HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 137
It is a pleasure to record the experience, and incidents in the life of a worthy and successful man, who, unassisted, began its battles in days and amid surroundings, that afforded no opportunities to secure even the rudiments of an education, and whose boyhood and youth were spent amid deprivations that are strangers to our day.
Mr. Machin, the subject of this sketch, was born at Basby, England, April 7, 1813, and by industry and economy was enabled, at the age of twenty-five, to provide a home for himself and wife. He was married in Walcott, England, to Elizabeth Girton, May 15, 1838, she being his playmate in childhood, friend in youth, and advisor in early manhood. Children blessed their union:
MARY, born February 12, 1839.
JOHN, October 7, 1842.
WILLIAM, May 27, 1844.
Ann M. and JOSEPH, January 31, 1847.
Desiring to better the condition of his family, and give them an opportunity to secure homes not attainable with their small capital in England, he emigrated in 1851 to America. Delayed by a year’s sickness, at Brockport, New York, he arrived in Florence township, St. Joseph county, his capital exhausted; and, with only one dollar, with which to begin again, commenced to labor for a home. Assisted by a kind friend George Pashby, an honor to mankind! he was enabled soon to realize his expectations. By diligence and economy, assisted by his noble wife, he secured for himself a fine home, and lived to see his children comfortably located.
In early life he became a member of the Wesleyn Methodist church. His adopted country found in him a faithful citizen, and his chosen Republican party, an earnest supporter.
He died February 23, 1871, and we do simple justice to the memory of the man by showing his portrait in connection with this history, believing that in his record many things may be learned, of practical value to those who follow after.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 150
The subject of the following sketch was born July 16, 1800, in Johnstown, in the State of New York, where he lived with his parents, Rogers and Anna (Waterman) Macomber, until he was fourteen years of age, when he went to live with an older brother (John) in Scipio, in the same county. With him re remained until 1820, at which time he removed with his parents to Perry, Genesee (now Wyoming) county, New York. He received an ordinary English education at the district schools of the State, and assisted his elder brother on the farm until he removed to Perry. After a residence of seven years in Perry, Mr. Macomber removed to Alabama township, Genessee county, where for sixteen years he pursued the legal profession, being also a justice of the peace during the whole period of his stay in the place.
In September, 1843, he removed with his family to the township of Park, St. Joseph county, Michigan, and located a large tract of land (six hundred acres), which was wild and uncultivated, but which his sons, ender his management, subdued and brought to a high state of productiveness. He built a fine brick residence on the old homestead,--the first one in the township, and at the time, and for many years afterwards, the best one on the Buckhorn road (so-called). He removed to Three Rivers in 1864, purchased a comfortable residence, in which he resided two years, and then went into the northern part of the State for about two years longer,--returning to Three Rivers in 1868, and remaining there until his decease, October 31, 1874. At the time of his death, Mr. Macomber was a director in the Manufacturers’ National Bank of Three Rivers, which institution he contributed largely to organize. His business calling, for the last few years of his life, was principally that of a capitalist.
While he resided in Perry he met an estimable young lady (five years his junior), Miss Mary Burt, and won her for his bride,--leading her to the altar on the 16th day of May, 1822, from whence they journeyed together, under the lights and shades incident to human life, for a period of over fifty-two years. During this long pilgrimage, eleven children were born to them,--eight of whom are now living, viz: Reuben, of Three Rivers; Mrs. Caroline Roach, Mrs. Electa Wheeler and Mrs. Maria Smith, of Three Rivers; Mrs. Mary Sabin, Mrs. Nettie Wheeler, Mrs. Jennie Mather and Mrs. Ella Hewings. Mrs. Roach and Mrs. Electa Wheeler reside at Morley, and Mrs. Sabin, Mrs. Mather and Mrs. Hewings, at Howard, in Michigan;, Mrs. Nettie Wheeler, at Reynolds, Indiana. Jerome, the eldest son, died while en route to California , in 1849-50. He and Reuben, during the first six years of their residence in Park, broke up over eight hundred acres of wild land for their father and neighbors.
Mr. Macomber’s religious views were those of the Baptist faith, to which church he joined himself in Alabama township, being baptized in 1830. When he came to Park,--there being no church of the Baptist denomination in that vicinity,--he united with the Wesleyan Methodist society, and remained in that communion until his death. In politics he was in early life a Whig,--joining the Republican party at its organization, and remaining a member thereof until his death. His decease was sudden, but not unexpected,--nor did the grim messenger find a fearful listener, for having already accomplished something more than the span of life allotted to man on the earth, he was ready for the summons which his failing health warned him might come at any moment, but which he might well anticipate with composure after a long life of strict integrity and uprightness. Peaceful as his life had been, his change came, and he passed from earth as the light of an autumn day fades into the twilight; going to the grave, crowned with years, and willing to be garnered to the everlasting rest.
