Biographical Sketches

1876 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Kent County, Michigan

W. W. Baker, William BirdsallBenjamin BlackallAnthony Boden,  Jeremiah Boyton,
William Boynton Clark Brown,  Leman H. ChapmanPhillip F. Covell,  Ebenezer Davis,
Reuben E. DavisStephen B. DavisG. W. DickinsonL. D’OogeJ. W. Fisk,
Benjamin Gillam John Gillam,  Tunis HartwellWilliam HartwellN. R. Hill,  M. B. Hine,
Christopher HinmanZ. M. Hinman Henry C. Hogadone, Henry Holt,  Silas D. Horton
Conrad House, Henry McArthurJ. E. NashElder E. W. NortonMiner Patterson,
Sherman M. Pearsall,  Harvey D. PondGovernour B. Rathbun,  Porter ReedMyron Roys,
Garus P. StebbinsW. H. Taylor George W. TeepleCalvin Thompson,
Stephen S. TownerMartin S. Tubb Dr. H. O. WestonJ. H. Withey

W. W. BAKER – of Plainfield Township, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1818, whence he came to Ohio, and thence to Kent County, in 1846. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Stump, of Ohio, in 1840, who died in 1854. In 1856 he was married to Miss Lucinda Dale, of this county, by whom he had two sons; he has had several daughters by the first wife. One daughter, Eliza E., is now Mrs. Orne Woodey, of Plainfield; another, Rachel, is now Mrs. Nelson Batson, of Ionia County, and the third daughter is Mrs. C. W. Meek, of Plainfield. One son, about ten years of age, is now living with his parents.

WILLIAM BIRDSALL – an early settler in Alpine, was born in New York in 1814, his father, W. Birdsall, being one of the pioneers of Erie County, New York. In 1839 he was married to Miss Selina Hawley, of New York City. They removed to Walker Township in 1846, and in 1848 to their present home in Alpine Township, at which time there was no other road than an Indian trail leading to their place. They have had thirteen sons and one daughter, of whom the daughter and five sons are living. Mr. B. lives on a finely improved farm, and follows gardening and fruit raising, having a fine orchid. He sold about 600 bushels of peaches alone in 1874, since which his trees, in common with many others, have died.

BENJAMIN BLACKALL – one of the pioneers of Sparta Township, was born in Utica, New York, in 1825, and removed with his parents, first to Genesee County, Michigan, and then in 1846, to Sparta Township. His father was William Blackall, well known to early settlers of the town. Benjamin Blackall was married to Miss Mary E. Smith, daughter of Benjamin Smith, one of the pioneers of Grand Rapids, where he landed from Canada, in 1836. Mr. and Mrs. Blackall have had seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and one daughter only are living.

ANTHONY BODEN – of Paris Township, was born in Derbyshire, England, in 1814; came to American with his parents in 1830, and settled in Wayne County, where his father died, in 1831, and in 1836, he came alone, following an Indian trail, to Kent County, lving in Grand Rapids for about ten years, when he located his farm of two hundred and forty acres, in Paris Township. In 1837 he was married to Miss Honora McMann, of Grand Rapids, to whom was born the following children: Catharine E., Margaret A., Joseph L., Ann, Mary, and Elizabeth Boden. Margaret A., Joseph L., and Ann, are married and living in Kent County, while the other have deceased.

JEREMIAH BOYNTON – one of the pioneers of Byron Township, was born in the State of New York, in 1814; came with his parents to Ohio, in 1817, and to Byron Township, Kent County, in August, 1836. In 1841 he was married to Miss Harriett Wilson, then of Wyoming, but also a native of New York. They had born to them two children, Ellen L., now Mrs. Cross, and Harriett E., now Mrs. Pratt. Mr. B. served his town as supervisor and treasurers, and was esteemed as a useful and upright citizen, who died a few years ago. His widow, Mrs. Harriett Boynton, with her son-in-law, Mr. Pratt, still occupy the old homestead, a fine half section farm.

