Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection
Vol. 21; 1892; pages 176-192.
Memorials by William N. Cook

The people of Grand Rapids were shocked and greatly grieved by the death of another of our most esteemed and valued fellow citizens. Jacob Barth passed away at his home on Sheldon street, corner of  Island, at 10am., Jan. 5, 1892, after an illness of less than a week. He was seized with grip which developed into pneumonia.

Jacob Barth, who was but fifty-one years old, in the prime of manhood and vigor, came here in 1863. He was engaged in trade as a merchant for more than twenty-five years, and his name was synonym for integrity and probity of the highest order, for absolute honor in his public and private relations. He was greatly esteemed by all who knew him. He had been an officer, treasurer of the Scottish Rite Masons since their organization here, was a director and treasurer since its organization of the Michigan Masonic Home board, and director and treasurer of the Masonic Mutual Benefit association of Western Michigan, and had held other positions of trust.

Mr. Barth leaves a widow, who has the most sincere, tender sympathies of a large circle of friends. He left no children of his own, yet several to whom he had given all of love and care that an own father could, have lost in him a friend and foster father, whose equal in kindliness, generosity and the highest qualities of fatherly love is seldom seen. At least five such owe to him happy homes and a good education and start in life. Our city, Congregation Emanual and the Masonic fraternity lose one of the very best men in the community.

Of his immediate family Mr. Barth leaves his wife, his brother, Dr. Louis Barth and Mrs. A. Levitt of Grand Rapids, two brothers Nathan of New Mexico and Saul of Arizona, and a sister, Mrs. Hirschberg of Coral, Mich.

Anthony Boden died November 5, 1891, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. James Crahen, corner of Charles street and Wealthy avenue, Grand Rapids, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years. Mr. Boden was born at Matlock Baths, England, and came to the United States in 1831. After residing in Detroit five years he came to Grand Rapids, accompanied by William Mormon and Richard Vosper. He lived in the village six years, working at this trade (carpenter), and then moved into the township of Parism taking up a half section of land, which he improved into one of the finest farms in the county, residing on it until a short time before his death. He leaves one son and two daughters, Mrs., wife of Dr. John Brady, Mrs. James Crahen, and Joseph Boden. Mr. Boden was a very kind-hearted man, of temperate habits and strict integrity, and much esteemed by a large circle of friends.

Mrs. Eunice Hull Booth, who died on Tuesday, January 5, 1892, was for her years one of unusual mental as well as physical powers. Her interest in people she had ever known, her memory of incidents in their lives, whether of those she had known in childhood or of those she met in later years, was very remarkable. Names, new names and facts that came to her knowledge, were as clearly fixed in her mind almost as in youth. She was born in Cheshire, Conn., November 12, 1798, and was one of a large family, of whom none survive save a brother, Julius Hull, Esq., of Cincinnati, O., who is in his eight-fifth year, and remarkable also for his vigor. Her ancestry, her early education and surroundings were such as to forma character of unusual strength in principles of the New England type.

Mrs. Booth was the wife of the late Birdsey Booth, Esq., and with him and their two children, the late J. L. Booth of Rochester, N.Y., and Mrs. J. B. Wilson of Grand Rapids, removed to Cuyahoga Falls, O., in 1832. Mr. Booth as civil engineer patted the village and for thirty years was one of the public-spirited men in all the interest of the place, filling positions of public trust. In church work he and his wife were prominent.

Coming to Grand Rapids in 1861 to make it their home, both took an active interest in the Congregational Church of which the Rev. S. S. N. Greeley was then pastor. Mr. Booth was suddenly called hence in almost perfect health after but a few months of life here, and there are citizens who still remember his genial face. And now another thirty years has closed, and weary, suffering, still found of life -----"Life is sweet," she said within a short time---the dread messenger came to this aged one, and most kindly, it would seem, took her hand and led her "through the dark valley." She was unconscious that it was in the "shadow of death" till her spirit entered the bright light of the glory beyond. Its rays seemed reflected in the dear face to comfort those who had watched over and cared for her so long.

