This page contains biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Hillsdale County residents.
The majority come from pre-1923 published sources as cited in the sketch.
Montgomery Mackey *
Erwin S. Marsh *
John MarvinN *
Manley MaxonN *
John McDonough *
Captain Lucien Meigs *
Morris I. Meigs *
Judge William Mercer *
William W. Mercer *
Judge John Mickle
Chester MoreyY *
William H. Morey *
D.E.(Daniel) Murray *
Elisha Murray *
William H. Murray *
From the Portrait and Biographical album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.965.
Montgomery MACKEY is among the prominent and enterprising men which the Empire State has contributed to the Great West. His present homestead comprises a part of section 32, Pittsford Twp., and which he built up from the uncultivated soil, working diligently for many years and achieving results which should be eminently satisfactory to him. A selfmade man, industrious and hard working, he may be classed as a good citizen in the broadest sense of the word
Our subject was born near the town of Roxbury, Delaware Co., NY, May 27, 1826. His father, Urion Mackey, was born in Marlboro, Dutchess Co., NY, in August 1772, where he was reared and married, and whence he soon afterward removed to Delaware Co. He purchased a farm near Roxbury, upon which he lived and labored until 1853. Then, quite an old man, he turned his face toward the setting sun and, coming to the new State of Michigan, located in Pittsford Twp. where he spent his last days. He passed away June 8, 1862, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alanson BANGS, of Tecumseh, Lenewee Co., while there on a visit. The mother of our subject was, in her girlhood, Miss Sarah JENKINS who, like her son, was a native of Roxbury, Delaware Co. Her father, Sniffin Jenkins, followed agriculture all his life and spent his last years in Roxbury. Mrs. Sarah Mackey passed away in Wright Twp., Hillsdale Co., in Nov. 1855, when 62 years of age. Mr. Urion Mackey was twice married and with both wives had eighteen children. Of these latter fifteen lived to maturity and ten are still surviving.
Our subject was reared to manhood in his native county, attending the district school and making himself useful about the homestead, plowing, sowing and reaping. In 1849 he left Delaware for Otsego Co. where he was employed on a farm until the following year. On January 1, 1850, he took unto himself a wife and helpmate and soon after the young couple started for Michigan, locating first in Hudson Twp., this county. Mr. Mackey labored for two years at whatever employment he could find. They lived modestly, saving something each year and, in 1853, were able to purchase 80 acres of timber land one mile south of Main Street in Hudson. There he erected a log house and cleared 15 acres. About two years later he sold out and bought a farm in Wright Twp., this also mostly in timber. Mr. Mackey here put up a plank house, cleared 40 acres and, after occupying it for two years, sold out again and purchased the land which comp rises their present homestead. At the time only 20 acres of this were partially cleared. There was also a log house which was their home for some years. In 1862, they removed into a fine, new frame dwelling and Mr. Mackey now has 100 acres under a good state of cultivation.
The lady who has been his faithful companion for nearly forty years was, in her girlhood, Miss Jane MORENUS. Their wedding was celebrated at the home of the bride in Otsego Co., Jan. 1, 1850. She was born in Oneonta, Otsego Co., on May 19, 1832. Her father, Martin Morenus, was also a native of the same county, born in 1800. His father, Thomas Morenus, a native of Schoharie Co., NY, was a pioneer in Otsego Co. and spent his last years on the homestead he built up at Oneonta. Martin Morenus also followed agricultural pursuits and died about 1854, on the farm which his father had cleared from the wilderness. Thomas Morenus served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, was captured by the British, imprisoned in England, succeeded in making his escape to France and returned to America after an absence of fourteen years.
Mrs. Mackey's mother was born Almena PALMER in Salem, Cortland Co., NY, May 8, 1805. Her father, Solomon Palmer, was born in CT and was the son of Solomon Palmer, Sr., a wheelwright by trade, who spent the greater part of his life in CT. Solomon, Jr., married a lady of his own State and removed to Salem, Cortland Co., in the vicinity of which he purchased land but, a few years later, in 1808, went into Delaware Co. There he settled near the town of Davenport where his death took place. His wife was Miss Hannah WILLIAMS who was born in PA and whose father was afterward killed in the Wyoming Massacre. Her mother, the paternal great-grandmother of Mrs. Mackey, escaped with her children, fleeing to CT, where she settled and spent the remainder of her days. Mrs. Mackey's Grandmother Morenus died in Delaware Co., NY. After the death of her husband, the mother of Mrs. Mackey was married in 1856, to Eliatha STOCKWELL, and they resided in Dover, Lenawee Co., this State, until the death of Mr. Stockwell six years later. Mrs. Stockwell now makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Mackey.
Mr. Mackey cast his first Presidential vote for Zachary Taylor and since the organization of the Republican party has been a staunch supporter of its principles. He is a man of integrity and forethought and enjoys the esteem and confidence of the entire community.
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 167-68
Erwin S. MARSH came to this country in 1858 with his parents. and has since that time been actively identified with its progress and development, giving his energies in support of every good enterprise for the advancement of this section of the state and for the benefit of its people. He is a native of Berkshire county. Mass., born on May 14, 1851, the son of Charles S. and Emeline (WILBUR) MARSH, the former born and reared in Massachusetts and the latter in New York.
The father was a carpenter and worked at his trade throughout his life, which ended in Hillsdale county in 1895 in the village of Cambria, he only interruption to his industry as a mechanic, being his loyal service for nearly three years in the Union army during the Civil War. When, in 1858, he reached Hillsdale county with his family, he located in Woodbridge township and there he lived for a number of years, removing at length to Cambria, where he passed the rest of his days. He was one of the leading citizens of the locality of his residence and served the township as its treasurer and the county as a deputy sheriff.
