at Vicks- 
burg. In 1873 tne } 7 s °ld the grocery business to 
Manfred Hill, who is still conducting it. The 
younger Mr. Kimble then began operating one 
of the first steam threshers in the county, and was 
engaged in that needful and appreciative occupa- 
tion four years, after which he invented a sepa- 
rator, and, in partnership with J. K. Wagner and 
John Fleming, under the firm name of the Kim- 
ble Manufacturing Company, manufactured the 
same until they sold the business to den Blyker. 
In company with him Mr. Kimble was then en- 
gaged for a time in the manufacture of threshing 
engines, and later became associated with the 
Corn stock Manufacturing Company. He is a 
stockholder in and the president of the Dentler 
Bagger Company of Vicksburg, and connected 
with other enterprises of great benefit to the com- 
munity. In 1874 he was married to Miss Frankie 
Garland, a native of Albion, Calhoun county. 
they have two children, their son Roy and their 
daughter Blanch, wife of Ed. Sergent. In poli- 
ces Mr. Kimble is a Democrat and as such has 
filled a number of local offices. Fraternally he is 
an Elk. 



E. C. RISHEL. 

One of the most prominent and successful 
business men of Vicksburg, and a leading and rep- 
resentative citizen of his township in all phases 
of its public life, E. C. Rishel has been a factor of 
consequence in the development of this part of 
the state. He is orie of the oldest merchants in 
the village, in continuity of mercantile life here, 
having been established in the same trade and 
store for a period of about twenty-six years. He 
was born in Park township, St. Joseph county, 
Mich.,- on January 16, 1855, and is the son of 
John and Hannah (Kaufman) Rishel, who were 
born and reared in Columbia county, Pa. The 
father was a blacksmith and also followed farm- 
ing. He removed from his native state to Summit 
county, Ohio, and after a short residence there 
came to Michigan in 1854. A few months after his 
arrival in this state, during which he lived in St. 
Joseph county, he moved to Kalamazoo county 
and located in Brady township, where he bought 
one hundred acres of wild land. On this he built 
a frame dwelling in which he took up his resi- 
dence in 1855, an d at once began to clear, break 
up and cultivate his land. He lived on the farm 
and devoted his energies to its improvement until 
his death, in 1893, his wife passing away a few 
months before him. They had two children, their 
son E. C. and a daughter, who died in infancy. 
The father was a leading Democrat but never 
sought office. He and his wife were active mem- 
bers of the English Lutheran church of Brady 
township. Mr. Rishel's paternal grandfather was 
John Rishel, a prosperous farmer of Pennsyl- 
vania, who passed the whole of his life in that 
state. E. C. Rishel, the immediate subject of this 
sketch, grew to manhood in Brady township, this 
county, and obtained his education in the district 
schools. He remained on the home farm with 
his parents until he was twenty-four years of 
age, then moved to Vicksburg and started the 
hardware business in which he is still engaged, 
and has been continuously on the same site and 
in the same building ever since he started. He 
has taken an active part in various industrial and 
commercial enterprises of merit in his township, 



120 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



and has been a helpful force in building them up 
and fostering them to good advantage. He is now 
a stockholder in the Railway Supply Company of 
Vicksburg, and also owns the home farm and an- 
other which he purchased some years ago. In 
1877 ne was married at Three Rivers to Miss 
Melissa J. Mohney, who was born in Pennsyl- 
vania and is a daughter of Abram Mohney, an 
early settler in this county. They have no chil- 
dren. Politically Mr. Rishel is a Democrat, but 
he has never been an active partisan, and takes 
but a good citizen's general interest in political 
contests, neither seeking nor desiring political 
honors for himself, although he has served three 
years as treasurer of the local school board. Fra- 
ternally he is a Freemason, and has been the 
worshipful master of his lodge four years. He 
and his wife belong to the Congregational church, 
and he is treasurer of the organization. Mr. 
Rishel's business has occupied the greater part of 
his time and attention, and he has built it up to 
fine proportions and won for it an unassailable 
standing in the confidence and good will of the 
community and the trade in general. 

ROBERT BAKER. 

The American progenitors of the Baker fam- 
ily, to which the subject of this review belongs, 
came to. this country and settled in Rhode Island 
in early colonial times. Their firmness of con- 
viction and love of freedom led them to the colony 
founded by Roger Williams, which was then the 
only place of safety in New England for persons 
of the Quaker sect to which they belonged. In 
that colony Reuben Baker, the grandfather of 
Robert, was born and reared. When a young man 
he moved to New York state and there farmed 
until his death, at the age of about sixty-five years. 
One of his six sons was Reuben Baker, Jr., Rob- 
ert's father, who was born at Easton, Washington 
county, N. Y., in 1795, and in early life was a 
shoemaker, carrying on extensively for that day. 
and employing a number of men in his shops. 
Later he turned his attention to farming, at which 
he continued until his death at the age of seventy- 
two years, passing his whole life in his native 



township. His wife, whose maiden name was 
Martha Potter, and who was a daughter of Da- 
vid Potter, an orthodox Quaker born in Rhode 
Island, was also a native of Washington county, 
N. Y., and was born at Grandville in 1801. She 
reared a family of six children, and died when 
she was forty-five years old. Robert Baker was 
born at Easton, Washington county, N. Y., on 
December 6, 1824. After a preparatory course 
in the district schools he attended the State Nor- 
mal School at Albany three terms, and from the 
age of nineteen to that of twenty-four taught 
school in the winter months. After that he de- 
voted his entire time to the profession until 1866. 
For some time he taught the new method of local 
geography at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., then, in 
the spring of 1850, came west to Racine, Wis., 
where he clerked in a dry-goods store. Soon aft- 
erward he bought the Racine Academy, which he 
conducted three years. After selling it he became 
the first teacher in the graded schools of Delavan, 
Wis., and filled his position there three years. 
During the next four years he taught in the 
graded schools at Darien, that state, later return- 
ing to Delavan and opening a book and music 
store. Two and a half months after he embarked 
in this mercantile enterprise the block in which 
his store was located was burned, and he then 
moved to Oxford, Wis., and again taught school, 
also managing a farm that was occupied by a ten- 
ant and comprised one hundred and sixty acres. 
He also owned eighty acres of woodland in that 
section of the country. In the fall of 1865 he 
moved to Breedsville, Mich., where he taught five 
terms in the graded schools and served as post- 
master from 1866 until 1877, carrying on at the 
same time a general merchandising business. 
Prior to this, however, in March, 1864, he enlisted 
in Company D, Nineteenth Wisconsin Infamry, 
which soon afterward became a part of the Army 
of the Cumberland. On the third day after the 
regiment reached Virginia it participated in an 
engagement at Ball's Bluff, and for two successive 
days suffered defeat. After a period of encamp- 
ment behind entrenchments at Bermuda Hun- 
dred, the command was marched to Petersburg, 
and there Mr. Baker served as adjutant's clerk and 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



121 



kept account of the dead and wounded, perform- 
ing his duty in the midst of a continual shower 
of shot and shell. He was promoted to service 
at headquarters under General Burnside, in the 
Eighteenth Army Corps, and assigned to duty as 
clerk in the mustering office. Becoming ill, he 
was sent to the general hospital in Hampton 
Roads in August, and when he left the hospital 
in the following November he returned to his old 
New York home. Here his relatives failed to rec- 
ognize him, as rheumatism compelled him to use 
crutches, and his weight was reduced from one 
hundred and fifty-five pounds to one hundred and 
sixteen pounds. On February 17, 1865, he re- 
turned to headquarters, but on reaching Fortress 
Monroe was pronounced unfit for duty, and was 
appointed by General Butler principal of a col- 
ored school at Hampton Roads, where he re- 
mained until his discharge from military service 
on June 23, 1865. After the war he was almost 
helpless for some time from the disabilities he 
incurred in the service, but he never applied for 
a pension until 1878, when he received one of 
four dollars a month for three years, and this 
has since been increased to sixteen. This he is 
pleased to have as a recognition of his services 
rather than as a compensation for the loss of his 
health. Returning to this county after the close 
of the sanguinary strife between the sections of 
our unhappy country, Mr. Baker located at 
Yicksburg in 1877, an ^ was actively engaged in 
merchandising at that place in drugs, groceries, 
wall paper, paints, crockery and glassware. His 
two-story brick store contained a complete stock 
oi" goods in his several lines, valued at several 
thousand dollars, and his trade amounted to a 
large amount every year. Mr. Baker retired 
from business in January, 1903, and now lives 
retired in Vicksburg. He owns the foundry 
building near the railroad station in the village, 
a. 1 his fine frame dwelling at Water and Prairie 
sheets. One of the leading men of the town, he 
i' : also one of its most influential and representa- 
ti e citizens, active in every endeavor to develop 
av-(l improve it and earnest in the promotion of 
evrry element of its intellectual and civil life. 



He was married in 1847 to Miss Lydia S. Conger, 
a native of Danby, Vt, who died on March 15, 
1897, leaving four children, George R., a drug- 
gist in Chicago; Etta M., wife of Marshall Best, 
a farmer of Brady township ; and Herbert G. and 
Herman D., twins, the former of whom has since 
died, and the latter is now in business with his 
father. On October 23, 1897, the father married 
a second wife, Mrs. Sarah (Patterson) Wilbur. 
She has five children born of her former mar- 
riage: Sibyl, wife of George R. Baker; Chloe, 
wife of J. E. Cannon, of Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Isa- 
belle, wife of Henry Kunselman, t of Mendon, 
Mich. ; Emory, of Vicksburg, this county ; and 
Blanch, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Mrs. Baker's par- 
ents were William and Mary Patterson, the 
former a native of Ireland and the latter of Penn- 
sylvania. They were pioneers of St. Joseph 
county, this state, settling on Portage Lake sixty- 
four years ago. The father died in that county 
and the mother at Mishawaka, Ind. Mr. Baker 
is. one of the oldest citizens of the county, and 
his residence of twenty-eight years within its 
borders has given a wide acquaintance with its 
people, among whom he walks as a venerated 
patriarch of high character, lofty aspirations and 
long usefulness to his kind in peace and war. 

DR. FRANK S. COLLER. 

This widely known and highly appreciated 
physician and surgeon of Kalamazoo county, who 
has been in an active general practice at Vicks- 
burg during all of the last eighteen years, is a 
native of the county, born in Wakeshma township 
on August 11, 1864. His parents were Dr. Eli 
H. and Mirrandad R. (Smith) Coller, natives of 
the state of New York. The father who was long 
a leading physician and surgeon in this state, and 
received his professional training at the State 
University at Ann Arbor, being graduated with 
the class of 1857 or 1858, was brought to Michi- 
gan in 1836 by his parents when he was but two 
years old. The family settled in Lenawee county, 
where the parents passed the remainder of their 
lives. Dr. Frank S. Coller's father served as sur- 



122 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



geon in the First Michigan Cavalry during the 
Civil war, being promoted to that position from 
that of assistant surgeon of the Twelfth Michigan 
Cavalry, enlisting in 1863 and serving three 
years, participating in all the engagements of his 
command during the period of the war in his 
term. He moved to Wakeshma township, this 
county, in 1859 an( ^ settled on a farm which he 
worked in connection with his practice. His 
earlier fees for professional service were paid in 
maple sugar which he exchanged at Kalamazoo 
for supplies, one pound of quinine costing thirty 
pounds of sugar. In 1872 he moved to Climax, 
where he lived until 1874, when he went to Cali- 
fornia in company with Dr. Sealey, remaining 
until 1877. He then returned to this state and 
located at Athens, removing later to Battle Creek, 
where he died on December 13, 1903. His wife 
died in 1879. They had four sons and one daugh- 
ter. Two of these are living, the Doctor and his 
brother, Dr. E. H. Coller, one of the leading den- 
tists of Battle Creek. The father married as his 
second wife Miss Hester Foote, of Athens, who is 
still living. The Doctor's grandfather was Jesse 
Coller, a Michigan farmer who died in Lenawee 
county. The Doctor grew to manhood and was 
educated in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties. He 
began his professional studies under the direction 
of his father, and in 1884 entered the medical de- 
partment of the university at Ann Arbor, and 
from this he was graduated in 1887. I n J ur y °f 
that year he began practicing at Vicksburg, and 
he has followed his profession here ever since, 
growing into a large and representative practice 
and "establishing himself firmly in the regard and 
good will of the people. He has taken post-grad- 
uate courses in the polytechnic schools at Chicago 
and Ann Arbor, and has kept in the active cur- 
rents of medical thought and discovery by zealous 
and serviceable membership in the county and 
state medical societies, the Kalamazoo Academy 
of Medicine and the American Medical Associa- 
tion. He was married at Mendon, Mich., on De- 
cember 24, 1889, to Miss Vianna Jenkinson, a 
daughter of Francis Jenkinson, one of the hon- 
ored pioneers of Kalamazoo county. They have 
one child, their son Russell J. Politically the 



Doctor is independent, but his interest in the com- 
munity in which he lives has been shown by six 
years' service and usefulness on the board of 
village trustees. Fraternally he belongs to the 
Knights of Pythias and the order of Odd Fellows. 

DAVID FISHER. 

David Fisher, one of the few pioneers of Kala- 
mazoo county' now left, was born at Wrentham, 
Mass., September 30, 1827. His parents were 
David A. and Sarah (Comstock) Fisher, both na- 
tives of Massachusetts. The father served in 
Massachusetts as sheriff and other public offices. 
He came to Michigan in 1856, coming direct to 
Kalamazoo, and was widely known as an auction- 
eer throughout the county. He died in Kalama- 
zoo. The mother died in Massachusetts, on Sep- 
tember 29, 1854. They had seven children, and 
all are dead but our subject and Mrs. F. S. Cobb, 
of Kalamazoo, and Mrs. S. A. Loomis, also of 
Kalamazoo. Our subject was reared and edu- 
cated in Massachusetts to the age of fifteen years, 
attending the common schools and Day's Acad- 
emy. In 1845 ne came to Michigan, coming di- 
rect to Kalamazoo. He went to Schoolcraft and 
clerked in the general store of S. S. Cobb & 
Company, remaining there two years, and then 
came to Kalamazoo, where he has since resided. 
In 1854 he opened a crockery store and later took 
as a partner Thomas S. Cobb, under the firm 
name of Cobb & Fisher. They continued in busi- 
ness for thirty years, erecting what is known as 
the Steam's block. Mr. Fisher retired in 1884. 
Since then he has filled various positions of trust . 
He has served as an officer of the Children's 
Home, of Kalamazoo, for the past twenty-six 
years as treasurer. He was one of the original 
stockholders and builders of the Kalamazoo & 
South Haven Railroad, serving as treasurer of the 
same, which was later sold to the Michigan Cen- 
tral Railroad. He has served as superintendent 
of the Mountain Home Cemetery for the past 
fifteen years. He has been an officer and member 
of St. Luke's church for the past fifty-two years. 
He is interested in various other enterprises here 
and in the state. Mr. Fisher was married June 




DAVID FISHKR. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



125 



29, 1853, in Kalamazoo, to Sarah C. Weever, a 
native of New Hampshire. She came to Kala- 
mazoo with her parents, Constine P. and Sarah 
(Willard) Weever, in 1834, they locating in 
Kalamazoo, where she grew to womanhood. She 
died April 14, 1905. She was a member of St. 
Luke's for fifty-two years. 

CHARLES S. COOLEY. 

After many long years of persistent .industry, 
prosperous operations and useful service to the 
community in which he lived, Charles S. Cooley, 
of Vicksburg, this county, is now living retired 
from active pursuits, enjoying the fruits of his 
long labor, the universal respect of his fellow 
citizens and the rest he has so well earned. He 
was born in Steuben county, N. Y., on April 8, 
1848, and is the son of Calvin W. and Celinda 
(Davis) Cooley, the former a native of Ohio 
and the latter of New York state. The father was 
born at Dover, Ohio, in 18 18, and removed to the 
state of New York when he was about eighteen 
years old. There he engaged in various business 
callings and served a term as sheriff of Steuben 
county. In 1856 he came to Kalamazoo county 
and bought eighty acres of woodland in Pavilion 
township, only seven acres of which w T ere cleared. 
The county around him was almost in its pristine 
wilderness, with wild game abundant, and beasts 
of prey too numerous for safety or comfort to 
the newcomers. He cleared his farm and added 
to it until he owned over four hundred acres, all 
of which he cleared and nearly all of which he 
brought to an advanced state of cultivation. On 
this farm he lived until 1871, then moved to 
Vicksburg, where his wife died on January 2, 
1891, and he in March, 1901. In 1880 he went to 
North Dakota with his son Charles and purchased 
four and one-half sections of land in Cass county. 
But he returned soon afterward to this county, 
and passed the remainder of his life at Vicksburg. 
Three sons and one daughter were born in the 
household, and of these, two sons and the daugh- 
ter are living. Ernest D. is a resident of Colorado 
Springs, Colo., and the daughter, Hattie, is now 
Mrs. E. W. Carter, of this countv. The father 



was a man of prominence here and filled a number 
of township offices in Pavilion township. He was 
a Whig in early life, but later became a Democrat. 
The mother was an active member of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. They were successful in 
farming and raising live stock, and were well 
known and highly esteemed throughout the 
county. Charles S. Cooley has passed nearly all 
of his life except the first eight years in this 
county, and has been fully identified with the 
progress and development of the section and the 
aspirations and 'endeavors of its people. He re- 
ceived his education in the district schools, the 
Union School of Kalamazoo, and the commercial 
school at Battle Creek. He remained on the home 
farm, in the operation of which he was largely con- 
cerned until his removal to North Dakota in 1880. 
There he engaged in general farming and raising 
stock until 1895, when he returned to Vicksburg. 
where he has since resided. He owns and until 
recently worked a large farm near the village. 
On June 7, 1877, he was married to Miss Ella A. 
Neasmith, a daughter of James M. and Susan E. 
(Dvkeman) Neasmith, the former born in Man- 
chester, England, on September 26, 1823, and the 
latter at Canajoharie, N. Y., on September 20. 
1824. The father attended the district schools # in 
Genesee county, N. Y., and after coming of age 
passed five months at the Carey Collegiate Insti- 
tute at Oakfield, that county. He afterward 
taught school two years, then made flour barrels 
one year, and kept a hotel at East Pembroke three 
years. From then until 1853 he was engaged ih 
general merchandising at East Pembroke in part- 
nership with John A. Willett. In the year last 
mentioned he sold his interest in the store and 
came to this county in the fall. He bought two 
hundred and eighty acres of land, a part of his 
present farm, which was but partially improved. 
On July 1, 1847, ne united in marriage with Miss 
Susan E. Dykeman, and of this union three chil- 
dren were born, Ella A. (Mrs. Cooley), George 
E. and Fred W. Mr. Neasmith had five hundred 
and thirty acres of fine land in one body, of which 
three hundred and fifty acres are well improved. 
He is now deceased. He was a strong Republican 
in his political views, and was elected to the state 



126 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



senate in 1870 and again in 1872, serving during 
the winters of 187 1-2 and 1873-4. He took an 
active part in legislation during the sessions and 
introduced and secured the passage of a number 
of important laws. He served as commissioner 
of the state land office from 1878 to 1882, and 
during his tenure of the office made important 
improvements in the way of managing its busi- 
ness. For eight years he was one of the trustees 
of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Flint in Gen- 
esee county. He took the position against his 
will but at the express solicitation of Governor 
Croswell, who said he was "dissatisfied with the 
management of the institution and desired to in- 
fuse new blood into it." Mr. Neasmith inaugu- 
rated several reforms in the management and 
methods of conducting the business which were 
greatly to the advantage of the asylum. He has 
also served as commissioner of corrections and 
charities, and was treasurer of Kalamazoo county 
from 1862 to 1868, and of Kalamazoo city in 
1867. For many years he was president of the 
Vicksburg & Bellevue Bank. Mr. and Mrs. 
Cooley have two children, their son Roy J. and 
their daughter Hattie, both living at home. Mr. 
Cooley is independent in politics and has filled a 
number of local offices with credit to himself and 
benefit to the township. He has also been very 
active in commercial circles and was an agency 
of great force in securing the location of the Lee 
Paper Company at Vicksburg, raising nine thou- 
sand dollars for the purpose, of which he sub- 
scribed five hundred dollars. He is also a stock- 
holder in the Railway Supply Company, and other 
enterprises of the kind. 

JOSEPH W. McELVAIN. 

This widely and favorably known business 
man of Kalamazoo county, who for many years 
was an influential force in the affairs of his and 
the surrounding townships, but is now living re- 
tired from active work in the town of Vicksburg, 
was born in Schoolcraft township, this county, on 
December 25, 1839. His parents, William and 
Mary (Downs) McElvain, were natives of Penn- 
sylvania, the former born at York and the latter 



at Georgetown, that state. They were farmers 
and moved to Ohio, and in 1828 to Michigan, 
locating on Gourd Neck Prairie, this county, 
where the father entered a quarter section of prai- 
rie land on which he at once began to make im- 
provements, building a log dwelling. In this the 
parents lived until death, the mother passing away 
in 1845 an d the father a year later. They had 
three daughters who died in infancy, leaving their 
son Joseph, after their death, the only surviving 
member of the family. The father was a highly 
respected citizen and leader of the Whig party 
in the county during his life here. The grand- 
father, John McElvain, a native of York, Pa., 
moved from his native place to Erie, in the same 
state, and in 1828 accompanied his son and family 
to this state, later dying here at the home of his 
daughter, Mrs. Guilford, on Prairie Ronde. Jo- 
seph W. McElvain was reared on the prairie 
where his parents died, by his uncle, Joseph 
Frakes, and other relatives, for a few years at- 
tending the country schools of the period in the 
winter months. At an early age he was obliged to 
do his share of the farm work, and thus laid the 
foundation of his life-long industry and frugality. 
When he was twenty years old he started in life 
for himself as a farmer. Coming into possession 
of his father's farm, he worked that for two years, 
then in 1864 bought the Union hotel in Vicks- 
burg, which he replaced with a modern and more 
commodious brick structure. Of this he soon 
afterward became the landlord, and from that time 
until 1900 he kept the hostelry in a manner satis- 
factory to its large patronage and profitable to 
himself, except that during a few years he rented 
it to a tenant who ran it. He was married in the 
fall of 1865 to Miss Julia Kenyon, a native of the 
state of New York, and a sister of Bradley Ken- 
yon, a sketch of whom is published on another 
page. They have no children. Mr. McElvain 
has always been a man of liberal spirit and 
breadth of view. He has contributed generously 
to all the leading enterprises in his neighborhood, 
and withheld no effort or material assistance he 
could give from any commendable undertaking 
for the good of the section. He is a stockholder 
in the Railway Supply Company and the Lee 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



127 



Paper mill. In politics he has been a Republican 
from the organization of the party, and ever a 
diligent worker for the cause, but never sought 
or held office. He is a Freemason and has been a 
Knight Templar since 1870. He also belongs to 
the order of Elks. One of the oldest residents of 
his township and county, born, reared and edu- 
cated among their people, married here, and hav- 
ing passed the whole of his useful life in this sec- 
tion, he is altogether a product of this county, and 
is everywhere esteemed as one of its best and most 
representative citizens. 

E. A. STRONG. 

This estimable and highly respected gentle- 
man, whose reputation for uprightness of life, 
close attention to business and enterprise and pro- 
gressiveness of spirit is co-extensive with the 
state, for many years broke the stubborn glebe as 
a farmer in this county and took an active part in 
all its local affairs. He is now living at Vicks- 
burg, retired from active labor, and giving his 
attention principally to the affairs of the state 
Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, of which he has 
been the treasurer for a period of twenty years. 
He belongs to a race of pioneers, and was born on 
March 9, 1830, in Genesee county, N. Y., the son 
of Solomon and Ruth (Porter) Strong, natives 
of Essex county, Vt, where the American pro- 
genitors of the family located on their arrival 
from England in the early days. Mr. Strong's 
paternal grandfather, Ezekiel Strong, was a Ver- 
mont farmer and had two sons in the war of 1812. 
The father of E. A. Strong was born in Vermont 
in 1801, and followed farming in that state until 
the frontier of western New York opened a pleas- 
ing prospect to him, and he moved thither. In 
1844 he came to Michigan and located near Cen- 
treville, St. Joseph county, where he lived three 
years, then bought a farm on the line between that 
county and Kalamazoo, part of it being in each 
county. It was improved with a small log house 
and barn, and was partially cleared. He finished 
clearing it and brought it to a good state of culti- 
vation before his death in 1888, his wife dying 
there some years previously. They had two sons 



and one daughter, all of whom are living, E. A., his 
brother J. W. and their sister, Mrs. L. C. Lyman, 
of Plainwell, this county. The first named reached 
man's estate in this state and was educated in its 
district schools. He assisted in clearing and 
breaking the home farm, and has made his home 
on it during the greater part of his life. In 1840 
he was married to Miss Abby Sawyer, a daughter 
of Horace Sawyer, whose name stands high on 
the list of this county's honored pioneers, and who 
became a resident of the county in 1830, locating 
in Schoolcraft township, where he died. Mr. 
and Mrs. Strong have had three children : Levant 
A., who is engaged in the grocery trade at Vicks- 
burg. He married Miss Esther Judson and has 
one child, his son Ray ; Minnie A., who was Mrs. 
Prof. Waldo, but is now deceased; and Louis P., 
who also is a Vicksburg grocer, and in addition 
operates two grain elevators and conducts a large 
coal business as a member of the firm of Kent & 
Co. In the local affairs of the township Mr. 
x Strong has been active and serviceable, looking 
well to the substantial advancement and improve- 
ment of the section, serving its people a number 
of years as a justice of the peace, making the race 
on the Republican ticket for a seat in the state 
legislature, and aiding to promote the fraternal 
life of the community as a blue lodge Mason and 
for five years master of his lodge, and an earnest 
and serviceable member of the order of Patrons 
of Husbandry. In the latter he has been treas- 
urer of the state Grange for twenty years, and has 
been recently elected for another term. He and 
his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church and diligent in all its beneficial work. He 
is the oldest Grange officer in the state. 

DANIEL STROUGH. 

For fifty-three years a resident of this county, 
and during the last seventeen living on the farm 
which is now his home, Daniel Strough, of Brady 
township, has long been one of the forceful fac- 
tors in developing the industries of the county 
and expanding its commercial and agricultural 
greatness. He is a native of Jefferson county, 
N. Y., born on September 10, 1827. His parents, 



128 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Daniel and Annie (Wise well) Strough, were also 
native in New York, Herkimer county, and of 
German ancestry.- The paternal grandfather, 
Baltis Strough, came to this country from Ger- 
many before the Revolution, and at the beginning 
of that war enlisted in a New York regiment, and 
was soon afterward killed by a neighbor disguised 
as an Indian. His home was destroyed by the 
same person, but the family escaped. His son 
Daniel, father of the immediate subject of this 
paper, was at that time eight years old. He grew 
to manhood and lived in New York state until 
his death, the mother surviving him several years, 
then passing away in the same place. They had 
seven children who grew to maturity, and of 
these, two sons and one daughter are living. 
Daniel's brother George H. resides in the state 
of New York and his sister, Mrs. Ellwood, at 
Comstock, Kalamazoo county. The father was a 
Republican and was chosen to a number of local 
offices, which he filled with credit. His son, the 
present Daniel, was reared in his native county 
and worked at his trade as a carpenter there until 
1852, when he came to this county and located 
in the city of Kalamazoo. Here he wrought at 
his trade ten years, then moved to Pavilion town- 
ship. He built some of the finest business blocks 
and other structures in both places, and pros- 
.pered at his work. Seventeen years ago he 
bought the farm in Brady township on which he 
now resides, and of this he has made a model 
farm and most attractive home. He was mar- 
ried in Kalamazoo on March 30, 1869, to Miss 
Hannah Thurber, a native of Steuben county, 
N. Y., where her father, Loren Thurber, died. 
The mother, whose maiden name was Irene Hop- 
kins, married a second husband and, bringing her 
family, came with him to this county in 1854. 
Mr. and Mrs. Strough have one child, their son 
Le Roy, who is engaged in raising high-grade 
sheep. His exhibit took the first gold medal at 
the St. Louis world's fair in 1904. In March, 
1865, Mr. Strough enlisted in Company B, Tenth 
Michigan Cavalry, in defense of the Union, and 
in this command he served until the following 
November, taking part in a number of important 
engagements, among them the battle of Peach 



Tree Creek in Georgia, those incident to Sher- 
man's march to the sea, and many others. Po- 
litically he is a strong Republican, and as such 
has been chosen to and rendered effective serv- 
ice in a number of township offices. In fraternal 
relations he is prominent in the Grand Army of 
the Republic. 

LUCIUS V. LYON. 

This scion and honored representative of a 
distinguished pioneer family of southern Michi- 
gan, was born in the village of Schoolcraft, Kala- 
mazoo county, on March 6, 1837, anc ^ 1S there- 
fore one of the oldest residents now living within 
the borders of the county. He was an officer 
in the Union army during the Civil war, and won 
military honors that brought additional credit to 
his command and the cause in which it was en- 
listed. In the pursuits of peaceful industry he 
has also been distinguished for versatility of tal- 
ent and effort, and general success in his under- 
takings, and also for his usefulness in the general 
progress and development of the section of his 
home. His parents were Ira and Anna (Lewis) 
Lyon, the former born in Vermont in 1801 and 
the latter in New York state in 1802. They 
were married in Rochester, N. Y., and some time 
afterward came to Michigan, making the journey 
through the wilderness from Detroit to this 
county in 1828, in a wagon drawn by oxen. Ira 
Lyon's brother Lucius had come hither previously 
to conduct the government survey of what was 
then the new territory of Michigan. He soon 
became prominent and influential in the territory, 
and after its admission to the Union as a state, 
was one of its first two United States senators. 
Ira Lyon took up two hundred and forty acres 
of government land on the prairie near School- 
craft, and made a number of improvements on 
it before his labors were cut short by his un- 
timely death in 1841, when he was in the very 
prime of life and the midst of a great usefulness. 
His wife died in 1873. They had nine children, 
four of whom are living: Addison, of Russell 
Springs, Logan county, Kan.; Worthington S., 
of San Francisco, Calif. ; Sarah A., now Mrs. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN 



129 



Whitcomb, of Wapello, Iowa ; and Lucius V. 
The last named had a full experience of pioneer 
life in his boyhood, and has a distinct recollec- 
tion of the times when Indians were not. unusual 
visitors at his early home, and when deer, wolves 
and bears were seen in the forests near by many 
times in a week. He began his education in the 
primitive district schools of the time and local- 
ity, and although the early death of his father 
caused him to go to work with his brothers and 
sisters to aid in the support of the household 
while he was yet a mere boy, to which the mother 
contributed essentially by the fruits of her loom, 
he managed to secure a higher training at the 
Baptist Seminary, where he paid his way by per- 
forming janitorial duties. At the age of twenty 
lie was married, but he continued working out 
for wages until his enlistment, on August 20, 
1862, in Company C, Sixth Michigan Infantry, 
which became a part of the Nineteenth Corps 
of the Army of the Gulf, commanded by Gen. 
B. F. Butler. From then on he ,was in active 
service until mustered out at N.ew Orleans on 
September 22, 1865. His regiment was engaged 
in guard duty at Baltimore until April, 1863, and 
during its detention there had a number of spir- 
ited contests with the enemy along the Virginia 
border. In April, 1863, the regiment was ordered 
to go on his New Orleans expedition with Gen- 
eral Butler, and three thousand five hundred men 
were packed on one steamer that passed around 
Ship Island and thence up the Mississippi to 
the Crescent City, the passage being hotly op- 
posed by the Confederate batteries along the 
shore and the Confederate gunboats on the river, 
sixty of the latter being captured at New Or- 
leans. Mr. Lyon witnessed the execution of the 
Confederate Mumford, by the order of General 
Butler, for pulling down the United States flag 
from the government building and trampling it 
in the dust, the rope with which he was hanged 
being made from the flag he had insulted. The 
regiment was next sent up the river to Baton 
Rouge, then to Port Hudson, and from there to 
Mobile, Ala., the capture of forts and engage- 
ments with the Confederates under General 
Breckenridge furnishing active employment for 



many months. The climate was unhealthful and 
many soldiers sickened and died. While on the 
Red River expedition, the boat in which Mr. 
Lyons was traveling was fired upon by secluded 
batteries and totally destroyed. Many of the 
soldiers were shot down on board or sank with 
the boat, while others jumped into the river and 
were shot while swimming. Mr. Lyon and eight 
others managed to escape and get to shore. After 
traveling a long distance they were directed by 
an old negro to a Union man's house, where they 
were fed and secreted, and during the night 
were rowed across the river and started in the 
right direction for the Union lines. They were 
obliged to break through four Confederate picket 
lines, and to kill one picket guard to avoid being- 
exposed. They finally reached a Union foraging 
party and were safely conducted within the lines 
at Alexandria. After that their regiment was 
converted into a heavy artillery regiment to man 
batteries. On the results of a rigid examination 
Mr. Lyon was commissioned second lieutenant 
of the Seventy-third Colored Regiment of New 
Orleans, which under him did some hard fighting, 
and later were ordered to Mobile, from where 
with six boats they patroled the Alabama river 
and confiscated twelve boat-loads of cotton, which 
they took to Mobile. In August, 1864, the sub- 
ject was promoted first lieutenant of the same 
regiment, as it was found that he handled the 
colored troops with great tact and wisdom, and 
was a strict disciplinarian. He was also sent 
north that year to do recruiting, and rendered 
admirable service in that line. He remained 
with his command until he was mustered out of 
the service, then returned home and bought his 
present farm of sixty-four acres in Brady town- 
ship, this county. It was covered with heavy 
timber at the time, but is now a well improved 
and valuable property. Much of his time since 
the war has been devoted to public duties. He 
has been justice of the peace, pension claims 
agent, and several other things of an official 
character. In politics he is a Republican, active 
and vigilant in the councils of his party and 
recognized as one of its valued leaders. Frater- 
nally he belongs to the Freemasons, the Odd Fel- 



i 3 o 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



lows and the Grand Army of the Republic. All 
the members of his' family are members of the 
German Reformed church. Mr. Lyon was hap- 
pily married in September, 1857, to Miss Julia 
Ainsworth, a lady of superior merit, born in the 
state of New York on October 13, 1836. They 
have two sons and two daughters. Of these 
Mertie J. is now the wife of Albert Merchant, of 
Kalamazoo; Mary B. is Mrs. Alvin E. Young, of 
Fulton ; Orville C. married Miss Amelia A. Sny- 
der and has three children, Ernest W., Pearl C. 
and Gladys ; and Charles married Emmoa Van 
Avery and lives four miles south of Vicksburg. 
They have four sons and two daughters, Forest 
A., Hazel M., Bernice L., Harold B., Clifford and 
Kenneth. Mrs. Lyon's father came to Michigan 
in 1845 and died at her home at the age of 
eighty-eight. 

DANIEL F. BARTSHE. 

The history of this country has been a contin- 
uous progress of civilization following in the track 
of the setting sun from the Atlantic to the Pa- 
cific, each succeeding generation taking up the 
march of conquest where the preceding one 
dropped it, thus laying all sections of the country 
under the dominion of man and tribute to his 
enterprise and advancement. Daniel F, Bartshe is 
a scion of an old Pennsylvania family, members 
of which in time colonized in Ohio, then in In- 
diana and later in Michigan. He was born in 
Putnam county, Ohio, in 1842, on March 17, the 
son of George and Barbara (Wideman) Bartshe, 
the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter 
of Canada. The father was taken to Wayne 
county, Ohio, in his infancy, and when he was but 
four years of age his father was killed there at a 
raising. George Bartshe -was . reared in Medina 
county, Ohio, and moved to Elkhart county, Ind., 
in 1842. After a residence of seven years on 
wild land there, which he cleared and transformed 
into some semblance of a productive farm, he 
returned to Medina county, Ohio, where he died 
in 1863, his wife surviving him until 1901. They 
had nine children, of whom four sons and one 
daughter are living, Daniel F. being the only one 



of them who resides in Kalamazoo county. He 
grew to manhood in Medina county, Ohio, and 
farmed there until 1870, when he came to this 
county and settled on the farm on which he has 
since had his home. This farm he took hold of as 
an unbroken tract and of it he has made an excel- 
lent farm and enriched it with good buildings, all 
the result of his industry and systematic applica- 
tion to his business. He was married in Ohio in 
1868 to Miss Julia Lance, a native of that state. 
Five children have blessed their union: Hattie, 
wife of Albert Rom, of Wakeshma township; 
Mertie, wife of Simon G. Wise, of Wakeshma 
township; Howard, who married Rose Fleisher, 
has two children ; Frank, who married Miss Au- 
gusta Yoiing, now deceased, and has one child, 
his son Ross A. ; and Earl, who is living at home. 
Mr. Bartshe is a Republican in political allegiance, 
and has filled the office of justice of the peace. 
He is a prominent and active member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and devoted to 
every element of progress and improvement in 
his county. He is widely known and highly 
esteemed throughout the county. 

CAPT A. A. HOLCOMB. 

Coming to this state in the very dawn of its 
civilized history, and from then until now taking 
an active and serviceable part in all the transac- 
tions of a public nature .which tended to build up 
the section in which they lived, and at the same 
time winning their way to consequence and com- 
petency through industrious and judicious efforts, 
the Hplcomb family of Kalamazoo county is justly 
entitled to all the credit that belongs to both pio- 
neers and their descendants of the best type, and to 
citizenship of the most elevated and sterling char- 
acter. The Captain is a native of the state and 
was born at Lodi, Washtenaw county, on May 
2 9> T &33' His parents, Alanson and Nancy 
(Slaughter) Holcomb, were born in Yates county, 
N. Y., the father in 1798 and the mother in 1807. 
They were reared and married in their native 
county in 1827, and the next year joined the 
mighty march of the industrial army which has 
conquered this country from the wilderness, jour- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



131 



neying up the Erie canal to Buffalo, from there 
across the lake by steamer to Detroit, and thence 
by team to Washtenaw county, this state, where 
they entered government land, on which they 
lived four years. They then moved to Jackson 
county and bought more government land, and on 
that they resided until 1853, when they moved to 
this county, locating in Charleston township. 
There the father bought a farm of Langford Bur- 
dick, on which the family dwelt until 1865, then 
sold it, and took up their residence at Galesburg. 
Both parents died at the home of their son, the 
Captain, in Vicksburg. The household comprised 
three sons, all of whom are living, Horace in Cali- 
fornia, George in North Dakota, and Albert in 
this county. The grandfather of these sons, Eben- 
ezer Holcomb, passed the whole of his life in the 
state of New York, and was a prosperous farmer 
there. His ancestors were English, the American 
progenitor of the family emigrating to this coun- 
try in 1680. Captain Holcomb was reared from 
infancy to the age of twenty in Jackson county, 
and obtained a limited education in the district 
schools. He came to Kalamazoo county with his 
parents in 1853 an d farmed here until 1864, when 
he enlisted in the Union army, entering the serv- 
ice on August 2d of that year, in Company I, 
Twenty-eighth Michigan Infantry. The regi- 
ment became a part of the Twenty-third Army 
Corps, took part in the battle of Nashville and 
other fierce engagements, and joined General 
Sherman at Goldsboro, N. C, and remained un- 
der his command to the close of the war. The 
Captain went into the service as a second lieu- 
tenant, but soon rose to the rank of cap- 
tain, and as such was mustered out. After 
the close of the war he returned to his farm 
in Wakeshma township, which was yet all 
wild, unbroken land, without a road on it or 
leading to it, not a tree having been felled within 
a mile and a half of it when he first took posses- 
sion of it in 1863. It originally comprised two 
hundred and forty acres, but by additions has be- 
come one of the largest, and by judicious cultiva- 
tion and improvement one of the most productive 
in the county. Captain Holcomb cleared the land 
himself and made all the improvements on it. He 



lived on this farm during the greater part of his 
life since returning from the war, dwelling a few 
years in the village of Vicksburg. In 1890 he 
was elected register of deeds, filling the office 
with credit six years, and prior to that time served 
seven years as township supervisor. He also 
served as deputy sheriff eight years under Lyman 
Gates and two years under John H. Dix. He was 
married on November 15, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth 
Minnis, a sister of Albert C. Minnis (see sketch 
of him on another page). They have two chil- 
dren, their sons Bernard A., who is in the office 
of the auditor general of the state at Lansing, and 
their other son, Howard, who is in the United 
States railway postal service on the Grand Rapids 
& Indiana Railway. The Captain has been a Re- 
publican -from the organization of the party, and 
has ever taken an active part in the campaigns of 
his party, being recognized as one of its leaders, 
and representing his section in district, state and 
congressional conventions during the last forty 
years. In fraternal relations he is a Freemason 
of the Knight Templar degree and a Grand Army 
man. He also belongs to the Grange. Having 
passed three-score and ten years of life, he is 
resting in large measure from active labor, and 
enjoying the fruits of his industry and the esteem 
of his fellow men of all classes. 

THOMAS E. GUTHRIE. 

This prosperous and progressive farmer of 
Brady township, this county, was born in Wash- 
tenaw county, Mich., on March 29, 1852, and was 
reared and educated in that county. He lived 
on the home farm with his parents until 1878, 
then came to Kalamazoo county and bought the 
farm in Brady township on which he now lives. 
This he has cleared and improved to good ad- 
vantage, carrying on his farming operations with 
vigor and success and also working at times at 
his trade as a carpenter. In addition to these in- 
dustries he ran a threshing outfit for eleven years 
and has worked at other useful lines of activity. 
In 1878 he was united in marriage with Miss 
Amy H. Pierce, a daughter of Hiram and Cath- 
erine (Cassady) Pierce, the former a native of 



132 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



the state of New York and the latter of Michi- 
gan. The father of Mrs. Guthrie died in Wash- 
tenaw county, and the mother died on August 
2, 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie have five children 
living and one dead. Those who are living are 
John H., Hiram P., Fred T., Bertha and Sher- 
man. In political faith Mr. Guthrie is a Repub- 
lican, and while zealous in the interest of his 
party, he has preferred to serve his people from 
the honorable post of private citizenship, never 
seeking or wishing for public office. He has, 
however, with a good citizen's fidelity to duty, 
consented to serve as highway commissioner, and 
in the position he gave the township a wise and 
useful administration. He belongs to the Masonic 
order, and for many years has been a devoted 
participant in its mystic rites and follower of its 
moral teachings. Throughout the length and 
breadth of the county he is well known and highly 
esteemed as a good citizen and an upright man, 
as a firm friend, excellent neighbor and warm 
advocate of what is right. 

JACOB K. WAGNER. 

The pen of the biographer has seldom a more 
engaging theme than the life story of a good citi- 
zen who has grown old in the service of his peo- 
ple, and has lived to see the fruit of his labors in 
their prosperity and happiness, and the established 
success of valued public institutions to whose crea- 
tion and development he has essentially and sub- 
stantially contributed. Such a theme is presented 
in the career of the late Jacob K. Wagner, of 
Kalamazoo, who, on Friday, June 17, 1904, sur- 
rendered his trust at the bequest of the Great Dis- 
poser, at the ripe age of seventy-two years, and 
left to the city he loved and his sorrowing friends 
the priceless legacy of a good name untarnished 
by any unworthy act or motive and a record of 
usefulness which in itself is a measureless bene- 
faction to American citizenship. Mr. Wagner 
came to Kalamazoo on January 13, 1855, when 
the city was practically in its infancy and when 
he was himself a young man of twenty-four. That 
he arrived on the scene of his great activity and 
fruitfulness for good to the community with only 



six cents in money in his possession, and with 
no influential acquaintances to aid him to prefer- 
ment and consequence, or even to opportunities 
for employment, only heightens the value and im- 
pressiveness of his achievements and adds force 
to the lesson of his life. That fact and the sub- 
sequent productiveness of his energy and capacity 
also illustrate the firmness of his inherent fiber of 
character and cogency of many qualities he in- 
herited from a long line of forceful and enterpris- 
ing ancestors, who on many fields of manly en- 
deavor met fate with an unruffled front and dared 
the worst of her malignity in the contest for su- 
premacy. Mr. Wagner was born in the state of 
New Jersey, at Stanton, Hunterdon county, on 
November 13, 1831. His parents, Jacob and 
Elizabeth (Poulson) Wagner, were natives of 
the same county, the Wagners being of German 
origin. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Wag- 
ner, was a well-to-do farmer of independent char- 
acter and action, and the same relative on the 
mother's side was for more than sixty years a 
highly esteemed Baptist clergyman of influence 
and eloquence. The father was a mechanic and 
farmer, and both he and his wife passed their 
lives in their native state. They had a family 
of ten children, of whom one son and four daugh- 
ters are now living. Jacob was reared to man- 
hood on the farm whereon he was born and 
was educated in the district schools in the neigh- 
borhood. He began to earn his own living as a 
clerk and salesman in a general store, and after 
passing a few years in this humdrum and unin- 
teresting life, which, however, gave him a good 
knowledge of himself and his fellow men, he came 
to Michigan in 1855, arriving early in the year 
w r ith a capital of six cents in money, as has 
been stated. Soon after his arrival at Kalamazoo 
he found employment as a clerk for Andrew Tay- 
lor & Company, with whom he remained a short 
time. Saving his earnings, and making friends 
by his fidelity and capacity, he was soon able 
to open a small book store of his own, and this he 
conducted for a period of twenty years with in- 
creasing business and profits. This enabled him 
to gratify his great taste for reading, and with 
his strong mental endowment, discriminating 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



135 



judgment and genial disposition, he became, in a 
few years, one of the most cultivated and enter- 
taining men in the city. But he had a keen in- 
sight into business of a larger scope, as well as 
a taste for literature, and an almost intuitive per- 
ception of the needs and possibilities of the com- 
munity in the way of industrial enterprise. In 
1876 he founded the Kalamazoo Spring & Axle 
Works by organizing a stock company for con- 
ducting the business, which was begun in a small 
way, but soon expanded to such dimensions as 
to necessitate the erection of the large factory in 
which it is now so comfortably housed on Portage 
street, although the factory was not at first as 
large in size or as complete in equipment as it is 
now 7 , continuous expansion of its trade requiring 
successive enlargements and additions to its appli- 
ances. Mr. Wagner acted as secretary and gen- 
eral manager of this establishment until 1879, 
when he started the Harrow Spring Tooth Fac- 
tory and became secretary of the stock company, 
formed for the purpose, and general manager of 
its business, occupying this position until 1887, 
when he was elected president of the First Na- 
tional Bank, and also president of this company, 
hi 1893 ne ^signed the bank presidency, having 
more business interests under his immediate man- 
agement than his advancing years made agreeable 
to him. At the time of his death he was a stock- 
holder in the First National and the Michigan 
National Banks, president of the Spring Tooth 
Companv and a stockholder in the King Paper 
Company and several other corporations, includ- 
ing the Electric Light Company of the city. Mr. 
Wagner was a great lover of travel as well as 
of good literature, and in spite of his large and 
exacting business interests, he was able to gratify 
this taste and secure the benefits of intercourse 
with minds which have profited by an extensive 
comparison of nations, climates and customs, and 
of the refining, harmonizing, expanding influences 
of general society. He crossed the Atlantic many 
times and made his way understandingly into the 
principal cities of the old world and came back 
laden with the rich spoils of his observation of 
their institutions and the aspirations and tenden- 
cies of their peoples. His travels in various parts 
9 



of our own country were also extensive and profit- 
able. On October 24, 1858, he united in marriage 
with Miss Ellen E. Carpenter, of Kalamazoo, a 
young lady of great promise, and like himself a 
lover of books and refined in taste and elevated in 
aspirations. She was a daughter of Orson and 
Laura (Royce) Carpenter, natives of Vermont. 
Two children blessed their union, Laura R. and 
Elizabeth P., the latter now the wife of Arthur 
L. Pratt. In political faith Mr. Wagner was an 
unwavering Democrat, and in fraternal circles he 
found enjoyment in the Masonic order, of which 
he was for many years an enthusiastic member. 
While averse to public office for himself, he con- 
sented on one occasion to serve as a member of 
the village and the city council for the public 
good. In 1896, deeming the policy of his party 
too radical for the general welfare, he became in- 
dependent of party control and remained so until 
his death. Now gathered to his fathers in the ful- 
ness of years and of usefulness, his death has left 
a void in the business and social life of his city 
and count}', and an example of stimulating po- 
tency to all who knew him or know his record. 

STEPHEN HOWARD. 

Among the earliest settlers of Portage town- 
ship, this county, was Stephen Howard, who 
moved into the township in the summer of 1831, 
when the deep woods, the growth of centuries, 
was still unbroken by the arteries of traffic, the 
swamps were undrained, the "garden beds" of a 
dead and gone race were plentifully visible, and 
the wild inhabitants of the region, man and beast 
and reptile, were yet abundant and dangerous. 
And he lived to see the whole face of the country 
changed and all its resources ministering to the 
wants of a sturdy and enterprising race of men 
whose call on the forces and storehouses of nature 
were made in such voice as to compel them to lib- 
eral obedience and benefaction. Sixty-two years 
of his active and useful life were passed in this 
county and they were years full of industry and 
fruitful with good results. He settled in the 
township a young man of twenty-three and 
passed over from the toils of this life to the ac- 



136 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



tivities that know no weariness at the age of eigh- 
ty-five. Mr. Howard was born in Silver Creek 
township, Chautauqua county, N. Y., on January 
1, 1808, and was the son of John E. and Lydia 
(King) Howard, the former a native of Ver- 
mont and the latter of Rhode Island. The fa- 
ther was a hotelkeeper in New York, but in 1830, 
impelled by the spirit of discovery and adventure 
that had brought him westward from his native 
state, he made a trip to this part of Michigan, 
and being well pleased with the appearance and 
promise of the country, entered government land 
in Portage and Alamo townships. He then re- 
turned to his home and settled up his business 
there, and the next year moved his family to this 
county. The children then numbered four sons 
and three daughters. They made the trip with 
teams of oxen and consumed several weeks of 
weary journeying and great hardship in making 
it, building their own roads over swamps and cut- 
ting their way through miles of trackless forests. 
They reached their destination on August 10, 
1831, and built a little log house on their land in 
which they all lived the first year, the par- 
ents lived on the farm the remainder of 
their lives, the father dying there in 1855 
and the mother some years before. Their 
son Stephen assisted in clearing up the 
farm and getting it ready for cultivation two 
years, then moved to his own place in section 8, 
which he entered on his arrival in the county. This 
place he improved and made it his home until his 
death in 1893. He was married in this county in 
1838 to Miss Eliza C.Payne, who was also an early 
arrival here. They had six children, four of whom 
are living, Harriet, widow of Henry E. Brooks, 
Amanda M., who is living on the home farm, 
Celia E., wife of Fred Burkhout, of Kalamazoo, 
and George S., who is also living on the home- 
stead. Their mother died on December 24, 1890. 
Mr. Howard was a Whig and later a Republi- 
can, but he was never an active partisan, although 
he filled a number of local offices. In religious 
faith he was a Universalist. He was everywhere 
recognized as one of the leading citizens of the 
township and county, and was universally held in 
high regard. 



HENRY E. BROOKS. 

The late Henry E. Brooks, one of the early 
dwellers in Portage township, was born there on 
September 28, 1837. His parents, Isaac A. and 
Amelia F. (Bushnell) Brooks, the former born 
in Connecticut, and the latter in New York state, 
came to live in this state in 1836, and entered a 
tract of government land in Portage township, 
this county. The father had previously been a 
merchant doing business at Livingston, N. Y., 
for a number of years. He cleared and improved 
his land here and transformed it into a fine farm 
equipped with everything needed for the proper 
conduct of its operations. On this farm he died 
in about 1882, and his wife is also dead. They 
had four sons and three daughters, all of whom 
have passed away but their son Albert and their 
daughter, Mrs. Glynn, both residents of Kalama- 
zoo. Their son Henry was reared and educated 
in this county and began farming when he was a 
young man. This occupation engaged his at- 
tention until the end of his life, which came in 
1886, when he was but forty-nine years old. His 
early death cut short an honorable career and re- 
moved from the active productive forces of the 
county one of their most enterprising and use- 
ful factors. For he was a man deeply imbued with 
the spirit of progress and devoted to the promo- 
tion of all the best interests of his community. He 
was married in 1863 to Miss Harriet Howard, a 
daughter of Stephen and Catherine E. (Payne) 
Howard, pioneers of this county, an account of 
whose lives will be found in another place in this 
volume. In political affairs Mr. Brooks took no 
active part, his time and energies being given 11 p 
to his farming operations. Fraternally he was a 
zealous Freemason, and in all parts of the county 
he was well known and highly respected. 

JOHN GIBBS. 

No publication which purports to be in any 
considerable degree the life story of the progres- 
sive men of Kalamazoo county, would be com- 
plete without some mention, more or less ex- 
tended, of one of its most resolute, resourceful 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



137 



serviceable and inspiring pioneers, the late John 
Gibbs, who died in the county in 1881 after a 
residence here of forty-nine years, during which 
lie made his mark in deep and durable characters 
on the industrial, commercial and educational in- 
stitutions so great in number, varied in kind and 
prolific in good results which this people have 
erected. The narration of a career like his, al- 
though familiar to the American people as an oft- 
told tale, with differing names and differing fea- 
tures in the various sections of the country, al- 
ways inspires the young, encourages the strug- 
gling, consoles the good and cheers the patriot 
with an example that is elevated and elevating, 
strong and stimulating, pure and purifying. John 
(libbs was born in Middlefield, Otsego county, 
\. Y., on July 3, 1796, and came of a family of 
pioneers. His grandfather was an early settler in 
Cherry Valley, Otsego county, N. Y., and in his 
day dared as many dangers, endured as many 
hardships and won as many triumphs as most 
pioneers have done anywhere. He was living in 
that beautiful valley on November 11, 1778, when 
the village was sacked and its inhabitants mas- 
sacred by the Tories and Indians under command 
of the notorious son of Col. John M. Butler and 
the Mohawk chief Brant, and in that awful trag- 
edy saw his wife murdered and scalped by the 
infuriated savages. The father of John Gibbs 
was a farmer and his son remained with him, 
working on the homestead until he reached the 
age of manhood. He then learned the trade of a 
carpenter and joiner and also that of a mill- 
wright. And thereafter, although in this county 
an extensive and leading farmer, he wrought at 
these trades until old age admonished him to lay 
aside the tools of his craft and take a long-needed 
and well-earned rest. In the autumn of 1832 
he came to Kalamazoo county in company with 
his brothers Isaac and Chester, and they together 
entered two hundred and forty acres of land, all 
they had money to purchase. John and Chester 
at once settled on this land, while Isaac went back 
to New York to settle up their business in that 
state. A small log house was built and the clear- 
ing of the land was begun. But it chanced that 



John was the most capable millwright and builder 
in the county at that time, and his services were 
in constant requisition in the erection of dwell- 
ings, barns, mills and bridges. He raised the 
third frame house put up in Kalamazoo, and built 
the first three barns on Grand, Genesee and Dry 
prairies. He also assisted in building and equip- 
ping many of the first mills in the county, and 
was always called in when others failed to make 
a mill dam stand, and he always succeeded. When 
the railroad reached Kalamazoo he helped to erect 
the first bridge across the river, and countless 
other works of great utility and merit stand yet 
to his credit in all parts of the county. In 1850, 
in company with his son William,' he fitted out a 
team of horses and a wagon with a liberal supply 
of provisions and started for California, following 
thither his brother Isaac, who had gone with ox 
teams the year before. The party spent months 
on the way and suffered untold hardships. They 
remained three years in California engaged in 
mining, then they returned home by the isthmus 
route. In 1859, accompanied by his second son, 
John, Mr. Gibbs made a trip to Colorado, and in 
i860 he again visited that territory. The next 
rear he came home to remain for the rest of his 
days. In 1881, at the age of eighty-five, sur- 
rounded by his family, all of whom are in afflu- 
ent circumstances and in the enjoyment of every 
comfort- he surrendered the trust he had so faith- 
fully administered and was laid to rest in the soil 
that was hallowed by his labors amid universal 
testimonials of public esteem and regard. On 
January 29, 1824, he united in marriage with 
Miss Miranda Kinne, a native of Braintrem, Pa., 
born on March 25, 1805. Their family com- 
prised eight daughters and five sons, Jennette D., 
Marcia V., William A., Rosa Annis, Josephine 
K, John, Jr., James O., Emcline P., I. W. Wil- 
lard, James Martin, Alice M., H. Elizabeth, and 
L. Isinella. Of these the first four were born in 
New York and the others in Kalamazoo. There 
are now living three of the daughters and four of 
the sons. 

William A. Gibbs, the third born of 
these children, is a native of Monroe countv, 



138 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



N. Y., where his life began on October 4, 1828. He 
was but four years of age when the family moved 
to this state, and yet he well remembers the first 
night spent here, which was in the house of 
Squire John Hascall. He attended a primitive 
school in the neighborhood of his home known 
by the suggestive but inelegant name of "Toad 
Hollow/' and aided the rest of the family and his 
parents in clearing the farm and making it pro- 
ductive, as soon as he was able driving an ox 
team in breaking up the land. Indian children 
were his playmates and wild game abounded on 
every side in the wild domain in which his boy- 
hood and youth were passed. But while his early 
path was choked with difficulties, his body and 
soul were hardened to meet them ; while it was be- 
set with dangers, these were the very spice of his 
life. Here in those days nature opened a theatre 
of boundless existence, and held forth to the soul 
properly attuned a cup brimming with redundant 
pleasure, furnishing with every draught new vig- 
or and a heightened zest, and with no dregs of 
bitterness at the bottom. Mr. Gibbs remained at 
home until he passed his legal majority, arfd the 
next year, 1850, made a trip with his father across 
the plains with teams to California, starting on 
March 15th, and arriving on August 17th. They 
had no trouble with Indians, but experienced al- 
most every other difficulty and danger, and had 
a long, hard trip. The first winter was passed at 
Nevada City, California, and in the ensuing 
spring the party began mining on Snake bar, 
north of Sacramento. Mr. Gibbs passed three 
years in that state and returned home with about 
four thousand dollars in gold, with which he 
bought his present farm of two hundred and forty 
acres. This he has by his own efforts made into 
a valuable home from its condition of untamed 
nature, and to its development and improvement 
he has devoted all his time since he made the pur- 
chase. He was married in Allegan county, on 
May 10, 1854, to Miss Jennette Prouty. They 
have four living children, Helen F, wife of Mau- 
rice Weed, of Kalamazoo, Gilbert P., living on 
the farm, Harvey B., also a farmer, and Leon, a 
resident of Kalamazoo. One of Mr. Gibbs's 
brothers, James O. Gibbs, was a Union soldier in 



the Civil war, serving in a Colorado regiment. In 
politics Mr. Gibbs is independent. 

ANDREW JACKSON STEVENS. 

This esteemed pioneer of Kalamazoo county, 
who has lived within its borders seventy years, 
having come here with his parents when he was 
but six years old, was born in Oneida county, 
N. Y.,011 August 25, 1828. His parents were Isaac 
and Betsey E. (Pelton) Stevens, also natives of 
Oneida county, N. Y., where the father was born 
in 1800 and the mother in 1799. The father was 
a blacksmith and farmer. He brought his family 
to this county in 1834 and entered a tract of land* 
at Lakeview which he cleared and reduced to cul- 
tivation from its state of primeval wilderness and 
lived on it to the end of his life, which came in 
1879, his wife dying there two years before. He 
was the first blacksmith to settle in Kalamazoo 
and worked at his trade thirty years there. While 
living in New York he was a captain in the state 
militia, and he took an earnest interest, both there 
and here, in political affairs as a Democrat, but 
was never desirous of holding public office. There 
were five sons and seven daughters in the family, 
all of whom are now deceased but Andrew and 
one of his sisters. The Stevens family is of Irish 
origin, but has lived long in this country. Mr. 
Stevens' grandfather, Jonathan Stevens, became a 
resident of this county in 1844 and died in Osh- 
temo township. He was a soldier in the war of 
1812 and made a good record in the struggle. An- 
drew Jackson Stevens reached man's estate in 
Kalamazoo township, attending the primitive 
schools of the early days and assisting in clearing 
and cultivating the home farm, driving an ox- 
team in the first breaking of the land and content- 
edly sharing the close quarters and inconven- 
iences of the family in its little log house which 
was its dwelling for a number of years. This 
cabin had a puncheon floor and greased paper 
window lights, with a rude mud chimney to carry 
of! the smoke. As a young man and later in life 
the son was a great hunter. He kept the family 
well supplied with game and by his enterprise and 
success in this way aided considerably in adding 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



139 



to the health and enjoyment of its members. And 
as his fowling piece, which was the family meat 
market, never failed in its bounty to the table, 
so the labor of his hands in the fields also yielded 
its tribute to the domestic commissariat. In 1852 
lie bought his present farm and here he has lived 
ever since, clearing his land of its wild growth 
and bringing it to an advanced stage of develop- 
ment, and enriching it in time with commodious 
and well-arranged buildings and other improve- 
ments, until he has made it one of the attractive 
and profitable homes of the neighborhood. In 
1861, when armed resistance threatened the in- 
tegrity of the Union, he enlisted in response to 
the first call for volunteers in its defense, but 
his company was not accepted for the service. For 
a period of twenty-five years he was engaged in 
threshing grain throughout this and adjoining 
counties, his first outfit being one of horse power 
and his last one of the most modern and complete 
steam patterns. He was married in 1855 to Miss 
Martha Ray, a native of Pennsylvania, the daugh- 
ter of James and Elizabeth (Blaine) Ray, who 
became residents of this county in 1847. Her 
mother was a cousin of Hon. James G. Blaine. 
Three children have been born in the household 
and two of them are living, Elizabeth B., wife of 
R. P. Walter, of this county, and Maud E., wife 
of G. H. Kindall, of Kalamazoo. Mr. Stevens is 
an active Democrat in political faith and has 
served as school director and pathmaster. He is 
now among the oldest settlers in the county, and 
his reminiscences of his early life in the county, 
when Indians were plentiful on its soil and their 
children were his playmates, and when the wild 
game of the region haunted even the doorways of 
the settlers and the beasts of prey threatened their 
lives by night and day, are full of interest to a 
generation which has never seen such conditions. 

FREDERICK LUCE. 

While a vast majority of the men and women 
who confronted the conditions of untamed nature 
m this state and began its conquest and the trans- 
formation of this fair domain into a region of 
peace, prosperity and advanced civilization were 



from other states, it can not be denied that their 
immediate descendants also found life hard to 
support and full of difficulties and danger, and 
had almost the same toil and trouble their par- 
ents experienced ; for the subjugation of a new 
country is not accomplished in a few years, how- 
ever enterprising the people may be who are en- 
gaged in the work. The first generation born on 
its soil is from its infancy face to face with the 
very circumstances its parents find in a new home 
and must take its place in the ranks of the sub- 
duing army and aid with all its powers in the ef- 
fort to push forward the triumph. Frederick 
Luce, although born on the soil of this county, 
was one of the early residents here and grew to 
manhood amid the very essence of frontier life ; 
and as he has lived in the county during all his 
years so far, he has borne his part in its progress 
and development and shared with others the ar- 
duous toil and ever present danger of the early 
days. Mr. Luce was born in Texas township on 
March 22, 1841, at a time when the settlement of 
that portion of the county was scarcely ten years 
old, his parents, Levi and Lydia (Stanley) Luce, 
who were among the very first settlers here, hav- 
ing taken up their residence in the township in 
1833. The mother was a native of New York 
state and the father of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. 
He was a tailor, but followed farming the greater 
part of his life. In 1833, as has been noted, he 
brought his family to Michigan and located on 
one hundred and sixty acres of land he bought 
in what is now Texas township, this county. Some 
time later he bought an additional tract of one 
hundred and twenty acres, and with the aid of 
his children he cleared all of both tracts and im- 
proved them into a good farm and a comfortable 
home. On this land he lived until his death in 
December, 1850. His widow died December 10, 
1904, in Kalamazoo. They had a family of three 
sons and two daughters, of whom only their son 
Frederick and one of his brothers are alive. 
Frederick remained at home with his parents until 
1866, assisting in the work of the farm in their 
interest. He attended the schools of the district 
at irregular intervals, such as they were, and in 
them received the rudiments of an English educa- 



140 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



tion. In the year last named he bought his pres- 
ent farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Port- 
age township, he being then twenty-five years old 
and having been married two years before, to 
Miss Susan Jackson, a daughter of James and 
Sarah (Swift) Jackson, the father a native of 
England and the mother of Canada. Mrs. Luce 
came to Kalamazoo county in her childhood, and 
has lived here ever since. They have two children, 
their sons Ralph H. and Burton J., both of whom 
are farmers. In political faith Mr. Luce is a 
Democrat, but he has never taken an active part 
in party contests and has had no desire for public 
office. He is a quiet, peace-loving citizen who has 
the respect of all who know him, and although 
full of energy and enterprise, is mainly occupied 
in pushing his own affairs and promoting the 
general welfare of his township and county. 

EMANUEL E. HENIKA. 

Portage township, this county, has a body of 
high class, enterprising and progressive farmers 
who are building up their township, enlarging the 
development of its resources and advancing it in 
every way by individual efforts on their farms 
and by aggregate activity in all works of public 
improvement. Among them none stands higher 
or is more worthy of a high regard than Emanuel 
E. Henika, who is a native of the township, born 
on April 12, 1848. He is the son of Emanuel and 
Julia (Scramlin) Henika, natives of the state of 
New York. The father was born in Genesee 
county, that state, and was the son of John and 
Hannah (Overrocker) Henika. John Henika 
came to this county in 1833 and purchased one 
hundred and sixty acres of government land in 
what is now Kalamazoo township. In June of 
that year he moved his family, comprising his 
wife, five sons and three daughters, to this land, 
and on it he lived twenty years, laboriously clear- 
ing and cultivating it, and enriching it as time 
passed with valuable improvements. His wife died 
on this farm in 1847. I* 1 ^53 ne moved to Kal- 
amazoo, where he died in about 1871, at the age 
of seventy-nine years, he having been born in 
1792. One of their sons and two of their daugh- 



ters are living. Their son Emanuel, the father 
of the immediate subject of this review, was ten 
years of age when the family came to Michigan. 
He grew to manhood on the farm, then learned 
the trade of blacksmith, which he followed for 
several years in different parts of the county, dy- 
ing in 1847. He had but one child, his son Eman- 
uel E. The latter was also reared in this county 
and educated in its public schools. He began 
life as a clerk for Charles Bell in the grocery 
trade in Kalamazoo. After remaining with Mr. 
Bell twelve years he engaged in business as a 
baker, in which he was occupied eighteen years, 
and since the close of that period he has been 
farming. He was married in 1890 to Miss Jennie 
Pierce, a native of New York. They have three 
children, Elwilda J., Louis E. and Irma A. The 
parents are members of the First Baptist church 
at Kalamazoo. An uncle of Mr. Henika, James 
Henika, was living for a time with them. He was 
born on December 20, 18 19, and came to this 
county many years ago. He assisted in building 
the asylum in Kalamazoo, and for twenty-five 
years was connected with the institution as its 
carpenter. He also lived at Big Rapids twenty - 
fwe years. At eighty-five years of age he was 
hale, hearty and active, and exhibited an energy 
and zeal that might put many a much younger 
man to the blush. His death occurred on March 
o. 1905. 

Mc. M. BRYANT. 

One of the oldest, best known and most re- 
spected residents of Cooper -township, Mc. M. 
Bryant has long been prominent in the history 
and industries of his section of the county, and 
has made an enviable record for uprightness of 
character, business capacity, practical public 
spirit and social worth among its people. Pie was 
born at China, in that part of Genesee county 
which is now Wyoming county, N. Y., on Janu- 
ary 11, 1826. His parents were Damon and Anna 
(McMaster) Bryant, the former a native of Col- 
chester, Conn., and the latter of Antrim, N. Y. 
The father was a farmer and moved to Orange 
county, Vt., with his parents in his childhood. 
His father, Daniel Bryant, was a Revolutionary 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



141 



soldier and served as General Washington's bag- 
gage master. He died in Vermont from the effects 
of exposure in crossing the Delaware on the mem- 
orable occasion which preceded the battle of 
Trenton. The father grew to manhood in Ver- 
mont and in 181 2 moved to western New York. 
The stirring activities of the period and the mar- 
tial and patriotic spirit he had inherited from his 
father led him into the war of 1812 and he saw 
active service in the contest. A fter a residence 
of some years in Livingston county he changed 
to Allegany county, N. Y., and afterward became 
a resident of Wyoming county, X. Y., where he 
died at the age of seventy-three. His offspring 
numbered six sons and six daughters. Nine grew 
to maturity, but all are dead but the 'subject of 
this memoir, and one of his sisters who lives at 
Haimvell, in Allegan county. The father was a 
Whig in politics and filled a number of offices in 
his locality. W Tile he was a young man he taught 
school a number of years and assisted in rearing 
his father's family. He reached man's estate in 
Wyoming county, X. Y., and engaged in farming 
there until 1865, when he came to Michigan and 
bought his present farm, which has ever since 
been his home. ( )n this he has built a comfort- 
able dwelling, commodious barns and other neces- 
sary outbuildings, and by assiduous and wisely 
applied industry has transformed a practically un- 
cultivated tract of land into one of the most de- 
sirable farms in the township. He was married 
in New York in 1853, to Miss Marintha M. 
Smith, of the same nativity as himself. She died 
011 May 15, 1880, and in 1883 he married Mrs.— 
Augusta O. Chappeli, whose maiden name was 
Gill, and who also was born in the same county as 
Mr. Bryant. Th.ev have one daughter, Helen 
Louise, who is now attending Kalamazoo Col- 
lege. Mrs. Bryant had two sons by her first mar- 
riage, Fred L. and Earl W. Chappeli. .Mr. Bry- 
ant is independent in politics, but he has often 
been nominated for office although he never 
sought a nomination. He is a member of the Ma- 
sonic order, belonging to the lodge at Cooper 
Center. In his religious views he is classed as a 
liberal. From every point of view he is a worthy 
and useful citizen, and now has in abundance 



"such things as should accompany old age, as 
honor, love, obedience and troops of friends." 

