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.

Albertus E. Palmer * Charles G. Palmer * William H. Palmer * Jesse D. Payne * Myron Perry * James Person
Abiathar Phillips * Abiathar Phillips * Dorr Phillips * Hon. Enos A. Pomroy * Lafayette Post * William F. Preston
George W. Proper * Leonard Proper * Harvey N. Prouty

Albertus E. PALMER

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 310
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

Albertus E. Palmer was b. 8/10/1851 nr. Ridgeway, Lenawee Co., MI.
His parents were John C. and Nancy (FREDERICKS) PALMER, he a native of Seneca Co., NY, she a native of CT. Paternal g.parents were John, Sr. and Nancy (LAMB) PALMER, both natives of NY state. They came to Mich. Terr. in 1830.
Albertus grad. from the State Normal School in Ypsilanti in 1876 and assumed charge of the Reading, Hillsdale Co., schools where he remained for three years.
He left teaching to establish an upholstery business and over time became a chair manufacturer in Hillsdale, employing a force of 30 men.
In Dec. 1879 Albertus marr. Ottie A. ARMSTRONG, dau. of the Rev. J. C. and Emma ARMSTRONG.
Albertus and Ottie had one son, Arthur A.

Charles G. PALMER

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 481
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

Charles G. Palmer, b. 11/10/1833 in Ridgeway Twp., Lenawee Co., MI, was the son of Fenner and Julia Ann (GODDARD) PALMER.
Fenner was. b. 12/5/1799 in Granville, Washington Co., NY and d. 8/9/1885 in Hudson, Lenawee Co. Charles' paternal g.father was Nathaniel PALMER, b. in New Eng. and an early settler in Wayne Co., NY.
In 1846, Fenner and Julia moved from NY state to Ransom Twp., Hillsdale Co.
Charles marr. Lucinda HALSTED on 12/9/1865. Lucinda was b. 3/22/1845 in Rome Twp., Lenawee Co. Her parents were Jacob W. and Jean (PERKINS) HALSTED who were marr. 2/19/1840. Jacob was b. 1/9/1817 in NY state. Jean was b. 7/16/1819 in NY state and d. in Rome Twp. 5/8/1851.
There are no children listed for Charles and Lucinda.

William H. PALMER

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 489
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

William H. PALMER was b. 8/26/1839 in Ransom Twp., Hillsdale Co.
His parents were Alexander and Luceba (HATHAWAY) PALMER, both natives of NY state. They were married prior to 1836; in that year they settled in Ransom Twp. Alexander d. there 6/8/1878.
William's paternal g.father was John C. PALMER, an early settler in Ridgeway Twp., Lenawee Co. William's mother, Luceba, was also b. in Ransom Twp. and was the dau. of Sidney and Nancy HATHAWAY.
About Jan. 1862 William joined the Union Army, Co. G, 1st Mich. Light Artillery. He served until 1/28/1865 and participated in many battles.
On Sept. 4, 1863 he marr. Alice M. HART in Ransom Twp. Alice was b. 4/8/1846 in Lorain Co., OH and was the dau. of Samuel and Emily HART (see p. 533, this book).
William and Alice had six children. Two, Hattie and Delbert, were killed by a steam boiler explosion. The surviving children were Perry, Cora, Budd and Jessie.

Jesse D. PAYNE

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 302. [NOTE: This is an extract of the full article]

