Cass County Michigan Biographies
From The History of Cass County by Glover
COY W. HENDRYX
HEXDRYX, TRYON, GUILFORD
For a number of years Coy W. Hendryx has practiced at the bar of Cass county, and during that time his rise has been gradual, but he today occupies a leading position among the representatives of the legal profession in Dowagiac. His reputation has been won through earnest, honest labor, and his high standing is a merited tribute to his ability. He was born in Cuba, Allegany county, New York, July 20, 1861, and is a son of James and Eunice (Tryon) Hendryx. His grandfather, Nathan H. Hendryx, was a native of New York, and in Madison county, that state, his son, James H., was born. In the family of James and Eunice Hendryx were seven children. The father was a staunch advocate of Democratic principles, and his death occurred in 1873.
Coy W. Hendryx was reared to manhood in the county of his nativity, Allegany, and his early educational training was received in the graded schools of Cuba. He next entered Cook Academy at Havana, New York, and for a time thereafter conducted his studies in the college at Newton, near Philadelphia, graduating in that institution in 1878. During the following two years he was engaged in teaching school, and then became principal of the schools at Clarksville, New York. In 1879 Mr. Hendryx came to Dowagiac, Michigan, and began the preparation for his chosen profession by entering a law office and three years later, in October, 1882, was admitted to the bar. In December, 1886, he was admitted to practice in the United States courts. His practice has since gradually increased, as he has demonstrated his ability to successfully handle the intricate problems of jurisprudence, and today he has a large clientage, which connects him with the leading litigated interests of the circuit. A Democrat in his political affiliations, he has held the office of circuit court commissioner, and in 1886 was appointed United States commissioner for the western district of Michigan, an office he held twelve years.
In 1885 Mr. Hendryx was united in marriage with Harriette, a daughter of Charles G. Guilford, a prominent farmer of Cuba, Allegany county, New York. She was born and reared in that city, completing her education in Alfred University. Three children have been born of this union, Ruth, Irene and Olive. Mr. Hendryx is a Mason and is also identified with the Legion of Honor. He is a broad-minded, progressive man and public-spirited citizen, and in all life's relations is found true to all the duties of professional and social life.
Typed by Darwina Michael
HESS, STAINES, LEWIS, TURNER
Joseph Hess, influential and enterprising, has found in his intense and well-directed energy the key that has unlocked the portals of success. Without special advantages to aid him at the outset of his career he has nevertheless persevered in his work and has today valuable land holdings in Cass county. He resides on section 34, Jefferson township, where he has eighty acres of land and in addition to this he owns eighty acres of the old family homestead, ninety-three acres on section 21, Jefferson township, and ninety-two acres in Ontwa township, so that his landed possessions now comprise two hundred and sixty-five acres, some of which he rents. Ohio has furnished a number of representative and valued citizens to Cass county, including Mr. Hess, who was born in Huntington township, Ross county, of the Buckeye state, on the 16th of August, 1846. His parents were Joseph and Belinda (Staines) Hess, both of whom have now passed away. The father was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, where he spent his youth, subsequent to which time he removed to Ohio, locating in Ross county about 1838. There he lived for more than a decade, when with his family he came to Michigan in 1849, settling in Cass county. He then located in Jefferson township, where he purchased a farm, his land lying in both Jefferson and Ontwa townships. It was largely raw and unimproved when it came into his possession but his labors soon wrought a transformation in the appearance of the property and the once uncultivated tract began to yield him good harvests as a reward for the care and labor he bestowed upon the fields. His entire life was devoted to farming and he kept in touch with modern progress as the primitive machinery was replaced by improved agricultural implements and large and commodious buildings were erected to supersede the small log cabins of pioneer days. In all matters of public progress he was deeply interested, rejoicing in what was accomplished in the county and giving his active co-operation to any plan or measure for the public good. His study of the political issues and questions of the day led him to support the Democracy and upon that ticket he was elected supervisor and also the other local offices, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity. As a member of the school board he proved his interest in the cause of education by his advocacy of measures that tended to raise the standard of public instruction. He was a member of the old school Baptist church and his life was characterized by integrity that was unassailable, while his business reputation would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny. He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Belinda Staines, who was a native of Pennsylvania and was of German and Swiss descent. She died at the age of sixty-two years, after which Mr. Hess was again married, his second union being with a Mrs. Lewis. There were eight children born of the first marriage and one son by the second marriage. Of this number four are still living: Sarah, who was the wife of Richard Turner, a resident of Chillicothe, Ohio: Anna, who was born in Pennsylvania, May 3, 1838, and is now keeping house with her brother upon the old homestead farm: Joseph, of this review: and John, of Chillicothe, Ohio. The father reached the very venerable age of eighty-five years and in his death the county mourned the loss of one of it representative pioneer settlers.