Mary Burt, the daughter of Alpheus and Chloe Burt, was born in Huntington, Chittenden county, Vermont, March 10, 1805,--removing therefrom with her parents to Riga, New York, in 1809, and from thence, in 1818, to Parry, where she was married to Charles Macomber, May 16, 1822. In 1827 she removed with her husband and family to Alabama township, Genesee county, and from thence to Park township, St. Joseph county, Michigan, in 1843,--in which township, and at Three Rivers, she resided, except two years (1864-6), In Ionia county, up to the time of her husband’s death, in 1874; since which event she has passed her time with her children at their homes, and among her relatives in the east, where she is ever a welcome and honored guest.
She joined the Baptist church with her husband in 1830, and with him also the Wesleyan Methodist society in Park; but on her removal to Three Rivers she worshipped with her children in the Presbyterian congregation,--of which they were members,--she herself joining it afterwards in 1870. She has been a help-meet indeed, and her husband appreciated and often acknowledged the fact. After seventy-two years o life’s experience lighted with joy and shaded with sorrow, she is looking calmly forward to the time when she will pass through the same dark portals which her loved ones have passed before her, to the joy of the reunion beyond.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 151
The paternal ancestor of the subject of this sketch, whose name was John Wolf, was born in Wittemberg, Germany, April 18, 1769, and emigrated to America with his parents, when he was but two years old, settling with them in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, where he died April 18, 1824. His maternal ancestor, whose name was Catharine Hoan, a daughter of David Hoan, was born in Pennsylvania, May 8, 1776, and died in Lockport township, Michigan, September 28, 1835.
He, of whose life we here present a brief sketch, was born November 17, 1794, in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, where he lived nearly forty years. He was educated in the German language; and the only knowledge he ever obtained of the English tongue was such as was communicated to him by his children in after years, and by intercourse with his neighbors who spoke that language. He learned the trade of miller, and followed it exclusively during the last nine or ten years of his residence in Pennsylvania.
In the spring of the year 1834 he removed from that State to St. Joseph county, Michigan, locating three hundred and twenty acres in section twenty-seven in the township of Lockport, on which he resided till his decease, October 16, 1851. He followed agriculture principally during his life in Michigan, but his practical knowledge in milling brought his services into requisition frequently to dress the stones in the different mills in the county, and to put them in operation.
In the year 1815 Mr. Wolf was united in marriage to Barbara Drescher, by whom the following children were born to him:
SAMUEL, who died August 17, 1839; STEPHEN, who died September 20, 1828, when but ten years old; JOSIAH; CATHARINE, afterwards Mrs. Isaac Fort of Lockport, but now deceased; DANIEL F., JOHN F., AARON, now dead; AMOS C.; MARY ANN, afterwards the wife of David D. Antes, of Centreville, but now deceased, and THOMAS B.
The living sons are all now located in the township o Lockport on fine farms of their own, and rank among the leading farmers of the county; Amos C. being on the old homestead purchased ot eh government forty-three years ago. John F. and Daniel F. have been, and still are among the very heaviest mint-oil producers of the county.
Mrs. Wolf was born in Pennsylvania, in August, 1790, where she was married. The family arrived at P. H. Hoffman’s, in Lockport, May 28, 1834, after a wearisome journey of a month in wagons, which latter vehicles and a small board shanty furnished them their only shelter during the first summer. In the fall of the year they removed into a frame house Mr. Wolf had built himself, for though a miller by trade, his genius was not by any means confined to that branch of handiwork, but he was an adept at anything in mechanics necessary to be done in a new community.
Mrs. Wolf died on the 2d of April, 1866, in Centreville, at the residence of Daniel F. Wolf, with whom her home had been for eight years previously. Mr. and Mrs. Wolf were members of the Methodist church of Centreville, at the time of their death; Mr. Wolf being one of its stewards for many years. They united with the church in Pennsylvania some years before they removed west.
In politics Mr. Wolf was a Democrat, but not being a strict partisan, he voted for "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," in 1840. He filled offices of trust in the township, and assisted in laying many of its early roads, being one of the highway commissioners for several years.
This pioneer pair filled their station in life, well and quietly, without ostentation or parade, giving all who came to their house a hospitable welcome, unstinted in measure, and unalloyed in quality; and they have left behind them naught but pleasing memories.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 152
CHARLES B. FITCH
Jusge and farmer, came of English parentage, his grandfather having been one of the early governors of Connecticut, under British authority. He (Charles B.) was born in the State about the year 1774, and remained there until 1806, when he removed to Trumbull county, Ohio, and was one of the pioneers in that section of country.
In the war of 1812 he entered the American army, and was fought several engagements along Lake Erie, at Detroit, &c. He afterwards served in the Black Hawk war.
Removing to Lower Sandusky (now Fremont), Ohio, at an early day, he soon won the confidence and esteem of the people, and was elected county judge. Removing to Seneca county, Ohio, he was honored with the same office, which he filled, as before, most satisfactorily.
In 1830 he removed with his family to Michigan, and settled temporarily on Pigeon prairie, where he entered five eighties of government land. The following year he came to Lockport (then Buck) township, where he entered two hundred acres of land, and took up his residence upon it. He was afterwards chosen county judge of St. Joseph county, which office he continued to hold for several years.
