Cass County Michigan Biographies page S
From The History of Cass Countyby Glover



Upon a farm on section 5, Jefferson township, resides William Salisbury, who is numbered among the old settlers and venerable citizens of Cass county. He had traveled life's journey for more than eighty-two years and has been a resident of Cass county for more than the allotted psalmist's span of three score years and ten, having come to this county seventy-two years ago. Respected and honored by all who know him and with a wide acquaintance, his life record cannot fail to prove of interest to our many readers and with pleasure we present his history in this volume.

He was born in Huron county, Ohio, August 8, 1863. His paternal grandfather, Emanuel Salisbury, removed from the east to Ohio, where his last days were passed. His father, Robert Salisbury, was a native of New York, here he was reared and married, and in pioneer times he became a resident of Ohio. Removing from the Buckeye state to Michigan, he settled in Howard township, Cass county, where he took up land from the government.

Much of the county was still unclaimed, and he cast in his lot with those who have borne hardships and privations of a frontier existence and have planted the seeds of civilization and prosperity now enjoyed by the representatives of a later generation. He improved a farm and remained upon the old homestead up to the time of his death, which occurred about 1866.

... Robert Salisbury was united in marriage to Miss Martha Olmstead, likewise a native of the Empire state. Her death occurred in Howard township, Cass county, when she was about sixty-six years of age. In the family of this worthy couple were eleven children, four daughters and seven sons, all of whom grew to manhood or womanhood.

William Salisbury, the sixth child and the only surviving member of the family, remained a resident of Ohio during the first ten years of his life, and then came with his parents to Cass county, the family home being established in Howard township, where they lived in a pioneer cabin, sharing in the hardships, privations and dangers incident to the establishment of a home in a frontier district. ...

William Salisbury acquired his education in a log school house seated with slab benches and heated by a fire-place. Reading, writing, arithmetic and sometimes geography and grammar were taught, and the session of the school was held for only a few months during the winter season when the children's aid was not needed upon the home farm ...

Mr. Salisbury remained at home until twenty-two years of age ... and then started out in life on his own account. He was employed by the month as a farm hand for a time and then with the money which he had saved from his earnings he bought a tract of land in Jefferson township, which was entirely raw and undeveloped, but he at once began the task of clearing, plowing and planting and in due course of time had some well-cultivated fields. He resided upon that property from 1845 to 1866, when he purchased the farm upon which he now resides and which has been his home through forty consecutive years. ...

On the 21st of October, 1845, Mr. Salisibury was married to Miss Caroline J. Milliman, a native of Ohio, who came to Cass county in 1842. They have become the parents of four children, who are yet living: Ann, the wife of Henry Messenger, of Cassopolis; Eliza, who is the wife of James H. Farnum and also lives in Cassopolis; Arthena M., the wife of Willet Verry, who is living in California; and Guy I., of Chicago. After losing his first wife Mr. Salisbury was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna Cissna, a daughter of Joseph Cissna, who was born in Detroit, Michigan, is of French descent and is now living at the very advanced age of ninety-seven years.

Mr. Salisbury ... has held various local offices. He served on the school board for twenty-two years and has always taken an active part in public affairs, doing everything in his power to promote the work of general progress and improvement. ...

Typed by Larry Sullivan

[Editing note:Note: Capitalization, style and punctuation of original text have been followed throughout except for the occasional insertion of commas in long compound sentences. Several long paragraphs also have been divided up for ease of reading. Deletions are marked by elipses (...).]
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Albert J. Shannon is the owner of one of the finest farms in Marcellus township, situated on an elevation commanding a fine view of Fish lake. Moreover, he is regarded as a progressive and popular resident of this portion of Cass county, and is well known as a successful agriculturalist and breeder of fine horses. He was born in Huron township, about two miles east of Alton, in Wayne county, New York, January 22, 1844, and is a son of Archibald Shannon, also a native of Wayne county, spending his entire life in Huron township, where he died when about seventy-seven years of age. In early manhood he wedded Miss Mary Hyde, who was born in Rose, Wayne county, New York, and there died, when about twenty-six years of age, a few days after the birth of her son, Albert, who was her only child. After loosing his first wife the father married her sister, Miss Jane Hyde, and there was one child to this marriage, Lester, who is living in Huron, New York

Albert J. Shannon was reared in the place of his nativity and acquired his education in the public schools. He continued his studies in Wayne county until the fall of 1870, when he went to Iowa, spending some time in Marshalltown and various other places. A few months passed in looking over a favorable location there, but not finding what he wanted he came to Cass county Michigan, in the spring of 1871, and bought one hundred and twenty acres of his present farm, of which thirty-five has been improved. Mr. Shannon cleared the remainder, placed it under the plow, and in coarse of time gathered golden harvests. He also erected good buildings, and he bought eight acres of land adjoining, so that he now has two hundred acres in his home place, which is situated on sections 5, 8 and 9. Marcellus township. He also bought sixty acres in the same township and now has excellently improved the property. He has placed under cultivation altogether about one hundred and fifty acres of land, and his well developed farm is indicative of his care and labor, his progressive methods, and the determination with which he caries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.