Joseph Hess, the youngest member of his fathers family, was a young lad when he came with his parents to Ohio. In fact he had scarcely attained his third year. His sister Anna, too, was a young child and both were reared in Jefferson township upon the farm where they have been keeping house for many years. Mr. Hess was educated in the district schools and received ample training at farm labor under the direction of his father, working at the plow from an early age and performing all such farm work as his years and strength permitted. He afterward purchased the interest of the other heirs in the old home property. Both he and his sister Anna own eighty acres of land in Jefferson township, to the cultivation and improvement of which he gives his energies and his close application and strong purpose are winning for his success that increases year by year. He also has ninety-three acres of land on section 21, ninety-two acres in Ontwa township, so that his farm property covers two hundred and sixty-five acres, some of which he rents. He is likewise one of the stockholders in the creamery at Edwardsburg, a productive industry which is of value to the community, furnishing a market to the farmers who keep a large number of cows and who sell their milk to the institution.Mr. Hess has been a lifelong Democrat, giving inflexible support to the principles of his party. He belongs to Edwardsburg camp No. 1492, M. W. A If one could see a picture of the county as it appeared fifty-six years ago when Mr. Hess was first brought here there would be large tracts of forest in which not a tree had been felled, while upon the prairie would be seen the native grasses, as the land had not yet been broken. No bridges had been built across the streams and few roads have been laid out and it seemed that the work of development and improvement lay entirely in the future. The Hess family bore their full share in the work of upbuilding and reliability in business during the long connection of the family with Cass county.
Typed by Carol Foss
HENRY BLAKELY HICKS
HICKS, ULLERY, MILLER, HERALD
Henry Blakely Hicks is well known as a representative of farming interests in Jefferson township, his home being on section 31, where he owns and cultivates two hundred and forty acres of land. This constitutes a well improved and valuable farm, which in its thrifty appearance indicates his careful supervision and practical progressive methods. He realizes that diligence and close application are the basis of all desirable success and through this means he has won the prosperity which he is today enjoying.A native son of the county, Mr. Hicks was born in Milton township on the 15th of October, 1845, and is a son of Richard V. and Catherine (Ullery) Hicks. The father was a native of England and spent the first seventeen years of his life in that country, acquiring a good education there. Hearing favorable reports concerning opportunities and advantages in the world, he resolved to try his fortune here and crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1837, making his way direct to Cass county, Michigan, where he first located in Ontwa township. He was married, however, in Shelby county, Ohio, and afterward took up his abode in Milton township, Cass county, Michigan, where he reared his family. He has for many years been a resident of Milton township, and now makes his home on section 12. He has been closely identified with the upbuilding and progress of the county, where he has lived for almost seventy years, during which time great and important changes have occurred as this district of Michigan has put aside all the evidences of frontier life and emerged into modern civilization, great improvement being shown in all lines of business development as well as in the intellectual progress of the county. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Ullery and was born in Ohio, lived to be seventy years of age. Unto this worthy couple were born nine children, of whom Henry Blakely Hicks is the second in order of birth. He was reared in Milton township and at the usual age began his education, attending district school No. 1 in Milton township. There he mastered the ellementary branches of learning, which well qualified him to meet the practical and responsible duties of his business career. Through the summer months he aided in the farm work, remaining at home after he had attained his majority and carrying on the work of further development and progress here for seventeen years. He then purchases his present farm in 1890 and in 1891 he located thereon and has since made it his home.
On February 18, 1891, Mr. Hicks was united in marriage to Miss Kate L. Miller, a daughter of Anton and Elizabeth (Herald) Miller and a native of Milton township, Cass county. She was born May 1, 1866, and was educated in the common schools, also a student at the Dowagiac high school. She is a lady of more than ordinary education and can speak fluently the English, German and French languages. She is a lady who loves good books and is by nature a poet. Her best companions are the best of literature. Her father, Anton L. Miller, was born in Ravensburg, Wurtemberg, Germany, June 16, 1821, and died June 20, 1896. He was reared in Germany and educated in the national schools. He was thirty-five years of age when he came to America. He was a stonemason by trade, but was also a successful agriculturist. He was a kind and generous man and a Roman Catholic in religion. Mother Miller was born September 26, 1833, and died October 14, 1885. She was born in Schifferstadt, Bavaria, Germany, and was a young woman of twenty when she came to America. She was a devout Catholic. Mrs. Hicks is a member of the Royal Neighbors. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hicks have been born a daughter and son: Hazel A., who is attending school in the eighth grade and who takes vocal and instrumental music; and Henry B., who was seven years of age on the 2nd of October, 1905.
