bio8
BIOGRAPHIES
OF
VAN BUREN CITIZENS



Benjamin S. Munn.- A well-known and respected citizen of Bloomingdale township, and one of its progressive and prosperous farmers, Benjamin S. Munn is of pioneer descent, being a son of the late Matthew A. Munn, who dauntlessly pushed his way into an uncultivated country and has left behind him a record for steadiness of purpose and persistent industry of which his children may well be proud.  He was born on the homestead where he now resides, April 9, 1865, coming on both sides of the house of honored New England ancestry.
     His paternal grandfather, Obadiah Munn, was born in Massachusetts, the ancestral homestead in which he first opened his eyes to the light of this world having bordered in the Connecticut River.  As a young man he followed the trail of the emigrant to New York state, and a few years later pushed his way onward to Ohio, journeying by team to Buffalo, thence by boat to Cleveland.  Locating in Cuyahoga county, he bought a tract of unbroken land, and on the farm which he improved he and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Adgate, spent the remainder of their lives.  Matthew A. Munn was born, in 1825, in Painesville, Ohio, and was brought up on the home farm.  When nineteen years of age he went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he remained six years, serving an apprenticeship at the stone cutter's trade.  Returning then to Ohio, he continued at his trade until 1853, when he, too, followed the march of civilization westward, becoming one of the earliest of Bloomingdale township, Van Buren county, Michigan.  Purchasing a tract of land in section ten, he built a log cabin in the forest and began to clear a farm, for a few years thereafter working at his trade in connection with farming.  Subsequently devoting his entire time to the cultivation of his land, he improved a fine homestead, on which he lived until his death, February 27, 1909, an honored and highly esteemed member of his community.
     The maiden name of the wife of Matthew A. Munn was Rachel Healy.  She was born and bred in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, coming form substantial New England stock.  Her father, Jeremiah Spaulding Healy, was born in Vermont, among the rugged hills of the Green mountains.  He subsequently migrated to Saint Lawrence county, New York, where he married, and afterwards moved with his family to Ohio.  He bought a tract of wild land in Eaton township, Lorain county, and having no sawed lumber split by hand puncheon for the floor of the log cabin which he erected as a shelter for himself and family, when it was completed sending for his wife and children to join him.  About 1841 his wife died, and ten years later he married again, and settled on a farm adjoining his first purchase.  Coming to Van Buren county, Michigan, in 1853, he bought a tract of timbered land in Bloomingdale township, where he first built a rude shack and later a substantial log house, in which he resided until his death, in 1865.  The maiden name of the first wife of Mr. Healy was Polly Fields.  She was born in Saint Lawrence county, New York, and at her death left nine children, one of them being Rachel, who became the wife of Matthew A. Munn.  She died on the home farm in Bloomingdale township, February 10, 1895, leaving eight children, as follows: Horatio; Harriet; Orren; Edgar; Jane; Alvin; Benjamin S., the special subject of this brief sketch; and Julius.
     Acquiring his education in the district schools, Benjamin S. Munn was well drilled in the various branches of industry as a boy and youth, and having succeeded to the ownership of the homestead cared tenderly for his parents during the later years that they lived.  Since assuming management of the place, Mr. Munn has made marked improvements, having a good set of buildings, and an ample supply of all the necessary machinery and appliances for successfully carrying on his work, which consists of general farming and dairying.
     Mr. Munn married, October 20, 1888, Mary M. Pingree, who was born in Bloomingdale township, a daughter of David and Samantha (Bush) Pingree and granddaughter of Jewett Pingree, an early pioneer of Van Buren county.  Born in Massachusetts, David Pingree was quite young when he came with his parents to Michigan.  At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in a Michigan regiment of volunteer infantry, and served as a soldier until the close of the conflict, when he was honorably discharged from the army.  Returning to Bloomingdale township, he was engaged in farming the remainder of his life.  Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Munn, namely: Florence, Fern, Harold and Donald.  Mr. Munn has ever evinced an intelligent interest in local affairs, and has never shirked responsibilities of public office.  In 1898 he was elected township treasurer for a term of two years, and with the exception of two years, has served as highway commissioner since 1901.  He belongs to Woodmen Grange, No. 610, Patrons of Husbandry.


Adolf Herzog.- In the development of our agricultural resources, the most valuable asset of our prosperous country, the German-Americans have had a share which cannot easily be measured and one of Keeler township's representative men of this profession is Adolf Herzog.  Baden, Germany, was his birthplace and that of his six sisters as well. The parents were Valentine and Katherine (Dietche) Herzog, who lived and died in Germany.  The father was a farmer and served in the German army.  He died in 1904, eleven years after the death of his wife.  Both were members of the Catholic church.  All the children are living; three of them in America.
     Adolf Herzog was the youngest in the family as well as the only son.  At the age of fifteen, in 1882, he sailed from Antwerp and arrived in this country after a voyage of thirteen days, with a capital of less than fifty dollars.  He came to Van Buren county and began to work at a salary of $10 a month and he continued to be a wage earner until his marriage.  This even took place in 1893, on April 20, the bride being Mrs. Mary Hahn.  She too was born in Germany, in Prussia, on January 16, 1865.  At the age of seventeen, she came to America with her parents, Ferdinand and Katherine Steffens Thar.  They embarked at Bremen and landed thirteen days later in New York, from which place they came to Berrien county, Michigan.  The father is still living on his farm there but the mother is dead.  They began life with less than $75 and that in a new country and with mostly small children to care for.  Their history is another chapter in the literature of success.
    Mr. and Mrs. Herzog too began their wedded life with little capital.  They were obliged to go into debt to purchase their original eighty acres but now they have wiped out all indebtedness and have improved their place and made it one of the homelike and comfortable residence of this section.  Their three children are all receiving excellent eductions and are able to take high places in scholastic honors.  Katherine E. has finished the public school course and is now a student in the state normal at Kalamazoo and is a student also of instrumental music.  Harry J. is one of the best students in the Watervliet high school and a member of the class of 1914.  Emma E. is in the seventh grade.
     In politics Mr. Herzog is a Republican.  For five years he served as treasurer of the school district.  The father and mother are members of the Catholic church and their children have been brought up in the same faith.  Their church is St. Joseph's of Watervliet and the children were confirmed by Bishop Kelly.  All who know Mr. and Mrs. Herzog accord them a high place in their regard and esteem and no home is a more pleasant and popular resort for the friends and neighbors of its owners.


Marlin Lee Wilmot.- Prominent among the energetic and able agriculturists who have been actively associated with the advancement of the farming interests of Van Buren county is Marlin Lee Wilmot, who is profitably engaged in his chosen vocation on the paternal homestead in Bloomingdale township, managing it with ability and success.  He was born March 19, 1863, in Eaton township, Lorain county, Ohio, which was also the birthplace of his father, Albert Wilmot.
     Silas Wilmot, his grandfather, was born in Connecticut, and was there brought up and educated.  At the age of twenty years he married Chloe Tyler, one of his early school-mates, and very soon afterward started for the then far West to seek his home.  He was accompanied on his trip by a friend, Ira Morgan, with whom he made his way on foot to the wilds of Lorain county, Ohio, each carrying in addition to their other baggage an axe.  Spending their first night in Lorain county under the spreading branches of a maple tree, they slept soundly.  After prospecting awhile, Silas Wilmot bought a tract of land on Butternut Ridge, in Eaton township, and having erected a log house was soon joined by his young wife, who made the journey from her New England home with another party of pioneers.  All of the section of the country was then in its primeval wildness, Cleveland being a mere hamlet, with the land now included within its city limits for sale at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre.  The wild beasts of the forest had not then fled before the advancing steps of civilization, but, with the dusky savage, habited the vast wilderness.  Clearing and improving a good farm, he resided on it until his death, at the age of sixy-five years.  His wife, who died when but forty-five years old, was the mother of fourteen children, all of whom grew to years of maturity, eleven of them marrying and rearing familles.
     Born April 24, 1829, Albert Wilmot attended the pioneer schools of Eaton township in his native county, and subsequently began the study of medicine preparatory to entering upon a professional career.  On account of the ill health of his father, however, he relinquished his studies, returned home, and had the charge of the parental acres until 1865.  Disposing then of his share of the home farm, he migrated to Michigan, and having located in Van Buren county purchased timbered land in section two, Bloomingdale township.  Five acres of the land had been previously cleared, and a board house stood upon the place.  Continuing the improvements already inaugurated, he placed much of the land under cultivation, erected a good set of frame buildings, the house overlooking Duck Lake, and carried on farming successfully for many years.  Here having accomplished a satisfactory work, he is now living retired, enjoying all the comforts of modern life.
     Albert Wilmot married in 1857, Sarah A. Lee, who was born in Newfield, Tompkins county, New York, June 13, 1832, a daughter of George W. Lee.  Her grandfather, Solomon Lee, was born in the same locality, of English ancestry, and spent his entire life in or near Fishkill.  In 1845 George W. Lee removed from Tompkins county, New York, to Whitley county, Indiana, where, but a year later, his death occurred.  His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Wooden, was born in Fishkill, New York, and died in Whitley county, Indiana, on the very same day of his demise, leaving four children, as follows: Marena, John Emery, Esther and Sarah A.
   Mr. and Mrs. Albert Wilmot reared two children, Marlin Lee, the special subject of this sketch, and Elma, who died at the age of nineteen years.     But two years old when brought by his parents to Bloomingdale township, Marlin Lee Wilmot obtained his education in the rural schools of his district, and from his earliest years assisted on the farm.  Since the failure of his father's health, Mr. Wilmot has devoted his entire time and energy to the management of the homestead property, continuing each year to add improvements of value.  The land is now under a high state of cultivation, while the buildings rank with the best in the neighborhood, the estate, which is picturesquely located on an elevation overlooking Duck Lake, being one of the most attractive and desirable in the township.
      In 1894 Mr. Wilmot was united in marriage with Edna M. Merriam, who was born in Trowbridge township, Allegan county, Michigan, and is of stanch New England stock, her father, George O. Merriam, having been a native of Vermont, while her mother, who maiden name was Helen Minckler, was born on the Isle of La Motte, in Lake Champlain.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot have one daughter, Helen Sarah Wilmot.  Fraternally Mr. Wilmot is a member of the Woodmen Grange, No. 610, Patrons of Husbandry; and of Gobleville Lodge, No. 393, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


