George BOYLES. In St. Joseph County there is probably no citizen who has been more active and persevering in the development of the district in which he resided, more practical or prosperous as an agriculturist, than he whose life story is here briefly presented in this sketch. He is one of its oldest settlers, is a gentleman of wide experience, large intelligence and unfailing affability.
The native place of our subject is Berkeley Springs, W. Va., where he was born on the 29th of August 1815. Many of the noble points in his character, and the sterling qualities that have made him what his is a pioneer, may be clearly traced as being hereditary to a certain extent. He is the son of William and Amelia (EAGLE) BOYLES, both of whom also were natives Morgan County, W. Va. The former was born on the 2nd of December, 1792, and the latter in the year 1796. Their union dates from the year 1814, and they were the parents of eight children; George, our subject; Lucy, who died in childhood; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Fitzgerald JENNINGS, of Sandusky, Ohio, and is now deceased; Sarah, who is the widow of Dr. TERRILL, of Breedsville, Mich.; Annie, who married John A.J. METZGER, of Burr Oak and is now Deceased; Henry, now a resident of California, in the town of Diamond Springs; Lydia who was Mrs. Daniel FAUST, of Branch County, now deceased; and Marietta, wife of S.S. START of Oak Park, Cook Co., Ill.
The parents of our subject, after residing fourteen years in Sandusky County, and eleven years in Wayne County, Ohio, came to Burr Oak, where they died, the father in September, 1860, and his wife in June, 1881. Their remains were interred in the Burr Oak Cemetery. The father was a scientific farmer, shrewd, careful, frugal and an excellent manager. He won and retained the respect of all his neighbors.
George BOYLES, our subject, in the year 1847 purchased 120 acres of land on section 35 of Burr Oak Township, and the energy and other excellent qualities inherited by him enabled him to add at various times until his real estate was not less than 1,000 acres, of which at least one-half was thoroughly improved and cultivated. In addition to this he owned valuable property in the village of Burr Oak.
The subject of our sketch has been twice married. On the 24th of December, 1835, he was united in wedlock with Miss Lucinda JENNINGS, daughter of Gen. Lewis JENNINGS, who was conspicuous in the early history of Ohio, and commanded a brigade of State Militia, with which he was enabled to do good work, especially in the Toledo War. His daughter was a lady of education, accomplished, with a bright sunny disposition. She died on the 1st of August, 1857, deeply and truly mourned for by all her relatives. She left ten children to the care of her husband, viz: William L., born Sept. 4, 1836; Martha, Dec. 17, 1838; Helen L., April 14, 1841; Elizabeth, Jan. 7, 1843; Annetta, Nov. 7, 1844; George E., Jan. 20, 1847; Adeline L., Jan. 23, 1849; Franklin H., June 11, 1851; Amelia E., April 4, 1853; Anna, July 19, 1856. The second wife of our subject was Julia A. GRAVES, of Genessee County, N.Y.; she was born Dec. 15, 1832. She died on the 13th of March, 1878, leaving no children.
The subject of our sketch retired from active business in 1876, and now lives at the Park Hotel, which he owns. Until the establishment of the Republican party he was a stanch friend of the Whig element in politics, but joined the former party, and has since continued to act with it, although never taking a leading part in political movements. He is everywhere held in high regard, and has always been a true friend to the community, more especially in the days of its early history.
Gideon SANBORN, late a prominent and highly respected resident of Burr Oak Township, was born in Vermont in 1808, and departed this life on the 4th of April, 1871. He was recognized throughout this county as an honest man and a good citizen, and during the earlier days of its growth and development was prominently identified with its agricultural and business interests.
Mr. SANBORN came to this county in 1833, and took up 200 acres of land in Burr Oak Township, where he built up one of its finest homesteads, and became known as one of the most useful members of the community. Standing by his side for a period of nearly forty years was one of the most estimable of women, who in her girlhood was Miss Jane UPHAM, to whom he was married in January, 1833. Mrs. SANBORN was born May 17, 1815, in this county, and is the daughter of Chester UPHAM, who for some years lived on a farm in the vicinity of Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Mass. Thence the family, about 1830, removed to the vicinity of Elba, Genesee Co., N. Y., where the father died not long afterward. The mother was subsequently married to Ira HOWE, of that locality, and they came to Michigan, where Mr. H. engaged in farming. She died in 1878, at Charlotte, and her remains were taken to Eaton Rapids for interment.
