HISTORY OF TUSCOLA COUNTY
THE METHODIST CHURCH
In the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Tuscola County
will be found the early history of the society in Tuscola village. The first sermon ever preached in the county
was preached here in 1839 by Rev. Mr. Whitwan. The first class in the county was organized
here ten years later and the embers were Lovira Hart,
Esther Hart, Leander W. Van Kleeck, Emily Van Kleeck and Mary Hines.
The church edifice was built in 1867 and dedicated in February,
1868. The building was erected by the
Wesleyan Methodists and Methodist Episcopal branches, to be used alternately,
but the latter have succeeded the former.
December 25, 1858, William Johnson, D. W. Harrison, J. M. Palmer, Dennis Harrison, E. Harrison, E. Ellis and A. J. Slafter signed articles of association for the organization of the “First Wesleyan Methodist Society of Tuscola.” At a meeting held at the house of William Johnson in the town of Tuscola, January 10, 1859, the following named were elected trustees of the society; viz: W. H. Harrison, Edwin Ellis and James M. Palmer. This branch continued as a society until its numbers, from one cause and another, were so diminished that the organization was practically abandoned.
The Methodist Episcopal Society has, at the present time, about ninety-five members, and the Sunday-school about seventy-five members. The more recent ministers have been Revs. Strong,
Moon, Storer, Pierce, Bailey and the present pastor, Rev. R. D. Robinson.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH. ---BY L. HENRY LEE
Among the early
settlers of Tuscola there were a few who had been members of Baptist Churches
in the Eastern States but on settling in the “wilderness” they did not take
steps to organize a Baptist Church, but helped to sustain other organizations
and worked in their Sunday-schools.
The first sermon preached in Tuscola County, so far as is known, by a Baptist minister, was preached by Rev. J.S. Goodman, then of Flint, at the funeral of John Slafter, in the latter part of November, 1856. In the winter of 1857-58 Rev. William Wisner held a very interesting series of meetings in the school-house in the village, and in the spring following it was decided by the few Baptists in and about the village that the time had come to organize a church. Accordingly, on the last Saturday in March, 1858, the following named brethren and sisters entered into covenant obligations with one another with their God, viz: Brethren E. W. Perry, G. W. Smith, and Sisters A.C.Slafter, Almina Richardson, A. M.Tobey, Persis Slafter and Susan B. Tivy, three of whom, Sisters Richardson, Tobey and A. C. Slafter are still with us.
Others soon united, so that in the latter part of December, 1858, when Rev. M. Hayden came among us, the church numbered seventeen members. The church was organized as a regular gospel church by council July 15, 1858, A. H. Cole, chairman of council, F. R. Tracy, clerk. Soon after the organization of the church, Bro. E.W. Perry was chosen clerk, and Abijah Lee, deacon. Elder Hayden remained with the church about six months.
In March, 1860, Rev. W. D. Potter came upon the field as a missionary of the Flint River Association, and remained with us two years, preaching to us in two weeks.
Rev. J. Hawker was our next pastor, laboring very acceptable with us two years.
Early in 1865 Rev. W. W. Robson settled with us as pastor, and remained with us between one and two years, after which we were supplied for a while by Rev. H. Stowits, after which Rev. A. A. Mead acted as pastor till some time in 1868.
In the spring of 1866 it was decided to undertake the building of a meeting-house. Accordingly, work was commenced, but it was not completed until the spring of 1870, and the first meeting in it was the covenant meeting of May 15, 1870, and on June 1st of that year it was dedicated; sermon by A. J. Frost, prayer by Rev. S. W. Titus. The church then numbered thirteen members, four males and nine females.
Soon after the dedication a call was given to Bro. I. Horton to be our pastor, which he accepted, and at a council held September 14, 1870, he was ordained. He held the pastoral relation until September 10, 1871.
January 7, 1872, a call was given to Bro. H. E. Adams, which he accepted and on February 20, 1872, he was formally set apart to the work of the gospel ministry by council. Bro. Adams resigned in the latter part of 1873.
September 19, 1875, Mr. V. Frazer was called to the pastorate. He resigned July, 1876.
October 11, 1876, a call was extended to our present pastor, Rev. P. Forbes, who still labors with us with much zeal and energy.
