Biographies
R

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 M. Ransom * Andrew J. Raplee * Andrew Reynolds * Eugene W. Reynolds * Judge Willard Richards
Thomas J. Richardson * Peter Richtmyer * Fred A. Roethlisberger * Charles Rose * Charles H. Roy



William M. RANSOM

Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903) p page 307

William M. RANSOM, the only surviving son of Harvey RANSOM, is a native of Jonesville where he was born on October 16. 1842. He received his education in the public schools of the town, and was for a period of twenty-one years here connected with the drygoods trade, serving for twelve and one-half years of the time as a clerk in the employ of Van Ness & Turner, and for the rest of the time, until 1882, being the head of a mercantile establishment of his own.
In the year last named he gave up merchandising and turned his attention to the insurance business in which he has since been pleasantly engaged. The first two years of his connection with this line of activity were passed in Kansas City, Mo., and since then he has carried it on with increasing patronage and energy in his native county, doing a general insurance business. dealing also in real estate and kindred lines of commercial enterprise.
He is a Republican in politics, and for sixteen years he has served and now still serving his people faithfully as a justie of the peace. being four times reelected to succeed himself in terms of four years each. He has served at various times for several years each as township treasurer. Township clerk, and also as city clerk.
On September 21, 1865, he married with Miss Caroline TURNER, of Logansport. Ind. They had three children, two of whom are living, their daughters, Nina L. and Angie T. May B. died suddenly on August 10, 1888. at the age of twenty years.
Mrs. RANSOM died on November 10. 1879 and Mr. Ransom was married a second time. on May 14, 1884, when Miss Josephine A. ACKERLY. a New Yorker by nativity, became the bride.
He is a zealous and enthusiastic Freemason. belonging to the blue lodge. the royal arch chapter of which he is a past high priest and now the very capable and popular secretary and to the council of royal and select masters.


Andrew J. RAPLEE

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, p.718.

Andrew J. RAPLEE, who departed this life at his home in Allen Twp., Sept. 29, 1883, was born near Dundee, Yates Co., NY, on July 17, 1817. His parents, Stephen and Sarah (ADAMS) Raplee, removed from Yates Co. to Steuben Co. when Andrew was about 14 years old and settled in the town of Wheeler where he grew to manhood and remained until the spring of 1863. He then made his way to Southern Mich., having now a wife and five children. He purchased a farm of 170 acres in Allen Twp. where he erected a fine residence in which he lived for the remainder of his days.
Mr. Raplee was first married in Wheeler, Yates Co., NY, on Nov. 10, 1842, to Miss Amy MERRITT, who died Sept. 4, 1843. He contracted a second marriage, Nov. 10, 1844, in Wheeler, with Miss Rebecca GARDNER, who was born there Sept. 18, 1823. Of this union were born five children. Velorous is farming in Allen Twp., this county; Sarah L. is the widow of George WAGNER, who died in this township in the fall of 1885; Stephen H. is carrying on agriculture not far from the homestead; Elizabeth is the wife of Walter VAN FLEET and Emma M. resides at home with her mother.
Mrs. Rebecca Raplee is the daughter of Furman and Elizabeth (MYRTLE) Gardner who were natives of Steuben Co., NY, within whose limits they spent their entire lives and where they were laid to rest. Rebecca was reared by an excellent mother to all housewifely duties and received her education in the district school. She lived with her parents until her marriage. She has been a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church a number of years, as was also her husband up to the time of his death.


Andrew REYNOLDS

Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co. Mich Chicago: Chapman Brothers 1888 pgs. 389-39

