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Portrait and biographical album of Ionia and Montcalm counties, Mich online

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5hp; greatest of English historians, Macaulay, and one of the most brilliant writers of
the present century, has said : "The history of a country is best told in a record of the
lives of its people." In conformity with this idea the Portrait and Biographical
AuiUM of this county has been prepared. Instead of going to musty records, and
taking therefrom dry statistical matter that can be appreciated by but few, our
corps of writers have gone to the people, the men and women who have, by their
enterprise and industry, brought the county to a rank second to none among those
comprising this great and noble State, and from their lips have the story of their life
struggles. No more interesting or instructive matter could be presented to an intelli-
gent public. In this volume will be found a record of many whose lives are worthy tiie
imitation of coming generations. It tells how some, commencing life in poverty, by
industry and economy have accumulated wealth. It tells how others, with limited
advantages for securing an education, have become learned men and women, with an
intluence extending througliout the length and breadth of the land. It tells of men who
have risen from the lower walks of life to eminence as statesmen, and whose names have
become famous. It tells of those in every walk in life who have striven to succeed, and
records how that success has usually crowned their efforts. It tells also of many, very
many, who, not seeking the applause of the world, have pursued "the even tenor of their way,'' content
to liave it said of them as Christ said of the woman performing a deed of mercy — "they have done what
•they could." It tells how that many in the pride and strength of young manhood left the plow and tlie
anvil, the lawyer's office and the counting-room, left every trade and profession, and at tlieir eountry'.s
call went forth valiantly "to do or die," and how through their efforts the Union was restored and peace
once more reigned in the land. In the life of eveiy man and of every woman is a lesson that should not
be lost upon those who follow after.

Coming generations will .appreciate this volume and preserve it as a sacred treasure, from the fact
that it contains so much that would never find its way into public records, and which would otherwise be
inaccessible. Great care has been taken in the compilation of the work and every opportunity possible
given to those represented to insure correctness in what been written, and the publishers flatter them-
selves that tliey give to their readers a work with few errors of consequence. In addition to the biograph-
ical sketches, portraits of a number of representative citizens are given.

The faces of some, and biographical sketches of many, will be missed in this volume. For this the
publishers are not to blame. Not having a proper conception of the work, some refused to give the
information necessary to compile a sketch, while others were indifferent. Occasionally some member of
the family would oppose the enterprise, and on account of such opposition the support of the interested
one would be withheld. In a few instances men could never be found, though repeated calls were made
at their residence or place of business.

CniCAOo, Julj^ 1891.






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HE Father of our Country was
born in Westmorland Co., Va.,
Feb. 2 2, 1732. His parents
were Augustine and Mary
(Ball) Washington. The family
to which he belonged has not
been satisfactorily traced in
England. His great-grand-
father, John Washington, em-
igrated to Virginia about 1657,
and became a prosperous
planter. He had two sons,
Lawrence and John. The
former married Mildred Warner
and had three children, John.
Augustine and Mildred. Augus-
tine, the father of George, first
married Jane Butler, who bore
him four children, two of whom,
Lawrence and Augustine, reached
maturity. Of six children by his
second marriage, George was the
eldest, the others being Betty,
Samuel, John Augustine, Charles
and Mildred.
Augustine Washington, the father of George, died
in 1743, leaving a large landed property. To his
eldest son, Lawrence, he beijueathed an estate on
the I'atomac, afterwards known as Mount Vernon,
and to George he left the parental residence. George
received only such education as the neighborhood
schools afforded, save for a short time after lie left
school, when lie received private instruction in
matheniat-cs. His spellinii v/as rather defectiv*

Remarkable stories are told of his great physica:
strength and development at an early age. He was
an acknowledged leader among his companions, and
was early noted for that nobleness of character, fair-
ness and veracity which characterized his whole life.

