Judge Isaac Grant.

Deeply interested in the growth and advancement of his home community, Judge Isaac Grant holds a place of note in Reed City, where he has served with ability and fidelity in the various offices of trust and responsibility to which he has been elected by his fellow-townsmen.

A son of Charles Grant, he was born in Saint Johns, Clinton county, Michigan, June 25, 1846.

His paternal grandfather, Dr. Isaac Grant, was born and bred in Massachusetts, and was there educated for the medical profession.

He subsequently located in Michigan as a practicing physician, and spent his last days in Albion.

He was of pure Scotch ancestry, the descendant of the same emigrant ancestor as the late General U. S. Grant, said ancestor having been one of three brothers that emigrated to New England from Scotland in Colonial days.

Mr. Grant's grandfather was a sergeant in the Revolutionary war, going out from Massachusetts and serving all through the war.

He was taken prisoner at New York and put on the old prison ship, and was one of only four of the original number of one hundred and twenty-five that came out alive after being on the boat.

His name was also Isaac Grant.

Charles Grant was born in Massachusetts, and there educated.

In 1836, while Michigan was still under territorial government, he came here in search of a favorable location, and after spending a while in Detroit and in Iona, took up a tract of wild land in Saint Johns, Clinton county.

Felling the giant progeny of the forest, he cleared and improved a homestead from the wilderness, and was there employed as a carpenter, builder and farmer until his death, at the venerable age of ninety-two years.

He served as a soldier in the war of 1812, being captain of a company raised in New York state.

He married Emeline Gilbert, who was born in New York state, a daughter of Isaac Gilbert, who was, likewise, of Scotch descent.

She lived to a ripe old age, her death, when ninety-one years old, being caused by an accident.

She was his second wife, and of their seven children Isaac, the subject of this sketch, was the fourth child in succession of birth.

By his first marriage Charles Grant reared four children.

Receiving a practical education in the public schools of Saint Johns, Isaac Grant remained beneath the parental roof-tree until 1863, when, on October 2, he enlisted in Company I, Tenth Michigan Volunteer Cavalry, as a private, and served until the close of the war, being honorably discharged November 11, 1865, as sergeant of his company.

During his service, he took an active part in fifty-two different engagements, some of them mere skirmishes and some hotly-contested battles, but he was never wounded, receiving not even a scratch.

Returning to Saint Johns, Mr. Grant was there engaged, with the exception of one winter spent in the pine woods, as a farmer until 1868.

Marrying in that year, Daney Clark, he located in Saint Louis, Gratiot county, Michigan, where he was in the flour and feed business two years.

Going to Mount Pleasant, Michigan, in 1870, he was there a general merchant for two years, when, in 1872, he moved with his family to Baldwin, Lake county, and, in addition to his mercantile business he engaged in lumbering and contracting.

While there, in 1874, Mr. Grant was elected sheriff of Lake county, a position which he filled two years.

In 1880 he was again elected sheriff, and served another term of two years in that capacity.

He was subsequently in the livery business there for about nine months, but in September, 1883, he transferred his business and residence to Reed City, and continued as a liveryman for a year.

Embarking then in the lumber, Hour and milling business, he met with deserved success in his operations, continuing until 1908.

Elected judge of probate in 1904, he served acceptably for four years.

In 1909, when his judgeship expired, Judge Grant, who had disposed of his milling interests the previous year, was elected assessor of Reed City.

He still holds that position, and is also justice of the peace and notary public.

He deals extensively in real estate, and is the owner of considerable property of value.

Judge Grant married, October 25, 1868, Daney Clark, and into their household six children have been born, namely:

  • Rena M.;
  • Alda M.;
  • Clark D., deceased;
  • Howard;
  • Anna; and Harold.

Politically the Judge has been a life-long Republican and a faithful supporter of the principles of his party.

He is a member of General I. C. Smith Post, No. 451, G. A. R., Department of Michigan, and belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Modern Woodmen of America.

 

John D. Potter.

One of the sterling pioneers and prominent and influential business men of the city of Alpena is John D. Potter, who is one of the interested principals in the Potter Hardware Company, one of the representative and important commercial concerns of this section of the state.

Like many others of the leading citizens of northern Michigan Mr. Potter claims the province of Ontario, Canada, as the place of his nativity, and he is a son of Thomas and Margaret (Duncan) Potter, the former of English and the latter of Scottish ancestry.

Concerning the family history adequate data appear in the sketch of James J. Potter, brother and business associate of the subject of this review, and as the article in question is incorporated on other pages of this volume it is not necessary to repeat the information in the present connection.

John D. Potter was born in the city of London, Middlesex county, Ontario, on the 22nd of September, 1846, and accompanying the family on their removal to Port Huron, Michigan, he received his early education in its common schools of the pioneer days.

After leaving school he was variously employed, principally in connection with the lumber industry, until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he subordinated all other interests to tender his services in defense of the Union.

He enlisted, on the 19th of August, 1864, as a private in Company H, Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and he was mustered in at Pontiac.