Thomas Harvey Ransom, M. D.- Engaged in the practice of one of the more important of the various professions and pursuits to which men devote their time and energies, Thomas Harvey Ransom M. D., of Bloomingdale, has acquired prominence not only in the medical circles of Van Buren county, but in the business and social life of his community.  A son of William Clark Ransom M. D., he was born in Grant county, Indiana, of Revolutionary stock, his great-grandfather, James Ransome, a resident of Union county, Pennsylvania, having served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
     The Doctor's paternal grandfather, James Ransom, Jr., was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, in 1809, coming from thrifty Scotch ancestry.  After learning the blacksmith trade he moved to Ohio and live in Belmont and Guernsey counties until 1836.  In that year, following the trend of migration westward, he made an overland journey to Indiana, going into the interior as far as Blackford county, being forced to cut his way through the heavy timber the last five miles of his trip.  Settling in the wilderness, five miles from the nearest neighbor, he bought a tract of land, and in the opening which he made in the forest erected the typical pioneer log cabin, which was the first home of the family.  Working with indomitable perseverance, he improved a good homestead, and was there engaged in tilling of the soil until his death, in 1862. His wife whose maiden name was Elizabeth Anderson, was born near Baltimore, Maryland, and died, in 1873.  Twelve of their children grew to years of maturity and married.  Three of the sons becoming physicians, two of them became prosperous merchants and one was a contractor and builder.
     William Clark Ransom, M. D., was born in Belmont county, Ohio, December 6, 1828, and in boyhood accompanied his parents to Blackford county, Indiana, where, amid pioneer scenes, he grew to a man's estate.  For a year after attaining his majority he worked for a neighboring stockman.  Not content, however, to spend his life in rural occupations, he started in 1850 for California, visiting on the way to New Orleans, Mexico, Cuba and the Sandwich Islands.  At the end of nine months he landed at San Francisco, with a penny to his name.  The ensuing year he worked on a ranch, receiving one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month wages.  He then took up a track of land that is now included within the city limits of San Jose, but soon sold his claim for six thousand dollars, and put the money in a bank that soon after failed.  During the time he earned one thousand five hundred dollars mining, and loaned the entire sum to a merchant who, likewise, failed a few months later.
     Before leaving home, William Clark Ransom had paid some attention to the study of medicine, and when starting westward had taken his books with him, and has spent his leisure time in advancing his professional knowledge.  Giving up mining, therefore, he became an interne in a private hospital in Sacramento, where he remained two years.  Then, accompanying a surgeon general of a company of militia, he went to northern California and Oregon to care for the sick soldiers.  Four years later he was stationed in a like capacity on an Indian reservation in ?el Norte county, California where he continued for a time.  In 1864, purchasing four hundred dollars worth of drugs, he went to the island of Otaheite, in the South Pacific ocean, making the passage on an American built schooner.  There disposing of his drugs, he visited China, after which he returned, on a man-o-war, to Otaheite Island, locating in the village of Papieti, where he was for a while employed in caring for the sick whalers that landed there.  He afterwards visited the Fiji Islands, New Zealand and Australia, from the place going to South America on March 6, 1865, and landing in Valparaiso, Chili, where he subsequently learned of the assassination of President Lincoln.  From there he sailed to Calloa, Peru, thence to Quito, Ecuador, where he sailed for New York, coming home by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving at Hartford, Indiana, in the fall of 1865.   (note: Papieti is in Tahiti)
    After practicing medicine in Hartford, Indiana, for a year or more, Dr. William C. Ransom further pursued his studies at the Cleveland Medical College, and in 1870 was graduated form the Indiana Medical College.  Removing to South Haven, Michigan, in 1881, he engaged in the practice of his profession, and also became an important factor in advancing the mercantile and industrial interests of the place, becoming a member of the clothing firm of Hempsted Brothers & Ransom, and an extensive real estate dealer.  A man of rare enterprise and judgment, he embarked in an entirely new venture in 1884, building a boat which he located with produce and took down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, where he sold the boat and its cargo.  He subsequently built three other boats for the same purpose, and was likewise engaged in lake transportation, building the "Harvey Ransom," and other good boats that plied Lake Michigan.  Going to the extreme Northwest in 1893, he explored Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and is now a resident of Klamath, Oregon.  He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has passed all the chairs of the subordinate lodge and of the Encampment.  His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Emily Hodson, was born in Grant county, Indiana, November 22, 1848, a daughter of Samuel and Phebe Hodson.
    The only child of his parents, Thomas Harvey Ransom received his preliminary education in the common schools, and after his graduation from the South Haven high school began the study of medicine.  He attended the University of Michigan, and was graduated from the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Indianapolis, Indiana, and later took post graduate courses in Philadelphia and Chicago.  Beginning the practice of his profession at South Haven, Michigan, Dr. Ransom remained there a year, and then settled in Lacota, Van Buren county.  While in college, Dr. Ransom was active in base ball matters, and after practicing medicine in Lacota for a year entered the base ball field as a professional and played two seasons with his team.  Coming then to Bloomingdale, the Doctor has practiced here since, and is now recognized as one of the leading physicians and surgeons of this part of the county.
     In 1901 the Doctor was untied in marriage with Nellie Pearl Wiggins, who was born in Bloomingdale, a daughter of Honorable Milan D. Wiggins and Maria F. (Hubbard) Wiggins, of whom a brief sketch appears elsewhere in this work.  Three children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Ransom, namely: Theone, Ruth and Milan Wiggins.  The Doctor is a man of excellent business ability, and is interested in the Bloomingdale Milling Company.  He is a member of the Kalamazoo, the Van Buren County and the Michigan State Medical Societies, and of the American Medical Association.  A steadfast Republican in politics, he cast his first presidential vote, in 1892, for Benjamin Harrison.  Although not an office seeker, he served six years as president of the local school board, and in 1910 and 1911 was elected mayor of Bloomingdale, the highest municipal office within the gift of his fellow citizens.  Fraternally Dr. Ransom is a member of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 221, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; of Paw Paw Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at the present writing being a chairman of the committee on by-laws of the Grand Chapter.  Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church.


