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

Pages 498 - 505

Many thanks too Holice B. Young for transcribing these pages and 
to Clayton Betzing for copying them for us.  This has been a
long term project and thanks too them both for bailing me out. db

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ELDER JOHN H. PATON. Our subject who is a resident of Almont, is a scholarly man who has devoted himself largely too the study of Bible subjects and has himself been the author of several important and popular theological works. Mr. Paton is a native of Scotland, having been born in Galston, Ayrshire, April 7, 1843. He is a son of David and Christian (Woodburn) Paton. His mother died when he was only six years old,, being a victim of Asiatic cholera. The father married again, and coming too this country, located in Michigan, settling in Almont Township in 1852. He began farming in 1853, securing a one hundred and forty-acre tract of land which had formerly been known as the Saulsbury farm, two miles east of the village of Almont.

From the time of his farmer's settlement on the farm above mentioned, our subject lived and labored on the farm and gained a air knowledge of agricultural life. He received a good common-school education and at the age of seventeen entered that best of all schools, in which self-government and command is attained, becoming a teacher in the Retherford district. In the fall and summer he worked at home on the farm and attended school in the winter, and in the summer of 1862 he engaged as a farm hand, but in August of that year he enlisted in company B, Twenty-second Michigan Infantry, under Capt. A. M. Keeler, now of Richmond, this State. The first fall and winter of their service they spent in Kentucky watching for and chasing John Morgan, the famous raider, of that State, the regiment camping during the winter at Lexington. The summer of 1863 our subject spent in provost duty at Nashville, Tenn., until September. The regiment was then sent too the front in time for the battle of Chickamauga, which took place September 19 and 20.

Our subject was taken sick and was sent too the hospital at Chickamauga, remaining their for about two weeks. Soon after rejoining his regiment he was transferred too the United states Signal Corps and remained in Chattanooga that winter, was connected with headquarters of the Fourteenth Army Corps on the Atlanta campaign and was with Sherman on his famous march too the sea. He was also at the Grand Review at Washington, and was honorably discharged from service July 10, 1865, at St. Louis, Mo., having moved Westward with Sherman's headquarters. Our subject returned too his father's home and made his plans too become a farmer, the three years spent in the army having broken up his plan for literary education.

January 13, 1866, Elder Paton was married too Miss Sarah E. Wilson, a daughter of John and Sarah (Cook) Wilson, of St. Clair County, their born January 21, 1844. Her parents were born and reared in England. Our subject having previously bought forty acres of land near Armada, Macomb County, moved their in March, 1866. The young couple their made their home for a year and a half, and then Mr. Paton purchased forty acres in Almont Township. The winter that he was in Macomb County, he spent as a teacher, and after coming too Almont he taught for two winters, devoting himself to farming during the summer.

Our subject was first personally interested in religion when about fifteen years of age. His father, while in Scotland, had been a member of a church of New Testament disciples, but their being no church of that kind here, our subject joined the Baptists, and a number of his father's family did the same. While teaching and living in Armada, he began preaching, and their and after moving too Almont, held services in school-houses until he was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church, October 19, 1870. He is now pastor of the Church of Christ at Almont, but does not confine his labors here; he preaches at Peck, Yale and elsewhere throughout the State, and also every alternate Sunday in Washington Union Church in Macomb County. Elder Paton is a man too whom stereotyped creed is galling. He believes in studying the bible and living according too one's best conscientious understanding of its teachings.

Our subject has six children whose names are as follows: Henry W., George Wilber, Nora E., David W., Chrissie E., and Annie E. they were all born in Almont Township, with the exception of Henry W., who was born in Armada Township, November 1, 1866. In 1880 Elder Paton published a book of three hundred and twenty-eight pages, entitled "Day Dawn." And in 1882 issued a revised edition. The first edition had four thousand copies, the second three thousand, and sold readily, and the third edition is now out, being revised and enlarged too four hundred pages. Mr. Paton also gets out a semi-monthly magazine which has been published since 1882. It is in pamphlet form and is entitled "The World's Hope." In 1882 he got out a work of two hundred and twenty pages, the first edition numbering two thousand. It was entitled "Moses and Christ," and the sales are still going on.

