In the career of this esteemed citizen, late a resident of Nottawa Township, and now deceased, was embodied the creed that "no man should live for himself alone, but also for other." He departed this life at his home in Nottawa Township, Oct. 1, 1881, at the age of sixty-nine years, having been born Oct. 14, 1812. He was familiarly called "Harry LAIRD," and from this simple fact may be gathered an idea of the character of the man-genial, companionable, and one who, since his taking off, has been sadly missed in his community.

A native of Greene County, N. Y., our subject was the son of Glover LAIRD, who was born in Ireland, and emigrated to the United States early in life, settling in the Empire State, where it is probable he was married. There Harry lived with his parents until a lad eight years of age, then accompanied his father to Ohio, and from there, in October, 1830, to Michigan. After assisting is father in breaking forty acres and fencing eighty acres, on section 2 in Nottawa Township, this county, young LAIRD, in June, 1831, returned to Ohio for the purpose of attending school.

In 1833, leaving the Buckeye State the second time, Mr. LAIRD came again to Nottawa Township, where he sojourned the following winter, and journeyed to and from Ohio several times from that time until 1836. In 1837 he was united in marriage, in Butler County, Ohio, with Miss Susannah MANTHA. This lady was born in Hartford County, Md., Feb. 10, 1817, and of this union there were born seven children, six sons and one daughter, viz: William H., George C., Gilbert W., James M., John M., Charles W. and Caroline F.

In 1852 Mr. LAIRD purchased his father's old homestead in Nottawa Township, where he turned his attention mostly to agricultural pursuits effected many improvements in the property. In the meantime he signalized himself as one of the most public-spirited men in his township, generously giving his time and attention to the enterprises calculated for the general good. He was instrumental in securing the building of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad through the township, giving much of his time and considerable money toward its construction. He was a Republican in politics, and held the office of County Treasurer several terms, besides filling many other position of trust in connection with the affairs of his neighbors and fellow-citizens. An active member of the Old Settlers' Association, he was possessed of the intelligence and forethought which recognized the importance of preserving history and biography, and at one period was zealously engaged for some time in securing facts and data in connection with the history of the Nottawa Indians, the incident associated with their removal from this part of the country, and various other interesting matters pertaining thereto. He was a keen observer of human nature and an extensive reader, and possessed of a fine fund of general information. His name is held in kindly remembrance by hosts of friends.

The sons and daughter of Henry W. and Susannah (MANTHA) LAIRD are residents mostly of Mendon, and are intelligent and worthy members of society, whose endeavor it is to perpetuate and honor the name of him who ever appears to their minds the generous and kind-hearted father, the useful and self-sacrificing citizen.



Ozias F FRENCH, a pioneer of Constantine Township of 1834, has been a continuous resident here since that time, engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is the son of Ozias and Lizzie (DAYTON) FRENCH, the former a native of the Bay State, whence he emigrated to New York, where his death occurred when our subject was a child of two years, in Yates County. The death of the mother also occurred when there.

Our subject was born in Chester, Hampshire Co., Mass., June 1, 1803, and was the youngest of his parents' family. He accompanied his father upon his removal of New York State, and there grew to manhood, assisting his parents as time and opportunity demanded. From Yates County he removed to Cattaraugus County, remaining there four years, when he migrated to this State, and located in Constantine Township, this county, on land which he had purchased from the Government. His farm has been nicely improved, and is the source of a lucrative income, while it is adorned with neat and well arranged buildings, which do great credit to the proprietor. His first purchase consisted of eighty acres, but it has since been added to, and now embraces an acreage of 110.

Mr. FRENCH was married in Yates County, N. Y., to Miss Rebecca BATES, a native of Bennington County, N. H. Their union has been blessed by the birth of eight children, namely: Candace L. and Lucy A. (twins), Rachel E., Eunice R., Ozias F., Charles Dayton, Erastus Milo and Seth M. Candace became the wife of George POE, of Fabius Township; Lucy, Mrs. John OXENFORD, died in Calhoun County, Iowa; Rachel E. is the wife of Frederick Alonzo HOISINGTON, of Fabius Township, the son of Abishai HOISINGTON. Note from Denise Frederick: The preceding information is from HOISINGTON researcher, Harriette Jensen Emma is Mrs. Chester C. MITCHELL, of Otsego County, this State; Ozias F. is also a resident of Otsego County; Charles Dayton married Miss Mary ROBERTS, and resides in Constantine Township; Erastus Milo is living in Montana Territory, and Seth M. is a resident of Otsego County, this State. The mother of these children died in Constantine Township, July 18, 1864. She was a faithful and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ozias FRENCH, our subject, was a second time married to Miss Almira ENGLE. This lady died in Constantine Township, July 4, 1874. She also was numbered among the regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also her husband, having been a member of that denomination for a half-century. He gives liberally and cheerfully to promote the good cause, and is one of its influential members. Our subject has held many of the township offices in his earlier days, the duties of which he discharged in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.

Mr. FRENCH is a man of sterling integrity and sound business principles, and one whose word is considered as good as his bond. It is to such men as he that the country is indebted for its wonderful progress and development, and his name will be remembered with gratitude long after he has been gathered to his fathers.



One of the finest brick residences in Nottawa Township is located on section 10, and forms the nucleus of a valuable farm which stretches its broad acres on nearly all sides adjacent. The proprietor, whose name stands at the head of this sketch, ranks among the honored pioneers of St. Joseph County, to which his father came with his family late in the spring of 1841, they locating on the land which later grew up into a valuable homestead.

The country at that period had undergone but little cultivation, the neighbors of Joseph BUTLER being few and far between. He possessed however, the substantial qualities required by the men who came to this region at that time, and began at once his struggle with the elements of a new soil and the difficulties which are the invariable attendants of life in a new settlement. The first primitive dwelling in due time sheltered a family of eleven children, and Benjamin F., of our sketch, was the tenth in order of birth. He began life upon the homestead which he now occupies, but under a more humble roof than that of the present. Of the sons and daughters belonging to this household six are living.

Joseph BUTLER was born in Canandaigua County, N. Y., and married Miss Rebecca NEWTON, who was also a native of the Empire State. After marriage they first settled in Genesee County, and thence removed to Medina County, Ohio, settling on a tract of land not far from the present site of the city of Cleveland. It is hardly necessary to say that it bore little resemblance at that time to its present goodly proportions. They did not sojourn long in the Buckeye State, however, but in the fall of 1830 resumed their westward wanderings, and in due time pitched their tent among the pioneers of Southern Michigan. The face of the country in Nottawa Township, this county, appeared to meet their requirements, which were largely governed by their means, and the lives begun this in a new country but the parents of our subject ended not far from the spot where they selected their pioneer home. Joseph BUTLER after an honorable and upright career rested from his earthly labors on the 6th of June, 1882, being then nearly eighty-six years old. When but a youth of sixteen years he shouldered his musket and proffered his services as a soldier in assisting to quell the troubles of 1812. He was in the fight at Black Rock, and there is no doubt that met the foe as unflinchingly as his comrades. Later, in 1832, he served in the Black Hawk War, being under the command of Capt. RAINES, father of the late James RAINES. He was a man of conscientious and religious principles, and about 1855 identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he remained a member for a period of twenty-five years. He and his excellent wife for good reasons then joined the Baptist Church at Mendon. Joseph BUTLER was known far and wide as a man of true benevolence, ever ready to assist those in need, tendering his charities in that unostentatious manner which underlies the true principles of Christianity. The mother survived her husband nearly five years, her death taking place at the home of her daughter, in Mendon, May 19, 1887.

Benjamin F. BUTLER was reared to manhood in his native township, and acquired his education in the common school. He had all his life long been engaged in agricultural pursuits, seeing nothing more desirable as an occupation than tilling the healthful soil and watching the smiling fields, which seldom failed to yield generously to the hand of the faithful husbandman. To the first purchase of the father more land was afterward added, and the homestead now embraces 230 acres of some of the finest farming land in the county.

The marriage of Benjamin F. BUTLER and Miss Jessie Ann CATTELL was celebrated at the home of the bride in Centreville, May 19, 1863. Mrs. BUTLER was born Feb. 28, 1843, and is the daughter of William and Anna (TOTTERDALL) CATTELL, who were natives of Lancashire, England. They came to the United States in 1856 with their family of nine children, and settled in Nottawa Township, where they spent the remainder of their days. The father died in 1858, and the mother passed away very suddenly, after a brief illness of twenty-four hours, in 1874. A further history will be found in the sketch of Charles H. CATTELL on another page in this volume.

Mrs. BUTLER is a native of the same county as her parents, having been born in Lancashire, Feb. 28, 1843. Of her union with out subject there are two children: Lawrence F., who died when a babe of sixteen months, and Cecil A., who is now eighteen years of age. Mr. BUTLER during the summer of 1884 put up his present residence, and is accredited with one of the pleasantest homes in St. Joseph County. He has lived quietly and unostentatiously, meddling very little with public affairs. He keeps himself well posted, however, upon current events, and upon election day gives his unqualified support to the Democratic party.



E. C. Wellesley has been identified with the business and social interests of St. Joseph County for forty years, he having established himself at Colon, as merchant tailor in 1848, and is still carrying on that business in this town. He is a native of England, born in 1814, the second in the family of ten children of Edward and Amelia (POTTER) WELLESLEY, natives of England. They were lifelong residents of their birthplace, their death occurring a great many years ago.

