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

. (page 46 of 89)
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 46 of 89)
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Her parents had died when she was young, throwing her entirely upon her
own resources, and when twelve years of age she immigrated to New York
■.state, where she met and married William Bendle. They came west in 1836,
locating in Genesee county, Michigan, among the early settlers, taking up
one hundred and ten acres in Burton township, eighty acres of which is now
owned by the subject of this sketch. Here the parents developed a good


farm through their industry and spent the rest of their active lives, tlie
father retiring some twelve or fifteen years prior to his death, spending his
last years in Flint. His family consisted of the following children : John
R., of tliis sketch; Mary, who married George H. Wicker, is deceased; Etta
E., who married Henry Barrett, is deceased; William died when nine years
of age; James, who was a soldier in the Civil War, died in the service in
1864; Mrs. Anne Evans ^^'allin, a widow, is living in Los Angeles, Cali-

John R. Bendle was reared on the home farm, where he worked hard
when a boy, assisting his father develop the same from the virgin state in
which the family found it. He received a meager education in the old-time
district schools of Burton township. He has spent his life on the homestead
with the exception of the years from 1877 to 1883, when he lived on the
county fami as superintendent. He has kept the home ])lacc well impro\xd
and under a high state of cultivation.

Mr. Bendle was married, on Xovember 3, 1863, to 2\Iary Jane Turner,
a daughter of Robert and Ann Turner, of Grand Blanc, Michigan. These
parents were natives of England, where they spent their earlier years, and in
Devonshire Mrs. Bendle was born. She was young in years when the family
immigrated to America, locating in Grand Blanc township, Genesee county,
Michigan, and here she grew to \\omanhood and attended school. Her death
occurred on September 3, 1912, and she was buried in Evergreen cemetery.

Politicall}-, Mr. Bendle is a Republican. He was brought up a strict
Methodist and has never departed from his raising, having always been
faithful in his support of the local church of this denomination. He enjovs
an excellent reputation in the township and county where he has spent his
entire life. '


The Rev. Thomas Francis Lub}', pastor of St. Mar\'s Catholic church
at Mt. Morris and of the Sacred Heart church in the neighboring village
of Birch Run, is a native son of Michigan and has lived in this state all
his life, with the exception of the time spent awa\- while pursuing his theo-
logical studies. He was born at Kalamazoo, this state, May 15, 1875, son
of Michaell'Vancis and Mary (McDonald) Luby, the former a native of
Ireland and the latter of Michigan, both of whom died in Kalamazoo.

Michael F. Lubv was born in the village of Strokestown, Ros-


common, Province of Connaught, Ireland, in 1833, and when fourteen years
old came to the United States witli a brotlier. Almost innnediately after
landing in New York he took service on a whaling vessel and for years fol-
lowed the adventurous life of the sea, eventually locating at Savannah.
Georgia, where he was engaged as overseer of slave stevedores when the
Civil War broke out. He enlisted in a Georgia regiment for service in
the Confederate army and served for four years. At the close of the war
he came to Michigan and settled at Kalamazoo, where he engaged in the
grocery business and where he spent the remainder of his life. On October
25, 1869, at Kalamazoo, he married Mary McDonald, who was Ijorn in
that city in 1850, daughter of John and Mary (Kerwin) }iIcDonald, natives
of Ireland, and to that union eight children were born, four of whom lived
to maturity, the eldest of these being the subject of this sketch, the others
being Anna, who died at Mt. Morris; James, who died at Monroe, this
state, in 1910, and Margaret, wife of Charles Morford. of Kalamazoo.
The mother of these children died in 1883 and the father survived until
1897. They were members of the Catholic church and their children were
reared in that faith.

