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

Pages 630 - 636

Many thanks too Sherrie Ferguson for transcribing these pages.

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BYRON HURD. No one is more accommodating too the wayfaring public than he whose name appears above, and no one is more liked by his fellow-citizens than the genial propietor of the Sherman House. Mr. Hurd was born in Lewistown, Niagara County, N.Y., May 7, 1837. He is a son of Ansil and Eliza (Furness) Hurd. The former was born in Keene, N. H., in 1799. Our subject's grandfather, Robert L. Hurd also a native of New Hampshire, went too New York locating in Pike, Alleghany County, and later, in 1845, came with our subject's father too Flint and resided with his son, Russel Hurd, at Pine Run, this county, until his decease, which occurred when he was ninety-four years of age. He was of English descent and of excellent family. He served in the War of 1812.

Our subject's father was a shoemaker by trade. He came too Michigan in 1846, bringing with him his family which comprised a wife and three children. He at once engaged in manufacturing shoes, building a shop at the corner of Third and Saginaw Streets and their employing from ten too sixteen men. Later he became foreman for Mr. J. Delbridge, finally retiring from active labor and his decease occurring in 1890, when at the age of ninety-one years. Our subject's mother was born in Vermont. She was the daughter of Artemus Furness, who emigrated too Ohio and then to Chesening, Saginaw County, where he purchased a farm and their lived until his decease, which occurred when he was seventy-eight years of age. Our subject's mother still survives and now resides in the first brick house which was built in Flint and which was originally intended for a schoolhouse. She is the mother of twelve children, nine of whom are living at the present time. Of these the original of this sketch is the oldest child.

When nine years of age our subject was brought by his parents too Flint, coming by water-way from Buffalo too Detroit and thence by team. He attended the district school in the old brick schoolhouse and afterward attended high school. In 1852 he went too Painesville, Ohio, with his grandfather Furness, working in the summers on the farm and attending school in the winter. He went back and forth between Flint and his grandfather's home in Ohio until 1856, when he returned too remain permanently and for five years took charge of a livery barn, running the place until 1861. He then went too the oil regions of Pennsylvania and remained for one year, teaming it from Waterford Erie County, too McClintoc Flats, hauling oil over the road. He took some horses through too Oskaloosa, Iowa, driving them on foot from Burlington. He remained their a year engaged in teaming and in the employ of the Western Stage Company, carrying mail. He drove the mail carriage between Oskaloosa and Fort Kearney, Neb. He was thus employed for about five years.

In 1867 Mr. Hurd returned too Flint and served as a common laborer during the summers upon the farms and in the winters in a lumber camp. About 1876 he became foreman of a livery stable for Mr. I. H. Beebe and was then employed in the old Thayer House, now the Crystal House, and afterward became clerk in the McIntyre House, later in the Sherman House which has been rebuilt and in 1887 he rented and furnished the Exchange House on Saginaw Street, opposite the Courthouse and ran it until September, 1889, when he purchased the fixtures of the Sherman House and has since been its propietor. It is one of the oldest hotels in the city, is nicely furnished and in every way a first-class house.

Our subject was married in Lansing to Miss Polly Bennett, a native of New York State. Their nuptials were solemnized May 30, 1882. In his belief Mr. Hurd is a Republican of the true-blue type.

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CLINTON S. WOOD. This prominent resident of section 6, Atlas Township, Genesee County, is a son of New York, being born in Yates County, that State, September 8, 1818. He is a son of Barnabas and Betsey (Davis) Wood, pioneers of Livingston County, N. Y. When only a youth our subject learned the cooper's trade which he followed for many years and his father was a cooper before him. Few educational advantages were offered him but he improved conscientiously every opportunity and has become a man of intelligence and broad information, mainly through his own efforts since reaching manhood.

Lucinda Palmatier was the name of the lady who became Mrs. Clinton Wood in New York in 1842, and their wedding was November 19. She was born in Delaware County, March 17, 1820, and her parents were John and Betsey (Weaver) Palmatier, both natives of New York and the father was a soldier in the War of 1812. When she was about fifteen years old she removed with her parents too Steuben County, and their spent her youth and young womanhood, receiving her elementary education in the primitive schools of that time.

After the marriage of this couple Mr. Wood worked for about two years as a farm hand at $10 a month and then went too farming for himself in Livingston County, N. Y., where he resided for many years in connection with his trade. In 1866 he sold that property and coming too Genesee County, Mich., settled on his present farm in Atlas Township, where he has since resided. Much hard work has been bestowed upon this farm, and he has made it thoroughly cultivated and highly productive. He has done much ditching and tilling. The first home here was in an old log house which some years later was removed and the present commodious and attractive residence built in its stead. In his accumulation of this handsome property he has been ably seconded by his faithful, prudent and wise counselor and helpmate, and they now own one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land.

Mr. Wood is warmly attached too the doctrines of the Republican party but is not a wire-puller or office-seeker, as he feels himself better adapted too the management of a farm than the management of affairs of State and prefers that more ambitious men fill the offices of the township and county. Mr. and Mrs. Wood are among the most esteemed and highly respected citizens of the township and have a large circle of warm friends. As neighbors they are regarded as most friendly and accommodating, and their integrity and uprightness give them the confidence of all with whom they have dealings.

