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.
George R. Fitzsimmons *
Uriah C. Fitzsimmons *
Andrew B. Fleming *
Richard Fogg *
John French *
William French *
Sidney O. Fuller
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, p. 806 Chapman Brothers , Chicago © 1888
GEORGE R. FITZSIMMONS, son of one of the earliest pioneers of Hillsdale County, is located on the old homestead on
section 26, Reading Township, and operates 240 acres of good land. He was born at this place, Aug. 23, 1849, and is the son of the
well-known John Fitzsimmons, who came to Michigan with his father's family in March, 1837.
John Fitzsimmons was born in Dundee, Yates Co., N. Y., Sept. 5, 1818. He was the son of George Fitzsimmons, who was
also a native of the Empire State, and was nineteen years of age when the family came to Michigan; the grandfather, George, had already
purchased a quarter-section of wild land which is now included in the present farm, and John came to this section, accompanied by his
father. Later, the mother with the remainder of the family, set out with ox-teams, taking with them their earthly effects, and came
via the Canada route, the mother engineering the train successfully, and in due time joining her husband and son, on the 2d of June,
1837. A little log house had been provided for their reception. This was completed April 19 of that same year. John had the honor of
cutting down the first tree on the farm, while at the same time his father felled another, and the stump of the first stood to show the
first mark of their axes in this county until a few years ago. The log cabin, a few years later, was substituted by something of more
modern style, but a board from it is still preserved by our subject, as one of the old relics of his grandfather's house. George
Fitzsimmons continued a resident here until his death, which took place Oct. 10, 1870, after he had arrived at the advanced age of
Grandfather Fitzsimmons had been a hard-working man, and became owner of 560 acres of land, most of which he brought to
a productive condition, and eighty of which now lie within the limits of Reading Village. Upon it stands the depot of the Lake Shore &
Michigan Southern Railroad, and also the sash, door and blind factory built by the citizens of the town. Later, he and his son John
gave the sum of $2,300, besides the right of way, as an inducement for the railroad to pass through this place. George Fitzsimmons was
prominent in township affairs, represented Reading Township in the County Board of Supervisors for a number of years, and officiated as
Justice of the Peace sixteen consecutive years. He was elected to represent the county in the State Legislature, and subsequently was
a Senator. He was a lifelong Democrat, politically, and possessed all the elements of an honest man and a good citizen. In his death
the county lost one of its best men.
The paternal grandmother of our subject, whose maiden name was Lydia Raplee, died upon the same day that Zach Chandler
died, and was past eighty years of age. She was a remarkable woman in many respects, as her journey from New York to Michigan through
a wild, unsettled country and alone, save for her children, fairly indicates. She was familiarly and affectionately known as "Aunt
Lydia" throughout this section, and was a favorite among both old and young. Both she and her husband were members of the Regular
Baptist Church, and contributed largely to its establishment and maintenance in Reading. The church edifice is one of the largest in
this part of the county, and is really an imposing structure, and stands as a fitting monument to the liberality and piety of George
Fitzsimmons and his estimable wife.
John Fitzsimmons, the father of our subject, inherited largely of the qualities of both parents, being healthy both in
body and mind, and growing up thus amid the influence of pure home surroundings, became well fitted for the responsible duties which
fell to his lot in life. He was twice married, his first wife being Rachel, the daughter of Roswell Merryman, their wedding taking
place in Hillsdale County. Of this union there was one child, who died young in years. Mrs. Rachel Fitzsimmons departed hence over
forty years ago. His second wife, Charlotte A. Merryman, by name, was a sister of the first, and became the mother of four children,
three of whom survive, namely: George R., of our sketch; John F.; and a daughter, Georgia, now Mrs. Burch, of Reading.