Dr. Oel E. Lanphear.-The science and art of dental surgery is one of the most progressive in the whole range of human activity, and requires an alert, studious and enterprising man to keep up with it in its rapid advances.  Every month brings some new discovery or invention in connection with it, designed to improve its methods, secure better results from its work, or aid in lessening the horrors of its chair torture.  To say, then, that a practitioner of dentistry is up-to-date is to give him credit for wide knowledge and great skill in connection with his profession, and stamp him as a man who keeps pace with rapid current of evolution and development.
     Dr. O. E. Lanphear, of Paw Paw, one of the leading dentists in this part of Michigan, is entitled to full recognition and credit as such a man.  He is diligently studious of his profession in all its branches, and keeps himself abreast of it most advanced thought and discoveries.  And in his practice he gives his patrons the full benefit of his knowledge and the skill he has acquired in his grade work.  He is genial and companionable, too, and by his manner of receiving and treating them, aids greatly in quieting apprehension and stimulating courage in his patients, and thus secures their cooperation in what he has to do to them.
   Dr. Lanphear is a native of Van Buren county, his life having begun at Lawrence on June 25, 1876.  He is a son of Orin P. and Josephine I. (Dolson) Lanphear, the former a native of Watertown, Jefferson county, New York, born on December 20, 1847, and the latter of Michigan, born August 10, 1852.  O. P. Lanphear spent his early days with his parents on a farm and enlisted in the One Hundred and Eight-sixth New York Infantry at the age of sixteen, and served until the close of the Civil war. He served mostly in Virginia, in the army of the Potomac.  His regiment was present at the surrender of General Lee and from there he went to Washington to take part in the Grand Review.  He was mustered out, and went to Sackett's Harbor, New York, where he was discharged, thence home, and spent two years with his folks.  He moved to Michigan with his father and mother and was engaged in farming for several years.  Then he returned to the state of his nativity and served an apprenticeship to the all mason's trade, becoming a mason contractor.  As cement came to the front rank in the building trades, he carried on the business of cement contractor, supplying the cement and supervising the building of cement foundations and other similar work.  He is now living retired on a farm in Lawrence.
     Of the six children born of their union five are living: O. E., the subject of this sketch; Jennie, the wife of Fred Carroll, of this county; Charles R., a resident of Paw Paw; J. E., who lives in Lawrence; and Howard who is still at home with his parents.  Orin, the second of the six in the order of birth, died a the age of two years.
    Dr. O. E. Lanphear was graduated from the Lawrence high school in 1895, and then taught school on the Paw Paw township line for one year.  At the end of that period he entered the dental department of the State University at Ann Arbor, where he pursued a full course of instruction and practice in dental surgery, and was graduated in 1901, after passing three years in the institution, which he entered in 1898.  He came at once to Paw Paw form the University and opened an office for the practice of his profession.  In this he has been actively engaged with a rapidly growing patronage and extending reputation ever since, winning high regard among the people by the excellence of his professional work and his enterprising, up-to-date methods, his office being one of the most thoroughly equipped with the latest appliances for the practice of dental surgery in the state of Michigan.
     In addition to his profession as a doctor of dental surgery he has also taken a special course in anesthesia, and to this he has given a considerable time and study and is regarded as an authority on this subject.  Along these lines he has gone very thoroughly into the properties and administration of the newest anesthetic now before the public, known as Somno form and has the only complete equipment for its administration, in combination with other anesthetics, in Van Buren county, and in this respect has been very successful.
     The doctor married on June 25, 1902, to Miss Mamie L. Gould, a daughter of Otis and Elizabeth (Maxwell) Gould, who have three children, all daughters.  Dr. and Mrs. Lanphear have two children: Marvel G., who was born on September 21, 1905, and Loel G., whose life began on July 22, 1908.  The doctor is a Republican in politics and in fraternal circles belongs to the Masonic order and the Knights of Pythias.  His religious connection is with the Congregational church.  He takes a great interest in the welfare of his church and the affairs of each of his fraternities, as he does in everything that is promotive of the betterment of the people around him and the progress and development of the region in which they live.  He ardently desires the best that can be attained for Paw Paw and Van Buren county, and shows it in the most practical manner on all occasions and in every way open to his helpful and stimulating efforts.


Edward A. Haven.- Widely known throughout Van Buren county in connection with his business associations, Edward A. Haven, of Bloomingdale village, manager of the Bloomingdale Produce and Lumber Company, was for several years the state food inspector and instructor in cheese making at the State Agricultural College.  A son of Augustus Haven, he was born in Bloomingdale township, August 3, 1862.  He comes of excellent New England stock his grandfather, Davis Haven, a native of Vermont, having been the son of Elisha Haven, who was a descendant in the seventh generation from Richard and Susanna Haven, who immigrated form the west of England to America in 1640.
      Elisha Haven, who was a blacksmith, followed his trade at Shoreham, Vermont, until 1820, when he removed with his family to Portage county, Ohio, making the long and tedious journey through the wilderness with teams.  One of the early settlers of Shalerville, Portage county, he continued his residence there until his death, at the venerable age of eighty-two years.  His wife, whose maiden name was Molly Goodell, was born in Vermont, and died in Shalerville, Ohio, when upwards of four score years old.  She reared eight children, four sons and four daughters.
     Davis Haven was thirteen years old when his parents moved from Vermont to Ohio.  On attaining his majority he bought forty acres of timber land in Shalerville township, and in the space which he cleared built the log cabin in which his older children were born.  He improved the land, erected a good set of buildings, and lived there until 1865.  Selling out in that year, he came to Michigan, locating in Genesse county, where he purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, on which he was successfully engaged as a tiller of the soil until his death in 1869.  The maiden name of his first wife, Mr. Haven's grandmother, was Julia Adams.  She was born in Ohio, a daughter of Augustus and Mary (Hine) Adams, natives of Connecticut and pioneer settlers of Portage county, Ohio.  She died at the early age of thirty-seven years, leaving five children, namely: Mary, Augustus, Cynthia, Martha and Warren.
     Augustus Haven was born in Portage county, Ohio, and there acquired an excellent education.  He began his career as a teacher at the age of eighteen years, and taught three terms in Ohio.  In 1854 he came to Van Buren county, Michigan, traveling by rail to Lawton, then by stage to Paw Paw, from there footing it through the intervening woods to Bloomingdale township.  Securing forty acres of government land in section eighteen, he was also fortunate enough to buy eighty acres in the same section from a settler, who had cleared five acres of his tract and had put up a log cabin.  Beginning at once to clear his land, he rolled together huge piles of logs that would now be of great value and burned them, that being the only way to dispose of them.  While living in Ohio he had learned the manufacture of dairy products, and after a few years engaged in the making of cheese in addition to general farming.  He improved his land, erected good buildings, and lived there until 1866, when he sold out and bought the farm in section seventeen, Bloomingdale township, where he has since resided.  He married, in 1854, Emily McLellan, who was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Henry and Melissa McLellan, natives of Pennsylvania of Scotch ancestry.  She died in 1907.
     Having completed the course of study in the public schools, Edward A. Haven attended the State Agricultural School and at the age of nineteen began teaching school.  While young he assisted his father in the making of cheese, working in the factory, and after his return from College he was engaged in the manufacture of cheese during the summer months and teaching in winter.  Going to Oregon in 1886, he taught school in Rosebury two years, and then returned to Michigan and farmed until 1895.  He then bought the Bloomingdale Cheese Factory which he conducted until 1905, then selling the factory to Charles Linton, who converted it into a creamery, one of the leading industries of the village.  In 1905 Mr. Haven was elected state food inspector and served continuously until 1910, at the same time being instructor of cheese making at the State Agricultural College.  In 1910 he accepted his present position as manager of the Bloomingdale Produce and Lumber Company, and is filling it ably and satisfactory.
     Mr. Haven married in 1892 Myrtle L. Edwards, who was born in Cheshire township, Allegan county, a daughter of James and Mary (Galusha) Edwards, the former of whom was a native of England, while her mother was born and reared in New York state.  Mr. and Mrs. Haven have one daughter, Iris.  One of the leading Republicans of his community, Mr. Haven has served as chairman of the Republican County Committee, and is a member of the local school board, of the village council and vice president of the Commercial Club.