Jesse D. PAYNE was born 26 Sept 1811 in Ontario County, New York, son of John and Phoebe LANE PAYNE. They settled in that county about 1800, being natives of New Jersey.
In 1836, John, Phoebe and family migrated to Michigan and settled on section 30 of what is now Somerset Twp., Hillsdale Co. Michigan. John died in 1841 and Phoebe died in 1873. [No mention of other children]
Jesse also bought land in the area, amassing a total of 240 acres. Before leaving New York, he was married in 1836 to Miss Rebecca A. PALMER, a native of Ontario County, New York. Her parents were John B. PALMER (native of Ohio) and Margaret WALLAS of Washington D.C.
Jesse and Rebecca had eight children, six of whom were living in 1903:
* William W. PAYNE, professor of astronomy at Northfield College, Minnesota
* John A. PAYNE, a businessman in Kalamazoo, Michigan
* Zachariah B. PAYNE engaged in the stock industry at Colorado, Texas
* James F. PAYNE, a farmer in Lenawee County, Michigan
* Phoebe E. PAYNE, wife of R.C. OSTROM, of Branch County, Michigan
* Henry L. PAYNE, still living on the homestead.
Jesse PAYNE died 12 Dec 1872, while Rebecca was still living in 1903 at 87 years of age.


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.656.

Myron PERRY, who ranks among the intelligent farmers of Allen Twp., took possession of his current property in the spring of 1860, having exchanged for it a farm in Hillsdale Twp. He is now the owner of 78 acres of good land which through his wise management and steady improvements, is now one of the most comfortable and productive homesteads in this part of the county.

Mr. Perry is a self-made man who commenced life for himself when a youth of 17 years, starting out as a farm laborer by the month. He was born in Cato, Cayuga Co., NY, Feb. 7, 1832. His father was killed by a falling tree when Myron was a little lad of five. The father, Walter Perry, and his wife Sarah (STURGIS) Perry, were also natives of the Empire State, the latter born in Cayuga Co. The mother continued to live in NY until after Myron came to Mich., then joined him here, and is now a resident of Adams Twp., this county. Her little family originally included seven children but there are now only two living, our subject and a daughter who resides in Adams Twp.

Mr. Perry left his native county in the fall of 1852, going to the vicinity of LaPorte, IN, where he lived one year, engaged jointly in farming and teaching. In 1853, he returned to Cayuga Co. where he remained until the spring of 1855 and then came to Southern Michigan. He settled first in Hillsdale Twp., buying a small tract of land. This he disposed of in the spring of 1860, as heretofore mentioned, and took up his residence in Allen Twp.

While a resident of LaPorte, IN, he met a most estimable young lady, Miss Achsah KEAN, to whom he was married in Valparaiso, that State, on June 18, 1862. Mrs. Perry is the daughter of Zebulon and Hannah Kean, both natives of NY State but now of Indiana. Mrs. Perry was born March 20, 1837, in Cortland Co., NY. Of her union with our subject there have been born seven children who still constitute a family circle unbroken by the hand of death. The two eldest, Walter E. and Emma G., took kindly to their books during their childhood days and have occupied themselves considerably in teaching. The others -- Arthur Z., Willis D., Sarah J., Flora M. and Bertha A. -- continue under the parental roof, and are completing their studies in the schools near at home. Our subject and his wife are members in good standing of the Regular Baptist Church and Mr. Perry uniformly votes the straight Republican ticket.

Submitted by Katherine Paty, Tempe, AZ


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 758
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

James PERSON, b. 1/19/1829 in Northampton, Co., PA, was the son of Isaac and Mary (RIMA) PERSON.
The parents were both natives of PA and were of German ancestry. Their children were: Abraham and George, in PA; Isaac in OH; David, Adam, Rebecca (Mrs. Adam ROCKEL) and Mary A. (Mrs. J. P. SHAW) in PA.
James enlisted as a Union soldier, 9/22/1862, in Company D, 153rd Penn. Inf. which was assigned to the 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was made Corporal and fought at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He was honorably discharged 7/24/1863 and because of being wounded, received a pension.
He returned to PA where he marr., on 11/28/1865, Sarah A. BEIDELMAN. They had 3 children but only their son Walter, b. 7/11/1880, survived to adulthood.
In 1866 the family settled in Hillsdale Co., on sect. 11 of Camden Twp. James was a member of the German Reformed Church and of the G.A.R. Post #282 in Camden. He was also a skilled carpenter, having followed that trade for about 10 years.
Sarah was b. 9/13/1842 in Lehigh Co., PA. Her parents were Ephraim and Sarah A. (FOLK) BEIDELMAN, both natives of PA. Their children were: Ephraim, Jr., of Philadelphia; Alfred; Amanda (Mrs. Josiah WILT) of Northampton Co., PA and Sarah.


