Ada Pioneer Association And Adjoining Towns
(a.k.a. Old Settlers Association of Ada)
Also see Association Members List - http://kent.migenweb.net/pioneercollections/adamembers.html
The First Annual Reunion of the Old Settlers Association of Ada was held in the Grove of John Headley, August, 1886. Over 1500 people attending. It was held at Headley’s Grove through 1892. There was no report for 1893. By 1893 it was being held at Schenck’s Grove.
The Annual Meetings of the Ada Pioneer Association included the secretary reading the annual report, a welcome by the president of the association and the obituaries of the members who had passed away since the last meeting. Not all of these obituaries are in the minutes that have been transcribed. Some of the pages were very difficult to read. Then their were several speakers on different subjects of interest. There was music, sports and many other events. The reunion was held for many years in Schenck’s Grove. In later years, an invitation was sent to the Grand River Valley Association to join them for the picnic.
Ada Pioneer Association and Towns of Eastern Kent on the Grand River Valley, held their annual pioneer picnic at Ada Village, 18 Aug 1909.
They date back to the time Rix Robinson organized the society in the early 40’s, 70 years ago, has gone down into history. On the old historic place where the Ottawas and Pottawatomies fought a terrible battle for the supremacy of the Grand, the old Owashtenong, the River of the Red Man. The Ottawas came off victorious and the remnants of the Pottawatomies went to the south and remained at Kalamazoo River, Indiana, and Illinois in more recent years. The Ottawas held their annual PowWow, or the Corn Feast, on this historic place, and the first bold adventurer, Rix Robinson, pitched his tent and erected his crude cabin and trading post here in September 1821, 88 years ago. Our pioneer picnic has become an institution of the glorious little town of Ada.
In priority of settlement by a white man, Ada ranks first in Western Michigan. It was then in its Territorial Days and until 26 Jan 1837 when it became a state.
The Grand River Alley was settled permanently by Rix Robinson at Grand Haven as early as 1820, and in September, 1821, he started another station, as they were called in those days, or trading places, at Ada, near the mouth of the Thornapple River, the Sowanquesake, the River with the Forked Streams, where it empties in the Grand, the old Owashtenong, the River of the Red Man. His life was strange and eventful. This part of Michigan was then under Indian rule. The Ottawas under Namagoga Mix-i-ci-minny, the Wampon Man and Ke-way-coosh-cun Luoy held sway over the Ottawas and Leopold Pokagon on the Pottawatomies. He married an Ottawa Chief’s daughter, a lineal descendant of the Great Pontiac, the Great War Chief of the Ottawas, Pee-miss-a-Quot-o-Quay, Flying Cloud Woman. Rix, his Indian name was Wabesha. That means the Martin, a valuable fur bearing animal, noted for it’s courage, shrewdness, and good judgment, and the fur being of great value. Robinson bought out Madam LaFramboise, who was no ordinary woman. Her father was a French man, cousin of the Chevalier DeLonts, the great explorer of the northwest, and her mother, the great chief’s daughter of the Chippewa nation. Her husband was killed in a duel with the Indians in 1840 where Milwaukee now stands. She was highly educated by the Jesuit in the U.P. and she constructed the Greatest Trading Post with the Indians in the Northwest. She was trader. She was a neat housekeeper. She was an honor to womanhood. She retired from business and retired to Mackinaw, and her world remains with her husband and daughter, the wife of a brother of President Pierce Edward.
Letter from John C. Blanchard, 1910
Thank you for your kind invitation to address your Pioneer Association. If it were possible I would deem it one of the happiest (events) of my life, to meet the remaining pioneers of your section of the Grand River Valley…..
My mind now goes back to 1838, 68 years ago, when a poor boy. I carried the U. S. Mail on the back of an Indian pony, fording the Flat and Grand Rivers, from Lyons to Saranac, Lowell and Grand Rapids. I can see Cyprian S. Hooker, Postmaster at Saranac, Rodney Robinson, Postmaster at Lowell, Uncle Withey, Postmaster at Ada, Darius Winsor at Grand Rapids, and Joel Gibbs, noble men, as were all the early pioneers of the Grand River Valley. At that time there were but 4 settlers on the River Road between Lowell and Ada, and not one save Uncle Rix Robinson and Edward, grand old men from Ada, to Louis Campau’s place on the hill near John Boles house as you go down into Grand Rapids, a panoramic view of the road, and all the early settlers along from Lyons, or Genereauville Post, Saranac, Lowell, Ada, to Grand Rapids, is passing before my eyes. How I wish I could be with you and talk of those days that is past and gone, and of the noblemen and women who constituted the early settlers of the Grand River valley, and also of the famous Dexter Party of ’63 who cut the road from Pontiac through Clinton County to Ionia Center, known afterwards as the Dexter Trail.
James Eardley Remarks
James Eardley was the first white child born in Cascade Township in 1840. He spoke at some of the annual reunions. He was rocked as a baby boy in a sap trough, for the want of a cradle; drew with a yoke of oxen the logs for the first school house in Cascade and assisted in the building of the first church in the town. He was a descendant of one of the first settlers in Cascade, Michael Eardley, who came there with the Laraways, Teeples, Lennon, and Harmons, and passed through the vicissitudes and stern realities of pioneer life. He talked about the Indians and their customs in those early days.
He mentioned how he and his brother got into all kinds of mischief, their mother being an invalid for a number of years. She was visited by Dr. Charles Shepard and Priest Vizoiski at intervals. One day when the doctor and priest came, the mother ordered the boys to the bedroom and closed the door instructing them not to com out until the doctor and priest had gone away. There was a piece of china and I put it on my brother’s, John, head. His head began to swell and we could not get it off. The priest and doctor took turns at pulling and finally got a flat iron, striking it with a hammer and the china fell to pieces. He talked of logging, raising bees, etc. regaling the audience.
John S. Hooker was the first white child born at Saranac in 1837. His parents came to the Saranac area in 1836 where his father was the first man to cut down a tree. Bringing all his household goods in a lumber wagon, his family and all the iron for a saw mill, the first on the Grand east of Grand Rapids.
OBITUARIES – 1895 – 1924
NOTE: Not all of the names listed have obituaries. Those with a year date beside them have no other information in these records. They are only listed as having died within the previous year.
Isaac E. Auble, Mrs. Averill
Ross Barhite (1852-1922), Alonzo C. Barkley (1895),
Mrs. Lucinda (Harvy) Barkley, Calkins Barney, Admiral Beach (4/22/1823-10/30/1897), Samuel Beach (1833-1912),
Mrs. Samuel Beach, William Beach, Rufus W. Belknap, Mrs. Cornelia Borst, Joseph J. Boyd (1844-1922) ,
Mrs. Henry Bradfield, John R. Bradfield, Mrs. Mary Livingston Bradfield,Mrs. Sarah Bradfield (aft.1924),
John Branigan (1897), Mr. Henry Brown, L. W. Burt (1909), Lucius Burt, Mrs. Burtch (1922), Charles Buttrick,
Joseph Buttrick (1922), Mrs. Perlina Buttrick (1896), Peter Byrne, Olive Caldwell, Edward Campau,
Mrs. Canfield (1916), Peter Cannon (1895), Mrs. Captain (1917), William P. Carle, Wilson Carle,
Mr. Carpenter (1896), Mrs. Chaffee (1922), Jesse B. Chapel, John C. Chapman, Emmett E. Chase,
Mrs. Margaret (L. F.) Chase, Anna S. Clark, Henry Clark (1916), Mrs. Henry Clark, Edward B. Clements (1844-1924),
Mrs. Rachel Cobb (1913), Sadie Clark Cole (1917), G. W. Collar (1856-1915), Silas Collar, Mrs. William Collar (1912),
Cornelius Courtright, Mrs. Ann Coyle (1895), Adaline Cramton, Charles Cramton (5/1/1838-9/14/1914),
Jerome Cramton (1858-1925), Carrie Crowe (1863-1913), George Crowe, William E. Crowe,
Dr. M. W. Danforth (8/28/1842-4/17/1895), Mrs. Thompson L. Daniels (1897), Mrs. William R. Davis (1896),
William Davise (1917), Mrs. Denison (1922-3), Mrs. Hattie Smith Denison (1867-1925),
Henry Denison, L. D. Denison (1828-1894), Aaron Dennis, Mrs. Claris Dennis, John Dennis, Mahlon Dennis (1894),
Luther Densmore (1912), Mrs. Dickerson (1915), Mrs. Isabella Dixon, Hannah Downs,Michael Downs (1917),
James Eardley (aft. 1924), Thomas Eardley (9/18/1850-5/19/1925), Henry Esby (1896), Charles Evans (1897),
Mrs. John Evans (8/15/1837-12/1/1911), John Evans, Mrs. Sophia Everett (1916), Eleazer Fairchild (1915),
Garrett Farrell (1909),Michael Farrell (1897), William Farrell, Phoebe Ferris (1894), William Findlay,
Benjamin Green Folston, Susan M. Folston, John Foster, Samuel Lucius Fuller (1897)Arthur Furner (1922-3),
Margaret Gardner, Mrs. Cynthia M. Gibbs (9/9/1814-6/24/1897), William Grant (1923-4), Francis Halpin (1896),
Mrs. May Halpin (10/19/1844-9/21/1895), Mrs. Mary Hangleton (1895), James Harris (1877-1922),
Richard Harris (1843-1917), William Harris, Sidney Haskins (1914), Father of Sidney W. Haskins,
Charles Heaton, Mary Hennesey (1917), ---- Herrington (1917), Henry Hettle (1845-1914), Mrs. Clarisa Elizabeth Hicks,
Mrs. Abbie J. Hill (1895), Otis Hill, Perry Hill, Mrs. Perry Hill (1897-8), Mrs. Hoag (1895), Frank Hodges,
Mrs. Martha Gold Hodges (1896), Robert Holmes (aft.1924), John S. Hooker (1917), James Hurley (1917),
Mrs. Margaret Jones, Michael Jones, John Keena, Mrs. Helen Miller Kendall (aft.1924),Mr. Krum (1915),
Cornelius Krum, Mary Fox Krum, Mrs. LaBarge (1915), Thes. (?) Lally, James R. Laraway (6/23/1837-3/16/1896),
John H. Laraway, Charles Lawyer (1922-3), Mrs. Charles Lawyer,Mrs. Margaret Lennon, John A. Linesetter,
Mrs. Polly Livergood (1897), John Livingston (1895), Mrs. Lynn Carle Loomis (1923-5), James Lyon, William Lyon,
Charles McCaul (1922-3), Charles McCarthy (1915), Mrs. Alice McCarthy, James McCormick (aft.1924),
Margaret McCormick, Daniel W. McLean (1897), Jane McLean, Mrs. Leander McLean (aft.1924),
Mrs. Margaret McLean (8/10/1818-3/25/1894),Archibald McMillen (12/1/1811-5/12/1895),
Mrs. Lucy McMillan (1843-1923), Hannah McMurray, Alexander McNaughton (1895),
Jane McNaughton, Mrs. Kate McNaughton (aft.1924), Mrs. Elizabeth McPherson (3/23/1814-12/1/1894),
John McPherson (1897),Mrs. Ada (Smith) Miller (1913), James Murphy, Peter Murphy, Mrs. Myers (1917),
Jay D. Naysmith,James Nesbitt, Edgar Niles (1916), M. O’Donnell (1917), Michael O’Donnell (1916),
G. Parker, George W. Parker, William Parker, Chancey Patterson, Mrs. Lucy Perkins, Mrs. William Perkins (aft. 1924),
William Perkins (aft. 1924), Edward Pettis, William McKenzie Post, Mrs. Proctor, Mrs. A. Rhodes (d.8/28/1889),
Miss Riggs, Augustus Riggs (87y-4m-29d -3/17/1914), John R. Robinson (1897), Mr. Rosema (1922-3),
Hannah Rykert (1858-1917), William Rykert (1895), Eliza Gardner Sayles, Mrs. Catherine Schenck (6/3/1828-5/16/1913),
Fred Schenck, Jacob Schenck (5/17/1819-1/11/1895), William Young Schenck, Mrs. Catherine Sexton,
Mrs. Shaughnessy (1923-5), Carey Shepherd (1914), Henry Shepard, Erastus P. Shuman,
Albert J. Sisson (1843-1913), Mrs. Kate Smith (1916), James Spence, John Spence (1894),
Perry Spence (1876-1923), Marcus Spencer, Henry Spring, Mrs. Robert Stevens, John Royal Stewart,
Mrs. John R. Stewart, Wellington S. Stinson (1895), Albert C. Stonebreaker (1896), Josiah Swan, Solomon Swan,
Mrs. George Teeple (1897), Hibbard Teeple (1897), George Thomson (1914), William Turnbull, Alfred Turner (aft.1924)
Chancey VanDeusen (1.23.1817-10/25/1896), Mrs. Catherine Verlin, Hugh Henry Ward, Mrs. Laura Ward (1916),
Isaac Whaley, John H. Withey (1909), James White (1894), Mrs. James White, David M. Winters (1841-1922),
Anderson Wride, Emma Wride, John Wride, Joseph Wride (1824-1895), Malinda Wride,
William Wride (1922-3), Dr. Charles Wunsch, Sebastian Wunsch, Mrs. Esther Yerkes
Mrs. Isabelle Dixon – 1895
Mrs. Isabelle Dixon, about 90 years old, married first to _______ McPherson, was born in Monroe County, NY, in February, 1804. Married to _______ McPherson, March, 1836. They came to Vergennes, Kent County. Her husband dying. She came to Vergennes in 1842. She married Mr. Dixon in 1850. Mrs. Dixon died 17 Aug 1895.
