EUGENE RUTAN.

Eugene Rutan has been one of the progressive leaders of commercial and church life, in Greenville, Michigan, for many years, and has stood for the best influence on all questions pertaining to the public welfare.

His birth occurred on July 2, 1844, in Dover, New Jersey, and at the age of seven years he came to Michigan with his parents.

The Rutan’s were of Huguenot descent, who located in Greenville and it was in this town that Eugene was educated.

At the age of twenty years he became a student of Oberlin College, in Oberlin, Ohio, and there completed his class-room studies.

In 1869 he began his business career by succeeding his father in general merchandise, but later entered the hardware business, of which he made a great success.

He remained in this business for twenty-four years and then engaged in the real-estate business for several years, subsequently becoming one of the largest stockholders, and later, director and vice-president of the First National Bank of Greenville, Michigan.

The bank finally dissolved and he then became one of the organizers of the Greenville State Bank, serving as its vice-president.

He is much interested in city real estate and owns several business blocks.

Eugene Rutan was first married to Marcia A. Fenton, a native of Massachusetts, but an old resident of and a teacher in the public schools at Greenville, Michigan, and one child blessed their union, namely, Leo H., who resides at home.

The wife and mother died in February, 1913, and on October 5, 1914.

Eugene Rutan was united in marriage to his second wife, Francene M. Nelson.

She was born in New York State, but has been a resident of Greenville, Michigan, for many years, serving as a teacher in the public schools.

The family are members of the Congregational church, of which Eugene Rutan is steward and trustee.

He is a liberal supporter of the church and civic needs and is also prominent in club life, being a member of the Lincoln Club and of the Pioneer Society.

Politically, he is a Republican and has served on the common council, as well as having been a member of the school board.

He was the owner of the E. Rutan & Company flour-mills of Belding, Michigan, which burned on February 20, 1898, with a big loss to Mr. Rutan.

He was one of the original incorporators and organizers of the Moore Plow and Implement Company of Greenville, Michigan and at present one of the directors and its treasurer.

This is one of the largest and most important manufacturing concerns of Montcalm County, Michigan.

 

You can find more images and stories by purchasing the original 1923 book called "History Of Montcalm County, Michigan: Historical book" by John W. Dasef

 

JUDGE CHRISTOPHER C. MESSENGER.

When the people of Stanton, county seat of Montcalm county, in the spring of 1915 elected Judge Messenger to serve as the chief executive of that sprightly city, they honored themselves, for their discriminating choice placed in the mayoral chair a man not only eminently qualified for the performance of the exacting duties of that important position, but one who has brought to the office a natural dignity most becoming to that high station and which has been properly maintained in the various and intimate relations with the public which this station entails.

Christopher C. Messenger was born at Hickory Corners, Barry County, this state, on November 20, 1855, son of Warner and Sarah (Crabb) Messenger, both natives of England, the former of whom was born in the city of London and the latter in the city of Liverpool.

Warner Messenger was one of thirteen children born to his parents, of whom mention is here made of Richard, John, who came to America; William, Anna, Mary, Robert and Warren.

The parents of these children died when the son, Warner was a child and but vague impressions of them were retained by him.

He grew to manhood in London and after coming to America, was married in the state of New York to Sarah Crabb.

Daughter of Christopher C. Crabb, a tailor, and when twenty-five years of age in 1851, with his wife came to Michigan, and bought a farm of eighty acres in Barry county.

To this original tract, Mr. Messenger presently added two adjoining “forties,” thus making a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he improved and brought to an excellent state of cultivation and there reared his family.

His wife died in 1891, at the age of sixty-three years, but he continued to live on the home place until a couple of years before his death, when he went to live with his daughter at Hickory Corners, where his death occurred on March 17, 1913, he being then aged eighty-five years.

Both Warner Messenger and his wife were members of the Baptist church and were regarded as among the leaders in all good works in the neighborhood in which they lived.

To them were born two children, Christopher C., the subject of this sketch, and Mary A., wife of William H. Marshall, of Hickory Corners, this state, where she has lived all her life.

Reared on the parental farm in Barry County, Christopher C. Messenger received his elementary education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, which he supplemented by a course in the Adventist College at Battle Creek, this state.

While attending college, Mr. Messenger began to learn the jeweler’s trade, which he followed for nearly twenty years.

In 1886 he came to Montcalm County and located at Howard City, where he opened a jewelry store and was in business there until his appointment to the office of judge of the probate court for Montcalm county in June, 1899, and on June 26, 1899, he moved to Stanton, the county seat, to enter upon the duties of that office.

For nine years and six months Judge Messenger presided over the probate court of this county and at the close of that term of service, bought a hardware stock in the village of Butternut, this county, where he remained for two years and six months, at the end of which time he returned to Stanton, which since has been his home.

For many years Judge Messenger has been one of the leading and most influential factors in the Republican Party organization in Montcalm County.

For six years he was secretary of the Republican central committee, in which capacity he performed valuable service for his party.

For two years he was treasurer of Reynolds Township and after that service ceased, he became supervisor and served in that capacity for a little more than seven years.

He then entered upon his long term of service as judge of the probate court and for the past three or more years has been serving the public in the capacity of commissioner of the poor.

In the spring of 1915 Judge Messenger was elected mayor of Stanton and is now serving in that office in a manner acceptable to the entire community, even many of his political opponents conceding the wisdom of the people’s choice of chief executive.

On November 26, 1884, Christopher C. Messenger was united in marriage to Theodocia E. Fisk, who was born in Johnson Township, Barry County, on November 28, 1860, daughter of Sidney S. and Elsie (Dunn) Fisk, the former of whom is still living.

Mr. and Mrs. Fisk were the parents of eight children who lived to maturity, Lilly, Theodocia, Hermie, Lena, Nellie, Eva, William and Catherine.

To Judge and Mrs. Messenger one child has been born, a son, Lee F. Messenger, a traveling salesman, of Traverse City, this state, who married Agnes Brown and has one child, a daughter, Catherine.

Mrs. Messenger is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and both she and the judge long have been devoted to all measures having to do with the betterment of social conditions throughout the county and are held in the very highest regard by all.

Judge Messenger is a member of the Masonic lodge at Stanton and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that ancient order.

He is public spirited, energetic and enterprising and for years has been regarded as one of Montcalm’s most substantial and influential citizens, a man who possesses the confidence and respect of all.

 

HORACE L. BOWER, M. D.

Dr. Horace L. Bower, the oldest physician in point of continuous practice in Montcalm county, and who has been located at Greenville since he received his diploma in 1864, during which time he has gained a wide reputation throughout this section of the state as a physician and surgeon of high ability, but who is now living practically retired from the more arduous details of his profession, his onetime extensive practice king, to a large extent, taken over by his son, Dr. A.  J. Bower, is a native of New York, having been born at Lansing, in Tompkins county, that state, August 31, 1839.

Horace L. Bower received his early education in Courtland Academy at Homer, New York, and in a similar institution at Ithaca, same state, and in 1861 moved to Michigan, locating at Clarkston, in Oakland County, beginning in that same year the study of medicine in the office of Dr. J. B. Drummond, at Greenville, this county.

The next year he entered the medical department of the University of Michigan and studied there for two years, 1862-63, and in 1864 entered Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated that same year.

Upon receiving his diploma, Doctor Bower returned to Greenville and began the practice of his profession there and has since then, with the exception of a few years, been continuously engaged in practice at that point, during which time his name and fame as a physician have extended beyond the confines of this and adjacent counties.

From the time of its organization, Doctor H. L. Bower served the Montcalm County Medical Society in the capacity of secretary and was continuously re-elected to that position until at the meeting of the society in 1915 he was elected president of the same.

For thirty years he has been county physician and for many years has been health officer of Greenville.

He is an honored member of the Michigan State Medical Society and for some time served as treasurer of the Union Medical Society of Northern Michigan.

For two years Doctor Bower was grand councilor of the Royal Templars of Temperance, an organization with insurance benefits, and also served for some time as state medical examiner for that organization.

Doctor Bower also is a member of the Masonic lodge at Greenville and takes a warm interest in Masonic affairs.

Although still continuing active in his practice, the people of this section being reluctant to permit him to retire, his services in obstetric cases being particularly in demand on account of his years of notable success along those lines.

Doctor Bower has pretty largely turned his practice over to his son, the junior member of the firm of physicians, Dr. Albert J. Bower, who has perhaps, the most extensive practice of any physician in Greenville, and his father is seeking, as the years pass, to spend his later years in the quiet retirement of his pleasant home.

In 1865, the year of his permanent settlement in Greenville, Dr. Horace L. Bower was united in marriage to Ettie A. Clark, of Detroit, and to this union two children have been born, Albert J. and George C. Albert J. Bower, who was born in January, 1880, received his elementary education in the schools of Greenville and was graduated from the high school in that city in 1898.

He then entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and was graduated from the literary and medical departments of that institution in 1903.

Upon receiving his diploma, Dr. A. J. Bower was given an internship in the Lakeside hospital at Cleveland, Ohio, where he served from 1903 to 1905, during that time receiving a vast amount of valuable practical experience in the practice of his profession.

Thus admirably equipped, the younger Doctor Bower returned to Greenville and in 1905 became associated with his father in the practice of his profession in his home town and has attained a wide general practice throughout this section.

George C. Bower, who was born on December 11, 1872, was graduated from the Greenville high school in 1890 and is now engaged in the produce business at Greenville and Belding.

Doctor and Mrs. Bower are members of the Baptist church, in the various beneficences of which they for years have taken an active interest, and their sons are members of the same church, while the three men are members of the Masonic lodge at Greenville, in the affairs of which they take a warm interest.

No family hereabout is held in higher regard than is the Bower family and all enjoy the warm esteem of the entire community.

 

HARRY E. WAGAR.

Harry E. Wagar, the well-known and popular cashier of the Peoples State Bank of Edmore, this county, is a native of that village, having been born there on June 1, 1881, only son of the late Hon. Edgar S. and Mary (Pfeifler) Wagar, for many years prominent and influential residents of that village, the former of whom died on July 17, 1914, and the latter is still living there, enjoying many evidences of the high esteem in which she is held by the entire community.

Further details of the history of this interesting family are set out in a memorial sketch relating to the life of the late Hon. Edgar S. Wagar, presented elsewhere in this volume, to which the attention of the reader is directed in this connection.

Harry E. Wagar grew up at Edmore, receiving his elementary education in the excellent schools of that village, and upon completing the course in the high school entered Ferris Institute at Big Rapids, and after a course there entered the Michigan Agricultural College, in which institution he gained credits sufficient for his graduation, but was prevented from finishing with his class by reason of illness during the last year of his school work.

In 1897 he entered his father’s bank at Edmore and learned the detail work of that old institution literally “from the ground up.”

In 1902 he was made cashier, a position which he is still filling, with satisfaction both to the stockholders and to the customers, he long having been recognized as one of the ablest young bankers in this section of the state, enjoying the full confidence and respect of business and financial circles generally hereabout.

In addition to his banking connection, Mr. Wagar has farming interests of two hundred acres in this county and a valuable farm in St. Joseph County, besides which he is financially interested in several other enterprises in the state, and is looked upon as one of Montcalm’s most substantial business men.

On November 16, 1902, Harry E. Wagar was united in marriage to Grace Pittenger, who was born at Breckenridge, this state, daughter of James E. and Eva (Kine) Pittenger, and to this union one son, Guy E., was born on September 10, 1905.

Mr. and Mrs. Wagar take a proper part in the social and cultural activities of their home community and are held in high esteem by their many friends thereabout.

Mr. Wagar is a Republican and for years has been a member of the town council, now serving his third term as president of the village.

He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Edmore and of the Grand Rapids Consistory, Scottish Rite Masons, and of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Grand Rapids; a member of the lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Ionia and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Edmore, in the affairs of which orders he takes a warm interest.

 

FRED J. COLE.

Fred J. Cole, well-known attorney-at-law, of Greenville, also justice of the peace in and for Eureka township, this county, and circuit court commissioner, is a native son of Michigan, having been born in the city of Jackson, this state, November 15, 1875, son of A. J. and Miranda E. (Palmer) Cole, who for years have been well-known residents of Greenville.

A. J. Cole was born in Jackson County, this state, son of Horace Cole and wife, the former of whom had come to Michigan from Onondaga county, New York, at an early day in the settlement of Jackson neighborhood and had there established his home, becoming in his day a fairly prominent resident of that community, and there grew to manhood, learning the carpenter trade which he has followed all the active years of his life.

When the Civil War broke out A. J. Cole enlisted in Company K, Sixteenth Regiment. Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served in that regiment until he was wounded in battle in 1862, after which he was honorably discharged for disability.

Returning home, he presently recovered from the effect of his wound and re-enlisted, in 1863, in the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war, being attached to the Army of the West.

Some little time after A. J. Cole’s return from the army, and while engaged in the carpenter business at Jackson, he met Miranda E. Palmer, of Onondaga County, New York, who was visiting kinsfolk in Jackson, and their marriage shortly followed.

To this union two children were born, both sons, Fred J., the subject of this sketch, and Leon, who died in infancy.

When the first-born of these sons was about one year old, in 1876, his parents moved from Jackson to Greenville and there have made their home since, long having been regarded as among the most highly-respected residents of that place.

Mr. Cole followed his trade as a carpenter and builder at Greenville for about thirty-five years and has but lately retired from the active pursuits of life.

Fred J. Cole grew up at Greenville, receiving his elementary education in the schools of the village, supplementing the same by a course in the Detroit College of Law, from which he was graduated with his degree in 1902.

Upon receiving his diploma, Mr. Cole returned to Greenville, was admitted to the bar and opened an office for the practice of his profession in his home town and has been thus engaged ever since, having gained the high regard of his associates at the bar in this and adjoining counties.

Mr. Cole is a Republican and from the days of his youth has taken an active interest in local political affairs.

Twice was he appointed circuit court commissioner and twice has he been elected to that office, now serving his fourth term in that capacity.

He was elected justice of the peace and is still serving in that capacity, giving to all his public service his thoughtful and intelligent attention.

On June 6, 1906, Fred J. Cole was united in marriage to Christine Avery and both take a warm interest in the social activities of their home town, being held in high esteem by all thereabout.

Mr. Cole is a member of LeRoy Lodge No. 9, Knights of Pythias, at Greenville, and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that order.

 

JAY H. GIBBS.

