HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 109


The "gem of the sea," Ireland, sent one of her children to St. Joseph county among her early settlers, and his name was Glover Laird. He was proud of his name and his financial honor, and when the crash of 1837 buried thousands into bankruptcy, and pinched fearfully thousands of others, he among the rest felt the stringency of the times deeply, and was most keenly alive to the mortification consequent upon his inability to meet his business engagements promptly and fully. One day a stranger accosted him, inquiring if he was Glover Laird; Mr. Laird responded quickly, "My name was Glover Laird, but since these hard times have come on, and I am unable to meet the just demands against me, I think it will not be Glover Laird any longer."

Mr. Laird emigrated from his native land when a young man, and came to New York, and married a native of Connecticut, Samatha Wolcott by name. In 1820 he removed to Ohio to fix upon a site for business, having seven hundred dollars of the notes of the Mansfield Bank of that State on hand. He settled in southern Ohio, in Butler county, and after reaching his destination found his money was worthless, the bank having failed. Ten years afterward he came to Michigan, arriving on Nottawa prairie on October, 1830, and located on section two in Nottawa township, adjoining the reservation on the south. In the spring of 1831 he built his cabin, and broke forty acres and fenced eighty.

In 1852 he sold his farm to his son, Henry W. Laird, and soon afterward lost his companion. He then returned to the east to visit his old friends at South Briton, Connecticut, where he met and married Miss Olive Hinman. He died in South Briton, March 22, 1872. His Irish nature made him a warm friend or an open opponent, and a cordial welcome was extended to all who came to his log-cabin home, at which the latch-string hung ever on the outside of the door. He was liberal to those in need, and his sympathies went out to all in difficulty and distress.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 109-110


The subject of this sketch, Henry W. Laird, or as he is familiarly called, "Harry" Laird, is a son of Glover Laird, a native of Ireland. He was born in Greene county, New York, October 14, 1812, and with his father migrated to Ohio in 1820, and from thence to Michigan in October, 1830. After assisting his father in breaking up forty acres and fencing eighty on section two in Nottawa township, in June, 1831, he returned to Ohio to attend school. In 1833 he came again to Nottawa, where he remained through the winter and returned to Ohio,--making similar journeys in 1835-36.

In 1837 Mr. Laird was married, and in 1852 he purchased his father’s old homestead, whereon he still resides, a view of which we present to our readers on another page of our work. Since he purchsed the old homestead he has made many improvements thereon, and has given his time mostly to agricultural pursuits. He is public-spirited and enterprising, and was efficient in securing the location of the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad through the township, gaving much time and considerable money in aid of its construction. He is an active member of the pioneer society, and has been zealously engaged in gathering and writing a history of the Nottawa Indians for the same, from which we have quoted largely in our work elsewhere. Mr. Laird is a Republican in politics, but was formerly a Whig. He has held the office of county treasurer several terms, and was, in the old Whig days, the most popular candidate of that party. His creed is embodied in his motto, "No man should live for himself alone, but also for others."

Mrs. Laird is a native of Harford county, Maryland, and was born February 10, 1817, and has borne to her husband six boys and one girl, all now living.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 110


At the close of a long and useful life it must be a pleasure to be able to transmit to our children and friends a comfortable fortune, more especially if it is accompanied by the fact that it has been acquired in an honorable manner, and if with it is connected the history of a long line of ancestry of honorable name and noble character.

As an instance of this we present the subject of this sketch,--Mr. Robert McKinlay,--who was born at Killern, in Sterlingshire, Scotland, on the 27th day of October, 1797, and he is the descendant of a long line of the Saxon-Scotch race. His father, John McKinlay, was born and reared in the same town; was married, and reared a family of seven children,--three sons and four daughters,--of whom Robert was the youngest. Robert acquired the common English branches of an education at the parish-schools, and before he reached his majority had learned the trade of a stone-cutter. In the year 1820, at the age of twenty-two, he embarked for America in quest of a new home for himself and his father’s family. He went to Quebec, and for the next four years worked at his trade in Canada and Vermont. During this time he located some land in Canada, which he afterwards disposed of. His mother died in 1822, and, two years after, his father’s family, which consisted of his father, three sisters and a brother-in-law, embarked for the United States. They settled at Amsterdam, in the State of New York, where they continued to reside for many years. In the year 1837, at the home of his daughter in Jefferson county, the elder McKinlay died at the extremely advanced age of ninety-two years.

In the year 1837 Robert was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Campbell, of Amsterdam, New York, a very worthy Scotch lady, whose family had emigrated to this county in 1829. In the year 1835 Robert, in common with many others, was seized with what was termed the "western fever." And came out to the wilds of Michigan in quest of an investment in wild lands. He visited Wayne county, where he located, and purchased five government lots, and then going farther west into St. Joseph county, he bought six government lots about three miles south of the county-seat. He then returned to New York, where he remained, engaged in the construction of bridges, locks and aqueducts on the Erie canal and its enlargement until 1843. In the fall of that year he removed with his family to St. Joseph county. In a few days after his arrival he had constructed a cheap frame house on his land in the forest, and moved his family into it, since which time he was engaged in clearing up his lands and farming. The family has continued to reside on the farm ever since, until 1871, when they removed into the village of Centreville, where they have since resided.

Mr. McKinlay is the father of six children,--two sons and four daughters,--whose names are Elizabeth, Mary C., Catharine, John, Archibald and Amanda. Only three of the children are living at this time. One of the daughters is married, and resides in Canada. John and Amanda are at home with the old gentleman.

A sad event occurred on the 26th day of January, 1875, in the death of Archibald McKinlay, whose mother was so overcome with grief that she only survived this untimely death two days, and mother and son were both buried on the 29th of January, 1875. This loved wife and life-long companion is still mourned by this venerable old gentleman and the bereaved children. She was born at Paisley, Scotland, on the 13th day of May, 1812. Mr. Robert McKinlay is a true type of an old Scotch gentleman, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of all his friends and acquaintances, and the love and devotion of his children and relatives.

In politics he is a Republican, in religious faith Presbyterian. In the pages of this work we present a fine view of his farm-residence, and portrait of himself and his deceased wife.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 110


In the year 1829, away out in the wilderness, far from the haunts of civilized life, could have been seen a few sturdy young men engaged in cutting the logs and building a house on the spot now occupied by the Fletcher family, of Nottawa township, St. Joseph county.

