J. B. JEWELL, is a son of Joseph and Asenath (Cross) Jewell, who were natives of Otseog Co., N.Y., and died in Allegany County, same State. He was born in Tompkins Co., N.Y., June 23, 1826. He attended the common schools of his native county and also the Rushford Academy at Rushford, Allegany County. Like many other young men, he wished to see more of the world, and at the early age of 18 he left home to battle for himself, although this was not in accordance with the wishes of his parents. At the age of 20 years he went to learn the carpenter and joiner's trade, and worked eight months at four dollars a month - the hardest work he ever performed. After this he went to Ithaca, N.Y., where he was engaged in boat-building one season, then returned to Allegany County and followed his trade the most part of his time until 1856. In the spring of that year he came to this county and settled in Newaygo, where he worked at his trade until the summer of 1859, then moved to Muskegon and worked one year; and finally came to Fremont and settled on his farm of 240 acres, which he had purchased in June, 1855. He resided on this farm 22 years. He cleared 100 acres, and built fine buildings, having three barns on his place. He still carries on his farm, but in September, 1882, he moved to the village of Fremont, and into a fine new house, built mostly with his own hands.
Mr. Jewell was married in Hume, Allegany Co., N.Y., Nov. 5, 1848, to Mary, daughter of Henry A. and Polly (Bosworth) Turner, natives of Wayne Co., N.Y. Mrs. Turner died in Allegany County, and Mr. Turner came to Michigan to visit a daughter, where he died after an illness of four weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Jewell have three children: Archibald D., born Aug. 22, 1852; Cornelia I., Sept. 3, 1860, and Hugh B., Sept. 9, 1863. Mr. J. has held the office of Supervisor six years. He was elected to the Legislature in the fall of 1876, by the Republicans, over A. T. Squier, the Democratic nominee. He is President of the Patron's Mutual Fire Insurance Co., of Newaygo, Oceana and Muskegon Counties; also President of the Union Agricultural Society, of Hesperia. He was the first and second President of the Newaygo County Agricultural Society.
When Mr. and Mrs. Jewell moved upon their farm, their nearest neighbor was nearly three miles distant, and for six weeks Mrs. Jewell did not see a white woman. They passed through all the hardships and vicissitudes of pioneer life, in which Mrs. Jewell has been a faithful assistant and sharer.
Mr. Jewell is the author of a brief sketch of Dayton Township, which was published in the local papers in 1876 and forwarded to Washington, D.C., for reference. He is a relative of ex-Postmaster-General Jewell.