The family have a pleasant and attractive home on section 31, Jefferson township, where Mr. Hicks owns two hundred and forty acres of land that is rich and arable. He has placed excellent improvements upon the property and everything about the farm is kept in good repair, while the latest improved machinery is used in tilling the soil and caring for the crops. A glance from the passerby would indicate that the owner is a man of progressive spirit, practical and systematic in his work. There is every evidence of careful and painstaking supervision, and in his business Mr. Hicks has prospered, being now one of the energetic men of his community, whose labors have been crowned with the acquirement of a valuable farm. He votes with the Democracy , keeps well informed on questions and issues of the day and has taken an active interest in the work of the party, for he believes that its principles contain that best elements of government. He was supervisor of Milton township for four years and in 1902 was elected supervisor of Jefferson township, to which office he was again elected in 1905, so that he is the present incumbent, while in Milton township he was also a highway commissioner. He has been a resident of Cass county throughout his entire life, covering a period of sixty years, and his labors have been a resultant factor in bringing about its present advancement. The character of Mr. Hicks is indicated by the fact that he is a Mason in good standing, his life being an exemplification of the teachings and tenets of the craft, which through many centuries has inculcated principles of mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness among its followers.
Typed by Jana Mooney
ORREN V. HICKS
Orren V. Hicks, following the occupation of farming and also serving as supervisor in Milton township, was born on the 27th of September, 1869, in the township which is still his home. He represents one of the honored pioneer families, being a son of R. V. Hicks, who was a farmer by occupation and came to Cass county at an early epoch in its development. A native of England, he resided in that country until 1837, when he crossed the Atlantic to America and made his way at once to Michigan. He was about eighteen years of age at the time, his birth having occurred in Land's End, England, on the 17th of November, 1819. Having heard favorable reports concerning the business opportunities of the new world he made the ocean voyage and joined his brother in Ontwa township, where he remained for a short time. He then located in Niles, securing a position in a distillery owned and operated by John Dodge & Company, with whom he worked for a short time, becoming foreman of that place. Further mention of Mr. Hicks is made on another page of this work.
Orren V. Hicks, whose name introduces this review, was reared upon the homestead farm and is indebted to the district school system of Milton township for the educational privileges he enjoyed. He pursued his studies through the winter months and in the summer months worked at the labors of the field. Wishing to have a home of his own he completed his arrangements therefor by his marriage on the 13th of January, 1892, to Miss Bertha F. Thompson, a native of Ontwa township, born December 3, 1871, and a daughter of B. F. Thompson, who followed farming in Ontwa township. He settled in Cass county when it was emerging from pioneer conditions, having come to the middle west from Delaware. Mrs. Hicks graduated in the High School of Edwardsburg, in the class of 1888, and entered the state normal at Ypsilanti, Michigan, taking the English course, spent one year there and meant to take a full graduating course, but health forbade her. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hicks has been blessed with two daughters: Florence B., who was born June 6, 1896, and Vivian Leona, born April 13, 1903.
At the time of his marriage Orren V. Hicks removed to what was known as the Enos farm, comprising sixty-seven acres of land, and he has become the owner of forty acres adjoining, also eighty acres just north of his present farm, and forty acres of timber, making a total of two hundred and twenty-seven acres in Cass county. The eighty acres received only one transfer, and Mr. and Mrs. Hicks have in their possession the old parchment deed signed by President Andrew Jackson. It bears the date of execution of April 1, 1831, and this is the fifth deed of the kind found in Cass county. He now has a well improved farm here, equipped with good buildings and substantial improvements, while well tilled fields return him golden harvests for the care and labor he bestows upon them. For three years he filled the office of township clerk, having been chosen to that position on the Democratic ticket. In 1901 he was elected supervisor and served in that office for five years, being the present incumbent. He has thus taken an active part in local political affairs and he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He is a charter member of Edwardsburg tent No. 723, K. O. T. M., and he enjoys the warm regard of the general public. His wife is also a member of the Edwardsburg Hive No. 345, L. O. T. M. He is widely known in the county where his entire life has been passed and where he has so directed his labors as to win a gratifying measure of prosperity, and at the same time make for himself an honorable name.
Typed by Barbara O'Reagan
HON. THOMAS T. HIGGINS
HIGGINS, RATHBUM, GLICK, SHURTER, WHITMORE, HASS, ATLEE
For many years Hon. Thomas T. Higgins has been regarded as a representative and prosperous farmer of Cass County, and at the present time he is making a notable record as a member of the general assembly, being now for the second term representative from his district in the Michigan legislature. To the energetic natures and strong mentality of such men is due the success and ever increasing prosperity of the Republican party, is this state and in the hands of this class of citizens there is every assurance that the best interests and welfare of the party will be attended to, resulting in a successful culmination of the highest ambitions and expectations entertained by its adherents. Throughout his life Mr. Higgins has been a loyal citizen, imbued with patriotism and fearless in the defense of his honest convictions, and he is now advocating in legislative halls and before the people the principles which he believes will best advance the welfare of the commonwealth. Such is the man whose life history forms the theme of this article. He makes his home on section 17, Jefferson township, and when not engaged with the weighty duties of his office his time and energies are concentrated upon the successful conduct of what is one of the best improved farms in Cass county.
