CALVIN A. SUTLIFF, farmer, section 12, Bridgeton Township, was born in Monroe Co., N.Y., Jan. 29, 1828, and is a son of Ransley and Catherine (Barnhart) Sutliff. His parents were of New England origin and of mingled Scotch and Dutch lineage. His father was a soldier of the war of 1812, and is now drawing a pension for services rendered his country at that period. When he was three years old they removed to Erie Co., Pa., and soon afterwards, in the spring of 1833, came to Michigan, and after a stay of one year in Lenawee County went to Hillsdale County and settled on a farm in Reading Township. Mr. Sutliff was reared and educated in that place, attending the schools there until 1843, when his parents made another remove, this time going to Clinton County. They are now living in Isabella County, and enjoying good health, aged 87 and 80 respectively.
Mr. Sutliff remained with his parents until he was 22 years of age, when he decided on his course of life, and in the fall of 1849 initiated his struggle with the world by setting out for Newaygo, then in the depths of an almost unbroken forest. He spent two years in various employments in the vicinity, and in 1857 established his residence on the farm which has since been his homestead. He entered a claim of 320 acres of timbered land and immediately brought every energy to bear upon its improvement. The apparent results show what a preserving determination strong hands and zeal may achieve. His homestead now includes 270 acres, 100 acres of which are under the best possible improvements, with fine farm buildings and attractive surroundings. He also owns 240 acres of land on sections 2 and 11 in Bridgeton Township, which are yet in a comparitively unimproved state.
Mr. Sutliff has been a man of exceptionally vigorous physical ability, which has been his best capital in the new country to which he removed before its municipal prerogatives had been regulated. He assisted at the township organization, was elected Township Treasurer and has served 13 terms in that cpacity. He has ever been keenly alive to every enterprise that seemed to justify reasonable attention, and has made an impression on his day and generation that will outlive him. He is an inflexible Republican, and a member of the Blue Lodge, No. 131, of Newaygo.
Mr. Sutliff was married May 27, 1855, to Emily H., daughter of S. M. and Lucina (Caswell) Woodward, both of whom were natives of New York. The daughter was born April 13, 1839, in Allegany County, and five years after her birth the parents settled in Kane Co., Ill., where she attended school until the fall of 1852, when the family came to Michigan and settled in Bridgeton Township. Both parents have recently deceased, the mother at the age of 67, the father at 70 years of age. They were members of the Methodist Church, of which Mrs. Sutliff is at present a member. Her father and mother were also members of the Methodist Church.
Thirteen children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sutliff, ten of whom survive: Mattie E. was born May 6, 1859; Albert E., March 18, 1861; Flora E., Dec. 24, 1862; Solon D., Oct. 16, 1864; Frank A., Aug. 29, 1868; Lotta G., June 21, 1870; Nellie M., Sept. 5, 1871; Jessie E., Aug. s9, 1873; Milan R., June 19, 1876; Charles A., Dec. 14, 1880; Ellen E., May 28, 1866 (died Nov. 20, 1857); Nettie, Aug. 4, 1866, died Sept. 23, 1880); Libbie E., Feb. 1, 1874 (died Nov. 8, 1874).
Mr. Sutliff has been quite extensively engaged as a lumberman ever since he beame a resident of Newaygo County. As a type of his operations it may be stated that in the winter of 1864 and for the next seven years following he put in on an average one million feet of logs annually.
With eminent satisfaction, the publishers present the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Sutliff as types of the agricultural community of Newaygo County. They belong to one of the classes referred to in the paragraphs which introduce the biographical department of this work, - the pioneers, whose stability of character, inflexible integrity and fixedness of purpose placed their generation in the foremost ranks of the element which has given this section of the Peninsular State a basis destined at no distant day to yield substantial evidence of its real prosperity.