His regiment was assigned to the Southwestern Army, and later was reorganized, at Decatur.

Alabama, where it became a part of the Fourth Army Corps and was commanded by General Stanley.

Mr. Potter had taken up his residence in Alpena in July, 1862, and here his enlistment was made at a recruiting headquarters.

He continued in active service in the southwest for some time after the surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston, and received his honorable discharge in the city of Detroit, Michigan, in June. 1866.

He lived up to the full tension of the great conflict between the north and south and participated in all the battles and skirmishes in which his regiment was involved, including the battles of Murfreesboro and Nashville.

In November, 1865, he was promoted second lieutenant of his company, and in January of the following year further recognition of his gallant and faithful service was accorded by his being promoted first lieutenant, while in Texas.

After the close of his military career Mr. Potter returned to Alpena and again identified himself with the extensive lumbering operations that were then being carried on in this section of the state.

He served for some time as log scaler and later became superintendent of a saw mill, which position he held until 1869, when he became associated with his brother James J. in the hardware business in Alpena, where he purchased the interest of his brother E. K., who had been one of the founders of the enterprise.

Keeping in touch with the march of progress, the firm of Potter Brothers built up a large and prosperous business, and prior to the decline of the lumber industry a large trade was controlled in furnishing supplies demanded in connection with that line of enterprise.

The business has been both wholesale and retail in its functions and the house is now one of the oldest, most substantial and most popular of its kind in the entire northern part of the state, while the two pioneer citizens who have so long been at its head have gained and retained the unqualified confidence and respect of all with whom they have had dealings or have come into contact in other relations.

The business was continued under the firm name of Potter Brothers until November, 1909, when it was found expedient to incorporate the same, under the present title of the Potter Hardware Company.

John D. Potter has not only been a business man of most careful and progressive methods, but he has also been known as a man of utmost civic loyalty and liberality,—ever ready to lend his influence and aid in support of measures projected for the general good of the city and county in which he has so long maintained his home.

In politics, though never an aspirant for public office, he accords a staunch allegiance to the Republican party, and both he and his wife are earnest and valued members of the Congregational church in Alpena.

Here also he perpetuates the more gracious memories of his career as a soldier of the Union by retaining membership in Horace S. Roberts Post, No. 139, Grand Army of the Republic.

He is an appreciative member of the time honored Masonic fraternity, in which his local affiliations are with Alpena Lodge, No. 199, Free & Accepted Masons; Thunder Bay Chapter, No. 74, Royal Arch Masons; and Alpena Commandery, No. 34, Knights Templars.

In the adjunct organization, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, he has "crossed the burning sands of the desert" and proved himself eligible for membership in Muslim Temple, in the city of Detroit.

On the 23rd of September, 1868, Mr. Potter was united in marriage to Miss Frances E. Palmer, who was at the time a resident of Alpena, Michigan.

She was born at Cooperstown, New York, and is the second in order of birth of the four children of Robert and Elizabeth (French) Palmer, both of whom were born in the state of New York.

The father was a pioneer lumberman of northern New York state, and while thus engaged he met an accidental death, about the year 1864.

His widow is still living, at the venerable age of eighty-six years (1911) and maintains her home in Wellsville, New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Potter have three daughters,—Ida, who is the wife of Alexander M. Marshall, of Duluth, Minnesota; and Emma E. and Mabel G., who remain at the parental home.

 

Colonel George W. Dickinson

Colonel George W. Dickinson, who has been incumbent of the office of county clerk of Emmet county for nearly a score of years, is one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of this county and he may well be designated one of its pioneers, as he has here maintained his home for nearly half a century, within which he has witnessed and aided materially in the development and up-building of this favored section of the state.

He has held various offices of public trust and has shown the highest type of civic loyalty, even as his patriotism and loyalty were insistently manifested through his long and valiant service as a soldier of the Union in the great conflict through which the integrity of the nation was perpetuated..

Through gallant and meritorious service he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and he lived up to the full tension of the weary and sanguinary struggle between the north and the south.

He was in active service during practically the entire period of the war and his record as a soldier and officer is one that gives lasting honor to his name.

As a broad-minded, progressive and liberal citizen he has ever done his part in furthering those measures and enterprises that have compassed the development of the fine county in which he has so long maintained his home, and his official headquarters are in the city of Petoskey, which is now the judicial center of Emmet county.

He formerly resided in the beautiful little city of Harbor Springs, about ten miles distant from Petoskey, on the shore of the fine Little Traverse bay, and the latter place was originally the county seat.

In this history of northern Michigan and its representative citizens there is all of consistency in according a tribute to the honored pioneer whose name initiates this paragraph and whose friends in this section of the state are equal in number to his acquaintances.

Colonel Dickinson finds a due measure of pride in reverting to the fine old Buckeye state as the place of his nativity, and he can well appreciate the humorous paraphrase of a familiar quotation as offered by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew in one of his characteristic addresses: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some are born in Ohio." The colonel was born on a farm in Johnson township.