John W. Fletcher was the first white man, who is living at this time, that struck a blow as a settler in the forests of t. Joseph county. He had, at the age of twenty, in 1826, in company with Captain Allen and George Hubbard, made a trip through the wilderness as far as the present town of Niles, and again in 1829, in company with his brother, he made another trip into the wilds of southern Michigan,--this time in quest of a desirable location for a home for himself and his father’s family. He selected a quarter-section of government land near the present county-seat, on which he has ever since resided.

After entering his land at Monroe, he returned to the home of the family at Flat Rock, in Wayne county, near Detroit, and procuring a yoke of oxen, wagon, tools and provisions, returned to this recent purchase, following the Indian trail all the way.

After building a log-house and cutting a stack of hay, he returned, with his oxen and wagon, to fetch the family to their new home. A number of families came in company with them, thus forming the nucleus of quite a settlement.

The little colony were seventeen days on their tedious journey, arriving at their destination in the month of December, 1829. The Fletcher family consisted of the parents, two daughters and John W., the subject of this sketch.

They all lived together as one family for the first few years, and the parents continued to live with John W. until the day of their death,--Mr. Fletcher, the elder, dying in 1832, and his widow in 1860.

On the 18th of September, 1831, John W. Fletcher and Miss Sarah Knox, the daughter of a settler on Sturgis prairie, were united in marriage, and it is conceded that this was the first marriage of a couple who became permanent residents of the county. The products of the farm for the first few years were floated down the St. Joseph river in arks to its mouth in Lake Michigan, and there found a market, and in after years Hillsdale and Kalamazoo became their market-towns.

Mr. Fletcher comes of the good old Revolutionary stock of the war for independence, being the son of William Fletcher, who was the son of William Fletcher who fought as a soldier all through the struggle that gave to the country liberty and independence, and to the world the Great Republic.

John W. was born at Otsego, New York, in the year 1806, and was one of a family of six children,--four sons and two daughters.

When our subject was ten years old his father emigrated to Ohio, where they remained until 1824, when they again emigrated, this time to the territory of Michigan. They settled on the Huron river, near Detroit, from whence, as we have mentioned, they made a permanent settlement in St. Joseph.

Mr. Fletcher is the father of ten children, nine of whom are living,--five sons and four daughters. Three of the daughters and two sons are married. The other children are at home with the old gentleman.

Mr. Fletcher and his wife have for many years been honored members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he is a staunch Democrat and a strong advocate of the constitution and the maxims of our fathers. He is at this time president of the Pioneer society, in which he takes a deep interest. We take much pleasure in presenting to the people of St. Joseph county a fine view of the Fletcher homestead, with portraits of this old pioneer and his excellent wife.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 110-111


As an example of what a life of industry and patient perseverance will do in the face of difficulties and discouragements in the building up of a comfortable fortune and the formation of reputation and character in the individual, we will mention the name of Mr. Thomas Cuddy, who was born in county Ulster, Ireland. His father died when he was eight years of age, and his mother when he was ten years of age, leaving him and an only sister to the care of his mother’s sister, by whom the children were brought up on a farm, assisting in the farm-work and in a tannery, and, at intervals, attending the national school, where he obtained the rudiments of the common English branches.

At the age of twenty, by advice from his relatives in the United States, he, with his sister, embarked in June, 1849, for this country. They came direct to New York, and from thence to Nottawa prairie in St. Joseph county, where he had four uncles, who were among the early settlers of this region. He commenced for himself by working on the farm of Mr. John Cuddy, his uncle. His sister kept house for him about ten years. She then married Mr. John Brown, of Allegan county, where she has since resided.

A short time previous Mr. Thomas Cuddy was married to Miss Catharine McKinlay, daughter of Robert McKinlay, an old settler near Centreville. This was in the spring of 1859. By this marriage he was the father of four children,--three sons and one daughter. One son and one daughter are living. The daughter is married; the son is at home with his father.

In 1869 Mrs. Cuddy died, and this created a vacancy in the home and a void in the heart of Mr. Cuddy.

In 1871 he was united to Miss Catharine Culbertson, of the same town, a worthy lady with whom he had been long acquainted. In religious faith he is Presbyterian, although not a member of any church organization. In politics, Democratic; in social intercourse, kind and affable; and in all matters of public improvement, liberal and public-spirited; in business dealings, shrewd and clear-headed,--and he is known as an honorable gentleman in all the relations of life. He is the owner of three hundred and sixty acres of the finest farming lands on Nottawa prairie, and three hundred and sixty acres also in the county of Allegan. He has a fine residence on the prairie, a view of which we present in this work, accompanied by the portraits of himself and wife.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 111


The subject of this sketch comes of a long line of English ancestry. His grandfather emigrated to New York city at an early day in its history, where he became a distinguished architect and builder. He built the theatre known for many years as the Old Bowery, the first City Bank in New York city and the first State capitol buildings at Albany, and many others of lesser note. He left at his death three children,--one son and two daughters. Thomas W. Langley, the son, served an apprenticeship on the woolen-manufacturing business, and at the age of twenty-one went into partnership with his brother-in-law at Germantown, near Philadelphia, and at the same time was connected with his mother in the mercantile trade, in the city of Philadelphia. He was married, in 1822, to Miss Margaret Stigman, of the same city, by whom he had seven children,--six sons and one daughter,--of whom William B. Langley is the eldest. He was born at Germantown on the 9th day of June, 1823.

In the year 1832 Mr. Thomas W. Langley came to the territory of Michigan in quest of a location. He selected the sire of the present town of Centreville, as the town had already been platted, and was owned by two or three individuals, of whom Mr. Langley purchased the entire prospective village. He also entered seven government lots, lying contiguous. He then returned to Philadelphia and closed up his business, and, with his family, which consisted of himself and wife, six children, a nephew, and a couple of colored servants, started for the "far west."

At the same time he brought on the machinery and irons for a saw-and-grist-mill, also a stock of dry-goods and proceries. He was for many years actively engaged in a variety of enterprises, such as farming, milling, distilling, hotel-keeping and selling goods,--in all of which William B. Langley, our subject, actively assisted his father, attending the common-schools for the first years, and afterwards the academy at Canandaigua, New York; also, for a short time, a military school at Bristol, Pennsylvania. When not at school he was at home, occupied with the varied duties of clerk in the store and post-office, and as a help upon the farm and in the mills.

