Elizabeth Palmer Peabody.

Portrait and biographical album of Branch County, Mich online

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state of cultivation, as is shown by the fact that in
1887 he raised 1,460 bushels of wheat, 1,198 bushels
of oats, 3,000 bushels of corn and 30 tons of hay.
The only relaxation which Mr. Paul has had from
his arduous labors was in 1849, the winter of
which lie spent in New York State visiting.

In politics Mr. Paul is a stanch Republican, and
is influential among the electors of his community.
He has been elected to many of the local offices,
and served as Township Supervisor a number of
years, discharging the duties of the office without
fear or favor.


OSWELL D. TIFT, well known throughout
({ Algansee Township, is a native of this State,
having been born in Washtenaw County,
April -20, 1833. His father, David Tift,
was a native of Allegany Count}', N. Y., where he
grew to manhood and became thc^roughl}' familiar
with farm pursuits. When setting about the estab-
lishment of a home of his <nvn he was married to
Miss Mary Minier, a native of his own State, and
they, in October, 1832, made their way to the Ter-
ritory of Michigan and lived in Washtenaw County
for five years following.

The parents of our subject upon coming to this
county, in 1837, settled first in Kinderhook Town-
ship, but a year later sold the land which the father
had entered from the Government and entered
another tract of 160 acres, in Algansee Township,
northeast. This was covered with timber, and
after erecting his log cabin the father set about
clearing his land and bringing the soil to a pro-
ductive condition. The parents endured all the
hardships and privations incident to life in a new





settlement, but in clue time were rewarded in the
possession of a comfortable homestead, a neat frame
dwelling, and the various other buildings which
grew up around them as their land developed and
their means increased. Here the}' spent the re-
mainder of their lives, the mother dying in Novem-
ber, 1858, and the father in February, 1859.

Of the six children born to David and Mary Tift
the record is as follows : Fann}' E. became the wife of
Martin Hiscock. and is a resident of Linn County,
Iowa; Roswell D.. our subject, was the eldest son
and second child; Albert J. and Jerome B. are farm-
ing in Algansee Townshii); Allison during the late
war enlisted in the lUh Michigan Infantry, and
died, from disease contracted in the service, at
home in IHGS; Horace N., also a Union soldier, en-
listed in the 5th ]\Iichigan Cavalry, and yielded up
his life as a sacrilice to his country, in Anderson-
ville Prison. The parents were members in good
standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Roswell D. Tift was a little lad five years of age
when his parents came to this county, where he
acquired a limited education and learned the whole
secret of successful farming. His life passed in an
uneventful manner until he was twenty-seven years
of age, when he was united in marriage, March 1,
hSfiO, to Miss Permclia Mason, who was born
in Huron County, Ohio. Mrs. Tift was the daugh-
ter of Walter T. and Sarah Mason, who were
native born Americans and spent their last years
in Algansee Township. Our subject and his wife
commenced life together in a modest dvvclling in
Algansee, where Mr. Tift still followed agricult-
ure until 1864, in hopes that the war would soon
come to a successful close, but tliere being no pros-
pect of this in the near future he, with his brother
Jerome B., enlisted in an independent company,
nhich was subsequently consolidated with the 1st
Michigan Sharpshooters, and being sent to City
Point, Ya., remained in the service until after the
close of the war.

Mr. Tift, after receiving his honorable discharge,
resumed farming in Algansee Township, but one
year later, in April, 1806. his home was made deso-
late l)y the death of his wife, who left a daughter,
Eleanor Lizzie, four years of age. In 1870 Mr.
Tift contracted a second marriage, with Miss Lucy

R. Shumway, who was born in Lenawee County,
Sept. 10, 1850, and is the daughter of Alfred and
Nancy M. (Davis) Shumway, well-known residents
of this part of the State, and a sketch of whom will
be found in another part of this volume. To Roswell
D. and Lucy R. Tift there have been born four
children — Levi S., Eli D., Riley D. and Perry R.
The eldest is sixteen years of age and the youngest
eight years.