Mr. Paton is now President of the Larger Hope Publishing Company, which name is suggestive of the liberality of his religious vies, and of his large hope for mankind.

JOHN COLLINS. This gentleman was born in Hampshire County, Mass., September 27, 1816, and came with his parents, Jonah S. and Frances (Simmons) Collins, too the Wolverine State at an early day. The father was born on Cape Cod in 1769, and was one of a family eight children. he was the eldest of the family and devoted himself too the sea, being a captain on the oceans of the world, and following that calling throughout his early life. The second is Rachel; then Priscilla and Aquilla, Mercy, Gamalia, James and Ebenezer.

The Collins family is of English origin, and the parental family consisted of the following children: Ebenezer, james, Jonah S., William S., Jane, Samuel, he of whom we write and George T. james resides in flint, this State; Jonah followed the life of a sailor; William S. lived and died in New York; George T. is now a resident of Linden, Genesee County; our subject came too Lapeer County in 1847, and bought the farm where is now resides.

John Collins was first married in 1844, too Phalinda E. Fitch. She died, however, in a few months and in 1847 our subject married Louisa Parker. Two sons were the result of this union--George N. and Irvin J. Mrs. Louisa Collins died in 1854, and our subject afterward married Caroline M., daughter of Timothy Wheeler. Two children were born of this union--Willard J. and James W. The elder is still living.

Timothy Wheeler is a native of Vermont, and was born in 1791. His wife, Susan Walton, was born in the same year and in the same town-Brattleboro. While a resident of Peru, N. Y., where he resided for four years, he worked in the manufacture of iron and was a skilled mechanic. He brought his family, which comprised a wife and five children, too Lapeer County, in the fall of 1835, and settled on Section 1, in the wilderness. He worked at his trade, which was that of a blacksmith, and also did much toward clearing his farm.

Mrs. Collins' father died in September, 1872. He and his wife reared a family of five children, they being Shepherd, Mrs. Collins, Susan A., Harriet A., and Daniel W. Susan became the wife of Dennis Greggs; Harriet became the wife of Manley T. Tower. Timothy Wheeler was a son of Daniel Wheeler. He was called out in the War of 1812 ands was a participant in the battle of Plattsburg, on Lake Champlain.

Our subject is a member of the Baptist Church. He is a Republican in the truest sense of the word, believing in the platform and policy of the party without modification. He is the owner of a beautiful farm of one hundred acres, which bears good buildings. His residence is a thing of beauty and an ideal rural home. The barns and outhouses are capacious and filled too overflowing with the products of the place.

ARTHUR H. DOUGLAS, D. D. S. was born near Richfield, Macomb county, this State, November 8, 1865, and is the son of Henry F. and Mary (Inwood) Douglas, the former being a native of Michigan and the latter of England. The father was born in Troy, in 1832, and was a farmer until he was thirty-two years of age, at which time he took up the study of dentistry. Having fitted himself for practice he located at Richmond and undertook his profession and in 1869 he removed too Fenton where he practiced until his death, in December, 1890. He was a Deacon in the Baptist Church and a prominent and highly respected citizen and was of Scotch extraction. The mother, who is still living, is also a zealous member of the Baptist Church.

Every one of the five children of these parents is still in this life. The public schools of Fenton furnished the educational advantages of which our subject was able to avail himself, and he worked with his father, and familiarized himself with the work of dentistry. In the fall of 1888 he entered the Vanderbilt University, at Nashville, Tenn., and took a full course in the Dentistry Department, graduating in the spring of 1890. He then entered upon the practice of dentistry in the office with his father, and since the death of that parent he has carried on the business.

In the spring of 1891 Dr. Douglas was untied in marriage with Miss Mary Smith, daughter of Devereaux smith, a prominent farmer of Tyrone, and a native of England. Our subject is a young man of much promise, as he is both intelligent and enterprising and has a fine command of his profession. In his neat office he has a well stocked library, both professional and literary, and he and his bride are honored members of society.