WILLIAM BOYNTON – also one of the earliest settlers within the limits of Byron Township, was born in New York, in 1818, and reached Kent County with his brother, Jeremiah. In the year 1840 he was married to Miss Orpha Jewell, daughter of James B. Jewell. To them nine children were born, four of whom, two sons and two daughters, are still living. His son, W. F. Boynton, married Miss Sarah Little, of Ohio, and resides on the old homestead, a view of which will be found elsewhere in this Atlas.

CLARK BROWN – one of the earliest settlers of Sparta Township, was born in Connecticut, in 1810, but lived in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, until 1832, and for a few years at Lapier, Michigan, and came to Kent County, in 1844, when he located his farm and moved on it in the Spring of 1845. He was married to Miss Lucy Edmunds, of Delaware County, New York, in 1832. They have ten children, eight sons and two daughters, two sons and a daughter being still at home. All the rest married and doing for themselves. When Mr. Brown located his land in September, there was not a white family in the town, but upon returning in February next, he found three families and two young men had come in. For a year or two, Mr. Brown was kept almost busy showing new comers and prospectors lands. If a man desired to become a bona-fide settler, he was at once given the right hand of fellowship, but if he was a speculator, he was likely to be showing through all the swamps in the town, till becoming disgusted, he left.

LEMAN H. CHAPMAN – living one mile south of Cannonsburg, is the second son of John C. Chapman, of Cedar Springs, who came from New York to Macomb County, in 1837, and to Kent County in 1845, and was married to Miss Mary A. Cannon in the same year. > H. Chapman resides on the old homestead, a view of which appears elsewhere.

ROBERT BARCLAY CORNELL – of Courtland Township, was born in Onondaga County, New York, in 1824, and left an orphan at five years. He visited Ohio in 1844, Albany, New York City, Newport and Providence, Rhode Island, and Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1847, and came to Grand Rapids in 1849, and voted for H. R. Williams, the first mayor of the city. He was married to Miss Margaret Delaney of Ionia, in 1851, by whom he had five children, names respectively: Frank G., Charlie H., Ford W., Cora E., and Hattie M. Cornell, the latter now dead. In 1867 he was married a second time to Caroline Ferguson of Holly, to whom one child, Ray B. Cornell, has been born. In 1851 he went to California by way of Chicago, the Mississippi River, and the Isthmus of Darien, and engaged in mining and gardening for a couple of years, at Placerville, when he returned home, via Panama, Aspin-wall, and the usual mail route to New York City. In 1856 he purchased the farm on which he now resides, and built a fine house on the same in 1872. See view in another place.

PHILLIP F. COVELL – of Walker Township, was born in Calbott, Vermont, December 12, 1811, and was married May 26, 1839, to Miss Maria Abbott, of Ogden, New York, and moved to Kent County in 1845. Their children were: Addie M. Covell (now Mrs. Elliott C. Anderson, of Illinois), Emma H. Covell, Mattie E. (now Mrs. Alva Loucke, of Walker Township), Lottie A. (now Mrs. John Ream, of Grand Rapids), and Frank Covell. Mrs. Covell died in November, 1857, and Mr. C. was married a second time to Sarah Hogadone, by whom one child, Chester Covell, was born. Mr. C. first came to the county in 1836, and remained about one year, when he returned for a wife. He first settled in and helped organize the Town of Alpine. He was collector for the town half a dozen years, lived for some time in the City of Grand Rapids, and about eighteen years since he removed beyond the city limits unto Walker Township, where he has been pursuing the avocation of a farmer very successfully. A view of his fine premise – will be seen in another place.