In 1863 he enlisted in the Union army as a member of Co. K, Twenty-seventh Michigan Infantry, and from that date to the end of the war was in active service in the field, participating in the battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and many other important as well as numerous minor engagements. His widow survived him four years, dying in December, 1899.
Her father, Joseph WILBUR, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and his daughter, Mrs. Ann E. PRENTICE, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is the youngest living daughter of a Revolutionary soldier in that state and perhaps in the United States. The grandfather was Amasa MARSH, a native son of Connecticut, who moved to Massachusetts in early life, and there resided until his death in 1880. Erwin S. MARSH is one of the two children of his parents, the other being Mrs. Elizabeth THATCHER, wife of W. THATCHER, who died in February, 1901, leaving four children, having been married twice.
Erwin S. MARSH was reared in this county from his boyhood and was educated in the public schools and by private study. When he reached a suitable age he taught school, continuing at this occupation for a number of years, at the same time learning the carpenter trade between the sessions of school. In 1881 he moved to Cambria and purchased the furniture and undertaking business, which he is still conducting at that place, and now having a branch establishment at Frontier. In 1901 he went to Lansing, in this state, and took a course of special training in embalming and undertaking work, and, thus from the beginning of his connection with the business, he has omitted no effort necessary to the complete mastery of its details in every particular. In addition to this business he personally conducts the operation of his fertile and well-improved farm, carrying it on with the same careful attention that he gives to his mercantile interests. In politics he is an active Republican and has rendered good service to his party in its various campaigns, also to the people in three successive terms as township supervisor, beginning in 1895, giving, besides, six years of faithful work in the office of township clerk.
He was married in December, 1876, at Galva, Illinois, to Miss Kate SANDERSON, a native of Massachusetts and a daughter of Edwin and Hannah SANDERSON, who are now living in Vermont. They have eight children Lillian, wife of R. BRADSHAW, of this township; Charles E., at Stevenson, Mich., in the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad; Fay, married Lottie FOOTE, on January 22, 1903, and resides on a farm near Cambria; Lottie S., the wife of W. K. SMITH, living on a farm west of the village of Cambria; M. Burr, Beulah, Lulu and Wilbur, all at home.
Mr. Marsh belongs to the Masonic order, holding membership in the lodge at Cambria. He is one of the leading businessmen and citizens of the township and is highly respected.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 861
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]
John MARVIN was b. in Edmund, Lincolnshire, England on 11/29/1828, the son of John and Susan (WATSON) MARVIN.
After his mother's death when he was about 9 years old, he hired himself out to a neighbor to learn how to farm. In the spring of 1853 he emigrated to America, arriving in St. John, New Brunswick.
From there he made his way to Barnstable, MA where he got a job building a railroad. Railroad work lead him eventually to Hudson, Lenawee Co., MI where he settled in 1856.
His first wife, whom he marr. in 1854, was Bridget CONNOR, a native of County Louth, Ireland. John and Bridget had five sons: James E., John, William P., Gamaliel and Charles H.
James E. marr. Jane BOVEE and they had two sons: William Claude and Henry.
John and his second wife had no children.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 365
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]
Manley MAXON was. b. 9/21/1833 in Centerville, Allegany Co., NY.
His father, Jesse, was b. 9/12/1793 in either RI or eastern NY state. Manley's grandfather, Joseph, was an early settler of Allegany Co. where he lived until his death.
Jesse took part on the War of 1812. He and his wife, Marietta DAYTON (b.11/10/1804 in NY state) settled in Allegany Co. after their marriage. In 1834 Jesse traveled to southern Mich. where he purchased 160 acres of farm land on section 25 in Pittsford Twp., Hillsdale Co. He also hired a man to build a log house on the property.
In Sept.1837 he moved his small family to their new home. Jesse and Marietta had the following children: Manley M.; Marvin M., a druggist in Hudson, MI; Marietta Matilda, Mrs. Elisha BEACH of Livingston Co.; Myron M., b. in Pittsford Twp. 10/15/1843 and d. 9/14/1881 and two who died very young. The parents, Marietta and Jesse both died in Pittsford Twp., Marietta on 5/10/1844 and Jesse 6/21/1877.
On 9/29/1863, Manley marr. Samantha LAWRENCE, b. 3/18/1836 in Claremont, Columbia Co., NY. Her father, John LAWRENCE, was also b. in Claremont and her mother, Maria LASHER, was a native of Columbia Co.
John was the son of Peter LAWRENCE who was b. either in Germany or in NY state of German parentage. Peter d. in Columbia Co., NY.
In 1836 John and Maria and children moved to Walworth, Wayne Co., NY. John died there in Aug. 1867 and Maria in 1864. Samantha was a graduate of Hudson River Institute at Claverack, Columbia Co., NY She taught school for a year before marrying Manley.
Manley and Samantha had two children: Roy L. and Jessie E. The latter was b. 6/9/1865 and d. 8/18/1887.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County 1888, Chapman Bros page 504
Born: 24 Feb 1848 in Co. Clare, Ireland;
Parents, Thomas MCDONOUGH and Mary DWYRE McDonough (both also born in Co. Clare).
Married: 9 Feb 1875, Jane WHALEN (born 27 May 1849 Lenawee Co., MI)
Children: 7 total - one died in infancy. Mary, Thomas, Ellen, James, Katie and John.
John was an only child. John andhis parents arrived in Quebec and settled in Monroe Co., NY. Thomas was a farmer and a stonemason.
In 1865 the family moved to Jefferson Twp., Hillsdale Co. Thomas and Mary were still living in 1885.
