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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 179-180


The subject of our sketch is the foremost man of Leonidas, and one whom the people of his township have and still do delight to honor. Hospitable and generous, the ample dwelling of William M. Watkins is seldom without guests, who gather around his table to partake of his abundant cheer, freely set forth, and fill his rooms with laughter and merriment, that drives the demons of care and foreboding from every nook and cranny of the old homestead.

Mr. Watkins was born in Naples, Ontario county, New York, August 17, 1816, where he assisted his father, Captain Levi Watkins, and attended the district-school until he was sixteen years of age, attending the select school of Rev. John Morgan one year. In February, 1833, he came with his father’s family to Leonidas, where he has ever since resided. In 1844 he bought his present location, and removed to it with his father and mother, with whom he has always resided. The father and son have ever been one in their aims and purposes, and held their farm in common, and had a common interest. The homestead now includes two hundred and seventy acres, and is one of the most beautifully situated farms in the country.

We present our readers a view of this rare landscape on another page, together with portraits of Captain Levi and William M. Watkins.

On the 26th day of October, 1841, Mr. Watkins was united in marriage to Barbara E., daughter of George and Amelia Hill, of Manchester, new York, and who was born in Manchester, Ontario county, New York. She came to St. Joseph county in 1839.

The fruits of this union were Edward W., Marcia A., Marcus L., Levi H., Emory O., Ida May, Eva and Sarah F., all of whom are living except Ida and Sarah. The sons are all married and living on farms of their own except Emory, who remains with his father of the old homestead. Edward entered the military service in the rebellion, in December, 1862, and served till the war was over. He was a member of the eleventh regiment of Michigan volunteer infantry. Mr. Watkins was active and untiring in his efforts in aid of the government to put down the rebellion, and gave time and money without stint to the enlistment of volunteers to fill the quotas of his township during the war.

In politics Mr. Watkins was originally a Whig, but joined the Republican party at its organization, and has been a staunch member thereof ever since. He has held the position of supervisor of his township for several years, and the position of sheriff of the county for two terms, from 1866 to 1870, inclusive.

Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are member of the Methodist church, of Leonidas, of which Mr. Watkins has been a trustee for many years.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 180


The subject of the present sketch, Addison Harvey, was the son of Thomas and Sabra Harvey, and was born in Oneida county, New York, August 21, 1814. He was one of a family of ten children, of whom he alone survives. He left Oneida county when but eight years old, in company with his father’s family, removing to Cattaraugus county in the same State, where he resided until 1837, when he immigrated to Michigan on the month of September of that year, making the journey with an ox-team, and being twenty-seven days on the road. He purchased his present location on his arrival in Leonidas, St. Joseph county, on which there was a small log-house and about one acre enclosed. Mr. Harvey began life as a poor boy, but by industry and frugality is now, in his old age, the owner of one of the best farms in Leonidas, containing four hundred and thirty-six acres. The homestead of one hundred and fifty-six acres is finely improved, with large barns and a comfortable dwelling thereon, a view of which we present on another page of our work. In the spring of 1835 Mr. Harvey was united in marriage with Miss Anna Beadle, by whom two sons were born to him—James and Addison, Jr., the latter dying when about a year old. Mrs. Harvey died in the fall of 1837, and now sleeps in the cemetery near Leonidas village. In November, 1842, Mr. Harvey took to himself another companion—Miss Amer E. Hall, of Ashtabula, Ohio. Three children were the fruits of this union—Sophia, Elizabeth A. and Porter S., of whom Elizabeth only survives. On the 3d day of April Mrs. Harvey passed to her rest, leaving the husband once more alone. On the 8th day of September Mr. Harvey, finding a lonely life unendurable, brought a companion to share and brighten his desolate home. She was Miss Maria Teller, a daughter of Tobias Teller, of Saratoga county, New York, with whom she came to Michigan, November 10, 1843. Mr. Harvey was originally a member of the Whig party, and joined the Republican cause when that party was organized. He has been a prominent man in his younger days, and has held the offices of supervisor and justice of the peace for several years. Not having in his youth had very good advantages for an education, he has given his children all the advantages he was able to for a good one. Mr. Harvey’s father was a Revolutionary soldier, and lived to a good old age.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 180