Since the formation of this church its statistical changes have been as follows: Baptized, 48; received by letter, 55; by experience, 24; dismissed, 44; excluded, 13; dropped, 1 ; died 14; present number, 61.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS.
The Seventh Day Adventist Society, of Tuscola, was organized October 20, 1866, with seventeen members. John L. Miller was chosen elder. About that time they purchased the old school house of Mr. Dennis Harrison for a place of meeting. The original number of members has been diminished and regular meetings are not now held.
A class of five members and a Sunday-school in connection with the North Michigan Conference of the United Brethren in Christ, was organized in 1883 by Rev. A. E. Seibert, of the Vassar Church, with a membership of five, which meets in the schoolhouse in the northern part of the town. Services are held every two weeks.
The village school belongs to School District No. 1, and since 1867 has been a graded school. The present school building was erected about 1854. The present teacher is John A. Chapel, and the number of school children in the district is 148.
There is an Odd
Fellows’ lodge which has a good membership and is flourishing.
A post of the G.A. R. was instituted in the village recently and christened Harper Post, No. 101. The members were mustered in by Col. J.V. Russell, of Granger Post, No. 38, East Saginaw. Officers were installed as follows: Post commander, William Marks; senior post commander, A. J. Haines; junior post commander, R. B. Rogers; quartermaster, Orson Orms; adjutant, Alonzo Slafter; chaplain, M. E. Greenough; officer of the day Charles Hustler; officer of the guard, Lucius Bush; sergeant major, Fred Clemens; quartermaster sergeant, G. W. White. THE RICHARDSONS.
John H. Richardson, senator from the
Thirtieth District, is a native of Vermont, born in Randolph, January 24,
1814. His father, Harper Richardson, was
born in Royalton, Vt., and is of Scotch orgin. Three Richardson brothers emigrated from
Scotland in an early day, probably in the sixteenth century, one locating in
Connecticut, one in Philadelphia and the other in New York City. His mother was Roxy Belknap, born in
Randolph, Vt., a descendant of the Kibby family, who
also were among the first settlers of Connecticut.
Mr. Richardson’s father was a blacksmith by trade, and followed that calling in Randolph, Vt., until a few years previous to his death, which occurred in 1838. His means were somewhat limited, and the only educational advantages our subject enjoyed were those afforded by the district schools of that day. As soon as he was old enough to command wages he worked at farming by the month during the summer season, getting but a few weeks’ schooling each winter. At the age of nineteen years he gathered his personal effects into a pack, and with this on his back he traveled on foot from Randolph to Old Ipswich, Mass. Arriving in that vicinity he worked one summer on a farm, and in the fall commenced work in a cotton factory. He was employed in the preparation department one and a half years, and was then tendered the position of overseer of the department, which duty he assumed and discharged satisfactorily for seven years, his salary of $1.50 per day being then considered big wages. He next went to Chicopee, Mass., and worked one year in refitting an old mill, after which he removed to Palmer, where parties were putting up a mill for the manufacture of the finest cambric goods. He filled the position of overseer in this mill for seven years.
In the year 1847 he removed to Michigan, and located near Tuscola. He entered a tract of pine lands, built a saw-mill, and engaged in the lumber business, which he followed until 1877, when he erected a flouring-mill and a sash and blind factory. He has been eminently successful n business, and has acquired a fine competence, all the fruits of his own labor. He has two large farms in the immediate vicinity of Tuscola, which he also conducts.
Two years after settling in Michigan Mr. Richardson was elected to the office of supervisor. Tuscola County was then attached to Saginaw for judicial purposes. It was organized as a county in 1850, when our subject, in company with the clerk, constituted the whole county board. He has held the office of supervisor at different times aggregating about seventeen years.
In 1861 he raised a company of volunteers and tendered its services to the governor. He was elected captain. His services at Balls Bluff, Maryland, where Baker was slaughtered, were recognized by his promotion to major of the Seventy-Seventh Michigan Volunteers. His company being mostly lumbermen, and able to “ride a log,” they were detailed to man the boats being used to convey the army to the Maryland shore in their retreat. He was interviewed by General McClellan, who asked him if he thought he could get the whole army safely over by daylight. Receiving an affirmative answer, the general said: “For God’s sake do it. Command the whole army; they are in your hands.” The feat was safely accomplished and the Army of the Potomac, or at least a portion of it, saved from capture. His regiment went through the Peninsular campaign, where Mr. Richardson proved to be of great service in superintending the building of bridges and the log roads approaching Yorktown, over which heavy ordnance might be drawn. At the battle of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines he led his regiment, the colonel being sick and the lieutenant-colonel having resigned. He was situated in the break between the two divisions of the Union army, the one at Seven pines and the other at Fair Oaks, and was pitted against three rebel regiments, far outnumbering his force; but by a charge of bayonets he drove them from their positions, thus connecting the two divisions of the Federal forces and preventing what might have been a serious break in their lines.