Hon. Harvey H. Howard.- A venerable and highly esteemed resident of Bloomingdale village, Honorable Harvey H. Howard has been a resident of Van Buren county for upwards of three score years, during which time he has been actively identified with the advancement of the agricultural and industrial prosperity of his community and has established for himself a fine reputation as a thoroughly honest man and good citizen.  Having as a farmer accomplished a most satisfactory work, he and his good wife are now living retired, enjoying to the utmost the fruits of their earlier years of toil.  A son of Barnard N. Howard, he was born September 6, 1825, in Sweden township, Monroe county, New York, of New England ancestry.  His parental grandfather, Rev. Timothy Howard, a native of Massachusetts, was educated for the ministry, and for many years was a Free Will Baptist preacher in Oneida county, New York, where his last years were spent.
     Barnard M. Howard was born in Oneida county, New York, in October 1791.  Migrating to Monroe county, New York, in early manhood, he passed through the now beautiful city of Rochester when its only habitation was a log cabin, with no indication whatever of its present prosperity.  Locating in Sweden township, he purchased a tract of timber land, and from the dense forest began the arduous task of redeeming a farm, his first work being to clear a space in which he might erect a log house.  He met with success in his labors, and in the course of a few years had a productive farm, while the little log cabin had been replaced by a frame house, and other frame buildings had been erected.  On this homestead property he spent the remainder of his days, dying at the age of fifty-nine years.  He married Nancy Hinkley, a daughter of Jonathan N. Hinkley, she survived him, attaining the age of seventy-three years.  She reared six children, as follows: Jonathan N., Henry M, Zenas C., Mary, Harvey H. and Joseph P.
    Receiving a good common school education in his native county and being reared by a father who was well versed in agriculture, Harvey H. Howard became familiar with all branches of that independent industry in his youthful days, and selected farming as his life occupation.  In 1850, soon after his marriage, Mr. Howard came to Michigan on a prospecting tour, and being pleased with Van Buren county and its prospects bought a tract of timber land in section four, Bloomingdale township.  Having erected a log cabin, he returned East for his wife, and with her came, by way of the Erie Canal and Lake Erie, to Detroit, thence by railway to the railroad terminus, Lawton, Michigan, and from there with a team to their home in Bloomingdale township, leaving Lawton early in the morning and not reaching their point of destination until after candle-light.  The greater part of Michigan was then in its primitive wildness, much of the land being still owned by the government.  The wild beasts of the forest had not then fled before the advancing steps of civilization, but roamed at will, and the few inhabitants of that vicinity lived in a primitive manner, possessing but few of the modern conveniences, their luxuries being now our necessities.  Laboring with energy and resolution of purpose, Mr. Howard cleared and improved a fine and highly productive farm, on which he resided until 1902. In that year he and his wife moved into the village of Bloomingdale, where they have a pleasant and cheerful home and are enjoying life.
     Mr. Howard married, January 8, 1850, Sarah Cooley, who was born on the 10th of August, 1831, in a log cabin in Sweden township, Monroe county, New York, a daughter of James B. Cooley and granddaughter of Thomas and Eunice (Barrett) Cooley, pioneer settlers of Sweden township.  James B. Cooley was but a child when his parents settled on a farm in Sweden township.  He became a farmer from choice, and when ready to start life for himself installed his bride in the log cabin in which their children were born, and which was located just across the road from the old Howard homestead.  Mr. Cooley was subsequently there employed in tilling the soil until his death, at the comparatively early age of forty-six years.  He married Adeline Fargo, who was born at German Flats, New York, and she died when but thirty-one years old.  Mr. and Mrs. Howard have reared two children, namely: Clara and Edward M.  Clara is the wife of Davis Haven, and has two children, Mabel and Lois.  Edward M. married Carrie A. Church, and they have three children, Oren, Harvey, Edward M. and Neta.  Mrs. H. H. Howard is a member of the Baptist church, of which her husband is an attendant and a liberal supporter.
     A Whig in politics during his early life, Mr. Howard cast his first presidential vote for Zachary Taylor.  Since the formation of the Republican party, however, he has been one of its most loyal supporters, and has served his fellow citizens in various official capacities.  He assisted in organizing the first school district on the base line in Bloomingdale township and served as moderator at the meetings and also served as a school director.  He served two terms as justice of the peace, nine terms as a member of the County Board of Supervisors and has been a member of the Board of Review since the board was established, being a member at the present time.  He has been twice elected as a representative to the State Legislature, and had the honor of voting for Thomas A. Palmer for the United States senator.  Fraternally he has been a member of the Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 221, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Mason, since 1871, and of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, since 1872.  Mr. Howard and his brothers were natural musicians, and before leaving New York state played in the local band, and after coming to Bloomingdale township Mr. Howard was a member of the first band organized in this part of Van Buren county.  Mr. Howard also, with his brothers Zenas C. and Joseph P., built the railroad station at Bloomingdale and presented it to the railroad company.


Charles W. Ashbrook.- An enterprising and thriving agriculturist of Van Buren county, Charles W. Ashbrook, owning and occupying a valuable farming estate in Bloomingdale township, has brought to his independent vocation excellent business methods and sound judgment, and in his undertakings has met well deserved success.  A son of Joseph R. Ashbrook, he was born April 6, 1855, in Goshen, Elkhart county, Indiana.  His paternal grandfather, Elias Ashbrook, was an early settler of Ohio, and for many years owned and operated a tannery near Zanesville.  Migrating from there to Indiana, he conducted a tannery in the vicinity of Goshen for some time.  Selling his tannery, he moved to Milford, Kosciusko county, Indiana, where he was engaged in the grocery business continuously until his death, at the venerable age of eighty-seven years. He married Jane Smith, who was born in Scotland, and died in Milford, Indiana, at the advanced age of ninety-four years.  Her parents were weavers by trade, operating hand looms in their native country.  On coming from Scotland to America they brought a quantity of web with them, intending to weave it after they were settled in their new home, but could find in this country no loom fine enough to answer their purpose, and the web is now preserved as an heirloom by their descendants.
     Joseph R. Ashbrook was born near Zanesville, Ohio, and when a young man learned the trade of cabinet maker, which he subsequently followed for a while in Goshen, Indiana.  He afterwards operated a sawmill at Milford, Indiana, manufacturing lumber.  Coming to Michigan in 1870, he, in partnership with Jonathan Sell, bought a hotel at South Haven, and conducted it for about four years.  Selling his share at the end of that time, he bought land in South Haven township, where he was profitably employed in  general farming for a number of years.  Now, a venerable man of eighty-seven years, he is living retired from active business at Grass Lake, Michigan.
    Joseph R. Ashbrook has been twice married.  He married first Jerusha Flagert, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of Jacob Flagert, a blacksmith, who spent his last days in Milford, Indiana, passing away at the age of four score years.  She died in middle life, leaving five children, Charles W., Jonathan, Amanda, Joseph E. and Amos E.  The father subsequently married for a second life Avis King, now deceased.
     Charles W. Ashbrook acquired his early education in Indiana, attending the public schools of Milford and Goshen.  After coming to Michigan he was variously employed for a while, eventually, beginning his independent career as a farmer on rented land. For fifteen years he leased land in Columbia township, and in 1893 bought his present farm in section twenty-eight, Bloomingdale township.  Industrious, energetic and a wife manager, Mr. Ashbrook has made improvements on his place of great value, and is here profitably engaged in general farming and dairying, each year reaping a good income from his harvests.
Mr. Ashbrook married, in 1878, Alvina Baxter, who was born in Bloomingdale township, a daughter of James Baxter.  Mr. Baxter was born in 1798, in Washington county, Pennsylvania, where his father William Baxter, a native of the North of Ireland, settled just prior to his birth.  He was brought up in his native state, and thus  learned the trade of distiller.  After the death of his first wife he moved to Ohio, where he was for several years employed in the butchering business.  Coming to Van Buren county, Michigan, with his family in 1850, Mr. Baxter was a pioneer of Bloomingdale township.  Purchasing from the government a tract of timber land in section thirty, at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, he erected a log house and began the improvement of a farm.  The country throughout this section was then in its original wildness, and he had but three neighbors within reasonable distance from his clearing.  Paw Paw was the nearest market and depot for supplies, and as there were no roads in this vicinity a trip there was somewhat of an undertaking.  He cleared a large part of his land, and was just preparing to erect a frame house when, in 1872, his death occurred.  Mr.Baxter was married twice, by his first wife having five children, Daniel, William, Catherine, Sarah and John.  The maiden name of the second wife of Mr. Baxter was Mary Hull.  She was born in Ohio, a daughter of  Joseph and Catherine (Pyles) Hull, natives of Ohio. She died in 1898, leaving five children, namely: Mary Ann; Alvina, now Mrs. Ashbrook; Emily; Joseph; and James.  Mr. and Mrs. Baxter (I think this is supposed to read-Mr. and Mrs. Ashbrook) have six children, named Mina, Sidney, James, Mabel, Irwin and Fern.  Mina married George Confer and have two children, Ross and Hope.  Sidney married George Arnold.  Mabel married Conrad Beach and they have two daughters, named Mona and Lucille.  Mrs. Ashbrook is a charter member of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 148, Order of the Eastern Star, and her son James is both a Mason and an Odd Fellow.