The subject of this sketch was reared in his native land, and carefully trained by his good parents to a life of industry and honesty. When a young man, full of energy and ambitious to make his own way in the world, he decided to emigrate to America, and embarked from Liverpool in the American sailing-vessel "Washington," bound for this country. After a long and tempestuous ocean voyage of six weeks, he landed at New York in November, 1832. He remained in the East some two or three years, working in different cities. He also worked in Pennsylvania, and in Erie County, that State, he met Miss Jane VAN WORMER, who became his wife in 1835. She was born in New York in 1819, the third child of the six children of Charles and Elizabeth (SHERWOOD) VAN WORMER, natives of New York, being pioneers of the western part of the State. Her grandfather SHERWOOD was a Captain in the navy during the Revolutionary War. Shortly after marriage Mr. WELLESLEY came to Michigan, and worked at first at his trade in Detroit, Wayne County. In the next year, 1836, he settled in Manchester, Washtenaw County, where he opened a tailor ship.



Among the old and much respected settlers of Colon Township is the subject of the present sketch. His property and residence are on the section 32, and 600 acres in extent. He was born on the 16th of November, 1808, in Vershire, Orange Co., Vt. His parents removed to New Hampshire when he was six years of age, and later to Western New York, where they settled in Allegany County, which was his home until the fall of 1836, when he emigrated to this State, settling in Colon Township, where he has since continued to reside.

In first making his home Mr. DRAPER purchased eighty acres of land. To this he added from time to time, as he became able, unit he became the owner of over 900 acres, over 200 of which is under the plow. He provided good farm buildings, substantially erected and conveniently arranged. He also has continued to make good and valuable improvements from time to time, and has been careful to keep his land in the highest possible state of cultivation. He has seen the country pass from the Territory to the State, and watched with pride its magnificent onward march in civilization, commercial importance and National influence, and in his younger, more active days was not behind his fellows in helping to make Michigan what it is.

The subject of our sketch was four times married; first while in Allegany County, N.Y., in 1829, to June COUCH. This lady was born in that county, and was the daughter of Jonathan and Mary COUCH. Of this union there were born three children, of whom his son Charles, of Kalamazoo County, is the sole surviving member. This wife died in 1834. He suffered the desolation and loneliness consequent upon this bereavement until the year 1837, when he became the husband of Mrs. Lydia (WEAVER) HOLLENBACK, a native of the Empire State; of this marriage there were born two children-Eunice and Benjamin. The former is happily married to Andrew GIBSON, and resides in St. Louis, Mi.; the latter is a resident of Coin, Page Co., Iowa, and is engaged in farming. Mr. DRAPER's second wife died in Burr Oak Township, on the 29th of February, 1840. He was again married, the lady being Calista WILCOX, who was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., Jan. 15, 1801, and died June 23, 1867. He was a fourth time married, Jan. 8, 1868, to Frances INNMAN; she was born in New York, April 14, 1818, and has one daughter, MARY E., by her first marriage. Mrs. DRAPER'S first husband's name was Francis DUPAUL.

Mr. DRAPER has held several of the offices of the township, and is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although he has retired from any active participation in the various political campaigns, he is by no means the less interested in political affairs. He is, and always has been, a stanch Republican.

Mr. DRAPER was active in the matter of introducing the Air-Line Railroad from Jackson to Niles, and other enterprises. At the time of the war, as far as was possible, he showed the greatest willingness and anxiety to help in its suppression, and was extremely anxious that in some way that end should be attained without the needless expenditure and loss of life, treasure and property.



John BAUMEISTER, whose farm is situated on section 2 of Burr Oak Township and comprises eighty acres, is a native of Württemberg, South Germany, where he was born in the year 1834. The education within the possibility of his attainment was by no means extensive. He learned the trade of a weaver of linen, and became an expert workman. This article of household use was formerly in general use for fine wear for the person, and in both chamber and dining room, but now it is almost solely relegated to the latter. Of all countries where this article is made none cam compare with the beautiful, heavy German linen, which is almost entirely made by hand.

The subject of our sketch emigrated to New York in 1854. His first home was in Pike County, Pa., but after one year spent in that district he came to this county, and located at Burr Oak, where he purchased forty acres of land, to which he has since added forty acres. This he has largely improved and cultivated assiduously. The result of his enterprise is apparent, and may be seen in every direction upon hi property.

The marriage of our subject was celebrated in this county, Nov. 20, 1859, the lady of his choice being Sophia STULL, daughter of Barney and Elizabeth STULL of Burr Oak. There has been born to them one son, who bears the name George W., and is still living with his parents.

Mr. BAUMEISTER is one of the leading German-Americans of this county. He is a man who has risen to his present position as the result of his own well-directed and perseveringly sustained effort. He is broad and liberal in his views on matters of social and religious import. He is one of the chief members and supporters of the Lutheran Church, at Burr Oak, and at the same time on of the most able. His home is the abode of culture, refinement and elegance. He has given his son the best education opportunities, in which accomplishments have also found a place, and is happy in knowing that his efforts are appreciated and the opportunities fully utilized by his son, who is now the husband of Miss Ella TROST, daughter of John and Hannah TROST, to whom he was united in wedlock at Colon, Jan. 25, 1888. The son owns forty acres of land, and is farming in connection with his father. They make a specialty of raising American Merino sheep and Poland-China hogs, and are quite successful in this line of business.



Charles H CATTELL, whose beautiful home and admirably conducted fertile farm is situated on section 35 of Mendon Township, is one of the most capable and valued citizens of his district. His father, William CATTELL, was a native of Somersetshire, England, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Anna TOTTERDALL. His parents were there married, and made their home until about the year 1856, when they came to this country, bringing with them their family of nine children, and settling on Nottawa prairie, where they made their home until their death. His father died in 1858, his mother in 1874, after an illness of twenty-four hours only. They were both much esteemed in the community, and their home was one of the brightest; in their death the community sustained a loss that was fully realized.

Our subject was the fifth child in the above family. He was born in the same county as his parents, and on the 15th of July, 1835. His early life was spent in England and there also his education was obtained. He accompanied his father on the journey to America in the spring of 1856, the mother and remaining members of the family joining them in the fall of that year. He has made his home at Nottawa and has made agriculture his chief employment. His farm of 380 acres, part of which is in Mendon and part in Nottawa Township, is one of the best in this part of the county. He has expended no little thought and care upon it in the endeavor to bring it to that desirable condition. He has made many good and valuable improvements and enjoys good success.

Mr. CATTELL has been twice married, once in Nottawa on the 8th of March, 1871, when he received the hand of Marion VANDERMARK, of Leonidas. This lady was born to John and Jane VANDERMARK, at Leonidas, April 4, 1844. Three children blessed their union: Addie J., Agnes C. and Charles J. This wife died on the 2d of June, 1879. The second marriage was celebrated in Lucas County, Ohio, where, on Jan. 27, 1881, he stood before the altar with Alice HAIN, the estimable daughter of Joseph and Susan HAIN. She was born in Waterville, Lucas County, June 22, 1855. She has presented her husband with one beautiful little daughter, who bears the name of Mable S.

Mr. CATTELL has been called upon by his fellow-citizens to occupy various township offices, and he has always done so in a way that has shown the wisdom of the selection. He is a genial, pleasant gentleman, intelligent, educated, a man of character and unimpeachable honor. He is usually found voting the Democratic ticket and is affiliated with the party presenting the same. He is the head of one of the most happy households in the county, and, with his wife, is no stranger to hospitalities and social influences.



James O SMITH, although not very long a resident of Mendon Township, is recognized as one of its most valued citizens, and is the proprietor of a good farm on section 1. During the years of a busy career he has labored to good advantage and acquired a competence for his old age.

Our subject was born in the town of Half Moon, Saratoga Co., N. Y., Dec. 19, 1843, and was the youngest of ten children of James, Sr., and Abbie (VICKERY) SMITH, who were also natives of Saratoga County. There also they were reared and married, and lived until the death of the mother, which occurred in 1845. The father subsequently changed his residence to Albany County, where he spent his last years, passing away about 1876. Of their three sons and sevens daughters, five are now living, and located mostly in Saratoga and Albany Counties, N.Y.

Mr. SMITH was reared at his father's country homestead in his native county, where he lived until a youth of eighteen years, acquiring a common-school education and becoming familiar with agricultural pursuits. His mother had died when he was a lad of two years, and from his youth up he was largely dependent upon himself, and formed the habits of industry and economy which have paved the way to his success in life. Upon leaving home about 1861, he went into Orleans County, N. Y., and for one year was employed there on a farm by the month. Later he took up the science of agriculture on his own hook, operating four years in Orleans County, N. Y., until about 1866.

Our subject now migrated to Southern Michigan, and sojourned a period of a few months in Brady Township, Kalamazoo County. Then returning to his native State he lived in Orleans County, carrying on farming until May, 1881. He now decided to locate permanently in this county, and accordingly purchased his present farm in Mendon Township. Here he has 136 acres of good land with suitable buildings, a fair assortment of farm machinery, live stock and the general appliances of the well-regulated country estate.