Michael Farrell, John Branigan, John McPherson, Charles Evans,
Daniel McLean (son of Peter), John R. Robinson, Chancey VanDeusen,
Mrs. Polly Livergood, Mrs. Thompson L. Daniels of Vergennes
Mrs. Cynthia M. Gibbs, Samuel Lucius Fuller (of Grand Rapids)
1897 – 1898
Admiral Beach, Peter Murphy, Perry Hill and wife.
Perry Hill – 1898
Mr. Perry Hill who settled in Ada away back in the 30’s and his wife died.
Erastus P. Shuman – 1898
Erastus P. Shuman of Cascade who died 29 Dec 1897, had been a resident of Cascade for many years. He left a wife, one daughter to morn his death.
Isaac Whaley – 1898
Isaac Whaley of Ada Township died 26 Mar 1898, was born in Saratoga, NY, 1818 (2 Mar 1818) was 80 years at the time of his death. He emigrated and settled in fair Washtenaw Co. in 1834. When Michigan was in the Territorial days he moved from there to Shiawassee Co., and remained there until the 60’s when he came to Ada and purchased the old Hill farm. He lived to see his State develop from a Wilderness to what it is at the present day. (Widow, Esther)
Otis Hill – 1898
Otis Hill was born in Rensselaer Co., NY, 25 Dec 1821. Came to Ada in 1855. Mrs. Hill died in 1894, her death is already recorded. They were both member of the Pioneer Association. Mr. Hill was the father of 8 children, six are alive, 3 sons and 3 daughters. He was a kind and indulgent Father, a good Citizen, and a man who won the esteem of all.
Peter Murphy – 1898
Peter Murphy died at his residence in Ada, 11 Dec 1898. Was born Kildate, Ireland, 85 years ago. He came to America in the early 30’s and settled in Charleston, SC. Was a warm and personal friend of the Great Nullifier, John C. Calhoun, one of the Great Trio and a noted man in Jackson’s Administration. He assisted in rebuilding and strengthening Fort Sumter, the Fort whose name is Historic. He settle in Ada in the 50’s on part of the Chase farm in Sec. 10, where he died.
Mrs. Margaret Chase – 1898
Mrs. L. F. Chase, nee Mrs. Margaret H. Moffat was born Washington’s birthday in 1828. Died 11 Sep 1897. Married to L. F. Chase in 1847. She was the mother of five children, George, Emmett, Corles, Warren, and Lewis S. She lived on the Chase homestead in Ada over 50 years. She removed to the Village of Ada, hence to Greenville and Lowell, and hence to Vassar, Tuscola Co., where she died. The history of the Chase family is well known among the Pioneers of Ada.
Lucinda Barkley – 1898
Mrs. Harvy Barkley, one of Ada’s early pioneers died in Lowell March, 1898. Her maiden name, Lucinda Pearce Rowley, was born in Geneva (perhaps, Genesee?) Co., NY 22 Sep 1822 and was over 75 years old at the time of her death. Married Harvy Barkley, one of the first pioneers on 13 Oct 1844. To them were born 4 daughters, M. Ornda Barkley, Mary, Emma R., whose sad death a few years ago we remember, and Addie L. of Camden, Indiana.
Mrs. Esther Yerkes – 1898
Mrs. Esther Yerkes, wife of Anthony Yerkes, who died in Vergennes 1898. She lived nearly all her days in Vergennes, seen it from a wilderness to well cultivated fields. She was one of the last pioneers on the Walker Road. Death spares not the young nor the old.
Mrs. Charles Lawyer – 1898
Mrs. Charles Lawyer, in the prime of live and womanhood, closed the earthly cover and leaves a void and vacancy that can never be filled. She was good, kind, and gentle, a true friend and good Christian.
Anna S. Clark – 1890
Anna S. Clark, one of Ada’s old pioneers, for a long time Town Clerk, and who was Clerk for Nelson Robinson away back in the 40’s.
G. Parker – 1900
Mr. G. Parker who met with an accidental death, father of Jerome Parker, our general Miller.
Edward Pettis – 1900
Edward Pettis, one of Ada’s oldest pioneers, who settled in Ada away back in the early 30’s, and whose name has become historic as being the first man engaged in Lumbering and rafting on Flat River.
Mrs. James White – 1900
Mrs. James White, wife of Uncle James White, who was an old resident and is mourned by 2 sons, James and Fenton White.
John R. Bradfield – 1900
John R. Bradfield, died on his farm residence 1 Oct 1899, aged 66 years. Mr. Bradfield was familiarly known to all the farmers and old settlers as being engaged in the Milling business for nearly 30 years. He was one of natures noblemen, kind, good, and charitable. He leaves a son and wife to mourn his death. His subsequent life, it is needless for me to relate, for it is fresh in the minds of his friends.
Hannah McMurray – 1902
Hannah McMurray was the youngest daughter of Edward Ferguson and Hannah McDonell, was born in the Parish of Dumwald, 8 miles from Belfast, Ireland in the County Down, 18 Apr 1821. She was united in marriage to Robert McMurray from the same place, the 16th of May in 1842. She came to Ada in the early 50’s. Her husband was the firs wagon maker in Ada and was kept busy making wagons. These were taken out of the ruff and made exclusively by hand without the aid of any machinery. His death occurred in 1864. She was one of the Pioneer mothers that passed through the trials of pioneer life. She crossed the wide Atlantic when a sea voyage required about 3 months in a slow sailing vessel depending on the wind to waft it over to New York. She was the mother of 8 children, including William R. McMurray, our General Hardware merchant, who grew to manhood and womanhood and lived in this town.
Margaret was born in 1843. Married to Earl W. Gardner, since deceased. Gardner followed the trade of blacksmithing for several years in Ada and went north to USCola (Oscoda?). He was also a veterinary and a horse shoer during the last Rebellion. Ellen was born in 1846, living on the old homestead. William, 1836, engaged in hardware in this village. Edward, a school teacher now deceased was born in 1859, Lorenzo and Agnes were twins.
John Foster – 1902
John Foster was born in Yorkshire, England on 22 Dec 1821. He was the 6th child born to Jermiah and Mary Marshall Foster. When but 18 years of age he left his native land and took shipping at Liverpool and landed in New York after a stormy voyage of 14 weeks. He worked for some time at farming in Wyoming County, NY and he remained farming there and elsewhere until 1847. Then he came to Ada and took up land from the government, 80 acres, and cleared it from the Wilderness, and it was his home for many years. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Heaton of Ada, and that union was blessed by the birth of two sons, Marshall H. of Cascade and Milton O. of Ada, living on the old homestead. A young man who has won the esteem and respect of his fellow townsmen. In 1864 Mr. Foster enlisted in the 13th Michigan Battery and served through the War and was honorably discharged. He was married the second time to the widow of C. D. Washburn, maiden name, May Teeple, whose family were the first pioneers of Cascade Township. Of this union there was no issue. He was prominent in the Grange, being one of the Charter Members of Cascade, and its first Master and striving to its good to others.
Henry Shepard – 1902
Henry Shepard, son of Capt. Henry Shepard, one of the first pioneers of Augusta, Kalamazoo County, came to Ada in 1842. Was born in Erie Co., NY over 80 years ago. His death occurred in Lowell, 24 Apr 1902. He was seventeen years old when he came to Ada with his parents from the place above mentioned, in the 30?. He was a strong advocate of Temperance and assisted the cause, both financially and writing and in distributing Temperance pamphlets. He was one of the first Justices in this township. He had the esteem and respect of his fellow townsmen. He sold his farm to W. W. Ward in 1862 and moved to Lowell. He lived a noble life, and to those of us who knew him, is a nobler monument than White Bronze on dull cold marble, for unto him was wrought a life of honest living in the cause of those he loved.
John Royal Stewart – 1902
John Royal Stewart, Pioneer School Teacher of Cascade and former Register of Deeds. He is no more counted among the living. His genial face no more we will see. Was born in Clarendon, VT in 1820. His father’s name was Leonard Stewart of Scottish origin (dating back to the Royal Stuarts). When but 18 years old, he went to shift for himself in Niagara Co., NY and worked in a saw mill and teaching school in the winter time. He was afterwards elected Superintendent of Schools for that county. He came to Cascade in 1845 when it was comparably thinly settled. He cleared up 80 acres himself. His father also came and settled on a farm on the Townline, which he likewise cleared up for his father. His father died in 1856. In the year 1845, Mr. Stewart married Sarah E. Martin, who died in 1882. She was the mother of 4 children, Sarah R., the wife of S. A. Kennedy; Milo B., deceased; Flora, deceased; and lina married William Couls of Ferney, SD. Mr. Stewart was married the second time to the widow of Rufus Martin, who was the brother of his first wife. Mr. Stewart filled many positions of trust. He was register of deeds for 4 years, inspector of Jackson Prison and superintendent of the construction of the building of the post office and laying the walks down. He was a splendid and rapid penman, but he invested his all in the Grand Rapids Manufacturing Co. for manufacturing farm implements with E. W. Knapp and Chubb, and lost over $12,000, and he never rallied over the loss, but he was a good neighbor and counselor for others. His memory will remain with us as one of nature’s noblemen.
