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These pages contain biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Montcalm County residents.

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James Albert Dailey

History of Montcalm County, Michigan
by John W. Dasef - 1916

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen

James Albert Dailey Bio
James Albert Dailey Bio

THOMAS D. DAVIS

HISTORY OF MONTCALM COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Its People, Industries and Institutions
pg. 220-222
BY JOHN W. DASEF, VOLUME II, 1916 B.F., BOWEN & COMPANY , Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana.

No history of Montcalm county would be complete without fitting mention of the life and services of the late Thomas D. Davis, one of the pioneers of Bloomer township, this county, an honored veteran of the Civil War and for years one of the leaders in the life of the community in which the best part of his life was lived. He became a resident of Bloomer township in 1859, making his home in what was then a forest wilderness, and lived to see that section develop from its primeval state to a state of high cultivation, with a proper and well-established social order, and in the good work of bringing about these latter conditions played no inconspicuous part. His widow, who still survives him, was a faithful and helpful pioneer wife and mother and retains the most vivid recollections of the hard years through which the pioneers passed during the period in which the forests were being cleared that the land might be rendered habitable.

Thomas D. Davis was born in the stale of Pennsylvania in I826, son of Aaron and Elmira (Baker} Davis. While he was yet a small boy his parents moved to Attica, New York, and there he grew to manhood. He married in ~849 and for ten years thereafter was engaged in farming in the Attica neighborhood. In 1859 he and his little family came to Montcalm county to make a new home in the forest, the promising possibilities of this region at that time beginning to impress the people of the East. Mr. Davis bought two adjoining forty-acre tracts in the northeast quarter of section 10 in Bloomer township and, cutting a small clearing in the woods about eighty rods back from the trail which led through that section, erected a small house of logs and there made his first home. At that time there were no established roads through the forest, the pioneers having followed a mere "blazed" trail through the woods nearly all the way from Pewamo. William Davis, a brother of Thomas D. had settled here a year or two before and had already had his home set up on the tract now occupied by William Davis, son of Thomas D., hence the newcomers were not wholly "strangers in a strange land." Notwithstanding this advantage of kinship with an even earlier pioneer, however, the outlook was not encouraging and it was with no small misgiving that Mr. Davis entered upon his new responsibilities. The expense of the trip out here had exhausted practically all his ready cash and when he arrived here with his wife and five small children he had but five dollars in money and no house in which to shelter his family. For the moment he was so disheartened by the bleak prospect then presented that he gladly would have returned to New York if he had had the money for the return trip, but his wife, with the fine courage of the true pioneer, looked forward to the home they should have when the land should be cleared and the country settled and they proceeded hopefully to build their home and were fairly well established when the Civil War broke out. In I864 Thomas D. Davis enlisted for service in behalf of the Union in Company C, Third Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and was in the service until some time after the war closed, receiving his discharge in September, 1865, having been confined to a hospital for two or three months previously. Upon returning from the army he bought a forty-acre tract from his brother, on which there was a house near the road, the place where William Davis now lives, and there he made his home until shortly before his death, when he moved into Carson City, where he died in 1900. Thomas D. Davis was a. man of earnest Christian character, for many years a deacon in the Baptist church and active in all good works; a good citizen who had done faithfully his part in the work of bringing about proper conditions in the neighborhood of his home.

In 1849 Thomas D. Davis was united in marriage, near Attica, New York, to Caroline Crawford, who was born at Brighton, near the city of Rochester, New York, in 1831, daughter of Daniel and Mary (Fuller) Crawford, and who is now living in this county at the advanced age of eighty-five, still in vigorous physical condition, as active and alert as most women twenty years her junior. Daniel Crawford was a descendant of Scottish Presbyterians who sought refuge in the north of Ireland during the days of the persecution of those of their faith on the other side of the Irish Sea, one of the earlier descendants of whom, John Crawford, born in County Tyrone, Ireland, died in that county in 1773. His son, John, born in Poundridge, Ireland, in 1776, came to America and married Parthenia Lyon, who was born in Bedford. Massachusetts. He died in Saratoga, New York, in 1831. John Crawford. the 'founder of that branch of the Crawford family in this country, was a man of strong and vigorous character and was noted for his invariable kindness of heart.  His son, Daniel Crawford, was born at Saratoga, New York, on January 19, 1802, married Mary Fuller and lived near Rochester, where, during the early years of his married life, he was engaged as a brick-maker and later became a substantial farmer. His wife, Mary Fuller, was born at East Bloomington, New York, in 1811, and both she and her husband died at West Bethany, in that state. Their daughter, Caroline, lived near Attica until her marriage to Mr. Davis.