At the close of the Peninsular campaign he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-Seventh Michigan Volunteers, and was sent with his regiment to Vicksburg, where they participated in Grant’s campaign. He was taken ill with rheumatism and a pulmonary difficulty in the fall of 1863, and was advised to resign, which he did. He did not recover sufficiently to again enter the army; in fact, has never been in sound physical condition since.
In the fall of 1864, he, with others, was commissioned to go to Decatur, Alabama, to take the soldiers’ vote. He was also appointed commissioner to lay the State road from Saginaw to Mackinac.
Mr. Richardson has held some office of trust ever since he became a resident of Michigan, and has served the public faithfully in whatever capacity it has seen fit to have him represent.
In 1868 he was elected a delegate for the State of Michigan to the Chicago convention that nominated U. S. Grant as president of the United States. In the fall of 1882 he was tendered the nomination, as representative to congress, by the Democratic and Greenback parties of his district, but declined on account of his own pressing business which demanded his personal attention.
He was elected to the State senate in the fall of 1882, by the Greenback and Democratic parties, of the Thirtieth District, which includes the counties of Bay and Tuscola. His majority was 1,629 votes over the Republican nominee. He had been a Republican until the Liberal Republican movement of 1872. Was tendered the nomination for representative in congress by the Greenback party of his district, but they were in the minority, and he failed to get the election.
In the senate Mr. Richardson was chairman of the committee on school for the blind, and member of committee on cities and villages, military affairs, public health and saline interests. Among other bills introduced by him is the one requiring the State to pay to the soldiers of the late war, the $100 bounty promised those who enlisted in 1864, and which they have never been able to get.
Mr. Richardson was married in 1841, to Miss Cynthia Henry, of Connecticut. They have had seven children. The eldest son, Lieutenant Harper S. Richardson, entered the army with his father, and was wounded at Jackson, Miss., form the effects of which he died in the hospital at Detroit. His eldest daughter died of consumption, in May, 1880.
Mr. Richardson has a fine residence in the village of Tuscola, where he has won the confidence and esteem of his many friends, as attested by their gift to him of the honorable position he so ably occupied in representing the in the senate of Michigan.
P. B. Richardson is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and was born in 1814. For a time worked in the United States armory there, and for the Boston & Springfield Company, making and repairing cotton machinery; came to Tuscola in 1854, where he has since resided, and engaged in mercantile business, occupying for two or three years the Tuscola store, built by Col. J. H. Richardson-the first store built in the county. He then built his present store and has since been doing a general mercantile business in the building then erected. He also has a fine farm of 160 acres on section 22, Tuscola Township, and has built thereon a residence, at a cost of $2,000; keeping some of the finest stock in the county, among which may be mentioned a number of Holstein cattle, which he imported from Germany, three Norman Percheron horses, brought out from France, and a Hambletonian stallion. He also brought with him from the East two Morgan horses. He sold, in 1882, two Holstein cows for $525, and two calves and a yearling for $425.
Mr. Richardson has been under-sheriff a number of terms, and also constable. He was married at Chicoppe Falls, Massachusetts, to Miss Abigail S. Graves, by whom he has had two sons and one daughter.
S. L. Richardson was
born at East Randolph, Orange County, Vermont, in 1816, and at the age of
nineteen years went to Ipswich, Massachusetts, remaining there till 1841, when
he removed to South Danvers, where he remained fifteen years. At Ipswich he learned the tanner and currier’s
trade, and worked at it there and at South Danvers. He came to Tuscola the 17th of
May, 1848, and bought a farm in the edge of Saginaw County, on the Indian
reserve, which he cleared and improved.
It being very fertile soil, he reports a yield of 406 bushels of wheat
from thirteen acres, and remarks of it that it was sold for sixty-two cents per
bushel, and was taken up the Cass River to be fed to oxen. He probably brought in the first mower and
threshing machine used in the county.