EBENEZER DAVIS – was born in the State of Maine, in the year 1800; removed to the State of New York in 1818, and to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1836, and a few years later settled near Grandville, where he still resides. He was married in New York, in 1825, to Miss Eliza Baker. They had six children born to them in New York, and two in Kent County, making four sons and four daughters, named as follows: Reuben E., Elmira M., James N., Jerome G., Horace W., Lucy Jane, Emeline B., and Eliza S. Davis, all now living and six of them married. Elmira M. is now Mrs. J. H. Knowles, and Lucy Jane, is Mrs. Charles L. Moody. Mr. Davis is an active, well-preserved man of his age; has filled the office of justice of the peace several terms, and been elected town supervisor four times, and filled minor stations of trust.

REUBEN E. DAVIS – eldest son of Ebenezer Davis, was born in New York State, in 1826, and removed to Grand Rapids with his parents in 1836. He was married to Miss Mary S. Scott, of Kent County, in 1862. They had born to them three sons and three daughters, as follows: Walter S., Marrie E., Jesse L., Emma E., R. Harry, and Clarrissa Winnifried Davis. The two eldest died of diphtheria, in 1875.

STEPHEN B. DAVIS - of Paris Township, was born in Upper Canada, in 1814, his father, Daniel Davis, having removed to that place from Connecticut, a few years before. In 1838 he was married to Miss Loving Quackenbos, and with her and five children removed to Paris Township, in 1850. Their children are: Elizabeth (now Mrs. George Auble), Truman, Daniel, Abraham, Annie (now Mrs. George Lewis), Delia (now Mrs. James Lewis), Stephen, Joseph, Edith L., and Althea L. Davis. Mr. Davis has a very valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres, a fine view of which will be found elsewhere in this Atlas.

G. W. DICKINSON – of Grand Rapids Township, was born in Granby, Mass., in 1809. He was married to Miss Louisa Raynsford, of Massachusetts, in 1833, and removed to Ionia County in 1835, and to Kent County in 1851. Although living in Ionia, he bought the tract where he now resides in 1835, when there were but two frame houses in Grand Rapids. He built a saw and grist mill in Ionia, 15 miles from a settlement in 1837. While residing in Ionia he was town clerk for five years, and made justice at the first town meeting in Otisco Township, and was Supervisor of Grand Rapids Township in 1857. They have two sons and one daughter.

L. D’OOGE – was born in the Province of Zeeland, February 14, 1816, where he learned the trade of painter. In 1838 he married Johanna Quintus, and in the year 1847 emigrated to America, arriving in New York, October 1. At this time, being unable to speak English, and knowing but little of the customs of the country, he was unsuccessful in business for three or four years, losing what money he brought from Zealand. He moved west in 1849, and settle din Ravenna Township, Michigan, where he owned eighty acres of wild land. He rected a log hut, and remained there two years. Mr. D’Ooge and P. J. G. Hodenpyl owned and worked the first mill in Ravenna Township, which was not a success, owing to the newness of the country. This left Mr. D’Ooge without money, and he was obliged to accept the position of United States mail carrier from Grand Rapids to Muskegon, a distance of fifty miles, going on foot, and receiving for his services $2.50 per week. In 1851, Mr. D’Ooge was met on the road by Rev. DeKeunick, Catholic priest, of Grand Rapids, who induced him to remove his family to the city, and paint the new Catholic church, on Monroe Street. He continued to work at his trade until 1852, when he engaged in the mercantile business on a small scale in a frame building built by himself, on the corner of Monroe and Division streets; also built a small residence, and afterwards two stores. He leased the large plat of ground for ten years, at $75 per year, and by thus improving it attracted business to that part of the town. During the crash of 1857, Mr. D’Ooge made an assignment, in order to pay his creditors dollar for dollar. He resumed business, and returned in 1869, and his time is now employed looking after his rents, etc. Mr. D’Ooge has five children living, viz: Martin L., Nellie, Maria J., Jennie C., and Benjamin L. The former is now Professor of Greek in the Ann Arbor University, and well known in Michigan. A view of Mr. D’Ooges’ residence can be seen on another page of the Atlas.