At the age of twenty-three he became acquainted with and married Miss Julia V. R. Woodworth,of Centreville. They were married July 25, 1847, and soon after established themselves on a new farm, three miles north of Centreville, where they have since resided, engaged in the quiet occupation of farming and rearing their family, which consists of four children,--two sons and two daughters. The two daughters are married, and one of them has lost her husband, and is left a young widow with a young child. She is at this time living at home with her parents.

Mr. Langley has a fine farm of two hundred and sixteen acres, situated on the south bank of the St. Joseph river, well adapted to the production of the various kinds of grain for which this region is so justly celebrated. In religious sentiments he is liberal in his views, without any decided preference of denominational fellowship.

In politics he is more pronounced, cherishing very decided Democratic views. A kind husband and father, generous and honorable in his dealings, he commands universal respect and esteem from his neighbors and acquaintances, and love and devotion from his friends and relatives. He has, in the pages of this work, bequeathed to his friends and the citizens of St. Joseph county a fine view of the homestead, with portraits of himself and his estimable wife, which will remain as a monument to the memory of that truest and noblest type of manhood, an American gentleman.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 111


Whose portrait and that of his excellent wife, with a fine view of his farm residence, may be found elsewhere in the pages of this work, was born in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1803, on the old Wilcox farm, he being one of the fifth generation of that family since its first settlement on this side of the Atlantic.

He was the son of Oliver, who was the son of Isaiah, a Baptist minister, who was the son of Stephen, who was the son of Edward Wilcox, who emigrated from England and settled in Rhode Island at an early period in the history of the English colonies.

Oliver W. is the eldest son in a family of twelve children, and received but limited advantages from the common-schools of that day, remaining with and assisting his father on the farm until he attained his majority; he then left home and commenced work for himself. He was engaged in shipbuilding about ten years at New Bedford and other places.

He then came west to Rochester, New York, where he remained six months, and then went to Michigan in quest of a farm. He selected and made a purchase of one hundred and ten acres in the present town of Nottawa, St. Joseph county, and the same fall built the house in which he now resides. He then returned to Massachusetts in quest of a wife to preside in it.

On his return, he, with his usual business promptness, made an offer of matrimonial partnership to Miss Harriet Vincent, which was as promptly accepted; and in February following he returned, bringing his wife to their new home in the wilds of Michigan, since which time Mr. Wilcox has been engaged in the quiet occupation of farming, never mixing in the strifes and turmoils of political or public life.

In the year 1842 he met with a great loss in the death of his beloved wife, which left him alone with his three little ones, one son and two daughters. The two daughters are living, both married. The son died in the Union army, at Chattanooga. After four years of dreary mourning, Mr. Wilcox decided to fill the vacancy in his heart and home by taking another companion, which he did by marrying Miss Lucy A. Kent, of Kalamazoo, a native of Rutland, Vermont. The fruits of this union are three sons and two daughters; one son and one daughter are married,--the other three children are living at home with the old gentlemen. A member of the Baptist church for the last forty-seven years; a consistent Christian; temperate in all things, and a Republican in politics. He is to-day, at the age of seventy-three years, a hale and hearty old gentleman, universally respected by his acquaintances, and loved by his friends.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 111-112


Foremost among the enterprising pioneers of St. Joseph county, Thomas W. Langley, the first actual settler on the sire of the present village of Centreville, stood pre-eminent. Energetic and untiring, he achieved fully as much, if not more, with the means at his disposal, than any other man in the early days of the settlement of the county. Buying the bare site of the county seat, he pushed to completion in the incredible space of three months, a frame court-house, twenty-four by thirty, the largest log-house in the county, for hotel purposes, a blacksmith-shop, store-building, flouring and saw-mill, and has a post-office, a school, and religious services in regular and successful operation. He was constantly doing something to aid in the prosperity of the village and enhance the value of the property therein. He brought in the first stock of goods sold in the village, and engaged, at various times, in mercantile, manufacturing and agricultural pursuits, and, as occasion required, kept the hotel of the village. He was the first post-master of the village, and held the position from 1833 to 1840.

Mr. Langley was born in Murray street, New York, in the year 1801. His father, William Langley, was a native of England; he was a mason by trade, and assisted in the building of the Drury Lane theatre, in London, the old Bowery and the old City Bank in New York, and the first capitol buildings at Albany.

The mother of Mr. Langley, the subject of this sketch, Susan Elliott, was a native of Ireland,and came with her parents therefrom to Philadelphia when she was ten years of age.

Mr. William Langley, the father, also landed first at Philadelphia, where it is supposed he was married to Miss Elliott. During the building of the old capitol buildings at Albany, in 1812, Mr.Langley left his wife and children at old Fort Stanwix for safety, during the war then being waged between the mother country and the United States.

Three children were the fruits of this marriage, viz:

SARAH, born in New York city, and who afterwards married W. G. Hirst, who emigrated from Wakefield, England, and was a manufacturer of woolen goods; he owned and operated a factory known as the Branchtown mills, near Germantown, Pennsylvania.

THOMAS W., the subject of our sketch; and

SUSAN, born in New York also, and who married Lawrence Butler, a sea-captain, with whom and a son, she was lost at sea about the year 1831, leaving two daughters surviving her.

At the age of fourteen year Thomas W. Langley was apprenticed to the trade of a woolen manufacturer, with his brother-in-law, Hirst, and at seventeen years was promoted to the position of foreman of the mills, with fifty operatives under his charge. At twenty-one years of age he was admitted into the business as a partner with Mr. Hirst.

About the year 1822 Mr. Langley rented the Black Rock mills near Germantown, and operated them in connection with the Branchtown mills, conducting also, at the same time, two dry-goods stores in Philadelphia, on Market and Second streets, in company with his mother, Mrs. Susan Langley.

In 1825 he purchased a farm and mill in Treydiffen township, Chester county, Pa., twenty-one miles from Philadelphia, and changed the mill into a woolen factory, which he conducted under the name of the "Clintonville factory;" he also operated a store, limestone quarries and kilns, and continued his connection with Hirst in the Branchtown mills, having over one hundred operatives on his pay-rolls. He sold his Chester county property in 1831, and removed again to Branchtown mills. In May, 1832, he suffered from a severe attack of fever, and, upon the peremptory advice of Doctors Physic and B. Franklin Bache, of Philadelphia, traveled over the Alleghenies in a carriage, accompanied by his son, William B., then a boy of nine years, to regain, if possible, his usual robust health. He traveled as far as Rochester, New York, where he stopped with his cousin, Judge E. Smith Lee, his health being much improved.

