This page contains biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Hillsdale County residents.
The majority come from pre-1921 published sources as cited in the sketch.

James W. Daniels * Solomon Davis * Almon Day * James I. Dennis * Azariah F. DePue * James K. Dillon
Joshua Dillon * Dr. William H. Ditmars * Daniel Divine * James Divine * Hon. Joseph Divine * William Divine
The Drake Family * Prof. Warren A. Drake * Franklin Dush


Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Elon G. Reynolds, ed Chicago: AW Bowen & Co. 1903 - page 135
NOTE: This is an extract of the full article.

James W. DANIELS was born in Camden, Hillsdale Co. MI 19 Jan 1863, the son of John and Sarah HAMLIN DANIELS. John was born 17 Jul 1826 and was a native of Devonshire England. Sarah was from New York.
John migrated from England in 1851 and located in New York, marrying Miss Sarah HAMLIN. [no location or date given]. They moved to Michigan in 1853, settling in Hillsdale County on 40 acres. in 1863, he sold that land and bought 80 acres in Woodbridge Twp. John passed away 7 Sep 1899 - Sarah was still living as of 1903. John and Sarah had 3 children: Orrie J, wife of Ernest HILLIARD; Sarah J., wife of Henry VAN AKEN, and James W.
James took over his father's land and married Miss Celia SALMON, a resident of Hillsdale County, in 1883. James and Celia have 2 children, Benjamin and Ethel.

Solomon DAVIS

From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.959.

Solomon DAVIS, who is engaged in general agriculture on section 11 in Cambria Twp., makes a speciality of fruit growing and owns a flourishing farm of 80 acres in a good state of cultivation and supplied with good buildings. Seven acres are devoted to fruit trees of the best quality and Mr. DAVIS has realized each year a handsome return from this section of his farm. Mr. DAVIS took possession of this acreage in the spring of 1849 when the question of its successful cultivation seemed doubtful. He is blessed, however, with great perseverance and resolution and can now be satisfied with the results of his labors.
A native of Locke Twp., Cayuga Co., NY, Mr. DAVIS was b. Oct. 27, 1822. His father, Solomon DAVIS, Sr., was born in MA, a descendant of many generations of New Englanders. There he married Miss Sally A. BANCROFT, a native of his own county and the daughter of an old and highly respected family of Eastern Massachusetts.
They emigrated to NY State and settled among the early pioneers of Cayuga Co. where they were married. [That is what it says!] They subsequently moved to Wayne Co., NY, where the mother died in middle life, about 1828. Solomon DAVIS, Sr. survived his wife by many years and passed away after reaching his three score years and ten.
Solomon DAVIS, Jr. was the youngest but one of his parents' family, and was just five years old when they left Cayuga for Wayne Co. It was from there, in 1844, after reaching manhood, that he made his way to Southern Michigan and purchased 40 acres of land in Jefferson Twp., this county. Six years later he returned to Wayne Co. in order to fulfill the pledge he had made to a maiden he had known from boyhood, their marriage taking place on Oct. 1, 1850.
This young lady, Miss Roxsena STRICKLAND, was born in Walworth Twp., Wayne Co., Dec. 28, 1824, and was the daughter of Joseph and Roxsena (BANCROFT) STRICKLAND who were natives, respectively, of CT and MA. Her parents came to NY State early in life and were married in Walworth Twp., of which their parents were early pioneers.
Mr. and Mrs. STRICKLAND lived their entire lives in Walworth Twp. and there died, the mother at the age of 52 years and the father, many years later, aged 86. To this couple were born five sons and six daughters and of these three sons and four daughters are living. One, Miss Mary STRICKLAND, makes her home with her sister, Mrs. DAVIS.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis, after their marriage, commenced life together in a modest dwelling in Cambria Twp. where Mr. DAVIS carried on the farming pursuits with which he has been familiar since boyhood. To them were born five children, all of whom are deceased. Martha L. died at the age of seven and Ettie V. when two; Augusta V. became the wife of William BUTLER and died at her home in Hillsdale Twp. when 25 years old; Cora D. died aged three and the last child died in infancy unnamed. They adopted a boy, Herbert LAWRENCE, who remained with them until 19 years of age and is still in the county.
Our subject and his wife emigrated to Michigan soon after their marriage and settled upon the 80 acres previously purchased by Mr. DAVIS. During the 38 years they have lived in Cambria Twp. they have earned the esteem and confidence of their neighbors. Mr. DAVIS cast his first Presidential vote for Fremont and had held several minor offices in the township. Mrs. DAVIS is a zealous member of the Free-Will Baptist Church, in which her father served as Deacon for many years.