Calkins Barney – 1902
Among the pioneers of the Grand River valley few names recall more early reminiscences than the pioneer Calkins Barney. He was born in Ypsilanti in 1824. At 12 years of age he started out for himself, then a boy, in company of some fur dealers going to the Grand River Valley, passing through Lowell where Daniel Marsac trading camp was, and Lowell was not in the imaginations of men’s minds. He assisted Louis Campau in erecting and building the first frame house in the City of Grand Rapids. He was one of the crew of the first boat, the Grand Napoleon, owned by Louis Campau, and run from Grand Rapids to Ionia Center, or Lyons. The motion power being the strong arms of the crew. Mathew Eardley, of Cascade, was one of the crew using long poles called the Pole Boat. On this boat, Joe Guild, and the Winsor’s came down the stream from Ionia, of the Dexter party. Mr. Barney not finding this satisfactory and too hard work for him, merely a boy. He took the contract and was one of the first Postmasters to carry the mail from Grand Rapids village to Grand Haven. In the summer he went by the river in a dug out, or canoe. In the winter, owing to the depth of snow and the absence of roads, making the trek on snowshoes, following the bridle paths, Indian trails, and blazed trees meeting wild Indians by day and hungry wolves and other wild animals by night. He stated that he could carry all the mail between the two places in a handkerchief. After a few years of hardship he quit (Uncle Sam) and went to Otisco, Ionia Co., and married Maria Seeley, a daughter of one of the pioneers of Ionia County, and a creek in Grattan township bears his name. He then went to Byron township and settled in the woods. His nearest neighbors were the Boyntons. He took this land up from the government by money earned carrying the U.S. Mail. He enlisted in Co. C, 10th Michigan Cavalry and served until the end of the war and was honorably discharged. In 1877 he sold his fram in Byron and moved to the City of Grand Rapids. Not finding city life agreeable, he bought a farm in Vergennes township. His wife died in 1881. He died in Vergennes 14 Mar 1902. His children, Mrs. Lons Brown, Lansford Barney, M. C. Barney and Mrs. Gardner. He was a member of the Joseph Wilson Post and was buried under their auspices in the Village of Lowell. His work can never be duplicated by any men in Kent County, or the state. He was a grand and good man, charitable to the poor and public spirited in any enterprise. His sterling qualities of character I need not relate, for it is fresh in the minds of the pioneers, or their descendants, and his esteem by general embellish the simple record of this grand old pioneer life is better than glittering wealth and more lasting than white bronze or dull cold marble or granite, for the wealth of untold thousands, for unto him was wrought a life of honest toil in the cause of those he loved. Peace to his memory.
William Young Schenck – 1902
William Young Schenck died at his residence in the Village of Ada, July, 1902 at the age of seventy-four years. He was born in Potter Township, Yates County, NY near Pennsylvania, 29 Feb 1829. He worked on a farm with his parents until 17 years of age. He then entered into an apprenticeship until 21 with his father and another Master Mechanic, at the Carpenter and Joiner trade, when everything then had to be taken out of the rough, as it was then called. After getting his credentials, or papers, he took jobs and worked at the trade himself, and followed that vocation. An when not employed, he worked on a farm. He came from the state of New York in the early 50’s, proceeded only a few years by his brother, Jacob S. Schenck. He bought a farm of 40 acres in the township of Ada on section36, on which he settled and built a frame house and barn and improved it, for it was a wilderness when he purchased it. In the year of 1849 he was married to Sarah Densmore, sister of Luther Densmore of this village of Ada. By her one child was born, Emma, in 1850. Emma died in 1870 and Mrs. Schenck died in 1857, regretted by all who knew her. Mr. William Schenck married the second time, as widowers sometimes do, to Sarah R. Price. Born in Livingston Co., NY in 1831. Of this union three children were born to them. Charles D. L. born in 1858, Elmer E. born in 1860, engaged at Grand Haven in D. G. H. M. and served in the printing business in the Grand Rapids Democrat, and Carrie, who was engaged in school teaching for some time, and is now married to William Crowe, son of George Crowe, one of the oldest pioneers of Ada. He led a noble life, a life which few of the dudes of the present time would wish to choose, and done a good work. The buildings that he built will be endearing monuments to his memory. He was, for a long time, engaged in the construction of bridges and the suspension of them, and had L. Densmore and Livergood in his employ on the D.G.H. and Milwaukee Railroad. But he rest from his laboring. I forgot to state that he was the first Rural Mail deliverer, commencing in July, 1901 and carrying the mail for one year until he died. He also enlisted in the service of his country in the late rebellion in the Engineers and Mechanics, serving with great credit and disclamation until the close of the war, and was honorably discharged, and was drawing a pension from the U. S. government. But a good man has gone, his wife and children have the sympathy of the Pioneer Association, in this, the bitter hour of their bereavement.
Father of Sidney W. Haskins – 1902
The venerable father of Sidney W. Haskins, our general Justice of the Peace and tradesman, is no more counted among the living. He was a pioneer of Berrien County in the south part of the state, near Niles. Acquainted with Pokagon, the chief of the Potawattomies in their early days, away back in the 30’s. He died in April, 1902, aged 87.
Wilson Carle – 1902
Wilson Carle died in Ada township, where he was born in 1856. He was the son of William P. Carle, the pioneer blacksmith of Ada, departed this life, November, 1901. He held many offices of trusts in the township, Justice of the Peace, and school director. He married a Miss Bennett and was blessed with three children. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Fraternity, the Macabees, and Gleaners. He was a public spirited young man and had the high esteem of hi fellow townsmen. He was loved most by those who knew him most. Again has the reaper, whose name is death, and comes in grim silence and cuts down the young as well as the old at a breath and that the places that knew him once will know him no more forever, but this society will condole with the aged father and the bereaved wife in their afflictions.
William McKenzie Post – 1902
William McKenzie Post, son of a pioneer and a pioneer himself, being the son of John Post, who was killed at Grand Rapids in 1848 by removing the cross of the Catholic church owned by Louis Campau, and sold to the Congregationalist of James Ballard, the protestant minister of that time. This event is historical. Died at his residence in Vergennes Township in April, 1902. Was born in Canada in 1840 and came when an infant the same year to the Grand River Valley with his parents, and settled in Vergennes township near the Dixon family. He lived in that town sixty-two years and held many offices of public trust, such as treasurer, highwayman, and school trustee. He was possessed of more than ordinary intelligence and took no minor part in a political campaign. He was well posted in general history and well read in all the topics of the day. He leaves a wife and son, and grandson to mourn. A loving husband, kind father and good citizen. Gone but not forgotten. Lies the man that honored manhood.
William Beach – 1902
William Beach, son of Henry Beach, died at Odessa in Ionia County in May, 1902. He learned the carpenter trade from Ardeth Cobb, a brother-in-law of his Uncle Admiral Beach, and followed that profession in building barns and houses in Ada and adjourning towns. He came to Ada with his parents in the early 40’s and settled on section one in Ada. His nearest neighbor was Charles Kellogg, now of Paris township. And on the same section was an Indian village. The chief was Cobgobawy and Isadore Naumoit, a French man married to a Indian, owned the land. Nauntoit was a ferry man at the mouth of the Thornapple at the time. By industry and economy, he accumulated an immense amount of property, which he left to his brothers and sisters, Rhody, Ann, Adelbert, Warren, Lucy, and Perry, who lives in the eastern part of Campbell town in Ionia County
Chancey Patterson – 1903
Chancey Patterson of Cascade was born in Seneca Co., NYY, 2 April 1823 and died at his residence in Cascade February, 1903, aged 80 years. He came to Michigan with his parents in 1828 and located in Washtenaw County. His father’s name was Robert. He died there in 1831. In 1836 Chancy, with his brother, Jacob, came to Cascade. Jacob having purchased his land on preunplowed in 1835, where the East Paris School House now stands. The subject of this sketch, when he was 18, purchased 40 acres of land in Cascade Township on the same section where his present large farm is situated. He was married on Christmas day, 25 December 1845 to Miss Sarah Dixon, a daughter of Daniel and Nancy Dixon, who came from Canada to Kent County when she was 11 years of age in 1840. Children born to Mr. and Mrs. Patterson: John M. of Grand Rapids; Nathan H. of Cascade Township; Nancy Irving living near the old homestead; George Martin of Cascade Township, Ida May, wife of Fred Shear; and Millie M., wife of William Eardly, who operates a farm in Cascade Township.
Charles Buttrick – 1903
Charles Buttrick died at his residence in Cascade 16 April 1903, aged sixty-three years. He was born in Syracuse, NY in 1839, came with his parents in a lumber wagon (covered) when but 4 years of age, about 1843, and settled on a farm on the north side of Grand River, about 3 ½ miles from Ada Bridge, then called the Danville Road in honor of Daniel Marsac. Charles was erratic. He was a wandering genius. At the age of 19 he sailed for California, the gold fever was then raging, via the Gulf of Mexico and across the Isthmus of Panama and Darien. Being then 4 weeks on the water, and experiencing some very severe storms, and coming very near being wrecked, the masts being all blown away. After reaching California he went to work in the gold fields. After working there over five years, he enlisted into the National Guards and was soon promoted to Lieutenancy. Served until 1862. Then came home and enlisted in Company __, 10th Cavalry under Kellogg and served until the close of the War, and was honorably discharged July, 1865. In 1870 he again went west and worked in Idaho and Montana silver mines and went to Colorado and spent 4 years in prospecting claims. He then returned to Michigan and met and wooed. He married Laura Washburn in the year of 1878. He commenced raising fruit trees on a small scale, but the demand became so great that he had to enlarge his nursery to accommodate his customers and patrons, and did one of the harvest business as nursery man on the Grand River country and its environments. He was a man of broad intellect, keen, direct, and convincing logic. Well read and could converse on any subject and fame. Mr. Charles Buttrick never sought respect and confidence. He won by doing unto others as he wished to be done by, or as he wished others to do to him, to pursue the golden rule in life. His sterling character and business capabilities and genial way and admirability won the respect of his friends, whose names are legion. The simple record of a well spent life is better than glittering fame or the wealth of untold thousands.
Dr. Charles Wunsch – 1903
Dr. Charles Wunsch, who died at Saranac 8 April 1903, at the age of 72 years, was at one time an old pioneer of Ada. When but a small child, he came with his parents from Germany (the fatherland) and settled on a farm 3 miles east of Ada near the Buttrick farm, on the old Danville road from Lowell to Ada. He was married 3 times. His last wife survives him. Her maiden name being Charlotte Williams of South Boston. He leaves to mourn his death two brothers and one sister, Sebastian and John of Ada, and Mrs. Barr of Lowell.