Receiving letters from home informing him of the mills’ suspension by reason of the cholera then raging, he took a packet on the Erie canal for Buffalo, where he met an old friend, who commanded one of the three steamers then afloat on Lake Erie, who persuaded the invalid to try the virtue of the lake breeze, at least as far as Ashtabula, but landed him in Detroit, where, meeting with old friends,--Colonel Macks, Desnoyers and others,--was persuaded to stay over one trip and look at the country. He bought a section of land where the site of Flint, in Genesee county, is situated, and hearing Thomas Sheldon, the receiver of the land-office at White Pigeon, discourse in glowing terms of the St. Joseph country, Mr. Langley, on receipt of further news from home, concluded to take a look at the beautiful prairies and oak-openings of St. Joseph; and so, buying an Indian pony, saddle and outfit, the whole costing him fifty dollars, he went, in company with Sheldon, General Brown, Colonel Anderson, and other officers who were going to the Black Hawk war, to White Pigeon, where he arrived in June, and proceeded to explore the county and buy the site of the county seat, as fully detailed in the Centreville history, as is also his settlement and operations thereon, and his emigration with his family from Philadelphia thereto. On his return to the latter place, his friends said he had left the city a sick man, and had returned a crazy one, so enthusiastic was he in his praises and description of his new purchase in St. Joseph county.

On the 22d of March, 1822, Mr. Langley was married to Margaret Stigman, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Dr. Broadhead, in Philadelphia. She was a native of Maryland, and her parents dying when she was at a tender age, she became a member of the family of her uncle, Thomas Badaraque, a Frenchman, engaged in the East India trade with one Lewis Clapier, in Philadelphia, and by her said uncle she was nurtured in affluence, with everything at her command, and illy fitted to fill the position she subsequently so worthily and uncomplainingly occupied, amid the privations of border life.

The children which were the fruits of this union were:

WILLIAM BADARAQUE LANGLEY, born in Germantown, June 9, 1823; now a farmer in Nottawa.

JOSEPH LAFAYETTE LANGLEY, born in Philadelphia, September 28, 1854, the same day the great and good Lafayette was received with hearty welcome to that city; now a wholesale tea-merchant in New York city.

DEWITT CLINTON LANGLEY, born in Treydiffen township, Chester county, Pa., July 28, 1826; now a real-estate broker in New York city.

THOMAS CHESTER LANGLEY, born in Treydiffen township, September 23, 1828; now a merchant in Constantine, St. Joseph county.

WASHINGTON ELLIOTT LANGLEY, born in Treydiffen township, February 21, 1830.

SUSAN B. LANGLEY, born at Branchtown Mills, April 28, 1832; now Mrs. J. Austin Sperry, of Little Silver, N. J.

LAWRENCE BUTLER LANGLEY, born in Centreville, St. Joseph county, Michigan, April 19, 1835; now engaged in stock-raising at Rio Frio, Uvalde county, Texas; and

HENRY STIGMAN LANGLEY, born in Centreville, September 6, 1837, and died September 21 following.

Joseph L. married Antionette Hale, in Detroit, in 1851, and Thomas C. married Susanna J. Proudfit, of Constantine, November 24, 1852.

Mrs. Langley died August 21, 1850, after a short illness, aged a little more than forty-six years.

In 1851 or 1852 Mr. Langley closed out his interests in St. Joseph county, and returned to Philadelphia, where he formed a mercantile agency, traveling through the South for several of the jobbing-houses of that city; he was thus engaged at the time of his decease, at Paducah, Ky., January 9, 1855.

Mr. Langley "possessed a noble and generous nature, a mild and amiable disposition, and a kind, benevolent heart, and, as a consequence, enjoyed the confidence of many devoted and affectionate friends." About a month before his death (November 9, 1854), he was married to Mrs. C. R. Moore, of Philadelphia, and started immediately to the West in her company. Upon landing at Paducah he was injured by a fall, which he survived but thirteen days, and was cared for most kindly, and buried by the Masonic fraternity, of which he was a member. In politics he was a Democrat.

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was born in Griesbach, Alsace, France, October 26, 1812. He received a good education in the German language. His chief occupation in the land of his birth was brewing. In the spring of 1834 he emigrated to America, and after a brief stay in New York, where he followed the coopering business, he came to Constantine, where he engaged in any business that presented itself, until the fall of the year, when he accepted an engagement with Jonas Hartman, in his brewery at Mottville. He remained here until Mr. Hartman sold to Joseph Knorr, who, being comparatively unacquainted with the business, took Mr. Lintz into partnership with him, and found that his practical experience compensated for his lack of capital.

On the 26th of September, 1843, he married Christiana Mallow, who was also born in Griesbach, May 26, 1820. They had four children, of whom all survive except Sarah Alice, who died when but two years old, September 2, 1856. In 1845 Mr. Lintz’s residence, together with all his personal property was destroyed by fire, but, by perseverance and energy, he was enabled within two years of the accident, to erect his present commodious house, an illustration of which, with its surrounding, can be seen on another page in this work.

When he first arrived at his new home in the west, his possessions consisted of his wearing apparel, and two five-franc pieces. By hard work and sound practical economy, he has become possessed of four hundred and fifty-three and a half acres of land, all in one body. Besides farming, he has been engaged in brewing; both enterprises having been successful.

Mr. Lintz has always been a Democrat, but has never been induced to accept any office. He was brought up under the teachings of the Lutheran church, of which his wife is a devoted member. He is one of the pioneers of Constantine, and has seen the place grow from a mere straggling settlement to a population and wealthy township, himself materially assisting in its development.

He is now, at the age of three and a half score years, enjoying good health, and all the comforts which an industrious and moral life is sure to bring. He bears an admirable reputation for good judgment and probity, and is generally looked upon as an upright and substantial citizen.

