VAN BUREN CITIZENS
, now residing in
Janesville, Wisconsin, is a member of a family which has been connected
with the progress of the state of Michigan for more than seven decades,
and a history of this section of the country would not be complete without
some account of the career of Mr. Northrup, whose father was one of the
pioneer settlers. Emmett Northrup has been connected with so many
different and useful enterprises that it is difficult to decide in which
line he was most distinguished, whether as grain dealer, as merchant, as
marshal or as railroad man. There is an old saying that "a rolling
stone gathers no moss," but if Mr. Northrup will pardon our likening him
to a stone we would say that he has not only gathered moss in the course
of his many changes, but he has able to dispense some of it to his family.
A brief account of Mr. Northrup's life will indicate the nature of his
The birth of this well-known man occurred
in Bangor township, November 19, 1849. He is a son of Perrin M. and
Abbie (Briggs) Northrup, who were natives of New York State; they came
to Michigan in 1837, and settled in Bangor township, where they remained
for the residue of their days. Father Northrup is noted as having
built the first grain barn that was ever erected in the township; he was
a farmer all his life and died July 28, 1860; twenty years later, January
31, 1881, his wife was summoned to the life eternal. They reared
a family of four children,- Ellen, residing with her sister, Mrs. Nichols,
in Arlington township; Lovicie, the wife of John Nichols, a prominent farmer
of Bangor, Arlington township; Emmett the subject of this biography; and
Mary, who died at the age of thirteen years.
The first twenty-five years of the life of Emmett
Northrup were spent on his father's farm, during which time he received
his educational training and assisted his father in the cultivation of
the soil. He felt, however, that farming was not his vocation and
he determined to make a change of occupation. In 1880 he went to
Paw Paw, Michigan, entered into the employ of Briggs and Nash, well-known
grain dealers of that place, and remained in the service of this firm for
the ensuing eight years. Next he became identified with the mercantile
business at Paw Paw, were he continued to conduct a prosperous store for
eight succeeding years. Abandoning this line of work, for a couple
of years he was the marshal of Paw Paw, and subsequently moved to Janesville,
Wisconsin, in the employ of the railroad with which he has remained ever
In 1872 he was united in marriage to Miss
Adelia Rhodes of Arlington township. Of the three children born to
Mr. and Mrs. Northrup were,- Percy, the first born, and Florence, the youngest,
are deceased, and Sidney has followed in his father's footsteps, being
a conductor with the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company.
In politics Mr. Northrup has ever rendered
unwavering allegiance to the Democratic party, and in fraternal connection
he is affiliated with the Masonic Order. He has become popular in
Janesville and he is not forgotten by the residents of Van Buren county,
the community in which he resided for so many years.
John Wesley Herron
as having been the first child born of white parents in Bloomingdale township,
Van Buren county, John Wesley Herron is an honored representative of the
early pioneers of Van Buren county and a true type of the energetic and
enterprising men who have rendered able assistance in the development and
growth of his native county. He was born December 11, 1839, a son
of Ashbel Herron, and on the paternal side is of Scotch ancestry, his grandfather
Herron having been, it is said, a native of Scotland.
Ashbel Herron was born April 2, 1804, in Whitehall,
Washington county, New York, where he grew to manhood, as a young man serving
an apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade. In 1836 he joined a
band of emigrants, which included his brothers-in-law, Hiram, Harrison,
Reuben and Merlin Meyers, and their sister, Ruth Meyers, and traveled across
country with ox teams to White Pigeon, Michigan, where he was for a while
employed in farming and butchering. In the fall of 1837 the entire
band determined to settle in the "North Woods," which included a part of
Van Buren county. In December of that year Ashbel Herron brought
the Meyers family, which had no teams, to Van Buren county, bringing them
an a part of their household good on ox sleds, from the Paw Paw River blazing
their way through the woods to Bloomingdale township, where they located,
buying a tract of land on section thirty-six. Leaving his sleds, Ashbel
Herron returned to White Pigeon, and the following spring came over the
same route with his own family and household possessions, performing the
journey with wagons. Securing a tract of government land in section
thirty-six, Bloomingdale township, he made an opening in the woods and
there erected a log house, making the chimney of sticks and mud, and building
the large fireplace in which his wife for many years thereafter did all
of her cooking, the meat which supplied the family larder being obtained
in the surrounding forest, wild game, now considered a luxury, being then
simple and ordinary fare. One of the leading industries of this part of
the country was at that time the manufacture of shingles, which found a
ready sale at White Pigeon, Constantine and Three Rivers, and Mr. Herron
marketed many a load at those places, bringing back on his return trip
a load of provisions for himself and neighbors. He cleared a large
portion of his land and erected a good set of frame buildings, including
the first frame barn put up in this part of the county. On his homestead
he lived many years, dying January 27, 1875, honored and beloved for his
Ashbel Herron married Miranda Meyers, who
was born in Cobleskill, New York, and died in Bloomingdale township, Michigan,
October 27, 1880, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. She
reared seven children, as follows: Andrew M., Mary, Nancy, Jane, Harrison,
Lucinda and John Wesley.
The youngest child of his parents, John Wesley
Herron was brought up and educated in Bloomingdale township, his first
temple of learning having been a log cabin which stood on his father's
land, in section thirty-six. The furniture was home made, the puncheon
seats having no desks in front, a board being placed along the side wall
for the scholars to write on. In his early days the Indians were
as numerous as the white people, and the dim forests roundabout were inhabited
by deer, bear, wild turkeys, wolves and all kinds of game. As soon
as old enough to wield and axe or hoe, John Wesley began assisting his
father in clearing the land, while during the winter seasons he worked
in the lumber camps. Beginning life for himself as a farmer, he first
rented land in Almena township, but subsequently purchased land in Pine
Grove township, and was there employed in tilling the soil for a number
of years. After the death of his first wife he sold his farm and purchased
his present residence in Gobleville. For eighteen years after removing
to his present home, Mr. Herron was engaged in the sale of farming implements
and machinery, but he has more recently been engaged in the sale of nursery
Mr. Herron has been twice married. He
married first Juliet Strong, who was born in New York state, a daughter
of Philip and Louisa (Fancher) Strong. She died four years later,
leaving two daughters, Etta and Elva. Etta married Albert Sisson,
and they have eight children, Mabel, Oscar, Albert, Beulah, Jennie,
Olive, Ray and Eva. Elva, the younger daughter is the wife of William Holmes,
and has five children, Arch, Nettie, Ida, Ruby and Nellie. Three years
after the death of his first wife Mr. Herron married Mary Stoughton, who
was born in Oakland county, Michigan. Her father, James W. Stoughton,
was born in the state of New York but reared in Michigan. He spent
his last years of life in Van Buren county, living in Almena township.
He was of New England ancestry, his father, James Stoughton, having been
born and bred in Vermont, but later being one of the early settlers of
the territory of Michigan. Of his second marriage three children
have been born, but none are now living, Emma, having died at the age of
twenty-one months; Evalina, when but four years old; and Mark H., at the
age of ten years. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Herron are consistent members
of the Baptist church.
Charles E. Abell
.- During the residence
of twenty-two years in South Haven, this county, Charles E. Abell, of that
city, has shown great public spirit and enterprise in connection with the
affairs of the city and has done as much as any other man, and much more
than most, for its advancement and improvement, its enrichment with
good educational institutions, its judicious government, and the general
welfare of its residents in every way. He has long conducted a thriving
and progressive business in the drug trade, whereby he has not only ministered
directly and effectively to the comfort and benefit of the people, but
has also aided in building up the mercantile and commercial importance
of the municipality. He has also served two terms as mayor, and during
that service a new face and condition was put upon the city in consequence
of his determined persistency in the work of improvement in a general way,
and with reference to sanitary conditions especially.
Mr. Abell is a native of Calhoun county, Michigan,
where his life began on January 29, 1868. His father, De Witt Clinton
Abell, was born in Onondaga county, New York, in 1840, and died in Calhoun
county, Michigan, in 1906. The mother, whose maiden name was Charlotte
M. Culver, was born and reared in Calhoun county, this state, and is still
living there on the farm on which the father died after many years of effort
in improving and developing it. They had six children, three of whom
are living, Burt, Charles E. and Myrtle. Burt is a resident of Toledo
and Myrtle had her home with her mother on the family homestead.
The father was reared on a farm in the state
of New York and came to Michigan a short time before attaining his majority.
In 1861, with bitter opposition to the dismemberment of the Union, which
was then threatened by the secession of several of the Southern states
and their determination to maintain the stand they had taken by force of
arms, if necessary, he enlisted in the Union army to prevent the disaster,
becoming a member of Company M, Second Michigan Cavalry. Not long
after actual hostilities began, and he was in the maelstrom of the conflict,
he was so seriously injured by the falling of his horse that he had to
be sent to a hospital for treatment, and from that institution was later
discharged from the service on account of his disability, which was permanent.
The accident occurred while he was with his company on a raid for the destruction
of railroads which were of service to the enemy.
When he got out of the hospital he returned
to his Michigan home and was married. He then engaged in operating
a saw and shingle mill in Burlington, Calhoun county, for a while, after
which he located on farm near Battle Creek, where he passed the remainder
of his days, and on which his widow and daughter are now living, as has
been noted. He was a president of the village board in Burlington
two terms, a Republican in political faith and action, a member of the
Grand Army of the Republic, and a communicant in the Baptist church in
Charles E. Abell grew to manhood on his father's
farm and obtained his education in the public schools. In December
1889, he located in South Haven, where he became associated with his uncle,
R. W. Culver, in a drug business, and remained with him until 1895.
In that year he set up in business for himself as a druggist, and he has
been carrying on the same establishment ever since. His business
is extensive and prosperous, and he is accounted one of the leading druggists
of the county, a thorough master of pharmacy and skillful in the use of
his knowledge concerning it; an excellent manager with the power of making
all his resources tell to his advantage, and a straightforward dealer who
is entitled to the full confidence of the people and enjoys it.
In addition to his drug establishment and
business Mr. Abell owns a forty acre fruit farm near the city, which is
well improved and yields abundantly, and in the spring of 1911 he secured
a ten-year lease on four hundred apple trees in what is known as the Liberty
Bailey orchard, and is one of the most prolific stands of its kind in this
part of the country. He is therefore well prepared to enlarge his
operations in fruit growing, which are already extensive, and thereby add
his own skill and enterprise in greater measure to an industry in which
those qualities have made a good name for Michigan throughout the civilized
Mr. Abell has found his various personal undertakings
exacting and in need of his close and continued attention. But he
has now allowed them to abate his interest in the affairs of the community,
in which he has expended much of his surplus energy to the great advantage
of the city. He organized the city Board of Trade and became its
first president, and was also a member of the Board of Public Works for
two terms. Backed by these two organizations, he has been able to
accomplish a great deal in the way of improving the city streets, sidewalks
and sewer system, and do many things of value to the municipality in other
His interest in such matters, and his energy
and determined persistency in forcing attention to them, led to his election
as mayor of the city in 1906, and his re-election for a second term at
the end of the first. During his service in that office he was able
to push the public work he had inaugurated with greater speed and vigor,
and bring much of it to a successful and highly gratifying completion.
Mr. Abell has taken an earnest interest in
the fraternal life of the community around him for many years. He
is a member and has served as chancellor of Pomona Lodge, No. 193, Knights
of Pythias,and belongs to several other fraternities and social organizations.
His political faith and allegiance are given without stint to the Republican
party, for which he is on all occasions a hard and effective worker, but
a square and upright one. But his political zeal and activity are
never allowed to interfere with his business or his energetic action in
behalf of his home city and its residents. To every undertaking in
which their welfare is involved he always gives his best and most serviceable
support. He helped to organize the City Library Association and was chairman
of the building committee which erected the structure in which the library
On December 1, 1890, Mr. Abell united in marriage
with Miss Cora I. Webb. They have three children, their daughter
Vera, and their sons Carlos and Thornton. Mrs. Abell was born in
Calhoun county, Michigan, and is a daughter of Joshua and Sarah (Brown)
Webb. Her father is a native of England and her mother of this state.