Mrs. Emma J. (Wheeler) Broughton.- A well known and highly esteemed resident of Bloomingdale township, Van Buren county, Mrs. Broughton was born in Bedford, Connecticut, a daughter of George Wheeler, who was born and reared in the same state.  Her paternal grandfather, Ephraim Wheeler, a native of England, served as soldier in the struggle of the colonists for independence.  Subsequently removing from Connecticut to Monroe county, New York, he bought three hundred acres of Government land in what is now the town of Charlotte, being one of its earliest settlers and the first to erect a frame house within its limits.  He cleared and improved a homestead, and there resided until his death.  His wife survived him, dying in the ninety-seventh year of her age.
     The youngest of a large family of children, George W. Wheeler was reared on a farm in Connecticut, and spent his early life in his native state.  Subsequently, accompanied by his wife and four children, he migrated to New York state, making his removal with teams and settling in Charlotte, Monroe county, on a tract of timbered land given him by his father.  Erecting a log cabin in the forest, he began the pioneer task of redeeming a farm from its pristine wildness.  Selling out a few years later, he removed with his family to Chili, in the same county, and on a farm which he rented spent his remaining days.  He married Catherine Reid, who was of Scotch ancestry, and she survived him a few years.  They were the parents of eight children, as follows: Catherine; Susan Elizabeth; John W.; Theodore, a soldier in the Civil war, was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, when but eighteen years old; James; Amos; Emma J.; and Frances.
     Brought up in Monroe county, New York, Emma J. Broughton was there educated, at her home being well trained in the domestic arts.  After leaving school she went to Detroit, Michigan, to visit an uncle, and while there met and married John N. Chadsey, who was born in Sweden, Monroe county, New York.  Mrs. Chadsey's father, Benjamin Chadsey, a native of Massachusetts, was a man of undaunted courage and enterprise.  When young he followed the migrant's trail to New York state, with his axe on his shoulder bravely making his way to Monroe county. Securing a tract of Government land, he soon began felling the mighty giants of the forest to make a space on which he might erect a log cabin to shelter himself and family, and on the farm which he cleared he resided until his death.  John N. Chadsey was brought up on the home farm in Monroe county, New York, and educated in the pioneer schools of his district.  Soon after the close of the Civil war he came to Michigan, settling in Bloomingdale township, Van Buren county, where he bought a tract of timbered land, erected a frame house, and began to clear a farm.  Industrious, energetic and enterprising, Mr. Chadsey cleared a large part of his land and in due course of time made improvements of great value, replacing the original house by a large brick structure, and erecting a substantial barn and other needed farm buildings, each year adding to the attractiveness and value of his property.  He there continued his agricultural labors until his death, in 1895.
     After the death of Mr. Chadsey, Mrs. Chadsey married for her second husband, in 1901, George W. Broughton, who was born in Macomb county, Michigan, where his parents, James and Lucy Broughton, were pioneer settlers, going from Massachusetts, their native state. Mr. Broughton was reared on the home farm in Macomb county, and as a young man tried the venture of new hazards, going West and living in different places until 1897.  Returning then to Michigan, he bought land in Cheshire township, Allegan county, and embarked in general farming, continuing as an agriculturist until his death, March 3, 1910.  Mr. Broughton has no children of her own, but has an adopted son, Franklin M. Broughton.  Mrs. Broughton is a conscientious member of the Baptist church, while Mr. Broughton was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church.


John F. Nichols.- Prominent in the business world of Hartford, Van Buren county, Michigan, for his progressive methods and reputation as one who is always "square" is John F. Nichols, now the proprietor of a thriving feed business.  He was born in Arlington township, this county, July 23, 1865, the year of the end of the Civil war.  He is the son of George W. and Laorenda (Crapo) Nichols.  George W. Nichols was born in New York state, November 24, 1839, and died in Michigan, October 10, 1898.  His wife was a native of St. Joseph county, Michigan, born October 27, 1844, and is still living, making her home in Benton Harbor.
     John F. Nichols was reared in this county and until he was twenty years of age attended the district and Lawrence graded schools on April 16, 1887, his marriage was solemnized at Mendon, St. Joseph county, Michigan, the lady of his choice being Miss Maggie A. Lash, who was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1865, and educated in the public schools of Mendon, Michigan.  Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have no children.  After their marriage the young couple moved to a farm in Arlington, where they remained four years before removing to Benton Harbor, in which place Mr. Nichols became employed as a carpenter. After ten years they returned to the farm life, and spent two and a half years on a farm in Van Buren county, finally, however, coming to Hartford to engage in the poultry business.  Until 1905 Mr. Nichols bought and sold poultry, making quite a profitable undertaking of the venture, but in that year he chose to become identified with a cider mill, which he left in 1908 to take up his present enterprise as proprietor of a feed store.  IN this his long experience as a farm and poultry dealer has served him in good stead.  He is now erecting a new house and barn on his Hartford property.  This making the fourth house he has built, he having sold all but the one he now occupies.
      Fraternally Mr. Nichols is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of Charter Oak Lodge, No. 231, and is a past Noble Grand and the present treasurer of the same.  He is a member of an insurance company, the New Era, of Grand Rapids.  Politically he supports the men and measures of the Democratic party, but he takes little interest in the honors and emoluments of public office, though he now serves on the town council.


James Van Horn.- An enterprising intelligent and able agriculturist, James Van Horn is prosperously engaged in his independent vocation on one of the many pleasant and desirable farms in Bloomingdale township, to the improvements and value of which he is constantly adding.  A son of John Van Horn, he was born August 12, 1872, near Hartford, Blackford county, Indiana.
    Jere Van Horn, his paternal grandfather, was born, it is thought, in Ohio, and was of pure Holland ancestry.  Removing from Ohio to Indiana, he bought wild land in Blackford county, erected a log house and barn, tilled a sufficient number of acres to make a living for himself and family, and was there a resident during the remainder of his life.
     Born and reared in Ohio, John Van Horn went with the family to Blackford county, Indiana, and subsequently bought land lying six miles north of Hartford.  He cleared and improved a part of the tract, and lived there several years.  Then impelled by the restless American spirit characteristic of the early pioneers, he came to Michigan, and having purchased eighty acres of land in Osceola county was there employed as a tiller of the soil until 1892.  Removing in that year to Bloomingdale township, Van Buren county, he purchased a home, and lived here until his death, in 1908.  He married first Ardella Townsend, a native of Blackford county, Indiana.  She died in 1875, leaving six children, as follows: George, Clem, Mary, John, James and Charles.  After the death of his first wife he subsequently married Mary Gathrup.
     During the days of his boyhood and youth James Van Horn attended the public schools and assisted in the lighter work of the home farm.  He was early trained to habits of industry and thrift, and while yet a young lad worked out by the month, thereby earning the money to make a payment on a tract of land.  He first purchased seventy acres in Bloomingdale township, and after occupying it five years bought the farm where he now resides.  It is pleasantly located in section three, and contains one hundred and sixty acres.  Mr. Van Horn has shown excellent judgment in improving his property, having cleared and drained portions of it, and having repaired and enlarged the buildings, his place in point of improvements and equipments ranking with the best in the vicinity.  He pays especial attention to dairying, and industry which he finds profitable, having his farm well stocked with high graded Holstein cattle.
    Mr. Van Horn married August 12, 1894, Blanche Haven, who was born in Bloomingdale township, a daughter of Augustus and Emily Haven, of whom a brief account may be found elsewhere in this volume, in connection with the sketch of E. A. Haven.  Mr. and Mrs. Van Horn are the parents of six children, namely: Vena, Clare, Herbert, Veta, Emily and George.  Fraternally Mr. Van Horn is a member of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


Henry H. Albright.- In naming the highly respected citizens of Van Buren county, Michigan, many old soldiers of the Civil war are to be found, and it is also noted that those who fought in their country's defense made good citizens in times of peace, as they made good soldiers in time of war.  One of the veterans of that great struggle, who is now living practically retired after many years spent in agricultural pursuits, is Henry H. Albright, the owner of a well-cultivated tract of land in Bangor township known as "Summit Home."  Mr. Albright was born in Marion county, Ohio, March 1, 1840, and is a son of Solomon and Rebecca (Cramer) Albright, the former a native of  Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio, both are now deceased, the father passing away when ninety-one years of age, and the mother reaching the age of eighty-seven.  They had a family of ten children: Esther, Hannah and Noah, who are deceased; Henry H.; John, now residing in Ohio, a veteran of the Civil war, through all of which he served; Joseph, deceased; Silas and William, residing in Ohio; Amanda, the widow of Joseph Westcott, of Ohio; and Samuel, who also resides in that state.
     When he was nineteen years of age Henry H. Albright took up carpentry as an occupation, and he was so engaged at the outbreak of the Civil war.  Fired with patriotism, like so many of the youth of that day, he gave up his business which he had built up and hastened to enlist in the Union army, becoming a private in Company D, Eighty-second Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After seven months spent in the service Mr. Albright was wounded in battle, several of his fingers being shot away, and he was given his honorable discharge on account of disability.  On his return to his native locality he began farming on a tract which he had purchased with a friend some time previous to his enlistment in the army, but in 1866 he sold his interests and came to Michigan.  For some time he conducted the farm of his father-in-law, and after the latter's death he purchased the property, which he conducted as a general farmer and stock raiser until 1903, in which year he retired.
     On October 20, 1863, Mr. Albright was united in marriage with Miss Rebecca Altman, daughter of Lewis and Catherine (Bear) Altman, natives of Pennsylvania, both of whom are deceased.  There were eleven children in the Altman family, as follows: One who died in infancy, Andrew, Jacob, Sarah, John, Elizabeth, Catherine, Hannah, Solomon, Mary and Rebecca, the latter being the youngest of the family and the only one now living.  Mr. and Mrs. Albright have had three children: Emma May, the wife of Abner Gish, of Lacota, Michigan; Bertha, the wife of Mark Hesse, also of Lacota; and Etta, who married P. C. Allers, a sailor on the Great Lakes.
     The Albright family is connected with the Evangelical church, and both Mr. and Mrs. Albright have given of their time and means in supporting movements of a church and charitable nature.  Although no politician as far as seeking public office is concerned, Mr. Albright takes a healthy interest in anything pertaining to the welfare of his township, and is a stanch supporter of the Republican principles.  Always having led a straightforward, honest and upright life, he has the confidence and respect of his fellow-townsmen, who recognize in him a citizen who may be counted upon to bend his best efforts towards any movement that will benefit his community in any way.