Thomas' father, John MCDONOUGH, Sr., came to Jeff. Twp. abt 1852 from Ireland. He lived to be 103, buried in Catholic Cem. in Hillsdale.
Jane WHALEN's parents were James and Mary (JENNINGS) Whalen, also natives of Ireland. Still living in Hudson, Lenawee Co. in 1885.
From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.259.
John McLOUTH, one of the pioneers of Mich. Terr., came to this section of the country in early June 1835 with his father's family, when a young man nearly 23 years of age. The journey, which in that day was quite tedious, was made from Ontario Co., NY, where the birth of our subject took place on Oct. 18, 1812. His parents were Oliver C. and Elizabeth (DILLON) McLouth.
The father was a native of Mass. and spent his last days in Somerset Twp., this county, passing away in January 1841 at the age of 57 years. The mother was a native of Orange Co., NY, and outlived her husband by several years, her death also taking place at the homestead in Somerset Twp. when she was 74 years old. The parental family included eight children, of whom only John, our subject; one brother and Emily, wife of Seaton FLINT, are still living. The sister is a resident of Jackson Co., this State, and the brother is engaged in mining in Colorado. Our subject knows little of his parental grandparents but his maternal grandparents spent their last years in Ontario Co., NY.
Upon coming to Mich., Oliver McLouth, with his family, landed in Washtenaw Co. on the first of June 1835 where they lived about three years, then sold out and, coming to this county, took up 520 acres of Government land in Somerset Twp. Five years later John, our subject, returned to his native State and fulfilled his pledge of marriage with Miss Mary MACKEY, daughter of Thomas and Mary (HADLEY) Mackey, who were of English birth and parentage. Mrs. McLouth was also born in England, in Northumberlandshire, Nov. 18, 1813, and was brought to America by her parents when she was four years old. They settled in Wayne Co., VT, where the father engaged in agriculture. The wife and mother died when just a young woman aged 36 years. Mr. Mackey survived his wife by more tha 40 years, living to the advanced age of 84. He spent his last days in Galen, Wayne Co., VT. Mrs. McLouth was one of the five children born to this couple, of whom she and a sister are the only ones surviving. The sister, Mrs Mabel VANDERBURG, is a resident of Homer, this State.
Shortly after their wedding was celebrated on Nov. 12, 1838, Mr. McLouth returned, with his bride, to Washtenaw Co. and they commenced housekeeping in a modest dwelling. Mr. McLouth continued farming and operated a sawmill in that locality for a year, then came to this county and began cultivating a part of his father's farm. The following spring he located on a piece of wild land just across the line in Lenawee Co. where he established a sawmill, which he conducted as long as soft wood held out in that location, about 12 years. Then selling out his interest there, he secured possession of his present farm where he has since lived.
For the past 36 years Mr. McLouth has held positions of honor and trust in his neighborhood. He has served as Justice of the Peace for over 30 years and has represented his township on the County Board of Supervisors fully 12 years. When becoming a voter he was, like his father, an old-time Whig, but immediately upon the organization of the Republican party he joined in and has since been an earnest supporter.
Mr. and Mrs. McLouth are the parents of three children. Thomas, born June 9, 1840, is engaged in farming at the old homestead. Jane E., born Dec. 12, 1842, is now a resident of Somerset Co. Oliver L. is written of in the work of Lenawee Co., Mich., published by Chapman Brothers. Mr. McLouth gave to his children the advantages of a good education and fitted them for their various stations in life. No man is more worthy of representation in a work of this kind, and his record as herewith given, will years hence be looked upon with pleasure by his descendants.
Submitted by Katherine Paty
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 388-89. [NOTE: This is an extract of the full article]
Captain Lucien MEIGS, was born in Van Buren, Onondaga County, New York [no date given] to Phineas MEIGS and Polly INGOLDSBY, who died in 1861. Polly was born in Jefferson County, New York, of Massachusetts parentage.
Phineas had first married Waitstill WILLIAMS who died in 1831. Phineas & Waitstill had 3 daughters and one son [no names given]. Phineas' 3rd wife was Miss Lydia GARDNER, who died 14 Feb 1872, aged 69 - leaving 2 sons.
Phineas' father - Phineas MEIGS, was a Revolutionary War soldier at died at the age of 77.
Lucien came to Michigan at the age of 22 and purchased 80 acres in Girard Twp., Branch County. In November 1847, Lucien purchased 60 acres in Reading Township, Hillsdale County. He married Miss Amanda THOMAS in Allen Twp. Hillsdale County on 7 Nov 1847.
Amanda was a native of Ontario County, New York, the 2nd child of 11 born to David & Polly WEBSTER THOMAS. David was born in Massachusetts; Polly in New York. They lived from 1834 to 1841 in Mentor, Ohio. In 1841 they moved to Allen Twp. where David died at the age of 78 and Polly at the age of 72.
In January 1863, Lucien enlisted as a member of Co. G 1st Michigan Sharpshooters and was commissioned captain March 31st. He was discharged 11 Aug 1864 after being disabled by illness. [additional info on his service available in original sketch]
Lucien and Amanda had 3 children: Ella A. MEIGS, wife of Frank M. FRAZIER, a farmer of Crawford County, Pennsylvania; Morris I. MEIGS [separate sketch]; and I. May MEIGS, wife of Edgar B. BAILEY, a farmer of Reading Twp.
Lucien died at his home in Reading township on 3 Aug 1891. Amanda THOMAS MEIGS died 8 April 1901.
