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 4 of 89)
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who contributed to the success of the cause of the colonists. Atrs. Aitken
is a memljer of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is vice-regent
of the Genesee chajiter of that patriotic organization. Mr. .Aitken is a thirty-
second-degree Mason, a Knight Templar as well as a member of the .Ancient
Accepted Scottish Rite, and is a noble of the .Ancient .Arabic Order of Nobles
of the Mystic Shrine.

Mr. Aitken has been greatly interested in public welfare work, to which
he has contributed liberally of both time and money. He is treasurer and
trustee of the Young Men's Christian Association and trustee of the Young
Women's Christian Association, in both of which institutions he is intensely


Earl F. Johnson, mayor of the cit}- of Flint and i)usiness agent for the
Union Trust and Savings Bank of that city, former county treasurer and
for years actively identified with the business interests of Genesee county
and his home city, is a native son of Genesee county and has lived here all
his life. He was born on a farm in Thetford township. March 30, 1868,
.son of Delos I. and Hannah J. f Scott) Johnson, the former a native of the
state of New A'ork and the latter of Ohio, who were the parents of three
children, of whom Alayor Johnson was the last-born, the others being
Charles, deceased, and Clara, wife of D. W. Ramsey, of Spokane. Wash-

Delos I. |ohn>;c)n was born in l'"rie county, Xew A'ork. son of John and


Esther (Miles) Jolinson, natives of that same state, and was the eldest of
the seven children born to that parentage, the others being George P., Homer
L., Devillo '\\.. Evelyn J. and two who died in infancy. The mother of
these children died in her home in New ^'ork and in his later years John
Johnson came to Michigan and spent his last years in Genesee county, l>eing
eighty-fom- years of age at the time of his death. Delos I. Johnson was
reared in his native county in New York and when a young man came to
Michigan, settling in Genesee county, where he began teaming and was for
some time thus engaged in freighting through from Pontiac, Holly and Sag-
inaw. Later he became engaged in the milling business and for some time
operated a saw-mill in Thetford township. There he married Hannah J.
Scott, who was born in Ohio, daughter of Charles and Rachel (Moulthrougli)
Scott, natives of that same state, who came to Michigan in the early days of
the settlement of this state and settled in Genesee county, becoming substan-
tial farmers of Thetford township. There both spent the rest of their lives,
she dying in middle life and he at the age of seventy-five years. They were
the parents of .six children, of whom Mrs. Johnson was the second in order
of birth. lhe others being IMelissa, Walter, Gharles, Louisa and Albert.
While he was milling, Delos 1. Johnson became the owner of two Inmdred
and forty acres of timber land in Thetford township, which he cleared' and
where he established bis home, spending there the rest of his life, his death
occurring" on. April 2(\ loii, he then being se\'entv-nine years of age. His
widow, who survives him, is now in her se\ent3'-sixth year.

Earl F. Johnson was reared on the paternal farm in the near vicinity of
East Thetford, receiving his elementary education, in the schools of that dis-
trict and supplementing the same by a cour.se in the normal school at Flint,
after which lie taught school for three years in the district schools of this
county. He then married and engaged in the mercantile business, opening
a general store at E.ast Thetford, and was there engaged in business for ten
years. Mr. Johnson is a Republican and has e\-er given his close attention
to the political affairs of h\^ home county, louring his residence in Thet-
ford township he served as treasurer of that township and also as supervisor.
In 1898 he was elected treasurer of Genesee county, serving the countv in
that important capacity for four years. Following his election to the ofifice
of count}- treasurer, Mr. Johnson mo\ed to Flint, the county seat, and has
ever since made his home in diat city. I'pon the completion of his tenn oi
.service in the treasurer's ofiice. in 1903, be was appointed division deputy
revenue collector for the first district of Michigan and continued in that
office tnitil October i, 10T4. On Feliruan- i, iqIt, he became tlie business

42 (5i-:nes!:k county, .miciih.an.

aiiciit for tlic L'niun Trust and Sa\ini;"s liank of l-"linl and still occupies that
pfjsition, although he latel}- has been called on to perforin tlie duties of chief
e\ecnti\-e head of the city of Flint, a position which he now occupies. On
April 3, 1910, Jiarl V. lohnson was elected mayor of Flint and it is a sufli-
cient attestation of his personal popularity in that city to note that he was
elected by the greatest majority e\er given .1 candidate for the office '.f
mayor in the city of Flint.