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John Gilford Cathcart was born in Watsontown (formerly called Tobey township), Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, on the first day of January, 1799. He is a son of John and Mary Cathcart, who passed away to their final rest many years ago. His father and grandfather were both Revolutionary soldiers in the stirring times of ’76, and gave to their children, little else than a sterling patriotism and sound religious views. Mr. Cathcart, on the first day of May, 1823, married Jane Hutchinson Welch, who was born in the same township, December 5 of the same year—1799—and with whom he lived most happily over forty-six years, she having died December 1, 1869. The fruits of this marriage were: James. W., John G., Jr., Mary A., Joseph W., Sarah J., Martha J. and Caroline H., all of whom are now sleeping beside their mother in the White Pigeon cemetery, except Martha, now the wife of John Woodward, of Plymouth, Indiana, and Mary, now the wife of William D. Anderson, of Constantine.

In the spring of 1831 Mr. Cathcart came to White Pigeon prairie, to look for a location; and finding one that suited him, purchased it of Judge C. B. Fitch, in the southeastern corner of the present limits of Constantine township. He returned to Pennsylvania for his family, with whom he came to St. Joseph county and settled on his purchase, where he remained until 1860, at which time he sold the land (which he had brought from a wild, uncultivated tract to a well-tilled and productive farm, by his own efforts and those of his children and partner) and removed to the village of Constantine, where he has ever since resided. He also bought other lands in Constantine township, of the United States, the same fall that he came in with his family. In 1835 he was elected supervisor of the township of White Pigeon, then comprising the present township of White Pigeon, Florence, Constantine and Mottville, and was re-elected in the year 1836. In the spring of 1839 he was also elected one of the three county commissioners, who took the place of the board of supervisors, and drew the two years’ term; at the end of which the office was abolished, the supervisors coming in again. In the fall of 1839 he was elected to represent the county in the lower house of the General Assembly of the State.

In politics Mr. Cathcart is, and has always been, a Democrat. His religious views are in consonance with those of the Presbyterian faith, of which church he has been a consistent and zealous member for fifty-four years. He was a member of the Presbyterian church at White Pigeon, from his first coming to the county until 1840, since which time he has been a deacon in the church of that denomination in Constantine.

He was again married on the 19th of September, 1871, to Sarah J. Baldy who died September 8, 1875. By her no children were born to him, and she now rests in the cemetery of White Pigeon, whither this old farmer of St. Joseph of forty-six years, is looking serenely and calmly—to be gathered by and by, like a sheaf of corn fully ripe, beside the loved ones of his own home, who have gone before him.

Mrs. Cathcart, the former wife of Deacon Cathcart, united with the Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania in 1822, her husband uniting therewith the year following.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 129


George Blanshard was born at Barlow, in the parish of Brayton, Yorkshire, England, on the 4th day of August, 1799. In early life he followed agricultural pursuits, his father having been a respectable English yeoman. On May 8, 1820, he married Mary Gale, daughter of Rev. Henry Gale, D. D., vicar of the parish of Escrick, near the city of York. This union was blessed with issue, three sons and one daughter, namely:

JOHN, born February 8, 1821.

ELIZABETH, born December 7, 1823.

CONYERS, born July 21, 1824; and

HENRY GALE, born December 2, 1826.

These were all born in England, and accompanied their father to America, whither he emigrated in the year 1836. He first temporarily settled on the east end of Pigeon prairie, in Constantine township, and afterwards permanently, on the west end of the prairie in the same township. Here he remained for almost fifteen years, when he removed to the village of Constantine, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred suddenly on the 17th day of February, 1876.

Mr. Blanshard is described by those who knew him well, as an honest, quiet and unobtrusive gentleman, who always discharged, with unfaltering fidelity, every obligation he incurred. By careful investment of his savings and great frugality, he accumulated considerable fortune, which at his death amounted to eighteen thousand dollars, in money and securities. He was sorely afflicted with deafness, and in consequence, possessed some peculiar characteristics, which to strangers oftentimes assumed the aspect of eccentricities. To his family he was kind and indulgent; and though having a strong preference for solitude, yet his house was ever open to his friends.

This sketch, with the accompanying portrait of the deceased, was inserted in our work by Mrs. Elizabeth Miller, wife of Stephen P. Miller, of Mottville township, and only daughter of the late George Blanshard.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 129


Among the foremost men of Constantine, Norman Harvey stood, for a generation. Coming to the township in 1833, when it was an unbroken wilderness, he lived to see it change to a region of finely-cultivated farms, and where, when he first came, a few straggling log-houses played hide-an-seek amidst the woods, he helped largely to build a thriving, bustling village. Mr. Harvey was born in Rupert, Bennington county, Vermont, June 23, 1807. His father (Ephraim Harvey) was a farmer, and a native of the same State. His mother was Pamelia Harwood (of a well-known Vermont family), who still survives, and is now residing in Constantine, in the ninety-fourth year of her age. Mr. Harvey’s opportunities for an education were something more than common-school privileges, he having attended the academy at Salem, New York, and in his younger days taught school during the winter months of several years. In 1828 he was united in marriage to Rhoda, daughter of Seth and Rhoda Moore, of Rupert, and, in 1833, with his wife and two children, removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, where he began the life of a pioneer, and cleared up a farm of four hundred acres, about two and a half miles north of Constantine, on which he resided for twenty-two years. His political sentiments were those of the Whig and Republican parties, and though not an office-seeker, he filled acceptably to the people the positions of supervisor, justice of the peace and other minor offices, for several years. Probably there were but few who felt more interested in the settlement and prosperity of the county than himself. He removed to Constantine village , in 1855, where he was actively engaged in business of various kinds,--such as farming, milling, manufacturing, real-estate, and mercantile operations. He was also one of the founders of the First National Bank of Constantine, of which he was a director until the time of his death, which occurred April 17, 1866.

Mr. Harvey united with the Congregational church at Rupert, Vermont, and after his removal to Michigan, was an attendant and supporter of the Reformed church of Constantine.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey were as follows: Charles Merritt, Seth Moore, Lyman Reuel, Delia Salome, William Sheldon, Norman Henry, Rhoda Pamelia, Daniel Martin, Seth Moore, James Mark, William Wallace, and Cephas, of whom four sons and a daughter survive,--Norman Henry, Daniel Martin, James Mark, William Wallace, and Delia Salome (now Mrs. George I. Crossette).

Mr. Harvey was emphatically domestic in his habits, and devotedly attached to his family. His genial disposition secured him a large circle of friends, while his readiness to assist those less favored by fortune than himself, is well known.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 130


Edwin William Keightly was born in the township of Van Buren, county of La Grange, and State of Indiana, on the 7th day of August, 1843. His parents, Peter L. and Elizaebth (Winter) Keightly, emigrated from Lincolnshire, England; the former in the year 1831, and the latter in 1828, and in 1836, soon after they were married, located on the farm in Van Buren township, where the subject of this sketch was born, and where they have since resided.