Gideon SANBORN was one of the pioneer settlers of this county, and possessed all the elements of mind and character required by the men of those times in the development of the soil and the building up of a homestead. He identified himself thoroughly with the business and agricultural interests of this section, and signalized himself as on of its most public-spirited men, making for himself a record which his posterity may look upon with pride. He was very successful as an agriculturist, and acquired a fine property, leaving to his widow a valuable estate, which she has managed with rare good judgment, and in a manner by which it value had been steadily augmented. To Mr. and Mrs. SANBORN there were born ten children, the record of whom is as follows: The eldest daughter, Augusta, is the wife of A.M. GRAHAM, and Adeline is the widow of Charles NEWHALL; both are residents of Burr Oak, and the latter engaged in the millinery business. Frank married Miss Abbie LEPLY, and manages the farm; Henry is engaged in farming and lives in this county; Hattie is the wife of Edward KIBBY, who is engaged in farming in Burr Oak.
Mrs. SANBORN is a lady of much intelligence and culture, and has watched the growth and development of Southern Michigan with that interest which is ever maintained by those who have been most instrumental in bringing this great commonwealth to its present condition. She, with her husband, rejoiced at every evidence of prosperity, and in the building up of one of its most desirable estates thus contributed their quota to the grand results.
Leonard BUTZ. The fine estate of the subject of this biography comprises 300 acres of highly cultivated land on section 15, in Fawn River Township, with first-class modern buildings and all appurtenances of the well-regulated rural homestead. It has been built up by the hand of industry, and its proprietor is well know throughout this section of country as a man of liberal education, public-spirited and enterprising, and one of the most useful members of his community. He came to this county in 1864, and while watching its growth and development has been no unimportant factor in bringing it to its present condition.
Our subject was born and reared in Columbiana County, Ohio, and first opened his eyes to the light Nov. 1, 1828. He was reared to farm pursuits, and continued there under the parental roof until a youth of nineteen years. Later he took up his residence in Seneca County, same State, where he was married, and where he lived, engaged in agricultural pursuits, until 1864. His next removal was to Southern Michigan, of which he has since been a resident.
The father of our subject, George BUTZ, was a mason by trade, which he followed during the latter years of his life in Columbiana County, Ohio, and until his death, which took place in 1845. The wife and mother survived by her husband a period of forty-one years, remaining a widow, and spent her last days at the home of her daughter in Dallas County, Iowa, where her death occurred Oct. 3, 1886, after she had reached the advanced age of ninety years. The household circle was completed by the birth of eleven children, of whom five are living, three sons and two daughters. Four sons served in the Union Army during the Rebellion, and three of these yielded up their lived in the service of their country while in the army; the fourth died afterward from disease contracted in the service. The survivors are residents mostly of this county.
Mr. BUTZ, of this sketch, while a resident of Ohio was united in marriage with Mrs. Ruth A. NASH, Jan. 2, 1859. Mrs. BUTZ was born Dec. 3, 1828, in Pennsylvania, and is the daughter of Justin J. NASH, a native of Pennsylvania, and who, with his wife, spent his last years in that State. Of this union there were born five children. The eldest, George E., born Feb. 25, 1861, is now occupied at farming in Fawn River; Harry S., born March 29, 1863, is occupied at farming in Dallas, Polk Co., Ore.; Mary E., born Jan. 4, 1865, is the wife of Charles E. SMITH, of Burr Oak; Frank J., born Sept. 28, 1865, learned the miller's trade, and is now occupied at this calling in Fawn River; William F., born Nov. 6, 1871, is at home, and is engaged in farming. Mrs. Ruth A. BUTZ departed this life at the homestead in Fawn River Township, Feb. 19, 1880.
On the 19th of November, 1882, our subject contracted a second marriage with Miss Martha J., daughter of John MITCHELL, of Dallas, Iowa. This lady was born in Indiana in 1843, and possesses those sterling qualities which have constituted her a faithful and affectionate helpmate, a trusty friend and neighbor, well spoken of by all around her. The BUTZ homestead is one of the most attractive in this part of the county, and the family is widely and favorable know as belonging to its best elements.