Almon DAY

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p. 954.
NOTE: This following info is an extract of the biographical sketch.

Almon DAY was b. 1/27/1819 in Burlington Twp., Otsego Co., NY. His father, Charles, a native of CT, was of Welsh descent. The family name in Wales is "Dey".
Charles was the son of Charles Day, Sr. and his father was also Charles Day, the son of Adonijah Day. Almon's parents were Charles and Eunice (KING) DAY.
Eunice was a native of Otsego Co. They were married there and lived there for some years before they moved to Paris Twp., Oneida Co., NY. Eunice died in Paris Twp. at the age of 81 and Charles at the age of 91 years.
Almon grew up in Otsego Co. and learned to farm. Upon leaving home he moved to Rochester, NY and engaged in boating.
It was there that he married, in 1844, Miss Pauline STREETER. In 1848, they moved to Mich., making the journey by lake steamer from Buffalo to Toledo and thence by rail to Cambria Twp., Hillsdale Co.
They purchased 160 acres of wild land on section 10 and over the years created a fine farm. Almon served his community in many ways. He was for about six years Sheriff and Under Sheriff of Hillsdale Co., represented Cambria Twp. in the County Board of Supervisors and had been Justice of the Peace for 12 years at the time this article was written.
Almon and Pauline had four children. Alice S. died in early childhood. Edwin S. marr. Ruth CHAPPELL and had a grocery and provision trade in Ludington, MI. William E. marr. Mary HOLMES and had a general merchandising business, also in Ludington. Everet worked for his brother William.
Pauline Day died at her home in Cambria Twp. on 4/7/1857.
Almon married second, on 10/19/1862, Mary E. SWEETMAN of Grand Rapids. They were the parents of five children, one of whom, Frank, died in infancy.
* Mary C. was the wife of Floyd J. CAMPBELL, a grain dealer in Rock Valley, IA.
* Cassius A. was engaged in the boot and shoe trade in Kendallville, IN.
Albert S. and Roscoe A. were still at home in 1888.
In 1882 Almon purchased his present homestead of 100 acres on section 1, Cambria Twp. The Days were members of the Presbyterian Church in Hillsdale.


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.636.

James I. DENNIS, editor and proprietor of the Hillsdale County Gazette, at Jonesville, was born at Ridgeway, Lenawee Co., MI, Feb. 25, 1834, and in the fall of 1838 removed to Branch Co., this state, where he lived six years. The family then removed to Scipio Twp., Hillsdale Co., where he received a common school education. On Oct. 1, 1850, he was apprenticed to learn the "art preservative of all arts" at Hillsdale with Ambler & Wooden, and was with them about one year when he entered the office of the Standard, in the employ of the Hon. H. B. Rowlson.
After three years of learning his profession, in the fall of 1855, he went to Baraboo, Wisc., and, in the following spring, in company with Victor Peck, began the publication of the Sauk County Democrat, which they continued for about a year. His first venture in publishing not proving very satisfactory, he returned to Mich. in 1858 and for six years thereafter was engaged in farming during the summer and, in the winter, was employed in the Independent office at his trade.
On July 1, 1864, he purchased the Jonesville Independent in company with James F. Burnett with whom he entered into partnership, which continued three years. At that time he bought out his parnter's interest and continued publication of the paper until 1876, when he sold out and for one year leased the office of the Reading Press. This however did not prove profitable so he gave up the lease and on Mar. 18, 1878, he began publication of the Hillsdale County Gazette.
Mr. Dennis was married Jan. 11, 1859, at Hillsdale, to Miss Mary POCKLINGTON, a foster daughter of the late John GILMER. She was born in Yorkshire, England, May 22, 1841, and became the mother of one child, a daughter, Alice.
Mr. Dennis has held the the office of Township Treasurer during the years 1868 and 1869 and, in 1874, was elected Village Reporter. In 1885 and '86 he was one of the Village Trustees and in 1887 was again elected Recorder. He became a member of Lafayette Lodge, F. & A. M. in 1864 and is a member of Jonesville Chapter No. 8, R. A. M. and of Jonesville Council No. 5.
He has filled several offices in the lodge and was W. M. in 1884 and 1885. In the Chapter, he was P. S. for a period of six years and Captain of the Host for four years. He was a member of Fayetteville Lodge No. 16, I. O. O. F.

Azariah F. DePUE

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.610.

