Page 358

Judge William CONNOR. Upon the 11th day of July, 1803, there were born in one of the prettiest farmhouses in Hillsboro County, N. H., child who shortly afterward received the name which stands at the head of this sketch, who, in the years which have succeeded, has abundantly justified the rejoicing of which he was the occasion at that time. In the above county our subject spent his early days, occupied with the sports and pastimes incident to childhood, and gradually taking his place amidst the sterner duties of youth and manhood.

Young CONNOR remained in his native county until 1828, when, starting out for himself, he came West as far as Detroit, remaining there a short time, as he did also in the cities of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. He acted in the capacity of a pedagogue during the winter of 1828-29, and in the spring came to what is now St. Joseph County to look at the lay of the land. The surroundings meeting, if not indeed surpassing, his highest expectations, he purchased eighty acres in Nottawa Township. He then returned to Ypsilanti, and commenced teaching school, but Sept. 1st, 1829, located permanently upon his land in Nottawa Township, where he is one of the old-time residents. It is through the energy and self-sacrifices of such men as Mr. CONNOR that St. Joseph County is indebted for her present prosperous condition.

In the election of 1836 Mr. CONNOR was elected Judge of the Probate Court, but resigned in 1837. He has also been County Commissioner, and a member of the County Board of Supervisors for nearly twenty years. Beyond the good which he might accomplish in his own community, in discharging the duties of an unsalaried office, he has no aspirations for political preferment. Judge CONNOR manifested his interest in the upbuilding of the county by superintending the erection of its present court house, and also that of the county jail, which shows him to be able to take his place as an able worker in any department.

Judge CONNOR was united in marriage, in 1835, with Mrs. Sarah Ann (RAPALJE) WICKS, who only survived her wedding seven months. In due time our subject was the second time married, to Miss A. POWERS, who bore him four children, namely: Mark W.; Clara A., who is the wife of R. C. BARNARD; Helen J., now Mrs. C. A. ENSIGN; and Clinton M., now deceased. Mrs. A. CONNOR departed this life in 1869.

Politically, our subject does not meddle in politics, otherwise than to cast his vote at the National elections.

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Page 358-359

William M. WATKINS. Among the many well-to-do and highly respected citizens of Leonidas Township is the gentleman whose biography is here presented in outline. His residence is upon section 21, where he owns 190 acres. His father, Levi WATKINS, came to Ontario County, N. Y., to this county, in the fall of 1832, and built his house on the Nottawa Creek, in this township, in November of that year, and there made his home until his death in 1851. His wife, whose maiden name was Lucina KIBBEE, died on the 19th of February, 1862. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters, of whom our subject was the youngest.

Levi WATKINS was one of the leading citizens in his district. He built the first bridge across the St. Joseph River, between Mottville, St. Joseph County, and Jonesville, Hillsdale County. He was a man who took the deepest interest in the welfare of the community of which he was a resident, was intelligent, active and reliable. It was his endeavor in his family to so train and develop the various powers of his children as to make them of use in the world, and capable of taking their places, so as to leave it better than they found it.

The subject of our sketch was born in Naples, Ontario Co., N. Y., on the 17th of August, 1816, and was there until he was about sixteen years of age. He then accompanied his parents to this State. He attended the Naples schools and returned from Michigan to Naples to attend school in the fall of 1833, remaining until the following June. In 1838 he also attended a branch of the State University, located at White Pigeon, from December, 1838, until March 1, 1840. Leaving school, our subject went to Texas, where he engaged in clerking until the spring o 1841, when he returned home, where he has lived ever since with the exception of the four years that he was Sheriff of the county. Then he lived at Centreville.

Mr. WATKINS is the owner of 190 acres of choice land, and has also erected a very fine dwelling. In November, 1866, he was re-elected Sheriff of the county. He has also held the offices of Township Clerk, Supervisor, and Justice of the Peace, which latter he has held almost continuously since 1864. He was elected Township Clerk in 1843, and in July, 1892, his present term of office as Justice of the Peace will expire. He is also one of the leading members of the State Agricultural Society and a member of the St. Josephís Mutual Fire Insurance Company, from which it will be seen that he is certainly very actively engaged in the interests of the community.