On the 28th of January, 1863, occurred a most interesting event in the life of our subject, his marriage, which was celebrated in Orleans County, N. Y., the bride being Miss Hattie V. FLINT. This lady was a native of Albion, and died at their home in Orleans County, Jan. 14, 1879, leaving no children. Mr. SMITH contracted a second matrimonial alliance in Kalamazoo County, this State, June 7, 1881, with Miss Emma PAINE. Mrs. Emma SMITH was born in Barre, Orleans Co., N. Y., Oct. 23, 1858, and is the daughter of John and Mary A. (BATES) PAINE, being the third in a family of ten children. Her parents were natives of Buffalo, and are now residents of Orleans County. All of their children are living, and located mostly in Orleans County, N. Y.

Of this marriage of our subject there have been born three children, two daughters and a son-Hattie, May and James O. Mr. SMITH cast his first Presidential vote for A. LINCOLN, and is one of the most reliable members of the Republican party.



Henry DRIESBACH, Superintendent of the County Farm, was placed in charge of this institution in the year 1884, and in the discharge of his responsible duties has acquitted himself with great credit. It is a position difficult to fill, one requiring great tact and good judgment, and one to which the present incumbent seems thoroughly adapted. The farm comprises 180 acres of land located on section 5, Fawn River Township, and accommodates twenty-nine dependants of the county, some of whom are able to assist in its labors, and some of whom are not. The land is under a good state of cultivation, yielding under its present good management sufficient to maintain its beneficiaries in a comfortable manner.

Our subject was born in Clarence Township, Erie Co., N. Y., Aug. 7, 1829, and is the son of Johnathan and Susan (HERSHEY) DRIESBACH, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and of Holland-Dutch ancestry, and the latter born in the Dominion of Canada. The father began life April 3, 1800, was a tradesman, and also followed coopering until 1848, in Williamsville, N. Y. The parents lived in Erie County, N. Y., where the father died in 1885; the mother is still living. Their family included four children, of whom our subject was the eldest. His younger sister, Harriet, the widow of Charles C. GROVE, is living near Buffalo, Erie Co., N. Y.,; Isaac learned the coopering trade of his father, and located in Memphis, Tenn., where his death took place about 1872; William was married in Erie County, N. Y., where he died about 1886.

Our subject left the Keystone State when a man of thirty years, in 1859, and coming to this county, settled in Sturgis Township. He had learned blacksmithing in New York, but after coming to Michigan engaged in butchering, which he followed in Sturgis five years. In 1863 he purchased 100 acres of land about three miles west of the present County Farm, and thereafter engaged in agricultural pursuits. Upon this he lived until 1884, and then left it in charge of Benjamin BAKER.

Our subject was married, in 1852, to Miss Harriet N. CAMPBELL, who was born in 1832, in Erie County N. Y., and is the daughter of Matthew and Catherine (BOYER) CAMPBELL, the father a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Erie County, N. Y. The parents were natives of Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. DRIESBACH there have been born six children, two sons and four daughters: Harriet N. is the wife of Thomas BURTON, engaged in farming at Burr Oak; Henry is farming in Allegan County, this State; Kittie S. is nurse in the city hospital at Buffalo, N. Y.: Herr is at home; Lottie is engaged as a clerk for the wholesale hardware firm of Sheppard & Co., in Buffalo, N. Y.; and Ella M. died in 1855, Mrs. DRIESBACH died in 1870. Mr. DRIESBACH was a second time married, in 1871, to Mrs. Kate S. HAWK, widow of the late Lafayette HAWK, her maiden name being Gee. Mrs. DRIESBACH has two children by her first marriage-Isaac N. and Frederick L.

Mr. DRIESBACH has been quite prominent in local affairs, officiating as Pathmaster and School Director in his township, and identifying himself with the various enterprises tending to the prosperity of its people. He was Supervisor of the township four years, has also held the office of Township Treasurer two years, and that of Highway Commissioner three years.



Luther GRAVES, a representative farmer of St. Joseph County, is the son of Joseph GRAVES, that well-known pioneer, who established himself in the embryo community of Burr Oak Township as early as February, 1833, while Michigan was still a Territory. The native State of the latter was Vermont, and he was born in the town of Barton, Orleans County, Aug. 30, 1791.

The father of our subject left the Green Mountain State in 1826, and making his way to Genesee County, N. Y., sojourned there a period of six years, and carried on farming. He started for Michigan in the winter of 1832. At that time the Chicago Turnpike had been surveyed and partially constructed, although no bridges had been built. The streams, however, were mostly fordable, and the swamps intervening were "corduroyed," Joseph GRAVES upon reaching Burr Oak Township located on section 11, purchasing 240 acres of land of a man by the name of HATCH, formerly of LeRoy, N. Y.

The parental family of our subject consisted at that time of seven children, two of whom are now living; Pascal is deceased; Lucinda became the wife of John STILLMAN, of Burr Oak, a mason by trade, but now retired; Luther; Daniel and Carlos, deceased; Julia, who married George BOYLES, is also deceased, and an infant died unnamed. The mother, Mrs. Sarah (SANBORN) GRAVES, was born in June, 1797, in Barton, Orleans County, and was the daughter of Elijah SANBORN, a miller. She died July 6, 1836. She was a most estimable lady, faithful and kind, and was beloved by all who knew her. Joseph GRAVES survived his wife a period of thirteen years, his death taking place March 20, 1849. He was a Whig, politically, and in his native State had identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He passed away before the organization of Methodist Society in this county, but still continued his adherence to its doctrines.

The subject of this sketch, like his parents, was born in Barton, Orleans Co., N. Y. He made his home with his father up to the time of the latter's death, although working for himself after reaching his majority. He was married, on the 27th of March, 1845, to Miss Eliza, daughter of Col. John START, of Onondaga, N. Y., who was at that time living near the city of Syracuse. He was a Colonel of "Militia," and by occupation a farmer and blacksmith. Of this marriage of our subject, his son Linneous L., who was an engineer by profession, and a resident of Chicago, died Sept. 29, 1886. The circumstances surrounding his death are sad and somewhat mysterious, he having gone out duck hunting, and, it is supposed, was murdered. He had been married, and left a wife and five children, two sons, and three daughters, who are still residents of Chicago, living at No. 440 Twenty-ninth street. The remains of this son were brought home and interred in the cemetery at Burr Oak. Mrs. Eliza GRAVES died Feb. 17, 1852.

Mr. GRAVES was married the second time, April 27, 1853, to Miss Joanna, daughter of Benjamin SELLICK, who is now deceased. He was a mason by trade, and the family were at that time residents of Coldwater. Of this union there have been born seven children; Frank, a farmer of Burr Oak Township; Emma, at home with her parents; Daniel, who is farming in Burr Oak Township; Minnie, who died at the age of two years and nine months; Mary, Maude and Mabel, the latter of whom was twelve years of age Oct. 14, 1888. The GRAVES property consists of 160 acres of land in a highly fertile condition, with good improvements. The proprietor is industrious, frugal, and in good circumstances.

It is with pleasure that we present the portrait of this estimable gentleman in this volume.



Sidney CARPENTER, the owner of one of the finest farms in Burr Oak Township, came to this county a poor man in the year 1836. He had made the journey overland from Cattaraugus County, N. Y., with a team of horses and a wagon. He had borrowed $60 in money with which to secure possession of a tract of land, and with this limited capital commenced in earnest the struggle from which he has come out with flying colors. To detail the hardships and struggles which he endured in bringing the soil to a state of cultivation and building up for himself and family a comfortable homestead, would only be recapitulate the story which has so often been told in connection with the early history of Michigan. Suffice it to say that he proved to be one of the most enterprising men of his community, and today bears the reputation of being one of the most prosperous. He looked upon this section of the country in its Territorial days, and no man has taken a warmer interest in its growth and prosperity.

Mr. CARPENTER was born in Worcester County, Mass., April 27, 1810, and is consequently nearing his fourscore years. From New England he migrated to Cattaraugus County, N. Y., settling with a brother-in-law in the vicinity of Farmersville, where he lived and carried on farming until 1836. His next removal was to this county. His parents, Frederick and Eunice (BURRIS) CARPENTER, were natives respectively of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and the maternal grandfather, David BURRIS, was an old Revolutionary soldier, who served his seven years in the army and lived to rejoice in witnessing the independence of the Colonist. Afterward he settled upon a farm in the vicinity of Warren, Mass., and there spent his last days. Frederick CARPENTER closed his eyes upon earthly scenes at his home in Massachusetts, in 1822; the mother died in New York in 1865. Their household included thirteen children.

Mr. CARPENTER upon coming to this county purchased eighty acres of land on section 20, which is now included in his present farm, and to which he has added until his estate embraces about 300 acres. He has about him all the comforts of modern life, including good buildings, fruit and shade trees, shrubbery, barns, live stock and modern machinery. His course has been marked by that industry and perseverance which seldom fail to meet with their legitimate reward. He was married, Jan. 16, 1833, to Miss Eunice, daughter of Peres BROWN, of Farmersville, N. Y., and they began the journey of life together in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., and traveled thereafter in company for a period of seventeen years, when the devoted wife was called hence on the 15th of June, 1850. Of this union there were no children.

