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Full text of "History of Oakland County Michigan a narrative account of its historic progress, its people, its principal interests"

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HISTORY 

OF 

OAKLAND COUNTY 

MICHIGAN 

A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, 
its People, and its Principal Interests 



Compiled from the official records of the County, the ne\yspapers and 
data of personal interviews, under the editorial supervision of 

THADDEUS D. SEELEY 



VOLUME II 



ILLUSTRATED 



THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 

CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 
I912 




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BIOGRAPHICAL 



Henry Clay Ward. The mighty primeval forests of northern 
Michigan have been the foundation of many of the vast fortunes that 
have been amassed within the space of several generations by men of 
business sagacity. Gifted with prophetic foresight, they came into the 
wilderness of trees and their eyes beheld something beyond the waving 
of branches and fluttering of leaves. Cities made prosperous by their 
trade in timber; noble ships of this soil's product riding the waves of 
every sea ; thousands of mouths being fed by the labor of preparing this 
timber for its final uses, — these are a few of the visions that may have 
come to these men, and perhaps they saw also the establishing of homes, 
factories, busy marts of trade, the introduction of the culture and com- 
fort of civilization where in their day the forests sheltered only the wild 
creatures that are men's enemies. The pioneers in the timber business 
in Oakland county were not always men capable of land selection, and 
the opportunities afforded their chosen agents were sometimes so fav- 
orable, according to their contracts, that men of good business capacity, 
college bred and professionally prepared, were willing to accept the hard- 
ships and dangers of the life for a time, subsequently reaping rich re- 
turns. In this way Dr. David Ward, the father of the subject of this 
review, and the well known capitalist and timberman in Oakland county, 
became connected with that industry. 

Dr. David Ward was born in New York state, and the family is one 
of the oldest in the United States, with the best blood of the nation in 
its veins. On his mother's side Dr. Ward is a descendant of the Puri- 
tans. He was the grandson of George L. Perkins, who was born at 
Plymouth, Massachusetts, within a stone's throw of historic 
Plymouth Rock, and the house in which he was born stands there to 
this day. His grandmother was born on the corner lot directly oppo- 
site the Perkins mansion, and both were descendants of families who 
came over in the Mayflower. The names of these families may be read 
on the quaint old tombstones in the Plymouth cemetery, from the earliest 
settlement of Plymouth. 

In 1850 Dr. Ward married Elizabeth Perkins, who was born in 
Romeo, Michigan, and they became the parents of eight children : Henry 
Clay of this review; two who died in infancy; Charles W., a resident of 
Queens, Long Island ; Flora, the wife of Fred H. Fay, New York ; Willis 
C, who now lives on a farm at Orchard Lake, Oakland county ; Helen, 
the wife of Louis Pelouze, residing on the old homestead at Orchard 
Lake, and Pearl, the wife of George K. Root, of New York City. David 

497 



498 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Ward had just one hundred dollars in cash when he married Elizabeth 
Perkins, and the young couple made their home with the parents of the 
bride until after the birth of their first child, Henry Clay. David Ward 
had worked his way through college, studying medicine, although all 
his earlier years had been devoted to surveying, and after his gradua- 
tion he hung out a shingle and undertook the practice of medicine. 
The loss of a patient in the outset turned him against his profession, 
and he closed up his office without ado and took up his former work of 
surveying. He engaged in the locating of pine lands in Michigan for 
Tom Merrill, Francis Palms, A. F. Dwight, and many other capitalists 
of his time, and through his efforts many of his business associates be- 
came millionaires. When he was but a lad, his father, Nathan Ward, 
located and surveyed an immense tract of timber lands in the Saranac 
Lake region for John Jacob Astor and Peter Smith, the father of Gar- 
rett Smith. At that time these men were business partners and the land 
thus located cost them fourteen cents per acre. At that date the lands 
were heavily timbered with cork pine, a noble and valuable tree of the 
American forests. During the years that Dr. Ward was engaged in this 
work he received as his remuneration one third of the lands he located 
for his clients, and it was in that manner that he secured his start in 
the lumber business. He finally located on Pine river and engaged in 
the manufacture of lumber, and here his faithful wife bore her full 
share of the burden of that life, accompanying her husband the first two 
years to the scenes of his activities and cooking for the men he employed 
in his work. Dr. Ward died on May 29, 1900, and his widow survived 
him until April i, 1906. 

Henry Clay Ward was born October 6, 185 1, at Richmond, Macomb 
county, Michigan, and even in his youth displayed a keen interest in his 
father's lumber and timber interests, as well as in farming and horti- 
culture. As an example of his willingness to work, it is cited that when 
he was ten years of age he drove a cow two hundred miles, his remun- 
eration for the service being one dollar. Prior to that time he had never 
realized what the possession of such a considerable sum might mean, 
and had been rather a spendthrift, buying Judas Paste candy with his 
pennies, but after earning that first dollar and saving it, he concluded 
that spending was very poor business, and from then on practiced a rigid 
self-denial in the matter of his pennies. He was l)ut fourteen years 
old when he bought five hundred and thirteen acres of land from the 
government in Crawford county, Michigan, paying for it two and a 
half dollars the acre. He has since increased his holdings in this sec- 
tion to two thousand, one hundred and forty acres, twelve hundred acres 
of this being cleared land and eight hundred of it being in orchards, re- 
puted to be the finest in the world, with some sixty-six thousand apple 
trees in bearing. He is also the owner of an orchard of one hundred 
and ninety-five acres and a farm of two hundred and fifty-eight acres 
on Square Lake, in Oakland county, and at one time he owned twenty- 
one acres in the city of Pontiac. This tract he improved, laying out 
Franklin boulevard and setting out all the trees along that beautiful thor- 
oughfare. This boulevard is named in honor of his eldest son, Franklin 
B. Ward, and two of the other streets in Pontiac are named for mem- 
bers of his family; Henry Clay avenue named for himself, and Mary 
Day avenue, in honor of his wife. Forest Lawn is also his addition, and 
he planned and carried out the improvements here also. His orchards 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 499 

are his greatest pride, and are indeed a credit to the state. He attri- 
butes his splendid success to the fact that he saved his money as a boy 
and invested it safely in the land which formed the nucleus of his im- 
rnense fortune, and he feels that he would like to have every boy and 
girl in the United States see these orchards, as an object lesson to them 
upon the value of early thrift. There are rows of apple trees in these 
orchards two and a quarter miles in length, the whole presenting a mag- 
nificent sight in either flowering or fruit season. 

Mr. Ward's first venture in active business on his own responsibility 
was between the ages of fourteen and twenty, when he was engaged in 
the manufacture of cider vinegar. He would load one hundred bushels 
of apples, take a piece of bread and a glass of milk for his breakfast, 
haul the apples from Orchard Lake to Auburn and get there before day- 
light; when Mr. Adams went down to his mill in the morning he usually 
found Henry Ward there waiting to unload his apples. Mr. Adams 
was an honest man, and he took an immense pride in Henry Clay Ward, 
calling him "his boy" and remarking once that "Henry Clay Ward was 
the only boy of his acquaintance who delivered apples to his mill before 
he arrived to commence his day's work." 

Mr. Ward as a ])oy was not unfamiliar with the routine of work 
connected with his father's surveying business, and when he was four- 
teen years old accompanied his father on a trip along the broad waters 
of the Manitou river. The route was from Chicago via Hannah & Lay's 
propellor to Traverse City. There they took ferry to Dexter & Nobles 
Mill on the upper end of the bay, where they witnessed the sawing of 
large cork pine logs that had been cut near Kalkaskia, hauled by teams 
a distance of twelve miles and dumped into Torch Lake, rafted and deliv- 
ered in rafts to Deits & Nobles water mill. The logs were immense in 
size and sawed out wide, clear lumber. They then took l)oat up Torch 
Lake, a beautiful stretch of water whose depths were so clear that the 
eye might penetrate from sixty to a hundred feet. They finally landed, 
put their luggage on a wagon, and walked to the head waters of the 
Manistee river. It was a new and wild country, consisting of immense 
tracts of hardwood and pine timber lands, with usually rolling soil and 
somewhat sandy. For six weeks young Henry Clay traveled on the 
firing line and carried a pack of forty pounds on hrs back the greater 
part of the time. Sixty pounds was then considered a fair load for a 
man and eighty pounds was regarded as a heavy load for a man to 
carry on his back through the woods all day. On that trip they 
entered six thousand acres of choice pine lands on the head waters of the 
Manistee river, their share of which afterward made a fortune for them. 
They returned via Traverse City, thence to North Port, and by boat to 
Detroit, and it is but taking Mr. Ward at his word when we say that he 
was tired out and glad to find himself at home again. 

For fifteen years Mr. Ward shipped luml)er to South Water street, 
Chicago, and several cargoes were always sold ahead of its manufacture. 
His lumber was generally conceded to be the finest that entered the Chi- 
cago market, and one plank which brought him especial notice being 
sixty inches wide, sixteen feet long and four inches thick, without a 
blemish on either side. This plank was cut from a leaning cork pine 
stub, seven feet in diameter, and the five logs cut from it scaled nine 
thousand feet. He has had many and varied interests during his business 
career, and in whatever direction his mind turned he ranked among the 



500 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

leaders in that especial field. At one time he had three hundred thou- 
sand sheep feeding in Oakland county, and was known as the largest 
sheep feeder east of Chicago. He is the owner of a lumber mill at Bir- 
mingham, Washington, and is interested in the Hansen-Ward Veneer 
Company at Bay City, Michigan, as well as being the owner of another 
large mill at DeWard, British Columbia. In California and British Col- 
umbia he is the owner of about one billion, two hundred million feet of 
standing timber, and also owns thirty gold, silver and copper properties 
throughout the west, most of them producing mines. He owns some 
eight thousand bearing apple trees in Michigan. At the present time, 
although not as active in business as he has been in former years, he can 
not by any means be said to have retired, and is now engaged in laying 
out a boulevard on Ward's Point, at Cass Lake with two or three beauti- 
ful parks. The place is ideally located for summer homes, and the land 
will be let to builders on long term leases of ninety-nine years. The 
grounds will be planted to ornamental shrubbery and flowers, with elec- 
tric lights and every improvement that will tend to make for comfort 
and pleasure. It is designed for a resting place to which the tired and 
energetic business man may come and escape the confusion of the city. 
At the time of the death of his father an estate of six million dollars was 
left to be divided among the heirs. Mr. Ward has added very materially 
to his share, having been extremely successful in every business venture 
that has claimed his attention and being a man with an eye for an oppor- 
tunity, possessing much of the same business keenness that made his 
father a multimillionaire. 

On December i8, 1872, Mr. Ward was united in marriage with Miss 
Mary Day Scott, daughter of Robert D. and Elizabeth (Day) Scott, born 
in 1854, in Ontario, Canada. Mrs. Ward's father was a native of Scot- 
land, and descended from a line of Scottish chiefs, while her mother, 
who was a native of England, has royal blood in her veins. During the 
money panic that occurred at the close of the Civil war, Robert Scott 
became almost penniless, and arrived in Pontiac with his family in 1866 
with about thirteen dollars in money. The family spent their first night 
in Pontiac with Mr. and Mrs. Thorpe, in the old Thorpe homestead, near 
the State hospital. The daughter, Mary Day, who had been educated 
under private tutors, displayed her loyalty to her family and her coura- 
geous spirit as well by accepting a position in a millinery store, and it 
was while acting in this capacity that she met Mrs. David Ward, who 
became attracted to the firm-minded young girl and invited her to her 
house to spend a week. She had previously met the son, Henry, at a 
social gathering, and the two families became friends from their first 
association. Through H. C. Ward, Robert Scott was enabled to start in 
the carriage building business, which he did under the name of Scott & 
Company, his daughter Mary, who turned over all her earnings to her 
father, constituting the "company," and in consideration of this she 
owned a half interest in her father's business. The latter died on April 
28, 1905. In their family were eight children, the first being twins, one 
of whom was still-born, the other, Elizabeth, is now deceased. The 
others, in the order of their birth, are: Maria, a resident of Pontiac; 
Mary Day, the wife of Mr. Ward; William R. and Louis D., both of 
Pontiac; Phoebe, the wife of Howard Stevens, of Pontiac; and Helen, 
the wife of John E. King, of Grand Junction. 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Ward* have had three children, of whom 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 501 

Franklin B. was the first born, on November i, 1873. lie is now in the 
lumber business at Bay City, Michigan, lie married Elizabeth Bonsheld, 
and has live children : Alary E., Barbara, Jionstield, Virginia and Scott. 
Frederick L. Ward, the second son, born September 22, 1876, is now en- 
gaged in the lumber business in British Columbia. Dolores Ward was 
born August 11, 1879, ^^^^ ^s the wife of Captain O. G. Collins, of Fort 
Totten, Eong Island. Both sons were graduated from the Alichigan 
Alilitary Academy at Orchard Eake, after which both wished to enter 
college. They were promised that their wishes would be granted if they 
would work and secure the money necessary to pay their lirst year's 
tuition. They at once applied to their grandfather for positions working 
in his timber tracts, at chopping down trees, logging and similar labor, 
but the old gentleman, although greatly pleased with their ambition and 
enterprise, ridiculed the idea of their being able to do this kind of work. 
Flowever, he eventually gave them a trial, and they immediately demon- 
strated that the sturdy characteristics of their forbears had been inher- 
ited by them in a large degree, and that they could hold their own with 
the best men in the camps. Subsequently, after the completion of their 
college courses, the sons entered their grandfather's employ and for two 
years prior 'to the death of the old pioneer, Franklin B. Ward had 
charge of the entire lumber interests of the old gentleman. 

lienry Clay Ward votes the Republican ticket, although he has never 
interested himself in politics to any extent. Mrs. Ward is a member of 
the Alethodist Episcopal church, supporting its movements and contri- 
buting to its welfare. The old home at Orchard Lake, now a center of 
gracious hospitality, culture and refinement and the scene of numerous 
brilliant social functions, marks the site wiiere years ago a tribe of 
Indians had their camp, and on the beautiful island lying in the lake is 
still to be found an old Indian burial ground, all that remains to remind 
the present generation of the savage hordes that made this vicinity their 
home during the early days wdien such pioneers as David Ward blazed 
the way for the present civilization. 

Charles A. Bingham is achieving unusual success as a farmer and 
fruit-grower in section 5, Southfield township, Oakland county, Alichi- 
gan. His estate is know^n as Pinehurst Farm and it comprises one hun- 
dred and six acres of some of the most arable land in the entire county. 
He is an active business man and manifests a deep and sincere interest 
in all matters tending to forward progress and improvement in this sec- 
tion of the state. 

A native of Oakland county, Alichigan, Charles A. Bingham was 
born in West Bloomfield township, Alay 31, 1875, and he is a son of 
David and Alary (Simpson) Bingham, the former of whom was born 
in Lincolnshire, England, in 1839, and the latter in West Bloomfield 
township, this county, in 1845. David Bingham was reared to the age of 
eighteen years in his native land and there received a fair education in 
the public schools. In 1857 he immigrated to America, alone, and settled 
first at Pontiac, Alichigan, where he worked for some time by the day. 
He purchased a farm in West Bloomfield township, Oakland county, in 
1872, but sold that place in 1880 and moved to the present Bingham 
homestead of one hundred and six acres, living here until his death in 
1899. He had been twice married, his first wife having been Eliza For- 
man, w^ho passed to the life eternal in 1869, the mother of five children. 



502 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

namely, — Lorenzo D., of Southiield township ; George of Southlield 
township; Adie, wife of Ezra Bristol; Ida, wife of J. AL Rainey, now 
deceased; and William J., who died in 1881. In 1870 Mr. Bingham was 
united in marriage to Alary Simpson, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth 
(Patten) Simpson, the former a native ot Scotland and the latter of 
America. Two children were born to the second marriage, hloy, who 
died in 1888, and Charles A., the immediate subject of this review. 

To the district schools of Southlield township, Charles A. Bingham is 
indebted for his rudimentary educational training. He was a student in 
the Birmingham high school for one year and also pursued a commercial 
course in the Business College of Eenton. He remained at home and 
worked on his father's farm until he had reached his twenty-first year, 
when he bought an interest in his present home, Pinehurst Earm. Air. 
Bingham is engaged in agricultural pursuits and the raising of fruit, mak- 
ing a specialty of peaches and apples. His farm consists of one hundred 
and six acres and is eligibly located one and one-half miles distant from 
the village of Eranklin and four and one-half miles from Birmingham. 
In politics Air. Bingham is a stanch supporter of the principles ])romul- 
gated by the Republican party and in a fraternal way he is affiliated with 
Bingham Lodge, No. 44, Free and Accepted AJasons, being junior war- 
den of that organization at the present time, and of Bingham Chapter, 
No. 93, Royal Arch Alasons. lie is likewise a valued and appreciative 
member of the Independent Order of Foresters, being chief ranger of 
that organization at the present time, in 19 12. 

On November 25, 1895, Air. Bingham was united in marriage to Aliss 
Jennie Covert, who was born and reared in Oakland county and who is 
a daughter of Isaac M. Covert, formerly of Southfield township but who 
later moved to Alissouri. Isaac Covert was born in the state of New 
York and traces his ancestry back to stanch Holland stock. Air. and 
Airs. Bingham are the parents of three children, — II. Kenneth, Cameron 
A. and Carson C, the first two of wdiom are attending school in South- 
field township. Airs. Bingham is a devout member of the Alethodist 
Protestant church, in whose faith she was reared. Air. and Airs. Bing- 
ham are popular citizens in their home community, where they are ac- 
corded the unqualified esteem of all who know them. 

K. L. Grow^ a farmer, of Bloomfield tow^nship, Oakland county, 
Alichigan, was born November 13, 1862, the son of Irving K. and Amelia 
(Alitchell) Grow. He is a sociable man, and well liked by everyone, the 
type of a man who, no matter where he w^ent, would never v/ant for 
friends. He is a member of the Alaccabees at Pontiac, and has been 
director of schools for three years. ITe belongs to the Republican party. 
The farm, with which he spends most of his time, stretches over one 
hundred acres of land, and is a well-cared-for, prosperous piece. 

Air. Grow's grandfather, Elijah Grow\ came from New York into 
Alichigan with his brother in 1830, and built a number of houses. They 
then returned to New York and did not come west again until 1835. On 
this second trip they settled in Springfield township, Oakland county, 
and lived there for several years. Their next move took them to Water- 
ford township, and after a few years' residence there to Pontiac town- 
ship where they lived until their death. The son of Elijah and Charity 
(Baker) Grow, Irving K. Grow, was born in Homer, Courtland county. 
New York, November 16, 1834, and in October 16, 1857, was married to 
Amelia Alitchell. They lived in Waterford township for eight years and 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 503 

then moved to rontiac township. The present residence, and the one 
where they had hved since January, 1912, is Tontiac. Ameha ^^iitchell 
was born in Niagara county, New York, March 7, 1838, the daughter of 
Lafayette and Harriet (Thomas) AiitcheU. When she was six years old 
her family moved to Geneva county, Michigan, and later to Groveland 
township, Oakland county, where they lived the rest of their lives. Mr. 
and Airs. Mitchell had ten children, of whom four are now living: 
Kay, living in Flint, Michigan; John, in West Dakota; Oscar, Jiving in 
Groveland, Oakland county, Michigan; Fannie, the wife of Chesier Wil- 
kins of Flint. i\melia, the wafe of 1. K. Grow, died August 3, 1912. 
Air. and Mrs. Irving K. Cirow have had three children, all of whom are 
living, Allie, the wife of George Greer, of Pontiac; K. L. the subject of 
the sketch ; and Lettie, the wife of P. A. Knight of Pontiac. 

K. I^. Grow and his wife, Flizabeth (Reid) Grow, the daughter of 
Daniel Reid, of l^ort ITuron, Michigan, have had two children, Alyrtle, 
the wife of W^alter Green, of Pontiac, and John, still at home and attend- 
ing business college in Pontiac. A little daughter was born to Myrtle 
Grow Green on July 9, 19 12, named Elizabeth .Amelia Green. 

Robert W. ]\Ialcolm is a prominent and well-to-do farmer in West 
Bloomfield and Commerce townships, his residence l)eing maintained in 
Commerce village. liis farm consists of seventy-two acres in West 
Bloomfield towaiship and one hundred and forty acres in Commerce, and 
is one of the highly productive and valuable places in the county. It 
was a government homestead, of which Robert Malcolm's father, George 
Malcolm, became the owner in 1832, and on this place the subject was 
born on February 18, 1844, his parents being George and Janet (lAndre) 
Malcolm, both natives of Scotland, who came to America in their young 
days. George Malcolm played an important part in the affairs of his 
community all his life, and when the dispute between ^Michigan and 
Ohio over the city of Toledo arose, in 1835, ^^^^^ known to history as the 
Toledo War, he was one of those who organized a company of militia, 
but it was never mustered into service. 

Robert W. Malcolm attended the district schools as a boy, and on 
August II, 1862, he enlisted in Company A of the Twenty-second ]\Iichi- 
gan Infantry. He left the state with his regiment on Septeml:>er 4th, 
following, and at the battle of Chickamauga, on September 19th and 20th, 
1863, was taken prisoner and removed to Richmond, \^irginia, thence, 
to Danville, Andersonville and Florence. He was a prisoner of war 
for more than fifteen months, after which he Avas released and re- 
turned to his regiment, being discharged from the service on July 11, 
1865. Returning home, he gave his attention to study and attended 
school during the winter for a short time, which ended his schooling. 
Thereafter Mr. ]\Ialcolm directed his energies to the care of the home 
farm, of which he is now the owner. He prospered as a farmer, and has 
long been prominent in his community in politics and general public life. 
The list of offices he has held in Bloomfield township is a lars^e one, and 
represents practically positions of importance in the gift of his fellow 
townispeople. He was supervisor two years ; town clerk of West Bloom- 
field township for two years, school moderator for twelve years and a 
director of the school board for nine years ; he was a member of the board 
of review for twenty-three years; and in 1884 was sent by his district 
to the state legislature for a 'two year term. He has always been a man 
of weight and influence in his community, and as a citizen concerned in 



504 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

the common weal he has done his full share in the service of his towns- 
people. 

On November ii, 1874, Mr. Malcolm married Miss Sarah Long, of 
West Lloomtield township, bhe was born m Detroit, Alichigan, the 
daughter of Joseph and iiarriet (Atwood) Long. Mr. Long was for 
years engaged in the boot and shoe business in Detroit, but later bought 
a farm and devoted himself to agriculture in West Bloomfield. 

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm ; — Harriet, 
the eldest, is the wife of Roy Gamble, a farmer of Milford, where they 
live. George G. is superintendent of schools at Norway, Michigan, one 
of the prominent mining towns of the Upper Peninsula of Aiichigan, 
and is married to Miss Grace White; they have two sons, Gordon G. and 
Robert W. The youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm is Bert W., 
who makes his home on the farm. He married Miss Edith Crook. 

Mr. Malcolm is a member of the Masonic order, holding membership 
in Commerce Lodge, No. 121, Milford Chapter and Pontiac Command- 
ery. He is also a member of the Eastern Star, No. 301, of Commerce, 
as is also his wife, and both are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church of their home town. 

James Cuthhert, supervisor and farmer of section 4, White Lake 
township, Oakland county, Michigan, is a w^ell-to-do and popular citizen 
of that community. Pie has aUvays been prominent in all affairs, whether 
social or political, and has been one of the first to be approached when 
some local change or improvement was being considered. 

iMr. Cuthbert's parents, Joseph and Jane (Bell) Cuthbert, w^ere both 
born in Lincolnshire, England, of farmer stock, and after their marriage 
in 1852 came directly to America. They did not remain in the east, but 
pushed on to Michigan and settled in White Lake township. After work- 
ing out for a short time Mr. Cuthbert ])ought eighty-hve acres of land 
and built a house thereon. Pie later bought two additional pieces of 
ground, one of nineteen acres in the same section and another of two 
hundred acres in section 33, Springfield township. They lived on this 
farm until the death of M^rs. Cuthl^ert, April 2T, 1891, when Mr. Cuth- 
bert moved to Pontiac and died there August 8, 1906. They were the 
parents of three children: James, the subject of the sketch; Annie, the 
wafe of Will T. Matthews, of Pontiac; and William, who died when 
about four years old. 

lames Cuthbert lived on his father's farm until his marriage Feb- 
ruary 18, 1879, to Rebecca Ogden. For the next ten years he lived in 
Springfield township, but on the death of his mother in 1891 he moved 
back to the old homestead and has been there ever since. Miss Ogden 
was the daughter of Lewis and Phoel)e (Harding) Ogden, of Dutch 
descent on the father's side and of English on the mother's. They came 
from New Jersey into White Lake township in 1852, when Rebecca 
Ogden was only two years old. They had three other children besides 
Rebecca, all living: Sarah E. the w^ife of Joseph B. Roe, of Independ- 
ence township, Emily, the wife of Tames Teeples, of White Lake^ town- 
ship ; and Mary A., the wdfe of Oilman C. Nelson, of California. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert have had three children. Friend Joseph, who 
died in infancy, Inez May, a graduate of the Holly High school and of 
the county normal, and 'now a senior student at the Michigan Con- 
servatorv of Music, Detroit ; and Ida Jane, a graduate of the Oakland 
County Normal, and living at home while teaching school in White Lake. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 505 

Mr. Cuthbert is a member of A. F. and A. M., Davisburg Austin Lodge, 
No. 48, and the family belong to the O. E. S. No. 296, Austin Chapter at 
Davisburg. A Democrat in politics, he has been supervisor of his town- 
ship for thirteen years. He owns ninety-eight acres in White Lake and 
forty acres of land in Springfield township, and at one time made a 
specialty of Shropshire sheep and shorthorned registered stock. 

RuFus Tenny and Jesse Tenny. Among the pioneers of Oakland 
county were Rufus Tenny and Jesse Tenny, who settled in the south- 
western part of Highland township, in the Tenny neighborhood, in 1833, 
although it was not known by that name until after they settled here. 
They came directly from Monroe county. New York, to this state, mak- 
ing the long journey with teams, and bringing all of their household goods 
and their families with them. Bravely they dared all the hardships and 
privations incidental to life in an undeveloped country in order to pave 
the way for those who followed, and to establish homes where their chil- 
dren and their descendants might enjoy the comforts and even the lux- 
uries of life without the labor and toil which they endured. 

Rufus Tenny married, in Monroe county. New York, Eunice Mudge, 
who proved a true helpmate to him in the making of a home in the wild- 
erness, doing her full share of pioneer labor, and in common with her 
neighbors living in a primitive manner, cooking by the open fireplace 
and carding, spinning and weaving the homespun in which she fashioned 
the garments worn by the family. Of their children, eight grew to years 
of maturity, although none are now living, their names being as follows : 
Edwin, who settled in Milford as a cabinet maker; Trumbull, who was 
for many years a jeweler in Milford, Oakland county; Monroe, whose 
daughter, Mrs. Beckwith, owns the old home farm ; Henry, who was a 
mechanic; Mary, who married John C. Wood and died in middle life; 
Ann Eliza who, married Henry Nelson, and removed to the South, where 
she died a few years later ; Clinton, who died at the age of sixty years ; 
and Rufus, who lived but twenty-one years. 

Monroe Tenny, the third son in succession of birth of Rufus Tenny, 
and his brother Clinton remained on the home farm where both were 
reared, Monroe having been a boy of ten years when he came from 
Monroe county, New York, his native place, with his parents, and as 
Clinton Tenny had had the misfortune to lose a leg when young, the 
farm work devolved largely upon Monroe. Monroe Tenny subsequently 
spent a year in Cleveland, Ohio. He was married several years before he 
went to Cleveland, but his wafe was a Cleveland girl, and on his return 
to Highland township the farm was divided, he taking one half and 
Clinton the remainder. Monroe Tenny immediately began adding to the 
value of his farm by inaugurating substantial improvements, in 1866 
erecting the house that now stands upon the place, it being the home of 
his daughter, ]\Irs. Beckwith. On August 28, 18^2, while standing near 
a threshing machine on the farm of his uncle, Jesse Tenny, the engine 
of the machine exploded, killing Mr. ^lonroe Tenny, his cousin, Edson 
Tenny, and two other men, one of whom was Mr. Odell, a neighbor, a 
tragedy not yet forgotten. 

Monroe Tenny married in 1848, Eliza Morgan, a Cleveland girl, but 
their marriage took place several years before Mr. Tenny went to that 
city. She survived him many years, passing away in 1905, at the ven- 
erable age of eighty years. She was the mother of eight children, namely : 
Morgan, who died at the age of twenty-one years, in 1870: Julia, wife 



506 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

of George Hedden, of Highland township; Rufus H., a bookkeeper at 
Fenton, Michigan ; Frank M., who spent his entire life on the home farm 
and died in igoo, aged forty years; Mary, w^ho married Mart Tunis, of 
Brighton, Michigan, died in 1886; Cora, who died in infancy; Nellie, 
wife of W. H. Ike, of New York, died in 1897; and Mabel, who owns 
the old homestead property, and is now the wife of Fred Beckwith. Mrs. 
Monroe Tenny assumed the management of the Tenny homestead after 
the death of her husband, being forced while rearing her family to look 
well after her financial affairs. Her two older sons, sixteen and eighteen 
years old when their father died, assisted her in tilling the land, while 
her eldest daughter, who soon began teaching school, turned her wages 
over to her mother. She completed the house which Mr. Tenny began 
to build, and subsequently added to it, at the same time further improv- 
ing the property as her means allowed. She was a woman of much force 
of character, and a valued member of the Highland Baptist church, which 
was organized in the old log house belonging to Jesse Tenny, and of 
which the Tennys were prominent supporters. 

Mr. Fred Beckwith was born in Plymouth, Wayne county, Michigan, 
in 1869, and since his marriage with Mabel Tenny has devoted his time 
and energies to the care of the old Tenny homestead, as a general farmer 
being quite successful. Mr. and Mrs. Beckwith have five children, 
namely: Bernice, Clare, Herbert T., Flora A. and Walter. Mrs. Beck- 
with is also a member of the Baptist church. 

Jesse Tenny, the pioneer, married Thankful Blackmer, and to them 
eight children were ])orn, as follows : .Alonzo, who married and died in 
early life ; Adeline, who inherited the old Jesse Tenny homestead, mar- 
ried John C. Morse, and their son, Seymour Morse, lives at No. 1025 
Vaughn street, Ann Arbor ; Seymour, who engaged in mining in Australia 
as a young man, married there, wrote home to his family after he had 
been there sixty years ; but he never returned to this country, dying in 
Australia in 1910; Sarah died in childhood; Edward, for many years had 
charge of the Baptist church at Holly, and his daughter married Dr. Mc- 
Donald of Holly ; Edson was killed by the explosion of an engine, as 
previously related; William left home when a young man, and was not 
heard from for many a long year and never returned home ; and Way- 
land, who was killed while serving in the Civil war. 

William Willits. Having been born and reared in Oakland 
county and passed the whole of his life within its borders and in free 
mingling with its residents, except for two years, during which he was 
in the Union army fighting to save the Union from disruption, the late 
William Willits, of Pontiac, was well known to the people of the county, 
and the high estimate they placed on his worth as a man and his useful- 
ness as a citizen was therefore based on genuine merit demonstrated to 
them in long association with him and through his transactions in several 
lines of activity. 

Mr. Willits' life began in Birmingham, this county, on September 19, 
1836. He was a son of Elijah and Rachel (Harmon) Willits. William 
was the last born of their seven children, the others being John, George, 
Elijah, Jane, Matilda and Sarah, the latter the widow of the late H. S. 
Lee, of Caro, Michigan. The father w^as twice married. By his first 
marriage he became the parent of three children, Wellington, Washing- 
ton and Eliza, all of whom have died. 

After completing his common school education, all that he had oppor- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 507 

tunity to acquire, William Willits began life for himself as a farmer. 
But on August 12, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, Twenty-second 
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with the rank of first sergeant. He was 
promoted to that of second lieutenant on August 3, 1863, ^^^ on Septem- 
ber 20th of that year, he was taken prisoner at the battle of Chickamauga. 
During the next eighteen months he languished in Libby and Anderson- 
ville prisons, finally making his escape from the latter on February 14, 

1865. 

After his escape from prison, Mr. Willits returned to his regiment 
and remained with it until he was mustered out of the service on June 
26, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. He then returned to Bennington and 
opened a general store, which he conducted for about one year. At the 
end of that time he moved to Pontiac, and here kept a hotel for twenty 
years. In addition, he was ardently interested in high-bred horses and 
spent a great deal of his time breeding and handling them. He was a 
great lover of fine horses, and was successful in breeding and dealing in 
good ones. He died on July 17, 1891. 

On August 9, 1859, Mr. Willits was joined in marriage with Miss 
Mary Grinley, a daughter of James and Freelove (Olin) Grinley, the 
former a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and the latter of the state of New 
York. The father came to Michigan with his parents when he was but 
four years old. The family located in Birmingham, and when the son 
grew to manhood he became a painter and decorator. They had six 
children : Mrs. Willits and her sister, Anna Augusta, the wife of James 
W. McGregor, of Detroit, are living; and Martha E., James Henry, 
Frances A. and Sarah M., are all deceased. 

Mr. and Mrs. Willits had four children: Carrie, the wife of Henry 
S. Ten Eyck, and Frank L., who are living in Pontiac; and Wilhelmina 
and George, who have died. The father was a Republican in political 
faith and allegiance and a Freemason in fraternal life. At the time of 
his death he owned property of value in Pontiac and a large farm in Troy 
township, this county, which has since been sold. He was a good busi- 
ness man, a useful citizen, and the residents of the county in all localities 
respected him highly. 

William Drahner, proprietor and owner of the one livery and 
sales stable of any note in the northeast part of Oakland county, is a na- 
tive product of the state and county, born here in 1862, on the 12th day 
of June. He is the son of Frank and Maria (Brownell) Drahner, and is 
one of the six children born to those worthy people. Five of the num- 
ber are yet living. 

In early life Mr. Drahner engaged in the milling business, which held 
him for six years, after which he ventured into the livery business. As 
previously mentioned, his establishment is one of the best of its kind in 
this part of Oakland county, and he has a fine lot of horses and the best 
in equipages. 

Mr. Drahner married Miss Clare J. Moule, who was born in Orange 
county. New York, on July 4, 1864. She is the daughter of James Moule, 
born in Orange county. New York, and reared in Sullivan county of the 
same state. In 1867 he removed to Michigan, locating first some three 
miles east of Orion and three years later moving into the town of Ox- 
ford. He was engaged in farming until 1889, ^^^^ moved into Oxford 
proper, where he died on January 29, 191 2. He was a Republican and 
ever a good and true citizen. He was the son of Abraham Moule, born 



508 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

February 26, 1798, in Ulster county, New York, where he was reared 
and passed many years of his life. He was a weaver by trade, a Repub- 
lican in politics and a zealous Methodist in his religious faith. He died 
in Forestburgh, Sullivan county, New York, on March 2J, 1876. He 
married Jane Cole, born December 24, 1802, in Ulster county, and their 
marriage was solemnized on November 22, 18 19. They had ten children, 
named as follow^s: Henry, Catherine, Elcey, Mary J., Cornelius, 
Johannes, James, Nelson, John and David. The mother of Mrs. Drahner 
was Elizabeth M. Houck, who was born on January 16, 1841, in Greene 
county. New York, and her young life was passed in Sullivan county. 
She removed to the state of Michigan in 1867, after her marriage to 
James Moule. She was the daughter of Henry Houck, born June 16, 
1813, in Rochester, New York, and he was for many years engaged in 
farming and lumbering. He was a Whig of the old school as to his 
political faith, and he died on October 2J, 1855. His wife was Clarissa 
Mr. Brewer, born August 18, 1823, in Greene county. New York, and they 
were married in 1840. They were the parents of ten children, all of 
whom died in infancy but four. James and Elizabeth M. (Houck) Moule 
were united in marriage on September 24, 1857, in Sullivan county. New 
York. Four children were born to them, all of whom are living, those 
besides Mrs. Drahner being: William N., born December 2, 1858, now 
living at Metamora, Michigan; Albert A., born June 19, 1861, and living 
at Ouray, Colorado; and Frank D., born January 4, 1869, now a resident 
of Lowell, Washington. Clara Moule was married to William Allen, of 
Oxford, in 1894. Mr. Allen died in 1896. One child was born of that 
union, Frank M. Allen, who is living. Mrs. Clara Allen was married to 
William Drahner in 1899, and one daughter has been born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Drahner, Bernice E., born June 21, 1902. 

Mr. Drahner is an active Republican in his political affiliation, and 
was at one time deputy sheriff of Oakland county. 

Dr. B. C. H. Spencer. There is no more famous painting in the 
world, if fame may be taken to mean the acquaintance of the greatest 
number of people with the subject, than the one which is simply and 
pointedly entitled ''The Doctor." It hangs in almost every physician's 
office in the country, and in many private homes. It is so natural in its 
meaning, so inspired in its execution that the most unskilled tyro in art 
may readily catch the full significance. Day is almost breaking and the 
low burning lamp on the table in the humble cottage shows that it has 
been an all-night vigil for those in the room. Beside the table, with her 
head on her arms, shaken with grief and anxiety, is the young wife, while 
standing behind her with comforting arm upon her shoulder is the one 
who has promised to shield and sustain her through life's journey. 
There are but two other figures in the apartment, pathetic in the natural- 
ness of its humble furnishings. A little child lies in the cradle and be- 
side it, chin in hand, intent upon every flutter of the breath, sits the 
doctor, modest descendant of the Great Physician, who walked beside the 
Sea of Galilee centuries ago, and, like Him, intent upon saving those 
about him. The picture shows that it has been a hard fight, and whether 
it is lost or won, the artist, with true artistic instinct, left to the individ- 
ual conception of the beholder. But amid it all the eye centers upon the 
grave figure of the Disciple of Aesculapius and the mind instantly reverts 
to similar scenes in each individual experience, and the beholder instinc- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 509 

lively accords a meed of respect, a silent tribute of praise to the repre- 
sentative of one of the noblest of callings since time began. 

Such a type may be found in Doctor 13. C. H. Spencer, the president 
of the village of Rochester, who for thirty-one years has practiced med- 
icine, and now, in the meridian of life, is still spared for further useful- 
ness. He has been to his community like the doctor of "before the war" 
days, at once physician, friend and counselor to those about him. In his 
public and private capacities he has never shirked the call of duty, never 
been found lacking in the time of need. It was with heartiest accord that 
his fellow townsmen gave to him the position, which entitles him to rec- 
ognition officially as the chief citizen. 

Dr. Spencer was born in Oakland, November lo, 1859, a son of John 
H. and Laura G. (Riggs) Spencer. His parents were natives of New 
York and located in Michigan in 1830, Avon township being their home. 
He was a farmer and afterward a merchant in Rochester, where he died 
in 1875. The grandfather of Dr. Spencer was Chauncey G. Spencer, 
who came from New York in the early '30s and farmed in Avon town- 
ship. In 1849 he crossed the desert and mined on the Pacific slope, dying 
in San Francisco in 1883. His son, John H., to whom reference has been 
made, was born in Genesee county, New York, and, like his father after 
locating in Michigan was attracted by the west. He crossed the plains 
to California in 1857, and for three years was engaged in mining, meet- 
ing with a considerable degree of success. He went to Idaho eight years 
later and remained for two years, returning home at the expiration of 
this time to take up farming once more. He held various township of- 
fices and was one of the best known residents of the vicinity. His wife, 
whose maiden name was Laura C. Riggs, was born in Dutchess county. 
New York. She is still living, at the age of eighty-two, making her home 
with Dr. Spencer. There were four children in the family of Mr. and 
Mrs. John H. Spencer. Alice M., the eldest, is the widow of A. C. J. 
Bateman, of Seattle, Washington. Adelle, married Erastus D. Hellman, 
and they are both now deceased. Their sons are located at Seattle and 
have eighty-five acres of ground near that city. Belle married Frank B. 
Kline, of Seattle, and Dr. B. C. H., the subject of this sketch, is the 
youngest of the family. 

Dr. Spencer attended the Rochester high school in youth, then went 
to the Detroit College of Medicine for his professional training, grad- 
uating therefrom in 1881. He practiced at Orion for eighteen years, then 
went to the Santa Clara valley of California for two years. He located 
in Rochester in i8q6, and has been practicing here ever since. 

In 1885, Dr. Spencer married Josephine B. Laird, and they had two 
children: Laird B., of Ann Arbor, who is the manager of the Michigan 
State Telephone Company, and Bernice L., who is now a student in the 
University at Ann Arbor. Dr. Spencer took for his second wife Frances 
L. Davis, daughter of Charles and Kate (Sullivan) Davis. By this union 
there is one child, Adele Beatrice, who was born July 22, 1906. Miss 
Bernice is an extremely gifted young lady, and was the class prophet 
for the graduating class of 19 10 of the Oxford high school. She sur- 
prised and delighted teachers, pupils and friends by the cleverness with 
which, in verse, she foretold the future for each member of the class. 
This was in twenty-four stanzas, of eight verses each, and of so marked 
literary merit that it will stand for many years as a classic of the school. 
Its delightful cadence and smooth rythm should inspire the author to 
further efforts of the kind. 



510 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

A lifetime of devotion to his profession has brought to Dr. Spencer 
some substantial reward and he owns a home on Puget Sound, called 
Birmingham, where he goes every year. He also ow^ns a handsome resi- 
dence in Rochester. He is a man of quiet tastes, thoroughly versed in 
the questions of the day, and affable and courteous in his personal con- 
tacts. He is a Democrat politically, and in addition to being village 
president is health officer for the town. He holds membership in the 
State Medical xA^ssociation. His fraternal affiliations, are with the 
Masons, both Blue Lodge and Royal Arch, with the Maccabees, Elks, 
Knights of Pythias, Foresters of America and Ancient Foresters. Mrs. 
Spencer is a member of the Episcopal church. 

Marsden C. Busch. Honors of many kinds have come to Marsden 
C. Busch, one of Rochester's most distinguished residents who, while a 
native of the Empire state, has devoted the years of his maturity to works 
of usefulness in Michigan. Possessed of a judicial mind and temper- 
ment and an excellent legal training, it was but natural that he should 
be called to high position in the public service. After being admitted to 
the bar he became probate judge at Hersey, Michigan, then moved to 
Grand Rapids, from which point he was sent to the legislature, and there- 
after in succession became district judge. United States attorney and as- 
sistant attorney-general, which last position he now holds. Mr. Busch is 
a Republican in politics. He belongs to the Masonic order and attends 
divine services at the Episcopal church. 

He was born in Union Springs, New York, in 1858, a son of Malcom 
and a Miss (Crane) Busch, both natives of New York. They came to 
Michigan about 1879, locating in Rochester. Marsden C. Busch attended 
college at Hobart, New^ York, and then pursued his legal studies at the 
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He was compelled to leave the 
latter institution by the death of his father. Admitted to the bar about 
1880, he commenced the practice in Rochester and after his marriage 
went to Hersey, where his political career really began. He is now resid- 
ing in his summer home at Rochester, where he owns one hundred and 
sixty-six acres located in sections 22 and 23. His country place has 
splendid improvements and he makes a specialty of dairying, having forty 
head of blooded stock. 

Mr. Busch was married to Miss Belle Hamlin, daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. John Hamlin. The former w^as affectionately known to a wide 
circle of friends as ''Jack." They took, to raise, Benjamin Gates, when 
he was a year and a half old and educated him at the Maryland Agricul- 
tural College at College Park, Maryland. 

Marvin E. Busch was born at Mason, Illinois, September 15, 1884, 
a son of Floyd H. and Katharine (Knemborts) Busch. His father was 
a native of Michigan and his mother of Illinois, and both are now resid- 
ing in the Prairie state. Three children were born to their union, Marvin, 
being the eldest. The others are Lola, wife of Arthur Nave, of Mason, 
Illinois, and Viva, who is at home. Marvin at the age of twenty-four 
came to Michigan and now has charge of his uncle's farm near Rochester, 
which he is managing with splendid success. 

His wife was Gertrude Brown, daughter of John and Elizabeth 
(Robertson) Brown, to whom he was married April 27, 1910. Her par- 
ents were natives of Illinois and had nine children, these being : Angus, of 
Alma, Illinois; Maggie, wife of Vent Wakeman ; Estella, wife of Roy 
Layson, residing in Illinois ; Jesse, of Thomasborough, Illinois ; Gertrude, 




HARRY S. GARDNER 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 511 

wife of Marvin E. Busch ; jMinnie, wife of A. D. Ross, of Mason, Illi- 
nois; Ruth, wife of H. E. Beyers, of Mason, Illinois; Stanford and 
Glenn, who are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Busch are the parents 
of one child, Floyd Harold, born February 14, 191 1. Mr. Busch is a Re- 
publican, a member of the United Brethren church and belongs to the 
M. W. A. and the F. R. A. 

Benjamin Gates' parents died, when he was an infant and he was 
reared by Mr. and Mrs. Busch as if he were their own son. He has 
made a specialty of horticulture and will no doubt follow this as an oc- 
cupation. He married Alma Fralick on December 21, 191 1. She is a 
daughter, of James and Nellie (Wing) Fralick, both of whom came from 
Canada and now reside in Rochester. Mr. Fralick is a paper hanger and 
decorator. He and his wife had but the one child. Mr. Gates is an 
Episcopalian. He votes the Republican ticket and has membership in the 
Foresters of America. 

Harry S. Gardner, register of deeds in Oakland county, is 
one of the more popular and prominent men in Pontiac, as well as one 
of the busiest. He is a native son of Oakland county, born in Oxford, 
Oxford township, on February 26, 1875, and is a son of Harper and 
Lorena (Osmun) Gardner and grandson of Solomon Gardner. 

Solomon Gardner, who was a native of New York state, came to 
Michigan in 1850. in common with a great number of other New^ York- 
ers, and settled in Oakland county, Oxford township, where he became 
identified with the active farming interests of the community. His son. 
Harper Gardner, the father of Harry S. Gardner, of this review, was 
born in Oxford in 1851, and there he passed his life up to the age of 
fifty years, engaged in the same business to which his father had de- 
voted himself. He experienced a high degree of success in his farm- 
ing operations, and was known for one of the more prominent breed- 
ers of fine stock in Oakland county. His farming activities gained 
him a competence, and when he was about fifty years of age' he retired 
from his farm and took up his residence in the village of Oxford, 
w^here he has since lived, and where he expects to spend the remainder 
of his days. His wife, Lorena Osmun, was born in Elba, Lapeer 
county, Michigan, on January 3, 1855, and was a daughter of Zebadiah 
Osmun. She died in Oxford township in 1894, when she was thirty- 
nine years of age, leavii|g one child, Flarry S. Gardner. 

The schools of Oxford township afforded to Mr. Gardner his early 
education, and sufficiently advanced him that while yet in his teens he 
began to teach in the district schools of his vicinity during the winter 
months, giving his summers to the farm work. In 1896 Mr. Gardner 
had so far advanced in the teaching profession that he went to Royal 
Oak as principal of the schools, and he remained in that position for 
something like ten years, during which time the status of the schools 
assumed a tone consistent w-ith the advanced methods and splendid ef- 
forts of their principal. It w^as through the interest and enthusiasm 
which his labors in the village produced that Royal Oak became the 
possessor of the splendid school building which has for some years 
graced the town, erected at a cost of about $12,000. The merging of 
Mr. Gardner's interests in affairs political in Oakland county gave to 
that district a most valuable official, but robbed it of one of the most 
capable educators it has ever possessed, although he served for some 

Vol. II— 2 



512 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

time as a member of the board of county school examiners, in which 
he gave excellent service to the county. 

In 1895 Mr. Gardner was married to Miss Mabel Jones, a daughter 
of Edward and Jennie (Walker) Jones. She was born in Waterford 
township, Oakland county, in 1868. They have one child, Ferris, who 
was born on October 3, 1902. 

In addition to his duties as register of deeds, Mr. Gardner holds the 
office of secretary and treasurer of the Columbia Casualty Company 
of Pontiac. He is affiliated with various fraternal organizations, hold- 
ing membership in the Masons, the Independent Order of Foresters 
and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in which latter so- 
ciety he is exalted ruler of the local lodge. Mrs. Gardner is a member 
of the Methodist Episcopal church of Royal Oak. 

Edward Braid. On Rural Route No. 2, leading out of Orion, Alich- 
igan, there are few country places as pretty and well laid out as ''Sunny- 
side," the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Braid. The broad acres, care- 
fully tilled with a rotation of crops that insures their bountiful yields, 
and at the same time affords a guarantee against depreciation, are im- 
proved with all necessary buildings, fences, etc., so that the whole when 
viewed by the delighted eye of the observer seems to typify admirably 
the perfect country place. 

Edward Braid, its fortunate owner, and whose thrift and wise man- 
agement have made possible its perfections, was born in Macomb on 
October 9, 1862, a son of John and Elizabeth (Leece) Braid, both of 
whom were natives of the Isle of Man. They came to Canada about 
1855, and soon thereafter crossed into Michigan, where the senior Braid 
lived until about 1863, located pleasantly in Oakland township. At his 
death he was the owner of 220 acres in this township. There were six 
children in their family : Frances, wife of Oscar J. Snyder, of Addison 
township ; Earl W., who is deceased ; Edward ; Eva, wife of George 
Lewis, of Addison township ; Emma, wife of Flarry Smith, and who re- 
sides in the same township; and John, of Oakland township. Eva and 
Emma are twins. 

Until he was thirty-one years of age, Edward Braid remained with 
his father. Beginning for himself as a renter, he was soon enabled to 
purchase forty acres. Then he bought one hundred and then one hun- 
dred and forty, all in section 8 of Oakland township. He finds stock 
raising a profitable departure from the general farming that is carried 
on at "Sunny-side.'' 

Miss Veda Laird and Mr. Braid were married December 28, 1892. 
She was a daughter of Alva and Mary (Cook) Laird, the former from 
Vermont and the latter a native of Michigan. Mrs. Laird is deceased, 
but her husband is still living, his home being in Orion. He was a farmer 
by occupation. The Laird family comprised four children : Veda, who 
married Edward Braid ; Hattie, now deceased ; Josephine, of Oxford ; 
and Nettie, wife of C. L. Anderson, of Orion, Michigan. Four children 
are also the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Braid, three still living. Donna, 
the second child, is deceased. The others are : Bird Earl, born April 30, 
1885; Alva C, born April 8, 1898; and Rena M., born June 8, 1904. 

Mr. Braid, who is a believer in democratic principles, has been hon- 
ored with office by his fellow citizens. He is now justice of the peace, 
and was a member of the school board for fifteen years. He belongs to 
the Methodist church. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 513 

Hon. Thomas L. Patterson. One of the distinguished, yet unas- 
suming members of the Oakland county bar, Hon. Thomas L. Patterson 
is noted as one of the oldest and most successful attorneys of Holly, his 
position as a man and a lawyer eminently entitling him to representation 
in this biographical volume. A son of James Patterson, he was born 
March 22, 1836, at Clarkson, Monroe county, New York, coming from 
thrifty Scotch-Irish stock. 

James Patterson was a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having oc- 
curred in Rock Bottom valley, York county, not far from Gettysburg. 
He was of Revolutionary ancestry, his father, James Patterson, Sr., hav- 
ing served, it is said, in the Revolutionary war. As a young man he 
learned the trade of a blacksmith, but after his marriage removed to 
Monroe county, New York, where he was for a time engaged in business 
as a lumber manufacturer and dealer. In 1836 he migrated to Michigan, 
which was then a territory, and in 1839 took up a homestead claim in 
Oakland county, one mile north and half a mile west of what is now 
Holly. In 1857 the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad w^as constructed, 
passing through much land which he owned, including the present site 
of the village of Holly, in which he immediately took up his residence. 
Becoming very active in public matters, he served in many offices of trust 
and responsibility. He was a member of the first state legislature that 
convened in Lansing, being one of the five chosen to represent Oakland 
county in that deliberative body, and for many years served as justice 
of the peace, an office which he was filling at the time of his death, which 
occurred in 1865, at the age of sixty-nine years. 

The maiden name of the wife of James Patterson was Elizabeth 
Patton. She was born in Rock Bottom valley, York county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and died in Holly, Michigan, at the age of sixty-nine years. Nine 
children were born of *their union, as follows: James C, a successful 
merchant, spent the closing days of his long life in Holly, Michigan, 
passing away in the ninety-first year of his age ; Andrew J., a farmer, 
died in Romeo, Michigan, in 1908 ; Simeon B., who served in the Civil 
war as sergeant in Company C, Eighth Michigan Cavalry, and was after- 
wards engaged in agricultural pursuits, died in Holly, aged fifty-six 
years; William P., also a farmer, died at Caro, Michigan, at the age of 
sixty- four years ; Sarah S., who married William G. Sherwood, died in 
Rose township, Oakland county, Michigan, at the advanced age of eighty- 
nine years; Eliza J., wife of Harrison Smith, died in Detroit, at the age 
of eighty-two years ; Theresa, wife of Oscar Holmes, of Holly, passed 
away at the age of three score and ten years ; Silvane, who married 
James W. Keath, died in middle life; and Thomas L. ; the subject of this 
sketch, and the only survivor of the parental household. 

A lad of ten years when he joined his parents in Michigan, Thomas 
L. Patterson continued his early studies in the old slab school house, his 
first instructor having been David A. Elliott, who died in Greenville, 
Michigan, in iQio, at a venerable age. Returning to New York in 1851, 
he was graduated in 1855, from what was then the Brockport Collegiate 
Institute, but is now a normal school. He read law some time in New 
York, and after his return to Michigan was admitted, in 1863, to the 
bar. Prior to that time, however, he had taught one or more terms in 
the Patterson school building, which replaced the old slab school house 
of his earlier days, and also in the village of Holly. Mr. Patterson ap- 
j)lied himself diligently to his profession, and through his legal ability and 
knowledge has achieved a splendid success as a lawyer. In 1884 he was 



514 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

elected judge or probate for Oakland county, a position which he held for 
sixteen consecutive years, a period of great importance in the history of 
the county. Previous to his election as judge he had been engaged in 
the practice of law with the late James K. Patterson, who was prosecut- 
ing attorney from 1874 until 1879. During the Civil war Mr. Patterson 
raised the full quota of troops required from his township, while his 
father, who was then serving as supervisor, also assisted in raising troops 
in the county. 

Although not a strong partisan, Mr. Patterson uniformly supports the 
principles of the Democratic party, and has filled various local offices 
most acceptably, for seventeen years having been supervisor. Frater- 
nally he belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, 
in which he has taken the Knights Templar degrees. 

Mr. Patterson married, in 1865, Eunice A. Hadley, who was born 
in Rose township, Oakland county, Michigan, a daughter of John and 
Eunice Hadley. She passed to the life beyond, in Holly, August 5, 
1902. Mr, Patterson married for his second wife, in 1904, Alice I. 
Allen, who was born in Holly, Michigan, a daughter of Ira Allen, who 
came to Oakland county in 1836, and a granddaughter of Jonathan T. 
Allen, a native of New Jersey, who migrated to Michigan in territorial 
days. Mr. Patterson has three sons, namely : John H., an attorney at 
Pbntiac, William F. and Stuart D. William F, Patterson, the second 
child, who completed his early studies at the university of Michigan, 
which he attended two years, is now engaged in general farming and 
stock feeding on the old Patterson homestead. He married Florence 
Donovan, who was born in Holly, and they are the parents of three 
sons, Donovan, Sam and Stuart. Stuart Patterson, the youngest son, 
also engaged in agricultural pursuits, married Etta Addis, and they 
ha^'e two daughters, Gladys and Margaret. 

James W. Hendryx and his wife, who are modestly well-to-do, ex- 
ponents of successful Michigan agriculture, hold a high place in the 
respect and good-will of their fellow-townsmen in L'armington and 
their wide acquaintance in its vicinity. The ancestral generations of 
Mr. Hendryx's family line run back to colonial days and are recorded 
as having been connected with the Revolutionary struggle for inde- 
pendence. His parents, William W. and Prudence (Adams) Hendryx, 
were residents of Steuben county. New York, w^here William Hendryx 
was a blacksmith. The birth of the subject of this sketch occurred on 
March 16, 182Q. When he was six years of age his parents changed 
the location of their home, coming to Michigan, where they settled in 
Bedford center. There the father pursued his vocation and here he 
and his wife spent the rest of their lives. There too the son was edu- 
cated, receiving the advantages of the public schools until his ambi- 
tious young manhood led him to enter upon lucrative activity. The life- 
work which from his earliest thoughtful years had appealed to the in- 
terest of James Hendryx was the wholesome, honorable and depend- 
able vocation of farming. This work he began in the w^ay that is for 
the beginner always the most practical. Engaging himself as a farm- 
assistant, he worked by the month on various farms in the locality, 
until he understood all the profitable features of farming as practiced 
in this part of Michigan. He was then ready to share his life with his 
chosen companion on property of which he should be master. 

The lady referred to was then Miss Lovina'Lee, a daughter of John 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 515 

and Martha Lee, both parents being natives of New Jersey, where their 
marriage had taken place and where tlie daughter who later became 
Mrs. Hendryx was born on June 22, 183 1. She was twenty-one years 
of age when her parents effected the transplanting of their home to Bed- 
ford, where Mr. Lee followed both farming and the carpenter's trade. 
He later lived in Detroit until the close of his life, on December 28, 
1872, eleven years before the demise of his wife. Both were members 
of the Baptist church. It was on December 14, 1853, that Lovina Lee 
and James Hendryx united their lives for all the sulDsequent years of 
earthly life. Their first home was in Livonia, in Wayne county, where 
they lived for one year. In 1877 Mr. Hendryx concluded the pur- 
chase of a farm two miles west of Farmington. On this property of 
160 acres they lived for nearly a score of years, developing its remun- 
erative possibilities and improving them until it was recognized by every 
one in the community as a particularly fine farm and its owner widely 
known as one of the leading agriculturists of the community. Mean- 
while their family gradually increased in numbers, receiving such wise 
training as would make them worthy citizens. When their children 
were fairly well grown and the family financial status gratifyingly com- 
fortable, James Hendryx and his wife decided to leave the farm they 
had managed so successfully by means of continued and strenuous ef- 
fort, and to spend their latter years in the village. Their Farmington 
home is a very attractive one, with extensive grounds of several acres, 
a comfortable and attractive home, all convenient outbuilding and such 
agreeable accessories as the owners' tastes and preferences require. 

Of the nine children the years brought to the Hendryx home, eight 
grew to the years of maturity. The eldest, William R., is a farmer 
of Farmington township. The next in line, a daughter named Sarah, 
died in infancy. Zoett is now^ Mrs. Nathan Power, of Detroit. Hattie 
S. is Mrs. George Francis, of Farmington. J. M., the second son, is 
now^ deceased. Martha is Mrs. John Power, of Farmington. Frank 
L. Hendryx is a farmer of Wayne county, Michigan. George W. 
Hendryx is a carpenter of Farmington. The youngest member of the 
family, Jennie T., became Mrs. Adelbert McDermott; her death occurred 
on June 27, 1908. 

With their surviving sons and daughters creditably settled in life 
and wnthin convenient distance of their present home; with their ex- 
cellent farm in satisfactory hands; with church interests to appeal to 
their activity; with political aifairs to absorb much thought from such 
a loyal Democrat as Mr. Hendryx has ever been ; and with the deserved 
esteem of all who know them, no elderly pair deserves or should ex- 
pect a happier close to a long and useful existence than James Hendryx 
and his w^orthy wife. 

Harry L. Doty. Owning and occupying a valuable farming estate 
in the northeastern part of Highland township, Harry L. Doty has dur- 
ing his entire life been associated with the agricultural interests of Oak- 
land county. He is the descendant of an honored pioneer of this sec- 
tion of Michigan, his grandfather, Enos Doty, having been one of the 
earlier settlers of the county. He was born in Highland township, about 
half a mile west of his present home, in September, 1877, a son of the 
late Charles Doty. 

Leaving New York, his native state, in the early thirties, Enos 
Doty, accompanied by three of his brothers, Elias Doty, Tobias Doty 



516 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

and Silas Doty, traveled across the country to Michigan, locating first 
in Hillsdale, where Silas Doty, took up land and continued his residence. 
The other three brothers subsequently came to Oakland county, and 
all settled in the southeastern corner of Rose township, Enos Doty lo- 
cating one-half mile northeast of the farm on which his grandson, 
Harry L. Doty, now lives. He later traded farms with his brother 
Elias, who lived a mile farther west, and was there prosperously en- 
gaged in tilling the soil until his death, November 2, 1870. 

Enos Doty's wife, Betsey, was born in New York state, and died 
in Oakland county, Michigan, September 18, 1869. They were the 
parents of four children, as follows: Andrew, Reuben, Charles and 
Mary. Andrew, the first-born, whose birth occurred February 15, 
1836, was a life-long farmer. He was twice married, and reared one 
child, Charles W. Doty. The maiden name of his first wife was Au- 
gusta Ingersoll, and she died October 9, 1868. His second wife, whose 
maiden name was Alice Jones, now lives in Eugene, Oregon. Reuben 
Doty, the second child, born September 13, 1838, died in 1889, on his 
home farm, which was located in Highland township, west of Clyde. 
He acquired considerable wealth. Mary Doty, the youngest child of her 
parents, was born September 21, 1^46, and died June 2.^, 1870. She 
married Zephaniah Sexton, and they reared one child, Mrs. Carrie 
Chaffee, of Ovid. 

Charles Doty, the third child of Enos and Betsey Doty, was born 
on the homestead in Rose township, September 4, 1840. As a boy and 
youth he assisted in the pioneer labor of felling trees and helping to 
improve a farm, remaining beneath the parental roof until after his 
marriage. In 1868 he bought one hundred and fifty-hve acres of land in 
the northeastern part of Highland township, and continued his career 
as an agriculturist. Laboring with characteristic energy and diligence, 
he met with good success in his operations, and subsequently bought 
other land, becoming owner of a highly improved farm of one hun- 
dred and seventy-six acres, lying three miles east of Clyde. He died 
September 13, iQii, an honored and highly respected citizen, his death 
being a loss to the community in which he had resided for so many 
years. 

Charles Doty married, November 26, 1868, Mary Goodell, a native 
of Highland township. She died at Holly, Michigan, March 4, 1894, 
not having strength to rally from a surgical operation which she was 
forced to undergo, leaving one child, Harry L. Doty, whose name ap- 
pears at the head of this sketch. 

Brought up on the home farm, Harry L. Doty gleaned his early 
education in the district schools, supplementing it by an attendance at 
Ferris Institute, Big Rapids, and at Cleary's Business College, in Ypsi- 
lanti. He has always resided on the old homestead, which has come 
to him through inheritance, and in its management is meeting with 
good results. The larger part of his farm is under tillage, although 
forty acres are still in timber. 

Fraternally Mr. Doty belongs to Austin Lodge, No. 48, Ancient 
Free and Accepted Order of Masons, at Davisburg. 

A. L. Ross, a particularly capable farmer owning nearly two hun- 
dred acres in sections 5 and 8 of Avon township, has been a resident 
of this locality for more than thirty years, during which time he has 
won a high degree of respect from his neighbors and his acquaintance 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 517 

in general. He is, however, a native of Pennsylvaia, his family hav- 
ing been located at the time of his birth and boyhood at Northampton 
county, Pennsylvania. His parents were Joseph G. and Sarah A. 
(Lockard) Ross, the father being a mechanic who made a specialty of 
stair-building. In the Pennsylvaia home of Mr. Ross' childhood there 
were seven children, of whom he was the fourth in line and the second 
son. His brothers and sisters were the following: Sarah, deceased; 
Emma E., who is Mrs. Edward Radcliffe, of Hackensack, New York; 
and Cyrus G., of Brooklyn, New York. 

A. L. Ross was born on September 25, 1858, and after a general 
education obtained from the public schools he began farming at the 
early age of fifteen. After three years of this work he determined 
upon a change of location and on March 4, 1878, he came to Rochester, 
Michigan, with the inconsiderable sum of two dollars. lie had, how- 
ever, the adequate fortune of a strong heart, two capable hands and a 
clear, purposive mind. After ten years of work for other agricultur- 
ists he purchased his first property of one hundred acres in Avon town- 
ship, to which he has since added eight-five acres. In the meantime 
his parents had come to Michigan and had been established in the home 
he had made ready for them. He had also been united to his life's com- 
panion and had prospered materially. Mr. Ross has developed his 
land for the purposes of general farming, with specialties of dairy work 
and of potato growing. He is also bringing his orchards to a high state 
of productivity. 

An interesting family has been reared by Mr. and Mrs. Ross dur- 
ing the years of their life together. The estimable helpmate of A. 
L. Ross was before her marriage Miss Anna Tienken, a daughter of 
Henry and Meta Tienken, natives of the German Fatherland. Her 
brothers and sisters who are now living are the following: Etta, Mrs. 
W. J. Luisen, of Denver, Colorado ; John Tienken, of Oakland county ; 
William Tienken, of Rochester ; and Henry Tienken, of Oakland county. 
The marriage of Anna Tienken and Mr. Ross took place on April 25, 
1885, and the children who were born to them and who have lived to 
maturity are these : lienry Ross, w^ho assists his father at home : Anna 
C, now Mrs. Albert Schults, of Avon township : Nettie B. Ross, of Pon- 
tiac; Meta, of Pontiac; and Laura E., at home. The Ross home is an 
attractive and spacious structure, in harmony with all the excellent 
buildings with which the up-to-date farmer has improved his property. 
The homestead is roofed with slate which Mr. Ross had secured for this 
express purpose from his old home in Pennsylvania. 

Interested in all public matters which concern the general good of 
the community, Mr. Ross has been much appreciated by all those who 
know how to estimate real worth. For ten years he has been incumbent 
of the office of supervisor of Avon township and had before that time 
been a member of the board of review. The Monitor Insurance Com- 
pany of Oakland county is fortunate in having A. L. Ross as a mem- 
ber of its directorate ; he and the two other directors having charge of this 
work; supervising its operations in no less than eight townships. Frater- 
nal societies have sought his membership and have accorded him hon- 
orable place ; he is connected with the Grange, the Independent Order 
of Foresters, the Maccabees of the World and the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, the last named organization ranking him in its Blue 
Lodge. Mr. Ross's political activity has always been in harmony with 
the tenets of the Republican party. His religious predilections are of 



518 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

the practical sort, conforming more nearly to the body of theory char- 
acterizing the Cofigregational church. 

Fred S. Maetrott who was born in Oakland county, on January 
i6, 1889, is a son of John and Fanny (Carey) Maetrott. He attended 
the district schools until sixteen years old, when he took up farming 
for a livelihood and has followed it ever since. He is now renting one 
hundred seventy acres in Bond township, located in section 21. Pre- 
vious to this he was in Troy township for six years and was also lo- 
cated west of Rochester for two years. The present is his second 
year on the large place in Avon township. 

Mr, Maetrott married Anna Macklem in September, 1902, a daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. John Macklem, both of whom are now deceased. 
Their home has been blessed with four children, Doris Mildred, Stan-' 
ley, Harold and Elton LeRoy. 

Mr. Maetrott is a member of the Democratic party. He attends 
services at the Baptist church. 

Augustus A. Lull. Orphaned in infancy by the death of his 
father, and thus left to the sole care of his mother for provision for 
his needs, his rearing and education, Augustus A. Lull, of Pontiac, 
began his boyhood under difficulties and some clouds of adversity, and 
these did not all disappear with his boyhood. On the contrary, they 
rather increased and intensified when he took up the battle of life for 
himself, and for a time he stubbornly contested his right of way to ad- 
vancement in the world. But the difficulties and adversities which 
beset his pathway did not deter him or dampen his ardor. They 
seemed only to call out the native strength of his spirit, and quicken all 
the elements of his nature into greater force and activity. His mother 
accepted the task of rearing him to an age at which he could begin to 
take care of himself with Spartan courage and performed her duty, 
as far as she was able, with the fidelity of the most exalted and resolute 
womanhood, but the task, as she wished to perform it, was beyond her 
resources, and at an early age the son himself became the helper and 
caretaker of the household, and made for his parent the provision she 
felt eager to make for him in the way of a livelihood. 

Mr. Lull was born in Sacramento, California, on May i, 1862, and 
is a son of George W. and Ann (Watkins) Lull, the former a native 
of Hortford, Vermont, and the latter of Michigan. The subject of 
this brief review was their only child. The father was engaged in 
merchandising in California, being owner of the largest clothing store in 
Sacramento, and, as has been indicated, died during the infancy of his 
son. The latter grew to the age of thirteen in Sacramento, and at 
that age moved with his mother to San Francisco, in the same state. 
There mother and son lived together eighteen years, the mother dying at 
the end of that period, and thus leaving the son alone in the world. 
From 1882 he clerked for Wagenheim, Sternheim & Company, of San 
Francisco for about five years, and in 1888, began working for M. C. 
Halbley & Company,^ a hardware firm, of San Francisco, and clerked 
there for five years. ' 

On May 21^ 1894, he became a resident of Pontiac, this state, where 
he entered the dry goods store of an uncle as a clerk and salesman. 
After remaining with his uncle three years he went to Detroit, where 
he was variously employed during the next three. He then returned 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 519 

to Pontiac, and accepted employment with the Pontiac Wheel Company, 
with which he remained three years. 

On November 30, 1898, Mr. Lull was united in marriage with Miss 
Frances ^Whitesell, a daughter of John and Orcelia (Bowlby) Whitesell, 
the father a native of New Jersey and the mother of Michigan. They 
have three children: Georgia, who resides in Pontiac; Charles B., 
whose home is also in Pontiac, and Mrs. Lull. Mr. and Mrs. Lull have 
seven children: Evelyn Gertrude, born on August 15, 1900; Frances 
Wilma, born on September 22, 1901 ; Milton Halsey, born on July 24, 
1905; Alva Orcelia, born on September 25, 1906; Anna Claudia, born 
on January 7, IQ08; John Augustus, born on August i, 1909; and 
Marion Elizabeth, born on November 12, 1910. 

Mr. Lull is a Republican in his political faith and allegiance, but, 
although at all times warmly interested in the welfare of his party, 
he has never been an active partisan, and never sought or desired a 
public office, either by election or appointment. Fraternally he is a 
Freemason, a Knight of the Maccabees and a Woodmen of the World. 
He also belongs to the American Insurance Union. His church con- 
nection is with the Presbyterians. 

As a good citizen he takes an active interest in the welfare of the 
city and county of his home and does his part to aid in providing for 
it. The nature of his business, too, besides his local patriotism and 
devotion to his locality, makes him zealous for public improvements, 
and he always lends a willing hand to undertakings involving them. 
There is no interest in his community, moral, mental, social or material, 
that goes without his earnest and helpful support, and the residents 
of Pontiac and Oakland county freely accord him a place among their 
best and most representative citizens and their most enterprising and 
useful men. 

Clinton W. Wilber, the able cashier of the Farmington Exchange 
Bank, is a native of Farmington, which has long been the home of his 
father, George L. Wilber. The latter was but two years of age when 
he was brought by his parents to Livonia township, Wayne county. 
At that time — the year 1834 — the region referred to was a mere wilder- 
ness, and George K. Wilber, with Jane Lapham Wilber, his wife were 
important pioneers of the period. Their son, George L., was reared 
there and from the primitive school of the period, held in the log school- 
house characteristic of the newly settled country, he secured what edu- 
cation he could. He later became a student at the state normal school 
at Ypsilanti, Michigan, being one of the first to enroll in the courses of 
this now great institution. For a time George L. Wilber followed 
teaching, at one time having charge of the Farmington schools. He 
was later attracted to farming, which he made his vocation during the 
greater part of his life. He married Sarah Emma Warner, a daughter 
of Seth A. L. Warner. Both are still living. Mrs. Wilber is an active 
member of the Baptist church. Her husband is now eighty years of 
age, but still retains a lively interest in local and national affairs. He 
has all his life been allied with the Republican party. 

Clinton W. Wilber, son of George and Sarah Wilber, was born on 
the sixteenth day of December, 1870. He grew up in Farmington and 
was educated in the public schools of the village. When a youth he 
first interested himself in the tinner's trade, in connection with which 
work he spent several years in the hardware and general merchandise 



520 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

store of Fred M. Warner. Fie subsequently entered into the partner- 
ship known as Wilber, Cook and Company. This firm continued until 
1896, at which time Mr. Wilber disposed of his interests. Two years 
later he joined others in the organization of the Farmer's Exchange 
Bank, of which he was made cashier. The first board of directors of 
this bank consisted of the following: P. D. Warner, Caleb J. Sprague, 
Samuel D. Holcomb, George W. Whipple and Fred M. Warner, with 
the following, who were also partners, Oscar M. Whipple, M. B. Pierce 
and Mr. Wilber, the subject of this sketch. The senior partner or 
president was P. D. Warner. 

The growth and progress of this bank have been most commend- 
able. The capital paid in at the time of organization was $6,000. On 
October i, 1910, the institution was re-organized as a state bank, with 
the following executive officers: Fred M. Warner, president; S. D. 
Holcomb, vice-president; and Clinton M. Wilber, cashier. That the 
bank has prospered from the first is evident from the comparison of its 
original capital with that of October, 1910, at which time it had a paid-up 
capital of $20,000, all of that sum being the result of the accumulation 
of profits under the old management. It does a general banking busi- 
ness and is one of the most substantial banks in Oakland county. In 
1898 the present fine brick building occupied by this business was 
erected and equipped with every convenience for good work. Much of 
the success of the banking affairs has been due to the untiring efforts 
of Mr. Wilber, who is, however, extremely modest in taking credit to 
himself. 

In addition to Clinton Wilber's important connection with the Farm- 
ington Exchange Bank, he is also a stock partner in the Redford Bank 
at Redford, Michigan. As an evidence of public confidence in his 
character and ability he has been elected to the office of township treas- 
urer, the duties of which he discharged with faithfulness and ^ effi- 
ciency. Pie is, however, by no means an office-seeker. His political 
indorsements are of those principles for which the Republican party 
has always stood. 

Mrs. Clinton Wilber was formerly Miss Zayda B. Sprague, of Farm- 
ington township. She is a daughter of Lorenzo Sprague, an old set- 
tler of Farmington. Her marriage to Mr. Wilber occurred on Decem- 
ber 27, 1894. 

Emanuel N. German. Having as a boy and youth gained valuable 
experience in the art of agriculture, Emanuel N. German has continued 
in the occupation to which he was reared, and as a general farmer has 
found both pleasure and profit, his home farm being located in section 
36, West Bloomfield township, Oakland county. A son of John Ger- 
man, Jr., he w^as born January 24, 1857, in the village of Franklin, 
Michigan, of English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, John Ger- 
man, Sr., spent the earlier part of his life in England. Coming with 
his family to Michigan, he located in West Bloomfield township, on the 
farm now occupied by his grandson, Emanuel N. German, and on the 
farm which he redeemed from the forest spent the remainder of his 
life. 

Born and reared in Devonshire, England, John German, Jr., was 
twenty-one years old when he came with the family to America. He 
helped his father in the pioneer task of clearing and improving a honie- 
stead, remaining beneath the parental roof until his marriage. Settling 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 521 

then with his bride in the village of Franklin, he operated a grist mill 
there for thirty years, from 1837 until 1867, carrying on a substantial 
business as a miller. Returning to the home farm in the latter year, 
he was there employed in tilling the soil until his death, in 1884. He 
married Jane Ann White, who was born in Southfield township, Oak- 
land county, Michigan, and died on the home farm in West Bloom- 
field township, in igoo. Nine children were born of their union, four 
of whom are now living, as follows: Clarissa, wife of Thomas Furse, 
of Bloomfield township; John D., of Birmingham; Frank, of Bloom- 
field township ; and Emanuel N. 

Reared to farm labor and educated in the district schools, Emanuel 
N. German became familiar with the various branches of agriculture 
while young, and after his marriage was for three years engaged in farm- 
ing in Oakland township. Soon after the death of his father, in 1884, 
he moved back to the old homestead, on which he has since resided, 
managing it with characteristic success. Mr. German has been exceed- 
ingly fortunate in his agricultural undertakings, and is now the owner 
of three hundred and thirteen acres of choice land, located in Farming- 
ton, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield townships. By dint of persever- 
ing industry he has placed his land under an excellent state of cultiva- 
tion and has made improvements of a substantial nature. 

Mr. German married, February 24, 1881, Olive A. Nott, a daughter 
of William and Electa Nott, of Pontiac township, and into their pleas- 
ant home four children have been born, namely : Mark, wdio lived but 
twenty-one months ; Stephen, who died at the age of fourteen months ; 
Harvey J., living in Bloomfield township, a graduate of the Pontiac 
Business College, married Ida Bristol, October 5, 1910; and Mae, a 
graduate of the Pontiac High School, resides with her parents. In his 
political affiliations Mr. German is a straightforward Republican, and 
though not desirous of public office has served as school director. 

James L. Hogle. The present supervisor of Farmington township, 
ex-county treasurer, and a representative of a prominent pioneer fam- 
ily, James L. Hogle is a native son of Oakland county and has been 
closely identified with its business and public life for more than thirty 
years. 

Born in Novi township, November 30, 1857, ^'^^ was reared on the old 
home farm, but was educated chiefly in the public schools of Pontiac 
and also in the State Normal at Ypsilanti. He began his practical career 
as a teacher, but after one term became a clerk in the drug store of Dr. 
Eli Wardman at Farmington. During his service there he studied phar- 
macy, and after four years engaged in the drug business at Farmington 
on his own account, and for fifteen years held a very extensive trade 
in that vicinity. 

Mr. Hogle has been one of the local Republican leaders for many 
years, and has held many offices of honor and trust. School inspector for 
Farmington township was his first office, which was followed by his 
election as township clerk, and through these offices and his business 
career he gained a wide acquaintance throughout the county. In the 
fall of 1898, on the Republican ticket, he was chosen county treasurer, 
and his management of the fiscal resources of the county gained him a 
re-election, so that he was treasurer four years. At the close of his 
second term in 1902, having bought a farm, he returned to Farmington 
township, and was engaged in grain and dairy farming until 1912. His 
farm was the former C. J. Sprague place. 



522 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

For several years Mr. Hogle has been secretary of the Michigan 
Mutual Home Insurance Company, and the increasing responsibilities 
of that office have so absorbed his time that he felt obliged to sell his 
country home and henceforth devote all his time to insurance. He is 
now a resident of Farmington, where he is building a fine home. 

On October 15, 1884, he was married to Miss Minnie B. Gordon, 
of Farmington, a daughter of Linus B. Gordon. Both her parents are 
now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hogle have two sons and one daughter. 
Ralph G., a graduate of the Farmington high school, is a conductor 
on the Detroit United Railway system. Carl G., who graduated from 
the Northville high school, is now connected with the U. S. fish hatch- 
ery at Northville. He married Miss Ustina Paladin, of Missoula, 
Montana, and they are the parents of one son, James C, born August 
25, 191 1. E. Norine, the daughter, is a graduate of the Northville high 
school and is now a teacher in the Farmington high school. 

Mr. Hogle is affiliated with Farmington Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & 
A. M., and Union Chapter, No. 55, R. A. M., at Northville; and also 
with the Knights of Maccabees. Mrs Hogle is past matron of the 
Farmington Chapter, No. 239, of the Eastern Star. 

Mr. Hogle belongs to one of the old families of Oakland county. 
Flis parents were William S. and Eunice (Gage) Hogle, both of whom 
were born in the state of New York. The father was six and the mother 
was three years old when their respective families became pioneer set- 
tlers of Novi township. They were married there and spent all their 
lives in this county. Of their five children four are yet living, namely : 
James L. ; George, of Pontiac ; Burton, of Detroit ; and Mrs. Gertrude 
Nicholson, of Detroit. William S. Hogle, the father, died in Farming- 
ton, February 10, 191 2, at the age of seventy-eight, while the mother 
passed away in 1884. 

George C. Collins. A century witnesses the passing of all but few 
of the families wdio at its beginning composed the population of any 
community, and it is for this reason that the living representatives of 
the real pioneer families in any locality are numerically so small. In 
this brief sketch will be found a few facts concerning the members of 
a family in Farmington township that deserves a conspicuous place on 
the roll of Oakland county pioneers. 

George W. and Cynthia (Newton) Collins, the former a native of 
New York state and the latter of Connecticut, and both of English 
descent, were married in New York, and about the year 1822 journeyed 
westward and found habitation and settlement in what is now Farming- 
ton township. They entered a large tract of wild land, developing a 
home from the wilderness. Their first neighbors were nearly all In- 
dians, and the only market for their products was at Detroit. They lived 
to see civilized customs and industry transform the wilderness, and 
spent their remaining years in this vicinity. They were the parents of 
the following children who grew to maturity: John W., Huldah, Mary 
Elizabeth, Thurza and George C. 

John W. Collins, now a venerable resident of Farmington village, 
has the unique distinction of having been the first white child born in 
Farmington township. Born in 1824, twelve years before Michigan 
became a state, and before the progress of settlement had spread more 
than fifty miles in a radius from Detroit, he is at this writing eighty- 
eight years of age, and in the span of a single life links an almost for- 
gotten past with the modern age of electricity and twentieth century im- 
provement. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 523 

George C. Collins, a younger brother of this octogenarian, and him- 
self one of the oldest living natives of Farmington township, was born 
April 26, 1834, on the same lot where he still resides. All the members 
of the family wxre reared and trained in farm life, and farming has 
been the lifelong occupation of George C. His estate adjoins the vil- 
lage of Farmington on the south, and he still looks after it, though he 
has long since retired from the active labors. His brother John was 
for many years one of the leading merchants in Farmington, but he, 
too, is retired. John also served several times as treasurer of this town- 
ship. 

Both brothers w^ere allied with the Republican party at its very be- 
ginning, and the father and John wxre Whig voters before the new 
party came into existence. In i860 George C. was married to Miss 
Elizabeth Conroy. She passed away in 1900, after forty years of 
wedded companionship. Their only son and child. Gale G., is now 
a resident of Mt. Clemens, and is the father of one son, Stanley, a boy 
of ten years. Amid the scenes with which he has been associated since 
infancy, though changed and modernized by the march of many years, 
Mr. Collins will aw^ait the final summons. His has been an honest and 
upright career, and he looks to the future without fear. 

Carl H. Pfxton. In no profession is there a career more open to 
talent than is that of the law, and in no field of endeavor is there de- 
manded a more careful preparation, a more thorough appreciation of 
the absolute ethics of life or of the underlying principles which form 
the basis of all human rights and privileges. Unflagging application 
and intuitive wisdom and determination fully to utilize the means at 
hand are the concomitants which insure personal success and prestige in 
this great profession, which stands as the stern conservator of justice ; 
and it is one into which none should enter without a recognition of 
the obstacles to be encountered and overcome and the battles to be 
won, for success does not perch on the banner of every person who en- 
ters the competitive fray, but comes only as the legitimate result of 
capability. One of Pontiac's young lawyers, but one who possesses 
the requisite qualities of the able lawyer, is Carl H. Pelton. He is 
also a leading Democrat and is the first of his political faith to hold 
the office of county prosecuting attorney of Oakland county — of which 
he is the present incumbent — in thirty years. 

Mr. Pelton is a native son of this particular locality, his birth hav- 
ing occurred at Oakwood, Oakland county, on July 2.2), 1879. He is the 
son of Homer J. and Frances C. (Bunnell) Pelton, the father a native 
of Michigan and the mother of Canada. The parents still reside in 
Oakwood, where the father is a prominent citizen and successfully 
engaged in mercantile pursuits. To their union have been born two 
sons, the elder, Roy J., being a physician at Anaconda, Michigan. 

Mr. Pelton received his preliminary education in the public schools 
of his birthplace and ultimately entered the Pontiac high school, from 
which he was graduated with the class of 1896. He then entered the 
literary department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, fin- 
ishing there in IQOO, and subsequently entering the law department, 
where his training for the profession to which he is so great an orna- 
ment was completed in 1902. Thoroughly reinforced in a theoretical 
way, he at once began his practice in Pontiac, becoming associated in 
partnership with James H. Lynce, with whom he continued for the 



524 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

space of a twelvemonth. He then entered into partnership with Clin- 
ton McGee, under the firm name of Pelton & McGee, a satisfactory com- 
bination of legal talent which exists at the present time. Mr. Pelton's 
election as prosecuting attorney of Oakland county occurred in the 
year 1910, and he has given splendid service in this office. 

On the 15th day of June, 1910, Mr. Pelton laid the foundation of 
an independent household by his union wath Ethel Allshouse, daughter 
of John C. and Sarah M. (Collins) Allshouse, the former of whom is 
a native son of the Empire state and the latter of Canada. Their resi- 
dence in Pontiac dates from the year 1870 and for twenty-one years 
Mr. Allshouse has been connected with the Pontiac postoffice. Mrs. 
Pelton is one of three children and the eldest of the number. Chester, 
a resident of this city, is state agent of the Hanover Fire Insurance 
Company ; and Hazel is still a member of the parental household. Mr. 
and Mrs. Pelton share their household with a small daughter, Carol 
Hope, born November 23, 191 1. They are valued members of the 
Congregational church and are popular and highly esteemed members of 
society. 

William W. Graham. After many busy years ot travel on the 
road as a commercial salesman, William W. Graham, of Rochester, has 
settled down on the old home place which has been in the family for 
ninety-six years, and is engaged in general farming and stock raising. 
He finds both pleasure and profit in this line of occupation and is con- 
tinually adding improvements to the place and bringing it up to the 
highest standard known to modern methods of agriculture. His farm 
is located on rural route No. i out of Rochester and is one of the show 
places of the neighborhood. 

Mr. Graham was born in Avon township on August 8, 1867, his 
parents being William and Lydia Jane (Summers) Graham. His 
father a native of Oakland county, and his grandfather, Benjamin 
Graham, a native of Canada, came here in 1816 and bought this farm 
from the government in 181 8, it comprising about 300 acres at that 
time. The wife of Benjamin Graham was named Postel, before her 
marriage . The senior William Graham is now living at Rochester, but 
his wife died on November 4, 1896. Their family consisted of six 
children, of whom William W., the subject of this sketch, was the 
eldest. The others are: Edward S., of Durango, Colorado; Ella, wife 
of Ward A. Davis, of Amye ; Georgiana, wife of Howard V. Johnson, 
of Rochester; Benjamin A., of Portland, Oregon; and John M., of 
Detroit, Michigan. 

Following his attendance at the district schools William W. Gra- 
ham was a student at the Union School in Rochester, and afterwards 
spent two and one-half years at the Lansing, Michigan, Agricultural 
College. He then traveled out of Detroit for fifteen years with a full 
line of implements and hardware, going into business for himself in the 
implement line at Pontiac in 1902. In 1909 he was compelled to give 
up this business on account of ill-health. He has put in a number of 
power plants around the lakes in this county. 

In 1910 he came to the home place now consisting of 180 acres and 
is conducting it along the lines of general farming and stock raising. 
Mr. Graham is independent as to his politics, choosing to vote for the 
man rather than the party. He is now school director for his district. 
In a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Woodmen and Royal Neigh- 
bors. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 525 

Julia A. Sheridan became the wife of Mr. Graham on July 25, 1896. 
She is a daughter of Owen and Bridget (McCarthy) Sheridan, both of 
whom are natives of Ireland, and who came to America when quite 
young, locating in Jersey City. Her father, who was a first cousin of 
General Phil Sheridan, died in Toledo, Ohio, in 1875, while her mother 
survived until 1903. Six children were born to their union, as fol- 
lows: John William, deceased; Margaret L., wife of William J. Byrne, 
of Bremerton, W^ashington, a government employe; Mary E., of 
Toledo, Ohio; Katharine L., deceased; Julia A., wife of William W. 
Graham and Edward J., of Englewood, New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. 
Graham have two children, Lydia Gertrude, born November 30, 1898, 
and William Cletus, born October 8, 1900. 

Roy Spencer Van Atta. Conducting a first-class livery business 
in Pontiac, and taking a well justified pride in his line of endeavor ; 
studying the requirements of his trade wath close and intelligent atten- 
tion, and laying all his resources under tribute to meet them ; believ- 
ing it to be his duty, as it is his pleasure, to provide for his customers 
the best accommodation attainable in his line and with his facilities, and 
using all his powers to fully perform this duty ; and, in consequence, 
l^roviding for a very large and exacting patronage in a satisfactory 
manner, Roy S. Van Atta, of Pontiac, is one of the most progressive 
and useful citizens of the community. 

Mr. V^an Atta was born in South Lyon township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, on March 18, 1879, and is a son of James A. and Jane (Mur- 
ray) Van Atta, the former also a native of South Lyon township, and 
the latter of Salem township. The father was a farmer in his native 
township until 1881, when he changed his residence to Waterford town- 
ship, and there continued his farming operations. He is now living in 
Pontiac, retired from all active pursuits. He is a Democrat in his 
political faith and loyal to the core of his party. The mother is a 
daughter of William and Lydia (Scott) Murray, and one of a family 
of six children : Spencer, Walter, Mrs. V^an Atta, Ann, Phebe and 
Clare. W^illiam Murray was also a farmer during his years of activ- 
ity and successful at the business. His present residence is at Salem, 
in Washtenaw county, this state. James A. Van Atta and his wife 
are the parents of six children : Flora, George, Fred, William, Roy 
Spencer and Homer. Their son Roy Spencer obtained his education 
in the district schools of Waterford township, this county, and after 
leaving school turned his attention to the occupation of his ancestors 
for many generations and followed farming until he attained the age 
of twenty-three years. He then moved to Pontiac, where he has ever 
since been engaged in the livery business. 

This business seems to have fully met the taste and desire of Mr. 
Van Atta, for he has taken the deepest and most fruitful interest in it 
and produced results commensurate with the care and labor he has 
bestowed upon his work. He has the leading establishment of its kind 
in Pontiac, and one that is unsurpassed in this part of the state. His 
stables are noted for the high-class driving horses they furnish to the 
trade and the substantial, ornate and showy rigs that go with them. 
It is the proprietor's aim to have only the best of everything in his 
line, and he hits his mark in every way and omits no effort necessary 
for the purpose. 

On November i, 1905, Mr. Van Atta was united in marriage with 
Miss Grace Violetta Cheal, a daughter of William and Mary E. (Bird) 



526 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Cheal. She was bom in Pontiac on September 23, 1882, and was edu- 
cated in a country school in Waterford township in the lower grades, 
after which she pursued a course in the Pontiac high school, and was 
graduated from it in 1902. During the next two years she followed 
teaching in Waterford township, then became the wife of Mr. Van 
Atta. Four children have been born of their union, all of whom are 
living: George William, whose life began on September 15, 1906; Ken- 
neth Cheal, who came into being on October 17, 1907; James Roy, the 
date of whose birth was July 5, 1909; and Ruth Grace, who was born 
on September 29, 1910. 

Politically Mr. Van Atta is a Democrat, and while he neither seeks 
nor desires a political office of any kind, he is always loyal and service- 
able to his party and its candidates. He is content to help in every 
way he can in promoting the welfare of his county and leave to others 
the management of its civil affairs. His w^ife is a member of the Con- 
gregational church. 

Cornelius L. Tower. Oakland county and Oakland township have 
no more enthusiastic advocates than Cornelius L. Tower, w^ho follows 
farming and stock raising and who always advocates these branches of 
industry as desirable for young men who want to consider health, wealth 
and happiness in their choice of a life's vocation. Mr. Tower was 
born in Oakland on July 18, 1849. He is a son of Lemuel P. and Annie 
E. (Irwin) Tower, both of whom were natives of New- York. They 
came to Michigan about 1840, locating in Oakland county. Lemuel P. 
Tower followed farming always. Their family comprised six children: 
Henry, the first born, died in infancy; Lydia became the wife of Frances 
Whipple and resides in Lapeer county; Adela is deceased; the fourth 
child was Cornelius ; William, his younger brother, resides in Oakland 
county; and Emily, the youngest child, married A. O. Harris, of Ma- 
comb county. 

At the age of twenty Cornelius Tower took up farming and has 
followed it steadily with stock raising for a correlated industry. Dur- 
ing his career he has bought and sold considerable land. He now^ owns 
one hundred and forty-five acres in section 28 of Oakland township. 
He married IVfyrtle J. Goodison, a daughter of William and Margaret 
Goodison. Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Tower had three children, the first 
two dying in infancy and Elmer, the third, is living in Detroit. 

Mr. Tower is a stalwart Republican in his political preferences. 
He has held the various minor offices of his township. In his religious 
connection he holds membership in the Methodist church. He is a 
good citizen in every sense of the word. 

William H. Osmun. It is wath pleasure that the editors of this 
publication take up the life of one of Oakland county's honored and 
representative citizens, William H. Osmun, who has resided in this 
community for over half a century and who has contributed in very 
definite fashion to its progress and growth. His interests have been 
for the most part in the line of agriculture and brick manufacturing. 
He has ever led an active and busy life and has been helpfully inter- 
ested in all measures tending to the general welfare. He is a man of 
breadth of character and of generosity of judgment, and he comes of 
a family of like fine principles, who have succeeded better than the 
average in living together in peace and harmony, a pleasant fact of 
w^hich he is justly proud. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 527 

William H. Osmun is a native son of the state and county, his eyes 
having first opened to the light of day within its pleasant boundaries on 
October 27, 1841. He is the son of William H. and Mary A. (Linder- 
man) Osmun, both natives of New York, who came to Michigan in 
1836. The father followed the vocation of a farmer until after the 
Civil war, when he engaged in loaning money. He lived to advanced 
old age, passing to the Great Beyond on January 15, 1905. The demise 
of the mother occurred in March, 1900. These greatly respected citi- 
zens of Oakland county were the parents of six sons and daughters, as 
follows: Abraham, who died in childhood; the subject of this review; 
Martha, wife of Welcome Young, of Pontiac; Charles, of Detroit; 
Mary, wife of Lewis Young, of Pontiac; and Carrie, wife of Charles 
Bartlett, also of this city. Upon the death of his father William H. 
Osmun, Sr., found himself the owner of over five hundred acres, and 
a remarkable circumstance in connection* with the settling up of the 
parental estate — the largest in all the county, — was that there was no 
trouble whatsoever among the heirs, and the entire cost of settlement 
amounted to two dollars. This spirit has always distinguished the Os- 
mun s. 

The subject received only a small part of his education in the schools 
of this place, but attended fourteen years in New York, whence he 
had accompanied his father, who was called there by business. At the 
age of twenty years he came back to his native county and here has 
ever since remained. When the Civil war cloud was gathering he en- 
listed in the New York Sharpshooters, whose services were not accepted 
by Lincoln. During his practice at sharp-shooting a shell exploded 
and destroyed the sight of his left eye, and, thus disabled, he had to 
abandon his idea of becoming a soldier. It was a sad trial to the 
patriotic young fellow who longed to be with the companions of his 
youth and give his services for the defense of the Nation whose insti- 
tutions were dear to him. Fate decreed otherwise and he came to Pon- 
tiac and went into business. 

Mr. Osmun's first adventures in business were in raising sheep and 
selling wool, in New York, in which business he was engaged for three 
years. He married young, and upon coming to Michigan bought from his 
father-in-law two farms, having some idea of devoting his energies 
to the great basic industry. These farms consisted of eighty acres 
apiece. He also bought from that gentleman his brick plant, and he 
continued in the manufacture of brick for forty years. He filled many 
large contracts, among others providing all the bricks used in the con- 
struction of the Michigan State Asylum, 27,000,000 in number. He is 
the possessor of sound judgment and executive ability and has been 
very successful in his undertakings. In April, 191 1, he received the 
compliment of election to his present office of commissioner of public 
utilities, and at three different times he has served as alderman of the 
second ward. He has never been found wanting in public office, but 
the interests of the people have always been more important to him than 
his own personal interests. 

Mr. Osmun was happily married on the 22nd day of March, 1864, 
his chosen lady being Frances Chaffee, daughter of Stephen and Mel- 
letiah (Leonard) Chaffee, natives of Vermont. Mrs. Osmun, how- 
ever, is a native of Michigan. The union of the Chaffees was blessed 
by the birth of the following children: Ellen, deceased; Mary, of Pon- 
tiac : and Mrs. Osmun. To Mr. and Mrs. Osmun were born three chil- 
voi. n— 3 



528 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

dren. Mabel is the wife of Melton Robentson, of Pontiac; Allie died 
at the age of eleven years; and Flora is the wife of H, H. Crisp, of 
Pontiac. 

Mr. Osmun is a loyal Republican and the friend of good govern- 
ment. He is a man of exemplary life and glories in the fact that neither 
' his father nor his father's sons and sons-in-law smoked or used in- 
toxicating liquors. Mr. Osmun carried the piece of copper in his eye, 
received previous to the Civil war, for more than forty years before 
it was removed. He and his wife are popular and genial members of 
society, holding high place in the community and supporting its good 
causes. They built their present home forty-six years ago, and have 
continued to live therein ever since. 

Joseph Kenaga. Retired after an active life devoted to agricul- 
ture, Joseph Kenaga lives comfortably in a handsome home on East 
street, Rochester, which he purchased when the desire to move to the 
city came to him in iQio. He was one who did not wait until old age 
arrived to enjoy the competency which he had won from the soil, but 
with health and vigor as his portion has now relinquished the cares of 
the farm. Mr. Kenega's native home was Erie county. New York, 
where his parents, both natives of Pennsylvania, had located. His 
father was Benjamin and his mother Sabrina (Hoyl) Kenaga. They 
came to Michigan in 1867, locating in Macomb county. The senior 
Kenaga died on August 4, 1903, and his wife on March 7, 1891. To 
their union there were eleven children born: Benjamin and Levi, the 
first-born are now deceased. So also are the next six children, none 
of whom survived the days of infancy. Annie the ninth child, is dead, 
leaving surviving only the two youngest of the family — Sarah, wife 
of Jefferson Fogelsonger, of Macomb county, and the subject. 

At the age of twenty-one years Joseph Kenaga married and took 
charge of the home place for several years thereafter. Then after a resi- 
dence of a year and a half in Bay City he bought 122 acres in Avon 
township, located in section 22. This was in 1892, and he worked this 
farm for the succeeding eighteen years, retiring in 1910. 

His wife was Sarah George, to whom he was wedded on May 25, 
1871, and by whom he had four children: Anson, of Oakland county; 
Clarence, who died on May 15, 1873; Tressa, wife of John Major, of 
Fowlerville, Michigan; Nellie, wife of William Graham, of Detroit, 
Michigan. Mrs. Kenaga died December 21, 1896, and on December 21, 
1899, he married Catherine Jacobs, daughter of Jonas and Catherine 
(Yost) Jacobs, who were natives of Canada. The father still lives in 
Ontario, but the mother is now deceased. There were four children in 
their family — Samuel, of Canada ; Joseph, deceased ; David and Levi, 
of Canada. Mr. Kenega is a member of the Reformed Menonite faith. 
He lives on Rochester Rural Route No. i. 

Chauncey Brace. Among Pontiac's admirable citizens and prom- 
inent business men must be mentioned Chauncey Brace, who has been 
engaged in the undertaking business here since 1887, and who is partic- 
ularly eligible to representation in a volume of this nature. He is one 
of the gallant ex-soldiers of the Civil war whom Oakland county pos- 
sesses in considerable numbers, having gone forth in the dread days 
of the '60s with the flower of American manhood to risk his life for 
the Nation. Mr. Brace is a native of Wayne county, Michigan, his 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 529 

life record having had a beginning within the boundaries of that county 
on the 8th day of September, 1844. His parents were WilHs and Har- 
riet (Curtis) Brace, both natives of Niagara county, New York, and, 
like so many Empire state people, they came to Michigan in the early 
days and laid the paths for civilization straight and clean. The arrival 
of the Braces in the Wolverine state was in the year 1836, and, as 
mentioned, they made settlement in Wayne county. Willis Brace was 
a contractor in the earlier years of his life, but upon coming to the 
newer state engaged in agriculture and was known to his fellow men 
as a man of high character and ability. He was born in 1800, and was 
a traveler to the ''Undiscovered Country" in 1857, being in the prime 
of life at the time of his demise. The mother, born January 25, 181 5, 
survives, a venerable lady within a few years of the century mark, her 
residence being maintained in the city of Detroit. There were seven 
children in the family circle of which Mr. Brace was a member, their 
names being as follows: Joel, who lost his life in a street car wreck in 
Chattanooga, Tennessee ; an infant who died unnamed ; Sarah, who 
died in infancy ; Curtis, of Wayne county, Michigan ; Martha, widow 
of James Cory, of Detroit; Mr. Brace, immediate subject of this re- 
view; and Leathy, deceased, her death occurring November 14, 191 1, 
wife of Horace Barnes, of Wayne county. 

Mr. Brace, like the companions of his youth, received his education 
in the district schools of his home locality, and at the early age of 
thirteen years took up the active duties of farm life, becoming through 
actual experience very familiar with the many secrets of seed-time and 
harvest. When he was fifteen years of age he decided that the routine 
of the farm was becoming irksome and he began railroading, in which 
work he was engaged for a year and a half. In the meantime the long 
gathering Civil war cloud broke in all its fury and the patriotic young 
fellow of less than seventeen years enlisted in Company E, Ninth Mich- 
igan Infantry, the date of his enlistment being August 15, 1861. He 
served until the affair at Appomattox, the length of his service thus be- 
ing nearly four years in duration. He was a participant in many en- 
gagements and was mustered out at the close of the war at Jackson, 
Michigan. 

Upon the termination of the great conflict Mr. Brace returned to 
Wayne county and for a time engaged in the agricultural implement 
business, which included the manufacture of plows, and he remained 
thus identified for a decade. In 1875 ^^ embarked in the undertaking 
business and followed this in Wayne county until his removal here in 
1887. His career in Pontiac has been remarkably successful and his 
undertaking establishment is thoroughly up-to-date, while the mortu- 
ary methods employed by him are of the most scientific character. 
Both as an exemplary business man and a citizen whose hand and 
heart are given to all causes likely to prove beneficial to the public 
welfare, he has proved a valuable acquisition to Pontiac. 

Mr. Brace was happily married on February 13, 1864, his chosen lady 
being Mary Randall, daughter of Cyrus and Caroline (Downey) Ran- 
dall, the father a native of New York and the mother an Englishwoman 
by birth. The death of the father occurred at Detroit, when he was 
about seventy-five years of age, but the mother is living at Inkster in 
Wayne county, Michigan, the years of this worthy lady numbering 
eighty-eight. Mrs. Brace was one of a family of nine children. Felista 
is the wife of James Dugaw, of Detroit; Chauncey is deceased; Mary, 



530 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

wife of the subject, is third in order of birth; Louisa is the widow of 
Lewis Scott, of Wayne county; EHzabeth, now deceased, was the wife 
of Joseph Clark, of Wayne county; CaroHne, wife of Mr. Rieff, of 
Wayne county, is deceased; Filena is the wife of Henry House, of 
Genesee county; George is deceased, having been accidentally shot; and 
Cyrus, the youngest child, is a citizen of Wayne county. 

Into the household of the subject and his wife were born six chil- 
dren, concerning whom the following brief data is entered. Frank 
W., the eldest son, makes his home in the city of Detroit, where he is 
engaged in the undertaking business; Electa is at home; R. Jay is en- 
gaged in the leather goods business at Pontiac ; Lucille is the wife of 
Dr. C. B. Chapin, of Benton Harbor, Michigan; Clarence is associated 
with his father in his undertaking business ; and James is at home. 

Mr. Brace is a loyal adherent of the ''Grand Old Party'' and takes 
a great interest in national and local issues. He is now holding the 
office of coroner of Oakland county and has given the highest service 
in such capacity. He is a prominent lodge man, belonging to the time- 
honored Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and 
as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic he renews old memories 
with the comrades of other days. He and his wife are faithful and 
helpful members of the Methodist church and give a helping hand to 
all just causes. 

Elmer O. Charter. Oakland county is noted for its men who have 
a thorough knowledge of agricultural conditions and the breeding of 
fine stock. Probably the conditions in this part of the state are as near 
ideal as could be found anywhere for the successful and profitable 
raising of large crops of grain, vegetables and fruit, and the fertile 
pasture land is especially well adapted to the needs of the stock raiser. 
One of the progressive and enterprising agriculturists of Oakland 
county who has met with decided success in his operations is Elmer O. 
Charter, of Pontiac township, the owner of a fine tract in section 8, on 
which he has spent his entire life, and which has been developed from 
its virgin state by members of his family. He was born on his pres- 
ent property, April 30, 1871, and is a son of Alfred and Caroline 
(Phelps) Charter, natives of Oakland county, whence their parents came 
during the early 'thirties, taking up land from the government. Alfred 
Charter has spent his entire career in Pontiac township, where he is 
still carrying on farming, and owns the original deed granted by the 
government to his father. He and his wife had two children : Elmer 
O. and Cora H., the latter being deceased. 

>Elmer O. Charter secured his education in the common schools of 
Pontiac township, and was reared to the work of the home farm, be- 
ginning to assist his father as soon as he was old enough to grasp the 
plow handles. Descended from a long line of agriculturists, he in- 
herited natural ability for the work, and this, with a thorough training, 
has made him one of the skilled farmers of his township. He has 
never left the home farm, and for some years has had charge of the 
old homestead, where he raises large crops and breeds fine cattle, find- 
ing a ready sale for his product in the various large markets. While 
his private duties have demanded the greater part of his attention, he 
has always been ready to lend his aid to movements tending to advance 
the interests of his township and county, and is recognized as an active 
and public-spirited citizen. In his political views Mr. Charter is a 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 5:-n 

Democrat, but he only takes a passive interest in public affairs, and has 
never desired the honors or emoluments of public office. His fraternal 
connection is with the Knights of the Maccabees. Although he be- 
longs to no particular church, he may be counted upon to support move- 
ments fostered by religious and charitable bodies, and has reared his 
children to lead upright Christian lives. 

Mr. Charter was married February 22, 1898, to Miss Martha Mary, 
the daughter of Albert and Matilda (Lissett) Mary, natives of Mich- 
igan. Mrs. Charter has five brothers, as follows: Edward, residing 
in Oakland county ; George, a resident of Pontiac township ; and Wil- 
liam, Bert and Leslie, all living in Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Charter have 
had three children : Myrtle, Alta and Burt, all living at home. 

Philip H. Starke. The late Philip H. Starke, of Pontiac, whose 
untimely death on May i, 1896, at the early age of thirty-eight years, 
threw the whole community into grief and gloom, was connected with 
railroad work from the time he left school until the end of his life. He 
received a fair education in the common schools and by private read- 
ing and study, and was in so far as that went well prepared for the 
important duties he had to perform. But his principal qualification for 
them resided within himself, and found expression in his fine executive 
ability, his quickness of perception, his breadth of view, and his ready 
and commanding grasp of the requirements of any given situation, 
whatever its difficulties. 

Mr. Starke was a native of M-ontreal, Canada, born on February 
22, 1858, and the son of Andrew and Deborah Starke, both born in 
Ireland. The father was a railroad man and bridge contractor, and 
while he lived wrought diligently and successfully at his business. 
Both he and the mother have been dead a number of years. They were 
the parents of seven children : Philip H. ; George ; Andrew, William 
and Frank, all of whom are yet residents of Montreal ; Jane, whose 
home is in New Baltimore; and Mary, who is a resident of Montreal. 

Philip PL Starke was for some years a paymaster on the Air Line 
Railroad, and at the time of his death was chief clerk in the superin- 
tendent's office of the American Express Company in Detroit. Pre- 
vious to his connection with the Air Line he was j^rivate secretary to 
the chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific. He began working in a 
railroad office when a boy and worked his way up step by step. He was 
a man of fine capacity for railroad work, as has been stated above, and, 
having been largely self-educated, was trained in the best way for 
excellent service of the most practical character. His work for the 
railroads by which he was employed was highly satisfactory to their 
directorates, and the men with whom he was personally associated in 
official relations found him an exceedingly valuable assistant, on ac- 
count of both his ability and his fidelity. 

On December 22, 1882, Mr. Starke was united in marriage with 
Miss Lena Benson, a daughter of John H. and Catherine (Allen) Ben- 
son, the father a native of the state of New York and the mother of 
Pontiac, the first white girl born in Oakland county, her birth occur- 
ring April 14, 1823. The father died on January 21, 1901, and the 
mother on April 5, 1909. He was a photographer, and one of the old- 
est in the state in continuous connection with the business. They were 
the parents of three children : One who died in infancy ; Mrs. Starke : 
and her brother Fred, who is also deceased. No children were born 



532 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Starke, and Mrs. Starke is therefore 
the only surviving member of her father's family and her own household. 
Mr. Starke was a Democrat in his political faith and always zeal- 
ously loyal to his party. He never sought or desired a political office, 
but he at all times ^ave his earnest, energetic and effective support to 
the candidates and principles of his political organization, and did all 
he could to help them to success. Fraternally he belonged to the Na- 
tional Union of Detroit, and was active in its service. In church rela- 
tions he was a Methodist, as is also Mrs. Starke, and was as true to his 
congregation and the teachings of his creed as he was to everything 
else he believed in and was connected with. At the time of his death 
he was held in the highest esteem by the people of all classes wher- 
ever he was known, and if he had not been cut short in the very prime 
of his years and his usefulness he would undoubtedly have become a 
man of commanding influence and considerable prominence. 

GeorciE D. Cowdtn is one of the most prominent farmers of Oakland 
county, not only owning a fine estate in section 13, Brandon township, 
where he engages in general farming, stock raising and fruit culture, but 
also taking an active interest in political affairs. He was born at Avon, 
New York, October 21, 1835, the son of Addison and Bethiah (Douglas) 
Cowdin, who came to Oakland county in 1836, at which time they lo- 
cated on the farm which forms a part of the present large estate of 
George D. Cowdin. 

Addison Cowdin, a highly respected man of his time and locality, was 
a native of New Hampshire, where he lived until he was eight years of 
age. Then he moved with his parents to New York, where he remained 
until his marriage. He was justice of the peace for a long time and held 
numerous tow^nship offices at various times in his life. He was familiarly 
known as ''Deacon" Cowdin. Although his wife was a member of the re- 
ligious body known as Close Communion Baptists, the family attended 
and liberally supported the Congregational church at Oakwood, because 
there was no Baptist congregation there at the time. He died in 1888, at 
the advanced old age of eighty-one years. His wife was born at Avon, 
New York, in 1809 and passed away in Oakland county at the age of 
eighty-seven years. Some of her relatives reside in Troy township. 
There were seven children in the elder Cowdin family, four of whom are 
deceased, namely, Eliza, Yates, Carlos and Ada. The survivors are Han- 
nah, widow of Henry Fitch and a resident of Independence township, 
George D. ; and Omer, who resides with him. 

George D. Cowdin's education was obtained in Oakland county, his 
home, with the exception of a few years which he spent in the West, 
where he had many interesting adventures. That was in the summers 
of 1859-60-61, when he was in the mountains of Colorado and New 
Mexico, traveling, hunting and prospecting. 