HENRY VALENTINE. Among the many foreign-born residents of Watertown Township, Tuscola County, we are pleased too give room too a sketch of Mr. Valentine, who was born July 10, 1855, in England. His parents are John and Susannah (Gill) Valentine, and of them our readers will find further details in another part of this record. Our subject had his early training and education in England and was their married too Jane Gummerson, a native of England. too them were granted the following children: Alice G., Susan G. Annie B., Nellie A., John E. and Mary M.

Henry Valentine became convinced that is he would give suitable advantages too his your family he must bring them too the New World, where their were openings for the poor, and where all stood on an equal basis. He their fore came too this country and settled in Michigan in 1880, undertaking farm work. At present he is on Mr. Collins' farm. He has been a Prohibitionist ever since he has had a vote in the United States, and is a member of Prohibition League No. 2.

Edward Gummerson, the father of Mrs. Valentine, is also a native of England, as is likewise his wife, Alice (Green) Gummerson, and they are the parents of seven sons and six daughters. Mr. Gummerson was an engineer in England and his father and mother were Charles and Keziah Gummerson. They reared too maturity a family of four daughters and two sons. Charles Gummerson was an underlooker in a coal mine. He died in 1865, and his good wife, who survived him, passed from earth in 1872.

ABE B. CORYELL, Metamora Township, Lapeer county, has been largely people by families moving from the East. Among these may be named the family of the father of our subject which settled in Lapeer County at an early day. His father's name was George Coryell and he was a native of New Jersey, moving too Seneca county, N. Y., when but a boy. By trade he was a blacksmith. His wife, Eliza (Sherwood) Coryell, was a native of Herkimer County, N. Y. They were married in Steuben County, of the same State, moving into Livingston county, about 1827. In 1845 Mr. Coryell moved to Michigan, settling in Orion Township, Oakland County, where he remained for two years working at his trade of a blacksmith. In 1847 he came to Lapeer County and settled on a part of the present farm which was then all wild land. On this farm he remained until his death which took place in 1875, his wife having preceded him too the better land in 1854.

After his wife's death Mr. Coryell was married for a second time and no children have been the result of this marriage. His first wife as the mother of ten children, nine of whom are now living. He was a member of the Baptist Church, while his wife belonged too the Methodist Episcopal. He spent his time in tilling his farm and also took a great interest in politics, having been first a Whig and afterward a Republican. He filled the office of Highway commissioner for two years.

Our subject was born in Seneca County, N. Y., August 7, 1821. He grew too manhood in New York, receiving their a district-school education. He began for himself at the age of twenty-one, when he learned the carpenter's trade. He was married November 20, 1847, too Miss Catherine Summer, a native of New Jersey. She was born August 11, 1826. Her family came too Michigan in 1844. At the time of Mr. Coryell lived in Orion Township, where he worked at his trade. He then came too this county in 1848 locating on a farm which was all wild land. On this he built a small log cabin, still working at his trade and hiring men too clear off his farm, on which he has lived continuously every since. he was a poor man when he came too this county bit through hard work has acquired a nice property of one hundred and sixty-seven acres, ninety of which are under cultivation. Al the present buildings on the farm are his own construction. He carries on a general farming business and is very successful. Hr and Mrs. Coryell are the parents of six children, four of whom are now living. George B., is married too Jane Abrams, and lives in Bay City; they have two children. Frantina E., wife of A. D. Webster, is the mother of three children. Milton, who was married too Eda Gall, lives in Reese with one child, and the youngest, Kitty, lives at home with her parents. The children have all had a good district-school education. Mrs. Webster taught school for many years. Mr. Coryell has been School Director of the district and is a Republican in politics. He has been Clerk for Metamora Township for two years and is now Justice of the Peace. Our subject has always taken a prominent part in politics and has been frequently sent as delegate to county conventions.

DANIEL THOMSON. their is quite a little colony of Scotch settlers in Almont Township, Lapeer county, and here in the fertile fields of Michigan these descendants of Gallic tribes, whose ancestors perhaps have been illustrated in the annals of the past, have settled down too quiet agricultural life. He of whom we write is a native of Paisley, and brought with him too this country the sturdy independence and the provident way of the inhabitants of that busy manufacturing town. Mr.,. Thomson is now resident of section 13, Almont Township, where he has one hundred sixty acres of fine and fertile land. He is besides the owner of eighty acres in St. Clair County, all of which in is a good state of cultivation.