Mrs. Margaret Jones – 1904
Among those who are no more with us and have gone to join the large majority that have gone on before, was Mrs. Margaret Jones, widow of the late James Jones of the township of Ad, who died at her residence on section 3 in the last of August, 1903, at the advanced age of 88 years. She was born in the County Westmeath, Ireland in the early part of the 19th century, emigrated to America, or the U. S., in 1830 in one of the slow sailing vessels at that time, as steam was no generally utilized on the ocean at that early period. She arrived in Detroit in 1836 and was employed as a cook on the Michigan Central Railroad. Married to James Jones in the early 40’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Came to Ada about 1845 and settled on section 24, living there some 30 years. Then they moved on section 3 where she died. She won the respect of her neighbors by her upright life and the esteem and respect of all who knew her.
James Lyon – 1904
Jame Lyon, son of Morgan Lyon, the pioneer of Vergennes Township, died at Lowell, 10 May 1904. He was among the first white children born on the Grand River Valley, on the north of Grand River called Vergennes then, now in the township of Lowell, in an Indian wigwam in the year of 1838. He was reared and brought up on a farm and received his education in the log school house, the American Academe, at that early day in the 40’s. He was a member of the Pioneer Association of Ada and Acting president of the Lowell and Flat River Pioneeers of the Valley. James always was ready to speak at our annual reunions and was well read and a walking encyclopedia of pioneer history. He will be missed at our annual reunions. Gone but not forgotten, lies the man that honored manhood. Peace to his memory.
Emmett E. Chase – 1904
Died at Lowell, Michigan, the 11th of October 1903, Emmett E. Chase, son of Lafayette Chase and grandson of the Rev. Amos G. Chase, the pioneer Baptist minister of eastern Kent County, who settled in Ada in the early 40’s. Emmett was born in the township of Ada, 24 Aug 1855, one of a family of five brothers, only one of whom is living, Lewis S. Chase of Niles Michigan. His early boyhood days were spent on the Chase homestead on section 10 in Ada. Sold to Peter Murphy. Afterwards to Lawrence Byrne, and at present owned by F. Jastifer. When he was 14 years old, he moved with his parents to the village of Ada, and assisted his father in the store of groceris and general merchandising for about three years, selling out their interest to the Dr. Amos G. Chase, and moved with his parents to Greenville in Montcalm County. And in company with the late Arena S. Clark and John Burgess of Cannonsburg, went into the lumber and shingle business. General depression followed and financial ruin was the result in the year of 1876. The family moved to Lowell, Kent County, and the subject of this sketch engaged in the bakery business on Main Street in 1883. Emmett married Cora F. Bristol, sister of James Bristol, our enterprising druggist and general merchant of Ada. Of this union one child, Ralph Eugene, was born 28 April 1896. Selling out his interes in Lowell shortly after his father’s death, he, with his mother, wife, and child, moved to Tuscola County and engaged in the bakery business in Vassar. After his mother’s death, which occurred there and her obituary notice is recorded in this volume, he returned to Lowell and engaged in the fruit business, packing and shipping, until his death. He belonged to the Masonic Fraternity and the Ancient Order of Foresters. He leaves a wife and son, one brother, and many friends to mourn his death. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shell see God. Peace to his memory.
Frank Hodges – 1904
Frank Hodges, a son of Sylvester Hodges, one of the first pioneers of Vergennes, and Alderman of Grand Rapids, died 10 October 1903.
Henry Brown – 1904
Mr. Henry Brown, a member of the Pioneer Associaton, died in Cascade township, November, 1903. He was a brother of Mrs. Jacob Schenck of Ada Village. Was born in Yates County, NY and came to cascade in the early 60’s and bought a farm. He was a man of upright and sterling character, and well respected, and had the confidence of his fellow townsmen.
Mrs. John R. Stewart – 1904
Mrs. John R. Stewart, better known as the wife and widow of the late Rufus Martin, one of the pioneer mothers of that township, died at her brother’s residence, Mr. Coger, in the village of Cascade, February, 1904, at the advanced age of 3 score and 10. Her marriage with the late John R. Stewart occurred 21 March 1886.
Miss Riggs – 1904
Miss Riggs, daughter of Augustus Riggs, her father one of the oldest pioneers of Ada, settling in the town in 1830, died at the old homestead in July, 1904.
Marcus Spencer was born in Dundas, Canada in the early part of the 19th century and came to Ada in the early 50’s. He was a millwright and carpenter by trade and owned a farm in the north side of Grand River. His family consisted of two sons and daughter, Henry, Sidney, deceased, and Mrs. Barhard.
Jane McLean – 1904
Aunt Jane, as she was familiarly called, widow of the late Alexander McLean, one of the pioneers of Vergennes, died at the old homestead 21 May 1904, aged 87 years. She was born in Murrey Shire, Scotland. Her maiden name was Jane Spence, sister of John and William Spence, old pioneers of Ada township, whose obituary is recorded. She emigrated with her parents to the United States in the early 20’s when a small girl. The vessel was a three master, as was these called, and its name, the Sea Bird. It was 9 weeks coming from Glasgow to New York harbor (now the voyage is accomplished in 5 days). She was married to Alexander McLean in 1846, he too a native of Scotland. She was the mother of five children: Hellen, married to James S. Dougall, holding an officer under the government at Washington. Henry, engaged in stock raising in Kansas or Nebraska. Emma and Jane deceased. Leander living on the old homestead. She was a woman of keen intellect, a good kind and charitable and respected by her neighbors.
Cornelius Krum – 1904
Cornelius Krum, an old pioneer of Vergennes, who settled here in the early 30’s with the Foxes, L. I. Daniels, Francisco and Hodges. Died in the city of Grand Rapids in the Spring of 1904 and was buried at Fairplains cemetery. Was born in Westchester Co., NY in the early part of the 19th century. His parents were John and Sarah Morens Krum. He received his education in the common schools of his native state and followed, in his early days, the trade of wool combing and carding. He sold his farm and moved to Lowell, and afterwards to Grand Rapids city, where he died. He was a man of broad intellect and well read in the affairs of his country, coming to Kent County in such an early day, when there was nor roads, but Indian trails and bridle paths, and following the blazed trees. He passed through the vestibules and the stern realities of pioneer life, through all its phases.
Eliza Gardner Sayles – 1904
Town of Keene – Eliza Gardner Sayles was born in Dundas, Canada in 1816. She died in September, 1904, aged 88 years. She was the mother of 15 children, 10 sons and 5 daughters, the youngest being 44 years old. One of her daughters is married to Charles McCarthy of Lowell. She was on of the pioneer mothers, good, kind, and charitable. Fed the hungry and harbored the harborless.
Adaline Cramton – 1905
Adaline Cramton died 5 Mar 1905. She was born in the township of Ada on section 24. Her father’s name was Rix Church. He was a nephew of the first pioneer, Rix Robinson. Her grandfather married the only sister of Rix Robinson. Her name was Eunice Robinson. She married Charles Cramton in 1858 and was the mother of three children, Jerome, Fred and Jane. She had very poor health for the last twenty years. Her father removed to the state of Illinois, where he died. She lived with a family in Illinois five years. The rest of her life was spent in Ada. Daughter of faith arise illuminate the dread unknown. The chaos of the tomb, the strife is over the power of nature close, and lives last rapture triumphs over her woes. The brothers of Uncle Rix Robinson, were 8 in all: Edward, Nathaniel, John, Rodney, Ira, Rix, Lucas, Denis, Lewis, and one sister, Eunice Robinson.
William Findlay – 1905
William Findlay, son of John Findlay, one of Ada’s early pioneers in the early 40’s and in the City of Grand Rapids. Died 8 Feb 1905, 64 years. He was born in Argyleshire, Scotland in 1838. When but 2 years old he came with his parents and settled on section 9 in Ada, which was his home for nearly 20 years. He was married to Amelia Grore in 1866 and moved on the Scanlon farm in Grattan, where he remained 8 years. He then came back and bought out the Lasker farm in Ada. Selling out about 20 years ago and living in the City of Grand Rapids, where he died. He was a man of industrious habits, hard worker, and passed through the stern realities of pioneer life.
James Spence – 1905
James Spence, son of John Spence, one of the first male children born in Ada. His folks worked for Rix Robinson and he married on of Edward Robinson’s daughters. The family of Edward Robinson consisted of the baker’s doxen, 13 in family. James was married twice. His first wife was a daughter of Richard McCauley and his second wife was a daughter of Robert Harris. She survives him. He was a great worker.
Jane McNaughton – 1905
Jane McNaughton, nee Grant, was born in Argyleshire, Scotland in 1845 and, when 5 years old, she came with her parents to the U. S. and from there to Michigan and settled in Egypt on section 4, the Price farm, now owned by Charles Inman. In October, 1863 she was married to Alexander McNaughton, a Scotch highlander, who can trace the family lineage back to 700 years, with the Grants and McPhersons of Ada, brother of John McNaughton. Of this union were born 6 sons and one daughter, one who died in infancy. Her only daughter is married to one genial townsman and proprietor of our Pioneer Grove, Fred Schenck. In the year 1873, she removed, with her family, to Grattan, near the State Road north of Grattan Center, and remained on that farm until 1879, and then moved to the town of Irvin, Barry County, where they lived until the death of her husband, which occurred in 1895. She remained on the farm 3 years after her husbands death, and solder her farm and moved to Freeport. She leaves a family of 5 boys and one daughter, 5 brothers. Tow sisters deceased, who married to our genial Post M. George Coon. To daughter of faith, awake, arise, illuminate, the dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb. The strife is o’er, strife is o’er. The pangs of nature close, and life’s last rapture trimphs o’er the woes. Rest in peace.
William Harris – 1905
William Harris was born in Polling, England, 10 Feb 1820 and died 29 Oct 1904, aged over 84 years. He was married to Ann Johnson in October, 1843. He emigrated to America in 1850 with his wife and three children. His oldest daughter, Ann, died in England at the age of 3 in 1846. Mr. William Harris first settled in Orleans Co., NY and from there to Barry County near the Kent County line, a place that bears his name as Harrisburg. He removed from there to Cascade in 1864 and settled and improved a farm on the Whitneyville Road. He removed from there to Muskegon and remained there for a few years in business. His wife dying there, he sold out and went to lived with his son, Richard, where he died in 1904. He was the father of 8 children, 6 sons and 2 daughters. Both his daughters have proceeded him to the great beyond to their last resting place the tomb. Of his sons, 4 live in Kent County, Richard at Also, Charles, Samuel and James in Cascade. Fredrick and Alfred live on farms and are residents of Stanley, Wisconsin, who was with their father when he died. He was a good and devoted husband, a kind and loving father, a good citizen and neighbor, and of those of us who knew him, it is a nobler monument to his memory than cold chiseled marble, granite, or white bronze. For unto him was wrought a life of honest toil in the cause of those he loved. Peace to his memory.
Henry C. Denison – 1905
Henry C. Denison, a charter member of our Pioneer association, and always a liberal giver to its support and maintenance. Yes, Henry, your genial face no more we will see. He died at his home in Cascade last May, 1905, aged 71 years. He was born in Oneida Co., NY, 22 Dec 1834 and came to Michigan when he was one year old. He truly was a pioneer in every sense of the word. His father’s name was Gideon Denison. Known by the old pioneers of Cascade and Kent County, Henry held many positions of trusts in the township, and nobly did he discharge them all. Such as clerk, treasurer, school inspector. He was a great worker in the Grange and was closely identified with all its work in the agricultural line. He was the Scot of the county Grange and its Chief Romster and worker. He was truly a good citizen, loyal friend and neighbor. He leaves a good character and reputation that cannot be counter balanced by the wealth of rubies or untold thousands. He leaves to mourn his death a widow and three children. The widow to mourn a kind and loving husband. The children a kind and loving father: Harry M.; Mrs. William Bole of Cascade, and Mrs. Bridgman of Indianapolis, Indiana. Gone but not forgotten lies the man that honored manhood.