In 1862 occurred the marriage of Albert J. Shannon and Miss Jane Gatchell, who was born in Van Buren township, Wayne County, New York, a daughter of Elisha and Margaret (Britton) Gatchell. They have one son, Herbert, who is now living in Calhoun county, Michigan. They have also reared an adopted daughter, Kate Moon, who has married and resides in Chicago. The home of the family is a beautiful farm, in fact hardly equaled in Marcellus township. The family residence is situated on an elevation commanding a splendid view of Fish lake, the landscape presenting altogether a beautiful picture. In addition to the cultivation and improvement of the farm he is well known as an extensive and successful breeder of fine horses, and has placed upon the market some splendid specimens of the noble steed. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, and he was its candidate for supervisor. He is active in its ranks and for two years served as highway commissioner. For thirty years he has been a Mason and has served as master of the lodge and high priest of the chapter at Marcellus. He is a charter member of the chapter, having joined the organization when capitular Masonry was first introduced into that town. Mr. Shannon is both popular and progressive, a business man of enterprise and in his social relations he displays those qualities which win warm friendships and high regard.

Typed by Anne Hood
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Hon. James M. SHEPARD, whose marked individuality and strength of character well entitle him to the position of leadership which is accorded him in Cass county, is now American consul at Hamilton, Ontario, and has figured prominently in political and business circles in Cass county for many years. He is a native of North Brookfield, Massachusetts, where he was born on the 24th of November, 1840. The paternal grandfather, Jared SHEPARD, was a descendant of Thomas SHEPARD, the founder of Harvard College. The family is of English lineage and among its members have been many who have figured prominently in public life in one way or another. Thomas SHEPARD came to America in 1638. To this family belonged General SHEPARD, who put down Shay's rebellion. The father of our subject, Rev. James SHEPARD, was a native of Hampden county, Massachusetts, born in 1802, and was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was graduated from Westfield Academy and in his holy calling he exerted a wide and beneficial influence, contributing in substantial measure to the growth and development of his party and at the same time taking a pronounced stand upon the slavery question, his influence being far reaching in behalf of opposition to that institution of the south. At length on account of ill health he was forced to leave the ministry and his last days were passed on Bunker Hill, Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he died at the age of fifty-two years. His wife bore the maiden name of Lucy BUSH, and was a native of Westfield, Massachusetts, born in 1808. She, too, was of English lineage and lived to the advanced age of eighty years. In the maternal line she was descended from the nobility of England. By her marriage she became the mother of four children, one of whom died in infancy. Jared, the eldest, was at the head of what was known as the Foreign Money Department of Suffolk Bank of Boston, the original "Clearing House," but put aside business ambitions at the outbreak of the Civil war and joined the Union army as a lieutenant, his death occurring near New Orleans while he was in the service. Esther is the wife of Rev. Daniel RICHARDS, of Somerville, Massachusetts, her husband living a retired life there.

Hon. James M. SHEPARD, the youngest of the family, was educated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, attending the Latin school, afterward the Wilbraham Academy and subsequently the Wesleyan University. He studied medicine and dentistry in Boston and was connected with the medical department of the navy during the war of the rebellion. He went out first with the Mansfield guards, a regiment of Connecticut militia, and later joined the medical department of the navy, with which he continued until the cessation of hostilities. On the 3rd of September, 1868, Dr. SHEPARD came to Cassopolis, where he opened an office for the practice of dentistry, which he followed continuously until 1876, when he purchased the Vigilant and has been sole proprietor since 1878. As a journalist he is well known and through the publication of his paper has done much to mold public thought and opinion. He is the champion of every progressive movement and his labors have been effective in securing the adoption of many measures that have contributed largely to the public good.

Mr. SHEPARD is even more widely known because of his activity in political circles. He was elected to represent the twelfth district, comprising Cass and Van Buren counties, in the state senate in 1878, receiving five thousand two hundred and fifty-seven votes against twelve hundred and eight cast for Josiah R. HENDRYX, the Democratic candidate, and four thousand two hundred and thirty for Aaron DYCKMAN, the candidate of the National or Greenback party. While a member of the upper house of the general assembly Mr. SHEPARD was made chairman of the standing committees on the liquor traffic and printing and also a member of the committees on education, on mechanical interests and on engrossments. He proved an active working member of the senate and did all in his power to promote the welfare of the commonwealth. In 1882 he became clerk of the committee on territories in the house of representatives of the forty-seventh congress and he was private secretary to Senator PALMER during the sessions of the forty-eighth, forty-ninth and fiftieth congresses. He was also clerk of the senate committee on agriculture during the discussion of the legislative movements leading up to the formation of a department of agriculture, and he was secretary to the president of the World's Columbian Commission at Chicago from June, 1890, until the final official report was rendered in 1896. He served as one of the commission of charities and corrections for the state of Michigan under the administrations of governors RICH and PINGREEE, which position he resigned upon accepting the appointment as American consul to Hamilton, Ontario, on the 16th of July, 1897.

In 1870, James M. SHEPARD was united in marriage to Miss Alice MARTIN, the eldest daughter of Hiram and Margaret (SILVER) MARTIN. They have two children, Melville J., who was born November 18, 1872, is assistant bookkeeper in the Beckwith estate at Dowagic, Michigan. He married Pearl LUM, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has one son, James L., born March 20, 1902. The daughter, Blanche, born November 2, 1878, is the wife of Ernest W. PORTER, of Newark, New Jersey.

