Joseph Whitehead, farmer, section 2, Dayton Township, was a son of Aaron and Esther (Searles) Whitehead, and was born in Canada East, June 3, 1834. His father was a native of New York and his mother of Vermont. After marriage they first settled in Canada, but afterward moved to Ohio and thence to Michigan; they both died in Dayton Township.
Joseph was three years of age when his parents moved to Ohio. After coming to Michigan he made a home for them as long as they lived. He came to Newaygo County in the spring of 1858, and purchased 80 acres of wild land in Dayton Township, on section 2. He lived on this farm, and had 50 acres in a good state of cultivation. He was married in Dayton Township, July 4, 1861, to Emma J.Henderson, daughter of Clark and Mary B. Henderson, natives of New York, where Mrs. Whitehead. was born, in 1846. Her father died in Berrien Co., Mich., and her mother made her home with her children. Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead had eight children.
Mr. Whitehead was drafted in the fall of 1864, and was assigned to the 13th Mich. Inf., and joined his regiment at Chattanooga, Tenn., and was with Sherman in his march to the sea. He was with his command until the army marched to Washington and was discharged in June, 1865. At one time Mr. Whitehead was reported to be among the missing; but it proved to be a mistake. He was very ill while in the army, for three weeks, in consequence of which his health was considerably impaired.
Mr. Whitehead never held an office, although frequently importuned to do so. In politics he was a Republican. He was the fourth settler in Dayton Township.
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