In connection with Col. Richardson and Mr. Deiderich he built the Tuscola grist-mill, in 1869, and on February 17, 1870, it commenced running. After six years he sold his interest in the mill, but now, in company with his son, is running it.
Dr. Paschal Richardson was born at Randolph, Vt., and commenced the practice of medicine in Massachusetts. In 1844 he came to Michigan, and settled on a farm in Genesee County. He afterward moved into the village of Flint, and in 1848 came to Tuscola with Colonel Richardson and engaged in business as already stated. He died in April, 1878. He was three times married, and left a widow at his death who still resides in Tuscola. Dr.
Richardson was one of the prominent men of the county. He held several local offices, and was at one time a member of the legislature.
John L. Richardson is a native of Ipswich, Essex County, Mass., and was born in 1834. In 1844 he came to Michigan with his parents, and settled in the township of Thetford, Genesee County, and in 1849 came to Tuscola. Mr. Richardson graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan, in 1867, and has since practiced his profession. Has been township clerk two years, township treasurer four years, and supervisor five years, holding the office at the present time.
John Slafter was born at Mansfield, Conn., October 31, 1776. He married Persis Grow, of Hartland, Vt., January 14, 1805. She was born June 17, 1783. Mr. Slafter inherited the paternal estate of Norwich, Vt., where he resided for many years. He held the office of justice of the peace, and was a prominent citizen of that place. He followed surveying at times, and an old compass that he used is now in possession of Hon. D. G. Slafter, at Tuscola. The instrument must be a century old, and is a curiosity. In 1850 Mr. Slafter sold his estate in Vermont, and removed to Tuscola, where his sons had already located. He died November 2, 1856.
Hon. David G. Slafter was born at Norwich, Vt. January 1, 1817. February 11, 1843, he married Ann Calista, daughter of John Lucas, of Pierrepont, N. Y. She was born December 6, 1825. In the fall of 1849 they settled in the town of Tuscola, and since that time Mr. Slafter has occupied a prominent position in business and public affairs. With the exception of one year, he has held the office of justice of the peace ever since 1852, and during all that time he has never had a case reversed. He was judge of probate four years, enrolling officer and deputy provost marshal from 1863 until the close of the war, and a member of the legislature in 1863 and at the extra session of 1864. Mr. Slafter’s business has been mainly real estate and lumbering. He is now extensively engaged in buying and selling pine lands, and at the present time is largely interested in pine lands in Alabama. He is a stockholder in and vice-president of the First National Bank of Vassar. He is a man of superior business ability, and is regarded as one of the leading men of the county.
William Slafter is a native of Norwich, Windsor County, Vt., where he was born October 1, 1807. In 1849 he came to Tuscola, bringing his family, and reaching the county on the 17th day of October, and with the exception of five years, between 1854 and 1859, spent in Genesee County, has since resided here. In coming into the county his party consisted of his wife and five children- Flora E., Albert, Alonzo, Mary and Anne R., also D. G. Slafter and wife. At Flint they hired a man, by the name of Russell, to bring them through with his horses and wagon, but when in the vicinity of Pine Run he declared himself lost, and after wandering about for some time they finally encamped four miles south of Tuscola village, on what is now Mrs. Calkins place, and built a fire. William and D. G. Slafter then struck out in search of the settlement, and along in the night reached Tuscola, where they procured help and returned for the remainder of the party, bringing them in about two o’clock in the morning. Mrs. Slafter and daughter Mary died within the following two weeks. Mr. Slafter was foreman for P. Richardson & Co., in their lumber camps, and running sawed lumber in rafts to Saginaw, for many years, and was the first highway commissioner who did very much toward improving the roads.
Judson Slafter was born at Norwich, Vt., January 3, 1822, and settled in Tuscola in 1850. August 12, 1862, he enlisted in the service, and was made sergeant of Company D. Twenty-third Michigan Volunteers. He was wounded at Campbell’s Station, Tenn., November 16th, and died in the hospital soon after. He left a widow and three children. He was a man very much esteemed, and an excellent soldier.
John Farwell Slafter was born at Mansfield, Conn., November 11,
1814, and died at Keokuk, Iowa, October 24, 1847.