Dr. SHEPARD is a member of Albert Anderson Post, G. A. R., of which he is a past commander. He is also past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias fraternity, a member of the Knights of the Maccabees, and is a 32nd degree Mason. He has a very wide and favorable acquaintance among the prominent men of the state and nation, and has always kept in touch with the great and momentous questions which involve the welfare of the country. Moreover in local affairs he is deeply interested, and his influence and aid are ever given on the side of progress and improvement. While he enjoys the respect of many with whom he has come into contact in connection with important public service, in his home town where he has long lived he has that warm personal regard which arises from true nobility of character and deference for the opinions of others.


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C. L. Sherwood is the pioneer druggist of Dowagiac and has been connected with this line of commercial enterprise in Michigan and elsewhere for fifty-two years. The consensus of public opinion is altogether favorable regarding his business qualifications, reliability and enterprise and no history of the commercial development of Dowagiac would be complete without the life record of Mr. Sherwood. He was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, on the 4th of September, 1838, and is of English lineage, the family having been founded in America by three brothers of the name who came from England to the new world at an early period in its colonization. One of the brothers located in New York, one in the south and the other in New England. The grandfather of our subject was John Sherwood, a resident of the Empire state. His son, P. W. Sherwood, was born in Tompkins county, New York, and became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was reared and educated in Pennsylvania and, determining to devote his life to the work of the gospel, he prepared for the ministry and for forty-five years labored earnestly in advancing the cause of the church in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, where he filled various pastorates. His influence was a potent element for good in every community in which he lived and his memory remains as a blessed benediction to many who knew him and came under his teaching. His last days were spent in Ohio, where he passed away at the age of eighty-three years. In early manhood he wedded Miss Orilla Frye, a native of Vermont, who, however, was reared in Erie county, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of John Frye, who was of English descent. Her death occurred in 1862 when she was about forty-five years of age. Four children had been born of that marriage, two sons and two daughters, of whom C. L. Sherwood of this review is the eldest. The others are: Lucy, the wife of Gibson J. Strannahan, of Lima, Ohio, where he is engaged in business as an employee of the Standard Oil Company; Mary, the wife of P. T. Mowry, an insurance agent in Chicago, Illinois; and Oscar M., who died when about thirty-six years of age, was a resident of Dowagiac, and was a druggist.

C. L. Sherwood spent the first thirteen years of his life in the state of his nativity and then moved to New York. In 1859 he returned to Pennsylvania, settling at Union City, and in 1868 he came to Dowagiac, Michigan, where he has since made his home. He entered the drug business at Holley, New York, and continued in the drug trade at Union City, Pennsylvania. On coming to Dowagiac he purchased the drug store of Howard & Halleck and he also purchased the stores of M. B. Hollister and Asa Huntington. He has since continued in business and is today the oldest druggist of the city. He has a well equipped establishment, neat and attractive in its arrangement and he carries a large and well selected line of drugs and sundry goods. His trade has constantly grown with the development of the town and surrounding country and almost from the beginning the business has proved a profitable one, so that as the years have passed Mr. Sherwood has become one of the substantial citizens of his community.

In 1862 Mr. Sherwood was united in marriage to Miss Mary W. Wood and unto them were born two children, but both died in childhood. Mr. Sherwood is identified with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Knights of Honor. He is also a very prominent Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite, while with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine he has crossed the sands of the desert. His political allegiance has long been given to the Republican party and he served as postmaster in Pennsylvania under appointment of Abraham Lincoln. He has also been postmaster of Dowagiac for eleven years under the administrations of presidents Grant and Hayes and he was mayor of Union City, Pennsylvania. No public trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree, his official service being characterized by unfaltering devotion to duty. He has been in business in Dowagiac for thirty-eight years, the firm being now Sherwood & Burlingame, and in addition to his store he owns valuable property interests here, including two business blocks, houses and lots. All that he possesses has been acquired through his own enterprising efforts and his life record shows what may be accomplished by unremitting diligence and energy that never flags. He has not made the accumulation of wealth, however, his sole end and aim in life, for he has had due regard to the duties of citizenship, of home life and of social relations and is recognized as a man of genuine personal worth.

Typed by:Barbara O'Reagan
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Dr. Ernest Shillito, whose capability in the practice of his profession is indicated by the liberal patronage accorded him and by the favorable mention made of him throughout the community in which he makes his home, was born in Espyville, Pennsylvania, in 1864, his parents being George and Amanda (Slocum) Shillito, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Vermont. The father, whose birth occurred in Espyville, was of Irish descent, his father having emigrated from the Emerald Isle to the United States in 1800. George Shillito was a farmer by occupation and became well-to-do through the careful management of his agricultural and stock-buying interests. He held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and gave his political support to the Republican party. He died in 1893, at the age of seventy years, and is still survived by Mrs. Shillito, who is living in Grove City, Pennsylvania, at the age of seventy-four years. She is of English descent and members of the family served in the Revolutionary war. She belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and has been a devoted wife and mother and earnest Christian woman. In the family were the following children: Arthur M., attorney-at-law of Chicago; Fred, a practicing physician at Kalamazoo; Amos G., who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Independence, Iowa; Georgiana, the wife of Edward Fithian, a manufacturer of gas engines of Grove City, Pennsylvania; Ernest, of this review, and Hosaih, deceased.

