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

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Hanchett, Corrina

See Corrina Hanchett in Bushnell Township.


JOSEPH HANCHETT

Written by CORINNA HANCHETT SHERD, 1852-1956
submitted by Sue Bates

JOSEPH HANCHETT was born 5/16/1834 in the twp. of Pompey, Onondaga Co. NY. He came to MI in March 1855, the spring he was 21. He was the eldest of a large family and desiring to make a home for himself and having heard of the changes in MI, came to visit his mother's sister, Mrs. Hannah Thomas, near Wassell. From there he came on horseback to his father's sister, Mrs. James Bacon. After looking around [he] bought the farm now owned by Robert Fleisher. After completing the bargain he returned to NY. In a few weeks he returned, this time walking in from Lansing. He made his home with the Bacons, walking every day to his farm and back. He had to cross the creek on a log, as there was nothing but a trail through the woods. He arose at 4 in the morning, as he had to browse his oxen before work. After his marriage to Angelina Husker they began housekeeping in a little board house that I think was on the place. They had for their nearest neighbors Lyman Stearns and wife Eunice Bacon, my father's cousin. When she and my mother wanted to visit their parents of an afternoon, they went on foot carrying their babies and crossing the creek on a log. After a few years they found debts pressing and had a chance to trade for some property. Being inexperienced, he did not look at titles and the property was heavily mortgaged and he lost all. They then moved to a log house that stood at the end of the road west of the Dean school house; he, working out by the day. There they lived until he enlisted in the Civil War, 1861, my mother going home to live with her folks where I was born. He left for the front with 10 others in October 1861. There was George Husker, Melvin Bacon, Joseph Bacon, Jason Mills, Miller Barnnett, Nilam Stearns, Channcy Olmstead; the others I cannot remember. George Husker never reached the front as he contracted measles which lead to pneumonia and he died in KY and later was brought home for burial. Melvin Bacon died in the south ad was buried there, as also was Jason Mills. My father and Uncle Alex came home in the fall of 1865 and worked in the pine woods cutting logs. In the spring they bought the Yonnge farm; it is now the Forsher farm. There was just an old log house and a log barn. in the winter and spring the worked in the pine woods cutting logs, in the spring running the logs down Fish Creek to Grand River. My father helped build the Hanchett dam on Fish Creek. When Uncle Alex married Eliza Peters they built an addition to the house. Sometime later they bought 88 acres of the farm Grandpa Husker took up from the government. Later it was sold to William] Sherd. Soon after buying their place they dissolved [the] partnership and later Uncle Alex moved to Isabella Co. near Mt. Pleasant. The summer after he'd sold in the spring, my father and Uncle Alex drove to Houghton Lake [for] fishing. My mother and I went with them as far as Farwell to visit my Aunt Kate. We ate our dinner just beyond Stanton, which was all solid pine. We gathered wintergreen berries as large as peas. Everywhere we looked was red with berries. We lived on this place until the fall of 1881 when they moved to the place where they died. It was known at the Prescott Varnum farm at that time. There was no road beyond the farm. It turned in at the Chas. Bailey farm, going around the east side of the swamp, coming out of the Knapp driveway, which was then a log house and owned by the farms on the west side of the road. It was woods up to the brush line and the road ended at where the farm was at the north side of my father's barn, where there was a small board barn, and east of that was a log barn. The house stood north of the barn, back in the field. In this field was a wonderful orchard and there were many cherry trees, also currant bushes [which were] both red and white. There was an overabundance of horseradish. In order to get rid of it my mother and I used to pick up the roots after my father plowed and dragged. There is still some scattered roots now. When we wanted to go to Vickeryville we went to Bailey's corners. Our mail came to Sheridan and whoever of the neighbors went to town brought the mail and delivered it; Harvey Woods, Julia Bennett, Athertons and Jasons. Later a post office was established at Will Mills store. The road was put through to Vickeryville. Before the road was through east, Dr. Hargram used to put his horse in my father's barn and walk across to George Hopkins Sr.'s to attend Mrs. Hopkins. They [Joseph & Angelina Hanchett] built the new house in 1886, finishing only part of it as Grandma Husker was ill and came to live with them. I cannot recall when they built the barn, but the east end was built on in 1901. The grainery was built up by the log house and later moved to its present position. There was only 80 acres of the Varnum farm, but they bought 2 more 40 later they cleared a good share of all of it and lived there until their death. Both were 96.