Mr. Higgins was born on Randolph county, Indiana, on the 10th of February, 1844, and is of Irish lineage, the family having been founded in America early in the eighteenth century. The name Higgins is known in the old Emerald Isle as Higginson, but now is known as Higgins. The representatives of the name in America are descended from Thomas Higgins, an early settler in Delaware, and the family has furnished to various states prominent representatives, who have held important public positions. This number includes Governor Higgins, of New York who is a second cousin of the subject of this review. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Higgins, was a native of Ireland. His father, James T. Higgins, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, at the old home of the family in 1807, and there spent the days of his boyhood and youth while attending public schools he acquired his education. In 1829, when a young man of twenty-two years, President Andrew Jackson gave him charge of the mail route from New Castle to Fort Delaware. While still a young man he assumed the work of grading the first interurban railroad in the country, form New castle to Chesapeake Bay, working under Joseph Cannon. Much of his life, however, we was devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was married in the East, but at an early day the spirit of the pioneer led him to the wilds of Indiana, and for some time he resided in Randolph county, whence in 1858 he came to Cass county, Michigan settling in LaGrange township where he purchased a tract of land and improved a farm He voted for McClellen in 1864, but early gave his political support to the Republican party. However, he cast his ballot for Fremont, it's first presidential candidate, and for Lincoln in 1860. He wedded Miss Mary Higgins, who was a native of New Jersey and was descended from the same ancestry. She lived to be fifty-nine years of age, while James T. Higgins, the father, reached a very venerable age of ninety-one years. In their family were eight children, three sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to manhood or womanhood, but only three sons are now living; Thomas T. of this review; George; and Mary, the wife of William Hass, of LaGrange township.
Hon. Thomas T. Higgins was the eldest son and fifth child of his father's family. He was reared in Richmond, Wayne County, and in Randolph County Indiana, and was a youth of sixteen years when he came to Cass county, Michigan. His early education had been acquired in the schools of Richmond, and he afterward continued his studies in what is known as Mechanicsburg school in LaGrange township. He has largely been dependent upon his own resources, his utilization of opportunity and his unremitting diligence in everything that he has undertaken have constituted the basis of his success. When about twenty-one years of age he went south, and was employed as government teamster for about three months. This was at the close of the war. He then returned to Cass county, where he began farming on his own account and throughout his active business career he has carried on general agricultural pursuits.
In 1867, Mr. Higgins was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Rathbum, a daughter of Lucius and Sarah (Glick) Rathbum and a native of Jefferson township, her people having located in Jefferson township, Cass county, at a very early day. Mr. Higgins lived upon his father's farm for a time and afterward upon his father-in-law's property, but in 1869 took abode upon the farm on which he now resides on section 17, Jefferson township. At that time only twenty acres of land had been cleared and cultivated. He at once, however, continued the work of development, placed the greater part of the land under the plow and has put all of the improvements upon the property, which is now a splendidly cultivated farm, comprising two hundred acres of rich and arable land, from which he annually harvests large crops. His first home was a log cabin, but this has long since been replaced by a more commodious and substantial modern residence. In all of his farm work he is energetic and painstaking. He thoroughly understands his business, and in fact thoroughness is one of his marked characteristics, manifest in all that he has undertaken in every relation of life. He is also thoroughly reliable in his business transactions, his name being a synonym for integrity and straightforward dealing.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Higgins have been born five children: J.P. who is now living in Dowagiac, wedded Miss Mabel Palmer and is engaged is real estate; Florence. who is the wife of Fred Shurter, a resident farmer of Jefferson township; Claude, who was a mail carrier on a rural route, but now an agriculturist; he wedded Leona Gifford; Leila, wife of Fred Whitmore, also living in Jefferson township; and Elsie, the wife of Henry Atlee, of the State of Washington.
In April 1871, Mr. Higgins was made a Mason and is one of the oldest representatives of Cassopolis lodge. He also belongs to the Chapter at Cassopolis and is a prominent member of the fraternity here. In politics he has always been a stanch Republican, taking an active interest in the local work of the party and doing everything in his power to insure it's success. He has held various local offices, but still higher political honors awaited him, for in 1903 he was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature by a vote of two hundred and fifty-two. He proved an active working member of the house and that his constituents regarded favorably his efforts in their behalf is shown by the fact that in 1905 he was re-elected by a largely increased majority of nine hundred. He has delivered various campaign speeches and is a forceful, earnest speaker, and is today accounted one of the prominent representatives of the party in the county. He has also left the impress of his individuality on state legislation. He has never pretended to be a orator and the members of the house who at first were not inclined to pay much attention to the speeches of the farmer representative soon found out that they had to cope with a force on which they had little reckoned. His earnestness and his honesty were not alone his strong characteristics, although these traits are most commendable. His fellow members found too, that he had been a student of the questions and issues of the day and that he had a keen and shrewd insight into matters which came up for discussion. [details of political primary reform omitted]. His career has been one of activity, full of incidents and results, and by his excellent public service and upright life he has honored the community that has honored him with special preferment.