Lester E. Osborn.- Among the native-born sons of Van Buren county, Michigan, is Lester E. Osborn, whose citizenship is of that stanch and admirable type which has made this section so progressive and prosperous that it is widely noted for these qualities.  The name of Osborn is well known hereabout and he whose name inaugurates this review is distinguished not only for his own record as a man and a citizen, but from the honored ancestry from which he is descended.  He was born in Hamilton township on August 1, 1854, and is the eldest member and only son in a family of four born to Stephen and Maria (Tyron) Osborn.  At the present time all the children survive.  Lillie is the wife of H. A. Beardsley, and agriculturist and a resident of Decatur.  Lucy is the wife of Charles Harris, a prosperous agriculturist of Hamilton township; and Lora is married to John Ingram, an engineer in the great Sheffield works of Three Rivers, Michigan.
    The father of the subject was a native of Allegheny county, New York, and was an agriculturist.  He attended school in an old log school house in the Empire state and was of the self-made type.  When he was a lad he came with his parents to Van Buren county, Michigan, making the journey by wagon in pioneer style.  When the Osborns arrived in the Wolverine state wolves, deer and wild turkeys were plentiful and the traces of the redman had by no means been obliterated.  The father entered land from the government and became prosperous.  All his life he was loyal in his support of the principles of Jackson Democracy.  He was well-known, a man of strong character and of influence in the community.  In the early days he had sixteen yoke of oxen and with them broke the virgin soil.  Both he and his wife were members of the Disciple church.  He took great interest in improving public school conditions and he was at the forefront in other progressive work.  His wife was a native of Michigan and a woman of great ambition and industry.  Both are interred in the Hamilton cemetery, where beautiful stones are erected sacred to their memory.
     Mr. Osborn, immediate subject of this review, was reared in old Van Buren county and was educated in the common school and the Paw Paw high school.  He has devoted all his activities to agriculture.  At the age of twenty he earned his first wages, twenty dollars a month and until the demise of the beloved parents, to which he had ever devoted, he resided beneath the home roof.  At the death of the father, Erastus Osborn, of whom a mention is made on other pages, was appointed administrator and the two worked the homestead on shares.  At the age of twenty-four the subject wedded Miss Rena Gage, their union being on April 28, 1878.  To them have been born two sons and two daughters.  Adah M. is the wife of Charles Lindsley, a resident of Bangor township, who operates the Smiley farm.  Their daughter, Lucille Belle, is in school.  Mrs. Lindsley was educated in the common schools and previous to her marriage was a music teacher.  V. Belle became the wife of Claude Sterns, son of Z. Sterns, one of the pioneers of Van Buren county.  She was educated in the common schools.  Her husband is one of Hamilton township's prosperous young farmers.  Leroy S. is a resident of Keeler township and an agriculturist.  He married Miss Bessie Rathburne. He was educated in the common schools.  Hugh D. is a resident of Dowagiac and is engaged as an iron moulder.  He took as his wife Miss Lucille Baker, a school teacher, and they have a little daughter, Irma.
     Mr. and Mrs. Osborn have given their children good practical eductions and fitted them for honorable lives and they have become honorable citizens and a credit to their parents.  Mrs. Osborn was born in Cass county, Michigan, February 11, 1860, and she is the eldest of two children, both daughters, born to Van Oraman and Zilpha (Langley) Gage. Both are living and Mrs. Osborn is the elder.  Her sister, Alpha M., is the widow ow William Scoby, a resident of Battle Creek and they have one daughter, Edith, who was the wife of Theodore Shaw, and is now an actress in Chicago.  Mrs. Shaw was educated in the Hastings high school.  The father Gage was a native of Cattaraugus county, his birth having occurred in 1832 and his death in 1869.  He was only a boy when his parents came to Cass county, Michigan.  He received a good education, a part of which was received in the Ypsilanti Normal School.  His occupation was that of a practical farmer and horticulturist and he was distinguished for unusual mentality.  In politics he was a Republican and cast his vote for the first nominee of the party.  He died in Berrien county.  His wife was a native of Wisconsin, born August 16, 1839, and still living at Battle Creek.  She is a woman beautiful in face as well as in character and mind.  She has long been a useful member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
     Mrs. Osborn was a little girl of but four years of age when she became a resident of Berrien county.  She has spent the greater part of her life, however, in Hamilton township, and in its schools secured her education.  She possesses a most pleasing personality and her home is her paradise.  She has ably reared her family and is, indeed, in the words of Longfellow,
     "A noble type of good
      Heroic womanhood."
Mr. and Mrs. Osborn moved onto this present place in 1897.  It is known as "Oak Grove Homestead."  The subject has ever been a Republican, nationally and locally, and he casts his vote for the men he believes best suited for the office.  He is a public spirited man and his sixteen years' service as school director has been of value to the community.
     To conclude, Mr.and Mrs. Osborn stand high in the neighborhood, where they command universal respect.  They have reared an honorable and upright family and happy indeed is the old home when children and grandchildren congregate at such seasons as Christmas and Thanksgiving.  The record of their worthy lives is indeed good material for the perpetuation in the History of Van Buren County, Michigan.


George B. Connery.- Noteworthy among the enterprising and successful agriculturists of Van Buren county is George B. Connery one of the leading farmers of Bloomingdale township and a fine representative of the native-born citizens of the county, his birth having occurred here December 1, 1866.  His father George W. Connery, was born in 1832 in Rutland, Vermont, a son of Henry Connery, who was of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  Learning the blacksmith's trade when young, Henry Connery followed it in Vermont for several years.  In 1839 he came with his family to Michigan, form Buffalo to Detroit with an ox team, he journeyed through the wilderness to Hudson, Lenawee county, where he was a pioneer settler, and there, it is said, built the second chimney put up in the village.  After following his trade there for a time he bought a farm lying four miles south of the village, and was there engaged in tilling the soil until his death.  To him and his wife eight children were born, five sons and three daughters.
     But seven years old when his parents settled in Lenawee county, George W. Connery was reared among pioneer scenes, and when old enough to work in the woods assisted in the pioneer labor of clearing a homestead.  Succeeding to the occupation to which he was brought up, he came to Van Buren county in early manhood and bought from the government the south half of the northeast quarter of section 5, in Pine Grove township.  The country roundabout was then almost entirely in its pristine wildness, with here and there an opening in which the pioneer had reared his log cabin.  He built a small log house, cleared a few acres of his purchase, and then sold out and bought the west half of the northeast quarter of the same section, on which he made the first clearing.  Improving a large part of his land, he resided there until 1880, when he disposed of his farm at an advantage and bought land in section seven, in the same township.  Selling that a few years later, he bought a farm in section one, Bloomingdale township, and at the end of five years sold out, and for a time resided in Gobleville.  Returning then to Pine Grove township, he purchased land and was there employed in tilling the soil until his death.
     The maiden name of the wife of George W. Connery was Cornelia Rockwell.  She was born in Seneca county, Ohio, a daughter of Russell R. and Hannah (Foster) Rockwell.  Her father came from Ohio to Michigan in pioneer days, making his way on foot through the dense woods from Paw Paw to Trowbridge township, Allegan county.  Buying a tract of government land bordering on Bare Line Lake, he erected a log cabin, returned to Ohio for his family, and was afterwards engaged in farming on his newly purchased land until his death.  Mr. and Mrs. George W. Connery reared four children, a follows:Elmer, Luella, George B., and Homer.
     Growing to manhood beneath the parental roof-tree, George B. Connery obtained his education in the district schools, and became acquainted with the many branches of agriculture while assisting his father on the home farm.  In 1891 he located on the farm he now owns and occupies, and on which he has made practical and valuable improvements.  It is pleasantly located in section one, Bloomingdale township, on the shores of Sweet Lake.  By dint of industry, energy and good management Mr. Connery has converted his land from its primitive condition to a highly cultivated farm, with a good set of frame buildings, his property in its appointments and equipments ranking with the best in the vicinity.
    Mr. Connery married in 1891, Florence Lucelia Sage, who was born in Bloomingdale township, a daughter of William Sage.  Her grandfather, Patrick Sage, was born in county Limerick, Ireland, where his parents, William and Catherine (O'Brien) Sage, were life-long residents.  Soon after his marriage Patrick Sage settled in county Clare, Ireland, and began farming on rented land.  During the three years' famine in the forties he managed to support his family, but being unable to pay his rent was evicted.  His wife in the meantime had died, leaving him with six little children.  Placing these children under the care of their grandparents, he came to America to begin a life anew.  Landing in Boston, he worked as opportunity occurred for a time, and then he went to New York state, where he was employed in laying stone on the Erie Canal, making his home in Manlius.  As soon a he acquired the means he sent for his children.  In 1860 he came to Van Buren county, Michigan, bought land in section twenty-seven, Bloomingdale township, and having erected a log cabin in the wilderness began the improvement of a farm, on which he resided until his death, at the age of seventy-five years.  Patrick Sage's wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Ryan, was born in county Clare, Ireland, a daughter of John Ryan, who served for twenty years in the British Army, and, having lost his sight in India, received a pension during the later years of his life.  William Sage, Mrs. Connery's father, was but a boy when he joined his father in New York state.  Coming to Van Buren county with the family, he subsequently bought a tract of land in section twenty-six, Bloomingdale township, where he has successfully engaged in farming for many years, but is now living retired form active pursuits in Paw Paw, Michigan.  He married Sarah Gay, who was born in the state of New York, a daughter of George and Mary Gay.
     Mr. and Mrs. Connery usually attend the Methodist Episcopal church.  Fraternally Mr. Connery formerly belonged to Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 221, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, but demitted from that when he joined the Gobleville Lodge, No. 393, of the same order.