Jay H. Gibbs, well-known manager of the extensive interests of the firm of J. H. Gibbs & Son at Edmore, this county, and one of the most active and enterprising young businessmen of Montcalm county, is a native of this county, having been born in Home township on December 20, 1886, only son and second child of the late Lucius H. and Julia R. (Hanscom) Gibbs, the former of whom for many years was one of the leading men of the Edmore community, a review of whose career in this county, is set out in a memorial sketch relating to himself, presented elsewhere in this volume where also is presented a history of the family of his father, Josiah H. Gibbs, who is still living at Edmore, where for many years before his retirement he took a prominent part in affairs and where he established the large interests now managed, in the third generation of the same family, by his grandson, the subject of this sketch.

J. H. Gibbs received his early education in the schools of Edmore and was graduated from the high school there in 1903, being the only member of the class of that year.

He then took a special course in the Michigan Agricultural College, after which he entered Bliss Electrical School at Washington, D. C., from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1908, receiving the degree of electrical engineer.

Upon receiving his diploma, Mr. Gibbs engaged his service as an electrical engineer with the Duncan Meter Manufacturing Company of Lafayette, Indiana, with which firm he remained a little more than six months, at the end of which time he transferred his services to the Columbia Meter Company at Indianapolis, Indiana, from which concern he presently transferred his services to the Illinois Steel Company at South Chicago, where for some time he was employed in the meter department, and then went to the employ of the Newaygo Portland Cement Company at Newaygo, this state, where he had charge of the power plant of that concern for some time, after which he was employed by the Beaver Dam Light and Power Company at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, with which concern he remained until 1913, in which year he returned to Edmore and has since then been general manager and superintendent of the J. H. Gibbs & Son flour-mill and elevator and electric-light plant at that place, in which form of service he is doing good work.

Mr. Gibbs is an enterprising and progressive young business man and an expert electrician, being a member of the popular Jovian Society, an organization made up of electrical engineers over the country, which is doing great work in promoting the general interests of electrical science in the United States.

On June 25 1915, Jay H. Gibbs was united in marriage to Marjorie Emerson, who was born in the town of Sterling, in the province of Ontario, Canada, daughter of R. F. and Rose (McGee) Emerson, prominent residents of Montcalm county, further details of the history of which family are set out in a sketch relating to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson, presented elsewhere in this volume, and to this union one child has been born, a son, Robert Lucius, Born on March 15, 1914.

Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs take an active part in the various social and cultural activities of Edmore and vicinity and are held in the highest esteem by their many friends thereabout.

Mr. Gibbs is a Republican and takes a good citizen’s interest in the county’s political affairs, but is not included in the office-seeking class of politicians.

He is senior warden of the Masonic lodge at Edmore, a member of the consistory of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons at Grand Rapids, and of the temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Grand Rapids, and takes a warm interest in the affairs of these several branches of the ancient order of Freemasonry.

 

Serenus D. Ketchum

Serenus D. Ketchum, cashier of the Edmore State Bank of Edmore, this county, and one of the most progressive and influential business men of that section of the county, is a native of Canada, having been born in Ontario, December 1, 1873, son of Stephen J. and Ellen (Kerwin) Ketchum, the former a native of Pennsylvania, of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent, and the latter, of Ireland.

Stephen J. Ketchum was born on December 2, 1833, and the first few years of his life were spent in Canada, his parents having moved to the Dominion when he was nine years of age, later returning to the United States and settling at Dunkirk, on Silver creek, in New York State, where he grew to manhood.

He then returned to Canada and was there married, February 10, 1864, to Ellen Kerwin, who was born at Wexford, Ireland, on December 25, 1844, daughter of Nassa and Julia (Cullen) Kerwin, who carne to this side of the Atlantic when Ellen was a little girl and settled in Canada, where the father died when the daughter was but nine years of age.

Following his marriage, Stephen J. Ketchum continued to make his home in Canada, being engaged in the hotel business at Fornwick for about eight years, at the end of which time he came with his family to Michigan, presently locating at Edmore, in this county, where he made his home for about thirty-seven years, engaged during that time as a shoemaker, a trade in which he was proficient.

In November, 1905, he went to Cour d’Alene, Idaho, where he died on December 23, following.

During his residence in Canada, Stephen J. Ketchum was an Orangeman, and upon locating in the states became a Democrat, but in the memorable campaign of 1896 voted the Republican ticket and so continued a Republican the rest of his life.

The widow is still living and makes her home with her children, she being the mother of four all of whom are still living, as follow:

Lavina, who married S. E. Young and lives in Idaho; John, of Edmore, this county, Margaret Ann, who married Martin S. Gray and lives at Lansing, this state, and Serenus D., the subject of this sketch.

Serenus D. Ketchum was but four years of age when he came to Michigan with his parents and he grew up at Edmore.

He was graduated from the village high school, after which he took a special course for teachers at Ferris Institute at Big Rapids and was engaged as a teacher in the district schools of Montcalm county for about eight years, at the end of which time, in 1897, he entered the service of the Edmore State Bank, with which old financial institution he has been connected ever since.

Mr. Ketchum began his banking career literally “at the bottom of the ladder,” and displayed such proficiency in the details of bank work, that he was advanced to the position of assistant cashier and in 1910 was made cashier, a position of trust and responsibility he has occupied ever since, discharging the exacting duties of the same with entire satisfaction to all concerned.

Mr. Ketchum is a stockholder and a director of the bank and in addition to his work in that connection is also engaged in the general insurance business, in which line he has been successful.

He is also interested in the general welfare of his home town and is secretary of the L. Barber Creamery and Produce Company, of Edmore, a prosperous and growing concern.

On July 10, 1904, Serenus D. Ketchum was united in marriage to E. May Dean, who was born at Edmore on July 25, 1885, daughter of H. H. and Mary J. (Fletcher) Dean, and to this union one child, Serena May, was born on March 9, 1906.

H. H. Dean was horn at Kalamazoo, this state, on November 7, 1860, the only child of his parents.

His father died when he was eleven years old, leaving him to aid in the support of his widowed mother.

He grew up in the state of Iowa and later came to Michigan, settling at Ionia, later moving to Edmore, where for a few years he worked for the railroad company, after which he started in business for himself, opening a general store, and was thus engaged for a period of twenty-five years, at the end of which time he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he and his wife now make their home.

Mrs. Dean is a native of Canada and was born on April 10, 1861, daughter of Orin Fletcher and wife, both natives of the Dominion, and she grew to womanhood in that country.

To H. H. Dean and wife three children have been born;

E. May, who married Mr. Ketchum:

Herman, deceased, and George, who is with his parents in Vancouver.

Before her marriage, Mrs. Ketchum had been engaged as a teacher in the public schools of Montcalm County for three years, having taught in district schools and in the schools at Coral, and she and Mr. Ketchum take an earnest part in the various social and cultural activities of their home neighborhood, being held in high regard by all thereabout.

Mr. Ketchum is an Odd Fellow and a member of the encampment of that order; a member of the Loyal Order of Moose and formerly was a member of the Knights of the Maccabees.

He is a contributing member of the Young Men’s Christian Association at Detroit, in the activities of which he takes much interest, and is keyman of the association at Edmore, being interested in all movements designed to elevate the standards of living hereabout.

 

RICHARD H. O’DONALD.

Richard H. O’Donald, the proprietor of a private bank in Howard City, Michigan, was born in Washington County, New York, in September, 1849, the son of John and Eliza (Nelson) O’Donald, the former of whom was born in Ireland and the latter in Hebron, New York.

John O’Donald came from Ireland to the United States when four years of age with an uncle and, on reaching maturity, worked for twenty-six years by the month.

He was prosperous and successful and invested his savings, being worth, at the time of his death, about one hundred thousand dollars.

He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which they were faithful workers and liberal supporters.

They were the parents of seven children, three of whom are now living, Richard H., the subject of this sketch; Albert, who is the proprietor of the Howard City elevator, and Mary J., the wife of T. D. Southworth.

Richard H. O’Donald was reared on his father’s farm and was educated in the public schools of Poultney, Vermont, where he was also graduated from a business college.

At the age of eighteen, he left home and went to Twinsburg, Ohio, where he worked in a general store for his cousin.

He worked here four years, the first year clearing one hundred dollars, the second year two hundred, and each of the last two years, three hundred.

In August, 1873, he left Ohio with two hundred dollars and came to Howard City, Michigan, and, for fifteen years, engaged in buying shingles, in which business he was successful, being a member of the lumber firm of Lovely & O’Donald for ten years.

In 1897, in partnership with a Mr. Scott, Mr. O’Donald bought out a private bank, which was known under the firm name of O’Donald & Scott, and which was conducted under that name until 1910, when O’Donald purchased Mr. Scott’s interest, and has since conducted the bank alone under the name of the Richard H. O’Donald Bank.

Besides his banking interests, Mr. O’Donald is the owner of three thousand acres of fine land in the vicinity of Howard City, including some city property in Howard City.

Mr. O’Donald was married to Hattie Lusk, of Twinsburg, Ohio, and to them were born two daughters, May J., a graduate of an educational institution at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and now the wife of Arie Cook, of Howard City, and Grace M., the wife of Earl Phelps, an attorney of Grand Rapids.

Mrs. Hattie O’Donald died and Mr. O’Donald was married subsequently to Stella M. Nichols.

In 1872 Mr. O’Donald became a member of the Masonic fraternity at Twinsburg, and also joined the chapter at that place.

Politically, Mr. O’Donald is a Democrat, but, owing to his extensive banking and real-estate interests, he has never had much time to devote to politics.

Mr. O’Donald is one of the most popular citizens of Howard City and Montcalm County, where he is held in the highest esteem and where he exerts a wide influence in all public movements.

 

CASS T. WRIGHT.

Cass T. Wright, prominent miller and foundryman, of Greenville, this county, who from his youth has been identified with the best interests of that thriving city, long having been one of the most energetic business men in that part of the county, is a native of the neighboring state of Wisconsin, having been born at Wrightstown, Brown county, that state, June 30, 1846, son of L. B. and Maryette (Thompson) Wright, who afterward became pioneer residents of Greenville, this county, and prominent factors in the development of the commercial and social life of that community.

L. B. Wright was born in the town of Lafayette, in Onondaga County, New York, son of Hoe1 S. Wright, who in 1833 bought an extensive tract of land in Brown county, Wisconsin, laid out the town of Wrightstown and was successfully engaged in promoting the sale of town lots and the general interests of the town which bore his name until 1866, when he and his family and the families of his two sons, L. B. and F. N. Wright, came to this state and settled at Greenville, this county, immediately becoming prominent factors in the development of the region thereabout.

When the Wrights came to Montcalm county the pine timber was still standing in the Greenville region and F. N. and L. B. Wright engaged, as a partnership), in the lumber business.

L. B. Wright died in 1868 and his son, Cass T., the subject of this sketch, took a quarter interest in the concern and the business was carried on until 1889, in which year it was closed out, the timber having been reduced to such an extent that it was no longer profitable to work it.

F. N. Wright and Cass T. Wright then engaged in the agricultural implement business, which was continued as a partnership concern for a while, after which Cass T. Wright took over the whole business and has since been operating it alone.

In the meantime, in 1880, the Wrights had started in the flour-milling business, in which they became quite successful, and later Cass T. Wright bought the old Partlow mill, which he also has carried on, not actively identified with it, but a prime factor in the operation of the same.

In addition to his extensive milling and commercial interests, Mr. Wright is identified with a number of other prominent enterprises in and about Greenville.

He helped organize the Greenville State Bank, of which F. N. Wright was president until his death, and was a director in that concern for some time.

He has been the treasurer of the Gibson Refrigerator Company since its organization in 1907, being also one of the directors of the company, and is vice-president of the Holland-St. Louis Sugar Company, as well as a stockholder and director of the company.

In local civic affairs Mr. Wright has been equally active and has done much toward the advancement and promotion of the general interests of Greenville, having served two or three terms as mayor of the city and several terms as alderman, in all his public service ever having had an eye single to the public good, so that he long has been looked upon as one of Greenville’s most public-spirited and progressive citizens.

As a Republican he ever has given his thoughtful attention to the affairs of that party in this county and for years has been regarded as one of the leaders of the party in this section.

On November 6, 1868, Cass T. Wright was united in marriage to Helen Fuller, daughter of Benjamin H. Fuller, one of Greenville’s most prominent citizens in his day, and to this union six children were born, as follow:

L. B., who is associated with his father in the latter’s business in Greenville;

Ethel, wife of William Patterson, who also is connected with the Wright enterprises:

Jesse C., who acts as his father’s traveling representative, making his headquarters at home in Grand Rapids:

Fay, also connected with his father’s interests;

Hugh, who also has an active part in the development of the Wright enterprises, and Vivien, Wife of Stanley Kemp, who is connected with the business affairs of his father, E. A.  Kemp.

The mother of these children died in March, 1911.

The Wright family long has been actively interested in the social and cultural life of the community and is held in the highest esteem throughout that entire section of the county.

 

MANNING RUTAN.

Manning Rutan was born on September 25, 1808, at New Providence, Union county, New Jersey, and died at Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan, on December 9, 1886.

His parents were Abraham and Hannah (Shipman) Rutan, the former a mechanic and in moderate circumstances.

When fourteen years of age his school days ended, and he was apprenticed for a period of some years to a country storekeeper, his remuneration being his board and clothing arid fifty dollars in cash.

In 1825 Mr. Rutan formed a partnership with a young friend and they opened a store in Dover, New Jersey.

At the end of five years he retired from this partnership, engaging in other business, but later, again, returned to Dover and re-entered the store business there, where he remained until, in 1851, he came to Michigan in the interests of a Wisconsin purchase which he had previously made.

Noting the fine character of the country in the vicinity of the present city of Greenville, he effected an exchange of his Wisconsin property for seven hundred acres of land in Montcalm county, a portion of which he had surveyed and platted as a village site, and on October 1, 1851, having bought a stock of goods, he commenced business as a permanent resident, erecting a store and dwelling house for the purpose.

Soon finding that his land business demanded all his time, Mr. Rutan disposed of his interest in the store, and devoted his attention to the sale of building sites, which, owing to the rapid increase in population, were rapidly sold.

Later, he repurchased the mercantile business, which he continued successfully for five years, when it was resigned to his only son, Eugene Rutan, who, since, following in his father’s footsteps, has made it the means of a successful business career.