Upon his return to his home in Oakland county he married, in 1863, 
Martha Frances, who was born July i, 1846, in Macomb county, and is 
the daughter of William Frances. 

Five children came to bless their union, namely : Mae ; Roy, living in 
Oxford, engaged in the lumber and coal business, and who spent four 
exceedingly successful years in the vicinity of Dawson City, Alaska. He 
married Miss Emma Taylor. The other children are Addison and Frank, 
who are living at home ; and Ernest, who married Miss Carrie Jenkins, of 
Oxford township, and has one daughter, Edith. Ernest and his family 





LZ^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 533 

are now residing at Portland, Oregon. Three of the Cowdin children 
passed away in early life, namely : Edith, who died at the age of sixteen 
years ; Merton, wdio died at the age of nine months ; and Claire died when 
aged three months. 

Soon after their marriage Mr. and ]\Trs. Cowdin located on the farm 
still ow^ied by them, on wdiich they had erected a comfortable residence. 
Mr. Cowdin owns and cultivates two hundred acres of good farm land in 
sections 12, 13 and 14. 

Air. Cowdin is a stanch and active Republican and was elected to the 
legislature in 1Q06, where he served one term. He has served a number 
of terms as supervisor and a long period as justice of the peace, like his 
father before him. For more than fifteen years he has been the able 
president of the Monitor Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Oakland 
county. In addition to being its president, he has been its towmship agent 
since the organization of the company and a director until his election to 
its presidency. This company was organized in 1871, reorganized in 1901, 
and operates exclusively in Oakland county, where it is held in high 
regard. 

Fraternally Mr. Cowdin is a member of many organizations. He is an 
active Mason, having joined that fraternity at Oakland when he was only 
twenty-three years of age. He was master of the lodge there for fourteen 
years. He also belongs to Groveland Tent, Knights of the Maccabees, at 
Ortonville, and has been a member of the Grange since its organization 
thirty years ago, and also of the Farmer's Club, which helped in the or- 
ganization of the Oxford Club. Mrs. Cowdin is an earnest and active 
member of the Congregational church, which has found in Mr. Cowdin a 
liberal supporter. 

Philip R. Ror>ERT. Ancestry counts for much in human life, even 
in this country of prevailing democratic ideas, customs and beliefs. 
And, although it is an unstable base to stand on without other stays in 
the way of personal merit or achievement, when they are present, or 
either of them, it is an additional crop of value, appreciated both by 
those who have it and those who are without it. In the case of Philip 
R. Ro])ert, of Pontiac, and his amiable and admira])le wife, it is merely 
an incident, but an important and serviceable one, however little they 
depend upon it for their own standing among the people of their com- 
munity. They have been long known to the people of this part of 
Michigan and are highly esteemed because of their personal merit, and 
it is the duty of the biographer to show how the history of their re- 
spective families has run like threads of gold through American chron- 
icles from early colonial times, and thereby to suggest how true they 
are to the examples and traditions of their ancestors. 

Philip R. Robert w^as born in Yonkers, New York, on July 24, 1842. 
He is a son of Phili]:> R. and Frances O. (Blackwell) Robert. The 
mother's grandparents at one time owned Blackwell's Island in the 
East river at New York City and sold it to the city many years ago. 
Her father, Robert Blackwell, married Elizabeth Jane Moore, a daugh- 
ter of Nathaniel Moore, and a cousin of Benjamin Moore, Episcopal 
bishop of New York, and at one time rector of Trinity church at the 
head of Wall street in our great Empire city. He was also president 
of Columbia College in that city for a number of years. The father's 
father, Daniel Robert, lived many years at Yonkers on the Hudson. 
He married Catherine Coe at Haverstraw. His father was Colonel 



534 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

John Robert, of the Patriot army in the Revolutionary war. John's 
parents were Christopher and Mary Robert. Christopher was long 
engaged in business in New York City as a banker, and when at length, 
after an extended and successful career, he retired from business he 
took up his residence at Flushing, Long Island. His parents, Daniel 
and Susan (La Roche) Robert, were French Huguenots, and with 
others of their faith fled from their native land in 1687, after the re- 
vocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. They came to this 
country and located in New York City. 

Their son Christopher and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary 
Dyer, were the parents of live children: Daniel, who was educated as a 
lawyer in Aberdeen, Scotland; Christopher, also educated at Aber- 
deen, who accumulated a fortune in the practice of medicine in the 
West Indies, and when he retired from professional work located at 
Elizabeth, New Jersey; John, the Revolutionary patriot; Mary Eliza- 
beth, who became the wife of William Rhinelander, a sugar refiner 
of New York City; and Elizabeth, a maiden lady who died in 1821. 
Colonel John Robert married Mrs. Rachel (Chatford) Noyelles, the 
widow of Peter de Noyelles, of Haverstraw, New York. From Haver- 
straw they moved to Yonkers, and there they reared their two children, 
Daniel and Mary. He died at Yonkers in 181 1. 

Robert Blackwell, the maternal grandfather of Philip R. Robert, of 
this sketch, was the father of five children : James, of New York, who 
married Charlotte Augusta Mills, daughter of Charles H. Mills, of 
New York City. Caroline A., who married William Floyd Jones ; 
Martha, who was the wife of Thomas A. Walker ; Frances O., the 
mother of Mr. Robert ; and Robertine, who became the wife of George 
Irving, a nephew of Washington Irving. 

Philip R. Robert, the elder, father of Philip R. of this sketch, was 
a retired gentleman during the latter part of his life, and he and his 
wife had large incomes severally. They lived genteelly and gener- 
ously, illustrating in the uprightness of their lives, their bountiful 
charity to the needy and their cordial and helpful interest in the wel- 
fare of their immediate locality and their whole country the best at- 
tributes of elevated and patriotic American citizenship. They were the 
parents of six children : Philip R., of Pontiac ; Mary, who is the wife 
of L. P. Williams, of New York City ; Edith, who married Sydney 
Tangier Smith, whose ancestor was a general in the British army, at 
one time governor of Tangier, Africa, and finally lived retired on Long 
Island, New York; John F., who was for thirty years a clerk and ac- 
countant for the Central Mining Company on Lake Superior, and who 
died in Butte, Montana, in igio; James Blackwell, who is now a resi- 
dent of Detroit, Michigan ; and William Floyd, who has been dead a 
number of years. 

The particular branch of the Moore family to which Mr. Robert be- 
longs is descended from Rev. John Moore, who founded Newtown on 
Black well's Island in 1647. Tlie Blackwells arrived in this country in 
1656, and the old Blackwell residence is still standing on the island, 
firm and unshaken by the storms of centuries and undisturbed, as yet, 
by the march of business. The old Moore homestead, on the old Bow- 
ery road, near Astoria, was built by a grandson of Rev. John Moore in 
1700. It also was still standing in 1902. Rev. John Moore died at 
Newtown in 1657. 

Philip R. Robert, the immediate subject of this review, was edu- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 585 

cated in the city of New York, and for five years was in business in 
that city. In 1863 he moved to Michigan and became connected with 
the Central Mining Company on Lake Superior, with which he re- 
mained nine years. From 1872 to 1878 he was manager of the Atlantic 
Mining Company on Lake Superior; from 1880 to 1883, nianager of the 
Elmore Gold Company of Idaho; in 1884 and 1885, manager of the 
Ray Copper Company of Arizona; in 1886, connected with a explora- 
tion of the Black Hills, South Dakota; from 1886 to 1889 manager of 
the Standing Elk Mine and Smelter in Nevada; in 1889, 1890 and 1891, 
manager of the Black and Brown Mines in Shasta county, California; 
in 1892 and 1893, manager of the Chiapas Mining Company at Chiapas, 
Mexico; in 1894, connected with an exploration of Arizona and Idaho; 
in 1895 and 1896, manager of the North Star Mining Company in Ne- 
vada county, California; and from 1899 to 1902, manager of the Ad- 
venture Consolidated Copper Company on Lake Superior. 

At the end of this long and highly creditable career in the mining 
industry, in which he won for himself an international reputation and 
demonstrated his ability as a mining expert, he determined to retire 
to private life in his beautiful home on Orchard Lake avenue in Pon- 
tiac, relieved of all business cares and free to enjoy the association of 
his family and countless friends, and take some part in matters con- 
cerning the welfare of the city which he has long lool^ed upon as his 
final earthly haven and the refuge of his declining years. 

]\Ir. Robert was married in May, 1867, to Miss Etta E. Petrie, a 
daughter of Charles B. and Nancy M. (Flower) Petrie. They were the 
parents of two children, their son George A., who died in 1864, and 
their daughter, Mrs. Robert. Air. and Mrs. Robert have had Hyq: chil- 
dren : Mary, who died in 1904, was the wife of Morris. E. Elliott, of Pon- 
tiac; Edith, who died in 1901 ; Bertha V., who is living at home with her 
parents ; Constance Genevieve, who is the wife of Dr. F. W. Sauer, of 
Indiana Harbor, Indiana; and Frances O., who is the wife of Edwin 
S. Harger, of Pontiac. 

In politics Mr. Ro1)ert is independent, disregarding party claims 
and casting his vote for the best interests of his community according 
to his views, ])ut he has served as supervisor for the purpose of doing 
what he could to advance those interests. His religious connection is 
with the Episcopal church, of w^hich he has long been a devout and faith- 
ful member. He is well fixed in a worldly way. Mrs. Robert owns a 
beautiful home on Orchard Lake avenue in Pontiac, located on one 
hundred and forty acres of land, all within the city limits. He and 
his wife stand well in the community socially and have the high re- 
gard of the people throughout the county for their exemplary and ele- 
vated citizenship and cordial and helpful interest in everything that 
pertains to the progress and improvement of their locality and the gen- 
eral good of its residents. 

Thomas W. Morrison is one of the best known men in Oxford, 
where he has lived since 1880, engaged in general stock raising and 
farming. He is popular and prominent, and takes an active part in the 
civic life of the community. Mr. Morrison was born in Rochester, 
New York, a son of James and Mary (Kneel) Morrison, both natives of 
the Isle of Man. The father was born in 1810 and died in 1852. He was 
a shoemaker by trade and after coming to this country followed his trade 
until the time of his death. Four children were born to them — Han- 



536 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

nah, Mary, Thomas W. and John, all of whom are deceased with the 
single exception of Thomas W, of this review. 

The public schools of Rochester gave to Thomas Morrison such 
education as he received. He was little more than a boy when the 
Civil war broke out, and he immediately enlisted in the Twenty-seventh 
New York Infantry, with General Slocum's division of the army. His 
regiment was mustered out in Virginia in 1862, and he promptly re- 
enlisted in the One Hundred and Eighth New York Infantry. He 
participated in the first battle of Bull Run, and at Antietam he lost his 
right arm, receiving such injuries as to keep him in hospitals in Wash- 
ington and New York for one year. In 1864 he was honorably dis- 
charged and he returned to Rochester, his old home, where he held va- 
rious town offices thereafter. He was health officer for a year, con- 
stable for one year and county coroner for a period of twelve years, 
and for three years he was engaged in the shoe business. 

In 1880 Mr. Morrison came to Michigan, and locating in Oxford, 
he purchased a farm of eighty acres, which he has since been occupied 
in operating. He engages in general farming and does some stock- 
raising, and on the whole is most successful and prosperous. 

He is a loyal member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as is also his wife. He is 
an Independent in his political views, and is one of the best citizens 
the township claims today. 

On September 17, 1867, Mr. Morrison married Miss Violet Sharp. 

Alvin M. Knight. The late Alvin M. Knight, of Pontiac, whose 
enterprising and useful life came to an end on June i, 1895, at the early 
age of forty-one, when his plans were reaching their full maturity and 
there seemed to be in store for him many years of still further and 
greater usefulness, was a prominent merchant of the city of his last 
home, and also superintended the cultivation of a farm of one hun- 
dred acres of excellent land in another part of Oakland county, which 
he owned and left to his family when he died. 

Mr. Knight was born on December 22, 1854, in this county, and was 
a son of Potter and Marian (Adams) Knight, both born and reared 
in the state of New York. They came to Michigan at an early date, and 
here the father passed the rest of his life as a farmer, an excellent citi- 
zen cordially and practically interested in the progress and develop- 
ment of this part of the state of Michigan and the welfare of its resi- 
dents. He and his wife were the parents of two children, their daugh- 
ter Helen and their son Alvin, both now deceased. 

Alvin M. Knight attended the district school in the neighborhood of 
his father's farm for his academic education, and prepared himself for 
business at a commercial college in Detroit, from which he was gradu- 
ated after a full course of business training. He made his first venture 
in mercantile life in the dry goods trade at Birmingham in this coun- 
try. But he did not remain there long, as he soon found out that he 
needed a larger field of operations to satisfy his ambition and properly 
employ his faculties to the extent and in the manner he desired. 

Accordingly he moved to Pontiac and bought the building in which 
he afterward conducted a dry goods and general merchandising busi- 
ness until about six years before his death, when he quit that and 
turned his attention to the wood and coal trade, in which he was en- 
gaged when he died. His business block is located on North Saginaw 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 537 

street, and is one of the most solid, substantial and convenient in that 
part of the city, and as imposing in appearance as it is commodious 
and convenient. 

Mr. Knight was successful in all his business undertakings, and ac- 
cumulated a comfortable competency by his industry, enterprise and 
business ability, leaving to his family when he departed this life a farm 
of one hundred acres, two other buildings and some vacant lots in Pon- 
tiac, in addition to this business block. The residence now occupied by 
his widow has been purchased by her since his death. It is located at 
No. 70 Fair Grove avenue, and makes her and her family a very com- 
fortable and attractive home. 

On April 2^, 1880, Mr. Knight was united in marriage with Miss 
Belle Dewey, a daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Hixson) Dewey, 
the former a native of New York state and the latter of New Jersey. 
Both are living and have their home in Pontiac, the father being nearly 
eighty-two years old and one of the revered patriarchs of the city. They 
w^ere the parents of five children, but only two of the five are living, Mrs. 
Knight and her older brother, George, who is also a resident of Pontiac. 
The children who died were: Ellsworth, who passed away in childhood, 
and Delia and Ralph. 

Mr. and Mrs. Knight had four children, all of whom are living. 
Arthur B., the oldest, was born on May 12, 188 1, and is now assistant 
cashier of the Oakland County Bank ; Gertrude B. was born on Septem- 
ber 30, 1883; Bruce G. was born on January 17, 1886; and Lela M. w^as 
born on November 11, 1890. Gertrude, Bruce and Lela are living with 
their mother. The father w^as a Presbyterian in church relations, a 
Freemason, fraternally, and a Republican in politics. He w^as highly 
esteemed throughout the county of his home as a business man and a 
citizen, and was altogether worthy of the high regard the people had for 
him wherever he was knowai. 

William Narrin. An eminently useful and esteemed citizen of 
Oakland county, William Narrin, postmaster at Ortonville, is distin- 
guished not only for the honored pioneer ancestry from which he is 
descended, but for the active and intelligent part which he takes in pro- 
moting the welfare of town and county. A son of George W. Narrin, he 
was born December 8, 1874, i^^ Groveland township, Oakland county. 
His paternal grandfather, also named William Narrin, came from the 
Empire state to ^Michigan in pioneer times, and having taken up a tract 
of government land in Oakland county engaged in farming, and for a 
number of years conducted a hotel in Clarkston. 

Born in New York state, George W. Narrin came to Oakland county 
in boyhood, and in the time that has since elapsed has witnessed wonder- 
ful transformations in the face of the country, the dense forest having 
been changed to rich agricultural regions, while the small hamlets have 
grown to be ])opulous and busy villages, towns and cities. During his 
active career he was successfully employed in tilling the soil, but is now 
living retired from active pursuits. He married Al)bie R. Moore, who 
was born in New York, and came with her parents to Michigan in 1868. 
Of their union three children were born, as follows : John, living on the 
old homestead in Groveland township; William, the special subject of 
this brief sketch ; and Joseph, who died December 29, 1903. 

After his graduation from the Ortonville schools, William Narrin 
attended Albion College three years, in 1894, 1895 ^^^ 1896. In 1897 he 



538 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

was appointed postmaster at Ortonville, and in this capacity he has per- 
formed the duties devolving upon him so promptly, courteously and ef- 
ficiently that he has been retained in the office ever since, his tenure 
therein bespeaking his popularity with the general public. Mr. Narrin 
is a stanch Republican in politics, and has rendered excellent service in 
various positions, for two years having been supervisor; for four years 
was town clerk ; for three years, village president ; and for six years he 
was village trustee. On January 8, 191 2, he was elected treasurer of the 
Monitor Insurance Company, a well-known organization. Fraternally 
Mr. Narrin belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons 
and to the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he is identified 
with the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Mr. Narrin has been twice married. He married first Estella Addis, 
who bore him two children, Mary E. and Addis, both of whom died in 
childhood. She, too, passed to the higher life in early womanhood. Mr. 
Narrin married for his second wife. Miss Martha Jones, a daughter of 
Francis and Mary (Bird) Jones, who were born in Michigan, and w^ere 
the parents of five children, as follows: Nellie, wife of Frank W. 
Miller, of Mayville, Michigan; Mary, wife of Clyde King, of Pontiac; 
Minnie, wife of Frank Johnson, of Fort Collins, Colorado ; Martha, now 
Mrs. Narrin ; and Leo, deceased. 

John B. Brown. Although all the years of his life since reaching 
manhood and some before he attained his majority, have been devoted 
to mercantile pursuits, John B. Brown has never allowed himself to be so 
completely absorbed in business as to neglect the plain duties of citizen- 
ship in reference to public affairs, but has always been earnest in his 
interest in the progress and further development of his home city and 
county, and zealous and effective in his efforts to promote their enduring 
welfare in every way he could. He has worked for their advancement 
along wholesome lines of progress as a private soldier in the ranks of 
development workers, and also as an official charged with the respon- 
sibility of helping to direct those forces. 

Mr. Brown is not a native of Oakland county, or even of the state of 
Michigan, but his interest in them is as great as if he were. He was 
born in Rochester, Fulton county, Indiana, on October 3, 1873, and is 
a son of Angus and Lucy (Chinn) Brown, the former a native of County 
Glengarry, province of Ontario, Canada, where his life began on Feb- 
ruary 14, 1832, and the latter born in Shelby county, Indiana, and reared 
in Fulton county in that state. The grandfather, Hugh Brown, was a 
native and life-long resident of Canada. His wife was Christina Brown. 

In 1869 Angus Brown, the father of John B., crossed the line into 
Ohio, and in that state he worked at the carpenter trade and studied 
medicine. He began the practice of his profession in Rochester, In- 
diana, where he died on June 15, 1903. In political faith and allegiance 
he was a Republican, and strong in his devotion to the principles of his 
party. His religious connection was with the Christian church. He was 
always true and faithful in his performance of the duties of citizenship, 
whether they involved the official life of his community or only the 
ordinary affairs of every day life along the common beaten track, and 
the people among whom he lived and labored esteemed him as one of 
their most sturdy and sterling citizens and most representative men. 

In 1871 he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Chinn, a daughter 
of Chester and Lucy Chinn, who is still living and has her home in 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 539 

Rochester, Indiana. They were the parents of four children : William, 
who was born in November, 1871 ; John B., whose time of birth is re- 
corded above; Archibald, who was born on December 7, 1876; and 
Edna, the time of whose birth was August 7, 1879. 

John B. Brown began his education in the public schools and com- 
pleted it at the high school in Ann Arbor. But he did not remain to 
complete the high school course. Seeing an opportunity that looked 
favorable to go into business for himself, he left school to take advant- 
age of it, and engaged in the book and stationary trade in Pontiac. Later 
he turned his attention to the cigar and tobacco trade, and in his present 
merchandising enterprise he combines both lines of commodities. 

Mr. Brown is a Republican in his political relations, and as such was 
at one time a candidate for city clerk of Pontiac, but failed to win the 
election. But he was afterward twice elected alderman from the Fifth 
ward of the city. In fraternal life he is connected with the Masonic 
order, the Order of Elks and the American Insurance Union. His re- 
ligious affiliation is with the Christian church. Every interest of his 
community commands his cordial interest and every worth) undertaking 
designed to advance its welfare has his ardent and effective support. 

Edward Sevener. Distinguished not only as one of the prosperous 
farmers of Ortonville, but as a citizen of prominence and influence, Ed- 
ward Sevener is actively associated with the development and advance- 
ment of the agricultural prosperity of Oakland county, a prosperous 
farming country. He was born October 18, 1869, in Groveland township, 
of German ancestry. 

William Sevener, his father, was born and reared in Germany, and 
while yet a resident of the Fatherland married Louisa W^heater, a fair 
German maiden. Soon after his marriage he came to the United States, 
and for awhile was employed in farming near Lockport, New York. In 
1867, impressed with the fact that cheaper and better farming lands 
could be purchased in the newer states of the middle west, he migrated 
with his family to Oakland county, Michigan, and for seven years re- 
sided in Groveland township. The ensuing twenty years he was en- 
gaged in tilling the soil in Genesee county, from there moving to Orton- 
ville, where he spent his last days. His wife also died on the home farm. 
Seven children were born of their marriage, as follows : Amelia ; Charles, 
deceased ; Emma, who died in infancy ; William, deceased ; Frank, of 
Genesee county ; Edward, the special subject of this brief biographical 
review ; and Lewis, of Ortonville. 

Beginnig life for himself at the age of nineteen years, Edward Sev- 
ener rented one hundred and thirty acres of land, which he worked suc- 
cessfully a number of seasons. Removing then to Ortonville, he was 
there engaged in mercantile pursuits six years, and after selling his busi- 
ness was for awhile employed as a clerk. Lured back to the soil, Mr. 
Sevener then purchased one hundred and ten acres of land, where he 
carried on mixed husbandry for about seven years. Selling out then at 
an advantage, he bought his present valuable estate of one hundred and 
sixty acres in Groveland township, and has since devoted his time and 
energies to the improvement of his place, carrying on general farming 
and stock raising under favorable conditions and with highly satisfactory 
results. 

Mr. Sevener married May E. Brosius a daughter of Wililam and 
Sarah (Barron) Brosius, natives of Michigan, who reared four children, 



540 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

namely : Ella, deceased ; May E,, now Mrs. Sevener ; Peter, who died in 
infancy; and Riley G., of Lapeer, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Sevener are 
the parents of two children, Edward Lee, working the home farm and 
V^erna E., also living at home. 

One of the leading Republicans of his township, Mr. Sevener has 
served his fellow-citizens in numerous offices of trust and responsibility, 
having been highway commissioner one year ; township clerk five years ; 
township treasurer two years ; and for the past seven years has been a 
member of the board of supervisors. Religiously he is a member of the 
Baptist church. 

R. A. Palmer. The possession of a mechanical turn of mind and 
a nautral bent in the direction of constructive processes early directed 
the activities of R. A. Palmer, a resident of Pontiac since 1908 and 
for many years previous to that time identified with the business world 
of Detroit. At the age of sixteen Mr. Palmer left the farm and com- 
mienced the study of mechanics and all his life he has been connected 
with constructive work on a large scale. 

Born in Delphi, Indiana, November 8, 1864, Mr. Palmer is the son 
of Randall and Electa (Landon) Palmer. The father was a native of 
Vermont, a Quaker in belief and training, while the mother was a 
New Yorker. They came to Michigan in 1832, settling in the Raisin 
Valley region of Lenawee county. The earlier life of Randall Palmer 
was devoted to mercantile lines, after which he turned to farming, a 
business which he followed with success for many years. He died in 
March, 1908, his wife having preceded him in death in April, 1907. They 
became the parents of four children: Charles B., of Adrian, Michigan; 
Allie, the wife of C. M. Stewart, of Saginaw ; Arthur L., a farmer at 
Langsburg, Michigan; and R. A. Palmer, of this review. 

When Mr. Palmer had mastered the machinist's trade as a boy in 
his 'teens, his first connection with big operations in his line was repre- 
sented by his part in the construction of the water works plant at Adrian, 
Michigan. For seven years thereafter he traveled in the capacity of 
constructive engineer and contractor, and his experience was of a wide 
and varied nature. He was connected with a heating and ventilating 
company, known as the Buffalo Forge Company, of Buffalo, New York, 
and also the American Blower Company, of Detroit. He then established 
a steel warehouse in Detroit, which was operated under the title of the 
Pittsburg Shafting Company of Detroit, and of which he was manager 
for five years. 

His next venture was the organization of the Cartercar Company 
of Detroit, which concern he perfected in 1905, becoming its manager, 
and in 1908 he removed to Pontiac. In 1912 Mr. Palmer resigned the 
managership of the Pontiac plant, that he might be able to give more 
personal attention to the numerous independent enterprises with which 
he is identified in more or less important capacities. He is president of 
the Palmer & Bee Company, of Detroit, and maintains a similar relation 
to the Michigan Bow Socket Company, also of Detroit, as well as being 
definitely associated with other important manufacturing enterprises. 
In many ways the keen insight into business affairs which is a compel- 
hng characteristic of Mr. Palmer has stood him in good stead in his 
business career, and he is regarded as one of the most potent forces in 
the metal manufacturing and metalutilizing industries of Michigan. Be- 
side office and directive training that his years of business activity have 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 541 

provided him with, he has back of it all the intimate knowledge that 
he acquired at the bench and lathe when he was a machinist, — a knowl- 
edge which has been, no doubt, a dominant factor in his general success. 
On June 24, 1900, Mr. Palmer was married to Miss Estelle M. Chris- 
man, of Roneco, Michigan. Mrs. Palmer is a daughter of Jackson and 
Mary (Parrish) Chrisman, natives of New Jersey, who were for years 
identified with agricultural interests in their home community. Both 
are now deceased. 

Fred A. Lamoreaux, M. D., has recently identified himself with the 
prosperous town of South Lyon, Michigan; has opened an office for the 
practice of his profession, and has gained the confidence and good will 
of the people. 

Dr. Lamoreaux is a native of Michigan. He was born at Linden, 
this state, June 10, 1880, son of Dr. Charles H. and Mrs. Dora (Major) 
Lamoreaux, also natives of the ''Lake State." Dr. Charles H. Lam- 
oreaux, a resident of Fowler, Michigan, prepared himself for his pro- 
fession at the Chicago Medical College and has had a long and success- 
ful career as a practitioner, his practice in Livingston county covering 
a period of thirty years. Fred A. Lamoreaux was two years old when 
his parents moved to Fowlerville. There he attended common school 
and high school, and is a graduate of the latter with the class of June, 
1898. In September following his graduation in the high school he 
entered the Cincinnati (Ohio) Medical College, where he remained for 
two years, after which he returned home and became associated in prac- 
tice with his father. In 1909, in order to better fit himself for his life 
work, he went to Chicago and took a post graduate course. He came 
from Fowlerville to South Lyon in the early part of 19 12, purchased a 
home and established himself here. 

Dr. Lamoreaux and Miss May Baker, of St. Paul, Minnesota, were 
married May 6, 1900, and are the parents of two children: Charles, born 
in 1902, and Frederick, in 1905. Mrs. Lamoreaux is a native of Sagi- 
naw, Michigan, and a daughter of Fisher and Catherine (Flynn) Baker. 
Her father was one of the first conductors on the F. & P. M. Railroad, 
and followed that line of work of years, until he moved to Minnesota 
and engaged in the lumber business. 

In his religious views Dr. Lamoreaux is broad and liberal and does 
not confine himself to creeds. He belongs to both the F. & A. M. and 
the L O. O. F., and has membership in both the County and State Medi- 
cal Associations. While in Fowlerville he served four years as health 
officer. Politically he is a Republican. 

Mark S. Brewer. From the rough and rugged life of a logging 
camp in the northern woods to the halls of Congress were two extremes 
in the life of the late Mark S. Brewer, of Pontiac, Michigan. His career 
was typical of the early pioneer who, contending against the obstacles 
that advancing civilization has now swept away, had at that time to 
literally carve out a pathway for himself, but in so doing strengthened 
every fiber of his nature. In many respects his early life, his striving 
for an education, his study of law and his advancement to a position 
of prominence presented a modest parallel to the story of the immortal 
Lincoln. 

Mr. Brewer was born in Addison township, Oakland couny, Michi- 
gan, October 22, 1837, and his death occurred in the city of Washington, 



542 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

on March i8, 1901. He was a son of Peter and Mary (Ternes) Brewer. 
Peter Brewer was born June 8, 1791, in Dutchess county, New York, 
his father, also named Peter, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, 
who died in the Catskill Mountains, in Greene county. New York, 1804. 
In 1824 Peter Brewer, the son, married Mary Ternes, daughter of 
John and Mary Ternes, who were natives of Ireland. In August, 1833, 
Peter Brewer and his wife started from their home in New York to 
Michigan. The journey to Albany was made by sloop, then by way 
of the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and on by steamer to Detroit, the entire 
trip consuming two weeks. They settled in Addison township, Oakland 
county, Michigan, on September 23, 1866. In their latest home the well- 
beloved couple were not permitted to long enjoy the surroundings which 
had attracted them. After a comparatively short illness they passed away 
within a few hours of each other. To their union nine children were 
born — Addison P., Anne, Peter W., John A., Abraham N., Mark S. 
(the subject of this sketch), Mary S., Lydia M. and Sarah E. The four 
oldest sons are deceased — Addison, John, Peter and Mark. Mary is 
now the widow of Moses Yuran, of Flushing, Michigan; Lydia became 
Mrs. Marvin and is now deceased. Her home was at Clifford, Michi- 
gan. Sarah is the wife of Daniel McMaster, of Claire, Michigan; and 
Anne is the wife of George Hanna, of Clifford, Michigan. Abraham is 
living at Pontiac, Michigan. 

Mark S. Brewer remained on the home farm until he was twenty 
years of age except for a period spent in a logging camp in northern 
Michigan when he was sixteen. He attended the district school in a log 
school house, and in the winter of 1858 commenced teaching school. He 
taught during the winters for three years, working in the summer at 
manual labor, and in the intervals of every day's occupation spending 
some time with his beloved books. He attended some of the courses 
in Romeo and Oxford Academy, completing his classical education. 

Scholastic work paved the way toward his ambition, the study of 
law, and in the spring of 1861 he entered the law office of Hon. W. L. 
Webber, of East Saginaw. The following year he continued his studies 
under Judge M. E. Crofoot and Governor Wisner, at Pontiac. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1864, and at once formed a partnership with 
Judge Crofoot, w^hich association continued until June i, 1876. 

It was a natural step for one of Mr. Brewer's attainments to enter 
public life, and he had been practicing but three years when he became 
circuit court commissioner for Oakland county, serving in that capacity 
from 1867 to 1 87 1. From 1866 to 1867 he was city attorney of the 
city of Pontiac. The state legislature was the next step in his advance- 
ment, and he was sent to the Michigan general assembly in 1872, serv- 
ing during 1873 ^^^ 1874. , 

The Republicans nominated him in 1876 as the candidate for repre- 
sentative in Congress from the Sixth district of Michigan, and he was 
elected, receiving a majority of 1741 votes over his opponent, Hon. 
George H. Dumond. He was appointed counsel general at Berlin and 
filled the post four years, then served another term in Congress, return- 
ing afterward to Pontiac. President William McKinley appointed him 
civil service commissioner, which post he was filling at the time of his 
death. His political activities in a national way were reflected in a 
direct capacity at home, his friends and associates back in Michigan 
choosing him for the district's representative on the Republican state 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 543 

central committee from a period long antedating his death. He had been 
chairman of the Oakland comity committee since 1870. 

Mr. Brewer's long contact with political matters and his veteran 
service in the public cause was a continual record of honorable and 
meritorious effort. Not the slightest reproach nor suspicion was ever 
connected with his name, but he came to the foot of the sunset slope 
and passed into the shadows of eternity bearing an untarnished shield, 
honored and respected by those whom he represented in state and na- 
tional halls and loved and esteemed by those with whom he was asso- 
ciated. His was a political life ''sans peur et sans reproche." 

Mr. Brewer took for his first wife Miss Lizzfe Senenden, who died 
in 1885. His second wife was Miss Louise Parker, to w^hom he was 
married December 26, 1889. ^^^^ was a daughter of Abiram and Sarah 
E. (Beach) Parker, both of whom were natives of New York. Mr. 
Parker was interested in banks and is now president of the First Com- 
merical Bank of Pontiac. The mother is still living, at the age of seventy- 
six. To Mr. and Mrs. Parker there were ])orn three children — Grace, 
who is the wife of Frank W. Fletcher, of Detroit; Louise, .now Mrs. 
Brewer ; and a third child who died in infancy. 

Mr. Brewer's religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian church. 
He was a meml^er of the Masonic order. 

Thomas FIenry McGii:i:, president of Farmington village and former 
incumbent of many important offices in the township, has claimed Farm- 
ington as his home during most of the years since his birth. He is of 
Irish ancestry in both lines, although his parents w^ere Americans for 
the greater part of their lives. His father was likewise named Thomas 
McGee and was a son of John and Margaret McGee, the former of 
whom was born in Scotland, in 1830, later removing to Canada as a boy. 
There he grew to manhood and married Abigail McQuaid, a daughter 
of George and Abigail McQuaid, both of whom were of Irish descent. 
The family of Thomas and Abigail T^IcGee consisted of six sons and 
three daughters, of whom six are now living in addition to Thomas 
Henry McGee. They include Mrs. Margaret Truscott ; George McGee, 
the superintendent of the schools of Cadillac ; Mrs. C. M. Doherty, of 
Farmington; James, of Marshalltown, Iowa; Clyde, wdio is a Congrega- 
tional minister of Chicago, Illinois; and Clinton McGee, who is assis- 
tant prosecuting attorney of Oakland county and who resides in Pontiac. 
The father of this family was a member of the Methodist church, and 
was a strong Prohibitionist at the time of his death, which occurred on 
March 2, 1899. 

Thomas McGee, who was fifth in the family line, was born in the 
village in which he now holds the highest and most honorable offices, on 
August 2^, 1867. Here he was reared and here he was educated up to 
the time when he was ready to study for his degree in pharmacy. At 
that time he went for his scientific courses to the greatest educational 
institution then existing in the middle west and still one of the highest 
rank of its now extensive class of schools. In the department of phar- 
macy in the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, Mr McGee pursued 
his studies and received from the university the degree of Ph. C. He 
had begun his practical work in this line by assisting in a drug store 
of Farmington. After gaining his degree he accepted a position as a 
pharmacist in a store of the same type, though of more extensive pro- 
portions, in Bay City, Michigan. From there he went to Saginaw, 



544 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Michigan, in another position of the same kind. After thirteen or 
fourteen months there the young man returned to the home of his child- 
hood and youth, where he purchased the drug stock of Dr. E. Woodman. 
In February of that year, 1896, Mr. McGee took charge of this business, 
for which he had been well prepared by the two years' experience he 
had attained since the granting of his degree. Ever since that time he 
has continued in this business, with success as well as with the satisfac- 
tion of his customers. He is the proprietor of the only drug store in 
Farmington. 

Mr. McGee grew up with an inherited preference for and interest in 
the tenets and leaders of the Democratic party. Even before he had 
reached the years of his majority, he was active in party work, and that 
activity has in no way diminished, although the principles which guide 
him in public work — especially in that of local politics — are not narrowed 
within party limits. His standards and ideals find what seems to him 
the truest response in the measures of his own party, but are too large 
for mere partisanship. He believes, indeed, so far as his concrete work 
is concerned, that where the greatest harmony exists among the people 
of a given locality, there will the best conditions obtain. 

At any rate, although his party principles are well known, and though 
Farmington is a community in which Republicans largely predominate, 
Mr. McGee has been repeatedly elected to offices in his township. He 
was twice its treasurer, twice its clerk and his presidency of the village 
is regarded with approval throughout Farmington because of his interest 
in all movements toward the up-building of the community in the ways 
that are worth while. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of 
Pythias. He was married June 10, 1910, to Miss Josephine E. Mack, 
jf Saginaw, Michigan. 

Albert D. Jones. The substantial and prominent agriculturists of 
Oakland county have no more worthy representative than Albert D. Jones, 
proprietor of ''Sleepy Hollow Farm," one of the most desirable pieces of 
property in the vicinity of Oakwood. A son of the late E. Oscar Jones, 
he was born September 29, 1849, in Ontario county, New York. 

E. Oscar Jones, a native of New York, spent his earlier years in his 
native state. About i860 he followed the emigrant's trail west\yard to 
Michigan, locating in Oakwood, where he followed his trade of a tinsmith 
for a few years, but subsequently bought land, and was thereafter en- 
gaged in tilling the soil until his death, in 1904, at a venerable age. He 
was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Polly Good- 
ing, died in 1853, in New York, leaving but one child, Albert D., the sub- 
ject of this sketch. He married for his second wife Hannah Richards, 
who bore him eight children, one of whom, Carrie A., is the wife of Delos 
P. Loomis. 

Ten years old when he came with the family to Oakland county, Albert 
D. Jones completed his early education in the district schools, after which 
he went back to his old home in New York, where he worked as a farm 
hand for two years. Soon after attaining his majority he returned to 
Oakland county, Michigan, and for twelve years worked his grandfather's 
farm of one hundred and twenty acres. Then he purchased the farm 
from the heirs, and has since added to his original purchase until now 
''Sleepy Hollow Farm" contains three hundred acres of as rich and valu- 
able land as can be found in this part of the county. Although he has 
met with far more than average success in his labors, Mr. Jones has also 




c>f./U¥^^J , 




t^J> 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 545 

had reverses, a most serious misfortune having befallen him when, six- 
teen years ago, in 1896, a fierce cyclone passed through this section of 
Oakland county, stopping long enough with him to destroy all of his 
buildings, uproot three orchards, and scatter all of his fences to the four 
winds, entailing upon him a total loss of $10,000. He immediately put 
up a large horse barn, and in it he and his family dwelt until the comple- 
tion of their new house in the following December. 

Mr. Jones married, February 2, 1873, Catherine M. Hamlin, a daugh- 
ter of Alartin and ^largaret (Liuck) Hamlin, and one of a family of 
thirteen children, six of whom are living. Her father, a native of France, 
came to America when eleven years old, and after spending three years in 
Troy, New York, came to Michigan, locating in Lapeer county, where he 
bought land and was subsequently engaged in tilling the soil until his 
death, in 1877. His wife survives him, and now lives with one of her 
sons in Lapeer county. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones, namely: Leo, who died in infancy; Elijah, a professional base-ball 
pitcher, known as ''Rumpus ;" Cassie M., wife of Ray D. Price, of De- 
troit, and has one child, Fay Dove Price, born April 20, 1909 ; and Mabel 
Fay, living with her parents. Politically Mr. Jones affiliates with the 
Republican party. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and 
xA^ccepted Order of Masons. 

Charles L. Groesbeck. In 1907 there arrived in Pontiac a gentle- 
man, who has given to the city a particularly fine brand of citizenship, 
and who now holds the office of city clerk. Charles L. Groesbeck has 
been engaged in several lines of business, but for the greater part of the 
time in insurance and real estate, and possessing no small amount of 
executive ability, those enterprises with which he has been identified, 
have been pretty sure of success. In the legitimate channels of business 
he has won the success, vvhich always crowns well directed labor, sound 
judgment and untiring perseverance and at the same time has concerned 
himself with the affairs of the community in an admirably public-spirited 
fashion. 

Mr. Groesbeck hails from the Empire state, his birth having occurred 
in Oswego county, New York, on June i, 1866. His parents, Charles S. 
and Mariette (Lewis) Groesbeck, both natives of the state which gave 
their son birth, are now deceased, the father having passed to the Great 
Beyond in 1908, and the mother many years before, Mr. Groesbeck hav- 
ing been but five years of age when deprived of her care and guidance. 
The elder gentleman was a school teacher by profession and engaged in 
his pedagogical labors until within four years of his demise. About 1904 
he was appointed to the position of stamp clerk in the Denver, (Colo.) 
post office and was thus engaged when summoned to his reward. Mr. 
Groesbeck w^as the second in a family of three children. Ella M., is the 
wife of E. D. Wheeler, of Beloit, Wisconsin, and the youngest member 
of the family, Hiram B., is deceased. 

Mr. Groesbeck belongs by every right to the category of self-made 
men, and at the age of fifteen he shouldered the serious responsibilities 
of life and entered the ranks of the wage-earners. At that age he went 
into a grocery at lanesville, Wisconsin, (the family having removed 
from New York) and was employed as assistant there for three years. 
He then went to Denver, where in course of time he became identified 
with the real estate business and was successfully engaged in this field 
for seventeen years, during which time he was secretary of the National 



546 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Loan Association and also devoted a part of his time and attention to 
the mining business. His next step took him to Chicago, where he was 
engaged in real estate operations for eight years, and from the ''Windy 
City'' he came to Pontiac, in whose advantages and future he had great 
faith. For a short period after his arrival here he was engaged in the 
photography business, but eventually found an opening in real estate, in 
which he had in previous years given "sl taste of his quality.'' In partner- 
ship with the Oakland Realty Company he found an assured position in 
the business world. Mr. Groesbeck's appointment as city clerk was on 
May I, 191 1, and he is filling the office at the present time. He is an 
exponent of the progressive spirit and strong initiative ability that have 
caused Pontiac to forge so rapidly forward in the last few years and 
there is nothing of ])ublic import in which he is not helpfully interested. 

George C. Johnston. Clearly defined purpose and consecutive ef- 
fort in the affairs of life will inevitably result in the termination of a due 
measure of success, but in following out the career of one who has at- 
tained success by his own efforts there comes into view the intrinsic 
individuality, which has made such accomplishment possible and thus 
there is granted an objective incentive and inspiration, while at the same 
time there is enkindled a feeling of respect and admiration. The qualities 
which have made George C. Johnston one of the successful and esteemed 
men of Pontiac have been those of well-directed energy, strong deter- 
mination and honorable methods. He is a prominent Republican and 
holds at the present time the office of city treasurer. 

By the circumstance of birth Mr. Johnston is a Canadian, his eyes 
having first opened to, the light of day at Whitby, Ontario, May 31, 1872. 
He is a son of William and Sarah Jane (Hand) Johnston, both natives 
of Canada. Both are now deceased, the father having ])assed to the 
Great Beyond on November 2, 1872, and the mother on May 9, 1887. 
William Johnston answered to the dual occupation of jeweler and 
farmer, and he and his worthy wife became the parents of two children, 
the subject's sister, Annette, being the wife of A. J. Fisher, of Pontiac. 

George C. Johnston secured his preliminary education in the schools 
of the Dominion of Canada. His father died in the year of his own 
birth and his mother married again, her second husband being T. N. 
Knott, of Pontiac, who survives her and makes his home in this city. 
He has for many years been engaged in the carriage painting business. 
By the second union the mother had three children, as follows : William 
R., of Louisville, Kentuck}^ ; Henry P., of Pontiac ; and Louisa D., wife 
of Earl Lofift, of Detroit, IMichigan. At an early age George became a 
resident of Pontiac and his first work was in his step- father's shop, 
where he learned the carriage painting business, which he followed until 
the year 1905. He then removed to Valparaiso, w'here he took a course 
in commercial training in the university and then, returning to Pontiac, 
he became employed on the United States geological survey, in which 
interesting work he continued for one season. He then accepted a posi- 
tion in the collection department of the First Commercial Bank, where 
he remained for two years and then went to Lansing, where he acted as 
committee clerk during the session of the state legislature. He then 
established a paint shop in this city and continued in this field for a year 
and a half, being then elected (in 1910) city treasurer. His services in 
this responsible capacity w^ere of such high order that he was endorsed 
by appointment in 1911, and holds the office at the present time. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 547 

Mr. Johnston was happily married on June lO, 1909, Miss Julia L. 
Boardman becoming the mistress of his household. Mrs. Johnston is 
the daughter of John and Nancy Boardman, both natives of Ireland. 
The Boardman family immigrated from Erin in about the year 1850 and 
located in the state of New York, where for a time the father engaged in 
agricultural pursuits. His .demise occurred some time ago, but the 
mother survives and makes her home in Pontiac. Mrs. Johnston is one 
of a family of six children, as follows : William, of Pontiac ; Robert, of 
Pontiac; Joseph, of Detroit; John, of Pontiac; Anna, wife of Alonzo 
Stewart, of Pontiac; and Mrs. Johnston, the youngest child. 

Mr. Johnston is a popular member of the time-honored Masonic 
order, and exemplifies in his own living the ideals of moral and social 
justice and brotherly love for which the order stands. He also belongs 
to the Foresters and the ^laccabees. 

William Hilzinger. The United States ranks to-day as the fore- 
most nation of the modern, civilized world. It has served as the melting- 
pot of the best characteristics of all other nations and the outcome is a 
line, sterling xA^merican citizenship, consisting of strong and able-bodied 
men, loyal and public-spirited in civic life, honorable in business and 
alert and enthusiastically in sympathy with every measure tending to 
further the material welfare of the entire country. The great Empire 
of Germany has contributed its fair quota to the up-building of this 
great nation, and among its representatives in this country are to be 
found successful men in every walk of life, from the professions to the 
prosperous farmer. As farmer and real-estate operator, William Hil- 
zinger is achieving notew^orthy success at Royal Oak, where he has re- 
sided since 1874, with the exception of two years. 

William Hilzinger was born at Futtlingen, WTirtemburg, Germany, 
the date of his nativity being the 20th of August, 1854. He is a son of 
John George and Annie Marie (Rubelman) Hilzinger, both of whom 
were born and reared in Germany, where they passed their entire lives. 
The father died in about 1894 and the mother passed away in 1876. 
They were the parents of six children, of whom four are living, in 1912, 
namely, — Frederick, a resident of Germany ; Kathrina and Sophia, who 
are likewise living in Germany; and William, the immediate subject of 
this review. The two children who are deceased are John and Adam. 

To the public schools of his native place William Hilzinger is in- 
debted for his educational training. He remained at home with his par- 
ents until he had reached his fourteenth year, when he began to work 
out. He was variously employed until he had reached his eighteenth 
year, w^hen, in 1872, he decided to immigrate to America. He came 
directly to Michigan and located in the city of Detroit, where he resided 
for the ensuing two years, at the expiration of which he came to Royal 
Oak, here engaging in the shoe-repairing business for the next two years. 
In 1876 he went to Warren, Michigan, and opened a shoe-shop there, 
running the same for about two years, when he disposed of that business 
and secured a job in a store. Six months later he decided to go further 
west and for two or three months sojourned at Dubuque, Iowa, whence 
he returned to Michigan, locating at Benton Harbor for the summer. 
Thence he went to Grand Rapids, remaining there for one summer, at 
the end of which he returned to Detroit, of which city he was a resident 
for one year. In 1881 he decided to locate permanently at Royal Oak 
and here he has since resided. He was mail carrier for four years : for 



548 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

fifteen years was engaged in the milk business, and for two years was 
a clerk in the postoffice. He is now interested in farming operations 
and he likewise engaged in the real-estate business. He owns a great 
deal of property in Royal Oak and is interested in the Lawson, Baldwin 
& Hilzinger subdivision. He is a business man of unusual merit and all 
his dealings are of the most honorable and straightforward nature. 

In politics Mr. Hilzinger is an uncompromising Republican. He has 
served Royal Oak in the capacity of justice of the peace, as councilman 
and as a member of the board of review. He has also been a member 
of the school board, serving in that capacity for about twelve years. He 
is on the alert and enthusiastically in sympathy with all measures and 
enterprises advanced for the good of the general welfare and as a citizen 
commands the unqualified confidence and esteem of all with whom he has 
come in contact. 

On June 19, 1884, Mr. Hilzinger married Marie Storz, a daughter of 
Philip Storz, who was born in Germany. Mrs. Hilzinger was born and 
reared in Royal Oak. Concerning the nine children born to this union 
the following brief data are here incorporated: Anna M. was graduated 
in the Royal Oak high school and is now at Ypsilanti ; Lillie D., George 
J. and William H. were all graduated in the Royal Oak high school ; 
Louisa and Carl are attending high school at Royal Oak ; and Clara, 
Freda and Albert H. are pupils in the graded school. The Hilzinger 
home is at Royal Oak and is one of attractiveness and generous hos- 
pitality. 

Herbert S. Blodgett. Americans are beginning to realize the moral. 
as w^ell as the historical significance of genealogical foundations. A na- 
tion which relies upon the record of its homes for its national character 
cannot afford to ignore the value of genealogical investigation as one of 
the truest sources of patriotism. The love of home inspires the love of 
country. There is a wholesome influence in genealogical research which 
cannot be over-estimated. Moreover, there is a deep human interest 
to it. The Blodgett family can be traced for nine generations in America 
and is descended from sterling old New England stock. Herbert S. 
Blodgett, of this notice, is a farmer and carpenter in Royal Oak town- 
ship, Oakland county, Michigan. 

Thomas Blodgett, born in England, came to the United States in 
1635, at the age of thirty years. Samuel, son of Thomas Blodgett, was 
born in England in 1633 ^-nd grew up in America, whither he was 
brought by his parents at the age of two years. Samuel, Jr., son of Sam- 
uel Blodgett, Sr., was born at Woburn, Massachusetts, December 10, 
1658. Joshua, son of Samuel Blodgett, Jr., was likewise a native of 
Woburn, Massachusetts, his birth having occurred February 26, 1694. 
James, son of Joshua Blodgett, was born at Stafford, Connecticut, De- 
cember 12, 1723. James, Jr., son of James Blodgett, Sr., was born at 
Binnfield, Massachusetts, April 4, 1757. Sylvanus, son of James Blod- 
gett, Jr., was born at Whitingham, Vermont, April 13, 1783. Isaac 
Higbee, son of Sylvanus Blodgett, was born at Jerico, Vermont, May 30, 
1820. Herbert S., son of Isaac H. Blodgett, is the immediate subject of 
this review. 

Isaac H. Blodgett, father of Herbert S., was born, reared and mar- 
ried in Vermont, and he resided in that state until after all his children 
had been born. While in Vermont he had charge of the spinning de- 
partment of the Burlington Woolen Mills. In the spring of 1864 Mrs. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 549 

Blodgett, with the children, came to Michigan and located on a farm in 
Genesee county. Mr. Blodgett followed his family to this state in the 
following year and began to farm on the estate of eighty acres, living 
there for seven or eight years, at the expiration of which he removed, 
with his family, to Fenton, whence removal was later made to Royal 
Oak township. Here he purchased a farm of sixty-six acres on the 
corner of the Twelve Mile road and Woodward avenue. Mrs. Blodgett 
died on this place, her demise having occurred in 1877. After her death 
Mr. Blodgett went to Birmingham where he resided during the remain- 
der of his life time. He died in 1899. They were the parents of five 
children: Orlena was the wife of Calvin Bunnell and she died April 
6, 1912; Frank is a resident of Oakland, California; Herbert S., is the 
immediate subject of this review ; Carrie is unmarried and lives at 
Goodrich; and an infant, deceased. 

Herbert S. Blodgett was born at Burlington, Vermont, September 2, 
1852, and he was twelve years of age at the time of his arrival in Mich- 
igan. He was educated in the district schools and stayed at the parental 
home until his marriage, in 1879, when he and his bride settled on their 
farm of twenty-five and a half acres, in sections 6, 7 and 8. As a young 
man he learned the trade of carpenter and he has long devoted his at- 
tention to carpentering and to farming, in both of which lines of enter- 
prise he has achieved success. He is a stalwart Republican in politics 
and in their religious faith he and his wife are devout Universalists. 

On April 29, 1879, ^^^- Blodgett was united in marriage to Miss 
Lydia V. Parker, a daughter of Asher B. and Harriet N. (Castle) 
Parker, the former of whom was born in Oneida county and the latter 
in Monroe county, New York. Asher B. Parker was a son of William 
M. Parker, whose birth occurred in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 
1779. Mr. and Mrs. Blodgett are the parents of five children, concern- 
ing whom the following brief data are here incorporated, — Clyde, en- 
gaged in the electrical business at Detroit, married Cora Kake, and they 
have one daughter, Marjorie; Clare is deceased; Hazel, resides at home, 
as do also Leslie and Lee. 

Fred L. Cook, a leading merchant of Farmington and junior mem- 
ber of the firm of F. L. Cook & Company, is a native son of Farmington, 
born in the township of that name on March 26, 1872. His parents were 
Bernard E. and Florence E. (Lapham) Cook, the father a native of New 
York state who came to Michigan in his early manhood and settled in 
Farmington township. The mother was a native of Farmington town- 
ship, and she died when Fred L. Cook of this review was born. Thus 
robbed of the care of a mother, he was reared principally by his grand- 
parents, who did all that was possible to make up to him the loss he sus- 
tained in infancy. 

The district school and later the high school at Farmington supplied 
the boy's educational training, and he completed his high school course 
at the age of nineteen. Liimediately thereafter he accepted a clerkship 
in the general store of Fred M. Warner, afterward governor of the state, 
and the watchful eye of Mr. Warner soon discerned that his young 
clerk was made of the material that will make good in any circumstances. 
In 1905 Messrs. Cook, Smith and Kerr bought the Warner interests in 
the business, taking possession on March 15th of that year. In 19 10 Mr. 
Kerr was succeeded by Mr. Dickerson. They carry a general stock of 
merchandise, the trade being carried on in two large rooms located 



550 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in almost the center of the business district of Farmington. Well trained 
in the years of his clerkship, Mr. Cook has made few, if any, mistakes 
of business judgment in the years that he has been in control of the busi- 
ness. He believes in personally supervising his own affairs, and he may 
be found at almost any hour of the day at his place of business, direct- 
ing the movements of his force of clerks. The business has grown 
under his management and supervision and Mr. Cook has risen in a few 
short years from a minor clerkship to the post of owner of one of the 
most thriving enterprises in the township. A genial and likable man, 
he has won to himself many tried and true friends. His business meth- 
ods are of an order that compel the respect and confidence of his fellows, 
and his many fine traits of character place him among the leading men 
of his community. 

On April 9, 1907, Mr. Cook married Miss Anna M. Way, of Farm- 
ington, Michigan. She was born in Holly, this state. One son has been 
born to them, Robert Bernard, now four years old. 

Mr. Cook is a Republican, and while he takes a lively interest in the 
movements of the party, he is in no sense a politician or an office seeker. 
He is fraternally affiliated with the Masonic order, being a Royal Arch 
Mason. Although he is not a member of any church, he recognizes the 
value of Christian influences in any community, and has never withheld 
his support from any church development work of whatever denomi- 
nation. His influence in his native town has ever been of an admirable 
character, and he is a citizen of high order. 

John H. Johnson, proprietor of Stony Brook Stock Farm of Farm- 
ington township, and one of the biggest stock men in the country, is a 
native son of Oakland county and of Farmington, where he was born on 
June 2.y, 1867. Mr. Johnson has attracted almost national attention as 
a breeder of pure Holstein stock, and his stock farm has produced some 
of the finest cattle in the Dekol, Korndyke and Hengerveld strains known 
to the world of breeders. 

Of Welsh and English descent, Mr. Johnson is the son of Isaiah and 
Phoebe (Roberts) Johnson, both natives of Pennsylvania. The mother 
died in 1908, while the father makes his home at Plymouth, Michigan, 
aged seventy-six years. Their son, the subject of this review, was reared 
on his father's farm in Farmington and attended the village schools, fin- 
ishing his studies with a high school course. Leaving school, he became 
actively engaged in agriculture, a business which he has followed all his 
life. About fifteen years ago he became interested in stock-breeding, 
a subject which had always been an attractive one to him, and he selected 
a fine strain of Holstein cattle as the basis of his breeding operations, 
a choice which he has never regretted and to which he has persistently 
clung. His success has been of an unusual order from the beginning. At 
the present time his herd is made up of three famous strains of the Hol- 
stein family, — Dekol, Korndyke and Hengerveld, which rank as the 
world's record makers, of which they have made five, as milk and butter 
producers. Mr. Johnson has at present in his flock four heifers for 
which he has refused $1,000 each. The sire of these heifers, the "King 
of Butter Kings," was sold to C. S. Averill, of Syracuse, New York, 
when six weeks old, for $4,000. The four heifers are bred to noble 
sires, two of them to "King Segis Pontiac," whose son, at seven months 
of age, sold at public auction for $10,000. While it is true that these 
are the stars of his flock, he has several other splendid animals, among 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 551 

them granddaughters of "Pontiac Korndyke," 'Tictertje Hengerveld," 
''Count Dekol" and ''King Segis" as well as daughters of other noted 
sires. 

Stony Brook Farm is one of the finest places in the county of Oak- 
land, and has every evidence of prosperity, progressiveness and the ap- 
plication of scientific principles in the conduct of its affairs. Thriftiness 
and careful management have made it what it is, and Mr. Johnson dis- 
plays a pardonable pride in the place. He is a member of the Michigan 
Breeders' Consignment Sale Company, which is made up of ten leading 
Holstein breeders of the state. Each year a public auction is held at the 
state fair grounds in Detroit, and the members bring their stock to the 
sale. Mr. Johnson is also a member of the Holstein-Friesian Association 
of America, which is composed of the best breeders in the country, and 
for several years has served as secretary and vice president of the Hol- 
stein-Friesian Club of Michigan. He is on the whole, recognized as one 
of the leading breeders of the state, and one whose opinion is well worth 
considering, it being generally conceded that he is perhaps the ])est posted 
breeder of Holstein cattle in the state. 

Mr. Johnson is a Republican and has held many local offices, although 
he has never been an office seeker, the demands of his business being such 
that he has never felt like giving his time to outside business. He has 
served faithfully and well in whatever political offices his fellow towns- 
people have thrust upon him, and is now justice of the peace for his 
district. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the American In- 
surance Union and of the Grange. 

On October 5, 1891, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage with Miss 
Minnie Roberts, of ^Farmington, and they have one son, Wilmer R., now 
eighteen years of age. He is a student in the Farmington high school 
of the class of 191 3, and is one of the finest athletes in the county, espec- 
ially as a base ball pitcher. He has already attracted much attention as 
a pitcher of unusual power and ability, and it is freely predicted that 
more will be heard of him in the near future in that regard. 

The family are attendants at the Methodist Episcopal church of Farm- 
ington, and are among the most highly esteemed residents of the com- 
munity, in which they were born and reared and have passed their lives 
thus far in praiseworthy manner. 

Austin Skidmore. Among the representative citizens of Oakland 
county who are of native birth and who have made agriculture their 
vocation, mention is deserved by Austin Skidmore, who owns a comfort- 
able and attractive farmstead in Oxford township. Both through his 
success as a farmer and as a lifelong resident of the county Mr. Skidmore 
has become well known to its people, among whom he is recognized as 
a man of sterling worth. 

He was born in Oxford township on August 3, 1851, to John and 
Mary A. (Green) Skidmore, both of whom were natives of New York. 
John Skidmore came to Michigan in 1836 and for the first fifteen years 
resided in Macomb county. From there he removed to the adjoining 
county of Oakland, where he followed farming for many years, spending 
the last twenty-five years of his life in the village of Oxford, retired. His 
death occurred on July 25, 1906. A few years later his wife joined him 
in the life beyond, her demise having occurred on October 28, 1909. 
Both parents were held in the highest esteem in the community of which 
they were pioneers and where they had traveled life's journey together 



552 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

over a half century. Two children came to their union: Austin and a 
brother, Albert, the latter of whom died at the age of fifteen years. 

Mr. Skidmore was reared to the vocation of farming and has followed 
it on the old home place all of his life. His holdings comprise one hun- 
dred and fifty acres in section fifteen, Oxford township, and besides gen- 
eral farming he is interested in fine poultry, especially in the raising of 
Rhode Island Red chickens. Substantial and commodious buildings and 
other improvements on the farm indicate the progressive spirit of its 
owner as an agriculturist. 

On December 30, 1873, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Skid- 
more and Miss Alma E. Tanner, who died in 1884. She was a member of 
the Baptist church. To this union were born: Ida M., now Mrs. Aldis 
Bliss, of Oxford, Michigan, and Helen M., now the wife of Frederick 
Stevens, of Oxford. The second marriage of our subject occurred No- 
vember 3, 1885, when Miss Rosella Bishop became his wife. Mrs. Skid- 
more is the fourth of six children born to her parents, Benjamin and 
Lucy (Hall) Bishop, both of whom were natives of Wayne county, 
New York, and spent their entire lives there. Josephine, their eldest 
child, is the wife of WilHam Jordan, of Wayne county, New York; Joel 
H. resides in South Dakota; Frances is the wife of Augustus Seaman, 
of Wayne county. New York; Mrs. Skidmore is the next in order of 
birth; Estella is deceased; and John E., the youngest of the family, is 
a resident of Detroit, Michigan. Of the three children born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Sdidmore, the eldest died in infancy. The other two are Mary 
A., now the wife of Harry Cross, of Pontiac, Michigan, and Laura I., 
now Mrs. J. Hood, of Pontiac. 

In political affairs Mr. Skidmore gives his allegiance to the Republi- 
can party, and fraternally he is afftliated with the Knights of the Mac- 
cabees. Mrs. Skidmore is a member of the Baptist church. He has so 
ordered his life both in a business and in a social way that he is not 
only accredited as being one of the progressive and prosperous men of 
his section but one who also commands high respect and esteem. 

Horace E. Allen. One of the well known citizens and practical 
farmers of Oxford township is Horace E. Allen, also one of the oldest 
residents of that section, for his birth occurred in that township on May 
29, 1843, ^^^ his whole life has been spent where occurred his nativity. 
His parents, Alfred and Lydia (Lyons) Allen, were both natives of 
New York state. They became residents of Michigan the year of its 
admission to the Union, 1837, and located in Oakland county, where they 
traveled life's journey together fifty-four years, or until the mother's 
death in 189 1. Alfred Allen survived his wife until 1896, when he too 
passed beyond. They were the parents of seven children, the eldest 
two of whom died in infancy. The others are : Sarah, the widow of 
R. D. Day and now a resident of Oxford, Michigan ; Charles, who died 
in infancy; Horace E., whose name initiates this sketch; Helen, deceased; 
and Harriet, of Oxford, Michigan, who is the widow of D. B. Stanton. 

Until the death of the parents their home in Oxford was the abode 
of their only surviving son, Horace E. Mr. Allen is now the owner of 
one hundred and thirty acres in Oxford township and continues in the 
occupation in which he has spent many years, that of farming. The usual 
lines of agriculture are followed and he is also interested in stock-raising. 

Mr. Allen has been twice married. On December 4, 1872, he was 
wedded to Miss Frances Harris, who died on October 17, 1886. She 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 553 

bore him one son, Ray E. Allen, who is now a resident of Addison town- 
ship. His second marriage took place on June 27, 1888, and united him 
to Miss Alice Lincoln. To this union there were born: Lulu M., now 
Mrs. Leroy Dewey, of Addison township ,and Howard L., at home with 
his parents. 

In political affairs Mr. Allen is inclined to be independent in prin- 
ciple and favors such measures as will conduce to the welfare of the 
people. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Knights of the Maccabees, 
and in church faith and membership he is a Methodist. In the com- 
munity of which he has been a life-long resident he is highly regarded 
as a man of honor and integrity and one that stands justly high in the 
estimation of his friends and neighbors. 

Ezra Gardner, an old time resident of Oxford township, has devoted 
all his life thus far to the agricultural business, and has become well and 
favorably known to a large circle of people in Oakland county in the 
years that have passed. He has done as much toward the development 
of the district in which he lives as any one, in addition to which he is a 
veteran of the Civil war. Mr. Gardner was born in Oxford township, 
on May 25, 1847, ^^^ ^^^ of Solomon and Abagail (Glaspie) Gardner. 
Both parents were natives of New York state. The father was a Bap- 
tist minister, born in 1817, and he died in 1903, at the age of eighty-six 
years. The mother passed away in 1854. They were the parents of six 
children : Christina, the eldest, is deceased ; as is also James A. ; Ezra is 
the subject of this review; Harper S., is living in Oxford; Josephine and 
Judson S. are both deceased. The father on coming to Michigan took 
up a tract of land from the government, and on this farm Ezra Gardner 
has lived all his life. 

When Ezra Gardner was seventeen years of age he enlisted in the 
Thirtieth Michigan Infantry, Company F, under Captain Pigney, in 1864. 
He served through the time of his enlistment on the border of Canada, 
and in June, 1865, was mustered out with his company. He thereupon 
returned to his home in Oxford, and there has continued to reside. He 
has carried on farming more or less extensively all his life, and has pros- 
pered according to his ambition. From the log house which his father 
first lived in with his little family on the primitive Michigan farm, a 
substantial frame house has come. And where in the early pioneer days 
they broke the virgin soil with sturdy ox teams, the modern machinery 
has taken the place of the earlier methods, and many have been the 
changes the farm has undergone since the days of 1837, when Solomon 
Gardner first settled in Oakland county upon the farm now operated 
by his son. 

On April 10, 1877, Mr. Gardner was married to Lucinda M., daugh- 
ter of Austin and Clarissa (Lambertson) Travis, both natives of Michi- 
gan. The father, who still lives, has been a farmer all his life. The 
mother died some years ago. They were the parents of three children, — 
Mary Ann, deceased; Mrs. Gardner; and William, living in Davidson, 
Michigan. The father married for his second wife Mrs. Jane Whitten 
and they had three children: Cassius M., Mrs. Minnie Mill and John. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Gardner became the parents of one son, Lee H., 
who is in the parental home. The family are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, and Mr. Gardner is a member of the Grand Army of 
the Republic, Frank Powell Post. He has taken a worthy part in the 
public life of his township, having served as school commissioner, high- 



554 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

way commissioner for two terms and was supervisor for fifteen years, 
in all of which offices he acquitted himself in a manner wholly creditable 
to himself and all concerned. He was serving as supervisor at the time 
the court house was erected. 

Monroe G. Dunlap, well-to-do farmer of Oakland county, located in 
Oxford township, was born in Onondaga county, New York, on July 7, 
1846. He is the son of David C. and Betsey E. (Comstock) Dunlap, both 
natives of New York state. The father came to Michigan in 1854 and 
located near Oxford, where he bought one hundred and twenty acres of 
land and remained until 1873, when he sold the farm to his son, Monroe, 
in 1875 and went to Missouri. He spent four years in that state, and then 
returned to Michigan. He it was who built the first house in Wolverine, 
Michigan, in which place he remained for a period of four years, return- 
ing then to Oxford, in which place he made his home until his death, 
which took place on April 16, 1886. The wife and mother died in May, 
1873. They were the parents of seven children, named as follows : Ruth, 
the wife of Henry Benton, of Oxford ; Robert, who died in infancy : 
Abbie, now deceased; Jefferson M., also deceased; Monroe G. of Ox- 
ford ; Judd E. and Orange, both deceased. The father married a second 
time, Nancy Harris becoming his wife. They had two children, D. D. 
Garner and Gertrude Bigelow. 

As a boy in Oxford, Monroe Dunlap attended the country schools, 
later taking a course of instruction in the normal school at Ypsilanti, and 
early was initiated into the mysteries of farm life. When he was twenty- 
seven years of age he bought his first farm, a tract of one hundred and 
twenty acres. This purchase was made in 1873. Since that time he has 
been able to add one hundred and forty-six acres to his holdings, so that 
he now has a fine farm. He carries on general farming and stock rais- 
ing, giving special attention to potato culture. On the whole, his work 
has been most successful and he is justly regarded as one of the most 
progressive and prosperous farmers in the township. 

Mr. Dunlap is a Democrat in his political faith, and has always taken 
an active part in the poHtical affairs of his township. He has served the 
township in various public capacities, being supervisor for ten years and 
a member of the school board for twenty years. He is a Mason, being a 
member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and is also a mem- 
ber of the Maccabees. 

On February 11, 1874, Mr. Dunlap married Louisa M. Roberts, who 
died on Fel^ruary 22, 1878, leaving her husband and son to mourn her 
loss. Orin J., the son, is now a resident of Mattawan, Michigan. He 
married Mabel Link, and they became the parents of two children, Iva 
and Arthur. One other child was born to them, Blanche, who died in in- 
fancy. Mr. Dunlap chose for his second wife, Miss Althea Barnes, whom 
he married on October 29, 1885. She is a daughter of Richard and Mary 
(Olds) Barnes, natives of Ohio and Michigan. They were the parents of 
six children: Alice, the wife of David Bonsteel, of Pontiac ; Augusta, 
who married Carson Wilder, deceased ; Althea, the wife of Monroe Dun- 
lap ; Alma, who married William Bearringer : Stephen, deceased; and 
Hannah, the wife of Byron Walton, of Oxford. Mr. and Mrs. Dunlap 
became the parents of four children. The eldest, Vern, died in infancy. 
Monroe G. Jr., is at home. The third born child died in infancy. Grace 
L., still shares the parental home. Monroe G., Jr., is married, having 




MR. AND MRS. MONROE G. DUNLAP 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 555 

chosen Ethal Cowan for his wife, the marriage occurring on September 
12, 1911. 

Edwin E. DeLano is a representative of an old eastern family, the 
DeLanos having lived for many generations in New York state. He was 
born in Michigan, however, and in Oxford township, which has repre- 
sented his home from the time of his birth, on March 23, 1863, up to 
the present time. He is a son of Oscar F. and Sallie (Earl) DeLano, 
the father being born at Pumpkin Hill, near Batavia, New York, on 
March 18, 1827. He was the son of Daniel W. and Rebecca (Swift) 
DeLano, also natives of New York, who were married there in Sep- 
tember, 1816. Rebecca (Swift) DeLano, the maternal grandmother of 
Edwin E. of this reviews was the daughter of Lott and Elizabeth (Bar- 
low) Swift. Daniel and Rebecca DeLano were the parents of ten chil- 
dren, named as follows: Milton, born in Henrietta, New York, July 2, 
1817, now deceased; Louisa, born July 14, 1819, died July 25, 1822; 
Elizabeth, born June 15, 1821, died July 18, 1822; Mortimer, born May 
14, 1823, now deceased; Jane, born March 21, 1825, now deceased; Oscar 
L., born in Byron, New York, March 18, 1827; Edwin, born October 20, 
1829; Anna M., born October 18, 1832; Myron E., born July 17, 1835, 
and Amanda, born December 30, 1838, died July 4, 1863. 

This family came to Oakland county, Michigan, in 1840, returning 
to New York after a short time. In 1842 they came again to Michigan, 
buying from the government the eighty acres of land in Oxford town- 
ship, now owned by Mr. DeLano, of this review, and settling in primitive 
fashion on the new home. The house they built of logs which they cut 
from the place, thick with timber as yet untouched, and literally hewed 
a home out of the forest. Eventually those of the family who lived to 
reach years of maturity settled in homes of their own, and to the union 
of Oscar F. and Sallie (Earl) DeLano five children were born. Dora, 
the eldest, is deceased, dying on July 15, 1908; Daniel L., was born in 
Oxford tow^nship on July 18, 1859, and died August 23, 1906; Myra, born 
March 24, 1862, died in infancy; Edwin E., of this sketch- Hves in Ox- 
ford ; Herbert Earl, born September 29, 1866, died in infancy. 

When Edwin E. DeLano Avas eighteen years old he entered in part- 
nership with his brother and bought eighty acres of land in Lapeer county. 
They worked this land for six years, and then bought another tract of 
eighty-six acres in Oxford township, in section one, which they continued 
to work for sixteen years. In 1909 Mr. DeLano bought the eighty-six 
acre farm on which he now lives, and his land holdings now have reached 
an aggregate of two hundred and fifty-seven acres of fine farming land in 
Oakland and Lapeer counties, and he is busily engaged in carrying on the 
work of his farm, in which he has been successful and prosperous from 
the beginning of his labors. In addition to his farming interests he is a 
representative of the Illinois Life Insurance Company and the Hastings 
Cyclone Insurance Company. He is connected with a number of fra- 
ternal orders, among them the Masons, the Maccabees and the Gleaners. 

On November 17, 1887, Mr. DeLano married Miss Jennie Loretta 
Kidder, a daughter of Ami and Rachael Jane (Bunnell) Kidder, born 
at Berlin, Michigan, on November 12, 1865. The Kidders w^ere old resi- 
dents of Berlin. Ami Kidder was born on November 2, 1841, and died 
September 2.Ty 191 1. His father, Sidney M. Kidder, was born in Alex- 
ander, New York, April 7, 1807, and the wife of Sidney M. Kidder was 
Loretta Fisher, born at Alexander on May 25, 1821. He died April 9, 



556 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

1856, his wife passing away on February 10, 1868. They were the par- 
ents of three children, — Ami, the father of Mrs. Edwin DeLano ; George 
Rex, born April 26, 1846, at Berlin, St. Clare County, now deceased; and 
Martha Hall Kidder, born December 29, 1855, in Macomb county. She 
is the wife of C. K. Griggs, of Rochester, Michigan. Ami Kidder and 
his wife had one child, Jennie Loretta, the wife of Edwin E. DeLano. 
Mr. and Mrs. DeLano became the parents of one child. Ami Oscar, born 
January 2J, 1890. He is now at home with his parents. Mr. DeLano 
is a Democrat in his political affiliations. 

Oscar D. Loomis. Prominent among the native-born citizens of 
Oakland county, who have spent their days within its boundaries, aiding 
in every possible way its agricultural and industrial growth and develop- 
ment, stands Oscar D. Loomis, whose birth occurred October i, 1839, 
in Brandon township, on the farm which he now owns and occupies, it 
being the homestead property of his father, Thomas N. Loomis, one of 
the original householders of the township. He comes of substantial 
New England ancestry, his paternal grandparents, Jacob L. and Nancy 
(Noble) Loomis, having been born, bred and married in Massachusetts, 
although they afterward removed to Madison county, New York, set- 
tling in Hamilton, which became their permanent home. 

Born in Hamilton, New York, July 3, 1808, Thomas N. Loomis re- 
mained there a number of years after his marriage. Li May, 1836, am- 
bitious to secure for his children every possible advantage in the way of 
making a living, he migrated to Oakland county, Michigan, which was 
then in its pristine wildness, a comparatively small proportion of its 
forests having fallen by the axe of the pioneer. Locating in section 
twelve, Brandon township, he purchased four hundred and twenty acres 
of government land, and on the space which he cleared erected a pre- 
tentious log house, chinking it, and putting in a Dutch chimney. Clear- 
ing a valuable estate, he returned to New York. He brought his family 
here in the spring of 1837. . He became one of the more influential and 
prosperous farmers of his community, and acquired considerable fame 
as being one of the first to introduce the Spanish Merino breed of sheep 
into this part of Michigan, that having been the wedge that hastened the 
improvement of the stock raised in Oakland county, other importations 
of standard breeds of cattle, being subsequently imported. He filled 
many local offices of importance, and served as supervisor of Brandon 
township during the troublous times of the Civil war, when it required 
great tact and wise discretion to satisfactorily meet the exigencies arising 
in regard to the maintenance of the families of the soldiers, who had 
enlisted at the call for volunteer troops. Retiring from active pursuits, 
he moved to Oakwood, where he spent the remainder of his useful life, 
passing away in February, 1879. He married Julia Miller, who was born 
in New York state, and died in Oakwood, Oakland county, Michigan, 
in 1854. Nine children were born of their union, as follows: Jacob L., 
deceased; Mary C, deceased; Franklin H., deceased; Nancy, widow of 
Porter L. Butler; Emily, deceased, whose birth occurred in 1837, was 
said to have been one of the first white children born in Brandon town- 
ship; Oscar D., the special subject of this biographical review; Thomas, 
who died in infancy; Agnes C, wife of Gleason F. Perry, of Pontiac; 
and Josephine, deceased. 

Brought up on the home farm, Oscar D. Loomis received his early 
education in the pioneer schools of his district, and was well trained 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 557 

while young in the art of agriculture as carried on in those times. When 
twenty-six years of age he purchased two hundred and eighty-eight 
acres of land, and is now the owner of two hundred acres of good land, 
which he devotes to general farming and stock raising, making a spe- 
cialty of growing thoroughbred Durham cattle. Public-spirited and pro- 
gressive, Mr. Loomis has served in various public positions, and in ad- 
dition to filling offices of minor importance, having been township 
treasurer and supervisor. Politically he supports the principles of the 
Democratic party. Mrs. Loomis is a Congregationalist. 

On March 2^, 1863, Mr. Loomis was united in marriage with Carrie 
A. Chapel, who is of New England ancestry. Her father, Lyman Chapel, 
a native of New England, migrated to New York state soon after his 
marriage, and there lived until his death, in 1856. He married Betsey 
Miller, who was also of New England birth and breeding, and she sur- 
vived him, passing away in 1871. To them twelve children were born, 
as follows: Belinda, who died in childhood; William, deceased; Haddon, 
deceased ; Abner, deceased ; Olive, Maria, Elizabeth ana Lyman, also 
deceased; Payne, of Oakland county, Michigan; Mary, wife of Eugene 
Jeffers, of Wyoming county. New York ; Perry, deceased, of New York ; 
and Carrie A., wife of Mr. Loomis. Mr. and Mrs. Loomis have two 
children, Alice J., living with her parents, and Robert E., of Brandon 
township. 

WiiJJAM O. Davis, l^orn in Detroit,, on July 21, 1842, William O. 
Davis has been a resident of the state of Michigan all his life and of the 
county of Oakland since 1868, and he is today looked upon in this dis- 
trict as one of the men who have contrilnited their full quota to the 
development and industrial well-being of the county. 

Mr. Davis is the son of Robert W. and Harriet (Newel) Davis, the 
former a native of the old state of Elaine and the latter of New York. 
In 1840 Robert Davis came to ^lichigan and located in Detroit, remov- 
ing in 1842 to Oxford, in Oakland county. He was a wagon maker ])y 
trade, and the first of that line of industry to settle in this township. In 
1851 he went into the mercantile business, in the following year being 
elected register of deeds for Oakland county, an office in which he served 
for two terms, after which he was appointed United States marshal and 
later appointed custom house officer at Detroit. On Noveml^er 3, 1861, 
he enlisted for the Civil war, and was a lieutenant colonel in the Four- 
teenth Michigan Infantry. On Decem1)er 8, 1862, he resigned his com- 
mission and returned to Pontiac, in 1867 coming to Grand Rapids, and 
thence to Muskegon, where he died in August, 1907. The mother died 
in 1852. They were the parents of ten children, named as follows: 
Arretus, deceased ; Thomas, also deceased ; William O. ; C. P., a resi- 
dent of Muskegon; Josei)h IL, deceased, wounded in army service, from 
which he died; and Camella, Harriet, Elizabeth, Robert VV. and Samuel 
are all deceased. In later years the father took for his second wife Sarah 
Sprague, and of this union children were 1)orn as follows; Twins, who 
died in infancy ; Sarah, deceased ; Robert W., a resident of Denver, 
Colorado ; Harriet, deceased ; Camilla, the wife of George G. Jones, of 
Appleton, Wisconsin. The third wife of Robert Davis was Louisa Peck, 
and one son, Harold, was born to them. 

When William O. Davis was but thirteen years of age he took up 
farming and continued in that work until the Civil war broke out. Then, 
with his father and brother, he enlisted with the rank of corporal in the 



558 HISTORY OF OAKI.AND COUNTY 

Fourteenth Infantry, on February lo, 1862, at Pontiac, Michigan. He 
served three years and four months and was mustered out on February 
13, 1864, re-enHsting on the day after he^was mustered out. He was 
wounded in action at Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, November 3, 1863, and 
at Chattahoochie River on July 6, 1864. The same ball which struck him 
wounded his brother, Joseph H., who died August 5, at Nashville, Ten- 
nessee. Returning to Oakland county, he took up farthing and bought 
eighty acres in Rose township in 1868. Fie cleared this spot and carried 
on the business of farming for twenty years, and in 1889 he came to the 
old homestead of his wife's father, and there he has lived ever since. 
He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Masonic 
fraternity. Politically he takes an independent viewpoint. 

On October 5, 1865, Mr. Davis was .united in marriage with Nancy J. 
Shoemaker, who died July i, 1903. Two children were born to them. 
Clara, born July 5, 1866, died on September 25, 1881. Joseph H., born 
March 22, 1868, lives at home. He married Mary Cross on December 
19, 1888, a daughter of John and Lovina Cross. The mother of Mrs. 
Davis is now deceased, but the father still lives in Rose township. John 
and Lovina Cross became the parents of seven children, named as fol- 
lows : Minnie, the wife of Augustus Hines, of Rose township ; Mary, the 
wife of J. H. Davis ; Flenry, deceased ; William, a resident of Detroit ; 
Anna, the wife of Floyd ]\liller, of Flint; Herman, living in Detroit; 
and Albert, of Denver, Colorado. Joseph FI. and Mary (Cross) Davis 
became the parents of two children, — Clara, born October 2y, 1891, and 
Viola, born July 10, 1900. 

Isaac Nkwton, a farmer living in Oxford township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, was born in Lapeer county, Michigan, October 29, 1856, the 
son of Jerome and Mary (Gofif) Newton. His father was a native of 
New York state and his mother of Ohio. The parents of Isaac Newton 
came to Michigan in the early 'thirties, settling first in Macomb and later 
in Lapeer county and then moving to Oakland county, where they set- 
tled in section 7, Oxford township. They still live in Oxford, where 
they have retired. They were the parents of four children, the eldest 
of whom was Isaac. There are two children deceased, Oneal B. and 
William, and one living besides Isaac, Mate, of Oakland county. 

Mr. New'ton has lived on the old homestead of eighty acres since it 
was deeded in 1876. He does general farming and stock raising. He 
married Miss Amelia Mensdorf, and two daughters were born to bless 
their union, Ada Belle, wife of Lew^is Robinson, of Kingston, Michigan, 
and Eva May, wife of Charles Mooney, of Oakland county. 

In politics Mr. Newton is a Republican and has held the office of 
justice of the peace and served on the school board for fifteen years. 
He is a good Mason. 

Jacob Buzzard. Pennsylvania was the native state of Jacob Buz- 
zard, who now resides on rural route No. 2, out of Rochester, Michigan. 
February 9, 1844, was his natal day, his parents being Enos and Sarah 
(Allest) Buzard, both of whom are now deceased. They were natives 
of Pennsylvania, where their death also occurred. There were two chil- 
dren in their family, Jacob, the subject of this sketch, and Ruben, who 
is deceased. 

Jacob moved westward to Michigan in 1880, attracted by its mani- 
fold advantages, and located in Oakland county. In 1895 he bought 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 559 

eighty-two acres in section 34, Oakland township, where he does general 
farming. He was married in August, 1869, to Maria Ackerman, a 
daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Rertest) Ackerman, both natives of 
Pennsylvania and both now deceased. There w^ere nine children in the 
Ackerman family, Mrs. Buzzard being the first born. The others are 
Henry, Abraham, Harry and Harriet, all residents of the Keystone state. 
The last named is the wife of Henry Wetzel. William is living in 
Shiawassee county, Michigan. Lydia is the wife of Milford Rowe, of 
Pennsylvania. Elie is deceased and Jacob resides in the home state of 
the family. Mr. and Mrs. Buzzard had tw^o children, the first of whom 
died in infancy. Lillian H., their daughter, is at home. 

Mr. jjuzard is numbered among the substantial, progressive residents 
of Oakland county. His tastes are quiet and he has no craving for of- 
fice, but finds contentment, health and prosperity in his pleasant country 
home. He espouses the cause of the Democratic party, belongs to the 
Foresters and attends service at the Lutheran church. 

Edson Taylor. In the end every department of human industry 
finds its way back to the farm. Since began the awakening of Amer- 
icans to the necessity of conservation of all of our great natural re- 
sources, the farmer and the importance of his occupation have drawn 
more and more attention until today there are few universities in our 
country that do not have a department of agriculture. Oakland county 
is favored with a most fertile soil and also with a remarkable percentage 
of intelligent and progressive farmers, keen to the advantages which 
are theirs. One of the representative agriculturists of Oxford township 
is Edson Taylor, whose farm is located on section 7, and is devoted to 
diversified agriculture and to stock-raising. 

Mr. Taylor is of staunch Scotch descent on the paternal side and 
from his mother's people has inherited the thrift and energy character- 
istic of the section of New England. He was born in Macomb county, 
Michigan, on the 17th of October, 1845, the fifth of six children that 
came to his parents, David and Lemira (Burr) Taylor. David Taylor 
was a native of Scotland. He became a pioneer settler in ]\Iacomb 
county, Michigan, in the territorial days of the state, or as early as 1833, 
and lived there a great many years, finally going to reside with a daugh- 
ter in Lapeer county, where his death occurred at seventy-three years 
of age, Lemira Burr was born in Connecticut ; she, too passed away in 
Lapeer county. The six children of this union were David, who was a 
Presbyterian minister and died when fifty-three years of age; Andrew, 
a farmer in Brandon tow^nship, this county ; John and Hannah, deceased ; 
Edson, of this review^ ; and Emma, the wife of R. A. MacRoV, of Imlay 
City, Michigan. 

Mr. Taylor acquired his education in the district schools of Macomb 
county and at the Institute at Romeo. For some time after completing 
his studies he taught school during the winters and assisted in the duties 
of the home farm during the summers ; then later he became employed 
in the machine shops at Buffalo, New York. He took up farming in- 
dependently in 1877, at which time he bought a tract of 120 acres in sec- 
tion 7, Oxford township, of this county. To this he has added by a 
subsequent purchase, his present estate comprising 160 acres of well 
improved and highly productive land. 

On October 21, 1879, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Taylor 
and Miss Ellen M. Warner, a daughter of Erastus and Olive (Patten) 
Vol. n— 5 



560 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Warner. The father, who was one of the early pioneers of Wayne 
county, Michigan, was born in 1806 and died in 1883. Olive (Patten) 
Warner survived her husband many years, her death having occurred 
on September i, 191 1, when she had reached the extreme age of ninety- 
six years. 

Three son^ have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and the 
fact that all of them are graduates of the Michigan Agricultural College 
proclaims this family's attitude toward the value of education, toward 
progress and advancement. Charles B. and Ernest H. are now at home, 
and Orlow B., is located at Pontiac, traveling for the Flanders Auto- 
mobile Company. In his political view^s Mr. Taylor is a Republican, 
and he and his wife are members of the Congregational church. The 
family is one of high character, worth and ability and stands representa- 
tive of the best citizenship of Oakland county. 

William Ludv^ig, one of the prominent and successful farmers of 
Oxford township, Oakland county, was born on Michigan soil June 30, 
1864, his birthplace being Casco, St. Clair county, and from German 
parents has inherited abilities characteristic of the nationality of his 
forebears. In his career as a farmer has been evident not only the pro- 
verbial thrift and industry of his fathers but also the wide-awake spirit 
of the advanced agriculturist of the day. With the marked fertility of 
southern Michigan soil as an added advantage, Mr. Ludw^ig has made 
farming a successful business. 

In 1863 his parents, Charles and Augusta (Milberg) Ludwig, im- 
migrated from Germany to America, locating in St. Clair county, Mich- 
igan, where they still reside and where the father's active years were 
spent as a farmer. Twelve children came to their union, as follows : 
William, the eldest and the subject of this review; Charles, deceased; 
Frederick, now a resident of Lapeer county, Michigan ; Annie, the wife 
of Charles Stayman, of Sanilac county, Michigan ; Gustavus, a sailor on 
the Great Lakes ; Martin and John, both residents of Oxford, Michigan ; 
Elizabeth, now Mrs. Henry Youngs, of Detroit, Michigan ; Vena, who 
married Chris Slutman ; Charles, deceased ; and Otto and Lottie, both at 
home. 

William Ludwig began life for himself as a farmer and has continued 
in that line of activity to the present time very successfully. In 1887 he 
made his first purchase of land, a tract of one hundred acres in Lapeer 
county, which he still owns. He made a subsequent purchase of eighty 
acres, but in 1Q02 disposed of this piece of land and bought a farm of 
one hundred and thirty acres in section 5, Oxford township, Oakland 
county, which is his present homestead. Besides general farming he is 
also interested in and has made a profitable business of stock-raising. 

In 1890 Mr. Ludwig was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Eich- 
breth, and to this union have been born two sons, Marvin and Julius, 
both of whom are at the parental home. 

The religious faith of Mr. Ludwig is expressed by membership in the 
German Lutheran church, and his fraternal associations are as a mem- 
ber of the Knights of the Maccabees and of the Ancient Order of Glean- 
ers. Politically he is a Republican. Though his residence in Oakland 
county covers but a decade, in that period Mr. Ludwig, by his worth and 
ability, has become recognized as one of the leading citizens of his sec- 
tion and on his part as a successful farmer is helping to sustain the 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 561 

prestige of Oakland county as one of the foremost agricultural counties 
of the state. 

Auburn W. Dewey. Born in Macomb county, Michigan, Septem- 
ber I, 1855, Auburn W. Dewey has been a resident of the state all his 
life thus far. He is the son of Archibald and Martha (Brabb) Dewey, the 
father a native of New York and the mother of England. Archibald 
Dewey came to Michigan in 1837, and here, as in New York, was en- 
gaged in farming, which business claimed his attention all his life. He ' 
died in 1902. There were nine children in this family. The eldest, 
Elizabeth, is married and living in Minnesota. Auburn W., of this review 
was the second born. Phoebe is deceased. Mary is the wife of Van Mc- 
Cafiferty, living in South Dakota. Sarah is married to Hugh Fielding, 
of Oklahoma. Blanche is the wife of Lew Davis, of Washington, Michi- 
gan. George lives in Oxford. Charles is a resident of Macomb county, 
as is also Laura. 

When Auburn W. Dewey was twenty-one years old he bought an 
eighty acre farm in Macomb county, which he worked for three years. 
He then sold it and bought one hundred and twenty acres near Leonard, 
which place he held for about twenty-seven years. In 1888 he went to 
South Dakota and bought one hundred and sixty acres, remaining there 
for two years, after which he returned to Leonard and there conducted 
a market for about two years. He next moved to Detroit and engaged 
in business, where he continued for a short time, moving thence to 
Rochester, there conducting a hotel for two years. His next move took 
him to Oxford, where he bought a tract of one hundred and sixty acres 
of farm land. He later moved to Romeo and bought a hotel, conducting 
that place for a matter of three and a half years, at the end of that 
time selling the hotel and moving to the present farm, which he had 
purchased. The farm is in section 33, Oxford township, Oakland county. 
He has since been engaged in general farming, and is enjoying a pleasing 
measure of success. 

On Christmas day, 1877, Mr. Dewey married Miss Elizabeth McCaf- 
ferty, a daughter of Henry and Betsey (Eldred) McCafferty. Henry 
McCafferty was of Irish parentage, and was born aboard ship when his 
parents were coming from Ireland. The mother of Mrs. Dewey was born 
in New York state. When they came to Michigan they settled in Ma- 
comb county, and there the family lived henceforth, Mr. McCafferty be- 
ing engaged in farming there during his lifetime. He died in 1908, when 
he had reached the patriarchal age of eighty-four years. The mother 
passed away one year later. They were the parents of ten children, 
named as follows: Van, living in South Dakota; Marcellies, a resident 
of Lapeer county ; James, deceased ; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Dewey ; Sabra, 
deceased ; Henry, living in Macomb county ; Frank, a resident of Lapeer 
county ; Eldred, in Macomb county ; Burt, living in Rochester, Michigan ; 
and Nellie, deceased. By an earlier marriage Henry McCafferty was 
the father of three children, all of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. 
Dewey became the parents of two children, — Vern, born October 19, 
1879, and who died October 5, 1898, and Iza, the wife of C. L. Craw- 
ford, of Detroit, stockman with the Packard Automobile Company. 

Mr. Dewey is a Democrat in his political convictions, but beyond 
the duties of good citizenship he takes no active interest in political 
matters. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and the family is 
affiliated with the Congregational church of Oxford. 



\^ 



562 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 



William H. Hubble, born in Canada on February lo, 1849, has been 
a resident of the state of Michigan since 1851, the year in which his par- 
ents came to the States and settle^d here. He is the son of Reddick and 
Hannah (Gould) Hubble, natives of Canada, whose forefathers were 
Connecticut people who settled in Canada. In 1851 Reddick Hubble and 
his family removed to Michigan from the old Canadian home and located 
at Smith's Creek, St. Clare county, eleven miles from Port Huron, and 
there the family lived for many years. The father lived to be ninety 
years old, his death taking place on April 2, 1912, while the wife and 
mother died on February 9, 1872. They were the parents of five chil- 
dren: George B., a resident of St. Clair; William H., of Oxford; Elias C, 
a resident of Emporia, Kansas; Isah, of Oak Grove; and Malitta A., 
who is deceased. 

When William H. Hubble was twenty-three years old he bought fifty- 
three acres of wild land in St. Clare county, which he sold shortly after- 
ward and purchased another fifty acres of a more improved condition. 
For four years he worked this land, then sold it and bought a place at 
Smith's Creek, where he remained for six years. In 1886 he came to 
Oakland county and rented a piece of land, to which he gave his close 
attention for six years, then rented a three hundred acre farm, which 
he retained for a period of eleven years. In 1903 he decided to buy a 
farm and he selected a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in section 
twenty-eight, Oxford township, and he has devoted the intervening years 
to the improvement and development of this farm. He now has one of 
the finest pieces of land in the township, and it is well kept and con- 
ducted in a thoroughly modern fashion. He is engaged in diversified 
farming and stock raising and is especially successful in both enterprises. 

Mr. Hubble married Miss Eliza J. Patterson on April 10, 1872. She 
is a daughter of Samuel and Ann (Jago) Patterson. Both were natives 
of Ireland, who came to America in 1847 and located in Rochester, New 
York. Samuel Patterson was a farmer in Ireland, but he took up the 
mercantile business in his New York home, and was thus engaged for 
many years. He is now living in St. Clare county. The mother died 
February 2, 1906. They were the parents of seven children : Joseph, 
deceased; Eliza, now Mrs. Hubble; Rebecca A., the wife of George 
Hayel, of Buffalo, New York; Isabella and Mary O., twins, are deceased; 
Isabella, the wife of Wililam Pierce, of St. Clare county; and John W., 
also of St. Clair county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hubble became the parents of five children. Hannah 
is the wife of O. B. Perry, of Liyingston county. Mary Olive is married 
to Robert Lathers, of Detroit. William P. lives in Thomas, Oakland 
county. Walter W. lives in the parental home. William P. has been 
twice married. His first wife was Fannie Vanto, who died leaving him 
one daughter, Mable, born March 29, 190T. He later married Hortense 
Youngs, and she has borne one son, W. J., whose natal day is February 

3. 1911- 

Mr. Hubble is a Methodist in his church relations, while his wife is 
a Baptist. With regard to his political faith Mr. Hubble is an adherent 
of the Republican cause, and gives such aid as is in his power to the 
activities of that party. He is a faithful and conscientious citizen, takes 
a wholesome pride and interest in the civic welfare, and is known for 
one of the progressive and solid men of the community. 




^/^ TicyyJ^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 563 

Charles W. Copeman. Noteworthy among the industrious, prac- 
tical and enterprising agriculturists of Oakland county is Charles W. 
Copeman, who is successfully engaged in his independent calling m Bran- 
don township, where he has a finely cultivated and highly productive 
farm. Born October ii, 1867, in Brandon township, he may well be 
classed as one who has contri])Uted his full share toward its growth and 

improvement. • 1 • r- 

Nelson Copeman, his father, was born, reared and married in Canada. 
In 1858 he crossed the line into Michigan, being then an energetic, sturdy 
young man of twenty-four years. Locating in Oxford township, he lived 
there for awhile and finally purchased a farm, and until his death, m 
1886, was employed as a tiller of the soil. He met with most gratifying 
success in his labors, becoming owner of two hundred and eighty acres 
of choice land, which he placed under an excellent state of tillage. He 
married, in Canada, Mary Jane Taylor, who survived him many years, 
passing away July 23, 1908. Of their union six children were born, 
namely: John, a resident of Washington; Charles W., with whom this 
sketch is chiefly concerned; Fred, living in Detroit; Ebert, also of De- 
troit; Grace, living in Pontiac ; and William, a resident of Detroit. 

Eighteen years old when his father died, Charles W. Copeman imme- 
diately assumed charge of the home farm, which he managed ably and 
well for three years. He then purchased eighty acres of land in section 
two, Brandon township, where he has since been profitably engaged in 
general farming, each year adding improvements to his property and 
increasing his material wealth, in spite of the fact that when a few years 
ago a cyclone passed through his section of the country it demolished 
his barns, fences and buildings, the damages to his place amounting to 

$3,000. . . 

On August 2^. 1889, Mr. Copeman was united in marriage with Lucy 
Rohm, a daughter of Daniel Rohm. Mr. Rohm immigrated from Ger- 
many to America in 1859, and shortly after his arrival settled in Oak- 
land county, Michigan. During the progress of the Civil war, he enlisted 
as a soldier in the Twenty-second jMichigan Volunteer Infantry, in which 
he served until honorably discharged in 1865. Mr. Rohm subsequently 
continued his residence in Oakland county until his death, January 10, 
1910 He married Eliza Yetter, who is still living, her home being in 
Ortonville, and she is the mother of four children, as follows : Liicy now 
the wife of Mr. Copeman; Charles and Herbert, residents of Oakland 
county; and Anna, wife of Russell Young, of Lapeer county. Mr. and 
Mrs. Copeman have two children, namely: Nelson D., born October 22, 
T890, and Daniel N., born February 28, 1895. Politically Mr. Copeman 
is an earnest supporter of the principles promulgated by the Democratic 
party. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. 

WiLi lAM I. Nash, one of the more prominent agricultural men of Ox- 
ford township, Oakland county, is a native of the Wolverine state, born 
in Macomb county on May 7, 1847. He has lived his life m the state of his 
birth and is one of the many loval and valuable citizens of his community. 
He is the son of Tames and Mary (Stripp) Nash, both natives of England, 
who in t84S located in Genesee county, New York. Three years later 
• they came to Michigan, settling first in Oakland county, moving thence to 
Macoml) county, where they made their home for about five years, after 
which they returned to Oakland county. In later years they passed some 
time in Addison township, Genesee county, m which latter place the 



564 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

mother passed away. After the death of the wife and mother James Nash 
came back to Oakland county, where his son WilHam had settled, and 
made his home in the family of his son until he died, at the age of eighty- 
six years. Eight children were born to James Nash and his wife. The 
eldest, Elenore, is deceased; George is a resident of Addison township; 
Mary Ann is deceased ; William L, of this review ; Frank, living in Cass 
City ; Charles, of Lapeer county ; and Andrew and May are deceased. 

When William L Nash was thirteen years old he began working on 
the farm by the month, thus continuing until twenty-three, when he pur- 
chased a livery business in Oxford and conducted it for four years. He 
then bought a farm of eighty acres, located in Genesee county, which he 
worked for two years, then buying a tract of eighty acres in section i of 
Oxford township, to which he added from time to time until he is now 
the owner of one hundred and eighty-two and one half acres, all in Ox- 
ford township with the exception of twenty acres in Lapeer county. He 
carries on general farming and is interested in stock raising, to which he 
gives a generous portion of his time and attention. His farm is a well 
kept and prosperous place, with fine buildings and all modern equipments, 
and is one of the finest places in the township. 

Mr. Nash is a man of considerable popularity in his community, and 
has served his township in numerous official positions, among them being 
the office of highway commissioner and director of the school board. He 
has also settled several estates, and successfully managed farms for others. 
He is a member of the Gleaners. 

On October 28, 1874, Mr. Nash married Dora Delano, daughter of 
Oscar and Sarah (Earl) Delano, both natives of New York, but residents 
of Michigan for many years. Mrs. Nash is one of their five children, the 
others being Daniel L., who is deceased, Edward, living in Oxford, and 
two who died in infancy. To Mr. and Mrs. Nash there were born two 
children, — Nettie M., the wife of Thomas Smith, of Oxford, and Lyle 
D., w^ho lives at home. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have three bright children, 
named Carrie, Carl and Margery. 

William McCauley. An extensive and well-to-do agriculturist, 
William McCauley is prosperously engaged in farming and stock-raising 
on one of the most desirable estates of Brandon township, owning and 
occupying the handsome property "known as *'Eagle Lake Stock Farm." 
He was born March 13, 1858, in Canada, which was likewise the birth- 
place of his father, John McCauley. 

Leaving Canada in 1862, John McCauley came with his family to 
Michigan, wishing to take advantage of the cheap prices then asked for 
good land. Locating in Oakland county, he purchased one hundred and 
twenty acres of land in Groveland township, and on the farm which he 
improved spent the remainder of his life, dying when sixty-three years 
of age. His wife, whose maiden name was Fannie Pincomb, is now liv- 
ing, making her home in Ortonville. To them seven children were born, 
as follows: A child that died in infancy; William, the subject of this 
brief sketch; Susanna, wife of J. C. Owen, of Clinton county; John W., 
of Kentucky ; and Mary Jane, Ada and Richard, all deceased. 

But four years old when he came with his parents to Oakland county, 
William McCauley obtained his early education in the rural schools of 
Groveland township, and subsequently assisted his father in the manage- 
ment of the home farm until twenty-six years of age. When ready to 
make a permanent location, he settled in Brandon township, and having 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 565 

wisely invested his money now owns two hundred and ten acres of val- 
uable land in section thirty, on which he has made excellent improve- 
ments. In addition to tilling the soil, which each year yields him large 
crops, he makes a specialty of raising pedigreed stock, his specialty being 
registered Durham cattle and his herds being far-famed. Since coming 
to Oakland county as a boy Mr. McCauley has witnessed many won- 
derful transformations in this part of the state, his first years having 
been spent in a log cabin, few of which are now in evidence. The country 
roundabout was in its primitive wildness, and his father, who contrib- 
uted his full share in developing its resources, did much of the pioneer 
work of breaking up the prairie, using oxen in his labors. Farming was 
then carried on in a primitive manner, but little machinery being used, 
while the many labor-saving devices now in use both in doors and out 
were not then even dreamed of. 

On January i8, 1884, Mr. McCauley was united in marriage with 
Truery A. Arnold, a most estimable and highly esteemed woman. She 
passed to the life beyond April 29, 1903. Four children were born of 
their union, namely : Cora, wife of Charles Kier, of Groveland township ; 
a child that died in infancy; Harvey J., living with his father; and 
Storms A. Mr. McCauley married for his second wife Mrs. Margaret 
(Herriman) Croop, widow of David Croop. Her father. Orris Herri- 
man, a Scotchman by birth, came to America when a boy, locating in 
Michigan, where he resided until his death, July i, 1897. He married 
Mary McBratney, who was born and bred in Ireland, and died in Michi- 
gan, May I, 191 1. Mr. and Mrs. Herriman were the parents of seven 
chHdren, as follows: James W., of Oakland county; Mrs. McCauley; 
Esther J., wife of Charles Merriam, of Groveland ; Annie, wife of Har- 
vey Lawrence, of Huron county; Elmer D., deceased; Westley, of Trav- 
erse City ; and Dell, wife of Walter Green, of Oakland county. 

Politically Mr. McCauley is identified with the Republican party, and 
has served two terms as township treasurer. He belongs to the local 
Grange, in which he takes an active interest. Fraternally he is a member 
of the Modern Woodmen of America; of Ortonville Lodge No. 339, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; and both he and Mrs. 
McCauley are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. They attend 
the Baptist church. 

Delos p. Loom is. Actively and profitably employed in tilling the 
soil, coaxing therefrom abundant crops each year, Delos P. Loomis ranks 
well among the successful agric-ulturists of Oakland county, his home 
farm being located in Brandon township. A son of Jacob L. Loomis, 
and grandson of Thomas N. Loomis, the pioneer ancestor, he was born 
May 3, 1858, in Brandon township. 

A native of Madison county, New York, his birth having occurred in 
Llamilton in 1808, Thomas N. Loomis was one of the pioneer settlers 
of Brandon township, where he located in the spring of 1836. He built 
a house and moved here with his family in the spring of 1837, ere Michi- 
gan had donned the garb of statehood. He married Julia Miller, and 
of their nine children, Jacob L., the first-born, was the next in line of 
descent. 

Born in Hamilton, New York, Jacob L. Loomis was but a boy when, 
in 1837, he came with his parents to Oakland county, Michigan, being 
then eight years old. As soon as strong enough to wield either axe or hoe, 
he began to assist his father in his strenuous labor of clearing and im- 



566 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

proving a farm, passing through all the privations and hardships inci- 
dental to frontier life. Beginning the battle of life on his own account 
as a young man, he purchased land in Brandon township, and was there 
engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1884. He then rented his farm 
to his son, but continued to reside thereon until his death, April 13, 1907. 
He married Esther E. Cole, who was born in New York state eighty-nine 
years ago, and is still living, making her home with her son Delos! She 
is the mother of three children, as follows: Frank L., of Oakland; Delos 
P., the subject of this brief sketch; and Florence, wife of James Van 
Wagner, of Pontiac. 

Delos P. Loomis assisted his father in the management of the home- 
stead until about twenty-five years old. In 1884 he rented the entire 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all of which he still has control and 
of which one half belongs to him, he having bought a half interest in 
the estate in 1887. As an agriculturist Mr. Loomis displays much skill 
and ability, and as a general farmer and stock raiser has met with pro- 
nounced success, the soil readily responding to his magic touch. 

Mr. Loomis married, February 7, 1883, Carrie L. Jones, a daughter 
of E. Oscar and Hannah (Richards) Jones, who came from New York to 
Michigan in 1859, locating in Oak wood, where they lived for a time, 
then went to Lapeer county and farmed for a few years. They then 
moved to Lapeer and retired, the father dying there at the age of seventy- 
seven and the mother when seventy-five years of age. Mrs. Thomas was 
one of a family of eight children, born of her father's second marriage, 
while by his first marriage Mr. Jones had one son, Albert D. Jones, of 
Brandon township. Two children have been ])orn to Mr. and Mrs. 
Loomis, a child that died in infancy, and Jay O., living at home. Mr. 
Loomis invariably supports the principles of the Democratic party in poli- 
tics. 

L. D. Chubb has long been one of the most prominent citizens of 
South Lyons, Michigan. Not only has he been personally popular, but 
his general efficiency and capability have always been recognized by his 
fellow townsmen. The many offices to which they have elected him are 
a substantial proof of this. He was a councilman of the village for nine 
years and president for four years. He served on the school board for 
six years and was school treasurer for three. He was also a member of 
the board of reviews for two years. Outside of his political prestige 
he is also a much loved and respected member of the Presbyterian church, 
where he has been an active member for twenty-five years, and an elder 
for seventeen years. He has not only given his time and thought to the 
church, but contributed liberally toward it in a financial way when a new 
building was being erected. 

Mr. Chubb was born in Putnam township, Chubbs Corners, Michigan, 
December 25, 1844, upon the farm of three hundred acres which his 
father had received from the government in 1820. His parents were 
Major Sherwood and Achsa (Bennett) Chubb, both natives of New York, 
who moved to Michigan shortly after their marriage. L. D. Chubb had 
three brothers and three sisters, but he was the youngest and when he was 
three years old his mother died. His father kept him with him until he 
was nine, when one of his sisters, who had been married in the meantime, 
took him with her to Calhoun county. He remained with her until he 
was twenty-one years old. 

When the Civil war broke out L. D. Chubb's father and all of his 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 567 

three l^rothers enlisted in the army. His father entered the service in 
1861, as a mechanic, but at the seige of Knoxville, although not a regu- 
larly enlisted man, he was ordered to take a gun. His brother Philo en- 
listed in Company I, Fifth Michigan Infantry, in 1861, and served nearly 
five years. At the time of his discharge he was one of five of the first 
enlistment of the company living. His brother Ephriam B. enlisted in 
Company K, Tenth Michigan Cavalry, in 1861, and was honorably dis- 
charged after serving his full time. His brother L. L. enlisted in the 
Thirteenth Michigan Battery, in 1862, and was discharged at the close of 
the war. 

L. D. Chubb received his education in the district school, attending 
for the three months in the winter whenever he had the chance. These 
opportunities were few% however, for his brother-in-law had purchased 
a farm and L. D. had to help make the payments. At the age of twenty- 
one he went back to Putnam and rented his father's farm, which had not 
been improved to any great extent. He remained there for three years, 
and March 11, 1874, was married to Miss Lucia Drake, of Northfield, 
Washtenaw county, Michigan. She was born in 1852, the daughter of 
Charles and Caroline (Claroson) Drake, farmers and natives of New 
Jersey. For a year after his marriage Mr. Chubb rented a farm opposite 
that of his father's and worked both places. He then moved to Argen- 
tine, Michigan, and rented a farm for the next two years. In 1877 he 
went to Northfield, Michigan, and purchased an interest in his father- 
in-law's farm there, which extends over one hundred acres. He later 
bought the sixty acres adjoining, which he still owns and works, although 
now living in South Lyons. 

Mr. and Mrs. Chubb had two children, Etta, who w^as educated at 
South Lyons, and is now the wife of Irving Johnson, a farmer of Salem, 
Iowa, and Lucerne L., who attended the South Lyons schools and is now 
a student at the State Normal m Ypsilanti, expecting to graduate in 191 2. 
Their daughter Mrs. Johnson has had one child. Maxwell, born in 190T. 

Mr. Chubb has always been much interested in the political afTairs of 
his country, and has watched with zest the application of the underlying 
principles which have governed the happenings in the whole country to 
his own community. He belongs to the Republican party. 

Floyd J. Lessiter. Well qualified by training and experience for 
the noteworthy position which he holds among the more industrious, 
enterprising and successful farmers of Oakland county, Floyd J. Lessiter 
is a fine representative of the native-born citizens of Orion township, 
where his birth occurred November 28, 1863. He is a son of the late 
John and Nancy (Beardsley) Lessiter and a brother of Frank H. Lessiter. 

Brought up on the home farm, Floyd J. Lessiter attended the district 
schools regularly while young, in the meantime becoming familiar with 
the many branches of agriculture. At the age of twenty-one years he 
and his brother, Frank H. Lessiter, managed the farm with their father, 
until his death in 1901, and then, buying out the interests of the remaining 
heirs in the property, became owners of the old farm. Since then these 
brothers have labored judiciously, and in their undertakings have been 
exceedingly fortunate, winning success not only in tilling the soil, but as 
extensive stock growers and dealers, their specialty being the breeding 
of Short Horn cattle, an industry in which they have acquired far more 
than local fame, their magnificent herd being widely known. Mr. Lessiter 
now owns two hundred and sixty acres of as good land as can be found 



568 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in the township, and in its management displays much practical knowl- 
edge and skill. He is also connected with other industries and enter- 
prises, being a director of the Citizens State Bank of Orion, and a 
director of the State Agricultural Society. 

In his political relations Mr. Lessiter is a straightforward Democrat, 
and has served as school director and in many minor public offices. Fra- 
ternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of 
Masons, of the Order of the Eastern Star, of the Benevolent and Pro- 
tective Order of Elks, of the Knights of the Maccabees and of the Ancient 
Order of Gleaners. In his religious views he is a Methodist. 