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. page 665
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

Abiathar PHILLIPS was b.12/11/1804 in Franklin Co., MA. His parents were Abiathar, Sr. and Hannah (RANNEY) Phillips.
The parents were both of Scots ancestry and both born in Mass., he 10/27/1774 and she 11/1/1782. In 1816 the family moved first to Ontario Co., NY and, a few years later, to Cattaraugus Co., NY where Hannah died. 7/28/1857 and Abiathar, Sr. 2/1/1863. Their children were Esther, Eliza, Abiathar, Jr., George, Anna, Samuel, Harriet, William H., Charles H., Alonzo F., John P. and Jared.
On 1/17/1861 Abiathar marr. Amanda P. ELLIS. She was b. 12/17/1839 in Cattaraugus Co., the dau, of William L. and Amarilla E. (BARNUM) Ellis.
William L. was b. in Mass. and died 4/27/1862 in Cattaraugus Co. Amarilla was b. in NY. In 1888 she was still living, in Allegany, NY at the home of her dau. Mary J., (Mrs. Joseph BLAIR). A third dau., Martha M., (Mrs. Frederick BLACKMAN) lived in Worth Co., IA.
Abiathar and Amanda had four children.
* Wellington was b. 2/13/1862 and died 4/14/1865.
* Frank W. was b. 3/7/1864. He married Emma GOULD of Hillsdale Co. where they continued to live.
* Harry M., b. 7/23/1868, stayed on with his parents on the home farm.
* May was b. 8/15/1873 and died 10/25 of the same year.


Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903) page 181

Born: 9 Oct 1839 Webster, Monroe Co NY
Parents: John PHILLIPS and Permilla WOOD
Married: Mary MCDONOUGH 11 Jun 1871
Children: Stanley D. PHILLIPS , Eber B. PHILLIPS , John W. PHILLIPS , A. Ray PHILLIPS
Other Info: Civil War - Co C 4th NY Heavy Artillery

