The following Biographical and Family Records have been obtained by personal interviews with the persons, or their children, and all the dates and figures are taken from family records.

The greatest care has been taken in writing and compiling, every sketch being approved and pronounced correct by the parties of whom it has been obtained.

They will be found as reliable as it is possible to make them:

John O. Brown;

proprietor of the Forest House, Hesperia, was born in Cortland Co., N. Y., Dec. 9, 1843.

His parents, Jesse and Mary (Ostrander) Brown, were natives of New England, and of German and Welsh English and Irish descent.

John was educated in the town of Scott, Cortland County, and when 18 years of age, Aug. 9, 1862, enlisted in Co. D, 157th N. Y. Vol. Inf., under command of W. O. Dunbar, and was confined to the Army of the Potomac, acting as drummer boy.

He was afterward transferred to the Department of the South, where he played the cymbal in the cornet band till the close of the war.

During all the engagements in which the regiment was called into action, this band was detailed to the dangerous post of "stretcher bearer."

At the battle of Gettysburg he was captured while on duty; was held four days; was re-captured by the Union forces and placed in a hospital, where he served four months as nurse, and was afterward again placed in the ranks as musician.

He was honorably discharged July 10, 1865, and returned to his home in New York.

Soon after, he purchased a farm upon which he worked for a time, then sold out and followed the vocation of teaching, in the common schools of his county.

In 1867 he came to Michigan and located in Pontiac, Oakland Co., and commenced to travel as salesman for Seymore Miller, of Cortland Co., N. Y.

He was afterward in the employ of a Chicago house for a while, then abandoned that vocation and taught school again, this time in the vicinity of his home in Oakland County.

About this time Mr. Brown became acquainted with Miss Dorothy A. Patch, and they were afterward married.

Her parents were Anson B. and Emily (Sutherland) Patch, natives of New England, and she was born Oct. 31, 1849, in Macomb Co., Mich.

When she was very young her parents moved to Oakland County, and she remained there until her marriage.

Mr. Brown then engaged in the sewing-machine business, which he has since followed until February, 1882, when he became owner and proprietor of the Forest House in Hesperia, this county.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown have four children:

  • Ida M., born May 9, 1871;
  • Eda B., Oct. 3, 1872;
  • Jessie A., Oct. 16, 1874;
  • Newton E., Sept. 9, 1877.

In politics Mr. Brown is a Republican.

John O. Brown was 18 years old when he enlisted on 8/21/1862 at Scott, NY as a Private.

On 9/19/1862 he mustered into "D" Co. NY 157th Infantry

He was Mustered Out on 7/10/1865 at Charleston, SC

Promotions: Musician 3/15/1863 (Estimated day), Private 3/15/1864 (Estimated day)


William M. Pierson;

farmer, section 35, Ashland Township, was born July 2, 1828, in Steuben Co., N. Y.

His parents were Moses L. and Lydia (Fluent) Pierson.

The name represents old English stock which is traced back to the original settlers of the American Continent.

The parents emigrated to Portage Co., Ohio, in 1838, and three years later, in the fall of 1841, to De Kalb Co., Ind.

Mr. Pierson was a member of his father's household until he was 21 years of age, and obtained all the education possible in a new country, working^ in the meanwhile on his father's farm.

After attaining his majority he pursued the career of a common laborer at various places until he came to Michigan, in the fall of 1852.

He came to Casnovia, Muskegon County, and found employment as a farm assistant until 1859, when he became a pioneer settler of Ashland Township, where he was one of the first to put his shoulder to the wheel of local government.

He was present at the first town meeting, and was elected to the post of Constable, but, disliking the situation, he did not qualify.

(The spring following his arrival in Muskegon County he assisted at the organization of the township of Casnovia.)

He built the “palace of the pioneer” on his tract of land and has placed 105 acres under improvement, with creditable and suitable farm buildings.

He is a typical Michigan farmer, and takes a just pride in what he has accomplished by the united efforts of hands and head, figurative of strength and judgment.

He persistently declines office to which he has been repeatedly elected, and enjoys the esteem and respect of his townsmen for the uprightness and integrity of his daily life and bearing toward his generation.

Mr. Pierson enlisted Sept. 9, 1861, in the Second Michigan Cavalry, Company E.