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 398.[NOTE: This is an extract of the full article]
Morris I. MEIGS was born in Reading Twp., Hillsdale County, Michigan 19 Jan 1852 to Lucien and Amanda D. THOMAS MEIGS. Morris attended local schools and one year at Hillsdale College.
On 23 Apr 1878, Morris marred Miss Agnes C. MARTIN, a native of Washtenaw County, Michigan and daughter of William and Frances M. SEARS MARTIN. William died "several years ago" in Washtenaw County, and Frances died in 1893 at the home of Agnes & Morris.
In 1880, he started a drug store at Camden, which he sold in the fall of 1891. In 1892, he started the Reading Robe & Tanning Company.
Morris and Agnes had 3 children as of 1903: Ethel S. MEIGS, wife of G.B. TUTHILL, a dentist living in Wauseon, Ohio; Alice F. MEIGS and Lucien S. MEIGS, both living at home.
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.214.
Judge William MERCER, who is widely and favorably known throughout Southern Michigan, owns one of the finest farms in Hillsdale Co. and with his sons is operating 360 acres of land, mostly improved, but 100 acres reserved for timber. The buildings of his homestead, including a handsome residence, ample barns and other structures, are adapted to the shelter of stock and storage of grain. The farm machinery, the horses and cattle and all appurtenances of the country estate, reflect the tastes and means of the proprietor, who has availed himself of modern methods and made an art of agriculture by which he has achieved success.
Our subject was born across the Atlantic in County Donegal, Ireland, on Oct. 6, 1811. His parents, Samuel and Hannah (CULBERT) Mercer, were natives of the same county, whence they emigrated to America in 1819, and settled in Livingston Co., NY. The father purchased land upon which he worked for 16 years and then determined to emigrate to the Territory of Michigan. He reached Hillsdale Co. in Oct. 1835, and, with his family, took up 320 acres of Government land in Somerset Twp. Part of that purchase is now included in our subject's farm. The old log house which the father built is still standing, and under that humble roof his death took place about 1852, when he was 67 years of age. Samuel Mercer was a man of great energy and industry and became throughly identified with the interests of his adopted county. He took an active part in the various enterprises intended for the benefit of the people around him.
His wife bore him two children in their home county of Donegal. Seven more were added to the family after their arrival in America. The mother passed away 13 years after the death of her husband, when she was 79 years of age, her death taking place at the home of her son, our subject. The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born in County Donegal in 1814 and now lives in Wheatland, this county. Margaret was born in Livingston Co., NY, July 12, 1824, and makes her home with her brother William. Daughters Hannah, born 1827, and Isabelle, 1833, were also born in Livingston Co. and both are now residents of Hillsdale Co. These are the five children still living. The grandparents were all born in County Donegal where the grandfathers engaged in farming.
William, our subject, lived under the home roof until 1845 when, at the age of 33, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah GAMBLE. She was born in Livingston Co., NY, in 1818, the daughter of David and Rebecca (CARROLL) Gamble. The father was a native of Ireland, emigrated to the US in early manhood and located in Livingston Co. where he lived from 1810 until his death in 1862 at the ripe old age of 80 years. His wife was a native of PA and died in Livingston Co. when still a young woman. Mrs. Sarah Mercer was one of twelve children, only seven of whom are still living. She became the mother of seven children and died at her home in Somerset Twp. on April 4, 1864. All of her children were born in Somerset Twp; one died when 7 days old. The rest are as follows. David G., b. Feb. 21, 1846, married Miss Frances CAMPBELL and they have one son and one daughter. Samuel A., b. Nov. 23, 1848, marri ed Miss Estella BILBY; they have two sons and Samuel is farming on a part of the old homestead. Elizabeth, b. Mar. 23, 1849, is now the wife of William ROBBINS of Wheatland Twp. Willam W., b. Mar. 10, 1853, married Miss Betsy VOORHEES; they live in Somerset Twp. and have one son. John G., who carries on the farm with his father, was b. Dec. 20, 1854. Sarah, b. Dec. 3, 1858, is now Mrs. William BILBY of Somerset Twp. and the mother of a son and a daughter.
Judge Mercer attended district schools in his youth and his subsequent education has been carried on mostly by himself. He is fond of reading and early acquired the habit of observation, which has proved a large element in his success in life. When Somerset Twp. was organized he was chosen Assessor, which office he filled for two years. He served as Justice of the Peace for about fifteen years. He served as Inspector in his township for two years and, in Jan. 1844, was elected Associate Judge of the Circuit Court which office he held until it was abolished in 1852. He represented Somerset Twp. in the County Board of Supervisors for a period of ten years. In 1842, he was elected on the first board under the State Law, and was Supervisor most of the time up to 1869, and since that time his son, David G., was the incumbent of the same office from Somerset Twp. Judge Mercer has always been a staunch Democrat, political ly. Although not a member of any church organization, he believes in the establishment of religious institutions and attends church quite regularly. The two sisters living with him are active members of the Ladies' Aid Society.
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.887.
William W. MERCER is the son of Judge William Mercer, a native of Ireland, and was born in Somerset Twp., this county, Mar. 10, 1853. He has given the best efforts of his early life to agricultural pursuits and, as a reward for his industry and good judgment, has an excellent farm, pleasantly situated in Somerset Twp. It is provided with buildings and machinery suitable for the successful prosecution of his chosen vocation as a general farmer.