During his entire residence in this county John Fitzsimmons was prominently identified with its various interests, and
especially with those of his own township. Being a Democrat in politics, and his party in the minority, he held public office but
seldom, aside from those within the gift of his fellow-townsmen. His personal popularity, however, was great, and was particularly
manifested upon one occasion when he was the candidate for the Legislature at a special election to fill a vacancy, and with the
exception of three, received every vote polled in his township, and in the county, with a Republican majority of 2,800, was beaten by
only twenty-three. One man boasted of having worked his way five or six miles on a hand-car to cast his vote for so good a man as John
It was in the service of his community that the health of Mr. Fitzsimmons first began to fail, and the disease
contracted which ultimately resulted in his death, which took place Feb. 8, 1887, when in the sixty-ninth year of his age. In his
efforts at securing and building tie railroad through this place. he was subjected to exposure night and day frequently, and at times
deprived of his natural rest, and he gave fully as freely of his substance as he (lid his time and services in building up his adopted
county. He was identified with every enterprise for advancing the interests of Reading 'Township, contributing toward the building of
every church and other public building erected in the village of Reading, which in fact is indebted to him for its very existence, and
it is a singular fact that while lie worked so arduously for the interests of the community, no one ever attributed to him a selfish
So great was the confidence of the community in the integrity of John Fitzsimmons, that at the erection of the Colby
Factory he was constituted one of four comprising the building committee, from its inception until its completion. From the laying of
the first State road to Hillsdale, on which he took a contract; the first plank road organization, the securing of the railroad through
Reading, the erection of all public buildings, he was always the trusted, useful, active citizen, one of the first to be consulted in
the inauguration of any new project, and whose judgment was uniformly held in respect. He was several times President of the County
Agricultural Society, and at the darkest hour of its existence he and Col. Holloway were the two men who put their shoulders to the
wheel and brought it to success.
In making the journey from New York to this county, John Fitzsimmons, with his father, came on foot from Rose to
Fairport, Ohio, thence by boat to Detroit, and thence, via Jonesville, to the spot where is now the Fitzsimmons homestead, and spent
their first night with the family of John Mickle, near by. The next morning they made their way to their new location by aid of trees
marked by the Government survey, and selected as a building site the knoll a little to the southwest of the four corners, one mile east
of what is now Reading Village, and commenced clearing a place to put up a log house. Here Mr. Fitzsimmons elected to stay, and here
conmenced the career which was so honorable, and the close of which was so deeply mourned by the entire community. Notwithstanding
the day of his funeral was very stormy, the air full of rain, and the roads in some places almost impassable, a large concourse of
people gathered to pay the last tribute of respect to him who had been their friend in such a marked manner. The large house and its
adjoining buildings were filled with people, and the funeral rites were taken part in by Eureka Commandery, A. F. & A. M., with which
the deceased brother had been connected for many years as a member of Reading Lodge No. 117. The Knights Templar had charge of the
funeral. An address was delivered by Rev. G. M. Adams, of the Baptist Church, with which Mr. Fitzsimmons had been identified since
early manhood. He was created a Royal Arch Mason, Nov. 27, 1863, and a Knight Templar, June 17, 1864.
Mrs. Fitzsimmons only survived her husband one year, a month and two days, her decease taking place March 10, 1888.
She was born in Clinton County, N. Y., March 15, 1828, and came to Michigan with her father's family in 1839, they settling first in
Fayette Township, and thence removing to Reading the following year. She was one of a family of eleven children, four of whom survive
her, namely: Edwin L. and Julia C. Merryman, Mrs. Cornelia Thompson, and Mrs. Mary Merryman, all of Reading. She was married to John
Fitzsimmons in 1848, and as a pioneer wife and mother, was the fit companion of such a man as her husband.
Mrs. Fitzsimmons spent Sunday, March 4, with her son, John F., in her usual health. On Thursday following she was
poorly, but went about her work as usual, preserving her old-time habits of industry. Friday morning she remarked to her daughter she
would not get up to breakfast, but did not wish a physician sent for. A physician was called, however, without her knowledge,
although no one believed her to be in a dangerous condition. She did not rise as she expected, and before 1 o'clock the same day it
was evident that she was stricken with death. Her son, J. F., was telegraphed for, and all the children were with her at the time of
her death, which occurred at 12:45, just twelve hours after she was believed to be in danger. Thus within the short space of little
over one year had passed away two people, whose history had been closely interwoven with that of Reading Township, and for whom the
entire community mourned.
George R. Fitzsimmons was reared in Reading Township, and completed his education at Hillsdale College, after an
attendance there of four years. He has always been fond of agriculture, in which he excels, both in general farming and stock-
raising. He made his home with his parents until his marriage, and took for his wife one of the most estimable young ladies of Reading
Township, Miss Clara B. Stone, to whom he was married Oct. 27, 1873. He brought his bride to the old homestead, and they are now the
parents of six children, namely: Carrie C., Maude C., Mabel V., Grace R., Hazel B. and Eva F. They are a bright and intelligent
little group, and pursuing their studies in the Reading schools.