GEORGE A. HOLMES. 

George A. Holmes, of Cooper township, who 
is widely and favorably known all over this 
county, has been a resident of the township in 
which he now lives ever since he was one year old, 
coming hither with his parents in 1847. He was 
born at Strongsville, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, on 
January 3, 1846, and is the son of John H. and 
Rocena C. (Beebe) Holmes, natives of the state 
of New York. The father was a shoemaker and 
farmer. He removed to Ohio when he was but 
twenty years old and remained there until 1847, 
when he came to this county, bringing his family, 
making the trip with a team and conveying all 
his worldly possessions in one wagon. The fam- 
ily settled in Cooper township on the farm on 
which their son George A. now lives. The land 
on which they located was without improvements 
of any kind. The keen Qdge of the pioneer's axe 
had not been felt in its deep woods of long stand- 
ing, the gleaming plowshare of the husbandman 
had not entered its soil, no sound of the approach- 
ing civilization had as yet frightened with the 
foretokening of their inevitable doom the w r ild 
beasts which made it their lair. These hardy ad- 
venturers took the domain as nature gave it to 
them, and proceeded with the all-conquering 
spirit of their class to transform it into a culti- 
vated farm, fruitful in the products of civiliza- 
tion and smiling with the comforts and the 
blandishments of a comfortable home. The par- 
ents lived here to see the change wholly effected, 
the mother dying on this farm in 1894 and the fa- 
ther in 1899. They had two children, their sons 
George A. and Alva W., of Schoolcraft town- 
ship. The father took his place and performed 
his part of the public life of the community and as 
an earnest and loyal Freemason contributed es- 
sentially to its fraternal enjoyments and benefits. 
The grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812 
and died at West Bloomfield, N. Y. His name was 
John Holmes. George A. Holmes grew from in- 
fancy to manhood in Cooper township, working 



142 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



on the farm and gathering a few of the priceless 
nuggets of book knowledge x in the primitive 
schools of his boyhood. He has lived on this 
farm, which he helped to redeem from the wilder- 
ness, all his life so far, and has always been ac- 
tively engaged in farming except during a period 
of five years when he worked at his trade as a 
carpenter. He was married in Cooper township, 
in 1868, to Miss Adelia Souser, a daughter of 
Jacob P. and Lavina (Patry) Souser, who be- 
came residents of the county about 1852. They 
have three children, Albert H., Lillian A. and 
Raymond C. The head of the house is a Republi- 
can in political alliance, but he has never been 
either an office seeker or an active party worker. 
Orlena Beebe, an uncle of Mr. Holmes, 
who lived in this county at various times and for 
various periods since 1837, and who died in Kala- 
mazoo on Thanksgiving day, 1904, was born in 
Ontario county, N. Y., on March 26, 18 19. His 
parents, Abraham W. and Dorcas (Fuller) 
Beebe, were natives of Waterbury, Conn., where 
they farmed until 1792, then moved to New York 
state, locating at what is now the town of Cort- 
land and some little time afterward changing their 
residence to Ontario county. Later they moved 
to Medina county, Ohio, where the father died in 
i860, aged eighty years. There the mother also 
died. They had a family of six sons and five 
daughters. Three of the sons and one daughter 
became residents of Cooper township in this 
county. Mr. Beebe reached his nineteenth year of 
life in Ohio, and after obtaining a common-school 
education there learned the trade of a carpenter. 
In 1837 ne came to this county and from then un- 
til 1852 lived in Cooper township. He then went 
back east and remained until i860, when he again 
came to Cooper township, and this time remained 
until 1878. In that year he removed to Van 
Buren county, where he engaged in fruit growing 
until 1902, when he became a resident of Kalama- 
zoo, where he afterward lived. He was twice 
married, the first time in 1840 to Miss Lucinda 
J. Haines, who bore him four sons, two of whom 
are living and were in the Lmion army during the 
Civil war and one died in the service at Raleigh, 
N. C. The second marriage occurred in 1858, 



and was to Miss Carrie Osborn, a native of 
Franklin, Ohio. Of the children born of this 
union, eight are living, three sons and five daugh- 
ters. Mr. Beebe was a Republican in politics and 
filled several offices in Cooper township. Fra- 
ternally he belonged to the Masonic order, and 
was a member of the Congregational church. 

HENRY LITTLE. 

In the settlement of a new country, when ev- 
erything toward even the planting of civilization 
is yet to be done, and the common conveniences 
of life have to be fashioned from raw material 
with such skill as may be at hand, an accom- 
plished mechanic is of the utmost usefulness, and 
while finding an abundance of work, also sees 
that his craft is appreciated and the labor of his 
head and hands is held in the highest regard. So 
it was that the advent of the late Henry Little, 
of Kalamazoo, into this county on October 3. 
1 83 1, which was early in its history, and at a 
time when the population was sparse, was hailed 
as a great benefaction, bringing in its train many 
needed conveniences and benefits for the pioneers 
who were struggling with adverse conditions 
and badly in need of well-constructed mechanical 
powers. For he was a millwright, machinist and 
master mechanic of great skill and resourceful- 
ness, with a thorough knowledge of his craft and 
an indomitable energy in applying it. Mr. Little 
was born at Cambridge, N. Y., on April 29, 1797, 
the son of William and Phoebe (Merchant) 
Little. When he was but six years old his mother 
died, and the family was broken up. As soon as 
he was able to work he found employment on a 
farm, and continued to be so occupied until he 
reached the age of fifteen. He was then appren- 
ticed to the trade of a millwright and general ma- 
chinist, and soon after completing his apprentice- 
ship, during which he applied himself with earn- 
est attention to the full mastery of everything 
connected with his trade, he began business for 
himself in St. Johnsbury, Vt., in 181 5. He soon 
rose to distinction in his work and secured large 
and important contracts * for the construction of 
public utilities and private structures. In 1826 




IvRANK LITTLK 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



145 



lie went to Boston, Mass., and built several mills 
on the "Big Dam" there. The next year he re- 
turned to St. Johnsbury and entered the employ 
of E. & T. Fairbanks, who were then conducting 
a foundry, iron works and machine shops on the 
site of their present extensive scales manufac- 
tory, and in 1830 he superintended for them the 
section of a mill for cleaning and preparing 
hemp fiber for market. In the operation of this 
mill an imperative necessity arose for some im- 
proved apparatus for weighing hemp when it was 
brought to the mill. To meet this necessity the 
Fairbanks brothers began experimenting on de- 
vising scales upon an entirely new plan, and Mr. 
Little aided them materially in originating and 
bringing to perfection the valuable invention now 
known all over the world as "the Fairbanks plat- 
form scales." On March 1 1/1822, he was united 
in marriage with Miss Ruth Fuller, the daughter 
of Abraham Fuller, a Revolutionary soldier with 
a record of gallant service in the great war for 
independence. Nine years later the family came 
to Michigan, arriving at Galesburg, then known 
as Tolin Prairie, this county, on October 3, 1831. 
More than six years were passed there, at Com- 
stock and Gull Prairie, then in March, 1838, they 
took up their residence at Grand Rapids on gov- 
ernment land, which was afterward exchanged 
for an improved farm near the old home on Gull 
Prairie. From 1838 to 1840 Mr. Little was en- 
gaged in the erection and equipping of mills for 
grinding grain at Paw Paw, Yorkville and Kala- 
mazoo. In 1863 he gave his farm in charge to 
his two younger sons, William Henry and Al- 
bert, and became a permanent resident of the city 
<>f Kalamazoo. His only daughter, Mrs. Wil- 
liam C. Travis, died on February 21, 1878, and 
<>n February 8, 1888, his faithful wife, who 
walked life's troubled way with him for sixty- 
six years, laid down her trust at the behest of the 
Great Disposer, aged eighty-seven years. He 
survived her more than two years, dying at his 
city residence, No. 435 Lovell street, on May 25, 
! 8()o, at the age of ninety-three, and so remark- 
able were his vital energies that both his physi- 
cal and mental powers were well retained to the 
day of his death. His later vears were devoted 



to general reading and the writing of articles 
for publication, his productions being highly ap- '-fy-ps/S* 
preciated. vf^yfc ^sons survive him, ^ William 
Henry and Albert. Mr. Little was a man of pos- 
itive convictions, indomitable energy, perse- 
verance and self-will. He was orderly, frugal, 
painstaking and industrious through life, up- 
right, reliable and exact in business affairs, and 
orthodox and unwavering in his religious faith. 
As a citizen, neighbor and friend he possessed 
the highest esteem and confidence of his fellow 
men. 

Frank Ltttlk, the oldest son of Henry and 
Ruth (Fuller) Little, and whose death occurred 
in November, 1903, was born at St. Johnsbury, 
Vt., on September 29, 1823, and for more than 
fifty years was prominent in the public, social, 
political and literary life of Kalamazoo county 
and the state of Michigan. He was eight years 
old when the family moved to this state, and he 
grew to manhood and was educated here. On 
attaining his majority in 1844 he turned his at- 
tention to merchandising, and during the next 
ten years followed that line of business at Grand 
Rapids, Richland and Kalamazoo. His public 
life began with his election as a notary public in 
1849, an( l from then until the time of his death 
he was almost continuously in the public gaze as 
the incumbent of some important official or semi- 
official station. In 1850 he was chosen clerk of 
Richland township, and after that was succes- 
sively deputy postmaster, school inspector and 
director, school superintendent, member of the 
board of education for thirteen years, and during 
the whole time its secretary and librarian, and 
secretary of the public library, draft commis- 
sioner of the county, secretary of the State Sani- 
tary Fair organized for the relief of Union sol- 
diers in the Civil war, clerk of Kalamazoo 
township and village clerk, and member of the 
sewer commission. In the spring of 1883 he 
was prominent and zealous in securing a city 
charter for Kalamazoo and drafted the one 
obtained. Beginning in 1857, he was for nearly 
thirty years the very popular and efficient secre- 
tary of the Kalamazoo County Agricultural So- 
ciety ; for eleven years first assistant secretary 



146 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



of the State Agricultural Society; for seven 
years secretary of the State Association of Agri- 
cultural Societies, an organization largely of his 
creation ; and was also connected with the Kala- 
mazoo National Park Horse Association of ear- 
lier times. During all that long period, in con- 
nection with other duties, he was a voluminous 
writer for the press, and his numerous treatises, 
papers and public addresses on various subjects 
attracted much attention and were extensively 
quoted in public documents and elsewhere. In 
January, 1874, the Millers' National Association 
of the United States, at its first convention, 
elected him secretary, and he was annually re- 
elected to this position until 1879. Such was his 
efficiency and so valuable were his services in this 
portion that "The Miller/' a London publication 
devoted to the interests of milling, paid him vol- 
untarily the high compliment of publishing a 
sketch of his life with his portrait as a frontis- 
piece, and said : "There can be no doubt that no 
inconsiderable share of the success that has at- 
tended the association is due to Mr. Little's effi- 
ciency as secretary, a position for which he was 
eminently qualified both by general and special 
intelligence." In 1887, month of November, 
"The American Miller," of Chicago, published 
an extended sketch of him with portrait, and paid 
him this tribute in reference to his services as 
secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Millers' 
State Association : "As a" writer for the press 
Mr. Little is especially happy. His style is bold, 
terse and pointed. His reports, papers and ad- 
dresses read before various societies have always 
been regarded as models of clearness and accu- 
racy. His writings are eminently practical. As 
an agricultural authority he can not be surpassed. 
On all subjects, politics included, his views are 
sensible, sound and forcible ; he is pre-eminently 
a man of and for the times, devoting his life to 
furthering the usefulness, happiness and im- 
• provement of the human race." For many years 
he was prominently connected with the County 
Pioneer Society, and was for a long time its effi- 
cient president. In the campaign of 1888 he was 
Democratic candidate for representative of the 
first district, but was defeated, the district being 



heavily Republican. He was chief correspondent 

and statistical crop reporter to the agricultural 
department in Washington for Kalamazoo conn 
ty for over forty years. An article he wrote on 
"Celery Culture in Kalamazoo," was published 
in the report of the department for 1886. In the 
"Biographical Sketches of Eminent Self-Made 
Men of Michigan," the editor gives the follow 
ing just estimate of Mr. Little's character: "In 
all the various positions assigned him, Mr. Little 
has shown the strictest integrity and faithfulness, 
a capacity for business details of no common 
order, an energy and force of character truly re- 
markable, discharging every trust to the satisfac- 
tion of all concerned. He is methodical, thor- 
ough and painstaking in business matters, a man 
of very sound judgment, rare power of mind, of 
much reading and general intelligence. For 
quite a number of years he has been a frequent 
contributor to the local press, treating various 
questions of public interest with such signal abil- 
ity as to give direction to popular thought, and 
call forth commendations from persons of high 
culture and intelligence." Mr. Little was mar- 
ried on November 21, 1846, to Miss Cornelia 
Elizabeth Rnekw^U, the only daughter of Deacon 
and Celestia E. (May) ReekweU, natives of Sand- 
isfield, Mass. Two children were born to the un- 
ion, Isabella May, wife of John A. Weeks, a 
merchant of Yankton. S. D., and Frances K., 
wife of Dr.. Clarence A. Dolson, of Atlantic, la. 
William H. Little, the second son of 
Henry Little, was born in Kalamazoo county on 
September 28, 1837. He grew to nianhoul in 
this county, and has given the whole of his lite 
so far to the vocation of farming. He was edu- 
cated in the common schools and at Prairie Semi- 
nary in Richland. His parents were pioneers in 
the county, and he was called on for a full share 
of the arduous labor of clearing the paternal 
homestead and bringing it to productiveness ; tl in- 
state of high development and improvement of 
the farm gives no suggestion of the wilderness it 
was when the family located on it. Recently Mr. 
Little sold the place and now resides in the vil- 
lage of Richland. On January t, 1867, he united 
in marriage with Miss Charlotte Brown, a na- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



147 



tive of this county, and the daughter of Charles 
B. and Marietta (Mills) Brown, and grand- 
daughter of Deacon Samuel Brown, who was 
an early pioneer of Richland township, where he 
settled in 1831 and died in 1861. Mrs. Little has 
two brothers and two sisters living, Samuel and 
Chester, Lucy, the wife of George Knappen, and 
Lizzie, the wife of Eugene Knappen. Their 
mother died in January, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. 
Little had four children, Charles H., George E., 
Lucy E. and William F. The mother died Feb- 
ruary 16, 1898, and Mr. Little was again married 
( )ctober 31, 1900, his second wife being Miss 
Bell Jackson, a native of this township. Her par- 
ents, Steelman and Luanda (Knappen) Jackson, 
were pioneers of this county, coming from Ver- 
mont in 1833. The father belongs to the Presby- 
terian church, in which body he has been ruling 
elder for a number of years, and the mother was 
an active member of the Missionary and Ladies' 
Aid Society. Mr. Little is a Republican in pol- 
itics, and for a number of years he served as 
township commissioner. Like his brother Frank, 
he is a gentleman of extensive intelligence, wide 
reading and true culture, with excellent business 
capacity and good judgment, combined with a 
breadth of view and a lofty spirit of patriotism. 
No citizen of his township is better known and 
is more generally esteemed. 

JAMES WENHAM. 

James Wenham, who for thirty-seven years 
has followed the peaceful vocation of farming in 
this and Allegan counties, twenty-nine of them on 
the place which is now His home, entered on the 
great theatre of life as a young man in the mili- 
tary service of his adopted country, bravely de- 
fending the Union in the Civil war and daring 
death on many of its most saguinary fields of bat- 
tle. He was born in Sussex county, England, on 
September 29, 1842, and is the son of James and 
Maria (Hunt) Wenham, natives of the same 
county as himself. The father was a farmer and 
brought his family to the United States in 1849, 
locating at Cleveland, O., and from there as his 
headquarters carrying on large operations in rail- 



road construction work under contract in western 
Ohio and Pennsylvania. He moved to this county 
in 1 86 1 and lived here until 1866, his death oc- 
curring in 1882, at Plain well, Allegan county. 
The mother died in Allegan county in 1884. They 
had two sons and two daughters, all of whom are 
living except the oldest daughter. The parents 
were earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Their son James lived in Ohio until 
late in the summer of 1861, when, on August 6th, 
he enlisted in the Union army as a member of 
Company C, Twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry. His 
regiment was soon at the front as a part of the 
Army of the Potomac, to which it was attached 
during the first two years of its existence, and in 
this time he took part in the battles of Winchester, 
Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville and Gettys- 
burg. At the last named Mr. Wenham fired four 
hundred rounds of ammunition. Soon after that 
great battle the regiment was transferred to the 
Army of the Tennessee, under command of Gen- 
eral Joe Hooker, and participated in the battle of 
Lookout Mountain. He was then veteranized and 
went with Sherman to the sea. In the battle of 
Buzzard's Roost, in which he was color bearer, 
he was shot in the side, and his wound laid him 
up in the hospital ten months. He was discharged 
in 1865 with the rank of corporal, and in the fall 
of that year joined his parents in Alamo township, 
this county. The next year, in partnership with 
his father, he bought a farm, which they worked 
together until 1876, when he purchased his pres- 
ent home in Cooper township, and on this he has 
lived ever since. He was married in the autumn 
of 1869 to Miss Harriett Hart, a native of Trum- 
bull county, Ohio. Her father was born in Con- 
necticut, and her mother in Pennsylvania. Mr. 
and Mrs. Wenham have three children, Carrie- 
wife of Wallace Breese, of Cooper township, Al- 
bert, a farmer of this township, who married Lot- 
tie Adams, of Alamo township, and Bernice, liv- 
ing at home. Mr. Wenham has served as justice 
of the peace two terms. He is a Republican in po- 
litical relations, and fraternally he belongs to the 
Masonic order and its adjunct, the Order of the 
Eastern Star. He and his wife are members of 
the Congregational church, of which he has been 



148 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



a trustee for many years, and for two years super- 
intendent of its Sunday school. He is also a 
member of the school board. 

E. H. GLEN. 

This esteemed pioneer and worthy citizen of 
Cooper township, who has passed almost the 
whole of his life so far within its borders and 
lived acceptably among its people, is a native of 
Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he was born on 
June 7, 1837. He is the son of Alexander and 
Hannah (Gregory) Glen, the former born in New 
York and the latter in Vermont. The father was 
a millwright and carpenter and also followed 
farming. In 1837 he brought his family to Mich- 
igan, traveling by water to Detroit and from there 
with ox teams to Kalamazoo county, locating in 
Cooper township on section 20, where he pur- 
chased one hundred and sixty acres of govern- 
ment land. This he sold later and then bought 
another tract on section 16. While clearing his 
land and making it habitable and productive, he 
worked at his trade, for which there was great 
need in the township, as mechanical labor was 
scarce and skill in that line was at a premium. 
He erected many of the earlier barns, dwellings 
and other structures in this and the adjoining 
townships, and did his work so well that although 
nearly half a century has passed since some of 
them were put up they still stand in excellent con- 
dition. He lived on his farm in the township un- 
til his death, on August 11, 1882. The mother 
died there in 1877. They had three sons, and also 
a daughter who is now dead. Their son E. H. is 
the only member of the family now living in this 
county. The father was a Democrat in political 
faith, and served many years as justice of the 
peace and also as highway commissioner. The 
grandfather, Allen Glen, was a Scotchman who 
came to the United States a young man and died 
in this country. E. H. Glen has never known any 
other home than Kalamazoo county. He came 
here with his parents when he was less than a 
year old, and all of his subsequent life has been 
passed in the county. His education was obtained 
in its district schools, his habits of thrift and in- 



dustry were formed in clearing and cultivating its 
soil, and when the time came for it his domestic 
, shrine was erected among its people. After finish- 
ing the course of instruction in the public schools 
he pursued a course of special business training 
at the Kalamazoo Commercial College, and after 
assisting his parents with their farm work a 
number of years after reaching his majority he 
bought the farm on which he now lives, and has 
since continuously resided. On September 3. 
1863, he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy 
A. Hart, whose father, George Hart, was a pio- 
neer of Cooper township, settling there in 1836. 
Mr. and Mrs. Glen had two children, both now 
deceased. Their mother also is dead, having 
passed away on July 26, 1903. From his early 
manhood Mr. Glen has loyally adhered to the 
principles of the Democratic party, and has given 
its cause his hearty support. He served a num- 
ber of years as a justice of the peace, although 
never desirous of political office. To the Ma- 
sonic order he has long been attached and de- 
voted. He is a charter member of United Lodge, 
No. 149, at Cooper Center, and was its worship- 
ful master for many years. He is also a Royal 
Arch Mason, and both in the symbolic and the 
capitular degrees he finds continued pleasure and 
profit. 

ANSON W. HUNTLEY. 

The restless energy of the American people, 
which never rests in its ambitious efforts for su- 
premacy, but makes one conquest the stepping- 
stone to another, and even sometimes seeks diffi- 
culties for the joy in the triumph of overcoming 
them, is well illustrated in the family record of 
the Huntley family, of which Anson W. Huntley, 
a well known farmer and highly respected citi- 
zen of Cooper township, this county, is a worthy 
representative. Leaving its native England to seek 
a foothold in the new world early in our colonial 
history, and establishing itself in New Eneland. it 
entered upon the trying office of subduing the 
wild conditions then obtaining in that region to 
civilization and fruitfulness in cultivated life. 
Then when that task was measurably accom- 
plished, it took a flight toward the sunset where 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



149 



there were other new lands to conquer and located 
in Ohio ; and a few years later came farther west 
and settled on the virgin soil of Michigan, each 
generation repeating on the farther frontier the 
achievements of its predecessor where it camped. 
Anson W. Huntley was born on January 13, 1840, 
in Ashtabula county, Ohio, where his grandfa- 
ther, Ezekiel Huntley, who was born and reared 
in Connecticut, settled in 1812. There Mr. Hunt- 
ley's father, Ezekiel W. Huntley, was born and 
reared, his mother having been born in New 
York state. In October, 1862, they moved to 
Kalamazoo county and located on the farm in 
Cooper township on which their son now lives. 
Thev built the present dwelling on this land and 
lived here until summoned from their earthly la- 
bors, the mother dying in 1879, an ^ the father in 
1897. After the death of his first wife he mar- 
ried Mrs. C. Hart, of Plajnwell. He had four 
sons, all of whom are living in Cooper township, 
but one, Hollis, who died in June, 1905. Ezekiel 
I luntley was a man of local prominence and filled 
a number of township offices. Fraternally he be- 
longed to the Masonic order and was earnest in 
devotion to his lodge. His son Anson reached 
manhood and was educated in Ohio. Me became 
a resident of this county in 1863 and began farm- 
ing one-half a mile west of Cooper Center, where 
he lived until 1902, when he moved to his present 
home. He was married in Ohio, in October, 
1862, to Miss Amelia L. Hare, a native of Eng- 
land. They have had four children, all deceased. 
In political affairs Mr. Huntley supports the Re- 
publican party, and has filled a number of local 
offices, serving as township clerk, afterward as 
supervisor, and now as highway commissioner. 
I le is a Freemason and holds his membership in 
the lodge of the order at Cooper Center. The 
reputation made by his father in public and pri- 
vate life as an excellent citizen has been sus- 
tained by him in his own record, and throughout 
the county he is respected as one of Cooper's 
sterling and representative men. 

ASHER G. HUNTLEY. 

This well known and esteemed blacksmith of 
( ooper Center, wdiose forge has emitted its cheer- 



ful glow in this community for twenty years, is a 
native of Ashtabula county, Ohio, born on Sep- 
tember 18, 1843. He is a brother of A. W. Hunt- 
ley, whose sketch in another part of this work 
contains extended mention of the family history. 
In his native state he grew to manhood and re- 
ceived a common-school education. After leaving 
school he learned his trade, finishing his appren- 
ticeship in 1 86 1 and working as a journeyman 
until 1864, when he enlisted in the Twenty-fifth 
Ohio Independent Light Artillery, and during the 
remainder of the Civil war was under the com- 
mand of General Steele on the Saline river and 
at Little Rock, Ark. He was mustered out of the 
service in December, 1865, at Camp Chase. The 
next year he came to Michigan and farmed in 
Kalamazoo and Shiawassee counties until 1884, 
when he opened his shop at Cooper Center, which 
he has had in active operation ever since. He was 
married in Ohio in 1873 to Miss Isabelle Mar- 
shall. They have one child, their son Willard M., 
who is living at home. Mr. Huntley is a Republi- 
can in political allegiance, but while he supports 
his party loyally, he has never sought or desired 
any of its honors or emoluments in the way of 
political office for himself. Fraternally he belongs 
to the Grand Army of the Republic and the Ma- 
sonic order in lodge and chapter. With capacity, 
intelligence and skill, and moreover with unceas- 
ing industry in his vocation, he has won the log- 
ical reward of his usefulness in a substantial pros- 
perity and a firm hold on the confidence and re- 
gard of his fellow men. Cooper township knows 
no better citizen and looks upon none as more 
faithful to duty. 

WILLIAM WALLACE. 

The late William Wallace, a well known pro- 
gressive farmer of Kalamazoo and Cooper town- 
ships, was essentially a pioneer in this county, al- 
though he did not become a resident of it until 
1 85 1. For notwithstanding the fact that the 
county had been occupied by many whites for 
nearly a quarter of a century before that time, he 
found on his arrival here much unoccupied land 
and vast tracts of wholly unsettled country. He 



150 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



was born in Cambridgeshire, England, in 1813, 
and lived there until he reached the age of thirty- 
eight years. Then emigrating to the United 
States, he came direct to Kalamazoo county and 
found employment with the old distilling com- 
pany of that day at Schoolcraft. Nothing is 
known now of his parents or ancestry, but that 
he came of a sturdy and self-reliant strain was 
demonstrated by his own characteristics and the 
industry and usefulness of his life. He lived at 
Schoolcraft a number of years, then moved to 
Kalamazoo and engaged in farming near the vil- 
lage as it was in that period. Some years later 
he bought the farm in Kalamazoo township on 
which he lived until his death in 1891, and which 
his diligence and skill as a farmer changed from 
an almost unimproved condition to one of great 
productiveness and value. He was married at 
Schoolcraft in 1859 to Miss Mary Ann Crawford, 
a native of Ireland, who crossed the ocean and 
located in Canada in her girlhood. They had two 
children, Mary E., now the wife of Lewis Hen- 
schel, of Cooper township, and William E., who 
was born in 1862. The latter has always resided 
in Kalamazoo township. He operates the old 
homestead and a farm in Cooper township. The 
father was a member of the Baptist church, and 
the mother of the Church of England. 

A. H. STODDARD. 

This venerable and most worthy citizen of 
Cooper township, who is, although not strictly a 
pioneer of the county, one of its oldest and most 
respected citizens, as he has been one of its most 
useful and productive men during his residence 
here of more than forty years, is now past 
ninety years of age and is still hale, strong and 
active. He has had a remarkable career, aside 
from the great age to which he has lived, and is 
well deserving of an honored place in any work 
which purports to be in any extended sense an 
exposition of the lives and achievements of the 
progressive men -of Kalamazoo county. For he 
has been an earnest advocate of every means of 
grace to the best and most wholesome develop- 
ment of the community, and being highly en- 



dowed by nature with physical strength and dar- 
ing and intellectual qualities that have enabled 
him to twine the club of Hercules with the flowers 
of rhetoric, his personal achievements in mere 
bodily labor and his advocacy of moral, educa- 
tional and spiritual forces for the advancement of 
his section of the country have been potential, im- 
portant and of lasting effect. His paternal an- 
cestors were of English origin and the American 
progenitors of the family were among the early 
settlers of New England. His father, Asa Stod- 
dard, was a native of Connecticut, but in his 
young manhood moved to Essex county, New 
York, and he lived there a number of years. In 
the war of 18 12 he served on the Niagara fron- 
tier, and in 1852 became a resident of Juniata, 
Tuscola county, Michigan, and here he lived un- 
til his death, in 1868. On the maternal side 
Mr. Stoddard traces his ancestry to John Rogers, 
the martyr of the bigotry of his age, who perished 
at the stake in 1555. His maternal great-grand- 
father, when an old man, was slain in the Wyom- 
ing (Pennsylvania) massacre in July, 1778. Mr. 
Stoddard's grandmother was among those who 
at this time found refuge in "Forty Fort,'' just 
above Wilkes- Bar re. When the few survivors of 
the massacre returned to the fort they drove 
in some of the cows belonging to the inhabitants, 
and this good woman, with others, hastened to 
milk them. In a few minutes she had finished 
two and came in with two brimming pails, and 
she immediately began to distribute their con- 
tents among the thirsty soldiers who had formed 
in line inside the fort. The welcome beverage 
was just enough to go around. She was in this 
fort when the British and Indians took possession, 
and she saw among the savages one who was 
wearing her father's coat, which he had taken 
from the dead body. The fatal bullet-hole told 
how the deadly messenger had done its work. The 
heroic woman made her escape with others by 
traveling 011 foot through forty miles of wilder- 
ness, carrying her little child, eighteen months 
old, and a package of wearing apparel with other 
articles in her arms. Mr. Stoddard has a pewter 
plate in his possession which she carried on that 
perilous journey. Mr. Stoddard's maternal 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



151 



o-randfather served under Washington in New 
icrsey in the Revolution and was in General Sulli- 
van's famous expedition against the Six Na- 
tions in 1779. He died at Minisink, Orange 
county, New York, in 1792, leaving eight chil- 
dren, of whom Lucretia, the mother of Mr. Stod- 
dard, was the youngest, save one. Mrs. Harding 
married a second husband, Benjamin At water, 
one of the pioneers of Wayne county, New York. 
They settled at Williamson in that county, in 
1802, and there, on October 31, 1814, Mr. Stod- 
dard was born. His mother dying while he was 
wt an infant, he and his sister, the late Mrs. M. 
\\. Russell, of Battle Creek, were reared in his 
(irandfather Atwaters family, where he remained 
until he was eighteen years old. Being then 
thrown on his own resources, he worked on a 
farm by the month during the summer in order 
to get the needed funds to attend school in the 
winter until he was qualified to teach, when he 
reversed the order by teaching during the win- 
ter and attending an academy in the summer. He 
taught twenty-four successive winters, six of 
them in one school district. In 1837 he married 
Miss Mary Ann Russell, of Williamson, a daugh- 
ter of Daniel Russell, the first settler of that town- 
ship. She died in 1846, leaving one daughter, who 
died in 1853. Tn 1848 Mr. Stoddard married Miss 
Ann Elizabeth Anthony, a daughter of Silas An- 
thony, of Williamson. She died in 1849, anc ^ m 
1852 he married Miss Laura Jane, daughter of 
William R. San ford, of Marion, the same county. 
This lady, like her husband, had been a successful 
school teacher. Of their union were born two 
snns. William S. and Lucien H., the latter of 
whom is a resident of this county, and lives on 
the old homestead. They came to the county with 
their father as boys in 1863, and here William 
died" on July 20, 1898. The father has, from 
his young manhood, taken an earnest interest in 
public education, devoting his best energies to 
the advancement of the common schools in New 
York and Michigan, and has at various times held 
wiportant positions in connection with the school 
system. He has from boyhood been a zealous 
advocate of temperance, and has by his voice and 
his pen, as well as by other means, done much 



to advance the cause. Although never an active 
politician he was reared a Democrat, but after 
1854 he generally supported the Republican party, 
it being, according to his views, 'The more demo- 
cratic of the two." Since 1884 ne nas voted the 
Prohibition ticket. Mr. Stoddard is a vigorous 
and graceful poetical writer, and has long been 
familiarly known as the "Farmer Poet," a so- 
briquet very justly bestowed and one which he 
wears with becoming modesty. 

William S. Stoddard, the older of his ' 
two sons by his third marriage, whose useful life 
had an untimely end on July 20, 1898, was born 
in New York state on April 29, 1853. Pie be- 
gan his scholastic training in the schools of his 
native state and finished it in those of Michigan, 
winding up with a course at the Kalamazoo high 
school. He was a farmer through life and pur- 
chased a place adjoining his father's, on which 
he lived to the end. He was united in marriage 
in 1874 with Miss Carrie E. Goodrich, a native 
of Cooper township, and a daughter of Thomas 
Goodrich, one of its prominent pioneers. They 
had five children, all living, Lucy M., Elizabeth, 
wife of George Castle, Ressie, wife of Ered Sell- 
ers, both of Kalamazoo, and Shirley and William 
San ford, living at home. Their father was a 
man of influence and filled a number of local 
offices in the township. 

Lucien Stoddard, the second son of A. 
PL Stoddard by his third marriage, and the one 
who now lives on the homestead, was also born in 
Xew York, his life beginning there on May 28, 
1855. He came to Michigan when he was but 
eight years old, and here he was reared and edu- 
cated, attending the common schools and finish- 
ing with a one year's course at Kalamazoo Col- 
lege. Like his brother, he has followed farming 
through life, but has made a specialty of small 
fruits-, grapes, berries, etc., and more especially 
orcharding. His vineyard is large and productive 
and its yield is of the first quality of excellence. 
His farm is admirably located and the buildings 
and other improvements which enrich and adorn 
it are among the best in the township. He was 
married in 1882 to Miss Lavinia Pease, a native 
of New York, whose parents, William and Sarah 



152 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



(Dykeman) Pease, came to this county in 1867 
and located in Texas township. A few years ago 
they came to live with Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard, 
with whom they still have their home. Five chil- 
dren have been born in this household, Elworth 
F., Minnie B., Grace A., William A. and Jennie 
P.' Their father is a Prohibitionist in politics and 
has been the candidate of his party for several 
local offices. 

HON. JOHN MILHAM. 

This prominent and well-known pioneer of 
Kalamazoo county became a resident of the 
county in 1845 and passed the remainder of his 
life ir\ the midst of its people, deeply interested 
in a practicable and serviceable way in its multi- 
tudinous industries and all its educational, moral 
and social activities. He was a native of Colum- 
bia county, N. Y., born on May 24, 1805, and 
the son of Mathias and Gertrude (Michel) Mil- 
ham, who were also born in the state of New 
York and passed the whole of their lives there 
actively engaged in farming. There they reared 
their family and gave them all the advantages 
their circumstances would allow. Their son John 
was brought up on the farm and early in his life 
began farming for himself, adopting his vocation 
from choice and never quiting it to the end of his 
days. Early in the '40s he made a tour of obser- 
vation through this portion of Michigan, and 
being pleased with the outlook, came here in 1845 
to live, settling on a tract of wild land which he 
purchased two miles and a half south of Kala- 
mazoo. He erected a frame dwelling which is 
still standing, and pushed the improvement of 
his farm so vigorously that in 1848 he was 
awarded a prize of half a dozen solid silver spoons 
by the Kalamazoo County Agricultural Society 
for having the best farm in the county. The 
spoons are still in the family and are cherished 
as a valuable souvenir, much more for the tribute 
to his worth they embody than for their intrinsic 
value. He added to his original purchase until 
he owned four hundred and forty-six acres of 
excellent and highly improved land at his death, 
on February 7, 1885. While living in New York 



he was an officer in the state militia and as such 
acted as a part of Lafayette's escort in 1824. 
There he also represented his district a number 
of terms in the state legislature and filled several 
other local offices. After coming to Michigan he 
served as supervisor of his township and filled 
other offices of local prominence and importance. 
Throughout his long life he adhered faithfully to 
the Democratic party in politics, and was ever an 
earnest and forceful advocate of its principles. 
He was active and energetic also in business, 
being one of the founders of the Kalamazoo Paper 
Mill Company and one of its stockholders to the 
day of his death. In addition he was president of 
the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company 
fifteen years, being the first incumbent of the 
office, and for many years an officer of the agri- 
cultural society, in which he took a deep and 
zealous interest. He was four times married, 
first to Miss Eva Poucher, a native of Columbia 
county, N. Y., who died there in 183 1, leaving 
four children, all sons. The second marriage 
was with Miss Almira Rathbone, also a native of 
New York, who died in this county in 1848, leav- 
ing a family of three sons and two daughters. 
The third wife was Miss Louisa Anderson, of 
Kalamazoo county, and the fruit of this union was 
four sons and three daughters. She died here in 
November, 1866. Samantha Anderson, who then 
became his wife, survived him a number of years. 
Mr. Milham was one of the first trustees of the 
Michigan Female Seminary and also a trustee of 
the Congregational church. 

Robert E. Milham, a son of the third mar- 
riage, was born on September 19, 1854, on the 
home farm and was educated in the schools of the 
county. He assisted his father on the farm until 
attaining his majority when he took charge of the 
place himself. Since then he has conducted its 
operations continuously, and has kept it up to 
the high standard of excellence reached in its 
management by his father. He was married on 
October 4, 1888, to Miss C. Clemana Pomeroy, a 
daughter of Norton Pomeroy, an account of 
whose life appears on another page of this work. 
Like his father, Robert Milham takes an active 
part in the commercial and industrial life of 



<£* iSS^ 



/ 



mt 




JOHN Ml I.HAM. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



155 



Kalamazoo and the neighboring counties, being a 
stockholder in the Bardeen Paper Company of 
Otsego, and the Superior Paper Company and the 
Railway Supply Company of Kalamazoo, also in 
the Standard Paper Company which has recently 
been organized. He is an independent Democrat 
in politics, and is now (1905) serving as over- 
seer of highways, in which capacity he has acted 
for over twenty years. Two children have been 
bom in his family, his sons Robert L. and Clinton 
T. He is a Knight of Pythias and a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal church near his home. 
It is high praise but a just tribute to his worth 
to say that he is a fine exemplar of the business 
thrift, public spirit and elevated citizenship so 
amply exhibited by his father. 

CYRUS A. WALKER. 

Cooper, which is one of the northern tier of 
townships in this county, has a pleasing variety of 
soil and altitude, resources and possibilities, 
which has made it the home of a thrifty, indus- 
trious and progressive people, and one of the 
most prosperous sections of the county. Its settle- 
ment by the whites began about 1833, an< ^ ^ olir 
years later the parents of Cyrus A. Walker lo- 
cated in the township on the land which is the 
present home of Mr. Walker and on which he was 
born on January 2, 1859. He is the son of John 
and Octavio (Cunningham) Walker, the former 
born in the state of New York and the latter in 
bake county, Ohio. They were farmers and came 
tn Michigan in 1836, taking up their residence 
at Kalamazoo, where the father taught school 
and acted as assistant postmaster for a year. In 
1837 he purchased of Luther Trask the home 
farm and moved on it at once. Here he passed the 
remainder of his life, clearing his land, enlarging 
iis fertility and productiveness and enriching it 
v/ith good improvements as the years glided by. 
( ] n this farm he died in 1878 and his wife in 1904. 
i bey had two children, both living, their son 
Cyrus and their daughter Mary, the wife of J. 
-1 T ravers, of Plainwell, Allegan county. The 
father was a man of prominence and influence in 
*°cal affairs and represented the county three 
10 



terms in the lower house of the state legislature, 
going there in 1864, 1867 and 1873. He was also 
township clerk and supervisor a number of years. 
In political adherence he was a pronounced Aboli- 
tionist, and was earnest and zealous in behalf of 
the cause he espoused. The son received his edu- 
cation in the district schools near his home and 
was prepared for business at the Parsons Com- 
mercial College in Kalamazoo. On the death of 
his father he took charge of the farm, and he has 
lived on it and conducted its operations ever 
since. In 1883 he was married to Miss Lyclia 
Earl, a native of Cooper township, this county, 
and daughter of Sandford and Elizabeth (Lay ton) 
Earl, who settled in Cooper township in the '5 os - 
Mr. and Mrs. Walker have two children, their 
sons John E. and Leon O. Mr. Walker is a Re- 
publican in political faith and has served five 
years as supervisor and four as town clerk. He 
is a Freemason in fraternal relations and has been 
the worshipful master of his lodge. Following his 
father's example, he is a member of the Congre- 
gational church. He has kept faith with his 
family and his sense of duty by faithfully carry- 
ing forward the work of local improvement be- 
gun by his parents, and has maintained in every 
relation of life the good name they won by their 
demonstrated merit and sterling lives. 

TOM WILLIAMS. 

This fine mechanic and superior business man, 
who is one of the oldest millers in Kalamazoo 
county, both in years of life and continuous work 
at his trade, was born in Somersetshire, England, 
on November 29, 1838. He is the proprietor and 
practical operator of the Williams mill, which 
stands on the site of the old blast furnace erected 
by Woodbury, Potter & Wood, a site used for a 
manufactory from an early date in the history of 
Kalamazoo. He is the son of Richard and Emily 
(Barrett) Williams, who were also natives of 
Somersetshire, where their forefathers lived 
many generations. The father came to the United 
States in T848 and took up his residence in the 
state of New York. He soon afterward brought 
his entire family, consisting of his wife and six 



156 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



children, over, and after a residence in the Empire 
state of a number of years, he made a trip to Cali- 
fornia in 1859, remaining there several years. He 
then returned to New York, where he and his 
wife died at advanced ages. Their son, Tom, 
grew to manhood in that state, and there learned 
his trade as a miller. He worked in several of the 
largest mills in Oswego, doing all kinds of work 
that are to be done in a mill, dressing stones and 
attending to all other branches of the business. 
In 1863 he came to Michigan and went to work 
in the mill of Royal C. Kellogg at Battle Creek, 
where he remained until 1864, when he moved to 
Kalamazoo. After a short term of employment 
in the Olcott mill here, he and his brother bought 
a mill at Hannibal, N. Y., which they operated 
until 1876. In that year Tom returned to Kala- 
mazoo and soon afterward purchased of Grant 
Whitcomb a one-half interest in his present mill 
site, four years later buying the other half. The 
old mill was destroyed by fire in 1896 and Mr. 
Williams immediately erected the present struc- 
ture, installing a fine roller process and making 
his plant up-to-date in every respect. Here he 
has worked and prospered, steadily enlarging his 
trade and strengthening himself in the regard of 
the public until his mill is one of the best known 
industrial institutions of the city and he is one of 
the best known and most esteemed citizens of the 
county. He was married in Kalamazoo in 1865 
to Miss Julia E. Evits, a native of the city and a 
daughter of Ransler E. Evits, one of its venerated 
pioneers. They have two children, Nellie M., 
now Mrs. Bassett, and Harriet J., now Mrs. Fritz, 
the latter living at home. Their mother died on 
January 9, 1904. The father is a Baptist in church 
affiliation and a Prohibitionist in politics. His 
achievements in life and the competency he has 
won, large and worthy as they are, have been the 
results of his indomitable energy and persistent 
industry, for he started with no capital but his 
natural endowments and has no favors of for- 
tune to aid him along the dusty highway of en- 
deavor. 

JAMES H. TRAVIS. 

The late James Travis, one of the esteemed 
and leading farmers of Cooper township, this 



county, who departed this life on his homestead, 
on which his widow now lives, passing away in 
1903, was one of a family of ten children, all 
now deceased, born to Jonathan and Prudence 
(Austin) Travis, and first saw the light of this 
world on his father's farm in Cooper township, 
eight miles north of Kalamazoo, on June 12, 
1 84 1. His parents were both natives of New 
York state and followed farming there until 1837, 
when they moved to this state and settled on the 
farm before mentioned. The father was a soldier 
in the war of 181 2, and rendered gallant service 
in that short but often sanguinary struggle 
whereby the independence of the United States 
was established on the sea as it was by the revo- 
lution on land. After many years of usefulness 
in developing and cultivating his farm and aiding 
in the general progress of the people in this 
county, he died on his farm in 1872. His widow 
afterward moved to Kalamazoo, where her life 
ended some years later. Their son James was 
reared and educated in this county, attending dis- 
trict schools in intervals between the busy seasons 
of farm work in which he assisted his parents, and 
pursued a course of special training in the Kala- 
mazoo Business College. He taught school for 
a number of years and then began farming, an 
occupation which engaged his attention to the ex- 
clusion of almost everything else until his death, 
which occurred on the farm on which he settled 
in 1886. He was married on December 23, 1873, 
to Miss 1 Sophia Oatman, a native of Vermont. 
They had four children, Harry A., Mae P., 
Emma E. and Laura J., all living. Mr. Travis 
was never a politician, but he was a model farmer 
and a highly respected citizen. 

CLARENCE J. VANDERBILT. 

Among the progressive, enterprising and suc- 
cessful farmers of Cooper township, this county, 
Clarence J. Vanderbilt stands in the first rank and 
his fine farm of one hundred and six acres is one 
of the best, most highly improved, and most skill- 
fully cultivated in that part of the county. He 
has on it a good modern brick dwelling and all 
other needed structures to make it complete, up- 
to-date and tasteful in appearance; and here he 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



157 



pursues the peaceful and independent vocation of 
the old patriarchs, contented with his lot and un- 
disturbed by the noisy contentions of political 
strife, the schemes of worldly ambition of the 
mercantile world or the follies of fashionable so- 
ciety. He was born at Lawrence, Wayne county, 
N. Y., on May 19, 1849, an d is the son of John 
and Rachel (Jennings) Vanderbilt, the father 
also a native in that county, and the mother in 
Connecticut. The grandfather, Michael Vander- 
bilt, was a second cousin to Commodore Vander- 
bilt. The father of Clarence came to Michigan 
and brought his family with him in 1869. He lo- 
cated in Cooper township, where he had previ- 
ously purchased land, and lived there until his 
death in 1889, at the age of seventy-two years. Of 
his family of eight children, five are living. Clar- 
ence J. Vanderbilt was educated in the district 
schools of his native county and at the academy 
of some renown located at Sodus in that county. 
He accompanied his parents in their removal to 
Michigan and was married here, in 1875, t° Miss 
Emily Vandenburg, the daughter of Philo and 
Alice (Owen) Vandenburg, the former a native 
of Dutchess county, N. Y., and the latter of Ver- 
mont. The father came to this state in 1833 and 
bought a farm on the river road. He lived to clear 
his land and put his property in good condition. 
The farm is one on which Mr. Vanderbilt now 
lives and contains as fine land as can be found in 
the county. Mrs. Vanderbilt's mother came to 
Kalamazoo a girl, and after she reached maturity 
taught school a number of years, at Marengo, 
Calhoun county. She was graduated from an ex- 
cellent seminary in Montpelier, Vt., and is still 
living. Her husband died on October 5, 1887. 
He was prominent in local affairs and filled a 
number of township offices. Mr. Vanderbilt is a 
Democrat in politics, and he and his wife belong 
to the Congregational church. He has employed 
in his work as a farmer the shrewdness, business 
capacity and energy for which the family is noted, 
<md has won in his way as complete and signal 
triumph in material results as any man in the 
township of equal opportunities. Among the peo- 
ple around him in a large extent of country he is 
much thought of and is generally respected 
throughout the county. 



JOHN E. MILLS. 

The first settler in Cooper township, this 
county, located there in 1833, an d for a number 
of years thereafter the advent of additional set- 
tlers was sporadic, one following another at ir- 
regular intervals and locating wherever chance or 
inclination led him, without any attempt at sys- 
tematic colonization. But the natural wealth of 
the region soon began to attract first squads and 
later platoons of the on-coming army of pioneers 
which was marching in the wake of the setting 
sun and subjugating everything as it advanced. 
Among the early arrivals after the first few 
years came the late John E. Mills, who departed 
this life in the township in 1898 after living fifty- 
three years of his long and serviceable career on 
the soil of the state. While not one of the very 
first settlers, he came soon enough to find all the 
conditions of the wildest frontier confronting him 
and contesting his efforts to win a home and an 
estate in the new country to which the spirit of 
adventure and the hope of gain had broughtt him. 
Mr. Mills was born in Cayuga county, N. Y., in 

1 81 3, the son of Elijah and (Cameron) 

Mills, the former a native of New York, and the 
latter of Ireland, who came hither about the year 
1840 and here passed the remainder of their days. 
The father was a soldier in the war of 1812, and 
for many years was engaged in works of con- 
struction and transportation in his native state, 
working on several old stage lines and the Erie 
canal. His son John grew to the age of twenty - 
two in New York, received there a limited educa- 
tion in the common schools, and until 1835 ne 
wrought at various occupations in the neighbor- 
hood of his home. In the year just specified he 
became a resident of Michigan, the fame of which 
as a land of promise and great possibilities was 
filling his native state at that time and winning 
portions of its brain and brawn to beget a new 
political entity in the wilderness held in the em- 
brace of the great lakes. He first located near 
Detroit and some little time afterward moved to 
Schoolcraft, where he remained a short time. 
Later he took up his home in Kalamazoo town- 
ship on a farm he purchased just east of the 
village of Kalamazoo which is now a part of 



158 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Recreation Park within the city limits. In the 
course of time he sold this and bought a farm in 
Cooper township, on which he died in 1898. He 
was married in 1852, in Cooper, to Mrs. Edwin 
F. Murphy, whose maiden name was Louisa L. 
Delano. She was the daughter of Ephraim E. 
Delano, a pioneer of the township who moved 
there from Saratoga county, N. Y., in 1834, and 
entered forty acres of land in section 17, on 
which he settled. He also owned land in sections 
8 and 9. Having come early to the region, he 
was able to make choice selections from the at- 
tractive oak openings and fine timber land, which 
he. transformed into a superior and well-culti- 
vated farm. He was the first clerk of the town- 
ship, and after many years of usefulness and pro- 
ductive labor in improving his own property, and 
of wholesome influence on the public affairs of 
the section, he died in 1871 on the land he first 
entered. Mr. and Mrs. Mills had seven sons, 
four of whom are living, George C, at home, J. 
Irvin, of Idaho, Fred, an attorney in Kalamazoo, 
and Samuel W., also at home. In political affilia- 
tion Mr. Mills was first a Whig and later a Re- 
publican. He was a man of force and influence, 
and was generally known and respected through- 
out the county. 

CYRUS E. TRAVIS. 

In the year following the organization of 
Cooper township, this county, that is in 1837, the 
late Cyrus E. Travis, one of its honored pioneers, 
became a resident of the township and at once 
began to take an active part in the stirring indus- 
trial activities of the region to which it had but 
recently awakened from its long sleep of centu- 
ries, and also to look forward to the career of use- 
fulness and credit which he was destined to have 
among its people. He was born in the state of 
New York on October 8, 1820, the son of Jona- 
than and Prudence (Austin) Travis, whom he 
accompanied to this state from Ohio, whither 
they had moved from New York where they had 
been born and reared. The father was a farmer, 
and after pursuing his chosen vocation in his na- 
tive state until 1830, determined to try his hand 



on the virgin soil of the w^est, and accordingly 
gathered his household goods about him and set 
out for what was then considered the garden spot 
of all the region beyond the Alleghanies, the new 
state of Ohio. But that favored region was al- 
ready too old and well settled to satisfy his desire 
for frontier life of an ultra character, and after 
living in it something over six years, in 1837 he 
brought his family to Michigan and settled in 
Cooper township, this county. The family then 
comprised seven sons and two daughters, and for 
a time they were crowded into a little log shanty 
which was hastily erected on the tract of wild 
land which the father entered as his future home. 
But all were cheerful with hope and the prospect 
of expanding prosperity, and all labored diligently 
in clearing the lands and getting it ready for 
cultivation. In a few years the shanty gave place 
to a comfortable frame dwelling, which was liter- 
ally raised from the soil as the family had no in- 
come except what was realized from the crops of 
the farm. The father lived to see the whole of 
this farm cleared and brought to advanced culti- 
vation, and then, on the land which was hallowed 
by his labors, the end of life came to him and he 
was laid to rest amid an advancing civilization 
which he had helped materially to plant in this 
wilderness. The mother died some years later 
in Kalamazoo. They were members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and helped to build 
some of the first structures used by this sect in 
this part of the country. For many years before 
his death the father drew a pension from the 
government for gallant services rendered in the 
war of 1812. His son Cyrus was seventeen years 
of age when he became a resident of Michigan, 
and accepting with alacrity his place in the work- 
ing force on the farm, and using his opportunities 
and abilities energetically and wisely, was soon 
recognized as a young man of force and industry 
among the people. He lived in this township all 
the remainder of his life except five years which 
he passed at Plainwell, Allegan county. He was 
married in 1851 to Miss Melissa F. Barto, a 
daughter of Orin and Esther (Averil) Barto, 
natives of Vermont, who came to Michigan in 
1837 and settled on the farm on which Mr. Travis 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



159 



died. They cleared it of its wild growths and 
made a good farm of it which they improved with 
comfortable buildings and all other needed struc- 
tures for their work. The end of life and labor 
came to them after many years of peaceful and 
productive industry here. The father had con- 
siderable local prominence and filled many town- 
ship offices. He died at Morlev, this state, and the 
mother at Yankee Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Travis 
had three children, all sons, George E., a Cooper 
township farmer, Henry M., living at home, and 
Jay E., deceased. The father was never an active 
politician, but exhibited an earnest and practical 
interest in the general development and progress 
of the county. He belonged to the Methodist 
episcopal church and was active in supporting 
it. His widow is still living on the homestead, 
and enjoys, like a veritable mother in Israel, the 
respect and regard of the whole comunity and 
the surrounding country. 

DR. DAVID E. DEMING. 

"Not honored less is he who founds than he 
who heirs a line." While it is seldom that the 
present gives the past a long hearing, there is 
always a deep and lasting interest, romantic, 
historial and personal, which invest the founder 
of a new country — him whose adventurous foot- 
step first invades a hitherto untrodden section and 
there plants the seed of civilization and erects a 
domestic shrine. This interest appertains in a 
forceful and impressive way to Dr. David E. 
Deming, the first settler in Cooper township, this 
county, who there entered a portion of section 
2 in 1833, anc 'l became a permanent resident of 
the township in March, 1834. The Doctor was 
horn at Cornish, N. H., on June 14, 1796. He 
received a common-school and academic educa- 
tion in his native state and then studied medicine 
there. He began his practice at Hinesburg, Vt., 
where he remained several years, and while liv- 
ing at that place was united in marriage with Miss 
Electa L. Eldredge, a native of the town born 
on June 12, 1808. They left Hinesburg on April 
2 7- 1833, for this state, and on June 21st follow- 
ing arrived at Gull Prairie, making the trip hither 



by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo, then by 
steamer to Detroit, whence they journeyed to the 
interior with ox teams. After a residence of nine 
months on Gull Prairie, during which the Doctor 
built a -board shanty on his land, the family moved 
to their new home and began the arduous work of 
making the land productive and the home com- 
fortable. They took up their residence there on 
March 20, 1834, and they lived on the new pos- 
session until it was cleared and changed into a 
fine farm with all the comfortable and attractive 
accessories of modern rural life. The Doctor's 
last few years were passed at Plainwell, Allegan 
county, where he died on September 2, 1879. His 
widow then returned to the farm, where she died 
on April 2, 1884. ^ or some years after his ar- 
rival in this section of the country the Doctor 
practiced his profession, but he gradually relin- 
quished it for the pursuit of agriculture, and 
being an ardent lover of nature, he gave himself 
with enthusiasm to his adopted vocation. Being 
a gentleman of fine scholastic attainments and 
great force of character, he soon became a leader 
in all public movements around him. He assisted 
in organizing the township and was its first super- 
visor. Some years afterward he represented his 
district in the state senate, and although not an 
active politician, he performed his official duties 
with his accustomed intelligence and energy, and 
increased and intensified the hold he had already 
won on the confidence and esteem of his fellow 
citizens. He was also a man of strong religious 
convictions and took a prominent part in the 
church work of the township especially in con- 
nection with the Sunday school of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, of which he and his wife were 
long earnest and active members. He died at the 
age of eighty-three, full of honors as he was of 
years, the patriarch of his township and an ex- 
ample of the best form of sterling American 
citizenship. His family comprised two sons, born 
in Vermont, and two sons and two daughters, 
born in Cooper township. Of these three are 
living. Charles E., who has never married, lives 
on the home farm ; William P., who married Miss 
Elizabeth Drew, is a farmer near Burlingame, 
Osage county, Kan. ; and George, who in 1875 



i6o 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



was married to Miss Mary J. Machin, a native of 
Lincolnshire, England, owns and operates an im- 
proved farm in Cooper township. 

George Deming, the youngest son of Dr. 
David E. Deming, is a native of Cooper town- 
ship, this county, which is still his home, and was 
born on November 30, 1845. Mr. Deming was 
married in 1875 to Miss Mary J. Machin, a na- 
tive of Lincolnshire, England, a daughter of 
Stephen and Fannie (Gilbert) Machin, also na- 
tives of that country, where the father was a 
farmer. In 1851 the family emigrated to the 
United States, and after a few years' residence 
in New York, came to Michigan in 1865, and 
located in Walton township, Eaton county. Mr. 
Machin died in December, 1887, at tne a & e °f 
sixty-nine years, and Mrs. Machin is still living 
at Walton, aged eighty-three years. They reared 
a family of seven children, all of whom are living. 
Mr. and Mrs. Deming are the parents of three 
children, Lucy M., now Mrs. William H. E. Jack- 
son, of Kalamazoo, Ada Belle and Fannie Electa, 
all of whom are living. Mrs. Deming is an active 
and prominent member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church, and enjoys in a marked degree the 
esteem of a large circle of acquaintances. She 
has been the cheerful helpmate of her husband in 
all his undertakings, and his present possessions 
have been gained largely through her assistance. 
In the spring of 1905 George and Charles Dem- 
ing purchased a home in Plain well, Allegan 
county, where they now reside. This they have 
remodeled and made of it one of the best homes 
in the village. 

Jay D. Crane, a grandson of Dr. David E. 
Deming, is a son of Billings and Jane E. (Dem- 
ing) Crane, and was born in Cooper township on 
July 28, 1868. His father, one of the early set- 
tlers of the county, was a native of Genesee 
county, N. Y., born on May 30, 1828. When he 
was but six years old he accompanied his parents 
to Michigan, coming by way of the lakes to De- 
troit and from there with ox teams through the 
wilderness to Kalamazoo, a small village then 
called Bronson. The family settled on a farm 
of one hundred and ten acres which the father 
purchased from the government, living until fall 



in a little log shanty which they hastily erected. 
This was in 1836, and in the fall the shanty was 
replaced by a more comfortable dwelling, the lum- 
ber for which was cut in Kalamazoo and floated 
down the river. Cooper township was organized 
that year and Mr. Crane soon became very promi- 
nent in its public affairs. Here the son grew to 
manhood, assisting in clearing the homestead and 
obtaining his education in the primitive log school- 
house of the district. He was married on Febru- 
ary 17, 1863, t0 M* ss Jane E. Deming, by whom 
he had two children, Jay D. and Sarah E. The 
father was a Republican in politics and served 
in various local offices, among them township 
treasurer, highway commissioner and supervisor, 
holding the one last named nine years in succes- 
sion. He was chairman of the county board one 
year, during which the county court house was 
built. He was also elected constable when but 
twenty-one years of age. During his long resi- 
dence of sixty years in this township he was fre- 
quently sent as a delegate to township, county 
and state conventions of his party. He died on 
April 15, 1894, and his wife on May 21, 1902. 
They brought their farm of three hundred and 
twenty acres to a high degree of cultivation and 
improved it with first-rate modern buildings fur- 
nished with every comfort and all the most ap- 
proved appliances for carrying on its work. Their 
son, Jay D. Crane, who married Miss Fannie 
Munn in 1892, has four children, Julian, Alice 
I., Lewis H. and Charles B. He is actively en- 
gaged in farming and is one of the leading and 
representative farmers of the township, holding 
up well in every way the traditions and examples 
of his family on both sides of the house and 
carrying forward with energy and skill the work 
begun by his ancestors in this part of the 
country. 

HENRY V. SKINNER. 

The late Henry V. Skinner, of Cooper town- 
ship, who at the time of his death, on September 
21, 1899, was the oldest settler in the township, 
was a native of Orleans county, N. Y., where he 
was born on June 26, 1827. His father, Joseph 
Skinner, was a native of Saratoga county, N. Y., 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



161 



where his life began on April 28, 1801 ; and the 
mother, whose maiden name was Nancy Veeder, 
was a native of the same county, of Holland de- 
scent, and born in 1805. They were farmers all 
their lives. In 1833 the family removed to Michi- 
gan, coming" by way of the Erie Canal and Lake 
Rrie to Detroit, and from there with ox teams 
through the wilderness to Washtenaw county, 
where they located two miles southwest of 
Ann Arbor. The father purchased a tract 
of land there intending to make it his 
future home, but in April, 1835, he 
changed his mind, and coming to Kalamazoo 
county, settled in Cooper township. The journey 
from Washtenaw to this county was made with 
a wagon drawn by two yoke of oxen, and those 
of the party who walked drove the few head of 
cattle belonging to the family. The first night 
this little party spent in Cooper township they 
slept on the ground, and during the night six 
inches of snow fell upon them, adding greatly to 
their discomfort. Mr. Skinner took up two hun- 
dred and forty acres of government land in 1834, 
when not a tree had been felled in the township, 
and wild game, wild beasts and wild Indians 
were plentiful. A few families of Indians who 
were friendly lived half a mile north of his farm 
and the next year tw r o men built shanties some 
distance south of his. It was a common occur- 
rence of the period for the Indians to have green 
corn dances, and on such occasions frequently 
five hundred families of them passed his house, 
which was near one of the trails. The patent 
for his land was signed by President Andrew 
Jackson, and his first house was rudely con- 
structed of logs and was eighteen by twenty feet 
in size. A more commodious and pretentious 
dwelling was soon after erected. Very soon' after 
lie settled on the land he cleared five acres which 
he planted to corn, potatoes and . buckwheat. 
Thereafter he cleared ten acres each year until 
the whole tract was cleared and under cultivation, 
«ind on the improved homestead he lived until his 
death, in November, 1885. He was a prominent 
«i"d useful man in the community and filled the 
ortices of highway commissioner and assessor for 
the township many years. He was also influential 



in the organization of the Methodist Episcopal 
church in the township, and was well and favor- 
ably known over a wide extent of territory. After 
the death of his first wife, which occurred in 
1845, ne married Sophia Lillie. Henry was the 
last survivor of the six children born of the first 
union. Mr. Skinner, of this sketch, left his 
native county with his parents when he was but 
six years old, and came to Michigan, walking 
from Detroit to Washtenaw county. The first 
school in Cooper" township was taught by Mrs. 
George Hart, who lived long after her labors in 
the little log schoolhouse were finished. This 
school Mr. Skinner attended and there he ac- 
quired all the scholastic training he obtained. 
After reaching the age of twenty-one he worked 
three years at the trade of a carpenter, and also 
chopped wood for a compensation of twenty-five 
cents a cord. He found great pleasure in hunt- 
ing deer and turkeys, many of which fell be- 
neath his unerring rifle. After game became 
scarce in the region of his home he made annual 
hunting trips in the fall in the northern part of 
the state. On December 1, 1852, he was married 
to Miss Mary M. Delano, who was born in 
Schoolcraft township, this county, on April 18, 
1835, and was but six weeks old when her par- 
ents moved to Cooper township. In 1853 thev 
began farming on the place on which Mrs. 
Skinner still lives. She is the daughter of Ephraim 
l>. and Xancy (Gillette) Delano, natives of 
the state of New York, the father born in Orleans 
and the mother in Saratoga county. They came 
to Michigan in 1832 and, after living in Washte- 
naw county two years, settled in Cooper town- 
ship in 1835. Here they took up land and re- 
mained until death, the mother passing away in 
1848 and the father in 1872. They had seven 
children, whom they reared and trained carefully 
for responsible positions in life. Mr. and Mrs. 
Skinner were the parents of three children, Jay 
J., Bert E., who is now in Alaska, and one who 
died in infancy. Their mother is at this time 
one of the oldest settlers left in the township. 
She vividly recalls many of the thrilling scenes 
and incidents of her early days. She is living on 
the old farm. Politically Mr. Skinner was a 



1 62 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Democrat and frequently went as a delegate to 
the conventions of his party. He held a number 
of township offices, serving as highway commis- 
sioner for almost twenty years. He was a mem- 
ber of the Congregational church, as is his widow, 
and both have contributed liberally of their time 
and means to its support, and to every other good 
cause in the community. 

WILLIAM MILHAM. 

The pleasing subject of this brief notice, who 
is passing the evening of his days in a serene and 
cheerful old age on the farm which he has made 
so beautiful and productive in Portage township, 
and who lives in the midst of valued public in- 
stitutions which he has helped to found, foster 
and enlarge in benefaction for the people whom 
they serve, is a native of Columbia county, X. 
Y., where he was born on September 5, 1824. 
His father, the late Hon. John Milham ( see sketch 
on another page of this work), was also born in 
that county and there he married Miss Eva 
Poucher, who died in that county in 1831. Tn 
1845 tne father came to this county and settled in 
Kalamazoo township, where he died forty years 
later. Of his first marriage four sons were born, 
of whom William was the first. He accompanied 
his father to this county and continued to live 
with him until the autumn of 1849, when he set- 
tled in Portage township, where he has since made 
his home. In the year last named he united in 
marriage with Miss Anna Eliza tiam, a native of 
Columbia county. New York, who died in Port- 
age township in May, 1862, leaving one child, 
Anna E. Mr. Milham's second marriage occurred 
in August, 1864, and was to Miss Marietta Root. 
She died in August, 1866, having had one child 
who died in infancy. On October 27, 1868, he 
married a third wife, Miss Emma Scudder, a na- 
tive of Newton, Eairfield county, Conn. They had 
one daughter, Flora E. Her mother died in Port- 
age township on March 2J, 1876, leaving her 
husband a widower for the third time. Mr. Milham 
owns nearly five hundred acres of excellent land 
which he has brought to a high state of develop- 
ment and fertilitv and enriched with fine build- 



ings and other first-class improvements. With 
toil and patience and continued hope, he has pur- 
sued the even tenor of his way through life, look- 
ing neither to the right nor to the left for the 
favors of fortune except such as he has earned, 
but depending ever on his own enterprise and 
thrift for the continuance of his steady advance- 
ment, and by this means he has held every foot of 
the progress he has ever made. The contentions 
of politics, the claims of mercantile life, the gilded 
prospects of speculation, have sung their siren 
songs around him in vain. He has turned a deaf 
ear to them all and held his hand firmly to the 
plow of his choice without a backward look or a 
forward longing for any other vocation, finding 
in its duties enough to occupy all his faculties, 
save what his devotion to the public good has 
taken for the advancement of the general weal of 
his Gommunity, and in its independence and 
abundance of returns sufficient to satisfy all his 
desires. He supports the principles of the Demo- 
cratic party with fidelity, but never asks any of 
the honors of public office. For many years he 
has been an attendant at the Presbyterian church 
and a liberal contributor to its various interests. 
Nearly sixty years of his useful and inspiring life 
have been passed in this county, and now when 
the shadows of age are closing around him there 
is none of its citizens who does not do him 
reverence. 

NELSON H. DELANO. 

The son of one of the best known pioneers ol 
Cooper township in this county. Nelson H. Delano 
is a native of the township, born in October, 1839. 
His parents, Ephraim and Nancy (Gillett) De- 
lano, the former a native of Rhode Island and 
the latter of Orleans county, N. Y., came to this 
state in 1833, traveling by way of the Erie canal 
to Buffalo, from central New York where they 
were then living, and then across Lake Erie to 
Detroit, whence with ox teams they completed 
their journey to Washtenaw county, often cutting 
their way through the dense, woods or building a 
road over swamps. Some little time after locating 
in Washtenaw they sold out there and changed 




w 



ILU AM MILHAM. 



^_ 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



165 



their residence to Kalamazoo county, locating on 
section 16, Cooper township, in the midst of heavy 
timber and surrounded by Indians and wild 
beasts. The father cleared his land and made it 
over into a good farm, living on it until his death 
in 1872. He was a man of some prominence in 
the township and was chosen to a number of its 
responsible official positions from time to time. 
i Ie was also elected to the lower house of the 
state legislature but declined to qualify for the 
office of representative. Taking a deep interest in 
church affairs, lie was of great assistance in 
founding the Congregational church in his neigh- 
borhood, and to the end of his life gave that sect 
and others cordial and liberal support. He was 
also an active and earnest Freemason, joining this 
ancient and honorable order in the state of New 
York and remaining an interested attendant upon 
its rites until his death. His first wife died in 
1848, leaving seven children, who are all living 
and all in this county but one son who lives in 
Texas. For a second wife the father married 
Mrs. Eliza (Johnson) Montague, a widow;, and 
native of Vermont, who died in this county in 
about 1878. 