Mr. CARPENTER, in August, 1851, contracted a second marriage, with Miss Amanda WORDEN, who was born in New York in 1833. The parents of the present Mrs. CARPENTER spent their last years in New York. Of this marriage of our subjects there were born three sons and three daughters, one of whom, Eugene, died Sept. 24, 1855, when an infant of six months. Their eldest son, Frederick, is a prosperous farmer of Burr Oak Township; Ida is the wife of Lorentus PORTER, and Jennie is the wife of Charles TURNBULL, both well-to-do farmers of Burr Oak Township; Rose was married to Lester PERRIN, of Sherman Township, and died Jan. 24, 1874, and Charles died in 1862. Mr. CARPENTER cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. JACKSON, and for many years has been a supporter of the principles of the Democratic party.



A. M. GRAHAM who holds a good position among the members of the legal profession in Burr Oak, established at this place on the 1st of December, 1874. He was born in Madison Township, Lenawee County, this State, Oct. 1, 1841, and was educated in the common schools of his native county. His parents, Willmarth and Sarah (COATS) GRAHAM, were natives of New York State, and of Scotch descent. The paternal great-grandfather was born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland.

The parents of our subject left their native State soon after their marriage, and emigrated to Lenawee County, Mich., where the father secured a tract of land and carried on farming until 1858; he then removed to Burr Oak, where he remained until his death, which took place Feb. 22, 1866. The mother died Jan. 6, 1889. The household circle embraced two children only our subject and his sister Adelia. The latter now resides at Charlevoix, Mich., and is the wife of Lorenzo B. PORTER.

Young GRAHAM continued with his parents on the farm in his native township until his marriage, which occurred Dec. 11, 1866. His bride was Miss Lorena PORTER; she lived not quite two years after her marriage, her death taking place in September, 1868. Mr. GRAHAM, in July, 1869, was the second time married, to Mrs. Augusta TOBEY, of Burr Oak, and the daughter of Gideon and Jane SANBORN, who were natives of Massachusetts; the former is now dead, but the latter is still living. Of this union there has been born one child, a daughter, Jennie.

Mr. GRAHAM has worked his own way up in the world, having no capital to begin with, and has attained to his present position solely by his own efforts. He taught school a few terms, and went from the farm into a law office at Burr Oak, where he made good use of his time, keeping his eyes open to what was going on around him. In February, 1865, during the last year of the war, he enlisted in the United States Navy, with the Mississippi Squadron, which operated on the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. At the close of the war he was discharged, July 28, 1865, and took up his residence in Burr Oak.

Our subject was a member of the Republican party until 1876, when he identified himself with the Greenbackers, and with them has since been an active worker. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace in Burr Oak two terms, and was Circuit Court Commissioner in St. Joseph County the same length of time. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity. His home is pleasantly located at the corners of Henry and Second streets.



Among the well-known, respected and patriotic citizen of Burr Oak Township, none are more worthy of a place in this volume than he whose history is here briefly sketched. Mr. AMESS is a native of Norfolk, England, and was born in August, 1819. He came to America in the year 1851. In England he had been a day laborer, and followed the same when beginning life here. By care, management and frugality, coupled with honest manly effort, he has made his way to his present most creditable position in society. The maiden name of the excellent wife of our subject was Nancy DOUGHTY, the daughter of John DOUGHTY, who was also a laborer in England. Our subject first came to America alone, and after he had saved sufficient money he sent for his wife and little one. Their home has been in the Vicinity of Burr Oak since 1868.

In the year 1862 the subject of our sketch enlisted in the Union Army, becoming a member of the 17th New York Battery, and served from that time until the close of the war. He was in the Independent Battery, and took part in many of the small engagements and skirmishes.

Receiving an honorable discharge at the expiration of his military service our subject returned to his home, and once more engaged in the struggle to better the condition in life of himself and family, and provided something against the time when he would be unable to continue arduous toil. Realizing the opportunity that is afforded in this grandly free country, he made the most of it, and was at all times assisted to the utmost by his wife, who has been a nobly true and faithful woman in every relation of life.

Our subject and wife have but one daughter, Mary A., who is the wife of William WATSON, one of the well-to-do and prosperous farmer of Burr Oak Township. She was born in England, on the 5th of September, 1855. Her parents and also herself and husband are accorded the esteem of the community, and are regarded as worthy and honorable members of the same. Mrs. AMESS attends the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics Mr. AMESS is a Republican.



Corydon CROOKS is one of the most reliable and thrifty citizens of Burr Oak Township. He is a native of Delaware County, Ohio, and was born at Oxford on the 6th of July, 1823. His father, George CROOKS, was a native of Pennsylvania and followed the trade of a blacksmith. The maiden name of his wife, the mother of our subject, was Susannah COWLES. They were the parents of five children, two sons and three daughters.

After he left school our subject was apprenticed to learn the carpentry trade, and became quite an able mechanic. He continued to follow his trade for about forty years, during which time he lived in Indiana. In April of 1849 he was married, in Steuben County, Ind., to Mrs. Deborah BEEBE, the daughter of Amos and Martha (ROSS) BEEBE. The wife of our subject was born on the 3d of January, 1829, in Knox County, Ohio, and until her marriage made her home with her parents. She became the mother of one son, whose name is Amos D., of Goshen, Ind.

Mr. CROOKS migrated to Michigan in 1881, and worked at his trade, but also took a tract of land which he proceeded to improve and highly cultivated; he carries on general farming.

Mrs. CROOKS is a stanch member of the Church of Holy Day Saints, and has been in that relation since 1888. The political sympathies of our subject are with the Republican party, with which he has always voted since having the right so to do.



The subject of this sketch arrived in this county from Lockport, Niagara Co., N. Y., in December, 1869, nearly twenty years ago, and has since resided within its limits. During this time he has been interested in local affairs, serving as a member of the Village Council, and is at present Justice of the Peace. He is a native of Orleans County, N. Y., and is the son of B. E. and Evaline (BARLOW) SEAVER, who were also natives of the Empire State. The father was for some years a foundry man at Rochester, N. Y., but later turned his attention to farming, settling on a tract of land in Orleans County, N. Y., where he spent his last days, and died in February, 1860. The paternal grandfather, William SEAVER, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

Mr. SEAVER, after leaving the primary schools, attended Genesee College for a time and other schools at Buffalo, N. Y. Three years afterward he was engaged in teaching. Later, for another period of three years, he was employed as a bookkeeper for an importing house in New York City. When setting about the establishment of a home of his own, he was married to Miss Cornelia A. HINMAN, of Lockport, N. Y. This lady is the daughter of Charles and Margaret G. (McKNIGHT) HINMAN, both natives of New York State, and the father of English descent. The first representative of his family in this country crossed the ocean in the "Mayflower" in 1620. Cornelia A. completed her education in the city schools of Lockport, N. Y. She employed herself as a teacher before her marriage, which took place in her native county. After 1865 Mr. SEAVER followed farming until he took up his residence in the western portion of the village of Burr Oak, where he now lives.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. SEAVER consists of five children, namely; Julia, Beverly E., Nelson H., Edgar and Herbert. Mr. SEAVER, politically, affiliates with the Republican party, and is an active supporter of its principles. He identified himself with the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of Lodge No. 336, at Medina. He has always been interested in the matters of importance to the community in general, and has been the incumbent of offices of trust and responsibility.



Among the pioneers of St. Joseph County none are held in higher regard than the subject of this biography. Thrifty, well-to-do, honorable and upright in his transactions, Mr. STOWELL presents the picture of the typical pioneer and one of the most valued members of his community. He settled in Burr Oak Township in 1835, and has since been closely identified with the interests of its people.

The town of Winchester, Cheshire Co., N. H., cradled our subject seventy-eight years ago, he having been born Oct. 27, 1810. His parents, Elijah and Deborah (LINCOLN) STOWELL, were natives of the same town as their son, the father born May 28, 1779, and the mother July 29, 1774. Their family included six sons and six daughters, who presented the remarkable circumstance of all living to mature years, marrying and being settled in comfortable homes of their own. The record of their births is as follows: Lovisa, March 29, 1804; Alvah, Oct. 8, 1805; Paul, Feb. 23, 1807; Deborah, Nov. 18, 1808; Joseph C., Oct. 27, 1810; Israel, Sept. 10, 1812; Elijah, Nov. 27, 1810; Abigail, Oct. 9, 1816; Samuel L., Nov. 1, 1818; Rhoda, April 9, 1821; Hannah, Aug. 26, 1823, and Elijah C., March 16, 1827. The family left the Old Granite State in 1819, locating in Madison County, N. Y.

Our subject continued a resident of New York State with his parents until March, 1835, when he started out on a prospecting tour, visiting this county. The following spring he repeated his journey, and selected eighty acres of land on section 14, in Burr Oak Township, and which is now included in his present homestead. He was prospered in his labors as a tiller of the soil, and in due time added eighty acres. He has 100 of this under a high state of cultivation, and has erected the building necessary for his convenience and comfort.

Our subject was first married, in 1837, to Miss Alvira M. NILES, who lived only one year after her wedding. In March, 1840, he was married to his present wife, then Miss Claravina, daughter of Mishael and Ruth (BIDWELL) BEADLE, who were originally from the town of Marengo, Wayne Co., N. Y. In 1818 they left the Empire State, and settled near the town of Bucyrus, Crawford Co., Ohio. Thence they came to Michigan, lived for a time in the vicinity of Mottville, and later removed to Young's Prairie. In June, 1828, they changed their residence to Flowerfield, and in the summer of 1829 Mr. BEADLE erected a small gristmill, which was known as the "corn-cracker." It was of the primitive style of architecture, and the flour was bolted through book muslin. Mrs. STOWELL when a girl spent many an hour shaking this bolt by hand during her father's absence from the mill. The machinery of this mill was finally modernized by putting in buhr grinding stones.