Thomas Francis Luby received his elementary education in the paro-
chial and public schools of Kalamazoo and after his graduation from the
high school there was sent to Assumption College at Sandwich, Ontario,
from which he was graduated in 1895. Having dedicated his life to the
service of the church he then entered St. Mary's Seminary at Cincinnati
and was graduated from that institution in 1899, his ordination to holy
orders following shortlx" after, leather Luby was ordained liy the Rev. Uishop
Foley at the cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul at Detroit on July 2. 1899,
and his first charge wa^ at Battle Creek, this state, where for four months
he was in charge of a parish during the absence of the pastor. He then
was sent as assistant priest to St. Leo's church at Detroit, where he remained
four months, at the end of which time he was given charge of the parish
of St. Mary's at Mt. Morris, together with the church of the Sacred Heart
at Birch Run, and has ever since been pastor there. Not long after taking
charge of his parish Father Luby found it necessar\- to rebuild the church
near Birch Run and upon the completion of that work started to build
the new St. Mary's church at Mt. ]\Iorris, which was completed at a cost
of fifty thousand dollars, the edifice being regarded as one of the hand-
somest in this part of the state. In 191 5 Father Luby started to rebuild
his church at Birch Run, changing the location of the same to the village
proper. The corner stone was laid in SeptcniJier, IQ15. and the work will


i>e completed at a cost of about eighteen thousand dohars. Father Luby
has a flourishing and prosperous parisli and has done a notable work in
and about i\It. Morris since he was installed as pastor there.


Genesee county seems to have attracted nianx- of the enterprising citizens
of England, ^vho have come here from an (i\crcro\vded island of small
dimensions to our broad land of vast opportunities, and here we have given
tliem homes, in return for which they have shown their gratitude by becom-
ing loyal and good citizens. Robert Burns Browne, a farmer of Thctford
township, is one of this number. He was born in Yorkshire, England, on
February 22, 1849, and is a son of William and Jane (Burns) Browne, both
natives of England, where they were reared, married and established their
home, but immigrated to the United States in 1850, when their son Robert
B., was an infant. They lived in Niagara, New York, until i860, when the}'
moved to Michigan, locating in Thetford township, this county, where they
spent the rest of their lives on a farm, the father dying on February 22,
1878, and the mother surviving him a few years. The father was a Demo-
crat. He helped build the Evangelical church in Thetford township and was
active in the affairs of his community, where he was held in high respect.
His family consisted of nine children, two of whom are still living, J. T., a
merchant at Bentonville, Arkansas, and Robert B., the subject of this sketcli.

Robert B. Browne was reared on the home farm in Thetford townsliip,
where he worked hard when a boy assisting his father develop wild land.
He received a limited education in the district schools and remained at home
until 1876, when he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became a truss-
htter with the Philadelphia Truss Company, which promoted him to the
position of shipper. He remained with that firm about twelve years, giving
eminent satisfaction, being considered one of the most expert truss-fitters in
the country; then returned to Genesee county, locating on the old homestead
on which he has remained ever since, becoming sole owner of the place which
consists of one hundred and seven and one-fourth acres, in section ^;^, known
as "Maple Grove Farm." He has kept the land well improved and well

In 1882 Ivoi:)ert B. Browne was marrietl to Cynthia H. Betts, who was
born in Thetford township, this county, where she was reared and attended


school. Her parents were early .settlers here. Ten children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Browne, seven of whom arc still living, Elsie G., Charles
W., Mabel I., Rhoda O., Everett B., Myrtle J. and Robert B., Jr., the
deceased children having been Ada L., Ethel E. and Ray R. Elsie G.
Browne married Henry Miller and has two children, listher A. and Roy H.
Charles \\^ Browne married Iva Brown and has four children, Florence H.
and Frances M. (twins), Mildred M. and Irene M. Mabel I. Browne mar-
ried Arthur Sines and has four children, Dorothy I.. Ruth B., Charles R.
and Eva G. Myrtle J. Browne married Earl Apper and has one child.
Bernice Marion. .\da L. Browne, now deceased, married Charles Sinnott
and had two children, Lero\- D. and Robert A. In his political views Mr.
Browne is a Socialist and for three years served the public in the cai)acity of
overseer of Thetford township. He is affiliated with the Grange and takes
a warm interest in the affairs of the same.


Dr. Francis Henry Callow, former president of the village of Mt.
Morris and for years one of the best-known physicians and most substantial
residents of that village, is a native of England, born in the city of London,
but has been a resident of the United States since he was seventeen years
of age and of Michigan since the }ear 1876. He was born on July 23,
.1853, son of Francis and Mary Ann (Corrick) Callow, natives of England,
both born in Devonshire, whose last days were si}ent in London.

