OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
ANNUAL MEETING OF 1887
VOL. XI, SECOND EDITION
MEMORIALS AND RESOLUTIONS OF OLD RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION OF GRAND RIVER VALLEY; pages 85-93
J. MORTIMER SMITH
DIED DEC. 4, 1879
At the meeting of the Old Residents' Association of the Grand River to attend the funeral of the late J. Mortimer Smith, a committee consisting of Hons. John T. Holmes, Robert P. Sinclair and John Ball presented the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted, with directions that copies be furnished to the widow of the deceased and the press:
Resolved: That the intelligence of the death of our associate J. Mortimer Smith, is received with sorrow.
That his early settlement in this section, in his business enterprises in this county, and the adjacent county of Ottawa, by their extent, the energy with which they were prosecuted and their influence in developing the country and promoting the welfare of the pioneer inhabitants entitle him to our respect and grateful remembrance.
That we recall with melancholy pleasure the many instances of his liberality to the poor, his sympathetic aid to the sick and suffering, and the acts evincing his public spirit and the full performance of his duty as a man and citizen.
That we express our condolence with the surviving wife and our assurance of the commiseration for the loss of her life companion, known to us amid so many and varied experiences of pioneer settlement.
Hon. Henry Pennoyer died at his residence in the township of Crockery, Kent County, April 30, 1886, of cerebral apoplexy, after an illness of a few weeks, aged 77 years. He was one of the leading spirits in conduction the affairs of this county at an early day, among the very foremost in the promotion of every enterprise, agricultural, moral, social and educational. He was also a leader in the political movements, and much of the prosperity of Grand Haven, his early residence, and of Crockery township, his later abode, and of other portions of the county generally, is due to his formulating hand and his quick, far sighted perception. Ottawa County has lost one of its oldest and most venerated landmarks.
Hon. Henry Pennoyer was born at Norwalk, Fairfield County, Conn. When
ten years of age he removed with his parents to Cayuga County, NY. In 1834,
he took up his abode in Chicago, Ill.; soon after married Miss Harriet
Kells, and after a two years' residence in the city, he sought a
home in the then territory of Michigan, settling at Muskegon, then a part
of Ottawa County, and , on its full organization, was elected its first
sheriff. In 1838, and by a commission signed by Amos Kendall dated Jan.
3, 1838, he became postmaster of Muskegon and continued as such until 1843,
when he removed to Grand Haven. His first wife died in 1852, leaving four
children, and in 1853, he was married to his surviving widow, by whom also
he has four children. Mr. Pennoyer was a staunch democrat of the old school,
and has been highly honored politically, having held
the offices of justice of the peace, supervisor, and several other township offices, county treasurer, deputy collector of customs at Grand Haven, representative to the state legislature for 1849, and state senator in 1859. A man whom the people delighted to honor has fallen.
SOLOMON O. KINGSBURY
The death on Sunday, May 16, 1886, of Solomon O. Kingsbury removes another from the ranks of the old residents of Grand Rapids, a man who has been familiarly known and universally esteemed on these streets for upwards of forty years, during most of which time he has resided on Fulton, just south of the head of Monroe street. He was born in Connecticut May 2, 1812, and soon after the family moved west to Painesville, Ohio, where he received the education of the common schools. In early life he followed the calling of clerk, and afterwards the mercantile business. In 1836 he married Melinda Bond, a native of Rutland, VT., with whom he lived a pleasant domestic life till her death, nearly seven years ago. In 1848 he was elected county treasurer, and again in 1850, serving four years. Then, after a mercantile life, he opened in 1858 a real estate and insurance office and in that business continued until quite recently. In 1866, he was elected to the state legislature, and in 1867 was appointed postmaster, which office he held about two years. He was a man of quiet habits, always busy, and estimable citizen, who will be much missed and especially by all our older residents. He leaves a daughter, Mrs. Tinkham of this city, with whom he has resided since the death of his wife and a son, Gaius P. Kingsbury, a resident of Muskegon.
