This page contains biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Hillsdale County residents.
The majority come from pre-1921 published sources as cited in the sketch.

John E. Wagner * Frank H Walsh * Joseph J. Walsh * Horace M. Ward * Homer Warner * David J Watkins
Jason R. Watkins * John H. Watkins * Edward Weatherington * Horace Weaver * B. L. Webb * Joel Webb
Albert J. Whitney * Andrew J. Wigent * Martin Wigent * Ira T. Wight * Mrs. Sarah Wilcox * Alexander F. Williams
The WILSON Family * William L. Wolcott * Myron G. Wood * Everett Woodward * Thomas Henry Wyllys


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan Chicago : Chapman Brothers, 1888, p.608.

John E. WAGNER came to Michigan with his parents in 1854, continuing as their efficient assistant and relieving them of the more onerous burdens of life until 1862 when he removed from the parental homestead, settling, in March of that year, in Medina Twp., Lenawee Co. Three years later he disposed of that property and, taking up his residence in Allen Twp., this county, has since made it his home.
He is the owner of a fine farm of 134 acres, pleasantly located on section 1. This he has transformed from a comparatively uncultivated tract to one of the finest estates in the county, the soil yielding in abundance the richest crops in Southern Michigan. This result was not accomplished without many difficulties and years of arduous labor and our subject is now enjoying the fruits of his persistence and industry.
Mr. WAGNER was born in Wheeler, Steuben Co., NY, Jan. 27, 1835, and is the son of George A. and Caroline (WHEELER) WAGNER, who were both natives of the Empire State, the father born in Rome, Oneida Co., Aug. 6, 1811, and the mother in Benton, Yates Co., Aug. 15, 1818. The parents after their marriage lived one year in the latter place, then removed to Naples, Ontario Co. and from there a year or two later, to Wheeler, Steuben Co., where they remained until their move to Mich., Nov. 1854.
Upon their arrival in this State they settled in Medina Twp., Lenawee Co., and a year later moved to Homer in Calhoun Co. where they lived for five years. They returned to Lenawee Co., living three years in Rome Twp., and then removed from there to this county where, with the exception of about two years in Blissfield, they have made their home in Adams Twp.
The parental family of our subject included four sons and five daughters, John E. being the eldest born. He acquired his education in the district schools and made such good use of his time that at the age of 23 he was amply fitted for the duties of a teacher and followed that calling for a period of nine winters in Calhoun, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties.
On Dec. 29, 1859, in Homer, Calhoun Co., Mr. Wagner was united in marriage with Miss Julia VAN WERT. She is the daughter of William and Temperance (TIFFANY) VAN WERT, the former born in Oneida Co., NY, in 1809 and the latter in Canandaigua, Ontario Co., NY, Oct. 1810.
The parents resided in NY until 1836 when they migrated to the Territory of Michigan, settling in Homer Twp. where they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying June 8, 1851, and the mother, May 5, 1877. Their family included three sons and nine daughters, Mrs. WAGNER being the sixth born. Of these, eight are now living, three sons and five daughters.
Mrs WAGNER was born Aug. 12, 1840, in Homer Twp. where she grew to maturity and attended the district schools. With her husband, she is a member of Fayette Grange, P. of H., of Hllsdale Co. For the past three years Mr. W. has been the Lecturer in the County Grange. They have no children. In Feb. 1887, Mr. WAGNER was appointed Special Deputy of the National Grange by the Master of the State Grange who was Gov. C. G. Luce. Mr. WAGNER was, early in life, a Democrat but is now in sympathy with the Nationals and is a strong supporter of the cause of prohibition.


Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical and Largely Biographical (1903) page 331-32

Frank H WALSH was born in Allen Twp., Hillsdale County, Michigan 12 Nov 1857. His parents were John and Susan WHEELOCK WALSH. Frank had a brother, Joseph J. WALSH [separate sketch].
John died 11 May 1886, and Susan was still living as of 1903.
Frank married Miss Bessie LANE December 1890. Bessie is a native of Linn County, Missouri and the daughter of Acie K. LANE.
Frank and Bessie had two children: Leon K. WELSH and Bessie A. WELSH [no dates given].
Bessie LANE WALSH died in 1897 and Frank married Miss Emma HILLMAN, a native of Iowa. Emma's parents were Albert and Sarah HILLMAN, residents of Branch County, Michigan.
Frank and Emma had Harold F. WALSH, born 30 Mar 1903.

NOTE: The John WALSH family is listed in the 1880 census in Allen, Hillsdale, Michigan -- Page 21D.
The Albert HILLMAN family is listed in the 1880 census in Quincy, Branch, Michigan -- Page 660D.