In early life he sided with the Democrats, but in 1848 he joined the "Free Soilers," and acted and voted with the Republican part from its organization to the close of his life, believing its principles to be those most conductive to the preservation and perpetuity of our government. He always had the best interests of his township at heart, and had few equals, and perhaps no superior, in his efforts for its development. Thus, when past the confines of fourscore years, he could look back over an active and blameless life, conscious of having made diligent use of the talents committed to his care—displaying a character remarkable for its purity, for its extraordinary energy, its power of endurance, the warmth of its friendship, its social geniality, and its domestic affection. Thus he enjoyed to the last, a vigorous frame, and, when called upon to yield to the inevitable destiny of man, he met death calmly, and left his relatives and friends a reasonable consciousness that he "was not lost, but gone before."
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 152
SAMUEL A. FITCH
Fourth son of Judge Charles B. Fitch, was born in Trumbull (now Mahoning) county, Ohio, October 18, 1811. When in his nineteenth year, he accompanied his parents, and settled first on Pigeon prairie, and subsequently in what is now Lockport township. He remained on his father’s farm until 1838, when he branched off for himself, purchasing eighty acres on section thirty-one, being a part of his present farm. By subsequent purchases he has added to his original tract until he now has four hundred acres in a body, of which almost half is under excellent cultivation—the remainder mostly timber, with about forty acres of marsh.
March 23, 1837, he married Catharine Riemsnyder, a native of West Earl township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania; by whom he had six children, two only surviving, namely:
MILTON B., born August 8, 1838; married Susan Caseman, and resides in a part of the homestead.
FRANLIN M., born May 21, 1853; married Alice Talkalberry, and resides with his parents. Of the Others
CHARLES SAMUEL, born October 28, 1840, died of apoplexy, at Bowling Green, Kentucky, while serving in the war of the rebellion in 1863; and
EDWARD HENRY, born October 4, 1855, was accidentally drowned in the St. Joseph river, August 12, 1862.
In the troublous times of the Black Hawk outbreak, the Fitches, father and son, went to the front, doing active service in its suppression. The subject of our sketch served in Captain Alvin Calhoon’s company.
Politically, Mr. Fitch is a Democrat, but liberal and non-partisan. He advocates the principles of the Greenback party, believing that the financial policy of our government is wanting in that secutiry which it should have in order to insure its permanent prosperity. In character he is upright and honest, in his social relations, genial, and in his domestic circle kind and affectionate, a fond husband and father, and a good citizen. His admirable wife has been to him a help-meet indeed, these forty years, and to her good judgment and sound common sense he attributes a fair share of the success which has attended him through life.
This worthy couple rightfully enjoy the respect and esteem of the community in which they live, and we feel assured that their portraits, and that of Judge Fitch, as also the illustration of their residence, will be a source of genuine satisfaction to themselves, to their children and to their many friends.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 152
WILLIAM F. ARNOLD
William Foote Arnold, the son of Caleb and Rachel Arnold, was born in Unadilla, Otsego county, New York, August 6, 1812, removing with his parents in 1815 to Berkshire, Broome county (now known as Richford, Tioga county), in the same State, at which place he resided and received a common school education, assisting his father in a saw and grist0mill and carding-factory after he was of age sufficient to be useful, until he was twenty years old, when, with his father, he came to St. Joseph county in the year 1832. His father located a farm in Fabius township, and William went back for the family, returning with them in the following autumn.
On the 15th day of May, 1834, he married Rhoda Churchill, a daughter of Deacon William Churchill, of Constantine, and also the first female school teacher in Constantine township. The fruits of this union were eight children, five daughters, four of whom are married and now living, and three sons, one of whom died in infancy.
Mrs. Arnold died October 6, 1854, and Mr. Arnold finding it not good for man to be alone, took to himself another wife on the 17th day of March, 1856, in the person of Mrs. Margaret Greene, by whom one son, Ira has been born to him.
Mr. Arnold bought lands on Broad street, in Constantine, and, until 1854, resided alternately on those, and the farm in Fabius. At that date he removed to Three Rivers, in what is now known as the second ward of the city, where he has since resided.
Mr. Arnold was elected town clerk of Fabius in 1844-45, and supervisor in 1846. He has held the office of justice of the peace in Lockport township for twelve years since 1856, and the office of supervisor of the township has been filled continuously by him from the fall of that year, to the present time, with the exception of the years 1863 and 1872.
Mr. Arnold, with his former wife, united with the Baptist church of Constantine, being baptized in 1838, and he and his present wife are members of the same church at Three Rivers.
Mr. Arnold’s political views are, and ever have been, in sympathy with those of the Democratic party, but, during the rebellion he was in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, and was represented in the Union army by his two sons, Philo and Edward P.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 153
HON. ABRAHAM C. PRUTZMAN
Among the public-spirited and enterprising citizens of the thriving city of Three Rivers, Abraham C. Prutzman stands in the front rank. Liberal towards all measures for the common good, and zealously active in their accomplishment, Mr. Prutzman has been, and still is, noted for his benefactions to churches, and to enterprises for the general prosperity and advancement of his town and city.
He was born in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, March 6, 1813, and from thence removed with his parents, Joseph and Maria Prutzman, to Danville in the same State, when but a lad.