Trumbull county, Ohio, on the 5th of October, 1841, and is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of the historic old Western Reserve.

He is the only son of Elisha and Caroline (Bates) Dickinson, and of the other two children one died young, the firstborn having been Jeanette, who is the widow of Webster Beaman and who now resides at Cleveland.

Elisha Dickinson was born in Connecticut and the family, of staunch English lineage, was founded in New England in the early colonial epoch of our national history.

Elisha Dickinson was a son of Philip Dickinson, who likewise was a native of the fine old state of Connecticut, whence he immigrated with his family to the Connecticut Western Reserve in Ohio in the year 1825; he became one of the pioneer settlers of Trumbull county, where he reclaimed a farm from the wilderness and where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1858, his devoted wife having likewise died in that county.

Elisha Dickinson was a youth at the time of the family removal to Ohio and he there gained his full quota of experience in connection with the labors and conditions of the pioneer days.

He eventually became one of the prosperous agriculturists of Trumbull county and his success was the direct result of his own industry and careful management of his affairs.

He was a man of strong mentality and his life was guided and governed by the highest principles of integrity and honor, so that he was naturally qualified for leadership in thought and action.

He was influential in public affairs of a local order and was called upon to serve in various offices of trust in his home county, where he continued to be actively identified with the great basic industry of agriculture until about a decade before his death, which occurred at the home of his only son, Colonel Dickinson, at Harbor Springs, Michigan, on the 3d of November, 1893, at which time he was eighty-three years of age.

His loved and devoted wife, a woman of most gentle and gracious personality, preceded him to eternal rest by nearly a decade, as her death occurred in 1884, on the old homestead farm in Trumbull county, Ohio.

She was about seventy years of age when she thus passed forward to the "land of the leal," and both she and her husband were zealous members of the Disciple church.

In politics Elisha Dickinson was originally an old-line Whig, but he transferred his allegiance to the Republican party at the time of its organization and ever afterward continued a stalwart supporter of its cause.

He was a staunch abolitionist in the period leading up to the Civil war and during the progress of that conflict he did all in his power to support the cause of the Union.

In the pioneer days in Ohio he assisted in the construction of the state road from Warren, Trumbull county, to Erie, Pennsylvania, and he was otherwise prominent in the furthering of measures for the general good of the community.

Colonel Dickinson was reared to the sturdy discipline of the old homestead farm on which he was ushered into the world and he continued to assist in its work and management until he heeded the call of higher duty and went forth as a soldier of the Union.

In the meanwhile he had duly availed himself of the advantages afforded in the common schools, and thus he laid the foundation for the broad and accurate knowledge which he later gained through self-discipline and varied experiences in connection with the practical activities of life.

When it became evident that civil war was to be precipitated upon a divided nation Colonel Dickinson, who was at the time not twenty years of age, determined that the Union army should have his services as soon as war was declared.

Even before hostilities were instituted, by the attack on old Fort Sumter, he had enlisted in the United States regular army, on the 15th of August, 1860, and he was assigned to Battery E, Third United States Artillery, with which he served until March 5, 1862, when he received his honorable discharge.

He forthwith identified himself with the volunteer service, and concerning his military career thereafter the writer of the present article has previously given the following succinct account:

"Upon leaving the regular army Colonel Dickinson became identified with the recruiting service, in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, where, on the 15th of October, 1862, he was commissioned second lieutenant of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

On the 29th of the following January he was promoted captain, and on the 25th of July, 1864, he received commission as major of this regiment, of which he became lieutenant colonel on the 12th of the following November.

His command was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and he took part in many of the important battles of the great internecine conflict, among the more noteworthy being the following named: Bristow Station, Sulphur Springs, Mine Run, Todd's Tavern, Bottom's Bridge, Cold Harbor, St. Mary's Church, Malvern Hill and Weldon Railroad.

He was with his regiment during the ever memorable Wilderness campaign and participated in the sanguinary battle of Gettysburg.

His fidelity to duty was proverbial and his enthusiasm unflagging, so that he ever held the confidence and high regard of the members of his command and proved a most zealous and able officer.

Physical disability compelled his retirement from active service shortly before the close of the war, and he received his honorable discharge, in the city of Washington, IX C., on the 20th of February, 1865."

After the close of the war Colonel Dickinson continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits in his native county about one year and he then located in Warren, the county seat, where he engaged in the coal business, with which he there continued to be successfully concerned until 1870, when he was elected sheriff of Trumbull county,— a preferment well indicating the high regard in which he was held in his native county.

He retained this office four years and shortly after his retirement therefrom he came to northern Michigan and established his home at Harbor Springs, which was then the judicial center of Emmet county.

Here he took up his abode in May, 1875, and in the following year he here erected the Emmet House, which hotel he successfully conducted for several years, after which he was engaged in the livery business for some time.

In 1879 Colonel Dickinson found again an opportunity to exercise the functions of the shrievalty, as in that year he was elected sheriff of Emmet county.

