Edwin Orin Wood.

History of Genesee county Michigan; her people, industries and institutions, with biographical sketches of representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families online

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Online LibraryEdwin Orin WoodHistory of Genesee county Michigan; her people, industries and institutions, with biographical sketches of representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families → online text (page 24 of 89)
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Harry H. Bassett, vice-president and general manager of the Weston-
Mott Company at Flint, is a native of the state of New York and has been
a resident of Flint since the year 1907. He was born in the city of Utica,
New York, September 11, 1875, son of William L. and Mary (Babcock)
Bassett, natives of that same state, the fomier of whom spent his last days
in Flint and the latter of whom is still living there.

William L. Bassett was born on a farm, son of P. H. Bassett and wife,


also natives of New York state, who spent all their lives in that state, the
former li\ing to be ninety-two years of age and the latter, eighty-six. They
were the parents of nine children. George, William, Lucy, John, Dwight,
Evelvn, Harriet, Elizabeth and one who died young. William L. Basset
married Mary Babcock, who was born at Unadilla Forks, in Otsego county.
New York, daughter of Henry H. and Tammison Babcock, natives of that
same state, the former of whom was a merchant in that town and who were
the parents of six children, Lee, Herbert, Mary, Julia, Ella and Laura.
William L. Bassett early turned his attention to the manufacturing business
and was engaged as superintendent of plants for the manufacture of agri-
cultural ihiplements. at ITtica and Ilion, practically all of his active life. In
1910, upon retiring from business, he and his wife located in Flint, where
he died in October, 1914. he then Iieing seventy-eight years of age. His
widow, who still survives him, continues to make her home in Flint. She
is a member of the Universalist church and he was a Baptist. They were
the parents of three children, of whom the subject of this biographical .sketch
was the second in order of birth, the others being Tammison, who married
Dr. L. B. Palmiter, of New York City, and Conielia. who married E. R.
Knapp, of Flint.

Harry H. Bassett receiverl his schooling at Lltica and at Ilion, New
\'ork, and was graduated from the high school of the latter city with a state
academic certificate. He then began work for the Remington .\rms Com-
pan\' at Ilion and was connected with the factor}- and the ofifice of that com-
pau)- for fourteen years and six months, being gradually promoted until he
became assistant to the general manager. He then transferred his services
to the Weston-Mott Company at Utica, as assistant superintendent of that
comi)any's extensive plant at Utica, and when that concern was moved to
Flint in 1907 he became manager of works in the new plant, and has ever
since then made his home in Flint. In 19 13 Mr. Bassett was promoted to
the position of general manager of the company and in 1916 was elected
vice-president of the company, continuing as active general manager of the
|)lant, and is now thus occupied, one of the strongest and most influential
individual forces in the rapidly expanding industrial life of Flint. Mr.
Bassett is also a member of the board of three directors of the Weston-Mott
Company. That company is now employing more than two thousand two
hundred persons. Its chief output is automobile axles, hubs and rims and
the products of its great plant are sold in all parts of the world. Mr.
Bassett is a member of the Society of Automobile Engineers and has long
taken an active part in tlie affairs of that organization. Politically, he is


a l\i.'])ul)lican and, trateniail}-, is affiliated with the Masons and with the
l\li<s. lie is president of the Mint Country Chih and a member of the
Question Clnl).

Mr. Rassett has heen twice married. His first wife, who was Xina
Cole, daughter of Fred and T\o.se Cole, of Flint, died on August 17, 191 1.
To that union one child was Iwrn, a daughter, who died in infancy. On
Octolier 30, 1913, iMr. Bassett was united in marriage to Jessie M. Hood,
who was bom in Jackson, this state, daughter of Rodney Flood and wife,
nati\es of Michigan, the forn.ier of whom for years has been engaged in
the lumber business at Jackson. Mrs. Bassett's mother died in 1886. Mr.
and Airs. Bassett ha-e a very i)leasant home at 421 East street and take an
earnest interest in the general social and cultural activities of their home


