VAN BUREN CITIZENS
Wesley N. Longcor
.- Starting out
in life, in the effort to work himself up in the world, as a soldier in
the defense of the Union near the close of the Civil war, and thus laying
on the alter of his country as a votive gift of patriotism all the energies
of his late youth and dawning manhood, Welsey N. Longcor, of Porter township,
Van Buren county, Michigan, began his career in a way that was highly creditable
to him and gave assurance of the true mettle of his spirit; and since the
close of the great conflict, of which he saw only the expiring agonies,
devoting himself to earnest work in the still greater field of productiveness
in peaceful pursuits, with profit to himself and benefit to the community
around him, he has amply redeemed that promise and kept up the standard
of his own usefulness and the sterling worth of the citizenship amid which
he was reared.
Mr. Longcor has passed the whole of his life
to the present time (1911), except the term of his military service, among
the scenes and associations which now surround him. He was born in
Porter township, this county, on September 12, 1844, and here he grew to
manhood and obtained his education. Here he also acquired a knowledge
of the trade at which he worked for a time and of the duties in which he
is now engaged. He is a son of Dean and Caroline (Finch) Longcor,
natives of the state of New York, who came to Michigan in 1843 and took
up their residence in Porter township.
For some time after his arrival in this county
the father worked as his trade as a carpenter, then yielding to the presiding
genius of the region and turned farmer. He bought one hundred and
twenty acres of land, all of which he cultivated for a few years, then
sold forty, retaining eighty for his own use, and on this he passed the
remainder of his days, dying in 1880. The mother lived twenty years
longer, passing away in 1900. Five children were born of their union,
Wesley, being the third in the order of birth, and three of them are now
living, Wesley and his brothers James and Alonzo. Their two sisters,
Sarah and Mary, have been dead several years. James resides in Portage
township, Kalamazoo county, and Alonzo in Fremont, Newago county, this
Wesley N. Longcor attended the district school
near his home during boyhood and early youth, and assisted his father at
the carpenter's trade and on the farm as soon as he was old enough.
By this means he gained a knowledge of the trade, and after leaving school
worked at it about one year. In February 1865, he enlisted in Company
H, Twelfth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Joseph I. Follett.
The war was drawing to a close, and he did not see much active service,
although he remained in the army about thirteen months, being discharged
at Camden, Arkansas, in March 1866, and mustered out at Jackson, Michigan.
He at once returned to his Van Buren county
home and gave his attention to farming. IN 1875 he bought eighty
acres of land in Porter township, but soon afterward sold this tract and
purchased the parental homestead, which was then a tract of eighty acres.
On this farm he has dwelt ever since, and here he has experienced many
of the blessings and some of the deepest sorrows of his life. From
this farm he buried his father and mother, and on this farm he has won
success and substance in a worldly way and consequence and esteem among
the people as a citizen. He is engaged in general farming, and manages
his operations with such judgment and skill that he has an excellent reputation
as a farmer, and his place and its productiveness prove that he deserves
his standing as such.
On September 17, 1870, Mr. Longcor married
Miss Elizabeth Castner, a daughter of George R. and Julia (Baker) Castner,
natives of New York state, who came to Michigan in 1863, and here reared
to maturity five of their eight children, four of whom are now living:
James, who dwells in Porter township, this county; George R., Jr., who
is a resident of Hood River, Oregon; Mrs. Longcor, the sixth in order of
birth; and Wesley, also a resident of Porter township. The other
children of the household were John, who gave his life in defense of the
Union and died amid the horrors of the Confederate military prison at Andersonville;
and Sophia, Amanda and Julia. Mr. and Mrs. Longcor have had four children:
Cora, who is the wife of Fred B. King, of Albion, Michigan; Herman, who
died in childhood; Fermer, who is the wife of W. J. Alley, of Clare county,
Michigan; and Caroline, the wife of Gaines M. Finch, who is living at home
with her parents. The father is warmly attached to the Republican
party in political affairs and gives it his ardent support in all its campaigns.
He has commended himself to its leaders and its rank and file by his zeal
and loyalty and the value of his services, and to the people generally
by his ability and progressiveness, and he has been called to administrative
duties as township treasurer for a term of two years and as school director
for many years. Fraternally he is allied with the Grand Army of the
Republic. His interest in that organization is cordial, and his hand
is ever open of its service.
at the age of four years by the death of his mother, and from that time
left largely to the care of the father, who had plenty of work on his large
farm to occupy the greater part of his time and attention, leaving comparatively
little for the supervision and rearing of his offspring, George Burlington
grew to the age of eighteen very much as circumstances dictated, and his
subsequent success in life, his straightforward manhood, his sterling citizenship,
and all the other qualities which distinguish him and have won him universal
esteem of the whole county in which he lives are rather the results of
inherent uprightness and force of character than of inculcation.
He demonstrated that he had the mettle of a true and self-reliant man even
in his youth, for he began the battle of life for himself before "manhood
darkened on his downy cheek."
Mr. Burlington is a native of Van Buren county,
having been born in Porter township on a farm of which the one he now cultivates
was a part. His life began on March 9, 1881, and he is the ninth
and last child of James W. and Mary E. (Rich) Burlington, the former a
native of Somersetshire, England, and the latter of the state of New York.
The father came to the United States when he was twelve years old and found
a new home in Onondaga county, New York, where he grew to manhood on a
farm near the city of Syracuse. In 1861 he enlisted in the One Hundred
and Twenty-second New York Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into service
a short time afterward, but did not reach or come near the scene of actual
hostilities until late in August 1862.
From that time until he received a serious wound in the battle
of Cold Harbor, which raged during June 1, 2 and 3, 1864, he was in the
very thick of the fight. He had conducted himself with such gallantry
that he was promoted corporal sergeant of his company on May 5, 1864.
He took part in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, Maryland, September
14 and 17, 1862; Williamsport in the same state, September 19 and 20, same
year; Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 13, 1862; Marye's Heights, Salem
Heights, Deep Run and Banks' Ford, Virginia, in May and June, 1863, the
fighting in this series of engagements being almost continuous until the
last one ended on June 13, and after that the regiment had two or three
weeks' rest. It was resting for a gathering storm, however, and not
from one that was retiring. General Lee crossed the Potomac and invaded
Pennsylvania, and Mr. Burlington's regiment was in the force that was assembled
to drive him back. It confronted him on the bloody field of Gettysburg
on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863, and helped to harass him on his memorable retreat,
engaging him in stubborn battles at Funkstown, Maryland, on July 12 and
13, 1863. It was also in the contest at Rappahannock Station, Virginia,
on November 7, 1863, and the one at Mine Run, Virginia, which lasted, with
intermittent fighting from November 26 to December 12 of that year.
The spring and early summer of 1864 brought some of the hardest fighting
of the war, and he was in the very midst of it. His regiment fought
in the terrible battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 6 and 7; the battle of
Spottsylvania Court House, June 9-12; and the battle of Cold Harbor, June1,2
and 3 of that year. At the deluge of death last named Mr. Burlington
received a gunshot wound in his left foot that disabled him for further
service. It was a severe and dangerous wound, and his system was also run
down also from the effects of a sun stroke received while he was on dress
parade at Goose Creek, Virginia, on August 1863. He was taken to Emory
Hospital in Washington for treatment, and was finally discharged from the
institution on March 18, 1865.
After his discharge he returned to Syracuse,
New York, and soon afterward was married. In 1867 he came to Michigan
and Van Buren county, and took up his residence at Lawton in Porter township.
Here he was variously employed for a year or two, then rented eighty acres
of land, which he farmed three or four years. Having been successful
in his operations, he then bought forty acres, to which he added forty
by one subsequent purchase and forty more by another, all in section 16,
Porter township. Some time later he bought an additional tract of
eighty acres, and he owned all of this land at the time of his death, which
occurred in September 1902. His wife died in 1885. They were
the parents of nine children, of whom their son George was, as has been
noted, the last born. The others, who are all living, are: Frances,
the wife of Irwin M. Barker; James C.; Grace T., the wife of C. H. Mohney;
Guy T.; Nellie, the wife of Claud Miller, of Cass county; Floyd and Roy,
who also live in Cass county; and James W., whose home is in Decatur.
The four first named are residents of Porter township, Van Buren county.
George Burlington was but eighteen years old when
he went to Allegan county and opened a butcher shop. This he conducted
for six years, then sold it and located on forty acres of land which he
owned in that county. He farmed this land for two years, then traded
it for a house and lot in Wayland, Allegan county. But he did not
remain there. He returned to his father's farm, of which he now cultivates
sixty acres. On this he does general farming and raises live stock
as extensively as his facilities allow, and with gratifying success in
both departments of his enterprise.
Mr. Burlington was married on December 15,
1903, to Miss Hattie M. McLoud, a daughter of Henry W. and Nina (Talladay)
McLoud, natives of Michigan. Their offspring numbers two, Mrs. Burlington
and her sister Edith, who is the widow of the late Claud Sias, of Kalamazoo.
Mr. and Mrs. Burlington also have two children: Their son James W.,
who was born on November 20, 1904, and their daughter Frances E., who birth
occurred on October 3, 1910.
Mr. Burlington is a Republican politically,
a Freemason and a Woodman fraternally and a Methodist in church connection.
he is one of the progressive and enterprising men of his township, both
in his own affairs and in reference to the development and improvement
of the locality in which he lives. He is always to be counted on
for his assistance in all worthy undertakings designed to advance the interests
of the township and county and promote the welfare of their people.
He is well known throughout the county and everywhere he is well esteemed
as a man and citizen. The people admire him for his integrity in
business, his example in public spirit, his devotion to the interests of
this section and his uprightness in private life.