To Thomas D. and Caroline (Crawford) Davis eleven children were born, two of whom died in infancy, Jane, at the age of eight; Mary, at the age of eleven; Frank and Munroe, at the ages of thirty-one and twenty-nine, respectively, of typhoid fever in 1879, and George, in 1895, leaving a widow, Myrtle (Sperry) Davis, and four children. Of the surviving children, Emily, widow of Thomas F. Fuller, whose family history is given on another page in this volume, is living on the Fuller farm one mile west and a half mile north of the old Davis farm in Bloomer township, and her aged mother is making her home with her; Charles lives near Butternut; Emmett lives in Sheridan; William lives on the old homestead.


WILLIAM F. DAVIS

HISTORY OF MONTCALM COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Its People, Industries and Institutions
pg. 220-222
BY JOHN W. DASEF, VOLUME II, 1916 B.F., BOWEN & COMPANY , Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana.

William F. Davis, a well-known resident of the Carson City neighborhood, a progressive farmer of Bloomer township, this county, living one and one-half miles west and three-fourths of a mile north of Carson City, is a native of New York, having been born near the city of Batavia, that state, on July 4, 1857, son of Thomas D. and Caroline (Crawford) Davis, pioneers of Montcalm county, of whom further mention is made in a biographical sketch relating to the former, presented eIsewhere in this volume..

William F. Davis was not two years of age when his parents came to this county and he consequently has been a witness of the wonderful developmerit that has been made in this region within a single generation of mankind. He grew up amid the primitive conditions which the pioneers hereabout were compelled to face, attending the rude district school of his home neighborhood in the days of his youth and aided his father in the development of the home place. As a young man he spent a year and six months in Dakota, at the end of which time he returned home and in 1889 married a neighbor girl and engaged in farming on his own account. For about fifteen years after his marriage, Mr. Davis lived on a farm just south of the Grand Trunk railroad, one and one-half miles west of Carson City, and then moved to the old homestead farm, just north of the railroad, where ever since has made his home. In addition to the eighty acres in that tract, which he now owns, he is also farming an adjoining eighty and is doing well, being regarded as one of the substantial farmers of that neighborhood.

In the fall of 1889 William F. Davis was united in marriage to Frances R. Fuller, who was born in Steuben county. New York, daughter of Thomas F. and Amanda L. (Schuyler) Fuller, pioneers of this county, further mention of whom is made in a biographical sketch of Thomas F. Fuller, presented elsewhere in this volume. Frances Fuller came to this county with her parents about 1860 and spent her early years on a farm just south of the railroad from her present home. Her mother died in the spring of 1864, after which her father, with his two children, herself and her brother, Scott, returned to New York state, where they lived for about two years, at the end of which time they returned to their home in this county and later Frances Fuller lived for some time in South Dakota.

To William F. and Frances R. (Fuller) Davis two children have been born, Winnie Eula, who was graduated from the high school at Carson City, after which she attended Ferris Institute and is now teaching school in this county, and Ruth H., who is a student in the high school at Carson City. Mr. and Mrs. Davis and their daughters are members of the Methodist church and take a proper part in all the good wokks of the neighborhood in which they live, the family being held in high regard thereabout.


Barber Dickinson

submitted by Sonya Otteson - Steven_Vitarelli@msn.com or SonyaSteve@aol.com

Montcalm County Michigan by Dasef c.1916

Barber Dickinson was among the early settlers in the northeast part [of Crystal township]. He was born in New York, whence he came to Eaton county, Michigan, in 1853, and afterwards lived successively in Bushnell and Bloomer, coming to Crystal in 1856. He entered forty acres of government land and continued to reside in the township until his death which occurred in 1869.


D. Darwin Dilley

History of Montcalm County, Michigan
by John W. Dasef - 1916

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen

D. Darwin Dilley Bio
D. Darwin Dilley Bio


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Current County Coordinator: Paula Johnson (c) 2017
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