The Tift homestead comprises 138 acres of land,
the larger part of which is in a productive condi-
tion and yields in abundance the rich crops of
Southern Michigan. The buildings are neat and
substantial, and thoroughly adapted to the require-
ments of the modern agriculturist. Mr. Tift dur-
ing his early manhood worked considerably as a
carpenter, and being able to put up his own build-
ings mostly, has thns saved an outlay of hundreds
of dollars, while at the same time they were com-
pleted in a most thorough and substantial manner.
Mr. T. has been chietly engaged with his own con-
cerns, carefully avoiding the responsibilities of
office, which his fellow-citizens would have been
glad to have him assume, and has simply served as
Township Clerk. He was in former times a Repub-
lican, but of late years has been strongly in sym-
pathy with the National Greenbackers, while in
religious matters he is a member in good standing
of the Congregational Church.


(^^HOMAS L. THOMPSON, now a prosperous
((^^^ member of the farming community of Branch
^^/ County, owning a farm in Ovid Township,
is particularly worthy of mention in this Album as
one of those who, during the late Civil War, nobly
laid aside all personal ambitions and entered heart
and soul into the struggle which was to save un-
tarnished the honor of our country, and leave with
not a star undimmed the glorious banner that floats
over the home of the free. He is a native of
Springfield, Summit Co., Ohio, born on June 9,
1844. His grandfather, James Thompson, was in
his early years a resident of Pennsylvania, but re-




moved from there to Springfield, Oliio, where he
purchased a tract of land from which he cleared a
farm, on which he lived until his death. His sou,
Thomas A., father of our subject, was quite young
when he moved with his parents to Ohio, where he
was reared and educated. On reaching man's
estate, he bougiit a farm adjoining his father's in
Springfield, and lived there until 1864, when, in
order to improve his financial condition, he re-
moved with his family to Cass County, this State,
and bought a farm in the town of Mason. A few
years later he disposed of his property there, and
removed to Elkhart, Ind., where his death occurred
July 8, 1881. He was twice married. The maiden
name of his first wife was Margaret Lance, who
died at the early age of twenty-seven j'ears, when
our subject was only tlu-ee 3'ears old, her death oc-
curring on the liomestead at Springfield, Ohio,
and her body was laid to rest in the cemetery
near by. The maiden name of his second wife was
p]liza Larimore, wlio survived her husband, and is
now living with her daughter near Elkhart.

T. L. Thompson was reared in his native town,
where he received a substantial education, and was
well prepared to enter Hayesville College when the
late Rebellion broke out. His patriotic entiuisiasm
could not be restrained, so, though only seventeen
years of age, he enlisted Oct. 6, 1861, in Company
G, 64t!i Ohio Infantry. He was mustered in as a
private, but for brave conduct was promoted to the
rank of (Corporal, then through the different grades
to the position of First Lieutenant, serving faith-
fully with his regiment until Jan. 3, 1866, when he
was discharged at Victoria, Tex., and was afterward
mustered out of service at Columbus, Ohio. He
served with the Army of the Cumberland, taking an
active part in the battles of Corinth, Stone River
and Cliickamauga. At the latter place our subject
received a severe wound in his right leg, and for
more than an hour lay on the field between the
lines, with the shot and shell from each side whiz-
zing over and around him. He was then assisted
from the field by a comrade, and fortunately re-
ceived a ride on a caisson wagon, thus escaping
capture by the rebels. The second day after he
was transferred to the hospital at Nashville, and
when able to travel received a few weeks' furlough.

He rejoined his regiment in November, 1863, and
participated in the battle of Iilission Ridge, was
subsequently witii Sherman in his march to the sea,
taking part in the raid on Atlanta, the battles of
Jonesboro, Lovejoy's Station, Franklin and Nash-
ville. After the latter battle he followed the rebels
to Decatur, Ala., and from there started to Vir-
ginia. While in Knoxville, Tenn., he heard the
news of Lee's surrender. When he was mustered
out of service Lieut. Thompson went to Cass
County, whither his father had removed, and on
Oct. 18, 1866, was united in marriage to Miss Louise
McCormick, also a native of Springfield, Ohio, born
May 22, 184.'); their marriage occurred in Cold-
water, at the home of the bride. Her paternal
grandfather, James RlcCormick, was presumably a
native of Pennsylvania, where he lived for many
years, engaged in agricultural pursuits. He mar-
ried Sallie Hall, whose entire life was spent in that
State. After lier death Mr. McCormick moved to
Ohio, and from there to Iowa, where he spent his re-
maining years, dying in Lancaster, Keokuk County.
His son James, father of Mrs. Thompson, was born
in Westmoreland County, Pa., and was a youth in
his teens when he moved with his father to Ohio.
He became a tiller of the soil, and settled in Spring-
field Township, where lie married Miss Esther C.
Meachara, who was born in Tallmadge, Summit Co.,
Ohio. Her parents, Seth and Sally (Weston)
Meacham, were natives of Connecticut, who after
their marriage removed to Tallmadge, Ohio, where
they bought a tract of heavily timbered land, from
which they improved a farm on whicli the remain-
ing years of their life were spent.