Xelson Delano was reared in Cooper township 
and educated in the public schools, lie assisted 
his father in clearing the homestead, and resided 
with his parents until he was twenty-seven years 
old. He then began farming for himself within 
sight of his father's chimney, and has passed all 
his years in this township except one which he 
spent in Iowa. He was married in Cooper in 
1868 to Miss Julia Janes, a native of Wisconsin, 
rhey have had four children and three of them 
are living, May E., wife of George W. Perrin, 
Luna J., wife of C. W. Sipley, both of Kala- 
mazoo, and H. Dale, living at home. Mr. Delano 
lias taken an active part in all movements for 
the development and improvement of the town- 
ship, but has steadfastly declined all offers of 
official recognition from the people around him, 
preferring to render his service to the public 
Irom the post of private citizenship, although 
politically he supports the Democratic party. He 
is a charter member of United Lodge, No. 49, 
Pree and Accepted Masons, of Cooper Center. 



His wife is an active and valued member of the 
Congregational church, to the good work of which 
he is also a liberal contributor. 

PETER SWEET. 

Time in its rapid flight brings to every man 
some measure of opportunity for usefulness .to 
his fellows and advancement for himself, but does 
not halt for one to ponder and make choice. It 
is well for those who have the vision to see their 
chance, and the alertness to seize and use it. Such 
men may hope to leave behind them some lasting 
memorial of the lives they live and the work 
they do ; and however unappreciative public senti- 
ment may seem at most times, the record they 
make will ever stand to their credit, and on oc- 
casions at least will receive the attention and 
commendation of many. Hut happily the class 
who are vigilant and active in their chosen sphere 
seldom look or care for the showy reward for 
fidelity that comes in the form of men's praises, 
but find sufficient need for their labor in its ma- 
terial returns and the satisfaction of performing 
it well. To this class belonged Peter Sweet, one 
of the early settlers of this county, who came 
hither when the work of conquering nature and 
her wild brood of opposing forces was all yet to 
be done, and who set to doing it with resolute 
determination. He has run his race of toil and 
trade and ambition ; his day's labor is entirely ac- 
complished, and he has enjoyed the fruits of it 
with the added satisfaction that it has been well 
done, and has won the approval of all those who 
knew him. While he was alive he was held in high 
esteem by all who came in contact with him, and 
when he departed this earth his death was sin- 
cerely mourned by a host of loving friends. Mr. 
Sweet was born in Wyoming county, N. Y., on 
October 22, 1835. His parents, Robert and 
Phebe (Shader) Sweet, were also natives of 
New York state, where the father worked at the 
trade of a cooper until 1843, when he came to 
Michigan with his family. For three years he 
worked on a rented farm on Genesee Prairie, and 
in 1846 bought a farm in Cooper township ad- 
joining the one now owned and occupied by the 



i66 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



wife of Peter Sweet. The father died on this 
farm in 1853, and his wife in 1862. Their fam- 
ily comprised four sons and two daughters, all 
of whom are now dead, the last one, Peter, dying 
on June 30, 1905, at the age of sixty-nine years. 
He lived in Kalamazoo county since 1843, an( l 
always bore his part in the work of development 
going on around him, and contributed his full 
share to multiplying and vitalizing the morals and 
educational forces of the community. Learning 
well in his early youth to chop and grub, he aided 
in clearing and cultivating the homestead, and be- 
fore he reached man's estate, purchased a farm 
for himself, on which he lived for forty-two 
years, and where he breathed his last. He was 
married in this county to Miss Betsy Hugget, a 
native of England, whose parents were early set- 
tlers in this county. He is survived by a wife, 
niece and nephew. 

WILLIAM KILGORE. 

Among the progressive and wide-awake farm- 
ers of Portage township none has or is entitled to 
a higher regard for substantial merit and upright 
and useful citizenship than William <Kilgore. He 
belongs to the first generation of the hardy yeo- 
manry of Michigan born on its soil, having come 
into the world in Kalamazoo township, this 
county, on May 28, 1845. His parents were John 
and Catherine (Martin) Kilgore, an account of 
whose lives will be found in the sketch of their 
son Hiram elsewhere in this volume. In the 
county of his nativity their son William was 
reared to manhood and in its schools he received 
his education. Among its people also he began 
the battle of life for himself and among them he 
has continually fought it ever since. He remained 
at home until he reached the age of twenty-six, 
then worked three years at the trade of a cooper, 
making barrels for use in grist and flour mills of 
this section. The next five years he passed in 
running the mills in association with his brother 
Hiram. After that he wrought at the carpenter 
trade one year, then in 1880 began farming on 
his own account on sixty acres of the homestead, 
to which he has since added forty. He was mar- 



ried in 1874 to Miss Frances N. Cornwell, a 
daughter of Jacob and Maria (Wissler) Corn- 
well, who settled in this county in 1855. Three 
children have blessed their union, Jennie, wife of 
Frank J. Fornoff, of Portage township, and Mabel 
F. and Monroe W., who are living at home. 
Politically Mr. Kilgore is a Democrat, and hav- 
ing an earnest interest in local affairs and a genu- 
ine desire to aid in promoting the welfare of the 
community, he has filled a number of township 
offices. Fraternally he is a Freemason and a 
Modern Woodman of America. Belonging to 
an old, numerous and respected family here, and 
himself one of the early inhabitants of his town- 
ship, Mr. Kilgore's name is prominently con- 
nected with all that is valuable and worthy in 
the achievements of this people, and the general 
esteem in which he is held gives proof that he has 
met his responsibilities as a man and a citizen in 
a capable and estimable manner, performing his 
various duties with fidelity and ability and hold- 
ing up ever before others the good example of 
an upright character and a lofty ideal of manhood. 

GEORGE E. KILGORE. 

When the early settlers of Michigan invaded 
its untrodden wilds and began to hew out for 
themselves opportunities for advancement and 
homes for their families they opened the way to 
a gradual development of the unbounded wealth 
of the section and the erection here of a great 
commonwealth, results which have followed 
grandly in their wake. But at the same time they 
left to their immediate descendants a destiny of 
toil and privation in carrying forward amid dif- 
ficulties and dangers which they themselves con- 
fronted but did not wholly overcome, the great 
work they had begun. Among those to whom 
this heritage came was George E. Kilgore, who 
was born in Portage township, this count}', the 
son of John and Catherine (Martin) Kilgore, and 
the brother of Hiram and William Kilgore, ac- 
counts of whose achievements are recorded on 
other pages of this volume. Born to the destiny 
of which mention has been made, and inheriting 
with it a firmness of fiber and a force of char- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



167 



acter which fitted him well for his part in the 
work his parents had begun, he cheerfully ac- 
cepted his lot and entered upon the performance 
of his duties as soon as he was able, receiving 
what preparation for them was possible through 
the schools of the period of his youth in a new 
country and through assisting in the later labor of 
clearing his father's farm and enlarging its till- 
able acreage. His life began in the house in 
which he now lives, on February 11, 1848, and 
in this house, hallowed by the trials and the tri- 
umphs of his parents and his older brothers, he 
has passed the whole of his life so far. He began 
operations for himself as a farmer on the paternal 
homestead and he has never varied from this oc- 
cupation or the scene of its activities. He was 
married in Allegan county in 1880 to Miss Rosa 
Baker, who was born in that county. Her par- 
ents, Jackson and Emma (Adams) Baker, were 
early settlers there, the father having been born 
in Canada and the mother in Indiana. Mr. and 
Mrs. Kilgore have five children, John J., George 
A., Catherine E., Melyin and Martha R., all liv- 
ing at home. In politics Mr. Kilgore is a Demo- 
crat, but while he supports his party with loyalty, 
he has never been an active partisan and has never 
sought office. When he took the homestead to 
work it on his own account, it was in a forward 
state of development and had on it good improve- 
ments. But being a progressive man, he has not 
rested on accomplished results, but has steadily 
pushed the improvement and productiveness of 
the place until it is largely increased in value and 
comfort through his efforts, and has kept pace 
with the general advance of interests in the town- 
ship. At the same time he has given due atten- 
tion to the general needs of his community and 
has not suffered them to lapse or languish for 
want of any aid he could give to their advantage. 
He is regarded on all sides as a good citizen, an 
enterprising farmer and a man of genial social 
disposition. 

NORTON POMEROY. 

The scion of an old and distinguished New 
England family on each side of his house, promi- 
nent in the history of that section of the country 



from early Colonial times, his father's ancestors 
being pioneers of Northampton, Mass., and his 
mother's of Somers, Conn., some members of 
whom settled later in New York, Norton Pome- 
roy left the scenes made memorable by them in 
his young manhood and came to the wilds of 
Michigan to make a home and a name for himself 
and aid in the development of this region as they 
did in the development of their early homes. He 
was born of the New York branch of the Pomeroy 
family, coming into the world at Lockport, Nia- 
gara county, on May 11, 1823. His parents were 
Jabez and Phebe (Hopkins) Pomeroy, the for- 
mer a native of Connecticut and the latter of 
Madison county, N. Y. The father was a cloth 
dresser and while at his trade also engaged in 
farming for many years. He removed to the 
Holland Purchase in western New York about 
1820, and the next year he returned to Madison 
county in the central part of the state and was 
married, making the trip both ways, a distance of 
some three hundred miles in all, with a team. 
He passed the remainder of his life on his west- 
ern New York farm, dying in February, 1879. 
His wife died in Kalamazoo in 1870. They had 
six sons and three daughters who grew to ma- 
turity, of whom three of the sons and two of the 
daughters are living. The Pomeroys came to this 
country in 1635 from England, where the family 
had long been domesticated, and settled in Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut. Norton Pomeroy 
grew to manhood in his native place and was 
educated in its district schools. He had the usual 
experiences of country boys of his day and lo- 
cality, working on the paternal farm in summer 
and attending school in winter, with but little out- 
look into the world beyond his immediate neigh- 
borhood. After leaving school he engaged in 
farming and teaching until 1845. Then a young 
man of twenty-two, he came to this county and 
settled on a tract of land in Pavilion township 
which his father had purchased some years pre- 
vious, buying it of the government. He at once 
began to clear and improve his land, and to this 
work he devoted himself until 1866, when he 
moved to a farm just outside the city limits on 
which he lived until his death in July, 1893. He 



i68 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



was a # Republican in politics but never an active 
partisan. In 1851 he was married to Miss Jane 
Chipman, whose parents were pioneers of this 
county, coming here from Vermont. By his mar- 
riage Mr. Pomeroy became the father of seven 
children, Willis M., Wardeli J., Clara T. (de- 
ceased), S. Ada, Jennie B., Clemana C. and 
Orphia L. Their mother died in 1870, and in 
1872 the father married again, his second wife 
being Mrs. Mary E. (Byrne) Pomeroy, the widow 
of his younger brother, Lewis S. Mrs. Pomeroy 
had two children by her first marriage, her sons 
Harry K., who is living at home, and Llewellyn 
S., a civil engineer. To her second union three 
children have been born, Arthur B., a resident of 
Kalamazoo, Beatrice and Alice G., all of whom 
are living. Mr. Pomeroy attended the Presby- 
terian church and took an active interest in its 
affairs. He was well known throughout the 
county and everywhere was highly respected as 
a good farmer, an upright man and an excellent 
citizen. 

CHESTER A. WILLIAMS. ' 

The great state of Xew York challenges the 
world in its progress, development, industrial, 
commercial and educational wealth and political 
power. These are present and manifest evidences 
of the industry, ingenuity, enterprises and breadth 
of view of its people. But it has another claim 
to the admiration of mankind, and that is in the 
triumphs of its offspring in colonizing the wilds 
of the western country in this land beyond its 
borders, and the mighty commonwealth they 
have helped to build up therein to add to the great- 
ness of our Union, and the wealth and conse- 
quence of the American people. Among the most 
prominent and prosperous of these, her foster 
children, is the state of Michigan, whose early 
settlers were in large part from her restless and 
all-conquering populations. They came hither 
when the region was a primeval wilderness, bask- 
ing in the noontide sun with a wild vegetation of 
variegated beauty, whose annual decay had been 
enriching the soil for centuries, or deeply shaded 
by a forest growth that had run riot in luxuriance 
for ages before America, at the bidding of Colum- 



bus, rose from her slumbering couch to greet her 
lord. One of these hardy New York pioneers, 
who came thus into the wilderness with no capital 
but his resolute spirit and all-daring determina- 
tion, and helped to push along the superstructure 
of a giant commonwealth whose foundation had 
been laid by earlier arrivals from the same section, 
was the late Chester A. Williams, of Alamo town- 
ship, this county, who was born in Seneca county. 
New York, on November 5, 1825, and became a 
resident of Michigan in 1854. He was the son 
of Robert Williams, himself a native of the Em- 
pire state, where he passed his life in the peace- 
ful pursuit of farming. Pie and his wife had 
three sons and three daughters. Of these, three 
of the daughters are living. Chester was reared in 
his native state and there received a common- 
school education. After leaving school he made 
choice of an occupation as a farmer and followed 
it on rented land there until 1854. Then realizing 
that there were better opportunities for him in the 
unbroken wilds of the farther west, where there 
was yet an abundance of unoccupied land for tb- 
thrifty worker, he came to this county and se- 
cured by purchase eighty acres of a domain which 
had never yet been furrowed by the plow and 
was covered by a dense growth of timber. On 
this he built a small log cabin for a dwelling and 
began to devote himself exclusively to clearing 
and improving his land. He did all the work <d 
clearing it himself, and for years the sound <-\ 
his gleaming ax was a familiar one in that vicinity. 
He also replaced his first unambitious dwelling 
with a commodious and comfortable residence and 
added other buildings that were needed as rapidly 
as he could, meanwhile bringing the land to an 
advanced state of cultivation and reaping good an- 
nual harvest as the result of his industry and 
care. He made a model farm of his purchase and 
was enjoying its fruits in full measure, when the 
spirt of. modern commercialism seized upon it, 
and the postoffice of the same name was estab- 
lished there. With proper consideration the village 
was named in his honor and he was appointed its 
first postmaster, a position which he filled accep- 
tably for a number of years. One of the leading 
industries of the town is a large heading mill 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



169 



which does a flourishing business. Here he con- 
tinued to live until his death, in August, 1894. 
Mr. Williams was twice married, first in New 
York to Miss Catherine Allen, who died in this 
county in 1870, leaving no children. His second 
marriage occurred in 1871 and was with Miss 
Harriet Tallman, a daughter of David and Eva- 
line ('Tripp) Tillman, who was born in Wyoming 
ioiint\', \ T . Y. They had three children, Ed- 
gar, living at home ; Harry, mail carrier of Alamo 
lownship, and Belle, the wife of C E. Price, who 
is also living at home. The father never took an 
active part in political contentions, but he never 
shunned the proper duties of good citizenship in 
the way of aiding the life and progress of all 
commendable enterprises for the welfare of the 
community. Among the respected citizens of his 
township he stood in the first rank and none bet- 
ter deserved the station. 

JOHN M. SELKRTG. 

Although but ten years old when he accom- 
panied his parents to this county in 1851 from 
their New York home, John M. Selkrig began at 
once to perform his part in clearing the wild land 
on which the family settled, the exigencies of the 
situation requiring the aid of every available en- 
ergy in redeeming the tract from the wilderness 
and maintaining a living on it. He had but lim- 
ited opportunities for schooling and these were 
amid the most primitive facilities. The wants of 
the body had to be first cared for by the pio- 
neers, and those of the mind had to take care of 
themselves in a large measure, but as the tuition 
( >l nature and experience was all around them, 
these were not wholly neglected. In books used 
by such teachers the words are too simple to need 
much schooling, and their meanings are too com- 
prehensive to leave their student without a rich 
hind of ready knowledge and a preparation 
t ( >r energetic action in any emergency. Mr. Sel- 
krig was born in Onondaga county, N. Y., on 
February 28, 1841, and is the son of William and 
Abigail (Gross) Selkrig, the former a native of 
Troy, N. Y., and the latter of Connecticut. The 
father was a manufacturer of woolen goods in 



New York and followed his business there until 
1 85 1. He then moved his family to Kalamazoo 
county and bought a farm in Alamo township, on 
which he lived until his death in 1871, his wife 
surviving him eight years, and dying on the farm 
in 1879. ^he land on which they established 
themselves was the virgin forest, densely covered 
with the wild growth of centuries, and their first 
work on it was the erection of a little log shanty 
for the accommodation of the family. After this 
was completed they gave themselves zealously to 
the clearing and cultivating of the farm, and 
kept on improving it and enlarging its response 
to their diligent and systematic tilling until it be- 
came a fruitful farm and comfortable home, and 
death released them from their toil. Their family 
comprised two sons and two daughters, all of 
whom are living, John and his sister. Mrs. Mary 
(i. Upham, being the only ones now resident in 
this county. He cleared the greater part of the 
farm, and on the death of his parents became its 
owner. It has been his life-long home in this 
county, and its condition furnishes a striking 
tribute to his skill and enterprise in managing its 
operations. His sister keeps house for him, and 
together they pursue their wonted way with good 
annual returns for their labors, in a material way, 
and crowned with the lasting esteem of all their 
neighbors and acquaintances. Mr. Selkrig is an 
ardent Republican from firm conviction, and gives 
his party his best support on all occasions without 
a desire for any of its honors or emoluments for 
himself. He is an earnest member of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church, and one of its main sup- 
ports in his section of the county. Fifty- four 
years of his life have been passed amid the people 
surrounding him, and after this long period of 
trial and triumph, there is not one who does not 
feel for him the utmost good will and regard, a 
public estimation in which his sister has an equal 
share. 

EDWIN CORBIN. 

After taking an active part in the great Civil 
war of 1 861 -5 in this country, which settled 
long contentions between the sections and for- 
ever removed the cloud of human slavery from 



170 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



our political sky Edwin Corbin became again a 
resident of this county, and resumed the fanning 
operations he had abandoned to go forth as a 
volunteer in defense of the Union, and since then 
he has been one of the industrious agricultural 
promoters of this part of the state, winning suc- 
cess and a competence for himself by his efforts 
and aiding in building up the county for the gen- 
eral weal of its people and all the elements of its 
commercial and moral greatness and power. He 
was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, on January 
29, 1837, the son of Palmer and Mariah (Pier- 
son) Corbin, natives of the state of New York, 
who moved to Ohio early in their married life 
and in 1842 changed their residence to the un- 
farmed but promising wilds of Michigan. They 
located in Alamo township on leased land, and a 
few years later bought a tract of unbroken waste 
there on which they settled and began the work 
of transforming their wild domain into a produc- 
tive farm and comfortable home. The mother 
died in 1843 on this ^ arm an d the father in 1851, 
he having succeeded before his death in getting 
a large part of it cleared and under cultivation. 
Four of their children grew to maturity, and of 
these, three of the sons are living, Edwin being 
'the only one resident in Alamo township. The 
father was a man of prominence in his section 
of Ohio, a zealous Whig in politics and a captain 
of militia officially. Being but five years of age 
when the family moved to this county, Edwin 
has passed almost all of his life here. He received 
a common-school education and acquired a thor- 
ough knowledge of husbandry in working on his 
father's farm and others in the vicinity, for he 
left home at the age of fourteen and began mak- 
ing his own living. In 1861 he enlisted in the 
Union army for the Civil war in Company F, 
Third Michigan Cavalry, and was soon with his 
regiment in the Western division of the Federal 
army. He was in active service almost from the 
start and took part in many engagements that are 
historic, among them the battle of New Madrid, 
Mo., and that of Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh, 
Tenn. He was also in the contest at Corinth, 
Miss., and in much other hazardous and trying 
service in the southwest and south. He was mus- 



tered out in 1863 and passed the next two years 
in Illinois, then coming to Kalamazoo county, he 
purchased the farm on which he now lives in 
Alamo township. He was married in 1863 to 
Miss Jeannette Lamb, the daughter of Allen and 
Mary (Blair) Lamb, early settlers in Dupage 
county, 111. Two children have blessed their 
union, their sons William T. S. and Ernest, both 
of whom live in Chicago. The father is a Repub 
lican in political faith and warmly supports his 
party, although for himself he has never sought 
or desired public office. He and his wife are 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and 
take an active part in church work. They are 
highly respected citizens and whether measured 
by the material results of their labor or the pub- 
lic esteem in which they are held, they have 
passed their forty years of life in this county to 
good purpose. 

ZARDIS SANFORD. 

Zardis Sanford, of Alamo township, whose 
fine farm of two hundred and forty acres on sec- 
tions 8 and 17, with its wealth of good buildings 
and other modern improvements, , is one of the 
pleasant features of the landscape in that portion 
of the county, was born in Cattaraugus county, N. 
Y., on June 13, 1829, and was fourteen years old 
when he accompanied his parents, Tilly and 
Nancy (Stetson) Sanford, to this county in 1843, 
the»trip being made in a wagon which conveyed 
the younger members of the family and the 
household goods over the long stretch of inter- 
vening territory of alternating hill and plain, wild 
and woodland, swamp and water course, betweeti 
the old home and the new. His father was a na- 
tive of Massachusetts, and when a young man 
journeyed on foot from that state to western 
New York, becoming one of the earliest settlers 
in what is now Wyoming county, and locating 
near Silver lake. In 1838 he made a prospecting" 
tour to this county, and was so well pleased with 
the land and the promise of advancement here 
that he traded his land in New York for a farm 
in Alamo township. On this he built a frame 
cabin, which was still standing a year prior to 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



171 



his death, and in 1843 ne moved his family hither, 
making the trip with a horse team, and being 
three weeks on the way. On the farm, which he 
then carved out of the wilderness, he lived until 
his death in 1853, at tne a R e °f fifty-nine. His 
widow survived him thirty-five years, dying in 
1894. She found the duty of rearing her fam- 
ily and carrying on the development and cultiva- 
tion of the farm a trying one, but she faced it 
fearlessly and performed it faithfully, losing no 
step in the advance and working out a substantial 
and enduring success, which her children have 
continued in their various lines and localities. She 
was a devout member of the Methodist church 
from her girlhood, and her husband also belonged 
to that organization. The family comprised five 
children, two of whom have died. Albert, the 
oldest son, went to California in 1850, and died 
there ten years later. Edwin passed from this 
life in 1852. Ariston, the second child in the 
order of birth, is a resident of Van P>uren county, 
this state, and Adeline J., the widow of Wilson 
ITenry, has her home at East Jordan, Mich. Zar- 
rlis, who was the third born of the children, re- 
ceived his education in a little country school of 
the early days, located three miles from his home, 
and alternated his duties there with work on the 
home farm from his boyhood. He aided his fa- 
ther greatly in clearing the land, breaking it for 
culture and building its fences and other improve- 
ments. A great hunter in his youth and early 
manhood, he pursued the chase with ardor and 
pronounced success, helping to furnish the table 
with venison and other wild game, while gratify- 
ing his love of sport. He cherishes a fine pair of 
antlers from a deer that he killed in 1848. In- 
heriting his father's love of adventure and dispo- 
sition to see and conquer new lands and enliven 
liis experience with variety of scene and achieve- 
ment, in 185 1 he went to California by way of 
N T ew York and the Isthmus of Panama, leaving 
home on October 6th, that year, and arriving at 
San Francisco on January 14, 1852. He at once 
engaged in mining and was fairly successful in 
his operations. On April 5, 1859, he started 
homeward and reached Michigan on May 20th 
following. The death of his brother, Albert, in 



the Golden state soon afterward obliged him to 
return thither for the purpose of settling up the 
estate of the deceased, and he remained in Cali- 
fornia from February 7 to July 4, 1861. Before 
making this second trip to the Pacific coast, how- 
ever, he was married in i860 to Miss Frances 
Bachelder, a native of Perry, N. Y., whose par- 
ents were early settlers in Michigan. Mr. and 
Mrs. Sanford have had seven children. Of these 
Addie and Fred are dead ; Lillette is the wife of 
George Hammond, of South Bend, Ind. ; Wilby 
E. is married and hves at Kalamazoo; Clark is 
the husband of Millie Myers ; Luella is the wife 
of Wilbur Snow, of Climax township, ex-sherifT 
of the county, and Newman is living at home. 
Their mother died on November 29, 1885, and on 
June 1, 1888, the father married Miss Elizabeth 
Keech, a native of Canada, whose parents, 
George and Sarah (Cushman) 'Keech, natives, re- 
spectively, of New York and Canada, became 
residents of Allegan county, Mich., in 1857. Mr. 
Sanford gives, his attention to general farming on 
a large scale, and is very successful in his work. 
He is a Republican in politics and has frequently 
represented his district in the conventions of his 
party. In local affairs he is prominent, and in 
all progressive measures for the benefit of his" 
community he is earnestly, intelligently and help- 
fully interested. 

CHARLES SEARLE. 

Coming to Kalamazoo county from his home 
in western New York nearly forty years ago, 
and living here ever since busily occupied 411 
farming on land which he took up in its wild 
state and has improved to great value and an 
advanced condition of productiveness, Charles 
Searle has devoted more than half of his life to 
the development of the county and has to his 
credit a record of useful industry and practical 
achievement worthy of the respect and emulation 
of all classes of our citizens. He has met the re- 
quirements of his situation courageously and 
faithfully, and performed his duty in all respects 
in a manly and straightforward manner which 
has gained for him the confidence and good will 



172 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



of all the people around him, illustrating in his 
continued and systematic diligence, and in his 
intelligent and far-seeing regard for the best in- 
terests of his township the best and most admired 
attributes of American citizenship. Mr. Searle 
was born in Wayne county, New York, on Sep- 
tember 30, 1835, and was reared to manhood 
and educated there, working on the farm of his 
parents until 1867. His parents were Almond 
and Sophia (Craw) Searle, the father a native 
of Vermont and the mother of the state of New 
York. They were farmers and followed the in- 
dustry in New York until death released them 
from their labors, the father dying there in about 
1892 and the mother in about 1875. Their fam- 
ily comprised four sons and one daughter. Of 
these, all are now deceased but their son Charles 
and one of his brothers who still lives in New 
York. The former came to Kalamazoo county in 
1867, when he was thirty-two years of age, and 
has since made his home in this county. He first 
bought a farm in Oshtemo township on which 
he lived two years, then purchased another in 
Alamo township comprising eighty acres, and on 
this he has since made his home. The land was 
almost wholly wild and unimproved when he took 
possession of it, and it is now one of the best de- 
veloped and most highly improved in the town- 
ship, its present condition being the result of his 
continuous industry and skill in farming it and 
his enterprise in providing it with good build- 
ings and other necessary structures. In 1858 
he was married in New York state to Miss Caro- 
line Woolsey, a native of Cayuga county, in that 
state, whose mother became a resident of this 
county late in her life and died here. They 
have four children, Emma, now the wife of 
William D. Wyllis, of Kalamazoo; Bertha, at 
home; Ora, now the wife of Arthur Pickard, of 
Kalamazoo, and Burton A., who manages the 
home farm. The father has served a number of 
years a« highway commissioner, and in other 
w r ays has rendered the township excellent serv- 
ice. He ha9 been an ardent Republican from the 
dawn of his manhood, casting his first vote for 
General Fremont, the first presidential candidate 
of his party. For a period of thirty years he has 



been a member of the Masonic order, and for 
nearly or quite as long of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. He is one of the best known citi- 
zens of the county, and none has a higher or more 
firmly established title to the regard and esteem 
of the people. 

HON. ALLEN POTTER. 

The late Hon. Allen Potter, of Kalamazoo, 
was a man distinguished in business circles and 
political affairs throughout southern Michigan. 
In every undertaking of his busy and useful life- 
lie succeeded well, and the various enterprises 
with which he was connected were many and im- 
portant. Ilis life began in Saratoga count}". 
X. Y., on October 2, 1818, and he was the son 
of Elisha and Maria (Allen) Potter, both born 
and reared in New York state. The father was a 
farmer there and for a number of years a manu- 
facturer of woolen fabrics. In his later life lie 
moved to Hillsdale county, Mich., and settled 
near Moscow on a farm, which he afterward dis- 
posed of and took up his residence with his son 
at Kalamazoo, where he died. He was a son of 
Dr. Stephen Potter, a surgeon in the United 
States army during the war of 181 2 and a well- 
known physician of the state of New York. Hon. 
Allen Potter, the only child of his parents, was 
reared and educated in his native county, and 
there he learned his trade as a tinner and worked 
at it seven years. In 1838 he became a resident 
of Michigan, t and here he followed his craft in 
a number of different places, among them Jones- 
ville,, in Hillsdale county, and later at Homer, at 
each place remaining several years. In June, 
1845, ne moved to Kalamazoo and opened a small 
hardware store and tin shop, and from this small 
beginning he built up an extensive trade which 
he conducted successfully in connection with a 
blast furnace. For^ some time he was in partner- 
ship with Mr. Woodbury, and afterward with 
Mr. Parsons and others. Subsequently he retired 
from active business pursuits in these lines and 
devoted his attention to private banking and after- 
ward became vice-president of the Michigan Na- 
tional Bank. He also held stock in the gas com- 




Ct/jLu^ VfrUjUY-^ 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



175 



pany and, in company with Mr. Woodbury and 
Mr. Walter, purchased and owned the first plant. 
He was ever alive to the commercial interests of 
his city, in a number of other enterprises of value 
to the community and advantage to its people. 
Taking an active part in politics as a Republican, 
lie was chosen to represent his county in the 
lower house of the state legislature and dfterward 
as a representative of his district in the congress 
of the United States. In legislative work he 
exhibited the same energy, capacity and breadth 
of view that distinguished him in private business 
and displayed besides a wide and accurate knowl- 
edge of public affairs that made him a valuable 
member of the bodies to which he was sent as a 
representative.. Locally, although he did not de- 
sire or seek public office, he served as president 
of the village and afterward as the first mayor of 
the city. He died on May 8, 1885, in the full 
maturity and vigor of his powers and with ap- 
parently many years of usefulness yet before 
him. In September, 1845, ne married with Miss 
Charity P. Letts, a daughter of Abraham and 
Eliza (Smith) Letts, both natives of New York. 
The family moved to Michigan in 1835 and set- 
tled near Homer, Calhoun county, where the fa- 
ther-engaged in farming. He died in Kalamazoo. 
His father was John Letts, a native of New Jer- 
sey and a soldier in the war of the Revolution in 
a New Jersey regiment in which he served seven 
years. In the service he had many narrow es- 
capes from violent death and often was obliged 
to have recourse to skillful strategem to save 
himself, being employed in a measure in the se- 
cret service of the army. He died at a good old 
ngc in Orleans county, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Pot- 
ter had three children. Their son, Allen Potter. 
Jr., died in 1883. The daughters, Mrs. May 
Knight and Mrs. Lillie Gardner, live in Kala- 
mazoo. 

JOHN N. RANSOM. 

Although not a pioneer of the state, John N. 
■ Hansom, a well-known, enterprising and prosper- 
ous farmer of Alamo township, this county, was 
undoubtedly an early arrival in the state, being 
born in the city of Kalamazoo on March 2, 1840, 
11 



less than ten years after the foundation of the vil- 
lage which has since become the city, and less than 
twelve years after the first stake was stuck to 
mark the claim of a white man to any of the 
land now within its limits. He is a son of Dr. 
Fletcher Ransom, who was born at Townsend, 
Vt., on August 22, 1800, and whose father was J. 
Ezekiel Ransom, also a native of Vermont. Dr. 
Ransom, the father of John N., was educated in 
his native state, being matriculated at Middlebury 
College in the town of the same name, and com- 
pleting there the scholastic training he had be- 
gun in the common schools. He afterward at- 
tended the Castleton Medical College in Rutland 
county, and was graduated from that institution 
with degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1830. For a 
number of years he practiced his profession at 
Putney, Windham county, and then at Glens Falls, 
N. Y., where he remained until 1837. I n tnat Y ear 
he came to Kalamazoo county and bought three 
hundred and twenty acres of government land in 
Alamo township, to which he added subse- 
quent purchases until he owned five hundred acres. 
He was active in political affairs, for a while as a 
Whig and afterward until his death as a Demo- 
crat, and early in his residence in the county was 
elected a justice of the peace, an office he filled 
many years. In 1845 and again in 1846 he was 
elected to the legislature. At the end of his term 
in that body he settled on his farm, which, in the 
meantime, he had greatly improved and developed, 
and for a number of years he devoted his time 
and energies almost wholly to its needs and culti- 
vation. His last residence was in the city of 
Kalamazoo, where he died in June, 1867. He was 
twice married, his second wife being Miss Lucia 
Lovell. The first, who was the mother of John 
X., was Miss Elizabeth Noyes, a native of Ver- 
mont. She died in 1840, leaving two sons, John 
N. and his brother Charles, who lives at Plainwell. 
John N. Ransom was reared in this county and 
educated in its public schools and at Kalamazoo 
College. He began life as a farmer and stock- 
grower, and in those lines of productive effort he 
is still engaged. He and his brother cleared the 
home farm themselves and erected all the build- 
ings on it. In the course of time he became the 



176 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



owner of this farm, and he has since increased its 
size until he is now the owner of nine hundred 
acres of excellent land, all under cultivation and 
brought to a high state of fertility. It is im- 
proved with a fine modern dwelling and other 
good buildings of every needed kind, and provided 
with all the most approved appliances for carry- 
ing on its work, or ministering to the comfort 
and enjoyment of the family. Air. Ransom is 
president of the Citizens' State Savings Bank of 
Plainwell, a stockholder in the City National Bank 
of Kalamazoo, and president of the Alamo Valley 
Creamery Company of Alamo. He was married in 
this county on December 30, 1869, to Miss Caro- 
line Hydorn, a native of Alamo township and 
daughter of William and Susan (Jewell) Hydorn, 
who were born and reared in New Jersey and 
came to Kalamazoo county in 1845, locating then 
in Alamo township, where they passed the re- 
mainder of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Ransom 
have four children, Fletcher C, who is an artist 
and lives in Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Fannie E., now 
Mrs. Franklin Scott, of Plainwell ; John W., a 
farmer in Alamo township, and Larkin N., living 
at home. The father is a pronounced Democrat 
in political allegiance, and is active in the service 
of his party. Pie has frequently been a delegate 
to its county and state conventions. He also 
served four years as township supervisor, and is 
one of the best known and most esteemed citizens 
of the county. 

THE KALAMAZOO GAS COMPANY. 

While it is but eighty-two years since gas was 
first used as an illuminator in this country, and 
for a considerable time after that its use as an 
illuminating fluid was almost wholly experi- 
mental, the spread of its employment in this ca- 
pacity has been wonderful and its use therefor is 
now universal in cties, villages, factories and 
offices, and even where electricty, that agreeable 
and convenient medium, is extensively in service, 
gas still has a strong hold on the good will and a 
large place in the work of the world. The facts 
in the case show how quick the enterprise of the 
American people is to harness to their service an 



obedient and comfortable agency with power to 
accomplish desired results, and also their great 
resourcefulness in improving its character and 
adapting it to their needs. When the village of 
Kalamazoo was looking forward with hope to 
putting aside its swaddling bands and assuming 
the more ambitious habiliments of a more ma- 
ture stature, it demonstrated its disposition to 
keep pace with the march of progress then al- 
ready sounded in its midst by adopting every 
available modern appliance for the comfort and 
convenience of its people. In this state of mind 
the Kalamazoo Gas Company was organized by 
a few enterprising and far-seeing men in 1856, 
its founders being J. P. Woodbury, Allen Potter 
and James Walters, all now deceased. They 
formed a close corporation themselves, owning all 
the stock. The company started with a small 
plant, twenty consumers and two streets to light, 
some discouragement of the undertaking having 
been created by a previous attempt to introduce 
the illuminant by popular subscription. But these 
men had faith in their project, and at once began 
to enlarge the system and augment the number 
of its patrons. The company was changed into 
a larger stock company in 1886, and J. P. Wood- 
bury was chosen president, a position in which he 
served until his death. The capital stock was at 
first two thousand, seven hundred dollars. This 
was increased from time to time until in 1900, 
when the company re-organized with a capital 
stock of three hundred thousand dollars, and the 
following officers were elected : H. D. Walbridge, 
of New York, president ; Edward Woodbury, sec- 
retary-treasurer ; and J. J. Knight, manager. At 
this time (1904) Mr. Walbridge is still president, 
Mr. Knight is vice-president, F. W. Blowers is 
secretary and manager, and D. H. Haines is 
treasurer. In this city it now has three thou- 
sond consumers and thirty-six miles of pipe, and 
the capacity of the plant has been raised to one 
hundred million feet per year, an increase ot 
thirty per cent, a year from the start. The com- 
pany employs here sixty to seventy-five persons 
regularly. David IT. Haines, treasurer, was born 
at Salem, N. Y., in 1844, his parents also being 
natives of that state. The familv moved to Ohio 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



177 



in 1853, and there the son grew to the age of sev- 
enteen. In 1861 he came to Allegan, Mich., and 
in August of 1862 enlisted in defense of the 
Union as a member of Company L, Fourth Mich- 
igan Cavalry. His regiment was assigned to the 
Army of the Cumberland under command of 
General Buell, and took part in the battle of Chick- 
amauga and other engagements of that time and 
locality, beginning with Stone river. The regi- 
ment then was transferred to the cavalry corps 
of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and 
did active service in all the Atlanta campaigns. 
Later it went with General Wilson in his march 
across Alabama to Georgia and took part in the 
capture of President Davis of the Confederacy. 
Mr. Haines was mustered out of the service in 
July, 1865, and returning soon afterward to 
Michigan, settled at Kalamazoo, where he passed 
a year at school, after which he found employ- 
ment seven years with the milling firm of Mer- 
rell & McCourtie. During the next ten years 
lie was otherwise engaged, and at the end of that 
period the company was re-organized as the Mer- 
rell Milling Company, and he returned to it and 
remained as its secretary until 1890. For three 
years thereafter he conducted a milling business 
of his own, and in 1901 became associated with 
the gas company, with which he has been contin- 
uously connected since. He was married at Kala- 
mazoo in 1873 to Miss Lila Thayer, a native of 
Ohio. They have one child, their son, Donald H. 
Mr. Haines takes an active interest in the frater- 
nal life of the community as a Freemason and a 
member of the Grand Army of the Repubilc. 

SAMUEL A. BROWNE. 

The late Samuel A. Browne was one of Michi- 
gan's best known and most enterprising horse- 
men, breeding horses of the highest grade and 
giving his stable an envied renown all over this 
country. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, Septem- 
ber 18, 1833, the son of William and Anna (Meg- 
lade) Browne, who were also natives of the Irish 
capital. Late in life they followed their son to the 
United States and died in Chicago. Their son 
was reared and educated in his native city, and 



at the age of nineteen years came to this country 
and located at Chicago. Here he engaged in the 
lumber business and later in the lumber trade, al- 
ways having large interests in his charge in this 
line, even until his death, after he had begun to 
devote a large share of his attention to other pur- 
suits. In 1885 he moved to Kalamazoo, and asso- 
ciated himself with Senator Stockbridge in the 
firm of S. A. Browne & Company, bought a half 
section of land west of the city and began breeding 
horses of the best quality for the track. Among 
the renowned racers they bred and owned were 
"Grand Sentinel" and "Empire," both of which 
had excellent records, and afterwards "Ambassa- 
dor," which they refused an offer of seventy-five 
thousand dollars, but which afterward died at 
Kalamazoo. Later their "Anteeo" became a 
leading stud and was sold by them for fifty-one 
thousand dollars, and their "Bell Boy" brought 
thirty-five thousand dollars as a two-year-old. 
They also raised "Vassar," which made a record 
of 2:07, an d "Dancourt," which won a ten-thou- 
sand-dollar stake at Detroit. In addition to these 
they bred a long list of fast horses including 
"Eminence," 2 :i8, trial 2 :io. The stallions won a 
wide reputation throughout the continent, and 
as a horseman Mr. Browne was well known all 
over this and many foreign countries. He died 
on March 4, 1895, at Los Angeles, Calif. On 
November 15, 1899, ne was married in Chicago to 
Miss Jane H. Hanna, a native of Ireland. They 
had five sons and one daughter, all of whom are 
now deceased but two of the sons. The father 
took a lively interest in the affairs of the city, 
especially in the matter of public improvements, 
and displayed great public spirit and enterprise 
in promoting the substantial welfare of the com- 
munity. While serving as alderman from the 
second ward he secured the paving of Main 
street. He was also a presidential elector from 
the ninth district in 1880 on the Garfield ticket. 
In fraternal life he was a Freemason of the 
thirty-second degree, and in church affiliation was 
a Congregationalism 

William H. Brownk. his son and the 
only member of the family now living in Kala- 
mazoo, except the mother, who survives her hus- 



i 7 8 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



band, is keeping the stock farm up to the high 
standard it reached under the management of his 
father, and carrying on the business on the same 
broad and elevated plane it occupied in the care of 
that progressive gentleman. He was born in 
Chicago and came to this county with his father. 
He was married to Miss Ella Drake, the daughter 
of Benjamin Drake, Jr., a short sketch of whom 
will be found elsewhere in this volume. 

FRANCIS HODGMAN. 

Francis Hodgman, second son of Moses 
Hodgman and Frances (Bellows) Hodgman, 
was born in Climax, Kalamazoo county, Mich., 
November 18, 1839. His parents were both na- 
tives of New Hampshire, of good old English an- 
cestry, and on the mother's side he is closely con- 
nected with many eminent and distinguished men 
of the Bellows and Chase families. Among the 
most celebrated of these were Rev. Henry W. 
Bellows, of New York, who had a world-wide 
reputation as a clergyman, and also as the origi- 
nator and the president of the Sanitary Commis- 
sion, which did such a world of good for the 
soldiers during the war of the Rebellion; Hon. 
Henry A. Bellows, chief justice of the state of 
New Hampshire; Salmon P. Chase, who was 
Lincoln's secretary of treasury and chief justice 
of the United States. These men were all of 
them second cousins of Mr. Hodgman's mother. 
His father was a shoemaker, who came to Mich- 
igan with other pioneers in 1836, and located in 
Climax four years after the first settlement in the 
town. He was the first shoemaker in it. In those 
days it was common for shoemakers to go from 
house to house among a certain class of people 
who furnished their own leather, and the shoe- 
maker made it up into the footwear for the whole 
family. During the first dozen years of their res- 
idence in Michigan, the Hodgman family moved 
as many as six times, at last settling down at the 
homestead which has been the family home since 
1848. Moses Hodgman gave his children the best 
facilities for securing an education that his lim- 
ited means permitted. They attended the district 
schools and Francis studied in the select schools 



taught by Mary Norris in the old Farmers' Ex- 
change, which stood on the corner now (1905) 
occupied by the Willison and Aldrich block, by 
George A. Chapim in what has lately been known 
as the Buckberry house, and by J. L. McCloud 
in what is now the residence of Samuel Tobey. 
He also went for one term to the high school in 
Battle Creek. His schooling was mostly in the 
winter. At the age of ten he began working out, 
the first summer being spent on what is now 
the Horace H. Pierce farm, where he worked for 
twenty-five cents per day. For several years he 
worked out by the month during the summer on 
neighboring farms and in a saw mill which his 
father and uncle had built in Wakeshma. In the 
winter of 1857-8 he taught the district school in 
District No. 6, Climax, having just passed his 
seventeenth year. The following spring he en- 
tered the Michigan Agricultural College, where 
he worked his way through — teaching winters 
and working on the college farm from three to 
eight hours per day while there. He graduated 
in 1862 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. 
Three years later the degree of Master of Science 
was conferred on him for special scientific work. 
The next year after leaving the college he went to 
Littleton, N. H., where he spent about a year 
clerking for his cousins in a drug store. From 
there he went in i860 to Sandusky, O., where he 
worked for six months in a photograph gallery. 
From there, in the spring of 1865, he went to 
Galesburg, Mich., where for three years he ran 
a photograph gallery except for the six months 
spent in Coldwater, Mich., studying law. When 
he entered college the question was asked him 
what he expected to become after leaving school, 
and the answer was "a civil engineer." ' Up to 
this time he had found no opportunity to enter 
upon his favorite work, but in 1868 the chance 
came without any solicitation or foreknowledge 
on his part. In that year, at the instance of M. 
O. Streater, a retired Kalamazoo county sur- 
veyor, he was nominated for that office at the Re- 
publican convention and a few days later was ap- 
pointed to fill a vacancy in that office. He held 
that position with the exception of one term, 
when he was engaged in railroad surveys until 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



179 



1893, when failing health compelled him to re- 
tire from active field work. During that time 

he was engaged for a year as leveler on the line 
of the defunct Marshall & Coldwater Railroad 
and one year as engineer in charge of location 
and construction on several divisions of the Rio 
Grande Western Railroad in eastern Utah. He 
was married November 14, 1870, at Galesburg. 
Mich., to Florence B. Comings, making his home 
at Kalamazoo and Galesburg until March, 1874, 
when he removed to the old paternal homestead 
at Climax, where he has resided ever since. He 
has held some kind of public office ever since he 
was of age, beginning with school inspector and 
ending with cemetery trustee. He never sought 
but one public office, representative, and that he 
did not get. He was the active promoter and 
founder of the Kalamazoo County Husbandman's 
Club, while he was master of the Climax Grange 
and was the active w r orker and organizer in that 
club in its earlier years. He was one of the 
founders of the Michigan Engineering Society, 
and has been the secretary and treasurer of that 
society since 1886. He was active in procuring 
the incorporation of the village of Climax, and 
was its president for a number of terms. He is a 
musician and as such was for thirty years an 
active member and leader in choirs wherever he 
happened to be. In 1899 he published a volume 
of music of his own composition entitled "Home's 
Sweet Harmonies. " Pie was one of the founders 
of the Michigan Agricultural College Alumni As- 
sociation, and has once been the orator and twice 
the poet at their triennial gatherings. His poems 
have been collected and published by him under 
the title of the "Wandering Singer and His 
Songs," of which two editions have been issued. 

Te has written much for the press, mostly on 
farming and 1 engineering topics. He has recently 
published a pamphlet of historical and reminis- 
cent sketches entitled "Early Days in Climax. " 
He is one of the contributors to the volume en- 
titled "Michigan Poets and Poetry." He is an 
artist of ability and has his house decorated from 
( >ne end to the other with oil paintings and photo- 
graphs, his own work. For the past twenty years 
he has edited the organ of the Michigan Engi- 



neering Society, the "Michigan Engineer." In 
1886, under the auspices of that society, he, in 
conjunction with Prof. C. F. R. Bellows, of Ypsi- 
lanti, wrote and published the "Manual of Land 
Surveying." Three years later he bought out 
Prof. P>ellows and re-w r rote the book which is 
now in the twelfth edition. It is pronounced by 
.the author of another book on surveying to be 
"the most desirable work on land surveying in 
the English language." It is now accepted by all 
as the standard work on the subject and its 
author has been employed by the highest authori- 
ties in the United States as an expert on questions 
of boundary lines. On one occasion he published 
a criticism of the decision of the supreme court 
of Michigan in a boundary line case, Wilson vs. 
Hoffman, which so impressed that court that of 
their own motion they re-called the case and re- 
versed the decision. They could have paid him 
no higher compliment. Since his residence on the 
old homestead it has grown from a village lot of 
an acre to a small farm of fourteen acres, from 
which he receives excellent returns and enjoys 
overseeing it. He has three children by his first 
wife : Harry, who is a civil engineer employed 
by the United States government on the Detroit 
river improvement work ; Fanny, married to 
Archer P>. Tobey, a Climax farmer, and Lucy, 
married to D. A. Davis, principal of No. 2 city 
school, Battle Creek, Mich. His first wife died 
in the spring of 1888, and in October of that year 
he was married to Emma F. Smith, at Chicago. 
She died in 1898, and in October, 1902, he was 
married to Jennie A. Dickey, of Charleston, 
Mich., with whom he now lives. Llis present resi- 
dence has practically been his life-long home. He 
has seen his township change from a wilderness, 
with scattered settlements on the prairie and in 
the forest, to a fair land of cleared-up, prosperous 
farms, with two thriving villages in their midst. 
He has seen forests of black walnut, whitewood, 
ash, elm, basswood, cherry, beech, maple, oak and 
hickory disappear, which if they were now stand- 
ing as they did when he was a boy, would sell for 
more than the entire township and everything on 
it will sell for now. He has seen the land when 
bears, deers, wolves, turkeys, prairie chickens, 



i8o 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



partridges, black and gray squirrels were plenti- 
ful, and no one need lack for game. He has seen 
the game disappear, one kind after another, till 
hardly anything but rabbits and skunks are left. 
He has seen the postal service change from the 
weekly rider, who could carry all the mail for an 
office in his coat pocket, to the rural free delivery, 
with its daily delivery at the farmer's own door. 
He has seen the installation and growth of the 
railway, the telegraph and the telephone lines, 
the bicycle and the automobile, the sower, the 
harvester, the thresher and the busker. He has 
seen the good old-fashioned, honest, steady, re- 
liable, hard-working hired man disappear and his 
place taken by machinery, and wonders if after 
all we are any better <ar any happier than folks 
were fifty years ago. 

RIG FOUR MERCANTILE COMPANY. 

The Big Four Mercantile Company, of Scott, 
Pavilion township was organized on November 
23, 1902, with a capital stock of twenty thousand 
dollars, and the following officers : President, J. 
A. Richardson ; vice-president, Albert J. Hard- 
ing; and secretary, Wells N. Adams. It suc- 
ceeded the Richardson Mercantile Company, 
which had been founded some years before by 
Mr. Richardson and others. The new company 
erected more buildings and enlarged the stock, 
and now handles everything from a threshing 
machine to a paper collar, carrying on an im- 
mense general merchandising business, with a 
large extent of territory tributary to its trade, and 
all conducted in the most vigorous and system- 
atic manner. The present officers of the com- 
pany are the same as when it was organized, ex- 
cept that Ross E. Adams is secretary instead of 
Wells N. Adams. 

Albert J. Harding, the vice-president and 
practical manager of the business, is a native of 
Genesee, N. Y., born January 13, 1853. He came 
to Michigan with his parents, Abraham and Jane 
(Ransom) Harding, and their four other chil- 
dren. They located in Climax township, this coun- 
ty, where the father worked at his trade as a car- 
riage maker, for a short time, then moved to 



Barry county, and some years later died in north- 
ern Michigan. He was a soldier in* the Civil 
war, and saw much active and arduous service 
in the memorable contest, participating in a num- 
ber of its most important battles. The mother 
died when her son Albert was a child. He was 
reared in Climax township and educated in the 
district schools. After leaving school he worked 
out by the month for a time, then bought a farm, 
in the township, which he still owns, and which 
he has increased to two hundred and eighty acres. 
This he operated until 1902, when he moved to 
Scott and became connected with the mercantile 
company for which he is now operating and of 
which he is so important and productive a factor. 
He was married in Calhoun county on February 
20, 1878, to Miss Ida Mapes, a native of that 
county, and a daughter of Anson and Maria 
( Bloss) Mapes, who settled there in 1835, and 
died there after many years of successful farm- 
ing. Mr. and Mrs. Harding have had six chil- 
dren, three of whom are living: Zella M., wife of 
J. R. Campbell; Myrtie M., wife of Ross E. 
Adams, secretary of the company ; and Winnie 
O., who is living at home. In the six children 
there were two pair of twins, three of whom have 
died. In politics Mr. Harding is a Republican. 
He is a justice of the peace and has served six 
years as highway commissioner. He is a third- 
degree Mason, a Modern Woodman of America 
and a Knight of the Maccabees. Mr. Harding 
began life as a poor boy and was reared by stran- 
gers. He has made himself what he is, a well- 
informed, high-minded and successful business 
man, an excellent citizen, and a social and indus- 
trial force of magnitude and influence. 

WALTER C. SMITH. 

This esteemed citizen and farmer of Wak- 
eshma township, in this county, who retired from 
active work some years ago and took up his resi- 
dence at Vicksburg, is a native of Oakfield, Gene- 
see county, New York, where he was born 011 
March 1, 1843. His parents, William and Man 
E. (Shoemaker) Smith, were also natives of the 
state of New York and born in Montgomery 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



181 



county. The father was a blacksmith and later a 
farmer. The family came to Michigan in 1867, 
and after a residence of eleven months in Cal- 
houn county moved to Charleston township, in 
Kalamazoo county, where they bought a partially 
improved farm on which he died in 1872 and 
his wife in 1881, in Wakeshma township. They 
had three sons and two daughters, all now dead 
but their son, Walter C. The grandfather of the 
last named, Abraham Smith, was a shoemaker in 
New York state, and died there, as did his wife, 
whose maiden name was Mary E. Kelley. Walter 
C. Smith reached man's estate in this county, and 
began life as a farmer. In 1876 he purchased a 
farm of his own in Wakeshma township, which 
he still owns, but is now worked by his son. The 
father and mother have lived in Vicksburg dur- 
ing the last twenty-two years. They were married 
in 1867, the mother being Miss Josephine L. 
Burnham prior to her marriage, the daughter of 
Hiram O. Burnham. a pioneer of Charleston 
township, this county, who died in Charleston 
township aged eighty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. 
Smith have two children, their daughter, Nellie 
L., now the wife of F. A. Robinson, of Vicksburg, 
and the mother of two children, Margerie and 
Walter N.. and their son Fred R., who is living 
on the homestead. The latter married Miss Anna 
L Mason and has one son, W. Mason. Mr. 
Smith has served four terms as township treas- 
urer. He and his wife belong to the Methodist 
Fpiscopal church, of which he is a trustee. 

CHARLES V. MOTTRAM, M. D. 

Notable in his professional career, distin- 
guished in military service, and widely known 
and highly esteemed in private life, the late Dr. 
diaries V. Mottram, of Kalamazoo, after his 
death, was laid to rest in Mountain Home ceme- 
tery with every demonstration of popular regard 
and affection. He was born at Gilbertville, Otsego 
county, New York, on December 25, 1823, and 
was the grandson of Colonel Jasper Bedient, a 
Revolutionary patriot who took part in the battle 
^f Bunker Hill, Saratoga and Yorktown. The 
Doctor obtained his primary education in the com- 



mon schools and academy of his native place, and 
had partially completed a course of higher in- 
struction at Hamilton College, New York, when 
he moved to Michigan and took up the study 
of his profession in the office of his brother, Dr. 
William Mottram, then located and engaged 
in a large practice at Nottawa in St. Joseph 
county. In 1847 ne was graduated with distinc- 
tion from the State Medical College at La Porte, 
Indiana, serving, during the last year of his 
course, as demonstrator of anatomy, a branch 
of medical science in which he was unusually 
proficient. After his graduation he returned to 
Nottawa, and there practiced in association with 
his brother until 1850, when they moved to Kala- 
mazoo, where he remained actively and success- 
fully engaged until the breaking out of the Civil 
war. During his first residence in Kalamazoo he 
made a widely extended acquaintance, especially 
in the outlying districts, where he became popular 
with all classes of citizens. He was interested 
and active in public affairs, and built a large hos- 
pital of concrete on the lot south of Corporation 
hall, which was destroyed by fire just as it was 
ready for occupancy. In June, 1861, he was ap- 
pointed surgeon of the Sixth Michigan Infantry, 
and the following autumn the regiment was or- 
dered to Baltimore, Md., where it remained 
in active service until February, 1862. It was 
then ordered to New Orleans as a part of the 
force detailed for the reduction of that city. The 
Sixth Michigan, Fourth Wisconsin, Twenty-first 
Indiana and Norris Battery being brigaded, Dr. 
Mottram was appointed brigade surgeon, and was 
subsequently made chief medical officer on the 
staff of General B. F. Butler, who commanded 
the land forces of the expedition. He was with 
Commodore Farragut at the passage of Forts 
Jackson and St. Philip on April 24, 1862. At the 
occupancy of New Orleans he was promoted to be 
medical director of the Dq^artment of the Gulf, 
and was particularly distinguished at the battles 
of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson for his hos- 
pital service on the field. He was with General 
Banks on the Red river expedition, in the bat- 
tles of Alexandria and Grand Ecole, and partici- 
pated in the capture of Forts Morgan and Gaines 



1 82 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



and other defenses at the entrance of Mobile bay. 
In 1864 he was enrolled as a veteran and remained 
on duty until September, 1865, his closing service 
being on a hospital steamer in charge of sick and 
wounded soldiers who were being returned to 
their place of discharge. Previous to his retire- 
ment from the service he was offered the colonelcy 
of his regiment, but declined the honor. For three 
years following his "muster out" he was an in- 
valid from diseases contracted during the war. 
He then, after a second residence and interval of 
practice at Kalamazoo, removed to Lawrence, 
Kan., where he soon achieved state-wide distinc- 
tion as a physician and surgeon. He was a mem- 
ber of various local medical societies of both 
Michigan and Kansas, and a permanent member 
of the American Medical Association, and was the 
delegate to the international convention of the 
last named body at Paris. After attending this 
convention he passed several months on the con- 
tinent and at London in researches through a 
number of colleges and hospitals. Fraternally he 
was an Odd Fellow and a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and in religions faith a 
firm believer in the doctrines of the Christian re- 
ligion, and in practice a man of active charities 
and great humanity. He loved his profession and 
devoted all his energies to its practice. In the war 
he had a high reputation with men of learning 
for his great acquirements, and on the field, by 
his kindly solicitude for the sick, wounded and 
sore distressed, he won the closest and most cor- 
dial regard of the soldiers. 

OSCAR M. ALLFN, Sr. 

To the interesting subject of this brief and in- 
adequate review the city of Kalamazoo is proba- 
bly indebted for usefulness in as many capacities 
as to any other man among her citizens. There 
is scarcely any form of productive enterprise or 
public interest which has not been quickened 
by the touch of his tireless hand or widened by 
the force of his active mind. The mere list of the 
enterprises of value with which he is connected 
now or has been in the past is in itself a broad 
suggestion of his multiform energy and fruitful- 



ness in commercial and industrial life, and if the 
full story of his service in these capacities could 
be told in detail it would form one of the most 
interesting and impressive in American biogra- 
phy. As an extensive real estate operator Mr. 
Allen added several beautiful tracts to the munici- 
pality for residence or business purposes. Pie 
was one of the original and most effective pro- 
moters of the Henderson-Ames Company for the 
manufacture of uniforms, regalia and kindred 
products. He has been an extensive patentee of 
his own inventions and those of others, helping- 
many a poor man to good returns for his invent- 
ive genius. He has been for years largely inter- 
ested in the paper manufacturing industry here 
and elsewhere, has aided in founding and main- 
taining benevolent institutions, has been of ma- 
terial assistance in building and equipping an im- 
portant railroad in the state, has contributed lib- 
erally to schools and churches, has catered to and 
raised the standards of taste in engravings, and 
has been a leading official and directing potency 
in financial institutions of wide usefulness and 
growing power. And while carrying on all these 
enterprises, the value of any one of which would 
have been a handsome tribute to the usefulness 
of his life, he has been an unassuming and un- 
ostentatious citizen, performing with fidelity to 
duty every good work that has come before him 
without reference to the showy reward that is to 
be found in men's praises or positions of promi- 
nence. Mr. Allen was born in Niagara county, 
N. Y., in 1828, and is the son of Thomas and 
Hannah (Chesbrough) Allen, natives of Ver- 
mont. The father was a tanner who brought his 
family to Michigan in 1837 and settled in Jack- 
son county, where he became a prosperous farmer 
and passed the remainder of his life. His father 
was a soldier in the Revolution and fought un- 
der Stark at Bennington. Oscar M. Allen, Sr. 
was one of seven children, five sons and two 
daughters, born in his father's family, all of whom 
are now deceased but himself. Coming with the 
family to this state when he was nine years old. 
he here grew to manhood and completed the 
common-school education which he had begun in 
his native state. He remained in Jackson county 




OSCAR M ALLEX. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



185 



until 1845, then, a youth of seventeen and desir- 
ous of a different life from that offered on his 
father's farm, he went to Detroit and learned the 
trade of coach painting. After eight years of ac- 
tive work in this line in Detroit he moved to San- 
dusky, Ohio, where he wrought in the same line, 
painting the first four passenger coaches for the 
Michigan Central Railroad after it was purchased 
from the state. At Sandusky he had a shop of 
his own and carried on general house and coach 
painting five years. He then returned to De- 
troit and there passed three years in the produce 
trade. In 1853 he moved to Kalamazoo and 
opened- a large establishment for the work of 
painting and decorating, papering walls and col- 
lateral lines of work, and selling the materials 
for the industry. In this undertaking Mr. Rice 
was his partner, the firm being Rice & Allen, and 
continuing in business fifteen years. They also 
conducted a branch business in Chicago. At the 
end of that time Mr. Rice retired and Mr. Allen 
added a large stock of superior grades of furni- 
ture. After some time he sold out the furniture 
and a little later the entire business. He then 
opened the first dollar store in the city and found 
the project a decided success from the start. 
After conducting it for a number of years he dis- 
posed of his interest in it and founded the Globe 
Casket Manufacturing Company, the first estab- 
lishment engaged in the manufacture of cloth 
covered caskets in this country. Selling his in- 
terest in this business, he became largely en- 
gaged in real estate operations in and around the 
city, and, in company with Heber C. Reed, formed 
the South Side Improvement Company and plat- 
ted for a residence section its addition of forty 
acres to the city, in which they built over five 
miles of sidewalks and which has helped to make 
one of the most desirable residence portions of 
the town. He was also one of the earliest and 
heaviest investors in paper manufactories and 
<»iie.of the early promoters of the Henderson- 
Ames Company for the manufacture of uniforms, 
«'n account of which will be found on another 
page of this work. He is a stockholder in the 
Kalamazoo Corset Company, and was an original 
subscriber to the stock of the City National Bank, 



in which he is still a director. He also assisted 
in founding the Michigan National Bank. He 
added to the city domain the Allen place and the 
Elm place, which together have a ten-thousand- 
dollar cement boulevard. In addition he platted 
the Allen farm north of the city, containing one 
hundred and forty acres, into small tracts for 
raising celery, on which thirty tenants now live 
and thrive. Being of an inventive turn of mind, 
he designed and patented the movable glass plate 
in caskets which is now in general use. He also 
took out other patents for some of his own de- 
vices and those of other men, thirty-two in all, thus 
aiding more than one poor inventor to a proper 
compensation for his invention. He is a stock- 
holder and director in several paper mills, among 
them the Bryant, the Imperial Coating Mill and 
the Superior, and also in the Illinois Envelope 
Company of Kalamazoo. For twenty-five years 
he has been a stockholder in and trustee of the 
Charlevoix Home Association. Foreseeing the 
need of increased transportation facilities for this 
section, he was one of nine men to build the Kala- 
mazoo & Saginaw Railroad, in which he was a di- 
rector for a number of years. While associated 
in business with Mr. Rice they had a branch . 
house in Chicago, of which he was the resident 
manager, and during his residence in that city 
he sold a piece of property on State street, one 
hundred by one hundred and fifty feet wide, for 
twenty-five thousand dollars, which is now 
worth a million dollars. Prior to going 
there he was engaged for a time in publishing 
stec^l plate engravings of the illustrious men and 
women of the world and had almost exclusive 
control of the business. His benefactions to re- 
ligious and educational institutions have been on 
a par with his business enterprise and success. He 
gave five thousand dollars to the Congregational 
church, of which he has long been a member, 
and has given freely to all other denominations 
in the city. He was also one of the first sub- 
scribers to the Michigan Female Seminary in 
Kalamazoo and is still a trustee of the institution. 
Always a liberal friend of the cause of education, 
he has never withheld his bounty from its needs, 
whether those of institutions or individuals, and 



i86 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



has helped many a worthy poor young man and 
lady to good school facilities. In politics he was a 
Whig until the formation of the Republican party 
and since then he has been an ardent supporter of 
that organization. Mr. Allen was married in 
Detroit in 1849 to M* ss Hannah Smith, a native 
of Leeds, England. They have had five sons and 
two daughters, all of whom are living but one. 
In fraternal life he has been a Master Mason for 
a long time and a Knight Templar for twenty- 
eight years. Now on the verge of four score 
years and ten, he is passing the evening of life 
with the people among whom he has lived and 
labored to such good purpose, and there is none 
among them who does not call him blessed 

JAMES A. CRANE. 

Like many another of the prominent, progres- 
sive and successful farmers of southern Michi- 
gan, James A. Crane was a native of the state of 
New York, and grew to manhood and received 
his education there. He was born in Seneca 
county, of that state, on April 24, 1828, the son 
of Amza L. and Nancy (Crosby) Crane, the 
former a native of New Jersey and the latter of 
New York. The parents were farmers, and their 
son was reared on the parental homestead and 
took his part in its useful labors. He remained at 
home until 1861, when he came to this county and 
settled on the farm on which he lived until 1902. 
At that time he mewed to Augusta, where, until 
death called him on August 29, 1905, he was ac- 
tively engaged in overseeing the work on his 
farm and doing his share of it. This land, which 
had never yet heard the voice of command calling 
it forth from its wilderness and lethargy to re- 
sponsive productiveness when he took possession 
of it, yielded to his persuasive industry with alac- 
rity, and rewarded his faith by developing into 
comeliness, fruitf illness and great value. On 
July 5, T869, Mr. Crane united in marriage with 
Miss Flora E. Forbes, a daughter of Nathan and 
Laura (Willmoth) Forbes, the former a native of 
New ' Hampshire and the latter of New York. 
They were early settlers in Kalamazoo county, 
and after residing for a time in Oshtemo and 



Alamo townships, some time in the '6os located 
in Ross township, where they remained until 
death. Mr. Forbes was a deacon in the Baptist 
church, to which his wife also belonged. Mrs. 
Crane is one of their three children, the other 
two being her brothers, Francis M. and Benja- 
min F. She was reared in this county, and after 
completing her education taught two terms of 
school in Alamo township. She and her husband 
adopted a son, George E. Crane, on whom they 
bestowed great care, educating him both by home 
training and educational advantages of the best 
character for a position of usefulness in the world. 
In religious belief Mrs. Crane is a Baptist, and is 
prominent in church work and in the best social 
circles in her community. In connection with his 
general farming interests Mr. Crane raised num- 
bers of well-bred live stock, making this industry 
a specialty in w r hich he took the greatest interest 
and found much enjoyment. He was very suc- 
cessful in his efforts, having made a study of the 
work and familiarized himself with all its phases 
and requirements, and he omitted no effort on 
his part to secure the best results. Politically, 
he was a pronounced Democrat. He was always 
prominent and influential in local affairs in his 
township, and was as favorably known from one 
end of the county to the other as an excellent 
farmer, reliable man and representative citizen, 
and it is with much sorrow that his many friends 
reckon him among those departed this life. 

WILLIAM WAGNER. 

William Wagner, one of the pioneer business 
men of Kalamazoo, and at the time of his retire- 
ment from traffic the oldest merchant of his line 
in this city, is a native of Germany, born in Sep- 
tember, 1835, anc l tne son °f David and Man- 
Wagner, also natives of the fatherland. The 
father was a government officer, and died when 
his son William was five years old. The son 
grew to manhood in his native place and attended 
the schools there until he was fifteen. He then 
learned his trade as a tailor and followed it in 
Germany until 1851, when he came to the United 
States, being forty-four days on the ocean. On 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



187 



his arrival in this country he came at once to Ann 
Arbor, Mich., where he found employment at 
bis trade with an uncle, in whose employ he re- 
mained two years. Being- somewhat dissatisfied 
with his craft, and having a favorable opportunity 
to master one more to his taste, he apprenticed 
himself to a harnessmaker, and spent three years 
at his apprenticeship. Thereafter he wrought at 
the new trade in various places in this state until 
the summer of 1859, tnen came to Kalamazoo and 
worked as a journeyman until 1873. In that 
year he began the business for himself, and car- 
ried it on briskly with an increasing trade until 
December, 1903, when he retired from active 
pursuits. He is a stockholder in the Central Rank 
and has long been a factor of importance in the 
fiscal and commercial life of the city, and is in 
all respects a worthy and well esteemed citizen. 
He was married in 1859 to Miss Anna M. Yaw- 
ager, a native of New Jersey and of German an- 
cestry. They had one child, William W., who is 
a resident of Kalamazoo. The parents of 
Mrs. Wagner, James W. and Anna (Crater) 
Yawager, were among the first settlers of Lan- 
sing, going there from Northville, Mich., and 
making the journey by team through the un- 
broken forests, crossing swamps and unbridged 
rivers, often carrying their effects so as to enable 
the teams to get through, and suffering all the 
hardships of that sort of travel in a new and un- 
inhabited country: The father erected the first 
log cabin at the place, the commissioners who lo- 
cated the capital assisting him to cut a road to 
his land and build his little log shanty. The site 
was in the midst of a boundless wilderness, with 
all the concomitants of savage life infesting it, 
and the outlook for comfort within a human life 
was far from promising. Indians were plentiful 
and not always friendly, wild beasts and rep- 
tiles contested possession of the land with the new 
dwellers, the conveniences of civilization were 
scant and hard to get, and those who cast their 
k){ there faced every form of danger and were 
called upon to endure every form of privation 
incident to life in the remotest wilds. That they 
were resolute in spirit and vigorous in action in 
meeting- and subduing the difficulties of their 



situation, the rapid growth of the city in its earlier 
history, and its splendid development abundantly 
attest.. Mr. Wagner's wife died on October 7, 
1905, at the family residence on west South street, 
in the city of Kalamazoo, after an illness which 
lasted three .days. She was a woman of remark- 
able character, and left many friends to mourn 
her. Mr. Wagner has never had an active part 
in politics, nor sought nor desired public office. 
He has, however, been interested in the fraternal 
life of the community, and freely mingled in it 
as a Freemason and a United Workman. He 
dwells quietly now, at rest from active labor, 
amid the institutions he has helped to build up, 
and is highly respected among the people among 
whom he has lived and labored so long. 