Mr. Joseph Prutzman was the second sheriff of Columbia county, and also surveyor for some years.
When the subject of our sketch was but fourteen years old, he was indentured by his father, as an apprentice to Colb & Donaldson, to learn the business of a merchant; and with them he remained four years. He then went to Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, where he followed the same business until the fall of 1834, when he formed a co-partnership with his brother-in-law, Hon. Edward S. Moore, and with him, removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, sending their goods around the lakes to the mouth of the St. Joseph. On account of the lateness of the season, the vessel on which they were shipped was not able to get into the harbor, but lay all winter at Grand Haven.
Mr. Prutzman spent the winter of 1834-5 at Prairie Ronde, and in the spring of that year the firm of Moore & Prutzman opened a mercantile establishment, where they retailed goods of all kinds for two years, when they closed up the business there and removed their stock to Three Rivers, and a year afterwards leased the flouring-mills of Smith & Bowman, and purchased them in 1840. They continued the business of merchandising and manufacturing until 1859, when the partnership, which had existed a quarter of a century, was dissolved by mutual consent.
Mr. Prutzman continued in the mercantile line alone, and subsequently with his sons, until 1867, when he retired from active business, and has never re-entered the lists of trade.
On the 14th day of July, 1836, Mr. Prutzman was united in marriage with Mary L., daughter of John Phillips, of Chester county, Pennsylvania. The children of this marriage were: Joseph E., John P., and Edward M. (who was adjutant of the 25th Michigan Infantry, and killed at Reseca); Maggie M. (now Mrs. C. B. Tucker of Three Rivers), and A. Clifford Prutzman.
The sons are extensively engaged in the manufacture of pumps and plows at Three Rivers, under the name of the Michigan Pump Company and the Three Rivers Plow Company.
In politics Mr. Prutzman was a Whig, and has been a staunch, unfaltering Republican since the organization of that party.
He held for ten years a position on the State board of agriculture of Michigan, and for six years represented St. Joseph county in the State Senate.
Mr. and Mrs. Prutzman are both members of the Presbyterian church—Mr. Prutzman, an elder, at Three Rivers, for several years. He and E. S. Moore were the main pillars and support of the society, during all its infancy, and well nigh in its mature years. His donations to the church-building have been munificent.
Mr. Prutzman was also efficient in securing the location of the railroads through the town, and not a scheme for the prosperity of the town or the advancement of its interests in any way, morally or financially, has been initiated, that does not bear his impress, and has not felt the aid of his vigor or his purse.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 153-154
HON. EDWARDS S. MOORE
On the banks of the historic Delaware, four miles above the city of Trenton, in the State of New Jersey, Edward S. Moore first opened his eyes to the light of day on the 4th day of June, 1805. His parents, Stephen and Perthenia Moore, had ten children born to them, eight sons and two daughters, of whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest.
When Edward was three years old his parents and their family removed to the county of Northumberland, Pennsylvania, to a tract of country that was then a wild tangle of woods, but is now known as Mooresburg. Five years afterwards the father died, leaving the family to struggle on alone, with but little means besides their own hands for support.
At ten years of age Edward was sent to Danville, Columbia county, as copyist in the register’s office, and two years afterwards went to reside with Dr. Petrikin, where he remained one year, attending the district-schools. At the end of the year he was apprenticed to William Wyley to learn the tailor’s trade, and served several years; but finding the business uncongenial to his tastes, he bought his time of his master, and commenced for himself.
His first independent act was a most happy and opportune one, and was the beginning, as he acknowledges, of all his success in after life. This act was consummated on the 6th day of July, in the year 1824, when he married Mary, daughter of Joseph Prutzman, with whom he lived most happily for more than half a century.
The youthful pair went immediately to Philadelphia, where they remained about a year, and then returned to Danville, whence, leaving his young wife in her father’s care, Mr. Moore went to Detroit, Michigan, to look for a location for business. The outlook seeming favorable, he returned to Danville with the intention of an immediate removal to the West, but was persuaded to postpone his departure till a later period.
Pennsylvania was then just beginning her canals on the west and north branches of the Susquehanna river, and Mr. Moore became on of an organization of contractors, for building dams, locks, bridges, &c., on the new improvements.
After obtaining several contracts, he sold out his interest in them to his brother Andrew, and entered the mercantile trade, opening a store at Danville, in 1830, and another in Pottsville, in 1832, with his brother Burrows, with whom he remained till 1833, when the brother withdrew from the firm and removed to Three Rivers, St. Joseph county, Michigan, and A. C. Prutzman, a brother of Mrs. Moore, came into the partnership, which lasted for more than a quarter of a century.
In the fall of 1834 Moore & Prutzman packed their stock, and sent it via New York, Buffalo and the great lakes to the mouth of the St. Joseph river, and taking Mr. Moore’s family, started on an overland journey for the west, with no definite idea of a permanent location.
After six weeks of hard travel they arrived October 29, at Three Rivers, which, however, then had not attained to the dignity of a name, being a hamlet of but three or four houses. One of these little dwellings was the home of Burroughs Moore, and under its roof, covering two rooms of twelve by fourteen feet, with outside stairs to reach the upper one, nineteen person passed several days.