His regiment was attached to the Western Division under General Halleck, and after some active service Mr. Pierson was discharged on his surgeon's certificate of disability, his papers bearing date of Feb. 17, 1862. 5a

Mr. Pierson was married March 18, 18—, in Casnovia Township, to Harriet, daughter of Drayton and Zilpha S. (Loomis) Moore, natives of New England, of genuine Yankee stock.

Mrs. Pierson was born in Portage Co., Ohio, May 7, 1836.

Soon afterward her parents went to Medina County, Ohio, and in the autumn of 1844 to De Kalb Co., Ind.

She was 17 when her family settled in what is now Muskegon Co., Mich., where she was married.

Mr. and Mrs. Pierson have eight children, born as follows:

  • Drayton H., Feb. 5, 1856;
  • Louisa C, May 22, 1857;
  • Milon C, March 11, 1859;
  • Rachel W., Feb. 26, 1861;
  • Lewis B., July 19, 1864;
  • Dennis V., July 14, 1868;
  • William W., Sept. 15, 1872;
  • Julius A., Oct. 6, 1875.

The happy family circle is as yet intact, the dark-winged destroyer having never "cast his gloomy shade over the brightness of paternal and fraternal love and hope; and long may he withhold his blighting visitation.

The parents are devoted adherents to the United Brethren Church.

Mr. Pierson is an unmistakable Republican.

As pioneers eminently worthy the place, we insert in this volume, in connection with this sketch, the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Pierson below.

William M. Pierson Harriett S. Pierson

William M. Pierson, from his residence in Newaygo County, Michigan was 31 years old when he enlisted on 9/9/1861 at Grand Rapids, MI as a Private.

On 10/2/1861 he mustered into "E" Co. MI 2nd Cavalry

He was discharged for disability on 2/18/1862 at Benton Barracks, St Louis, MO

Other Information: died 4/9/1895


Salmon P. Odell;

was born in Reading, Hillsdale Co., Mich., May 6, 1846.

He lived at home most of the time until 20 years of age, attending school until 17 years old, then working at carpentering.

In the spring of 1863 he first came to Newaygo County, remaining only a short time, then returned to Hillsdale County.

In the fall of 1864 he enlisted in the 30th Mich. Inf., served nearly six months and received an honorable discharge at Jackson, Mich., June 17, 1865.

This regiment was raised for State duty, and, although mustered into the U. S. service, was not called into the field.

He again came to Newaygo County in the spring of 1867, and purchased 40 acres of wild land in Sheridan Township.

He built a board house and cleared only a portion of the land, when he sold his property to the Railroad Company and moved into the village of Fremont, engaging in business with his brother, J. R. Odell, dealer in drugs and groceries.

He afterward took the stock of groceries, and for a short time carried on the business alone.

He then sold out his stock, and after a short service with the Chicago & West Michigan Railroad Company, entered the employ of his brother, where he still continues.

Mr. Odell was married in what was then Sherman Township., but now Garfield, at the residence of, and by, Benjamin Alton, Esq., to Adelaide M., daughter of Elijah and Fidelia Fox, a native of Trumbull Co. Ohio.

They have one child, Maurice, born June 9, 187 1.

Mr. Odell has held the office of Township Clerk one year, and Deputy Marshal about three terms.

He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and has passed the chairs; he is also a member of Henry Dobson Post, G. A. R., and the Order of Chosen Friends.

In politics he is neutral.


Ami J. Jakeway;

superintendent of yards and lumber at Hungerford, was born Dec. 15, 1842, in Herkimer Co., N. Y., and is the son of James and Catherine (Werrels) Jakeway, who were also natives of the Empire State, and who moved to Michigan in 1852.

The former is deceased.

Mr. Jakeway was approaching manhood when the civil war broke out and, Aug. 9, 1862, he enlisted in the 25th Mich. Vol. Inf., serving in defense of the Union until January, 1865.

He was in the battles at Perryville, Ky., Bowling Green and Knoxville.

At the latter place he was captured and finally sent to the stockade prison at Andersonville, where his experiences, though the same in detail with thousands of others, are no less replete with horror and suffering.

On receiving his discharge he came to Michigan and engaged in lumbering in the employ of Messrs. Hood & Gale, of Big Rapids, in 1867, with whom he remained five years.

He then entered the service of Messrs. Blodgett & Brumon, where he operated in a similar capacity eight years.

He came to Hungerford Sept. 14, 1882, and assumed the duties pertaining to his present position.

Mr. Jakeway was married in Kent County, in 1867, to Bridget Burke, who was born in 1847, m Canada.

