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These pages contain biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Montcalm County residents.
John H. Wandel
HISTORY OF MONTCALM COUNTY, MICHIGAN
John H. Wandel, Cato township, Montcalm county, was born on September 20, 1862, on a farm which is now part of his homestead, being the eldest of the five children of john Adam and Martha M. (Meyers) Wandel and the only one of the family still residing in Cato township. Martha (Meyers) Wandel was a native of Bavaria, in the German empire, and was brought to this state by her mother when a child of three years, the father having died in their native land. The mother located in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, and there Martha grew to womanhood and lived until the time of her marriage. John Adam Wandel was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and when young mastered the weaver's trade, which he followed until thirty years of age. When thirty-eight years old he emigrated to America, locating for a time in Ohio and later going to Wisconsin. However, he did not settle permanently until he reached Cato township, Montcalm county, in October, 1860. Here he pre-empted forth acres of government land in section 22, and made his home there for the balance of his life, owning eighty acres in all at the time of his death. John Adam Wandel was one of the first settlers in Cato township, which had been organized just before he came here and there were but eleven white families in all. Shortly afterward, on March 18, 1861, he was married in Wisconsin to Martha Meyers, as above stated, and this became their permanent home. There were five children born to their union, those other than John H., being Frances R., wife of Charles Bremer; James W., deceased; Harriet L., wife of Henry Lanely and George A.
John H. Wandel received but the limited education the school facilities of this section at that time afforded and from early boyhood, assisted in the farm work. He remained at home and after his father's death in 1884, he purchased, in 1885, the interests of the other heirs and has continued to make his home on the old family homestead. He has purchased additional land from time to time and he now owns two hundred and sixty-seven acres, located in sections 21 and 22. The commodious family residence was erected in 1907 and since that time Mr. Wandel has erected a large and modern barn. He divides his attention between general farming and the raising of live stock. John H. Wandel has been twice married, his first wife, with whom he was united in marriage on November 2, 1884, was Lillian G. Ward, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a daughter of Walter and Jane (Baker) Ward. To this union were born four children, one of whom died in infancy, three remaining at the time of the mother's death on November 4, 1895. These were Henry M., Raymond W. and John A., but the death of Raymond occurred but twenty days after that of the mother, both being caused by typhoid fever, of which there was an epidemic at that time. On December 23, 1897, John H. Wandel was again married, his bride being Rhoda L. Bradley, born in Greenville, Montcalm county. She is a daughter of John and Eliza (Goodwell) Bradley, natives of England and Canada respectively. To Mr. Wandel and his second wife have been born four children, namely: Ruth and Ellen, both deceased; Stanley B. and Irene.
Mr. Wandel is a man of genial disposition, having many friends and greatly enjoying the sport of hunting. He rarely allows a year to pass without spending at least a week in the Northern Peninsula after deer, and he has in his home some excellent heads as trophies of his skill. He keeps well posted on current events and is a good conversationalist, being especially fond of discussing historical subjects, in which study he has always been interested. Mr. Wandel calls himself a Republican, but is practically independent in voting as a rule, and has never sought public office. His wife is a most excellent woman and their home dispenses sincere cordiality to friend and transient guest, alike.
Submitted by MargHough@aol.com
LEVI AND ADELINE (ABEL) WATERS.
This biography is taken from "PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF IONIA AND MONTCALM COUNTIES, MICH." Chapman Brothers. Chicago, Illinois. 1891. Pages 238-239.
LEVI WATERS. The training of pioneer life encouraged the sterner virtues and developed characters which were courageous to meet the trials and discouragements which came with the daily life of the pioneer. Such a character is that of Levi Waters, and he has had indeed more than his share of the hard side of life, but he has met it in a way to insure the respect of all who know him. He was born in Steuben County, N. Y., April 7, 1827, and is the son of Stephen and Hannah (Malatt) Waters, both of New York. His first great and serious affliction was the loss of both parents when he was a little lad of eight years residing in Indiana. the little orphan was put to service as an apprentice at the tanner's trade, at which he worked for six years. His schooling amounted to almost nothing, and the education he has, has been gained since he reached his majority. He resides on his farm in Sidney Township, Montcalm County.
Mr. Waters' parents were living in Canada at the time of the Canadian Rebellion, after which they removed to Indiana and there were taken sick and as before said died within a short time. Two sisters also followed their parents to the graves, all being stricken down within six months. His apprenticeship was with a Mr. Pancake, near Wolf Lake, Ind., whom he served only a few weeks when his brother cam and took him back to New York where he served six years to learn the tanner's trade. When he came to this State he found work in Kent County and remained there until twenty-five years of age. For nine years he operated his brother's sawmill, and spent considerable time in Grand Rapids working at his trade before removing to Montcalm County in 1865. Here he took a farm of forty acres, cleared and improved it, building a house and stables.
December 30, 1848, the subject of this sketch married Adeline Abel, of Grand Rapids. Three children have blessed their home: David Leroy, born January 8, 1850; Luesa J., born January 7, 1852, is deceased; and Frances Addella, born February 18, 1855. This daughter is now the wife of John Ferman, of this county. It would seem that his early afflictions had been his full share for life, but more trials were to come soon after he settled in his new home, and while his son was quite young this child met with a serious accident. A little later our subject was struck down by a falling tree and his skull was broken by the blow. He lay as if dead for many hours, but the next day revived and recovered. He was also struck by a falling bucket in a well. His patriotic impulses prompted him to offer his services to his country in the hour of need, and he enlisted in a Michigan regiment but was rejected on account of ill health. He is connected with the order of the Patrons of Industry and also that of the Free and Accepted Masons. He has been Pathmaster and School Director and is now Moderator of the school board.
Submitted by Cheryl Van Wormer.
History of Montcalm County, Michigan
Contributed by Gerry Christiansen
Thomas W. Worden
History of Montcalm County, Michigan
Contributed by Gerry Christiansen
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