There were four daughters, viz.: Phalle Richardson Slafter, born at Norwich, January 1, 1806, who married Nahum Wilson, of Barre, Vt., March 17, 1828, and died in August, 1863.
Persis Grow Slafter, born December 28, 1809, who married Austin Hutchinson of Norwich, Vt., December, 1832, and died at Hartland, Vt., in 1879.
Almina Louise Slafter, widow of the late Dr. Paschal Richardson, still living in Tuscola also Augusta Melvina, wife of Oliver P. Tobey, of Tuscola
Alonzo Slafter, son of William Slafter, was born in Norwich, Windsor County, Vt., December 27, 1842, and came to Tuscola with his parents in 1849, and since has resided here, with the exception of the time he spent in the army. On the 8th of December, 1864, he enlisted in the Thirtieth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served until the 23d of June 1865. They rendezvoused at Camp Blair, Jackson, and from there were ordered to Keely’s Hall, corner of Orleans and Lafayette Streets, Detroit, where they were mustered in, and were afterward at the Detroit barracks, on what was termed “frontier service, “ and enforced the passport system. Mr. Slafter has a farm near the village of Tuscola, and at one time was engaged in the nursery business, having an original stock of 64,000 trees.
TRACES OF COAL
For some time
prior to the year 1848, John Miller, a blacksmith, was in the habit of getting
his coal from a vein that cropped out in the river, near the mouth of Colt’s
Creek, and which was accessible when the water was low. The attention of the few people who were in
this locality was absorbed in lumbering, and but little thought was given to
In 1859 the Richardsons sunk a shaft to a depth of sixteen feet, near the tannery, and struck a vein of coal underlaid with fire clay.
A few years ago Mr. Philo Richardson sunk a well on his farm, and at the depth of fifty-five feet drilled through a vein of coal, about five feet in thickness. Mr. Peter Baldwin had a similar experience in sinking a well on his farm. Specimens of the coal have been preserved, and it s believed that the county about Tuscola village is underlaid with this valuable mineral, but in what quantities has not been determined.
Census of 854: Population, 437; males, 235; females, 202; number ofmarriages during preceding year, 13; number of deaths during preceding year, 3; number of acres of taxable ---- 13, 434; number of acres improved, 1,124; number of acres of wheat, 261; bushels of corn preceding year, 4,050; bushels of wh--- preceding year, 2,145; bushels of potatoes preceding year, 2,---- 00 of hay cut preceding year, 245; pounds of wool sheared ---- pounds of butter made preceding year, 3,750, poundsof chese made preceding year, 20; number of horses, 31; number of --- oxen, 70; number of cows, 91; number of flouring-mills, 1; number of barrels of flour made preceding year, 100; number of saw mills, 3; feet of lumber cut, 1, 800,000.
Census of 1860; Population, 954; number of families, 121; number of dwelling-houses, 121; value of real estate owned, $38,670; number of farms, 156; number of acres improved, 3,627; number of horses, 120; number of cows, 243; bushels of wheat
raised, 4,308; bushels of rye, 844; bushels of corn, 7,941; bushels of oats, 6,001; bushels of potatoes, 4,441; pounds of wool sheared, 43; pounds of butter made, ---; tons of hay cut, 168; number of flouring-mills, 1; number of saw-mills, 1; feet of lumber sawed, 500,000.
Census of 1864: Population, 1,022; males, 518; females, 504; number of deaths preceding year, 1; number of acres of taxable land, 10,875; number of acres improved, 3,552; acres of wheat, 295; bushels of corn preceding year, 2,254; bushels of wheat preceding year, 3,028; bushels of potatoes preceding year, 3,682; tons of hay cut preceding year, 1,239; pounds of wool sheared preceding year, 3,399; pounds of butter made preceding year, 31,814; pounds of cheese made preceding year, 3,696; number of horses, 153; number of saw-mills, 1; feet of lumber sawed 300,000.
Census of 1870: Population, 1,110; number of families, 238; number of dwellings, 237; number of voters, 259; number of deaths, 2; number of acres of improved land, 4,546; number of horses, 247; pounds of wool sheared, 5,258; pounds of butter made, 27,833; pounds of cheese made, 709; bushels of wheat raised, 7,327; bushels of rye, 295; bushels of corn, 6,608; bushels of oats, 9,886; bushels of potatoes, 7,864; tons of hay cut, 1,470; number of saw-mills, 2; feet of lumber cut, 500,000; number of flouring-mills, 1; barrels of flour ground, 800.