Hans Hansen

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

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen

Hans Hansen Bio
Hans Hansen Bio

HANS L. HANSEN

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

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen


Hans L. Hansen

    Hans L. Hansen, who owns a splendid farm of two hundred and sixty acres in Fairplain township, Montcalm county, Michigan, was born in Denmark, December 28, 1858. He is the son of L. Hansen, who spent all of his life in Denmark. Hans L. Hansen was reared in his native country and educated in the public schools, which he attended until he was fourteen years of age. He worked on the farm for his father until he was twenty-three years old, when, having saved enough money, he came to the United States, locating in Greenville, Michigan, where he worked on farms in the summer and in lumber yards in the winter. After he had been in this country for five years he purchased a farm of eighty acres and, after his marriage, purchased the place where he now lives, to which he has added until he now owns one hundred and sixty acres. Mr. Hansen can very deservedly he called a self-made man, having accumulated all of his possessions since coming to this country. Hans L. Hansen was married to Cena Hudson, who was also born in Denmark, and to this union has been born five children, Mary, Carl, Alice, Elva and Florence. All of these children are still single and living at home with their parents, and all have excellent educations. Elva being a graduate of the Greenville high school and a teacher in the public schools. Politically, Mr. Hansen is a Republican, but has never cared to take an active part in politics, preferring to devote his time and attention to his extensive farming interests.

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


C. Sena Hansen

Copyright - Gerry Christiansen - 2007

 

Jens Hansen

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

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen

Jens P. Hansen Bio

   