Azariah F. DePUE is a retired farmer now enjoying the comforts of his handsome home in Hillsdale to which he removed from his country residence in the spring of 1881. He was born May 21, 1829, near the town of Ovid, Seneca Co., NY. His father, Benjamin DEPUE, was born in the Mohawk Valley in 1788 and, when twenty-four years of age, served in the War of 1812. For his service he was given a warrant calling for a quarter section of land, and of which he availed himself in the State of NY. The grandfather, David DEPUE, carried a musket in the Continental Army. He was born in NJ, a descendant of a French family which crossed the Atlantic in Colonial days. He died in NJ.
The mother of Azariah, Elizabeth MARTIN, was a native of Ireland, and was but one year old when her parents came to America. After their marriage, Benjamin and Elizabeth DEPUE settled in Seneca Co., NY, where Benjamin farmed until 1838. They then emigrated to Southern Mich., settling near Ypsilanti where they stayed for two years. In 1840 they removed to Hillsdale Co. The father purchased land in Adams Twp. which he lived upon and cultivated until stricken by the fatal illness which ended his life on April 4, 1872. The mother passed away at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. MONROE, in Moscow Twp. Benjamin and Elizabeth had 3 sons and 5 daughters, all of whom reached maturity. Seven are still living. They were: Margaret, Nancy, James H., Azariah F., Elizabeth, Catherine, Jane and Theodore.
Azariah, the fourth-born, spent his boyhood in Seneca Co., NY, where he acquired a common school education, then worked at farming until he reached maturity. Then, starting out for himself, he engaged as a carpenter for four years, meanwhile investing in land in Adams Twp., this county. He continued in his trade while cultivating and improving his land until the spring of 1881 when he removed, on April 9th, to the city of Hillsdale where he has since resided.
Our subject married Miss Nancy M. LYONS on Feb. 11, 1857, at her family home in Moscow Twp. She was born April 21, 1833, in Richland Co., OH. Her father was David LYONS, Esq., a native of PA. Her mother, Margaret, was born in Ireland. Both parents are now deceased. The only child of Azariah and Nancy is a son, Delos A., who was born Feb. 13, 1858. He now holds the position of Railroad Agent for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad at North Adams.
Mr. DEPUE became a voter in 1851 and cast his first vote for SCOTT. He was an old-line Whig until becoming a Republican when that party was organized. He has taken an interest in the affairs of his township and has held several positions of trust and responsibility serving as Justice of the Peace for four years. He is a zealous supporter of the Presbyterian Church.
In the fall of 1887, Mr. and Mrs DEPUE sought the Pacific Slope for rest and recreation, spending one winter and traveling over the greater part of the state of California, migrating as far south as San Diego and returning thence to Riverside. Their pleasant home is in the southwestern part of the city where they often welcome the old friends among whom they have lived for so many years.


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.241.

James K. DILLON. The homestead of this gentleman is one of the most attractive in Wheatland Twp. It comprises 140 acres of highly cultivated land, handsome farm buildings and a comfortable residence. The farm stock is of excellent quality and well cared for. The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent in Ontario Co., NY, where he was born Dec. 8, 1826, at the modest home of his parents, Benjamin and Christina (KENNEDY) Dillon, both natives of New York.

The father was born Sept. 9, 1788, in Dutchess Co. and the mother in Jamestown, Mar. 8, 1791. After their marriage they located in Ontario Co. where the father died April 15, 1866. The mother subsequently joined her son, our subject, and died at his home in Wheatland Twp. on June 26, 1872. The paternal grandparents of our subject, John and Phebe (ACKLEY) Dillon, were natives respectively of Ireland and England. They crossed the Atlantic early in life and both d ied in Ontario Co., NY. On the mother's side the grandparents were Robert and Margaret (McLAREN) Kennedy, natives of Scotland, who spent the last days of their lives in Monroe Co., NY.

To Benjamin and Christina Dillon were born eight children, only two of whom are still living: James K. and his brother William R. who is also a resident of this township. James continued under the parental roof until the death of his father when the family home was sold. In 1868 he came to Hillsdale Co. and purchased his present homestead where he has since lived. While still a resident of his native State he married, on Dec. 28, 1848, Miss Frances WHITFIELD, who was born Aug. 19, 1827, in Ontario Co. She is the daughter of Edward and Eliza (SMITH) Whitfield, both natives of Ireland, although both were of English ancestry and relatives of the noted Whitfield who distinguished himself as a preacher and philanthropist. Edward Whitfield and his wife both died in Ontario Co., NY, the mother when 66 years of age and the father after reaching the advanced age of 89. His mother, Grandmother Whitfield, lived to a great age, retaining her faculties to a remarkable degree. When 116 years old she walked three miles to church.