Typed by Anne Hood
S. M. HOWSER
HOWSER, BROWN, KNIGHT
On the roll of Cass county's honored dead appears the name of S. M. Howser, who at one time was an enterprising and prosperous farmer of Howard township. He came to this section of the state at an early period in its development and assisted in the work of general progress and improvement. At all times he rejoiced in what was accomplished in the county, for he was public spirited in citizenship and had a deep and sincere interest in his adopted state. His birth occurred in Preble county, Ohio, on the 27th of June, 1829, while his father, Henry Howser, was a native of Maryland, born in 1800. Having spent the days of his boyhood and youth in that state Henry Howser removed to Ohio, settling in Preble county. He was married to Miss Mary Brown, a native of Ohio, and in 1836 they came to Cass county, Michigan, taking up their abode in Pokagon township, where Mr. Howser entered land from the government, becoming owner of about two hundred and sixty acres. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon this place, for the entire tract was covered with the native growth of timber, but he cleared the farm and in course of years made splendid improvements there, transforming the once wild land into a very productive tract. The Howsers were one of the oldest families in the county and upon the homestead the parents reared their family of seven children, five sons and two daughters. Henry Howser died in Dowagiac in his seventy-seventh year, having spent his last days in honorable retirement there after a long, active and successful connection with agricultural pursuits. He was a Republican in his political views and while he never sought or desired office he was always interested in the work of public progress, and as a private citizen contributed in substantial measure to the task of reclaiming this part of the state for the uses of civilization.
S. M. Howser remained upon the old homestead farm up to the time of his marriage. He had spent about thirteen years in his native state and had then accompanied his parents to Michigan. Here he not only shared in the hardships and trials of pioneer life but also assisted in the arduous task of developing a new farm, cutting down the trees, clearing away the brush and stumps and breaking the first furrows in the fields. He not only cleared most of the place but he also split the rails with which to fence the farm and the early years of his manhood were fraught with earnest and unremitting toil.
On the 24th of December, 1860, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Howser and Miss Minerva Knight, who was born at Berrien Springs, Berrien county, Michigan, December 29, 1842, and was a daughter of Jonathan Knight, a farmer of Berrien county, who was born in Ohio on the 6th of June, 1817. There he spent the days of his boyhood and youth and about 1839 he removed to Berrien Springs, taking up his abode upon the farm where he resided up to the time of his death, which occurred in his eighty-third year. He endorsed Republican principles and though he never sought office was always faithful in friendship and interested in the public welfare. Unto him and his wife were born two sons and three daughters, Mrs. Howser being the eldest daughter and second child in the family. She was reared in Berrien county, where she remained up to the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Howser removed to the homestead farm in Howard township about 1868, purchasing here two hundred and sixty-three acres of land, which he cultivated and improved, transforming it into a valuable and productive farm. At a later date a portion of the land was sold but the farm still comprises one hundred and eighty-two acres and returns a gratifying annual income for the care and labor bestowed upon it. As the years passed by three children came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Howser, but the elder daughter, Mary Jane, is now deceased. The others are Henry J. and Cora Myrtle, who were born on the present homestead, while Mary was born in Berrien county.
Mr. Howser voted with the Republican party but never sought or desired office, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business affairs. In this way he acquired a comfortable competence for his family and he also left to them an honorable name by reason of his straightforward business dealings. He was widely known as an honored pioneer settler of the county and a man who merited and received the respect and good will of those with whom he was associated.
Typed by Barbara O'Reagan
HUFF, CASE, GIFFIS, WRIGHT
John Huff, one of the pioneer settlers of southern Michigan, is living on a farm of two hundred and sixty acres on section 17, Volinia township, and his life of activity and well-directed effort is indicated by his ownership of this property, for he started out in life empty-handed and all that he now possesses and enjoys has been gained through his persistent labor and capable management. His natal day was August 3, 1833, and the place of his birth near Springfield, in Clark county, Ohio. His father, Amos Huff, was born in New Jersey, and in his boyhood days accompanied his parents to Pennsylvania. He was a son of James Huff, of German descent. On leaving the Keystone state he removed to Clark county, Ohio, and was there married to Miss Margaret Case, whose birth occurred in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, but who was reared in Ohio. Her father was John Case, one of the pioneer settlers of Butler county, Ohio. Amos Huff came first to Michigan in 1833 but did not take up his permanent abode here at that time. In 1834, however, he returned with his family to Cass county and identified his interests with those of the pioneer settlers. He secured land from the government, entering a claim in Volinia township, and as the years passed his attention was directed to farm labor, his fields being placed under a high state of cultivation. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made when he took possession of his farm, but with characteristic energy he began the arduous task of cultivation and development, and in the course of years had a valuable property. His life was honorable and upright in all things and he was regarded as an exemplary and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served as class leader, while in the various departments of church work he took an active and helpful interest. He died in his eighty-fifth year, while his wife passed away when about eighty years of age. They were people of the highest respectability, and in their death the county lost two of its worthy pioneer representatives. They had a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters, and with one exception all reached adult age, but only three are now living, the brothers of our subject being James Huff, a resident of Mountain View, California, and Clark, who is living in Volinia township.