Dr. Shillito, whose name introduces this record, was reared upon his father's farm and after attending the country schools became a high school lstudent in Linesville, Pennsylvania, while subsequently he attended the State Normal School at Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and also Allegheny College in that state. In 1886 he entered the medical department of the state university of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago in 1888. He then entered upon the practice of his profession in Marcellus in July of that year, and has since followed his chosen calling here with splendid success.

In 1897 Dr. Shillito was married to Miss Sadie M. Warsom, who was born in Sturgis, Michigan, in 1875. Her father was a pioneer farmer of Indiana. Dr. Shillito is a Republican in his political views but has never sought or desired office. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the State Medical Association, and through his connection with the latter keeps in touch with the advanced thought of the medical fraternity. He has never sought activity outside of the regular routine of active practice, but with an ability that enables him to master the difficult problems of medical and surgical practice he has gained a gratifying patronage.

Typed by:Darwina Michael
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In a review of the history of the county back to pioneer times it will be found that Alfred Shockley was a resident here in the early days and he now makes his home on section 9, Milton township, where he has a good farming property. He has passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life's journey, his birth having occurred in Sussex county, Delaware, on the 17 th of June, 1829. His father, Littleton Shockley, was a native of Maryland, where he was reared. By occupation he was a farmer, thus providing for his family. In the year 1833 he came westward to Michigan, settling in Milton township, Cass county, where he took up land from the government. Michigan was still under territorial rule, and there were more Indians than white people in the state. The greater part of the land was still unclaimed and the work of improvement and development had scarcely been begun. At long distances could be seen a pioneer cabin to show that an attempt was made to claim the district for the uses of civilization. Mr. Shockley cast in his lot with the early settlers and shared in the arduous task of reclaiming the region and developing a new farm. When quite young he was left an orphan and he lost all trace of his people, so that little is known concerning the ancestral history of the family. His death occurred in the '80s, and thus passed away one of the worthy pioneer settlers of the community. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Emily Messick, was a native of Delaware and was there reared. She, too, reached an advanced age, passing away in her eighty-second year. There were eight children in the family, four of whom reached adult age.

Alfred Shockley was the sixth in order of birth and was a little lad of five summers when brought to Cass county, Michigan, by his parents. He was reared in Milton township and early became familiar with the experiences of pioneer life. The family had removed from Delaware to Richmond, Indiana, when he was only a year old, and in 1833 they came to Cass county, since which time the family name has figured in the records of this part of the state and has been a synonym for good citizenship and for progressiveness. The Indians were numerous in this section of the state during his boyhood days and he has many times seen wigwams and has had in his possession various things made by the Indians. He came to know much of their manners and customs of living and in course of time saw them supplanted by the white race, while they sought reservations farther west. His education was acquired while in one of the old-time log school houses, in which the methods of teaching were primitive, as were the furnishings of the little building. He assisted on the farm when he became old enough and remained upon the home place until his father died. On the 16 th of September, 1861, in response to the country's call for aid, Mr. Shockley offered his services and was enrolled as a member of Company L, Second Michigan Cavalry. He served as a private until August, 1865, having re-enlisted in the same company in 1862, continuing with the command until after the cessation of hostilities. He was offered a promotion but would not accept it, content to do his duty in the ranks. He drove a team most of the time and was with the Army of the Cumberland.

After receiving his final discharge at Jackson, Michigan, Mr. Shockley returned to his old home in Milton township, Cass county, and engaged in general farming on the place where he now resides. He made further preparation for having a home of his own by his marriage on the 5 th of November, 1865, to Miss Victoria Bower, the only child of John and Mary (Gardner) Bower and a native of Goshen, Indiana. She was reared, however, in Niles, Michigan. Since the war Mr. Shockley has resided continuously in the home which he now occupies, with the exception of one year spent in Niles. His farm comprises one hundred and thirteen acres of land, which is rich and productive and which he now rents, thus leaving the active work of the fields to others. As the years went by the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Shockley was blessed with eleven children: Addie, now the wife of James W. Brown, who resides in Clay township, Elkhart county, Indiana: Emily J., who has passed away; Elizabeth E., the wife of Jehu Huff, of Niles; Elias J.; Alfred C., a member of the police of Niles; Victoria May, the wife of William Needles, of Milton township; George B., who is living in Milton township; Sylvester W., of Niles, who served for three years with the regular army in the Philippines; Charles H., who is a rural mail carrier on route No. 1 from Niles; Eva E., the wife of Julius Leech, of Milton township; and Cora A., who is at home. All of the family were born on the farm where Mr. and Mrs. Shockley now reside.