Hon. Enos A. POMROY

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.703

The Hon. Enos A. POMROY is the son of Levi POMROY, a native of Amherst, MA, where he was b. May 8, 1792. The grandfather of our subject was Simon Pomroy, also a native of MA and the genealogy of the Pomroy family is traced back to Gen. Seth Pomroy of Revolutionary War fame. The mother of our subject was Elnora GANIARD, born in Bristol, Ontario Co., NY, Aug. 28, 1798. Her father was Peter Ganiard, a native of CT. Her grandfather, also named Peter Ganiard, with his brother James, emigrated from the city of La Fleche, France, to the Island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. Peter subsequently emigrated to CT while his brother James was killed at the insurrection which took place on that island.
Levi POMROY and Elnora GANIARD married and settled in Bristol, Ontario Co., NY, Mar 7, 1816. The father was a carpenter and joiner in which trade he engaged until 1840 when he removed with his family to the vicinity of Rochester, NY, where they lived until 1844. In that year they migrated to Michigan and settled on sect. 12, Allen Twp., Hillsdale Co. In 1851 they moved from Allen to Litchfield Twp. where the mother died Dec. 18, 1874. The father died at the home of his son, Enos, on Oct. 27, 1887, at the ripe old age of 95 years. The children of Levi and Elnora were: Simeon G.; Nancy L.; Elnora A.; Jesse L,; Enos A,; Mary A. and Hanson S. Mary and Hanson died when quite young; Simeon lives a retired life in LeRoy, Osceola Co., MI; Nancy L. is the wife of A. H. FRENCH, Ontario Co., NY; Elnora was the wife of John BELLAMY and died in Hillsdale Twp. Oct. 11 1851 and Jesse L. is farming in Allen Twp.
Enos, our subject, was born in Bristol, Ontario Co., NY, Mar. 16, 1832 and was 12 when he came with his parents to Hillsdale Co. He was educated in the common schools in his native state and in Mich. After coming here he devoted most of his time to agricultural pursuits until the spring of 1885. In 1851 he bought a tract of 145 acres on section 32, Litchfield Twp., where he lived until 1885. In 1883 he bought a half interest in the Genesee Roller Mills, the capacity being 100 barrels per day. The group also included a sawmill.
Enos POMROY was married, in Litchfield Twp., Aug. 28, 1853, to Miss Diana H. WILLIAMSON, dau. of James and Agnes M. (CLEMENTS) Williamson, of Scotch and English ancestry respectively. It is supposed they emigrated to America from Wales in 1820. The father was born July 4, 1797 while his wife was born Aug. 28, 1795 and they were married in England, Jan. 21, 1819. Upon their arrival in the U.S. they settled first in Philadelphia where they lived until 1824 and then removed to Mendon, Ontario Co., NY, remaining there until the spring of 1837 when they came to Michigan, landing in Detroit. They had brought with them all their household effects which they stored in a building in that city. The building burned down and they lost all their goods. They were so discouraged they almost returned to NY but then decided to stay in the West in spite of the disaster. The father was a farmer by occupation and in the spring of 1838 came to! Hillsdale Co. where he purchased 80 acres of land on section 32, Litchfield Twp. where the parents spent the remainder of their lives, his death occurring June 21, 1857 and hers Mar. 6, 1874. The children of James and Agnes Williamson were: Rachel, died when 9 months old; Sarah L. married Otis BASS and died Dec. 10, 1880, in Beloit, Wisc.; John is a farmer in Washington Territory; James was also a farmer and died in Litchfield Twp. Oct. 23, 1862; Mary J. is the widow of William HEDDEN; Elizabeth M. was the wife of J. G. ROUNDS and died in Cambria Twp. July 15, 1874; Robert C. was a farmer and died Sept. 17, 1871 in Litchfield Twp. while George S., a clerk by occupation, died in the same township Mar. 29, 1854. Diana H. was born in Mendon, Ontario Co., NY, Aug. 27 1835. By her union with our subject she became the mother of three, one of whom died in infancy. Daughter Minnie M. is a school teac! her and makes her home with her parents. Son George S. married Miss Cora M. MURDOCK and, since purchasing a half interest in the Genesee Mills, has been a partner in the firm of Pomroy & Son. George and his wife have two children: Eddevie A. and Hazel M.
In 1861 Mr. POMROY was elected Highway Commissioner of Litchfield Twp. and served 10 years. In 1872 he was elected Supervisor and held that office until 1880 when he was elected to the State Legislature. He served during the session of 1881 and the extra session of 1882. In the winter of 1882 the Michigan Millers' Mutual Insurance Co. was organized in Lansing and Mr. P. has been one of its directors ever since. He owns a fine farm of 145 acres in Litchfield Twp. upon which he has made many improvements and which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He has served the people in a public capacity for nineteen years in succession. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is, politically, a Republican, His residence is near Genesee Mills.

Lafayette POST aka M.D. Layfayette POST

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) Page 183, 457

Lafayette POST aka M.D. Layfayette POST
Born: 10 Sep 1837 Castile (Wyoming Co) NY
Parents: Aaron POST and Elizabeth SEVEA
Married: Grace E. SHORT 1873
Died: after 1903
Children: Bessie POST SHEPHERD, Julia May POST
Other Info: Paternal Grandfather, Aaron POST and maternal grandfather, Nathaniel SEVEA served in Revolutionary War.

