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This page contains biographical sketches (full or extract) of former Shiawassee County residents.
Souce citations (pre-1923) are included with the sketch.



Elijah F. BABCOCK ** Frederick BAESE ** Alexander M. BAILEY ** E. Herbert BAILEY, M.D. ** John Barker
L.W. BARNES ** A. Byron BEARD ** Washington BINGHAM ** Ebenezer P. BLISS ** Leonard S. BOWLES
Reese BOWLES ** Solon F. BRACKETT ** James C. BRAND ** William J. BROOKINS ** David E. BROOKS
Edwin E. BUNTING ** Matthew BUSH ** John BUTCHER ** E.O. BYAM ** Marcus M. BYINGTON


Elijah F. BABCOCK

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 231

The subject of this memoir was engaged in general farming at the time of his death, but for many years, in partnership with his brother, he conducted the largest saw mill in the county, doing a very extensive business with the Michigan Central Railroad. He was born in Monroe county, New York, on the 20th of May, 1832, and was a son of Orrin and Elmira (Feree) Babcock. Our subject's mother was born in Pennsylvania, but father and son were natives of the same county, and there his parents were also married, on July 7, 1831. Elijah was the elder of the two children, his brother, Neuman B. Babcock, having been born November 4, 1836. The two were in business until the death of the latter. Neuman left two children, his wife's maiden name being Ada Smith.

The father lived in Monroe county until about twenty-five years ago, when he came, fwith his wife, to Michigan to live with our subject, with whom both resided for the remainder of their lives. When Ortin Babcock left New York he was the oldest settler in his township.

Elijah F. Babcock received his education in the district schools of New York state and at the Albion Academy, where he pur sued some of the higher branches. By dint of industry and intelligent management he was able to lay aside enough money after the civil war to venture west with his brother. During the last two years of the Rebellion he was employed by the government in building bridges and repairing railroads. While engaged in this line of work he was called to Richmond, Virginia, to assist in building various bridges which had been burned by the Confederates. He was a warm admirer of Lincoln, and had the satisfaction of listening to the last speech ever delivered by the martyred president. Originally a Whig, and a supporter of Henry Clay, after the formation of the Republican party he was invariably found in the ranks as a faithful voter, but never as an office seeker.

In 1866 our subject came to Michigan with his brother and located on the place where he resided at time of death. Between them they purchased nine eighty-acre tracts, all wild lands, and established a saw mill. At that time there were no buildings upon the land, Elijah erecting the present frame house. The brothers finally operated both a saw mill and a heading mill, and for many years the Michigan Central Railroad was their largest customer. At one time every stick of timber used in constructing the line from Laingsburg to Jackson was supplied from the Babcock Brothers' mill, which also furnished the timber for the first "Blue Line" cars operated oin that road; it not only furnished long timbers for the Michigan Central cars but also the material for the bridges. The saw mill business was very profitable, but with the death of his brother and his own advancing years, Mr. Babcock decided upon retiring from it and devoting himself to general farming. Of the original tract purchased for agricultural purposes, the brothers cleared two hundred and forty acres, and of this amount our subject was the proprietor of one hundred and twenty acres, when he was called to eternal rest.

In January, 1880, Elijah F. Babcock was united in marriage to Miss Eva V. Berry, a native of California, born January 31, 1854. She is a daughter of Wilmot W. and Louisa S. (Phelps) Berry, her parents coming to Michigan from the state of Maine about 18663. Her father still resides in Sciota township. Mrs. Babcock's maternal grandfather, Selwin Phelps, was one of the early Shiawassee county pioneers, her mother being a native of that county.

Mrs. Babcock is the first of five children. The second is Ida, who married E. D. Lewis, of Perry, and is the mother of one child, Beulah. Walter, the third born, married Annette Houghton, and they have one child, Wilmot. The fourth child died in infancy. Louisa S., now Mrs. AlIen, is the mother of two children, Bert and Beulah, and resides in Detroit.

To our subject and wife one child was born, Julia G., who is the wife of Herbert See and the mother of one child, Eveline, born September 22, 1904. Their son-in-law and his family live on the old homestead. Mr. Babcock died October 11, 1905. He was a natural mechanic and was the inventor of several devices in common use today. He was the first man to use a threshing machine with belt power. Naturally modest and reserved, few knew his wvdrth and ability. He seemed to understand intuitively machinery of any kind, and he often helped out neighbors and others when their mechanical devices went wrong. He will be remembered as an exemplary, upright citizen, just and honest in all his dealings.

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Frederick BAESE

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 232

This gentleman hails from the land which gave to the world Frederick the Great, Marshall Blucher, Bismarck, Von Moltke, Von Schiller, Goethe, Richter, Mozart, Beethoven, Humboldt and Copernicus,-all great men in their various spheres, and all men who laid their indelible impress upon the pages of history, greatly adding to the fame of the nation which claims them as her own rich heritage. Frederick Baese, a substantial farmer of Bennington township, was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, April 11, 1828. He bears the name of his father, who was also a native of the Fatherland, where he was born in 1799, and,where he died in 1846; the maiden name of our subject's mother was Mosicky, and she died when her son Frederick was but two years old. His father, who was a farmer, married for his second wife Christina Brand, and he passed his entire life not far from his native place.

Mr. Baese is one of four children, having one sister, one half-sister and one half-brother, but he alone founded a home in America. After his marriage, in October, 1853, he set sail with his wife, from Hamburg, for the United States, their passage being aboard an old freighter which had been transformed into a sailing vessel for passengers, who, upon this occasion, numbered two hundred and twenty. The crew was composed of Americans, but only three of these, two sailors and the cook, could speak German. Six weeks passed before land was sighted and these were weeks of lonesomeness and dreariness. The captain himself, who had been taken sick, was brought upon the deck when the' lookout reported land ahead, and, after taking the bearings of the ship, announced his belief that it was Newfoundland. After continuing the voyage another three weeks, however, the New York harbor came into view, nine weeks and three days having thus been spent in crossing the ocean.

When Mr. Baese landed in the metropolis he had one hundred dollars United States money, although he did not know the value of a single piece which he possessed or how to change one denomination into another. Except his wife and her brother he did not have a relative or known friend in the United States, and, to add to his dismal condition, before leaving New York he was seized with chills and fever. In a little while his money was all gone and he was sixty dollars in debt to a physician. His cure came unexpectedly, however, through an instinctive and intense craving for water, which he used freely, and thus recovered. A few weeks afterward he removed to Buffalo and for five years found employment with a railroad company there. In 1858 he became a permanent resident of Michigan. He spent one year in Oakland county and three in Genesee county before settling in Bennington township, March 11, 1862. His first location was two miles east of his present residence, where he bought forty acres of land, about twenty of which he cleared, improving the same to the extent of a log house and barn. This tract remained his homestead for eleven years, during which time his buildings were destroyed by fire and rebuilt.

Our subject then purchased the farm of eighty acres which he still owns. Although he has not added to its size he has made mnany improvements upon it. About twenty acres of the original piece was improved, having a log house and barn. In 1881 he built a large barn, in 1885 a commodious residence, and in 1892 another house. The last named structure was intended to accommodate a tenant, but proved to be so convenient that he has made it his own home. The entire eighty acres is now improved, with the exception of a wood lot; the farm is free from encumbrance, which it has always been, and in his declining years Mr. Baese has the satisfaction of realizing that his industry, economy and sound business sense, as well as his strict honesty, have enabled him to achieve an honorable place in the community.

Mr. Baese's first wife died February 22, 1875, leaving him with a family of eight children. Within a year he married Caroline (Samuel) Rarn, a widow with two children,-Caroline and Minnie. Both of these are now married and living in Owosso. His second wife is still living, at the age of seventy-three years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Baese are in excellent health. To Mr. Baese eight children were born by his first wife: Herman, a native of the Empire state, was born in 1854, is married and is living on a farm in Nebraska; Mary, born in 1854, is the wife of Newton Hutchings, and is a resident of the state of Washington; Charles, born in 1861, is married and is a farmer of Benniligton township; William, born in 1862, is a farmer, is married and is located at Elsie, Michigan; Pauline, born in 1864, is now Mrs. Charles Green, of Bennington, Michigan; Franklin is a farmer of Bennington; Jennie is Mrs. Trask, of Benton Harbor, Michigan; Fred R., who was born in 1874, joined the United States army and during the SpanishAmerican war, on the way to Cuba, he disappeared and has not been heard from since.

Mr. Baese regrets that he cast his first vote for James Buchanan, as he has since been an ardent member of the Republican party. He has never been a candidate for office, however, although his friends have often urged him to accept various nominations. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist church and are universally esteemed.

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Alexander M. BAILEY

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 233

Alexander M. Bailey is a native of Canada, having been born in Yarmouth township, Ontario, March 9, 1840. His father was Richard Bailey, who was born in Lower Canada, in 1803, and who died in 1890; his wife, Theressa (Flowers) Bailey, was a New Yorker by birth. They were married in Canada and removed from Lower to Upper Canada. In 1846 Richard Bailey found his way to New York, where he bought a farm of one hundred acres and where he lived three years. He then sold out and returned to Canada, where he bought a farm of seventy acres near London, and where he remained for three years. He then sold and removed to Macomb county, Michigan, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of improved land. This was in 1851. He kept that farm until 1856, when he sold and returned to the same location in Canada where he had previously lived, there buying three hundred and twenty acres, one hundred and fifty acres being covered with pine timber. He owned that for nine months and then sold the same and bought one hundred and twenty acres. He lived on the latter place four years, when he sold and bought again near there. He did not keep this long, however, but sold out and returned to Michigan. After Lincoln's election to the presidency, in 1860, his face was again turned towards his native heath, where he lived most of the time afterward, meanwhile lumbering in Michigan. At the time of his death he owned seventy acres and a grist mill.

Alexander M. Bailey started for himself at the age of twenty-six years. He worked his father's farm in Canada. In 1867 he removed to Oakland county, Michigan, and rented a farm of three hundred acres for eight months. He afterward bought eighty acres at Oxford, in the same county, twenty acres of this being improved. He cleared twenty acres, and sold the property in 1870. He then located in Hazelton township, where he started a grocery store, which he conducted for three years. He then bought eighty acres on section 5, all of which was wild. He built a shanty, and has cleared all of this land. Later he added twenty acres and sold forty. He then removed to Tuscola county, where he bought eighty acres, clearing fifteen acres of the same; he finally sold it and returned to Hazelton, when he was forced to take back his farm, which he had sold on contract. He has since lived there.