John Huff was only a year old when brought to Cass county and was reared in Volinia township, where he has spent his entire life. He has vivid recollections of pioneer conditions when the homes of the settlers were largely log cabins. There would be an immense fire-place which was used for heating purposes and also served to cook the meals, which were prepared in huge kettles hung from the crane or else in covered iron skillets which were placed among the coals. The first school house in Volinia township was built in 1833 in the district in which Mr. Huff resided, and there he pursued his early education, mastering the tasks assigned in reading, writing, arithmetic and other elementary branches. His training at farm labor was not meager, for his aid was needed in the development and care of the fields, so that he had practical experience when he started out as a farmer on his own account. He remained at home up to the time of his marriage, which occurred in 1872, Miss Eliza J. Wright becoming his wife. She was a daughter of James and Sarah (Giffis) Wright, and was born in Volinia township. Her parents were pioneer settlers of the county and she was early trained to household duties. Mr. and Mrs. Huff began their domestic life in a log house upon his farm, occupying it until the erection of the present substantial and commodious frame residence in 1882. As the years went by three children were added to the family: Amy and Otis were born in the cabin home, and are still living; and Harley, who died in his second year.
The home farm of Mr. Huff embraces two hundred and sixty acres of land, which through care and cultivation has become very productive. He has placed all of the buildings upon his property, including his modern home, his barns and sheds. He has also fenced the place and has plowed and harvested crops which have found a ready sale on the market, thus bringing to him an enlarged income each year. He has also been active in public affairs and for four years served as township treasurer, while for eighteen years he was township supervisor. In all things pertaining to the good of the community he has taken an active and helpful interest, and he was formerly a member of the Volinia Anti-Horse Thief Society, serving as its secretary for thirty years. He yet belongs to the Masonic lodge of Volinia and has the kindly regard of his brethren of the fraternity. A self made man, as the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well, and his life record proves what can be accomplished when one possesses laudable ambition and unfaltering determination. He started out in limited financial circumstances but is now one of the prosperous residents of his township.
Typed by Barbara O'Reagan
HUFF, WRIGHT, CROPSEY
Otis Huff, one of the youngest members of the bar of Cass county engaged in active practice in Marcellus, was born in Volinia township on the 1st of August, 1875. His father, John Huff, was a native of Clark county, Ohio, being born in 1833 near the present city of Springfield. The following year he came with his parents, Amos and Margaret Huff, to Volinia township, Michigan, who settled on a tract of land on the edge of Gard's prairie, which the father (grandfather of the subject of this sketch) had entered from the government the previous year, and then went back to Ohio after his family. The ancestry of the Huffs can be traced back to the early days of Pennsylvania. Originally they were of German lineage. The grandfather was a farmer and mechanic by occupation.
The father, John Huff, is a self-made man. In his younger days he helped to clear the wilderness and hue the way for civilization as well as taking every advantage in those early days of securing an education from the meagre school system. As a reward he became a teacher in the district schools, an occupation which he pursued successfully for many years afterward. Later he became the owner of a farm adjoining the old homestead, which he still retains and by adding to the same he is the possessor of a handsome property which yields to him a gratifying income.
Very few men follow the ups and downs of life and live for over seventy years continually in sight of the place where their childhood days were spent and yet such is the case with Mr. Huff. Becoming prominent in political life, for over twenty years he was supervisor of his township and was several times elected chairman of the board of supervisors. At one time he was also nominated by his party for state representative, and although running ahead of his ticket he was defeated by a small majority. On May 12, 1873, he married Eliza Wright, who was born in Volinia township and was the daughter of James and Sarah Wright, pioneers of Cass county. To this union were born three children: Amy, Otis, and Harley, but the last named is now deceased.
Otis Huff, being born on the farm, early became familiar with the duties that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He attended the district schools and later the Valparaiso Normal School. At eighteen he became a teacher and after teaching a year, in the fall of 1895 he entered the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he graduated in the class of 1898. While in college he became quite prominent as an orator. On January 9, 1899, he began the practice of law in Marcellus, where he has since met with good success, having been connected with much important law business, wherein he has displayed his ability to successfully cope with the complex problems of jurisprudence. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp at Marcellus, of which he is clerk and he is also a member of the Cass County Bar Association. Politically he is a Republican.
He has never been an office seeker but has preferred to devote his time to the practice of his profession. His law office is a model of neatness and one of the finest in the county and is hard to excel even in the large cities. He is a great reader and literary student, fond of books and is himself an able writer, as well as an athlete and fond of outdoor sports and contests. Being an expert with a rifle, for a vacation of three or four weeks nothing pleases him better than to take a trip during the beautiful autumn days of November into the north woods in quest of deer and bear and other big game.
In one respect at least he is like President Roosevelt. He enjoys strenuous life, travel and adventure and more than one has remarked that if he goes any place something is sure to happen. On April last, going on a business trip to California, he had only nicely arrived there and was only a few miles out of San Francisco at the time of the great earthquake and fire on that memorable morning of April 18, and being in the city when the conflagration was at it height he lent his assistance in helping save life and property.
