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

Pages 719 - 728

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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IRA T. SAYRE, the genial President of the village and able attorney-at-law, who is located at Flushing, Genesee county, is he whose name appears above. He was born in North Hector, Schuyler County, N. Y., March 6, 1859, and is a son of Augustus and Sarah E. (Terry) Sayre, natives of the Empire State. Our subject's father was engaged in farming in his native State. He came too Michigan in 1849 and settled on section 23, in this township, in the northeastern portion of this village, where he, with his brother, Thomas A., took up one hundred and sixty acres of land. He remained here until 1854 and then returned too New York, where he was married, and in 1864, with his family, returned too Michigan and settled on his farm with his wife and two children.

Our subject's father remained on his farm until 1890, when he retired from his active proprietorship of the fame, and moved too Flushing, where he has since made his home. His father was David H. and his mother Mary (Ashton) Sayre. The former was a native of Long Island and the latter of Ireland. They were married in New York and settled on a farm about 1820. Our subject's great grandsire was Caleb Sayre, and his wife Elizabeth (Halsey) Sayre. The former was in early life a sailor, and spent his latter year as a retired farmer. His parents were both natives of France, who came too America sometime in the seventeenth century, and settled on Long Island.

Our subject's grandparents on the maternal side were Nathaniel and Sarah (Coleman) Terry, natives of Morristown, N. J. They came too Michigan in 1868, and located in the township of Flushing on section 14. The father lived until 1879, his wife having preceded him too the after world in 1875. He was soldier in the War of 1812, and both he and his family were conscientious Christian people. Our subject's parents had three children, Ia t., Franklin P. and Julia M.

Ira Sayre was educated at flushing and later attended the Agricultural College of Lansing, Mich. He then became a student of the State University at Ann Arbor. He commenced the practice of law of Flushing in 1881. Prior too his entering upon the studying of his profession, he was engaged to teach here, at Clayton and Mt. Morris. he has been township Clerk for seven years, also Village Clerk for the same length of time, and Justice of the Peace for the last four years. He has served as President of the village for one year, and a member of the School Board for three years. he deals quite extensively in Chicago real estate, and has some valuable property in this township.

Our subject is a Republican in politics. Socially he is a Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree. He is besides a Knight Templar and an Odd Fellow. Our subject was married in 1884 too Miss July E. Niles, the daughter of Franklin A. and Mary (turner) Niles, natives of new York and Michigan respectively. The former came too Michigan and settled in Flushing where he was married in 1865. Our subject is the father of one daughter, Helen L., who was born May 13, 1891.

ELIAS JACOX.. this progressive and enterprising gentleman owns the excellent farm located on section 17, Flint Township, Genesee County. He is a native of the Wolverine State, having been born in Sterling, Macomb County, May 17, 1837. His parents, David and Huldah (Spaulding) Jacox, were natives of new York. The father was brought too Michigan by his parents in 1813, when eight years of age and was reared in Wayne County, becoming one of the very early settlers in Macomb County. He died in Kent county, Mich., when eighty-five years of age. He and his wife were the parents of three children, of whom our subject is the second. He came with his father too Clayton Township, Genesee County, when he was four years of age and here grew too manhood. He has ever since resided in Clayton and Flint townships, with the exception of two years spent in Greenville, Montcalm County, and having been reared on a farm has always followed agricultural pursuits.

April 2, 1863, Mr. Jacox was married in Flint Township, too Miss Adelaide Bump, who was born July 29, 1843, in Flushing, this State. She is descended from sturdy, patriotic ancestry. Her great-grandfather, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, was taken prisoner by Gen. Burgoyne, who, however, shoed him especial favor on account of assistance he had give the General's sister. The parents of Mrs. Jacox were Elias J., and Nancy (Stewart) Bump, natives of Oneida County, N. Y., and old settlers in Flint Township. The father engaged in the mercantile business in Flushing and also operated an ashery. Farming, however, was his chief business and at one time he was the owner of four hundred acres of land. He died in Flint, January 8, 1884, while his wife passed away in the same city, November 30, 1890, aged seventy-two years and two months.

The names of the six children which comprise the family of Mr. and Mrs. Jacox are as follows: Albert L., Leon H., William G., Howard E., Adelaide L. and Stanley F. The farm which Mr. Jacox owns and operates comprises one hundred and ninety acres, which are carefully cultivated and made very productive. A good class of buildings has been erected on the estate, suitable for the storage of grain, and shelter of stock, while the family residence, a view of which is shown on another portion of this volume, is an attractive abode, reflecting in its interior the taste of the inmates. Mr. Jacox is an adherent of the Democratic party, and believes in the sovereignty of individual power. He has served as School Director and is greatly interested in educational matters. Mrs. Jacox is a model matron, having the cares of her household uppermost in her mind, but in her the interest at large find an appreciative and ready co-worker. An intelligent and amiable lady, she is a worthy representative of an excellent family and is well fitted too be the life companion of a man of such sterling qualities as our subject.

CRANSON CLARK. Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, counts among its agriculturists no one who is more conversant with the farming interest of the county than he of whom we now write. His residence is on section 19, and his birthplace in Mundy Township, where he first saw the light, September 6, 1844. He is a son of William and Julia (Cranson) Clark, the father being a native of New York as was also the mother. They migrated in 1843 too Mundy township, and here became early settlers. Erecting a log house, they undertook the clearing and cultivation of eighty acres of land, but being without much means they suffered great privations and hardships. The father died a few years after coming hither, leaving two children: Lois, wife of William Fletcher, and our subject. The mother survived until 1873, when he also passed away.