Conditions are so widely varied in the vast area of the Middle West
that is devoted to agricultural pursuits; the results desirable by both indi-
viduals and communities are so widely divergent, and the fact that most
profitalilc results t') one might mean iiositive loss to another, make any gen-
eral rules, laid down to cover the entire country in question, unsuited to
manv farmers. Each must work out his own problem as has Jeptha Skinner,
of Argentine township, this county. He was born in the neighboring county
of Oakland, August 13. 1871, and is a son of Jepthae and CaroHne (Wilkin-
son ) Skinner. The father was born in Ontario, Canada, and when four-
teen vears old came with his parents to Oakland county, Michigan. His
father was also named Jepthae, and the latter spent the rest of his life in
Oakland countv where his son, father of the subject of this sketch, grew to
maturitv and married Caroline Wilkinson, who was born in England, and
was a voung girl when her parents brought her to Michigan and settled in
Oaklanr! countv. There the parents of the subject of this sketch settled
after their marriage and engaged in farming until 1873 when they mo\'ed
to Crenesee county, buying one hundred and sixty acres in Argentine town-
shi]>, all wild land, which the father cleared and on which he established the
future home of the family, living there until 1903, when he and his wife
retired from active life and located at Byron, in the neighboring county of
Shiawassee, where his death occurred on March 13, 1913, and where his
widow is still living. Si-x children were born to them, namely: Hattie E.,


who died when twenty years of age, after devoting some time to school
teaching; Jeptha, the subject of this sketch, and J. D., Bert, Frank and
George, all living in Argentine township. The father of these children was
one of the most successful farmers in his community. Through his own
efforts he developed a farm from the wilderness, increasing its acreage to
two hundred and forty. He was a Republican and a Baptist.

Jeptha Skinner was two years old when his parents brought him from
Oakland county, and he grew up on the home farm and attended the district
schools in Argentine township and the Byron high school. He lived at home
until his marriage, September 12, 1900, to Tela E. Bishop, a daughter of
Henry and Charlotte Bishop. After his marriage he settled on his present
farm of two hundred and twenty acres in Argentine township, where he has
lived e\er since and has been very successful as a general farmer and stock
raiser. He has four children, namely: Harold, who is attending school in
Byron : Mary, who is attending the district schools ; Ruth, and Jeptha. the

Politically, ^Ir. Skinner is a Republican. He sened as highway com-
missioner from 1908 to 1 9 TO, inclusive, and for the past two years has Ijeen
a member of the tov>-n board and a justice of the peace.


The gentleman whose name forms the caption of this sketch is essentially
a man of affairs, sound of judgment and far-seeing in what he undertakes.
Every enterprise to which he has addressed himself has resulted in gratify-
ing financial returns, while at the same time he has won and retained the
good will and confidence of his fellow men.

William H. Horton, watchmaker, jeweler and optician of Flint, Michi-
gan, was born in Atlas township, Genesee county, March 29, 1869, and is a
son of Carlton I. and Etta F. (Frost) Horton, also natives of Genesee
county, where they grew up, were educated and married and devoted their
active lives to general agricultural pursuits. When starting out in life the
father purchased a farm of one hundred seventeen and one-half acres, whicli
he cleared, improved and placed under a high state of cultivation anil on
uhich he reared his family. He subsequently purchased one hundred and
twehe acres additional, making a total of two hundred twenty-seven and
one-half acres of good land. He succeeded through his own indixidual ef-



forts and became one of tlie leading farmers of his township. His death
occurred here in 1887, at the early age of forty-six years. His widow sur-
vived until 191 1, dying at the age of sixty-seven years. He held various
township offices and both were members of the Baptist church. They were
the parents of only two children, Sumner, who lives in the city of Flint, and
William H., of this review. Ira J. and Ruth Horton, the paternal grand-
parents of these children, were natives of New York state, whence they
came to Genesee county, Michigan, in an early day and located on a farm in
Genesee county, taking up government land, living in a rude log cabin for
some time. They cleared and developed their land and finally established a
comfortable home, in which they spent the rest of their lives, his death oc-
curring at the age of sixty-three years. They were the parents of five chil-
dren, namely : Mary, Newman, Carlton, Marvin and Charles. The mater-
nal grandparents, Jonathan Frost and wife, were also natives of the state
of New York. They were pioneers in Genesee county, Michigan, locating
on a farm in Atlas township, where they spent the rest of their lives, her
death occurring in middle life, his at a later period. They were parents of
four children, Etta, Rhoda, Emily and Ephraim. Grandfather Frost was
twice married, the last time to a Mrs. Haws, to which union one child was
born, Jennie Frost.

