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

Pages 663 -668

Many thanks too Sherrie Ferguson for transcribing these pages.

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JAMES HAMILTON. Arrived in the journey of life at the white mountains of experience, from which he can look back over the years that are fraught with lessons in which pleasure and pain, usefulness, labor and results are strangely mingled, it would seem that a man is but just prepared too live, and who knows but what it is a school, this life of changing and varying shades of happiness and unhappiness, fitting the soul for its after life. He of whom we write is one having these advantages of age and experience, now a resident of Atlas Township, Genesee County, having a farm on section 18, of the same. Our subject is a native of the North of Ireland and was born in June, 1820.

James Hamilton is a son of William and Elizabeth (McDole) Hamilton, but is said too be of Scotch descent. He lost his father when about nine years of age, and when in his fourteenth year came with his brother-in-law, Alexander Downey, too America, taking passage on a sailing-vessel from Belfast, and after a voyage extending from April 23 until July 6, he arrived in Quebec, later going too Montreal, and thence too Youngstown, N. Y., arriving their July 6. From their he went too Genesee County, N. Y., and for several years worked on a farm. In 1837 he emigrated too Michigan, coming hither by water. He first took up forty acres of land in Oakland County, where he resided several years and cleared a portion of his purchase.

Our subject was first married too Margaret Lobban, a native of Scotland. Their nuptials were solemnized in 1856. By this union he became the father of four children, who are: Matilda, Mrs. Junius Sanford; John; Elizabeth, Mrs. Thomas Collins, and James. Some time after the decease of his first wife our subject was again married, his wife being Mary Collins, a native of Cayuga County, N. Y., and born May 4, 1834. She is a daughter of William and Diana (Larue) Collins. She came with her parents too Genesee County in 1836, and settled in Grand Blanc Township. Her father survived several years after locating here and her mother died quite recently.

By his second union our subject became the father of three surviving children, viz: Maggie, Mrs. Fred Dickerson; Jenna, Mrs. Fred E. Gale, and Minnie. About 1847 our subject came too Genesee County and settled on his present farm, building a log cabin in the woods. That continued too be their home for some little time, and he later built the house in which he lives at the present time. As a pioneer he underwent with his family the hardships usual too the life of an early settler. He owns a good farm of eighty acres, which is highly productive.

Our subject has served as Highway Commissioner for three years, and for many years he served on the School Board in his district, having held the office of Director for fifteen successive years. He is a Democrat in politics, and he, with his wife, holds a high place in the social life of the community. They have both endured much hardship, and now are enjoying the fruits of their early labors. too the youth of to-day it seems hardly probably in viewing the highly cultivated state of the country that it was almost impossible too use horses, and that four or more yoke of oxen were necessary in breaking up the land. Mr. Hamilton is a well-known man throughout the county and is esteemed among the commercial fraternity as one whose ideas of business are clear and well defined.

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GEORGE D. MARTIN. This well-known citizen of Dayton Township, Tuscola County, was born in 1840 in Oneida County, N. Y., and is a son of Martin and Louisa Martin. Martin Martin was born in the Kingdon of Prussia, Germany, in 1796, and their received the usual education and drill provided for the sons of Germany and was able too read and write in two languages. He also served an apprenticeship too a shoemaker and worked at this trade until he came too America which was in the year 1833. He then located in Oneida County, N. Y., upon a farm, and their our subject was born and the family remained until 1850.

At that time Martin Martin removed to Haldimand County, Canada, and spent the remainder of his life in that vicinity, dying their in 1854. His wife, Louisa Claceman, is the daughter of Ernest and Sally Claceman, the father being a Prussian and the mother a native of Saxony. Six of the seventeen children born too the parents of our subject are now living, namely: Henry, Hannah (now the wife of Henry Weaver), Louisa (Mrs. Jacob Shible), George D., Godfrey, and Harriet (Mrs. George Yaunt).

