FRANK J. SYMES
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The Frank J. Symes Residence
From a postcard:
To Mildred from Mary,
Mildred I sent your shall and dress today Pa will rite you next time ant
Ro?? will go to B??? to atind the furnel of Charles R??h's wife tomorrow
good By Pa
Submitted by John Nauta
FRANK J. SYMES, one of the enterprising business men of McBain, has made his home in this place for the past five years, and owns a lumber-mill, which affords employment to about twenty-five men the year round, and in addition to this is proprietor of a general mercantile store. In company with his four brothers, he erected a planning-mill, sash and door factory and retail lumber yard in the village of Bancroft, Shiawassee County, this state, and was located there for about ten years. The plant is now owned by him and his eldest brother, James E., the latter having the management of the business, as our subject's local interests demand the major portion of his time. Mr. Symes owns four hundred and forty acres of land and timber land in this county, his business place and eight houses, besides his residence in McBain. Politically he is a Republican, and has served as School Trustee for one term.
The father of the gentleman of whom we write is John T. Symes, a native of Ohio, who is now a lumber dealer at St. Charles, Michigan. He came to this state about 1864, and for twenty years was actively engaged in business in St. Charles as a lumberman. At the end of that time he began keeping a hotel, which he has since conducted. His father was a native of England, and on his emigration to the New World settled in Massachusetts, where he lived to attain a good old age.
The mother of Frank J. Symes was Mary D., daughter of Amos Hine. She was born in Connecticut, and removed to Berlin, Erie County, Ohio, when the country was a wilderness, the journey being made by ox-teams. Her father bought a farm in that locality, erected a sawmill, and there spent the remainder of his days, dying when he was about sixty years of age. Mrs. Mary Symes was born on her father's new farm in Ohio, and by her marriage became the mother of four sons and a daughter, namely: James E., George B., Frank J., Henry W. (deceased) and Mary E. A native of Milan, Ohio, our subject was born November 25, 1852, and was reared on a farm. He lived at home until he had grown to man's estate, receiving a common-school education in the mean time. In 1880 he came to this state and located at St. Charles, where his father was living, and after working as a lumberman with his four brothers for a few months, went to Bancroft, where he passed the next decade, after which he came to this village. Besides operating his sawmill he has a retail lumber-yard and planing-mill.
On the 6th of December, 1876, Frank J. Symes married Miss Mary Newton, daughter of John M. and Sarah A. (Smith) Newton. Three sons and two daughters have been born of their union: Leona A., Roy F., John T. (deceased), Sara B. and Paul N. Mr. and Mrs. Symes are both Methodists in religious faith, but the latter is now identified with the Presbyterian Church, in which she organized a local Sunday-school, of which she is the Superintendent. Her father was born in New York and her mother in Ohio. The formers people were residents of Scriba, N.Y., and his mother was one of the heirs to the Trinity Church property in New York City. He was Captain of a militia company at Toledo at one time, and just before his death was the Republican nominee for State Representative. His widow, who is a member of the Methodist Church, is now making her home at Milan, Ohio, which place is also the residence of the mother of our subject. The great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Symes was a brother of Sir Isaac Newton. The paternal grandmother of Mr. Symes lived to be about eighty-five years of age. She was of very large build and strong in proportion. At one time she took a sword away from a man who was brandishing it over her father's head, and once when her right arm had been broken and improperly set by a physician, she broke it over again and set the injured member as it should have been done in the first place. When over eighty years of age she walked to the county seat, a distance of twelve miles, paid her taxes and then walked home.
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