LOREN M. PAGE
Loren M. Page, one of the quiet and yet always active citizens of Grand Rapids, whom everybody knew, died on Sunday, May 16, 1886. He was one of the very early comers, a pioneer. He was born at Concord, VT., March 29, 1811, and his boyhood was spent on a farm. Then he learned the painter's trade, serving a three years' apprenticeship in Canada, and working there some seven years when at the age of 23, he returned to Vermont, alternated between painting and district school teaching, till the fall of 1836, when he came to Grand Rapids. Soon afterward he married Miss Jane Soper. He passed a life of incessant labor-was one of those never happy without work--and experienced almost all phases of alternate success and reverses, hopes and disappointments --always an unpretentious man, yet companionable, social and friendly. Five sons went out t the war, and one of them returned without feet, both having been shot off. Mr. Page stuck to labor till very near his last days, and maintained a good degrees of cheerfulness and geniality. Old residents, those who have been familiar with his daily walk for almost fifty years, all remember him kindly, and sigh even while feeling that a good man has gone to his rest.
MILTON C. WATKINS
Milton C. Watkins died at his home in Grattan, on Sunday, May 16, 1886, aged nearly 81 years. Mr. Watkins was another of the pioneers of this valley and one of the organizers of Grattan township. He was its first supervisor, elected in 1846; also its first justice of the peace, chosen in the same year, and was supervisor again in 1857. In 1867, he was a member of the state constitutional convention from this county. He was a representative in the state legislature at the session of 1859, and a member of the state senate at the sessions of 1863-'64-'65. A thoroughly upright citizen, and a man of character and influence, his was a long, busy and useful life, and in his decease the town and county lose a valuable and everywhere highly esteemed member of society.
At a meeting of the Old Residents' Association, held Sept. 1, 1886, called to attend the funeral of Henry Jewett, it was, on motion of W. N. Cook,
-Resolved: That we heard, with deep sorrow, of the sudden decease of
our associate, who, although advanced in years, was a few days since moving
amongst us with his usual activity, and exhibiting his usual demeanor of
kindness and affability; as ready as he ever has been, to take his part
in the duties and responsibilities of life; that we review with pride his
many years' record of usefulness in the public offices in which he was
placed; the universal recognition of his worth in the respect and confidence of the community of which he was a citizen, and in the love of his relatives and family.
-Resolved: That this testimonial of our regard and this expression of our sympathy with the grief of his surviving children, be conveyed to them by our secretary in the transcript of these resolutions, and by publication of them in the journals of the city.
ROBERT H. SMITH
At a meeting of the Old Residents' Association, called to attend the funeral of Robert H. Smith, on the 21st day of November, 1886, the following memorial and resolutions were, on motion of Thomas B. Church, adopted:
Robert H. Smith was born at Watertown, Connecticut, in the year 1819. He lived for a time in Rhode Island and came into Michigan, to the Grand River Valley, in the year 1844. Early in life he had followed the seas, and long voyages through the Indian ocean had made him an able seaman, and like all old sailor men he delighted in his latter days to follow his courses by the charts he possessed, and often examined amongst the great islands and through the circuitous channels of navigation, in that remote region of the world, and indulged in reminiscences of the scenes and people he had visited. After a brief residence in the town of Ada (where he married a Miss Ward) he came to this city, then village, and was employed as a clerk and manager in the business office of Henry R. Williams, then in the full tide of his various enterprises of plaster manufacture, steamboating on Grand River, and general merchandise. Since that time Mr. Smith has been our fellow citizen, quietly, steadily and unostentatiously doing what he found to do, and by economy, prudence and fair dealing, accumulated sufficient for his plain wants and tastes, and won the respect and honorable estimation of all who dealt with him and met him, in social and other personal relations. Those who knew him well recognized his good judgment, his kind heart and his loyal adherence to his convictions, in political and in all other responsibilities devolved upon him by his position. He leaves a widow and two daughters; a household of affection and happiness, the head of it now removed in his mature years, by the inevitable call of death; therefore
Resolved: That we tender our condolence to his family, with the expression of our high regard for the deceased and of our sorrow for the removal from our thinning ranks of one of this association's most worthy members:
Resolved: That our secretary be directed to place on record this memorial statement, and to transmit a copy thereof to his bereaved family.
Jan. 5, 1887
The board of supervisors at its session yesterday morning adopted the following resolutions in respect to the late Hollis Konkle, formerly a member of the board, and a memorial page will be given in the book of records of the board:
Whereas, This board has learned with sorrow of the death of our former esteemed fellow citizen and associate on this board, Hollis Konkle; therefore
Resolved: That we hereby record our appreciation of his uprightness
and integrity as a citizen, of his fidelity and efficiency as a public
officer, evidenced by his frequent election to positions of the public
service and public trust, and to the high esteem in which he was held by
all who knew him. That we tender to his afflicted family our sympathy in
this their bereavement.
