David PAGE. Among the pioneers of St. Joseph County no one is looked upon with more respect and veneration than he whose name appears at the head of this sketch. He has taken true and heartfelt pride in watching the sturdy growth of the county, and he having been an important factor in building up its business interests, a record of its rise and progress would be incomplete without mention of him. He located in Sturgis, his present place of residence, in 1837, and at that time built the first foundry and machine-shop in the county.
Our subject was born at Hebron, Grafton Co., N. H., April 18, 1811. His father, Thomas PAGE, deceased, was also a native of New England, born in the town of Hebron, Conn., of English parentage. He was a prominent man and influential citizen of his town, and after the War of 1812 was appointed collector of the direct tax. He married Sallie GALE, of Concord, N. H. They were the parents of ten children, three still living.
David PAGE of whom we write, received a limited education in the common schools of his native State, but a practical training at home in the industrial branches. At the age of eighteen years he determined to learn the trade of an iron molder, and for that purpose went to Painesville, Ohio, and remained in the iron works of that place for eight years. He then came to Michigan, as before stated, and built a foundry and a machine-shop, the only one in this part of the State, the nearest one at that time being at Mishawaka, Ind., forty miles distant. The foundry is still in operation, Mr. PAGE having had charge of it until 1852, when he sold out, and for the ensuing three years engaged in the dry-goods business. In 1855 our subject opened a hardware store, which he carried on for several years. Subsequently, in partnership with Silas Stow, he engaged in the manufacture of furniture and chairs, under the firm name of Page & Stow. He met with his former good success in this business, continuing it until 1865, when he sold out his interest, and the next four years conducted a flour and feed business. Having by that time amassed a sufficient sum for all his temporary needs, he has since lived a retired life, and, though now in feeble health, is enjoying the rewards of an honest business man, who toiled while it was yet morning that in the evening he might take rest and comfort.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Amanda, daughter of the late Luther JEWEL, took place in Painesville, Ohio, Jan. 28, 1835. Mrs. PAGE was a most estimable woman and a true helpmate to her husband, presiding with womanly grace and tenderness over her household until her death, March 7, 1872. She bore her husband five children, of whom four are now living, of whom the following is recorded: Olive J., born in Painesville, Ohio, Oct.20, 1835; Sarah J., born in Sturgis, Dec. 25, 1838, married Crebillion JAOBS. David Clayton born in Sturgis, Feb. 5, 1846, attended the Law School at Ann Arbor, and was admitted to practice in the United States District Court. He is now an attorney of note in Petoskey, Mich., and is Judge of Probate for Emmett County, and having been elected in a Democratic district shows without comment that he must be a very popular and highly esteemed citizen of the county, as he is a stanch Republican in his political views. He married Mrs. Sarah REYNOLDS, and they have one child, Lottie. Mrs. PAGE had one child by her first husband, who, having been adopted by Mr. PAGE, now bears the name of Eugene REYNOLDS PAGE. Laura J. M., born in Sturgis, Dec. 15, 1849, married Charles NICHOLS, of Chicago.
Our subject resides with his eldest daughter, Olive, widow of the late Gen. William L. STOUGHTON, who died from the effects of a wound received during the late war. Gen. STOUGHTON was born in Bangor, N. Y., March 20, 1829, and there spent the early years of his life. He was a man of intellectual ability, steadfast integrity and firm moral principals. He received a legal education, and after coming to Michigan soon took a high rank among its prominent and influential citizens, having been twice elected Prosecuting Attorney for St. Joseph County, and in 1861 was appointed by President Lincoln United States District Attorney for Michigan. At the breaking out of the late Civil War, he laid aside all personal ambitions and enlisted in the service of his country. He had the confidence and esteem of all his fellow-citizens, and after the organization of the 11th Michigan Infantry he was mustered in as Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. He was subsequently promoted for brave conduct to the rank of Brigadier General, and later, for gallant service in the field, was breveted Major General. After the close of the war Gen. STOUGHTON was not allowed to retire to private life, but in 1886 was elected Attorney General of Michigan, serving until 1868, when he was elected to Congress from the Fourth Michigan District, and again re-elected in 1870. He served with distinction on the Committee on Military Affairs, and under his efficient leadership two bills were passed equalizing the bounties of soldiers. A fuller and more extended account of Gen. STOURGHTON may be found in the "American Biographical History of Eminent and Self-made Men of the State of Michigan." To General and Mrs. STOUGHTON were born five children, of whom three are now living. William P., born Sept. 22, 1857, married Miss Dell, daughter of John McKERLIE, a pioneer of this county; Sanford F., born Jan. 17, 1862, is a clerk in Farwell’s dry-goods store in Chicago; Blanche, born Feb. 26, 1873. William P. is head postal clerk on the fast mail train on the Lake Shore Railway. Arthur was the second son; he died June 24, 1886. Olive died at the age of five months.
