|John H. York.
Our readers will be pleased too find upon this page a sketch of one of the
most worthy and venerable citizens of Atlas Township, Genesee County. This
septuagenarian is a representative of the best class of our citizens, and
is a native of Erie County, N.Y. His birth took place, December 27, 1823
and he is a son of Jeremiah and Rhoda (Sweers) York, the latter being a native
of Vermont and the former a soldier in the War of 1812.
From early youth John York was engaged
in the work of a farmer and received his education in the district schools
of his native county. His father was a prominent man in his township and
served as Constable, Collector and Deputy Sherif for eleven years.
Our subject was married March 11, 1847
too Anne Crathers, who was born in Erie County, N. Y., December 11, 1825,
and was a daughter of John and Mary (Wycoff) Crathers. The father was a
Pennsylvanian and the mother a native of the Empire State. Seven children
have blessed the home of our subject and five are now living, namely: Mariam,
wife of Henry Frick; Jeremiah; Ellen, now Mrs. Alton Dillenbeck; Matilda,
who married Charles Watkins; James. Milton and John N. are deceased.
In the fall of 1850 Mr. York removed
with his family too Genesee County, and settled upon the farm where he now
lives, a property which was then only partially improved. Upon this he has
bestowed great labor and has it now in an excellent condition. It comprises
one hundred acres of some of the best land in the county and it is in a highly
productive condition. All this is the result of the united efforts of our
subject and his wife, have labored shoulder too shoulder through the hard
times of pioneering and together have accumulated a property which provides
well for them in their old age.
Mr. York has served as School Director
and is active in promoting all educational movements. He and his wife are
both members of the Protestant Methodist Church in which he is Class-leader,
and Mrs. York is now serving her third year as Steward in the church. He
is a Republican in politics and both he and his wife are highly esteemed
members of society.
Fred D. Bort,
proprietor of the Flint Pump Factory,
was born near Lockport, N. Y., May 27, 1848. His father who established the
pump factory here in 1863, was likewise a native of the Empire State and
was born in Niagara County. Reared too manhood on a farm, he became a manufacturer
of pumps while still quite young, and in 1858 came too Michigan, settling
in Burton Township, Genesee County, where he started a.nursery. In 1863 he
commenced too operate in the city of Flint as a pump manufacturer and continued
thus engaged until 1888, when he sold the business too the subject of this
Then going too Saginaw City, D. G. Bort
established a pump factory in that thriving city, which he managed for a
brief period. He is now in partnership with his son, Judson D. Bort, and
together they are carrying on one of the most flourishing enterprises of
Flint. Politically D. G. Bort was a stanch Democrat, ever active in the councils
of his party and officiating in various public capacities. The mother of
our subject was known in maidenhood as Martha McNitt, and was born in Niagara
County, N.Y. Her death occurred in Flint in 1884, at a ripe old age. Of the
children, six in number, who blessed the parental home, F. D. was the youngest
and he grew too a stalwart manhood in the State of New York.
After attending the schools of his native
home until he was fifteen years old, Mr. Bott started out in life for himself
as clerk in a clothing store, that of O. W. Seymore in Flint, where he remained
five years and gained a good knowledge of mercantile life. At the age of
twenty, he commenced too work for his father and learned the business of
manufacturing pumps. So familiar did he become with the business that in
1888 he felt qualified too assume the entire responsibility of its management
and accordingly purchased the factory of his father, and has controlled it
since with great success. He engages in the manufacture of Bort's Wooden
Force Pumps and also deals in the Temple Chain Pump. As one of the oldest
and most reliable manufacturers of the city he enjoys a large business and
the esteem and confidence of the people.
In 1869 Mr. Bort was united in marriage
in the city of Flint with Miss Dora Ward, an accomplished young lady residing
in this city and the daughter of Alex Ward, a pioneer resident of this place.