On June 30, 1906, the anniversary of his graduation from the University of Michigan, he was married to Miss Irene Cropsey, the only daughter of George and Elsie B. Cropsey of Volinia, who are among the most substantial residents of that township. Miss Cropsey acquired her early education in the schools of that township and is a graduate of the Marcellus high school. Later she became one of the successful teachers of the county. She is a charming and accomplished lady and the subject of our sketch was fortunate in securing such an able and loving companion to assist in brightening his pathway through life.
Typed by Linda Curry
GEORGE W. HUNTER
HUNTER, VAN HISE, BELL, WELLS, SCHURTE, GARRETT, RUDOLPH, SWISHER
Cass county with its rich lands offers splendid opportunities to the agriculturist and the stock-raiser and Mr. Hunter is numbered among those who are successfully devoting their energies to general agricultural pursuits. He makes his home on section 34, Wayne township, where he owns and cultivates a good tract of land. He was born in Cassopolis, Michigan, on the 30th of September, 1843, and is a son of M. V. Hunter. At that time the father purchased eighty acres of land from one of his brothers and afterward added an additional tract of eighty acres. He partially cleared the first eighty and G. W. Hunter of this review has cleared seventy acres of the second eighty, having led a life of intense and well directed energy. He was educated in what is known as the White school in Wayne township and therein mastered the common branches of English learning. During the periods of vacation he worked in the fields and after permanently putting aside his text-books gave his undivided attention to the further cultivation and development of this property.
On the 7th of November, 1866, Mr. Hunter was united in marriage to Miss Eveline Van Hise, who was born in Decatur township, Van Buren county, Michigan, and is a daughter of William O. and Eliza (Bell) Van Hise. The mother came to Cass county about 1831 and here lived up to the time of her marriage. They were among the pioneer settlers of the county and Mrs. Hunter was ten years of age when she accompanied her parents on their removal to Wayne township. Unto our subject and his wife have been born seven children: Ina, now the wife of Fred B. Wells, a resident farmer of LaGrange township; Lizzie, the wife of Isaac Schurte; Ada, the wife of Darwin Garrett, of Dowagiac, Michigan; Minah V.; Phebe, the wife of Arthur Rudolph, of Dowagiac; Millard wedded Iva Swisher, a resident of Dowagiac; Clara, at home. All were born and reared upon the farm where the parents still reside and Phebe engaged in teaching school in Dowagiac and Cass county for about six years. Mr. Hunter has been a life-long Democrat, and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to office. He served for two terms as township treasurer and was justice of the peace for one term and in both offices discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity. In his farm work he has been equally faithful and in his business life has never been know to take advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen in any trade transaction. Mr. Hunter's father was a man who was highly respected by all in his time. He was the first sheriff of old Cass county and was appointed by General Cass before Michigan was a state.
Typed by Linda Curry
NELSON A. HUTCHINGS
HUTCHINGS, VAN CUREN, HARTMAN, CARLTON
Nelson A. Hutchings is probably the oldest resident of Newberg township, for he has lived continuously within its borders for seventy years, and he now makes his home on section 32. As one travels over the county to-day and notes its thriving towns and cities, its highly cultivated farms, its business interests, its excellent schools and other public institutions, it is almost impossible to realize what was the condition of the county during Mr. Hutchings' boyhood. One looks to-day over broad but richly cultivated fields, but at that time there was an almost unbroken wilderness, the forest trees still standing in their primeval strength. Few roads had been laid out and only here and there was a little clearing to show that some progressive pioneer had made his way into the forest and was endeavoring to establish a home.
Mr. Hutchings was born in Portage county, Ohio, February 16, 1833, and was the sixth in order of birth in a family of nine children, five daughters and four sons, who were born of the marriage of Samuel and Polly M. (Van Curen) Hutchings. The paternal grandfather also bore the name of Samuel Hutchings. The father was born in New York September 14, 1796, and on leaving the Empire state became a resident of Portage county, Ohio, where he remained until 1835, when he removed to Cass county, Michigan, being one of its first settlers. He located in Newberg township and from the government entered a tract of land on section 31. It was entirely wild and undeveloped, but he at once began to clear and cultivate it, and in the course of time improved a good farm, upon which he spent his remaining days, being long recognized as one of the enterprising and successful agriculturists of the community. He died in his eighty-third year, respected by all who knew him. His early political allegiance was given to the Whig party, and upon its dissolution he joined the ranks of the new Republican party, with which he continued to affiliate until his death. He held membership in the Baptist church and was well known throughout the county as an upright, honorable man and a worthy pioneer, who aided in laying broad and deep the foundation for the present development of this part of the state. His wife, also a native of New York, was born on Christmas day of 1798 and died in the eighty-third year of her age. She was a daughter of Jonathan Van Curen, who was of German descent. Of the nine children born into Mr. and Mrs. Hutchings one died in infancy, while the others all reached manhood or womanhood, while two sons and two daughters are yet living.