, a citizen of Porter
township who has always been closely identified with movements calculated
to be of benefit to his community, is one of the leading farmers and stock
raisers of Porter township, where he has resided all of his life, and the
owner of an excellent tract of two hundred acres of well cultivated land.
Having been eminently successful in his own undertakings, Mr. Marshall
has been called upon at various times to fill positions of importance in
his township, and he is justly regarded as a prominent factor in the public
life of his section. John Marshall was born in Porter township, Van
Buren county, July 24, 1854, and is a son of John and Grace (Hayne) Marshall,
natives of County Cornwall, England.
The parents of Mr. Marshall came to the United States
in 1851, and first located in Onondaga county, New York, from whence in
1853 they moved to Michigan and settled on a forty-acre tract of land in
Porter township, where John Marshall died in December of the same year,
his son having not yet been born. The widow remained in the Porter
township property, securing the deed to the land at Lansing and having
it made out to her son. Another child, a daughter, had died in infancy
and was buried in New York. Mrs. Marshall took for her second husband
John Barker, who is now deceased, and they had a family of five children,
as follows: George H., who is deceased; Ella J., living in Porter township;
Mary E., the wife of George I. Hathaway, of Porter township; Irwin M.,
living in Porter township; and Joseph H., who is deceased. Mrs. Barker
died in 1906.
John Marshall grew up on the farm in Porter
township, receiving his education in the district schools, and later attending
the Lawton High School for a short period. When he was eighteen years
of age his stepfather furnished him with a team with which to work his
forty-acre farm and forty acres more which he had purchased, and when his
stepfather died he took charge of the two farms with his half-brothers.
Mr. Marshall has always been a hardworking, industrious agriculturist,
and from time to time he has added to his property until he is now the
owner of two hundred acres, all under a high state of cultivation, where
he is carrying on general farming and stock raising. Long years of
experience have given him an intimate knowledge of soil conditions in this
section, and he has so operated his land as to get the very best of results.
He is a Republican in his political views, and in 1885 was elected to the
office of township clerk for four years. On the expiration of this
term of office he was elected supervisor, and in 1898 was candidate for
the office of county treasurer, being elected to serve in that capacity
of two terms. His majorities at the various elections proved his
popularity and the confidence and esteem in which he is held by his fellow
citizens. While serving in the office of county treasurer he was
elected president of the Van Buren Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company,
which has grown rapidly under his management and has ably held its own
with the old line companies in the field. His fraternal connections
are with the Masons and the Modern Woodmen, and in his religious views
he is a consistent Methodist.
On April 18, 1883, Mr. Marshall was married
to Miss Idale Van Antwerp, daughter of Freeman and Harriet (Cook) Van Antwerp,
pioneers of Van Buren county, whose other two children were: Daniel C.,
a resident of Lawton; and Anna, who is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall
have been the parents of five children, as follows: Grace H., who is a
teacher in the Paw Paw High School; and Anna M., Eva L., J. Freeman, who
died December 9, 1911, aged twenty years; and Mary E.
Frank A. Carpenter
.- With many
men there seems to be but one line which they can follow, one vocation
which fits their abilities, one special occupation in which they can find
success, and until they have settled themselves in that special groove
they make little headway. To the man of versatile traits and abilities,
however, any line of occupation which presents itself is acceptable, and
if he be persistent enough he will win success in whatever field he finds
himself. Frank A. Carpenter, of Decatur township, is not only a man
of versatile habits, but is a good example of the successful self-make
man of today. He was born in Stockbridge, Madison county, New York,
December 5, 1846, and is a son of James and Eliza Jane (Sweet) Carpenter.
James Carpenter, who was a farmer all of his
life, came to Michigan in the fall of 1860, and settled at Lawrence, where
he built the long bridge across the Paw Paw river. In 1866 he moved
to Minnesota, locating in Wabasha county, and he was there engaged in farming
until his death, on the 4th of February 1902, his widow surviving him only
until August 13th of the same year. They were the parents of seven
children: Frank A.; Harold O., who lives in South Dakota; Elmer J., also
living in that state; Ellen L., who is deceased; Charles F., a resident
of Montana; Mary J., the wife of Swan Anderson, of Minnesota; and George
L., living in Minnesota.
Frank A. Carpenter was married in 1865, and in July
1866, he went to Minnesota, where for two years he was engaged in following
the trade of carpenter, which he had learned in his youth. On his return
to Michigan, he settled in Decatur, where he has followed his trade and
with his sons carried on general farming, specializing in mint growing.
For a number of years he has made his farming pay, and takes a pride in
his home and surroundings. He has teamed logs with the exception
of three winters during fifty-one years, and has probably drawn more loads
than any other one man now living in Van Buren county. He has also
sheared sheep for forty-five seasons and several years operated a threshing
machine, all of these in addition to working at his trade as a carpenter.
Many residences stand as monuments to his ability. Genial, pleasant, whole-souled,
Mr. Carpenter has a host of warm, personal friends, who are gratified with
the success he has made in life. His eighty acre farm is situated
in section 11, and for nearly forty years he has been identified with matters
agricultural in Decatur township.
On November 26, 1865, Mr. Carpenter was married
to Miss Susan Smith, daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Kitham) Smith, who
were born in England and came to the United States in 1851, settling in
Lenawee county. They had three children: Maria, who died in infancy;
Sarah A., also deceased, who married Roswell Hicks, and whose son Arthur
P., is an attorney in Detroit; and Susan. Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter
have had eight children: William F., born October 16, 1868; Emma Belle,
born February 10, 1870, wife of B. Barnham, of Van Buren county; Orrie
M., born September 26, 1871; Maud E., born March 31, 1873, wife of Arthur
Howe, of Decatur; Roswell H., born September 12, 1875; E. James, born November
6, 1877; Altha V., born November 18, 1880, wife of H. Elliott, of Van Buren
county; and Nellie A., born November 25, 1883, wife of F. D. McAdams, of
Politically Mr. Carpenter is a Republican,
but he has never cared to hold office. His influence, however, is
always given to movements that he calculates will be of benefit to his
community, and he is a prominent member of the local Grange. Mrs.
Carpenter is a member of the Methodist church, and prominent in church
and charitable work.
Thomas J. Cornish
.- The great American
Republic, which has been an asylum for the oppressed of all civilized nations,
and has cordially welcomed all comers who were worthy from every clime
and tongue; which has opened wide its treasure house of boundless wealth
and opportunity to all, and been liberal in naturalization and admission
to participation in the management of its civil and political institutions,
has reaped its reward for its liberality in the wonderful growth of its
population by accretions from foreign lands, and in the vast augmentation
of its commercial and international power through the additions those accretions
have made to its resources of industrial production.
Among the immigrants to this country from
other nations no class has been more sturdy, more reliable, more stimulating
and helpful in our activities or more zealously loyal to our institutions
and our flag than those who have come from England with a settled purpose
to remain and be a part of us. Of this class Thomas J. Cornish, of
Porter township, this county, is a very estimable and satisfactory representative.
He has been a resident of Van Buren county twenty-six years, and during
the whole of that period has followed farming with industry and skill,
and by his efforts has accumulated a competency for himself and made valuable
additions to the general sum of the county's wealth and commercial importance.
He has also performed well the duties of citizenship, and by his upright
course in all the relations of life has won the respect and regard of the
people in all parts of the county.
Mr. Cornish was born in Cornwall, England,
on December 25, 1857, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Phillips) Cornish,
also natives of that country and belonging to families long domesticated
on its soil. Their son Thomas was the fifth born of their seven children,
and is one of the three of them who are living in Michigan. The other
two are John, who also lives in Porter township, this county, and Charles,
whose home is in another part of the state. Of the remaining living
children of the family William resides in Canada and Edward in England.
Two daughters born in the household, Anna and Mary, have both been dead
a number of years.
Thomas J. Cornish left his native land in
1882 and came to Canada, where he engaged in farming for three years.
But during all of that time the United States wore a winning smile to him,
and in 1885 he yielded to its persuasiveness and came to Michigan and Van
Buren county. The first seven years of his residence in this county
were passed on rented farms. But he made steady progress on them
in his struggle for advancement, and at the end of the period mentioned
he bought the farm of eighty-one acres on which he now lives in Porter
township. He married during the period of his tenancy and this farm
was his wife's family homestead. He has, however, greatly improved
it since it came into his possession, and the buildings are both comfortable
and attractive, while the general equipment of the place is modern and
On February 20, 1889, Mr. Cornish was married
to Miss Mary Catherine Mergenthaler, born in Kalamazoo, a daughter of Matthew
and Catherine (Wildermuth) Mergenthaler, natives of Germany, but residents
of Van Buren county for about fifty years. Mrs. Cornish's parents
were born in Shellright, Wittenberg, Germany, and were there reared and
married. They came to America accompanies by three children, making
the voyage in a sailing vessel, spending seven weeks en route. They
lived in the state of New York one year and then came to Kalamazoo, where
they spent three years. From there they came to Van Buren county
and bought a tract of timber land, with about a dozen acres cleared, and
the father engaged in general farming. Both residing there until
their deaths, the father dying in 1882, aged fifty-nine, and the mother
at the age of fifty-four years in 1886. They reared six children:
Frederick, who died at the age of forty-seven; Louisa, Augusta, Sophia,
Mary Catherine and William. Three children have been born to Mr.
and Mrs. Cornish, Leo F., Catherine and Russell, all of whom are still
living at home with their parents and helping to brighten the parental
In his political views Mr. Cornish sides with the
Republican party, and while he is not active in partisan, he is loyal and
true to his party without the desire for any of the honors or emoluments
it has to bestow. His farm and its claims on his attention, together
with the ordinary duties of citizenship, occupy his time and energies,
and he has no longing for the responsibilities and cares of public office.