Joseph J. WALSH

Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical and Largely Biographical (1903) page 332-33

Joseph J. WALSH was born [no date given] to John and Susan WHEELLOCK WALSH.
John was the son of Michael WALSH - they both emigrated from County Wexford, Ireland in 1835. Susan WHEELLOCK emigrated, also from Ireland [possibly County Wexford as well] in 1850. John WALSH was one of five brothers [not named].
Michael and Joseph J [sic - probably supposed to be John] made their way almost directly to Hillsdale County, travelling via the Erie canal to Buffalo, then across Lake Erie to Detroit, then to Hillsdale County. Michael entered a large tract of land in Allen Township, the sons continuing to work the land after his death [no date]. In 1861, the land was divided between the sons.
John WALSH died 11 May 1886. His widow, Susan WHEELLOCK WALSH, now seventy-four years old [as of 1903?] lives with her two sons.
Joseph WALSH married Miss Minerva GILCHREST in 1880. Minerva is a native of Tarrytown, New York and a daughter of Harvey & Emeline J. TWITCHINGS GILCHREST. She is also the sister of Mrs. Bert E. FORD. Harvey & Emeline and family came to Hillsdale County in 1866.
Joseph and Minerva have four children: [no birth dates given] . Grace B. WALSH, Wilhemina WALSH, John H. WALSH and Josephine WALSH, all living at the parental home.

NOTE: The GILCHREST family is listed in the 1880 census in Allen, Hillsdale, Michigan - Page 21D

Horace M. Ward

From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.931.

Horace M. WARD, ex Supervisor of Fayette Twp, is a resident of section 11 of that township. His father was the Hon. Martin C. Ward who was born in Guilford, CT, Dec. 17, 1794. His grandfather was Deacon John Ward, a native of the same place where he was born in 1769. Deacon Levi Ward, the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in Killingworth, CT, in 1746 and was a lieutenant in the Conn. Militia during the Revolutionary War.
The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Silence ORRIET, was a daughter of James CRAMPTON, a native of Guilford, CT. She married Martin C. Ward and settled in Bergen, Genesee Co., NY, Oct. 24, 1820.
Martin Ward was a contractor and builder and engaged in operating sawmills quite extensively. He also had the management of the telegraph line between Albany and Buffalo, which it was his part of his duty to keep in order.
The parents of our subject resided in Bergen until their deaths which occurred for the mother Oct. 7, 1857, and for the father, Feb. 6, 1888.
The Hon. Martin Ward served in the General Assembly of 1849 and again in 1850, being twice elected, and held many important offices; he also held several important commissions from the Governors of NY State. He was Lieutenant, Captain and Major of infantry, and was three times elected Justice of the Peace, while for two years he was Supervisor of the town of Bergen and Postmaster of Stone Church for 16 years.
The parental family of our subject included nine children as follows: Henry M., deceased; Jeanette O., Amanda M., dec'd; Cynthia M., dec'd; Charles L., Cynthia A., Levi O., Horace M. and Jerome C. Our subject was born in Bergen, Genesee Co., NY, Nov 6, 1837, and lived on the farm until 16 years of age, receiving first a common-school education, and, in addition, a commercial course in Bryant and Stratton's College at Buffalo, NY, where he was graduated.
He was then employed as a store clerk in Bergen for seven years and afterward engaged in the commission business in NY City for about one year, when he returned to Bergen and, with his brother Jerome, bought a farm which they operated for five years.
During that time he patented a gate known as the "Automatic Farm Gate" which proved to be quite valuable. He remained there until 1868, and in the spring of that year came to Hillsdale Co. where he purchased the farm in Fayette Twp. upon which he has since resided. While living in Bergen he held several important offices, including Justice of the Peace and Inspector of Elections.
Since coming to Hillsdale Co. he has held the office of Supervisor of Fayette Twp. five years and has also been Director of Schools and Highway Commissioner for one year.
Mr. Ward was united in marriage while in Bergen, NY, April 10, 1862, with Miss Ann M., daughter of Benjamin F. and Olive (DUDLEY) JOHNSON. Mr. Johnson was born in Watertown, NY, and Mrs Johnson in North Guilford, CT. They settled in Burton, Geauga Co., OH, where they lived for some time after which they removed to Illinois and subsequently to Iowa, where Mr. Johnson died in 1843.
His widow afterward married Mr. Abel CRAMPTON and died in Fayette Twp. in March 1883. By her union with Mr. Johnson were born three daughters, Ermina L., Ann M. and Elsie F.
Mrs Ann Ward was born in Burton, OH, July 31, 1838, and her union with our subject resulted in the birth of four children: Nellie V., Edson H., Robert A. and Perley F. These children received a liberal education and the two eldest are following the profession of school teacher in the neighboring districts, while Robert A. is a professor of penmanship in Hillsdale College; Nellie V. is a graduate of Hillsdale College.
Their mother is an intelligent, educated woman and also was engaged in teaching before her marriage. Mr. Ward is a charter member of Fayette Grange No. 251 and Hillsdale County Pomona Grange No. 10.
Mr. Ward learned from his grandfather, Deacon Levi Ward, that about the year 1635, J. Ward, with his associates, emigrated from England and settled in New England near Boston.
The records show that Peter Ward, his grandson, was born in Killingworth, and in 1743 settled on the northeast corner of North Killingworth. This was gleaned from Deacon Levi Ward by his grandson, Martin C. Ward, the father of the subject of this sketch.
Submitted by Katherine Paty


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p.195.

