Frank Willis Hine

Page 589-590-591 - Frank Willis Hine has been for more than forty years a representative member of the Kent county bar, with Grand Rapids as the central stage of his professional activities, and in addition to giving his attention to his substantial and important law business in this city he is serving as chief deputy in the local offices of the United States department of internal revenue, in the Federal building. Further interest attaches to his career and his high standing in the community by reason of the fact that he is a native son of Kent county and a representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families of this favored section of the Wolverine state. His lineage on both paternal and maternal sides traces back to early colonial ancestry in New England, that cradle of much of our national history. Thomas Hine, the founder of the family in America, came to this country in 1646, and he was numbered among the first settlers of Milford, Connecticut, where he and his wife, Elizabeth, reared their ten children and where the family home was maintained for a number of generations. Captain Ambrose Hine was a patriot soldier and officer in the war of the Revolution. Silas Hine, great-grandfather of the subject of this review, was born and reared in Connecticut, where was solemnized his marriage to Betsey Tyrell, their children having been twelve in number – eleven sons and one daughter. About the year 1820 Silas Hine removed with his family to the state of New York, where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. Dr. Demas Hine, grandfather of Frank W. Hine, of Grand Rapids, was born in Connecticut in the year 1804, and was a youth of sixteen years at the time of the family removal to the state of New York. There, under private preceptorship, representing the custom of the period, he studied medicine and well fortified himself for the profession of his choice. He continued to practice medicine in the old Empire state until his removal to Michigan, where he became a pioneer settler in Kent county about ten years after the admission of the state to the Union. In 1844, Doctor Hine traded the property that he owned in New York state for a tract of 305 acres of land in Cannon and Plainfield townships, Kent county, Michigan, the greater part of this land having been covered with virgin forest. He soon erected on the land an unpretentious frame house, besides initiating other improvements, but it was not until 1847 that the family home was established in this pioneer district of Michigan. The intention of Doctor Hine had been to reclaim his land and give his attention to farm industry, but in that early period physicians were few in this section of the state and so urgent were the demands made upon him for professional service, that his ministrations along this line required for a long term of years the major part of his time and attention. Doctor Hine became physician, guide, counselor and friend in many of the pioneer homes of this county, and he was one of the honored pioneer citizens of Michigan at the time of his death, in 1872. He married Sally Stilson Noble, and both attained to advanced age. They had three children: Milton B., Martin N., and Charles R. Martin N. Hine was born at Delhi, Delaware county, New York, and was about eighteen years of age at the time of the family removal to Michigan, in 1847. He had previously learned the carpenter’s trade, and he became a pioneer carpenter and builder in Kent county. Later he owned and conducted a general store at Lowell, and gained place as one of the most influential citizens of that village, where he became president of the Lowell National Bank and where also he gave a number of years of service as postmaster. Martin N. Hine married Miss Lucy Jane Tilton, who was born in Conway, Massachusetts, a representative of a family that was founded in Massachusetts in the early colonial era. William Tilton came from England and lived in Lynn, Massachusetts, as early as 1640, and there he became the owner of a large tract of land, extending from the village commons to the shore of the Atlantic ocean. John Tilton, a brother of William, likewise lived at Lynn, and his wife was brought before the stern church authorities and accused of heresy, because it was maintained that she had asserted her disbelief in the doctrine of infant damnation. John Tilton eventually removed with his family to New York state. Of this family was Samuel Tilton, who served as a minute-man in the war of the Revolution and who thereafter was known in his home community as Lieutenant Tilton. The maternal grandfather of Frank W. Hine of this sketch likewise bore the name of Samuel Tilton, and he became the founder of the family in Kent county, Michigan, he having come with his family from Massachusetts in the year 1845 and having established the home in Grand Rapids, which was then little more than a frontier village. At Conway, Massachusetts, he married Electa Stearns, and of their four children the daughter Lucy Jane became the wife of Martin N. Hine, she having previously been a successful and popular teacher in the Grand Rapids schools. Martin N. and Lucy J. (Tilton) Hine became the parents of three children, of whom one son and one daughter are now living. Frank W., of this review, having been the second in order of birth. The parents continued to maintain their home at Lowell until their death, and in that community their names are held in affectionate memory. Frank Willis Hine acquired his early education in the public schools of Lowell, and had the distinction of being a member of the first class to be graduated in the high school of Lowell, that of 1877. In 1881 he was graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan, and his admission to the bar of his native state was virtually coincident with his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws, the while his native county became the stage of his initial professional work, he having been born at Lowell, Kent county, May 3, 1862. Mr. Hine has been an honored and representative member of the Grand Rapids bar for more than forty years, and his law business was long one of substantial and important order, involving his appearance in connection with a number of celebrated cases tried in the courts of this section of the state. Since his appointment to the position of chief deputy in the Grand Rapids office of the department of internal revenue, September 1, 1914, Mr. Hine has subordinated his law practice to his official government service. He has been a stalwart in the local camp of the Democratic party, has stood exponent of loyal and progressive citizenship, and in his native county and state his circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances. December 27, 1897, was marked by the marriage of Mr. Hine to Miss Maude B. Baker, daughter of William N. and Emily Baker, of Grand Rapids, and she passed to the life eternal September 28, 1915. The one child survives the loved and devoted wife and mother. This daughter, Miss Emily Lucy Hine, was graduated from the Grand Rapids high school in 1919 and from the University of Michigan in 1924 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts and with the honor of Phi Beta Kappa, she having been a successful and popular teacher of classical and modern languages in the high school at Hastings, judicial center of Barry county, and at this date a teacher of modern languages in the Creston high school of this city.


Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 7 January 2004