The Black Hawk War breaking out in the spring of 1832, Mishael BEADLE joined the army, but was not permitted to engage in any active fighting, as the famous chief was soon afterward, passing away in April, 1839. The widow mother survived a period of eleven years, lived to see her children grown, and then departed hence, with the consciousness of having done well her part in life.

Of the marriage of our subject there have been born four children: Melissa D., April 12, 1841; Ruth A., Jan. 28, 1843; Joseph M., May 1, 1845, and Benjamin E., March 6, 1847. Joseph, during the late Civil War, enlisted in February, 1864, in Company K, 7th Michigan Infantry, which was soon transferred to Company I. He participated in the battle of the Wilderness, and marched to Petersburg, where he met a soldier's death June 22 of that same year. His remains were subsequently brought home and laid to rest in the cemetery near by. He was a fine specimen of manhood, a brave soldier, and was cut down in the flower of his youth, being only nineteen years of age. Miss Melissa STOWELL, the eldest daughter of our subject, and now the head of the household, is a lady of more than ordinary abilities, and the comfort and protection of her aged parents as they are passing down the sunset hill of life. Benjamin, the youngest of the family, resides with his family on a portion of the homestead, where he carries on agriculture.



There is probably not a pioneer of St. Joseph County who has seen more of life in a new county and endured more patiently its varied hardships than the venerable gentleman whose name heads this biography, and who is now, and has been for a period of twenty-one years, a resident of Burr Oak Township, and of the county fifty-three years. He was born in Cairo, Albany Co., N. Y., Sept. 20, 1817, his childhood home being situated about two and one-half miles east of the village. His father, Edward ADAMS, was a farmer by occupation, a conscientious Christian gentleman, and spent much of his spare time traveling over the Catskill Mountain regions, laboring as an exhorter or local preacher in the Master's vineyard. He was called from his earthly labors in 1857, after having rounded up the sum of fifty-five years.

Edward ADAMS in early manhood was married to Miss Mary MOSHER, the daughter of Ephraim MASHER, who was one of the most devout Quakers of Dutchess County, N. Y. She was an eminently good woman, a faithful helpmate to her husband, and a kind and loving mother of two sons and six daughters. Of these, John E., our subject, was next to the youngest. Ephraim, a brother, and Mrs. Asenath BENJAMIN, a sister, still live in the town of Florence, this county, where the family located in the spring of 1835. The other children have long since passed away.

John E. ADAMS, our subject, was born Sept. 20, 1817, and lived with his parents until twenty-two years of age. On the 31st of December, 1840, being ready to establish a home of his own, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary M., daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (ROWSER) METTLER. The latter were natives of New Jersey, and of Dutch ancestry, who probably crossed the Atlantic during the Colonial times. Benjamin METTLER emigrated to Michigan during its pioneer days, settling on a tract of land in Nottawa Township, this county. He carried on farming successfully.

To John E. and Mary M. ADAMS there were born six children: Levi E., Sept. 21, 1841, and now a farmer of Adams Township: Loren was born Aug. 11, 1843, and is carrying on farming successfully in the vicinity of Grand Rapids; Sarah J. was born Feb. 25, 1847, and is the wife of William HOLLINGER, of Elkhart, Ind.; Minerva was born April 23, 1856, and is the wife of H. P. DUNCAN; they live at the homestead. Two children, Christiana and Alice C., died in infancy. Mrs. ADAMS died in 1885.

Mr. ADAMS during a long and useful life has acquitted himself as an honest man and a good citizen, and gathered around him hosts of friends. His homestead comprises a snug farm of thirty acres on section 7, where he has good buildings, and the land of which has been brought to a fine state of cultivation. Here he and his estimable partner lived for a period of twenty-two years, enjoying a goodly measure of life's comforts as the result of years of industry and economy. After marriage they settled in Florence Township, and labored with a mutual interest for the building up of a home and the proper training and education of their children. Their lives were quiet and unobtrusive, but those in which they had little to reproach themselves with, making it a point through a long and well-ordered career to do unto their neighbors as they would be done by.



This gentleman occupies a prominent place among the citizens of his neighborhood, and is among the old residents of Colon Township, one who has played no mean part in the development and growth of the county, and who bore to the full the peculiar difficulties and trials connected with pioneer life. His father, Joseph FARRAND, was born in Morris County, N. J. His mother, before her marriage, bore the name of Jolia COMPSON, and was a native of the same State. They were married in Morris County, N. J., Dec. 1, 1799, and first settled in the town of Mentz, in Cayuga County, N. Y. There they made their home, and the husband engaged in farming until 1837, then came to this county and settled in Colon Township, which was their home as long as they needed one. They were the parents of eleven children, eight of whom came to mature years: Charles C., Ebenezer, James H., Electa M., Henry K., Catharine C., Abigail E. and Phineas.

The subject of this sketch was the youngest of the family, and is now the only surviving member thereof. He was born in Mentz, Cayuga Co., N. Y., on the 22d of December, 1820. There his early years were spent, and his school days were passed. There he filled as was usual with his companions for the most part dividing his time between his lessons and "home chores," with some little time, perhaps, for the play that every schoolboy finds a vital necessity.

When he was seventeen years of age Mr. FARRAND came with his father to Michigan, and has been a resident of section 3, Colon Township, since 1837, or fifty-one years, and has given his attention continuously to agriculture. He put up one of the finest residence in the county, that which he now occupies, which was erected in 1883, and is an elegant brick structure, arranged and subdivided with the view to comfort and convenience. All his farm buildings are well built, and designed especially to meet the various requirements and uses to which they may be put. His whole farm, which contains about 700 acres, is managed with the same thoroughness and practical utility.

October 23, 1845, in Leonidas Township, St. Joseph County, Mr. FARRAND and Miss Betsey M. KINNE were united in marriage. His wife was born at Naples, Ontario Co., N. Y., on the 4th of December, 1826, and is the daughter of Maj. Elias B. and Martha (CLARK) KINNE. Her parents were natives of Massachusetts and New York respectively. Their family circle included twelve children, and their daughter Betsey was the sixth child born. She is the mother of four children. Joseph K., a farmer in Colon Township; Theron G., who died March 8, 1875; Ella M. and Grant E., both whom are at home.

Mr. FARRAND has been for several years County Superintendent of the Poor, and also Highway Commissioner. He is a firm friend of the Republican party, and always votes its ticket. He is everywhere held in high regard, as are also his wife and the members of his family.



William W BATES, proprietor of the Burr Oak ACORN and the Burr Oak Bakery and Restaurant, came to this county in the fall of 1862, and located on a tract of land in Sturgis Township. Here he operated two years, and then removed to Mason County, Mich., where he took up a homestead and carried on the improvement and cultivation of the land for a period of sixteen years. Then returning to Sturgis, he embarked in the bakery, grocery and restaurant business, and was thus occupied until his removal to Burr Oak, in October, 1886.

Our subject was born in Brantford, Canada West, Dec. 21, 1836, and is the son of Benjamin C. and Sarah (CHAPIN) BATES, who were natives respectively of Canada and New York State. They had a family of seven children, all of whom lived to mature years. About 1840 the family removed to Ohio, thence to Indiana, and from there to St. Joseph County, Mich., where the father of our subject spent the remainder of his days, his death occurring in the fall of 1875. The mother is still living, making her home in Sturgis, Mich. The early years of our subject were spent under the parental roof, where he became familiar with farming pursuits and also acquired a common-school education. In the winter of 1861 he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah E. THURSTON, at that time a resident of Sturgis. Mrs. BATES was born in 1842, and is the daughter of George and Sarah (JONES) THURSTON, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and came West about 1832. Of this union there were born four children, namely: Lillian Huntley died when two years and eight months old in Sturgis; George B., engaged in a carriage factory in Kalamazoo; Edwin P., editor of the Burr Oak ACORN, and Gordon D. G., a compositor in the office of his father. Family difficulties resulted in the separation of our subject from his wife in the winter of 1875, and in the winter of 1886 he was married to Mrs. Rebecca J. (MORRIS) WEBSTER. The first husband of Mrs. BATES was a direct descendant of Daniel WEBSTER. Our subject left home at the age of eighteen years, and going to Lena ILL., was there employed as a clerk in a dry-goods store seven months. Thence he migrated across the Mississippi to Osaga, Iowa, and had charged of a store there for the same length of time. From the Hawkeye State he went into Kansas, and in the vicinity of Manhattan carried on farming a period of four years. We next find him at Pike's Peak, prospecting for gold, but an experience of six weeks satisfied him as to this errand, and he returned to Kansas in the company of another young man, crossing the plains on horseback. The journey consumed eighteen days, one of which was the 4th of July, and which the two travelers celebrated in a highly independent manner. They fired thirteen salutes with their revolvers, and otherwise made the day one of enjoyment, as far as possible, on the desert plains.