Mrs. Clara B. Fitzsimmons was born in Burlington, Vt., July 29, 1854; her education was completed when she was eighteen
years of age, at Waterbury, Vt., and before that time she was deprived of the care of her father by death. He was a native of Vermont,
and died in 1869. The mother lives in Burlington, Vt.
John F. Fitzsimmons, the brother of our subject, was graduated, like the latter, from Hillsdale College, and
subsequently took a course in the law department of Michigan State University, at Ann Arbor. Having in view the practice of law, he
was admitted to the bar, and practiced until failing health compelled him to retire. He married Miss Lizzie Gilmore, of Hillsdale,
and is now engaged in the agricultural implement trade at Hillsdale, and is also a successful farmer. They have one child, a son,
Orville G. Burch, the husband of Georgia A., the sister of our subject, operates a part of the homestead. Mrs. B.
completed her education in Hillsdale College, from which she was graduated with honors in the class of '72. She is the mother of one
child, a daughter, Lora A. The sons of John Fitzsimmons, politically, have followed in
the footsteps of their honored father, being solid in Democratic principles.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, p. 767 Chapman Brothers , Chicago © 1888
URIAH C. FITZSIMMONS. It is said that a small farm well tilled is better than a large one partially neglected. This appears to be true after an examination of the beautiful farm on which the subject of this sketch resides, on section 24, of Reading Township. Although it consists of only forty acres of land, it has been brought into such a high state of cultivation, while its appointments are so complete and its every foot of land so systematically utilized, as to yield to its owner a bountiful reward for his good management. It is supplied with a beautiful residence, flanked by commodious out-buildings, and is in all respects a model country home. Here Mr. Fitzsimmons has made his residence since the spring of 1865, and with his amiable and accomplished wife is spending his days enjoying the happiness which a good conscience and a contented mind invariably bring.
The subject of this notice was born on the old Fitzsimmons homestead, in this township, Dec. 11, 1837, and was reared to farm life, remaining with his parents until he reached his majority. He was the foster-son of Hon. George Fitzsimmons, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this ALBUM. Our subject was educated in the common schools of his township, and was united in marriage, at the home of the bride, in Camden Township, Jan. 1, 1859, with Miss Elsie M. Dawson. Mrs. Fitzsimmons was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dec. 25, 1837, and is the daughter of James and Margaret (Kyser) Dawson, both of whom are now deceased. The father died in Camden Township, Nov. 7, 1884, at the age of seventy-four years, while the mother passed away May 3, 1860, when forty-eight years of age. Mr. Dawson came to Branch County, in this State, in 1842, and settled on a new farm in Algansee Township, but a few years later he removed to Camden Township, where he secured a home of eighty-seven acres of land, and there spent the remainder of his life. He was born in the State of Pennsylvania, and when yet quite young removed to Ohio with his parents, who settled near the city of Cleveland, where his mother died. The father subsequently removed to Illinois, and made his home at Mt. Vernon until his decease, which occurred when he was within three days of being one hundred years old; his wife died at the age of forty years.
James Dawson was reared to manhood near Cleveland, Ohio, and was there united in marriage with Margaret Jane Kyser, a native of Pennsylvania, and the daughter of James Kyser. Mr. Kyser in later years removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he died at the advanced age of ninety years. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth J. Adams, was a native of Connecticut, and came of New England parentage. She also died at Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of eighty-seven years. She was for many years a member in good standing of the Methodist Church, and was a good Christian woman, a living example of the faith which she professed. James Dawson and wife were active members of the United Brethren Church for many years, and adorned the sphere of life in which they were placed.
Mrs. Fitzsimmons, of this notice, received a good education in the schools of this county, and was for some time before her marriage engaged in the occupation of a school teacher. She has borne to her husband three children, one of whom died in infancy. Of the others, Vincent J. resides at home and has completed his education in Reading, while Bernice is also residing at home, and will soon graduate from the same institution. Mr. Fitzsimmons has a twin brother, Luther, yet living, and they are the only surviving members of the family. Luther is a hardware merchant in Reading, where he carries on a good business.