Sebastian Wunsch – 1905
Sebastian Wunsch, a pioneer of Ada, was born in Baden in Germany 70 years ago. He came to Michigan and settled in Ada on the Dansville, or Lowell and Ada Road, as it is now called. He cut down the mighty monarchs of the forest – the elms and the giant oak, and laid them low, and for the last number of years, he was extensively engaged as an apiarist in the bee culture, and was an authority on bees, attending all the institutes and studying down to the scientific standpoint. He leaves a wife and several children, and his brother, John, to mourn him.
Mrs. Proctor – 1905
Mrs. Proctor, of Cascade, a member of our pioneer association, is no more counted among the living. She, too, has passed away and traveled the well beaten path to the tomb. She was a woman possessed of more than ordinary intelligence, and was a good woman, and nurse into care of sickness. Peace to her memory.
Anderson Wride – 1905
Anderson Wride is no more. He was born in Barmby Moore, in sunny England in 1830 (per family – born 18 Dec 1828) and he died in the town of Ada, 30 Jul 1905. His early years were spent in England. He emigrated to the United States in 1850. He spent a year in Rochester, NY and one year in Ontario, Canada. He came to Grand Rapids in 1852, where he worked with Clements and Sweet in the first grist mill that was built in the city. After working in the milling business there several years, he returned to Ontario, Canada, where he left prior of coming to Grand Rapids, and followed his trade of milling there, and 25 Dec 1856 he married Elizabeth King, who now survives him. In the year of 1857 he came to the township of Ada and purchased a farm on the Grand Rapids and Ada Road, which has ever since been his home. He became a citizen of the U. S. in 1850 and he enlisted in the War of the Rebellion, in the old third infantry, Co. F, and served during the entire war, and was honorably discharged in June, 1866. He passed the vicissitudes and the stern realities of war and wded in blood in many a hard fought field. His youngest son remains on the old homestead in Ada. Being faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many.
Solomon and Josiah Swan – 1905
Solomon and Josiah Swan, whose deaths were but a short time apart, were born in the state of Maine and moved to Michigan with their parents when quite young, and settled in the eastern part of the state in Washtenaw County and then came with their parents to Ada in 1850, and located in that historic spot called Egypt, where they died in July, 1905.
Hugh Henry Ward – 1905
Hugh Henry Ward was born 19 Aug 1840 on the farm that has always been his home. His parents, Horace Ward, and his uncle, Rans, moved from the state of New York to Ada before his birth, and settled upon the north bank of Honey Creek, being among its first settlers in that part of the town. He was the youngest of a family of 10 children, none of whom survives him. At the age of 14, Henry was left an orphan by the death of his father. With a large part of the burden of responsibility of caring for his aged mother, and a portion of the family, 2 sisters upon a new farm covered with the native forest trees, oak, hickory and elm, and amid the discouragement and privations, trials, and endurance incident to pioneer life. On 2 July 1865, he was joined in matrimony to Miss Laura E. Frost of Keene, Ionia Co., MI who survives him. Besides, he leaves three children to mourn a kind and loving husband and devoted father. Two sons, Horace Z., an insurance agent in Grand Rapids and Hugh E., a graduate of the Michigan Agricultural College, and one daughter, Almisa, married since to William Stonebreaker. After a painful and long bout and extended sickness, cancer in the stomach, death came on July 19 as a relief from the world’s care and suffering. Although death has come at such a premature and unwanted time, and taken him from our midst. Yet he will still live in the minds of all who knew him as a kind and loving father, a respected and worthy neighbor, a just and faithful friend. Not faultless, but with regrets for life’s own, patiently endeavoring and strong for better things, always steadfastly on the side which he believed to be right. He has lived and died truly faithful in a few things. Enter thou into the reward.
William and George W. Parker – 1905
Interwoven in the history of Vergennes and Lowell Townships and village, are the names of William and George W. Parker, of the Parker family who came to the Grand River Valley in the early 40’s. At the time the Parkers came to this part of Kent County, it was not dotted with beautiful farm residences and barns, or in the villages with brick stores for cities. There were none west of Detroit. But log cabins and the American Academy, the log school house and the block tavern built by Sidney Smith, kept by Lyons in the 40’s and in the 50’s by Gen. Withey, father of Judge Solomon Withey and John H. of Cascade. The roads were blazed trees and bridle paths, Indian trails, and the dugouts, or canoe, of the Indians on the old Owashtenong, the River of the Red Man, the Grand. The cowbells and the sound and ring of the woodsman and pioneers ax was familiar music in those early 40’s. Postage was then 25 cents a letter and a correspondence with friends in New York or elsewhere, was a costly luxury to indulge in. The old Hecox and Fallasburg Grist Mill was built in the early 40’s and then came the floating or rafting, of logs and lumber down the Flat River. Prior to that time the Hilander Tracy rafted some lumber up the old Owashtenong to put up some buildings for the western land occupied at that time by the Indians and Luther Lincoln. Eventually the D.G.H.M.A. was built in Lowell in 1855, and from that eventful day, the settlers began to pour into the Grand River Valley. It is over 64 years since the parkers settled in eastern Kent. Their father was born in England and belonged to the royal family. The royal blood of England coursed their veins, and they could trace their generations back to the 13th century. A member of the family, who was knighted in the reign of CourDeLeon the Lion Hearted (the 1st). George, when quite young, went to the Village of Lowell and went into the grocery business. Leaving that, he formed a partnership with Capt. Weatherwax, and the firm was known as Parker and Weatherwax, in the dry good business for several years. Selling out, he invested his money in a farm on the Lowell road. He built a magnificent house in Lowell, where he made his home and purchased some blooded horses, which he took great pride in, and spent his declining years. He leaves a widow, his only child died several years ago. He was married in the 50’s to one of the twin sisters of Jacob W. Walker, who was supervisor for a number of years in Vergennes Township, who survives him. He leave 3 brothers, Sheldon B., Wills S., and John M. of Freeport. His brother, William, was married twice. His first wife was Sarah McWilliams. Of this union 12 children wer born, 8 of whom survive him. Sarah died 24 May 1869. His second wife was Ann A. Warwick, whom he married 30 Jan 1870. Her death occurred in 1899. William was the oldest of 5 brothers and 2 sisters, who survived him at the time of his death. For it is written that venerable old age is respected.
John Evans – 1905
John Evans, the last of the first generations of the Evans family that settled on section 12 in the township of Ada in the 40’s, is no more. There was Thomas, William, Nathaniel, and Gurdeon. And last, and not the least, was Uncle John, as he was familiarly called. He was born in Burford in Upper Canada, called Ontario now, in the early part of the 19th century, and lived to be nearly 100 years old. He was a Universalist by creed and a great advocate of Temperance, to which he claims he owed his long life. He was always cheerful, happy, and gay. He was industrious, upright, and honest man in every detail. He led a peaceful life and was of a kind disposition. He lived a long time in Odessa and Gibbs, being one of the first justices and holding the offices of Commissioner of Highways for a number of years. He lived to see the 5th generation, outliving the limited time of man, 3 score years and ten. He was the father of 6 children, 3 of whom are living: Charles of Montana, Mrs. Krum and Mrs. Charles Gott, of whom he lived with for over 25 years. His children, and his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren, arise up and call him blessed, for it is written that venerable old age is that of long time nor counted by the number of years, but the understanding of man is gray hairs and a spotless life, is old age being made perfect in a short space he fulfilled a long time.
James Nesbitt – 1905
James Nesbitt, the President of the Cannon Pioneer Society, was born in Salem, Washington Co., NY of Irish parents 11 Aug 1822. He was married to Alida Helmer 3 Jan 1844. To them were born 3 sons and one daughter, one son dying in infancy. The eldest son married Ellen Cramton of Ada, who enlisted in the army and was killed at Lookout Mountain, Tenn. In the Civil War. His other son is an attorney in Ionia, Ionia County. He came to Cannon in 1845. His first work was running a saw mill at Gibraltar on the Rogue River near Laphamville (now Rockford), for Roberts and Winsor. In 1848 he was employed by S. S. Haskins, the first merchant of Cannon, who bought the grist mill from E. B. Bostwick, an eastern capitalist, who was agent for LeGrand Cannon, of whom the township was named. And in 1849 he rented the mill and was the first miller in Cannonsburg, over 20 years grinding the wheat and corn for several towns about the place, as it was one of the first mills in northern Kent at that time. He then bought 80 acres of land near the village, and in a few years after, added another 80 adjoining it, and run the sawmill for several years, sawing the lumber for the early pioneers. He was Jusctic of Peace for 24 years in succession and Treasurer. His firs wife died in July, 1880, and in 1881 he married his second wife, Mrs. Emily Thomas. To this union was born one son. He leaves to mourn his death his widow and 2 sons. He was a man, was a man possessed of legal talent and was employed in several law cases, which he conducted with great ability. He was a wise councilor in law, and his advice was much sought for. He always advocated settlement if it could be obtained by fair means. He had the respect and confidence of all who knew him. The pioneers of Cannon are a small band, and soon the memory alone will remain with us.
George Crowe – 1906
George Crowe was born in Newfane, Niagara Co., NY, 16 Nov 1832. When he was 2 years old, his parents removed to Michigan in 18334, then in its territorial days. James Mason, the father of the boy governor, was the Territorial Governor. Bringing George with them, they settled in Freedom in Jackson County. There they remained three years, and in 1837 they removed to the township of Ada, or Thornapple, as it was then called, where he resided sixty some years. His death occurred on 3 Jan 1905. His age was 73 yrears, one month and 18 days. He was a member of the Bradfield Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, having served in the 13th Michigan Battery of High Artillery through the war and was honorably discharged from duty in 1865 at the close of the war. Upon his return from the army, he resumed his farming occupation in Ada township. He was good, king, and genial warm hearted man. A kind and accommodating neighbor. A loyal and true citizen and a good Christian. He was a member of the Congregational Church of Ada for over 30 years, being one of the organizers. He held the office of treasurer for 4 years, the director of his school for several terms, and held the office of Postmaster until his death, over 7 years. He was held in high esteem by his acquaintances and his neighbors. Honored as a citizen and respected as a man of truth and veracity. Gone, but not forgotten lies the man that honored manhood.
John A. Linesetter – 1906
John A. Linesetter, born in Germany in the year of 1820. He was the father of Mrs. George LaBarge of Ada township. Mr. Linesetter, when he first emigrated, settled near St. Mary’s in Maryland in 1834, where Mrs. LaBarge was born. He came to Detroit in 1845 and was identified in building the Michigan Central. The secretary’s father was well acquainted with him, as he was one of his contractors on that historic road. He came to Kent County and settled in the town of Grand Rapids as early as 1846, where his wife died. He married his second wife, a Miss Connelly. After her death, he came and lived with his daughter, Mrs. LaBarge, where he made his home for over 14 years, where he died 25 Mar 1896.