On June 14, 1894, Mr. Lessiter was united in marriage with Lillian 
Walter, who was born and educated in Clarkston. After her graduation 
in 1887 she was a teacher in the same school for a period of three years. 
Her father, William Walter, was born in England, and came to America 
as a boy. He subsequently located in Clarkston, and was there a resident 
until his death in 1882. He married Mary Brownfield and they became 
the parents of a large family of children, as follows: Albert, of Clark- 
ston; Eliza, deceased; Herbert, who died in infancy; Isabel, wife of 
Samuel Sherwood, of Clarkston; Wallace, also of Clarkston; Edwin, of 
Pontiac ; George, of Clarkston ; Violet, wife of John Windiate, of Flint ; 
Lillian, now Mrs. Lessiter; and Charles, of Sand Point, Idaho. Two 
children have made their appearance in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lessi- 
ter, namely: Marion Rose, born July 20, 1899, and Bruce Floyd, born 
April I, 191 1. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lessiter were charter members of the Order of the 
Eastern Star, which was organized at Orion in 1905. Mrs. Lessiter was 
worthy matron of the chapter for four years, also grand Martha of the 
Grand Chapter of Michigan, and was secretary for three years and 
president for two years of the Oakland County Association, Order of the 
Eastern Star. 

Joseph M. Flumerfelt. Numbered among the progressive farm- 
ers of Oakland township is Joseph M. Flumerfelt, whose farm of 216 
acres is located in sections 26 and 2y. With his activities in this direc- 
tion he couples the duties of justice of the peace, and administers that 
office in a manner that commads the respectful admiration of his con- 
stituents. Mr. Flumerfelt is youthful so far as years go, being not yet 
forty. He was born in Oakland township on November 30, 1873, his 
parents being also natives of Michigan. They were Samuel and Emma 
E. (Perry) Flumerfelt. The former farmed all of his life in Oakland 
township and died September 20, 1909, leaving six hundred acres of land 
as evidence of his industry and frugality. His widow is stjll living in 
Rochester. There were three children in their family, Joseph being the 
eldest. The others were daughters, May B., who married Frank Lan- 
hoff, of Detroit, and Vida E., who became the wife of E. Roy Whims, of 
Oakland county. 

Joseph attended the district schools of the neighborhood and then 
turned to farming. For fifteen years he rented from his father, then 
bought his present place in 19 10. He married Mrs. Edna Stranahan, 
widow of Claude Stranahan. She is a daughter of William and Amelia 
(Axford) Miller, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. Miller was 
from New Jersey. Mrs. Flumerfelt was their only child. By her union 
with her first husband she had one child, William A. Stranahan, who is 
now making his home with his mother and foster father. Mr. and Mrs. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 569 

Flumerfelt have two children, Mary E., who was born on June 4, 1910, 
and Joseph M., junior, born June 23, 1912. 

The Flumerfelt place is on rural route No. 2, out of Rochester. Its 
genial proprietor is a believer in the principles of the Democratic party. 
He attends the Congregational church and socially is affiliated with the 
Masonic lodge. 

George Bogie. Among the many estimable families of Oakland 
county, none commands more esteem than that of George Bogie, who is 
a prosperous farmer living on a farm of one hundred and fifty-one acres 
in section 33, of White Lake township. His is a family notable alike for 
its modest integrity and its ancestral dignity. In daily pursuits, faithful 
and efficient ; in church relations, unobstrusively loyal ; in public affairs, 
capable yet unassuming, — in all phases of his activity, Mr. Bogie is 
counted a typically worthy citizen. 

On the farm, which is still his home George Bogie was born Septem- 
ber 29, 1850. His parents were Andrew W. and Harriet (Dodge) Bogie, 
the paternal line being of pure Scotch origin. Andrew Bogie was the 
son of Alexander Bogie, who lived and died on Scottish soil. It was 
after the father's death that Andrew Bogie came alone, in 1840, to 
America. His interest in promising Michigan lands brought him to 
Springfield township, where he purchased a farm, on which he lived, 
steadily improving it, for six years. At the. end of that time he moved 
to the farm, which he had bought in White Lake township, on which he 
and his wife lived until the death of each and where their son, the sub- 
ject of this sketch, has continued to reside with his family. Their eldest 
son, Wallace, still lives at the old home with his brother. 

George Bogie's education was that of the average farmer's son. 
Even at that time Michigan's school system was such that his country 
schooling, supplemented by intelligent reading and practical training at 
home, gave the young man sufficient equipment for a useful life. Unlike 
too many modern youths, he worked and planned in close companionship 
with his father, until in 1879, the latter gave the farm into the son's 
charge. 

Mr. Bogie's marriage in 1871 to Clara Andrews, daughter of Burton 
Andrews, brought to his family an historical dower rich in genealogical 
interest, particularly in the earlier generations. Her father, Burton 
Andrews, born in Stafford, New York, was the son of Arthur Andrews, 
of Richmond, Massachusetts, whose father was Elizar Andrew^s, a min- 
ute man of the Revolutionary army. He was the son of Benajah An- 
drews, who was born at Newington, Massachusetts, in 1717, his father 
being Dr. Joseph Andrews. The father of the latter, also called Joseph 
Andrews, w^as the fourth son of John and Mary Andrews, who had 
settled in the town of Tunxis, later called Farmington, Connecticut, in 
about 1640. Another of Mrs. Bogie's numerous notable ancestors was 
a Richard Andrews of London, England ; he was a haberdasher at the 
Mermaid, Cheapside, and was an alderman. It is said of him that he 
gave £500 — no small sum in those days — for the founding of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay colony, saving the enterprise from failure now and again 
by his constant su])port financially and also helping to provide cattle, a 
most important commodity to help meet the needs of the colonists. 
Every generation of the Andrews family seems to have had its con- 
spicuous patriots and jniblic-spirited men, its Civil war veterans, includ- 
ing a chaplain, and the Spanish-American war claiming representation 



570 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

as well. Nor can we forbear mentioning that famous kinswoman of 
Mrs. Bogie's — her maternal great-grand-aunt, Miss Deborah Sampson, 
who in sturdy patriotic enthusiasm courageously arrayed herself in the 
uniform of a Revolutionary soldier and fought shoulder to shoulder with 
her colonial brothers in that momentous struggle. Her worn and faded 
military habiliments are still preserved by the family, who treasure as 
carefully the data concerning her acting as aide to an officer and her 
personal acquaintance with George Washington, to whom ,as to her fel- 
low soldiers she was known as Rol)ert Shurtleff. 

The present generation of the Andrews-Bogie family consists of the 
three children, now grown, who have been born to Mr. and Mrs. George 
Bogie: Isabella Ollidene, born September 25, 1872, now the wife of John 
Barrett, of Brant, Saginaw county ; Clare Alexander, born April 29, 
1874, and now a resident of Pontiac ; and Lena, born April 5, 1877, now 
the wife of Albert Westpfahl, of White Lake township. 

With the^ family creditably settled in life, George Bogie and his 
worthy wife are now enjoying comparative leisure and a satisfying de- 
gree of public activity. A Democrat in politics, Mr. Bogie's popularity 
among his acquaintances and the respect accorded his superior judgment 
have brought him the responsibility of a health officer in his township, 
which he has heretofore ably served in the capacity of justice of the 
peace. Religiously Mr. Bogie is allied with the Methodist church and 
his wife with the Congregationalist denomination, to which her family 
have belonged for many generations. In fraternal affiliation he is a 
Mason. 

Mrs. Eva Iola Thorn hill, the widow of the late Henry Thornhill, 
and now owner and proprietor of the store he operated during his life- 
time, was born in Detroit Michigan, the daughter of Joseph P. and Jane 
(Burnham) Whiting. The father was born in Connecticut and the 
mother in A^ermont. Joseph P. Whiting came to Michigan when eigh- 
teen years old, locating in Detroit, and there he established himself in the 
butcher business. Later he was elected sheriff of Wayne county, Mich- 
igan, and held the office for several terms. He was inspector of customs 
for several years at the port of Detroit and also special inspector of sugar 
and tobacco in this district, as well as being deputy United States mar- 
shal at Detroit during the war. In 1875 his health failed, and Mr. Whit- 
ing, with his wife and three children, Eva, Nellie and Bert, came to 
Mil ford, where the father purchased a farm, and there he continued to 
live until his death, which occurred in 1887. The mother survived him 
until 1902. 

Mrs. Thornhill's early education was received in Detroit and she 
finished at Milford high school after the family removed to this point. 
In 1887 she was married to William C. Stobart, a farmer of Milford, 
Michigan, who died in 1891. Three years later she married Henry 
Thornhill, a merchant of Milford, who was born in the town of Milford. 
He was the son of Edward and Eliza (Lee) Thornhill, natives of Lin- 
colnshire, England, who came to the United States in early life, settling 
in Milford township. They later purchased land in Commerce township, 
where they made their home until death called them. Henry Thornhill 
passed his boyhood days on the farm with his older brothers, Edward 
and John, and they kept up the old home until the death of their mother. 
In 1872 they came into the town of Milford and erected a brick store 
bnilding, which they rented to P. A. Shepard in the following year. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 571 

They later purchased the Shepard stock and engaged in the mercantile 
business as Thornhill Brothers. The firm continued in that way for 
some years, until the brothers Edward and John sold their interest to 
Henry, who remained in the business until his death in 1907. Since his 
death Mrs.. Thornhill has carried on the enterprise successfully and car- 
ries a stock of dry goods, carpets and wall paper to the extent of from 
$10,000 to $12,000. Mrs. Thornhill has proven herself a good business 
woman, and the establishment of wdiich she is the proprietor is a credit 
to the town of Milford. She is one of the heaviest tax-payers in the 
town. 

Thomas A. Bell. Among the prominent and influential citizens of 
Royal Oak, Oakland county, Michigan, Thomas A. Bell holds prestige 
as one who has carved out his own career and who is making a distinct 
success of the real-estate business. He is deeply and sincerely inter- 
ested in community affairs and is ever ready to give of his aid and 
influence in support of all measures and enterprises projected for the 
good of the general welfare. 

A native of Oakland county, Michigan, Thomas A. Bell was born in 
Royal Oak township July 2, 1874, and he is a son of John and Annie 
(McBride) Bell, the former of whom was born at Belfast, Ireland, and 
the latter of whom was a native of the province of Ontario, Canada. 
John Bell is a son of William Bell, who was likewise born in Ireland 
and who came to America when John was a lad of about fourteen years 
of age. William located, with his family, in Royal Oak township and 
there John grew to maturity and was educated. He turned his attention 
to farming after he had reached his. legal majority and he is now living 
in retirement on his fine estate of one hundred acres, three miles distant 
from the village of Royal Oak. He married in 1862, and his wife is also 
living. They became the ]>arents of eight children, six of whom are liv- 
ing, in 1912, namely: William, who operates a farm in Bruce township, 
Oakland county ; Jennie, who is the wife of Samuel Read, of Troy town- 
ship, Oakland county; Ephriam, who remains at home and conducts 
the farm; Thomas A., the subject of this review; Lottie, who is the wife 
of George Robinson, of Troy township ; and Edna, who is at home. 

Thomas A. Bell passed his boyhood and youth on the old homestead 
farm, in the work and management of which he early began to assist 
his father, and his educational training consisted of such advantages as 
w^ere offered in the district schools. He remained at home until he had 
reached his twenty-seventh year, in 1901, when he was married and re- 
moved to Royal Oak,, where he has since been interested in the real- 
estate business. He is the owner of considerable valuable property in 
Oakland county and his real-estate transactions are of broad scope and 
importance. In politics he is a stalwart Republican in affairs of na- 
tional import, but in local affairs he votes for the best and most capable 
man. He is affiliated with a number of representative fraternal organiza- 
tions and in religious matters he and his family are devout members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church, in whose faith he was reared. 

In Oakland county, October 13, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Bell to Miss Mattie B. Carnpbell, a daughter of ]\Tr. and Mrs. A. 
C. Campbell, of Royal Oak. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are the parents of two 
sons, Milton Harold and Erw^in LeRoy, both of w^hom are attending 
school in Royal Oak. 



572 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Fred A. Smith. The descendant of an honored pioneer family of 
Oakland county, Fred A Smith is an able representative of the agricul- 
tural interests of Flolly township, where he is busily and prosperously 
engaged in general farming, owning a part of the parental homestead, 
which lies three miles east of Holly. He was born in Holly township, Janu- 
ary 17, 1868, a son of Lott Smith and grandson of Moses Smith, who 
settled in this part of Michigan while it was still under territorial govern- 
ment. 

Born in Ulster county. New York, Moses Smith was engaged in farm- 
ing in the town of Olive until 1835. Accompanied by his wife, Catherine 
Smith, he followed the tide of emigration westward in that year as far 
as Michigan, spending the winter in Groveland township, Oakland county. 
In the spring of 1836 he took up a claim of two hundred acres of land 
in Holly township, and with an energetic spirit and his pioneer axe, began 
the clearing and improving of a homestead. As his means* increased, 
he added to the acreage of his farm, becoming an extensive landholder, 
and for many years carried on mixed husbandry successfully. Having 
accomplished a satisfactory work, he finally removed to Fenton, where 
he lived retired until his death, July 5, 1884, ^^ a venerable age, having 
outlived his wife, who died in 1887, three years. Six sons and two 
daughters were born of their union, as follows : Jonathan, who died in 
childhood; Dennis, a member of Company I, Third Michigan Cavalry, 
died of typhoid fever at San Antonio, Texas, during the Civil war; 
Matthew died while en route for California, his death being caused from 
exposure after being wrecked off the west coast of Mexico ; Nehemiah, 
who settled on a part of the parental homestead^ died in 1902; Lucinda 
died in California, in 1908; Lott, father of Fred A.; Frank, now a resi- 
dent of California; and Sarah, widow of Eben Remington, of Oakland 
county. 

Lott Smith was born on his father's farm, Groveland township, Feb- 
ruary 15, 1836, but was brought up in Holly township, where his parents 
moved when he was but a few weeks old. Succeeding to the ownership 
of two hundred of the parental acres, he was an al)le assistant in the 
advancement of the agricultural prosperity of this part of the county, 
and as a man and a citizen was active and influential in advancing the 
public welfare of his community. In 1861 he enlisted in Company I, 
Third Michigan Cavalry, in which he served as orderly sergeant, taking 
an active part in twenty-one engagements, the more important of which 
was the one at Mobile, Alabama. Returning home on being mustered 
out of service, he resumed farming, and later bought a tract of land con- 
taining one hundred and twenty acres, all of which he managed advan- 
tageously, remaining on his home place until his death, September 29, 
1911. 

Lott Smith married, in 1867, Miss Ida Searles, who was born and 
reared in Charlotte, Michigan, but subsequently moved to Syracuse, New 
York, where they were married, Her parents, Allen and Emily Searles, 
had three sons and five daughters, as follows: Charles, Benjamin, George, 
Elda, Cecil, Eva, Capitola and Ida. Mr. and Mrs. Lott Smith became 
the parents of three children, namely: Fred A., the special subject of this 
brief biographical review; Howard L., engaged in farming on a part of 
the parental farm, married Colema Halstead, of Groveland township, and 
they have two children, Stella and Dorothy ; and Daisy, living in San Ber- 
nardino, California. The mother of these children died before her hus- 
band, passing away December 23, 1909. 







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HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 573 

Lott Smith was a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order 
of Masons, and also of the Grand Army of the Repubhc. 

Brought up in Holly township, Fred A. Smith was educated in the 
public schools, after which he spent a year in Saginaw, Michigan, where 
his father had financial interests in a grocery, flour and feed store. Re- 
turning to Holly township, he continued life as an agriculturist, in 1909 
coming into possession of a part of his father's land. He has since given 
his time and attention to its management, and having profited by his early 
knowledge and experience has met with unquestioned success as a general 
agriculturist, in addition to his work as a tiller of the soil raising some 
stock each year. He is exceedingly fond of outdoor sports, especially of 
hunting, each year taking a hunting trip. 

A stanch Republican in politics, Mr. Smith was for nine years a 
member of the board of education. Fraternally he is a member of Holly 
Lodge, No. 134, Ancient Free and Accepted C)rder of Masons; of Holly 
Camp, No. 4399, Modern Woodmen of America; and of Olive Branch 
Homestead, No. 3025, Brotherhood of American Yeomen. 

Mr. Smith married Minnie Kneale, of Springfield township, a daugh- 
ter of James and Ann Kneale, old and respected residents of Oakland 
county, who reared eleven children, nine of whom are residents of Oakland 
county. Mr. Kneale came to Michigan with his parents in boyhood, 
and lived first in White Lake township, then in Springfield township and 
later in Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have three children, namely: 
Frederick Kneale, born January 31, 1898; Marion Elizabeth, born No- 
vember II, 1905; and Josephine Catherine, born April 6, 1908. 

Amos Otis, a dealer in coal, wood, lumber, cement, brick, tile and all 
kinds of building material, is undeniably one of the most prosperous of 
the business men of Farmington, as well as one of her most prominent and 
progressive citizens. Beginning at the tender age of twelve to make his 
own way in the world, Mr. Otis has been independent of all outside in- 
fluences since that time, and has, as a direct result of his many praise- 
worthy qualities of initiative, perseverance and all around general integ- 
rity, built up a splendid business from an infinitesimal beginning in Farm- 
ington some eleven years ago. 

Born in Wayne county, Michigan, on November 18, 1874, on the farm 
of his father, he attended the district schools until he was twelve years 
old, when he secured his independence by taking a place at work upon a 
farm in the community, where he remained between two and three years. 
His parents, Albert and Mary Otis, both natives of Wayne county, are 
still living there. The father of Albert Otis, Amos Otis, came to Wayne 
county with his parents when he was nine years of age. They made their 
way into the county through a dense forest, cutting their way through in 
a most literal sense of the word. The road thus blazed by those pioneers 
afterwards became known as the Snyder Road, as it is so called today. 
Amos Otis became prominent in Wayne county, and was one of the best 
known men in his section in his day. 

Returning to the subject, when he was fifteen years old, Amos Otis 
left the farm where he had been employed and became a caipenter's ap- 
prentice, and when he was twenty years of age he had completely mas- 
tered the trade. His first business association therafter was with Frank 
Streb, the firm being known as Streb & Company, contractors and build- 
ers, and their partnership endured for the space of one year, after which 



574 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

he went into l)usiness for himself in Detroit, continuing until igoi. In 
that year he secured a contract to build a church and four residences in 
Farmington, which marked his first connection with this village. There 
were no coal or lumber yards at Farmington then, and in order to handle 
the required material more easily, Mr. Otis started a yard, which he has 
ever since continued, increasing its capacity from time to time and fre- 
(juently adding to the commodities handled. Fie now deals in cement 
blocks and tiling, brick, lumber and coal, and handles on an average one 
hundred and twenty-five cars of material annually, manufacturing all his 
own cement blocks and tile. In 1910 Air. Otis opened a branch yard in 
Redford, Michigan, which he still controls. On the whole his operations 
in Farmington have been of a highly successful nature, and he ranks 
among the leading business men of the community, having reached a state 
of comparatively financial independence in the years of his residence here. 

In 1900 Mr. Otis married Miss Minnie Wagner, of Farmington, and 
she died in 1902, without issue. In 1905 he married Miss Hattie Spaller, 
also a native of Oakland county, and three children have been born to 
them, — Howard G., Mildred and Henry A. 

Mr. Otis is one of the most popular fraternalists in Farmington, and 
his Masonic affiliations are of a comprehensive nature. He is a member 
of the Blue Lodge, Xo. 151, of Farmington; L^nion Chapter, No. 55, R. 
A. M., of Northville, Michigan; the Commandery at Northville ; the 
Knights Templar and the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the 
Mystic Shrine, Moslem Temple. He is a member of Farmington lodge. 
No. 560, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Maccabees of 
Farmington and the Concatenated Order of Hoo-FIoos. He is also a 
member of the Michigan Retail Lumber Dealers' Association and of the 
Michigan, Ohio and Indiana Coal Association. 

Mr. Otis is known for one of the most open handed and generous men 
of the community, and is a leader in every movement calculated to tend to 
the betterment of civic conditions and to advance the growth and pros- 
perity of the town. He and his family are attendants at the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

Millard Loren Frink, of Oxford, Oakland county, Michigan, 
although he is now engaged in the cement culvert business there, was at 
one time a prominent stock breeder of the state, making a specialty of the 
Jersey stock. He never missed a year, from 1876 until he gave up the 
work in 1895, in winning one or more prizes at the state fairs, and also 
won the silver cup and medal given at the state fair held in Detroit in 
1892. At one time Mr.- Frink owned three Jersey cows of his own 
breeding, each one of which had a record of twenty-one pounds of butter 
in one week. One year he had thirty head of the Fancy Jersey thorough- 
bred at the same time. 

Mr. Frink was born in Oxford township, Oakland county, Michigan, 
May 26, 1852, the son of Harry and Eliza (Earl) Frink. Although Mr. 
Frink's parents were both natives of New York, he, as well as his wif^. 
can trace their ancestry back to England. Mr. Frink, Sr., came to Michi- 
gan to look over the ground in 1835, and two years later came back to 
settle permanently. He first made his home in Southfield, but in 1839 
exchanged his farm of one hundred and twenty acres which he had there 
for one of equal extent in Oxford township, and moved there, keeping 
it as his residence for the remainder of his life. He was a carpenter and 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 575 

joiner by trade, but devoted all of his time to farming after he moved 
west. He died in November, 1889, and his wife, February 22, 1892. They 
had six children, William Munroe, of Oxford ; George Volney, of Bloom- 
ington, Illinois; John Hershal, of Detroit, Michigan; Byron, of Detroit; 
Elfreda A., now living with Millard Loren, in Oxford. 

Mr. M. L. Frink stayed with his father until he was twenty-two years 
old, when he started farming on his own account. This was in the year 
1876. He remained at this work, putting most of his interest on the 
breeding of fine cattle, until 1895, when he sold out his holdings and 
moved to Oxford. He now owns his own home in the village and eighty 
acres in Troy township. He was married March 2, 1887, to Laura M. 
Edgerley, a daughter of Columbus and Emaline Davis Edgerley, both na- 
tives of New York. Mr. Edgerley was a carpenter and joiner by trade, 
and when they first settled in Oakland county he went into the business 
of making fanning mills. After fifteen years of this he decided he had 
exhausted its possibilities, and in partnership with C. W. Killburn bought 
about six hundred acres of land, and spent the rest of his life in clearing 
and farming it. He died in May, 1883, and his wife, in 1901. They had 
five children, Frances J., Ann, Eugene C, Ellen Gertrude and Laura, all of 
whom are now dead except Laura, the wife of Mr. Frink. Mr. and Mrs. 
Frink have had one child, Harry, born September 7, 1889, who died in 
infancy. Mr. Frink is a Republican and a Maccabee. 

One of Mr. Frink's nephews, Dwight E. Frink, the son of his brother, 
George Volney Frink, has already made quite a reputation for himself 
as an artist and cartoonist. He has just lately drafted a monument for 
the soldiers of the Civil war of McLean county, Illinois which is to be 
erected at Bloomington, Illinois. The monument weighs fifty-two tons and 
will cost $50,000. The artist is a resident of Bloomington. 

Roy Beeciier Cowdin. Although Roy Beecher Cowdin is now one 
of the solid and substantial business men of Oxford, Oakland county, 
Michigan, the spirit of adventure was in him when he was younger, 
and he can tell many interesting tales of the three years he spent in 
Alaska. He covered the entire Yukon River district in that time, and 
had enough experiences to fill the life of any ordinary stay-at-home 
person. 

Mr. Cowdin was born in Oakland county, Brandon township, Febru- 
ary 19, 1873, the son of George D. and Martha Frances Cowdin. His 
parents still live on the original one hundred and sixty acres which his 
grandparents, Addison and Bethiah (Douglas) Cowdin, took up from the 
government when they moved from New Hampshire, their native state, 
to Michigan. Mr. Cowdin, Sr., who was born in New York, was two 
years old at the time of his parents' arrival in Michigan, and he has re- 
mained on the farm all his life. His wife, Roy's mother, was a native 
of Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Cowdin had seven children: Edith, deceased; 
May, at home; Addison, at home; Roy, the subject of this review; Mer- 
ton, who died in infancy ; Ernest of Portland, Oregon ; and Frank, of Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio. 

Roy Cowdin attended the district schools, and then for one year after 
he was twenty-one years old worked for his father on the farm. He then 
went to Oregon for a few months, and from there went on to Alaska. 
When he returned from the northwest he bought a farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres in Lapeer county, and after working it for three years 



576 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

came on to Oxford and opened up a harness and implement business. 
Two years later, in July, 1908, he put into operation a store containing 
coal and lumber and a full line of building materials. 

In March 1902, Mr. Cowdin was married to Emma G. Taylor, the 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Taylor, both natives of Michigan 
and now living in Brandon township. Mr. Taylor is a farmer and they 
have had six other children besides Emma: Louise, the wife of M. W. 
Campbell, of Oxford ; Minnie, the wife of D. Bronson, of Brandon town- 
ship; John A., of Oakland county; Sarah, the wife of Jesse Gibson, of 
Oxford ; Frank, deceased ; and LI ugh, of Brandon township. Mr. Cowdin 
is a Mason and a Gleaner, and belongs to the Republican party. He is now 
supervisor of Oxford township. Mrs. Cowdin belongs to the Congre- 
gational church. 

Orson E. Granger was born on the old homestead in section four- 
teen, Brandon township, Oakland county, Michigan, October 17, 1851, 
the son of Orson and Elizabeth (Sheldon) Granger. His parents were 
both natives of Wayne county. New York. His father died January 16, 
1890, at the age of eighty-two years and his mother died when she was 
eighty-six years old, on October 7, 1903. His grandfather was Elisha 
Granger. His father came to Michigan in 1837 and took up land from 
the government. The original deed is preserved in the family. At his 
death he left one hundred and eighty acres of farm land. He was the 
father of eight children, namely: Serepta. x\lmira and John, who have 
passed away; Charlotte M., the wife of Andrew Church, of Wayne 
county. New York ; Chauncey C, of McLean county, Illinois ; Orson E. ; 
Marshall S., of Oakland county; and Austin B., of Oakland county. 

At twenty years of age Orson E. Granger took up the occupation of 
agriculture. He rented a farm for one year, then he went home and 
bought eighty acres adjoining the old homestead, where he worked for 
seven years. Then he sold and worked his old home and with his sister 
bought that first eighty acres back. At present with his wife he owns two 
hundred and fifty acres, including the old homestead. 

On July I, 1890, Mr. Granger married Miss Kate McVean, the daugh- 
ter of Peter and Eleanore McVean, who settled in Oakland county, Michi- 
gan, about 1861. Her father was a native of New York, and her mother, 
who died August 20, 1900, was a native of Michigan. She has one sister. 
Flora, the wife of Albert Moule, of Ortonville. Mr. Granger has but 
one child. O. E. Granger, Jr.. ])orn September 17, 1903, who lives at 
home with his parents. Albert Moule and his wife have two children: 
Albert A., born July 7, 1896, Genevieve E., born April 11, 1898. 

In political matters, Mr. Granger is on the Republican side. He is a 
Methodist and a member of the Maccabees. 

His forbears gave their services to their country in times of war, 
his grandfather, Elisha, being in the War of 1812, and his father in the 
war of the Revolution, was a despatch carrier. Of the McVean family, 
the grandfather, Daniel, came from Scotland and settled in New York. 

Charles H. Glaspie, of Oxford, Oakland county, Michigan, belongs 
to a family who have been prominent in that section of the country for 
many years. The farm of two hundred and forty acres which his parents, 
William and Deborah A. (Denison) Glaspie, bought when they came to 
Oakland county in 1852 is the land on which a large portion of the village 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 577 

of Oxford now stands. Aside from the local renown which his family 
achieved, Mr. Glaspie has made himself well known by the ability which 
he has shown in the various public offices he has held. Moreover, he is 
universally liked, and is one of the most popular members in all the vari- 
ous organizations to which he belongs. 

Mr. and Mrs. Glaspie, Sr., were natives of New York, and when they 
first came to Michigan settled in Macomb county. Mr. Glaspie, who 
died in April, 1889, was a general farmer and stockraiser. Mrs. Glas- 
pie's death occurred November 14, 1883. They had seven children: 
Almyra, deceased; Lucy A., the widow of L. L. Parker, of Oxford; 
Elizabeth, the widow of S. P. Hovey, of Detroit; William Denison, of 
Oakland county, Oxford township ; Charles H. ; Elva, who died in Sep- 
tember, 1900; and Eber D., of Oxford. 

Charles H. Glaspie was born in Macomb county, March 12. 1851, and 
attended the district schools until he was eighteen years old. For the 
year after he was eighteen he worked in a hotel at Bay City, and then 
returned to Oxford to take up the mercantile business. He only remained 
a short time, however, leaving within a few months for Muskegon, where 
he worked in the postoffice for three years. He then returned again 
to Oxford and resumed the mercantile business. He thus continued for 
several years, and followed the business for two years, afterwards in 
Grand Rapids. After his stay in Grand Rapids he settled permanently in 
Oxford. He was in business for himself for eighteen years. His broth- 
er-in-law was engaged with him for the first seven years until Mr. Glaspie 
bought him out to take the whole responsibility upon himself. y\fter 
he disposed of his business he took a position for six years with the Detroit 
Lake Onon and Romeo lines. In 1906 he was elected register of deeds, 
and after assuming the office in 1907 held it for two terms. He was 
also city clerk of Oxford for seven years and on the council for nine 
years. 

On January 4, 1876, Mr. (jlaspie's marriage to Minnie A. Snyder took 
place, and they became the parents of one child, a son, W. Gillett, who 
was born September 13, 1882, and died March 17, 1908, while he was 
taking the law course at the University of Michigan. Mrs. Glaspie's 
parents were the Rev. Solomon and Prudence (Spencer) Snyder, both 
natives of New York, who came to Michigan about 1868 and settled in 
Lapeer county. Their first location proved only temporary, however, 
and they soon afterward moved to Oxford, where they lived the rest of 
their lives with the exception of four years, Mr. Snyder dying in Detroit, 
November 22, IQ07, and Mrs. Snyder, July, 1904, in Oxford. They had 
four children, Minnie; Rossman R., of Detroit; one who died in child- 
hood; and Orne M., of Maple Rapids, Michigan. 

Mr. Glaspie votes the Republican ticket. He has been present at the 
Republican banquets for twenty-three years. He belongs to the Knights 
of Pythias, the Maccabees, the Modern Woodmen, the I. O. O. F. and 
the Elks. 

Alexander R. Bellatre, of Oxford, Oakland county, Michigan, is 
one of the oldest established business men in Oxford. He came to the 
village in the spring of 1884 and started a grocery establishment. He has 
been here in business ever since, although fifteen years ago he gave up his 
first store, and gave his whole attention to his wholesale market for 
general produce, which he had been developing for some time before that. 



578 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

He is secretary, treasurer and manager of the Eusley-Bellaire Company 
Elevators in Oxford, Watrousville and Calling, Michigan. 

Mr. Bellaire was born in New Jersey, January 19, 1853, the son of 
Frederick and Elizabeth (Batteson) Bellaire. Mr. Bellaire, Sr., was born 
in Germany, and when he came to America settled in Quakertown, New 
Jersey. He is still living, at eighty-four years of age. Mrs. Bellaire, 
who is now dead, was born in Massachusetts. They had four children, 
Alexander R., Emily, deceased; Louis, of Cadillac, Michigan; and Ella, 
the wife of Louis Hiner. Mr. and Mrs. Hiner are living on the old 
homestead in New Jersey. 

Alexander R. Bellaire left home when he was twenty years old and 
came to Jackson, Michigan, where he took up farming for three years. 
The next six years he spent in Cadillac, and then came to Oxford, where 
he has been ever since. On August 7, 1876, he was married to Amorette 
Marsh, the daughter of John and Alvina (Wilson) Marsh, natives of 
Canada. The mother is still alive and residing in Detroit. Mr. Marsh 
is dead. They had three children, Amorette ; Edgar, of Pittsburg, Penn- 
sylvania; and Catharine, the wife of Fred M. Aldrich, of Detroit. Mr. 
and Mrs. Bellaire have had two children, Vira M., the wife of Ernest E. 
Wemp, of Detroit, and Leah M., at home. 

Mr. Bellaire is a Republican, and has served as city treasurer. He 
has been town clerk, a trustee on the school board and now president of 
the village of Oxford. He is a. Mason of the Blue Lodge and Chapter at 
Oxford, and of the Council No. 3, at Pontiac, and also a Forester. Mrs. 
Bellaire is a member of the Eastern Star. The family attends the Congre- 
gational church. 

Franklin Kent. One of the foremost agriculturists of Oakland 
county, and no one better known in its history, Franklin Kent is numbered 
among the enterprising and successful farmers of Oakland county who 
have a thorough knowledge of the vocation which they follow, and are 
pursuing it with both pleasure and advantage. He is a worthy represen- 
tative of the native-born citizens of Brandon township, his birth having 
occurred September 20, 1850. 

His father, Charles E. Kent, a native of Syracuse, New York, came to 
Michigan with his father, Asel Kent, settling^ in section thirty, Brandon 
township, Oakland county, where Mr. Asel Kent took up a tract of land 
from the government. Succeeding to the ancestral occupation, Charles E. 
Kent spent his active life as a farmer, at his death, which occurred in 
Brandon township, in 1893, leaving a good fartn of one hundred and sixty 
acres. His"wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Jane Fosdick, was born in 
Syracuse, New York, and died in Brandon township, in 1894. Ten 
children blessed their union, as follows: Susan, deceased; Caroline A., 
wife of Harvey Oldfield, of Detroit; Franklin, with whom this brief sketch 
is principally concerned; Helen, widow of George Oldfield, late of 
Detroit; Charles Edwin, deceased, had charge for sometime of Criminal 
Hall, in the Pontiac Asylum, and was later for seventeen years superin- 
tendent of the Traverse City Asylum ; John Erskine, now living at Grand 
Blanc, Michigan, was for twenty-five years in partnership with the 
Simons Brothers, in East Saginaw ; Louis Napoleon, of Ortonville ; Rem- 
ber, head deputy sheriff of Oakland county; Dwight, deceased; and 
George, a farmer in Huron county. 

On attaining his majority, Franklin Kent left home, and for two 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 579 

years worked in the lumber regions, being employed on the big boom in the 
Saginaw river. The following year he worked in a sawmill. Returning 
then to Brandon township, he bought twenty acres of land, and began his 
career as an independent farmer. Succeeding beyond his most sanguine 
expectations, he is now the owner of two hundred and thirty-five acres of 
land, and is still prosperously engaged in general farming, making a 
specialty of stock raising. A lover of animals, he is an expert horse 
trainer, and has gained an extended reputation for his skill in managing 
and subduing the most fiery and spirited of steeds. 

A steadfast Democrat in politics, Mr. Kent is now serving as marshal 
of Ortonville. He has been school treasurer, and has rendered excellent 
service as deputy sheriff of Oakland county. While filling the last named 
office, he on one occasion found his skillful horsemanship of immense 
benefit to him, the wild gallop which he took on the railroad track while 
going from one farm to another rivalling in speed and danger the famous 
ride of Sheridan, which has been immortalized in verse. A clear account 
of the event was given two weeks later, on March 28, 1901, in the Pontiac 
Evening Express, from which we quote the following particulars : 

''While going from one farm to another. Deputy Sheriff Kent of 
Ortonville, desirous of saving a part of the distance which it would be 
necessary to cover by the regular road, made a short cut down the railroad 
track, on horseback. The train schedule had that day been changed, and 
he was uncertain as to the time the train was due, a fact that probably led 
him to risk the ride down the track, all unconscious of his danger. Scarce 
had he covered half the distance to his farm when the shrill whistle of a 
locomotive rang out close behind him. Turning, he sawing the engine 
not five rods away, running him down at a tremendous speed. A realiza- 
tion of his danger caused Mr. Kent to force the horse into a mad gallop,, 
just as the tender was on the animal. The horse became frightened and 
plunged wildly down the track, Kent urging the noble animal forward 
faster and faster, until the most thrilling race for life ever recorded in 
the history of this country was finished. With a roaring wind in his face, 
a death-dealing locomotive behind, and nearly blinded by huge snowflakes, 
Mr. Kent espied a sheet of glittering ice just ahead in his path. 

"Knowing the danger of the running, maddened horse striking the ice 
while going full speed, the deputy sheriff guided the horse's head to the 
right, leaving the animal a target for the engine, it being his intention to 
have the engine hit the animal in such a manner as to throw both himself 
and the horse clear of the track. Just as the sheet of ice was reached, 
the collision came. Horse and rider were thrown into the air, and after 
turning several complete somersets fell many feet from the track. The 
horse alighted safely, and with set feet gHded ninety feet over the ice 
field, and Mr. Kent escaped without an injury, a slight scratch on the 
horse's hip being the only accident to either the animal or its rider. 

'The engineer, who said that he saw the horse and rider only at the 
first part of the race, claims to have reversed his engine without getting 
results. When Kent and the horse were thrown into the air, the train was 
brought to a stop as soon as possible, and a search was made for their 
supposed mangled forms by the conductor and passengers, but Kent was 
leading the horse towards the barn and could not be found." Mr. Kent 
says that he is convinced the engineer instead of reversing his engine when 
he saw the obstruction on the track followed the usual custom of putting 



580 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

on full steam in order to exert all possible force to throw it clear of the 
track, and thus save the train from being derailed. 

Mr. Kent married, September 9, 1876, Ella Markham, a native of 
Brandon township, Oakland county, Michigan. Her father, Samuel Mark- 
ham, a native of Massachusetts, came to Michigan in 1838, bought land in 
this township, at Bald Eagle Lake, and in addition to clearing and improv- 
ing a farm added tavern keeping to his agricultural labors. He married 
Mrs. Thirza (Pinkham) Murray, widow of William Murray, by whom 
she had two children, Jane, who has passed to the life beyond, and William, 
of Detroit. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Markham nine children were 
born, as follows : Louisa, wife of William Pinkham, of Durand, Michigan; 
John, living in Brandon township; Samuel, deceased; Horace, a well- 
known lawyer of Detroit; Thirza, wife of Thomas Tucker, of Ortonville; 
Melissa, deceased; Mrs. Kent; Sarah, deceased; Emma, wife of John Bar- 
ton, of Port Huron. Mr. and Mrs. Kent are the parents of three children, 
namely: Lulu, wife of William Strickland, of Pontiac; Thirza, wife of 
Robert Ervin, of Detroit; and Floyd, state manager of the F. B. Dickin- 
son Company, of Detroit. Mr. Kent is an active member of the local 
Grange, and both he and his wife attend the First Baptist church. 

Nelson P. Smith. Laboring diligently and perseveringly in his 
chosen occupation. Nelson P. Smith is closely associated with the agricul- 
tural development of Oakland county, carrying on general farming in a 
prosperous manner, his farm being well located in Brandon township, 
where his birth occurred July 28, 186 1. 

His father, James N. Smith, was born in New York state, a son of 
Ezra and Nancy Smith. Succeeding to the pleasant calling by which his 
ancestors had lived, he embarked in agricultural pursuits when young, but 
not satisfied with his prospects for advancement in the Empire state came, 
in 1856, to Oakland county, Michigan, where he continued farming 
throughout his active life, his last days, however, being spent in Belding, 
Michigan, his death occurring there in April, 1901. His first wife, whose 
maiden name was Elizabeth McGorman, was born in Canada, and died in 
Michigan, in February, 1892, leaving two children, namely. Helen, wife of 
Frank Pinckney, of Ionia county; and Nelson P., the subject of this brief 
personal narrative. He subsequently married for his second wife Lucy 
Johnson, who bore him one child, Olive B., of Belding, Michigan. 

Acquiring his elementary education in the district schools. Nelson P. 
Smith remained at home until twenty-one years of age, gleaning in the 
meantime an intimate knowledge of the different branches of agriculture. 
Selecting farming for an occupation, he has met with good success in his 
calling. He first became a landholder in 1907, when, on February 7, he 
purchased eighty acres of land in Brandon township, and here placed this 
land under an excellent state of tillage and is carrying on general farming 
and stock raising most ably and skillfully, his labors being well rewarded 
by the fine crops which he annually harvests. 

Mr. Smith married, December 14, 1887, Annie L. DeBree, a daughter 
of John and Catherine (Huff) DeBree. Her father, who was born in 
Holland seventy-nine years ago, died July 30, 1912, his wife having passed 
to the life beyond in 1910, leaving three children, as follows: Mrs. Smith; 
Nina, the wife of Arthur Kimball, of Waukesha, Wisconsin ; and Emery 
A., of Montcalm county, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the 
parents of three children, namely : L. Ruth, Florence A. and Gladys H. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 581 

Socially Mr. Smith is a member of the local Grange, which he is serving 
as master. Politically he is actively identified with the Republican party, 
and has held several township offices. Religiously he is a Baptist. 

John Montgomery. Among the successful and solid business men of 
Oakland county, John Montgomery, of Oxford, Michigan stands out 
prominently. Fair dealing and common sense have been the two guiding 
principles of his business life, and they have served him in good stead, not 
only to insure his own personal prosperity but to draw to him the respect 
and liking of the whole community. He is now running two coal yards, 
where lumber, cement and all building materials are handled in addition, 
one at Oxford and the other at Ortonville, Michigan. He also owns 
eighty acres of land in Macomb county. He has held several local public 
offices, among them that of assessor, and is now a trustee of the village. 
He was also on the board of review at one time. 

Mr. Montgomery's father, John Montgomery, was born in Lynn, Ire- 
land, and came to Canada when he was about sixteen years old. He 
remained there until 1872, when he moved to Macomb county, Michigan. 
Fie was a farmer all his life. Mrs. Montgomery, nee Mary Ann Ward, 
was born in Canada, her parents coming from England. They were the 
parents of seven children: William, of Macomb county; Milissa Jane, the 
wife of John Townsend, of Macomb county ; Caroline, the wife of Henry 
Buckeidail, of Oakland county; Robert J., of Macomb county; Ida, wife 
of Fred Weitter of Macomb county ; Mary A., deceased ; and John. 

When John Montgomery was twenty-one years old he went south and 
remained in New Orleans a year. He then returned home and spent the 
next two years on the farm. Soon afterwards he started in the lumber 
business, and in 1900 came to Oxford, where he opened his coal yard. He 
was born in Canada, August 13, 1862. On July 10, 1890, he was married 
to Lydia M. Fuller, and they have had two children, Ethel Georgiana and 
lohn Lee, both of whom are at home. Mr. Montgomery has also adopted 
another child, Dorothy Lynes, whom he is raising with his own family. 
Mr. Montgomery is a Mason and a Gleaner, and is in sympathy with the 
Republican party. He and his family attend the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

Bruce Christopher Shear, although only twenty-two years old, has 
already had a varied career in business. He has now settled down, how- 
ever, into a progressive young merchant of New Hudson, Michigan, and 
promises to make a highly successful future for himself. Born at New 
Hudson, April 15, 1890, he is the son of Charles and Lena (Sheppo) 
Shear. His paternal grandfather was a veterinary surgeon of note in his 
lifetime, and for many years had charge of the horses on the stage line 
from Detroit to Grand Rapids. Bruce's father, Charles Shear, was born 
in Michigan but his mother was a native of Germany and was first brought 
to the United States by her parents who settled in Detroit. Bruce went 
to school in New Hudson until he was eighteen, when he left for Lansing 
to attend a business college there. He remained there three months, and 
in February, 1908, he entered the cheese-making department of the Agri- 
cultural College of Michigan, taking the full course and receiving a 
diploma. 

Mr. Shear's first position after he left school was with the Pmckney 
Creamery Company. He made cheese for them for three months, and then 



582 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

changed to the Rice Cheese Manufacturers of New Hudson. On Decem- 
ber 15, 1908, he left this firm, and from then on until April, 1909, served as 
a fireman in Detroit. In April he went to Pontiac with the Oakland Auto 
Company and remained with them until August, when he returned to New 
Hudson. In September he took a position as cheesemaker with the Tower 
Creamery Company. He remained in New Hudson until September, 191 1, 
when his employers sent him to Detroit to look after the cheese in stock 
there. In December of that year he decided that he would rather be inde- 
pendent and have a business of his own. The result of his decision was his 
return to New Hudson and his engaging in produce and poultry buying and 
selling. In February, 191 2, he purchased the store and stock of Perry C. 
Miles, and is now engaged in extending and improving the business. With 
Mr. Miles' retirement from business the position of postmaster became 
vacant, and in a competitive examination which was held to find a succes- 
sor, Mrs. Shear, Bruce's mother, won the position. She then appointed 
her son a deputy postmaster. This postoftice- maintains one rural route. 

On April 19, 191 1, Mr. Shear was married to Miss Leota Duncan, of 
New Hudson, the daughter of Bert and Estella (Fisher) Duncan. Mr. 
Duncan is a hotel man and farmer. Both Mr. Shears' wife and mother 
are members of the Maccabees and attend the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Peter E. Backer. Beautiful Meadow Brook Dairy Farm consists of 
one hundred and eighty-five acres of land located in section 3 of Royal 
Oak township, Oakland county, Michigan. On it are raised the finest 
specimens of Holstein cattle and a specialty is made of dairy work. The 
estate belongs to and is conducted by Peter E. Backer, a prominent and 
influential citizen of Royal Oak township, of which he is a member of the 
board of supervisors at the present time, in 191 2. He is a citizen of in- 
trinsic loyalty and public spirit and is ever on the alert to do all in his 
power to advance the best interests of his community. 

Peter E. Backer was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the 3d 
of December, 1867, and he is a son of Andrew E. and Mary (Peterson) 
Backer, the former of whom died in 1883 and the latter in 1907. Andrew 
E. Backer was a native of Germany and his wife was born and reared just 
across the boundary line in Denmark. He was engaged in farming during 
the greater part of his active career, and he passed his entire life in Ger- 
many. Mr. and Mrs. Backer became the parents of fiYG children, concern- 
ing whom the following brief data are here incorporated, — Katherine is 
deceased ; Annie is the wife of Henry Christiansen, of Detroit ; Peter E. 
is the immediate subject of this review; Mary is the wife of Stephen 
Jefsen, of Marlette, Douglas county, Michigan; and Christine is de- 
ceased. 

In his native land Peter E. Backer was reared to maturity and there 
he received his early educational training. At the age of twenty-two years 
he came to the United States, proceeding directly to Detroit, Michigan, 
where he remained and worked for the succeeding two years, at the ex- 
piration of which he was for two years employed in Royal Oak township. 
After his marriage, in 1894, he and his wife located on Meadow Brook 
Dairy Farm, a beautiful estate of one hundred and eighty-five acres in 
Royal Oak township. He engaged in the wholesale milk business and also 
devoted considerable ^attention to farming and the raising of high-grade 
stock. He still markets a great quantity of milk and he makes a specialty 
of breeding fine Holstein cattle, his herd being one of the finest in this 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 583 

section of the state. In connection with his cattle-raising he is president 
of the Holstein-Friesian Club, at Royal Oak, the same having been or- 
ganized for the purpose of raising the standard of cattle breeding in Oak- 
land county. He is also a member of the Holstein Milk Producers Asso- 
ciation of Detroit. In his political convictions he accords an uncomprom- 
ising allegiance to the principles and policies for which the Republican 
party stands sponsor. While he has never sought the honors or emolu- 
ments of public office, he has been prevailed upon to serve as a supervisor 
of Royal Oak township and for ten years he has been a member of the 
board of school directors. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran 
church but as there is no Lutheran church at Royal Oak he is unable to 
attend services of that denomination. In a fraternal way he is affiliated 
with Royal Oak Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons ; Birmingham Chapter, 
Royal Arch Masons ; and Pontiac Council, Royal & Select Masters. 

Mr. Backer married, April i8, 1894, Miss Margaret Sorensen, who 
was born in the same section of Germany as was Mr. Backer and who 
came to America in the year 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Backer have no children 
of their own but they are caring for and educating two of Mr. Backer's 
sister's children. Mr. and Mrs. Backer are kindly, genial people, whose 
exemplary lives command to them the unqualified confidence and respect 
of their fellow citizens. They are broad-minded and sympathetic in their 
relations with their fellowmen and are always ready to lend a helping 
hand to those less fortunately situated in life than themselves. 

Frank J. Vowles was born in Oakland county, Michigan, July 9, 
1853, passed his whole life in this county and died here on his fifty-eighth 
birthday, July 9, 191 1. He was a son of Hon. George and Julia (Bowers) 
Vowles. 

George Vowles was for many years a prominent and influential citi- 
zen of southeastern Michigan. He was born in Westburg, England, 
November 10, 1818, and when a small boy came to America, landing in 
New York in June, 1829. Onondaga county. New York, was his home 
until 1835, when he came to Michigan, where he spent the rest of his 
life. After living in Independence township, Oakland county, for five 
years he moved to Lyon township, which was his residence for nearly 
three decades. Here he died November 4, 1878. He took a prominent 
part in political affairs, and filled a number of official positions. For 
several years he served as supervisor of his township. In 1868 he was 
elected a member of the Michigan state legislature, in 1870 he was re- 
elected to that office, and he served two terms, performing his duties 
as a member of the legislature in such a manner as gave general satis- 
faction to his constituency and reflected credit on himself. 

Frank J. Vowles was reared on his father's farm and passed his life 
in agricultural pursuits. Much of his time, however, he gave to public 
service. For a number of years he filled the office of township treasurer. 
In 1894 he was elected supervisor of the township, and for eighteen years 
he filled this office. He was chairman of the county board of supervisors 
for about two years, and also chairman of the building committee, which 
erected the Oakland county court house in 1904, at a cost of $150,000, 
and which is considered one of the best buildings of its kind, for the 
price, in the state of Michigan. 

In April, 1875, Mr. A'owles married Miss Kate Hollenbeck, of New 
Hudson, Michigan. She was born at Ypsilanti, this state, in 1855, daugh- 



584 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ter of Albert and Augusta C. (Durfee) Hollenbeck, the former a native 
of Canada and the latter of Drayton Plains, Michigan. Albert Hollen- 
beck came north to Michigan with his parents at an early day in the 
history of the state, and his father, who was a physician, was engaged in 
the practice of his profession here. Albert Hollenbeck had the advant- 
age of a thorough education and w^as a fine business man. During the 
latter part of his life he lived on a farm. His death occurred at New 
Hudson, Michigan. To Mr. and Mrs. Vowles were given two children, 
Mabel and Elizabeth, both of whom have attended the Ypsilanti Normal 
School. Miss Elizabeth Vowles is now a teacher in the schools of Roch- 
ester, Michigan. The elder daughter, Mabel, was a teacher previous to 
her marriage. She is the wife of Willard M. Snyder and the mother of 
two children, namely: Elizabeth, born August 27, 1903, and Howard, 
June 15, 1905. Mr. Snyder has the management of Mrs. Vowles' farm, 
comprising one hundred and twenty acres, and is successfully conducting 
its operations. Mrs. Hollenbeck, Mrs. Vowdes' mother, resides with 
Mrs. Vowles and Mr. and Mrs. Snyder. 

At Mr. Vowles' death his popularity was attested to in many ways. 
The board of supervisors tendered the family resolutions of sympathy, 
and the local press spoke in high terms of his honorable, upright life. 

Francis M. Button, who occupies the old Button homestead in Lyon 
township, Oakland county, Michigan, ranks with the prosperous farm- 
ers of his locality. He was born here December 2, 1859, ^^^ is a son of 
George W. and Juliette (Covy) Button. 

George Button in early life accompanied his father from Wales, their 
native country, to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania, and 
subsequently he came to Michigan. Llere, at first, he taught school in 
winter and farmed in summer. In the early '50s he engaged in mer- 
chandising at New Hudsion, and until i860 conducted a store there. In 
the meantime he had invested in land, and in i860 he moved to his farm 
in section 2, Lyons township. In 1880 he built the commodious residence 
now occupied by his son, Francis M., and here he passed the rest of his 
life and died, his death occurring in 1891. His good wife survived him 
until 191 1. His estate comprised three hundred and twenty acres, two 
hundred of which is now owned by his son, Francis M., one hundred 
acres having been set off for other heirs. 

Here the son was reared, receiving his education in the public school 
at New Hudson ; and here he has since resided, devoting his energies to 
agricultural pursuits. Politically he is a Republican, stanch in his sup- 
port of party principles, but never aspiring for official preferment. The 
only fraternal organization to which he belongs is the Maccabees. His 
father was prominent in local affairs, having filled the office of justice of 
the peace for thirty-two consecutive years, and also having served a 
number of years as school director. 

FIenry C. Stevenson is a prominent druggist of South Lyons, 
Michigan. He is well-liked by his neighbors and fellow townsmen, and 
is a man in whom everyone places the highest confidence and with whom 
everyone feels at ease. Mr. Stevenson first entered the drug business 
August 3, 1892, when he became a clerk for Mr. S. Hemans, of South 
Lyons. During the fiyt years that he remained with him he attended 
the Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana, and on August 5, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 585 

1895, received his degree of pharmacy from that institution. In March, 
1897, he went to Ypsilanti to clerk for Mr. Frank Smith, the oldest drug- 
gist in Ypsilanti. He remained there until June, 1898, when he returned 
to his father's farm for a rest and to be married to Miss Nettie Ander- 
son, of Toronto, Canada, at the time, but a native of Gault county, 
Canada. The ceremony took place on August 3, 1898. Miss Anderson's 
parents were Isaac and Caroline West (Sparrow) Anderson. Fler 
father is a real estate dealer and is now living in California. A few^ days 
after his marriage, Mr. Stevenson returned • to South Lyons to take 
charge of the drug business of Mr. Ilemans, the man wdio had originally 
launched him into the drug world. In the spring of 1899, tired of in- 
door life, he left the store to go to the farm, which he and his brother 
had purchased in Green Oak town. Soon after, however, his brother 
enlisted as a soldier to fight in the wSpanish-American war, and Henry 
C. bought his share in the farm, whose acreage he still owns. Five years 
later he returned to South Lyons and purchased Mr. Ilemans' drug 
business. 

Mr. Stevenson was born in Van Buren, Wayne county, Michigan, 
September 25, 1874, the son of James K. and Fidelia (Post) Stevenson. 
Both parents were natives of Michigan, and his grandfather, who was 
a miller at what w^as later known as Woodruff's Mill, at Brighton, home- 
steaded on some land near Van Buren. During Henry C. Stevenson's 
residence in Green Oak, he was town treasurer, and since his return 
to South Lyons he has been tow^n clerk for one year. Mr. and Mrs. 
Stevenson have had tw^o children, Ida C, born August 5, 1900, and Helen 
J., born January 29, 1905. The family attends the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Mr. Stevenson is a Democrat. 

Myron M. Tryon, a resident of South Tryon, Michigan, is an old 
soldier, and one of the heroes of that w^ar whose scars the country still 
carries. He enlisted twice, and during his second enlistment was w^ounded 
so severely that he had to be discharged as unfit for service. This wound 
made it necessary to amputate his leg above the knee. Always in the 
thick of the fight in every battle in which he participated and never fail- 
ing, even at the risk of his life, to help a wounded comrade, he was a 
perfect type of the brave men whom the whole country now holds in 
grateful love and respect. Mr. Tryon faced death many times because 
of his patriotism for his country, one of the noblest virtues man has, 
and that it was an evidence of an unusually strong and sturdy character 
no one who knows the man now^ can doubt. 

Although Mr. Tryon was born in Quebec, November 7, 1837, he is 
really a native New Yorker, since his parents, Abel and Sarah (Lewis) 
Tryon, were merely there on an outing, and returned to their home in 
Beekmanton, Clinton county. New York, three months after his birth. 
Mr. Tryon, Sr., was a native of Connecticut, and Mrs. Tryon, of Ver- 
mont. Mr. M. M. Tryon attended the district school until September 
27, 1861, when he enlisted in Company H, Sixtieth New York Infantry. 
During the winters of '61 and '62 his regiment did guard duty on the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and in the spring of 1862 they moved to 
Harper's Ferry. During the summer they were under General Banks 
in the Shenandoah Valley. In the second battle of Bull Run his regiment 
became disorganized and Mr. Tryon became separated from them. He 
reported to the army headquarters at Washington, D. C, and was sent 



586 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

to the hospital. After a term there he was removed to the convalescent 
camps at Alexandria, Virginia, and in February, 1863, was discharged as 
mifit for service. This dictum, however, hardly satisfied him. He re- 
turned to his father's farm determined to win back his health in as short 
a time as possible. Plenty of work out in the open air soon accomplished 
his purpose, and in October, 1863, he enlisted again, in the Fourteenth 
New York Heavy Artillery, and joined the regiment at Rochester, New 
York. Soon after his arrival the regiment was sent to Staten Island, 
New York, and from there to Virginia. Their first engagement was in 
the battle of the Wilderness, which was quickly followed by a battle at 
Spottsylvania Courthouse. When his regiment next met the enemy at 
Cold Harbor, Mr. Tryon was shot in the leg. The battle took place 
June I, 1864, and on the next day it was found necessary to amputate 
his leg above the knee. The operation was performed on the field. He 
was then sent, to the hospital at Washington, D. C, where after a two 
months' treatment he was able to get about on crutches. He was given 
a thirty days' furlough to go home, which was later extended to three 
months. In December, 1864, he went to the General Hospital at Al- 
bany, New York, and remained here through the winter and spring. 
He was again transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital, at Central Park, New 
York, and was finally taken to the General Hospital at Worcester, 
Massachusetts, where he was fitted for a limb. He was discharged in 
October, 1865. 

In the meantime his elder brother, Ora Tryon, had gone to Muir, 
Michigan, and had settled on a farm near there. In the winter of 1865 
Myron M. and a sister followed him west, and rented a farm near their 
brother's. They later moved into the village of Muir. Stillman Tryon's 
death occurred in the meantime, and Myron married his widow in March, 
1866. Before her marriage she had been Martha Bond and was born 
in New York. The death of her husband left her with four children. 
Nine years later, on the farm near Muir, her own death occurred, and 
on September 3, 1876, Mr. Tryon was married again, to Mrs. Nancy 
(Slater) Renn, of Sheridan, Evergreen county, Michigan, a widow with 
two sons and two daughters. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Tryon 
moved out into the country on a farm. While here he was elected justice 
of the peace to fill out an uncompleted term, with one and a half years 
more, and was again elected for three full terms. He thus served al- 
together for fourteen years. He also acted as town clerk for one year, 
and was assessor of fractional school district number 4, of Evergreen 
Lawn, for several years. In 1903 Mr. Tryon and his family moved to 
South Lyon, purchasing a home there. They also have a residence in 
Florida. He works in his garden for exercise, but outside of that has 
retired from active business. One granddaughter lives with them. Mr. 
Tryon is a member of Stansell Post, G. A. R., No. 456. He is inde- 
pendent in his politics and in his religion. 

Dr. Lyman A. Sayles, of South' Lyons, Michigan, a semi-retired 
physician, received his medical training in a way for which the oppor- 
tunity is rarely given nowadays. At the age of sixteen, in June, 1862, 
he enlisted in Company li. Michigan Third Infantry, for three years' 
service. By order of the War Department one thousand men were de- 
tailed as hospital stewards, one to be placed in each regiment under the 
surgeon in order to strengthen the medical department of the army. Dr. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 587 

. Sayles was the one chosen to serve in his regiment, and the work he did 
while performing his duties in that capacity gave him a far more stren- 
uous and thorough training than probably any of our largest hospitals 
give their internes today. After his enlistment with the army expired he 
again took up the study of medicine, spending two years in Indiana 
under Dr. Arnold and two years in study and practice with Dr. Mallory 
in Michigan. His eldest brother, Dr. Edwin F. Sayles, then took him 
under his direction for the next two years. He first practised medicine 
in Kent, Montcalm, and Ionia counties, and did not come to Oakland 
county, until 1892. When the Michigan state medical examination was 
enacted in 1900 he went before the board at Bay City and received his 
certificate. 

Dr. Sayles was born in Keene, Ionia county, Michigan, October 21, 
1844, ^^^ of a family of ten boys and five girls. His father, Cyrenus C. 
Sayles, was born in Lewiston, New York, in 1812, and his mother, Eliza 
(Gardner) Sayles, was of German extraction. They came to Michigan 
in the early days and settled upon a three hundred and twenty acre farm 
of oak timber land, which they spent the next few years in clearing. 
Lyman attended the district school during the three months' winter term, 
and at the age of thirteen passed the usual town examination for a 
teacher's certificate. As he was not allowed to teach, however, because 
of a state law requiring the applicant to be at least sixteen years old, he 
entered a private school at Fallisburg, Michigan, one and a half miles 
away. He attended there for a year and a half dufing the winter, and 
then changed to Lowell Academy, at Lowell. A year later he left school 
to enlist in the army. 

A year and a half after his enlistment, on November 3, 1862, he 
was discharged by a surgeon's certificate for disability and sickness, 
but in the fall of 1864 he again enlisted, in the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, 
Company A, and continued with his regiment until the the Grand Re- 
view in Washington, D. C. The regiment was then transferred to the 
west to assist in quieting the uprising of Pawnee and Sioux Indians. 
He remained with the regiment for five months, and was then sent out 
as a government scout until the end of his enlistment. He is now a 
member of Stantial Post, G. A. R., of South Lyon. 

Between his enlistments Dr. Sayles was married, on February 24, 
1863, to Miss Sarah E. Marston, of Lubec, Maine, and they have had 
two children, Emmet Clayton, at present the prosecuting attorney at 
Sandusky county, Ohio, and Jesse E., of Grand Rapids, Michigan, an 
expert .finisher in cement work. 

/ 

John Challts. If the right of John Challis, of South Lyon, to a 
place among the representative men of Oakland county does not rest 
upon his birth, it has at least established his continuous and useful life 
here and his devotion as a citizen to the best interests of the com- 
munity. He is a native of stalwart England, and comes of a race of 
sturdy yeomen, the family being well known in England, where Mr. 
Challis' father was for a number of years employed by the Great East- 
ern Railroad. He was ])orn in 1852, a son of Charles and Susan (Snare) 
Challis, and received such education as was customary with lads of his 
period and sphere of life. In 1871 he immigrated to the United States, 
landing at Boston, Massachusetts, and coming thence directly to South 
Lyon, Michigan, where he entered a blacksmith shop and there served 



588 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

a full apprenticeship of three 3^ears. Although his wages were meagre, 
he had been reared to learn the value of industry and economy, and 
when he had completed his education had managed to save enough to 
purchase a business of his own. In 1876 he was married to Miss Mary 
A. Gread}^ of Green Oak, Michigan, who was born there, her parents, 
George and Sophia Gready, being farming people of Michigan. John 
Challis has been engaged in the blacksmith and carriage business for the 
past quarter of a century, and now has a well-equipped establishment 
fitted not only to do all the work called for by those business enter- 
prises, but also for the repair of automol3iles, and carries also a full 
line of all kind of equipment for horses. lie erected a large double 
brick store and commands his full share of the patronage of his com- 
munity. During the past eight years Mr. Challis has served in the 
capacity of village councilman, and has also been village clerk for one 
year and treasurer for a like period. His fraternal connection is with 
the Masons, and religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, and acting on its board of trustees. 

Charles ChaUis, only son of John and Mary A. (Gready) Challis, 
was born February 28, 1879, ^^ South Lyon, Michigan, and here se- 
cured his early education. When he became old enough to work he 
started helping his father in the shop and implement business, and on 
reaching the age of twenty years entered the Peoria (Illinois) Horol- 
ogiographic School. One year later he returned to South Lyon and en- 
gaged in the jewelry business, in which he has continued to the pres- 
ent time. In igoo he was appointed agent for the United States Ex- 
press Company, and in 1903 was made manager for the South Lyon 
Telephone Company, which later sold to the Livingston County Tele- 
phone Company, of How^ell, Michigan, the latter firm, in turn, selling 
to the Home and Long Distance Telephone Company. In 19 10 Mr. 
Challis took and successfully passed the examination in optometry be- 
fore the Michigan state board of examiners. 

Mr. Challis w^as married September 5, 1900, to Miss Alice Callen, 
of South Lyon, Michigan, born at Paradise, Kansas, daughter of Rus- 
sell and Merith (Skinner) Callen. Her father served in the Mechan- 
ical Corps of the United States Army in bridge building. Mr. and Mrs. 
Challis have four children: Hazel Mary, born July 2, 1901 ; Grace 
Maud, born January 9, 1903; John Russell, born January 11, 1907; 
and Melvin Dean born, June 2, 1909. The family attends the Meth- 
odist church, and in his political views Mr. Challis is a Republican. 

Ledru R. Hunter, one of the prosperous farmers of Oakland 
county, Michigan, is the owner of six hundred and fifty acres of land, 
on which is the largest barn in the county. This barn was built by 
Mr. Hunter in 1907. The main part of the structure is 46 by 106 feet, 
and it has a rear addition, 46 by 60 feet. It has three floors, with a 
stabling capacity of 100 head of cattle and 20 horses on the first floor ; 
600 sheep on the second floor, where also are the grain bins, holding 
6,000 bushels of grain ; w^hile in the lofts there is room for storing 300 
tons of hay. Mr. Hunter has machinery for the grinding of feed for 
his cattle and sheep, and he employs from six to ten men all the time 
in the care of his stock and the cultivation of his fields and doing other 
work. An important feature of his farm is his apple orchard. In 
191 1 from seven acres he sold $2,400 worth of fruit. He has proved 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 589 

beyond question the advantage of taking scientific care of orchards. He 
maintains a spraying outht for his own orchard and operates it on a 
percentage basis in other orchards throughout this locaHty. 

Mr. Hunter is a native of Rutland county, Vermont. He was born 
August I, 1855, son of Judge Rollin C. Hunter and wife, Lorette (Wor- 
cester) Hunter, and when a small boy, in 1861, came wnth his parents 
to Aiichigan, their settlement being in Lyon township, Oakland county, 
where his father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land and 
settled down to farming. In X'ermont he had practiced law and had 
served as a judge. He died on his Michigan farm in 1881, and his 
good wife survived him until 1902. 

After the death of their father, Ledru R. and Herbert C. Hunter 
took charge of the farm, and have been engaged in farming operations 
ever since. 

In 1893 Ledru R. Hunter and Mrs. Julia (Vowles) Butterheld 
were united in marriage, and to them have been given two children: R. 
Clarence, born in June, 1894, is now a junior at the Ann Arbor high 
school of Michigan, and William C, who was born in 1896, died April 
6, 1908. By her first husband, Mrs. Hunter has one son, John F. But- 
terfield. Mr. Hunter has a sister, Miss lone Hunter, who has real 
estate interests in Lyon township, Oakland county, and who is a resi- 
dent of Ann Arbor. 

Politically Mr. Hunter is a Republican, and at different times he 
has filled a number of local ofiices, including those of supervisor, 
school assessor and justice of the peace. He has been school assessor 
of District No. i ever since he came here in 1880, and he has served 
as justice of the peace for twenty-five consecutive years. 

Henry Martin Zimmermann. Although the product of a neigh- 
boring county in birth, education and many years' residence among 
its people, a number of which were devoted to their service in important 
capacities, Henry M. Zimmerman has been a resident of Pontiac long 
enough to become familiar with and actively interested in the needs of 
this city and the county in which it is located, and to attain the rank 
of one of its leading and most progressive citizens and professional men. 

Mr. Zimmerman was born in Marine City, St. Clair county, Mi- 
chigan, on July 7, 1867, and is a son of Frederick W. and Charlotta 
(Allmann) Zimmermann, natives of Germany. The father came to 
the L^nited States before he reached the age of twenty-one years, and 
located in Buffalo, New York. He was married to the mother there 
in 1851, and for a time after their marriage they lived at Dunkirk, New 
York. They came to Michigan in 1853 and located in Newport, now 
Marine City, wliere the father died in 1887. He was a ship-carpenter. 
In church connection he was a Lutheran, and in political relations he was 
independent. The mother was born in Germany, on June 24, 1827, and 
in early girlhood came to this country with one of her brothers and an 
older sister. They all took up their residence in Buffalo, New York, 
where, as stated a])ove, she met and w^as married to the father. She 
died at Marine City, Michigan, on January 20, 1905, at the advanced 
age of seventy-eight. She and her husband were the parents of ten 
children, five of whom are living: Caroline Schreiner, Charles F., Fred 
W., John V. and Henry M. The four brothers constitute the firm of 
Zimmerman Brothers, hardw^are dealers in Marine City, in which 



590 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

they have been associated for more than twenty-five years. They all 
reside in Marine City except Henry M., the interesting subject of this 
brief memoir, who, as has been noted, resides in Pontiac, although his 
present duties are located mainly in Detroit. 

Henry M. Zimmermann obtained his academic education in the pub- 
lic schools. After completing their course of instruction he pursued a 
course of special training for business at the Detroit Business Univer- 
sity. At the age of twenty-one he was elected city clerk of Marine 
City and served two terms. At the end of the second term he accepted 
a position as bookkeeper in the Marine Savings Bank of that city, and 
after holding this position a short time became assistant cashier of the 
bank. Some years later he severed his connection with the bank to take 
up the study of law at the University of Michigan. From the law de- 
partment of that institution he was graduated with the degree of LL. 
B. in June, 1895, and was immediately admitted to practice in this 
state. 

Prior to this, however, he was admitted to practice in the state of 
Ohio on examination as to his qualifications by the Supreme court. 
Mr. Zimmermann next pursued a post-graduate course in the study of 
law at Yale University, and was graduated from that institution with 
the degree of LL. M. in June, 1896. He first practiced his profession in 
Marine City. 

Mr. Zimmermann has always taken an earnest interest in public 
affairs. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and 
as its candidate he was elected to the state legislature as representative 
from the Second district of St. Clair county in the fall of 1896. He 
served through a regular and a special session, the latter being called 
by Governor Hazen S. Pingree to pass his ''Equal Taxation" meas- 
ures. In 1898 he moved to Pontiac, where he has since resided, and 
where he continues to practice law. 

In 1 90 1 Mr. Zimmermann was appointed secretary to the state ad- 
visory board of pardons by Governor Bliss. This of^ce he resigned 
after a tenure of about one year. He then formed a partnership wath 
Judge K. P. Rockwell for the practice of law, and for more than ten 
years practiced his profession in Pontiac and Oakland county as a 
member of the firm of Rockwell & Zimmermann. In 1902 he was ap- 
pointed city attorney of Pontiac, and at the end of his term was re- 
appointed, remaining in the office three years and successfully conduct- 
ing much important litigation for the city. Governor Warner in 1907 
appointed him commissioner of the state banking department, which 
office he held for nearly four years, then gave it up to be free to accept 
the position of vice president of the Detroit United Bank of Detroit, 
Michigan. This position requires his almost daily presence in Detroit, 
but he still maintains his home in Pontiac, the city of his adoption. 

On March 30, 1898, Mr. Zimmermann was married to Miss Lucile 
Carver, of Marine City. They have one child, their son Bradley May- 
nard, who was born in Pontiac and is now twelve years of age. The 
father has taken a warm and serviceable interest in the social and 
fraternal life of his community and state for a number of years. He 
belongs to the Masonic Order, the Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias 
and other organizations of the kind. He is also a member of the De- 
troit Club, the Bankers Club of Detroit and the Oakland County Bar 
Association. He is esteemed in all parts of the state as one of Michi- 




$^c//.^£<.^tjt/ ,^?^y^a^. 



QA-'y^t^P'LA^^^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 591 

gall's representative and useful citizens, and as a man of the highest 
character. 

Michael Griffin. Among the enterprising citizens of Oakland 
county who owe their success and advancement in life to their own in- 
dustry and well-directed efforts is Michael Griffin, the present efficient 
city assessor and the incumbent of the office for the past eleven years. 
As is clearly indicated in his name, Mr. Griffin is of Irish extraction, 
both of his parents having hailed from the Emerald Isle, and in his 
own charcter is apparent that enterprise, energy and resourcefulness 
which has made the Irish- American element one of the most prominent 
and successful in American life. Mr. Griffin was born in Lowell, 
Massachusetts, October 17, 1855, the son of Michael and Mary (O'Con- 
nor) Griffin, both of whom, as mentioned, were Irish by nativity. The 
year of their arrival on American shores was 1852, and they first located 
in Lowell, where the birth of the subject occurred. Michael, who was 
the only child of the union, was posthumous, his father dying pre- 
vious to his birth, but his mother survived for many years, the death 
of this brave and able woman occurring October i, 1897. He was 
reared by his mother, who brought him to Pontiac when he was but 
two years old. 

Mr. Griffin received his preliminary education in the public schools 
and also received the advantages of a high school education, his gradu- 
ation from the same occurring at about the age of seventeen years. He 
then became an employe in the woolen mills, where he remained for 
two years. He then learned the cooperage trade and followed this suc- 
cessfully for many years, or until 1901, with the exception of three 
years when he was in the mail service during the administration of 
President Grover Cleveland. He was elected city assessor and in this 
capacity has given splendid service for eleven years. Mr. Griffin is a 
good citizen and all who know him speak of him in terms of praise and 
honor for his integrity, blameless reputation and general worth. His 
interest in public matters naturally led him to make choice of one of 
the two great political parties; when old enough to exercise the right 
of franchise he became a Democrat and the policies and principles of the 
party he upholds from conviction and not at the behest of party leaders. 

Mr. Griffin was united in marriage to Miss Ella Eagan, daughter of 
John Eagan, both of Mrs. Griffin's parents being now deceased. She 
was the eldest of five children, the others being: George L., of Berkeley, 
California; John J., a resident of the same western city; Catherine, of 
Chicago; Nora, of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Griffin has proved a 
true helpmate and discreet advisor and has presented her husband with 
the following four children: Frank, deceased; George L., now of De- 
troit; Mabel E. : and Fred C, born July 13, 1890. 

Mr. Griffin is a Forester and an Elk and is prominent and popular 
in fraternal circles. He and his family are communicants of the Cath- 
olic church. 

Edward R. Farmer, of Rochester, is one of the large land owners of 
Oakland county, and although he resides in the city he still follows the 
occupation that his name expresses and actively farms the 318 acres of 
land that he owns in section 14 of Oakland township. He is conservative 
in his position on various subjects, yet consistently progressive. This 



592 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

policy has resulted in gradually adding to his property and at the same 
time raising him in the estimation of those about him, who consider him 
one of the most substantial and dependable residents of the neighborhood. 

Mr. Farmer was born in Lorain county, Ohio, on October 28, 1849, but 
his parents, Thomas M., and Nancy A. (Rowley) Farmer, who were 
themselves from New York, came to Michigan in 1852, so that Edward R. 
is practically a lifelong resident of the state. The family located in Reily 
in Huron county, where the senior Mr. Farmer followed agriculture un- 
til his death in 1898. His wife is still living at Mt. Vernon, Michigan, at 
the advanced age of ninety-two. Eleven children constituted the family of 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Farmer; Dolly, wife of Jacob Lown, of Mem- 
phis, Michigan; John, who died in Libby prison during the Civil war; 
Sarah, wife of P. Conger, of Memphis, Michigan ; Jane, deceased ; Ange- 
line, who married Porter Conger and is now deceased ; Emeline, wife of 
George Vinton, of Mt. Vernon, and who is the twin sister of the subject 
of this article ; Nancy, wife of James Andrus, of Huron county ; Emerson, 
of Mt. Vernon ; and the last, an infant who failed to survive. 

Edward R. remained with his father until he was twenty-seven years 
of age, then rented for nine years, after which he bought 250 acres in Oak- 
land township. When his wife's father died he left fifty-eight acres to 
her, making 318 acres which they now control and operate in Oakland 
township. 

On November 24, 1874, Mr. Farmer was married to Sarah Cole, a 
daughter of Charles and Sarah (Mann) Cole, both nativ'es of New Jersey. 
They located in Macomb county. Mr. Cole was a blacksmith and a skilled 
artisan at working in metal. He died on February 2, 1892, his wife hav- 
ing preceded him in death on January 20, 1876. Mr. Cole was born March 
30, 1812, and Sarah O. Mann was born August 19, of the same year. 
Their children were: Elizabeth, who is now deceased, and who was born 
March 26, 1837; Philip Miller Cole, of Oakland county, born December 
20, 1838; Rebecca, deceased, born December 9, 1840; Lanah, wife of John 
Major, of McComb, born October 31, 1842; Katherine, deceased, born 
April 29, 1843; George, of Mt. Vernon, born August 16, 1847; Margaret, 
widow of M. L. McClure, born August 2-^, 1848, and residing in 
Rochester; Sarah, wife of Edward R. Farmer, born May 23, 1853. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Farmer was productive of 
two descendants: May, wife of Mark Axford, of Bad Axe, Michigan, 
and Lulu, wife of Charles P. Newman, of Rochester. In the third gen- 
eration there are two children. Mr. and Mrs. Axford have a son, Lee 
Grant, born May 2j, 1901, and Mr. and Mrs. Newman have a son. Cole 
L., born October 7, 1909, Mr. Farmer is a Democrat but has never felt 
any desire to hold office. 

Martha Baldwin. Too much cannot be said in praise of the good 
and persistent work done by Miss Baldwin in the development of her 
home community along all lines — both of material, intellectual and moral 
betterment. She is also known and honored throughout the state for 
her advanced and positive views on the rights and destined province of 
women. As enthusiastically said by a leading banker and public man of 
the county, who is classed as a real conservative in his general views : 
''Miss Baldwin — Martha Baldwin ! has done more for Birmingham and 
to make it a fine community than any dozen men." The writer adds 
from personal knowledge: ''Martha Baldwin is an intellectual, earnest, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 593 

strong, good woman, doing practical things in the world from high 
motives/' 

Born near Birmingham, Miss Baldwin has passed a good share ot 
her years in the town. She is a daughter of Edwin and Aurilla (Patrick) 
Baldwin, the former born at \^irgennes, Vermont, in 1802, and the latter 
in Lyons, New York in 181 5. The father died in Birmingham in 1889, 
the mother passing away eleven years later in that place. Both were 
descended from Revolutionary stock, Edwin Baldwin's ancestors being 
officers in the Continental army during the struggle for independence, and 
the grandfather of Aurilla Patrick Baldwin was killed in the Wyoming 
massacre in July, 1778. 

Martha Baldwin has been a teacher for more than thirty years, many 
of these being passed as principal of the Norvell school in Detroit. Her 
life in Birmingham has been one of most praiseworthy activity in the 
interests of the communal life of the community. She is a member of 
the Ladies' Library Society, w^hich she was instrumental in organizing, 
and the village board has recently named the splendid library which has 
come into existence as the result of the efforts of the society the Baldwin 
Memorial Library, a most fitting tribute to one who has done so much 
in its interests. She is president of the library board. She was a prime 
mover in the Birmingham Cemetery Association, and is yet a member 
of the organization. She is president of the Village Improvement Society, 
a member of the Detroit Women's Press Club and a member of the 
Michigan State Women's Press Club. She has always been a supporter 
of the equal suffrage cause and is a member of the Detroit Equal Suffrage 
Club and the Michigan State Suffrage Association, and has done telling 
work for the cause since her interest was first enlisted. 

Miss Baldwin is independent in her religious beliefs, as in all the 
relations of life, the ability to stand alone in an opinion being one of 
the marked characteristics of her sturdy nature. 

James W. Cobb. A man of rare business ability and tact, James W. 
Cobb is actively identified with the promotion of the mercantile pros- 
perity of Oakland county, and is know^n far and wade as a prominent 
merchant and druggist of Birmingham, being president and manager of 
the Cobb, Stanley, Harris Company. A native of Oakland county, 
Michigan, he was born in Troy, December 9, 1874, of English ancestry. 

William H. Cobb, his father, w^as born' and educated in England. A 
man of decided ambition, anxious to improve his financial condition, he 
left home when young, immigrating to Canada in 1870. Immediately 
after his marriage, which took place about four years after his arrival 
in America, he came to Oakland county, Michigan, where he has since 
been actively and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, now 
residing on a farm in Bloomfield township. He is active in fraternal 
circles, belonging to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the 
Knights of Pythias and to the Masonic order. He married, January i, 
1874, in Canada, Mary A. Harris, who was born in England, and in 
1855, when a small child, w^as taken by her parents to Canada, where she 
was brought up and educated. 

The oldest child of the parental household, James W. Cobb received 
his early education in Birmingham, being graduated from the high school 
with the class of 1895. Entering then the University of Michigan, he 
was graduated from its School of Pharmacy in 1897, with the degree of 



594 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Ph. C. The ensuing four years Mr. Cobb was prescription clerk for a 
drug firm in Ann Arbor, from there coming in 1901 to Birmingham, 
bringing a stock of drugs and groceries and estabUshing the firm of 
Cobb & Cobb, which continued in existence until 1908, when the name 
was changed to J. W. Cobb. Two years later, in 1910, Mr. Cobb be- 
came associated in business with Mr. J. F. Worster, and was made head 
of the firm of the Cobb, Stanley, Harris Company, incorporated, and has 
since been president of the organization and manager of the store, which 
is well equipped and finely stocked. 

Mr. Cobb is a stanch Republican in politics, is township clerk at the 
present time and was for five years president of the Birmingham board 
of education. Fraternally he is a member of Birmingham Lodge, No. 
44, A. F. & A. M. ; of Birmingham Chapter, No. 93, Royal Arch Masons ; 
and is a member and a past chancellor of Birmingham Lodge, No. 149, 
Knights of Pythias. Religiously he is a member and a vestryman of 
the Episcopal church. 

On July II, 1900, Mr. Cobb married Miss Grace Houghton, who was 
born in Troy, Michigan, and after her graduation from the State Nor- 
mal School, in Ypsilanti, taught school two years. Mr. and Mrs. Cobb 
have two children, namely: Elsie, born May 4, 1902; and StcAvart, born 
October 22, 1905. 

George E. Daines. One of the leading furnishing undertakers and 
furniture dealers of Oakland county, George E. Daines occupies a place 
of prominence and influence in the village of Birmingham, ranking high 
among its substantial business men, and standing at the head of its 
adminstrative board. He is a native-born citizen of this county, his 
birth having occurred October 30, 1850, in Bloomfield township. 

John Daines, his father, was born, bred and educated in Yates county. 
New York. Shortly after his marriage he came with his bride to Michi- 
gan, locating at Circle, Oakland county. Following his trade of a potter, 
he built up a remunerative business as a maker of earthenware. At the 
end of seventeen years he started an almost entirely new industry, be- 
ginning the manufacture of drain tile, being the second man in the United 
States to make tile for that purpose. Succeeding well, he enlarged his 
plant from time to time, as the demand for tile increased, having been 
liberally patronized. Retiring from that business, he moved to Bir- 
mingham, where he conducted a hotel until his death, May 30, 1873. 
A Democrat in politics, he held all the offices in the township, being 
popular with all parties. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was 
Alice A. Watkins, five children were born, as follows: Flora, widow 
of James Beatty; Rose, wife of Frank Hagerman; George E. ; Minnie, 
widow of Herman A. Castle; and Addie, wife of Elmer Brown, of 
Pontiac. 

Born on a farm, George E. Daines gleaned the rudiments of his 
education in the public schools, later being graduated from the Detroit 
Business College. Subsequently, in partnership with his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Hagerman, he was for awhile engaged in the drug business at 
Birmingham, but at the death of his father assumed charge of his hotel. 
Finding the occupation of *'mine host'' being congenial, and one for 
which he^ was well adapted, Mr. Daines subsequently purchased the 
National Hotel, which he conducted successfully for twenty-seven years, 
much to the gratification of the traveling public. Selling out, he, in com- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 595 

pany with his brother-in-law, James O. Beatty, who had taken a full 
course in the art of embalming, bought out a furniture store and under- 
taking business, with which he has since been identified. 

A Democrat by birth and inheritance, Mr. Daines is an earnest sup- 
porter of the principles of his party, and for twenty-seven years has been 
officially connected with the village board of Birmingham, at the present 
time, in 191 2, being its president, or, in other words, mayor of the village. 
Fraternally he is a member and a past chancellor of Birmingham Lodge, 
No. 149, K. of P., and of the Grand Lodge; and also belongs to the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 547. 

Mr. Daines married, in March, 1874, Harriet Hoffman, a native of 
Mount Clemens, Michigan. The only child born of their union is not 
living. 

Niels J. Hansen. Having begun life for himself on a low rung of 
the ladder of attainments, Niels J. Hansen, a well-known and prosperous 
miller of Birmingham, has been in truth the architect of his own fortune, 
having by untiring energy and diligent use of his opportunities gained 
an assured position among the successful and esteemed citizens of Oak- 
land county. He was born December 20, 1856, in Denmark, which was 
also the birthplace of his parents, Hans J. and Mary Robinson. His 
father was for many years a prominent miller in Denmark, before his 
retirement from active pursuits, about 1871, having built and operated 
four different mills. 

Immigrating to America when twenty years old, Niels J. Hansen left 
the ship in which he crossed the Atlantic at Boston, and during the fol- 
lowing year worked on a dairy farm in Concord, Massachusetts. Com- 
ing then to Michigan, he was for a time similarly employed in the vicinity 
of Detroit. Saving his earnings, he bought one hundred and sixty acres 
of land in Sanilac county, Michigan, and began the im])rovement of a 
farm. Subsequently disposing of that, he was for live years superin- 
tendent of a farm of one hundred and forty-eight acres located on Wood- 
ward avenue, Greenfield township, Wayne county, after which he was 
for twenty years prosperously engaged in the milk ])usiness at High- 
land Park. Retiring from agricultural pursuits, Mr. Hansen located in 
Oakland county, and having purchased the Birniingliam Mills, situated 
just outside the village limits, has since carried on a large and profitable 
business as a miller. He is a sound Republican in poHtics, and is held 
in high respect as a man and a citizen. 

Air. Hansen married in March, 1887, Sarah Clark, who was born in 
Canada, coming on her father's side of Scotch ancestry, while on the 
mother's side of the house she was of Irish descent, her maternal grand- 
father having been of Irish birth. Five children have blessed the union 
of Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, namely : Augusta, living with her parents ; 
George, an orange grower in California ; Raymond, at home ; Sarah, 
attending the Birmingham high school ; and William, a school boy. 

Charles E. Lovejov. Conspicuous among the foremost citizens of 
Milford is Charles E. Lovejoy, who has spent his entire life in Oakland 
county, aiding in every possible manner its growth and development, 
whether relating to its agricultural, mercantile or financial prosperity. 
He has been identified with various important interests in Milford, at 
the present time being a justice of the peace, a dealer in realty, an 



596 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

insurance agent, and a representative of the Standard Savings and Loan 
Association. A son of the late Matthew Lovejoy, he was born, March 
20, 1852, in Milford township, on a farm which he now owns. 

Born in New York, Matthew Lovejoy as a child was brought by his 
parents to Genesee county, Michigan, where he grew to manhood. Be- 
coming a farmer from choice, he bought land when ready to establish 
himself as a householder in Milford township, Oakland county, on sec- 
tion 3, his land bordering on Highland township. Clearing and improv- 
ing a good farm, he lived upon it until 1871, when he embarked in mer- 
cantile pursuits, opening a grocery and crockeryware store in Milford. 
Building up a good trade, he maintained it until his death, in 1881, at 
the age of fifty-seven years. He was twice married. He married first 
Ann McCall, a daughter of Duncan McCall, a pioneer settler of Lligh- 
land township. She died in 1854, leaving one child, Charles E., of this 
biography. The second wife of Matthew McCall, whose maiden name 
was Betsey Eddy, survived him, marrying for her second husband, a 
Mr. Phillips, of Fenton. At the death of her second husband, Mrs. 
Phillips returned to Milford, and spent her last days with Charles E. 
Lovejoy, dying at his home in 1906. 

Succeeding to the mercantile business established by his father in 
1871, Charles E. Lovejoy conducted it successfully until January, 1910, 
confining his trade strictly to the sale of groceries and crockery. His 
son, W. Scott Lovejoy, then assumed charge of the store, which he is 
managing with characteristic ability, having a large and lucrative pat- 
ronage. This is one of the longest-established industries of Milford, 
only one firm having been in business a longer period of time. Mr. 
Lovejoy is a director of the First State Bank of Milford, and still owns 
the parental farm of one hundred and forty-four acres, on which he 
keeps up the repairs and adds improvements, it being one of the most 
attractive and valuable estates in the locaUty. 

A leading member of the Democratic party, Mr. Lovejoy was first 
made justice of the peace when Judge Smith was elected prosecuting 
attorney of Oakland county, and, with the exception of two years, has 
held the position ever since. He was a member of the Village Council 
twenty-six years ; president of the village three terms ; and is now presi- 
dent of the Milford Board of Education, of which he has been for nine 
years the president. 

Fraternally Mr. Lovejoy is a member of Milford Lodge, No. 160, 
Ancient Free and Acepted Order of Masons, of which he has been 
secretary twenty years; of Milford Chapter, No. 71, Royal Arch Masons; 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of the Royal Arcanum; and 
of the Independent Order of Foresters. 

Mr. Lovejoy married, in 1873, Mary J. Greig, a daughter of William 
Greig, a carpenter and contractor, now living retired in Milford. Seven 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lovejoy, namely: Arthur, 
who was for some time in business with his father, died at the age of 
twenty-seven years ; W. Scott, who has succeeded to the business for- 
merly carried on by his father and grandfather; Mathew, living in Mil- 
ford; Earl, who was graduated from the University of Michigan, was 
admitted to the bar in Oakland county, and is now engaged in the prac- 
tice of law at Detroit ; Bessie, living with her parents ; Beulah, who was 
graduated in music at the University of Michigan, is now teaching music 
and drawing at Hartford, Michigan; and Ruth, attending the Milford 
High School. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 597 

Dennis Boyle, a leading citizen of Milford Village; a dealer in farm 
produce, seeds and coal, and a farmer of means, is a native of Michigan 
and a son of Irish parentage. 

His father, Tobias Boyle, was born in Ireland and in 1848 came to 
the United States. He was then a vigorous young man of about twenty- 
one years of age and he immediately turned his energies to account by 
w^orking at day labor. After a few years he married Miss Hannah 
Callen, whose mother was a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and whose 
father had come to Michigan at an early period, taking up government 
land. At the time of the marriage of Tobias Boyle and Hannah Callen, 
the former bought one hundred acres from his father-in-law, later adding 
to it another tract of forty acres. To the Callen-Boyle marriage seven 
children were born. The oldest of these was Martin Boyle, who as a 
young man went to Chicago to engage in the produce business, but later 
was obliged by failing health to retire; he died in 1888. The second son 
was Dennis Boyle, wdio is the special subject of the present article. His 
sister, Johannah Boyle, died at the age of twenty-five. John lived to 
the age of thirty-one. Ellen became Mrs. Earl Van Lewen and resides 
in Milford. William passed to the spirit life at the age of thirty-one. 
Mary is now Mrs. Dashiel, a resident of Chicago, Illinois. 

Highland, Michigan, was the birthplace of Dennis Boyle, who was 
born on September 3, 1864. His early education was secured from the 
district school known as the Stone school. After completing its curri- 
culum he passed to the Milford high school, where he concluded hi^" 
period of study. 

Mr. Boyle's earliest financial independence was accomplished by his 
working on farms. At the age of twenty-six he married and established 
himself individually in very successful business. He had previously en- 
gaged in dealings of farm produce, buying apples, potatoes and grain, 
which he loaded directly into cars for shipment. When he was located 
upon the property he had rented, the next step was to enlarge this enter- 
prise of handling produce. Not only did he deal in all kinds of farm 
produce, but also entered upon the business of selling seeds, fertilizer, 
coal, coke and. wood. In 1909 he purchased the Milford elevator and 
two years later rented the Cate elevator in order to accommodate his 
rapidly growing business in grain, which the Milford elevator would not 
hold. His dealings have reached so great an extent and the amount of 
produce that passes through his hands is so large that in 191 1 one hun- 
dred and thirty cars of potatoes, nine cars of beans and twelve cars of 
rye were included in Mr. Boyle's shipments. Combined with his manage- 
ment of these interests is his able supervision of his two hundred and 
twenty acres of agricultural property, all of which is under a high state 
of cultivation. 

Aside from his importance in the business affairs of Milford, Mr. 
Boyle occupied prominent positions in other capacities. As a member 
of the Catholic church he has for many years been prominent in the 
local body of that organization, particularly as one of the church board. 
Dennis Boyle is a loyal Democrat with, nevertheless, an impartial judg- 
ment in local matters. He has served Milford as a member of the 
council, which of^ce he held for one year, and as president of the village 
of Milford, having retained this office for two years. 

Mrs. Boyle, nee Catherine D. Kennedy, of Milford, was a daughter 
of Thomas and Mary Kennedy, both of whom were born in Ireland. 



598 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Her marriage to Dennis Boyle took place in 1890, and they have become 
the parents of a goodly family, named as follows: Johannah, Mildred. 
Edmund, Catherine, Alice, Clare, Morris, Martin and Mary. In 191 1 
Clare. Martin and Morris died from the effects of diphtheria. Miss 
Johanna Boyle is a successful teacher and Miss Mildred is engaged in 
the profession of a trained nurse. Ambition and ability characterize 
the second generation of this family, no less than they have distinguished 
its head. 

F. J. Barrett. A live, wide-awake business man, familiar with all 
of the details of the lumber trade, F. J. Barrett, secretary, treasurer and 
general manager of the Michigan Manufacturing and Lumber Company, 
is officially identified with one of the foremost industries of Holly, Oak- 
land county, and holds an assured position among its most prominent 
and influential citizens. A son of D. S. Barrett, he was born January 
22, 1857, in Highland township, Oakland county, and was there reared 
and educated. 

Born in New York state, D. S. Barrett came with his parents, Alfred 
and Cevinthia Barrett, to Oakland county, Michigan, in 1840. He grew 
to manhood on the farm on which his parents located in Highland town- 
ship, and having succeeded to its ownership has here spent the greater 
part of his life, devoting his time and energies mainly to the care and 
improvement of his estate. He is financially interested in the Michigan 
Manufacturing and Lumber Company of Holly, of which he is presi- 
dent, and though never an aspirant for public favors he has served 
acceptably in various local ofifices. His wife passed to the life beyond in 
1902. She was a most estimable woman, greatly beloved by all who 
knew^ her, and was an active member of the Highland Free Baptist 
church, with which he has been more or less closely connected all of 
his life. 

Beginning his active career as a teacher, F. J. Barrett taught for four 
years in Oakland and Livingston counties, and was afterwards for nine 
years engaged in the lumber and produce business at Clyde, Michigan. 
Coming from there to Holly in 1892, he operated a lumber yard here 
for two years. In 1894 he succeeded in merging his lumber interests 
with the old Holly Manufacturing and Lumber Company, which had 
been managed for eight years prior to that time by Messrs. J. C. Simon- 
son and H. H. Church, the new concern being organized as the Michigan 
Manufacturing and Lumber Company. This firm is carrying on an 
extensive and lucrative business, with D. S. Barrett as president; C. A. 
Wilson, vice president; and F. J. Barrett, secretary, treasurer and gen- 
eral manager. The original capital of the company was $15,000, but as 
its business enlarged the capital was greatly increased, its common 
stock amounting to $55,000, while its preferred stock is $20,000. The 
plant covers an area of ten acres, and, with its main one-story building, 
a frame one, and its adjoining two-story brick buildings, has a floor 
space of ten thousand feet. The company manufactures lumber and box 
shooks, especially, although a popular feature of its business, and an 
important one, is the manufacture of floor trucks for use in factories, 
which it sells to wholesale dealers. The annual output of the plant 
amounts to about a fourth of a million of dollars, while the monthly 
pay of the seventy-five employes amounts to $3,000. 

Mr. Barrett is -a Republican in politics, and keeps in close touch with 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 599 

local and public affairs. He has served for four years as a member of 
the village council, and for three years was its mayor, giving to the 
people an excellent administration. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a member of the official board of the 
Presbyterian church.^ He is a director in the First State Savings Bank 
of Holly. 

Mr. Barrett has been twice married. He married first Susie Pressly, 
of Bay City, Michigan, and for his second wife married Edith Lock- 
wood, daughter of Charles Lockwood, of Highland township. 

Mark E. Harger, a farmer and dairyman in section 13, West Bloom- 
field township, Oakland county, Michigan, is a son of Douglas and 
Eunice (Wilson) Harger, and a descendant of the well known Harger 
family which has been able to trace its history back for several centuries, 
first to Scotland and before that to Norway, where their ancestors were 
prominent members of the nobility of that country. The first arrival 
of the Hargers in this country was before the Revolutionary war, when 
two brothers of that name landed here from Scotland. Seeley Harger, 
Mark Harger's grandfather; was born in Somerset county. New York, 
and his son Douglas was also born in that state, although in Genesee 
county. Douglas Harger moved to i\Iichigan when he was about twenty- 
four years old with his first wife, Matilda, who died soon afterward, 
near St. John's, Genesee county, leaving him with two little children. 
He went back to New York after his wife's death, but soon returned, 
and was married to Eunice Wilson, the daughter of Stephen and Ellen 
(Seeley) Wilson. Stephen Wilson was born on Long Island in 1800. 
After his return to Michigan, which was somewhere around 1858, Mr. 
Harger settled in West Bloomfield township, Oakland county, and re- 
mained there until his death in May, 1908. His widow still survives 
him. They w^ere the parents of six children, of whom Wilson, of West 
Bloomfield township, and Mark E., the subject of the sketch, are the 
only two living. 

Mark E. grew up on his father's farm, receiving his education at 
the common schools and later attending the high school for a short time. 
When he was twenty-three years old, on November 29, 1889, he was 
married to May Beatty, the daughter of Joseph Beatty, of West Bloom- 
field township. They have had one child, Ruth J., a graduate of the 
Pontiac high school w^ho is now studying music and living at home. Mr. 
Harger is a ]\rason and his political sympathies are with the Democratic 
party. He owns sixty-five acres of land in this township. 

Isaac Barwise. Longevity is a prime characteristic of the relation- 
ship to which belongs Isaac Barwise, who lives on Rural Route, Number 
Two, out of Rochester. Mr. Barwise is hale and hearty, although past 
eighty-six, and his mother was ninety-seven years old at the time of her 
death. Other members of the family have attained to great age, thereby 
attesting to the sturdy stock which characterizes the people of this name, 
who originally came from England and Scotland. Perhaps it is because 
they kept close to the soil, tilling the land and leading regular, industrious 
lives, governed rigorously by the primary virtues and disdaining the 
frivolities and dissipations that seem to many to be a necessary con- 
comitant of modern life. Mr. Barwise's parents were Isaac and Mary 
(Cockton) Barwise, the former a native of Scotland, the latter of Eng- 



600 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

land. The father, who was an agriculturahst, died in his native land in 
1833. In their family there were eight children: Letitia, deceased; 
Thomas ; William ; John, who died in India in the British service ; Isaac ; 
Nathan, who died m Oakland county; Jane and Mary. 

Isaac Barwise, the subject of this review, was born in Wigton, Cum- 
berland county, England, April 7, 1826, and followed farming in Eng- 
land until 1850. Coming to America when twenty-four years of age, 
he located in Alichigan, where he worked until January, 1854, at which 
time the golden opportunities of California attracted his attention. He 
went to the Pacific coast and remained about seven years. He was en- 
gaged in mining and in the mercantile business to such good purpose 
that when he returned to Michigan in May, 1861, he had the means to 
purchase one hundred and thirty-five acres of land in section 2 of Avon 
township. He has since added to his holdings until he is the owner of 
a fine place of two hundred and thirty-five acres. 

This place was substantially improved in every way by Mr. Barwise, 
who erected modern buildings and provided equipment of the best quahty 
throughout. Here he followed general farming, and specialized in Dur- 
ham cattle. In 1876 he erected his present substantial and commodious 
residence, which is considered one of the most comfortable homes to be 
found in Oakland county. 

On March 21, 1862, Mr. Barwise was married to Jane Ann, a daugh- 
ter of Asa and Sabrina (Loomis) Underwood, the former a native of 
Canada, and the latter of Maine. They came to Oakland county and 
settled on a farm in Avon township. It was on this farm that their 
daughter Jane Ann was born April 7, 1833. She was one of a family 
of ten children, of whom but two are now living: Sophronia, widow 
of George Sepperly, of Rochester, Michigan, and Emma, widow of 
Vliet Bird, of Spokane, Washington. The names of these children in 
the order of their birth were: Angeline, Gustavus, Grant, Jane Ann, 
Sophronia, Octavia, Caroline, Maria, Freeman and Emma. 

Mrs. Barwise was educated in the public schools and academy at 
Rochester, and then entered the Normal at Ypsilanti, but did not gradu- 
ate therefrom. She was a teacher in the Rochester schools for about 
ten years. Her death occurred February 23, 1897. Two children had 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Barwise: Eva S., at home, and John C, of 
this county, who on March 29, 1902, was united in marriage to Nanette 
Schuh. Her parents, Dr. Charles and Hermine (Haen) Schuh, were 
both natives of Germany and came to America in 1850, locating in St. 
Louis, where the father engaged in the practice of medicine. He died 
February 19, 1884, but his widow survived him for ^bout twenty years, 
her death occurring November 17, 1904. They were the parents of 
seven children, namely : Isabelle, deceased ; Henrietta, of St. Louis ; 
Theresa, of Wichita, Kansas; Lizzie, wife of J. C. Baehr, of Wichita, 
Kansas ; Lena, of St. Louis ; Edward, deceased ; and Nanette. 

Mr. Barwise is widely known and admired for his excellent qualities. 
He is a Democrat in politics, a Universalist in religion and an Odd 
Fellow and Granger in his fraternal affiliations. 

George M. Flumerfelt. When the advertising departments of the 
western railroads fill the columns of newspapers and magazines with at- 
tractive advertisements, suggesting that the people of this country should 
''See America first," it provokes a quizzical smile on the countenance of 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 601 

George M. Fkimerfelt, influential resident of Rochester. The likenesses 
of handsome parlor cars, of artistic diners, whose cuisine rivals that of 
leading hotels, the depictment of electric semaphores and similar con- 
trivances calculated to promote the safety of passengers — all these amuse 
Air. Flumerf elt by their very contrast with his past experiences, for he has 
walked or driven over thousands of miles of the west. These journey- 
ings were at a time when the railroad was unknown in the far west and 
when even horses were few and far between. Few who met casually the 
dignified banker would suspect that he had ''roughed it" in the sternest 
sense of the phrase, had starved and parched and fought and worked 
through the Great American desert and the stretches of sand and moun- 
tain that encompass it, and had been a frontiersman to an extent that 
many who consider themselves westerners never dreamed of. 

In April, i860, Mr. Flumerf elt, then a stripling of twenty-two, but 
strong and hearty for his years, went to St. Joseph, Missouri, and bought 
an outfit comprising four yoke of oxen. In his party, which drove 
through to Denver, Colorado, there were forty-three persons, and the 
journey required thirty-eight days. He had been there but a few days 
when he bought a claim in South Park, where he remained until the fol- 
lowing fall. Then with three others he bought a yoke of cattle and started 
for New Mexico. In that state, what at that time was a sparsely settled 
territory, he did freight hauling between Santa Fe and Taos. He drifted 
into the San Juan country and was snowed in that winter. In the fall, 
when he was making his way into the valley, the Navajo Indians killed 
the toll gate keeper and his family just two days after the party had left 
that point. These manifestations of the hostility of the red men caused 
Mr. Flumerfelt and his companions to decide against remaining, and as 
soon as possible he returned to his old camp at South Park. The follow- 
ing year he hired a team and driver for twenty-five dollars to haul him 
to Centerville, Iowa, feeling a longing to get back to his own people. 
From Centerville he walked to Eddieville, Iowa, a distance of thirty miles, 
thence to Keokuk by rail, down the Mississippi river by steamer to Quincy 
in Illinois, and by rail to Toledo, Ohio, and home to Oakland county, 
Michigan. The fair region around Oakland never looked more attractive 
than to his eyes when he arrived home from the dreary vistas of alkali 
and sage brush and chapparel that he had endured for years. He decided 
then and there that the east was the better and cast about for employment. 

He went to work on his father's farm on shares, and after being three 
years on the home place bought eighty acres for himself. He added in 
succession seventy-eight, then forty-four and then one hundred and thirty- 
seven and one half acres more. He still owns this last tract of one hun- 
dred and thirty-seven and one-half acres, which is in Independence town- 
ship, and has also two hundred and ten acres of land in Oakland township. 
In addition he has a fine residence in Rochester and some lots at High- 
land Park. 

Mr. Flumerfelt was born in Oakland township, on September 7, 1838, 
being a son of William and Esther (Pittinger) Flumerfelt, both of whom 
were natives of New Jersey. His father was a contractor and builder 
until he came to Michigan in 1834, locating in Oakland township. He 
bought one hundred and sixty acres of land and added to this until he had 
six hundred acres. At the time of his death he was the possessor of five 
hundred acres. He died in 1884, and his wife followed in 1897. There 
were nine children in their family : Rebecca and William C, who are both 



002 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

deceased; George M., the subject of this sketch; Margaret, wife of James 
J. Frost, of Lansing, Michigan; Charlotte, widow of George Green, of 
Albion, Michigan ; Samuel A., Louis C, Abi and Serepta, all of whom 
are deceased, the last two* dying in infancy. 

Mr. Flumerfelt attended the district schools and for one year went to 
high school, and then engaged in work on the farm. He went to Ohio to 
farm when he was twenty-one, and the following year departed on his 
extensive western trip. He married Rebecca Cummins on May lo, 1864, 
and she died in 1890. Their children were four in number : Charles A., 
deceased; Lizzie, wife of Clark J. Christman, of Alpine, Michigan; Wil- 
liam H., of Wyandotte, Michigan; and Walter G., of Detroit, the latter 
being a machinist. For his second wife Mr. Flumerfelt chose Clara E. 
Crissman, a daughter of Charles and Laura (Parish) Crissman. They 
were married on October 19, 1892. Mr. Crissman w^as a native of New 
Jersey, while his wife was from New York. They came to Michigan in 
1832, locating in McComb county, where he followed farming all his life. 
He died in 1902, his wife having expired six years previously. To their 
union nine children were born. 

George M. Flumerfelt is a Democrat politically. He has held many of 
the local offices. He was tow^n clerk, was a member of the village board 
for twelve years, and member of the school board. He was president of 
the State Savings Bank, then invested with the National Bank, and is a 
director of the latter. He affiliates with the Methodist church and be- 
longs to the Masonic order and its auxiliary, the Order of the Eastern 
Star. Mrs. Flumerfelt also belongs to the Eastern Star and was chap- 
lain of her chapter for a number of years. 

Albert A. Nelson. One of the fine farming properties of Oakland 
county is that owned by Albert A. Nelson, a representative of one of 
the pioneer families of the state and recognized as a progressive and 
capable agriculturist of Pontiac township. He is devoting his attention 
to farming and stockraising, and such is his position in the community 
that he is well worthy of representation. Mr. Nelson is descended of 
Revolutionary stock, and was born in Avon township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, August 2'^, 1856, a son of George C. and Lydia J. (Beagle) Nel- 
son, natives of Herkimer county, New York. 

George C. Nelson came to Michigan at the age of fourteen years, 
and in his youth learned the trades of carpenter and millwright. Locat- 
ing in Rochester with his father, he had the contract for building the 
first lock on the canal, but subsequently took up farming and owned a 
tract of fifty acres in Avon township, although he continued to devote 
a large part of his time to working at his trades. His death occurred in 
1881, his wife passing away in 1899, and they were the parents of nine 
children, as follows : Abel Jay, who died at the age of twenty years ; 
Augusta A., wife of William Wilkinson, of Spring Arbor, Michigan; 
Ella E., who died at the age of fifteen years; Albert A.; William M., 
residing in Arkansas; Ada M., wife of William Hoffman, of Pontiac; 
and three children who died in infancy. 

Albert A. Nelson secured educational advantages such as were to 
be obtained in the district schools during his youth. On starting out to 
make his own way in the world he went to Kansas and bought eighty 
acres near Junction City, in Davis county, but after about nine years 
returned to Oakland countv. On his return he worked for a time at 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 603 

the trade of mason, which he had learned in his youth, and subsequently 
traveled for about five years in the employ of a Chicago installment 
house. However, the call of the soil was too strong, and he returned 
to Oakland county and took up twenty acres of land, on which he was 
engaged in gardening up to 1904. In that year he purchased ninety 
acres in sections 2 and 3, Pontiac township, and here has since car- 
ried on farming, stock raising and dairying, attaining definite success 
through his well-directed endeavors. A stalwart Prohibitionist, Mr. 
Nelson has served as justice of the peace and pathmaster, and his sig- 
nal services in this office have well merited the esteem and confidence 
in which he is universally held by his fellow citizens. With his family 
he attends the Central Methodist Episcopal church. 

On December 22, 1880, Mr. Nelson was married to Miss Carrie 
D. Hunt, daughter of Lucian and Helen Maria (Beagle) Hunt, the 
former a native of Canada and the latter of Romeo, Michigan. On first 
coming to this state Mr. Hunt resided near Romeo, where he followed 
the vocation of painter, but subsequently removed to Avon township, 
and from there enlisted in the Civil war, his death occurring in Ander- 
sonville Prison while he was a prisoner in the hands of the Confeder- 
ates. His widow survived him until June 18, 191 1. They had three 
children: Adolphus, who died in childhood; Mrs. Nelson; and Lucian, 
living in Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have had two children: Elmer 
B., who married November 20, 1907, Nora E. Looney, she dying De- 
cember 30, 1909, and leaving one child, Marion Alice, born October 3, 
1909; and Winnifred, who died December 20, 1909, was the wife of 
Ray Berridge, by whom she had two children, Harold R., born Octo- 
ber 15, 1906, and Valmore Burton, born October 7, 1908. All three 
grandchildren live with their grandparents. Mr. Nelson has always 
been deeply interested in educational, moral and civil afifairs, which tend 
to elevate and improve the community, and has given liberally of his 
time and substance for their advancement. 

Mortimer Wilcox. A firm belief in the wisdom of following agri- 
culture, the oldest of all callings, brought long life and prosperity to 
Mortimer Wilcox, who passed away on December 12, 1910, at the age 
of seventy-three, leaving a splendid farm of 250 acres as a permanent 
memorial to his industry, frugality and determination. He was born 
in Oakland county, September 12, 1837, a son of Peter and Hannah 
(Ransford) Wilcox, both of whom were natives of New York. They 
came to Michigan in 1830, Mr. Wilcox being a miller by trade. Both 
died in Michigan, and of their six children only two are now living. 
These are the youngest: Ralph, of Utica, Michigan, and Mary, wife of 
Ira Chapman, of Utica. Their first born, who are now deceased, were : 
Augusta, Edward, Mortimer and Ransford. 

Mortimer Wilcox chose for his wife Charlotte Elizabeth Hadley, 
who was a descendant of eastern stock, her father, Jacob Hadley, being 
from New Hampshire, and her mother, Mary Ann Axford Hadley, 
from New Jersey. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox was sol- 
emnized on January i, 1861, by Rev. Nickobecker. Two daughters 
came to gladden their home: Mellie Velin, who married Cass M. West- 
brook and is now deceased, and Helen Augusta, wife of Thomas E. 
Dryden, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

At the age of twenty-three Mr. Wilcox, well versed in farming. 