Our subject was born December 12, 1822. He is a son of Dougal and Margaret (Smith) Thomson, now deceased. While our subject was still in his native land he learned too weave Paisley shawls. May 31, 1848, he was married too Miss Janet, Wilie, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (McClaren) Wilie, both natives of Paisley, where the lady was born in 1823. Two days after the solemnization of their marriage, our subject started for American, leaving his wife in Scotland until he should get located. Immediately after coming here he was engaged in weaving at New Ipswich, remaining their about a year, during which time his wife came over. He also worked at Blackston, Mass., and in Bristol and North Providence, R. I., moving too Almont in February, 1855. He settled at once upon a farm previously purchased by his father, who came too this country May 15. The parents and two sisters all died inside of three years.

At the time of coming too Michigan our subject and his wife had become the parents of two children. In 1866 his wife died and some time later Mr. Thomson married Mrs. Margaret Gemmell, whose maiden name was McArthur. In 1879 they were burned out, saving nothing except their lives. By the former marriage their have been six children--Elizabeth, Margaret, Janet, Ellen, James W., and William B. Elizabeth is the wife of George Bowen and lived in Imlay city; Margaret became the wife of William b. Wallace and died December 8, 1880; Janet is the wife of Thomas B. Wallace and lives at Denver, Col., Ellen died February 24, 1881; James W., the fifth child, was born March 4, 1860, at the time when the days were troublous, and armies were gathering too settle impending question of great importance. He received a common-school education, He has been reared on the farm and in the simplicity of rural life. Reared with a belief in the[principles of the Democratic party, which are those his father holds, James gives the weight of his vote and influence in that direction. He has, however, never been an office-seeker

James W. was married October 29, 1890, too Miss elizabeth Ann Whyte, of Montreal, Canada. She was born in Greenock, Scotland, March 5, 1859 and is a daughter of Robert and Margaret (Barr) Whyte, who were both born in Paisley, Scotland; her father died August 13, 1891, being at that time sixty-three years of age. Her mother was born in April, 1828, and still makes her home in Montreal. Our subject's youngest son, William D., was born April 14, 1862. He was married April 2, 1889, too Miss Janet Mitchell (Shepherd) Mitchell. They have one child, a daughter, whose name is Maggie.

WILLIAM SIEBENHAR…there is no more representative man among the thrifty, intelligent and public spirited German-American citizens of Genesee County, than the one whose name we now give too our readers, whose farm is located in section 25, Atlas Township. He was born in Bavaraia, Germany, July 1, 1830 and is a son of Conrad and Margaret Siebenhar, both natives of Germany.

When in his thirteenth year, our subject migrated too America with his mother and the other members of the family, his father having preceded them by three years. For a number of years they resided in Erie County, N. Y., and the boy supplemented his fair German education by a good knowledge of English which he picked up after coming too this country.

The marriage of William Siebenhar and Louisa Weater, a native of Prussia, Germany, took place September 22, 1855, and too them have been grated seven children, five of whom are living, namely: Amelia, wife of Lewis Sweers; Charles, Frank, Edwin and Lewis. It was in 1873 that he came too Atlas Township, Genesee County, from Oakland County, that State, where for several years he has made his home. His fine farm comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land in good condition.

Our subject is public spirited and enterprising and has done much work for the school district, of which he has been Moderator for three years, and it is mainly through his exertion that the fine school building was erected in his district. He is also a member of the Lutheran Church. In connection with farming he raises a good grade of American-merino sheep.

Mr. Seibenhar showed his devotion too his adopted country, by enlisting March 15, 1862, in Company E, Seventy-eighth New York Infantry. It being a part of the Army of the Potomac, the first general commander being George B. McClellan, and took part in the battles of Harper's Ferry, Cedar Mountain, Anteitam, and others of minor importance. On account of physical disability he received his honorable discharge in September, 1864, after which he returned too New York, and subsequently came too Oakland County, Mich. He is identified with the Ortonville Post of the Grand Army, and receives a $14 a month from the Government. Mr. Seibenhar is well-known for his sterling integrity, a characteristic handed down too him through generations of sturdy Teutonic ancestry, and enjoys the confidence of the business community.