For a short time after their marriage our subject
and his wife lived in Cass County, then in October,
1868, came to Branch Count}', and located in
Quincy Township, where Mr. Thompson bought a
farm, which, after they had lived on it six years,
he sold and purchased another in the same town-
ship. In 1876 our subject removed to Ovid Town-
ship, and bought a farm on section 3, remaining
thereon seven years. In the year 1883 he disposed
of that property, and bought the homestead on
which he now resides on section 10. It contains
seventy acres of valuable land, on which are sub-
stantial and convenient buildings, that, with the





good condition of the farm, indicate the thrift and
good management of the owner. Mr. Thompson
talics much interest in local and general affairs, and
has during his residence here won univcisal respect
and esteem for his integrity of character and ster-
ling worth.

^AVII) J. I'KESTIDGE, a general farmer
jV and stock-raiser residing in this county, is

'^ pleasantly situated on section 20, Bethel
Township, about five miles from Bronson.
Mr. Prestidge is practically a selfmadc man, having
accumulated a good farm of ninety acres of fine,
arable land by his own unaided efforts. He has
accomplished this by sheer industr}- and frugalitj',
characteristic of the people from whom he derives
his origin, and this brief history of Mr. Prestidge
furnishes to the rising generation an example of
what may be accomplished by the exercise of
similar virtues.

The subject of this notice was born in North-
amptonshire, England, in 1833, and is the fifth in
order of birth of thirteen children included in the
family of William and Hannah (Cook) Prestidge,
natives of Warwickshire. The parents spent their
entire lives in their native country, where the
father departed this life in March, 1887, at the age
of ciglity-six years. The mother still survives,
and has reached the age of eighty-three years.
The father was a laborer, and was Secretary and
sexton of the i)arish church fifty-three years. The
following obituary notice is taken from the Adver-
tiser, i)nl)lis]ied in AVarwickshire, England, and
dated Sept. 10, 1 S«7 : "Fifty-three years ago Mr.
Prestidge was appointed to the Clerkship of this
parish, and during tliis long period he discharged
the duties of the olHce to the entire satisfaction of
all. He died lamented b}' all, on Saturday after-
noon, March 27. Five members of the Muffled
Hinging Society at St. Andrew's Church, Nether-
ton, Worcestershire, assisted by Mr. W. Micklc-
wright (Dudley) ascended the tower and rang a
peal of [ihiin liob minor, containing 720 changes in

twenty-nine minutes. It was rung in respect for the
late Mr. AVilliam Prestidge, of West Haddon, who
was held in respect by the members of the above
society at Netherton." The paternal grandparents of
our subject, Thomas and Sarah Prestidge, and the
maternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Cook,
were all natives of England.

Mr. Prestidge was reared to farm pursuits in liis
English home, and was educated in the free schools
of that country, thus spending the first nineteen
years of his life. Being of an ambitious nature, and
seeing but little prospect of improving his condition
in his native country, our subject, in company with
three brothers, resolved to try his fortune in the
New World, and on the oth of April, 1852, they
embarked at Liverpool on the sailing-vessel "New-
World." After a voyage of thirty-three days they
landed at New York, and immediately proceeded to
Cleveland, Ohio, which they reached at five o'clock
at night, with only fifty cents in their pockets Mr.
Prestidge was not discouraged by the state of his
exchequer, but immediately went to work to im-
prove his circumstances, and after a short time
removed to Portage County, where he worked one
year in a store at Ravenna.

In 1853 our subject made his advent into this
State, and entered the emplo\- of Jonathan Holmes,
with whom he remained several years. Meanwhile,
during the first year of his residence in the county,
he purchased eighty acres of timber land on section
20, Bethel Township, and while working for Mr.
Holmes paid his brother $200 to clear the farm.