Asa P. KENYON, a member of the firm of E. T. Parker & Co., livery stable keepers, Sturgis, is the pioneer liveryman, and one of the oldest settlers of the town, and is widely known and esteemed throughout St. Joseph County. He and his partner, who is his stepson, do the main business in their line in this and surrounding towns, besides having a large transfer business.
Mr. KENYON was born Oct. 11, 1815, in the town of Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., N. Y. His parents, Barnabas and Betsy (PARKHURST) KENYON, were natives of Rhode Island and Oneida County, N. Y. His father went to the State of New York when a child, and there, when he grew to man’s estate, he carried on the clothier’s trade and also that of a miller. Both parents are deceased.
Our subject received a good common-school education in his native county, and he grew to be a sturdy, self-reliant, active young man, and at the age of nearly twenty-one he started out to see something of the world, making his way to LaGrange County, Ind., in July, 1836. He worked on a farm in the summer seasons and in winter utilized his education by teaching school for about eleven years, becoming very successful in that profession. In 1849 Mr. KENYON came to Sturgis, and has been an honored resident here ever since. He was actively engaged in carpentering for several years, and then turned his attention to wagon-making, which he followed four or five years. In 1865 he entered upon his present business as a livery stable keeper, and has been prosperously engaged in that ever since. He is now in comfortable circumstances, and his credit stands high in business circles, as he has always dealt fairly and squarely by all who have had dealings with him. His geniality kind-heartedness, and obliging manners render him popular in this community, where he has many warm friends.
Mr. KENYON has been twice married. His first marriage was to Rachel CUMMINGS, daughter of Robert CUMMINGS, to whom he was united in April, 1843. After a brief but happy wedded life of a year’s duration, Mrs. KENYON was called hence by death, March 31, 1844. She left one son, J. Milton, who was married in Michigan City, Ind., to Nean HIGGINS, and they live in Toledo, Ohio, and have three children; Kate, Nettie and Rachel. The marriage of our subject to Mrs. Isabelle PARKER, his present estimable wife, was consummated in October, 1819. She was the widow of Erastus PARKER, and a daughter of James McKERLIE, an early pioneer of St. Joseph County. By her first marriage she had one son, Erastus T. PARKER, our subject’s partner, whose sketch will be found on another page of this volume. By this second marriage Mr. and Mrs. KENYON have had three children; DeWitt, who died at the age of four years; Mary and Frank. Mary married Emmions S. HUDSON, of Riley, Kan., and they have three children; Harlow K., Bessie B. and Nettie. Frank married Eliza BOTTORNLY, and they live in this town.
Thomas J. JONES, who was for many years prominently identified with the agricultural interests of St. Joseph County, and still owns one of its finest farms, pleasantly located in Constantine Township, has relinquished the active labors connected with the management of his property, and is now living in retirement in Constantine Village, in the enjoyment of the means that he has accumulated by energetic and well-directed toil.
Mr. JONES is a native of Maryland, born in Washington County, Feb. 1, 1818, and, although not among the earliest settlers of this county, may yet be numbered among its pioneers, as he first came here in 1853, and a year or two later, after a brief residence in Indiana, became interested in developing its agricultural resources, as a member of its farming community. His father, John JONES, was a native of the same county where our subject had his birth, and there died. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth RUTTER, was also a native of Maryland. In 1874 she came to White Pigeon, this county, and in 1881 she passed away from the scenes of earth. She was the mother of four children, of whom Thomas J. was the second.
The death of our subject’s father left him practically on his own resources at the tender age of six years. As was the custom at that time and in that locality, he was bound out until he was sixteen years of age. These years were spent on a farm, where he acquired not only a thorough knowledge of agriculture, but also laid the foundation for the rugged health he has always enjoyed. When sixteen he began learning the trade of shoemaking with his uncle, Benjamin RUTTER, in Northumberland County, Pa. With him he staid three years, and then began as a journeyman. Two years later he returned to farm work, until three years after his marriage, when he was employed in the Montour Rolling Mills, at Danville, Pa. This was his vocation for seven years, until he made up his mind to emigrate West.
During his residence in Northumberland County Mr. JONES was married, Jan. 5, 1843, to Miss Jane E. GUFFY, daughter of John and Nancy (GRIER) GUFFY, who died in Northumberland County, Pa. They were the parents of eight children, of whom Mrs. JONES was the fifth in order of birth. She was born in Northumberland County, May 23, 1823. She is a woman of superior capability, a deft and thrifty housewife, who looks well to the ways of her household, and in so doing has co-operated with her husband, and in no small measure contributed to his prosperity. The following is recorded of the seven children who have been born of their wedded life: Elizabeth Agnes is the wife of Joseph STANGAL, of Constantine; Emma Jane is the wife of William HOATS, of Three Rivers; Sophia is the wife of Clark SHELLENBARGER, of Indiana; Clara is the wife of Arthur REDFERN, of White Pigeon; Mary L. is at home; John D. died in Constantine Township, May 1, 1881, and Frederick died when five years of age.