But he takes an earnest interest and an active part in all matters pertaining
to the progress and improvement of his township and county, and does his
part toward pushing all worthy projects involving their advancement to
completion. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Masonic
order and the Woodmen, and the family attend the Methodist church.
Thomas E. Parker
.- If the man who
makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before is a public benefactor,
much more is he to be considered one who starts a new industry in a region
and leads to its development into one of the most successful and profitable
of the various pursuits that occupy the time and energies of the people
engaged in the industrial life of that region. Especially is this
case when the industry was before his time unknown to the locality, and
the possibility of planting it there and making it highly productive was
never tried or suspected.
Thomas E. Parker of Porter township, Van Buren
county, Michigan, is entitled to this distinction. He may not have
been the first man to engage in grape culture in this part of the state,
but he has been in it for twenty-seven years, and has greatly aided in
expanding it to its present large and remunerative proportions and giving
its product the high reputation it has in the markets of this whole country
and portions of many others. He has certainly, therefore, been a
public benefactor to his locality by his intelligence and diligence in
fostering the new industry and by his example in leading others to do the
The history of Mr. Parker's life is not an
eventful one in the sense of mingling with great affairs. But it
is worthy of warm commendation in consequence of the fidelity to duty it
shows, the enterprise and progressiveness it embodies, the industry and
thrift it manifests, and the high plane of citizenship on which it has
been conducted. He was born in England on March 23, 1853, and is
a son of William and Elizabeth (Sykes) Parker, also natives of that country
and life-long residents of it. Both are now deceased, and their remains
have found final resting place in the soil which they hallowed by their
long and useful labors. They were the parents of seven children,
of whom Thomas was the second in the order of birth. His brothers
Charles, Fred and Sykes, and his sister Susan are still living in England;
and his older brother William and a younger sister named Anzela died and
were buried there. In 1873 he came to the United States, a youth
of twenty, with none of his family and no imitate friends to accompany
him. He dared the stormy Atlantic alone of all his father's household,
and is its only representative in this country.
The great and growing and somewhat noisy West
attracted him from the start, and he located in Chicago. There he
remained five years engaged in masonry work, of which he had acquired a
knowledge before leaving home, and then changed his residence to Plymouth,
Illinois, and his occupation to that of keeping a hotel, which he did also
for five years. At the end of that period he sold his hotel business
and moved to Van Buren county, Michigan, with a view to turning his attention
to farming. For this purpose he bought forty acres of land in section
7, Porter township, and during almost the whole of his time since then
he has devoted to growing grapes on a progressive scale of magnitude and
It was in 1884, twenty-seven years ago, that
Mr. Parker planted his first vines. He has studied his business and
it needs and possibilities carefully, and is recognized as one of the most
knowing and successful men engaged in it in this part of the country.
His beautiful place is known as "Mount Pleasant Vineyard," and its output
has a high rank in the markets in many states, and has created an expanding
demand in some foreign countries because of its excellence in quality and
the care with which it is always prepared for preservation and shipment.
Mr. Parker was married in 1877, to Miss Miranda
Matthews, a native of Ohio. There were two children in the family of her
parents, herself and a brother, and both are now deceased, Mrs. Parker
having died in September 5, 1910. She stood well in her community
in this county, and her early death was widely lamented.
In Political relations Mr. Parker is connected
with the Republican party, and as he is a firm believer in its principles
he is an ardent, though quiet worker for its success in all campaigns.
His fraternal affiliation is with the Masonic order, and in this and the
Episcopal church, of which he is a zealous member, he manifests an earnest
and helpful interest at all times, rendering both good service in every
way he can. He also takes a cordial and serviceable interest in the
progress and improvement of his township and county, and does all he can
to aid in promoting their welfare and the utmost good of their people.
He is widely and favorably known as one of the most sturdy and sterling
citizens of his locality.
Joel Merritt Weldin
.- One of the promoters
of the grape culture industry in Porter township, this county, and with
a considerable acreage of his highly productive and valuable farm devoted
to it, Joel M. Weldin has made a very substantial and profitable addition
to the agricultural and commercial resources of the township, and thereby
has been of considerable direct and continuous service to its people.
He has been engaged in the industry for the greater part of twenty years,
and made a study of it in a way that has enabled him to be successful in
the management of it and make his contributions to its expansion, progress
and improvement one of considerable moment.
It is much to Mr. Weldin's credit, too, that
he is conducting his enterprise in the place of his birth and on part of
the soil from which he drew his stature and his strength while he was growing
to manhood. For he is a native of the township in which he now lives,
and his farm of sixty acres in section 10 of that township comprises a
portion of the one on which he was born and reared. He never went
out of sight of the smoke of his father's chimney to find opportunities
for advancement in life, but found them in his thorough knowledge of the
soil he helped to cultivate from boyhood, and the possibilities of which
it is capable.
Mr. Weldin's life began in a log cabin on
December 17, 1871, and he is a son of George and Margery (Hayne) (Turner)
Weldin, a sketch of whose lives will be found elsewhere in this volume.
He was educated at the neighborhood district school, remaining at home
with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-one, and working on
the parental homestead under the judicious direction and supervision of
his father. At that age he bought twenty acres of the homestead,
and some time afterward added forty acres more by a purchase made of another
person. Mr. Weldin has been enterprising in improving his farm in
the matter of good buildings, having put on nearly all its contains, and
he has also been constant and industrious in his study and observation
of the nature of its soil in order to determine what he could make it produce
to the best advantage. Other men had become deeply interested grape
culture before he had any land to farm, some of them very successful and
some only moderately so, or not at all. He learned by watchfulness
and experiment that his land was well adapted to the growth of the vine,
and be began early in his career as a farmer to devote a suitable portion
of it to this use. He has enlarged his operations from year to year
until he now has a large and fruitful vineyard, the products of which are
held in high regard wherever they are known, and that is in many places
in his own state, and others, near and far away. He plants with judgment,
cultivates with care and manages the whole business with vigor and intelligence.
The results are profitable to him and of value to the community around
On February 2, 1899, he was married to Miss
Agnes Ward, a daughter of Richard and Alice (Burnham) Ward, both now deceased.
They were the parents of ten children, of whom Mrs. Weldin was the fifth
born. Her living sisters and brothers are: Rose, the wife of Frank Wares,
of Kalamazoo; Fred, a resident of this county; Kate, the wife of Sanford
Horton, of Marcellus, Cass county, Michigan; Bert, who lives in Benton
Harbor, this state; Nellie, the wife of Charles Keefe, of Kalamazoo; and
Cleo, the wife of Stanley Cornish, of Porter township. The children who
died were Grant, Charles, Mabel, the first, sixth and ninth of the family.
Mr. and Mrs. Weldin have one child, their
daughter Margery Alice, who was born on March 2,1900, and is now an aspiring
and progressive school-girl. Mr. Weldin takes an active part in political
affairs as a loyal and zealous member of the Democratic party, but not
in any degree as an office-seeker. He believes the people will be
best governed and served by the domination of the principles of that party,
locally and generally, and for that reason he supports it with earnestness
in all campaigns. In fraternal societies he sees much good, and he
belongs to and takes a cordial interest in two of them, the Masonic order
and that of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is an estimable and
useful citizen, and is universally respected as such. Mr. Weldin
is a member of the Methodist Protestant church.
Percy F. Harris
.- Van Buren county
is fortunate in that it has among its skilled agriculturists many of the
younger generation, men who are just entering the prime of life, with the
enthusiasm and buoyancy of spirits which belong only to youth. These
are the men on whom the future of agriculture conditions in this county
rest, and it is undoubtedly true that the interests are in good hands,
for they will profit by the experiences of their fathers and avoid those
mistakes and obstacles with which the pioneers of this section had to deal.
One of the leading agriculturists of the younger generation in Van Buren
county is Percy F. Harris, who is carrying on successful operations in
Decatur township. Mr. Harris is a native of Toronto, Canada, and
was born April 2, 1887, the adopted son of John S. and Mary A. (Baldwin)
Harris, the former a native of Michigan and the latter of New York.
The Harris family was founded in Decatur township
in 1892, and here John S. Harris spent the last years of his life in agricultural
pursuits, his death occurring June 30, 1906. He was married first to Miss
Lee, by whom he had three children: George, who lives in the state of Washington;
Bertram J., living in Nebraska; and Mabel, the wife of Ezra Swift, of Washington.
He was married secondly to Mrs. Mary A. (Baldwin) Jacques, the widow of
A. A. Jacques.
Percy F. Harris received a good education
in the public schools of Decatur, Michigan. He was given a good agricultural
training, and when his father died, in 1906, he took charge of the home
farm, the management of which has been under his care ever since.
Although still a young man, Mr. Harris has been very successful, and his
property produces as fine crops as any of its size in the township, while
he has also had success in the raising of blooded cattle. He is a
stanch adherent of the Republican principles, although so far he has been
too busy with his agricultural operations to think of entering actively
into politics. Socially he is connected with the Gleaners, in which
he is very popular. Mrs. Harris still survives her husband and resides
in Decatur. The family is well known in Decatur township, and its
members have many warm and personal friends.
On November 24, 1909, Mr. Harris was married
to Miss Clara A. Scott, daughter of Asa A. and Hattie (Wickers) Scott,
and this family is also one of the prominent ones of the community.
Mrs. Harris' only sister, Weltha, is the wife of Allen Morehouse, a resident
of Three Oaks, Michigan.