William F. PRESTON

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 778
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

William F. PRESTON was pastor of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Wright Twp., Hillsdale Co. He was born 27 Sep 1853 in Mt. Union, Stark Co., OH.
His parents were Caleb M., born 21 Nov 1817 in Lynchburg, VA and Ann Eliza (MORRIS) PRESTON, born 12 Apr 1820 in Washington Co., PA. Caleb was also a Methodist minister.
Ann Eliza's father was Jonathan MORRIS, b. in Chester Co., PA, son of Isaac MORRIS, also of PA. Isaac's wife was Sophia BAKER, b. in Chester Co., dau. of Aaron and Hannah BAKER. The MORRISes were Quakers and their farm in PA was a "station" on the "underground railroad".
The parents of Caleb M. PRESTON were Peter and Abigail (HALE) PRESTON, both natives of VA. He was of English ancestry; she of German.
Caleb and Ann Eliza had four children: Almeda and Mary Ella both died in childhood and William F. and Lyndon, a Methodist minister in Grand Rapids.
On 26 Oct 1878, William F. married Lucy May WILSON, who was born 25 Sep 1861 in Wright Twp. Her parents were Joseph and Maria (LONG) WILSON., both natives of NY. Maria died when Lucy was seven. Joseph was a Capt. in the Civil War and died at the battle of Stone Creek.
William F. and Lucy had five children: Lulu G., Ruby B., Mabel E., Frank C. and Merna J.

George W. PROPER

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.897

George W. PROPER is a prosperous agriculturalist of Hillsdale Co., residing on section 29 of Scipio Twp. He is a native of NY state, having been born in Groveland, Livingston Co., on Aug. 11, 1833. His parents were Leonard and Dorcas (CONDON) Proper, both natives of the Empire State. After their marriage they settled in the town of Sparta, later moving to Groveland where the father engaged in farming. In June 1852 he moved his family west to Mich., settling in this county in Scipio where he still lives at a ripe old age. His wife departed this life on Sept. 5, 1872. To them were born 5 sons and 4 daughters of whom George was the third child.
George was reared on the farm in his native state and received his education in the public schools. He early showed an aptitude for business. In 1852 he came to Mich. with his parents and the following year visited Kankakee Co., IL, thinking to establish himself there. However, finding this area not so attractive as Mich., he returned to Scipio Twp. where he engaged in agricultural pursuits. He wooed, and eventually won, Miss Carrie P. RICHARDS, to whom he was wedded on April 5, 1859. She was the dau. of Judge Willard Richards (see p.333), formerly of Scipio and now a resident of Jonesville. Carrie was born in Perrinton, Monroe Co., NY, on June 28, 1834. She grew to womanhood in her native town, well educated in the public schools and receiving from her mother training in domestic duties which fit her to preside with dignity and efficiency over her household. Mr. and Mrs. Proper have three children: Willard A., Walter G. a! nd Hattie E. Willard married Miss Juna MacNEAL and they live in Scipio Twp.
Mr. PROPER owns 380 acres of land, most of it lying in Scipio Twp., on which he has made many improvements, having a good dwelling and all necessary barns and out buildings. He raises cereals, vegetables and fruits common to this area and also deals in stock with such skills as to be pecuniarily profitable. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and in politics is a staunch Republican He is a well-informed man of unimpeachable character and is held in high esteem by this community.

