PORTRAIT AND

 

 
 



                                                BIOGRAPHICAL

RECORD

of

NORTHERN MICHIGAN


Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent

and Representative Citizens,

Together with Biographies and Portraits of all the

Presidents

of the United States.


CHICAGO:
RECORD PUBLISHING CO.
1895



 
 

LAUGHLIN VAN METER





LAUGHLIN VAN METER, one of the enterprising young citizens of Missaukee County, is editor and publisher of the Missaukee Republican of Lake City. Though he has only been connected with this journal for about eight months, his ability has been well manifested, for the owner is a practical printer and is fully abreast of the times.

John Van Meter, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, and died in
Ontario, Canada many years ago, when in middle life. His family numbered three sons and three daughters. Among these was Ira, father of our subject. He was likewise born in the Keystone State, and has been a life-long agriculturist His wife, formerly Jeanette McBain, was born in Ontario Her father, Laughlin McBain, a native of  the same province, was of Scotch parentage, and  was a farmer. In the War of 1812 he was in the  British service, and was also a British volunteer  during the French Rebellion in Lower Canada. His death occurred at the age of eighty-four years.

Ira Van Meter came to Michigan in 1869, locating in Missaukee County, where he took up a tract of one hundred and sixty-acres and also purchased another farm. His home is now on a farm of eighty acres, lying on section 16, Riverside Township. He held many local offices, and was elected first Treasurer of the county on its organization but resigned. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church and for many years he has occupied offices in the congregation. Of his five sons and five daughters, all but two are living, and are named as follows: Henry; Anna, Mrs. John Frazier, of Carson City, Mich; Caroline, Mrs. John Cavanaugh, of Missaukee County; William; Margaret, wife of R. J. Porter, of Port Huron; John; Laughlin; and Etta, Mrs. Isaac Burket.

The birth of our subject occurred in Clyde, Ontario, on the 13th of September, 1863. From his
seventh year he was reared on a farm in this county. When he reached his majority he went to attend
the Normal School at Valparaiso, Ind., and subsequently took a commercial course at Brookville,  Pa. An opportunity offering, he accepted a position as stenographer in Cadillac and afterward was for eighteen months engaged in office work in Marquette. Learning of forfeited railroad lands
in Houghton County, he went there and took upi a pre-emption claim, on which he remained about two years.

In 1890 our subject embarked in the newspaper business, and, going to McBain, started the Chronicle, which he ran successfully for four years. In July, 1894, he sold the paper and in the following month came to Lake City. He purchased the Republican plant of its former proprietor, W. E. Morris, and has since conducted this popular and widely circulated newspaper. Besides owning his business plant, Mr. Van Meter owns other property in McBain and elsewhere, and is a young man of good financial ability. In politics he is a Republican, and fraternally is identified with the Masonic and Knights of the Maccabees organizations.

November 3 1890, was celebrated the marriage of Laughlin Van Meter and Sadie, daughter of James and Sarah (McMullen) Mateer. Three children have come to bless the union of the young
couple, namely: I. Morton, Carl and Flora.



 
 

GEORGE WOOD





GEORGE WOOD, a well known and leading citizen of Lake City, has been engaged in the real-estate and insurance business for the past two years, having succeeded A. Stout, in his long-establisbed office. In addition to own- several houses and pieces of property in this place, he owns a part interest in tracts of timberland in this county.

Ichabod Wood, the paternal grandfather of the gentleman just mentioned, was of English descent, and was born in New York. He was a shoemaker by trade, but for many years kept a tavern near Albany. Up to his ninety-first year he was apparently in the best of health, and was found dead in his bed one morning. His demise occur r ed simply from old age. He had a family of two sons and three daughters, whom he reared in a very stern and upright manner. The maternal grandfather of George Wood was Martin Eaton, a brother of Amos Eaton, the distinguished botanist. The former had the honor of building the first carshops at Troy. N. Y. He reached the good old age of eighty-five years.

John S., father of G. W. Wood, was born in New York State, and for over thirty years was a leading dentist of Albany. Later he removed to Lansing, Mich., where he resided from 1858 to 1881. In the latter year he retired and took up his residence in Oak Park, Ill., that being his present home. His wife, whose name before her mar riage was Maria Eaton, was born in New York, and died in 1870, when in her sixty-eighth year. She was a faithful wife, a devoted mother. and an esteemed member of the Congregational Church.