J. W. FISK – one of the pioneers of Grand Rapids Township, was born in Connecticut in 1805; removed to Wayne County, Michigan, in 1835, to Ada in 1836, where he kept hotel in a block house for a year or more. He was married to Miss Filindi Farwell, of Rockford, N. Y., in 1833. Their children have been four sons and three daughters, as follows: Maria J., now Mrs. G. D. Albright; John P., Rugen C., Harriet A., now Mrs. Wm Laraway; Gurdeon M., Whiting E., and Mary Isabel Fisk, now Mrs. Alfred Crawford. Of these, John P. lives in Iowa, and Rugen C. in Big Rapids. The rest reside in Kent County. When Mr. Fisk settled near Fisk Lake there were but three houses between the Rapids and Yankee Springs.

BENJAMIN GILLAM – was born in New York, in the year 1816, and removed to Sparta, Kent County, in 1850; having purchased land the year before. He was married to Miss Annie E. Mapes, daughter of Barney Mapes, of Sparta, they having come to the town in 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Gillam, have one son and two daughters, one of the daughters being Mrs. John A. Elder, of Sparta. A view of their homestead will be found on another page of this atlas.

JOHN GILLAM – of Sparta Township, was born in the State of New York, in 1818, and came to Kent County in 1846, having previously married Miss Rosilla Taggart, of New York. They have three children: Lovica, now Mrs. Wm. G. Stebbins; Mary, now Mrs. Andrew J. Stebbins, and a son, Alfred Gillam. The country was almost an unbroken wilderness when Mr. Gillam landed in Sparta, now he has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres splendidly improved. A view of this is shown elsewhere.

TUNIS HARTWELL – son of John Hartwell, came from Macomb County to the vicinity of Cannonsburg at an early day, and was married to Miss Paulina Cannon, by whom he had one son, George Hartwell, now at home. Upon the death of his first wife, he was married to Mrs. Mary J. Burlingame, formerly Miss Chapman. Mr. Hartwell died several years ago but the widow and son still reside on the homestead one mile south of the Village of Cannonsburg.

WILLIAM HARTWELL – of Cannon Township, was one of the early settlers, having come to the town in 1847 – His father, John Hartwell, having come the year before. Mr. Hartwell was born in New York, in 1824. He married Miss Haskins, daughter of Sidney B. Haskins, one of the first settlers and merchants of Cannonsburg, but formerly of Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Hartwell have two sons. They have a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, a view of which will be found in another place

N. R. HILL – of Nelson Township, was born in Monroe County, New York, and after residing in Ohio for a time, came to Nelson Township with his wife and two children in 1856, and platted and named the Village of Cedar Springs, lying partly in Nelson and partly in Solon Townships. Mr. Hill is a justice of the peace, an office he has filled ten or twelve years. He has also been supervisor of his town five or six terms, and a member of the Legislature twice, and takes a lively interest in public affairs and the progress of the thriving Village of Cedar Springs.

M. B. HINE – of Cannon Township, was born in new York in 1828, and removed to kent County in 1847, his father, Demas Hine, having come in and located a farm two years previously. Demas Hine was one of the first justices of the peace elected in the town, and held the position almost continuously, until his death in 1872. His widow still resides with her son on the old homestead. M. B. Hine was married to Miss Ann Hartwell, daughter of Robert and Anna Hartwell, in 1850. They have two daughters. Mr. Hine is Postmaster at Imperial Mills, and is also President of the Farmers Mutualr Insurance Co. of Kent County.

CHRISTOPHER HINMAN – born in Madison County, New York, in 1830, removed to Sparta Township, in 1848. He was married to Miss Julia Jacobs, daughter of Benjamin F. Jacobs, of Grand Rapids, in 1855. Mr. Hinman first settled with his parents, Noble and Priscilla Hinman, at Sparta Center. They have three children, a daughter and two sons, all at home. They live on a finely improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, about four miles southwest of Sparta Center.

Z. M. HINMAN – of Sparta Township, was born in Madison County, New York, in 1822, and was married to Miss Martha Hotchkin in 1848, and removed to his present home in the same year. They have but one child, now the wife of A. B. Cheney, Esq., Loan and Insurance Agent, of Sparta Center. When Mr. Hinman came to Sparta it was nearly all a wilderness, but few neighbors on the south and one on the north of him.