Mr. Rutan was also extensively engaged in the lumber and saw-mill business, and assisted in the organization of the First National Bank of Ionia, of which he was a director for many years.

He also took part in the organization of the First National Bank of Greenville, incorporated in 1872, of which for many years he also served as director.

In 1876 he was elected president of this bank, and continued in that office until his death.

Mr. Rutan was married in 1831 to Miss Melinda Hurd, of Dover, New Jersey.

Their son, Eugene Rutan, was born July 3, 1844, and is one of Greenville’s most respected and prominent citizens.

Mr. and Mrs. Rutan were of the original eleven who organized the Congregational Church Society, of Greenville, and were always active workers in the church, it standing on ground donated by Mr. Rutan for the purpose.

The ground on which stands the Baptist church and the Union school building was also given by him, and he helped to build many of the best churches and school houses in the county.

Olivet College owes much to him, as it was the object of his largest gifts.

Its Latin chair was endowed by him, and bears his name.

Oberlin College, the Chicago Congregational Seminary, and numerous other educational and religious institutions owe him a debt of gratitude for oft-repeated contributions to their support.

The following extracts are quoted from the Greenville Independent, of December 16, 1886:

“In all his life and multifarious relations with men, Mr. Rutan was a transparent man of principle.

He never spoke or acted out of a self-conscious spirit; lie never did anything for effect.

Mr. Rutan was particularly remarkable for his benevolence, although a strict economist in all his personal affairs.

He gave large sums of money and a great amount of property to various benevolent and religious institutions.

But few, however, were permitted to know the extent of his benevolence.

He gave without show, and distributed his means in a quiet and secret manner.

During his residence in Greenville his donations amounted to very much more than his remaining estate, and can be reckoned by the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A man of the strictest integrity and soundest of temperance principles, he has moved and lived among us for thirty-six years, the finest example of strict economy and great benevolence, uprightness of character, and every qualification which goes to make up the pure, noble, exalted Christian gentleman, the writer has ever known among laymen.”

 

FRANK W. BAILEY

Frank W. Bailey, the efficient treasurer of Montcalm county, and a citizen who has, for many years taken an important place in public and official affairs of the community, as well as being a man who was successful as a farmer and stock raiser, was born in Nelson township, Kent county, Michigan, on January 6, 1858, the son of James J. and Mary A. (Richardson) Bailey, natives of New York State, the former born in Cayuga County, the latter in Allegheny County.

James J. Bailey, came with his parents, and located in Nelson township, Kent county, Michigan, when he was a young man, and after his marriage to Mary A. Richardson, in Nelson township, who had come to that locality with her parents, the elder Bailey engaged in general farming, a line of work which he followed for the remainder of his days.

Frank W. Bailey received his education in the common schools of Nelson Township, after which he lived on the home farm until he was seventeen years of age and then, his father having died some seven years earlier, Frank W. Bailey disposed of his interest in the home place and secured land in Maple Valley township, Montcalm county, a place which was the homestead of his grandmother, Elizabeth Richardson, who had secured the land on February 8, 1864, the deed to the land having been signed by General Grant.

To the eighty acres which he obtained, Frank W. Bailey added fifty-eight acres by purchase and lived there alone as a farmer, cultivating his soil in the summer and devoting a part of his time, in the winter, to work in the lumber camps of the region.

As a farmer, Mr. Bailey was successful, his crops being of an excellent quality, while his activity in raising Shorthorn dairy cattle and Oxford-down sheep, resulted in his securing awards and prizes at county fairs, in 1914, at Greenville, Mr. Bailey having received the first award as the owner of the cow producing the most butterfat.

In May, 1879, Frank W. Bailey was married to Augusta A. Cook, who was born in Ontario, Canada, the daughter of William G. and Arvilla (Bowman) Cook, both of whom were born in Ontario, Canada, and who came to Michigan, and located in Nelson township, where William G. Cook was a successful farmer.

To the marriage of Frank W. and Augusta A. Bailey have been born two children:

Guy, a farmer of Maple Valley township, Montcalm County, who married Sarah Reynolds and to whom has been born one child, Anna, who lives at home.

Few men have taken a more important place in the public life of Montcalm County, than Frank W. Bailey.

While yet a youth, he was a member of the local school board, and only a short time later he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of supervisors, at the next election being elected to continue in that office.

For a few years after this time, Mr. Bailey retired from public life as a result of the activities of the Patrons of Husbandry, but after this wave had passed, he was again elected as a supervisor, serving some years, until his entire record as a supervisor in Montcalm extends over twelve years of efficient and unselfish service to his constituents.

In 1914, Frank W. Bailey was elected to the office of treasurer of Montcalm County, taking office in January 1915, since which time he has been capably conducting the affairs of this important office of trust and honor.

Frank W. Bailey has long been known as a citizen interested in the support of clean politics and in the promoting of the candidacy and election of competent and efficient officers, his service along this line having given him a rank of esteem and honor among the people of Montcalm County.

 

CLINTON H. CLEMENT.

One of the pleasantest and most affable men in Montcalm county is Clifton H. Clement, a retired merchant of Sheridan, a veteran of the Civil War, who saw much active service in that great struggle, and for many years one of the most active and influential politicians hereabout.

Clifton H. Clement was born in the town of Jefferson, Seneca County, New York, on January 11, 1844, son of John D. and Margaret L. (Hopkins) Clement, the former of whom was born at Bristol Hill, New York, in 1826, son of John Clement, who was born in the Mohawk valley and was a soldier in the patriot army during the Revolutionary War, while Margaret Hopkins was of the family which was honored by Step. Hopkins, of Rhode Island, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

John D. Clement was reared in New York State, where he married, and in 1850 came with his family to Michigan, locating in St. Joseph County, where he bought a farm.

The next year, however, aroused by the tales of the great gold-finds in California he left his family and started for the gold-fields, where he remained for four years, at the end of which time he returned to his family, much richer in experience, but little, if any, better off in material wealth, having failed to “strike it rich.”

In 1865 John D. Clement and his wife left St. Joseph County and moved to Mecosta County, where both spent their last days.

They were the parents of four children, three sons and a daughter, namely: Allen E., now deceased, who served as a Union soldier during the Civil War, a member of the Eleventh Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry; Charles M., born on July 11, 1838, who also served as a soldier in the Seventeenth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in the Union Army; Clarissa C., wife of Jay Neadau, of Millbrook, this state, and Clifton H., the subject of this sketch.

Clifton H. Clement’s boyhood was spent on the farm and at twelve years of age he started to make his way in the world.

His first employment was as a clerk in a general store at Leonidas, Michigan, and while working there the Civil War broke out.

He enlisted in Company C. Seventeenth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, attached to the Ninth Corps of the Army of the Potomac, later to the Army of the Cumberland, and was in the Mississippi campaign, during which he participated in the siege of Vicksburg and was present when that Southern stronghold fell.

At the battle of Antietam, Mr. Clement received a serious wound, but recovered and was with his regiment until the close of the war, receiving then an honorable discharge.

Returning to St. Joseph County at the close of the war, Mr. Clement located at Colon, where he learned the shoe-maker’s trade and sometime later engaged in the boot and shoe business, and presently enlarged his premises into a general store and was there engaged in business until May of 1883, at which time he came to Montcalm county and opened a general store at Sheridan, where he continued in business until 1906, in which year he retired and since that time has been living comfortably at Sheridan, enjoying the rewards of his active life and looking after the various interests which he has retained in and about Sheridan.

Mr. Clement is quite well circumstanced and is the owner of three store rooms in Sheridan, besides other valuable property.

In August, 1884, Clifton H. Clement was united in marriage to Lou M. Bachelor and to this union two children have been born, a son and a daughter, Jay Dee, born in May, 1886, who was graduated from the Sheridan high school and from Ferris Institute at Big Rapids and is now a successful merchant at Detroit, and Grace A., born in 1888, who is the wife of Lloyd Towner, of Sheridan.

Mr. Clement is a Democrat and for years has taken an active part in the political affairs of Montcalm County, being at present chairman of the Democratic county central committee.

In other days he was a well-known and popular figure in the Democratic councils in this part of the state.

Mr. Clement was a member of the Michigan delegation to the Democratic national convention at Baltimore, which nominated Woodrow Wilson for President, and took a prominent part in the activities of that delegation.

Despite his long service in behalf of his party, Mr. Clement has never been an office seeker and the only public office he ever held was that of supervisor, during his residence in Mecosta County.

Mr. and Mrs. Clement take an active interest in lodge work, the former being a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges at Sheridan and his wife a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the Daughters of Rebekah, the woman’s auxiliaries to those popular orders, and both are held in the very highest esteem by their many friends in that section of the county.

Mr. Clement has attained to the encampment degree of the Odd Fellows and Mrs. Clement has passed all the chairs in the orders to which she is attached.

Mr. Clement also is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, being attached to the lodge of that society at Ionia, and is a member of Tom Custer Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, in the affairs of which he for years has taken a prominent part.

His long connection with the business life of Montcalm County gave him a firm place in the confidence and regard of commercial and financial circles hereabout, and he is looked upon as one of the honorable and substantial citizens of this commonwealth.

 

ALFRED L. STEARNS.

Alfred L. Stearns, county clerk of Montcalm County, was born in Ferris Township, this county, on June 7, 1874, son of Horatio and Etta (Omans) Stearns, natives of New York State, both of whom had lived in Ferris Township since their early youth, their respective parents having been early settlers of that township.

Horatio Stearns is the son of Lawson and Emily (Ferris) Stearns, who emigrated from New York State to Geauga County, Ohio, and thence to this county, settling here in what is now known as Ferris Township, that township having been named for its first settler.

Elijah Ferris, brother of Mrs. Stearns, who had preceded the Stearns family here some years.

Lawson Steams became a well-established farmer of that section of the county and during the Civil War served the Union as a soldier in a Michigan regiment.

He died at his home in Ferris Township at the age of sixty-five years.

His widow survived him many years, having been eighty-three years of age at the time of her death.

They were the parents of seven children, Mary Etta, Emily J., Joseph L., John F., Joel, Horatio and Ella.

Having been but eleven years of age when his parents settled in Montcalm county, Horatio Stearns finished his schooling in Ferris township and upon reaching manhood’s estate became the owner of a small farm of forty acres, later renting and tilling an adjoining tract of forty acres in connection with his own farm.

He also taught school during the winter for three terms.

He married Etta Omans, daughter of James and Anna Omans, early settlers in Ferris Township, who also had come to this county from New York State.

James Omans and his wife were well-known residents of Ferris Township and both lived to a ripe old age.

They were the parents of nine children, George, John, Martha, Mary, Frank, William, Irene, Etta and Florence.

To Horatio and Etta (Omans) Steams were born five children, as follow:

Alfred L., the immediate subject of this sketch;

Owen J., of Eureka, Clinton County, this state;

Emily A., who married Oliver Hyde, of Essex Township, Clinton County, Michigan;

Addie M., who died at the age of sixteen years, and Essie, who is still with her parents.

When sixty years of age, Horatio Stearns moved from this county to Sumner, Gratiot county, this state, where he is now serving as postmaster, his daughter, Essie, acting as assistant.

Mr. and Mrs. Stearns are members of the Methodist church and their children were reared in that faith.

Alfred L. Stearns was reared on the paternal farm in Ferris township, receiving his education in the district schools of that township, and remained at home until his marriage in 1893, after which for several years he rented a farm, prospering in his farming operations until he was able to buy a farm of forty acres, to which is added a tract of twenty acres which his wife inherited.

During all this time, Mr. Stearns had been paying considerable attention to the political affairs of the county and extending his acquaintance and was gradually getting in line for political preferment.

He had served the people of the township very acceptably as clerk for a period of four years and had been supervisor for six years; therefore, when he received the nomination for the office of county clerk on the Republican ticket in 1914, he was elected by a good majority in the ensuing election in the fall.

He then rented his farm to a tenant and moved to Stanton, the county seat, where he is now living, having entered upon the duties of his office in January, 1915.

On September 24, 1893, Alfred L. Stearns was united in marriage to Jennie Jolley, who was born in Ferris Township, this county, daughter of Francis L. and Margaret (Pyle) Jolley, natives of Ohio and early settlers in this county.

Francis L. Jolley died in 1905, at the age of fifty-nine years.

His widow is still living, being now sixty eight years of age.

They were the parents of five children, Blanche, Maude, Jennie, Charles and Gladys.

Mrs. Stearns’ paternal grandmother, Mrs. Charles Jolley, is still living, at the advanced age of ninety years.

She and her husband were the parents of four children, of whom Mrs. Stearns’ father was the eldest, the others being Lemuel, Douglas and Dora.

Mrs. Stearns’ maternal grandparents, Curry Pyle and wife, were natives of Ohio and early settlers in this county, who lived here to good old ages.

They were the parents of three children, Martha, Margaret and a son who died in early youth.

To Alfred L. and Jennie (Jolley) Stearns five children have been born, Flossie, Elsie, Burdell, Frances and Horatio.

Mr. and Mrs. Stearns are popular among their many friends in this county and are held in high regard by all who knew them.

 

NEWTON W. NEWHOUSE.

The Stanton Clipper-Herald, one of the best-known and most widely circulated weekly newspapers in this part of Michigan, has been appearing in its hyphenated form since the spring of 1913, a consolidation of the Stanton Clipper and the Montcalm Herald having been effected at that time, following the loss the latter paper suffered by fire;

Mr. Newhouse, then sole owner of the Clipper, buying the good-will of the unfortunate Herald and merging its identity with that of his paper, at the same time taking into partnership with him R. A. Carothers, since which time the Clipper-Herald has been edited and published by Newhouse & Carothers, a firm well equipped for the exacting duties it is performing on behalf of the people of Montcalm county.

Newton W. Newhouse was born on a farm in Marlborough Township, Stark County, Ohio, December 14, 1858, son of William and Nancy (Metz) Newhouse, both natives of Ohio.

Both William Newhouse and Nancy Metz had been previously married, to the former’s first union there having been born six children, as follow:

B. Frank, David B., Simon, Leonard W., Maria, who married John R. Stratton, and Velina, who married Simon C. Stratton, a brother of John.

To Nancy Metz’s first marriage four children were born, Benjamin, Frances, Hannah and Mary.

To the union of William and Nancy (Metz) Newhouse two children were born, Newton W., the subject of this sketch, and Ida G., who married William A. Corey and lives at St. Petersburg, Florida.