James C. McLain
.- Ever since its incorporation
Van Buren county has been noted for its phenomenal development as a farming
and fruit growing country, but especially has this growth and development
been noted in the past few years, during which time the residents of this
section have taken up scientific treatment of this naturally fertile and
productive soil and brought Van Buren up the ranks is Michigan counties.
James C. McLain, one of the successful farmers and stock raisers of Porter
township, who is engaged in operating one hundred acres of land in section
15, has been closely identified with the development of Van Buren county
for many years. He was born in Pennsylvania, October 16, 1856, and
is a son of John and Nancy (Christy) McLain, natives of the Keystone state,
where the father followed the blacksmith trade all of his life and died
in 1909, his wife passing away in 1898. They were the parents of
nine children, as follows: Mary, the wife of J. D. McMath, residing in
Pennsylvania; Sarah, the widow of John Z. Ross, of that state; a child
who died in infancy; James C., Rachel, who is deceased; Maggie, the wife
of S. A. Martin, of Pennsylvania; Agnes, the wife of William C. Thompson,
of that state; an infant deceased; and John, who lives at the old home
James C. McLain remained with his parents
until he was nineteen years of age, assisting his father in the blacksmith
shop, but this work not proving congenial he began farming, and continued
this work at that occupation for one year in his native state. He
then spent one year in the oil country, and at that time decided that a
better field of his abilities lay in the West, subsequently, in March 1878,
coming to Michigan and locating in Porter township. In 1884 he was
married, and two years later came to take charge of his father-in-law's
farm, a tract of forty acres, and in addition to operating this land he
also rents sixty acres in the same township. Farming and stock raising
have claimed his attention and he has been successful in both branches,
being rated among the good, practical agriculturists of his section.
Although a very busy man, Mr. McLain has found time to act as township
treasurer for two years, as township clerk for nine years and as school
moderator of his district. He is a Mason and a Modern Woodman, and
he and Mrs. McLain are consistent members of the Methodist Protestant church.
On October 1, 1884, Mr. McLain was married to Miss
Fanny McLain, daughter of William H. and Fanny (Clubine) McLain, natives
of Pennsylvania. They came to Michigan in 1846, settling first in
St. Joseph county, where Mr. McLain followed the trade of shoemaker until
the fall of 1854, when he came to Porter township, Van Buren county, and
purchased a tract of land, which he improved and operated until his death,
in October 1907, his wife having passed away the July previous. They had
lived together during sixty-seven years of happy married life. They
had a family of ten children, as follows: John C., of South Dakota, formerly
treasurer of Van Buren county; Philip F., residing in Oregon; Hamilton
H., a resident of South Dakota; George W., deceased; Mary, the wife of
C. L. Balch, of Lawton; Isabella; David M., deceased; James W., deceased;
Fanny, who married Mr. McLain; and Charles, who lives in Colorado.
Mr. and Mrs. James C. McLain have had one son, Glenn G., born May 26, 1886,
who is now engaged in business with his father.
is one of the
prosperous farmers of Van Buren county, where he has resided for upwards
of a quarter of a century. Commencing his independent life as an
agriculturist without any outside help, and with no capital except the
habits of industry, the enterprise and ability which have stood him in
such good stead, he has been enabled to make a success of his farm and
is today one of the most notable examples of reward merit.
Having passed practically his entire life in Michigan,
the birth of Ezra Srackangast occurred in Berrien county, that state, on
the 5th day of August, 1859. His parents, George and Asenath (Gard)
Srackangast, settled in Berrien county about 1855, the father a native
of Virginia, while the mother originally hailed from Ohio. Father
Srackangast engaged in agricultural pursuits and at the time of his death,
in 1886, he was possessed of one hundred and twenty acres of good farm
land. His widow survived him almost twenty years, her demise having
occurred in 1905. She was the mother of five children,-Olive, the
wife of Henry Hard, of Findlay, Ohio; Ezra, the subject of this sketch;
Warren and James, residing in Montana; and Daniel, who died in infancy.
The first twenty-two years of the life of
Ezra Srackangast were passed on his father's farm, during which time the
youth attended the district school in the winter months and assisted his
with the cultivation of the soil during the summer time. In 1884
he left the parental roof and went to Kansas, of whose agricultural possibilities
he had formed a high estimate; taking up one hundred and sixty acres of
land, he farmed until the death of his father two years later recalled
him to Michigan. He did not return to Kansas, believing that he could
do better in Michigan, and for the ensuing two years worked by the month,
laying by his earnings, so that in 1889 he was enabled to stock a one hundred
acre farm in section 19, Arlington township. After thirteen years of persevering
efforts he bought the farm which up to that time he had rented, and there
he resides today, making a specialty of raising stock and also doing general
On February 7, 1889, Mr. Srackangast was untied
in marriage to Miss Martha Layman, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Marquis)
Layman, of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. Mrs. Srackangast has
one brother, William, residing in Berrien county; and a sister, Amanda,
who also maintains her home in Berrien county. There was another
daughter in the family, Sophronia, and she died in the year 1908.
Mr. and Mrs. Srackangast have one son, Fred L., born July 1, 1890, and
he married Mirth Burges. They live at South Haven, Michigan.
Mr. Srackangast is a Republican in his political
sympathies, but he has been too busy attending to the cultivation of his
farm to have found time to take any active part in public matters, though
he is ever interested in the progress of the county in which he has resided
for so many years. Mr. and Mrs. Srackangast in a fraternal way are
affiliated with the Grangers and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and the Rebekah Lodge. Having been a farmer all of his life, it is
natural that he should be regarded as an expert in regard to all matters
connected with agriculture, and indeed there is very little about farming
work that he does not know. He is both popular and respected in the
John M. Truex
.-"If he were born in Ohio,
watch out for him," used to be a political prophecy; but it might even
more safely be said: "If he's a Van Buren county citizen, one may easily
hazard that either he or his father were born in New York." Of course
there are several exceptions to the rule. John M. Truex is a representative
citizen, for he was born in Cayuga county, New York, on October 15, 1850.
He is the son of Adam and Mary Ann (Strong) Truex, both of whom were natives
of the Empire state. The father, whose vocation was that of a farmer,
was one of the martyrs of the Civil war, his death having occurred in Salisbury
Prison, North Carolina, on January 21, 1865. At the outbreak of the
great struggle between the states he bade farewell to his family and enlisted
in a New York regiment to do his share to preserve the integrity of the
Union. His fate was that of a million others of the flower of American
manhood. The mother, so long widowed, survives and makes her home
in New York state. Mr. Truex is one of a family of four children
and the eldest in order of birth, the others being: Alforetta, widow of
L. P. Howe, of Cayuga county, New York; William C., who died February 20,
1910; Adda, wife of George W. Bell, of Cayuga county.
Mr. Truex grew to manhood on a farm in his
native county and there acquired those habits of industry and thrift which
have insured success in his life. He subsequently learned the carpenter's
trade and in 1871, when only about twenty-one, he came to Michigan and
located in Niles, but only for a short time. The following year he
removed to Covert and secured a position in the Packard saw mills, which
he retained for twenty-one years. During this time he had purchased
land and owned a small but excellent farm of forty-nine acres in Covert
township, section 2. Upon concluding his association with the Packards
he moved upon this tract and has successfully followed farming and fruit
raising ever since that time.
Mr. Truex married Hettie M. Boswick on November
7, 1872, his chosen wife being a daughter of William R. and Sarah Eliza
(Thorp) Bostwick, both of whom were natives of Ohio and both of whom are
now deceased. The Bostwicks are one of the old families, their arrival
in Michigan having occurred in the early '50s. They located in Allegan
county and were the parents of the following children: Lucretia, residing
in this township; Mrs. Truex; and two deceased. Into the home of
Mrs. Truex were born eight children, but the five eldest were removed from
the household by the "Grim Reaper." Three survive: Gertrude is the wife
of George Wiars, of Covert; Harry M. resides in South Haven; and Ollie
R. is also a resident of South Haven. He married Hazel Pierson on
June 14, 1908, and they have two small daughters,-Bernice, born September
4, 1909; and Evaline Georgia, born March 22, 1911, which gives to the subject
the proud distinction of grandfather.
Mr. Truex is loyal to the policies and principles
of what its admirers are pleased to call the "Grand Old Party" and his
lodge is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a good citizen
and true to the best interests of the community.
, of the firm of Leslie
Scott & Sons, owners and operators of the Arlington Farm, one of the
finest improved farms in Van Buren county, Michigan, furnishes an example
of what can be accomplished by well directed and persevering energy along
a congenial line of endeavor. By virtue of the position he occupies
as one of the leading stock and fruit farmers in Southern Michigan, biographical
mention of him is of especial interest in this volume.
Leslie Scott is a Canadian by birth. He was
born in Ontario, August 4, 1856, a son of Leslie and Elizabeth (Elliott)
Scott, both natives of Ireland, who in childhood became residents of Canada
and who lived and died there. In the Scott family were five children,
of whom the eldest, Marie, is deceased; William and James are residents
of Canada; the fourth born died in infancy; and Leslie, the subject of
this sketch, is the youngest.
His father a farmer, Leslie Scott early became familiar
with all kinds of farm work as conducted in Canada, and he remained a member
of the home circle until he was eighteen years of age. Then he came
over into the United States and in Pennsylvania went to work in the old
fields, where he spent two years. At the end of that time he went
back to Canada, from there came to Michigan, and shortly afterward went
to Dakota. That was in 1877. There he took claim to a large
tract of land and directed his energies to farming, in which he was very
successful, in a single year--1891--his wheat crop measuring up to sixteen
thousand bushels. His original Dakota claim was four hundred and
sixty acres, to which he added until he was the owner of one thousand two
hundred acres, which he sold in 1894. As already stated, he had visited
Michigan before taking up his residence further west, and in 1894, he returned
to the "Lake State" and bought two hundred acres in Arlington township,
Van Buren county, where he has developed a dairy and fruit business.