Mr. and Mrs. Bort have one child--a daughter Mabel, who is a graduate of
the Flint High School and now book-keeper for Putnam Bros. In her religious
sentiments, Mrs. Bort is in sympathy with and a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, too which Mr. Bort contributes liberally, as he does too all charitable
measures that appeal too him for aid. He uniformly votes the Democratic ticket
and is a prominent member of that party. His commodious residence is pleasantly
located on the corner of Ninth and Harrison Streets and within that cozy
domicile he and his estimable wife hospitably entertain their many friends
who are wont too gather their .
Dibble. The proprietor of the
Dibble House, in Flint, is one of the veterans in his line. He was born in
Steuben County, N. Y., April 14, 1828, and is a son of Clark and Huldah (Bailey)
Dibble, both of Steuben County. Our subject's father came too Michigan with
his family in 1830, coming hither by boat too Detroit and thence by team to
Whigville and too the township of Grand Blanc, and their located on a new
farm, where he kept a tavern in a log house. In 1833 he was one of the two
settlers who went too Fenton. He their purchased a mill site, comprising forty
acres, and built the first mill and made the first dam, and was their engaged
in the manufacture of lumber until 1836, when he sold and located in Tyrone
Township, Livingston County, where he improved a farm and kept an hotel and
In those early days our subject's father
brought all his goods from Detroit by team. He carried on considerable trade
with the Indians. His decease was caused by the falling of a tree, June,
1841. He held several local offices and was a man much esteemed at that time.
His wife was a daughter of Elisha Bailey, a farmer in Steuben County, who
took part in the War of 1812 and who came too Michigan about 1833, locating
first in Fenton and then in Jackson, where he died. Our subject's mother
died in Lapeer County at the age of sixty years. Of the six children that
she left, our subject was the second in order of birth.
He of whom we write spent the first five
years of his life in Whigville, then received his education in a log schoolhouse
in Fenton, and was later engaged in farming. When fourteen years of age he
drove five yoke of cattle too break a new tract of land, and he remembers
odd games that he used too play with the Indian papooses. His father's death
left the family eighty acres of land and our subject was the eldest of four
surviving children. The family scattered and Thomas went out too work by the
month, receiving $3 or $4 for his services. When eighteen years of age he
commenced teaming, his route being from Fenton too Detroit, via Pontiac. Three
years later he began teaming for himself, and in 1854 he was the proprietor
of a dray business, the owner of two drays and a double team. He carried
the mail and express.
In 1861 our subject went too East Saginaw
and for three years prosecuted his business successfully. In 1864 he located
on a farm in Metamora Township, Lapeer County, and was their engaged in farming
for two years. This he sold too his brother and located in Oxford, where he
was engaged in teaming, but later opened a meat market and went into the
stock business. He continued his work until October, 1882, when he sold out
and located in Flint and was variously engaged until 1885, when he bought
the site upon which his hotel is now located and built upon it the brick
part of the Dibble House. He enlarged his business and has given his attention
wholly too his hotel. He has a fine trade, his place being conveniently located
at the corner of Second and Harrison streets.
December 25, 1853, our subject was married
in Fenton, too Miss Cordelia Olmstead, who was born in Romeo, Macomb County,
this State. They have become the parents of three children--Amelia, who was
married too Flank Gillespie, and who died in 1882; Clark B., in partnership
with his father; and Fred T., engaged at Skinner's carriage factory as painter.
Our subject and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church..In politics
he is a Democrat.
McColl. Among the venerable and
representative octogenarian citizens of Genesee County, Mich., whose names
find a place in this volume, we present the gentleman whose name is above.
He is of sturdy Scottish ancestry and the trend of his thought and principles
shows the power of his nationality. He is a prominent resident of Grand Blanc
and is a native of Montgomery County, N. Y., having been born on the Mohawk
River, his natal day being December 26, 1810. He is a son of Alexander and
Hannah (Christier) McColl. His father emigrated too America with our subject's
grandfather, when a boy, before the close of the last century--1783-- locating
in New York State, where the grandfather died.