No younger form and face in a flower burdened casket could look more restful and furnish a truer exhibition of the peace of a Christian soul after death than did hers almost buried among green wreaths and ferns, violets and heliotrope, brought by old friends who she had dearly loved, and never ceased to talk of, though her infirmities had prevented her meeting them.

And now, in the winter of life, which had been softened to her, she was tenderly laid in the green-lined grave amid the winter snows, which ere another day dawned came as heaven's fresh mantle to cover her resting place.

James H. Brown, familiarly known as "Jockey Brown", died July 25, 1891, aged seventy-three. He was born in Schoharie, N.Y., in the year 1808. Came to Michigan, Feb., 1847. Occupation, farmer and trader. Leaves a large estate which reverts to his two daughters who will guard the division of the property, which is valued at about $150,000.

Ebenezer Davis, one of the few remaining pioneers of 1836 in this valley, died at his home in Wyoming township, Oct. 18, 1891, at the great age of nearly ninety-two years. Mr. Davis had been a remarkably hale, vigorous man until the last month, when began to fail and his physicians declared that the dissolution from old age, the course of nature, had begun.  He was ill but about three weeks and he passed away peacefully, quietly, in the confident expectation of a blessed eternity, and as full of the respect, esteem and admiration of all who knew him as he was of years.

Ebenezer Davis was born in Cumberland County, Maine, in 1800. His family removed to Niagara county, N.Y., about 1820, and sixteen years later he came to what is now Grand Rapids. He was a friend of Louis Campau and all the old settlers, and was connected in many business enterprises in the pioneer days of this community. He pre-empted a tract of land that lies between what is now Eighth street, Leonard street, Quarry street and the river. In 1850 he sold this city property and bought 200 acres in Wyoming township, and has lived there since. Mr. Davis served several terms as supervisor, township cleark and justice of the peace in Walker township, and had, at one time or another, held the principal township offices in Wyoming. He leaves three sons and four daughters, Reuben E. Davis, with whom he lived in Wyoming; Horace W., of Grand Rapids; James N. Davis, president of the board of public works of Grand Rapids; Mrs. Almira M. Knowles, of Grand Rapids; Mrs. Lucy J. Moody, of Wyoming; Miss Emeline B. Davis, of Wyoming, and Mrs. Elizabeth S. McCay, of West Superior, Wis.

Mr. Davis ws one of the founders and first deacons of what is now Park Congregational church, which was orgainzed under the Presbyterian polity, and later became one of the pillars of the Presbyterian denomination. He was ever one of the most earnest, faithful consistent and generous promoters of religious influences and institutions and a man who lived in accord with his professions. He was indeed a Christian gentleman, and left an impress on this community that will never die out. He was faithful in all interests confided to him, and now sleeps the sleep of the just man.

Sypke Dykstra, for thirty years a highly respected resident of Grand Rapids, died Jan. 11, 1892, at his residence, 236 Sheldon St., at the age of sixty-nine years. Mr. Dykstra leaves five sons, two daughters and a large circle of friends to mourn his death. He was a native of Holland.

Mrs. Cynthias W. Eaton, widow of Harry Eaton, died at her home on South Lafayette street, Grand Rapids, March 22, 1892, at the great age of a little more than eighty-seven years. Her life, though remarkably quiet and modest, was as beautiful and useful as it was long. And a large circle of friends among the earlier residents of Grand Rapids will mourn that she preceded them, while rejoicing that she is at rest---as she desired to be---and will recount her many virtues and her splendid example and counsel with strong expressions of esteem and affection.