William Newhouse was a son of David Newhouse and wife, natives of an Eastern state and pioneers of Columbiana County, Ohio, who were the parents of the following children: William, David, Jefferson, Anthony, Hannah, Rachel and Rebecca.

William, father of the Stanton editor, was a farmer and carpenter and lived most of his life in Stark County, Ohio.

He died in 1891, at Ionia, Michigan, at the advanced age of seventy-nine years.

His wife had preceded him to the grave many years before.

The youth of Newton W. Newhouse was spent on the home farm in Ohio and his early schooling was obtained in the district school in the neighborhood of his home there.

At the age of thirteen, in 1871, he came to Michigan, locating at Muir, where for two years he received the benefit of further schooling.

At the age of fifteen he began learning the printing trade at Muir and has been engaged in the printing business ever since.

In 1875 he came to Montcalm County, locating at Stanton, where he began working in one of the printing offices.

He presently became foreman of the Weekly Clipper, a position he retained until 1894, in which year he bought the Clipper and became the editor and publisher of the same.

On February 16, 1913, the office of the Montcalm Herald at Stanton was destroyed by fire and Mr. Newhouse then bought the good-will of that paper and merged the name of the same with that of his paper, making it the Clipper-Herald, under which title the paper since has been published.

On April 1 of the year, Mr. Newhouse formed a partnership with R. A. Carothers, who had had long experience in the office of the Clipper, and the paper has since been published by the firm of Newhouse & Carothers.

The Montcalm Herald was established at Stanton in 1867 and the Clipper was established in 1879, such papers long having been regarded as among the most influential newspapers in this section of the state.

The paper’s political policy is in accordance with the principles of the Republican Party and under the present management the paper has been made a force in the community.

The firm of Newhouse & Carothers also is extensively engaged in the job-printing business and has a wide patronage in that line, both members of the firm being very popular hereabout.

On October 11, 1883, Newton W. Newhouse was united in marriage to Minnie I. Zinkhan, who was born in Hillsdale county, this state, daughter of Junius M. and Mary (Gage) Zinkhan, both natives of Michigan, who long have been residents of Stanton, this county, where Mr. Zinkhan is engaged in the jewelry business and where he enjoys the distinction of being the oldest business man in the city.

To Mr. and Mrs. Newhouse two children have been born.

Raymond and Mildred M., the former of whom died at the age of ten months and the latter of whom is living at home with her parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Newhouse are members of the Congregational church and take an active interest in all good works in the community and are held in the highest esteem throughout the entire county.

Mr. Newhouse has for years, by virtue of his editorial position, given close attention to political affairs and is looked upon as one of the leaders of the Republican Party in this section.

For two terms he served the people of Stanton as city treasurer and in many ways has manifested his interest in the public welfare.

He is a prominent Mason and has attained to the chapter in that ancient order.

He also is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Stanton and has attained to the encampment of that order; in both of these orders being held in high regard by his lodge brethren.

As a public-spirited citizen, Mr. Newhouse is ever advocating through the columns of his paper such measures as will advance the general welfare of the community in which he has long and so faithfully labored, and the many expressions of confidence heard concerning him and his work art accepted as convincing evidences that his labors on behalf of the public ire properly appreciated.

 

DELOS ALLAN TOWLE.

A resident of this county since his early boyhood, there is no citizen of the county who takes a deeper interest in the development of the community along proper lines than does Delos A. Towle, a prominent real-estate dealer of Stanton and proprietor of the only set of abstract books in Montcalm County.

Mr. Towle is an energetic and public-spirited citizen and ever is found at the forefront in movements having as their object the advancement of the interests of this section of the state.

Delos Allan Towle was born in Erie county, New York, on March 28, 1860, son of James and Lydia (Cooper) Towle, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New Brunswick, who settled in New York state for a time after their marriage, afterward coming to Michigan, where they remained for many years.

Mrs. Towle died in 1896, at the age of fifty-eight years.

James Towle went to Alabama in 1896, and he is still living there.

James Towle is the son of James and Elizabeth (Monaghan) Towle, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Ireland.

The elder James Towle was a lumberman in Vermont, Maine and Canada, who located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1868, and was there for a time engaged in contracting.

He later moved to this county, where he died in 1876, at the age of seventy-four years.

His widow survived him some years, she having been eighty years of age at the time of her death.

They were the parents of ten children; James, Kat, Matilda, Mary, John H., William, Henry, Elizabeth and two who died in infancy.

James Towle, the eldest of the above children, and the father of the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood in New York State, where he married Lydia Cooper, daughter of Samuel Cooper and Rachel Davis, his wife, the latter of whom was born in Wales.

Samuel Cooper was an English sailor, who left the sea and became a lumberman in New Brunswick and later a farmer.

He came to Michigan in the seventies and settled at Plainfield, near Grand Rapids.

To him and his first wife there were born eight children, Mary Ann, William, Sarah, Hannah, John, Lydia, Samuel and George.

Upon the death of the mother of these children, in her forty-fifth year, Samuel Cooper married again and to this second union there were born six children, Margaret, Benjamin, Joseph, Martha, Eliza and one who died in early youth.

Samuel Cooper died at the home of his son in Ionia, this state, in his ninety-third year.

Before the period of the Civil War, the junior James Towle emigrated from New York to Wisconsin, later settling at Detroit, where for a time Mr. Towle was engaged in contracting.

He later returned to New York, going thence to Pennsylvania, where he resided for a time, then went back to New York, but in 1867 returned to Michigan and settled at Grand Rapids, from there to Gowen, thence to Greenville, this county, where for some years he was engaged in lumbering.

He then went to Florida, where for two years he was engaged in lumbering and for the past eighteen years has been located at Piedmont, Alabama, where he is prominently connected with the iron industry.

To him and his wife were born ten children, namely:

Delos A., the subject of this sketch;

Mary L. Mattie, deceased, who was the wife of Frank B. Warren;

Elizabeth, who died unmarried at Greenville, this county:

Lydia Olivia, wife of T. E. Johnson, of Greenville;

John W., James H., deceased; George C. C., of Tennessee: Stewart W., of Piedmont, Alabama, and two who died young.

Delos A. Towle was seven years of age when his parents came with their family to this state in 1867.

They lived in Kent County until 1873, in which year they came to Montcalm County, locating at Gowen, and in 1876 moved to Greenville, where Delos A. grew to manhood.

After attending the public schools at Greenville, Mr. Towle became bookkeeper in his fathers’ lumber office, where he remained until 1883, in which year he was made assistant manager of his fathers’ mill at Sheridan, remaining there for one year, at the end of which time, on February 1, 1884, he located in Stanton, going to work in the abstract office of his father-in-law, Capt. T. N.  Stevens, then register of deeds.

In 1893 Mr. Towle became a partner with Captain Stevens in the abstracting business and since May 1, 1906, has been sole proprietor of the business and is the owner of the only set of abstract books in Montcalm county.

In addition to his large business as an abstracter, Mr. Towle also is extensively engaged in the real estate and loan business and is regarded as one of the most substantial citizens of this section of the state.

On September 21, 1881, Delos A. Towle was united in marriage to Lu E. Stevens, who was born at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, April 28, 1860, daughter of Capt. Thomas N. and Caroline E. (Silsbee) Stevens, the former of whom was born in Wyoming county, New York, and the latter in Grand Rapids, Wood County, Ohio, who had been residents of this county since 1866, Captain Stevens having been in the abstract business at Greenville and Stanton all those years.

He was an honored soldier of the Union army during the Civil war and died at his home in Stanton on January 19, 1908, at the age of seventy-two years.

His widow is still living at Stanton, enjoying many evidences of the high regard in which she is held by all in that city.

Captain and Mrs. Stevens were the parents of five children, Lu E., Mary F., Caroline N., Bertha and one, the first born, who died in infancy.

Captain Stevens was the son of David Stevens and Nancy Nichols his wife.

To Delos A. and Lu E. (Stevens) Towle have been born three children, as follows:

Dorothy Lu, who after having been graduated from the Stanton high school attended Oberlin College for two years;

Thomas Stevens, who after his graduation from the Stanton high school entered Oberlin College, from which he also was graduated, after which he entered Cornell University, from which he was graduated and is now working as an electrical engineer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Delos Allan, Jr., now in Detroit, after being graduated from Oberlin Academy entered the University of Michigan and was graduated from that excellent institution.

Mr. and Mrs. Towle and family are attendants at the Congregational church.

The family is prominently identified with the social life of Stanton and takes an active part in all good works here about, all being held in high esteem throughout the whole county.

Mr. Towle is a Republican and for years has taken an active part in the political affairs of the county.

In educational matters he is regarded as a leader and for years has been president of the school board at Stanton, his admirable services in that connection undoubtedly having done much toward elevating the standard of the schools of that city.

Mr. Towle is a member of Star Lodge No. 250, Free and Accepted Masons, at Stanton, having been made a Mason in 1887, and was master of the lodge for four years.

He also is a member of the Knights of Pythias at Greenville and when the Knights of Pythias had an organization at Stanton was chancellor commander of the lodge there for two years.

In the civic and commercial activities of Montcalm County, Mr. Towle long has been a prominent figure and it is not too much to say that he enjoys the confidence and regard of the entire community.

 

MORRIS W. STEVENSON

Former Mayor M. W. Stevenson, of Stanton, this county, who is engaged in the general merchandising business in that city, is looked upon as one of the “live wires” of this section of Michigan.

He is a native of this state and has the general interest of this section at heart, advancing them in every way in his power.

Morris W. Stevenson was born at Ionia, Michigan, on April 21, 1860, son of Edward and Margaret (Kidd) Stevenson, the former of whom was a native of England and the latter of New York state.

Edward Stevenson was the son of Jesse Stevenson and life and accompanied them to this country in 1834, the family locating at Ionia, this state, where both Jesse Stevenson and his wife spent their last days.

They were the parents of six children, Jessie, John, George, Edward, Kate and one who died in youth.

Edward Stevenson was trained as a shoemaker in his English home and for some time after settling at Ionia worked at that trade.

He later went to Grand Rapids, where he started a shoe shop, which he conducted for several years, at the end of which time he returned to Ionia and there became a pioneer merchant and was thus engaged until his appointment to the office of register of the United States land office at Ionia, in which capacity he served for some years.

He later, in 1862, was appointed postmaster at Ionia, and served in that capacity for quite a term.

He died at the age of sixty-eight years while on a visit to Stanton.

His widow, who survived him many years, died at Stanton at the age of eighty-six.

She was a member of the Christian (Disciples) church and he was a member of the Methodist church.

Mrs. Stevenson, who was Margaret Kidd before her marriage, came to Michigan with her parents from New York State many years ago, the family locating in the Ionia neighborhood in the thirties, becoming pioneer farmers.

Mrs. Stevenson was one of six children born to her parents, the only one of whom now surviving being Elsie, who is past eighty-eight years of age, the others having been James, Thomas, Robert, Mary and Margaret E.

Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson were the parents of six children, Mary, who is the wife of John W. Crinns; Hampton E., James J., Frank T., Morris W. and William K..

Morris W. Stevenson was reared in Ionia, receiving his education in the public schools of that place.

As a boy he learned the printer’s trade and worked in the newspaper office there for some time, but after his father’s appointment as register of the land office, he became a clerk in the latter office, where he remained five years, performing excellent service in that capacity.

In 1892 he located in Stanton, this county, where, in company with his brother, Hampton E., he established the business in which he is still so successfully engaged.

This partnership continued for a period of eight years, at the end of which time Mr. Stevenson bought his brother’s interest and has since been conducting the business alone.

His is one of the best-stocked general stores in this part of the state, quite a force of clerks being required in the establishment, wherein are handled dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, ladies’ and men’s furnishings and groceries.

On April 21, 1881, Morris W. Stevenson was united in marriage to Della S. Morris, who was born near Birmingham, Oakland County, this state, daughter of George W. and Lovina (Martin) Morris, both natives of New York state and early settlers in Oakland county.

He and his wife, both of whom are now are deceased, were the parents of two daughters, Della S. and Hattie E.

Mrs. Stevenson’s paternal grandfather, Benjamin Morris, came to this state from Morrisville, New York, which town was named in his honor, and he and his wife were the parents of three children, Libbie, Belle and George. William Martin, Mrs. Stevenson’s maternal grandfather, and his wife also were natives of New York State who settled in Oakland County at an early day in the settlement of that section, spending the remainder of their lives there, both living to a ripe old age.

They were the parents of five children, E. Broox, Clark, George, Ellen and Lovina.

To Morris Mr. and Della S. (Morris) Stevenson one son has been born, George M., who is attending high school.

Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson take a proper part in the social activities of Stanton and are held in high regard by their friends there.

Mr. Stevenson is a Republican and ever since his arrival in Stanton has given thoughtful attention to political affairs.

Shortly after locating there he was elected alderman, in which capacity he served for one term, and later was elected mayor of Stanton, in which office he served for six years, his executive judgment in the administration of the affairs of that office having been valuable to the community.

Mr. Stevenson also was president of the school board for a period of five years and in that capacity likewise rendered admirable service.

Another public service of which he feels justly proud, was his act, ably assisted by Delos W. Towle and Elliot O. Bellows, in constructing ten and one-half miles of public and “state reward” roads, for which service, by the way, he never received any monetary compensation, but he is content now to regard the performance of this signal deed of public service as its own reward.

Mr. Stevenson finds time amid the arduous duties of his extensive business operations, to participate in other enterprises in and around Stanton, among his other connections being that of director in the State Savings Bank of Stanton and president of the Stanton Hotel Association.

He is an energetic and public-spirited citizen who enjoys the full confidence of the entire community.

 

ALLEN L. COREY, M. D.

Forty years of practice in and around Stanton, this county, has given Dr. Allen L. Corey an acquaintance hereabout which covers not only Montcalm county, but the counties adjacent thereto, and there is perhaps no person in this section of the state better known than he.

Allen L. Corey was born on a farm in the vicinity of Lapeer, this state on December 7, 1844, son of Jabesh M. and Eunice (Howland) Corey, natives, respectively, of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Jabesh Corey was reared as a farmer in Pennsylvania and upon reaching manhood’s estate emigrated to Michigan, settling in Lapeer county, where he bought a quarter of a section of land which he cleared and brought to an excellent state of cultivation.