Son of Elijah, Sr., and Lovenia Purdy, was born in Bedford county, New York, November 26, 1805. At the age of nine he was put out as an apprentice at the shoemaking trade till he was twenty-one, which trade he followed for several years afterwards. He married Miss Martha Barker, January 7, 1830. Miss Barker, now Mrs. Purdy, was born in Scurldale, Westchester county, New York, March 20, 1805. To bless this union five children were born,--Sarah L., died at the age of four; John A., now on the old homestead; Mary C., in Indiana; Martha A., died at the age of two years and a half; David B., owns the farm south of the old homestead. May 3, 1836, Mr. Purdy and family emigrated to Leonidas, St. Joseph county, Michigan, and settled where his sons John A. and David B. now reside. Mr. Purdy began life poor, but by industry and frugality, assisted by his faithful wife and family, became the owner of four hundred acres of good land. He was a worthy and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church for more than forty-six years, and did his part in building up society. In politics he affiliated with the Whigs and Republicans. As Mr. Purdy was unable to attend to his own affairs for several years before his death, he gave to his son John A. the charge, and John A. is a successful financier. Mr. Purdy died August 12, 1876. He lived respected by all, and died regretted by many.

Mrs. Purdy is now an old lady of seventy-two years, living on the old homestead with her son John A. She, too, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. She is one of the good mothers of Leonidas, and to-day, as ever, has a tender motherly care over her children, in whose hearts she occupies a warm place.

JOHN A. was born in Westchester county, New York, October 15, 1833; came to Michigan with his parents in 1836; has followed farming for his living, and is to-day one of the best farmers and growers of fine stock in the county. He was married to Mary Galloway, November 10, 1862. She died June 20, 1864, and he was married the second time to Miss Emily C. Davis, Dec. 28, 1865. An idea of Mr. Purdy’s fine farm-building and stock may be seen by looking at a fine double-page view found elsewhere in this work.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 180


The subject of our sketch, Ira Millard, son of Solomon and Anna Millard, was born in Lenox, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1798; followed farming, blacksmithing, and carpentering for a living, working with his father until he was twenty-four years of age, and before he left old Pennsylvania he had cleared up some fifty acres of heavy timber. July 29, 1822, he was married to Miss Emmila McDanold. She was born in Blakely, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, September 10, 1803. As a result of this happy union twelve children have been born, namely:

WILLIAM A., died at the age of nine.

MINERVA, died at the age of twenty-five, leaving a son, Charles Woods.

MARTHA ANN, now in Oregon.

NOAH SHAW, died at the age of two.

IRA DOLPHUS, living on the west half of the old homestead.

JEHOIDA, with his parents at home, and the generous donor of this portrait and biography.

ASENATH, now in California.

LOUIS JANE, in Cass county, Michigan.

GEORGE W., died at the age of two.

HULDAH, died at the age of two.

PHEBE JANE, died an infant.

ROBY G., in California.

Mr. Millard settled in Leonidas, October 17, 1835; lived with Hamilton Watkins for a month or so; removed thence to Bailey’s Mills, remained a a year, thence on to the farm where he now resides. Mr. Millard commenced life a poor boy, but by industry and economy has gained a competency. September, 1858, Mr. Millard visited the "Golden State," remaining there nearly three years. On his return he came very near losing his life. His son Jehoiada was with him. They started on their homeward voyage in the steamboat "Moses Taylor." And after five days of terrible gale, the steamer became unseaworthy, and returned to San Francisco. They then took passage on the "Hermon" to Panama, then on the "America" to New York, being twenty-nine days on their way. Mr. Millard is a strong believer in the fundamental principles of the Democratic party as taught by Jefferson. In religion he is a believer in Universalism. Mr. Millard is now an old man of seventy-nine years, and still enjoys a fair degree of health. His faithful wife still lives. This noble couple have walked life’s journey together for nearly fifty-five years. These years have brought sunshine and sorrow to their home, but during them all no discordant sound has been heard, and to-day, more than ever, they enjoy each other’s society. They have reared a large and intelligent family to industry and economy. They review the past with serene satisfaction, and look into the future with no apprehension.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 180 (facing page)


CHANDLER KINGSLEY was born in Canaan, Columbia county, New York, in the year 1818, where he spent his earlier days and received his education.