Leonard PROPER

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale, MI., 1888, p.88

Leonard PROPER is well known throughout Scipio Twp., has officiated as Justice of the Peace for 25 years in succession and has occupied other offices of trust and responsibility. Mr. Proper is the offspring of excellent ancestry, being the son of Baldus Proper who was born in what is known as Livingston Manor, near the Hudson River, NY. Baldus was of German ancestry and married Miss Margaret MYERS, a native of the same locality and of German and French descent. They settled first in Livingston Manor but soon removed to Harpersville in Delaware Co., NY. In 1817 they relocated to Ontario Co. and five years later purchased a farm near Danville in Livingston Co. where they resided until 1834. In that year they sold out and moved to Wyoming Co., NY, to a town call Strykersville, about 20 miles out of Buffalo. Ten years later, Baldus died there on Jan. 3, 1844. His widow, Margaret, survived him by 28 years. She came to! Mich. in 1861, making her home with her son Leonard until her death Sept. 5, 1872, in Scipio Twp.
Leonard, the eldest of eight, four sons and four daughters, was born May 8, 1805, in Harpersville, Delaware Co., NY. He was brought up on the family farm, living with his parents until attaining his majority. He was then married and settled in Livonia, Ontario Co., NY, where he worked upon shares for seven years. He then moved to another farm in Groveland Twp., the same county, and resided there fifteen years. In April 1852 he came to southern Mich. where he settled in Scipio Twp., purchasing 184 acres of land on sections 20 and 29 where he has lived ever since.
The marriage of Leonard PROPER and Miss Dorcas CONDON was celebrated at the home of the bride in Sparta, Livingston Co., NY, on Mar. 28, 1828. Dorcas was born there on Oct. 10, 1812, the dau. of Robert and Esther (MARTIN) Condon, both natives of VT. The parents spent the greater part of their lives in NY state, being many years residents of Sparta. They later moved to Erie Co., PA, where they spent the remainder of their days.
Dorcas and Leonard had nine children, the oldest of whom, a son, Robert, died June 1, 1838, when a promising lad of fourteen. The others, with one exception, are residents of Scipio Twp. where they are settled in comfortable homes of their own. Lyman, the next to youngest son, is engaged in mining in Nebraska. The rest are Mary E., Louisa, George W., Henry, Sarah, Myers and Esther. Mrs. Proper died at her home in Scipio Twp. on Oct. 5, 1860. Mr. Proper is, politically, a strong Republican. Industrious and frugal, he is fully entitled to the comforts of life by which he is now surrounded in the home which he has built up by his own thrift and industry.

Harvey N. PROUTY

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 760

Harvey N. Prouty was born Jan 5, 1833 in Onondaga Co., NY, the son of David D. and Mary (Morey) Prouty. David was from VT, Mary, NY. David's father served in the War of 1812.
The family left NY in 1833 for Lucas Co., OH. In 1839 they moved to Reading Twp., Hillsdale Co. Harvey's siblings were Frank, Martha, wife of Hiram Gould and Ann, wife of Albert Fuller.
On June 20, 1865, Harvey marr. Ophelia Rounds, b. 1848, the dau. of Lewis and Emley Rounds, who were both natives of NY.
Harvey and Ophelia had one son, Arthur, B. Feb. 6, 1869. They lived in Camden Twp.

Alternate Extract Harvey N. PROUTY, b. Jan/5/1833 in Onondaga Co., NY, was the son of David D. and Mary (MOREY) PROUTY, natives of VT and of NY respectively. David PROUTY's father served in the War of 1812.
In 1833 the family moved to Lucas Co., OH and in 1839 to Reading Twp., Hillsdale Co., where David died in 1859. Mary was still living in 1888 (when the book was published). Four of this couple's children reached maturity:
Harvey N., the eldest; Martha, Mrs. Hiram GOULD of Reading Twp.; Frank and Ann, Mrs. Albert FULLER, also of Reading Twp.
Between 1885 and 1865, Harvey did a great deal of traveling, mining and prospecting in California, Central America, British Columbia, Alaska and many of the western states and territories.
Upon his return to Hillsdale Co., he marr. Ophelia ROUNDS on June 20, 1865. She was 1848 and was the dau. of Lewis and Emley ROUNDS, both natives of NY and both deceased by 1888. Harvey and Ophelia had one child, Arthur, b. Feb/6/1869.
The family farm of 213 acres was in Camden Twp. In religion Harvey was an agnostic.

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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