Nelson A. Hutchings was only three years of age when brought by his parents to Michigan, since which time he has lived in Cass county. He was reared upon the old homestead farm in Newberg township and shared in the usual experiences and hardships of frontier life. His educational privileges were limited. He attended one of the log school houses of the county, where he received instruction in the elementary branches of learning, but experience and observation in later years have greatly broadened his knowledge, making him a well informed man. During the spring and summer months he aided in the labors of the fields, taking his place at the plow almost as soon as old enough to reach the plow handles. He remained at home until the time of his marriage. On the 17th of October, 1881, he was joined in wedlock to Mrs. Sarah Hartman, the widow of Albert Bogert. She was born in St. Joseph county, Michigan, where she was reared, her father being Reuben Hartman, one of the early settlers there. In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Hutchings removed to the farm upon which they now reside, it having been their home continuously since. They have become the parents of one son, Marvin Carlton, who married Jennie Paxton and has one daughter, Wilda C. By her former marriage Mrs. Hutchings had a family of two children, Katie L. and Albert J. Bogert.
The home farm of Mr. Hutchings comprises one hundred and twenty acres of good land, which is rich and productive, and he carries on general farming and stock-raising, having good grades of stock upon his place. He is a carpenter by trade, however, and in earlier years assisting in building many structures in Cass county, including the "Forest Hall" at Diamond Lake and other well known buildings. He has always voted with the Republican party, casting his ballot for each presidential candidate of that organization since attaining his majority. He has held local offices in the township and is deeply interested in the growth and success of his party. At one time he was a member of the Masonic fraternity. As stated, he is perhaps the oldest resident in the township in years of continuous connection therewith, between the primitive past and the present with all of its progressiveness. He can remember when Indians occasionally visited the neighborhood, when wild game was to be had in abundance and when most of the settlers lived in little log cabins. There was a spirit of generous hospitality and helpfulness, however, that existed, which compensated for the hardships and privations of pioneer life. He has always rejoiced in what has been accomplished along lines of improvement, but yet has many pleasant memories of the early days.
Typed by Barbara O'Reagan
CHRIS A. HUX
HUX, LAMBERT, ELLIOTT
Chris S. Hux, well known in financial circles in Cass county as the cashier of the Lee Brothers & Company bank in Dowagiac, is a native son of Michigan and seems imbued with the spirit of enterprise and energy which have been the dominant factors in the upbuilding of the middle west. His birth occurred in Grand Haven on the 1st of June, 1868. His father, Christian Hux, was a native of Germany, and in that land spent his youth and acquired his education in the schools of Wurtemberg. Crossing the Atlantic to America, he made his way into the interior of the county, locating at Lansing, Michigan, where he followed the machinists trade, which he had mastered in his native country. He later was engaged in similar work at Grand Rapids, and subsequently took up his abode in Grand Haven in 1866. There he carried on business as a machinist until his removal to Owosso, Michigan, where his last days were passed, his death occurring when he was in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He had married subsequent to his arrival in the new world Miss Frederica Lambert, a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came with her parents to the United States, the family settling in Lansing, Michigan, about 1864. She is still living and now makes her home in Dowagiac. The members of the family are: Chris A. of this review; Lizzie, the wife of William Elliott, of Owosso, Michigan; Fred, who is residing in Durand, Michigan; Emma; and Charlie, who is also living in Owosso.Chris A. Hux, the eldest of his fathers family, spent the greater part of his youth in Owosso, whither his parents removed in his early boyhood days. He spent five years as a student in the Flint school and was afterward sent to the Fenton public schools. After putting aside his text books he secured a position in the employ of the Michigan Central Railroad company in the freight department at Owosso. Later he was transferred to Jackson, Michigan, and subsequently sent to Grand Rapids, to Augusta and to Dowagiac, whence he went to Chicago Height, Illinois, on the 13th of October, 1892. In 1896, however, he returned to Dowagiac and became cashier in the private bank of Lee Brothers & Company, in which capacity he has since remained. He has thoroughly acquainted himself with the banking business in every department and has rendered faithful and capable service to the house which he represents. At the same time he has become popular with its patrons by reason of the uniform courtesy which he extends to them and the promptness and ability with which he discharges the business which he transacts for them. Mr. Hux is a member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained high rank. He is now a past eminent commander of Niles Commandery No. 12., has also attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite and is a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is one of the youngest Masons in Michigan to have advanced thus far in the craft and is a worthy exemplar of the order, being in hearty sympathy with its principles of brotherly kindness and mutual helpfulness. although he usually gives his political support to the Republican party, he does not consider himself bound by party ties and often casts an independent ballot in support of the candidates whom he thinks best qualified for office. He is very widely and favorably known in his part of the county, having been a resident of Dowagiac for thirteen years, his business and social relations bringing him into contact with many people, and he easily wins their friendship and regard by reason of the possession of those sterling traits of character which everywhere command respect and confidence.
Typed by Carol Foss