The parents of our subject, William and Sarah (GAMBLE) Mercer, were natives, respectively, of County Donegal, Ireland, and Livingston Co., NY. William Mercer came to this country with his parents, Samuel and Hannah (CULBERT) Mercer, in 1819, when he was a lad of eight years, and settled in Livingston Co. In the fall of 1835 they emigrated to this county and purchased from the Government 400 acres of land in Somerset Twp., upon which Samuel Mercer resided, improving his farm and gaining the respect of the people among whom his lot was cast, until his decease, which occurred in 1852. William Mercer remained under the parental roof until he was 32 years of age, when he started out for himself, purchasing 130 acres of his father's farm, to which he afterward added until his landed possessions comprised an area of 240 acres. By his statesmanlike qualities and strict integrity, he soon became prominently identified with the public interests of this area, and, in 1844, was elected Associate Judge of the Circuit Court, which position he held four years. In 1850 he was elected County Judge and filled the position with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people until the office was abolished. Judge Mercer has also filled many of the minor offices within the gift of the people, who always felt that while he was at the helm the political ship would be guided safely to the desired haven.
William W. Mercer, our subject, was the fourth of the six children born to Judge William and Sarah (Gamble) Mercer, and grew to manhood on his father's farm, alternating between his domestic labors and attendance upon the district schools. He was married, on Jan. 17, 1877, to Miss Betsey VOORHEES, who was also a native of Somerset Twp. where she was born May 20, 1859. She is the daughter of John W. Voorhees of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Her mother, who in girlhood was Miss Mary BROSS, was born in NY State and came to Lenawee Co., MI, in 1837. Mr. and Mrs. Mercer have been blessed with one child, Leon A., who came to gladden their home Feb. 19, 1879.
Like his father, our subject is Democratic in politics, and is distinguished by many of those qualities which characterized his father, and gave to him a well-merited reputation. Mr. Mercer was elected Supervisor on the Democratic ticket in 1852 and served three years, and has also held other local offices in the township, among which was that of member of the School Board, which position he filled for several years. He has built a handsome and commodious residence, with suitable out-buildings for carrying on his work and has the prospect of a long and useful life, in the enjoyment of ample means, and surrounded by appreciative friends and acquintances. Mrs. Mercer is active in church work. She is identified with several Ladies Societies and is popular with all classes.
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) p 385
Judge John MICKLE
Born: 2 Sep 1804, Hannibal, Oswego Co NY
Parents: John and Catherine MICKLE
1) Elizabeth S. DEMOTT before Oct 1835 in Oswego Co NY (died 1838, Reading Twp)
2) Mary FITZSIMMONS 8 Sep 1839, Reading Twp, Hillsdale Co MI (died 29 Feb 1888 - Reading Twp)
Died: 15 Dec 1892 Reading Twp, Hillsdale Co MI
Children: 5 daughters by wife 1 - 4 died in infancy, one in 1836 in Reading Twp. 10 sons by wife 2 - 1 died in infancy, 9 grew to manhood, six living as of 1903- John G MICKLE, Eugene O. MICKLE, Daniel W. MICKLE (married Sena KIDDER), Benjamin F. MICKLE (married Flora HOGEBOOM), Luther S. MICKLE, George L. MICKLE.
Other: First white settler in Reading Twp. Took part in the Toledo War. Held various civic positions - represented county in 1842 State Legislature, Whig & Republican, Mason & Baptist.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 948
PLEASE NOTE: Some names have links to photographs which were found in a photo album purchased in Reading, Michigan about 1965. We can offer no guarantee
that the photos were labeled correctly.
JUDGE JOHN MICKLE , is a noble representative of the sturdy pioneers who prepared the way for the settlement and development of Southern Michigan. Fearlessly and with unfaltering courage encountering the severe privations, and even dangers, of a life in the forest covered land, that they might possess it, and from its rich virgin soil provide the means of obtaining comfortable homes for themselves and their children. Our subject was the first settler of Reading Township, and although more than half a century with its marvelous changes has rolled by since he first took up his abode here, he is still spared to bless and honor this community with his kindly and venerable presence. No man did more than he in those early days to promote the growth of this township and of Hillsdale County, and he has ever since exerted himself to promote their welfare. When he first came here, long years ago, he bought up large tracts of land to keep them out of the hands of grasping speculators, and sold them to men desiring settlement at a fair price and within their means, and thus in a short time gathered a community of good, steady, hard-working settlers about him. These he encouraged and helped by his wise counsel, his ready sympathy and generous aid when they were needy. Many a poor man who was struggling to gain a foothold had ample reason to be grateful to him for the help freely given in aiding him to build up a home.
Judge Mickle was born in Phelps Township, Ontario Co., N. Y., Sept. 2, 1804, being a son of John and Catherine (Smith)
Mickle, natives of New York State; his father was of mingled Scotch and Dutch ancestry, and his mother was of Dutch descent. The first
Mickle in this country came from Scotland during the religious wars, and joined a colony of Dutch settlers in New York City, and of that
good old stock came our subject. John Mickle, Sr., was born and reared on the banks of the Hudson River, but married and settled in
Ontario County, remaining there for several years, prosperously engaged as a tanner and currier, and also running a shoe shop in
connection with that business, being a good workman as a boot and shoe maker. After the birth of nine children he and his wife removed
with a colony to Oswego County, and settled in the township of Oswego in the early part of this century. He there turned his attention
to farming, and, with the aid of his sons, improved a farm of 135 acres. The years remaining to himself and wife were passed in that
home, and by their simplicity, industry, and genuine worth of character, they won the esteem and confidence of the people among whom
they had settled.
Our subject grew to manhood on the homestead of his parents in Oswego, guided by their kind influence to habits of
sobriety, industry and honesty, which have since been to him the controlling principles of his life. When nearly of age he left the
parental home to make his own way in the world, having but nine cents in his pocket, but, what served him better than money, having a
vigorous constitution, a strong will, and a manly self-reliance, by which he overcame every obstacle in his pathway, and in the course
of years became exceedingly prosperous. Many a young man of to-day, starting out in life with no better prospects, might despair of
success in encountering such hardships and dangers as fell to his lot. Our subject worked hard at cutting wood and in other employment
until he got a good start, gathering together sufficient income to enable him to marry, and he was united to his first wife in Oswego
County, N. Y., her name being Elizabeth S. DeMott.