604 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

went to -Maple Rapids, Michigan, where he bought a farm and remained 
for two years. He then returned to Oakland county and bought eighty 
acres in Avon township, to which he added from time to time until at 
his death it was more than three times in extent the bounds originally 
outlined. Mr. Wilcox was a Republican in his political affiliation and 
was a Universalist in his religious belief, Mrs. Wilcox being also a 
parish member of same church. He was a conscientious, quiet-dispo- 
sitioned and thoroughly reliable citizen. 

William Fox. Like several others of the substantial citizens of 
this region, William Fox, of Rural Route No. 2, Rochester, Michigan, 
is a native of the good old Keystone state. His parents, Christopher 
and Polly (Ross) Fox, were also natives of Pennsylvania and were liv- 
ing in Northampton county in that state when William Fox was born, 
on February 17, 1851. 

Christopher Fox was a blacksmith, but he wisely saw the possibili- 
ties in Michigan land. In the 'sixties he came with his family to Oak- 
land county, where he began to acquire property. So successful was he 
that when he did, in 1886, he left to his sons more than a half section 
of land; he was at the time one of the wealthiest men in the county. 
Mrs. Fox died in 1892 and was survived by her sons, James Fox, of 
Avon township; George, of Rochester; and William, the subject of this 
review. 

William Fox remained with his father as long as the latter lived. 
The subject then settled upon the one hundred and fifteen acres which 
comprised his share of the parental estate. With his wife and his grow- 
ing family he continued to occupy it, with profitable results of his 
labor and with surroundings conducive to contentment. Mrs. Fox 
was a daughter of Albert and Eliza (Snell) Lawson, who came to 
Michigan in 1828 and took up government land, making their home in 
Oakland county. They were the parents of one son and two daughters 
The former, Marshall Lawson, is now with his brother-in-law and sis- 
ter, Mr. and Mrs. Fox; Ettie L., the eldest daughter, is Mrs. Fox, the 
wife of the subject of this sketch; and Amanda S. is Mrs. John Essig, 
of Detroit. The marriage of William Fox and Ettie Lawson took 
place on February 21, 1877, and the ensuing years have seen two daugh- 
ters added to their home. They were named Helen and Ruth, and since 
completing their education have continued to reside with their parents. 

Like the great majority of our better citizens, Mr. Fox and his 
family prefer a life of quiet, worthy endeavor, with its peaceful re- 
creations, to the activities of public life. Their home in section 4 of 
Avon township is an attractive one, characterized by informal hospi- 
tality. The great and shifting political differences on which the divi- 
sions of our political parties are based have always found Mr. Fox in 
the Democratic camp. 

Joseph Young, of Rural Route 3, Rochester, Michigan, is a native 
of Pennsylvania, although the soil of Michigan has been his home since 
his childhood in ante-bellum days. His worthy progenitors were John 
Young and Frances Susan Beard, his wife^ both of whom were born in 
the Keystone state. During their residence there their son, Joseph 
Young, the subject of this biographical sketch, was born on September 
17, 1849. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 605 

When our subject was seven years of age — in 1856 — his parents 
located in Oakland county, which continued to be the home of the fam- 
ily until after the death of the father, which took place in 1861. The 
mother and children continued to occupy the homestead farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres, the family being a large one and loyal to their 
mutual home duties. The brothers and sisters of Joseph Young were 
the following: Sarah, now deceased; John, who is also a resident of 
Oakland county ; James, who settled in Tuscola county, Michigan ; Mary, 
the widow of John Lynch, of Penn county, Michigan; Fullmer, a resi- 
dent of Ingham county, Michigan; and two others whose lives were cut 
short in infancy. * 

Until he was twenty-one years of age Joseph Young remained with 
his mother. He then took up the agricultural vocation on his own ac- 
count. At that time he was united in life's most sacred bond with Miss 
Mary Frances Hadley, a daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann Hadley. 
Mrs. Young's father was a native of New Hampshire and her mother, 
of New Jersey. The family came to Michigan in 1830, settling first 
in Detroit and, after two years, in Rochester, where Mr. Hadley was 
in mercantile business. In 1849 he bought eighty acres of land in Oak- 
land county, to which he repeatedly added until at the time of his death, 
in 1892, he owned one thousand acres of rural property near Rochester. 
Mrs. Hadley died in 1901. The brothers and sisters of Frances Had- 
ley Young are the following: Charlotte, who is Mrs. Mortimer Wil- 
cox, of Oakland county; Margaret, who is no longer living; Jacob 
Hadley, Junior, of Rochester ; Howard and Carlos, twins, both de- 
ceased; Marshall Hadley, of Montana; Abbie and Samuel, deceased; 
and Belle, who is the wife of Dr. Butts, of McComb county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Young are well and favorably known throughout an 
extensive section of the state. They are essentially home-loving in 
their tastes and political publicity has no attraction for Mr. Young, 
although he is a loyal and consistent Democrat in party affiliation. 

Phillip Miller Cole. For sixty-five years members of the Cole 
family have occupied a distinctive place in McComb and Oakland coun- 
ties. Farming has been their principal vocation, and they have at- 
tained a signal success in this, the first and noblest of all callings. It 
was in 1837 that the first of that name, Mr. and Mrs. Christian Cole, 
who were both natives of New Jersey, came west and settled in Mc- 
Comb county, Michigan. They were of German descent, the wife's 
name before her marriage being Sarah Mann. By trade Mr. Cole was 
a blacksmith, but the fertility of the soil and the wonderful oppor- 
tunities that presented themselves in the realm of agriculture attracted 
him and he took up farming in Oakland county, living there until the 
time of his death, which occurred on February 18, 1893. His wife 
preceded him in death on January 20, 1876. Their family comprise 
eight children, Elizabeth and Becky Ann, who are now deceased; Phil- 
lip M., the subject of this sketch; Lanie, widow of John Major, of 
McComb county; Catherine, deceased; Margaret, widow of Melvin Mc- 
Clure ; George W., of Mt. Vernon ; and Sarah, wife of Edward Farmer, 
of Rochester. 

Phillip Miller Cole, more commonly known as Miller Cole, was born 
on December 20, 1838, in McComb county. He remained with the 
home folks until he was twenty-four, and then engaged in farming for 



606 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

himself. For three or four years he operated tracts which he rented 
for that purpose. His first realty operation was the purchase of ninety 
acres, which he sold and in partnership with his father bought a farm 
of two hundred and eighty-six acres in sections 22 and 23, where he 
now resides. The place has been extensively improved by Mr. Cole, 
with all the equipment that makes for general farming and stock rais- 
ing, and the property is extremely productive, P. M. Cole owning two 
hundred and eight acres of the original place. 

-Mary Elizabeth Chapin was the bride of Mr. Cole. They were 
united in marriage on November 28, 1861. She was a daughter of 
Charles and Lydia (Kearn) Chapin. She died on October 18, 1894. 
Her father and mother were the parents of : John, Carson, Burtin and 
Francis, who are deceased; and Mrs. Cole. Eight children graced the 
union of Mr. and Mrs. Cole; Ladora May, wife of Elsworth Ax- 
ford, of Oakland township; Charles E., of Rochester; Sarah L., wife 
of George A. Ford, of Detroit; May Alice, wife of Samuel Karey, 
of Rochester; George E., of Orion; Christie, who is deceased; Lillie 
Kate, wife of Ward Carey, and with her father on the home place; 
and Bertha, wife of Charles Schumaker, of Detroit. In the subse- 
quent generation there is one child, George W. Carey, a son of Ward 
Carey and Lillie Cole Carey. He was born on July 8, 1904. 

Mr. Cole is a Democrat and has held the minor township offices, 
such as treasurer, highway commissioner and member of the school 
board. He is a man who is looked upon by his fellow citizens as worthy 
of their highest confidence and esteem. 

John J. Hadden. Oakland's fruitful fields and rich meadows have 
since his childhood proven attractive to John J. Hadden, who resides in 
Oakland county, Michigan, on rural route No. 2 out of Rochester. 
When a small boy he aspired to own a handsome farm, and when he 
arrived at the years of manhood he w^as not long in realizing that am- 
bition. 

Mr. Hadden was born in Oakland county on February 26, 1840, a 
son of A. S. and Abbie (Thompson) Hadden. There were six children 
born to their union: James, who is deceased; Hiram C, of Rochester: 
John J.; Polly and Phoebe, who are both deceased; Mary A., wife of 
H. Briggs, of Rochester. 

Until he was twenty-one Mr. Hadden remained on the farm with his 
father and assisted in the many duties that operating the place neces- 
sitated. He then rented one hundred and twenty acres for one year, 
and with the proceeds of his industry was able to purchase twenty acres, 
which represented his start in life. He added to these from time to 
time until he had a couple of hundred acres of fine farming land. In 
1876 he bought a tract of one hundred and fifty acres in section 25. 
There he follows general farming and in addition gives considerable 
of his time to stock raising, which he has made quite remunerative and 
which he believes is one of the greatest helps in maintaining the fer- 
tility of the soil. 

On August 23, 1862, he was married to Martha S. Briggs, who died 
on November 18, 1906. She was a daughter of Ganeer and Rachel 
(Knapp) Briggs, who were originally from New York. Mr. and Mrs. 
J. J. Hadden were blessed with five descendants — Frank, who lives in 
McComb county; Abbie, wife of Elston McClure, of Oakland county; 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 607 

Abraham S., of Oakland; Mabel, who is deceased; and Jay B., who is 
at the old home. 

Jay B. Hadden married Lady Maroa Wing on October 31, 1900. 
She was a daughter of Walter and Kansas M. (Roberts) Wing, both 
of whom were natives of Alichigan. The father is dead. Mrs. Wing 
remarried and is now living at Orion, Michigan, the wife of Morgan 
Gulick, of that place. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Wing the daugh- 
ter mentioned was the only child born. By her marriage to Jay B. 
Lladden there is one child, Vergie M., who was born on April 6, 1906. 

John J. Hadden takes an active interest in public affairs, but does 
not care to participate personally in political clashes. He is a thor- 
ough independent as concerns men and the issues of the day. Frater- 
nally he is affiliated with the Maccabees, and he is a member of the 
Methodist church. He is a good citizen in every sense of the w^ord. 

William C. Peters. Of sturdy German ancestry is William C. 
Peters, who farms at Goodison. Few residents of Oakland county 
embarked on their own account at such a tender age, for ]\Ir. Peters 
was but fifteen years old when he struck out for himself. He was 
born in Macomb county, April 20, 1865. His parents were Flenry 
and Sophia Peters, both of whom came from Germany in i860, locat- 
ing in Macomb county. The father died in June, 1881, but the mother 
is still living, at the age of eighty-seven, her home being at Alt. Clemens. 
Their progeny were seven in number : Gust, of Mt. Clemens ; Fred, de- 
ceased; Ernest, of Mt. Clemens; Mary, Henry and Annie, deceased; 
William C, of Goodison. Wlien a strong, active lad of fifteen Mr. 
Peters decided to go to work for himself. In 1885, when still a year 
under his majority, he came to Oakland county, and continued farm 
work. In 1900 he rented two hundred and forty-four acres in section 
19 and worked this farm continuously until 191 1, when he was enabled 
to buy it. He makes it his home and raises stock in addition to the 
general farming that is conducted on this large place. 

Annie Schof, also of German descent, was the maiden name of Mrs. 
Peters. They were married on June 9, 1888. She is a daughter of 
John and Mary Schof, both natives of Germany. Her father is now 
living in Macomb county. There w^ere ten children in their family, all 
now living but one. Mr. and Mrs. Peters have four children, all of 
w^hom are at home. They are Arthur, Laura, Ralph and Clarence. The 
family are Lutheran in their religious preference. Mr. Peters is a 
Democrat. 

Frank Thurston. The old idea that a college education was a 
waste of time for a man who intended to follow the soil for a living 
is amply refuted in the life of Frank Thurston, one of Goodison's most 
honored and respected citizens. Not only has his advanced training 
given him a better grasp of agricultural methods and conditions, but it 
has served as a stepping stone to other things. In consequence it is 
not surprising to find him president of the Citizens Bank of Orion, a 
member of the board of supervisors for seventeen years, two of which 
were as its chairman, and at other times on the important building com- 
mittee of Oakland county. He is a Democrat and a Mason, and his 
country place on the rural route out of Goodison is one of the show 
places of the vicinity when model layout and scientific culture are con- 
sidered. 



608 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Oakland township was the birthplace of Frank Thurston on Octo- 
ber 21, 1864. His parents, Martin R. and Elizabeth (Coon) Thurs- 
ton, were natives of Michigan, but their parents were New York peo- 
ple. The elder Thurston was a farmer and was claimed by death at the 
untimely age of thirty-eight. His widow passed away on April i, 1909. 
They had three children: Jesse J., who lives in Orion township; Sarah 
A., wife of George Prewitt, also of Orion township; and Frank. 

The latter attended the district schools and then the Northern In- 
diana Normal at Valparaiso. He graduated from the scientific depart- 
ment of* the latter in 1888, and returned to Michigan, living in Lapeer 
county for seven years. He then returned to the home place and after 
renting it for five years bought it, and installed many improvements. 
Here he lives the independent life of the true agriculturist, planting 
diversified crops and reaping a bounteous return on his industry. 

He was married to Josie Sutton on March 16, 1892. His parents, 
Cornelius and Elizabeth (Brower) Sutton, came from New York. In 
their family were seven children : Amy, deceased ; Louis J., of Ox- 
ford ; Susan, wife of Manley Brandt, of Sanilac county, Michigan ; 
Hattie, widow of Alonzo Skinner, of Lapeer county; Josie, wife of 
Frank Thurston; Marion, of Oxford township; and May, wife of Wil- 
liam Schoof, of Orion. 

Frank P. German. It has been the good fortune of Mr. Frank P. 
German to spend all his life ''close to the soil' 'in the pleasant pastoral 
occupation of agriculture. He was born in Southfield township, Oak- 
land county, on the 22d of February, 1854, of English parents, John 
and Jane (White) German, themselves of stanch and sturdy rural 
origin. 

John German, the father of Frank P. German, was born at Bede- 
ford, England, the son of John and Grace German, both natives of 
England and of British origin. In 1834, when Mr. German's father 
was about twenty-two years of age, he came with his parents to the 
United States, coming direct to West Bloomfield and settling there, 
where later his parents passed into the other life. He gained his early 
experience in farming in connection with his father's farm, living with 
his father until his marriage. At that time he settled on a farm in 
Southfield township, and also ran a mill in connection with his farm. 
Being one of the earliest settlers in that region it may well be imagined 
that the management of a mill was much more primitive and difficult 
than it would be now in these days of wonderful and efficient modern 
machinery. In those early days it was necessary to carry flour by team 
as far as Detroit. That was when the strap rail was on the Grand Trunk 
Railroad. 

John German was married twice, the first time to Miss Benjamin ; 
their union was blessed with one child, a daughter Elizabeth. After the 
death of his first wife he married Miss Jane A. White, the mother of 
Mr. Frank P. German. To this second union were born nine children, 
only four of whom are still living. They are: Clarissa, the wife of 
Thomas Furse, of Birmingham ; John D., of Birmingham; Frank P.; 
and Emanuel, the youngest, who lives in West Bloomfield on the old 
homestead. John German, the father of these children, passed away in 
West Bloomfield on the 31st of August, 1884, at the ripe old age of 
seventy-five years. 



■v>- ^* 








HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 609 

Mr. Frank P. German was reared amid rural surroundings on 
his father's farm and worked in his father's mill, at the same time ac- 
quiring a common school education and a practical business education 
in the Pontiac schools. 

When Mr. German was twenty-two years of age, on the 8th of 
November, 1876, he married Miss Emma Durkee, the daughter of Mr. 
WilHam P. Durkee, of Bloomfield township, whose family is of Welsh 
origin, though William and his wife, who was Miss Polly Ann Pratt 
before her marriage, were both born in New York state. After their 
marriage Mr. and Mrs. German settled on a farm in Franklin, the old 
homestead where all their children were born. There they lived for 
ten years, until they moved to the William P. Durkee farm in Bloom- 
field township. They lived on this farm for six years, at which time 
they moved from there to their present home farm. 

Three children, all of whom are living, came to bless their mar- 
riage. They are: Winnifred, the wife of Dr. J. M. Rainey; Grace, 
the wife of Dr. J. A. Miller, of Farmington; and Walter A., who mar- 
ried Miss Orpha Spicer, who died in 1910. Walter, the only son, lives 
at the home of his parents. 

Mr. German is a Mason, affiliating with lodge No. 44 at Birming- 
ham, where he and his family are also devout members of the Aletho- 
dist Episcopal church. He believes in voting the Republican ticket, 
though he does not take an especially active part in politics. He is the 
happy possessor of eighty acres of land in Bloomfield township, section 
330, Oakland county. 

Eugene Derragon. The sturdy stock from which Eugene Der- 
ragon, one of Pontiac' s prominent residents, drew his being is 
evidenced by the mature years to which members of different branches 
of the family attained. Pioneer life in the forest and the pure air and 
pure food of the northern country, together with upright lives of even 
tenor, have brought to them length of days that is noteworthy indeed. 
Although past fifty-four years of age, Eugene Derragon, the subject 
of this sketch, until recently carried the suffix ''junior" after his name 
and was proud to do so, for the original of that name, his honored father, 
lived until June 20, 19 12. 

The subject was born at Port Huron, Michigan, September 5, 1857, 
a son of Eugene and Mary (Hall) Derragon. The father came from 
Montreal and the mother from Amsberg, Canada. The senior Der- 
ragon followed the occupation of a lath maker. He came to Michigan 
in 1847, locating at Detroit, and he came to Pontiac in 1883. His wife 
died in 1907. Their four children were: Samuel, who is deceased; 
Alexander and Louise, also deceased, and Eugene. 

The latter accompanied the family when they located in Pontiac in 
1883, and engaged in the tea and coffee business, which two years later 
he broadened into a general grocery line. This he followed with much 
success until 1898, when he disposed of his business and retired. Mr. 
Derragon did not send abroad the competency that he had acquired while 
in business in Pontiac, but invested it at home, purchasing different rent 
properties, which now afford him an assured and satisfactory income. 
He has a fine home, some brick apartments and other dwellings. It is 
his belief that improved real estate is one of the best investments, and 
he demonstrates the consistency of his opinions by practicing them. 



610 llISl^ORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Miss Lena C. Desroches, descendant of a leading family, became the 
wife of Mr. Derragon on August 22, 1887. She is a daughter of Rev- 
erend Romulus B. and Margaret M. (Gregory) Desroches, the father 
from Canada, the mother from New York. The father died when 
seventy-six years of age, but the mother is still living in Detroit, past 
the age of eighty-three years. There were five children in this family: 
Lena C, wife of the subject; Addie, John and Mary, who are all dead; 
and Earnest, a resident of Detroit. To the union of Eugene Derragon 
and his wife there were born five children, all of whom are living, and 
who form one of the happiest of home circles. Eugene is attending 
the university at Ann Arbor. Mary Bell graduated from that institu- 
tion June 2y, 191 2, receiving a special diploma, Don C, Grace and Ralph 
G. are at home with their parents. Mr. Derragon is a member of the 
board of public works and the tax revision board, of Pontiac. He is 
a member of the Ba]>tist church and adheres to the tenets of the Re- 
publican party. 

Charles A. Todd. A representative of the worthy agriculturists of 
Oakland county, and a much respected citizen of Bloomfield township, 
Charles A. Todd is successfully engaged in farming and dairying in 
section 26, his unflagging industry and skill bringing him satisfactory 
results. A son of James Todd, Jr., he was born in Berlin township, 
Monroe county, Michigan, October 24, 1859, of pioneer stock. His 
grandfather, James Todd, Sr., immigrated from Whitehaven, England, 
to Michigan in territorial days, making their first stop in Detroit. Sub- 
sequently pushing farther into the wilderness, he came with his family 
to Oakland county, journeying through the well-nigh pathless forest 
with an ox team. Taking up land in the vicinity of Birmingham, he 
began to clear and improve the estate now known as the Charlie Moore 
farm, and there spent the remainder of his life. His wife, Ellen, was 
born in Inverness, Scotland, and died on the home farm in Michigan. 

James Todd, Jr., lived in his native place, Whitehaven, England, 
until twelve years old, when he came with his parents to Michigan, 
where he grew to manhood on the Oakland county farm. Marrying 
at the age of twenty-one years, he subsequently lived in Troy town- 
ship, on the farm of his father-in-law, Washington Stanley, until after 
the death of his bride, eleven months later. The following two years he 
operated a sawmill in Monroe county, Michigan. Marrying again, he 
then settled on a farm in Berlin township, Monroe county, where he 
lived four years. Removing at the end of that time to Wayne county, 
he spent two years on the Ed Hill farm, and afterwards carried on 
general farming in Monroe county until 1907. He then removed with 
his family to Flat Rock, Wayne county, where he resided until his death, 
April 14, 1908. He married first Martha Stanley, who died, as pre- 
viously stated, within a year after their marriage. His second wife, 
whose maiden name was Sally Elizabeth Chamberlain, passed to the 
life beyond in June, 1907. Five children were born of their union, as 
follows: Lewis J., of Wayne county, Michigan; Charles A., the special 
subject of this brief personal review; Maria, who died in infancy; Wil- 
liam, of Wyandotte, Michigan ; and Clinton J., of Detroit. 

Brought up principally in Monroe county, Charles A. Todd received 
a practical education in the rural schools of his district. At the age of 
eighteen years he began learning the trade of a butcher, and subse- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 611 

quently, after spending a year with his parents, was engaged in the 
butchering business on his own account for two years and seven months. 
After his marriage he bought eighty acres of land in Wayne county, 
and was there employed in tilling the soil for twelve years. Return- 
ing then to Monroe county, Mr. Todd bought eighty acres of land, and 
there continued his agricultural labors for a period of nine years. In 
March, 1904, he removed with his family to Bloomfield township, Oak- 
land county, where he has since been prosperously engaged in gen- 
eral farming and dairying, he, with his wife and son, owning one hun- 
dred and sixty-five acres of highly productive land in section 26. 

Mr. Todd married, December 12, 1882, Clara E. Peters, a daughter 
of Charles G. Peters and granddaughter of Henry Peters, a pioneer of 
Michigan. Henry Peters was born in Seneca county. New York, where 
his father, Heinrich Peters, located on coming from Germany to the 
United ^States. He married Rachel Cone, who was born near Water- 
loo, New York, and was of Pilgrim ancestry, being a descendant of a 
Mayflower passenger. Fifteen children blessed their union, five of whom 
served in the Civil war, three of them being still alive. Charles G. Peters 
was born in New York state, and there reared and educated. In 1849, 
following the pathway blazed by the old gold seekers, he went to Cali- 
fornia, and as a miner made some money, being more fortunate than 
many of his companions. He married Nancy J. Jolly, also a native of 
the Empire state, and they became the parents of twelve children as 
follows : Emma, wife of G. W. Dauncy, living near Utica ; Clara T., 
wife of Mr. Todd ; Henry ; Ida, deceased ; Edward ; Tilborn, deceased ; 
John, Felix; Frances; Alice, wife of D. Carson; and Myrtle, wife of 
George B. Martin, of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Todd have two chil- 
dren, namely : George D. Todd, who was educated in the common and 
high schools, and is now associated with his father in farming; and Jane 
Elizabeth Todd, who was graduated from the Birmingham high school, 
and is now a student at the Michigan Agricultural College, in Lansing. 
Politically Mr. Todd is a Republican, and religiously he and his family 
are members of the Baptist church at Birmingham. 

Elmore Higby. Successfully employed in the prosecution of the 
calling upon which the health, wealth and prosperity of our nation largely 
depends, Elmore Fligby, of Bloomfield township, ranks well among the 
skillful agriculturists of Oakland county. A son of Nathaniel Higby, 
he was born October 12, 1849, ^^ West Bloomfield township. His pa- 
ternal grandfather, Aaron Higby, was born, it is supposed, on Long 
Island, although the greater part of his mature life was spent in Orange 
county, New York. 

Born and bred in Orange county. New York, Nathaniel Higby came 
to Oakland county, .Michigan, as a young man, arriving here just after 
it had been admitted to statehood. He assisted in much of the pioneer 
task of clearing the land, and when ready to settle permanently bought 
land in West Bloomfield township, and on the farm which he hewed 
from the wilderness spent his remaining days, dying in 1893. He was 
widely and favorably known throughout the community in which he 
resided, and was quite prominent in the Republican party. His wife, 
whose maiden name was Mary Barkley, was born in Orange county, 
New York, a daughter of John Barkley. She was married in 1848, 
and died on the home farm in 1875, while yet young. Josiah Barkley, 



612 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

a pioneer of Oakland county, settled on what is now the Casper & 
Stanley farm about 1835, and two years later Thomas Barkley lo- 
cated in the same township, on the Broughton homestead. The Higbys 
were of German descent, without doubt; the Barkleys were of Scotch 
and Irish stock; and the Haynes family, into which John Barkley mar- 
ried, was of English lineage. Thus we see from this brief review that 
Mr. Higby has in his veins strains of German, Scotch, Irish and Eng- 
lish blood, a good combination, speaking of industry, thrift, keen per- 
ceptive faculties and resolution of purpose. Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel 
Higby were the parents of two children, twin boys, Elmore and Aaron. 

Elmore and Aaron Higby attended the common schools of West 
Bloomheld township until eighteen years of age, after which they studied 
for two years in Adrian, Michigan, receiving a practical business edu- 
cation. Returning then to the home farm, Elmore Higby assisted his 
father in its management until about 1878. Since then he and his 
brother have lived together in West Bloomfield township, and have car- 
ried on general farming most successfully, having eighty acres of well 
improved land in section 30, Bloomfield township, and one hundred 
and twenty acres in section 25, West Bloomfield township. 

Elmore Higby married, February i, 1876, Sarah A. Pickering, a 
daughter of Cooper Pickering, of Southfield township. She died Feb- 
ruary 23, 191 1. Five children were born of their union, one of whom 
died in infancy; Matie, wife of Edward R. Haggerman, a farmer of 
Bloomfield township, living one-half mile east of Circle, has one child, 
Florence Haggerman; Ida, who died at the age of twenty-four years, 
was a very successful teacher for four years, having charge of schools 
in Bloomfield and West Bloomfield townships, and in Pontiac; Aurilla 
C, wife of Floyd Beardsley, of Pontiac; and Clarence, born twenty- 
three years ago, was educated at a business college in Pontiac, and is 
now ably assisting in the care of the home farm, being active, enterpris- 
ing and a hustler. 

Politically Mr. Higby is identified with the Republican party, and 
is prominent in public affairs, having served several terms as assessor, 
and being now justice of the peace, an office which he has held for a 
longer time than any other one man. He is an efficient and active 
worker in the Franklin Methodist Protestant church, with which he 
united forty-five years ago, and of which his wife was also a valued 
member. 

Herbert J. Broughton. The active and prosperous agriculturists 
of Oakland county have no more worthy representative than Herbert 
J. Broughton, who owns and occupies a finely improved farm in Bloom- 
field township, of which he is now the supervisor. A son of Daniel 
Broughton, he was born September 9, 1867, in Southfield township, 
Oakland county, of English ancestry. 

Born and brought up in England, Daniel Broughton immigrated to 
the United States at the age of twenty-three years, and came directly 
to Michigan, locating in Oakland county. A carriage maker by trade, 
he followed his occupation in Clarkston, first as a journeyman and 
later being in business for himself, remaining there about eight years. 
Moving then to Franklin, he was there engaged in the manufacture of 
wagons, carriages, surreys and vehicles of all descriptions for twenty- 
seven years, building up an extensive trade and shipping the productions 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 613 

of his factory to many parts of the state. Moving then to Bloomfield 
township, he lived on the farm now ocupied by his son Herbert until 
his death, which occurred May i6, 1904, at the age of sixty-eight years. 
He married Susan Bailey, also a native of England, and of their two 
children Herbert J. is the only one living, Edward having died at the 
age of twenty-one years. 

Acquiring his rudimentary education in the district schools, Her- 
bert J. Broughton completed his early studies in the Birmingham high 
school, after which he came with his parents to the farm which he now 
owns. It contains one hundred and ninety acres of rich and productive 
land, and in its management he is meeting with signal success, carrying 
on general farming with excellent results. He has acquired consider- 
able property, and is numbered among the stockholders of the First 
State Savings Bank of Birmingham. 

Mr. Broughton is a Republican in politics, and in addition to hav- 
ing served eight years as justice of the peace has been supervisor of 
Bloomfield township for the past four years. Fraternally he is a mem- 
ber of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons and of the 
Knights of the Maccabees. He and his wife united with the Metho- 
dist church at Franklin, and are among its most valued members. 

Mr. Broughton married, January 19, 1886, Elizabeth Pickering, a 
daughter of Joseph Pickering, a well-known farmer and drover of 
Southfield township, and to them two children have been born, namely: 
Turner V. and Tracy V. Turner V., a graduate of the Birmingham 
high school, is now taking a course of four years at the Michigan Agri- 
cultural College in Lansing. He possesses marked musical talent, and is 
a member of the college band. Tracy V., who is also a musician, is a stu- 
dent at the Pontiac Business College. 

Samuel G. Forman. One of the foremost agriculturists of Bloom- 
field township, Samuel G. Forman holds a position of note among the 
extensive landholders and fruit growers of Oakland county, as a gen- 
eral farmer being exceedingly prosperous. He is a native and to the 
"manner born," his birth having occurred on the farm where he now 
lives, September 15, 1858. His parents, William and Harriet (Thomp- 
son) Forman, were both born in Lincolnshire, England, his birth oc- 
curring July 6, 1819, and hers, August 3, 1821. They were married in 
May, 1841, and fourteen years later, in 1854, started with their six 
children for the United States. While they -were crossing the At- 
lantic cholera broke out on shipboard, and many of the passengers, in- 
cluding four of their little children, died of the dread disease and were 
buried at sea. After reaching the American shore he proceeded with 
his wife and two children to the home of his sister in Iowa. Two years 
later he came to Oakland county, Michigan, and after spending one day 
in Royal Oak township settled in Bloomfield township, renting the 
farm on which Bob Allen now lives. The ensuing fall he purchased 
the homestead property now owned and occupied by his son Samuel, 
and there both he and his wife spent their remaining days, her death 
occurring in 1898 and his in 1905. Of their twelve children four are 
now living, as follows: Minnie, wife of Robert Allen, of Bloomfield; 
Samuel G. ; Lottie, wife of George Pickering; and Sarah, wife of Frank 
Crawford, of West Bloomfield township. 

Acquiring a practical education in the district schools, Samuel G. 



614 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Forman was early initiated into the labors incidental to farm life, 
and throughout his active career has been engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits on the parental homestead. He has added to the original size of 
his farm, and now has title to three hundred acres of productive land, 
it being located in sections 19, 20, 29 and 30, Bloomfield township. En- 
terprising and progressive, Mr. Forman devotes his time to general 
farming, making a specialty of raising fruit, a branch of industry 
which he finds profitable. 

Mr. Forman invariably supports the principles of the Democratic 
party by voice and vote. He has served in the various school offices 
of his township, and was one of the highway commissioners when the 
first stone road was built in Oakland county. Fraternally he is a mem- 
ber of Lodge, No. 44, Free and Accepted Order of Masons, at Birming- 
ham, and of Birmingham Chapter, No. 93, Royal Arch Masons. 

On August 31, 1881, Mr. Forman was united in marriage with Jen- 
nie Pickering, who was born August 15, 1859, ^^^ Southfield township, 
Oakland county, Michigan. Her parents, Cooper and Elizabeth (Turner) 
Pickering, natives of Lincolnshire, England, were reared and married 
there, their union being solemnized in 185 1. Mr. and Mrs. Picker- 
ing were the parents of six children, as follows: Joseph, who died in 
1895; Sarah, who died in 191 1; George Pickering, of Bloomfield; Jen- 
nie, wife of Mr. Forman ; Ida, who died in 1871 ; and V^iola, who died 
in 1902. Mrs. Pickering passed to the life beyond in 1888, and Mr. 
Pickering died in 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Forman have three children, 
namely: William C. ; born November 3, 1886, lives on his father's farm 
in Bloomfield township, and he and his wife, whose maiden name was 
Adeline Beattie, have one son, Gaylord L. ; Bertram G., born Decem- 
ber II, 1888, lives with his parents; and Leland T., born June 30, 1895. 

Henry C. Beardslee. A highly intelligent and prosperous farmer 
of Bloomfield township, Henry C. Beardslee is distinguished not only 
for the honored ancestry from which he is descended, but as a native- 
born citizen of Oakland county, his birth having occurred August 28, 
1846, in Independence township, just north of Pontiac. His father, 
John W. Beardslee, was born in New Jersey, which was likewise the 
birthplace of his parents. In 1825, soon after his marriage, he came to 
the wilds of Michigan with his young wife, stopping first at Detroit. 
Starting from there with ox teams, he journeyed slowly to Pontiac, 
spending one night in Royal Oak township and one at HadselFs farm. 
He immediately entered from the government one hundred and sixty 
acres of land in Independence township, at the same time becoming 
owner of forty acres in Shawneetown. Erecting a small shanty, ten by 
twelve feet, in the midst of the dense wilderness, he occupied it for 
one winter. He had no neighbors excepting the Indians, who were 
plentiful and oftentimes quite annoying to the newcomers. He labored 
heroically in his efforts to eliminate a farm from the wilderness, be- 
ing ably assisted in all of his work by by energetic wife, who built, it 
is said, the first hay stack in Independence township. He continued on 
his farm until long past the allotted three score and ten years of man's 
life, removing to Pontiac about three months before his death, which 
occurred in 1883, at the age of eighty-four years. 

The maiden name of the wife of John W. Beardslee was Elizabeth 
Carpenter. She was born in Orange county. New York, about 1810, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 615 

and died in Oakland county, Michigan, in 1892. They were the parents 
of seven children, of whom Henry C, the subject of this sketch, and 
his brother, Robert Beardslee, of Pontiac, are the only survivors. Three 
of the sons, Townsend C, Noah C. and Robert, served as soldiers in 
the Civil war. Townsend C. Beardslee, who was the first white child 
born in Independence township, enlisted for service just after the break- 
ing out of the war, being commissioned captain of Company D, Twenty- 
second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and died while in service, at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, of typhoid fever. Noah C. served in the Fourteenth 
Michigan Volunteer Infantry from the time of his enlistment, in 1864, 
until the close of the war. Robert served during the last five months of 
the conflict in the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, leaving college to enlist, and 
is now a member of the Grand Army of the Republic at Pontiac. 

Brought vip and educated in Independence township, Henry C. 
Beardslee began farming for himself in that township, living there a 
few years after his marriage. In 1879 he moved to Bloomfield town- 
ship, and having purchased eighty-eight acres of land in section 9 has 
since been actively and successfully engaged in general farming, making 
a specialty of dairying, a branch of industry which he finds pleasant 
and profitable, his Jersey cows, fifteen of the herd which he is now 
milking, yielding him large quantities of milk of a superior quality. He 
keeps thoroughbred cattle and hogs, raising considerable stock. 

Mr. Beardslee married, June i, 1876, Harriet Lonsberry, who was 
born in Independence township, Oakland county. Her father, Daniel 
Lonsberry, was born and reared in New York state. As a young man 
he made his way across the country to Oakland county, Michigan, in 
search of cheap land. Taking up land in Independence township, he re- 
claimed a homestead from the dense wilderness, and on the farm which 
he improved spent the remainder of his days, passing away in 1872. 
His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Hander, came from her 
native state, New Jersey, to Michigan with her parents when but six 
years old, and died on the home farm in 1893. 

Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beardslee, namely : 
Elizabeth, who died in childhood ; Cora, living with her parents ; El- 
mer, residing north of Pontiac, a successful agriculturist; Floyd, a 
farmer, married Aurilla Higby, daughter of Elmer Higby, a dairyman 
and farmer in Bloomfield township; and Cassius, attending the Pon- 
tiac high school, is a very clever student. Mr. Beardslee is a Repub- 
lican in politics, but not an office seeker. 

James H. Rockwell. Distinguished not only for the honored pi- 
oneer stock from which he is descended, but as one of the practical and 
prosperous agriculturists of Oakland county James H. Rockwell, of 
Bloomfield township, is eminently deserving of special mention in this 
biographical work. A son of James M. Rockwell, he was born in 
Bloomfield township, April 16, 1845, the descendant of one of the very 
early settlers of this part of the state. His paternal grandfather, John 
Rockwell, was born and reared in Connecticut, coming from colonial 
stock. He spent a part of his early life in Monroe county, New York, 
coming from there in 1827 to Oakland county, and while looking about 
for a favorable location boarded for one season in West Bloomfield 
township, his son, James M., accompanying him. He then lived for 
awhile in Bloomfield township, on what is now the Arts farm, being 



616 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

there joined by his wife and his remaining children. He subsequently 
bought a farm near Pontiac, becoming owner of what is now the Wil- 
liam Williamson estate, and there he and his wife, whose maiden name 
was Sarah Leet, spent the remainder of their days. 

One of a family of ten children, James M. Rockwell was born at 
Lima, Monroe county, New York, in 1809. He came with his father 
to West Bloomfield township, Michigan, in 1827, and subsequently re- 
mained with his parents until his marriage, when he moved to the farm 
now owned and occupied by William Williamson. He was for many 
years a government contractor for public highways, and in that ca- 
pacity built many roads, then called turnpikes, among others having 
been the Fort Gratiot and the Grand River roads. He was active in 
local affairs, and served as captain of a military company during the 
contention between the states of Ohio and Michigan. 

James M. Rockwell was twice married. He married first Eliza E. 
Haff, who was born in Rensselaer county. New York, a daughter of 
Jacob and Susan (Newton) Haff, who came to Michigan with their 
parents when young and were here married. She died in 1848, when 
their only child, James H. Rockwell, was but three years of age. He 
married for his second wife Zada A. Adams, a daughter of Hiol and 
Mary (Newton) Adams, of Rensselaer county. New York, and to 
them four children were born, as follows : Zada M., wife of Walter 
Fosdick, of Bloomfield township; Sarah E., wife of R. A. Henney; Al- 
fred A., deceased ; and Charles L., a farmer, living near Pontiac. 

After the death of his father James H. Rockwell continued the 
management of the parental acres for ten years, and then assumed pos- 
session of the farm where he now lives, on section 9, Bloomfield town- 
ship. He owns one hundred and thirty-five acres of good land, his 
farm in its improvements and equipments ranking among the best in 
the neighborhood. 

A Republican in his political affiliations, Mr. Rockwell has served as 
justice of the peace for upwards of a quarter of a century. Frater- 
nally he belongs to Pontiac Lodge, No. 47, Knights of the Maccabees, 
at Pontiac. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the Bap- 
tist church at Pontiac. 

Mr. Rockwell married first Emma E. Waterbury, daughter of John 
Deuell and Emma (Adams) Waterbury. She passed to the life beyond 
May 8, 1887, leaving one son, Hiol Deuell Rockwell, who was born 
January 15, 1879, ^^^ ^^^^ January 31, 1899, while a law student at 
Ann Arbor. Mr. Rockwell married for his second wife Mary E. Water- 
bury Lamb. 

Charles J. Shain. Active, industrious and enterprising, Charles 
J. Shain, who as a druggist and groceryman is intimately associated 
with the mercantile interests of Birmingham, is a fine representative of 
the native-born citizens of Bloomfield township, where his birth 
occurred July 3, 1882. 

His father, James J. Shain, the son of a farmer, was born in Gen- 
esee county, Michigan, and while young became familiar with the va- 
rious branches of agriculture. Being left fatherless when eighteen years 
of age, he assumed the management of the parental acres, living with his 
widowed mother until his own marriage. After his marriage he lived 
for four years in Bloomfield township, and then removed to Birming- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 617 

ham, establishing himself in the plumbing business, which he is still 
carrying on with profit. He married Fanny Pardee, and they reared 
but one child, Charles J. 

Brought up and educated in Birmingham, Charles J. Shain was 
graduated from the high school, after which he w^as for three and one- 
half years employed in the drug and grocery store which he now owns 
and operates. Desirous then of further advancing his knowledge of 
drugs and their uses, he took a course of study in the Ferris Institute, 
at Big Rapids. Locating then in Pontiac, Michigan, Mr. Shain had 
charge of the South Side Pharmacy for three years, gaining while 
there both knowledge and experience. He returned from there to Birm- 
ingham, and a year later bought the drug and grocery business with 
which he has since been successfully identified, having gained the con- 
fidence and good will of the people and built up a remunerative trade 
in both drugs and groceries. lie is known as a young man of financial 
ability, and is a director of the First National Bank of Birmingham. 

Fraternally Mr. Shain is a member of Birmingham Lodge, No. 44, 
Free and Accepted Masons ; of Birmingham Chapter, No. 93, Royal 
Arch Masons; of Pontiac Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar; and 
of Birmingham Lodge, No. 149, Knights of Pythias. 

John L. Campbell, M. D. Prominent among Oakland county's 
best known and most successful physicians and surgeons is John L. 
Campbell, M. D., of Birmingham, who for upwards of thirty years 
has been actively identified with one of the most important and useful 
professions to which a man may devote his time and energies. He was 
born in Oakwood, Michigan, May 20, 1857, ^^^ comes from a long 
line of honored Scotch ancestry, being a direct descendant in the sixth 
generation from the immigrant ancestor, Robert Campbell, Sr., his line- 
age being thus traced : Robert Campbell, Sr., Robert Campbell, Jr., Wil- 
liam Campbell, Roswell Campbell, Welcome Campbell and John L. 
Campbell. 

Robert Campbell was born and reared in Argyleshire, Scotland, going 
from there to the north of Ireland in 1718. In 1719 he immigrated to 
America, settling in Voluntown, Connecticut, which was the home of 
his descendants for two hundred years. Robert Campbell, Jr., was a 
life-long resident of Voluntown. William Campbell, born in Connecti- 
cut in 1743, served for six days as a minute man during the Revolu- 
tionary war, and on December 16, 1773, was a member of the famous 
Boston Tea Party. He was later appointed sergeant of Company 3, 
Regiment 3, of the Colony of Connecticut. Subsequently moving to 
New York, he spent his last years in Utica, Oneida county, passing 
away in 1820. Born in Connecticut, in 1773, Roswell Campbell accom- 
panied the family to Oneida county, New York, in 1800, and in 1830 
moved to Rochester, New York. He subsequently came to Oakland 
county, Michigan, and died in Oakwood, in 1843. 

Welcome Campbell, born in the township of Paris, Oneida county, 
New York, July 20, 18 10, came with three of his brothers to Oakland 
county Michigan, in pioneer days, settling in Oakwood. His father, 
stepmother and an older sister were dependent upon him for a living, 
and when he was well located he found that he had but five dollars in 
cash left of his scanty hoard. Immediately clearing five acres of the tim- 
bered land which he bought from the government, he raised enough 



618 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

vegetables to last the family through the long winter, which was spent 
in the log cabin he had built in the woods. He continued as a farmer 
until 1850, when he embarked in mercantile pursuits, opening a store 
in Oakwood, and also working some at his trade of a cooper. Suc- 
ceeding well, he also became owner of a store at Pontiac, it being located 
near the present site of Hotel Hodges. In 1859 ^^ traded his stores 
and land for one hundred and sixty acres of land in Royal Oak town- 
ship, and in addition to clearing and improving a homestead bought 
other land, becoming owner of eight hundred acres, which were ul- 
timately divided among his children. He lived on his farm until his 
death, November 11, 1888. His wife, whose maiden name was .Mary 
Jane Cheney, survived him more than twenty years, passing away Feb- 
ruary 19, 191 1. They were the parents of ten children, of whom five 
are now living, as follows: Mary J., widow of John Felker, resides in 
Royal Oak township; Lurinda, wife of Joseph B. Grow, of the same 
township; David L., also of that place; Albert W., of Oakland county; 
and John L., the special subject of this sketch. 

Turning, as is natural to one of his mental caliber, toward a pro- 
fessional career, John L. Campbell began the study of medicine when 
young, in October, 1877, entering the medical department of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated July i, 1880, 
with the degree of M. D. Beginning his practice in Ohio, Dr. Camp- 
bell spent a year and a half at Wabash City, Mercer county. Returning 
to Michigan, he was located for a year and a half in Royal Oak town- 
ship and a year in Genesee county. In December, 1883, ^^"^^ doctor began 
the practice of his profession in Birmingham, where he has since built 
up a large and remunerative patronage, his professional skill and knowl- 
edge having gained him the confidence and esteem of the people for miles 
around. He has always been much interested in local affairs, in his 
political views being a liberal Republican. He was for twenty years 
pension examiner at Pontiac ; for twenty-eight years he has been health 
officer in Birmingham ; and for the past six years has been a member of 
the Board of Registration in Medicine for the state of Michigan. 

Fraternally Dr. Campbell is a member of Birmingham Lodge, No. 
44, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons ; of Birmingham Chap- 
ter, No. 146, Royal Arch Masons ; and has taken the thirty-second de- 
gree of Masonry and belongs to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and is a member and was the first chancellor of Birm- 
ingham Lodge, of Knights of Pythias. The present Mrs. Campbell be- 
longs to the Pythian Sisters and to the Ladies of the Modern Macca- 
bees. She is a daughter of George McQuater, who was a native of 
Scotland and died in 19 10. 

Dr. Campbell married, November 25, 1880, Josephine V. Gully, 
who died May i, 1897. She was a daughter of Alexander and Caroline 
Gully' who immigrated to the United States from France, where they 
were born, reared and married. Two children blessed their union, 
namely: Carrie Maud, wife of Dr. Hilty, who is associated with Dr. 
CampJDell in the practice of medicine ; and Lloyd G., who received the 
degree of M. D. at the University of Michigan with the class of 1908, 
and has since been second assistant surgeon in the Soldiers' National 
Home at Marion, Indiana. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 619 

John li. Austin. Deprived of a father's care in his infancy, and 
thenceforth dependent wholly on his mother for support until he could 
do something for himself, the boyhood and youth of John B. Austin, 
chief of the Pontiac fire department, were passed under privations and 
difficulties, which, however, only stimulated him to greater exertions 
when he took up the battle for himself, which he did at an early age. 
His mother did the best she could for her two children, but her un- 
aided efforts were insufficient to make the kind and extent of provision 
she wished for them, and as soon as he was able the son began making 
his own way in the world. 

He was born in Guelph, province of Ontario, Canada, on August 
17, 1859, and is a son of Alexander and Violet (Prentice) Austin, na- 
tives of Scotland. The father was a railroad engineer, and died, as has 
been noted, during the infancy of his son. The mother is now living 
in Pontiac. They had two children, their son John and their daughter 
Ellen, who is now the wife of Frank Gibbons, of Rochester, Michigan. 
Some time after the death of their father the mother married a sec- 
ond husband, uniting herself with John Mason, of Pontiac, who has 
been dead several years. By this union she became the mother of four 
additional children: William P., who resides in Rochester, Michigan; 
Thomas P. and Margaret, who are residents of Pontiac ; and Belle, who 
is the wife of S. Guelick and dwells in Detroit. 

John B. Austin attended the public school kept for many years in 
the basement of the old Episcopal church in Pontiac, and after leaving 
it started to learn the trade of a brick mason, working at it several 
months. He then abandoned the trade and joined his uncle, John Pren- 
tice, in the dray and trucking business, with which he was actively con- 
nected for a period of ten years, during which, in September, 1881, he 
was made a member of the Pontiac fire department. In November, 
1890, he entered the employ of the American Express Company, and 
with this company he was connected nineteen years, first as a driver, 
next as a clerk, then as a messenger, running on all railroads in Mich- 
igan and keeping up his activity in this department of the service until 
1903. In that year he was appointed agent at the office of the com- 
pany in Pontiac, and continued to serve in that capacity until 1908. 
but through all this time he held on to his interest in the trucking busi- 
ness and gave it as much attention as he could. 

On January 10, 1910, he was appointed chief of the Pontiac fire 
department, a i)Osition which he still holds, and which has brought him 
many hazardous and thrilling experiences. But he has never wavered 
in the face of danger, and has always performed his duties w^ith clear- 
ness of vision, quickness and accuracy of judgment, and great prompt- 
ness and vigor of action. The department has never had a better chief, 
and has never given the community better service than since he has 
been at the head of it. 

Mr. Austin was married on April 5, 1881, to Miss Hannah Clark, a 
daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Wooley) Clark, natives of England. 
Five children have been born of the union, all of whom are living: Ella 
V. and Eva M., who are still at home with their parents; Harry B., 
who is in the employ of the Michigan Refining Company in Pontiac: 
Stewart A., who has charge of the truck business belonging to his 
father; and John C, who is a student in the Pontiac high school. 

Politically Mr. Austin is a Democrat and an earnest worker for his 



620 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

party. Fraternally he is connected with the Order of Foresters, the 
Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America. His religious 
affiliation is with the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1886 and 1887 
he was treasurer of the Democratic organization in the Second ward 
of the city, where he lived at the time. 

Albert W. Campbell. A man of pronounced business capacity 
and judgment, Albert W. Campbell holds a place of prominence and 
influence among the enterprising and progressive citizens of Birming- 
ham, where for many years he has represented many of the leading in- 
surance companies of the United States, and has served as justice of the 
peace. A native of Oakland count}^ Michigan, he was born in Oakwood, 
at Campbell's Corners, April 6, 1855, a son of Welcome Campbell, and 
a lineal descendant in the sixth generation from Robert Campbell, the 
immigrant ancestor of the branch of the Campbell family from which 
he is descended, the line being traced through Robert Campbell, Sr., 
Robert, Jr., William, Roswell and Welcome, father of Albert W., the 
subject. 

Born and reared in Argyleshire, Scotland, Robert Campbell, Sr., 
emigrated when a young man to the north of Ireland, and the following 
year, in 17 19, crossed the Atlantic in search of a home in the new world, 
locating in Voluntown, Connecticut, where he spent the remainder of his 
life. Robert Campbell, Jr., the next in line of descent, w^as a life-long 
resident of Connecticut. His son, William Campbell, through whom the 
line w^as continued, was born in V^oluntown, Connecticut, in 1743, and 
died in Utica, New York, in 1820. He w^as an active participant in the 
Revolutionary war, having been one of the band of men who, disguised 
as Indians, destroyed the tea in the Boston Harbor in December, 1773, 
and subsequently serving as a minute man in Boston for six days. He 
afterwards enlisted in Company 3, Regiment 3, of the Colony of Con- 
necticut, being made sergeant of his company. His son Roswell, born in 
Connecticut in 1773, was Mr. Campbell's grandfather. He moved to 
Oneida county. New York, about 1800, later coming to Michigan, and 
spending his last days in Oakland countv, where his death occurred in 

1843. 

Welcome Campbell was born in New York state, and as a young 
man made his way to Oakland county, Michigan, locating at Campbell's 
Corners when all of that part of the country was in its primitive wild- 
ness, the wild beasts of the forest habiting, with the dusky savage, the 
forests roundabout. Purchasing eighty acres of government land, he 
erected a rude log cabin, cleared five acres of land, on which he raised 
enough vegetables to last the family, which included his father, his 
step-mother and an older sister, through the following winter, all of 
those people being dependent upon him for support. Industrious and 
enterprising, he improved a good farm and made some money. In 1850 
he started in business at Oakwood, opening a general store, and also 
became proprietor of a store in Pontiac, occupying a building that is 
now standing in close proximity to Hotel Hodges. He built up a fine 
trade, keeping a well assorted stock of goods, which he bought in the 
east, making two trips each year to Boston and New York to buy stock for 
his stores. In 1859 he exchanged all of his property, including his stores, 
and his Oakwood homestead, for one hundred and sixty acres of land in 
Royal Oak township, that farm now being platted property. He pros- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 621 

pered in his agricultural labors, becoming owner ere his death, which 
occurred November ii, 1888, of eight hundred acres of valuable land. 
He married Mary Jane Cheney, who passed away February 10, 191 1, at 
the venerable age of eighty-seven years. Of their ten children, five art 
now living, as follows : Mary J., widow of John Felker, of Royal Oak 
township ; David L., a prominent farmer of Royal Oak township ; Lurinda, 
wife of Joseph B. Grow, of the same township; Albert W., the special 
subject of this brief biographical review; and John L., M. D. 

Educated in the common and high schools of Royal Oak, Albert W. 
Campbell remained beneath the parental roof-tree until attaining his 
majority. Being then given a portion of the home farm, he bought a 
tract of adjoining land, and was there engaged in tilling the soil until 
1890. Moving then with his family to Birmingham, Mr. Campbell, from 
the Rowland E. Trowbridge heirs, bought seventeen acres of land lying 
near the present site of the village of Birmingham, platted it as Camp- 
bell's subdivision, and has since disposed of all the lots, or nearly all, in 
the transaction making some money. Embarking then in the insurance 
business, he is now agent for the Royal Exchange, the Aetna, the Amer- 
ican Central, the Michigan Fire and Marine, the Detroit National Fire 
and the American Surety, of New York, all of them being substantial 
and reliable insurance companies. He is a stockholder in the Michigan 
Fire and Marine Insurance Company and the Detroit National Fire 
Company, of Detroit, and also of the First State Savings Bank of Bir- 
mingham. 

Mr. Campbell is a sound Republican in politics, and has filled various 
public offices most acceptably to all concerned. For eight years he was 
clerk of Bloomfield township, at the same time serving four years as vil- 
lage clerk ; he was treasurer of the local school board four years, and for 
the past seven years has been justice of the peace. Fraternally he is a 
member of 1 Birmingham Lodge, No. 44, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Order of Masons ; and of liirmingham Lodge, No. 149, Knights of 
Pythias . 

On June 7, 1877, Mr. Camj^bell was united in marriage with Martha 
Lee, daughter of Daniel and Zilpha (Randolph) Lee, of Odessa, On- 
tario, where she was born. Two children have blessed their union, 
namely: Zilpha J. and Daniel W. Zilpha J. Campbell was graduated 
from the l)irmingham high school and from the literary department of 
the University of Michigan, and subsequently taught the languages in 
the Birmingham schools for two -years ; at Rochester, Michigan, for four 
years ; and in Adrian, Michigan, for two years, being preceptress in each 
school. She married Charles J. Boyer, who represents a Chicago pub- 
lishing house in Detroit, and they have one child, Charles H. Boyer. 
Daniel W. Campbell, of Alpena, Michigan, is a graduate of the Detroit 
Dental College. He married Jennie Castle, and they have two children, 
Daniel W. Campbell, Jr., and Helen Gladys Campbell. 

Ar.KAiiAM L. Craft. It is scarcely to be gainsaid that there is no 
office carrying with it so much of responsibility as that of the instructor 
who moulds and fashions the plastic mind of youth ; who instills into 
the formative brain those principles which, Avhen matured, will be the 
chief heritage of the active man who in due time will sway multitudes, 
lead armies, govern nations or frame the laws by which civilized na- 
tions are governed. To say that all learned men are capable of being 



622 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

successful instructors and educators is by no means the truth. In- 
deed, one is inclined to believe that the true educator is born and not 
made, for he must have a vast knowledge of human nature in addition 
to his other attainments. 

Prominent among Michigan educators is Abraham L. Craft, school 
commissioner of Oakland county, a man of high ideals who believes that 
education should be that which makes the boys and girls "of quick 
perceptions, broad sympathies, and wide affinities ; responsive, but in- 
dependent; self-reliant, but deferential; loving truth and candor, but also 
moderation and proportion; courageous, but gentle; not finished, but 
perfecting." 

Mr. Craft is a native of Oakland county, his birth having occurred 
on a farm in Springfield township and his parents being Charles B. 
and Lydia (Lyman) Craft. They with the subject's grandfather and 
grandmother, Abraham and Huldah (Newberry) Craft, made an early 
settlement in what was then the territory of Michigan, having removed 
from Wayne county. New York. They made the trip by way of the 
Erie Canal to Bufifalo and thence across Lake Erie to Detroit. From 
Detroit these pioneers made their way through the thinly settled coun- 
try by means of ox-teams to Pontiac, the year of their arrival being 
1835. In that same year the family settled in Springfield township, 
on land taken up from the government and located in sections 31 and 
32, this farm being still owned and occupied by members of the fam- 
ily. The father of the subject was the son of Abraham and Huldah 
(Newberry) Craft and was born in Rose, New York, in 1818, his 
death occurring at Springfield, Michigan, in 1904. The other members 
of this family were Thorne, James, Patti, Joel and Clarissa (Covell.) 
The subject's grandfather, Abraham Craft, was the son of Thomas 
Craft, of Wayne Center, Wayne county. New York, who with his 
brother, Pine Craft, served in the Revolutionary war. 

Mr. Craft's mother, Lydia Ann Lyman, was born in Wayne county. 
New York, in 1820, and died in 1859. She was the daughter of Jesse 
Lyman, who in the early days was the light-house keeper on Lake 
Ontario at Sodus, New Y^ork. An uncle, Philander Lyman, was in 
charge of this light house until 1909. The children of Jesse Lyman's 
family consisted of Milo S., Angeline (Copp), Belding, Henry, Lydia 
(Craft), and Philander. The children of Charles B. and Lydia (Ly- 
man) Craft are as follows: Huldah E. (Pepper), deceased; Sarah A. 
(Smith) ; Helen J. (Miller) ; Charles 11. : Jacob H., Abraham L. ; and 
Elsie (Wooster.) 

Abraham L. Craft lived on the farm until eighteen years of age, 
and in the meantime attended the district school. He then devoted two 
years to pursuing the studies belonging to the curriculum of the Holly 
high school after which he taught a year and earned the money with 
which to pay his expenses at the Fenton high school. There he still 
further advanced his knowledge, studying industriously for a period 
of three years and being graduated in 1880. Mr. Craft next taught at 
Highland for two years and then took a commercial course at the De- 
troit Business University. Returning to Highland, he again took up his 
work there and continued it for three years, when he was elected prin- 
cipal of the Clarkston high school, which position he held for thirteen 
years. He was then elected superintendent of the Rochester high 
school, where he remained in charge nine years. In 1897-98 Mr. Craft 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 623 

took a course at the Ferris Institute and Normal College, where he pre- 
pared for a state life certificate, which he received in 1898. In 191 1 
he was elected county school commissioner without opposition and re- 
ceived nearly six thousand votes. He has already given enlightened 
proof of the wisdom of the popular choice. 

In the political issues of the day Mr. Craft takes no inconsiderable 
interest and his judgment concurs with the principles laid down in the 
Republican platform, which he therefore earnestly supports. Before 
his election to the office of school commissioner he was county school 
examiner for ten years. 

Mr. Craft was married in 1889, his chosen lady being Miss Carrie 
Belle Jennings, daughter of Horatio N. and Lida A. (Peck) Jennings, of 
Fenton. Mr. Jennings was for thirty-tive years the editor of the Fen- 
ton Independent, of which paper he was the founder in 1868. The fam- 
ily of Mr. and Mrs. Jennings consisted of four children, as follows : 
Flizabeth M., teacher of music in the Fenton schools ; John H., super- 
visor of Fenton township; Clara N. (Thompson), of Detroit; and Car- 
rie B. (Craft.) Mrs. Craft is one of P^ontiac's cultured and interesting 
women and has been secretary of the Pontiac Woman's Club for two 
years and is treasurer of the Oakland County Federation of Women's 
Clubs, in whose affairs she takes an active and helpful interest. 

But few men are better known in Oakland county than Mr. Craft, 
and none more favorably, and nearly his whole life has been devoted 
to school work. He is a Mason of high degree and his name is found 
on the roster of Cedar Lodge, No. 60, F. & A. M., of Clarkston ; 
Rochester Lodge, No. 5, Pontiac Lodge, No. 21, F. & A. M. ; Oakland 
Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M. ; Pontiac Council, No. 3, R. & S. M. ; Pontiac 
Commandery, No. 2, K. T. and Moslem Temple, A. O. N. M. S., De- 
troit. He was worshipful master of Cedar Lodge and Rochester Lodge 
for fourteen years and exemplifies in his own living the high moral 
principles for which the great order stands. He is also identified with 
the Maccabees Lodge, No. 85, of Clarkston, and Pontiac Lodge, No. 
19, Knights of Pythias. Mr. and Mrs. Craft are both members of 
Rochester Chapter, No. 165, O. E. S. In 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Craft 
removed to Pontiac to make their permanent home, having purchased 
a residence in this city, which is one of the favorite gathering-places 
in its pleasant boundaries. 

The following tribute has been paid to Mr. Craft in a publication. 
"No one can be more deserving of representation in a volume of a 
biographical nature than those wdio are giving their attention to the 
guidance of the young and endeavoring to cultivate their minds and 
morals. Among the most admirable of these is Mr. Craft, the present 
school commissioner of Oakland county. In gaining his own educa- 
tion he showed the quality of his character as well as his mind, and 
the determination he manifested in his early years and his eager desire 
for thorough schooling gives him an added fitness for the work which 
he has undertaken, as he knows how to encourage and guide as he might 
not otherwise have done." 

Henry Pault. The same cool, discerning judgment which led 
Henry Pauli, of Pontiac, from the Fatherland to the New World many 
years ago has governed his busy, useful life and won for him the rank 
that he now occupies of one of Pontiac' s leading citizens. Mr. Pauli 



624 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

was born in Germany on July 14, 185 1, a son of Henry and Machtalena 
(Born) Pauli. Both of the parents spent their entire lives in Germany, 
but their descendants all located in America. There were six of the 
children, the eldest being the subject of this sketch. The others were: 
Mary, widow of F. Margraff, of Detroit; Phillipina, wife of Henry 
Scheibel, of Wyandotte, Michigan; Julia, wife of Louis Grim, of Men- 
don, Michigan ; and the two youngest children, who died in infancy. 

Henry Pauli came to America in 1867, locating first in Detroit, 
where he mastered the art of shoemaking. In December, 1870, he came 
to Pontiac, and opening a shop followed his trade until 1892, when he 
opened a small shoe store, buying out Elliott & Durand. He increased 
the stock and equipment of the establishment until he is now propri- 
etor of the largest shoe house in Pontiac. He has other investments 
as well, owning seven residences, including the one which constitutes 
his home. 

On September 2, 1872, Mr. Pauli and Miss Catharine Smidt were 
married, and they became the fond parents of six sturdy children, all 
of whom are living, and all residents of Pontiac. Frederick is in the 
jewelry business and Francis is a mail carrier. Henry W. is associated 
with his father. Minnie married H. E. Meldrum, a salesman. Annie 
and John, the youngest children, are at home, the young man assisting 
in his father's business house. 

Mr. Pauli is one of the staunch members of the Roman Catholic 
faith. He has held many posts of public or semi-public prominence. 
For two years he was treasurer of his ward — 1887 to 1889, inclusive. 
He was alderman from the Second ward for four years. In fraternal 
orders he has been greatly honored by his associates. He has oc- 
cupied all of the chairs in the Foresters of America, both in the local 
and state organizations, and belongs also to the Elks, Woodmen of 
America and Lady Foresters. 

Frank J. Malcolm has been identified with agricultural interests 
of Commerce township all his life. He was born here, on the farm 
he now owns and operates, and is one of the prominent and popular 
men of the township. He was born November 8, 1876, the son of 
John and Lucy (Danderson) Malcolm, both born and reared in the 
townships of West Bloomfield and Pontiac, respectively. The paternal 
grandparents of the subject were George and Janet (Andre) Mal- 
colm, natives of Scotland, who settled in West Bloomfield, in section 
7, in 1832. 

Frank J. Malcolm attended the public school and in 1895 entered the 
state Normal College at Ypsilanti. The death of his father in 1896 
compelled his return home, and he did not return to his studies for 
six months. He was graduated in 1899. In addition to his farming in- 
terests, Mr. Malcolm has been a leader in the political and civic life 
of his community, and has been a town official in one capacity or an- 
other for a number of years. He was school inspector for four years, 
town treasurer for two years and township supervisor for the years 
191 1 and 1912, being still in service. His own farm contains 185 acres 
in section 12, and it is one of the fine places in the township. In 1908 
he came to Commerce village to take charge of his father-in-law's 
farm, which he has since rented. 

The marriage of Mr. Malcolm took place on September 6, 1905, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 625 

when Miss Floy Sudgen became his wife. She was a native of Com- 
merce, the only daughter of John and Augusta (Jakeway) Sudgen. 
One child has been born to them, — Lucile Malcolm, born September 
1 6, 1906. 

Mr. Malcolm is a Republican, and fraternally is a Mason, affiliat- 
ing with Commerce lodge, No. 121, and the Eastern Star. 

Albert B. Smith. One of the old and honored families of Oak- 
land county, Michigan, and one which has been closely identified with 
the agricultural interests of this section for more than eighty years, is 
that of Smith, a worthy representative of which is found in the per- 
son of Albert B. Smith, of Novi township, who is still farming a part 
of the original family homestead where he was born. Mr. Smith's 
birth occurred April 29, 1849, i^ Novi township, his parents being Ben- 
jamin P. and Jane (Rodgers) Smith, the former a native of the state 
of New York and the latter of Vermont. 

Benjamin P. Smith accompanied his parents to Michigan in 1829, 
settling on land taken up by the grandfather of Albert B., a tract of 320 
acres, part of which still belongs to Mr. Smith and is operated by him. 
There Benjamin P. Smith was reared to manhood and spent his entire 
life, gaining a position of confidence among his fellow townsmen and 
becoming known as one of his community's foremost citizens. From 
1862 to 1865 he served as a recruiting officer for this district for the Fed- 
eral army, a disabled arm preventing his enlistment as an active partici- 
pant at the front. For twenty-three years he served faithfully as super- 
visor and township clerk of Novi township and no public official was 
held in higher esteem. 

The boyhood of Albert B. Smith was spent on the home farm, and 
his education was secured in the Flint district school. In January, 1874, 
he was married to Miss Hannah Hammond, of Novi township, who 
was born in the state of New York, February 26, 1852, and came to 
Novi township in 1855 with her parents, Shubel and Margaret (Mathews) 
Hammond, who purchased a farm on section 2. The following chil- 
dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith : Benjamin, foreman in a 
foundry at Northville ; Shubel, assistant roadmaster on the Pere Mar- 
quette Railroad ; William B., yardmaster at Red Wing, Minnesota, for 
the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad; Grover C, owner of a farm of 
140 acres in Ogemaw county, jMichigan ; Plattie S., wife of John Kuhn, 
a mechanic in a gun factory at Northville ; Lula, wife of Henry Part- 
ridge, of Hoboken, New Jersey, a real estate dealer; Fred, owner of a 
farm of eighty acres located in Ogemaw county ; Ernest, Ralza and 
Ralph, who are farming on shares in Novi township ; Sarah, who lives 
in Plymouth; and four children who were born as quadruplets, but who 
only lived about four hours, this occurrence being noted generally at the 
time of their birth throughout the country. 

Mr. Smith is a Democrat and supports the principles and candidates 
of that party, but has never allowed himself to be persuaded to enter 
the public arena as a seeker for political preferment, preferring to de- 
vote his time and energies to cultivating his property. He and his fam- 
ily are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. As a man wdio has 
spent a long and useful life in pursuits calculated to be of benefit to 
his community, Mr. Smith holds a position of prominence among his 



626 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

fellow townsmen, while his acquaintance is wide and his circle of 
friends correspondingly large. 

George H. Taylor. To some men is given the power to judge 
properly and correctly of human nature, certain talents which enable 
them to pick out the honest from the dishonest, the capable from those 
of little ability or capacity, and when such men are placed in positions 
of public trust their faculties are brought into good play and serve the 
people admirably. George H. Taylor, justice of the peace of Novi, has 
lived in that section all his life, and the confidence in which he is held 
by his fellow citizens has been demonstrated by his election to public 
office, the duties of which he discharges while carrying on the vocation 
of a successful agriculturist. Mr. Taylor was born in Novi, Oakland 
county, Michigan, July 4, 1862, and is a son of James and Sarah (Uridge) 
Taylor, natives of New York. 

Mr. Taylor's parents came to Michigan in 1850, the family first set- 
tling in Detroit, from whence they removed to Northville, and from 
that point to Novi in i860. For some time the members of the family 
worked land on shares in Novi, where George H. Taylor worked on 
the farm in summer and attended the district schools during the win- 
ter months. As a young man he was enterprising, progressive and in- 
dustrious, and was able to purchase forty acres of land in section 15 
which tract he still owns, continuing on the farm until 1906 when he 
engaged in contracting for the care of orchards on a percentage of 
crop basis, thus accumulating thirty acres of good land. A stalwart 
Republican in his political views, he was elected justice of the peace of 
Novi, and has given to the affairs of that office the same careful con- 
sideration that has characterized his private ventures, his valuable ser- 
vices being appreciated in full by his fellow-townsmen. He takes a keen 
interest in the work of the Gleaners, of which organization he is a 
member, as he is also of the Royal Guards. Both he and Mrs. Taylor 
are members of the Baptist church, are interested in religious work, and 
espouse every good and charitable cause that comes within their notice. 

In 1901 Mr. Taylor was united in marriage with Mrs. Ida (Moul- 
ton) Higgins, who was born in Novi, Michigan, daughter of Horace 
and Malinda (Chappell) Moulton, natives of New York, her father 
having been a blacksmith. By her former marriage Mrs. Taylor had 
three children, namely: Theodore, who is a well known lumberman of 
northern Michigan ; Cora, who is the wife of Ellsworth Collins, of Fair 
Hope, Alabama ; and Irvin, who also lives at Fair Hope. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Taylor there has been given one child : Francis, who was born 
November 2, igo2. 

During his entire business career Mr. Taylor has been known as 
a man who has been actuated by the highest principles of honor, and 
as a result has gained and retained the esteem of his fellow men. Dur- 
ing the fifty years he has been a resident of Oakland county he has 
been closely identified with its progress and development and is justly 
recognized as one of its most influential men. 



-'S^ 



Edward Burns. Industrious, enterprising and self-reliant, Edward 
Burns has attained a noteworthy position among the successful farmers 
of Oakland county, and is a fine representative of the self-made men 
of Rose township, where he is actively engaged in general farming. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 627 

Beginning life for himself in the valley of humble circumstances, he 
has made excellent use of his opportunities and by a diligent applica- 
tion of his abilities to the work in hand has made steady progress along 
the pathway of prosperity. A native of New York, he was born in 
1 86 1 in Livingston county, not far from Honeoye Falls, and was there 
bred and educated, growing to manhood on a farm. 

In 1886 he started westward, coming to Michigan, a state full of 
possibilities for a young man 'of energy and ability. Locating in Ty- 
rone township, Livingston county, Mr. Burns worked as a farm la- 
borer by the month for eleven years, receiving good wages for those 
times. Prudent in his expenditures and wise in his savings, he ac- 
cumulated considerable money, and in 1897 invested it in land, buying 
a farm in Tyrone township, going in debt to some extent. After doing 
some work on the place he sold a part of it, and in 1899 purchased his 
present home property of one hundred and twenty acres in Rose town- 
ship. Here he is carrying on general farming with most gratifying 
results, his land being under a good state of cultivation and yielding 
abundant harvests each year. Mr. Burns also retained one hundred 
and twenty acres of his land in Tyrone towaiship, Livingston county, 
and operates both farms, which are only one and one-half miles a part. 
Although not a stock raiser, he sometimes feeds cattle, confining himself 
principally, however, to the tilling of the soil. This industry he hnds 
quite profitable as w^ell as pleasant, having paid^ off all of his indebted- 
ness and started a good bank account. 

Mr. Burns supports the principles of the Democratic party at the 
polls, but is not a politician in any sense of the term. P^aternall}' he 
is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Fenton. 
Having never married, he is free from domestic trials and tribulations. 

Jacojj H. Smith, a retired farmer of section 7, White Lake town- 
ship, Oakland county, Alichigan, is a well know^n and respected citizen 
of his community. He has lived in this neighborhood for nearly thirty 
years, and has ahvays been well liked by his neighbors. They have 
invariably found him ready to aid in any laudable undertaking for the 
good of the district. 

Mr. Smith was born in Plymouth, Wayne county, Michigan, on De- 
cember 22, 184Q, the son of Benjamin and Abigail (Sargent) Smith, 
both natives of New York. Mr. Smith w-as the youngest of his five 
brothers and sisters, of whom all are now dead. In the year 1850 at 
the time of the gold rush into California Mr. Smith, Sr., started west 
to make his fortune, but was taken ill with yellow^ fever and died on 
the way. Mrs. Smith then moved to Springfield township, and some 
time later was remarried to John ^liller, of Plymouth. They had one 
child, Libby, who is now^ the wife of Will O'Neill, of Andersonville, 
^Michigan. 

All three of lacob's older brothers enlisted in the army to fight in 
the Civil war, and Jacob attempted to join them but was prevented on 
account of his youth. When he was sixteen years old his mother 
died, so that he was thrown on his own resources. He worked out 
until his marriage took place, on March 14, 1884, to Phoebe Bush, of 
Highland township. He then rented a farm in White Lake, remain- 
ing on it for five: years. He then went back to Highland township, 
where he farmed for the next nine years, after w^hich he bought a farm 



628 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in White Lake township, where he has lived ever since. His wife 
died February 14, 1909, and on the next January he lost his home by 
fire. 

Although Mr. and Mrs. Smith had no children of their own they 
raised Lenora Spicer from childhood, taking her when she was only 
eleven years old. She is now a talented musician and expects to be- 
come a music teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have always attended the 
White Lake Presbyterian church. Mr. Smith is a Democrat. He now 
owns 215 acres of land of an original 220. 

Waite Brothers. The wide-awake, enterprising and progressive city 
of Pontiac, Michigan, whose population has shown a more than forty 
per cent, increase within the last ten years, has many merchants and other 
business men of which any community might be proud. They represent 
the best features of present-day business methods in this country, and these 
involve readiness for all requirements of their trade, strict integrity in 
every transaction, and thorough knowledge of the business in hand in 
every way. Among the up-to-date firms that dignify and adorn the 
business life of the city and give it character and standing in the busmess 
world throughout a large extent of country outside, that of Waite Brothers 
is in the front rank. These gentlemen are leading dry goods merchants m 
Pontiac, and have been engaged in their present undertaking since 1896, 
when they bought the establishment and business from J. S. Stockwell, 
who founded the house in 1881 and conducted it to the time he sold it to 
them. 

The firm is composed of Elwin Livingston and Lester Edwin Waite, 
twin brothers whose signatures are Elwin L. and L. Edwin Waite, signa- 
tures well known in business circles in and out of Pontiac, and always 
good for the face value to whatever they are attached. The father of 
these brothers, Brockholst Livingston Waite, was a native of New York 
state. For a number of years he was engaged in the lumber business at 
Glens Falls in that state, but being quick to seize upon any opportunity 
that presented itself for profitable investment, he also took a hand in 
various other enterprises widely different in character. 

The elder Mr. Waite came to Michigan from his native state about 
thirty years ago and located in Oxford township, Oakland county, where 
he operated a grist mill for a number of years. While living in the state 
of New York he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah W. Kathan, who 
was born near Conklingville in that state on December 25, 1830. She is 
now a resident of Pontiac, but the father died on December 7, 1908. For 
twelve or thirteen years prior to his death he lived retired from business in 
Pontiac, and for sometime previous to locating in Pontiac he dwelt in 
Detroit. 

It was while the father was working out a big lumber tract which he 
owned in Lakefield, province of Ontario, Canada, that the twins compris- 
ing the firm of Waite Brothers were born, their lives beginning on October 
10, 1866. They were next to the last of the eight children born to their 
parents, six of whom are living. The one younger than the twins is their 
brother Fred A. Waite, a resident of Pontiac, and the others who are 
living are: Inez, the wife of C. A. Watson, of Chicago; Emma W., the 
wife of A. L. Stoddard, of Pontiac; and Carrie B., the wife of I. M. 
Proctor, of Petaluma, California. 

The twin brothers attended the district schools of Oxford, where they 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 629 

finished the course of instruction those schools had to offer, and then filled 
clerical positions, for a time in Oxford and afterward in Detroit, thus 
gaining their first experience in business life. In 1896, as has been noted, 
they bought their present business from J. S. Stockwell, who established it 
in 1881. At the time of their purchase of it the annual sales in the 
business amounted to about forty thousand dollars. That was sixteen 
years ago, and since then the volume of their sales has kept pace with the 
growth of Pontiac, and has expanded to very large proportions. This 
gratifying result is the logical sequence of the methods employed in 
conducting their trade. They are always alert to know and diligent in 
providing for the requirements of their patrons, and keeping their stock up 
to the last turn of the markets in every line. Their store is known 
throughout the city and county as a place where the latest and best 
products the money asked for them can buy anywhere are always to be 
found, and where a square deal in every particular is to be relied on. In 
addition to an extensive stock of dry goods and notions they also carry a 
•choice and popular line of ladies' ready-made garments. 

Elwin Livingston Waite, who is unmarried, makes his home with his 
mother. His brother, Lester Edwin Waite, was married in Petaluma, 
California, on September i, 1897, to Miss Ada E. Brown. They have two 
children, their daughters Esther and Wilma, both now attending school. 
Mr. and Mrs. Waite are members of the Episcopal church. Elwin L. 
Waite attends the Baptist church. He is a member of the Masonic order 
in Lodge, Chapter and Comandery, and also belongs to the order of Elks 
and the Knights of Pythias. L. Edwin Waite is also a member of the 
Knights of Pythias and the Order of Elks. The brothers are Republicans 
in their political faith, but they are too deeply immured in business to 
either be active partisans or desire public offices of any kind. The people 
of Pontiac and Oakland county look upon them as among the most enter- 
prising and progressive business men and the most elevated and represen- 
tative citizens of this part of the state, and they are well worthy of the 
estimation in which they are held. 

JuDSON A. Fredkni'.urgii. In its lawyers, Oakland county, Michigan, 
has a bulwark of strength against oppression by the unjust and in the 
protection of their guaranteed constitutional rights — a strength that is sup- 
plemented 1)y some of the brightest intellects of Pontiac, the home of a 
number of brilliant members of the bar. Among those worthy of special 
mention in this work is the eminent gentleman whose name stands at the 
head of this condensed biographical sketch, Judson A. Fredenburgh, who 
now holds the office of probate clerk, and who is pleasantly known both by 
profession and laity for his vigorous intellect, keen wit and wide informa- 
tion. 

Mr. Fredenburgh was born in Ontario, Canada, on October 19, 1865, 
the son of Charles B. and Mary (Bingleman) Fredenburgh, both natives 
of Canada, but both of German descent. Those splendid traits, character- 
istic of the Teutonic nature, are, in truth, apparent in the subject, having 
been transmitted to him as a valuable legacy from his grandsires. Both of 
his parents survive and now make their home in the Dominion of Canada. 
The father has been a farmer throughout his life, but is now living retired, 
enjoying in leisure the fruits of his former industry and thrift. Mr. 
Fredenburgh of this review is one of a family of six children, as follows : 
Sarah, wife of Alfred A. Meadows, of Ontario, Canada; William, a citi- 



630 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

zen of Ontario; Rev. C Truman, living in Leipsic, Ohio; the subject- 
Hattie, wife of Richard Sanders of Ontario ;and Evan B., also of that 
city. 

Mr. P>edenburgh was reared among the rural surroundings of his 
father s farm and remained beneath the parental roof-tree until the attain- 
ment of his majority. He received his preliminary education in the 
schools in the vicinity of his father's homestead and when he went forth 
like the proverbial hero of romance "to seek his fortunes" he made Buffa- 
lo the goal of his ambitions. After reaching that city he was for a twelve- 
month employed in the street car service, and at the end of that time 
returned to Ontario, where he attended high school for a year. He then 
taught school for two years, and ensuing upon his pedagogical work 
attended college at (joderich, Ontario. 

Upon finishing his studies at that institution of learning, Mr. Freden- 
burgh returned to Buffalo, where he remained for a year and following 
that came to Pontiac, where he entered the law office of J. E. Sawyer. 
This was in the year 1895, and he has remained throughout the ensuing 
period of seventeen years. within the borders of this thriving little city. 
In April, 1899, he was admitted to the bar and his career has been most 
successful. In 1902 his abilities received a recognition in his election to the 
circuit court commission, with which office he continued identified for two 
terms. In January, 1909, he was appointed probate clerk and holds the 
office at the present time. His career and position illustrate most happily 
for the purposes of this work the fact that if a young man possesses the 
proper attributes of mind and heart, he can unaided attain to a position 
of unmistakable precedence and gain for himself an honored position 
among the men who are the foremost factors in shaping the destinies of 
cities, communities and states. 

On November 8, 1900, Mr. Fredenburg was married to Anna M. 
Wertz. Mr. Fredenburgh is prominent in Masonry, being a member of 
Oakland Chapter and a past master of Pontiac Lodge, No. 21. His 
religious conviction is that of the Disciple church. 

Henry Carter. Although born and reared to the age of seven- 
teen on a large farm and trained to its work and management, Henry 
Carter, of Pontiac, where he is generally and favorably known, has never 
followed the occupation of his ancestors for many generations since tak- 
ing up the struggle for advancement among men on his own account. He 
IS a native of England, where his life began on June 17, 1820, and where 
his parents, George and Alice (Hopper) Carter, were also born and 
reared, and where their forefathers lived and labored as tillers of the 
soil for many generations. The father at one time owned and cultivated 
700 acres of land, living on and working it for forty years. The par- 
ents both died in England. They had four children: Plenry, George, 
Pannie and John and all are now deceased with the exception of Henry.' 
Being an extensive landholder, the father was necessarily a man of con- 
sequence in his neighborhood and had considerable influence in public 
affairs. He was also a man of intelligence and breadth of view, as en- 
terprising and progressive in his farming as he was in reference to all 
other interests. 

His son Henry left the farm when he was but seventeen years old and 
turned his attention to railroading. In 1854, when he was thirty-four 
years of age, he immigrated to Canada, where he lived four years. He 





-^^.tnM^ 






HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 631 

then crossed the line to Detroit in this state and took charge of what 
was then known as the Pontiac Railroad, and which, at that time, used 
wooden rails. It is now a i)art of the great Grand Trunk System, and 
is douhtless as well ec|uipped with rails and rolling stock and all the other 
requirements for modern railroad transportation as any other part of 
the enormous enterprise to which it belongs. 

Mr. Carter w^as engaged in railroad work for thirty years. At the 
end of that period he quit that line of endeavor and during the next 
four years kept a hotel in Pontiac. Finding a better opening in the 
roofing business, he gave up the hotel and began operations in the new 
industry, and in this he has been very successful, having been employed 
to gravel-roof nearly all of the business houses on the main street of 
Pontiac and many in other places. Recently, in about 1909, he gave to 
a niece a farm of one hundred and sixty-five acres in Oakland county. 

Although his life has been a somewhat migratory and ahvays a busy 
one, Mr. Carter has always found time and made opportunity to take 
part in local public affairs in an energetic and serviceable w^ay, for where- 
ever he has lived he has felt a dee]) and abiding interest in the w^elfare 
of his locality, and been zealous in helping to promote it. His political 
faith and support are given to the Democratic party, and he is loyal to 
it in feeling and serviceable in work. Fraternally he is a Free ATason 
and in church connection an Episcopalian. 

Mr. Carter has worked industriously and lived frugally all his life 
to the present time, and he has made his industry and frugality tell to 
his advantage. He owns his own home and some vacant lots and other 
property in Pontiac, and his business continues prosperous and profit- 
able. He is a man of genuine worth in all the relations of life, faith- 
ful to every duty as an American citizen, as loyal to the land of his 
adoption as he ever could have been to that of his birth, and a credit to 
the city, county and state in wdiich he lives, as he would be to any com- 
munity. He is w^ell known throughout Oakland and the adjoining 
counties, and in all places where the people have knowledge of him he is 
wxll esteemed as a sterling man and very desirable citizen. 

Wilson W. Baker. An active, ever busy man, full of life and energy, 
Wilson W. Baker is recognized as one of the foremost business men of 
Clyde, in addition to owning and managing a general hardware establish- 
ment being an extensive dealer in farm produce. A son of Anson W. 
Baker, he was born January 12, i860, in Highland township, Oakland 
county, of honored pioneer ancestry. 

Royal Baker, his paternal grandfather, came from Yates county. New 
York, to Oakland county, Michigan, in 1836, in territorial days. Settling 
in Highland township, he took up a tract of wild land in section eighteen, 
cleared and improved a farm, and lived to see the country roundabout 
well settled. He was quite successful in life, acquiring title to large tracts 
of land ere his death, which occurred on his homestead. His son, William 
Baker, of Grand Rapids, is the only one of his family now living. 

Born at Penn Yan, New York, in 1824, Anson W. Baker was twelve 
years old when he came with his parents to Oakland county, and on the 
home farm, which was located three miles west of Clyde, grew to manhood. 
In his boyhood days schoolhouses, churches and costly residences were 
here unknown; and neither railways nor telegraph or telephone lines 
spanned these broad acres, few, if any, evidences of modern civilization 



632 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

then existing. One of four brothers to inherit the parental homestead, 
he received as his share one hundred and twenty acres of timbered land, 
which he converted into a productive farm. Selling that, he subsequently 
bought out one of his brothers, becoming owner of that part of the old 
farm on which the house stood. He built a new house, added to the 
improvements previously begun, and there engaged in tilling the soil for 
many years. When ready to retire from active pursuits he removed 
to Clyde, where his death occurred at the age of seventy-six years. He 
married Julia A. Cowles, who is still living in Clyde, being now seventy-six 
years old. She has two sons, namely: Wilson W., with whom this sketch 
is chiefly concerned; and Winford L., of Los Angeles, California. The 
latter has been a railroad man all of his life, having formerly been 
associated with the Pere Marquette road, with office either in Detroit or 
Saginaw, and now being chief clerk for the Southern Pacific Railroad 
Company. 

Reared to agricultural pursuits, Wilson W. Baker began life for him- 
self as a tiller of the soil, buying a part of the old Baker homestead, which 
he managed successfully until 1893, when he embarked in the grain busi- 
ness at Clyde, buying out Willoughby & Wallace. Building a new elevator, 
Mr. Baker built up a substantial trade as a dealer in grain and farm 
produce, continuing until 1901, when he disposed of his elevator. He has 
since confined his operations to the trading in farm produce, some seasons 
shipping as many as ninety car loads of potatoes, in 191 1, however, 
handling but sixty cars of potatoes. During his entire residence in Clyde, 
Mr. Baker has also been engaged in mercantile pursuits of a different na- 
ture, handling hardware of all kinds, agricultural implements, wire fenc- 
ing and farmers' supplies of every description, his trade along this line 
being large and lucrative. For two years he likewise kept a general store 
in Clyde, his business operations having been varied. Although his busi- 
ness interests occupy the greater part of his time Mr. Baker occasionally 
visits his cottage at White Lake, where he takes much pleasure in fishing, 
and for the past thirteen years he has visited Northern Michigan each 
fall on a hunting expedition, and has in his house many trophies which tell 
of the good success he had on his trips. 

True to the political faith of his ancestors, Mr. Baker is a Republican. 
Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order 
of Masons, in which he has taken the Knights Templar degrees ; of 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed all the 
chairs, and has also served as a delegate to the Grand Lodge ; and of the 
Woodmen of the World. 

Mr. Baker has been twice married. He married first, October 24, 1882, 
Bertha Clark, of Livingston county. She died in 1900, leaving three chil- 
dren, namely: Raymond C, engaged in business at Salem, Oregon; Earl 
W., a professional ball player, belonging to the Louisville team, American 
Association; and Celia M., living at home. Mr. Baker married, second, 
July 3, 1901, Miss Edith Gordon, who was born in Oakland countv, a 
daughter of Robert Gordon, formerly of Rose township, but now residing 
at Holly, and they have one child, Anson R. Baker. 

Albert E. Letts. Having met with satisfactory success in his career 
both as a farmer and a merchant, Albert E. Letts, of South Lyon, Oakland 
county, is now living retired from active business cares, enjoying the fruits 
of his earlier years of toil. A son of Obed and Mary (English) Letts, he 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 633 

was born May 31, 1843, ^^ what is now South Lyon, Oakland county, on 
the farm which his father purchased from the government in 1832, the 
deed to it being signed by Andrew Jackson, then president of the United 
States. His father died in August, 1847, ^^^ the widowed mother kept her 
Httle family of seven children, Mary, Caroline, Sarah, Emeline, John, 
Albert E. and Harriet, together for awhile, one of the daughters teaching 
school as soon as old enough, while the boys worked out during seed time 
and harvest for neighboring farmers. 

As a lad Albert E. Letts received very limited educational advantages, 
but he was well trained in habits of industry and economy, beginning while 
young to earn wages as a farm hand. Falling heir to a part of the parental 
homestead, which is now included within the limits of South Lyon, he 
embarked in agricultural pursuits, and still owns the farm, which is located 
in section twenty-nine. Placing the land under cultivation, he made money 
as a tiller of the soil, and when, in 1900, he decided to try a change of 
occupation, Mr. Letts bought out the interests of John Webb, a dealer in 
coal and wood at South Lyon, and in his endeavors to build up the busi- 
ness, which was then in a somewhat chaotic state, being owned by several 
different people, made many improvements, one of his first measures 
having been to erect a store house capable of holding five hundred tons of 
coal, and there installing scales that could accurately weigh five tons of coal 
at a time. Here he built up a fine trade, which he conducted skilfully until 
his retirement from business. 

In September, 1867, Mr. Letts was united in marriage with Miss 
Aurelia Goodspeed, of Fremont, Michigan. She was born at Brighton, 
Michigan, in 1843, ^ daughter of Jotham and Rebecca (Adams) Good- 
speed, natives of New York state. Mr. and Mrs. Letts have one child, 
Alida, who was born in 1869, and after receiving a good education taught 
school several terms in the township schools. On October 24, 1892, Miss 
Alida Letts became the wife of Robert A. McNamee, of South Lyon, 
where he was then station agent for the Grand Trunk Railroad Company. 
Mr. McNamee was afterwards chief agent at Hamburg, Michigan, and 
still later was both station agent and express agent at Durand Junction. 
At the present time he is living at Dundee, Michigan, where he is serving 
as agent for the T. A. A. Railroad, the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton 
Railway, and for the Wabash Railroad Company. Mr. and Mrs. 
McNamee are the parents of two children, namely: Robert L., born Feb- 
ruary 18, 1894, at Hamburg, was graduated from the Dundee high school 
with the class of 191 2 ; and Harold A., born at Durand, Michigan, Decem- 
ber 2y, 1898, is attending school in Dundee. In his political relations Mr. 
Letts votes without regard to party affiliations for the best man and 
measures. He takes great interest in public affairs, and has served as 
village councilman two years. Mrs. Letts is a member of the Presbyterian 
church 

FiNLEY Ordell Lawson. Prominent among those whose extensive 
operations give them prestige among their fellows in Oakland county 
may be mentioned Finley Ordell Lawson, of Pontiac, a buyer and shipper 
of live-stock, whose success in his chosen field of endeavor has come 
as a result of his own industry and perseverance, backed by inherent 
business shrewdness and ability. Although born in Pennsylvania, he 
can w^ell claim Michigan as his home, for he has resided in the state 
since he was three years of age, and since coming here has made and 



634 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

maintained numerous friendships. Mr. Lawson was born April i, 1853, 
in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Alfred and Caroline 
Elizabeth (Rundel) Lawson, natives of the Keystone state. They came 
to Michigan in 1856, locating at first near Farmington, in Oakland county, 
the rest of Air. Lawson's life being spent in agricultural pursuits, and his 
death occurring at Brighton, Livingston county, in February, 1906. By 
his first wife, who died in 1863, he had four children : Elvira, who is 
deceased; Finley Ordell ; Ada Luella, the wife of C. Morgan, of Detroit; 
and Caroline Elizabeth, the wife of Gregory Ackerman, of Grayling, 
Crawford county. Alfred Lawson was married (second) to Miss Maria 
Rerick, and to them were born two children : ^Morgan C, who resides 
in Detroit; and Alfred D., who is deceased. 

At the age of fifteen years Finley O. Lawson, having secured a dis- 
trict school education, began to learn the trade of butcher at Holly, and 
after two years went to Pontiac and began to follow his trade. Being 
enterprising, industrious and economical, he eventually saved enough 
from his earnings to establish himself in a business of his own, and con- 
ducted various shops until 1890. In that year he took up the buying 
and shipping of all kinds of livestock, a business in which he has been 
engaged to the present time, having built up a large and lucrative trade, 
and having relations with the various large markets and wath agriculturists 
and stockmen all over this and the surrounding townships. He now 
has a handsome residence at No. 408 Perry street, Pontiac, and in addi- 
tion is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres in the upper peninsula. 
In his political views he is a Republican, but his private interests have 
kept his time so well occupied that he has never found leisure to enter 
the public field. His wife is a member and consistent attendant of the 
Methodist church. 

In 1878 Mr. Lawson was married to Miss Elizabeth Johnson, daughter 
of Henry Charles and Rebecca- (Alexander) Johnson, natives of Eng- 
land, who came to Pontiac in the early forties, Mr. Johnson being a 
painter by trade, a vocation which he followed at Holly until his death, 
which occurred at. the age of seventy-eight years and six months, the 
same age at which his wife passed away. They had a family of ten 
children, of whom five grew^ to maturity: Mary A., wife of O. Mitchell, 
of Midland, Michigan; Henry C, living at Elgin, Illinois; Rebecca, wife 
of Arthur Wright, of Fenton, Michigan; Mrs. Lawson; and Rachel, 
the wife of Frank Sturt, of Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson have had a 
family of seven children: Jennie G., the wife of Warren Decker, of Pon- 
tiac; Eugene F., also residing in Pontiac; Ada L., the wife of Albert 
Barton, of Detroit ; Grace Lorena, widow of Ernest Campsall, of De- 
troit; William, who died in infancy; Frank O., living in Pontiac; and 
Bernice Leone, born April 9, 1900. 

Ralzemond Allen Parker, practicing attorney of Detroit, Michi- 
gan since 1871, is the descendant of an old and honored family of Revolu- 
tionary stock, the advent of the family into this country dating back to 
1639, in which year William Parker, the founder of the family in America, 
came from England and settled with Rev. Hooker's congregation in 
Hartford, Connecticut. His son removed to New Haven and his grand- 
sons occupied "Parker's Farms'' in Wallingford, Connecticut, for years. 
Ezra Parker, the great-grandfather of the subject, born in Wallingford, 
and removed to North Adams, Massachusetts, in about 1771. He was a 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 635 

soldier, with the rank of orderly-sergeant, in the Revolutionary war, and 
was with Arnold on the expedition to Quebec in 1775. Later he was 
at Bennington and Saratoga (1777), still later, about 1798, he and the 
family removed to Oneida county, New York. His son, William M. 
Parker, settled with his family in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1835, and 
his grandson, Asher B., the father of the subject, was then a member 
of William M. Parker's family. 

Thus we have the family ancestry in a direct line from the first settle- 
ment of the Parkers in America down to the present day, a brief sum- 
mary of the descent being here given: William Parker, the founder of 
the family, located in Hartford; John, his son, of New Haven, Con- 
necticut; Andrew, son of John, of Wallingford; Ezra, son of Andrew, 
of Wallingford and North Adams, Massachusetts; William, son of Ezra, 
of North Adams, Massachusetts, Sangersheld, Oneida county. New York, 
and Royal Oak, Michigan; Asher B., son of William, of Sangersheld, 
New York, and Royal Oak; Ralzemond Allen, son of Asher B. and sub- 
ject of this review, born in Genesee county, Michigan, in 1843; removed 
with his father to Royal Oak in 1844; ^^^ i^^ 1872 located in Detroit, 
but has been a resident on the original farm in Royal Oak since 1909. 

Asher B. Parker was the son of William M. and Lydia Gilbert (Bull) 
Parker. The father was a farmer, and received an academic education 
in W^aterville, New York. Pie was a meml:)er of the Universalist church, 
a W^hig and later a Republican. Pie was justice of the peace of Royal 
Oak for eight years, highway commissioner for several terms and served 
as drain commissioner also. He married Harriet N. Castle, daughter of 
Heman and Nancy (Wilmarth) Castle, both of New England ancestry 
and from Essex county, Vermont. The father, Heman Castle, was a 
gunner at Plattsburg in the War of 18 12. 

The education of Ralzemond A. Parker was received in the district 
schools of his early home, followed by an academic course in Birming- 
ham, a course in the normal at Ypsilanti and in the University of Michi- 
gan, from which he was graduated from the law department early in 
1872. Since that date he has been engaged in the practice of his pro- 
fession. Mr. Parker served in the Civil war as a member of Company 
E (Normal county). Seventeenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry (Stone- 
wall Regiment), in 1862-3, in the First Brigade, First Division, Ninth 
Army Corps, under General Burnside. He was deputy county clerk of 
Oakland county from 1867 to 1869 and justice of the peace in Royal Oak 
from 1868 to 1874. He was senior member of the firm of Parker & 
Burton, of Detroit, from June, 1883, to October, 191 1, Mr. Burton dying 
in October, 191 1. Mr. Parker has received a national reputation as a 
patent lawyer, and as such has had many important cases. He has prac- 
ticed in all courts of the United States, and is a member of the State 
Supreme Court Bar and the United States Supreme Court Bar. He was 
a member of the Microscopic Club and its president in 1878. He was 
a member for many years and president of the Detroit Association of 
Charities for four years prior to 1907, and has taken an active part in 
the worthy labors of that organization. Pie is a member of Post No. 17, 
G. A. R., Detroit, Michigan, and a late member of the Council of 
Administration for the State of Michigan. He was a delegate to the 
National Encampment in 1884 and 1888, and at one time was chief 
mustering officer of the G. A. R. for the Department of Michigan, as 
well as judge advocate for the Department of Michigan. Mr. Parker 



636 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

is a Republican in his political affiliations and voted for Abraham Lin- 
coln for his first vote, 1864. Lie maintains no church membership. 

In addition to being a comrade of the G. A. R., Mr. Parker is also 
a member of the Automobile Club of Detroit. Lor many years he has 
taken a great interest in that art and ran the first automobile between 
Pontiac and Llint in 1900, over the old Military highway. Pie is also a 
member of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, and of the Engineers' 
Club of New York city. 

In September 24, 1869, Mr. Parker was united in marriage with Miss 
Sarah E. Drake at Grand Blanc, Genesee county, Michigan. She is a 
daughter of Dr. Flemon and Clemma (Depue) Drake, early residents 
of Royal Oak. Her grandfather, Elijah Drake, was a soldier in the 
War of the Revolution, and is buried in Royal Oak cemetery. Another 
ancestor was Colonel Sherbourne, a paymaster in the Revolutionary 
army, who was murdered near Peekskill, New York. 

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Parker, as follows : 
Marian Sara, born August 26, 1870, and died near Portland, Oregon, on 
January 16, 1909. She was a graduate of the civil engineering depart- 
ment of the University of Michigan in 1896. Mina L., was born on 
February 12, 1873; she married Edward Boshert, superintendent of 
manual training in the schools of Mt. Vernon, New York. Grace E., 
born November 17, 1876, librarian in the Detroit Public Library, lives 
at Royal Oak and is unmarried. Ralzemond Drake, born December 20, 
1881, was graduated from the University of Michigan with the degree 
of M .S. and is now engaged as assistant professor of electrical engineer- 
ing in his Alma Mater. 

Charles Bruder. Among a number of fine farms in Oxford town- 
ship of this county that of Charles Bruder in section 17 draws the atten- 
tion of the passer-by by its improvements and appearance of neatness, 
sure indicators that the owner of the estate is a believer in advanced 
methods of agriculture and finds farming not only a business of profit 
but one of pleasure and real enjoyment as well. 

Mr. Bruder is of staunch German descent. He was born in Presque 
Isle county, Michigan, April 24, 1872, the eldest son of John and Lottie 
Bruder. Both parents were born in Germany. They left the Father- 
land in 1863, immigrating to America and locating in Macomb county, 
Michigan, where the father followed farming for many years and where 
he still resides. The -mother died in 1897. Besides Charles two other 
children were born to their union : Minnie, the eldest of the family and 
now the wife of Christopher Hent, of Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and 
Albert, deceased. By a previous marriage there was born to John Br,uder 
a daughter, Lottie, now Mrs. Otto Gerrick, of Rogers City. 

Mr. Bruder chose the vocation to which he had been reared, that of 
farming, and has followed it continuously to the present time. In 1905 
he bought one hundred and thirty acres in section 17, Oxford township, 
and this forms the attractive homestead referred to in the opening of 
the sketch. While he gives no especial attention to any one line of agri- 
culture, all departments of his farm work receive thoughtful and able 
management and the result is a highly productive and profitable property, 
one that is a credit to his section and to the county. 

On January i, 1895, Mr. Bruder was married to Miss Cora Rose- 
crants, a daughter of Christopher (Right) and Samantha Rosecrants, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 637 

both of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Rosecrants were the parents 
of four children, namely: Minnie, the wife of Jefferson Davis, of 
Metamora, Michigan; Martha, now a resident of Orion, Michigan; Mrs. 
Bruder; and Jennie, now Mrs. H. Blackeeven, of Oakland county, 
Michigan. 

In political affairs Mr. Bruder is affiliated with the Republican party. 
Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of Gleaners and is 
past master of his lodge. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bruder are consistent 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and their integrity and 
worth as citizens have won for them a high position in the esteem of 
their community. 

ByroxNT L. Cox. The Osier theory that a man is useless when h^e 
passes sixty has no weight with Byron L. Cox, who farms a large place 
in Oakland township and, although well past three score, feels no flagging 
energy. His regular life and steady employment have kept his muscles 
firm and his eye bright, and he possesses a vigor that would be envied 
by those ten or twenty years younger. Time has set its hand but lightly 
on his shoulder and he continues to work his farm with the same en- 
thusiasm as always. 

Mr. Cox was born on a farm in section 34 of Oakland township, 
April 4, 1848, a son of Clark and Mary (Wood) Cox. They both came 
from New York in 1840 and locating in Oakland county bought one 
hundred and sixty acres. He added to this from time to time so that 
when he died, in September, 1897, he owned over two hundred acres, 
practically all of which was well improved. His wife died February 14, 
1908. Their three children were : Charlotte, who became the wife of 
Nelson M .Price, of Shelby, McComb county; Byron; and Susan Ann, 
who is deceased. 

Until he was twenty-nine years old and married, Byron Cox remained 
with his father. When he launched out for himself he rented eighty 
acres for a year. His father retired then and went to live in Rochester, 
and Byron took charge of the home place. After his father's death he 
bought one hundred and forty-eight acres, which he still owns and 
operates. He married Tena Petty on March 20, 1877, and they have one 
child, Mary L., wife of George M. Thompson, of Rochester. Mrs. Cox's 
parents were William and Sarah (Smith) Petty, the former an old 
soldier. Both were natives of New Jersey and both are now deceased. 
Their family comprised eight children, of whom six are living. These 
latter are: Tena, wife of Byron Cox; Belle, Carrie, Eliza, Emma and 
Mary. The youngest children, Seth and Smith, have been claimed by 
death. 

Mr. Cox is a Democrat politically. He belongs to the Masons and 
the A. O. F. 

John Tienken. Another of the agricultural citizens of Avon town- 
ship whose sterling character and industrious habits make his residence 
here a matter of congratulation to his neighbors is John Tienken, whose 
one hundred and twenty acres are located in sections 8 and 9. He comes 
of the worthy German stock which has contributed so much of brawn 
and brain to our young civilization. His parents, Henry and Meta Tien- 
ken, were both natives of Germany, who after coming across the seas 
and settling first in New York state had chosen a permanent home in 



638 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Avon township. Henry Tienken was a thrifty farmer and his first prop- 
erty of one hundred acres was later increased to two hundred and forty. 
He has now^ retired from agricultural activities and occupies a pleasant 
home in Rochester. His sons and daughters included, besides the sub- 
ject of this review, the following: Anna, who is the wife of A. L. 
Ross; Etta, who is the wife of \V. G. Lomson, of Denver, Colorado; 
Henry, also of Avon township; and William, of Rochester. One son, 
George, is deceased. 

John Tienken, the special subject of this biographical sketch, w^as 
born in the locality which is now his home, on January 29, 1864. ^iis 
education was that of the common schools, supplemented by the practi- 
cal training of his home. Farming has been his vocation from his boy- 
hood and all of his life, with the exception of four years, has been spent 
upon the old homestead. His personal real estate consists of one hun- 
dred and twenty acres and he conducts a dairy business of considerable 
importance. His stock is of the best for this purpose and his methods 
of handling it and the products he turns out are of the most approved 
sort. For thirteen years Air. Tienken has supplied milk to leading 
Detroit dealers. Inspection of his fine barns has long been a pleasure 
to all who are interested in cattle and dairies. He has within a com- 
paratively recent time erected his second large barn, at a cost of $3,000. 
All of his land is excellently fenced with cement posts and wire. 

The marriage of Mr. Tienken occurred on March 16, 1898, his chosen 
companion being Anna Stall, daughter of John and Mary Stall. Mr. 
and Mrs. Tienken are the parents of five children, namely : Clarence 
Jacob, Etta May, Cora L. and Clara Belle. Florence, who was third in 
line, passed in her childhood to the other and invisible life. 

The church allegiance of the Tienken family is given to the organiza- 
tion of the Congregational denomination of this locality. In political 
affairs John Tienken is a loyal Democrat. The family homestead is 
located on Rural Route Number Two. 

Oscar J. Snyder. When it is stated that Oscar J. Snyder is a repre- 
sentative of the third generation of the Snyder family in Addison town- 
ship of this county and has himself passed the fifty-seventh milestone of 
life's journey, it will be readily understood that the name he bears is 
one which has been identified w^ith the history of this section for many 
years. It is indeed a pioneer family, having been established here in 
1833, when Dennes Snyder, the grandfather of Oscar J., removed to 
this state from New Jersey. 

The original progenitor of this family in America was the father 
of Dennes Snyder, who was born in Germany and came to this country 
near the close of the colonial period, being but a lad at the time of his 
immigration from the Fatherland. On his arrival in New York, he 
was sold to a resident of New Jersey to pay his passage money, and 
remained with this party until he had earned enough to cancel his in- 
denture. After severing those connections he worked for himself, event- 
ually married, and became a permanent resident of New Jersey. He 
was one of fifteen thousand militiamen ordered out during Washing- 
ton's second administration to subdue the rioters in western Penn- 
sylvania who were refusing to pay the government tax on the manu- 
facture of whiskey, and while on this service he contracted a cold, from 
the effects of which he died. A wnfe and three children, Dennes, Jacob 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 639 

and a daughter, were left in destitute circumstances, in consequence 
of which the mother bound out her two sons, the conditions of their 
indenture being that upon attaining their majority each should be given 
a horse and saddle and one hundred dollars in money. Jacob disap- 
peared a short time before his freedom was due and was lost track of 
by his family. 

Dennes Snyder was born in Warren county, New Jersey, February 
I, 1788, and was reared by Captain Abram Axford, to whom he had 
been bound and with whom he remained until twenty-one years of age, 
when Captain Axford fulfilled his part of his contract. He received 
but a limted education and his life was one of common toil from boy- 
hood until of age. He continued to be employed as a farm hand until 
his marriage, on February 14, 1813, to Miss Sally Gulick, when he 
settled on a farm in New Jersey and for twenty years continued to be 
engaged independently in agricultural pursuits. On May 30, 1829, after 
sixteen years of happy companionship, his wife died, leaving to his 
care seven children, the youngest of whom was but two years of age, 
while the eldest daughter had barely reached her eleventh birthday. 
These children were: Christopher, who was born December 20, 1813, 
and died March 27, 1831 ; Cornelius, born December 9, 1815; Mary 
Ann, who was born July 30, 1818, and became Mrs. Edward J. Boice ; 
Jacob, the father of our subject, whose birth occurred September 18, 
1820; Hannah, born November 11, 1822, who became the wife of 
Levi H. Bell; Abram A., born December 9, 1824; and Dennes, Jr., who 
was born March 13, 1827. The father cared for his children as best he 
could until August, 1830, when Miss Mary A. Gulick became his wife 
and helpmeet. She also preceded her husband in death, having passed 
away on March 30, 1861. 

On May 20, 1833, Dennes Snyder and his family, accompanied by 
a sister of his second wife, left New Jersey for a new home in Michi- 
gan. Their journey from Bufifalo to Detroit was by voyage on the 
schooner Commodore Perry, and after a twelve days' sail they landed 
at Detroit on June 20. Three days' travel by means of an ox team 
brought them to their destination, the home of John S. Axford, in what 
afterw^ard became Addison township, Oakland county. Shortly after- 
ward he became established on his own land in section 33, his being 
the third family to settle in that neighborhood. The undeveloped con- 
dition of the country and the roads of that period placed him four 
miles distant from his nearest neighbor. He had been influenced in 
choosing his location by the excellent water afforded by numerous springs 
in that vicinity, near some of wdiich he hastily constructed a log house, 
without doors or windows, and with a blanket as a protection at the 
opening. Their cooking was done out of doors and in the most primi- 
tive fashion. With the help of his three elder sons he cleared twelve 
acres of forest land and seeded it that fall. A more substantial log 
cabin was also completed by November of that year, about the time of 
the great meteoric shower, which phenomenon was interpreted by the 
superstitious as a sign of the dissolution of material things. However, 
a more practical view of the matter was taken by a workman on Mr. 
Snyder's house, who shouted, "Get up, get up! and see the stars shoot- 
ing. It will be as cold as Greenland tomorrow." The cold, stormy sea- 
son which followed causing much discomfort and suffering among the 
settlers, proved the truth of his prediction. Mr. Snyder entered promi- 



640 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

nently into the life of the community, assisted in the organization of 
Addison township, held various township offices, and as road commis- 
sioner helped to locate all the roads of the township. The utmost hon- 
esty and integrity characterized his dealings with his fellow-men, and 
in times of need or distress he was ever ready to lend a helping hand to 
other early settlers who located in his neighborhood. It is said of him 
that he never accepted more than the legal rate for loans and was in- 
clined to be lenient rather than oppressive in matters of payment. He 
died September 8, 1872. 

Jacob Snyder, the father of Oscar J., was born in Warren county. 
New Jersey, September 18, 1820, and was a lad of thirteen years at 
the time the family took up their abode in Michigan. The place and 
period permitted the acquirement of but a very limited education, but 
being of a serious and studious turn he largely overcame the deficiencies 
of his early training by self-study at home. The boy grew up familiar 
with the conditions of pioneer farming in Michigan and took up the 
same vocation as his life work, gradually acquiring valuable holdings, 
on which he placed good, substantial improvements. He was married 
on June 15, 1848, to Mary Elizabeth Dodder, w^ho was born January 
17, 1829, in Sussex county. New Jersey, and was a daughter of Peter 
Dodder, a pioneer settler of Addison township. Seven children were 
born to them : Henry H., who died at the age of seventeen, in the 
army; Margaret Ann, the wife of Jerome F. Arnold, of Addison town- 
ship ; Oscar J., whose name introduces this review ; Sarah E., deceased, 
who married Walter Van Wagoner; George E., a resident of Oakland 
township ; Almira, who became the wife of George Dewey, of Oakland 
township; and Ella M., the wife of Elmer Price. Both parents are 
deceased, the father having passed away in May, 1912, and the mother 
in August, 1896. 