Her parents were Michael and Ellen (Dorey) Burke.

Mr. Jakeway's family includes seven children:

Maggie, Katie, Alice, Nellie M., Mary E., Lena L. and James R.


Thomas T. Woods;

furniture dealer, Fremont, was born in Mercer Co., Pa., Oct. 26, 1842.

His parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and of English and Irish ancestry; the father died in Pennsylvania in 1857, and the mother resides in Youngstown, Ohio.

Thomas left home when 13 years of age, and for two years was employed on the Ohio River as deckhand.

He then went to Niles, Ohio, where he worked a year and a half, thence to the Oil Regions of Pennsylvania, remaining three months.

He enlisted in the 12th Pa. Cav., and served three years.

He was in the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, and Winchester, under Milroy, in 1862.

At the place last named he was taken prisoner, June 15, and was confined seven months at Belle Island and Libby prison.

At the former place he was very sick and came near losing his life.

After being paroled, he was honorably discharged at Washington, D. C, May 24, 1864.

After a time he re-enlisted in the 8th Michigan Infantry, and served till the close of the war - nine months.

He was in the engagement before Petersburg, Va., under Gen. Burnside, April 3, 1865.

Upon his return from the army he settled in Detroit, Mich., where he was employed in the car works of that city for nearly two years, and soon after went to Chicago, and worked in a sash and blind factory nearly two years.

He then returned to Detroit, remaining two years, and was then employed by the Detroit, Milwaukee & Grand Haven Railroad Company about nine years in bridge building, having in his employ from 10 to 40 men.

In the spring of 1874 Mr. Woods settled in Fremont, Newaygo County, and purchased the furniture stock of Benjamin Alton.

He still carries on the business, and, with a stock of $2,000, has the leading trade of this kind in the place.

During the past nine years he has been largely engaged in building, having erected a large number of the buildings in Fremont.

He was married at Grand Rapids, Mich., December 15, 1873, to Viola G., daughter of Ephraim and Susan (Redfield) Richmond, native of New York, where their daughter was born February 8, 1856.

Mr. Woods has held the office of Village Marshall on year, was a member of Council six years, and treasurer of Sheridan Township eight years.

He is a member of the Masonic Order, and practically belongs to the Greenback Party.


William B. Hatch;

whose father was David Hatch who was born in Picton, Nova Scotia, February 21st, 1806.

His father William Hatch, was born in Massachusetts, in 1759, of Scotch-Irish parents.

His mother was Elizabeth Keeler, and was born in Nova Scotia, of German parents.

His father's mother was born in the Highlands of Scotland.

When a young man, he followed the sea, and finally settled in Nova Scotia and run a blacksmith's shop for many years.

He also owned a farm, and died there in 1859.

He was twice married, and raised thirteen children by his second wife, and none by the first.

David Hatch lived with his parents until he was about twenty-four, when he went into the lumber woods of New Brunswick, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.

He remained there six years, and in 1836, went to Cumberland Island, on the Georgia coast, and came to Michigan in 1837.

He arrived in Detroit on the 2nd day of July, and remained there until after the 4th, where he witnessed a grand celebration.

On the 5th he commenced work on the Michigan Central railroad and assisted in the construction of that great thoroughfare, and saw the first train pass over the road to Ann Arbor, with Governor and Mrs. Mason aboard.

In the fall of 1839 he came to Macon, this county, and purchased the north-east one-half of the northeast one-quarter of section eight, where he has resided ever since.

This was new land, but Mr. Hatch has lived to clear it up, and make a fine, productive farm of it, and has erected good buildings.

Since that time he has added to his farm, until now he owns two hundred acres.

April 6th, 1838, he married Miss Esther Bell, daughter of William and Jeanette Bell, of Nankin, Wayne County, Michigan, by whom he had four children, as follows:

  • William B., born in Nankin, Wayne County, Michigan, January 16th, 1839. He was a soldier in Company D, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, in the war of the Rebellion, and died October 8th, 1862.
  • James D., born in Macon, in December, 1840, a farmer of Macon; Jeanette, born in Macon, August 29th, 1842, now the wife of William Hastings, of Denver, Colorado; Samuel, born in Macon, in September, 1844, now of Detroit.
  • Mrs. Esther Hatch was born in Scotland, April 19th, 1819, and came to this country with her parents in 1834, and settled in Wayne County, Michigan. She died in Macon, December 20th, 1846. In September, 1856, he married Mrs. Caroline Ferguson, daughter of George and Eunice Shufflebotham, of Manchester, England. She was married to John Ferguson in 1839, by whom she had three children, as follows: Emma, wife of the late James M. Hoag, of Adrian.
  • Maria, now the wife of Granville Mills, of Macon; Frederick A., of Adrian, Michigan.
  • John Ferguson died in Manchester, England, in April, 1844.