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzsimmons attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, and contribute of their means to its support, while in politics Mr. F. is a Democrat. He and his amiable wife are genial and intelligent people, with whom it is a pleasure to converse, and enjoy in a large degree the confidence of the good people among whom they reside.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p. 922
NOTE: This following info is an extract of the biographical sketch.
Andrew B. FLEMING, a respected farmer of Cambria Twp., departed this life on 10/11/1884. He was the industrious owner of a good farm of 96 acres located on sections 25 and 26.
He was born in Whiteford Twp., Monroe Co., MI on 2/7/1839. He was still a child when his father, Samuel Fleming, purchased a farm in Ransom Twp. Hillsdale Co. In 1852 Samuel sold out and moved his family to Cambria Twp.
Samuel was a carpenter by trade, which he followed as well as farming. He met a painful death, being thrown from a fractious horse and sustaining internal injuries, his death taking place seven hours after the accident, in the fall of 1856.
His widow, whose maiden name was Catherine TANNER, was still living in 1888, aged 81 years, at the home of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. R. J. WYLLYS.
Andrew FLEMING grew up and was educated in Hillsdale Co. His first marriage, in Cambria Twp., was to Julia A. SEBRING, who died in 1873, leaving one child, a son Clarence.
Clarence married Lulu SLACK and they lived in Cambria Mills.
Andrew Fleming's second wife, whom he married in Jefferson Twp. on 12/13/1877, was Kate M. SUTTON. She was b. 9/29/1854 in Jefferson Twp., the dau. of Henry F. and Elizabeth (PHILLIPS) SUTTON, who were natives of Seneca Co., NY and who were reared and married in Romulus, NY.
In 1844 they came to Mich., locating first in Washtenaw Co. but in 1851 removed to Jefferson Twp. where they lived until 1863. They then moved to Hilldale where they lived for 12 years and where the death of Mr. Sutton took place 2/4/1867, at the age of 46 years.
He was a capable business man and an honored citizen but suffered much from ill health during his later years. Mrs. Sutton was still living in 1888, aged 63 years, and made her home with her daughter, Mrs. R. J. Wyllys. Mrs. Sutton was a member of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Sutton was a Mason.
They were the parents of five children, three of whom were living in 1888. Their eldest, John T., died of typhoid fever in Lexington, KY. He was 19 years old and had seen considerable active fighting.
Mrs. Kate (SUTTON) FLEMING, subsequently Mrs. R. J. WYLLYS, was the mother of two daughters by her first husband. Maude L., b. 9/30/1882 and Araminta B. Fleming, b. 6/10/1884.
After the death of Andrew Fleming, in Oct. 1884, she married Rufus Jay WYLLYS on 9/24/1887 in Woodbridge Twp. Mr. Wyllys was b. in Cambria Twp. on 4/22/1862 where he was educated and became a farmer.
They were the parents of Marrietta R., b. 9/23/1888; Anna E., b. 1/31/1892 and Rufus Kay Wyllys, b. 1/30/1898.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, p. 987 Chapman Brothers , Chicago © 1888
Richard FOGG, farmer, is a fair representative of the industrial element of Hillsdale County. He is of sturdy English stock, and was born in Yorkshire, England, Oct. 21, 1809. He grew to manhood in his native country, where he learned the trade of cartwright, which, however, he has never made any practical use of.
At the age of twenty-three years he decided to emigrate to American, therefore, in the spring of 1831 we find him en route for Quebec. His stay in that city was short, his next stopping-place being Montreal. From there our subject proceeded to Fulton, Oswego Co., N.Y., where he remained there or four years, engaged, first in building canal boats, and subsequently as a millwright.
In 1835 Mr. FOGG turned his steps westward, and coming to this State secured work in Manchester, Washtenaw County, as a millwright, and assisted in building the first flouring-mill of that place. The next season that work was repeated in Jackson County, the town of Concord, where he assisted in the erection of a similar structure, the first in that place. He followed that trade for some years, and during the time assisted in building thirteen mills in Southern Michigan.
In 1842, desiring to establish himself permanently, where he could enjoy the comforts of a home, Mr. FOGG came to Hillsdale County, and purchased 160 acres of land on section 19, Scipio Township, where he settled and has since resided.