Oscar J. Snyder was born February 10, 1855, ^^^^ ^'^^^ spent his 
entire life in the township of his birth. Here he attended the district 
schools and continued a member of the parental household until twenty- 
five years of age. At that time he entered into independent ownership 
of land when he bought one hundred and sixty acres, and subsequently 
added to it by purchase until his holdings now aggregate two hundred 
and twenty acres, all in Addison township and located in sections 20 
and 21. He does general farming and is extensively engaged in feed- 
ing and shipping cattle. On his place are to be seen a greater number 
of commodious and substantial buildings for the care of stock and the 
general conduct of his business than on any other farm in this town- 
ship. 

His wife was Miss Frances Braid before her marriage, a daughter 
of John Braid and a sister of Edward Braid. To Mr. and Mrs. Snyder 
have been born three children, namely: Mabel, now Mrs. Frederick 
Berdsley, of Oakland county; Russell, deceased; and Florence, w^ho is 
at home with her parents. 

Mr. Snyder is a Republican and has taken a prominent part in the 
local political affairs of his party. He is the present supervisor of 
Addison township, which office he is filling for the third time, his first 
service having been for four years, the second period for one year, 
and he has now served two years of his third term. He has also served 
as highway commissioner. He and his family are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and in every respect are upholding the 
prestige of the family name for true worth and good citizenship. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 641 

Peter B. Bromley. It is said that the poet is born, not made, but 
the successful lawyer has to be both born and made — made by close 
application, earnest effort, by perseverance and resolute purpose. The 
abilities with which nature has endowed him must be strengthened and 
developed by use, and only by merit can the lawyer gain a permanent 
position. One of Pontiac's most gifted and well-known lawyers is Peter 
B. Bromley, who is the present city attorney. Mr. Bromley is a native 
son of Oakland county and of that type which the county is particularly 
glad to claim as its own. The date upon which his life record began 
was February 27, 1862, his parents being Andrew J. and Sarah P. 
(Brewster) Bromley, both natives of -Michigan. The father' was a 
farmer throughout the course of his life and his demise occurred in the 
subject's early youth. The mother survived for a ponsiderable num- 
ber of years, her demise coming in December, 1909. Mr. Bromley has 
one brother, Byron C, a retired agriculturist now living in Armada, 
Michigan. 

Like the majority of his generation, Mr. Bromley took his first 
draughts at the 'Tierian Spring" behind a desk in the public school 
room of Pontiac and in course of time finished its higher department. 
His first adventures in the role of wage-earner were in the capacity of 
schoolteacher, and he continued his pedagogical endeavors for some 
two or three years, meanwhile, however, devoting his spare moments 
to the reading of law. He first attacked his Blackstone in the office of 
D. L. Davis, receiving valuable instruction from Judge Taft, of Pontiac. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1884 and admitted to practice before the 
United States circuit court in January, 1888. He has ever since been 
engaged in practice in Pontiac and his appointment to the office of city 
attorney was in recognition of his standing at the bar, for he is emi- 
nently "qualified by professional experience and success and integrity 
of character for the high place he holds and to which he has been ap- 
pointed on several occasions. He also held the office of circuit court 
commissioner for some six years. 

Mr. Bromley was hapiply married on December 3, 1891, the lady 
of his choice being Miss Sarah Ditmas, of Brooklyn, New York, daugh- 
ter of A. I. and Caroline (Suydam) Ditmas, both now deceased. Mrs. 
Bromley is the youngest of four children, the other members of the 
family being: John A., Elizabeth and Caroline, all of Brooklyn. Mr. 
and Mrs. Bromley share their home with two interesting sons — Bruce 
D. and A. Ditmas. 

In the matter of political faith Mr. Bromley adheres to the men and 
measures of the Democratic party. He is a Mason, having affiliation 
with the Blue Lodge and the Knights Templars. He and his wife are 
Presbyterians and support very materially the good causes of the church. 

George B. Richardson. It is an axiom demonstrated bv 
human experience that industry is the keynote of prosperity. Success 
comes not to the man who idly waits, but to the faithful toiler whose 
work is characterized by sleepless vigilance and cheerful celerity, and 
it was by such means that George B. Richardson, the present popular 
and efficient county treasurer of Oakland county, has forged to the 
front and won an honored place among the substantial citizens of this 
part of the state. He is well and favorably known as a citizen of high 
character, and for a number of years his influence in the community has 
been marked and salutary. 



642 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

The birth of Mr. Richardson occurred in Rochester, Michigan, De- 
cember 17, 1858. His parents were Hosea B. and Charlotte (Averill) 
Richardson, the father a native of Vermont and the mother of Scotland. 
Both of these admirable citizens are now deceased, the death of the 
father having occurred October 28, 1880, and that of the mother on 
June 20, 1873. By occupation Hosea B. Richardson was a millwright 
and his arrival in Michigan was in the year 1849. H^ located in Roch- 
ester in the early days and there followed his trade. He and his wife 
became the parents of six children, as follows: Samuel H., deceased, 
late of Seattle, Washington ; Emma, wife of Walter Lowe, of Pasadena, 
California; Anna, now deceased, her death having occurred in the year 
1890; Frank, who died in infancy, as did also an unnamed infant; and 
the immediate subject of this review. 

George B. Richardson passed the roseate days of boyhood and 
youth in Rochester and received his education in the common and high 
schools, in due time graduating from the latter. When it came the 
season for him to become an active factor in the work-a-day world, he 
became an assistant to his father in the woolen mill and becoming 
familiar with its routine, he became associated with his father and 
brother in its management and remained in this capacity for about 
eight years. It was at the end of that period, in 1895, that he came to 
Pontiac, and his acquisition was properly accounted as a piece of good 
fortune to the community. For a few years at the first of his residence 
here he was engaged in the knitting factory business and following that 
became engineer at the works of the Standard \"ehicle Company, which 
was afterward changed to the Auto Top and Tinning Company. He re- 
mained with the establishment for eight years, his connection with the 
same being terminated in 19 10 by his election as county treasurer, which 
office he holds at the present time, his services having redounded to his 
credit and the profit of the people. To be elected to the office of county 
treasurer is usually an eloquent commentary on a man's high standing 
in his community. 

Mr. Richardson was married June 20, 1880, the young woman to 
become his wife and the mistress of his household being Ada B. Stone, 
daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Keyes) Stone, both natives of the 
Wolverine state. Mrs. Richardson is one of a family of five children, 
as follows : Hattie, deceased ; Mattie, widow of James Pardee, of Pon- 
tiac ; Anita, widow of J. J. Niles, of Chicago; Byron A., a resident of 
Troy township; and Mrs. Richardson. The union of the subject and 
his worthy wife has been blessed by the birth of one child — Bessie, wife 
of Leo L. Thomas, of Detroit. 

Mr. Richardson has a number of pleasant and important affiliations. 
He belongs to the most ancient of the orders — the Masonic, being a 
Royal Arch Mason : to the Modern Woodmen ; to the National Associa- 
tion of Stationary Engineers ; the Foresters of America ; and the Knights 
and Ladies of Security. He is a warm and enthusiastic adherent of 
the ''Grand Old Party," as its admirers are pleased to call it, and has 
taken a good deal of interest in public affairs. In addition to his pres- 
ent office he was for five years supervisor of the third ward. 

Harry C. Guillot, M. D. In no profession is there more constant 
progress than in that of medicine and surgery, thousands of the finest 
minds the world has produced making it their one aim and ambition to 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 643 

discover more effectual method for the alleviation of suffering, some 
more potent weapon for the conflict with disease, some clever device 
for repairing the damaged human mechanism. Ever and anon the world 
hears with mingled wonder and thanksgiving of a new conquest of dis- 
ease and disaster which a few years ago would have been placed within 
the field of the impossible. To keep in touch with these discoveries 
means constant alertness, and while there may be in many quarters great 
indolence in keeping pace with modern thought, the highest type of 
physician believes it no less than a crime not to be master of the latest 
devices of science. To this type belongs Dr. Harry C. Guillot, one of 
Pontiac's most noted and gifted physicians and surgeons. It is not, 
however, merely in the profession that Dr. Guillot has given "a taste 
of his quality," for as mayor for five years he has made a splendid record 
of progressiveness and efficiency. 

By the circumstances of birth Dr. Guillot is a Canadian, his life 
record having begun at Windsor, Ontario, September 24, 1867. He 
is the son of James C. and Ellen (Weaver) Guillot, both natives of 
Canada and of French and English extraction. The father was a gentle- 
man of very considerable prominence, having held the office of city 
treasurer of Windsor and being colonel of the Twenty-first Essex Fu- 
siliers, Canadian Militia. His demise occurred January 28, 1905, and 
that of his cherished and devoted wife on January 7, 1905. Colonel 
Guillot was a great friend of Lieutenant Kislingberry, who headed the 
United States Polar expedition in 1887, and one of Dr. Guillot's most 
prized possessions is a photograph of the exploror taken in latitude 81 
degrees and 35 minutes north. The subject is the eldest of four chil- 
dren and the only son. Bessie E. is the wife of W. C. McCuaig, of 
Berlin, Canada; Ida S. is the wife of W. Van Hook, of Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania; and Nellie married O. B. McCuaid, of Wenatchee, Wash- 
ington. 

Receiving his preliminary education in his native place. Dr. Guil- 
lot early started out in quest of independent fortunes and at the early 
age of thirteen became an employe in a wholesale drug concern in the 
city of Detroit, with which he remained identified for seven years. He 
then matriculated in the Detroit College of Medicine, and w^as gradu- 
ated from that institution in 1891. He began his practice in the East- 
ern State Hospital of Pontiac and for over four years was a member 
of the state medical staff. By no means content with the policy of 
''letting well enough alone," he resigned from this excellent position 
and went abroad to continue his studies, attending clinics in London, 
England and Edinburg, Scotland. He then returned to Pontiac and took 
up private practice, which he has ever since continued with remarkable 
success. 

On April 19, 1900, Dr. Guillot became a recruit to the ranks of the 
Benedicts, his chosen lady being Alice Treble, of Windsor, Canada, 
daughter of William B. and Elizabeth (St. Clair) Treble. They were 
English people, who had immigrated to Canada, and the father was 
identified with railroad affairs in the Dominion. The father died in 
1887 and the mother is now making her home in Windsor. Mrs. Guil- 
lot is one of a family of eight children, of whom the following brief 
data are herewith entered : Frank is a citizen of Buffalo, New York ; Wil- 
liam is located in London, Canada; Charles resides in Terre Haute, In- 
diana; George B. is in Detroit; Mrs. Guillot is the fifth in order of birth; 



644 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Violet resides in Windsor, Canada, as does also Mable ; and Florence is 
the wife of Dr. George Burke, of Detroit. Dr. and Mrs. Guillot share 
their cultured and attractive abode with a son and a daughter — James 
C, born January 15, 1901, and Ellen E., born March 5, 1908. 

Dr. Guillot was first elected to the important municipal office in 
which he was to serve on four later occasions in the year 190 1, and so 
enlightened and public spirited was his administration that he was re- 
elected in 1902, in 1903, in 1905 and 1906. He is one of the standard- 
bearers of the Republican party and his word is of weight in party 
councils. He is a very prominent Mason, belonging to Pontiac Lodge, 
No. 21, F. & A. M.; to Oakland Chapter, No. 5; to Pontiac Council, 
R. & S. M., and he wears the white-plumed helmet of the Knight 
Templar with Pontiac Commandery, No. 2. He is likewise affilated 
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent & Pro- 
tective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Maccabees, the Mod- 
ern Woodmen and the Foresters of America. He and his wife are 
communicants of the Episcopal church. 

It was during Dr. Guillot's mayoralty that the question of a new 
courthouse for Oakland county was agitated. He prepared a resolution 
to this effect, the same, written upon, a piece of manila paper, being 
presented to the supervisors, who secured its submission to the people. 
It was defeated at its first submission, but in the following year was 
carried under Dr. Guillot's inspiring leadership. 

Harry Coleman. It is a well recognized fact that the most power- 
ful influence in shaping and controlling public life is the press. It 
reaches a greater number of people than any other agency and thus 
has always been, and is in the hands of persons competent to direct it, al- 
ways will be a most important factor in molding public opinion and 
shaping the destiny of the nation. The gentleman to whom these lines 
are devoted is prominently connected with the ''Fourth Estate" in this 
section of Michigan and is editor and publisher of the Press Cassette, 
the only newspaper published at the county seat. The county recognizes 
Mr. Coleman not only as one of the keenest newspaper men, but also as 
a representative citizen whose interest in all that affects the general 
welfare has been of such a character as to win for him a high place in 
the confidence and esteem of the people. 

Mr. Coleman is a native son of the state, his life record having be- 
gun at Greenbush, Clinton county, Michigan, on August 13, 1872. He 
is the only son of Charles and Minnie Coleman, the latter a daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas King, pioneers of Clinton county. Charles 
Coleman, a farmer by occupation and a native of Orange county, New 
York, came to the state during the '50s and with his brothers, who 
were all farmers, took up land in Livingston county, Michigan, where 
Charles resided until removing to Clinton county during the year i860. 
Following his calling as a tiller of the soil, he gave his attention to the 
raising of cattle and horses, in which line he was considered remark- 
ably proficient, the business proving remunerative because of the close 
attention given it. He afterwards removed to St. Johns, the county seat 
of Clinton county, where the family resided until the death of Mr. 
Coleman in the year 1885. His widow survived until June 28, 191 1. 

Harry Coleman, immediate subject of this review, was educated in 
the public schools of St. Johns, and before leaving their higher depart- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 645 

ment, when about seventeen years of age, took up work with the 
American Express Company. His position was that of assistant to the 
agent and, proving faithful and efficient, when eighteen years of age 
he w^as intrusted with the position of express messenger, running be- 
tween Detroit and Grand Rapids for nearly a year. As a youth he had 
been interested in newspaper work, and had served at different times 
as school reporter for the village weeklies. This particular avenue of 
endeavor appealed to him and he resigned his position with the ex- 
press company and reentered school with a university education in 
mind. He matriculated in the University of Michigan the next year 
and applied himself particularly to political economy, English, logic and 
philosophy, together with all of the courses offered in history by the 
institution. 

While at Ann Arbor Mr. Coleman became a close associate of James 
A. LeRoy, later secretary to the first Philippine commission, and this 
acquaintance led to his coming to Pontiac in August, 1895, when he 
])urchased the Pontiac Post from Ferris S. Fitch and took possession 
of the paper when but twenty-two years of age. Mr. Fitch had been a 
former superintendent of schools and occupied a prominent position in 
state politics at that time. Naturally ]\Ir. Coleman assumed more than 
an ordinary burden in his purchase, the people of the county being used 
to having their newspaper work done by men of mature minds. But 
he soon gained an acquaintance, sought wise counsel and within a year 
the columns of the paper reflected the study that he had given to the 
leading questions of the day, including county, state and national topics. 
With the development of rural delivery in the county Mr. Coleman saw 
an opportunity opened to him and, whereas he had published a Demo- 
cratic newspaper, he conceived the idea that an independent publication 
which should be published daily instead of wxekly would appeal to 
farmers in every part of the county. Against the advice of practically 
all of his friends, he launched into the daily field and staked all his 
means and much borrowed capital in the enterprise. The paper made 
slow progress and lost considerable money the first two years. It then 
became necessary for him to secure a new equipment and this neces- 
sitated additional capital that was all placed into the business. Finally, 
after a hard struggle, during which time Mr. Coleman nearly despaired 
of success, the business was placed on the right side of the ledger. 
Four years had made the enterprise a substantial factor in a community 
which had witnessed the demise of three other daily publications and 
three weeklies. Finally the field narrowed down to the Press, Mr. 
Coleman's publication, and the Pontiac Gazette, an old established Re- 
publican organ. The latter property changed hands during 1903 and 
the new proprietor started a daily publication the year following. It 
was soon apparent that two daily newspapers so near Detroit could not 
be made profitable and a consolidation was effected, Mr. Coleman com- 
ing into control of a property which enjoyed the largest circulation of 
any paper in the state in a city the size of Pontiac. The publication 
goes every day into nearly 8,ck)0 homes and in the city of Pontiac, 
where there are 3,700 homes, the paper is taken and paid for by over 
3,600. Throughout the county paid correspondents are maintained and 
the rural routes are so thoroughly covered by the paper that on many 
routes the mail carrier does not miss a box in his morning delivery. 

Mr. Coleman believes thoroughly in the idea that a newspaper pub- 



646 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

lisher should be concerned only in the publication of his paper, that he 
should hold no public position, nor take active part in business ventures 
or party poHtics, except as his views are expressed for better govern- 
ment, irrespective of parties, and his counsel offered for the safe and 
conservative upbuilding of the community. His ideal of a newspa- 
per is one which reflects the public sentiment of the community and 
publishes the news in an impartial way. Editorially he takes a posi- 
tion on all questions and toward the end that a better understanding 
may be reached between the citizens and that all may share each others' 
views without the creation of factions — which he considers the bane of 
any growing community. The editorials of the Press Gazette are widely 
quoted and in the state the newspaper occupies a high standing with 
the journalistic ranks. 

On August 24, 1897, Mr. Coleman was united in marriage with 
Miss Ann L. Richards, a graduate of the University of Michigan, class 
of 1895. Mrs. Coleman is the daughter of Rev. J. E. and Hulda 
(Loomis) Richards, the former deceased and the latter a resident of 
Pontiac. There were four children in the Richards family. Mrs. Cole- 
man is a woman of charm and force of character and while in the uni- 
versity was noted for her scholastic attainments. She has been active 
at all times in promoting the best interests of Pontiac and among her 
good deeds was the prominent part she assumed in the founding of 
the Oakland County Hospital, of which she served as president during 
191 1. Two interesting daughters share their household, Harriet, aged 
twelve, and Barbara, aged four. Their home is situated at 136 West 
Lawrence street, where they have resided ever since their marriage. 

Mr. Coleman is a member of the Michigan state park commission. 
Llis fraternal affiliations are with the Knights of Pythias, the Elks and 
the Foresters of America. He and his wife are members of the Pres- 
byterian church and are everywhere liked and esteemed for many good 
gifts of mind and heart. 

Stuart Eugene Galbraith, M. D. The life of the city physician 
and surgeon in these modern days is one in unceasing activity. Mod- 
ern methods and the high speed with which civilization pursues its re- 
lentless way makes demands upon the time and energy of the physician, 
greater, perhaps than upon men in any other profession. The extent 
to which specialization is pushed, the deep study required to keep abreast 
of the discoveries of the age and the everlasting call of the suffering 
public, all combine to sap the vitality of the most rugged. But a? 
modern days are strenuous, so the modern man has something of power 
in his .makeup which works best under pressure. Dr. Galbraith, the 
well-known Pontiac physician and surgeon, is a modern instance of a 
man well equipped to handle the responsibilities of high medical posi- 
tions. 

Dr. Galbraith is a native son of Pontiac, his life record having be- 
gun in this city on April 30, 1873. He is a son of Franklin B. and 
Maria S. (Smith) Galbraith. As indicated in the name, the Galbraith 
family is of Scotch origin and was founded on the American continent 
by John Galbraith, great-grandfather of the subject, who was born near 
Glasgow, Scotland, and immigrated from the ''land 'o cakes" to Can- 
ada. It was in that province that Dr. John Galbraith, grandfather of 
the subject, was born and from thence he came to America, settling in 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 647 

Sanilac county, Michigan, where he died in 1880. He married Nancy 
Humphrey, who was born in Canada of Irish parentage, and who pre- 
ceded him to the Great Beyond a short time, dying in 1878. They 
were the parents of seven children, of whom Franklin B. Galbraith was 
one. He was born near Port Huron, Sanilac county, Michigan, De- 
cember 26, 1840. He received a common school education and as a 
lad was engaged for a time in mercantile pursuits. However, his in- 
clinations were for the practice of medicine, and at the age of seven- 
teen years he entered the medical department of the University of 
Michigan, at Ann Arbor, from which celebrated institution he was 
graduated at the age of twenty-one. In i860 he went to New York 
and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, whence he was 
graduated the following year. He began practice in Lexington, Michi- 
gan, where he remained until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he 
offered his services to the government in behalf of the preservation of 
the Union. He was commissioned assistant surgeon of the Tenth Regi- 
ment of -Michigan Volunteer Infantry and in April, 1862, he w^as sent 
to Tennessee. One of his brothers, A. G. Galbraith, was captain of 
the Twenty-second Regular Michigan Volunteer Infantry, was wounded 
at the battle of Chattanooga and lay for seventeen months in Libby 
and Andersonville prisons. He was finally sent home on parole, but 
died soon after as a result of his terrible experiences. Dr. Galbraith 
remained in the service until on account of failing health he was com- 
pelled to resign, and he returned to Port Huron, where he took charge 
of- the practice of Dr. C. M. Stockwell, who went into the army. In 
1863 he was appointed surgeon of the board of enrollment, with head- 
quarters at Pontiac, and later w^as commissioned surgeon of the Thirty- 
first regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry. This regiment, however, 
was broken up and its members used to replenish other organizations 
already in the field. Dr. Galbraith was transferred to the Fourth Regular 
Michigan Volunteer Cavalry and with that organization went to the 
front, where he remained almost until the close of the war. After his 
resignation was accepted he returned to Pontiac, and following his 
marriage shortly thereafter he went to Port Huron, where he engaged 
in practice for a few years. He then returned to Pontiac, where he 
spent the remainder of his life. For over thirty years he was a promi- 
nent citizen of this place, of which he was thrice chosen mayor. In 
1889 he was elected from the Fourteenth Senatorial District ton the Re- 
publican ticket, by a large majority. In private life he was a studious, 
courteous gentleman and kept pace in his professional work with the 
advancement which was continually being made in medical science). 
He was a member of the Oakland County Medical Society, the State 
Medical Society and the American IMedical Association. He belonged 
to the military order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and to 
Pontiac Lodge, No. 21, A. F. &. A. M. He died February 21, 1903. 
Shortly after the close of the war he was united in marriage to Maria 
S. Smith, who was born in New York state, but was reared in Oakland 
county, her father, John Smith, having migrated from New^ York to 
Michigan in the early days. Her death occurred May 7, 1912, when 
sixty-nine years of age, leaving children: Grace G., now Mrs. James H. 
Harris, of Dubuque, Iowa; and Dr. Stuart E., subject of this review. 
Stuart E. Galbraith attended the public schools of Pontiac and then 
entered the Michigan Military Academy, at Orchard Lake, whence he 



648 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

was graduated in the class of 1891. He subsequently entered the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, first taking a literary course, in 
which he attained the degree of bachelor of science. In the meantime 
a long gathering desire to become a physician had reached the point of 
crystallization and he entered upon his preparation, graduating from the 
medical department in 1899, and, thoroughly reinforced in a theoreti- 
cal way, he displayed his professional shingle in Pontiac. He has been 
successful from the first. He engages in the general practice of medi- 
cine and surgery and the constant demands made upon his time in the 
performance of his professional duties bear witness to the popularity 
and success to which he has attained. 

Dr. Galbraith became a recruit to the ranks of the Benedicts on 
June 19, 1907, the young woman to become his wife being Mary Wis- 
ner, a native of Detroit, where her family resided until the death of her 
father, after which her mother removed to Pontiac. Two children have 
been born to their union: Stuart Eugene, born February 12, 1909; and 
Wisner Avery, born July 3, 1910. Dr. Galbraith is a Republican in 
politics and is in sympathy with the teachings of the Episcopal church. 
Fraternally he is a Mason, and is also, by inheritance, a member of the 
Loyal Legion. In addition to other fields of usefulness is is a member 
of the board of trustees of the Pontiac State Hospital. 

Danif.l a. McGaffey. In the daily laborious struggle for an hon- 
orable competence and a solid career on the part of a business or pro- 
fessional man, there is little to attract the casual reader in search of. a 
sensational chapter ; but to the mind thoroughly awake to the reality and 
meaning of human existence there are noble and imperishable lessons 
in the career of an individual who without other means than a clear 
head, strong arm and true heart, directed and controlled by correct 
principles and unerring judgment, conquers adversity and, toiling on, 
finally wins not only pecuniary independence but what is far greater 
and higher, the deserved respect and confidence of those with whom 
his active years have brought him in contact. Such an one is found 
in the person of Daniel A. McGafifey, deputy register of deeds of Oak- 
land county, Michigan. 

Mr. McGafifey is a native son of the state, his eyes having first 
opened to the light of day on January 23, 1875, at Hartford, Michigan. 
He is the son of Andy and Efiie (Campbell) McGafifey, the father a 
native of Ireland and the mother of the neighboring isle of Scotland. 
They came to America in quest of its much vaunted opportunity in 
young manhood and womanhood and located near Quebec, Ontario, 
where the father, who was engaged in railroad construction, continued 
in his occupation. He followed this the greater part of his life and 
died in 1908. The mother survives and makes her home in Oakland 
county. An enumeration of their sons and daughters is as follows : 
John E., of Pontiac; Richard and Donald, deceased; Andrew, a resi- 
dent of Toledo, Ohio ; a daughter who died in infancy ; Joseph E., of 
Pontiac ; Daniel A., of this review : and Margaret, who is living in 
Holly, this county. 

Mr. McGafifey received his earlier education in the public schools 
of Holly and was about eighteen years of age at the time of his re- 
moval to this city, where he has for the most part resided ever since. 
In a few years he embarked in the carriage making business and re- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 649 

mained thus employed for three years and a half, when he took up the 
barbering business. He continued at that for a twelvemonth and 
then went to Birmingham, where he worked at his trade for three years. 
Thence he went to Oxford, where he bought out a shop and remained 
thus engaged until January i, 1911, when he was made deputy register 
of deeds, which office he is filling at the present time. 

Mr. McGaffey laid one of the chief stones in the foundation of his 
success by his union with Anna Belle Bell, the date of their marriage 
being May 15, IQ02. Mrs. McGaffey is a daughter of Samuel and 
Mary (Hanna) Bell, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of 
the state of Michigan Samuel Bell came to America in the year 1850, 
settled in Oakland county about 1851, and he followed the great basic 
industry of agriculture all his life. He passed away April 10, 1901, 
but the mother is still living, on the old homestead in Southfield town- 
ship. Mrs. McGaffey is one of the following family of eight children: 
Jennie, living with her mother ; Wylie, a resident of Birmingham ; 
Robert L., of Denver, Colorado ; Mrs. McGafifey ; May, at home ; How- 
ard, of Denver, Colorado ; Ren, who is working on the home place ; and 
Norman, at home. To the union of Mr. and Mrs McGaffey was born 
one child, a boy, who died in infancy. Both are earnest and helpful 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are held in high es- 
teem in their community, their home being a hospitable and attractive 
one. 

Mr. McGaffey is prominent in local lodge circles, his fraternal affil- 
iations extending to the Masons, the Knights of Pythias, the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd F'ellows and the Modern Woodmen. He is 
particularly well known among the Woodmen and was clerk of the 
order for six years. For three years he held the office of senior warden 
of the Masons. He is a tried and true Republican and in addition to 
his present office was township clerk for a period of five years. 

Joseph M. Donaldson. The annals of Oakland county can display 
no finer example of what may be accomplished through persistent ef- 
fort even in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles than that dis- 
played in the career of Joseph M. Donaldson, proprietor of the Home 
Furnishing Company, of Pontiac, and a business man w^hose rise has 
been steady and continuous until he now occupies a foremost position 
among those who have been the architects of their own fortunes. Mr. 
Donaldson was born in Oakland county, Michigan, October 29, 1863, 
and is a son of John and Eliza (Wilson) Donaldson, natives of Scot- 
land. His parents came to the United States in 1848, locating first at 
Baltimore, Maryland, where they remained for several years, and then 
came to Oakland county, Mr. Donaldson's father being engaged in 
farming during the remainder of his life. His death occurred in 1894, 
while his wife survived until 1900, and they were the parents of the 
following eight children : Samuel, who resides at Troy, Michigan ; 
Agnes, the widow of David Glenn, of Fremont, Ohio ; Mary, the wife 
of Alexander Groves, of Troy ; John, of Troy ; Elizabeth, the widow of 
J. A. McKibben, of Detroit; William, of Pontiac; Albert R., living in- 
Detroit; and Joseph M. 

The youngest of his parents' children, Joseph M. Donaldson re- 
mained with his father until he was seventeen years of age, assisting 
in the work on the home place and securing an education in the public 



650 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

schools. After leaving the parental roof he was for one year engaged 
in farming and then spent two years in clearing land, and eventually 
went to Huron county and purchased 120 acres of timbered land. When 
he had completed clearing his property Air. Donaldson traded the land 
for a planing mill, located in Had Axe, Michigan, and there became a 
successful business man and prominent citizen, acting in the capacity of 
city clerk and alderman for two terms each. During the ninth year of 
that business, however, Mr. Donaldson met with an accident in his 
planing mill which caused the amputation of his right leg, so he dis- 
posed of his interest in the business and embarked in the mercantile 
line. After three years spent in Bad Axe he removed to Pontiac, but 
soon thereafter went to Detroit, and for two years was in the house- 
hold furniture line. Although he met with unqualified success in De- 
troit, he decided that Pontiac offered a better field for his activities, 
and in 1902 came to Pontiac and established himself in business, found- 
ing the Home Furnishing Company and building a large three story 
brick building, 57 by 125 feet, the largest of its kind in the county, 
equipped with every modern appurtenance and convenience, and stocked 
with a line of goods strictly up to date in every way. A well-balanced 
business man, shrewd and capable in all his undertakings, Mr. Donald- 
son has won his own success in the world of business, and has the full 
confidence and esteem of the people of his community. 

On December i, 1886, Mr. Donaldson was married to Miss Eliza- 
beth W. Walter, daughter of John and Eleanor (Clark) Walter, na- 
tives of England, who came to Michigan at an early day and settled 
in Clarkston. They had a family of eight children, as follows : George 
B., living in SouthvDakota ; Frank, of Clarkston, Michigan; Anna, wife 
of E. S. Bird of Groveland, Michigan; John N., of Clarkston; Eliza- 
beth W., wife of Mr. Donaldson; Loan J., who lives in South Dakota; 
one who died in childhood ; and Nellie, the wife of Ellsworth Spooner, 
of Oakland county. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Donaldson, namely: Vera Eleanor; Irene M. ; Harold (who died in in- 
fancy), J. Glenn and William W. Mr. Donaldson is independent in 
his political views. He and his wife are consistent members of the 
Presbyterian church, in which they have numerous friends. 

Lafayette Bostwick. Although born and reared to the age of sev- 
enteen on a farm, Lafayette Bostwick, of Pontiac, has never followed 
farming on his own account. He realized early in life that his bent was 
of a mechanical turn, and he was wise enough to seek opportunities 
to give it expression in his daily occupation even during his youth. 
After completing his education to the extent he had the chance to se- 
cure in the public schools, and when he was about seventeen years old, 
he left the farm and became a woodworker, making doors, sash and 
blinds for buildings. 

Mr. Bostwick was born in Oswego county, New York, on June 7, 
1 84 1. His parents, John J. and Fanny (Gains) Bostwick, were also 
natives of New York state, and moved to Michigan in 1850, locating 
in Lapeer county. There the father died in 185 1, and the mother, in 
1859. They had twelve children, of whom Lafayette was the last 
born. After leaving school he passed one year on the farm, then came 
to Pontiac, where he learned his trade and worked at it until 1861. 

Soon after the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted in Company 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 651 

F, Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in which he served three 
years as sergeant of his company. He took part in the first and second 
battles of Bull Run, the Peninsular campaign in Virginia, the battle of 
Fredericksburg in that state, the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of 
Jackson, Mississippi and Camel's Station, Tennessee, and was then 
marched to Knoxville, Tennessee. During the siege of that city he 
was wounded, and when he was again ready for service his regiment 
was transferred to the Army of the Potomac, in which he participated 
in the campaign from the Rappahannock to the North Anna river. 

On July 21, 1864, Mr. Bostwick received his discharge from the 
army and at once returned to Pontiac. He again went to work at his 
trade and continued to follow it until he lost the use of his right arm 
in 1865. He was then obliged to seek some other occupation, but he 
found plenty to do that was within his power, even though he was badly 
crippled. And the people of Pontiac, being well advised of his effi- 
ciency and force of character, elected him successively constable, super- 
visor and city assessor. For some years he has been living retired from 
more active pursuits and filling the position of court crier. Fraternally 
he is a Freemason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
and in politics he is a Democrat. 

In April, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza J. Cundy. 
Two children were born of the union: A son named George, who 
died at the age of twenty-two ; and a daughter named Jennie, who 
became the wife of George Lewis, of Pontiac, and who has since died. 
By her marriage to Mr. Lewis she became the mother of two chil- 
dren: Madge B., who is the wife of Harry Turner, of Pontiac, and 
Fannie May, who is the wife of Raymond Day, of Pontiac. 

When he was but nine years old death robbed Mr. Bostwick of his 
father, and when he was eighteen his mother died. He was therefore 
thrown on his own resources early in life, and since that time has made 
his own way in the world without assistance from the outside. The 
record he has made and the property he has accumulated are strong 
proofs of his foresight and force of character, and indicate the sterling 
quality of his manhood. He has well earned the universal esteem the 
people of the county have for him. 

D. J. Hammond. The career of this solid, substantial and influen- 
tial citizen of Pontiac is full of suggestiveness, whether viewed from 
a business standpoint or from its record in the public life and progress 
of the region in which it has mainly been passed to the present time. 
It furnishes an excellent example of the adaptability and readiness for 
all requirements of American manhood, and shows that opportunities 
for advancement can be made by men for themselves if events and 
circumstances do not provide them. For Mr. Hammond has tried his 
hand at a number of different lines of endeavor, and has succeeded in 
them all. He has never been without a chance to employ his energy 
and business ability, for he has always been on the lookout for open- 
ings, and has always found his way to them. 

Mr. Hammond was born in Oakland county, Michigan, on January 
15, 1841. His parents were David and Eleanor (Voorheis) Hammond, 
the former a native of New York state and the latter of New Haven, 
Connecticut. The father purchased 160 acres of government land in 
Oakland county, Michigan, in 1825. The original deed, or govern- 



652 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ment patent, for this land is still in the possession of Mr. Hammond 
of this sketch, and was signed by John Quincy Adams as president of 
the United States. Two years after making his purchase the father 
came to this county and located on his land. He occupied, improved 
and cultivated it for a number of years, then sold it and moved to 
Flint, Genesee county, where he died on July lo, 1883, having outlived 
by more than twenty years the mother, who passed away on Septem- 
ber 13, 1863. They were the parents of seven children, only three of 
whom are living: Susan A., who was born on July 18, 1835, and is now 
the widow of Alfred E. Howell, who died at Nashville, Tennessee, 
while in the service of his country; D. J., the immediate subject of this 
brief review; and Jacob L, who was born on September 16, 1846, and 
is now a resident of Flint in this state. The children who died were: 
Sarah E., whose life began on March 22, 1828, and ended on Novem- 
ber 12, 1905, and who was the wife of Amasa Morse, of this county; 
L N. and Newell, twins, the latter of whom died in childhood and the 
former on September 23, 1905, and who were born on April 28, 1831 ; 
and Oscar F., who was born on January 3, 1837, and died on Novem- 
ber 25, i860. 

D. J. Hammond began the battle of life for himself at the age of 
nineteen. He was variously employed for two years from that age, 
then started a general farming enterprise in partnership with another 
young man. At the end of the first year he bought his partner out and 
took entire charge of the farm of 234 acres himself, conducting its 
work under his sole management for three years. Toward the end of 
the Civil war he was drafted into the service, but sent a substitute to 
serve in his place. Later, however, he enlisted in Company K, Twenty- 
second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and when this regiment was dis- 
charged he w^ent into the Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry, in which 
he remained until the war closed and the regiment w^as mustered out of 
the army. 

After his return from the army he engaged in the oil producing busi- 
ness in Canada for a short time, and in 1866 came back to this county 
and bought eighty acres of the old family homestead. He remained on 
the land he had bought five years, and at the end of that period moved 
to Pontiac and entered into a partnership with J. O. Hilton in the 
produce trade, with which he was connected nine years. His next 
business venture w^as in banking and real estate transactions, which oc- 
cupied him for ten years. Since giving that up he has been variously 
employed, but always with good results. In 191 1 he practically retired 
from active pursuits, and from that time to the present he has been 
occupied mainly in looking after his extensive real estate possessions. 

Mr. Hammond was married on October 17, 1866, to Miss Josephine 
M. Harper, who was born at Lodi, Michigan, July 31, 1847, "^ daughter 
of Moses D. and Nancy (Hopkins) Harper, natives of the state of 
New York. They came to Michigan in the early 'thirties, and here 
they passed the remainder of their lives* on a farm. Four children 
were born of their union: Nelson, who died in the Union army during 
the Civil war; Mrs. Hammond, who is still living; Salem D., who is 
a resident of Lansing, Michigan ; and Arthur, who died in childhood. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hammond have two children, their sons Ward and Frank 
v., both residents of Pontiac. Ward was born on June 24, 1870, and 
Frank V., on July 10, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond ai^liate with the 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 653 

Baptist church. Mr. Hammond is a Republican and has served his 
ward in the city well and wisely as alderman in the city council. In 
1897 he was elected to the lower house of the state legislature, and in 
1899 was re-elected. He has also served as a member of the city 
board of water commissioners. Fraternally he is connected with the 
Grand Army of the Repu1)lic. Throughout Oakland county he is well 
and favorably known as a leading citizen, a strictly upright man of 
wide intelligence and public spirit, always interested in the welfare of 
his locality, and at all times ready to do all he can to promote it. 
Wherever he is known the ])eople esteem him highly for his genuine 
w^orth, his progressive spirit, and his warm and serviceable devotion to 
the lasting good of his county, his state and his country. 

Joseph H. Thorpe. Although born and reared to the age of twelve 
years in England, the late Joseph H. Thorpe was a resident of Pontiac 
for twenty-eight years, and during that period fully demonstrated his 
interest in the city and its residents, and is well and favorably remem- 
bered by them as a good man, enterprising and progressive in his busi- 
ness and elevated and serviceable in his citizenship. He was as w^armly 
and sincerely devoted to this country as he ever could have been to 
that of his birth, and his loyalty to Pontiac, Oakland county and the 
state of Michigan was very decided and cordial. 

Mr. Thorpe's life began on December 2, 1840, in Lincolnshire, Eng- 
land, where his parents, Joseph and Sarah (Lake) Thorpe, were also 
born. The family came to the United States in 1852 and at once located 
in Pontiac. Here the father was a dealer in live stock and a butcher. 
He bought ninety acres of land within what are now the city limits, 
and located in the northwestern ])art of the municipal domain. On 
this land he erected a residence and occu])ied it with the members of his 
household until March, 1872, when the son Joseph, purchased the place 
and in the same year also purchased another place. The death of the 
father occurred on July 29, 1873, The mother died on December 2, 
of the same year. They had eleven children, of whom only one, their 
son Charles, the last ])orn of the family, is living. The ten who died 
were: Mary Ann, William, George, Thomas, Benjamin, John, Eliza, 
Joseph H., Sarah and Jeremiah. The w^idow of Joseph now owns and 
lives in the old family home. 

At an early age Joseph H. Thorpe engaged in the l)Utchering business 
in Detroit, but after carrying it on for a few years he returned to Pon- 
tiac and became the buyer for the shop. He bought cattle steadily and 
also fed great numbers on the home farm for the custom at the Pon- 
tiac market kept first by his father and afterward by himself. In this 
way he made the business very active and at the same time more profit- 
able than if he had ])een obliged to depend on outside sources for tiiis 
stock. While he conducted the meat market it was the leading one in 
the city and the most po]:)ular and best patronized, for the goods were 
always first class and the prices always just what they ought to ])e. 

On March 6, 1872, Mr. Thorpe was married to Miss Matilda Schaef- 
fer, a daughter of John and Bar])ara (Gauss) Schaeffer, natives of 
Germany. Mrs. Thorpe was born in Wurtemberg in the Fatherland, 
October 14, 18.^0, and was brought to the United States by her parents 
in the spring of 1852. The family came over in a sailing vessel which 
was fifty-two days on the voyage, and as this w^as so extended the sup- 



654 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ply of provisions ran low and all the passengers were put on short ra- 
tions. On their arrival in this country the parents located at Ann Arbor 
in this state. The father was a weaver by trade, but here he was in the 
employ of the Michigan Central Railroad for twenty-five years. Two 
children were born in the family : Mrs. Thorpe and her brother Henry, 
who is now a resident of Denver, Colorado. Mr. Schaeffer was the 
mother's second husband. She was first married to John P. Frank, 
and by that marriage she became the mother of one child, her son 
Phillip. Pier second husband gave him the name of Philip Frank 
Schaeffer, and under that name he is now living and in business in Buf- 
falo, New York. 

Joseph H. Thorpe and his wife had three children. Elizabeth was 
born on March 26, 1873, ^^^ is still living with her mother. She is a 
teacher of music and has studied in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Pontiac and 
three years in Europe. Fred was born on March 8, 1875, and is a 
machinist. Joseph H., whose life began on June 24, 1877, is engaged 
in the sporting goods business in Pontiac. In their several localities and 
occupations the children all emulate the enterprise and progressiveness 
of their father in business and the high character and stern sense of duty 
of both their parents, giving their several communities excellent examples 
of the best American citizenship. The father was a Democrat in pol- 
itical faith and allegiance and one of the most effective workers for hi« 
party in this county. His religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian 
church, of which Mrs. Thorpe is a member. At his death on the 12th 
of December, 1880, the people of Oakland county mourned the loss 
of one of their best citizens, and now they revere his memory accord- 
ing to the same estimate. 

Edward Fosdick. The universal adaptability to circumstances, which 
is one of the strong attributes of American manhood, is well shown 
in the career of Edward Fosdick, coal and wood merchant of Pontiac, 
and also dealer in grain and hay. Mr. Fosdick passed many years as an 
industrious and successful farmer, and when he grew weary of that 
occupation and sold his farm he turned his attention to the domain of 
mercantile life, in which he has been very successful and prosperous, 
rising to a high rank in business circles in the community in which he 
conducts his energetic operations. 

Mr. Fosdick was born in Bloomfield township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, on November 30, 1845. His parents, Alvin and Jane Ann 
(Adams) Fosdick, were natives of the state of New York, and were 
reared, educated and married in that state. There, also the first two 
of their children were born: Helen M., who became the wife of Jesse 
Windiate and is now deceased, as is also her husband, and Jay, who 
died in Illinois in 1892, having moved to that state in 1872, or about that 
time. The children of the household born in Michigan, whither the 
parents moved in 1843, are: William M., who died on October 11, 191 1 : 
Edward, the immediate subject of this review : Jerome, who is now a 
resident of San Francisco, where he located in October, 191 1; Julius, 
who died in 1906; and Walter B., who is residing on the old homestead 
in Bloomfield township, this coiinty. 

Edward Fosdick obtained his education in the district schools of his 
native township, and after completing their course of instruction took 
up work on his father's fav'n, whirli he had assisted in cultivating from 




g).^^....^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 655 

boyhood. In 1867 he began farming for himself, and he remained on 
the farm of which he then became possessed until 1895, when he sold 
it and removed to Pontiac. In that city he has built a capacious, sub- 
stantial and attractive residence, that is fitted with every modern im- 
provement for the comfort of its occupants, and the furnishings of 
which are indicative of the refined taste of its owners. But the dwelling 
was not built for them alone. The home is a center of courteous and 
gracious hospitality, as sincere as it is bountiful, and of social life and 
culture of a hi^h order, and it is a frequent resort for the numerous 
friends of the family. In addition to this home Mr. Fosdick invested 
in 160 acres of land in Pontiac township, just outside of the present 
building line of Pontiac. This is a most valuable holding, not only for 
the income now derived from it, but much more particularly for the 
possibilities which it affords for subdivision when the city's growth 
reaches its boundaries. And from the rapid strides it is now making 
in that direction it is easy to infer that the time for the subdivision 
is not far distant. 

Being vigorous in health and of an active, nervous temperament, 
Mr. Fosdick could not content himself with doing nothing after he sold 
his farm. He saw in Pontiac a good opening for the lines of trade in 
which he is engaged, and at once took up the work with his customary 
enterprise and vigor. He conducts his mercantile business with the 
same intelligence, energy and careful attention to every detail that he 
exhibited in his farming operations, and it is needless to observe that 
he is meeting with the same success in this as he did in his former un- 
dertaking. He is one of the substantial men of the city, owning his 
own business property, as well as the other properties already mentioned, 
and the natural demand for the products he handles, which is stimulated 
to great proportions by his activity and tireless energy, keeps himself 
and the force he employs fully occupied. 

On January 14, 1866, Mr. Fosdick was united in marriage with Miss 
Helen Jay Knight, a daughter of Potter and Marion (Adams) Knight, 
both of whom are now deceased. Mrs. Fosdick died on August 17, 
1904, and on March 26, 1908, Mr. Fosdick married a second wife, his 
choice on this occasion being Miss Clara Talmage, a native of Lapeer 
county, Michigan. No children have been born of either union. The 
head of the house belongs to the Masonic order and is a Republican in 
his political allegiance. He has held a number of township offices, 
notably those of township treasurer, township supervisor and member- 
ship on the board of superintendents of the poor. In social circles, in 
the business world of the community of his home, in reference to civil 
and political interests, and in all the other relations of life he is held 
to be one of the most valuable citizens of Oakland county, and his wife 
shares fully in the universal esteem bestowed upon him. 

D. W. Heath. The late Daniel W. Heath, of Pontiac, and his 
wife, Lucretia Durkee Heath, were representatives of two widely known 
and highly regarded relationships which have been extensively con- 
nected with the growth and development of Oakland county. Mr. 
Heath was born near the city of Batavia in New York state. May 5, 
1826, a son of Joseph and Salley Heath, both of whom were natives 
of New York. The senior Heath followed farming throughout his life. 
He and his wife were blessed with a family of eight children, all of the 
members now being deceased. 

Vol. n— 1 1 



656 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Daniel remained on the home place, assisting his parents in its man- 
agement, until he was twenty-five, when he decided to embark for him- 
self and chose the stock business. He bought, sold and shipped 
stock in large quantities, and achieved success with his enterprises. He 
followed the same line in Oakland county for twenty years after locat- 
ing here in i860, and then retired. He built a fine home in Pontiac, 
where he lived until his death on April 2, 1890. 

Mr. Heath married Lucretia Durkee on June 12, 1879. She was 
a daughter of Jedediah and Rhenana (Farman) Durkee. Her father 
was a native of Vermont and her mother of New York state, and they 
came to Michigan in 1830, locating in Oakland county. They took up 
eighty acres of government land and by thrift and frugality added to 
this until their holdings reached 220 acres. On this ample estate was 
carried on with much success a general farming and stock raising in- 
dustry. 

The branches of the Durkee family numbered eight. Lewis P., the 
eldest son, who was a jeweler in Detroit, is now deceased. Joseph A., 
who is now making his home in Pontiac, led a busy existence. He re- 
mained with his father, helping the latter, until twenty-two, clearing 
up by arduous toil two timbered farms and putting them in shape for 
cultivation. In i86g he heard the call of the west and went to Kansas. 
He formed a partnership with W. H. Stout, at Ft. Scott, in the grain 
and implement business. Observing a wonderful opportunity in utiliz- 
ing the virgin prairie, he then bought 2,400 acres and commenced stock 
raising on a large scale. He fed yearly from 800 to 1,000 cattle, 1,000 
sheep and from 1,000 to 3,000 hogs, keeping up this mammoth undertak- 
ing for twenty-five years. He then embarked in the coal business, min- 
ing and shipping this product through a large area of the west. He 
followed this line for ten years. In July, 1889, his wife died, and he 
came to Pontiac, since which time he has been making his home with 
a sister of the subject of this sketch. His wife was before her mar- 
riage Louisa Stickney. She was a native of New York. He took for 
his second wife Clarena E. Brown, who died in January, 1908. 

The third member of the Durkee family was Calista G., who became 
the wife of Asahel Heath, of Detroit, and is now deceased. Cloe P., 
who married Lester Coonley, of Farmington township, and Lucy M. 
are also deceased. Franklin D. is living in San Francisco, California. 
Philo G. was killed at Chattanooga while color bearer for the Twenty- 
second Michigan Infantry, and Lucretia, the youngest of the eight chil- 
dren, is the widow of the subject of this sketch. She was born in 
West Bloomfield township, Oakland county. Her father was one of 
the pioneers of his county, taking up land from the government in West 
Bloomfield township. He came from Dorien, New York, to Michigan 
in 1830. 

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel W. Heath there was born one 
child, Mae, wife of David G. Moreland, of Pontiac. Mrs. Heath holds 
membership in the Presbyterian church. In his political preferences Mr. 
Health was a republican. 

Perry J. Jennings, This valued citizen of Pontiac who is now, at 
the age of seventy-two, living retired in that city after a long, busy and 
successful career as a farmer and live stock man, is a native of Oakland 
county, and was born in the village of Troy oh March 20, 1840. In that 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 657 

township he was reared and educated. There also he acquired his knowl- 
edge of farming, the occupation he followed through all the years of his 
activity, and there he put in practice on his own farm the knowledge he 
acquired on that of his parents, as well as applying it to the cultivation of 
the latter for a time. He is therefore wholly a product of Oakland county, 
and he has spent his years of labor and his strength in behalf of its 
improvement and progress. Mr. Jennings is the seventh son and ninth 
child of Ira and Polly (Johnson) Jennings, the former a native of Con- 
necticut, where his life began on April 7, 1797, and the latter born in the 
state of New York. They came to Michigan in 1822 and bought eighty 
acres of g;overnment land in Troy township, this county, where the 
father carried on general farming and live stock breeding until his death, 
which occurred on February 22, 1851. The mother's life ended on 
November 11, 1879. They were the parents of ten children: Edwin, 
Joseph, Mary, Oscar, Sylvester, Ira, Henry, Isaac, Perry J. and Oliver. 
Edwin, Joseph and Oscar have been dead for a number of years, and 
Henry and Isaac died in childhood. Perry J., of this review, is the only 
one now living. His brother Edwin was a graduate of the medical 
department of the University at Ann Arbor. He located at Midland, Mid- 
land county, occupying the second house that was erected in that place. 
He grew with the village, town and city, remaining there actively engaged 
in the practice of his profession until his death, which occurred on April 
I, 1890. He was born on July 5, 1826, graduated in medicine in 1853, o^ 
March 30. 

At the age of eleven years Perry J. Jennings lost his father, and after 
that he and his older brother Sylvester carried on the farming operations 
jointly for a number of years. His brother left the place after a time, 
and during the next ten years Perry managed it alone. After his 
marriage the farm was divided, and he farmed the other portions beside 
his own on shares, until he bought a house and lot in Troy and moved to 
that property. Soon after locating at Troy Mr. Jennings bought thirty 
acres of land and some little time afterward purchased an additional tract 
of forty acres. To this he added later eighty acres more, and on this 
body of 150 acres he passed his time and expended his efforts until 1902, 
when he retired from active pursuits and took up his residence in Pontiac. 
In that city he has a fine residence and owns in addition three other houses 
and lots, all valuable properties. 

On October 31, 1863, Mr. Jennings was married to Miss Lucy Butler, 
who was born on April 27, 1841, and is a daughter of Alva and Hulda 
(Bissell) Butler, natives of Vermont, where the father was born on 
January 19, 1798, and the mother, on July 19, 1798. They were married 
April 4, 1825. After coming to Michigan they bought eighty acres of 
land in Troy township, where the father was engaged in farming during 
the remainder of his life. The mother died on August 10, 1880, and the 
father on April 10, 1882. They had eight children, all of whom are dead 
but Mrs. Jennings. Mr. and Mrs. Jennings have three children: Belle, 
who is the wife of Charles Aspenwall, of Troy; Edwin, who is also a 
resident of Troy township ; and Gertrude, who was a school teacher in the 
far West and who married Hugh Hayden of Portland, Oregon. 

Mr. Jennings is independent in politics, was a school official while liv- 
ing on the farm and also served for some years as constable. He is a 
Free-Mason in fraternal relations and a Methodist in church connection. 
He has always taken a cordial and helpful interest in the affairs of his 



658 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

township and county and had done whatever he could to promote their 
welfare and the good of their residents, being public-spirited and pro- 
gressive, and having at all times an intense local patriotism. The people of 
Oakland county regard him as one of their useful and representative 
citizens, and esteem him highly as a good man and a one-time very 
forceful factor among them. 

Andrew A. Garner. After the strenuous endeavor of a busy, useful 
career, Andrew A. Garner retired a few years ago and is now living at ease 
in Pontiac, enjoying his handsome residence on Oakland avenue and its 
beautiful surroundings. Mr. and Mrs. Garner are from two of the 
largest relationships in Oakland county. His parents had ten children 
and Mrs. Garner's father had twenty children in his family. 

Andrew A. Garner was born in White Lake township, Oakland county, 
September 23, 1843, a son of Robert and Mary E. (Armstrong) Garner. 
Robert Garner was born September 2, 1810, and died August 15, 1903, at 
the advanced age of 93 years. His wife, Mary Armstrong Garner, was 
born on July 21, 1816, and died April 30, 1894. Their marriage was 
solemnized on May 21, 1833. Both were natives of New York, being 
reared in Steuben county of that state, and they came to Michigan in the 
early days. To their union were born ten children : Margaret, Jane, Mary 
and Mary Jane, who are now all deceased ; Lavina, wife of Isaac C. Mills, 
of Canada ; Martha, wife of James Pepper, of Oakland county; Ann, who 
died in childhood; A. A., the subject of this sketch; Charles and Clara, 
who are both deceased. 

A. A. Garner remained at home, and in token of his services his 
father gave him eighty acres of land, which he worked for two years 
prior to his marriage. Subsequently he remained on this tract for 
seven years, then took charge of the home place of 346 acres. After 
running both farms for a few years he sold his eighty acres and devoted 
his entire time to the home place. At his father's death it was found that 
the senior Garner had deeded the farm to him outright. He still owns 
246 acres of the old place. 

. During his years of activity Mr. Garner followed general farming and 
stock raising. He also operated a threshing outfit for fifteen years. He 
is a Republican in politics and belongs to the Maccabees. When he retired 
to Pontiac in 1908 his youngest son took charge of the farm and is 
conducting it with the same evidences of success that characterized the 
works of his father, 

On May 19, 1869, Mr. Garner was married to Clarinda P. Kelley, a 
daughter of Asa L. and Louise M. (Austin) Kelley, who were natives of 
New York and married October 29, 1840. They located in Bloomfield 
township, where Mr. Kelley followed farming all his life. He was born 
on July II, 1818 and died August 9, 1887. His wife, Louise, was born 
March 9, 1825, and died on September i, 1863. To their union there were 
born ten children, as follows: Harriett, wife of Edward Giddings, of 
Buhla, Michigan ; Jason, of Juanita, Michigan ; Clarinda, who married A. 
A. Garner; Lydia, wife of Orlando Mills, of Clarkston, Michigan; 
Mahalia, who is deceased; Charlotte, wife of Isaac Terry, of Pontiac; 
Louisa, and Paulina, deceased ; Asa, of Clarkston, Michigan ; and Theo- 
dore, who is deceased. Mr. Kelley had for his first wife Arminta Peck, 
who is now deceased. They were married in Pontiac and there was born 
to them one son, Frank, who died at the age of three years and seven 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 659 

months. For his third wife he married Fannie Rich in January, 1864. 
They had nine childrAi: Frank and Alma, deceased; Daniel, of Holly 
township; Louisa, wife of Leroy Garner, of White Lake; Armettie, 
deceased; Artie of Detroit; Alta, who is a twin of Artie and who is 
deceased; Minnie and Mattie, also twins. Minnie is the wife of George 
Morris, of Bay City, Michigan, and Mattie married O. Valentine. Their 
mother is still living in Bay City. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Garner has been blessed with 
five children : Minnie, who married George Kennedy, of Windsor, Canada, 
on August II, 1898, just four days after her birthday anniversary. She 
was born August 7, 1870. Mattie was born August 30, 1872, and on 
November 6, 1901, married Augustaff Brandt, being now a resident of 
Pasadena, California. Mary E., who was born December 18, 1876, became 
the wife of James Perry, of Detroit, on August 11, 1898; also the wedding 
day of her sister; Robert, who lives in Bay city, Michigan, was born 
September 9, 1878, and married Edna Richmond June 2, 1902, Andrew 
A., Jr., born September 21, 1886, and now residing at White Lake, 
married Catherine Wiggins on August 19, 1908. 

James S. Davis. This esteemed retired farmer of Oakland county and 
resident of Pontiac, who is now past seventy years of age, was born in 
this county on April 11, 1842, and has passed the whole of his life to this 
time (1912) within its borders. He has taken an active part in its 
industries, aided in the maintenance and development of its civil, educa- 
tional and religious institutions, helped to promote its material progress, 
and in every way availa1)le to him contributed to its substantial and endur- 
ing welfare and that of its people for more than half a century, and the 
whole population of the county holds him in high esteem for his genuine 
worth as a man and the long and valuable service he has rendered to this 
part of the state. 

Mr. Davis is a son of Arthur and Emily (Green) Davis, the former a 
native of Ireland and the latter of the state of Maryland. The father 
was born on October 5, 18 12, and died on September 17, 1880. The 
mother passed away in October, 1881. The father was a farmer all his 
life, although he frequently engaged in other pursuits for a time. He 
was brought to the United States when he was but seven years old and 
located with his parents near Newburg, New York, where he lived for thir- 
teen years and obtained his education, attending the public schools for the 
purpose. 

In May, 1833, he came to Michigan and Oakland county, and took 
up his residence on what is known as the George Beardsley farm. Later 
in the same year he bought the place called the Thomas Carren farm of 
160 acres, in Independence township. For a few months in 1836 he clerked 
in the grocery store of Benjamin Irish, but in October of that year he 
was married and returned to his farm. Within a short time after this he 
was appointed by Governor S. S. Mason to assess and collect the tax levied 
on account of the Toledo war, his territory being four townships in this 
county ; and in the spring of 1837 he was also elected a justice of the peace. 
His work as assessor and collector of the Toledo war tax occupied two 
years, and in performing his work journeyed over his territory on foot. 
When he completed this work he resumed his farming operations, and in 
1845 moved to Clarkston, this county, and built the foundry and machine 
shop at that place. In 1850 he changed his residence to Southfield, and was 



660 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

again elected a justice of the peace. While holding this office he was 
elected sheriff of the county in 1852, and at the end of his term in 1854 was 
re-elected, in both cases being the candidate of the Democratic party. In 
1857 he located on a farm he had bought on the Pontiac and Rochester 
road, on which he resided nine years and carried on extensive farming 
operations with success and profit. 

By this time he had grown tired of the monotony of farm life and de- 
sired something more stirring in the way of occupation. So, in 1866, he 
moved to Pontiac, where he was engaged in the lumber business for three 
years. During our sanguinary Civil war he was recruiting officer for Avon 
township, and by his influence aided greatly in swelling the ranks of the 
Union's defenders from this part of Michigan, in this work, as in every- 
thing else he ever undertook, being true to the highest sense of duty and 
alive with energy and zeal in performing what he had to do. 

The elder Mr. Davis and his wife were the parents of eleven children: 
Hamilton, who was killed in the Civil war; William, Eugene, George, 
Rowland and John, who have died ; Arthur, who is living in Orion village, 
this county; James S., the immediate subject of this writing; Francis, 
whose home is in Portland, Oregon; William, who resides at Waterville, 
state of Washington; and Emma, who is the wife of William Knapp, of 
Portland, in the state of Oregon. 

James S. Davis remained at home with his parents until he reached the 
age of twenty-five years. He then bought eighty acres of land in Orion 
township, which he cultivated from 1869 until 1908, being all the time 
extensively and intelligently engaged in breeding fine cattle in connection 
with his farming operations. Shorthorns being his specialty, and his prod- 
ucts attaining a high rank in the markets because of their superior qualities 
and general excellence. 

On February 27, 1867, Mr. Davis was joined in wedlock with Miss 
Emily Geddings, a daughter of Albert ^nd Clarissa (Kelly) Geddings, the 
former a native of Connecticut and the latter of the state of New York. 
The father of Mrs. Davis was a farmer all his life, and passed the greater 
part of it in Pontiac township, this county, where he died in 1867. The 
mother is still living and has her home with Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Of the 
five children born to her parents Mrs. Davis is the only one living. Ama- 
rilla and George and Georgiana, twins, died a number of years ago, and 
Fred was killed by cars in Detroit. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have had four 
children: Arthur, who resides in Pontiac; Edith, who is the wife of 
Everett English, of Pontiac; Albert, who is deceased; and Clara, who 
died in infancy. Mr. Davis; is a Democrat in his political relations and 
zealously loyal and serviceable to his party. Fraternally he is connected 
with the Knights of the Maccabees, and in church affiliation he is a Con- 
gregationalist. He has always shown himself to be warmly interested in 
the progress and improvement of his township and county, and has made 
his interest manifest in zealous and effective work for their advancement. 
He is sturdy and sterling in his citizenship, and the people generally esteem 
him highly. 

George W. Alexander. When the deeds of veterans are recited on 
Memorial Day or Independence Day at Pontiac, Michigan, and hearts beat 
faster as the Stars and Stripes are unfurled, the thoughts of many instinc- 
tively turn to the occupant of a cottage on Auburn avenue, where in 
peace and quiet that contrasts markedly with war's alarms George W. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 661 

Alexander is passing his latter days. Few men have seen more strenuous 
service in their country's cause, and his experiences left a permanent 
memento, for he has been lame since the Civil war. 

Green Oak, Michigan was the birthplace of Mr. Alexander, on Octo- 
ber I, 1840. He was a son of Ambrose and Catherine (Emmons) Alex- 
ander, the former a native of Connecticut, the latter of New York. 
Ambrose Alexander came west in 1836, locating in Green Oak and taking 
up the occupation of a farmer. The grandfather of the subject of this 
sketch, Roger Alexander, was owner of the first cotton mill in Connecticut, 
and was literally the founder of an industry which has now grown to 
gigantic proportions in that commonwealth. In 1885 Mrs. Ambrose 
Alexander died, and her husband passed away just ten years later. Their 
family comprised four children, two daughters who died in infancy, the 
subject of this sketch and another son, Fred Alexander, of Grand Rapids. 

At the age of sixteen George W. Alexander took up life's duties in 
earnest, his first work being the breaking up of virgin sod in Berry 
county, with an ox team. He then came to Orion and attended school, 
later embarking in mercantile lines. 

Early in the great Civil war he felt the promptings of patriotism. 
He enlisted August 15, 1861, in Company G of the First Michigan Cav- 
alry. At the battle of Cold Harbor, during a desperate charge, his horse 
slipped and went down. The animal fell upon Mr. Alexander and the 
latter has been crippled ever since. He continued bravely in the service, 
however, and in 1865 this detachment of cavalry was ordered to Utah 
to fight the Indians. The long march of fifteen hundred miles over 
rivers, burning plains and mountains was made entirely on horseback, 
a fearful trip, during which men and horses suffered terribly. 

The uprising was put down and in March, 1866, Mr. Alexander was 
mustered out at Salt Lake City. The memory of the awful march from 
the Atlantic coast was still too fresh in his mind to consider returning 
the same way, and he rode on to California by stage, landing in Sacra- 
mento. Thence he went to San Francisco and took steamer for the long 
trip around the Cape to New York, completing his journey to Michigan 
by rail. He engaged in mercantile pursuits in Orion for one year, and 
in 1868 located in Pontiac and went into the hardware business. He 
followed this successfully until his retirement in 1896. For forty years 
he has resided in the comfortable home at no Auburn avenue which 
he owns. 

Mr. Alexander was married to Belle Wormley on January 25, 1870, 
She was a daughter of Jacob and Phoebe (Riker) Wormley. Mrs. 
Alexander's father came from Pennsylvania, followed farming and died 
in 1878. Her mother was a native of New York and died in 1897. 
Their union was blessed with five children — John, who is deceased; 
Simeon, of Big Flats, New York; Mary, deceased; Belle, wife of the 
subject of this sketch ; and Jennie, wife of Byron Burt, of Big Flats, 
New York. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Alexander had one child, Charles, 
who is deceased. As is natural, Mr. Alexander holds membership in 
the G. A. R. and is proud of the organization. He is a Republican 
in political preference, and he and his wife are members of the Method- 
ist church. 

Dick Dewey. One of Oakland county's most highly esteemed and 
substantial citizens is that well-known gentleman, Dick Dewey, agri- 



662 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

culturist, and at the present time holding the office of commissioner of 
public utilities. One of the most prominent of Americans has said:. 
*'Our civilization rests at bottom on the wholesomeness, the attractive- 
ness and the completeness, as well as the prosperity of life in the 
country. The men and women on the farms stand for what is funda- 
mentally ''best and most needed in our American life." It was of the 
type represented by Mr. Dewey that the great statesman was speaking. 

Mr. Dewey is a native son of the county, his birth having occurred 
within its pleasant boundaries October 7, 1867, the son of Charles E. 
and Sarah A. (Culver) Dewey, both natives of Michigan and both now 
deceased. The father passed away on April 16, 1893, while the demise 
of the mother occurred on August 15, 1897. Charles E. Dewey was 
engaged in the insurance business and also owned two hundred and 
twenty-four acres, which he supervised until his death. He and his 
wife were the parents of three children, but their two daughters, Iva 
May and Maud, are both deceased. 

Dick Dewey received his education in the public schools and was 
graduated from the high school at Pontiac in the year 1889. When it 
came to choosing a life work, he determined to devote himself to the 
great basic industry and thus continued until 1900, when he rented his 
farm and located in Pontiac, his home since that time. He is the owner 
of a splendid and advantageously situated farm of two hundred and 
twenty-four acres in Waterford and West Bloomfield townships, which, 
as stated above, he rents. He has won the esteem of all with whom he 
came in contact and is generally recognized as of the right material to 
which to entrust public responsibility. On April 10, 191 1, he was elected 
commissioner of public utilities, which office he now holds and for fivQ 
years he has been supervisor of the Fourth ward of Pontiac. He has 
always been aligned with the champions of the best possible education 
and at different times has held the offices of school inspector and county 
truant officer and was incumbent of the position of covmty truant officer 
at the time of his election to his present office. He held the position of 
clerk of Waterford township for five years. He is decidedly public 
spirited and keeps in touch with all the questions of the day, and those 
measures which in his opinion look toward the achievement of the 
greatest good to the greatest number are sure of his support. 

On December 18, 1889, Mr. D"ewey was married to Miss Flora A. 
Fair, daughter of James and Mary (Hunt) Fair, both natives of Michi- 
gan, and now residents of Clarkston, Oakland county. The father, 
who was a farmer by occupation, is now living retired. Mrs. Dewey 
was one of a family of thirteen children. Of this number the first, 
second, third and fourth born died in infancy; George is a resident of 
Northville, Michigan; Fred W. makes his home in Detroit; E. Blanche 
is the wife of Dana W. Lamb, of Roberts, Wisconsin; the eighth is 
Mrs. Dewey; Martin S. is a citizen of Detroit; W. M. lives in North- 
ville, Michigan; James A. is of Clarkston, Michigan; Estella is the 
wife of Raymond Plumb, of Clarkston, Michigan; and Harry, the thir- 
teenth, resides in Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Dewey became the parents 
of one child, Don C, who died at birth. 

Mr. Dewey is a Democrat, giving heart and hand to the men and 
measures of the Democratic party. He belongs to the ancient and 
august Masonic order, being a Royal Arch Mason and belonging to the 
council, and he is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 668 

Edward H. Halsey. An enumeration of those men of the present 
generation who have won honor and pubHc recognition for themselves 
in the business world and as good citizens, and at the same time have 
honored the locahty to which they belong, would be incomplete were 
there failure to make mention of the one whose name forms the caption 
of this sketch. Mr. Hasley was promiment in business circles as the 
secretary of the Pontiac Commercial Association from April, 1910, 
until December i, 191 1, when he resigned to accept the position of 
steward of the Pontiac State Hospital. He is also identified with the 
affairs of the Michigan Printing Company. He is a prominent Demo- 
crat and held efficiently the office of city clerk during the year 1893. 

Edward H. Halsey was born in Leslie, Ingham county, Michigan, 
May II, 1870. He is the son of Charles H. and Althea (Aldrich) Hal- 
sey, both natives of the Wolverine state, and both now living in Pontiac, 
where they enjoy universal esteem. The father is identified with the 
Grand Trunk Railroad in the capacity of conductor and has been with 
this great corporation for a matter of eighteen years. He was pre- 
viously engaged in the mercantile business. In their family there were 
two children, the subject's sister, Blanche N., being the wife of Benedett 
L. Brown, of Pontiac. 

Mr. Halsey attended the district school and later enjoyed the ad- 
vantages of the high school, and being naturally inclined toward a busi- 
ness career, he secured a training for the same in the business college 
at Saginaw. He then went to Pontiac and entered the office of Hon. 
Thomas L. Patterson, probate judge at that time, where he was employed 
for a year, and he was subsequently in the auditor's office of the Oxford 
& Northern Railroad, his connection therewith covering a space of three 
years. Ensuing upon this he became bookkeeper and salesman for tlfe 
H. B. Seagrave Hardware Company, of Pontiac, with which he con- 
tinued for two years and his next connection was with the C. V. Taylor 
Buggy Company, in whose offices he was bookkeeper. He then be- 
came purchasing agent for the above and acted as such for four years, 
at the end of which time he accepted a position with the Pontiac Spring 
& Wagon Works as sales manager. He remained with this concern 
for eight years and when it sold to the Carter Car Company, Mr. Halsey 
remained with the firm for another year. His next connection was 
with the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, for which he acted as sales- 
man for a year, then going with the Pontiac Commercial Association, 
of which he was subsequently elected secretary. He is enterprising in 
his views, of splendid executive capacity and business training and has 
ever proved a definite acquisition to any concern. 

Mr. Plalsey has been twice married. On March 2, 1898, he was 
united with Josephine D. North, whose death occurred May 29, 1900. 
On August 30, 1905, Miss Florence M. Owen, daughter of William R. 
and Anna M. Owen, became his wife. The present Mrs. Halsey is 
one of a family of three children, a brother, Roland, residing in Detroit, 
and A. Belle being the wife of A. B. Stanton, of Detroit. Mr. and Mrs. 
Halsey share their attractive home with a small daughter, Elizabeth A., 
born June 15, 1907. The parents of Mr. Halsey 's first wife were Albert 
G. and Harriet (Draper) North, both natives of Michigan and resi- 
dents of Pontiac. Mr. North is a retired capitalist and owns a great 
deal of valuable property in this city. Josephine D. was their only 
child. 



664 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Mr. Halsey is a member of the Knights of Pythias, of the Benevo- 
lent & Protective Order of Elks and of the Foresters of America. He 
and his wife are communicants of the Episcopal church. As a citizen 
he is interested in the success of good government, participates in the 
bouts of the Democratic party and aids in the promotion of business 
and social harmony by a straightforward course as a citizen. 

Luther D. Allen. Closely idenlitied with the agricultural interests 
of Oakland county, Luther D. Allen is successfully pursuing his pleasant 
and independent occupation in section i6, JJloomtield township, it being 
the homestead on which his birth occurred, December i6, 1867. 

The late Joseph Allen, his father, w^as of English birth and breed- 
ing. Brought up in a state of comparative poverty, he began as a boy 
to work for neighboring farmers, earning, however, but little beside 
his board. At the age of sixteen years he made up his mind to come to 
the United States in search of employment, and having located in Oak- 
land county, Michigan, worked the next five years in a foundry at 
Birmingham. He subsequently resumed work as a farm laborer, and 
at the time of his marriage had saved a sufficient sum to warrant him 
in buying a farm. Selecting a tract of land in section 16, Bloomfield 
township, he made excellent improvements on it, and subsequently 
bought other land, at the time of his death, in 1900, owning one hundred 
and twenty acres of rich and fertile land, his farm comparing favorably 
with any in the vicinity. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was 
Sarah Patchett, six children were born, as follows : Arthur, who lived 
but two years; Mary, wife of William Carpenter, of Bloomfield town- 
ship; Martha, living in Minneapolis; Luther D., the subject of this 
sketch; Albert J., of Bloomfield; and Emma, wife of James G. Pierce, 
of Detroit. 

An ambitious student in his boyhood days, Luther D. Allen received 
his preliminary education in the public schools of his native district, and 
afterwards completed a course in a business college at Flint, attending 
that school during the winter term, and working summers to earn 
enough to pay his college expenses. Continuing his residence on the 
parental estate, Mr. Allen has met with deserved success as a general 
farmer, and is now the owner of a highly cultivated and productive 
farm, the homestead containing one hundred acres, while in Grove- 
land township he has eighty acres of land. 

Politically Mr. Allen is a firm adherent of the Republican party, and 
in addition to having served on the board of reviews has served as a 
member of the local school board for fifteen years, and is now filling 
the office of justice of the peace, a position which he has held eight 
years. Fraternally he belongs to Pontiac Lodge, Knights of Pythias, 
at Pontiac; and to Pontiac Lodge, No. 47, Knights of the Maccabees, 
at Pontiac. He and his family are members of the Pontiac Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

Mr. Allen married, November 26, 1890, Anna Buttolph, a daughter 
of John Buttolph, of Pontiac, and into their household two children have 
been born, namely : Howard, who was a graduate of the Pontiac high 
school, and was prominent in both his junior and senior classes, is now 
a student in Albion College; and Ruth, a school girl, is eight years 
younger than her brother Howard. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 665 

William A. Carpenter. A well-known and prominent citizen of 
Bloomlield township, Oakland county, William A. Carpenter has con- 
tributed his full share towards the development and advancement of 
the agricultural prosperity of this part of the state, the estate, 'Island 
Lake Farm," comparing favorably in improvements with any in the 
neighborhood. 

The late Henry Carpenter, his father, was born in Sussex county, 
New Jersey, where his immigrant ancestor located in early colonial 
days. Enterprising and ambitious as a youth, he dauntlessly pushed his 
way westward, migrating to the very frontier, following the trail of the 
courageous pioneer to Michigan and locating in Oakland county at an 
early period of its settlement. He bought land near Pontiac on the 
south bank of Island lake, on which then was a log cabin, and he was 
afterwards there engaged in agricultural pursuits as long as he lived, 
his death occurring on the farm which he redeemed from the wilderness 
many years ago in 1881. After living in Alichigan for six years he 
found his future prospects so alluring that he felt warranted in taking 
unto himself a helpmeet, and accordingly returned to his old home in 
Sussex county, New Jersey, where he married the maiden of his choice, 
Catherine Scott, whose birth occurred in that county in 181 5. She is 
now living on the old homestead and has a vivid recollection of the 
many hardships endured by the pioneers in their efforts to leave foot- 
prints where coming generations shall follow with far less exertion, and 
with a far greater number of the comforts and luxuries of this world. 
To her and her husband four children were ])orn, as follows : Sarah J., 
wife of Jeremiah S. \^ernon, of Detroit; Elma, living with her aged 
mother; Lucy H., deceased; and William A. 

Brought up in Bloomfield township, William A. Carpenter became 
familiar with the art and science of agriculture as a boy, and on the 
death of his father assumed the entire management of the parental acres. 
He has since been industriously and prosperously engaged in tilling the 
soil, the estate, Island Lake Farm, containing one hundred and twenty 
acres of rich and fertile land, advantageously located on section 17. 

On February 12, 1897, Mr. Carpenter was united in marriage with 
Mary Elizabeth Allen, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah Allen. The 
father was born in Lincolnshire, England, and the mother in Bloomfield 
township, Oakland county. On coming to America he located in Bloom- 
held township, Oakland county, Michigan, and here their five children, 
Mary Elizabeth, Martha, Emma G., Luther and Bert were born and bred. 
Mr. Carpenter is independent in his political views, voting for the best 
men and measures regardless of party prejudice. The family are mem- 
bers of the First Methodist church in Pontiac. 

Thomas Wyckoff, proprietor of the Rambouillet U. S. A. sheep 
farms, comprising two hundred acres and located near Orchard Lake, 
sections 22 and 23, Oakland county, Michigan, is not only one of the 
foremost sheep raisers in Michigan, but has also an international repu- 
tation as a breeder of fancy stock. He has experimented for years in 
various ways to improve different breeds, and has achieved some very 
flattering results. The stock breeders' world has showered honors upon 
him, and now look upon him as one of their biggest meu. He has 
founded and held offices in and is now a member of innumerable asso- 
ciations having to do with stockraising. He was president of the Gallo- 



666 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

way Breeds Association of Michigan, and has long been identified with 
this branch of the business. He organized the first association of 
Rambouillet sheep owners in America, and gained the distinction of 
being the first man to import this breed of Von Homeyer Rambouillet 
sheep into Michigan, and the second to import them into the United 
States. In 1900 he was elected secretary of the National Rambouillet 
Sheepraisers Association in Pontiac, being the, first man to hold that 
position. The first prize stock he ever entered were some shorthorned 
cattle that he had bred himself. Later he owned a whole herd, with as 
many as fifty head at tone time, of the noted Galloway cattle. He soon 
began to import from Scotland and Canada, and with his growing im- 
portance became a central figure in the business. He was finally elected 
president of the .Michigan Association, and later became a charter mem- 
ber of the Michigan Improved Live Stock Association. In 1891 he was 
sent, to Europe as the Columbian commissioner of the American Ram- 
bouillet Association, and traveled through Germany and France, taking 
notes on lectures given by Hon. Rudolph Bremer of Berlin, Schaferei 
director of Germany and South Russia. He brought back with him a 
carload of Von Homeyer sheep from their flocks there, with which* he 
has since had such great success that his farm has supplied all parts of 
United States, Mexico and South Africa with this breed. Even Europe 
has imported from his farm. From 1885 to 1910 he was the director 
of the Michigan Live Stock Association, and has the honor of being 
both the originator of the International Von Homeyer Record, and the 
organizer of the Von Homeyer Club. 

Mr. Wyckoff was born in Romulus, Seneca county. New York, Au- 
gust 29, 1844, the son of John P. and Mary Ann (Henion) Wyckoff. 
John P. Wyckoff was a native of Romulus, as were also his two broth- 
ers, Joseph and Dr. C C. Wyckoff of Buffalo, and was born in 181 6. 
In 183s his marriage to Miss Henion, also a native of Romulus, took 
place, and eleven years later they moved to Waterford township, Oak- 
land county, Michigan, where they bought a farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres. They remained here for the rest of their lives, his 
death occurring in 1888 and hers in 1892. They were the parents of 
ten children, six boys and four girls, three of whom died in infancy. At 
the present time there are two boys and two girls living: Thomas, of 
Orchard Lake; John B., of Los Angeles, California; Anna, the wife of 
M. A. Markham, of Detroit, Michigan; and Alice, the wife of Frank 
Henion, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Thomas Wyckoff was only two years old when his parents moved 
to Michigan and he spent all his boyhood on the farm. On August 4, 
1864, he joined the United States service, enlisting in Company G, Third 
Michigan Volunteers. He was later commissioned a second lieuten- 
ant by the governor, a commission which he still holds, and for sev- 
eral days toward the close of the war was in command of the company. 
For two years after the close of the war he taught school, and then 
started as a farmer in Oakland county. He has always kept up his 
interest in his army days, and is an active member of Dick Richardson 
Post, 147, at Pontiac. In politics his sympathies have invariably been 
with the Republican party. On April 8, 1903, he and Effie Howe, a 
graduate of the Detroit high school, were married. She had pieviously 
been a teacher in the Wayne High School for eight years. Her father, 
A. B. Howe a native of Ohio, was a veteran of the Civil war. He en- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 667 

listed in the Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery when he was sixteen years 
old, and stayed with the army until in 1863, when he was wounded and 
mustered out. Mrs. Howe was Elizabeth Graham before her marriage, 
and was born in Elmira, New York. 

DwiGHT I. Oliver, the leading laundryman of Pontiac, and one of 
the city's most esteemed residents, in business and out of it, was born 
and reared in Michigan, and has never roamed the country over in search 
of a better place to live. He has been in the laundry business from the 
time when he was eighteen years of age, and this, too, has been satis- 
factory to him to such an extent that he has never turned aside from 
it and tried to establish any other. He has devoted his time and energies 
to what he has had in hand, and with such enterprise and good judg- 
ment that he has made it very profitable and derived a substantial com- 
petency for life from it, acquiring considerable property of value from 
his business in several different locations. 

Mr. Oliver's life began in Jackson county, Michigan, on September 
8, 1873. His parents, Robert and Harriet (Gallup) Oliver, were born 
and reared in the state of New York. They came to Michigan in 1868 
and took up their residence in Jackson county, where the father carried 
on a prosperous farming business until his death in 1888, and where 
the mother is still living. They had two children, their sons Reuben A. 
and Dwight I. Reuben has been dead a number of years. 

Dwight I. Oliver began his education in the country schools of Jack- 
son county and completed it at the high school in the city of Jackson. 
He left school at the age of eighteen and at once started a laundry in 
Jackson. This was a prosperous venture from the beginning, and he con- 
tinued to carry it on until February, 1912, when he sold it. His mind 
was too active and his energy too great, however, to find sufificient occu- 
pation in one enterprise, and in 1897, after he had been six years in the 
business, he bought an established laundry in Pontiac, and this he is 
still conducting. It is one of the most completely equipped plants of 
the kind in this part of the state, and one of the most carefully managed, 
turning out excellent work at fair prices, and making every effort to 
meet the requirements of the most exacting and fastidious of its pa- 
trons. Long experience and close study have given Mr. Oliver a thor- 
ough mastery of his business in every detail, and he employs all his 
knowledge of it for the benefit of his customers. 

As has been stated above, he has made the business very profitable to 
him. He owns the building in which the laundry is operated and the 
plot of ground on which it is located, as well as its whole equipment 
and everything pertaining to it. He also owns an attractive and valuable 
home on Fair Grove avenue and a business block and two lots on Lull 
street, five lots on Thorp street, extensive holdings on the old fair 
grounds, eighty acres of land in Waterford township, this county, and 
one hundred and forty acres in Jackson county. 

But while he has been enlarging and improving his own estate, he has 
not been neglectful of or indifferent to the progress and development 
of the city and county of his home, or any other locality in which he is 
specially interested. He is a man of considerable public spirit and en- 
terprise in reference to public affairs in general and local matters of 
general interest in particular. He has served two years as alderman 
from the Third ward in Pontiac, and is now the supervisor of that ward. 



068 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

In every way open to him he has helped to push the advancement of 
Pontiac and Oakland county, and his services in this behalf are highly 
appreciated by the whole people, no matter what their class or condition. 
In his political relations Mr. Oliver is a Republican, and in fraternal 
affiliations he is connected with the Order of Elks and the Knights of 
Pythias. In church membership he is a Congregationalist. On June 
24, 1897, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Myrtie A. Gallup, a 
daughter of Benjamin E. and Flora Gallup, natives of Michigan. The 
father was a prosperous farmer for many years, but he and the mother 
are now living retired in Pontiac. . They have two children, Minnie, who 
is the wife of Jacob Rentchler of Tecumseh, Lenawee county, this state, 
and Mrs. Oliver. The latter by her marriage with Mr. Oliver has be- 
come the mother of four children, all of whom are yet young in years 
and carefully sheltered under the parental roof tree. They are: Helen, 
aged eight; Robert, aged six; Dorothy, aged four; and Russell, aged 
two. They are the light and life of the household, and strong additions 
to the attractiveness of their home, which the hosts of friends of the fam- 
ily always find a center of genuine, liberal and gracious hospitality and 
social culture. 

Charles B. Bough ner, a farmer and stock raiser in section 27 of 
West Bloomfield township, Oakland county, Michigan, is a prominent 
and active man of affairs in his community. He has held many public 
offices, and judging from the regard which his neighbors show for 
him, could have had many more if he had had the time to fill them. 
From 1 89 1 to 1892 he was a member of the senate from the fourteenth 
senatorial district; at another time for a period of twelve years he was 
supervisor of his township. He has also held many other township offices. 

Mr. Boughner was born in Flemington, Huntington county. New 
Jersey, February 14, 1825, the grandson of Jacob Boughner, in all prob- 
ability a native of Pennsylvania, and the son of Martin and Catherine 
(Swallow) Boughner. The Boughner family are very likely of German 
descent. Martin Boughner left Pennsylvania for New Jersey when a 
young man, and earned his living there by doing general labor. He met 
Catherine Swallow, there, the daughter of John and Anne Swallow, 
both natives of New Jersey, and they were married. The next summer 
after the birth of their son, Charles B. they moved into New York and 
lived there until 1833. At this time he was a fancy weaver of table 
linens, coverlets, etc. In 1835 the family moved to Michigan, settling 
first in Monroe county, and then in the fall of 1837 moving to Oakland 
county. West Bloomfield township, on the farm where Charles B. 
now lives. They were the parents of four children, Charles B., the 
eldest, Jacob S., who died at the age of five years, Mary Ann, deceased, 
and John A., now living with Charles. When he grew up Charles B. 
bought the old homestead on which his parents lived and died. 

On January 21, 1852, Charles B. was married to Sophronia Harger, 
who was born in New York, the daughter of Seeley Harger and came 
with her parents into Michigan in 1836. She belongs to the First 
Methodist Episcopal church at Pontiac. Mr. Boughner originally owned 
255 acres of land, but he has sold part of it until now only two hundred 
acres in section 27 of West Bloomfield township remain in his posses- 
sion. He is a Democrat. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 669 

Matthew Wendell. A man of distinctive force and energy, pos- 
sessing much mechanical, executive and business abihty, Matthew Wen- 
dell, of Holly, is numbered among the leading manufacturers of Oak- 
land county, and has acquired far more than state-wide fame as the 
maker of the Wendell incubators, brooders, non-freezing fountains and 
feed hoppers, all of which are in great demand throughout the country, 
one sale in a neighborhood invariably creating a call for more. A na- 
tive of Oakland county, he was born in 1869, in Rose township, in an 
old log house which is still standing on the homestead of his father, 
John Henry Wendell. 

Joseph Wendell, his grandfather, was born, bred and married in- 
New York state. During his earlier life he taught school a part of each 
year the remainder of the time being engaged in farming near Johns- 
town, Fulton county. Coming with his family to Michigan in 1843, ^^^ 
bought from the Government a half section of land in Oakland county, 
about five miles south of Holly, a part of his purchase being now in- 
cluded within the village of Rose. He had the distinction of being the 
first white settler west of White Lake township, and likewise of being 
the very first supervisor of Rose township, an ofhce which he was hlling 
at the time of his death, in 1882. His wife, Marilla, survived him, pass- 
ing away in 1900. They reared four sons and one daughter, as fol- 
lows : John Henry, father of Matthew ; Joseph Heck, who studied law 
in Pontiac with Boldin & Crepo, was engaged in the practice of his pro- 
fession at Buffalo, Minnesota, for forty years, and is now a resident of 
California; William Worth, who was educated at the Ypsilanti Normal 
School and at the University of Michigan, was principal of different 
high schools, including the one in Hudson, Michigan, while young, but 
afterwards entered the legal profession : Homer J. studied law in Pon- 
tiac, began his professional practice in Michigan, being located at Ypsi- 
lanti and Northfield, but for the past fifteen years has been an attorney 
in Chicago; and Bessie, wife of Edward Gordon, who has charge of the 
old Wendell farm in Rose township has three children. 

Born and brought up on the parental homestead in Rose township, 
John Henry Wendell, succeeded to the ownership of two hundred and 
thirty acres of the old home farm, and was there profitably engaged in 
tilling the soil until 1902. Li that year, having gained a competency, he 
retired from active business and has since lived in Holly. He is a 
steadfast Democrat in politics, and while living in Rose township served in 
various of^ces of trust, including that of township treasurer. As a 
young man he spent sometime in the oil fields of West Virginia, meet- 
ing with fair success. He married, in 1864, Sarah Jane Sharpneck, of 
West Virginia, and they became the parents of two children, namely: 
Arthur, now of Pontiac, married Minnie Angle, of Lakeville, Michigan; 
and Matthew. 

Brought up on the home farm and educated in the public schools, 
Matthew Wendell became familiar with the various branches of farm- 
ing while young. At the age of twenty years he took up his residence 
in Holly, and for two years thereafter was employed in the Grand Trunk 
Railway ofhces. Continuing in Llolly, he was here for ten years asso- 
ciated with the Cyclone Fence Company, which, when it left Holly, es- 
tablished branch offices in two places, Waukegan, Wisconsin, and 
Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Wendell remained with the company, for a num- 
ber of years having the management of the Waukegan oflfice. Return- 



670 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ing from there to Holly, he started in the poultry supply manufacturing 
business, organizing the Wendell Manufacturing Company, of which 
he is president. In 1905 this enterprising firm introduced to the public 
its first incubator and brooder, and has since kept busily employed in 
the manufacture not only of the celebrated Wendell incubators and 
brooders, but in the making of non-freezing fountains, feed hoppers and 
suspension and colony hovers. The incubators have many features of im- 
portance not found in those of other makes, their construction being con- 
ducive to an even temperature with but little trouble, the degrees of heat 
and cold being easily regulated. The egg tray, chick tray and heater are 
made after the later methods, the circulation in the heater being started 
in the front of the machine. The boiler, regulator, thermometer and 
lamp are of the best type, the machines as a whole being an almost sure 
hatcher. Mr. Wendell has received words of praise for all of his manu- 
factures from all over the country, his patrons, which are to be found in 
nearly all states of the Union, speaking highly of his incubators, brood- 
ers, hovers and all other poultry supplies. One of his near neighbors 
in Holly boasts of two most satisfactory hatches from one of his in- 
cubators, having received one hundred and twenty-seven chicks from one 
hundred and thirty-four eggs, while from one hundred and fifty eggs 
she got one hundred and forty-eight chicks. 

Mr. Wendell married Harriet A. Sibley, of Clarkston, Michigan, a 
daughter of George and Dosia Sibley, and they have one son, Jack, a 
school boy. Mr. Wendell belongs to Holly Lodge, No. 134, Ancient 
Free and Accepted Order of Masons; and to Holly Chapter, No. 34, 
Royal Arch Masons, both of Holly. 

Joseph Reese. If history teaches by example, the lessons inculcated 
by biography must be still more impressive. We see exhibited in the 
varieties of human character, under different circumstances, something to 
instruct us in our duty and to encourage our efforts under every emer- 
gency. And, perhaps, there is no concurrence of events which produce 
this effect more certainly than the steps by which distinction has been ac- 
quired through the unaided efforts of youthful enterprise, as illustrated 
in the career of Joseph Reese, for many years one of the leading agri- 
culturists of Independence township, but now living retired in Clarkston. 
Joseph Reese was the seventh child of John and Alice Reese, and was 
born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, December 8, 1839. His father, John 
Reese, was a farmer in Wales, but believing there were greater oppor- 
tunities in America, in 1853 came to the United States, locating on a 
small farm near Cleveland. In a short time, learning of the fine land in 
Michigan, he came to Oakland county, and, selecting an ideal spot in 
Springfield township, purchased one hundred and sixty acres there, 
though part of this land lay in Independence townships He remained on 
this place a number of years, when he sold to his sons Joseph and David 
Reese, and returned to Bedford, Ohio, where he died at the home of a 
daughter. John Reese was the father of seven sons and three daughters : 
Rebecca, who remained in Ohio, being the wife of Simon Orchid ; James, 
a farmer near Bedford; John, a former farmer of Michigan, who re- 
moved to Kansas a number of years ago and is now living retired in 
Topeka, while one of his sons is still a farmer in Springfield township, 
Oakland county ; William, who came to Oakland county, engaged in 
farming, and died forty-five years ago; Nathaniel, who is a ship car- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 671 

penter ; Alice, who died near Cleveland, Ohio, soon after coming to 
America; Joseph; Elizabeth, who married Richard Orchid, of Bedford, 
Ohio, brother of her sister's husband, Simon Orchid; Martha, who be- 
came the wife of William Knox, a farmer in Springfield township ; and 
David, who was in partnership with his brother Joseph until his death 
several years a^o. 

Joseph Reese earned his first wages driving a canal boat team in Ohio, 
but after two years of this labor decided to engage in farming, and joined 
his father in Oakland county. In company with his brother David he 
soon purchased the old home place, operating it for about six years 
when they sold out and purchased the old Howe farm, a tract of 220 
acres in Independence township, to which they later added seventy-three 
acres. They continued this partnership until the long association was 
broken by the death of David Reese, while Joseph still retains the original 
farm, besides some village property in Clarkston, including his present 
splendid home. 

Mr. Reese has been thrice married, his first wife being Miss Anna 
Daniel, whom he married in February, 1864, and who died in 1886. He 
married (second) Hettie Jefferson, of Tyron, Livingston county, who 
died in July, 1905. The present Mrs. Reese was Christina Allen, the 
widow of L. W. Allen, to whom she was married May 12, 1864. Mr. 
Allen formerly resided in Brandon and about 1876 bought the general 
store of Esidor Jossman, at Clarkston. He died September 22, 1888, 
having some time previously retired from business. Mrs. Reese was the 
daughter of James Bruce and Anna (Gairns) Bruce, of Scotland, the 
former of whom died about twenty-four years ago in Almont, Michigan. 
Mrs. Allen's only child, Luella, is the wife of Dr. Harry DeWar, and 
has one daughter, Christine. Dr. DeWar for upwards of twenty years 
has practiced in Grand Rapids. He is a member of a family of cele- 
brated physicians, having a brother practicing in Windsor, Canada, and 
another in Grand Rapids. 

Mr. Reese took an active ])art in the work of the Maccabees for a 
long time, but owing to the loss of his eyesight, gave up all official con- 
nections some three years ago. 

John Mayijee owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in Independence township, Oakland county, Michigan, the 
same being eligibly located two miles distant from the village of Clarks- 
ton. Fie was formerly engaged in the breeding of high-grade cattle but 
he now devotes the major portion of his time and attention to general 
farming, making a specialty of growing beans and potatoes. As a citi- 
zen he is deeply interested in all that affects the general w^elfare of the 
community in which he resides and his loyalty and public spirit have ever 
been of the most insistent order. 

John Maybee was born on the farm he now owns, February 25, 1859, 
and he is a son of Jesse D. and Martha (Beardslee) Maybee, the former 
of whom was a son of John and Malinda (Beardslee) Maybee. John 
Maybee, grandfather of the subject of this review, was a farmer in New 
Jersey, where he married Malinda Beardslee and whence he came to 
Michigan in 1828. He located, with his family, on a farm of two hun- 
dred and forty acres in Independence township. He lived and died on 
that estate, his demise having occurred in 1898, at the patriarchal age of 
ninety-three years. He and his wife were the parents of two children, 



672 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

namely, — Jesse and Robert, the latter of whom died in infancy. Jesse 
Maybee remained at home with his father until the latter's death, when 
he inherited the entire homestead of two hundred and forty acres. He 
died in 1898, a^ed sixty-nine years, and his wife, who survived him for 
a number of years, passed away in 1906, at seventy-two years of age. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Maybee had five children, concerning whom the 
following brief data are here incorporated, — Sarah Alena married E. G. 
Robbins, a former business man of the village of Waterford, and she 
has two children, Homer, pursuing the Latin scientific course in the 
University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and Mabel, w^ho is the wife of 
Charles Sink, business manager and secretary of the Conservatory of 
Music at Ann Arbor ; Linda died at the age of eight years ; John is the 
immediate subject of this review^; Belle married J. R. Jones, now a re- 
tired business man at Holly, Michigan ; and Mary became the wife of 
Nolton l>igelow, of Davisburg, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow have 
two children, Fred and Jessie, the former of whom is a specialist in the 
diseases of the ear, nose and throat at Boston, Massachusetts, where he 
has charge of that department in one of the large hospitals. The old 
homestead was divided between John and Sarah, while another farm of 
Mr. Maybee's passed into the hands of Mary and Belle. 

John ]\Iaybee was reared to maturity on the old homestead which he 
now owns. His educational training w^as obtained in the public schools 
of Independence township. As a young man he engaged in the mercan- 
tile business with his brother-in-law, J. R. Jones, at Holley, Michigan, 
continuing to be identified with that line of enterprise for a period of 
two years, at the expiration of which he returned to the farm and en- 
gaged in the breeding of Herfords. He was a breeder for about twelve 
years and was so successful that at one time he took first prize on a herd 
exhibited at the state fair in Pontiac. For some time he has been en- 
gaged in diversified agriculture, devoting considerable time to the rais- 
ing of beans and potatoes. In 191 1 he bought his sister Sarah's share of 
the parental estate and now owns the entire farm, which is one of the 
finest in Oakland county. 

On December 5, 1893, Mr. Maybee w^as united in marriage to Miss 
Mary Elizabeth Cramer, of Pontiac. She is a daughter of George and 
Lydia Cramer. Concerning the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Maybee, William, engaged in the grocery business at Pontiac, graduated 
from the Detroit Business College and married Miss Beatrice Stewart, 
of Pontiac ; James R., is attending high school at Pontiac ; and Fay is a 
popular and successful teacher in the public schools of Pontiac. She 
was graduated in the Ann Arbor high school and in the State Normal 
University at Ypsilanti, Michigan. In their religious faith Mr. and Mrs. 
Maybee are devout members of the Presbyterian church, in which he is 
elder and clerk, in 1912. Formerly he was treasurer of the church. In 
a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of the World 
and with the Grange. In politics he is a liberal Republican. 

Lawrence C. Clark. The name of Clark is a well known one 
throughout Oakland county, but is probably best known in Independence 
township, where it belongs to a pioneer family, the founders of which 
also established the town of Clarkston. Its members have been instru- 
mental in advancing the interests in the section, have been prominent in 
its industrial, agricultural and commercial life, and have been recognized 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 673 

for many years as bein^ among its leading citizens. Prominent among 
the Clarks in Independence township is Lawrence C. Clark, a man who 
in his long lifetime spent in this county has lived to see it grow from a 
waste of prairie, timber and wilderness into a wonderfully fertile farm- 
ing community, dotted here and there with busy little villages and cities 
devoted to manufacture and commercial enterprise. 

Nelson W. Clark, founder of Clarkston, and great-uncle of Lawrence 
C. Clark, came from New York state with his brother, Jeremiah, in 1837, 
and in the year 1839 erected the old mill at Clarkston that is still stand- 
ing and in operation, giving mute evidence to the thoroughness with 
which its builder did his work. The brothers were partners in the en- 
terprise, building the dam and developing the water power, and operated 
the structure as a saw^mill, grist mill and later as a carding mill, in addi- 
tion to which they dealt extensively in produce. As time went on they 
accumulated much valual)le land, and Nelson, the younger of the broth- 
ers, eventually engaged in a fish hatchery business at Northville, which 
he developed to large proportions, and in the conducting of which he 
continued until his death. He had formerly operated a hatchery on a 
smaller scale at Clarkston, which village he and his brother laid out, and 
also had a small hatchery at the depot, two and one-half miles from the 
village, but succeeded in inducing the government to take over the man- 
agement of these w^hen he removed to Northville. Jeremiah Clark spent 
his last days in Clarkston, where he passed away as a comparatively 
young man in 1847 or 1848, having been the father of four sons and a 
daughter: Edwin G., the father of Lawrence C. ; Washington, wdio died 
as a young man ; Milton, a w^ell-know^n merchant of Clarkston, where 
he died ; Newton, w-ho also passed away in Clarkston ; and Phebe, who 
married Dr. Abbey, a physician in Clarkston for upwards of a half a 
century, whose son, Blanchard Abbey, is now a resident of Pontiac. 

Edwin G. Clark was born in New York state, and as a boy assisted 
his father in conducting a bakery in Detroit. In about 1838 or 1839 ^^ 
accompanied his parents to Clarkston, and subsequently located on a 
farm about three miles northwest of the village, where he developed an 
excellent property. In late life he returned to the vilage and retired 
from active pursuits, and here his death occurred in 1908, at the ad- 
vanced age of ninety-three years. He was married in Detroit to Miss 
Mary Lyon, a native of England, and she died in 1887, ^^ the age of 
seventy-tw^o years, having been the mother of the following children : 
Washington, who lived in Independence township, Oakland county, and 
died at the age of sixty-eight years ; Lawrence C. ; Mary, who died single 
at an advanced age ; Lovinia, the widow of James Harris, and now living 
in Clarkston ; Fidelia, who died in young womanhood ; and Helen, who 
passed away as a child. 

Lawrence C. Clark was born in Southfield township, Oakland county, 
but was reared to manhood in Independence township, and remained at 
home until he was twenty-six years of age. At that time he was married 
to Miss Eliza Smith, March 11, 1868, she having been born in Independ- 
ence township, August 22, 1847, daughter of Nicholas and Mary 
(Phillips) Smith, the latter a sister of Theodore S. Phillips, one of Inde- 
pendence township's leading citizens. Mrs. Clark's brother, the Hon. 
Samuel Smith, is the member of Congress from this district. Nicholas 
Smith was born in Chili, New York, and for many years was engaged in 
business in Clarkston. 



674 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

For the six years following his marriage Mr. Clark worked on the 
old homestead, and at that time purchased a property of his own, located 
two miles northwest of Clarkston, a tract of i6o acres which he cleared 
and developed, erecting buildings and making modern improvements, 
and cultivating it into one of the best properties in the township. On 
this land he resided until 1910, since which time he has lived in retire- 
ment. During his lifetime Mr. Clark has accumulated a considerable 
competence, the wild, uncultivated land that promised so little when he 
purchased it becoming enhanced in value as the years have passed, and 
various shrewd business ventures having turned out profitably. Al- 
though not a politician, he takes a decided interest in current events, is 
a man of great public spirit, greatly beloved by those who know him, and 
his long and busy life has been crow^ned by success. Hospitable and 
genial, there is always a place at his table and hearth for the stranger 
within his gates, and he has ever been ready to assist those who have 
been less forunate than he. 

Mr. and Mrs. Clark's two daughters, Alice M. and Lizzie D., both 
died in infancy, but to take their place has come Glen, the little son of 
Bert Goodrich, who has been largely reared by the venerable couple, and 
whose little life has so entwined itself with theirs that they have come to 
regard the child almost as their own. Bert Goodrich was for a number 
of years a resident of the old Clark farm as a tenant, and when Mr. 
Clark purchased his present property he came to take charge of the 
operations. A reliable, enterprising and progressive young agriculturist, 
he is popular throughout this district, and has shown his ability as a busi- 
ness man and his public spirit as a citizen. He married Miss Grace 
Wiles, and they have three children: Glen, aged six years; and two 
daughters, Lucille and Agnes. 

David Miller. For more than three-quarters of a century mem- 
bers of the Miller family have been inseparably connected with the 
agricultural interests of Oakland county, Michigan, where they have 
always been known as men of the highest integrity and principle, and 
one of the leading representatives of the name is found in David Miller, 
who until a few years ago was recognized as one of the foremost farm- 
ers of Independence township, and is now living somewhat retired after 
a long life of useful endeavor, Mr. Miller was born on a farm three 
miles east of his present property in Independence township, November 
22, 1840, and is a son of George and Mary (Smith) Miller, natives of 
Chili, New York, where the former was born October 26, 1801, and the 
latter April 16, 1803. 

In 1835 the parents of Mr. Miller, with their four children, came to 
Michigan and settled on the farm on which David was born, a tract in 
the timberland in sections 14 and 15. Here the father, assisted by his 
eldest son, settled down to make a home for his family, clearing and 
cultivating the land, erecting good substantial buildings from the timber 
which he cut down, and making improvements of various kinds that trans- 
formed the tract into as fine a farm as could be found in the township. 
Although no churchman, George Miller was known as an honest, up- 
right, industrious citizen, ready to help those less fortunate then he and 
contributing to movements for the benefit of his community. His 
whole life was spent in improving his land, and his death occurred on 
the farm May 9, 1881, when he was nearly eighty years old, his widow 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 675 

surviving him some years and attaining nearly ninety years of age, dying 
July 23, 1891. Of their six children, one daughter died at the age of 
seventeen years; Hannah, who married Erasmus Sherwood, died two 
years later; Ann, who married Edward McGonigle, died in this town- 
ship; George died at the age of four years; Samuel, who passed away 
February 3, 1909, at the age of eighty-three years, in Springfield town- 
ship, Oakland county, where he had extensive farming interests, married 
(first) Catherine Houser and (second), Elsie Measmeall; and David. 

The early education of David Miller was secured in the primitive 
subscription schools of his native vicinity, and when he had reached his 
majority was given an eighty acre farm as a reward for his long years 
of faithful work with his father. He continued to reside on the home 
place, however, working with his father and also clearing his own tract, 
which he later exchanged for a farm of 220 acres. On March 9, 1864, 
he was married to Miss Francis Beardslee, and a year later purchased 
the farm of his wife's father, who had died the year before, paying 
$500 to each of nine heirs. This tract of 220 acres had been secured 
from the government by Mrs. Miller's uncle, John Beardslee, a bachelor, 
who made his home with her parents. David Miller added to this farm 
from time to time until it consisted of 576 acres, paying as high as fifty 
dollars per acre, and a great deal of this he cleared. During the early 
days he sold potatoes at twelve cents a bushel, and in one week during 
the Civil war hauled w^heat to Pontiac and sold it from two dollars and 
a half to three dollars a bushel, thus gaining enough money to pay off a 
mortgage of $2,300, with interest at ten per cent, that was contracted 
while with his father and brother. Reared a poor boy, and taught the 
value of economy, he had also ingrained in him an appreciation of the 
benefits to be derived from system. He erected new and substantial 
buildings, and in his barn had a vegetable cellar large enough to allow 
a wagon to drive in. In addition to potato growing he devoted twenty 
or more acres to rutabagas, with which he also had considerable success, 
and eventually developed into a general farmer, raising great crops of 
grain and breeding fine livestock and draft horses. Three years ago, 
when he was compelled to give up active pursuits on account of failing 
health, he held the largest auction sale ever known in this part of Oak- 
land county, and when he had disposed of his interests moved to his 
present home one-half mile east of the village of Clarkston. Mr. Miller 
is a Republican in politics, but has never cared for public life, although 
he takes an interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his com- 
munity. 

When he was twenty-four years of age Mr. Miller was married to 
Miss Frances Beardslee, the nineteen-year old daughter of Captain Wil- 
liam and Lavina (Munson) Beardslee, who lived two miles distant. 
Captain Beardslee was born March 2, 1797, and his wife, January 26, 
1804, both in New Jersey, and were married in the historic old North 
Church, in Sussex county, New Jersey, which is still standing, and which 
was recently visited by Mr. Miller's daughter. The old Munson home- 
stead, at Franklin, New Jersey, is also still standing and is in an excel- 
lent state of preservation. Mr. and Mrs. Beardsley came to Michigan 
in 1830, and first settled in the woods, on the bank of Silver Lake, Mr. 
Beardslee packing provisions on his back to that point from Detroit, and 
the young couple experiencing all the hardships and privations of pioneer 
life. Subsequently, however, they moved to the farm w^hich had been 



676 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

secured by Captain Beardslee's brother, John, from the government, and 
there WilHam Beardslee. died in April, 1865, while his widow survived 
him many years and made her home with her daughter and son-in-law. 
Of Mr. and Mrs. Miller's children, three were sons and three daughters, 
as follows : George VV., who since his grandmother's death has been oper- 
ating the old home farm and is known as one of the leading agriculturists 
of Independence township; Edmund J., who carries on farming close 
to Clarkson ; Anna, who married George Fleming, a farmer on the 
homestead of Mr. Miller; Gertrude, who married Fred Stewart, a farmer 
in Waterford township; Mary, who died at the age of seventeen years; 
and wSamuel, who died in 1905, in his twenty-third year, having spent 
his life on the farm of his father. 

It is doubtful if there are many residents of Independence township 
who have spent so long a period of years within its limits, and certainly 
there are none more highly esteemed or who merit more the regard in 
which they are held. During his career Mr. Miller has seen many mar- 
velous changes take place. The rude, wild, unyielding land has given 
way to w^ell-ordered, fertile fields, yielding a golden tribute for the labor 
expended upon them; the forests have been cleared away and in their 
place the tow^ering spires of innumerable buildings rear their peaks to 
the skies. Change has followed change in such rapid order as to almost 
bewilder the onlooker, yet through it all Mr. Miller has borne his share 
of the development, of the advancement, of the general progress. His 
w^ork, and that of other citizens who lived during the pioneer days, can 
never be fully appreciated by those of the younger generations, but they 
should be given the due respect and esteem for the earnest labors that 
have made modern conditions possible and without which the onward 
march of civilization could not have proceeded. 

Edwin V. Allison. Among Pontiac's successful business men is 
one who is following in the footsteps of his father in conducting the 
establishment that the latter founded. Edwin V. Allison purchased the 
jewelry store of his father and is now^ operating it. The father had 
bought out his brother sixty-three years ago, so that the jewelry house 
of Allison dates back to the early days and has no peers in regard to 
succession in the same relationship. 

Edwin V. Allison is a native of the city which is his home. He was 
born in October, 1864. His father, Henry E. Allison, was born in On- 
ondaga county. New York, and after coming to Michigan met the lady 
who afterward became his wife. Miss Irene Rhoades, a native of the 
state. For nineteen years the senior Allison followed farming with 
profit, and at the end of that time he came to Pontiac and purchased 
the jewelry store of his brother. That was in 1849, ^^^ ^^- Allison 
remained its proprietor until 1887, when he retired on account of ill 
health, and his son purchased the establishment. The senior Allison 
died in 1901 and his wife followed in 1904. Their six children are all 
living: Henri D., the eldest, is a practicing lawyer at Seattle, Washing- 
ton; Edwin V. lives in Pontiac and is a jeweler; Bertha I. is the wife 
of Ben F. Stevens, of Los Angeles, California ; Mary L. is the wife of 
Fred C. Howland, of Pasadena, California ; John R. is a jeweler at 
Prosser, Washington ; and Frank B. resides at Detroit and is a physician. 

Edwin V. Allison made quite a record in his scholastic days, graduat- 
ing from the high school at the age of seventeen. In the same year he 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 677 

entered the store with his father and learned the jeweler's trade. Five 
years later, when the opportunity came to acquire the business, he was 
fully equipped and ready to accept it. He has conducted the store ever 
since and has made a success in every way. He owns the building in 
which it is located, also his residence, and in addition has a summer home 
at Cass Lake. 