George W. Taite;

was born in Jefferson County, New York, June 23, 1838.

His parents, George W. and Jeanette (Kerns) Taite, were natives of Scotland, and came to America about 1833.

They first settled in New York, and afterward moved to Wisconsin and remained there as long as they lived.

George was eight years of age when his parents moved to Wisconsin.

He lived there until death of his mother, and then came to Muskegon, Mich., where he was engaged in farming and lumbering until the summer of 1883, when, in company with Henry Orton, he engaged to take charge of the County Poor Farm of Newaygo County.

This farm consists of 140 acres, 96 of which are under cultivation.

In June, 1875, Mr. Taite purchased 60 acres of land in Sherman Township, and cultivated it until the spring of 1882, when he sold to Byron Waters.

He was first married July 1, 1866, at Newaygo, to Florence Joslin, daughter of Daniel Joslin, of the same place, and they had one child, George, born April 9, 1871.

He was again married, Feb. 13, 1883, to Rhoda, daughter of Ansel and Roseltha Steel, the former a native of New York and the latter of Ohio; they settled in Michigan in an early day.

For the last 15 years Mr. Taite has been foreman of large lumbering companies, being three years with Kelly, Wood & Co., of Muskegon, five years with O. W. Squires, etc.

He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the G. A. R. In politics he is a National.

June 12, 1861, he enlisted in the 3d Mich. Inf., and served till October, 1862.

He was then discharged on account of disability, having received a gunshot wound in the left hand at the battle of Malvern Hill.

He was in the first battle of Bull Run, when, with 160 men, he was detailed as advance skirmisher.

He was in the Peninsular campaign with McClellan, at Fair Oaks, siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg and several others.

Mr. Taite receives a pension, which he greatly deserves.

Military Record: George Tate, from Newaygo County, Michigan was 22 years old when he enlisted on 5/13/1861 at Grand Rapids, MI as a Private.

On 6/10/1861 he mustered into "K" Co. MI 3rd Infantry

He was discharged for disability on 10/7/1862 at Upton's Hill, VA

He was listed as: Wounded 7/15/1862 (place not stated) (Estimated day of wounding)


Orlando McNabb;

Village Attorney, Fremont, was born in Tuscarawas Co., Ohio, Jan. 20, 1846.

His parents, James J. and Eliza (McKine) McNabb, were natives of Ohio, and of Scotch-Irish descent.

He attended school until 18 years of age, and Feb. 7, 1864, enlisted in Co. A, 155th Ind. Reg., serving one year, and was honorably discharged at Dover, Del., in September, 1865.

After his return from the army he commenced the study of medicine with Hector & Hill, of Rochester, Ind.

He continued his studies four years, attending one course of lectures at the Michigan University.

In May, 1869, he came to Hesperia, this county, and commenced the practice of his profession.

In 1873 he abandoned his profession and went to Chicago, where he gave his attention to the study of law until 1876, then went to Peru, Ind., and practiced his profession three years.

Jan. 6, 1881, he settled in Fremont, this county, where he has since followed his calling.

In the spring of 1883 he was elected Village Attorney, which office he now fills.

Military Record: Orlando McNabb, from Fulton County, Indiana enlisted on 2/10/1865 as a Private.

On 2/10/1865 he mustered into "A" Co. IN 155th Infantry

He was Mustered Out on 8/4/1865 at Dover, DE


Joseph Whitehead;

farmer, section 2, Dayton Township, is a son of Aaron and Esther (Searles) Whitehead, and was born in Canada East, June 3, 1834.

His father was a native of New York and his mother of Vermont.

After marriage they first settled in Canbut afterward moved to Ohio and thence to Michigan; they both died in Dayton Township.

Joseph was three years of age when his parents moved to Ohio.

After coming to Michigan he made a home for them as long as they lived.

He came to Newaygo County in the spring of 1858, and purchased 80 acres of wild land in Dayton Township, on section 2.