The present year, 1911, his apple crop is estimated at one thousand five
hundred barrels. His dairy is composed of a high grade of Holstein
cattle, and all the buildings and improvements in connection with this
industry are fist class in every respect. In order to have his sons
remain with him and be identified with the business, Mr. Scott offered
the inducement of a partnership, in which they share, and thus all are
personally interested and take a just pride in the fact that they have
made Arlington Farm the best improved tract of land in Van Buren county.
Bangor is their post office and they are on the line of Rural Route No.
Mrs. Scott was formerly Miss Lillian B. De
Haven, and was born and reared in Arlington township. Their children
in order of birth are as follows: Leslie, Forest, Fayette, Arthur Milton,
Frances and Kathleen.
Mr. Scott's religious faith is that of the
Episcopal church, in which he has membership, and politically he is a Republican.
a period of forty-five years William Schermerhorn has owned and occupied
his farm of over a hundred acres in Arlington township, Van Buren county,
Michigan, and has been recognized as one of the representative citizens
of his community.
Mr. Schermerhorn was born in Syracuse, New
York, March 22, 1834, a son of Ernestus and Ann (Johnson) Schermerhorn,
both natives of the "Empire State." For twelve years his father was
a manufacturer of salt a Syracuse. Then, in 1835, when William was
a year old, the family moved west to Indiana and settled in La Grange,
where he grew to manhood and where his parents died. In their family
were eleven children, as follows: Clarissa Ann, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased;
Aaron, of Indiana; Orton, deceased; William; an infant, deceased; George
W., who died in the Union army during the Civil war; John M., James A.,
Horace G., all of Indiana, and Isaac, deceased. The mother died in
When he was twenty years of age William Schermerhorn
engaged in sawmilling, to which occupation he devoted his attention for
three years. At the end of that time he bought one hundred and sixty
acres of land in Clear Spring township, La Grange, Indiana, where he farmed
for six years. Then he sold out and came to Michigan, and here, on
April 10, 1868, he bought the one hundred and ten acres in Arlington township,
Van Buren county, on which he has since lived. All the improvements
on this land have been made by him, and here he has successfully carried
on general farming and stock raising, making a specialty of sheep.
On November 15, 1859, Mr. Schermerhorn and
Miss Harriet Day were united in marriage, and to them have been given five
children, namely: Mary, wife of L. C. Colburn, of Arlington; Jessie M.,
wife of S. E. Bridges, of Arlington township; Lizzie, wife of J. W. Tays,
a civil engineer of New York; Gertrude, at home; and Grant, of Van Buren
county. Mrs. Schermerhorn's parents, David R. and Aurilla (Blackman)
Day, were natives of Vermont and Connecticut, respectively. They
resided some years in Ohio, and from there moved to La Grange county, Indiana.
Mr. Schermerhorn has always taken a deep interest
in any movement tending to improve the moral tone of the community, and,
while not a member of any religious denomination, has assisted materially
in church building in Van Buren county. He has held some township offices,
and politically is Independent.
Of the Schermerhorn family it may further
be said that they are entitled to claim kinship with Israel Putnam, of
Revolutionary fame, from whom they are descended. Other members of
their family took part in the wars of this country, and a great uncle of
William Schermerhorn, who was a gunsmith in the war of 1812, made the first
rifle that was put into the twist barrel.
John B. Wilcox
, for almost a century
a resident of Van Buren county, has been identified with the agricultural
progress of this part of Michigan, and he has also taken an active part
in the political life of the community. It is not often that there
are found united in one man the qualities which make a successful farmer,
an enterprising business man and a jurist, but Judge Wilcox is the unusual
exception. During the years that he has lived in the county the Republican
party has found in him one its most stalwart supporters, and a brief review
of his life will serve to recall to the minds of his friends and acquaintances
his career of faithfulness, ability and honor.
The birth of Judge Wilcox occurred in Somerset
county, New Jersey, December 14, 1828. He is a son of Isaac and Euphamy
(Bastedo) Wilcox, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. The father
was a freighter and plied his trade between New Brunswick and Trenton,
New Jersey, until his death, which occurred in 1830. He was survived
by his two children,--John B., and Isaac J. (now deceased), and his widow.
Mrs. Isaac Wilcox married William Reynolds, who made his first appearance
into the world in the state of New York. Of the eight children born
to this union, William, Euphemia Ann, Simeon and an unnamed baby are deceased,
while four sons still live in different parts of the country,--Oscar resides
in Bangor, Michigan; Theodore maintains his home in Arlington township,
this county; Alexander lives at Big Rapids, Michigan; and George is a resident
of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds were summoned to the
life eternal many years ago.
John B. Wilcox, deprived of a father's care
before he was old enough to appreciate its value, was carefully reared
by his grandfather from the time he was two years old. The schools
at that time were scarce and educational advantages were not so common
as they are today, and the consequence was that Judge Wilcox received very
He is now regarded as a well informed man on all
practical subjects, but the knowledge he possesses has been gained as the
result of his later reading and his observations as he went along through
life. At the age of fourteen he left his grandfather's home and commenced
his independent career by farming in his native state. At the expiration
of a year he went to Wayne county, New York, there engaged in the fanning
mill business, was successful in his efforts in regard to this industry,
and he continued to operate a flourishing mill until 1865. In that
year he came to Michigan, bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in
section 18, Arlington township, and he commenced to farm. He proved
as successful in his agricultural pursuits as he had been in his previous
undertaking, and he soon added another forty acres to his holdings.
On his two-hundred acre farm he raised grains of various kinds and also
stock; during the last few years he has sold all his land except eighty
acres of his original homestead; this he retains and continues to operate.
Judge Wilcox has been twice married; In October
1851, he married Miss Lydia E. Penoyar, whose demise occurred February
11, 1871. She was the mother of six children, two of whom died in
infancy; Charles, Emma and John Adelbert grew to maturity and then entered
into the everlasting life; while Willis, the youngest resides in Wyoming.
On the 8th of April, 1875, Judge Wilcox formed a matrimonial alliance with
Delia (Brown) Lee, widow of Abiah Lee, of Edwardsburg, Michigan.
By this second marriage three children were born,--Isaac, his grandfather's
namesake, residing in Lansing, Michigan; Carl, deceased; and Alice, who
is following the noble calling of training the young. During the
past six years she has taught in Van Buren county, and is now teaching
in Kendall, Indiana. Her vacations are spent on the old homestead,
in companionship with her father.
In his religious connection Judge Wilcox is
a member of the Methodist church; he is affiliated in a fraternal way with
the Grangers and with the ancient Masonic order, holding membership in
the Blue Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in the Chapter, Royal
Arch Masons, and in the Eastern Star. He has ever been deeply interested
in all matters which tend towards the well-being of the state which he
honors by his residence. He has held the office of highway commissioner,
of justice of the peace, of school commissioner, treasurer and director.
Although he lends his support to every good work, he has evinced more interest
in educational progress than in anything else; while deprived of a liberal
schooling himself, as mentioned above, he is a great believer in the value
of educational training, and his suggestions in regard to the schools of
his county have been of a most helpful nature.
Frank Edward Rood
, at one time one of
the foremost nursery men of the state, is now making a specialty of horticulture,
a great portion of his splendid homestead of one hundred and eighty-five
acres being devoted to this pleasant and profitable occupation. He is one
of the prominent men of the township, the friend of all just causes, and
is to be counted among those skilled in horticulture and agriculture who
have given the state enduring glory as a producer of bumper crops and luscious
Mr. Rood was born at Glenn, Michigan, October
27, 1864, and is the son of Edward A. and Flora M. (Warner) Rood, both
natives of Plainfield, Hampshire county, Massachusetts. The father
was in his earlier years engaged in mercantile business, but eventually
took up farming. In March 1863, he joined the tide of migration to
the great, newly opened Northwest, and came to Michigan, locating at Glenn,
where he engaged in the lumber business in association with the Packards.
He first became identified with Van Buren county in 1866 and bought land
in Covert township, where he resided until his death on February 9, 1897.
At that time he owned about two hundred acres. The mother, who has been
a resident of the county for half a century, survives, making her home
with Mr. Rood, of this review, and enjoying the honor which is usually
the crown of a virtuous, unselfish life. Lillian A., the only other child
of Mr. and Mrs. Rood, Sr., is deceased.
After receiving his preliminary education
in the district schools Mr. Rood matriculated in the Agricultural College
at Lansing, having previously decided, almost as a matter of course, to
follow farming as his life work, and having become well grounded in this
under the excellent tutelage of his father. In the institution mentioned
he took a two years course and then began farming on an independent basis,
as superintendent of A. S. Packard. He continued thus engaged for
six years, giving splendid service, and then, on account of his father's
failing health, he returned home and took charge of the home place, working
one hundred and fifty acres and making a specialty of horticulture.
In the division of property ensuing upon his father's demise, Mr. Rood
received eighty acres and since then he has purchased one hundred and five,
making one hundred and eighty-five in all. In 1887 he took up the
nursery business and in 1890 he formed a partnership in this business with
T. A. Lampson, which continued with satisfactory result until the death
of Mr. Lampson. In the meantime he built a packing house in Covert
and bought and shipped fruit in car-load lots. Although he now devotes
the greater part of his time and attention to the affairs of own extensive
and fruitful farm, he still owns an interest n the Covet packing house,
and he still continued to ship fruit until the freeze of 1906, when his
zeal in this line met with such discouragement.