Before her marriage Mrs. E. V. Allison was Miss Georgia Bowlby. 
Her parents were Charles C. and Lucy A. (Clark) Bowlby. Her mar- 
riage to Mr. Allison was solemnized on May 25, 1887. The brothers 
and sisters of Mrs. Allison were : Alary, widow of Lewis M. Morgan, of 
Pontiac township; Helen, deceased, who was the wife of John Buchner, 
of Oakland county; Orcelia, wife of John Whitesell, of Pontiac; and 
Frank, of Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Allison were the parents of two chil- 
dren. Tacy Irene was born September 29, 1889, and Edwinna on May 
25, 1902. 

Mr. Allison attends the Presbyterian church. His lodges are those 
of the Masons and the Knights of Pythias, and his political preference 
is for the tenets of the Republican party. 

Henry M. Jackson. Probably no other couple in Pontiac have as 
large an immediate relationship as Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Jackson, for 
in Mr. Jackson's family there were eleven brothers and sisters, while 
that of his wife's parents comprised an even dozen children. They de- 
scended from residents of Great Britain, coming on Mr. Jackson's side 
from England and on that of his wife from Ireland. 

John and Mary (Buff) Jackson were the parents of Henry M. The 
father was a native of Derbyshire and the mother of Lincolnshire, Eng- 
land. The senior Jackson was born in 1806 and came to America in 1827, 
when he had just attained his majority, locating in Butternut, New York. 
He learned the trade of wagon making in England, but in this country 
went into cattle raising, and bought and shipped for some years. Then 
he went to Albany and engaged in the butcher business. He removed 
to Akron, Ohio, and for some time operated a powder mill, giving this 
up to locate in Michigan in 1839. He chose Mt. Clemens in McComb 
county for his home, and buying a first-class farm operated it for a long 
time. He had retired prior to his death in 1893. Mrs. Jackson died 
in 1883. Their family consisted of the following: Thomas, who was 
killed in the army at the Culpepper skirmish ; Elizabeth, widow of Horace 
Whitney, of Washington, Michigan ; Daniel, who died in childhood ; 
Henry M., of Pontiac; George, who was taken prisoner at the battle of 
Chickamauga during the Civil war, and who died in Andersonville 
prison; Hannah, deceased, wife of John H. Gary, of Flint, Michigan; 
William A., of Muskegon; Frances, deceased; Helen, of Pontiac, widow 
of William Leland ; and the two youngest children, who died in infancy. 

Henry M. Jackson, the subject of this sketch, was born at Clinton 
in McComb county, Michigan, on December 22, 1840. At the age of 
eighteen he took up blacksmithing and followed this trade for thirty-six 
years. At the time he became interested in working in iron, like Tubal 
Cain, the learner did not merely pick up a smattering of details, but 
worked years to perfect his knowledge of iron craft. He became a 
master, and it was such an apprenticeship that Mr. Jackson served. He 
took a pride in his work, and there was no device nor implement of iron 
or steel that he could not contrive. Latterly he took up real estate, and 



678 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

all its departments, buying, selling and building, interested him equally. 
He has built a great many houses in Pontiac, and owns not a few him- 
self, among them half of a business block and four residences, includ- 
ing the comfortable home where he resides. Before he was married 
he bought a home on Pike street, then built a residence on Mt. Clemens 
street, where he now lives, retired. He is proud of the fact that he 
was gifted with contentment, and has never moved his domicile but once. 

Mr. Jackson and Helen Scarritt were united in marriage on April 
29, 1 87 1. She was the baby of the family in the twelve children of 
Richard and Catharine Scarritt, both of whom were natives of Ireland, 
and who located in White Lake, Oakland county, on coming to America. 
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jackson have four children: Thomas William is 
treasurer of the Pontiac Light Company; Harry J. is with a gas com- 
pany of Dallas, Texas, now having charge of their business in two states, 
Oklahoma and Arkansas ; Richard S. is in the Commercial Bank, of 
Pontiac; and Carl R. graduated this year from the Pontiac high school. 

Elected on the Citizens ticket as alderman from the Third ward, Mr. 
Jackson served two years in the city council. He has been on the board 
of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church for twenty-six years and 
on the cemetery board for fifteen years. He has been a Master Mason 
for over forty years and on April i, 1910, was voted a life membership 
by his brethren of the lodge. Politically he is a Republican. 

Aaron H. Cross is a native of Oakland county, Michigan, the son 
of a father of heroic sturdiness and steadfastness to duty, and himself 
one of the industrious, frugal, upright and enterprising citizens of this 
part of the state. No duty has ever been too arduous for him to under- 
take, and no privation has been too severe for him to endure in the 
performance of what was laid out for him to do. 

Mr. Cross was born on December 30, 1837, and is a son of Moses 
and Essie (Gallagher) Cross, the former born in England in 181 5 and 
the latter in Ireland in 1820. The father died on March 29, 1875, and 
the mother is still living in Pontiac at the age of over ninety-two years. 
The father came to the United States in the early 'twenties, and during 
the first fifteen years of his residence in this country lived at Syracuse, 
New York. The great, unknown west had long had a persuasive voice 
for him, and at last it became too strong for him to resist. But he lacked 
the means of paying for the usual means of transportation, even in those 
days, and so he determined to brave a journey in the direction of his 
desires with the facilities he could command. With an ax on his shoulder 
he walked from Syracuse, New York, to Oakland county, this state, 
and immediately after his arrival here he found employment at his 
chosen occupation of clearing the forest. 

After a residence of several years in this county he wrote back to 
his mother that he was coming home to spend the Christmas holidays with 
the family, and in the accomplishment of this purpose he retraced his steps 
to his old New York home, again making the journey on foot. He passed 
the holiday season with the home folks, and then returned to Michigan 
in the same way that he used in going home. Thus he traversed the 
wide expanse between his old home in New York and his new one in 
Michigan three times on foot, and by the route he was obliged to take 
the distance could not have been less than 500 or 600 miles each time. 

By his industry and thrift while working in the woods he managed 




/^£«t4. 



r 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 679 

to become possessed of fifty-three acres of land, ^'"^ °"j"„S*ft 
farming He kept adding to his land by successive purchases until ar 
hTtlm'e of his'Teath heLned i^ acres all -^er cvdtivaUon and a" 
well improved. Sixty-nine acres of his holdings were in the southw^t 
Trn p^r? of Pontiac/and on this he. had a fine ^^y^^JJ^'l^^^^''^:, 
His occupations were general farming and breeding and feedmg Iwe 
stock for the markets, and he was successful m ^oth branches ot ms 
work. He and his wife were the parents of five children Aaron H 
Benjamin, who has been dead for sorne years,^Emeline who is the w^fe 
of Edwin Gallagan, of Pontiac; and Ada and Elmer, who also have been 

n^rwir^or^sPTlr. cross of this sketch worked in the woods 

two a?res of land on which he lived and carried on farming and raising 
H^e stock In igoo he returned to his old home in Pontiac, where he 
is now hving H^owns i6o acres of superior Oakland county farm- 
ing land, aslood as any in the county, and as skillfully cultivated as any 

'^"l'TanuaT^'"86i, Mr. Cross was united in wedlock with Miss 
Matilda TonS They have had three children: Elizabeth, who is de- 
ceaed Anne who is the wife of G. Selden, of Clarkston, this county; 
and Charies who is associated with his father in the management of the 
farm The' father is a Republican in political relations and a zealou 
member of his party. But he has never held or desired a political office 
S^ny f ind eHher by election or appointment. His own business is 
• enough to fully occupy his time and energies, and he desires no other 
But he is always attentive to the duties of citizenship in every way and 
fakes hs paTt of the work of pushing forward the progress and im- 
nrovement of his city and county with alacrity. Fraternally he belongs 
toTe Knights of the Maccabees and the Patrons of Husbandry Mr. 
Cross and his wife are not members of any church but contribute to 
the support of them. His mother belongs to the Catholic church. Both 
Mr and Mrs. Cross are well thought of wherever they are known, and 
S Pontiac they are regarded as among the most sterling and serviceable 
citizens of the community. 

Pierre Buckley. Both numerically and also as to individual posi- 
tion the family with which the late Pierre Buckley, of Pontiac was al- 
S has rdecades been considered one of the distmctive relationships 
of the Community. In politics, in business and in social affairs they havj 
manifesSd an interest that was consistently genuine and wholesouled. 
?ierre was a native of Pontiac, born August i., i854, and died May 19, 
S He was a son of Thomas and Catharine (Mulcahey) Buckley, 
K'natives of county Tipperary, Ireland, who came to Oakland county 

'" Thomas Buckley was connected for forty years with the freight de- 
partment of the Detroit |& Milwaukee Railroad. He was oiie of the 
bes t-l^nown among the early residents, and xyas active in Deniocratic 
circles He died in November, 1896, at the ripe old age of eighty-sn:. 
His wife passed away at the age of seventy-five. To their union the 
fo low ng ch Idren were born: Nellie, wife of John Burke, of Pont.ac; 



680 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Sarah, wife of James Halfpenny, of Pontiac; and Pierre, the subject of 
this sketch. 

The latter may be regarded as a thorough type of the self-made man. 
His education was confined to the schooling that the public schools of 
Pontiac afforded. He took up plumbing and steam-titting for a trade, 
mastered their details thoroughly and followed this occupation with 
success for a number of years. He then allied himself with different 
enterprises, his ventures being rewarded with goodly profits, so that he 
speedily became one of the most substantial citizens of the community. 
He was president of the Pontiac Brewing Company, and for thirteen years 
occupied a seat in the city council as alderman from the first ward. 

On September 2, 1886, Mr. Buckley was married to Miss Jennie 
Kile, a daughter of Robert and Jennie (Ward) Kile, both of the latter 
being natives of New York, and both of whom are now deceased. 
Mr. Kile was a hotel man up to the time of his death. Twelve chil- 
dren constituted the family of Robert and Jennie Kile, they being : 
Clarissa, deceased ; Etta, deceased, wife of H. E. Lewis, sheriff of 
Oakland county ; Alonzo, of Ortonville, Michigan ; George, deceased ; 
Emory, of Pontiac ; William, of Cass City ; Rose, wife of C. G. Eding- 
ton, of South Dakota; Mary, wife of Fred Madison, of Fenton, Mich- 
igan ; Fred, of Pontiac ; Frank, of Cass City, Michigan ; Jennie, wife 
of the subject of this sketch; and the youngest child, who died in in- 
fancy. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Buckley there w^ere seven chil- 
dren born: Thomas Leo, born February 28, 1888, and died May 19, 
1888; Basil P., of Poughkeepsie, New York, born June 22, 1889; Kath- 
leen Castener, born March 22, 1891 ; Rosalind Carolyn, born Novem- 
ber I, 1893; Peter Harold and Paul Carroll, twins, born May 8, 1896; 
Edward Marcellies, born January 16, 1901. 

The Democratic party enlisted the interest and the active support 
of Pierre Buckley, as it had that of his father before him. Pie was a 
member of the Catholic church, and in his social affiliations belonged 
to the Elks, the Knights of Equity and the Eagles. 

JosiAH Emery, a well-known farmer, owning one hundred and forty- 
eight and a half acres of land in section 18, Waterford and White Lake 
townships, Oakland county, Michigan, can trace his ancestry back to 
1635, when John Emery and his brother Anthony came from Romsey, 
Hants county, England, to settle in Newburyport, Massachusetts. From 
John Emery he is descended down through Jonathan, his son Edward, 
and in turn his son William to his great-grandfather, Josiah Emery. His 
son, the grandfather of the subject of the sketch. Colonel Josiah Emery, 
was a lieutenant in the War of 1812, and was later a colonel in the state 
militia of New York. His brother. Dr. John Cutler Emery, settled on 
a farm near Northville, Michigan, and was one of the first doctors in 
the county. The wife of Colonel Josiah Emery was Susannah Little, 
the daughter of Lieutenant Moses and Mary (Stevens) Little, of Goffs- 
tow^n, New Hampshire. Lieutenant Moses, who descended from a Wil- 
liam Warren, who came to the United States in 1620 in the Mayflower, 
was a first lieutenant in Captain Samuel Richards' company, a part of 
Colonel John Stark's regiment, and served from April 23, 1775, to 
August I, 1775. Later on he served twenty-six days in Colonel Jacob 
Gales' regiment during the month of August, 1778. Colonel Josiah 
Emery's son, John C. Emery, the father of the subject of the sketch. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 681 

was born in Aurora, New York, December i, 1817. He was married to 
Mary Yerkes, who was born in Cayuga county, New York, in 1823, 
and they became the parents of four children, one of whom died in in- 
fancy. Ellen Y., who later became the wife of a Mr. Holcomb, was 
born in Lyon township, Oakland county, Michigan, in 1843 ; Josiah was 
born in Lyon township, Oakland county, Michigan, December 26, 1844; 
Z. Taylor, the youngest child, was born in the same county in 1847. 

Josiah Emery lived at home on his father's farm until in December, 
1864, when, although still under twenty years of age, he enlisted in the 
Thirtieth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and served six months and seven- 
teen days, until the close of the war. When he returned home to North- 
ville he again took up his work on the farm. He went to Jew^el county, 
Kansas, the fall of 1871 and took up a homestead when the township 
was organized and of which he was appointed trustee. In 1876 he 
sold his claim in Kansas and came to his present place in the spring of 
1877. On August 18, 1867, he was married to Cordelia J. P. R. Bradley, 
the daughter of James Ji. Bradley, of Lyons township. Of their five 
children three are still living, the death of the third son, James B., who 
was born September 16, 1875, having occurred in June, 1891, and that 
of the second son, who was born December 16, 1872, on January 2^, 
1877. Clarence D. was born November 28, 1869, and William J., an 
automobile expert, now living at home, was born on December 19, 1879. 
Walter E., the youngest son, is a graduate of the University of Mich- 
igan and is now practicing law in Detroit. 

Mr. Emery is a man of wide interests, and has always taken advant- 
age of every opportunity his surroundings allowed him for new activ- 
ities. He is a member of the Dick Richardson G. A. R. Post No. 147, 
and is besides an active supporter of the Presbyterian church. He has 
been an elder for fourteen years. In 1890 he was one of the enumer- 
ators for the government census. His sympathies are with the Repub- 
lican party. 

E. D. Spooner, of Oakland county, Michigan, is a well-known man 
in his community. Besides the farm of two hundred and ten acres 
in section 4, Waterford township, which he owns and works, he is one 
of the superintendents of Oakland county and also of the county farm, 
and at one time was supervisor of the township for three years. 

The first appearance of Mr. Spooner's family in the United States 
was in the person of his grandfather, Ebenezer Spooner, w^ho came from 
England and settled in New York state. After he had once settled in 
New York the wanderlust never struck him again and he remained there 
for the rest of his life. But his son, Harvey E. Spooner, after his 
marriage to Margaret France, at the age of twenty-five years, caught 
the western fever, like many young men of his time, and traveled as 
far as Michigan. He first rented a farm near Kalamazoo and stayed 
there a couple of years. This location did not suit him in all ways, 
however, and so he moved to Lenawee county. The farm which he 
bought there was covered with solid timber, which, however, it did not 
take him long to remove. For thirty-three years, or until he was sixty 
years old, he remained there. His next and final move then took him 
to Oakland county. He is now a man of ninety years, and remarkably 
active for his age. He and his wife were the parents of four children, 
all of whom are living: Minnie, the widow of Albert Barnes, now living 



682 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in Lenawee county ; Addison Edgar, at present in Oklahoma ; Mollie, the 
widow of Ernest Rumble, and now residing in Kansas City; Missouri; 
and E. D. 

E. D. Spooner was born in Seneca township, Lenawee county, on 
June 2^, 1862. When he was twenty years old he went to Kansas, but 
came back after a year, to his father's farm, and has lived there ever 
since with the exception of about a year that he spent in traveling through 
the west. On March 29, 1883, he was married to Nellie Walter, the 
daughter of John and Elenora Walter, of Independence township, and 
they have had three children. Harvey died in the fall of 1909, a lad of 
thirteen years, but the other two children, Helen and Gladys, are in 
school. Helen, in Pontiac, and Gladys, in the district school. Politically 
Mr. Spooner is a Republican. He belongs to the fraternal order of Mac- 
cabees. 

Helmer George. There is scarcely any department of applied 
science, when one thinks them all over, more wonderful than photography. 
Discarding at once the chisel of Phidas and the brush of Reynolds, it 
outdoes both by taking gentle hold of the rosy fingers of the light, and 
through them writing down, with absolute exactness, every feature of 
man and nature. It is the real ''art preservative," and, when applied 
to portraiture, rescues from oblivion the thoughtful brow of Intellect, 
Beauty's winning grace, Childhood's witching smile and Manhood's ro- 
bust and stalw^art proportions. It can even, to some extent at least, 
smooth away the ruggedness from the wrinkled brow of care. More- 
over, there is no department in which the strides of progress have been 
more rapid, more constant, more decided. Whether we look at the 
mechanism for its work or the work of its mechanism, the advance is 
alike marvelous. 

This preservative, comprehensive and progressive art is well repre- 
sented in Pontiac by Helmer George, the leading photographer of the 
city, an artist of thorough training, fine artistic sense and great skill and 
capacity in technique, who has a complete mastery of his business and 
gives his patrons the benefit of all his knowledge in connection with it. 
His beautiful studio, one of the finest in this part of the country, is one 
of the show places of Pontiac, and is worthy of all the praise bestowed 
upon it by visitors from far and near who have the pleasure of seeing 
it. 

Mr. George was born in Sweden, on September 29, 1882, and is a 
son of John and Amanda (Larson) George, also natives of Sweden, 
where the father is still living and the mother died in 1910. They had 
ten children, of whom Fritiof, the first born, and Anna, the fifth, have 
died, and Gerda, Agda, Esther, Efifrain, Gunnar and Sture are still 
residents of Sweden. Helmer and his brother Samuel, who lives in 
Chicago, are the only members of the family residing in this country. 

After receiving a fundamental education in the state schools, Helmer 
George attended a business college in his native land, entering the in- 
stitution at the age of twelve. When he had completed its course of 
instruction he joined the navy of his country, in which he served three 
years. He next took up photography, and after becoming familiar with 
its principles and mechanical requirements, practiced it three years in 
Sweden. In September, 1906, he came to the United States, landing in 
New York but removing soon afterward to Boston, where he passed a 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 683 

year and a half in an art school. He then returned to New York and se- 
cured employment as an artist with Sarony and Marceau, two of the 
greatest photographers of the Empire city, continuing to work for them 
two years. 

At the end of that period he took charge of a photograph gallery for 
one of the most extensive operating firms in the business in this country. 
They sent him to Detroit to open a branch house in that city, and this 
he conducted for a year and a half, then came to Pontiac and opened 
the studio in which he now owns and conducts his business. It is one 
of the most completely equipped and ornately adorned in the state, and 
it would be difficult to find one anywhere to surpass it in a city of the 
size and rank of Pontiac, or even much larger. 

Mr. George was married on April 8, 1910, to Miss Vilma Sundborg, 
a daughter of Oscar and Helene (Lawbon) Sundborg, residents of 
Stockholm for many years. The father died in 1896, and the mother 
is now living in Chicago, Illinois. They had six children: Stina, who 
is living in Sweden and is the wife of a colonel in the Swedish army; 
Walborg, who is the wife of Captain C. Johnson of San Francisco, 
California ; Oscar, a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, and editor 
of the Vancouver Post; Axel, whose home is in Chicago and who is an 
importer and agent for Scandinavian steamship lines; Ingeborg, w^ho 
resides in Aledo, Illinois, and is the wife of T. H. Cobb, a druggist, a 
brother of the judge of the supreme court of the state; and Mrs. George. 
Mrs. George was, up to the time of her marriage, a well known actress 
and singer on the Swedish as well as on the xA^merican stage. 

In politics Mr. George is a Republican and in church connection he 
is a Lutheran. He is a popular and admired man socially, an artist of 
high and widespread reputation, a citizen of public spirit and progres- 
siveness, and an earnestly loyal and devoted citizen, as ardently attached 
to the land of his adoption as he ever was to that of his birth, and as 
firm in supporting the institutions of the former as he ever could have 
been in defense of those of the latter. Throughout Oakland county, 
and wherever else he is known, he is held in the highest esteem. 

Albert W. Willson. At this juncture in a volume devoted to the 
careers of representative citizens of Oakland county, Michigan, it is a 
pleasure to insert a brief history of Albert W. Willson, who has ever 
l3een on the alert to forward all measures and enterprises projected for 
the good of the general welfare and who has served his community in 
various positions of trust and responsibility. He has been clerk of 
Royal Oak township, has been township treasurer and president of the 
board of trustees of the village of Royal Oak. As a business man he 
is a contractor and builder and devotes considerable attention to his 
extensive real-estate holdings. 

Albert W. Willson was born at Strawberry Point, Manchester 
county, Iowa, the date of his nativity being the 28th of September, 1869. 
He is a son of Samuel J. and Sarah E. (Shove) Willson, the former 
of whom died at Royal Oak in 1894 and the latter of whom is still living, 
her home being at Royal Oak. Samuel Willson was born in Cherry 
Valley, Otsego county. New York, and he was a son of James Willson, 
who was born in New York, of German parents. Sarah E. (Shove) 
Willson was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Daniel H. and Ann 
Gray (Gibson) Shove. The maternal great-grandfather of the subject 



684 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

of this review was born and reared in Ireland, whence to came to Amer- 
ica at an early age, settling in Pennsylvania. After his marriage, in 1835, 
Samuel Willson was engaged in farming in the vicinity of Ripley, New 
York, for several years. There three of his children were born. In 
1864 the family removed to Indiana, whence they returned, after two or 
three years, to Ripley. In 1867 ^^^- Willson again decided to go west 
and in that year located in Iowa, where the family home was maintained 
until 1874, when removal was made to Royal Oak township, in Oakland 
county, Michigan. Here he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 
his demise, in 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Willson became the parents of seven 
children, three of whom are living, in 191 2, namely, — Charles G., at 
Royal Oak ; Mary, who is the widow of Warren Heavener, who died 
in 1896; and Albert W., the immediate subject of this review. 

Mr. Willson, of this notice, was a child of but five years of age at 
the time of his parents' removal to Royal Oak township. Here he was 
reared to maturity and his educational training was obtained in the 
public schools and high school of Royal Oak. As- a young man he 
became interested in the carpenter's trade and after thoroughly master- 
ing that line he launched out into business as a contractor and builder. 
He has erected some of the finest business buildings and residences in 
this section of the county and in addition to his work as a contractor he 
is deeply interested in the real-estate business, being the owner of con- 
siderable valuable property in the vicinity of Royal Oak. 

In politics Mr. Willson accords an unswerving allegiance to the 
Republican party, which organization has elected him to several offices 
of local importance. He has been justice of the peace, township clerk 
and treasurer and president of the village board of trustees. For fifteen 
years he has been a director on the Royal Oak school board. In fra- 
ternal circles he is connected with the Independent Order of Foresters 
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being noble grand of the 
latter, in 191 2. In their religious faith the Willson family are devout 
and zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

In the year 1889 Mr. Willson married Miss Jennie A. Willson, daugh- 
ter of Albert W. and Mary (Whitney) Willson, the former of German 
and the latter of English descent. Of the six children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Willson but two are living at the present time, namely, — James 
A., who was graduated in the Royal Oak high school, is now teaching 
school in Troy township; and Robert E., who remains at home. Mr. 
and Mrs. Willson are kindly, generous-hearted people and as such they 
hold a high place in the confidence and esteem of their fellow citizens, 
who honor them for their sterling integrity of character and exemplary 
lives. 

Carl S. Voorheis, a farmer of section eight, White Lake township, 
belongs to a family who have been prominent in local afifairs of Oakland 
county, Michigan, for many decades. Mr. Voorheis was born on the 
farm, the ''Quiet Home Farm,'' where he still lives, and of which he is 
the owner, on March 29, 1872. 

Peter Voorheis, the grandfather of Carl S., was a resident of New 
York state, although he was the owner of sc)me Michigan land which 
he had purcBased while on a trip west in ,1828. His son Sebring Voor- 
heis was born in Fayette, Seneca county, New York, January 7, 181 5, 
and came west to Michigan in 1836, settling in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 685 

county, for three years. He then returned to Steuben county, New 
York, and on September ii, 1839, was married to Sarah Beachman, 
by whom he had two children, Myron and Peter both now dead. He 
then left the east for Michigan, and for many years lived in a log 
house sixteen by twenty-four feet. In 1847 he built a brick house, 
which stood until nine years ago, when Carl S. built his present home. 
His wife died April 14, 1866, and he was married again, this time to 
Julia A. Yerkes, a native of Northville, Wayne county, Michigan, and 
the daughter of John and Elizabeth Yerkes, who were both born in 
Romulus, Seneca county, New York. They came into Michigan in 1826. 
Mr. Yerkes died February 14, 1877, at the age of seventy-eight years. 
By this second marriage Mr. Voorheis had one child, Carl S., the sub- 
ject of the sketch. A Republican in politics Mr. Voorheis was elected 
supervisor of White Lake many times, first holding office in 1843. ^^^ 
the fall of 1862 he was elected by his party as a representative to the 
state legislature and served one term. He and his wife became mem- 
bers of the Wliite Lake Presbyterian church in 1840, and for many 
years he was an elder of the church. He died in 1882 and his wife in 
1901. 

Carl S. \'oorheis, after receiving a common school education, was 
married on June 29, 1897, to Millie Teeples, the adopted daughter of 
James and Emily Teeples, of White Lake township. The two children 
of their marriage, Clare G. and Helen M., are still in school. Mr. Voor- 
heis votes the Republican ticket, although politics has never been one 
of his most vital interests. The whole family attends the Presbyterian 
church of which Mr. Voorheis has been an elder for several years and 
he was elected a commissioner from the Detroit Presbytery to the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the Presbyterian church which met at Atlantic City, 
New Jersey, on May 18, 191 1. He owns two hundred and thirty acres 
of land in sections eight and nine of White Lake township. 

The name Voorheis is an inheritance from Dutch ancestors. 

BuRDiCK J. Fuller. Beginning life for himself as a soldier during 
the Civil war in the Union army, which he entered when he was less than 
twenty years old ; suffering wounds and captivity as well as all the 
hardships and privations of military service in a state of conflict ; facing 
danger on many a bloody battle held during the strife ; and after it was all 
over, returning to the pursuits of peaceful industry, in which he was 
engaged for many years, Burdick J. Fuller, of Pontiac, in his long, 
varied and useful career has fully demonstrated the worth and high 
character of his manhood and the loyalty and progressiveness of his 
citizenship. 

Mr. Fuller is a native of North White Creek township, Washington 
county, New York, where his life began on Decem1)er 28, 1842. His 
parents, Daniel N. and Charlotte D. (Moore) Fuller, were also natives 
of New York state, the father a descendant of old Connecticut families, 
and his father born in that state. The maternal grandfather was born 
in Ireland and came to this country at an early age. Daniel N. Fuller 
the father of Burdick J., was a farmer. He came to Michigan in 1869 
and located in Avon township, Oakland county, where he bought one 
hundred and sixty acres of good land and thereon conducted general 
farming operations and stock-raising until his death, which occurred on 



686 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

July 8, 1887. The mother died on May 12, 1894. They had three chil- 
dren, Jane, Burdick J. and Freeman A. Jane is the widow of the late 
Andrew Kenyon, and lives in Detroit, and Freeman A. is deceased. 

Burdick J. Fuller remained at home with his parents until August 
8, 1862, when he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Twenty- 
third New York Volunteer Infantry, in which he served three years. 
After taking part in a number of skirmishes and minor engagements he 
was taken prisoner, but made his escape. He was wounded, however, 
at the battle of Dallas, Georgia, but the wound did not incapacitate him 
for the service for any considerable length of time. He took part in 
the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and afterward marched 
under General Hooker from Nashville to Atlanta, where he participated 
in all the engagements around that city. He was discharged from the 
army on June 8, 1865, near Washington, D. C, and then returned to 
his former home in New York and became a farmer. Taking advan- 
tage of the soldiers' land grant act, he entered one hundred and sixty 
acres of farming land in Crawford county, this state, and afterward 
bought forty acres more. He lived on this land two years, then sold it 
and came back to Oakland county, where he first bought fifty-seven 
acres in Avon township, and later purchased the old homestead of one 
hundred and sixty acres, and within the same year sold the tract of 
fifty-seven acres which he had previously bought. 

From that time until 1903 Mr. Fuller lived on and cultivated the 
home place, farming it successfully and profitably, keeping its improve- 
ments up to a high standard, and carrying on all the time a flourishing 
business in raising and feeding live stock for the markets. In the year 
last named he bought the residence in which he now lives in Pontiac 
at No, 63 Matthews street, and moved into it, having decided to retire 
from arduous labor and pass the remainder of his days in some degree 
of leisure. He also owns a lot on Seneca street, but has sold all his 
farming property. 

On February 28, 1866, Mr. Fuller was married to Miss Adelia 
Nalty, who was born in county Galway, Ireland, a daughter of Michael 
and Jane Nalty, and was brought to the United States in her infancy 
by her parents. They never became residents of Michigan. Mr. and 
Mrs. Fuller became the parents of two children: Charles F., who is now 
a commission merchant in Detroit, and Frederick B., who was born 
on August 2j, 1868, and died on June 22, 1908. Charles F. Fuller 
married Miss Ellen Louise Thompson. They have no children of their 
own, but have an adopted daughter, whom they took into their house- 
hold when she was six years old, and who is now fifteen. The elder 
Mr. Fuller, Burdick J., is a Republican in his political allegiance, but, 
while he is zealous and efifective in the service of his party, he has 
never sought or desired a political office of any kind, although he served 
as deputy clerk for four years. He belongs to the Grand Army of 
the Republic in fraternal relations, and in religious affiliation is a Bap- 
tist. The sect he favors may not improperly be said to be his family 
church. One of his mother's brothers was a Baptist clergyman and 
did ministerial work throughout Wisconsin and Michigan in his days 
of activity in the church. Mr. Fuller is a good man and an excellent 
citizen, and is universally respected by the people of all classes. His 
wife died on November 11, 191 1. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 687 

VViLLARD M. Brown, who is now past sixty-two is the youngest rep- 
resentative of one of the largest famihes in Oakland county, there being 
eleven brothers and sisters in his old home. Mr. Brown resides in 
Pontiac and is regarded as one of its leading citizens. He is a native 
of Oakland county, born March 2^,, 1850, a son of James F. and Sally 
Ann (Swaze) Brown. They were both from New Jersey, and were 
among the pioneers of Michigan, locating in the state in 1832, their home 
being thenceforward in Oakland county. The senior Mr. Brown farmed 
all his life. Their eleven children were as follows : Alphis, who now 
resides in Greenville, Michigan ; James F. and George, who are deceased ; 
Sarah, widow of Charles Kent, of Nebraska; two babes who died in 
infancy; Catherine, widow of Seymour Close, of Orion; Harnett, de- 
ceased; Alexander, of Six Lakes, Michigan; John W. K., of Independ- 
ence township, and Willard M., of Pontiac. 

Willard M. Brown remained at home until twenty-three years of 
age, then bought one hundred acres in section thirty-one of Oakland 
township, which he has splendidly improved in every way. Here he 
raises a varied succession of crops and breeds stock of exceptionally 
good strains. 

Christmas Day, 1872, Mr. Brown was married to Jennie Gingell, a 
daughter of James and Eliza (Walt) Gingell. They came from Eng- 
land direct to Oakland county, many years ago, and engaged in farming, 
both being now deceased. Six children blessed their home : Elizabeth, 
deceased; Elizabeth, wife of Frank Porritt, of Orion township; James, 
who also lives in Orion; Robert, deceased; Jennie, wife of Mr. Brown; 
and an infant who died. After the death of her husband Mrs. Gingell 
married again, her second husband being Job Hadrill. By that union 
she had one child, Martha, who is making her home with Mr. Brown. 
Mr. and Mrs. Brown had three children, two of whom are living. The 
youngest, Bert W., who was born August 6, 1888, was killed in a i ail- 
road accident on December 21, 1906. Lena May, the first born, became 
the wife of Arthur W. Spencer, of Oakland township, and they have 
two children: Myrtle Grace, born March 21, 1906, and Leah May, born 
April 23, 1908. The third child in the Brown family is Cora V., wife 
of Lewis Carleton, of Orion. 

Fraternally Mr. Brown affiliates with the Maccabees and the Glean- 
ers, and in his religious belief he is a consistant member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He is a Republican and has held several township 
offices. His pretty home place is situated on Rural Route No. i out 
of Pontiac. 

George Fenwick Brondige. The city of Pontiac has no firmer 
admirer or supporter than one of its native born residents, George F. 
Brondige, a man whose activities are of a constructive order which add 
to and develop a community. Both in his public and private life Mr. 
Brondige has been known as a citizen who might always be depended 
upon to support and cooperate in any movement which promised well 
for his home town. Mr. Brondige served a number of years in the office 
of register of deeds, since which time he has given his attention to a 
well developed insurance, real estate and abstract business. 

Mr. Brondige was born in Springfield township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, on October 15, 1855, a. son of Eli and Margaret A. (Fen- 
wick) Brondige. His paternal ancestors were of Holland origin. Eli 

Vol. II— 1 3 



688 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Brondige, his father, was born in or near to Lockport, New York, 
on February 2, 1828, and died June 21, 1895. When three years of age 
Eli Brondige's mother died and he was taken to the home of an uncle, 
Eli H. Day, whom he accompanied to Michigan in 1838. Reaching 
man's estate, he engaged in farming, and in 1854 he settled on the farm 
in sections 5 and 8, Springfield township, there residing until death 
claimed him. He married, on July 4, 1850, Margaret A. Fenwick, of 
Rose township, who was born July 8, 1831, in the village of Clyde, 
and who came to Michigan in her childhood days from the Empire 
state. Her parents were natives of England, who located first in Se- 
neca county. New York, coming to Michigan in 1836. Four children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Brondige : Eugene E., born May i, 1852, of 
Pontiac, married Alice Foster, a sister of Mrs. George F. Brondige, 
and she died on December 12, 1908; George F. ; Mary E., the wife of 
Rev. Eugene Yager, of Midland, Michigan; and John E., an attorney 
in Pontiac. The mother died on January 5, 1912, having survived her 
husband for almost twenty years. 

George Fenwick Brondige received a fair education, passing through 
the schools of Oakland county and later completing a thorough course 
in business training in the Detroit Business College. When he was 
eighteen years old he taught school, that being his first independent 
work, and he continued thus engaged for a number of years. He then 
became interested in the operations of a party of Detroit financiers, and 
took employment with them as their traveling representative, purchas- 
ing lands in western Iowa and other sections, returning to Michigan in 
1 88 1. The following spring he engaged in farming, following the pur- 
chase of a farm of eighty-five acres in Rose township, about three miles 
east of Holly village, to which he later added forty acres from the John 
Fenwick farm in section t^6, Holly township. Mr. Brondige during 
the years that he devoted to farming proved himself as thorough in 
that line of industry as he had in previous matters, building up a 
reputation for the most progressive of methods and winning splendid 
success in the breeding of thoroughbred livestock. He continued his 
farming operations until 1903, in which year he moved his family to 
Holly and accepted a position with a mercantile firm in Detroit, in 
which he continued for a number of years. In 1897 he removed to the 
city of Pontiac, that year marking the beginning of his connection with 
the public affairs of Oakland county. 

In January, 1899, ^i*- Brondige accepted a position as deputy regis- 
ter of deeds under Albert G. Griggs, and while thus occupied he showed 
himself to be a capable and progressive man in the matter of handling 
the affairs of the office, and so excellent was the showing he made in 
that capacity that he was elected to fill the office in the fall of 1902, 
assuming the duties of the position on January 2, 1903. Among other 
things which marked his service in that of^ce was the inauguration of 
a new system of record keeping, which proved highly successful, as well 
as making suggestions of a valuable nature that extended to other 
departments of the public work. Following the close of his seAnce as 
register of deeds, Mr. Brondige turned his attention to matters of 
another nature, and became identified with the insurance and real estate 
business, also dealing in abstracts of title. He is now conducting one 
of the most thriving offices in this section of the country, and is con- 
stantly increasing his operations in the field. He is also secretary of the 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 689 

Columbia Casualty Company, is secretary and treasurer of the Pontiac 
Land and Home Building Company and trustee of the Long Lake Land 
Company. 

On October 5, 1881, Mr. Brondige was married to Miss Letitia Fos- 
ter, who was born June 19, 1859, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah 
(Parker) Foster. Her mother died on November 20, 1910, at the age of 
almost ninety-two years. She was the descendant of a distinguished fam- 
ily, and the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Yeomans) Parker, na- 
tives of England. Records exist today showing that the first William 
Parker was a general under Alfred the Great, and that he was rewarded 
for bravery in action by the gift of Alfred's sister, and a valuable estate, 
known as Warwich estate. Sarah (Parker) Foster was born in Lei- 
cestershire, England, on January 15, 1819, and her husband was born 
in county Kent, England, on April 17, 1820; he died June 12, 1878. 
He came to America in 1828 and settled in Oneida county. New York, 
removing in 1836 to Michigan. It was in 1845 ^^at he married Sarah 
Parker. They were the parents of seven children : Samuel, born Sep- 
tember 20, 1847, and for the past twenty years a resident of Chicago, 
engaged in the insurance and real estate business, died July 8, 1912; 
Sarah A., the wife of Nolton Bigelow, of Cass City, Michigan; Charles 
T., of Rose, Michigan; Alice, who is deceased; Horatio, of Midland^ 
Michigan ; Letitia, the wife of George F. Brondige, of this review ; 
and a seventh child who died in infancy. Four children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Brondige : Mabel Letitia, is employed in the register 
of deeds office, Georgina Margaret is assistant in her father's office, and 
twin daughters, Gladys Foster and Glennie Fenwick. 

Mr. Brondige maintains various fraternal affiliations, being a mem- 
ber of the Knights of Pythias, Maccabees and Modern Woodmen. He 
is a Republican, like his father before him, and is an attendant of the 
Baptist church with his family. 

Bert A. Odell has kept to his original occupation of engineer and 
electrician throughout his life, but he has worked for many different 
companies and in several towns. Always alert to seize every oppor- 
tunity that presented itself, and ready to take a chance, he has thus 
been able to climb steadily in his profession. An alert, capable man, 
who can originate ideas as well as carry them out, he has been eagerly 
sought after by many firms in his business. 

Mr. Odell was born on a prairie farm in Carr county, Missouri, 
January 13, 1871, a son of John and Mary Odell. His father was 
born in Michigan, and in 1861 enlisted in Company D, Third Michigan, 
and served in the army for over four years. When his discharge came 
he returned to Michigan and was married to Mary Manypeny. At 
first they made their home in Missouri, but nine years later decided 
that their home state was better, and came back to Michigan. Bert A. 
received his education at South Lyon and worked at various odd jobs 
until in 1887 he started in as an engineer in the Case Feed Mill of South 
Lyon. After four years there, and three years with the Lamson Town 
Bending Works as assistant engineer he took full charge in 1895 ^^ 
the engine room. In 1899 he went to Pontiac as machinist for O. J. 
Brandetts & Company. During his three years' work there he took 
up the study of electricity, continuing it after he went to Kalamazoo 
to engage in carpenter work. His next position was with the Sturges 



690 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Sanitary Works, of Sturgis, Michigan, where he had charge of the 
finishing room. He then returned to South Lyon and opened a bicycle 
repair shop. The village soon afterward engaged him to look after 
their interests in the matter of electric lighting. At that time the vil- 
lage was getting its power from James Blackwood, but later they 
purchased his plant and put Mr. Odell in full charge of it, a position 
which he still holds. 

In 1901 Mr. Odell and Jenny Neidy, daughter of John and Mary 
Neidy of Sturges, Michigan, were married, and they have had one child, 
Harry, born November 21, 1906. Mrs. Odell was born in Kalamazoo, 
and her father was a comb maker. Mr. Odell is a member of the Wood- 
men and of the Maccabees, and with his family attends the Presby- 
terian church. He is independent in politics. 

Judge Joseph C. Powell. Success is in its mundane sense usually 
measured according to two well-established standards, the attainment of 
wealth or the attainment of high esteem among ones fellowmen. Hapjjy 
is he in these days who achieves to the pinnacle of either laudable am- 
bition, but doubly blessed is the one whose declining years are not only 
crowned with affluence, but warmed with the friendship of those who 
surround him. Such was the fortune of Joseph C. Powell, a late resi- 
dent of Pontiac, Michigan, who was born at Fishkill, New York, on 
January 22, 1823, and who passed from this life at Pontiac, March 9, 
1901. 

William H. and Llettie (Vought) Powell, both natives of New York 
state, were the immediate ancestors of our subject. The senior Powell 
was a hotel man, who came to Michigan in the early '30s, locating in 
Oxford, where he conducted until the time of his death a hostelry that 
was noted for its hospitality and general air of attractiveness. There 
were five children in his family, the eldest being the subject of this 
sketch. The others were; Thomas, who followed farming; Samuel, 
who became a prominent railroad men in Chicago ; Francis and George. 
All of these are now deceased and all repose in Oxford, being brought 
back from the varied scenes of their activity to be laid to rest in the 
old home town. 

Joseph with more than the ordinary feeling of filial duty, remained 
with his father until the latter's demise, then took up farming, hav- 
ing long esteemed agriculture as the fundamental and foremost occu- 
pation of man. In 1874 he came to Pontiac and was elected judge of 
probate, which highly responsible office he held for two terrms, ad- 
ministering with the greatest care the important duties, which included 
careful overseeing of estates and the safeguarding the welfare of the 
widow and the orphan. 

The judge evidenced in a practical way his faith in the soil, and in- 
vested extensively in lands. His estate was valued at about $100,000 
at the time of his death. He had a fine home in Pontiac, which is now 
occupied by his widow, who is esteemed and looked up to as one of 
the senior residents of the community. In addition to the judgeship 
several minor township offices were held by Mr. Powell during earlier 
years. He was a stalwart Republican, and in his religious affiliation 
belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. 

The marriage of Joseph C. Powell and Sybil Maria Toms occurred 
on October 13, 1854. She was born October 2"], 1824, a daughter of 





, <S . 9 e^i^v^-ijL^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 691 

Alvin and Minerva (Phelps) Toms, both natives of New York. The 
father died December 21, 1867, and the mother January 18, 1885. 
Their marriage occurred on June 20, 181 3. Seven children formed the 
home circle of Mr. and Mrs. Toms: Olive, Joel P., Robert (who died 
in infancy), Sarah Amanda and Robert P., all of whom are deceased; 
Sybil Maria, widow of Joseph C. Powell, and Justice Webster, of Pon- 
tiac. 

From a former marriage of Judge Joseph C. Powell to Mary Hovey, 
there were two sons: George W., deceased, and Floratio W. who lived 
to be over forty years of age. His was a successful career and he left 
a large estate. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

Of the William H. Powell family there was one son, Francis, the 
fourth child, who dedicated his sword to his country's cause and at- 
tained to an undying name in the Civil war. Francis was born at 
Peekskill, New York, October 2, 1833, and died Octobe^ 15, 1868. He 
enlisted with the Seventh Michigan Infantry on August 6, 1861, as- 
sisting in raising his company, and was appointed an orderly sergeant. 
The company was afterwards recalled and merged with the Fourteenth 
Regiment. On November 18, 186 1, Mr. Powell was promoted to Cap- 
tain. He raised Company i, which was mustered into service at Ypsil- 
anti on February 15, 1862, under his command. After being detailed 
to command a company of independent scouts he was raised to the 
rank of colonel. 

Near Stone River on Decembrr 11, 1862, he was taken prisoner, 
and he claimed that it was the famous John Morgan himself who per- 
sonally captured him. He was incarcerated in the cele])rated Libby 
prison, and remained a prisoner until May 5, 1863. On being released 
he returned to the service. He was with Sherman on the march to the 
sea, and was mustered out February 28, 1865, ^^ ^^^^ expiration of the 
truce at Sisters Island. 

Returning to Michigan, Mr. Powell went into the mercantile busi- 
ness at La Crosse, Wisconsin, within a short time. He married Harriet 
Amelia Toms on February 2y, 1867. She was a daughter of Joel Phelps 
and Harriet Newell (Sprague) Toms, the latter a daughter of Silas 
Sprague, who came to Alichigan in 1824. Both these forebears were 
from New York . Their issue consisted of four children : Edward 
Henley, who died from exposure in the army ; Harriet Amelia, who mar- 
ried Francis Powell : Ella Jane, deceased ; and Frank Phelps, of Ann 
Arbor, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Francis Powell had one son, Frank, 
who is a civil engineer at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father w^is a 
Republican and a Knight Templar Mason. 

Joseph P. Davis. This gentleman, one of the most popular and 
influential citizens of South Lyon, Michigan, where he acts in the ca- 
pacity of salesman for William C. Moore & Company and caretaker 
of the Union Trust Company's cemetery lot, and where he has been 
identified with various movements of a progressive nature, was born 
in Salem township, Michigan, April 2, 1872, a son of John J. and Adella 
(Parks) Davis, natives of New York state, whence Mr. Davis' paternal 
grandparents came from Whales. 

At an early day the family was founded in Michigan, their pioneer 
home in Ionia county being one of the first in the wilds of northern 



692 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Michigan, and Mr. Davis' grandfather often walked as far as Detroit 
to secure carpenter work. His mother became a great favorite with the 
Indians of the section and learned to speak their language fluently. The 
education of Joseph P. Davis was secured in the district school at Base 
Line, and subsequently he became a student at South Lyon. During 
his boyhood days he remained on the home farm, but his mind turned 
more to work of a mechanical nature, and as a youth he built, with 
Dr. J. H. Bennett and W. H. Corbin, the first telegraph line in Salem 
township, a private line made of binding wire, with door knobs as insu- 
lators, and stretching over a mile in length, including three farms. 
Their, instruments were gifts, and the first message sent over the line 
was a checker match between Asher Bennett and Grant Ovenshire. Later 
the family moved to Salem for one year while a home was being 
erected in South Lyon, and after working for one year in the South 
Lyon Milling Company, Joseph P. Davis learned the stone and brick 
laying trade and then went into the lumber yard as a sorter. Subse- 
quently he became a section hand on the Grand Trunk Railroad, in the 
employ of which company he remained for twenty-four years, seven- 
teen years of which time were spent as section foreman. During five 
years he was at Walled Lake, and two years at Pontiac as yard switch- 
man, while the remainder of the time he was at the South Lyon section. 
On leaving the service of the railroad company he formed a partner- 
ship with his brother in the undertaking business at South Lyon, but 
sold his interest to become a salesman of nursery, stock for William 
C. Moore & Company, in addition to which he acts in the capacity of 
caretaker for the Union Trust Company cemetery lot at this place. Ever 
since boyhood, when as a lad of seven years he drove a large team 
behind that of his father throughout one whole winter, hauling cord 
wood to Ann Arbor, and thereby causing much wondering comment 
among the neighbors, Mr. Davis has been of an exceedingly industrious 
nature. Progressive movements have always found in him a stanch 
supporter, and he presented the first petition for a rural free delivery 
from South Lyon, had the honor of working out the first rural route 
from this point, and now acts as a sub-carrier. He is a member of 
Sea Breeze Home, of New York city, where he established a free 
bed, is a member of the Masons, the Order of the Eastern Star, the 
Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen, belongs also to the Lincoln 
Club of Pontiac, and was connected with the first fire department in 
South Lyon. In his political views he is a Republican, but a good citi- 
zen's interest is all that he has taken in matters of a public nature. Like 
other members of his family, he belongs to the Presbyterian church. 

Colonel Judson E. Rice, now residing on a farm of twenty acres 
adjoining the village of South Lyon, Michigan, has lived a long and 
useful life, crowding into five years what most people took ten to ac- 
complish. He is a self-made man who has achieved the top of the 
financial ladder that his ambition started him climbing as a youth. Even 
as a young boy he was forced to make his own living, and has kept 
steadily on, each one of his positions and ventures being better than the 
last. He has always been liked by the people with whom he came in 
contact, and the trophy which he received from the employes of the 
Soldiers' Home at Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 19, 191 1, is good evi- 
dence of the esteem in which they held him, and which is typical of the 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 693 

favor he has received during his whole lifetime. Governor Warner, of 
Michigan, had appointed him. May i, 1909, commandant of the Home, 
and the gift was presented to him on his resignation from the charge 
two years later. The trophy is a silk standard attached to a handsome 
staff. The flag is four by six feet, with a set of resolutions of regret 
embossed upon it. 

Colonel Rice was born in DeKalb, New York, October 9, 1844, the 
son of Anson and Rebecca Rice. His father was a farmer. Colonel 
Rice did not begin his schooling until after the family had moved to 
Russell, New York. When he was ten years old he left his father's 
home and went with a cousin's family to Canada, and remained there 
until he was fourteen, working on a farm and only attending school 
for three months in the winter. On his return to the United States he 
settled in Herman, New York, and continued his farm work, only inter- 
rupting it to attend school the three months in the winter. 

At the age of seventeen he enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty- 
Second New York Infantry at Ogdensburg, New York, but he was 
rejected owing to his size and his age. He had two brothers, however, 
who were members of Company A of the regiment, another brother who 
was surgeon for the regiment and still another brother in Company 
D, Sixtieth New York, and he was determined to go with them. The 
Doctor finally took him with him as surgeon's poster. This was in 
August of 1862. In 1863 he returned to Herman and worked on a farm 
during the summer. In 1864 he again enlisted, this time in Company C, 
One Hundred and Sixth New York Infantry, a home company, and 
joined the regiment in the Shenandoah V^alley just in time for the battles 
of Winchester and Fisher's Hill He was also in the battle of Cedar Creek 
and in Sheridan's memorable ride in the valley until in December of that 
year, when they were sent to Petersburg, replacing the Fifth Corps 
in the front. He was taken sick there and sent back to the hospital 
at City Point. When Lee surrendered he returned to his regiment and 
was discharged July i, 1865, at Ogdensburg, New York. He returned 
to the farm in Herman and his first work was to mow by hand the hay 
in the fields of which he had sown the seed before he entered the army. 
During the late summer of this year he entered a select school in the 
village, and during that fall and winter taught in a school in Russell 
township. In the spring of 1866 he entered a general store at Herman 
as a clerk. 

In October, 1866, he and Miss Amelia Fuller w^ere married, and 
their two children are still living, Lindsey W. connected with a box 
factory in Ada, Michigan, and Nellie, the wife of John L. Boer, of 
Grand Rapids, who for six years was city clerk of Grand Rapids. Mrs. 
Rice, who was born at Stowe, Vermont, in September, 1846, the daugh- 
ter of Cyrus and Clarisy (Hale) Fuller, died in November, 1899. 

In 1874 Colonel Rice came to Coopersville, Michigan, and opened 
a general store, remaining there for thirteen years. In 1887 he went 
to Grand Rapids to engage in the hotel business, continuing in that ca- 
pacity for the next twenty years. From 1895 to 1901 he was owner 
and manager of Sweets Hotel, a noted hostelry of Grand Rapids. 

Colonel Rice's marriage to Miss Flora M. Hodgeman, of Grand 
Rapids, took place in November, 1904. Miss Hodgeman was born in 
Hamberg, Livingstone county, Michigan, the daughter of John and Sarah 
(Nash) Hodgeman. At that time her father was a farmer, but in 1872, 



694 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

when the family moved to South Lyon, he took up his trade of building 
and contracting. Miss Hodgeman had been a high school teacher for 
six years in South Lyon. Mrs. Rice is a member of the Eastern Star 
and attends the Methodist Episcopal church. 

The farm where Colonel Rice is now living was purchased by him 
in 1908, after a few months' residence in South Lyon, had convinced him 
that it was the place he wanted to settle in permanently. During his 
long residence in Michigan Colonel Rice has been a member of the 
executive board of the Michigan State Fair for twelve years, and a 
member of the board of the Michigan Masonic Home for fourteen years. 
For a number of years he also held the position of president of the West 
Michigan Agricultural Society. He is now a member of the Nation 
Racing Association. He has been a Mason for years and has passed 
through the thirty-second degree. Politically he is a Republican. 

Dav^d M. Garner. Especially fortunate in the character, enterprise 
and eminence of her citizens, Oakland county has no more honored 
or worthy name enrolled upon her list of representative men than that 
of David M. Garner, whose life of three-score and ten years was devoted 
not only to the advancement of the agricultural interests of the com- 
munity and to his own personal affairs, but also to the betterment of 
town and county and to the uplifting of mankind. Although a person- 
ality like Mr. Garner's is never wholly explained by his ancestral inheri- 
tance of character and his superior breeding, it is, nevertheless, worth 
while to glance briefly at the history of his ancestors in one or two 
generations. Both his father, George Garner, and his grandfather, 
Thomas Garner, lived modest lives that are worthy of note. 

Thomas Garner, who came of Scotch-Irish blood, was a native of 
county Antrim, Ireland, the date of his birth being 1756. Soon after 
his marriage to Ann Crawford (1770-1861), he and his young wife 
immigrated to America, first settling in Sussex county, New Jersey. In 
1825 they and their children removed to New York, locating in Steuben 
county. From there they came to Oakland county, Michigan, in 1833. 
There Thomas and Ann Garner spent the greater part of their re- 
maining years; it was there that he died, his body being laid to rest in 
White Lake cemetery. Ann Garner lived to the rich age of ninety- 
one )rears, spending her last days at White Lake, Michigan. 

The fourth son of Thomas Garner and Ann Crawford Garner, his 
wife, was George Garner, who lived to become the father of David M. 
Garner, the subject of this sketch. Sussex county. New Jersey, was the 
birthplace of George Garner and the date of his birth was February 
12, 1808. On March 19, 1829, he was united in marriage to Miss 
Margaret Speelman at Benton, Ontario county, New York. In 1836 
he came with his wife to Michigan, whither other members of his 
father's family had preceded him. He made the trip from New York 
with a span of horses, bringing among his household goods a cook-stove 
which was said to be the first ever set up in Oakland county. Entering 
four hundred acres of land in Rose township, he began the clearing and 
improvement of the present homestead. For a number of seasons he 
and his family lived in a log house, but in 1847 he erected the residence 
which still stands upon the estate, hauling the lumber from Flint, Michi- 
gan. That was the second frame house built in the township and within 
its wall George Garner — ever a man of unreserved hospitality — shel- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 695 

tered all passing strangers in need of entertainment. He and Margaret 
Garner, his wife, were charter members of the Presbyterian church at 
White Lake, five miles from the home, and they regularly attended its 
services for many years. They also supported a local church which 
was erected near their home and which subsequently became a Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. It is interesting to record that George and Mar- 
garet Garner lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on 
March 19, 1879. He and his three brothers — Thomas, John and Rob- 
ert — all lived beyond the ripe age of ninety. The four venerable broth- 
ers left a touching souvenir of their revered old age in a photograph 
which was made at a time when their combined ages made an average 
of eighty-five years. George Garner died in the home farm on Decem- 
ber 30, 1897, at the age of ninety years. His wife survived him, passing 
away in the ninety-fourth year of her age. The children who during 
their long life together had been born and had gone forth to fulfill their 
noble life-purposes or to precede their parents into another world were 
the following: Levi, who ])efore the Civil w^ar was an eminent physician 
of Holly, Michigan, and who during the rebellion served as a surgeon 
in the Fifteenth Michigan Cavalry until his death in Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, in 1862, at the age of thirty years; Ann Maria Garner, a success- 
ful teacher, who died at the age of fifty years ; Elizabeth, who was the 
first wife of Peter Carr and who died at the age of thirty; Nancy, who 
became the second wife of Peter Carr and who now lives in Denver, 
Colorado, aged seventy-six years and the only living representative of 
the parental household; David M., the special subject of this brief bio- 
graphical record; George M., who died in infancy; Mary, who became 
the wife of Dr. S. E. Wilkins and died at the age of twenty-five years ; 
and Frances S., who died in childhood. 

David M. Garner, to whom this review is dedicated, was the second 
son and sixth child of George and Margaret Garner and was born in 
Rose township, in Oakland county, Michigan, on December 30, 1841. 
Having acquired his early education in the public schools, the years of 
approaching maturity found him a young man of scholarly tastes and 
ambitions. He prepared for college at Corunna, in Shiawassee county, 
Michigan, under the tuition of his cousin. Professor Thomas Garner. 
His purpose was to enter the University of Michigan, at xAnn Arbor. 
But dif^culty with his eyes and eventually the loss of the sight of. one 
made it necessary that he change all his plans. Returning home, he 
secured title to eighty acres of the parental homestead, and in addition 
to operating his own farm assumed the management of the entire home- 
stead property, carrying on general farming on an extensive scale and 
being signally successful in all his undertakings. A progressive and 
enthusiastic agriculturist, Mr. Garner did much to advance the farming 
interests of town and county, assisting in the formation of the Davis- 
burg Grange of which he was master for twenty years, and being an 
active member of the State Association of Farmers' Clubs, of which he 
was director for many years. 

As a young man Mr. Garner was recognized as an able, pleasant and 
forceful speaker, being an easy and ready debater on matters of general 
interest. He was especially interested in the cause of temperance, be- 
coming one of the leading members of the Good Templars, and later 
being an ardent Prohibitionist. Not only had he the misfortune to have 
lost the use of one eye when a student, but later in life the sight of the 



696 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

other was also denied him. His consequent lack of access to papers 
and books was met by a grateful compensation in the services of his 
scholarly wife, through whose offices he was able to keep in touch with 
the world of letters. He continued, however, to drive alone from place 
to place by himself. He was a facile writer, contributing frequently to 
papers, especially on agricultural subjects; he saw things, too, with 
a poet's mind and often expressed his thoughts in poetical lines. 

An active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Garner 
was prominent in religious work, serving as a member of the church 
board at Davisburg and acting as a lay delegate to the district confer- 
ence of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was for many years the 
superintendent of the Sunday school, his thorough knowledge of both 
the Old and New Testaments always assuring him the close interest 
of all his hearers. His interest in all church activities was unusually 
strong and his gift for verse was often turned to a tender expression 
of his attitude toward the holiness of his faith and his love for children. 
Mr. Garner's work as a temperance lecturer was particularly effective 
and his deep sense of its irhportance was expressed by him in the words : 
*The sin of the liquor traffic would rest on my soul if I did not do 
everything I could to antagonize it by vote and influence." His last ill- 
ness of typhoid fever, was contracted while he was acting as a delegate 
to the State Grange at Traverse City, and his body was laid to rest in 
the family burial plot in White Lake cemetery. He left a fine record 
for righteousness, temperance and progress and his career typifies the 
highest and best American manhood. 

The treasured and revered companion of David Garner's life was 
before her marriage Miss Isa Bigelow, a daughter of Dr. Isaac Bigelow 
and his wife, Harriet Hamlin Bigelow, both lines being of Revolutionary 
and of Puritan stock. Mr. Garner met his destined wife during his 
student days and their marriage took place on August 22, 1866. Sur- 
viving her deeply esteemed husband, Mrs. Garner is still a notable force 
for good and is, to the many friends of both, nobly representative of his 
honored memory. 

Mrs. Isa Bigelow Garner, widow of the late David M. Garner of 
Rose township, Oakland county, Michigan, is a woman of culture, talent 
and high mental attainments. She has acquired not only state-wide but 
national note as a consistent and persistent worker in the cause of tem- 
perance and has accomplished no little good in other activities, including 
her lecturing and organizining in Farmers' Clubs and in local and County 
granges. Of Ohio birth and of scholarly New England ancestry, both 
the genealogy and the life-career of Mrs. Garner are of special interest. 
We herewith note briefly the most conspicuous details concerning her 
father, Isaac Bigelow, and her mother, Harriet Hamlin Bigelow. 

A son of Revolutionary forefathers, Isaac Bigelow was born and 
reared in Massachusetts and was there educated as a physician, receiv- 
ing the degree of M. D. An uncompromising advocate of freedom from 
youth up, he was an ardent Abolitionist, and as a worker in that cause 
on the streets of Boston, in company with William Lloyd Garrison, he 
narrowly escaped being mobbed. Going to Ohio with his pockets filled 
with anti-slavery documents, he lectured in school-houses, in consequence 
of which he was three times besieged by a resentful mob. He succeeded, 
however, in converting the president of Hudson College to his views and 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 697 

was an active worker in the "underground railway" service, being one 
of its original agitators. Dr. Bigelow located in Oberlin, Ohio, and was 
there actively engaged in his profession for many years, being one of the 
leading physicians of the city. 

Dr. Bigelow married Mrs. Harriet (Hamlin) Mather, the widow of 
Zelotus Mather, a man of note. She was a sister of the Reverend 
Leonidas L. Hamlin, a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church. She 
was of superior New England ancestry, among her near kinsmen being 
the Honorable Hannibal Hamlin, who served as vice-president of the 
United States from 1861 until 1865. She also was of Revolutionary 
stock, her father having enlisted as a drummer when a mere boy, and 
afterwards having been promoted to higher rank. Harriet Bigelow 
was a noted singer and, like her husband, Dr. Bigelow, was an author 
and anti-slavery agitator. While living in Oberlin she produced ''The 
Curse Entailed," a volume of six hundred pages, on slavery that was 
judged by critics as equal to ''Uncle Tom's Cabin," although it never 
attracted so much attention. 

Isa Bigelow, the daughter of Dr. Isaac Bigelow and Harriet Hamlin 
Bigelow, inherited to a marked degre the vigorous intellectual quality of 
her parents and began teaching school when a young miss of thirteen 
years. During her junior year at Oberlin college she began teaching at 
Corunna, Michigan, with her sister's husband. Professor Thomas C. 
Garner, under whom she taught for three years. While thus employed 
Miss Bigelow formed the acquaintance of the Professor's cousin, David 
M. Garner, to whom she was united in marriage on August 22, 1866. 

Mr. and Mrs. Garner immediately took up their residence in Rose 
township, Oakland county, Michigan ; and here Mrs. Garner has since 
spent her days, having learned to love farm life and to appreciate the 
close touch with nature and that consciousness of God in nature to which 
spiritual temperaments are ever sensitive. She soon became actively in- 
terested in all agricultural problems and her talents made her services as 
a public speaker greatly in demand. She served as vice-president of the 
State Association of Farmers' Clubs. She was, with her husband, a 
charter member of the Davisburg Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, 
also serving with him among the first delegates from Oakland county to 
the State Grange. 

Mrs. Garner was a no less enthusiastic worker for temperance than 
was Mr. Garner, and with him she did much to promote its cause. She 
was instrumental in organizing the Oakland County Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union, which she ably served as president during the first 
five years of its existence. She was likewise president for five years of 
the Sixth district organization of the same society. As a member of the 
state board of this body she was a delegate to the National Temperance 
Conventions held in Boston, Chicago, New York, Denver and Atlanta. 
In this capacity Mrs. Garner was brought in contact with the leading 
temperance workers of the last decade and was intimately acquainted 
with Frances E. Willard, the great temperance leader who devoted her 
entire gifted life to that reform. Mrs. Garner is a member of the State 
Suffrage Society, l)ut has never identified herself with the public speak- 
ers of that body. 

No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Garner, but they adopted as a 
son, D. Dunlap Garner, who has been a true son to them in every respect. 
He was well educated and is a fine elocutionist. In 1898 he married Miss 



698 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Ora Bird, of Hartland, Michigan ; and now, with their children, they 
reside with Mrs. Garner on the homestead where David M. Garner 
died. Mr. Dunlap Garner is the superintendent of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Sunday-school, is a member of the district board of school direc- 
tors and is a man greatly respected in the community. His wife is an 
earnest worker in the church, teaching in the Sunday-school; she has 
also assisted her husband in canvassing for local option, being a woman 
of culture and greatly respected in the community. 

The poetic gifts of both Mrs. Isa Garner and her husband were 
graciously used in connection with their deepest spiritual and emotional 
interests that were shared by those who knew them. Many of these 
were in celebration of local and special sentiments of church and com- 
munity life. Among Mrs. Garner's poems is one of such universal 
beauty of feeling that we cannot forbear to quote it here. It forms, 
indeed, a fitting conclusion to this glimpse of the life of one whose sym- 
pathies are so deep and so exquisite as to make singularly appealing her 
voicing of life's most profound emotion : 

A MOTHER'S LOVE. 

By Isa Bicrxow Garner. 

Woman supremely blessed, God's crowning work. 
When all created wonders were complete. 
He breathed into the new-found mother's heart 
A love more lasting, tender, pure and sweet, 
Than any other gift to mortal given, 
A love as sacred as the love of heaven — 
A mother's love. 

Love ! purest essence of Divinity ; 
Christ's love the holiest type the world has known. 
And next to Christ's with deep intensity, 
A mother's love, as centuries have flown, 
Has shown like some clear planet of the night, 
Eclipsing all the orbs of lesser light, — 
O! Wondrous love. 

Christ died upon the cross in agony, 
To save an unrepentant world from death. 
Down in the valley of the shadow dark, 
The mother goes, to give her loved one breath. 
Scarce agony like hers the world has known, 
No joy so sweet, as when she clasps her own — 
Her precious love. 

As some rare instrument of costly mold 
That sends forth harmonies both sweet and true, 
When touched by unskilled hands, or out of tune. 
Breathes only jarring discords, through and through, 
So, sometimes, mother love amid life's strain 
Breathes forth discordant notes, sad notes of pain — 
O, unkind love. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 699 

But still there's mother love. Within the soul, 
The sweet, maternal melodies still roll, 
Though all the tender nerves of heart and brain 
Be jarred by discord, agony and pain. 
With but the earthly tenement in tune, 
The mother love would be like fragrant June — 
Bright, sunny love. 

There is no human love, e'en love of Christ, 
But may be tarnished by the hand of sin 
And all the glorious attributes of soul 
By wrong's destructive influence gathered in. 
Dear Christ, have pity on the mother base. 
Restore her to Thyself, by thine own grace. 
And mother love! 

Robert G. Allen. Occupying a noteworthy position among the es- 
teemed and respected citizens of Bloomfield township, Oakland county, 
is Robert G. Allen, who follows his trade of a brick mason in connection 
with farming, in each branch of industry being successful. A son of the 
late Thomas Allen, he was born in Pontiac, Michigan, November 26, 

1857- 

Thomas Allen was a native of Friskney, Lincolnshire, England, 
where he learned while young the brick layer's trade. Lie there married 
a fair maid of Lincolnshire, the maiden name of his wife having been 
Rosanna Chapman, and he continued his residence in his native land 
until after the birth of four of their children. One son died in Lincoln- 
shire, and later Mr. Allen, accompanied by his wife and three children, 
embarked on a sailing vessel for America. Cholera broke out on ship- 
board, and one of their children, a daughter, died and w^as buried at 
sea. With his wife and their two remaining children, Jane and William, 
he came direct to Michigan, and for a year lived and worked in Lapeer 
county. Coming then to Pontiac, Oakland county, he followed his trade 
of a brick mason for a few years, and then bought a tract of wild land 
in White Lake township and devoted his time to tilling the soil. Finally 
retiring from active pursuits, he removed to Pontiac, and both he and 
his wife spent the closing days of their lives in Springfield township, 
his death occur ing there in 1899 and hers in 1896. Of the eleven chil- 
dren born of their union seven survive, as follows: William, of Pon- 
tiac; Robert G., with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; Alfred, 
living in AuGres, Arenac county ; Elmer, of West Bloomfield ; John 
Thomas, of Byron, Shiawassee county; Frank, of Davisburg; and 
George, also of AuGres, Michigan. 

Acquiring his early education in the public schools of Pontiac, Robert 
G. Allen learned the art of brick laying when young, and continued 
working with his father until he was twenty years old. Moving then 
to Bloomfield township, he has since been engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits on the farm where he now resides, and has also carried on a sub- 
stantial business as a brick mason, having done much of the brick lay- 
ing in his neighborhood for many years. Mr. Allen owns twenty-six 
acres of well cultivated land in section thirty, and in its management has 
met with excellent results. In his political relations he is a sound Demo- 
crat. He and his family are members of the Methodist Protestant 
church, and active workers in that organization. 



700 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Mr. Allen married, June 8, 1881, Ermina H. Forman, a daughter of 
William and Harriet ( ihompson) Forman, who were born, reared and 
married in Friskney, Lincolnshire, England, from there coming to Oak- 
land county, Michigan, about the middle of the nineteenth century, and 
here spending their remaining years. Four children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Allen, namely: Joyce H., wife of Edwin M. Wood, of 
Detroit, has one son, Allen i.\L Wood; Hey E., wife of Arthur C. Berger, 
of Detroit; Grace H., wife of William Cooney, of West Bloomfield town- 
ship, has one son, Wilmot A. Cooney; and Archibald R., the only son 
of the family, was graduated from the Pontiac high school, and is now 
attending the Michigan Agricultural College in Lansing. 

iVlr. Allen is of a reserved nature and a lover of dog and gun. When 
not actively employed at his trade, his greatest pleasure is hunting, fish- 
ing and kindred sports. Outside of his family, the lake and woods are 
his closest companions. 

Leroy J. RuNDELL. Finding profit as well as pleasure in the inde- 
pendent and healthful occupation of an agriculturist, Leroy J. Rundell, 
proprietor of "Orchard Lawn Farm," is one of Rose township's most 
able, intelligent and successful tillers of the soil. A son of Chester E. 
Rundell, he was born November 6, 1874, in Holly, Oakland county, 
Michigan, and in this county has spent his entire life, the greater part 
of it having been passed on the farm he now owns and occupies. 

Chester E. Rundell was born in the state of Pennsylvania, April 11, 
1834, but was brought up and educated in Oakland county, Michigan. 
He spent his earlier years as a farmer, but soon after taking upon him- 
self the responsibilities of a married man he moved to Holly, where he 
was for several years engaged in the meat and bakery business. Sub- 
sequently purchasing the Exchange Hotel, the leading public house of 
Holly, he conducted it successfully until his death, December 30, 1880. 

Chester E. Rundell was twice married. He married first, Mary 
Covert, who died in early womanhood, leaving three children, as follows : 
Clara, who died in Colorado ; Grace, now living in San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia; and Charley, a resident of Lyons, Colorado. On September 16, 
1873, i^ Pontiac, Michigan, he married Charlotte T. Benjamin, who was 
born in 1848, in Southfield township, Oakland county, Michigan, a 
daughter of Ariel and Mary Benjamin, and the only child born of their 
union was Leroy J. Rundel, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned. 
His widow, in June, 1882, married for her second husband Milton 
Thompson, who then owned "Orchard Lawn Farm." Mr. Thompson 
was born in LeRoy, Oneida county, New York, in 1825, and died in Rose 
township, Oakland county, Michigan, May 22, 1900. He married for 
his first wife, Kate Hankinson, of Steuben county. New York, and in 
1864 settled on his farm in Rose township, where his first wife's death 
occurred January 17, 1880. There were no children born of their union, 
but they reared an adopted son, Jefferson Thompson, whom they took 
when he was but three years old, and he is still a resident of Rose town- 
ship. Mrs. Charlotte (Benjamin) (Rundell) Thompson died on the 
home farm, March 3, 1908, having survived her second husband eight 
years. 

But eight years old when he came with his mother and step-father to 
his present homestead, Leroy J. Rundell has succeeded to its ownership, 
having bought out his brother's interests in the property, and in its im- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 701 

provement has spared neither time nor expense. He has added to the 
improvements previously put upon it, having erected two new barns, 
and put the other buildings in good repair, his estate comparing favor- 
ably in its appointments with any in the neighborhood. 

Mr. Rundell married, September 28, 1898, Edna Everts, who was 
born on the old Everts homestead, October 13, 1877, a daughter of Caleb 
Everts. Four children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. 
Rundell, namely: Beatrice, born March 15, 1901, died in infancy; 
Chester Everett, born May 18, 1902; Ellsworth Leroy, born October 23, 
1905 ; and Marian Elizabeth, born March 8, 1908. Politcally Mr. Run- 
dell is identified with the Democratic party. 

George A. Dondero. Among the distinctively prominent and bril- 
liant young lawyers of Oakland county, Michigan, none is more ver- 
satile, talented or well equipped for the work of his profession than 
George A. Dondero, who maintains his home and business headquarters 
at Royal Oak. During the two years which cover his career as an able 
attorney and well fortified counselor he has, by reason of unimpeachable 
conduct and close observance of the unwritten code of professional 
ethics, gained the admiration and respect of his fellow members of the 
bar, in addition to which he commands a high place in the confidence and 
esteem of his fellow citizens. 

George A. Dondero was born in Greenfield township, Wayne county, 
Michigan, December 16, 1833, ^^^^ ^^ is a son of Louis and Caroline 
(Trutharn) Dondero, the former of whom was born in Genoa, Italy, 
and the latter in Germany. The father came to the United States about 
the year 1852, at the age of nine years, and he located in the city of 
Boston, Massachusetts, where he resided during the ensuing five years. 
About the time of the inception of the Civil w^ar he was employed by the 
Colts Pistol Company, at Hartford, Connecticut. On several occasions 
he was drafted to serve in the war, but each time he was released by his 
employer, who found it necessary to retain the services of all his em- 
ployes engaged in the making of cartridges and arms for the Union 
troops. He worked for the Colts concern during the entire period of 
the war and in 1867 he and his wife came to Michigan, settling in De- 
troit, where a younger brother of Mr. Dondero's was engaged in the 
willow-ware business, at No. 49 Monroe avenue. For the following 
three years Mr. Dondero was associated with his brother in the above 
business, but at the expiration of that time he removed with his family 
to a farm in Greenfield township, Wayne county. In 1885 removal was 
made by the family to a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Royal 
Oak township, Oakland county, wdiere the home was maintained until 
1898, when Mr. Dondero retired to Grosse Pointe, where he still re- 
sides, in 191 2, Mrs. Dondero, whose maiden name was Caroline Truth- 
arn, was born in Germany, and she came to America in i860, at the age 
of seventeen years, at the request of an elder sister, who had preceded 
her to this country. She landed in New York City and from there went 
to Hartford, Connecticut, where she resided until her marriage, in 1863. 
Mr. and Mrs. Dondero became the parents of four children, all of whom 
grew to maturity, — Emma died in 1891 ; Gustavus resides at Royal Oak; 
Herman maintains his home at Grosse Pointe; and George A. is the 
immediate subject of this review. 

At the age of two years George A. Dondero was brought by his par- 



702 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ents from Wayne county to Oakland county, where he passed his boy- 
hood and youth and where he still resides. He was reared on the old 
farm and received his rudimentary educational training in the neigh- 
boring district schools of Royal Oak township. At the age of twelve 
years he was ready to enter high school and he was graduated in the 
Royal Oak high school in 1903. For the following four years he was 
engaged in teaching school in Oakland county and in 1907 he decided 
upon the profession of law for his life work. He pursued "his legal 
studies in the Detroit College of Law, in which institution he was grad- 
uated as a member of the class of 1910, duly receiving his degree of 
JJachelor of Laws. He began the practice of law at Royal Oak im- 
mediately after graduation, and so successful has he been in his chosen 
profession that he is now considered one of the ablest attorneys in Oak- 
land county. He has figured prominently in a number of important 
litigations in this section of the state and is particularly noted for his 
diligence in the defense of his clients. In his political convictions he is 
a stalwart Republcan and he has been incumbent of the offices of village 
clerk, village assessor and township treasurer. He is loyal and public- 
spirited in his civic attitude and is ever on the alert to lend his aid in 
support of all measures and enterprises projected for the good of the 
community. Mr. Dondero is a bachelor. 

Fred A. Wickens. Beginning his mercantile career deeply in debt, 
Fred A. Wickens has made rapid progress along the pathway of success, 
and now holds a leading position among the prominent business men of 
Clyde, where he is well known, not only as a general merchant but as 
the postmaster. Fie is essentially a self-made man, his present prosperity 
being due to his own energetic efforts. A native of Oakland county, he 
was born December 30, 1859, i^^ Rose township, coming from substantial 
old England ancestry. 

His father, George Wickens, was born and educated in Hampshire, 
England, living there until twenty years old, when he immigrated to 
America, settling in Oakland county, Michigan, buying a tract of heavily 
wooded land in Rose township, the ringing strokes of his axe were soon 
heard as he felled the giants of the forest to make room for the small 
house, which he erected in the forest. He succeeded in clearing a farm, 
wdiich in the course of years he greatly improved, placing much of the 
land under tillage and erecting a larger dwelling. When ready to give 
up active labor he sold out, the place now being known as the John I. 
Cole farm, and moved to Clyde, where he lived retired until his death, 
July 4, 1907, at the age of eighty-one years. He married, in Pontiac, 
Oakland county, Michigan, Eliza Noyes, who was born in Hampshire, 
England, eighty-six years ago, in 1826, and is now living in Clyde. She 
is sadly afflicted physically, being deaf, lame and blind. Of the nine 
children born of their union five are living. 

Receiving his preliminary education in the pioneer schools of Rose 
township, Fred A. Wickens subsequently attended Albion College one 
year, remaining on the home farm until twenty years of age. Entering 
then the employ of Mr. Taggett, he clerked for him fifteen months, re- 
ceiving first five dollars a month wages and, afterwards being given a 
dollar more each month, his wages finally being increased to eight dol- 
lars a month. Mr. Wickens afterwards clerked in stores at both Holly 
and Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Having become somewhat familiar with 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 703 

the business, he then returned to Clyde and bought out his former em- 
ployer, Mr. Taggett. Having less than $300 to his name, he ran in debt 
$4,240 for the stock, and rented the building. Notwithstanding his heavy 
handicap, Mr. Wickens labored with such pluck, energy and determina- 
tion that at the end of seven years he had paid off his indebtedness. 
Continuing along the same lines, he made some money the following year, 
and later bought and enlarged the building which he occupied, and has 
now one oi the best equipped and best stocked general stores in this part 
of Oakland county, and is doing an annual business of about $20,000. 

Mr. Wickens is a stanch Republican, but is not a politician. Under 
the first administration of President Cleveland he was appointed post- 
master, succeeding Mr. A. S. Taggett, whom he bought out, and was 
again appointed to the same position by President McKinley, and is now 
serving his third term in that capacity. Fraternally he is a member of 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of the Macca- 
bees, in which he has passed all of the chairs of the lodge, and is also a 
member of the Masonic fraternity of Milford, Michigan. 

Mr. Wickens married, in 1889, Carrie O. Sears, a native of Center- 
burg, Ohio, and they are the parents of two children, namely: Gertrude 
S., a student at the Michigan Agricultural College, and Bruce E., now 
with the Western Electric Company of Chicago. 

James W. McLaren, member of the firm of J. D. McLaren & Com- 
pany, owners and operators of a chain of elevators in Michigan, and 
buyers and shippers of all kinds of produce, as well as dealers in cement, 
coal and land fertilizers, was born on a farm in Plymouth township, 
Wayne county, Michigan, May 7, 1884. He is the son of J. D. McLaren 
and Amy (Van Fleet) McLaren. The McLaren family is one of Scotch 
descent. James McLaren, the father of J. D. McLaren and the grand- 
father of the subject, was born at Lima Centre, Michigan, and died upon 
the farm w^hich was his birthplace. He at one time owned every fifth 
section of land in Isabella county, Michigan, and among other valuable 
lands owned the site where is now located the city of Mount Pleasant, 
Michigan. 

James W. McLaren was educated in the schools of his native town 
and at Plymouth high school, after which he completed a business course 
in Dutches' Business college of Detroit. His first entry into business was 
at Salem, Michigan, during vacation days, where he assisted his father 
in buying produce. He also worked at the Plymouth elevator and on the 
home farm until 1909, when, with his father, he purchased the elevator 
at Wixom of Yerkes Brothers, and he came to W^ixom to take charge of 
their interests. The firm has made rapid strides in the business since 
that time and their annual purchases will approximate 40,000 bushels of 
potatoes, 20,000 bushels of wheat and 15,000 pounds of wool. 

In November, 1906, Mr. McLaren married Miss Cora Warner, of 
Plymouth township, where she was born. She is the daughter of Aaron 
and Ella (Hay ward) Warner. She was educated in her home town and 
attended the Cleary Business College of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Mr. and 
Mrs. McLaren have one child, — Harold, born February 2, 1908. 

George Gilboe. Give a worthy and upright Canadian a chance of 
any kind in any place where the conditions are governable and he will 
make a creditable record and a success in life. This is w^ell illustrated in 

Vol. IT— 1 4 



704 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

th^ life and career of George Gilboe, of Pontiac, who is one of the sub- 
stantial citizens of the city, and who has come to his present estate 
wholly through his own efforts and natural ability. Fortune has not 
smiled on him with any of her special favors at any time, and circum- 
stances have not opened hands of bounty to him, or given up anything 
for his benefit except what he has compelled them to yield. But he has 
never cringed in the face of Fate, and has even forced her to give him 
a right of way for progress among men. 

Mr. Gilboe was born in Essex county, province of Ontario, Canada, 
on October 13, 1846. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Wigle) Gil- 
boe, were also natives of Canada, the former born in the city of Montreal 
and the latter in Essex county. The father left his native city in 181 2 
and took up his residence in Essex county. There he met with and mar- 
ried the mother, and in 1848 they came to Michigan, bringing their off- 
spring with them, and located in Oakland county. Here the father 
passed the rest oi his life, industriously and profitably engaged in farm- 
ing. He died in Oakland and the mother passed away in Canada. They 
were the parents of thirteen children. (3f this number John, Charles, 
Isabell, Winley, Mary Ann, Susan, Julian and Simon have died, and an- 
other child died in infancy before receiving a name. Winley, the fifth 
child in the order of birth, was killed by Indians, while on his way to 
California during the early excitement over the discovery of gold in that 
state. The children who are living are : Peter, w^ho lives in Canada and 
is now seventy-nine years old ; Joseph, who is a resident of Waterford 
township in this county, and is seventy-seven years old ; Solomon, whose 
home is at Brooklyn, Jackson county, Michigan ; and George, the im- 
mediate subject of this brief review, who is the youngest, living member 
of the household. 

At the age of fourteen Mr. Gilboe took up farming as his regular oc- 
cupation, working for one of his brothers, with whom he remained seven 
years. Fie then w^ent back to Essex Center in his native county and 
passed a year there in various employments. At the end of the year he 
returned to this county and located in Bloomfield township, where he 
found plenty to do in the woods chopping wood. His compensation for 
this arduous labor was one dollar per cord, and he made good wages at it, 
chopping regularly and putting up fixe cords a day, for he was ambitious 
to get on in the world and never lost an hour that he could devote to his 
work. 

In the intervals betw^een his employment with the woodsman's ax he 
worked on farms in the neighborhood. He still had a hankering for 
his native land, however, and yielding to this, he bought one hundred 
acres of land in Canada. It was wholly unimproved and uncultivated, 
and he determined to make a valuable farm of it. With this end in 
view he put up a log cabin for a dwelling and began to break up his land. 
He had a good offer for it in a short time and sold it, and after that 
rented a farm in Canada for a few years, and worked it with profit. 

Once more he returned to Essex Center, where he built a livery 
stable, and carried on business for a year. He then sold that and betook 
himself to the logging camps, alternating his work in them with employ- 
ment in operating a saw mill. In 1880 he came to Pontiac to live, and 
during the next seven years he kept a wood yard. When he abandoned 
that he began contracting and teaming, and in these occupations he has 
also succeeded, as he has in every other, because he has compelled success 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 705 

to come to him by his industry, enterprise and good management of his 
business. 

Mr. Gilboe has considerable valuable property which he has accum- 
ulated in his laborious life and can defy all the ordinary forms of ad- 
versity. He ow^ns the comfortable home he occupies, three vacant lots 
m Pontiac, four houses on Clinton street in the city and forty-two acres 
of land in Waterford township, besides other interests of value. 

On March 24, 1869, he was united in marriage with Miss Julia Con- 
klm, a daughter of Thomas and Susan (Wigle) Conklin, both natives of 
Canada. The father died on February 23, 1863, and the mother on 
September 4, 1880. They were the parents of eight children : Isabelle, 
Mary Jane, Elizabeth and Jane Olivia, who have died; Mina, Arthur 
and David, who are residents of Canada; and Mrs. Gilboe. Mr. and 
Mrs. Gilboe have had nine children, eight of whom are living: Mina 
Belle, the wife of George E. Berdslee, a lawyer in Seattle, Washington ; 
De Ette, the wife of George Knisley, of Pontiac, a contractor; Winona, 
the wife of William Smith, of Detroit, Michigan; Norine, the wife of 
Burt Batchelor of Seattle, Washington; Walter, who resides in Detroit; 
David A., a resident of Pontiac; Maud, the wife of Morris Spruineg, of 
Pontiac; and Mort., who also lives in Detroit. The eighth child in the 
order of birth, a son named Horace, died some years ago. 

Mr. Gilboe is independent in politics. He served as a detective in 
Canada and has also been a constable in the Fifth ward in Pontiac. 
Fraternally he belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of 
the Maccabees. In church membership he is a Methodist. Everybody 
who knows him regards him as an enterprising, progressive and public- 
spirited citizen and an upright, conscientious and most estimable man. 

Charles A. Harrison. The stern fate which brings sadness to a 
home by removing the husband and father when his offspring are still of 
tender years had much to do with shaping the destiny of Charles A. Har- 
rison, who is numbered among the distinctive citizens of Pontiac. His 
father passed away at the age of twenty-eight years, and Charles Har- 
rison was but two years old when his mother took up her home in 
Michigan. 

The senior Harrison, whose name was also Charles A.," was a na- 
tive of France, born in Paris of English parentage. He married Mar- 
garet Winter, an English girl, their union occurring in Canada, whither 
Harrison had come at the age of sixteen. lie was a ship joiner and 
shoe worker by trade and lived in Chatham, Ontario, until his death, 
which occurred, as previously mentioned, at the very early age of 
twenty-eight years. His wife died in August, 1877. The two children 
of this union, both of whom were born in Chatham, were William Henry 
Harrison, who is a retired ])hysician living in Bay county, and Charles 
A. Their mother brought them to Michigan soon after the death of 
their father, and at the age of eight it was necessary for the subject 
of this sketch to look out for himself and contribute to the family liv- 
ing. His mother married Henry Stover, who is now deceased, and by 
this union had six children— Elizabeth, widow of James Duff, of De- 
troit ; Ida, George, Wesley, Robert and Peter, all of whom' are de- 
ceased. 

In the meantime Charles Harrison was striking out for himself 
with lusty strokes, unafraid for the future. For eight years he fol- 



706 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

lowed farming, staying with a Mr. Peer on the latter 's farm. Then 
he went to Detroit and learned the upholsterer's trade, afterward tak- 
ing up stationary engineering. Carpentry and joining claimed his at- 
tention, and after seven years of work in this capacity he broadened the 
scope of his endeavor and engaged in contracting, which he followed up 
to four years ago. The date of his locating in Pontiac was 1877. He 
has prospered materially and owns five houses besides the handsome 
one in which he resides, having also a double house on South Saginaw, 
and being owner of the Harrison block, a substantial and modern 
structure. 

His public services comprise a term as highway commissioner and 
eight years in the office of building inspector of the city. Mr. Harri- 
son is a Democrat. He attends services at the Methodist church and 
Mrs. Harrison is a Presbyterian. His lodges are those of the Masons 
and the Elks. He has been one of the trustees of the Masonic Temple 
for twelve years and served as president of the board for two years. 

Mr. Harrison married Elizabeth M. Bray on January 14, 1896. 
She was born in Kuhr, Switzerland, December 31, 1843, the only child of 
Christian and Sophia Bray, who were natives of Switzerland and who 
came to the United States in 1844, when Mrs. Harrison was about a 
year old. They settled in East Tennessee, where the father died in 
Morgan county in 1888. His widow there made her home with Mrs. 
Harrison until her death in 1895. 

Mrs. Harrison first married Frederick Walter, also a native of 
Switzerland, who came to the United States when about eighteen years 
of age and settled in Iowa. He subsequently went to Memphis, Ten- 
nessee, where he was married and he was a merchant there, and in 
1867 he came to Pontiac and engaged in the grocery business, thus con- 
tinuing until his death in 1894, at the age of sixty-three years. He 
was an active Mason, a Knight Templar and a Shriner and was quite 
successful. They had three children, all whom died when young, and 
they reared an adopted son, Fred Walter, now in Florida. 

Edward M. Murphy. The late Edward M. Murphy was a citizen 
whose particular prominence in Pontiac grew out of his activity as a 
manufacturer. He was a native of Wayne county in this state and was 
the son of John B. and Margaret (Moylan) Murphy, both of whom 
were originally from Ireland. Of their family of six children all grew 
to maturity, and all of Edward Murphy's brothers and sisters survive 
him. Katherine, the eldest, is the widow of Martin Pulcher, of Detroit. 
Robert Murphy is a resident of Detroit. Ann, the second daughter, 
lives in Pontiac. John Murphy still makes his home in Wayne county. 
Dr. James J. Murphy practices his profession in this city. 

Edward M. Murphy, the fifth child and third son of his parents, 
was born December 19, 1863. His education was that of the public 
schools of Wayne county and his first vocational experiments were found 
in assisting hardware dealers. Having learned the practical phases of 
this business during his residence and experience in Detroit, he took 
charge of a hardware establishment in Pontiac and spent some years 
as a retail dealer in commodities of that class. His interest in and 
ability for manufacturing led him to enter into partnership with C. V. 
Taylor in the buggy business. It was not long, however, until his initia- 
tive and executive power demanded a rather wider scope and he pres- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 707 

ently established in conjunction with Samuel E. Beach and Anthony 
Emmendorfer, his father-in-law, manufactory and shops, giving them 
the firm name of the Pontiac Buggy Company, a concern that has since 
that time prospered to a gratifying degree. 

His connection with enterprises of a similar sort has gradually in- 
creased in extent. In addition to his relations with the Dunlap factory, 
he has been connected with several concerns of the sort, acting as presi- 
dent of some of these. It was a natural step and one which was the 
logical outcome of Mr. Murphy's success with other Vehicles that he 
should become interested in the business of automobile manufacturing. 
He. next associated his commercial interests with those of the Oakland 
Motor Car Company, with which he remained until his death. 

He was appointed trustee of the Pontiac State Hospital by Gov- 
ernor Fred Warner, and was holding that position at the time of his 
death, having served about six years. He was also a trustee of the 
Oakland county hospital. 

Mr. Murphy was a member of the {organizations of the Knights of 
Columbus and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He and 
his family have been numbered with the important members of the Roman 
Catholic church. Mrs. Murphy was Miss Mary Emmendorfer before 
her marriage, and was the daughter of Anthony and Mary (Reilley) 
Emmendorfer. Her father, who had come from Germany to America,, 
passed from this life three years ago; the mother, who was a native of 
the state of New York died January 24, 1912, in Pontiac. Mrs. Murphy's 
brothers and sisters were four in number. Elizabeth, the eldest, makes 
her home in Pontiac. Eva, who became the wife of Walter J. Fisher, 
of Pontiac, is now deceased. A brother William resides at Orchard 
Lake. Frederick, a younger brother, lives in Pontiac. The children of 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Murphy are two sons and two daughters. Charles 
A. and Edward H. are students at Notre Dame University; Margaret 
E. is at St. Mary's College at Monroe, Michigan; and Mary Catharine 
is still at home. It is needless to add that in the life of the family sur- 
viving him, in the memory of his townsmen and former business col- 
leagues, as well as in the business he had worthily built up, Edward M. 
Murphy still holds a vitally important place, although he was called from 
mortal existence on September 4, 1909. 

Jerome F. Arnold. A native son of Oakland county and a scion 
of one of its sterling pioneer families, Mr. Arnold became one of the 
large landholders and representative farmers and stock growers of his 
native township of Addison, where he labored effectively in the acquire- 
ment of a personal success and was also a strong contributor toward 
the development of the natural resources of the county. 

On the paternal side he was descended from sturdy New England 
ancestry that originally came from England, while his mother was a 
representative of an old New York family. Born August 10, 1844, Mr. 
Arnold was a son of Robert Arnold, who also was a native son of 
Michigan, his birth having occurred in Macomb county on the 9th of 
September, 1814. Christopher Arnold, the grandfather of our subject, 
was a native of Massachusetts. Robert Arnold came to Oakland county 
in 1835 and settled on a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in section 
twenty in Addison township. Thus for fully three-quarters of a cen- 
tury this family has been identified with the life of Addison township 



708 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

and the name remains today locally significant of honor and worth. 
The wife of Robert Arnold bore the maiden name of Amy Stitt and 
was born in New York on June 4, 1817. To their union were born 
eight children: George F., whose birth occurred September 22, 1839, 
and who died April 11, 1912; Margaret A., who was born May 20, 1841, 
and died October 24, 1862, the wife of Jacob Shultz, of Oakland county; 
Martha A., born November 25, 1842, who became the wife of Hiram 
Thompson, of Shiawassee county, Michigan, and died May 12, 1874; 
Jerome F., the subject of this review, who died July 3, 1912; Thomas 
B., who was born October 30, 1846, and died in 1891 ; Lewis P., born 
January 8, 1849, who died January i, 1885; Rosanna, born March 10, 
185 1, who is the wife of Austin Allen, of Lapeer county, Michigan; and 
Robert N., who was born July 3, 1853, and died in 1889. Both parents 
have passed away, the father's death having occurred on September 2, 
1854, and that of the mother on February 26, 1897. The father had de- 
voted his whole life to agricultural pursuits. 

Jerome F. Arnold was but a lad at the time of his father's death, 
and he remained with his mother until he had attained his majority, 
commendably assisting in all the duties of the farm. The nucleus of 
his farm holdings w^as purchased when he was twenty-four years of age 
and consisted of twelve acres of the old home place. He devoted him- 
self assiduously to the improvement of his property, which at the time 
of purchase, was in its primeval condition, and he lived in a log cabin 
and cleared the land. Prosperity attended his efforts, but the foundation 
of that prosperity was toil, perseverance, and the application of a thought- 
ful intelligence in directing his labors. In a few years he bought forty 
acres more; then later added another tract of one hundred and sixty 
acres to his holdings and at the time of his death owned the one hun- 
dred and sixty acres where he resided and had given eighty acres to 
each of two sons. Mr. Arnold all these years followed the general lines 
of agriculture, together with stockraising, and a gratifying degree of 
success crowned his efforts. 

On September 2, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret 
Ann Snyder, a sister of Oscar J. Snyder. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. 
Arnold were born five children, as follows: Nora, the wife of Charles 
Galbraith, of Genesee county, Michigan; Bruce, a farmer in this town- 
ship; Eda, the wife of Guy Cascadden, of Macomb county, Michigan; 
Jerome F., Jr. and Mary, both of whom are at the parental home. 

Mr. Arnold was a Republican in his political views, always took a 
loyal interest in public affairs of a local nature, and served as a com- 
missioner of Oakland county. He was identified with the Methiodist 
Episcopal church, as is also his family, and as a citizen enjoyed an en- 
viable standing in his community. 

Darwin Miller. In view of the restless spirit which seems to ani- 
mate all classes of American citizens, especially farmers, and causes 
them to seek here and there in the newer sections of our country for 
greater advantages, attention is drawn to those localities so rich in their 
natural resources as to hold to their soil and a majority of their native 
sons. Southern Michigan has suffered as little by emigration as has 
perhaps any section east of the Mississippi, and Oakland county stands 
well to the fore for the number of its citizens that are native born. One 
of these is Darwin Miller, a well known farmer of Addison township. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 709 

who was born in that township on October 3, 1851, and has spent his 
entire Hfe in the vicinity of his birthplace. 

He is a son of Sanford and Juliet (Inman) Miller, both of whom 
were natives of New York. At the age of twenty-one Sanford Miller 
came to Michigan, which was then a territory, and became a pioneer 
settler in Oakland county. In 1856 he located on the farm on which 
our subject now resides and owns and lived there until his death. The 
mother also passed away on this homestead. They were the parents of 
six children, namely: Harrison, a resident of Allegan, Michigan; Martha 
Ann, deceased; Maryett, the wife of Thomas Allen, of Allegan county, 
Michigan; Nathan, a resident of Leonard, Michigan; Darwin, whose 
name introduces this review; and Frank, deceased. 

Darwin Miller received his education in the district schools of this 
county and at the age of twenty took up carpentering. Later he turned 
his attention to farming, eventually purchasing the old home place of 
eighty acres in Addison township where he has continued to be en- 
gaged in general agricultural pursuits and in stockraising. 

The marriage of Mr. Miller took place on September 17, 1879, and 
united him to Miss Eva Bachelor, a daughter of Samuel and Ann (Swal- 
low) Bachelor, the former of whom was a native of New York and the 
latter of New Jersey. They were old residents of Oakland county, 
Michigan, at the time of their respective deaths. There were nine chil- 
dren born to them, including: Jane, who is the widow of Ira Powers 
and resides in Oakland county ; Mary, the widow of Adam Lare, and 
a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Electa and Sarah, deceased; Ellen, 
who is the widow of John Rote and resides in Pontiac; Eva, the wife 
of our subject; Marcus P., a resident of Oakland county; and Frank, 
who resides at Orchard Lake, Michigan. Two children were born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Miller but both died in infancy. 

In his political adherency Mr. Miller is a Republican, and both his 
and his wife's religious faith is indicated by their membership in the 
Protestant Methodist church. In the community in which he has spent 
his entire life he is known as a man of honor and integrity and one 
worthy of recognition as a representative of the best citizenship of Oak- 
land county. 



Roy F. Price is one of the successful young business men of Ox- 
ford, and his success has been accomplished by the same enterprise to 
which his father was devoted during his years of business activity. 
Since 1906 Mr. Price has given his energies to the maintenance of the 
drug business established by his father in Oxford some thirty years 
ago, and in addition to that occupation, is serving his fellow townsmen 
in the office of village clerk. 

Mr. Price is a native son of Oxford, born here on March 30, 1879, 
the son of Hiram H. and Lorissa J. (Smith) Price, both of whom were 
natives of Michigan. Hiram Price was a pharmacist all his life and 
devoted himself to that business until the time of his death, on March 
TO, 1894. They were the parents of four children: Charles G., who 
is living at Flint, Michigan ; Elisha S. ; Roy F., of this review ; and 
Flora M., the wife of Lee Earl, of Orion, Michigan. The wife and 
mother survived her husband by several years, conducting the drug busi- 



710 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ness in Oxford after her husband's death until Roy F. assumed control 
in 1906. She passed way on August 17, 1907. 

Roy Price grew up in Oxford and after his graduation from the 
high school taught school in Oakland county for several years, after 
which he pursued a course in pharmacy at the Marlett School of Phar- 
macy, in Marlett, Michigan, with the idea of fitting himself for his 
father's calling. He was graduated from that institution with high 
standing and passed his examination before the state board in June, 
1906, after which he immediately entered the drug store of his father, 
which his mother had been conducting since the death of Mr. Price. 
The death of Mrs. Price occurred in the following year, whereupon 
Roy Price formed a partnership with his brother Elisha S., under the 
firm name of Price Brothers, and they continued to operate the store 
under that partnership until July i, 1912, when Elisha S. Price retired 
from the business, leaving his brother in sole possession. The establish- 
ment has prospered under the regime of Price Brothers, fully maintain- 
ing the high standard of excellence for which the name stood in the 
years when conducted by Hiram Price and in later years by his widow. 

On August 7, 1907, Mr. Price was united in marriage with Miss 
Nora Z. Higgins, daughter of James and Hattie (Hendricks) Higgins, 
both natives of Michigan. The father was a carpenter by trade, and 
the family home was located in Rochester, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. 
Price have one child, Virginia E., born August 16, 191 1. 

Mr. Price is a Democrat, and his fraternal relations are represented 
by his membership in the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Wood- 
men. 

Edward H. LeRoy. Now an enterprising and progressive market 
gardener and dairyman, and one of the best known traders and business 
men in Pontiac, Edward FT. LeRoy has come to his present settled con- 
dition and established business through a great variety of occupations, 
followed in many different places, and under conditions altogether dis- 
similar from time to time. And, while he may seem to have been much 
of a wanderer, his wanderings have not been without fruits of value 
to him and the people with whom he now associates and does business. 
They gave him extensive and accurate knowledge of others and of him- 
self, taught him manners and customs in different localities, and devel- 
oped his own faculties to meet the competition he found everywhere 
among men in business and every other aggregate relation in life. 

Mr. LeRoy is a native of Oakland county, born on May i, 1845, 
in the township of Avon, where his parents, Peter F. and Laura C. 
(Riggs) LeRoy, were then living. The father was born in New York 
state and the mother in Connecticut. The paternal grandfather brought 
his family, or part of it, to Michigan in 1827, and located in Avon. At 
that time the father remained in New York for a year, settling up some 
business in which he and the grandfather were interested, and complet- 
ing his apprenticeship to the carpenter trade. In 1828 he followed the 
rest of the family to this county, and after his arrival abandoned his 
trade and devoted his energies to general farming and raising live stock 
until 1882. In that year he retired from active pursuits and changed his 
residence to Rochester, this county, where both he and his wife died in 
1895. They were the parents of four children: James, who died a num- 
ber of years ago ; Ann Eliza, who is now the widow of Andrew J. Hayes, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 711 

of Trenton, Michigan; Edward H. ; and Alfred R., whose home is in 
Bloomfield township, this county. Edward H. left the home place at 
the age of twenty-five and went with his father-in-law to conduct some 
farming operations in the neighborhood. But at the end of one year he 
returned to the old home and in partnership with his younger brother 
Alfred bought the place, and they cultivated it together for two years. 

In 1873 Edward gave up the farm and moved to Pontiac, and here 
he engaged with Abram Osmun as a salesman in agricultural imple- 
ments for two years. He then changed his base of operations to Sagi- 
naw and his line of trade to the ice business, which he conducted for 
one year. At the end of that time he returned to Pontiac, and a short 
time afterward located with his father-in-law on sixty acres of land in 
Oakland township. He remained on that farm five years, then after 
passing a year in Texas for the benefit of his health, he returned to Pon- 
tiac and began doing contract work for the woolen mills, continuing his 
activity in this line three years, during which his wife tended a toll gate 
on the Birmingham road. They remained for a period of ten years, and 
during the last seven years of this time Edward LeRoy worked most of 
the time at carpenter work. 

By this time his son had entered the University at Ann Arbor, and 
the parents moved to that city and lived there until the son completed 
his course of instruction and received his degree. The son was ap- 
pointed principal of the school in Pontiac, and the parents returned to 
that city, where for one year the father conducted a home bakery. The 
son had, however, passed one year as high school principal, and ac- 
cepted a position as a reporter and writer on the Detroit Free Press 
and Detroit News, one year on each. 

After his return to Pontiac the last time Mr. LeRoy bought eight 
acres of land southwest of the city for the purpose of conducting a 
market and truck garden, and rented sixty acres more for the purpose 
of carrying on an extensive dairying business. In these fields of indus- 
try and trade he flourished and was kept busy until the death of his 
wife on January 10, 1910. After that sad event he sold his desolated 
home and again moved into Pontiac, where he has ever since had his 
home at 99 Henderson street. 

Mr. LeRoy was married on March 22, 1869, to Miss Jennie F. In- 
goldsby, who died on January 10, 1910, as has been stated. By this mar- 
riage he became the father of five children: Lucy M., who is now the 
wife of William Sherman, of Pontiac; Sarah, who is one of the teachers 
in the Pontiac high school; James A., who has been dead a number of 
years; Mary L., the wife of Robert Bromley, of Pontiac; and Clyde, 
who died in infancy. 

In politics Mr. LeRoy gives his faith and support to the Republican 
party, but he has never been an active partisan and has never sought 
a public office of any kind. In religious connection he belongs to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. In reference to the public affairs of the 
community he is public-spirited and progressive, always willing and 
ready to aid in supporting any good agency at work among the people 
and help to push the car of progress along at the most rapid pace con- 
sistent with the general welfare. He is a first rate citizen, a good busi- 
ness man and an influence for betterment in every way, and the people 
of all classes in all parts of the county esteem him as such. 



712 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

George P. Ingersoll. As a resident of southern Michigan all his 
life, George P. Ingersoll has been engaged in various industries, all 
related in some measure to the agricultural business. He has given his 
attention successively to general farming, huckstering, stockraising and 
buying, droving and for twenty-five years carried on a thriving trade 
in Christmas trees for the southern market. He is a veteran of the Civil 
war, and, all around, has had a wide and varied experience in the years 
he has passed thus far. 

Born in Branch county, Michigan, on February 13, 1847, ^^^ is the 
son of Orson and Harriet (Smith) Ingersoll, both of whom were born 
in New York state. Thomas Ingersoll, the father of Orson Ingersoll 
and grandfather of the subject, came to Farmington township in 1835. 
There he located land for a home for his family, and in 1839 brought 
them from New York to Oakland county. There Orson Ingersoll was 
reared and in early manhood he married and located in his home village. 
When George Ingersoll was about a year old the family moved to Mil- 
ford, Illinois, and in that place he began to attend school. After six 
years of life there the family returned to Farmington, and the father 
engaged in work as a cattle drover between Farmington and Detroit. 
George attended school in Clarence village, Farmington township, but 
his schooling terminated when he was about twelve years old. In 1858 
the family moved to Commerce village, where they remained for a year, 
after which Orson Ingersoll bought a farm in Bloomfield township. He 
later sold the place and moved to Walled Lake, thence to Farmington. 
In January, 1864, George P. Ingersoll enlisted from Farmington in 
Company A of the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry. On June 27, 1865, 
he was transferred to Company F of the Twenty-ninth Michigan In- 
fantry, and on September 6, 1865, was honorably discharged at Murphys- 
boro. He was in the Sherman campaign, and for a considerable time 
was employed doing guard duty in charge of prisoners of war. Upon 
his discharge from the service he returned to Farmington and engaged 
in huckstering, and later entered upon the buying and selling of stock 
of all kinds. He purchased a farm in Farmington, and for a matter 
of twenty-five years was engaged in shipping Christmas trees to south- 
ern cities. 

In 1870 Mr. Ingersoll met and married Miss Mary Richardson, of 
Saginaw, Michigan. She was born in England, and with her family 
came to America as a young girl. Her mother died on the trip and was 
buried at sea. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll; 
John M., who married Ida Hodge, of Walled Lake and lives at Farm- 
ington; Lettie and Bertha died in infancy; Thomas is on the farm, as 
is also Norman, both boys having an interest with their father in the 
place; George B. is a mechanical draftsman and designer, and is in the 
employ of the Minneapolis Auto Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
The Ingersoll farm consists of an eighty acre tract, and is under a 
high state of cultivation. They have a ten acre peach orchard, now 
in its fifth year. They do a general farming business, raising as many 
horses, cattle and hogs as the land will permit. 

The family is one of good social standing in Walled Lake, and 
they are well known throughout the township in which they have made 
their home for so many years. Mr. Ingersoll is a member of the G. A. R. 
Post, No, i8t, of Milford, Michigan. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 713 

James K. Voorheis. The scion of a fruitful family, in which the 
good old fashion of having a house full of children has prevailed for 
many generations, James K. Voorheis, one of the prominent and pro- 
gressive farmers of Waterford township in this county, has kept up the 
customs and traditions of his family in this respect as well as ^n being 
an excellent farmer, a straightforward, upright and public-spirited citi- 
zen, a man true to his duty in every particular, and a great booster for 
the locality in which he lives and his interests lie, Pontiac and Oakland 
county being to him objects of greater solicitude than any other por- 
tion of the country, or, for that matter, any other part of the whole 
world. 

Mr. Voorheis was born in the township and on the farm which is 
now his own in Waterford township, Oakland county, Michigan, on 
September 6, 1843, ^ son of Isaac and Sarah (Terry) Voorheis, the 
grandfather also being named Isaac. The father, a son of John Voor- 
heis, was born in Palmyra, New York, in 1806, and resided there until 
1824, when he came to Oakland county, Michigan. Here he entered 
land from the government, locating in section 36, Waterford township. 
On this place he passed the remainder of his days, and here, on the 
soil hallowed by his labors, he died on July 12, 1892. He was a Demo- 
crat in politics and a Methodist in religion. In early manhood he wedded 
Sarah Terry, a daughter of Nathan and Nellie Terry, natives of Tarry- 
town (possibly Terry ville) New York. Eleven children were born to 
this worthy couple, of whom Sarah, the mother of Mr. Voorheis, was 
the first. She was born in the state of New York in 1806 and was 
brought to Michigan by her parents in 1823, when she was seventeen 
years of age. Here her long and useful life ended on July 13, 1899, 
at the age of ninety-three. To the parents of James K. Voorheis eight 
children were born, five of whom are living: Lucy A., whose residence 
is in Detroit; Susan, the widow of Arza Donalson, of Waterford town- 
ship, in this county; John, whose home is at Farmington; James K. ; 
and Ebb, who is a resident of Pontiac. The children of the household 
who died were Nathan, William T. and Frank, the second, third and 
sixth in the order of birth. 

When Isaac Voorheis was nineteen years of age he took up from 
the government in this county one hundred and sixty acres of land as 
a homestead, the farm James K. now owns. The latter earned his first 
money by trapping, and with this he bought a few acres of land on 
Sylvan Lake, on which for a little while he did ^general farming and 
raised some live stock. But he sold this land in a* short time, and dur- 
ing the next five years worked out for other persons. He received 
$1,000 from his father for the work he did on the homestead, and he 
saved $500 more which he earned by working for others during the 
winters. With this capital as a basis he decided to purchase the old 
home place, and with this end in view took up his residence on eighty 
acres of it. In five years he paid off all the other heirs of the estate of 
his father and became the proud possessor of his parental home free 
of all incumbrances. It embraced one hundred and seventy-three 
acres, and by additional purchases he increased it to two hundred and 
thirty acres, of which he has since sold about thirty acres. He culti- 
vated the farm diligently and skillfully until October, 191 1, when he 
retired from active pursuits. 

Mr. Voorheis was first married to Miss Clara Reeves in 1868. She 



714 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

died within that year, and on May 30, 1871, he married as his second 
wife Miss Lucinda J. Smith, who was born in the same township as 
himself on May 15, 1853, and is a daughter of Israel and Mirah J. 
(Colvin) Smith. The mother was brought to Michigan by her parents 
when she was thirteen years old, and at the age of twenty-one she be- 
came the wife of Israel Smith. Eight children were born of their union, 
all of them natives of Waterf ord township in this county. They were : 
Joshua, who was a blacksmith, went to Cahfornia and died there; Na- 
than, who died on his farm in his native township, where his family is 
still living; Theron, who now lives in California; Mrs. Sarah Church, 
who also removed to California and died in that state; Lucinda J., the 
wife of Mr. Voorheis; Israel, who is farming in Independence town- 
ship, this county ; George, who went to California when he was twenty- 
one years of age, and from there to Wyoming, after which the family 
lost all trace of him; and Frank, who died when he was but two years 
old. The father of these children died in Oakland county aged seventy, 
and the mother on February 16, 1908, aged nearly eighty-nine. 

