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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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. 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
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
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
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
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
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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