Homer WARNER was a farmer, stock breeder and shipper. His shipping operation was highly successful. His farm occupied 160 acres on section 2, Camden Twp., Hillsdale Co. He
Homer was born 3/35/1844 in Onondaga, NY. His parents were Calvin and Clarissa (FITCH) Warner, both natives of NY state. His paternal grandfather, Amos Warner, served in the Revolutionary War and died, aged 90, at his home in the Empire State.
Calvin and Clarissa spent their entire lives in NY state and there had three children, Homer, George, of Reading Twp., Hillsdale Co. and Hannah, the wife of Adonis FELLOWS of Steuben Co., IN.
Homer grew to maturity in his native state and there married, on 3/1/1871, Melissa ROE, the daughter of John and Marion Roe of Memphis, NY.
Homer and Melissa had two children, Adah, b. 2/22/1872 and Clarence, b. 8/14/1879.
In the fall of 1871, Homer and his family came to Hillsdale Co. They settled first in Cambria Twp., moved to Woodbridge where they lived for thirteen years, then returned to Cambria and finally, in the spring of 1887, settled in their present home in Camden Twp.


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 195

Born: 6 Mar 1835 - Glenville Twp (Schnectady) NY
Parents: Johnson WATKINS (d. 1873) Eunice RANDALL (d. 1877)
Married: Minerva VINCENT (parents John VINCENT & Mary REYNOLDS) 8 Mar 1857 Cambria Twp (Hillsdale) MI
Died: after 1903
Children: Edmund J. WATKINS, Chauncey E. WATKINS, George E. WATKINS, Edith E WATKINS(married F.E. DAILEY)
Other Info: mentions grandfather, Hezekiah WATKINS: Wales>US - Rev War Vet. Came to Hillsdale Co in 1849. David = Civil War Vet.


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 204

Born: 8 Dec 1830 - New York
Parents: Johnson WATKINS & Eunice RANDALL
Married: Margaret FELTIS 15 Jan 1852 Montgomery Co NY
Died: after 1903
Children: Josiah WATKINS, Nancy J. WATKINS (married J.R. PRICE) John H. WATKINS, Ira WATKINS, Judson WATKINS, Carrie WATKINS (married Theron DURYEA).
Other Info: worked on Erie Canal & Michigan Southern & Indiana Northern Railroad


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 432

Born: 22 August 1861 - Jefferson Twp (Hillsdale) MI
Parents: Jason R. WATKINS & Margaret A. FELTIS
Married: Etta FOUST (parents Edwin FOUST & Elizabeth COPE) 10 Jan 1883 - Montpelier OH or Hillsdale Co MI.
Died: after 1903
Children: Alta M. WATKINS, Grace WATKINS, Avice E. WATKINS.
Other Info: farmed in Ohio and Hillsdale Co. member of Lodge of Foresters.


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p.212.

The Weatherington brothers of Wright Twp., Hillsdale Co., are well-known throughout Southern Mich. as extensive general farmers and stockraisers and as owners of the imported English Shire draft horse, Black Rock, one of the finest stock horses in the U.S. Their beautiful farming estate is located on section 35.
Edward WEATHERINGTON was born in Warmington, Northampshire, England on 2/13/1844. His parents were John and Bridget (UPEX) Weatherington, both also natives of Northampshire.
John learned the trade of thatcher and stacker which he followed for some years. He then worked as a hotelkeeper in Warmington.
In July of 1845 the family of two parents and six children, Edward being just one year old, sailed from Liverpool to New York, a voyage of 40 days. They traveled to Michigan via the Hudson River and the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and thence by lake to Toledo. There they took the train to Adrian and Wright Twp., where they settled on the same tract of land where the present family farm stands.
John worked diligently improving his homestead until 3/25/1863 when he was killed by a falling tree. He was then 62 years old. His wife Bridget survived him by thirteen years, also dying at the old homestead in 1876. John and Bridget had seven children.
* William, a resident of Wright Twp.
* Alice married Robert HUMBERSTONE who died in 1880.
* John and Thomas are the associates of their brother Edward in his farming and stock raising, and live with him at the homestead.
* Sarah lives with her brothers.
* Mary A. was born in Wright Twp. and died there on 1/9/1882.
* Edward, only one year old when his parents came to the U.S., never knew any home but in Hillsdale Co. In company with his brothers, he has purchased land until their property now includes 600 acres of excellent soil. On 3/8/1884, Edward marr. Jane STOOPS. She was born in Milford, Wayne Co., OH, to Joseph and Susannah Stoops, natives respectively of PA and OH. Both were still living in 1888.
Edward and Jane had only one child, a daughter, Fuschia Anna, born 4/9/1885 and died 4/14/1888.
Edward was a Democrat. In the spring of 1888 he was elected Justice of the Peace. He and Jane were members of the United Baptist Church at Waldron.


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County, Michigan. 1888, Chapman Bros. page 978
NOTE: This is an extract of the original article

