Henry M. Blair, farmer, section 35, Sheridan Township, was born in Portage Co., Ohio, June 17, 1828. His parents, Alfred and Julia (Miller) Blair, were natives respectively of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and in early life became residents of the same county where they were married.
Mr. Blair grew to manhood in the Buckeye State and at the age of 20 years came to Michigan. He established himself in the grocery and provision trade at Niles and continued to conduct the same until the spring of 1851, when he returned home to secure opportunity to complete an invention which had engaged his attention for some time. It was a machine designed to use double circular saws, constructed for the purpose of sawing staves, heading and other prepared lumber. He succeeded in the accomplishment of his purpose, and after securing his patent went to Three Oaks, Mich., where he operated with his machine extensively and successfully until the fall of 1855, when he engaged in agriculture on a farm near Galien, Berrien County. After some time he went to the lake shore, where he engaged in cutting and delivering wood at the pier of Greenbush. Through exposure he contracted a pulmonary disease which compelled his return to his farm and, despairing of recovery, he prepared for a journey to California, but changed his intention and came to Newaygo, where he fixed his residence and passed three years in out-door active life engaged as a book canvasser. In 1869 he settled upon a farm in Sheridan Township. It contained 8o acres of
land, and he has increased its dimensions to 160 acres, a good proportion of which is under improvement.
Mr. Blair was married in Berrien County, in 1855, to Statira R., daughter of Gardner K. and Rebecca (Loop) James. The parents were born, respectively, in Rhode Island and New York. Mrs. Blair was born in Clay, Onondaga Co., N. Y., April 5, 1845. When she was six years old her parents located in Oakland County and afterwards in Berrien County. Seven of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Blair are living: Alfred H., James C., Alice, Ellen, Frank P., Edwin E. and Merritt W. Julia C., the eldest child, is deceased.