On December 31. i88<), Farl V. Johnson was united in marriage to
]''.mma B. Johnson, who also was born in Thetford township, this county,
September 18, 1868, daughter of Theodore and Adehiide Johnson, both, now
deceased. The former was a native of Vermont and the latter, of Ohio.
They came to Michigan many years ago and settled on a farm in Thetford
township, where they reared their family and spent the rest of their lives.
They became the parents of six children, of whom Mrs. Johnson was the
last-born, the others being George, Lynda, ,\ntoinette, Millie and Walter.
To Mayor and Mrs. Johnson seven children have been born, namely: Zella,
who married George D. Perry, of Flint, and has a son. Earl J. ; Walker R.,
a student in the University of Michigan at Ann .Arbor, and Gladys H.,
Maynard D.. FZdith B.. Irving E. and Donald E., who are at home.

Mayor Johnson is a thirty-second-degree Mason, a member of Genesee
Lodge No. 174, Free and .Accepted Masons; Washington Chapter No. 15,
i\oyal Arch Masons; Genesee Valley Commandery No. 15, Knights Temp-
lar, at Flint; affiliated with the Michigan Sovereign Consistory, Ancient
Accepted Scottish Rite, at Detroit, and is a noble of Moslem Temple, Ancient
Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in the latter city, and is also
a member of Flint Lodge No. 222, I'enevolent and Protectix'e Order of
h:iks. at Flint.

ORSON MILL.VRD. .\l. 1).

Orson Millard, M. D., was born, October jj. 1845, in the town of
Utica, Macomb county, Michigan, and is a descendant of a family of Hugue-
nots who fled from France in 163J. His father, James Madison Millard,
was a cousin of Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth President of the United
States, and his maternal grandmother was one of the Conger family, to
which ex-Senator Omar D. Conger belonged.

Orson Millard graduated from the University of Michigan in 1870
and came directlv to I'lint, where he has since resided. He was for a num-


ber of years physician in charge at the Michigan school for the deaf, and
also for four years president of the board of United States pension examin-
ing surgeons for Genesee county.

Doctor Millard has been a close student of his profession and has made
a number of scientific discoveries which have attracted attention from the
'medical fraternity of both continents. The Micliigan University Medical
Journal, volume II, January, 1872, edited by George E. Frothingham, M.
D., contains an account of a case treated by Doctor Millard which attracted
much attention at that time, and in the Cyclopaedia of the Practice of Medi-
cine, volume X\T. edited by Dr. H. Von Ziemssen, of Munich, Bavafia, the
author gives the credit for first employing carbolic acid in cases of diabetes
to Doctor Millard. The Doctor also received favorable notice in the
Clicmiker-Zeitung, published at Cothen, Prussia.

During later years Doctor Millard has retired from the active practice
of his profession, being for a number of years a member of the medical
section of the National Fraternal Congress, and at one time its president.
In 1907 he was the Democratic nominee fur regent of the Universit)^ of

Doctor Millard wa.s married in 1872 to Sarah A. Gardner, direct
granddaughter of \VilIiam Mooney. ex-Revolutionary soldier who founded
the society of Tammany, in 1789, and daughter of the Rev. Dr. T. C.
Gardner, of .\nn .\r1ior, one of the most eminent Methodist clerg}-men of
Michigan, in his day. Mrs. Millard was born in Northville, Michigan.
June 4, 1845. The day following their marriage Doctor and Mrs. Millard
moved into their home on Harrison street, where Mrs. Millard's death
occurred on March 25. 1916. Mrs. ]\Iillard was a woman known for her
scholarly attainments, being a linguist of unusual ability, and in the earlier
days of Flint was a member of the Ladies Lil^rary Association. Her sur-
viving children are T. Carl Millard, and Mrs. Andrew J. Buckham, who
has one son, Tliomas Robson Buckham, jnd.


John H. Long, treasurer of the city of Flint and for many years prev-
iously to his election to that office, in the spring of 1916, the proprietor of
the Bliss Business College in that city, is a native of the Dominion of Can-



ada, l)uni at i'ort Do\er, January 12, 1S75, son of Joseph and Wilmina
{ McBride 1 Long, both uati\es of the dominion, who are still Hving on the
farm they long have occupied in the Dover neighborhood.