James and Frances Dillon have reared two children. Helen F., born April 25, 1852, is now the wife of George BUMP, a well-to-do farmer of Hudson Twp., Lenawee Co., this State. Eliza C. was born Sept. 7, 1862, and is one of the principle teachers in the Hudson schools; she is a lady of fine education and much culture, being a graduate of Hillsdale College. Both daughters were born in Ontario Co., NY. Mr. Dillon cast his first Presidential vote for Zachary Taylor and was a member of the Whig party during its existence and is presently a supporter of Republican principles. He has filled various positions of trust and responsibility in his township, which duties he has discharged with care and fidelity, earning him the esteem of this community. Mrs. Dillon and her daughters are members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Dillon is a lady of great energy and for many years before her marriage supported herself at her trade as tailoress.& nbsp; She has labored side by side with her husband in the building up of their beautiful home and deserves equal credit in the result of their mutual labors.

submitted by
Katherine Paty
thomkath (at)
Tempe, AZ


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.493.

Joshua DILLON, a well-to-do farmer of Wright Twp., is proprietor of 210 acres of valuable land on section 4, highly cultivated and chiefly devoted to the raising of grain and stock. Of this he took possession in 1863. He is a native of the Empire State, born near Farmington, Ontario Co., on May 13, 1857. His father, Moses Dillon, was native of the same county and his paternal grandfather, John Dillon, one of its earliest settlers, is believed to have been born in New Jersey. The latter, upon removing from his native State, purchased a tract of land in Orleans Co., NY, whence he removed later to the vicinity of Farmington where he improved a farm and spent his last days.

Moses Dillon was reared and married in his native county, continuing there until about 1857. Then selling out, he started for Southern Michigan, and purchasing a farm in Pittsford Twp., this county, here spent the remainder of his life. His wife in her girlhood was Miss Martha PERU, also a native of Ontario Co., NY, and who, like her husband, died at the homestead in Pittsford. They were the parents of eleven children, all of whom are living, married and settled in comfortable homes of their own.

Joshua Dillon, our subject, was reared on the farm in his native county and educated in the district school. He commenced at an early age to assist in the various employments of rural life and after he was 13 years old had to depend upon himself for his living. At that time he left home and began working by the month, receiving at first $5 besides his board. As his usefulness increased his wages were raised until he was earning $14 per month. He labored in this manner until after his marriage. Three years later he purchased 30 acres of land in his native township, 20 acres of which were improved and the rest in timber. There were no buildings but he put up a good house, cleared some of the land, occupied it for three to four years, then sold out and commenced working by the month again. Two years later he purchased 70 acres near Manchester, Ontario Co., most of which was improved, and with very good buildings. There he resi ded with his family until the spring of 1862, when he sold out once more, and the year following came to this State.

The lady who has been his close companion and helpmate for nearly forty years was, before her marriage, Miss Ann E. ALDRICH, a native of the same town as her husband and born Dec. 2, 1830. They were married in Farmington at the home of the bride on Feb. 22, 1849, and began life together in the modest home already written of. Her parents were Nathan and Elizabeth (ESTLOW) Aldrich, also natives of Ontario Co., the father born Feb. 18, 1797 and the mother in Jan. 1795. The paternal grandfather, Nathan Aldrich, Sr., was born in 1762 and was one of the first settlers of Farmington. He was a man of great energy and perseverance and accumulated a large property, assisting all his children to good homes. He died at his home in Farmington Twp. Nathan Aldrich, Jr., was reared, married and spent his entire life in his native county, dying on the farm which his father had built up from the wilderness. Like the latter, he was thrifty and successful in life, and added to the lands his sire had left him, assisting also his children to settle in life, and happy in seeing them with good homes of their own. He was a staunch Whig, politically, and served as Justice of the Peace for many years. He passed away May 18, 1865. The mother departed this life twelve years earlier, in 1853, at the homestead in Farmington Twp.