Both are living, as are four of their five children: Isaac, Mrs. Abell,
Frank and Jesse. Their father came to this country and Calhoun county,
Michigan, in his boyhood with his parents. They were pioneer farmers
in their locality. He is now seventy-seven years old, a highly respected
citizen, independent in politics and cordial in his interest in everything
pertaining to the progress and improvement of the region in which he is
passing the declining years of his long and useful life.
has lived for
over fifty years on his present farm in section 23, Arlington township,
Van Buren county, Michigan, his post office address being Lawrence, Rural
Route No. 2.
Mr. Blaisdell is native of the "Empire State."
He was born in Wayne county, New York, April 2, 1847, a son of John and
Louisa (Nichols) Blaisdell, both New Yorkers by birth, and with them, in
1860, then a boy of thirteen, came west to Michigan. Here in Arlington
township his father bought forty acres of land in section 32, to which
he subsequently added until his farm comprised one hundred and sixty acres,
here he carried on general farming and stock raising until his death.
His wife also is deceased. They were the parents of two children:
Sarah, widow of Christopher Staley, of Arlington township, and William.
At his father's death William Blaisdell inherited
eighty acres of the old homestead, and so he has continued to live on the
same place, as already stated, for over half a century.
Mr. Blaisdell is married and has three children:
May, wife of Ed Denton, of Lawrence, Van Buren county, and Jay and Neva,
at home. Mrs. Blaisdell formerly Elida Barrett, is a daughter of
Enos and Polly Barrett, of this county.
Mr. and Mrs. Blaisdell are identified with
the Methodist Episcopal church, and politically, he is a Republican.
, of Pine
Grove township, Van Buren county, was clearly destined to be the architect
of his own fortune. He began life for himself on the lowest rung
of the ladder of attainments, and by untiring industry, a diligent use
of his faculties and opportunities, and good business management he has
rapidly made his way upward to an assured position among the leading farmers
of his community. A son of Elijah Schoolcraft, he was born March
20, 1834, in the province of Quebec, Canada, where his grandfather Schoolcraft
settled with his family in the early part of the last century, going there
from Massachusetts, his native state.
Born in Massachusetts, of English lineage,
Elijah Schoolcraft accompanied his parents to the province of Quebec, and
for many seasons was there employed in lumbering and rafting logs.
He was subsequently engaged in general farming in Essex county, New York,
a few years, form there coming to Michigan and living for a while in Allegan
county. His last days, however, were spent in Pine Grove township,
Van Buren county, where hid death occurred at the good old age of eighty-two
years. He married Sarah Diamond, whose father, George Diamond, immigrated
from England to Canada, where he bought a large tract of land, which he
managed successfully a few years. Coming from there to Kalamazoo
county, Michigan, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of timber land
in Cooper township, and on the farm which he redeemed from the forest spent
the remainder of his life, dying at the age of eighty-nine years.
Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Schoolcraft reared nine children, as follows: George
W., James, Freeman, Maria, William, Juliet, Sarah, Melissa and Guy.
But a boy when his parents settled in Essex county,
New York, William Schoolcraft grew to manhood on the home farm, being there
reared to habits of industry and thrift. In 1855, having attained
his majority, he came to Michigan in search of fortune, caring for that
than for fame. His most cherished possession at that time was a spirited,
three-year old colt, broken in neither to harness or bridle. Leading
this colt from his home to Essex county to Ogdensburg, New York, he there,
with his colt, boarded a boat and came by way of Lake Ontario, Welland
Canal and Lake Erie to Detroit, Michigan, from there walking to Allegan
county. Soon after his arriving at this point of destination Mr.
Schoolcraft traded his colt for forty acres of heavily timbered land in
Trowbridge township. None of the land had been cleared, although
a log cabin had been built in the dense forest. Having no money,
he was forced to seek some remunerative employment, and for a short time
worked in a sawmill, receiving twenty dollars a month wages. He subsequently
worked on a farm for thirteen dollars a month and board, in this way making
enough to pay his expenses while clearing his land, on which he subsequently
resided until 1864. Coming on that year to Pine Grove township, Mr.
Schoolcraft bought the land which he now owns and occupies, his farm containing
two hundred and thirty-nine acres of choice land, on which he has made
extensive and valuable improvements, including the erection of a good set
of farm buildings. During the fifty or more years that Mr. Schoolcraft
has resided in Michigan he has witnessed marked changes in many directions,
and has watched with pride and gratification the rapid development of a
wilderness into a rich and well populated commonwealth, in its gradual
development well performing his share of the labor.
Mr. Schoolcraft married, in 1857, Phebe Ann Mallery, who
was born in Wayne county, New York, where her parents, John and Waitsel
(Palmer) Mallery, were pioneers settlers. Seven children have been
born to Mr. and Mrs. Schoolcraft, namely: Frankie, Laura, Della, Nellie
and Elba, also Charlie, the second child, who died aged fifteen months,
and John, who died at the age of three months and twenty-five days.
.- One of the progressive
and enterprising agriculturists of Van Buren county, Michigan, who has
spent his life on the farm which he now has charge of, in Decatur township,
is Fred Forbes, the worthy son of a worthy father and one of his
community's prominent public-spirited citizens. Mr. Forbes has noted
the various changes that have taken place during his residence here-changes
that have affected every kind of work, and he has seen the country grow
from a half-developed, unpromising prairie into one of the finest farming
sections in the land. Born in Decatur township, Mr. Forbes is a son
of John and Charlotte (Langdon) Forbes, the former a native of Lyons, New
York, and the latter of Hillsdale, Michigan.
John Forbes, who is still living and makes
his home with his son, came to Michigan in 1856, at the age of twenty-three
years, and lived in Constantine for a time, later settling at Hillsdale
where he was married. In 1861 he came to Van Buren county and purchased
fifty acres of farming land in section 13, Decatur township, and here he
has resided ever since. A hard and faithful worker, Mr. Forbes put
his land in a fine state of cultivation, erected substantial buildings
and made his property first class in every respect. His wife died
on this farm in 1895, having been the mother of seven children, as follows:
Theresa, Elvira, William, Tilla and Harry, all of whom are deceased; Fred;
and James, who also resides in Decatur township.
Fred Forbes grew to manhood on the home farm, attending
the district school when he could be spared from the work of clearing and
cultivating the home property. Since his father's retirement he has
been in charge of the farm, and has made numerous improvements both to
the land and buildings. He is progressive in his methods and modern
in ideas, and is a firm believer in the use of power farm machinery.
On August 23, 1900, Mr. Forbes was married to Miss Ida Montania, who died
in June 1901. In October 1902, he was married to Amanda Keifer, daughter
of Samuel and Sarah (Robnolt) Keifer. Mr. and Mrs. Keifer had three
children: Amanda, the wife of Mr. Forbes; Ida May, the wife of Allison
Gorbutt of Constantine, Michigan; and one child that died in infancy.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Forbes: Samuel, born July
25, 1904; Henry, born January 15, 1907; Joseph, born February 18, 1909;
and Alvira, born May 9, 1911. Mrs. Forbes has a daughter named Mildred
Keifer, born March 17, 1898.
Mr. Forbes is a Democrat in his political
views, and while he has never sought public office, being too busy with
his extensive farming interests, he has served very acceptably as school
director. He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist
church, and are well and favorably known
in social circles of Decatur township.
John D. Hayne
.- In every branch of industry
the advance of Van Buren county has been remarkably rapid during the last
few years, and its progress has been equal to that of any other section
of the state of Michigan. The present prosperity of the county is
well represented in its agriculturists and stockmen, and among these may
be mentioned John D. Hayne, the owner of a magnificent tract of two hundred
and forty-three acres of some of the best farming land in Porter township.
Mr. Hayne was born on the farm which he is now operating, September 20,
1868, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Turner) Hayne.
Mr. Hayne's parents were natives of England,
and came to the United States in 1855, locating first in Detroit, Michigan,
and going thence to Wayne county. In 1858 they settled as pioneers
in Van Buren county, where Mr. Hayne erected a log house that was the family
residence for many years. From this humble beginning Mr. Hayne developed
one of the finest properties in this part of the county, his land being
all under cultivation, and at the time of his death comprising two hundred
and forty-three acres, all of which had been cleared and put under cultivation
by himself. Mr. Hayne was born May 14, 1827, and died June 13, 1905.
He and his wife had four children, the first two of whom died in infancy.
The daughter, Laura, is the wife of D. C. Van Antwerp.
John D. Hayne was educated in the district
schools of Porter township, and has always resided on the home farm.
In 1891, when his father retired from active pursuits, he took charge of
the property, and when John Hayne died he was left a part of the home farm
and purchased eighty acres more to make up two hundred and forty-three
acres. He has shown himself an able agriculturist and a worthy representative
of his old and honored family, and stands high in the esteem of his fellowmen
as a man and a citizen. On October 26, 1892, Mr. Hayne was married
to Miss Lilla G. Kinney, daughter of Horace H. and Susan (Abbott) Kinney,
the former a native of Michigan and the latter of England, and to this
union there have been born two children, as follows: Vera L., born May
8, 1896, and Horace K., born December 8, 1900.
Mr. and Mrs. Hayne are consistent members of the
Methodist church. His political opinions are those of the Republican
party, and he has served Porter township as treasurer for one term.
Fraternally Mr. Hayne is a member of the Masons, the Eastern Star, the
Maccabees and the Woodmen.
Emory H. Squier
, who is a widely and
favorably known resident of Decatur and as an industrious farmer and public-spirited
citizen, is pleasantly located on section 22, upon forty acres of highly
cultivated land, which he devotes to the raising of mint and celery.
Mr. Squier was born in Volina, Cass county, Michigan, August 31, 1865,
and is a son of David and Mary (Rich) Squier, natives of Cass county.
David Squier was reared to an agricultural life,
and he followed that occupation as a youth, later entering the mercantile
field. During his latter years, however, he again became a farmer, and
this was his vocation at the time of his death, which occurred at Decatur,
November 19, 1907, he having been buried on his seventy-third birthday.
He became widely and favorably known, and possessed the esteem and confidence
of his fellow townsmen to such an extent that during the last fifteen years
of his life he was elected to the office of supervisor. His widow
still survives and makes her home at Decatur. They had two children:
Harley E., living in Decatur township, and Emory H.
Emory H. Squier received a public and high
school education, and after leaving the latter institution entered Parsons
Business College. His first employment was a clerk in a stave factory,
but after one year his health failed and he returned to the home farm,
where he continued to assist his father until 1889. Mr. Squier then
entered the mercantile field, establishing himself in a clothing business
at Decatur, but after three years he again resumed farming and he is now
profitably engaged in raising mint and celery on a forty-acre tract in
section 22, Decatur township. Mr. Squier is a worthy representative
of the old family whose name he bears, and throughout his life has displayed
the same characteristics that made his father so highly esteemed.
Fair in his business dealings, possessed of a high sense of honor and civic
pride, and withal an excellent business man and farmer, Mr. Squier possesses
to the fullest degree the esteem of the community in which he resides,
and he is now serving his fourth term as supervisor of Decatur township.
Mr. Squier was married to Miss Cora Knight,
daughter of Anson and Catherine (West) Knight, and to this union there
have been born two children: Lena; who is deceased, and Frances, residing
with his parents. Mr. Squier is a Democrat in his political views,
and is considered one of the influential party men of Decatur township.
Fraternally he is connected with the Maccabees and the Universalist church.
Mr. Squier's brother, Alden Knight, so a well known citizen of Decatur.
