||Bernard E. Morton
Bernard E. Morton, carpenter and joiner, resident in Big Prairie Township, was born Dec. 4, 1820, in Plymouth, Chenango Co., N. Y. His father, Elijah Morton, was born in 1771, in Hatfield, Mass., and was the grandson of one of the Pilgrims who came to American in 1620, in the Mayflower. He died in 1845, in Shiawassee Co., Mich. The mother, Hannah (Ransom) Morton, was born in 1780, in Woodstock, Conn. She was of mixed Scotch and Welsh extraction, and died in 1867, Big Prairie.
Elijah Morton came to Shiawassee with his family in 1834. Mrs. Morton was the widow Swaine when she became the wife of Mr. Morton, and had several children. Aaron Swaine, one of her sons, came to this state in 1833, coming to Big Prairie, where he built the second house erected in the township, located in Section 7.
Bernard Morton accompanied his half-brother to Michigan, and, after the removal of the latter of Newaygo County, alternated between here and the home of his mother in Shiawassee County, until 1856, when he came to what is now Dayton Township and pre-empted 40 acres of land, on which he settled and at once entered upon the work of establishing his home. He was married Feb. 22, 1857, in Big Prairie, to Nancy Gibson. She was born in Mercer Co., Pa., Feb 23, 1828, and died in Dayton, June 11, 1880, leaving four children, born as follows: Corena V., Aug. 9, 1859; Amelia A., April 24, 1861; Marilla M., Nov. 14, 1862; A. Ogilva, May 27, 1866.
Mr. Morton is a Republican in political principles. He served nine months in the war of the Rebellion, belonging to Company G., Eighth Mich., Vol. Inf., and was discharged at Detroit, Aug. 7, 1865. After his discharge he returned to his family in Dayton Township, where he worked on his farm until the death of his wife and the severing of his household, when he became an inmate of the family of his niece, the wife of William L. Murphy, of Big Prairie.
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