To our subject and his wife were born five children. Rosetta J. is the wife of Mason BRYANT, a farmer of Pittsford Twp. Nathan married Miss Eliza SEELEY and is farming in Wright Twp. Elizabeth is the wife of J. Gordon BROWNELL, a farmer of Hudson Twp., Lenawee Co. Delia married Dr. S. B. SABIN and they reside in Pittsford. Albert E. is unmarried and lives at home with his parents. Mr. Dillon was reared in those principles, politically, which have made him an adherent of the Republican party. He has, however, comparatively little to do with politics, being mostly absorbed in his farming operations.
submitted by Katherine Paty
thomkath (at)
Tempe, AZ

Dr. William H. DITMARS

Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Elon G. Reynolds, ed Chicago: AW Bowen & Co. Part First - Hillsdale County Michigan Fully Historical 1903 - page 246-47.
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original article]

Dr. William H. DITMARS was born 28 Nov 1873 in North Adams, Hillsdale County Michigan, to William R. DITMARS and Ellen M. HIGLEY DITMARS. [NOTE - a separate sketch of William R. & Ellen can be found on pages 245-46]
William H. attended Hillsdale College in 1889 and 1890, then taught for 2 years and began studying medicine in 1893 at the Detroit Medical College, where he graduated in 1896.
William H. practiced medicine in Jonesville, Hillsdale Co, MI and married Miss Etha Mae SMITH (daughter of Seth H. SMITH and Ellen PARDEE SMITH) in 1897. Etha died of typhoid fever on 10 May 1901. [no children of this marriage are listed]


From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.981.

Daniel DIVINE, a farmer and stockbreeder, and one of the pioneers of Woodbridge Twp., is comfortably located on section 5. He was born near Oswego, Cayuga Co., NY, May 1, 1814, four days before the battle of Oswego which was fought during the War of 1812, and in which his father, Joseph DIVINE, participated as Captain, which rank he held in the State Militia for eleven years. He was also a Major of militia ten years, but after his military services were no longer required, turned his attention to agriculture.
Joseph DIVINE moved to OH in 1833 and to Mich. ten years later. He died in March 1855. He was prominent in his community and a church member. The parents of our subject were married about 1800. The mother died about 1861 or 1862; she was a very amiable and excellent lady and a true Christian. The children in this family were Lucinda, Arminda, Selah, Samuel, John, Daniel (our subject), Asa, Joseph, Jr., Margaret, George, James and William. Seven of these are deceased. John died at the age of 70.
Daniel DIVINE came to this State in 1849 and settled upon the farm where he now lives, 60 acres of which are in a state of fine cultivation and which yields a comfortable income. He is known among his neighbors as an industrious and responsible citizen. He has two sons and two daughters: Lafayette, Joseph L., Louisa and Rhoda, all of them married and comfortably settled.
The mother of these was born Permilia FRENCH in Saratoga Co., NY, in June 1820. Her parents were Benjamin and Lydia (WILBUR) FRENCH, also natives of the Empire State and the parents of twelve children. They died near Toledo, OH. Mr. and Mrs. DIVINE were married Nov. 17, 1839. Our subject is politically a solid Republican. He has, however, studiously avoided the responsibilities of public office. He was at one time a church member but is not now. He aims to follow the Golden Rule and to do good as he has opportunity.


From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.750.

James DIVINE, who is a well-known farmer and stock-breeder of Woodbridge Twp., has a good property on section 6, comprising 80 acres of land with suitable farm buildings. He was born in Cayuga Co., NY, Oct. 21, 1827, the son of Joseph and Esther (WILMUTH) DIVINE, natives of NY, the father a farmer by occupation. Joseph DIVINE, during his early life, entered the Federal service as a Captain in the War of 1812, in which he served from nearly the beginning until the end of the conflict.
He left the Empire State in 1842 and coming to Mich., located in Woodbridge Twp. where his death took place in 1855. The mother survived her husband by seven years, dying in 1862. She was a most excellent lady and a member of the Regular Baptist Church. The twelve children in the parental family were: Lucinda, Selah, Arminda, Samuel, John, Daniel, Joseph, Jr., Margaret, George, James (our subject), William and Asa. Of these, five are living and mostly residents of Mich.
James, our subject, lived under the parental roof until the age of 21. He was married on Oct. 21, 1847, in Woodbridge Twp., to Miss Sarah STEPHENS. She was born in Wayne Co., NY, on July 27, 1830, and was the mother of five children, of whom three are still living: Eugene, William and Minnie. The deceased are James W. and Melvin.
Eugene married Antoinette BRYAN on April 21, 1872. She was born in Woodbridge Twp. Feb. 6, 1848, and is the dau. of Ezra and Lucinda (LOCKWOOD) Bryan, natives of Mass. and early settlers of this county. Of this marriage there are six children: Ada, Edith, Claude, Maude, Herbert and Josie. Eugene spent two terms at Hillsdale College and then commenced teaching at the age of 22 years. As an instructor he was a marked success and also as a disciplinarian giving good service. He owns 80 acres on sections 5 and 6 in Woodbridge Twp. He has served his community as Township Supervisor for three terms and also as Township Clerk. He votes the Independent ticket. In 1871 he joined the Masonic fraternity. He is a successful farmer, making a speciality of thoroughbred cattle.
William Divine married Mary SHOLTY on Oct. 31, 1875 and she died Oct. 15, 1884, leaving three children: Dora, Edna and Floyd. His second wife was Carrie STATES and of this union there are two children.
James W. Divine died in Georgetown, KY in 1884. He was finely educated, having graduated from Hillsdale Union School, and married Jennie ALLEN, by whom he became the father of one son, Eddie S. He possessed fine abilities and gave promise of a bright and useful career. His death was a deep affliction to his family, in which they received the sympathy of the entire community.