John DUNLAP. Fifty two years ago, before Michigan had been admitted into the Union as a State, the subject of this sketch made his way to St. Joseph County, being then a young man twenty years of age, and since that time has remained closely identified with its agricultural and business interests. He is now in the enjoyment of a snug property located on section 11, in Fawn River Township, an in his declining years, having passed beyond threescore and ten, is surrounded by the ease and comfort which are justly his due. His life has been that of an honest, hard working man, and while laboring as a tiller of the soil, and dealing socially and financially with the men around him, he had fully established himself in their esteem and confidence.
Butler County, Pa., was the early tramping ground of our subject, where his birth took place April 20, 1816. His father, James DUNLAP, was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and emigrated from County Derry, Ireland, in early manhood, settling in the Keystone State, where he carried on farming until his death. The mother, whose maiden name was Dorcas KILBRITH, was born in Pennsylvania, her parents being among the earliest settlers of that region. She was of English decent. The parental family consisted of ten children: Sarah, the first born, died young, and the second, also named Sarah, died when about sixty years old; William and Dorcas died in Butler County, Pa.; Nancy, Mrs. John SUPPLE died in Turmbull County, Ohio; James carried on farming for a time in Rochester, Ind., but is now deceased; Rebecca was the wife of Nathan OFFUTT, and is deceased; Elizabeth married Samuel DAVIS, and they located in Missouri, but are both now deceased. John of our sketch was the youngest child.
Our subject when a youth of sixteen years left the parental roof, and by the death of his father, which occurred the previous year, was thrown upon his own resources. He managed to attend the district school for a time, and about 1832 emigrated to the then little town of Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, where he learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed thereafter at intervals for a period of thirty years. After coming to this State he located first in Bronson, Branch County, and subsequently erected what was known as Rose Tavern. That same season he put up a sawmill, which long ago gave place to the present old Greeley mill.
Mr. DUNLAP was uniformly successful in his labors, and in his vocation as carpenter handled large contracts. From 1844 to 1850 he was in the employ of the Michigan Southern Railroad Company building and sub-contracting for the erection of station houses all along the line. These contracts he executed with dispatch and profit. About 1838 he located on a piece of heavily timbered land in Bethel, now Branch County, securing 150 acres. By the exercise of untiring industry and the perseverance that would admit no such word as fail, he cleared ninety acres of this, felling the trees, removing every stump, and transforming the land into a fine prairie farm.
In the spring of 1863 Mr. DUNLAP changed his residence to Burr Oak Township, locating on the present Fogleman farm of 100 acres, to which he added the Lancaster place of forty acres. This he also brought to a high state of cultivation, residing there until 1866. Then selling out once more, he purchased the old Arnold place in the village, and invested his surplus capital in a stock of groceries, becoming successful in trade. His early habits, however, would not allow him to be contented in town, so after two years he purchased 270 acres of choice land from Joseph Annis, of Fawn River Township, where he erected a fine brick residence, made other improvements, and developed one of the most valuable homesteads in St. Joseph County. Here we have the picture of the model country estate supplied with everything suggested to the gentleman of taste and means, and one who endeavors to surround his family with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
Mr. DUNLAP, in 1837, was married to Miss Mary SMITH, of Bronson Township, the ceremony being performed by Esquire Tisdell. Mrs. DUNLAP is the daughter of David and Elsie (WILLIAMS) SMITH, who were natives of New York, the father a school teacher by profession, a thoroughly educated man and astronomical lecturer. He was of New England stock, and during his early life resided for a time in Syracuse, N.Y. Upon coming to Michigan the parents settled in Branch Count. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. DUNLAP, Maj. WILLIAMS , was Captain of a company of troops during the Revolutionary War, a brave and efficient officer. To David SMITH and his estimable wife there were born five children, two sons and three daughters, who were quite young when the parents came to Michigan, but are now all deceased. Mr. and Mrs. SMITH are both deceased. The record of the children born to our subject and his wife is as follows: John, the eldest, died when an interesting little lad six years of age; Elsie married Mr. Frank ABBOTT, a liveryman of LaGrange County, Ind.; Mary is the wife of B.F. BORDNER, of Fawn River Township, this county; Delia died at the age of six years. The mother of these children passed away on the 24th of January, 1888.