Francis Callow was born in Devonshire, November 9, 1829, son of
Francis and Elizabeth (Nethercot) Callow, both born in that same shire,
the latter a daughter of Robert Nethercot, a farmer, who lived to be
ninety-four years of age. He was reared on a farm in Devonshire and,
remained there until he had reached his majority, when he went to London
and learned the baker's trade, later Iniying a confectionery store and was
thus engaged in business the remainder of his life, his death occurring in
1872, he then being forty-three years of age. His widow survived him
many years. She was born in Devonshire in 1831, was married at Culm-
stock in 185 1 and lived to be eighty-two years of age, her death occurring
in 1913 in London. Francis and Mary Ann (Corrick) Callow were the
parents of six children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first-
born, the others being as f(^llow : Emily, who married a McGraw and is


now dead; John, who came to .America and died in New York state; Florence,
who married John Russell and is still living in London; James, who came
to the United States and is now living at Rochester, New York, and Harry,
who is in government employ in London.

After finishing his schooling in the grade schools of London, Francis
H. Callow was for a time employed as a salesman in that city and when
seventeen years old came to the United States, leaving London on March
31, 1871, sailing from Liverpool and arriving at Portland, Maine, on April
10, following. From that port he went to Brockport, New York, where
he remained for five years and where, when twenty years of age, he married.
For a time after locating at Brockport he was employed in a printing office,
but presently engaged in farming near that place and was thus engaged
for a little more than four years, at the end of which time, in 1876, he
came to Michigan and bought a farm of 'thirty-seven acres in the vicinity
of Paw Paw, where for five years, or until 1881, he was engaged in farming.
In the meantime he had been pursuing a private course of study and recog-
nizing the need of a more comprehensive educational course entered Hills-
dale College and after a course of five years of study was graduated from
that institution in 1886, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He then
entered the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ami
Arbor and was graduated from that institution, with the degree of Doctor
of Medicine, in 1889. Thus admirably equipped for the practice of his
profession, Doctor Callow, in that same year, located at Mt. Morris and
has ever since been engaged in practice there. Doctor Callow has done
well in his professional career and in addition to his property interests in
Mt. Morris is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and eighty acres
east of the village. He is a Republican and ever since locating at Mt.
■Morris has taken an active interest in civic affairs, having served for three
terms as president of the village, as a trustee for a nimiber of terms and
as a member of the school board for some years. Doctor Callow is a
Royal A/ch Mason, a member of the blue lodge of that order at Clio and
of the chapter at Flint and takes a warm interest in Masonic affairs. He
is a member of the Genesee County Medical Society and of the Michigan
State Medical Association and takes an interested part in the deliberations
of both bodies.

It was on December 25, 1873, that Francis H. Callow was united in
marriage to Sarah E. Hendrick, who was born on a farm near Brockpo'l.
New York, May 1'5, 1855, daughter of John .A^. and Sarah (Wirts) Hen-
drick. natives of New York, Iwrn in the vicinitv of Rochester, of German


ancestry, who spent all the active years of their life on the farm near Brock-
port and who were the parents of twelve children, of whom Mrs. Callow
was the ninth in order of birth, the others Ijeing Peter, Elizabeth, who mar-
ried William Caldwell; Martha, who married Sylvester Edwards and who.
together with her husband, is now deceased; Edwin C, John, Rose, who
married George Snyder; Adelbert, Elvira, who married William Phillips
and is now deceased; George, deceased; William B., who is living in Michi-
gan, and Ella, who married Joseph Gillette. To Doctor and Mrs. Callow
one child has been born, a daughter, Lulu M., who married Archibald Bray,
a well-known stock buyer of Mt. Morris and is the mother of seven chil-
dren, Francis A., Sadie B., Merilla C, Donna Dee (deceased), Belma.
Gertrude and Clare W. Doctor and Mrs. Callow are members of the Bap-
tist church and the Doctor is one of the trustees of the local church.