Joseph Long was born and reared near Dover, son of William Long and
wife. nati\cs of the state of New York, who located in Canada and sj^ent the
rest of their lives there. They were the parents of four children, Joseph,'
Henry, I'rank .md a daughter. Joseph Long married \\'ilmina McBride,
who was also born in Canada, daughter of James and Isabel (Austin)
AlcBride, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Canada. Mr. and
Mrs. McBride were the parents of twelve children, Wilmina, John A., Emily.
Annette. Elizabeth, Thomas, Robert, Samuel, George, Sidney, Abigail and
Xancv, all of whom are still living. To Joseph Long and wife eleven chil-
dren were born, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others
being as follow: lunma, wife of Alva, Belbeck, of Port Dover, Canada;
fames Arthur, deceased: Alice E., wife of John Greenbury. of Flint; Perr}-
\^^. of Flint: George ^^'.. of Port Dover; Charles M., of that same place:
Hrucc T., of Mint: Xina, wife of Clarence Ferris, of Port Dover; Craig.
also of Port Dover, and Merritt, of Ingersoll, near Woodstock, Canada.

L'pon comi^leting the course in the high school at Port Dover, John 11.
L(jng took a course at the INlodel School at Simcoe and the Normal School
at Toronto, receiving uix>n his graduation a life certificate good anywhere
in the i)r(n-idence of Ontario. Thereafter he taught school for seven years,
after which he attended the Business College at Toronto and thereafter
t;iught in business colleges at North Adams, Massachusetts, and at Saratoga,
New ^'ork, until 1900, in which year he bought the Bliss Business College
at 1 "lint and moved to that city, thereafter conducting that school for thirteen
\ears. In the city campaign of 1916 Mr. Long was made the nominee of
the Republicans of I^lint for the office of city treasurer and in April of
that \ear was elected by a majority of three thousand six hundred and
eight) -nine votes and is now serving in that capacity.

On .Vovembcr jS, kjoi. the year after locating at Mint, John 11. Long
was united in marriage to Maud Cook, who was born in that city, daughter
of Miles P. and Susan ( Reid ) Cook, the former a native of Ohio and the
latter of Flint, who had lour .daughters, Katherine, Mabelle, Maud ami
( irace. To Mr. and Mrs. Long two sons have been born, Malcolm Can-
more and lolin 11. Mr. and Mrs. Long are members of the Presbyterian
church and he is ;i ileacon in the same. He is a -=Royal .\rch Mason and ;i


member of the Independent Order of Odd l^'ellows. The Longs reside at N'o.
414 West Court street, Flint.


Grant J. Brown, cashier of the Industrial Savings Bank of Mint and
one of the best-known figures in financial circles in this part of the state,
is a native son of Genesee county and has lived here all his life. He was
born on a farm in Flushing township, this county, September 6, 1873, son
of Hiram M. and Florence A. (Sutton) Brown, the former a native of
Canada and the latter of this county.

Hiram M. Brown was but a boy when he came to Michigan in 1856
with his parents, James Brown and wife, both natives of Canada, the former
born near London, Ontario, and the latter at IngersoU. James Brown home-
steaded a farm in Flushing township, this count}', and there he and his wife
spent the rest of their lives, both living to advanced years. They were the
parents of six children, James, Joseph, Hiram M.. IMelinda, Charlotte and
Mar3^ Hiram M. Brown grew to manhood on the home farm in Flushing
township and later bought an eighty-acre farm in that vicinity and began
farming on his own account. Fie later purchased additional land and became
a very substantial farmer. In 1895 ^'^ moved to Flushing, where he made
his home until 1908, in which year he moved to Flint, where he is now
living, comfortably retired, at No. 834 Detroit street. His wife died in
1897, at the age of forty- four years. She was born in Gaines township,
this county, daughter of W'illiam Sutton and wife, natives of New York
state, who became early settlers in this county, substantial farmers near
Duffield. William Sutton died many years ago and his widow survived him
for years, her death occurring at the home of Hiram M. Brow-n. There
were seven children in the Sutton family, those besides Mrs. Brown having
been William, Jacob, Margaret, Philena, Susan and Lena. The junior
William Sutton died from the effect of wounds received while serving as
a Union soldier during the Civil War. Hiram M. Brown is an earnest
■member of the Baptist church, of which he has been a deacon for many
years, and is now serving as a deacon in the congregation of the First Bap-
tist church at Flint.


