James B. Mallery, farmer, section 31, Sherman Twp., was born in Columbia Co., NY, Sept. 9, 1826. His father, Mathew Mallery, was a native of Connecticut, and his mother, Sarah (Cleveland) Mallery), of New York. After their marriage they settled in Columbia Co., NY, and in the fall of 1845 settled in Hillsdale Co., MI, where the mother died in 1854, and the father ten years later. James remained in New York until 19 years of age. His education included habits of industry and frugality, with the rudiments of knowledge fathered at the district school of his county. He came with his parents to Hillsdale County, and remained with them until 26 years of age. From 1853 to 1855, he was engaged in farming and coopering. In the winter of 1855, he came with his family to Northern Michigan, leaving his wife and child 16 miles north of Grand Rapids, while he pushed his way through the forest in search of land for a home. He took up 240 acres of wild land under the Gradation Act, in what is now known as Sherman Township. He stayed two weeks and helped build a log house, when the snow was two feet deep on a level. This was on the very spot where Mr. Weller's residence now stands in Fremont. He then returned for his wife and child, and they, accompanied by an aunt, proceeded to their new home in Newaygo County.
After chopping an acre of timber, he had inflammation of the eyes, which confined him to the house about two weeks. About the same time Mrs. Mallery's aunt was taken sick and was obliged to return home, leaving Mrs. M. alone. In the fall of 1855, he settled on his present farm of 100 acres, where he resides, and has 50 acres under cultivation. In 1865, he rented his farm in order to assist Wm. L. Stewart, his father-in-law, in conducting the "Stewart House" at Newaygo. He remained there eight years, then returned to his farm.
Mr. Mallery was married in Cambria, Hillsdale County, Feb. 24, 1853, to Susan L., daughter of Wilkes L. and Frances (Hopkins) Stewart, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of New York. They were married in the last named State, and came to Michigan for their wedding tour. They settled in Macomb County, where Mr. Stewart was engaged in farming, milling and various other pursuits for 14 years. He then removed to Livingston County, where he remained till September, 1846, when he went to Hillsdale County, and remained there until 1855, engaged in farming. Mr. Stewart met with financial reverses in Macomb County, and lost nearly all his worldly possessions; but by untiring perseverance and industry he succeeded in regaining a portion of his property. He left Hillsdale in 1855 and came to Newaygo County, where he took up land quite extensively, and has resided in this county ever since. He made the change in order to benefit his children. Mrs. Stewart died Nov. 29, 1877, and Mr. S. now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Mallery.
He was one of the first three Justices of the Peace in the township of Fremont. Willard Wilder and Sarah Ann Bernhard were the first couple married in that township, and the ceremony was performed by Mr. Stewart, on the 4th day of July, being the first day he held the office. He married Benjamin Ish under a tree at 3 o'clock in the morning. Mr. S. is now in feeble health.
Mrs. M. was born in Macomb Co., Mich., Sept. 7, 1831, and was the eldest daughter and third child of a family of seven children. She lived with her parents until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Mallery have one child, Fannie M., born Jan. 23, 1854, and is the wife of George B. J. Raider; Mr. and Mrs. Raider have two children, namely: Clifton, who was born July 13, 1875, the day of the year also on which his father and great-grandfather was born; and Fred, born July 19, 1877.
Mr. Mallery has held the office of Township Clerk, 17 years, Supervisor one year; has been School Inspector, and held other, smaller offices in the gift of the people. He is now Clerk of Sherman Township; is a member of the Masonic Order, and in politics is a Greenbacker. Himself and wife are members of Fremont Grange, No. 494, P. of H.