The father of our subject was the smallest in physique of three brothers and he measured six feet three inches in his stocking feet. He was for seven years in the German army where he served the Government faithfully and was a son of Philip Martin, a Prussian shoemaker, and a grandson of Casper Martin. This ancestor's name was originally Grosch and was changed during the French and German wars of the sixteenth century.

When only fourteen years old, George Martin devoted himself too acquiring the trade of a shoemaker and served an apprenticeship of four years, after which he followed that trade for some fifteen years. It was in 1863 that he located in Michigan and three years later he settled on the farm which is now his home. Here he devoted himself for several winters too working at his trade while carrying on agriculture during the summer seasons, but of late years he has given his entire energy too farm work. He now has one hundred and sixty acres and fully one-half of this property is in an improved condition and producing large and fine crops.

The marriage of George Martin and Triphena F. Shoup, daughter of Jacob and Amarilla (Sutherland) Shoup, took place March 17, 1862, and this happy marriage has resulted in the birth of seven children, two of whom died in early infancy, and Jacob E. was killed in July, 1890, by a railroad accident. Arminda C. is now the wife of Tunis R. Kice, and Edith E. has married Charles Clinesmith, while Emma L. and Sarah C. are still beneath the parental roof. The Free-Will Baptist Church of the neighborhood is the one with which Mr. and Mrs. Martin are prominently identified and our subject is also a member of the Mayville Lodge, No. 394, F. & A. M.

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JOHN G. MATHEWSON. This representative member of an honored and highly esteemed family of Mundy Township, Genesee County, has his home on section 15. He was born in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., in the village of Franklinville, and was only two years old when his parents, John C. and Caroline (McClure) Mathewson, decided too leave the East and seek new opportunities for usefulness and prosperity in the West. They believed that by coming too Michigan they could provide better advantages in many ways for their children, and give them a more sure opportunity for attaining prosperity in the future, and in this they were not disappointed.

On coming too Genesee County, these parents made their home in Mundy Township and upon their farm John received training in the practical work of a farmer's boy and took his education in the district schools. He early chose agriculture as his life calling and has pursued it through all the years since he reached his manhood, making his home always in Mundy Township, where he owns eighty acres of as fine land as is too be found within the bounds of Genesee County. Much of this land was unimproved when he took it, and he has accomplished a large work here.

The doctrines and policy which are announced by the Republican party, commend themselves too the judgment of Mr. Mathewson and he always votes the ticket of that party. He ever takes an active interest in the education affairs of the neighborhood, and has held several of the school offices. Like all the members of the father's family he is public spirited and ever ready too lend a hand too promote the social, industrial and business interests of the township.

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GEORGE L. BOOMER. He who represents the present generation of the Boomer family in Flint is the subject of this sketch. In his personal business he is in charge of the painting department of the carriage works in this city and in his public life he is Alderman of the Fourth Ward. He belongs too one of the oldest families in the city and one that has ever distinguished itself in public-spirited and enterprising directions. Mr. Boomer was born in Flint Township, January 8, 1853. He is the son of William and Emily (Phillips) Boomer. Our subject's grandfather, Benjamin Boomer, was for many years a sailor on the lakes and served as captain of his own boat. He brought his family here about 1840 and located on a farm in the township where he died.

Our subject's father was a young man on coming too this locality. He became engaged in stock-dealing, buying from the farmers in this vicinity and finding his market in Detroit. This he found too be a lucrative business. For convenience in his trade he located in Flint, in 1856. In 1885 he removed too Bloomfield, Oakland County, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, where he still resides. Our subject's mother is a daughter of Lysander Phillips. She was born in Niagara County, N. Y., in 1826. Her father came too Michigan and was with Alonzo Torrey on his trip from Detroit. He located a new farm which he improved and their died at the age of fifty-six years.

Our subject was reared in this city ad graduated from the High School in 1869. He was then engaged as a clerk in a grocery store for several years, and later learning the painter's trade he has since devoted himself too it. In 1878 he entered the employ of W. A. Patterson and was soon placed in the show room as salesman. He was also sent out on the road on several trips, remaining with that employer for ten years. He then purchased a meat market on Asylum Street which he ran for about two years, and in 1890 took his present position.