The best voucher for the efficiency and acceptability of his services in this capacity was that given by his election as his own successor, in 1881, and he thus continued incumbent of the office for four consecutive years.

After his retirement he gave his attention principally to the management of his livery business until 1894, when he was again accorded distinctive mark of popular confidence and esteem, in his election to the office of county clerk, and by successive re-elections he has continued incumbent of this important position during the long intervening years, which have shown on his part a most scrupulous consideration of the interest of the county and its people, the while his administration has been admirable in every respect, as is emphatically shown by his long retention of office.

From the time of attaining to his legal majority Colonel Dickinson has been an uncompromising advocate and supporter of the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor, and he cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln while he was with his regiment in front of Petersburg, just after the second attack on that Confederate stronghold.

He is well fortified in his opinions as to matters of public polity, has been a zealous worker in behalf of the cause of the '' grand old party'' and as a citizen has given his co-operation in the furtherance of measures that have tended to advance the general welfare of the community along civic and material lines.

He has ever retained a deep interest in his old comrades in arms and signifies the same by his membership in I. B. Richardson Post No. 13, Grand Army of the Republic, in Harbor Springs, of which staunch organization he has served several terms as commander.

In the time-honored Masonic fraternity his affiliations are here briefly noted: Harbor Springs Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons; Emmet Chapter, No. 104, Royal Arch Masons; and Ivanhoe Commandery, No. 36. Knights Templar.

He is also a valued member of Petoskey Lodge, No. 629, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and holds membership in the local organization of the Knights of Pythias.

In the year 1862 was solemnized the marriage of Colonel Dickinson to Miss Agnes Elder, who was born and reared in Trumbull county, Ohio, where her parents established their home in the pioneer days.

The wife of his youth remained Colonel Dickinson's devoted companion and help-meet for a period of thirty years but the gracious relations were severed when she was summoned to eternal rest, at Harbor Springs, on the 2nd of October, 1893, secure in the affectionate regard of all who had come within the sphere of her gentle and gracious influence.

She was survived by three daughters,—Caroline M., who is the wife of Wade B. Smith, of Petoskey; Margaret D., who became the wife of Walter Tillotson and who died at her home in Grand Rapids, in 1907; and Susan G., who is the wife of Dr. Hugh W. Dicken, a representative physician and surgeon of East Jordon, Charlevoix county.

On the 17th of December, 1895, Colonel Dickinson contracted a second marriage, by his union with Mrs. Sarah M. (Hill) Rigg, widow of the late Richard Rigg, of Harbor Springs.

Mrs. Dickinson was born in Ohio, and was reared and educated in her native state.

She is a woman of gracious personality and is a popular factor in the social activities of her home city.

No children have been born of the second marriage.

Captain Benjamin F. Oakes

Captain Benjamin F. Oakes

Capt. Benjamin F. Oakes, who is now efficiently filling the office of postmaster of East Tawas, Iosco county, Michigan, is a noble old veteran of the Civil war, in which he served for four years with all of gallantry and faithfulness.

He was born in the state of Maine, the date of his nativity being June 22, 1838, and he is a son of Nathan and Martha (Hewey) Oakes, both of whom lived and died in the Old Pine Tree state, where the father was long identified with lumbering pursuits.

Captain Oakes was the first in order of birth in a family of four children and he received his educational training in the public schools of his native place, the same including a course in the local high school.

After leaving school he became interested in the lumber industry and in 1857, when but nineteen years of age, he became pilot on the Penobscot river.

In 1862, after the dark cloud of Civil war had obscured the national horizon, Captain Oakes became fired with an unquenchable patriotism to defend the Union for which his ancestors had fought and he accordingly enlisted as a soldier in Company I, Eighteenth Maine Volunteer Infantry.

This regiment was subsequently transferred into the First Maine Heavy Artillery.

From the first Captain Oakes' promotion was sure and rapid; in November, 1862, he was raised from corporal to sergeant; in February, 1864, he was commissioned second lieutenant; in April, 1864, first lieutenant and in November, 1864, he was advanced to the rank of captain of his company.

The First Maine Heavy Artillery passed through the most trying ordeals and suffered a greater loss than any other regiment in the Union service.

At Spottsylvania were lost five hundred and thirty-five men in killed and wounded; in front of Petersburg the loss was six hundred and four men.

Captain Oakes was struck twice by bullets but in both instances he escaped serious injuries, never being incapacitated for service.

After a most strenuous military career he was honorably discharged as captain of Company L and was mustered out of service on the 12th of September, 1865.

He retains a deep and abiding interest in his old comrades in arms and indicates the same by membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he is past commander of G. K. Warren Post, of which he is now adjutant.

After the close of the war Captain Oakes returned to his old home in Maine, where he resumed his position as river pilot.

About the year 1865 he removed to the northern part of Maine, where he was engaged in the mercantile business for a number of years and where he later turned his attention to farming.