Andrew REYNOLDS, a thrifty farmer and stock-raiser of Cambria Township, is pleasantly located, with his land lying on sections 25 and 36; besides general farming, he gives a large share of his attention to the raising of Durham cattle and Poland-China swine. The most of his land, comprising a good farm of 275 acres, is in a productive condition, and his residence occupies a pleasant situation in the southern part of section 25.
Mr. REYNOLDS, a gentleman in the prime of life, was born in the township of California, Branch County, this State, Oct. 30, 1846. His father, Chancy REYNOLDS, was born in Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., and was the son of Joseph REYNOLDS, one of the most thrifty farmers of the Empire State.
Grandfather Reynolds left his native soil after reaching middle life, and took up his abode in Branch County, three miles from any house, in the township of California. There he spent his last years, continuing a tiller of the soil, and surrounded himself with many comforts before his death, which occurred in 1850 or 1851.
Joseph REYNOLDS, upon reaching manhood, took up, like his father before him, a tract of Government land sometime in the thirties and continued a resident of Branch County the remainder of his life, he and his excellent wife passing away within a few days of each other, both at the age of sixty-five years.
Chancy REYNOLDS was but a boy when he came with his parents to Branch County, this State, and upon reaching manhood sought his wife among the maidens of Bedford, Monroe County, being married, about 1841, to Miss Triphena TUTTLE, who was also a native of New York State, and came to Michigan with her parents during its Territorial days.
The young people after their marriage located upon a tract of land in California Township, Branch County, where the father labored industriously as a tiller of the soil, and was rewarded in due time by the possession of a fertile farm, supplied with good buildings, and all the other appurtenances of a comfortable home.
They endured hardships and privations, and practiced the most rigid economy. The first meal in their new home was cooked by the side of a stump, and eaten from the same dish. They worked together with one common purpose, and about 1848, having a chance to dispose of their property to good advantage, sold out in Branch County, and took up a tract of eighty acres of wild land in Camden Township, this county, which was then far from any neighbors, and where they nearly repeated the process through which they had gone in Branch County.
Upon this, however, they resided but a few years, and selling out once more, the father purchased 120 acres in Camden Township, which he cultivated for a time, then sold out again, and purchased eighty acres in Reading Township. Upon this he made some improvements, but removed from it in 1852 to the northeast quarter of section 36, Cambria Township, purchasing also at the same time twenty acres in Jefferson Township adjoining. This also was a wild and unbroken tract, but the father seemed to delight in subduing the wilderness, and here also effected a great change in the primitive condition of the soil.
He also put up two houses with the other needed buildings and here continued to reside until his death which took place Aug. 18, 1865.
The father of our subject, in addition to his farming ?, dealt considerably in real estate, buying and selling extensively. At the same time he took a lively interest in township affairs, and was a staunch supporter of Democratic principles. The mother survived her husband until 1880, dying February 21 of that year, at the home of our subject, in Cambria Township. She had been a true helpmate to her husband, who, without her ready cooperation, would probably have fallen far short of that which he was enabled to accomplish.
To Chancy Reynolds and his excellent wife there were born eleven children, six sons and five daughters, seven of whom lived to mature years, and are all married and settled in this State.
Andrew, our subject, is the third eldest living. He completed his education in the common schools of Cambria Township, and took for his new wife one of the most estimable young ladies of Woodbridge Township, Miss Rhoda A. FULLER, to whom he was married Oct. 14, 1874.
Mrs. Reynolds was born in Sodus Township, Wayne Co., N.Y., April 26, 1851, the daughter of Alcanzer and Amanda (HOPKINS) FULLER, also natives of Wayne County, N. Y., where they were married, and whence they removed to Michigan, when their daughter Amanda(?) was an infant four months old.
The father, a carpenter by trade, followed his occupation until removing to Woodbridge Township, this county, where he purchased a small tract of land, thirty-five acres in extent, which he improved and added to until he is now the owner of a good farm of 110 acres, with convenient and substantial buildings.
Mr. Fuller is fifty-eight years of age, and his estimable wife sixty-one. Their family included three daughters, who are now residing in Michigan. Mrs. REYNOLDS continued under the parental roof until her marriage, and is now the mother of two interesting children, a daughter and son, Eva A. and Chancy, who are pursuing their studies in the district school.
Mr. Reynolds, politically, has affiliated with the Democratic party since becoming a voter. Their neat homestead invariably attracts the eye of the passing traveler, and in all its surroundings indicates the thrift and industry of the proprietor.