On New Year's day, 1889, Mr. Rood was united
in marriage with Anna E. Atkinson, daughter of Joseph and Josephine (Fish)
the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Vermont. Joseph
Atkinson, who was a farmer, came to Michigan in 1833, when twelve years
of age, and made location in Monroe county. He came to Van Buren
county in 1884, and settled in Covert township. He died at a very
advanced age, in November 1909, and the mother's decease was in 1907.
They were the parents of the following children: Clara O., wife of C. J.
Monroe, of South Haven; Charles H., deceased; George F., professor of botany
at Cornell University, residing at Ithaca, New York; Paul J., deceased;
and Mrs. Rood. Mr. and Mrs. Rood share their delightful home with
the following promising sons and daughters:Edward A., born December 7,
1890; Paul J., born January 29, 1893; Edith L., born November 19, 1895;
Clare A., born February 13, 1898; Josephine F., born January 23, 1900;
and Genevieve, born February 6, 1906.
Mr. Rood has ever subscribed to the
articles of faith of the Republican party and he takes the interests of
the intelligent voter in all public issues. In religious conviction
he is a Congregationalist. He and the members of his household enjoy
the confidences and esteem of the entire community.
Joel Hager Clark
.- Pennsylvania, one
of the greatest states of the American Union in the multitude and variety
of industries which employ its teeming population and the value of their
products; in the number and importance of the historical events that have
taken place within its boundaries; in the contributions of its eminent
men to every domain of American thought and action; and in the sturdy character
and fruitful diligence and frugality its masses of people, was the birth-place
of J. H. Clark, one of the enterprising and progressive farmers of Porter
township in this county, and it was the home of his ancestors for generations
Mr. Clark's life began in Sullivan township,
Tioga county of that great state, on April 3, 1859, and he was the fifth
born of the nine children in his father's household. His parents,
who have both been dead a number of years, were John and Amanda (Hager)
Clark, who passed the whole of their lives in the state of their nativity,
where he mother died at the age of forty and the father when he was upwards
of eighty years. Of the eight children born to them in addition to
the subject of this brief review, Ellen, Catherine, Nancy and Mary have
died; Julia is living in Sullivan township, Tioga county; Colin, at Wellsborough,
Pennsylvania; Adele, the wife of Samuel Killey, at Covington in the same
state; and Hattie, the wife of F. Lanterman, at Covington. After
the death of their mother, the father contracted a second marriage, which
united him with Miss Estelle McIntyre, and they became the parents of six
children: Homer, who lives in Pennsylvania; Gertrude, the wife of Homer
Hager, who also lives in that state; Frank, a resident of the same commonwealth;
Estella, whose home is in Sullivan township; and William and Melton, who
died in infancy.
J. H. Clark remained on the home farm with
his father until he reached the age of twenty-one, then left home with
a settled determination to make his own way in the world according to his
own desires and opportunities. In 1886 he came to Michigan and took
up his residence in Porter township, Van Buren county. He at once
began farming after his arrival here, and continued to be engaged in that
pursuit nine years. He then returned to Pennsylvania, and during
the next six years was occupied in the same vocation there. Van Buren
county had, however, made a pleasant and lasting impression on him, and
at the end of the period last mentioned he came back to it and again located
in Porter township. After his second coming to the county he rented
one hundred and sixty acres of good farming land, and this he cultivated
with industry and good results until 1908, when he bought the farm of eighty
acres which he now owns and occupies as his home and the seat of his industries
in general farming and raising live stock. He also has a general
store in which he does a large and lucrative business. He is therefore
contributing to the industrial and mercantile importance of the township
in which he lives, and the convenience, comfort and general welfare of
its people in two lines of very useful endeavor, and conducting his operations
in both on a high plane of enterprise, integrity and public spirit.
On December 26, 1880, Mr. Clark was married
to Miss Loretta C. Updyke, a Pennsylvanian by birth and the daughter of
Halsey and Adeline (Wood) Updyke, of the same nativity as herself, born
in Rutland township, Tioga county. The father died some years ago,
but the mother is still living in her native state, a the age of seventy-two.
They had three children: Mrs. Clark; her sister Ada, who has died; and
her other sister, Edith, now the wife of Dummer L. Sweet, and still a resident
of Pennsylvania, where she was born and reared.
Mr. and Mrs. Clark have no children of their own, but they have a foster
daughter, named Frances, who is now eleven years old. Mr. Clark is
a member of the Republican party and gives his energies to the furtherance
of its interests in all campaigns, not with the hope of personal reward
or prominence in an official way, but because his faith is firmly fixed
in its principles and he believes their general application in government,
local and general, would be good for the country. In fraternal relations
he is connected with the Order of Woodmen, and his religious affiliation
is with the Protestant Methodist church, to which Mrs. Clark also belongs.
In neither of these organizations is he simply one of the silent units.
For he is active in his service to both, and his membership is highly valued
in each. As a farmer he is in the first rank in his township.
As a merchant he has the confidence and respect of all his patrons and
the general public. And as a man and citizen he is universally esteemed
throughout the county.
Merritt J. Truesdell
and occupying the homestead farm which his father, the late Erastus Truesdell,
cleared from the wilderness, Merritt J. Truesdell has been a resident of
Bloomingdale township, Van Buren county, for upwards of half a century,
during which time he has witnessed many wonderful transformations in the
county roundabout, the pathless forests giving way before the axe of the
pioneer, the log cabins of the pioneers being replaced by substantial frame
houses, while the hamlets of early days have developed into thriving villages
and populous towns and cities. Born in Warsaw, Wyoming county, New
York, February 6, 1849, he was but five years old when he
came to Michigan with his parents.
His paternal grandfather, Solomon Truesdell,
was a descendant of one of three brothers who immigrated to America in
colonial times. He spent many of his earlier years in Genesee county,
New York, but later took up his residence in Wyoming county, where he carried
on farming until his death.
Erastus Truesdell, was born, reared, educated and
married in Wyoming county, New York. Learning the carpenter's trade
when young, he followed it in his native county until 1854, residing in
Warsaw. In that year, accompanied by his wife and three children,
he came to Michigan in search of a favorable place in which to locate,
bravely daring all the hardships incidental to frontier life in his efforts
to secure a home. Settling in Van Buren county, midway between Lawton
and Paw Paw, he there followed his trade for five years. In 1859
he bought sixty-three acres of heavily timbered land in Bloomingdale township,
in section thirty-one, and one and one-half acres of which had been cleared.
He labored with untiring industry to further improve his land, and in the
course of a few years had the greater part of it under cultivation.
Farming in those days was carried on in a primitive manner. Paw Paw,
fourteen miles away, was the nearest market and depot for supplies, and
all transportation of produce was made with ox teams. Devoting his
time and energies to the improvement of his property, Erastus Truesdell
continued on his homestead until his death, September 9, 1894, at the age
of seventy-seven years. His wife, whose maiden name was Roxie Rice,
was born in Wyoming county, New York, a daughter of Cyrus and Mary (Harrington)
Rice, and sister of Delos Rice, and of Norman Rice, a pioneer of Paw Paw,
Michigan. She died January 1, 1887, at the age of sixty-five years,
leaving four children, as follows: Lucy, Frank, Merritt J. and Laura Belle.
A small lad when he came with the family to Van
Buren county, Merritt J. Truesdell received a good education when young,
and at the age of twenty years engaged in professional labors, and for
several winters teaching school in Bloomingdale, Columbia and Waverly townships,
while during seed time and harvest he was engaged in farming on the home
estate. He continued to live with his parents, and when they became
enfeebled by reason of age he cared for them as tenderly as they had looked
after him in previous years. Succeeding after the death of his father to
the parental homestead, Mr. Truesdell has each year added to the improvements
already started, through his efforts enhancing the value and attractiveness
of the estate. During the many years that he has here been employed
in farming and dairying, he has kept apace with the times, being a keen
observer of men and events and a constant reader of the leading periodicals
of the day. He appreciates the difference between the modern methods
of carrying on the different branches of agriculture, and those in vogue
when he was a boy and used to take loads of wheat for his father to Paw
Paw with ox teams, days being then required to do work that is now accomplished
in a few hours.
Mr. Truesdell married, in 1871, Stella Harrington,
who was born in Van Buren county, Michigan, a daughter of Benjamin and
Joanna Harrington, and they have two children, Lena and Eva. Lena
married James L. Baxter, and has four children, Ralph, Leona, Merritt and
Kenneth. Fraternally Mr. Truesdell belongs to Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
.- The great Empire state
has contributed in large measure to the settlement of Van Buren county,
Michigan, a remarkably large number of its settlers having been born within
the boundaries of that state, or in not they--their forefathers.
One of this number is that well known citizen, Lewis Palmer, who is engaged
in farming, fruit-growing and stock raising and whose one hundred forty
advantageously disposed acres are situated in Waverly township. The
scene of his birth was Monroe county, New York, and its date April 21,
1852. He is the son of Harvey and Orilla (Baker) Palmer, both likewise
natives of the state of New York. The latter was born and reared
in Genesee county. These worthy people followed the tide of migration
to the northwest, their arrival in Michigan being in the year 1856.
They were sufficiently impressed by the desirability of Waverly township
to locate within its boundaries and there have resided for the reminder
of their lives. The father passed to the Great Beyond in 1880, but
his cherished and devoted wife survives and is of very advanced age, her
birth having occurred on August 31, 1826. They were the parents of
seven children, and of this number five are still living (in 1911), as
follows: Harriet, wife of James Dillion; Lewis; Amelia, wife of C. B. Molby;
Henry, of Waverly township, and Mary L., wife of Calvin Dolbee.