ROBERT JICKLING. 

As the virgin forest of Kalamazoo county, 
which for ages towered aloft in their great 
growth and storm-defying might, showed the 
richness and strength of its soil, the high charac- 
ter of its civilization, the excellence and vigor of 
its civil institutions, and the amplitude and wealth 
of its commercial life, abundantly prove the virile 
force, lofty courage, resolute energy, and com- 
prehensive breadth of view of its founders and 
early settlers. Among these, one worthy of spe- 
cial mention is Robert Jickling, until recently 
one of the prosperous and enterprising farmers 
of Comstock township, but who spent the later 
years of his life retired from active pursuits. He 
was born at Hitcham, Norfolkshire, England, on 
September 2, 1821, and was the son of Robert and 
Mary (Lee) Jickling, who were born and reared 
in the same locality as their son. In 1835 tne 
family emigrated to Canada, and took up their 
residence at Overbeck, in the province of Ontario. 
The journey across the ocean and into the interior 
covered seven weeks and three days. The mother 
died in her native land on December 19, 1831, at 
the age of forty-three years. The father became 
an early settler near the town of Woodstock, and 
there passed the remainder of his life as a farmer, 
dying on April 9, 1872, aged seventy-eight years. 
Robert was the third son and third child of his 



i88 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



parents, and remained with his father until the 
family came to this country, and soon after their 
arrival was bound out to. David Ford, with whom 
he remained until he reached the age of twenty- 
six, coming with him to Michigan soon after the 
beginning of his service. On December 5, 1847, 
he was married at Galesburg, this county, to 
Miss Julia Ann Aldrich, the oldest child of Fay 
and Lura (Johnson) Aldrich. Her parents died 
a number of years ago in Alamo township, this 
county, and their remains were buried at Otsego. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jickling became the parents of 
eleven children, eight of whom are living: Ade- 
line, wife of Frederick Shay (see sketch on an- 
other page); Marquis, a prosperous farmer of 
Richland township ; Lura, wife of Joseph 
Newell, of Portage township ; Mary, wife of Gor- 
don P>. Brigham, of Richland township ; Ella, wife 
of Sabin B. Nichols, of Kalamazoo ; Albert, con- 
nected with the North & Coon Lumber Company, 
of Kalamazoo; Walter W., formerly on the home- 
stead in Comstock, and Howard B., in business in 
Kalamazoo. The four deceased are Sarah, who 
was the wife of Henry Tolhurst at the time of 
her death, on May 9, 1888; Emma, who died on 
May 22, 1889; Clara E. wife of the Rev. John 
Humphreys, who died in October, 1894, and Rob- 
ert, who died on October 24, 1904. Their mother 
was born six miles from the town of Angelica in 
Allegany county, N. Y., and was brought by 
her parents to Michigan when she was but four 
years old. The journey was made with an ox team, 
and led through the famous Maumee swamp. The 
family was among the first to settle in Charleston 
township. Her parents were natives of New 
York state, as was her paternal grandfather, 
Abram Aldrich, who was also an early settler in 
this county, locating here in 1833 on government 
land. Mr. Jickling died on October 24, 1904, and 
Mrs. Jickling now makes her home with her 
daughter, Mrs. Frederick Shay, of Richland 
township. Soon after his marriage he located on 
the farm which was the scene of his useful labors 
for so many years, and which he bought of his 
former employer, Mr. Ford. There were no im- 
provements on the place at the time, except a 
small log house eighteen by twenty feet in dimen- 



sions, and the roof covered with shakes. He and 
his wife lived in that humble abode nine years, 
their furniture, when they set up housekeeping, 
being barely sufficient for their absolute wants,-— 
a primitive cook-stove, a chest that served for a 
table as well, and a few other indispensable ar- 
ticles. The country around them was a wilder- 
ness ; there were no roads or other evidences of 
civilization near them. Their early years were here 
passed in hard work, with many privations and 
difficulties, but they persevered in their enterprise, 
and in time had the land in a condition of ad- 
vanced cultivation, and improved with good build- 
ings and all the appliances necessary for vigorous 
and successful farming. The farm comprised one 
hundred and ninety-two acres, all of it under cul- 
tivation but about twenty acres, and one hundred 
and forty of it cleared by the enterprising owner. 
His industry and worth, his energy in the matter 
of public improvements, his high character and 
broad-minded citizenship, soon secured him a 
name and place in the township second to that 
of no other man, and the regard which he won in 
his young manhood but broadened and deepened 
as age drew near him. In political relations he 
was a Republican, but never an active partisan. 
The cause of public education had his zealous at- 
tention from the start and he rendered it good ser- 
vice in his long tenure of the office of school direc- 
tor. When he passed the three score and ten 
years fixed by the psalmist as the ordinary term of 
mortal life, he lived retired from active work and 
passed the evening of his life in peace and com- 
fort after many trials, and was blessed with 
abundant proofs of the confidence and esteem of 
his fellow men. 

NATHANIEL H. STEWART. 

Perhaps no man in the county is more repre- 
sentative of progress than is Nathaniel H. Stew- 
art, of the city of Kalamazoo. His whole life 
is the living testimony of the splendid results that 
an indomitable will, backed up by tireless energy 
and indefatigable perseverance, can accomplish. 
Mr. Stewart, who belongs to an ancient and 
time-honored race, and can trace his ancestry 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



189 



back to the time of Henry VIII, was born on 
July 20, 1847, at Johnstown, N. Y. He attended 
school and worked in his father's shops until 1868 
when he, like Benjamin Franklin," left his native 
town with only thirty dollars in his pocket, and 
came to the then village of Kalamazoo, arriving 
there with but seven dollars. Soon afterward he 
entered the law office of ex-Senator Charles E. 
Stuart, Edwards & May. His great physical 
strength, as well as his mental and moral power, 
aided him in enduring the privations he had to 
undergo, such as sleeping all night on the bare 
floor of what is now his private office. At this 
time he made the resolution that has been in 
a great measure the cause of his splendid success 
in the business world — to pay as he went, and 
never to be any one's debtor. When he received 
little, he spent less, always paying cash for every 
thing. Throughout his life he has always ad- 
hered to the rules of self-respect, industry and 
economy. In 1869 he went to Plainwell, where 
he worked for one year in an elevator and prod- 
uce house, receiving a salary of seventy-five dol- 
lars a month. By strict economy he was able to 
save enough out of his earnings to enable him to 
return to Kalamazoo and again take up the study 
of his beloved profession with the same law firm, 
which had changed to Edwards & Sherwood. 
This firm, appreciating Mr. Stewart's fine busi- 
ness ability, keen insight, and general aptitude for 
the profession, made a contract with him for 
three years. In March, 1872, he was admitted to 
the bar on his first examination. When the firm 
of Kdwards & Sherwood dissolved, Mr. Edwards 
reeuested Mr. Stewart to join him in his chosen 
profession, which he did. On December 14, 1875, 
he married Miss Emily Frances Gates, a daughter 
of Chauncey and Jane Gates, who came to Kala- 
mazoo from New York in 1868. Mr. and Airs. 
Stewart have two sons, both grown to manhood 
— I )onald Argyle and Gordon L. In politics Mr. 
Stewart is a Democrat, and he has given liberally 
°f his time and means to advance in every pos- 
sihle way the principles of Democracy. He is 
°ne of the most successful lawyers, and is a pub- 
lic speaker of great eloquence and force. In 1882 
"? was chairman and congressional manager of 



the campaign, when by his shrewdness and skill- 
ful manipulation a Democrat overcame a Repub- 
lican majority of five thousand in the district. 
When he ran the entire campaign in 1883, a ^ t ne 
Democratic candidates for supreme judges and 
two regents of the State University were elected. 
He has served on all the executive committees of 
the Democratic party, and has aided this party 
greatly in various ways. Mr. Stewart, aside from 
T>eing a politician of the highest order, is a lover 
of all that is beautiful in art, literature, and na- 
ture, being extremely fond of paintings, poetry 
and flowers. As he prefers those poets that ap- 
peal to the heart and the sympathies, his favorite 
among them all is "Bobby" Burns, the Scottish 
poet. His great fondness for poetry and his 
wonderful memory are shown by his having com- 
mitted to memory the entire poem of the Rubai- 
yat of Omar Khayam, the Persian poet. This 
poem, which Fitzgerald has translated, consists 
of one hundred quatrains, all of which Mr. 
Stewart can repeat. He has entertained his 
friends for hours and hours at a time by reciting 
in a style peculiarly his own and one that never 
fails to please, selections from his favorite poets. 
Mr. Stewart is a man of great capabilities and of 
strong convictions. With all his positiveness and 
force in leadership, he has a vein of gentleness 
and innate culture that is shown most beautifully 
in his everyday family life. To all who know 
him, and his friends are many from all walks of 
life, he stands as a splendid example of a self- 
made man of the highest honor and integrity. 

DANIEL HARRIGAN. 

Although he had reached the age of sixty-five 
at the time of his death* on June 24, 1903, the 
late Daniel Harrigan, the first and at the time of 
his death the largest coal and wood, dealer in 
Kalamazoo, and one of the leading business men 
of the city, was in full vigor- and gave promise 
of many more years of usefulness in commercial 
circles and as a citizen. He was a native of 
county Tipperary, Ireland, born on December 15, 
1838, and the son of John and Ann (Donohue) 
Harrigan, who were natives of the same county 



190 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



as himself. They were farmers and died when 
their son Daniel was a child. Of their six chil- 
dren two sons and two daughters came to the 
United States. Both of these sons are now dead. 
The daughters are living in Michigan. Daniel 
Harrigan was about fourteen when he became a 
resident of the United States. Although so young 
he had resolution and determination of spirit and 
made the voyage across the fretful Atlantic and 
the trip over one-third of this continent alone, at * 
Ann Arbor joining his brother John, who had 
emigrated hither some years earlier. He had at- 
tended school to a limited extent in his native 
land, and by studious and judicious reading be- 
came a very well informed man. x\fter a resi- 
dence of two years at Ann Arbor, he came to 
Kalamazoo and for a time worked for D. S. Wal- 
bridge, a miller, for whom he drove team and 
packed flour. Later he bought wool and grain 
for Dudgeon & Coob. In 1880 he started a wood 
and coal business, which was the first in the city, 
and is still carried on by his son. He was first 
married about 1859 to Miss Ellen Milan, a na- 
tive of Ireland. They had four children, of whom 
one son and one daughter are living and reside 
in California, Frederick J. and Emily. Their 
mother died in 1872, and the next year the father 
was married to Miss Hannah Kelley, a daughter 
of John Kelley, born in Cork, Ireland. Her fa- 
ther brought his family to 'Kalamazoo in 1845. 
He was employed in building the Michigan Cen- 
tral Railroad between Detroit and Niles, this 
state, and was popularly known as "Boss Kelley. " 
He died in Kalamazoo in 1847. By his second 
marriage Mr. Harrigan became the father of 
five children. Of these, four are living, Ellen 
M., wife of Marcus S. Harlowe, of San Luis 
Obispo county, Calif. ; and Alice, Blanch and Leo 
B., who live at home, the son having charge of the 
coal and wood business left by their father. All 
the members of the family belong to the Catholic 
church. Frederick, the son of the first marriage, 
living in California, has four children, John H., 
Philip F., Laura and Clarence. The father was a 
member of the order of Elks and the Catholic 
Mutual Benefit Association, a church society. He 
came to this country a poor boy, but died in very 



comfortable circumstances and possessed of an 
excellent business, all the result of his thrift, en- 
terprise and business sagacity. 

THE PURITAN CORSET COMPANY. 

The Puritan Corset Company, of Kalamazoo, 
is a stock company, organized in January, 1900, 
with a capital stock of seventy-five thousand dol- 
lars, the first officers being William L. Brownell, 
president ; C. H. Williams, vice-president ; A. If. 
Shellmier, secretary, and C. A. Peck, treasurer, all 
of whom are still serving, except thatC.A.Blaney 
has succeeded Mr. Shellmier as secretary. The 
company manufactures a general line of corsets 
and uses the Puritan clasp, which was invented 
and patented by Mr. Williams and Mr. Brownell, 
of this company. Seventy-five to one hun- 
dren persons are employed by the com- 
pany. They have the capacity for turn- 
ing out one hundred and fifty dozen corsets a day, 
their product being sold by mail, — voluntary or- 
ders — no salesmen employed. The goods are sold 
in the central, western and southern states, and 
the business is constantly on the increase. W. 
L. Brownell, president of the company, is a na- 
tive of Kalamazoo, born in 1856, and the son 
of Thomas C. and Matilda (Parker) Brownell, 
the former born in the state of New York and 
the latter in Michigan. The father came to Kala- 
mazoo in the early days and bought a tract of 
land adjoining the city limits at that time, and 
here lie was engaged extensively in the manufac- 
ture of brick for more than twenty years, and 
during all of that period he was superintendent 
of the county poor. He made the brick used 
in the asylum and many other important struc- 
tures, and had a high reputation for the quality 
of his product and the care with which his work 
was done. He died in 1879, having been during 
the whole of his residence here prominent in pub- 
lic affairs and having filled a number of differ- 
ent local offices. His son, W. L. Brownell, after 
receiving a common and high-school education, 
began business as a clerk, and at the age of 
twenty-two opened a grocery for himself, in which 
he conducted a flourishing wholesale and retail 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



191 



trade for more than twenty years. He served as 
secretary of the Kalamazoo Corset Company one 
\ear, but from the organization of the Puritan 
Company he has been its president and manager, 
lie is a Knight Templar Free Mason and a Noble 
of the Mystic Shrine, and the fraternal life of the 
community receives inspiration from his interest 
and active work in the order, as the business in- 
terests of the city do from his zeal and capacity 
in commercial and industrial lines. It is largely 
due to his shrewdness, influence and fine business 
ability that the enterprise of which he is the head 
has grown to such magnitude and won so ex- 
tensive a trade. He knows through practical ex- 
perience and close observation every detail of his 
industry from start to finish, and gives all phases 
and elements of the business his personal atten- 
tion. While "it is not in mortals to command suc- 
cess," and they are enjoined to "deserve it," which 
is doing more, Mr. Brownell has done both with 
conspicuous ability and steadiness. 

DEWING & SONS. 

The business of this energetic, progressive 
and far-reaching firm, the manufacture of sash, 
blinds and kindred products, is one of the oldest 
industrial undertakings in Kalamazoo, and one 
of the earliest and most extensive of its kind in 
this part of the country. It was founded by Wil- 
liam G. Dewing, a native of county Norfolk, Eng- 
land, where he was born on May 17, 1809. Mr. 
Dewing was one of eleven children, and was 
brought up under the most assiduous and con- . 
siderate domestic care, in a home circle abun- 
dantly supplied with the comforts of life. After 
being well educated in France and becoming 
master of the French language, which he spoke 
with the accuracy of a native, he insisted on fol- 
lowing the sea for which he had long had a de- 
sire. His father determined that if the son would 
he a sailor he should know his business from the 
beginning, and apprenticed him so that he would 
thoroughly learn the sea-faring life. The change 
from the tenderness of nurture to which he had 
'Ken accustomed to the hardships he was now 
called upon to endure did not change his deter- 



mination, and he followed the sea for ten years, 
rising to the rank of first officer. In his life at 
sea he visited all parts of the globe, and had 
many thrilling and unusual adventures. He set- 
tled in the United States early in the '30s, locating 
in the state of New York not far from the city of 
the same name, where he remained until 1836, 
when he came to Kalamazoo, bringing his family 
and worldly effects from Detroit by teams. The 
journey was one of hardship and privation, full 
of toil and difficulty, but this fact rather stimu- 
lated than dampened his enterprise. After his 
arrival here he and his brother Frederick, who 
came to this country with him, kept a store for 
five years. At the end of that time Frederick 
withdrew from the firm, and thereafter Mr. Dew- 
ing conducted the business alone, changing its 
nature several times and meeting with alternat- 
ing successes and reverses, until at length he 
turned to the present line, the manufacture of 
sash, blinds, doors, etc. For a time Mr. Scudder 
was interested in the establishment. He was suc- 
ceeded by Mr, Kemt, who was one of its active 
spirits for a number of years. Then William S. 
Dewing, the oldest son of the proprietor, became 
a partner, and later the other sons, Charles A. 
and James H., entered the firm. It was then re- 
organized and assumed the name it now bears, 
the firm of Dewing & Sons. The father remained 
in the business and gave it his personal atten- 
tion until within five years of his death in April, 
1884, at the age of seventy-five years. Since his 
departure the sons have carried its interests for- 
ward along the lines of liberality and progres- 
siveness marked out by him, expanding the trade 
of the establishment, increasing its output and 
enlarging its usefulness to the business world of 
the city and surrounding country. In 1887, or the 
next year, large tracts of land were purchased in 
West Virginia and mills for sawing the lumber 
on them were erected there. This proceeding 
was done in the northern part of this state in 
1875, w ith frequent orders from many far more 
distant points, as its reputation for excellence in 
products and fairness in methods is well known 
all over this country and portions of Canada. The 
elder Dewing was a man of large commercial 



192 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



spirit and fully awake to the opportunities for his 
own trade and the other mercantile and indus- 
trial possibilities of the region in which he had 
cast his lot. He was connected with various lines 
of commercial activity in Kalamazoo, notably an 
extensive hardware business. In the public affairs 
of the community he took an earnest and service- 
able part. While never desirous of public office 
for himself, he was zealous in aiding in the se- 
lection of good men for positions of importance, 
and for the general good of the city now and 
then accepted membership in the city council. In 
national politics he was a Republican, but in lo- 
cal matters his genuine public spirit overbore all 
party considerations. In his nature he was es- 
sentially and practically benevolent, being one of 
the foremost men in Michigan in charitable mat- 
ters, and one of the prominent figures in all con- 
ventions in his part of the state for the promotion 
of benevolent purposes. Even in England, while 
yet a young man, he was widely known for his 
earnest efforts to promote charitable and philan- 
thropic institutions. In this county his philan- 
thropy, although unostentatious, was wide-spread 
and abounding. One of his greatest pleasures 
was in helping the poor to get a foothold and 
homes for themselves, and the number of his 
beneficiaries in this respect was legion. In church 
affiliation he was an Episcopalian, and a member 
of the first vestry of St. Luke's church ; but he 
was ever generous in helping other churches. He 
was practically the founder of the Industrial 
School for Children in Kalamazoo and of the 
Children's Home, and the city has no institutions 
in which he took a deeper interest. He was also 
the originator and one of the most zealous sup- 
porters of the Kalamazoo County Pioneer Asso- 
ciation. His life was a calm, full current of ac- 
tive goodness, and his name was more dear to 
many people in humble circumstances than that 
of any other citizen of the county, and he was 
more esteemed by all friends of humanity and 
effective charity. He was married in Vermont to 
Miss Jane Tuttle, a native of that state. They had 
five sons and one daughter, of whom three of the 
sons are living, William S., Charles A. and 
James H. 



Charles A. Dewing, of the firm, was 
born in Jersey City, N. J., and came to Kalama- 
zoo with his parents when he was a boy. He was 
reared and educated in his new home, attending 
the common and high schools and Olivette Col- 
lege. On leaving school he at, once entered the 
establishment to which he has contributed so 
much of enterprise and capacity ; and he has been 
connected with it in a leading way ever since. He 
is also a stockholder and the treasurer of the 
Kalamazoo Stove Company, and holds stock in 
the Puritan Corset Company, the Sugar Factory, 
the Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railroad 
Company, and other enterprises of importance 
and value in the commercial and industrial life 
of the city. He is one of the most widely known 
and highly esteemed citizens of the county, and 
one of its best business representatives. 

PELICK STEVENS. 

The late Pelick Stevens, of Kalamazoo, who 
died in the city in 1881, at the age of sixty-eight, 
was a pioneer in two states of the Middle West 
and embraced in his career a scope of country 
lying between the Atlantic and the Mississippi and 
extending from one to the other. He was born 
at Worcester, Mass., on March 15, 1813, 
and was the son of Rhoads and Abigail (Kimbell) 
Stevens, the former a native of England and 
the latter of Scotland. They emigrated to the 
United States early in their life and settled in 
Massachussets, and there they lived until death 
ended their labors. The father was a farmer and 
also kept an inn. Both lived to ripe old ages 
and died highly respected in the community which 
had so long known them. Sixteen children were 
born in the household, all of whom are now dead. 
One of them was the late John C. Stevens, founder 
of the New York Yacht Club, and its first com 
mod ore, and as such his name is familiar to all 
Americans. The interesting subject of this review- 
was reared to the age of seventeen in his native 
city and there received a common-school educa- 
tion. At the age mentioned, in company with one 
of his brothers, he made a trip from Worcester 
to White Pigeon, Mich., on horseback, and iti 



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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



195 



this new section they bought a tract of land on 
the prairie near what was then known as Ed- 
wardsburg. Mr. Stevens made some improve- 
ments on the land, then sold it and returned to 
Massachusetts. Soon afterward he came west 
ao-ain and located on a wild piece of land which 
lie bought adjoining the village of Schoolcraft. 
This also he improved and sold, after which he 
cleared another new farm on which he lived for 
more than thirty years. In 1862 he moved to Kala- 
mazoo, purchasing a home on West Main street, 
where his widow now resides. While living in 
the city he devoted his attention to building 
houses, putting up a number of brick structures 
for dwelling and business purposes, and at the 
time of his death owned extensive and valuable 
interests in real estate. He was a Republican in 
politics, but not an active partisan and never de- 
sired public office of any kind, but did consent 
to serve a number of years on the school board. 
He was married on January 31, 1836, to Miss 
Lydia Alexander, a native of Lyons, Wayne 
county., N. Y., where she was born on Feb- 
ruary 23, 1818. She is the daughter of George A. 
and Margaret (Shaver) Alexander, the father 
born in Philadelphia and the mother in New Jer- 
sey. Mrs. Stevens came to Michigan alone at the 
age of fifteen years, making the journey overland 
by stage to Schoolcraft or Prairie Ronde. She 
has lived in this county ever since and is now 
probably one of its oldest living settlers. She 
saw the country in this section almost as it came 
from the hands of its Maker, luxuriant in its 
unpruned growth of ages and all unknown to the 
systematic productiveness, the domestic comforts 
and the moral agencies of cultivated life. And 
she has lived to see it in its present state of high 
development, intense industrial activity, flowing 
commercial wealth and advanced moral and so- 
cial greatness, to all of which she has contributed 
her due proportion of energy in production and 
satisfaction in enjoyment. Her life spans the 
period between the dawn of its history to its noon- 
day splendor, and the achievements involved 
would, without experience, be deemed scarcely 
possible within the scope of a single human life. 
She and her husband were the parents of six 
12 



children, all of whom she has survived but two, 
their son Henry A., who makes his home with 
her, and their daughter, Emma J., widow of the 
late Loren Shear. Mrs. Stevens has in her pos- 
session two pictures of historic value in this 
section, one of the first county court held in the 
county and one of the first house, a log structure, 
built in Kalamazoo. 

Peter F. Alexander, a brother of Mrs. 
Stevens, was also an early settler in Kalamazoo 
county, arriving here on October 26, 1832. He 
was born at Lyons, Wayne county, N. Y., on 
July 6, 1816, the sixth child in a family of nine 
born to "his parents, George and Margaret 
(Shaver) Alexander, the American progenitor of 
the family being his grandfather, who was born 
in Scotland in 1744. This worthy gentleman, 
when he was seventeen years of age, after hav- 
ing served some time as apprentice to a weaver 
in Dublin, Ireland, determined to come to the 
United States, and being without the necessary 
means to pay his passage across the ocean, stole 
on board a vessel bound for Philadelphia and hid 
among the freight, keeping himself concealed un- 
til he was several days at sea. On his arrival in 
the Quaker City he was sold to a weaver for a 
term of three years to pay his passage money. At 
the completion of his term of service he entered . 
the Continental army, in which he served through 
the Revolutionary war. Soon after its close he 
married with Miss Mary Rumage and settled in 
Pennsylvania, where he become* a prosperous 
farmer and acquired a competency. He was a 
man of decided ability and took an active part 
in political matters. He died in 1826, at the age 
of eighty-two years. When Peter's father was a 
boy the family moved to Tompkins county, N. Y., 
where he was reared to manhood and was 
married. About 1810 he moved his family to 
Lyons, Wayne county, where he died in 1830, at 
the age of forty-eight. Peter was at this time four- 
teen years old. Three years later he was thrown 
on his resources. By industry and frugality he 
earned and saved twelve dollars, and with this 
meager sum started for Michigan, a distance of 
seven hundred miles. Through the kindness of 
friends he accomplished his undertaking, arriv- 



196 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



ing at Detroit penniless. From there he walked 
the whole distance to the home of his uncle, 
Abram I. Shaver, on Prairie Ronde. He re- 
mained with his uncle and worked in his employ 
four years, and for a number thereafter worked at 
his trade of carpenter and joiner. In 1840 he was 
united in marriage with Miss Sabra Anton, of 
Menclon, St. Joseph county, who was born near 
Utica, N. Y.,' on February 25, 1820. Her 
parents were natives of Oneida county, N. Y., 
and came to Michigan in 1837. After their 
marriage Mr. and Mrs. Alexander settled on a 
place which he had previously 'purchased and 
which was their home during the rest of their 
lives. His first purchase of land, however, was 
made in 1834. Six children were born in the 
family, only one of whom is living, Luce T., 
whose life began on the home farm on March 
17, 1856. Mr. Alexander was emphatically a 
self-made man. His whole life was ordered on 
the belief that there is no royal road to success, 
but that wealth and position are the results of 
individual effort. He occupied an enviable po- 
sition in his community and filled many offices of 
trust to the satisfaction of the people. He was 
a Republican in politics, a man of high character 
and persevering in whatever he undertook, 
in public and private life, and always industrious. 
He passed away in April, 1901. 

JOHN VANDEWALKER. 

Nothing in the history of the American peo- 
ple is more remarkable, or more indicative of 
their real character, than the lofty courage, stern 
endurance, unflagging industry and readiness for 
every requirement, shown by the pioneers, or 
early settlers, in all parts of our land. No toil 
deterred, no danger daunted, no hardship dis- 
mayed them. With unyielding will they pressed 
their way over every obstacle, often challenging 
fate herself into the lists, and meeting her on al- 
most equal terms. To this fast fading race be- 
longs the interesting subject of this memoir, who 
is one of the few pioneers of Kalamazoo county 
left yet among the living. He came to this state 
when almost the whole of it was new and uncul- 



tivated and promptly took his place in the army 
of occupation and conquest that was to redeem it 
from the wilderness and make it fragrant with 
the flowers and fruitful with the products of cul- 
tivated life — that was to evoke its stores of hid- 
den wealth, transform . its wild growths into 
comely and valuable commodities and send into 
the channels of trade its bounteous resources for 
the sustenance and comfort of man. Mr. Yande- 
walker was born at Preble, Courtland county, N. 
Y., on October n, 1823, and is the son of Wil- 
liam and Betsey (Bouck) Vandewalker, them- 
selves natives of New York, where the father was 
a well-to-do farmer, and from whence he came to 
this state in 1838. Here he lived until his death. 
At the time of his arrival in the territory wild 
game was everywhere plentiful and he found 
profitable and congenial occupation as a hunter 
and trapper for many years. He had a family of 
six sons and three daughters, all now deceased 
except his son John. The grandfather, Martin 
Vandewalker, was a soldier in the Revolution and 
one of Washington's guards. He saw much ac- 
tive service in the war, but lived long after it to 
witness and enjoy the prosperous beginning of 
the history of the country he had fought to free, 
and died at a good old age in the state of New 
York. The maternal grandfather Bouck was also 
a Revolutionary soldier, and was three times 
taken prisoner by the British, but made his es- 
cape each time. John Vandewalker reached man's 
estate in New York, and received a limited edu- 
cation in its public schools. His mother died 
when he was a child, and at an early age he was 
obliged to support himself. In 1842 he came to 
Michigan, traveling by way of the Erie canal 
to Buffalo, thence by steamer to Detroit, from 
there to Jackson by rail, whence he came to Kal- 
. amazoo by stage, arriving in that city on October 
4, 1842. He found employment with his brother 
on his farm, and two years later he bought a 
tract of land for himself in Richmond township, 
of which twenty acres were cleared. He cleared 
the rest, and since then he has bought and cleared 
two other farms. During the last twenty years 
he has lived quietly in Kalamazoo retired from 
active pursuits, and enjoying the fruits of his 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



197 



long and faithful industry. He has been mar- 
ried three times, the first marriage occurring in 
1849, when he was united with Miss Sallie 
Dailey, a native of New York, daughter of Gar- 
rett Dailey, who was a pioneer in this county. 
They had two children, their son Eugene, who 
died at the age of twenty, and their daughter Alta 
(\, who is now the wife of H. H. Everhardt. 
Their mother died in 1879, an d the father mar- 
ried, in 1885, Miss Angie M. Case, who died in 
T891. On November 15, 1898, he consummated 
his third marriage, being united on this occasion 
with Mrs. Sarah Spaulding, widow of B. W. 
Spaulding. Her maiden name was Hamilton, and 
she is the daughter of Uriah and Mary (Jenkins) 
Hamilton, natives of New York. She has one 
son by her former marriage. Mr. Vandewalker 
is a Democrat in political affiliation, but he has 
never sought or held public office or taken an ac- 
tive interest in politics. He is a stockholder in 
the Kalamazoo National Bank. Now past four 
score years of age, he is passing the evening of 
life in that serene and quiet harbor wherein the 
storms break not or are felt, but in the gentle 
undulations of the unrippled and mirroring wa- 
ters, a cheerful, a hale, a contented old age, re- 
spected by all who know him for his sterling 
worth and the valuable service he has rendered in 
developing the resources and building up the 
wealth, power and moral greatness of the state 
of his adoption. Mrs. Vandewalker's parents 
come to this county in 1834 from New York state 
and settled in Ypsilanti township, where they 
cleared up a farm and died there. Mrs. Vande- 
walker and one brother, Monroe M., are still 
living. 

HENRY MONTAGUE. 

For a period of nearly seventy years this 
honored pioneer has been a resident of Michigan 
and for about sixty-seven has lived in this county. 
His advent here was almost contemporary with 
the dawn of civilization in this section, and he 
has been able to witness the growth of a great 
commonwealth from its infancy to its present 
stature and power, and to aid materially in the 
process, being one of the few remaining links 



of human life which connect the wilderness of 
the past with the advanced state of progress and 
development of the present, combining in his own 
person and memory the dawning hopes of an 
early age for the far future and the accomplished 
results and status of a triumphant and glorious 
present, jytr. Montague was born at Hadley, 
Mass., on July 30, 1813, and belongs to an old 
colonial family which settled there in 1659, he 
representing the fifth generation born in the 
house in which his life began. His parents were 
Stephen and Grace G. (White) Montague. The 
father was a farmer who passed the whole of his 
life in his native state and on the family home- 
stead. He was a soldier in the war of 181 2 with 
the rank of sergeant, but his company was not 
called into active field service owing to the short- 
ness of war. The son, Henry Montague, re- 
mained at home until he reached the age of 
twenty-two, receiving a limited education in the 
town schools and acquiring on the farm of his fa- 
ther the habits of industry and thrift which have 
distinguished him through life. In 1835 ne came 
to Michigan, then the far western frontier of this 
country, and located in Washtenaw county where 
he lived two years. At the end of that period he 
moved to 'Kalamazoo county, purchasing a tract 
of wild land on Grand Prairie which he cultivated 
and improved and on which he lived until 1859. 
During his residence in Washtenaw county he 
was engaged in the manufacture of brooms, but 
did not continue this industry long after settling 
on his farm, its exactions requiring all of his 
time and energies. Being elected trustee and 011 
the building committee for the erection of the 
Michigan Asylum for the Insane, he put up the 
two principal buildings of the institution, serving 
on the committee until 1859, when he was made 
steward, a position he filled until October, 1884. 
He then resigned and retired from active pur- 
suits, and he has since lived in the quiet enjoy- 
ment of his estate, his friendships and his pride 
in the state and county he helped to build. In 
October, 1836, he was married at Webster, Mich., 
to Miss Abigail Kingsley, a native of Brighton, 
Mass. They had a family of twelve children, 
all of whom are now deceased but four: Calvin 



198 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



S., a resident of Washington, D. C, who served 
throughout the Civil war, being in the army 
nearly five years and coming out as a lieutenant 
colonel; Mary J., wife of William A. Dion, of 
Kalamazoo; Helen C, living at home, and Henry 
E., a prominent business man of Chicago. Their 
mother died on April 3, 1898. Mr. Montague 
belonged at the dawn of his manhood to the Lib- 
erty party and cast his first vote in 1844 for the 
candidates of that party, in whose behalf he also 
stumped the county. He aided in organizing the 
Republican party in 1854, at Jackson, this state, 
and since then has been a faithful adherent of 
that organization. As its candidate he was elected 
to the lower house of the state legislature in 
1854, serving that winter and in 1855. In 1837 
he joined the Congregational church, and in 1838 
he and his wife organized the first Sunday school 
on Grand Prairie, holding the services in their 
little log house. The school is still in progress, 
but has found a more commodious and ambitious 
home; yet it is doubtful if its spirit of enterprise 
and devotion has increased in proportion as its 
prosperity has advanced, or could surpass that 
which pervaded it in its infancy. Mr. Montague 
also founded the first county society, which is 
still in vigorous life. It was started in 1855, and 
he was chairman of its executive committee five 
years. He is now past ninety-one years old, hav- 
ing lived much longer than most men do, and his 
life has been crowded with useful labor to his 
kind. Full of years, he is also venerable with 
honor and affectionate regard among his fellow 
men and has to his credit the record of a well 
spent life. As early as 1833 Mr. Montague be- 
came an advocate of the cause of abolition and 
after coming to Michigan was an active worker 
in the interests of that cause, making numerous 
speeches throughout this and adjoining counties, 
his home being a station on the "underground 
railway" which then existed. He can relate 
many exciting tales of the escape and pursuit of 
slaves making their escape to Canada and free- 
dom, having as many as five in his home at one 
time. In 1852 he was elected delegate to the 
national convention of the Liberal party held at 
Pittsburg, Pa. 



CHARLES A. PECK. 

Although he entered the world of finance and 
commercial and industrial effort in a humble ca- 
pacity, it may be said of Charles A. Peck that 
he was "born to the purple" in these lines. His 
father was a banker and was also connected with 
a number of manufacturing enterprises in Kala- 
mazoo city and county; and his older brother, 
Horace B. Peck, was then engaged in the same 
pursuits in a leading way. The interesting story 
of both careers is written elsewhere in this vol- 
ume. Charles A. Peck, the third son of Hon. 
Horace M. Peck and his wife, Emilia (Barnes) 
Peck, was born at "Richland, Kalamazoo county, 
on December 23, 1852. He was educated at the 
public schools, Prairie Academy at Richland and 
the Kalamazoo high school. After leaving school 
he entered the City Bank of Kalamazoo as mes- 
senger boy, and from that humble position he rose 
gradually on merit to the post of cashier and later 
to that of vice-president of the City National 
Bank, the successor of the old City Bank in which 
he started the career which has so gratified his 
friends and been of such signal service to the 
business circles of the city and county. He is 
also a stockholder in the Kalamazoo Savings 
Bank and the Michigan National Bank; and not 
confining his attention and energies wholly to 
banking institutions, is treasurer of the Bardeen 
Paper Company, with interests in other paper 
mills ; treasurer of the Globe Casket Company ; 
stockholder in the Kalamazoo Gas Company, and 
stockholder and president of the Star Brass 
Works and the Puritan Corset Company. In ad- 
dition to these various interests, to each of which 
he gives his personal attention and in each of 
which is felt the force of his quickening mind and 
firm hand, he owns considerable real estate in the 
city and county, besides lands in Red river valley 
in North Dakota. It will be seen that he has 
enough in the way of business to engage all his 
time and faculties, yet such is his business ca- 
pacity and so great is his facility for the dispatch 
of important matters, as well as small details, that 
he finds opportunity 'to give stimulus and inspira- 
tion to the social life of the community and aid 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



199 



in directing its political affairs as an ardent Re- 
publican. On the 22d day of January, 1879, Mr. 
Peck united in marriage with Miss Mary F. Hall, 
a daughter of Judge Cyrus L. Hall, formerly a 
judge at Hudson, Wis., but now in the govern- 
ment service at Washington, D. C. They have 
one child, their daughter Dorothy. In the fra- 
ternal activities of the city Mr. Peck takes an ac- 
tive interest as a member of the order of Elks. 

HON. HORACE M. PECK. 

The late Hon. Horace M. Peck, of Kalamazoo, 
whose death, on the 28th of April, 1894, although 
it came to him in the fullness of years and after 
a long career of unusual merit and usefulness, 
was felt to be a general loss to the community in 
which he had so long lived and labored for the 
promotion of every commendable enterprise, was 
one of the honored pioneers of the county, and 
was connected, from an early time in its history, 
with every phase of its industrial, commercial, 
intellectual and moral growth. He was born at 
Watertown, Conn., in 1814, the son of Benjamin 
M. and Salina (Atwood) Peck, both natives of 
that state also. His father was a farmer on a 
well improved farm of his own about one-half a 
mile from the town. Here he resided and man- 
aged the interests of the farm, but he was largely 
engaged in making investments in stocks and 
bonds for himself and others. He was an active 
worker in the Presbyterian church and was well 
and widely known as Deacon Peck. He stood 
high in his community and was influential in its 
public life. He and his wife died in their native 
state at good old ages. Their son Horace grew 
to manhood near his birthplace and was educated 
in its schools. His first independent venture in 
iife was as a commercial traveler representing 
'-he Seth Thomas Clock Company, in whose in- 
terest he traveled a number of years through the 
southern states. In 1838 he came to Michigan, 
and while passing through Richland in Kalama- 
zoo county he learned of a desirable tract of two 
hundred acres of prairie land which was about 
to be sold under execution, and being pleased 
with it he became its purchaser. It was still in 
the possession of his heirs until sold in March, 
I 9°5- He at once became a speculator in western 



lands, renting this tract to a tenant and purchas- 
ing large tracts of wild domain in Wisconsin 
and Iowa. These he later exchanged for im- 
proved property in this county and became in the 
course of a few years its most extensive owner 
of farms. His interests in lands were very con- 
siderable, but his energy did not stop with caring 
for them. Desiring to aid the farmers of the 
county to increase and improve their five stock, 
he bought large numbers of sheep which he 
placed with them on shares, and so the farmers 
were able to get in a short time good flocks of 
their own without tying up any capital for the 
purpose. Mr. Peck continued to reside at Rich- 
fi^nd until 1868, when he removed to Kalamazoo 
and became associated with Col. F. W. Curtenius, 
Charles A. Hull and C. S. Dayton in the banking 
business, they together founding the Kalamazoo 
Savings Bank, of which he became vice-president, 
although it was not an incorporated institution 
but only a partnership business. This bank later 
was reorganized into the City Bank and still later 
into the City National Bank, and Mr. Peck re- 
mained vice-president through all changes until 
a few years before his death. His broad and ac- 
tive mind could not, however, rest with one enter- 
prise as its only care. He was connected in a 
leading way with a number of industrial and 
commercial enterprises in addition to this, and 
gave them all close and serviceable attention. 
All public interests of the county and city, all 
political activities of the state and country, all 
elements of growth and progress for the people 
secured his intelligent and helpful consideration, 
and he was long recognized as one of the leading 
citizens of the county in which he lived. On 
July 4, 1837, he was married to Miss Emilia 
Barnes, the daughter of Tillotson Barnes, one of 
the most esteemed pioneers of this county, who 
came here at a very early day and built the first 
grist mill in Michigan, it being located at York- 
ville, where he died. Mr. and Mrs. Peck had six 
children, five of whom are living: Mrs. Susan C./^^J 
Campbell, of Ann Arbor ; Horace B., late of Kala-\T^ 
mazoo (see sketch) ; Mrs. Frances P. Burrows, ,, 
wife of United States Senator Burrows, of Kala- 
mazoo; Herbert N., of Minneapolis; and Charles 
A., of Kalamazoo (see sketch). 



200 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Horace B. Peck. — This, the eldest son of 
Hon. Horace M. Peck, of the aforegoing sketch, 
was born at Yorkville, this county, on July 20, 
1 84 1, and received his education at the district 
schools near his home. At the age of sixteen he 
entered the banking house of T. P. Sheldon, of 
Kalamazoo, with whom he remained until June, 
1868. Then, in company with August S. But- 
ler, he organized the banking firm of Butler & 
Peck, of Allegan, which later became the Allegan 
City Bank, of which Mr. Peck and his father 
owned the greater part of the stock. Mr. Peck 
continued in control of this bank until 1884, since 
which time he gave his entire attention to his 
large interests in other lines of business, he be- 
ing president of several lumber companies in 
northern Michigan and Wisconsin and a director 
of the Berwick Lumber Company, of New Or- 
leans, La., which does an immense business in 
cypress lumber in the south. Politically Mr. 
Peck was a Democrat and served as a delegate to 
the Democratic national convention of 1884 which 
nominated Mr. Cleveland for the presidency the 
first time. He also served as mayor of Allegan 
while he was living in that city. He was married 
in 1870 to Miss Helen E. Parkhurst, a native of 
Vermont. To them were born two children, their 
daughters, Mrs. F. E. Wadsworth, of Detroit, and 
Mrs. A. B. Connable, of Kalamazoo. Fraternally 
Mr. Peck belonged to the Knights of Honor, the 
Knights of Pythias and the Elks. In all the rela- 
tions of life he lived acceptably to all who had the 
pleasure of his acquaintance. In business circles 
he stood at the top, in political councils he had 
commanding influence, in social life he was 
warmly welcomed into the best companies, and 
in fraternal bodies to which he belonged he was 
always enthusiastically received. There can be 
no higher tribute to a man's worth as a citizen 
than to be generally esteemed, and this is the 
tribute manifest in the case of Mr. Peck. He 
died June 14, 1903. 

EMANUEL C. HENIKA. 

Coming to Michigan at the dawn of his young 
manhood in 1850, and from that time until near 
his death, in December, 1903, mingling with the 



stirring activities of the state and the useful in- 
dustries of its people, the late Emanuel C. Henika, 
of Ross township, this county, had good oppor- 
tunities for useful citizenship here and he im- 
proved them to good advantage for himself and 
greatly to the benefit of the section in which he 
lived, becoming one of the best known, most 
progressive and prosperous farmers in his town- 
ship and one of its leading citizens. He was 
born near the city of Canandaigua, New York, on 
February 14, 1830. His parents, Henry and 
Elizabeth (Stahl) Henika, were also natives of 
the state of New York, and prospered there as 
farmers for many years. In 1850 they moved to 
Michigan and located at Battle Creek. The trip 
from their old to their new home was made with 
teams, and the incidents of the long and tedious 
journey, all of them interesting and some romantic 
or thrilling, were deeply impressed on the mind 
of their children, two sons and two daughters. 
After living a year at Battle Creek, they bought 
a farm near that town, and on it a few years 
later the mother died. The father in time married 
again and once more became a resident of Battle 
Creek, where he died. All the children are also 
now dead but one son, Henry Henika, who lives 
at Grand Rapids. Emanuel grew to manhood in 
his native state, receiving his education in its com- 
mon schools, and working on the parental farm 
until it was sold and the family came west. He 
accompanied them to this state and remained with 
his parents five years after their arrival here. But 
soon after he came he bought a partially improved 
farm in Ross township, this county, and when 
he left his parents he purchased a home in the 
village of Augusta and worked his farm from 
there. He gave himself wholly to its develop- 
ment and improvement, and in the course of a 
few years he had it raised to a high degree of 
productiveness and well provided with good 
buildings and other farm necessities. In 1851 he 
united in marriage with Miss Susan Lavar, a 
daughter of John W. and Maria (Graham) La- 
var, natives of Tompkins county, N. Y., who 
came to Michigan in 1834 and entered land i" 
Ross township, this county, which they improved, 
and for many years worked vigorously. Both 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



20 1 



( (ied in Augusta,, highly respected and deeply 
mourned. Mr. and Mrs. Henika had two children, 
one of whom died in infancy. Their daughter, 
Frances Nina, is now the wife of Claude Doyle, 
an esteemed citizen of Augusta. Mrs. Henika is 
still living at the old home and has the active 
management of the farm. She is a lady of busi- 
ness capacity and great enterprise, and the in- 
terests under her control do not fail of their full 
measure of usefulness and profit in her hands. 
The farm is now known as the Henika fruit farm, 
and is devoted to the culture of fruits of all kinds. 

JAMES R. COMINGS. 

Except the human mind itself there is noth- 
ing on this earth more interesting than its works. 
If we consider the department of mechanical skill 
alone we are amazed at the wonderful achieve- 
ments of this proteus. Its power to plan and con- 
summate, to confront and conquer difficulties, to 
devise means to ends and operate them, to lay 
every substance and condition under tribute to its 
wants and make all subservient to its will, its 
overmastering supremacy in all forms of indus- 
trial potency and every phase of human need or 
desire, are manifestations of sublime and immeas- 
urable power and resourcefulness. The conquest 
of man over nature is an inspiring theme from 
any point of view that we may take. What is any 
city but an aggregation of incongruous materials 
which have obeyed his will? The granite was 
reluctant, but his hands were stronger, and it 
came. Iron was deep in the ground, and well 
combined with stone ; but it could not hide from 
his fires. Wood, lime, stuffs, fruits, gums and 
other materials were dispersed over the earth and 
sea, in vain. Here they are, within reach of 
every man's day labor, — what he wants of them. 
And the work of the pioneers of civilization — the 
sorest conquerors, before whose lusty strokes and 
sharp blades, the century-crowned wood-mon- 
archs, rank after rank, have come crashing, to 
the earth — what triumph of armies and navies can 
surpass this in majesty, in greatness of conquest, 
or in true glory? To this fast-fading army of ax- 
men belonged the interesting subject of this 



sketch, now the oldest living settler in Comstock 
township, and one of its most revered citizens. He 
with others of his class strode- boldly into the 
wilderness with their lives in their hands, chal- 
lenging to combat all its dangers, daring all its 
difficulties, and willingly embracing in a death 
struggle all its toil and hardships. Mr. Comings 
was born in Washington county, Vt., on 
September 20, 1817, and is the son of Sherman 
and 'Betsey (Smart) Comings, the former a na- 
tive of New Hampshire and the latter of Vermont. 
The father, with his wife and seven children, 
came to Kalamazoo county in 1830, arriving on 
December 3, and in seven days built a log house 
for shelter on the land he selected as his future 
home. . In this rude structure a buffalo robe 
formed the door, and straw was stuffed between 
logs to keep out the cold of the most severe win- 
ter in the history of the state. The dimensions 
were eighteen by twenty feet, and in this cramped 
space the whole family of twelve persons passed 
the winter. The following summer a crop of 
wheat was raised and sold at ten shillings a 
bushel, and gradually the land was brought under 
cultivation and a better dwelling and other build- 
ings were provided. James R. was in his four- 
teenth year when the removal took place, and 
he took his part in the work of clearing the 
place and supporting the family, remaining at 
home until his marriage in January, 1840, with 
Miss Lucy J. Kingsley, a native of New York. 
He still has in his possession the tin grater with 
which the family used to make meal of the corn 
for Johnny-cakes, almost the only food they had 
for a whole season. Flowerfield, some fifteen 
miles distant, was the nearest point for milling 
and blacksmithing, and Detroit, between eighty 
and ninety miles away, the nearest postoffice and 
depot for groceries and other supplies. The pres- 
ent condition of the farm, with its two hundred 
and twenty acres of highly cultivated land and 
its beautiful large brick residence and other first- 
class buildings, fences and other improvements, 
making it one of the most attractive homesteads 
in the county, suggests nothing of the dreariness 
and suffering of its first occupancy, or the un- 
remitting toil expended upon it. By his first mar- 



202 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



riage, Mr. Comings became the father of three 
children, Florence, deceased, formerly the wife of 
Frank Hodgman ; Sherman, who lives on the old 
homestead, and Katie, also deceased. The mother 
died on June 13, 1873, and on March 11, 1874, 
the father was married to Miss Emma Mills, a 
daughter of Deacon W. and Maria (Root) Mills, 
both natives of New York. She died on October 
27, 1900, leaving one child, their daughter Mary 
M. Mr. Comings has for a long time been an 
active and zealous member of the Congregational 
church, and during a period of more than thirty 
years was the chorister of the congregation to 
which he belongs, and also for many years one of 
its trustees. His political affiliation is with the 
Republican party, and as a good and trustworthy 
citizen he has frequently obeyed the call of his 
fellows to important official positions, among 
them several school offices and that of road com- 
missioner. Now in his eighty-ninth year, after 
a life of great activity and public and private 
usefulness, he is enjoying the rest he has so well 
earned and the universal veneration of the people 
among whom he has lived nearly three-quarters 
of a century, which is due to his worth and freeh- 
and cordially given. 

Sherman Comings, the only son of this 
"patriarch in Israel," was born on the farm which 
belongs to his father and himself, and has passed 
all his subsequent years on it. His education was 
secured in the district schools of the neighborhood 
and his physical training on the farm in the work 
of which he became an early laborer. His life be- 
gan on November 24, 1847, an d from the opening 
of his manhood, in fact from before this, he has 
been earnestly interested in public affairs and the 
general welfare and prosperity of his township. 
He is now serving as its superintendent of the 
poor and filling the position with credit to himself 
and advantage to the community. Following 
closely in the footsteps of his father and his 
grandfather, he sustains with manliness and 
proper dignity their reputation for probity and 
lofty citizenship, and shares the general esteem in 
which their names are held. He was married on 
April 26, 1879, to Miss Cornelia Daniels, who is 
also a native of this county, where her parents 
were earlv settlers. The fruit of their union is 



two sons, James Ripley, Jr., and Harris Daniels. 
The history of this family, grandfather, father 
and son, is almost co-extensive with that of the 
county itself ; and its present state of development, 
wealth, industrial and commercial greatness, and 
social, intellectual and moral culture, represents 
the mighty work of a class of progressive, broad- 
minded and heroic men of which they are the 
types and to which they have materially con- 
tributed. That all which has occurred on this 
soil should take place within the limits of one 
human life is wonderful to think of and per- 
haps impossible in any other country but ours. 
But it is an experience that the elder Comings 
and many more like him have had, here and else- 
where, and this forcibly illustrates the genius, en- 
terprise and all-conquering spirit of the American 
people. 

ALVIN B. BARNES. 

Alvin B. Barnes, who is now living retired 
from active pursuits at Richland, this county, 
after an honorable career of success in business 
and of practical usefulness in helping to build up 
the section of the county, in which much of his 
life has been passed, is one of the few early pio- 
neers of the county still left among us to tell over 
the trials and hardships, the exciting adventures, 
the crude appliances for all kinds of labor, and 
the great difficulties of laying the foundations of 
the commonwealth, in the early days, and the 
later triumphs of man's intelligence and energy, 
leading up to the splendid delevopment around 
• us today, in which he had his full share, is a na- 
tive of Oneida county, N. Y., born on March 24, 
1822. He is the son of Tillotson and Clarissa 
(Byington) Barnes, who were born and reared in 
Connecticut. The father was a farmer and also 
a millwright, and he wrought at these vocations 
a number of years. In 1832 the family moved 
to this county, making the trip from Rome, N. 
Y., by canal to Buffalo, and from there across 
Lake Erie by steamboat to Detroit. From this 
city, which was then one of the outposts of civ- 
ilization, they traveled with an ox team to Gull 
Prairie and settled on one hundred acres of wild 
and unbroken land in Ross township, in the Oak 
Openings. The father did not begin farming at 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



205 



once, but, yielding to the necessities of the neigh- 
borhood, he erected a grist and saw mill at York- 
ville, bringing the stone from Detroit by means of 
ox teams. This mill he operated until his death, 
in February, 1836. The mother died in New 
York when her son was but four years old, and 
afterward the father married a second wife, Miss 
Ursula Wilson, who died at Yorkville in 1846. 
Of the first marriage three sons and two daugh- 
ters were born, all of whom are now dead but 
Alvin. The father was a leading Presbyterian, 
and assisted in the erection of the first church 
edifice for that sect on Gull Prairie. Alvin B. 
Barnes was eleven years old when the move to 
Michigan took place, and he saw the country in 
which' the family settled in all its pristine beauty 
and wildness, and experienced also all the priva- 
tions, trials and dangers of life for its hardy pio- 
neers. His education was obtained in the crude 
and ill-qualified common schools of the new coun- 
try ; and at an early age he put on the harness of 
a worker and began to make his own living by 
working on farms in the vicinity of his home. 
In 1849 ne assisted in founding the Yorkville 
Mitten Factory for the manufacture of buckskin 
gloves and mittens, with which he was connected 
until 1854, then passed two years in general mer- 
chandising at Centralia, 111. At the end of that 
period he returned to Yorkville, and in 1861 re- 
moved to Richland, where he kept a general store 
until 1875. Since that time he has lived retired 
from active work or business, and devoted his 
time to his own quiet enjoyments and what aid 
he could give in pushing forward the general in- 
terests of the township. He is a stockholder in 
the Kalamazoo Savings Bank and the Kalama- 
zoo National Bank, the Superior Paper Company, 
the Upjohn Pill Works, and other important busi- 
ness enterprises. In December, 1854, he united 
in marriage with Miss Caroline Luce, a native of 
Vermont, whose parents were pioneers of Cook 
county, 111. wSix children have been born to this 
union: Emilia B. ; Carrie, wife of J. T. Upjohn, 
of Kalamazoo; Hattie, wife of A. J. Wylie, of 
Shelby, Mich. ; Mary, wife of George E. Little, 
of Richland ; and Fannie M., at home. The fam- 
ily all belong to the Presbyterian church and are 



actively interested in its works of benevolence and 
religious improvement. To live from the dawn 
of civilization in a new country to its noonday 
splendor, and bear a willing and useful hand in 
helping it along; to see a whole section of coun- 
try transformed from a habitation of wild deni- 
zens of the forest, man and beast, to a thickly 
peopled region of happy homes, dressed in the 
majestic robes and sparkling with the glittering 
gems of cultivated life ; to witness mines of in- 
calculable value, over which the savage trod un- 
consciously in his haughty pride, without sa- 
gacity to discover or implements to explore them, 
opened to general utility and their hidden stores 
brought forth for the comfort, convenience and 
happiness of mankind — this is indeed a high priv- 
ilege, and it is one that Mr. Barnes has enjoyed 
in full measure in his experience, and now enjoys 
many times over in retrospection. 

DAVID B. MERRILL. 

The late David B. Merrill, who passed awav 
from this life at his home in Kalamazoo on Fri- 
day, January 6, 1899, was a prominent business 
man in the city for over forty years, and at his 
death left many landmarks and imposing monu- 
ments to remind the older citizens of his close 
and successful attention to business. He was 
one of the most extensive manufacturers in Mich- 
igan, being president of the Merrill Milling Com- 
pany, which owns and operates four mills, two in 
Kalamazoo, one three miles south of the city, and 
one at Plainwell, their names being the Kalama- 
zoo, Coldstream, Eagle and Plainwell mills, re- 
spectively. Mr. Merrill was born at Peru, Clin- 
ton county, N. Y., on June 6, 1833, anQl was tne 
son of Arthur H. and Rhoda (Stearns) Merrill, 
natives of Claremont, N. H. He was the last 
born of nine children, and after receiving an ac- 
ademic education taught three terms of school, 
beginning when he was but fifteen at Peru. Later 
he taught two terms on Long Island, and then 
clerked about one year in a grocery in New York 
city, after which he returned to Peru and be- 
came bookkeeper in a mill, holding the position 
two years. For a similar period he next carried 



206 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



on a general mercantile business at Clintonville. 
He became a resident of Kalamazoo in 1858, and 
within that year bought the Kalamazoo mill and 
entered upon his long and active career as a man- 
ufacturer. Three years later he became proprie- 
tor of the Coldstream mill, and in 1872 bought 
the Plainwell mill, and in 1876 the Eagle mill. 
His only partner at first was George W. Fish, 
with whom he continued a year and a half, then 
became associated with Francis H. Chase, their 
partnership extending over three years. At the 
end of that period W. H. McCourtie joined the 
firm, of which he was a member until 1882. But 
Mr. Merrill's whole energy was not taken up with 
his milling business. He had an abiding faith in 
the growth and prosperity of Kalamazoo, and 
was never wanting in the clearness of vision to 
see and the enterprise to use good opportunities 
to push the city's progress and development. In 
1866 he and Mr. McCourtie plotted an addition of 
twelve acres to the city, and in 1865 he pur- 
chased a one-half interest in the Stuart addi- 
tion, in which he erected a number of dwelling 
houses. Some time afterward he became the 
owner of one hundred and seventy-two acres, 
twelve acres of which he platted, and the rest he 
sold in one-acre lots. For five years he was an 
extensive stave manufacturer, and in this under- 
taking, as in all others which engaged his atten- 
tion, he was eminently successful and prosperous. 
He was from his young manhood a Republican of 
pronounced convictions in political faith. He was 
a stockholder and director in the First National 
Rank and also a stockholder in the Kalamazoo 
Corset Company. In addition he was a stock- 
holder in the Charlevoix Summer Home Associa- 
tion, of which he was one of the founders, and 
an owner of a cottage at the beautiful and health- 
ful resort controlled by this company. He was 
also the president of the association for a number 
of years. In 1856 Mr. Merrill united in marriage 
with Miss Julia Hatch, who died at Kalamazoo 
in April, 1859, leaving one son, Charles B., who 
died in 1876, at the age of nineteen. Subsequently 
the father married a second wife, Mrs. Annie La 
Due, of Milwaukee, Wis. She was a daughter 
of S. B. Davis, of Kalamazoo, who ran the first 



line of stages between Detroit and Chicago, and 
w r as well known to the older residents of his home 
city. He was killed by being thrown from ;i 
wagon, his head striking a telegraph pole, which 
brought instant death. This occurred several 
years ago. The second Mrs. Merrill died on 
August 11, 1890, at Petoskey. She was the 
mother of one child, their daughter Ida, now de- 
ceased, who married G. W. Winans, the well 
known manufacturer. On September 15, 1891, 
Mr. Merrill was married a third time, his choice 
on this occasion being Miss Ida L. Rowley, the 
daughter of Mrs. J. A. Rowley, of Kalamazoo. 
Mr. Merrill was an influential and consistent 
member of the First Congregational church, and 
served as a trustee of the society, and was a lib- 
eral contributor to its needs for more than thirty 
years. He visited Europe in the summer of 1891 
and made a tour of Scotland and England. The 
office of the milling company was in the Merrill 
block, which was built by Mr. Merrill in 1863. 
and for many years he was a familiar figure to 
the citizens of Kalamazoo as he sat at his desk 
in the front of the office, always, except at short 
intervals, giving studious personal attention to 
his large business. Fraternally he belonged to 
the Masonic order for many years. 

HON. HENRY C. BRIGGS. 

The pioneer attorney and the Nestor of the 
bar of Kalamazoo county, Judge Henry C. Briggs. 
who has been in the active and absorbing prac- 
tice of his profession for a period of forty-three 
years, has sounded all the depths of fame in his 
profession here and encountered all its difficulties 
in the trial of important and intricate cases, ami 
has made steady progress by his indomitable will 
studious habits and fine natural abilities, from 
the hour when he was first sworn in as an attor- 
ney in 1861 until now. He was born in Rutland 
county, Vt, on January 29, 1831, his father, 
Noah Briggs, being also a native of that state, 
while his mother, whose maiden name was Sarah 
Kenyon, was born in the state of New York. The 
father was a mechanic and farmer, and the family 
moved to Michigan in 1836, locating in Allegan 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



207 



county when almost the whole of the state was 
either the primeval forest or the unbroken soil vir- 
crin to the plow and yet filled with its wild growth 
of luxuriant but practically useless vegetation. 
Tit 1864 he moved to this county and a few years 
afterward (1874) died here. Seven sons were 
born to the parents and of these six grew to man- 
hood and two are now living. One, William H., 
served in the Thirteenth Michigan Infantry dur- 
ing the Civil war and died in the service. The 
Judge was educated in the public schools and at 
Kalamazoo College, from which he was graduated 
with the -degree of Bachelor of Arts and after- 
ward received that of Master of Arts. Later he 
pursued a special course at the State University. 
In 1856 he was elected clerk of Allegan county 
for a term of four years, and during his term he 
studied law. In i860 he was chosen to represent 
Allegan and Van Buren counties in the state sen- 
ate, and was known as "the boy member" of the 
body. He served through the regular session 
and a special session held in the spring of 1861 
and rendered efficient service as chairman of the 
committee 011 enrolled bills. At the end of the 
special session he resigned his seat, and having 
been admitted to the bar in Allegan county, lo- 
cated at Kalamazoo and began the practice of his 
profession, forming for the purpose a partnership 
with Hon. Charles S. May, the firm name being 
May & Briggs. In the fall of 1862 he was elected 
prosecuting attorney and this firm was dissolved. 
He served four years as prosecutor, then resumed 
his private practice. In 1876 he was elected pro- 
bate judge, and in this office he served eight 
years, at the same time carrying on his general 
practice. Afterward he formed a partnership 
with Hon. J. C. Burrows, now United States 
senator from this state, which lasted two years, the 
firm name being Briggs & Burrows. In 1883, on 
account of the condition of his health, he removed 
to South Dakota, where he practiced twelve years 
and filled the office of district attorney, and also 
farmed to some extent. In 1896 he returned to 
Kalamazoo and since then he has been actively 
engaged in a large general practice. He is now 
referee in bankruptcy. The Judge is a Repub- 
lican in politics, and in devotion to his party, as 



in his practice, he makes his faith known by 
works of earnestness and value. By the choice 
of his party he served a number of years as as- 
sistant district attorney in this county. » He was 
married in 1859 in Allegan county, this state, to 
Miss Myra R. Toby, who was born in Rhode 
Island. She died in 1868, and on June 16, 1875, 
he solemnized a second marriage, being united 
on this occasion with Miss Amanda, Hibbard, a 
native of Massachusetts. She has borne him two 
children, both sons, William H., now living in 
New York, and Henry B., now of the Detroit 
Tribune. In church affiliation the father is a 
Baptist and has been an active member of the or- 
ganization for many years. It is high praise but 
only a just tribute to merit to say that in all the 
relations of life, in his profession, in official sta- 
tion, in business relations with his fellows, in 
social communion and in his private life he has 
met every requirement and responsibility with a 
manly and upright character, a courageous and 
self-reliant spirit, and a genial consideration for 
the rights and feelings of others, exemplifying 
in an admirable way the best attributes of Amer- 
ican citizenship. 

JOSEPH DUNKLEY. 

If the man who makes two blades of grass 
grow where one grew before is a public benefac- 
tor, much more is the one who introduces a new 
product into a region and there multiplies its pro- 
duction so as to make it one of the leading ele- 
ments of wealth and comfort to the people and 
a substantial and enduring source of distinction 
to the section in which it brought forth. In this 
class belonged the late Joseph Dunkley, of Kala- 
mazoo, whose useful life ended on May 26, 1898, 
at the age of sixty-two. He was the pioneer 
celery grower in this part of the world, and be- 
ginning his industry on a small scale, he ex- 
panded it to such proportions that he became .the 
most extensive single producer of this palatable 
and nutritious plant in the whole world, having a 
the time of his death seventy-five acres of it 
fruitful with the best quality known to the mar- 
kets. Mr. Dunkley was born in Somersetshire, 



208 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



England, on October. 6, 1836, and was the son of 
George and Elizabeth (Knight) Dunkley, na- 
tives of the same country, who emigrated to 
Canada and died at London in the province of 
Ontario. The father was a contractor in con- 
struction work and while in his native land held 
large contracts from the government in building 
roads and sewers. The son remained in England 
until he reached the age of seventeen, receiving 
his education there and beginning life as a gar- 
dener. At the age mentioned he emigrated to 
Canada and located near the city of London, 
where he followed his craft of gardening until 
1857. In that year he moved to Kalamazoo and 
bought two lots of ground on Pearl street. For 
three years he was employed by Bush & Patterson, 
and then began gardening in a small way, later 
engaging more extensively in raising strawberries 
and other small fruits. In 1880 he started an 
enterprise in growing celery on a large scale in 
the northern part of the city. This became his 
leading industry during the remainder of his life 
and by steadily enlarging his operations in the 
new field he made himself the most extensive 
celery grower in the world. About 1884 he erected 
greenhouses on Pearl street and added to his 
business that of a florist and nurseryman. This 
branch of the business is now carried on by his 
family as the Dunkley Floral Company, and is 
one of the flourishing and prosperous industries 
of the city. Mr. Dunkley was a Republican in 
politics, but never filled or desired a public office. 
In 1859 he was married to Miss Mary Wilson, 
a native of Ireland. They had two children who 
grew to maturity, Samuel J., of the Dunkley 
Celery Company of Kalamazoo, and Robert J., 
of South Haven. Their mother died in 1877, and 
in 1888 the father was married to Miss Agnes 
Whillis, who was born at Grand Rapids, this 
state, the daughter of James and Isabella 
(Thompson) Whillis, who moved to that city in 
1837. The father was a native of Scotland and 
a carpenter. Of Mr. Dunkley's second marriage 
seven children were born, five of whom are living, 
Myra A., Clara A., Laura I., Charles W. and 
Benjamin H. Mrs. Agnes Dunkley died in April, 
1905. The father, who was one of the progressive 



and far-seeing business men of the community, 
took an active interest in all its means of develop- 
ment and progress, aiding every commendable 
project conducive to these ends. He was a mem- 
ber of the First Presbyterian church and one of 
its most liberal supporters. 

HON. CHARLES EDWARD STUART. 

The strong, true men of a people are its most 
priceless possession, in their active usefulness 
while living, and in the inspiration and influence 
of their memory when they are gone. Although 
he has been among the departed of this county 
for nearly twenty years, Hon. Charles E. Stuart, 
late one of the leading citizens of Kalamazoo, is 
still held in the highest esteem by the people of 
the city among whom his influence is still potent, 
and whom, in a measure, he still rules from his 
urn, so to speak. The ancestors of Mr. Stuart 
were Scotch and English, members of the May- 
hew family, who emigrated from England to this 
country and settled at Martha's Vineyard in 1642. 
From that time until the present, wherever mem- 
bers of the family have found a foothold, they 
have faithfully borne the part of good citizens in 
peace and war, and they have dignified and 
adorned all the walks of life. Mr. Stuart was the 
son of Dr. Charles and Catherine (Parsons) 
Stuart, and was born on November 25, 1810, in 
Columbia county, N. Y., on a farm which was 
then the parental homestead. Soon after the 
close of the war of 181 2 the family moved to Wa- 
terloo, Seneca county, the same state, where the 
father practiced his profession and also carried 
on large farming operations. On the farm 
Charles grew to manhood, and in the intervals be- 
tween its exacting labors he attended the district 
school in the neighborhood and there secured the 
rudiments of an English education. These, al- 
though no suitable and sufficient preparation for 
the important public duties he was afterward 
called upon to perform in exalted station, did fur- 
nish pabulum for his naturally quick and strong 
mind and laid the foundation for that superstruc- 
ture of wide and solid general information which 
by his own studies and observations he afterward 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



209 



erected. At the age of nineteen he began the 
studv of law in the office of Birdsall & Clark at 
Waterloo, and after a diligent course of study 
was admitted to the bar of Seneca county. Early 
in 1835, while the state was still a part of the far 
frontier, he came to Michigan, and after some in- 
spection of various localities, settled at Kalama- 
zoo, where he formed a partnership for the prac- 
tice of law with Gov. Epaphroditus Ransom. 
The next autumn, drawn by the invisible but te- 
nacious thread of sentiment, he returned to his 
New York home, where on November 3, 1835, he 
united in marriage with Miss Sophia S., daugh- 
ter of George and Sophia (Lee) Parsons. Re- 
turning to his new home with his bride, he en- 
tered vigorously on the career of active useful- 
ness which he afterward had, devoting himself 
assiduously to his profession and with character- 
istic public spirit and patriotism giving public 
affairs a large part of his attention as a Demo- 
crat of firm convictions. He served one term 
in the legislature, then kept out of office until 
1847, when he was elected to the United States 
house of representatives. In 1849 ne was re ~ 
elected, and in the winter of 1852-3 was chosen 
United States senator for a full term of six years. 
In i860 he was a delegate at large to the Demo- 
cratic national convention which met at Charles 
ton, S. C, and owing to the irrepressible conflict 
then waging between the sections of our country, 
bin which had not yet sought the arbitrament of 
war, adjourned to Baltimore, Md., with its work 
unfinished. Two years later, after the gage of 
battle had been delivered by the South and lifted 
by the North, he was commissioned by Gov. Blair 
to raise and equip the Thirteenth Regiment of 
Michigan Infantry, which was noted for gallan- 
try on the battlefield during the memorable con- 
test. In 1866 and again in 1868 Mr. Stuart 
served as a delegate to the national conventions 
of his party, the former held at Philadelphia and 
the latter at New York, and these were almost his 
last public services of a conspicuous character. 
Soon afterward inflammatory rheumatism at- 
tacked him, and becoming chronic and affecting 
his heart, compelled his withdrawal from public 
affairs. His last case was tried in 1873. From 



that time until his death on May 19, 1887, he was 
only an observer of events and a patient sufferer 
of continuous pain. His faithful wife and helper 
through so many years of his great activity and 
prominence, after surviving him some seven 
years and a half, passed away on November 14, 
1894. Both were universally esteemed in life and 
generally mourned in death. They had six chil- 
dren, three of whom, their son Charles Lee Stuart 
and two daughters, are living. 