In the spring of 1853 Mr. JONES disposed of his property in Pennsylvania, and migrated with his wife and three children to St. Joseph County, this State. During the following summer he lived in White Pigeon, and then removed to Elkhart County, Ind., where he engaged in the lumber business. Eighteen months later we again find him in St. Joseph County, on a farm which he had bought in White Pigeon Township. He remained there seven years, vigorously and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. At the end of that time he had a fine chance to dispose of his property there at a good profit, and immediately availed himself of the offer, and then sought a home in Constantine Township, where he purchased another farm. He carried on that place twenty-two years, and so improved it by careful cultivation, and the erection of substantial buildings, that its value was greatly increased, and it became one of the most desirable farms in the township. It comprises 280 acres of highly productive land, is finely located, and admirably adapted both to raising stock and grain. In November, 1887, he built a handsome brick residence, near the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway station in Constantine, and he and his family have one of the most attractive homes in the place.
The native ability, foresight, and decision of character of our subject have been important factors in making life a success with him. He has ever been true to the principles of good citizenship, and in his relations with others has done his duty like an honorable man; as a husband and father he is kind and devoted to the best interests of his family, and he and his wife have reason to be proud that their children have been reared to lead useful and upright lives, and have not departed from the example set by their parents; as a neighbor, he is kind and obliging. Mr. JONES is deeply interested in politics, and staunchly upholds the policy of the Republican party. He has contributed to the maintenance of law and order in this community by his faithful discharge of the duties connected with the office of Justice of the Peace, which he held for one term. Mrs. JONES was formerly a member of the Reformed Church, but is not now identified with any religious denomination.
As illustrating the habits of economy and thrift which have governed his life, Mr. JONES mentions that the first money he ever had of his own was fifty cents, which was given him by his employer when he was fifteen years old. This money he kept for many years, finally giving it to his mother when he was about twenty-two years old. This habit of saving has been the basis of the financially independent position now occupied by Mr. JONES
Jonas WOLF occupies a leading position among the public-spirited and liberal citizens who by the free use of their wealth have given great impetus to the growth and development of St. Joseph County. He was for a few years closely identified with the farming interests of the county, owning and managing a large and valuable farm in Florence Township, but he disposed of that several years ago and removed to the village of Constantine, where he has since resided, he having an ample fortune, so that he now lives in retirement from the active duties of business.
Our subject come of an old German family who lived in Wurtemberg, Germany, and his parents, John and Catherine (HAHN) WOLF, were natives respectively of Wurtemberg, Germany, and of Bethlehem, Northampton Co., Pa. We are not told when the father emigrated to this country, but he was married in the Keystone State, and there spent his last years, dying in Columbia County. The mother died in St. Joseph County, Mich. They were people of solid worth, and were deservedly held in high estimation. They had a family of eight children, of whom Jonas was the youngest.
Our subject was born in Mifflin, Columbia Co., Pa., Nov. 12, 1812. He was reared on a farm until he was twelve years of age, when thus early in life he began his initiation in the mercantile business, and for six years was engaged as a clerk. At the youthful age of sixteen he established himself in business on his own account at Roaring Creek, in his native county, and was engaged as a merchant there and at other points in Pennsylvania for some thirty-seven years. He bought a farm for $125 and acre, the said farm being located on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, and after managing it for three years in connection with his business, he sold the place for $200 an acre. He disposed of all of his interest in his native State and coming to Michigan in the fall of 1865, bought a farm in Florence Township, paying $17,000 for it. This he carried on with the usual success that attended all his efforts for three and one-half years, when he sold it for $27,000, and removed to Constantine Village, of which he has since been an honored resident.
Mr. WOLF has been twice married. His first marriage occurred in Northumberland County, Pa., on the north branch of the Susquehanna River, when he was united to Miss Margaret GEARHART, a native of that county. She died in Danville, Pa. leaving six children, of whom the following is recorded: John W. resides on Broad street, Constantine Township; Joseph D. resides in Florence Township; Herman G. resides in Constantine Village; Mary C. is the wife of Jackson DARRAH, of Pennsylvania; Fannie A. died in Pennsylvania in May, 1876; Ella R. is the wife of David ECKMOAN, of Riverside, Pa.
Mr. WOLF’s marriage to his present wife took place on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, in Northumberland County, Sept. 20, 1851. Mrs. WOLF at the time of her marriage with our subject was the widow of William LEMON, who died in Point Township, Northumberland Co., Pa. Her maiden name was Nancy VINCENT, and she was born in Delaware Township, Northumberland County, Sept. 9, 1816. Her parents, Isaac and Rebecca (COMLY) VINCENT, departed this life in Northumberland County. They had ten children, of whom Mrs. WOLF was the second in order of birth. By this marriage Mr. and Mrs. WOLF have had two children, Carrie and Sally. Carrie is the wife of S. B. DAVIS, of Constantine; Sally, who was the wife of Albert REYNOLDS, died Oct. 26, 1878.