Lewis was a child of four years of age when
he came with his parents to Michigan. Here he was reared and educated
in the common schools and here he has ever since resided. When he
arrived at the time when a young man chooses a vocation he decided upon
agriculture, and to this he has successfully devoted his energies.
He has paid particular attention to horticulture and also to stock-raising,
and his product in both lines is excellent.
On January 26, 1888, Mr. Palmer established an independent
household, the lady to become his wife being Flora Speicher. Mrs.
Palmer was born upon the very farm upon which she and husband still live,
on October 12, 1860, and is the daughter of Aaron and Louisa (Riehl) Speicher,
both natives of Pennsylvania. When Aaron Spicier came to Michigan
he purchased the farm upon which his son-in-law now lives and here he lived
until his demise. Mrs. Palmer received her education in the district
schools. To their union have been born three children, one of whom
died in infancy and one at the age of thirteen years. Jesse Irene,
born December 7, 1889, is a graduate of the eighth grade school and of
the Bloomingdale high school and is now a student in the Western State
Normal school, preparing for teaching.
Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are both members of the Methodist
Episcopal church. He belongs to Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and she to the Bloomingdale Chapter of the Eastern
Star. In Mr. Palmer's political faith he is in harmony with the men
and measures of the Republican party, but his interest is of the sort which
merely desires good government and he is not lured by the honors and emoluments
of office into office seeking.
, whose farm home is located
on the line of Rural Route No. 4, Bangor, Michigan, is a Canadian by birth
and of Scotch-Irish descent. He was born October 10, 1840, a son
of James and Ann (Montgomery) Cargo, both natives of the "Emerald Isle"
and of Scotch ancestry. His parents passed the greater part of their
lives and died in Canada, the father's death having occurred May 17, 1856,
the mother's September 13, 1865. In their family were eight children,
of whom four are deceased. George A. is the eldest of those living
and is the only one in the United States, the others, Mary Ann, Henry and
Charles, being residents of Canada.
At the early age of ten years George A. Cargo
found employment on a farm, and in this way worked his way while he went
to school. In 1864 he took himself a wife and that same year came
to Michigan to live. And here, by honest, earnest effort and careful
management, he has acquired a comfortable home. It was in 1888 that
he bought the forty acres of land in section 2, Arlington township, Van
Buren county, where he lives and which he has cleared and improved.
On November 8, 1864, in Canada, George A.
Cargo and Miss Emily Maguire were united in marriage, and of the children
given to them the three eldest, Eliza, Mary Ann and Sarah Jane, are deceased;
James A. is a resident of Harbor Springs, Michigan; William George, of
Arlington, Michigan; Hugh, of Wheaton, Illinois; and Emma of Bangor, Michigan,
Frederick, a home, is engaged in teaching school, and the youngest, Charles,
Mr. Cargo has always been interested in the
maintenance of good schools in his locality, and he has served his district
as school moderator. At the polls he votes for the man rather than
the party, and is known as an Independent. His religious creed is
that of the Methodist church, of which he and wife are consistent members.
, proprietor of Stony Brook
Farm, Arlington township, on Rural Route No. 2, Van Buren county, Michigan,
is one of the prosperous and highly respected farmers of the county.
Mr. Eagan was born in Clyde, New York, June
17, 1852, a son of Dennis and Ann (Nevill) Egan, both natives of Ireland.
His parents spent several years in New York state, and moved from there
in 1856 to Michigan, here making settlement in Keeler township, Van Buren
county, where the father bought forty acres of land and carried on farming
the rest of his life. Both parents are deceased. Of their family
James is the eldest; Dennis is a resident of Hartford, Michigan; and Thomas,
Annie, Jennie and Luke are all residents of Watervliet, Van Buren county,
Annie being the wife of John Burk.
From the age of seventeen James Eagan has
followed farming as a livelihood. In 1881 he bought fifty-five acres
of land in Lawrence township. Three years later he sold this tract
and then bought a farm in section 35, Arlington township, to which he subsequently
added by purchase of an adjoining tract, and now his place comprises one
hundred and twelve acres, and is known as Stony Brook Farm. To both
general farming and stock raising he gives his attention, and his well
directed efforts have been rewarded with a fair degree of success.
On October 17, 1876, Mr. Eagan was united
in marriage with Miss Mary Finley, daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Keeley)
Finley, and the eldest of their family of eight children, the others in
order of birth being as follows: Edward, of Hartford; Jane Elizabeth, the
deceased wife of Eugene Westcott, of Bangor; John, of Silver Creek; Henry,
of Grand Rapids, Minnesota; Ella, wife of Henry Metras, of Washington;
William, of Hartford; and Lewis, also of Hartford-all but Henry live in
Michigan. Mr.and Mrs. Eagan have five children: Frank and Robert,
both of Hartford, Michigan; Anna, wife of Charles W. Hilliard, Jr., of
Baraboo, Wisconsin; and Jennie and Ella, at home. Mr. and Mrs. Hilliard
have two children: Gordon Eagan, born October 2, 1905, and Jean Elizabeth,
May 31, 1911.
Mr. Eagan and his family are devout members
of the Catholic church; fraternally he is identified with the Maccabees
and politically he classes himself with the Independents, preferring to
vote for the man rather than the party.
.- Many of the leading
farmers of Van Buren county are men who have made their own way in the
world, starting as poor boys, with no advantages, and overcoming obstacles
through the force of their own ambition and perseverance. One of
these self-made men is Nelson Laduke, one of the most prominent farmers
and large landowners of Arlington township, who is cultivating the soil
on a tract of four hundred and forty-seven acres situated in Arlington
township. Mr. Laduke is a native of Ontario, Canada, and was born December,
1850, a son of Belinee and Margaret (Leroy) Laduke, both born in Canada,
where Belinee Laduke was a farmer all of his life. He and his wife
had eleven children, as follows: Joseph, who is deceased; Margaret, the
widow of William McCormick, a resident of the Province of Ontario, Canada;
William, Henry, Eveline and Archie, all of whom are deceased; John, living
in Mecosta county, Michigan; Agnes, the widow of Mr. Parent, of Montreal,
Canada; Charles, living in Arkansas; Nelson; and Simon, who when last heard
from was a resident of California
Nelson Laduke received only limited educational
advantages, and was but twelve years of age when he started to make his
own way in the world. Farming occupied his attention for three years,
and he then went to Muskegon, Michigan, and for a few months was employed
as a sawmill hand. He then went to Big Rapids, Michigan, where for
a time he was employed in the lumber woods, but eventually entered the
services of a shoe merchant of Big Rapids, and he continued in faithful
service with this business man for a period covering twenty-two years,
nine months and three days. This long term of employment with one
man illustrates Mr. Laduke's persistence, faithfulness to trust and competency.
During his years of work as a shoe salesman he had carefully saved his
wages, and in 1890, believing that he could better himself, he purchased
a tract of one hundred and forty acres in section 34, Arlington township,
and also invested in a threshing outfit. He at once settled down
to farming and stock raising and operated his threshing machine during
seasons among the farmers of his and surrounding townships, and from time
to time added to his land until he is now the owner of four hundred and
forty-seven acres of excellent land. Hard and earnest labor has always
Mr. Laduke's slogan. Nothing, he believes, was ever accomplished
by the sluggard, and it has ever been his ambition to accomplish something
that would make his influence felt in the community in which he resides.
That he has succeeded in doing this is a fact which will be unassailed,
for when a
man has developed as much land and made it into a smiling, prosperous,
abundantly yielding soil as has Mr. Laduke it is queer if his influence
would be otherwise than a strong one. His farming acitivities have
taken so much of his attention that he has not had time to engage in public
life, but he
has been a stanch Democrat and always supports the principles of that
party. He is a well known member of the United Brotherhood, and he
and his family attend the Catholic church.
On November 4, 1882, Mr. Laduke was married
to Julia Donovan, daughter of John and Mary (Toomey) Donovan, natives of
the Emerald Isle, both of whom are now deceased. Mrs. Laduke was
the seventh in order of birth in a family of ten children, her brothers
and sisters being: Andrew, living in Bangor township; Ella, who died in
infancy; Bartholomew, living in Arlington; Mary,
Margaret and John, who are deceased; Nora, the wife of J. Donovan,
of Arlington; Josephine, the wife of John Dougherty, of Hartford; and Lawrence,
who lives in Arlington
Mr. and Mrs. Laduke have had a family
of six children: Lawrence, who resides at home and assists his father;
Josephine, the wife of Emerson Reese, of Marion, Indiana; Joseph, who is
deceased; Leo, who is engaged in teaching in the Oregon Manual Training
School; Marie, who is a teacher in the Dowagiac, Michigan schools; and
John A., who lives at home.
John H. Shuver
of the prominent farmers of Arlington township, where he has lived since
1881. He has had a varied career, having been engaged in the railroad business,
in carpentering, in the saw mill industry and in farming. If a man
is competent there is need of him somewhere, and Mr. Shuver changed location
as well as occupation until finally he found the niche into which he fitted.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Shuver's birth occurred
November 5, 1845. His parents were John and Catherine Shuver, the
father a Frenchman, while the mother hailed from Prussia, Germany.
They were married in Europe and several years after marriage lived in Alsace-Loraine,
where Father Shuver plied his trade as a cooper and carpenter until the
revolution of 1845 determined him
to try his fortunes in America. At that time he had a family
of six children,- George and Nicholas, who settled in Ohio; Mitchell and
Antonio, also in Ohio; Joseph; residing in Tennessee; Elizabeth, now deceased.
The family landed in New York in 1845, settled in Ohio and the father abandoned
his trade and commenced to farm. Shortly after their arrival
in America, John H. Shuver was born, and a little more than a year later,
in December 1846, Father Shuver passed away. His widow survived him
almost a quarter of a century, her death having occurred in 1870.