Horace WEAVER was born in Wayne Co., NY, 10/22/1829. His parents were James and Phebe (HAIGHT) Weaver. Phebe died in Wayne Co. when Horace was an infant.
James moved his family to LaSalle, Monroe Co., Mich. Terr., in 1834. James died there in 1845. In 1848 Horace left Monroe Co., coming to Wright Twp., Hillsdale Co., where he worked chopping and clearing land.
He was soon able to purchase 40 acres of timber land for $200. A few acres were cleared and there he built a frame house prior to his first marriage. In 1870 he sold that property and bought a farm of 60 acres on section 27, Wright Twp. where he was still living in 1888.
Horace joined the Union forces, enlisting 9/11/1861 in Co. F, 11th Mich. Infantry for three years. His regiment served in the Army of the Cumberland. He saw action at the battle of Stone River and the battle of Chickamauga. In the latter battle he was captured 9/20/1863.
He was held at prisons in Richmond and in Danville, VA, until 5/8/1864 when he was paroled and discharged with the regiment at Sturgeon, MI on 9/13/1864.
Horace married, on 5/5/1872, Mrs. Lucinda ALLEN who was a native of NY state. By her marriage with her first husband, Mr. Allen, she had one daughter, Ora Dell, wife of Levi BAKER; they have five children.
The first wife of Horace Weaver was Judith A. VANSCHAIK. By this marriage Mr. Weaver had one child, Emma D., who first married George E. SOPER, by whom she has one child. She is now the wife of Henry OWEN, and lives in Bellaire, MI; she has three children.
Mr. and Mrs. Weaver were members of the Disciples' or Christian Church. Mr. Weaver was a Republican until the formation of the Prohibition party which he then joined.


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.838.

B. L. WEBB, who owns and occupies a farm of 100 acres on section 24 in Allen Twp. where he has lived for the past nine years, is a native of this State, having been born in Hudson, Lenawee Co., Sept. 12, 1849, and is the fourth child of the Hon. Martin H. and Susan (GUY) Webb, who are natives of NY State.

Mrs Webb was the sister of Oscar F. Guy of this county, a sketch of whom will be found on p.378 of this work. The parents were married in Jonesville, this State, and settled in Hudson Twp., Lenawee Co. where they lived about three years. Thence they came to Pittsford Twp., this county, and after a residence of six years on the farm, took up their abode in the city of Hillsdale where the death of the mother occurred in April 1875.

The Honorable Martin Webb survived his wife a little over four years, dying in November 1879. He was a man of character and quite prominent in local affairs. Besides holding other positions of responsibility and trust, he officiated as Justice of the Probate Court of Hillsdale Co. for a period of 12 or 14 years. The parental family included three sons and two daughters, four of whom are living and mostly residents of Mich.

The early years of our subject were spent upon the farm where he acquired the arts of plowing, sowing and reaping. His education was completed in the Union School at Hillsdale. When 19 years of age he started out for himself, working for the farmers of the neighborhood, and at the age of 24 was married, June 18, 1873, to Miss Alvira WHITE at the home of the bride in Hillsdale Twp. He then purchased a farm in Jefferson Twp. where he carried on agriculture for six years, then sold out and purchased the farm of which he is now the owner.

The wife of our subject is the daughter of Eugene H. and Alvira (HART) White who were natives of the Empire State, whence they removed in early life to this county, and settled upon a farm in Hillsdale Twp. where the death of the mother took place in May 1856.
Mr. White is still living and resides in Dakota. They were the parents of two children, only one of whom, Mrs. Webb, is living. She was born in Hillsdale Twp., May 13, 1856. She acquired her education in the common schools and lived in the parental home until her marriage.

Mr. and Mrs Webb are the parents of five children: Martin H.; Susan A.; Edgar A.; Floyd B. and Ernest E., the eldest being 13 years of age and youngest two. Mr Webb gives most of his attention to his own affairs, having little to do with politics, but uniformly votes the Republican ticket.

Submitted by Katherine Paty


From the Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p.851.

Joel WEBB was born in Shelby, Orleans Co., NY, Dec. 18, 1830, while his father, Steven, was born in the same State. Grandfather Peter Webb was born in Delaware Co., NY, and subsequently removed to Orleans Co. where he spent the remaining years of his life. Steven Webb, father of our subject, was only a boy when the family moved to Orleans Co. and it was there he grew to manhood and married. In 1835 he left the comforts of home in the Empire State and, taking a team, set out for Mich. Terr. He brought his team as far as Buffalo, then came by lake to Detroit where he bought a team of oxen and continued on to Lenawee Co. He purchased 90 acres of timber land on the north line of Fairfield Twp. and built a log cabin to house his family. It had a puncheon floor and all the cooking was done in a huge fireplace from which the smoke arose through a chimney made of sticks and clay. The family passed the long winter evenings around this humble hearth, the mother teaching her daughters all housewifely skills while the boys studied their next day's work or practiced their natural Yankee propensity for whittling. The mother used to spin, weave and make all the family clothing.

At that time there were no railroads in Mich., and Adrian was but a hamlet of mostly log buildings. Deer, wild turkeys and other small game were found in abundance while bear sometimes appeared and the howls of wolves were frequently heard at night. The father cleared a good farm upon which he erected suitable buildings and resided there until 1865 when he sold out and removed to Ingham Co. where he bought a farm of 80 acres. In 1874 he moved again to Fulton Co., OH, living there for five years and then returning to Ingham Co. where he spent the last years of his life. His wife, whose maiden name was Betsey BRIGGS, was born in NY State to James and Polly (HAGERMAN) Briggs. She also died in Ingham Co. To this couple were born 12 children, five of whom are yet living, and recorded as follows: James resides in Sac Co., IA; Joel is the subject of this sketch; Dorothy lives in Cowley Co., KS; Lydia M. lives in Cloud, KS, and Albert resides in Ingham Co.