In a family numbering eight sons and four daughters, all but one of whom are still living, George W. is the fourth. The others are as follows: Eugene B.; Anna L., who became the wife of C. F. Potter; Edwin F.; John C.; Ella M., wife of W. F. Van Bergen, ticket auditor for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company; Jessie F., Mrs. F. E. Ballard, of Chicago; Kittie, wife of Charles E. Ballard of Oak Park, Ill.; Martin E.; Frank and Harry.

The birth of George W. Wood occurred in Albany, N. Y., February 22, 1851. From his seventh year he lived in Lansing, Mich., and received his education in that city. For 3 few years he worked at intervals on his father's farm, but did not find the business exactly to his taste. Upon leaving home he embarked in the grocery business, in 1883, at Lake City, then a small village of about two hundred people, containing two old wooden hotels and five small business houses, Mr. Wood's store making the fifth. Since then he has been instrumental in the developing and upbuilding of what is now the pretty little city by  the lake.

He witnessed the growth of Main Street from four stores to a long street of wooden business houses, which in 1888 were consumed by fire, and in the same year was built up with substantial brick buildings, including a fine three-story brick hotel. For four years he continued in the trade, first as a partner of W. S. Hunt, and later with D. D. Walton. For a few years they carried a full line of hardware, in addition to a well selected stock of groceries. In 1887 Mr. Wood sold his interest in the grocery, but continued to operate the hardware department alone until 1890. At that time he associated with him S. H. Howey, to whom he sold out in the spring of 1892. Since that time he has been interested in his present line of business and is meeting with good success.

December 17, 1884, Mr. Wood was married to Lillian, daughter of Edward O. and Caroline (Bennett) Kelley, of Lansing. They have two little daughters, namely: Florence and Anna. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for ten years Mr. Wood has been Superintendent of the Sunday- school. At the present time he is one of the Trustees also.

One of the charter members of the local lodges of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, Mr. Wood was connected with these organizations for a number of years, but withdrew for want of time to attend meetings. He deposits his ballot in favor of Prohibition nominees, and is a firm believer in the principles set forth by his party. In 1885 be was elected Supervisor for one year and School Inspector for four years. Since that time he has served as Village Clerk for two years.



 
 

JAMES CAVANAGH





JAMES CAVANAGH is now holding the position of Cashier of the Missaukee County Bank at Lake City. For a period of five years he was Superintendent of the Poor.

He has been elected to every position within the gift of the people of his township from Constable to Supervisor, with the exception of Township Clerk. He owns a valuable farm comprising one hundred and seventy acres, twelve miles from this city.

Daniel Cavanagh the father of our subject, was born in Ireland, and was a man of superior education and attainments. Though he was employed to some extent in farming he was a school teacher by profession. At an early day he emigrated to Quebec, where he lived for a time, thence going to Vermont, later to New York, and finally to Canada again. His death occurred in the village of Jarvis, in the fall of 1879, when he was nearly eighty years of age. His father Andrew, was also a native of Ireland, and died in that country. He was an Episcopalian in religion. His family numbered seven children. The maternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Wales. The wife of Daniel Cavanagh was, before her marriage, Elizabeth Harrison. She was born in the Emerald Isle, and died in 1885, a few years after the demise of her husband. They were both members of the Church of England.

The gentleman whose name heads this article is one of twelve children who grew to maturity, viz..: Mary, Robert A., Margaret, William H., Letitia J, John, James, Daniel, Thomas, Eliza A., Sarah J. and George R., all living but the eldest. James Cavanagh was born in the county of Haldimand, Canada, September 25 1847, and passed his boyhood in Ontario, his education being received in the neighborhood of his father's home. He worked at farming until nearly grown, when he started out to make his own way in the world.

Going into the oil regions of Canada at a point about forty miles west of London, our subject drilled for oil, and continued in the vicinity for a little over a year. Thence he drifted to Bay City, Mich., and from there into the lumber district. At the end of a few months he returned to his father's home, where he lived for a year. Subsequently, going into the western part of Illinois, he worked on a farm, and then, returning to Michigan, obtained employment in a mill in Bay County. By the utmost frugality he managed to save $400 that year. In 1869 be took up a homestead in his county, and cleared a tract of about ninety acres. On this property he made his home until April, 1892, when he came to this city in order to take charge of the "Patrons of Industry" store. After running the same for about ten months he resigned his place in order to accept the cashiership of the bank with which he is yet connected.