Deprived of a father's care before he appreciated
its value, John H. Shuver was reared by his mother and his older brothers.
His education was received in the district schools of Ohio, and at the
age of eighteen years he commenced to work at the carpenter's trade.
After thus working for two years he then entered the employ of the A. &
G. W. Railroad Company. After one year's service with the corporate
concern he took up carpentering, continuing at that trade until he was
twenty-one years of age. On attaining his majority he left his boyhood
home, came to Michigan, settled in Paw Paw and for the ensuing fifteen
years he was engaged in the sawmill business. In 1881 he sold out
his holdings, came to Arlington township, where he bought eighty acres
of land, and commenced to farm. He makes a specialty of cattle raising
and breeds fine horses and Poland China hogs, shipping great numbers of
cattle each year.
On the first day of May, 1873, Mr. Shuver
was united in marriage to Miss Isabelle M. Scott, daughter of John and
Isabelle Scott, old settlers of Van Buren county. In 1886 Mrs. Shuver
died, leaving her husband and two children to mourn her loss. Frank
S. Shuver, the first born, resides in Washington; and Catherine Isabelle
is at home with her father, his companion and housekeeper. On March
12, 1891, Mr. Shuver married Miss Charlotte I. Walker, who departed this
life after five years of wedded happiness.
Mr. Shuver is a Methodist in his religious adherence;
his fraternal affiliation is with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
he being a member of Tillitson Lodge No. 165, and for twenty-five years
he has been connected with the Grangers, of which time he has been master
of Bangor Grange two years and for eight years was master of the Van Buren
County Pomona, No. 13. His political allegiance is rendered to the
Republican party, who have appreciated his sterling character and his acknowledged
ability by electing him Township Drain Commissioner.
is one of the progressive
farmers in Arlington township. There is very little in connection with
farm work that he does not know, but he is not one of those men who feel
sure that they "know it all." If anyone has anything to better in the way
of methods of work or modern improvements he is always glad to look into
the matter and he tries to keep up-to-date in his methods and his machinery.
He is greatly respected by the people in the community which he honors
by his residence.
The birth of Mr. Krogel occurred in Prussia,
Germany, August 9, 1856. His parents, John and Etta Krogel, were
both born in the same good Fatherland, where they spent their youth and
the early years of their wedded life. He owned sixty acres of land.
Father and mother Krogel reared a family of four children, of which number
three are living today,- Gottlieb, residing in Geneva township on the old
homestead where he spent his boyhood; Henry, also a resident of Geneva;
and Fred, the immediate subject of this biography.
The first ten years of the life of Fred Krogel
were spent in his native land, on his father's little farm. He has
but slight recollection of the home where he was born and spent his childhood
days, but he remembers the trip across the ocean and the new experiences
on his arrival in America. He attended the district school of Geneva
township, also assisted his father with the cultivation of the soil and
later became interested with his father in farming and continued for some
years. In the meantime he paid off the mortgage which his father
had been obliged to put on the place, and remained there, superintending
the management of the farm until 1891. At that time he sold a part
of the old homestead to this brother and then removed to Bangor township,
where he bought sixty acres of land. He does general farming and
stock raising and has prospered in his undertakings.
On May 25, 1884, Mr. Krogel formed a matrimonial
alliance with Miss Theresa Zuhl, daughter of Herman and Bertha (Schebel)
Zuhl, natives of Germany; they are now deceased. Mrs. Krogel is the
eldest of a family of eight children, of whom the following note is made:-Bertha,
Minnie and Hannah are living in Germany; Augusta, the wife of William Kahlert,
resides in Minnesota, as does her brother Carl; and Marie and Gustaf are
deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Krogel have three children, - Ella, wife of
Louis Orton, of Arlington township; Emma, who married George Burrell, of
Arlington township; and Carl, at home with his parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Krogel have ever remained true to the religious
faith in which they were trained and hold membership in the German Lutheran
church. In politics he is a Democrat, but he has never cared to dabble
in public affairs, though he is ever interested in aiding any enterprise
which aims towards the betterment of the county in which he lives.
.- The manufacturing,
financial and industrial interests of any community are the source of great
pride to its citizens, but it is to the farms that the country must eventually
turn for its support, and in the hands of the agriculturists lies the possibility
of the country's prosperity or depression. Van Buren county is well
supplied with farmers who know how to get the best of their land and to
insure this part of the land with a bright future, and among these may
be mentioned Alfonso Cross, of Arlington township, who has resided here
all of his life. Mr. Cross was born in Arlington township October
6, 1857, and is a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Skinner) Cross, natives of
The parents of Mr. Cross came to the United
States shortly after their marriage, first settling in New York and later
making their way to Michigan. Settling in Van Buren county, after
a few years Henry Cross purchased eighty acres of land in section 36, of
Arlington township, and added thereto from time to time as his finances
would permit until at the time of his death, in 1888, he was the owner
of one hundred and twenty acres of well-improved land. Six children
were born to Henry and Elizabeth (Skinner) Cross, namely: Two, who died
in infancy; William, also deceased; Alfonso and Edward, engaged in farming
in Arlington township; and Rena, who married George Jacobs, also an Arlington
Alfonso Cross received his education in the
public schools of his native township, and was reared to the life of an
agriculturist. Remaining on the home farm until he was eighteen years
of age, at that time he began farming on his own account, and when he had
attained his majority he rented the old homestead. After cultivating
this land for two years he purchased forty acres of the old homestead where
he now lives and twenty acres from an adjoining neighbor. He owned
forty acres on section 23 and at the time of his brother's death came into
possession of forty acres of the Worthey estate, the old home. He
also owns one hundred acres in Waverly township. In addition to carrying
on general farming, he has operated a threshing machine on farms of his
township, and he has been successful in both lines. Mr. Cross has
brought his land to a high state of cultivation, erecting excellent buildings
and using scientific methods in tilling the soil. Like other wide-awake
farmers he recognizes the value of science in farming as well as in other
occupations, and he also believes in the use of modern machinery.
On August 28, 1880, Mr. Cross was married
to Miss Alice Worthey, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Raymond) Worthey,
the former a native of England and the latter of English descent.
Mr. and Mrs. Worthey had five children: Frances, the wife of H. S. Wallace,
a resident of Arlington; Alice, who married Mr. Cross; and three who died
in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Cross have been the parents of five children:
Elizabeth, the wife of Charles Stearns, residing in Lawrence; Elmer, who
lives in Arlington township; Chloe, the wife of Glenn Lane, residing on
the old homestead; Jessie, the wife of Frank Beeching, of Arlington township;
and Gale, who lives at home and attends the high school at Lawrence.
Mr. and Mrs. Cross are devout members of the
Baptist church. He is a Republican in his political views and has
held numerous township offices, his standing being high among the citizens
of his township. The same progressive views that he has used in working
his land have characterized his public life, and all movements of benefit
to his community have received his hearty support. Fraternally he
is a popular member of the M. W. A. and the I. O. O. F.
Lewis H. Vining
.- New England, with
its hosts of associations from the early history of our nation, was the
birthplace of Lewis H. Vining, and in him are apparent those stanch and
admirable characteristics which distinguished our Colonial forebears.
He has lived in Michigan for the greater part of his life, having come
here as a youth and he is very loyal to her institutions. His farm
of sixty acres is located in Covert township, section 11, and is the scene
of general farming, stock raising and fruit growing.
On March 24, 1851, occurred the birth of Mr. Vining
in Hampshire county, Massachusetts, his parents being Marcus R. and Elizabeth
(McGuire) Vining, the father a native of the Bay state and the mother of
Ireland. The father at the present time maintains his residence in
Adams, Massachusetts, having attained to the advanced age of eighty-eight
years, and being an honored and venerable gentleman. He has been
engaged during almost the course of his entire life in milling, principally
in paper mills. The devoted wife and mother has been deceased for
over a decade, her death having occurred in March, 1899. They became
the parents of two sons,-he whose name inaugurates this brief review; and
Robert, who resides in Adams, Massachusetts.
Mr. Vining received his education in the schools
of his native state. In 1870, when less than twenty years of age,
he became favorably impressed with the developing northwest and concluded
to sever old associations and take up his residence in Michigan.
He located in Covert township, Van Buren county, and in the early years
made his livelihood in saw-mill work, being one of the few men who effectually
worked up the saw-mill business in this township. By the exercise
of industry and thrift the young man eventually found himself in a position
to become a property owner and he secured as his own eighty acres in section
1, Covert township, fifty acres of which he still owns, and on this tract
engages in the cultivation of fruit and also in stock raising and general
farming. He is one of the loyal supporters of the Republican party
and is interested in all such public affairs as affect the welfare of the
community. He and his family worship with the Congregationalists when attending
Mr. Vining was first married to Fannie Rood,
and the death of this estimable lady occurred on November 1, 1905.
This union was fruitful of three children, namely: Ernest, now located
in Boise City, Idaho; Robert, of Kalamazoo; and Alice, the wife of Ellsworth
Butler, of Boise, Idaho. On July 22, 1908, Fannie Smith, daughter
of William W. and Mary (Adams) Smith, both deceased, was united with the
subject. The present Mrs. Vining is the representative of a family
well and favorably known is this county and she is one of eight children,
who are as follows: Sarah, deceased in 1907; Mary, widow of J. W. Pedrick,
of Bangor; Amelia; Edgar, of Bloomingdale; Frank, George, of Stanley, Idaho;
and Sidney, of Breedville. Mr.and Mrs. Vining hold high place in
popular confidence and esteem.
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