Mrs. Eaton was one of a large family of children born to General Solomon Hunt, a distinguished officer of the War of 1812, whose home was on a farm near Brattleboro, Vermont. She was born Jan. 5, 1808, and married Harry Eaton when about twenty years old, at her father's home. Shortly after the wedding they came to Jamestown, N. Y., and lived there several years. In 1836 Mr. Eaton came west on a prospecting tour, decided to make Grand Rapids his home, and in 1838 they left Dunkirk, N.Y., in one of the first steamers that ever plied on the lakes, in which they came to Chicago, thence by sailing vessel to Grand Haven, and thence by one of the first river steamers up to the village of Kent (1).  Here she has lived ever since, seeing the hamlet of a few hundred people grow into a city of 80,000 population, and feeling that her family have been factors in this growth, for her husband was one of the first officers of the county and a man who was highly esteemed. He preceded her in death more than thirty years, in 1859. She was one of the original members of the First, now the Park Congregational church, and has ever lived consistently with her profession. Of later years, because of the infirmities of her great age, she has been compelled to remain in her home, but while anxious to rest from her labors, has ever been cheerful and patient.

She leaves three sons, Charles W. Eaton, senior of the jobbing and retail firm of Eaton, Lyon & Co., of Grand Rapids, who has devoted his life to her for many years, with a rare and beautiful fidelity which attests to strong affection she inspired; Theodore C., of St. Louis, and Henry S. Eaton, of Duluth. A son and an infant daughter preceded her in death. A younger sister, Mrs. Bilius Stocking, of Grand Rapids, also survives. (1)Kent City in Tyrone township, incorporated in 1908, by authority of supervisors.

Mrs. Allie Garfield died January 16, 1892, at her home, Burton farm, just south of Grand Rapids, after an illness of about two weeks, of pneumonia. She was the wife of the Hon. C. W. Garfield and a pioneer here among the younger citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Garfield have lived in Grand Rapids all their lives and were counted among the city's most esteemed and best known residents. They were married sixteen years ago and have since lived in their present home. They had no children of their own, but two adopted little ones, who could have known no kinder mother than Mrs. Garfield was to them, remain to mourn her loss. Mrs. Garfield was in the prime of her life, thirty-five years old. She was a noble woman in the true sense of the word, and all who knew her will mingle sincere personal regret with their sympathy for the bereaved husband and family.  Mrs. Garfield was the daughter of S. S. Rockwell, of Jackson.

John T. Holmes, the Nestor of the Grand Rapids bar, has passed to the great majority; another of the earliest of the pioneers of this community is at rest from a highly honorable and useful life, leaving a fragrant memory for his family and a host of friends. He died June 16, 1891, at his home 21 Barclay street, Grand Rapids, heart failure being the immediate cause of his decease. His wife died November 1, 1890. Since then, though he made no little sign, his family and friends have noticed with grief that life had so little of attraction for him there was no power to rally from the great affliction. He has at times been able to attend to his official duties briefly, but he went about them with such a weary cheerfulness, such patient yet sad resignation, it was indeed pathetic. Though his death is a great affliction to his three children, Mrs. L. C. Remington, Miss Lizzie (Elizabeth Ann)  and John T., yet it is better so; and they have the proud satisfaction that he left a stainless memory.

From Baxter's History of Grand Rapids:
John T. Holmes was born December 11, 1815, at Carlisle, Schoharie county, N. Y.  His father, Daniel Holmes, was a native of Saratoga, and for some forty years a deacon in the Presbyterian church in Niagara county, N. Y.  His mother, Sally (Taylor) Holmes, daughter of John Taylor (judge in Saratoga county, N. Y.).  March 31, 1836, he married Mary Ann, daughter of Nathan Pratt, of Niagara county, who had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  John T. Holmes and wife came to Detroit in 1837; removing to Grand Rapids in February, 1838.  Judge Holmes was an Episcopalian and life-long Democrat.  Mr. and Mrs. Holmes had four sons and two daughters; three sons died before the age of majority.
For an in-depth sketch of Judge John T. Holmes life, see Baxter's History of Grand Rapids.

Mary D. Holt, the wife of Henry Holt, of Cascade, Kent county, died on Thursday, Nov. 12, 1891, at the ripe age of seventy-five, and was buried in the Cascade cemetery on the 14th. She was born on Sept. 8, 1816, and married Henry Holt in 1835. She, with her husband, moved from New York to Michigan in 1852, settling on the farm where she died. Her husband, now ninety, survives her. She was the step-mother of the Hon. H. H. Holt, of Muskegon, ex-lieutenant-governor of Michigan, and of Mrs. Luther Densmore. She bore seven children, four of whom survive her. They are H. G. Holt, of Cascade; Mrs. Edgar Johnson, of Cascade; Charles F. Holt, of Cascade; and Mrs. J. Clark, of Ada. The three sons and three sons-in-law were the bearers at the funeral which was conducted by the Rev. Charles Oldfield, of the Baptist Church in Ada.