When George was 1 4 years old hehad a desire to goto
sea, and a midshipman's warrant was secured for him,
but through the opposition of his mother the idea was
abandontd. Two years later he was appointed
surveyor to the immense estate of Lord Fairfax. In
this business he spent three years in a rough frontier
life, gaining experience which afterwards proved very
essential to him. In 1757, though only 19 years of
age, he was apjwinted adjutant with the rank of
major in the Virginia militia, then being trained for
active service against the French and Indians. Soon
after this he sailed to the West Indies with his brother
Lawrence, who went there to restore his health. They
soon returned, and in the summer of 1752 Lawrence
died, leaving a large fortune to an infant daughter
who did not long survive him. On her demise the
estate of Mount Vernon was given to George.

Upon the arrival of Robert Dinwiddle, as Lieuten-
ant-Governor of Virginia, in 1752, the militia was
reorganized, and the province divided into four mili-
tary districts, of which the northern was assigned to
Washington as adjutant general. Shortly after this
a very perilous mission was assigned him and ac-
ceiited, which others had refused. This was to pro-
ceed to the French post near Lake Erie in North-
western Pennsylvania. The distance to be traversed
was between 500 and 600 miles. Wijiter was at hand,
and the journey was to be made wiiboiit miiilarv
escort, through a territory occupied by Indians. 'i"he



irip was a perilous one, and several limes he came near
losing his life, yet he returned in safety and furnished
a full and useful report of his expedition. A regiment
of 300 men was raised in Virginia and put in com-
mand of Col. Joshua Fry, and Major Washington was
commissioned lieutenant-colonel. Active war was
then begun against the French and Indians, in which
Washington took a most important part. In the
memorable event of July 9, 1755, known as Brad-
dock's defeat, Washington was almost the only officer
of distinction who escaped from the calamities of the
day with life and lienor. The other aids of Braddock
were disabled early in the action, and Wasliington
alone was left in that capacity on the field. In a letter
to his brother he says : "I had four bullets through
my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet I escaped
unhurt, though death was levelin'> my companions
on every side." An Indian sharpshooter said he was
not born to be killed by a bullet, for he had taken
direct aim at him seventeen times, and failed to hit

After having been five years in the military service,
and vainly sought promotion in the royal anny, he
look advantage of the fall of Fort Duquesne and the
expulsion of the French from the valley of the Ohio,
to resign his conmiission. Soon after lie entered the
Legislature, where, although not a leader, he took an
active and important jiart. January 17, 1759, he
married Mrs. Martha (Dandridge) Custis, the wealthy
widow of John Parke Custis.

When the British Parliament had closed the port
if Boston, the cry went up throughout the provinces
that "The cause of Boston is the cause of us all."
It was then, at the suggestion of Virginia, that a Con-
gress of all the colonies was called to meet at Phila-
delphia.Sept. 5, 1774, to secure their common liberties,
peaceably if possible. To tliis Congress Col. Wash-
ington was sent as a delegate. On May 10, 1775, the
Congress re-assembled, when the hostile intentions of
England were plainly apparent. The battles of Con-
cord and Lexington had been fought. Among the
first acts of this Congress was the election of a com-
mander-in-chief of the colonial forces. This high and
responsible office was conferred upon Washington,
who was still a memberof the Congress. He accepted
it on June 19, but uiion the express condition that he
receive no salary. He would keep an exact account
of expenses and expect Congress lo pay them and
nothing more. It is not the object of this sketch to
trace the military acts of Washington, to whom the
fortunes and lilierties of the people of this country
were so long confided. The war was conducted by
him under every possible disadvantage, and while his
forces often met with reverses, yet he overcame every
obstacle, and after seven years of heroic devotion
and matchless skill he gained liberty for the greatest
nation of earth. On Dec. 23, 1783, Washington, in
a parting address of surpassing beauty, lesigned his

commission as commander-in-chief of the army to
to the Continental Congress sitting at Annapolis. He
retired immediately to Mount Vernon and resumed
his occupation as a farmer and planter, shunning all
connection with public life.

