LEROY TIFT, farmer, on sections 8 and 11, Croton Township, and resident at Croton village, was born in Delaware Co., N.Y., May 9, 1832. He is the son of Martin and Elizabeth (Hunter) Tift, both of whom were born in the State of New York and of English ancestry. The birth of the former occurred Dec. 15, 1807, and his death April 2, 1881, on Stearn's Prairie, Newaygo County. The latter was born in 1805 and died June 11, 1858, in the same place where her husband's demise occurred 23 years later.
The parents of Mr. Tift came to Michigan in the fall of 1835, when the State was in its territorial days, and settled in what is now Kalamazoo County. In March 1853, they again sought pioneer life in Newaygo County. The son was 18 years of age when he became a resident of Croton, and he made his first start in life on his own responsibility in the capacity of a lumberman on the Muskegon River. He has made a fine record in his quiet, persistent, energetic efforts, and his admirable judgment is plainly manifest by his achievements, for which he makes but modest claims. He owns 504 1/2 acres of land in the township of Croton and four lots in the village of Croton. HIs farm includes 106 acres under advanced cultivation. He is somewhat prominent as a member of the Masonic Order and belongs to the Valley City Lodge, No. 86, at Grand Rapids, and in 1865 connected himself with Newaygo Lodge, No. 131. In politics he is a Republican.
Mr. Tift has been married twice. HIs first wife, Elizabeth (Ferguson) Tift, to whom he was married April 6, 1856, was born in the Province of Ontario, Sept. 18, 1838, the daughter of Duncan and Mary (McCall) Ferguson, both of whom were born in the State of New York, and of Scotch ancestors. the wife of Mr. Tift died Sept. 13, 1862, leaving one daughter, Mary Isabel. Mary Estelle, the first born child, died before the mother. Mr. Tift married Bessie Trask, June 29, 1869, in Kalamazoo Co., Mich. She was the daughter of Oliver and Margaret Trask, natives of Maine and both deceased. Mrs. Tift died Aug. 30, 1874, at Grand Rapids, leaving three children - Libbie, Leroy (Jr.) and Martin O.
In view of his double representative character as a pioneer of the State of Michigan, and county of Newaygo, the portrait of Mr. Tift, which appears on another page, has a two-fold value.