Grant J. Brovvii was reared on his fathers farm in Flushing township,
receiving his elementary education in the Brown school house in the vicinity
of his home, supplementing the same by a course in the high school at
Flushing, after which he took a cour.se in a business college at Flint. Ik-
taught district school for one term and then for a time worked in a general
store. In 1898 he entered the employ of the First State Savings Bank at
Flushing and was thus engaged for about two years and six months, or until
the organization of the Peoples State Bank at tliat place, when he was made
assistant cashier of the latter institution. He remained with that bank for
about five years and in 1906 was appointed state bank examiner, which
lX)sition he held for three years, at the end of which time he resigned and
became one of the organizers of the Industrial Savings Bank of Flint, being
elected cashier of the same, a position he has held ever since. The Indus-
trial Savings Bank was organized in 1909 with a capital stock of $50,000.
It now has a capital and surplus of $500,000 and total assets of $3,400,000.
The main ofifice of the bank is in the Flint P. Smith building, but a branch
office is maintained at the corner of Hamilton and Industrial avenues and
another on St. John street. Mr. Brown is a Republican and has ever taken
a good citizen's interest in the political affairs of his home county, but has
never been included in the office-seeking class.

On May, 1897, Grant J. Brown was united in marriage to Daisy Parnie-
lee, who was born at Flushing, this county, April 15, 1872, daughter of
George and Elean.or (Smith) Parmelee, the former of whom was born at
Sylvania, Ohio, ]\Iay 30, 1839, and the latter at Flushing. George Parmelee
was a son of Thomas J. and Chloe (Atwell) Parmelee, who came to Michi-
gan in pioneer days and settled in Saginaw county. Later they came to
this county and located at Flushing, where they spent the remainder of their
lives, Thomas J. Parmelee dying on .Vpril 25, 1884, at the age of eighty-
three. His wife had preceded him to the grave, her death having occurred
in 1879. They were the parents of ten children, Mrs. Phena James, Oliver.
George, Thomas, Martha, Reuben, Erastus and three who died in youth.
Thomas J. Parmelee took an active interest in public affairs and served as
justice of the peace, as township treasurer and in various other public capa-
cities. George Parmelee was a miller and farmer and was for years one
of the best-known citizens of Flushing. He dieil in 1892. at the age of
fifty-three years, and hi^ widow sur\i\ed liim fi\e years, she also being
fifty-three years of age at the time of her death in 1897. They were the
parents of five children, of whom Mrs. Brown was the third in order of
birth, the others being Sarah, Eber G. (deceased), Harrv and Clara Irene.


Mrs. Parmelee was a daughter of Simeon and Sarah (Lawton) Smith,
natives of New York state, who came to Michigan in the early days of the
settlement of this part of the state, settling first in the village of Groveland,
in Oakland county. In 1839 they came to Genesee county, settling at Flush-
ing, and were prominently connected with the early history and upbuilding
of that place. Simeon Smith for years was justice of the peace in and for
Flushing township and held other public offices. He and his wife were the
l)arents of five children, Judith, Angeline, Elizabeth, Eleanor and Fred.

To Grant J. and Daisy (Parmelee) Brown three children have been
born, Florence Marg-uerite, Robert Parmelee and Donovan Millard. Mr.
and Mrs. Brown are memliers of the First Baptist church at Flint and Mr.
Brown is chairman of the board of trustees of the same. He is a Royal
Arch Mason and a Knight Templar, a member of Genesee Lodge, Flint
Chapter and Genesee \^alle\- Commandery. and takes a warm interest in
Masonic affairs.


Howard D. Borley, a prominent minister of Flint, was torn on a farm
near Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, on May 23, 1874, being the son of William
E. and Jane (Donaldson) Borley. William E. and Jane Borley were natives
of Ontario, he having been Iiorn in Middlesex county and she at Peter-
bore lugli. Hiev were the parents of the following children: William Ernest,
a plivsician .>f Mishawaka, Indiana; Ivlgar and Cecil, twins: Edgar is a
physician at South Bend, Indiana, and Cecil is a dentist at Hallock, Minne-
sota: Howard D., a minister at Flint; Hilary Hazel, who died at the age of
eighteen years, and Ivan S., of Flint.

William E. Borley, who received his educati(jn in Canada, there grew to
manhood and was a farmer while a resident of that province, came to Mish-
awaka, Indiana, in 1903, where he and Mrs. Borley still reside. Mr. Borley,
having received a good education, was always interested in education.

John Borley and wife, the paternal grandparents of Howard D. Borley,
were natives of England, having been born near FJirmingham. They came
to Canada and located on a farm near London, where they died, l)eing over
eighty years of age. They were the jiarents of the following children: Will-
iam, Jane, Sarah Elizal)eth, Louisa and Melinda. The maternal grand-
parents were of Scotch-Irish .stock. The grandfather settled near Peter-
borough, Canada, and there he and his wife died at an advanced age. They

48 GENESEF COUNTY. iricin(;AX.

were the parents of the following children: Jolin. Uavid. Mars. Benjamin.
Stewart, Mary, Martha, Deborah. Jane and Clotilda.

