Biographies
I-J

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.



John C. ILES * Harvey E. Jerrells



John C. ILES

Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Elon G. Reynolds ed. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903) page 154-156 [NOTE: this is an abstract of the original article.]

John C. ILES was born 25 Nov 1824 near the city of Leeds, in Yorkshire, England. His parents were William B. ILES and Elizabeth CHAPELOW.
Elizabeth died before William and the family (John and an unnamed sister) came to the colonies in 1831. They lived in New York City, then William got involved in a woolen manufactory in New Jersey. The venture failed, and the family moved to Rochester, New York where William worked as the head miller in a flour mill. The family then moved to Detroit, where he cut and shaped mill stones.
In about 1845, the family moved to Jonesville, Hillsdale County, where William worked for Mr. DOWLING as a miller. At some point [unmentioned in the biography] William remarried Elizabeth RICHMOND and had 2 daughters with her. As of 1903 2 of John's sisters had passed away [unclear whether they were his full sister and/or half-sisters]. William and Elizabeth were still living as of 1903.
John inherited land from his father "at the age of majority" [16? 18?] and cleared additional land for a total of 250 acres. He also built all the fences and buildings on the land.
John's first marriage was to Jane WEST in 1855. Jane was from Chautauqua Co. NY and was born in 1831. They had seven children: William A.F. and Frank "leading farmers of this township"; Nina E, deceased; La Vergne, living in Litchfield Twp; Kate E. living with her family; Nellie M. married O. BOWEN of Chicago Ill.; and Fred W.
Jane died 30 May 1883. On 27 Jun 1894, John ILES married Elizabeth C. HARRIS, daughter of Orlando HARRIS and Ann MOREY. She was the widow of Joseph WALSH and the mother of four sons and 1 daughter.
John ILES served in the Civil War - enlisting in 1861 in Company C, First Michigan Infantry. He participated in the battles of Mechanicsburg Va., Savage Station, Fair Oaks, Gaines Mills and Malvern Hill, among others. He was discharged after 18 months for disabilities incurred in the line of duty. He received a pension.
John was a member of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), Quincy Post.

Submitted by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris
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Harvey E. JERRELLS

From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale, MI, 1888, p.786.

Harvey E. JERRELLS of Pittsford Twp. is comfortably located on a good farm of 100 acres situated on section 11. He is a native of this State, born in Rome Twp., Lenawee Co., July 22, 1846. His father, David Jerrells, was born April 18, 1806, in CT. The paternal Grandfather, Ebenezer Jerrells, followed the sea for a number of years, and was also a skilled mechanic. After the invention of the cotton gin he went South where he engaged in the manufacture of this implement. About 1823 he removed to NY State and, locating in Monroe Co., purchased a tract of timber land not far from where the town of Perrinton now stands. There he spent the remainder of his days. His wife, born Nancy RUSSELL, was also a native of CT and died at the homestead near Perrinton.

David Jerrells grew up and and lived in his native county until 1832 when he emigrated to the Terr. of Mich. He located first in Medina Twp., Lenawee Co., but in the fall of '32 entered a tract of land on section 21, Rome Twp., upon which he erected a log shanty where he kept bachelor's hall until his marriage. After this event he put up a more substantial log house and it was here that our subject was born. The home was fashioned after the manner of those days, with a chimney of dirt and sticks, and the mother did her cooking by the open fireplace. She also spun wool and flax out of which she maufactured the cloth used by her family. The father labored bravely with the difficulties of a new soil and an underdeveloped country and lived to enjoy the comforts of the fine homestead he built up, passing quietly from this earth in May 1884 at a ripe old age. The mother, who in her girlhood was Miss Alice LUTHER, was born in Plattsburg, NY, in 1812, daughter of William and Elma (ALLEN) Luther, who later came to this State and were among the pioneers of Rome Twp. She is still living with her son Charles at Rome Center on the old homestead. The children of this couple included four sons and three daughters, six of whom lived to mature years and are all residents of this State.

Our subject was the fourth born in his family and, like his brothers and sisters, was educated in the public schools. He was 18 years old upon the outbreak of the Rebellion and on Aug. 25, 1862, enlisted in Co. B, 18th Mich. Infantry, and served until Dec. 1863, when he was compelled to accept his honorable discharge on account of disability. He had seen considerable of war in the States of Kentucky, Tennesee and Alabama. Upon his return from the army, Mr. Jerrells sought the Pacific Slope and engaged in butchering on Mormon Island, Sacramento, for two years. Then, returning home, he worked with his father until his marriage in 1866. Soon afterward he removed to a tract of land near Sturgis, St. Joseph Co., where he carried on farming for three years. He was then able to invest in 40 acres of land on section 27 in Pittsford Twp., this county, where he operated three years, then sold out and purchased 80 acres in Rome Twp., Lenawee Co. This he also occupied three years, then removed to Hudson, and, after a year's residence there, purchased his present homestead. The lady who has shared his home and fortunes since Nov. 4, 1866, was formerly Miss Matilda E. BRITTON, who was born in Pittsford Twp., Sept. 14, 1848. Their only child is a son, Ora B., born May 22, 1874.

Richard Britton, the father of Mrs. Jerrells and one of the earliest settlers of Pittsford Twp., was born in Ovid, Seneca Co., NY, the son of Richard Britton, Sr., who was a native of England. The latter emigrated to NY State in the pioneer days of Seneca Co., the move being made with an ox-cart. Grandfather Britton drove a cow along, which kept the family in milk during the journey. Upon arrival, Mr. Britton, purchased a tract of timberland, near which afterward sprang up the town of Ovid, and where he resided until 1833. Then selling out he and his wife started for the Terr. of Mich. via the Erie Canal and Lake. At Detroit they waited for their three sons who came overland by team. The family being reunited, then proceeded to Washtenaw Co., settling first in Superior Twp. In 1834, the father and two sons, one of whom was Richard, Jr., started on foot to explore Bean Creek Valley. He selected 640 acres in Pittsford Twp., journeyed on foot to Monroe to enter his land, and from there back to Washtenaw Co. for his family. This land he occupied until his death, about 1845. The maiden name of his wife was Abigail HAND, a native of NJ. She spent the last years of her life in this county at the home of her daughter, Phebe DeLONG.

Richard Britton, Jr., spent his early years amid the scenes of pioneer life in Washtenaw Co., living with his parents until his marriage on Aug. 28, 1836. The bride and groom at once started for their new home in Pittsford Twp., the land of which at that time was heavily timbered. As yet there was not even a road cut to their property. He erected a log cabin which was their home as he began clearing his land. After he had prepared a small tract he walked to Adrian to purchase some young apple trees which he conveyed home on his back and planted. Some of these trees are still standing and in good bearing condition. He lived and labored here until his death on Nov. 19, 1875. During his lifetime he secured to a marked degree the friendship and respect of all who knew him. The mother survived her husband and was subsequently married. Her sketch, as Mrs. Ellen (COLLINS) BARKMAN, appears elsewhere in this volume.

Submitted by Katherine Wyllys Paty
Tempe, AZ


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