James Duffy, farmer, section 20, Barton Township, was born June 22, 1839, in Coburg, Ontario. His father, Michael Duffy, was born in Ireland, of Irish parentage. His mother, Catherine (Tracy) Duffy, descended from English ancestors. The parents emigrated to Canada in 1834, and the father bought a farm in Coburg, where the family resided several years; they went thence to Rochester, N. Y. The father died there in 1878. The mother died at Batavia, N. Y., in 1865.
In the fall of 1864 Mr. Duffy went from the State of New York to Pennsylvania, where he spent the following winter. In the spring of 1865 he bought a farm in Ionia Co., Mich., which he retained until 1866, sold out and transferred his interest to Kent County, where he remained a year, coming thence to Newaygo County. He immediately entered a claim of 80 acres of land under the privileges of the Homestead Act, whereon he has since resided. In political attitude, Mr. Duffy is nominally neutral so far as party issue is concerned. His inclinations tend toward the principles of the Greenback party, but his suffrage is governed by his views of the fitness of the candidate. He is respected and trusted by his townsmen, and has served them as Supervisor for the past three years; is still the incumbent of the position; has been Highway Commissioner eight years and School Inspector three years.
He was married in 1863, to Mary, daughter of Stephen Shepherd, born Nov. 30, 1844, in Vermont of which State her parents were natives. Mrs. Duffy died March 27, 1883, leaving five children, born in the following order: George E., March 7, 1864, Edson J., June 18, 1867; Cora A., Sept. 15, 1872; Ernest H., Feb. 7, 1874, and Mabel, March 18, 1883.