Evert S. Dyckman.
- Taking a turn
successively in the transportation industry on the lake, mercantile life
as a dealer in ice, coal and wood, and finally as a manufacturer of cigars,
Evert S. Dyckman, of South Haven, has given a striking evidence of his
versatility and adaptability to circumstances and conditions. He
has also shown that no matter what has engaged his faculties he has been
equal to the requirements, and in all occupations has maintained and manifested
his interest in the locality of his home and a strong desire to promote
its progress and the substantial and enduring welfare of the people.
Mr. Dyckman has bestowed his efforts on the
region of his birth and found its opportunities sufficient to employ them
to his own advantage and the benefit of the region. He was born in
South Haven, Michigan, on December 5, 1856, and is a son of Aaron S. and
Emeratta (Blood) Dyckman, natives of New York state, the former born in
Seneca county of that state on February 16, 1826, and the latter in Utica.
The father died on December 14, 1899, and the mother is still living.
They had four children, three of whom are living: Evert S.; Harriet, who
is the wife of F. G. Dewey, of Kalamazoo; and Claud, who resides in Chicago.
The second child, George, died in infancy.
The father, A. S. Dyckman, was brought to Michigan
by his parents while he was yet a little boy. The family located
first in Paw Paw township, Van Buren county, but soon afterward removed
to Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo county, where the father attended school, and
after a due course of preparation was sent to college in Kalamazoo.
In 1847, when he was twenty-one years old, he first visited South Haven,
stopping but a short time. In 1849 the golden music of California
enlisted his attention and was soon pulling at his heartstrings as with
the tug of gravitation, and he was unable to resist it. He joined
a company of adventurers like himself and dared the hardships and dangers
of the long jaunt across the plains and mountains to the region of fabulous
wealth in an effort to make a fortune by a few strong and lucky strokes.
But his success was very moderate, and in 1852 he returned to his Michigan
home, making the trip by the Isthmus of Panama, over the Gulf of Mexico
and up the Mississippi to the landing place most convenient to South Haven.
After his arrival at South Haven he formed a partnership with E. B. and
B. H. Dyckman, A. W. Pantland, Joseph Sturgis, Marshall Hale and Uriah
Conger, and together they conducted a thriving saw mill and lumber business
under the firm name of Dyckman, Sturgis & Company. The undertaking
was successful and the partnership continued several years. Mr. A.
S. Dyckman did not, however, rest his hopes on this industry alone.
He engaged in growing fruit, and was the first in this section to cultivate
peaches commercially, and in time he became the most extensive producer
of the tree fruits adapted to the region in this locality, holding this
rank until his death, but with many followers of his stimulating example
and sharers in the gratifying profits of the industry. He was also a man
of prominence and influence in the public affairs of the township and county,
serving as township supervisor for a number of years and as county treasurer
two terms. He was also one of the founders of the Scott Club, a literary
society organized and conducted for the mental improvement and social enjoyment
of its members. In politics he was a pronounced Republican, with
strong faith in his party and great earnestness and zeal in its service
and a voice of potency in its councils.
His son, Evert S. Dyckman, obtained his education
in the schools of South Haven and at the State Agricultural College in
Lansing. He was then associated with his father in business for about
eight years, and at the end of that period worked for a time for the H.
W. Williams Transportation Company. But he was ambitious to have
an establishment and a business of his own, and started one in the ice,
coal and wood trade, which he carried on for a while. From that he
turned to the manufacture of cigars, in which he has ever since been profitably
The public affairs of the city of his home
have always interested him greatly, and he has done all he could to secure
their proper administration. In 1903 he was elected mayor and in
1904 was re-elected, serving two consecutive terms in the office.
He was also a member of the board of public works for five years.
In these positions he was able to render the city signal service in the
way of promoting public improvements, and he used his opportunities to
the full measure in the work.
In fraternal relations Mr. Dyckman has affiliated
with but one of the benevolent societies so numerous among men, but in
that he has been an earnest and very helpful member. He belongs to
the Star of the Lake Lodge, No. 158, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons,
and has been its Worshipful Master two terms. He is also a Royal
Arch Mason, belonging to South Haven Chapter, No. 58, in this branch of
the fraternity, and a Knight Templar of Malta Commandery at Benton Harbor.
In addition he and his wife are members of the Masonic auxiliary, the Order
of the Eastern Star. In political matters he sides with the Democratic
party with loyalty and zeal.
Mr. Dyckman was married on January 25, 1895,
to Miss Lucille Plummer, who was born in South Haven and reared and educated
here. She is a daughter of William G. and Susan (McDowell) Plummer,
natives of Michigan and long residents of Allegan county. Mr. and
Mrs. Dyckman have one child, their son Clovis, who was born on the 25th
of May, 1896, and is still living at home with them.
The parents are highly esteemed in all parts of
the county of their residence and by all classes of its people. They
have shown that they follow high ideals of citizenship and embrace every
opportunity to aid in promoting the welfare of their city and county and
that of their residents, and they are impelled by a strong sense of duty
in all the relations of life. They are worthy representatives of
the sturdy and sterling citizenship of Van Buren county, and as such are
well deserving of the strong hold they have on the confidence and regard
of the people.
.- The late Phillip
Maguire was a prominent and highly respected farmer of Van Buren county
and an old resident of Decatur township. He built up for himself a lasting
reputation as a man possessing most excellent traits of character, was
honorable and upright in his business transactions, and was imbued with
that generous public spirit that made him always ready to assist in whatever
was calculated to promote the welfare of his county and community.
Mr. Maguire was born in county Mayo, Ireland, in May 1823, and died January
25, 1901, in Decatur township. He came to America in 1851, settling
in New York state, where he was engaged in farming until 1858, and in that
year made his way west to Michigan and purchased eighty acres of farming
land in section 4, Decatur township, where he continued to do general farming
and stock raising for the remainder of his life. He was married on
September 8, 1858, to Miss Mary Burns, daughter of Michael and Julia (Healy)
Burns. Mrs. Maguire's mother died when she was an infant, and her
father took for his second wife Miss Bridget Boyle, by whom he has a family
of eight children.
Mr. and Mrs. Maguire had five children: James
and John, who are deceased; Mary, who lives with her mother; George, who
resides in Decatur; and Phillip, who is engaged in operating the old home
farm. Mr. Maguire was an ardent Democrat in politics, but never aspired
to office. During the more that fifty years that he resided here
he made friendships that were warm and >sincere, and all of his old friends
remember him with naught but kindness. Having the ready sympathy that goes
with the Irish blood, Mr. Maguire was ever ready to assist those who were
less fortunate in life than he, and the extent of his charities will probably
never be known. He was a faithful member of the Catholic church,
to which his widow, who is now residing in the comfortable family residence
at Decatur, also belongs.
Dr. George W. Cornish
was born in
Porter township, Van Buren county, Michigan, on February 21, 1860, and
his life, for the greater part, has been passed as a resident of the state
of his nativity. He is the son of Thomas Cornish, born in Cornwall,
England, the latter being one of a family of four sons and two daughters,
namely: John, Edward, William, Thomas, Ann and Mary. John alone of
the family remained in England. All the others came to America, settling
in Canada, with the exception of Thomas, who remained at home on the farm
in Cornwall until 1852, when he came to America with his wife and two children.
They came on a sailing vessel and were six weeks in the passage.
They settled in New York state until late in 1853, when they removed to
Michigan, locating in Porter township, Van Buren county. Here they
lived for a time with a widowed sister-in-law, and after looking about
a little, Thomas Cornish bought a tract of timbered land in section 16.
He set about cleaning up the land, eventually putting the place in a fine
state of cultivation. He was always a hard-working, energetic man,
and the years of unrelenting toil he expended on his wilderness home are
everywhere apparent today in the fine, up-to-date place, today one of the
best in Van Buren county. He lived there until the time of his death, which
occurred when he had reached the age of seventy-nine years. In early
life, in fact, previous to his emigration to this country form Cornwall,
he married Mary Hayne, also a native of Cornwall. Mrs. Cornish's
father was a native and life long resident of Cornwall, and after his death
his widow came to America and spent her declining years in Van Buren county
with her daughter, Mrs. Cornish. She reared eight children: Grace,
Jane, John, Mary, Kate, Digory, Marjory and Eliza. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
Cornish reared a family of six children. They are Mary A., John H.,
Grace P., Edward T. and Eliza J., the two latter being twins, and George
The early schooling of George W. Cornish was obtained
in a small log cabin affair in the village wherein he was reared, and by
dint of his compelling desire to study and learn, he was able to enter
the high school in Lawton, being graduated from that school with the class
of 1881. He secured employment as a teacher for a time in order to
re-coup his slender fortune sufficiently to enable him to continue his
studies, and when it was possible for him to do so he entered the State
Normal at Ypsilanti, graduating with the class of 1889. He again
resumed teaching, and after a few terms passed thus entered the Medical
Department of the State University at Ann Arbor. Soon after his entry
there, one of his brothers received severe injuries, and in the spirit
of self-abnegation which has characterized his entire life, he relinquished
his long cherished desire, surrendering for a time at least, the possibility
of finally reaching the goal of his ambitions, and returned to the family
home to care for his disabled brother. Soon after his return, he was elected
county superintendent of schools, a splendid recognition of his ability
on the part of the people who had witnessed his struggles for an education,
and he served two terms in that capacity. At the end of that time
it was possible for him to resume his studies, and he entered the Detroit
College of Medicine, graduating from that splendid institution with the
class of 1899, after which he took a post-graduate course in New York City.
Following the completion of his studies, in order to be near to his aged
parents and his invalid brother, he located at Lawton, where he has remained
continuously, and where he has built up a fine practice in Lawton and the
Dr. Cornish is popular in all circles of his
community, and has served his village several terms as its president, also
as president of the school board. He is a member of Lawton Lodge
No. 216 A. F. & M., and with his wife, is a member of the Order of
the Eastern Star. In October 1905, Dr. Cornish married Mrs. Catherine
(Smith) Robbins, the daughter of Myron and Catherine (Crawford) Smith and
the widow of Charles Robbins.
James O. Rhoads
.- Noteworthy among
the enterprising and thrifty agriculturists of Van Buren county is James
O. Rhoads, of Bloomingdale township, who is industriously engaged in the
prosecution of a calling upon which the wealth and support of our nation
largely depends, and in which he is meeting with unquestioned success.
He was born March 7, 1853, in Wolcott, Wayne county, New York, very near
the birthplace of his father, Solomon Rhoads.
Oren Rhoads, his parental grandfather, was,
it is supposed, born in Massachusetts, having been of New England birth
and lineage. Moving to Wayne county, New York, when young, he bought
a heavily timbered tract of land in the town of Wolcott, where he was a
pioneer, and on the farm which he redeemed from its original wildness lived
and labored until 1858. Coming then to Michigan, he spent his last
years with one of his sons. To him and his wife fourteen children
were born and reared.
Solomon Rhoads became interested in farming when
young, and continued a resident of Wolcott, New York, until 1853.
In that year, following the example of his ancestors, he turned his face
westward, coming to Van Buren county, Michigan and settling in Almena township.
Buying a piece of timber, he erected a log cabin, and immediately began
he arduous task of clearing a farm from the forest. At that time
he few people hereabout depended largely for their subsistence upon the
productions of the soil and the wild game to be found in the woods, and
in the fall of 1854, while he was out on a hunting expedition, he was accidentally
killed, being then in manhood's prime. He married Betsey Hawley,
a native of New York, and she survived him many years. To the parents
of our subject there were born two children, James O. and Sarah M.
James O. Rhoads was but an infant when his
parents came to Van Buren county to live. He acquired a practical
education in the pioneer schools of Eaton township, after which he served
an apprenticeship at the coopers trade, which he followed for a time.