FRANK H. MILHAM. 

Highly endowed by nature with a good busi- 
ness capacity which has been well developed in 
the rugged but thorough school of practical ex- 
perience, Frank H. Milham, secretary and man- 
ager of the Bryant Paper Company, has found 
ample scope for his mercantile and industrial 
faculties in that great commercial and manufac- 
turing center, the city of Kalamazoo, and he has 
used his opportunities very largely to his own 
credit and advantage and for the lasting benefit 
of the community. He was born in Kalamazoo 
county on a farm near the city of Kalamazoo, 
on April 25, 1864. His parents, John and Louisa 
(Anderson) Milham, settled in the county in 1840. 
The father was throughout his life an industrious 
and prosperous farmer. Previous to his removal 
from his native state of New York he served in 
the legislature and was also a member of the Na- 
tional Guard. During Lafayette's second visit 
to the United States he was a member of the dis- 
tinguished visitor's body guard. He was a Demo- 
crat in political faith and once was the nominee of 
his party for the office of sheriff, but was defeated 
by a few votes although the county was then 
strongly Republican. In this county he was con- 
nected prominently with the commercial and man- 
ufacturing interests of the section, being a stock- 
holder in the Kalamazoo Paper Company and one 
of the organizers of the Farmers' Mutual Insur- 
ance Company, of which he was president for 
many years. He died in Kalamazoo in 1884. 
His son Frank was educated in the public schools 
and received his business training, or the begin- 
ning of it, at the Parsons Business College of 



2IO 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Kajamazoo. After leaving that institution he 
farmed a year, then entered the employ of the 
Bardeen Paper Company at Otsego, Allegan 
county, as foreman of the assorting department. 
After three years of service in that capacity he 
was transferred to the office force as stock clerk 
and had charge of all stock and material that 
came into the mill. In 1895 he united with Noah 
Bryant, H. P. KaufTer, S. F. Dunkin and others, 
to organize the Bryant Paper Company, with a 
capital stock of one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars. He was made secretary and 
manager of this corporation, which is one 
of the largest paper manufacturies in the 
state of Michigan. It employs regularly 
over four hundred persons and has an an- 
nual output of more than twelve thousand tons of 
high-grade book, bond and other papers, and is 
the only paper establishment here outside of the 
trust. Mr. Milham is also secretary and a director 
of the Superior Paper Company, president and a 
director of the Imperial Coating Company, presi- 
dent of the Kalamazoo Railroad Supply Company, 
president and a director of the Illinois Envelope 
Company of Kalamazoo, secretary and a director ' 
of the Munissing (Mich.) Paper Company, and a 
director of the Home Savings Bank of Kalama- 
zoo. He enjoys the distinction of having been at 
one time nominated by both parties for the office 
of mayor of Kalamazoo, and of having declined 
the nomination from both. He, however, served 
three years as president of the village council of 
Otsego, and is at present (1904) a member of 
the Kalamazoo board of education and a director 
and member of the building committee of the 
Kalamazoo Hospital. He was married on Octo- 
ber 20, 1885, to Miss Elizabeth Bryant, a daugh- 
ter of Noah Bryant (see sketch elsewhere in this 
work). They have one child, their daughter 
Nora. He is a thirty-second-degree Masion, an 
Elk and a Knight of Pythias. He has served his 
lodge of Elks as exalted ruler and his lodge of 
Knights of Pythias as chancellor commander. 

DR. URIAH UPJOHN. 

The late Dr. Uriah Upjohn, for a long time 
one of the leaders of the medical profession of 
Kalamazoo and throughout southern Michigan, 



who died in the city in November, 1896, at the 
ripe old age of eighty-seven years, and after a 
long career of great usefulness in this community, 
was born in Wales in 1808, while his parents, 
Sibley William and Mary (Standard) Upjohn, 
natives of England, were on a visit to that 
country. The father was a civil engineer and for 
many years practiced his profession in his na- 
tive land, being connected with many works of 
construction of great importance there, among 
them the first railroad built in the country, for 
which he made a portion of the survey. He was 
also a preacher of the Independent domination, 
founded by him, and in his zeal founded, built and 
maintained a church of this faith at Shaftesbury. 
He emigrated to the United States about 1826, 
and located near Albany, N. Y., where he farmed 
on a small scale until his death, which oc- 
curred there. He was the father of three sons, 
all of whom grew to maturity, became residents 
of Michigan and devoted themselves to the medi- 
cal profession, one of them, Dr. William Upjohn, 
being a surgeon in a Michigan regiment during 
the Civil war ; another brother, Erastus, went as 
a pioneer to Nebraska and printed the first news- 
paper issued in that territory. Pie was also a 
surgeon in the Union army during the Civil war. 
A sister, named Helen, married Fenner Ferger- 
son, a former resident of Albion, this state, who 
was appointed by President Pierce the first chief 
justice of Nebraska, and afterwards sent as a 
delegate from that territory to the United States 
house of representatives. Later he was nominated . 
for governor of Nebraska, but died while he was 
making the canvass for the office. Dr. Uriah Up- 
john passed from childhood to manhood amid 
the favorable influences of an excellent home and 
the discipline and thorough training of good 
schools in England. He remained at home until 
April, 1828; when he and his older brother, Wil- 
liam, came to the United States, landing in New 
York in June. They spent the summer travelling' 
and prospecting through some of the eastern and 
southern states. The following winter Dr. Uriah 
taught school, and early in the spring of 1830 re- 
turned to England to assist his parents in remov- 
ing to this country, where they arrived in his 
company in July. The family settled at Green- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



211 



Imsh (East Albany), N. Y. Here the" Doctor 
began the study of medicine, or rather continued 
it. for he had already given the profession some 
attention in England, becoming a student under 
i he direction of Dr. Hale, a learned man of high 
character, a graduate of Jefferson Medical Col- 
lege in Philadelphia, and the husband of Governor 
George Clinton's granddaughter, her father hav- 
ing been the well-known "Citizen Genet.'" Dr. 
I'pjohn pursued the full professional course at 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New 
York and was graduated from that institution 
on March 25, 1834. He had also attended the 
practice of physic and surgery in the New York 
Hospital and two full courses in anatomy and 
surgery under Professor Alden March, of Albany. 
He began his practice at Brighton, Monroe 
county, New York, and in June, 1835, he and his 
brother, William, started out to seek their for- 
tunes in the far west, as it was then, crossing 
Lake Erie by steamer. From Detroit they jour- 
neyed to Kalamazoo on horseback through the 
wilderness, and located on section 31 in that part 
of Richland township since named Ross. Build- 
ing a little log house on their land, they began 
the practice of medicine in these western wilds, 
where the settlers were few and it was far be- 
tween them, the conditions laying them under 
tribute for prodigious industry and the endurance 
of great hardships and privations. On September 
15, 1837, ne was niarried to Miss Maria Mills, a 
daughter of Deacon Simeon Mills, one of the pio- 
neers of Gull Prairie. For a period of twenty 
years he rode horseback to visit his patients 
scattered through five counties, following the 
new-made track of the pioneer, or the Indian 
trail, or by blazed trees through the trackless 
forest, for there were no. roads in this section at 
that time. Kindly, patiently, he went forth on his 
errand of mercy in all seasons and through all 
kinds of weather, giving his services as cheer- 
fully to the poor who could not pay as to those 
who could. In 1845 ne was nominated for con- 
gress on the Free-Soil ticket, and while in the 
midst of his practice he and his brother, William, 
s < i nt a memorial numerously signed to the legis- 
lature which resulted in the passage of the 'home- 



stead law. Dr.. Upjohn and his wife became the 
parents of twelve children, seven daughters and 
five sons. Eleven grew to maturity and of them 
five have graduated from the medical department 
of the University of Michigan: Mary and Amelia 
in pharmacy, the first lady graduates of the Uni- 
versity, and Helen, Henry U. and William E. as 
physicians. Helen (Mrs. Kirkland) was well 
established in practice at Kalamazoo, but died in 
1902 ; James T., in addition to the five named 
above, is a graduate of the State University and 
a physician in active practice. In 1885 William 
E. and Henry began the manufacture of pills and 
granules and on the death of Henry, James T. 
became a member of the company along with an- 
other brother, Frederick L. The enterprise is a 
stock company well capitalized and has an enor- 
mous business, which is constantly increasing in 
the volume and variety of its products. Mrs. 
Upjohn died in February, 1882, and the Doctor 
followed her to the other world in November, 
1896. During the last ten of fifteen years of his 
life the Doctor was connected with his profession 
only as a consulting physician, but he never lost 
interest in it or eagerness for the promotion of its 
best interests. The earlier years of his work were 
full of exposure, hard labor and privation. Yet 
he was a sturdy man, inured to toil and exposure, 
and knew no other life. And nature, distributing 
her favors with a system of constant balances and 
compensations, gave him through his very hard- 
ships a flexibility of function and a toughness of 
fiber which kept him in condition for his work 
and enabled him to continue it so long and do it 
so well. He attributed much of the vigor of body 
and mind and elasticity of spirit which he en- 
joyed when approaching the verge of four-score 
and ten to his continued exercise on horseback in 
the open air during the long period of his country 
practice. 

GEORGE B. DAVIS. 

The late George B. Davis, of Kalamazoo, 
whose death occurred on May 4, 1902, was for 
many years one of the principal business men of 
the city, and by his thrift, industry and business 
acumen accumulated a large estate, especially in 



212 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



real property, demonstrating impressively that to 
the qualities he possessed there is great wealth 
of opportunity open in this land of unbounded 
possibilities. He was a native of Kalamazoo, born 
at the corner of South and Henrietta streets on 
February 27, 1839. His parents were Lewis R. 
and Nancy (Simons) Davis, the former a native 
of New Jersey and the latter of New York. They 
settled at Kalamazoo in 1834, and for a number 
of years thereafter the father worked at his trade 
as a tailor in the city. He then purchased a farm 
east of the Michigan Buggy Works, and on this 
he and his wife passed the remainder of their 
lives, the father dying there on March 11, 1889, at 
the age of eighty, and the mother on March 13, 
1900, at the same age. Their offspring numbered 
three, one son and two daughters. Of these all 
are now deceased but one daughter, Isabella, who 
lives at Battle Creek, this state. The son George 
was reared and educated in Kalamazoo, attending 
the common schools, the Baptist College and 
Gregory's Business College, being graduated 
from the last named. Early in life he began run- 
ning a saw-mill built by his father on the farm, 
and to the industry which thus took his fancy as 
a youth he devoted the rest of his days, becoming 
an extensive lumber merchant, conducting large 
operations in the northern part of the state and 
running a number of mills in different sections, 
one of his specialties being hard woods. He also 
became an extensive dealer in real estate and 
owned many buildings in Kalamazoo, among 
them the Davis block, at the corner of Kalamazoo 
avenue and Rose street. He was one of the 
founders of the King Paper Company and a 
stockholder in the Home Savings Bank. While 
deeply and serviceably interested in public af- 
fairs, and devoted to the welfare of his city and 
county, he never filled or desired a public office, 
but in national politics loyally supported the Dem- 
ocratic party. On October 6, 1875, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Annette M. Lewis, a daughter of 
Hiram and Candice (Leeland) Lewis,pioneer set- 
tlers in Michigan, having come to Barry county 
in 1836. They were farmers and came to Kalama- 
zoo county in 1865, and both died here. Mr. and 
Mrs. Davis had two children, both of whom are 
living, George G, of Kalamazoo, and Annette 



L., at home. Mr. Davis was everywhere highly 
respected and his death was felt to be a great loss 
to the community in which he so long lived and 
labored for the common good and the expansion 
of every element of commercial, educational and 
moral interest. 

NOAH BRYANT. 

Noah Bryant who is one of the veteran paper 
manufacturers of Michigan, and is more exten- 
sively engaged in the business than almost any 
other man in the state, may properly be said to 
have been born to the craft, his forefathers having 
been engaged in it for two or three generations 
before him. He was born at Alton, in Hamp- 
shire, England, on January 3, 1844, and is the 
son of Joseph and Mary (Brown) Bryant, also 
natives of that country. The father was largely 
occupied in the manufacture of paper throughout 
his life, much of the time in England and in later 
years in this country. He died at Florence, Mass., 
at an advanced age. His father was also a paper 
manufacturer, doing his work by a hand process. 
He died in England. Mr. Bryant is one of seven 
sons born to his parents, all of whom engaged in 
making paper, and all but him are now living in 
Australia. He grew to manhood and was edu- 
cated in his native land, and there he learned his 
trade, serving an apprenticeship of seven years. 
In 1859 he emigrated to the United States and 
located at East Hartford, Conn., where he was 
employed a year in running a paper machine in 
the Goodwin mills. He then passed a year atTroy, 
N. Y., and thereafter was employed in different 
places in the east until 1871. He was with 
Crocker & Burbanks, of Fitchburg, Mass., for 
eleven years, having charge of two mills. He 
then moved to Cincinnati, where he had charge 
of a mill for one year. In the fall of 1871 he 
came to Kalamazoo as foreman of the old Kala- 
mazoo paper mill, which he built up in its busi- 
ness and placed on a paying basis, remaining with 
the company for a period of eleven years. In 
1882, in company with Walter Hodges, George 
Barden and Jacob Hook, he went to Otsego, 
Mich., and founded the Bardeen Paper Mill, which 
he served as superintendent eight years. Then, 




XOAH UK Y ANT. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



215 



in company with Frank Milham, John King, J. 
Cook and others, he organized the Bryant Paper 
Manufacturing Company, of which he was then 
made and is now president, and which is the 
largest and most prosperous company of the kind 
in Kalamazoo. Under his vigorous management 
and business capacity the trade of the mills has 
grown to large proportions and its profits have 
kept pace with its expansion. Mr. Bryant is also 
vice-president of the Imperial Coating Plant, a 
director of the Superior Paper Mill and a stock- 
holder in the Munissing Paper Mill, of Munissing, 
He also still holds stock in the Barden Paper 
Company. In 1864 he was married, in Fitchburg, 
Mass., to Miss Elizabeth Willmott, a native of 
England. They have one child, a daughter, who 
is now the wife of Frank Milham, of Kalamazoo. 
Mr. Bryant has found no food for his fancy in 
political contentions, and although a Republican 
in party faith he has never been an active partisan. 
In the fraternal life of the community, however, 
he has taken an active interest as a Freemason 
and an Elk. His business and his domestic af- 
fairs have engaged his attention to the exclusion 
of almost everything else, and in these he has been 
true to every demand of good citizenship. 
Throughout southern Michigan and the adjacent 
territory he is widely known and highly esteemed. 
Mr. Bryant enlisted in 1864 at Philadelphia in a 
Pennsylvania regiment for three months. The 
regiment was sent to Washington and various 
places in Pennsylvania, including Gettysburg, 
Chambersburg and Pottsville, doing guard duty 
and was finally sent back to Philadelphia, where 
they were discharged. 

KALAMAZOO HACK & BUS COMPANY. 

The greater the attractions, the commercial 
and industrial activity and the social mingling of 
a city or community, the more need there is for 
transportation facilities. The wants of Kalama- 
zoo in this respect are admirably provided for by 
the Kalamazoo Hack and Bus Company, whose 
capital stock is twenty-four thousand dollars, and 
whose equipment is one of the most complete and 
modern in this part of the world. The business 
was started by a firm of energetic and enterpris- 
1-3 



ing partners, and in 1890 the company was or- 
ganized with a capital stock of sixteen thousand 
dollars, by George Fuller, H. J. Fuller, Hall P. 
Kauffer, E. C. Dayton, W. R. Beebe, J. C. Good- 
ale, H. F. Badger, J. W. Osborn and C. A. Peck. 
The first officers were H. P. Kauffer, president ; 
George Fuller, vice-president ; W. R. Beebe, sec- 
retary and treasurer, and H. J. Fuller, general 
manager. At its organization the company had 
forty horses and twenty hacks and busses, and 
up to that limit was fully equipped for every re- 
quirement of the business. In 1893 it was re- 
organized, the capital stock was raised to twen- 
ty-four thousand dollars, and H. J. Fuller was 
elected president and general manager, Mr. 
Kauffer having disposed of his interest and re- 
tired from the company. The other officers are 
still the same as when the first organization took 
place. One hundred horses are now in use in the 
enterprise, with a corresponding number of first- 
class conveyances, and it is claimed that this com- 
pany gives the best service in the United States 
for the least money. It controls the whole trans- 
portation industry in the city, and the demands on 
its facilities are constantly increasing at such a 
rate that it is now building a new stable on Pitch- 
er street with accommodations for one hundred 
fifty horses, which, when completed, will prob- 
ably be the largest one in this state. H. J. Ful- 
ler, the president and general manager, is a na- 
tive of Kalamazoo county, born on a west end 
farm in i860. His parents, George and Hester 
A. (Slack) Fuller, were born in the state of New 
York. The father settled in this county in 1858 
and farmed until 1863, when he moved to Kala- 
mazoo and engaged in manufacturing flour bar- 
rels. Some little time afterward he turned his 
attention to the grocery trade and followed it un- 
til 1870. Two years later he started a livery busi- 
ness, and in this he is still occupied, the pioneer 
liveryman of the city. He has taken a lively in- 
terest in the affairs of the city, serving two terms 
in the city council and otherwise giving good 
service to municipal matters. The son, H. J. 
Fuller, grew to manhood and was educated in 
this county. For some years after leaving school 
he was in business with his father, in the firm of 
George Fuller & Son, remaining with him until 



2l6 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



the organization of this company, since when he 
has given its affairs his exclusive attention, and 
to good purpose. He is also a stockholder in the 
South Side Improvement Company, and a stock- 
holder and director of the Recreation Park Com- 
pany. He is besides the owner of valuable real 
estate in the city, among his possessions being the 
Fuller block, which he has recently greatly im- 
proved and made into an office building. Fra- 
ternally he is connected with the order of Elks. In 
1884 he was married to Miss Lizzie P. Kidder, a 
daughter of Lewis Kidder and niece of George F. 
Kidder. Her mother was Maria (Drake) Kidder, 
a daughter of Benjamin Drake, one of the pio- 
neers of Grand Prairie. Benjamin Drake was 
the first settler in the town of Oshtemo, locating 
there on September 1, 1830. The land he took 
up was not in the market at that time and was 
still occupied by Indians. In 1831 the govern- 
ment offered it for sale and he bid it in without 
opposition, although he had reason to fear trouble 
with a man named Washburn who had asserted 
a squatter's claim to it. With the help of the 
Indians, Mr. Blake built a Jog dwelling on his 
land, which was the first habitation for white per- 
sons on Grand Prairie. The Indians in the main 
were friendly, but occasionally showed an ugly 
disposition. The tract of unbroken prairie on 
which he settled was transformed by his industry 
into an excellent farm, to which he afterward 
added three hundred acres more, and the whole 
body became fruitful and beautiful to the last 
degree before his death, being considered one of 
the best in the county, and lying almost under 
the shadow of the growing city of Kalamazoo. 
This farm is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fuller. 
It has never been out of the family or incumbered 
with a mortgage. Mr. Drake lived to the age of 
ninety-eight, enjoying the fruits of many years of 
toil and hardship, the wealth he acquired, not by 
speculation, but by continued and systematic in- 
dustry and frugality. He stood high in the 
county as a man of sterling worth and strict in- 
tegrity. In political faith he was an unyielding 
Republican but never an active party worker. On 
December 19, 1819, he married Miss Maria Og- 
den, a native of Quinte, province of Ontario, 



Canada. It was his happy fate to see the un- 
occupied prairie and unbroken forest in the midst 
of which he settled changed into comfortable 
homes, fields of golden grain, and cultivated land- 
scapes, plentifully supplied with churches and 
schools. 

WALTER R. TAYLOR. 

A lawyer in active practice, deputy county 
clerk and abstractor of titles, Walter R. Taylor, 
of Kalamazoo, leads a busy life, but he finds in 
his multiform and important duties the pleasure 
that comes from useful and profitable labor, and 
the best bulwark against discontent and real wea- 
riness. He is a native of Kent county, this state, 
born on November 5, 1859, and the son of Hollis 
R. and Hannah (Howell) Taylor, the former born 
in Vermont and the latter in the state of New 
York. The father was a farmer and builder. 
He came to Michigan in 1833, and after a resi- 
dence of a few months at Jones ville, Hillsdale 
county, moved to Coldwater, Branch county, 
where he built the third house put up in the town. 
In 1857 ne moved to Kent county, where he died 
in 1890. Two of his sons were Union soldiers 
in the Civil war. Walter attended the public 
schools of his native county, and after completing 
his education there found employment in the office 
of the register of deeds in the adjoining county 
of Newaygo in compiling a set, of abstracts, re- 
maining there until 1888. During his residence 
in that county he began studying law under direc- 
tion of Colonel Standish. In 1889 he was ap- 
pointed assistant reporter for the supreme court 
by W. D. Fuller, the reporter, and during his year 
of service in that capacity he continued his legal 
studies. He was admitted to practice before the 
supreme court in 1890 and at once moved to 
Kalamazoo, where he has since resided and con- 
ducted a large abstracting business in connection 
with his practice. On coming to Kalamazoo he 
was appointed deputy county clerk and still holds 
this position. He has prospered in his business 
and risen to consequence in the community as the 
reward of his industry and capacity and his close 
attention to every duty which has devolved upon 
him. He was elected mayor of Kalamazoo in 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



217 



April, 1905, defeating the Hon. Samuel Tolz, the 
Democratic nominee. He is a director of the 
First National Bank and is connected with other 
interests of importance and usefulness in the city. 
He takes an active and helpful part in political 
affairs as a Republican, and has prominence in 
fraternal circles as a Freemason, an Odd Fellow 
and a Knight of Pythias. In 1855 he united in 
marriage with Miss Ella Hubbard, of Newaygo. 
They have two children, their son Walter H. and 
their daughter Edna R. Throughout southern 
Michigan Mr. Taylor is favorably known as an 
excellent citizen, a capable and conscientious busi- 
ness man, a lawyer of ability and industry and a 
genial and companionable gentleman. He has a 
host of friends wherever he is known, and he de- 
serves the high regard in which they hold him. 
His services as an abstractor are in continual de- 
mand and his work in this line has no superior 
anywhere, he -being careful and painstaking with 
it to the last degree, doing this, as he does every- 
thing else with all his energy, and with the utmost 
attention to every detail. 

H. N. ELWELL. 

From the dawn of his manhood the pleasing 
subject of this memoir has been connected with 
public affairs, bearing his part of the burden of 
American citizenship first in the Civil war, and 
facing death on more than one hard- fought field 
of that sanguinary conflict, and since that mem- 
orable struggle passed into history in the more 
congenial fields of peaceful labor and official serv- 
ice. He came into this world in Kalamazoo 
county on May 10, 1842, where his parents, Ne- 
miah and Ruth (Whitford) Elwell, natives of the 
state of New York, settled in the spring of 1836. 
At that time the whole country in this section 
was an almost unbroken wilderness, and all that 
was to make it habitable and productive was yet 
to be done. Accepting the conditions with cheer- 
fulness and courage, they began to make a clear- 
ing for a home on a tract of government land in 
what is now Climax township, and in a few years, 
by assiduous industry and stern endurance of 
many privations, they had a comfortably im- 
proved and well cultivated farm. There the 



father died July 20, 1904, the mother having died 
on the soil hallowed by their labor in 1895. The 
father has been a man of local prominence and 
influence, holding several township offices from 
time to time, and among them that of treasurer, 
of which he was the first incumbent Their son 
H. H. Elwell, who is now the county recorder of 
deeds, grew to manhood on this farm and gained 
hardiness of body and independence of mind in 
its useful though exacting toil. He received a 
common-school education through the primitive 
facilities afforded in his boyhood in the country, 
and before he reached his legal majority had mas- 
tered the carpenter trade. He worked at this and 
farming until August 7, 1862, when, under a call 
for volunteers to defend the Union, he enlisted 
in Company E, Twenty-fifth Michigan Infantry. 
His regiment was assigned to the Twenty-third 
Army Corps* in the Army of the Ohio, and was 
soon at the front. Mr. Elwell participated in the 
battles of Tebbs Bend, Green River, Ky., Resaca, 
Dallas and Atlanta, in Georgia, and Nashville 
and those of the Franklin campaign in Tennessee. 
He was mustered out of the service in 1865 at 
Salisbury, N. C, with the rank of sergeant, and 
immediately returned to Kalamazoo. Here re- 
suming his former occupations of fanning and 
carpentering, he found his services in demand and 
well paid for. He also took an active and helpful 
part in public local affairs, and as a Republican 
was elected township treasurer, servingtwo years, 
township clerk, serving six, and township super- 
visor, serving seven. On November 4, 1902, he 
was chosen recorder of deeds for the county, and 
re-elected to the position in November, 1904, and 
has been diligently occupied with his duties in 
this important office. On December 22, 1869, he 
was married to Miss Alice Harvey, a native of 
this county. They have three children, their 
daughters Ruth and Susan and their son Richard. 
Mr. Elwell is active in the fraternal life of the 
community as a Freemason and a United Work- 
man, and in its political life as a Republican. In 
all of the official positions he has held he has made 
a good record, and he is making one in the posi- 
tion he is now filling. He has well earned the 
regard and good will of his fellow citizens which 
he enjoys in an unusual degree. 



2l8 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



THE KALAMAZOO PAPER COMPANY. 

This large and important manufacturing in- 
stitution was founded on October i, 1866. Its 
present officers are Fred M. Hodge, president; 
Edward Woodbury, vice-president and treasurer, 
and William M. Loveland, secretary. In 1899 
the company purchased the Wolverine mill and 
later built an entirely new plant nearby of large 
dimensions and equipped it with the most ap- 
proved modern machinery for its purposes, mak- 
ing it one of the most complete and capable pa- 
per mills in the world. It turns out annually some 
twenty thousand tons of paper of various kinds, 
which is sold chiefly in this country, and has a 
high rank in the markets. Mr. Hodge, the presi- 
dent and general manager, was born in Brook- 
lyn, N. Y., in 1858; was educated there and 
in Wisconsin, at Janesville, whither he moved 
with his parents in boyhood, and at Kalamazoo 
College, where he was graduated in 1880, the 
family having moved to Kalamazoo in 1872. After 
leaving college he spent six years as head book- 
keeper of the Michigan National Bank. In 1886 
he became associated with the late Samuel A. 
Gibson in the old Kalamazoo Paper Company as 
secretary, and he has been connected with the com- 
pany ever since. On the death of Mr. Gibson in 
1899 he was elected president of the company and 
since then its destiny has largely been in his capa- 
ble hands. He is also president of the Kalamazoo 
Stationery Company, treasurer of the River View 
Coated Paper Company and the American Play- 
ing Card Company of Kalamazoo, and a direc- 
tor of the Michigan National Bank. He was 
married June 18, 1884, to Miss Susan Edith Gib- 
son, daughter of Samuel A. and Mary A. (Farns- 
worth) Gibson, and has two daughters and two 
sons, all living. Mr. Hodge is a worthy suc- 
cessor of Mr. Gibson as president of this com- 
pany, being one of the best known and most 
highly esteemed business men of the city in which 
it operates, and under his management the trade 
of the company has steadily increased and its 
hold on the confidence of the commercial world 
has been greatly strengthened. 



Samuel Appleton Gibson was born 
on the 17th of August, 1835, at New Ipwich, 
N. PL, and inherited from his parents. Colonel 
George C. and Alvira (Appleton) Gibson, and 
from a long line of New England ancestors on 
each side of the house, the characteristic thrift, in- 
dustry and ability for business of the New Eng- 
land people. At the age of twenty, having se- 
cured a good education, he became a clerk in the 
postofhce at Concord, Mass., serving there 
two years, and then accepted a clerkship in 
a general store at Ashby, Mass., which position 
he held for another period of two years. In 1859 
he started business for himself as a grocer at 
Fitchburg, Mass., and continued his op- 
erations there in that line for a number of years. 
He became a resident of Kalamazoo in 1867 and 
lived there until his death. For the uses of this 
paper company a mill valued at fifty thousand 
dollars was built on the Grand Rapids branch of 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, 
two miles south of Kalamazoo. A capital of 
eighty thousand dollars was required to operate 
the mills and carry on the business which soon 
grew to large proportions. Mr. Gibson was em- 
ployed by the company as a mechanic and book- 
keeper until 1870, then became the superintendent 
of the business and later president of the com- 
pany, holding the last named position until his 
death in 1899. He was fully conversant with 
every detail of the business done by the company 
and every feature of the manufacture of the differ- 
ent kinds of paper it makes, and he gave the affairs 
of the company his exclusive attention. He was 
also a director of the Kalamazoo National Bank 
and a trustee of the Kalamazoo College. He 
united with the Congregational church in 1858, 
and for many years before his death was one 
of its trustees. Politically he was a firm Republi- 
can, but not an active partisan. He early realized 
the need of close and cordial relations between 
an employer and his force, and he made the men 
who worked for him his warmest friends, secur- 
ing their ardent interest in his enterprise and gen- 
eral welfare. On October 14, i860, he was mar- 
ried to Mrs. Mary A. Bardeen, the daughter of 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



219 



Deacon A. Farnsworth, of Fitchburg, Mass. 
Their union was blessed with two daugh- 
ters, Alice Gertrude, wife of F. D. Haskell, and 
Susan Edith, wife of F. M. Hodge, both of whom 
live in Kalamazoo. Mr. Gibson died on January 
22, 1899, aged sixty-three years, and with a long 
record of usefulness and upright and benignant 
citizenship to his credit. He was laid to rest 
with every demonstration of popular regard and 
public grief over his departure, and his memory 
is enshrined in the hearts of the people of Kala- 
mazoo as one of its best, most serviceable and 
most representative business men. 

EDWIN A. CARDER. 

This pioneer furniture manufacturer and un- 
dertaker of Kalamazoo, whose long and useful 
life of more than fifty years in that city was a 
blessing and an inspiration to its people, was born 
in Connecticut, the son of William and Deborah 
(Alexander) Carder, of that state. The farther 
was a farmer who came to Michigan late in his 
life and died at the home of his son Edwin. The 
son passed his first fifteen years in his native state, 
then came to Michigan in company with others 
and located for a time at Niles. From there he 
moved to Otsego, Allegan county, where he 
learned the trade of chairmaker, and where, in 
1843, ne was married to Miss Sarah A. Green, a 
native of England. In 1848 they moved to Kala- 
mazoo, and here, soon after his arrival, Mr. Car- 
der started a business in the furniture trade and 
undertaking, also manufacturing chairs to some 
extent for a number of years. Then, in partner- 
ship with Henry Gilbert, he engaged in the manu- 
facture of furniture at Jackson, using convict la- 
bor in the factory, and running a line of retail 
stores for the sale of their output at Battle Creek, 
Jackson and Kalamazoo, as well as at some other 
points. After some time they abandond the fac- 
tory at Jackson, and thereafter Mr. Carder gave 
his whole attention to his enterprise at Kalamazoo, 
which he conducted successfully until his death, 
on August 28, 1 901, his wife following him to 
the other world on November of the same year. 
They had a family of two sons and three daugh- 



ters, all of whom are living, Myron F., George 
H., Mrs. H. A. Clark, Mrs. George E. Bardeen 
• and Miss S. A. Carder. » The parents were mem- 
bers of the First Methodist church and gave liber- 
ally to its support, also taking an active part in its 
official life and general works of benevolence. The 
father was a strong advocate of temperance and 
did much to advance the cause in this community. 
His son, Myron F. Carder, is now in control 
of the business and is managing it with the same 
foresight and diligence that distinguished his 
father in his prime. He was born at Otsego, this 
state, in 1844, but grew to manhood and was 
educated in Kalamazoo. After leaving school he 
found employment with his father and later be- 
came a member of the firm of E. A. Carder & 
Son, and soon afterward began to take the bur- 
dens of the business off his father's shoulders. The 
second son, George H., is a physician at Passa- 
dena, Calif., where the oldest daughter, Mrs. 
H. A. Clark, lives. Mrs. Bardeen is a resident of 
Otsego, Allegan county, and Miss S. A. Carder 
lives at Dowagiac, this state. All are highly re- 
spected in their several communities, and it is 
enough to say of them that they are worthy ex- 
emplars of the uprightness of life and force of 
character so impressively shown by their parents. 

EDWIN W. DE YOE. 

For more than fifty-two years a resident and 
active worker in the city of Kalamazoo, and dur- 
ing that time filling many local offices with 
credit and conducting various business enterprises 
with vigor and success, Edwin W. De Yoe has 
behind him the record of a useful and well-spent 
life in this community, and, approaching now 
the evening of his days, he may justly enjoy the 
retrospect of his past, and be inspired by the 
scenes of progress and development around him 
to the production of which he has been a sub- 
stantial contributor. He is one of the best known 
and most highly esteemed of the pioneers of the 
county, that fast fading race whose works in this 
part of the world form the best tribute to their 
worth. On February 2, 1835, at the town of 
Waterloo, Seneca county, N. Y., his life be- 



220 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



gan, and there he grew to man's estate, received 
his education and started the career which is an 
inspiration < and an encouragement to the strug- 
gling young men of the country. His parents 
were William and Hester (Clute) De Yoe, natives 
of Saratoga county, N. Y. The father was 
a mason, contractor and builder who passed his 
life in his native state, dying there in 1862, at 
Waterloo. The mother survived him fourteen 
years and passed away in 1876. They had thir- 
teen children, of whom four are living, the sub- 
ject of this review, Mrs. William A. Wood, of 
Kalamazoo ; a brother who still resides in Water- 
loo, N. Y., and Miss Harriet N. DeYoe, of 
Kalamazoo. The grandfather, John De Yoe, was 
a native of New York and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Ruth Hall, was born in Rhode Island. 
The De Yoes were of old French Huguenot an- 
cestry and the Clutes of Holland Dutch, two 
races of people who have met every requirement 
in life in behalf of human liberty and progress 
in a courageous, manly and masterful way. Mr. 
De Yoe's maternal grandfather, Gradus Clute, a 
native of Waterford, N. Y., was an exten- 
sive farmer, dealer in land and wealthy citizen 
of those parts in his day. His life was passed at 
Waterford. His wife was Sarah Alida Van Ness, 
a member of an old and distinguished New York 
family. Edwin W. De Yoe was reared and edu- 
cated in his native town, completing the course at 
the Waterloo Academy, then serving some years 
as clerk in a wholesale bakery there, after which 
he resumed his studies at the academy, pursuing 
a special course and remaining until 1851. He 
then entered the Geneva grammar school under 
Dr. Prentice and Professor W. T. Gibson, a cele- 
brated school of those days in that part of New 
York. In 1853 he became a resident of Kalama- 
zoo and was made assistant postmaster under his 
brother, William H. De Yoe (see sketch of him- 
elsewhere in this work), and afterward under 
Hon. N. A. Balch, serving until 1861. Dur- 
ing his tenure he spent six months in the Detroit 
Commercial College and also a short time in the 
grocery trade in partnership with S. H. Porter. 
In addition he did considerable insurance busi- 
ness for the Phoenix Company of Hartford, 
Conn. In 1861 he was elected township 



clerk for two years, and at the end of his term 
began handling the claims of soldiers against 
the government and also did business in insurance, 
real estate and loan activities. These latter lines 
of business he is still engaged in. He was mar- 
ried on January 9, 1862, to Miss Harriet P. Free- 
man, a daughter of Rev. L. N. Freeman, rector of 
St. Luke's and St. John's church of Kalamazoo. 
They have two children, their daughter, Lillian D., 
wife of Allen C. Frink, of Boston, Mass., 
and their son, William M., who is associated 
with his father in business. Mrs. De Yoe died on 
May 18, 1904. Throughout his life the father has 
been actively and earnestly interested in public 
affairs as a Democrat, and he has given excellent 
service to the city and county in various local 
offices. Early in his life here he was the can- 
didate of his party for the lower house of the 
state legislature, but it was impossible for any 
one then to overcome the large adverse majority ; 
however, there was but a small preponderance 
of the vote against him. In 1878 he was elected 
village trustee and served as chairman of the 
committee on finance and claims in the council. 
Prior to this, in 1869, he was village clerk one 
year. In 1883 he was chosen village president, 
the last man to fill this office, for at the end of 
his term the place was incorporated as a city 
and he was elected its second mayor. About this 
time he was his party's nominee for the office of 

t state senator, but was beaten by a small majority. 
Fraternally, Mr. De Yoe belongs to the Masonic 
order, having been made a Master Mason in 1857 
and a Knight Templar some thirty years or more 

*ago. He belongs to St. Luke's church, and was 
junior warden and vestryman in St. John's from 
1862 to 1876. In 1890 his son William became a 
member of the firm, which was then organized as 
E. W. & W. M. De Yoe. The business of this 

.firm is extensive and has received a quickening' 
impulse from the infusion of the younger blood 
of the son, who is a wide-awake and capable 
business man. 

GEORGE STEERS. 

Mr. Steers is the general manager of the 
Kalamazoo Ice & Fuel Company and also of the 
Lake View Ice Company, and for these organiza- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



221 



tions he has by application, business shrewdness 
and a genial and accommodating disposition built 
up a large trade and established them on a safe 
and broad basis of enduring prosperity. He 
was born at Rochester, N. Y., on June 8, 
t86o, and is the son of Thomas and Mary 
(Hodges) Steers, who were born and reared in 
England and came to the United States about 
the year 1850, and to Michigan in 1876. The 
father was a farmer and located for following his 
vocation near the city of Kalamazoo, where he 
died in 1894. The mother is still living. Their 
son George was educated in New York and ac- 
companied his parents to this state in 1875. He 
worked with them on the farm until he was about 
twenty years of age, then, in 1880, moved to Kala- 
mazoo, and after teaming in the city two years, 
passed two in farming. He then again turned his 
attention to teaming and followed this line un- 
til 1886, when he started an enterprise in the 
sale of wood, which he continued until 1894. In 
that year he began operations, in the ice business 
and soon afterward began to handle coal also. He 
conducted this trade until the spring of 1904, 
when he organized the leading company with 
which he is now connected, the Kalamazoo Ice 
& Fuel Company, and of which he has ever since 
been the general manager, as he is of the Lake 
View Ice Company. He is also a director of the 
Central Bank of Kalamazoo and a stockholder 
in the Rose Street Improvement Company and 
the Recreation Park Association. It will be seen 
that he gives an intelligent and earnest attention 
to the general improvement of the city as well 
as to building up its business interests, and in 
all the lines of activity in which he engages he 
is held to be a factor of force, influence and 
value. He was married in 1890 to Miss Emma 
J. Eldred, whose parents were among the first 
settlers on Climax Prairie. Mr. and Mrs. Steers 
have three sons and two daughters. Their 
father pushes his business with energy and vigor 
and has made it one of the leading ones of its 
kind in the city, steadily enlarging its volume and 
keeping by his acceptable methods all the pa- 
trons he secures. He takes no very active in- 
terest in partisan politics, but in national affairs 
supports the Democratic party. He has been for 



years absorbed in his business and side issues 
have had but little attraction for him. As a citi- 
zen, a merchant and a public-spirited man, wise 
in counsel and energetic in action for the good 
of his community he is well esteemed and has 
influence in inspiring others to increased activity 
and usefulness. 

EDWARD P. TITUS. 

Edward P. Titus has been a resident of Michi- 
gan since 1856 and of Kalamazoo since 1861. He 
is therefore one of the older residents of the city, 
and during all the long period of his life here 
he has been an active and progressive citizen, 
deeply interested in the welfare of the community 
and contributing materially to its advancement. 
He was born near Harford, Susquehanna county, 
Penn., on July 1, 1828, and is the son of 
Ezekiel and Betsey (Jeffers) Titus, the former a 
native of Massachusetts and the latter of Pennsyl- 
vania. The father was a farmer and one of nine 
men known as the Nine Partners who emigrated 
to Pennsylvania in 1800 and purchased a tract of 
land four miles square which they divided into 
nine parcels and then drew lots to determine each 
one's location. This land they held in severalty 
although they were called the Nine Partners, and 
on it they founded the settlement of Nine Partners 
Springs, which is still called by that name. Their 
location was in the midst of a wilderness, almost 
wholly unsettled, and the conveniences of life for 
them were few and far apart. Their nearest 
trading point was at Great Bend on the Susque- 
hanna and their nearest mill at Binghamton, N. 
Y., neither being less than fifteen miles dis- 
tant. The Titus family to which the subject of 
this sketch belongs descended from Robert Titus, 
who came from Harford, England, to this country 
in 1636 and settled at Boston, whence the family 
removed to Long Island in 1655. The father of 
Edward Titus followed farming through life and 
died on the old Pennsylvania homestead on March 
22, 1870, aged eighty-three years. His political 
affiliation was with the Whigs as long as that 
party existed and after its decease with the Repub- 
licans, but he was never an active or office-seeking 
partisan. He married four times and reared a 



222 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



large family of children, of whom Edward and 
one of his brothers are all who are left, the former 
being the only one resident in this state. He re- 
mained at home until he was twelve years old, then 
started out in life for himself. Later he learned 
the trade of carpenter and shipbuilder, and 
worked at it in a number of different places. 
Prior to the Civil war he passed a number of 
years in the South and saw the institution of slav- 
ery in all its forms. This made him an ardent abo- 
litionist, and while in Buffalo, N. Y., in 1853 an d 
1854 he was connected with the "underground 
railway" and helped many a negro slave to Canada 
and freedom. In 1856 he became a resident of 
Michigan, locating in Van Buren county on a 
farm near Paw Paw. The place was all wild 
and unbroken, but he lived on it three years and 
cleared it for cultivation. In 1861 he moved to 
Kalamazoo and began contracting and building, 
and in this work he aided in the erection of many 
dwellings and business houses in the city. Mr. 
Titus was married at Buffalo, N. Y., on De- 
cember 25, 1854, to Miss Harriet F. Wells, a 
native of that city. Her father, Orange Wells, 
was born in Massachusetts, and her mother, 
whose maiden name was Nancy Downer, in New 
Hampshire. They were early settlers in Orleans 
county, N. Y. The father was a soldier in 
the war of 18 12 and had a brother killed in the 
contest, but he saw no active service himself. Mr. 
and JMrs. Titus had one son, Edward W., who 
died in New York, and one daughter, Marian A., 
who died at Colorado Springs, Colo. They 
reared and educated two adopted children, a son 
and a daughter. The son is James Cook, a promi- 
nent citizen and one of the leading stock men of 
Sioux county, Neb., and the daughter is Mrs. 
George E. Sutton, of Pontiac, Mich. Mr. Cook 
started in life with nothing in the way of worldly 
wealth, and has made himself a leader in his sec- 
tion and business. Mr. Titus has been an active 
Republican from the foundation of the party, cast- 
ing his vote for its first presidential candidate. 
General Fremont. Since 1853 he has belonged to 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and since 
1862 to the Baptist church, and in both he has 
been energetic and useful in his membership. 



FRANK E. KNAPPEN. 

It is everywhere conceded that the law is a 
jealous mistress and admits no divided allegiance 
from her votaries who wish to succeed in win- 
ning her favors. This truth was well impressed 
on the mind of Frank E. Knappen, one of the 
leading lawyers of Kalamazoo, while he was a 
student of his profession, and he has kept it 
ever in mind during his practice. He has de- 
voted himself assiduously to the requirements of 
his professional work with a special attention to 
the criminal practice. And his worship at the 
shrine of duty has brought him commensurate 
returns in a large and lucrative practice, a good 
standing among his professional brothers, and a 
high regard in the mind of the general public. Mr. 
Knappen was born at Hastings, Barry county, this 
state, on September 27, 1854, and is the son of 
Ashmun A. and Sarah J. (Stafford) Knappen, 
the former a native of Vermont and the latter of 
Pennsylvania. The father was for many years 
a lawyer and afterwards a minister of the gospel. 
He came to Michigan with his parents in 1833. 
when he was four years old. He was reared and 
educated in Kalamazoo county, attending the old 
Branch Academy. After leaving school, and even 
before, he was employed in mercantile business, 
and later he became editor of the Barry County 
Pioneer at Hastings, being connected with the 
paper as editor from 1850 to 1857. He passed 
the next three years at Gull Corners engaged in 
merchandising, and while there he studied law in 
company with present U. S. Senator J. C. Bur- 
rows, being admitted to the bar of the state su- 
preme court at Detroit in 1859. In 1861 he began 
the practice of his profession in partnership with 
Mr. Burrows at Kalamazoo. He was active and 
zealous in his chosen work until 1870, then 
turned his attention to the Christian ministry in 
the Methodist Episcopal church and preached un- 
til 1890 through this state, becoming in course of 
time presiding elder under the control of the 
Michigan conference. He now lives a retired life 
at Albion. He united in marriage with Miss 
Sarah J. Stafford in this county in 1850, and they 
had two sons and three daughters. The daugh- 




FRANK E. KNAPPAN 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



225 



ters are all living at Albion. One son, George 
Fred, is in Sioux Falls, S. D., cashier 
of a bank. The others are Mrs. Mark Russell, 
Mrs. J. L. Thomas and Mrs. H. M. Scripps, all 
now residing at Albion, Mich. Mr. Knappen's 
parental grandfather, Mason Knappen, was also 
a Christian minster, being active in the Congre- 
gational church. He was also a farmer. He 
came to this county in 1833 an d cleared up five 
hundred acres of land near Richland, dying there 
in 1856. Frank E. Knappen was educated in the 
common and high schools of Kalamazoo and the 
Northwestern University at Evanston, 111., be- 
ing graduated from the latter institution in 1877 
in the classical course. He then entered the 
office of Briggs & Burrows, of Kalamazoo, as 
a law student, and in October, 1878, he was ad- 
mitted to practice in that city by the supreme 
court of Michigan. Entering at once on his pro- 
fessional work, he pursued it with such energy 
and success that in 1880 he was elected prosecut- 
ing attorney, holding the office until 1889. At 
the close of his official term he organized the law 
firm of Knappen & Frost, and at the end of a 
year another partner was taken in and the firm 
name changed to Irish, Knappen & Frost. This 
firm lasted three years, at the end of which it was 
harmoniously dissolved after which Mr. Knappen 
practiced alone until 1902, when he formed a new 
partnership with L. T. Flansburg, with whom he 
is still associated, under the firm name of Knap- 
pen & Flansburg. Since beginning his practice 
Mr. Knappen has given his whole attention to his 
profession with special reference to the criminal 
practice. He has succeeded admirably and has a 
high position at the bar. He was married in 1899 
to Miss Nina A. Ward, a native of New York. 
Politically he is a zealous and unwavering Re- 
publican, and fraternally belongs to the Masonic 
order and the Order of Elks. He has always 
been promnent in political affairs having held 
various positions in the Republican party and 
was presidential elector in the fall of 1904. 

GEORGE W. PARKER. 

The subject of this notice, who is one of the 
leading and most progressive meat merchants of 
Kalamazoo, was born in the township in which he 



now lives on April 24, 1844, and the son of Isaac 
M. and Catherine (Patterson) Parker, the former 
a native of Ohio and the latter of Virginia. The 
father was a farmer who became a resident of 
Michigan in 1 831, when he was but eighteen years 
of age. He was a son of James Parker, of whom 
more extended mention is made in the sketch of 
James Parker on another page of this work. Isaac 
Parker was employed as a clerk and in other ca- 
pacities in Kalamazoo until 1834, when he bought 
forty acres of government land which is now a 
part of the Brook farm owned by the asylum. He 
cleared up this tract and then bought two hun- 
dred acres additional, and lived on the farm until 
1867, when he sold it and purchased one six 
miles east of South Haven on which he resided 
until his death, in 1879. He was the father of 
two children, George W. and a daughter who 
died in infancy. The mother died in 1857. He 
afterward, in 1865, married Catherine Lull, and 
two children were born of this union, one of 
whom, their son Fred, is living, as is also his 
mother. Mr. Parker of this sketch was reared in 
this township amid the scenes and experiences 
usual to country boys of the time and place, at- 
tending the common schools and working on his 
father's farm until he was eighteen years old, after 
which he was variously employed until 1870, when 
he formed a partnership with C. H. Hurd to 
carry on a butchering business. The partnership 
lasted three years, and in the spring of 1874 Mr. 
Parker formed another with Cornelius Miller in 
the same line of trade, which lasted two years. 
Since its dissolution Mr. Parker has been alone 
in business and has remained in the same shop 
all the time. He was married in Kalamazoo, in 
1866, to Miss Laura A. Norton, whose parents 
came to this county in 1855. Mr. and Mrs. 
Parker have one child, their son Herbert W., who 
is now assistant cashier of the City National 
Bank. Fraternally, the father is a Freemason of 
the Knight Templar degree. He is widely known 
as an excellent business man and a good citizen, 
and stands well in the regards of the people of 
this county and the city of Kalamazoo generally. 
He has not been active in political affairs, but he 
supports the Republican party. In matters of 
public improvement and such as make for the 



226 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



welfare of the city and county of his residence, he 
is one of the foremost and most active workers, 
and his counsel, based on a wide knowledge of 
affairs, is earnestly sought and carefully heard. 
He is a useful man and is highly esteemed as 
such. 

JACOB SCHEID. 

Jacob Scheid, one of the skillful carpenters 
and builders of Kalamazoo until 1889, when he 
retired from active work, has been a resident of 
the city for fifty-two years, having come here 
to live in 1854. During his residence here he 
has aided in the construction of many of the 
principal buildings in the city, and always found 
his service in demand while he was actively en- 
gaged at his trade as a carpenter and builder. He 
was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the banks of 
the Rhine, on December 8, 1830, and is the son 
of Nicholas and Catherine (Liegenbueler) Scheid, 
both natives of the same part of the fatherland as 
himself. The father was a carpenter and passed 
his life working at his trade in his native land, 
dying there at a good old age, as did the mother. 
They had six sons and seven daughters, only two 
of whom, Jacob and one of his brothers, are 
residents of this country. After receiving a com- 
mon-school education Jacob learned his trade as 
a carpenter and worked at it in his native land 
until 1852, when he came to the United States 
and located in Lorain county, Ohio, where he re- 
mained two years working at his trade. On Sep- 
tember 17, 1854, he arrived at Kalamazoo, and 
here he has since made his home. He soon found 
employment at his trade, and later worked for 
Bush & Patterson thirty years, acting as their 
foreman. Since 1889 he has lived retired from ac- 
tive pursuits, enjoying the fruits of his labors and 
cultivating the esteem of his large number of 
friends. He was married in this city in November, 
1856, to Miss Francesco Hotop, who, like himself, 
is a native of Germany, and came to Kalamazoo 
in 1854. They have had five children, August, Otto, 
Fred and Fannie, who are living, and Theodore, 
who is deceased. In church communion the mem- 
bers of the family are Catholics. Living quietly 
and unostentatiously amid the people whom he 



has faithfully served and the impressive works of 
his hand which he can see on almost every street, 
this industrious craftsman, good citizen and up- 
right man finds the evening of his life passing 
along in peace and pleasure, with nothing in the 
way of neglected duty or wrongful conduct to 
mar the record of his usefulness or the agreeable 
character of his memories. 

JESSE W. HAZARD. 

Public education in America is the sheet an- 
chor on which the ship of state relies with con- 
fidence and hope. The fathers of the republic 
proclaimed it as a necessary constituent of popu- 
lar government, and the experience of a hundred 
years has proven the wisdom of their contention. 
While they exhibited solicitude for the higher 
halls of learning by liberal patronage of academies 
and seminaries, they much more insisted on 
schools for the masses, feeling well assured that 
the common sense of the plain people might not 
be safely relied on for a wise exercise of citizen- 
ship without some training for its duties. The 
question is no longer an open one. Everybodv 
knows the immense value of the public schools 
and looks upon them as among the most im- 
portant features in the life of a community. What- 
ever else a town may offer as inducements for 
new settlers this must not be overlooked. Let sites 
for manufactories be as free as the air — let plant 
be exempt from taxation — let franchises he 
thrown away with prodigal liberality — let ship- 
ping facilities be provided to the widest limit at 
the cheapest rate — the question will still arise — 
what school advantages are available? Tried 
even by this severe standard, Kalamazoo county 
is entitled to a high regard. Her public schools 
are commensurate with her business enterprise 
and the enlightenment and breadth of view of her 
people, and this is enough to say. One evidence 
of her enterprise and progressiveness in this re- 
gard is the fact that when she find3 a man of 
high capacity to have this important interest in 
charge she knows enough to keep him in charge 
and support his management of school affairs. 
Professor Jesse W. Hazard, the accomplished 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



227 



and diligent commissioner of schools of the 
county, has occupied the position continuously 
since 1897 and is now serving his fourth term. He 
brought to the discharge of his important duties 
a wisdom gained in an extensive experience as 
a teacher in several different places under a variety 
of circumstances, and which ripened his scholar- 
ship while it energized and broadened the force 
of his mind. He is a native of Wayne county, 
Ohio, born at West Salem in May, i860. His 
parents, James and Mary (Gable) Hazard, were 
natives, respectively, of Ohio and Pennsylvania. 
The father was engaged in operating a large saw 
mill in Ohio until 1866, when he came to Michi- 
gan with his family and located on a farm near 
Fulton, this county, on which he died in April, 
1904. His father, John Hazard, was born and 
reared in Connecticut. From there he moved to 
New York and later he became a pioneer in 
Wayne county, Ohio. He was an itinerant 
preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church and 
also taught school. He died in Wayne county, 
Ohio. His father, the Professor's great-grand- 
father, was a Revolutionary soldier. Professor 
Hazard was educated in the district schools of 
this county, at Athens high school and the Nor- 
mal College at Ypsilanti, spending four years at 
the institution last named. After leaving there 
he accepted a position as principal of the schools 
at Marcellus, this state. He then served one year 
in the same capacity at Prairie Du Lac, Wis., 
at the end of which he returned to Kalamazoo 
county, and during the next two years was a 
teacher in the schools at Fulton. In 1897 he was 
elected commissioner of schools for the county, a 
position which he is still filling acceptably, serving 
now his fourth term in the office. He has been 
faithful to every requirement of his post and 
has the respect of the teachers of the county and 
the people in a marked degree. In 1901 he was 
married in this county to Miss Cora Lapham, a 
native of the county. They have three children, 
all daughters. Professor Hazard, although oc- 
cupying a position in which party politics has no 
proper place, is too much a patriot and too good 
a citizen to be indifferent to public affairs, and 
he gives them close attention as a Republican. 



As such he. served as supervisor of his township 
prior to his election as school commissioner. Fra- 
ternally he is active and zealous in the order of 
Knights of Pythias. 

WILLIAM G. HOWARD. 

An active practitioner of the law in this state 
since 1870, William G. Howard, of Kalamazoo, 
has risen to a high rank in his profession and 
has had contact with almost every phase of its 
intricate and trying requirements. There is 
scarcely any branch of legal work he has not be- 
come familiar with from actual experience, and 
in all he has sustained his high reputation for 
legal learning, forceful advocacy, tact and readi- 
ness in trial and unwavering professional ethics. 
Mr. Howard is wholly a product of Michigan. 
He was born on her soil, educated in her schools 
and prepared for his professional duties in the 
office of one of her leading law firms. He also 
was married here and has reared his family in 
the state ; and all his commercial interests are 
located among her people. The life of this promi- 
nent and eloquent advocate began in Cass county, 
Michigan, on May 18, 1846, and he is the son of 
George T. and Eliza (Parsons) Howard, na- 
tives of Delaware, who came to Michigan in 1845 
and settled on a farm which they purchased in 
Cass county. Here they passed the remainder of 
their lives, the mother dying in 1880 and the 
father in 1894. Their family comprised two 
sons and one daughter. One son has died and the 
sister is living in Cass county. Mr. Howard's 
grandfather, Stephen Howard, was born in Mary- 
land. He also came to Michigan and died in 
Cass county in 1865, after many years of useful 
farming in what was then an entirely new country 
to agricultural pursuits. William G. Howard was 
educated in the public schools of his native county 
and at Kalamazoo College, where he was gradu- 
ated in 1867. He began the study of law with 
Balch, Smiley & Balch, of Kalamazoo, and was 
admitted to the bar of this county in October, 
1869. He began his practice at Dowagiac, Cass 
county, in partnership with James Sullivan, with 
whom he was associated from 1870 to 1873, when 



228 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



he came to Kalamazoo and became a member of 
the firm of Balch, Howard & Balch. Later one 
of the Balches retired and the firm became Balch 
& Howard, and this continued until 1878. It was 
then harmoniously dissolved and the firm of 
Brown, Howard & Ross was formed. Two years 
later Brown retired, then the firm of Howard & 
Ross continued until 1899, when Mr. Howard 
formed a new partnership with his son, Harry C. 
Howard, under the name of Howard & Howard. 
Through all these changes of associates Mr. How- 
ard has gone steadily forward in his profession, 
gaining a large and remunerative body of clients, 
rising to influence and force in his work both as 
an advocate and a trial lawyer, demonstrating his 
ability in every field of professional activity and 
winning golden opinions from all classes of the 
community in which he lives. He has also taken 
a very active and serviceable interest in the com- 
mercial and industrial life of his chosen city, 
being a stockholder in the Kalamazoo Ice Com- 
pany and the Home Savings Bank, also in the 
Kalamazoo National, City National and First Na- 
tional Banks, the Lee Paper Company and the 
Kalamazoo Corset Company. In political faith he 
has been from the dawn of his manhood a staunch 
and earnest working Democrat, and as such was 
elected prosecuting attorney of Cass county in 
1870 and mayor of Kalamazoo in 1899. He be- 
longs to the Odd Fellows fraternity. He has 
also served on the school board and the board of 
education. He was married in St. Joseph county 
in 1870 to Miss Melissa A. Cooper, of White 
Pigeon. They have two sons, Harry C. (see 
sketch on another page) and John A., of Dowa- 
giac, this state, both of whom are young men of 
prominence and highly respected citizens. 

SHERIDAN F. MASTER. 

Prominent in Kalamazoo as a lawyer, publicist 
and leading citizen, and now representing his 
district in the lower house of the state legisla- 
ture, Sheridan F. Master has lived in this com- 
munity to good purpose, making much of his 
opportunities and performing all the duties of a 
professional man and first-rate citizen faithfully. 



wisely and diligently. He was born at Berlin in 
the province of Ontario, Canada, on March 7, 
1869, the son of Levi and Mary (Freid) Master, 
who were also natives of Canada. The father was 
a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, 
who came to the United States in 1871, and for 
many years preached in various parts of this state, 
at one time being stationed at Kalamazoo as pas- 
tor of the church of his denomination and later as 
presiding elder of the district. He died in 1903 
at Big Rapids, where he was presiding elder at 
the time. The mother is still living. The grand- 
father, John Master, was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania. In company with the maternal grand- 
father, Mr. Freid, he established a colony in 
Canada, going there about the year 1840. The 
grandfather, John Master, some time afterward 
returned to the United States and tried to estab- 
lish another colony in Kansas. This, however, 
was not a success owing to successive droughts 
and the ravages of the grasshoppers. The elder 
Master then returned to Berlin, Canada, where 
he died in 1895. Sheridan F. Master reached man- 
hood in this state, and was graduated from Albion 
College in 1888. He at once began studying law 
in the office of Osborn & Mills, of Kalamazoo, 
and was admitted to practice before the state su- 
preme court in 1891. He then became a member 
of the firm of Osborn, Mills & Master, and re- 
mained in it until he was elected county attorney 
in 1899. At the end of his term of four years 
in this office he returned to his practice, which 
he has since conducted alone. In 1902 he was 
elected to the house of representatives of the 
state as a member from the Kalamazoo district, 
and he is now (1904) .still serving the people well 
and wisely in that office. He has been elected and 
is now serving as speaker of the house. He is a 
stockholder and director of the Ver Don Cigar 
Company, of Kalamazoo, and has also interests 
in the farming industry and the Paw Paw Pub- 
lishing Company. In 1894 he united in marriage 
with Miss Helen Harrison, of Chicago, and they 
have one child, their daughter Helen. Politically, 
Mr. Master has been a life-long Republican, and 
with his interest ever keen and active in the wel- 
fare of his party, he has stumped his county and 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



229 



other portions of the state in its numerous cam- 
paigns, proving himself an eloquent and effective 
advocate of the cause on the hustings, as he is of 
legal principles in court. Fraternally he is a 
valued member of the order of Elks and the 
Knights of Pythias. 

J. W. RYDER. 

J. W. Ryder, an energetic, enterprising and 
progressive wood and coal merchant of Kala- 
mazoo, who has been prominently connected with 
the business interests of the city for a long time, 
was born in the city in April, 1868. He is the 
son of Joseph M. and Catherine (Rollins) Ryder, 
who were born and reared in Dublin, Ireland, and 
came to the United States in 1848. The father 
was a mason in his native land, but on his ar- 
rival in this country entered mercantile life as a 
dealer in wood and coal at Elmira, N. Y., 
where he remained until 1852. He then came to 
Kalamazoo ancj began dealing in real estate, pur- 
chasing vacant lots and building on them, then 
selling the property, also buying houses already 
built which he improved and sold. He prospered 
at this business and while advancing his own for- 
tunes he at the same time added to the wealth 
and beauty of the city. He was a Republican 
in politics and a hard worker for his party. Hold- 
ing membership in St. Luke's church, he took an 
active interest in its affairs and aided greatly in 
promoting its progress. He died in 1893 and his 
wife in 1896. Their son, J. W. Ryder, was 
their only child. He was educated in the schools 
of Kalamazoo, being graduated from the high 
school in 1886. He began his business career as 
a clerk for Dudgeon & Cobb, with whom he re- 
mained a short time, then entered the employ of 
Conrad Miller, in 1887, with whom he remained 
1 ntil 1893, when he became a member of the 
firm, which was then rebaptized under the name 
of Miller, Ryder & Winterburn. The firm lasted 
until Mr. Ryder retired from it in April, 1904, 
and since that time he has been in business alone. 
He has a large trade and conducts his business 
with every attention to details, including proper 
consideration for the wants of his customers, as 



well as to his own interest, and is known through- 
out the city as an upright man, fair in his deal- 
ings and broad in his views. He has taken no 
partisan interest in political matters and has all 
his life avoided public office. But he omits no 
duty of citizenship and usually votes the Repub- 
lican ticket. It was through his influence and 
efforts mainly that the Michigan & Indiana Retail 
Coal Dealers' Association was organized, and 
when it was formed he was elected its president 
and the chairman of its executive board. This 
association was organized in 1895, and includes in 
its membership all the retail dealers in both 
states. Mr. Ryder was married in 1893 to Miss 
Rose E. Kelley, of Kalamazoo. In fraternal re- 
lations he is connected with the order of Elks and 
the Knights of Pythias. In the latter fraternity 
he is a charter member of Lodge No. 170 and 
has filled all its chairs. In business, in fraternal 
life, in social circles and in his civic relations he 
meets every obligation in a manly and straight- 
forward way, and contributes to the general weal 
the products of a genial and companionable spirit 
and the example of a high toned and honorable 
citizen. 

CARNEY & YAPLE. 

The energetic and aspiring young gentlemen 
who compose this, the youngest law firm in 
Kalamazoo, while of comparatively recent admis- 
sion to the bar, are sufficiently far from shore to 
be under full sail in their profession, and have 
given abundant evidence of their capacity to steer 
their barque to its desired haven. Their story is 
like that of thousands of others among us in all 
parts of our country, one involving diligent prep- 
aration for the issues of life and faithful per- 
formance of its duties after entering upon them, 
working and waiting for the reward of their 
labors, and winning it by steady progress through 
attention to whatever comes to them in their 
chosen line of action. Claude S. Carney, the 
senior member of the firm of Carney & Yaple, was 
born at Schoolcraft, this county, on the 25th day 
of April, 1875, and is the son of Byron S. and 
Alice A. (Fletcher) Carney, also natives of this 
county, where the father is a well known and 



230 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



prosperous farmer, residing near the town o f 
Schoolcraft. The son was reared and partially 
educated in his native place, being graduated from 
the Schoolcraft high school. He then pursued a 
literary course at the University of Michigan, and 
in the law department of the same institution pre- 
pared himself for his professional work. He was 
graduated from this department in 1896, and 
before the end of that year came to Kalamazoo 
and entered upon the practice of his profession 
with Judge John W. Adams, then prosecuting at- 
torney, who appointed him assistant prosecutor, a 
post which he held until the end of Judge Adams' 
term as prosecutor, and his election as judge of 
the circuit court. Mr. Carney then began prac- 
ticing alone and continued doing so until 1901, 
when he formed a partnership with Edward L. 
Yaple, his present partner. In the three years 
which have passed since this firm was formed 
the members of it have steadily risen in public 
esteem and the good opinion of their professional 
brothers, and have now a well established position 
at the bar of this county and a large and increasing 
practice of a representative clientage. They have 
had many cases of importance and intricacy for 
trial, and in the management of them have shown 
wide and exact knowledge of the law, both in 
general principles and adjudicated cases, and have 
also exhibited tact, fertility and eloquence in their 
conduct of them. Mr. Carney was married in 
1902 to Miss Sarah Westnedge, a native of this 
state, and they have one*son, Herschel Westnedge 
Carney. He was a Democrat in politics and an Elk 
in fraternal life. 

Mr. Yaple, the junior member of the firm, is 
also a native of Michigan. He was born at Men- 
don, St. Joseph county, on the 7th day of Febru- 
ary, 1874, and is a son of George L. Yaple, cir- 
cuit judge for the fifteenth judicial circuit and an 
esteemed citizen. After being graduated at the 
Mendon high school Mr. Yaple attended the 
Kalamazoo College and the Chicago University, 
being graduated at the latter in the literary or 
academic course in 1897. He then entered the 
law department of the Northwestern University, 
from which he emerged in 1899 with the degree 
of Bachelor of Laws. He began practicing at 



Kalamazoo in 1901, as a member of the firm to 
which he now belongs and with which he has 
ever since been connected. He was married in 
1902 to Miss Charlotte Willmot, a resident of 
Kalamazoo. They have two children, their daugh- 
ters, Frances and Dorothy. Mr. Yaple is a Re- 
publican in political allegiance and fraternally lie 
belongs to the Freemasons and the Elks. 

H. BROOKS MILLER. 

One of the oldest and most extensive real es- 
tate dealers in Kalamazoo, H. Brooks Miller has 
done a great deal in his business to increase the 
size, augment the wealth and multiply the adorn- 
ments of the city. He has handled an immense 
amount of property and always worked with a 
view to improve and beautify the town and add 
to the comfort and welfare of its people. Mr. 
Miller was born in Essex county, N. Y., on 
August 4, 1834, and is the son of Daniel B. and 
Caroline (Randall) Miller, both natives of that 
county. The father passed his life as a farmer. 
In 1836 he moved to St. Lawrence county, N. Y., 
where he died in 1899, in his ninetieth 
year. The mother died in 1879, aged sixty-eight. 
The grandfather was Judge Manoah Miller, a 
man of great local prominence and influence in 
New York. He had five sons, three of whom 
were bankers and one was a prominent railroad 
man. Mr. Miller's parents had a family of four 
sons and four daughters, two sons and one daugh- 
ter of whom are living. H. Brooks Miller was 
reared and educated in New York and Vermont, 
attending for a time a private school at Addison, 
in the latter state. After leaving school he moved 
to Plattsburg, in his native state, and entered 
the employ of the G. W. & M. C. Railroad, se- 
curing a good berth in the passenger department 
in which he worked with great success for five 
years. At the end of that period he turned his 
attention to general merchandising at Plattsburg, 
and after five years of successful operation in 
that line there, transferred his energies to Troy, 
N. Y., where he was engaged for a num- 
ber of years in the furniture trade, then began 
the manufacture of linen collars, which he carried 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



231 



on several years. In 1880 he came to Kalamazoo, 
where he has ever since resided and been active 
in business. Soon after his arrival in that city 
he became occupied in the manufacture of spring 
tooth harrows in the firm of Miller Bros., in 
which he remained until March 1, 1882. At that 
time he became interested in the real estate busi- 
ness in partnership with J. Frank Cowgill, un- 
der the firm name of Cowgill & Miller. This 
partnership lasted to the death of Mr. Cowgill, 
in 1898, and since then Mr. Miller has conducted 
the business alone. The firm did an extensive 
business in loans and handling real estate, and 
during its continuance an enormous amount of 
property passed through its hands. Under Mr. 
Miller's personal and individual management the 
business has increased and flourished, and it is 
now accounted one of the leading enterprises of 
its kind in this part of the country. Mr. Miller 
has been twice married. The second marriage 
occurred at Troy, N. Y., in 1864, when he 
was united in marriage with Miss Marie Louise 
Cheppu, a native of that state. Mr. Miller is a 
member of St. Luke's church and was a pioneer 
member of the Kalamazoo Club. He has an 
elegant home in Kalamazoo and is held in high 
regard by a wide circle of admiring friends. 

SAMUEL FOLZ. 