Israel Smith, the father of Mrs. Voorheis, was born in the state of 
Vermont, on June 4, 18 16. In his boyhood he migrated to New York 
state, and from there came to Michigan, locating in Waterford town- 
ship, Oakland county, where he passed the remainder of his life engaged 
in farming. He was a Democrat in politics and a member of the Chris- 
tian church in religion. His marriage with Miss Mirah J. Colvin took 
place in 1842. 

Mrs. Voorheis received her education in the school in Donaldson 
district, Waterford township. By her marriage she has become the 
mother of eleven children, two of whom died in infancy and two in 
later years. The seven who are living are: Nellie, the wife of Harley 
C. Bell, of Medford, Oregon; Susan, the wife of Peter (or Reator) 
Davidson, of Pontiac; Lucy, the wife of William Beattie, of Tulsa, 
Oklahoma; Myra, the wife of Oscar B. Goss, of Pontiac; Richard, who 
lives in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Ruth and Hazel, who are 
living at home with thek parents. 

Mr. and Mrs. Voorheis are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Mr. Voorheis has been a member of the Masonic fraternity 
since 1865, and his wife belongs to its adjunct or auxiliary, the Order 
of the Eastern Star. In politics he is independent, voting for the man 
whom he considers best suited to the office and most likely to discharge 
its duties with an eye single to the general weal. He has been path- 
master, an office in the road improvement service, continuously for for- 
ty-five years. 

This excellent farmer, straightforward and upright citizen and thor- 
oughly representative man is now verging on seventy years of age and 
he has passed the whole of his life to this time (1912) among the people 
by whom he is surrounded now. He is well known all over Oakland 
county, and in all parts of it is well esteemed for his genuine worth in 
all the relations of life. His ability as a farmer is everywhere com- 
mended. His integrity and high character as a man are worthy of all 
praise and receive it. His public spirit and usefulness as a citizen have 
fixed him firmly in the regard of the whole people, and his genial and 
obliging disposition have won him the good will of everybody who 
knows him. And in all the encomiums bestowed upon him his amiable 
and intelligent wife comes in for a full and unstinted share. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 715 

Morton L. Bradley. Among the leading business men of Walled 
Lake is Morton L. Bradley, and he has been the owner and proprietor of 
his present fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres since 1898. In 
addition to his farming interests he finds a field for his energies in the 
elevator business, being superintendent of the Freeman Elevator at 
Walled Lake. This elevator has conducted a thriving business since it 
was established, and has been especially prosperous under the able man- 
agement of Mr. Bradley, the business being practically in his charge as 
the owners are non-residents. 

Mr. Bradley was born at Millers Corners, Ontario county, New York, 
on October 18, 1864, and is the son of Joel L. and Arcelia (Tidd) Brad- 
ley. In June, 1867, the parents, with their two sons, Herbert and 
Morton, came to Michigan, locating at Waterford, but in September of 
the same year they went to Commerce township, where Joel Bradley 
purchased a farm and began to work it. Here he passed his remaining 
days, rearing his sons in habits of industry and thrift, and giving them 
such education as his means made possible. They attended the district 
school, and Herbert, the elder, went from the farm to Detroit, later en- 
gaging in mining in northern Michigan. Morton went from the district 
school in Milford school and later passed through a special business 
course given by Professor Harding at Milford. He thereafter remained 
on the farm until 1886, and in that year the state of his health made a 
change advisable. He accordingly went to Dakota, being accompanied 
by Charles Gordon. At Mitchell, South Dakota, the two young men 
after some little time entered a grocery store as owners and proprietors, 
in addition to which Mr. Bradley opened a school for business training, 
in both of which ventures they were fairly successful. After three years 
in Dakota he returned to the old home, and there was married to Miss 
Mertie Phillips, of Commerce. In 1891 Mrs. Bradley's health failed and 
Mr. Bradley took her to Denver, Colorado, in the hope of renewing her 
strength, but she died there on January 24, 1893. She was the daughter 
of James and Julia (Cook) Phillips, both natives of Michigan. One 
child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, Julia Myrle, now the wife of 
Ben E. Phillips, of Milford, Michigan, and they have one child, Elenor 
E., born in 191 1. 

While in Denver with his wife, Mr. Bradley employed himself in 
work on the Street Railway, and after his wife's death he returned to 
the farm, purchasing his present place in 1898. In 1896 he contracted 
a second marriage, Mary A. Wylie, of Livingston county, Michigan, be- 
coming his wife. She was born in W^ashtenaw county, the daughter of 
Hugh and Sara (Williamston) Wylie. The parents were natives of- 
Scotland, who came to the United States after their marriage, settling 
in Washtenaw county, Michigan. Of this second marriage three children 
were born, Tryphena Ruth, Williamston Till and Genevera Lettie. The 
last named child died at the age of eighteen months, while the others 
are attending school in the home town. 

Besides other matters to which Mr. Bradley has given his attention 
in Commerce, he taught school four winter terms, his first school being 
the Webster district at White Lake. He has not been a leader in the 
political activities of the township, but has served as town clerk, town 
treasurer and justice of the peace a number of terms. At one time he 
was treasurer of fractional school district No. i. Although filling all 
these offices with credit to himself and the township, Mr. Bradley has 



716 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

never sought political popularity and has kept out of the public life of 
the town as much as possible, the demands of his business being such 
as to prevent his giving more than passing attention to such matters. 
As superintendent of the Freeman Elevator, Mr. Bradley finds himself 
busily engaged at all times, his farm, which is well stocked and thor- 
oughly equipped for modern agricultural operations, also making heavy 
demands upon him. The Freeman elevator was built in 1882 by Wixon 
& Sibley, but was later sold to Mr. Freeman, the present owner, and Mr. 
Bradley was engaged as superintendent of the elevator in 191 1. Mr. 
Bradley is a Republican, politically speaking, and is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. He is fraternally identified by his mem- 
bership in the Maccabees. 

James A. O'Riley. With the versatility and resourcefulness of the 
Irish race, to which he belongs, its great adaptability to circumstances 
and readiness for any emergency, and with an unconquerable spirit of 
enterprise and industry, James A. O'Riley, of Pontiac, has made his 
way in the world from youth, by steady advancement from poverty to 
consequence, and has never wavered in his progress, although his path 
has been beset by difficulties and every step he made for years required 
the utmost effort. He found opportunities for good work for himself 
in this country, and he made good use of them, which is all that is re- 
quired for advancement here. 

Mr. O'Riley was born in County Corey, Ireland, on October 20, 1843, 
and is a son of Bartley and Nora (Boyle) O'Riley, who were also born 
on the Emerald Isle, and were reared, educated and married there. The 
father was a landholder in his native land and a man of influence in his 
locality. He was a great temperance advocate and worker for the cause, 
and was heard on the subject with great pleasure by thousands of per- 
sons in many different places. He died in Ireland in 1850, when his son 
James was but seven years old. After the death of the father the mother 
brought her children to Canada, with the view of securing better op- 
portunities for them than her own country gave promise of affording, 
and on this side of the Atlantic she devoted the remaining years of her 
life to rearing and providing for them. But her heroic efforts in this 
behalf were cut short by her death in 1857, when James was but four- 
teen. From that time on he was compelled to look out for himself, but 
he had begun to do this before his mother's death. There were seven chil- 
dren in the family : John, Helen, Daniel and Michael, who are all dead ; 
Terry, who was killed in the battle of Springfield, Missouri, during the 
Civil war; Ann, and James A., the last two being the only members of 
the family now living. 

After attending the public schools for a short time and obtaining a 
limited education in them, James A. O'Riley was apprenticed to a black- 
smith to learn the trade. He served an apprenticeship of three years, 
acquiring a good knowledge of his craft, then found another that suited 
him better and turned his attention to that. He apprenticed himself to 
a carpenter, with whom he remained four years, getting a thorough 
mastery of the trade and acquiring, at the same time, a settled deter- 
mination to devote his life to it, rather than to the forge. 

He removed to St. Louis and there did carpenter work for four 
months. At the end of that period he changed his residence to Omaha, 
Nebraska, where he wrought industriously at his trade for a year. He 




^7^>tZJ2^^4/^.x<C<t^^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 717 

then, in 1865, bought a furniture and undertaking business, which he 
conducted for some months. But his health began to fail, and he sold 
his business and moved to Glenvvood, Iowa, where he carried on con- 
tracting and building nine months. By the end of that time he w^as 
about twenty-three years old and strongly desirous of establishing a 
home for himself. He therefore went back to Canada and married, then 
came to Pontiac, Michigan, arriving with his bride in June, 1866, and 
in this city he has ever since resided. Here he has been continuously 
engaged in contracting and building, and has erected more than one 
hundred and fifty houses in the city, some of them among the most mas- 
sive and imposing structures it can boast, especially in its business sec- 
tion. He has also built many houses for different purposes outside of the 
city, and these also stand to his credit, for they were all w^ell built. At 
one time he owned thirty-two acres of land in the southeastern part of 
Pontiac, and at 139 Perkins avenue in this tract he still owns four and 
a half acres, on which he has a fine dwelling in which he and his family 
live. He also has a double house on Orchard Lake avenue, a single 
one at No. 6 Willard avenue, another on Perkins street and one on Park- 
street. 

Mr. O'Riley's marriage took place on January 22, 1866, and united him 
with Miss Susan White, a daughter of William and Sarah Ann (Card- 
well) White, who were also natives of Ireland. They immigrated to 
Canada soon after their marriage and passed the rest of their lives in 
that country, where the father died at the age of eighty-two years and 
the mother when seventy-one. They were the parents of eleven chil- 
dren, of whom Mrs. O'Riley was the seventh in the order of birth, and 
is one of the five who are still living. Mr. and Mrs. O'Riley have three 
children: Their daughter Anna M., who is still a member of the par- 
ental family circle ; their other daughter Clara, who is the wife of Charles 
Inch, of Pontiac, and their son William, wdio is also a resident of Pon- 
tiac. Mrs. O'Riley and daughter are members of the Methodist church. 
Mr. O'Riley is a Democrat in his political faith and ardently supports 
the principles and candidates of his party at all times. Lie served as 
alderman from the wSecond ward of Pontiac two years. Fraternally he 
is a Freemason. He is at all times deeply interested in public improve- 
ments and the general progress and further development of his home 
city and county, and ahvays ready for his part in aiding all worthy un- 
dertakings for their l)enefit or the enduring w^elfare of their residents. 
By all classes of the ])eople he is regarded as a good man and an excel- 
lent citizen. 

Hon. Joseph S. Stockwell. There are some men in whose make-up 
Nature does her finest handiw^ork, giving them all the elements of the 
most superior manhood, and so harmoniously commingling them that 
she can safely trust to the bloom and fruition that is to follow^ no 
matter wdiat may be the circumstances through wdiich the subject has 
to find his development. One of the men of this kind is Hon. Joseph 
S. Stockw^ell, of Pontiac, who has been a resident of Oakland county 
from his boyhood and who w^as at one time one of the most successful 
and prosperous merchants of the city of his present home, and served 
for a number of years as judge of the probate court. He is now near 
the limit of human life as fixed by the sacred waiter, and is living re- 
tired from all active pursuits, but still earnestly and serviceably inter- 



718 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ested in all civil affairs and other matters pertaining to the welfare of his 
home city and county. 

Judge Stockwell was born at Redford, Wayne county, Michigan, 
on May i6, 1843, and is the youngest son of Alva and Mary (Hewitt) 
Stockwell, natives of the state of New York. They came to Michigan 
directly after their marriage in 1825, and located on government land 
near where the town of Redford in Wayne county now stands. The 
father was long a justice of the peace in that locality. In 1855 ^^^ 
moved to Birmingham, Oakland county, and from there to the village 
of Highland, where he died in his seventy-fourth year. The mother 
died when she was nearly forty-three years of age, at Redford in Wayne 
county. Of the ten children born to them nine reached maturity and 
four are still living. One of the sons resides in Kansas, and the Judge 
and his two sisters are residents of Michigan, while all of them dignify 
and adorn the citizenship of the respective states in which they live, 
•exemplifying in their daily round of duties, and their fidelity in per- 
forming them, the lessons given them at the parental fireside and 
through the upright and useful lives of their parents. 

Joseph S. Stockwell lived to the age of twelve at the place of his 
birth, and began his education in the public school there. He con- 
tinued his mental training at Farmington and afterward attended 
school at Birmingham in this county. At an early age he began his 
mercantile experience as a clerk in the store of O. W. Peck at Birming- 
ham, in whose employ he remained about four years and a half. In 
1869 he started in business for himself at Highland, entering into a co- 
partnership with his father, the name and style of the firm being Stock- 
well & Son. 

After three years of merchandising at Highland, Mr. Stockwell of 
this sketch returned to Birmingham and formed a mercantile partner- 
ship with Eugene Brown, under the firm name of Stockwell & Brown. 
This partnership lasted three years, and at the end of that period A. 
M. Knight bought Mr. Brown's interest in the business. Two years 
afterward Mr. Knight bought Judge Stockwell's interest also and re- 
moved the stock to Pontiac. Then Judge Stockwell started a new en- 
terprise of his own in the same line in Birmingham, which he carried 
on until 1881. In that year he changed his residence to Pontiac and 
became one of the members of the firm of Axford, Stockwell & Com- 
pany, his partners being Lovett W. Stanton and Homer J. Axford. 
This firm continued to do business for three years, then Mr. Stock- 
well bought the interests of both his partners, and after that conducted 
the business alone until 1895. In that year he sold a part of his in- 
terest to Waite Brothers, Robertson & Company, retaining enough, 
however, to keep him in the firm as a silent partner, which he continued 
to be until 1901, when he disposed of the rest of his interest in the 
business to accept the office of probate judge, to which he had been 
elected in the preceding fall. He held this office from 1901 to 1909 
and discharged its duties in a manner that won him universal commen- 
dation and firmly established him in the everlasting regard and affec- 
tionate good will of the people of the whole county. 

On October 8, 1866, Judge Stockwell was married to Miss Mary E, 
Wiley, a daughter of Adam and Susan (Phillipps) Wiley, the former 
a native of Scotland and the latter of Vermont. The Judge and Mrs. 
Stockwell have four children, their sons Fred B., Jay S., Alva Ross and 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 719 

Glenn Wiley, all living. Their father is a Republican in his political 
relations. While living at Highland he served as a justice of the peace 
and town treasurer, and was also county superintendent of the poor. 
Fraternally he is a Freemason of the Knights Templar degree, hold- 
ing membership in Pontiac Lodge, No. 21, Oakland Chapter, No. 5, 
Royal Arch Masons, and Pontiac Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar. 
Of the last named organization he is treasurer, and has been ever since 
he became one of its members. Both he and his wife belong to the 
Baptist church. The Judge was for several years superintendent of 
the Sunday school of the congregation to which he belongs and also a 
member of the Sunday school association. 

During the latter years of his service in the probate court Judge 
Stockwell gave special attention to the administration of the "Juvenile 
Law,'' which by its own terms must be interpreted and applied by the 
probate courts of the state. At the afternoon session of the annual 
meeting of the Probate Judges' Association held in Benton Harbor on 
July I, 1908, he delivered an address on the workings of the law, in 
which he reviewed in a lucid and highly interesting manner the good the 
statute was doing for the youth of the state, and the greater good it 
might be expected to accomplish if certain amendments, which ex- 
perience had demonstrated the need of, were made to it, illuminating his 
remarks with incidents from his own experience in administering the 
law. 

Both Judge Stockwell and his wnfe are of distinguished Revolution- 
ary ancestry. One of the Judge's forebears, Jacob Stockwell, lived 
near Lake Champlain, New York, and was killed at the battle of Still- 
water not long before the surrender of Burgoyne. From the records 
of the War Department in Washington, it appears that prior to this 
time, on July 7, 1777, this valiant soldier who* laid his life on the altar 
of his country in one of its decisive battles was taken prisoner by the 
British. But he could not have been held in captivity long, as Bur- 
goyne's surrender took place on October 17 of the same year. 

Another of the Judge's ancestors, Eleazer B. Stockwell, made a 
creditable record as a soldier in the War of 1812, serving as first lieu- 
tenant in a company of the First Regiment, New York Militia, in that 
conflict, and afterward as a lieutenant also in another company of the 
same regiment. Before he became a lieutenant, however, he was a 
private soldier in the Nineteenth Regiment, New York Militia, his 
service in the three companies carrying him through the war from be- 
gining to end. 

Mrs. Stockwell is a lineal descendant of Thomas Drake, who came 
to this country from England about 1653 or 1654 and settled at Wey- 
mouth, Massachusetts, where he died on August 19, 1728. His son Ben- 
jamin was the father of Robert Drake, and died at Weymouth after 
having passed the age of eighty-two years. Robert Drake was a mem- 
ber of the First Militia Company of Easton, Massachusetts, and that 
company took part in the Revolutionary war. He joined in 1757, and 
must have, therefore, been connected with it a long time. The war 
records show that he also served as a corporal in Rhode Island in Cap- 
tain Randal's company under two different colonels. His son, Robert 
Drake, Jr., was out at the "Tiverton Alarm," August 2, 1780, in Cap- 
tain Seth Pratt's company, Colonel James Williams' regiment. He was 
the father of eight children, among them Larnard Drake, who married 



720 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

with Susannah Phillips on September 28, 1802, and about 1810 or 1812 
they moved to Vermont, where their daughter, Susannah Phillips Drake, 
was born on April 12, 1815. On April 16, 1833, she married Adam 
Wiley, a native of Scotland, and they became the parents of seven chil- 
dren, one of whom is the present wife of Judge Stockwell. Five of 
the children were born in Vermont, and two, Mrs. Stockwell and her 
sister Alice E., at Southfield, Oakland county, Michigan, whither the 
families of Larnard Drake and Adam Wiley moved from Vermont 
about 1844 or 1845- 

The history of the two families is long in this country, and at every 
period it is creditable. But none of the members of either family has 
made a better record or rendered the public more signal service than 
the revered subject of this brief memoir. His amiable wife has also 
been a personage of great esteem among the people, and has done her 
full part, according to her opportunities, toward helping along the 
progress of her county and state. 

Edward W. Parmalee, member of the firm of Parmalee & Hoyt, 
dealers in general merchandise in Walled Lake, was born in Berlin, 
Michigan, on December 17, i860. He is the son of James Duane and 
Sarah (Elliott) Parmalee, natives of Ohio and Michigan, respectively. 
The father first located in Berlin in 1855, there purchasing a farm and 
continuing in agricultural pursuits. The son Edward spent his boyhood 
days on the farm home and attended the district school, learning the 
carpenter trade as soon as he was of sufficient age to warrant it, and 
in 1882, while carrying on some contract work in Bloomfield, met and 
married Miss Almina Orr, a native of that place. Immediately follow- 
ing his marriage he entered into an arrangement with his father to work 
the home farm on shares, and this arrangement held good for four 
years, after which Mr. Parmalee moved to West Bloomfield and pur- 
chased a farm of forty acres. He continued to live upon and operate 
his little farm for nine years, then rented the place and went to Farming- 
ton, where for a year and a half he was occupied in carpenter w^ork. It 
was in 1905 that he moved to Walled Lake, there continuing with the 
carpenter business until 1910, when he returned to his farm and re- 
mained there for a year. In October, 191 1, Mr. Parmalee entered a 
partnership with Mr. Hoyt and they purchased the stock of goods of S. 
M. Gage at Walled Lake, Mr. Parmalee also purchasing a residence. 
The new firm has made good thus far in its experience, and it is safe to 
predict a bright future for them with reference to their success as mer- 
chandizers. 

As previously mentioned, Mr. Parmalee was married in November, 
1882, to Miss Almina Orr, the daughter of Francis and Emily (Rich- 
ardson) Orr. Six children have been born to them. Iva, the eldest, 
is located in New York City. Frances is the wife of William Hoyt, 
the junior member of the firm of Parmalee & Hoyt ; they have one child, 
Camilla. Clarence is manager of the store of his father. He was born 
in West Bloomfield and attended the Farmington district schools until 
he had finished the seventh grade, then continued in the Walled Lake 
schools until he was through with the tenth grade. He then went to 
Detroit and was employed by the Innrs Fur Company for a time, after 
which he was in the employ of the Parke, Davis Drug Company. When 
the Jamestown Exposition was on, he went to Jamestown as an attend- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 721 

ant, remaining there until the close of the exposition, and then returned 
to Walled Lake, where he was employed in the store. In the fall of 
1908 he went to Ann Arbor and attended school there for one year, and, 
returning to Walled Lake again, once more entered the store of Mr. 
Gage. In the autumn of 1909 he returned to Ann Arbor for another 
year, after which he went to Canton, New York, and after a tour of the 
southern states returned home in the spring of 191 1 and gave his at- 
tention to the work of the farm until his father purchased his present 
business. He thereupon entered the store as manager, in which ca- 
pacity he has since continued, and in which he has demonstrated his 
ability in that particular line. He is deputy post-master at Walled Lake, 
as well as manager of the store. Bertha lives at home, and also assists 
in the store as a clerk. Floyd is learning the carpenter and joiner's 
trade. Harold, the youngest of the family, is still in school. 

While a resident of West Bloomfield township Mr. Parmalee was 
township treasurer for tw^o years, which is the longest consecutive period 
for which a man may hold that office in this state. He is a Republican, 
as are also his sons. The family are members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church with the exception of Clarence, who is a member of the 
Baptist church. 

Ferdinand Williams. Among the earliest and best known settlers 
of Oakland county, Michigan, was Ferdinand Williams, who for many 
years lived on a farm in the county. He has been dead now for a num- 
ber of years, but his memory is still alive and many are the tales onei 
hears of this sturdy old pioneer, especially of his prowess with the gun. 
A gentleman l)orn and bred, well educated, wnth a powerful personality, 
he exerted a strong influence in the community, and his passing left a 
very empty space, although he was nearly ninety years of age at the 
time of his death. 

Ferdinand Williams came of a very old family, in the history of our 
country, the first of the name, Thomas Williams, coming to America 
from Monmouth county, Wales, some time in the sixteenth century. 
He settled in New York, engaged in business, married and had a son 
Jan, or John Williams, who became a man of prominence, being mayor 
of Albany at one time. He married Cornelia, a daughter of Cornelius 
Bogardus, w^hose wife was a granddaughter of Aneke Jans, of Trinity 
Church fame. 

To John Williams and his wife was born a son Thomas, who after 
receiving a good education, in 1765, came out to the frontier town of 
Detroit, and there engaged in the mercantile and fur trading business. 
He married into a prominent French family, his wife being a sister of 
Jacques, Joseph and Barney Campau, and had three children, a son and 
two daughters. The son John R. was only about six years of age, when 
his father was taken ill and died very suddenly at the age of forty-two. 
This left his widow with three young children. He had become quite 
prosperous, having been very successful in his business dealings, but 
his ]:)artners and clerks proceeded to secure most of his property, and 
his family were robbed of a large part that should have been theirs. 
He had during his intercourse with the Indians secured deeds from them 
conveying to him vast tracts of land up and down the Detroit river, 
which the government \vould have ratified, but his sudden death caused 
the collapse of this plan. ITe was prominent as justice of the peace. 



722 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

holding a commission from the English government which gave him 
jurisdiction over a large territory. He had in his possession an inter- 
esting old coat-of-arms of the family, w^hich showed that they were 
descended from some stout old baron of the middle ages. 

In the course of a few years his widow married again, her second 
husband being a Frenchman, and they went to live somewhere near the 
mouth of the Chiito river. Here John R. Williams, as he grew older 
helped his stepfather on the farm, but the life was distasteful to him 
and seeing no future but hard work, he left home and came to Detroit, 
where he secured a position with his uncle, Joseph Campau. Here he 
learned much of practical business methods, for his uncle was a fine 
business man, and he also secured a good education, spending all his 
spare time in study. His uncle was a very influential man in Detroit, 
being the grandson of one of the officers of Cadillac, who founded De- 
troit in 1 70 1. Soldiery was the natural bent of John R. Williams, and 
he was overjoyed when he secured an appointment as cornet in the 
United States army under Major General Wilkinson. He served a time, 
learning miHtary tactics and engineering, and then he resigned his com- 
mission to return to Detroit and go into partnership with his uncle, 
Joseph Campau, in the mercantile and fur business. He was not through 
with army life, for during the War of 181 2 he was captain of a com- 
pany of artillery and was made a prisoner of war when General Hull 
captured Detroit. 

John R. Williams became one of the most prominent and wealthy 
citizens in Detroit. He wrote the memorial to congress which resulted 
in the completion of the plans for making Detroit a city. He was the 
author of the first city charter and was elected its first mayor, holding 
this office for five terms at diflerent periods. In those days the office 
was simply honorary, and the work was not easy, for Detroit was a 
growing city. However, John R. Williams was unsparing of both him- 
self and his time, and took an exceedingly active part in promoting the 
growth and prosperity of the city. He appreciated the great future 
that would come to the lake states and realized the strategic position of 
Detroit; therefore he advocated broad streets and public parks, and 
other improvements that seemed too ambitious to many people. It was 
under his direction that the Grand Circus park was laid out and planted 
with trees. He was a delegate to the first constitutional convention held 
at Ann Arbor, became president of that body, and later presented its 
action to congress in Washington. He ran at one time for delegate to 
congress but was defeated. At the breaking out of the Black Hawk 
war, he once more became a soldier and was placed in command of the 
territorial troops that marched to Chicago to defend the little western 
settlement. Later he served for some time as adjutant general and was 
appointed by the president as major general of the militia of the terri- 
tory, an office which he held up to the time of his death in 1854. 

John R. Williams married Mary Mott at Claverack on the Hudson, 
New York. She was a daughter of Major Gershorn Mott, of the 
Continental army, who had been with Montgomery at Quebec, in 1775 
and had taken part in many of the fiercest battles of the Revolution. 
Nine children were born of this marriage, Ferdinand being the eldest. 
His birth took place in Detroit, on the 26th of October, 1806. He was 
reared in the faith to which his father adhered, the Roman Catholic, 
in spite of the fact that his mother was a Protestant. His father was 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 728 

very ambitious for his son, and sent him to school at the age of six. 
From this time until he was ready for college he was kept in various 
schools, and then there being no college nearer than New York his 
father took him to Utica, the trip being made by stage coach and sailing 
vessel. Here it was found that he was not ready to enter Hamilton 
College, which is not far from Utica, so he spent several months in an 
academy at Utica preparing for the rigid examinations he was called 
upon to face. He passed them safely and was admitted to the college, 
where he remained for four years, at the end of this time graduating 
with high honors. He had devoted himself to the classical course, and 
his degree of Astium Baccalaurens was engraved on a latin worded 
diploma. 

One of the passions of his whole life was a love of the woods and 
especially of hunting. As a boy he had roamed the woods near Detroit, 
and now at college when he found that the students were forbidden 
the use of firearms, he revolted and securing a gun from one of the 
residents of the place, hid it in a hollow tree, and on Saturday afternoon, 
would slip off to have a taste of his favorite sport. This led to the only 
prank which he played in college. The shots could be heard from the 
college, and the president hearing in some way that one of his students 
Avas the guilty party, set forth to locate the miscreant. He was an 
old gentleman and his eye sight was not very good, and therefore 
young Williams, who had been warned that the old man was on his trail, 
when he reached the woods one afternoon, fired a shot and then stepped 
off to one side behind a tree and watched the old man come along ; then 
slipping quietly off to one side he fired another and hid. In this way he 
had the poor old man chasing from one end of the woods to the other, 
much bewildered because he could not catch a glimpse of the marksman. 
It was while attending college that Mr. Williams had an experience 
that was always a treasured memory to him, and this was a meeting with 
General Lafayette, who was at this time just finishing his tour of the 
United ^States. A large public reception was held for him in Utica, and 
Ferdinand attended. The weather was warm and the old general seemed 
tired and travel worn, but with characteristic French courtesy he had a 
pleasant word for every one. Mr. Williams often told one story that 
illustrates admirably the tact for which he was noted. When he was 
introduced to the widow of Dr. Kirkland, who was one of the founders 
of Hamilton College, he remarked : "Oh, yes, I remember your husband 
very well. He was my guide." The words were uttered in English, and 
from the expression on Mrs. Kirkland's face, he saw that he had made 
a mistake, and quick to see it he added 'T mean my spiritual guide." 
His remark had it been in French would have been perfectly clear, but in 
using English he had given Mrs. Kirkland the impression that he in- 
tended classing her illustrious husband with backwoods guides, while 
in reality he had been a chaplain at the headquarters of the Continental 
army and a friend of the General's. His quick wit changed her frown 
to a smile, and Mr. Williams always remembered this little anecdote of 
the old General. 

Upon completing his collegiate education Ferdinand Williams re- 
turned to Detroit and entered the law ofliice of Hon. A. D. Eraser, a 
famous old-time lawyer. The study of law proved distasteful to him, 
chiefly on acount of the confinement that it enforced and the lack of an 
active life that its practice would involve. It was at about this time 



724 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

that his father and one of his uncles bought the printing outfit of the 
progenitor of the Detroit Free Press, and Ferdinand became an editorial 
writer on the paper. Being unafraid and outspoken in his criticism of 
certain public men and measures, he got into difficulty and rather than 
smooth things over he resigned his position. 

He had always had a love for the wilderness and had desired the 
life of a frontiersman, and so now he turned his face toward the great 
unbroken spaces. He bought a French pony and started out for a sec- 
tion of wild land owned by his father in St. Joseph county. This he 
found on arriving was undesirable and made his way thence to Jackson 
county, but the land there did not satisfy him either. Upon returning to 
Detroit he could not give up, his desire and so one day he rode out to the 
home of an old acquaintance, Oliver Williams, in Oakland county, who 
had settled there on the banks of Silver Lake, a few miles west of 
Pontiac, as early as 1817. Ferdinand announced that he had come to find 
a place in which to settle, and Oliver Williams' sons showed him the 
very loveliest spot in the whole county, as they thought and as Ferdi- 
nand thought too when he saw it. The section was located on the high 
banks of a small lake, now known as Williams Lake, in the township of 
Waterford. The land was high and not too thickly timbered and Ferdi- 
nand immediately made up his mind to settle here. Accordingly for the 
sum of twelve dollars, Oliver Williams cut and hauled and erected^ a 
log house, body and rafters, and Ferdinand himself with a little assis- 
tance put on the roof and completed it. 

It was about this time that Ferdinand Williams met his future wife, 
Phebe, a daughter of Seth and Urania Cook, who were at the time living 
on a farm on the outskirts of the little settlement of Pontiac. The 
ancestors of Seth Cook and his wife came over on the Mayflower and 
settled first in Massachusetts and then in Rhode Island. Seth Cook 
was a soldier in the war of 18 12, and was wounded at the battle of 
Lundy's Lane. He settled in West Bloomfield, near Rochester, New 
York, and here his daughter, Phebe, was born on March 16, 1808. She 
came to Michigan with her parents in June, 1824, and it was not many 
years later that she met and married Ferdinand Williams. They came 
to their new home on the 4th of November, 1829, and began a life which 
was truly a life in the wilderness. Their nearest neighbors were two 
and a half miles distant and to the west and north stretched forests 
totally uninhabited save for Indians, wild beasts, and an occasional 
Indian trader. It was a paradise for Mr. Williams, for deer, wild 
turkeys, thousands of wild pigeons and ducks, made the finest sport for 
a hunter. He had by this time became a famous rifle shot and a noted 
deer hunter. Hunting to him did not mean simply killing animals for 
the excitement ; he never killed anything that was useless for food unless 
it was a beast or bird of prey. 

Sufifering like all the settlers in this country from fever and ague, 
Mr. Williams had a hard time making a living for his family. For many 
years his health was poor, but notwithstanding his weakened condition 
he worked away clearing his land, and in time had forty of the two hun- 
dred acres cleared. He also cut the timber and split the rails and laid 
most of the fences on his place. Feehng that there was a great future 
for the country in fruit growing, he planted a ten acre orchard about his 
house, and devoted a great deal of time to the scientific care of his trees. 
His first crop from his six hundred peach trees proved to be an exceed- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 725 

ingly fine one, but everyone had a crop of peaches that year and since he 
could get nothing over two shillings a bushel for them, he fed them to 
his hogs. The following winter was very severe and killed the trees to 
the roots, and although a few sprang from the roots the following year 
they were again killed. He had practically the same experience with his 
apple trees, except that they were destroyed by the apple worm pest. 
He therefore gave up the idea of orchardizing on anything like a large 
scale. 

In politics Mr. Williams was a Democrat, but he never held office 
but once and that was for a few months when he was deputy register of 
deeds for Detroit and Wayne county. Sometime after he had reached 
middle age the death of his father made him the owner of a comfortable 
fortune, and he could have moved to the city and lived in ease and 
luxury, but he preferred the simpler life of his earlier days. Possessed 
of a keen mentality, and deeply interested in the questions of the day, 
he was a close and logical reasoner, and his opinions always carried 
weight. He was sympathetic and charitable in a very quiet way, and his 
fondness for animals of all kinds almost amounted to a passion. He 
always had horses, cats and dogs around the place, and insisted even as 
he grew older on caring for them himself. He was thoroughly honest 
in all his dealings and had no patience with dishonesty or anything verg- 
ing on trickery. He was very fond of reading, and this formed his chief 
amusement, if we except the long walks that he took through the woods, 
and the hunting that remained up to the last his favorite sport. At the 
time of his death he possessed a collection of some twenty-five heavy 
muzzle and breech loading rifles and guns of large and small caliber, 
besides numerous pistols and revolvers. 

His last illness was brought on by an accident, a fall in which he was 
severly bruised. He lingered for several months and finally died on the 
I2th of November, 1896, in the beginning of his nintieth year. He was 
for years the last survivor of his large family of brothers and sisters. 
He and his wife became the parents of eight children and out of this 
family only two now survive, a daughter and son, and soon the name to 
which he brought honor will become extinct, as he has no descendants 
in the present generation. 

Douglas B. Mover. Experienced in a number of different lines of 
activity, and through extensive travel acquainted with almost all sections 
of the United States and the Dominion of Canada, where he has been 
connected with great industrial enterprises and in the heart of com- 
mercial life, Douglas B. Moyer, now a resident of Walled Lake, Michi- 
gan, has met with well earned success in several trades and professions. 
He was born at Cherry \^alley, New York, August ti, 1856, and is a son 
of James W^ and Elizabeth (Hills) Moyer. The father possessed 
decided talent along artistic lines and was an engraver and carver. 

The parents of Douglas B. Moyer moved from Cherry Valley to 
Cooperstown and afterward to Bainbridge, New York, and there he 
attended school until he was about eighteen years of age, at which time 
he went to Afton, New York, and there began the study of dentistry 
wath Dr. Ira A. Yale. Although he did not complete his apprenticeship 
and graduate as a dentist, he made such substantial advancement that 
his mother subjected to his extracting her teeth and no doubt proudly 
wore the set he completed for her. At Redwood, New York, he assisted 



726 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in building the Black River Railroad and during this period secured a 
very fair knowledge of railroad construction. When that enterprise was 
completed he went as far west as Chicago, and in that city secured a 
position as a street car conductor, but this position offered him no future 
and he then went to the Black Hills. Once more he became a resident 
of Chicago, and then, after an absence of three years, visited Bainbridge, 
New York. Even so short an absence had changed conditions in the old 
home and he terminated his visit in a few days and then went to Clay- 
ville, New York. There he entered the works of S. A. Mallard & Com- 
pany, manufacturers of edge tools, entering the polishing department, 
subsequently becoming an employe, in the same line, in the Tuttle 
Works, at St. Catherine, Canada. There he became so expert in this 
department of the edge tool business that he was offered a position by 
the well known firm of Isaac Blood & Company, at Ballston Springs, 
New York, where he remained one and one-half years. Mr. Moyer then 
went to Troy, New York, where he accepted the office of superintendent 
of the Troy Nickel Works, and there he learned the art of electro-plat- 
ing. Three years later he was tendered the position of superintendent 
of the tool polishing departn^ent of David Wadsworth & Son, at Auburn, 
New York, which he favorably considered and remained there for two 
years, after which he went to Buffalo and took up the sale of Ammadon 
& White's carpenter corner brace, and for two years sold this device 
directly to consumers. 

A favorable opportunity oft'ering at this time, Mr. Moyer then went 
to Toronto, Canada, where he established an electro-plating plant, but 
disposed of the same eight months later, returned to Buffalo and in that 
city established the Buffalo Electric Plating Works. Here a disaster 
overtook him, a fire destroying his entire plant before he had secured 
any insurance. Mr. Moyer then went back on the road as a salesman 
for the Standard Emery Wheel Company, and continued with them for 
seven years. In 1895 he entered the employ of the Michigan Stove 
Works as superintendent of the polishing and buffing department, one 
year later identifying himself with the Zucker, Levett, Lobe Company, 
of New York, as their western representative in the sale of electro-plat- 
ing, polishing and supplies, and remained with this firm until its failure. 
In 1900 he came to Walled Lake, which has ever since been his summer 
home, while he conducts his business as manufacturers' agent, at No. 
69 Buhl Block, Detroit, Michigan. When Mr. Moyer came to Walled 
Lake he purchased a forty-acre tract of land known as the old Case 
farm, a property that had suffered from considerable neglect. It is now 
a beautiful estate, Mr. Moyer having spent fully ten thousand dollars in 
improving it. He also has a winter home at Detroit. 

At Ballston Springs, New York, Mr. Moyer was married to Miss 
Carrie Green, who was born at Cohoes, New York, a daughter of Charles 
and Janet Green, both of whom are deceased. The father died from 
exposure as a soldier in the Civil war. To Mr. and Mrs. Moyer one 
daughter was born, Ida May, who was carefully educated and subse- 
quently married R. W. Hine, who is secretary to the president of the 
Larrowe Construction Company of Detroit, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. 
Moyer attend the Baptist church at Walled Lake. He is interested in 
many movements and organizations of a public nature, as is inevitably 
the case with a representative and intelligent business man, and frater- 
nally is connected with both the Masons and the Elks. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 727 

Henry A. Aderholdt. The good stock that existed in the ancestry 
of Henry A. Aderholdt, of Pontiac, Michigan, is evidenced by the fact 
that his parents are still living, — a circumstance which is a great joy to 
Mr. Aderholdt, who is himself past fifty-three. His honored father is 
now almost eighty-two years of age, and is passing his declining years at 
Detroit, where he is comfortably situated and surrounded with all that 
makes life pleasant. 

Henry A. Aderholdt was born in Detroit, March 25, 1859, but his 
parents were natives of Germany. They are August and Charlotte 
(Bloom) Aderholdt, the former of whom came to America when he 
was twenty-five years old. The lady who became his wife in after years 
was but twelve years old when she arrived on American soil. The senior 
Aderholdt was a maltster by trade, working in a brewery, and he followed 
this line of work for a quarter of a century, then took up farming, which 
he pursued with vigor and success until his retirement in 1892. They 
became the parents of nine children, as follows: Henry A., of this brief 
review; Mary, who is the widow of Godfried Gierke, of Utica, Michi- 
gan; Conrad, located in Wisconsin; Charles, of Detroit, a grocer and 
saloon keeper; August, who is deceased; Elizabeth, the wife of John 
Ochs, of Detroit; Emilie, also deceased; Christopher, of Detroit; and 
Anna, the wife of Albert Wathmeister, of Detroit. 

At the early age of sixteen Henry A. Aderholdt took up farming, 
but continued in the work only a short time, when he turned to other 
occupations. In 1891 he came to Pontiac, here buying twelve acres, in 
the southeast part of the city. He built a fine two-story house, with 
suitable barns and sheds, and in 1894 settled down to the business of 
truck farming, a business of which he has made a splendid success from 
the start. His own native industry and skill in the work have been the 
foundation of his prosperity in this business, and no little aid has come 
from the circumstance of his ideal location for such a project. 

Previous to his becoming established in his truck farming, Mr. Ader- 
holdt and his faithful wife saw some hardships, the like of which many 
a family experienced in those days, and it is by no means inconsistent 
that some mention of their early struggles be incorporated in this sketch 
of their lives. 

Following his marriage in 1882, Mr. Aderholdt worked on a farm 
for a wage as small as sixteen dollars a month, including fuel and house 
rent. This was on a farm at Pine Lake, the place being known as the 
Hodges farm. Later he moved with his family to Pontiac, where he 
secured work in the knitting mill at a wage of $1.25 a day. When he 
left there he went to Albion, Michigan, and they remained in that city 
for a year, out of which time Mr. Aderholdt was able to secure not more 
than nine months of work. Those were the days of great financial 
depression, and there was a common saying that a man "couldn't buy a 
job." After their experience in Albion they returned to Pontiac and 
began over again. For a while Mr. Aderholdt worked around by the 
day at whatever he could find to do, a dollar a day being the prevailing 
wage at that time. Later he was so fortunate as to get into the knitting 
mill as contractor, and while there he made from $50 to $75 and once as 
high as $103 a month. This piece of good luck continued for some time, 
when the former contractor came back and resumed his old position, 
leaving Mr. Aderholdt once more thrown upon his own resources. With 
praiseworthy thriftiness, the family had saved a few hundreds from 



728 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

their earnings in previous months, and thus were enabled to purchase 
two acres of the land which represents their present home and the 
course of their fortunes. He partially paid for this land, then rented it 
out, and with his family moved on what was known at that time as the 
D. M. Ferry Seed Farm. There he worked for three years, after which 
he purchased an additional ten acres adjoining the two acres he had 
previously secured. With this added debt upon the family every member 
was spurred on to greater efforts to clear themselves from debt and 
become the real owners of a home of their own. It was but a few 
short years before they had realized their hope and they are to-day 
financially independent, able to take their ease in their declining years, 
should they feel so disposed. 

The marriage of Mr. Aderholdt took place on October 19, 1882, 
when Miss Wilhelmina Hagermann became his bride. She is the daugh- 
ter of Fred and Caroline (Meitzner) Hagermann, who were natives of 
Germany and both of whom are now deceased. They came to America 
in 1873 ^^^ settled in Massachusetts, proceeding west to Pontiac in 1876. 
The father died in Massachusetts, and the mother passed away in Pontiac 
in 1893. Eight children were born to the Hagermann family: Fred, a 
resident of Albion, Michigan; William, of Pontiac; Charles, also of 
Pontiac; Frederica, deceased; Lewis, of Peoria, Illinois; John, of Ponti- 
ac; Wilhelmina, the wife of Henry A. Aderholdt; and Henry, who is 
deceased. 

Mr. and Mrs. Aderholdt have been blessed with six children, all but 
two of whom are living. Josephine, born July 2, 1883; is the wife of 
William Mingst, of Pontiac; Clara, who was born on January 12, 1885, 
married Deforest Belden, of Pontiac; Louisa, born on January 16, 1888, 
is the wife of Howard Allen, of Pontiac; Wilhelmina, born August 5, 
1890, lives at home with her parents; Carolina, who was born May 21, 
1893, ^^^^ September 25, 1893; and Edward, born on the 28th day of 
April, 1899, died on Noveml)er 19th of the same year. 

Mr. Aderholdt and his family are communicants of the German 
Lutheran church. He is a Democrat politically, but not active in that 
way. He is a man just in all his dealings with his fellowmen, caring 
nothing for display or affectations of any sort, and whose dearest 
pleasures are found in his work and his home. He has many friends in 
Pontiac who recognize and appreciate his sterling qualities of mind and 
character. Both he and his wife are the possessors of fairly good 
health, and if that blessing continues may decide to remain engaged in 
the business for a few years yet, but they feel that they have earned a 
rest and if an opportunity to dispose of their little truck farm to good 
advantage presents itself, it is possible they may avail themselves of it 
and retire from active business life. 

Stephen M. Gage. On account of the sword being turned into a 
pruning hook, figuratively speaking, many sections of the United States 
were rapidly developed directly after the close of the Civil war, and 
Oakland county, Michigan, felt the impetus given all over the country 
by the returning soldiers who were tired of war and ready to appre- 
ciate the blessings awaiting in the peaceful pursuit of agriculture. From 
Oakland county had gone out many young men in the flower of youth, 
some of these, alas, never returning, but those who were so fortunate, 
in a large number of cases, hastened to acquire land even while ready 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 729 

to invest in other lines of business at the same time. Such an one was 
Stephen M. Gao-e, who has been postmaster at Walled Lake, Michigan, 
since 1889 ^^^^ who has continuously engaged in farming, and in an 
extensive way, since 1865. ^^i'- Gage was born in Lyon township, Oak- 
land county, Michigan, July 7, 1841, and is a son of David and Melinda 
(Brown) Gage. Both parents were born in New York and were reared, 
educated and married there, coming to Michigan in 1834 and settling 
on 160 acres of land which, in 1833, David Gage had pre-empted from 
the government in Lyon township, Oakland county. 

Stephen M. Gage was reared in usual country-boy fashion on the 
home farm, attending the district schools during the winters and giv- 
ing assistance at home during the other seasons, and when eighteen 
years old entered the Michigan State Normal school, where he remained 
a student for one year. During the winter that he was twenty years 
old he taught Roahbacher district school in Lyon township. In July, 
1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, on August 12th of that 
year being enrolled as a member of Company B, Twentieth Regiment, 
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and soon after enlistment was made cor- 
poral. In June, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and on 
January i, 1864, was made acting orderly sergeant, and continued to 
serve until he was honorably discharged, July 12, 1865, having parti- 
cipated in all the dangers to which his regiment had been exposed dur- 
ing this long interim. More than forty-seven years of quiet and peace- 
ful life have intervened, but it is not difficult to arouse the old en- 
thusiasm when the stirring events of that troubled four years are re- 
called, and those days of danger and hardship, of victory and defeat, 
of rejoicing and lamentation, Mr. Gage frequently talks over with his 
comrades who also belong to the Heber Lafavor Post, Grand Army of 
the Republic, at Mil ford, Michigan. 

When Mr. Gage returned to Oakland county he took charge of the 
home farm and operated it for one year. In 1867 he purchased a farm 
in Lyon township, on which he lived for a time and then sold, after- 
ward buying a farm in Commerce township, near Walled Lake, and 
this property he still owns, although in 1876 he moved to Walled Lake, 
wdiere he embarked in a general mercantile business, in partnership with 
Charles Woodman. Three months later Mr. Gage became sole propri- 
etor and remained alone in the business for a time, and afterward his 
father became his partner and the store was carried on by them until 
the death of the father in 1885. Mr. Gage admitted no other partner, 
but continued the business by himself until October, 19TI, when he sold 
to the firm of Parmalee & Hoyt. As a merchant he had been equally 
as successful as a farmer, and in business circles his name has contin- 
uously stood for honesty, uprightness and true justice. In 1889 Mr. 
Gage was appointed postmaster at Walled Lake, and has continued to 
serve in this office, even under Democratic administrations. Through 
his efforts in IQ02 he secured two rural mail deliveries from this point. 

During the closing year of the Civil war, while his regiment was 
stationed at New York, he secured a furlough home and during this 
period, on April to, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Jennie 
A. Wilson, who was born at Salem, Michigan, and is a daughter of 
George M. and Maria (Neives) Wilson, who were born in New York, 
where the father was a farmer and drover. Two daughters were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Gage, namely : Minnie Alice and Helen F. The former 



730 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

is the wife of John B. Strong, who is in the employ of the Riverside 
Water Company, of Riverside, Cahfornia, and they have five children : 
Stephen F., Harold A., Jennie H., Amy H. and Helen G. The second 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gage, Helen F., is the wife of Albert J. 
Church, who is a contracting plumber, in business at Pontiac, Michigan. 
They have one son, Benjamin C. 

Mr. Gage has always been an interested citizen wherever he has re- 
sided and has frequently been called upon to accept public responsibil- 
ities. For three years he served as township treasurer of Lyon town- 
ship, for twelve years was township clerk of Commerce township, dur- 
ing one year was supervisor of Commerce township and for twenty- 
five years was a notary public, his seal appearing on many very im- 
portant documents. He is numbered with the substantial and repre- 
sentative men of Oakland county. 

Abraham Mosher. Every part and period of life this venerable and 
venerated citizen of Novi, Oakland county, Michigan, is interesting and 
worthy of record, but the most tragic part of his history is perhaps the 
most interesting in incident and fruitful in suggestiveness. This was 
the time he passed in the Union army at the beginning of the Civil 
war. When the disastrous sectional strife began in this country he was 
living at Highland, this county, where he had purchased a farm a few 
years before. His experience in the army is interesting in incident, be- 
cause, although short, it was crowded with events of the most trying 
character. And it is fruitful in suggestiveness because it gives such 
strong proofs of his force of character and faithful devotion to duty. 

Enjoying as he was the life of peaceful industry to which he had 
decided to devote himself, at almost the first sound of war's alarms he 
left all, home, family and material interests, to hurry to his country's 
defense, enlisting on June 6, 1861, in Company H, Fourth Michigan 
Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Funk, in whose command he was 
enrolled at Adrian and credited to White Lake township, Oakland county. 
With his regiment he was early on the field of carnage, taking part in 
the first battle of Bull Run, one of the earliest engagements of the war. 
He also participated in the battles of Fairfax Court House and Mine 
Run, and remained with his regiment until June 5, 1862, bearing a val- 
iant and worthy share in all its marches,^ battles and skirmishes. 

On the date last mentioned he was placed in a field hospital at 
White House Landing, Virginia, ill with a serious attack of typhoid 
fever. When he had so far recovered as to make his removal safe he 
was transferred to a regular hospital in Detroit, in which he remained 
until July 7, 1862, and was then pronounced by the doctors at that in- 
stitution unfit for further service, and was discharged. He paid dearly 
for his military service, however, short as it was, for the ravages of 
the fever lingered in his system and enfeebled his health for many 
years afterward. 

On his discharge from the army he returned to his farm at High- 
land which he had left with such patriotic fervor and high hopes of 
usefulness, and perhaps some commingling of ambition for military 
glory, a strong man in the very prime of his maturity, and to which he 
came back almost a physical wreck. He has passed the rest of his 
years to this time on farms, as actively engaged in farming as his health 
would permit, and with as much prosperity and progress as he was 
able to win in the years of his weakened activity. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 731 

Mr. Mosher was born at Hillsdale, Columbia county, New York, 
on September 3, 1833, ^ son of Asa and Orlantha Jane (Ford) Mosher, 
who also were farmers in a comfortable state of wordly establish- 
ment. But the parents seem to have had a longing for the west and 
its greater opportunities, and when their son Abraham was three years 
old they moved to Lockport, New York, then located in almost as much 
of a wilderness as they found Michigan to be when they moved to this 
state in 1854. Mr. Mosher began and completed his education at Lock- 
port, and remained with his parents until he reached the age of twenty- 
one, when he came with the rest of the family to Michigan, and soon 
afterward located at Highland. 

He bought the farm of eighty acres here of which mention has been 
made, and remained on it until 1875. He then sold that farm and 
moved to another which he bought near Hazelton in Shiawassee county. 
His health was still poor from the effects of the fever he had in the 
army, and finding the work of farming too laborious for his strength 
he sold his farm in 1880 and bought a home at Montrose, Genesee 
county, which he occupied until 1886, when he sold this and changed his 
residence to Gladwin, Gladwin county, where he lived two years. At 
the end of that period he changed again, locating at Fenton, and a 
little later came to Novi, where he and one of his brothers purchased a 
small farm, and where he has lived ever since. 

On March 27, 1856, Mr. Mosher was united in marriage with Miss 
Amanda Cornwell, of Highland, who also was born in Columbia county. 
New York, and is the daughter of Wilbur and Sylvia (Mosher) Corn- 
well. They came to Michigan in 1843 and took up their residence at 
Highland, where they passed the remainder of their days zealously en- 
gaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Mosher became the parents of four 
children. Cornelia, the first born, married John Dunham, a farmer at 
Highland, where both died a number of years ago. Harriet Elsie is the 
wife of John Eno, a farmer from Milford. They have one child, their 
son Charles, and now live in Owosso. Susan Amanda is the .wife of 
Schuyler Rouge, who lived at Durand at the time of his marriage. They 
now have a large farm in Midland county and a family of six children. 
The last born of the Mosher children, May Elizabeth, never married, 
and died at the age of thirty years. 

As a further proof of the patriotism of the Mosher family it should 
be stated that Mr. Mosher had three brothers in the Union army dur- 
ing the Civil war: James, who served four years: Nathaniel, who 
served in the army six years in all, and William, who served during the 
last year of the war. j\Ir. Mosher has kept alive the memories of the 
war, without any of the bitterness that characterized its progress, by 
active membership in Allen M. Harmon Post, No. 318, Grand Army of 
the Republic, at Northville. He is also a member of the Union Veteran 
Legion and the National League of Veterans and Sons. In politics he 
has always belonged to the Republican party, and in church matters he 
is independent. His worth as a man, his usefulness and high char- 
acter as a citizen, his fidelity to every duty and his enterprise and pro- 
gressiveness in regard to the welfare of his community and all the in- 
terests of its residents have endeared him to the people around him, 
and made him an example to all in sterling and sturdy American man- 
hood of an elevated type. 



732 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Mrs. Jane McCrumb Hewitt, whose maiden name was Jane Wil- 
liams, and one of the lovable devoted women of Novi, Michigan, who for 
many years has stood high in the affections of a wide circle of friends, 
was born at Royal Oak, Oakland county, Michigan, in 1837, and is a 
daughter of John and Mary Ann (McGraw) Williams. 

Mrs. Hewitt's father was born in the Dominion of Canada and her 
mother in New York, and they came to Michigan in 1835, locating in 
Detroit. John Williams was a carpenter and builder by vocation, and in 
1837 erected for the Grand Trunk Railway its first depot at Royal Oak, 
also putting up the first frame house at that place during the same year. 
In 1854 Jane Williams was married to Josiah McCrumb, of Novi, and 
they began keeping house in a log home, Mr. McCrumb starting to 
clear the land he had purchased. To this union there were born six 
children, as follows : Delphine, now the wife of William W. Brown, a 
tinsmith of Detroit, by whom she has two children, Arthur and Lee ; 
Augusta, who died at the age of five years ; Helen, who died at the age 
of two and one-half years ; Ida, who passed away at the age of thirteen 
months, dying, like her sisters, of diphtheria, which swept through this 
section at that time ; Bert L., a wagon maker and blacksmith of Tuscola, 
and one of Tuscola county's prominent politicians and business men, 
who married Ella Dean, of Tuscola, and has three children, Gerald J., 
Iva and Preston ; and Myron B., born August 6, 1870, educated at 
Novi, learned his trade here and has always resided in this place, where 
he married Lizzie Abby, of Novi, and has had one child, Frederick, 
born in 1893 and educated at Novi and now making his home with his 
grandmother. The father of the foregoing children died in 1896, at 
the age of sixty-seven years, and in 1899 ^^S- McCrumb was married 
to Theodore Hewitt, an artist and painter, who survived only until 1902. 

Ever since beginning housekeeping Mrs. Hewitt has not been obliged 
to move, and still owns a part of the original farm, her son Myron B. 
making his home with her and managing the old homestead. He is a 
valued member of the Gleaners and the Foresters of America, and holds 
a first-class license as a stationary engineer, in addition to having suc- 
cessfully passed a mechanic's examination. He has taken an active 
interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his community, is well 
posted on matters of general public importance, and has served his 
county as deputy sheriff. This is one of the old and honored families 
of this section of the state, Mr. McCrumb's great-uncle, Thomas Mc- 
Graw, being one of the first merchants of Novi, where he located in 
1847. Subsequently he became identified with the wool industry, and 
at one time, through successful manipulation, cornered the wool mar- 
ket and earned the title of ''Wool King of Michigan." 

Too much praise cannot be accorded this pioneer mother, Mrs. Jane 
Hewitt, who has lived through so much and to whom many owe count- 
less deeds of kindness and loving sympathy. In sickness or other trou- 
ble, she has always been in the front rank of those who minister, and as 
long as she lives she will be honored and loved. 

Charles E. Holmes. One of the leading business establishments 
of Novi, Oakland county, which has carried on successful operations in 
groceries, meats and fruits, and also in the buying and shipping of live- 
stock, during the past fifteen years, is that of Edward C. Holmes & Son, 
the members of which have been long and favoral)ly known to the peo- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 733 

pie of this part of the state. The senior partner, Edward C. Holmes, has 
for thirty years been engaged in buying and shipping stock, prior to 
which he was engaged in taking droves of cattle over the road to De- 
troit. Prior to Michigan's admission to statehood the Holmes family 
w^as founded within its borders by the parents of Edward C. Holmes, 
who came from New York and took up land from the government. 
Edward C. Holmes married Maria Chase, whose parents were also na- 
tives of the Empire state and came from Buffalo, New York, in a sail- 
ing vessel to Detroit, and thence by ox team to what is now Walled 
Lake, there settling on land secured from the government. The fam- 
ily was for many years engaged in agricultural pursuits and in cattle 
dealing, and some of its members were called on at different times to 
fill public office. 

Charles E. Holmes, son of Edward C. and Maria (Chase) Holmes, 
and junior member of the firm, was born in Commerce township, Oak- 
land county, Michigan, July 15, 1882. He gained what educational ad- 
vantages were to be derived from the course of study in the district 
schools, this training having since been supplemented by close observa- 
tion, much experience and beneficial reading. On completing his school 
course he at once engaged in business with his father, and in 1897 was 
organized the firm of Edward C. Holmes & Son, which has continued 
in business to the ])resent time, controlling a large share of the trade 
in Novi and the surrounding country in groceries, meats and fruits, 
and also doing a large business in the Detroit markets in shipping cat- 
tle. Mr. Holmes is a member of the Odd Fellows, in which he has 
passed all the chairs, and is also the incumbent of the office of captain 
general in the Loyal Guards. In political matters he is a Republican, 
but up to this time public life has held out no attractions for him, and 
he has been satisfied to devote his time and attention to his business. 

In 1900 Mr. Holmes was united in marriage with Miss Alydia 
Smith, of Xovi, born in this city, daughter of Augustus A. and Mabel 
(Woodworth) Smith, natives of Michigan. Four children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, namely : Oril May, born in February, 
1904; Hiram H., born in October, 1906; C. Elmer, born in September, 
1908; and Edward A., born in February, 1910. Mr. Holmes possesses 
a marked degree of ability, and his success in life may be attributed to 
this and to the fact that he has never shirked hard work, but has been 
willing and glad to do his full duty. i\ny movements which have been 
promoted with the purpose of bringing about better conditions in his 
community have always been sure of his support, and he is justly con- 
ceded to be one of his section's progressive young business men. 

Charles M. McLaren. Some men are distinguished by their strict 
integrity and the honorable methods they use in the conduct of their 
business affairs, and for these reasons are respected by all who come 
in contact with them, for their associates know they can be trusted to 
give every one a sc|uare deal. Charles M. McLaren is one of the young 
business men of Novi, where he is a member of the firm of J. D. Mc- 
Laren & Company, leading merchants and dealers in all kinds of farm- 
ers' produce, grain and wool. Mr. McLaren w-as born on a farm in 
Plymouth township, Oakland county, Michigan, February 2"^, 1881, his 
parents being L D and Amy (Van Fleet) McLaren. 

The McLaren family, as its name suggests, is of pure Scotch an- 



734 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

cestry, the great-grandfather of Charles i\I. McLaren coming to America 
from that country at an early day and settling at Lima Center, Mich- 
igan, where his son, the grandfather of Charles M., was born. He be- 
came greatly interested in real estate investments, and at one time 
owned every fifth section of Isabella county, Michigan, including the 
land on which is located the county seat, Mount Pleasant. Charles M. 
McLaren received his education in the district schools and the high 
school at Plymouth, and on completing his education joined the firm of 
J. D. McLaren & Sons, this company consisting of the father, J. D. 
McLaren, and Charles M., James W., John J. and George H. Mc- 
Laren. The firm owns and operates elevators at Plymouth, South 
Lyon, Novi, Wixom, Romulus, Clare, Ionia, Collins, Charlotte, Olivet, 
Oxford, Waterville and Salem. The elevator in Novi was built by 
David McGill, J. D. McLaren becoming the owner in 1897, and four 
years later Charles M. McLaren took charge at this place. For the year 
191 1 he purchased 17,000 bushels of wheat, 25,000 pounds of wool and 
30,000 bushels of potatoes, in addition to which he carries a large stock 
of cement, tile, fertilizer and seed grains, this giving some idea of the 
amount of business carried on here. The elevator of Plymouth is man- 
aged by J. D., John J. and George H. McLaren, that at Wixom by 
James W. McLaren, and the one at South Lyon by Ed Kennedy, a 
son-in-law. All enjoy enviable reputations in the business world, being 
known as men of ability integrity and good judgment. 

Charles M. McLaren was married to Miss Mattie Erwin, of Novi, 
Michigan, daughter of William and Augusta (Coleman) Erwin, pros- 
perous farming people and natives of Michigan. Mrs. McLaren was 
born in Novi and attended high school at Northville. 

It has always been the aim of the McLarens to keep out of politics, 
and Charles M. has positively declined to accept public preferment of 
any kind. His father, however, has been compelled to serve as council- 
man of Plymouth on several occasions, having been nominated and 
elected without his knowledge while away from home looking after his 
chain of elevators. A young man of much more than ordinary ability, 
Charles M. McLaren is making rapid headway in his chosen field of 
endeavor, and his many friends are predicting, not without cause, a 
successful career for him in the world of business and finance. He is 
progressive and enterprising in all matters, and takes a public-spirited 
interest in all matters that affect his community or its citizens. 

L. E. Cpiamberlin is recognized throughout Oakland county and 
Orion, where he has made his home for the past quarter century, as 
one of the leading men of the district. In an agricultural way he has 
long held a prominent place in the ranks of farming men, and he has 
accomplished much for the county in the way of development and has 
added something to the agricultural wealth of the district as a result 
of his years of labor in that direction. 

Born in Tiffin, Ohio, March 4, 1852, Mr. Chamberlin is the son of 
Jeremiah and Martha (Baker) Chamberlin. The father was a native 
of New York state and the mother of Ohio. In i860 Jeremiah Chamber- 
lin came to Grand Rapids, returning to Tiffin, Ohio, in 1864, and in 1871 
he moved to Romeo, where he engaged in the practice of his profession, 
that of medicine, until death removed him from his labors in Septem- 
ber, 1888. The mother died on April 2, 191 1. Dr. and Mrs. Chamberlin 




c^./^y^uA^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 735 

became the parents of fivo; children, of which number L. E. Chamberlin 
of this review was the eldest. Mary became the wife of A. D. Skeels 
and is living in Detroit. Wellington, William and Jerry are deceased. 

The schooling which Mr. Chamberlin received as a boy was of a 
limited order, but continued until he was eighteen years of age, when 
he took up farming on his own responsibility. He continued in that 
w^ork, and when he was twenty-five years of age he bought a farm of 
eighty acres, eventually adding to it until he had become the owner of 
the original tract of two hundred and forty acres. He now owns three 
hundred and forty-five acres of the most fertile and valua])le land in 
the county, and he is busily engaged in carrying on the general farming 
for which Oakland county is noted. Mr. Chamberlin is a most success- 
ful stock-raiser as well as making a specialty of peaches and apples, having 
about thirty acres in orchard, and he is regarded as one of the most 
prosperous men of his township today. 

On February 21, 1877, Mr. Chamberlin married Julia Oxford, the 
daughter of Ogden S. and Diana (Sessen) Oxford, who were the parents 
of five children. Besides Mrs. Chamberlin there were : Ellen, the wife 
of Judd King, of Orion; Grant M., also of Orion; Bert A., of Detroit; 
and Oda, the wife of Fred K. Miller, of Detroit. The mother passed 
away on July 7, 1894, ^^^^ the father died on ATarch 20, 191 1. Mr. and 
Mrs. Chamberlin became the parents of seven children. They are 
named as follows : Mattie D., the wife of John Braid ; Grant A., who 
lives at home; Vernet L., of Pontiac, Michigan; Nellie J., the wife of 
Howard A. Hagerman, of Macomb county ; Leola, the wife of G. Gill- 
espie, of Pontiac, Michigan; Ogden, living at home, as is also Alarion. 

Mr. Chamberlin is an independent with relation to his political views, 
and is without political ambition. He has held various minor township 
offices, and is never lax in fulfilling the duties of a good citizen. The 
family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Andrew P. Glaspif.. The l)lood of patriots courses in the veins of 
Andrew P. Glaspie, of Oxford, and for three generations his people 
have contributed to sustaining the integrity of their country. His grand- 
father, his father and he, himself, saw service in the army, and each 
one possesses a record unblemished for devoted and conscientious serv- 
ice. When on Memorial Day the files go past, the members of the 
Glaspie family may hearken back, not alone to the days of the Civil 
war, but to the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary war, 

Henry Glaspie, father of Andrew, w^as in the War of 1812; his 
father before him saw service in 1776, and his son, Andrew B., served 
in the Spanish-American war. Andrew enlisted in June, 1861, in Com- 
pany H, the Seventh Michigan Infantry, and was sworn in on August 
22. He served three years and two days, became corporal and was 
sergeant when mustered out. He was wounded at Antietam by a shell 
and was also wounded at Fredericksburg, being one of the 142 soldiers 
who crossed the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg. Besides Mr. Glas- 
pie there were twenty-five men who enlisted from Oxford. He was 
wounded at Chancellorsville, and was sent to the Turner Lane Hospital 
in Philadelphia. At the conclusion of his term of service he was mus- 
tered out at Detroit. 

On resuming his civilian status Mr. Glaspie returned to Oxford and 
engaged in the fur and wool business, which he has followed ever 



736 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

since. He was also in the grocery business for five years and for ten 
years in the gentlemen's furnishings line. With this latter business he 
started a knitting factory, which he conducted for ten years, after- 
wards engaging in the clothing line. 

Mr. Glaspie was born in Macomb county, March i8, 1842, a son of 
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Glaspie. His mother's name was Harnett (Bab- 
cock) Glaspie, and she was the widow of William Dennison, of New 
York. Both she and Mr. Glaspie were natives of the Empire state. 
The senior Glaspie died when the subject of this sketch was but four 
years old. His mother died in 1876. On coming to Michigan in 1835 
they located in Macomb county, coming to Oxford after Mr. Glaspie's 
death. There were two children, Andrew being the elder. His sister, 
Amanda Jane, who became the wife of S. R. Stanton, is now deceased. 
Mr. Stanton is a resident of Oxford. It was in 1853 that the family 
moved to Oxford. Andrew Glaspie was adopted by his half brother, 
William Glaspie, when four years old, at the time of his father's death, 
and he remained with the latter until at the age of eighteen years he 
departed to join the Union forces. 

In addition to his business activities Mr. Glaspie has served as post- 
master of Oxford. He received his appointment under President Ben- 
jamin Harrison, but the choice was left to the residents of the com- 
munity, as there were seven people who figured as aspirants for the 
place. Strangely enough, that was the lucky figure for Mr. Glaspie, 
for he carried the election by seven votes. He held the office for five 
years, and built the new furnishings for the place. On leaving the of- 
fice he resumed the clothing business, which he had still retained during 
the time that he was a federal appointee. He sold the business in 1903 
and is now retired from active life. He owns the building in which his 
store was conducted, his residence and another house. 

Amy E. Bird, daughter of WiUiam S., and Amy (Lundy) Bird, be- 
came the bride of Mr. Glaspie on January 9, 1870. Her parents were 
New Jersey people who came to Michigan in 1832 and located in La- 
peer county. They had ten children, now all deceased with the excep- 
tion of the wife of the subject. Her father was a miller by trade. The 
three children who came to gladden the home of Mr. and Mrs. Glaspie 
are all living. They are: A. B., who is postmaster at Oxford; Harriet 
L., wife of C. E. Martin, of Detroit; and Philo B., of Detroit. The 
latter is engaged extensively in the coal business. 

Mr. Glaspie is a Republican in politics and has been treasurer of 
the village. He was treasurer of the Baptist church for over sixtr^ 
years. His only fraternal connection is with the Grand Army of the 
Republic, and he is proud of the fact that he was one of the organizers, 
or the first one to sign the charter, of Frank Powell Post G. A. R., and 
is now the only representative here that assisted in it organization. 
His religious membership is in the Baptist church. 

Almon C. Wilson is numbered among the successful agriculturalists 
of Oakland township, being one of the number who farm on a large 
scale. His place comprises two hundred and seventy acres, well situated 
and excellently developed. Under his expert direction it returns splendid 
crops and in addition is the scene of extensive live stock raising. Mr. 
Wilson believes in constantly improving the strain of his cattle, and 
the output of the farm brings correspondingly flattering prices. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 737 

Mr. Wilson is a native of Oakland township, being born on a farm 
in section i6 on June 17, 1886. His father, Charles R. Wilson, now 
deceased, was a native of New Jersey. He located in Oakland township 
in 1878 and followed farming until his death on August 25, 1909. His 
wife was Julia Frost, a Michigan girl, who still survives. Their progeny 
were three in number, Ray G., of Oakland; Almon; and Eva M., who 
is the wife of Roy Young, of Oakland county. 

On completing the high school course at Orion, Almon C. Wilson 
took up farming, and in 1910 bought the home place of two hundred 
and seventy acres. As has been mentioned he specializes in fine live- 
stock in addition to the usual lines of general farming. His wife was 
before her marriage Miss Lillian E. Knott. They were married on 
March 3, 1909, and she died just a year and a day later. She w^as a 
daughter of P. R. and Hetty E. (Lester) Knott, natives of Oakland 
county, who were the parents of two children, Lester, who is at home, 
and Lillian, whose untimely death was a sad blow not only to the be- 
reaved families but to the community which had known her happy nature. 
Mr. Wilson adheres to the tenets of the Republican party. 

The maternal grandfather of our subject, Almon C. Frost, who is 
nearing four score and ten, is one of the most remarkable examples of 
the pioneer to be found in Michigan. This grand old man embodies in 
his early life the history of the westward trend that peopled the central 
and lake states with such sturdy, upright and desirable people. Born 
in New York in 1826, he came to Michigan at an early date, driving all 
the way with an ox-team, and entered a farm from the government. 
He built a log house from timber that he cleared from its site, then 
leveled the forest around until he had fields ready for planting when 
he broke up the ground with his oxen. On this farm was an Indian 
burying ground, known in the early days to the tribes for leagues around. 
The venerable Mr. Frost is now living in Orion, and his legion of 
friends hope that he may be spared for many a day. 

John James Snook. Soldier, agriculturalist, poet and jurist, John 
James Snook, of Rochester, presents in his personality an interesting 
composite, illustrative of the qualities of his ancestors and those dis- 
tinctive traits which have made him a notable figure. At seventy he is 
as vigorous mentally and physically as most men of half his years, and 
he employs his manifold talents in useful ways, so that his fellow man 
has cause to rejoice in all his words and actions. Coming of a long 
line of sturdy, industrious, patriotic people, he embodies the type of 
pioneer who overcame all obstacles, natural or conditional, who triumphed 
over the wilderness and planted the fertile farm and reared the thriving 
city. In the castles of mediaeval days the' nobles sat about the fire and 
recounted the heroic deeds of their ancestors, and thrilled with the men- 
tion of their deeds of valor, their conquests and their examples of en- 
durance. In the annals of the Snook family there are just as thrilling 
incidents, just as notable occurrences, and the descendants dwell with 
pride upon the honorable record left by those whom they are proud to 
call their forebears. 

Born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, April 16, 1842, John James Snook 
was a son of James H. and Sarah (Axtell) Snook, the former a native 
of England and the latter of New Jersey. His father came to America 
wdien he was six months old, and his mother took him back to Eng- 



788 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

land on a visit when he was two years of age. On the return trip they 
were shipwrecked on the coast of New Jersey, lost all their possessions 
and narrowly escaped with their lives. The family came to Michigan 
in 1836 and Mr. Snook ran the first steam sawmill in eastern Michigan. 
After three years so engaged he took two contracts on the Clinton-Kala- 
mazoo canal. He was the only contractor on the entire canal who would 
not allow whiskey to be brought on the works for his men, considering 
that it was detrimental as well as being something to which he was 
fundamentally opposed. After leaving the canal work he bought four 
hundred acres of land on speculation. The last twelve year^ of his life 
he was postmaster at Mt. Clemens, in which place he passed away on 
July 8, 1880. The date of his birth was 1817. His wife died in 1902. 
She was born in INIarch, 181 8, and like her husband, was a member of 
the Presbyterian church. John James, the subject of this sketch, was 
the eldest of their seven children, the others being: Marsy S., de- 
ceased; Nancy Kate, deceased; Rufus A., born August 9, 1846, died 
May 10, 1864; George J. H., born April 20, 1852, died April 27, 1881 ; 
Samuel C. M., born August 3, 1855, died February 9, 1858; James E., 
of Greeley, Colorado. George Snook was one of a party of four that 
went fishing on the St. Clair lake, April 27, 1881, and all were lost. 
He was postmaster of Mt. Clemens at that time, being the second gen- 
eration in the family to hold that position. 

At the age of sixteen, John James Snook went to New York city 
and lived with an uncle for six months and then was on the farm until 
eighteen. He then taught school two miles north of Mt. Clemens for 
one winter. He also had ])rivate tuition and was later in Rochester 
Academy. When nineteen he went to Canada as overseer in the oil 
region. 

He enlisted in the Twenty-second Michigan \^olunteer Infantry, 
under Captain Ashley, and afterward served under other captains. His 
enlistment for the Civil war was on August 15, 1862, and he was honor- 
ably discharged July 11, 1865. From private he was promoted to 
corporal, then to sergeant, then became drill sergeant and acted as com- 
missary sergeant for a time. He was further advanced to sergeant major 
and filled this position at the time he was mustered out. When still a 
private, Captain Wicks came to him and tried to get him to be his 
orderly, but he would not accept, but went to the front with his rifle 
just the same. His brother Rufus died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, dur- 
ing the war, and John James nursed him faithfully during his illness. 

After the war he returned to Mt. Clemens and bought one hundred 
and thirty-eight acres of land, and in addition rented two farms, of 
forty and two hundred acres respectively, working these for five years. 
He sold his holdings for $7,000 and went to Washington township, 
where he had bought one hundred and seven acres, and lived on this 
tract for eleven years, moving at the expiration of that period to Avon 
township. Here he bought two hundred acres, known as the "Overlook 
Farm." He still owns one hundred and thirty acres. In April, 1909, 
he moved into Rochester, where he owns a nice residence at 203 Wahiut 
avenue. 

Mr. Snook married Ella Davis on Christmas Day, 1866, and by this 
union there were six children born, all of whom are living. They are: 
Nellie M., who is at home on the farm ; J. Eugene, a Presbyterian minis- 
ter in Chicago ; John H., a Presbyterian minister in Detroit, who is also 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 739 

connected with the Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Children; Bur- 
ton D., a Congregational minister at Alba, Michigan; Clarence G., of 
Birmingham; and Arthur L., who is on the old home place. 

Mr. Snook's wife died September 30, 1904, and he took for his 
second wife Mrs. Henry M. Look, whose husband died April 3, 1894. 
He was born October 2y, 1837, and was a lawyer of considerable promi- 
nence. Admitted to the bar in 1859, he practiced extensively in the 
United States courts to 1867. He was a member of the state legislature 
in 1865 and 1866, and served as prosecuting attorney of Oakland county 
in 1871 and 1872. He was a writer of wide reputation. His family 
originated in Scotland and in addition to the activities previously men- 
tioned he was prosecuting attorney of Port Huron, Michigan, for a 
term. Mrs. Snook's maiden name was Sarah A. Lintz, and she was a 
daughter of Simon and Elizabeth (Wenner) Lintz, both natives of 
Pennsylvania. She took for her first husband Edgar Ewell, and they 
had three children: Emery P., who became a farmer and is now de- 
ceased; wSamuel D., deceased; and Ervin E., who graduated from Ann 
Arbor and who is now deceased. There is a granddaughter, Agnes 
Ewell, living in Duluth, Minnesota. 

In politics Mr. Snook is independent. He was justice of the peace 
for eight years in Macomb county and held the same office for a similar 
period in Oakland county. The first year he located in Oakland county 
he was nominated on the Republican ticket as supervisor, but declined 
the preferment. He is president now of two farmers clubs, one in 
Washington township and the other in Troy township. Brought up in 
the Presbyterian faith, he is now affiliated with the Congregational church. 
In social circles he is a Mason and a Granger. 

j\Ir. Snook wields a facile pen, many of his compositions attracting 
extended notice. Among these might be mentioned "Centennial Trip 
in Rhyme," ''Soldiers In Southern Mountains," "Water: Its Properties, 
Peculiarities and Paradoxes," "Good Will Tokens," "California Trip," 
"New Poems and Glad Outings." The latter is a compilation of one 
hundred sprightly poems. 

John Garung, living on Rural Route No. i out of Goodison, has 
in his life reverted from the latter-day calling to the original occupa- 
tion. From operating a flour mill and handling the product of the soil 
he determined to go back to the soil itself and raise grain. He did so 
and has never regretted it, meeting with good success and enjoying 
excellent health. 

K native of Germany, John Garling was born December 31, 1852. 
His parents were Joseph and Lena (Fellman) Garling, both natives of 
Germany, and who have both been called to eternal rest. Besides John 
there w^as but one other child, a daughter, Minnie, who still lives in 
Germany. Serving his stint of three years in the German army, Mr. 
Garling took up flour milling and mastered the various processes while 
in the old country. On coming to America he located in Macomb county, 
Michigan, in 1883. Five years later he took up farming and in 1902 
bought one hundred and tw^enty acres in section 8 of Oakland township, 
where he still resides and tills the soil. 

He was married to Sophie Penc, a daughter of John and Sophia 
Penc, natives of Germany who immigrated to the United States and 
settled at Detroit. The mother still lives there, but the father died at 



740 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

sixty-seven years of age. Their seven children were: Sophie, wife of 
John GarHng; Annie, deceased; Mary, wife of Henry Lute, of Detroit; 
Minnie, wife of Henry Thiel, of Detroit; Wiiham, who is in Germany; 
Carl and Henry, both residents of Detroit. Six children have blessed 
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Garling: Herman, of Macomb; Meta, de- 
ceased; William, of Orion; Minnie, wife of William Tienkill, of Roch- 
ester ; Edith, wife of William Merritt, of Oxford ; and Harry, who is 
with his father. Mr. Garling is a Democrat and a member of the 
Lutheran church. He is regarded as one of the most upright, industrious 
residents of the neighborhood. 

Clayton C. Barnes, one of the younger business men of Rochester, 
is of sturdy New England stock, and back of that traces his ancestry 
through a long line of honorable forebears in old England. He, himself, 
was born in Rochester, Michigan, March 20, 1874, a son of William H. 
and Jemima (Parmelee) Barnes. His paternal great-grandfather came 
to America from England and settled in Connecticut. There Dimon 
Barnes, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born and grew 
CO manhood's estate. 

Dimon Barnes followed farming all his life and achieved a measure 
of success. In 1826 he married Ann E. Blakesley, who was also a 
native of Connecticut, and to their union there were born eight children : 
Laura A.; Lambert A.; William H. (the father of Clayton C.) ; Cyrus 
B. ; George; Charles O. ; Mary and Edward. Dimon Barnes removed 
from Connecticut to Greene county, New York, where his declining 
years were spent. There also his wife died in 1875. 

William H. Barnes w^as born in Cheshire, Connecticut, May 5, 1829, 
and was but two years of age when his parents removed from Con- 
necticut to New York. He was educated in the district schools and 
when eighteen years of age entered a paper mill at West Springfield, 
Massachusetts, where he was steadily employed for three years, after 
which he was for four years with a similar establishment at Suffield, 
Connecticut. After two years in another plant at Erie, Pennsylvania, 
he felt that he had mastered the business thoroughly and might with 
every hope for success embark on such an enterprise for himself. To 
that end he went to Detroit and opened a paper warehouse in 1863. 
The following year he bought the mill in Rochester, which he owned and 
operated up to the time of his death. The business still remains in the 
family and is being ably conducted at present under the capable man- 
agement of Mr. Barnes' nephew, William H. Drace. Mr. Barnes died 
at Jacksonville, Florida, November 20, 1903, and was brought to Rochester 
for burial. 

Clayton C. Barnes grew to manhood in Rochester and received his 
education in the schools of that city. He was associated with his father 
in the paper business, and was a horse dealer for about five years. He 
now owns a large barn and makes his home on the old home place. 

On October 31, 1908, Mr. Barnes was united in marriage with Miss 
Lottie Blanche Erwin, daughter of William Erwin, and one of a family 
of five children — four daughters and a son. The latter became an in- 
valid during the Spanish-American war and while being transported 
back home from the hospital there he died aboard ship and was buried 
at sea. Mr. Barnes is independent in politics. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 741 

Frank H. Lessiter. A prominent and prosperous agriculturist of 
Oakland county, Frank H. Lessiter, of Orion township, is numbered 
among the citizens of good repute and high standing in the community 
where his entire life has been passed. A son of the late John Lessiter, 
he was born in Orion township, February 6, 1862. 

John Lessiter, a native of England, immigrated to America when 
eighteen years old, and came directly to Michigan, locating in Oakland 
county, industrious and thrifty, he accumulated considerable money, and 
when ready to make a permanent settlement bought one hundred and 
twenty acres of land in Orion township, where he subsequently resided 
until his death, which occurred October 21, 1901. Possessing good 
judgment and sound sense, he succeeded well in his agricultural work, 
from time to time adding to his landed possessions until he had a farm 
of four hundred and thirty-six acres, all paid for, and in a fair state of 
tillage. He married Nancy Beardsley, who was born in Michigan and 
here spent her entire life, dying in Clarkston April 6, 1909. Six chil- 
dren blessed their union, as follows : Elizal)eth, wife of A. Hammond, 
of Clarkston; Edna, wife of Charles Walton, of Pontiac township; Ida 
May, wife of William Anderson, of Pontiac; Frank H., with whom 
this sketch is chiefly concerned; Floyd J.; and >\laggie, who died in 
childhood. 

Educated in the district schools and at the Pontiac Business College,. 
Frank H. Lessiter acquired during the days of his boyhood and youth 
a valuable knowledge of the art of agriculture, his father having proved 
a wise instructor. After the death of his father Mr. Lessiter, in com- 
pany with his brother, Floyd J. Lessiter, bought the interests of the 
remaining heirs in the parental homestead, and continued in his chosen 
vocation. He has since bought a near-by tract of one hundred and 
twenty acres, and has now a fine farm of three hundred acres, all under 
good tillage, and amply supplied with comfortal:)le and convenient farm 
buildings. His new barn is forty by ninety-six feet, with a silo capable 
of holding one hundred and fifty tons at the end. In addition to carry- 
ing on general farming with most satisfactory results, Mr. Lessiter is 
one of the leading stock raisers of the township, having a fine herd of 
registered shorthorn cattle, at the head of which is "Oakland Prince," 
a registered yearling. 

Plis is a beautiful farm, with large maple and pine trees bordering 
the road and a large lake in the rear of the house further adds to the 
home comfort. In addition to the large, modern house, steam-heated, 
there is also a tenant house, which was the first home ])uilt by his father 
and which has been remodeled. 

Politically Mr. Lessiter is an adherent of the Democratic party, and 
for tw^o years served as township treasurer. Fraternally he is a mem- 
ber of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of the Order 
of the Eastern Star ; of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks ; 
of the Knights of the Macca]:>ees ; and of the Ancient Order of Gleaners. 
Religiously he is a Methodist. 

Mr. Lessiter married, March 28, 1895, Norah A. Wiser, a daughter 
of Milan and Mary E. (Evertt) Wiser, and their only child. Her 
father, a native of New York state, came to Michigan when about fifteen 
years old, locating in Brandon township. Both he and his wife, who 
was born in Michigan, are now living in Oxford, this state. Two chil- 



742 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lessiter. A child that died in 
infancy and Milan John, born June 25, 1908. 

John H. Flumerfelt. Holding high rank among the more promi- 
nent and esteemed citizens of Oakland county is John H. Flumerfelt, 
who has long been a dominant factor in advancing the agricultural pros- 
perity of Oakland township, and is now carrying on an extensive mer- 
cantile business in Orion, being head of the well-known firm of Flumerfelt 
& Tunison. A son of the late Bethuel Flumerfelt, he was born Febru- 
ary 4, 1855, in Oakland township, coming from substantial pioneer an- 
cestry, his paternal grandfather having been an early settler of Oakland 
county, where he took up land from the government. 

Born in New Jersey, Bethuel Flumerfelt was a lad of twelve years 
when he came with his parents to Michigan. He assisted his father in 
clearing and improving a homestead, and continued a resident of Oak- 
land county until his death, April 6, 1891. His wife, whose maiden 
name was Isabelle Haines Mackey, was born in New Jersey, and died 
in Oakland county, Michigan, October 6, 1910. They were the parents 
of seven children, as follows: Abbie, deceased; Alethia, wife of L. C. 
Axford, of Rochester, Michigan; John H., the subject of this sketch; 
William, deceased; George E., deceased; Ida, deceased; and Frank, of 
Pontiac. 

Growing to manhood in his native township, John H. Flumerfelt 
was educated in the rural schools. Taking kindly to agricultural pur- 
suits in his youthful days, he began life for himself at the age of twenty- 
one years as a tiller of the soil, and made that his principal occupation 
for a number of years. In 1893, selecting what he thought one of the 
most desirable pieces of property in Oakland township, Mr. Flumer- 
felt bought the Jesse Knols farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres, 
and immediately began adding to the improvements previously inau- 
gurated, his estate being now one of the best in its appointments of any 
in the county. He carried on general farming with good results for 
several years, but now leases his land, having retired from active work 
as an agriculturist. 

In 1905 Mr. Flumerfelt erected the fine residence which he occupies 
in Orion, and embarked in mercantile business. In 1908 he sold a half 
interest in his store to George Tunison, and the firm of Flumerfelt & 
Tunison is now one of the most flourishing in Orion, having an extensive 
and lucrative trade in hardware of all kinds, building materials of every 
description, and handling in addition immense quantities of wood and 
coal each season. 

Mr. Flumerfelt married, February 25, 1886, Alburn Brewster, who 
was born in Oakland county, Michigan. Her father, Allan Brewster, 
was born in Pennsylvania. He was twice married, by his first wife 
having one child, Jane, wife of Elery Brownwell, of Oxford. He mar- 
ried for his second wife Lucretia Farrand, also a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, and of their union five children were born, as follows: Cynthia, 
widow of Stephen Bradford, of Washington; Mrs. Flumerfelt; Adelle, 
wife of Frank Gregory; Stephen, of Mecosta county; and Ada, wife of 
H. English, of Oakland township. Mr. and Mrs. Flumerfelt have two 
children, namely: Gertrude Irene, born March i, 1891, and Hugh E. 
B., born June 21, 1896. Mr. Flumerfelt is a Democrat in politics, and 
a Baptist in his religious views and beliefs. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 743 

Frederick Wieland. A man of well-known ability and intelligence, 
public-spirited and progressive, Frederick Wieland is one of the fore- 
most men of Orion, which he has served in many positions of trust 
and responsibility; and his influence as a man of honor and integrity is 
felt throughout the community, whose interests he has at heart and for 
the welfare of which he is ever laboring. A native of Oakland county, 
he was born in Springfield township, December 24, i860. His parents, 
Frederick and Dorothy (Rohm) Wieland, neither of whom are now 
living, were born and reared in Germany, and on coming to this country 
located in Oakland county, Michigan, in Springfield township, where 
the father followed his trade of a painter. They were the parents of 
five children, as follows: Frederick, the subject of this sketch; Wil- 
liam, deceased; Edward, of Orion; Lillian, wife of Guy W. Lyon, of 
Orion; and Margaret, deceased. 

Acquiring his rudimentary education in the district schools, Frederick 
Wieland completed his early studies at the Holly high school, after 
which he taught school winters for six years, in the meantime working 
on the farm during seed time and harvest. While thus engaged Mr. 
Wieland began his public career, serving for three terms as school in- 
spector. He was afterwards appointed county school examiner for a 
year to fill a vacancy, and proved himself so thoroughly adapted to the 
work that he was then elected to the position two successive terms. At 
the same time Mr. Wieland was elected county clerk, an office he held 
two terms, and for two terms he has served as county prosecuting at- 
torney. At the present writing, in 1912, he is serving his tenth term as 
county supervisor, his long record of service in this capacity bespeaking 
his personal worth, ability and popularity with the people. 

Mr. Wieland married Miss Pearl A. Brown, the adopted daughter 
of Vincent and Clara (Graham) Brown, the former of whom was born 
in Germany and the latter in Oakland county. Mr. Brown is a vener- 
able and highly esteemed citizen of Orion, where he has been engaged 
as a harness maker for many years. 

Fraternally Mr. Wieland is a member of the Ancient, Free and 
Accepted Order of Masons; of the Knights of Pythias; and of the 
Independent Order of Foresters. 

Vincent Brown. In the annals of Oakland county can be found 
no man more worthy of representation in the biographical review than 
he whose name we take pleasure in placing at the head of this brief 
personal sketch. Vincent Brown, or ''Braun" as the name was spelled 
in the Fatherland, was born January 21, 1831, in Rottweil, Wurtemberg, 
Germany, where he was bred and educated. 

In June, 1850, accompanied by his brother, Ulhart Brown, he immi- 
grated to America, landing in New York city, August 17 of that year. 
In April of the following spring he came to Oakland county, Michigan, 
locating in Orion, which was then a small hamlet, its settlers being few 
and far between. Securing work at the trade which he had learned in 
his native land, he entered the employ of a pioneer harness maker of 
Orion, and continued with him for sometime. Mr. Brown subsequently 
started in business on his own account, and the little harness shop in 
which he conducts his work is patronized far beyond his ability to fill 
orders, the farmers from every direction coming to him for small pieces 
of job work, and he accommodates them as far as his strength will 
permit. 



744 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

When Mr. Brown first came to Orion there was no church of any 
denomination in the place, reHgious services being held in the school- 
house. His employer and others, induced Mr. Brown, who had a rich 
bass voice, to enter the village choir, and there his melodious tones gave 
an added charm to the sweet music, even though he could not give the 
words of the hymns sung, as he was then just learning to speak the 
English language. He had been brought up a Catholic, and when but 
eight years had sung in the vesper choir in the Fatherland. When the 
Congregational church was formed, he assumed the leadership of the 
choir, but at the organization of the Methodist church he transferred 
his services to its choir, and for nearly half a century was one of its 
leading members. The history of that church as given in this work was 
written by Mr. Brown. 

During the Civil war Mr. Brown served as a musician in the army 
for almost a year, and it was said of him that he was the "littlest man, 
with the biggest horn." Flis brother Ulhart also settled in Oakland 
county, and here resided until his death, many years ago. One of his 
daughters, Mrs. Eva Ross, lives at Vassar, Michigan, and his daughter 
Genevieve, who married T. T. Shafer, is a resident of Iowa. 

In 1858 Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Miss Clara Graham, 
the ceremony that made them husband and wife being performed by 
Rev. J. G. Whitcomb, under whose ministry both were converted. She 
was born April 3, 1836, in Avon township, and died in Orion, February 
22, 191 1. She was of honored pioneer stock, being a daughter of Alex- 
ander Graham, and granddaughter of James Graham, who settled in 
Michigan in the very early years of the nineteenth century. Mrs. 
Brown's great-grandfather on the paternal side immigrated from Ire- 
land to America in colonial days, locating in Pennsylvania, where his 
Dutch neighbors insisted on calling him ''Grimes," and, it is said, he 
was the man referred to in the familiar ditty written about the time 
of his death, 

''Old Grimes is dead, the good old man, 
We ne'er shall see him more; 
He used to wear an old blue coat 
All buttoned up before." 

James Graham was born, in 1749, in Pennsylvania, and was there 
reared. Emigrating to Canada in early manhood, he was engaged in 
farming near the present city of Ingersoll for six years. Coming then 
to Michigan, which was then in its original w^ildness, with here and 
there a clearing in w^hich some courageous pioneer had erected a small 
log cabin, he located first at Mount Clemens, a township which he and 
his son Benjamin assisted to survey in 1816, working under Colonel 
Wampler. In February, 1817, he took up a squatter's claim in section 
21, township 3, range 11 east, becoming one of the first three householders 
of Oakland county, an out-of-the-way place reached only by way of 
Mount Clemens and the Clinton river. He was a man of much enter- 
prise, and among other of his ventures w^as the building of the first 
flour and grist mills in Rochester. 

The court records of Oakland county show that said James Graham 
was a veteran of the Revolutionary war, reading as follows: 

"James Graham declared at the February term of Court, in 1826, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 745 

that he was seventy-seven years old, and enhsted April 15, 1777, for one 
year, in Pennsylvania, in Captain Hewitt's company, of Colonel Denni- 
son's regiment of Connecticut troops, and served in that company until 
the death of Captain Hewitt, at the battle of Wyoming, and was then 
attached to Captain Spaulding's company, in Colonel Butler's regiment 
of Connecticut troops, and was discharged at the expiration of his 
enlistment." 

James Graham married Mary Vandemark, who was born in 1760, 
and they became the parents of nine children, as follows : James, Jr. ; 
David; John; Alexander, father of Mrs. Brown; William; Benjamin; 
Chester; Martha; and Mary. 

Alexander Graham was born in Pennsylvania, and as a boy came 
with his parents to Oakland county, Michigan. Beginning life for him- 
self as a farmer, he resided near Rochester until 1839, when he sold out 
and bought the estate known as the ''Graham Farm," in Oakland town- 
ship, where he spent his remaining days, his body ])eing then laid to 
rest in the Rochester cemetery. He was twice married. Pie married 
first a Miss Ha\ykins, who died in early womanhood, leaving four 
children, as follows: James, whose birth occurred in 1818, was the first 
white child born in Oakland county, and the village proprietors of 
Rochester deeded to him the lot on which he was born, and he retained 
it as long as he lived; Mark; Lucina; and Alexander Patterson, who was 
born January 5, 1823, and died November 26, 1897. 

Alexander Graham married for his second wife Adeline Butter- 
worth, who was born in Oneida county, New York, and came to Michi- 
gan about 1830, to visit friends in Rochester, where she met and mar- 
ried Mr. Graham. Their union was blessed by the birth of five children, 
namely: Benjamin, born October 9, 1834, died at the home of his 
brother-in-law, Mr. Brown, July 23, 1902 ; Clara, who became the wife 
of Mr. Brown, as above stated ; Ruby, who married Andrew Potter ; 
Sarah, wife of Patrick Scully, died June 7, 1872; and Anna, who mar- 
ried Robert Sims. None of these children are now living. No children 
were born of the union of Mr. and i\Trs. Brown, but they adopted and 
reared a girl. Pearl A., who is now the wife of Fred Wieland, of Oak- 
land county. 

J. C. Nelson. Although still youthful in appearance, vigor and 
actual number of years, J. C. Nelson, of Orion, has had that experience 
which is comparatively rare now, although the accustomed thing with 
the pioneer of the early part of the nineteenth century — that of clearing 
the ground for his own farm. There is to him an added sense of satis- 
faction in the fact that the broad acres whose fertile soil returns annually 
a bountiful harvest were l^rought to their present state of perfection 
from their primeval condition by the strength of his arm. 

Mr. Nelson came originally from Ohio, JDcing born in Ashland county, 
that state, on September 12, 1859. He is a son of Samuel and Eliza- 
beth (Miller) Nelson, both parents natives of Pennsylvania. The senior 
Nelson followed farming all his life. He came to Michigan when he 
was twenty-one years old, bought one hundred and five acres in Oak- 
land township, and tilled it until his death in 1891. His wife died June 
25, 1912. To their union were born six children, the subject of the 
present sketch being the eldest. The others were: Silvia, wife of 
Lucian Kelley, of Oakland county: Ida E., of Orion, and three younger 
children who died in infancy. 



746 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

The Pontiac high school and two years at the Valparaiso, Indiana, 
Normal School gave J. C. Nelson a very thorough and practical educa- 
tion. He then embarked in agriculture, which he had selected as his 
life's calling. He bought and cleared forty acres of woodland in Oak- 
land township. He sold the lumber and bought one hundred and twenty- 
six acres in section 6 of this township. Since his father's death he has 
conducted the old home place in connection with his own, raising a 
variety of crops and dealing extensively in stock as well. 

Mr. Nelson, on June 21, 1892, married Miss Bertha McCormick, 
daughter of William R. and Ester McCormick, the former a native of 
Indiana and the latter from Canada. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick came 
to Michigan in 1882, locating at Detroit, where he followed the occu- 
pation of a decorator. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Nel- 
son, Maud Elizabeth, Esther, Bayard L., and Dorothy. The second 
born died in infancy and the others are at home. 

Mr. Nelson is a Democrat in his political faith and has held every 
office in the township except that of supervisor. He affiliates with the 
Gleaners and the Maccabees, and belongs to the Methodist church. His 
postoffice address is on Rural Route No. 2 out of Orion. 

Mr. Nelson did not stop with the clearing of his farm, but continued 
to improve the place with commodious buildings and from time to time 
still adds modern conveniences as they become desirable. He is pro- 
gressive in his methods and strives for the best in everything. One of 
the specialties on his place is the rearing of fine Chester White hogs. 
He is agent also for the Oakland County Fire Insurance Company. 

The Nelsons have a keen strain of patriotism in their makeup and 
are public-spirited in all matters. Mr. Nelson's great-grandfather was 
a soldier in the Revolutionary war and knew General Washington per- 
sonally. The family came originally from Scotland. 

Floyd B. Babcock. One of the conspicuous figures in the recent 
history of Oakland county is Floyd B. Babcock, county clerk, a popular 
and efficient young public servant who has given many evidences of 
being of the best type of citizenship. The family is an old one in this 
section, the father of the subject having arrived within the boundaries 
of the county in 1857 and for many years the name of Babcock has been 
well and favorably known. 

Floyd B. Babcock was born in Highland, Michigan, on November 
20, 1879, the son of Newton B. and Lorena (Ruggles) Babcock. The 
mother, whose lamentable demise occurred in February, 1907, was a 
native of Michigan, but the father was born in the state of New York 
and came to Michigan, as mentioned above, a few years previous to 
the Civil war. He located in this county and engaged in mercantile 
business for a great many years, retiring from active business in 1900. 
The elder Mr. and Mrs. Babcock became the parents of three chil- 
dren, Floyd being the only survivor, as a daughter, Etta, and a son K. 
C, are deceased. 

Floyd B. Babcock attended the public schools and was graduated in 
due time from the higher department. At the outset of his business 
career he was associated with his father in the mercantile business at 
Milford for three years, and at the end of this period was appointed 
assistant postmaster at that place. He gave faithful and efficient service 
in the employ of Uncle Sam for some four years, in the administration 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 747 

of President McKinley, and having proved his fitness for pubHc re- 
sponsibiHty, his appointment on January 24, 1909, as county clerk, to 
fill the term of George A. Brown, who had resigned, was recognized as 
most appropriate. In the fall of that year Mr. Babcock was elected to the 
office of county clerk and he is now the incumbent of that important 
office. He is a staunch Republican and since the casting of his maiden 
ballot has given heart and hand to the party in whose causes he be- 
lieves. 

Mr. Babcock was happily married on June 15, 1903, the young woman 
of his choice being Lulu B. Hewitt, daughter of John S. and Delia 
(Greig) Hewitt, both natives of Michigan, now maintaining their resi- 
dence at Milford. Mr. Hewitt, who ij a druggist by occupation, is one 
of the prominent citizens of his locality. By a former marriage, he has 
a son, Herbert W. Hewitt, a physician of Detroit, but the wife of the 
subject is the only child of the present union. 

Mr. Babcock is a popular member of a number of Pontile lodges, 
his fraternal affiliation extending to the Masons, the Knights of Pythias 
and the Elks. In religious conviction he is a Presbyterian and he and 
his wife enjoy general esteem in the community in which their inter- 
ests are centered. 

James K. Burt. In presenting to the readers of this volume the 
biography of James K. Burt we are perpetuating the life record of one 
of the brave veterans of the Civil war, that of one who for nearly half 
a century has been a resident of Oakland county and as a useful and 
worthy citizen has ever commanded the high respect and esteem of his 
acquaintances. He has resided on his present estate in Oxford town- 
ship forty-two years, the whole of which period has l^een successfully 
devoted to farming. 

Mr. Burt was born in ]\Ionroe county, New York, November 21, 
1845, the only child of \'alentine and Hannah (Wadrell) Burt. The 
mother died when her son was but an infant. In 1850 Valentine Burt 
removed to Michigan, locating in Calhoun county, where he engaged in 
farming and where he continued to reside until his death. James had 
accompanied his father to this state and remained with him until the 
opening of the Civil war, when, though still a youth in his 'teens, he ran 
away and enlisted in Company A, Eleventh Michigan Infantry. This 
regiment was mustered in August 24, 1861, at White Pigeon, and left 
the state December 9 for Kentucky, being stationed at Bardstown dur- 
ing the winter. In the spring of 1862 it was engaged in railroad guard 
duty, in July pursued Morgan's cavalry through Kentucky, and on 
August 13 it joined in repelling an attack made by a considerable force 
under Morgan. At Munfordville, Kentucky, in September, 1862, Mr. 
Burt was one of 4,133 Union men taken prisoners when after three days 
of most valiant defense of their post they were obliged to surrender 
when Bragg with his whole army came up to reinforce the Confederates. 
After his exchange Mr. Burt rejoined his regiment and participated in 
the engagement at Stone River, where it joined the Nineteenth Illinois 
in charging a fierce assault and driving back the enemy after it had 
broken the right wing. Here Mr. Burt was taken prisoner a second 
time. After his exchange was effected he continued in service until 
mustered out at Sturgis, Michigan, on September 30, 1864. The Eleventh 
Michigan Infantry was present at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and was 



748 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in the hottest of the fight at Chickamauga, its brigade holding one of 
the most important positions against largely superior forces until night 
and being the last to leave the field; and where 'Thomas stood like a 
rock." It did its full share and received his compliments. The regi- 
ment was in the siege at Chattanooga, in the main and successful charge 
of Missionary Ridge under heavy fire and always claiming to have been 
the first to reach the works. In 1864 it entered on the Atlanta campaign 
under General Sherman and fought at Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Ken- 
nesaw Mountain and other of the principal engagements of that move- 
ment. It was ordered to Chattanooga on August 2^ , 1864, ^<^^ muster 
out, but joined in the pursuit of Wheeler's forces, marching to Mur- 
freesboro and liuntsville, Alabama. On September 18 it started for 
home and on September 30 was mustered out as previously stated, thus 
closing three years of valiant and active service in behalf of the Union. 

]\lr. Burt received his education in the public schools of Albion, 
Michigan. In 1868 he located at Pontiac, Oakland county, where he 
remained three years before removing to his mother-in-law's farm in 
section 36, Oxford township, wdiich is now owned by Mr. Burt. Mrs. 
Burt was Miss Mary Furse prior to her marriage, the youngest child of 
Thomas and Jane (Stanlake) Furse. To the union of her parents were 
born five children, namely : George, of Ne1)raska ; Matilda, deceased ; 
John, now a resident of Kansas ; Frances, deceased ; and Mrs. Burt. 
Two daughters have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Burt: Jessie, 
the wife of Lewis Young, of Princeton, Idaho, and Carrie, who is at 
home with her parents. 

Mr. Burt is a stanch Republican. The days of 1861-65 are com- 
memorated as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he 
is promimently af^liated with the Masonic order as a member of the 
Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons and the Knights 
Templars at Pontiac. He is one of the comparatively few veterans that 
have been spared to see a half century pass since the close of the war 
and to note the remarkable changes that have taken place in that period. 
With the same earnestness with which he fought as a soldier he has 
employed his life as a useful citizen and well merits the high esteem in 
which he is held in Oakland county. 

Ami Arnold is the representative of a family that has been favorably 
known in Oakland county since pioneer days and is himself one of the 
substantial farmers of Addison township, whose success in life is evi- 
denced by his large ownership of land and by the prosperous aspect of 
his surroundings. 

Mr. Arnold was born September 2, 1853, where he now resides, the 
homestead being one which his parents took up from the government 
and is located in section 20 of Addison township. His father was 
Edward Arnold and his mother was Miss Hannah Carleton prior to her 
marriage, both natives of New York. Edward Arnold gave the whole 
of his career to farming and spent the most of it in Oakland county, 
Michigan, where he died on October 2, 1865. To his wife, who sur- 
vived him many years and passed away on March 2, 1907, was left the 
care of their four children: Eliza, now the widow of Daniel M. Alt- 
house, of Oakland county; Lucinda, the wife of E. W. Porter, of 
Addison township ; Ami, the subject of this sketch ; and John E., a resi- 
dent of Orion, Michigan. The early death of the father threw responsi- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 749 

bility upon the shoulders of Ami while still a youth, as he was the 
eldest son. At the age of fifteen he took charge of the home place and 
continued to care and provide for his mother until her death in 1907, 
at the advanced age of eighty-two years. To the old homestead, of 
which he is now the owner, he has added by additional purchases of 
land until today his holdings aggregate over four hundred acres of 
Addison and Oxford township land. This showing represents tireless 
industry upon the part of Mr. Arnold and good business acumen in the 
management of his farm affairs. Besides following the general lines 
of farming, he has given much attention and that very successfully to 
the raising of tine registered sheep, and through the energetic manner 
in which he has conducted his agricultural pursuits he has amassed a 
competency which places him among the most substantial men of Addi- 
son township. Fine buildings complete the farmstead and provide for 
comfort and convenience. 

On October 13, 1880, Mr. Arnold married Aliss Martha Ann Stitt, 
a daughter of David and Martha (Williamson) Stitt. Both parents 
were born in Ireland and immigrated from their native isle to America 
in i860, locating in Oakland county, Michigan, where the father fol- 
low^ed farming until his death on October 30, 1897 and where the mother 
also passed beyond, her demise having occurred on April 2, 1910. David 
and Martha (Williamson) Stitt were the parents of seven children, 
namely: Martha and Jane, deceased; William, who died Novem])er 18, 
191 1 ; David H., a resident of Orion, Michigan: Thomas W., who re- 
sides in Cass City, Michigan ; Martha Ann, the wife of Mr. Arnold ; 
and Alfred K., of Oakland county. Mr. and ]\Irs. Arnold have two 
daughters and a son: Ada V., now Mrs. Arthur De ^Main, of Rochester, 
Michigan ; Ida V., the wnfe of James Brooks, of Oxford ; and Jossman 
A., who resides with his parents. 

Mr. Arnold is a l)eliever in Prohibition and exercises his franchise 
consistently with his convictions. He has taken an active and loyal 
interest in local political affairs and has at different times held minor 
township offices, such as justice of the ])eace, a member of the ])oard of 
review and as grain commissioner. Mr. and ]\lrs. Arnold are members 
of the Methodist Protestant church. They are known as upright and 
worthy people who fully measure up to the ideal of good citizenship 
and command the respect of all who know them. 

Robert Conry Kinney. In naming those of the younger generation 
who are representatives of some of the honored families of Oakland 
county, and who have themselves achieved something in the world of 
trade and finance, mention should be made of Robert Conry Kinney and 
brother, Daniel Kinney, of Pontiac, young men whose careers have been 
spent in useful endeavor and who are making excellent reputations for 
themselves among their fellow-citizens. They are sons of William and 
Jane (Conry) Kinney and grandsons of Alva L. and Sarah A. (Parker) 
Kinney. 

Alva L. Kinnev was born July 19, 1824, in New York, and on at- 
taining his majority, in 1845, came to Michigan, locating in Oakland 
county. A tailor by trade, he followed that occupation throughout his 
life in the community of his adoption, and here passed away in June, 
1891. He was married (first) October 7, 1848, to Sarah A. Parker, 
who was born March 29, 1824, in Michigan, and she died February 29, 



750 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

1853, having been the mother of three children: Almeda, who died in 
infancy; Wilham, the father; and Sarah A., who was born February 
3, 1853. Mr. Kinney was married (second) January 12, 1854, to Ruth 
Stoel, and five children were born to them, as follows : Alvira, who was 
born June 12, 1855, and died November 22, 191 1; Almira, born Decem- 
ber 8, 1856, and now the wife of Bradley Deer, of Los Angeles, Cali- 
fornia; Margery, born January 10, 1859, and now the wife of Mr. De- 
Witt, of Los Angeles; Carrie, born February 6, 1861, and now the wife 
of Robert Willetts, of Shelby, Michigan ; and Lydia, deceased, who w^as 
the wife of Frank Parrott, of Pontiac. 

At the age of ten years William Kinney went to live wath a fam- 
ily in Oakland county, with whom he remained for seven years, at 
that time taking up farming, a vocation at which he continued to be 
employed until his marriage. At that time he disposed of his eighty- 
acre farm and gave his attention to the plastering trade, which he has 
followed to the present time, his home being located at No. 385 Perry 
street, in Pontiac. He was married May 18, 1879, to Miss Jane O. 
Conry, daughter of John and Ellen (McGuire) Conry, and granddaugh- 
ter of Farrell Conry, who was a soldier during the War of 181 2 and 
in the barracks at a fort in Ontario. Her grandmother, Ann (Wever) 
Conry, is buried in the churchyard where was erected the monument to 
the English soldiers who perished in 1838 on the ice at Amherstburg, 
Canada. Mrs. Kinney's father, John Conry, was born in Kingston, 
Jamaica, and her mother was a native of Canada, the family coming 
to Michigan in 1878 and locating in Detroit, where Mr. Conry spent 
the remainder of his life in conducting a hotel, and passed away in 
1882, his widow^ surviving until February 29, 1908. They had a fam- 
ily of six children: Ann, the wife of David Caldwell, of Detroit; Jane 
O., wife of Mr. Kinney; Emma L., wife of John Rademacher, of De- 
troit; Catherine, wife of Joseph Wurtsworth, of Detroit; George, of 
Detroit : and Elizabeth Ida, wife of Christopher Doelcher, of Detroit. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Kinney the following children were born: Ellen, born 
November 2, 1880; Daniel, born November i, 1882; Robert Conry, 
born August 25, 1884; Llazel, born August i, 1886; John Howard, born 
January 10, 1890; William Carroll, born April 5, 1892; Wallace Murry, 
born March 15, 1894; Elizabeth Virginia, born May 17, 1896; Edwin 
Hudson, born January 22, 1899; and James Hazen, born April 25, 
1901. 

Both Robert C. and Daniel Kinney were given good educations, at- 
tending common school and business college, and the former was for 
two and one-half years employed by the Oakland Motor Car Company, 
until becoming connected with the Flanders Manufacturing Company 
as clerk of the foundry department, a position which he holds at the 
present time. Daniel is a painter by trade and has a nice business in 
Pontiac, being considered one of the thoroughly reliable workmen of 
his city. Both young men are known to be progressive, energetic and 
enterprising, and have wide circles of friends and acquaintances. They 
are Democrats in their political views, and belong to the Foresters of 
America, while Robert C. is also a member of the Modern Woodmen 
and Daniel of the Maccabees and Odd Fellows. Both hold substantial 
policies in the Massachusetts Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. 