Locating then in northeast quarter of section twenty-six, Bloomingdale
township, Mr. Rhoads cleared a large tract of timbered land, erected a
substantial set of buildings, and was there employed in tilling the soil
until 1906. Buying then his present property, which is located in
the southeast quarter of the same section, he has here continued his agricultural
labors with eminent success, having his land under a good state of cultivation,
and all the necessary buildings for carrying on his good work satisfactorily.
Mr. Rhoads married, December 2, 1873, Freelove
Burns, who was born in Almena township, Van Buren county, Michigan, a daughter
of Abel and Sarah (Bidgood) Burns, who migrated from New York, their native
state, to that township in pioneer days. She died in 1884, in early womanhood.
Mr. Rhoads subsequently married for his second wife Irene Tucker. She was
born in Ridgeville township, Lorain county, Ohio, a daughter of Luther
W. and Helen (Reynolds) Tucker, natives of Ohio, and a granddaughter of
Reuben and Eliza (Perkins) Tucker. By his first marriage Mr. Rhoads
has three children, namely: Riley M., who married Nora Trins, and has three
children, Lester, Willard and Delia; Ivy, wife of John Arch Holmes, has
two children, Freelove I. and Frank J.; and Iris, who married Harry Shyrock,
has one child, Lulu May. By his second wife Mr. Rhoads has one son,
Orrin J. Rhoads. Fraternally Mr. Rhoads is a member of Bloomingdale
Lodge, No. 221, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons.
John H. Cornish
.- Van Buren county
is eminently fitted for the raising of general farm products, stock or
fruits. The progressive farmer of today has learned that he oftentimes
secures better results by specializing than if he continued along general
lines, and one of the successful agriculturists of Porter township, who
is farming along these lines is John H. Cornish, the owner of an excellent
farm of 140 acres, situated in section 15. Mr. Cornish is a native
of County Cornwall, England, the country which has furnished the world's
greatest colonizers, and he was born February 25, 1852, being the son of
Thomas and Mary (Hayne) Cornish.
The Cornish family came to the United States
in 1853, settling first in Orleans county, New York, and after two years
removing to Michigan, where Thomas Cornish took up 100 acres of land in
section 16, Porter township, and here was engaged in agricultural pursuits
up to the time of his death in 1908, his widow surviving him two years.
They had a family of six children: Mary A., who is deceased; John H.; Grace
P., deceased; Edward T. and Eliza, twins, deceased; and Dr. Cornish, of
Lawton. The boyhood of John H. Cornish was spent on his father's farm,
and he received his education in the district schools, which he attended
when he could be spared from the work of clearing and cultivating the home
property. At the age of eighteen years he began farming on his own
account, and by 1879, through industry and economy, he has saved enough
to purchase seventy-five acres of land. To this he has added from
time to time, as his finances would permit, and he now has 140 acres of
well-cultivated property. He has become one of the prominent farmers
and stock-raisers of his township, and has also specialized extensively
in fruit growing. Mr. Cornish's farm is a model of neatness, and
the young agriculturists of this township could do not better than to take
it as a plan upon which to lay out their own farms.
On October 20, 1880, Mr. Cornish was married
to Miss Mary R. Forbes, daughter of James P. and Amanda (Bennett) Forbes,
and two children have been born to this union: Mildred G., the wife of
Jesse M. Kinney, of Kalamazoo county, Michigan; and Stanley R., who married
Cleo Ward, lives at home and assists his father. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley
R. Cornish have one son, Vaughan Richard, born August 22, 1911. The
elder Mr. Cornish is a Republican in politics, and served as township treasurer
three years and as supervisor eight years. His religious faith is
that of the Methodist church. He is capable to discharge the duties
of any office to which he may be called, is a man who stands high in his
community, and is a very affable and pleasant gentleman, who, having once
given his friendship, never recalls it.In addition he is a good citizen
and an excellent business man. Such a man has the full confidence
of his fellows and is not unlikely to be raised by them to high honor.
George T. Waber
.- Among the native
born citizens of Van Buren county who have spent their lives within its
precincts, aiding in every possible way its growth and development, whether
relating to its agricultural, mercantile or financial prosperity, is George
T. Waber, an extensive landholder and prosperous agriculturist who is now
engaged in mercantile pursuits in the village of Kendall, Pine Grove township,
the township in which his birth occurred. A son of the late George
Waber, he is a grandson of John Waber, the founder of the American family
of Wabers, and of whom a brief account may be found on another page of
this work, in connection with the sketch of Thomas Waber.
Born in Bavaria, Germany, George Waber was
educated in the Fatherland, and as a boy in his teens came to America with
his parents. In Rochester, New York, he learned the trade of a butcher,
but after accompanying the family to Michigan he worked out as a farm laborer
by the month. Enlisting, a the breaking out of the Civil war, in
the Thirteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, he went South with his regiment,
and continued in active service until the expiration of his term of enlistment,
when he was honorably discharged. Returning to Van Buren county,
Michigan, he purchased a tract of timber in Pine Grove township, and having
cleared a large portion of his land was there engaged in farming several
seasons. Later, leaving his family on the farm, he took up a homestead
claim in Baraga county, Michigan, made the necessary improvements to secure
a title to the land, and then returned to his home in Pine Grove township,
and was there a resident the remainder of his life. He married Miss Mary
Miller, who was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, being a sister of Mrs.
Thomas Waber. She died February 8, 1894, leaving the following children:
George T., the subject of this sketch, Louis H., John N., and Elizabeth.
Having completed his early studies in the common schools of his native
township, George T. Waber assisted his father on the parental homestead
until attaining man's estate. Beginning life for himself as a farmer,
he started in on a modest scale, with a comparatively few acres of land
which he could call his own. Meeting with encouraging results in
his labors, he made subsequent investments in other tracts of land, acquiring
title to upwards of two hundred acres of rich and fertile land, on which
he as a substantial residence, a good barn and all the outbuildings and
machinery required by an up-to-date agriculturist. In 1911 Mr. Waber
embarked in the mercantile business in the village of Kendall, where he
has a large store, well stocked with general merchandise, including a fine
line of agricultural implements and machinery.
Mr. Waber married, October 29, 1889, Martha
E. Way, a daughter of Harrison S. Way, a granddaughter of Lyman Way and
a great-granddaughter of John Way, of Vermont. Lyman Way, a native
of Peacham, Vermont, was of a roving disposition, and not only lived in
several different places in his native state, but made years in Minnesota.
He spent his declining years, however, among three trips to California
in pioneer days, and spent two or three the green hills of his native state,
dying in the town of his birth. His wife, whose maiden name was Sophia
Stevens, was born in Vermont, and there died, her death occurring at Barton
Landing, at the age of eighty-two years. They were the parents of
six children, as follows: Julia; Mary; Harrison S., father of Mrs. Waber;
Richard; and Marshall and Marcellus, twins.
Harrison S. Way began when young to assist
his mother in her efforts to support the family, his father being away
from home a large part of the time. On September 6, 1861, he enlisted
in Company E, Sixth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, for three years, during
which time he was frequently in battle, having participated in the engagements
at Williamsburg, Lees Mills, White Oak Swamp, Fair Oaks, the siege of Richmond,
and Savage Station and Malvern Hill. Soon after the last mentioned
battle he was sent to the hospital on account of illness, and when able
to be about he was assigned to duty in the commissary department, in which
he served until honorably discharged from the service. He was subsequently
in the employ of the Government until 1865, when he enlisted in Company
C, Fourth Regiment, United States Veteran Volunteers, with which he remained
until honorably discharged, at Louisville, Kentucky, at the close of the
conflict. Returning then to Vermont, Mr. Way remained there three
years, when, in 1868, he went to Washington, District of Columbia, where
for four years he was employed in the quartermaster's department.
In 1872 Mr. Way came with his family to Michigan, settling in Penn Grove
township, where he rented land for a few years. He after wards bought
one hundred and thirty acres of partly improved land in that township,
and was there engaged in farming until 1910, when he sold, and removed
to his present home in the village of Kendall.
In 1868 Mr. Way married Mrs. Sarah (Willey) Hatch,
widow of Calvin Hatch. She was born in Danville, Vermont, a daughter
of Noah and Sally (Gray) Willey. Her parental grandfather, Samuel
Willey, was a life-long resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, while her
maternal grandparents, John and Hannah (Otis) Gray, spent their entire
lives in Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Way reared four children, namely:
Frank S. E.; Martha Emma now the wife of George T. Waber, the subject of
this sketch; Freeman W.; and George Fred.
Mr. and Mrs. Waber have three children, Bertha,
Harry and Leon. An active and prominent member of the Democratic
party, Mr. Waber has served as a member of the Township Democratic Committee,
and as a delegate to different party conventions. He takes an intelligent
interest in local affairs, and for ten years represented Pine Grove township
on the County Board of Supervisors.
Dr. Arthur Casper Runyan
a high grade of capacity and skill in one of the most useful of the professions,
a commanding genius for the promotion and development of public utilities
an elevated tone and broad public spirit in his citizenship, and a humanitarian
disposition that seeks the good of the whole people even if it may be,
to some extent, at the expense of his private business, Dr. Arthur C. Runyan,
of South Haven, one of the leading dentists of Southwestern Michigan, is
a very useful citizen and is universally esteemed as such.
Dr. Runyan was born in White Pigeon, Michigan,
on September 3, 1857, and grew to manhood on his father's farm in St. Joseph
county. There he served his apprenticeship to the farming industry, but
he had other desires in life, and as he neared maturity sought an opportunity
to gratify them. His parents, Casper Y. and Louisa (Olmstead) Runyan,
were natives of New York, the father born in the western part of the state
in 1828 and the mother in Genesee county in 1837. The father died
in 1895, but the mother is still living and has her home with her children.
Of the nine children born to them seven grew to maturity and five are now
living. The Doctor was the second child born in the family.
The father was brought to Michigan by his
parents, Philip E. and Priscilla (Brush) Runyan, when he was but seven
years old. The family arrived in 1835, before Michigan was a state,
and located at White Pigeon. The head of the house at the time, Philip
E. Runyan, was of French Huguenot
stock. He first engaged in keeping a tavern on the old Chicago
turnpike, and afterward became a farmer. He was a man of prominence
and influence in his locality and served in the state legislature while
Detroit was the capital, and left a good name for the value and fidelity
of his service in every trust and station.
Dr. Runyan's father, Casper Runyan, was educated
in the schools of White Pigeon, and after leaving school engaged in farming,
the occupation to which he had been reared. In 1852 he caught the
enthusiasm over the discovery of gold in the then far away region known
as California, and journeyed overland to seek a rapid advance in his fortune
in the opportunities so widely and wildly proclaimed as abounding in that
state. Two years later he returned to the old homestead in Michigan,
making the return trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Farming in
this state was good enough for him ever afterward, and it occupied him
for the remainder of his days.
He also took an earnest interest and an active
part in the public affairs of his locality, serving for more than twenty-five
years as township supervisor, and also filling with credit to himself and
benefit to the people other township offices. In politics he was
a genuine Democrat of the old school and to the end of his life served
his party with unswerving loyalty, for he felt that it was the promise
and fulfillment of the highest and most enduring good to county, state
Dr. Arthur C. Runyan was also educated academically
in the schools of White Pigeon, but they were greatly improved in their
facilities and appointments in comparison with what they had when his father
attended them. After completing their course of instruction the Doctor
studied dentistry under the instruction of Dr. S. M. White, and in 1904
took a post graduate course in the dental department of the University
of Michigan. For the practice of his profession he first located
in Bangor, this county, where he remained until 1890, a period of ten years.
In that year he changed his residence to South Haven, making the change
in the spring, and here he has ever since lived and been actively engaged
in an extensive and lucrative practice with a steadily increasing body
of patrons and a steadily rising and expanding reputation for his professional
work and enterprise, public spirit and usefulness as a citizen.