Joel was one and one-half years old when his parents made the long journey to Mich. He attended the pioneer schools taught in log schoolhouses and assisted his father in the cultivation of the farm. He remained with his parents until 1858 and then went to Ohio and farmed with his brother in Fulton Co. for one year. He returned home, living there until his marriage when he purchased a tract of land in the southeastern part of Fairfield Twp. and began married life in the regulation log cabin. In 1862 he exchanged this property for land in Madison Twp., Lenawee Co., and resided there until 1865 when he sold out and purchased a farm in Gorman Twp., Fulton Co., OH, and resided there until 1880. He then sold that property and, returning to Hillsdale Co., purchsed his present farm in Wright Twp.

Mr Webb was united in marriage July 4, 1860, with Miss Jane BAYLOR who was born in Columbiana Co., OH, Aug. 11, 1833, and is the daughter of Jacob Baylor, a native of Washington Co., PA, and the son of Conrad Baylor. Jacob Baylor was married in Ohio to Sarah STACKER, also a native of Washington Co., PA, and the daughter of John and Catherine (MUMBAR) Stacker. Jacob Baylor worked at his trade of a cooper until 1852, then removed to Fulton Co., OH, and purchased a farm in Royalton Twp. where he lived until 1864. He then moved to Kosciuski Co., IN, and bought the farm upon which the family lived for some time. They later removed to Jasper Co., IN, where the father died. The mother is still living.

Mr. and Mrs. Webb have two children, Hattie L. and Martin. They are members of the Brethren Church while Mr. Webb, in politics, is a Democrat.
submitted by Katherine Paty


Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 997
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

Albert J. WHITNEY was b. Sept. 1847, in Alabama, Genesee Co., NY.
His father was Isaac A. WHITNEY, b. in Seneca Twp., Ontario Co., NY. His mother was Jane MOORE, b. in Phelps Twp., Ontario Co, NY.
Jane's father, Washington MOORE lived in Mass. and served in the War of 1812.
The WHITNEY line goes back to John WHITNEY, a Puritan, who left his home on Whitney St., Liverpool, Eng. and came to Mass. in 1634 at the age of 35.
Isaac and Jane WHITNEY had nine children, Two sons, Loren and Frank, fought in the Civil War and died in service, Two more, Washington and Ami, served and returned home safely.
Albert J. was the youngest child. On 31 Jul 1869, he marr. Laura Ann WAITE, the dau. of Joseph and Caroline WAITE.
Joseph was b. in Lima, NY; Caroline in Erie Co., NY. Laura Ann was b. 27 Mar 1850, in Erie Co., NY. The family moved to Butler, Branch Co., MI in 1851.
Albert and Laura had 3 children: Jennie L., Emmett A. and Mabel E.

Andrew J. WIGENT

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 413

Andrew J. WIGENT
Born: 30 Aug 1833 - Onondaga Co NY
Parents: Martin WIGENT & Mary BARTHOLOMEW
Married: Belinda FOUST 25 Mar 1860 Hillsdale Co MI
Died: after 1903
Children: Fred M. WIGENT, Frank S. WIGENT, Shannon L. WIGENT, Ida M. WIGENT, Rhoda WIGENT, Bliss WIGENT, James W. WIGENT.
Other Info: Mason, teacher, farmer, held several public offices.


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 413

Born: 30 November 1802 Onondaga Co NY
Parents: (German)
Married: 1828 - Mary BARTHOLOMEW (parents Daniel BARTHOLOMEW & Lucy HOLYDAY - Mary died 2 Nov 1867)
Died: 1 April 1861 -Reading ( Hillsdale ) MI
Children: Andrew J. WIGENT (5 other children - not mentioned by name)
Other Info: Family migrated from Germany to Ohio in April 1834. Came to Hillsdale c 1837. Martin built first grain mill.


Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., Mich., 1888, p.915.

Ira T. WIGHT, a farmer in Allen Twp., came to Hillsdale Co. with his parents, when six years old, in 1830. He was born in Euclid, Cuyahoga Co., OH. His 129 acre farm is on section 5.
Ira's parents were Thaddeus Wight, b. 6/8/1788 in VT, and Lucinda WASHBURN, also from New England, b. 8/9/1792. This couple settled first in VT but soon moved to Saratoga Co., NY and, a few years later, to OH.
In 1830, they brought their family to Hillsdale Co. where they settled, April 12, on a tract of land where the town of Jonesville now stands. One year later they moved to a farm two miles west. There the mother died on 9/7/1832. The father later moved to Jonesville. He died 7/28/1859, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Roscius SOUTHWORTH, in Allen Twp.
Thaddeus and Lucinda had six daughters and three sons, Ira being the second son. After the death of his wife, Thaddeus was married, in Feb. 1834, to Mrs. Agnes McVAY of Cuyahoga Co., OH. She survived him by one month. They had no children.
Ira grew up amid the pioneer scenes of early Hillsdale Co. He married, on 3/23/1846, Miss Adeline S. BON, who, like himself, was born in Cuyahoga Co., on 7/28/1829.
They had six children: William A., who lives in Chicago; Henry T., of Grand Rapids, MI; Jeremiah who died in childhood; Samuel A., also living in Chicago; Ellen A., the wife of Luther J. HANCHETT of Allen Twp. and Edwin W., of Kalamazoo. Adeline departed this life at her home in Allen Twp. on 5/3/1870.
Ira married second, in Woodbridge, Hillsdale Co., on 8/30/1870, Mrs. Anne E. LOWER, dau. of the Rev. Joseph and Mary A. WALDORF and the widow of Henry Lower, who died in Columbiana Co., OH, 1/16/1869. Anne E. was born in Medina, OH on 4/15/1847.
No children were born to this couple but they have an adopted son, Charles L., who came to them at the age of one and is now (1888) a promising lad of ten years.
Ira cast his first presidential vote for James K. Polk but is now a Republican. He has held the office of Highway Commissioner in Allen Twp. and is a member of the Masonic Order.