He was married March 17, 1847, and moved to Bethany, Genesee county, in the spring of 1849, living there until December, 1853, when he and his family moved to St. Joseph county, Michigan, and located on Seminary land two miles south of Leonidas Centre. There, with axe in hand, a strong arm, and a purpose to hew out for himself a home, he felled the first trees to make room for a small house. The surroundings were then comparatively wild; the privations of the early settlers were fully realized, and the chill of the ague stood ready to greet him ere he had a few acres cleared to repay his toil.

But a kind Providence has smiled on his untiring efforts and years of hard labor, until he has lived to see the tall oaks give place to the fruit orchards, and fields of waving grain, which are seen in their season, yielding their increase to the husbandman. An humble home has been erected, which he and his family occupy at the date hereof.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 181


George Jefferson Clark was born August 18, 1810, in the town of Naples, county of Ontario, New York; was son of Calvin Clark and grandson of Elijah Clark; he lived in Naples until 1830, when he went to Albany and enlisted in the United States army, which was then quartered at Sault de St. Marie. He went with an expedition to explore the copper-mines, passing the picture-rocks, which the Indians held in great reverence, as being the home of the Great Spirit; went the entire length of Lake Superior; crossed to the Mississippi river, then back to Green Bay. His discharge was procured for him by an uncle, Levi Parish, who was an influential man at Washington, on account of minority, in 1831. He then returned to Naples, New York, and stayed all winter, telling wonderful stories of the western States, which caused many to sell their homes and emigrate to this part of Michigan.

1832 found him again here, working as a builder in Detroit, Monroe and Whiteford. He, the same year, bought at government price four eighty-acre lots, or three hundred and twenty acres of land, in the northeast portion of St. Joseph county. He worked at carpenter work in this and adjoining counties until 1836, when he went up the Missouri river to Chariton, Missouri, and spent one year.

In 1838 he was married in the village of Lima, Indiana, to Nancy Alexander, of Canandaigua, New York, and moved to Constantine, where they lived two years, then moved to Missouri, by the way of Illinois, living three months in Ottawa, and was in Missouri until 1840; then lived in Constantine until 1854, working as a carpenter and architect. He drafted the plan for the county buildings and did much nice work, as many buildings in the various towns of the county still show. In 1854 he moved on to his wild land and cleared a farm. Then, in 1862, he moved to the village of Leonidas and lived nine years, when he moved back to his farm, where he died after a distressing illness of five years, of a cancer in the stomach, the 11th of September, 1871.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 187


In another part of this work may be found a view of the home of John S. Kibbe, accompanied by the portraits of himself and wife.

The family-record shows that the paternal grandfather was born in Massachusetts, and that he died in 1818; that he was the father of three sons and three daughters.

JASON, the second child, was born October 20, 1783, and in 1811 was married to Miss Polly Eddy; she was born January 25, 1790. The issue of this marriage was three sons,--John S., Charles E., and Chester J. Charles E. died at Burr Oak, Michigan, in 1863, and Chester J. died at the same place in 1872.

John S., the only survivor of the family, was born October 25, 1812, at York, Livingston county, New York; was brought up on a farm, attending the common schools, and assisting in the farm labor until he reached his majority. He afterwards attended the academy at Lima, and the Clinton Liberal Institute.

In 1838 he entered the gospel ministry as a Universalistic preacher, and in the succeeding years he was settled in various places in the State of New York. In 1845 he was united in marriage to Miss Jerusha A. Coe, of West Turin, New York. In 1857 he removed with his family to Burr Oak, Michigan. His father had been a resident of Burr Oak since 1839. Here he became engaged in farming and preaching. At his father’s death, which occurred December 14, 1872, he succeeded to the old homestead. His mother’s death occurred July 6, 1862.

Mr. Kibbe is the possessor of two hundred and seventy-five acres of fine farming lands, one-half mile west of the village of Burr Oak. He has five children: Emma M., Edgar T., Alice G., Charlotte A., and Arthur B.