In 1886 Mr. Bailey was married to Melvina Campbell, who was born in Canada, October 31, 1846. Her parents, George and Ann Campbell, removed to Lapeer county, Michigan, in 1866; there they bought seventy acres of improved land. They lived there three years, then sold and went to Oxford township, Oakland county, where they bought a seventy-five-acre farm, all improved; they sold this, however, and located in Hazelton township, Shiawassee county, buying forty acres. This the father finally sold, and after the death of his wife he lived with his children. Our sulbject's wife was one of seven children. James, deceased, married and had five children; Mary, who lives in Flint, married John Connell and had five children; Martha, who lives at Rochester, married John Hawkins, and they have six children; Menderna and Melvina were twins; John, who lives in Easton, Michigan, married Joanna Wilson, and they have one child. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander M. Bailey: Wilson G., born March 18, 1866, lives at Lothrop, Michigan, being a mail carrier; he married Minnie Wilson and they have two children, Jay and Josie; Edwin A., born April 9, 1868, lives on a farm; he married Hattie Falls, and they have two children, Ernest and Alrin Leslie.

Mr. Bailey now owns a forty-acre farm, on section 5, Hazelton township. He is a Democrat in politics and is recognized as one of the industrious and progressive farmers of the township. He has never been a seeker for place or preferment but rather a modest worker in the ranks. He is an active Granger and an enthusiastic Maccabee. In short Mr. Bailey is a good citizen and a successful farmer, being highly esteemed by his neighbors.

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E. Herbert BAILEY, M.D.

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 234

The standing of a right-minded and skillful physician in an intelligent community is one of great honor and repute, but it is one which must be attained through years of hard labor and conscientious pursuit of the work which has been presented. No one knows better than a physician how true it is that a man who would obtain a good standing in his profession must work hard and devote himself unflinchingly to duty through all the years of his career. Negligence on the part of the physician is criminal, and is justly considered unprofessional, while the devotion of his best knowledge and highest powers to every case which comes to his hands is only his duty. Such devotion has brought Dr. Bailey to the foremost rank among the physicians of Corunna, which city is proud to claim him as one of her prominent citizens.

Dr. Bailey is a Canadian by birth, having been born in the province of Ontario, November 20, 1858. He is the son of Samuel R. and Mary (Long) Bailey, also natives of Canada. The father was born October 28, 1837, and the mother in Toronto, May 14, 1840. They are now residents of Guelph, Canada, the father being a toolmaker and being now engaged in the work of his trade.

Our subject was the oldest of five children, the others being: Erminie, who is the wife of Rev. G. J. Powell, superintendent of missions at Fargo, North Dakota; Ernest, who is a resident of New York City; Annie Ethel, who is the wife of Arthur Gausby, a chemist of Cleveland, Ohio; Gertrude, who is at home, being a teacher in the schools of Guelph, Canada.

Dr. Bailey attended the Toronto public schools until eleven years of age, thereafter pursuing his studies in a collegiate institute at Guelph for eight years. He taught in the Wellington county schools for one year, and finally was graduated in the Ottawa Normal School, in the class of 1880. After this he went back and was principal of a school in Wellington county. He matriculated in a medical college at Toronto in 1881, and he was graduated in the medical college in the year 1884. After this he came to Corunna and has since given his undivided attention to the practice of his chosen profession.

June 5, 1887, Dr. Bailey was united in marriage to Bertha Malcolm, who was born September 17, 1866. Mrs. Bailey is a daughter of Dr. J. R. and Saphronia Malcolm, both of whom were natives of Scotland, Ontario. The father died ten years ago at the age of fifty-five years, and the mother is now living with Mrs. Bailey, at the age of sixty-one years. Our subject's wife was one of two children, the other one having died in infancy. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey have one child, Herbert, Born July 7, 1895. Both our subject and wife are prominently identified with the Order of the Eastern Star. Their influence for good is felt in the community and they are loved and respected for their sterling character and uprightness of their lives. The Doctor is a member of the Masonic order, is a charter member of the lodge of Elks at Owosso, a member of the Maccabees at Corunna, and is also allied with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Dr. Bailey takes an intelligent interest in public movements but is not in politics, as he prefers to devote his time and thought to his professional duties.

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John BARKER

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 235

John Barker is a native of Cayuga county, New York, and was born April 13, 1838. He is a son of Orlando Barker, a Vermonter, who died at the age of forty-four years, in New York state, and of Catherine (Eadie) Barker, who was born in Mohawk county, New York, and who died in the same state at the age of seventy-four years. The subject of this sketch was quite young when his father died. It was necessary for him, therefore, to begin work at an early age, to help support the rest of the family,-a labor of love he did manfully, thus giving practical evidence of his duty to his widowed mother, who was enabled to exclaim, "Thanks to the gods! my boy has done his duty." He remained at home until twenty-two years of age, when he began working on the Erie canal, thus continuing for three years. In 1855 he came to Michigan, and worked in saw mills near Dearborn, about nine years. While there he was married to Harriett Bemiss, in 1857. She was born in Shiawassee county, December 14, 1840. Her parents, the names of whom she cannot give, were early settlers of that county. Mrs. Barker is now dead. She had six children, two of whom died in infancy: Albert, who was born March 1, 1864, married Carrie Dean, and they live in Saginaw county, having two children; Nettie, born October 2, 1866, married John Spitlee, and they live in Rush township; Frank, born September 15, 1868, married Lillie Davis and they live in Genesee county, where he is a farmer, their children being five in number; Lester, born September 30, 1880, is single and is at home.

In 1864, Mr. Barker came to Rush township and bought forty acres of land, five acres of which had been plowed, and a log house had been built. The country was then in its primitive state, all woods and few neighbors. Mr. Barker has since bought forty acres adjoining his first purchase, and has cleared it all, the whole being now under a high state of cultivation. He has a large brick house, built twelve years ago. For two years he occupied the log house found on the place when he bought it. He then built another log structure. This he lived in until twelve years ago, when he removed from the old into the new. He has fine barns and other buildings. His son Lester lives at home and assists in working the place. He bought eighty acres of wild land in Saginaw county, and this he has had converted into a good farm; his son Albert lives on the same. Mr. Barker has always been engaged in general farming, and for several years dealt quite extensively in sheep and cattle. He is a Republican in politics, but has never been an office-seeker, nor held any office save that of a member of the school board. He served on the board of review of his township for 1904. He formerly attended the Baptist church, but is not a member. He is a member of the Grange. His grandfather, Christopher. Eadie, was a soldier in the Mexican war. Mr. Barker's father owned a farm of thirty-five acres in New York state, where he always lived. He was a Whig in politics.

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L.W. BARNES

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 236

The gentleman whose name heads this sketch lives on section 26, Burns township, and is the proud son of a father, Ezra D. Barnes, of whom he has reason to be proud, because he was a man of sterling character, of push, of energy, of affairs, of results; and results are everything in this life. As the great Carlyle has said: "Everywhere in life the true question is not what we gain but what we do." The pioneers of a country, especially a timbered country like Michigan, achieved results in felling the mighty forests of this state and making it what it is to-day. Few men did more in this line than Ezra D. Barnes, and no pioneer of Shiawassee county has left a better record,-a more lofty monument. Mr. Barnes settled four miles southwest of Burns in 1836, about seventy years ago, and secured from Uncle Sam four hundred acres of virgin land, covered by a dense forest. What a Herculean task to undertake the work of reducing the forest into a cultivated, stumpless farm! He first built a shanty and several years afterward a log house was added, when he moved from the old house into the new, and in those days a good log cabin was considered an up-to-date luxury,-a veritable home in the wilderness! In 1850-51 a large frame house was made to adorn the farm. This, indeed, was a substantial evidence of prosperity and of the onward march of progress. When this sturdy pioneer died he was the happy possessor of two hundred and twenty acres. And these broad acres had been awarded the premium as constituting the best farm in Shiawassee county. This, indeed, was a distinction to be proud of. Here were the actual results of hard toil and a high order of good judgment. Yea, it was in keeping with one of the great laws of nature,

for All things journey, sun and moon,
Morning, noon and afternoon;
Night and all her stars,
'Twixt the east and western bars
Round they journey,
Come and go!
We go with them.

The father of our subject was married, in New York state, to Sally Durkee, and they had two children when they removed to Michigan, and later several others were born to them. After the death of his first wife he married Mary Whitcomb, by whom he had one child, but this wife also died. His third wife was Sarah (Mattoon) Barnes, our subject's own mother, who died in 1877, one year after her husband. To the third marriage there were born five children,-L. W., Hattie C., Oscar P., Lester C., and J. F. The last named still resides on the old homestead. Ezra D. Barnes was active in politics and had filled nearly all the offices in the township. He was also one of the originators of the Shiawassee County Insurance company.

Our subject was born February 10, 1852. He started his bark in 1873 to navigate life's journey "on his own hook," so to speak. This was after he had passed his twenty-first birthday. He then leased his father's farm on shares, without a dollar in his pocket. Three years afterward, September 27, 1876, he was married to Ella Barnum, a daughter of Isaac Barnum. She was born in 1858, on the farm where she now lives. He built a new house and while absent at Howell, after new furniture, his father suddenly died, although apparently in good health when he went away. Not long after this his mother, while engaged in sweeping, fell to the floor and soon expired. Our subject and his brother then formed a copartnership and were known as L. W. & 0. P. Barnes. They engaged in general farming but made a specialty of handling merino sheep, shorthorn cattle and Poland-China hogs. They exhibited their stock all over Michigan, including the Detroit exposition, and sold it in South America and in nearly all the states and Canada. The largest sale made went to Australia. This business venture proved successful but during the Cleveland panic things with them fell pretty flat, as they did all over the country. In 1891 Oscar fell from a windmill and was killed, leaving a wife and two children. The unfortunate man was aged thirty-four years. Deceased was a member of the Knights of the Maccabees and had just paid his first assessment. He left his wife two thousand dollars insurance, besides other property, making his family comfortable.

Nine children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Barnes, namely: Earl, who was educated in the Byron school, went from farm to Boston where he remained fourteen months on the Trades Journal of Domestic Engineering, after which he was advanced to the office in New York city; he taught school before going to Boston; Alfred L., a successful farmer, married Nora Boyce, on Christmas day of 1904; Clara A. married Frank Skinner; and Lillie is the wife of George Skinner, a farmer and a brother of Frank; 0. Milan is a farmer in Burns township; Riley C. follows clerical work; Alger B. is in school; as are also Grace and Burnice.

In politics Mr. Barnes is a pronounced Republican, and he has been a member of the executive committee of the State Agricultural Society. He is also a Mason and is the second officer in his lodge. He is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees of which he was commander for five years; is a patron of the Order of the Eastern Star and a Granger. Besides all this, he is, as already remarked, an honorable and popular citizen, and has the right to be, because he sprung from good stock.