Mrs. Sarah WILCOX

Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p 560
[NOTE: The following is an extract of the original sketch]

Mrs. Sarah WILCOX was the widow of Foster N. WILCOX of Moscow Twp., Hillsdale Co.
Mrs. Wilcox was the dau. of Reuben and Sarah (ALLEN) WILCOX, both natives of Onondaga Co., NY, where they lived until emigrating to Mich. in 1835. The father was still living in 1888, the mother died 1872 at the family home in Adams Twp., aged 68 years.
Their dau. Sarah was b. 6/25/1843, in Adams Twp. On 7/4/1860 Sarah marr. Foster N. WILCOX in Hillsdale.
Foster was b. 2/6/1840 in Adams Twp. His parents were Henry and Orsa (FOSTER) WILCOX, both natives of VT. They moved to Adams Twp. in 1838. The father died 1887; the mother was still living in 1888.
The children of Foster and Sarah were: Lilly M., Mrs. Abraham HALL, of Moscow Twp., mother of Birnes and Bertha HALL. Elnora E., Mrs. Chester WILLIAMS, Moscow Twp. Willie J., living in Ypsilanti, MI. Ora A., Nellie M. and Henry, still living at home with their mother.

Alexander F. WILLIAMS

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888, p. 380.

Alexander F. WILLIAMS is a highly respected resident of Pittsford Twp. where he owns and occupies a good farm which he has developed from its original wild state. He was born in the town of Hamburg, Erie Co., NY, July 10, 1819, and is of English descent. His grandfather, John WILLIAMS, was born in England.
When a young man he was pressed into the English Army and, coming to America, fought against the Colonists in the Revolutionary War. At the time of Burgoyne's defeat he was captured by the Americans and then and there forswore allegiance to all foreign powers, especially the English, and from that time became a faithful and loyal citizen of the U.S. He first settled in Ontario Co., NY, as a pioneer but spent his closing years in Erie Co., NY with his children. To him and his worthy wife were born six children.
Their son Nathan, the father of our subject, was born in Ontario Co., there grew to manhood and married Sarah POTTER, a native of that same county and the daughter of Nathaniel Potter, one of its earliest settlers and a member of the Society of Friends. Sometime prior to 1812, Nathan Williams settled in Erie Co., NY, where he bought a tract of timberland from the Holland Purchase Company. He partly cleared four different farms and remained in that county until 1851. In that year he came to Mich. and bought a small farm in Pittsford Twp. where he and his wife continued to reside their until their deaths.
Alexander, the subject of this sketch, lived in his native state until 1844. In the meantime, he took to his home and heart the good wife who was to be his wise counselor and true friend for many years to come. They married Mar. 24, 1840. Her name was Augusta COMSTOCK, born on Long Island, NY, in March 1822 and was the adopted daughter of Caleb and Esther COMSTOCK.
In 1844 they joined a colony of 13 persons bound for Mich. They crossed Lake Erie to Monroe where the group hired two cars to convey them to their destination. An engine drew the cars to Adrian and there horses were attached to draw them to Hudson. Mr. WILLIAMS had a pair of horses that he had brought with him from NY and he drove from Monroe to his future home in Hillsdale Co. He then settled on the farm that he has occupied ever since.
His first effort was to erect a board house for the shelter of his family. He next began the arduous labor of clearing the land of its growth of centuries old trees. It took strength, energy and resolute and steadfast purpose to bring his farm to its present cultivated and highly productive state. Having little money, he was also obliged to work for others in order to have enough for his family to live on. For many years he did all of his farm work, marketing and milling with oxen.
Five children blessed the union of our subject and his amiable wife.

  • Justina, who married Andrew LONG, died May 2, 1883.
  • Mary married James TURNER and lives in Jefferson Twp.
  • William E. lives in Pittsford.
  • Ortis E. married Harriet SAULSBURY and lives in Pitts Village.
  • Frank P. lives on the home farm. He married Nettie WOOD of Pittsford Twp. and they have three children, Josie, Aveita and Willam E.
    Mr. WILLIAMS and his children sustained a sad loss by the death of the beloved wife and mother on Feb. 2, 1883, after a married life of nearly 47 years. She had bravely shared with her husband the adventures of life in a newly settled country. They were devoted to each other and their married life was exceedingly happy. She was a wise and tender mother and her neighbors also grieve the loss of a kind friend. Mr. Williams has nobly fulfilled his obligations as a man and a citizen. He has been always faithful and trustworthy in his dealings with others; genial and helpful to those about him. He was a thoughtful and affectionate husband and a loving father, devoted to the interests of his children and grandchildren. He has a birthright membership in the Friends Church and is a staunch Republican.