Mr. WOLF first visited St. Joseph County in 1832, when it was in its primeval wildness, and purchased a tract of land in Lockport Township, on which he resided for about three months, when he tired of the limitations and restrictions of pioneer life, as he found that he could make more money at the mercantile business in his native State, to which he returned. He is influential in politics and in local affairs, and has been one of the Directors of the First National Bank of Constantine for some ten years. He was an ardent Democrat until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he sent two of his sons to the front, where they served faithfully for four years, and he on his part vigorously supported the Republican policy in regard to the management of the war, from his Pennsylvania home. He continued to act with that party until 1884, when he returned to his allegiance to the Democratic party. Mr. WOLF and his wife are among the leading members of the Reformed Church. He was Elder in the church for several years, and was instrumental in securing the erection of the present edifice, in which the congregation worship. He donated liberally toward the support of the Gospel in this town, and every good work meets with his cordial sympathy and substantial aid. Mr. WOLF owes his success as a business man to the fact that he was gifted with rare judgement, keen discernment, great tact and an enterprising spirit. He is also greatly indebted for his prosperity to the cheerful aid and active co-operation of his capable wife, who is possessed of a large share of common senses and decision of character.
Daniel MILLER, a retired and well-to-do farmer, came to Sturgis Nov. 16, 1881, to spend his declining years in this pleasant town. In the few years that have elapsed since that time he has gained the good-will of the people among whom he has come to make his home, and he is held in the highest esteem for his considerate and kindly ways and his honorable character.
Mr. MILLER was born in Highland County, Ohio, June 28, 1827, in the pioneer home of his parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (PROUCIUS) MILLER. They were natives of Pennsylvania, and had been early settlers of Ohio. In the spring of 1831 they once more became pioneers, taking up their abode in the wilds of LaGrange County, Ind. They had twelve children, nine of whom are living, namely: Christiana, now Mrs. YOUNG; David; George; Sarah, now Mrs. ROBBINS; Adam, Joseph, Henry, William and our subject. The names of the deceased were John, Catherine, (Mrs. ROBBINS) and James, all of whom were married and had families. The father of our subject died on the old homestead in LaGrange County, Ind., May 13, 1838, and Mother MILLER died Aug. 16, 1869, having rounded out a life of more than ordinary length.
Daniel MILLER was nearly four years of age when his parents moved to Indiana, and he has a good recollection of the condition of the country in his boyhood, forests of primeval growth abounding. Indians numerous, and also wild animals, such as deer, bears, wolves, coons, etc. The same pioneer condition then prevailed here, and as late as 1847 two or three bears from the forest passed through the streets of Sturgis. Our subject received his education in the primitive school-house of the times, a log cabin with a clapboard roof and with poles as weights to hold it down, fireplace at one end of the room, with stick and clay chimney, and slabs served as benches, a board on pins against the wall for desk on which to write, and a puncheon floor. Our subject grew to manhood, with a character molded by the influences that prevailed in strength and sturdiness. He adopted the calling of farmer as best suited to his tastes, and it is unnecessary to say that he met with marked success in his chosen calling, as he has been enabled to retire on a comfortable competence, removing from his old home in Indiana to Sturgis in 1881, as before mentioned.
Mr. MILLER has been twice married. He was wedded to Miss Elizabeth YOUNG, May 21, 1848, and to them came eleven children, ten of whom are living, namely: Selina, Manfred, Henry, Diantha, Carleton, Daniel, Mary, Almon, Delos and Charles. Selina married Charles STROUD, of Greenfield Township, LaGrange Co., Ind., and they have had one child, Mary B., who is dead; Manfred married Clara PATCHIN, and they live in Sedgwick County, Kan.; they have seven children, namely: Locey, William, Asel, Nellie, Zella, and a girl and boy, infants unnamed. Henry married Mary MOORE, of the same county, and they have three children: Zadie, Bertha and Herman. Diantha married Carleton LILLIE, of LaGrange County, Ind.; Carleton married Lodema SNIDER, and they are living in Sedgwick County, Kan., and have one child; Daniel married Louisa CARPENTER, who died, and he then married her sister, Alta; they now live in Coldwater, Mich., and have one child, Clarence. Mrs. MILLER was a daughter of Locey YOUNG. Her death, April 27, 1874, was a severe blow to her family, to whose members she was greatly devoted, and they now cherish her memory with the utmost reverence.
Mr. MILLER’s second marriage, which took place April 22, 1875, was to Miss Helen M. FIELD, a daughter of the late David S. FIELD. Her mother, whose maiden name was Martha (WHEELER) FIELD, is now living in Wolcottville, Ind., at the advanced age of seventy-nine years. To our subject and his present wife have been born three children, two living; Helen M. and Claude E.; one died in infancy.
Mr. MILLER, brought up as he was in a pioneer country and under pioneer influences, early acquired a bold, self-helpful spirit, which, with his persevering nature and his good capacity for labor, were important elements in his after success, and he so managed his farming interests as to acquire a comfortable competence, and is now enjoying the well-earned fruit of his early labors. He is a stanch member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his daily life shows the sincerity of his religious professions. Mrs. MILLER is a faithful member of the Baptist Church, and none are more active in promoting good works than she. Mr. MILLER is an political situation of the day are sound and intelligent.