William R. Scott, M. D.- Prominent among the leading physicians of Van Buren county is William R. Scott, M. D., who has been in continuous practice at Bloomingdale for thirty-eight or more years, during which time he has gained a large and lucrative practice, his natural talents and industry classing him among the successful members of the medical profession.  A native of Canada, he was born in Farnham township, province of Quebec, a son of John Scott, whose birth occurred in the same province.
    Richard Scott, the Doctor's grandfather, was as far as known, a native of Canada, and was of pure Scotch ancestry.  During his early life he was engaged in dairy farming in Canada, but later migrated to Michigan, and for a time was engaged in agricultural and horticultural pursuits in Cooper township, Kalamazoo county, where he became owner of forty acres of land.  Disposing of his holdings in that locality, he bought forty acres of land in Trowbridge township, Allegan county, Michigan, and was there engaged in general farming and dairying, residing there until his death, at the age of eighty-six years.  He married a Miss Healy, a native of Canada, and they reared seven children, as follows: Henry, Rodman, John, Edward, Mary, Mercy and Dorcas.
     John Scott was brought up in Canada, and was there employed as a farmer and hotel keeper until after his marriage.  In the early fifties he came with his family to Michigan, locating in Kalamazoo county, where he embarked in business as a fruit grower, making a specialty of raising apples and peaches.  A few years later he moved to Allegan county, Michigan, and having purchased forty acres of land in Trowbridge was there successfully engaged in tilling the soil until his death, at the comparatively early age of forty-five years.  He married Rachel Johnson, who was born in Montreal, Canada, a daughter of William Johnson and his wife, a Miss Swails.  She is still living in Allegan county, a venerable and highly respected woman of eighty-eight years.  To her and her husband five children were born and reared, namely: William R., Rodman J., Henry H., Sarah A. and Mercy D.
     But a small lad when his parents settled in Michigan, William R. Scott obtained his preliminary education in the public schools, and subsequently began the study of medicine with Dr. J. H. Fulton in Otesgo, Michigan.  Going then to Cincinnati, Ohio, he attended lectures at the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical College, and in 1870 began the practice of his profession in Bloomingdale, where he has since continued, his success having been assured form the first.
    Dr. Scott married first in May, 1882, Etta Allen, who was born in Pine Grove township, Van Buren county, a daughter of Henry and Caroline Allen.  Two children have blessed the union of Dr. and Mrs. Scott, namely: Erma Aline and William A.
     Fraternally Dr. Scott is a member of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 221, Ancient and Accepted Order of Masons; of Paw Paw Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; of Lawrence Council, Royal and Select Masters; of Lawrence Commandery Knights Templar, and also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which Mrs. Scott is likewise a member; of Bloomingdale Lodge, No. 161, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Bonifoi Lodge, No. 382, Daughters of Rebekah, to which Mrs. Scott also belongs.


Volney W. Olds, the present postmaster of Hartford in this county, has a very trying position, as the people of the community are his patrons, and he is expected to please them all.  But they knew his capacity, energy in everything he under takes, and obliging disposition before his first appointment to the office, and the good service they expected of him in the performance of its duties has given them, and it is highly to his credit that he is universally approved as a public official and well esteemed as a man and citizen.
     Mr. Olds was born on a farm in the township of his present residence on October 31, 1869, and has never lived anywhere else.  He is a son of Allen O. and Mahala (Lewis) Olds, both natives of the state of New York.  The father was brought by his parents to Michigan when he was but one year old.  He was reared on a farm and educated in the neighborhood schools.  As he grew toward manhood the Civil war began, and as soon as he was old enough he joined the forces mustering for the defense of the Union.  He enlisted in Company G., Nineteenth Michigan Infantry, and served in that company nearly four years, rising to the rank of first lieutenant through meritorious service and holding that rank when he was mustered out of the army.
     After the close of his military career he returned to Hartford township, and for many years he has resided in the village of Hartford.  Here he served as alderman for eighteen years, and in many other ways he has helped to promote the progress and general welfare of the village and the township in which it is located.  He has long been very enthusiastic member of the Order of Odd Fellows and taken a prominent and helpful part in the work of its different branches.  He and his wife are the parents of two children, their son Volney and their daughter Minne B., the latter of whom is employed as a bookkeeper in a large establishment in Gary, Indiana.
    Volney W. Olds passed his boyhood and early youth on his father's farm and obtained his education in Union school of Hartford.  At the age of sixteen, being eager to make his own living, he accepted a position as clerk and salesman in a general hardware store belonging to V. E. Manley.  On February 29, 1904, he was appointed postmaster of Hartford, and in 1908 he was appointed for a second term of four years, which has not yet expired.  He has taken a cordial interest also in the affairs of this township and county, and given every project involving their progress and improvement and the substantial and enduring welfare of their people his earnest and effective support.
     On July 17, 1895, he was united in marriage with Miss Estella McAllister, the daughter of John and Lena McAllister and born in Buchanan, Michigan.  She was educated in schools in Niles, St. Joseph and Hartford, being graduated from the high school in the city last named in 1886.  For some years after her graduation she was employed in her father's store.  She is now the efficient and popular assistant postmistress of the city, and a great help to her husband in the management of the office.  They have no children.
     John McAllister, the father of Mrs. Olds, was born in Scotland in 1833, and was brought by his parents to the United States when he was only two or three years old.  His father was highly educated of the University of Edinburgh.  The family located near Niles, Michigan, soon after its arrival in this country, and there John McAllister grew to manhood and obtained his education.  For many years he has been one of the leading merchants and most prominent and influential citizens of Hartford.
     Mr. Olds is a Freemason in fraternal relations, holding his membership in the order in Florada Lodge, No. 309, at Hartford, and also belongs to the camp of the Modern Woodmen of America established in that town.  He is an ardent Republican in his political connection, and has long been a faithful and effective worker for the success of his party and a man of force and influence in its councils.


John P. Goss,- After a long and useful career in Bangor township, Van Buren county, during which he was busily engaged in developing the land from the raw timber, John P. Goss, an honorable veteran of the Civil war, is now living in comfortable retirement in his beautiful home in the village of Bangor.  Mr. Goss is a notable example of the good, practical agriculturist who so arranges his affairs as to be able to spend the last years of his life in the enjoyment of the fruits of his early labors, and he is a welcome addition to the public-spirited citizens of the village, who recognize in him a man of superior abilities and honest principles.  John P. Goss is a good product of the Buckeye state, having been born in Portage county, May 29, 1841, a son of Ormond and Roby (Haven) Goss, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Vermont.
     Mr. Goss' parents were married in the state of Ohio, and came to Michigan in 1854, settling in Bangor township and taking up wild land.  Here the father was engaged in farming for many years, accumulating eight hundred and thirty acres of land before he died, and also operated a hotel at Paw Paw for three years.  They were the parents of six children, namely: Henry, Ruth, Anson, Frederick, Polly and John P.
    John P. Goss who is the only survivor of this parents' children, was reared to the life of an agriculturist and received his education in the district schools of Ohio and Michigan.  At the age of eighteen years he began farming on his own account, and so continued until his enlistment, September 17, 1861, in Company C, Third Michigan Cavalry, under Captain Hudson, serving with that organization until February 12, 1866, when he was discharged at San Antonio, Texas, and received his muster out a Kalamazoo, Michigan.  During a long and strenuous service Mr. Goss participated in many hard-fought battles, including New Madrid, Iuka, Corinth and the first and second battle of Grenada, and during his entire service he displayed traits of bravery, faithfulness and cheerfulness that endeared him to his comrades and made him respected by his officers.  After being mustered out of the service Mr. Goss returned to Bangor township, where he purchased eighty acres of farming land, and to this he added from year to year until he owned two hundred and thirty acres of fine property, all devoted to general farming and stock-raising.  In 1899, feeling that he had earned a rest from his strenuous activities, Mr. Goss rented his land and located in the village of Bangor, where he has a fine home.
    On March 6, 1864, Mr. Goss was married to Miss Harriet Wood, daughter of Mason and Adeline (Mason) Wood, natives of New York, who came to Michigan in 1836 and settled in Jackson county.  Two years later Mr. and Mrs. Wood came to Bangor township, where they purchased one hundred Dan sixty acres of land, and there they continued to live the rest of their lives, Mr. Wood passing away April 25, 1853, and his widow April 2, 1888.  They had a family of five children, as follows: Daniel M., who is deceased; Harriet, who married Mr. Goss; Polk and Dallas, twins; and Maria, the wife of Hiram Baker, of Lebanon, Oregon.  Mr. and Mrs. Goss have had two children: Mason O., who resides on the old homestead in Bangor township; and Edna M., who married Jay Lafler, of Geneva township.
     Mr. Goss has always been a great friend of education, and for twenty-two years served as a member of the school board in Bangor township, where his fellow citizens also elected him to the office of highway commissioner.  Politically he is a stanch Democrat, and he takes an active interest in the success of his party in Bangor and is considered an influential worker in the ranks of the organization.  He is a popular comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic, an enthusiastic member of the local Grange, and a consistent attendant of the Christian church.