The stock of goods did not arrive until the next spring, on account of the early approach of winter and the harbor of St. Joseph closing up with ice. The family of Mr. Moore, and Mr. Prutzman, he being unmarried, passed the winter on the west side of Prairie Ronde, in Kalamazoo county, and in the spring, the firm built a store on the prairie, and opened their goods, remaining there for two years, when they removed to Three Rivers, having previously opened a branch store there.
Some two years afterwards they bought the Three Rivers flouring-mill, having rented and run it a year previously, and continued to operate it in connection with their extensive mercantile trade until 1859, when the partnership so long, pleasantly and profitably maintained, was mutually and agreeably dissolved.
Mr. Moore, however, did not long remain an idler in the community, with whose business interests he had been so closely and continuously identified; but in the year 1864 he helped to organize the First National Bank of Three Rivers, was chosen its first president, and has ever since held that position.
He also aided in the organization of the Riverside Cemetery Association; he was its first president, and was also largely instrumental in bringing the Michigan Southern railroad to Three Rivers, from Constantine, as appears more fully elsewhere.
In politics, Mr. Moore has always been called a Democrat, but he has never sought office, nor has he always supported the party nominations; but has "scratched" the ticket whenever a candidate thereon was believed by him to be immoral or intemperate.
When the great rebellion marshaled its legions against the national authority, he proclaimed himself free from all party affiliations till the country was restored to peace, and the laws of the land were once more supreme; and he faithfully kept the pledge throughout the struggle.
During the early part of the war he wrote a private letter to Hon. John Van Buren, of New York, setting forth his views on the situation; which the latter handed to the New York Evening Post for publication, with the endorsement that it contained "the hardest sense he had seen."
In 1850 Mr. Moore was elected a member of the convention of Michigan, to frame a new constitution, in which he took an active part, and claims to have been the means of introducing some its most conservative articles.
In 1851 Mr. Moore was elected one of the regents of the University of Michigan, serving in that capacity for six years.
In 1852 he was elected to represent St. Joseph county in the upper house of the legislature, and was appointed chairman of the committee on education; which position he filled with great credit to himself and honor to his constituency. As such chairman he reported the bill requiring the State to replace to the credit of the University fund one hundred thousand dollars previously withdrawn there from for other purposes, in violation of the terms of the grant from the general government.
He also reported adversely to granting the prayer of numerous petitions from Detroit, backed by important influence, asking for a distribution of the public school-fund to sectarian schools, believing such a course detrimental to the true interests of the State, and opposed to the genius of the constitution.
Mr. Moore being thoroughly domestic in his tastes and habits, early provided a home for himself and family, by purchasing a fine tract of four hundred and fifty acres of burr-oak openings in Park township, some four and a half miles north of Three Rivers, on which he built, later, a spacious mansion, whose hospitable doors have always swung wife to admit troops of friends, whose voices and merry laughter have echoes through his elegant parlors and beautiful grounds, shaded by the oaks from the original forest, which once covered his entire tract.
From this homestead, Mr. Moore has gone daily to his business at Three Rivers, for nearly forty years, using now for the purpose the railroad, which has built a very neat station-house near his residence, and named it "Moore Park."
In their religious views, Mr. and Mrs. Moore conformed to those of the Presbyterian polity, and united with the church at Danville, Pennsylvania, in 1830, and also, with fifteen others, assisted in the organization of the Presbyterian church of Three Rivers, in 1837, Mr. Moore being chosen one of the elders thereof, which position he has actively held for thirty-seven years, rarely being absent from his accustomed seat in the sanctuary on the first day of the week.
In the work of building up society by Christian influence and moral rectitude, he has performed a full and honorable share, and having done much therein, only regrets he could not have done more. Holding to the principle that giving, enriches, while withholding brings poverty, his bounties and benefactions to public and private charities and enterprises, in religious and reformatory works, and matters of public benefit to the town, have been munificent.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore have had born to them two children only, a daughter, now Mrs. Kelsey, residing at Three Rivers, and a son, Armitage G. Moore, now, with his wife, residing with his father on the old homestead. But these two children, beloved though they are, could not monopolize the parental love, that swells such hearts as beat in the bosom of the master and mistress of Moore Park, and it went out unto no less than fifteen fatherless and motherless boys and girls from two to twelve years of age, who were from time to time gathered around the family hearthstone, to be nurtured, educated, and prepared for life’s warfare, and when sent out into it, were fairly equipped for its successful maintenance. Only one of these thus brought into the family has remained, and of her—a distant relative of Mrs. Moore, Mary Kepler, by name—Mr. Moore bears this testimony, "She has from a mere child identified herself with the family in every respect, socially and domestically, and has exhibited a self-sacrificing spirit, all the more noted because of its rarity.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore passed fifty-two years in the relation of wedded life, and her death, which occurred August 29, 1876, was the first visit the grim messenger ever made to their home.