Mr. BATES was in the vicinity of the scene of John BROWN'S operations, and sheltered the old hero after he had driven the soldiers into Ft. Scott, Mr. BROWN sleeping in the bunk occupied by our subject. From Kansas Mr. BATES returned to the home of his parents in Indiana, whence he repaired later to Canada, and resumed merchandising, having charge of a store in the Domimion a period of six months. Upon the outbreak of the late war he returned to the farm of his father, while his two younger brothers went into the army. The younger Gordon, lost both eyes in the service, but turned his musical talents to good account, and became celebrated as a singer and performer on musical instruments. He died at Pentwater in 1873. The other brother, Charles, was injured by being thrown from a load of wood at Murfreesboro, and is now living in Iowa, independent of the Government. Mr. BATES on account of failing health proceeded to New Mexico, where he staid nine months at Scoorro, but returned no better in health. In 1885 he took a trip through years identified himself with the Republican party, with which he affiliated until about four years ago, when his warm interest in the temperance cause led him to rally to the support of the Prohibitionist. He was at one period of his life an active politician, but has deemed it the wisest course of late years to remain neutral, and in this spirit conducts the ACORN. He also has considerable music talent, and taught singing when a youth of sixteen years. Since that time he has been a member of the Baptist Church, and has served, more or less, as Sunday-school Superintendent, teacher and chorister.



The subject of this sketch is a man prominent and popular in community, and for the last fifty years has been farming in an intelligent manner on section 33, Nottawa Township. A native of Brunswick, N. J., he was born Feb. 15, 1822, the eldest son in a family of nine children, the offspring of Rev. Asa and Sallie (GORAM) BENNETT, who were born in Connecticut. The father was of French descent, while the mother traces her ancestry to England. After their marriage they settled in Brunswick, where the father prepared himself for the ministry, but later they removed to the Empire State, locating about twelve miles north of the city of Albany.

From Albany the parents of our subject changed their residence, first to Lodi, and thence, in the spring of 1838, to this county, settling on a farm in Nottawa Township. The father here founded the Dutch Reformed Church of Centreville, being its first pastor, and remained in charge of it for several years. He spent most of his life thereafter in Nottawa Township, although he resided in the village one or two years. The parents both died on a farm in the township.

Our subject, when a lad of fourteen years, preceded his parents to Michigan, coming to Monroe in the fall of 1836. Upon his parents joining him sometime later, he made his home with them, and occupied himself as a clerk in a dry-goods store. His education was acquired mostly in the common schools, and his occupation, with the exception of his two-years clerkship, has been farming continuously. His homestead embraces 150 acres of good land, with fair improvements, a comfortable house, a good barn and orchard, together with other fruit and shade trees, a fair assortment of live stock, and machinery necessary for the successful prosecution of his calling.

For the last thirty-six years our subject has been accompanied in the journey of life by a most estimable lady, who in her girlhood was Miss Laura M. TYLER, and to whom he was married, in Colon Township, this county, Oct. 12, 1852. Mrs. BENNETT was born Feb. 23, 1833, in Onondaga County, N. Y., and is the daughter of Rev. Job and Sallie (DAVIS) TYLER, who left the Empire State and came to the Territory of Michigan in 1836, settling in Colon Township when their daughter Laura was a little child of three years. The father had, prior to this, occupied the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Onondaga County, N. Y., but after coming to Michigan gave his attention mostly to farming. In farming the fall of 1852 he went to California, and died on the Island of San Diego, in July, 1853, where his remains were laid to rest. The mother remained a resident of Colon Township a number of years, and died in the village in April, 1876. They had a family of eleven children, of whom Mrs. BENNETT was the youngest. Eight of these are living. They have grown up worthy and useful citizens, an honor to their parental training, and form valued factors of their community.

Mr. and Mrs. BENNETT commenced the journey of life together in Nottawa Township, this county, and have labored with one mutual purpose in the building up of their homestead and the education of their children. Of these there are eight in number, six sons and two daughters, namely: Demont T., DeWitt C., James C., Asa G., Sherman, Dora, Carrie and one infant. The eldest son is farming in Mecosta County, this State; DeWitt is prosecuting agriculture successfully in Colon Township, this county; James, Asa, Sherman and the two daughters are at home with their parents.

Mr. BENNETT cast his first presidential vote for Gen. HARRISON, in 1840, and since the organization of the Republican party has given to it his unqualified support. In the building up of one of the best homesteads of St. Joseph County, he has thus contributed his quota to its growth and development, and may properly be numbered among its representative men. As an agriculturist he has exercised both industry and good judgment, and as a business man is prompt and reliable, one whose word is considered as good as his bond. He has served as Road Commissioner in his township, and with his estimable wife, is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which they have ever given a liberal support, and are numbered among its chief pillars.



Charles AHLGRIM is one of the prominent representative German-American citizens and farmers of Burr Oak Township. He was born in the North of Germany on the 3d of May, 1838, and became prosperous as a farmer in his native country, as prosperity goes there. He was not rich, but on the other hand, was not suffering. He determined to try the New World, and accordingly emigrated to these shores in 1863. He made his home first in Colon. In beginning life here he was face to face with the difficulties incidental to a change of country and language, and what was equally, if not even more embarrassing, the difficulty of being minus funds. He began by working out by the day and as soon as he had saved a little he rented a farm, and so gradually climbed the ladder round by round.

In 1866 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary FROST, of Colon. There have come to our subject and wife nine children, whom we mention as follows; Fred, Charles, Henry, Will, Lena, John, Minnie, Frank and Martha. Mrs. Christina FROST, the mother of Mrs. AHLGRIM, who has reached the advanced age of seventy-seven years, makes her home with our subject. Besides Mr. AHLGRIM there are two other members of his family in American; His sister Rachel, the widow of Joseph NENODOLF, of Burr Oak, and Minnie, the wife of Christ BROKER, of Leonidas Township.

Our subject has taken deep interest in the institutions and government of his adopted country, and is a member of the Democratic Party. He has represented his party in the county conventions, and is recognized as an able citizen for such work. He is highly esteemed as a friend and neighbor, and is now happily comparatively well off and thoroughly successful in his business affairs, owning 120 acres of splendid farming land on section 2 of Burr Oak Township.



Abner DAVIS, deceased. No man stood higher in the estimation of the people of Burr Oak Township than he of whom we submit the following comparatively brief record. A native of Onondaga County, N.Y., born in the town of that name, he began life on the 26th of June, 1815, and was the son of David S. and Charlotte (ABBEY) DAVIS, the father a native of Washington County, N.Y. The maternal grandfather, William ABBEY, was a farmer by occupation, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. On the other side of the house Grandfather Dr. John DAVIS was also a native of Washington County, N.Y., and married lady of Greenwich, Conn.

The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation, and the eldest of a family of four sons and two daughters. He migrated with his parents to Onondaga County, N.Y., when a lad of fourteen years. He and his estimable wife became the parents of eight sons and two daughters, and spent their last years in Onondaga County. Their children were named respectively; Abner (our subject), Susan, William T., George W., Ordelia, Jonathan, John, Edson and Edwin (twins), and Frank M. Of these five are living.

The subject of this sketch at an early age was taught those habits of industry and principles of honor which have been the secret of his success in life. He became familiar with agricultural pursuits at an early age, and received a common-school education. He made his first trip to Michigan in 1839, at that time purchasing eighty acres of land in Ingham County, then returned to Milford. He settled in Burr Oak Township in October, 1868. He was married over fifty years ago, on the 2d of January, 1838, to Miss Esther Ann RAY, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride, in Amber, Onondaga Co., N.Y., and they became the parents of three children. The eldest, David S., lives upon and manages the homestead; J. M. is a salesman in the feed store at Grand Rapids; Alice is the wife of Fred WORDEN, a resident of Burr Oak. The DAVIS homestead includes eighty acres of good land with comfortable buildings, where the proprietor passed his declining years in peace and quiet, surrounded by the comforts of life, and his days made pleasant by the solicitous attention of his children and hosts of friends. He was a man observant of what was going on around him in the world, and one who was fearless in fighting for the right. Politically, he was a Republican. Mr. DAVIS' death took place on the 15th of November, 1888.




One of the best conducted farms in Burr Oak Township belongs to the subject of this sketch. It comprises 169 acres of land lying on section 4, and is provided with good buildings and fences, livestock and machinery. Mr. ENGLE came to Michigan in the spring of 1830, during its Territorial days, making the entire journey overland on the back of a three-year-old colt, and consuming one month's time. Genesee County, N.Y., was his starting place, and he was a lad of fifteen years at the time. He was accompanied by Benjamin SHERMAN, an old settler of Nottawa Prairie, who is now deceased. He has thus mainly grown up with the country, watching its progress and development with that interest which is felt by every intelligent citizen concerning the section of country where lie his closest relations in life.

Our subject was born in Genesee County, N.Y., May 15, 1815, and is the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (BRUNGE) ENGLE, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The father was a farmer by occupation, and the parental family consisted of nine children, namely; Rachel, William, Joseph, Margaret, Jonathan, George, Thomas, James and Betsey A. Our subject, next to the youngest one of the family, is the only one living. The parents spent their last years in this county, and passed away, the father in 1840, and the mother in 1842. Young ENGLE after setting foot upon the soil of Michigan employed himself at work by the month until 1835, then secured eighty acres of land in Burr Oak Township, where he has since lived. He has all his life been familiar with agricultural pursuits. He was married, July 4, 1838, in Nottawa Township, to Miss Margaret, daughter of Philip and Phebe VINCENT, who were formerly of Pamelia Township, Jefferson Co., N.Y., and who emigrated to the Territory of Michigan in 1836, locating at North Centreville, where he engaged in farming. The parents spent their last years in this county, and in Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo County. Of this marriage there were born seven children, namely; John A. and Rachel, deceased; Amanda, Ursula and George, residents of this county; Addie, of Illinois; and an infant who died unnamed. The wife and mother died Dec. 6, 1881.