Census of 1874: Population, 1,292; males, 667; females, 615; number of horses, 338; number of oxen, 101; number of cows, 474; number of sheep, 985; number of swine, 271; bushels of wheat, 9,975; bushels of corn, 12,658; bushels of apples, 3,491; bushels of potatoes, 11,246; towns of hay, 1,538.
Population in 1880, 1,301. Total equalized valuation in 1882, $725,764. Number of farms in 1881, 178; acres of improved land, 744; bushels of wheat raised in 1880, 30,237; of corn, 50,089; tons of hay, 1,448.
According to the annual school report for the year ending September 4, 1882, of the town of Tuscola, the directors for the ensuing year were: John H. Richardson, Lemuel P. Hart, Archibald Chambers, Joseph E. Levis, Rufus L. Price, James Saunders, Horace Coleman, John Holliday, and Albert Whaley. There were nine school districts, three of which were fractional. Whole number of children of school age in the town, 547; under that attended school during the year, 420. There are nine school buildings and one graded school.
YEARS. SUPERVISOR CLERK TREASURER
1883 John Holliday Clarence D. Palmer Oren Bradley
1882 John L. Richardson Wallace Palmer D.W. Harrison
1881 John L. Richardson Wallace Palmer D.W. Harrison
1880 John L. Richardson Wallace Palmer Peter S. Baldwin
1879 John L. Richardson Wallace Palmer Peter S. Baldwin
1878 John L. Richardson Lemuel P. Hart Orson Orms
1877 E. M. Slafter Oscar Shoff Orson Orms
1876 E. M. Slafter C.E. Goddard Orson Orms
1875 E. M. Slafter E. M. Billings Oliver P. Tobey
1874 E. M. Slafter E. M. Billings John L. Richardson
1873 J.Q. A. Burrington Frank F. Whalen John L. Richardson
1872 J. Q. A. Burrington John A. McPherson John L. Richardson
1871 J. Q. A. Burrington John A. McPherson John L. Richardson
1870 J. Q. A. Burrington John A. McPherson John V. Harrison
1869 J. Q. A. Burrington John L. Richardson John V. Harrison
1868 John H. Richardson A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1867 John H. Richardson A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1866 John H. Richardson Allen Sage John V. Harrison
1865 John H. Richardson A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1864 Jeremiah Hopkins William H. Harrison John V. Harrison
1863 William H. Harrison A. N. Fisher S. H. Haynes
1862 William H. Harrison A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1861 John H. Richardson A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1860 John H. Richardson A. N. Fisher John V. Harrison
1859 John H. Richardson William Johnson A. J. Slafter
1858 DeWitt Norton William Johnson A. J. Slafter
1857 Lovira Hart William Johnson Alfred Tivy
1856 Jeremiah Hopkins J. M. Baldwin Alfred Tivy
1855 Jeremiah Hopkins A. J. Loveland Alfred Tivy
1854 J.D. Smith John Perry Silas S. Lee
1853 Jeremiah Hopkins John V. Harrison Silas S. Lee
1852 Jeremiah Hopkins John V. Harrison Ira Tappen
1851 Lovira Hart John V. Harrison Orvil Gillett
1850 John P. Richardson E. W. Perry Lovira Hart
1849 Alanson Calkins E. W. Perry Truman M. Waters
1848 Alfred Holmes Paschal Richardson John Miller
1847 Alfred Holmes D. H. Haynes John Miller
1846 Lovira Hart R. C. Ripley John Miller
1845 Alfred Holmes R.C. Ripley Lovira Hart
1844 Lovira Hart Ebenezer Davis John Miller
1843 E. W. Perry Ebenezer Davis John Miller
1842 E. W. Perry Ebenezer Davis John Miller
1841 E. W. Perry Dennis Harrison E. W. Perry
1840 Dennis Harrison Martin L. Miller Dennis Harrison
Andrew Jackson Haines is a native of Albany County, N. Y., but subsequently moved to Niagara County, and afterward to Oxford, Oakland County, Mich., where he remained until 1843, when he came to Tuscola, where he has since resided, with the exception of three years in the township of Tuscola. His father came six months previous, and it is said that he filled out the first summons issued in the county. He had previously visited the county in 1835 and located land in Tuscola Township, and at that time made the shakes for the first house, probably, erected in what is now Tuscola County. Mr. A. J. Haines enlisted in the Seventh Michigan Infantry during the late war, and served four years, receiving a wound at Antietam which incapacitated him for duty for six months. He married Miss Elizabeth Hughes, a native of Boston, Mass. They have had three children, all of whom are living.
