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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.

Irving W. Norris, M.D. ** Albert H. Northway ** John Northwood

Irving W. NORRIS, 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 415

One of the prominent young physicians who has already made himself a name in the city of Corunna, is the subject of this review. The young professional men of Corunna are an element in the development of this progressive city and are a centralizing force in drawing within its boundaries the best people in that section of the county. By their character and repute they are adding to the reputation of the town and giving it a high standard among other places in the county.

Irving W. Norris was born at Holly, Oakland county, Michigan, September 25, 1864. He is a son of William Y. and Amelia (Mason) Norris, the father a native of New York and the mother of Michigan. William Norris was born October 5, 1837, and his wife June 18, 1846. They are now residents of Ann Arbor.

Our subject's grandfather, Michiac Norris, came to Michigan and settled in Oakland county on a farm when his son William was but six years old. During the most of his life William Norris has been engaged in speculation and the real estate business. Until 1885 he lived in Detroit, then moved to Minneapolis and later to Ann Arbor, where he now resides.

Dr. Norris was afforded the advantages of the schools of Detroit and was graduated in the Michigan College of Medicine & Surgery, in the class of 1901. This young physician first "hung out his shingle" at Morrice, but not being satisfied with the field of his activities, fourteen months later moved to Corunna, where he has since successfully practiced his chosen profession. He is counted among the most reliable of physicians and his counsel is in demand on every hand.

June 12, 1901, Dr. Norris was united in marriage to Mary E. Morris, who was both May 5, 1870. Mrs. Norris the daughter of William H. and Helen (Smith) Morris, residents of Morrice, Michigan, and early settlers of this state. Mrs. Norris is one of a family of six children, all living but one. Dr. and Mrs. Norris are the parents of one child, William Arthur, born February 9, 1904.

Our subject is a supporter of the principles of the Democrat party, though in no sense of the word an office-seeker, as he devotes his entire time to his chosen calling. Socially he is identified with the Masonic fraternity, Modern Woodmen of America and Knights of the Maccabees. A skillful physician and surgeon, his services are in constant demand by the best class of patrons in the city.

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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 415

The cold, material facts of a man's life are not his history. The world cannot know the master motives of his actions. A man's life is what he really is, and his biography is the grouping together of the prominent events and known characteristics that have come into his activities and experience. A life of activity along certain lines establishes for the individual a reputation and character, and so in answer to a query the response is often made "Yes, I know him well," which implies a familiarity with the trend of the life of another.

Our subject is a native of the Wolverine state, having been born in Mundy township, Genesee county, Michigan, November 28, 1856,-a Thanksgiving gift to his parents, and judging from the record, one for which they have had great reason to be thankful and proud during all the intervening years. His mother, Eliza (Forbes) Northway, was born at Clarkville, New York, in the far famed Mohawk valley, October 28, 1832, and his father, Alsup Northway, was born in Massachusetts. They immigrated to the wilds of Michigan early in the '30's at about the period the territory was admitted to the sisterhood of states, and they first settled at Fenton, Genesee county, where eighty acres of unimproved land was purchased and the carving out of a home in the wilderness was begun. Within a few years they found themselves "out of the woods," with a comfortable farm home in their possession. In the year 1860 Alsup Northway exchanged his Genesee county farm for one hundred and sixty acres of choice land in the township of Venice, Shiawassee county, only ten acres having been improved. With characteristic energy and perseverance Mr. Northway set himself to the task of clearing away the forest from his new possessions, and before his death had brought about one hundred acres under a fine state of cultivation. The old Northway homestead is known as one of the best farms in the township. The farm had been disposed of but a short time prior to the death of Alsup Northway, which occurred March 18, 1873. The mother is still living, at an advanced age and makes her home with her son Fred, at Durand.

Three sons were born to these highly respected pioneers, of whom Albert H. was the eldest; Truman, born January 13, 1859, is a resident of St. Louis, Missouri; Fred J., born December 8, 1866, is an attorney residing at Durand, Michigan: he married Miss Lizzie Eveleth, and they have three bright, promising children,-Juanita, Reginald and a baby.