Mr. DUNLAP votes the straight Republican ticket but has steadily declined becoming an office-holder, although often solicited to do so, with the exception of serving as Township Supervisor some years ago. John ABBOTT, the son of his daughter Elsie, and a very promising young many, has been educated by his grandfather, and now holds the post of Assistant Professor of Surgery for the Michigan Central Railroad. He was graduated from the medical department of the Michigan State University in the class of '87, and is now twenty-six years of age.
Jay J. STANTON, a prominent attorney in the village of Burr Oak, established himself in business here in December, 1880. He was admitted to the bar a few months previous to this time, and two year later to practice in the Supreme Court of the State. In 1884 he was admitted to practice in the United States Court at Grand Rapids, Mich. He was graduated from the Burr Oak High School in 1874, and from the Sturgis High School in 1878. He entered the law department of the Michigan State University in 1879, but on account of ill health was obliged to abandon his studies there, and spent the year following in the office of D.E. Thomas, a leading lawyer of Sturgis. Thence he came to Burr Oak, where he has by close attention to business secured a lucrative practice, and is in every respect a popular citizen. He is an extensive reader, and keeps himself well posted upon the matters relating to his profession, and all others of interest to the intelligent member of society.
The subject of this sketch, a native of the town in which he still resides, was born, Jan. 7, 1858. His parents, Le and Libby (KEZARTEE) STANTON, were natives of Ashtabula County, Ohio, and of English and Scotch origin. His grandparents on both sides of the house settled at an early day in Ashtabula County, Ohio, where they became owners of large tracts of land, which they improved into valuable estates. The parents of our subject emigrated to Michigan in 1857, settling in Burr Oak Township, where the father successfully engaged in farming until his death, in 1879. The only child of the family was our subject, Jay J. STANTON was a man of more than ordinary capabilities, prominent Republican in the politics of his adopted township, and served as Justice of the Peace and School Inspector. The mother is still living.
Our subject was married, at Sturgis, this State, to Miss Hattie D., daughter of Isaac and Eilza (DUDLEY) AYRES. They were natives of New Jersey and New York respectively, and the father a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church belonging to the Northern Indiana conference, until their removal to Sturgis, where he was engaged in mercantile business until his death, in 1874. He was also a prominent Mason. Their family consisted of two children only-Mrs. STANTON and Charles D. Mrs. Hattie STANTON was born Sept. 20, 1859, in Angola, Ind. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was Township Clerk for a period of five years, declined serving the next two years, but was re-elected in 1888, and is the present incumbent of the office.
Mr. STANTON for four years was a member and Treasurer of the Republican County Committee, and has ever been a cheerful worker in behalf of the principles in which he has the most sincere faith. He owns a farm of eighty acres half a mile west from the corporate limits of Burr Oak, also a farm in Ashtabula County, Ohio. His neat and tasteful residence is located on Fifth street in Burr Oak, opposite the park, and he has other property interests.
Mr. STANTON was in 1888 the nominee of the Republican party for Circuit Court Commissioner of this county, and was elected over Gershom P. Doan, of Mendon, the Democratic and Greenback nominee for that office. He is actively engaged in the performance of the duties of that office.
A R. HINCHER. The main points in the history of this solid citizen of Burr Oak Village are substantially as follows: He was born in Greece Township, Monroe Co., N.Y., Nov. 2, 1825, and lived there until a man twenty-six years of age. Thence migrating to Ohio he sojourned in the Scioto Valley a period of five years, employing himself a greater part of the time in a sawmill. At the expiration of this time, desiring to see something of the farther West, he made is way to Southern Michigan, and coming into this county settled upon a tract of land in Burr Oak Township, of which he has since been an honored and respected resident.