Mr. Kibbe enjoys an enviable reputation as an honorable man, a Christian gentleman of irreproachable character; Republican in politics, of liberal religious views, a generous husband and father, a kind and affable neighbor. His wife, Mrs. Jerusha A. Kibbe, is a descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers. Her paternal grandfather, Nathan Coe, was the father of two children,--a son and daughter. Sanford, the son, was born in Lewis county, New York, and he and his wife are still living on the same farm on which he was born. He was the father of Jerusha A., Nathan S., and Martin V. B., of whom Jerusha A. is the only surviving child. She was married at the age of twenty-two.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 188


Among the many prominent men and pioneers whose portraits and biographies grace the pages of this book, none is more worthy of note than the subject of our sketch. Sidney Carpenter was born in Worcester county, Massachusetts, April 27, 1810. At the early age of ten he was put out to work on the farm summers, and attend school winters; at the age of fourteen went to Cattaraugus county, New York, to live with his brother-in-law till he should come of age; attended school winters, and worked on the farm summers.

The winter before he was twenty-one he taught school in his own district, and the following winter taught school in Lindon, and the following spring went down the Alleghany and Ohio rivers to Cincinnati with a load of lumber and shingles.

In 1833 was united in marriage to Miss Eunice Brown, and they carried on farming, on land purchased of the Holland Land Company.

Three years afterward, that company having sold out to the Devereux company of Utica, New York, this company immediately raised the price of said land. Mr. Carpenter sold out his improvements and emigrated to St. Joseph county, Michigan, in the fall of 1836, and settled on northwest quarter of section twenty, town of Burr Oak. The following year he purchased eighty acres on section seventeen. During the winters of 1837 and 1838 Mr. Carpenter taught his district-school.

In 1850 he was married to his present wife, Miss Amanda Jane Worden.

Mr. Carpenter has followed farming for a living principally during life, and to-day owns one of the productive farms of Burr Oak township.

From the very first Mr. Carpenter has been intimately connected with the political and material interests of his town, having been one of the earliest township officers in the town, and from that time up to the present has held nearly all of its offices, and was a very efficient officer, and had as much influence in the board of supervisors as any other man in it.

His first vote was cast for General Jackson in 1832; in 1840 he voted for General Harrison, and from that time till 1865 he affiliated with the Whigs and Republicans, since then with the Democratic party.

Mr. Carpenter is a kind father, an affectionate husband and a good citizen. He seems to enjoy life, and is surrounded with all the comforts of a happy home.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 189


Son of William P. and Nellie Morris, was born in Surrey, England, September 25, 1804. While young he enjoyed fair advantages for education, which he improved. His principal business was farming. In 1823, he, in company with his parents and the family of eight children, emigrated to America and settled in New York city. Of the family, five of the children are still living. His father lived to be nearly ninety years of age and his mother died at the age of sixty. In 1834 he emigrated to Michigan and settled on Sturgis prairie, and remained there till the spring of 1852, then removed into the town of Burr Oak, and settled on the farm he now owns.

While Mr. Morris was living in New York he was engaged as a carpenter and joiner, and for some time a peddler of milk in the city; since coming west he has followed his trade while in Sturgis, and since coming to Burr Oak has followed farming. Mr. Morris possesses some four hundred acres of good land.

He has held various positions of trust and honor since coming to St. Joseph county. In 1842 was elected justice of the peace, which position he filled for several years; was postmaster in Sturgis from 1845 to 1849. In 1847 was chosen by the Democratic party to represent them in the legislature. Since coming to Burr Oak has served as justice of the peace four years, and supervisor for two terms, 1853 and 1854.

