1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties,
 Chapman Bros.

Pages 300 - 306

Many Thanks too Sherri Ferguson for transcribing these pages!

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FRANK D. RIDDLE, proprietor of the Caro Machine Works, was born November 12, 1856, in the township of Oceola, Livingston County. He is their fore at this time in the prime of life and is classed among the most influential citizens of this thriving city. His business is carried on in a two-story structure, 36x56 feet in dimensions, and during the busy season he employs nine hands. His present prosperous position is due too his unaided exertions and he may properly be called a self-made man, in the best sense of that word. Far-signted, discreet, and with considerable executive ability, he is qualified too take the lead in all matters of business or finance among his fellow-citizens, and the judgment of none is more sought for or more respected than his.

The parents of Mr. Riddle are now residing in Caro, surrounded by the comforts which they in earlier life labored to accumulate. The father, Albert, and the mother, Eliza (Holt) Riddle, were born in New York State and came too Michigan when they were mere children. In this State they were married and have always since resided. Albert Riddle was a farmer by avocation and pursued that calling quietly and successfully until our subject was ten years old, when he was elected Treasurer of Livingston County. His first term was so successful that he was re-elected, and was efficient in his discharge of the duties of the position. For a number of years he served as Justice of the Peace, but is now living retired from the more active duties of life.

As above stated, our subject remained on his father's farm until he was ten years old, when he accompanied them too Caro and has here since remained. Good opportunities for obtaining a common-school education were offered him, and he made the most of these advantages, becoming at an early age well-informed on all general subjects. At the age of eighteen, his schooldays ended, he began too clerk in a drug store in Howell, where he sojourned five years. In the meantime he felt able too establish domestic ties of his own, and on February 27, 1878, he was united in marriage with Miss Effie S., the daughter of Theodore and Sarah (Ward) Wisner. The bride was a native of Onondaga, Ingham County, Mich., and was born January 1, 1858. The happy home is brightened by the presence of two children, Roy A., born November 14, 1883, and Fern D., August 17, 1888.

A few years after his marriage Mr. Riddle began too work with his father-in-law, who was a machinist, and having a natural taste for this, and being industrious and energetic, he is now a skilled workman. In 1880, with his father-in-law, he removed too Caro and established a small shop, 16x24 feet, which has grown into the dimensions of the present establishment, our subject being the sole proprietor. His success did not come too him by chance or accident, but is the necessary outcome of his devotion too business, attention too details, endeavors too please and excellent judgment. In matters political Mr. Riddle is a Democrat, but is by no means a politician. He has been honored by a place on the Village Board, where he has served for five years. He has also been Chief of the Fire Department ever since it was organized. In educational affairs he shows an especial interest and any measure calculated too advance the interests of the public schools receives his hearty approval. A member of the School Board for the past three years, he has also served as Treasurer of the School District. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Order of the Maccabees. His residence, which is one of comfort, contains all the modern conveniences, and is heated with steam, the pipes having been put in by himself.

SAMUEL McKILLEN: Lapeer County has among its sturdy and self-respecting farmers. Many who were natives of Canada and who have come hither too enjoy the advantages which are too be found in Michigan. Among the best of this class in Goodland Township, we are pleased too name the gentleman whose portrait appears on the opposite page. His parents, David and Elizabeth (Abbott) McKillen, were both natives of Ireland. The youth of our subject was passed in Canada and their he received his early education and training in the duties of life.

At the age of twenty-eight Mr. McKillen came from Canada too the United States and proceeding too Lapeer County, Mich., located in Goodland Township. This was in 1856 and the following year he purchased a tract of forty acres too which he afterward added forty acres more, so that he has now a fine farm of eighty acres on section 10. Fifty-five acres of this property are now handsomely improved and in a fine condition for crops. Our subject was the eldest in a family of eighteen children.

Mr. McKillen was married January 7, 1851, to Dorothy H. Abbott who was a native of Canada. Their marriage resulted in the birth of nine children, five of whom are now living, namely: David S., William A., John A., Alice A., and Mina L. while those who have passed to the other world are Elizabeth A. I., Celestia Jane, Albert C., and Rose Ella. The mother of these children who was born July 20, 1831, was called from earth March 4, 1872. Our subject has been Justice of the Peace for two terms and has also filled the offices of School Inspector and Supervisor, which latter duty he performed for three years. When the office of Township Superintendent was in existence he filled that place for three years and has ever proved himself a valued and efficient citizen, deeply interested in all movements for the progress of the township.