HENRY C. HOGADONE – of Walker Township, was born in Canada, in 1823, and removed to Walker Township, Kent County, 1839. Mrs. Hogadone, formerly Miss Phoebe J. Phillips, was born in 1827, and came to Kent County, in 1844, and was married in 1851. They have the following children, to wit: James H., Edward D., Nella L., Rena P., and John B. Hogadone. Mr. H. was one of the pioneers, and found but little in his neighborhood except wolves and Indians, but he has lived to see the savage wilderness transformed to fruitful fields all around him.

HENRY HOLT – of Cascade Township, was born in Connecticut, in 1803, and removed to New York in 1827. He was married to Miss Lorancy M. Potter, of Herkimer County, New York, in 1831. She dying in 1836, he was married in 1837 to Miss Mary DeWitt, of same county. Mr. Holt has had five sons and five daughters born to him. A son, Mr. H. H. Holt, is now Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. A daughter, Gertrude, is now Mrs. Densmore, of Ada. H. Gaylord Holt now lives at home. Miriam, another daughter, is now Mrs. Johnson, of Cascade. Charles F. is owner of the Cascade Magnetic Springs. Helen G. Holt, another daughter, is still at home. Mr. Holt is the owner of a magnificent farm of four hundred and fifty acres, one of the finest on Thorn Apple, a view of which will be found in another place.

SILAS D. HORTON – OF Oakfield, was born in Orange County, New York, in 1828, and came to his present home in 1849, and was married to Miss Phoebe Rowley, January 1, 1856. They have had the following children: Willis E., born October 24, 1856; Ella, December 15, 1860; Edwin, December 6, 1862; Mary S., December 28, 1865; John B., August 1, 1868, and Jennie Horton, born March 2, 1870. Mrs. Horton died of consumption, June 19, 1874. A view of Mr. H’s residence will be found elsewhere.

CONRAD HOUSE – of Plainfield Township, was born in Montgomery County, New York in 1826, and removed with his parents to Canada in 1828, and came to Plainfield, Kent County, in 1855. He was married to Miss Mary Jane Ireland, of New York, in 1848. They have had the following children: Alonzo, Andrew (deceased); Charley C., Maynard, and Linna May House. Alonzo is married, and the rest are at home. Mr. House was one of the pioneers in this part of the township, and is a farmer, and has also carried on pump making for the last sixteen years. His father Conrad House, Sr., and family, came to Plainfield in 1848, or about seven years in advance of the subject of this sketch.

HENRY MC ARTHUR – of Oakfield Township, was born in Summit County, Ohio, in 1816, and married to Rosanna Har(g)er in October, 1837, and removed to Oakfield Township, Kent County, in October, 1846, and settled on the land where he now resides, and has opened and made a fine farm. Mr. and Mrs. McArthur have had four children born to them, as follows: Almira, January 31, 1839; Orange, August 12, 1842; Clinton H., January 5, 1852, and Ella A., October 20, 1854, all living except Clinton A., who died in infancy. Mr. McArthur has filled several offices of trust in the town, and is the present Supervisor. In early days he was engaged in school teaching, and many persons in this and adjacent towns owe much of their advancement to his early instruction.

J. E. NASH – of Sparta Center, was born in Massachusetts, in 1820, and removed to the farm on which he now resided in the Village of Sparta Center, in the year 1846. Mr. Nash married to Miss Augusta Waite, of Kent County (but formerly of New York) in 1855. To them four sons were born, and Mrs. Nash dying in January, 1873, he was married in December, 1873, to Lita Gardner, of Kent County, by whom he had one daughter. Mr. Nash has a fine farm of two hundred acres adjoining the village. He has served as supervisor of the town eight or nine years.