Samuel Folz, the late mayor of Kalamazoo and 
the fourth Democrat to hold that office in the 
history of the city, has been prominent and in- 
fluential in the mercantile and industrial life of 
the city for many years and is one of its best 
known and most highly esteemed business men. 
He is connected with many of its leading enter- 
prises and to all he gives close and careful at- 
tention, helping them by his wisdom in counsel, 
his promptness and vigor in action and his shrewd 
and discriminating business capacity. He was 
horn on September 18, 1859, at Hillsdale, this 
state, where his parents, Joseph and Esther 
( Hecht) Folz, natives of southern Germany, set- 
tled in 1856. They came to this country separ- 
ately when they were young and were married 
here. In Hillsdale the father engaged in the 



clothing trade until i860, when he moved to Chi- 
cago and continued in the business there until 
the great fire of 1871. He then returned to Michi- 
gan and located at Marshall, where he died in 
1872. Samuel received his education in the 
schools of Chicago and at Marshall, and on the 
death of his father, when he was himself but 
thirteen years old, he found himself without 
means and obliged to shift for himself. He be- 
gan work as a newsboy for the Detroit Daily 
News and worked up a considerable circulation 
for that journal. He also worked at stripping 
tobacco at odd times and subsequently learned the 
cigarmaker's trade. In 1875 ne came to Kalama- 
zoo and during the next five years worked at his 
trade. But failing health obliged him to quit it, 
and he next found employment as a clerk in 
the clothing store of Stearns & Company, where 
he remained three and one-half years. In 1884 
he began business for himself in the same line, 
and from a small beginning he has built up the 
largest trade in clothing in the city. Until 1887 
he was associated in the business with Mr. Frank- 
lin, the firm name being Franklin & Folz. Then 
Mr. Folz purchased Mr. Franklin's interest and 
he has since carried on the business himself. His 
first entry into politics was as a candidate for 
mayor of the city in 1895, but he was defeated 
by a small majority. He was next nominated by 
his party, the Democratic, for alderman of the 
fourth ward, but was again defeated. In 1900 
he was elected a member of the board of educa- 
tion and in this position he served three years and 
a half, when he was again nominated for mayor 
and was elected by a majority of two hundred 
and fifty-nine votes, being, as has been noted, 
the fourth Democrat to reach the position in the 
history of the city. But while active and zealous 
in political matters, his chief occupation has been 
promoting the business interests of the commu- 
nity, and in this he has been potential and success- 
ful in a high degree. He is a stockholder in the 
Kalamazoo Paper Box Company, the Puritan 
Corset Company, has been until recently first 
vice-president of the Board of Trade and has 
just been elected as its president. He is also con- 
nected with the Merchants' Publishing Company, 



232 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



the A. L. Lakey Company, handling paints and 
oils; the Kalamazoo Beet Sugar Company, the 
Lee Paper Company, of Vicksburg, Mich.; 
a director and member of the Excelsior Medicine 
Company, and a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the Kalamazoo Trust Company. Fra- 
ternally he is connected with the Knights of 
Pythias, holding the rank of past chancellor in 
Lodges No. 25 and 170, of which latter he was 
the founder. He also belongs to the order of 
Elks and is a trustee of the local lodge. In his 
own race he is president of the local Independent 
Order of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish fraternal society, 
and is past grand president of the order in district 
No. 6, and also secretary of the local congregation 
of B'nai Israel and director of the Cleveland Or- 
phan Asylum. In addition he has served during 
the last ten years as president of the Humane So- 
ciety. He was married in 1886 to Miss Jennie 
Friedman, of Kalamazoo, and has three sons. 

PHILIP SCHAU. 

Whatever may be said of the pursuit of agri- 
culture, its independence and freedom, its pleas- 
ures and profits, it is a life of toil and exaction, 
laying all the resources of him who follows it un- 
der steady tribute, and not always bringing in 
a recompense commensurate with the outlay of 
labor and care. And there are many well-to-do 
men engaged in it who would be well pleased to 
be relieved of its burdens, if, like the subject of 
this sketch, they could find an agreeable retire- 
ment in an interesting and busy city like Kalama- 
zoo, where all the activities of industrial and com- 
mercial life might engage them as lookers-on, 
without involving them in the stir and whirl as 
active participants. Mr. Schau has not, however, 
abandoned the field of energetic labor without 
having wrought his hours of duty, but has meas- 
ured time for many years with the busiest of men, 
and has reaped an abundant harvest from his dili- 
gence. Philip Schau comes from a sturdy Ger- 
man ancestry, being related on his father's side 
to Jacob Dorst, founder and proprietor of the 
Mansion House of Buffalo, N. Y., and on his 
mother's side to the Pfirrmann-Lugenbeel fami- 
lies. His grand-uncle, Philip Pfirrmann, served 



under Napoleon and was promoted for bravery 
on the field of battle to the rank of general, after 
which he was made commander of the provinces 
of Alsace and Loraine. His grandfather, David 
Pfirrmann, was a wine merchant, and owned the 
ancestral estates, consisting of large vineyards. 
Philip Schau was born in Cooper township of this 
county on June 24, 1885, an d is the son of Jacob 
and Catherine (Pfirrmann) Schau, natives of 
Germany, their lives having begun in that country 
on the banks of the historic Rhine, near the no 
less historic city of Heidelberg. Here has been 
the ancestral home of the family for many gen- 
erations, and its memory closely identified with 
the history of the old Fatherland. The father 
was a merchant and large land owner there, and 
the son of William Schau, a prominent man in 
the section and for twenty years mayor of the 
city. His son, the father of Philip Schau, re- 
mained in his native land and helped to manage 
a portion of his father's estate until 1853, when 
he brought his family, consisting of his wife and 
six sons, to this country. After passing nearly a 
year in New Yory city with his brother-in-law, 
he moved to Michigan, and joined another broth- 
er-in-law, who owned one thousand forty-seven 
acres of land in Cooper township, this county. On 
a portion of this land he settled, and in time 
cleared one hundred acres, making it his home for 
six years. He then moved two miles north on 
one hundred sixteen acres, where he lived for 
eight years. At the end of that time he sold this 
tract to his sons, Jacob and William Schau, and 
afterward bought a farm on the eastern side of 
the township on which he lived until his death in 
1898, at the age of eighty-one years. The 
mother died in 1892. Five of their sons are still 
living, and all but one are residents of this state. 
Their father was an active man in local affairs, 
and filled a number of offices, holding a high 
place in the confidence of the people as a man of 
strict integrity and great usefulness. He and his 
wife were members of the German Lutheran 
church. Their son Philip lived at home until he 
reached the age of seventeen, when he went to 
Cincinnati to complete his education at a select 
German school, and to take a course of instruc- 
tion in a business college. After leaving the lat- 



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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



235 



ter, he entered the business house of his uncle, 
with whom he remained more than a year. He 
then returned home, and during the next five 
vears had charge of his father's farm. During 
this period he invented a broadcast grain seeder, 
and in 1881 a wheel harrow, entering into part- 
nership with Julius Schuster, formerly of this 
city. Soon afterward he helped to organize the 
Wolverine Harrow Company of Kalamazoo, and 
for some years was one of its directors and its 
general manager. He next purchased a farm in 
Cooper township, which he operated until 1890, 
when he sold it and returned to the paternal 
homestead. This he purchased on the death of 
his father in 1898. In 1900 his wife died, and the 
next year he moved to Kalamazoo, where he has 
since resided, giving his attention to the affairs 
of the Schau tire setter, invented by his brother 
William, and in which company he has an in- 
terest. In politics he is a Democrat, and as such 
has been chosen for a number of local offices. He 
was married in 1882 to Miss Anna J. Travis, a 
daughter of Wellington and Abigail (Went- 
worth) Travis. Three children were born to 
them, all of whom are living, Philip L., Edith 
and Florence C. Their mother died in 1900, as 
has been stated. The father is a member of the 
First Methodist church, and is looked upon ev- 
erywhere as a model citizen, and one whose life 
has been very useful to the county and city. On 
the opposite page may be seen a splendid like- 
ness of this worthy man, who has worked so un- 
tiringly for the good of his state. 

LOYD NICHOLS. 

Tt is one of the glories of our country, and a 
great source of strength to it, that while its peo- 
ple are proverbially fond of peaceful industry, 
and give their attention almost wholly to the oper- 
ation and development of its productive and civil- 
izing potencies, when the occasion demands it they 
are at once transformed into determined warriors, 
with courage to assert and ability to maintain 
all their rights against all opposers. The citizen 
soldiery of the United States, drawn from the pur- 
suits of quiet and fruitful industries, and from the 
14 



forum, the sacred desk, the academic halls, and 
even the cloister, have never yielded finally to a 
foe in war, but have maintained the honor of 
the country against the trained veteran of other 
lands, whose trade was carnage, and in every 
contest of this character have established Ameri- 
can valor at a higher standard. When the Civil 
war tore the land asunder and arrayed the sec- 
tions against each other in deadly conflict, this 
element of the national character came forth in its 
loftiest development and most striking volume. 
Whether in that great deluge of death its citizens 
fought under the Star Spangled Banner or the 
Ronnie Blue Flag, they proved foemen worthy 
of any steel and gave the world an exhibition of 
valor and endurance that commanded universal 
admiration. In that war the subject of this re- 
view bore an honorable part and he still carries 
the marks of its fierceness. He was born in Alle- 
gany county, N. Y., on June 3, 1843, anc * is 
the son of Solon J. and Sophronia (Griffin) Nich- 
ols, natives also of that state and born in Franklin 
county. The father was a blacksmith and 
wrought at his trade industriously thirty years. 
In 1873 he moved to Kalamazoo, where he re- 
mained until 1884, then changed his residence to 
Topeka, Kan., and there his wife died in Jan- 
uary, 1893, and he on December 30, 1899, at tne 
age of ninety-four years. They had three sons 
and one daughter, all now deceased but two of 
the sons, Loyd and his brother Rollin. Loyd re- 
mained in his native county until he reached the 
age of eighteen, obtaining his education in the 
common schools and a two-year course at Rush- 
ford Academy there. In August, 1861, he en- 
listed for the defense of the Union in Company 
F, Eighty-fifth New York Infantry. The regi- 
ment became a part of the Army of the Potomac, 
and was almost constantly in active service. Mr. 
Nichols took part in the battles of Williamsburg 
and Fair Oaks, and at the latter was shot through 
the right elbow, which disabled him for farther 
service, and in August, 1862, he was discharged 
with the rank of first sergeant, to which he had 
risen by meritorious conduct. In 1865 he came 
to Michigan, and a year later moved to Kansas. 
He was a prosperous citizen of that state for a 



236 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



number of years, but suffering a serious accident 
there, he returned to this state in 1888, and has 
since then lived in Kalamazoo county. In the 
year of his return he was married to Miss Sophia 
Humphrey, a daughter of William J. and Elmira 
(Spear) Humphrey, the father a native of the 
state of New York and the mother of Vermont. 
Both were pioneers in the county, the father set- 
tling here in 1840 and the mother coming with her 
parents in 1833. On his arrival in the state the 
father located in Barry county on sixty-live acres 
of land, for which he had paid his brother-in-law 
two hundred dollars, money he earned before at- 
taining his majority. As there was no provision 
for his living on reaching his land, he found it 
necessary to go to Gull Corners, where he took 
supper with the family of Mr. Giddings and en- 
tered his employ. Soon after this he hired to a 
man named Jones for three years, receiving eleven 
dollars a month the first year and twelve the 
second. The summer following his term of ser- 
vice with Mr. Jones he worked a breaking-plow, 
and in the ensuing winter hired to* a Mr. Smith. 
This gentleman wished to rent his farm and Mr. 
Humphrey took it for two years. In 1847 ne 
bought one hundred and thirty acres of land of 
Judge Logan and the next year moved on this 
land, on which, with the assistance of Deacon 
Mason, he built a board shanty. Three months 
later he erected a frame dwelling, and in 1861 put 
up the one which now adorns the farm. In 1844, 
on March 13th, he was joined in marriage with 
Miss Elmira Spear, of Richland, who had come 
from Vermont, in 1833, to this county with her 
father, who died here in 1876. The Humphrey 
farm now comprises four hundred and twenty 
acres, and is one of the most valuable in the town- 
ship. Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey were the parents 
of five children, Elizabeth (deceased), George L. 
(deceased), Sophia, Franklin M. and Charles. 
The parents were devout Presbyterians. Mr. and 
Mrs. Nichols have two children, their daughter 
Ruth L. and their son Ray L. Their father has 
never taken an active part in politics and is not a 
partisan. He and his wife belong to the Presby- 
terian church, and are among its most zealous and 
useful members. With fidelity to duty in every 



line of life, showing an abiding and serviceable in- 
terest in the welfare of his community, and hold- 
ing out an open hand of help to all who need it 
and are worthy, Mr. Nichols is well deserving of 
the general esteem in which he is held as one of 
the leading and representative men of his town- 
ship. 

NORMAN S. WHITNEY. 

The story of the early settlers of this country, 
their sanguinary conflicts with the aborigines, 
their dangers from wild beasts and from the fury 
of the elements, against which they were so inade- 
quately provided, their want of the conveniences 
and often the necessaries of life, their difficulties 
and sufferings of every kind, and their heroic 
stand against them all, followed by their bold and 
rapid progress, first in material conquest over na- 
ture and its brood of hostile forces, and after- 
ward in all the forms of industrial, commercial, 
educational and refining greatness, all of which 
bred in them and stimulated a resolute indepen- 
dence and self-reliance that defied outside dicta- 
tion or control as well as internal peril, which 
thrilled the heart, called forth the sympathy and 
compelled the admiration of all the older world 
when our country was but a strip of land along 
the stormy Atlantic, has been so often repeated of 
other sections of the land, that it now awakens 
little more than passing interest. Yet it is every- 
where a record of heroism and stern endurance, 
as well as force of character, that is worthy of 
close and continued attention ; for in it is in- 
volved not only the subjugation of a new world 
to the uses and benefits of mankind, but the crea- 
tion and development of a new political system 
which recognizes enlightened public opinion as 
sovereign and relies on the moral forces engen- 
dered thereby. And when the story embodies a 
repetition of its salient features in several suc- 
ceeding generations, as it does in the case of the 
Whitney family to which the subject of this narra- 
tive belongs, it is many times multiplied in interest 
and importance. The American progenitor of 
this family was John Whitney, a native of Eng- 
land, who emigrated to America in 1635 and set- 
tled at Watertown, Mass., the same year. His 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



237 



descendants lived in that state several generations, 
diligent in labor, upright in manhood and zealous 
in patriotism in all the various walks of life, until 
when Lemuel Whitney, a deacon in the church 
and otherwise a man of local prominence, moved 
to Vermont, locating in Windsor county. He was 
a leader in the Revolutionary war, heading a party 
of volunteers who captured a gathering of Tories 
and stayed their destructive hands when they were 
about to burn Charlestown, N. H., and 
he afterward rendered valiant service in the 
colonial army. From him is descended the branch 
of the family to which Norman S. Whitney, of 
Richland Center, this county, belongs. He was 
born in Windsor county, Vt., on December 
28, 1836, and is the son of Norman K. and Mary 
R. (Pratt) Whitney, both natives of that state. 
The father was born in Springfield in 181 2, and 
married there on March 30, 1836. He was a ma- 
chinist and cast the first cast iron stove made in 
his native place. He also manufactured fine 
shears for shearing the nap off the cloth. He 
brought his family to Michigan in 1854 and took 
up his residence in Richland township, this 
county, where he worked on rented land ten 
years. In 1864 he moved to Calhoun county, and 
there bought a farm in Bedford township, on 
which his wife died in October, 1876, and he in 
1877. They had five sons and one daughter, all 
now deceased but three of the sons. Two of his 
sons were Union soldiers in the Civil war. One 
of them lost an arm and the other was killed in 
the service. Norman S: is the only member of 
the family living in Kalamazoo county. He grew 
to the age of eighteen in his native county, work- 
on the home farm and attending the district school 
in the neighborhood. In 1854 he accompanied his 
parents to this county, and after working with his 
father a few years, in 1862 bought his first farm. 
He lias been engaged in farming all his life so far 
and is still in active charge of a large body of 
land. At one time he was interested in a grain 
elevator at Richland, which he and George A. 
Knappen built and operated in partnership, but 
S1 nce disposing of his interest in that enterprise 
ne has devoted himself exclusively to farming. 
Carrying out the habit of the family of succeed- 



ing at whatever they undertake, he has prospered 
in his business and is one of the substantial citizens 
of his township. He takes an earnest and intelli- 
gent interest in local public affairs as a Republi- 
can, and has been rewarded for his zeal and wis- 
dom by being chosen to office time after time, 
serving as township supervisor for nine consecu- 
tive years and township treasurer two years. In 
the fraternal life of the community he is service- 
able as a member of the order of Odd Fellows. On 
September 3, 1861, he united in marriage with 
Miss Augusta Nevins, a native of Middlesex, 
Vt. She came to Kalamazoo county with her par- 
ents, Alfred and Cinthia Nevins, in 1844. They 
took up their residence in Richland township and 
there both parents died. They were also natives 
of Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Whitney have had 
four children: Mary, now deceased, who was 
Mrs. W. H. Bennett at the time of her death ; 
Rose, the wife of H. A. Lamb, of Belding, Mich. ; 
and Wilber C. and Emma N., who are living at 
home. It should be stated of Mr. Whitney's 
great-grandfather, Lemuel Whitney, that he man- 
ufactured saltpetre for the colonial army to make 
gunpowder with during the Revolution, and that 
he was a man of remarkable endurance and en- 
ergy, one proof of which he gave by walking 
from Springfield, Vt., to Spencer, Mass., a dis- 
tance of eighty miles, in one day. Mr. Whitney's 
grandfather was Cyrus Whitney, a native of 
Massachusetts and a farmer in Vermont, where 
he died. 

ORSON K. WHITLOCK. 

In time of war a valiant soldier in defense of 
his country, and after the restoration of peace, 
when the vast armies of the republic melted again 
into the masses of the people and took their places 
in the productive industries of the land a hardy 
and determined pioneer, waging against the 
hostile forces of nature the same quest he had 
helped to wage against the armed resistance to 
the established government, Orson K. Whitlock, 
an industrious and progressive farmer of Rich- 
land township, this county, met the requirements 
of his utmost duty in each domain of activity and 
won the approval of his associates in both. He 



238 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



was a native of Wayne county, N. Y., born on 
January 13, 1837, and the son of Samuel and 
Mary (Kelsey) Whitlock, also born in the Em- 
pire state. They moved to Michigan in 1839 and 
settled in Richland township, Kalamazoo county, 
on what is now known as the Bear farm, and 
which at that time was all wild land. On that 
place in 1846 the mother died and then the family 
was broken up and scattered. The father mar- 
ried a second wife in 1869 and moved to Iowa, 
where some years afterward he died. Five of his 
sons grew to manhood in this county and four of 
them were in the Union army during the Civil 
war, all in Michigan regiments. Orson was 
reared in this county, Cooper township, and soon 
after the death of his mother was bound out to 
service to Lewis Crane, with whom he lived until 
he came of age. Then he began working for 
himself by the month, and continued to do this 
until soon after the beginning of the war, when he 
enlisted in the Nineteenth Michigan Infantry, 
Company F. His regiment was one of the fight- 
ing ones in the momentous conflict and he saw 
active service almost all of the time while he was 
in the army. At the close of the long and try- 
ing struggle he returned to his Michigan home 
broken in health and largely incapacitated for 
active work. But he resolutely resumed his farm- 
ing operations and continued them until his death, 
on February 2, 1886, giving close attention and 
the best energies at his command to his work and 
making them tell to his advantage. His farm was 
well tilled and in improvement was kept in good 
condition and steady progress. On October 19, 
1870, he was married to Miss Nancy Hitchcock, 
a native of Schuyler county, N. Y., who came to 
Michigan in early life with one of her uncles. 
They had one child, their son James B. Whitlock, 
who was born on May 11, 1877. His life from 
the age of nine to that of nineteen was passed in 
the state of New York, and there, he obtained his 
education and training for life's duties. Since the 
death of his father he has managed the home 
farm, and it can be truthfully said, to his credit, 
that he has kept pace with the march of improve- 
ment in his vocation and continued on the place 
the> spirit of vigorous husbandry and advance- 



ment which his father inaugurated. On Decem- 
ber 12, 1900, he united in marriage with Miss 
Electra Crane, a sister of Jay Crane, of Cooper 
township, a sketch of whom will be found on an- 
other page. Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock have one 
child, their daughter Helen M. The elder Whit- 
lock was a Republican in politics, as is his son, 
and belonged to the order of Odd Fellows. The 
family is one of the oldest, best known and most 
generally respected in the township, and is well 
and favorably known in other parts of the county 
and the neighboring country. 

HENRY KNAPPEN. 

The late Henry Knappen, who died in Rich- 
land township, this county, on January 2, 1862, 
was a well-known and progressive farmer of the 
township for many years, and was reared from 
the age of thirteen on the farm on which he 
passed the remainder of his life. He was born at 
Sudbury, Vt., in 1820, and was the son of Mason 
and Clarissa (Hutchison) Knappen, who were 
born and grew to maturity in Vermont. The 
father was a Congregational minister and fol- 
lowed his sacred calling in his native state until 
1833, when he moved his family to this county, 
making the journey from his New England home 
with teams through Canada to Detroit and from 
there to Gull Prairie, where he entered a tract of 
four hundred acres of government land in Rich- 
land township, which is now owned by his grand- 
sons, Eugene F. and George A. It need scarcely 
be said that at the early day of his arrival in this 
part of the country it was almost wholly unset- 
tled and the land he entered was a virgin forest of 
heavy growth. He at once began to clear his 
land and built a log cabin for a dwelling. But 
while devoting himself with ardor and continuous 
industry to the improvement and cultivation of 
his farm, he also found time for much missionary 
and other ministerial work among the early set- 
tlers. He lived on the farm until his death in 
1862, having survived his wife but six weeks. 
She was his third wife and the mother of the sub- 
ject of this review. There were nine children in 
his family, two of whom are yet living, Mrs. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



239 



Stellman Jackson, of Richland, and Rev. A. A. 
Knappen, of Albion, this state, the latter being 
the father of Frank Knappen, of Kalamazoo (s'ee 
sketh of him on another page). Henry Knappen 
being about thirteen when he became a resident of 
Michigan, was at an age when he could appreciate 
the romance of his adventurous situation in a 
remote wilderness, wherein men, beasts and even 
nature herself seemed armed against him, for the 
red man was still present in numbers and wild 
beasts abounded in the forest around him, often 
threatening the lives of the family at the very 
threshold of their humble and inconvenient 
dwelling. He had also the New England spirit 
of daring and self-reliance, and while the wild 
life to which he had come gave him pleasure, its 
dangers did not appall nor its toils dishearten 
him. He entered with ardor on his appointed 
sphere, and gave abundant proof of his ability to 
cope with difficulties and endure privations in his 
efficient help in clearing the farm and submitting 
to the hard conditions the frontier laid upon him. 
Deprived of the advantages of good and regular 
schooling, he made the most of the primitive facil- 
ities at hand for his education in the little log 
schoolhouse of the time, acquiring practical 
knowledge for his future use in the vocation he 
had chosen and to which he devoted all his subse- 
quent years, the cultivation of the soil. When 
his father retired from its active labors and con- 
trol he assumed charge of the farm, and he man- 
aged its operations until his death, continuing the 
improvements his father had begun, enlarging its 
productive acreage and raising its value steadily 
all the time. He was married on March 17, 1844, 
to Miss.Theoda Spaulding, a native of Tenbridge, 
Vt., the daughter of Charles W. and Lucinda 
(Gilky) Spaulding, who were born in Vermont 
and moved to Michigan in 1832 as pioneers. 
They located on Climax Prairie, and three years 
later moved to Barry county, where they died 
many years afterward. Mr. and Mrs. Knappen 
had four children, all sons. Two of them died in 
childhood and Eugene F. and George A. are liv- 
n \g, as is their mother. Their father was a Re- 
publican and filled a number of local offices from 
time to time, among them that of township super- 



visor. He was a member of the order of Odd 
Fellows, in whose work he took an unbroken and 
useful interest. 

Eugene F. Knappen, the younger of the two 
living sons of the family, was born on the home 
farm on June 12, 1853, an( * was reared to habits 
of serviceable industry amid its exacting labors. 
He was educated in the district schools and at 
Olivet College. Taught in his early years to 
look upon the homestead as the scene of his fu- 
ture activity, he took an abiding interest in its 
management and development, and after the death 
of his father he and his brother George became its 
owners and the conductors of all its interests. 
They farmed the place jointly for a number of 
years, then divided it between them, each taking 
charge of his portion. Eugene lived on his part 
until 1892, when he moved to Richland Center 
and started the feed, provision, live stock and 
grain business which he is now carrying on. He 
was married in 1874 to Miss Elizabeth Brown, a 
daughter of Charles D. Brown, one of the first 
settlers at Richland. They have three children, 
Henry E., who is living on his father's farm, and 
Theresa Theoda and Charles B., who are at 
home. Their father is an active Republican and 
has for some years been chairman of the county 
central committee of his party. He is widely 
known in business and political circles, and is uni- 
versally respected by all classes of the people of 
his county. 

NORMAN C. JEWETT. 

This scion of old Puritan families who sought 
religious freedom on the inhospitable shore of 
New England in the early colonial times, braving 
the fury of the elements and all the hostility of 
untamed nature in man and beast and climate, 
rather than the rage of intolerance under the 
guise and armed with the weapons of civiliza- 
tion, and in the new world established themselves 
and founded households from which widening 
streams of benefaction have flowed forth to en- 
hance the worth and augment the power of every 
line of useful activity among men, was born in 
Bennington county, Vt., on September 1, 1836. 



240 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



His parents, William N. and Serepta (Bennett) 
Jewett, were also natives of Bennington county, 
Vt., the father having been born in the same house 
as the son, it being the family home for genera- 
tions. The father was a shoemaker and wrought 
at his trade to the end of his days. He moved to 
Kalamazoo county in 1857 an ^ located at Rich- 
land, where he kept a hotel a number of years, 
then turned to his trade again and worked at that 
until his death in 1874. His wife survived him 
three years and died in 1877. They had a family 
of four sons and four daughters, all of whom are 
now dead but three of the sons, Norman C, 
George W. and Samuel P. One of the sons, Ed- 
ward M., was a sharpshooter in the Union army 
during the Civil war, attached to the Thirteenth 
Michigan Infantry, and died in the service at 
Port Hudson in 1863. The boyhood and youth 
of Norman were passed in Vermont, Illinois and 
Massachusetts. In the state last named he learned 
the trade of a carpenter. He worked at this 
some years in Chicago and other parts of the 
West, and for a time in this county. He then 
turned his attention to farming, and this has been 
his occupation ever since. In all the lines of ac- 
tive work which he has followed he has succeeded 
in making an advance in his financial condition 
and a good record for industry and capacity. 
The houses he helped to build here and elsewhere 
stand to his credit as a cunning craftsman and 
his farm is a silent but eloquent and convincing 
witness to his sagacity, diligence and enterprise 
as a cultivator of the soil, and his knowledge of 
the requirements of a comfortable and desirable 
home. In February, 1867, he united in marriage 
with Miss Almyra Buell, a daughter of Josiah 
Buell, one of the honored pioneers of this county. 
Josiah Bell was born in New Hampshire in 
1802. He moved with his parents when quite 
young to western New York and there grew to 
manhood. He came to Michigan when a young 
man and bought an unimproved tract of land 
adjoining the present village of Richland, then 
known as Gull Corners. This farm he improved 
and lived on until his death in 1885. He was 
three times married, first to Elmira Brown, who 
lived but one year. He then married Sylvia John- 



ston, who bore him two children, Mrs. Jewett 
and Homer Buell. She died in 1857, and he 
then married Adeline Manchester, of New York 
state. She bore two children, Addie M., now 
Mrs. T. H. Etter, of this township, and Viola N., 
now dead. His last wife died in 1899. Mr. 
Buell was a great worker in the Presby- 
terian church, and was a deacon for many 
years of the church at Richland. He was 
a Republican, but not an office seeker. Mr. 
and Mrs. Jewett have had seven children: 
Elmer B., who is a chemist in West Virginia; 
Nelson J., who lives in Canada; Harry M., who 
is a resident of Cleveland, Ohio; Ralph N., who 
is a mining engineer; Dwight C, who has his 
home in Kalamazoo; Ray, who was drowned in 
Gull Lake; and Esther, who is living at home 
with her parents. Mr. Jewett is a Republican in 
politics and has been a justice of the peace for 
many years. He belongs to the order of Odd Fel- 
lows and he and his wife are members of the 
Presbyterian church. In municipal affairs he has 
long been prominent, serving as president of the 
village and in other positions of importance to the 
community, and filling all stations with credit to 
himself and profit to the people. 

JOHN F. GILKEY. 

The Gilkeys, who, father and sons, have been 
residents of Richland township almost from 
its first settlement, are sprung from old 
colonial families and of Scotch descent. The 
American progenitor of the family was John Gil- 
key, who settled in Waldo county, Maine, in 1750, 
and built a house near what is now known as 
Gilkey's Harbor. This was so well constructed 
that in spite of the storms of more than one hun- 
dred and fifty years, and the natural decay of ma- 
terial substances in that length of time it is still 
standing and in a good state of preservation. He 
had seven sons and three daughters' who, in the 
course of time, located in various parts of the 
neighboring states, New Hampshire and Vermont, 
one son, bearing the same name as his father, tak- 
ing up his residence in the latter state and be- 
coming the grandfather of the subject of this 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



241 



brief memoir. This, the second John Gilkey, 
and his son were farmers in Windsor county, 
Vt., and it was from there that John F. Gil- 
key came to Michigan in 1832 and bought land 
in Richland township, this county, his purchase 
being yet a part of the family estate. Soon after 
his settlement here his parents and his two broth- 
ers, William Young and Charles Gilkey, followed 
him hither and became permanent residents of the 
county. With New England thrift and energy, 
Mr. Gilkey cleared and improved his farm, and 
with true American patriotism he took an ac- 
tive part in the development of the new region and 
the establishment and administration of its gov- 
ernment. He prospered by reason of his con- 
tinued and well-appplied industry, and his force 
of character gave him a potent voice in reference 
to all public affairs in the township and made him 
one of its leading citizens. In February, 1840, he 
married with Miss Mary M. Lovell, a daughter 
of Willard and Zerviah (Taft) Lovell, natives, 
respectively, of Vermont and Massachusetts, and 
sister of Dr. Lafayette W. and Enos T. Lovell, 
distinguished citizens of Climax township. She 
died in 1857, leaving four sons, Edgar W., Pat- 
rick H., George L. and Julian F., all of whom 
are yet living but Edgar W., who died a few 
years ago after a career of more than ordinary in- 
terest and success in farming and mercantile life. 
Like both their parents, the sons all grew to un- 
usual height, each being over six feet tall. Their 
father was not an active politician, but through 
life took enough interest in political affairs to dis- 
charge his duty as a citizen, voting with the Whig 
party until its death and with Republicans ever 
afterward. Some years after the death of his first 
wife he was married to Mrs. Fonda, a widow, 
who died before he did, his death occurring in 
l &77- When he passed away he owned valuable 
property in several localities in addition to his 
home farm, leaving to his children a comfortable 
estate as well as an unblemished name, and a rec- 
ord of great public and private usefulness. 

Patrick H. Gilkey, the oldest living son of 
John F. Gilkey, and for many years the leading 
merchant of the village of Richland, was born 
in the township of his present residence on No- 



vember 15, 1843. He received a good scholastic 
and business education, attending the common 
schools and Prairie Seminary for the first and 
Eastman Business College at P.oughkeepsie, N. 
Y., for the latter, being graduated from this 
institution in 1865. On October 13, 1869, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Adella Parker, a na- 
tive of this county, where her parents, Amasa S. 
and Celestia C. (Barnes) Parker, the former born 
at Washington, Litchfield county, Conn., in 
1805, an d the latter at Camden, N. Y., in 
181 3. The father came to Michigan in 1830, and 
for a time thereafter he taught school at Beards- 
ley's Prairie, Van Buren county. In June, 1834, 
he was married to Miss Celestia C. Barnes, who 
taught one of the first schools in Richland town- 
ship, and her father built the first mill at York- 
ville at the outlet of Gull Lake. Early in 1832 
Mr. Parker bought the first land sold in Barry 
county, and located a farm there on what was 
then known as Garden Prairie. After his mar- 
riage he settled on this land and made his home 
there until 1850. He then moved to a farm which 
he had bought in Richland township, this county, 
and lived on that until 1865, improving it to 
great value and high fertility. In the year last 
named he bought another farm one-half mile west 
of the Presbyterian church, on which he lived un- 
til his death on September 14, 1878. In 1834 he 
and his wife joined the Presbyterian church, and 
for thirty years he was its ruling elder. His wife 
survived him a number of years and died in 1898. 
They had two sons and three daughters, who sur- 
vived them both and are yet living, with good 
standing in society and a general public esteem. 
Patrick H. Gilkey began his mercantile career 
at Richland in 1878, being a farmer until then. 
He was first in partnership with G. M. Evers, un- 
der the firm name of G. M. Evers & Company, 
and after the dissolution of this partnership he 
was with a Mr. Parker and others, the firm doing 
an extensive and profitable business under the 
style of Parker & Gilkey. They were associated 
until 1886, and after that time Mr. Gilkey car- 
ried on the business alone until 1903, when he 
sold out and retired from active pursuits. In 
addition to his mercantile interests he has long 



242 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



owned a valuable stock farm in Richland town- 
ship, and for many years he was engaged in rais- 
ing fine trotting horses of superior breeds, having 
at the head of his stud the noted stallion "Bay 
Ambassador/' sired by "Ambassador," with a 
record of 2 :2i 1-4, and sired by the famous 
"George Wilkes." The dam of "Bay Ambassador" 
was by "Masterlode," the sire of twenty-four 
colts whose records were 2 130 and under. A few 
years ago Mr.Gilkey disposed of his stud and quit 
the raising of horses. He is now living- quietly 
in the enjoyment of an ample fortune and the uni- 
versal esteem of the people of his county, which 
is freely accorded to him on his merits as an ex- 
cellent citizen and genial and accomplished gen- 
tleman. He is a director of the Union Bank of 
Richland and a stockholder in the Kalamazoo Na- 
tional Bank, the Kalamazoo Paper Company and 
the Phelps & Bigelow Wind Mill Company of 
Kalamazoo. In politics he is an ardent and in- 
fluential Democrat, one of the leaders of his party 
in the county and one of its most effective work- 
ers. He has frequently been its candidate for of- 
fices of trust and honor, and although each time 
leading a forlorn hope, he has nevertheless made 
a most vigorous and striking campaign in behalf 
of his cause. In business, in politics and in pri- 
vate life he has lived to a lofty ideal of manhood 
and citizenship, and is well worthy of the good 
opinion of his fellow men which he so abundantly 
has. 

BUSH & PATERSON. 

This old and well esteemed firm, which was 
one of the pioneer firms in construction work in 
Kalamazoo and concerned in much of the build- 
ing in the early history of the place, furnished an 
impressive illustration of the value of harmony 
as well as enterprise in business. The partners 
were associated in their business for a period of 
thirty-six years, and during the whole of that 
time they kept but one pocketbook between them 
and shared their profits and losses equally, with- 
out ever having a word of disagreement over 
anything. For some years after they began oper- 
ations they were obliged to take the pay for their 
work in trade and merchandise, cash being scarce 
in the community. The partnership was started 



in May, 1856, and while it prospered from the 
start the first cash job it did was the erection of 
the first fair buildings in 1859 on the ground 
where "Flora Temple" made her great record as a 
trotter. Mr. Bush was born in England and 
when he was about five years old the family came 
to this country and located in Orange county, N. 
Y., but three years later, or in 1840, Mr. Bush, 
then a lad of eight, was brought to Kalamazoo by 
Mr. Tomlinson, who was in business in that city, 
and with whom he remained about three years. 
He was then apprenticed to the trade of a carpen- 
ter under the direction of A. Kneer, and he re- 
mained with him until 1848. In that year he re- 
turned to New York city and there was employed 
at his trade a number of years, helping to build 
the St. Nicholas Hotel and other imposing struc- 
tures. After this hotel was completed he passed 
a year in it as clerk, and in 1855 came again to 
Kalamazoo, and the next May induced Mr. Pater- 
son, whom he had met in New York, to join him 
in business here. They put up B. M. Austin's 
house, on the hill, the first year, and then built a 
small shop for themselves on North Burdick 
street where they remained three years. They 
were busily occupied all the time, erecting most 
of the principal buildings in those days. The part- 
nership lasted until the death of Mr. Bush in 
1892, and since then Mr. Paterson has retired. 
Mr. Bush was married in 1857 to Miss Louisa 
Hines, a native of this county. They had three 
children, Frank, born in 1859, Benjamin born in 
t86t, and another who died in infancy. In 1869 
the firm built the present jail and also remodeled 
the old court house. In 1867 they added a plan- 
ing mill to their plant and began the manufacture 
of legs for billiard tables, which they continued 
fivt years. Then they added a factory for making 
sash, doors and blinds and a general lumber and 
building material trade. The academy was erected 
by a stock company which could not run it suc- 
cessfully, and Messrs. Bush & Paterson pur- 
chased the building, which is now owned by Mr. 
Bush's son Benjamin, and managed by him. Mr. 
Bush always took an active part in pushing for- 
ward the progress of the city and the surround- 
ing country. He was one of the early promoters 
and most diligent spirits in building the Chicago, 



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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



245 



Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railroad, and served as its 
president until his death. He was a stockholder 
in the Michigan National Bank, and the firm was 
interested i'n the old cement plant and operated it 
for a number of years. In political faith Mr. 
Bush was a Republican and gave earnest attention 
to public local affairs, serving as village trustee 
before the incorporation of the city, and at the 
time of his death was mayor. He was on all sides 
considered one of Kalamazoo's best and most 
progressive citizens, and when his long record 
of public and private usefulness was ended, he was 
laid to rest with every demonstration of popular 
esteem and good will. 

Thomas Paterson, the senior member of the 
firm, was born in the city of New York in 1828. 
His parents were Scotch by nativity and emi- 
grated to this country about the year 181 6. The 
father was a machinist and died of the cholera 
in New York in 1832, when the son was but four 
years old. The mother survived him some years 
and also died in New York. Their son Thomas 
was educated in the public schools of his native 
city, and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to 
a carpenter to learn the trade, being bound to it 
until he reached his legal majority. He wrought 
at his craft in New York' until 1856, when he 
joined Mr. Bush in Kalamazoo, and from then 
until the death of the latter they were associated 
and had everything in common between them. 
Mr. Paterson never married. He has been a life- 
long Democrat in political allegiance, but has not 
sought or desired public office. Since Mr. Bush's 
death he has lived retired from active pursuits, 
secure in the possession of a competence and en- 
joying in a marked degree the confidence and 
regard of the whole community. 

THE KING PAPER COMPANY. 

This highly appreciated industry is under the 
direction of a stock company formed in 1901 with 
a capital stock of one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars. The men who organized the company 
were F. M. Rowley (now deceased), L. M. Gates, 
A. B. Sheid, J. K. King, George O. Comfort, 
Arthur Pratt, George B. Davis (also deceased) 



and Charles B. Hays, the last named being the 
principal promoter of the enterprise and its finan- 
cier. The first officers were Arthur Pratt, presi- 
dent, George O. Comfort, vice-president, August 
Sheid, secretary, and John K. King, superintend- 
ent. The plant was erected in 1902 with a capacity 
of thirty tons a day and now employs one hundred 
fifty to two hundred hands. A general line of 
book and bond papers are made and sold all 
over this country and in parts of Europe and other 
foreign lands. The progress of the business from 
the start has been steady and the company has 
lost no ground that it has once occupied. Its 
product is well known to the stationery trade in 
several parts of the world and is highly esteemed 
wherever it is known. The president of the com- 
pany, Arthur Pratt, who has long been one of the 
most prominent and successful business men of 
the city, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He came 
to Kalamazoo in his boyhood, and here he grew 
to manhood and received his education. His rise 
in business was rapid and he was recognized as a 
potential business factor from the time of his en- 
try into commercial life. He is a director of the 
First National Bank, and is also the owner of the 
Pratt block. He has devoted his time mainly to 
his mercantile interests, eschewing political con- 
tentions and never indulging an ambition for pub- 
lic office. At the same time he has shown on all 
occasions a deep and intelligent interest in the 
progress of the city and the enduring welfare of 
its people. Finding his bent early in life, he never 
lost the realization that his best opportunity for 
serving the general weal was in the line of busi- 
ness, and with this view ever in his mind, he has 
been quick to sell and alert to grasp the chances 
that have come his way for his form of usefulness, 
then he has used his opportunities with vigor, in- 
dustry and breadth of view. He is one of the 
men, invaluable in any community, who have the 
capacity and the disposition to build up great en- 
terprises and carry them on with wisdom and suc- 
cess ; and he has won the guerdon of his worth 
and ability, of his energy and constancy of pur- 
pose, in the general regard and good will of his 
fellow 7 citizens and their high appreciation of his 
services to the city and county. 



246 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



FREDERICK SHAY. 

Whatever value we may attach to manufactur- 
ing and commercial industries, and we can 
scarcely estimate them too highly, there is no in- 
terest or source of production that can surpass 
agriculture in importance to a great country of 
boundless domain like ours, wherein all climates 
and their products are to be found, and the great 
mass of the people are engaged in bringing forth 
the fruits of the soil and placing them in the 
channels of trade and enterprise. The earth is the 
source and sustenance of all animal life, and with- 
out its yield in abundant measure all forms of 
human enterprise would languish and die. More- 
over, the vocation of the farmer is steadily be- 
coming more and more an intellectual and expan- 
sive one, and the genius of improvement, through 
the application of the truths of science to the 
daily economies of life, is all the while elevating 
it in tone, broadening it in scope and enlarging 
it in function and usefulness and at the same time 
raising the man who follows it to the position he 
may and should occupy, that of the master of the 
elements, commanding them and their forces to 
his service, instead of being as he long has been 
through ignorance and imperfection their slave, 
and bowing obediently to their destructive will. In 
this class of useful producers and progressive 
workers is found Frederick Shay, of Richland 
township, this county, who by close attention to 
every element of advancement in his chosen line 
of activity has become a model farmer and is giv- 
ing an example of high worth to others who as- 
pire to excellence in the same pursuit. Mr. Shay 
is a native of this state, born in Allegan county 
on April to, 1844, and the son of Harrison and 
Mary (Patterson) Shay, the former born in the 
state of New York and the latter in Virginia. The 
father was a fanner and came to Michigan in the 
'30s, locating in Allegan county among its early 
settlers, and there passing the remainder of his 
days, dying on the farm which he redeemed from 
the wilderness and improved to fruitfulness and 
value, as did his wife, after long years of useful- 
ness. They had four sons and three daughters, 
and five of their children are living. Frederick 



was reared and educated in his native county with 
the experiences common to country boys in a 
new section, working industriously on the farm in 
proper seasons and finding recreation as well as 
profit in the neighboring district school at other 
times. On August 8, 1862, when he was not yet 
nineteen, he obeyed the agonizing call for volun- 
teers to defend the Union against its armed assail- 
ants, and enlisted in Company D. Seventeenth 
Michigan Infantry. His regiment was assigned 
to the Ninth Corps in the Army of the Potomac, 
and found full use for all its valor and endurance 
in that great fighting organization. It took part 
in many bloody battles, the most important at that 
period being those of South Mountain and Antie- 
tam in Maryland and Fredericksburg in Virginia. 
Soon after the last named it was transferred to 
Newport News and from there to Kentucky, and 
after rendering good service to the cause of the 
Union in that state, was sent to join General 
Grant before Vicksburg, The fall of that city re- 
leased the command from duty there and it was 
sent in pursuit of General Johnston through 
Mississippi, overtaking and engaging him in bat- 
tle at Jackson, that state. Thereafter its service 
was in Kentucky and eastern Tennessee for a 
time, and at the end of that campaign it was again 
attached to the Army of the Potomac, having first, 
however, helped to fight the battle of Knoxville. 
After again reaching the center of the war storm 
the regiment suffered heavily in that deluge of 
death, the seven days' battle of the Wilderness, 
and again at Spottsylvania Courthouse, where Mr. 
Shay and ninety-seven other members of it were 
taken prisoners on May 12th. They were sent to 
Andersonville, where Mr. Shay was confined un- 
til . the following September, then transferred to 
Florence, North Carolinia, from there to Wil- 
mington, to Goldsboro, and back to Wilming- 
ton. At the last named he was exchanged on 
February 2, 1865, and was obliged, owing to his 
weakened condition, to lie in bed until March be- 
fore he was able to travel, weighing at the time 
less than 100 pounds. He was mustered out of 
the service in the ensuing June. His prison ex- 
perience of nine months was full of the utmost 
hardship, privation and cruelty, and cannot be re- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



247 



called to his mind now without horror. After his 
discharge from the army he located at Kalamazoo, 
and after working in that neighborood for some 
time, moved to Battle Creek, where he passed 
twelve years in the employ of the Nichols & 
Shepard Threshing Company. In 1886 he bought 
the farm on which he now lives and on which he 
has since made his home, devoting his energies to 
its improvement and proper cultivation. On May 
1, 1883, he was married to Miss Adeline Jickling, 
a daughter of Robert Jickling, a sketch of whom 
will be found on another page. They have one 
child, their son, Harry F. Shay, who was born on 
January 26, 1885. Mr. Shay is a Republican and 
has served as postmaster and school assessor of 
his township. In fraternal circles he is an active 
Freemason of the Knight Templar degree, belong- 
ing to the lodge at Richland and the chapter and 
commandery at Battle Creek. 

CHARLES BELL. 

The late Charles Bell, one of the leading mer- 
chants of Kalamazoo for many years, and one of 
its best known and most respected citizens, was 
born at Hadley, Mass., on October 24, 1814, the 
son of Reuben and Aletha (Smith) Bell. The 
father was of Scotch ancestry, was ja physician 
and surgeon, and died at Hadley, Mass., after a 
long, active and useful life in the industrious 
practice of his profession. His son Charles grew 
to manhood in his native town, and engaged in 
the manufacture of paper in Hadley for a few 
years, when the mill was destroyed by fire. He 
then went to New York city and engaged in mer- 
chandising in partnership with his brother, re- 
maining there and in business until 1857, when 
he came to Kalamazoo and, in partnership with 
Charles Gibbs, formed the firm of Gibbs & Bell 
for the purpose of carrying on a grocery trade. 
At the end of two years he bought Mr. Gibbs out 
and from then until 1881 conducted the business 
alone. Being then well advanced in years and 
having borne the heat and burden of his day in 
active effort and zealous attention to duty, acquir- 
ing a competence thereby, he retired from active 
pursuits and passed the brief remainder of his life 



in quiet enjoyment suited to his tastes, among his 
most satisfying pleasures being the manifestations 
of the esteem in which he was held by all classes 
of the people in the city. He died on September 
3, 1894, at the age of nearly eighty years. He 
was married in Kalamazoo on March 1, i860, to 
Miss Eliza Phillips, a native of England, who 
died on April 30, 1904. They had two sons and 
two daughters, and all are living but one son. 
Edward L., the living son, is now farming in 
Richland township. He was born in 1862 and 
received his education in the Kalamazoo public 
schools. After leaving school he went to farming 
in Portage township and remained there until 
1895. He then came to Kalamazoo and in 1899 
he moved to the farm he now occupies, and on 
which he is now living in Richland township, to 
the improvement and cultivation of which he has 
since devoted his energies. In 1889 he was mar- 
ried in this county to Miss Flora M. Snow, a 
native of Alamo township, the daughter of Ervin 
C. and Mary (Coshun) Snow, early settlers of 
that township. Mr. and Mrs. Bell have one 
daughter, Alta M. Mr. Bell has worthily fol- 
lowed in his father's footsteps in the uprightness 
of his life, the energy of his labor, the breadth of 
his views as to local affairs, and the general eleva- 
tion of his citizenship. Throughout the county 
he is well and favorably known, and in many lo- 
calities has hosts of cordial friends. 

THE CITIZENS' MUTUAL FIRE INSUR- 
ANCE COMPANY. 

This admirably managed and well supported 
company, which has been one of the bulwarks of 
the commercial and industrial interests of Kala- 
mazoo, and has saved the homes of hosts of the 
citizens for them, is now thirty years old, having 
been organized on January 26, 1874, and started 
business with one hundred thousand dollars of 
insurance already in force. Its original promo- 
ters and organizers were F. W. Curienius, Rob- 
ert S. Babcock, Homer O. Hitchcock, Martin 
Wilson, E. O. Humphrey, L. C. Chapin, Ben- 
jamin M. Austin, Hezekiah G. Wells, Henry 
Bishop, J. B. Wyckoff, James B. Cobb and Moses 



248 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Kingsley. The first officers were R. S. Babcock, 
president, and Moses Kingsley, secretary and 
treasurer. Mr. Babcock served as president until 
1878, when he was succeeded by Homer G. 
Wells, who served several years. He was fol-. 
lowed in the office by E. O. Humphrey, and at his 
death D. O. Roberts became president and served 
a short time, being succeeded by James B. Cobb, 
who continued as president until his death, and 
was succeeded by Otto Ihling, who is now filling 
the position, A. M. Stearns being the present 
vice-president. Mr. Kingsley served as secretary 
and treasurer until 1886, except the year 1884, D. 
T. Allen serving as secretary that year, when Mr. 
Kingsley was succeeded by the present incumbent 
of the office, George E. Curtiss. 

The company Has over one million, four hun- 
dred thousand dollars insurance in force, and has 
paid many thousands of dollars in losses to pol- 
icyholders. It carries policies both in this county 
and in Van Buren county, its patrons being resi- 
dents in all parts of each, and has been able to 
carry all risks at a rate of eighteen cents per hun- 
dred dollars. George E. Curtiss, the capable and 
obliging secretary and treasurer, was born in Liv- 
ingston county, N. Y., on May 26, 1831, and 
came to this state in 1836 with his parents, Me- 
ckel and Miranda C. (Thayer) Curtiss, who were 
natives of Connecticut. The father was a con- 
tractor and builder and followed his craft in his 
native state until 1836, when the family moved to 
Michigan, making the trip by way of the Erie 
canal to Buffalo, thence by steamer to Detroit, 
and from there with ox teams to Ypsilanti, con- 
suming two days in the journey from Detroit. 
For some years the parents were engaged in 
farming in Washtenaw county, then moved to 
Ypsilanti, where they died. Their son George 
reached manhood in Ypsilanti, and was educated 
there, attending the public schools and Ypsilanti 
Seminary. He learned the trade of a tinner, and 
for a short time was in business there as such. 
He then moved to Niles, this state, and entered 
the employ of the Michigan Central Railroad, in 
the freight department. After some years .of 
faithful service there he was made freight agent 
at Lake Station, serving two years and a half, 



being transferred to Kalamazoo in the same ca- 
pacity in 1864. Here he was in charge of the 
station for some time and was then made di- 
vision superintendent of the South Haven branch, 
a position which he held for a number of years. 
After leaving the railroad service he was in the 
bakery business in Kalamazoo until 1886, when 
he was elected to the position he now holds, as 
secretary and treasurer of this company. Mr. 
Curtiss was married at Rochester, N. Y., in 1854, 
to Miss Lydia C. Thompkins, a native of that 
state. They have two daughters and one son. 
As a Republican, Mr. Curtiss has taken an active 
part in public affairs, serving as supervisor eight 
years in the third ward. He belongs to the Ma- 
sonic order and the National Union, and is a 
member of the Baptist church. 

DR. HARRIS B. OSBORN. 

Dr. Harris B.Osborn,the leading physician of 
Kalamazoo and one of the most eminent in this 
part of the country, has seen active service in his 
profession amid the trying scenes of the Civil 
war, where "Carnage replenished her garner- 
house profound/' and also amid the peaceful pur- 
suits of productive labor after the awful ordeal 
of sectional strife was over, and thus through 
practical experience has acquired the skill and 
wide professional learning for which he is noted. 
He was born at Sherman, Chautauqua county, 
N. Y., on August 11, 1841 ; and while a man of 
peace himself, came of military ancestry on both 
sides of his family. He is the son of Piatt S. 
and Mary A. (Piatt) Osborn, both natives of 
New York state, as their progenitors were for 
several generations before them, they being born 
in Washington county, that state. The father 
was a country merchant and tanner, and was the 
son of David and Lucretia (Harris) Osborn, the 
former a merchant and a Revolutionary soldier, 
as was his father, David Osborn, who married 
Miss Mary Hunting in 1757. In the struggle 
for independence father and son served in a New 
York regiment, meeting the glittering steel and 
scarlet uniform of Great Britain's veteran sol- 
diery on many a hard- fought field, but escaping 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



249 



without wounds or other disaster except the hard- 
ships and privations incident to service in a hard- 
worked and ill-fed* army, whose very existence 
was at times at stake. The Doctor's maternal 
o-randfather, Joshua Harris, was also a soldier in 
the Revolution, and had previously fought in the 
French and Indian war. The father of the Doc- 
tor, following the example of his father and his 
grandfather, promptly enlisted in defense of his 
country in the war of 181 2, but the contest was 
ended before his company was called into active 
service in the field. He died in western New York, 
where he settled in 1805. He and his wife were 
the parents of ten children. The Doctor received 
his early education in the district schools of his 
native county, and about the year 1855 moved to 
Kane county, 111., where he continued his attend- 
ance at school and also sold goods on the road 
until i860. He then entered the medical depart- 
ment of the University of Michigan, having pre- 
viously read medicine for a time under the direc- 
tion of Dr. Samuel McNair. He remained at the 
university until the spring of 1862, then enlisted 
in the Union army as a member of the One Hun- 
dred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, Company 
G, entering the service as a private soldier. His 
first active service was in Sherman's corps in the 
Army of Tennessee. He took part in the battles 
at Arkansas Post, Haines' Bluff, and those on the 
Deer Creek expedition ; the battles of Grand Gulf, 
Champion Hills, Big Black and the campaigns 
around Vicksburg. On May 19, 1863, he was 
commissioned assistant surgeon and the next year 
post surgeon at Vicksburg, remaining in the 
service until 1866, and came out with the rank 
of major. At Chickasaw Bayou he was wounded 
by a shot that passed through his leg. The year 
1867 was passed by him at Bellevue Hospital in 
New' York, where he received a degree, and in 
1875 ne was graduated from the College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons in that city. During the 
next fourteen years he practiced in New York, 
and in 1881 he came to Kalamazoo, where he has 
since resided and been in active general practice. 
At the same time he has mingled freely in the 
commercial activities of the city and county and 
had an influential connection with their educa- 



tional and eleemosynary institutions. He is a di- 
rector of the Kalamazoo National Bank and a 
trustee of the Insane Asylum, appointed first by 
Governor Rich and re-appointed by Governor 
Bliss. In the organizations formed for the benefit 
of his profession and the increase of its useful- 
ness he takes a zealous and helpful interest, being 
an active member of the Kjalamazoo Medical 
Academy, the County, State and American Med- 
ical Societies and the Association of American 
Railway Surgeons. He is the surgeon at Kala- 
mazoo of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern 
Railroad, and in fact, wherever his profession 
has an important bearing on the city's interests 
he is to be found in a position of commanding 
prominence and influence. Politically the Doctor 
is a Republican, fraternally he is a devoted Free- 
mason, and in church affiliation is connected with 
the Congregational denomination. In 1878 he 
married with Miss Annette Ames, a native of 
Rutland, Vt. Professionally, politically, socially 
and in a business way meeting his obligations 
with all fidelity and with capacity and cheerful- 
ness, he is an ornament to the city of his adop- 
tion and an honor to American citizenship. 

DR. ALBERT B. CORNELL. 

Having been in the active practice of medicine 
and surgery in Kalamazoo for a period of thirty- 
five years, Dr. Albert B. Cornell is one of the old- 
est practitioners in the city, and he has been one 
of the most energetic and successful. He is a na- 
tive of the city, born on June 22, 1843. His par- 
ents were Joseph R. and Content M. (Babcock) 
Cornell, the former born in Boston, Mass., 
and the latter at South New Berlin, N. Y. 
The father was born in 1800, and received his 
early education in the schools of his native city. 
In his young manhood he removed to Brattleboro, 
Vt., where he read medicine and attended a 
medical college. After his graduation he began 
practicing at Clinton, N. Y., where he re- 
mained until 1841, then came to Kalamazoo, be- 
ing the fifth physician to arrive and locate in 
the city. Here he was diligent and constant in his 
practice until 1867, riding through this and ad- 



250 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



joining counties in all sorts of weather and at 
all times of the day and night. The life was full 
of toil and hardship, as is that of every active phy- 
sician in a new country, yet he gained from it 
vigor of body and elevation of spirit, and with all 
its drawbacks found a great deal of enjoyment in 
it. He rose to the first rank in his profession here 
and was held in the highest regard by all classes 
of the people. He had six sons who grew to 
manhood, Albert B. being the only one who be- 
came a physician. The grandfather, Nathaniel 
Cornell, was a sea captain, and after a long life 
of adventure in which he saw many countries and 
sailed all seas, he died in Massachusetts, his na- 
tive state. Dr. Albert Cornell secured his aca- 
demic education in the public schools and at Kala- 
mazoo College. He read medicine with Dr. 
Joseph Sill for a while, then entered Bellevue 
Hospital, New York, in 1867 an d was graduated 
in 1869 from the Hahnemann Medical College 
of Chicago. He at once began the practice of 
his profession at Kalamazoo and in the offices 
formerly occupied by his father ; and since then he 
has been continuously and energetically engaged 
in the practice, enlarging his operations until they 
cover a large extent of the country, and maintain- 
ing by his studious attention to the advanced 
thought of the profession and his skill in applying 
the results of his study and observation every foot 
of ground he gained by his close attention to busi- 
ness and his genial and obliging disposition. He is 
president of the Southwestern Homeopathic As- 
sociation and holds valued membership in the 
State Medical Society and the American Institute 
of Homeopathy. He has served the city two terms 
as health officer, and in the discharge of his official 
duties improved the sanitary conditions of large 
districts in the municipality. He is also surgeon 
for the Michigan Traction Company for Kalama- 
zoo. In 1877 he was married to Mrs. Sarah E. 
Mabee, a native of New York state. In church 
affiliation they are Presbyterians, and the Doctor 
is a zealous member of the Masonic order. In 
professional, in official and in private life he has 
borne himself in a worthy and manly manner and 
has won and holds the respect and regard of the 
entire community. 



WALTER HOEK. 

Our land of liberty, which has aptly been 
called the great charity of God to the human race, 
has furnished an asylum for many races and peo- 
ples, who have fled from the heavy hand of re- 
ligious persecution on their native soil, and 
among them no company of settlers who have 
sought freedom to worship God according to the 
dictates of their own consciences under our be- 
nign institutions, is entitled to a higher regard 
than the colony that came from Holland to Kala- 
mazoo in 1850. In this colony was the interest- 
ing subject of this review, who was then a boy 
of fourteen, having been born in southern Hol- 
land on October 25, 1836. He came to this coun- 
try with his parents, John and Martha (Hou- 
maeter) Hoek, who were also natives of southern 
Holland, where the father was a dyke builder. 
There he was associated for years with Paulus 
Den Bleyker (see sketch on another page) as his 
overseer, and also served in the same company 
with him in the war between Holland and Bel- 
gium. In this short, sharp and decisive contest 
he saw much active service, but escaped withtmt 
disaster. In 1850 he became one of the colonists 
that determined to leave their native land and 
seek the promised asylum from persecution in the 
United States. They numbered twenty-seven 
persons, men, women and children, and left Am- 
sterdam on August 15, 1850, in a sailing vessel 
for New York. Their passage across the Atlan- 
tic consumed thirty-six days, but was uneventful 
except for its length and tediousness. The colo- 
nists arrived at Kalamazoo on October 1st, and 
within a week thereafter a number of them died 
of the cholera, among the number being the fa- 
ther of Mr. Hoek. His death left his widow 
with four small children, Walter, aged thirteen, 
being the oldest. She was resolute and resource- 
ful, and found a way to provide a home for her- 
self and family and rear her children to useful- 
ness and credit. Her life ended in Kalamazoo, 
August 23, 1887. Walter began, as soon as he 
was able, to assist his mother in supporting the 
family. At an early age he was apprenticed to 
the trade of a wagonmaker, and for forty-five 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



251 



\ ears after completing his apprenticeship worked 
at the trade. Prior to entering upon his appren- 
ticeship, he wrought in various places in the city 
at different occupations, and in the surrounding 
country clearing up land for cultivation. He was 
employed for years by David Rurrell and by Bur- 
rell Brothers, and passed some time in business 
for himself. Being versatile, as well as persever- 
ing and industrious, he was successful from the 
start, and being long-headed, as well as handy, 
lie turned his attention to various lines of busi- 
ness activity and profit. He plotted Hoek's ad- 
dition to the city and sold a large number of lots 
for homes. Accepting with cheerfulness his des- 
tiny of toil and privation in his youth, he entered 
upon its requirements with alacrity, and met them 
with manliness, and made them subservient to his 
lasting good and substantial advancement. In 
1858 he was married to Miss Alice Vreg, like 
himself a native of Holland. She came to Kala- 
mazoo in 1849. They have had six children, of 
whom a daughter named Martha died and Anna 
M., Nellie, John, Margaret and Harry are liv- 
ing. In political faith Mr. Hoek is a pronounced 
Democrat and as such has served two terms as 
alderman from his ward. He was nominated for 
the legislature in 1904, but the entire ticket was 
defeated. He belongs to the Christian Reformed 
church, of which he has been an elder during the 
past twenty years. During the last twenty-five 
years he has been superintendent of its Sunday 
school. The high character and usefulness of 
his citizenship is universally conceded, and on all 
sides he is held in the highest esteem. 

MARTIN BACON 

After being actively engaged in farming in 
this county for a period of nearly fifty years, in 
which he aided in clearing the paternal home- 
stead and bringing it to a high state of cultiva- 
tion, and then pushed his operations forward on 
a widening plane of progress and improvement, 
Martin Bacon, one of the esteemed pioneers of 
the county, is living quietly in Kalamazoo, at his 
attractive and valuable home on Portage street, 
enjoying the calm and peaceful sunset of his life 
amid the hosts of friends who hold him in high 
appreciation for his integrity of character, his 



cheerfulness of disposition and his past useful- 
ness in this portion of the state. Mr. Bacon was 
born on February 28, 1826, in Lincolnshire, Eng- 
land, where his parents, John and Sarah (Crook- 
ston) Bacon, also first saw the light of this 
world. The father was a farmer and followed this 
occupation in his native land until April, 1851, 
when he brought his family, consisting of his 
wife and two sons, Martin and William, the lat- 
ter of whom is now deceased, to this country. 
After a residence of two years at Medina, Or- 
leans county, N. Y., they all came to Kalamazoo, 
making the journey by way of the Erie Canal to 
Buffalo, thence by steamer over Lake Erie to 
Detroit, and from there to Kalamazoo by way of 
the Michigan Central Railroad. They bought a 
tract of unbroken land in section 13, Portage 
township, comprising eighty acres, and this they 
cleared and cultivated many years, the mother 
dying on it in July, 1866, and the father on Au- 
gust 8, 1886. Their son Martin reached the age 
of twenty-five in his native land, and after leav- 
ing school worked as a shepherd on a farm there 
until leaving for the United States. He aided his 
father in clearing the new patrimony in this wil- 
derness, as it was when they came hither, and this 
valuable farm, which represents so much of his 
toil and trial through his earlier manhood, he 
still owns. But he had added to its dimensions 
until his place now embraces three hundred acres, 
nearly all of which is under advanced and vigor- 
ous cultivation. The farm is now worked and 
managed by his son David. Mr. Bacon was mar- 
ried in March, 1861, to Miss Luetina Harris, a 
native of this state. They had three children, two 
of whom are living, their sons Ellsworth M. and 
David H. Their mother died in 1885, and in 
1886 the father was married to Miss Lydia J. 
Snow, a native of Champaign county, Ohio. Her 
parents were early settlers at Kalamazoo. Mrs. 
Bacon died March 21, 1905. Mr. Bacon has been 
a Republican from the foundation of the party, 
having voted for its first presidential candidate, 
General Fremont, and for every one since him, 
but he has never consented to accept a political 
office of any kind. He belongs to the Methodist 
Episcopal church, of which he is a regular at- 
tendant and a liberal supporter. 



252 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



CONRAD MILLER. 

Since 1882 this* prominent and progressive 
business man has been closely connected with the 
commercial interests of Kalamazoo, and during 
all of the time has occupied an honored position 
among its citizens. He has conducted one of the 
leading wood and coal trades of the city, and has 
so conducted it as to win and hold the regard of 
the business world by his uprightness, fore- 
thought, progressive methods, and the high ideal 
which he has had ever before him as a business 
man and a citizen. He was the founder and is 
the president of the Miller, Ryder & Winterburn 
Company, a corporation organized in 1901 with 
a capital stock of fifteen thousand dollars. He was 
its first president, W. J. Ryder was vice-president 
and C. L. Miller was secretary and treasurer. Mr. 
Ryder retired from the company in 1903, at 
which time W. F. Winterburn was elected vice- 
president. The company conducts an extensive 
trade in wood, coal, flour and feed, and also runs 
a grist mill in connection with the establishment. 
Mr. Miller was born near Hamilton in the prov- 
ince of Ontario, Canada, in 1848. The family 
moved to New York state in his childhood, and 
in 1862 settled in Allegan county, this state, where, 
the parents were engaged in farming until the 
end of their lives. Their son Conrad grew to 
manhood in Michigan, and was educated in its 
public schools. He began life as a farmer in Van 
Buren county, clearing a good farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, which he still owns. He 
continued farming on this land until 1882, when 
he came to Kalamazoo and became a dealer in 
wood, the next year adding coal to his stock in 
trade, for a number of years carrying on the busi- 
ness alone. He then formed a partnership witii 
W. F. Winterburn in the feed business, and later 
one with W. J. Ryder in the wood and coal trade. 
Then in 1901 the stock company was formed 
which includes both of these firms. This busi- 
ness has prospered and increased greatly, and 
the company stands in the first ranks of Kalama- 
zoo's commercial enterprises. Mr. Miller is also 
a stockholder in the Kalamazoo Corset Company 
and the South Side Land Improvement Company. 



Although he has the interests of his city, county 
and state deep at heart, political contentions have 
never claimed his attention, his business inter- 
ests and his domestic life completely satisfying 
him. He was married in 1871 to Miss Grace Ma- 
son, a daughter of Cornelius Mason, and grand- 
daughter of Edwin Mason, one of the early set- 
tlers in this county. 

WILLIAM H. KESTER. 

Although born in this county, William H. 
Kester, of Richland township, was reared from 
childhood to manhood in the state of New York 
in the home of an uncle, and was trained for life's 
duties in an atmosphere somewhat different from 
that in which he was destined to live thereafter. 
But this fact did not make him less adaptable to 
a change of conditions. It rather broadened his 
vision and rendered his functions more flexible, 
and was therein of advantage to him and the peo- 
ple around him. His life began in Richland town- 
ship on March 14, 1857. His parents were Henry 
and Harriet (Bears) Kester, natives of Onon- 
daga county, N. Y., who moved to Kalamazoo 
county soon after their marriage, when all their 
hopes and aspirations pointed to a career of use- 
fulness and credit, and they wisely chose a new 
country in which to develop them. Here the con- 
ditions of life were crude and unartificial. A 
sparse population throws every person on his 
own resources, and the habit of supplying his 
own needs educates the body to wonderful per- 
formances and widens the mind to unsuspected 
possibilities. Moreover, close and continued com- 
munion with nature, undisturbed by the exactions 
and restraints of social life and its conventional 
claims, is in itself a fountain of inspiration and 
strength. And here in the wilderness Mr. Kes- 
ter's parents grew and flourished by their own 
efforts, winning a home from the waste and help- 
ing to build the region into fruitfulness and 
beauty. On their arrival in the county they 
bought a partially improved tract of land in Rich- 
land township which they developed into a good 
farm, and when their life's work was done they 
surrendered their trust on th<° place, which was at 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN: 



253 



once their product and their sustenance, the 
mother dying in 1862 and the father in 1864. 
Their son, who was their only child, was taken 
to their former home in New York and grew to 
manhood in the family and under the care of 
•hi uncle. After receiving his education and 
reaching his legal majority there, he returned to 
li is native place and bought a farm, on which he 
has lived ever since. It has been well improved 
l)\ him and carefully cultivated, and stands forth 
now to his credit as a work of merit wrought out 
bv his own industry and fidelity to duty. In 
1882 he was married to Miss Mary A. Peak, a 
native of Richland township, and the daughter of 
honored pioneers of the county. Two children 
are the fruit of the union, their daughter Hazel 
J', and their son Fred H. The parents belong to 
the Presbyterian church, and in its circles and 
throughout the township generally, they are 
highly respected. The father is a Democrat in 
political faith, and loyally supports his party in 
state and national affairs. But he is not an office 
seeker, and takes interest in local matters as a 
citizen, without regard to political considerations. 

DAVID R. CHANDLER. 