Henry Sezer was born in Pennsylvania, in 1827, and in early childhood, with his parents, moved to Steuben County, N. Y., where he continued to reside until 1864, when he came to Tuscola County, living in the village of Vassar one and a half years. He then settled in the township of Fair Grove, where he remained four years, thence to Indian Fields, remaining three years, when he moved on the Harrington farm in Tuscola, where he has since resided. He was married in 1848, to Miss Mary Knight, a native of Steuben County, N. Y. They have had no children of their own but have reared several adopted ones.
Martin L. Miller was born in Niagara County N. Y., in 1818, and first visited Tuscola in 1836, at which time he purchased land and made a trip to Saginaw on skates, for R. Leonard Hurd, bringing in his mail, which, without doubt, constitutes him the first carrier. In 1838 he came to Tuscola and located permanently, and has since resided on the farm he purchased on his first visit. He was married in 1849, to Miss Mercy E. Wilson, a native of Bolton Stanstead County, Canada, but who moved with her parents to Genesee County, Mich., in 1837. Mr. Miller is a land surveyor, and has surveyed and laid out very many of the roads in the townships of Tuscola and Arbela. In 1880 he engaged in the manufacture of tile and brick, having discovered a fine quality of clay for the purpose on his premises, and expects to largely increase his present capacity. A spring, which is highly charged with iron, flows from underneath the bank of clay, which no doubt is strongly impregnated with it, thus causing the articles manufactured from it to be strong and durable.
Ruben Hinckley was born in Ohio, in 1830, and in 1851 came to Saginaw, and about two years thereafter, to Tuscola, where he has since resided. His farm is on section 30, and is well improved. He has been twice married, first to Helen Davis, who came to Tuscola from New York with her parents, Ebenezer and Phoebe Davis. The date of her birth was October 22, 1837, and was the first white child born in the county. His second wife was Elizabeth Wilson, Davis, widow of M. V. Davis, who was a son of Ebenezer and Phoebe Davis.
Orson Orms was born in Vermont, in 1831, and made that State his home until 1857, when he came to Tuscola. In 1862 he enlisted in the Twenty-third Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and
served three years, being mustered out at Saulsbury. He was first corporal and then sergeant of his company. Mr. Orms built the I. O. O. F. Hal, in Tuscola, in 1879, and is the owner of the same. He also has a sorghum and cider-mill, and has the reputation of doing a good business. He is a capenter and joiner by trade. He was married in Genesee, Genesee County, Mich., to Miss Harriet Twogood, a native of New York. They have had six children, of whom Manley D., is now attending Yale College.
L. Henry Lee was born in Albion, Orleans County, N. Y., in 1837, and remained there until 1857, when he came to Tuscola, and in the spring of 1859 purchased his present farm, which is situated in section 31. The following June he commenced chopping and clearing the land, but did not build for some time, as he rented a piece of land and a house in the vicinity. At that time there were no roads to Mr. Lee’s farm, and he was obliged to chop his way out. He now has a fine farm, and is giving his attention to the breeding of fancy stock, having at present three thoroughbred Jersey cattle- one male and two females, and several grade cattle. Mr. Lee was married to Miss Frances L. Hunt, who was born in Mt. Morris, Livingston County, N. Y., September 6, 1837, and came to Tuscola with her parents at six month’s of age. Her parents were Abijah A. and Minerva Hunt, both of whom died in the county.
Thomas Lewis is a native of Bay Quinte, Canada, and was born in 1827. He remained there until eight years of age, when he moved to Lewiston, Niagara County, N. Y., where, after on years’ residence, he returned to Canada. Subsequently he resided one year in New York, and 1850 came to Tuscola, and located on the Cass River, and removed in 1854 to his farm on section 17, where he has since resided. Mr. Lewis has been a tradesman, lumberman and farmer. In 1851 he was married to Sarah G. Davis, daughter of Ebenezer Davis, and has been a resident of the county since 1836.