ELDER E. W. NORTON – of Sparta Township, was born in New York, in 1819, and removed with his parents to Macomb County, Michigan, in 1826, and to Kent County, in 1851, and settled near the line dividing Sparta and Alpine Townships, in 1854. Elder Norton has been a minister of the Freewill Baptist Church for thirty years. He was married in 1839, to Miss Minerva Gardner, by whom he had three daughters and two sons. After her death, he was married to Miss L. A. Compton of Plainfield, by whom he has three sons and two daughters. The oldest son lost his life in the army. The other children are all living.

MINER PATTERSON – of Paris Township, was born in Steuben County, New York, in 1819, and removed with his parents in Washtenaw County, Michigan, in 1828, and to Kent County, Michigan, Michigan, with his mother and brothers, Jacob and James Patterson, in the Spring of 1837. He was married 4 July 1848, to Miss Sally A. Spaulding, who had come with her parents from Seneca County, New York, in 1836. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson have three sons and two daughters. Mr. Patterson’s mother, Mrs. Rachel Patterson, Lived with him for twenty-five years, or until she died, in 1864, aged seventy-seven years, but remarkably vigorous. She was much esteemed as a nurse, and was widely known among the pioneers as a most useful woman.

SHERMAN M. PEARSALL – an early settler in Alpine Township, was born in Cayuga County, New York, in the year 1817. He came with his father, Michael Pearsall, to Troy, Michigan, and from thence to Kent County, Alpine Township, in 1842. In 1841, he was married to Miss Catherine Baily, of Pontiac, Michiagn, but a navite of Cayuga County, New York. They have had born to them the following children: John Ball, Celina E., Wyant Adams, Bailey C., Esther J., Herbert Adelbert, George, Sherman, and Perly Wilbur Pearsall. Of these John Ball died in the army, Wyant Adams was accidentally drowned in a lake adjoining the farm, Bailey C., of disease, and George Sherman, when quite young. Esther J. is now Mrs. Miner. Mrs. Pearsall’s step-father, Joseph Wood, was lost on a trip from Detroit to Coffer Harbor, in 1847. The vessel was taken in a storm and never heard from afterwards. His wife (Mrs. Pearsall’s mother), who is now nearly ninety-one years old, has made her home at Mr. Pearsall’s about twenty-eight years.

HARVEY D. POND – of Oakfield Township, was born in Chester County, New Hampshire, January 9, 1815; removed in New York in 1828, and was married to Elizabeth A. Wheeler, February 22, 1838, and removed to Kent County in 1846, and settled in the southeast part of the town, where he now resides. The children born to them were as follows: Eli, born February 22, 1839; Persia R., April 6, 1843; Warren, November 8, 1844; James Judson, April 6, 1847; Eveline, December 22, 1849; Wheeler, April 3, 1851; Martha A., October 5, 1853; Emily, March 4, 1855; Otis, March 7, 1857; Roseltha P., April 7, 1859. Eli, Persia, and Otis, are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Pond still reside where they settled thirty years ago.

GOVERNOUR B. RATHBUN – was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., in 1820, and came to Kent County at the instance of his uncle, A. D. Rathbun, who was then Postmaster at Grand Rapids, and with whom he engaged in mercantile pursuits for a number of years, and erected the first good store building in the place. In 1844 his father, Charles Rathbun, and family, came to Kent Count, and securing a small frame building on Monroe Streeet, soon enlarged it into what is known as athe Rathbun House of today. George B. RAthbun was married in 1859 to Miss Emily Tucker, of LaGrange, Indiana. They reside on a well improved farm a short way from the city limits and near Fisk Lake. They have but one son, Amos M. Rathbun.