September 18, 1879, our subject married Miss Emma C., daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann (Hite) Stout. Mr. and Mrs. Cavanagh have become the parents of three sons and two daughters, namely: Chester C., Ethel, Madge, Ray and Dwight. Little Ray died when about a year old, but the other children are still with their parents. Mrs. Cavanagh is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a most estimable lady, who readily makes friends. Our subject is affiliated with the Odd Fellows' society, and is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees. In politics he is a Prohibitionist.



 
 

Washington Reeder





WASHINGTON REEDER is one of the pioneers of Missaukee County, having lived here continuously since 1868. When he first came to this locality the country was a wilderness, and only two settlers had preceded him. He took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres from the Government, and set to work in earnest to clear it of the thick timber with which it was encumbered. His property now numbers one hundred and seventy-five acres, two miles distant from Lake City. In politics Mr. Reeder is a Republican, but he has never been an office-seeker. Nevertheless, he has been frequently urged to serve in a public capacity, and has held the position of Highway Commissioner. He was Street Commissioner for several years, and was the first County Treasurer, afterward filling the office by appointment for two years, and then being elected for the succeeding term.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Moses Reeder, was a native of New York State, and of
German descent. A man of large physique and fine appearance, he is said to have resembled General Washington, and once, when a little boy, had the privilege of offering the "Father of his Country" a drink of water. His life work was then farming. In his religious views he was a member of the Society of Friends, and was noted for his piety, and also for his devotion to his country. He lived to the extreme old age of ninety-six years, his death occurring in Canada, at the home of his son Emon. The gentleman last mentioned, the father of Washington Reeder, was born in Pennsylvania, as was also the lady whom he chose for his wife, namely, Miss Elizabeth Randall. To them were born four sons and two daughters, one of whom has passed to the better land. They are Charles, Daniel, Harriet (wife of John Potter, of this city), Washington, William, and Selina, Mrs. Charles Reeder. Mrs. Elizabeth Reeder is a daughter of Asa Randall, who was born in Pennsylvania, and was of German descent. He followed agricultural pursuits, and lived to a good old age, dying in Canada. Religiously he was a Quaker, and was quiet and unassuming in manner, just and true to both friends and enemies. Emon Reeder moved to Canada with his father when seven years old, and in 1873 came to Lake City, where he made his home the remainder of his life, his death occurring in the fall of 1885, at the age of seventy-eight years. His wife, who survived him until the following June, passed away when in her eighty-first year. Like their parents before them, they were members of the Society of Friends.

The birth of our subject occurred in Victoria County, Canada, July 4, 1841. When twenty-seven years of age he came to Lake City, and has since lived in this community. December 25, 1873. he married Wilhelmina, daughter of George and Tigris (McFarland) Locks. Four children were born of their union, three of the number dying in infancy, the only one surviving being Clarabelle Evalyn.. The mother died in 1886, in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, with which she bad long been identified. January 4, 1888, Mr. Reeder married Emma Whitney, an own cousin of his first wife. She was a member of the Congregational Church, and was a most estimable lady. Her death occurred March 1,. 1889. November 25, 1890, Mr. Reeder married his present wife, whose maiden name was Anna Barry.  Two children have come to bless their union: Washington Randall Garbutt and Lillian May. Mrs. Reeder is a member of the  Presbyterian Church. Her parents were David and Clara Ann (Garbutt) Barry. The family enjoys the friendship and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances, to whom they extend a generous hospitality.
 
 


William J. Morey





William J. Morey, the oldest living settler of Missaukee County, is one of the wealthiest and best representatives of the county. He owns a beautiful home fifteen miles from Lake City, and situated on a farm which comprises seven hundred and thirty-five acres, in addition to which extensive estate the proprietor owns property elsewhere.

Christopher Morey, the father of William J.,  was born in New York State, and lived and died on the old homestead near Salem, in Washington County. He was about fourscore years of age at the time of his demise. His wife, whose name before her marriage was Jane Hutchen, was likewise a native of the Empire State, and preceded him to the silent land. John Morey, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a soldier during the War of the Revolution, and served under De Witt Clinton. He reached a good old age, and was noted for his strength and fine physique, as he was six feet five inches in height and proportionately built. He was a descendant of one Elijah Morey, a native of France, who became an inhabitant of America soon after the landing of the Pilgrims.