Hon. J. C. BISHOP, ex-member of the Michigan Legislature, and long Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, was elected Supervisor first in the spring of 1867. He has served in this capacity with the exception of one year, 1878, since that time. He was Justice of the Peace for a term of four years, and Highway Commissioner for a term of three years. He was elected to represent the people of the then eastern district of St. Joseph County in the State of Legislature, and served acceptably his term of two years, in which there were two sessions of the Legislature. He has been Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for four years. In the village of Burr Oak he holds the office of Assessor, and in 1875 was elected President of the Village Board, but declined to qualify. Mr. BISHOP has discharged the duties of his various offices in a manner highly creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. Generous and public-spirited, he is numbered among the leading men of St. Joseph County, and one intimately connected with its welfare and prosperity.
The subject of this sketch was born at Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., April 1, 1828. He came with his parents to this county in 1836, when a little lad eight years of age, and, with the exception of six years in Colorado and Nebraska, has since resided within its limits. He acquired early in life a knowledge of agricultural pursuits, in which he has always been interested, and notwithstanding a large proportion of his time has been devoted to the discharge of public duties, he has continuously been interested in farming. Mr. BISHOP, in 1874, took the State Census of the township of Burr Oak, and in 1880 the United States Census. Four years later he was again connected with the taking of the State Census.
The parents of our subject, James L. and Mary (CARPENTER) BISHOP, where natives respectively of Connecticut and Massachusetts. The father was born Jan. 17, 1799, and the mother August 5, of the same year. Their family included eight children, two of whom died in early childhood and two sons yielded up their lives upon the battle-field in the service of their country, and one was killed during the Kansas troubles, supposed to have been murdered.
The marriage of J. C. BISHOP and Miss Cordelia CLARK was celebrated in this county, Jan. 11, 1851. Mrs. BISHOP was born Nov. 8, 1830, and is the daughter of William and Margaret (WHITNEY) CLARK, who were natives of New York State, and spent their last years in Michigan and New York. Their family consisted of two children only. Mr. CLARK came to Michigan in 1840, being one of the earliest settlers of Burr Oak Township. To our subject and his wife there were born two children: Mary and William C. Mr. BISHOP is a member of the Self-Protection Association of Burr Oak and vicinity. Politically, he is a warm supporter of Republican principles. In 1883 he took up his residence at Burr Oak, and has now a most pleasant and attractive home located at the corner of Third and Eagle streets.
Dr. Robert A. GREEN. The subject of this personal; history is a homeopathic physician and surgeon, of good repute and enterprise. He is well esteemed by the public at large for his success in his chosen field of industry, and for his unquestioned ability and accurate knowledge of his work. He is one of the most highly esteemed citizens of White Pigeon.
The ancestry of this gentleman can be traced back to the earliest Colonial times of the country. At a time before the colonies which compost the Union had grown into States, three brothers, including one Nathaniel GREEN, came from Scotland to America, and settled in Rhode Island, and it is from one of these brothers that our subject has descended. Nathaniel GREEN went to Charleston, S. C., and has never been heard from, and it is not known if he left any posterity or not. The third brother is supposed to have gone to New York. The brother to whom our subject traces his ancestry is noted as being the original propagator of the famous apple known as the "Rhode Island Greening."
The father of our subject, Benjamin GREEN, was born in Peru, Clinton Co., N. Y., and pursued the vocations of a tanner, currier and shoemaker. In his later years he was a farmer. Our subject was born in the town of Macedon, Wayne Co., N. Y., eighteen miles east of the present city of Rochester, Dec. 16, 1824, where he lived with his parents, and attended the public schools and the academy at Marion, N. Y. At an early age he expressed a desire to enter the medical profession, and all his studies were such as to prepare him for it. When he was twenty-four years old he began reading under various preceptors; to secure money, which was not plentiful, to pay his way, he worked by the month for farmers in the neighborhood of his home, devoting all his spare time to his books. After reading three years in the office of Dr. A. G. Austin’ a noted lecturer of that time, then located in Williamson, Wayne Co., N. Y., he practiced with him for a year and a half.
At the end of this time our subject thought it advisable to practice alone, which he did for awhile. In December, 1861, located in White Pigeon, where he has since continued to live, and has built up a large and remunerative practice. When he entered into his practice he did not discontinue his reading and researches, but kept them up, and was graduated from the Western Homeopathic College at Cleveland, in March, 1858, whose diploma he holds.