He has since lived on this farm, and now has 50 acres in a good state of cultivation.

He was married in Dayton Township, July 4, 1861, to Emma J., daughter of Clark and Mary B. Henderson, natives of New York, where Mrs. W. was born, in 1846.

Her father died in Berrien Co., Mich., and her mother makes her home with her children.

Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead have had eight children, only one, John Albert, surviving.

Mr. Whitehead was drafted in the fall of 1864, and was assigned to the 13th Mich. Inf., and joined his regiment at Chattanooga, Tenn., and was with Sherman in his march to the sea.

He was with his command until the army marched to Washington and was discharged in June, 1865.

At one time Mr. W. was reported to be among the missing; but it proved to be a mistake.

He was very ill while in the army, for three weeks, in consequence of which his health was considerably impaired.

Mr. Whitehead has never held an office, although frequently importuned to do so.

In politics he is a Republican. He was the fourth settler in Dayton Township.

Military Record: Joseph W. Whitehead, from Grand Rapids, Michigan was 29 years old when he enlisted on 9/23/1864 at Dayton, Newaygo Co., MI as a Private.

On 9/23/1864 he was drafted into "A" Co. MI 13th Infantry

He was discharged on 6/8/1865 at Washington, DC



Thaddeus J. Waters;

was born in New York, June 29, 1835.

His parents Harvey and Sarah (Dunning) Waters, were also native of New York where they were married and immediately went to Ohio.

After living in that state for nearly 18 years, they moved to Hillsdale County, Michigan where they passed the remainder of their lives.

Thaddeus spent his boyhood days in Ohio, attending the common schools of that State, and at the age of 18 years came with his parents to Michigan.

He taught school the last year he lived in Ohio and for two years after he came to Michigan.

In the spring of 1855 he came to Fremont, this county, purchased 40 acres of wild land, and at once commenced to clear it and build a log house.

He spent most of his time in locating lands, and nearly all of the old settlers were conducted through the vast forest, there being no roads leading to the north and west.

Mr. Waters was married in Fremont, this county, May 27, 1855, to Laura J., only daughter of Daniel and Emily A. (Salisbury) Weaver, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of New York.

They were married in the latter State and went at once to Michigan, then a Territory, settling in Adrian.

In 1855 they came to Newaygo County, where Mr. Weaver built the first log house of Fremont, which was used as a hotel, store and post office; it was also used as a school-house, and the first couple ever married in Fremont was married in this same log house, the couple being Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Waters.

The house was built on the lot nearly opposite the new brick school-house on Main Street.

Mr. Weaver also built the first frame house in the town, which now stands directly opposite the brick schoolhouse, and the first frame barn, which stood on the spot where the brick school-house now stands.

Mrs. Weaver died in Hesperia, this county, Dec. 22, 1879 and Mr. Weaver still resides in Hesperia.

Mr. and Mrs. Waters have had five children;

Alpha F., born Jan. 20, 1857;

Theron D., May 1, 1858;

Albert J., July 4, 1860;

Frankie E., Aug. 3, 1868,

and Hiram J., March 30, 1878.

Mr. Waters enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, in Co. G, 2d Mich. Cav., and served nearly three years.

He was in the battle of Perryville, Ky., Thompson s Station, Tenn., and the battle of Chickamauga.

At the last named battle, Sept. 20, 1863, he was taken prisoner, and was retained until the close of the war, being confined at Richmond, Va., two months, Danville, Va., six months, and ten months in that terrible prison at Andersonville, where so many of our brave soldiers were sacrificed; he was in the last squad of men that passed out of that dismal den of horrors.

He received a bayonet wound in the hip by a rebel guard, while in Danville.

He now receives a pension, which he justly deserves.

Mr. Waters has engaged in surveying since 1867.

He surveyed and laid out the town of Hesperia, Michigan, this county.

He has held the office of Township Clerk for three years and is now Drain Commissioner.

Mr. and Mrs. Waters are members of the Seventh - day Adventist church.

In politics, Mr. Waters if a prominent member of the greenback party.

Military Record: Thaddeus L. Walters was 27 years old enlisted on 8/15/1862 at Grand Rapids, MI as a Private.

On 8/15/1862 he mustered into "G" Co. MI 2nd Cavalry

He was discharged on 6/16/1865 at Camp Chase, OH

He was listed as: Joined Regiment 9/8/1862 Rienzi, MS and a POW 9/20/1863 Chickamauga, GA