PORTER REED – was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., in 1812, and was married to Miss Polly DeLong, of LIchfield, N. Y., in October, 1833, and removed to Grand Rapids Township in July, 1834. Children were born to them as follows; Julia Maria, August 22, 1838; Gibson D., July 31, 1840; Thomas E., Mary 4, 1847; Ransom B., August 23, 1854. Julia was married to Daniel Devendorf. Mr. Porter Reed died in July, 1857, and Mrs. Devendorf in May, 1868. Thomas E. Reed married Mrs. Mary Walker, daughter of Hampton L. Walker in 1867, and Gibson D. Reed married Miss Emma Wait, of Kent County, in 1859. Mrs. Reed was married in April, 1861, to Mr. Horatio Randall, late of Herkimer County, N. Y. There were three of the Reed brothers, Lewis, Ezra and Porter, with their families, and Ezekiel Davis, known as Judge Davis, who came about the same time and were the first settlers in the township.

MYRON ROYS – of Wyoming Township, was born in Sheffield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in 1808, and came to White Pigeon, Michigan, in May, 1833, where he met with a brother who had preceded him the year before, and was then engaged to go and work for Ball and Wright, of this county. The brothers set to work in June, 1833, in constructing a dam and building a mill on Buck Creek, in Wyoming Township, where Weston’s mill now stands. Mr. Roys located the farm he now lives on, a short distance east of Grandville, in December, 1833, and kept bachelor’s hall for several years. In May, 1841, he was married to Miss Ann McCray, daughter of James McCray, of Grandville. They had born to them four sons and two daughters. Mrs. Roys died in February, 1870, in the fiftieth year of her age. Mr. Roys was one of the nine voters who helped organize the Town of Kent, and was elected constable at that election.

GARUS P. STEBBINS – one of the early settlers of Sparta Township, was born in Madison County, New York, February 10, 1807; and his wife, Eliza L. Stebbins, was born in Chenango County, New York, December 20, 1813. They were married in September, 1833. Their children with dates of birth, are as follows: William G., August 3, 1834; Charles L., August 3, 1838: Andrew J., October 14, 1840; Eliza C., October 29, 1845; Ellen V., April 27, 1849. William G. Stebbins, who was married to Miss Lovica Gillam, died February 24, 1876. Mr. G. P. Stebbins was made a captain in the 65th New York Regiment of Infantry, in 1830, and serving three years, was promoted to be major, and at the end of two years resigned in favor of domestic life and agricultural pursuits, which he followed in New York until 1846, when he removed to Sparta Township, then an almost unbroken wilderness, but which has since been made to blossom as the rose.

W. H. TAYLOR – of Sparta, was born in Cayuga County, New York, in 1816, and was married to Miss Ursula A. Sprague of that place, in 1840, and settled near Lansing, Eaton (Ingham) County, Michigan, in 1841, whence they removed to Sparta, Kent County, in 1854. Mr. Taylor was one of the first settlers of Eaton County, and filled some official position much of the time. Since coming to Kent County, he has been a member of the Legislature, and afterwards assistant assessor of internal revenue for five or six years. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have had six children born to them, of whom a daughter and son are now living. The daughter is Mrs. H. H. Wylie, Mr. Wylie being Deputy Sheriff of Kent County. The son, Franklin Adelbert Taylor, is still at home. They have a finely improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres, from the elevated parts of which a fine view of the surrounding country may be had.

GEORGE W. TEEPLE – of Cascade Township, and one of its earliest settlers, was born in New Jersey, in 1810. After residing in New York a few years, he removed to Wayne County, Michigan, in 1827, and to Kent County in 1837. He was married to Miss Samantha Cooke, in Wayne County, in 1832. They have had born to them twelve children, of whom five sons and four daughters are still living, the youngest being just of age. Among their children were one pair of twins and one set of triplets, four out of the five still living.