While living in Bangor he was a member of
the village board of directors for a number of years and also served on
the school board there. He has been alderman from the Third ward
of South Haven two terms and a member of the school board of this city
for over twenty years. His duties as alderman were not entirely agreeable
to him and he declined to be a candidate for a third term. He has
shown deep and abiding interest in the welfare of the community in other
ways, however, having helped to organize the library board and served as
its president for a time. He also was one of the founders of the
City Hospital of South Haven, and is now (1911) a member of its board of
In more material matters contributing to the improvement
of the city and the convenience and comfort of its residents, he has also
been a potential factor for good, and his services in connection with them
have been extensive and conspicuous. He helped to organize the South
Haven Gas Company and is its president. In addition he is president
of the gas company at Sturgis, and of Allegan County Gas Company of Allegan,
Otesgo and Plainwell, Michigan, in the adjoining counties of St. Joseph
and Allegan. In connection with these utilities he is sedulous in
his efforts to make their product and their service to their patrons as
good as possible, managing them with primary reference to excellence of
output and satisfaction to all classes of consumers.
In his profession Dr. Runyan is studious and
progressive, using all means available to him to keep up with its advances
and informed as to its latest discoveries and improvements. He is
an active member of the Southwestern Dental Society, and has been its president
and secretary. He also belongs to the Michigan State Dental Society
and the National Dental Association, and takes a very active and helpful
part in their proceedings, both as a contributor to the interest and benefit
of their meetings and an eager learner from the contributions of others.
Doubtless Dr. Runyan began studying for his
professional work and practicing it with a primary view to making a livelihood
out of it. But in the course of his practice it has broadened in
his vision to a great means of constant and permanent good for the whole
community if the people, especially the young people, can be informed of
the facts in the case. With the view of giving them this information he
began in 1892 systematic course lectures on dental anatomy and hygiene
and the proper care of the teeth in the public schools of South Haven,
using lantern slides to illustrate and emphasize his instructions.
These lectures have been a source of great benefit to the school children,
and his enterprise and public spirit in giving them is regarded with great
favor by everybody in the city. In furtherance of his work in this
respect he has also written a booklet on "Twentieth Century Dentistry,"
which eh describes as "An Ethical Treatise on the Care and Treatment of
the Human Teeth."
Dr. Runyan was married October 12, 1881, to
Miss Emma Cross, a native of Lawrence township, this county, and the daughter
of Calvin and Emily (Roby) Cross. Her parents are both deceased.
They were born in the state of New York, and the parents of seven children,
five of whom are living. Mrs. Runyan was the last born of the seven.
Her father came to Michigan in 1844 and located in Bangor, Van Buren county.
He was a millwright, a farmer and a lawyer, and rose to prominence and
influence in the county. In connection with public affairs he was
an active working Democrat and enjoyed in full measure the confidence and
regard of both the leaders and the rank and file of his party, being esteemed
as wise in counsel as well as vigorous, skillful and effective in action
in party matters.
Dr. and Mrs. Runyan are the parents of two children,
their son Cecil A., and their daughter Mabel A. The son is a gas
engineer. He married Miss Louisa Tall and is living in South Haven.
The daughter is still living at home with her parents. In political
faith and allegiance the Doctor is a pronounced Democrat, and in church
relations he and his wife are Congregationalists. They are both members
of the Order of the Eastern Star, the bright and popular auxiliary of the
Masonic Order. In the latter the Doctor has long been active and
serviceable as a member of Star of the Lake Lodge, No. 158; South Haven
Chapter, No. 58, Royal Arch Masons; South Haven Council, No. 45, Royal
and Select Masters; Peninsula Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar, at Kalamazoo,
and Saladin Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Grand Rapids.
In these different branches of the fraternity he is not merely one of the
silent units, but a very energetic working member, whose intelligence and
good judgment are highly valued, and whose high character, sterling manhood
and elevated citizenship help to give consequence and standing to the order
and exemplify its best teachings.
Herbert Lincoln Root
.- Actively and
intelligently engaged in the prosecution of one of the most independent,
needful and useful occupations to which a man may devote his energies,
Herbert Lincoln Root stands high among the prominent husbandmen of Pine
Grove township, and is an important factor in the agricultural interests
of Van Buren county. Coming on both sides of the house from honored New
England ancestry, and of sturdy pioneer stock, he was born August 9, 1865,
in Oshtemo township, Kalamazoo county, Michigan, a son of Isaac L. Root.
His paternal grandfather, John Root, was born
in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, but spent a large part of his early life
in Connecticut, where he followed the mason's trade. In 1857 he came with
his family to Michigan, locating in Kalamazoo county, which was then but
sparsely settled, the present city of Kalamazoo having been a small place,
while the surrounding country was in its original wildness. Purchasing
a tract of land in Oshtemo township, five miles from Kalamazoo, he continued
the improvements, which were very limited, and having placed a large share
of it under cultivation resided there until his death, a the age of seventy-five
years. His wife whose maiden name was Susan Moe, was born in New
York city, and died on the home farm at the advanced age of four score
years. They reared a family of seven children, as follows: Sarah,
Beardsley, Frederick, Isaac, Edward, Ebenezer and Martha.
Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, Isaac L. Root
began working with his father at the mason's trade while but a boy, and
in 1857 accompanied his parents to Michigan, and has since followed his
trade in Kalamazoo and surrounding counties. He is a skilled workman,
and his services are ever in demand. He married Hannah Isadore Kingsley,
who was born in Oshtemo township, a daughter of Moses Kingsley, who was
the third in direct line of descent to bear that name. Moses Kingsley,
the first, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, January 29, 1744, of
English ancestry, and married Abigail Lyman, who birth occurred January
21, 1744, in the same place. Their son, Moses Kingsley, the second, was
born in Northampton, Massachusetts, November 8, 1772. After his marriage
he located in Brighton, Massachusetts. He was twice married, his
second wife, Mr. Root's great-grandmother, having been Mary Montague.
Moses Kingsley, the third, was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, March 5,
1810, and there learned the cabinet maker's trade. Migrating to Michigan
in 1831, while it was still under territorial government, he became one
of the early settlers of what is now the town of Webster, in Webster, Washtenaw
county, and while there he served as postmaster and town clerk. In
1836 he moved to Kalamazoo county and purchased a tract of timbered land,
forty acres of which was located in Kalamazoo township and forty acres
in Oshtemo township. After devoting about twenty years to the clearing
and improvement of his estate he organized the Farmer's Mutual Fire Insurance
Company, of which he was secretary and treasurer for a quarter of a century.
In 1873 he became a resident of Kalamazoo which remained his home until
his death, in 1891. He married first, in Webster, Michigan, in December
1, 1831, Hannah Williams, who was born in Sempronious, New York, October
7, 1808, a daughter of a pioneer of Washtenaw county, Michigan. She
died January 13, 1844, leaving four children, as follows: Daniel W.; Amelia;
Floyd; and Hannah Isadore, who became the wife of Isaac L. Root.
Moses Kingsley, the third, subsequently married for his second wife Clarissa
Beckley, who was born in Stafford, New York, March 25, 1818, a daughter
of Joseph and Clarissa (Jeffries) Beckley. She died May 16, 1879
leaving six children, Henry M., Moses, Sabra W., Chester M., Clara F.,
and Homer M. Mrs. Isaac L. Root died in Oshtemo township, April 10.
1901. To her and her husband seven children were born, namely: Herbert
Lincoln, Myron, Bertha, Luella, Edna, Fanny and Mary.
Brought up in Kalamazoo county, Herbert Lincoln
Root acquired a practical education in the public schools, and at the age
of nineteen years began working with his father at the mason's trade, which
he followed for four years. Turning his attention then to agriculture,
he bought the farm which he now owns and occupies. It is pleasantly
located in section thirty-four, Pine Grove township, bordering on and overlooking
North Lake, one of the many beautiful sheets of water to be found in Van
Buren county. Mr. Root first bought twenty acres of adjoining land,
and still later added more land by purchase, his farm now containing one
hundred and sixty-two and one-half acres of as rich and productive land
as can be found in the vicinity. Here he is prosperously engaged
in general farming, making something of a specialty of stock-raising and
In 1890 Mr. Root was united in marriage with
Jennie A. Smith, who was born in Ridgeville township, Lorain county, Ohio,
a daughter of Mark and Eunice (Kibby) Smith, natives, respectively, of
New York and Ohio. Five children have blessed the union of Mr. and
Mrs. Root, namely: Lillie, Carl, Alice, Harry and Nelson. Mr. and
Mrs. Root are both members of the Congregational church, and give liberally
towards its support.
.- For upwards of half
a century Thomas Waber has been a resident of Pine Grove township, and
during that time he has established for himself a reputation as a thoroughly
honest man and worthy citizen. Many of the active agriculturists
of Van Buren county were born on the other side of the Atlantic, and to
Germany, especially, is our country indebted for some of her prosperous
citizens, among them being Mr. Waber. He was born, May 14, 1841,
in Bavaria, Germany, the home of his ancestors for many generations.
John Waber, his father, was born in the same part
of Germany, being the only child of his parents. He there learned
to hew timber before the days of saw mills, or at least before they were
generally used, becoming an expert chopper and hewer. Bidding good
bye to friends and relatives in 1848, he came with his family to the United
States, being several weeks in crossing the ocean on a sailing vessel.
Landing in New York city, he made his way to Rochester, and for a time
worked on the Erie Canal, later being there employed in a foundry.
Desirous of establishing a permanent home for himself, wife and children,
and being attracted by the cheap Government land of the West, he came to
Michigan in 1854, and for a year lived in Kalamazoo county, from there
coming, in 1855, to Van Buren county. Settling in the dense woods,
he became one of the early pioneers of Pine Grove township. Buying
eighty acres of timbered land on the east half of the southeast quarter
of section two, he cut down giant trees to make room for the log house
which he had built as one of the first improvements on his place.
Deer, wild turkeys and game of all kinds abounded and formed a large part
of the subsistence of the brave-hearted pioneers. Working with a
will, he cleared his land and as there engaged in tilling the soil for
many years. Prior to his death, however, he went to Otsego, Allegan county,
to live with his son Fred, and was there a resident until his death, at
the ripe old age of eighty-one years. His wife who was a native of
Bavaria, died before he did, her death occurring on the home farm.
They reared seven children, as follows: George, Henry, Frederick, Anna,
Thomas, Margaret and James. They were worthy members of the Lutheran
church, and reared their family in the same religious faith.
Seven years old when he left the Fatherland,
Thomas Waber still has a vivid recollection of many of the incidents connected
with his ocean voyage, and likewise of pioneer life in Van Buren county.
In his boyhood days the people hereabout lived in a primitive manner, with
few if any of the modern conveniences, living on the fruits of the chase
or the productions of the soil, and were clothed in garments made at home
from material spun and woven by the good house mother. Traveling
was mostly performed on horseback, or with heavy teams, slow methods as
compared with the modern means of transportation. Reared to the habits
of industry, Mr. Waber began life as a wage-earner when quite young, working
out for his board and five dollars a month at first, but later being employed
in a saw mill. In 1865 he bought the land now included in his present
farm, and immediately began its improvement. He cleared a large part
of the estate, and is actively engaged in general farming, each year raising
abundant crops of hay and grain.
Mr. Waber married, in March 1871, Ann Eliza Miller, who
was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, which was also the birthplace of
her father, Nicholas Miller. Mr. Miller's wife immigrated to America
with her ten children, leaving Mr. Miller to attend to some business matters
in the Fatherland, and took up residence at Palmyra, New York, where her
death occurred two years later. Mr. Miller subsequently joined his
motherless children, and with them came to Trowbridge, Allegan county,
Michigan, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying when upwards
of eighty years of age. Mrs. Waber died at the age of forty-eight
years, leaving five children, namely: Thomas Laverne, who married Mabel
Kingsley and has two sons, Henry and Clarence; Alma, wife of John McGregor,
has four children, Donald, Anna, Lillian and Arthur; James; Paul Miller,
who married Josie Champion, and they have one child, Pauline; and Arthur,
who married Bessie Antinica Vedder, and has one daughter, Eleanor.