The Doctor was married to Miss Jane Ann JOSLIN, Sept. 23, 1846. She is the daughter of George JOSLIN, now deceased. He and his good wife are the parents of four children: Marietta, Ruth E., Burnice S. and Benjamin F. Marietta is the wife of William A. SHEAP, of Terre Haute, Ind., and is the mother of three children: Lucy, Ina and Robert; Ruth is married to Lou ARNOLD, and resides in Englewood, Ill.; she is the mother of six children: Bessie, Burton, Grace, Glenn, Robert and Jennie. Burnice married Miss Mary E. REED, and now lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is the father of one child, Harry A.; Benjamin married Winnifred J. LONG; he lives in his native town, and is the father of two children: Charles and Don P.
The Doctor never seeks any office, as the acceptance of any public duty would interfere materially with the practice of his chosen profession, of which he is a devoted disciple, honestly believing that the principles enunciated in his chosen school of medicine are the only correct ones. He is proud of his family, all of whom hold high places in the social life of the various neighborhoods in which they live. He has a large conception of the value of education, and of the great benefits derived by the country by virtue of the intelligence of the people, and from the time he settled in White Pigeon to the present he has taken a deep and abiding interest in the welfare and success of the schools. He has been Chairman of the School Board for forty years, and is President of the Village Board of Trustees. His granddaughter Bessie was taken by him in infancy, and has assumed the name of our subject instead of ARNOLD. She fills the place of daughter in the home circle and life of our subject and his good wife.
Talcott C. CARPENTER, one of the foremost lawyers of Southern Michigan, has his place of business in Sturgis, where he is extensively engaged as an attorney and collecting agent. His father, Younglove C. CARPENTER, was well known as a sturdy pioneer of St. Joseph County, coming here as early as the year 1836 with his wife and children from Delaware County, N. Y., settling among the Indians and wild animals that then infested the primeval forests of Mendon Township and the surrounding country. Our subject was but an infant when his parents thus planted a home in the wilderness, and he has a distinct recollection of the pioneers scenes amid which his pioneer days were passed; of the deep, centuries old forests that surrounded the clearing where his father had built a log cabin, and of the deer, wolves, bears and other wild animals that made their home among those trees; and he also remembers the aboriginal sons of the forest who used to visit his parents to beg and trade.
Our subject is derived of good New England stock, his father having been a native of Connecticut, and his mother whose maiden name was Rhoda SABIM, was born in Massachusetts. They reared a family of nine children, four of whom are living besides our subject, namely: Sarah, now Mrs. WORCESTER, of Grinnell, Iowa; Elizabeth, Mrs. HOWARD, of California; Lucetta L., Mrs. HOWARD, of California; Maria T., Mrs. POORMAN, of Marcellus, Mich.
Our subject received the advantages of a fine education in the best literary institutions in Michigan, taking a thorough course in the literary department of the Normal School at Ypsilanti, and two years in the literary department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, with an additional year in the law department of the world-renowned University at Ann Arbor, leaving there in the spring of 1861. The education that he thus secured was the result of his own exertions, as he had to depend on his own resources for the means of going through school. He was an ambitious, high-spirited youth, whose intense desire for learning, he having inherited a vigorous mentality from an intelligent New England ancestry, overcame every obstacle thereto. While in college he sawed wood for a living a part of the time, boarding himself and living on mush and milk for months at a time. He also worked in Prof. Winchell’s garden, and as opportunity offered taught school, Oakland, Mich., before entering the University and after leaving Ypsilanti. After his graduation from the law school Mr. CARPENTER entered the law office of the Hon. Henry F. Severns, read a short time with him, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1861. He remained in Mr. Severns’ office a few months longer, and then came to Sturgis in the same year, and went into the office of the Hon. William L. Stoughton, who subsequently went into the army and became a General, leaving our subject in charge of his business. Mr. CARPENTER has ever since been a resident of this town, and has built up a large practice.
January 4, 1863, our subject was married in Cuba, Ill., to Helen M. WHITNEY. She is a daughter of Nathan B. and Esther WHITNEY, then of Cuba, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. CARPENTER are the parents of three children: John H., Ella L. and Carrie L. John is Station Agent at Stryker, Ohio. All are graduates of the Sturgis High School.
Our subject is regarded as one of the most eminent members of the bar now practicing in this part of the State, his profound knowledge of jurisprudence and his success in the courts justifying this belief. He has held some of the most responsible legal offices with great distinction. He was Circuit Court Commissioner for six years, Prosecuting Attorney for four years, and has held local offices. He is a leading member of the Masonic fraternity, and has taken the degrees of Knight Templar and of K. of P.
Mr. CARPENTER and his excellent wife belong to the Baptist Church. In him the Republican party has a devoted adherent, who strongly supports its policy by voice and vote.
John J. DAVIS. St. Joseph County has within her borders numerous enterprising men, who in an early day came in to "lengthen her cords and strengthen her stakes," and prominent among them is found the name of the subject of this sketch, who is now a resident f White Pigeon, where he is engaged in business as a grain and produce dealer. He was born in Marbletown, Ulster Co., N. Y., July 18, 1816. His father, Jacob DAVIS, was a native of the same county, and was a descendant from a well-known Holland family. The mother was Cornelia TACK, who was also a native of Ulster County. They were the parents of four children, of which number our subject is the only survivor. The father and two of the sisters, Sarah A. and Margaret A., died in September, 1838. The third sister, Mary, was married to Cornelius C. NEWKIRK, and at her death was the mother of four children:: Cornelius; Sarah, who is Mrs. BESEL, and resides in LaCrosse, Wis.; Emma and Mary. The mother of our subject died some time in the seventies, over eighty years of age.