Shortly after settling in Lapeer County he married Eunice Howland, daughter of Judge Howland, a native of Massachusetts, for many years justice of the peace in Lapeer township, that county and to this union were born eight children, namely:

Eveline, who died unmarried:

Egbert, deceased; Clara, deceased, who was the wife of Henry W. Shaw;

Alexander, deceased ; Frances, who died unmarried ;

Allen L., the subject of this sketch;

Diantha, widow of O. F. France, an attorney, of Toledo, Ohio, and one son who died in youth.

Both Jabesh M. Corey and his wife spent their last days on the home farm, the former dying before he was sixty years of age, his widow surviving him about three months.

They were Methodists and for years were active in all good works in their vicinage.

Judge Howland and his wife were the parents of eight children, of whom Mrs. Corey was the eldest, the others, now all deceased, having been Rosanna, Susan, John, Ira, Ephraim, Thomas and Hozial.

Allen L. Corey was reared on the paternal farm in Lapeer County, receiving his elementary education in the district schools of his home neighborhood, which he supplemented by a course in Lapeer Academy, following which he entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and was graduated from the medical department of that excellent institution in 1868.

Upon receiving his diploma, Doctor Corey returned to Lapeer county and opened an office for the practice of his profession at Imlay City, that county, where he remained a year, at the end of which time he moved to North Branch, same county, where he remained until 1870, in which year he located in Ionia, this state, where he was in practice for four years.

In 1875 doctor Corey came to Montcalm County and located at Stanton, where he has ever since been engaged in the practice of his profession and has been very successful.

Doctor Corey is a physician of wide learning, whose studies keep him constantly advised of the important advancements in modern medicine and surgery, and who is thus conversant with the wonderful progress made in medical science during recent years.

His medical course at Ann Arbor comprised a period of four years and this he supplemented, some years after locating at Stanton, by a post-graduate course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York City, from which institution he was graduated in 1885.

During his residence in Ionia, Doctor Corey was united in marriage to Augusta Fiero, whose parents were natives of New York and early settlers in Ionia.

Mrs. Corey’s father died at Muir, this state, and his widow survived him many years, her death occurring at Stanton, this county, she being past seventy years of age at the time of her death.

To Doctor and Mrs. Corey three children have been born, Lutie, who married William Pettitt, of Stanton, and has two children, Claude, who died at the age of four years, and Velmer, who is at home.

Mrs. Corey is a member of the Methodist church and both she and the doctor for years have taken an active part in the social and cultural life of the city.

Both are held in the very highest esteem throughout this whole section and have many friends hereabout.

Doctor Corey is a Republican and ever has given a good citizen’s attention to political affairs.

For four years he served as pensioner examiner in this district.

He is a member of Stanton Lodge NO. 202, Free and Accepted Masons, and has Attained to the chapter in that order.

In general public affairs he ever has displayed a degree of interest that marks him as a public-spirited and progressive citizen and is long residence in Stanton gives to his counsels a value which is appreciated in all quarters, the good doctor’s influence being felt in all movements designed to better conditions along all lines of human endeavor throughout this section.

 

HONERABLE EDGAR S. WAGER

In the memorial annals of Montcalm County, no name stands out more distinctively than that of the late Hon. Edgar S. Wagar, former state senator from this district and for many years one of the most prominent lumber men and bankers of this county, whose death at his home in Edmore on July 17, 1914, was widely mourned hereabouts, for he ever had been a man true in all the relations of life and had well-earned the high regard in which he was held throughout this section of the state.

Edgar S. Wagar was a native son of Michigan, having been born at Constantine, St. Joseph County, this state, on August 30, 1850, son of Oris B. and Wealthy (Shaw) Wagar, both natives of Ontario County, New York, where they grew up and where they were married.

Oris B. Wagar was born on December 15, 1819, son of Abram and Hannah (Washburn) Wagar, both natives of New York state, the former of whom was of German descent, and who were the parents of ten children, Catherine, Sarah, Esther Marie, Oris B., Sarah, Caroline E.. Zephaniah, Isaac W., Cornelia M., and Mary Jane, of whom the last named is now the sole survivor.

Mary Jane Wagar was born on June 18, 1839, and was five years old when the family moved to Constantine, St. Joseph County, this state, where she grew to womanhood and where she married, February 6, 1859, Perry Holmes, who was born at Wooster, Ohio, October 16, 1838, and to this union three children were born, Mina Esther, who married W. A. Courtright and lives in Belvedier township, this county; Sarah, who died at the age of two years, and Frank L., a well-known barber at Edmore.

Mrs. Holmes for years has been a resident of Edmore, where she is still living.

Oris R. Wagar and wife moved from New York State to Constantine, St. Joseph County, shortly after their marriage and there they established their permanent home.

Mr. Wagar bought a heavily-timbered tract of land there and proceeded to clear the same, presently becoming recognized as one of the most substantial farmers thereabout.

He erected fine buildings on his place and brought his farm to a high state of cultivation.

Becoming quite well-to-do, a man of substance, possessing wide influence for good in the community.

He died on December 8, 1888, at the age of sixty-nine, and his widow survived him about seven years, her death also occurring on the old home farm.

They were the parents of five children, Dr. Floyd G. Wagar, of Wolverine, Michigan;

Mrs. Annette Brower, of Constantine; Guy, who died at the age of two years; the late Edgar S. Wagar, former state senator from this district, the subject of this memorial sketch, and Louella, who still lives on the old home farm in St. Joseph county, which was under the management of her brother, Edgar S., until the latter’s death in 1914.

Edgar S. Wagar was reared on the home farm in St. Joseph county, receiving his education in the local schools of that neighborhood, and at the age of eighteen went to Cedar Rapids, where he engaged as clerk in a store.

He married there in the fall of 1875 and continued to make that place his home until 1878, in which year he came to this country and located at Edmore, where he engaged in the general hardware business.

In 1887, when the lumbering business was at its height, he sold his store and engaged in the lumber and shingle trade, in which he became quite successful.

In 1897 Mr. Wagar succeeded Mr. Wisner in the banking business at Edmore, operating the concern as the E. S. Wagar Bank (private), until 1908, in which year it was incorporated as the Peoples State Bank.

He was elected the first president of this bank and continued in that position throughout the rest of his life.

Mr. Wagar was identified with several other enterprises in and about Edmore and was vice-president of the Union Telephone Company.

The energy and enterprise of the late Hon. Edgar S. Wagar were not confined to the business life and activities of this community, for he was equally active in the political life of this section of the state.

He was the second president of Edmore and for five or six terms thereafter, at different times, served in a similar capacity, the interests of his home town ever being dear to his heart.

He was an uncompromising Republican and for two years served as chairman of the Republican committee of Montcalm County.

For two terms, 1893-96, he served as a member of the lower house of the Michigan General Assembly, representative from Montcalm county, and during the period of that important public service was one of the distinctive figures of the House, having been a member of the ways and means, the finance, the appropriations and other important committees of that body.

Following his service in the House, Mr. Wagar was elected to the state Senate, as senator from this district, and served with equal distinction in the upper house of the General Assembly during the two sessions which comprised his term, 1897-1900.

Senator Wagar, at the time of his death, was a member of the board of control of the state hospital for the insane at Traverse City, under appointment from Governor Warner, and took an active and influential part in the affairs of that body.

In point of service Senator Wagar was the oldest business man in Edmore, having engaged there in July, 1878, and was a man of wide influence in the business life of the community.

In religious and fraternal circles he also took a prominent part.

For many years he was one of the leaders in the local Methodist Episcopal Church, president of the Epworth League and superintendent of the Sunday school, and was a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

On October 29, 1875, at Cedar Rapids, Michigan, Edgar S. Wagar was united in marriage to Louisa Pfeifler, who was born at East Saginaw, this state, May 25, 1850, daughter of Gottlieb and Christina (Katz) Pfeifler, both natives of the province of Wittenberg, Germany, who were married at Ann Arbor, this state, where Gottlieb Pfeifler was then engaged as carpenter and cabinetmaker.

Christina Katz was a young girl when she accompanied her family to this country. Her father died and was buried at sea.

The remainder of the family located at Ann Arbor, where Christina married Gottlieb Pfeifler shortly thereafter moving to East Saginaw, where Gottlieb Pfeifler met his death in 1854 by falling from a scaffold while building a house, leaving three children, Catherine, who died in 1915, Louisa, who married Mr. Wagar, and John W., of Edmore, this county.

The widow Pfeifler married at Ann Arbor, to which place she had returned with her children after the death of her husband, Jefferson Burch, and to this union were born four children, as follow:

Mrs. Susan Coy, of Home Township, this county: Henry, who is in business with his half-brother, John W. Pfeifler, at Petoskey:

Mrs. Geneva Hutchinson, of Alma, and Mrs. Martha Horton, of Home Township, this county. The mother of these children died in Chicago.

To Edgar S. and Louisa (Pfeifler) Wagar one child was born, a son, Harry E. Wagar, cashier of the Peoples State Bank at Edmore and president of the village, a biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume.

Mrs. Wagar is still living at Edmore, where she long has quietly exerted her gentle influence for good and where she is held in the very highest esteem by all.

 

EDWARD C. CUMMINGS.

Among the able business men and influential citizens of Carson City, Montcalm county, Michigan, none have taken a more useful and helpful part, in local affairs, than has Edward C. Cummings, president of the State Bank of Carson City, and a man for forty years a financier and organizer.

Edward C. Cummings, who was born in Erie county, New York, on April 16, 1837, received only a district school education, doing chores for his board while attending his classes, after completing which, he began, when thirteen years of age, to make his own living in the world.

After some time as a farm helper in his community, Edward C. Cummings, when about twenty-three years of age, went to the Oil creek region of Pennsylvania, and during the days of high tide in the oil-fields of that state, he became a teamster, later securing boats, as carriers for oil, which he towed up the creek, in this way earning a large sum of money, with which he established himself in the world after two years in the oil-fields.

On account of the oil gases affecting his health, Edward C. Cummings retired from the oil fields, and about the year 1866, came to Michigan, locating at Ithaca, Gratiot county, where Mr. Cummings became a partner in the mercantile firm known as Shepard & Cummings, a business in which Edward C. Cummings continued for about four years, and then, having suffered the loss of his wife, by death, Mr. Cummings traveled in the west, for the next year.

About the year 1871, Edward C. Cummings came to Carson City, Montcalm County, at a time when the town was yet in its infancy, settled largely by lumber men and pioneers, and established a general store, a business which he followed until 1875, and then, after about one year in preparation, in 1876, he opened the first bank of Carson City, a private institution known as the banking house of E. C. Cummings, and with which he has since been officially connected.

In addition to his financial activity, Mr. Cummings has engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits, at one time having been the cultivator of two hundred and fifty acres of land, in Montcalm county, much of which and was devoted to the culture of alfalfa, a product in the raising of which, he was recognized as an authority.

About the year 1858, Edward C. Cummings was married to Hulda Ann Parsons, who was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, where they were married.

In 1870 Mrs. Cummings died, survived by her husband and three children: Carrie, who is now cashier of the bank at Crystal, Montcalm county, and who was married to Elam Willetts, there being born to this marriage two children, Harry, who died at twenty years of age, and Louisa, a public school teacher, of Detroit, and after the death of her husband, Carrie (Cummings) Willetts married William Granger; Morton P., of California, who is married and the father of two children, and Burton, an employee of the street railway company of Erie, Pennsylvania, who is married and the father of three children.

In 1871, Edward C. Cummings was married to Laura H. Barton, of Gratiot county, who was born near Kent, Ohio, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Barton, who moved to Gratiot county, Michigan, in pioneer times, and there Samuel Barton farmed on one hundred and sixty acres of land for the remainder of his days, dying at the age of ninety years, while his widow, Sarah, lived to the advanced age of one hundred and three years.

To the marriage of Edward C. and Laura H. Cummings have been born three children:

Ira, who after the completion of his education at a commercial school, at Detroit, is now cashier of the State Bank of Carson City, also being interested in the other banking connections of his father, and who was married to Minnie Cox, and they are the parents of two children, Cecil and Edward; Ora, of Billings, Montana, who is the wife of Roy J. Covert, who are the parents of two children, Paul and Gerald, and Lottie, who is the wife of Don R. Bennett, of Detroit.

As a banker, Edward C. Cummings has not only made the State Bank of Carson City one of the leading banks of the county and vicinity, but he has enlarged on the sphere of his activity as a financier, Mr. Cummings and his son Ira, now having stock and influence in the affairs of the banks at Crystal, Montcalm county, and they are interested as half owners in the Bank of Hubbardston, the latter a private banking house, owned jointly with Ruel and Absden, bankers of Ionia county, Michigan.

The State Bank of Carson City, a lasting tribute to the ability of Edward C. Cummings, was organized in 1876, as a private financial institution, known as the banking house of E. C. Cummings.

In 1887, after a prosperous decade of service, the town of Carson City gave more promise as a town, as the result of a railroad reaching it, and at this time, in anticipation of future business, the banking house of E. C. Cummings was reorganized under the name of the State Bank of Carson City, with an authorized capital of fifty thousand dollars.

For the first five years of the newly-incorporated bank, Edward C. Cummings served as president and cashier.

At the end of this time, Mr. Cummings declining to serve in his dual capacity, John W. Hallett was elected to the office of president, while Edward C. Cummings continued in the office of cashier.

In 1913 Mr. Cummings was again elected to serve as president of the State Bank of Carson City, and Ira Cummings became cashier, a management which has existed since that time.

At an early date the capital stock of the State Bank of Carson City was reduced to twenty-five thousand dollars, but in 1913, the stock was again increased to fifty thousand dollars, and from that time, this flourishing and well-managed banking institution has prospered and triumphantly overcame the trying times of 1893 and 1908, and has increased its business activities, notwithstanding keen competition.

 

JOHN W. CAMPBELL.

To the traveling public of this section of the state the Montcalm hotel at Stanton, this county needs no introduction, nor do “mine host” Campbell and his good wife, who have made this well-known hostelry one of the most popular hotels in this part of Michigan.

As his name indicates, John W. Campbell, proprietor of the Montcalm hotel, is of Scottish descent, his paternal grandparents, John and Eliza (Halleck) Campbell, having been born in the land o’ cakes, the bonny land of the thistle and the heather.

Shortly after their marriage, John Campbell and his wife emigrated from Scotland to America and settled at Bath, New York, where the former spent the rest of his life.

His wife survived him and died at Rockford, Illinois.

They were the parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters, Henry, George, Fred, Charles, Robert, Lida and Kate.