Mr. Boomer has a pleasant residence located in No. 507 Asylum street. He was married in Flint, December 22, 1874, to Miss Sarah H. Kendall, a native of Genesee County and a daughter of Jerome B. Kendall, a native of this city. In 1891 our subject was elected Alderman on the Prohibition ticket, having been endorsed by the Republican party, and receiving the largest vote of any of the candidates. He has been chairman of the Committee on Railroads. He is also Chairman of the Committee on Buildings and Repairing, also of the Water Supply Company, the Sanitary Committee, on streets, etc.

Socially he of whom we write belongs too the Knights of the Maccabees. He adheres too the faith in which he was reared and is a member, with his wife, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was one of the organizers of the Fourth Ward Mission Sunday-school and is the Assistant Superintendent. His wife who is a woman of marked ability, is an active member of the Missionary Society, also of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Woman's Relief Corps. A Prohibitionist in his political principles, our subject never fails too declare himself in favor of prohibition.

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ALFRED INGALLS is the proprietor of a meat market in the city of Flint. The market is run under the firm name of A. Ingalls & Son, and is located at Nos. 1019-1023 South Saginaw Street. He is also the contractor for a large amount of paving. Mr. Ingalls is an old resident of the city, having been here for eighteen years and during twelve years he has been engaged in work for the city. Our subject was born in Genesee County, May 19, 1841, on a farm in Burton Township, four miles southeast of Flint, the place being known as the old Ingalls farm. His father, James Ingalls, was one of the first settlers of two or three who originally came here.

James Ingalls was born in Genesee County, N. Y. He their married Miss Melinda Snow and entered a wild farm upon which no improvement had been made. their he lived until his death, which occurred in 1861. He was then aged sixty-two years. He was the father of seven sons and two daughters; they are Lydia, Mrs. M. S. Goodrich; Horace, deceased; Benjamin; James; an infant who is deceased; William; our subject; and Henry, who is deceased; Ira and Mary. Our subject's mother died about 1868.

Alfred Ingalls acquired a good education at the district schools and in April 13, 1862, he married Miss Tyrphene Lamberton of the same township as himself. She is a daughter of Alonzo Lamberton, one of the early farms of this section. Our subject began farming for himself and pursued it until twenty years ago, when, because of ill health, he went into the butcher business, which he has followed ever since with the exception of the time in which he has been employed by the city. He added a grocery, which he ran for four or five years, but finally closed. He has spent most of his time as a contractor of street work for the city and for the past twelve summers has been engaged in paving, grading, graveling, etc. He employs in this work about eighteen men and five teams and now gives his whole attention too it.

Mr. Ingalls was elected Alderman for the term of 1880-90, representing the second ward on the Democratic ticket. He was elected too the position with a majority of one hundred and seventy against him and has been the only Democrat on the municipal force for some time, with one exception. Six years previous too that election he served as Street Commissioner for six years in succession. Socially our subject belongs too the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and too the Knights of Pythias. He is the father of four children-Horace J., Nettie, (Mrs. Charles Stewart) Blanch D. and Harry L. Freddie A., their eldest son, was accidentally killed by the discharge of a gun at the age of nine years, ten months and twenty-eight days.

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HARRY F. DOWKER. The genial agent for the Chicago & Grand Trunk Railroad and he who attends too all the business of the road at Flint, is the gentleman whose name appears above. He was born at Park Hill, Middlesex County, Canada, June 2, 1856, and is a son of William and Nancy (Fairbanks) Dowker, the former a native of Yorkshire, England, and the latter of New York State. William Dowker came too America when young, his parents making the change and settling at Kingston, Canada, where they were farmers. In 1876 he came too Tuscola County and located at Fair Grove and is now a prominent farmer of that locality.