This gentleman, now in the "land beyond the skies," had the honor of being among the first white settlers in Antrim township. He was a native of Ontario county, New York, where he first saw the light of day on the 11th of January, 1810. He was a son of Joshua Beard, who was born in Maryland, February 8, 1787, and who died March 21, 1861. Martha (Blake) Beard, mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Saratoga county, New York, August 9, 1790. Our subject remained at home until reaching his majority, when he was married to Hannah Arnet, the event taking place March 10, 1831. He began for himself by farming on shares, continuing this for one year, when he sold his interest and with three hundred dollars started for the west "to grow up with the country." He first went to Lake county, Ohio, and remained there eighteen months, then starting for Michigan. April 25, 1836, he reached Lodi, Washtenaxv county, and on the 28th of the following May arrived in Antrim township, his final objective point; for it was here that he rested his "ark"-the scene of his future conquests and glory, so to speak. He was accompanied by his brotherin-law, Lyman MIelvin. They built a log house-the pioneer's castle-on the latter's land and lived there until our subject could construct a house on his own property. He sold a team of oxen to pay for the first eighty acres of land he ever owned, and in the winter of 1836-7 he built on his newly acquired purchase a log house, into which he moved. But six years afterward, in 1843, he met with a great misfortune, in the death of his wife, which occurred in August of that year. He continued to live in the log house for many years, however, but in 1884 built a large, square frame residence,-the largest and finest in the entire neighborhood. When enough settlers had joined him he helped to organize the township. While Mr. Beard was not an office-seeker, yet he was quite an active politician, and was justice of the peace for twelve years. In early days he was postmaster in Antrim. He cast his first ballot for Andrew Jackson and his last for Grover Cleveland. He was an admirer of Abraham Lincoln, voted for him and named one of his sons after him. To his principal 1usiness of farming, he added that of real-estate investment, dealing largely, in an early day, in tax titles. He was a familiar and conspicuous figure in the conventions of his party, in pioneer meetings, and most all public gatherings. He was one of those sturdy, strong-willed men whom age could not stoop nor obstacles turn. Living to the ripe age of eighty-five years, there were no roads too rough and no weather too inclement to prevent him from going from place to place as his business called him. He was one of the members of the Shiawassee County Pioneer Society, saw its membership dwindle from year to year, and stood by the graves of most of all of his compatriots of pioneer days. He dealt extensively in lands and at one time owned more than twelve hundred acres. He gave each of his children a farm or helped them to buy one. To Mr. and Mrs. Beard were born three children: Martha B., born April 1, 1832, married George Tyler and both are dead; Byron Beard is the subject of a sketch of this work; Chas. F., who was born September 21, 1838, enlisted in Company H twenty-third Michigan Infantry, and was killed November 12, 1863, at the battle of Campbell's station, Tennessee. Mr. Beard married for his second wife Charlotte Thompson, who was born April 13, 1828. She passed out of this life October 19, 1905, at the age of seventy-six years. She took great delight in relating stories and incidents of pioneer life. Mrs. Beard lived on the farm, which she rented, up to the time of her death. The issue of this marriage consisted of the following named children: Allen, born November 13, 1848, died December 12, 1855; Joshua, born April 14, 1850, died December 5, 1855; Walter, born September 10, 1851; died September 13, 1858; Eleanor, born January 12, 1854, died October 4, 1858; John C., born November 26, 1856, now lives on part of the old farm; A. L., born April 16, 1860, is a banker at Morrice, Michigan; Sarepta, born February 8, 1864, married George Honecker, and they live on part of the old farm; Maryett, born in 1865, was the wife of Robert J. Marble, now deceased; George W., born in November, 1867, now lives in Bancroft, Michigan.

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A. Byron BEARD

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 239

It has been said by a noted man of letters, that "the race by vigor not by vaunts is won." So it may truthfully be said of the gentleman whose name heads this page. He owes his present success in life to vigor, and his success is something he has reason to be proud of. Who in life has reason to be more boastful than a young man who settled on a timbered piece of land in the early days of Michigan and created of it a beautiful home, with broad, cultivated fields, a commodious residence, large barns and other necessary buildings? This, in brief, is a picture of what A. Byron Beard has accomplished, on section 10, Antrim township. Like many, very many, other citizens of this state, our subject is a native of Ohio. And did the reader ever stop to realize how much Michigan owes to Ohio for supplying her with so many good men and women? As already remarked, Ohio gave birth to A. Byron Beard. He was born in Willoughby township, Lake county, DecembSer 1, 1835. At. an early age his parents, Allen and Hannah (Arnet) Beard, removed to Antrim township, Shiawassee county, Michigan. A sketch of these honored pioneers is given elsewhere in this work. Young Beard was educated in the common schools of that township. He remained at home with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-four years, when he bought eighty acres of land and began farming for himself. This land was nearly all heavily timbered. He first built a small frame house and barn. In 1886 he "builded greater" in the shape of a large frame house, barns and other structures. The erection of these was personally superintended by himself, as he had previously, at "odd times," picked up the carp'entering business. Later he bought one hundred and twenty acres more land, making his possessions of real estate two hundred acres in one body,-a large farm for Michigan. He has since transferred eighty acres of this to his son, leaving him one hundred and twenty acres,-as fine a farm as one could desire.

April 26, 1860, Mr. Beard formed a matrimonial alliance with Harriett V. Alling, a native of Antrim township, where she was born November 12, 1838. She is a daughter of Alanson Alling, who was born in the Empire state in 1803, and who joined the silent majority, in Antrim township, in September, 1857; her mother was Beulah (Price) Alling, who was born in Orleans county, New York, in 1810, and who died, in Antrim township, in 1874. Mrs. Beard's parents were married in New York state and came to Michigan in 1836, locating on two hundred acres of land bought from the government at "ten shillings" per acre. They were among the first settlers in Antrim township, Mrs. Alling having been the first white woman in the township. They remained on this farm until they died.

Mrs. Beard was one of a family of seven children, and their mother had one child, Antoinette, by a former husband; this daughter married Avery Bacon, but died years ago, in New York state. Concerning the other children the following is brief record: William, born August 31, 1833, died a good many years ago, having married and having lived on part of the old farm; our subject's wife was next in order of birth; Mary, born August 26, 1840, married Amos Young and lives in South Dakota; Henry Rossman died young; Martha, born August 31, 1848, married John Bennett and lives in Morrice, Michigan; Volney, born in 1846, married Alice Hill, and they live on the old homestead, in Antrim township; Henry (2d) lives in Morrice, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Beard have only one child-Myron E. Beard. He was born January 5, 1862, and married Florentine Frazier. They lived on eighty acres of the old homstead, the property having been deeded to them by his father, and are blessed with two children-Gertrude V., born May 16, 1897, and E. Spencer R., born April 30, 1899.

In politics our subject is a Republican, but aside from that of highway commissioner he has never held any office, preferring to look after the interests of his general farming, and in this regard, he has, as already stated, proved a signal success.

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Washington BINGHAM

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 240

Washington Bingham resides on section 33, Venice township, Shiawassee county. He is a native of New York state, having been born in Columbus, December 19, 1853, and is a gentleman of more than ordinary activity, being one of the most extensive sheep growers in Michigan. In 1886 he sent his son Clare to England and imported sixty head df the first Shropshire sheep ever brought into the United States. The same son has repeatedly gone to England since that time to secure high-grade sheep. Some time previously to this Mr. Bingham commenced fattening sheep for market. At first he bought around home but finally originated the custom in his locality of going west for sheep for feeding purposes. Then he bought in Montana, but he now seeks the Chicago market. During 1904 he fattened six thousand sheep for market, and now has one thousand eight hundred on hand. He is an authority on sheep raising and sheep feeding. Mr. Bingham's father was born in Sherman, Chenung county, New York, September 5, 1811, and there owned a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he bought from the government and which he cleared. He always lived in that state. Mr. Bingham located on his present farm of sixty acres in 1869. It was half improved at that time. Since then he has built the fine house in which he lives, with four large barns for sheep feeding. One is forty-four by one hundred; one fifty-six by one hundred; one twenty by eighty and one thirty by forty. These are without doubt the largest structures for this purpose in the state.

Mr. Bingham is one of twins, the other being Wellington, who is married and lives at Sherman and has three children,-Alice, Lena and Albert. The third and fourth children were also twins,-William and Wilson. William married Frances Harrington and lives at Sherman, having two children, -John and Lewis. Wilson married Julia Manchester, and lives at Sherman, having seven children. Albert, who died at Sherman, married Emma Manchester and had two children. The sixth and seventh children were girls, who died in infancy.

In 1860, Mr. Bingham married Emily A. Cove, who was born January 12, 1831, and who died September 11, 1865. She was a daughter of Benjamin Cove, who was born December 6, 1795, and died August 20, 1858; her mother, whose maiden name was Ann Burbank, was born August 7, 1803. Mrs. Bingham's parents were natives of New York state and always lived there, on a farm of one hundred acres. By his first wife, Mr. Bingham had one child, Clare, who was born April 13, 1862, and who lives with his father. For his second wife Mr. Bingham married Della M. Cove, sister of his first wife. She was born November 4, 1838, and died October 29, 1888. His wife's father was twice married,-first to Emily Root, March 18, 1819. She died December 22, 1830. They had five children: Russel F., born December 17, 1819; Royal D., born November 18, 1821; Josiah R., born November 14, 1823; and Theodore, born November 9, 1825, are all deceased. Charles E., born December 1, 1827, now lives at Sherman. Mr. Cove's second marriage occurred January 15, 1832, to Ann Burbank. They had five children: John F., born March 8, 1830, and Joseph, born May 27, 1833, are deceased; the next two were Mr. Bingham's first and second wives; Benjamin John, born March 28, 1845, now lives on the old homestead. Joseph Cove, father of Benjamin, died March 23, 1814, at the age of forty-nine years; his wife, Maria, died March 17, 1812.

Mr. Bingham is a Republican. He handles money for eastern capitalists and at one time had one hundred thousand dollars loaned in his locality. He is a gentleman of the utmost integrity and honor and is deservedly popular.

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Ebenezer P. BLISS

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 241

Cicero once said that "there are more men ennobled by study than by nature." But what can be said of a man who wrecks his health by overstudy? Is such an example worthy of emulation or is it to be dissapproved? Be this as it may, Ebenezer P. Bliss, who was born in Lee, Massachuetts, April 15, 1820, left a record for faithfulness and long years in the harness as a school teacher that challenges a parallel in Michigan. He came to this state when a young man and bought eighty acres of unimproved land on section 16, Rush township, where the family now live. He built a log house on this land and cleared it up. He afterward taught for seven years in one school in New Haven township. He continued teaching winters and working on his farm summers for several years. He was fond of books.

Golden volumes! richest treasures,
Object of delicious pleasures!
You my eyes rejoicing please,
You my hands in rapture seize;
Brilliant wits and musing sages,
Lights who beam'd through many ages!

Overstudy and too much reading finally undermined his constitution and precipitated apoplexy. He died July 15, 1902, aged eighty-two years. He had taught the "young ideas how to shoot" for more than forty terms, a record that challenges a parallel in Michigan, as has been said above. The direct cause of death was hemorrhages and paralysis of the brain, the result of overstudy. He was a son of Joshua and Grace Porter Bliss, and the family traced back to the earliest days of America. The original stock was from England.