Mr. Mickle came to Michigan in 1831, and settled on Government land which formed a part of the disputed territory
between Ohio and Michigan, and during the four years that he lived there, he took a conspicuous part in all the conflict for the
possession of that territory, said conflict being known as the "Toledo War," and he served as a fifer, being the only one in the
regiment in that struggle. Having heard of the beautiful country around Jonesville through a surveyor, he sold out his property there
and set out for the coveted spot. After selecting a desirable location, in September, 1835, he went to Monroe and purchased of the
Government the north half of section 9 and the south half of section 3, all in what is now the township of Reading, then known as Allen.
He has since purchased large tracts of land, and at the time bought all he could to keep it out of the hands of speculators. He found
the surrounding country a dense wilderness, and it took a man a week to cut a road to his land, the distance to any opening, or to any
neighbors, being at that time six miles. His first work was to build a temporary log cabin, which he afterward replaced by a more
commodious block-house, built of black walnut logs, and which was for several years the finest dwelling in town. It took many years of
steady, hard labor to clear the forest trees from his land, but with the assistance of his sons he improved 250 acres of it, having
disposed of a great deal of his land, and has since further reduced its area by giving some of it to his sons, until his farm now
comprises only 130 acres of land, all highly improved by the erection of comfortable and commodious farm buildings, dwelling, etc., and
under a fine state of culture and well stocked. He has paid a great deal of attention to raising and selling sheep, swine and cattle
in large numbers, and, in fact, has always been exceedingly thrifty and prosperous in everything that he has undertaken. He is now
living in retirement from the cares of an active business life.
The Judge has been not only an important factor in developing the great agricultural interests of Hillsdale County, but
he has from the very first years of his settlement here been actively identified with its public interests, and with the local affairs
of the place of his residence, Reading Township. In 1842 he was a member of the State Legislature, representing the county as a
representative. He was for several years Associate Judge of the Circuit Court, and subsequently [sic] held the office of County Court
Judge for some time. He was Justice of the Peace for thirteen years and Notary Public for six years. He earnestly and faithfully
discharged the duties imposed upon him in those high positions with becoming dignity, firmness and wisdom. It is said that in all the
years that he presided over a court, only one case was appealed, and then his decision was sustained in the higher court. In politics
the Judge was for many years the leading Whig in Reading Township, until the formation of the Republican party, when he joined its
ranks, and has ever since acted in harmony with it, his sons also being stanch supporters of that party. Our subject is a true
Christian, and for many years has been numbered among the members of the Regular Baptist Church, being one of its most active workers.
Judge Mickle has been twice married. His first wife, who was reared at Newburg, on the Hudson River, departed this
life in Reading Township on the old homestead, in 1838, dying in childbirth. She shared with him the early trials and privations of
their pioneer home, and with her husband often extended its generous and widely-known hospitality to the new-comers who had no shelter
of their own. She was a good Christian woman, and a loving wife and mother. Five children were born of that marriage, all dead. Our
subject was a second time married, Sept. 8, 1839, in Reading Township, to Miss Mary Fitzsimmons, daughter of George and Lydia (Rapelee) Fitzsimmons, early settlers of
this township and county. She was born Dec. 3, 1816, in Yates County, N. Y., and after attaining womanhood came with her parents to
this county, remaining with them until her marriage. She was very industrious and energetic, and her kindness and sympathy won for her
the regard of all with whom she came in contact. She was a sincere Christian, and for many years a devoted member of the Regular
Baptist Church. Of her marriage with our subject ten children were born, of whom two are now dead: one who died in infancy, and George.
The latter was very well educated, and was a promising teacher; he died from an accidental wound in the leg. The record of the eight
living is as follows: The first-born living is John Q., who married Phebe Chappell, and lives in Reading Village, where he carries on
the trade of painter and grainer; Henry C. married Louisa McNeil, and now lives in Arthur, Saginaw Co., Mich., and is Supervisor of the
township; D. Webster is a mechanic and painter living in Reading Village; he married Sena Kidder; B. Franklin married Flora S.
Hughbone [Hogeboom], and they live on a farm in Reading Township; Luther S. is a
mechanic, painter and farmer, living in Reading Village; he married Mary Westgate. George Lee married Jessie Whitney, and they live on a
farm in Osceola County, Mich., where he follows the trade of mason; Eugene O. married Hattie Bowman, and they live in Reading Village,
where he is engaged as a mechanic and a painter; Elias R. married Eldora Eyrs, of
Reading, and they live with his father, he having the management of the latter's farm. Mrs. Mary Mickle, the second wife of our subject,
departed this life Feb. 29, 1888.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 242
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]
Chester MOREY was b. June 15, 1817, in Van Buren Twp., Onondaga Co., NY. His parents were Doctor John and Lovisa (EVERTS) MOREY.
Dr. John was a native of NY; he died there at the age of 51. Lovisa was also a native of NY, from Washington Co. After the death of Dr. John she married William TAPPAN and came with him to Mich. Dr. John and Lovisa had nine children, Chester being the sixth.
Chester was 13 when his father died. In his early 20's he moved to Mich. where he met and married, on Dec. 15, 1840, Jane RISING, the dau. of John and Lucinda (WRIGHT) RISING.