Mr. DAVIS married Louisa KERR in September, 1841. She was a daughter of John KERR. Her father is now dead. Mr. and Mrs. DAVIS are the parents of one child, Hevlett J. DAVIS, now the trusted agent of the United States Express Company at South Bend, Ind. He married Miss Lottie RHOADES, and is the father of three children: Charlie, Gail and Lorene. Mrs. DAVIS died in 1846. Mr. DAVIS married Mary BOWMAN in October, 1852. She is a daughter of John BOWMAN, a native of Yorkshire, England, where he died. After his death the mother emigrated with her family to America.
Our subject and his second wife were the parents of a family of eight children, four of whom are living namely: Nettie, Sarah C., Emma M. and John J., Jr. Nettie is the wife of Fred HOTCHIN, and is the mother of one child, Jennie; they reside in White Pigeon. Sarah is the wife of J. Wesley SIEGEL, and resides in Three Rivers, Mich.; Emma M. is the wife of Frank TRACY; she is the mother of one child, Anna Marhea; they reside in Sturgis, Mich. After a long and tedious illness, which she bore with remarkable foritude, Mrs. DAVIS died in January, 1868.
One year prior to the death of his wife our subject sold his farm and engaged in his present business, which he has zealously prosecuted up to this time. He is widely known as an honest, straightforward man, and is a splendid example of what may be accomplished by energy and close application to business. He may well consider himself one among the pioneers who have been instrumental in opening to civilization and bringing to its present high state of advancement the original wild country comprised within the borders of this county. Coming here in 1836 he settled on a farm one mile east of town, which at time was the only trading post within the county. A larger amount of business was done then than now, as all trading was concentrated at this point. One firm, Kellog & Bros., employed eight or ten clerks in their store constantly. There were other firms transacting business who were almost as extensively interested.
Mr. DAVIS belongs to that large class of intelligent and enterprising people who came into Michigan from New York and the New England States during its pioneer period, and who have been such important factors in developing to such a high degree the resources which nature has so generously lavished upon the State. This element has contributed so vastly to the development of the material resources of the country that it today takes a front rank as a producing section of the country, and it has stood as a champion of an enlarged and elevated civilization and education, and no one man has contributed more to bring about this desirable state than our subject. Although not a member of any church, Mr. DAVIS contributes largely to the support of the Presbyterian Church. His views on all questions are extremely liberal. Both his wives were members of the Presbyterian Church, earnest and zealous in the profession and practice of their faith. His son John is a member of the firm of Bracken & Davis, general merchants of White Pigeon; they make a specialty of dry goods and groceries.
Our subject steadily declines all official honors, preferring to act independently as he may deem it proper for the best interest of White Pigeon, to the present prosperity of which he has contributed so much and with which he is so thoroughly identified. He is proud of his family, all the surviving members of which reflect the greatest credit and honor on their parents.
Prof. Sheridan OSBON, Superintendent of the school of St. Joseph County, Mich., is an honorable, learned man, an able educator, an influential citizen of Sturgis, where he makes his home, and as such, it affords us great pleasure to place a brief record of his life before the numerous readers of this Biographical Album. He is a native-born citizen of this State, his birth having occurred in Sturgis, Oct. 3, 1842.
The father of our subject, George W. OSBON (2nd), was born in Painesville, Ohio, Aug. 3, 1811. He remained in his native State until ready to establish himself in life, when he joined the tide of emigration that was flowing into the unsettled portions of the Peninsula State, and in 1838 became a pioneer of St. Joseph County, engaging for several years in the mercantile business in Sturgis. He remained an esteemed and honored resident of the place until his death, which occurred March 9, 1870. He was an enterprising, conscientious business man, and performed efficient service in aiding the growth and development of his adopted town. He married Miss Cornelia H. HAWES, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, born April 14, 1821, who still resides in Sturgis. She bore him seven children, of whom two only are now living, Henry R. and Sheridan. One son, Frank, was a soldier in the Union Army during the late Rebellion, and died from disease contracted during the service.