William H. Horton was reared on his father's farm in Atlas town-
ship, attended the district schools, also the Goodrich high school and, later,
a business college in Flint. Two years after that he began learning the
jeweler's trade and in 1890 established a business of his own at Clarkston,
Michigan, remaining there six and one-half years, then went on the road,
traveling for a jewelry house for fifteen years. During that period he was
interested in a jobbing business in Detroit — whole jewelry. In 1909 he sold
out and came to Flint, where he has since resided, although he continued to
travel two years for a Chicago house. He then began the manufacture of
steel tapes and rules in Flint, which he followed three years, selling out in
the spring of 1914, and the following October l>ought his present jewelry
business at No. 403 South Saginaw street, which he has since conducted in a
highly satisfactory manner, enjoying a good trade. He carries a large and
carefully-selected stock of jewelry, such as is found in modern jewelry
establishments, and also maintains well' equipped watch manufacturing and
repair departments, as well as an optical department.

Mr. Horton was married, October 19, 1890, to Pearl Smith, a daughter
of Fliram V. and Emma (Slade) Smith, who now live in Lansford, North
Dakota, and were parents of three children, Pearl, Nellie and Wilfred. The


paternal grandparents, James Smilli and wife, liatl four children, Hiram.
I^'rank, Nellie and May, and the maternal grandparents, Luther Slade and
wife, had two children, I-'.mma and Will. Mrs. Pearl Horton was a native
of jiay City, Michigan. She was a memher of the Episcopal chnrch. Her
death occurred in .\pril, 1006, at the age of thirty-three years. On Octol)er
.y, 1909, Mr. Horton married for his second wife, ]\Irs. .Mice Swinler,
widiiw of lulward Swinler and a daughter of John K. and Julia (Putnam)
\'an Tine. She was born in IHint, Michigan, where her parents were early
settlers, her father dealing in farm implements here for many years, and
here his death occurred in K)I4, at the age of eight\- }ears. Mrs. Van Tine
survi\es. To these parents three children were born, Frank, Edith and Alice.
The paternal grandparents of these children, John Van Tine and wife, were
early settlers in Genesee county, as were also the maternal grandparents, the

IV) Mr. Horton's first union two children were born, Beatrice and
]\lariririe. To his second union one child has been born, Alice Katherine.

Politically, Mr. Horton is a Republican. Fraternally, he belongs to
Flint Lodge No. 23, Free and Accepted Masons; Washington Chapter No.
15, Royal Arch Masons; Genesee Valley Commandery No. 15, Knights Tem-
plar; Elf Khurafeh Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine, at Saginaw; also to Bay City Consistory, being a thirty-second-de-
gree Scottish-Rite Mason. Mrs. Horton belongs to the Methodist Episcopal


.\khough many belie\e to the contrary, "luck" plays a very imimportant
]jarl in the average man's career. We generally like to excuse our own
.sh(.rtC()P.-iings and account for the success of other men on the ground of
"luck." A fertilized soil, rotation of crops, well-fenced land, intelligently-
tilled fields, well-kept machinery, painted houses, convenient outbuildings
and blooded live stock are not the result of luck unless hard work, persist-
ently and intelligently directed, can be characterized as luck. William H.
Lahring, owner of "Sunnyside Farm." a fine place in Argentine township,
this county, has not depended on luck, but on industry and the exercise of
sound judgment for his success in life. He was born on the above-men-
tioned farm, November 8, 1870, and is a son of Lewis and Sally (\\'hite-
heail ) Lahring. The father was born in Germany, where he lived until he


was twelve years of age, when his widowed mother brought him to America.
After spending a short time in tlie state of Xew York tiiey came to Michigan,
locating near Holly, in Oakland county. They landed in this country with
little capital and had to work hard to get a start. Lewis Lahring presently
came to Genesee county and bought the farm in Argentine township, which
his son, AVilliam H. Lahring, now owns, becoming- owner of three hundred
and twenty acres there. Al;out ine years after locating there he married
Sally Whitehead and they spent the rest of their lives on that place, his death
occurring at the age of eighty-four years. To these parents six children
were born, three of whom died in infancy, and one after reaching maturity,
the only one now liA'ing besides the subject of this sketch being Luella ]..
wife of Ralph Collins, of Argentine township, this county.

William H. Lahring grew up on the home farm and received his edu-
cation in the district schools. He remained on the homestead which he now
owns, and which consists of four hundred acres, well improved and under a
fine state (^f cultivation, and on which he carries on general farming and
stock raising on an extensive scale. The place is known as "Sunnyside

In December, 1807, \Villiam H. Lahring was married to Belle Wood
and to this union three children have been born. Caleb Lewis, Sally N. and
Catherine Ellen.

