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Portrait And Biographical Record Of Northern Michigan
Containing Portraits And Biographical Sketches Of Prominent
And Representative Citizens
Record Publishing Co., 1895

James E. Somerville, a member of the firm of Somerville & Wood, is one of the enterprising business men of Manistee. The firm handles all kinds of school and college textbooks, and fancy articles, wall paper, holiday goods, blank books, stationery, etc. The business was established in 1878 by Mr. Somerville, who operated it alone until two years ago, when Mr. Wood became a member of the firm. They do an extensive business, and run two stores in the city, one being located in the Engelmann Block and carrying similar goods in stock.

A native of Pontiac, Mich., J. E. Somerville was born March 7, 1855, and received the main share of his education in the public and high schools of Lansing. His parents were James and Margaret J. (Hait) Somerville. The father was born in the northern part of Ireland in 1824, and came to America in early manhood. The mother was born in New York State in 1831, and was married in this state. Of their three children, Emma is the wife of George I. Wood, who is the junior member of the firm to which our subject belongs. Frank is engaged in the coke and coal business in Chicago. In 1869 the parents moved to Manistee, where the father died in January, 1883. His wife is still living, making her home in this city. James Somerville, Sr., was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, but retired, and for ten years prior to his death was engaged in a mercantile business. During the late war he served for three years, in the capacity of Chaplain, with the Sixth Michigan Calvary. From the privations and exposure incident to army life he incurred serious disability, from the effects of which he never fully recovered, and probably led to his death a few years later.

August 12, 1880, James E. Somerville married Miss Jennie Tuxworth. She is a native of Canada, and a daughter of George and Ruth Tuxworth, both of whom are now deceased. She came to Michigan with her parents in childhood, and grew to maturity, receiving her education in the mean time. Five children have come to bless the union of our subject and his estimable wife, two sons and three daughters, named as follows: Harry, Ruth, Ella, Besse and Arthur.

In questions of national importance, Mr. Somerville uses his vote for the Republican candidates and principles. He is a true patriot and a good citizen, being interested in educational matters and whatever tends to the elevation of his fellow-men and to the betterment of society. By continued and unremitting effort he has won a competence, and through his sterling and honorable methods of doing business has gained the respect and confidence of the entire community.

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1895 Portrait And Biographical Record
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