Howard D. Borley was reared in Middle.sex county, Canada, and spent
hi.s early life near the village of ]\lunnt Brydges. Here he received his
early education. After completing the high school course at Glencoe, he
continued his educational work at Strathroy Model School, and then for
three years was a teacher in the public schools. After completing his work
as a teacher, he studied at Strathroy Collegiate Institute and later received
tlie degree of Bachelor of Arts from Queens College at Kingston. He then
entered the theological seminary, from which he graduated in 1904. After
taking post-graduate work at the University of Chicago, he accepted the
charge of the I'irst Presbvterian clnircii at Big Kapids. Miciiigan, where he
remained until lyio. At this time he was called tu a ciuircli at Michigan
City, where he remained until May 1, 1913. when he accepted the call to his
present charge, the First Presbyterian church of Flint.

On June 6, 1906, Howard D. Borley was miited in marriage to Ger-
trude Robertson, the daughter of Jdhn Robertson and wife. To this union
one son has been born, John R.

Reverend Borle\- is a minister uf much force and eloquence and is
recognized as one of the jiruminent ministers of the city. His work is well
received and he has done much for the religious life of Flint. Fraternall}'.
Mr. Borley is a member of the Im-cc and Accepted Masons and has taken
the chapter degrees, as well as being a memlier nf the Knights Templar and
the Shrine.


For mure than thirty-live years the Rev. b'ather Timothy Joseph Mur-
phy, pastor of St. Michael's Catholic church, has lived and labored among
the people of I'lint, where his devoted and zealous services in the work of
his Master have materially contributed to the growth and strength of Catho-
licism herealjout. Plis present parish is an old one, ha\ing been established
in 1840, the first edifice having lieen erected soon after the organization of
the parish, while the i>re-cnt structure was built during the years 1882 and
1883, under the direct sujiervision of Father ]\lurphy.

Timothy Joseph Murphy was born in the city of Cork, Ireland, May 4,
1848, son of Jeremiah and Margaret ( Dacy I Murph\ . His early education
was received in his nati\e city and after completing tiie curriculum of the
ordinary grades he l)ecant(.' a studeiU in AH Hallows College. Dublin, from

^ Jlj?l


\\hich he \\a? graduated. In 1870 Father Murphy came to the United States
and after landing in New York at once made his way to Detroit and was
ordained there hy Bishop Borgess. January 30, 1871, and was immediately
sent to Bay City as assistant to Father Schutzes, of St. James church, a
capacity in which he served for three months. Later he was transferred to
the [uirish at Grand Haven, Ottawa county, this state, becoming the first
priest of that parish, and there he remained until he was transferred to Flint
in June, j88o. Father Murphy's first act of importance at Flint was the
erection of the splendid brick church of St. Michael's, which took the place
of the old frame church. St. Michael's church is an edifice fifty by one
hundred and fifty feet in dimensions, has a seating capacity of eight hun-
dred, cost thirt}- thousand dollars and is handsomely furnished throughout,
a fitting place of worship and prayer.

Even before leaving his native land. Father Murphy had been a great
admirer of American people and institutions and, although he has never
lost his love for Ireland, he is a truly patriotic citizen of the United States,
like his namesake, late an American priest in Rome, w'ho, upon being told by
some Americans who had an audience with the Pope, that they hoped he
\\ould be sitting in the papal chair upon their next visit, responded, "That
ma}- be, but if 1 e\er get there 1 will hang the American flag on the outer
walls of the \atican." Father Murphy is also a good "mixer," and many
of his most earnest friends are found among those whose rehgious views
may not conform to his teachings, but whose hearts are bound to his by ties
as broad as humanity itself. He pays close attention to the development of
public affairs in Ireland and has enlisted hundreds of Americans in the
cause of Irish home rule. He has taken two trips to his old home in Erin
and intends to make another if he lives to see the full freedom of the land
of his birth. It is his dearest wish that complete home rule may be brought
about through a bond of love and give Ireland a place like unto that held by
the state of ^Michigan in this Union. On the occasion of the celebration at
(irand Haven in 1876 of the centennial of American independence, Father
Murphy was selected i)\- the citizens of that city to read the Declaration of
Independence, and he at that time expressed the wish that he might live to
hear read and realized the declaration of independence of his own land.

In every section in which has labors have Ijeen prosecuted, Father Mur-

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 4 of 89)