Furthermore, in the matter of railroads Mr. WATKINS has been no less interested. He aided largely in putting through this section of the county the St. Louis, Sturgis and Battle Creek Railroad, and also the Air-Line Road. He now lives a retired life, and is enjoying the competency he has accumulated and the well-nigh perfect health with which it is his happiness to be blessed, and which was only marred by the result to an accident, that occurred at Leonidas, in the year 1888, by which his left foot was crushed.

On the 26th of October, 1841, the subject of our sketch and Miss Barbara E. HILL were united in marriage. This lady is a native of Manchester, Ontario Co., N. Y., where she was born Feb. 24, 1821. There have been born to them eight children, five of whom are living, viz: Edward W., Marcus L., Levi H., Emery O and Eva. Eva is the wife of Fred B. GREENLEAF. Those deceased are Ida M., Sarah and Marcia A. Ida and Sarah died when young; Marcia was born in 1844, and died in 1887, after a happy married life of seven years. Her husband was Phineas J. SIMONS.

Mr. WATKINS is identified with the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of the Blue Lodge at Colon, the Centreville Chapter, and Three Rivers Commandery. He has been a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1846, as has also his wife. Both take the greatest possible interest in religious and educational institutions, and not infrequently have they filled offices in connection therewith. Politically, our subject is a stanch Republican.

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Page 359-360

Elon OLNEY, deceased. This gentleman was one of the worthy and esteemed citizens of Leonidas Township. He was the son of the late Joseph OLNEY, and was born in Mendon Township, this county, Aug. 7, 1844. His early life was spent upon the farm, and he engaged in agriculture throughout his life. He was a man of shrewd intelligence, with a large capacity for work, possessed of many social virtues, and a general favorite. Although not a professor of religion, he was a man of high moral character, and directed his life according to the precepts of Christianity. He had been careful to bring his farm to a high state if cultivation, to have it fully supplied with substantial buildings, and also provided for his family a pleasant and comfortable home. He was in the full prime of manhood when he was stricken by death, which was caused by measles. This saddening event came to his family on the 15th of March 1887.

Mr. OLNEY was united in marriage, in Nottawa Township, to Mary POST, on the 10th of January, 1871. This excellent lady was the daughter and fourth child of Russell and Ruth (TRUSDALE) POST, who, after their marriage, settled in Nottawa Township, Mr. POST having come to this county and made it his home at a very early date. There he died in 1873. Their family included nine children, five of whom were sons.

Mrs. OLNEY was born in Nottawa Township, March 17, 1844. She was educated in the schools of the district, and there made her home until her marriage. There have been given to our subject and his wife five children, whose names are recorded as follows: Sarah, Georgiana, Leroy, Clarence and Glenn.

When the dark cloud of bereavement overshadowed the home, it was a somber background that only threw into more striking relief the character and many womanly virtues of Mrs. OLNEY, who, throughout all her trials, exhibited a most beautiful spirit of Christian patience and affectionate trust.

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Page 360-361

George M. SIDES is identified with the industrial interests of St. Joseph County as a carriage painter, decorator and paper hanger, and is actively engaged at his trade in Colon, where he is prospering, and has a pleasant, attractive home. He is the son of Dr. SIDES, whose biography appears on another page of this work. He was born in Lewistown, Pa., in 1850, and was but a boy of six years when he came with his parents to Michigan to settle in their new home in Colon. He was reared here and had the benefit of an education in the excellent schools of this town. He was of and independent, energetic turn of mind, and being anxious to make his own way in the world, when but fifteen years old commenced to learn the trade at which he is now engaged, and in 1868 went to Three Rivers in pursuance of his calling. In 1869 he went to work for Mr. Shepard, of Battle Creek, and remained in his employ for four years. He also worked for Upson & Brown, of the same place, for two years. He then found employment in the establishment of E. Clapp, carriage-maker, of Battle Creek, with whom he staid for two and one-half years. With all this experience he became a superior workman, and was highly prized by his employers for his intelligence, efficiency and trustworthiness. Mr. SIDES returned to Colon in 1882, and established himself at his trade, and has been working at it ever since. By his steady devotion to his business he has made money, for as an expert in his line his service are in constant demand, and he never fails to find work when others are forced to be idle.