Jay D. Naysmith – 1906
J. D. Naysmith, a son of John Naysmith, a son of a pioneer, and a pioneer himself, and also a member of the Old Settlers Association of Ada and Adjoining Towns, died 28 Oct 1905. He was born in Warsaw, NY, but came with his parents to Ada Township when but two years olds, and remained with his parents on section 9, assisting them on the farm. He helped his father work on the farm in the summer and received his education in the district schools with one term in High School in Grand Rapids, and teaching school in the winter terms until about the year 1870. Then he went to Grand Rapids and went into the insurance business and real estate, and continued in active business until 2 weeks before his death. He is survived by one brother and sister. His wife, Shile, and family to mourn his death
William Lyon – 1906
William Lyon, a son of James and Ann Lyon, a pioneer of Ada away back in the 40’s died in Grand Rapids 31 Oct 1905. He was born in Westmeath, Ireland, and came with his parents to Ada when but an infant. He was employed in the 60’s for E. Bradfield and Sons in the milling business. And in the 70’s he went to Grand Rapids and bought a residence on College Avenue, and was employed as a foreman in the Michigan Chair Factory until his death, He was married to Mary E. Gordon. He leaves his wife, one brother, Thomas, and 2 sisters, Julia and Catherine (living in Grand Rapids) to mourn his death on 31 Oct 1903 at 65 years.
Henry Spring - 1906
Henry Spring, another member of our society passed away 14 Jan 1905 at his
residence, 381 Cherry Street. He was born in Farmersville, Cattaraugus County,
in February, 1830, and was 76 years old at the time of his death. He came to the
town of Cannon with his father, Jared N. Spring, and the rest of the family in
1845. In 1846 he clerked for Harrison Worden of Cannonsburg, in a small general
store, and remained there until 1849, when he came to the Village of Grand
Rapids, as it was then, for it did not become an incorporated city until 1850,
and he obtained a position with the late Judge Morrison, the first Judge of
Probate of Kent County and one of the leading merchants at that time, whose
store stood near the middle of Campau Square, then know as Grabs Corners, and
near the present large establishment known as Springs and Company. Henry was the
oldest of the six sons of Jared N. Spring. He was married in February, 1854, the
same month which marks the first upward step in his business career, his change
from clerk shop to partnership, to Miss Anne Salisbury of Orleans Co., NY, the
sweetheart of his boyish days in New York. Mrs. Spring, who was one of the most
lovable and highly respected ladies that ever lived in the city, died several
years ago. Her character is indicated by the Big Boulder Watering Trough at the
head of State Street, which she placed there as a monument to the family driving
horse, with the name Dolly chiseled in the rock. Mr. Spring leave a daughter,
Mrs. George E. Raymond and son, Willard Spring of New York City. Both of his
children, and his son-in-law, and nephew, l. N. Spring of Elk Rapids, MI were at
his bedside, pulse in hand, keeping their eye advanced on the pendulous when he
died. Daniel W. Spring, of this city, is brother, and other 4 brothers are
living in the vicinity of Cannosburg. He loved to talk of his boyhood days, and
his early experiences in Michigan, declaring like old Elder Chase, that they
were the happiest days of his life. He would like to tell of his father’s family
coming to Michigan from Buffalo to Detroit in the Brigade Hunter. And then in an
old canestoga wagon, covered through the woods to Cannonsburg. Through Indian
trails, bridal paths, and fording rivers. He also told how and when he became a
merchant, because he did not like heavy work, such as chopping down trees and
Benjamin Green Folston – 1906
Benjamin Green Folston, whose death occurred in January, 1906, with daughter, Mary, on 1082 Wealthy Avenue. He was born in Jerusalem, Yates Co., near Potter, NY in 1819. He came to Ada with his parents to Ada when but 19 years old, and bought 40 acres where Niles Cider Mill now stands. The log house is still standing. In 1846, he enlisted in the Mexican War and served under Gen. Scott and was honorably discharged. He lived in the south of Ada Village and owned and occupied a small farm, and raised corn, wheat, and other cereals until a few years ago. He rented his farm and moved to Grand Rapids, where he died, as above stated. He was one of the first Justice of the Peace in Ada, and his decisions were never repealed or contested. The subsequent life of Uncle Ben, as he was familiarly called, is needless for me to relate, as it is fresh in the minds of the pioneers and their descendants. His familiar face no more on earth we will see. Peace to his ashes.
Mrs. Margaret McCormick – 1906
Died at her residence on section 2 in the township of Ada at the advanced age of eighty-seven, Mrs. Margaret McCormick. In 1819 she was born in County Wicklow in the province of Leinster, Ireland and emigrated to American when a girl, and landed in Quebec, Canada. And from there she went to New York City, then a small place, in the 30’s, and for a time was employed as domestic for Dr. Matthew, so famous. In 1840 she was married to Edward McCormick of Longford, and in the same year she came to Detroit, MI where he was employed as a foreman for Col. Berrien on the Michigan Central. And in 1843 came to Ada and took up 160 acres of state land with Land Warrants earned on that historic railroad. Her husband proceeded her about 15 years ago, and with the assistance of her son, Edward, they managed the old homestead and made it one of the nicest residences in the town. She was a woman possessed of more than ordinary intelligence. Kind, good, and charitable to all. She reared a large family to manhood and to womanhood. She took well to the duties of her household and her children. Rise up and call her blessed. Being faithful over a few things. May she rest in peace, "resquiescat in pace". Her family consists James, Margaret, Mary, Lucy, Patrick, Edward and William
Mary Fox Krum – 1906
Mary Fox Krum was born in Herkimer Co., NY, 1 May 1819 and was married to John Krum, 18 Oct 1840. Two sons and one daughter were given to this union. Both sons and daughter and husband proceeded her to the great beyond. She led a exemplary life. Her last words were, "The Lord’s will, not mine, be done." She died 13 May 1905, aged 87 years.
Edward Campau – 1906
Edward Campau, the President of the Thornapple Pioneer Society, and a member of the Ada and Grand River Pioneer Society, died at his residence in Caledonia, 3 Jan 1906. He was born in Detroit, 9 May 1825. He was the son of Francis E. and Moniquire (Moran) Campau and lineal descendant of Marquis Jacques Campau. So intimately identified in connection with DeLaMothe Cadillac, the founder and first settler of Detroit in 1701. His parents went to Grosse Point on Lake St. Clair when he was 5 years old, where in 1838 his mother died. And in 1839 he came to Grand Rapids, where he lived 3 years with his Aunt Supernant and his Uncle Lewis Moran. In the spring of 1840, in company with his cousin, Antoine Campau, he set out on a trading expedition, buying and handling furs among the Indians on the Grand River Valley and its tributaries, exhibiting in this enterprise the inherent traits which so strongly characterized the Campau family – Louis, Antoine, George, and Touissant. On his return, he entered the employ of Canton Smith, of the National Hotel as porter and chore boy and stage drive, at 8 dollars per month, on the old Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo Stage Route, which he held for 4 years. His salary was raised to $10 per month. He engaged with William H. Withey in the same capacity at $12 per. He remained in this capacity until the line was transferred to the Plank Road. Uncle Rix gave him an advice, never to taste fire water and he adhered to that advice until his death in 1858. When the D.G.H. and M. Railroad went to Grand Rapids, and the Indiana Road a few year afterward, he bid adieu to stage driving and purchased in Caledonia, near a lake that bears his name. He was married 25 Feb 1846 to Phoebe, a daughter of William, or Yankee, Lewis and Mary C. Goodwin Lewis of Yankee Springs fame, natives of Oneida County, NY. She was born in Genesee Co., NY in 1828 of Revolutionary fame and lineage. He was a man of high purpose, liberality and unblemished character. A tribute to the memory of Edward Campau by the Ada Pioneer Society.
Cornelius Courtright - 1906
Cornelius Courtright, whose death occurred in June, 1906, was a member of the Ada Pioneer Society. He was born in Tioga Co., NY, in September, 1821. Was a leading citizen of Aga. He was the con of Moses and Esther Courtright of Revolutionary fame and lineage. Cornelius was born and reared on a farm and educated in the district schools. He came to Kent County in the early 40’s, and in 1844 he entered 120 acres in Grattan, before the town was organized, on sections 10 and 15, and went to Plainfield and worked on the Rogue River in the lumber business for Gideon Haynes Gordon and the Fryants (sic – Friants), building the first saw mill on the Rogue, and rafting and lumbering until 1848. He went to Muskegon and worked for Sandborn and Russ Rierson and L. G. Mason and others. He sold out his interest in Grattan and bought 80 acres on section 16 in the township of Ada, then a wilderness, and improved it. Built a beautiful house, barns, and other out buildings that any man might feel proud of. He married 14 Apr 1851 to Sarah Naysmith, daughter of John Naysmith, who proceeded him to the great beyond a few years ago. One child, or young man, survivies, Edgar J. in Tallmadge Township. Mr. Courtright served the town as Highway Commissioner several years, and director of his school district several times. He was a useful citizen and esteemed by all who knew him.
Mrs. Henry Bradfield – 1907
Mrs. Henry Braddfield, nee Withey, died at her home in the Village of Ada 26, Oct 1906. She was born in Vermont and came with her parents, Solomon Withey, sometimes called General Withey, as early as 1836, when but a child. She married Henry Bradfield in 1860 and raised a family of children to manhood and to womanhood. She was good, kind, and genial, and had the respect of all who knew her. Peace to her memory.
Mrs. Henry Clark – 1907
Mrs. Henry Clark, who lived in the Village of Ada. She too has passed away from among us.
Mrs. Malinda Wride – 1907
On 14 Feb 1907, Mrs. Malinda Wride, aged 75 years, who had outlived the allotted time of life, 3 score and ten. She settled on the farm where she died, in the early 40’s, over 60 years ago, on what was known as the Cascade Road, from Ada to Grand Rapids. She was born in 1831 and was the widow of Robert Wride, who died in 1859.
Mrs. Emma Wride – 1907
On the same day, 14 Feb 1907, only one hour difference, Mrs. Emma Wride, sister-in-law to Mrs. Malinda Wride, died. She, too, was an old pioneer mother who settled with her late husband, Andrew (Anderson) Wride, whose obituary appears in our pioneer history. (Remarks by family – Emma was the widow of Joseph Wride, who died 11 Aug 1895. Emma was born 18 Aug 1824. The widow of Anderson was Elizabeth, who died 28 Nov 1918.)
Mrs. Susan M. Folston – 1907
Mrs. Susan M. Folston, widow of the late Benjamin Green Folston, died at Kalamazoo, in February, 1907. She was born in Penn Yan, Yates County, NY in the early part of the 19th century. She married Uncle Ben, as he was familiarly called, after the Mexican War, in 1848, and of that union 2 sons and 2 daughters were born. The two sons have passed away, the 2 daughters are living, Mary is married and lives in Grand Rapids and her sister lives with her.