Mr. ENGLE on the 16th of April, 1882, contracted a second matrimonial alliance, with Mrs. Truey (McNAUGHTON) RUTHERFORD, the widow of William RUTHERFORD, of New York, and daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (JEMISON) McNAUGHTON, the latter natives of Scotland and New York, now deceased. This lady was born in 1818 in Caledonia, Livingston Co., N.Y., where she spent the first years of her life. She acquired an excellent education, completing her studies at Caledonia, and is a very amiable and excellent lady, who enjoys the warm friendship of a large circle of acquaintances. The ENGLE homestead in all its appointments indicates the industry and intelligence of its proprietor, and is one of the most desirable in this region. The family are surrounded by life's comforts, and are regarded as valued members of the community.




Abner J VAN VORST, proprietor of a good farm of 120 acres on section 7, in Burr Oak Township, is a native of Glenville, Schenectady Co., N.Y., where his birth took place July 14, 1833. His parents were Giles and Sarah (BICE) VAN VORST, natives of New York, and the father a wagon-maker by trade, which he followed the greater part of his life very successfully, accumulating a fine property.

From Glenville the parents of our subject removed first to Jefferson County, N.Y., and thence to Oswego County, locating near the town of Mexico. In 1843 they left the Empire State, bringing with them their nine children, and located in Colon Township, this county, where they both died.

To Giles and Sarah VAN VORST there were born eleven children. Those accompanying their parents to Michigan were William H., Mary A., Abraham B., Abner J., Charles C., Augustine D., John J., Sarah, Minerva and George. Those since deceased are Mary A. and Augustine. Summer died in New York State.

Our subject left the parental roof at the age of seventeen years, and entered the employ of the Michigan Southern Railroad during its construction from Elkhart to Janesville. He was finally promoted to foreman, and later became baggage master, operating at Coldwater and Burr Oak until August, 1865. He then engaged with the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway.

In 1857 Mr. VAN VORST engaged in farming on rented land in Mendon Township, where he lived five years, and thence removed to Nottawa Township, engaging there also in agriculture until 1862. The late Civil War being then in progress, he enlisted in the 6th Michigan Light Artillery, and was in the service about one and one-half years, doing duty mostly in Kentucky, and although not regularly engaged in any battle, frequently met the enemy in skirmishes. He escaped wounds and capture, but his health was greatly affected by hardship ad privation, and he was obliged to accept his honorable discharge for disability in 1863. He now receives a pension from the Government.

The marriage of Abner J. VAN VORST and Miss Elizabeth WHITE was celebrated at the home of the bride in Burr Oak Township in 1855. Mrs. VAN VORST was born in Light Street, Columbia, Co., Pa., Jan. 19, 1834, and is the daughter of Zebba and Susannah WHITE, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and spent their last years in this county.

Our subject and his wife commenced their wedded life in Burr Oak. Their union has been blessed by the birth of six children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, Lucy, is now the wife of Charles WARD, of Sturgis; Albert, also a resident of that city, is engaged in farming; Zeaboth, William, George and Susanna are at home with their parents. Mr. VAN VORST operates his land on the line of general farming, and is doing well.




Hon. Nelson FERRIS, one of the most public-spirited men of this county, has built up one of its finest homesteads, which is located on section 15, Mendon Township, and invariably attracts the attention of the traveler through this portion of St. Joseph County. Mr. FERRIS came to this county in April, 1878, and has since been closely identified with its growth and progress. His property embraces 360 acres of valuable land, which, with its buildings, live stock and farm machinery, forms one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of this region. He is widely and favorably known, and enjoys the confidence of hosts of friends.

The subject of this sketch is the offspring of an excellent family, being the son of Leonard and Elizabeth (RYAN) FERRIS, the former a native of Dutchess County, N.Y., and the latter of Ireland. The mother crossed the Atlantic in her youth, and after marriage the parents settled in Wayne County, N.Y., where there were born to them nine children, and where they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying about 1877, and the mother about 1872. Five of their children are living, and located mostly in Michigan.

Mr. FERRIS was born in the town of Mentz, Cayuga Co., N.Y., Nov. 8, 1817, at the modest homestead of his parents, removing with them to Wayne County when about two years old. When sixteen years of age he repaired to Seneca Falls, and served an apprenticeship at the miller's trade, which he followed thereafter a period of twenty-five years. Upon leaving Seneca Falls about 1842, he made his way to Mishawaka, Ind., where he sojourned until April, 1878. The most of the time at this place he was engaged in milling, but also had other business interests. In the meantime he became quite prominent in politics, and was elected Sheriff of St. Joseph County, Ind., holding the office four years, during which time he acquitted himself in a manner highly satisfactory to the people. In the fall of 1866 he was elected on the Republican ticket to represent St. Joseph County in the Indiana Legislature, and during his term of two years had the honor of voting for the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. During his term of office he was a member of the Committee on Claims, also the Committee on Prisons and on Appropriations. In 1850 he was appointed one of the Deputy Marshals to take the United States Census of St. Joseph County, Ind.

Mr. FERRIS was married in Seneca Falls, N.Y., Jan. 22, 1841, to Miss Sallie WICKS, who was born in Pamelia, Jefferson County, that State, in 1814. Mr. and Mrs. FERRIS commenced their wedded life in Alloway, Wayne Co., N.Y., and of their union there were born four children, the eldest of whom, a son, Morton E., died in Mishawaka when a promising lad of thirteen years; Elizabeth J. is the wife of James K. GORE, a resident of Elkhart, Ind.; William W. is at Mendon, Mich.; Rowena A. is the wife of A. L. OSBORNE, Jr., and lives in the city of LaPorte, Ind. These children have been carefully educated, and occupy a position in society in keeping with their station and acquirements.

Our subject voted for "old Tippecanoe" in 1840, and for his grandson, Benjamin HARRISON, at the late election (1888). In view of these circumstances, it is hardly necessary to state that he is a Republican "dyed in the wool." He has always signalized himself as a man warmly interested in the building up of his community, and gives both his moral and substantial support to those enterprises best calculated to this end.




This gentleman is one of the leading farmers of this county, and is generally known by the name of Allen BROOKS. He was born in the town of Van Buren, in Onondaga County, N.Y., on the 25th of December, 1839. He came to Michigan with his parents when they migrated hither in 1844, he being but a small lad at the time. His parents, Joseph and Sarah E. (ALLEN) BROOKS, were of English birth, and came to this country in the year 1829. They lived in the State of New York for about seventeen years, where the father followed farming, locating first in Onondaga County, where they reared nine children, six of whom were born in the old country; they then came to Michigan in 1844.

The mother of our subject died after having been in this country but a year. About two years later the father was wedded to Maria PUTNAM, who died in 1864, but left no children. The father of our subject died on the 7th of April, 1877, after a very brief illness.

Upon the death of his father our subject succeeded to the ownership of the homestead of 276 acres and the improvements thereon, and continued to work the farm. On the 20th of January, 1865, he was married to Phoebe C. HOUSTON, the daughter of Richard and Elisabeth HOUSTON, of Burr Oak. She was born upon the farm of her father in Burr Oak. There have been born of this union three children, two of whom are living, Walton A. was born on the 4th of June, 1866, and Nora A., born on the 18th of December, 1871. Besides these one little daughter, Hattie Bell, was born on the 17th of January, 1873, but died when but eight months old.

The condition of Mr. BROOKS' farm bears testimony to his enterprise and business ability, as well as his prosperity. He has just completed, at an expense of upward of $8,000, one of the finest farm dwellings in the county. It is built after the most approved designs, is spacious, conveniently arranged, and supplied with the countless conveniences that modern homes demand. It contains twenty-one rooms, including three reception rooms and a large dining-room. The apartments are finished in natural woods, oak, cherry and white wood, and are quite pleasing and effective. The staircase is quite lavish in carvings, well executed, and in excellent taste. The carving is from the design of his daughter Nora.

Opposite this beautiful modern residence stands the old home which was erected by the father in 1848. While building this house, which was at that time one of the finest in the county, the family lived pioneer fashion in a little log house that was standing there when he came; he next built the old barn that stands in the rear of the old home, for our subject has erected a new, more modern and spacious barn, in keeping with the new house. This was completed in the year 1882.

Probably no citizen of this county has applied himself to his duties more than has done our subject. It has been a story of hard work and plenty of it. Acre by acre he has purchased his property, which comprises now 265 acres. He is a man popular and much respected. He is well informed, and takes no little interest in questions concerning matter of political importance, and usually votes with the Democratic party.