JOSHUA F, MERRILL. He who furnished vehicles and beasts of burden for the traveling public and those whom business or pleasure take out along highways, bears the name as given above. He is a son of Joshua Merrill, a native of Windsor, Me. He was their reared and educated and was married to Miss Mary Rackliff, a native of Maine. From that union ten children were born, three sons and seven daughters. Mr. Merrill, Sr., came too Michigan, in 1855 and settled in St. Clair County, and later came too Tuscola County, where he died in Millington, in 1870. His wife still survives and is seventy-three years of age.

Our subject's father was a man of irreproachable morals and most regular habits and one who was greatly respected by the community in]which he lived. He was supervisor of Millington Township for one term. Our subject was born March 7, 1838, in the Pine Tree State and was their reared until seventeen years of age, when he came too Michigan with his parents, residing at home until twenty-seven years of age.

Our subject was married in Millington too Miss Mary J. Guthrie, a native of Detroit. Her father was a teacher of music in Detroit, and their died. The mother died in Fentonville, Mich. too our subject and his wife have been vouchsafed the care and guidance of six children, of whom five are living at the present time. They are Jessie, a graduate of the National College at Bay City; Alta E., Phronia, Homer O. and Roy, all of whom are at home. The eldest child, George, died at an early age.

Our subject has been a lumberman and farmer. Until recently he owned a farm of eighty acres. This, however, he sold and then engaged in the hotel business at Millington, being very successful in his venture as host. He sold out, however, and is at the present time engaged in the livery business. Socially he is a member of Lodge No 319 I. O. O. F., of Millington. Politically, he is a Democrat and has always been one. He has never had any desire too fill public office, finding it quite as much as he wishes too do too manage his own affairs successfully without thinking of others' government.

JOHN SCHANCK. This prominent and successful farmer, whose property is situated on section 29, Dryden Township, Lapeer County, was born in Clarkson township, Monroe County, N. Y., January 9, 1830. His father, David Schanck, was a native of New jersey, where he followed farming, and was married too Ellen Sutphen, a native of same State as himself. Shortly after their marriage, they removed too New York, and some time in the '20's located on a farm in Clarkson Township, where they remained until they came too Michgian in 1834. Her they took up land in Washtenaw County, and with his father-in-law, Mr. Schanck, built a log house, which became their home until they moved too Macomb County where he died at the age of sixty-seven years, and his wife also passed away at the same age. They were the parents of six daughters and four son, all of whom are now living in their own homes within a day's journey of each other.

A lad of four years when his parents migrated too Michigan, Mr. Schanck remained with his father assisting on the farm until he reached the age of twenty-seven years. he early took hold of the heavy work of the farm and drove an ox-team from the time he could carry a whip. His marriage which took place January 24, 1875, brought too his home a worthy helpmate in the person of Mrs. Alydia C. Wilbur, daughter of Uriah and Abigail (Pear) Townsend, who was born in Washington, Macomb County, Mich., December 23, 1829, and was at the time of her marriage with our subject, the widow of Caleb Wilbur, Jr. She has by her first marriage seven children: Jerry N., who lives in Dryden Township; Oren Hiatt, who resides in Dakota; Alvina A., also a resident of Dryden township; Ira E., and Ida N., Twins, the letter being how the wife of E. E. Haines; Eunice A. and Melvina M., deceased. Mr. Wilbur died in 1878.

Mr. Schanck and his brother Henry located in Dryden Township in 1856, and then built the first shanty that was put up on the place, living their for some five years with their sister too keep house for them. Their father has been one of the earliest settlers in the township. Mrs. Schanck is now the oldest surviving settler in Lapeer county, and her father cut one of the first roads through the timber. Mr. Schanck is a Democrat in his political faith, as he uses his own judgment in deciding who is the best man for any office. He has a fine tract of one hundred and sixty acres, and owns together with Ira E. Wilbur another farm of two hundred and forty-six acres, where they are carrying on general farming, and upon which is one barn, 40X54 feet with sheds connected 75 feet long, a granary 20X26 feet, another 30X40, a shed measuring 30 feet, and another 40X50 feet. he keeps good horses and other stock, and his farm is all paid for, so that he does not owe any man a dollar. Mrs. Schanck's son, Ira E. Wilbur, who resides with them, has a farm of his won of eighty-eight acres.