In his political affiliations Mr. Shockley is a Democrat and has served as constable and as a school officer in an early day. He has been a resident of the county for seventy-¼three years and well may he be numbered among its pioneers, having aided in making the county what it is to-day. He has been active in its upbuilding and development and has done much hard work in clearing land and promoting its agricultural interests, especially in his boyhood, youth and earlier manhood. He is now the oldest settler of Milton township and is well known in the county as a man of genuine worth, whose life has been well spent. He has always been busy and energetic and his life of usefulness has won for him the esteem and confidence of those with whom he has been associated. Almost three-¼quarters of a century have passed since Mr. Shockley came to this county to cast in his lot with its pioneers. People of the present time can scarcely realize the struggles and dangers which attended the early settlers, the heroism and self-sacrifice of lives passed upon the borders of civilization, the hardships endured, the difficulties overcome. These tales of the early days read almost like a romance to those who have known only the modern prosperity and conveniences. To the pioneer of the early times, far removed from the privileges and conveniences of city or town, the struggle for existence was a stern and hard one and these men and women must have possessed indomitable energy and sterling worth of character, as well as marked physical courage, when they voluntarily selected such a life and successfully fought its battles under such circumstances as prevailed in the northwest.

Typed by:Barbara O'Reagan
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Samuel F. Skinner, who is successfully carrying on general farming on section 12, Porter township, was born October 16, 1853, in this county, his parents being Nathan and Sophia (Dayhuff) Skinner. He is the youngest in a family of four children, one of whom died in infancy. His youth was passed in his native township and his education was acquired in the district schools, where he mastered the usual branches of English learning. He was trained to farm work and early learned the best methods of time of planting and cultivating the fields, so that when he began farming on his own account he had good practical experience to aid him. As a companion and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss Rachel Maria Roof, a daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Eberhard) Roof, the parents being early settlers and well-known farming people of Porter township, where Mrs. Skinner was born. Her father is now deceased but her mother is still living, and has reached the very advanced age of eighty-seven years. Mrs. Skinner is the only daughter and the younger of two children, her brother being David Roof. One daughter has been born of this union, Mary R., who graduated in the high school at Vandalia in the class of 1895, and she spent almost two years in Albion College studying music, and is now a teacher of instrumental music. It was November 26, 1874, that Rachel M. Roof gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Skinner, and they located upon the old homestead farm, where they lived for one year. On the expiration of that period they removed to section 2, Porter township, where he carried on general farming, placing his fields under a high state of cultivation. There he resided until he again located upon the old homestead farm, where he remained until 1890, when he removed to his present place of residence on section 12, Porter township. Here he has a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, and the soil is rich and alluvial, responding readily to the cultivation placed thereon, so that he annually harvests good crops. In addition to the raising of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, he is also engaged in stock raising, making a specialty of high grade hogs. In both branches of his business he has met with very gratifying success and is now one of the prosperous and enterprising agriculturists of Porter township.

When age conferred upon Mr. Skinner the right of franchise he identified his interests with those of the Republican party, which he has continuously and loyally supported. As every true American citizen should do, he keeps well-informed on the questions and issues of the day and has taken an active and helpful part in the support of the party in which he believes. He was justice of the peace for several years, rendering decisions which were strictly fair and impartial. He was also constable, and in 1901 he was elected township supervisor, to which position he has since been re-elected, so that he has held the office continuously for five years, being the incumbent at the present time. He has also served as school officer since he attained the age of twenty-one years, and the cause of education finds in him a warm and helful friend, for he does all in his power to advance the success of the schools through the employment of good teachers and upholding the standard of instruction. He belongs to Tent No. 805, Knights of the Maccabees, at Jones, and Mrs. Skinner to the L. O. T. M., Hive No. 353. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in that village, and is very active and helpful in church work, serving as one of the trustees and cooperating in various lines of church activity. During fifty-two years he has lived in Porter township, and that his life has been honorable and upright is indicated by the fact that many of his staunchest friends are numbered among those who have known him from boyhood to the present time.

Typed by:Darwina Michael
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Amos Smith, now deceased, was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, August 7, 1829, and died in Battle Creek, Michigan, at seven o’clock in the evening of September 17, 1900, at the age of seventy-one years, one month and eleven days. He was a son of Charles F. and Emily (Leach) Smith, the latter a daughter of James Leach, one of the brave soldiers of the war of 1812, who was killed at the battle of Niagara Falls on the 26th of July, 1814.

Amos Smith acquired an academic education in the county of his nativity and in the year of 1848 came to Michigan, where his first work was teaching in the Geneva district school in Penn township, being then about nineteen years of age. The following winter was devoted to teaching in Yazoo, Mississippi, and upon his return to his native state he taught writing and bookkeeping for a time and completed his own education in Clinton, New York. He had received instruction in writing from P. R. Spencer, the originator of the famous Spencerian system. In the fall of 1852 he returned to Cass county and was once more engaged in teaching. He likewise extended his efforts to surveying, for he had made a study of that profession in the meantime, and he became assistant to the county surveyor. later he was made deputy county surveyor, and in 1854 was elected to the office of county surveyor, discharging the duties incumbent upon him in a very satisfactory manner. During the next fourteen years his time was largely given to teaching and surveying, and so well did he discharge the duties of the different offices entrusted to him, and so greatly were his services appreciated by the public that he was recognized as well qualified for further political honors, and in 1868 was chosen by popular suffrage to the responsible position of state senator, being elected by the Republican party, to the principles of which he was devotedly attached.He was also supervisor of his township and he was frequently appointed guardian and administrator of estates, performing the duties of those positions in connection with other official service. Ever alive to matters of public importance, he was one of the most influential and prominent men of his county, and his efforts proved of far reaching value.