Ebenezer P. Bliss was the eighth in a family of nine children. He was married January 14, 1858, to Betsey Dellamater, who was born March 16, 1840. She was a daughter of Peter Dellamater, who was a native of New York state, where he was born December 23, 1804. His wife, Lydia, (Bassett) Dellamater, was born in New York state in 1802 and died in 1857. Peter Dellamater was married in New York state, later removing to Canada. In 1856 he came to Shiawassee county, Michigan, and located in Rush township, on section 15, on eighty acres of wild land. He built a log house, still standing, and cleared the land. His was among the first families in the township and suffered all the experiences and privations of pioneer life. There were eight children in the Dellamater family, and besides Mrs. Bliss the others were: Eleanor, who is now Mrs. Henry Teeple; Martin, who died from scarlet fever, when 'young; Angeline, who married Barnabas Allen, and lived in Rush township; John, who is now deceased; N. D., who lives in Rush township and who married Permela Dean; Reuben, who died when a boy, of fever; the eighth died in infancy.

When Mr. Bliss and wife located on their land and built their log house in the woods there were but few families in that region. They lived in the house about twenty-seven years, when they erected the large square frame residence in which the widow now lives. Before his death, Mr. Bliss bought fifty-five acres of land, partly improved. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss had eight children, as follows: Grace P. was born December 30, 1858, and died January 21, 1867; Ebenezer P., born April 22, 1861, is married and lives in Brady township, Saginaw county, having four children,-Alva, Gordon, Florence, Bertha, and Lydia; Jesse, born March 15, 1863, married Lydia Hobart lives in Rush township, and has two children,-Howard and Esther Grace; Elmer, born January 22, 1865, married May Webb, lives in Montana, and has one child.-Marv Eleanor; Arthur, born April 12, 1867, is a bachelor and is at home, being a Democrat and a member of the Odd Fellows; Lemuel, born September 13, 1869, lives in Brady township, Saginaw county; he married Emma Appleman and they have one child,-Stanley. Asa V., born March 1, 1872, lives in the west; Alpheus F., born September 12, 1877, died at age of seven years and twelve days, having been killed by a pile of lumber falling on him when a barn was being built.

Mr. Bliss was a Republican in national affairs, but independent in matters local. He had been township clerk, justice of the peace and supervisor-holding all of these offices for several years. He was quite prominent in politics and had one hundred and thirtyfive acres of improved land at the time of his death. His widow still lives on the place, with her son Arthur.

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Leonard S. BOWLES

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 242

Leonard S. Bowles, of Owosso township, hails from Orleans county, New York, where he was born July 8, 1843. He is a son of James BoWles, who was horn in Norfolk county, England, June 20, 1809, and who died in Owosso township, March 8, 1897. He came to the United States in 1829 and first settled in Orleans county, New York, where he bought forty acres of wild land, which he improved, but he subsequently lost the property through a defective title. In 1856 he removed to Calhoun county, Michigan, where he worked for ten years. Then he located in Owosso township, living with his son Leonard until his death and aided the latter greatly in buying and clearing his present farm. Mr. Bowles' mother was named Anna. She was born in England and died in Orleans county, New York, when the subject of this article was a small lad. Mr. Bowles received some of his education at Clarendon., New York, and in the district schools of Calhoun county, Michigan, but has since greatly added to his fund of knowledge through his own efforts. Indeed, the latter method has produced the best and most practically educated men in the country. From the age of thirteen to that of fifteen years he worked for five dollars per month. He then had his wages increased, and at the age of twenty-one he enlisted at Marshall, Michigan, August 2, 1864, and shortly afterward was mustered in, at St. Louis, Missouri, with Company L, Second Missouri Cavalry, known as "Merrill's Horse." The regiment was organized in 1862 as an independent organization but was later credited to Missouri, because its colonel belonged to that state. Three companies of the regiment, however, were from Michigan. He was in the battle of the Big Blue. After returning from the war he located in Owosso township and purchased eighty acres of wild land, on section 34, building a log house and stable. At that time there were no roads, no fences, few neighbors -nothing, in fact, but trees and wild game. In 1866 a neighbor killed a bear in his yard. In 1892 he added forty acres to his original purchase. This was partly improved and there are now thirty-two acres of the same under cultivation. He has a fine house and barns and in all thirty-two buildings are on the place.

'Tis not a lip, an eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all.

So with this elegant farm. The "full result of all" is what makes this beauty spot, this farm, what it is.

November 27, 1879, Mr. Bowles married Ida J. McNichol, who was born September 20, 1853. She is a daughter of Turner McNichol, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1796, and who died in Howard township, Cass county, Michigan, in 1881. Mrs. Bowles' mother was Margaret Ann (Glass) McNichol, who was born in Ireland, in 1816, and who died June 29,1890, in the same place as did her husband. They were married in Europe and came to the United States two years afterward. They were located in New York state for a short time and then came to Niles, Michigan, buying eighty acres of wild land in Howard township, Cass county. They built a log house and stables, improved the land and later added forty acres. They owned a good farm of one hundred and twenty acres at the time of their death.

Mr. Bowles is the third of four children. Robert, born in 1838, lives in Owosso, is married and has five children,-William, Nellie, John, Frank and Cora. Robert enlisted April 8, 1861, in the Second Michigan Infantry and served about two years. Mary, born in 1841, lives in Owosso township, having married Edward Osser; Anna lives in Kansas, having married Le Pruyne De Armond, and having had one child, now dead.

Mrs. Bowles is the youngest of seven children. William died in infancy; Jennie died on the old homestead, having married William Lewis and having had two children, Arthur and Nellie; Mary, deceased, lived at Greenville, Michigan, having married William Livingston and having had one child, Fred; Mattie died at Greenville, Michigan, having married Niles Bowerman and having had two children,-Minnie and Albert; John, deceased, married Julia Annis, and lived at Shilo, Michigan; Arthur, who lives in Nebraska, married Sara Rhodes, and had six children.

Mr. and Mrs. Bowles have two children: Floyd, born November 27, 1881, lives in San Francisco, California, and Nettie, born August 5, 1883, is a stenographer in Detroit. Both were graduated in a business college in Ypsilanti, and attended Mrs. Gould's private school in Owosso. Mr. Bowles is a Republican, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is now serving his fifth term as justice of the peace. He makes a specialty of growing strawberries and raspberries, having raised as high as twelve acres of the former in one season. His output of strawberries one year was twenty-seven thousand and fifty-three quarts, with over one thousand quarts of raspberries.

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Reese BOWLES

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 243

Pluck and energy have probably accomplished more in this life than any two things that could be mentioned. Indeed, they are the active forces of the business world. The gentleman whose name heads this page has shown these qualities in a marked degree, as his present home and surroundings attest. He lives on section 11, Antrim township, and is a native son of the Empire state, where he was born January 7, 1835. His father and mother, Josiah and Sally (Hicks) Bowles, were both born in the same state. They were also married there and continued to live there for some years afterward. When our subject had reached the age of. seven years his parents journeyed to Michigan and located in Genesee county, where the father bought eighty acres of native forest land, built a log house and barn and began active work in making for himself and family a farm. In the course of a few years he sold this property and removed to Lapeer county, where he purchased eighty acres, partly improved, with some buildings. He lived there about fifteen years, then sold and removed to Hadley, Michigan, where he made his home with his children. He and his wife died there, at the respective ages of eighty and seventy years, in the order named. In politics Mr. Bowles was originally a Whig, but when that party ceased to exist he naturally drifted into the ranks of the Republican organization. He never held office, however, neither was he affiliated with any church.

At the age of seventeen years our subject began "paddling his own canoe," so to speak, -first going to work on a farm, at thirteen dollars per month. This he continued for some time, dividing his time between the farm in summer and the lumber woods in winter. His early educational advantages were quite limited, as he lived a long distance from school and was forced to work when young. This was also the experience of his brothers and sisters. His first purchase of land was in Genesee county, where he secured seven acres. He afterward added to this until he was the possessor of thirtythree acres. This was partly improved and he continued to live there for several years, when he sold and located in Shiawassee county, purchasing the eighty acres on which he now resides. When the property came into his possession there were but few improvements save a log house and stable, He went to work with a will, however, and in course of a few years the forest dissappeared and the log excuses for buildings gave place to a handsome and commodious frame house and a large modern barn. These are kept well painted, and the farm is one of the handsomest in the entire neighborhood. Mr. Bowles having an eye for the beautiful, as the poet says, "Beauty is bought by the judgment of the eye." So with our subject. He has given abundant evidence that the judgment of his eye is not lacking. Not satisfied with his original purchase, he has added eighty acres more, one mile distant. The latter he uses for pasture. He has always been a tiller of the soil, and in view of the fact that he had a stroke of paralysis a few years ago, is now upfitteof for work and has his son work the farm on shares. Mr. Bowles was married in 1856 to Lydia Herrick, who- was born January 17, 1837, in Michigan. She was a daughter of William and Lydia (Roberts) Herrick; Mr. Herrick died on a farm at Goodrich, Genesee county, having passed his sixtieth mile-stone. Mrs. Bowles was one of eight children-seven of whom are still living,-one in Shiawassee county.

Mr. and Mrs. Bowles have two children -Joseph and Williard. The former was born December 9, 1857, and has been married, but he and his wife are not now living together. He is a farmer in Dakota. Williard was born April 9, 1862, and married Hattie Fuller, who is now dead; he lives with his parents. He has one child, Lydia, now Mrs. Earl Shelp. They live on a farm near the old home.

Mr. Bowles was one of thirteen children -seven of whom are still living. Thomas lives in Linden, Michigan; Nancy lives in Genesee county, being the wife of E. S. Dart; Eleanor lives in Lapeer county, on the old homestead, and is the widow of James MViller; Evan lives in Shiawassee township; Reese is the subject of this sketch; Frank lives in Hadley, Genesee county; John, now dead, was a solider in the civil war, having served in the Eighth Michigan Infantry; William lives in Tuscola county; Josiah is now deceased; Albert and Edgar are deceased; and Dan and Ann, twins, are also dead.

Our subject has always been a Republican. He has served for five years on the board of review of his township, and was pathmaster for several years, but has held no other office. Neither is he a member of any church or fraternal society. He is a highly respected and worthy citizen,-an honor to his town and a credit to the farming fraternity.

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Solon F. Brackett

Compiled and submitted by William Brackett November 2014
brackettwilliam@yahoo.com

Solon F. Brackett was the son of Levi and Lucina (Ritter) Brackett. Levi married Lucina on 21 Jan 1826. Solon was born on 28 Feb 1837 in Clarendon, Orleans County, New York. Levi Brackett was the son of Daniel and Lydia (Whitney) Brackett, also of Clarendon. They are descendants of Anthony Brackett, the immigrant ancestor.

According to H. I. Brackett’s Brackett Genealogy, published in Washington D. C. in 1907, Solon “removed to Michigan when about twelve years old, where he has since resided in Shiawassee and Genesee counties. Married March 2, 1856, Mary Shatto, born October 21, 1837, daughter of John and wife Magdalena Ohl, of Michigan.” Solon and Mary (Shatto) Brackett had children:
Emma R. Brackett born 08 Jun 1857 died 18 July 1862
John Brackett b. 1859
George I. Brackett born 14 Mar 1860 who married Clara Pace and lived in Cleveland, Ohio.
Frank S. Brackett born 01 Jul 1868 who married May Herrington and lived in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Solon Brackett’s father, Levi Brackett, died when he was four years of age. He may be one in the same as the “Solen Brackett” found in the 1850 census of Grand Blanc, Genesee County, Michigan living in the Simeon Perry household.