Ill February, 1789, Washington was unanimously
elected President. In his presidential career he was
subject to the peculiar trials incidental to a new
government ; trials from lack of confidence on the pan
•of other governments; trials from want of harmony
between the different sections of our own country;
trials from the impoverished condition of the country,
owing to the war and want of credit; trials from the
beginnings of party strife. He was no partisan. His
clear judgment could discern the golden mean; and
while perhaps this alone kept our government from
sinking at the very outset, it left him exposed to
attacks from both sides, which were often liitter and
very annoying.

At the expiration of his first term he was unani-
mously re-elected. At the end of this term many
were anxious that he be re-elected, but he absolutely
refused a third nomination. On the fourth of March,
1797, at the expiraton of his second term as Presi-
dent, he returned to his home, hoping to pass there
his few remaining yeais free from the annoyances of
public life. Later in the year, however, his repose
seemed likely to be interrupted by war with France.
At the prospect of such a war he was again urged to
take command of the armies. He chose his sub-
ordinate officers and left to them the charge of mat-
ters in the field, which he superintended from his
home. In accepting the command he made the
reservation that he was not to be in the field until
it was necessary. In the midst of these preparations
his life was suddenly cut off. Decemlier 12, he took
a severe cold from a ride in the rain, which, settling
in h's throat, produced inflammation, and terminated
fatally on the night of the fourteenth. On the eigh-
teenth his body was borne wi'h military honors to its
final resting place, and interred in the family vault at
Mount Vernon.

Of the character of Washington it is impossible to
speak but in terms of the highest respect and ad-
miration. The more we see of the operations of
our government, and the more deeply we feel the
difficulty of uniting all opinions in a common interest,
the more highly we must estimate the force of his tal-
ent and character, which have been able to challenge
the reverence of all parties, and principles, and na-
tions, and to win a fame as extended as the limits
of the globe, and which we cannot but believe will
be as lasting as the existence of man.

The person of Washington was unusally tan, erect
and well proportioned. His muscular strength was
great. His features were of a beautiful synimetrv.
He commanded respect without any appearance of
haughtiness, and ever serious without h^ir>e dull.



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OHN ADAMS, the second
President and the first Vice-
' President of the United States,
was born iii Bralntree (now
Quincy ),Mass., and about ten
"^ miles from Boston, Oct. 19,
1735. His great-grandfather, Henry
Adams, emigrated from England
about 1640, with a family of eight
sons, and settled at Braiiitree. The
parents of John were John and
Susannah (Boylston) Adams. His
father was a farmer of limited
means, to which he added the bus-
iness of shoemaking. He gave his
eldest son, John, a classical educa-
tion at Harvard College. John
graduated in 1755, and at once took charge of the
school in Worcester, Mass. This he found but a
■'sci-:ool of affliction," from which he endeavored to
gain relief by devoting himself, in addition, to the
study of law. For this purpose he placed himself
under the tuition of the only lawyer in the town. He
had thought seriously of the clerical profession
but seems to have been turned from this by what he
termed " the frightful engines of ecclesiastical coun-
jils, of diabolical malice, and Calvanistic good nature,"
of the operations of which he had been a witness in
his native town. He was well fitted for the legal
profession, possessing a clear, sonorous voice, being
ready and fluent of speech, and having quick percep-
tive jx)wers. He gradually gained practice, and in
1764 married Abigail Smith, a daughter of a minister,
and a lady of superior intelligence. Shortly after his
marriage, (i7'''5), the attempt of Parliamentary taxa-
♦jon turned him from law to politics. He look initial
steps toward holdin^, :i town meeting, and the resolu-

tions he offered on the subject became very populai
throughout the Provnice, and were adopted word for
word by over forty different towns. He moved to Bos-
ton in 1768, and became one of the most courageous
and prominent advocates of the jxapular cause, and
was chosen a member of the General Court (the Leg-
lislature) in 1770.