Mr. Morris was married to Miss Marcia M. St. John, of Chautauqua county, New York, December 30, 1840; she was born March 11, 1825. As a result of this union thirteen children have been born to them, nine of whom still live.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 189


William Clark was born in Farmington, Ontario county, New York, December 29, 1805, and was married to Margaret Whitney December 31, 1826. They had two children, both daughters, one of whom died in infancy. His wife died August 15, 1837. Mr. Clark married Sarah Mills February 9, 1841, and removed to Burr Oak, Michigan, and settled upon section fifteen in said township upon land which he had previously entered from the United States government, where he lived until the year 1865, when he sold his farm and removed to Eaton Rapids, Michigan, where he died June 19, 1874. He was converted in early life, and united with the Baptist church, of which he was ever a consistent member. He was a man of strict integrity and honor, making it a rule to always fulfill promptly all engagements. In politics Mr. Clark was a Democrat till the formation of the Republican party, of which he was a member during life. He was elected township clerk of Burr Oak in 1843, which office he held several successive years. His widow and surviving daughter, the latter the wife of J. C. Bishop, of Burr Oak, still survive.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 189


was born in Lisbon, Connecticut, January 17, 1799. His parents were Samuel Bishop and Lucy Lord Bishop. His mother died when he was ten years of age, leaving five children. When at the age of fifteen, his father removed to the Genesee country, and settled at Attica, now Wyoming county, New York. In 1820 he went to Cattaraugus county, New York, which was then new, where he taught school, cleared land, etc., till 1826, when he was married to Mary Carpenter, who was born in Massachusetts August 5, 1799. He joined the Masonic fraternity about this time, to which he was a firm adherent during life. In 1829, at the age of thirty, he united with the Presbyterian church, and soon after was chosen ruling elder. In 1836 he, with his family, removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, and settled in what is now the township of Burr Oak (then Sherman), and bought one hundred and sixty-seven acres of land, which he cleared up, and upon which he lived till his death, December 13, 1859.

Soon after coming to Michigan he, with his wife, united with the Presbyterian church at Sturgis, which then consisted of nine members, and was soon after chosen ruling-elder, clerk, and was also Sabbath-school superintendent. In 1856 he and his wife helped to organize and became members of the First Presbyterian church in the village of Burr Oak, and both remained members till death.

Mr. Bishop was ever a strong advocate of religion, temperance, and education, always earnest in encouraging what he believed to be right, and discouraging what he thought was wrong; was kind in his family, and a good neighbor. In politics in his early manhood he was a Democrat, but upon the organization of the old Liberty party he was one of the first to join its ranks, always believing in equal rights to "all men," and still later was an active member of the Republican party from its formation till his death.

He held the office of justice of the peace several years in New York before he removed to Michigan, and when the township of Burr Oak was organized in 1838 he was elected township clerk, and kept the first records of the town. He afterwards held the offices of school inspector, justice of the peace, and supervisor, the latter office for several years. They had a family of eight children; two died young. Three sons died in the prime of early manhood in defense of their country. The widow survived her husband several years, and died the 4th of April, 1875. Three children,--J. C. Bishop, Mrs. Mary A. Johnson, of Burr Oak, and Mrs. Lucy L. Rowly, of Sturgis,--still survive.

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 193


Stephen W., son of Thomas and Elizabeth Cade, was born in Yorkshire, England, April 7, 1826. He emigrated to America with his parents in 1830, and came directly to the farm on which he now resides. There they erected their hewn-log-house, in which the first festivities in all that settlement were held, on the occasion of the marriage of his sister Mary to W. W. Stewart, when a good old-fashioned dance was indulged in, and the lively tune and the merry song were heard echoing in the neighborhood forest.

Thomas Cade, the father of the subject of this sketch, still survives, being in his ninety-third year, and resides in Sturgis. He raised a family of five children, who were all more or less identified with the history of the neighborhood in which they first settled: MARY, who consummated the first marriage in Sherman township; THOMAS, who now resides in Wisconsin; JOSEPH, now a well-to-do resident of Sherman; SAMUEL, who died June 3, 1876, in Indiana; and he of whom we write, now residing within a few rods of where he arrived an infant nearly half a century ago. He received a limited education at the public-schools of Sturgis, attending them in the winter, and working on the farm during the summer months. He has followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and is generally considered a good practical farmer.

December 25, 1849, he married Phebe M., daughter of Charles Adams, a native of Cattaraugus county, New York, and for many years a much respected citizen of Burr Oak township, this county, where he settled in 1843. This union has been blessed with two children, namely:

ADELINE E., born November 1, 1851; married Edward S. Murdock, April 15, 1874.