Mr. Moore pays this tribute to the sharer of his early struggles for a living, his later efforts for a competency, and his successful achievement of an honorable reputation and worldly wealth in the days of the "sere and yellow leaf:" "she was truly a help-meet, and to her I attribute much of the prosperity of my later years. Her influence, in the kindness of her nature, sound judgment and strong common sense, combined with a patient, persevering Christian character, gave me a direction and aim in life, which I feel I could not have attained without her." And now, at the age of nearly seventy-two years, Mr. Moore daily seeks his lonely, though still beautiful home, the light of which, in his eyes, faded and went out, when its long-time mistress and dispenser of its hospitalities, was carried through its portals by the hands of sympathizing neighbors, and followed by her household and intimate friends, in sadness and tears. But though sadness and loneliness intrude where joy and domestic companionship once held sway, yet the husband remains attentive to business and to his church obligations, expectant of the summons not long to be withheld, and is
"Only waiting till the shadows
Be a little longer grown;
Only waiting till the Shepherd
Comes and calls and claims His own."
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 154
The subject of this brief sketch was born in Vermont, August 10, 1802. In 1829 he removed to Akron, Summit county, Ohio, where he engaged with his eldest brother, the latter being a carpenter, and for former a painter by trade. He remained in Akron till 1845, when he removed to Lockport township, taking a farm of eighty acres, which he cleared up and improved.
He taught the "young idea how to shoot" for fourteen winters, in the States of Vermont, Ohio and Michigan. Casting his first vote for John Q. Adams, in 1824, he aided in organizing the Democratic part in 1828, and became an Abolitionist in 1835, then casting the only vote of that complexion in Lockport township. He has also taken an active part in the temperance reform, and all public enterprises of his vicinity. His family consists of six children, five of whom (four sons and one daughter) are living.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 154
George Schock, son of John and Elizabeth Schock, was born in Washington township, Union county, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1819. He remained under the paternal roof until 1840, when he removed with his parents to Thompson county, Seneca county, Ohio, where he worked first for his father at one hundred dollars per year, and subsequently for a stranger at one hundred and fifty dollars a year. He learned the carpenter and joiner trade, at which he worked for about three years.
On the 20th day of September 1845, he married Lucy Ann Wehr, a native of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. They reared a family of nine children, namely:
BENJAMIN F., born January 10, 1847.
JOHN, born September 25, 1849.
JOEL, born October 29, 1851.
POLLY, born October 28, 1853.
ELI, born May 14, 1856.
SARAH, born June 10, 1858.
HETTY A., born March 7, 1861.
LYDIA A., born July 2, 1863; and
EMMA A., born November 13, 1867.
Mr. Schock has been mostly engaged in farming, although he has devoted a considerable portion of his time to the manufacture of sorghum, and to the raising of poultry. In 1871 he removed to Michigan and purchased his present fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Lockport township, which he keeps in an excellent state of cultivation in addition to attending to his other business.
He is at present, treasurer of Grange No. 178, and also treasurer of Pomona Grange, No. 4, of St. Joseph county. In politics he is a Republican, though he has recently affiliated with the Greenback party. In religion, he is a member of the German Reformed church. For a late settler in his township no man enjoys more the confidence and esteem of the people than does he of whom we write. A view of his residence and buildings can be seen elsewhere in this work.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 154-155
J. F. THOMS
J. F. Thoms, son of Charles and Julie Thoms, was born in the Canton of Neufchatel, Switzerland, July 28, 1813. His father, an honored soldier in the first Napoleon’s army, brought with him into private life a pure and spotless reputation, and unsullied integrity, and he carefully instructed his son in lessons of loyalty, industry, benevolence, and the many virtues of which his life was a worthy illustration.
At the age of four years, his parents and himself, in company with friends, emigrated to America, and landed at Philadelphia, in August, 1817. He remained with them during their residence in Pennsylvania, attending school when the opportunity presented, and assisted his father in conducting the mercantile business at different points where he located.
In 1836, at the age of twenty-three, he came to St. Joseph county, Michigan, where he has made a home and many friends by his industry and honorable deportment. He commenced by clearing a tract of land entered by his father, which he subsequently purchased and improved.
March 23, 1838, he was married to Louisa Friedlein. Two years elapsed, and with its experiences came the loss of his wife. March 23, 1843, he was again married to a worthy companion, Miss Eleanor Dougherty, of Mattison, Branch county, Michigan. A family of four children, carefully trained and pleasantly located, contribute to make his declining years his most pleasant ones.
FRANK J., was born February 3, 1844, and resides in Sherwood, Branch county, Michigan.
ALICE was born December 2, 1847, and resides in Three Rivers with her husband, A. R. Close.
JOHN C. was born May 10, 1852; he also resides in Three Rivers, prosperous in his chosen vocation.
FABBIE M. born November 4, 1855, and remains at home contributing to the comfort of her parents in their advanced years.
Mr. Thoms has held various offices of trust, being at different times elected assessor, justice, and commissioner of the corporation of Three Rivers; is also a member of Friendship Lodge No. 338 of Masons, and Salathiel Chapter No. 23. He is also a member of Three Rivers Commandery, and holds the office of treasurer in the three societies. He also served as treasurer in Mount Hermon lodge No. 24, for a period of twelve years.