M. O. Goss.- Some of the most successful farmer of Van Buren county, Michigan, are those of the younger generation, who are now profiting form the sacrifices made for them by their ancestors who came here during the early settlement of the county and braved the hardships and privations of pioneer life in order to establish homes for those who should come after.  One of the old and honored families of Bangor township is that of Goss, a worthy and representative of which is found in the person of M. O. Goss, who was born on the old family homestead in section 6, Bangor township, August 11, 1872.
     Ormond Goss, the grandfather of M. O. Goss, was born in Pennsylvania, form whence he went to Ohio, and was there married to Roby Haven, a native of Vermont.  They came to Michigan in 1853, settling in Bangor township, where O. Goss acquired eight hundred and thirty acres of land, and at the time of his death was one of the prominent and influential citizens of his district.  He died April 28, 1873, and his wife, November 6, 1890.  Their six children were: Henry, Ruth, Anson, Frederick, Polly and John P., the latter being the father of M. O. and the only survivor of the six children of his parents.  For three years O. Goss was also a hotel keeper in Paw Paw, his hostelry being well and favorably known throughout this part of the country.
    John P. Goss was born in Portage county, Ohio, May 29, 1841, and began farming for himself at the age of eighteen years.  On September 17, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Third Michigan Cavalry, with which he served until February, 12, 1866, and on being mustered out of the service at Kalamazoo, Michigan, he returned to Bangor township, purchased eighty acres of land, and until 1899 was engaged in farming and stock raising, but since that year has lived retired in the village of Bangor.  He became one of the prominent and influential farmers and land owners of Bangor township, having accumulated two hundred and thirty acres of land, and for many years served as school director and highway commissioner.  On March 6, 1864, he was married to Miss Harriet Wood, daughter of Mason and Adeline (Mason) Wood, who settled in Bangor township as early as 1838, and two children were born to this union: Mason O. and Edna M., the latter of whom married Jay Lafler and resides in Geneva township.
    Mason O. Goss received his early education training in the public schools and for over two years attended Feris College, Big Rapids, Michigan.  On his return to his home he took charge of the old homestead, and since he has been twenty-six years of age he has been operating two hundred and ten acres of land, meeting great success.  He does general farming and breeds good cattle, horses, hogs and sheep, and makes a specialty of raising lambs.  He is the owner of a threshing outfit, and during threshing seasons operates it on the farms of his neighbors.  He comes of a long line of agriculturists, from whom he inherits marked ability in tilling the soil, and to this has been added his knowledge of scientific methods and the benefit of new discoveries and powerful farm machinery.
     On September 13, 1898, Mr. Goss was married (first) to Miss Emma Provost, who died December, 1900, leaving one child, Boyd, who is now attending school in Bangor.  On October 30, 1904, Mr. Goss married Miss Winnifred Doxator, and they have one child: Melba, born October 29, 1908.  Mr. Goss is a Democrat in his political views, and is socially connected with the Odd Fellows.  In his dealings with his fellow men he has always been fair and above-board, and he is consequently held in high esteem and considered one of the representative men of his township.


Jacob S. Eastman.- Numbered among the active and well-to-do agriculturists of Van Buren county is Jacob S. Eastman, whose highly improved farm is located in Bloomingdale township.  A native of Michigan, he was born October 2, 1844, in Cass county, where his father, John Eastman, was a pioneer settler.
    Born and bred in New England, John Eastman acquired a good education in his home town, and as a young man came to Michigan ere it had yet put on the garb of statehood, locating in Cass county.  The greater part of the territory was then owned by the government and on sale at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre.  There were then no railways in this section of the country, and the dense forests were inhabited by wild animals and game of all kinds for many years after he came here.  He rented land and carried on general farming with satisfactory results, in addition to managing his estate operating one of the first threshing machines introduced into this section of the state.  On the farm which he improved he spent his remaining days, passing away in 1847.
     John Eastman married Maria Gilbert, who was born in New England and, like her husband, there received an academical education.  Surviving him, she married for her second husband Hiram Richardson, of Cass county, and in 1863 removed with him to Allegan county, Michigan, and there spent her last years in Cheshire township.  By her marriage with Mr. Eastman she reared six children, as follows: Alfred, Mary A., Rozene, Horace, Adelaide and Jacob.  She had two children by her second marriage, but neither are now living.
    Two and one-half years old when his father's death occurred, Jacob S. Eastman lived with his mother until he was ten years old, when he became self-supporting, at first working for his board and clothing and winter schooling, having some winters to walk two and one-half miles to attend school.  He began receiving wages after a while, and in 1862 enlisted as a soldier, but on account of his youth was not accepted for the service in the army. He was employed, however, by the government as a teamster, and in that capacity accompanied General Grant's division, being for a long time with the First Kansas and Eighth Missouri Regiments in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.  Early in 1865 Mr. Eastman enlisted in Company B, Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Dan served in "Pap" Thomas' army, much of the time being at the General's headquarters.  Being honorably discharged from the service in October 1865, he returned to Michigan and entered the employ of D. A. Blodgett, a lumberman, working for a while in the woods.  In 1879 Mr. Eastman bought one hundred and eight acres of land in Bloomingdale township, in sections one and two. About twenty acres had been cleared and a log house and stable had thereon been erected.  Assuming its possessions, he began clearing the timber from the remainder of the tract, and since that time has carried on general farming with eminent success.  As he accumulated money Mr. Eastman wisely invested it in other lands, buying first forty-eight acres adjoining his original purchase, and afterwards buying the fifty acres on which he now resides, his holdings now amounting to two hundred and six acres, on which he has made improvements of an excellent character.
     Mr. Eastman married in 1872, Elizabeth Long, who was born in Summerville, Cass county, Michigan, a daughter of David Long and granddaughter of Jacob Long, whose father, Adam Long, and grandfather, John Long, were life-long residents of Virginia.  Jacob Long was born in Virginia, November 20, 1791, and after his marriage with Elizabeth Keplinger moved to Reno, Indiana, which is still the home of his descendants. Born in Virginia, David Long removed to Michigan, locating in Summerville, Cass county, where he practiced medicine a number of years, being the pioneer physician of that part of the state, traveling on horseback to visit his numerous patients.  On retiring form his profession, the Doctor purchased land in Calvin township, Cass county, and there resided until his death.  Dr. Long married Sarah Russey, who was born in Indiana, February 20, 1826, and died April 14, 1883.  Her father, William Russey, a son of James and Sarah Russey, was born December 12, 1785, and was married, October 14, 1806, to Mary Talbot, who was born December 22, 1785, a daughter of Jacob and Susanna Talbot.  Dr. David Long survived his wife by some years, dying August 25, 1889.  To him and his wife six children were born and reared, as follows: Mary Caroline, Winfield Taylor who died on the 9th of August, 1901; Ambrose Henley, Ann Elizabeth, Martha J. and Minnie Merritt.
     Mr. and Mrs. Eastman are the parents of three children, namely: Sarah Elma, who married Albert James, has one daughter, Frances James; Zelda Arrissa, wife of William Pullen and has one daughter named Violet Elizabeth; and Arba M., born in 1877, married Ethel Leach and died in 1907, leaving five children, Mildred, Rolla, J. G., Emma and Charlie.  Mr. Eastman is a member of Calvin Post, No. 59, Grand Army of the Republic.  Religiously he was reared in the Swedenborgian faith, while Mrs. Eastman's mother was a Quaker and her father, a Presbyterian.


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