R. B. Loomis
J. W. Walker
H. H. Ives
JOSIAH R. HOLDEN
Died March 19, 1887
Josiah R. Holden was born in Groton, New Hampshire, February 22, 1797; came west and settled in Cook county (now Mill County), Illinois, in 1834, eight miles from Joliet. He was married to Joanna T. Danforth at Groton, N.H., January 24,1825; lived with his family in Illinois till 1843; from hence went to New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana; came to Michigan and settled in Byron, Kent County, in 1845, and has resided in this county ever since. He was the father of six children, three of whom survive him; C. H. Holden, of Reed City, Mrs. Fanny H. Fowler, of Manistee, and E. G. D. Holden, of this city. Being one of the earliest pioneers of this county, he was one of the first to clear away the forests for farming purposes, several fine "eighties" in Byron and Wyoming townships certifying to the telling blows of the hardy pioneer ax, and his unremitting energy in transforming wildernesses into some of the finest farms to be found in Kent County. His life has been mostly that of a farmer, though at various times during his life he has traveled quite extensively and came to be a man of broad and liberal views. He was an earnest reader and had a mind well stored with historical facts. From the time previous to the war of 1812 up to date there was scarcely a historical incident of any moment but that he could vividly recall and depict in glowing terms. His memory was remarkable in retaining dates, scarcely ever missing the exact period of any great event that happened during his life. That he was a man of iron constitution is evidenced in the fact that sickness or disease were not known to him, and until his recent taking to his bed on account of old age has never been compelled to submit to a physician's care. He hardly knew what a physical pain meant, uttering a word of complaint from the time of his prostration to his final taking off, some eight weeks. He was a thorough temperance man and a radical in politics, always adhering strictly to his party principles. On several occasions he has held offices of trust at the gift of his fellow townsmen.
Of a family of 14 children born to his parents he was the oldest of those living at the time of his demise and three members survive him, aged respectively 75, 83 and 86, his brother living in New Hampshire being the oldest and two sisters, residents of Boston, all from the first New England families. His wife, 87 years old, survives him.
GEORGE G. GRIGGS
On the 24th of March, 1887, George G. Griggs died at St. Mark's Home. Mr. Griggs was born in Princeton, N.J., on December 1, 1815, coming to Michigan in 1838. He married here a Miss Marsac, and went to St. Louis, where he engaged in business and gained considerable wealth. In 1862 he returned to this city and purchased a farm on South Division street, giving his time and means generously to the furthering of public interests and lending a helping hand to the needy. He was at one time grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Michigan, a prominent member of the agricultural society of the state and a prime mover in the establishment of the Northwestern Michigan Agriculture and Industrial society. He was also one of the foremost of the men who furthered the organization of the Agricultural College in Lansing.
In later years, after a life of business success and social prominence, through misfortune and financial reverses he became impoverished, and at the same time failed in health and became crippled. As a last resort he bravely went out with his pop-corn basket, and the bent and enfeebled form of the pleasant mannered old gentlemen will be remembered by many who have observed him at the Union depot with his basket by his side and little imagined the life history of the aged pop-corn vender. For the past two years he has lived at St. Mark's Home, earning almost enough during the summer months to maintain himself there for the year. Some comforts with which he was not able to supply himself have been furnished by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and under their auspices the funeral was held, assisted by the Masonic fraternity.
MRS. BAKER BORDEN (FORMER WIFE OF JAMES A. BELKNAP)
Mrs. Mary A., wife of Capt. Baker Borden, a much esteemed resident of the West Side, died at her residence, No. 20 Turner Street, March 31, 1887, at the age of 60 years. She was a member of the Old Residents' Association, having come to this city in 1854. Her first husband, James A. Belknap, died in 1870, and November 10, 1872, she was again married, to Baker Borden. She was the mother of ten children, seven of whom are now living. Her surviving children are ex-Mayor Belknap, City Clerk Belknap, ex-Senator Belknap, of Granville, Mrs. C. H. Schaffer, Onota, Mich., Mrs. A. E. Stockwell, Thomas R. and Herbert P. Belknap, of this city.