Mr. and Mrs. Thoms are earnest, active Methodists, and largely contribute to the support of the church of their chosen profession. In politics a Democrat, he cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren. Mr. Thoms is in every sense a representative man, as his standing, both socially and financially plainly indicates.
In connection with this history is shown as portrait of himself and wife, and we take great pleasure in referring our readers to them, knowing that their pleasant expression is in perfect harmony with this plain record of their well spent lives.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 155
LEWIS F. THOMS
Switzerland, the land of beautiful lakes, grand mountain scenery and the home of noted patriots, immortalized in song and story, was the birth-place of Lewis F. Thoms. It was here in the Canton of Neufchatel, August 11, 1806, where the dark blue waters of the Lemen reflect the rays of the meridian sun, amid the towering peaks of the everlasting Alps,--emblems of integrity—that the subject of our sketch was born, and was taught those lessons of truth and fidelity, sincerity and virtue, which characterize the man. Kind parents taught him early, lessons of self-reliance and industry,--and the record of his life proves that they have been well observed.
At the age of twenty-two, we find him actively engaged in the mercantile business at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, in company with his father and brother. Time passes, and he becomes sole owner thereof, purchasing his father’s and brother’s interests. Commercial changes, a few years later, cause him to retire from trade with reduced means, owing to the failures of many patrons whom he had generously trusted. After honorably adjusting every account, he removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, June 7, 1835, and entered land to the amount of twenty-seven acres, in Lockport township. This he cleared and improved, beginning with a log-house, table, chairs and furniture, made with his own hands, in pioneer fashion.
The log-house has been changed for a fine residence of modern style, shrubbery planted, buildings erected, acre added to acre, and the result is a fine farm, and a beautiful home.
On February 10, 1827, he was married to Miss Sarah Baker. A family of six children has been raised, namely:
ISAAC, born December 8, 1831.
GEORGE W., born February 22, 1832.
CHARLES F., born January 18, 1835.
MARY J., born February 19, 1838.
JOHN L., born May 6, 1842; and
JOSEPH, born October 2, 1844.
Two sons, Charles and Lewis, defended their country during the rebellion, enlisting early, and serving with credit in Sherman’s army, and at the close of the war were honorably discharged.
Mr. Thoms held various offices in the Methodist church, of which he is a member, and he advocates his political views by voting as a Republican. Andrew Jackson, as candidate for president, received his first ballot. At the advanced age of seventy-one, in good health and mind, Mr. Thoms presents an example of longevity, attributable to his habits of abstinence and temperance; and his pleasant home and ample resources, are sufficient proofs of his industry and success. He is a true friend in the social circle, a kind neighbor in the community, a pious Christian in the church, an affectionate husband, and a kind father at the domestic hearth, and well merits the space that he occupies in this work, with his portrait, as being one of the successful representative men of St. Joseph county.
HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 164-165
HENRY K. FARRAND
Since society was first formed on the earth, the public burdens of a community have ever been borne by a few of its individual members. Is there a school-house to be built, a church to be erected, a railroad to be secures, or even a cemetery to by surveyed and laid off for the burial of the dead, the few free-hearted, unselfish, enterprising citizens of the community to be benefited must perform all the labor and sustain the greater portion of the financial responsibility.
The little village of Colon, though possessing as much enterprise among her citizens as many of her more pretentious sisters, is yet no exception to the general rule.
Foremost among the "bearers of burdens" for the public benefit stands Henry Kitchell Farrand, whose finely cultivated farm of eight hundred acres lies near the village. Thrown early upon his own resources he became thoroughly self-reliant, and with his native energy of character, disciplined by the trying ordeals of pioneer-life in Michigan, he was well-fitted for the honorable position he occupied in his later years, and which has given him his well-earned title of a public benefactor. Though not an actual resident of the village of Colon, his residence being about a mile and a half distant there from, yet none of the residents have done more, and but a meager few as much, for the prosperity of the village and to build up for it a good reputation than has Mr. Farrand.
Not one of her public institutions or conveniences but has felt the impetus of his energy and spirit, and drawn largely from his ever-open purse, from its inception to its accomplishment and truly successful operation, and it is the delight of the historian to do honor to such a truly representative man, and adorn the page of this work with the records of his life.
Mr. Farrand was born in Mentz, Cayuga county, New York, on the 19th day of June, 1812, where he resided with his parents, Joseph and Julia Farrand, until 1834, attending the district-school in the neighborhood in his younger days, and assisting his father, on the farm of the latter, later on in life.
In the spring of the last-named year Mr. Farrand made the first venture for himself in business, renting a farm near by his father’s homestead for a cash rental higher than any tenant had ever paid before for it, every one of whom had made a losing operation of its management. His father, to test the young man, declined to assist him as he had his brother before him, but this course, instead of discouraging the new beginner, served only as a stimulus for steady exertion on his part. His aunt, Maria Farrand, who was visiting at his father’s at the time, admiring the spirit of her nephew, proposed to go to the farm with him and become his housekeeper, which proposition was quickly accepted, and on the 1st of April, 1834, young Farrand, with two good teams and one assistant, began his farming operations. He worked long and laboriously, taking no time or money for recreation or pleasure, but steadily pursued his business, and at the end of his first wheat-harvest, contrary to the expectations of his friends, freely expressed, he paid from the proceeds of his labor all of his rent, living expenses, the cost of his stock and implements, and had three or four hundred dollars to loan his prophetic friends whose predictions of failure had signally failed.