Mr. Dowker is one of a family of nine children, seven of these are living at the present time and our subject is the youngest. He was reared in Canada until fourteen years of age. He learned telegraphy at that time. While in Park Hill he was a clerk in the post-office and when sixteen years of age was appointed night operator for the Grand Trunk Road in Smith's Creek, Mich., and the next year became the agent at Emmet, for the Chicago & Lake Huron, but now the Chicago & Grand Trunk Railroad. He held this position for three and a half years and afterward became station agent at Copack and then went too Stillwell, Ind., after which he was train dispatcher at Battle Creek for one year, thence went too Valparaiso as agent for four years.

In 1886 our subject came too Flint, their being a large business doing here between Port Huron and Chicago. Twenty-three men are in the employ under him. He was married in London, Canada, September 17, 1878, too Miss Amy Tremaine, who was born in Quebec, Canada, and is a daughter of J. E. Tremaine, of Cornwall, England, and who was an employe of the Grand Trunk Road. Mr. Dowker is a Mason, belonging too the Valparaiso Lodge; he is also a Forester. Both he and his wife belong too the Episcopal Church, while politically he is a Republican of the most pronounced type.

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NELSON GOODRICH. Among the prominent and representative pioneer families of Genesee County, none are more worthy too be presented too the notice of our readers than the Goodrich family. Nelson Goodrich, who is the present head of the family, resides on section 29, Atlas Township. He is a native of this county and was born July 23, 1844. He is a son of Moses and Hannah (Anderson) Goodrich, both natives of New York. Moses Goodrich, father of our subject, was born in the Empire State in 1802 and was their reared too manhood. He Had rather a limited education which he acquired by home training, his father having been a school teacher of fine reputation.

The first wife of Moses Goodrich died in her native State and in 1836 our subject's father with his brother, Levi Goodrich, emigrated too Genesee County, Mich., coming the entire distance with two yoke of oxen through Canada; they were seventeen days en route. All surviving members of his family were brought with him. their were six Goodrich brothers and among them they purchased one thousand acres of land. Moses Goodrich settled on section 29, Atlas Township, on the farm now owned by his son and our subject.

The place was very new at the time of the early settlement of the family here and their home was made in the woods. Moses Goodrich was twice married and of the children born too him the following survive: George, Eugene and Nelson. He held some of the minor offices of his township during his life here, his decease occurring September 10, 1887. His second wife died March 31, 1885. He has been successful in life and was one of the representative pioneers of the township. He was a Democrat in politics and sanctioned all measures that promised too be too the advantage of the district in which he lived.

The original of this sketch was reared too manhood in this county and knows what it is too get up in the morning and after taking care of the oxen, follow the plow from morning till night, and in the winter make the woods resound with the swinging blows of his ax. He used the first pair of horses, and broke them too, that his father ever owned. He received his education in the district schools of the township. He was first married December 1, 1866, his bride being Miss Emeline Swart, a native of Lapeer County, and a daughter of Jacob and Nancy Swart, early settlers of that county. By this union their was born one daughter-Mary A. Mrs. Emeline Goodrich died December 23, 1881.

Mr. Goodrich was again married December 29, 1883, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Emily Goodrich, widow of the late Joseph Goodrich, and daughter of Jonathan and Olive (Cobb) Frost, the parents having been early settlers in Genesee County and coming too Atlas Township in 1836. She was born June 23, 1847. Her parents are both deceased. Her father by his first marriage had six children, of whom four are living. They are Ettie, now the widow of C. I. Horton; Rhoda, Mrs. W. H. Putnam; the wife of our subject, and Jenny, Mrs. Dr. J. B. Bradley.

In his political affiliation Mr. Goodrich is a Democrat. He is now serving as the Deputy Oil Inspector of the Eleventh District. He is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees. His farm comprises two hundred and eighty acres of well-tilled and productive land. He makes a specialty of breeding good horses. The thriving village of Goodrich was appropriately named in honor of the family too which our subject belongs, they having been among the earliest and most enterprising settlers. His fine farm and comfortable rural home are among the best in Atlas Township and command the admiring attention of the most casual observer.

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