Mr. Waber's father, the founder of the Waber family in America, was an
only child, but his seven children married and reared families, so that
his descendants now living in Michigan number nearly one hundred, and are
among the best citizens of the state, being enterprising and thrifty.
John F. Noud
.- With the splendid record
of his father as a manufacturer, business man and public spirited and progressive
citizen before him, John F. Noud, of South Haven, began his own responsibility
of living up to it and holding the family name at least at the altitude
at which his father had written it. It is high praise but only a
just tribute to genuine and demonstrated merit to state that the son has
fully lived up to the example of his father and dignified and adorned the
name he bears as worthily in his generation as his father did in his; and
it is to his credit that he has been as ready in adaptation to the requirements
of his day, much intensified as they are in exaction, his father or any
other member of his family ever was.
Mr. Noud was born in Manistee county, Michigan,
on September 29, 1876, a son of Patrick and Susan A. (McCurdy) Noud, and
the third of their eight children, six of whom are living. The father
was born in Canada and became a resident of the United States and Michigan
when he was yet a young man. For a time after his arrival in this
state he worked as an employee at lumbering, and when he got a start engaged
in the lumber trade in Manistee on his own account, operating a saw mill
and carrying on a general lumber business. He was one of the pioneers
in that part of the state in this line of industrial and mercantile effort,
and one of the most prominent men engaged in it there. He is now and has
been for several years president of the State Lumber Company of Manistee.
This company is also engaged in the manufacture of salt. He is also
president of the Chicago and South Haven Steamship Company. In all
his business undertakings he was highly successful, and in this connection
with the public affairs of the city and county in which he lived he was
also prominent and influential. His political connection was with
the Democratic party, and in the local councils of that organization he
was one of the most potential forces, being recognized as a judicious and
reliable advisor and a resourceful and effective worker for the good of
the party, while everything involving the substantial welfare of the city
and county felt the quickening impulse of his vigorous mind and the directing
care of his strong and skillful hand greatly to its advantage.
His son John F. Noud, was educated in the
schools of Manistee, and for some years after completing their course of
instruction was associated in business with his father. On November
21, 1900, he began business for himself as a retail lumber merchant in
South Haven in association with Joseph F. Smith, the firm being Noud &
Smith. The partnership continued until late in 1901, when Mr. Noud
bought Mr. Smith's interest in the business and started it anew under the
name of the John F. Noud Company. Under this name Mr. Noud has been
conducting the enterprise ever since with a steadily increasing volume
of trade and an ascending rank and reputation as a merchant and business
man in general, being esteemed as a leader by both the trade and the general
public throughout this part of the country.
Mr. Noud has also been active in city affairs and
one of the awaking and stimulating forces in connection with them.
He served as alderman from the First ward four years, giving the people
excellent service as a city official, and for many years has been zealous
in promoting every undertaking of value for their benefit, mentally, morally
and materially. His duty as a citizen is never neglected or given
half-hearted attention, whatever the issue, whether political, business
or social matters, and it is always performed with conscience and an effectiveness
that indicates elevated manhood and a deep sense of personal responsibility
for general conditions and the results of every agitation for their betterment.
His political support is given to the Republican
party, but he is not a hide-bound partisan, and he never allows party considerations
to overbear local needs with him. Fraternally he is a member of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, holding his membership in Benton
Harbor Lodge, No. 544, and a Knight of Columbus, belonging to Benton Harbor
Council, No. 1120. He is zealous in his devotion to these fraternities
and energetic and helpful in the work of the lodge and council in them
which he belongs.
Mr. Noud was married on April 21, 1902, to Miss
Alma M. Schaab, a native of Manistee and the daughter of John and Rose
(Wise) Schaab. Five children have been born of the union, three of
whom are living: Francis Patrick, J. Bernard and Roger William. Katherine,
the second child, died in infancy, and Robert T., the fourth, at the age
of two years. The parents are warmly welcomed in all desirable social
circles, and regarded as valuable additions to any. They are genial
and companionable, making association with them highly agreeable, and their
advanced culture and lofty ideals win them the admiration of all who come
in contact with them and aid extensively in keeping up the standard of
citizenship in their community, of which they are such creditable representatives.
.- Among the enterprising
and successful farmers of the county who have given their whole time and
attention to the development of the agricultural resources of the county
and have thus helped to lay the sure foundation of the prosperity of the
district is Mr. Jeremiah Welker, who was born in Hancock county, Ohio,
on July 19, 1853. His father, Samuel Welker, was a Pennsylvanian,
who went west in his young manhood and married Rachel Miller, a native
of Ohio. There were two children of their union, but he other child
died in infancy. When Jeremiah was seven years of age the family
moved to Michigan, where the father had bought one hundred and ten acres
of land in Bangor township. Farming had been his life-long occupation
and he continued to follow it until his death, which occurred in 1879.
His wife died twelve years later.
At sixteen Jeremiah began to manage the home
farm, and he has always lived on the place where his father settled over
fifty years ago. To the original farm he has added twenty acres in
section 14, the other being in sections 22 and 23. General farming
and stock-raising are the branches of agriculture to which he devotes his
Mr. Welker is an Independent in the matter of politics.
He has served as highway commissioner for two years and the same length
of time as drain commissioner. Fraternally he is connected with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
On July 3, 1873, Mr. Welker married Miss Martha
J. Miller, who was born in Randolph county, Indiana, a daughter of Andrew
and Mary (Teagle) Miller, her father a native of Ireland and her mother
of Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Welker have reared three children, named
Emerson, Arabelle and Ray. Emerson married Maude Rassett and lives
in Benton Harbor. Arabelle is the wife of Robert Crippen, who operates
a part of the Welker farm. Ray is home with his parents.
Charles P. Sheldon
, born and reared
in Walerton, New York, came to Van Buren county in about 1842. The
country at that time was in a most primitive state of advancement, and
in Hartford township where he settled, Mr. Sheldon found steady and strenuous
employment in the improving of the lands he acquired there. He lived
in Hartford township until 1855, when he removed to Tipton, Iowa, then
in about the same stage of development as he had found in Van Buren county
twelve years previous. He became the owner of a large farm there,
which he improved and developed to a high state of excellence, living upon
it for the remainder of his life. He married Laura Mantle, and she
died a few years prior to the passing of her husband. They successfully
reared a family of seven children.
John S. Malbone
.- Operating in business
in five of the states of the American Union, and trying his hand at several
lines of useful effort, with success in each, John S. Malbone, of South
Haven, has had a varied experience and has profited by its sometimes severe
but always impressive lessons. He has been a mechanic, a merchant
and a farmer. These are widely divergent avenues to consequence in
a worldly way, but Mr. Malbone has shown himself able to cope with their
varied requirements in a masterly manner and command them all to his service
Mr. Malbone was born in Franklin county, Ohio,
seven miles from Columbus. His parents, Solomon M. and Jerusha Malbone,
were farmers, and he was born and reared on a farm. The father was
born in Ohio in 1819, and died in Van Buren county, Michigan, in 1903.
The mother was born in the state of New York in 1821, and died in this
county in 1908. The father farmed in his native state until 1864,
then moved his family to Webster county, Iowa, and lived there until 1875,
when they came to Van Buren county, Michigan. He was a man of prominence
and influence in his native county and also in this county, and filled
acceptably a number of township offices in each. In politics he was
a Republican, in fraternal relations an Odd Fellow, and in church connection
a Congregationalist. He and his wife were the parents of five sons
and two daughters, John S. being the second child in order of birth.
John S. Malbone remained at home with his parents
on the farm until he reached the age of twenty-three, then started an independent
course of activity for himself as a carpenter and stone-mason. In
1864 he went to Fort Dodge, Webster county, Iowa, and after abiding there
and in other places for a time came to Van Buren county, this state, and
took up his residence at South Haven. Here he was occupied in fruit
growing for a time not far from the city, then, in 1894, moved into the
city and built himself a three-story brick business block with a pressed
brick front. In this building he opened a hardware and furniture
store, which he conducted until 1907, with good returns for his enterprise
In October of that year he sold his business
and moved to Virginia, where he bought two hundred acres of lumber land,
going later to Pennsylvania. In 1910 he returned to South Haven and
took back the business he had sold before leaving the city, and in carrying
on this has ever since been engaged. He has taken an earnest interest
and a leading part in the affairs of his city and township, serving the
public well and acceptably as township clerk two terms and as township
supervisor three terms. To everything he has deemed of value in promoting
the progress and improvement of the region of his home he has given his
cordial support, and to every movement for the benefit of the people he
has cheerfully lent his energetic aid.
In the fraternal life of the community he
has been active and forceful, working for its welfare and expansion through
his membership in several branches of the Masonic order, including Star
of the Lake Lodge, No. 158, South Haven Chapter, No. 58, Royal Arch Masons,
and South Haven Council, No. 45, Royal and Select Masters. His religious
affiliation is with the Baptist church, and in this, too, he is an intelligent
and effective worker, taking a special interest in every good work undertaken
by the congregation to which he belongs, but not limiting his energy and
zeal to that. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party,
and he is diligent and effective in the service of that organization also.
Mr. Malbone was married on April 15, 1869,
to Miss Mary C. Rawson, a native of Illinois. They have four sons
and two daughters: Edith, the wife of Robert A. Farrand, of Leslie, Michigan;
and Willis L., Frank M., John H., Lloyd G. and Carrie B. The father
is in all respects a first rate citizen and is highly esteemed as a man.
He has made his own way in the world without the aid of Fortune's favors
or adventitious circumstances at any time, except as his foresight and
energy enabled him to make any circumstances propitious by commanding them
to his service. His education was obtained, so far as regular academic
instruction is concerned, in a humble log school house in a rural district
of Ohio, but he has supplemented that part of his mental training by keeping
his eyes open and gathering in information from every source available
to him in his journey through life, and he is now a man of extensive general
information. The sterling and serviceable citizenship of our country
is made up of such material, and Mr. Malbone is a very worthy representative
of the most sturdy and commendable class.
Walter A. Wood
is a product of Van
Buren county, Michigan, and was born October 2, 1875, a son of Henry and
Ellen (Torrey) Wood, natives of New York, whose other two children are:
Arthur, of Allegan county; and Fred, of Van Buren county. Walter
A. Wood secured a district school education, after completing which he
took up farming as a means of livelihood, and continued to be engaged in
agricultural pursuits until February 28, 1910, at which time he began handling
and trading horses and shipping hay and grain. He came to Bangor
September 1, 1911, and shortly thereafter bought an interest in the livery
business with which he is now connected. Mr. Wood is a Democrat in
his political views, and belongs to the Order of the Moose, Kalamazoo Lodge.
July 25, 1900, he married Miss Lena Pease who was born in Otsego, Allegan
county, Michigan, being a daughter of Jerome and Lottie Pease.
Adelbert Fausnaugh.- Clair
Creek township, Fairfield county, Ohio, was the native state of Henry Fausnaugh,
who was born August 25, 1832, son of Adam and Mary Decker Fausnaugh, natives
of Pennsylvania. They moved to Clair Creek, Ohio, where they spent
the remainder of their days. Henry Fausnaugh was reared on the farm
and farmed in Ohio until May 1856, when he moved to Michigan and settled
in Geneva on the farm he still occupies. The mother of Adelbert Fausnaugh
was Catherine Yeider, born in Eagle township, Hancock county, Ohio, and
who died in February, 1865. She was a daughter of Jacob and Mary
To Henry and Catherine (Yeider) Fausnaugh
four children were born, whose names are as follows: Lavina, Jackson, Adelbert,
and Adolphus. Adolphus and Lavina both being deceased. The
mother died when Adelbert was four years of age and the father took as
his second wife Elizabeth Rarick. To this union was born Mrs. Mina
Warren, Jesse, Mrs. MInnie Webber Frank, and Mrs. Adie Fisher.