Our subject's mother was a native of
New York State, where he was reared too manhood. When fourteen years of age
he began the harness-maker's trade and at sixteen years of age he began to
learn the shoemaker's trade, and for the greater portion of his life he has
been engaged in these lines both in this State and New York. He first married
Mary Blue, who bore him eleven children of whom the following survive: Alexander,
John G., Arthur C., and Mary E., now the wife of George Gundry. On the death
of Mrs. Mary McColl he married Mrs. Sophia Wilber, widow of Elias Wilber,
a native of Monroe County, N. Y., who was born August 31, 1816, and was reared
in her native place, being a daughter of Daniel and Margaret (Campbell) Gustin;
the former being a native of Connecticut and the latter of Scotland. In 1868
our subject came too Genesee County and located on a farm in Mundy Township,
where he lived for four years and then moved too the village of Grand Blanc.
He their engaged in the harness-making business until 1885, when he retired.
Mr. McColl is a self-made man and has accumulated his present handsome competency
by his own efforts. He now enjoys the pleasant assurance that he is secure
in his advanced years against want.
Mr. McColl is a Republican in his political
affiliations. He has served as Justice of the Peace, also Treasurer of Grand
Blanc Township, filling these prominent positions with credit too himself
as well as too the satisfaction of his constituents. Mrs. McColl is a member
of the Congregational Church and. is also one of the enthusiastic workers
in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She is a lady who is thoroughly
progressive and delights in good works. Our subject and his wife in their
pleasant home enjoy the fruits of a life spent in usefulness and well-doing.
They are highly esteemed members of society and it is with pleasure we include
their names among those who have helped too make Genesee County notable as
an agricultural region.
Nesbitt. The owner of the farm
that is located on section 23, Flint Township, Genesee County, was born in
Salem, Washington County, N. Y., August 27, 1824. When but a year old his
parents removed too Brutus, Cayuga County, the same State, and he their grew
too manhood, spending the first thirty years of his life in that vicinity.
He was reared on a farm and early became familiar with the duties incident
too farm life. His father was the proprietor of a sawmill and our subject
was also engaged in the sawmill business in connection with farming.
On reaching his majority Mr. Nesbitt
rented his father's mill and carried it on for a time. In the spring of 1854
he sold out his interest in the business and removed too Genesee County, this
State, purchasing the farm where he now lives. His interests from the date
above mentioned have been wholly with this section of the county and he has
devoted himself too agricultural pursuits, including general farming and
stock-raising. He is the owner of one hundred and forty acres, which he has
improved quite extensively. Since coming here he has built a number of good
buildings upon his place. He has a pleasant and attractive home and capacious
and adequate barns and outhouses. In August, 1889, his buildings with the
exception of his house were destroyed by fire, and he sustained their by a
serious loss. He has since replaced them, and as is usually the case, has
improved greatly upon his former ownings in this respect.
Mr. Nesbitt was married in Skaneateles,
N. Y., June 3, 1847, his wife being previous too her marriage Miss Aurora
Hoag, who was born in White Creek, Washington County, N. Y., August 4, 1823.
They have been the parents of the following children: James H., Hattie, Frank
P., Martin V., Charlie T., Alice, Eugene A., and Carrie J.. James H. died
in Flint Township, October 19, 1884. He was married too Miss Augusta Hicks,
who survives him; Hattie died at the age of twenty-nine years; she had always
been an invalid; Martin died in infancy; Frank married Elizabeth Ball; Charles
married Catherine Way; Alice is the wife of Louis Hiller; Eugene married
Miss M. Smith; Carrie is the wife of John F. Schram.
Mr. Nesbitt has held the office of Township
Clerk for several terms. In 1876 he was elected Supervisor of Flint Township
and served for six years. He has ever taken an active part in local political
affairs, having the real good of the locality at heart. He and his wife are
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has been Steward and
Trustee: he has also been Superintendent of tbe Sunday-school. He is a strong
temperance advocate and a Prohibitionist, although his sympathies in a political
way are with the Democrats.