As mistress of his household, our subject installed a most estimable young lady, Miss Ann WELBOURN, to whom he was united in marriage in White Pigeon Mich., Feb 8, 1844. She was born in Yorkshire, England, March 3, 1818, and came to the United States with her parents in 1836. They landed in New York, and proceeded by the Erie Canal and lake to Detroit and from there to White Pigeon by wagon, the latter part of their journey consuming nine days.
By their union Mr. and Mrs. FOGG have become the parents of two children - William T. and John F. William married a Miss DELBRIDGE of Albion, and they reside in Scipio Township; John F., who resides in Fayette Township, married Miss Anna SHELDON.
Since becoming possessor of his farm, Mr. Fogg has erected substantial and commodious buildings, and made many other valuable improvements, having now 100 acres of his land cleared, which yields him rich returns for his labors. In the pursuance of his chosen occupation our subject has used good judgment and skill, and has shown himself to be an able and practical farmer. He is now passing his declining years in the enjoyment of a competency, which he has secured by prompt and careful attention to business and unremitting toil.
His good wife, who, during the long years of their wedded life, has faithfully labored by his side, is now sharing with him the recompense of their work. By the people among whom they have lived for so many years they are truly respected and esteemed for their many sterling traits of character. In politics the republican party finds in Mr. Fogg and earnest advocate of its principles.
From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p. 888.
NOTE: This is an extract of the original sketch.
John FRENCH was the son of one of the earliest pioneers of Hillsdale Co., Joseph French, who came to the Terr. of Mich. in 1834. For the last year he has been operating as a farmer and stock-raiser in Cambria Twp., occupying the old homestead built up by his father on section 23.
John was born 9/19/1852, in Cambria Twp. His father, Joseph, improved a large farm of 195 acres, grubbing out the stumps, preparing the soil and erecting the buildings. Joseph is still living (1888), is retired from farming and living comfortably in Hillsdale.
The maiden name of John's mother was SEAMAN and the parental household included eight children. The mother is now deceased, as is one of the children. John French spent most of his life on the homestead where he now lives. He was educated in district schools.
On 2/21/1875, he married Alice C. OSBORN, a native of Cambria Twp., where she was born 9/28/1857. Her parents were William H. and Margaret (LEWIS) Osborn, the father a native of OH and the mother of MI.
Mr. and Mrs. Osborn were married in Amboy Twp., Hillsdale Co., where they still live on the farm of 80 acres upon which they settled about 1877. They had three sons
and one daughter, Mrs. French being the eldest born. Her three brothers are all residents of MI.
Alice grew up and was educated in Amboy Twp. After their marriage, John and Alice located on a farm on section 27,
Cambria Twp., where they lived until 1887 and then took possession of the old homestead belonging to his father.
Their children are William J., born 5/13/1877 and Arthur B., born 3/4/1884. Mr. French is affiliated with the Republican Party.
From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p.874.
William FRENCH was an early pioneer in this area, having come here with his family when Michigan was still a territory.
William was born 10/5/1812 in Leicestershire, England. His father was Thomas French, a native of the same county. His
mother was Sarah PAYNE. She also was born in Leicestershire, and died there in her middle years, leaving a family of seven children.
Thomas French subsequently married Harriet PINE and brought his family to the U. S. in 1828. They located first in
Erie Co., PA, near the town of Erie, where Thomas farmed for six years.
In 1834 they removed to Southern Michigan and located in Fayette Twp., Hillsdale Co., upon a tract of government land. He soon sold this and moved to another location in
the same township. Not long after, he moved again, finally settling permanently in Scipio Twp. He died there at the age of 78 years.
His wife, Sarah, survived him by a few years and then died at their homestead. Thomas and Sarah were both members
of the Church of England.
William French owns and occupies a tract of 80 acres on section 13, Cambria Twp. When he first acquired it in 1836, it was a solid piece of timberland. He did not locate upon it immediately, however, but lived in and around Hillsdale and Jonesville, working at whatever he found to do.
In 1845 he settled upon his land and successfully occupied himself with its improvement and cultivation. In 1835 he also entered 80 acres on section 29 of Jefferson Twp. which, however, he never lived upon.
In the spring of 1864, William considered himself ready to establish a home of his own and on April 5 of that year he married Clarissa BATES of Fayette Twp.