Mr. Adams was chosen one of the first delegates
from Massachusetts to the first Continental Congrets,
which met in 1774. Here he distinguished himself
by his capacity for business and for debate, and ad-
vocated liie movement for independence against tb^
majority of the members. In May, 1776, he mcved
and carried a resolution in Congress that the Colonies
should assume the duties of self-government. He
was a prominent member of the committee of live
appointed June 11, to prepare a declaration of inde-
pendence. This article was drawn by Jefferson, but
on Adams devolved the task of battling it through
Congress in a three days debate.

On the day after the Declaration of Independence
was passed, while his soul was yet warm with thj
glow of e.xcited feeling, he wrote a letter to his wife
which, as we read it now, seems to have been dictated
by the spirit of prophecy. "Yesterday," he says, "the
greatest question was decided that ever was debated
in America; and greater, perhaps, never was or wil
be decided among men. A resolution was passed
without one dissenting colony, ' that these United
States are, and of right ought to be, free and inde-
pendent states.' The day is passed. The fourth of
July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch in the history
of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated
by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary
festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of
deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty
God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows.



games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations
from one end of the continent to the other, from this
time forward for ever. You will think me transported
with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of
the toil, and blood and treasure, that it will cost to
maintain this declaration, and support and defend
these States; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the
rays of light and glory. 1 can see that the end is
worth more than all the means; and that posterity
will triumph, although you and I may rue, whicli I
hope we shall not."

In November, 1777, Mr. vVdams was appointed a
ddlegate to France and to co-operate with IJenijamin
Franklin and Arthur Lee, who were then in Paris, in
the endeavor to obtain assistance in arms and money
from the French Government. This was a severe trial
to his patriotism, as it separated iiim from his home,
comiielled him to cross the ocean in winter, and ex-
posed him to great peril of capture by llie Britisli cruis-
ers, who were seeking him. He left France June 17,
1779. In September of the same year he was again
chosen to go to Paris, and there hold himself in readi-
ness to negotiate a treaty of peace and of commerce
with Great Britian, as soon as the British Cabinet
might be found willing to listen to such proiX)sels. He
sailed for France in November, from there he went to
Holland, where he negotiated imiortaut loans and
formed important commercial treaties.

Finally a treaty of peace with England was signed
Jan. 21, 1783. The re-action from the excitement,
toil and anxiety through which Mr. Adams had passed
threw him into a fever. After suffering from a con-
tinued fever and becoming feeble and emaciated he
was advised to goto England to drink the waters of
Bath. While in England, still drooping anddesix)nd-
ing, he received dispatches from his own government
urging the necessity of his going to Amsterdam to
negotiate another loan. It was winter, his health was
delicate, yet he immediately set out, and through
storm, on sea, on horseback and foot,hemade the trip.

February 24, 1785, Congress appointed Mr. Adams
envoy to the Court of St. James. Here he met face
to face the King of England, who had so long re-
garded him as a traitor. As England did not
condescend to appoint a minister to the United
States, and as Mr. Adams felt that he was accom-
plishing but little, he sought permission to return to
nis own country, where he arrived in June, 1788.

When Washington was first chosen President, John
Adams, rendered illustiious by his signal services at
home and abroad, was chosen Vice President. Again
at the second election of Washington as President,
Adams was chosen Vice President. In 1796, Wash-
ington retired from pulilic life, and Mr. Adams was
elected President,though not without much opiiosition.
Serving in this office four years, he was succeeded by
Mr. Jefferson, his opponent in politics.

