HENRY AVARY, farmer, section 20, Ashland Township, was born in Wayne Co., Penn., April 10, 1839. His parents, Lewis and Nancy (Avary) Avary, were natives of Pennsylvania, born respectively of French and English parentage. He was orphaned when five years old, and soon afterward was taken to bring up by a man named Horace W. Gager, of Lebanon Township, with whom he remained, operating as a farmer's assistant, until he was 17 years old; then, determined to do something for himself, he went to Sullivan N.Y., and learned the trade of painter from his uncle, Isaac Newton. In the summer of 1859 he located at Carbondale Co., Pa., and there pursued his profession. In the autumn of 1860 he went to Lisbon, Ottawa Co., Mich., where he applied himself with energy to the work of acquiring an education. He studied a year and June 9, 1861, enlisted in Co. H, First Mich, Inf. His command was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, where he was a participant in 16 active engagements and ten unimportant skirmishes. He was in action in the Seven Days' Battles before Richmond, at Fredericksburg, Chancellorville, Gettysburg, Culpepper and the battles of the Wilderness. He was captured at Malvern Hill and held prisoner of war, two months and seven days, in the pnes at Libby. He was wounded twice in the Wilderness, receiving two bullets in his left arm. A minie ball passed entirely through the arm and at almost the same instant a bursting shell hurled a fragment firectly on the elbow joint, shatteirng it completely. He refused inflexibly to have it amputated, and now has a stiff arm. In July, 1864, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, which he held until his discharge May 13, 1865, his service having continued nearly four years. On returning to Michigan he lingered some time in Washtenaw and Ingham Counties, going thence to Bluffton, Muskegon Co., and engaged as an assistant in the lumber mills of Wilcox & Co. He remained until November 1873, when he came to Newaygo County and purchased 80 acres of land in Ashland Township. He disposed of a portion of his first purchase and added another tract 40 acres in extent, making a convenient farm of 95 acres, which he has placed under good improvements with commodious and suitable farm buildings.
Mr. Avary was married in November, 1864, to Esther Wykoff, who was born in Washtenaw Co., Mich., in 1842, and died in Muskegon County, in August, 1870. Mr. Avary contracted marriage a second time Feb. 27, 1872, with Minnie, daughter of William and Sarah D. (Wegg) Buckett. The parents were natives of England and the mother, aged 71 years, resides with her daughter. Mrs. Avary was born in the city of London, Eng., June 13, 1841, and accompnaied her parents to the United States when eight years of age. They resided for a time in New York City, next in New Orleans, La., then they returned to New York, where Mrs. Avary obtained her education. Her parents transferred their residence successively to Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin and back again to the Keystone State, making a permanent settlement at last in Muskegon Co., Mich., in the fall of 1869. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Avary: Ella G., Nov. 13, 1872; Charles C., Jan. 16, 1875; Frank C., Sept. 5, 1876.
Mr. Avary is a decided Republican, and has officiated in most of the positions of trust of the township government. He is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, Lodge No. 362, at Ashland Center, in which body he has passed all the chairs, and is now Past Grand. Mrs. Avary belongs to the Daughters of Rebekah in the same order. Both are members of the Patrons of Husbandry, and Mr. Avary is present Master of Grange No. 545.