SAMUEL B. ARDIS
SAMUEL B. ARDIS, a representative business man of Lake City, was City Treasurer for one year, and is a warm supporter of the Republican party. He carries a well selected line of dry goods, clothing, millinery and shoes. In 1883 he came to this city and opened a store, which was unfortunately destroyed by fire only five years later. Mr. Ardis, however, is of that disposition which will not be long cast down by loss and discouragement, and the same year he rebuilt a business place and has continued in the same line of trade as formerly. He has succeeded in making a good reputation for himself as a man who looks out for the wants of his customers, is courteous and affable to all, and gives them the best values obtainable for the money.
Our subject was born and reared in County Armagh, Ireland. His father, William Ardis was an Englishman, while his mother, whose name before her marriage was Mary Boyd, was of Scotch birth. The father was engaged in farming until shortly before his death, which took place in 1889, when he was in his seventy-ninth year. His wife is still living on the old homestead in Ireland. They were members of the Presbyterian Church, and industrious, worthy people. Mark Boyd, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Scotland, and was a farmer by occupation. He lived to attain a very old age, his death occurring in Ireland. He was a staunch Presbyterian and a man of strong religious tendencies.
The education of Samuel B. Ardis was mainly obtained in the Emerald Isle. He started out to make his own livelihood when he was fourteen years of age, at which time he secured a position as a clerk. He set sail for the United States, as he was firmly convinced that in this hospitable land were to be found better opportunities for a young man desirous of success and willing to work for that end. Proceeding to Everett, Mich., he was given a position as a clerk, and held the place for three years. In 1883, as we have previously stated, he came to cast in his lot with the inhabitants of this city, where he has since been engaged in business.
March 28, 1884, Mr. Ardis was united in marriage with Miss Mamie Thompson. They became the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters, Amy, Florence, Everton, Lovell, and two who died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Ardis are members of the Presbyterian Church, and the former is now serving as Elder of the congregation. He is a Master Mason belonging to Lake City Lodge, A.F. & A.M., and is also identified with the Knights of the Maccabees. He owns a pleasant residence property in the city in addition to his business location, and is thoroughly deserving of the success which has crowned his efforts.
RICHARD M. BIELBY
RICHARD M. BIELBY, ex-Sheriff of Missaukee County, has lived within its boundaries for the past thirteen years. He was elected as sheriff in the year 1890, and discharged the duties devolving upon him in an able manner, thus meriting the commendation which is freely bestowed upon him. For four years prior to 1890 he was engaged in the livery business in Lake City. As a business man he has prospered, and as the result of his industries and energetic qualities has made a success. He owns a handsome interest in a tract of hardwood timber-land in this county, the largest livery barn in the place (which he now rents), and a commodious residence.
Born in Toronto, Canada, July 19, 1861, our subject is a son of Richard O. and Jane (Golland) Bielby, who are also natives of Toronto. They are the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters, and the family circle is still unbroken by death. Their children in the order of birth are as follows: Richard M.; Elizabeth Ann, wife of William Upstell, of Hamilton, Ontario; John H., of Lake City; Lillie M., Mrs. Charles Bosfield, of Perry Sound District, Ontario; William J., also of Perry Sound District; and Maggie, who lives in Hamilton with her parents. Richard O. Bielby has always been engaged in farming, but is now living retired. At various times he held township offices, and religiously he and his wife are Wesleyan Methodists.
Richard M. Bielby was reared in the vicinity of his birthplace, on his father's and uncles' farms. He received a district-school education, and in his youth worked for neighboring farmers. In 1880 he came to this county, and for seven years worked on the Muskrat Lake & Clam River Railroad. On coming to Lake City he embarked in the livery business, which he followed for four years, when he was elected to serve as County Sheriff. He is a stalwart Republican, and never fails to vote at election times. Fraternally he is a Master Mason, a Knight of Pythias, and belongs to the Old Fellows' Encampment and to the Knights of the Maccabees.
March 27, 1888, Mr. Bielby married Miss Jennie, daughter of James and Olive (Barber) White. They have two daughters and a son, named as follows: Maggie M., Bertha and John R. M. The parents are members of the presbyterian Church, and liberal contributors to its departments of activity.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Richard O. Bielby, a
native of Yorkshire, England. He emigrated to Canada when a young man, and
helped survey the township of Waterloo. In early life he learned the shoemaker's
trade, but later turned his attention to farming. He died at the age of seventy
years. He was a devoted Christian, and particularly careful to avoid the
breaking of the Sabbath in any way, and would not allow his children to make a
visit or do any work on that day. Mathew Golland, father of Mrs. Jane
Bielby, is still living, at the ripe old age of eighty-six years, in Huntington,
Canada. He has made his life work that of farming and trading. Though he had
small advantages for obtaining an education, he is a well informed man and has
been successful. Six of his family, which numbered three sons and four
daughters, are yet living. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Church.