In 1876 he moved westward to Michigan, locating at East Tawas, where he became associated with the firm of Emry Brothers, extensive lumber operators, he being manager in their absence.

He continued in their employ for a period of fourteen years, at the expiration of which he became interested in the insurance business, in which he was engaged for four years.

In 1899, under the regime of President McKinley, he was appointed postmaster of East Tawas and he has continued incumbent of that position, by successive re-appointments, during the intervening years to the present time, in 1911.

In politics Captain Oakes accords an uncompromising allegiance to the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor and in East Tawas he is recognized as an essentially loyal and progressive citizen and as one who is much interested in all projects advanced for the general welfare.

Although Captain Oakes has attained to the venerable age of seventy-two years, he is still alert and active, his physical and mental powers remaining practically unmarred by the encroachments of old age.

He is a man whose straightforward, honorable principles, as combined with an exemplary life, have made an indelible impress upon the hearts of his fellow men, who accord him unalloyed confidence and esteem.

In the Scottish Rite branch of the grand old Masonic order he has attained to the thirty-second degree and he is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias.

His religious faith is in harmony with the tenets of the Universalist church.

In Maine, in the year 1869, was recorded the marriage of Captain Oakes to Miss Charlotte K. Valley, who was born and reared in that state and who is now a woman of sixty-one years.

To this union were born four children, namely: Louise, who is now the wife of W. B. Murry, and who maintains her home at East Tawas; Herbert K., who is general manager for a fleet of coal and iron carriers on the Great Lakes at Cleveland; Stella M., assistant postmistress, and Frank C, who lives at Onaway.

 

Albert F. Ruch.

An honored veteran of the Civil war and one of Petoskey's foremost citizens and business men is Albert F. Ruch, who has here maintained his home since 1887.

He is engaged in the painting and decorating business and in local matters he is a most important factor, contributing generously to all measures and enterprises advanced for the good of the general welfare.

Although Mr. Ruch has attained to the venerable age of seventy-two years, he is still erect and active and he retains in much of their pristine vigor the splendid mental and physical qualities of his youth.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ruch was born in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, that state, the date of his nativity being the 27th of September, 1839.

He is a son of Charles and Sarah Ann Ruch, both of whom were likewise natives of the fine old Keystone state of the Union.

The father, whose birth occurred in 1817, was summoned to the life eternal in 1901, and the mother, born in 1823, passed to the great beyond in 1904.

To this union were born thirteen children, of whom the subject was the first born and five of whom are living at the present time.

In 1845 the father removed, with his family to Fort Wayne, Indiana, afterwards locating at Columbia City, where he was interested in the livery business and in general merchandising.

During the administration of President Buchanan he was postmaster at Columbia City, where he resided during the residue of his life.

Albert F. Ruch was a child of but six years of age at the time of his parents' removal from Pennsylvania to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and to the public schools of that city he is indebted for his preliminary educational training.

As a youth he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the painter's and decorator's trade.

At the time of the inception of the Civil war Mr. Ruch's sympathies were with the north.

On the 12th of August, 1862, he gave evidence of intrinsic loyalty to the Union by enlisting for service as a member of Company K, Eighty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, his term of enlistment to last three years or during the remainder of the war.

He was appointed principal musician of the Eighty-eighth regiment and continued to serve in that capacity for a period of eight months, at the expiration of which he was transferred to the Topographical Engineers' Department, in the Army of the Cumberland, as assistant topographical engineer on the staff of Gen. John C. Beatty; also in the same capacity on the staffs of Generals Scribner, Carlin, Palmer, Jeff C. Davis and then to the office of General O. M. Poe on General Sherman's staff at Atlanta! From this office he was detailed to the headquarters' office which was transferred from Atlanta to Chattanooga prior to the evacuation of the former city.

In the latter connection he went from headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Washington, D. C, then down the coast to More Head City, Society, the Michigan State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.

He served for one year as city health officer, to which office he was elected in 1902.

In politics Dr. Payne has ever given his allegiance to the men best adapted to the offices in question, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Congregational church.

They are valued factors in connection with the best social activities of their home city, where their circle of friends is coincident with that of their' acquaintances.

The Doctor served for five years as a member of the city board of education and has otherwise done all in his power to further the material and social well being of the community.

He is affiliated with the local organizations of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of the Modern Maccabees and the Modern Romans.

On the 14th of January, 1897, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Payne to Mrs. Martha Magoon, who was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, and who was about ten years of age at the time of the family removal to Michigan, where she was reared and educated.

She is a daughter of the late John Crawford, who was a native of Scotland, a harness-maker by vocation and who passed the closing years of his life at Manistee, Michigan, as did also his wife, whose maiden name was Calderwood.

Mrs. Payne was first married to Arthur Magoon, who died in Manistee and who is survived by no children.

Dr. and Mrs. Payne have one daughter, Doris.

 

John A. Covert.