Jane was b. April 18, 1825, in Westmoreland Twp., Oneida Co., NY. Her parents were also natives of NY. In 1837, the parents and family of seven children set out for Mich. by way of the Erie Canal, Lake Erie and Toledo, where they purchased a team of oxen and proceeded on to Reading Twp., Hillsdale Co. Lucinda RISING died in 1848, aged 51; John RISING died in 1872. Both died at their original homestead on section 15.
Chester and Jane MOREY had three sons: William H., George E. and Charles S. William marr. Marion E. HUGHES. George marr. Lizzie OVERHOLTZER. Charles marr. Nettie A. CLARK. All lived in Reading Twp.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 569
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]
William H. MOREY was b. Sept. 4, 1842, on the family homestead in Reading Twp. He was the eldest child of Chester and Jane (RISING) MOREY.
On Oct. 1, 1863, in Reading Twp., William marr. Marion E. HUGHES. She was also b. in Reading, on July 29, 1846, and was the eldest child of Charles and Matilda (DOUD) HUGHES.
Charles HUGHES was b. in Rhode Island and came to Mich. as a young man, an early settler in Reading Twp., where he marr. and reared his family. He died in Reading on May 8, 1883, aged 65 years. His widow continued to live in Reading at the home of her son, Charles.
Marion Hughes Morey taught school for some years before her marriage. She and William had three children, two of whom died young. The remaining child was Fred E.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI Pgs. 219-220
D.E.(Daniel) MURRAY is a wide-awake, practical farmer who is performing his share in sustaining the extensive agricultural interests of this, his native State, and by his energy and industry has gained for himself an honorable position among the representative farmers of Reading Township, which was his place of birth. He has lived on his present farm, on section 12, for three years. It comprises eighty-two and one half acres of as fine land for agriculture and stock purposes as is to be found in Hillsdale County, and by his careful culture he has greatly increased it's value since it came into his possession, and is constantly making valuable improvements.
Our subject was born on the old homestead of his parents, Daniel and Eliza (BOWEN) MURRAY, July 12, 1849. His father was a honored pioneer of Reading Township, and for many years held a leading place among the prominent citizens who had charge of its local affairs. He was born in Rensselear County N.Y. shortly after the arrival of his mother in this country. Her husband had been lost at sea while on the voyage to this country from their native Scotland.
When quite young Mr. MURRAY was taken to Western New York, and there grew to manhood. He was more than ordinarily capable, steady, and self-reliant, and after marriage, and the birth of one child, in 1836, he and his wife decided that they could better their fortunes and build up a more comfortable home for themselves and their children in the Territory of Southern Michigan, whose rich and fertile soil, still mostly covered with forest trees of many centuries' growth, was not worn out by many years of tillage. On their arrival here they settled in Adrian Township, Lenawee County. Where for four years Mr. MURRAY worked on farms, and by his industry and prudence saved money enough to make him independent, so that in 1839 he was enabled to enter a tract of land from the Government. He was pleased with the location of the township of Reading, in Hillsdale County, and resolving to make his abiding-place here, he was soon in possession of a tract of eighty acres of land, and shortly after, in 1840, moved to this place with his small family. The years that followed their settlement here were records of unceasing labor, many sacrifices, and a patient endurance of the hardships of life in a new country, on the part of both husband and wife, but they were rewarded by the upbuilding of the comfortable home that they had sought in the primeval forests of Southern Michigan.
Mr. MURRAY improved a fine farm of 100 acres, having increased his original purchase by the addition of twenty more acres, and remained a resident here until his death, Dec 20, 1881, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years. His faithful and loving companion, who unmurmuringly had left her old home and old friends, and followed him into the wilderness, to be his chief stay and help amid their new and strange surroundings, departed this life on the old homestead in this township, April 13, 1881, at the age of sixty-five years. Mr. MURRAY always took an ernest interest in the welfare of his adopted township, and was prominently identified with the conduct of its government, having been an incumbent of all the responsible and important offices within the gift of this fellow-townsmen. He was Supervisor for several terms, Town Clerk, Treasurer, and also held other local offices. His stability of character, his honesty and liberality, rendered him a good citizen and a true man. In politics he was a firm Republican.
Our subject is the fifth child and fourth son of six children, of whom one is now deceased. He was reared and educated in this township, and lived at home until his father's death, actively assisting the management of the old homestead. He there took his bride, Miss Helen WHITEHEAD to whom he was married Oct 6, 1875. She was a daughter of Henry and Lorandia (BIGELOW) WHITEHEAD, both now deceased, and was born on her uncle's farm in this township, Jan 10, 1849. The mother of Mrs. MURRAY died when she was but four year old, and she was taken to rear by her aunt, Mrs. GATES, and remained with her until her marriage. She was educated and always lived here. She is devoted to her husband's interests, and has been an important aid to him in bringing about the prosperity that they at present enjoy. Their pleasant household is made more cheerful by the presence of the five children born to them, whom they are carefully educating and training to ways of usefulness, and whose names are as follows: John G. Otto E., H. Laura, Daniel E. and Bion B.
After the death of his father Mr. MURRAY purchased his present farm, and removing here with his family, has since made his home here, and has devoted his time and energies to the improvement of his land. He is eminently practical and systematic in his methods of conducting his work, and has met with fine success in his calling. Our subject has always shown himself to be worthy of the confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens, by whom he is well liked. In politics, Mr. MURRAY is a true Republican, and uses his influence to promote the interests of that party.