William Hutchen, the father of Mrs. Jane Morey, was a son of Charles Hutchen, who was Captain of  a militia company in Revolutionary days, and  who was of Highland Scots descent. He died when well advanced in years, in Greenwich, N. Y. His name was originally spelled Hutchinson, but his son Gallium shortened the orthography to Hutchen. Mathew, a brother of Christopher Morey. was a soldier in the War of 1812.

William J. Morey is one of three children, two sons and a daughter. The latter, Sarah, who was the eldest of the family, became the wife of Hugh Kays, of Van Buren County, this state. Mathew C., the youngest, is deceased. The birth of our subject occurred in Salem, Washington County, N. Y., September 26, 1839. His boyhood years were passed on the old homestead, which was owned by his father, and there he became acquainted  with the many and varied departments pertaining to the management of the farm. He received his primary education in the district schools, and has supplemented the same by general reading and observation.

In 1867 Mr. Morey came to try his fortunes in Michigan, and believing in the future in store for the new county of Missaukee, located on a farm, and for nearly three decades has made his home on the land which he then took up and to which he has gradually added surrounding tracts, until his domains comprise a large section of the best land in the township. The prosperity which he has achieved is owing entirely to his own industrious and persevering efforts, united with his good
business judgment and foresight.
Mr.. Morey was united in marriage with Emma R. Cischco, a daughter of Lee Cischco, her mother's maiden name having been Prior. Mr. Morey uses his right of franchise in favor of the Democratic party, but has never aspired to official distinction, as he finds his time fully occupied in looking after his large farm and other business interests.


Gillis McBain

GILLIS McBAlN, one of the most prominent and representative men of Missaukee County, is justly entitled to the credit of founding the village which was named in his honor. About a quarter of a century ago he settled on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, the site of the present village of McBain, a part of which he platted in 1887 and called Owens. When the railroad was constructed the following fall they gave to the station the name by which it is now known, and the post office was also changed.

Of  late years our subject has given his attention mainly to real-estate dealings, but still owns a hundred acres of his farm and a large tract of adjoining property. He was the first Sheriff of Missaukee County after its organization, and later served in the same capacity for two terms more. He was County Treasure for two years, was the first President of the Village Board, is now Assessor, and has served as Supervisor of Riverside Township. In partnership with T. Caldwell, he built twenty-two and a-half miles of state road in Presque Isle County, and also constructed twenty miles of road in Mason County.

Born five miles east of the town of Galt, Canada, June 16, 1849, our subject is a son of William and Margaret (McBain) McBain, natives of Scotland and of Lower Canada, respectively. They became the parents of eight children, six of whom are living, and named in order of birth as follows: John, Gillis, Alexander, Duncan, Annie (Mrs. Alexander Kennedy) and William. The father migrated from his native land to Canada in his early manhood, and was a pioneer in the heavily timbered region where he first located. About  1872 he came to Michigan, buying a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Riverside Township, this county, and adding thereto other land as time passed. His death occurred in 1886, when he had passed threescore and ten years, and his wife survived him only two years. In Canada he held various township offices, and was a man of prominence. Both he and his good wife are members if the Presbyterian Church, in which he was an officer for many years.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Scotland, and died in that country at an advanced age, after rearing a family of three sons and two daughters to lives of usefulness. The maternal grandfather, Laughlin McBain, was also born in Scotland, and emigrated to Glengarry,  Canada, and thence to the vicinity of Galt, where he bought a farm. His death occurred when he had passed his fourscore years. He was a very devout member of the Presbyterian Church. A man of powerful build, he was over six feet in height, and in this his five sons all resembled him.

The boyhood days of our subject were passed in the land of his birth, and be continued to dwell with his parents until he was twenty years of age. He then set out for Michigan, and began in earnest his life's work. After locating his homestead, as previously stated, he bought other lands from the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company, but made his home in Cadillac for four years after his marriage. That event took place January 9,1881.

Miss Penelope Kennedy being the lady of his choice. She is a daughter of Alexander M. and Mary (Miller) Kennedy, and by her marriage has become the mother of three sons and two daughters named: Grace, Margaret, Roland, Gordon and Kenneth. The mother is a faithful member of the Baptist Church. Fraternally our subject belongs to Pilgrim Commandery No. 23, K. T., of Big Rapids, and is also a Knight of the Maccabees. In his political convictions he is a Republican.


James Nixon

Link to biography

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=micounty;cc=micounty;q1=James%20Nixon;rgn=full%20text;idno=BAD6022.0001.001;didno=BAD6022.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000730


 

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