Grand Rapids loses a good citizen in the person of Mr. H. H. Ives, who died at his home, 219 Ottawa street, January 16, 1892.

Mr. Ives was born in Wallingford, Conn., July 21, 1816, on the farm where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were born and lived. His educational advantages were limited to attendance for three months in a year at district school. In youth he was bound out as an apprentice until twenty-one years old to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner. IN 1837 he came to Grand Rapids, by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo, and on foot  from Detroit. His first work in Grand Rapids was on the building of Solomon Withey's residence, corner of Ottawa and Coldbrook streets, part of which is said to be still standing. From that time forward his life has been one of energy and activity in his calling--building and moving buildings.

In October, 1838, occurred the marriage of Mr. Ives to Sarah Peck. Of their three children but one survives, Calvin L. Ives, now engaged in the real estate business in Grand Rapids. Mrs. Ives died Feb. 19, 1863, and on March 4, 1864, Mr. Ives married Mrs. C. E. Pepper, who died Feb. 3, 1889. Oct. 10, 1889, Mr. Ives married Mrs. Mary Shafer, his present wife, who survives him. In religion he was reared a Methodist, but later in life became a Spiritualist. He was a Democrat until the birth of the Greenback party, when he espoused the principles of that organization. He represented his ward eight years as alderman, and eleven years as supervisor.

Judge Dewitt C. Lawrence, who was many years ago a prominent citizen of Michigan, but who has long been a well-known resident of the District of Columbia, died at Washington January 14, 1892. Judge Lawrence was a native of Penn Yan, N. Y., where he was born in 1819. He graduated from Union college and not long afterward was admitted to the practice of law in the circuit and supreme courts of that state. He then removed to Grand Rapids, where he lived for nearly ten years. He was an active Free-Soiler and at Kalamazoo in the fall of 1848 he was nominated for congress in the old third district, then comprising the entire western part of the State, on the Fee-soil ticket. He afterward withdrew in favor of Rev. William Sprague, the Whig candidate, who was a strong Free-Soiler in sentiment. Sprague was elected, defeating Charles E. Stuart, of Kalamazoo. In 1849 he was appointed clerk of the senate committee on patents, of which a senator from Rhode Island was chairman, Congressman Sprague taking this means of rewarding him for his withdrawal from the congressional race. Since then he has lived in Washington and for a long time was connected with the patent office. He has been a successful patent attorney.

James D. Lyon, another of the pioneers of Grand Rapids, rests from his labors. He died at his home, 280 East Fulton street, March 6, 1892.

James D. Lyon was born in Livingston county, N. Y., January 15, 1825, so was sixty-seven years old. He was the eldest son of Judge T. H. Lyons, Sr., who died in 1871, and of Mrs. Lucinda Lyon who survives her husband at the great age of ninety-one years, and with whom her son was living at the time of his death. Mr. Lyon's father came to Michigan (Ionia County) in 1836, and the deceased became a resident of Grand Rapids in 1837, and has made it his home there most of the time since. His father served two terms as postmaster, so the deceased had a familiarity with postal affairs which has been useful to this community several times. He was a clerk in the post office when his brother-in-law, The late Harvey P. Yale, was postmaster; was deputy postmaster under Mr. N. L. Avery's administration in 1861-5, and again he held a responsible position under Postmaster Blair. He has also been identified with other official duties here, having been a constable in 1852, an assessor in 1856, city treasurer in 1869 and city marshal in 1872. At one time, beginning in 1848, he was in the book and stationery trade at the corner of Canal and Lyon streets, and he was also at one time in the woolen business with the Earles on the West Side canal, and in 1865 entered into the edge tool business with his brother-in-law, the late C. S. Hathaway, at the old ax factory which they sold a little later. He has also been identified with the hotel business in the State, having been landlord of the Lansing House in Lansing and the Michigan Exchange in Detroit.