Mr. SIDES has been twice married. His first wife, to whom he was united in 1872, in Battle Creek, was Miss Cora LOBDELL, a native of Battle Creek. She was born in 1850, the third in a family of four daughters of Jacob B. and Maria (KNAPP) LOBDELL. Her parents were natives of New York, and were among the early settlers of Battle Creek, where her father, who was known as a patent-right man, followed his trade of carpenter. The pleasant wedded life of our subject with is first wife was of brief duration, as she died Jan. 7, 1879, after lingering some fifteen months in consumption. She was a lady of superior culture, a graduate of the Battle Creek High School, and was conversant with the French and German languages. She had a frank, generous disposition, and was well beloved by all who knew her. Mr. SIDESí second marriage, which occurred April 14, 1886, was to Miss Rebecca LIDDLE, a native of Colon Township. Mrs. SIDES was born in September, 1860, and was in fifth in a family of six children born to Gilbert and Rebecca (WESTON) LIDDLE, natives of Meadville, Pa. They came to Michigan in the very early days of its settlement by the white man, Indians still lingering in the country when they came. Detroit, then a small place, and Cleveland, Ohio, were the nearest towns. Mr. LIDDLE settled on land which he procured from the Government, and from the primeval forest that then prevailed in this part of the State he built up a home. He died in July, 1884, at an advanced age, thus rounding out a useful and busy life. His wife resides on the old homestead in Colon. Mrs. SIDES had two half-brothers who took part in the war, the Henry M. LIDDLE Post, of Colon, being named in honor of one of them. Mrs. SIDES is a woman of fine character, of pleasing manners, and makes their home comfortable and cheery for her husband, and for their numerous friends, with whom they often share its hospitalities.

Mr. SIDES stands high in the estimation of his fellow-citizens, as he is a man of unexceptionable habits, of a sturdy and independent character, and in all the relations of life, as son, brother, husband, he is all that can be desired. He takes an intelligent interest in politics, and affiliates with the Republican party.

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Page 361-362

William HINKLE, deceased, who was a resident of Mendon Township since April, 1869, by his life of industry and economy accumulated a comfortable property, and during his last years lived retired from active labor at his pleasant homestead on section 16. He owned about ninety-five acres of good land, where he erected a substantial set of frame buildings, and gathered about himself and his family the thousand little comforts and conveniences so essential to their welfare and happiness. The household includes a highly intelligent wife and three children, all at home, forming a family group amply worthy of representation in a work which will claim the attention of scores of the best citizens of this county, whose history it is designed to perpetuate. In the years to come a future generation will turn theses leaves with more than a passing interest, and note the names of those who have been prominent in the progress and development of St. Joseph County. Among them the HINKLE family will occupy their rightful position.

Our subject was the scion of an excellent family, a native of York County, Pa., and in which county, when reaching manís estate, he formed the acquaintance of a most estimable lady, Miss Matilda HITES, with whom he was united in marriage March 24, 1844. Mrs. HINKLE was a native of Crawford County, and was born March 1, 1820. They remained residents of their native State until 1866, making their home on a farm in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, afterward removing to Fairview Township, Erie County, where our subject engaged successfully in the pursuit of agriculture. In the spring of the year above mentioned, deciding to try the experiment of life in the West, they removed to LaGrange County, Ind., where they sojourned a period of three years. The spring of 1869 found them settled in Mendon Township, this county, where they have since lived.

Our subject and his excellent wife watched with deep interest the growth and development of Southern Michigan, and bore no unimportant part in bring Mendon Township to its present status, having built up one of the best farms within its limits, fulfilling the idea of the Sage of Chappaqua, that a moderate extent of land well cultivated is more desirable than a large area partially neglected. Their little farm is therefore more valuable than many embracing a larger acreage.