Oscar F. Shoff, M. D., is a native of Middlesex County, Ont., and was born in 1847. He there commenced the study of medicine and graduated from the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, March 31, 1869, and in April following came to Tuscola, where he has since resided. He was appointed postmaster, and took possession of the office in June, 1882. Soon after the doctor’s arrival here he saw the importance of improving the stock of the county, and in 1871 brought in his first thoroughbred stock. Since that time he has engaged quite extensively in the business, and has handled Berkshire hogs, Cotswold and Lester sheep, and at present has a herd of short horns, consisting of seven females and one male. In 1879 he purchased of John P. Sanborn, the celebrated short horn bull, Victoria Duke 6th, probably the finest bred animal ever brought to the county. The doctor’s stock are all thoroughbreds and registered.
J. Q. A. Burrington was born in Burk, Caledonia County, Vt., in 1829. In 1853 he moved to Ohio, and with the exception of three years spent in Iowa resided there continuously till the fall of 1856, when he came to Tuscola. The following spring he purchased his present farm which is on section 30, and has since resided there. He was the third and last county superintendent of schools in 1873-’74, but before his second term had expired the office was abolished. The county then contained about 120 districts. From 1869 to 1873 was supervisor of the township of Tuscola, but in the fall of 1873 resigned, owing to his duties as superintendent of schools. Has been a member of the executive committee of the State Agricultural Society for ten years and was at one time president of the County Agricultural Society. For four years was a member of executive committee of the State Grange, and was again elected at the last election. Is at present chairman of the committee.
Charles T. Killin
was born in Indiana County, Pa., in 1835, and resided there until 1870, when he
came to Tuscola County and located on section 23, of Tuscola Township, where he
has since resided.
Mr. Killin cleared up his farm from what was then a dense wilderness and did pioneer work in every sense of the word. He married Miss Jennie A. Bolar, of the same county of his nativity, and has a family of three sons.
Clark Appleby was born in Otsego County, N. Y., April 3, 1822, where he resided until 1869. In February of that year he came to Tuscola County and located on section 2, in the township of Tuscola, where he has since resided. He has made many improvements on his place which will now rank with the best farms in the township. Mr. Appleby has been twice married his first wife having died in New York previous to his coming West. His second and present wife was the widow Bates, formerly Miss Mary Grover, also of Otsego County, N. Y.
Avery Malin is a native of Ontario County, N. Y., and was born in 1804. At six years of age, with his parents, he moved to Erie, Erie County, where they lived one year, and then moved to Geauga County, Ohio, and remained there till 1855 when he came to Michigan, and after stopping awhile in Genesse County reached Tuscola County in May, 1855. He purchased land on section 2 and 12, in Tuscola Township, and after stopping in Vassar about six months, he moved on his land on section 12, where he has since resided. He married Miss Eliza Ann Copley, a native of New York, in 1835, and who died in 1876. They raised a family of four children, of whom all are living, except Sarah, who died in 1870. David and Ann E. are still living at home.
Samuel H. Hughes was born in Boston,
Mass., in 1796, and at thirteen years of age engaged in the hardware
business. In 1831 he moved to Ohio, where
he remained twenty-two years. He came to
Tuscola in 1852 where he has since resided.
He married Priscilla Woods, of Boston, in 1817. They had seven children, of whom all are
living except nelson, who died on his return farm the war- no doubt from the
exposure he had experienced.
Mr. Hughes has been in many kinds of business, among which may be mentioned the manufacture of cotton and woolen goods in the town of Ware, Hampshire County, Mass, farming and hardware business.
Orrin Bradley was born in Lenawee County, Mich., in 1837, and subsequently moved to Livingston County, where he remained until 1870, when he came to Tuscola and located on section 35, where he has since resided. He has given his attention almost exclusively to farming, but has held the office of highway commissioner for the township of Tuscola.
P. S. Baldwin is a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and was born in 1832. At ten years of age his father took him to Waterloo County, Ont., to learn the tanner and currier’s trade, where he remained until 1846, when he came to Tuscola. His time since has been spent here and in Saginaw County, and has been engaged in lumbering, farming and fishing. He first commenced lumbering by doing job work on the north branch of White Creek. In 1872 he purchased his present farm on section 29, and in 1881 commenced the manufacture of cheese. His factory is supplied with milk partly from his own cows and by purchase from others. He uses the milk of 200 cows.