Hiram L. Brace, farmer, section 21, Ashland Township, was born in Steuben Co., N.Y., June 6, 1833. He is a son of Hiram L. and Jane (Vroom) Brace, of New England origin and English and Dutch descent. Mr. Brace withdrew from the protection of the parental roof on attaining his majority, and came to Coldwater, Mich., in the capacity of collector for the Pharos Lightning Rod Company, where he has headquarters for four years. Severing his relations with his employers, he became associated in partnership with the Vulcan Lightning-Rod Company, which connection continued until Dec. 17, 1861, when he enlisted in defense of the integrity of the Union. He enrolled in Battery G, First Mich. Light Artillery, his command being assigned to the corps of General Buell, and joined the Army of the Cumberland. He was under fire at Chickasaw Bayou, Fort Hinman and Caney Bottoms, besides several unimportant skirmishes, escaping without suffering any of the extreme exigencies of war. He received an honorable discharge, Jan. 23, 1865.
Mr. Brace married, near Coldwater, Mich., March 15, 1865, Bernetta, daughter of William and Mary (Martin) Skinner. She was born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., Dec. 31, 1844, and when seven years of age came to Branch County with her parents. She was educated chiefly at Colon, St. Joseph Co., Mich., and became a successful and popular teacher. In the winter of 1866, a year and a half after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Brace located on 80 acres of land, on section 21, AShland Township, and devoted themselves to the preparation of a suitable home for the establishment of their family interests. They remained residents until 1870, when Mr. Brace established himself in mercantile business at Cedar Springs, Kent County, and prosecuted his interests in that direction three years, when he embarked in the manufacture of heads and staves, continuing that pursuit three years. In 1876 he again settled on his farm.
Mr. Brace is an active and influential member of the Republican party. He has officiated in the positions of Justice of the Peace, School Inspector, Treasurer, etc., and is still a member of the local government of the township. He belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 362, at Ashland Center, and is a member of the Blue Lodge, No. 131, at Newaygo. Both himself and his wife are warmly esteemed as valuable members of the social element to which they belong.