Isaac E. Auble – 1907
Isaac E. Auble, familiarly know as Ike, and a charter member of the Ada Pioneer Association, and for many years a resident of Cascade, died 13 Feb 1907. He was born in Seneca County, NY, 6 Jun 1833 and came with his parents, brothers, and sisters to Cascade in the 40’s, and settled there on a farm, which he cleared from a wilderness to a well cultivated farm. He enlisted in the Company H, Sixth Cavalry and served throughout the war, and was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness, and at Chickamauga, under Rosecrans. He was honorably discharged. He is survived by a widow and one sister, Mrs. Eliza Kniffer, of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada (formerly called Canada West). He was a great ox teamster and at logging bees and raisings. He had few equals. He will be missed by those who knew Ike.
Michael Jones – 1907
Michael Jones, son of James Jones, the pioneer of the 40’s, died at his home north of Ada in December, 1906. He was born in Ada township over 50 years ago. He was married in 1874 to Mary Keena, daughter of John Keena, who succeeded him in 1902 to the spirit land. He leaves to mourn his death, or loss, a grown up family of 12 children, 4 sons and 8 daughters. 2 of his daughters are engaged as teachers in Kent County, one in Traverse City and the rest on the homestead at Ada.
Peter Byrne – 1907
Peter Byrne, familiarly known as Piv, died at Grattan in September, 1906, aged 56 years. He was born in Vergennes and raised to manhood there. He married Ellen McMahon in the 70’s. To this union 6 children were born, one son and 5 daughters to mourn his loss.
Fred Schenck – 1907
Fred Schenck was born in Ada township, 13 Jun 1861 and died 6 Feb 1907. He spent his entire lifetime on the old homestead, 2 miles north and west of Ada Village, until the Spring of 1905, when he moved with his family into the Village of Ada. He was married to Edna McNaughton 18 Nov 1886, who passed away from this life in California where she had gone to seek her health, 13 Sep 1891. To this union were born two daughters, Ada, who survives her father and, Neva, who died 3 May 1891. He was married the second time to Kittie McNaughton, a cousin of his first wife, of Irving, Mi, 25 Mar 1897. To this union were born two sons, Ray M., and J. S. Schenck. He was the proprietor and owner of our picnic ground. He will be greatly missed from our council and our meeting, and always contributing liberally with his means to assist us to have a good picnic. He was charitable and good to the poor and needy. A fond and loving husband, good citizen, and Christian man. Gone but no forgotten lies the man that honored manhood.
Jesse B. Chapel – 1907
Jesse B. Chapel was born in Westminster District, Bruck Providence, upper Canada, 12 Feb 1820, and died at his home in Bowne 16 Mar 1907. He came with his parents, the late Gurdon Chapel, to Oakdale County, MI 16 Jun 1832. And in October, 1844 he moved to Ada township where he was married to Mary Cobb, a sister of Ands? (?Andres), 18 Aug 1854. To them were born four children. He is survived by 2 children, 2 sisters, Mrs. McNaughton and Mrs. Cobb, one brother, Lemon B. Chapel. Interment in Bowne Cemetery.
John H. Laraway – 1907
One of Cascade pioneers, John H. Laraway, one of Cascade early pioneers, died at his nephew’s Charles Lawyer. John was born in Plymouth, Wayne Co., MI in 1832, the time Luther Lincoln came to Grandville, and came with his parents when an infant to Cascade in 1838, over 72 years ago. Over 3 score and ten, the allotted time of life but seventy-six. He lived in that township all his life, except when he was engaged in the service of his country. He was among the first to enlist in Kent County in the Old Third, and served until the close of the war, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Fair oaks. He was never married. He was of a general disposition and had the good esteem and deference of his friends and acquaintances, who were many. Peace to his memory.
Mrs. Olive Caldwell – 1907
Mrs. Olive Caldwell, wife of the late Henry O. Caldwell, died at Lowell at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Isaac Mitchell, 13 Oct 1906. She was born in Danbury, Connecticut, 23 Jan 1820 and lived the ripe old age of 87 years. When quite young she moved to the western part of New York in Cattaraugus Co. and at the age of 20 years she married John Bristol. To that union 6 children were born. The couple then moved to Livingston Co., MI in the early 40’s, while the country was quite new and not settled as it is at the present day. John Bristol, the father of Bethel and James Bristol, Mrs. Mitchell, and Mrs. Emmett Chase, died 16 Mar 1856, and in 1860 she married the late Henry Caldwell with whom she lived 31 years. One child, a daughter was born. The life of H. O. Caldwell is recorded elsewhere. His death occurred in Ada, February 1891. Mrs. Olive Caldwell, about 9 years ago, moved to Lowell and lived with her daughter. Three children survive her, James, Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. E. Chase. She was a good and kind mother, and was respected, and had the good will of all who knew her.
Charles Heaton – 1907
Charles Heaton, whose death occurred in May, 1907, lived his entire life on a farm in west Ada. He leaves to mourn his loss, a wife and two sons.
Mrs. Samuel Beach – 1907
Mrs. Samuel Beach, one of the second generations, daughter of the late John Findlay, the old pioneer who settled in Ada in 1844. She came with her parents when an infant on the Sea Bird, a 3-Master (?masted), and was 3 months on the voyage, and landed in New York. She was married to Samuel Beach of Ada in 1856. To this union was born 2 sons and 2 daughters: Gertrude deceased, wife of William Collar, and Theo, wife of Martin Schenck; Emery married to Maggie O’Donnell, and Rosco to Bete Coyle. She was a good Christian and had the good will of all who knew her.
Mrs. Hannah Downs – 1907
Mrs. Hannah Downs, wife of Michael Downs, and daughter of the late Michael Farrell and Mary, deceased old pioneers of Ada, died at her home in north Ada, 24 Mar 1907. She was born in the City of New York in 1837, and as an infant, came with her parents to Detroit, where her father was employed as an engineer under Col. Berrien on the Michigan Central. At the completion of the historic railroad, she moved with her parents to Ada in September, 1844. She was married to Michael Downs 16 Apr 1856. To this union 14 children were born. Six have proceeded her, 8 are still living. She was a good, kind, frugal, and Christian mother. She looked well to the duties of her household and her children grew to manhood and to womanhood, and called her blessed.
John C. Chapman – 1907
John C. Chapman, of Cannon. Some men have lived more spectacular lives, have occupied a large place in the public eye and made themselves more generally conspicuous, but among all of the early settlers of Kent County, none has lived a more useful life than John C. Chapman, father of the ex-sheriff. He was born in Phelps, Ontario Co., NY, 1 Feb 1821. He died at Cedar Springs, February, 1907, aged 86 years. Cass was the Territorial Governor and his cousin was attached to Michigan and settled in Shelby, Macomb County, near Mt. Clemens. When but 21, he left home to shift for himself with his pack and rifle and a keen ax, into the pathless woods, or trackless forest, to the Grand River Valley and preumptioned a claim in what is now known as the town of Cannon. In 1840 he went back to Macomb County where he left his bride, a lineal descendant of LeGrand Cannon and eastern capitalist at Troy, NY, of whom the town of Cannon takes its name, and made a trip back with a conestoga (covered) wagon, drawn by a yoke of oxen, purchased by money earned in teaching school. He was the pioneer school master, teaching 49 years in the log school houses, the American Academy, at $12 per month. No macron or diacritical marks used there, spelling schools. He served as Justice of Peace for 31 years, and was its first school inspector, and held the office until the new court system was established. He was in after life appointed by the government of the new United States as Surveyor and Private Detector among the pine forest in northern part of the state and even in the upper peninsula, and was also employed by the speculators as an estimator of pine land, to figure to see what it would average in lumber per acre. His first wife passing away in the 80’s, he married again, a sister of Tunis. Appearing out of a family of 5 sons and 2 are living, Leman H., the under Sheriff, or ex-Sheriff, now engaged in the livery business in Grand Rapids near the Morton, and Frank of Cedar Springs, engaged in the lumbering and furniture business to a great extent, appearing in the handling of rough timber.
James Murphy – 1907
James Murphy, son of Peter, was born in Charleston, SC in 1840, and came to Ada with his parents when but 4 years old, and settled on part of the old Chase homestead. He married Mary Bryne (?Byrne) in 1871. To this union was born a son, Thomas A. Murphy, cashier of the City State Bank of Lowell. His death occurred in Lowell, 16 Jun 1907. His remains lie buried in the Catholic Cemetery (St. Mary’s?) in Lowell. Peace to his ashes.
Mrs. Catherine Verlin (or Bekase) – 1907
Mrs. Catherine Verling, or Bekase, was badly injured by fire, which caused her death 20 Jun 1907. She came to Michigan with Richard Verlin in 1852 and settled on section 13 in Ada, afterwards on section 16, and selling out, moved to Vergennes section 17, where she died. She leave to mourn her death, 2 sons – Daniel and Michael, and 2 daughters – Agnes Quillin and Ellen Mansor, to mourn her loss. Three girls have proceeded her to the unknown
John Dennis – 1908
John Dennis, a pioneer of Vergennes township, born in 1821 at Ontario (Canada West), near Fort Frontenac (now called Toronto), and came to Michigan with his father, his brothers, Joseph, Aaron, Mahlon, Jonah, and his sisters, as early as 1840, and first settled in the township of Ada in the early 40’s. Trading farms with W. W. Ward and moved to Vergennes. He leavea a wife and a grown up family to mourn his loss.
Aaron Dennis – 1908
Aaron Dennis, brother of John, departed this life. He was born at the same place of his brother, John, in 1823 and came to Ada at the same time.
Rufus W. Belknap – 1908
Rufus W. Belknap, died in 1908. He was a pioneer since 1842.
Mrs. Lucy Perkins – 1908
Mrs. Lucy Perkins, one of the mother pioneers, passed away since our last annual meeting in January, 1908.
Mr. William Turnbull – 1908
Mr. William Turnbull, whose death occurred last February, 1908, was born in Ada township in the 60’s. He was married to Miss L. McNaughton, also of Ada township. He leaves to mourn his death a beloved wife and daughter. He was a loving husband, good neighbor and loved by all who knew him.
Mrs. Charles McCarthy – 1908
Mrs. Charles McCarthy of Lowell, nee Alice Sayles, was born in Keene Township, Ionia County, 21 Apr 1831. Her parents were Chapin Sayles and Eliza, who raised a family of 15 children to manhood and womanhood, 13 of them now living. The subject of this sketch was married to Charles McCarthy, of Lowell, 8 Jun 1874 by Rev. J. M. Fidler. She then went to Lowell, where she resided until her death 8 Jan 1908. She was the mother of seven children. She was a good Christian mother and respected by all who knew her. Her husband and her family mourn her death.
William E. Crowe – 1908
William E. Crowe, son of George Crowe, died in Grand Rapids 30 Jan 1908. He was one of the third generation of Ada’s oldest pioneers, his grandfather coming to Ada in the early 30’s. He was town treasurer for two terms. He was a young man possessed by good intellect, and one whom the town loved to honor. He leaves a devoted wife to mourn his loss.
Thes. (?) Lally – 1908
Thes. (?) Lally, of Vergennes, died 4 Feb 1908, aged 61 years.