A fine old veteran of the Civil war and a prominent and influential citizen of Gaylord, Otsego county, Michigan, is John A. Covert, who has attained to the venerable age of eighty years and who is held in highest regard by his fellow men.

During his life time he has been a powerful influence for good in this section of the state, has held various important offices of public trust and responsibility and has ever had the welfare of the community at heart.

Mr. Covert was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, the date of his nativity being the 3d of January, 1831.

He is a son of James and Martha (Judd) Covert, the former of whom was born in the state of New Jersey and the latter in the state of New York.

The father traced his ancestry to French-Huguenot stock and he came to Ohio in 1807, locating on a farm in Cuyahoga county.

He was twice married and became the father of twenty-two children, fifteen by his first wife and seven by his second wife.

One of the sons was Charles, full brother of him to whom this sketch is dedicated, and who gave valiant service in the Union army during the Civil war, having been a soldier in the Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

He participated in the battles of Winchester, Fort Republic, where he was taken prisoner, and Gettysburg, after which he received his honorable discharge, being mustered out of service in Washington in 1865.

He was also a soldier of the Mexican war, serving fourteen months under General Scott.

He died in Cuyahoga.

To the public schools of his native place Mr. Covert is indebted for his educational training and he early became interested in agricultural operations in his native state of Ohio.

At the time of the inception of the Civil war he was fired by boyish enthusiasm to become a soldier and accordingly he enlisted as a member of Company B, Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on the 27th of August, 1861.

He served with all of valor and faithfulness for the period of one year, at the expiration of which he was discharged on account of disability.

He has ever retained a deep interest in his old comrades in arms and signifies the same by membership in C. F. Door Post, No. 61, Grand Army of the Republic, at Gaylord.

After the close of his military service Mr. Covert returned to the old Buckeye state, where he was variously engaged until 1878, in which year he came to Michigan, locating a homestead in Otsego county, the same consisting of one hundred and five acres of heavily timbered land situated five miles east of the village of Gaylord.

He immediately set to work to clear a space of ground on which to erect a log cabin.

He continued to clear a little of his land at a time and in a few years he had a large portion of it under cultivation, the same yielding to him large profits in the way of excellent crops.

In his early pioneer life he was a very successful hunter and thoroughly enjoyed the chase, not only for its allurement but also for its profit, as a well stocked larder depended in large measure on his success as a huntsman.

During his first six years in this section he killed as many as sixteen deer, all within gun shot of his home.

He shot one wolf and trapped three bears, one of which weighed as much as three hundred pounds, and eight beaver, and he also trapped twelve fox.

His reminiscences of early pioneer life are of an intensely interesting and exciting nature and he is also a good narrator of old war stories.

For sixteen years the family home was maintained in the pioneer log hut and in 1898 a more pretentious frame dwelling with appropriate and substantial outbuildings was erected.

He continued to be actively identified with farming operations until 1905, at which time he disposed of the old homestead and took up his abode in Gaylord, where he is passing the evening of his life in the enjoyment of former years of earnest toil and endeavor.

He is the owner of a beautiful residence in this place and the same is the scene of great hospitality and generosity.

In his political proclivities Mr. Covert accords a stalwart allegiance to the principles promulgated by the Republican party and during his residence in northern Michigan he has been the efficient incumbent of many important public offices.

He has served on various occasions as supervisor, clerk, treasurer, justice of the peace and as superintendent of the poor of Chester township.

He is affiliated with different fraternal and social organizations of representative character and is also a valued and appreciative member of the Grand Army of the Republic, as previously noted.

Although he has attained to the advanced age of eighty years he possesses in marked degree the vitality and enthusiasm of many a younger man.

He is genial, with a smile and kind word for everyone, and it may be said of him that the circle of his friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances.

He has ever been a co-operant factor in all matters projected for the good of the community and as a loyal and public-spirited citizen he has no superior.

In the year 1853 Mr. Covert was united in marriage to Miss Anette Smith, who was born and reared in Georgia county, Ohio, and who was a daughter of John P. Smith.

To this union were born the following children: Chauncey, Nancy, Charles and John.

Nancy is the wife of Rev. George Badcon, a Congregational minister at Gaylord; Charles is a prosperous farmer in Antrim county, Michigan; Chauncey and John are deceased.

Mr. Covert has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all residents of Michigan.

Mrs. Covert was summoned to eternal rest in 1895.

In his religious faith Mr. Covert is a devout member of the United Brethren church of Ohio, as was also his wife.

 

George A. Hart.

To George A. Hart has come the attainment of a distinguished position in connection with the great material industries of northern Michigan.

His life achievements worthily illustrate what may be attained by persistent and painstaking effort.

He is a man of progressive ideas; although versatile he is not superficial; exactness and thoroughness characterize all his ventures; his intellectual possessions are unified and assimilated; they are his own.

His genealogy also betokens that he is a scion of a family whose associations with the annals of American history have been intimate and honorable from the early Colonial epoch.