Mr. Lyon leaves a wife, of his own family; his mother with whom he has lived of late, at the old family homestead, and two brothers, Farnham of the Bancroft House, Saginaw, now traveling in the South, and C. D. of Eaton, Lyon & Co., now in California. He was a quiet, reserved, unobtrusive nature, but kindly and social in manner and disposition, honest and upright in all the relations of life--a man who had the esteem and good will of all who knew him. He was a Democrat in political affiliations and a regular attendant at Park Congregational church. At the time of his death he was engaged in the real estate business.

Edward S. Marsh was born Feb. 3, 1817, in Tompkins county, N. Y., moved to Grand Rapids in the fall of 1837, and married Caroline, eldest daughter of Aaron Dikeman, March 8, 1844; his occupation was that of a tailor at which he worked faithfully, but for the last few years of his life failing health rendered it necessary to give up all labor. He was an honest, conscientious man and respected universally. He leaves a wife, a son, and a daughter. He died Jan. 21, 1892.

Margaret McNaughton, widow of the late Alexander McNaughton, another of the pioneers of the Grand River valley, passed away Jan. 12, 1892. She was born in Glenylon, Perthshire, Scotland, in 1804. In 1833 she came with her husband to America, settling first in Canada, then moving to Hillsdale county, Mich.; and in 1840 coming to Plainfield, in this county, where they settled in the then wilderness to make for themselves a permanent home. She endured all the hardships incident to the time with courage and cheerfulness, and was a most self-sacrificing wife and mother, and the needy and the wayfarer were always welcome at her hospitable board. Life's labor done she peacefully entered into the rest of the Father's house where her beloved ones had long ago preceded her. For the last thirty-three years she has been a widow. She leaves two children, John McNaughton, of Grand Rapids, with whom she made her home, and Daniel McNaughton, of Chicago, and one grandchild, Mabel McNaughton.

William Peaslee, a former resident of Grand Rapids and one of the earliest settlers, died in Napa, California, Christmas Day, 1891. He came to Grand Rapids in 1844 and settled on what ws then section 26 of Walker township, and in the then village he took an active interest in its welfare and was elected president in 1846.  In 1852, Mr. Peaslee started for California and has since made it his home. He was born in New Hampshire in 1806, and during the Seminole war had charge of a government dredging boat on the coast of Florida. He was a blacksmith and machinist and furnished Grand Rapids with one of the first fire engines ever owned by the corporation.

Clarissa Richardson-Provin, born among the green hills of Vermont, June 16, 1813, was taken in early childhood with her two brothers, Charles and Aaron, to St. Lawrence county, New York, to live upon the western shore of Black Lake. There, supported by the tireless shuttle of a widowed mother's loom, she early learned  the lessons of industry and frugality so essential to the foundations upon which our strongest characters are builded. A keen appreciation of wit and humor softened the lines of a stern necessity and mingled lights with the shadows into a more perfect harmony.

January 24, 1832, she, with James Provin uniting their fortunes, founded another of those holiest of institutions, a home. Two daughters and six sons graced the hearthstone of that home and under its liberalizing influences grew into lives of usefulness. In 1850 they sought the more fertile west, and fondly clinging to the associations of the beautiful lake, they transplanted their home upon the shore of Silver lake, in the township of Cannon, Kent county, Michigan, where it remains today. Widowed in 1872 she made the rest of her journey content with the companionship of her children and though the feebleness of age has been upon her the past few months, yet she bore the burden of her years without complaint and with a fortitude which few of us can hope to master.

"Death our good angel leading us up to a higher life," released the spirit from its worn-out earthly tenement, March 3, 1892.

The remains were tenderly borne to their rest in the township cemetery by her five surviving sons and a grandson.

Those who knew her will cherish the memory of her gentle presence with its loving forbearance and ever ready forgiveness.