It is a privilege (which, howe\er, all do not fully appreciate) to be
able to spend our lives on the old home place. "The roof that heard our
earliest cry" is a place hallowed to the memory. Albert F. Roska, a farmer
(if Mundy township, Genesee county, has been contented to remain at the
old home, where he was born on May 23, 1870. He is a son of Ferdinand
and Henrietta (Diedrick) Roska, both natives of Germany, where they grew
to maturity on farms near the city of Berlin. The mother's parents were
landowners, but his were common laborers. The name was originally Race-
key, but has been simplified by later generations. Ferdinand Roska and
wife were married in their native country and four children were born to
them there, two of whom are now living. The family removed to the
United States in 1869, coming dii'ect to Flint, Michigan, and in a short time
located on the farm of forty acres on Swartz creek, on the Maple Avenue
road, on w^hich the subject of this sketch now lives. The father purchased
eighty acres where Sam Roska now lives. This Ijeing wild land, he set to
work clearing it and getting it ready for the plow. He also worked in a
saw-mill in Flint for some time. Later he moved his family onto the eighty
acres where he spent the rest of his life, d}ing in 1911. He owned a valu-
able farm of one hundred and twenty acres at the time of his death. He
and his sons worked together and they accumulated a total <if about two
hundred acres.


Albert F. Roska grew up on the home farm, where he worked when a
boy, and received his education in the cHstrict schools. In .\pril, 1898, he
married Emily .\delaide Herrick, a daughter of W'ilbur and Emily A. Her-
rick, of Flint township, Genesee county. Her mother died when she was a
baby, but her father still lives, making his home in Flint. Mrs. Roska's
death occurred on January i, 191 1. To Mr. and Mrs. Roska the following-
children were born: IMinnie died when four years old; Ruth is attending
high school in Swartz Creek ; Grace is also attending high school ; Floyd,
Alton and Herbert are attending the district school. Politically, Mr. Roska
is a Republican, and has l)een school director in his district for one term.


Ralph C. Gillett, editor of the Montrose Record, was born at Montrose,
this county, September 8, 1895, and was reared and educated in Montrose,
and completed a business course in Flint, Michigan. For about ten years
he was a correspondent for the Flint Journal, and later was a reporter for
the same paper. He was also a reporter on the Flint Evening Press during
the life of that paper. He then for some time was employed in the office
of the Montrose Record, then under the management of R. L. Ford, and
on December 4. 1914, bought the plant from Mr. Ford and has since
been the editor and manager of the Record. Mr. Gillett was only nineteen
years of age when he assumed the management of the paper and is recog-
nized as being the youngest newspaper publisher in Michigan. He is also
the publicity manager of the Flint River Valley .Vgricultural Society and
(ine of the directors of that association.

Charles A. Gillett, father of Ralph C. Gillett, was born in Springville.
Lenawee coimty, Michigan, .\ugust 18, 187]. When three weeks old his
parents moved to Montrose and he was a resident there until his death,
which occurred on October 6, 1908. At the time of his death he was jus-
tice of the peace and also town clerk. He was a charter member of the
local lodge of the Modern \\'oodmen at Montrose. He was married in
September, 1894, to Jennie Judd, who was born in Mundy township, this
county, and was reared and educated in that township, receiving her edu-
cation in the district schools. She has been a resident of Montrose town-
ship for a period of thirty years, .\fter the death of her first husband she
married T'urton Johnson, a resident of ^lontrose.


The paternal grandfather (jf Ralpli C. Gillett was Horace L. Gillett,
who was born in Pittsfield, Ohio, in 1840, and came to Michigan when ten
years old, and was thrown entirely upon his own resources for a living.
For a period of twenty years he resided in Lenawee county, engaged in
farming. In 1870 he moved to what is now the town of Montrose, bought
seventy-five acres of land and established his permanent homestead there.
This entire acreage has been sold and now makes the town of Montrose.
Horace L. Gillett married Mary Feller, August 10, 1862. She was born
in New York, November u, 1844, and came to Michigan at the age of
twelve years. Two children were born tn that union: Charles, father of
the subject of this sketch, and Claude E., born on August 18, 1876, an engi-
neer, now living at Saginaw, Michigan. Claude E. Gillett married Maude
Squires and to that union two children were born, Molet, born in Mont-
rose, November 7, 1906, and Harold, August 10, igio.