Mr. Lahring is living in the ^■illage of Byron, just across the line in
Shiawassee county. He votes independently. He formerly served two
years as township treasurer. Fraternally, he is a member of Byron I_x>dge
No. 80, Free and Accepted Masons: Diamond Chapter No. 139, Royal Arch
Masons, and of the lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
at Owosso.


Farmers as a class are intelligent, industrious and economical, and
many <if them are men of good business judgment. Further, those who
have made a thorough study of the business side of farming know that it
is not an easy matter to make money on the farm. Walter Morrison, a
farmer of Clayton township, this county, looks well to the financial end of
farming. He was born in Maple Grove township, Saginaw county, Mich-
igan, August 15, 1876, and is a son of Frank and Emma (Flint") Morrison.
The father was born in Countv Antrim, in the north of Ireland,


from which country he immigrated to America when a young man — eigliteen
years of age — locating near Buffalo, New York, where he worked on a
farm and in the winter time attended an academy in Buffalo. He received
a good education, and remained in the state of New York six or seven
years, then came to Michigan, locating in Maple Grove township, Saginaw
county, when that locality was a vast forest, with only a clearing here and
there. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres, which he cleared and
improved in general, erecting a dwelling and suitable outbuildings, but pres-
ently sold that place and moved to a farm in that same township, where he
spent the rest of his life. His family consisted of six children, five of
whom are still living.

Walter Morrison grew up on the home farm. He received a good
common-school education and remained at home until he was twenty-one
years of age, when he moved to Venice township, in the neighboring county
of Shiawasse, v;here he worked on a farm for two years; then worked in
the town of Flint one year, at the end of which time he returned to country
life, buying a farm of one hundred and ten acres in Clayton township, this
county, where he has spent the past twelve years, and where he has been
engaged in general farming and stock raising. His place is known as
"Fairview Farm" and is well located and well tilled.

On June 19. 1901, Walter Morrison was married to May Augsbury, a
daughter of Hiram and Addie (Williams) Augsbury, a well known family
of Genesee count v, where Mrs. Morrison grew to womanhood and was
educated. P'olitically, Mr. Morrison is a Democrat. He served as town-
ship treasurer for two years, also three years as township clerk, and he
has been supervisor since 1914, which office he still holds. As a public
servant he has discharged his duties in an able and satisfactory manner.
Fraternally, he is a member of Lennon Lodge No. 537, Independent Order
of Odd Fellows.


Dr. John H. Houton, well-known physician at Flushing, is a native of
Michigan, born near Dearborn, in Wayne county. May 20, 1875, son and
only child of Henry and Mary (Stevenson) Houton, both now deceased.
Henry Hout(Mi was a native of Kentucky, a shoeiuaker by trade. He lived
to be about forty years of age and siient most of his active life in Detroit.
Michigan. Mary Stevenson was bnrn in Ohio and was married in Michigan.


Doctor Houton received excellent scholastic training for the practice of
his profession. He obtained his early schooling in the Wa3-ne county public
schools and at the St. Johns high school, later attending school in Detroit
and afterward entering medical college. He completed the course and was
graduated from the Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery in 1904.
In that same year he located at Flushing, where he ever since has been
engaged in the practice of his profession and has been quite successful. On
June 3, 1903, he was married to Lillian May James, who was born at Little
Current, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, November 25, 1881.

Doctor Houton was an interne at the emergency hospital for fourteen
months and worked his way through school entirely. He is a Royal Arch
Mason, a member of the blue lodge and the chapter in Flushing. He has an
elegant home in Flushing, one of the finest houses in the town.


Charles B. Siegel, a prominent farmer and breeder of Durham cattle,
lives on his ninety-acre farm, four miles west of Flint, known as "Maple
Rest Farm." Mr. Siegel was born in Flint township on March 15, 1872,
and is the son of Christian and Augusta ( Schimmick ) Siegel, both natives
of Germany, born near the river Rhine. Both grew up in their native
country and were married there. Before coming to the United States in
1870, (Christian Siegel served three years in the German army. Upon com-
ing to this country they located in Flint, where Mr. Siegel worked for a
year in a sawmill, after which he was with WilHam Comfort for a year on
a farm in Flint township. He then rented a farm for twenty years, at the
end of which time he purchased the farm now owned by Charles B. Siegel
and it was there that he and his wife both died some years later. Augusta
Siegel died in 1892 and Christian Siegel on March 5, 1909. After the death
of his first wife Mr. Siegel married Maggie Frayner, who still lives in Clay-
ton township.