Robert Campbell, fifth son of John and Eliza (Halleck) Campbell, was born in Bath, New York, where he grew to manhood, receiving his education in Haviland Academy.

Upon the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted in a New York regiment and served for several years, being honorably discharged at the close of the service.

After the war he was for a time engaged in the butcher business and later in the music business.

In the meantime he had married and in 1872 he and his family came to Michigan, locating at Sheridan, in this county, where for a time Mr. Campbell worked in the timber.

Later he bought a farm of sixty acres in Evergreen Township, this county, which he cleared and sold, after which he retired and moved to Stanton, where he died in 1905, at the age of sixty-one years.

His widow is still living, making her home at Stanton, where she has many friends who hold her in high regard.

Mrs. Campbell, before her marriage, was Frances Curtis.

She was born in Prattsburg, Steuben County, New York, daughter and only child of John W. and Elizabeth (Strickland) Curtis, both natives of that same county.

John W. Curtis was a farmer, who later sold music and agricultural implements.

He died at Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York, at the age of sixty-four and his widow is still living, at the age of eighty-three.

To Robert and Frances (Curtis) Campbell were born but two children, John W., the subject of this sketch, and Carrie, who died in infancy.

John W. Campbell was born at Bath, Steuben County, New York, on June 28, 1870, and was eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to this county.

He grew up on his father’s farm in Evergreen Township, receiving his education in the district schools, and until the time of his marriage, in 1896, worked in the timber.

He then went to Crystal Lake, this county, where he engaged in the hotel and livery business and was thus engaged at that point for seven years, at the end of which time he moved to Stanton, where for a few years he was engaged in the livery business.

He then sold out and went to Clifford Lake and bought the resort hotel there, which he conducted for four years, at the end of which time he returned to Stanton and leased the Montcalm hotel, which he ever since has been conducting in first-class style and of which he has made a decided success.

On March 18, 1896, John W. Campbell was united in marriage to Sophia Hepburn, who was born in St. Thomas, Canada, daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca (Mitchell) Hepburn, natives, respectively, of Edinburgh, Scotland, and St. Thomas, Canada, who were the parents of nine children,  Robert, Benoni, Samuel, Sophia, Albert, James, Charles, Olia and George.

Mrs. Hepburn died at Crystal Lake, this county, in 1899, at the age of fifty-three years.

Mr. Hepburn is still living and makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Campbell.

To John W. and Sophia (Hepburn) Campbell one child has been born, a son, Don, born on February 28, 1897, who died on April 13, 1898.

Mrs. Campbell’s Grandfather Mitchell and his wife were both natives of Ireland, who immigrated to Canada, where they spent the rest of their lives on a farm.

They were the parents of twelve children; of whom mention is made of Rebecca Ellen, Lizzie, Martha, Margaret, Thomas, Samuel and George.

Mrs. Campbell’s grandfather Hepburn and his wife were natives, respectively, of Scotland and of Canada, the former of whom died in middle life and the latter of whom lived to old age.

They were the parents of eight children, Benjamin, Lena, Sophia, Martha, Jessie, Tina, Esther and Jesse.

John W. Campbell is a Republican and for years has taken an active interest in the politics of the county.

He was made deputy sheriff of Montcalm county, under Sheriff O. E. Bellows, in 1903, and, with the exception of two years, has held that important office ever since, an ample evidence of his efficiency as a public officer.

Mr. Campbell is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, member of the lodges of those two orders at Stanton, and has attained to the encampment degree of the latter order.

He also is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Ionia, and a member of the Equitable Fraternal Union, in all of which orders he takes an active part and among the members of which he is deservedly popular.

While Mr. Campbell is a thorough-going and up-to-date hotel man, he is not entitled to all credit for the success he has made as proprietor of the Montcalm hotel, for to Mrs. Campbell must be ascribed equal credit for making that house one of the best hotels in south central Michigan.

Both are well-known among the commercial travelers who cover this district and their house receives an extensive patronage.

 

ALLEN B. DICKERSON.

Allen B. Dickerson, who in 1910 was elected register of deeds for Montcalm county and who is now serving the public acceptably in that capacity, was Born in Hanover, Jackson County, this state, on August 29, 1861, son of Jacob M. and Theresa (Forward) Dickerson, both natives of Ohio.

Jacob M. Dickerson was married at the age of eighteen and began “doing for himself” by cutting cord-wood.

He presently learned the carpenter trade and followed that for some years.

In the latter fifties he and his wife came to Michigan and for a time lived in Jackson Township, where the subject of this sketch was born.

In 1861 they returned to Ohio and while living there, Jacob M. Dickerson rendered service to the Union cause during the Civil War as a member of the famous Ohio “squirrel hunters” brigade.

In 1865 he and his family returned to Michigan, locating in Bushnell township, this county, where he bought a farm of eighty acres of timber land which he cleared and improved and there he reared his family, living there until 1869, in which year he was elected to the office of probate judge of Montcalm county, after which he moved to Stanton, the county seat, where he remained for four years, the period of the tenure of his office, at the end of which time he bought a farm in Winfield township, this county, onto which he retired, and there he spent the remainder of his days, his widow surviving him some years.

Both Judge Dickerson, and his wife were valued citizens of Montcalm County and the memory of their lives here long will be kept fresh in the annals of this community.

Not only in his service as probate judge, but in other ways did Judge Dickerson demonstrate his intelligent interest in public affairs and he was for years accounted one of the county’s leading men.

During his residence in Bushnell Township he served very usefully as supervisor and during the time of his residence in Winfield Township performed a like service in behalf of the public, to whose interests he ever was devoted.

Judge Dickerson and his wife were the parents of five children, namely: Lyman W., deceased; Freeman B., of Detroit: Clara, who is the wife of Harmon Rassman, of Lake View, this county, G. Clinton, of Big Rapids, this state, and Allen B., register of deeds for Montcalm county, the subject of this sketch.

Judge and Mrs. Dickerson were attendants of the Methodist church and their children were reared in that faith.

Allen B. Dickerson was reared on the paternal farm in Bushnell Township, having been but five years old when his parents’ located there, and his early education was received in the district schools of that township and in the high school at Lake View.

Following the high school course he entered Rork College, but on account of ill health was compelled to discontinue his studies there before he had finished the course.

He later took a business course in McLaughlin’s College, at Chatham, Canada, and from that institution was called to an office position in Detroit, in which he served for one year, at the end of which time he returned to his father’s farm in Winfield Township, where he remained up to 1907.

After the death of his father he bought the several interests of the other heirs.

He retained this farm which consisted of two hundred acres, until December, 1909, when he sold all but forty acres.

In 1907 Mr. Dickerson moved to Lake View, this county.

And remained there until 1910, in which year he was elected register of deeds for Montcalm county, after which he moved to Stanton, the county seat, entering upon the duties of the office in January, 1911, and is still the incumbent in that important office, performing his duties in behalf of the public in a very efficient and painstaking manner.

On April 5, 1893, Allen R. Dickerson was united in marriage to Hattie Clark, who was born in Eureka township, daughter of George and Maria (Buckle) Clark, prominent residents of this county, both of whom now are deceased, and to this union two children ha1.e Been born, Mildred T and Clark A. Mrs. Dickerson is the second in order of birth of the four children born to her parents, the others being Mortimer, Helen and Jay, the latter of whom is now deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson are identified with the social activities of Stanton and are popular both there and at Lake View, having many friends who hold them in high esteem.

Mr. Dickerson is a Republican and for years has taken a prominent part in the county’s official affairs.

During his residence in Winfield Township, he acted as supervisor of that township for seven years.

He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Lake View and of the chapter of the same order at Stanton, and is also a member of the Woodmen and of the Maccabees, in all of which orders he takes a warm interest.

In official and business circles he is held in high regard and is looked upon as one of Montcalm County’s leading citizens.

 

THOMAS J. POTTER.

Thomas J. Potter, who after an active and useful career as a business man, lumber dealer, organizer and financier, and as a citizen who after having taken no inconsiderable part in the development of this community and in the conduct of its public and official affairs, has now retired from active life, was born in McHenry County, Illinois, on December 19, 1843, a son of William T. and Celestia (Flint) Potter, of New York State, where they grew to maturity and were married.

In 1846, William J. Potter moved to Michigan, and started a small store at Lincoln’s Mill, located near the mouth of Black Creek.

Later, the elder Potter bought a mill, which he operated near the site of the present

Wright’s mill, until 1856, and then coming to Greenville, at a time when this town was but a village settlement, he made his home at this place for some time, later going to Lowell, also to Grand Haven, Michigan, where he conducted hotels for the remainder of his active life, dying at Lowell, Michigan.

William T. Potter was one of the best-known men of his time in Greenville and vicinity.

Mr. Potter was the first justice of the peace of Montcalm Township, was a supervisor of the same township, and a man who was always actively interested in the development and advancement of the community.

William T. and Celestia Potter were the parents of seven children: Julia, deceased; Alma, Thomas, George, deceased; Carrie, Frank, and Effie.

William J. Potter, who has spent his entire active life as a resident of Montcalm County and vicinity, received his early education in the common schools of this county.

After completing his school days, he lived at home until 1862, when he enlisted with Company F, Twenty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with which he served in the Civil War, as a duty sergeant, in the Army of the Cumberland, and which was a part of the army of General Thomas for the remainder of the war.

After the close of the Civil War, Thomas J. Potter returned to Greenville, Montcalm County, and shortly afterward entered the mercantile business as a member of the firm of Rider & Potter, a partnership which continued until 1871, when Mr. Potter purchased the interests of his partner and conducted the store as sole proprietor, for about two years.

In 1873, Mr. Potter disposed of his mercantile house and he engaged in the lumber business, in which he was successfully engaged until 1887, when he retired from the lumber business and since has devoted a part of his time to various pursuits, among which was his activity in the organization of the Commercial State Saving Bank, an institution of which Mr. Potter became the first president.

In addition to his other interests, Mr. Potter, during his active days, cared for and superintended the cultivation of his farm of one hundred and sixty acres, located in Fair Plains Township, this county.

Mr. Potter now has retired from active work and lives in a substantial brick residence, which he built at 220 West Cass Street, in 1873.

In April, 1867, Thomas J. Potter was married to Florence Moore, who was born in Ionia County, Michigan, in 1844.

To that marriage have been born seven children, two of whom died in infancy, the others being Evelyn, a graduate of the Greenville high school, and now the widow of John Grover;

Gertrude P.; Roy E., who after graduating from the Greenville high school, became a farmer of Montcalm county: Violet, who was graduated from the Greenville high school, now living at home, and Ellis J., a graduate of the Greenville high school, now an architect at Detroit.

Fraternally, Mr. Potter is one of the leading men of Montcalm County, being a member of Greenville Lodge No. 96, Free and Accepted Masons; he is a member of Greenville Chapter NO. 79, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is past high priest; Mr. Potter is a Shriner and a thirty-second degree Mason.

Mr. Potter also is active in the Grand Army of the Republic post at Greenville.

As an official and citizen, influential in political affairs of this community, Mr. Potter is well known, having served as a supervisor of this township, as township treasurer, as an alderman of Greenville, and for twelve years, he was president of the board of public works.

Politically, Mr. Potter is a Democrat.

 

RAYMOND A. BROWN.

Raymond A. Brown, prominent funeral director and embalmer, and a citizen active in the public life of Greenville, Montcalm county, was born at Plymouth, Wayne county, 2tlichiga11, on September 3, 1884, a son of A4mmon and Ada (Dickerson) Brown, who are farmers of Wayne county, and the parents of five children, of whom Raymond A., is the second born.

Raymond A. Brown was reared on the home farm and was educated in the public schools and at the high school of Plymouth, Michigan.

After the completion of his education, Mr. Brown was employed for two years with the signal department of the Pere Marquette Railway Company.

After which he engaged in the furniture business at Plymouth for about three years.

In November, 1908, Raymond A. Brown came to Greenville, Montcalm County, where he has since continued in the furniture business, together with caring for his extensive patronage as a licensed embalmer and funeral director.

As a business man, Mr. Brown is a member of the Miller and Harris Furniture Company, of which George Miller, of Hastings, is president; A. M. Hall, of Belding, vice-president, and RI. J. Brown, of Greenville, secretary and treasurer, the directors being the foregoing, with the addition of Raymond A. Brown.

The h4iller and Harris Furniture Company operate business houses at Hastings and at Belding, as well as at Greenville.

In May, 1908, Raymond A. Brown was married to Carrie Stewart, of Wayne County, Michigan, and to this marriage has been born one son, Lawrence, who is a student in the public schools of Greenville.

Mr. Brown and his wife are active members of the Methodist church at Greenville.

Raymond A. Brown has been active in the politics of Greenville and of Montcalm County for several years, his standing as a political worker king indicated by his election as president of the Greenville Republican Club.

Fraternally, Mr. Brown takes a prominent place in Greenville, king a member of Leroy Lodge No. 9, Knights of Pythias, a chapter of which he is past chancellor, as well as being a member of the grand lodge.

Mr. Brown is also a member of the Knights of the Maccabees lodge at Greenville.

As a citizen and as a business man, Raymond A. Brown holds an important and a highly-appreciated place in Greenville, his unselfish nature and his public-spirited interest in the welfare of the community, having given him a prominent place among the leaders of useful movements and activities in this community.

 

HARVEY W. RICE.

Harvey W. Rice, justice of the peace, Stanton, Michigan, was born in Franklin County, Massachusetts, May 14, 1832, son of Calvin M. and Aurelia (Walker) Rice, the parents being natives of that state; and of nine children born to them but three are living, namely: Harvey W.; Alonzo, of Ionia, Michigan; Aurelia, widow of John Fleming, Chicago; the deceased were Alvin, William, George, Ellen and Addison, the last named dying young, and Ellen died after her marriage to Eli Burrett.

The father, Calvin M. was reared in Massachusetts, and came to Ionia, Michigan, in 1836.

Prior to coming west he was in the clothing business, but here became a farmer in Easton Township, Ionia County, and owned eighty acres of land a part of which is now occupied as the site of Ionia city.

He improved the farm and there reared his family, dying there in 1885, aged over eighty-one years.

His wife, the mother of Harvey W., died in 1847.

They were amongst the earliest pioneers.

The father married a second time, and second wife was Mrs. Fidelia L. Thomas, a widow, also from Massachusetts, and by her had one child, Fidelia L., widow of David Jennings, and she resides at Sturgis, Michigan.