Michigan Historical Collections, By Michigan Historical Commission, Michigan State Historical Society, Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan Vol.33 Report of Annual Meeting 1903
Published by Michigan Historical Commission 1904
Elisha Murray, the oldest resident of Litchfield township, died May 13, aged 85. Reaching the State in 1836, he bought his farm from the government office, then located at Monroe. His wife was Jane Roberts, a daughter of Litchfield pioneers. Two sons now remain of the family. He was called the father of the Congregational church and was foremost in its work.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI Pgs. 362-363
William H. MURRAY, the descendant of an excellent old Scotch family, whose earlier representatives settled in New York State, whence the father of our subject came to Michigan, is perpetuating the labors of the latter, now-deceased, by his careful cultivation of a good farm of 147 acres, on section 12, in Reading Township. He is a native of this State, and was born near the city of Adrian, Lenawee County, Oct. 5, 1838.
Daniel Murray, the father of our subject, was born in Rensselaer County, N.Y. Oct 28, 1807, and traced his ancestry back to an old Scotch family which, on account of religious persecution, had been driven from their native soil into the North of Ireland, where was born Alexander Murray, the grandfather of our subject. It is believed that this gentleman died on his way to America after his marriage, and after the birth of one child. Daniel Murray was born after his father's death, and in consequence was enabled to gather but little of his immediate family history. He resided, however, with his mother in New York until a youth of sixteen years, and then, accompanied by his elder brother William H., took up his residence in Greece Township, Monroe Co., N. Y.. There he ate his first wheat bread, as they were very poor, and this article of diet had hitherto been a luxury too great for them and most others in Rensselear County to obtain. The mother later joined her sons, and died in Monroe County at an advanced age. William H. left that section of country and engaged as a boatman, finally becoming Captain, and was drowned in the Erie Canal while passing through a lock.
Daniel Murray, the father of our subject, was married in Monroe County, N.Y. to Anna E. Bowen, who was born and reared there. After the birth of one child, a son, George F., they left the Empire State and made their way to Southern Michigan, via the lake to Toledo, Ohio, and thence by an ox-team to Adrian, in Lenawee County, after which there were five more added to the parental household, namely: Charles A. and William H., while in Lenawee County: Eunice A., Daniel E. and James W. after becoming residents of Hillsdale County. In the vicinity of what was then a mere hamlet, the elder Murray rented a partially improved farm of eighty acres, upon which he operated four years, and in the fall of 1839, accompanied by Warner F. Chaffee, came to this country overland with teams, and purchased land on Section 12, in Reading Township. The country at this time was a wilderness, and they were obliged to cut their way with axes to their intended home. They spent the first night under their wagons, but soon put up a rude log house for shelter.
Mr. Chaffee, dreading the coming winter, went back to Lenawee County, but returned to this county a few months later, arriving in Reading Township Feb 22, 1840, and bringing with him his family. The property of Mr. Murray consisted of a team of oxen and a wagon, besides his eighty acres of wild land, and he was $75 in debt. He had come to stay, however, and set himself to work clearing the land around his cabin, and before the summer set in had planted three acres of corn and potatoes. This was the beginning of a home which in a few years was transformed into a valuable farm with good buildings.
The father of our subject in due time added forty acres to his first purchase, this also being heavily timbered. On the 18th of May, 1853, a terrible hurricane tore up by the roots and destroyed sixty acres of valuable timber, all in fact which remained on the farm. As the result of this the land could only be utilized by removing the debris and preparing the soil for cultivation. To this task the brave old pioneer set himself, and before his death had it accomplished and the land in a productive condition.
In the meantime, Daniel Murray, besides distinguishing himself as a resolute and thorough tiller of the soil, became prominent in the affairs of his adopted township, serving as Supervisor for a number of years, Treasurer for a long period, and occupying other positions of trust and responsibility. Originally an old-line Whig, he upon the abandonment of this party cordially endorsed Republican principles, which he supported with the firmness characteristic of the man until life for him was over. At length, ripe in years and experience, and blessed with the esteem and confidence of the people among whom he had lived, he passed away, Dec 19, 1884. The mother, who had accompanied him the greater part of his long journey, and who was born in 1817, died at the homestead two years before the decease of her husband, in 1882.
William H. Murray, our subject, grew to manhood under the parental rooftree, and early in life served an apprenticeship at the carpenter trade, which he followed for a period of four years. He was first married in Allen Township to Miss Mariette, daughter of Abner Balcom, now deceased. And a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Marietta Murray was born in New York, and came with her parents to Michigan when a young girl. Of her union with our subject there were born six children, and the mother passed away at her home in Reading Township, Sept 29, 1879. The sons and daughters of this union were named respectively: Montford B., Eliza M., Hattie J., George A., James A., and Edith C. They are all living; the three elder are married and settled in comfortable homes of their own.
Mr. Murray contracted a second marriage, in November, 1882, in Reading Township, with Miss Laura A. Northrop, who was born in Kendall, Orleans Co., N.Y. Oct 6, 1839. Mrs. Laura A. Murray is the daughter of Hiram O. and Laura (Balcom) Northrop, who were natives of the same county as their daughter, and who, after their marriage settled there, but in 1864 came to Southern Michigan and purchased a farm in Reading Township. Here Mr. Northrup died March 11, 1868. The wife and mother is yet living, being now nearly eighty-one years old, and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Murray.
Our subject and his wife have no children, but their pleasant home is the frequent resort of their many friends in this and Lenawee County. Both are members of the Free-Will Baptist Church, in which Mr. Murray has officiated as Treasurer since 1885. Politically, he is, like his father before him, a solid Republican, and has been the incumbent of various local offices. In his skillful management of the farm eliminated from the wilderness by his honored sire, he is perpetuating the labors of the latter by the best known methods.
Submitted by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris
This information is made available to the public for non-commercial purposes.
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