Hon. Joseph DIVINE

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.764.

The Hon. Joseph DIVINE is widely known as an early pioneer of Hillsdale Co. and a representative citizen. He has been a resident here for 47 years and owner of a productive and well managed farm in Woodbridge Twp. He was born in Cayuga Co., NY, April 1, 1820, the son of Joseph and Esther (WILMOTH) Divine who were of English ancestry and natives of NY and Long Island, born respectively in 1756 and 1771.
The father took an active part in the War of 1812, holding the rank of Captain and, it is believed, served through the entire conflict. Although entitled to a pension, he never received one. He married in 1824 and settled in Sterling, Cayuga Co., NY. In 1833 he moved his family to Lucas Co., OH, and thence, in 1843, to Michigan, this township, where he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1863. In politics he was an old-line Whig. His wife survived him for some years, dying in 1868. She was a woman firm in character, kind and warm-hearted, for 50 years a consistent church goer.
To their union were born: Lucinda who married Linas FROST, now deceased; Arminda who married Mr. JOHNSON; Selah married Betsy KINNEY; Samuel, now deceased, marr. Lucy WILTSEY; John, deceased, marr. Analeza BELL; Daniel married Pamelia FRENCH; Asa L., deceased, marr. Jerusha BELL; our subject, Joseph; Margaret, deceased, marr. Levi MANLY; George marr. Almeda YOUNG; James marr. Sarah STEPHENS and lives in this township and William marr. Rebecca RANSOM.
Joseph DIVINE spent his early years in his native county and was about 13 years old when his family moved to OH. He was in the prime of young manhood when the family arrived in Mich. His farm on section 6, Woodbridge Twp., comprises 40 acres of choice land, highly cultivated and capable of yielding large crops. He has a comfortable home and ample barns and farm equipment.
Mr. DIVINE has been married three times. His first wife was Amelia ALLEN, dau. of the well known first settler of Hillsdale Co., Capt. Moses ALLEN, who located here in 1827. They married in 1840 but their wedded life was brief for she died in 1842 leaving a son, Oscar A. Mr. Divine's second wife was Dorothy FISH, also the dau. of a pioneer family; she died without issue. On Nov. 11, 1884, Mr. Divine married Mrs. Lois B. STONE (nee MELENDY), widow of William B. STONE. By her first marriage she was the mother of Charles A. and Fred W. STONE. Charles married Sarah E. KEMP; Fred married Carrie B. CASS; both brothers are engaged in farming.
Mrs. DIVINE was born in Bainbridge, Chenango Co., NY, Jan. 15, 1831. Her parents were Norman and Sally S. (WELCH) MELENDY, natives, respectively, of VT and CT. The father was born in 1806, a farmer by occupation, and came to Mich. in 1845. He settled in Branch Co. where he died in 1855. His wife, who was born in 1810, is still living (1888) and is a member of the Presbyterian Church. She is the mother of the following children: Richmond, deceased; Daniel, living in Kansas; Squire W., deceased; Sarah S.; Emery G.; Edward N. died in the hospital at Annapolis, MD; Mary E.; Abby M.; and John M. Four of these were in the army and Richmond, who was a Judge of the Circuit Court in Branch Co., served four years as Capt. and Adjutant General of the 29th Indiana Regiment.
In his long and highly useful career our subject has shown himself to be in every respect above reproach. He has been prominent in educational matters and has held various township offices. In 1884, he was elected Representative to the State Legislature, his constituency embracing the voters of three counties, and he served there for two years. He was Chairman of the Committee on Religious and Benevolent Societies and also served on the Federal Relations Comm. and the Comm. for the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. He has been Justice of the Peace for several years. He is a member of the Republican Party and cast his first vote for Henry CLAY.