The paternal grandfather of Harvey W. died in Massachusetts, where his wife also died, after having reared a large family, Benjamin, Sarah, Charlotte, Calvin M., and others.

Likewise, the maternal grandparents died in Massachusetts.

They were farmers and reared a family, Aurelia being one, and others who died so long ago that their names are forgotten.

Harvey W. Rice from the time he was four years of age to nineteen, lived with his parents on the farm, and attended the old-fashioned subscription schools.

He then learned the carpenter trade, and followed it a number of years.

He went to California in 1860, by way of the Isthmus, and followed his trade there most of the time in conjunction with other pursuits, and in the autumn of 1861 returned to Ionia, Michigan, where he resided until 1867, when he came to Stanton, for permanent residence, a period of forty-eight years.

During the first nine years of his residence at Stanton he had a general store, and also operated lumber and milling business.

Then, for a number of years he was deputy and under-sheriff.

He was elected justice of the peace in 1893, and has held that office continuously since, except for one term.

In the meantime he has sold real estate and loaned money.

On September 20, 1854, he married Miss Phoebe J. Cheney, daughter of Elisha P. and Fanny Cheney, and one child was born to them, Estella F., who subsequently became the wife of Mortimer H. Bachman of Stanton.

They had two children, Clifton H. and Edna, the latter dying at the age of sixteen years.

Mrs. Harvey W. Rice is a member of the Congregational church.

She was born in New York State, October 14, 1833, they having lived together sixty-one years.

Her father was a native of the state of New York, and her mother of Massachusetts, but became early settlers in Ionia County, Michigan, coming there in 1844.

Her mother died in Ionia County, and her father in Stanton, Michigan.

Their children were Orson, Henry, Jane, Edward, Ann, Mercy, and Phoebe J.

Politically, Harvey W. Rice is a Republican, and in early days was president of the village board.

 

OSCAR C. MILLER.

Among those citizens who, active in the business and public activities of other days, have now retired to the more quiet walks of life, one of the best-known and most highly respected is Oscar C. Miller, who was born in Orin township, Oakland County, Michigan, on June 6, 1844, a son of Richard C. and Nancy (Carpenter) Miller, the former born in Connecticut, the latter in Massachusetts.

Richard C. Miller moved with his parents to New York State at an early age, and when ten years of age located with his parents at Detroit, Michigan, later, coming to Oakland County.

In Oakland County, the elder Miller was married to Nancy Carpenter, who came to Oakland County with her parents from her native state, and Richard C. Miller was a farmer in this County until 1854, when he and his family moved to Montcalm County.

After some years as a farmer in this County, the elder Miller came to Greenville, where he spent his last days, living in the house where his son, Oscar C., now lives.

Richard C. Miller died on April 5, 1898, and his wife died on May 15, 1898.

Richard C. Miller was a citizen who was prominent in the public and official affairs of his community, having served for ten years as treasurer of Fairplain Township; for forty years was superintendent of the poor of his township, and for two terms he was a member of the Michigan Legislature.

Richard C. and Nancy Miller were the parents of three children: Oscar C.; Chester A., a retired farmer, who is now engaged in loaning money in California; and Helen, who died at the age of twenty-three years.

Oscar C. Miller was ten years of age when his parents settled in Montcalm County.

After the completion of his education in the common schools of the County, he engaged in farming until 1874, when he went to live in Greenville, and opened a produce house, which he conducted for three years.

He then entered the shoe business, following that line of activity, for about thirty years, after which he returned to the produce field, operating a produce market with his son, for fifteen years, under the name of Miller & Miller.

For many years, Mr. Miller was also engaged in the shoe business, his firm name being O. C. Miller & Son.

During the year 1909, Oscar C. Miller retired from his active interest in the produce business and now lives a retired life, in Greenville, where he is one of the honored men of the town and locality.

During all those years he also operated a farm of three hundred and sixty acres near Greenville, and six hundred acres near Gowen, which he partly improved and later sold.

On November 25, 1879, Oscar C. Miller was married to Catherine Berridge, who was a childhood playmate of Mr. Miller.

Mrs. Miller moved to Oakland County, Michigan, when she was ten years of age.

Oscar C. and Catherine Miller are the parents of four children:

Charles M., who is vice-president and manager of the Commercial State Savings Bank of Greenville:

Ernest C., who is the proprietor of a shingle-mill at Aberdeen, Washington;

Ralph C., a farmer of Eureka Township, Montcalm County;

and Julia, who is the wife of Glenn Smith, a shoe merchant, of Greenville.

Oscar C. Miller is connected with some of the leading business enterprises of Greenville, being a stockholder of the Commercial State Savings Bank and a man who is interested in real estate in Greenville and elsewhere.

Mr. Miller also is the owner of a farm of ninety acres, in Eureka Township.

As a factor in the official life in Greenville and Montcalm County, Mr. Miller is well and favorably known, having served on the board of aldermen, at Greenville, and on the school board of the same town.

He was elected in 1915 as superintendent of the poor, for Montcalm County.

In politics, Mr. Miller is a Republican.

Oscar C. Miller is a deacon and for fifteen years has been a trustee of the Congregational Church, and he is a prominent member of Greenville Lodge No. 96, Free and Accepted Masons.

 

JAMES T. RIDLEY.

James T. Ridley, well-known business man and citizen, prominent in the public and official affairs of Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan, was born in Canada on November 19, 1863, a son of Thomas and Ann (Noble) Ridley, natives of England.

Thomas Ridley lived in his native country until he was a young man, when he came to America and settled in Canada, where he was married and where he engaged in farming for some time, he also having served for a period as an exciseman.

Thomas Ridley was active in the work and worship of the Church of England in his community, and was a man well-known for his part in the general life of the locality in which he resided.

The elder Ridley died in 1880; his wife died in 1870.

Thomas and Ann Ridley were the parents of nine children, of whom three survive, namely:

William, a farmer in Canada;

Elizabeth, who married a farmer in Canada, and James T., of this sketch.

James T. Ridley was reared on the home farm in Canada, was educated in the public schools of his locality, after which he helped his father on the farm until twenty-one years of age.

He then went to Dakota, where he worked on a farm for two years and then returned to Canada, there engaging in the egg business with David Hill.

After two years, Mr. Ridley went to New York City, where he spent one year in an egg commission house and then carne to Charlotte, Michigan, and became a partner in the firm of Young & Ridley.

In 1894 James T. Ridley came to Greenville, Montcalm County, and engaged in the egg business, first in a small way, but now, as a result of ability and resource, he has built up a large and lucrative trade in his line, being now the proprietor of the “Egg Emporium,” one of the best-known houses for the conduct of this line of business to be found in the community.

Mr. Ridley not only is the owner of his business and the building in which he operates it, but he is the owner of eighty acres of good farm land in Canada.

In 1894, James T. Ridley was married to Anna Ellico, who was born and educated in Canada.

No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ridley.

Mr. Ridley is known and prominent in fraternal circles, being a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modern Woodmen of America, Mr. Ridley being past chancellor and past venerable consul of the latter organization, and is generally regarded as one of the most esteemed citizens of Greenville, his activity and interest in the town and County, having won for him a place of honor in the community.

Politically, Mr. Ridley has been active and has taken an important part in Greenville affairs, for three terms having been a member of the Greenville city council.

In political affiliation, Mr. Ridley is a Republican, being a past president of the Greenville Republican Club.

 

CAPTAIN HENRY M. HEMSTEAD

Three generations of the Hempstead family have been honorably rep resented in the wars of this country.

Capt. Henry M. Hempstead, an old settler of Montcalm County and one of the best-known men hereabout, performed valiant service in behalf of the Union cause during the Civil War; his father was a doughty soldier during America’s second war of independence in 1812, and his grandfather was a no less valiant contender in behalf of independence for the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

Henry M. Hempstead was born in Williamstown, Oswego County, New York, on February 2, 1832, son of Col. William and Marriam (Hyatt) Hempstead, both natives of New York state, the former of whom was the son of Nathan Hempstead, a soldier in the patriot army during the Revolutionary War, who died at Frezonia, Chautauqua County, New York, at the age of ninety-three years, and whose wife lived to the age of ninety, having reared a large family, among their children records being preserved which name Isaac, Jonathan, James, William and Mrs. Esther Case.

Marriam Hyatt was the daughter of Gilbert Hyatt and wife, early settlers of Williamstown, New York, among whose children mention is made of Mrs. Esther Smith, Mrs. Hyman, Marriam, Robey and Aurelia.

Col. William Hempstead, who served as a soldier during the War of 1812, kept a tavern in Williamstown and also operated a foundry.

He died of pneumonia, after an illness of four days, in 1834, at the age of fifty-one years.

His widow survived him until 1865, her death occurring then at the age of seventy-three years.

They were the parents of eleven children, ten of whom lived to maturity, William Charles, Mary Ann, Edward James, Catherine, Mary, Jane, Laura, Isaac M., Elvin Arthur, Park and Henry M.

Henry M. Hempstead was but two years of age when his father died.

When he was twelve years of age his mother and her family moved to Oswego, where he grew to manhood, when twenty-two years of age he came to Michigan and located at Marshall, where he was a clerk in a store until 1855, in which year he went to Minnesota, locating at Stillwater, where he was a bookkeeper and general clerk in a lumber office in the pineries.

The man who employed him finally owed him the sum of twelve hundred dollars, which he was unable to collect on account of extensive losses on the part of the timberman, who, as “conscience money.”

Later gave him a note for five hundred dollars, which, owing to the panic time which ensued in 1857, proved worthless.

Thus deprived of the rewards of his labors, Mr. Hempstead returned to Marshall, not well pleased with the outcome of his Minnesota experience.

He resumed his former employment as a clerk in a store at Marshall and was there when the Civil War broke out.

On August 24, 1861, he enlisted in Company M, Second Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Francis W. Dickey, captain, which rendezvoused at Grand Rapids.

Going into the service as a sergeant, Henry M. Hempstead was promoted to second lieutenant in 186.3 and was mustered out with his regiment in 1865 with the rank of captain.

Captain Hempstead’s regiment participated in many of the most strenuous campaigns and hardest fought battles of the war and saw a great deal of active service.

After the close of the war, Captain Hempstead returned to Marshall and, in partnership with Tom Marshall, who was second lieutenant in the same company during the war, engaged in the grocery business.

In the fall of 1866, Captain Hempstead was elected to the important office of treasurer of Calhoun County and was twice re-elected to the same office, thus serving in all three terms, after which for a time he continued his valuable public service as deputy treasurer.

At the end of this service he bought the store in which he had first been employed upon locating at Marshall and for seven or eight years was engaged in the dry-goods business.

On account of the failing state of his wife’s health, he then decided to locate further north and went to Cheboygan, having previously contracted for a store room there.

Upon reaching his destination he found that the building was only half completed and he was compelled to store his merchandise in a warehouse for three months.

Dissatisfied with this arrangement, Captain Hempstead abandoned further thought of locating at Cheboygan and, in December, 1882, located at Stanton, this County, where for several years he was engaged as manager of the John Weatherwax store, after which he bought out the insurance business conducted by his employer’s brother and has been engaged successfully in the insurance business for the past twenty-five years, having made a name in that time as an active and energetic insurance man.

On May 5, 1864, Henry M. Hempstead was united in marriage to Martha A. Hammond, of Marshall, Michigan, daughter of John Hammond and wife, and to this union two children were born, Arthur H. and Henry M., Jr.

Arthur H. Hempstead is a successful business man, one of the best-known timber experts in the state of Michigan.

For over twenty years he was in the employ of a big lumber firm at Bay City, during which time he spent seven years in Canada, in that company’s interest, and is now manager for Merchon, Eddy & Parker Company at Saginaw.

He married Belle Ford and has two children, Helen E. and Henry M., the third.

Henry M. Hempstead, Jr., who married Lotta May Dunn, died on April 18. 1908.

Mrs. Martha A. Hempstead died on April 10, 1872, at the age of thirty-three years, arid on April 23, 1873, Hempstead married, secondly, Persis A. Hammond, his deceased wife’s sister, which union was without issue.

The second Mrs. Hempstead died on May 24, 1893, at the age of forty-seven.

Captain Hempstead is a Republican and for years has taken a warm interest in Stanton’s civic affairs and in the politics of Montcalm County generally.

For one term he served the public as city treasurer of Stanton and in other ways has given of his time to administrative affairs in the public service.

The Captain is one of the six remaining members of Stanton Post No. 176, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Michigan, and for many years has devoted his time and energies to the interests of that post.

Despite the fact that the snows of eighty-three winters have fallen upon the stalwart shoulders of Captain Hempstead, he is still active in business and vigorous physically and is accounted one of Stanton’s energetic and enterprising business men.

He has a very wide acquaintance throughout the County and is held in the highest esteem by all.

 

ARTHUR J. TAYLOR.

Arthur J. Taylor, County drain commissioner and a citizen who has been prominent in the agricultural and business circles, as well as taking a leading place in the public affairs of Montcalm township, Montcalm County, was born in Greenville, this County, on August 22, 1868, a son of William and Elsie (Hodge) Taylor, the former born October 30, 1834, in Staplehurst, England, a son of William and Sarah (Barden) Taylor; the latter born at Sherman, New York, in 1837, a daughter of Francis and Ann Hodge.

William Taylor received his early education in the schools of his native land, after which he came to America, with his parents, in July, 1848, completing his education in the schools of this country.

In 1868, after having been married on March 19, 1855, in Sherman, New York, to Elsie Jane Hodge, William Taylor moved to Montcalm County, and bought forty acres of land, which he improved and cultivated, a few years later, adding forty acres to his farm, which he cultivated as a general farmer until 1895, when he retired from agricultural activity and moved to Greenville, where he now lives.

On April 24, 1874, Elsie Jane, the wife of William Taylor, died, survived by her husband and five children: Anna, born on June 9, 1857; Rose, May 19, 1859; Lillian, February 14, 1861; William H., April 7, 1863, and Arthur J., August 22, 1868.

In 1895, Mr. Taylor was married to Mrs. Mary E. Stokes, no children being born to this union.

William Taylor is one of the best known men of the community, one who has been active as a citizen; taking his place in the official life of his township and County, during many years as a Republican and was elected as the candidate of his party to various offices, among which are those of road commissioner, school inspector and assessor.