Adelbert Fausnaugh was born in Geneva township,
Van Buren county, Michigan, December 28, 1861. At the age of twenty-one
he became overseer of Evergreen Stock Farm, where he worked for seven years.
At the end of this period he went to Illinois for a year and then returned
to Bangor and was married to Rebecca Westcott, one of the seven children
of William and Huldah (Dean) Westcott. The other sons and daughters
of the Westcott family are as follows: Lyman of Hartford and Eugene, Mrs.
Lodema Van Anken, Mrs. Mary Wood, Mrs. Esther Springett, Mrs. Sarah Summers,
all of Bangor.
Mr. and Mrs. Fausnaugh still live on their
eighty acre farm on section 22 where they first settled after their marriage.
He does general farming and stock-raising, paying special attention to
horses. He has been notably successful in this line and has earned
a well deserved reputation by his fine stock. In politics, Mr. Fausnaugh
is an Independent, though in matters of national policy, he favors the
Democratic party's principles. He is influential in local organizations
and interested in the public concerns. Fraternally he belongs to
the Masons and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Also he and
his wife are members of the Grange, Farmers Club and Eastern Star.
.- Farming as an occupation
is a profitable one if followed along scientific lines, but the work of
the farmer today entails much study and not a little scientific training,
in sharp contrast to the agricultural methods of several decades ago, when
power machinery, crop rotation, tilling and other innovations were things
unheard of.John Lytle, who is engaged in scientific farming in Porter township,
is a stanch adherent of modern treatment of the soil, and if the success
which has rewarded his efforts is any criterion then, undoubtedly, the
modern ideas are best. A native of Porter township, Mr. Lytle was
born October 12, 1862, and is a son of D. W. C. and Mary J. (Wilcox) Lytle.
D. W. C. Lytle was born in New York, and during
the fifties came to Michigan, where he was engaged in farming during the
remainder of his life. His death occurred June 22, 1894, and that
of his wife, who was a native of Michigan, in March 1904, and they were
the parents of six children: Charles S., who is engaged in farming in Porter
township; David, who owns farming land in Antwerp township; John; Wilber
B., residing in the town of Lawton; Nancy V., who is the wife of W. B.
Shafer, of Paw Paw; and Robert B. of Porter township.
John Lytle received a public school education
and remained on the home farm until he was twenty-six years of age, at
which time he began working out among the farmers of his neighborhood.
In 1891 he purchased fifty acres of land in section 15, on which he was
engaged in farming for twelve years, and he then went to Lawton and established
himself in the implement business. After five years he spent in a
mercantile line Mr. Lytle decided that there was more of a future for him
as an agriculturist, and he subsequently returned to farming in Porter
township, an occupation which he has carried on with much success ever
since. He now has one of the best improved farms in his part of the
township, equipped with modern buildings and furnished with up-to-date
machinery and equipment, and he is considered a good judge of all things
On December 29, 1888, Mr. Lytle was married
to Miss Stella A. Munroe, daughter of J. D. and Eliza Munroe, natives of
Cayuga county, New York, and Michigan respectively. Mrs. Lytle was
the eldest child of her parents, and her brothers and sisters follow: Mark
P., living in Wisconsin; Bertha, who is deceased; Carl, living in Los Angeles,
California; Celia, the wife of Fred Bradley, of Tacoma, Washington; Viola,
the wife of Frank Pierce, living in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Leon, a resident
of Paw Paw; Myrtle, the wife of Ray Wheaton, of Paw Paw; and Pearl, who
lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Lytle, namely: Lola, who is the wife of Arba Hawley, assistant postmaster
of Paw Paw.
Mr. Lytle is a Republican in his political view,
and although he has never been an office seeker he has served as constable
and school inspector of Porter township. He is a member of the Masons,
the Eastern Star and the Modern Woodmen, and with his family attends the
Methodist Church. The family home is situated on Lawton Rural Route
No. 2, and there the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Lytle are always sure
of a sincere and hearty welcome.
John R. Cook
.- In Lawrence township,
on section 21, is located the attractive and valuable country estate of
John R. Cook, one of the most successful farmers and fruit growers in the
county. At this place he owns one hundred and twenty acres of land.
Ten acres of this is a vineyard. As a viticulturist he has a prominent
place in that industry in western Michigan, though he does not produce
grapes in such quantities as some other growers in this section. Mr. Cook
is one of the prosperous general farmers and progressive citizens and has
made a successful career.
He was born in Pipestone township, Berrien
county, May 6, 1870. His parents were Richard and Lottie J. (Ridenour)
Cook. His mother, who is a native of Berrien county is still living.
His father, who died in 1906, was born in Canada. There were ten
children in the family and all are living at this present writing, as follows:
Lulu is the wife of George E. Howard; John R. is second in the family;
Charles A. married Hattie Jennings; Fred D. married Elsie John; Frank is
single; Anna is the wife of Jesse W. Cobb; Russell married Maud Shaffer;
Dr. William, who is a dentist at Coldwater, Michigan, married Bernice Warner;
Mary is the wife of Paul Landgraft; Josephine is a graduate of the Lawton
high school and of the Kalamazoo College in music and art.
When John R. Cook was seven years old the
family moved to Lawrence township, Van Buren county, and here he was reared
and began the career of thrift and industry which has led to prosperity.
He attended the public schools of the township until he was nineteen years
old, and then devoted all his time to the pursuits of agriculture and cultivation
of fruits. On September 2, 1891, when he was twenty-one years old,
he married Miss Fannie Howard. She is the daughter of Turner W. and
Marcia (Place) Howard of Lawrence township, and she was born in this township,
November 13, 1870, and received her education in the public schools. Mr.
and Mrs. Cook are the parents of four children; Myron H., who was born
in 1894, is a graduate of the Lawrence high school; Lyle T., born in 1896,
is a student of the same school; Effie A., was born in 1899 and attends
the grade schools; and Mildred E., was born in 1907.
Mr. Cook affiliates with the Rising Sun Lodge
No. 119, F. & A. M., and he and his wife are esteemed members of the
Order of the Eastern Star No. 256. His political allegiance is given
the Democratic party. For seven years Mr. Cook was highway commissioner.
Public duties and private business he has attended to with equal conscientious
care and diligence, and he has long been one of the valuable citizens of
Frank A. Butterfield
township, Van Buren county, has no more loyal citizen than Frank A. Butterfield,
whose highly improved farm of one hundred and fifty acres is located in
section 18. Mr. Butterfield is one of that large representation in
this county who came from the state of New York and who have proved one
of the most potent factors in the achievement of the prosperity which the
section enjoys. He was formerly engaged in the hotel business.
Mr. Butterfield was born on November 24, 1858, in Orleans county, New York,
and is the son of Chauncey W. and Clara A. (Wright) Butterfield.
Both parents, likewise, were natives of the Empire state, their births
having occurred in Orleans and Cattaraugus counties, respectively.
A few years after their marriage they came to Van Buren county, Michigan
(in April 1864), located upon the very farm upon which their son now lives,
and there made their residence for many years. In 1866 and 1867 Mr.
Butterfield was supervisor of Waverly township. In 1904 he and his
wife retired from the more active endeavors of life and located in Paw
Paw, where on July 24, 1907, the father passed on to the Undiscovered Country.
The admirable wife and mother still survives. They were the parents
of six children, five of whom are living in 1911, namely: Frank A.; Ida
E., wife of Henry Fox, who makes his home at Rome; Arthur A., who is married
to Mrs. Alice Green, of Grand Rapids, and lives in Grand Rapids; Olin E.,
who married Flora McKnight, of Hastings, Michigan; and Gertrude E. is the
wife of Percy Orton and they live on part of the homestead; Cora A., died
Frank A. Butterfield was a small boy when
he came to Michigan and upon his father's farm he was reared, under the
tutelage of the elder man becoming well grounded in the many departments
of agriculture. He received his education in the district schools
and as soon as his school days were ended gave his entire attention to
the occupation in which he has found such success. On September 22,
1880, he laid the foundations of a happy marriage, the young woman to become
his wife being Mary Bucknum, then living in Union City, Branch county,
Michigan, but whose birth occurred in Jackson county, Iowa, on June 5,
1859. They share their home with one son, Harold L., born April 21,
Mr. Butterfield takes no small amount of pleasure
and profit from his lodge affiliations. He holds membership in Paw
Paw Lodge, NO. 18, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and both belong to
the Maccabees and to the Rebekahs. Mr. and Mrs. Butterfield spent
ten years in Paw Paw, where, as before mentioned, they were engaged in
the hotel business, the former being landlord of Clifton and Union Hotels.
In his political affiliation he is a Republican and he is the champion
of good government, giving his support to all measures which he believes
likely to prove conductive to the general welfare.
Mrs. Butterfield is the daughter of Jerome
Bucknum and his wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Humphrey. Mr.
Bucknum is the son of Samuel Bucknum, a pioneer of Jackson county, Michigan,
and a highly esteemed citizen. He came to the state as early as 1839.
He was a son of a German physician. Margaret Humphrey's father was
Walter Albert Hall
was born in Kalamazoo
township, Kalamazoo county, Michigan, in 1873. He is the son of Frank
and Abby A. (Balch) Hall, natives of New York state and Michigan respectively.
General Isaac Hall, the father of Frank Hall and grandfather of Walter
Albert Hall, was a native of New York state and an officer in the War of
1812. His entire life was spent in his native state. The maternal
grandfather of Walter Albert Hall was Royal T. Balch, a native of Vermont
and one of the early settlers of Kalamazoo county. He acquired land
in Genesee Prairie, which he improved during his lifetime, the property
finally ranking among the best farm land in that part of the state.
He spent the remainder of his life on his farm, finally dying there.
Frank C. Hall was for many years engaged in farming in Kalamazoo county
and later in Pine Grove, but after a life of toil passed in the developing
of his property, he has retired and now lives in Gobleville.
Walter Albert Hall attended the village schools
of his community as a boy and later attended the Paw Paw high school, following
up his studies there with a course of instruction in the Baptist College
of Kalamazoo. He taught school five years in Van Buren county after
his college course had been completed, and since his pedagogic experience
he has been occupied in farming, and for the last two years has been the
proprietor of a hotel at Kendall, which he has conducted with a large measure
of success. Mr. Hall has been prominent in local politics for some
time, and has served his township in various capacities. He has been
town clerk for three years, and is at present township supervisor.
He has served two years as a member of the county board of supervisors,
and he was one of the original promoters of the plan for the building of
state reward roads, now being introduced with splendid success in various
states. Mr. Hall is a Republican in his political adherence but his
support locally is ever of an order best calculated to advance the public
interests, regardless of partisan sentiments. He is a member of the
Masonic fraternity and of the Gleaners.
On August 18, 1903, Mr. Hall married Velma
Dunnington, born in Paw Paw, and the daughter of Robert and Cynthia (Sherbourne)
.- Although he is
of distinguished ancestry and can trace his family line back through the
history of the country in unbroken succession two hundred and seventy-six
years, and although members of the family have dignified and adorned all
the higher walks of life in various places as the generations have come
and gone, Jacob Mitchell, one of the enterprising merchants and leading
citizens of South Haven, has built his career along lines of ordinary productive
usefulness, with a thought of attaining distinction or attracting the noisy
admiration of the world. His labors have been important and serviceable
in their day and locality, but, while many of them required expert knowledge
and the skill that comes from careful training, they have not been of a
character to bring renown or secure public attention in any showy or extensive
way. But he has not desired this. He has been content to walk
faithfully in the plain and simple path of duty, and thus work out his
destiny in life and render what service he could do his fellow men in his
day and generation.