Christian and Augusta Siegel were the parents of the following chil-
dren: Charles B., the subject of this sketch; Emma, the wife of Philip
Bobine, of Flint; Otto, Fred, Edward, Birt and William, all of Flint; John,
who died in infancy; Lewis, who lives in St. Johns, and Ida, who is the wife
of George McClinchey, of Flint.

Charles B. Siegel grew to manhood on the farm where he now resides,


and recei\'ed his education in the schools of Fhnt township. lie remained
at home until June 3, 1891, at which time he married Angle, daughter of
Sebine Bockway and wife, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of
Canada. To that union two children were Ijorn, Alma Alay, the wife of
Ernst Burleson, of Swartz Creek, this county, and Mildred, who lives with
her sister. The mother of these children died on December 22. 191J, and on
X'o\emljer 17, IQ14, Mr. Siegel married Mrs. Ethel Isabelle ( Xorthcott I
Miller, who was born in Tippecanoe county. Indiana, on the fann where
I'urdue Uni\-ersity is now located, a daughter of David Jennings and Mary
Tane (Oden) Xorthcott. She lived there until she was eight years of age,
when the family moved to Big Rapids, this state, where she lived for seven
vears, or until the death of her niother. She then l^ecame a resident of Bay
( 'ity. where she married W. J. ^liller and lived for seven years, after which
she came to Flint, where she lived until her marriage to Mr. Siegel. By her
first marriage ]\lrs. .Siegel is the mother of the following children: Louise,
the wife of W. G. Crawford of Flint; Richard R., Irene, ^^'illiam \\". and
Lcona A.

Charles B. Siegel is a Republican and has serxed his township as high-
wav commissioner for two terms. For more than twenty years he has oper-
ated a threshing outtit in his neighborhood during the seasons.


Onlv the most practical and experienced farmers are making any con-
siderable profit out of their business. Some e\en contend that most of the
monev made on the farm in recent years has l^een made, not by farming, but
liv the rise of prices on farm lands. Adelbert W. Carrier, of Clayton town-
shi]), this count}-, is making general farming pay, for he employs the most
modern methods of management. He was born in Gaines township, this
countx-. Mav 7, 1867, a son of George L. and Mariah W. (Warner) Carrier.
The father was a native of the state of New York and there spent his early
life, coming to Michigan when a young man, locating in Genesee county
before the time of the Tivil War. During the war he enlisted in Company
K, Fifth Michigan ("ax-alry, serving almost the entire duration of the con-
flict, at the close of which, having made an excellent record, he was honor-
ably discharged. Returning to Genesee county he married Mariah W. War-
n.er. a native of I'lymouth. Michigan, who had moved with her parents to


Gaines township, this country, when a girl. She received a good echication
and taught seventeen terms of school in Gaines township and in \'ernon
township over the line in Shiavvasse county.

George L. Carrier finally settled on a tract of one hundred and sixty
acres, where the town of Duffield now stands, and there he and his wife
spent the rest of their lives, his death occurring on Deceml>er ii, 1877. His
widow snrvixed thirty-seven years, dying at an advanced age on Fehruary
18, 1914. To these parents five children were born, namely: Adelbert \V.,
tlie subject of this sketch; A. G., who lives at Duffield, this county; Mary A.,
who married Archie L. Scott, of Flint, and who died in November, 1913;
I'red J., who li\es in San Francisco, California, and Lyman, who lives in
^\ ashington, D. C, where he is employed in the government .service.

.\delbert \V. Carrier grcAv up on the home farm and received his edu-
cation in the district schools of Gaines township. He left home when nine-
teen years of age and worked out as a farm hantl awhile. On March if),
1897. he married Lillian S. Woods, a daughter of Edward C. Woods, a
well known farmer of this locality. .After his marriage Mr. Carrier lived
one year at Duffield, then moved to Saginaw county, buying a farm there,

Online LibraryEdwin Orin WoodHistory of Genesee county Michigan; her people, industries and institutions, with biographical sketches of representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families → online text (page 24 of 89)