William DIVINE

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.824.

William DIVINE is at present a retired farmer living in comfortable circumstances in Cambria Mills. He established himself in the business of general merchandising here in 1880, continuing until 1885. Previously he had been the owner of a prosperous farm in Woodbridge Twp. which property he disposed of upon changing his occupation. He came to this county with his father in 1843 from Lucas Co., OH, having first moved there from NY, where his birth took place in the town of Sterling, Cayuga Co., on Mar. 11, 1830.
His father, Joseph DIVINE, a well-to-do farmer, traced his ancestry back to Germany. He was born in Eastern NY State where he received a good education. During the troubles of 1812 he was Captain of a company in the U.S. Army and met the enemy in several important engagements. In the battle at Otsego he was wounded in the leg by a ball from the enemy which, however, only disabled him for a brief time, but on account of which he afterward received a pension.
After the war was over, Joseph DIVINE settled in the Black River country and not long after was married to Esther WILMOTT who was a native of Long Island, NY, and of New England ancestry. She traced her descent back to the old Pilgrims and was justly proud of her lineage. The couple continued residents of the Empire State for some years. From the eastern part of the state they moved to Cayuga Co. where they lived for about 25 years.
From there, in 1832 or 1833, they emigrated to OH, settling in the woods of Lucas Co., not far from the present site of Toledo. Ten years later they left to join the early settlers of the young state of Michigan. Locating in Hillsdale Co., Joseph purchased 80 acres in Woodbridge Twp., in 1843, and here labored the remaining years of an unusually active life. After reaching the age of 86 he passed away about 1858. As a young man he was a staunch Whig and violently opposed to the institution of slavery. His good wife survived him but three years, dying also at the homestead, at the age of 77 years. They had lived respected by all who knew them and left to their children a record of which they will never be ashamed. Religiously, they were members of the Free Will Baptist Church.
William DIVINE was the youngest of a family of nine sons and three daughters, of whom only five sons are living. He grew up in Woodbridge Twp. and there married, in 1859, Miss Rebecca RANSOM who was born in NY about 1828 and came to Mich. with her parents, Hubbell and Sarah RANSOM, in 1841. They settled in the vicinity of the present site of Jonesville where they resided until their decease. Mrs. DIVINE took kindly to her books in her childhood days and began teaching school when little more than fourteen years old, being thus engaged until her marriage. Her death took place in 1873 at Mendon, St. Joseph Co., this state, where she had gone to receive medical treatment. She and William had two children: Clara M., now the wife of Henry STUMBALL, a successful farmer of Woodbridge Twp.; and Montgomery L. who married Eva COX and is engaged in farming.
The present wife of William DIVINE, to whom he was married in Cambria, was formerly Miss Marah M. CONE who was born in NY State and came with her parents to Mich. when just a child. She was married first to a Mr. SEAMAN and by him became the mother of one child, Stella, who is now the wife of Otis MARVIN, a farmer of Cambria Twp. Of the union with our subject there have been born four children: Myrtle M., Ruby M., Frank M. and Robert A., the oldest of whom is 12 years old and the youngest one. Mr. DIVINE is a zealous member of the Republican Party and has represented Woodbridge Twp. in the County Board of Supervisors for four years and served as Township Clerk for the same length of time. Both he and his wife belong to the Free Will Baptist Church, as also did the first lady who bore his name.

The DRAKE Family

Posted by Ron Wilson Jan 2002

Alonzo DRAKE (1846-1924) married Laura THORN (1851-1926) in August, 1868. Their children were Montgomery (1913-1963), Louisa, Morton, Albert, Hattie, and Ethel (1880-1973)
Ethel DRAKE WILSON was my grandmother; and Clair Henry WILSON was my grandfather. Clair married Ehtel DRAKE around WWI.
All the relatives up to an including Clair and Ethel WILSON, are buried in Likely's Corners (which I don't think exists anymore).

Prof. Warren A. DRAKE

From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale, MI, 1888, p.545.