The 1860 census of Montrose Township, Genesee County, Michigan includes:
John Shatto 48 years of age born in Ohio
Solan Brocket 22 years of age born in New York
Mary Brocket 22 year of age born in Ohio
Emma Brocket 3 years of age born in Michigan
John Brocket 3 months old born in Michigan.

Notes: This is Solon and Mary (Shatto) Brackett living in her father’s household. John Shatto joined Company I of the 10th Michigan Infantry and died of wounds in St. Louis, Missouri 14 Jun 1862. John Shatto was laid to rest in the Jefferson Barracks National cemetery in St. Louis.

The 1870 census of Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan includes:
Solon Bracket 32 years of age born in New York
Mary Bracket 32 years of age born in Ohio
George Bracket 10 years of age born in Michigan
Frank Bracket 2 year of age born in Michigan

The 1880 census of Venice, Shiawassee County, Michigan includes:
Saloman Brockett 42 year of age born in New York
Mary Brockett 42 years of age born in Ohio
Frank Brockett 11 years of age born in Michigan
Magdelina Shatto 71 years of age.

Notes: This is Solon and Mary (Shatto) Brackett and her mother is living in their household. Magdalena (Ohl) Shatto died on 06 Aug 1881 and was laid to rest in the Flushing Cemetery, Genesee County, Michigan.

The 1900 census of Venice, Shiawassee County, Michigan includes:
Solon Brackett 62 years of age born in New York
Mary Brackett 62 years of age born in Ohio
George E. Brackett 9 years of age born in Michigan “Grandson”

The 1910 census of Venice, Shiawassee County Michigan includes:
Solen F. Brackett 72 years of age born in New York
Mary Brackett 72 years of age born in Ohio
George E. Brackett 19 years of age grandson

The Marriage records for Genesee County, Michigan include the marriage record of Solon Brackett who married Mary Shatto on 02 Mar 1856. Solon Brackett was most often mention in the census records as being a farmer. In 1870 he is listed as a hardware merchant. Mary (Shatto) Brackett died on 11 Jan 1915 and Solon Brackett died on 21 Jan 1915. They were laid to rest in the Yerian Cemetery in Shiawassee County, Michigan.

Marriage records for Shiawassee County, Michigan include Frank S. Brackett who married on 20 Feb 1890 to Merriby (Harrington) Ellis in Owosso. Merriby’s father was listed as Elisha Harrington. Frank S. and Merriby Brackett divorced on 25 Jun 1902 and he remarried to Georgia Rohrabacher in 1903. Frank and Georgia Brackett are buried in the Laingsburg Cemetery in Shiawassee County, Michigan.

George L. Brackett died in Cleveland, Ohio on 16 Oct 1912. His parents are given in his death record as Solon Brackett and Mary Shatto.

The History of the Great Lakes, Volume II by J. B. Mansfield was published in 1899 in Chicago by J. H. Beers & Co. There is a biography in this volume concerning George L. Brackett and it reads: “George L. Brackett was born in a pinery ten miles from Flint, Genesee Co., Mich., March 14, 1860, son of Solon and Mary (Shatto) Brackett, who are still living on their farm, of which they have made a good property. George Assisted his father on the home place, attending the district school in the winter, until he reached the age of fourteen years, when he went to work for a neighboring farmer. He remained with him two years and succeeded in saving the sum of fourteen dollars in cash, taking a cow in payment for the balance of the wages; he drove the animal home and presented it to his mother, who warmly appreciated the handsome present, as it was the first cow she had ever possessed, and George was the proudest boy in the county. Soon afterward he removed with his parents to Saginaw, Mich., where his father opened a flour and feed store, George Helping him in the store and going to school. After remaining here eighteen months he went to Port Huron and entered the employ of his uncle, G. R. Shatto, as clerk in his dry goods store. Mr. Shatto, who was a wealthy and enterprising man, went to California and purchased the Island of Catalona [sic], in the Pacific Ocean, twenty miles off shore, which he improved and of which he made a popular summer resort, some years later selling the island to an English syndicate for $600,000. On his way to Michigan he was killed in a railroad accident in California. During the six years that Mr. Brackett remained in the employ of his uncle he purchased an interest in the barge, Antelope. He then went to work for Mr. Fitzgerald, in the Dry Dock Iron Works, where he remained two years, to learn the steam fitting trade, and in the spring of 1887 he was appointed chief engineer of the tug George Hand, operating on the St. Clair River. His next charge was the tug Mollie Spencer, and following this he spent a season in the Alfred J. Wright. In the spring of 1889 he was appointed chief engineer of the passenger steamer Remora, owned by the River Navigation Company. In 1890 he went to Detroit and worked a s steam-fitter for Messrs. Hinckle & Sharrar, closing the season on the passenger steamer Mary, Plying in the St. Clair River. In 1891 he removed to Cleveland and shipped on the steamer William Chisholm as second engineer. In the spring of 1892 he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer George T. Hope, remaining on her two seasons, and he opened the season of 1894 on the tug Excelsior, of Oscoda, finishing on the steamer Marquette. In the spring of 1895 he went as second engineer on the Monitor steamer Choctaw; during one trip on this boat the crew had a thrilling experience in a northeast gale and the boat was reported lost for two days, but she finally sheltered under Grand Island, where she went aground. In the spring of 1896 Mr. Brackett was appointed chief engineer of the steamer George Presley, which he laid up at the close of navigation. Mr. Brackett married Miss Clara Pace, daughter of Dr. S. D. and Lizzie Pace, of Port Huron, Mich., and one daughter, Bessie, was born to their union in 1888. Dr. Pace was United States consul to Sarnia, Ontario, for three years. He died in the fall of 1886, and Mrs. Pace lives with her daughter in Cleveland, Ohio.”

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James C. BRAND

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 244

As we scan the life of the gentleman whose name heads this review we are struck with three characteristics which stand out in his nature above all else,-good judgment, decision, and action. Promptness of decision is necessary to accomplish desired results, and result are what count in the battle of life.

Be wise to-day: 'tis madness to defer.
Next day the fatal precedent will plead.

If any of the old settlers has fairly earned the title of the "Father of Durand," James C. Brand should certainly have that distinction, because he has so entwined his life with the early history of the village that it is difficult to separate one from the other. He was first instrumental in inducing Uncle Sam to locate a postoffice here, but before he could do this it was necessary for him to provide a name for the new aspirant for postal honors; hence the name selected, Durand. It was only necessary to add one letter more than his own name and, with a little transposition, the desired result was reached, and at the same time giving both names a pleasing rythmical sound,-"Brand-Durand." This theory of the matter sounds very well in print, and perhaps this is the way it should have been done, but Durand was not thus christened. It seems that soon after Mr. Brand located at "Vernon Center," he met the congressman of that district at Flint and laid before him the necessity for a postoffice at the locality named. He was told by the representative that the first requisite necessary would be to select a name, so that the matter could be brought to the attention of the postoffice officials in the regular way. Upon his return home, therefore, Mr. Brand Conferred with William Jewell, Delos Jewell and William Putnam, and suggested that they christen the place in honor of Hon. George H. Durand, a Flint lawyer, and ex-member of congress. So the settlement at the center of Vernon township thus became Durand, and the postal guide thus recorded it. The first mail was handled from a plain pine bench, but later the postoffice was installed in a little building on the north side of Main street, east of Oak street.

James C. Brand was born in Brookfield, Madison county, New York, August 30, 1821. Of his parents we shall speak later in this article. In 1858, when about thirty-seven years of age, he came to Michigan, buying before this removal, eighty acres in Allegan county. The land he had never seen, however, but it proved to be all right. He subsequently secured one hundred and thirty-two acres in Ingham county, paying three dollars and thirty cents per acre for the same. He next bought a yoke of oxen, for eighty dollars in gold, erected a house on his land and cleared seventeen acres. Having partially improved this tract, he traded it for a house in Lansing, which he retained for about three years, exchanging that property for one hundred and sixty acres in Barry county, with a money consideration, the entire transaction netting him some one thousand one hundred dollars. He again invested in Lansing real estate, the outcome showing his usual good business judgment. He first bought two city lots, for which he paid two hundred and fifty dollars, selling them at a profit respectively of one hundred and nine hundred dollars. Trading his oxen for seven lots on Cedar street, he sold four of these for more than the entire number had cost him, and then sold the remaining three at a respective profit of one hundred and twenty-five, two hundred and three hundred and twenty-five dollars. These, and other similar details, are given as a proof that Mr. Brand's success in business transactions is not a matter of luck, but has been the result of unfailing good judgment, coupled with quick action. He subsequently embarked in the manufacture of staves, having previously investigated the matter very carefully, as was his custom. With only seventy dollars in money and some wooded land, therefore, he commenced business in the township of Ovid, Clinton county. He first bought the necessary tools and twenty oak trees, paying for the latter one dollar and fifty cents apiece. His brother, in the meantime, purchased one hundred hogs, in Detroit, and turned them out in the woods to feed on beech nuts. In those days "beech-nut pork" was common in Michigan. While, therefore, Mr. Brand, our subject, assisted his brother in the care of his swine, the latter helped the former during the winter, making staves. About this time our subject obtained other land in the vicinity, amounting to over fifty acres. Some of this tract he cleared and planted to wheat. In the meantime he made a profit of six hundred dollars by converting eighteen trees into staves. The wheat which he raised on his cleared land yielded him two hundred and forty bushels, and this he sold for two dollars a bushel. He also got one dollar per pound for his wool from a small flock of sheep. To cap the climax, he disposed of his original tract of fifty-three acres for one thousand dollars. These transactions placed him in a position to undertake the manufacturing of staves on a larger scale. He therefore removed to Linden for this purpose and there bought timber and began work. He remained at Linden five or six years. He next went to Vernon, where he continued in the same line. Later he located at Clayton, and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, much of which was timbered with oak. He erected a stave mill, with a portable engine costing one thousand eight hundred dollars, and his business was now so well established that he not only used all the timber from his own land, but also all he could buy from his neighbors. His chief difficulty at Clayton was in obtaining water, but after the expenditure of considerable money this obstacle was overcome. Mr. Brand then went to "Vernon Center," as it was then called, a little settlement in the center of the township of that name, buying first forty and then two hundred and forty acres in that locality.