Mr. HINKLE, the eldest of nine children, was born in York County, Pa., May 12, 1820, and was the son of Andrew and Catherine (SHUE) HINKLE, who were also natives of the Keystone State, the father being born in the eastern part. After marriage the parents settled in York County, but later removed to Erie County, and after having lived in different places in Pennsylvania, removed from Erie County to LaGrange County, Ind., where the mother died about 1873. The father later came to the home of his son William in Mendon Township, where he spent his last days, passing away about 1884. There are living seven children of the parental family, most of them making their home in the West.

Mrs. HINKLE is the daughter of Jacob and Mary HITES, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and are now deceased. They spent the greater part of their lives in Crawford County, Pa. The home circle included eight children, five of whom are living.

To Mr. and Mrs. HINKLE there were born nine children in Pennsylvania. Their sons and daughters were named respectively: Andrew J., George W., Mary C., Martha P., Jacob W., Amos S., Matilda A., Melinda E. and Winfield S. The eldest is forty-three years of age, and the youngest twenty-five. All are residents of Mendon but three daughters, who are married, and living in Indiana, Ohio and California respectively.

After his marriage, and while a resident of Erie County, Pa., Mr. HINKLE suffered quite a loss in the destruction of his dwelling and household goods by fire. During his early manhood he learned the carpenterís trade, which he followed a number of years, but later preferred to give his attention to agricultural pursuits. He cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay, being a member of the Whig party until identifying himself with the Republicans, to whose principles he gave his unqualified support. He had held the minor offices of his township, and was an active member of the Christian Church for many years. A man prompt to meet his obligations, and one whose opinions are generally respected, he formed one of the most important factors of a community more than ordinarily intelligent and progressive. Dec. 13, 1888, he was stricken with paralysis from which he never rallied, and peacefully passed away December 22, aged sixty-eight years, seven months and ten days.

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Page 362-363

John W. HARRISON, a prominent and well-to-do citizen of Florence Township, was for many years, actively identified with its leading interests, that of agriculture. He still retains a general supervision of his farm, on section 29, which is justly considered one of the most valuable in the township, but he has retired from the more severe labors connected with its management, and he and his estimable wife are enjoying the handsome competence that they have accumulated by their united labors.

Mr. HARRISONís father, John HARRISON, was early identified with the pioneers of St. Joseph County, and was for many years a leading citizen of Constantine, where he had a large farm, taking a conspicuous part in public affairs, and doing a great deal toward its development. Our subject being reared amid the primitive scenes of pioneer life, has many interesting incidents to relate of the brave, sturdy, generous, self-sacrificing people who first came here to subdue the primeval forests of Southern Michigan, and on this rich soil build up home for themselves, their children, and their childrenís children. Many of them were poor, and had a hard struggle for existence. Owing to the breaking up of so much new land, the country was very unhealthful, which caused much sickness, and these people were very dependent on each other. Not-withstanding the privations and hardships they had to undergo, they were uniformly cheerful, friendly and social, and many were the good times that they contrived to have to lighten the tedium of life. They were contented, and made the best of their circumstances, and so it happened that many of the leading people, even, went to church barefooted, and the sensible women did not trouble themselves about the prevailing styles of bonnets, but wore handkerchiefs on their heads when they attended divine service.

The parents of our subject were born in England, the former in the town of Waxholme, Nov. 6, 1796, and the latter in Hull, in 1792. They were married Sept. 23, 1819, in their native country, and continued to reside there for several years. In 1835 they concluded to emigrate with their family to America, and after a voyage of seven weeks landed in New York, and were soon after on a boat to the Erie Canal, that great highway of the Western pioneers, bound for Michigan, coming by way of the lakes from Buffalo to Detroit. Mr. HARRISON left his family in that city, and taking a stage, crossed the intervening wild country to St. Joseph County, where he bought a farm in Constantine Township, and then returned for his wife and children. After settling on his land, a part of which was improved, he rented it until his sons were old enough to carry it on. In 1868 he sold his extensive and valuable farm and moved into the village of Constantine. About two years before his death, which was Dec. 2, 1868, at the age of seventy-two years and twenty-five days, he disposed of his property, and spent his last days with his son, our subject. Mr. HARRISON was a man whose high character, strong common sense and shrewdness made his presence in the councils of his fellow-townsmen almost indispensable, and for sixteen years he was Supervisor of Constantine Township, still retaining that position after he became a resident of the village, and , indeed, until about two years before his death, when he came to Florence to make his home with our subject. His wife passed away in Constantine, Mich., Oct. 25, 1866. They had five children, four of whom were living when they came to America, as follows: Eleanor, born July 5, 1825, died in Florence, Jan. 25, 1850; John William, the subject of this sketch, born Nov. 25, 1828; Thomas, born Sept. 12, 1830, lives in Constantine; Mansfield, born Jan. 25, 1835, died Feb. 8, 1851.