David J. Prestidge and Mary Bowen united their
destinies at Bronson in 18G0, and together beg.an
the work of building up a home in his adopted
country. Mrs. Prestidge is a native of the Empire
State, whei'e she was born in 1840, and is the second
in order of birth in a family' of three children born
to Anson and Poll3' Bowen, natives of the same
State as their daughter. The parents are both de-
ceased, the mother passing away about 1848, while
the father survived until 1 877, and died in Bronson,
this State.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Prestidge resided
with Mr. Holmes one year, and then removed to
their farm on section 20, and engaged in their life
work. Our subject has since disposed of part of




his land, and at the present time owns ninety-four
acres, all arable and under a high state of culti-
vation; indeed it is as fine a farm as can be found
in the country, having a living stream of water
running through it, which greatly enhances its value,
particularly as pasture land. The farm is well
stocked with superior high-grade Bluejay horses,
some of which have shown as good speed as any in
the country. His cattle are well-bred Durham,
while his sheep are high-grade Merino and Cots-

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Prestidge has been
blessed by the birth of eight children, seven of whom
are still living, and are named as follows: Lucius
Henry, George Eldwin, Emma Eliza, Clayton David,
Ansil Kent, Florence Ma}' and Burt. Lucius H. is
married, and resides in Bronson Township, and
George Edwin is also married, and resides in Bethel.
One child, Walter Lemont, died at the age of five
months, March 14, 18G4.

Mr. Prestidge is not identified with either of the
great political parties and does not take an active
part in politics, but votes from principle with the
Prohibition party. Though unostentatious and in-
clined to avoid publicity, he has been sought out
by his fellow-townsmen, and elected to the ofhce of
Pathmaster. Mr. and Mrs. Prestidge and all the
children except two are members of the Methodist
P^piscopal Church, of Bronson, in which our subject
is Trustee and Steward. He also takes quite an
active part in Sabbath-school work, and lias been a
teacher of the Bible Class for the past eighteen
years. ' They are worthy and reputable people, and
are prominent in the promotion of every good
work. Socially, Mr. Prestidge is a member of the

ill ON. ALBERT CHANDLER. Among the
Wy^ business men and prominent citizens of
jk^ Branch County, the subject of this biogra-
((^ phy is widely and favorably known as hav-
ing m.aterially assisted in the building' up of its
various interests. He has been prominent in public

affairs, and possesses more than ordinary business
capacity, together witli the other qualities which
have raised him to an enviable position among the
leading men of Southern Michigan. He at present
represents the wholesale carriage and saddlery hard-
ware trade, which he established about 1870, and
from which he realizes a handsome income. Prior
to this he was engaged in the general hardware
trade, and only sold out in the spring of 1888.

Our subject was born Sept. 23, 1814, in Sempro-
nius, N. Y., and was the second child of Daniel
and Deborah (Parker) Chandler, whose family in-
cluded two sons and one daughter, his brother and
sister being Daniel and Mary. The latter was first
married to a Mr. Jarvis, of Greene County. N. Y''.,
who died, and she subsequently married Mr. Hanes,
and became a widow the second time. Her third
husband was Mr. Vanderberg, who only lived about
two years after their marriage, and the fourth was a
Mr. Ormsby.

Daniel Chandler was born in Mason, N. H.,Nov.
18, 1783, and was a very well-educated man, fol-
lowing the profession of a teacher. Wtien seven
years of age he was converted and joined the Bap-
tist Church, and carried out in his subsequent life
the principles which he professed. He was an exten-
sive reader, a close Bible student, and a good man
in tiie broadest sense of the term. He died when
his son Albert was a child three years of age, and
the mother passed away seven years later.

The Chandler family was first represented in this
country by one Roger Chandler, who was a native
of England, and crossed the Atlantic with a party of
twenty men, who secured a grant of land in Con-
cord, Mass., about 1650. Of this amount 400 acres
fell to the lot of Roger Chandler. He was then a
young man about twenty-two years old. It is
believed that after leaving England he lived for a
short time in Holland before coming to America.
The early records of Duxbury, Mass., show that
Roger Chandler was -'admitted freeman" there in
1637, and in 1665 the courts made a grant of land
to his children, he being deceased.

Roger Chandler left three daughters and one son,
and the latter was the father of four daughters and
four sons, only two of the sons, Samuel and James,
having issue. Among the descendants of the sec-




oncl Samuel was probably John, although his will
mentions only Samuel. Jonas, Nathan and David.
Nathan was a soldier in the French War, and died
at the age of twenty-one years. John removed to
Lexington, and with his son was at the battle of that
place during the Revolutionary AYar. His descend-
ants were citizens of prominence in Eastern Massa-
chusetts, and particularly active in military affairs.