She was born 8/10/1820 in Perry Twp., Geauga Co., OH. Her parents were Caleb and Maria (WHITE) Bates, both natives of Mass. whence they emigrated early in life to the Terr. of Ohio and were there married.
They settled in Geauga Co. and lived there several years before moving to the Terr. of Michigan in Feb. 1835. Mr. Bates took up a tract of 240 acres in Fayette Twp. There he lived and labored to establish a comfortable home for his family and it was there that he died in 1854, aged 63 years. His wife survived him by some years and died at the family home when she was 64 years of age.
William and Clarissa had no children but have gained much satisfaction from their comfortable property and active life. They enjoy the confidence and esteem of their neighbors. William cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson and has since been a staunch Democrat. He represented Cambria Twp. on the County Board of Supervisors for three successive terms and has held the office of Highway Commissioner.
Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Elon G. Reynolds, editor. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co
2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903)- p 426-27 (photo plate)
Charles E FULLER
Born: 8 Aug 1834, Onondaba Co NY
Parents: Reuben J FULLER (of NY, died 1894) and Sara A. ALLEN (of MA, died 1871)
Married: Miss Phebe E BURGER (parents Benanciel & Almyra BURGER, died 1897) 1856
Died: after 1903
Children: Mary A. FULLER (married J.T. WINCH of NY); W. Eugene FULLER; Charles H FULLER; Helen G FULLER; Edwin S FULLER (of Toledo OH).
Other Info: Reuben and family came to Michigan in 1836. Reuben remarried Mrs. Axie LOCKLIN (died 1896) Reuben involved in Underground Railroad.
Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Elon G. Reynolds, editor. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co
2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903)- p 371-72
Comfortably located on an excellent farm on section 34, in Cambria township, which comprises eighty acres of, fertile and well tilled land, and is provided with substantial and convenient buildings of ample capacity, Sidney O. FULLER, one of the "old-timers," and skillful and progressive farmers of the township, is passing the evening of his life in cheerfulness and peace, secure against the adverse winds of fortune and well established in the confidence and esteem of his fellow men.
He is a native of Washington county, New York, born on June 18, 1823, and was reared and educated in his native county, receiving there a common school education and also learning on his father's farm lasting lessons of industry and frugality.
There also he was united in marriage with Miss Miranda FULLER, a native of the same county. His parents were Cornelius and Lydia (FRENCH) FULLER, both children of Revolutionary heroes.
His maternal grandfather, John FRENCH, was captured by the Indians while serving in the Colonial army and was held in captivity by his savage tormentors for three years. He finally escaped by creeping through the forest and wet swamps at night, going three days without food, but he was very soon thereafter taken prisoner again by another tribe, later escaping from his second captors in the same manner as before.
When the War of 1812 began he again shouldered his musket and fought gallantly in that contest against the enemies of his country.
Cornelius FULLER grew to manhood in New York state and learned his trade as a carpenter. He was drafted in the War of 1812, and served the required time with credit and courage. His family numbered ten children, of whom Sidney was the ninth born.
In 1845 he came with his parents and three others of their ten children to Michigan and settled with them on a tract of new and unbroken land near Woodbridge township, in this county. They remained on this land a few years, then sold it and bought another tract in the same neighborhood.
A little later they removed to Woodbridge township, and here both parents died, the mother at middle age in 1853, and the father in 1865, when about seventy. He was a republican in political faith in the closing years of his life and the mother was a devout member of the Baptist church.
Mr. Sidney O. Fuller's own life has passed wholly amid the elevating and tranquilising pursuits of agriculture, and more than fifty of its best years have been given to the development and improvement of this county. He came here when the whole section was a wilderness and has lived to see it rejoicing in the products of peace and cultivated life, full well advanced on a career of prosperity and commercial, agricultural, educational and moral greatness, that may well make him justly proud of his share in working out the beneficent results of the systematic labor which has been expended upon it.
He and his wife were the parents of two children, Danvers and Matilda, who died young. They then adopted as their own, Albert E. FULLER, a son of Samuel FULLER, whom they carefully reared and educated. When he reached years of maturity, on May 3, 1887, he married with Miss Mary MCNAMARA, a native of Stoughton, Mass., and a daughter of John and Mary MCNAMARA, who came to Michigan while she was yet a child. They have one child, Eugene, who is living at home.