It was from the hardy yoemanry of New York 
and New England that southern Michigan was 
mainly settled and populated in its earlier history, 
and on its prolific soil the bold adventurers, who 
left all the comforts and blandishments of civiliza- 
tion behind them, produced a development, a com- 
mercial and industrial activity and fruitfulness, a 
social culture and an educational system in all re- 
spects equal and in many superior to that which 
they had abandoned for the wilderness. They were 
men of the serene and lofty faith which endures 
the burden and privation of the present while 
standing on tiptoe looking over the tides of time 
to see the on-coming glory of the far future. The 
subject of this article, while not among the first, 
was one of the early arrivals in this county, and 
came hither with his parents at the age of fifteen 
years, his young life crowded with the beautiful 
hopes and aspirations of youth, believing all 
things, trusting all things, and ready with daring 
15 



courage to ascend "the ladder leaning on the 
clouds.' ' That his vision was soon depoetized and 
he was made to realize that life in his new home 
was exacting and trying to the last degree, hap- 
pened soon enough to lead him to vigorous and 
determined industry, and yet not so effectually as 
to destroy his confidence in ultimate results or 
dampen his ardor in the effort to reach them. He 
took his place in the working force of the com- 
munity, and having put on the harness of honest 
toil then, he has worn it worthily and serviceably 
until now. Mr. Chandler was born in Onondaga 
county, X. Y., on December 2, 1834, and is 
the son of Michael and Fannie (Shepard) Chan- 
dler, the former a native of New York state and 
the latter of Connecticut. They brought their 
family to this county and settled on a tract of 
wild land in Richland township in 1849. O n that 
land, which had under his management assumed 
the comeliness of a cultivated farm and the com- 
forts of a good home, the father died during the 
Civil war. The mother survived him many years, 
dying on March to, 1892, in Richland township 
at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William > Si- 
mons, aged eighty years. Their son David grew 
to manhood on the paternal homestead and com- 
pleted in the country school in the neighborhood 
the education he had begun in his native state. He 
remained at home working with his father until 
the death of that worthy gentleman, and for a 
few years afterward managed the farm for his 
mother. On October 26, 1865, ne united in mar- 
riage with Miss Adeline J. Peake, the daughter of 
Ira and Sarah (Miller) Peake, early settlers in 
this county, and four years later they located on 
the farm of two hundred acres in Richland town- 
ship which was the home of the family until 
1900, when Mr. Chandler moved to the village of 
Richland, selling the farm in 1902. Mrs. Chandler 
died on June 28, 1881, leaving four children: 
Seth P., Hull N., Ruby A., now the wife of E. J. 
Read, of Richland, and Fannie L., now a trained 
nurse in Chicago. In 1895 the father contracted 
a second marriage, uniting him with Miss Emma 
J. Stetson, a daughter of Dr. Ezra Stetson, who 
became a resident of Galesburg in 1836, and was 
probably the first physician to locate in the county. 



254 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



He came from Otsego county, N. Y., having 
been graduated in the classical course at Hamilton 
College and read medicine at Cooperstown, that 
state. He rode horseback from Detroit to this 
county, and until 1855 he was actively engaged 
in the practice of his profession here. In that year 
he removed to Bureau county. 111., where he 
devoted his time to farming and raising Percheron 
horses of a high grade, and died in 1895, aged 
eighty-four years. He was married in this county 
to Miss Jane Miller, a daughter of Joseph Miller, 
one of the Richland township pioneers of 1834, 
and a native of Connecticut. The Doctor and 
Mrs. Stetson had five sons and one daughter, the 
daughter being Mrs. Chandler. All the sons are 
living but one. In politics Mr. Chandler is a pro- 
nounced Democrat. He has taken an earnest in- 
terest in township affairs and served the com- 
munity well as a justice of the peace eight years 
in succession. He has also held other local offices, 
and at all times has been foremost in advocacy and 
support of commendable undertakings for the 
benefit of the section. Fraternally he has long 
been a zealous member of the Masonic order. No 
citizen of the township has better deserved the re- 
gard and good will of his fellow men, and none 
has secured it in greater degree. 

THE GLOBE CASKET COMPANY. 

This active and fruitful manufactory was or- 
ganized and incorporated in 1870, and during the 
twenty-four years of its life it has given employ- 
ment to many men and kept in circulation in this 
city a vast amount of money. It has been man- 
aged with skill and enterprise, steadily gaining 
in patronage and widening the territory tribu- 
tary to its coffers, until it has the whole of this 
country for its market. As it was the first mer- 
cantile entity to make cloth-covered caskets in 
the world, so it has kept pace with the march of 
progress in the matter of its commodities, and 
offers now to the trade the best articles in its line 
to be found anywhere. The founders of the com- 
pany were O. M. Allen, W. B. Clarke and J. 
P. Woodbury. The patentees were M. F. Carder 
and Hosea Henika. In the course of a few years, 



the business passed into the hands of O. M. Allen, 
who owned it until 1887. Then the company was 
reorganized with a capital stock of fifty 
seven thousand five hundred dollars and the 
following officers : O. M. Allen, president ; 
R. D. McKinney, vice-president; George 
H. Henshaw, secretary; and J. Allen, 
treasurer. Mr. Allen continued as pres- 
ident until 1899, when he retired and Mr. McKin- 
ney succeeded him. At that time C. A. and Hor- 
ace Peck, Edward Woodbury, George A. Bar- 
deen and G. L. Gilkey became interested in the 
enterprise. The factory was erected in 1900, a 
building seventy by one hundred sixty-five feet, 
five stories high. The establishment employs one 
hundred persons and manufactures cloth-covered 
caskets, being the pioneer in these forms of bur- 
ial furniture and never losing the lead in the 
quality of its output. The products of the factory 
are shipped all over this country, and the busi- 
ness is constantly on the increase. R. D. McKin- 
ney, the president and general manager of the 
company, is a native of Hamilton, Ohio. He 
came with his parents to Michigan, and witli 
them he settled at Lawton, Van Buren county. 
His father was a Union soldier in the Civil war, 
serving in the Sixty-first Ohio Infantry ; and he 
had four brothers in the service on the same side. 
The elder McKinney was a quartermaster. The 
son, R. D. McKinney, reached manhood at Law- 
ton, and was educated in the public schools of 
that town, also attending Kalamazoo College one 
term. After leaving that institution he entered 
the employ of O. M. Allen in the casket factory, 
beginning his service there in 1881, and bein£ 
connected with the business continuously since 
then. Within his observation and by his aid the 
business has grown from a very small beginning 
to its present proportions, affording a strong 
proof that the American people are quick to see 
and diligent to use an article of sterling merit. 

Mr. McKinney is also a stockholder in the 
City National Bank. He is held in high regard 
in the mercantile world, and in the fraternal life 
of the community he is a Freemason of the 
Knights Templar degree and a Noble of the Mys- 
tic Shrine, and also as an Elk. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



255 



DR. J. L. W. YOUNG. 

Born on February 18, 1849, m tne upper end 
of the Shenandoah valley, Virginia, at a time 
when our country was rapidly preparing for the 
momentous Civil war which soon afterward 
plunged it into sanguinary strife and stifled all 
the productive energies of his section, Dr. J. L. 
\V. Young, of Kalamazoo, began life under un- 
favorable auspices which did not improve during 
his childhood and youth. He is the son of John 
K. and Mary M. (Shank) Young, also natives of 
Virginia. The father was a carpenter, and, fer- 
vent in his loyalty to his section, was among the 
first to enter the Confederate army at the begin- 
ning of hostilities, becoming a member of the 
Second Virginia Cavalry under command of Gen- 
eral Fitzhugh Lee. In that very active fighting or- 
ganization he had ample opportunity during the 
awful conflict of arms to see and experience all 
the horrors of the Civil war, and although he 
escaped death, wounds and captivity, he suffered 
great hardships, encountered great dangers and 
underwent great toil and privation. The Doctor 
was the only son born to his parents and remained 
in his native state until he reached the age of 
twenty years, securing his academic education in 
private schools there. In 1868 he entered the 
medical department of the State University of 
Michigan, and after passing two years in that in- 
stitution he completed his course of professional 
■raining at the Missouri Medical College in St. 
Louis, where he was graduated in 1871. In the 
meantime, in 1870, his parents had moved to 
M untie, Ind., and he began practicing his pro- 
fession in that state. But soon afterward changed 
his residence to Big Rapids, this state, and in 
1874 settled at Cooper, Kalamazoo county. Here 
he remained eight years, then moved to Lowell 
hi Kent county, where he passed ten years, all 
the while engaged in an active general practice. 
In the autumn of 1892 he became a resident of 
Kalamazoo, and in that city he has ever since lived 
and practiced. He is a member of the Kalamazoo 
Academy of Medicine and secretary of the Na- 
tional Practice Association. In 1872 he was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary E. Murdock, a native of Michi- 



gan. They have one child, their daughter Maud, 
wife of Colonel P. L. Abbey. The Doctor has 
given his whole time and energy to his profession, 
allowing nothing to come between him and it, and 
has built up a large and representative practice, 
numbering among its patrons many of the leading 
families of the community, and has also risen to 
a high rank in the estimation of his professional 
brethren and the public generally. 

H. CLAIR JACKSON. 

H. Clair Jackson, Esq., prosecuting attorney 
of Kalamazoo county, elected to the office as a 
Republican in the fall of 1902, is a native of Al- 
legan county, this state, born on January 3, 1871, 
and the son of Herbert L. and Emma J. (Heath) 
Jackson, the former born in Michigan, and the 
latter in the state of New York. After a life of 
usefulness as a progressive farmer, the father 
died in this county; the mother died December 
10, 1905. The paternal grandfather, Henry Jack- 
son, who was born and reared in Vermont, came 
to Michigan in about 1849, an d settled near Rich- 
land. He was prominent in the local affairs of 
his neighborhood, and while living in Allegan 
county, served on the board of supervisors. The 
prosecuting attorney was partially educated in 
the schools of Plainwell, being graduated at the 
high school there in 1889. Then for two years 
he clerked in the mercantile establishment of 
Bruen & Skinner, and at the end of that period 
entered Kalamazoo College, where he was gradu- 
ated in 1896, paying his way through the insti- 
tution by his own earnings. He began the study 
of law in the office of N. H. Stewart, and while 
engaged in the study was elected justice of the 
peace in 1898. He filled the office one year, then 
resigned and was admitted to the bar in 1899. 
Soon afterward he formed a partnership with A. 
S. Frost, which lasted until Mr. Jackson assumed 
charge of his present office on January 1, 1903. 
In political matters he gives an ardent and serv- 
iceable support to the principles of the Republican 
party. He served the organization two years as 
chairman of the third ward committee, and one 
year as president of the Republican Club of the 



256 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



county. He has also rendered good service to the 
community as secretary of the board of trustees 
of Kalamazoo College. While mingling freely in 
the social life of the community, in which he is al- 
ways a warmly welcomed addition to the best 
circles, and while taking his place with interest 
and zeal in all matters of public import touching 
its general welfare, in which his counsel is valued 
and his industry is of advantage, he devotes him- 
self chiefly to his profession as the matter of su- 
preme importance to him at this time, and in it 
he is winning his way with a safe and steady 
progress. On all sides he enjoys in a marked 
degree the regard and good will of his fellow 
men, and is worthy of their esteem. 

JUDGE LAWRENCE N. BURKE. 

This eminent citizen of Kalamazoo, the first 
judge of the municipal court of the city, and for 
many years a leading member of the bar, was 
born in county Tipperary, Ireland, on Novem- 
ber 7, 1850, and is the son of James and Johanna 
Burke, who were born and reared in the same 
county as himself. The mother died when the 
subject of this sketch was a mere child and the 
father emigrated to the United States about the 
year 1855, and settled near Syracuse, N. Y., 
where he died. The Judge grew to the 
age of nineteen in New York state, receiving a 
preliminary education in the common schools and 
attending a good academy at Homer, where he 
pursued a partial course of instruction. In 1869 
he became a resident of Kalamazoo and soon 
found employment in the asylum, where he 
worked two years. He then attended the Par- 
son's Business College, and at the end of his term 
in that institution entered the law office of J. W. 
Breese as a student. Soon after his admission to 
the bar he formed a partnership with Judge W. 
W. Peck, which lasted three years. At the end 
of that period the state of his health obliged him 
to seek a milder climate and he spent a year in the 
South. He was admitted to practice in 1873 anc ^ 
after his return from the South opened an office 
by himself, and he has been alone in the practice 
ever since. In 1884 ne was elected judge of the 



recorder's court, serving a term of four years. In 
1 89 1 and 1892 he was prosecuting attorney, and 
later for three years was city attorney of Kala- 
mazoo. He has always been in an active general 
practice except when he was on the bench, and 
has achieved success and prominence in his pro- 
fession, being accounted one of the leading law- 
yers and most representative citizens of the 
county. He was married at Kalamazoo, in 1877, 
to Mrs. Mary Webster, of Detroit, by whom he 
had two sons and one daughter, the sons being 
now residents of St. Louis. The mother died in 
1893, and in 1901 the Judge married a second 
wife, Miss Clara M. Masch, of Kalamazoo. In 
political faith and allegiance the Judge is now a 
Democrat, but was in his earlier life a Greelev 
Republican. He has always taken an active and 
zealous part in the campaigns of his party and 
has rendered valuable service to its organization 
as a member of its county and state central com- 
mittees and chairman of the city and county com- 
mittees. He was chairman of the county com- 
mittee in the contest of 1896, and was at the time 
a candidate for the office of probate judge, but 
lacked twenty-nine votes of a majority at the elec- 
tion. For many years he has been prominent in 
the order of Odd Fellows, serving at one time 
as grand master of the order in the state, the 
youngest man who ever held the position in Mich- 
igan. He also represented the grand lodge of 
the state in the sovereign grand lodge of the order 
at Baltimore in 1885 and at Boston in 1886. He 
is also a member of the Knights of Pythias and of 
the Elks. For some years he was a director and 
the attorney of the Kalamazoo Building Associa- 
tion. His religious leaning is to the Presbyterian 
church, of which he is a regular attendant. In 
his professional career, in official life and in social 
relations he has won and holds the esteem of all 
his fellow citizens and numbers his friends by 
the host. 

EDWARD A. BISSELL. 

The army of axmen in this country, whose 
sharp blades and lusty strokes leveled the mon- 
archs of the forest which for ages kept apart the 
sunshine and the soil, and whose arduous toil 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



257 



blazed the way for the onward march of civiliza- 
tion, has been a race of heroes at all times in our 
history and in all parts of our country, and is 
none the less entitled to be sung as such because 
tbrir undertakings and achievements have been 
unostentatious rather than showy and quiet 
rat her than noisy. To this race belonged the par- 
ents of Edward A. Bissell, of Richland township, 
this county, and in his clay he was a member of it 
himself. They were pioneers in Portage county, 
Ohio, pitching their tent there almost on the heels 
of the retreating red man, and in his turn he did 
the same here. History has made the soldiers in 
this army its darling theme and poetry has painted 
their picturesque and rugged life in its most en- 
gaging tints. But our own electric age hurries 
over their career with heedless foot, and unless 
their memory is repeatedly recalled, what they ac- 
complished for our country and the world is likely 
to he belittled or even forgotten, so little audience 
does the present give the past. Edward A. Bissell 
comes of families who came to this country in 
early colonial times and whose descendants have 
been found at every subsequent epoch in the fore- 
front of adventure and accomplishment, of con- 
test with nature and conquest over its opposing 
forces. He was born on August 6, 1823, in 
Portage county, Ohio, where his parents settled 
at the dawn of its civilization, making the trip 
from their native Litchfield, Conn., to that 
then almost trackless waste with teams to Buffalo, 
then by boat to Cleveland, and from there again 
with teams to their destination in the heart of the 
wilderness. They were Elijah N. and Flora 
(I.oomis) Bissell, and by their efforts and endur- 
ance built a good home in their new domain and 
rose to consequence and prominence, among its 
people. The father cleared two good farms of 
heavy timber land, and lived on them until 1844, 
when he sold them and moved to this county, buy- 
ln g a tract of wild land on which the widow of 
his son Albertus now lives. Here he and his wife 
passed the remainder of their lives, hers ending in 
1864 and his in 1852. They had six sons and three 
daughters. One of the daughters died in Ohio, 
and the rest of the children in this state, except 
dine of the sons who are living, two in Kalama- 



zoo county and one in Iowa. Here, as in Ohio, 
the father took an active part in the local affairs 
of his township and county, serving for years as a 
justice of the peace and aiding in giving incite- 
ment and trend to public opinion. His son Ed- 
ward grew to the age of twenty-one in his native 
county, and in the primitive country schools of 
the place and period obtained the rudiments of 
an education. In the fall of 1844 nc became a 
resident of this county, traveling to it by stage 
from Marshall, in Calhoun county. For some 
time he worked on farms at ten dollars a month 
and his board, then bought eighty acres of his 
present farm in Richland township, to which he 
has since added sixty-two acres by purchase. This 
he has improved into one of the best farms in the 
township, and one of its most comfortable and at- 
tractive homes. He was married in Illinois in 1855 
to Miss Maryett Densmore, a native of New York 
state, where her parents were pioneers. Three 
children were born of their union, two of whom 
are living, their son Cassius and their daughter 
Flora, both dwelling at home with their parents* 
Cassius, th'e son, was married in 1886 to Miss 
Georgia Peak, a native of Richland township, and 
is taking the place in the farm management and 
the local affairs of the community his father is 
preparing to vacate. He was educated in the lo- 
cal schools and has passed the whole of his life 
among the people of this region. He is there- 
fore well acquainted with their needs and aspira- 
tions and in touch and full sympathy with their 
loftiest desires, and will be able to render them 
good service in any post of trust and responsibility 
to which he may be called. He and his wife are 
the parents of two sons, Clark and Ernest. Mr. 
Bissell, the elder, is a staunch and loyal Demo- 
crat in political faith, but he has never had a 
taste for public life in any capacity, yet he has 
never withheld his due share of the stimulus and 
support necessary to carry forward the general 
improvement and development of this section of 
the state. Assuming at an early day the burden 
of a good citizen's portion in the progress of his 
neighborhood, he has borne it faithfully until 
now, and the work of his manhood is a creditable 
memorial to him. He is one of the few pioneers 



2 5 8 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



left to tell the tale of early trials and dangers, and 
to witness with increasing satisfaction the grand 
results to which they have led. 

GEORGE M. EVERS. 

That "Freedom's battle, once begun, be- 
queathed from bleeding sire to son, though baffled 
oft is ever won," is happily illustrated in the ca- 
reer of the interesting subject of this memoir, 
now the leading grain merchant of Richland, this 
county, whose grandfather was a valiant soldier 
in the Revolution, and who was himself a soldier 
for the Union in the Civil war. And his career 
affords an equally striking illustration of the fact 
that the American people are mainly concerned 
with the pursuits of peaceful industry and only 
engage in war as a necessary incident when some 
sharp and momentous emergency calls them to 
the field. Mr. Evers is a native of Warren county. 
Pa., born on November 9, 1840, and the son of 
John and Emeline (Fellows) Evers, the former 
born in -Pennsylvania and the latter in the state 
of New York. The father, who was a farmer and 
lumberman, brought his family to Michigan in 
1855, and located at Prairieville, Barry county, 
where he purchased a tract of land known as the 
Slater' farm, on which he lived until 1867, when 
he sold it to his son George and moved to Gales- 
burg, this county. Some years afterward he 
changed his residence to the village of Augusta, 
where he died in 1879. His widow is still living, 
at the advanced age of ninety- two years. They 
had six sons and three daughters, all living but 
one son and one daughter, George M. and his 
sister, Mrs. Bissell, being the only resident ones 
in this county. The paternal grandfather, An- 
drew Evers, was born on the ocean, while his par- 
ents were emigrating from their native England 
to this country in colonial times. As a young 
man he ardently espoused the cause of the colo- 
nies in their struggle for independence, and 
served through the Revolutionary war, fighting 
valiantly on many a bloody field, enduring the 
weariness of many a forced march by day and 
night, suffering the hardships and privations of 
many a winter camp like that of Valley Forge. 



Mr. Evers was fifteen years old when his parents 
moved to this state, and here he grew to manhood 
and completed his education in the local common 
schools. He began life as a farmer and con- 
tinued to follow that vocation until 1870, ex- 
cept during the greater part of the Civil war. In 
1862 he enlisted in Company D, Seventeenth 
Michigan Infantry, under the present United 
States Senator J. C. Burrows as captain. The 
regiment was assigned in turn to the Army of the 
Potomac, the Army of the Cumberland, and the 
Army of the Mississippi, and participated in the 
following engagements of importance : The bat- 
tles of South Mountain and Antietam, in Mary- 
land, Fredericksburg, Va., the siege of Vicks- 
burg and Jackson, Miss., the battle of the Wild- 
erness and Spottsylvania Courthouse, and the 
siege of Petersburg, Va., and finally helped to re- 
ceive the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. It 
afterward attended and took part in the Grand 
Review of the Union forces at Washington. Mr. 
Evers was shot through the left hip in the Wil- 
derness and was in consequence of his wound out 
of active service five months. He entered the 
army as a private and was mustered out as a 
first lieutenant in June, 1865. Returning then 
to Michigan, he purchased his father's farm, as 
noted above, and farmed until 1870, when he 
moved to Richland Center and started a mercan- 
tile enterprise with a branch store at Prairieville, 
which he conducted until 1880. In 1884 ne niu ^ t 
a grain elevator and from it shipped the first car- 
load of grain from Richland station. Since then 
he has been continuously engaged in the grain 
and produce business at this point, purchasing all 
kinds of farm products and shipping them East 
and elsewhere to active markets. He is also in- 
terested in other lines of business, and is one of 
the commercial potencies of the county. His trade 
has steadily enlarged and is now of commanding 
importance both in its magnitude and its range of 
benefits to the community. He was married in 
1867, in Genesee county, N. Y., to Miss Lucinda 
Addey, a native of that county. They have no 
children, but make their pleasant home a center 
of sociability and gracious hospitality to their 
own immediate community and the whole sur* 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



259 



rounding country. In politics Mr. Evers is in- 
dependent, loyally devoted to the welfare of his 
county, state and country, but not bound by party 
ties. He has been a faithful and serviceable 
friend to the village of Richland, serving on its 
board of trustees for more than thirty years, and 
on all occasions giving his aid to commendable 
projects for its improvement or the comfort and 
convenience of its people. In fraternal circles he 
is prominent in the Masonic lodge and the lodge 
of Odd Fellows at Richland, and in the church 
life of the township he takes an active part as a 
leading Presbyterian. For nearly fifty years a 
resident of the county, and crowned with the 
guerdon of merit and honest effort in his busi- 
ness, and the genuine esteem of his fellow men, 
he is not only one of the patriarchs of its expand- 
ing greatness, but as well one of its chief sup- 
ports. 

WILLIAM H. BENNETT. 

William H. Bennett, at present (1905) the 
supervisor of Richland township and a resident 
of Kalamazoo county since he was but one year 
old, was born at. Peterborough, Canada, on April 
13, 1856. He is the son of Robert and Ann J. 
(Newell) Bennett, both natives of the Dominion, 
the former of Irish and the latter of English an- 
cestry. The son has inherited the best traits of 
each race and in the happy combination which 
they form in his character and make up, as har- 
moniously developed by careful home training 
under the benign influences of American institu- 
tions, he presents the most desirable attributes of 
good citizenship, honesty, industry, persistency, 
resourcefulness and frugality, with progressive- 
ness of spirit and breadth of view. The father 
was a farmer in his native land until 1857, when 
he emigrated to this county and settled in Rich- 
and township, on land which he farmed until 
1892. In that year the parents moved to Marshall, 
Calhoun county, where they now reside. They 
had four daughters and two sons, but only two 
of them live in this county, William H. and his 
sister, Mrs. George H. Cornell, of Kalamazoo. 
The father is a staunch Republican, but has never 
sought or desired public office of any kind. 



Reared in this county and educated in its district 
schools, and all of his life so far engaged in till- 
ing its soil, William H. Bennett is not only sub- 
stantially one of its products, but with an earnest 
devotion to its welfare is one of its best and most 
representative citizens. His farm is a model of 
thrift and skill in agriculture, and his public 
life is an incitement to laudable endeavor and an 
example of excellence in administrative ability. 
In 1855 he was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary 
C. Whitney, a daughter of Norman S. and Au- 
gusta (Nevins) Whitney (see sketch of them on 
another page). Mr. and Mrs. Bennett had six 
children and five of them are living, Katharine 
A., Sidney H., Anna W., Rose M., and Dorothy 
B. Their mother died in 1902, and on December 
23, 1903, the father married again, being united 
on this occasion with Miss Alice I. Clark, a na- 
tive of Calhoun county, this state. Mr. Bennett 
is a zealous and active Republican in political re- 
lations, and as such has been the supervisor of 
the township since 1902. He has also served as 
> township treasurer, holding this office in 1886 
and 1887, and in various school offices for many 
years. Fraternally he belongs to the order of Odd 
Fellows and the Knights of the Maccabees. Now 
in the noonday of life, with all his faculties in full 
vigor, his manhood in business and in public and 
private life well established, and the regard and 
good will of his fellow citizens of the county fully 
assured to him, Mr. Bennett has before him the 
prospect of a long and honorable career of public 
usefulness and private prosperity, and can be 
safely counted on as one of the wisely progressive 
and fruitful sources of good to his community. 

HENRY A. HALE. 

While the life story of the hardy pioneers in 
any new country is one of continued and thrilling 
interest, and of the greatest importance as show- 
ing the conditions surrounding the founders of 
the commonwealth and the salient characteristics 
of mind, spirit and body with which they were 
endowed, and indicating the sources from which 
any subsequent greatness has come, that of the 
second generation, who took up the work where 



260 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



the trail-blazers had laid it down after they 
had opened the way to the new civilization that 
was to follow, is of scarcely less importance, as 
showing that the lessons they learned from their 
parents were well applied, and that the trust sur- 
rendered by the sires was faithfully kept by the 
sons. To this generation belongs Henry A. Hale, 
one of the successful and enterprising farmers of 
Richland township, this county, and that he has 
kept with fidelity the faith which he inherited is 
well shown by his record in the county, for he is 
wholly a product of the institutions which his 
parents helped to found, and has never wavered 
in the work of progress here which they inaugu- 
rated. He was born in Cooper township on Jan- 
uary 4, 1859, an d is the son of Charles P. and 
Frances L. (Perdue) Hale, the former a native 
of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut. The 
father was reared by an uncle in Massachusetts 
and there learned his trade as a wool carder, also 
working at times in a cutlery factory. In 1849 
he accompanied his uncle to California, where 
they mined successfully two years. He then re- 
turned to Massachusetts and soon afterward was 
married and moved to Michigan. He and his 
wife found their first home in this county in the 
southern part of Cooper township, but about the 
close of the Civil war changed their residence to 
Richland township, where they lived until 1883, 
then moved to Plainwell and later to Otsego. 
There the father died in 1899 and the mother is 
still living. They had three sons and a daughter, 
all of whom are living, Henry A. being the only 
one resident in this county. He was reared and 

• educated in the county and has been a tiller of its 
prolific soil all of his life so far, improving and 
developing the place on which he now lives. He 
was also married in this county, uniting in wed- 
lock with Miss Florence Wilson, a native of 
Barry county, on March 8, 1883. Her parents 
still reside in that county. Mr. and Mrs. Hale 
have six children, Harry, Frank, Clare, Hobart, 
Nettie and Charles F. Devoting himself wholly 
to his farming interests and in a general way to 
the interests of the county, Mr. Hale has stead- 
fastly resisted the temptation to public life of any 

kind and the importunities of his friends to be- 



come a candidate for political office. Fraternally 
he belongs to the order of Odd Fellows. He takes 
his part as a good citizen in all the local affairs 
of his township without regard to political consid- 
erations, and has the regard and good will of his 
fellow citizens in a high degree, being looked 
upon as one of its leading farmers, strong pro- 
gressive forces and most worthy and representa 
tive men. His parents were prominent members 
of Spring Brook Methodist Episcopal church, 
which he and his wife also attend. 

JAMES H. HOPKINS. 

Becoming a resident of Michigan when he 
was seven years old, James H. Hopkins, of Kala- 
mazoo, has passed the subsequent sixty-nine years 
of an active life among its people, earnestly en- 
gaged in helping to develop its resources, build up 
its industries, expand its commercial activities 
and plant on its soil the religious and educational 
agencies which make a state great and good. Mr. 
Hopkins is still actively engaged in the real-estate 
business, looking after his large interests here. He 
enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens, the cor- 
dial regard of his numerous friends and the bene- 
fits of the civilization he aided materially to im- 
bed and cultivate in what was, when he came, a 
far western wilderness. His life began in Ca- 
yuga county, N. Y., on November 4, 1828, where 
his parents, Henry and Mary E. (Casey) Hop- 
kins, were then living. The father was a native 
of Washington, and the mother of Dutchess 
county, that state. They were farmers, follow- 
ing the vocation of the old patriarchs in their na- 
tive state until 1835, tnen transferring their en- 
ergies to Michigan. The grandfather, David 
Hopkins, was born in Rhode Island and settled 
in Washington county, N. Y., about 1776. He was 
for a time judge of the county court, and for a 
period of twenty-eight years represented his 
county in the state legislature, part of the time 
in the lower house and part of the time in the 
senate. In 1812 he departed this life after a long 
career of usefulness and public renown, having 
rendered efficient service to the cause of the Fed- 
eralists in politics. He was a cousin of Stephen 




JAMES H. HOPKINS. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



263 



Ifopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. He left a family of seven sons and five 
daughters who grew to maturity. In 1835 the 
parents of James Hopkins removed their family 
t.) Michigan, making the trip by way of the Erie 
canal to Buffalo and from there by steamer to De- 
troit, whence they journeyed with ox teams to the 
vicinity of the present town of Niles over the old 
territory road. He had very limited means, and 
during the first two years of his residence here 
he worked land on shares. In 1837 ne moved to 
Kalamazoo county and settled on a tract of wild 
land in Charleston township, which was named 
for one of his uncles. Here he cleared forty acres 
of land, and afterward moved to Bedford, Cal- 
houn county, where he cleared a good sized farm 
on which he and his wife died, he in 1865 and she 
in 1896, aged ninety-nine years. He was a soldier 
in the war of 18 12 and fought in the battle of 
Plattsburg, N. Y. In politics he was an active 
Democrat, but he never sought public office or 
desired it. Five sons and three daughters were 
born in the family, of whom two sons and one 
daughter are living. James grew to manhood in 
this and Calhoun counties, and in i860 returned 
to this county, settling near Galesburg on a farm 
which he bought and which was his home for 
twenty-eight years. In 1888 he sold his farm and 
took up his residence in the city of Kalamazoo, 
where he has since lived, and during a number of 
the subsequent years he has been engaged in the 
real-estate business and has furnished the capi- 
tal for putting up more than eighty dwelling 
houses, which he has sold to people on the install- 
ment plan, thus adding to the growth of the city 
and the welfare of its people. He erected nine 
houses in 1904 and two in 1905. He was married 
in 1861 to Miss Jane McNulty, who died in 1900, 
leaving one daughter, now Mrs. Frederick Shel- 
leto. Within the same year the father married a 
second wife, Miss Carry Bylardt, a resident of 
the city, born in Illinois. In political affairs Mr. 
Hopkins has been a life-long Democrat, but he 
has never consented to accept a public office of 
any kind. He has throughout his mature years 
taken a great and helpful interest in agriculture 
and has been ever ready to promote its welfare by 



any proper means. He was one of the organizers 
of the grange of the Patrons of Husbandry at 
Galesburg, and during his residence there was a 
zealous participant in its work, serving at its first 
secretary and pushing its growth by his influ- 
ence and enthusiasm. His long and prominent 
residence in the state has made him well known, 
and his sterling worth as a man and breadth of 
view as a citizen has won him wide and enduring 
respect. 

JOHN G. HASKINS. 

With the business acumen and clearness of 
vision in commercial transactions for which the 
people of his native section of the country are re- 
nowned, John G. Haskins, of Cooper township, 
where he is one of the leading and most progres- 
sive farmers, on coming to this county in 1857, be- 
gan at once to see opportunities for good profits in 
buying and selling land, and for a number of 
years gave his attention to that business much to 
his own advantage and the benefit of the county. 
He was born at Middletown, Rutland county, 
Vt., in October, 1834. His parents, Ezra and 
Phebe (Grandy) Haskins, were also natives of 
Vermont, and for a number of years the father 
farmed in that state, then moved to Wisconsin, 
where he died some time later. The mother died 
in her native state when her son John was ten 
years old. They had eleven children, all living 
but two of the daughters. Five of the sons were 
Union soldiers in the Civil war, serving in Wis- 
consin regiments. Their grandfather, Richard 
Haskins, was a Revolutionary soldier and died 
in Vermont. John G. Haskins grew to manhood 
in Vermont and New York, and in 1857, at the 
age of twenty-three, he came to this state and 
for a time worked on farms in Barry county. 
Then he bought a tract of wild land, and after 
partially clearing it lost it. Soon afterward he 
bought eighty acres in Cooper township, this 
county, and sowed thirty acres to wheat. The 
yield was six hundred bushels, which he sold at 
two dollars a bushel, thus getting more than 
enough to pay -for his land and his work on it. 
Some little while afterward he sold this land for 
one thousand, six hundred and and fifty dollars, 



264 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



and after working a month bought a farm in 
Richland township for two thousand dollars, 
which he sold two years later for three thousand 
dollars. He next bought his present farm in 
Cooper township. He has cleared up this and 
erected the buildings on it, and now has a well 
improved and extensive cultivated farm of two 
hundred and twenty acres which is steadily grow- 
ing in value at a rapid rate. Mr. Haskins was 
married in i860 to Miss Janet Hoyt, a daughter 
of Theodore Hoyt, one of the pioneers of Rich- 
land township who settled there in 1836, coming 
from Windsor county, Vt. Some years later he 
moved to Cooper township, where, after clearing 
up a good farm and working it for a number of 
years, he died. Mr. and Mrs. Haskins have four 
children, Lily, at home ; Charles and Ira, farmers ; 
Lizzie, wife of Charles Brignall, of Chicago. 

HON. CHARLES E. FOOTE. 

Hon. Charles E. Foote, pension attorney, of 
Kalamazoo, who was a soldier in the Civil war 
and bears the marks of its wounds in his body, 
and for years afterward a valued official in the 
service of the United States government, and who 
was recently a member of the Michigan legis- 
lature for two consecutive terms, has had an in- 
teresting career and has seen in it many forms of 
life and public service and met many men of dif- 
ferent classes under a great variety of circum- 
stances. He was born on September 6, 1840, at 
Franklin, Delaware county, N. Y., and is the son 
of Stephen S. and Nancy O. (Strong) Foote, 
the former a native of Connecticut and the latter 
of Massachusetts. The father was a farmer who 
moved with his parents in 1802 to the state of 
New York, where he grew to manhood and died 
after a life of useful industry in 1882, aged 
eighty years. He was prominent in the local pub- 
lic life of his section and took an active part in 
suppressing the "anti-rent" war in Delaware and 
other counties of the state in the early '50s. The 
grandfather, Stephen Foote, was born in Connec- 
ticut, and his father, Ichabod Foote, was a Revo- 
lutionary soldier in a Massachusetts regiment. 
Hon. Charles E. Foote was reared and educated in 



his native state. In 1859 ne moved to Otsego 
county and there began learning the trade of a 
carriage ironer, working at it until the outbreak 
of the Civil war. On August 5, 1861, he enlisted 
in Company D, Third New York Cavalry, and 
was soon at the front near the historic Potomac. 
The first engagement between the hostile sec- 
tions in which he took part was the battle of 
Ball's Bluff, where General Baker, of Oregon, 
met his untimely death. He also fought at Win- 
chester and Edwards Ferry, and from that sec- 
tion was transferred to North Carolina, where he 
was almost continually in the field. At little 
Washington, that state, he was wounded in a 
hand-to-hand fight with a Confederate soldier. 
His military service covered three years, he be- 
ing discharged on August 11, 1864. After his 
return home he finished his trade and thereafter 
worked at it until 1873, when he engaged in busi- 
ness for himself in his native state. In 1878 he 
was appointed postmaster of Cobleskill, N. Y., 
and this position he held until 1882. He was 
then appointed to a clerkship in the pension de- 
partment at Washington, D. C, and later was 
made a special examiner for the department and 
afterward assistant to the board of appeals. He 
continued as special examiner until 1888, when 
he was removed from the office by Secretary of 
Interior Lamar. He first came to Michigan and 
was stationed at Jackson as special examiner in 
1883, remaining until July, 1885. At that time 
he was transferred to Wauseon, Ohio, and in the 
fall of 1887 established his headquarters at To- 
ledo, having sixteen counties in northwestern 
Ohio under his charge in the official work to 
which he was assigned. In March, 1888, he be- 
came a resident of 'Kalamazoo and started his 
present business, which he has conducted with 
ability and success. In the fall of 1895 ne was 
elected to the state house of representatives from 
the first district of this county. In the ensuing 
session he held a high rank in the body to which 
he belonged and served on important committees. 
In 1897 he was re-elected and became chairman 
of the committee on railroads and also of the 
committee on fish and game. In 1896 he was 
appointed quartermaster general of the Grand 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



265 



Army of the Republic, Department of Michigan, 
tinder General William Shakespeare, department 
commander. On January 23, 1868, Mr. Foote 
was married in New York to Miss Laura C. Gil- 
lett, a native of that state. They have two chil- 
dren living, their son George E., who is in busi- 
ness with his father, and their daughter Cora A. 
Mr. Foote has been a life-long Republican, hav- 
ing cast his first vote for Lincoln for president 
in 1864. He has also been a very active member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic since 1873. 
He organized a post in this organization at Co- 
bleskill, N. Y., and served two years as its com- 
mander. In 1886 he was transferred to Orcutt 
Post at Kalamazoo and also served as its com- 
mander. He belongs to the Congregational 
church and to the Masonic order, holding his 
membership in the latter in Anchor Lodge of S. 
O., No. 87. In addition to being a good business 
man, a useful citizen and a cultivated and enter- 
taining gentleman socially, Mr. Foote is a true 
sportsman and loyal to every claim and feature of 
the guild. For years he has been most active 
himself and stimulated others in keeping the lakes 
stocked with game fish, and in protecting them 
and all other game from injury by improper or 
unseasonable pursuit. He is, however, an enthu- 
siastic hunter, making annual trips to gratify 
this taste to northern Michigan, and has his office 
decorated with trophies of the chase. He was 
one of the original promoters of the erection of 
the Grand Army Memorial Hall in Kalamazoo 
and was a valued member of the building com- 
mittee. 

CONDON J. BROWN. 

Born and reared to the age of sixteen in Wash- 
ington county, N. Y., then coming with his 
parents to Michigan, and ever since engaged in 
the stirring activities of a new country in which 
everything in the way of conquest over the wild 
forces of nature and the subjugation of an un- 
tamed soil to the will of the husbandman was 
yet to be done, Condon J. Brown, of Richland 
township, has in the nearly seventy years of his 
life lived strenuously and usefully, and seen 
many phases of American progress and develop- 



ment. He came into the world on February 11, 
1825, and is the son of Condon and Selva (Hitch- 
cock) Brown, the former born in Rhode Island 
and the latter in New York. The father's life 
began on March 13, 1801, and while he was yet 
an infant his parents moved into the eastern part 
of New York, locating in Washington county, 
where he was reared, and where, after reaching 
man's estate, he carried on a dairy with success 
until 1 84 1. He then gathered his household goods 
about him and set out for a new home, as his fa- 
ther had done before him, and coming to Michigan, 
bought one thousand acres of unbroken land in 
Eaton county. A year later he moved to Calhoun 
county, where his wife died in 1863, and four 
years after this event he took up his residence 
in Kalamazoo county, where he died in 1898. In 
early life he was a Whig, but when that party 
died he became a Republican and adhered to this 
organization until his death. He was never, how- 
ever, desirous of public office, although loyal and 
devoted to his political allegiance. For many 
years he was a devout and active Methodist. His 
family comprised two sons and three daughters, 
all of whom are living. Condon J. accompanied 
his parents to this state in 1841, when he was 
about sixteen years of age, and at once took his 
place in the force put to work to clear the land his 
father purchased and bring it to productiveness. 
In 1867 he became a resident of this county, locat- 
ing in Richland township, where he bought land 
which he has converted into a good farm and on 
which he has continuously lived since his arrival 
in the county. He was married in 1862 to Miss 
Frances H. Vandewalker, a native of this county 
and a niece of John Vandewalker (see sketch of 
him elsewhere in this work). They have four 
living children, Morris, Mattie, wife of Horace 
McGinnis, John and Nellie. Like his father, Mr. 
Brown supports the Republican party in state and 
national issues, and, like that worthy gentleman, 
he eschews public office and all prominence in 
political affairs. He is cordially devoted to the 
welfare of his state and county, and omits no ef- 
fort to advance their best interests. For a period 
of thirty-five years he operated a threshing out- 
fit all over this and adjoining counties, and thus 



266 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



became well and favorably known to all classes 
of people throughout a wide extent of country. In 
this work he had many interesting- experiences, 
and his whole life has been one of incident and 
adventure. While of the second rather than of 
the first generation of Michigan pioneers, he is by 
no means lacking in the knowledge of the hard- 
ships and dangers of frontier life gained in pass- 
ing through its trials and exacting labors, and 
he is therefore well qualified to enjoy in full meas- 
ure the splendid development and striking prog- 
ress of the present day for which the early settlers 
opened the way. 

JAMES A. TAYLOR. 

James A. Taylor is well and favorably known 
as one of the most enterprising and prolific real- 
estate men in Kalamazoo, owning now Taylor's 
and the Linden Park addition to the city, and 
improving his property with commendable ac- 
tivity and taste. He was born in Roxburgshire, 
Scotland, at the village of Kelso. His parents, 
George and Jane (Dodds) Taylor, were also 
born in that county, and there the farther carried 
on an extensive nursery until 1855, when he 
brought his family to the United States, com- 
ing direct to Kalamazoo, where he then had two 
brothers, Andrew and James Taylor, in business. 
He brought with him a stock of evergreens, 
shrubs, etc., and started a nursery in the West 
End, conducting his business in that portion of the 
city until 1867, when he moved it to a property 
on Portage street, now owned by his son James. 
Here he remained and flourished until his death, 
in 1892. He was among the first to raise celery 
for market in this neighborhood, beginning the 
culture of it in 1856. He had a struggle to get it 
into general use, but after considerable effort suc- 
ceeded in working up a good trade and made 
large shipments to other points. He was also 
the pioneer nurseryman in this region, and car- 
ried on an extensive business in that line for 
his day. In 1842 he was married to Miss Jane 
Dodds. They had six children, four sons and two 
daughters, of whom James and one brother, 
George D., and a sister living in California, are 



all who are living. The father was an original 
Republican, voting for General Fremont for 
president in 1856. He was a strong abolitionist 
and an ardent worker in the cause. In religious 
belief he was a Presbyterian, well known and 
widely esteemed in church circles as an active and 
effective worker. The mother died in i860. Their 
son James grew to manhood in Kalamazoo, at- 
tending the common schools and Parson's Busi- 
ness College. After leaving school he associated 
with his father in business and remained with 
him until his death in 1892. He then started 
out for himself in the real-estate trade and in 
this he has been very successful. In the public 
affairs of the city he has been active and service- 
able, being a member of the city council for three 
terms as alderman from the fifth ward. He 
has also been for some years a director of the 
Citizens' Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In 
political faith and action he is independent, but 
he is ever at the front in all undertakings for the 
general welfare of the city. 

THE KALAMAZOO COLD STORAGE 
COMPANY. 

This fine and enterprising organization, which 
conducts an enormous trade in all parts of the 
United States and Canada, was founded in 1891 
with a capital stock of twelve thousand dollars as 
a limited corporation. The first officers were: 
J. N. Stearns, president; F. C. Balch, vice-presi- 
dent ; A. C. Balch, treasurer, and J. B. Balch, 
secretary. The company erected a plant on Wal j 
bridge street, forty by eighty feet in size and 
three stories high, with commodious dry ware- 
houses for the storage of non-perishable merchan- 
dise, and ample facilities for the cold storage of 
commodities of the other class. The capacity of 
the establishment is sixty-five carloads and it 
handles every kind of produce, being the most 
extensive jobber in onions in the state. The com- 
pany is the pioneer of South Haven in carload 
shipments, and one of the most extensive dealers 
in this sort of traffic, having shipped in one year 
more than two hundred carloads, sending them 
all over the country. It was the third company 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



267 



started in Michigan and is now the third in the 
magnitude of its business. In 1897 a reorganiza- 
tion was effected with the same capital stock but 
a new directorate, the officers chosen at that time 
rind still serving being J. B. Balch, president, and 
}). E. Pierce, secretary, treasurer and manager. 
Mr. Balch was born in Allegan county, this state, 
in September, 1868. He is a son of A. R. Balch, 
a brother of the late Hon. Nathaniel A. Balch, 
>ne of the leading lawyers and public-spirited citi- 
zens of this county, whose forensic efforts and 
public services won him high renown throughout 
the state and gave him a high reputation far be- 
yond its borders. A. R. Balch, the father of the 
subject of this writing, was a pioneer of Allegan 
county and owned large tracts of pine land in that 
county. He also lived for a number of years in 
this county, but died in Allegan county in 1872. 
Like his brother Nathaniel, he was prominent in 
politics, and to the end of his life was a faithful 
and earnest Democrat. He operated large saw 
mills and carried on an extensive lumber business, 
furnishing large quantities of pine lumber to the 
industries in Kalamazoo. His son, J. B. Balch, 
grew to manhood in Allegan county and was 
educated in the public schools and at the Kalama- 
zoo Baptist College. He entered business as a 
clerk for Robert R. W. Smith & Sons, of Kala- 
mazoo, with whom he remained two years at a 
compensation of three dollars a week. Then, 
after passing two years in the employ of P. W. 
Henley, he became a traveling salesman for the 
Busch Cattle Guard Company, through the South, 
remaining with that company until the organiza- 
tion of the cold storage company, of which he is 
now president. In 1897 he married with Miss 
Mabel S. Severance, a daughter of Judge Sever- 
ance (see sketch of the Judge on another page 
of this work). Mr. Balch has never taken an 
active interest in partisan politics and has never 
accepted or desired public office of any kind, be- 
ing well pleased to serve his city, county, state 
and country from the honorable post of private 
citizenship and with earnest attention to their 
best interests in every way but through political 
contention. He was the candidate of the Demo- 
cratic party for secretary of state in 1904, the 



nomination being a surprise and unsolicited by 
him. Throughout southern Michigan and the 
neighboring territory he is highly respected as a 
leading and representative business man and 
citizen. 

THE SUPERIOR PAPER COMPANY. 

The Superior Paper Company, of Kalamazoo, 
one of the interesting and progressive industrial 
institutions of the city, with a large trade and en- 
gaged in the production of a great variety of 
choice marketable products, was organized on 
January 11, 1901, with a capital stock of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five thousand dollars, the stock- 
holders being nearly all local men. The company 
manufactures high grade sized and super calen- 
dared and machine finished book and lithograph, 
catalogue, French folios and other specialties in 
paper. The officers are W. S. Hodges, presi- 
dent and general manager, H. H. Everard, vice- 
president, Frank H. Milham, secretary, and H. 
P. Kauffer, ex-president of the Home Savings 
Bank, treasurer. The company is but three years 
old, but it has been managed with vigor and en- 
terprise and has built up a very large trade with 
patrons in all parts of the country. Mr. Hodges, 
the president and manager, is a native of this 
county, born near Galesburg in 1855. His par- 
ents, George S. and Mary E. (Ellis) Hodges, 
were born and reared in the state of New York. 
The father became a resident of this county in 
1844, taking up a farm in South Comstock town- 
ship, where he farmed a number of years, then 
moved to Galesburg. In 1861 he enlisted in de- 
fense of the Union in Company I, Second Michi- 
gan Cavalry, and was assigned to the Army of 
the Cumberland. He remained in the service un- 
til the close of the war and saw much active field 
duty, participating in many important engage- 
ments, among them the battles of Franklin, De- 
cember 24, 1863, Franklin, January 4, 1863, and 
Mossy Creek, December 29, 1863, and the cam- 
paigns incident thereto, with other campaigns of 
his branch of the service. He was mustered out 
as captain of his company. Returning then to 
Kalamazoo, he served two years as sheriff of the 



268 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



county, and afterward engaged in the livery busi- 
ness. He died in 1878, leaving a widow who is 
still living. W. S. Hodges was their only child. 
He was educated at Galesburg and Kalamazoo, 
and began life in the service of the United States 
and American Express Companies, and after some 
years in their employ became connected with the 
Kalamazoo Paper Company in 1883. In 1887 
he went with George E. Bardeen to Otsego, Alle- 
gan county, and helped to organize the Bardeen 
Paper Company there. He remained with this 
company until 1899, an d in 1901 he united with 
others in founding the Superior Paper Company, 
which he has managed ever since with gratifying 
and pronounced success. He is also a stock- 
holder in and director of the Home Savings Bank, 
the Kalamazoo Paper Box Company, and the 
Kalamazoo Railroad Supply Company. Fraternal- 
ly he is connected with the Masonic order in lodge, 
chapter and commandery, and with the order of 
Elks. In 1882 he married Miss Nettie Carmer, 
a daughter of Peter and Elsie (Hall) Carmer, 
early settlers of Galesburg. They have one child, 
their son George C. Hodges. On the business 
interests of the city and county Mr. Hodges has 
had a decidedly forceful and wholesome influ- 
ence, uniting in his methods an enlightened con- 
servatism with a broad-viewed progressiveness, 
using every opportunity and means to advantage 
yet not carried away in chimerical or spectacular 
schemes. His counsel is highly appreciated and 
his energy is worthy of all emulation. 

GEORGE NEUMAIER. 

Born and reared in Germany, George Neu- 
maier, of Kalamazoo, there learned the art of 
brewing the popular and palatable beverage of his 
native land, which he has so successfully prac- 
ticed on this side of the water. His life began 
in Baden on April 2J, 1842, and he is the son 
of Christian and Frances (Schaub) Neumaier, 
also natives in that country, where their forefa- 
thers lived for many generations. The father was 
a farmer and both parents died in their native 
land. The father was for years a soldier 
in the German army and saw active serv- 



ice from time to time. Ten children were 
born in the household, and of these two 
sons and one daughter came to the United States. 
The sister of Mr. Neumaier lives in Kalamazoo 
and his brother at Adrian, this state. George re- 
mained in the fatherland until he reached the age 
of twenty-four. When he was seventeen he be- 
gan to learn the trade of a cooper and also that 
of a brewer. In 1866 he emigrated to this coun- 
try, landing at New York city, where he remained 
three years working in breweries and malt houses. 
At the end of that period he moved to Michigan, 
in company with his brother. They located at 
Adrian, where he remained three years as fore- 
man in a brewery. In the fall of 1872 he changed 
his residence to Kalamazoo, and on his arrival in 
this city rented the old steam brewery on Terri- 
tory Road which he operated six years in partner- 
ship with Leo Kinast, then in 1878 bought the 
plant on Portage street known as the City Union 
Brewery. This he conducted until 1896, when 
he sold it to his son Alfred, who is still in charge 
of it. Devoting his attention earnestly to his 
business, he made it his chief ambition to pro- 
duce beer of superior quality and purity, and by 
doing so he popularized his product and gave it 
a high and wide-spread reputation which brought 
him a large and profitable trade. Mr. Neumaier 
was married in New York in 1868 to Miss Valen- 
tina Savert, like himself a native of Germany. 
They have had six children, all of whom are liv- 
ing but one daughter. The head of the house is 
independent in politics but takes an earnest and 
helpful interest in the affairs of the city and 
county. He belongs to the Kalamazoo Working- 
men's Society and is a member of the Catholic 
church. In 1892 he visited his old home and 
passed three months amid the scenes and associa- 
tions of his youth and young manhood ; but re- 
turned to the United States more- than ever de- 
voted to the institutions and its interests of this 
country. Here he has found freedom of move- 
ment and opinion and amplitude of opportunity, 
and has found that his thrift and industry, along 
with his business capacity, have been duly recog- 
nized and have won their appropriate reward ; 
also that pleasure in social life and civic distinc- 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



269 



tion are free from artificial restraints, and open 
to the humblest whose merit entitles them to win 
and enjoy such privileges. 

DORR O. FRENCH. 

Dorr O. French, one of the leading lawyers 
of Kalamazoo, is wholly a product of Michigan. 
He was born on her soil, educated in her schools, 
acquired his professional training in the office of 
one of her prominent attorneys, was married to 
one of her accomplished ladies, and has won pro- 
fessional distinction among her people, in advo- 
cacy of their rights and the protection and devel- 
opment of their industrial and commercial inter- 
ests. Although somewhat a traveler and familiar 
with other parts of the country, his home has been 
his regular anchorage and the seat of his useful 
and successful labors. He was born at Girard, 
Branch county, this state, on February 4, 1861, 
and is the son of John and Alvara (Butler) 
French, natives, respectively, of New York and 
Michigan. His father was a farmer who became 
a resident of Branch county about the year 1852 
and died there in 1902, and there the mother is 
still living. They had five children, all of whom 
are living. Their son Dorr was reared in his 
native county and began his education in its 
schools, attending first the common or district 
schools and afterward the Union City high school. 
After completing the course there he matricu- 
lated at Sherwood College and pursued a literary 
and classical course in that institution. Removing 
to Kalamazoo in 1884, ^ e took a course of com- 
mercial training at Parson's Business College, 
then began the study of law in the office of 
Thomas R. Sherwood. On being admitted to 
the bar in 1888 he formed a partnership for prac- 
tice with James H. Kinnane, under the style of 
Kinnane & French, which lasted three years. At 
the end of that period the partnership was har- 
moniously dissolved, and since then Mr. French 
has practiced alone. He has given his time 
wholly to his practice, in connection therewith 
serving for a number of years as justice of the 
peace and circuit court commissioner, and while 
he has led a busy professional life he has been 



well rewarded for its exactions by the favor and 
continued devotion of a large body of representa- 
tive clients and the general esteem and good will 
of his professional brethren and the people of the 
community in general. In political allegiance he 
is an unwavering Republican, and while not an 
ambitious partisan for his own advancement, is 
deeply and continuously interested in the success 
of his party. He was married in 1890 to Miss 
Emma Daryman, who was born in Pennsylvania. 
They have three sons, Robert L., Paul and Nor- 
man, and two daughters, Marguerite and Louise. 
Fraternally Mr. French is a Knight of Pythias 
and a Knight of the Maccabees. He is widely 
and favorably known throughout this and the 
adjoining counties, and stands well with all classes 
of the people. 

AMERICAN CARRIAGE COMPANY OF 
KALAMAZOO. 

The business conducted by this company, 
which is one of the largest producers in its line and 
one of the most vigorously and successfully man- 
aged business undertakings in this part of the 
country, was started in 1887 by a fi rm comprising 
E. C. Dayton, William R. Beebe, E.R.Burnell and 
James E. Doyle. They built a plant at the junction 
of Church street and the Michigan Central Rail- 
road and began the manufacture of road carts. In 
1888 the present company was organized and in- 
corporated with a capital stock of twenty thou- 
sand dollars and the following officers : James E. 
Doyle, president ; E. C. Dayton, vice-president ; 
William R. Beebe, secretary and treasurer, and 
E. R. Burrell, manager. The directors were these 
gentlemen and David Burrell. They conducted the 
business in the old plant until 1897, adding to 
their enterprise the manufacture of road wagons, 
carriages, cutters and other vehicles. In the year 
last named the company was reorganized and the 
capital stock increased to seventy thousand dol- 
lars. The Newton Carriage Company's plant, 
which this company now occupies, was then pur- 
chased and the business moved to it. Mr. Bur- 
nell retired from the company at this time and Mr. 
Doyle was made manager as well as president, the 



270 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



other officers remaining the same. The establish- 
ment now manufactures an extensive line of fine 
light vehicles of almost every kind, for which it 
finds a market in all parts of the United States. It 
turns out five thousand carriages, wagons, carts, 
etc., and five thousand cutters a year, employing 
one hundred persons besides traveling salesmen. 
Its products are recognized everywhere as first 
class in all particulars, and it is steadily increas- 
ing its trade in new territory while holding firmly 
to the old. Mr. Doyle, the president of the com- 
pany, was born in Kalamazoo in 1856. In his 
capacity as president and manager of the carriage 
company he has displayed a high order of ability 
and great activity, and it, is but just to him to say 
that its prosperity and continued growth are 
largely due to him. He devotes his whole time 
and energy to the affairs of the company, and the 
results are commensurate with his efforts. Politi- 
cal matters interest him only in a general way, 
but he supports the Democratic party in national 
and state politics. Among the business men of 
Kalamazoo none has a higher rank. 

GEORGE FULLER. * 

Almost a generation of human life has 
passed away since, in 1874, the late George 
Fuller, who departed this life on March 25, 1905, 
in Kalamazoo, after long years of business suc- 
cess in that city, started the livery business 
which he conducted there until his death, and 
which he had in his ownership and under his per- 
sonal control during all of the intervening time. 
He expanded it from a scope of five horses and a 
few conveyances to one hundred horses and ev- 
ery variety and capacity of conveyance known 
to the trade, including a line of excellent hacks 
and cabs. Mr. Fuller was born at Whitehall, Vt., 
on January 28, 1833, and wa3 the son of Peter 
and Dorcas Fuller, also natives of Vermont. 
The father was a farmer and moved his family 
to Cayuga county, N. Y., in 1835. Later in life 
he came to Michigan, where he died, the mother 
passing away in Wisconsin while on a visit to 
that state. George grew to manhood in the state 
of New York, and there, after leaving school, he 



engaged in farming, also working at his trade as 
a cooper. He moved to Michigan in 1857 or 
1858, and located in Alamo township, this county, 
where he remained a short time, then changed his 
residence to Kalamazoo and started in business 
as a cooper. He afterward became a dealer in 
grain and remained in that line of trade until 
1874, when he started his livery business on a 
small scale, and to this he steadfastly adhered to 
the end of his life, in spite of many promising- 
temptations to go into other business. After 
carrying on the enterprise for a number of years 
by himself, he took his sons Horace and James 
into partnership with him, the firm being known 
as George Fuller & Sons until 1884, when James 
retired from the firm, selling his interest in it to 
his brother Horace. A line of hacks and many 
new rigs of various kinds were added to the 
equipment of the stables when the sons became 
members of the firm, and every attention was 
given to meeting the requirements of a steadily 
increasing trade. The father was a director and 
the vice-president of the Kalamazoo Hack & 
Bus Company, and also dealt extensively in 
horses, handling a large number every year. He 
was considered one of the best judges of the no- 
ble animal which he bought and sold in numbers 
in this part of the world, and his opinion was 
sought by large numbers of prospective buyers 
throughout a wide scope of country. During 
his connection with the trade he owned and sold 
more than ten thousand horses, making sales in 
all parts of the United States and parts of Can- 
ada. In 1852 he was married in New York to 
Miss Hester A. Slack, a native of that state. 
Their offspring numbered two, their sons Horace 
J. and James. Mr. Fuller served two terms as al- 
derman, being a member of the first board after 
the incorporation of the city. He was a Free- 
mason of the Knight Templar degree, and be- 
longed also to the order of Elks. During his long 
residence of more than forty years in Kalama- 
zoo he lived among his fellowmen without re- 
proach, having their unstinted respect and meet- 
ing all the duties of his citizenship with com- 
mendable fidelity and enterprise. At his death, 
on March 25, 1905, he was laid away to rest in 




GEORGE FL'LLER. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



273 



Mountain Home cemetery in Kalamazoo with ev- 
ery demonstration of popular esteem. His livery 
business is still in the hands and under the man- 
agement of his sons Horace J. and James H. The 
father took pride in Masonry and gave the inter- 
ests of the order his close attention and his most 
active and serviceable support throughout his 
connection with it, and was known as one of the 
brightest and most enthusiastic members of the 
craft in this jurisdiction. 

HONSELMAN CANDY COMPANY. 

This valued enterprise, which is a source of 
pride and credit to the city of Kalamazoo, and 
one of the pioneer manufactories of its kind in 
this part of the world, is one of those beneficent 
industries, which, while they do not exactly "min- 
ister to a mind diseased/' do, by their palatable 
sweets, help to ease the cares and soften the bur- 
dens of many a life, and smooth away untold do- 
mestic wrinkles. The business was founded on 
February 24, 1880, by George Honselman, who 
was born in Detroit and reared and educated 
there. He began his business career as a retail 
dealer in candies and kindred commodities, and 
continued his undertaking at Detroit until 1880. 
In that year he moved to Kalamazoo and engaged 
in the same traffic here, which he carried on until 
1885, then began the manufacture of candies in 
c, small way, keeping the retail business going 
also until 1902. He started manufacturing can- 
dies in the Waterbury block, but by 1896 the 
business had grown to such proportions as to 
necessitate more extensive accommodations, and 
accordingly in that year* he bought the building 
on East Main street in which it is now conducted. 
This is a three-story and basement block and 
warehouse forty-five feet square. The company 
employs fifty to seventy-five persons besides five 
or six salesmen on the road. The territory tribu- 
tary to its progress and success comprises Michi- 
gan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and several adjacent 
states. The company also handles large quanti- 
ties of peanuts and California walnuts in its prod- 
ucts, and makes every form of confection known 
to the trade. In addition to his interests in this 
16 



concern Mr. Honselman is well known as holding 
shares in other important business enterprises, he 
being a stockholder in the King Paper Company 
and the Kalamazoo Paper Box Company, of 
which he is a director. He is always alert to the 
commercial, industrial and social life of the city 
and county, and has great zeal for their educa- 
tional and moral agencies, but he has never been 
an active partisan in political affairs. He is prom- 
inent also in fraternal circles, being a Freemason 
with membership in the commandery of Knights 
Templar and the Mystic Shrine. He also be- 
longs to the Knights of Pythias and the order of 
Elks. Without ostentation or self-seeking, ex- 
cept in the line of his business, the proprietor of 
this industry has pursued the even tenor of his 
way as a good citizen, cheerfully bearing his por- 
tion of the burdens of good government and pub- 
lic improvement, and by his integrity, business 
acumen and public spirit he has won the Tasting 
regard and good will of the whole community, 
and made himself known throughout a very large 
extent of the surrounding country as one of the 
most capable business men and best citizens of his 
portion of the state. 

M. J. BIGELOW. 

Among the manufacturing industries which 
have made Kalamazoo well known and promi- 
nent in business circles throughout the civilized 
world none is more important or has higher title 
to public regard than the Phelps & Bigelow 
Windmill Company, whose product is sold and 
valued in almost every land under the sun where 
modern methods are prevalent. This com- 
pany was organized in January, 1876, and suc- 
ceeded the firm of Phelps & Bigelow, which was 
formed three years before. The men composing 
this firm, Horace Phelps and M. J. Bigelow, were 
among the first manufacturers of wooden wheel 
mills in this state, and from the start of their 
enterprise they found a ready market and a high 
appreciation for their output, the demands on 
their resources increasing to such an extent that 
when three years had passed they found it neces- 
sary to increase their plant and equipment very 



274 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



largely. To this end they organized the stock 
company which they are now in control of. The 
capital stock was at first twenty thousand dollars, 
but this was soon found to be inadequate and it 
was increased to forty thousand dollars. The 
first officers of the company were I. D. Bixby, 
president; Lorenzo Bixby, vice-president; M. J. 
Bigelow, secretary and treasurer, and Horace 
Phelps, general manager. Two years later Mr. 
Bixby was succeeded as president by J. P. Wood- 
bury, who held the office until 1881, when he re- 
tired in favor of his son, Edward Woodbury, who 
still occupies the position. Mr. Phelps continued 
to serve as general manager until his death in 
1883. The business has prospered greatly, each 
year witnessing an increase in the output of the 
factory and an enlargement of the territory tribu- 
tary to it. The company employs thirty to fifty 
men and the mills are sold all over the world, as 
has been stated, there being a large demand es- 
pecially in foreign countries, particularly in South 
America, South Africa and Australia. Mr. Bige- 
low, who has been the secretary and treasurer of 
the company from its organization and the impell- 
ing and directing force of the industry, and 
who succeeded Mr. Phelps as general manager, 
was born in Essex county, N. Y., in 1844, 
and was reared and educated there. He came to 
Michigan in 1866 and located at Kalamazoo. 
Here he was variously occupied until the windmill 
business was started by him and Mr. Phelps, and 
since that time he has devoted his energies al- 
most exclusively to this enterprise. He was, how- 
ever, instrumental also in founding the Kalama- 
zoo National Bank in July, 1884, and has since 
served as its vice-president and one of its direc- 
tors. He is also president of the Riverside Foun- 
dry Company and the Kalamazoo Galvanized 
Iron Works. In these diverse and exacting indus- 
trial operations he finds full scope for his active 
and fertile mind, and very profitable employment 
of his time. So that, although a firm Republi- 
can in political faith, he has never had time to 
become an active partisan or indulge a desire for 
public office, the only official trust he has ever held 
being membership on the school board. In the 
matter of private institutions of benefit to the 



community he renders good service as trustee and 
treasurer of the Mountain Home Cemetery Com- 
pany. The officers of the windmill company at 
present are Edward Woodbury, president ; Ira A. 
Ramson, vice-president ; M. J. Bigelow, general 
manager, and A. W. Brownell, recording secre- 
tary and superintendent. Mr. Bigelow is one of 
the most highly esteemed men in the city. 

B. F. PARKER. 

The late B. F. Parker, one of the most exten- 
sive and enterprising real-estate men of Kalama- 
zoo, whose untimely death, on April 1, 1904, de- 
prived the city of one of its leading promoters 
and caused wide-spread grief among its people, 
was born in Kalamazoo county on Grand Prairie 
on October 30, 1858. His parents, Thomas R. 
and Matilda (Smith) Parker, were natives of 
England, the former born in county Durham and 
the latter at Lancashire. The father was a 
farmer and emigrated to the United States in 
1855, settling at Kalamazoo, where he was mar- 
ried. He returned with his wife to England in 
1859 anc * soon afterward died there. The mother 
came back to this country and until her death she 
made her home with her son, B. F. Parker. He 
grew to man's estate in his native county and was 
educated in its public schools. He began life as a 
farmer and later clerked in a bank for Sheldon 
& Breese for a time. He then studied law for a 
year and a half in the office of Dallas Boudeman, 
but abandoned the profession to engage in the 
real-estate business which he followed twenty-one 
years, until his death. He was also engaged in 
farming, owning a fine farm of over two hun- 
dred acres. For a number of years he was sec- 
retary, treasurer and general manager of the Kala- 
mazoo Land and Improvement Company, and in 
that capacity added by his enterprise and business 
capacity large extents to the size of the city, 
platting for the purpose an addition of forty-two 
acres belonging to the company, forty-two in the 
Dewing & Parker addition, and one hundred and 
seventy-eight in the Buckingham addition, be- 
sides the J. and A. Dewing addition. He built 
some seventy dwellings for new residents and in 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



275 



many other ways gave an impetus to the spirit of 
improvement here that will continue to bring 
forth good results for many years to come. He 
was, moreover, a director of the Kalamazoo Sav- 
ings Bank and assisted in founding many of the 
largest and most important manufacturing en- 
terprises in the city. In political thought and ac- 
tion he was an ardent Republican, but he never 
sought or desired public office of any kind, his 
mind being wholly absorbed in his business. In 
1897 he united in marriage with Miss Kittie J. 
Longyear, a resident of Kalamazoo and a teacher 
in the public schools. They had two children, 
Thomas O. and Marian,, who survive their father. 
Mr. Parker was prominent in social and fraternal 
circles, in the latter being a zealous Freemason in 
lodge and chapter. In religious faith he was an 
earnest Congregationalist. No man in the city 
was better known or more highly esteemed, and 
none better de3erved the high regard in which he 
was held, whether measured by the volume and 
value of his work, his sterling and upright man- 
hood or his genial and entertaining social quali- 
ties. He was an excellent citizen in every sense 
of the term. 

HIRAM A. KILGORE. 