On the 22nd of November, 1855, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Martha Jane East, who was born in Wayne county, Indiana, and died at their home in Cass county in 1882, leaving a family of three sons: C. F., Fred E. and George D. Smith. On the 4th of October, 1883, Mr. Smith was again married, his second union being with Miss Sue Bogue, who, with the sons, mourn the loss of a devoted husband, loving father and wise counselor. In the year of his first marriage he purchased forty acres of land, which he continued to make his home up to the time of his death, although he steadily increased the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase until he owned over three hundred acres of rich, productive and valuable land. In connection with the tilling of the soil and the production of the cereals best adapted to the climate he made a specialty of fruit raising, and some of the best fruit of Michigan was produced upon his place. He was ever a lover of the beautiful, especially as manifest in flowers, and he had around him many superb specimens of floriculture. He took great delight and pleasure in working with his flowers and his study of conditions and needs of plants led to splendid results.

Mr. Smith was a member of the Masonic fraternity and several times served as worshipful master. At the time of his demise he was also a member of the Royal Arch chapter at Cassopolis. The first master of his lodge, he was chosen on various occasions to act as its representative to the grand lodge, and at all times he was deeply interested in Masonry and in the work of the order, which finds the exemplification of its principles in the honorable manhood and stalwart devotion of its representatives. A man of much public spirit, Mr. Smith ever endeavored to advance the best local interests and perhaps labored for no other cause more efficiently than for the public schools of Vandalia, the upbuilding of which is due more to him than to any other man. His life was indeed of value to his fellow townsmen because of his reliability in business, his faithfulness in office, his devotion to the work of general progress and his strict regard for all the obligations and privileges of friendship. He was highly esteemed wherever known, and most of all where best known, and while he ever displayed commendable characteristics, his best traits were reserved for his family and his immediate fireside.


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There is much said at the present time about corruption in public office and about the infidelity of these in whom public trust has been reposed. This may be true to a great extent in the larger cities, but it is certainly not true in smaller cities and towns where the residents of any community have opportunity to investigate the records of a public official and where his life history is as an open book to which all have access. Daniel Smith is among the office holders of Dowagiac and his devotion to public service has been of benefit to the community which has entrusted him with the care of its interests. He is well known and enjoys in full measure the regard of his fellow men.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Smith was born in Lancaster County on the 28th of March 1840. His father, John Smith, was a native of Germany and remained in that country during the period of his boyhood and youth, being reared to the occupation of farming. He heard favorable reports, however, concerning America, its business opportunities and advantages along other lines, and when twenty-one years of age he resolved to try his fortune in the New World and crossed the Atlantic. He located in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania where he resided for a number of years, coming thence to Michigan in 1857, at which time he took up his abode in Berrien county, where he resided for six months. On the expiration of that period he removed to Pokagon Township, Cass County, where he was engaged in farming. His remaining days were given to the work of tilling the soil and caring for the crops, and he was active in his farm work until sixty-nine years of age, when his life's labors were ended in death. In early manhood he had wedded Frances Fulton, a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who died in Cass County in the sixty-fifth year of her age. Eleven children were added to the household as the years passed by, six sons and five daughters, and of this number seven reached years of maturity.

Daniel Smith, who was the fourth child and second son, was seventeen years of age when he game to Cass County. He had previously begun his education in the schools of Pennsylvania and after coming to Michigan he worked upon the home farm with is father in its development and improvement until twenty-one yeas of age, when he felt that his first duty was to his country, which at this time was engaged in the Civil War. His patriotic spirit was aroused and he could no longer content himself at the plow, so putting aside business cares he offered his services to the government, enlisting on the 21st of August, 1861, as a private of Company M, First Michigan Calvary. He remained with that command until February 8, 1862, when he was honorably discharged on account of disability after which he returned to his home. He remained in Michigan until September 1962, when he once more went to Pennsylvania Calvary on the 8th of February 1864. He participated at the battle of Weldon Railroad and in the military movement in front of Petersburg he was wounded in the left leg, which necessitated the amputation of that member below the knee. When he has recovered his health he was honorably discharged December 26, 1865 and again came to Michigan, settling upon a farm in Pokagon Township, Cass County.