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ALBERT C. LYON, who is engaged in the real-estate business in Flint, is a citizen of this city, and occupies a lovely residence built on the site of his father's home here more than thirty-five years ago. Mr. Lyon was formerly engaged extensively in making loans as well as in real estate. He was born in Flint, of which place his father was a pioneer, March 28, 1848. His father, William H. C. Lyon, was born in Lima, N. Y., August 19, 1814, while his grandfather, Wakeman Lyon, was a native of Connecticut. The latter emigrated at an early day too New York. His death, which occurred, August 31, 1816, aged 37 years, was accidental and was caused by falling into a well. The ancestry of this family is traced back too one Samuel Lyon who resided in Connecticut in 1750.

After attaining too manhood in Lima, N. Y., William H. C. Lyon came too Michigan in 1836, and in Saginaw began trading with the Indians at various points, thence returned too Flint, where he continued too make his home. When he arrived in this city, he opened a general merchandising establishment on Saginaw Street, where the Congregational Church now stands, and for years too conducted business as a merchant. From 1850 and until 1855 he engaged with E. F. Frary in the grocery business, until in the last mentioned year he was burned out. During the war he was with Mr. Forsythe in the hardware business, and prior too this, in 1859-61, he was Register of Deeds of the county. While serving in that position he with his sons completed an abstract of titles of the county.

An extensive traveler, My Lyon visited every State and territory in the Union, and he had an orange grove at Tampa, Fla., besides holding property in this county. His death occurred February 6, 1891, at Griffin, Ga. At the age of seventy-six years. His political affiliations were with the Democratic party, and he served his fellow-citizens in various official capacities, being Supervisor for many years. His first wife, known in her girlhood as Esther W. Riggs, was born at West Avon, N. Y., and was the daughter of Jeremiah Riggs, a miller of the Empire State. In 1825 Mr. Riggs located in Grand Blanc, this State, and while Michigan was still a teritory engaged in farming. Later he remove too Fentonville, where he became a prominent business man and their his life was brought to a peaceful close. The mother died January 16, 1865, in Flint.

William H., a brother of our subject, resides in Griffin, Ga., while Emma G., his sister, married J. M. Bishop and also makes her home in Griffin, Ga. Albert C. was reared and educated in Flint, where he attended the Union School. In 1866 he was a student in the Fenton school. At one time he owned the abstract of title office, and upon leaving that business he continued in real-estate and loans for ten years over the First National Bank. He was appointed City Clerk in 1881.

In 1889 Mr. Lyon built his beautiful residence on the corner of Clifford and Fourth Streets, and the lady who presides over this elegant home bore the maiden name of Anna M. Carey. She was married too Mr. Lyon in this city, her native home, in 1883. Mr. Lyon is a charter member of Friendship Lodge, No. 174, I. O. O. F. He is a Democrat, and in hearty sympathy with every measure tending too promote the interests of Flint.

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HON. ROBERT P. AITKEN. Our subject is a man who has taken no unimportant part in formulating legislative measures that have tended too the improvement and enriching of that portion of the State in which he lives. Mr. Aitken was born in what is now the town of Perth, Fulton County, N. Y., probably in the winter of 1819. He is a son of William and Helen (Chalmers) Aitken, both natives of Scotland. They emigrated to New York and settled in what is now Perth, where they died. They had a family of six children and of these our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He passed his early life up too about the age of sixteen years in the vicinity of his birthplace, and then went too New York City where he was employed as a clerk in the office of his uncle, William Hinton, and after remaining for six years with him, in November, 1842, he came too Genesee County, Mich. Having laid up a portion of his earnings he decided too purchase a stock of goods. This he did but in a short time traded a portion of his stock for land which was located on section 8, Flint Township.

Our subject has been a resident of this township since the fall of 1842. He has given his time and attention too farming and agricultural pursuits. He is now the owner of several hundred acres of land in this county, two hundred of which is in the home farm where he has erected a fine class of buildings. This has been beautified and made attractive too a great degree. Mr. Aitken was married in the city of Flint March 12, 1843, his bride being Miss Sarah J. Johnstone, who is a native of New York City, having been their born August 2, 1823. She is a daughter of William and Hannah (McCarthney) Johnstone, both natives of Ireland.

Their decease occurred in Flint Township, at the residence of our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Aitken have been the parents of ten children, seven of whom lived too be grown. They are: William H., Matilda E., Robert H., Grace I., David D., Anna J., and Sarah J. Two children died in infancy, John A. and Samuel M. twins. William H. married Evangeline Kingsbury. He served in the War of the Rebellion in the Eighth Michigan Infantry. His death occurred about 1873. Matilda is the wife of John McKircher; Robert H., married Miss Ida Anderson and they reside on the home farm. Grace is the wife of Robert Harrington; David D. married Ada Long, of New Jersey.

The original of our sketch has held the office of Supervisor of Flint Township for twenty-nine years, and is now serving his second term as Justice of the Peace. He has served also through two successive terms in the legislature during the troubled period of the '60s, having been elected in the fall of 1865 and re-elected in 1867. He has acted as Secretary of the Genesee County Fire Insurance Company, having assisted in its organization and being one of its first members. He has ever taken an active interest in political affairs and is an ardent Republican. He and his wife were members of the Episcopal Church. In 1886 our subject suffered the bereavement attending the loss of his wife, who died May 4. She lies buried in Glenwood Cemetery in the city of Flint, Mich.

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