He was now the proprietor of four "eighties" in Vernon and two "eighties" in Gaines, having cleared and planted to crops some eighty-three acres and having erected a house and barn. In 1873 Mr. Brand built a large stave and saw mill upon the forty acres which he originally owned in Vernon Center. The size of the saw mill was eighteen by eighty feet, and that of the stave mill twentyfour by fifty feet. The two plants cost eight thousand four hundred dollars. This left him in debt only three hundred dollars. From the first the business continually expanded, and with its development the settlement grew into the proportions of a flourishing village. When Mr. Brand first located in Vernon Center the settlement consisted of only seven houses, four of which were unoccupied, but when his factory was an established fact, these residences were at once occupied and there was a demand for more on the part of those who desired to be connected with the enterprise. Mr. Brand even bought whoop-pole timber in Canada, and made shipments to the east. As a sample of the magnitude of some of his shipments it may be stated that those to one customer alone, in Never York city, amounted to nine thousand eight hundred dollars, the freight on which cost two thousand two hundred dollars. He continued this line of manufacturing for a period of eighteen years. During this time he sold considerable lumber to the Michigan house of correction, in Detroit, taking as payment furniture and clothes made in that institution and selling the goods to his employes. He thus disposed of the first furniture ever sold in Durand.

Both of the parents of our subject, Barton and Charlotte (Crandle) Brand, were natives of Rhode Island, the father having been born November 18, 1790, and the mother, April 7, 1794; they were not only born in the same little state but within half a mile of each other. The families subsequently removed to Brookfield, Madison county, New York, where the lifelong friends became husband and wife, and where their industrious son, James C., was born, as we have previously stated. Barton Brand was a farmer, and settled upon a piece of heavily timbered land which was the nucleus of the homestead which has now been in possession of some member of the family for more than a hundred years. It is at present owned by the family of James Brand's brother. The entire farm now consists of two hundred and forty acres. The original tract amounted to only one hundred and forty-four acres. The land was at first heavily timbered with beech, maple, elm and hemlock. This land Barton Brand cleared and improved, erecting a substantial house thirty by thirty-two feet, with a wing sixteen by thirty-two feet, and ten barns-three of them of very large dimensions; he enclosed this farm with one thousand rods of stone fence, five feet high. At his death, in 1865, there were few homesteads in the locality which had a greater air of solid comfort and prosperity. Before his death he paid a visit to his son, who lived in Clinton county, Michigan. The father was a Whig and a Republican. In religious matters he was a Seventh Day Baptist. His wife's death occurred in 1870. There were ten children in the family, of whom our subject was the third. The names and respective dates of birth of the others are here entered: Anna Maria, February 23, 1817; Roswell E., October 26, 1818; Welcome P., September 27, 1824; Lucy L., July 26, 1826; John A., June 18, 1828; Jared C., February 28, 1830; William M., February 1, 1832; Mary A., June 27, 1833; and Roxania O., April 18, 1835.

James C. Brand, the third in this old-fashioned family, laid the basis of his future fortune by working on his brother-in-law's farm, Brookfield, New York, at eleven dollars per month during the harvest, and for seven dollars per month at threshing time, also taking care of the stock in winter. In those days the threshing was done by hand, so that the young men gave full value in work for money received, both winter and summer.

In every way possible Mr. Brand has bent his best energies toward the practical development of Durand. Among other improvements which he has assisted in furthering is the establishment of railroad communication between it and the surrounding country. Personally he has given the right of way to several lines, one railroad passing through four of his "eighties." The result has been that the entire community has not only been benefited, but property in and around the village has also advanced in price and Mr. Brand himself has shared in the increased prosperity. He bought five and a half acres near the depot and paid five hundred and fifty-six dollars for same. He still owns six lots, having disposed of the remainder for over seven thousand dollars. He is also owner of fifty-four acres in section 15, village of Perry. Of this he has platted twelve acres.

An incident is related concerning one of Mr. Brand's real-estate transactions, showing him to be a man of pluck as well as of good judgment and decision. While negotiating for the purchase of two of his "eighties" in Vernon, he found that a man held tax titles upon the property, for which he asked one thousand six hundred dollars. This seemed an exorbitant price. Our subject offered six hundred dollars and, upon that sum being refused, he proceeded to look up the original deed. He then went to Clayton, put together the frame of a house, hauled it up to Vernon, cleared a space for it on the land which he wished to purchase, raised it and slept there that night. He completed the house the following day, thus coming into legal possession of the property. He completed the chain of his title by afterward buying the tax title at his original offer, six hundred dollars.

Mr. Brand is almost as well known in the Masonic fraternity as in business, having joined the order in 1867, in Linden. He was also for a long time much interested in military matters, especially in the cavalry branch of that service, with which he was connected for a period of fourteen years. He was within a few days of having reached the sixty-ninth mile stone in life's journey before he seemed to have a "quickening of conscience," so to speak, touching love affairs, and on August 20, 1890, led Maryette Kitchen, a native of Canada, to the hymeneal altar. Mrs. Brand's parents were natives of Canada, where they lived and died. While no children have come to bless the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Brand they are blessed with mutual love and confidence in their advanced years. Mrs. Brand is a consistent member of the Baptist church of Durand, of which Mr. Brand is liberal in his support.

Mr. Brand relates with pardonable pride that he built the first saw mill, stave mill, feed mill and blacksmith shop in Durand, and was the first dealer in lumber, furniture, and clothing. With a consciousness of having by his own efforts contributed to the material wealth of his home town, he is enjoying the declining years of an active life.

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William J. BROOKINS

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 248

We do not often find a farmer in these days who has attained the age of thirty-seven years or upwards living on the same place where he was born, but an exception is fQund in the case of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. His home is in Middlebury township, Shiawassee county, where he was born January 10, 1868. His father, John C. Brookins, was a native of the Emerald Isle beyond the sea, where he was born, in Donegal county, in 1828. He died October 2, 1895, on the farm now owned by his son, at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife, a native bf New York state, where she was born October 16, 1831, also died on the same premises as her husband, October 15, 1901. Our subject's mother went to Ohio in her younger days and taught school there for several years. She then removed to Shiawassee county, a few years prior to her marriage, and taught there for some little time, before and after her marriage. She was a lady who possessed a fine education and an extraordinary memory. John C. Brookins came to America when he was twenty-three years old. He was accompanied by a sister and her husband, whose name is Ramsey. They first located at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where his brother-inlaw engaged in blacksmithing. Mr. Brookins assisted him in winter and in summers he worked on a farm. He remained there seven years, and in 1858 journeyed to Michigan, spending his first winter with a relative named William Crowe, who had settled on what is now the Slocum farm, in Middlebury township, this county. The next year he bought forty acres of unimproved land, on section 36, in the same township. He built a frame house, now a part of the structure in which our subject lives. He cleared that forty acres and afterward bought another forty, which he also transformed into a part of as good a farm as there is in the townphip, showing him to be not only a good farmer but a thrifty business man. He afterward enlarged the original house and erected other needed buildings. The parents of our subject were married December 28, 1860. They had three children, as follows: Alice, who is the wife of Walter Wadsworth, of Owosso township; Mary, who married A. A. Schultz, an implement dealer in Laingsburg, Michigan; and William J., whose name initiates this article.

William J. Brookins secured his early education in the district schools of Middlebury township, and supplemented this by two years in the Ovid high school. He taught school for nine winters in his home district and those surrounding. The last place in which he showed "the young idea how to shoot," was in his home district, where he most successfully officiated for five years in succession. "'Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." He believed in those days, and believes now, that a boy were better unborn than untaught. As a writer of some note has said, "The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seeds of immortality already sown within us; to develop to their fullest extent the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us."

Mr. Brookins was married November 21, 1900, to Gertrude Mathewson, who was born in Bancroft, Michigan, January 21, 1880. She is a daughter of Omar and Emma (Sullivan) Mathewson. Her father is now a resident of Flint, Michigan, aged forty-eight years. He is a wagon maker and is a native of New York. Mrs. Brookins is the second in a family of six children, five of whom are still living: Wesley resides in Battle Creek; Gertrude is the wife of the subject of this review; Adi lives in Owosso; Leila married Homer Rose and they live in Flint; J. B. lives in Easton, Shiawassee county; and Emma died when four months old. Mr. and Mrs. Brookins have two children,-Dorothea, born September 23, 1901, and John Richard, born September 12, 1905. The eighty-acre homestead now owned by our subject was left him by his father. He has since added forty acres to this, all of which is improved. Extensive improvements have been made on the premises, including a large barn and other buildings. Our subject, like his father, is a strong Republican and is now serving his fourth term as clerk of Middlebury township. He has served three years as school inspector. Mr. and Mrs. Brookins are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, while the parents of Mr. Brookins were Episcopalians. For ten years prior to his death John C. Brookins was in poor health and unable to perform manual labor. The immediate cause of his death was paralysis. He died October 2, 1895, and his wife passed away October 15, 1901. The influence of this worthy family is proving potent for good, socially and morally, as touching all with whom its members come in contact in the varied relations of life.

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David E. BROOKS

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 249

David E. Brooks first saw the light of day in Ovid township, Seneca county, New York, March 10, 1830. At the age of twenty-two years he embarked on his own business career, resolved to make for himself a place in the world, and, if possible, collect a little money in an honorable way. With this laudable purpose in view it was not strange that his attention should be turned toward California when the gold excitement broke out in that state. So he crossed the isthmus of Panama in going and coming, and was fairly successful. He conducted a general store for one year while there, chiefly handling provisions. After an absence of four years he returned to New York state and there bought fifty-three acres of land, in Romulus township, Seneca county. This farm was mostly improved and he lived on it until 1870, when he sold it and turned his face toward Michigan. He landed in Owosso township, where he bought eighty acres of cleared land, on section 23. This he sold the same year and purchased sixty acres on section 22, upon which he now lives. Fifty acres of this was wild. A small house and barn were on the place. There are only six acres of this now unimproved. The house has been rebuilt and barns and other buildings added. When Mr. Brooks first located in the township it was no uncommon thing to see wild turkeys in his yard, and one night when returning home he encountered a lynx.

October 18, 1854, Mr. Brooks married Rebecca Johnson, who was born in Romulus township, Seneca county, New York, March 30, 1834. In October, 1904, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Mrs. Brooks' father, Joseph Johnson, was born in Romulus township, Seneca county, New York, July 10, 1799, and died at Geneva, that state, October 19, 1881. Mr. Johnson's wife was Clarica Hogarth, who was born in Ovid township, Seneca county, New York, May 17, 1804, and who died January 22, 1883.

Mrs. Brooks was sixth in a family of thirteen, as follows: Minerva, was born March 25, 1822, and lives in Interlaken, New York, married De Witt Vorus and had two children, Electa and Augusta. Bradner was born March 30, 1827 and died July 11, 1868; married Elizabeth Knowles and had one son, Scott. Emily was born August 23, 1828, died March 30, 1869, married John R. Stone, and had six children-Carleton, Laura, Emma, Minnie, Guy and Roy. Demott was born April 15, 1830, and died September 28, 1837. Andrew was born October 18, 1832, went to California when gold was first discovered there and has not been heard from since. Hogarth was born February 11, 1836 and died February 24, 1841. Susan was born February 2, 1838 and lives in Seneca county, New York; married Archibald Banker and had two children, both dead. Carleton was born December 12, 1839, and died October 26, 1841. Cordelia was born March 15, 1841, and lives in Geneva, New York; married John Markell and had two children-Eleanora and Grace. Joseph, Jr., was born June 19, 1842, and died October 19, 1881. James P. was born August 6, 1844, and died April 25, 1845. James J. was born October 3, 1845, and died December 25, 1864.