Edwin received the rudiments of a common-school education in the district where his parents still reside, from whence he entered the Valparaiso Collegiate Institute, and from thence entered the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; graduating therefrom in March, 1865, at the age of twenty-one years.

On April 24, following, he opened a law-office in White Pigeon, St. Joseph county, Michigan, where he remained for two years, laying the foundation of an excellent future practice. During his residence in White Pigeon he interspersed his legal duties with those of the editorial function, ably conducting for two years the publication of the White Pigeon Republican, a staunch advocate of Republican views and policy.

In 1867 he removed to Constantine, and entered into a law partnership with Judge S. C. Coffinberry, which terminated in 1869, mutually and pleasantly. A the close of this partnership Mr. Keightly opened an office in Constantine for the prosecution of his increasing practice, and at the election of 1872 the people called him to the position of prosecuting-attorney for the county of St. Joseph, which position he filled with signal ability until January 21, 1874, when he was appointed by Governor Bagley, judge of the fifteenth judicial court, comprising the counties of St. Joseph and Branch, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Hon. R. W. Melendy. In the spring of 1875 both political parties—Republican and Democratic—united in the nomination of Judge Keightly, and elected him to the same honorable position for a full constitutional term of six years.

In the campaign of 1876, the Republican party in the fourth congressional district of Michigan made the Judge their candidate for the lower house of Congress, nominating him on the first formal ballet by a handsome majority in the convention, and afterwards making it unanimous. The wisdom of their choice was seen by the very flattering majority of two thousand three hundred and eighty-six votes the Judge received in the district, over the vote for the candidate of the combined Democratic and Greenback parties.

On the 14th day of July, 1868, Judge Keightly married Mary Mitchell, an estimable lady, and the daughter of Thomas Mitchell, a long-time resident of Constantine, and closely identified with its manufacturing and material interests.

The fruits of this union have been two bright and active children a daughter, who died at the age of little more than a year, and a son, George, three years old.

Judge Keightly has been an ardent Republican in politics, and his speeches in the canvass of 1876 were of no small moment in working up the splendid majority he himself, and the general State and National ticket received throughout the fourth district.

The estimation in which Judge Keightly is held, by the people where he is best known, is shown by their calling him to the various positions above named; and the following resolution, passed by the bar of the fifteenth circuit, at Coldwater, January 22, 1877, will tell how kindly the legal fraternity bear him in memory:

"Resolved, That the honesty, ability and impartiality with which Judge Keightly has uniformly performed the difficult and perplexing duties devolving upon him as circuit judge, reflect the highest honor upon himself, and merit our entire confidence and hearty approbation."

Judge Keightly’s congessional term will commence March 4, 1877.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 130


Heman Harwood was born in Delaware county, New York, June 21, 1810. Emigrated to Ontario county, New York, in company with his parents in 1822. He had fair common-school advantages for those days. In the spring of 1831 he emigrated to Constantine, St. Joseph county, Michigan, and in the following year served in the Black Hawk war. In the summer of 1835 he returned to Ontario county, New York, and in the month of September, 1835, he was married to Miss Rebecca Fisher, of Gorham, Ontario county, New York, and the following spring (1836) returned to Constantine and settled on Broad street.

His family consists of his wife and three sons, all of whom are good, respectable citizens. Mr. Harwood’s chief occupation has been principally farming, although at present he is somewhat occupied with one of his sons in the milling business. In politics, he is found among the Republicans, and in religion, has been a worthy and efficient member of the Methodist Episcopal church, for more than forty years. The portraits of himself and wife may be found in another part of this work.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 134


of Florence township, Michigan, was born at Pittsford, Monroe county, New York, September 17, 1802. When four years of age his father removed his family to Frenchtown (now Monroe), Michigan, where they remained until 1812. At the surrender of Hull to the British, consternation and dismay took possession of the frontier settlemments, and Mr. Calhoon was compelled to flee with his family at midnight, bareheaded, and without shoes, in order to escape the Indians. They went to Ohio, where they remained for about five years, and then returned to Monroe, Michigan, again. Here they stayed until 1823, when the subject of our sketch, being about twenty years old, returned to his native place and took up his residence on the Ridge road, forty miles from the city of Rochester. On the 6th day of September, 1829, he left there for White Pigeon prairie, where he arrived in October following. He settled on section thirty-two of the pesent township of Florence.

April 22, 1827, he married Eliza L. Hunt, a native of Monroe county, New York, by whom he had nine children, of whom five reached maturity. His elder son, Oscar A., married Alvina Gray, and his elder daughter, Cynthia, married Edmund O. Cromwell. Mrs. Calhoon died December 25, 1841, in the thirty-third year of her age.

On the 30th of March, 1842, Mr. Calhoon married Lois J. Bean, by whom he had eight children,--six of whom, two daughters and four sons, are now residing in Polk county, Nebraska. The other two (twins) reside at home with their parents.

He has a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres, of which, all but twenty acres of timber and the same extent of meadow land, is under excellent cultivation.

For forty-six years Mr. Calhoon has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and has frequently held offices in the church government. He has been a bitter anti-mason ever since the mysterious disappearance of Morgan, in 1826. He positively refuses to support any candidate for whatever office he may be seeking, who is a mason, neither will he tolerate them even in religious matters. He is true to his principles in this respect; whether right or not, it is not our province to discuss.

In politics he is Republican, having first been a Whig, voting for John Quincy Adams in 1824. He voted for the Democratic candidate in 1848, and from then, on to 1860, supported the Democratic ticket. In 1860 he voted for Lincoln, and for Grant in 1868 and 1872.