Aril 2, 1887, at noon, Peter Weirich, long identified with the brewing and other business interests of the West Side, died at his home on West Bridge street. Mr. Weirich had been sick nearly three months, an attack of pneumonia developing into a quick consumption against which even his powerful frame and great vitality could make but little resistance. He was born in the village of Todtenorth, near Coblentz, in Prussia, Jan., 18, 1831, and was consequently 56 years of age at the time of his death. The year that he attained his majority he came to America to seek his fortune, with the sole capital of his hands and brains, first going to Milwaukee, but within a year applying for and receiving employment at the brewery of Christopher Kusterer in this city. Within two years (in 1855) he purchased the property where the Michigan brewery now stands and went into business for himself. The next year he married Josephine Arnold, of Austria, who died 12 years ago. Mr. Weirich prospered in business and became identified with the business advancement of the West Side to a considerable extent; he owned several business blocks and was a director in the Fifth National Bank in the organization of
which he was prominent. The eighth ward elected him to the council for several terms and found him an active and influential representative. In 1875 Mr. Weirich married as his second wife Mary Peterman, a native of Austria, as was his first wife. She survives him. Of a family of 10 children, but five are now living, a young son, Henry, and four daughters. Two sister of Mr. Weirich, Mrs. Brach and Mrs. Lachman, reside here, and there are two in Germany. He was a Mason and a member of the Turn and Arbeiter Vereins. His acquaintance and associations were extensive, and by them all he was highly esteemed as a business man, a citizen and a friend.
The death, April 1, 1887, of that fine old gentleman and pioneer citizen of Grand Rapids, John Kirkland, recalls to scores of people memories of the early days
here. Rarely is one blessed with such general, nay, universal friendship. John Kirkland was born at Saybrook, Conn., in 1807. At the age of seven years he moved, with his father's family, to Bridgewater, Oneida County, N.Y. About 1836, he married Emily Jane Green, a sister of Mrs. William I. Blakely, at West Winfield, Herkimer County, N.Y., and in 1837 came to Michigan, settling in Paris township, and a few years later moved into Grand Rapids, wher he made his home for life. By his first wife, who died about 1851, he had one daughter, Martha, now Mrs. Stover, who lives in Wyoming township. About 1854 or 1855, he married Sarah Rauch, by whom he had two children, Dr. Reynold J. and Nellie Kirkland, who also survive him. Mr. Kirkland was by trade a cooper, and that he followed during all his active life in this city, taking great pride in his work, in which he had few if any superiors as a craftsman "working by hand". And whoever entered his shop or his home was sure of a pleasing welcome from as jolly and genial a man as ever breathed; always good humored, always sociable and contented and cheery, and happy and ready to beat a tattoo as he drove home the hoops on his barrels. For about forty years in religious feeling he learned to Swedenborgianism, and to the glowing warmth of some portions of the philosophy of modern Spiritualism. In the ripeness of years passes away one who was eminently a pattern of honesty, of thorough uprightness, of neighborly kindness and charity, of whole hearted manliness and unruffled cheerfulness during a long and well spent life.
Leonard D'Ooge, who for over 30 years has been closely identified with the growth and business interests of this city, died at his residence on Lafayette street, April 12, 1887, at the ripe old age of 71 years.
Leonard D'Ooge was born in the province of Zealand, Netherlands, February 14, 1816, and learned the trade of a painter. He was married in 1838 to Johanna Minters, and nine years after came to America, arriving in New York, October 1, 1847. He brought quite a sum of money with him which he invested in business, but being unable to speak English, he was unfortunate and lost his money. he moved westward and located in Ravenna where he lived two years. Being destitute of money he served as mail messenger, traveling on foot from Grand Rapids to Muskegon, making trips semi-weekly at $1.25 per trip. In 1857, at the solicitation of Father De Kunick, a Catholic priest, he came to Grand Rapids with his family and painted the new Catholic church on Monroe street, continuing to work at his trade about two years, when he engaged in mercantile business of a somewhat limited character in a frame building erected by himself on the corner of Monroe and Divison streets. He also built a small house and two stores, all of which have been removed and replaced by substantial structures. He leased a large plat of land at $75 dollars per year, and by improving it attracted business to that part of the town at the head of Monroe street. During the crash of '57 he made an assignment for the benefit of his creditors, but on resuming business liquidated his liabilities dollar for dollar. In 1868 he built a business block on Canal street, and in 1869 erected a handsome residence on Lafayette street. In 1870 he retired from active business, bought and built other houses in this city, and has since been occupied in the management of the property he had accumulated. Mr. D'Ooge leaves a wife and five children; Martin L., professor of Greek in the state university at Ann Arbor, who is now at Athens, and Benjamin L., assistant professor of Latin at the same university, Mrs. H. Utterwick, Mrs. J. A. S. Verdier and Jennie C. D'Ooge, who were with him during his last hours.
Mr. D'Ooge was an esteemed member of the First Reformed church of this city.