James Chandler, son of the first Samuel, was father
of James, Joseph and Jonathan, who all became
Desicons in their church. James, who lived in New
Ipswich, N. H., had live sons and five daughters.
His descendants are quite numerous in New Hamp-
shire, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
Joseph remained in Concord, but none of the family
are now in that town. Jonathan moved first to
Yermont. then to Cayuga County, N. Y., and from
there to Michigan. He was the parent of fifteen
children, and Daniel, Sr., the father of our subject,
was one of these.

Thus Hun. Albert Chandler is of the sixth genera-
tion of his family in America. His mother was a
native of New Y'ork State, a pious and devoted
woman, belonging to the Baptist Church, and taking
an active interest in all Christian work. She reared
herchildren to habits of industry and principles of
honor, and her name is held in affectionate remem-
brance. The family moved from Sempronius to
Wa3'ne County when our subject was quite j'ouug,
and he was placed in a good home by his mother,
where he lived until fourteen years old, and then
chose for his guardian Jacob G. Crane, of Wayne
County, N. Y., who was one of the leading men of
his community, and admirably calculated to be the
counselor of the orphan youth. Young Albert was
bound out to a Mr. Baldwin as an apprentice at the
shoemaker's trade, to continue until he was twenty-
one years old. Six months later, however, young
Chandler became impatient of the monotony of this
kind of life, and persuaded the old gentleman to
let him go. He made his way to Palmyra on the
towpath of the canal, arriving there penniless, but
secured work with a book binder, with whom he
remained six months, then went into a printing-
oIKce, and contracted to remain a year, for which he
was to have $2o and his board. The second year
he was to have ig30, the third $35, the fourth $40,


the fifth $50 and the sixth $75. He served until
his employer sold out, which released him from fur-
ther service.

Our subject had been a youth who kept his eyes
open to what was going on around him in the world,
and now began to correspond with a Mr. Henry
Gilbert, of White Pigeon, with whom he made
arrangements to take a half-interest in his business,
the firm to be Gilbert & Chandler, editors and pro-
prietors of the Michigan Statesman, the first paper
published in St. Joseph County, Mich. Kalamazoo
was now becoming quite a town, and the people,
desirous of an enterprising journalist to represent
their interests, wrote to young Chandler, proposing
that he come hither and establish a paper, a propo-
sition to which he and his partner consented. Thus
the Kalamazoo Gazette was established, and has held
its name unchanged during various changes in pro-

At the end of seven mouths Mr. Chandler sold
out his interest in this enterprise to his partner, and
then turned his steps to Constantine, making ar-
rangements to establish a paper in that enterprising
place, forming a copartnership with a young at-
torney by the name of Edward A. King. This enter-
prise was backed b}' the leading men of Constantine
and surrounding country. Gov. Barry among the
number. Mr. King was to furnish the money to
purchase the material, and Mr Chandler was to
superintend the mechanical and business department
of the enterprise. Our subject had turned over all
the money he had to his partner, with the result
which often transpires, that the latter acted dis-
honestly. Mr. Chandler was consequently left witli
no means in the city of Detroit, and after giving
Mr. Lothrop, a Representative from Kalamazoo
County in the first Legislature in the State of Michi-
gan, a specimen of his handwriting, by request of
the latter, he was made Recording Clerk of the
House, which position he held through three subse-
quent sessions of the Legislature.

His position at the capital gave our subject an
opportunity to become acquainted with the repre-
sentative men of the State, and of whom he made
many warm and influential friends. Among these
was his future father-in-law, Robert Abbott, who
was first Auditor CJeneral of the State, and Mr.





Chandler proudly acknowledges that after fifty
years of wedded life this daughter has proved the
same excellent and lovable woman that she appeared
at the time of their first acquaintance. Their wed-
ding took place on the 14th of February, 1838, and
Mr. Chandler soon afterward enga^ xl in the hard-
ware business at Constantine, where he remained
until the following May. He then removed to
Coldwater, taking with him his merchantable stock,
and continued in the hardware trad-" until 1841.

In the early part of the year mentioned, Mr.
Chandler still having a weakness for newspaper work,
purchased the material of the Branch County Demo-

Online LibraryElizabeth Palmer PeabodyPortrait and biographical album of Branch County, Mich → online text (page 64 of 94)