John BOTZNER is a worthy representative of the German-American citizens of this county, and the owner of eighty acres of arable, fertile land upon section 27, Burr Oak Township. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the 22d of August, 1827. He did not leave his native country until he was twenty-five years of age. His education was received in the common schools of his native county, after which he went into the shop of his father and learned the butcher business. His father had quite an extensive establishment, and our subject continued with him for twenty years. For reasons satisfactory to himself, doubtless, he would not issue to his son the customary certificate of efficiency, and as a consequence our subject left his home when twenty years of age. He then served three years more at butchering, and from the firm received the well-earned paper.

In 1852, believing that the New World would afford him better opportunities for making his way in the world, Mr. BOTZNER emigrated to this country, landing at the port of New York. Thence he went directly to Buffalo, where he arrived with but $2.50 in his pocket, which was required for his hotel bill. He was very successful in obtaining employment, and for two years continued to work for the sum of $800 per annum. After two years in Buffalo our subject came to Marshall, this State, where he worked at the well-known Michigan Central Eating House for three years. The subsequent three years he worked at his trade.

When the war broke out our subject was among the first to volunteer, and entered the 1st Michigan, Battery A, which was under the command of Col. LOMMIS. He fought under the old flag for three years in the Army of the Cumberland, and saw much service. Among the engagements in which he was an active participant might be mentioned those of Chickamauga, Stone River and Perryville. He went through the entire Cumberland campaign. At the battle of Chickamauga he received a saber wound upon the right thumb, that for the time gave him considerable trouble. He received an honorable discharge in June, 1864.

Leaving the military service, Mr. BOTZNER returned to his adopted State, and at Sturgis during the next five years built up an extensive butcher business, from which he removed to his present farm in the year 1872, and has here resided about fifteen years. In 1866 Mr. BOTZNER was united in marriage with Elizabeth SCHMIDT, a native of Sturgis, and a daughter of Conrad and Christend SCHMIDT. She has presented her husband with six children, all of whom are living, and who bear the following names: Edward, Phillipp, Conrad, Addie, John and Frank.




This pleasant and genial gentleman and his estimable wife are living comfortably together on a well-regulated homestead on section 6 in Mendon Township, where, during the years of an extended residence, they have gathered around them hosts of friends. They have been among the people of a community who were liberal and progressive in their ideas, and, as they have passed along the wayside of life, have done good as they have found opportunity. In noting the changes occurring during their long residence in Southern Michigan, they have been vitally interested in its growth and development. As peaceful and law-abiding citizens, laboring to build up one of the most desirable homesteads, they have thus contributed to the prosperity of their township, and are numbered among those to whom it is indebted for its importance among the intelligent communities of this region.

The father of our subject, Joseph H. CLOWES, was born in Loudoun County, Va., and married Miss Ann E. DUNKIN, a native of the same place. In 1832, leaving the Old Dominion, they made their way to Southern Michigan, during the Territorial days, and for a short time sojourned in Nottawa Township. Later they moved to what is now Colon Township, where the father operated as a tiller of the soil, and where his death took place Sept. 17, 1850. The mother is still living, having survived her husband a period of thirty-eight years, and remaining a widow. She is now quite aged, and makes her home with her son Charles J.

The parental family included two children only our subject and his sister Ruth. The latter, the elder of the two, married Samuel FISK, and died at her home in Vicksburg, in January, 1882, aged about fifty-three years; she was born in Virginia. The native place of Charles J. was in the then unimportant town of Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo County, where he first opened his eyes to the light Oct. 28, 1834. His father was for many years engaged in the dry goods trade, and Charles J. assisted him in the Store until his death. After that he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. After the removal of the family to this county he lived in Colon Township until purchasing the farm which he now owns and which he has since occupied.

The CLOWES homestead embraces eighty acres of good land, with an excellent set of farm buildings, a fair assortment of live stock, the improved machinery necessary for caring on agriculture successfully, and all of the other appliances of the progressive farmer. One of the most important events in the life of our subject was his marriage with Miss Demetra POTTER, which took place at the home of the bride in Brady Township, Kalamazoo County, March 9, 1862. This lady is the daughter of Jeremiah and Nancy (JOHNSON) POTTER, who were both natives of New York State. They came to Michigan in 1844, settling in Brady Township, Kalamazoo County, where the father followed farming, and where his death took place July 7, 1870. The mother is still living, having arrived at an advanced age, and makes her home with her daughter.

To the parents of Mrs. CLOWES there were born eleven children, six sons and five daughters, and she was the third child. Her native place was in Herkimer County, N.Y., where her birth took place Jan. 24, 1834. She was a little girl ten years of age when her parents came to Michigan. At school she was studious and attentive, and developed into a teacher, which calling she followed in Kalamazoo County some time before her marriage. Of this union there has been born one child only, a daughter, Carrie, in 1875; she is now thirteen years of age.

Before the completion of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Mr. CLOWES was for several years Postmaster at Park. In 1859 he made quite an extended trip to the Far West, and spent about one year looking over the country beyond the Mississippi. There has been a vast change during the period of thirty years which has elapsed, and in which the Indians have been compelled to "move on" before the advancing feet of civilization. Mr. CLOWES witnessed many strange scenes during that sojourn on the other side of the Father of Waters, which he has always felt was time well spent as a means of gaining useful information. He has always kept himself well posted upon current events, and since becoming a voter has supported the principles of the Democratic party.


Hamden A. Hecox 

One of the finest farms in Nottawa, Township belongs to the subject of this biography, comprises a valuable tract of land, 360 acres in extent.  Upon it he has erected good buildings, with an especially fine residence, which, with its surroundings, form the ideal rural home, and indicates on all sides taste, culture and means.  Mr. Hecox is a gentlemen born and bred, as is indicated in his daily life, meeting both friends and strangers in that courteous manner which at one gives the most decided indication of his true character.


Our subjects ancestors emigrated from Ireland at an early day (not on the “Mayflower” however), and settled at Durham, Connecticut.  Just 102 years ago his grandfather, Adna Hecox, started for the then wilderness of Central New York, stopping at the “ Big Tree” on the Genesee River, and engaged in surveying a large tract of land purchased of the Seneca Indians by Robert Morris.  The Indian war came on, and Adna Hecox and six others of the surveying party were taken prisoners, and for three years, lived, dressed and assimilated themselves as far as possible with Indians life, to save themselves.  The defeat of the Indians in the west, by General Wayne having restored order. Adna Hecox married, in 1797, Polly Andress, and with his young wife started for the far western Territory  of Michigan, and settled on Grosse Ile, eighteen miles below Detroit, where Hiram A. Hecox the father  of our subject was born, in the year 1800.  The family continued to reside there until war was declared in 1812.  Being surrounded by Indians who were massacring the settlers on every hand, they hasten to Detroit, and were in the fort when General Hull surrendered .  After the war they moved to Brownstown, sixteen miles below Detroit, and there Hiram A. Hecox married Relief Hazzard, who was born in Connecticut, in the year 1800, and moved to the Territory of Michigan in 1816 with her parents.  And here on a farm, the deed of which, signed by President John Q. Adams, he now has in his possession.


Hamden Hecox was born July 19, 1826.  His father Hiram A. Hecox in December, 1829 with his wife and two children, Hamden and Polly, moved to St. Joseph County and here continued to reside until their death.  Neither lived to be aged, the mother dying in 1836 and the father two years later, in 1838.  To the parents of our subject there were born five children, only three whom lived to mature years.  These latter were Polly, Hamden A, our subject and Harriet.  Polly became the wife of Lewis Harris, and died near Ottawa, Illinois, about 1858, leaving a large family of children. Harriet, Mrs. Frank Nichols, resides in Perry Iowa.  Hamden A. Hecox was reared to manhood in Nottawa Township, where with the exception of two years in California, he has spent most of his life.  Mr. Hecox crossed the “plains” in 1849 with an ox-team requiring months to reach the Pacific slope, where he engaged in mining and trade.  For a period of nine years he was a traveling salesman in the agricultural implements trade, while at the same time he superintended the operation of his farm, hiring men to do the work.


Mr. Hecox was married in Nottawa Township March 15, 1848, to Miss Mariamnee Gee.  Mr. Hecox after his marriage engaged in farming and the young people commenced their wedded life in a log house on the farm upon which Mr. Hecox has resided for sixty years, of their union there have been born six children, two only of whom are living, a son and daughter, Frank and Katie.  Those deceased are Mable, Chester, Guy and Charles, who all died young.  Mr. Hecox politically is a Republican “dyed in the wool” a man of decided views, liberal and public spirit, and foremost in the encouragement of the enterprise calculated to benefit the people around him.  He has serves as Township clerk and filled other positions of trust.  He and his family are regular attendants of the Baptist Church at Centerville.


Mrs. Hecox was born in Ann Arbor Michigan, November 25, 1831.  Her parents were Benjamin and Sarah Gee, who were both born in the State of New York.  Their parents moved to Canada, while they were young, where Mr. and Mrs. Gee were married in 1827.  In 1858 they moved to the then territory of Kansas, taking up a large tract of prairie land near Ft. Scott.  The rebellion soon broke out, and being a Union man the “border ruffians” made it hot for him and returned to Michigan, where he died at the residence of his son-in-law in October, 1868.  Mrs. Gee was afterward married to John Rutherford, of Centreville, and died at her home in October 1887.


Mr. and Mrs. Hecox  in an industrious life of more than forty years, have secured a reasonable competency, and have retired from active business and say, that having struggled hard to climb up to where their shadows begin to lengthen, they would like to slide the balance of the way down the “hill of life.”



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