At the time of his marriage Mr. Smith located in Dowagiac and was employed as a salesman in a store for about sixteen years – a fact which indicates his entire capability and trustworthiness. He has been supervisor of the third ward for ten years and this fact stands in incontrovertible evidence of his loyalty. At one time he was alderman of the city from the third ward and his personal popularity is indicated by the fact that he was elected on the Democratic ticket in a ward which usually gives a strong Republican majority. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have no children of their own, but have reared an adopted daughter, Ruth, who is now the wife of Nathan J. White. Almost a half-century has come and gone since Mr. Smith came to Cass County and he is therefore numbered among the old settlers. He is familiar with its history in many of its phases, having been a witness of or participant in the events which have shaped its policy and promoted its development. In all matters of citizenship he has been the embodiment of loyalty and in public office as well as in military service has rendered valuable aid to the country. He has a deep and sincere attachment for the Stars and Stripes and is indeed a patriotic American citizen

Typed by: Michael L. Bradford

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In a history devoted to the early settlers and the men who in later years have been factors in the substantial growth, progress and upbuilding of Cass county, mention should be made of George W. Smith, who at an early day in the development of this part of the state took up his abode in Cass county. He now resides on section 16, Milton township, where he has good farming interests, owning and operating one hundred and sixty acres of land, which constitutes a neat and well kept farm. He was born in Kent county, Delaware, January 10, 1831. His father, Manlove Smith, was also a native of that state, and was there reared, married, lived and died, passing away when about sixty years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary M. McKnett, was a native of Delaware, and died when about fifty-eight years of age. In their family were seven children, of whom two passed away in infancy, while five reached manhood or womanhood. Only one daughter is now living.

Mr. Smith is the youngest of this family and was only two years old when his father died, and a little lad of but six summers at the time of his mother's death. Thus left an orphan he was reared by his eldest brother, with whom he remained to the age of sixteen years on the old family homestead in the east. He then started out in life for himself and whatever success he has achieved is attributable entirely to his own enterprise and labors. He worked as a farm hand by the month or day and to some extent was employed in a store owned by his brother at Greenville, Delaware. The opportunities of the new and growing west, however, attracted him, and he resolved to seek his fortune in Michigan. Accordingly he made his way to this state in 1854, settling in Cass county, and for more than a half century he has resided here, being actively connected with its farming interests to the benefit of the county and to the promotion of his own individual resources.

As a companion and helpmate for life's journey, Mr. Smith chose Miss Josephine B. Powell, to whom he was married on the 16th of December, 1856, her parents being Thomas and Mariam (Bowman) Powell, who were also natives of Kent county, Delaware. They came to Cass county in 1834, locating in Milton township, when there were few settlers in this part of the state. All around them was wild and unimproved. The timber was uncut and the land uncultivated, but they cast in their lot with the early settlers and aided in reclaiming this district for the uses of civilization. Mrs. Smith was less than a year old when brought by her parents to Milton township, and has always resided in this county.

At the time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Smith located on the old family homestead in Milton township, where they remained for about four years, when they took up their abode upon the farm where Mr. Smith now resides. Here he has lived for forty-six years and the splendid appearance of the place with its well tilled fields, good buildings and modern accessories, is indicative of the practical and enterprising spirit of the owner.

As the years went by six children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Truman M., who is now living in Houston, Texas; Thomas F., at home; Redora M., the wife of Arza G. Griffin, who resides in Aurora, Illinois; William C., who married Pearl Clark and is living in Granger, Indiana; Robert G., deceased, and Clarence P., who married Miss Gertrude Abbott and is living in Milton township. All were born in Milton township, Cass county.

Mr. Smith has been a lifelong farmer and is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres, constituting a well improved farm. He started out in life on his own account empty-handed, but has worked earnestly and persistently, and as the years have gone by has achieved both success and an honored name. He has been identified with the county from its early history, and while carrying on his individual business pursuits has at the same time promoted public progress along lines of substantial advancement. He has taken an active and helpful interest in matters pertaining to the general welfare, and for many years has supported the Republican party. For about sixty years he and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has held all of the offices, taking an active part in its work and doing all in his power to promote its influence and growth. He has been true to its teachings, and his close adherence to its principles has made his life an upright and honorable one. He has been straightforward in his business dealings, considerate of the rights of others and true to high and manly principles, and as one of the early settlers and successful farmers of the county he certainly deserves mention in this volume.

Typed by:Barbara O'Reagan
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Harsen D. Smith is a prominent attorney of Cassopolis equally well known because of his activity in political circles. He has chosen as a life work a profession in which success results only from individual merit, from comprehensive knowledge and close application, and his high reputation is well deserved because he has manifested all of the salient characteristics demanded of the successful and able lawyer. A native of Albion, New York, he was born on the 17th of March, 1845, and is a son of E. Darwin and Maria (Arnold) Smith, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of New York. The paternal grandfather, Moses B. Smith, was a minister of the Universalist church and had a very wide and favorable acquaintance in the western part of the Empire state, to which he removed from New England. He was of Scotch lineage, his father, Moses Smith, Sr., having emigrated from the land of the hiss and heater to the new world. E. Darwin Smith, father of our subject, was a manufacturer of agricultural implements. Following his removal to New York he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Maria Arnold, a native of the Empire state and a daughter of Benjamin Arnold, who was of English descent. They became the parents of three children, two daughters and a son.

