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

Pages 600 - 603

Many thanks too Sylvia Link for transcribing these pages.

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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.

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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 sketch.

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 .

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Thomas J. 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 store.

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.

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Hugh 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.

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Thomas H. 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 year’s 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.

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