Superintendent OSBON, of this sketch, was reared and received the rudiments of an excellent education at Sturgis, having been graduated from its High School in 1858. He subsequently attended the Agricultural College at Lansing, Mich., completing the sophomore in 1859. The ensuing year our subject, imbued with a strong desire to see life in some of its rougher aspects, visited the Western mining regions, and as an active worker in one of the gold mines, proved himself, at the youthful age of seventeen years, fully adequate to combat all the obstacles to be met with in the typical mining camp. He was not, however, sufficiently enchanted with the life there to stay many months, and returned home to take up the profession of teaching, and for five years taught with eminent success in Mongo, Ind. In 1866 Prof. OSBON further pursued his studies at Hillsdale College, completing the junior year, and in 1867 and 1868 took charge of the schools at Muir, Mich. From that time until 1877 Superintendent OSBON gave his time and attention to farming on a tract of land near Sturgis, thus utilizing the knowledge of scientific farming gained at the Agricultural College. In September of that year, receiving an urgent call to take charge of the educational institution of Mongo, LaGrange Co., Ind., he gave up his agricultural works and devoted himself to the improvement of the schools of that place, remaining there three years. In the meantime he organized a High School in Mongo that was second to none in that part of the State, and that his successful labors were appreciated is amply shown by his having received a call for two consecutive seasons to take the principalship of the summer Normal Institute, held at the county seat. In 1880 the Professor accepted the principalship of the Sturgis schools, but after teaching one year was promoted to the superintendency of the city schools, an office in which he served with signal ability until 1887, when he resigned to accept his present position as County Superintendent of Schools. During his professional career the Superintendent has taught in all grades, from the lowest to the highest, and the experience thus gained, and the knowledge of what a school ought to be, has well fitted him for his present duties. Being a gentleman of polish and culture, an excellent organizer, and thoroughly conversant with the most approved Normal methods in use, he has won an enviable reputation as a scholar, an educator, and supervisor, and his management of the county schools is above criticism.
Prof. OSBON was united in marriage, in Sturgis, Sept. 24, 1869, to Miss Adaline C., daughter of Andrew and Philliippine (SCHONEBERGER) NEGLE, both natives of Germany. Mrs. OSBON was born in Europe in 1849.
Frank W. NORTHROP. The present commercial importance and prosperity of White Pigeon are unquestionably due to the wisdom, foresight and enterprise of her merchants, and it is a fitting tribute to those who have so honorably distinguished themselves in the commercial arena, that their names and successful career should be commemorated among those of the leading men in all branches of commerce. It is a fact worthy of consideration that nearly all of our prominent business men have struggled up to their commanding positions and foremost places in business from a dark obscurity. As a representative of this class we present the following brief outline of one who has won, unaided, the leading position he holds today among the merchants of this city, where he is engaged in the sale of hardware, stoves and tinware, as well as in all the late improved agricultural implements.
This gentleman was born in Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, Sept. 5, 1856. He is the son of Charles H. NORTHROP. The father is a direct descendant of one of five brothers who came to America from Wales at a very early day. They are noted for their longevity. His mother was Caroline (SMITH) NORTHROP; she died in 1866. After her death Frank lived among strangers, being obliged virtually to support himself. He learned the tinner’s trade with George Claar at Berrien Springs, Mich., where he went to work when he was seventeen years old. After he had completed his apprenticeship he came to White Pigeon in June, 1877, and worked for six years for J. R. Watson & Bro. After he had worked three years for Messers. Watson he went, in the fall of 1880 to Michigan City, Ind.,; in the spring of 1883 he returned and again entered the employ of the Messrs. Watson, where he remained three years longer.
Our subject bought his present store building Feb. 1, 1886, and established his present flourishing business on the slender capital of $600. By close attention and his strict, unswerving integrity he has been prospered, so that now he carries a stock worth $3000, and transacts a business the sales from which exceed $15,000 per annum. No merchant in the city stands higher in reputation, or has higher rating credit, compared with the amount of capital invested, than Mr. NORTHROP. When he began business for himself he knew that if success attended the venture there was but one way to make it so, and that way was to adopt as a rule of action in all cases absolute truth and honesty. These principles he had made his guide, and he results obtained prove conclusively that his line of reasoning is correct.
Mr. NORTHROP was married to miss Katie MARSHALL, May 5, 1880. She is the daughter of Abraham S. MARSHALL, one of the earliest settlers in Mottville Township. They have become the parents of two children, Alene and Harry, both very bright and intelligent children, who bid fair in years to come to be a source of comfort and enjoyment to their parents. Mrs. NORTHROP is one of those women who may be considered as the salt of the earth; generous and kind-hearted, she takes a leading part in any and all matters that have for their object the material good of the many unfortunates who surround us in life.
Our subject began his life under exceedingly adverse circumstances. Left at the tender age of ten years to provide for himself, he has had a constant struggle from that time up to the day he began business for himself. To those who are born to wealth, accustomed to having every want anticipated and supplied without exertion on their part, the circumstances surrounding the early life of our subject are unknown, and cannot be appreciated by any save those who have traveled the same rough way. The education he was able to obtain was secured in a disjointed, rambling manner, but with will and determination to succeed he lost no opportunity of adding to the knowledge gained by observation and study. He is a close observer of men and events, and to-day he possesses a large fund of practical knowledge and ranks among the intelligent and thinking class of people. His business has increased very rapidly, and he is now doing the largest trade in his line in the southern part of St. Joseph County. Himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has obtained the Chapter degrees of that society.
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