On this family the shadow of the Civil War, which almost rent our country in twain, rested heavily. Mrs. Fuller's father, John MCNAMARA, was a soldier in the Union army and died a wretched prisoner amid the horrors of captivity at Andersonville, and Albert E. Fuller's father, Samuel, and brother James, who were both members of the Tenth Michigan Infantry, also died in the service, the former from exposure and the latter from wounds received in battle. The father was buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga.
Sidney O. Fuller's faithful and devoted wife, after walking life's troubled way with him for more than half a century, died on December 26, 1896, and since that time he has been quietly waiting for his own final summons, serene in the retrospect of a well spent life and peaceful in the hope of a blessed immortality.
He has long been a Republican in politics, but has throughout his life resisted all importunities to accept official stations of every kind. He is a zealous and consistent member of the Baptist church, as was his wife during her lifetime, and his good work in church affairs has been extensive, wisely applied and intelligently appreciated. He is venerated as a patriarch among his people. His name is a household word for all that is worthy in manhood, upright in business, inspiring in example.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale County, Mich., Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888, pg. 804-805.
SIDNEY O. FULLER
The well-appointed farm of this thrifty citizen of Cambria Township is finely located on section 34, and comprises eighty acres of good land, with convenient and substantial buildings. It has been the property of Mr. FULLER since the summer of 1874.
He came to this locality from Pine River, Gratiot County, this State, to which latter place he had removed from Woodbridge Township, this county, in 1862. In Pine River he improved two farms, and at one time had considerable property in the town of Homer, Calhoun County.
Washington County, N. Y., was the early tramping ground of our subject, and where his birth took place in Washington Township, June 18, 1823. His father, Cornelius FULLER, a farmer and carpenter by trade, was also a native of the Empire State, and the son of Vassel FULLER, an old Revolutionary soldier who officiated as Quartermaster during the time of his service in the army.
After the independence of the Colonists had been established he located in Washington County, N. Y., where his death took place at a ripe old age. He had married after settling in New York a lady of that State, who survived her husband one year, and died near Ft. Edward, also at an advanced age.
Cornelius FULLER grew to manhood in his native State, and learned the trade of carpenter. During the War of 1812, he was drafted into the army, and served the required time. He married Miss Lydia FRENCH, of Washington, whose father, John FRENCH, was a Revolutionary soldier, and was twice captured by the Indians, being with them three years. During this time he exerted himself to make his escape, and finally succeeded by creeping through heavy timber and through swamps in the night time, going three days without food. He was not long a free man, however, being overtaken by another tribe of redskins, from whom he escaped in a similar manner.
He spent his last years in Schullerville, N. Y., where he was engaged as a miller, and died at an advanced age. In the meantime, however, he had shouldered his musket again, and fought the enemies of his country in the War of 1812.
After marriage the parents of our subject settled on a farm near Lawrenceberg, Warren Co., N. Y., whence they removed to Saratoga County, later to Washington County, and finally Wayne County. About 1845 the parents and four of their ten children came to Michigan, and located on a tract of new land near Woodbridge Township, where they lived a few years, then sold, and purchased again in the same locality,
The mother died about 1853 in middle life, in Woodbridge Township. Cornelius FULLER spent his last years in Woodbridge Township, passing away in 1865, when about seventy years of age. He was a Republican during the last years of his life, and the mother was a devout member of the Baptist Church. Three of their children are now living, (1888) and residents mostly of Michigan.
Sidney O. FULLER was the ninth child of his parents, and in common with his brothers and sisters acquired a common-school education, and was reared to habits of industry. He was married, in New York State, to Miss Marinda FULLER, who was born and reared in Washington County, N. Y., and by her union with our subject became the mother of two children, Danvers and Matilda, who both died young.
They have now an adopted son, Albert E. FULLER, who is married, and lives on a farm in Cambria Township. Mr. FULLER is a man of intelligence, and keeps himself well posted on current events, although steadily declining to become an office-holder, for the responsibilities of which his townsmen have considered him eminently fitted, and have often desired him to take.
He votes the straight Republican ticket, and, with his estimable wife, is a member in good standing of the Baptist Church.
submitted by former MIGenWeb County Coodinator, Tracey Morris
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This page was last updated Wednesday, 15-Oct-2014 15:32:35 MDT
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