Albert H. Northway added the finishing touches to his public-school career in the Corunna high school, and at the age of twenty-one years entered a grocery store as clerk, remaining thus employed for some time. In the year 1880 he went to St. Louis, Missouri, and for two and one-half years was in the employ of the Thomas Mabley clothing house. Returning to Michigan, he was for several years variously employed in clerical work, in the city of Owosso. In the year 1890 he launched out in business for himself, with Albert Todd as a partner in the coal and wood trade under the firm name of A. Todd & Company. This enterprise was successfully carried on until 1904.

An important event in Mr. Northway's career was his marriage, August 6, 1880, to Miss Carrie, daughter of William H. Chaffee, a pioneer of Burns township. Mr. Chaffee passed away February 24, 1901, at the age of eighty-seven years. The wife and mother still lives on the old home farm, and at this writing, is eighty-six years of age. Mrs. Northway was the youngest in a family of five children. The eldest, Eureta, born December 24, 1843, is now the wife of George Eddy, of Burns township; Harrison and Harriet were born October 8, 1847, the former dying in infancy, and Harriet being the wife of W. F. Close, of Byron; Seward, who was born January 8, 1852, married Miss Betsey Ray, of Fenton, and they occupy the old home farm. Two children have come to bless the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Northway: Harry, born June 2, 1883, and Roy, born September 12, 1885. Both sons were graduated in the Owosso high school. Harry is in the employ of Albert Todd & Company, of Owosso, and Roy is serving as deputy county treasurer, in his father's office.

In the fall of 1902 Mr. Northway was named as his party candidate for the responsible position of county treasurer, to which he was elected in the November following. At the expiration of his term of office, he was chosen as his own successor, a position for which he has peculiar adaptability. Mr. Northway is one of the well known and highly respected men of affairs of his county, and being yet on the sunny side of life, has a bright outlook as a business man and useful citizen.

Mr. Northway shows the fraternal side of his make up by his membership in the Owosso Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Owosso Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Corunna Commandery 41, Knights Templar; Knights of Pythias; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Knights of the Maccabees, and the Woodmen, of Owosso.

He is lined up politically with the Republican party, the party with a record,-a record of which he is justly proud. He maintains his home at Owosso, although his official duties require much of his time at the county seat. Mr. and Mrs. Northway are among the most highly esteemed citizens of Owosso and their numerous friends wish for them yet many years of usefulness and enjoyment.

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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 417

Nothing is dearer to the patriotic citizen than one of the brave "boys in blue" who sacrificed all that he held dearest upon the altar of our country. The sight of an old soldier who left a limb upon the battle field causes the heart to thrill again with the emotion which stirred the breast in the days of the civil war.

Colonel John Northwood was born at Addle Hill, St. Paul's parish, London, England, on the 17th of July, 1838. He is the youngest son and only surviving child of William Northwood, who was born in Shropshire, England, April 19, 1809, and of Mary (Rought) Northwood, born in the county of Norfolk, England, August 29, 1806.

The parents were married in London, England, and there the children, twelve in number, were born to them. But two were living, the subject of this sketch and his sister Eliza, when the parents came to this country. Subject is now the only surviving member of the family.

The father served in the British army. He also served in the army of the United States, having been a member of the Fourth Connecticut Infantry, serving from May 4, 1861, to May 4, 1864, when he was discharged, at Bermuda Hundred. In the year 1861 his regiment was transformed into.what is known as the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and with this he served until the date of his discharge. After remaining out of the service for one year he enlisted, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the marine service, for four years, but was discharged on the 30th of October, 1867, on account of disability. He died in December, 1870, at Augusta, Maine.