John W. HARRISON, of this sketch, was reared in Constantine on the old homestead, and the pioneer influences that he obtained in the early days of his youth molded his character into boldness, strength and self-reliance, whereby he has been enabled to make his own way in the world, and attain to a position of prominence in its social and business circles, as represented in Southern Michigan. He remained in his fatherís home in Constantine Township until he was married, Aug. 23, 1854, being the date of that important step in his life. He was then united to Miss Ellen, daughter of John and Mary BURNHAM, natives of England. The father was born in Yorkshire, in 1800, and the mother in England in 1803. They migrated to this country and settled in St. Joseph County, in 1831, and here the father died Aug. 28, 1832, a few weeks after his arrival in this country. His wife died Jan. 28, 1853. They had two children, the wife of our subject, and Anna, who was born June 22, 1831, became the wife of Henry SEVISON, and died Feb. 7, 1857. Mrs. HARRISON was born in England, April 28, 1829. The pleasant home circle of herself and her husband is completed by the presence of the three sons and three daughters who have blessed their union, of whom the following is recorded: John B., born April 4, 1858; Edward, Aug. 23, 1860; William, March 27, 1863; Mary Eleanor, April 25, 1865; Annie Elizabeth, Feb. 14, 1868; Minnie, Oct. 28, 1871.

After marriage Mr. HARRISON commenced farming on the farm he still owns. It comprises 200 acres of as fertile and highly productive land as is to be found in the county; is amply supplied with substantial buildings and farm machinery, and is well stocked, as he has devoted much time to that branch of agriculture, although not to the neglect of his grain fields, where he has reaped many abundant harvests. He has now retired from the active labors of farm life, merely supervising and planning the work to be done. His long residence in this country has given him a wide experience in farming, and he has witnessed many changes, noticeably in the wonderful improvements of the machinery which so lightens the labors of the farmers. He remembers when wheat in the early times commanded $3 a bushel, and the holders would not let it go out of the county, but kept it for their neighbors who had none.

Mr. HARRISON and his family are members of the Reformed Church of Constantine, and they are ever foremost in all the good and charitable works that are carried forward in this community. Mr. HARRISON is accounted one of Florenceís most reliable and trustworthy citizens, and he has been called upon to fill some of its most responsible offices, having been Supervisor and Highway Commissioner. He is a prominent member of the social organizations of the F. & A. M., and the P. of H. In politics he is a through Republican.

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Page 363-364

George W. SPALSBURY, M. D., whose skill in his profession is attested by the many patients who seek his aid, was born in Kingston, Canada, on the 11th of March, 1821. While he was yet an infant his parents removed to Jefferson County, N. Y., and there are laid the scenes of his childhood, youth and early manhood. He attended the common schools, and afterward took a course in the High School, which occupied him until he was twenty years of age. From eighteen to twenty-four years of age he was engaged in teaching school during the winter seasons, and showed no little talent in that direction.

In 1843 the subject of our sketch began the study of medicine, reading first with Prof. Amasa Trowbridge, of Watertown, N. Y. He remained with that gentleman for about three years, during which time, however, he attended lectures at Willoughby, Ohio, and a second course at Berkshire Medical College, at Pittsfield, from which institution he was graduated in the fall of 1847.

The Doctor first opened an office in Lodus, Wayne Co., N. Y., where he remained until the year 1856, and then removed to Three Rivers, in this State, entering into partnership with Dr. S. L. Herrick, and continued in that relation for about a year and a half. In the spring of 1859 he came to Leonidas Township, where he has been ever since, actively engaged in the practice of his profession. He is everywhere highly esteemed as a physician, and enjoys the full confidence of the people.