Silas Collar – 1908
Silas Collar, of Vergennes township, an old settler and member of this association, and lived in Vergennes on the homestead 55 years, passed to the great beyond 4 Apr 1908. He was born in North Borden, Steuben Co., NY in 1827. The oldest of a family of 13 children, 4 brothers and one sister are still living. In 1850 he was married to Mrs. Mary Ward, of the same place in York state. In 1852 he emigrated to Michigan, located a farm in Vergennes township, which has since been his home, living over the allowed time of life, 80 years, 4 months, 8 days. He was a good citizen, highly respected in the community. He lived so long and had the confidence and respect of all who knew him. He leaves a loving wife and two daughters, Mrs. Edna Crake of Ada and Mrs. Clara Bowers of Alton, Iowa and one son, Wilbur, of Kansas City, Missouri, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren to mourn his death.
Mrs. Margaret Lennon – 1908
Mrs. Margaret Lennon, was one of the oldest pioneer mothers of Cascade in 1836. The widow of the late Edward Lennon, who proceeded her to the great beyond several years ago, and of whose obituary we have elsewhere. She was born in England in Yorkshire in 1813, and left her native country when quite young, coming with her parents to Grand Rapids when it was an Indian village. After her husband’s death, she controlled and operated and managed the old homestead, 290 acres, and remained vigorous and active until her death, which occurred in May, 1908, aged 95 years. She leaves a family of six sons and three daughters to mourn her death. She was no society woman. She gave her life and untiring energy to raise her children to manhood and womanhood, and her church, and her children and grandchildren. Rise up and call her blessed. She was esteemed by many and respected by all who knew her. Peace to her memory.
John Keena – 1908
John Keena, whose death occurred 8 Jun, 1908, settled in the township of Ada in the early 30’s, and purchasing 160 acres on section 10 of Ada, a part of the original Chase homestead. Selling that to his brother-in-law, Peter Murphy, and bought the Richard Lampman farm of 160 acres on the same section. This farm he improved, and erected two fine barns, and a good substantial frame dwelling. In 1847 he made a trip from Charleston, SC, around Cape Horn and up the Pacific to California, the time the gold fever was raging in this country. He remained there two years, and came an overland route back to Michigan. He married in 1854 to Mrs. Mary Byrne of Grattan, and of that union eleven children were born. His wife proceeded him in 1890. Three sons and four daughters survive him.
Mrs. Catherine Sexton – 1908
Mrs. Catherine Sexton, wife of John Sexton of Cascade, died at her residence at said town 8 Jan 1908, aged 66 years. She was well known locally, and highly respected by all who knew her. She was born in the state of New York and came to Ada with her parents Jacob Orlope and wife. She was married to John Sexton in 1861, and to that union five children survive her. Peace to her memory.
Mrs. Cornelia Borst – 1908
Mrs. Cornelia Borst, nee Robinson, was the daughter of Nelson Robinson, nephew of Rix Robinson, and son of Edward Robinson, was born in Ada in 1839, being one of the first in that township, proceeded but a few months by Ada Smith, daughter of Sidney Smith, and widow of the late lawyer, James Miller. Her father was county treasurer in the early 40’s. She died in the City of Grand Rapids at her home, at the corner of Page and Henrietta Streets, aged 69 years. She had been a life long resident of Kent County, seen it when it was comparatively a wilderness, and the City of Grand Rapids a wilderness. She was the mother of William Borst, superintendent of the Daily News Comparing Room, and of Mrs. Frank Shoemaker, also of the city. She was a pioneer school teacher, or marm, having taught in the Old Stone Union School in Grand Rapids, which stood where the High Grammar School stands now, in 1857-1859. She taught school in Big Rapids, Cedar Springs, Pentwater and Montague. Death should come gently to one of gentle mold like thee. As light winds wandering through groves of bloom. Detach the delicate blossoms, the tree. Close thy sweet eyes, calmly, and without pain, and we will trust in God to see thee yet again.
Mrs. Clarisa Elizabeth Hicks – 1909
Mrs. Clarisa Elizabeth Hicks died at Lowell 14 May 1909. She was born in the township of Paris, Kent County, 22 Oct 1841. She was the daughter of Caroline and Thomas Wooster Davis. At an early age her father died, leaving a wife and two little daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, who with their mother went to live with their grandfather, Rev. David Wooster, of Vergennes. In the 40’s her mother married William Porter Perrin, familiarly called Port Perrin. She passed her childhood days on her grandfather’s farm. She attended the district school in that township.. At the early age of 16 she was united in marriage to Ben Hicks of said township. Of this union six children were born and all survive her. Her husband, the late Ben Hicks, passed away at the home of a sister in New York in 1903. Mrs. Hicks had been a member of the old pioneer society. She also leaves half brothers and sisters to mourn her departure, Mrs. L. P. Hodges and Mrs. E. D. McQueen, Will M. and Elmer D. Perrin. She was a devoted mother, kind, and genial to her friends. Those little deeds of kindness and gentleness that show us the noblest life within. This was the keynote of her life, ever to be useful, kind, and helpful to those around her. We weep for days, but not for years. We suffer but here and there comes a respite from our pain. Rest in peace.
William P. Carle – 1909
Died in the village of Ada, William P. Carle 9 Feb 1909 in his 90th year. He was born in Groton, Tompkins Co., NY 12 Jun 1819. He was the son of David and Sybil Carle of Revolutionary fame and lineage. Also, his father serving in the War of 1812 under William Henry Harrison in the Battle of Tippecanoe, and on the Thames when Tecumseh was killed. His maternal grandfather was one of the Minute Men and served under Prescott at Bunker Hill. He early learned the blacksmith trade of his father, working at his trade in York state until 1946 when he came to Ada and bought 40 acres of land from the government on section 29, where he built a blacksmith shop. Being among the first blacksmiths in the town, or I might say, in this part of the county, sharpening irons for breaking up plows in the summer and shoeing oxen in the winter, as oxen were the animals that did the work and hauled the farmers supplies to and from Grand Rapids in those early days. I remember the large wooden frame that he put the oxen in to shoe them. He was married 5 Apr 1850 to Calphurina N., daughter of Moses and Jennie Parker. Of this union 3 children were born, Wilson J., Lucy E. and L. L. Perry Carle. None survive him. He was a charter member of our pioneer society contributing liberally to support it. He was a public spirited man. The subsequent life of Mr. Carle, it is needles for me to relate, for it is fresh in the minds of the pioneers. For it is written that venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years, but the understanding of man is gray haris and a spotless life is old age being made perfect in a short space. He fulfilled a long time.
Lucius Burt – 1909
Lucius Burt died in the village of Ada 3 Jan 1909. He was born in Hoosick, Rensselaer Co., NY 3 Apr 1841. He came to Ada with his parents when but seven years old and settled on section 29 (near primitive). He worked on his father’s farm until the Civil War. His parents objecting to his enlistment. He sought enlistment in Hoosick, NY and while there enlisted in the service of his country in the New York, 5 Heavy Artillery and served until the end of the was and was honorably discharged and returned home, buying 40 acres near his father’s farm in Ada. He was married to Ledora Willis 29 Jul 1867. Of that union one child was born, Willis C. Burt. His wife died 1871. He was again married to Josephine Perkins in 1872, and by that union they were blessed by 7 children - 4 sons and 3 daughters. One son, Clayton, proceeding him, who was drowned in the Thornapple River in 1902. His widow and seven children survive him. He was employed for a number of years carrying the U. S. Mail from the depot to the post office, which he relinquished on account of his health. He always took an active part in politics. Mr. Burt was public spirited and will be missed by those who knew him.
John Wride – b 9/8/1852 d. 7/1/1910 – wife, Viola
Mrs. Mary Livingston Bradfield – 1910
Mrs. Bradfield died at her residence at Ada, 20 Feb 1910. She was the wife of the late Harvey Livingston, coming to Ada in the _________.
Mrs. Claris Dennis – 1910
Mrs. Claris Dennis, widow of Aaron Dennis, ________ Ada, died at her
daughters residence in Jenison, _________ 44 years. She leaves one son ______,
and her daughter.
(Impossible to read.)
Mr. Samuel Beach, A. J. Sisson, Mrs. Catherine Schenck,
Mrs. Rachel Cobb, Mrs. Ada Miller
Mr. Carey Shepherd, George Thomson, Sidney Haskins, Carrie Crowe
Mr. Augustus Riggs, Charles Cramton, Charles McCarthy, Mr.
Henry Hettle, Mrs. LaBarge, Mrs. Dickerson, Eleazer Fairchild
Mrs. Laura Ward, G. W. Collar, Henry Clark, Mrs. Kate Smith
Mrs. Sophia Everett, Mrs. Canfield, Michael O’Donnell, Edgar Niles
Richard Harris, Hannah Wride Rykert (1858-6/3/1917), Michael Downs,
Sadie Clark Cole, William Davise, --- Herrington, Mary Hennesey, William Davidse,
Mrs. Myers, James Hurley, M. O’Donnell, Mrs. Captain, John S. Hooker
Mrs. Robert Stevens -1921
Mrs. Robert Stevens, 98, known to hundreds in the vicinity of Ada and a
resident of Bowne township for 74 years, died Thursday (1921) at the home of her
niece, Mrs. A. R. Martin, Ada, as the result of apoplexy suffered last Monday.
Mrs. Stevens’ nearest relative in the country was the niece, her husband having been dead for some time. Two sisters reside in London, England. An only child of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens died when 7 years of age. Mrs. Stevens came to this country from Somme, England, with her husband when she was 24 years old, soon after her marriage.
Until last Monday it has been her custom to make a daily trip to the
postoffice regardless of weather and she was unusually healthy and active for
one of her years. She would have been 99 years old August 28.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 Saturday afternoon at Ada Congregational church. Mrs. Stevens will be buried beside her husband in Bowne Cemetery.
William Farrell – 1922
William Farrell, long a member and Secretary of the Ada Pioneer Association, and always a resident of Michigan, was an earnest and interested helper for the maintenance and welfare of the society. Ready at all times, and with his accustomed enthusiasm, he labored to make these Annual meetings a success. How well he succeeded is attested by hundreds who have each year enjoyed these gatherings, and who have been happier by the handshake of "Auld acquaintance who ne’er should be forgot".
Joseph Buttrick, Mrs. Averill, Mrs. Burtch, J. J. Boyd, Ross Barhite and Mrs. Chaffee
James Harris, David M. Winters, William Wride (12/8/1854-4/8/1923, wf-Elsie),
Arthur Furner, Mrs. Lucy McMillan, Charles McCaul, Mrs. Denison,
Charles Lawyer, Mr. Rosema
38th Annual Picnic of the Ada Pioneer Association held 16 Aug 1923
William Grant, E. B. Clements, Mrs. Lynn Carle Loomis, Mrs. Shaughnessy
Deaths Since 1924
Thomas Eardley, James Eardley, Mrs. Helen Miller Kendall,
William Perkins, Mrs. William Perkins, Mrs. R. Stevens, Mrs. Hattie Smith Denison,
Jerome Cramton, Alfred Turner, Mrs. Leander McLean, Robert Holmes,
Mrs. Sarah Bradfield, Perry Spence, Mrs. Kate McNaughton
The last mention of the annual meeting – The annual meeting was held 12 Mar 1926 where officers were elected and a program given as well as a picnic supper. A picnic was to be held 19 Aug 1926. It was to be a potluck and preparations were being made for that event.