On September 18, 1906, Robert C. Kinney was married to Miss 
Eva Agnes Richardson, daughter of George and Anna (Lock) Rich- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 751 

ardson, natives of England. Mr. Richardson, who was a farmer by 
occupation, owned one hundred acres in Waterford township, where he 
died in January, 1894, while Mrs. Richardson still survives and lives 
in Pontiac. They had a family of eight children: Edward, of Pontiac; 
George, living on the homestead in Waterford township; Hattie, the 
wife of Israel M. Beattie, of Pontiac ; Jennie Emery, of Davisburg, 
Michigan; Charles, living in Detroit; Fannie, the wife of Daniel Kin- 
ney; William, of Pontiac; and Eva Agnes, wife of Robert C. Kinney. 
Mr. and Mrs. Kinney have one child, Ceorge William, born January 21, 
1908. 

On June 24, 1908, Daniel Kinney was married to Miss Fannie 
Richardson, sister of his brother's wife, and to this union there has 
been born one child; Harriet Frances, born December 31, 19TO. The 
family residence at No. 125 East Huron street is a center of gracious 
refinement, and the young people are well and favorably known in so- 
ciety circles and among the members of the Congregational church. 

Marsiiai.l T. Haddkn. Among the group of younger l)usiness men 
in Rochester, Michigan, Marshall T. Hadden stands out prominently 
as a responsible and progressive man. Born October 27, 1881, in Oak- 
land county, he spent his childhood on his father's farm. After gradu- 
ating from the Romeo high school he attended the Metropolitan Busi- 
ness College of Detroit. He is now keeping a livery, feed and sales 
stable on Fifth street, Rochester. He is a member of the Methodist 
church, and in his political life an Independent. 

Mr. Hadden is a descendant of an old American family. His pa- 
ternal grandparents, Abraham S. and Abbie (Thompson) Hadden, were 
natives of New York. 'Mr. Fladden was a farmer and politically in 
sympathy with the Democratic party. He lived a long and useful life, 
his death occurring in 1896. Six children were born to them, of whom 
Hiram C, the subject's father, was the second child. Of the others. 
James, Polly and Phoebe Hadden are dead ; John J. is a resident of Oak- 
land, Michigan ; and Mary Adell is the wife of H. Briggs, of Rochester. 
The subject's maternal grandparents were John I. and wSidna (Slate) 
Cole. By trade a blacksmith, Mr. Cole attended the Methodist church 
and belonged to the Democratic party. 1902 was the year of his death. 

Hiram C. Hadden, the father of the subject of this sketch, was 
born in Oakland county, December 5, 1837, and on December 28, 1859, 
married Elizabeth Cole, daughter of John and Sidna Cole, mentioned 
above. Mrs. Hadden was born July 11, 1840, in New Jersey, and was 
brought by her parents to Oakland county when she was nine years 
of age. They became the parents of six children, five of whom are still 
living. Besides Marshall T., the youngest, and the subject of this 
sketch, Edgar Rav lives near Rochester; Fliram E. is a resident of Ma- 
comb county; Lewis, of Pontiac, Michigan; and John I., of Troy. 
Charles, the eldest, is deceased. Mr. Hadden, the subject's father, has 
farmed all his life, and is at present the owner of t6o acres in Oakland 
township, section 24. He attends the Methodist church, and politically is 
an independent. 

Mr. M. T. Hadden, the subject of this sketch, married Minnie Odessa 

Davis January 24, 1907. Mrs. Hadden was born February 7, 1889, in 

Oakland county, and is the daughter of James H. and Jennie (Goodi- 

son) Davis. She is a graduate of the Rochester high school. Her fa- 

vni. n— 1 7 



752 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

ther was born in Canada, March 4, 1863, and moved to Michigan in 
1882, now making his home in Rochester. He is a staunch Republican, 
Mrs. Davis is a native of Oakland county, and was born there July 2^, 
1868. Their marriage was consummated June 5, 1888, at Pontiac, Oak- 
land county, and from their union have been born two children, Glen- 
wood, born November 10, 1891, and Minnie Odessa, the wife of the 
subject of this sketch. Mrs. Hadden has an English strain in her blood 
from her paternal grandparents, John Davis, who was born at Bed- 
ford, Devonshire, England, November 12, 1832, and his wife, Elizabeth 
(Snow) Davis, who was born in England December 12, 1834. Mr. 
Davis was taken to Canada, however, while still a child, and in 1859 his 
marriage with Miss Snow took place there. They became the parents 
of eight children. A Republican and a Baptist, Mr. Davis spent most 
of his life on a farm. He later came to Waterford, Oakland county, 
where he died December 30, 1908. 

Mrs. Hadden's maternal grandparents, James and Elizabeth (Lan- 
sing) Goodison, were natives of New Jersey, and are now residing at 
Goodison, Oakland county. Mr. Goodison was born December 25, 1839, 
and Mrs. Goodison, January 24, 1846. They were married in New 
Jersey December 24, 1863, and have had five children. Mr. Goodison 
carried on two occupations, operating both a mill and a farm for a 
great many years, but is now retired. He fought in the Civil war, enlist- 
ing as a soldier in the Thirty-first New Jersey Regiment. He is a Re- 
publican and a Methodist. 

Jonathan J. Clack. Among the prominent farmers of Oakland 
county who through their unaided exertions and the exercise of per- 
severance and sound judgment, without any or with but limited capital 
to aid them in starting, have nevertheless attained positions of influ- 
ence and prosperity, mention is deserved by Jonathan J. Clack, who has 
so directed his efforts that today he ranks as probably the largest in- 
dividual landholder in Addison township and as one of the most sub- 
stantial farmers of the county. 

He entered upon his independent career in 1862, at the age of seven- 
teen, when he rented a farm and began the activity that has subsequently 
made him a man of wealth. For a few years he remained a renter and 
by industry and frugality accumulated the capital for his first purchase 
of land, which was in 1887, the tract consisting of ninety-six acres. As 
the years have passed he has bought more land from time to time until 
today he is the owner of 1,120 acres, 271 acres of which lie in Lapeer 
county and the remainder in Oakland county. General farming and 
stockraising have been Mr. Clack's avenues of business, but his interests 
have received the most able management and careful supervision, and 
energy, push, and ability are the qualities of character that have formed 
the basis of his success. 

Jonathan J. Clack was born in Addison township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, December 2, 1844, ^^^^ only son of James and Mary Ann 
(Butler) Clack to reach maturity. Both parents were natives of Eng- 
land, but immigrated from their native isle to America in 1838, locat- 
ing in Addison township, Oakland county, Michigan, on land they took 
up from the government. Here both remained residents for over half 
a century, highly respected for their worth and personal character. The 
father died in November, 1884, and the mother in 1898. Seven chil- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 753 

dren came to their union, as follows : Sarah and Emma, deceased ; Eliza- 
beth, the widow of John Brook and now a resident of Oxford, Michi- 
gan; Eliza, deceased; Jonathan J., of this review; Mary Jane, who re- 
sides in Lapeer county, Michigan, and is the widow of Joseph Lee ; and 
James, who died in infancy. 

Mr. Clack was reared and educated in this his native county. On 
January i, 1872, he wedded Miss Ellen Lee, a daughter of Thomas and 
Martha (Remnant) Lee, both of her parents also having been l)orn in 
England. The mother died on her native isle in 1848 and in 1861 the 
father came to America, locating, in 1865, in Oakland county, ]\Iichi- 
gan, where he resided until his death in 1879. Thomas and Martha 
Lee were the parents of eight children, namely : Thomas, Martha and 
George, deceased ; Mary, a resident of England ; Ruth, of Saginaw county, 
Michigan, who is the widow of Francis Law ; Joseph, deceased ; Mrs. 
Clack; and the youngest child, which died an infant. Ten children 
have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Clack; Minnie, the wife of 
Frank Ellwell, of Addison township ; Joseph A., at home ; Jennie, now 
Mrs. Norman Cowan, of Lapeer county; James, a resident of Oak- 
land county ; Mary, residing wnth her parents ; Ida Belle, who married 
Frederick Blow and resides in Genesee county, Michigan ; Emma, the 
wife of Clare Murphy, of Lawton, Van Buren county, Michigan ; Her- 
bert, of Detroit; George and Lee, both at the parental home. 

Mr. Clack is a Republican in political views but has never taken 
an active part in party affairs or sought office. In early life he be- 
came a member of the Baptist church, while the religious sympathies 
of .Mrs. Clack are with the established church of her native country, 
the Episcopal denomination. Oakland county numbers Mrs. Clack 
among those of its citizens who are ably upholding its prestige as an 
agricultural county. 

Mark Hagerman is the owner of one of the fine farms of his 
native township of Addison and is recognized as one of the progressive 
agriculturists and successful stockgrowers of this section. He is also 
a scion of one of Oakland county's old and honored families, the pres- 
tige of whose name he is well upholding. 

The making of history in that section of this county now known as 
Addison township was begun with the advent of settlers along in the 
early '30s of the nineteenth century. One among the first to locate 
there was William Hagerman, the grandfather of Mark, who received 
a patent from the government for 560 acres of land, which he located 
in section 4, Addison township, in 1833, being at that time and for 
many years thereafter the largest land owner in the township. This 
original homestead has remained in the family possession now nearly 
eighty years, the present owner and resident being our subject. Wil- 
liam Hagerman located in the midst of a timber tract and hastily erected 
on his land a building that would suffice for his immediate needs and 
protection. It did not, however, secure him from the annoyance of 
myriads of mosquitoes that harbored in the wooded recesses and in- 
vaded the cabins of the settlers during the warm summer months. 
They resorted to various means to repel the pests, one method being 
to smoke them out of the house by means of a smudge built in an iron 
kettle, which remedy, however, was about as severe as the affliction. 
To guard against them Mr. Hagerman slept in his covered wagon 



754 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

bed, raised several feet from the ground, and with the covering drawn 
down tight. By the fall of 1833 he had accomplished the clearing and 
seeding to wheat of fifteen acres of his land, and by the following spring 
he had built a good log house. At that time there were still remain- 
ing in this section a number of Indians, a neighbor of Mr. Hager- 
man's being Chief-Tuck-a-toe, who with his tribe lived on the west 
side of the lake. Mr. Hagerman was on friendly terms with these In- 
dians and often employed them to assist him in the work of the farm. 
William Hagerman was born in Upper Mount Bethel township, North- 
ampton county, Pennsylvania, February 15, 1802, the second in a fam- 
ily of two sons and four daughters born to Francis and Anna Hager- 
man, In 1833, on his first trip to Michigan, he was accompanied by 
his father and together they acquired by patent and by purchase the 
whole of section 14 and the west half of the southwest quarter of 
section 13. By the purchase of his father's interests the following 
summer William became the sole owner of this land, to which he 
brought his family, consisting of his wife and four children, their new 
home being two miles distant from any other white settler. With a 
keen judgment he foresaw the future of this section, and as rapidly as 
he could he availed himself of the opportunity then afforded him of 
accjuiring valuable land for a comparatively small sum, adding to his 
holdings until he eventually became the largest land holder in Oak- 
land county, his possessions aggregating about one thousand three hun- 
dred acres. In the old Keystone commonwealth, on January 6, 1827, 
he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Dewitt. Five sons w^ere born 
to their union: Alfred; John D. ; Frank; Cornelius, the father of our 
subject; and William S. These sons commendably assisted their fa- 
ther in making productive farms out of the unbroken forest and in 
the acquirement of additional holdings, and their heritage consisted not 
only of the large estate left at the father's death but also the example 
of his own useful and well spent life and those lessons instilled into 
their youthful minds that developed strength of character and integrity 
of purpose. The family was one of high moral and religious princi- 
ples as well, and it was at the home of William Hagerman that the 
first religious services were held in Addison township. Politically he 
was a Democrat. His first wife died April 14, 1845, ^^^^ his second 
marriage was to Mrs. Olive Rice, who passed away in June, 1859. In 
1 86 1 he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Berry, who was born 
May 24, 1808, in New Jersey. Mr. Hagerman passed away in 1883, 
when eighty-two years of age. 

Cornelius Hagerman was born in Northampton county, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1832 and was but an infant when the family removed to 
Michigan. His education was such as the ordinary country schools of 
that period afforded and to the knowledge thus acquired was added 
the development of a native shrewdness and common sense not taught 
in books. In the division of the estate he became owner of the old 
homestead and it was here that he and his wife, who was Miss Mary 
L. Dernberger, began life together. He was practical and energetic 
and followed farming in the successful manner of his father. To the 
union of Cornelius and Mary L. Hagerman were born three children : 
Fred and Decree, both of whom died when twenty-five years of age; 
and Mark, the subject of this review. The mother passed away in 
1874 a^d the father died in 1883'. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 755 

Mark Hagerman was born in Addison township, April i, 1869, 
and on February 13, 1889, was married to Elizabeth Hixon. On March 
22 following he located on one hundred and fourteen acres of land 
which forms a part of his present homestead of two hundred and 
twenty-four acres in section 14, and is engaged in general farming 
and stockraising. Mrs. Hagerman is a daughter of Jasper and Mar- 
garet (Vorhees) Hixon, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. 
To these parents were born : Nellie, the wife of John Beardsly, of 
Oakland county; Mrs. Hagerman; Lucy, who died in childhood; and 
Sarah, now Mrs. H. Murphy, of Leonard, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hagerman have one child. Vera, born September 12, 1890, who is at 
home. Mr. Hagerman is a Democrat in his political views, and he 
and his family are members of the Methodist Protestant church. 

George Lewis. Among the men of Addison township who are 
singled out for their success as agriculturists is George Lewis, who 
also has the distinction of being a native son of that township, where 
he was born September 12, 1863. His father was Joseph Lewis and 
his mother was Diana Fisher prior to her marriage, the former a na- 
tive of the state of New Jersey and the latter of Ohio. Upon their 
migration to Michigan they first located in Mt. A^ernon, Oakland county, 
but in 1862 came to Addison township and bought eighty acres. To 
this original tract Joseph Lewis added by subsequent purchases until 
his holdings consisted of two hundred acres of good land, all in Addi- 
son township. This accomplishment indicates that he possessed an en- 
ergetic and industrious nature and was endowed with good business 
acumen. Joseph and Diana (Fisher) Lewis became the parents of four 
children, as follows: ]\Iary M., now Mrs. James W. Arnold, of De- 
troit, Michigan; Emma, the wife of Smith Rogers, of Lennon, Michi- 
gan ; and Judson and George, twins, the former of whom now resides 
at Oxford, Michigan. Both parents have passed to the life beyond, 
the father's death having occurred when sixty-five years of age and 
that of the mother when sixty-eight. 

George Lewis grew up under the home roof and under wholesome 
influences, and his youthful experiences were such as naturally come 
to the farmer boy, the toilsome school of farm life instilling within 
him the habits of steady and methodical industry. His education was 
obtained in the district schools of his native township. He remained 
at the parental home until his father's death, at which time he and his 
brother Judson took charge of the home place and thereafter con- 
tinued to farm it together for fifteen years. At the end of that period 
our subject bought out his brother's interest and now owns the two 
hundred acres that formed the homestead of his father. Mr. Lewis 
has placed fine improvements on the property and it forms one of the 
most attractive farmsteads of the township. Besides the general lines 
of agricultural work, Mr. Lewis is also engaged successfully in stock- 
raising. 

He was married to Miss Eva Braid, a daughter of John and a sis- 
ter of Edward Braid. Mr. Lewis is a Democrat in his political affilia- 
tions and while he takes a warm interest in the afifairs of his party, 
especially those of a local nature, he has never manifested an ambi- 
tion for official preferment. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and both are accorded the highest re- 
spect and esteem by all who are admitted to their acquaintance. 



756 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Andrew Bird Glaspie. Ever since he left school Andrew Bird 
Glaspie has taken a prominent part in the affairs of his community. He 
has excellent executive ability, good judgment and the ability to grasp 
things quickly. His neighbors' recognition of these qualities in him 
have led to his appointment to many important offices, which he has 
filled with honor. Governor Bliss appointed him state factory inspector, 
an office which he held under him for three years, and then he was re- 
appointed for another three years by Governor Wisner. He resigned 
in 1908 to become postmaster of Oxford, Oakland county, Michigan, 
his home, and was reappointed in 1912. Mr. Glaspie has also been 
president of the Wolverine Press Association, and has held all the of- 
fices at various times in the Knights of Pythias Lodge to which he 
belongs. 

Mr. Glaspie's parents, Andrew P. and Amy (Bird) Glaspie, were 
both notives of Michigan, and are still living in Oxford. Although 
he has now retired, Mr. Glaspie, Sr., had been a merchant all his life. 
They had two other children besides Andrew : Hattie, the wife of 
Charles Martin, of Detroit, and Philo, now in the coal business with 
the Koshner Coal Company of Detroit. 

Andrew B. Glaspie was born in Oxford, November 21, 1876. He 
received his preparatory education in the Oxford grammar and high 
schools, and after teaching school for a short time at Goodison and 
Orion went to the State Normal School. He graduated from this in- 
stitution in 1898, and immediately enlisted in the Thirty-first Michigan 
Infantry to fight in the Spanish-American war. After one year of 
service he returned to Oxford and bought an interest in a newspaper 
called the Oxford Leader, of which paper he is now editor. The firm 
name is Congdon and Glaspie. Besides his membership in the Wol- 
verine Press Association Mr. Glaspie also belongs to the Michigan 
Press Association, and is a Mason of the Blue Lodge. 

In May, 1901, Mr. Glaspie was married to Clara Chamberlin, the 
daughter of Gad and Alma (Demberger) Chamberlin, of Addison town- 
ship. They have had four other children besides Clara: Milton, of 
Columbus, Ohio; Loie, the wife of Fred Glaspie, of Oxford; Claude, 
of Addison, Michigan; and Bess, at home. Mr. and Mrs. Glaspie be- 
came the parents of two children, David, who died in infancy, and 
Elizabeth, at home. 

Theodore Dahlmann. In many capacities, federal, judicial and 
municipal, Theodore Dahlmann has served his fellow , citizens of Ro- 
chester, and always with their unqualified approval. The master of 
an ancient and delicate trade, the art of the jeweler, he possesses a 
breadth of knowledge that comprehends many other lines, and this 
extensive knowledge has frequently been drawn upon in the various 
situations to which he has been called. He was postmaster of the vil- 
lage, serving four years and three months, was village clerk for three 
years, assessor for two years, justice of the peace for one term, town 
clerk for twenty-five years, secretary of the Agricultural Society of 
Avon township for six years, and has long been a notary public. He 
is Republican in his political persuasion. 

Mr. Dahlmann was born in the metropolis of this country — New 
York City — on February 29, 1852, a son of Frederick and Maria (Gie- 
vers) Dahlmann. Both were Germans, the father from Westphalia, 




y^^'c..^ u) //<^^ 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 757 

the mother from Alecklenberg, and they came to America in 1848, lo- 
cating in Queens county, New York, for a few years, then going to 
Boston, Massachusetts. They decided to locate in Michigan in 1858 
and chose Rochester for their home. He was a jeweler by trade, fol- 
lowing that calling until his death on June 9, 1889. Mrs. Dahlmann 
died in 1863. Their union was blessed with three children: Theodore; 
Lewis, who died in 1900; and Fred, who is living in Troy. For his 
second wife Mr. Dahlmann took Caroline Muller, who became the 
mother of two children : Frank, of Rochester, and Emelie, who died in 
1904. 

Theodore took up the jeweler's trade and followed it, being asso- 
ciated with his father until 1889, when he was appointed postmaster. 
After his term was concluded he went back to his trade and has since 
followed it without interruption. His tastes are quiet and although 
he is reticent rather than forward in manner he is nevertheless known 
and esteemed as a keen observer of things and one whose judgment is 
excellent. 

William W. Hooker has always been a popular man in his com- 
munity and has been sought numberless times to fill various political 
positions. Li most cases, however, he has refused these offers, prefer- 
ring to lead a quiet life. A few times, when he has felt that his qualifi- • 
cations suited preeminently the position and that no other man could 
be found at the time to take his plaice, he has accepted these offers. He 
served as a justice of the peace for one year, and has been president 
of the village of South Lyon for one year. He was also appointed su- 
pervisor of the town of Lyon in 1911 to fill the vacancy caused by death 
of Mr. Frank Vowles, and at the elections in 1912 was elected to continue 
his work in that office. For twelve or fourteen years he has been director 
of schools in his district, and was the treasurer of the school board of 
South Lyon when the addition was made to the school building. 

Mr. Hooker was born in Onondaga county, New York, in 1841, and 
in 1844 was brought by his parents to Michigan, which was then al- 
most a wilderness, sparsely settled by a few hardy pioneers. They set- 
tled upon the farm lying across both sides of the line dividing Liv- 
ingston and Oakland counties, which is now owned ])y William W. 
Hooker. The house they built there then has been Mr. Hooker's resi- 
dence the greater part of his life. He received his education from the 
district schools, and when still a youth was married to ]\Iiss Betsey 
Beach, daughter of La Grand Beach, of Livingston county, whose an- 
cestry can be traced back to the early settlers of America. Mr. and Mrs. 
Plooker had three children, but only one is now living, Wilhemena Bessie, 
the wife of H. L. Gibl)s, of Bellingham, Washington, a timber and lum- 
berman of that section. Mr. and Mrs. Hooker belong to the Baptist 
church, and Mr. Hooker is affiliated with the Republican party. Since 
1880 they have rented their farm a great part of the time. 

WiLLOUGHBY A. Fox. For virtually two score years has Mr. Fox 
been actively identified with The Rochester Era, which was founded 
by his honored father, whom he succeeded in the proprietorship at the 
time of the latter's death, in 1893. He is known as one of the enter- 
prising and successful newspaper men of Oakland county and has made 
The Era a model village paper, even as it had been during the many 



758 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

years in which he was associated with his father in the editing and 
publishing of the same. The village of Rochester and the surrounding 
districts find in The Era an effective exponent of local interests, and 
in letter-press and editorial policy it is maintained at an exceptionally 
high standard. Mr. Fox is one of the loyal and progressive citizens 
of the county that has long been his home and through his paper, as well 
as in a personal way, he has wielded much influence in public affairs. 
Willoughby A. Fox finds a due measure of satisfaction in reverting 
to the fine old Wolverine state as the place of his nativity and the fam- 
ily name has long been identified with the annals of this favored com- 
monwealth, in which he is a scion of the third generation, his pater- 
nal grandfather having been one of the sterling pioneer physicians 
of Oakland county. Mr. Fox was born at Saginaw, Michigan, on the 
2 1 St of October, 1859, and is a son of Truman B. and Sarah M. (Bee- 
man) Fox, the former of whom was born in the state of Indiana, in 
1828, and the latter of whom was born at Phelps, Ontario county. New 
York, in 1836. Truman B. Fox was a child at the time of the family 
removal from New York to Michigan, and his boyhood and youth 
were passed in Milford, Oakland county. He received good educational 
advantages, as gauged by the standard of the locality and period, and 
he became a man of broad information and admirably disciplined mental 
' powers. In 1856 he went to Saginaw, where he became associated with 
the first newspaper established in that now populous and thriving city, — 
the Saginaw Enterprise, which was published by Perry Joslin. Later 
he was identified with the Saginaw Coi^n'^r. 

In the year 1871 Truman B. Fox returned to Milford, Oakland 
county, where he established the Milford Era, and in 1873 he removed 
his plant to Rochester, where he initated the publication of The Roches- 
ter Era, with which he continued to be identified until his death and 
as publisher of which he was succeeded by his son Willoughby A., as 
has previously been noted. T. B. Fox was the first chief of police in 
the city of Saginaw and after his return to Oakland county he con- 
tinued a citizen of prominence and influence until his death, which 
occurred in 1893. His wife had been one of the pioneer teachers in 
the schools of Saginaw, and there their marriage was solemnized in 
the year 1857. She is of staunch English and Holland Dutch ances- 
try and is a woman of most gracious personality, loved by all who come 
within the sphere of her gentle influence. Truman G. Fox was an un- 
compromising advocate of the principle of the Republican party and as 
a newspaper publisher in Oakland county he did much to further the 
party cause in this section of the state. 

Willoughby A. Fox gained his rudimentary education in the schools 
of Saginaw and later availed himself fully of those of Oakland county. 
It has been well said that the discipline of a newspaper office is equiva- 
lent to a liberal education. He has been concerned with the publica- 
tion and editorial work of the Rochester E.ra from his youth, — a period 
of nearly forty years, — and in his independent control of the paper 
and business he has well upheld its prestige, as well as that of the fam- 
ily name. The newspaper and job-printing facilities of The Era office 
are of modern order and the facilities of the plant are at all times ade- 
quate to meet the demands placed upon it. The paper is a six-column 
quarto and is issued on Friday of each week. Its circulation effectually 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 759 

covers its field and it has proved an admirable advertising vehicle, l)oth 
in a local and general way. 

Mr. Fox is affiliated with the local lodge and chapter of the Ma- 
sonic fraternity, as w^ell as with the adjunct organization, the Order of 
the Eastern Star, and holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of 
America, and the Independent Order of Foresters. 

On the 9th of October, 1883, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Fox to Miss Susie L. Browne, of Alilford, this county. She is a daugh- 
ter of the late Dr. Joseph Browne, who was one of the able pioneer 
physicians and surgeons of Oakland county. Dr. Browne was edu- 
cated in Glasgow University, Scotland, and for twenty-eight years he 
served as ship physician and master-at-arms in the British navy. Later 
he served in the United States navy, in similar capacity, and in 1856 
he established his home at Milford, Oakland county, where he passed 
the residue of his long and useful life, a distinguished member of his 
profession and a man of high intellectual powers. 11& was a brother 
of Miss Frances Browne, the famous blind poet of England. Mr. and 
Mrs. Fox have two children, Hazel Leslie, who was born at Rochester 
on the i6th of May, 1891, and Lauris Lockley, w^ho was l)orn in the 
same village on the 26th of July, 1904. Hazel L. was graduated in 
the Rochester high school as a member of the class of 19 10, and for 
two years has been a successful and popular teacher in the country 
schools of her native state. In 1912 she entered upon a special course 
in music and drawing in the ^Michigan State Normal School at Ypsi- 
lanti. 

William C. Sutherland. Possessing much business energy, abil- 
ity and intelligence, William C. Sutherland, manager and chemist for 
the Detroit Creamery Company at its plant in South Lyon, is well 
known in this part of Oakland county, and is considered an authority 
on all matters connected with the manufacture of dairy products. A 
son of the late Solomon Sutherland, he was born January 15, 1858, 
on a farm in x\rgentine township, Genesee county, Michigan, of pioneer 
ancestry. His father was a life-long resident of Michigan, and his 
mother, whose maiden name was Sarah flyers, was ])orn in New York, 
and is now a resident of Michigan. 

His parents buying tw^o hundred and forty acres of land in Green 
Oak township, Livingston county, when he was but two years old, 
William C. Sutherland w^as there brought up and educated, attending 
the district school pretty regularly in his boyhood days. At the death 
of his father he assumed the management of the home farm, which 
he carried on successfully several years. In 1890 Mr. Sutherland changed 
his residence and his occupation, moving with his family to South 
Lyon, where he has since had control of the Detroit Creamery Com- 
pany's plant, having entire supervision of the work and serving as 
chemist. In this capacity he takes in and tests on an average one hun- 
dred gallons of cream each day, and every month pays out to the farm- 
ers of this locality $2,500 in cash. 

Mr. Sutherland married, October 22, 1879, Sarah Hamilton, of Mil- 
ford, Michigan. Her father, John W. Hamilton, a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, came to Michigan in early life, and was engaged in farming un- 
til his death, being quite prosperous in his operations. He married 
Mary Ann Leary, who was born in England, and as a girl came wnth 



760 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

her parents to Michigan. She is still living, making her home since 
the death of Mr. Hamilton with her children. Two children have been 
born to Mr. and .Mrs. Sutherland, namely : Lulu B., who married Harry 
Fawcett, a successful agriculturist of Lyon township, has one child, 
Eva Fawcett; and Frank, of Pontiac, Michigan, is bookkeeper for the 
Pontiac Electric, Gas and Coke Company. A short time ago there 
gathered at the home of Mr. Sutherland's grandmother in Genesee 
county, Michigan, five generations of his relatives on his mother's side, 
in the group having been Mr. Sutherland's maternal grandmother, his 
mother, himself, his daughter, Mrs. Fawcett, and his granddaughter, 
Eva Fawcett. Mr. Sutherland is independent in politics, and has per- 
sistently refused all public office. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Knights of the Macca- 
bees. 

William W. Adams has for more than a third of a century been a 
leading and influential citizen of Southfield township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, where his birth occurred December 7, 1842. Here he was 
reared to maturity and here he is passing the declining years of his life. 
He has always been interested in agricultural pursuits and is the owner 
of one of the finest and largest farms in the county, the same comprising 
two hundred and seventeen and a half acres. Mr. Adams has money in- 
vested in a number of business enterprises in this county and as a 
financier he holds a reputation for having ever conducted his affairs 
on a fair and straightforward basis. 

William Adams, grandfather of the subject of this review, was born 
in the state of New York, his father having been of Irish descent and 
his mother of Scotch descent. At the age of sixty years he removed 
to Michigan, settling in Birmingham, where he resided until his death, 
in 1866, at the age of eighty-six years. He was twice married and his 
second wife survived him for a number of years. Reuben Adams, son 
of William, was born in Genesee county, New York, and was twenty- 
six years of age when his father came to Michigan, whither he like- 
wise came. Upon his arrival in this state Reuben Adams immediately 
began to clear a farm for himself, on which he settled soon after his 
marriage to Emily O. Tyler, on October 25, 1840. He died in 1893 
and his wife passed to the life eternal in 1895. They were the parents 
of five children, all of whom are living, in 1912, namely: Charlotte, who 
is the widow of John Beattie, of West Bloomfield township, Oakland 
county; William W., the immediate subject of this review; John K., a 
resident of Bloomfield township; Julia C. who is the wife of Julius 
Rundle, of Birmingham, Michigan ; and Arabella A., wife of Edwin 
Miller, of Bloomfield. 

Under the invigorating influence of the old homestead farm William 
W. Adams was reared to maturity and his educational training was ob- 
tained in the public schools of Southfield township. He has always re- 
sided on the home farm and cared for his father and mother in their 
declining years. Through persistency and well applied energy he has 
managed to acquire a large estate and is now the owner of some two 
hundred and seventeen acres of most arable land, the same lying in 
sections 4 and S of Southfield township. He has considerable money 
invested in local enterprises and is recognized as one of the 
most prominent business men and farmers in this section of the 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 761 

county. In politics he is a Democrat and he served for a num- 
ber of years as school director of his district. In religious matters, 
while not a member of any church, he leans toward the teachings of the 
Universalist church. He is a man of highminded principles and his 
generosity and innate kindliness of spirit make him deeply and sin- 
cerely beloved by all with whom he comes in contact. Although fairly 
advanced in years, he is erect and hearty and retains in much of their 
pristine vigor the splendid mental and physical qualities of his prime. 

On December 8, 1866, Mr. Adams was united in marriage to Miss 
Matilda J. Geman, a daughter of George Geman, of West Bloomfield 
township. Of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Adams five are 
living, in 1912, and concerning them the following brief data are here 
incorporated: Cora M. is the wife of C. V. Seeley, of West Bloomfield 
township; Frank is on the home farm with his parents; Archibald C. 
is engaged in the undertaking business at Pontiac ; George R. is at home ; 
and Ross G. is a resident of Pontiac. William H. died in 1909, at the 
age. of forty-one years. 

Charles Kelly Griggs, for two terms treasurer of the township, 
resides in a handsome two-story brick residence on Fifth street, Roch- 
ester, which he built himself. It was this quality of self-reliance which 
directed his affairs early and late and won for him a measure of suc- 
cess highly satisfactory. Much of his life he was in the elevator busi- 
ness. He remained at home until twenty years old, then went to work 
in an elevator at Metamora, Michigan, for three winters, spending the 
summers at home on the farm. He went to Thomas, Michigan, and 
embarked in the elevator business on his own account, conducting this 
property for three years, but on account of poor health did nothing dur- 
ing the following year. 

He then came to Rochester and built two elevators. At this time 
his brother was associated with him in his enterprises. He bought the 
old homestead and has added to its 140 acres an adjoining 80 acres, all 
lying in Avon township. Here he carried on general farming and stock 
raising. Pie has now disposed of his elevators and is in the produce 
business, buying and shipping in large quantities. 

Mr. Griggs was born in Eagle, Wyoming county. New York, on Jan- 
uary 22, 1853, a son of Oliver Hazard Perry and Lovina (Kelley) 
Griggs, both natives of New York. The father came to Michigan in 
the spring of 1865, locating in Oakland county. He followed farming 
all his life and died October 30, 1905. His wife followed on November 
12, 1908. Five children graced their home, all of whom survive. They 
are: Ellesif A., widow of Frank S. Bates, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; 
Charles Kelly, the subject of this review ; Albert G., of Avon town- 
ship ; Nellie, wife of Elmer H. Carlton, of Portland, Oregon ; and Jes- 
sie, wife of F. A. Rosenkrans, of Portland, Oregon. 

Martha Hall Kidder was the maiden name of the wife of Charles 
Kelly Griggs, and they were married February 11, 1886. She is a 
daughter of Sidney M. and Delia Lorette (Fisher) Kidder. Batavia 
and Alexander, New York, w^ere the birth places, respectively, of Mrs. 
Griggs' parents. They came to Michigan in 1837, locating in Macomb 
county, where Mr. Kidder was in the mercantile business. Later he 
took up farming, which he followed until his death in 1856. His wife 
died in 1868. Mrs. Griggs is the only survivor of their three children, 



762 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

the two eldest bein^ Ami, who died in 1911, and George R., who died 
in February 13, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Griggs have one son, Mark K., 
recently arrived at manhood's estate, and who is now attending the 
Michigan Agricultural College at Lansing. He was born February 11, 
1890. Mr. Griggs is a member of the Congregational church. Mr. 
Griggs is a Re])ublican, and, as has been previously noted, has been 
honored by his fellow townsmen with public office on several occasions. 
He holds fraternal affiliation with the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks. He is a man of decision of character, well versed upon affairs 
in general and deliberate in his judgments. He stands high in the com- 
munity. 

RojiERT HovT Glaspie. The family to which Robert Hoyt Glaspie, 
of Oxford, Oakland county, Michigan, belongs is an old and honored 
one in Michigan. Its members are many, and represent in their voca- 
tions almost every profession — doctors, lawyers, editors, capitalists, mer- 
chants, teachers, etc. They have served in every war in which this 
country has been a factor — The Revolutionary war, the War of 18 12, 
the Civil war and the Spanish- American war, and in every instance have 
proven themselves men of courage and stability. Wherever any branch 
of the family has been located it has held a high social and financial 
position, and has taken a prominent part in all the public events con- 
cerning its community. Mr. Glaspie still has the old deed which records 
the grant to his grandfather's uncle, James Glaspie, by Governor George 
Clinton, of New York, of 1,790 acres in the township of Marcelles, 
New York. 

Mr. Glaspie's grandfather, Henry Glaspie, was a great wrestler, and 
was never laid on his back until he was fifty years old. He served as 
a captain during the War of 181 2, and his old sword is now in the 
possession of C. H. Glaspie of Oxford. Mr. Glaspie was an active, 
energetic man, and he delighted in anything that tried his strength. 
Hunting was one of his greatest diversions, an occupation which brought 
him much renown as an expert shot. He killed his first deer when still 
a small boy. After he came to Michigan in 1835 he became a deacon of 
the Baptist church, and spent all of the latter part of his life at Clifton, 
near Romeo. He was married twice, the first time to Betsy Wiltsie, 
who died August 8, 1834, and by her he had the following children: 
David, born February 10, 1810, died in July, 1898; Betsy, born June 
12, 1812; W^iltsie, born July 5, 1814; William, born May 25, 1816; 
Abigail, born in June, 1818; John, born July 13, 1820; Henry C., born 
June 12, 1822; Sarah, born March 18, 1827; Nancy, born September 18, 
1831, died April 27, 1837. By his second wife, Harriet (Denison) 
Glaspie, he had two children, Maria Jane, born December 29, 1838, and 
Andrew P., born March 18, 1842. 

Henry Glaspie's son David became the father of Robert Hoyt Glas- 
pie. David Glaspie was also married twice, the first time to Ruth 
Noble in Onondaga county, New York, in October, 1824. She died 
in Macomb county, Michigan, October 28, 1841. They had three chil- 
dren, Sabrah Ann, born December 19, 1830, died March 3, 1897; Betsy, 
born in Spafford, New York, April 6, 1832, died July 24, 1864; and 
George, born at Spafford, November 17, 1834, died July 19, 1863, at 
Oxford. By his second wife, Clarissa Noble. Mr. Glaspie had three 
children, William, born in Macomb county, Michigan, March i, 1845, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 768 

died in Macomb county, March 31, 1845; Ruth, born at Oxford, May 4, 
1847, <iie<i April 24, 1852; and Robert Iloyt, the subject of the sketch, 
born in Oxford township, August 19, 1854. 

Robert Hoyt Glaspie has been a farmer all his life, or until his re- 
tirement from active work a few^ years ago. He attended the district 
schools during the winter months until eighteen years old and then re- 
mained at home to hel]) his father. When he was thirty years old his 
father moved to Oxford, leaving the farm of 260 acres to his son. 
Mr. Glaspie w^orked the farm, raising the regular staples, until 1883, 
when he rented his holdings and moved to Oxford, where he now^ lives 
in one of the town's handsomest homes. On January 24, 1877, Mr. 
Glaspie w^as married to Nellie M. Clack, the daughter of James W. and 
Helen (Johnston) Clack. Mr. Clack, who died June 9, 1903, was a 
native of Cambridgeshire, England, and came to America in 1840 to 
settle in Addison tow^nship, Oakland county. He was a farmer until 
twenty years before his death and then retired. Mrs. Clack was born 
in Genesee county. New York. She died December 30, 1886. They 
had one other child besides Mrs. Glaspie, Charles, who was born Au- 
gust 9, 1853, and died March 18, 1854. Mrs. Glaspie was born May 
31, 1855. 

Mr. Glaspie is a Prohibitionist, and takes an active interest in the 
politics of the country. He has also always given a great deal of time 
to local affairs, and was on the village council for six years. He was 
one of the board that installed the water works and electric plant in 
Oxford, and also held the position of city treasurer for one and one 
half years. He is now one of the directors of the Oxford Savings 
Bank, and has been local inspector for the bank. Both ]\Ir. and Mrs. 
Glaspie belong to the Baptist church. 

Harvey Tow send. In some portions of continental Europe the sons 
are taught both a trade and a profession, it being considered that the 
double knowledge equips them the better for success in life. Harvey 
Towsend, the subject of this sketch, has been thus gifted, for in addi- 
tion to being a practical farmer he is master of the stone mason's craft, 
and through his long and useful life has found ample work to do in both 
lines. Wayne county, New York, was the place of his nativity, his birth 
date being May 7, 1836. His parents, Nathan and Nancy (V^an Druth) 
Towsend, were likewise born in the Empire state, the former being a 
jobber by trade. He came to Michigan in 1847 ^^'^^^ located in Lapeer 
county, wdiere he remained until his death in 1857. His wife died 
three years later. Of their three children Marcus, the eldest, is de- 
ceased. Harvey was the second and Octavius, a veteran of the Civil 
war, is living in Lapeer county. 

When but thirteen years old Harvey decided on farming and fol- 
lowed it for a year. Then the occupation of the stone cutter and layer 
attracted him and he mastered it and combined its practice with farm- 
ing during his entire life. At one time he w^as the owner of 120 acres 
of land in Oakland county. His wife was Lois Brown, daughter of 
Isaac and Artie (Mishie) Brown, to w^hom he was married on August 
15, 1858. The Browns came to Oakland county in 1843 from New^ 
York, and engaged in farming, the father dying in 1887 and the mother 
in 1862. Of their four children, Waldon and Oliver, the two eldest, 
are deceased, and the fourth child died in infancy. There were four 



764 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

children, born to Mr. and Mrs. Towsend, and the sable visitor has never 
invaded their number. Nathan 1. was born December 12, i860. Elnora 
A,, born February 18, 1863, became the wife of John Pellen, of La- 
peer county. Phena A., born May 12, 1867, married Albert Spencer, 
of Oakland county. Olin A. was born September 30, 1872, and now 
makes his home at l^ay City, Michigan. ^Irs. Towsend died December 
2.2, 191 1, and was tenderly laid to rest in Oxford cemetery. She was a 
member of the Baptist church. Mr. Towsend is a Republican. 

Olin A. Towsend married Matilda Steinhauser on July 4, 1901. 
She was a daughter of Mike and Matilda (Muntz) Steinhauser, natives 
of Germany. The former located in New York when he first crossed 
the water, and later came west to Michigan, settling in Tuscola county 
to ply his trade as stone mason. Nine children comprised the family 
of Mr. and Mrs. Steinhauser, Matilda being the first born. In succes- 
sion then came the following: Frederick, of Detroit; Emma, wife of F. 
A. Shier, of Detroit; Maud, wife of Albert Eastrpan, of West Branch, 
Michigan; Kate, wife of B. Eastman, of Montana; Lillian, wife of Al- 
vin Sheppard, of Selkirk, Michigan; Jennings of Prescott; Frank, of 
Prescott, and a child who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Olin Tow- 
send have one child, Bernice Ethel, who was born in Bay City on Octo- 
ber 29, 1903. Her father is a miner by occupation and belongs to the 
Baptist church. Mrs. Towsend's father died December 8, 1903, but 
her mother is still living, in Prescott. 

Stephen C. Hill. In view of the nomadic spirit w^hich prompts 
American citizens to move restlessly about from place to place, it is most 
gratifying to come in contact with a man who has resided during the 
greater part of his life time in the place of his nativity. Stephen C. 
Hill is the owner of a fine estate of two hundred acres of land in Troy 
township, Oakland county, Michigan, and he devotes his attention to 
stock-raising, general farming and dairy w^ork. Pie has ever been on 
the alert to forward all measures and enterprises projected for the good 
of the general welfare and has served his community in various official 
positions of trust and responsibility. He has been township supervisor 
for the past three years, was justice of the peace, and held the oflice of 
school director for eighteen consecutive years. 

Stephen C. Hill was born in Troy township, on the farm he now 
owns in Oakland county, Michigan, December 18, 1850. Plis parents, 
Elisha and Adelia (Bentley) Hill, were both born and reared in the 
vicinity of Seneca Lake, New York. In the agnatic line Mr. Hill is 
descended from stanch Scotch ancestry and on the maternal side he 
traces his lineage to English stock. Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Hill grew up, 
were educated in the district schools of and were married in the place 
of their birth, probably in Oneida county. New York. They resided in 
the old Empire state for a number of years after their marriage and 
there four of their children w-ere born. About 1844-47 the family came 
to Michigan, landing in Detroit and coming thence to Troy townshi]), 
where they settled on a farm. That farm is the one now owned and 
operated by the subject of this review. Elisha Hill passed the re- 
mainder of his life time in Troy township, where he became a most 
successful farmer and a man of prominence and influence in public af- 
fairs. He passed to the life eternal in 1891 and his cherished and de- 
voted wife died September 2, 1880. They were the parents of six chil- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 765 

dren, concerning whom the following brief data are here incorporated : 
Martin served in the Civil war as a member of Lumison Battery, Heavy 
Artillery, for a period of three years ; Sophronia is the widow of 
Chester Chatfield and resides at Hastings, Michigan; Harriet, deceased, 
was the w^ife of Henry Reynolds, of Oakland county ; Alary was the 
wife of Ogden Taylor at the time of her demise ; Laura is the wife of 
Ellis Bookam, of Swartz Creek, Genesee county, Michigan; and Stephen 
C. is the immediate subject of this review\ 

Stephen C. LI ill was reared a maturity on the old homestead farm, 
in the w^ork and management of which he early began to assist his 
father. He received a good common school education and has always 
devoted his attention to farming. He owns two hundred acres of some 
of the most arable land in Oakland county, one hundred and sixty acres 
of his estate being in section 13 and forty acres in section 24, Troy 
township. He is a general farmer and stock-raiser and does a little 
dairy business in his section of the county. In politics he is a stalwart 
and active Republican. He was elected justice of the peace and served 
in that capacity for one year, when he resigned, but was again elected 
in 191 2, and is the present incumbent of the office. He was school di- 
rector for eighteen years, and w^as a member of the township board of 
supervisors for three years. In -a fraternal way he is aftiliated with the 
Knights of the Maccabees and the family are devout Methodists in their 
religious faith. Mr. Hill has been Sunday-school superintendent on va- 
rious occasions and he is an interested church worker. He is a man of 
splendid executive ability, is generous hearted and kind to all w^ith 
whom he has dealings and is possessed of that sterling integrity of 
character which begets admiration and wins the good wall of those w'ith 
whom he comes in contact. 

On October 13, 1878, Mr. Hill married Emma J. Moore, a daughter 
of Calvin and Melinda (King) Moore, both natives of the state of New 
York. The father of Calvin Moore was Irish and his mother was Eng- 
lish. The Kings are of English extraction. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have 
four children, as follows: Chauncey N., who married Myrtle Randell, 
and they have four children — Ruth, Lucius, Harriet and Marriet ; 
George married Phila King, and they have two children — Leslie and 
Marion ; Ida remains at the parental home ; and Erank married Helen 
Phillips, and they have one son, Harold. 

William H. Lami^,. One of Troy township's wndely-known and 
substantial citizens is William H. Lamb, postmaster and general store 
keeper at Big Beaver. He is one of the native sons W'hom the county 
has been able to keep permanently and is the scion of a family long 
established within Oakland county's pleasant and prosperous borders. 
He was born in Bloomfield township, near Benningham, Michigan, Au- 
gust 27, 1874, and is the son of Frederick R. and Jane (Auscomb) 
Lamb. The father was born east of Detroit in Wayne county, Mich- 
igan, the son of John Lamb, an Englishman. The subject's grand- 
father w^as born, reared, educated and married in the country of his 
birth and shortly after the latter event severed the associations of his 
native land and came to the L^nited States, eventually coming on to 
Michigan and choosing for his home Wayne county. In that county 
he resided until Frederick Lamb, father of William H., w'as a youth 
fourteen years of age. The family then removed to Troy township 



766 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

and located on a farm a mile and a quarter north of Big Beaver, where 
John Lamb lived until summoned to the life beyond, being full of years 
and honors. Frederick R. Lamb was married when a young man about 
twenty years of age and subsequent to that he lived on his father's 
place for two years. Following this he took up his residence in South 
Haven, where he remained for another two years, engaged in carpen- 
tering work. He then returned to Bloomfield township, wiiose attrac- 
tions had never diminished for him, and there the birth of the subject 
occurred. He remained engaged in the business of a carpenter and 
painter at Birmingham for about five years and then removed to Big 
Beaver, where he embarked in the milling business, which he foUow^ed 
until about eight years ago, wdien he left Big Beaver and w^ent to De- 
troit. For about a year in that city he worked in the automobile shops 
and then removed to Rochester, where he resides at the present time, 
holding the position of manager and head sawyer in the mills there. 
This good citizen and his equally estimable wife are the parents of two 
children, J. Edgar, of Troy township, and William H., immediate sub- 
ject of this review. 

William H. Lamb remained with his father until the age of thirty 
years, being associated with the elder gentleman in many of his enter- 
prises. He early displayed good business ability, together with the ad- 
mirable traits of industry and thrift, and now, scarcely yet arrived at 
middle life, is a man of character, standing and of substance. In the 
legitimate channels of trade he has w^on the success which always crowns 
w^ell directed labor, sound judgment and untiring perseverance, and at 
the same time has concerned himself with the affairs of the community 
in an admirably public-spirited fashion. In addition to his up-to-date 
mercantile business he owns his comfortable home and business room. 
On April 4, 1905, he received the appointment to the postmastership 
and in this important capacity has well served the interests of "Uncle 
Sam" and the people. 

On March 16, 1905, Mr. Lamb laid the foundations of a happy 
married life by his union with Harriet E. Hawthorne, daughter of 
Robert Hawthorne, of Troy township, wdiose homestead is situated one 
mile east and one mile south of Big Beaver. The birth of two inter- 
esting little daughters has blessed their union, — Marian A., aged five 
years, and Helen M., aged three years. 

Fraternally Mr. Lamb is a member of the Knights of the Macca- 
bees and his wife is affiliated with the Order of the Eastern Star. The 
subject is one of Oakland county's many citizens who pay allegiance 
to the party of Lincoln, McKinley and Taft. 

Charles Baker is a man of unusual enterprise and initiative and he 
has met w^th unusual good fortune in his farming and business pro- 
jects. Self-made and self-educated in the most significant sense of the 
words, he has progressed steadily toward the goal of success until he 
is recognized as one of the foremost business men and citizens of Royal 
Oak towaiship, where he has resided during the past two years. He now' 
conducts a store at Clawson, Michigan, and he is the present popular 
incumbent of the office of postmaster of that place. lie has held a 
number of other important offices of public trust and responsibility and 
is ever on the alert to forw^ard all measures advanced for the good of 
the general w^elfare. 




iOIIX ELLEXWOOI) 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 767 

In Oxfordshire, England, January i, 1868, occurred the birth of 
Charles Baker, who is a son of George and Harriet (Long) Baker, both 
of whom were likewise born in Oxfordshire and both of whom repre- 
sent ancient English families. In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Baker with their 
children came to the United States, proceeding directly to Oakland 
county, Michigan, and settling on a rented farm in Troy township. He 
continued to rent his farm for two years and at the expiration of that 
period he turned his attention to his old trade, that of gardener, which 
he followed until his death, in 1901. His widow still survives him and 
now maintains her home at Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Of the ten chil- 
dren born to Mr. and Mrs. Baker nine grew to maturity. Emma and 
Harry are deceased, and concerning those living the following brief 
data are here incorporated: Helen is the wife of Charles Juengel, of 
Utica, Michigan ; Gertrude is Mrs. David Atkins and resides at Roch- 
ester, Michigan; Charles is the immediate subject of this review; Mary 
Ann is the wife of J. E. Mooney, of Clawson ; Eliza married Frank 
Veriden and they reside at Grosse Pointe, Michigan ; Ada is the wife of 
George Ladd and they are residents of Utica, Michigan ; Fred J. is 
engaged in the garden business at Grosse Pointe ; and Flora is the wife 
of August Devroy, of Grosse Pointe. 

Charles Baker, of this sketch, was a lad of fourteen years of age at 
the time of his parents' immigration to the United States. He had re- 
ceived a fair educational training in the public schools of Oxfordshire 
prior to coming to America and after his arrival in this country he at- 
tended the district schools of Oakland county for a short period. He 
remained on his father's farm until he had reached his sixteenth year and 
then began to work by the month for various farmers, continuing in 
that manner until he had reached his twenty-fourth year. After his 
marriage, in i8q2, he settled on a farm in Troy township and resided 
there for about a score of years. He was decidedly successful as a 
farmer, but in iqto he gave up agricultural operations in order to en- 
gage in the general merchandise business at Clawson, Michigan, in 
Royal Oak township. He carries a fine stock of goods and commands 
the patronage of all the neighboring farmers. In 19TO he was ap- 
pointed postmaster of Clawson, by President Taft, and he retains that 
incumbency in 1912. He was township treasurer of Troy township for 
two years and for seven years was highway commissioner. He is a 
stalwart Republican in politics and in a fraternal way is affiliated with 
Royal Oak Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, at Royal Oak. 

On April '^, 1892, Mr. Baker married Miss Harriet Phillips, a 
daughter of Eli Phillips, who was born and reared in Canada and is 
deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are the fond parents of two children, 
Lyle E., born in 1897, is attending school at Royal Oak, and Mildred 
J., born in 1904, is a pupil in the district school of Royal Oak town- 
ship. 

John Ellenwood, Sr. After spending long years in the hard and 
unceasing work of the agriculturist and accumulating competencies suffi- 
cient that they may relinquish active labor, many of the citizens of Oak- 
land county have turned over their property to the care of others and are 
spending their declining years in nearby towns and cities, retired from 
activities and enjoying the fruits of their early labors. One of the his:hly 
esteemed retired citizens of Novi who carried on agricultural operations 

Vol. II— 1 8 



768 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

in Commerce township for many years is John Ellenwoocl. He is a na- 
tive of Oakland county, having been born in West Bloomiield, January 
^7y 1^33^ a son of Calvin and Electa Ann (Barron) EUenwood, natives 
of New York. 

John EUenwood, the ])aternal grandfather of the subject of this re- 
view, brought his family to Michigan during the early 'thirties, settling 
on the west bank of Pine Lake, where he took up government land, be- 
came one of the foremost farmers and influential citizens of his day, and 
was a framer of the constitution of the state of Michigan. Later Calvin 
EUenwood removed to White Lake township, where he laid out the first 
roads, being the surveyor in charge of the first work done in the town- 
ship and one of its first supervisors, a position which he held for eleven 
years. It was in that township that John EUenwood received his educa- 
tion, attending the primitive log schoolhouse of his district, and at the 
age of twelve years began to be employed by the day on the homesteads 
ot the neighboring farmers. He continued to be so occupied until he was 
twenty-one years of age, and then went to Pontiac and engaged himself 
with Charles Parsons, a carriage builder, as an employe of the black- 
smith department. After three years, however, he returned to the farm. 

In 1861 Mr. EUenwood was married to Miss Mahala Cooper, of 
Springfield township, Michigan, who was born in the state of New York, 
her parents being Jacob and Samantha (Arnold) Cooper, farming peo- 
ple. About three years after his marriage, March 31, 1864, Mr. Ellen- 
wood enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Com- 
pany P), Second Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, from which 
organization he received his honorable discharge July 2'S>, 1865, at De- 
laney House, D. C. Returning to Commerce township, Oakland county, 
he worked on shares for a few years, but sul)seciuently went to Mont- 
calm county and for a short time followed lumbering. On again return- 
ing to Commerce township he took charge of the farm of his father-in- 
law, and later bought a farm of his own, on which he carried on opera- 
tions until 1906, after which he resided at W^alled Lake about two and 
one-half years, then in Wixom until 1911, when he came to Novi. At 
the present time he is living a retired life, his activities being confined to 
looking after the handling of his one hundred and twenty acres of land 
in section 23 and forty acres in section 15, Commerce township. 

Mrs. Mahala (Cooper) EUenwood died June 25, 1905, having been 
the mother of nine children: Emma Jane, wife of Frank J. Rossman, 
rural carrier at Lake View, Michigan ; Annie, who died at the age of 
four years; Sarah, wife of P)ert Cole, a farmer of Clarkston, Michigan; 
John C, who is carrying on operations on the old farm in Commerce 
township, married Edith Baulmer, of Detroit ; Efiie May, who died at 
the age of seven years ; Frank, who died at the age of four years ; Bert, a 
farmer at Wixom, Oakland county ; Phoebe, wife of Lucius Barren, a 
farmer of Groveland, Michigan ; and Fred, the proprietor of a sawmill. 
On December 14, igo6, Mr. EUenwood was married to Mrs. Mary (In- 
gersoll) Pierce, widow of Jerome Pierce, of Walled Lake. She w^as 
born at Brunson, Illinois, daughter of Orson and Harriet (Smith) Inger- 
soll. New Yorkers, the Ingersoll family tracing its ancestry back to the 
year 1629, when they accompanied the Winthrops to America. By her 
first marriage Mrs. EUenwood had three children : One who died in 
infancy ; Helen, who died at the age of two years ; and Willie, who died 
when twenty-seven years of age. Her first husband, Jerome Pierce, en- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY « 769 

listed March 20, 1865, for one year, but was discharged June 30, 1865, 
the Civil war having closed. A number of years ago Mrs. Ellenwood 
adopted Charles Austin, at that time six years old, and he became a rail- 
road engineer and lived at Cleveland, Ohio. He was there married to 
Miss Madeline Nettnay, who died in 1909, and Mr. Austin is now in 
Detroit. 

Mr. Ellenwood is a valued comrade of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public post of Northville. In his political views he is a Republican, but 
he has been essentially a farmer and business man and has not given 
much attention to public matters, outside that taken by a public-spirited 
citizen. He and Mrs. Ellenwood are members of the Baptist church, 
and they are well known in church work and highly esteemed in social 
circles, their home being the scene of many pleasant gatherings, where 
they extend to their many friends the liberal hospitality for w^hich they 
are noted. 

Frank D. Cutting. The history of a nation is nothing more than 
a history of the individuals comprising it, and as they are characterized 
by loftier or lower ideals, actuated by the spirit of ambition or indif- 
ference, so it is with a state, county or town. Success along any line 
of endeavor would never be properly appreciated if it came with a 
single effort and unaccompanied by some hardships, for it is the knocks 
and bruises in life that make success taste so sweet. The failures ac- 
centuate the successes, thus making recollections of the former as dear 
as those of the latter for having been the stepping-stones to achieve- 
ment. The career of Frank D. Cutting but accentuates the fact that 
success is bound to come to those who join brains with ambition and 
are willing to work. He is the owner of a fine farm of seventy acres 
in Troy township, Oakland county, and also owns and conducts the 
general store at Troy Corners, in Troy township. 

Frank D. Cutting was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, July 22, 
1838, and he is a son of Parker and Sarah Ann (Smith) Cutting, l)oth 
of whom were natives of Wyoming county. New York. Jonas Cutting 
w^as the father of Parker, and he was born and reared in Vermont, of 
German and English ancestry. When the subject of this review was a 
child of but four years of age his father was killed by a falling tree 
while clearing his farm in ^Michigan. After that sad occurrence his 
widow, with her children, returned to New York, where she again mar- 
ried. Three years later the family w^as again located in Troy town- 
ship, Oakland county, Michigan, and here the young Frank D. grew to 
maturity. The mother died at the age of seventy-seven years, at the 
home of her daughter Julia E., in Haverhill, Massachusetts. 

Up to the age of sixteen years Frank D. Cutting was a pupil in the 
district schools of Troy township and when he had reached his six- 
teenth year he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the blacksmith's 
trade, which he followed continuously until the outbreak of the Civil 
war. In 1861 he enlisted for service in Loomis Battery, First Mich- 
igan Artillery, and he w^as a Union soldier for the ensuing three years, 
at the expiration of which he returned to Michigan, locating at Troy 
Corners, where he followed his trade until he purchased his present 
store, in 1882. For the past quarter of a century Mr. Cutting has been 
the ])onular and efficient incumbent of the office of postmaster. He con- 
trols the trade of his neighbors in Troy township and has built up a 



770 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

good business. In addition to his store he is the owner of a finely im- 
proved farm of seventy acres in section 9 of this township. In politics 
he is a stalwart Republican and he cast his first vote for President Lin- 
coln. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with Birmingham Lodge, No. 
144, Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Cutting is unusually loyal and 
public-spirited in his civic attitude and he commands the unqualified 
confidence and esteem of his fellow men by reason of his sterling in- 
tegrity of character and fair and honorable business methods. 

On December 25, 1863, Mr. Cutting was united in marriage to Miss 
Lucy M. Goodman, the ceremony having been performed while he was 
home from the war on recruiting service. Mrs. Cutting is a daughter 
of Rev. Stephen and Jane (Balrow) Goodman, both natives of Eng- 
land, whence they came to Michigan in 1820. Rev. Goodman was a 
Baptist minister and was long pastor of a church in the city of De- 
troit. Mr. and Mrs. Cutting have two children: Katie V., who is the 
wife of Charles Leonard, of Troy Corners, and they have one son, 
Frank C. Leonard; and Park, who is agent for the National Insurance 
Company. He married Ella Blount, who died in 1907, and they became 
the parents of two children. Maxwell B., who is attending high school 
at Rochester, and Frank C, a pupil in the district school. 

Jacob Stumpf. In the old countries of the world, particularly in 
those governed by kings or emperors, there is a sharp contrast drawn 
between persons of rank and the laboring classes. The aristocratic 
members of these countries, from time immemorial, tried to make it 
appear that the kings or emperors ruled by divine authority and the 
families of the nobility attempted to establish their own superiority over 
the working classes on much the same basis. As a consequence labor 
has always been looked upon in those countries as degrading, instead of 
as being the highest employment to which man can turn his hand. In 
our country, on the contrary, it has been largely the tendency to ennoble 
labor, and this tendency has been largely successful, because, aside from 
the weak-minded aristocrats of the cities, all of us regard labor as 
wholly dignified and honorable. Even the president himself may have 
descended from the pioneer farmer. Among those who have added to 
the dignity and respectability of labor by fair and honorable conduct is 
the subject of this notice. 

Jacob Stumpf, blacksmith and engaged in the selling of farming 
implements, was born on the farm upon which he now lives and comes 
of stalwart German stock. This farm is situated in Royal Oak town- 
ship and the date upon which his eyes opened to the light of day was 
January i^, 1870. He is the son of Jacob and Magdalena (Kosman) 
Stumpf. The father was born in Baden, Germany, and the mother in 
Wurtemberg. The former 'resided in his native country until the age 
of seventeen years, previous to that time learning the smithy trade. 
When he had arrived at the dignity of journeyman blacksmith, he came 
to the United States and located first at Albany, New York, working in 
shops in that city for a time. He was an employe for a period of about 
seven years and for an equal length of time was in business there for 
himself. After that he traveled from place to place in the southern 
states and then came to Michigan. The advantages of Oakland county 
appealed to him and he settled on the farm which was to be the scene of 
the birth of the immediate subject, and which is his home at the present 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 771 

time. He owned a very small farm, of about fifteen acres, upon which 
he maintained his blacksmith shop. He was a most industrious man 
and remained actively at work until 1909, when he retired, but he had 
little time for the leisure of retirement, for he passed to the great beyond 
on December 3, 19 10. His widow survives and makes her home with 
the subject. These worthy people were the parents of seven sons and 
daughters, five of whom are living at present, and concerning the chil- 
dren the following data is herewith entered : Katherine, the eldest born, 
is deceased; Conrad M., resides in Troy township; Jacob is next in order 
of birth; Hannah is still living at the old home; Mary is the wife of 
Robert McBride, of Royal Oak township; Louise is at home; and the 
youngest died in infancy. 

Jacob Stumpf enjoys the unusual fate of living on the old home- 
stead upon which he was born, and every inch of the fine old place is 
dear to him with memories and associations. He was educated in the 
district schools and learned from his father the trade which the older 
man had followed. He cultivates his small place scientifically, bringing 
it to its highest point of productiveness and in connection with his flour- 
ishing blacksmith business he sells farming implements. 

Mr. Stumpf laid one of the most important stones in the foundation 
of his success by his marriage, on June i, 1906 to Augusta Stroh, of 
Detroit. 

Mr. Stumpf is an enthusiastic Mason and exemplifies in his own 
living the ideals of moral and social justice and brotherly love for which 
the order stands. In the matter of politics he is independent and makes 
every effort to discover and support the best man and the best measure 
and is, all in all, a good citizen. 

William D. Lakie. A citizen of note in Troy township, Oakland 
county, Michigan, William D. Lakie is here engaged in general farming 
and stock-raising on his firfe estate of one hundred. acres. He is deeply 
interested in all that affects the welfare of the community in which he 
resides and in politics is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He 
has been a member of the board of reviews of the township, has held 
various school offices and for the past two years has been highway 
commissioner of Troy township. 

William D. Lakie was born in Niagara Falls, Canada, March 30, 1855, 
and he is a son of David and Esther (Sowersby) Lakie. David Lakie 
was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his' wife was a native of Canada, 
her parents having been natives of Scotland. David Lakie was left an 
orphan at an early age and he grew up in the home of friends. After he 
had reached his legal majority he decided to immigrate to America, and 
accordingly went to Canada, where he engaged in farming and where he 
met and married his wife. He spent seven weeks and three days on the 
sailing vessel in which he crossed the ocean. In 1864, with his wife and 
family of four children, he removed to Michigan, settling first on the old 
John R. Martin farm in Avon township, where he remained for one 
year, at the expiration of which he came to Troy township. The family 
lived in Troy township until 1877, when Mrs. Lakie died. After that 
sad occurrence Mr. Lakie decided to settle in St. Clair county. He 
accordingly purchased a farm in Greenwood township, that county, and 
there passed the remainder of his days, his demise having occurred Feb- 
ruary 25, 1893. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, con- 



772 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

cerning whom the following facts are here inserted, — Margeory, born 
in Canada, is the wife of C. A. Spears, a lumber dealer in Grand Rapids, 
Michigan; William D. is the immediate subject of this review; James E. 
is a machinist in Grand Rapids; Annie E. is the wife of Otto Egert and 
they reside in Greenwood township, St. Clair county, Michigan; Milton 
J. likewise maintains his home in Greenwood township, St. Clair county; 
Frank D. devotes his attention to the machinist business at Grand Rap- 
ids; and Maud B. is the wife of Maurice Mericle, of Greenwood town- 
ship. 

To the public schools of his native place in Canada and to the district 
schools of Troy township William D. Lakie is indebted for his prelim- 
inary educational training. He was but ten years of age at the time of 
his parents' removal to Michigan and he had reached his twenty-second 
year when his father and brothers and sisters removed to St. Clair 
county, in 1877. He remained in Troy township, where he was married 
the following year and where he engaged in farming on his own account. 
In 19 1 2 he and his family settled on the farm on which they now 
reside. This estate consists of one hundred acres and is situated in the 
exact center of Troy township. It is in a high state of cultivation and 
in addition to diversified agriculture Mr. Lakie devotes a portion of his 
attention to the raising of high-grade stock; having over thirty head of 
thoroughbred Holsteins. He is a Republican in politics, as already 
noted, and is incumbent of the office of highway commissioner at the 
present time, in 1912. He served for three years on the township board 
of reviews and has held different offices on the school board. Frater- 
nally he is a valued and appreciative member of Birmingham Lodge, 
No. 44, Free and Accepted Masons. He was reared in the faith of the 
Baptist church and his wife is a devout Methodist. 

On May 25, 1878, Mr. Lakie was united in marriage to Miss Esta 
Minerva Niles, a daughter of Orange and Marietta (Llickey) Niles, both 
of whom were of Irish and Dutch descent. ' The former was born at 
Painted Post, New^ York, and the latter at Elmira, New York. Mr. 
and Mrs. Niles came to Michigan in 1822, when this part of the country 
was a howling wilderness, inhabited by wild animals and Indians. Mr. 
and Mrs. Lakie have five children, — Julia Anne is a proficient musician 
and resides at home ; William O. is employed by an automobile concern 
at Detroit; Allen D., George W. and Jennie Esther all remain at the 
parental home, Jennie Esther being a student in the high school at 
Royal Oak. The Lakie home is the center of many attractive social 
gatherings and is renowned for its generous hospitality. 

Joseph B. Grow. It is always pleasing to the biographist or student 
of human nature to enter into an analysis of the character and career of 
a successful tiller of the soil. Of the many citizens gaining their own 
livelihood, he alone stands pre-eminent as a totally independent factor, 
in short, ''Monarch of all he surveys." His rugged honesty and sterling 
w^orth are the outcome of a close association with nature and in all the 
relations of life he manifests that generous hospitality and kindly human 
sympathy, which beget comradeship and which cement to him the friend- 
ship of all with whom he comes in contact. Successfully engaged in 
diversified agriculture and the raising of high-grade cattle, Mr. Grow is 
decidedly a prominent and popular citizen of Royal Oak township, Oak- 
land county, Michigan, where he has resided since the late '6o's. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 773 

Joseph B. Grow was born in Waterford township, Oakland county, 
Michigan, December 19, 1844. He is a son of Edwin and Percy (Hoyt) 
Grow, the former of whom was born in New York state, where he 
resided with his parents until he was ten years of age. Elijah Grow, 
father of Edwin, was a native of Connecticut and he removed to Michi- 
gan with his family about the year 1834. He located in Waterford 
township, Oakland county, where he purchased a farm, on which he re- 
sided during the remainder of his life time. Edwin Grow passed his 
youth on his father's farm and at the age of twenty-one years he pur- 
chased a farm in Waterford township. About that time he was married 
and he and his wife lived on the above farm until the latter 's death, in 
1864, when Mr. Grow^ removed to Highland, whence he later went to 
Vernon, Michigan. His demise occurred at Vernon about the year 1892. 
He and his wife became parents of nine children, six of whom grew to 
maturity and live of whom are living, in 191 2, namely, — Joseph, the im- 
mediate subject of this review; Briggs T., residing in the west; Sarah, 
wife of John Paton, of Commerce township, this county; Hurbert, of 
(Jtsego county, Michigan; and William, who resides at Vernon, Michi- 
gan. Ida passed to the life eternal when about twenty-three years old, 
the wife of James Lockwood. 

To the public schools of Waterford township Joseph B. Grow is 
indebted for his educational training, the same including one year's 
attendance in the public schools at Clarkston. In the winter of 1864 he 
joined the Union army, enlisting for service in Company F, Twenty-sec- 
ond Michigan Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was a part of the Army 
of the Cumberland and he served until the close of the war, participating 
in a numl)er of important engagements marking the progress of the 
conflict. After the close of the war and when peace had again been 
established Mr. Grow returned to Michigan, sojourning for about one 
year in Highland township, whence he came to Royal Oak township, 
here purchasing a farm and engaging in diversified agriculture. He has 
resided on his present line estate of one hundred and sixty acres for the 
past twenty-li\'e years and the same is in a high state of cultivation. It 
is located in section 26 and lies four miles southeast from Royal Oak. 

In politics Mr. (irow is a stalwart Republican and he has been 
incumbent of a num1)er of local offices of important trust and responsi- 
bility. He has been a director of the school board for the past twenty- 
seven years ; was township supervisor for three years ; and for twenty 
years was justice of the peace of Royal Oak township; and has also 
served as school inspector and town clerk. In their religious faith the 
familv are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Royal 
Oak. ^ 

On December 24, 1869, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Grow to 
Miss Lorinda M. Campbell, wdio was born in Oxford, Oakland county 
in 1849 ^^^ came to Royal Oak township in al^out i860. She is the 
daughter of Welcome Cam])bell ; of Scotch descent. In regard to the 
live children born to Mr. and Mrs. Grow, the following data are here 
inserted, — Ida is deceased; Ella is the wife of Fred Perkins, of Highland 
Park ; Mary Furgeson resides at the parental home ; Clara is deceased ; 
and Edwin lives at home and manages the farm. 

Adrian A. Ginv.s is a farmer living in section 27, Troy township, 
Oakland county, and is well known as a man greatly esteemed for his 



774 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

fair and honest dealings with his fellow men, standing for the thought 
of the famous poet, Alexander Pope, when he said, ''An honest man is 
the noblest work of God." He was born in Southfield township, Oak- 
land county, on July 12, 1847, the only son of Almeron and Rebecca 
(Brown) Gibbs. 

Almeron Gibbs, the father of Mr. Gibbs, was born in New York 
state, as was also his father, Samuel Gibbs, although the Gibbs family 
name is of decidedly English origin. He was very well known in this 
part of the country, being prominent as one of the first settlers in Oak- 
land county. He came with his parents to Michigan when he was only 
nine years of age. They came as pioneers and settled in Troy town- 
ship, Oakland county, in 1826, and it was here that Samuel and his 
faithful wife spent the rest of their days until their death. They were 
the parents of five children. Mr. Almeron Gibbs lived at his father's 
home until his marriage, at the age of thirty years, when he bought and 
settled on the forty acre farm where Mr. Adrian A. Gibbs now lives. 
He lived here about thirty-nine years, until he passed into the other 
life. He was a Republican in politics, and the father of two children, 
both of whom are living at present. They are : Adrian A. and Asenath, 
the latter the wife of Mr. Archie B. McCillop, of Lapeer county. 

Mr. Adrian A. Gibbs received his education in the district schools 
and also in the Birmingham high school. On the tenth of December, 
1876, he married Miss Elizabeth Mary Revell, the daughter of Samuel 
and Mary (Cooper) Revell. Miss RevelFs parents immigrated from 
London, England, in about i860, settling first in the Dominion of Can- 
ada, and later coming to risk their fortunes in the United States. Mr. 
and Mrs. Gibbs have no children of their own, but they have adopted 
one daughter, whom they call Geneva Hazel Gibbs. The family are 
devoted members of the Methodist church at Big Beaver, where he has 
held all the offices of the church, and has been prominent in Sunday- 
school work for about seventeen years. 

Mr. Gibbs is a member of the Order of Maccabees, No. 547, Big 
Beaver Lodge, and is also a member of the finance committee of the 
lodge. He is a stanch Republican, like his father before him, and he has 
held the office of supervisor of this township for nine years. He has 
also held many school offices and is treasurer of the school district at 
the present time. A very good indication of his public spirit and of his 
popularity in the township is the fact that he has held the office of town- 
ship clerk for the past ten years. He has always been known as a man 
of sterling qualities, and he has discharged the duties of his various 
offices with honesty and ability. 

Mr. Gibbs is the fortunate possessor of sixty acres of land in the 
township, in sections 27 and 22. 

David Mitchell. A venerable and highly respected citizen of Holly 
township, David Mitchell has been identified with the agricultural inter- 
ests of Oakland county all of his active life, in the independent occupa- 
tion of a farmer having derived both pleasure and profit. A native 
of Michigan, he was born December 12, 1836, in Independence town- 
ship, Oakland county, of pioneer ancestry. 

His parents, George and Ellinor Susanna Mitchell, came from 
Orange county. New York, to Michigan in 1833. For three years 
George Mitchell worked in different parts of the state, finally settling, in 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 775 

1836, in Holly township, Oakland county, buying first forty acres of land 
lying four miles north of Holly. Succeeding well in his undertakings, 
he wisely invested in other tracts of wild land, becoming owner of three 
hundred acres, which he managed ably until his death, in 1852. His wife 
survived him ten years, passing away in 1862. Of the twelve children 
born of their union, seven grew to years of maturity, as follows: Mar- 
garet, who at the time of her death, in 1906, was living in Indianapolis, 
Indiana; William, engaged in farming in Gladwin county, married 
Adelia Belote, of Holly township; Hannah, wife of Charles Best, of 
Holly township, died in 1883; John, who married Ellen Forsythe, of 
Oakland county, died on the home farm in 1873; Sarah, who married 
John McMurray, now resides with her brother David; Daniel, a farmer 
in Holly township married Anna Reasoner; and David, the subject of 
this brief sketch. 

Well trained in the various branches of agriculture as a boy and 
youth, David Mitchell became a landholder when twenty-one years of 
age, and was also engaged in buying and shipping cattle, sheep and hogs, 
for five years. From time to time he has bought other pieces of property 
adjoining his first purchase, and now has a valuable farm of three hun- 
dred and forty acres, which includes the parental homestead, which he 
bought from the remaining heirs. He served as highway commissioner 
of Holly township about thirty years ago, and at one time was a mem- 
ber of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Holly. He is a Dem- 
ocrat ; but has never cared for ofifice. 

Mr. Mitchell married, in 1865, Adeline Marsh, a daughter of Elisha 
and Barbara Marsh, and of their union four children have been born, 
namely; Lewis, Margaret, James and David, Jr. Lewis Mitchell, the 
eldest son, now engaged in farming in Holly township, married Mrs. 
Minnie Quick, and they have two children. Margaret, the only daugh- 
ter, is the wife of John Haas, a prominent agriculturist living five and 
one-half miles northeast of Holly, James Mitchell, the third child, en- 
gaged in farming wnth his father in Holly township, and with his 
brother David is also interested in land in Holly township, and in a tract 
of forty-five hundred acres of land in Prescott, Michigan, where they 
have a stock farm. He was graduated from the Michigan Agricultural 
College with the class of 1905, and carries on farming after the most 
modern scientific methods. He is a member of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, at Holly, and both he and his brother David are asso- 
ciated with the Holly Lighting Company, one being secretary of the or- 
ganization and the other treasurer, and both are likewise members of 
the Holly Produce and Milling Company, whose plant was burned in the 
fall of 191 1. James Mitchell married Lucille Gautz of Riga, Michigan. 

David Mitchell, Jr., a progressive and successful agriculturist of 
Holly township, carries on business with his father, and, as above stated, 
is extensively engaged in farming and stock growing with his brother 
James, and with him is connected with extensive interests in Holly. He 
married Harriet Belford, who died September 6, 1911, leaving two chil- 
dren, Bernice and Albert, who make their home with the subject of this 
review. 

Thomas H. Fagan. Noteworthy among the useful and valued resi- 
dents of Holly township is Thomas H. Fagan, who for many years has 
been intimately associated with the development and growth of the agri- 



776 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

cultural prosperity of this section of Oakland county, and who is now 
serving ably and acceptably as supervisor of his township. A son of 
Peter Fagan, he was born January i, 1844, in Holly township, on a 
farm lying about one mile east of his present home. 

Born in 1808, in Drogheda, a municipal borough and seaport of Ire- 
land, Peter Fagan came with his parents, Terrence and Bridget Fagan, 
to America in 1823, and the ensuing nine years lived in the eastern 
part of New York, not far from Albany. In 1832, with his brother 
John, he came to Michigan with a gang, and helped build the old Detroit, 
flint and Saginaw pike, working until cold weather. Returning home, 
he remained in New York until the spring of 1833, when he came back 
to Michigan, accompanied by his parents and his brother Thomas, set- 
tling in Holly township, through the center of which the pike passed. 
The brothers and their father bought land in sections two, three, ten 
and eleven, paying the government $1.25 an acre, their family being the 
third to locate in this part of Oakland county, which was heavily tim- 
bered with oak and hickory. The first family to come here was that of 
William Gage, and the second was that of a Mr. Herrick, who improved 
a good farm. Peter Fagan built in section two, and John, in section 
three. John and Thomas never married, and for many years lived and 
labored together, at their deaths not being separated, for, one morning 
several years ago, their neighbors seeing no signs of life around their 
little home made investigations and found them both dead, Thomas ])eing 
then seventy-eight years of age, and John four years older. Peter 
Fagan lived to a good old age, and was buried on the eighty-fifth anni- 
versary of his birth, while his wife, whose maiden name was Eliza 
Dains, passed away at the age of eighty-six years. She was a daughter 
of Stephen Dains, who came from Yates county. New York, to Oakland 
county, Michigan, settling in Holly township, which was largely peopled 
by men and women from the Empire state, and was but seventeen years 
old when she married in 1836 or 1837. 

Shortly after his marriage Peter Fagan secured a half section of 
land lying near the parental homestead, and installed his bride in a small 
shanty, twelve by fourteen feet. He subsequently erected the log house 
in which his son, Thomas IL, was born, and about 1853 erected a good 
frame house, in which he spent his remaining years, dying in 1893, ^^^^ 
very same year in which his brothers died. His wife survived him, 
passing away in May, 1909, at the venerable age of eighty-six years, 
having spent seventy-two years of her life on the Fagan homestead. 
Peter Fagan had at one time owned three-fourths of a section of land, 
but he helped each of his children to obtain homes of their own, divid- 
ing a part of his property before his death. To him and his wife twelve 
children were born and reared, as follows: Mary E., of Rose township, 
widow of Frederick Forsythe ; Thomas H., the special subject of this 
sketch; Edwin A,, owning a part of the old homstead ; Eliza J., who 
married Charles FI. Spalding, died in Eapeer county, Michigan; Nancy 
A., who died in Lapeer county was the wife of the late Thomas Ryan; 
Francelia L., wife of Marion Dains, of Isabella county; Peter died in 
l)oyhood; John S., living on a part of the old homestead; Imogene, sec- 
ond wnfe of Charles Spalding, who married for his first wife her sister 
Eliza, owns a part of the old home farm ; Rhoama, who married Fred 
Wortman, died in Fenton, Michigan; William H., who inherited a part 
of the parental acres; and Sabra, who died in early womanhood. 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 777 

Brought up on the home farm and educated in the rural schools of 
liis native district, Thomas H. Fagan chose farming as his life occupa- 
tion, and began his active career on a part of the parental homestead. 
Subsequently selling out to his brother, he bought his present farm, the 
old Andrews homestead, in 1880, and has since carried on general farm- 
ing with much success, his estate being finely located about two and 
one-half miles north of Holly, and containing two hundred and forty 
acres of rich and highly productive land. 

Affiliated in politics with the Democratic party, Mr. Fagan has filled 
many offices of responsibility, having served as justice of the peace seven 
years ; as highway commissioner three years ; and for eleven terms, 
though not in succession, as supervisor. Fraternally he is a member of 
the Free and accepted Order of Masons. 

Mr. Fagan married, at the age of twenty-seven years, Fmma J. An- 
drews, a daughter of James M. Andrews, a farmer and dairyman who 
came from New York to Oakland county, Michigan, in 1850, locating 
near Holly, in Holly township, on the farm now owned and occupied by 
Mr. and Mrs. Fagan, who have but one child, namely: Fmma J., wife of 
Harvey Hawley, who now has charge of the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hawley have two children, Joyce Josephine Hawley, born in 1904; and 
James T. Hawley, born in 19 10. 

Calki) Evkrts. Prol)ably no man has ever been more deeply mourned 
by his fellow citizens than has the late Caleb Everts, who lived in Oak- 
land county, on the farm where he died, for over thirty-nine years. He 
w^as a man possessed of keen business sense and scarcely knew what 
failure meant, but his success was not the result of happy circumstances 
or a chance stroke of good luck, but of hard work and a brain kept clear 
and active by temperate habits and constant use. His farm and home- 
stead were among the finest in the county, and it was his pride that this 
was all the work of his hands. His influence was scarcely realized until 
after his death, and then people discovered how they had depended on 
the keen vision of his eyes, long accustomed to judging his fellows, and 
how great a gap w^as left by his death. Such a man as this, who is not 
widely known outside of his own section, perhaps, has, nevertheless, a 
tremendous opportunity for good, and when such a man dies the power 
of influence is brought home to us with an overwhelming force. 

Pawlett, Rutland county, Vermont, was the birthplace of Caleb 
Everts, the date of his birth being the 15th of July, 18 12. He was the 
son of Gilbert and Polly Everts, and when he was two or three years 
old his parents moved to Washington county, New York. There he 
grew from babyhood into boyhood, and in 18 19, they again moved, 
this time to Monroe county in the same state. There the boy became a 
man, and there occurred the death of both of his parents, his father 
dying in 1827 and his mother in 1833. Caleb was the eldest of the seven 
children of his parents and in his youth there was consequently little 
time for either study or play. Being only fifteen when his father died, 
it yet devolved upon him to help in the support of the family, and he 
consequently went to work by the month. In this way he earned enough 
to feed and clothe his brothers and sisters until they were able to sup- 
port themselves. It was 1836 before he was free to consider his own 
future, and in that year he came to Michigan. It was the fall of the year 
when he arrived and in the winter he returned to New York state for an 



778 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

important event, which was no less than his marriage to Harriet Mid- 
dleton, who was a native of Monroe county, New York, her birth having 
occurred at Greece, in that county, on the 21st of April, 1817. The mar- 
riage took place on December 11, 1836. 

In the spring of the following year Caleb Everts and his bride came 
back to Michigan, but remained only a short time, returning to the old 
home in New York, where they remained for the next three years. In 
the fall of 1 84 1, Mr. Everts made his final migration and settled in 
Oakland county, where he bought the place on which he lived until his 
death. In the fall of the following year, after he had become convinced 
that he wished to settle in this section, he brought his family, which at 
this time consisted of his wife and two children. Bending all his efforts 
towards making his farm a model one, he rapidly advanced in prosper- 
ity, and in 1856 was enabled to build the handsome home in which his 
son Caleb resides at present. This was at the time considered one of the 
finest in the county, and is still able to hold its own with many newer 
and and more expensive dwellings. As his wealth grew he was able to 
invest in more land and owned nearly twelve hundred acres before he 
died. Before his death he gave each of his seven children ten thousand 
dollars and still left a fine estate, which proves that he was a business 
man of unusual ability. 

Mr. and Mrs. Everts became the parents of seven children, three of 
whom are now living. William T. ; Gilbert, who died in childhood ; 
Gilbert T., who became a highly respected farmer in Oakland county, 
and died at the age of sixty-four; Angenette married Charles House and 
and died in Highland township at the age of fifty-seven ; Caleb owns the 
old homestead, two miles west of Rose center; Eugene died when he was 
only thirty, in Shiawassee county; and Harriet M. is the wife of Ross 
Pickett, of Rose Corners. The mother of this family died on the 8th of 
October, 1878, as the result of an accident. 

Caleb Everts was a staunch Democrat all of his life, and was almost 
a life-long reader of the ''Free Press.'' The place which he occupied in 
the hearts of his fellowmen was shown at the time of his funeral, when 
one hundred and sixty carriages followed his body to its last resting 
place in the ''Bebie Burying Ground." The funeral services were con- 
ducted by an old friend and schoolmate of his own children, Elder E. E. 
Caster, who had been closely connected with the sorrows of the Everts 
family, for he had been requested by Mrs. Everts some fifteen years 
before her death to take charge of her funeral and he had also delivered 
the address at the funeral of Mrs. William T. Everts. The death of 
Caleb Everts occurred on February 15, 1880, but his personality remains 
as vivid in the minds of his old friends as though it were but yesterday. 

William T. Everts. Highly respected among the citizens of Oak- 
land -county is W. T. Everts, where he has lived for many years, and 
where as a farmer he has won considerable material prosperity. Genial 
by nature, of a kindly and generous disposition, he has won the friend- 
ship of all with whom he has come in contact, and through his years 
spent as proprietor of various hotels this list is a very large one. He 
has been engaged in various lines of business, and in each of these has 
proved himself to be possessed of business acumen and, what is more to 
be admired, of the strictest integrity. Though the years have piled up 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 779 

behind him to quite a height, he is still active and interested in the 
affairs of the busy world about him. 

New York state may claim W. T. Everts as one of her sons, for he 
was born on the 24th of September, 1837, in Monroe county in that 
state. He was the eldest son of Caleb Everts, who held an important 
position in the affairs of Oakland county until his death. 

When W. T. Everts started out for himself in life, he tried his hand 
at various things, among these being lumbering, at which he made quite 
a bit of money as a jobber. However, an unsuccessful venture in the 
same line of business caused this small fortune to vanish. In i860 came 
the event of his marriage to Ellen Powers, the day of the ceremony being 
the 25th of March. His wife was the daughter of James and Mary 
Powers, both of whom were born in Ireland. In 1834 they came to the 
United States, and in 1841 removed to Michigan, coming to Rose town- 
ship in Oakland county in 1843. Here on the farm where W. T. Everts 
now lives Ellen Powers grew to womanhood. 

In 1884 Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Everts came to live at the Powers home 
in order to care for her mother, who was well along in years. It was 
during this year that Mr. Everts built the house in which he lives at 
present. Mrs. Powers died in 1888, and, relieved of the responsibility 
of her care, Mr. Everts went to Shiawassee county, where he engaged 
in farming for a time. Then returning once more to the Powers home- 
stead, he farmed here until he became the proprietor of the Everts 
House in Fenton. This was a new field of endeavor for him, but deter- 
mining to make a success he threw himself into the work of getting the 
hotel into smooth running order, and soon it was earning money for him. 
He remained here for three years, and then became proprietor of the 
hotel in Flint, Michigan, which he operated for about a year, going 
thence to a hotel in Grand Rapids, where he remained for upwards of 
three years. 'The Old Souther," which was at one time a well known 
hotel in Pontiac, Michigan, next came in for a share of his attention, 
and he remained in charge of this house for about two years and a half. 
After this long experience in the hotel business he was ready for the 
quiet of farm life again, and it was with something of a sigh of relief 
that he found himself once more back on the old farm. This change; 
in his life took place in 1903, and since this time he has lived quietly on 
the farm, which is located two miles south of his father's old home- 
stead in Rose township. While not large in extent, it is fertile and is 
well cared for, so that the best results are obtained. Mrs. Everts was 
overjoyed to return to her childhood home, and here she died on the 
i6th of February, 191 1, having almost reached the age of seventy-four 
years. 

Mr. and Mrs. Everts, having no children of their own, adopted a 
son, who was everything that a son could have been, and who has come 
to live at the old farm since the death of Mrs. Everts. This son, Charles 
Everts, married Libbie Gordan and they became the parents of one 
daughter, Marie. The latter married Leo Tinsman, who is employed in 
Barrett's factory, at Holly, Michigan. They have an infant son, Charles 
Seeley Tinsman. 

Striking proof of the popularity of Mr. Everts and his wife was 
had on the twenty-fifth anniversary of their marriage, when they were 
surprised by over two hundred of their friends who took possession of 
the house for the evening and gave the honored couple an entertainment 



780 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

worth remembering. Supreme court Justice Waite, of Fenton, Michi- 
gan, remarried them, and the expressions of friendship and affection 
were so smcere and unaffected that Mr. Everts looks back on the occa- 
sion as one of the most memorable in his whole life. Taking his life as 
a whole, ''Grover Cleveland," as he is called by his friends, on account 
of the striking resemblance between Mr. Everts and our late ex-presi- 
dent, considers that he has had much more happiness than sorrow, and 
this happy optimistic view of life draws closer than ever his circle of 
friends. 

Samuel J. Serrell. The late Samuel J. Serrell was a man who was 
long and favorably known in Oakland county, in which he located in the 
late sixties, and where he passed the remainder of his life, engaged in 
farming, operations and in surveying, which was his rightful trade or 
profession. He was a man of excellent traits and occupied a high place 
in the esteem of his fellow townsfolk throughout his life time. He won 
to himself a goodly estate as the result of his well directed efforts along 
those lines of industry which he felt himself most fitted to pursue, and 
when he died on September 8, 1908, left not only the heritage of a good 
name, which is in itself above price, but considerable material wealth as 
well. 

Samuel J. Serrell was born in New York state on December 8, 1845 
and was the son of John J. and Mary E. Serrell. He was reared' in his 
native state and there educated and when he was twenty years of age 
came to Michigan in the year 1865. In 1867 l"ie located in Saginaw, and 
soon thereafter he made his way to Oakland county, where he turned his 
attention to farming. He secured a tract of one hundred and forty- 
four acres of land in Avon township, lying in section thirty-three, get- 
ing his deed to the land from the government, which bears the signa- 
ture of President Andrew Johnson. The original deed is now in the 
possession of his son, Harry J., of whom more extended mention is 
made on other pages of this historical and biographical work. His life 
thereafter was divided between his farming operations and his surveying 
interests. 

In 1866 Mr. Serrell married Miss Adie E. Murline, a native daugh- 
ter of Michigan, and they became the parents of two children; Harry 
J. Mrs. Serrell died when her son was eight years of age, and in later 
years the father married Miss Dorothea Palmer, who yet survives her 
husband and makes her home in Pontiac. Two children were born of 
this second union, both of whom died in infancy. 

Frank S. Keller. Public-spirited and enterprising, Frank S. Keller 
is known as one who has ever been useful in his community and an able 
assistant in developing its highest interests. He has filled various offices 
of trust, at the present writing, in 1912, being postmaster at Highland 
and one of the leading merchants of the village. A native of Buffalo, 
New York, he was born July 19, 1869, a son of Jacob and Catherine 
Keller. 

Jacob Keller was born in 1825 in Germany, and came to the United 
States when twenty-one years of age. After remaining in New York 
city about a year he went to Buffalo, New York, living there until 1874, 
when he came with his family to Oakland county, Michigan. Locating 
in Ortonville, he there followed his trade of a shoemaker for many years. 



^.*%«-«-.-' 




^^^h^^i^uj-^ys^^ 



J 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 781 

living there until his death, in 1901. Of the children born to him and 
his wife, Jacob and three others, died in infancy, and the following 
named are now living: George W., who married Miss Melos Calkins, 
of Highland township, is engaged in farming on his father-in-law's 
farm; Clara, living in Ortonville, with her widowed mother; Ella M., 
wife of Robert Chassidy, of Ortonville ; and Frank S. 

Coming with his parents to Michigan wdien but live years old, Frank 
S. Keller received excellent educational advanteiges. After leaving the 
public schools of Ortonville he attended two of the state normal schools, 
one at Ypsilanti, and the other at Flint, later continuing his studies for 
a year at the normal school in Fostoria, Ohio. As a young man Mr. 
Keller farmed for a time, l)ut was principally engaged in professional 
work, teaching school five years in Highland Corners, one year in High- 
land village, and for five years at Groveland Center and Ijelleville, in 
Wayne county. Embarking in mercantile pursuits in 1899, he conducted 
a general store at Highland Corners for six years, being quite success- 
ful in his venture. He then formed a partnership wath Air. l. R. Water- 
bury, of Detroit and Highland village, and has since carried on an ex- 
tensive and lucrative business in Highland village, where he carries a 
stock of goods valued at about $10,000, the store being located in a 
building twenty by seventy-five feet, and stocked with a fine line of 
general merchandise. Mr. Keller also owns thirty acres of land in the 
southwestern part of the village, it being property of considerable value. 

For the past three years he has served as postmaster, and for the 
past five years has been township clerk. He was also for eight years 
justice of the peace for Highland township. Fraternally he is a mem- 
ber of Milford Lodge, Ancient J^^ree and Accepted Order of Masons, 
and religiously both he and his good wife are members of the liaptist 
church. 

Mr. Keller married, June 16, 1897, Nellie AL Holdridge, a daughter 
of Henry D. and Josephine Holdridge, and they have one child, Jose- 
l)hine C. Keller. 

IToN. Georcie WiLLOUC.ur.v. A man. of integrity, Hon. George WiF 
loughby occupies an important position among the infiuential citizens of 
Clyde, where he is carrying on a substantial business as a dealer in 
farm produce. Active and genuinely interested in public afi'airs, he has 
filled the various offices to which he has been elected with tact and dis- 
crimination, winning thereby the respect and esteem of his fellow-men, 
A native of Oakland county, he was born March 6, 1850, in Wliite Lake 
settlement, where his father, Zerah Willough1)y, settled in j)ioneer days. 

Zerah Willoughby was born in one of the eastern states, and was of 
noble lineage, having been a lineal descendant of Lord Wllloughl)y, of 
England. Coming to Oakland county, ^Michigan, in pioneer days, he 
took up a tract of timl^ered land in Commerce township, and on the 
farm wdiich he redeemed from the forest spent his remaining days, 
passing away at advanced age. He was a jDrominent meml^er of the 
Democratic party, and served not only on the local school board, but 
was the first treasurer of Commerce township. He was a well edu- 
cated man. 

Zerah Willoughby was twnce married. His first wafe, to whom he 
was married in his native state, came with him to Michigan and died 
in Commerce township, leaving two children, as follows : Ryal, living 



782 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

at Shepherd, Isabella county, Michigan; and Ellen, deceased, who mar- 
ried a Air. Colvin. He married for his second wife Delia D. Baker, 
who was born in New York city, and came with her parents. Rev. Daniel 
M. and Mary (Banks) Baker, to Oakland county. Her father, who 
was a shoemaker and dealer, preached the first sermon ever delivered 
in the White Lake settlement, and also, with a few farmers living in 
his neighborhood, organized and named Farmington township. Mrs. 
Delia D. Willoughby survived her first husband, and subsequently mar- 
ried a widower, Lyman Johnson, of Highland township, and with him 
lived on his farm the remainder of her life, dying when but fifty-seven 
years of age, while Mr. Johnson lived to the age of seventy-five years. 
She had one child by her first marriage, namely : George Willoughby, 
the subject of this sketch, and by her union with Mr. Johnson had a 
daughter, Jennie, now the wife of R. C. Beach, of California. 

His mother marrying for the second time when he was two years 
old, George Willoughby accompanied her to the Johnson homestead in 
Highland township, and there lived until after the death of his step- 
father, for whom he tenderly cared during his later years. As a well- 
merited reward for his kindness, and for paying ofT the indebtedness 
on the farm, Mr. Willoughby, at the death of Mr. Johnson, succeeded 
to the ownership of the Johnson homestead, which was located on Duck 
lake, section 12, Highland township, and continued its successful man- 
agement until 1885. Retiring then from agricultural pursuits, Mr. 
Willoughby removed to Clyde, where he has since built up a large and 
exceedingly remunerative business as a dealer in grain and farm produce, 
making a specialty of buying and selling potatoes, hay and apples, ship- 
ping annually from seventy-five to one hundred and twenty-five car- 
loads of produce. He has an especial talent for music, and for twenty 
years played the first B flat cornet in the Clyde Brass Band, his work 
in that organization making it extremely popular throughout the com- 
munity. 

Mr. Willoughby is a stanch Republican and has served his fellow- 
citizens in many public positions, ever fulfilling the duties thus devolv- 
ing upon him in a manner to reflect credit upon himself and to the honor 
of his constituents. He was constable two years; justice of the peace 
eight years; supervisor one year; and township treasurer two years. In 
1908 he was elected to the state legislature, and during the first session 
was a member of the committee on ways and means ; on Federal rela- 
tions ; and on religious and benevolent societies. During the second 
session of the legislature he served as chairman of the committee on 
the School for the Blind ; was a member of the committee on Federal 
relations, during which time nine new Federal buildings were completed ; 
was author of a bill to authorize the building of a soldiers' and sailors' 
monument ; and introduced a bill relating to the primary school fund, 
its object having been to equalize its distribution according to valuations 
of different counties rather than according to the number of school chil- 
dren in a district, an action that would enable many of the poorest tax- 
paying counties to get fifty per cent more of the primary money than 
at present. The bill, however, was not introduced in season to receive 
permanent action. He was also successful in having passed several bills 
of local importance. While a member of that august body Mr. Wil- 
loughby obtained a thorough knowledge of the inside workings of state 
afifairs. His own work was mainly with the different committees, and, 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 783 

though quiet, was equally as effective as that done on the floor of the 
house by the ready speakers. 

Mr. Willoughby married Sarah A. Allen, who was born in England 
and came wih her parents when seven years old to Commerce, Michi- 
gan, where she was reared and educated. Her father, William Allen, 
married, in England, Ann S. Kelton. Fraternally Mr. Willoughby is 
a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has been a 
delegate to the Grand Lodge ; he also belongs to the Yeomen of America. 

John Henry Preumore. Held in high respect as a man of sterling 
character and ability, John Henry Predmore holds a position of note 
among the valued citizens of Clyde, Oakland county, where he is living, 
a valued member of the farming community. A son of a pioneer of 
this part of Michigan, Benjamin Predmore, he was born April 17, 1840, 
in Hector, Chemung county. New York, of Scotch ancestry. 

A native of New Jersey, where his birth occurred March 6, 1792, 
Benjamin Predmore spent a part of his early life in the Empire state, 
coming from there in 1855 ^^ Oakland county, Michigan. Buying land 
in Orion township, he improved a farm, and there lived until 1864. 
Selling out then, he bought a farm in Highland township, in company 
with his son. Miles C. Predmore, who had located there in 1858. He 
continued his residence in that place until his death, February 28, 1882, 
at a venerable age, lacking but nine days of being ninety years of age. 
His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Adair, lived but sixty-five 
years. They reared five sons and one daughter, as follows : Benjamin 
F., a millwright, was killed while working on the machinery in a grist 
mill at Holly ; Miles C, who served as a member of a company of 
Michigan artillery during the Civil war, died in northern Michigan; 
John Henry, the special subject of this brief biographical review; Charles 
B., who enlisted during the Civil war in the Twenty-second Michigan 
Volunteer Infantry, died at Lexington, Kentucky; Spaulding D., who 
served in the Third Michigan Cavalry during the Civil war, died at 
Leavenworth, Kansas ; and Emeline, who married William Livermore, 
died in early womanhood. 

xA.s a lad of fourteen years John Henry Predmore began working 
out by the month, one-half of his wages during the first year going into 
the family exchequer. He afterw^ards depended entirely upon his own 
resources, and being industrious and frugal had saved quite a sum by 
the time he attained his majority. On July 6, 1864, he enlisted in the 
Twenty-second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, a new regiment, and first 
met the enemy in Kentucky, where the regiment was practically cut to 
pieces, he receiving injuries that disabled him from further service. 
Being honorably discharged from the army, Mr. Predmore returned to 
Oakland county, and took up his trade of a blacksmith, for six years 
running a smithy at Spring Mills. Locating then near Clyde, he bought 
one hundred and twenty-one acres of land adjoining the village, and 
has since carried on general farming with most satisfactory pecuniary 
results. He was for twelve years associated with the Monitor Insurance 
Company, doing a large amount of business during that time. He has 
also twice served as township treasurer. For twenty years or more 
Clyde supported a very good brass band, which had an extended reputa- 
tion, and was often in demand on public occasions or for local enter- 
tainments and amusements, and in it Mr. Predmore pounded the bass 
drum. 



784 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

Politically he invariably supports the principles of the Republican 
party by voice and vote. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient 
Free and Accepted Order of Masons ; and of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, m which he has passed all the chairs, and has served as 
a delegate to the Grand Lodge. Mr. Predmore is a man of abstemious 
habits, using no tobacco, and has never taken a drink of liquor over the 
bar. He is fond of cards, and enjoys a clean game of "seven-up." 

On April 2, 1864, Mr. Predmore was united in marriage with Mary 
A. Glass, of Lapeer county, Michigan. Their only child, Willie Pred- 
more, who was a timberman in the copper mines at Butte, Montana, was 
killed while putting in timbers to support the roof, in August, 1904, at 
the age of thirty-seven years, being crushed by the falling of rocks. 

Charles T. P^oster. Industriously engaged in the prosecution of 
a calling upon which the wealth and prosperity of our nation so largely 
depends, Charles T. Foster, who owns and occupies Oak Grove Farm, 
is widely known as one of the most successful and progressive farmers 
of Rose township. A son of Samuel and Sarah Foster, he was born 
December 8, 1851, in Springfield, Michigan, coming on the paternal 
side of English ancestry. 

Born in Kent, England, Samuel Foster immigrated when very young 
to the United States, locating first in New York. From there he came 
to Michigan in 1839, and after living for a few years in Detroit settled 
in Oakland county, near Clarkston, where he bought land and in addi- 
tion to carrying on general farming followed his trade of a carpenter, 
living there until his death, in 1878. His wife survived him many 
years, dying, in November, 1910, in Pontiac, Michigan. Six children 
were born of their marriage, as follows: Samuel, engaged in the real 
estate and insurance business in Chicago, Illinois; Horatio, engaged in 
the livery and undertaking business in the city of Midland; Mrs. Sarah 
Bigelow, of Cass City, Michigan; Mrs. Alice Brondige, who died, in 
1909, in Pontiac, leaving one son, Eli Brondige, of Davisburg; Mrs. 
Letitia Brondige, of Pontiac; and Charles T. 

Brought up on the home farm and educated in the district schools, 
Charles T. Foster remained beneath the parental roof-tree until 1878. 
In January of that year he came to Rose township, and having pur- 
chased one hundred acres of land that are now included in his present 
home estate, he began farming upon his own responsibility, and has met 
with most satisfactory pecuniary results. His home farm now contains 
two hundred and fifty-five acres of rich and fertile land, and in addition 
to general farming he is profitably and extensively engaged in raising 
stock, a branch of industry in which he has been quite successful. He 
is a Democrat politically and takes an intelligent interest in everything 
pertaining to the welfare of his community. For twentv-nine years he 
served as township clerk. Fraternally he belongs to Rose Lodge, of 
the Ancient Order of Gleaners. 

In November, 1871, Mr. Foster was united in marriage with Emma 
L. Merrill, who was born in Springfield township, Michigan, a daughter 
of George and Sophia Merrill. Mr. and Mrs. Foster have had children 
as follows: Charles, who died in March, 1906, when twenty-five years 
of age; George, who owns a farm of one hundred and thirty acres in 
Rose township, married Ida M. Ellison, and they have two children; 
Edith, who married, in October, 1910, Charles T. Hadley, of Rose town- 
ship, has one child; John H., owning a farm of one hundred and thirty- 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 785 

four acres in the northeastern part of Rose township, married Mary 
Perry, who was born near Pontiac, Michigan; Ethel, Hving at home, 
was graduated from the Holly high school and from the Oakland 
County Normal School, has taught school one year ; Frank, attending 
the Holly high school; and Yvonne, a child of seven years, attending 
the public schools. 

Nathaniel J. Gordon. Ranking high among the prosperous far- 
mers of Oakland county, the record of whose lives fill an important 
place in this volume, is Nathaniel J. Gordon, of Rose township, an en- 
terprising and progressive man, possessing much force of character. A 
native-born citizen, his birth occurred September 26, 1859, on a farm 
lying about one and one'^half miles north of his present home. 

His father, Patrick Gordon, a native of county Antrim, Ireland, born 
January 29, 1830, was there bred and educated. In about 1846 he 
came to America with his parents and located on Long Island, New York. 
In 1 85 1, just about the time he attained his majority, he migrated with 
his parents, James and Jennie Gordon, to Michigan, locating in Rose 
township, Oakland county. Saving money while working by the month 
as a farm hand, he subsequently wisely invested it in land, becoming 
owner of a fine farm situated two miles east of Rose Center, on which 
he made improvements of value, continuing his residence there until 
his death, in December, 1899, aged seventy years. He was an active 
Republican in politics, and in the later years of his life served as town- 
ship treasurer and as justice of the peace. He married Sarah Sutton, 
who was born November 27, 1837, in Genesee county. New York, and 
came in 1844 to Rose township, Oakland county, with her parents, 
Peter and Fanny (Bird) Sutton, both natives of New Jersey, who cleared 
and improved a farm here, on which they spent their remaining days, 
the father dying at the age of eighty-one and the mother when sixty- 
three. Mts. Gordon is still living, now making her home with her son 
Nathaniel in Missouri. Five children were born of their union, as fol- 
lows : James, who received excellent educational advantages, taught 
school from the age of sixteen years until his death, when but tw^enty- 
three years old; Jennie, who married August Anderson, died in 191 1, 
aged forty-three years ; William, engaged in farming in Lake county, 
Michigan; Willis B., engaged in farming in Missouri, near Trenton; 
and Nathaniel J. 

Living beneath the parental roof-tree until twenty-three years old, 
Nathaniel J. Gorden was early initiated into the mysteries of farming. 
When ready to establish a home of his own he purchased eighty acres 
of his present estate, in Rose township, assuming quite a debt for a 
young man. Fortune smiling upon him, he placed his land under good 
cultivation, and when out of debt bought additional land, now having 
a highly improved and productive farm of one hundred and sixty acres, 
on which he has made improvements of an excellent character, having 
good buildings and in 1909 having erected a new house, one of the most 
attractive residences in the locality. Mr. Gordon carries on general 
farming after the most approved modern methods, paying especial atten- 
tion to the feeding and raising of stock. He is a strong Republican in 
his political relations, and has filled several minor public of^ces. He 
served on the school board twenty-four years, and has spent his entire 
life in this school district. 

Mr. Gordon married at the age of twenty-three years, on February 



786 HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

6, 1883, Ella Highfield, the adopted daughter of Edgerton and Lucy 
(Hicks) Highfield, who came from Canada to Oakland county when 
Ella was a child. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon are the parents of six children, 
namely : Joseph P., a farmer, is married, and lives in Springfield town- 
ship, Oakland county; James Earl, married, and engaged in farming in 
Rose township, served as census enumerator in 1910, and in April, 191 1, 
and again in 1912 was elected township treasurer; Arthur J.; Minnie; 
Alva, attending the Holly high school; and Frank. All of the children 
have received good educational advantages, after leaving the district 
schools continuing their studies at the Holly high school Mrs. Gordon 
is a member of the Rose Center Methodist Episcopal church. 

Asa Reynolds. Coming to Oakland county, Michigan, upwards of 
seventy-five years ago, Asa Reynolds was one of those brave and courag- 
eous pioneers who dauntlessly pushed his way into an uncultivated 
country, taking up a tract of wild land in Rose township, where he 
cleared and improved a good farm, laboring with persistent industry. 
Public-spirited and capable, he became prominent among the leading 
citizens of his community, filling numerous offices of trust and responsi- 
bility, at his death leaving behind him a record for steadiness of purpose 
and integrity of character of which his descendants may well be proud. 

Born November 25, 1810, in Schenectady county, New York, Asa 
Reynolds spent his boyhood and early manhood in Livingston county, 
New York, where his parents settled when he was seven years old. He 
taught school for a year in Monroe county, and in the same year, 1834, 
married. In October, 1836, Mr. Reynolds came with his wife to Michi- 
gan, with her bravely daring all the hardships and privations incidental 
to frontier life. Securing one hundred and sixty acres of land in Rose 
township, Oakland county, he cleared a large part of his farm, and was 
there a resident for thirty years. Subsequently removing to Fenton, he 
remained there a resident until his death, September 9, 1888. 

An active and influential worker in Demorcatic ranks, Mr. Reynolds 
was frequently elected to public positions, and ever rendered excep- 
tionally good service as an ofiice holder. He served as justice of the 
peace in Rose township for sixteen years, and as supervisor ten years. 
In 1854 he represented his district in the state legislature. He did a 
great deal of public business during his life, often being selected as 
administrator of estates. 

Mr. Reynolds married first, in Avon, New York, in 1834, Sarah M. 
Lurvey. She passed to the life beyond in 1846, leaving three children, 
namely: Mary E., born March 24, 1836, married Luther W. Cole, and 
settled in Rose township, where both spent their remaining years ; Sarah, 
born February 17, 1842, married Jerome E. Carver, and remained on 
the parental homestead; and Bettie, born March 3, 1844, married C. L. 
Miles, and died in 1876. Mr. Reynolds married in 1847 Mary Gage, 
who was born in New Hampshire, in 1808, and died in Owosso, Michi- 
gan, November 18, 1892. The only child born of their union was Jennie 
L. Reynolds, who was born October 19, 1847, ^^^ is now the wife of 
Cornelius Mahaney, of Owosso, Michigan. 

Jerome E. Carver was born in York township, Washtenaw county, 
Michigan, March 26, 1836. On September 24, 1861, he was united in 
marriage with Sarah, daughter of Asa Reynolds, and immediately after 



HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY 787 

that important event settled on a farm lying near the Reynolds home- 
stead, in Rose township, Oakland county. Mrs. Carver subsequently 
purchased her father's farm, running in debt for it. Mr. Carver carried 
on general farming with good success until his death, September 27, 
1880, when but forty-five years of age. Still owing $8,000 on the farm, 
Mrs. Carver assumed its management after the death of her husband, 
and was so prosperous in her operations that she was enabled each year 
to lessen her indebtedness, and lived to see every cent of it paid in full. 
She died the following year, however, her death occurring December 
2^, 1906, on the farm where she had practically spent her entire life. 
The house now standing on the place was erected by her father about 
1850, and was at that time one of the best houses in the county. Mr. 
and Mrs. Carver reared but one child, Sylvia Carver, who married, 
January 19, 1907, Alfred F. Le Baron. 

Mr. Le Baron w^as born December 11, 1865, in York township, Wash- 
tenaw county, Michigan. Since his marriage he has had the entire 
charge of the home farm, which came to his wife through inheritance, 
and is managing it in an able and skilful manner, each year adding t