Mr. Calhoon is a man of very positive character, and when once he assumes a stand on any question, he never wavers, but sticks to the principles he advocates through thick and thin. Socially, he is genial and pleasant, a good husband and a fond father, honest and upright in his dealings with his fellow-men,--possessing, in fine, the many attributes of a good citizen.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, pp. 134-135

JOSEPH JEWETT, of Florence

JOSEPH JEWETT was born in the town of Dudley, Worcester county, Massachusetts, January 29, 1803, where he lived with his parents till 1828, when he removed to Delhi, Delaware county, New York, when he engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. In 1830 he purchased a farm, and in the fall of the same year married Miss Mary Farrington, daughter of March Farrington, Esq., of Delhi. In 1835 Mr. Jewett came to the West on a prospecting tour, and after a thorough examination of the county resolved to locate in St. Joseph County, near Mendon, which he did in 1836. He removed to the town of Florence, in the same county, in 1847, where he died July 26, 1876, at the ripe age of seventy-three years. He was of a strong physical frame, and, until within a few years of his death, in robust health. He gave close attention to the cultivation and improvement of his lands, and prospered accordingly, accumulating a handsome property, while he lavished upon his family every comfort and luxury that reasonable hearts could desire. For forty years he was a resident of St. Joseph County, twenty-nine of them being happily and prosperously spent in the fine and comfortable homestead where he died.

In politics, Mr. Jewett was what was known as a Jackson Democrat, and then an old-line Whig, of the Clay school, up to the organization of the Republican party, since which time he was always true to its principles, but never taking any very active part in its meetings and conventions. He was the first supervisor of the town of Mendon, and though from time to time solicited to accept places of trust in his neighborhood by those who knew his excellent judgment and his strict honor and integrity, he preferred the quiet of home to the noisy atmosphere of the political arena, and was satisfied to know that good, honest, and trustworthy men were selected to fill the offices and administer the laws of the land.

He and his estimable wife (who still survives him) lived to see grow up around them four daughters, to whom were given the liberal advantages of education at home, and the most popular seminaries in the Western States and Canada.

He died regretted by a host of warm friends, and his memory and good deeds will long remain green in the hearts of the people of St. Joseph County.

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One of the few remaining pioneers of Florence township, was born in Sheffield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, on the 22d of February, 1807. When in his twenty-fifth year, he left his home with the intention of trying his fortune in the west. Starting from Sheffield in May, 1832, it was not until the following June that he arrived at his destination in White Pigeon, now Florence, township. The journey occupied about a month, and was made first by private conveyance to Hudson, thence up the river to Albany, and from there by stage, to the depot of the Albany and Schenectady railroad (one of the first in the country). From the latter place, he traveled on the Erie canal to Buffalo, thence by lake to Detroit, and from there to the end of his journey, in the first of Asahel Savery’s stage-coaches. It must be a peculiar retrospection to him, to consider that the same journey which occupied him a month can now be accomplished in twenty-four hours! On his arrival in the new settlement, he was domiciled with Deacon Howard, and went to work in the land he had entered, succeeding in breaking up fifteen acres during the first month of his settlement, and the following fall sowed it with wheat. He first entered but one hundred and twenty acres, not possessing the necessary funds to take the quarter-section. Nothing daunted, however, he went up to Grand Rapids, and there hired out to assist in the erection of a dam and saw-mill, which was then in course of construction on Buck creek. Here he earned and saved enough to complete the purchase of the wished-for one hundred and sixty acres.

March 16, 1837, he married Caroline, daughter of John Peck, who had come into the township two years previously. This union was blessed with three children, namely: George E., born April 17, 1838, who married Sophia Hull, and resides in the township; Annie E., born November 17, 1839, married Frederick A. Austin, and resides in Aurora, Illinois; Frank, born July 16, 1849, married Alice Ennes, and resides with his parents.

For twenty-six years Mr. Roys faithfully served his township as supervisor,--first in 1839 and 1840, then in 1843, from 1846 to 1849, and from 1857 to 1877. This is a record of long continued fidelity to the interests of the people of his township, not surpassed in the State. For two terms he also served as a justice of the peace, and four years as school-inspector, with a like acceptability that has characterized his other office. Politically, Mr. Roys is a Democrat, though strongly adhering to the principles advocated by the Greenback party. A generous liberality governs his religious sentiments; he belongs to no sect, yet possesses the necessary Christian qualifications of a good citizen. By his industry and economy he has accumulated a fair competence. He now owns two hundred and ten acres of well cultivated land in Florence township, and also eight acres of heavy timber in Fabius. His home is among the neatest and best in the township, as can be seen by examination of the illustration, elsewhere in this work.

Mrs. Roys, the estimable wife of Norman Roys, was born in Gorham, Ontario county, New York, May 2, 1821. She moved with her parents to Florence township, in 1835. Her father, John Peek, was a respectable mechanic and farmer, and her mother a daughter of John Garrison, one of the pioneers of Constantine township. For forty years Mrs. Roys has been a faithful and loving wife and a fond mother, which we believe constitutes the proudest and best record a woman can leave to her posterity and friends. The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Roys, grace the pages of our work elsewhere.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 136


Was born in the village of Brantingham, Yorkshire, England, on the 10th day of September, 1803, and is consequently now in his seventy-fifth year. He attended school for a very brief period only, in his native place, and laid the foundation of a common education, which future years of travel and observation have developed into sound, practical knowledge. After attaining his majority, he left home and proceeded to Sunderland, where he embarked as a sailor, and, after a fair voyage, landed in the city of New York, on the 16th day of June, 1824, where re remained until the spring of 1828. On the 9th day of February of that year, he was united in marriage with Mary Watson, who had but recently arrived from the shores of "merry England." This union was blessed with two children, Elizabeth, born March 24, 1829, and now the wife of Samuel Stears, of Florence township, and Robert, born May 19, 1831, who died November 18, 1854, soon after returning from California, whither he went in 1851.

On the 6th day of May, 1834, Mr. Pashby sustained the greatest misfortune of his life, the loss of the partner of his early struggles, joys and sorrows. In August of the same year, he removed from New York state, with the intention of making a permanent settlement in the west. He journeyed with teams, and at the expiration of seventeen days arrived at White Pigeon, on the morning of the 11th day of September, 1834. He proceeded at once to Kalamazoo, and entered eighty acres of land, located on section twenty of Florence township, paying the nominal sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. On this he erected his log cabin, which he subsequently disposed of. By prudence and economy, coupled with an untiring industry, he has been able to add, by subsequent purchases to his possessions, until he now owns three hundred and sixty-four acres of improved land in the same township.