    The WILSON Family

    Posted by Ron Wilson Jan 2002

    George WILSON was the father of Edgar WILSON who married Sarah Elizabeth SHEAN on 12/12/1880.
    Sarah (1859-1932) was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (FITZGIBBON) SHEAN.
    Edgar and Sarah, who lived in Pittsford, had 5 children: Emma, Earl, Bessie, Floyd and Clair (1885-1945).
    My great aunt Bessie married Elmer LASER (1880-1962). Their son is Harold LASER.
    Floyd's children are Earl and Ireta. Clair Henry WILSON was my grandfather.
    Clair married Ehtel DRAKE around WWI. They had 2 children, Emma (WILSON) EASTON (1918-1999) and Ross H. WILSON (1920-1976).
    Emma married and moved to Overland Park, KS in the 1940's. Emma EASTON had 3 children; Gwen, Sharon (DUER), and Brooks EASTON. Gwen passed away in Hudson, Mi 1979, and is buried with the family in the cemetery at Likely's Corners.
    Ross WILSON, my father, lived in Hillsdale until he enlisted in the army in 1942. At the end of the war, my dad moved to Detroit, married my mother, Ruth GRINNEWALD, in 1946, and moved to Dearborn where he lived until his death in 1976.
    All the relatives up to an including Clair and Ethel WILSON, are buried in Likely's Corners (which I don't think exists anymore).

    William L. WOLCOTT

    From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI , 1888, p. 477.

    William L. WOLCOTT, a highly respected citizen of Jonesville, has led an active, useful life, and for many years has been a minister in the United Brethren Church. He also has been actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was born in Leroy, Genesee Co., NY, Oct. 13, 1818. His parents, William and Susan (FORDHAM) Wolcott, were natives respectively of Dutchess Co., NY and of VT. After marriage they settled in Leroy, removed from there to Chautauqua Co., NY, and thence to Sandusky Co., OH. There Mr. Wolcott was occupied as a farmer, remaining a resident until his death in 1847. His wife survived him by many years, her death not occurring until 1879. They were honest, industrious, frugal people, well meriting the respect in which they were held. They had eleven children, seven sons and four daughters.
    Our subject was the fifth child born to his parents. His early life was spent on the farm where he gained from his father a practical knowledge of farming which lead him to great success in later life. He attended district schools and completed a course of study at Westfield Academy, NY, although he did not graduate from that institution. He was 17 years old when his parents moved to Sandusky Co., OH, and there he taught school until he was 24 when he came to believe he had a still higher calling. He had been studying for the ministry for three or four years and at the age of 24 began to preach from the pulpit of the United Brethren Church. He continued in that profession, while at the same time also farming, as long as he resided in Ohio. In 1847 he removed to Hillsdale Co., settling in Scipio Twp. where he purchased a farm which he cultivated while occasionally occupying the pulpit for many years. In the fall of 1873 he came to Jonesville where he has since made his home.
    Mr. Wolcott has been twice married. His first wife, to whom he was wed in Fremont, OH, on Aug. 19, 1838, was Sara STORMS. She was the daughter of Isaac and Martha (HILTON) Storms, who were probably both natives of NY. The father died in Sandusky Co., OH, and the mother in Hardin Co., IA. They had a family of eight children, Mrs. Wolcott being the sixth. She was born in Redfield, Oswego Co., NY, Nov. 19, 1820. Her union with our subject was blessed by five children: Myron H., b. Sandusky Co., Sept. 30, 1839; David A., b. Sandusky Co., Aug. 1, 1842; Adelaide and Jane who died in infancy, and Nettie, b. in Hillsdale Co., Feb. 4, 1859. Nettie is the wife of Charles W. JORDAN who was born in Fayette Twp., Hillsdale Co., May 25, 1857, and is the son of John W. Jordan; they have three children: Earl W., Henry L. and Charles R. Myron H. married Miss Phebe JONES who was born in Litchfield Twp., Hil lsdale Co., Mar. 2, 1842, and is the daughter of William R. Jones; they have had four children: Leroy; Willie, who died aged two years; Merton and a child who died in infancy. David A. married Miss Helen CLEVELAND, a native of New York State, born Mar. 1, 1844, and a daughter of Jerome Cleveland: they have two children: Alice A. and Verne C. Mrs. Sarah Wolcott departed this life in Scipio Twp., Dec. 9, 1864.
    Mr. Wolcott married his second wife on April 9, 1865 in Scipio Twp. She (no first name is given) was the daughter of Dr. Noah and Rachel (INMAN) JENNINGS, born respectively in CT and Philadelphia, PA. The Doctor and his wife settled in Fremont, OH, after their marriage, where she died. He afterward removed to Jonesville, this county, which remained his home until he died. They had six daughters and one son. Mrs. Wolcott was the third child in the family and was born in Scott Twp., Sandusky Co., Jan 10, 1839. She and Mr Wolcott had two children, Willie L., who died at 10 months of age and Cora Maud, born Mar. 17, 1871.
    While in the ministry, our subject's piety, earnestness and learning made him a power in the pulpit and enabled him to do much good in his beloved work. He has always taken a deep interest in public affairs and has held several offices. He was commissioned to be Captain in the old State Militia of Ohio, a position he held for several years. Also in Ohio, he was elected to the position of Clerk of Madison Twp. In Hillsdale Co., he served as County Coroner for a long term of years, was Inspector of Schools in Scipio Twp. and was formerly a Justice of the Peace. Early in life he was, politically, a Whig, later becoming an ardent supporter of the Republican party. As a man and citizen he is above reproach. He has long been identified with Hillsdale Co. and has made many friends and few enemies during his residence here of over forty years.