Mr. Brook's father was born and died on the same farm. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks had eight sons, three of whom are living. Erastus was born September 21, 1856, and died February 2, 1857; Erastus D. was born December 12, 1858, and lives on a farm in Owosso township; he married Susan Cramer, and they have four children,-George Le Roy, born January 5, 1891; Harold G., born in May, 1894; Mary E., born in June, 1897; and Ashley T., born October 2,1899. Elmer, born March 21, 1850, died March 19, 1893. He first married Eva Bigelow, who died within the next two weeks; his second wife was Mary Williams, who likewise died in a short time after marriage. Andrew H. was born October 5, 1863, and died December 7, 1899. He married Jennie Bradley and they had four children, Iva Pearl, born March 18, 1887 and three who died at birth. James was born December 25, 1868, and lives in Montana being a farmer. He married Ida Tucker, of that state, and they have four children,Eva B., born in January, 1898; David Leo, born in July, 1894; James E., born in July, 1902, and Rebecca, born in June, 1904. William and Willis, twins, were born August 16, 1870, the former dying in 1870, and the latter in 1873. Leo. D. was born March 18, 1877, is married and lives in Montana.

Mrs. Brooks' father was a Presbyterian and Republican, and Mr. Brooks' father was a Democrat and member of the Dutch Reformed church. The ancestors of Mr. Brooks were Irish on his father's side and German on his mother's side. The ancestors of Mrs. Brooks came from Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks are members of the Congregational church. He is a Democrat, but is independent in his choice of men for office. He was justice of the peace for one term. Mrs. Brooks' brother James enlisted in the Thirty-fourth New York Infantry and served in the civil war. He died in the hospital at Norfolk, Virginia.

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Edwin E. BUNTING

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 250

Edwin E. Bunting was born in Scio township, Washtenaw county, Michigan, November 22, 1838. His father, John L. Bunting, was a native of Quentin, Lincolnshire, England, where he was born in 1792, and he died at the age of eighty-two years; his first wife, Mary Ann (Binington) Bunting was born in London, England, and was about ten years younger than her husband: Both came to America, locating in Canada, but they later removed to Washtenaw county, Michigan, some years before Michigan became a state. Soon after reaching this state, however, Mrs. Bunting was called to join the majority. Shortly after this sad calamity Mr. Bunting returned to England and in the course of events married a second wife, whose name was Mary Ann Todd and she became the mother of the gentleman whose name heads this article. Edwin E. Bunting's early education was very limited, as he attended school scarcely one year in all, for at the age of seven he began driving oxen for neighbors, in breaking land, also working at teaming, sowing, cutting timber and getting out wood and hauling the same to the old distillery in Lenawee county. He worked in this way until he reached the age of fourteen years, and remained at home one year, at the expiration of which he began learning the trade of a carpenter, with Wm. S. Carns and later became a partner of Chas. Haire. While working for the first-named gentleman he learned to write his name from a copy made by his employer on a smooth board. He kept practicing in this way, smoothing the board with a plane when it needed it and then having the copy reproduced on a clean board, until he acquired the art of making his own name satisfactorily. He continued to work at carpentering for more than thirty years. At the age of twenty-one he became a contractor and employer of other men. He chiefly confined his operations to Lenawee county and Shiawassee counties, but did some work in Illinois. When engaged in farming he took great pride in improving his breed of stock in both cattle and sheep. Durham cattle were his favorite and he spent much thought and effort in producing a cross adapted for butter and beef; while in sheepraising he devoted thirty years to developing a species containing qualities best fitted for mutton and wool. The breeds showing the best results in the latter are Cotswold and Merino. In these particulars Mr. Bunting has proven a genuine benefactor to his race. He has not merely drifted with the current of affairs in life but has struggled to solve problems that would add to the world's knowledge and thus benefit mankind. Considering, therefore, Mr. Bunting's limited education, he has proved a strong character in his sphere of activities.

Mr. Bunting was married September 27, 1864, to Henrietta Mills, who was born in Lenawee county, August 25, 1839. She is a daughter of E. G. Mills, a native of New York, where he was born February 9, 1807. He died at the age of seventy-nine years. His wife was born in England, November 2, 1811, and died in January, 1905, aged ninety-three years. The parents of Mrs. Bunting were early settlers of Lenawee county, where they always lived on a farm. She was the fourth of eight children, the others being as follows: Amasa, who is now dead; Philo, who was a member of Company G, Eighteen Michigan Infantry during the civil war and who died of consumption; Eliza was Mrs. T. M. Camburn and died in Lenawee county; Edward died in Lenawee county, a bachelor; Ransom married the youngest sister of Mr. Bunting; Sarah Jane is the second wife of T. M. Camburn and they live in Tecumseh; Emma lives in Lenawee county. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bunting lived three or four years in Lenawee county, whence they came to Shiawassee county about 1868. He first bought forty acres of wild land, on section 14, in Rush township. He carried goods and supplies on his back to the land, the woods being so thick that it was impossible to lead a horse through. He built a log house and returned to Lenawee county. About this time there was a mail robbery in some neighboring town and officers were scouring the country to find the robbers. Mrs. Bunting was afraid to stay alone in the house so he returned. They lived in this log house about sixteen years. They own about three hundred and twenty acres, all well improved. Mr. Bunting has himself cleared over two hundred acres, and spent a great deal of money draining and tiling the land. Recently he bought thirty-nine acres in the edge of Henderson village. Upon this he has erected a neat and comfortable residence, which he now occupies, having rented his farm. Mr. and Mrs. Bunting have had four children: Louis, who was 3orn July 19, 1865, and who died at the age of twenty-eight years, married Minnie Ball, who is still living, as are also their two children,-Leota and Hattie; Mary, who was born July 23, 1867, married Willits Willoughby, and they live in Rush township, being the parents of three children,-Rena, Ernest and Leland. Edwin T., who was born April 8, 1871, and who is engaged in grocery business at Owosso, married Emma Metuskey, and they have two children,-Harold and June. Ella, who was born July 10, 1873, married Ed. Cheney, who is a paper-hanger in Henderson, and they have one child,-Leston,-aged six years.

Mr. Bunting is an old-line Republican, one of the Abraham Lincoln school; and while active in politics, has always been reluctant to accept office; but has served as township treasurer and highway commissioner. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church but is not a member. He is blessed with excellent health and takes a deep interest in everything that pertains to the good of the community. Mrs. Bunting has been crippled from rheumatism for several years.

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Matthew BUSH

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 252

The subject of this sketch is a native of the Empire state, having been born at Stone Ridge, New York, December 6, 1853. Although his parents were natives of the same commonwealth, he is of Dutch descent. At the age of fifteen years young Bush had finished his primary schooling -a few terms at the village school of Port Ewen and in the Kingston Academy,- and he became a qualified teacher, which occupation he followed for one and one-half years. Later he was employed in newspaper work, during which time he also learned telegraphy. This he left to accept a position in an office of the Wallkill Valley Railroad. Meeting with a misfortune, through sickness, he was obliged to resort to the use of crutches. It was doubtless this affliction that caused him to decide to enter the legal profession as a life business. By close application and study, he gained admission to the kar in September, 1876, at Saratoga, New York, at the age of twenty-three years. He first located at Kingston, where he remained for two years, when he decided to come west. He settled at Stanton, Michigan, and later removed to the village of Vernon, Shiawassee county. His ability as an attorney was soon recognized and he early took rank among the leaders of his profession in Shiawassee county. While a resident of Vernon he was for two terms president of the village and for several years village attorney. In the year 1889 he was elected judge of probate for Shiawassee county, which office he has held continuously until the present time. He is now serving his fifth term, and when completed will have to his credit twenty years of honorable service in that office. That a public office is a public trust has been practically verified in the manner of the management of the affairs of his office by Judge Bush. His reputation as a probate judge extends to the borders of the commonwealth, as evidenced by his having served for some years as president of the state association of probate judges. His is a natural legal mind, by which he is enabled to weigh the evidence and reach just conclusions.

It is said of him that his construction of the statutes is seldom at fault and that no decision of his has ever been reversed by the supreme court. The widows and orphans of Shiawassee county have in Judge Bush a true friend, and they go to him in confidence for the adjustment of their claims, and are never disappointed.

Judge Bush has met with more than average success. Hie has carved out for himself as a legal adviser a reputation of which any man might feel justly proud. He began at the bottom, but by pluck and perseverance, and actuated always by correct motives, he to-day occupies an exalted position as a citizen and an attorney.

Judge Bush's first wife was Miss Flora McKercher, of Vernon, who lived but three years after their marriage, leaving a son Walter M., who is now in partnership with his father under the firm name of Bush & Bush.

The present Mrs. Bush was Anna E. Verney, to whom he was united in marriage in 1887. To them have been born seven children as follows: James V., September 22, 1888; Russell Alger, January 15, 1890; Lowe-lI M.. November 13, 1892; Helen E., June 19, 1894; Oliver N., December 1, 1895; Wendell H., August 9, 1897; Homer M., January 22, 1900. This is a family that would delight the heart of President Roosevelt.

Mrs. Bush's parents, Rev. James E. and Elizabeth (Buckthought) Verney, were of English origin, coming to Michigan from Canada in 1867. Mr. Verney had several pastorates in this state, and was a well known Congregational minister. He died in 1886 and his widow passed away in 1895.

Fraternally Judge Bush is a Mason, being a past commander of his commandery Knights Templar, and is also a Maccabee and a member of the Michigan Club, of Detroit. The family are members and warm supporters of the Presbyterian church of Corunna, in which Judge Bush holds the office of elder. The family are among Corunna's highly esteemed residents, than whom it has no better.

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John BUTCHER

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 253

John Butcher is an Englishman by birth, having been born in Kent, December 9, 1829. At the age of twenty-one. years he immigrated to the United States, crossing the ocean in a sailing vessel. He was six weeks on the way and first worked on a farm sixteen miles west of Schenectady, New York, at ten dollars per month. He remained there three years and after this he had a decidedly interesting and somewhat varied career in many respects, showing him to be a gentleman of convictions of his own and decision of character sufficiently strong to assert those convictions,-a characteristic conspicuously absent in the case of the average man. There is an old maxim that reads: "Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do."

Before leaving his English home for America John Butcher promised his widowed mother to return and make her a visit as soon as he could conveniently do so. After an absence of three years he kept his promise to his mother and made her heart glad by greeting her again in the flesh, as he told her he would. He remained in England fifteen months, and while there Cupid used his heart strings as a harp. The object of his attention was Charlotte Tolburst. As the poet puts it:

She knew she was beloved by him,-she knew,
For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart
Was darkened with her shadow.