Prof. Warren A. DRAKE, Superintendent of Schools of Hillsdale Co. and Secretary of the County Board of School Examiners, is admirably fitted for his present position to which he was called in 1887. He has made the cause of education a study for over 20 years and commenced his career as an instuctor in the famous Oberlin Commercial College of Ohio, with which institution he was connected for a period of five years before coming to Michigan. Soon after his arrival in Hillsdale Co. in 1867, he became connected with the commercial department of Hillsdale College, in which institution he remained for fourteen years, ten years of which he was Director of the city schools. During the same time he served as Supervisor of the First and Second Wards and has continuously been the incumbent of responsible offices, in connection with the public schools in this part of the State.
Prof. DRAKE was born in Trumball Co., OH, Mar. 9, 1843, the son of Aaron and Mary (WILLIAMS) DRAKE, both natives of NJ. They became residents of Ohio about 1820, before their marriage. After uniting their fortunes they settled upon a farm in Trumball Co. where they lived until the death of the father Aug. 22, 1855. They had a family of eight children, four of whom still survive.
Our subject spent the first 15 years of his life at the homestead in Trumball Co, making good use of his opportunities at the district schools. When 16 years old, he entered Hiram College, taking a three year course which fitted him for his duties as an instructor at Oberlin. Since becoming a resident of this county, in addition to the positions already mentioned, he has represented Hillsdale Co. twice before the State Board of Equalization, and in Dec. 1887, was elected President of the State Association of County Superintendents and School Examiners. He is also a member and Associate Secretary of the State Reading Circle Council.
Prof. DRAKE has been a member of the City Board of Education and, most of the time, Director of the district for the past nine years. He has served for the past three years as President of the Hillsdale Teachers Association and also as State Institute Instructor in other counties of Michigan. At Oberlin he was a member of the First Congregational Church but is now identified with the Presbyterian Church in Hillsdale, being one of its four Deacons.
On May 5, 1870, Mr. Drake was united in marriage with Miss Louise FALLEY, a daughter of Dr. John FALLEY, of Hillsdale, where she was born Feb. 11, 1848. They occupy a handsome home at the intersection of State and Salem Streets

submitted by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris

Franklin DUSH

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.973.

Franklin DUSH is classed among the model and well-to-do farmers and stock raisers of Hillsdale Co. His farm on section 9, Woodbridge Twp., is one of the finest in this vicinity. He was born in Licking Co., OH, July 2, 1841, and is the son of John and Drusilla (WOODRUFF) Dush who were also natives of OH, the father born in 1817 and the mother in 1820.
The father was of German descent, a farmer in occupation and a Democrat in politics. He died May 12, 1864, of consumption.
His first wife, the mother of our subject, died in Licking Co. in 1848. Of that union eight children were born: two died in infancy; Henry died in childhood; Isaac, who has been twice married, first to Miss Mesina HARDING and second to Miss Mary PETTITT; Franklin (our subject); Elgia died in infancy; Alexander and William. The second marriage of John Dush was to Miss Sarah TUTTLE by whom he had seven children, some of whom died in infancy. The remainder are as follows: Benjamin, Catherine who died aged 19 years, George, John and Mary J. and Sarah J., twins.
Franklin Dush grew to manhood in his native State and early started out in the world to make his own living, with no money in his pocket, but with plenty of pluck and determination to succeed in life. He is self-educated as his opportunities for schooling were very limited. For several years he was engaged in working by the month or by the job, and at last his steady industry and hard toil were rewarded. He gained a competency and was able to marry and establish a comfortable home with the woman of his choice, Miss Melissa MILES. They were married on Mrch 16, 1869.
She was born May 18, 1853, and is the daughter of Stephen W. and Lovina W. (GRAY) Miles, both natives of OH. The father was born in 1821 and is still living in Licking Co., OH, pursuing his vocation as farmer. His first wife, the mother of Mrs. Dush, to whom he was married in 1851, died in 1856, leaving but one child. By his second marriage he has one child, William, who lives in OH. To Mr. and Mrs. Dush have been born four children, namely: Alice M., Albert S., John F. and William H.
After marriage Franklin Dush purchased a farm in his native State which he successfully and profitably managed for several years. In 1882 he disposed of his property in OH and removed with his family to this State, locating at that time on his present farm, and has ever since been a valued resident of Woodbridge Twp. He has a good farm of 120 acres in a fine state of cultivation and has a substantial and roomy dwelling. He is in the process of erecting a very large brick barn; it is 30 X 56 feet with 18 foot posts and a gambrel roof. Mr. D. is regarded as a fair-minded and honest man and is well-respected by all who know him. In politics he strongly favors the doctrines of the Democratic party.
Submitted by Katherine Paty, Tempe, AZ

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