Although he has not yet reached the limit of 
human life as fixed by the psalmist, Hiram A.. 
Kilgore, of Kalamazoo, is one of the early in- 
habitants of the county, and the whole of his life 
so far has been passed within its borders. Here 
he was born on October 16, 1840, here he was 
reared to manhood, and here also he received his 
education in the common schools, such as they 
were in his boyhood. He has seen this part of 
the country in a state of almost primeval wilder- 
ness, and has witnessed its transformation, under 
the genius and enterprise of man and the benign 
influence of free institutions, to its present state 
of advanced development, blessed with all the 
benignities and rich in all the material wealth of 
cultivated life. Mr. Kilgore is the son of John 
and Catherine (Martin) Kilgore, the former born 
in the north of Ireland and the latter in the state 
of New York. At the age of thirteen, in 1821, 



the father came to the United States with his par- 
ents and his three brothers and one sister. The 
family took up their residence in Genesee county, 
N. Y., and there the parents passed the re- 
mainder of their days engaged in the quiet pursuit 
of farming, and at length, after long years of 
uesful and creditable life, were laid to rest in the 
soil that was hallowed by their labors. Their 
son, the father of Hiram, came to Michigan in 
1835 and entered a tract of four hundred and 
twenty acres of government land south of Kala- 
mazoo. He also entered a tract in Cass county 
and one in Branch county, this state. The next 
year he took up his residence in the state, locating 
on the land near Kalamazoo. Some time after- 
ward he sold this and bought another tract south 
of it which he cleared and reduced to cultivation, 
and on which he lived until his death in 1874, his 
wife dying some time later. He served as super- 
visor of Portage township, was a zealous member 
of the Presbyterian church, and in other ways 
took an active and helpful interest in the develop- 
ment of the community in which he lived. The 
family comprised four sons and two daughters, 
all of whom are living but the oldest son. Hiram 
A. Kilgore remained under the paternal rooftree 
until he reached the age of twenty-seven, then 
bgan working about the country as a carpenter 
and millwright, his skill and industry contributing 
to the erection of a number of the early mills in 
this section while yet the old stone process of 
grinding was generally in vogue. He also be- 
came a miller and still works at that trade to some 
extent although for the most part he has retired 
from active pursuits and is quietly enjoying life 
at his comfortable home on Vine street, in this 
city. He owned a grist mill in Kalamazoo town-; 
ship which he built in 1876 but this mill was de- 
stroyed by fire in July 1905, at a loss of over seven 
thousand dollars. He also owns a part of the old 
family homestead which is operated by his broth- 
er's son. In 1866 he was married in this town- 
ship to Miss Anna M. McKay, a daughter of 
Joseph and Eliza (Nesbith) McKay, early set- 
tlers on Prairie Ronde. They have one son liv- 
ing, Robert N., and one daughter, Mary, the wife 
of Thomas Richmond. Mrs. Richmond died in 



276 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



1902 and left two daughters. While always averse 
to holding office, Mr. Kilgore has served as drain 
commissioner. Fraternally he is a Freemason and 
a United Workman. Throughout the county and 
the surrounding territory he is well known and 
universally respected. 

WALLACE B. NORTH. 

Wallace B. North, one of the leading lumber 
merchants of this state, is president of the North 
& Coon Lumber Company, an incorporated insti- 
tution with a capital stock of fifty thousand dol- 
lars and doing an extensive business, whose pa- 
trons are in many parts of the country. The com- 
pany is the outgrowth of the old firm of North & 
Coon, which was formed in 1888. This firm car- 
ried on an extensive business, which increased 
to such proportions that its members concluded it 
was best for them to organize a company to con- 
duct the business and thus enlarge their resources 
and augment their force. Accordingly in Janu- 
ary, 1904, the present company was formed, with 
Mr. North as president, H. C. Coon as vice-presi- 
dent, L. W. H. Jones as secretary, and A. C. Jick- 
ling, treasurer and general manager. Mr. North 
was born in St. Joseph county, this state, in 1851. 
His parents were William T. and Emeline (Cha- 
pin) North, the former a native of Connecticut 
and the latter of New York. The father was a 
farmer and came to Michigan in 1844. He set- 
tled on a tract of wild land in St. Joseph county 
which he cleared up and made habitable and pro- 
ductive and on which he lived for a number of 
years. Both he and his wife died at Battle Creek. 
Their son Wallace was reared and educated in 
his native county, remaining at home with his 
parents until he reached the age of twenty-seven. 
In 1878 he engaged in the lumber business at 
White Pigeon, St. Joseph county, where he car- 
ried on a flourishing trade for a period of seven 
years, then moved to Vicksburg, this county, 
where he traded in the same line until the forma- 
tion of the firm of North & Coon in 1888. Dur- 
ing the next six years this firm grew and flour- 
ished in business and in public regard, and at the 
end of that time was transformed into the com- 



pany which now contains the same business ele- 
ments that created and expanded the trade and is 
under the same controlling spirit that has inspired 
the enterprise from the start and directed its 
course along the lines of enduring progress and 
safety, the business acumen and capacity of Mr. 
North. He united in marriage October 20, 1880, 
with Miss Flora M. Peck, a native of Sharon, 
Washtenaw county, Mich. Mrs. North is the 
daughter of Waite and Lucinda (Webster) Peck, 
who were early settlers in Washtenaw county, 
having come thither from Sharon, Litchfield 
county, Conn., where the father was born on Oc- 
tober 12, 1807. He died at Sharon, Mich., in 1897. 
A pioneer of this state, and an active worker for 
the advancement of its interests in every com- 
mendable way, he was highly esteemed by all who 
knew him, and especially by the people of his own 
county. Mr. and Mrs. North have an elegant 
home in Kalamazoo, which is a gem of architec- 
tural skill, artistic adornment and refined taste, 
as well as a center of considerate and generous 
hospitality. Three children have been born to 
them, William Waite, who died at the age of 
fourteen, Flora and Hubert L. Mr. North is a 
member of the Masonic order of the Knights 
Templar degree, arid he and his family are mem- 
bersof the Methodist Episcopal church. Although 
a Republican, firm in the faith and zealous in de- 
sire for the success of the cause, he has never 
taken an active part in party politics. His busi- 
ness and his domestic ties, with his church rela- 
tions have absorbed his time and attention, and 
in them he has found congenial employment, 
profitable industry and peace of mind. Through- 
out the city and county in which he lives and a 
much larger extent of country, he is esteemed as 
one of Michigan's best and most serviceable citi- 
zens. 

FRANK B. LAY. 

Frank B. Lay, vice-president and treasurer of 
the Michigan Buggy Company, of Kalamazoo, is 
a native of Allegan county, this state, born on 
November 29, 1856. His parents, George T. and 
Mary (Barber) Lay, were natives of New York 
and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father in his 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



277 



boyhood remained with his parents in Pennsyl- 
vania, and there he grew to manhood and at- 
tended the district schools, working on the pater- 
nal homestead until he became of age. Then, in 
1843, he came to Michigan and located in Allegan 
county. He soon became extensively engaged in 
lumbering, rafting his product down the Kalama- 
zoo river to Lake Michigan and then shipping 
it to Chicago. He followed this business for a 
number of years, and was also engaged in farm- 
ing and handling agricultural implements. In 
1883 he aided in organizing the Michigan Buggy 
Company, and was a director and its vice-presi- 
dent until his death, on March 13, 1901 . He was 
also a stockholder in the Comstock Manufactur- 
ing Company. An active and enterprising busi- 
ness man, and highly endowed with business ca- 
pacity of a high order, he built up a large trade 
for every enterprise with which he was con- 
nected and accumulated a large fortune without 
any capital to start with, having all his worldly 
effects in a satchel when he reached Allegan. At 
the time of his death he owned more than one 
thousand acres of the best land in Monterey town- 
ship, that county, and has besides much valuable 
property elsewhere. He was thorough in all his 
work and wise in his methods, but his prosperity 
was due not less to patient industry than to good 
management. He was always deeply interested in 
public affairs, but he had no official connection 
with them because of his consistent adherence 
to his Democratic faith in politics. He was often 
nominated by his party for positions of promi- 
nence and great responsibility, but he failed of 
election because of the large adverse majority in 
the county. In religious faith he was an Advent- 
ist, and he did much for the interests of his sect 
both locally and in its general work. He was a 
gentleman of kind heart, helpful to the deserving, 
and strict in observance of his word as well as of 
his bond. His offspring numbered one son and 
f wo daughters who are living, Frank B. Lay, 
Mrs. Henry Lane and Mrs. E. M. Brackett. He 
also- had two adopted children. His wife died 
when her son Frank was a child, and her father 
married a second wife who survives him. The 
son was reared in his native county and attended 



its public schools. He afterward passed two 
years in the law department of the Michigan 
University, where he was graduated in 1878. He 
began business with his father, and when the 
buggy company was organized he became its sec- 
retary and treasurer, serving as such until 1903, 
when he was made vice-president and treasurer. 
He was also one of the founders of the Comstock 
Manufacturing Company and is now one of its 
directors. A few years ago he and Mr. Lane be^ 
gan raising Shetland ponies, and they carry on 
this enterprise on the Riverside pony farm, which 
they own and on which they have an average of 
nearly two hundred ponies. For these they "have 
a wide and active market. Mr. Lay is also largely 
interested in breeding a high grade of fine car- 
riage and track horses on the old homestead in 
Allegan county and is the owner of "Strong- 
wood/' one of Michigan's greatest sires; "Note- 
boly," "Cashwood," ; 2 :oy 1-4 ; "Elmwood,'' 
2:071-2; '-The Puritan, ,r 2:093-4; "Storm- 
wood," 2:111-4; "Verna Strongwood," (3) 
2:121-4; "Englewood," 2:123-4, and many 
others with marks better than 2:20. 

Mr. Lay was married in Allegan county in 
1879, to Miss Mary Belle Barclay, a native off 
New York, but who came to Michigan when a 
child. They have three sons and two daughters. 
Mr. Lay has never been an active partisan. 1 Tn 
church affiliation he is a Presbyterian. 

M. HENRY LANE. 

This energetic and progressive business man, 
who is president of the Michigan Buggy Com- 
pany, and in that has given Kalamazoo one of 
its best industries, has had a career of great use- 
fulness in this community, and although on two 
separate occasions has been burned out by disas- 
trous fires, with characteristic pluck and energy 
he has triumphed over all difficulties and kept his 
industry going, to the advantage of the city and 
the comfort of a large number of men whom it 
employs. He is a native of Cayuga county, N. 
Y., born in January, 1849. ^ n 1881 he came to 
Kalamazoo and organized the Kalamazoo Wagon 
Company, composed of himself, F. W. Myers and 



278 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



Ira V. Hicks. In 1.883 ne severed his connection 
with that company and founded the Michigan 
Buggy Company, with which he has since been 
actively connected. It is a stock company, formed 
with a capital stock of seventy-five thousand dol- 
lars, which was afterward increased to one hun- 
dred thousand dollars. From its start Mr. Lane 
has been its president. The first vice-president 
was George T. Lay, of Allegan, and the first 
secretary and treasurer, was F. B. Lay. They 
owned all the stock, and started the business in 
a factory which they built in 1883 in the northern 
part pf the city. This was destroyed by fire in 
1896, with a loss of sixty-three thousand dollars, 
on which they • had ' an insurance of only forty 
thousand dollars. They at once enlarged a small 
factory which they owned and continued the busi- 
ness. After greatly enlarging this plant and com- 
pleting its equipment with all the most approved 
machinery for their work it was also destroyed 
by fire, the loss on this occasion being two hun- 
dred and forty-nine thousand dollars and the in- 
surance eighty thousand dollars: . The blow was 
a serious one, but, nothing daunted, they began 
immediately to rebuild, erecting the present fac- 
tory along the Grand Rapids and Indiana Rail- 
road south of the city, where they own a tract of 
four hundred acres of land, the greater part of 
which is platted, adding vastly to the growth and 
wealth of the city. The plant they now operate 
is nearly twice as large as the old one, and they 
turn out over twenty thousand buggies and 
twelve thousand cutters in a year, which are sold 
in all parts- of this country and in many foreign 
lands. Mr. Lane is one of the most energetic 
business men in the state, knowing no weariness 
or cessation from toil in conducting his various 
enterprises. He is a stockholder in the Comstock 
Manufacturing Company and the Kalamazoo Rec- 
reation Park, and was at one time a- stockholder 
in the First National Bank. He is also exten- 
sively interested in farming, operating over six 
hundred acres of his own land and five hundred 
in company with Mr. Lay. He belongs to the 
National Carriage Builders' Association and has 
served" as its vice-president. In political affairs 
he takes a lively interest as a Republican, and 



through his zeal in all public affairs rendered very 
effective and satisfactory service as a member of 
the World's Fair Board in 1894. His home in 
Kalamazoo is one of the finest in the state, hav- 
ing been built at a cost of over sixty thousand 
dollars. 

In 1895 Mr. Lane organized a company for 
the construction of the Chicago & Kalamazoo 
Terminal Railroad. This great enterprise will 
be completed as a belt line around the city of 
Kalamazoo, and will be a great advantage to busi- 
ness and the people of the community. 

GARDNER T. EAMES. 

This prominent and enterprising manufacturer 
and mill man' may almost be 'said to have been 
born to the purple in mechanics, and to have en- 
tered upon his inheritance in this useful line of 
productive industry in his childhood, as his fa- 
ther was for many years' devoted to this work 
and made a record of great credit in it. Mr. 
Eames, who is the present owner of the Eames 
Machine Shops, on Michigan and Asylum ave- 
nues < in Kalamazoo, was born in that /city . on 
March 9, 1851,. and is the son of Lovett and 
Lucy C. (Morgan) Eames, both natives of Wa- 
tertown, N.*Y. The father was an expert on 
hydraulics and built the first system in his native 
town, where he also owned a saw mill and ma- 
chine shop. Before coming to this state he became 
a teacher in the Belleville Academy and continued 
in that useful vocation a number of years. In 
1 83 1 he moved to Kalamazoo county and bought 
a tract of land on Grand Prairie on which he set- 
tled, and soon afterward erected a water power 
on the River road, where he put up a saw mill 
which he conducted some time, then moved to the 
city of Kalamazoo. In .1844 he built a home in 
the city opposite the college, which is still in the 
possession of his family. In 1833 he erected the 
Eames Mill, which was used in the manufacture 
of linseed oil, and he had a saw mill in connec- 
tion with the plant. Later he turned the plant 
into a machine shop and foundry and engaged 
largely in the manufacture of saw-mill machin- 
ery. He built the first hydraulic water system in 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



279 



this part of the country in 1863, and this sup- 
plied the State Fair Grounds with water, but soon 
after its completion and before the end of that 
year he died. He was a true born mechanic or 
machinist, and turned the inventive genius with 
which he was largely endowed to the production 
of labor saving and producing devices, inventing 
among other things the square auger which is 
now in general use and which he perfected and 
placed on the market in 1862. He was exten- 
sively engaged in business, operating saw mills 
in various parts of the state and conducting other 
enterprises in collateral lines. At Watertown, 
N. Y., in 1 831, he was married to Miss Lucy 
Morgan, a daughter of Elder Morgan, a Baptist 
clergyman. She was for years a teacher in the 
Lowville, N. Y., Academy, and had among her 
pupils Hon. B. F. Taylor and other men who 
afterward rose to distinction. After her arrival 
in Michigan she taught school a year at Ann 
Arbor, living there with her brother, Elijah W. 
Morgan, a pioneer of that city. Her mind was 
keenly alive to the benefits of literary organiza- 
tions and the means of supplying them with in- 
formation and stimulus to study, and in company 
with Mrs. Webster, Mrs. Stone, and other ladies 
of breadth of view and enterprise, organized the 
Ladies' Library Association, of which she was a 
valued official 'for a long time. The family com- 
prised six sons and two daughters, and of these, 
three of the sons and the two daughters are living. 
Their mother died in June, 1900. One of her 
sons fought through the Civil war as a member 
of the Second Michigan Infantry. Her son, 
Gardner T. Eames, the immediate subject of this 
review, was educated in the schools of Kalama- 
zoo, and at the age of thirteen became an appren- 
tice in the office of the Kalamazoo Telegraph. 
He afterward became a machinist and has fol- 
lowed this craft ever since. His first venture was 
in the manufacture of hubs and spokes in the old 
factory, where he started in 1868. In 1887 ne 
began the manufacture of wooden pulleys and 
sometime afterward of drill grinders. He has 
steadfastly adhered to his chosen lines of enter- 
prise and has made the business profitable to him- 
self and extensively serviceable to his commu- 



nity, owning now one of the leading and most 
characteristic manufacturing establishments in 
the state, and ever maintaining the high standard 
of excellence for which its products are widely 
renowned. In 1881 he united in marriage with 
Miss Fannie Vinton, a native of Cincinnati. They 
have had one son, who is deceased. The Eames 
family came to New England in early colonial 
days and for many generations they lived in that 
section of the country, gradually moving to other 
portions of the country as they were opened to 
settlement, until their name and prominence is 
recognized in many parts of the West, and their 
members have dignified and adorned every walk 
of life, bearing their part well' and wisely in all 
the duties of citizenship in peace and war, and 
performing every duty with skill and fidelity. • 

GILES CHITTENDEN BURNHAM. 

The statement is as true as it is old, that death 
loves a shining mark, and it is amply exemplified 
in the departure from this life of the late Giles 
Chittenden Burnharn, of Kalamazoo, who was 
one of the best known business men in the city. 
He was born at Saline, this state, on August 7, 
1830, the son of Hiram G. and Minerva (Chit- 
tenden) Burnham, both natives of Vermont. The 
father was a civil engineer and brought his fam- 
ily to Michigan in 1830, not long before the birth 
of the son Giles. He settled at Saline, and soon 
afterward began surveying in the northern part 
of the state where he did "a great deal of profes^ 
sional work. Early in the '50s he went to Cali- 
fornia and there he died of cholera. The mother 
died some years later of cholera. They had two 
sons and one daughter, all now deceased. Mr. 
Burnham' s paternal grandfather was a soldier 
in the Revolutionary war, and made a good rec- 
ord in the field and on the march. Giles Burn- 
ham was reared and educated in this state, re- 
ceiving the greater part of his scholastic training 
in the public schools. His first real work in life 
for pay was as an assistant to his father in sur- 
veying, and in this he became very familiar with 
all northern Michigan. He also accompanied his 
father to California, where he passed one year 



28o 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



working in the mines. He then returned to Mich- 
igan and located at Battle Creek, where for a 
number of years he was in the employ of the 
American Express Company. In i860 he re- 
moved to Detroit, and after remaining there six 
years changed his residence to Kalamazoo, and 
here he lived until his death, on March 1,1900. 
He took a great and active interest in the welfare 
of the city, especially its educational and religious 
institutions, and as a prominent member and ves- 
tryman of St. Luke's church he was well known 
in church circles. He aided liberally in building 
the church, and to the end of his life he gave its 
interests his earnest and careful attention. In 
1864, when the Civilwar was nearing its close, 
but when the end was not yet definitely deter- 
mined, he enlisted in the Union army, but his 
company was never called into service. The later 
years of his life were passed in practical retire- 
ment from active pursuits, but in earnest consid- 
eration for the good of others, who were still in 
the ardent struggle of business industry. In June, 
1864, ne was united in marriage with Miss Mary 
Horton, a daughter of Harrison F. Hortori, who 
was among the first men to invest money at Battle 
Creek, he building the first residence and the first 
stone structure there. He was a merchant in 
New York city and passed his time there and in 1 
Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Burnham had three 
children, one son and two daughters. The son 
has died, but the daughters, Annie H. and Madge 
3VL, are living* and at home with their mother. 
.Mrs. Burnham is a lady of well-known practical 
benevolence, and is particularly active in the good 
works instituted and conducted by St. Luke's 
church. Her contributions to the church in all 
factors of its benevolence have been generous and 
are highly appreciated. 

HUNTINGTON M. MARVIN. 

The late Huntington M. Marvin, of Augusta, 
this county, who died in 1896, at the age of sev- 
enty-seven, after fifty-six years of useful man- 
hood had rounded out their full course in his ca- 
reer, fifty-two of them' in this state and sixteen 
in Kalamazoo county, was a native of Erie 



county, N. Y., born on November 17, 1819, and 
the son of Samuel and Abigail (Bulliss) Marvin, 
the place of whose nativity was Orange county, 
in the same state. True to every requirement of 
manly duty, the father was an industrious black- 
smith in times of peace and also a farmer ; and 
when the war cloud darkened over the land in 
1 81 2, he left his forge for the camp and battle- 
field in defense of his country, and during the 
short, but sharp, conflict for independence on the 
seas, saw active service at the front. His wife 
died in Genesee county, N. Y., early in the^ 40s. 
and soon afterward, that is in 1843, ne migrated 
to Orange county with the members of his fam- 
ily then at home, making the journey by ox team, 
and from there to Erie county. Subsequently he 
brought his family to Michigan, coming to Cal- 
houn county, where he lived until his death at 
Bedford. He had three sons and three daughters, 
all of whom are now dead. Huntington M. Mar- 
vin grew to manhood in his native state and there 
received a common-school education. After 
leaving school he learned the blacksmith trade 
under the direction of his father, and at this he 
wrought in New York until 1844. In that year 
he was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda C. 
Riley, of Genesee county, where the marriage oc- 
curred, and soon afterward came to Michigan 
and bought a farm in Calhoun county. This he 
cleared and improved, then sold it and moved to 
Battle Creek, where he engaged in merchandising 
for a number of years. Later he erected a grist 
mill at Bedford which he operated for a period 
of twenty years, after which he built two stores 
and a hotel there. In 1880 he took up his resi- 
dence at Augusta, this county, purchasing a mill 
there, which he operated until his death in 1896. 
He and his wife were the parents of two chil- 
dren, one of whom is living, their son Henry M., 
a successful business man of Augusta (see sketch 
of him on another page) . Mr. Marvin was a 
Democrat in political allegiance, but while al- 
ways giving his party an earnest and loyal sup- 
port, he never aspired to public office, being well 
content to serve his county and state from the 
honorable post of private citizenship, and lend 
his aid to local improvement without regard to 





3jy?rz4-tj 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



283 



party considerations. He was a prosperous and 
substantial man, owning several farms in this and 
Calhoun counties, and conducting for many years 
a private bank at Augusta. The son took his 
nlace in business and also in public esteem as a 
worthy and useful citizen, showing at all times an 
honest zeal for the public good and a diligent and 
intelligent activity in promoting it. 

WILLARD W.OLIVER. 

This well and favorably known early settler 
in Cbmstock township, this county, was a na- 
tive of Monroe county, N. Y., born on July 
14, 1836. His parents, William' and Esther 
(Myers) Oliver, were also born and reared irt 
New York, and were prosperous farmers there. 
The father "was also an extensive dealer in horses 
and handled a large number of them each year. 
Both parents died in their native state. They had 
a family of two sons and one daughter, all of 
whom are now dead. Willard passed his boyhood 
and youth at Leroy, New York, attending the 
common schools in the neighborhood of his home 
and assisting in the work of the farm. After leav- 
ing school he engaged in business at Caledonia, 
New York, until 1859, then came to Michigan, 
and after a short stay in Kalamazoo located at 
Lawton, Van Buren county, where he lived sev- 
eral years. Returning to Kalamazoo, he remained 
until 1878, then purchased the farm in Comstock 
township on which he lived until his death, in 
1899. He was married in New York on Septem- 
ber 26, 1859, to Miss Mary H. Green, a native of 
Caledonia, in that state. Her father, who was a 
native of Vermont and a soldier in the war of 
1812, came to Michigan many years before his 
death and passed the remainder of his life in 
Oshtemo township, this county, where he died. 
The mother afterward passed away at the home of 
her daughter, Mrs. Oliver. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver 
had three children, all of whom have died but 
their son, Burton W., who was born iri Kalama- 
zoo April 15, 1876, and was married on June 
2 5> 1903, to Miss Georgia Ryder, a daughter of 



Richard Ryder, of this county. Willard W. 
Oliver had an adopted daughter, Florence M., 
now Mrs. George W. Shafe, of Galesburg. Mr. 
Oliver, although he supported the Democratic 
party in national affairs, was not an active politi- 
cian and never held or desired a political office of 
any kind. He was an attendant of the People's 
church, and throughout the county he was well 
known and generally respected. For some years 
before his death he was in business in Chicago, 
where he also had a large circle of acquaintances 
and friends. 

FORD MANUFACTURING COMPANY. 

This company, which is one of the valued en- 
terprises of Kalamazoo, the only one of its kind 
in the city and the first to start in this section of 
the state, is a private corporation wholly owned 
by Charles B. Ford. Its work is the manufacture 
of buggy and auto bodies, fanning mills and wood 
novelties of various kinds. It was founded in 
May, 1 89 1, by Messrs. Ford and Pennington, and 
was conducted by them on Water street until 
1896, when Mr. Pennington died. Mr. Ford then 
purchased the whole business and he has contin- 
ued it ever since with an increasing volume of 
trade and profit.. In 1899 ne built and moved to 
his present factory south of the city on the line 
of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad. The 
nature and variety of his output enables him to 
supply the wants of the business world and the 
devotee of pleasure in several ways not otherwise 
easily attainable in this part of the country, and 
he has extensive sales of his products in this and 
adjoining states. Mr. Ford was born June, 1848, 
in Monroe county, N. Y., and there he grew to 
manhood and learned the trade of a carpenter. 
In 1872 he came to Michigan and located at Lan- 
sing, where he worked in a sash and blind factory 
seven years, then in 1879 moved to Galesburg, 
this county, where he remained until 1887. In 
that year he became a resident of Kalamazoo and 
four years later founded the business in which 
he is now engaged. He employs thirty-five per- 
sons in his factory and a number on the' road, and 



284 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



as he gives his personal attention to every depart- 
ment of the work nothing is wanted that the eye 
and the . energy of a master can furnish for its 
complete success. In politics he has been a life- 
long Republican and for many years has belonged 
to the order of Odd Fellows. His interest in the 
welfare of the city, its business, interests, its edu- 
cational and moral life and its substantial prog- 
ress in every commendable line of enterprise, is 
manifested by close and intelligent attention to 
their needs and active aid in promoting them. He 
is well esteemed on all sides as a worthy and en- 
terprising citizen, wide-awake to his own oppor- 
tunities and the general weal, and eyer ready to 
make the most of any opening for their advance- 
ment ; while in. social and fraternal, life, he has a 
high rank as an earnest and, serviceable factor. 



\ LEQNARD G. JBRAGG. 

To start well, to ..keep progressing in spite 
of all difficulties and obstacles,, to maintain the 
pace with all competitors, surviving many and 
lagging behind none, to attain such, a fullness of 
growth and be established .on, so firm a . founda- 
tion as to become almost a classic, so to speak, 
in a business way,— if these are not proofs of ex- 
cellence and worthy of the highest admiration, 
it would be difficult to designate what are. What- 
ever tribute to excellence is involved in. these con- 
ditions properly belongs .to Leonard G. Bragg, 
founder and manager, of the Union Nursery 
Company, or more properly speaking,, of the firm 
of L r G. Bragg & Company,, which owns and con- 
ducts one of the leading nurseries in this part of 
the country. For nearly half a century Mr. 
Bragg has been a leading business man in or near 
Kalamazoo, starting his enterprise at Paw Paw 
in the adjoining county of Van Buren in 1857 and 
moving it to Kalamazoo in 1869. The nursery 
comprises two* hundred and seventeen acres and 
is particularly devoted to fruit and ornamental 
trees and shrubs, which are produced with the 
greatest care both, as to selection and growth, and 
are sold by agents of the company throughout 
nearly a dozen of the surrounding states. Eighty 
to one hundred men are employed in the business, 



and through its well-directed efforts and unvary- 
ing business fairness the company enjoys a very 
large trade. The beginning of this large and well 
established business was small, but in the passing 
years no effort has been spared to expand the trade 
and keep the products for t^ie market up to the 
highest standard. The head of the company, 
Leonard G. Bragg,, was born in Monroe county, 
New York, on August 19, 1830, and is the son of 
Leonard and Philinda (Gilmore) Bragg. His 
father was a farmer, and while the son was in 
his boyhood the family moved to Orleans county, 
in his. native state. There on the paternal home- 
stead he grew to manhood, assisting in the labors 
of .the farm and securing his education at the 
neighboring district schools. . In 1857 he came 
to Michigan and located at Paw Paw, where he 
started in the nursery business in which his 
brother, P. . I. Bragg, was associated with him. 
The industry was wisely managed and it throve, 
and in course of time demanded a larger base of 
operations. Accordingly in 1869 it was moved 
to Kalamazoo, and here its expansion and pros- 
perity, has been greatly enhanced. In r887 Mr. 
Bragg formed a partnership with W< C. Hoyt, 
and the firm name of L. G. Bragg & Company 
was assumed. The business is one of the largest 
as well as one of the oldest of its kind in the 
middle West, and has a standing throughout the 
vast country under tribute to its coffers second to 
no other. Mr. Bragg was married in 1853 to 
Miss. Mary Sherwood, a daughter of Anson Sher- 
wood, of Orleans county, New York. They have 
one child, their daughter Lena, wife oL Charles 
A. Burton, of Chicago. Mr. Bragg owns con- 
siderable valuable real estate in the city including 
his beautiful home at Elm and West Main 
streets ; and he also has a fine farm of two hun- 
dred and forty acres, well improved with first- 
class buildings and in a high state of cultivation. 

MEYER DESENBERG, Sr. 

That thrift and industry in the careful con- 
servation of small things until they amount to 
great ones in the aggregate and lead to still 
greater ones by the force which they add to a 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



285 



man's resources, will always succeed in this land 
of boundless opportunity, is forcibly illustrated 
in the career of Meyer Desenberg, Sr., one of the 
pioneer Hebrew merchants of Kalamazoo,/ who/y 
began operations in this part of the world as a 
foot pedlar of small wares and from that labo*»> 
rious but interesting occupation rose to the rank 
of a wholesale merchant, successful miner and ex- 
tensive general business man. He was born in 
Prussia on February 28, 1834, and is the son 
of Levy and Adelaide (Bermann) Desenberg, who 
were born and passed their lives in that country, 
where the father was a merchant and small farmer. 
The son was educated in his native land, being 
graduated from one of its excellent high schools, 
and, in, 1854, at the age of twenty, gathering the 
hopes of his dawning manhood about him, he 
came to this country; locating at once at Kala- 
mazoo. Here he joined his brother, Bernhard 
L., who had come to this city the year before and 
was employed as a clerk by M. Israel. .The new 
arrival began work as a pedlar, walking through 
the country from farm to farm, carrying his tin 
box and learning the English language. After 
ten months of successful work in this line he 
passed a short time clerking for Henry Stern, 
then in 1856 went to California by way of New 
York and the Isthmus, arriving after a long 
but interesting voyage at San Francisco, and he 
soon afterward engaged in the cigar and fruit 
trade at the mines northeast of the city. A year 
later he turned his attention to placer mining, in 
which he was successful for three years. He then 
returned to Kalamazoo and joined his brother in 
a retail grocery trade under the firm name of 
Desenberg & Brother. The firm was afterward 
changed to B. Desenberg & Company, and under 
that name is still doing business. In the course 
of a few years they began wholesaling, and in 
1868 separated this branch of the business from 
the retail branch. In 1879 Meyer sold his in- 
terest in the establishment and for a short time 
retired from business. He next went to Salt 
Lake City and invested in mining properties, but 
after two years returned again to Kalamazoo and 
once more entered the grocery business, this time 
in partnership with Julius Schuster, the style of 



the firm being Desenberg & Schuster. 'The 
founders- of this firm retired from. the enterprise 
in 1896. Since this event Mr, Desenberg has 
been carrying on a small trade in coffees and teas. 
He has always been progressive and enterprising, 
full of public spirit and eager for the develop- 
ment of all the natural resources of the section 
in which he lives. He was one of the first of 
Kalamazoo's citizens to encourage boring for 
gas and oil in the neighborhood, and also one of 
the earliest stockholders in the Electric Lighting 
Company, which > was organized in the '8os. In 
1865 he was married, in* Kalamazoo, to Miss 
Lizzie Bohm, a native of Ohio. They have one 
living child, their son Henry M., who is engaged 
in the electrical business and has been. for nine 
years connected with the Kalamazoo Savings 
Bank. In political faith Mr. Desenberg is a Re- 
publican, but he has never sought or desired a 
public office for himself. Firm in his loyalty to 
his race, he was actively instrumental about 
thirty-five years ago in founding the Jewish B'nai- 
Israel congregation of the city and ever since 
he has. been one of its most zealous friends and 
supporters. Fraternally he has been a blue-lodge 
Mason since 1863, and during all of his pilgrim- 
age among the mystic symbolism of the order he 
has been an attentive and devout student before 
the triple lights. Widely esteemed in the busi- 
ness world, and standing well in social circles, 
Mr. Desenberg is an ornament to the city as a 
useful and patriotic citizen of a high type. He 
is liberal in religious' views, visiting and con- 
tributing to any of the Gentile churches which 
happens to appeal to his taste, as he declares there 
is something good to be obtained from any re- 
ligious assembly. 

ALBERT L. CAMPBELL. 

. The matter of taxation for the support of the 
government, state, county or municipal, is one 
that comes very near to the; heart of the Amer- 
ican citizen, and while in the main most men are 
willing to bear their share of the burden and do 
it cheerfully, they do wish to know, that the tax 
is levied f fairly and. bears with equal force on all 



286 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



classes of persons and property. This usually 
happens when the laws are just and the officials 
who administer them are capable and honest. In 
this respect the people of Kalamazoo have reason 
for satisfaction at least in the person and official 
conduct of their city assessor, Albert L. Camp- 
bell, who fixes the value of property for taxation, 
whom they find wise in judgment and square and 
firm in action. He has given them three years 
of excellent service in his important office, and 
they appreciate his administration of its affairs. 
Mr. Campbell was born in Kalamiazoo county on 
November 8, 1851, and is the son of Hugh and 
Mary (Gilmore) Campbell, the former a na- 
tive of Scotland and the latter of Ireland. The 
father was a baker. He came to the United 
States and went direct to Kalamazoo in 1844. 
After working at his trade for years in the city 
he bought a farm in Portage township which he 
owned and lived on until 1865, then moved to 
Texas township and farmed there until 1883. In 
that year he changed his residence to Schoolcraft, 
where he died soon afterward. He took an active 
part in local affairs as a Democrat and served as 
township treasurer and in other local offices. The 
mother died in 1896. They had a family of six 
sons and three daughters. All of the sons and 
one of the daughters are living. Albert gr£w to 
manhood on the farm and was educated in the 
district schools, and after completing the course 
engaged in teaching for ten years and also 
farmed. He then went into business at Schoolcraft, 
being a grocer there six years and postmaster 
two and a half.' He was also postmaster at Texas 
Corners, in Texas township, and township clerk 
and for two terms township treasurer of School- 
craft township. In 1899 he became a resident of 
Kalamazoo and here he has since had his home. 
For six years he traveled, and in 1901 was ap- 
pointed city assessor, an office which he is still 
filling. He was married in 1 875 to Miss" Ella 
S. Wagbr, a native of Texas township. They 
have one son arid one daughter. The son is a 
physician and is - superintendent at Newberry 
Asylum, or Northern Peninsular Hospital of 
Michigan. :* Mr. Campbell has been a lifelong 
Democrat and has from the dawn of his manh6od 



been an active worker for his party. Fraternally 
he belongs to the Masonic order, the order of Odd 
Fellows and the # Knights of Pythias. He and his 
wife are members of the Presbyterian church. He 
was successful in business, is acceptable in office 
and is highly esteemed as a citizen. 

KALAMAZOO SPRING AND AXLE 
COMPANY. 

This enterprise of commanding importance in 
the community was one of the pioneer industries 
of Kalamazoo, and was started as a branch of 
the Kimball & Austin Manufacturing Company. 
At first only buggy springs were made, but in 
time the line of products was extended to include 
wagon seat springs and other commodities of 
a similar character. Soon after the beginning of 
the business a stock company was formed under 
the name of the Kalamazoo Spring Works, under 
the leadership of L. Egleston. This continued for 
a number of years and was succeeded by the firm 
of Eagleston &" Wagner, which in 1878 erected 
the present plant. In 1879 L. Egleston became 
the sole proprietor and remained such until 1884, 
when the Kalamazoo Spring & Axle Company 
was formed by the late Senator Stockbridge and 
G. E. Stockbridge with a capital stock of one 
hundred thousand dollars. The Senator was 
chosen president and served the company in that 
capacity until his death. The other officers were 
G. E. Stockbridge, treasurer, and S. S. McCamly, 
secretary and general manager. These gentle- 
men died in 1894, then J. L. Houghteling was 
made president and Fred V. Wicks vice-presi- 
dent and treasurer, with J. E. Bidwell secretary 
Mr. Wicks served as general manager until John 
G. Rumney was chosen to that position, with the 
office of vice-president, at which time Mr. 
Wicks became secretary and treasurer. The busi- 
ness is the pioneer in the manufacture of springs 
in the West, and it is now the largest bf its kind 
in that section of the country. The company's 
output is more than two thousand tons a year 
and its products are sold all over the United 
States. Tt employs regularly about one hundred 
persons and is conducted with great spirit afld 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



287 



enterprise, laying all markets under tribute to its 
trade and keeping the reputation of its work and 
materials up to the highest standard. Fred V. 
V.'icks, the treasurer, is a native of Kalamazoo, 
born in i860, and the son of Edward S. and 
Mary (Vail) Wicks. His father was a pros- 
perous farmer of Cooper township who came to 
the county in the early days. The son grew to 
manhood in the county and received his education 
in its schools. Here also his business career was 
started and here it has been worked out. He be- 
gan working for the Kalamazoo Springs Com- 
pany in 1879, an d he continued his association 
only with that establishment and its successors 
until 1903, when he became secretary and treas- 
urer of the French Garment Company, a stock 
company engaged in the manufacture of French 
garments for ladies, another business enterprise 
in which his capacity and genius for successful 
management finds congenial occupation. Through- 
out the business world of southern Michigan he* 
is well and favorably known as a leading busi- 
ness man, and has a firmly fixed reputation for 
turning everything he touches to success. In 
social life he is also well esteemed and in all 
undertakings for the general good of the com- 
munity he is everywhere recognized as wise in 
counsel and prompt and energetic in action. Fra- 
ternally he is connected with the Masonic order 
and the Knights of Pythias. 

FIDELITY BUILDING AND LOAN 
ASSOCIATION. 

The Fidelity Building and Loan Association, 
of Kalamazoo, which is one of the city's most use- 
ful and stable fiscal institutions, was organized 
as a stock company in September, 1897, with a 
capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, 
which was increased in April, 1898, to five hun- 
dred thousand dollars and on August 8, 1900, to 
one million five hundred thousand dollars. The 
first officers were James H. Hatfield, president, 
Otto Ihling, vice-president, Willis J. Burdick, 
secretary, John Pyl, treasurer, and George P. 
Hopkins, attorney. The present officers are the 
same with the exception of the treasurer, Mr. 



Pyl having been succeeded in this office by Sirk 
Wykkel. Directors in addition to the men 
named are H. G. Colman, wholesale and retail 
druggist, and Clarence B. Hayes, manager of 
the Imperial Wheel Company of Jackson and 
Flint. The company offers to investors an invest- 
ment that is safe, profitable and quickly available 
in time of need, and for borrowers it provides 
loans on easy monthly payments, at moderate 
rates of interest and on liberal and flexible terms 
of repayment. This policy brought it an enor- 
mous patronage and enabled it to build up one 
of the most extensive and profitable businesses in 
the city, one that is profitable alike to the com- 
pany and the city itself, it having enabled a 
large number of wage earners to build homes 
of their own and thus add to the extent and 
wealth of the city. The company has a member- 
ship of over seven hundred, the greater part 
of them being residents of Kalamazoo, although 
some live in other cities and states. Willis J. 
Burdick, the man principally concerned in or- 
ganizing the company, and from its start its ef- 
ficient secretary and general manager, was born, 
reared and educated in Calhoun county, this state, 
and passed his early life on a farm. Desiring a 
business career, he traveled for a commercial 
house and also clerked in a drug store at Climax. 
In 1885 he located in Kalamazoo and after at- 
tending the Parson's Business College through a 
course of business instruction accepted a position 
as bookkeeper with the Zoa Phora Medicine Com- 
pany, with which he remained two years. The 
next two years he spent at Charlotte, and on his 
return to Kalamazoo entered the employ of A. 
Lakey & Co., remaining in their service five years. 
His next engagement was with the Kalamazoo 
County Building and Loan Association, and he 
remained with that company until the organiza- 
tion of the Fidelity. In this he has found proper 
scope for his fiscal ability and business capacity 
and through his enterprise, energy, force of char- 
acter and general knowledge, he has built up for 
it its great business and won its pronounced suc- 
cess and wide reputation for skillful manage- 
ment. He is a trustee of the First Congrega- 
tional church and has been treasurer of the 



288 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



church, a post of responsibility in which he has 
served nearly seven years. He is also a director 
of the Young Men's Christian Association. The 
general interests of the community have his 
earnest and helpful attention, but political con- 
tentions have never been to his ,taste and he has 
taken no part in them. 

DOUBLEDAY BROS! & CO. 

The original of this flourishing and enter- 
prising corporation was founded in 1844 by the 
gentlemen owning and conducting the Kalamazoo 
Telegraph, and for a number of years was known 
as the Kalamazoo Publishing Company. It 1898 
it was merged in the present company, which was 
formed by Capt. A. D. Doubleday and his sons, 
Ward F. and Fred U. Doubleday, and since the 
death of their father, on November 20, 1903, the 
sons have controlled and managed the business. 
The company manufactures blank books, printers' 
supplies and a general line of fine stationery, and 
does an extensive business in county, city and 
bank work, its chief concern being to keep its out- 
put up to a high standard of excellence and meet 
all demands promptly and in the spirit of the 
utmost business fairness and enterprise. The 
concern is one of the leading high-grade estab- 
lishments of its kind in this part of the country, 
and enjoys an excellent reputation throughout the 
trade, laying all of Michigan, Indiana and Wis- 
consin under tribute to its business and having 
a large trade as well in other states. 

The real founder of the present house, Capt. 
Abner D. Doubleday, was a valiant soldier on the 
Union .side in the Civil war, and after a military 
record which was highly creditable to him, be- 
came an honored citizen of Kalamazoo, where he 
and his estimable wife held an exalted place in 
the regard of the community, to which they were 
well entitled by their nobility of character and 
their general social qualities. Captain Doubleday 
was born in Otsego county, New York, on March 
9, 1829, and was the son of Demas A. and Sally 
,( Calkins) Doubleday. His grandfather was a 
Revolutionary patriot and, with five brothers, 
fought under Washington at Bunker Hill ; and 



his cousin, Gen. Abner Doubleday, served gal- 
lantly in our war with Mexico, and throughout 
the Civil war with distinction, firing the first gun 
on the Confederate forces at Fort Sumter, com- 
manding a division at the deluge of death 
at Antietanr and taking the place of 
the lamented Reynolds at Gettysburg 
when that hero sealed his devotion to his 
country with his life. After receiving a common- 
school education Captain Doubleday began teach- 
ing school at the age of seventeen and was so 
employed for a period of five years. He then 
entered Oberlin College, Ohio, and after studying 
there some time, returned to New York and fol- 
lowed mercantile life for seven years, doing busi- 
ness in New York city. Failing health induced 
him to seek an outdoor life and he was a farmer 
until the beginning of the Civil war. At the be- 
ginning of that momentous conflict he assumed 
charge of his mother and sisters in addition to 
that of his own family, his brother, Ulysses F., 
entering the Union army as first lieutenant. By 
the death of his superior he was promoted captain 
and served in that capacity until his death on the 
field of Fredericksburg in 1863. After this 
event Abner disposed of his business interests 
and his farm, and, taking up the sword his 
brother had worn so valiantly, he also entered 
the Union army in Company L, Second New York 
Heavy Artillery. After serving six months as a 
private he was promoted for meritorious service 
to the rank of second lieutenant on June 10, 1864, 
at Cold Harbor, Va. During the continuous fight- 
ing at Petersburg, his superior officers being 
killed, he acted as captain and adjutant on the 
same day. On August 15, 1864, he was disabled 
by a sunstroke and sent to the field hospital, later 
being transferred by four successive moves to 
Washington, where the surgeons decided that he 
was no longer able to endure field service. He ac- 
cordingly resigned, but his resignation was not 
accepted until 1865. At the close of the war he 
came to Michigan and located on a farm of two 
hundred acres in Alamo township, this county, 
which his father had bought from the government 
and which he purchased of his father in 1853. He 
afterward sold this farm and bought a small one 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



289 



adjacent to Kalamazoo, which in 1883 he divided 
into town lots, forming Doubleday's addition to 
the city, which is now all built on and is one of 
the most attractive subdivisions of the town. The 
Captain was married on January 1, 1857, to Miss 
Maria R. Casler, a native of Springfield, Otsego 
county, New York, and the daughter of John I. 
and Hannah (Simmons) Casler, the former a 
native of New York and the latter of Rhode 
Island. The father was a farmer and served in 
the war of 181 2 in a New York regiment, being 
but eighteen years old and just married when he 
entered the service. He died in his native state. 
He was one of the founders of the Republican 
party, voting for General Fremont, its first pres- 
idential candidate. His ancestry was German and 
that of his wife was Scotch-English. Captain 
Doubleday's father was a native of Connecticut 
who moved to New York in his young manhood 
and to Michigan in 1835, dying in this state 
about 1862. The Captain was a Baptist in church 
affiliation and independent in politics. 

JEREMIAH P. WOODBURY. 

In many parts of our country nature has been 
prodigal in her gifts of resources for the enter- 
prise of man through which they may have count- 
less and almost immeasurable benefits. Fertile 
fields, vast forests, great mineral wealth and 
mighty water ways wherewith to work up the raw 
material and transport the products to other places 
are bestowed with lavish hand. But whatever 
the bounty of our mother earth in these respects, 
she puts upon it the inevitable price of human 
industry, enterprise and skill to make them avail- 
able. No measure of her benefaction avails for 
usefulness until the man who can develop it and 
transform it into marketable produce is at hand. 
Kalamazoo county is one of the favored sections, 
having within its boundaries almost every form of 
material wealth and many channels of natural 
power to make it serviceable. And yet for ages 
it all lay dormant because there was nobody with 
the requisite ability and skill to develop it into 
well favored money-making results. There came 
to this region, however, in the course of time a 



people full of the proper spirit and the needed 
capacity, and they transformed it into one of the 
most prolific and fruitful sections of our land, 
using with good judgment and forceful energy all 
its natural advantages, and subduing to their 
needs every obdurate condition. Among this peo- 
ple few if any exhibited more capacity or energy, 
or rendered the section more signal service than 
the late Jeremiah P. Woodbury, whose long and 
productive life in the community was a positive 
blessing to its citizens, aiding in the development 
and sustenance of almost every form of industrial 
and commercial activity. Mr. Woodbury was 
born at Charlton, Mass., on February 7, 1805. 
His parents, Caleb and Salina (King) Woodbury, 
were also natives of Massachusetts, in which the 
ancestors of both lived for many generations, 
the mother being a member of the renowned 
Dwight family of that state. The father was a 
merchant and a politician, or rather a man deeply 
interested in public affairs and gave his county 
good service in the state legislature of which he 
was several times an honored member. They had 
a family of ten children, all sons, nine of whom 
grew to maturity and two of them, Jeremiah and 
his brother Caleb, became citizens of Michigan. 
They were reared and educated in their native 
state, and there were thoroughly indoctrinated in 
the spirit of industry and thrift characteristic of 
the New England people They came to Mich- 
igan in 1836 and engaged in merchandising at 
Bellevue, Eaton county. The partnership lasted 
until 1847, an d when it was then harmoniously 
dissolved Jeremiah moved to 'Kalamazoo and 
formed another with Jonathan Parsons in the dry- 
goods trade. Afterward he entered into partner- 
ship with Hon. Allen Potter in an extensive hard- 
ware business and together they also erected a 
blast furnace on the Kalamazoo river. They were 
associated in these enterprises a number of years 
and built up a large business in each. In 1858, in 
association with Messrs. Potter and Walters and 
others, Mr. Woodbury organized the Kalamazoo 
Gas Company, he being president of the company 
and holding a leading interest in it until his death. 
In 1865, in company with Messrs. Potter, Wood 
and Wm. Grant, he organized a banking house 



290 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



which afterward became the Michigan National 
Bank, of which also he was president. Mr. 
Woodbury was married at South Lansing, New 
York, in 1833, to Miss Malinda Knettles, a native 
of the state in which the marriage occurred. They 
had five children, one of whom died in infancy, 
four grew to maturity and three are now living, 
Mrs. Ramson, Mrs. Curtenius and Edward, and 
they all reside in Kalamazoo. Mr. Woodbury 
was a liberal supporter of the Presbyterian 
church, and of all other religious and educational 
institutions. He made a donation -of ten thousand 
dollars toward the erection of the Young Men's 
Christian Association hall, which was paid after 
his death. This sad event was the result of his 
being thrown from a carriage in November, 1887, 
and caused general sorrow throughout the city 
and the surrounding country. For although he 
was then nearly eighty-three years of age, all his 
faculties were in vigor and his life was still of 
great service to the community. Besides, he was 
endeared to its people by his long career of useful- 
ness and his sterling manhood. It should be men- 
tioned that among the important enterprises with 
which Mr. Woodbury was connected was the first 
paper mill in the city, of which he was the origi- 
nator and for many years the directing influence. 

LUTHER H. TRASK. 

The county of Kalamazoo* owes much to those 
men who, like Luther H. Trask, came from New 
England in the early days to establish homes in 
this county and who, by their sturdy inde- 
pendence, perseverance and good sense brought 
profit not only to themselves but to the county. 
The Trask family was descended from three 
brothers who came to this country in the colonial 
days from England. One of them, Captain Trask, 
who settled at Salem, was the direct ancestor of 
Luther Trask, who was born February 15, 1807, 
in Millbury, Mass. His parents were Aaron 
and Betsey (Goodell) Trask. He was educated 
at the common schools and the Munson Academy 
until he was sixteen years of age, when he en- 
gaged in manufacturing for five years, at the end 
of which time he turned his attention to farming. 



He was married in October, 1828, to Miss Louisa 
Fay, of Southboro, Mass. Two children, George, 
who died in 1875, and Hannah, now Mrs. Han- 
nah L. Cornell, of Kalamazoo, were born to them. 
In 1834 Mr. Trask made an exploring expedition 
into the western wild of Michigan, and, being 
much pleased with the country, returned home 
and brought his wife and children to the West 
with him. They settled in Kalamazoo, where Mr. 
Trask was a surveyor and civil engineer for sev- 
eral years. Being a natural mechanic, he built a 
number of stores and houses, which he sold, and 
built also his family residence, which was the 
first brick house erected in Kalamazoo. He was 
a man of strong religious views, and did all in 
his power to promote Christianity, teaching in 
the first Sunday school that was established in 
the village. He was an earnest supporter of Mr. 
Robe, the Methodist minister, and later of the 
Rev. Silas Woodbury, the first Presbyterian min- 
ister in Kalamazoo. In 1836 he was one of the 
six men that formed a stock company to build 
the First Presbyterian church, this church being 
their individual property. He became one of the 
prominent members of the session of the First 
Presbyterian, church, serving as an elder for over 
forty years. In 1839 he was clerk of the circuit 
court of Kalamazoo county, and in 1842 he was 
made receiver of the United States land office. 
In 1855 ne was inspector of the State Prison, and 
in 1858 was appointed a member of the board of 
trustees of the Michigan Insane Asylum, and was 
president of the board until 1878. His interest 
in and love for education made him active in pub- 
lic school work, and he was one of the founders 
and members of the executive board of the Michi- 
gan Female Seminary. Being originally a Whig, 
his sympathies were with the Republican party 
when it was formed. His son, George L. Trask, 
was graduated from Union College in 1852, hav- 
ing taken a partial course of study at the Uni- 
versity of Michigan. He was engaged in mercan- 
tile pursuits in New York until his death, which 
occurred in 1875, in New Orleans. Luther H. 
Trask was one of the prominent men in devel- 
oping the summer resort at Little Traverse bay, 
where he owned a cottage. He died on Novem- 




LUTHER H. TRASK. 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



293 



ber 14, 1888, in Kalamazoo, and his death was a 
cause for deep grief not only to his family and 
church, but to the social and business world as 
well. His wife died three years later, in 1891. 
Mr. Trask's work as a pioneer, and as a friend 
and loyal supporter of all public institutions 
added greatly to the development of Kalamazoo in 
every way. He was proficient in a large and va- 
ried field of usefulness, possessing good sense, a 
strong will, a deep moral sense and a markedly 
religious nature. He gained the good will and 
confidence of all who knew him by his ever help- 
ing heart and hand, his earnest and independent 
spirit, and his noble character. 

TAMES A. KENT. 

James A. Kent, one of the early settlers of 
Kalamazoo and one of the city's best known 
citizens and business men,' was born near East 
Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, on March 
17, 1835. His parents were Lawrence and Rachael 
(Campbell) Kent, the former a native of New 
York and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father 
was a farmer and passed his life in Wayne 
county, New York. The family was of English 
descent, Mr. Kent's grandfather, Simeon Kent, 
having been born in England and come to this 
country about the close of the Revolutionary war. 
He enlisted in the United States army for the war 
of 1812, but was not called into active service. 
: ames A. Kent is one of four sons and four 
(laughters born to his parents, all yet living, but 
none except himself in Kalamazoo. He grew to 
manhood and was educated in his native county, 
and after leaving school was apprenticed to a 
carpenter, serving an apprenticeship of four 
years. In the fall of 1856 he became a resident of 
Kalamazoo and went to work at his trade for 
Dewing & Scudder. At the end of a year in their 
employ, he formed a partnership with Mr. 
Dewing under the name of Dewing & Kent, 
which lasted fifteen years. He then began busi- 
ness on his own account by superintending the 
erection of many of the best residences in Kala- 
mazoo, Jackson and other cities to which he was 
called for similar work, and he kept at this line 
17 



of duty until 1900, when he retired from active 
pursuits. In 1861 he was married in Kalamazoo 
to Miss Charlotte Wolcott, a daughter of William 
Wolcott. a pioneer of Lewanee county. They 
had one son and three daughters. Their mother 
died in 1871, and in June, 1877, Mr. Kent mar- 
ried her sister, Miss Mary J. Wolcott, whose 
father came to this county from Lewanee county 
in 1857. He located there in 1835 an( ^ was tne 
first Presbyterian clergyman at Adrian. He was 
born at Stow, Mass., and died at Kalamazoo. Mr. 
Kent and his second wife have one child, their 
son Charles. In political allegiance Mr. Kent is 
a Republican, but he has never been an active par- 
tisan or desired public office. Mrs. Kent's grand- 
father, William Wolcott, served in the Revolu- 
tion. Her mother was Mary A. Penninen, of 
English ancestry, her progenitors having come to 
the United States in 1630 and located at Boston. 
They were prominent in the early history of New 
England. Mrs. Kent's grandfather was a tea 
merchant and made large importations of tea 
every year for a long time. He rose to a position 
of commanding influence in the trade. Mr. Kent 
is a Unitarian in church affiliation. He is one of 
the early settlers here still left among the living, 
and has a lively recollection of the early days. 

EDWARD HAWLEY. 

This old citizen and typical pioneer, who is one 
of the few early settlers of Kalamazoo yet left 
among its people, has been a resident of the place 
for seventy years (1905), having come here with 
his parents in 1835. He was born at Middlebury, 
Vt., on November 13, 1824, and is the son of 
Emmor and Caroline (Conant) Hawley, the for- 
mer born at Windsor and the latter at Mansfield, 
Conn. The father passed his life as a harness 
maker and hotelkeeper. In 1825 he moved his 
family to Michigan and located at Detroit, where 
he followed his trade as a harnessmaker for about 
six years, after which he moved to Dearborn, near 
Detroit, and there kept a tavern while the fort 
was building. In the spring of 1835 t " ie f am ^y 
located at Kalamazoo and here the parents took 
charge of the old Kalamazoo House. They en- 



294 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY. OF 



larged the building and in it kept a good hotel 
until 1840, when the father retired and moved to 
the home now occupied by his son Edward on 
West North street. Here he took up a tract of 
state school land and operated a small farm of 
forty-one acres until his death, on January 13, 
1870. His wife died in 1884, aged eighty-six 
years. They were the parents of four sons and 
four daughters, all now deceased except their son 
Edward. He grew to manhood in Kalamazoo 
and was educated in private schools which then 
flourished in the town. He began early to assist 
his parents by buying produce and other supplies, 
and soon became familiar with the surrounding 
country by driving over the Indian trails to make 
his purchases. Some time afterward he began 
to work by the month cutting wood and getting 
out timber for the old State Railroad, which after- 
ward became the Michigan Central. His wages 
for this work were ten dollars a month in state 
scrip, worth about fifty cents on the dollar. He 
also worked at teaming at times and did what- 
ever else he could find to do. His recollections 
of the early days in Kalamazoo are full of interest. 
He well remembers numbers of Indians and was 
well acquainted with many of them. He was 
present when the first locomotive came into the 
town. This was on a Sunday and the churches 
were empty, the people being busy clearing out 
the snow from the cuts east of the city. Later he 
engaged in the livery business in partnership 
with his brothers, and afterward gave his atten- 
tion to farming on land belonging to them. In 
the course of time he platted this land and has 
disposed of all of it but about ten acres. He was 
married in 1888 to Mrs. Sarah Pratt, a widow, 
who died in 1890. Two years later he married a 
second wife, Miss Eveline Colbath, a native of 
Maine, born on the Penobscot river. Mr. Hawley 
has never taken any active interest in partisan 
politics, but he showed his devotion to his country 
by enlisting in the Union army in 1862 as a mem- 
ber of Company L, Fifth Michigan Cavalry. He 
was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and 
saw much active service under Generals Custer, 
Kilpatrick and Sheridan. He was in all the 
Shenandoah valley campaigns and fought through 



Georgia and other parts of the South, beino- 
present at the surrender of General Lee. He was 
not wounded or taken prisoner during the war 
and came out with the rank of sergeant. 

THE KALAMAZOO GAZETTE. 

This valuable journal, which is one of the 
leading newspapers of southern Michigan, and 
has a very extensive circulation in that part of 
the state and throughout northern Indiana, being- 
recognized as a potential force in the direction 
and concentration of public opinion, and as a 
party organ of great influence and high standing, 
was founded at Penn Yan, N. Y., on June 19, 
1832, as the Western Star, and on December 31, 
!833, became the Michigan Statesman, of White 
Pigeon, this state. On June 28, 1834, the name 
was changed to the St. Joseph Chronicle^ but the 
publication was continued at White Pigeon until 
October 2, 1835, when the plant was moved to 
Kalamazoo, then the village of Bronson. On 
September 23, 1837, tne name was changed to the 
Kalamazoo Gazette, and under that name the 
paper had a varied existence of prosperity and 
adversity until March 20, 1900, when by consoli- 
dation with the Kalamazoo News it became the 
Gazette-News, under which name it was issued 
until January 1, 1904, when it once more became 
the Kalamazoo Gazette, as it is now called. F. 
F. Rowe, the general manager, through whose ef- 
forts it has been built up to its present condition 
of prosperity and influence, is a native of Min- 
eral Point, Wis., born on March 19, 1862, and 
after receiving his preliminary education in the 
district schools, attended Beloit College at Beloit, 
Wis. His father, Francis James Rowe, pub- 
lished the first paper issued at Dodgeville, Iowa 
county, Wis. The son has been connected with 
newspaper work ever since leaving college, his 
principal field of operation in this line for many 
years being with the Register-Gazette of Rock- 
ford, 111. He came to Kalamazoo in 1899 and 
bought the Gazette, and in the following March 
purchased the News of the Kalamazoo News 
Company, whereupon he consolidated the two pa- 
pers, and from that time until January 1, i9°4' 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



295 



his issue was known as the Gazette-News. On 
the date last mentioned he once more adopted the 
old name of the Kalamazoo Gazette, and the pa- 
per has flourished under that name ever since. 
When he took hold of it it had but six hundred 
and eighty-nine subscribers, whereas it now has a 
circulation of over twelve thousand, and covers 
in its beneficent work of information to the pub- 
lic the whole of southern Michigan and nearly 
all of northern Indiana, while its advertising pat- 
ronage has grown to great proportions. This 
striking increase in business is a high tribute to 
the capacity and business acumen of Mr. Rowe, 
to whose efforts it is almost wholly due, and sig- 
nalizes him as a newspaper man of a high order, 
up-to-date in all branches of the work, quick to 
see and alert to seize the trend of public opinion, 
and at the same time vigilant and forceful to di- 
rect its activity through healthful and productive 
channels of enduring benefit and substantial serv- 
ice to the communities in which his efforts are 
made. In keeping pace with the march of prog- 
ress and improvement, he has held his office 
equipment up to the highest standard, installing 
new and improved presses and linotype machines 
as needed, and always having his facilities equal 
to the most urgent demands. While pursuing in 
his columns the policy of supporting the Demo- 
cratic party as the one of his faith, and the one 
holding, in his opinion, the best theory of popular 
government, he has been diligent in exploiting 
every phase of the multiform activity and devel- 
opment of his section of the country, and in so 
doing has made his paper a favorite family and 
business journal as well as a leading party organ. 
Moreover, he has taken an active and helpful in- 
terest in other forms of business enterprise, being 
a stockholder in the Kalamazoo Trust Company 
<md the Rowe College of Shorthand, whose spe- 
cialty is a new system of stenography with its 
kindred teachings, and in other enterprises of 
great benefit and advantage to the community. 
] Ic was married in 1886 to Miss Mary L. Frost, 
of Rockford, 111., and they have one child living, 
tbeir son Everett R, and one daughter deceased. 
^r. Rowe is a member of the Michigan Press 
Association, and fraternally he is an enthusiastic 



Freemason, an Elk and a Knight of Pythias. In 
his journalistic work he has been unusually suc- 
cessful and has shown ability of a high order, 
with abundant honey for his editorial quill in ref- 
erence to all matters worthy of commendation, 
and plenty of wormwood for those that require 
condemnation. 

CORNELIUS VAN HALST. 

This popular and skillful practitioner in the 
melancholy but needful business of properly bury- 
ing the dead, who is highly esteemed as one of 
Kalamazoo's most enterprising and upright busi- 
ness men, was born on August 8, 1853, at Roches- 
ter, N. Y. His parents, Cornelius and Sarah 
(Hendricks) Van Halst, were natives of Sluis, 
Holland, where the father was a gardener. They 
came to the United States in 1850 and located at 
Rochester, N. Y. Two years later they moved to 
this county, taking up their residence in Kalama- 
zoo, where the father remained until his death in 
1893 and the mother is still living, making her 
home with her daughter. Before leaving his 
native land the father served his time in the army 
of Holland, but ever after coming to this country 
he was engaged in the peaceful pursuit of his 
chosen vocation, being accounted skillful at the 
work of enjoying a gratifying prosperity at the 
fruit of his labors. Their family consisted of three 
sons and four daughters, all of whom are now 
deceased except their son Cornelius and one 
daughter, who is now Mrs. Van Dixhorn. Cor- 
nelius grew to manhood and was educated in 
Kalamazoo. After leaving school he learned the 
trade of a metal worker in a show-case factory, 
and later learned that of making caskets. He 
worked at the latter three years, then passed an 
equal period traveling through portions of the 
West. Returning to 'Kalamazoo, he associated 
himself with J. C. Goodale in the business of a 
funeral director, remaining with him eight years. 
In 1884 ne started a similar enterprise for him- 
self, and this he has conducted without interrup- 
tion ever since. He has built up a large and prof- 
itable business and is held in high esteen both in 
his craft and as a citizen of progressiveness, pub- 



296 



BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF 



lie spirit and breadth of view. On October 28, 
1878, he united in marriage with Miss Belle 
Woodworth, a native of St. Joseph county, Mich- 
igan, where her parents were early settlers. They 
have two children, their son Fred and their 
daughter Sadie. Mr. Van Halst takes great 
interest in the fraternal life of the community as 
a member of the United Workmen, the Red Cross, 
the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows and the 
Foresters. While not an active partisan, and has 
never desired public office, he is keenly alive to 
the interests of his city and county and gives close 
and careful attention to local affairs with a view 
to aiding in promoting the enduring welfare of 
the community and its people. Although he has 
seen many parts of this country and has looked 
with favor on a number of different localities as 
places of business or residence, he is well pleased 
with Kalamazoo, finding its enterprise and the 
progressive spirit of its people entirely to his 
taste and seeing in it a good field for his own 
energies and business capacity. It is such men 
as he that have built up this and many another 
American community and developed their re- 
sources along lines of wholesome and enduring 
progress. 

GEORGE W. CROOKS. 

This enterprising gentleman, who is the jun- 
ior member of the firm of Winslow & Crooks, 
dealers in granite, marble and building stone and 
makers of tombstones, monuments and other 
ornamental work in their line, is one of the pio- 
neer business men of Kalamazoo, and is univer- 
sally esteemed as an excellent citizen throughout 
this and neighboring counties. He was born at 
Richmond, Ontario county, N. Y., on January 7, 
1834, and is the son of Samuel and Abigail R. 
(Short) Crooks, both of the same nativity as 
himself, the father born in 1802 and the mother 
in 1808. The father was a farmer and the family 
moved to Kalamazoo county permanently in 1839. 
In 1834 the father came to the county and entered 
eighty acres of wild land in the vicinity and a 
little west of Schoolcraft in Prairie Ronde town- 
ship, on which he built a little log shack. This 
property he soon afterward sold and then re- 



turned to New York. On his second arrival here 
he brought his family by team to Buffalo, and 
from there by steamer across the lake to Detroit. 
From the latter city they made the trip by means 
of teams to Indian Field, this county, and as there 
were no roads the journey was tedious and diffi- 
cult to .the last degree, the rugged condition of 
the ground making almost every hour full of 
peril, toil and the most exacting endurance. The 
father purchased a tract of wild land which lie 
cleared up and reduced to cultivation with great 
labor and difficulty for a number of years, and 
transforming it by continued effort into a hand- 
some and fruitful farm on which he died in 1881, 
at the age of seventy-nine. He became an active 
and important man in the progress and develop- 
ment of the region at once, leading the way and 
stimulating others by his industry, influence and 
example. He started the first school in the local- 
ity, hiring the teacher, Norman Chamberlain, and 
paying him for his services by breaking wild land 
for him. Later he gave the ground for the first 
school house and built on it the old log house of 
blessed memory in which many of the young men 
and maidens of the township were first made ac- 
quainted with the rudiments of learning and 
began the first romances of their lives. The first 
school in this house was taught by John F. 
Oliver. Mr. Crooks was also an active worker 
in the interest of the Methodist Protestant church, 
and assisted in organizing the first congregation 
of that creed and the first of any in his neighbor- 
hood and building the church in which it wor- 
shiped. The later years of his life were passed 
in full communion with the Congregational 
church. His widow survived him nineteen years, 
dying in 1900. In political faith he was an earn- 
est working abolitionist before the war, making 
his faith good by zealous assistance in conducting 
the "Underground Railroad" for the aid of slaves 
escaping from the South. And when the hour 
was ripe for the enterprise, and the faithful met 
"Under the Oaks" at Jackson, this state, to organ- 
ize the Republican party he was there and took 
an active part in the formation of the new political 
entity. To this party he adhered with unfailing 
loyalty to the end of his days. He was for many 



KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICHIGAN. 



297 



vcars a justice of the peace, and was widely re- 
spected for the uniform wisdom and justice in 
administering his duties. There were four sons 
and three daughters in the family who grew to 
maturity, and of these two of the sons and three 
daughters are" living. Two sons were killed in 
the Civil war, finding death on the bloody battle- 
field, s of that momentous conflict in defending the 
Union. They were members respectively of the 
Fourth Kansas Cavalry and the Twenty-fifth 
[Michigan Infantry. George W. Crooks passed 
his boyhood from the age of five and his youth in 
this county, and like others of his class attended 
the old log school house for instruction and at an 
earlv age began taking part in the work of devel- 
oping the section which then called into requi- 
sition every able hand. He wrought on his 
father's farm with industry and ability, at times 
driving a breaking team of ten yoke of oxen, also 
hauling lumber in the winter, drawing the tim- 
bers for the first steam grist mill at Kalamazoo. 
He followed farming until 1870, then moved to 
the city and during the next seven years was 
engaged in the implement trade. In 1880 he pur- 
chased a one-half interest in the George C. Wins- 
low Marble Works, with which he has since been 
connected, the firm being known as Winslow, & 
Crooks. The business was started in 1848, and 
from its start has had a steady and healthy prog- 
ress and growth. It is extensive in monumental 
and building stone work throughout the county. 
Mr. Crooks is also a stockholder in the Comstock 
Manufacturing Company. In politics he is a 
Republican and has served as supervisor of Port- 
age township. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Masonic order. Mr. Crooks was married January 
22, 1869, to Miss Anna Wagar, a native of this 
county, a daughter of Hector Wagar, a pioneer of 
this county. They have one daughter, Carrie A., 
now Mrs. W. O. Agnew. 

JOEL WATERBURY. 

Among the highly respected citizens and pro- 
gressive and successful business men of Kalama- 
zoo, Mich., is Joel Waterbury, the second livery- 
man in 'Kalamazoo in length of service, having 



ministered since 1877, when he bought the livery 
business of Captain Hodges on North Burdick 
street, which at the time comprised seven horses 
and a corresponding number of conveyances of 
various kinds, and which he has enlarged until it 
now comprises thirty horses and the most com- 
plete and modern equipment in every way and in 
good style for its work. Mr. Waterbury was the 
first man to use an automobile in the livery busi- 
ness, adding that feature in 1905. To this enter- 
prise, which is still an expanding one and has 
always been a busy one, Mr. Woodbury has added 
a coal and wood trade which is also large and 
active. He was born in Steuben county, N. Y., 
on February 28, 1843, an d is the son of Salmon 
and Harriet (Collier) Waterbury, both natives 
of that state. The father was a tanner and also 
operated a sawmill. He passed almost the whole 
of his life in his native state, but when the 
shadows of its evening began to darken around 
him, he sought a home with his son in Kalamazoo, 
where he died a year later. In his home