George Reams, who passed the century mark in life nearly four years ago and was the oldest man in the city and probably the State, died Jan. 4, 1892, at the residence of his daughter, Mary, 445 South Lafayette street, Grand Rapids, from the effects of a cold caught about three weeks before. He was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., Aug. 16, 1788, and moved to this State thirty-eight years ago, settling in this county. Since the death of his wife, eighteen years ago, he has lived in Grand Rapids. He was in the full possession of his faculties and able to do all the necessary work about the house until his last illness. Mr. Reams leaves eight children, all living in this county, the oldest, John, sixty-eight years, a farmer in Courtland; William, in the town of Paris; Abram, in South Grand Rapids; George, also living south of town; Mrs. Peter Rice, of Rockford; Mrs. Henry Rice, of Paris; Mrs. James Rogers, of Sherman street, and Mary, the unmarried daughter with whom he lived.

Philander Remington died January 15, 1892, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. B. Smith of 90 Washington street, Grand Rapids, following his aged wife, who died on January 13, 1892. Both were taken ill with pneumonia on January 5, and from the first there was no hope for them. Mr. Remington was born in Stephentown, N. Y., January 27, 1802. His wife, Julia, was born in Sweden, N.Y., November 29, 1808. They were married in Sweden, January 26, 1826. They have been married almost sixty-five years, and in all that time have not been separated longer than two weeks. They moved to Jackson about thirty-six years ago, and to Grand Rapids about twenty-seven years ago. Mrs. Smith is their only living child.

Mr. Abraham J. Shear, one of the first pioneers of Kent county, died suddenly at his home in Paris township, May 15, 1892, aged seventy years. Mr. Shear has seen Grand Rapids grow from a hovel to its present proportions, and for fifty years he has been a familiar figure in and about the city. In 1842 he removed from Putnam, Washington county, N. Y., to this State, settling in Paris township. Beginning life with nothing he accumulated a splendid competence, which he greatly enjoyed in his later and failing days. He was possessed of a most jovial disposition, a kind and loving nature, never offending anyone and binding all who came in contact with him in the closest bonds of friendship and respect. He was public spirited always, and favored rather than retarded progress. He was well informed on all public questions and proved a good conversationalist even to the most accomplished. For many years he has lived on his large farm near Bowen station, about seven miles from the city. He leaves a wife and six children to mourn his departure---Mr. John Shear, of Paris; Mrs. Ring, of Owatona, Minn.; Mrs. G. Rosencrans, of Grand Rapids; Mrs. Orson Bowen, of Paris; Mr. Fred Shear, of Cascade; and Miss Jennie Shear, who resided with her parents.

Mrs. Eliza W. Sligh died January 23, 1892, aged sixty-nine years. Mrs. Eliza W. Sligh was born in Ireland, August 3, 1822, and in 1823 her parents immigrated to this country, settling in Rochester, N. Y. There she was married to James W. Sligh in 1843 and lived in that city for three years, removing to the city of Grand Rapids (at that time a small village) in 1846, where she resided constantly until her death. Her husband died in 1863 from the effects of wounds received from guerrillas during the late war of the Rebellion.

Mrs. Sligh, many years gao, became a convert to the doctrines of the new or Swedenborgian church, and has ever since been an active member of that church, deriving great consolation from its teachings. Her charitable and Christian nature was well known to all who needed aid. All of the older inhabitants of the city knew and respected her genial, kindly, lovable nature; her life was not pretentious but was full of good deeds. She was the mother of five children, one of whom, Robert, died in 1879, those surviving her are Dr. James M. Sligh, of Granite, Montana; Mrs. L. E. Hawkins, Mrs. Julia S. Follett, and Mr. Charles R. Sligh all of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A large circle of friends and admirers, not by any means confined to the city of Grand Rapids, mingle sorrow and  joy today over the news that Annis Amanda, wife of Henry Spring, Esq., of Spring & Company, has entered into rest. She died April 15, 1892. Since health and strength and loving ministrations for others, and her cheering presence could not come, since anguish must be her lot every hour she lived, it was indeed a happiness to those who knew her best and prized and loved her most, that the end she had so bravely and uncomplainingly awaited, had come, quietly and peacefully.

