Biographies
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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.



William P. Niblack * Charles L. Northrup



William P. NIBLACK

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 798
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

William P. NIBLACK: born 27 Dec 1823 in Livingston Co., NY.
William's grandfather, John, was a native of Monaghan, Ireland, who came to NJ as a young man. He married Hannah BAXTER, a native of NJ and they lived there until abt. 1795. They then moved to Sparta, Liv. Co., NY.
William's father was also named John. John II was born abt. 1778 in Sussex Co., NJ. There John married Hannah HARRISON, also a NJ native. They lived in NJ until 1832 when they moved to Saline Twp, Washtenaw Co., MI Terr.
William married Eunice LEWIS, of NY state on 15 Dec 1851.
Eunice's grandfather was Benjamin LEWIS who was from MA, moved to NY, then to Erie, PA and finally to Macon Twp., Lenawee Co., MI. Later he moved to Wisc. where he died.
Eunice's father was Elisha LEWIS, b. in Barnstable Co., MA. He married Deborah GIBBS also of Barnstable. Deborah died at the family homestead in Wheatland Twp., Hillsdale Co.
Mr. and Mrs. W. P. NIBLACK have four children: Maggie, now Mrs. Allen CUNNINGHAM of Silver Creek Twp., Merrick Co., Neb.; Ella, living at home, Lewis, living in Pittsford Twp., Hillsdale Co. and Emma, teaching school in Neb.
Submitted by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris


Charles L. NORTHRUP


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.625.

Charles L. NORTHRUP. The property of this gentleman, resident of Cambria Twp., embraces 110 acres of finely cultivated land on section 32 with handsome and substantial buildings as required for the successful pursuit of his calling as a general farmer who makes a speciality of stock-raising. He handles principally high-grade Durham cattle of which he has twenty fine specimans. He has been an exhibitor at various county fairs of Southern Michigan for several years, from which he carries off a goodly number of the blue ribbons. Mr. Northrup located on his present farm in April 1863. He was for five years a resident of Woodbridge Twp., where he also improved a good farm, and previously had lived in both Hillsdale and Reading Townships. He came to Southern Mich. in 1857, and, during his residence of over 30 years in Hillsdale Co., has made a good record as a skillful agriculturalist and a valued citizen.

Mr. Northrup was born in Onondaga Co., NY, Aug. 15, 1823. His father, Kneeland Northrup, a carpenter by trade, was a native of CT, and chiefly a manufacturer of spinning wheels. In his time he turned out thousands of these implements, which are mostly now preserved as relics of the past, painted and gilded, and set up in the homes of the present generation as both a curiosity and an ornament. By the skillful labor of his hands hundreds of families in Central New York were thus supplied with that article, by means of which was spun the yarn which manufactured much of the clothing of a generation past and gone.

Kneeland Northrup plied his trade in his native state and, being a genuine Yankee, acted as salesman himself, bartering his wares to the best advantage. Upon leaving New England he made his way to Onondaga Co. where he met and married Miss Hannah HOUSER, a native of NY and who was of German descent. Kneeland served afterward for a time in the War of 1812, being with the regiment at Sackett's Harbor. He developed into a musician and became Fife Major. The instrument with which he inspired enthusiasm among the soldiers at the time of battle, is still preserved and treasured by the family. After the British Army had been once more expelled from American soil Kneeland returned to his trade, at which he continued the remainder of his life. He spent his last days in Onondaga Co. where he died about 1867 after rounding up his three score years and ten. He was, politically, a Jackson Democrat and a Universalist, in religious be lief. His wife died when a little past middle life, at the homestead in Onondaga Co. She was a very conscientious lady, devoted to the interests of her family and a member of the Presbyterian Church. The parental family included three sons and three daughters; the two brothers of our subject are deceased.

Charles Northrup grew to manhood in his native county. He first served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade and later took up millwrighting and put in his first machinery in a mill at Jamesville, Onondaga Co. Later he went to Mecklenburg Co., VA, and erected the first frame building put up by the "square rule" to the great astonishment of the people of that area, some of whom had wagered by betting that it could not be done. This furnished abundant amusement to Mr. Northrup, who understood his business fully, and who took secret delight in convincing some of the F. F. V.'s how greatly they might be mistaken. He spent one year in the Old Dominion and put in some of the best mill machinery of that time. Our subject then returned to New York State from which he was called in the summer of 1856 to Wisconsin for the purpose of putting in the machinery of a paper-mill at Beloit, which was the first of its kind ever built in th at state. That mill was the start of a large paper manufacturing district which was the making of Beloit. Mr. Northrup returned home and began making preparations to emigrate to Southern Michigan. Upon locating in this county, our subject carried on carpentering and millwrighting for a number of years. He put up his last mill in Cambria Twp. and then, resolving on a change of occupation, purchased a tract of land in Woodbridge Twp. where he began the agricultural pursuits which he has since followed with such excellent results.

In 1850, before leaving New York, Mr. Northrup had been married to Miss Sarah SALOMON, who was born in DeWitt Twp., Onondaga Co., on Dec. 10, 1823. She was the daughter of Ephraim and Dolly (WESTON) Salomon, the former a native of VT and the latter of NY State. The father was mainly a farmer and died in NY aged 76 years. The mother subsequently came to Mich. and spent her last days at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Northrup, passing away at the advanced age of 82 years. Mrs. Northrup was reared and educated in her native township and lived with her parents until her marriage. Of the six children born thereafter, two died each when three years old. Mary, the eldest living child, has taught school for several years and makes her home with her parents. Dwight, who is a teacher and a mechanic combined, married Miss Ella BENEDICT, of Flint, this State and continues among the Wolverines. Morell C. marrie d Miss Silance FRENCH and carries on the old homestead in Cambria Twp. Elmer, an artist and painter, continues under the parental roof. Mrs. N. is a lady held in great respect by her community and has been a member of the Episcopal Church since girlhood. Mr. N. is politically a solid Republican and has held the local offices of his township.

Daniel H. Northrup, the younger brother of our subject, about 1853 entered the marine service, and after the close of the war sailed with Commodore Farragut, via the Mediterranean, to Africa and went subsequently to Italy. While staying in Rome he was one day accosted by the American sculptor, Rogers, who was then a student in the imperial city and who asked the privilege of using him as a model. To this Mr. Northrup assented and his figure was afterwards reproduced in stone as "The American Marine", being sent to Detroit, where it stands, an imposing monument in honor of the soldiers and sailors of the late war. The sculptor never knew Mr. Northrup until meeting him in Rome, and until his superb figure attacted his attention as being almost perfect in its outlines as an illustration of the "human form divine". Daniel Northrup followed the sea for 25 years during which time he visited nearly all the seaport cities in the world. He was never married and was entombed in the waters he loved so well, being lost by shipwreck in 1876.
submitted by Katherine Paty
thomkath (at) earthlink.net


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