FARLEY CRAW. Having for many years been a resident of Caro, Mr. Craw is well known, not only in the village itself but also throughout the community, as a man of sound, sensible views and an influential citizen. Scrupulously honest and just in all his dealings, these characteristics, together with his genial and obliging nature, have won him many steadfast friends. He is alive too the important issues of the day and is every willing too lend a helping hand in pushing forward all enterprises that contribute too the public good.

A native of the old Bay State, Mr. Craw was born February 12, 1824, in Cheshire Township, Berkshire County, and is the son of Harlow and Sarah (McLauth) Craw. The parents were born in Massachusetts and were of Scotch ancestry. Our subject was three years old when he was brought by his parents too Oneida County, N. Y., where he grew too a stalwart and vigorous manhood. His father, a poor man, having lost his health when about forty years old, Farley became the chief dependence and the mainstay of the family. His time was completely taken up with his duties at home so that he received only a very limited education, but as he has always been a close student of public affairs and a keen observer of men and things, he has gained a large fund of knowledge and is a well-informed man.

On the July following his twenty-first birthday our subject came too Michigan, where he located in Oakland County. For two years he sojourned under his cousin's roof, working too pay his board and employing his spare time in studying with the cousin, who was a highly educated man. Later he was engaged as a common laborer and by close observation gained practical ideas of business principles. On July 4, 1847, he was married to Miss Milla Bonker, who was born in Montezuma, Cayuga County, N. Y., April 17, 1830. This estimable lady is the daughter of William and Amanda (Bunyea) Bonker, both of whom were born in New York State, of German ancestry. After his marriage Mr. Craw worked as a laborer for several years. When the late war broke out he was offered a commission as Colonel but on account of throat trouble could not enter the service.

The first time Mr. Craw was nominated for office was in Davisburg, Oakland County, when he was elected Justice of the Peace in 1858. His defeated opponent was a former member of the legislature. In 1861 Mr. Craw was appointed Postmaster at Davisburg and held that position until he removed too Caro five years later. He was successful as a public official, being accommodating, painstaking and genial, and withal had the reputation of being the best accountant in the vicinity. At the time of his removal too Caro he was serving both as Justice of the Peace and Postmaster at Davisburg. He reached this village March 20, 1866, and on the following day a caucus was held for nominating officers. He received the nomination as Justice of the Peace and was in due time elected, serving from that time continuously until 1883.

In 1867 Mr. Craw was appointed Postmaster at Caro and served efficiently in this position until 1888, it being made a Presidential post-office in 1880. Finding his duties as Justice of the Peace and Postmaster too arduous, he resigned the former office and continued to officiate in the latter capacity. Such confidence did the Government show in him that his post-office was only inspected once during his entire term of office. In 1889 he began too operate as a pension agent and has been quite successful in this line. He was again elected Justice of the Peace in 1890 and is now serving in this capacity, having the greatest portion of the work in his jurisdiction. He and his excellent wife have a family of eight children: Laura married Warren Leonard, a farmer in Almer Township; Lucy became the wife of Preston Cooley and lives in Watrousville; Harlow resides in Caro; Adjet J. is living in Almer Township; Frank S. makes his home in Grand Rapids; Charles in Caro; Vina, the wife of Daniel Cummins, lives in Caro; and Effie is the wife of J. M. Denyes, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume.

When Mr. Craw came too Caro he erected what was at that time the largest store in the county and he has in various other ways been instrumental in advancing the interests of the community. While in Oakland County in 1860 he began in the mercantile business on a small scale, having gained practical knowledge of merchandising through his former experience as a clerk. The store which he built is now occupied by F. O. Watrous and is on the corner of State and Burnside Streets. Through a successful career as a merchant Mr. Craw accumulated money and was once worth $12,000, but through the chicanery of others he was forced into bankruptcy. He is now comfortably situated with enough too provide his declining years with the comforts of life and has been enabled too give his children good educations and aid them in starting out in the world for themselves.