FRANK L. COTTER
FRANK L. COTTER, the efficient and successful Principal of the public schools of McBain, formerly held a like position in the Marion schools for three years. He is a native of St. George, Ontario, born July 4, 1871, and there grew to manhood, receiving his early education. Subsequently he took a collegiate and normal course at Galt, Ontario. After his graduation he commenced his professional career at Eldon, in the same province, and taught there for a year. For a like period of time he worked in a printing office and was editor in this village. He owns a good residence property here, and has made for himself a reputation as a man of ability and progressive ideas.
The parents of our subject were Dennis and Margaret (Sullivan) Cotter, native of Cork and Limerick, Ireland, respectively. About 1850 they sailed for Canada and on arriving in Ontario continued there to dwell for upwards of thirty-eight years. During the War of the Rebellion Mr. Cotter served for three years as a member of Company G, First Michigan Engineers. When the war had closed he returned to Canada and followed his former occupation of railroading. About 1878 he received a terrible injury, which crippled him for life. He fell between the cars, the wheels passing over his feet, but fortunately amputation was not deemed necessary. In 1888 he came to Missaukee County with his family, having a farm on section 18, Riverside Township, where he has since resided. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. Dennis Cotter was an only child and his father died in Ireland many years ago, in middle life. He was a gardener by occupation, and in religion was a Catholic. The father of Mrs. Cotter was William Sullivan, who was also a native of the Emerald Isle, and in his religious convictions a Catholic. Removing to Branchton, Ontario, he lived there for about fifteen years, then coming to the United States and passing his last years in Boston, where he died when well along in years.
Frank L. Cotter was married on Christmas Day, 1893 to Miss M. Agnes Clancy, who was born in St. John's, Mich., and there grew to womanhood. Her parents were Dennis and Margaret (Flynn) Clancy, who are members of the Catholic Church as is also Mrs. Cotter.
In questions of national importance Mr. Cotter uses his right of franchise in support of nominees of he Republican party. His first Presidential ballot was cast in the election of 1892, for Benjamin Harrison.
CLARENCE W. CROMWELL
CLARENCE W. CROMWELL, a prominent lumberman of McBain, in company with his father and brother, established a large sawmill here in the spring of 1891. The capacity of the two mills which they now operate is about forty-five thousand feet of lumber pay day, and employment is given to about seventy-five men. The firm makes a specialty of all kinds of dimension stock, in maple, cherry, rock-elm and other hard woods.
The paternal grandfather of C. W. Cromwell was born in Orange County, N. Y., but was of English parentage. He owned a farm near Newburg, on the Hudson River, and lived in that vicinity until his death, which occurred at a good old age. His family numbered twelve children, five sons and seven daughters, the youngest being Joseph W., the father of our subject. The latter was born on the old farm in Orange County, where he passed his youth. On arriving at suitable years he married Caroline White who was born in Georgetown, D. C. Four children came to grace their union, namely: Joseph, who has a Government position in Washington, D. C.; C. W., William O., and Irene. Mrs. Caroline Cromwell is a daughter of Robert White, a leading man and merchant of Georgetown, D.C. He was an enthusiastic Methodist, and after making a speech in a camp-meeting in which he said that he was ready to die at any time, he was summoned to his final rest, being then over eighty years of age.
In 1869 Joseph W. Cromwell emigrated to Ft. Wayne, Ind., and engaged in the lumber business. He had previously followed that trade in West Virginia for eighteen years. With his faithful wife he is still living in Ft. Wayne. Religiously they are Presbyterians, belonging to the First Church, in which Mr. Cromwell has been an Elder for many years. His father, likewise, affiliated with that denomination. During the war he was Provost-Marshal at Fairmount, having been appointed by Governor Pierpoint.
The birth of Clarence W. Cromwell occurred in Fairmount, W. Va., July 19, 1863, but from his sixth year until reaching maturity he lived with his parents in Ft. Wayne, receiving a good common-school education. From his early years he has been interested in lumbering with his father, and is thoroughly acquainted with the business. He owns farm and timber lands in Missaukee County, and several residences in McBain, but is now making his home at Cadillac. He was a member of the Village Board for one term, when McBain was incorporated, and uses his right of franchise in favor of the Democracy.