In September, 1851, the subject of our sketch was married, in Lodus, N. Y., the lady who gave him her hand upon that occasion being Miss Silby Ann WHITE, who was born in Columbia County, N. Y. She has become the mother of three children, whose names are: Ella, now Mrs. Eugene D. BARRON of Three Rivers, and DeWitt and Duane, who are twins. Duane is in Kalamazoo, where he is engaged in learning the drug business. His brother is a student in the dental department in the University of Ann Arbor.

Dr. SPALSBURY is the second in a family of eight children, six of whom were sons, and all of whom are living. Although he has made his way thus far in his profession, enjoying a large and lucrative practice, and is honored in the community, he is not idle, but gives good attention to the keeping up of his medical studies, so that he may be abreast of the times in the treatment of his patients.

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Page 364-365

Robert S. GRIFFITH is an honored citizen of Fabius Township, with whose agricultural interests he is prominently identified, both as a farmer and a stock-raiser. He is the owner of one of the valuable farms for which this section is somewhat noted. It is finely located on section 18, and its well-tilled, productive acres have amply repaid the care and money that he has bestowed upon them.

Mr. GRIFFITH was born in Buckingham Township, Bucks Co., Pa., Jan. 11, 1824, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (SCARBOROUGH) GRIFFITH, the father a native of Wales, and the mother of that part of Pennsylvania included in William Pennís grant. The mother was of Quaker antecedents, her people belonging to that denomination, and her ancestry coming from England to settle in Pennsylvania at an early day in its colonial history. They had a family of thirteen children, of whom our subject was the eldest. He was reared on a farm and received the benefit of fair education, such as his father could afford to give him in those days, before free schools were known. He worked by the month some before he was allowed to start out in life for himself. Being an active, enterprising youth, at the age of nineteen he bought his time of his father, paying him the sum of $125. He was married, March 20, 1851, to Miss Susan COX, daughter of Jonas and Elizabeth (LARUE) COX. Following is a short chronological record of her parents and their children: Jonas COX was born on the 15th day of October, 1797. Elizabeth LARUE was born on the 20th day of August, 1797. They were united in marriage at Fallsington, Bucks Co., Pa., on the 15th of April, 1819. Jonas COX died on the 19th of December, 1834. Elizabeth , his wife, survived him many years, dying on the 11th of May, 1869. Their union was productive of eight children, as follows: Sarah was born on 7th of February, 1820, and died on the 10th of March, 1845; John L. was born on the 17th of July, 1821; Hannah, on the 1st of September, 1823; Ellwood, on the 29th of May, 1825; Mary Ann L., on the 13th of February, 1827; Susanna, wife of our subject, on the 30th of March, 1829; Samuel L. was born on the 8th of June, 1831, and died on the 20th of September, 1833; Elizabeth was born on the 30th of March, 1834. John L. COX married Catherine HILES, who was born on the 27th of April, 1838. Two children have been born of that marriage; Joseph, on the 6th of May, 1858, and Charles W., on the 28th of September, 1863.

For two years after his marriage our subject was employed as a day laborer. He was economical and thrifty, and carefully saving his earnings bought a horse, and went into debt for another, and thus equipped rented some land and was industriously engaged in farming it for four years. At the expiration of that time he had saved $1,150, besides owning some personal property, such as household goods. In 1857 he concluded to try agricultural pursuits on the unsurprisingly fertile soil of St. Joseph County, in this State, of which he had heard many glowing accounts. After his arrival here with his family he purchased 114 acres of land, one and one-half miles east of Three Rivers, and there he lived until 1878. For a time he was very prosperous and made money fast. During the war he built a handsome and commodious house at a cost of $4,000, but afterward came the financial panic, times were hard, and the expense that he had been at in improving his place proved too heavy a burden, and he was obliged to dispose of his property to pay his debts. After having honorably discharged every dollar of his indebtedness, he found that he had about $1,200 left with which to start life anew. He then bought his present farm which with the same indefatigable industry that has always characterized him, he has improved into one of the best places in the neighborhood. It comprises 100 acres of fertile soil, well adapted to both the raising of grain and cattle.