In the spring 1836 the farm he had rented for a term of years having been sold, he surrendered his lease, to take effect after his next harvest, and went to Michigan to seek for a location of his own, and finding none that suited him so well as his present homestead, that he could buy at the government price, he bought two hundred acres on the east half of section fifteen in Colon, and which was the very last tract in that township subject to entry in the general land-office.
He then returned to Mentz to harvest his wheat, which being done and disposed of, he, accompanied by his faithful aunt and judicious advisor, returned to his purchase in St. Joseph county, coming with a single pair of horses and wagon through Canada, a portion of the way with his brother Charles, whom he overtook on the road, and who settled near Burr Oak, but in Branch county.
Mr. Farrand arrived at Lorausi Schellhous’ on the 12th day of October, where he and his aunt were provided for most kindly until a log-house was put up and made comfortable, into which the new-comers moved and passed the winter as pleasantly as circumstances would allow. This pioneer cabin was the home of Mr. Farrand for seventeen years, when it gave place to the present spacious mansion in 1854.
In the spring, when farming operations actively began again, Mr. Farrand founds his means exhausted, but his will to do was as fixed and steadfast as ever, and so he began a steady march for a competency, which, despite sickness and embarrassments incident to life in a new country, he has obtained, and has used no niggardly policy in his efforts therefor.
He has added to his original purchase some six hundred acres, having about four hundred acres under cultivation. His large and commodious barns and sheds are tenanted with some of the best blooded-stock in the country, both of cattle, sheep, horses and swine, to the breeding of which he has paid considerable attention for some years, buying his first sheep at public sale of Boswell Schellhous, in the spring of 1838. This small flock of sheep were the especial care of "Aunt Maria," who brought them home every night in the grazing season for some years.
Among the many schemes for the public good that Mr. Farrand has been engaged in since his first coming to Colon, none is more gratifying to him, by reason of the good results accomplished, than that of the Colon seminary, which was projected by himself, Dr. A. J. Kinne and some few others, a detailed account of which will be found elsewhere in our work.
In securing the passage of the railroad through the village, and thereby making it a point on the same, Mr. Farrand’s effort were most persistently put forth, both in time and money, and it was largely due to his labors and zeal that the road was not diverted from Colon entirely. When the railroad company failed to fulfill their obligations under the contract for the township bonds voted in aid of the construction, Mr. Farrand, as supervisor, instituted and pushed the suit for the recovery of the bonds so vigorously that the whole amount, twenty-five thousand dollars and accrued interest, was cancelled and returned to the town authorities, and at a most insignificant expense.
Mr. Farrand has, for the most part of his busy life, pursued the quiet path of a private citizen, but during the years 1872-73-75 he held the office of supervisor of the township. In politics he was originally a Whig, and joined the ranks of the Republican party at its formation, being an active member thereof to the present.
He is an independent thinker on religion, and liberally inclined towards all creeds. He acknowledges with gratefulness the kind offices of his aunt, Maria Farrand, who was his housekeeper and advisor in the first business years of his life and until his marriage, and who, also, when death robbed him of a companion and his children of a mother, again assumed charge of his household, and gave herself unstintingly to the care thereof. He feels that to her, in a large measure is due his early success in life, on which is based the prosperity of his later years. She died in the old homestead, February 2, 1869.
On the 7th day of December, 1837, Mr. Farrand was united in marriage with Maria, daughter of Levi and Eunice Mathews, and a sister of L. C. Mathews, of Colon. She was born in Plymouth, Litchfield county, Connecticut, on the 23d day of November, 1817. By this marriage Mr. and Mrs. Farrand had born to them the following-named children: ANN ELIZA, now Mrs. M. W. Price; HENRIETTA M., who died at the age of four years; MARGARET S., JULIA ELIZABETH, now Mrs. Oliver H. Rodd; FRANCES EUGENIA, and CHARLES H., the latter married, and with his wife and little boy and two sisters, "Maggie" and "Frank, living on the old homestead. Mrs. Farrand was an estimable woman and a helpmeet indeed for a pioneer. She was a member of the Protestant Episcopal church for several years previous to her death, which occurred on the 1st day of July, 1855. Mr. Farrand was again united in marriage on the 14th day of September, 1865, to Phebe M., daughter of Leonard and Mercy Blanchard, who was born in Marcellus, Onondaga county, New York, on the 26th day of November, 1827. A little girl, who they called Louisa Kitchell, came to gladden tier hearts for a few brief years only, and then her prattling tongue was stilled, and her active, winsome ways vanished from their sight. Mrs. Farrand is a woman of most amiable disposition, and has the love and respect of her household, among whom she moves quietly and trustingly. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Colon.