Eugene W. REYNOLDS

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 396-97 [NOTE: The following is an abstract of the original sketch]

Eugene W. REYNOLDS, born 23 Jul 1847 in Jackson county, Michigan. He was the eldest living son of Cornelius REYNOLDS and Parnel MARSH REYNOLDS. The family moved back to Hillsdale County in about 1848.
Eugene bought a 40 acre farm when he was 20, and continued to add to it for a total of 500 acres as of 1903.
Eugene married Mary M. HEWES on 9 Oct 1871. Mary was a native of Reading Twp. and the daughter of Charles HEWES (native of Massachusetts) and Experience HOUSE (native of Genessee County, New York).
Charles and Experience emigrated to Hillsdale County in 1843 with "their three children" [no names mentioned]. Charles died 14 May 1888, aged 80; and Experience died 19 Mar 1892, aged 76.
Mary had three brothers who fought for the Union in the Civil War [no names mentioned]; one of whom died in a hospital at Lexington [Kentucky?].


Judge Willard RICHARDS

From the "Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI", 1888, p.333

Judge Willard RICHARDS is spending his declining years free from the cares of business in the pleasant town of Jonesville.
He is a native of Mass., born in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Aug. 6, 1806. His father, Thomas RICHARDS, was a native of the same town and his mother, Asenath CHAMBERLAIN, was born in Southboro, Mass. After marriage the parents settled in Framingham where they resided several years, engaged in farming.
They subsequently moved to Brookfield in western Mass. where Mrs. RICHARDS died. The father later removed to Sturbridge, Worcester Co., where he spent the remainder of his days. To this couple were born nine children: Betsey, Sullivan, Curtis, Hollis, William, Emory, Willard, Mariah and Mary.
Judge Richards was reared on the family farm and practically instructed in the various kinds of work devolving on a farmer's son. He was educated in the public schools and completed an academic course. He taught in the adjacent State of NY for four years in the schools of Schoharie and Montgomery Counties.
At that time, desiring a home and a permanent occupation, he purchased a farm in Schoharie Co. on which he and his wife [name not mentioned here] spent the first years of their wedded life. They then removed to Monroe Co., NY, where they remained until 1854.
Our subject became active in public and local affairs, taking a prominent part in political matters. He was elected Judge of Monroe Co. and served three years with much satisfaction. He also held the office of Justice of the Peace for sixteen years. Leaving Monroe Co., he came to Hillsdale Co. in June 1854, and purchased 100 acres in Scipio Twp. which he improved and beautified, and where he continued to live until his removal to Jonesville in July 1878.
Judge Richards has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Eliza HIGBIE whom he married in Montgomery Co., NY, Dec. 28, 1828. She was born in Schoharie Co., NY, Sept. 4, 1805 and died in Scipio Twp. Mar. 9, 1869. She was an affectionate wife, a tender mother and a good neighbor. This couple had three children: Nathan J., Caroline and Harriet A.
Judge Richards' second wife was Mrs. Priscilla C. (LOWE) CASE, widow of Horace CASE who died in Scipio Twp. The marriage took place in Hillsdale on April 25, 1870. Judge Richards was again bereaved by the death of his second wife on Feb. 22, 1887. The suddeness of her death was a severe shock to her husband, relatives and the entire community. The evening before she was apparently in her usual good health, and started out with her husband to attend a sociable in the Grange Hall, but before reaching the place was stricken down and survived only eleven hours.
Since coming to Mich., Judge Richards has taken the same active part in public affairs that he did in NY. While living in Scipio he served as Township Clerk for three years and Justice of the Peace for nearly 16 years. He has also taken a prominent part in the grange movement and has served as Master, Treasurer, Lecturer and Chaplain as well as having been a member of many important committees. He was first a member of the Republican party, then joined the Greenback party, and is now a Republican again. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity 30 years ago and of the Odd Fellows' order 35 years ago.


Thomas J. RICHARDSON

From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.757.