Hines, Henry H. and Mary Sherwood


William Husker

WILLIAM HUSKER

Written by ANGELINA HUSKER 1839-1935
submitted by Sue Bates

WILLIAM HUSKER was born in England, 9/18/1815 and came to this country at the age of 18 (1833). He was on the ocean 3 months as their boat was taken out of its route by wind and weather. While enroute an epidemic of small pox broke out. Many died and were buried at sea. William also was stricken, but came safely through and as a consequence had to leave his family and care for neighborhood cases. He married Mabel Welling, I do not know the dates or place but I know both he and she lived in New York state. He had a sister there as my folks visited them when I was a child. William and Mabel lived in Rome Twp., Lenawee Co., MI and moved from there to the Twp. of Bushnell, Montcalm Co. in the spring of 1849. He and James Bacon came to Bushnell and took up land. They stopped at the home of Joseph Stearns. There was not even a trail beyond there, it is the farm on which (Sunny Hill) Cemetery is a part and the old log house was just east of the barn. The farm was later owned by Sylvester Mabin. his wife was Laxina Stearn. They selected their land and cut out a road through. James Bacon took a quarter Section from the Town Hall to Fancetta corners, 320 acres. He moved his family that spring. There was himself, his wife Mary Hanchett Bacon, their children Corydon, Harriet, Melvina, Eunice and Joseph, and commenced life in the wilderness. The Huskers stayed in Lenawee Co. during the summer and made preparation for moving in the fall. My Mother can remember the drying of fruit - of which there was an abundance that fall. She said there was a new grain box and a pillowcase full of pared apples, also pumpkins. In those days canning was unheard of. They made preserves but had no sugar much, but maple. There was loaf sugar which was kept for sickness. In September, William took his family and started for Montcalm Co. with an ox team. [Ann?] the eldest remaining to help care for her mother's sister who had consumption; she staying until she passed away. So, with George 13, Angelina 10, Mary 7, Hervey 3, they came to Bushnell. Mr. Charles Allehim having a team of horses brought one load of goods. He was the father of Stephen and Edward. Mr. Allehim left his family well, but on his return, his wife had passed away. In those days there was no means of communication. On their arrival here they thought to build a shanty, but at Mrs. Bacon's insistence they put a floor in what the Bacons had used for a stable and moved in until they could build a log house. The first thing was to get in a piece of wheat. They cut down the timber and cleaned several acres and between the stumps sowed wheat for their next years' bread. They carried water from a spring near Bacon Creek. Their farm consisted of 160 acres which now is the John Dickinson and the farm that was W. Sherd's. The road from the Stearns farm came across the back of the Forster and Cooper farm and was just a trail. The next concern of the two families was school. At that time not even the twp. was organized. Each family had to see that their children studied lessons and in the evening they got together and either Mrs. Bacon or Mrs. Husker heard the lessons. When they spelled all but the one stood in line (Mrs. B had been a teacher). Later the Township was organized and a school house was built east of Ervon North's as the road was to have gone through north of the Cemetery. On account of the swamp it was farther west. The school district took in a large scope as the Comstocks and Athertons attended. Town meetings were held in the Castle school house for years, my mother supplying dinner for the Board. Both the Bacon and Husker farms were mostly oak timber and so they went out and chose a sugar bush and considered it theirs until the land was occupied. There they made their sugar fro the year. The sap was boiled in a caldron kettle (iron). The spikes were of pine with a hole burned through [and] as there were no pails the sap was caught in troughs honed out of logs. It was considered great fun for the young folks to gather for the sugaring off. Both the Bacons and Husker families were God fearing people, and each Sunday morning took their children and attended church services on North Plains where the Palo people went. It was an all day trip so, of course, must take their dinner. After the VanVlicks owned horses they would leave their oxen there and go on with them. In a few years the Baptist church in Palo was built. Each family contributed money or labor. My father [William Husker] carried the mortar to plaster the church. Our people were mostly buried from there. George Husker was the first soldier buried in the Palo Cemetery. He died in KY and was brought home. The first Cemetery in Palo was started upon the corner by the place Mahlo and Olive [Sherd] lived in Palo. I think a Fisher child was the first to be buried. Later it was moved to it's present site. The old log house the Huskers built stood across and a little south from the Bacon home. When Stephen and Edward Allehim moved with their wives to Bushnell they stayed at the Husker home until they could build their own house and moved in before windows or doors were in. The Huskers brought with them a dinner horn which was often used to guide the children after nightfall when they were hunting the cows, as all stock ran at large. The new house was built farther south and now occupied by Mrs. John Dickinson. After living there a few years, they sold to James Wescott as Mr. Husker could no longer work. They had given the east 80 to their son George, who joined the army in 1861. He died of pneumonia before he had seen service. Later the farm was sold to George Smith, a son-in-law. He kept it until his wife Mary died and the farm was sold to Alex Hanchett, who lived there a number of years, then sold to William] Sherd. After selling, the Huskers moved to Palo settling in the first house north of the Baptist church. He died there. She lived there alone summers & staying winters with her daughter. The house finally became the Baptist Parsonage, later it was struck by lightning and burned. I heard my Grandmother Husker [said] that one summer when the price of butter was low and not much sale, she took their milk and some of the neighbors and made 1,000 pounds of cheese. When they first moved to Bushnell they went nearly to Ionia for mail. Before the war [1861] a post office was established at the Griffin home that stood on the corner where Fancetts barn now stands and was there until the war. Then went to the Lane home, which was on the other corner from the Fancett barn. Then it was transferred to the Frank Barnnett home. They lived on the hill where Egbert Comstock lived. It was soon discontinued and we got our mail from Palo. When it first came here it was brought in on horseback from Greenville. There was no doctor short of Ionia and no way to get there, only on foot or with ox team. Mrs. Husker acted as midwife and nurse and was called the best cook in the township. Their meat supply mostly depended on hunting. North of them, beyond Deana Mill, it was solid pine and was inhabited only by Indians who made baskets all winter, then in the spring took them on horseback to Muir. There would be 50 or 60 going Indian file, one behind the other, never two abreast. later, when picking huckleberries we would see Indians picking with their papooses hanging on the trees.


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