Jennie (Judd) Gillett, mother of Ralph C. Gillett, is the daughter of
George J. Judd, who was born in Devonshire, England, April 8, 1848,
and who came with his parents to Michigan in 1855 and settled in Flint.
George J. Judd remained there until 1876, when he married Frances Eccles
and rrjoved to Mundy township. Later, he moved to Vienna township, and
then to Mt. Morris township. During the last thirty years of his life he
lived on a farm located south of Montrose. He died on January 29, 191 5.
Besides Mr. Gillett's mother, the children of his family were Walter, LeRoy,
Lewis and Mrs. Walter Keyser, of Flushing.


Alonzo J. Covert, a w^ell-known and substantial farmer and stock raiser
of Gaines township, this county, proprietor of "Fairfield Farm," a pleasant
place of one hundred and twenty acres in sections 15 and 22, of that town-
ship, and who for years has been actively identified with the civic interests of
his home community, is a native of that section of the county and has lived
in that neighborhood all his life. He was boni on section 22 of Gaines
township, July 23, 1866, son of John H. and Mar}- (Jewell) Covert, both
natives of New York state, who had been residents of Michigan since the
days of their childhood and who spent their last days in this county.

John H. Covert was born in Seneca county. New York. Jamiar}- 31,
1836, son of Burr Covert and wife and was little more than an infant when



liis parents and their family came to ^Michigan in 1837 and settled in Rose
township, Oakland county. There Burr Covert made his home until 1844,
when he moved up into Genesee county, settling on a farm on the Baldwin
road in Gaines township, where he spent the rest of his life, his death
occurring not long after he had located there. On that pioneer farm John
H. Covert grew to manhood. On July 4, 1859, he married Mary Jewell,
who was born in .Steuben county, New York, and who was but a child when
her parents came to this state in 1843 ^"d settled in Rose township, Oak-
land county, a short time later coming up into Genesee county, where they
established their home. After his marriage John H. Covert established his
home on a farm in section 26 of Gaines township, his house being situated
on the Baldwin road, where he set up a cooper shop and was thus engaged
for years. Tn 1864 he enlisted for service in one of the Michigan regiments
and served as a soldier of the Union until the close of the war, at the end
of which term of service he returned to his farm. Later he moved to a
farm of forty acres which he bought in section 22, where he lived until 1897,
engaged in carpentering and farming, and then moved to Mecosta county,
where he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring on November 27,
191 5. He was a Republican in his political views and for years was an
active member of Post Attention, Grand Army of the Republic, at Gaines.

John H. Covert was twice married. To his union with Mary Jewell
five children were born, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth
in order of birth, the others being as follow: Jesse, who died in infancy;
Alvina, wife of Joseph Harris, of Flint; Martin JL., also of Flint, and
Claude A., who is now living in Ontario. The mother of these children died
in 1870 and on July 24, 1872, Mr. Covert married Phoebe Marble, daughter
of David Marble, of Mundy township, this county, and who died on April
18, 1905, in Mecosta county, leaving three children, Lena M., wife of Abner
Tibbetts, of Mundy township, this county; Charles H., of Mecosta county,
and Mary I., wife of William Brewer, of Flint.

Alonzo J. Covert was but three years old when his mother died. He
grew to manhood on the home farm and when twenty-three years old went
to Flint, where he worked in the factories there for about seven months and
where he was married in the summer of 1890. After his marriage Mr.
Covert returned to farming, settling on the G. W. Gilbert farm in his old
home township, where he lived two years, at the end of which time he moved
to the Barlow farm in Mundy township. After three years there, he bought
the place of eighty acres on which he is now living and to which he later


added an adjoining "forty," thus now haxing a farm of one hundred and
twenty acres, to which he has gi\en the \'ery appropriate name of "l-"airfield'"
and where lie and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably situated.
Mr. Covert is a Republican and has for years taken an active interest in the
civic afifairs of his home township, having served as constable, as township
treasurer for two years, as a member of the board of re\iew for eight years
and as treasurer of his school district for twelve } ears.

On July 24, 1890. Alonzo J- C'o\ert was united in marriage to Jennie
Gilbert, who was born in Gaines township, this county, daughter of George
W. and Diantha E. (Skinner) Gilbert, both natives of this state and for
years well-known and substantial residents of Gaines township, this county.
George W. Gilbert was born on a pioneer farm in Troy township, Oakland
county, this state, posthumous son of George Gilbert, a native of the state
of New York, and grew to manhood in that county. There he married

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 46 of 89)