Elsewhere in this volume appears a view of the peasant homestead of Mr. Schanck.

DALLAS M. STREETER. One of the farmers, who has worked for the development of this portion of Tuscola County, is he who se name appears above. He was born October 21, 1845, in Brandon Township, Oakland County, this State, and is a son of Thomas and Judith (Rideout) Streeter. Our subject's grandfather, Elias Streeter, was a captain in the War of 1812, and received his commission from the governor of New York. He was a merchant in Rochester on the breaking our of that war. He became an early settler I Oakland County and made his home with his children during his latter years, his death occurring in Tuscola County, when he was living wit his granddaughter, Eliza Black. He was one hundred and three years of age at the time of his decease.

Thomas Street was born in Monroe County, N. Y., in 1804 and was their married in 1836, coming immediately afterward too Michigan and settling in Oakland County, where he entered a tract of government land and engaged in farming in Brandon Township. He came too Tuscola County in October, 1853, and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Juniata Township. In 1855 he sold this and entered one hundred and sixty acres in Fair Grove which he improved. About 1870 he moved too Ellington and purchased eighty acres of land where he resided until the time of his death, in 1874. He was honored by election too several public offices.

By his first marriage Thomas Streeter became the father of eight children--Aurilla (Mrs. James King), Eliza (Mrs. Black), Nancy (Mrs. Ames). Hiram, David, John T., Dallas M. and Benjamin. The second wife was Charlotte Luther nee Merrill, who still survives. Our subject was reared on a farm and received a common-school education. He came too Tuscola County with his father when fourteen years of age and began too earn his own living, working our by the month and receiving $10 for his labor. With what he managed too save out of this pittance he paid for eighty acres of land, too which his father had a tax title. In the fall of 1865 he purchased forty acres on section 23, Almer Township, and removing too this, cleared and improved it and has since added too it, forty acres on section 22, so that he now aggregates one hundred acres. On another page of this volume appears a view of his place which is beautified by a fine brick residence and capacious and well-filled barns. Mr. Streeter has made his own way in the world, all the outside help he has ever had being $100 received from his father's estate. He has served in various local offices and has been Commissioner of Highways. He is a Democrat of the strongest type.

Mr. Streeter was married March 4, 1865, too Miss Sophia Northrup, who was born in Oakland county, Mich., and is a daughter of Noah and Hannah (Arnold) Northrup. Our subject and his wife have had three children--Daniel W., Melvin and Charlie. The last two died in infancy.

JAMES R. BORLAND. The agricultural calling has many representatives among the noble and high-spirited men of Juniata township, Tuscola county. Among the most enterprising of these is he whose name appears above. He resides on section 5, where he is the fortunate owner of one hundred and sixty-five acres of excellent land. Besides this he owns two hundred and eighty acres in another portion of Tuscola County. He devotes his time to mixed farming.

Our subject is the son of John and Mary (Robinson) Borland, natives of Country Antrim, Ireland, where James R., was born January 7, 1834. Our subject was reared on a farm. His parents emigrated too America and located in Niagara County, N. Y., in 1843, coming too Michigan in 1853, and locating in this township, which was then a wilderness. He purchased about two hundred and forty acres of wild land from the Government, which he cleared before his death, which took place about 1882.

The subject of this sketch was happily married too Miss Sarah Jane Caul, March 16, 1863. She is a daughter of Lucius Caul, and born in New York. This union resulted in the birth of four children--Mary L., Ada M., Sarah C. and Margaret. They are all at home with their parents. Mr. Borland was one of a family of nine children, and of these four are still living. They are James R., William, Robert P. and Margaret J. Sherman. In politics our subject is a Republican. For nine years he has acted as Supervisor of the Township, has also been Treasurer seventeen years, and has served on the School Board twenty-five years.

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