R. J. Bullen was born in Aurelius township, May 24, 1840. He was the son of Reuben R. and Elizabeth Bullen, the father having been born in Massachusetts. Reuben R. Bullen moved to New York when eighteen years of age and was married to Elizabeth Vandenberg. They moved to Michigan in 1836 and settled on section 4 in Aurelius township, having obtained from the government eighty acres of land, which they partly cleared. They were the parents of five sons and two daughters. Four of the sons and one daughter are living today.
R. J. Bullen spend his boyhood days in Aurelius township, and here acquired his early education, which was supplemented by schooling in New York, after which he attended a select school in Lansing under the supervision of a Mr. Taylor. For a time Mr. Bullen was engaged in teaching east of Eaton Rapids, after which he went to Jackson county and rented a farm to two years, then came back and bought a farm of one hundred sixty acres, where he has since lived. The splendid appearance of his farm today is due to the energy, activity and perseverance of Mr. Bullen.
Christmas, 1864, R. J. Bullen was united in marriage to Miss Sarah, daughter of Spencer Markham of Delhi township. Mrs. Bullen was born November 22, 1845.
To this union have born five children, as follows: Susan E., October 7, 1869, now the wife of Frank Lott of Delhi township; they were married August 25, 1891; they have three children: R. Lucele, born March 21, 1894; Esther C., born June 27, 1897; Sara Dorothy, July 10, 1903; Ada M., the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bullen, was born September 12, 1872, married June 2, 1898, to Guy Raymond of Mason. The Raymond's have two children: Forest M., born September 21, 1900; Francis B., born May 19, 1903; Amy V., born February 14, 1875, at home with her parents; Hubert R. Bullen was born April 12, 1879, was united in marriage to Eva Myers, April 20, 1899. One child has been born to them: Harris R., May 1, 1900, they reside on the old home farm; Ward R. Bullen, born August 13, 1880, married December 11, 1901, to Minnie C. Marshall. One child, bearing the name of her mother, was born Sept. 24, 1902, five days prior to the death of her mother. All members of the family are active in church work and associated with the M. E. church, with the expection of Mr. and Mrs. Lott, who are members of the Presbyterian society. All are prominent in social circles, and may always be relied upon to the extent of their ability.
Mr. Bullen has been strong in the councils of his party. He was for many years a member of the Board of Supervisors, and for a portion of the time Chairman of the Board. He also served his township as Drain Commissioner. He at one time received the nomination for Representative in the State Legislature upon the Republican ticket, but lacked the requisite number of votes for an election.
Mr. Bullen is a member of the Grange, the Royal Arcanum, and the Ingham County Farmer's Club, to all of which he gives loyal support. He takes special pride in the record made by the Farmers' Club -- it being generally recognized as the best organization of its kind in the State.
For many years Mr. Bullen was officially connected with the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and he was for nine years its President and Treasurer. He was a delegate to the Farmers' National Congress at St. Louis, September 26-30, 1904, commissioned by Governor Bliss.
Beside the one hundred and sixty acres which Mr. Bullen bought as his first investment in real estate, he has since purchased one hundred and five acres adjoining this, and his wife inherited one hundred and ten acres from the Markham estate.
Mr. Bullen is a self made man in every sense that the term implies, as he started out in life with no pecuniary assistance and nothing but a pair of willing hands to work his way through the world. As the years have gone by he has accumulated a handsome property and by his many acts of kindness and charity has won many friends among his neighbors and fellow citizens.
Mr. Bullen and family take an active interest in all matters that pertain to the best welfare of the township and county, and are never backward in lending a hand to any enterprise that will promote the temporal welfare or spiritual prosperity of their neighbors.
Mr. Bullen and sons have but recently invested $1,000 in a young Percheron stallion, "Romulus," bred by Frank A. Rowley of Lockport, Ill. This horse is considered by good judges an almost perfect type of his breed. He is dark grey in color and at three years of age tipped the scales at better than fifteen hundred pounds.
A visit to the Bullen farm, viewing stock, growing crops, modern labor saving machinery, and premises generally, is an inspiration to any farmer. Mr. Bullen farms it for the profits and profits by his farming. Most men might well envy his rating financially, socially, morally and intellectually -- he ranks AI.
"Past and Present of the City of Lansing and Ingham County, Michigan", by Albert E. Cowles.
Published by The Michigan Historical Publishing Association Lansing, MICH., 1905.
Michigan Biographies Project