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

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Jabez C. & Polly (Brooks) Percival

submitted by Cindy Bryant
Found in an old photo album, paper unknown, May 1901. Palo, Ionia Co, MI people:

"Uncle Percival" was born in Greenbush, Renssalaer county, N. Y., Jan. 21, 1816. He was the eldest of nine children, six of whom are now living. At the age of seventeen he was converted and joined Division Street M.E. Church of Albany, N.Y. His trade was that of a carpenter. In the spring of 1837 he went to Olean, Chattaraugus county, N. Y., where he met Polly Canfield Brooks, and married her in 1840. Six children were born to them, four of whom are still living. From Olean the family moved to Forest county, Pa., in 1857; from thence to Palo, Mich., in 1868, where their home has since been. "Uncle Percival" is a staunch Methodist. He has taken the New York Advocate for sixty years, with the exception of about twelve months. When able, he is found in his place at all the means of grace. Although old ___rs, he is a member of our Ep_orth league, and enjoys the company of the young. He is one of our class-leaders, and also teacher in the Sunday school. The name "uncle" shows in what high esteem he is held by the people of Palo, who know him best. (Picture with article).

The sketch and portrait of this "mother in Israel' have been on file some two months, awaiting their place in our series. We now insert them some three weeks ahead of their order because of the death of Mrs. Percival, whose obituary appears in another column. It is painful to us that the use of these cuts has in any case been delayed too late for the mortal eyes of the blessed saints to see them for themselves. It has occurred now unavoidably in two cases. The leading events in the life of "Auntie Percival," as she was called by all her acquaintances, are given in the obituary, and so omitted here. She was born of the Spirit when fourteen years of age, and united with the church, and was a member of it over seventy years. Her father was a Methodist, and his home used to be headquarters for the itinerates. At her own home the "latchstring was always on the outside of the door" for ministers. She lived in Palo thirty-two years, and for twenty eight out of the thirty-two she was a teacher of the primary class in the Sunday school. A few years ago she had to give up her work because of declining health. This was a great cross for her. A large number of people in Palo and vicinity, yes, in many states, still remember Auntie Percival as their kind, loving and devoted Sunday school teacher. (Picture of her included in article).

Obituary - PERCIVAL.- Polly Canfield Brooks, daughter of Judge James Brooks, was born in Olean, N. Y., March 22, 1817, and died at Palo, Mich., May 18, 1901, aged 84 years, 1 month, and 26 days.

On Dec. 1, 1840, she was married to Jabez Chapman Percival, at Olean. The union was a happy one. Six children, all sons, were born to them, four of whom are living. They moved to Newton, Pa., in 1857. In 1868 they came to Palo. Thus a wedded life of over sixty years is ended, and a residence of over thirty-two years at Palo is closed. The heart of "Uncle" Percival is very sad indeed. In her home "Auntie" Percival was a true, loyal and loving mother. She was a great lover of flowers, rocks, and trees, many specimens being found near the house. In the community she was a friend and helper to all. She made no distinctions. All that need received her kindly ministrations. She was converted in youth and became a member of the M. E. church. She taught the primary class in the Palo Sunday school for twenty-eight years. She was always loyal to her pastors, and her home was to be considered by them as their home. She never spoke evil of any one. Any of her words, so far we know, would have been appropriate for last words. Hers truly was a saintly life. She died as she had lived, namely, peacefully and full of faith. The funeral services were held at the M.E. church, May 20, her pastor, assisted by Revs. F. C. Fistler and D. B. Munger, of the Baptist church, officiating.

Warren Perkins

Contributed by Ed Perkins, Clinton Township, MI

Warren Perkins was born in South Byron, NY in 1840.  During the Civil War he served with Co. I, 8th NY Heavy Artillery.

The 1880 census shows Warren living in Byron, NY. He moved to McBride subsequent to 1880, as his brother, Willis, was a hotelkeeper in McBride.  Warren Perkins passed away December 26, 1889, and was buried at McBride Cememtery.

Below is a copy of the order form for his headstone showing his date of death, his military unit, and final resting place, along with a picture of the headstone.

Warren Perkins

Warren Perkins

Sometime in the late 1920's Warren's grandson, Russell Perkins, moved his family to the Village of Lakeview in Montcalm County.  He worked for the Pere Marquette Railroad and was the station agent at Lakeview until around 1943 when he was transferred and moved to Newago.  Russell Perkins, Jr. was one of the boys from lakeview who went off to WWII, and made the supreme sacrifice.  Below is a newspaper account of Russell Perkins (Sr.) receiving word that his son had been killed.  The account appeared in a local Montcalm county newspaper.

Russell Perkins

W.S. Phelps

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

Contributed by Gerry Christiansen

W.S. Phelps Bio
W.S. Phelps Bio
W.S. Phelps Bio

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