On the 25th day of July, 1835, Mr. Pashby married Jane Cook, a niece of Rev. George Cook, M. A., Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, England, a well known and eloquent divine of the Episocpal church, who preached the funeral sermon over the remains of Lord Nelson, in 1805. By this marriage he had nine children, of which number, five—two sons and three daughters—are living. On the 9th day of October, 1865, after a second term of conjugal happiness, extending over a period of thirty years, death again visited his household and took from him his wife, leaving him with a growing family; and, looking at the event in a Christian light, he thought of the Scriptural injunction, "It is not good for man to be alone," and on the 19th day of July, 1865, he married Mrs. E. C. Scholey, a sister of his deceased wife, who had been before in his household, and to whom his children had become greatly attached. He had the rare felicity of getting an admirable wife, a second mother to his children, a good housekeeper, and an excellent lady in every particular.

Mr. Pashby has never sought political preferment of any kind, but, notwithstanding this fact, he has been elected to fill several township offices. He was also chosen a director in the Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of St. Joseph county, at its organization, and held that office for eleven years. He finally resigned, finding the duties of the office too arduous for his advanced age.

In religion Mr. Pashby is allied to no particular creed. He was brought up and confirmed in the church of England, but has never actually joined any denomination. He has, however, always generously supported every movement of a religious or benevolent nature. His donations towards the equipment of the soldiers who went from his township to the war, are a fair criterion of his philanthropy.

Mr Pashby has, by judicious financial management, accumulated a goodly fortune, and is now calmly enjoying the fruits of his industrious and well-spent life. His residence is among the finest in the county, and is alike an ornament to the township in which he resides, and an honor to its possessor.

Perhaps there could be no fitter evidence of the benefit which Mr. Pashby’s settlement has brought to the township, than the fact that there are now seven families who bear his name in Florence township, and in Black Hawk county, Iowa, four. He has twenty-seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Pashby adorn our pages, together with an illustration of their beautiful home.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 136


Son of George and Margaret Gentzler, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, December 16, 1798. He always followed farming for a living; he was married to Miss Elizabeth Speck, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1819; she was born January 14, 1800. Ten children have been born to them, eight of whom are still living.

October 10, 1849, he emigrated to Michigan, and settled in Florence, and in a few years he was the owner of sixteen hundred acres of as good land as there is in the county, most of which is still owned by members of the family. In politics he was a Democrat; in religion he was a worthy member of the Evangelical Lutheran church, and for more than twenty-five years previous to his coming to Michigan, was a leader of a choir. He died May 16, 1871, and was buried in the White Pigeon cemetery. The widow is seventy-seven years of age, and is living with her son William, in Florence.

Jacob S. Gentzler, son of Jacob, Sr., was born in York county, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1833, and came to St. Joseph with his father. While in Pennsylvania he assisted his father in the carding and woolen business, and since, has been principally engaged in farming and dealing in live-stock; is the owner of a fine farm of four hundred and sixty acres, a view of which may be seen elsewhere. He married Miss Elizabeth Lehmer, of York county, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1854; she was born March 12, 1835; five children have been born to them, two of whom are still living. In politics Mr. Gentzler is a Democrat, and is an advocate of good schools and churches.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 135


Son of Joseph and Alida Ketcham, was born in Pottstown, Rensselaer county, New York, November 2, 1804. He remained with his parents on the farm, until his majority, and then commenced as an apprentice at the carpenter’s trade, which he continued to follow for several years. In company with his father’s family, in 1830, he settled in Perrinton, Monroe county, New York, and there became the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land, which he sold for one thousand eight hundred dollars. He also lived in Wayne county, New York, for some time.

In the fall of 1834 he and his brother Daniel came to Michigan, and spent the winter near Ypsilanti; his brother returned in the spring, and he came to Constantine. During the summer of 1835 he purchased, in company with one Samuel Francisco, a saw-mill located at Shipsewannie Indiana, which they sold the following year. In the fall of 1835 he returned to Monroe county, New York. In 1837 he again came to Michigan; remained some little time, returned the second time to Monroe county, New York,--and was married to Miss Laura Jenks, of Farmington, Ontario county, New York, May 1, 1839.

Mrs. Ketcham was born July 26, 1812, in Farmington. To bless this union, six children have been born, some of whom, with their mother, have passed to the other shore. The names of the children were as follows:

GEORGE J., born March 16, 1840, and died September 10, 1876.

ISAAC, born January 24, 1842; died August 6, 1842

EDWARD M. was born March 7, 1844, and is now living in Marcellus, Michigan.

EMELINE J., born August 22, 1846, and is married to Samuel Wolf, of this county.

HANNAH J., born October 16, 1848, and married to D. M. Castle, of Constantine.

MARY L. was born May 16, 1851, and is at home with her father.

Mr. Ketcham lived in Rochester, New York, for nearly two years after his marriage, and carried on the hardware business; removed to Hannibal, Oswego county, New York, and remained some three years. During the month of May, 1846, he emigrated to Michigan with his family, and settled in Florence, St. Joseph county, on the farm where he now resides. At one time he was the owner of some three hundred acres of land, but has sold out so that he now owns but one hundred and forty acres. He politics he was at first a Democrat, then a Whig, and now a Republican.

Mrs. Ketcham was a faithful wife and an affectionate mother; religiously, she was a Friend, but was a constant attendant at the Methodist Episcopal church. She died May 18, 1875, and was buried in the Florence cemetery. Mr. Ketcham is living on the old homestead, with his daughter Mary.

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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Published by L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1877, p. 137


Hiram Amasa Pitts was born in the township of Onondaga, Onondago county, in the State of New York, November 11, 1818. He moved with his parents to Monroe, in this State, in October, 1832, and in August, 1835, they came to St. Joseph county and settled in the township of Florence, where the subject of this biography resided until his death, which occurred December 25, 1874, at the age of fifty-six.

He was married, December 14, 1848, to Eliza Thompson, a native of the State of Vermont, but at the time of their marriage, a resident of Sherman, in this county.

He purchased the farm upon which he resided, in 1846, on section twelve, township seven south, range eleven west, where he erected a fine brick dwelling with good and substantial out-buildings, the present residence of Mrs. Pitts, his widow.

Mr. Pitts enjoyed the confidence of the people in his township, having been elected to responsible offices frequently during his life-time. He exhibited an interest in education, and was untiring in his efforts to establish schools in his township, having been a school-officer in the district where he lived continuously until his death. He was kind and obliging to his neighbors, and always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and worthy poor. Being an early pioneer in Florence,--even before the township was organized,--he assisted in forming school-district, laying out highways and all other important work in the interest of the township. As a citizen of the county he was a useful man, and rendered the people many important services.

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