Colonel John Northwood came with his parents to Wellington, Lorain county, Ohio, where they lived for a period of one year after which they removed to' New Hudson, Oakland county, Michigan, and from there to Detroit, where the father was engaged in the Wetmore & Company crockery store. In the year 1854 he located one hundred and sixty acres of government land in Maple Grove township, Saginaw county, Michigan. After building a log house the father moved his family to the farm, and it has been the home of the subject of this sketch from that time until the spring of 1905, with the exception of five years spent in sailing on the lakes. The land was cleared and improved under the supervision of our subject and he has added to the first purchase until he now- possesses two hundred and twenty acres of land, so highly improved that it is a monument to the ability of the owner.

January 27, 1864, Colonel Northwood was united in marriage to Martha Ann Packard. She was born June 24, 1844, and died May 26, 1903. Her father and mother, Origen and Savillah (Hartsock) Packard, were among the first pioneer families of Flushing township, Genesee county, Michigan, where they lived from the year 1835 to the time of their death. Our subject and his wife had one child, Mary Savillah, who was born in the year 1865. On the death of his sister, Eliza, our subject adopted her son, John W., then nineteen months old, and he now resides in the township of Hazelton.

On the 20th of July, 1861, Colonel Northwood enlisted, at Flint, in Company C, Sixteenth Regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in the service of his country. He was mustered into the service at Detroit and sent to the front, where his blood was offered upon her altar and his name made famous throughout the state of Michigan. He was in the -battle of Big Bethel, the siege of Yorktown. the battle of Hanover Court House, the battle of Mechanicsville, and, last, in the battle of Gaines Mills, where he was wounded in both arms, suffering amputation of the right arm, near the shoulder joint. He was afterward captured at Savage Station and was transferred and confined in Libby Prison for twenty-six days, when he was exchanged. On the 18th of August, 1862, he was discharged, from the hospital at Philadelphia.

No man in the state of Michigan merits and has received more political and social honors than the subject of this sketch. Socially he is a Master Mason. Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows he is past grand master and past chief patriarch of the encampment of the branch of the order. He is a past department commander of the Grand Army of the Republican, of Michigan, and is now commander of the post at New Lothrop, Shiawassee county, to which place Colonel Northwood removed in the spring of 1905. He is also a member of the National League and of the Sons of Veterans.

Politically he is a Republican. He held the office of supervisor of Maple Grove township, Saginaw county for seven terms, 1876 to 1883, was elected to the office of town clerk six terms, and held the office of justice of the peace for twenty years.

He was elected to the state legislature of 1885, and introduced the bill providing for the Michigan Soldiers' Home, at Grand Rapids. He was appointed paymaster of the Michigan National Guard, with the rank of colonel, by Governor Luce. He served as school director twenty-seven years. Of no man can it be more truthfully said that he has given of his time and talents for the good of his country. His home, completed in New Lothrop in the spring of 1905, is a beautiful structure, handsomely decorated, having all the modern improvements, a fitting abode for a man of honor and distinction.

The subject of this sketch was again married on the 24th day of October, 1905, to Mrs. Hattie R. Scribner of Antrim township, Shiawassee county, Michigan. This union, like the first one, is a happy one. Mrs. Northwood's parents were natives of the Empire state. Her father, John Graham, came to Michigan with his parents when but a lad, the family settling upon a tract of land in the county of Livingston. John Graham was united in marriage in the year 1853 to Miss Jeanette Hamblin, whose parents were also settlers of Livingston county.

To Mr. and Mrs. John Graham were born five children. The following brief data are given: Loay M., born in 1855, married W. N. Martin, and died 1889; Hattie R., born in 1860, is the wife of Colonel Northwood: John, Jr., born 1864, lives at Byron, Shiawassee county; Will Alling, born in 1868, lives at Detroit, Michigan; 0. D. Graham, born in 1870, lives at Ionia, Michigan.

John Graham was a veteran of the civil war, entering the service of his country as a member of Company I, Third Michigan Cavalry, in January, 1864, and following the fortunes of his command until Febraury 12, 1866. He was mustered out at San Antonio, Texas. He died in February, 1904, at the age of seventy-one years.

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This page was last updated Saturday, 20-Jun-2009 16:20:09 MDT

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