Mr. Hart was born in Lapeer, in the county of the same name, Michigan, and is a son of Joseph B. Hart, who was a native of Connecticut, whence he came to Michigan about 1830, locating in Lapeer, where he became identified with various industrial and commercial enterprises.

He was for many years interested in the great lumber resources of this state, was engaged in the general merchandise business and fur dealing and was associated with the Indians in the early days, understanding and talking their language with the utmost fluency.

He took a prominent part in the early development of eastern Michigan and was ever on the alert to do all in his power to advance the prestige of the Wolverine state.

His father was Oliver B. Hart, who was an early settler at Hartford, Connecticut.

The Hart family traces its ancestry back to staunch English extraction, the original progenitor of the name in America having emigrated hither from England about the year 1632.

Joseph B. Hart married Miss Mary M. Hopkins, who was born and reared in Michigan, her parents having been pioneers in the vicinity of Flint, Genesee county.

Mr. and Mrs. Hart became the parents of four sons and one daughter, two of whom are now living,—George A., the immediate subject of this review, and Henry H, who is in the employ of his brother.

The father was summoned to the life eternal at the age of sixty years, his cherished and devoted wife having passed away at the early age of thirty-two years.

George A. Hart was the eldest in order of birth of the Hart boys and he passed his boyhood and youth at Lapeer, to whose public schools 1 he is indebted for his early educational discipline.

He was a mere boy at the time of the inception of the Civil war and when fourteen years of age he joined the United States army as a private in Company K, Fifth Michigan Volunteer Cavalry.

Two years later he was promoted to the rank of sergeant of Company K, Fifth Michigan Infantry, in the Custer brigade, in which he served with all of faithfulness and valor until the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge in March, 1866.

Thereafter he entered the employ of the Wells-Fargo Express Company, passing some time in the west among the Indians.

In 1870 he went into business at Fenton, Genesee county, Michigan, where he continued to reside until the spring of 1873, in which year he came to Manistee, where he turned his attention to the land and timber business.

Immediately after his advent in this city he became a clerk in a store and was thus engaged until 1876, since which time he has been interested in the land and timber business, in which line of enterprise he has been eminently successful.

He was one of the parties who became instrumental in promoting the waterworks system of the city, which was afterwards sold to the city, and he built the electric railroad of Manistee and was its sole owner until 1903, when he disposed of his interest in the same.

At the present time, in 1911, he is general manager of the Manistee Shoe Company and is president and general manager of the Manistee Flouring Mill Company.

He is also a director in the First National Bank and is the largest farm-land holder in Michigan at the time of this writing, owning some eighty thousand acres of most valuable land in northern Michigan.

In connection with the latter enterprise he is spending twelve hundred dollars a month in advertising and general exploitation.

He is treasurer of the Manistee Safety Deposit Company and for ten years, from 1889 to 1900, he had charge of all the logs that came into Manistee by water, handling from one hundred to one hundred and fifty-five million a year and having as many as three hundred man under his employ at one time.

Mr. Hart has been twice married, his first union being to Ella J. Hammond, by whom he had one daughter, Mrs. George W. Swigart.

of Early in 1861 Dr. Palmer enlisted in Company C, First United States Sharpshooters, of which he was made hospital steward.

In June, 1861, he was transferred to a similar position in the Second United States Sharpshooters, and a short time later was sent to Washington, D. C., as steward in the government hospitals, which were then filled to overflowing with sick and wounded soldiers.

In 1864 the Doctor, at the urgent request of his former comrades in the Sharpshooters, was returned to field duty and commissioned assistant surgeon of his regiment, a position which he retained until the close of the war.

Mustered out of service in October, 1865, Dr. Palmer returned to Michigan, and for five years practiced medicine in Jonesville.

About 1870 the Doctor became one of the promoters of the quarrying industry of southern Michigan, assisting in the development of the sandstone quarry at Stony Point, Jackson county, and was afterward for five years cashier and bookkeeper at the Jonesville Woolen Mills.

Purchasing an interest in the Jonesville Independent in 1876, he conducted the paper until July, 1881, being quite successful in his journalistic work, his former experience as type setter when helping to get out the first issue of the first newspaper ever published in Hudson, Michigan, having been of value to him in his new venture.

Coming to Crawford county, Michigan, in July, 1881, Dr. Palmer purchased the well-known weekly newspaper of Grayling, the Avalanche, of which he has since been the editor and publisher.

His work on the paper, however, did not satisfy his energetic ambitions, and in addition he engaged in the practice of medicine, building up a fine patronage; established a planing mill; bought a farm, which he superintended; and after his admission to the bar in 1882 engaged in the practice of law.

During the first administration of President Cleveland the government land offices then located at Detroit, Saginaw and Big Rapids were consolidated and moved to Grayling.

When Benjamin Harrison succeeded to the presidency he appointed Dr. Palmer registrar of the Grayling land office, and he retained the position until twelve days after the inauguration of Cleveland for his second term as president of the United States, when he was removed, as said by President Cleveland in his letter, for "offensive partisanship."