On the 18th of September, 1888, our subject was united in marriage with Eloise, daughter of Ashley C. Perrin. Mrs. Cromwell is a member of the English Lutheran Church of Ft. Wayne. She is an amiable and accomplished lady, who presides over her husband's home with grace and womanly tact.
ALVAH G. SMITH
ALVAH G. SMITH, a leading young attorney of Lake City, has been located here since the spring of 1891, and the following year was elected to the position of Prosecuting Attorney, which office he is filling most acceptably to all concerned. Besides holding that office he is also Circuit Court Commissioner. As a lawyer he possesses marked ability and enjoys a lucrative practice.
The parents of the foregoing gentleman were Edward O. And Sarah C. (Paine) Smith, the former a native of New York, of Scotch-Irish descent, and the latter born in Pennsylvania. In the early part of his life, Edward Smith followed the trade of dyeing and cloth-dressing, but in 1837 he came to Michigan and located a farm in Eaton County. There he continued to reside until 1864, when he took up his abode in Lyons Township, Ionia County, where he also engaged in farming. His death occurred on the 4th of July, 1889, when he had almost reached fourscore years. His wife is still living. Edward Smith was previously married, his first wife being Miss Anna Carpenter, who bore him a son, James E., who is deceased. Alvah G. is the only child of the second union. Religiously Edward Smith was a member of the Christian Church, while his wife inclined to the Baptist faith.
Our subject was born in Sunfield Township, Eaton County, this state, March 14, 1862. From the time he was two and a-half years old he was brought up in Lyons Township, Ionia County, there receiving his early education. Subsequently he attended the schools of Portland, after which, going to the University of Michigan, he located at Ann Arbor and pursued a course of study in the law department. He graduated in 1889 and was admitted to the Bar the following year.
On commencing the practice of his chosen profession, Mr. Smith located at Stanton, Montcalm County, this state, and was there for about a year, in partnership with N. J. Brown. April 8, 1891, he came to Lake City, as he believed there were better opportunities for a young man of merit to succeed in this energetic place. The wisdom of his decision has been shown by the large clientage and fine practice he is now in possession of. Fraternally Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic order and is also connected with he Maccabees.
May 21, 1881, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Ada M., daughter of William and Jeannette (Young) Willett. Of this union two sons and a daughter have been born, namely: Edward O.; William H., who died in infancy; and Sarah C. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Presbyterian Church, and have a host of sincere friends in this community, whom they delight in entertaining in their hospitable and pleasant home.
The paternal grandfather of Mr. Smith, Edward Smith, was a native of County Cavan, Ireland, but was of Scotch descent. He came to the United States prior to the War of 1812 and took part in that struggle. Subsequently he removed to Saratoga County, N. J., where he became the owner of a sawmill. His death occurred in that county at a good old age, and his wife was over ninety at the time of her demise. They reared a family of seven children. Roswell E. Paine, the maternal father of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania and of French descent. He was a farmer by occupation. He also reached a good old age, being nearly ninety years old at the time of his death, and his wife died about one week before. They were both members of the Baptist Church.
JOHN R. TENNANT
JOHN R. TENNANT was elected to his present responsible position as Sheriff of Missaukee County on the 6th of November, 1894. He is one of the well known and respect inhabitants of Lake City, and prior to his recent election was for several years manager of the County Poor Farm. His father died before completing his term of office in that capacity, and the son was chosen to finish the term, after which he was retained for three years more, severing his connection with the institution by resignation, on taking up the duties of Sheriff.
The parents of our subject were Amos G. and Albina U. (Warner) Tennant, native of Connecticut and Michigan, respectively. They were the parents of four children, three of whom are living, namely: Ida, Mrs. William Rosvier, of this city; John R.; and Gerald Flora, deceased, the wife of Frank Ferguson. In his younger days, Amos G. Tennant worked as a mechanic, but after the war turned his attention to farming. From his native state he emigrated to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio, and finally to this state. He settled in Saginaw City when the county was very new, and sawed the first lumber used in the construction of the Bancroft Hotel of that place, being at the time employed in the sawmill belonging to Capt. E. B. Ward. From Saginaw he removed to Macomb County, where he engaged in farming and saw milling. He was a soldier during the late war, having volunteered as a member of Company I, Twenty-eighth Michigan Infantry, and served for three years. He enlisted as a private, and came out of the service as Second Lieutenant. After the war his principal occupation was farming. He died February 5, 1891, at the Missaukee County Poor Farm, of which he had charge at the time. He was in his sixtieth year when called to his final rest. Politically he was a Republican, and socially was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. His wife, who holds membership with the Baptist Church, is still living. His father, John R. Tennant, who was a native of Scotland, came to America and settled in Connecticut at an early day. He was one of the pioneers of Macomb County, Michigan. After living there a number of years, he removed to Osceola County, where he died at the age of eighty-seven years. Two years before his death, he took an axe and chopped down a tree two and a-half feet in diameter. He was pleasant and genial in manner, and a great lover of children. His family comprised five sons.