Mrs. Spring was born in Orleans county, New York, December 5, 1830, and became the wife of Henry Spring March 26, 1854. She leaves her husband, a daughter,  Mrs. George E. Raymond, and one son, Willard S. Spring, now attending college at Ann Arbor. Her other son, Fred, died suddenly seven years ago last January.

The following tribute from the morning Democrat will be deemed by just by those who were so fortunate as to have enjoyed her acquaintance or friendship:
"Mrs. Spring has lived a useful life, her charities being widespread and well placed. She was a woman of a great deal of individuality, of strong mental powers and was loved and respected by all who knew her. Her remarkable will power enabled her to accomplish everything she undertook and her labors were many. Of late years she did a great deal for herself in the way of reading and investigation in every direction. While not being fond of society in its ordinary sense, she took a lively interest in all the movements in the community that had in view its moral and social elevation. She was quite prominent in the Union Benevolent association, which was for some time under her management, as well as the Humane Society, and it was in the interests of the latter work that she caused to be built a drinking place at the corner of State and Cherry streets. She was of a practical turn of mind, and in all of those philanthropic reforms that promised practical returns she vested her interest. Always a member of the Universalist church, she took an active part in its affairs, and was at one time the assistant superintendent of the Sunday school. One characteristic that she possessed was that she did her own working and her judgment never was at fault."

To it may be added that thought in her sublime patience, her unfaltering faith for the future, her courage in suffering, almost indescribable during her long illness, she but manifested her noble, lovely character, and were that all that her friends here might know of her, her life would have been grandly useful and beautiful.

Little did we or any one else dream last week when we chronicled the happy birthday gathering in honor of his eighty-eighth birthday, that, when time, with its ceaseless roll, had passed through a space denoted as a week, that this fine old gentleman, fully ripened and prepared for the final harvest, would have gone to his rest, and be laid away in the silent tomb, but his kind acts and pleasant manner will not be forgotten by a large circle of friends and relatives.

After the pleasant birthday gathering Friday, at the old homestead, he attended another surprise birthday gathering at his son Gilbert's, in honor of his wife. He also visited Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Bellows, old friends and acquaintances, upon Monday, and was taken ill about three o'clock the following morning with bowel complaint, and being so old his vitality was not sufficient to withstand the attack, he passed away at about six p.m. Thursday, July 30, 1891, three of his sons being with him at the time, viz: Albert, Gilbert, and Volney.

Mr. Spring was born in East Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York, and removed to Michigan with his wife and five sons in 1844, settling upon the farm where Albert now resides, known as the old homestead. He was blessed with six fine sons, they being Henry, of Spring & Company, Grand Rapids; Gilbert, Albert and Volney, prosperous farmers of Cannon township; Daniel W., with Spring & Company; John A., of Spring & Lindley, Bailey, Muskegon county; they all being present at the funeral services. He was one of the earliest settlers in Cannon township, an enthusiastic member of the Pioneer Ball Club of Northern Kent, which turned out en masse to attend the last sad rites, and he was also a consistent Christian, being a member of the M. E. church.

William C. Voorheis died at Grand Rapids, Mich., June 22, 1891, aged seventy-eight years. He was born in Seneca county, N. Y., March 4, 1813, and came to Michigan, Sept. 2, 1825, and settled at Ann Arbor. His occupation was that of a hardware merchant. He married Sophia Garland, Sept. 14, 1842. Came to Grand Rapids in May, 1869, he always lived a most respected citizen, and took great interest in all educational matters. He leaves, besides his widow, six living children. William Voorheis,  of Frankfort, Mich., Mrs. Charles C. Carter, of Milwaukee, Wis., Hon. Edward C. Voorheis, and Frank A. of Silver Creek, California, and Mrs. Sarah E. McComb and Miss Jennie A. Voorheis, of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Transcriber: JKG
Created: 1999
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/memorialreports/1892mem.html