While Mr. Adams was Vice President the great

French Revolution shook the continent of Europe,
and it was upon this point which he was at issue with
the majority of his countrymen led by Mr. Jefferson.
Mr. Adams felt no sympathy with the French people
in their struggle, for he had no confidence in their
(xjwer of self-government, and he utterly abhored the
classof atheist philosophers who he claimed caused it.
On the other hand Jefferson's sympathies were strongly
enlisted in behalf of the French people. Hence or-
iginated the alienation between these distinguished
men, and two powerful parties were thus soon organ-
ized, Adams at the head of the one whose sympathies
were with England and Jefferson led the other in
sympathy with France.

Tlie world has seldom seen a spectacle of more
moral beauty and grandeur, than was presented by tlie
old age of Mr. Adams. The violence of party feeling
had died away, and he had begun to receive that just
appreciation which, to most men, is not accorded till
after death. No one could look upon his venerable
form, and think of what he had done and suffered,
and how he had given up all the prime and strength
of his life to the public good, without the deepest
emotion of gratitude and respect. It was his peculiar
good fortune to witness the complete success of the
institution which he had been so active in creating and
supiXDrting. In 1824, his cup of happiness was filled
to the brim, by seeing his son elevated to the highest
station in the gift of the pjeople.

The fourth of July, 1826, which rampleted the half
century since the signing of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, arrived, and there were but three of the
signers of that immortal instrument left upon the
earth to hail its morning light. And, as it is
well known, on that day two of these finished their
earthly pilgrimage, a coincidence so remarkalile as
to seem miraculous. For a few days before Mr.
Adams had been rapidly failing, and on the morning
of the fourth he found himself too weak to rise from
his bed. On being requested to name a toast for the
customary celebration of the day, he exclaimed " In-
dependence FOREVER." When the day was ushered
in, by the ringing of bells and the firing of cannons,
he was asked by one of his attendants if he knew
what day it was.? He replied, "O yes; it is the glor-
ious fourth of July — God bless it — God bless you all."
In the course of the day he said, "It is a great and
glorious day." The last words he uttered were,
"Jefferson survives." But he had, at one o'clock, re-
signed his spirit into the hands of his God.

The personal appearance and manners of Mr,
Adams were not particularly prepossessing. His face,
as his portrait manifests,was intellectual ard expres-
sive, but his figure was low and ungraceful, and his
manners were frequently abrupt and uncourteous.
He had neither the lofty dignity of Washington, nor
the engaging elegance and gracefulness which marked
the manners and address of Jefferson,







^^ 'mne-" ^.^



bum April 2, 1743, at Shad-
«*well, Albermaile county, Va.
His iiarciits were Peler and
Jane ( Randolph) Jefferson,
the former a native of Wales,
and the latter born in Lon-
don. To them were born six
daughters and two sons, of
whom Thomas was the elder.
When 14 years of age his
fatlier died. He received a
most liberal education, hav-
l)een kept diligently at school
from the time he was five years of
age. In 1760 he entered William
tnd Mary College. Williamsburg was then the seat
of the Colonial Court, and it was the obode of fashion splendor. Young Jefferson, who was then 17
years old, lived somewhat expensively, keci)ing fine
horses, and much caressed by gay society, yet he
was earnestly devoted to his studies, and irre]iroacha-
able in his morals. It is strange, however, under
such inlluences,that he was not ruined. In the sec-
ond year of his college course, moved by some un-
ex[)lained inward impulse, he discarded his horses,
society, and even his favorite violin, to which he had
prev.ously given much time. He often devoted fifteen
hours a day to hard study, allowing himself for ex-
ercise only a run in the evening twilight of a mile out
of the city and back again. He thus attained very
high intellectual culture, alike excellence in philoso-
phy and the languages. The most difficult Latin and
Greek authors he read with facility. A more finished
scholar has seldom gone forth from college halls ; and

there was not to be found, perhaps, in all Virginia, a
more pureminded, upright, gentlemanly young man.

Immediately upon leaving college he began the
study of law. For the short time he continued in the

Online LibraryChapman Brothers. pblPortrait and biographical album of Ionia and Montcalm counties, Mich → online text (page 1 of 112)