Thomas J. RICHARDSON ranks among the self-made men of Camden Twp. and has, by industry and perseverance, built up a fine farm of 120 acres including a comfortable home. He is a respected member of the community and a Democrat in politics. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity at Reading and is also a member of Eureka Commandery No.3, of Hillsdale. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church where he has served as Elder for several years.
Our subject was born in Steuben Co., NY, 6/20/1821. His parents were John and Catherine (SMITH) RICHARDSON, natives, respectively, of VA and MD, and of English and of Dutch ancestry. The parental family was a large one but only 3 children survive: Henry S. of Allegany Co., NY; Thomas J., our subject and Elizabeth, wife of John NORTON of Rochester, NY.
Thomas was reared to manhood in his native state, receiving a common-school education and learning to farm. On 1/14/1848, he married Miss Amanda ABER, who was born in Chemung Co., NY, on 3/1/1828. She is the daughter of Nathaniel and Ann (WASS) ABER who were also natives of the Empire State, the father of French descent and the mother of English origin. Thomas and Amanda became the parents of ten children, nine of whom are still living. They are: Charles M. of Lansing, this state; George M.. of Woodbridge Twp., this county; Kate, the wife of Fremont FOWLER of Cambria Twp., this county; John M. of Lansing; Elizabeth; James H.; Jennie, the wife of W. H. ADAMS of Woodbridge Twp. and Georgie E. and Thomas J. who are at home with their parents. Florence died when about four years old.
Mr. and Mrs. RICHARSON continued residents of their native state for over 20 years after their marriage, coming to this county in the fall of 1869 and first living in Reading Twp. Four years later they removed to their present farm in Camden Twp.


Peter RICHTMYER

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p.345

Peter RICHTMYER owned a 112 acre farm on section 21 Somerset Twp., Hillsdale Co.
He was born in Schoharie Co., NY, 11/3/1833, the son of Christian and Maria (BURHANE) Richtmyer, both natives of the same county. They had a family of ten children, most still living (1888) in NY state.
Peter started working early in life. From the ages of nine to fourteen he was hired out to the neighbors, then went west and worked in his brother's blacksmith shop for a year. For three more years he was a smithy in Medina, NY, and then launched out as a carpenter.
On 2/6/1853, Peter married Alzira LIDDLE. She was born in Shelby, Orleans Co., NY, 3/20/1833, the dau of Adam and Linda (CRAPSEY) Liddle.
Mr. Liddle was born in Manlius on 4/22/1785 and died in Orleans Co. 10/11/1877. He had served in the War of 1812, was wounded, and thereafter received a pension from the government.
Mrs. Liddle was also born at Manlius on 8/12/1794 and died at the family homestead in Orleans Co. on 11/18/1866. There were 8 children in their family.
Alzira's maternal grandfather, Jacob Crapsey, was born 3/2/1767 and died 11/8/1832 in Shelby, NY. His wife, Anna GRIFFITH, died in Lockport, NY, 1/21/1847, aged 70 years. Jacob Crapsey was a Free-Will Baptist and served in the pulpit of that church for many years.
Alzira's paternal grandfather, John Liddle, was born 2/28/1758 and died 9/12/1875. (1875 is what it says altho that must be incorrect.) ! ;
Peter and Alzira had four children.
* The eldest, Estella M., b. 2/8/1854, is now the wife of J. B. ALLEY and the mother of four children; they live in Somerset Twp.
* Della A., born 8/8/1857, is the wife of Thomas TRYON, a farmer in Moscow Twp.
* Sarah A., born 5/7/1859, is the wife of Stanley MURRY, a hardware merchant in Moscow; they have two children.
* Eva E., born 4/20/1862, graduated from Hillsdale College and is now teaching for the sixth term in Moscow Twp. She possesses rare musical talent, to which she is devoting much time and attention.
The four daughters were all born in Shelby, Orleans Co., NY.
After his marriage, Peter continued in his trade as carpenter and carried on farming until November 1865, when he came to Southern Michigan and located in Moscow Twp. In 1869, he sold out and purchased his present farm in Somerset Twp.
He votes the straight Republican ticket and is an advocate of temperance principles. He and his wife attend the Congregational Church. He is a member of the Moscow Village Masonic Temple and has been connected for years with the I.O.O.F. at Jerome.