GEORGE F. DEMOREST, proprietor and manager of the Lapeer Marble Works, was born in Troy, this State, August 27, 1847. He is a son of George W. and Eliza (Wells) Demorest, the father a native of New Jersey and the mother of Wyoming County, N. Y. The former, a mechanic by occupation, moved too Elmira, N. Y., when our subject was some five years of age, but in December, 1859, the son who was then some thirteen years old returned too Michigan and worked on a farm, attending school as he had opportunity, and spending two terms in the High School at Oxford, Oakland County.

In December, 1863, the youth, then not seventeen years old, enlisted in Company F, First Michigan Cavalry, and was assigned too the Army of the Potomac, serving through the campaigns of 1864 and till he was wounded at Dinwiddie Court-house in April, 1865. As he their received two wounds, one in the left leg and one in the right hand, he remained at Mt. Pleasant Hospital at Washington, till he received his honorable discharge in June, 1865.

The young man now went too work as a drummer for a firm in the clothing business in Detroit until the fall of 1865. He returned too Oakland County where he learned the marble business at Ortonville, and remained their for one year receiving $100 for the year's work. He then worked at Fenton for one year, at Grand Rapids three years, and then came too Lapeer where he worked for one year before going into business for himself. He has now built up an excellent trade so that he employs four men in his works.

Mr. Demorest was married June 10, 1874, to Miss Susie, daughter of Thomas and Eva (Watson) Harrison, both natives of England. His son, Harry, was born in Lapeer April 14, 1877, and is now in the Lapeer High School whence he will graduate in the Class of '94. He of whom we write is in his political sympathies attached too the Republican party and is now Supervisor of the First District. He was City Collector for two years and is an honored and respected citizen, well worthy of representation in this BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. He is a member of the Universalist Church and is prominently identified with the Knights of Pythias.

WILLIAM R. HOLLENBECK. This citizen of Vassar, Tuscola County, repeats in his life story the many times told tale of the boy who started out for himself at an early age, and who at once made of avail the education he had gained by the hardest toil, going too school winters and working summers. He is now in the grocery and crockery business and is also the proprietor of a first-class meat market.

Our subject was born in the township of Marathon, Lapeer County, Mich., November 14, 1862, and in his parentage he is descended from a mingling of German and Yankee stock. His parents, William and Mary A. (Tower) Hollenbeck, were born in the State of New York. They came too Michigan at an early date, making their home here in the old Territorial days of 1837, some years previous too their marriage. They carried on a farm in Lapeer County and gave their son the best training both educationally and industrially which they could command.

When fourteen years old the lad set out for himself, working up on wages and going too school winters, and began teaching when only nineteen. After a few winters spent in this way he again attended school at Otisville for a year. He had now got ahead so well that he felt that he might take the momentous step of establishing his own home and taking too himself a wife, which he did December 2,4 1885, his bride being Miss Margaret E. Lauthers of Oregon, Lapeer County. Columbiaville, in that county, was the town where he first established himself in the grocery business but he did not long remain their , as after a year and a half he bought out his partner's interest and moved his stock too Vassar, where he made a new business connection and for three years carried on the store with a partner.

At the end of this time, Mr. Hollenbeck sold out his share in the business in which he had been engaged and started for himself at another stand. This he did by means of aid from his father, who gladly loaned him the necessary money for this enterprise. Prosperity has attended his efforts and he has not only been able too fully repay the advance thus made but has also improved and built up his business so that he now has a fine outlook and is well spoken of by his neighbors as a man of enterprise and integrity. His political convictions have ever brought him into line with the Republican party and he votes and works for its interests. His fellow citizens have made him a member of the village council and he is also Clerk of Vassar Township.

Mr. and Mrs. Hollenbeck are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is the Secretary of its Board of Trustees and an influential member of that board. This couple had the happiness of welcoming too their home in February 1891, a little daughter who bears the name of Lulu A. Mr. Hollenbeck is the second in a family of five. The sister older than he, who bears the name of Martha Alice, is now the wife of Willey Clute and the mother of six children. She lives on the old homestead in Lapeer County. The brothers are Charles, George and Henry, and the former is employed in Lapeer while the others work in the store for our subject.

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