Mr. Mitchell is a native of St. Lawrence county,
New York, where his life began on July 31, 1836. His parents were
Reuben and Margaret (Roberts) Mitchell, the former born in Clinton county,
New York, in 1808, and the latter in county Cork, Ireland, in 1812.
The mother died in 1880 and the father in 1890. Nine children were
born of their union, three of whom are now living. Jacob and his
brothers Henry and David, both younger than him. Henry is a resident
of Fairgrove and David of Flint, Michigan.
The first American representative of the family
was Matthew Mitchell, who, with his wife and children, came to this country
and settled in what was then Wethersfield, Connecticut, in 1635.
The family came from Scotland, and the head of the household at once began
to take an active part in the affairs of the town in which he located,
and four years after his arrival was its clerk. Stephen Mitchell,
another member of the family, founded the public library in Glasgow, Scotland,
which is the second in size in the country. Another distinguished
member of the family was Professor Maria Mitchell, who belonged to the
branch that settled on Nantucket Island at an early day, moving to the
island from the mainland of Massachusetts.
Elector Mitchell, another member of note in the
early days, lived at Heathfield, Scotland; Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchell,
a renowned physician and surgeon, belonged to a branch that located on
Long Island, and Stephen Mitchell, of the same family was chief justice
of Connecticut in 1812. During the nineteenth century nine members of the
family, all bearing the name of Mitchell, were graduated from Harvard University
and seven of the same lineage and name secured diplomas from Yale University.
Jacob Mitchell's grandfather, whose name was also
Jacob, was a native of Pennsylvania and a merchant in the state of New
York. His son Reuben, the father of Jacob, the subject of this review,
was a farmer in New York and came to Michigan in 1865. He first took
up his residence in St. Clair county, but some time afterward moved to
Tuscola county, where he redeemed a farm from the wilderness on which he
passed the remainder of his days. He was a Presbyterian in church
relations, and first a Whig and later a Republican in his political attachment.
Jacob Mitchell, of South Haven, remained at
home with his parents until he was eight years old, then became a farm
hand in the employ of Dr. Mead in Essex county, New York. He worked
on the Doctor's farm, lived in his family and attended school, when he
could be spared for the purpose, until he reached the age of twenty.
While doing these things he also acquired a good knowledge of the millwright's
trade, and for some years thereafter worked at it in his native state.
In 1863 he came to Michigan and located in
St. Clair county, where he wrought a this trade as a millwright, did considerable
other carpenter work and also built a number of boats, then passed a number
of years as a contractor and builder in southern Michigan and northern
Indiana, erecting mills and other structures. In 1891 he moved to
South Haven, and during the next two years and a half was occupied in building
boats for the lake service. He also built the government light house
at South Haven.
By this time he became weary of his migratory
life and determined to secure a permanent abode and settled occupation
for himself. Accordingly, in 1894, he located a claim on forty acres
of land in Tuscola county, and to the improvements of this farm and the
cultivation of his land he devoted himself during the next six years.
In September 1900, he again came to South Haven and opened a meat market,
and this he is still conducting. By strict attention to business
and a careful study of the needs of the community he has built up a large
trade and won a wide and appreciative popularity for his enterprise, and
his business has become very active and extensive. Its cares do not,
however, fall entirely on him. He is assisted in carrying it on by
his two sons.
On November 8, 1873, Mr. Mitchell was united
in marriage with Miss Theresa Metetall, who was born in St. Clair county,
Michigan and is a daughter of Frederick and Theresa (Silas) Metetall.
Her father was born in France and died in this state at the age of sixty-five.
The mother was a native of Germany, near the French line. She died
in this state also, passing away in 1911, at the age of eighty-six.
They had eleven children, eight of whom are living, Mrs. Mitchell being
the fifth in the order of birth. Her father was a professional cook,
and came to the United States when he was a young man. He lived for
a time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then was employed as the chef on
a United States man-of-war until 1856. In that year he retired from
the Government service and took up his residence in St. Clair county, this
state, where he engaged in farming during the rest of his life. He
was a Republican in political affiliation and a Presbyterian in church
connection, and was devoted to both his party and his church, rendering
both good service, and without looking for any reward in the way of office
from the former or any prominence or distinction in the latter, his devotion
in each case being a matter of firm belief in the basic principles and
Mr.and Mrs. Mitchell have three children:
Lydia, who is the wife of Hale Bradley and resides in South Haven; and
William and Herbert, both of whom are associated in business with their
father, as has already been noted. The father is a devout and consistent
member of the Congregational church and deeply interested in the congregation
to which he belongs. His political support is given cordially and
steadily to the Republican party, his adherence to that organization being
based on conviction and a sense of duty, for he was never sought or desired
a political office, either by election or appointment, being well content
to serve his country as well as he can in the highly creditable post of
private citizenship. He is now past seventy-five years of age, and
his long and useful life and fidelity to every call of duty have won him
the universal respect and good will of the residents of Van Buren county,
who have found him worthy of their commendation and esteem form every point
Charles W. Williams
.- The son
of a pioneer in the business of carrying passengers and freight out of
and into South Haven by boats on the lake, and himself one of the leaders
in lake traffic and transportation for many years, Charles W. Williams
has been a potential factor in building up the commercial importance and
influence of the city and providing for the convenience and progress of
its people. For two generations the family has led the forces of
communication by water between South Haven and other Lake Michigan points,
and in that way have rendered a service to the lake shore towns that has
probably not been surpassed in value by what any other line of enterprise
has accomplished for them and the region in which they are located.
Mr. Williams is practically a child of the Lake,
and his devotion to it in his business enterprise has something of filial
feeling in it. His life began on its shores, and the greater part of his
energy through all his subsequent years has been expended in business for
which it has furnished the medium. He was born in St. Joseph, Michigan,
on February 2, 1868, and is a son of Henry W. and Loraine L. (Green) Williams,
who were born, reared, educated and married in Vermont, on the shore of
Lake Champlain, the former born in 1829 and the latter in 1828. Both
died in 1901, in South Haven, Michigan, after many years of steady industry
and usefulness. Of the seven children born to them but two are living,
their son Charles W. and their daughter Laura A., the latter now a resident
of South Haven.
The father was a very enterprising and progressive
man. He obtained a good education in his native state, and when but
seventeen years of age built the first ferry that crossed Lake Champlain.
He also built there a truss bridge sixty feet in height. From Vermont
he carried his talents and acquirements to a larger and more active market,
moving to Chicago, and there for a short time he worked at his dual trade
of ship and house carpenter. He then returned to Vermont and was
married, and soon afterward came West again, this time locating at St.
Joseph in this state. Here he again worked at his trade, and between
the claims of others on his time and attention built himself two schooners
for lake traffic between St. Joseph and Chicago and Milwaukee.
To secure greater facilities in his operations
and be in a position to use to better advantage some of the wealth of the
country around him in timber, he built himself a saw mill on the Paw Paw
river. This mill was destroyed by fire, and he then bought one located
between Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. Sometime afterward he purchased
a one-half interest in the steamer Skylark, engaged in carrying lumber,
fruit and passengers between St. Joseph and Chicago. He was engaged
in the manufacture of fruit packings at his saw mill, and this steamer
gave him an easy and profitable way of transporting his products to places
where they were needed.
In 1880 he retired from the lumber business
and gave his attention exclusively to transportation work as a member of
the firm of Graham, Morton & Company, which then owned two steamers,
the Skylark and the Messenger. He withdrew from this firm in 1882,
and the next year moved to South Haven, having purchased the steamer City
of St. Joseph for a new enterprise which he had under consideration. This
was the establishment of a transportation line by water between South Haven
and Chicago. He put the line in operation and kept it going during
1883 and 1884. But it was not a profitable enterprise, and he turned
the City of St. Joseph into an iron ore barge in 1885, and set her plying
between St. Joseph and points on Lake Superior. In 1886 he sold the
His next venture was undertaken at the request
of the business men of South Haven in 1888, who induced him to build the
Steamer H. W. Williams for carrying fruit and passengers between South
Haven and Chicago. This also turned out to be a losing venture, and in
1890 he built the Steamer Glenn for the transportation of fruit between
Pier (probably Union Pier now) and South Haven and Chicago. The next
year he built the Steamer Loraine L., put her line between Pier and South
Haven, and opened up another line between Michigan City, Indiana and Chicago
with the Steamer Glenn. In 1890 he organized the H. W. Williams Transportation
Company, with himself as president and his son Charles as secretary and
treasurer, all the stock being held in the family; and in the fall of 1892
he built for this company the steamer City of Kalamazoo, which made the
fourth in the company's lake fleet.
The elder Mr. Williams was also president of the
Pierce-Williams Manufacturing Company, engaged in making fruit packages
and doing a flourishing business in the enterprise. He was a man
of large capacity for affairs, and could carry on successfully several
industries a time with more ease than many a man finds in managing one,
and he also had the nerve born of confidence in himself and good judgment
of conditions and prospects. When in undertakings demonstrated in
a full and fair trial that they would not pay, he abandoned them and began
others, but he never wasted time in whining over his losses, his habit
in such cases being to increase his energy and make them up in some new
He was an enthusiastic believer in the value
of benevolent fraternities, and manifested great interest in the one which
he favored with his membership. He was made a Master Mason in St.
Joseph Lodge, but after moving to South Haven dimitted from that and became
a charter member of Star of the Lake Lodge, No. 158, in that city.
He was a Democrat in his political party allegiance, and although he was
never a candidate for any political office, and never desired to be, he
gave his organization the best service of which he was capable at all times.
In all the relations of life and in every duty of citizenship he was true
and faithful, and his memory is embalmed in the lasting esteem and approval
of his fellow men in every locality in which he was known.
Charles W. Williams obtained his education
in the schools of Benton Harbor and at the Notre Dame (Indiana) University.
He also pursued a course of special instruction at a business college in
Lafayette, Indiana. At the age of seventeen he became clerk of the
steamer St. Joseph, and during the next seven years he was employed in
the same capacity on some one of his father's boats. In 1890, at
its organization, he was made secretary and treasurer of the H. W. Williams
Transportation Company, and at a later date became its manager, with headquarters
at South Haven, occupying this position until the death of his father in
1901. After that event he organized the Dunkley & Williams Transportation
Company, for which he built the steamer City of South Haven in 1903, and
of which he was manager until 1904, when he sold his interests in the company
and retired from the business.
Mr. Williams is a Freemason and belongs to
all the branches of the order in the York rite. He is a member of
the Star of the Lake Lodge, No. 158, at South Haven, and also of the Chapter
of Royal Arch Masons and the Council of Royal and Select Masters in that
city. As a Knight Templar he is connected with Malta Commandery,
No. 44, at Benton Harbor, and as a Noble of the Mystic Shrine with Saladin
Temple in Grand Rapids. In this political faith and allegiance he
is a member of the Democratic party and takes an earnest interest in its
welfare, but never seeks or desires anything in the way of a political
office for himself.
Mr. Williams was married on September 20,
1893, to Miss Zaradia C. Brunson, a native of Benton Harbor and the daughter
of Rufus and Sarah Jane (Stotts) Brunson. Her parents were born in
Indiana and came to Michigan with their parents in childhood. Sterne
Brunson, the paternal grandfather of Mr. Williams, was one of the first
settlers of what is now Benton Harbor, but was called Brunson Harbor in
his day and named in his honor. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have two children,
their son Henry A. and their daughter Sarah L., both of whom are living
under the parental rooftree and adding light, life and attractiveness to
the parental family circle, which the friends and acquaintances of the
family always find a center of social culture and refined and genuine hospitality.
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