John R. Tennant was born in Galesburg, this state, October 7, 1861, and from the age of ten years until arriving at manhood lived in Osceola County. There he received limited school advantages, and early worked as a lumberman. After leaving home, the winter he was twenty-one years old, he bought eighty acres of land, and for five years gave his energies to clearing it of timber. For the next year and a-half he was employed as compass man for the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad. John Frowley then employed him at making an estimate of soil and timber-lands. In the summer of 1890 he went to Wisconsin, driving logs the entire length of the Menomonee River. Entering the employ of the Peshtigo Lumber Company, of Peshtigo, Wis., he was one of five persons who looked up and reported on one hundred and sixty-five thousand acres of land which belonged to that firm. At the end of this time he returned to this county to fill out his father's unexpired term.
May 25, 1892, Mr. Tennant married Miss Marion, daughter of Andrew and Annie (McKellar) Young. She is a native of Canada, her birth having occurred August 22, 1869. Mr. Tennant is a member of the Old Fellows' fraternity, and in politics uses his ballot in supporting the Republican party.
JAMES E. WRIGHT
JAMES E. WRIGHT, County Clerk and Register of Deeds of Missaukee County, has dwelt in Lake City since April, 1886, having been elected to these positions in the fall of 1890, and in the fall of 1894 re-elected to serve for a third term. He is a worker in the ranks of the Republican party, and has made a good record for himself and constituents while a servant of the public. He is now running a set of abstract books for the county on a system of his own origination.
Mr. Wright is a native of Michigan, his birth having occurred in Antrim Township, Shiawassee County, this state, August 9, 1850. He is one of nine children, five of whom are deceased. Mary E. is the wife of Henry W. Webster, of McBain, this state; Francis also resides in the above city; and Wilbur C. makes his home in Unionville, Tuscola County, Michigan.
The parents of the family just mentioned were Isaac S. A. and Betsy M. (Bliss) Wright, both of whom were born in the Empire State. The former is now living a retired life at McBain. For many years he was a lumberman, and also conducted a farm in Shiawassee County. He came to this state in 1835, settling in Livingston County, where he resided for fourteen years. In 1849 he removed to Shiawassee County, within whose boundaries he dwelt until 1891. When he arrived in Michigan, it had not yet been admitted to the sisterhood of states. For several years he was Supervisor of Antrim Township, Shiawassee County, and was one of its pioneers. His father, James Wright, who was of Scotch descent, was born in New York. His father and two brothers emigrated from Scotland. James Wright ran a sawmill and farm in New York State for a number of years. In 1835 he became a settler of Livingston County, Mich., where his death occurred at the age of eight-four years. Ebenezer Bliss, father of Betsy M. Wright, was also born in New York, and came to Michigan about 1840. He settled in Iosco Township, Livingston County, where he operated a farm until his death, which occurred in middle life.
James E. Wright lived on the old homestead where he was born until he was thirty-five years of age, giving his attention to farming and milling. He received his early education in the district schools, after which he attended the academy at Corunna, from which he was graduated. When twenty years of age, he began teaching in the district schools, and followed that profession for upwards of ten years. In April, 1886, he came to this country, and was Principal of the public schools for a year. He then resigned his position to become agent for the Cadillac & Northeastern Railroad Company, in whose employ he remained for one month over three years. In the past four years as we have stated he has been engaged in public service.
December 14, 1873, Mr. Wright married Ella R. Wiseman. The young couple have had born to them two children, Gene E. and one who died in infancy. Mrs. Wright is a daughter of Alonzo and Jane A. (Henry) Wiseman, residents of Putnam Township, Shiawassee County. For eighteen years Mr. and Mrs. Wright were members of the Methodist denomination, but are now affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wright is a Master Mason, and also holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows' societies. He uses his right of franchise in favor of the Republican party. He is popular and highly respected by his fellow-citizens, and merits the confidence which they bestow upon him.
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