"However," says Dr. Palmer, with his genial smile, "when McKinley became president I sailed in again."

He continued in charge of the land office until it was removed to Marquette.

The Doctor has also served most acceptably in many positions, having represented his district in the state Legislature, and having filled the offices of notary public, Circuit Court commissioner, prosecuting attorney, school director and justice of the peace.

He is now serving his twentieth year as prosecuting attorney of Crawford county, and is widely and favorably known as a lawyer of much ability and skill.

He is one of the leading members of the Republican party, and ever ready to advance its best interests.

Dr. Palmer married, in Hudson, Michigan, in 1864, while he was yet a soldier in the army, Miss Nellie E. Taylor, and their wedded life has been one of rare felicity and enjoyment.

Their only child lived but a few brief months, but in the kindness of their hearts Dr. and Mrs. Palmer have brought up and educated fifteen children, the youngest of whom was graduated from the Grayling High School with the class of 1910.

The Crawford Avalanche, of which Dr. Palmer is editor and publisher, was established in 1879 by Messrs. Maurer, Masters and Brown, it being then a four-page journal, of six columns each.

Mr. Maurer, the other gentlemen having dropped out, conducted the paper for a year, when, in 1880, he, too, left the paper, being heavily indebted to the Hanson Company, who, in order to save themselves, assumed its control.

In 1882 this company sold out to Dr. Palmer, its present owner and publisher, who has enlarged it to an eight-page paper, of seven columns each, and made it one of the leading journals of the county, vvith a large and valuable circulation.

The Doctor in addition to managing his paper has built up a large and remunerative jobbing business, his time being fully employed in the supervision of his printing business.

 

Floyd E. Oliver

Floyd E. Oliver, cashier of the Farwell Banking Company, who with Elton J. Van Lenven, owns that substantial banking institution, having purchased it in 1909, was born upon a farm in the vicinity of Elm Hall, on the 12th day of November, 1878, and thus may be accounted among the younger generation of financiers.

His first schooling was received in the district school of Elm Hall, Michigan, and no matter what the weather, he every day walked two miles to the school house.

His parents, George H. and Laura A. (Van Lenven) Oliver, were natives of Michigan.

The father eventually left the farm and took up his residence in Elm Hall village, where he became a druggist.

The subject finished the second year of the higher department of the Elm Hall school, and then went to Mt. Pleasant where he completed the eleventh and twelfth grades.

Thus in his earlier youth he knew the happy, wholesome experiences of country life and the peculiar joys of sitting behind a desk in the district school room.

Mr. Oliver's banking experience dates from a day somewhat preceding his majority.

In 1897 he entered the banking house of Webber & Ruel, of Mt. Pleasant and remained within its portals for about two years, proving an efficient assistant.

He then entered the law department of the University of Michigan, but on account of poor health he was obliged to give up his preparation for the profession, which it had been his ambition to adopt.

He returned to Elm Hall and having remained there for a period of six months, he again took up his residence in Mt. Pleasant and resumed his position in the bank.

After a time he was engaged to go to Coleman, Michigan, to act as a cashier of a bank there, but again ill health interfered with his plans and he went to Elm Hall to recuperate.

Having in a measure regained his health he went to Mt. Pleasant for a short time and engaged as assistant cashier in a bank.

In the meantime he had become quite familiar with the banking business in all its details and he went to Mesick, Wexford county, Michigan, where he organized the Bank of Mesick and conducted it for five years.

This he subsequently sold and took up his residence at Farwell, as previously noted.

His connection with the Farwell Banking Company has been of the most satisfactory character, for he is an efficient, alert and well-trained banker and has taken an active part in building up the institution.

On the 14th day of July, 1904, Mr. Oliver laid the foundation of a happy household and congenial life companionship, by his union with Miss Jessie Crouse, of Remus, Michigan.

Mrs. Oliver is a native of Michigan and her father, William Crouse, was a well-known lumberman and native of Ohio.

Mr. Oliver has ever taken an interest in public affairs and can ever be relied upon to give his support to all such measures as are likely to contribute to the general prosperity and progress.

While living in Mesick he was treasurer of the town and at the present time he is a member of the village council of Farwell.

He is a prominent and popular lodge man, holding membership in the time-honored Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias, and the Michigan State Grange.

Mrs. Oliver is pleasantly affiliated with the Eastern Star and she like her husband is a member of the State Grange.

The subject is liberal in church matters and gives hand and heart to the men and measures of the Republican party.

He is personally interested in the agricultural prosperity of Northern Michigan and is the owner of two farms,—one of three hundred acres located in Wexford county, and under the most successful cultivation, and eighty acres in another section of the same county.

He is, in short, a most valuable and representative member of society and he and his admirable wife are held in high regard by all those who know them best.

The father, George H. Oliver, who now resides at Elm Hall, was one of the noble host of young men who risked their lives for the defense of the Union during the dread days of the Civil war.

He enlisted in 1864 as a member of the Twelfth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged at the close of the war.