Mr. HINCHER, however, had visited the Wolverine State in the spring of 1884, prospecting, and spending a brief time with his brother John, who had preceded him to this region. He at that time made up his mind that here he could content himself to stay and build up a future home. While a resident of New York he was united in marriage with Miss Mary DEWEY, the wedding being celebrated at the home of the bride on the 24th of September, 1851. This lady was the daughter of Hon. Joseph and Mariah DEWEY, the father an ex-member of the Legislature, and at one time an Associate Judge of the County Court. Prior to his election to office he had carried on farming successfully in New York. He is now retired from active life, and lives in a pleasant home at Churchville, N.Y., surrounded by all the comforts of life.
Our subject and his estimable wife began the journey of life together in 1851. They have six children living: The eldest daughter, Electa M., is the wife of Elmore COLES, who is engaged in farming in Burr Oak; Rosaline, Mrs. Thomas BASTIAN, is a resident of Duffield, Genesee County, this State; Frank died at the age of twenty-seven years, in June, 1888; Hettie, Myrtle, Lee and Otis are at home with their parents, although Myrtle is usually engaged in teaching. Mr. HINCHER, politically, is a sound Democrat, and has been the candidate of his party for various offices, but the Democracy being in the minority, he suffered the fate of the balance of his ticket. He is a man of ripe judgment, excellent principles, and more than ordinary capabilities, and a citizen in whom is place the utmost confidence.
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William H. WELLS owns and occupies a snug homestead on section 2 in Burr Oak Township, where to a great extent he has carried out the theory of Horace Greeley, "that a small acreage well tilled is more desirable than a large area of land partially neglected." His 13 acre farm is consequently brought to a high state of cultivation and he has good improvements, including the necessary buildings and a cider mill, which he operates profitable both for himself and his neighbors.
Our subject, essentially an Ohio man, was born in Seneca County, that State, Jan. 3, 1840, at the modest homestead of his parents in Thompson Township. His father, William WELLS, was a farmer by occupation, and a native of Bellefontaine, Pa., and married in early manhood Miss Susan BARGER. The parents settled among the pioneers of Seneca County, Ohio, where they lived until 1860, and then came to this county. The father died at the home of his son W.H., in Burr Oak, Sept. 24, 1888, when over seventy-seven years of age, having been born in May, 1811. The mother is still living.
Four sons of the parental family served as soldiers in the late Civil War. The eldest, Benjamin F., is now a brick manufacturer of Scott City, Kan. One daughter died when twenty years of age. Benjamin F., in 1861, enlisted as a Union soldier at Three Rivers, in the 11th Michigan Infantry, which was under command of Col. May, of White Pigeon. Their duties lay mostly with the Army of the Cumberland. Benjamin F. was in active service, escaped wounds and capture, and at the expiration of his term of enlistment received his honorable discharge. He was all through the Georgia campaign, his regiment being most of the time with the 23d Army Corps.
Our subject, following the example of his brothers, also entered the ranks, becoming a member of Company F, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, in which he rendered a faithful service of three years. He also went with his regiment through the Georgia campaign, and participated in many of the important battles of the war, including the siege of Atlanta and the battle of Nashville. He also was fortunate, receiving only a wound by the accidental discharge of a pistol, on account of which he draws a pension. After a faithful service of three years he was given his honorable discharge near the close of the war, on the 14th of January, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. His brother George belonged to the 103d Ohio Infantry, and, less fortunate than the others, fell a victim to the rebel atrocities of Libby Prison, being captured and confined in that terrible stockade, where he was deprived of his shoes, and where his feet were frozen, rendering him a cripple for life. He also is a pensioner, and is now living on his farm near Pulaski, Williams Co., Ohio. Jacob WELLS, the other brother, also enlisted in the 103d Ohio Infantry, and, at the battle of Beverly, W. Va., was wounded in the small of the back, and received an honorable discharge after a service of three years. He also draws a pension, and is a resident of Illinois.
Our subject, after returning from the army, took up his residence in the county, and in the fall of 1867 was united in marriage with Miss Esther E. WARE, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born April 22, 1840. Mrs. WELLS is the daughter of Phillip and Esther A. (GRACELY) WARE, who were natives of Lehigh County, Pa., and emigrated to Michigan about 1860, the father taking up a tract of land in Colon Township, this county, where he labored until his death. The mother is also deceased.
To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born ten children: Milton A., Wilson, Edwin, Rose, Matilda, Malinda, Esther A., Susan, Marinda and Clinton, the latter of whom is deceased.
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