    Myron G. WOOD

    Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co 2 Parts - Fully Historical and Largely Biographical (1903) page 348

    Myron G. WOOD was born in Hillsdale County Michigan, on 23 April 1843. His parents, Seth and Lydia GATES WOOD, came from New York to Hillsdale County in 1840 and settled in Wheatland Twp. Seth passed away in 1852; while Lydia survived until 1901. They had seven children who grew to adulthood, two sones & five daughters [not named], all living in Michigan.
    Myron purchased the family homestead and still owned in as of 1903. He was appointed deputy sheriff by Sheriff George W. BULLOCK, and Sheriff E.C. MINER and was elected sheriff himlsef in 1884, serving for four years.
    Myron married Miss Susan CRATER in 1866. Susan was the daughter of Mathias CRATER of Wheatland Twp. Myron and Susan had the following children: Mary WOOD, wife of W.D. PERRY; Hattie WOOD; Elsie WOOD, wife of Herbert MARSH; and Bessie WOOD, living at home. Myron was a Republican and a Freemason.

    Additional Information
    Seth WOOD and family can be found in the 1850 Hillsdale County Census in Wheatland Twp, page 479B. The Mathias CRATER family can be found in the 1850 Hillsdale County Census in Wheatland Twp., page 481A.
    Myron WOOD and family can be found in the 1880 Hillsdale County Census in Wheatland Twp. on Page 311D.

    Everett WOODWARD

    Compendium of History and Biography of Hillsdale County Michigan. 2 Parts - Fully Historical and Largely Biographical published 1903, Elon J. Reynolds, ed. Chicago: AW Bowen & Co. page 214-15

    Everett WOODWARD was born 29 Aug 1845 in Hancock County, Ohio. His parents were Daniel WOODWARD and Abigail BARKER, natives of New Hampshire.
    Daniel came to Ohio on 1834 and he and his family migrated to Hillsdale County Michigan in 1854. Daniel rented a farm for 2 years & then bought 80 acres. Daniel died in 1888; Abigail in 1887. They had 4 children; all except Everett were dead by 1903.
    Daniel's father, Samuel WOODWARD, came from New Hampshire to Michigan, in 1856, dying in 1858.
    Everett has lived in Jefferson Twp since he came to Hillsdale County - being the Justice of the Peace since 1876.
    No mention of a wife or children.

    Thomas Henry WYLLYS

    Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County Michigan 1888, Chapman Bros. p. 258
    NOTE: This following info is an extract of the biographical sketch.

    Thomas Henry WYLLYS was a leading farmer and stockgrower of Woodbridge Twp. where he also carried on a successful dairy business. He was b. 10/25/1841 in Ridgeville Twp., Lorain Co., OH.
    His parents were Rufus and Dorcas (DARLING) WYLLYS, who were natives respectively of MA and VT. The father was b. 5/27/1805 and died 4/30/1864 at his home in Woodbridge Twp., Hillsdale Co. He was inclined to the belief of the Latter-Day Saints, although by no means believing in polygamy.
    He visited the city of Nauvoo, Ill. in 1844, remaining there for one winter. In 1851 he moved his family from Ohio to Hillsdale Co. where he secured 200 acres of land in Woodbridge Twp. and from the undeveloped soil built up a fine farm.
    Originally of the old Whig party, he was a decided Abolitionist, hating wrong and oppression in every form. Mrs. Wyllys, who was b. 7/2/1814, survived her husband by 10 years. She died 5/27/1874 on the family homestead. She was a Second Adventist in religious belief.
    Rufus and Dorcas Wyllys had ten children: Dorothy D., Delos, John W., Ursula, John A., Thomas H., Dorcas E. (see V. SEBRING, p.958), Elous J., Rufus and Theodore F. Of these, six were living in 1888 and most were residents of Michigan.
    On 10/25/1875, in Hillsdale, Thomas Henry married Margaret M. BRADY. She was born in the village of Dundrum, five miles outside of Dublin, on 8/20/1853.
    She was the dau. of James and Jane (O'NEAL) BRADY, both of whom were born and died in Ireland. The father died in Oct. 1881 and the mother died 12/15/1885. They were members of the Roman Catholic Church and the parents of seven children, three of whom died in infancy.
    Margaret Brady came by herself to America in 1872. She came by steamer and landed at NYC. She proceeded directly to Hillsdale, where she had a sister, and supported herself for three years before marrying Thomas. Thomas and Margaret had three children: J. Thomas, b. 9/22/1876; Jane Editha, b. 3/17/1879 and Julia E., b. 7/5/1882.
    Mrs. Wyllys was a champion butter and cheese maker and a thrifty, industrious housewife. She was loyal to the Catholic faith of her parents and was married by Rev. Father Dewey of Hillsdale.

    Biographies submitted by Katherine Paty and by former MIGenWeb Hillsdale County Coordinator, Tracey Morris.
    This information is made available to the public for non-commercial purposes.


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