On April 11, 1854, he was married to that lady, who was born in England, July 31, 1828, and died December 1, 1899. Immediately after being married Mr. Butcher and wife started for America, coming directly to Oakland county, Michigan, where he worked on a farm by the month until 1861, when he removed to Shiawassee county where he bought eighty acres of wild land, on which he is now living. At that time there were few settlers. In less than one week Mr. Butcher had chopped and hewn sufficient logs to erect a log shanty, and with the help of neighbors soon had a place in which to live. His two oldest children, born in Oakland county, were quite small and his wife encountered the usual hardships incident to pioneer life. But his courage was undaunted, and, aided by his wife and children, he caused the woods rapidly to disappear and give place to cultivated and smiling fields. In course of time a good house and suitable barns were erected on the home place, as well as on other farms bought since, and now occupied by children. He has added in all to the original purchase two hundred acres. He formerly raised wheat extensively, often having forty bushels per acre. At the time Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency for the first time Mr. Butcher cast his first vote and supported the Democrats, and continued to act with that party for several years. Later, some twenty-two years ago, he became a Prohibitionist. About that time Mr. Butcher experienced a change of heart and was converted, joining the Wesleyan Methodist church. Until that time he had neither read nor written English, but began the study of the Bible. He now reads well and is able to read anywhere in the Bible. The first passage he learned to read was the twentieth verse of the eighty-ninth Psalm: "I have found David my servant; with my holy oil I have annointed him." He says he received aid from the spirit of God, which enabled him to learn to read, as he had neglected to get an education in youth, having started to work for himself at an early day. He has never been an aspirant for any political office and has filled only one place-that of pathmaster. His parents were members of the Church of England, which is the same as the Episcopal church in the United States.

Mr. and Mrs. Butcher have had four children, as follows: John T. was born in Oakland county, July 31, 1856, and lives in New Haven township, near his father's home; Ellen was born in Oakland county, January 10, 1858, became the wife of J. A. Hopson, and died some years ago; George was born June 20, 1862, and lives on a farm on section four one-half mile east of his father's homestead; Charles H. was born July 6, 1864, and lives at home; he was married July 3, 1896, to Eliza Bradford, who was born in Bay City, twenty-nine years ago, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Dickson) Bradford, the latter of whom is deceased, and the father being now a resident of Fremont, Saginaw county.

John Butcher was the sixth of a family of twelve children, as follows: James lived and died in England, having married and had a family residing in the city of London; William lived in New Haven township and died recently; Thomas died in England; Charles lives in England; Elizabeth, Mrs. Bradford, died in England; Mary lives in England; George, Sarah, and Jane live in England; Edwin lives in New Zealand, and Emily lives in England.

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E.O. BYAM

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 254

Truth comes to us from the past, as gold is washed down from the mountains of Sierras in minute but precious particles and intermixed with infinite alloy,-the debris of centuries. It is a matter of no little interest, therefore, to know that the gentleman whose name heads this page now lives upon what is really historic ground, the same being part of a former Indian reservation. It seems that the grandfather of E. O. Byam (Shields by name) purchased the first land sold from the reservation in question. This purchase consisted of two hundred acres, forty acres of which is now the farm of our subject, who was born January 6, 1841, in Guilford, Medina county, Ohio. He is a son of Alfonso and Amanda (West) Byam. His parents were natives of New York state, his mother having been born in Granville, Washington county. At the age of seventeen years, when most boys now-a-days are wondering what they will do for a livelihood, young Byam was struggling with destiny as a farm hand. Within ten years he was proprietor of eighty acres, and he had come into the possession of the same not by inheritance but by dint of hard work and good management. Shortly afterward he bought another forty acres, which he subsequently sold. In a little while after this he bought two "forties" and a farm of one hundred acres. Situated on the latter place was a substantial brick house, which originally cost four thousand five hundred dollars, besides a number of good barns, and other improvements which materially added to his standing as a successful and prosperous citizen. Altogether he now owns two hundred and seventy acres of land.

Mr. Byam is the second of three children, -his brothers being John and Samuel. Since his marriage, October 14, 1868, he has resided upon his present homestead. His wife was formerly Mary J. Prior. Their wedding trip was taken to Detroit, and they were accompanied by two other bridal parties: Messrs. Ellison and G. A. Parker and their brides. The former is a citizen of Owosso, while the latter is now a neighbor of Mr. Byam. The parents of Mrs. Byam were George and Ann (Woodthorp) Prior, the father coming from England in 1856 and settling in Shiawassee county. They are both now dead.

Mr. and Mrs. Byam have four children: Harry, the eldest, is already a prominent man of affairs; Eva is the wife of Rev. Arthur Ellsworth, of Parkville; Elsie married a brother of the latter, a farmer; and Ward is now living at home. He married Lydia Crome, November 2, 1904. Mr. Byam obtained his early education in the district schools of Ohio and Michigan. Indeed, he never had any other scholastic advantages, but he has been a close observer and an intelligent reader, avenues of instruction which have enabled him to become well posted on all questions of the day. "'Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined."

For fifteen years Mr. Byam has served as treasurer of the school board of his district and he has also filled other local offices. In politics he is a Republican. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is a Knight Templar and a Granger and is enrolled on the roster of the South Vernon Farmer's Club.

Mr. Byam's oldest son, Harry, was born in 1869. He has worked his father's farm and has purchased forty acres of his own, so that he is in pretty comfortable circumstances. In December, 1892, he married Elberteen Greenman, and he is the father of three children,-Wayne, who is attending school, and Grace and Eva. Like his father, he is deeply, interested in educational matters, and is now serving as moderator of the school board. Verily, these are and should be happy homes. Their owners can exclaim with the poet:

No eye to watch and no tongue to wound us,
All earth forgot, and all heaven around us.

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Marcus M. BYINGTON

The Past and Present of Shiawassee County, Michigan - Historically - Together with Biographical Sketches of many of its Leading Citizens And Illustrious Dead
The Michigan Historical Publishing Association, Lansing, Michigan
Page 255

Marcus M. Byington was born in Orleans county, New York, March 21, 1839. He is a son of Riley Byington, who was a native of Vermont, where he was born in 1814, and who died July 10, 1872; his wife, Louisa (Pratt) Byington, was born in New York state, in 1816, and died in June, 1886. They were married in the latter state. Marcus M. Byington started in life for himself at the age of fourteen years and has cared and supported himself since that period. He worked on a farm from the age of fourteen years until he was married. During the winters he labored in the lumber woods, while summers were spent on a farm. He served in the civil war for a short time, during its closing days, having enlisted March 14, 1865, in Company A, Twenty-Fourth Michigan Infantry, but was mustered out on June 30th of the, same year, peace being declared,that glorious peace that thrilled a nation with joy and brought gladness to hundreds of thousands of homes. In 1860 he bought eighty acres of wild land in Saginaw county, but he did not keep it long. Four years afterward he purchased the eighty acres upon which he now lives, on section 29, Venice township, Shiawassee county. He has cleared the same, causing it to "bloom and blossom like the rose." In addition to building the fine house in which he now lives, a splendid array of barns and other buildings has been constructed. The dimensions of the big barn is forty by sixty, with a twenty by sixty foot wing, and twenty feet high above basement, while the latter is nine feet high. Then there is a sheep shed forty by fifty, twelve feet high; a hog pen eighteen by thirty-six; a milk house eighteen by twenty-two; a granary twenty by twenty-four; and a tool shed twenty-two by fifty. In 1869 he bought forty acres more, one-half of which was improved. He has cleared the remainder. October 2, 1866, Mr. Byington married Louisa Revenaugh, a native of Noble county, Ohio, where she was born February 5, 1846. She is a daughter of Dr. John Revenaugh, also born in Ohio, April 19, 1817, and of Clarinda (Blake) Revenaugh, who was born in Noble county, Ohio, May 10, 1820; the parents were married in the Buckeye state, in 1838. Mrs. Byington's father, John Revenaugh, died on his birthday, April 19, 1881; while her mother passed to the great beyond February 20, 1894. Dr. Revenaugh was a physician, having been a graduate of Columbus, Ohio, Medical College. In 1853 he removed to Locke township, Ingham county, Michigan, and settled on eighty acres of wild land given him by his father, Samuel Revenaugh, who had traded a farm in Ohio for half a section in Locke. He built a log house and stable and brought his family there from Ohio, making the journey overland by teams. He remained there for three years, when he sold and removed to Shiawassee village, where he practiced medicine until his death.

Mrs. Byington was the fourth of eight children.

Aurelius O., born April 4, 1840, lives in Louisville, Kentucky, is married and has four children,-Claude L., Ione, Ritta and Harry. Zenas, born February 28, 1842, died at the age of two years. Mary, born June 20, 1844, married Eugene Kingsley; they have no children. Samuel, born November 9, 1847, died in December, 1893; he married Eva Chase and had four children,-Mattie, Edward, Eva and Ruth. Samuel enlisted in Company I, Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, was wounded in battle of Pittsburg Landing and was discharged shortly afterward; later he enlisted in the Tenth Michigan Cavalry and served until close of the war. Saphronia, born April 11, 1852; married Michael Bowerman, now dead; she lives in Lansing, having had four children,-Permelia, born February 15, 1854, livesat Northville; she married Beach Northrop, and they have no children. Benjamin; born February 13, 1856, lives at Owosso; married Maggie Curtis; no children. There were three Revenaughs whose given names were Samuel. They all were soldiers. The grandfather of Mrs. Byington was in the war of 1812; while she had an uncle and brother in the civil war.

Mr. and Mrs. Byington have two children -a daughter and son. The former, Minnie, who was born July 15, 1867, married Fred Miller and they live in Venice township, having two children,-Grace, born June 13, 1889, and Carl, born December 9, 1894. The second child, E. Ray, who was born November 22, 1882, married Myrtie Stewart, and they live with Mr. Byington, having no children.

Riley Byington, father of the subject of this sketch, was a shoemaker and worked in Detroit before his marriage. After his marriage he lived in New York state and in 1844 removed to Michigan, having previously purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild land in this state, without seeing it; he afterward found it to be mostly a swamp. He soon traded it for eighty acres of wild land on section 32, Venice township. On this he built a log house and stable. Later he erected a frame house and barn and added forty acres of wild land, making one hundred and twenty acres in all. This he owned at the time of his death. Marcus M. Byington's grandfather was Nathaniel Byington. Marcus is the second of five children, the first being Allison P., who was born in 1837 and died in 1904; she married Franklin P. Mann, and had three children, two of whom are living-Albert R., born in 1842, lives in Tustin, Michigan. He married Fannie Irwin, who is dead; no children. Levi E., born in 1844, lives at Cadillac. He married Thursa Vincent, now dead, and they had four children, -John R., Mattie, Fred and Maude. Mary L., born in 1857, married Perry McIntosh and is now deceased leaving no children.

Mrs. Byington is a Baptist and Mr. Byington is a Republican and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has been highway commissioner one term, township treasurer five terms and supervisor three terms.

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