Harsen D. Smith, who was the second in order of birth, acquired an academic education at Newark, Wayne county, New York, where he was graduated. He afterward engaged in teaching school in that state for a short time, and in 1862 he went to Iowa, locating at Eldora, where for one year he acted as principal of the Eldora Union Schools. He then became a teacher in the Iowa Lutheran College at Albion, Iowa, being professor of mathematics. In the meantime he had taken up the study of law and for a period was a student in the office of Governor Eastman, of Iowa. Subsequently he went to Rochester, New York, where he entered the law office of Judge George F. Danforth, a member of the court of appeals of the Empire state. For about two years Mr. Smith remained in that office and was then admitted to the New York bar, after which he removed to Coldwater, Michigan, and spent about six months in the office of E. G. Fuller. He afterward removed to Jackson, Michigan, and entered the office of Hon. W. K. Gibson. In August, 1870, he removed to Cassopolis, where he formed a partnership with Hon. Charles W. Clisbee, with whom he continued for two years. He then practiced by himself for a year, after which he formed a partnership with Judge Andrew J. Smith, that connection being thus continued until Andrew J. Smith was elected circuit judge, since which time Harsen D. Smith has been alone in practice. He has for thirty-five years been a representative of the Cassopolis bar and is therefore numbered among the pioneer attorneys of the county. He has gradually worked his way upward, demonstrating his ability to cope with intricate problems of jurisprudence and in the handling of his cause he displays great strength, while his devotion to his clients’ interest is proverbial.

In October, 1873, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Sate R. Read, who was born in this county in 1853, and is a daughter of S. T. and Rhoda R. (Hayden) Read.

In his political views Mr. Smith is a stalwart Republican, thoroughly in sympathy with the principles of the party. He was elected and served as chairman of the Republican County Central Committee for ten years, was a member of the State Central Committee for six years, and fro four years a member of the executive committee. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost Republicans of Michigan, and his efforts in behalf of the organization have been far reaching and beneficial. In 1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney, filling the office for four years, and in 1898 he was appointed by the governor to the position of circuit judge to preside over the bench of a new circuit until an election could be held. He served in that capacity for one year. He was a member of the state pardon board for about seven years, but when appointed judge he resigned that position. Following his retirement from the bench he was reappointed on the pardon board. He was nominated for state senator in 1884, but that was the year of the Democratic landslide. Fraternally he is connected with the dodge, chapter and commandery in the Masonic fraternity and also with Saladin Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Grand Rapids. He has been very successful in his practice, being connected with the greater number of the important cases tried in his district and his broad intellectuality, great strength of character and determined purpose have made him a valued factor, not only as a legal practitioner but also in social, fraternal and political circles. He has done much to mold public thought and opinion in his community and is just classed with the prominent and representative citizens of Cass county.

Typed by Carol Foss

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HIram Smith, who is engaged in farming on section 20, Calvin township, was born in Genesee county, New York, January 5, 1836. His father, Samuel Smith, was a native of the Empire state and came to Cass county in 1835, locating his land in Calvin township. He found here a pioneer district, but was pleased with its prospects and indications for future development and resolved to make his home here. He then returned to the Empire state and brought his family to Michigan, taking up his abode upon the farm now known as the James Bullen place. He lived to be seventy-two years of age and his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, whereby he provided a comfortable living for his family. His wife bore the maiden name of Fannie Foreman and was also a native of New York. She died in 1893.

Hiram Smith of this review was the eldest of a family of thirteen children, eleven of whom reached adult age and only one was born outside of Cass county, that being the subject of this review, who was but six months old when he was brought to Michigan. The family home being established in Calvin township, he was reared under the parental roof and pursued his education in the public schools, the little “temple of learning” being a log building such as was common in the early days. He continued to make his home with his parents until twenty-one years of age, but in the meantime worked as a farm hand by the month or day, his earnings going to his father. He early learned the value of interest, unremitting toil and upon that quality has builded his success in later life.

Mr. Smith married the first time in 1859, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Hannah J. Haden, a daughter of Samuel Lincoln and the widow of Joseph Haden. She died leaving three children who were born of her second marriage, while by her first marriage she had six children. These were: Esther Ann, who died when about two years old; George, also deceased; Addie, the wife of Jesse Parker, of Calvin township; William B., a hardware merchant of Cassopolis; James, G., a prominent and distinguished citizen of this county, who is represented elsewhere in this work; and Mattie, the wife of Jacob Keen. The children born unto Mr. & Mrs. Smith were: Charles, a resident of Cassopolis; Freddie, a farmer of Calvin township; and Edward, of Elkhart, Indiana, who is in the employ of the railroad company. After losing his first wife, Mr. Smith wedded Miss Alfretta Allen, a daughter of Jerry Allen, and unto them were born five children: Stephen; Dell, deceased; Harmon; Clark; and Frank.

Mr. Smith has been a resident of Calvin township for seventy years and is its oldest citizen who was not born in this county. He has a very wide and favorable acquaintance and has always taken an active and helpful part in measures and plans for the public good. His political allegiance has been given to the Republican party since its organization and he has held several school offices in the township, the cause of education finding in him a warm and stalwart friend. He belongs to Matthew Artin Post, G.A.R. at Calvin Center, being entitled to membership therein by reason of the fact that he enlisted in 1864 as a member of the Twelfth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the war. He has been equally loyal to his country in days of peace, and local advancement and national progress are both causes dear to his heart. Through his business career he has carried on farming and is now the owner of ninety-two acres of good land under a high state of cultivation. Everything about his place is neat and thrifty in appearance and his labors are attended with a measure of success that indicates his capable management and unremitting diligence.

Typed by Carol Foss

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