Fred A. ROETHLISBERGER

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 188-189 [NOTE: The following is an abstract of the original sketch, which refers to the First State Savings Bank]

Fred A. ROETHLISBERGER was born 24 Mar 1860 in Allen Twp., Hillsdale Co, Michigan, the son of Andrew ROETHLISBERGER and Catherine BOCH ROETHLISBERGER.
Andrew was a native of Switzerland and Catherine of Germany. They came to the US in 1838 and settled in Adrian, Lenawee Co, Michigan. They came to Allen Twp in 1840. Andrew worked for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad and was a farmer; he died in 1875. Catherine was still alive as of the time of publication. Fred had 2 brothers and 1 sister (not named, and not living in Hillsdale County).
Fred was a farmer, then a store clerk, opening a drugstore in Allen. In 1893, he opened the First State Savings Bank and was postmaster at Allen for 15 years. He is a stockholder and officer in several other businesses and societies. (see sketch for details) He is also a Freemason and Knight of Pythias.
Fred married Nellie HOYT in 1881, in Cass County, Michigan. She is listed as "a native of the state". Fred and Nellie have two children, Leon E. ROETHLISBERGER and Fred A. ROETHLISBERGER Jr. (no birthdates given).


Charles ROSE

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

Charles ROSE
Born: 8 Feb 1826 Monroe Co NY
Parents: Thomas ROSE. & Sophia SMITH
Married Sarah J WILLIAMS 15 Nov 1848 (Parents Solomon WILLIAMS & Jane WESTON)
Died: after 1903
Children: Frank ROSE , Herman C. ROSE , Ella ROSE HAGERMAN, Nettie ROSE WALTON, (1 other deceased by 1903)


Charles H. ROY

Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical (1903) and Largely Biographical (1903) p 307-08

CHARLES H. ROY.
Descended from a long line of thrifty farmers, Charles H. ROY, the present capable and popular register of deeds of Hillsdale county, followed the family vocation for some years after leaving school, and was, while doing so, as good a representative of the farming element in the community as he is now of the public officials, who grace and render efficient service to the county.
His life began on February 17, 1849, in Bradford county. Pa., whither his parents, John A. and Hannah (JONES) ROY, moved from their native state, New York. They lived on a farm in the Keystone state, there flourished until death, and both are buried there. Mr. ROY's grandfather. Alexander ROY, a native of Orange county, N.Y., also moved to Pennsylvania and died in Bradford county, after a long life of usefulness as a prosperous farmer.
Charles H. ROY was the first born of five children, the only one living in Michigan. In the public schools of his native state and New York he received his preliminary education, and finished his course at a private school in Elmira. In 1868 he came to Hillsdale Mich., and took a course of instruction at the Hillsdale Business College, at its conclusion returning to New York, where he remained until 1880. He then returned to Michigan and, locating at Jackson, was a traveling salesman of agricultural implements for four years.
In 1884 he settled on a farm he purchased in Moscow township, personally conducting its operations until he was elected register of deeds for the county in 1900. He at once took up his residence at Hillsdale to attend to the discharge of his official duties, but he did not dispose of his farm, which is a fine property, highly cultivated and well-improved.
In politics Mr. ROY has been a lifelong Republican, laboring assiduously in all of its campaigns for the success of his party. For years he has served as chairman of its township committee and as a member of the county central committee, and, in both positions, he has been highly appreciated as a wise counsellor and a stimulating force.
In 1874 he was married to Miss Libby J. MCGOWAN, a native of this state. They have three children, Nellie L., Edna L. and Emma A.
Mr. Roy is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to Hillsdale Lodge, No. 176, at Hillsdale. He is active and zealous in behalf of the welfare of his lodge and takes interest in the proceedings of the craft in general. In the performance of the important duties of his office, as well as in the social amenities which pertain to it, he is winning favorable comments on every side, being careful, skillful and conscientious, serving all those who have occasion to seek his official services with promptness, grace and courtesy.



Submitted by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris

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