CALVIN THOMPSON – one of the early settlers of Courtland Township, was born in Guilford, Chenango County, New York, October 1, 1820. His father, Jarius Thompson, was a native of Massachusetts, and came with his family of nine children to the West, and settled in Jackson County, Michigan. The subject of this sketch, in 1843, came farther west to look for a home for himself, arriving at Grand Rapids, then chiefly noted as a great trading point for the Indians. Here he was directed by the large hearted and generous John Ball, to the Town of Courtland, where he found a country better than his most sanguine expectations, and at once located a farm in sections 25 and 36, where he now resides. Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Drusilla White of Oakfield, in June, 1846, by whom he had three children, two sons, John and William Thomas, both steady and industrious men, and one daughter, Mary, an amiable young woman. Mrs. Thompson died August, 1861. In November, 1861, Mr. Thompson was married a second time to Miss Jennie Harbaugh. Mr. Thompson has been supervisor of his town, and filled several other positions. He is a man whose word is his bond, and although having had little of this world’s goods to start with, he has been quite successful, and after helping his sons to a good farm each is still counted the wealthiest man in the township.

STEPHEN S. TOWNER – of Oakfield Township, was born in Winsor County, Vermont, August, 1812, and was married to Miss Mary F. Eddy, and removed to his present home in 1839. Their children were born as follows: Susan F., October 6, 1838; Sarah J., January 7, 1842; Stephen S., September 14, 1843; Henry C., November 7, 1844; James W., May 1, 1849; Isaac, February 19, 1850. Mrs. Tower died in March, 1850, and Mr. T. was married in June, 1851, to Mary A. Numa. Their children and ages are as follows: Emma, November 6, 1851; Ida M., August 10, 1855; Clyde O., February 7, 1858; Gertrude L., March 30, 1864; Job A., August 14, 1868; Ernest A., December 20, 1872. Mr. T. still resides on the pioneer farm upon which he located about thirty-six years ago.

MARTIN S. TUBB – of Grand Rapids Township, was born in Chenango County, New York, in 1816, and came to Grand Rapids in June, 1837, and for three years was in the employ of George Young, and Porter Reed. In 1840 he was married to Eliza Jane Kemp, by whom he had three children, Cornelia A. and two twins, who lived but a few days, when they and the mother both died, in March, 1843. In November, 1843, Mr. T. was married again to Elizabeth Wood, to whom was born as follows: Tunis C., November 3, 1844; Margaret S., January 11, 1847; Jane S., December 17, 1848; Simeon D., May 19, 1851; Lysander D., March 23, 1854; William B., March 15, 1856; J. Francis, July 4, 1859. His second wife died August 26, 1866, and he was married the third time May 19, 1868, to Jane Morgridge. Upon marriage with his first wife, in 1840, Mr. T. moved upon the farm where he still resides, on section 22, in Grand Rapids Township. He has been overseer of the poor for eleven consecutive years and held other minor town offices.

DR. H. O. WESTON – of Grandville, was born in Onondaga County, New York, in 1824. He was the son of Ezra Weston, and was married to Miss Levina Rockway, of New York, in 1841, by whom he had one child, a daughter, who is now Mrs. Gordon Fisk, of Fisk Lake, Kent County, Michigan. Mrs. Weston died in 1846, and the Dr. was married the second time to Miss Laura Jackway, also of New York, in 1849, and removed to Grandville, Kent County, in 1853. He has a son and two daughters by his last wife, all now at home. Dr. W. has been a practicing physician for twenty-three years, and is also one of the proprietors of a valuable flouring mill, and the owner of sixty or seventy acres of very valuable plasters lands, on which he has recently erected extensive plaster mills, run by steam power.

J. H. WITHEY – of Cascade Township, was born at St. Albans, Vermont, in 1831, and came with his father, Solomon Withey, to Grand Rapids, in May, 1836. Mr. Withey was married to Miss Laura Abel, of Cascade Township, in 1857, she dying in 1861. Mr. Withey took for a second wife, Miss Mary L. Duncan, of Ada. She has two sons and four daughters. When Mr. Solomon Withey came to Kent County, in 1836, he brought with him two hired girls and ten work hands, he having a contract with the "Kent Company" to make 5,000,000 bricks. In 1838 he took charge of the Exchange Hotel, which stood where the Bridge-street House now does. In 1842 he was elected sheriff, and removed to the court house, and was there residing when it burned down. He died in 1851.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 14 September 2008