Over the pleasant household of our subject the shadow of death fell Nov. 24, 1887, and the devoted wife and tender mother was removed from the scene of her usefulness. She was a woman whose sincerity, tact, and great goodness of character, made her beloved by all who knew her, and in her death the community lost one whose place will be hard to fill. Although she dedicated her life to her duties as wife and a mother, she was ever ready to respond to the needs of others outside of the home circle, and memory will be fondly cherished by relatives, friends and neighbors. The Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she was a member from the time she was thirteen years of age, lost in her a bright and shining light. Eight children were born of her marriage with our subject, of whom seven are living, namely: Mary Anna, born March 28, 1852, is the wife of Joseph FISHER, of Park Township, and has four children living; Sarah L., born Dec. 12, 1853, died Dec. 25, 1871; Eliza C., born March 19, 1856, is the wife of Frank DOUGHERTY, lives with her father, and has one child; John COX, born March 6, 1858, is married to Minnie COX, has one child, and lives on the home farm; Lizzie, born Oct. 19, 1860, is the wife of Mills HOWARD, of Cass County, Mich., and has one child; William A., born June 6, 1963, is at present working by the month; Rachel, born June 24, 1865, is her fatherís housekeeper.

Mr. GRIFFITH is a through upright, conscientious man, one in whom his neighbors place the highest confidence. He is a sincere and earnest Christian, and for twenty years has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He takes a deep interest in improving the agricultural methods of today, and is a valued member of the grange. Politically, he sympathizes with the Republican party, and has always voted the Republican ticket. Apropos to the past campaign and his party candidate, Mr. GRIFFITH says he well remembers taking part in the "log cabin and hard cider" campaign of 1840, although he was not old enough to vote. He has never sought office, although he has served very acceptable on the School Board. Mr. GRIFFITH was drafted into the Union Army in 1864, the last draft in the district. He gave $200 towards providing a substitute, the town giving the balance and filling its quota.

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Page 365-366

Josias SIMPSON is one of the well-known farmers of Leonidas Township, and operates 500 acres of land as a general farmer. His father, whose name was identical with that of our subject, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Ellen CUDDY. They were married in the year 1829, in their native county, and emigrated to America in 1854, coming direct to Michigan and settling in Leonidas Township. Here they made their home for the remainder of their lives. The mother of our subject died on the 5th of September, 1858, and the father on the 23rd of January, 1877. Their family included nine children.

The subject of our sketch was the youngest of the family of which he was a member, and was born on the 5th of May, 1830, in County Tyrone. Since coming to this country he has lived in the above township. From his youth he has been connected with farming and farm life, and his buildings, fields and pastures all revealing the fact that a master hand has been at work.

The township offices have been held by our subject, that of Supervisor for three years. He was elected Justice of the Peace, but did not qualify. Mr. SIMPSON has taken a great interest in educational affairs, and has held several offices in connection therewith. He is one who enjoys the entire confidence of his fellows, and as a result has been asked to serve in the offices held by him.

Mr. SIMPSON was married in Centreville, on the 1st of January, 1857, the lady of his choice being Miss Jane GIBSON, daughter of John and Margaret (MOORE) GIBSON, both of whom were natives of County Tyrone, and representatives of good old Irish families. They emigrated to America in June, 1850, and settled in New York State, coming to this county in April of the year 1853. They located in Nottawa Township, and there made their home.

The birth of the wife of our subject occurred on the 28th of September, 1827, in County Tyrone. Her marriage with our subject has been very happy, which happiness has been in nowise diminished by the birth of five children, whose names are: Ellen M., Mary I.; Sarah J., now the wife of James ETHVINE, of Nottawa Township; William and James A., both of whom reside at home. Mr. and Mrs. SIMPSON are in accord with the religious views embodied in the Congregational Church, and are members of that communion. Their children have been bought up according to the same teaching, and are somewhat attached to the church.

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A very special 'Thank You' goes to Carole L. (Maudie) Carr for her contribution of St. Joseph Co., MI information and transcription efforts for this huge body of work