As a church worker, the elder Taylor is well known and appreciated, having for more than sixty years served the Methodist church, his affiliation with the church, which started when he was but twenty-three years of age, Mr. Taylor believes to be one of the best acts of his life.

Not only is William Taylor a prominent member of the Methodist church, but his wife and all of his children are active in its affairs.

Fraternally, William Taylor is a member of the Montcalm Grange, he having affiliated himself with this organization in 1874, since which time he has served in nearly all of the offices and now is the honored chaplain of this order.

Arthur J. Taylor received a limited education in the schools of Greenville, near where he was reared on the home farm.

After his school days, Mr. Taylor worked as a farmer on the place of his father for some time, also spending a few winters in the lumber camps of the vicinity.

Following his agricultural life at home, in 1905, he came to Stanton, Montcalm County, and engaged in the hardware and implement business, being associated with John Stearns in this line, until 1908, when Mr. Taylor purchased the interest of Mr. Stearns, after which he conducted the business as sole proprietor until 1910, when he became a salesman for lightning rods, continuing in this business until 1912.

In 1912, Arthur J. Taylor was elected to the office of drain commissioner of Montcalm County, which office he now serves, his ability and efficiency in this capacity resulting in the construction of the noted Butternut creek drain, which was constructed successfully regardless of strong opposition.

Politically, Mr. Taylor is a Republican.

In 1890, Arthur J. Taylor was married to Myrta Van Wyck, a native of Michigan, and to this marriage have been born two children: Elsie, who after completing her education at the Stanton high school, became a school teacher, for two years, until her marriage to Raymond Slankar, of Detroit, and Arthur C., a graduate of the Stanton high school, formerly a school teacher, now an employee of the Northway Motor Company, of Detroit.

Arthur J. Taylor is a prominent member of the Methodist church, at Stanton, and is now serving as a trustee, and for many years before coming to Stanton he was superintendent of the Sunday school of the Methodist church at Greenville.

Mr. Taylor is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Stanton, and is a member of the Montcalm Arbor of Gleaners in Sidney Township, a chapter of which Mr. Taylor is a charter member.

 

R. Arthur Carothers

On another page in this page, in connection with the sketch of Newton W. Newhouse, veteran editor of the Stanton Clipper-Herald, there is resented a narrative of the manner in which the newspaper with which Mr. Carothers has been so long connected, came to have its hyphenated name, and it will therefore not be necessary to go into further details in that regard, nor further to present the history of these two old papers, the Herald and the Clipper, in this County.

Mr. Carothers, who is one of the best-known newspaper

men in this part of the state, has been connected with the Clipper, with the exception of a few years, since he was sixteen years of age and has been one of the publishers of the same since spring, 1913, at which time he formed his present partnership with Mr. Newhouse, who had been editor of the Clipper for years and who at that time consolidated it with the Herald, the office of which latter paper had about that time suffered a disastrous loss by fire.

R. Arthur Carothers was born in North Star Township, Gratiot County, Michigan, January 28, 1876, son of James W. and Mary L. (Litle) Carothers, the former of whom was born in Franklin, Lenawee County, this state, and the latter in Canada.

James W. Carothers, who died at his home in Stanton, this County, on April 14, 1915, was born on July 10, 1843, and was one of a family of six children, two sons and four daughters, all of whom have departed this life, the father dying when James was but four years of age.

Before he was twenty-one years of age, James W. Carothers ran away from home and enlisted in Company A., Eleventh Michigan Cavalry, being enrolled on August 31, 1864, to serve for one year or during the continuance of the war, and was honorably discharged on June 16, 1865, during the meantime having endured many hardships, including incarceration in the Libby prison for about three months, during which time he nearly starved to death.

On December 30, 1871, James W. Carothers was united in marriage in Hillsdale County, Michigan, to Mary L. Litle, who was born in Canada on June 22, 1846, daughter of Ralph and Maranda (Purchase) Litle, natives of Canada and New York respectively, and early settlers in Hillsdale County, this state, who later moved to Gratiot County and still later to Stanton, this County, where both died, the former at the age of eighty and the latter at the age of eighty-six years.

They were the parents of eight children, Samuel L., Mrs. Hulda Cortright.

William L., Mrs. Harriet Fennel, Joseph H., Mary L., who married Mr. Carothers, Mrs. Roxana Miner, and John, the latter died in infancy.

After residing in Saginaw and Gratiot counties a few years, Mr. Carothers and his family came to Montcalm County and located in Stanton, where he built a home, which he occupied until his death.

He was a very active, hard-working man and was always busy.

He stuck to his post as long as he was able to go.

At different times for nearly six years before his death, Mr. Carothers served as night watchman on the street for the city of Stanton and this service he kept up to within about a month of his death in the spring of 1915.

The day before his death he called his wife and children to his bedside and requested them not to mourn.

He was prepared for death and went calmly and in a spirit of complete resignation.

Besides his widow, who survives, at the age of sixty-nine years, Mr. Carothers left three sons, George H., R. Arthur and Charles H., all of Stanton.

Barton Carothers, father of James W., was born at Clarkson, New York, on March 29, 1811.

He married Polly Carothers on January 1, 1840, at Rome, Lenawee County, Michigan.

They resided on a homestead in that County until his death, which occurred on December 8, 1845.

Polly Carothers was born at Lyons, Wayne County, New York, on December 13, 1815.

Mr. and Mrs. Barton Carothers were the parents of the following children:

Robert P., born on January 30, 1841, at Lenawee County; James W., July 10, 1843, at Lenawee County, and Ellin M., October 22, 1845, at Lenawee County.

Polly Carothers was afterward married to James T. Bassett.

To this union were born three daughters: Mary C. at Jefferson, Hillsdale County, Michigan, on October 15. 1850, and Mary Jane and Sarah Jane, twins, at Jefferson, on March 15, 1854.

Ralph Litle was born in Canada, January 31, 1811.

He followed the cooper and shoemaking business for a number of years, but after his marriage to Maranda Purchase he moved to Hillsdale County, Michigan, and engaged in farming for about twenty years.

He then moved to Gratiot County, Michigan, where he purchased a farm, remaining on same until too old to work the land.

Mr. Litle and wife then came to Stanton to reside with their daughter, Mrs. James W. Carothers.

Mr. Litle’s parents, Joseph and Jane (Laighton) Litle, were born in England and Scotland, respectively.

They had two sons and five daughters.

Maranda (Purchase) Litle was the daughter of Samuel and Huldah (Parshal) Purchase and was born at Phelpstown, New York, December 12, 1816.

She had five brothers and one sister.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Litle are: Samuel L., William L., Huldah J., Joseph H., Harriet A., Mary L., Roxana and John.

The latter died in infancy, but the remaining sons and daughters married and raised families; twenty children being born in the seven families, twelve of whom are still living.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Litle both died at the home of their daughter, Mrs. J. W. Carothers, in Stanton.

He departed this life on January 23, 1892, at the age of eighty years, eleven months and twenty-three days.

She passed away on September 22, 1901, at the advanced age of eighty-five years, nine months and ten days.

R. Arthur Carothers was four years of age when his parents moved to Stanton and he has lived in that city ever since.

He attended the public schools in his early youth and at the age of sixteen began to learn the printer’s trade in the office of the Stanton Clipper, with which paper he has been actively connected for fifteen years.

Upon the consolidation of the Clipper and the Herald, under the name of the Clipper-Herald, on April 1, 1913, he became a full partner with Mr. Newhouse in the publication of the paper and has been thus engaged since that time.

On June 21, 1900, R. Arthur Carothers was united in marriage to Maude B. White, who was born in Genesee County, this state, on October 8, 1882, daughter of the Rev. John N. and Ella (Wilder) White, the former of whom also was born in Genesee County and the latter in Carlton, New York, born June 29, 1850, but who had lived in Genesee County nearly all her life.

Rev. John N. White was the son of Alpheus, born in Oakland County, Michigan, and Samantha (Root) White, she a native of New York state, and pioneers of Genesee County, this state, where the former died at an advanced age, his widow still living, at the age of ninety years, making her home in Stanton.

Later, on November 25, 1894, Mrs. Samantha (Root) White was married to William H. Stevens, an old pioneer of Montcalm County and for forty years a resident of Stanton.

He was born in the state of Connecticut on October 18, 1823, and came to Michigan with his parents when a small boy, locating near Salem, Washtenaw County.

He afterward moved to Bushnell Township, this County and in 1869 located in Stanton.

Mr. Stevens engaged in the saw-mill and grist-mill business here for a number of years and also built a four-story brick building on Main Street.

Here he carried on a hotel and opera house business for years.

In many respects he was a very peculiar man, although he had some extra good qualities, a hard worker and had succeeded in amassing considerable property, although spending a snug fortune in the courts of Montcalm County.

Mr. Stevens died April I, 1909, and was laid to rest in the Bushnell cemetery, beside the remains of his first wife, who was a sister of his late widow.

She and her first husband were the parents of seven children, Mina E., Lemuel E., John N., Mary E., Nathan I., Huldah E. and James D.

The Rev. John N. White was a promising young minister of the Free Methodist church, in which communion he was a presiding elder, but whose promising career was cut short by death in 1892, on June 12, at Grand Rapids, Michigan, he being then but thirty-eight years of age.

His wife died on January 2, 1888, at the age of thirty-eight.

An infant of six weeks also died at same time.

Elliott S. Wilder was born at Fairhaven, Vermont, April 21, 1806.

His wife’s maiden name was Sylvia Gilkey, born at Lock, Cayuga County, New York, on August 1, 1814.

They were married 1832.

The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Carothers were Elliott S. Wilder and wife, natives of New York state and early settlers at Atlas, Michigan.

Among their children was one son, Hamilton Wilder, who died in Andersonville prison during the Civil War, their other children having been Lina, Eva, Helen, Sarah, Wilbur and Ella.

The remaining son, Wilbur, is at present stationed at Fort Myer, Virginia, as Colonel Wilder.

To R. Arthur and Maude B. (White) Carothers two children have been born, Marjorie C. and Glen C.

Mr. and Mrs. Carothers are interested in the social activities of Stanton and are held in high regard by their many friends thereabout.

Mr. Carothers is a Republican and for three years served the public as city clerk of Stanton, for one year as alderman, and for four years served as supervisor.

He is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge at Stanton and is attached to the encampment of that order.

Mrs. Carothers was left an orphan at the age of ten years and was raised by her grandmother, Mrs. William H. Stevens, coming to Stanton from Genesee County with her grandmother when she was eleven years of age, and has made Stanton her home ever since.

Mrs. Carothers is a member of the Daughters of Rebekah, the woman’s auxiliary of the Odd Fellows, and is a regular attendant of the Methodist church in the city where she lives.

 

CLAIR W. WEEKS.

Clair W. Weeks, a well-known business man, who is the proprietor and operator of the Weeks monument works, of Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan, was born near Belding, Michigan, on August 23, 1878, a son of Leonard H. and Elizabeth (Slawson) Weeks, the former born at Lowell, Kent County, Michigan, the latter near Watkins Glenn, in Tompkins County, New York, from which place she lived with her parents, to Wisconsin,  thence to Missouri, and from there to near Cooks Corners, Kent County, Michigan.

Following their marriage, Leonard H. and Elizabeth Weeks lived on a farm in Ionia County, until 1891, when they lived to Belding, Ionia County, where the elder Weeks, is now a stock buyer.

Leonard H. and Elizabeth Weeks are the parents of three children: Guy, of Saginaw, Michigan, who is a traveling engineer for the Pere Marquette Railway Company; Ora, who is the wife of L. M. Sagendorf, a hardware merchant of Greenville, and Clair W.

Clair W. Weeks was educated in the common schools of Ionia County and at the Belding high school, after which he learned the trade of a stonecutter.

At this occupation, Mr. Weeks continued at his trade at Gratiot, until 1910, when he came to Greenville, Montcalm County, and established his monument business at this place, erecting a building for his work, and where he now is successfully engaged in the conduct of his business.

Clair W. Weeks was married to Jessie Herrick, who was born at Trufant, Michigan, and to this marriage was born one child, Jessie, the mother dying at the time of the birth of this child.

On December 27, 1905, Mr. Weeks was married to Mary E. Shell, who was born in Alpena, County, Michigan, and to this marriage have been born four children: Lawrence, Irene, Lucy and Helen.

Mrs. Weeks is a communicant of the Catholic Church.

Clair W. Weeks is a member of LeRoy Lodge No. 9, Knights of Pythias, and is a member of Lodge No. 47, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

In politics, Mr. Weeks is independent of party.

 

JOHN LEWIS.

John Lewis, vice-president and general manager of the Gibson Refrigerator Company, and a citizen prominent in the industrial activities of Greenville, Montcalm County, was born in Cheltenham, England, on April 19, 1854, and lived in his native country until after the completion of his education at Northampton, England, and then, in October, 1873, after his marriage, came to America.

On reaching America, John Lewis made his home at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for two years and in 1875 went to Chicago, where, one year later, he engaged in the refrigerator business.

In 1884 Mr. Lewis moved to Belding, Ionia County, Michigan, and became associated with the Belding Manufacturing Company, with whom he remained until 1892, when he came to Greenville, Montcalm county, and together with E. & C. T. Ranney, organized the Ranney Refrigerator Company.

In November, 1909, Mr. Lewis severed his connection with the Ranney Manufacturing Company and organized the Gibson Refrigerator Company, a corporation of which he is vice-president and general manager.

As a manufacturer of refrigerators, Mr. Lewis is one of the best known men of the country and it is said that lie is the oldest active refrigerator manufacturer in the United States.

John Lewis, while a citizen of England, was married to Lucy M. Bronson, a daughter of John Bronson, who in 1856, was the manager of the Edward Malley Company, one of the largest department stores of New Haven, Connecticut.

To the marriage of John and Lucy Lewis have been born seven children:

J. Frank, of Baltimore; Dr. G. H. Lewis, a graduate of the University of Michigan, now practicing his profession at Cleveland, Ohio; Fred S., of Polsbo, Washington; Alan G., who is private secretary to Harry E. Converse, of Massachusetts; Wilburn B., who is a graduate of Western Reserve University; Edna, who lives at home; and Gertrude, the wife of Dr. W. R. Lyman, of Massachusetts.

John Lewis and his family are members of the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Lewis is a member of Greenville Lodge No. 96, Free and Accepted Masons, having served as master of the blue lodge, and is a member of Chapter No. 79, Royal Arch Masons.

In politics, Mr. Lewis is independent of party.