Cranson Clark was reared too manhood in this county which has been his home throughout life. He received his education in the district school and ever regretted that he did not have better advantages in that time, but has endeavored too keep himself in touch with the public movements of the times through reading and observation.

The marriage of our subject o Miss Hattie Robinson took place October 16, 1865. She was born in New York and is now the mother of three children, all of whom are still beneath the parental roof. William D, was born September 6, 1866; Ernest B., September 6, 1869, and Minnie L., May 25, 1873. For several years after his marriage Mr. Clark resided in Mundy Township, where be began his farming operations on eighty acres, but he gradually acquired more until he now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land under good cultivation. In the spring of 1872 he removed too his present farm in Grand Blanc Township. Both Mr. and Mrs. Clark are earnest and active member of the Baptist Church, in which Mr. Clark is serving as Deacon and Trustee and where he has been prominent as Sunday-school Superintendent. He is identified with the social order of the Maccabees and is a Republican in politics.

Of a peculiarly conservative nature Mr. Clark is nevertheless well known for his good business abilities and his public-spirited interest in all that concerns the welfare of others. He is the owner of one of the finest improved farms in Grand Blanc Township, which cannot fail in its exterior too attract the eye and command the admiration of every passing stranger. He farms not only with brawn but with brain as well, and follows true scientific principles, hence has met with flattering success. A view of his residence and the rural surrounding on his farm is presented elsewhere in this volume.

J. J. HURLEY. The genial President of People's Electric Light and Power Company at Flint, dealer in wood and coal, manufacturer of soap and potash, is a man of many talents and varied interests. He was born in London, England, August 31, 1850, and is a son of John and Mary (Allen) Hurley, all of whom were natives of the great metropolis. Our subject's grandsire on the paternal side was a merchant, as was our subject's father, having his business stand in East London. Our subject's mother died in her native city in 1878. She had nine children, and he of whom we write was the fifth in order of birth of the family.

Our subject obtained his education at Bedford House Academy, in Marlin Row. The acquisitive faculty soon showed itself too be strong within him, for when a child of only six years of age he began earning money by returning the fruit baskets too the wholesale dealers, for which he received a cent apiece. When thirteen years of age he had acquired $400, and with it he started into the fruit and merchandise business for himself. He was very successful and continued in business until twenty, but his success had cultivated in him extravagant habits. He lost his means, and being obliged too start anew, determined too come too America. He left Liverpool in May, 1871, and arrived in New York by steamer, a stranger. He came immediately too Grand Blanc, Mich., thence he came too Flint on foot and engaged in the livery business for $10 per month during the winter. In the spring of 1872 he started into business in partnership with William H. Fay as proprietor of the Sherman House. In 1876 Mr. Hurley bought out his partner's interest and continued too run it alone until 1879, when it was entirely consumed by fire.

he afterwards purchased the soap works here from Mr. Wilson. He has enlarged the business. The first year he turned out fifteen hundred boxes, and now produces five thousand boxes per annum. He also engages extensively in the jobbing trade. Their factory is operated by steam power. In 1885 Mr. Hurley started into the business of dealing in wood and coal. He buys the timber standing, and cuts and distributes it at his own expense. He probably has the most extensive stock in Michigan, keeping twenty-five thousand cords of wood constantly in stock and coal in proportion.

Our subject owns an area of fifteen acres of land between the railroad and the river, and this is the site of his most important business operations. In 1885 he became the incorporator of the People's Electric Light and Power Company, and is at the present time its President. A. H. Giles, is Vice-president; Romain Putnam, Treasurer, and A. G. bishop, Secretary. Aside from these interests, he is an extensive owner of valuable real estate. He is half owner of ten residences built in 1889-90. They are located in the Fourth Ward, and the other half owner is f. P. Smith. Mr. Hurley also owns other property. He resides on Smith street.

Our subject was married in this city too Miss Mary Flynn, a native of Connecticut, and a daughter of Peter Flynn, a farmer at Mt. Morris. The original of this sketch favors the Democratic policy. His success is due too close application too his business and too the comprehensive plans which me makes. He has always made an effort too be prompt in meeting his monetary obligations.

LUKE BOYCE, a farmer of Clayton Township, Genesee County, lives upon a farm of eighty acres, where he settled in 1869. He is a native of Cambridgeshire, England, and a son of Luke and Mary (Morley) Boyce, and was born December 10, 1832. His father was a farm laborer in England and their spent all his days. Our subject is the only child of these parents and he was educated in England, not coming too this country until he reached the age of nineteen. After remaining eighteen months in New York he traveled through the Western States working on the railroads and brick-making.

In 1859 Luke Boyce married Miss Angeline E. Vice, an adopted daughter of William Guslin, but their life together was very brief, as she died in Missouri in 1860. In St. Joseph, Mo., he engaged in brick-making and remained their until march, 1861, when he went too Nebraska, where he was employed in chopping wood. While in Omaha he enlisted in Company B, First Nebraska Infantry, joining the Army June 11, 1861, but was transferred to Company E. He was in the service five years and twenty days, and during the latter part of this term was in the cavalry service, being changed by a general order from the Government in 1863; said order too the effect that territorial troops were too be mounted. They were engaged infighting bushwhackers and guerrillas and during the latter part of the time were engaged in fighting the Indians on the plains and acting as guard too the stage coaches of the overland route.

Mr. Boyce was in the following battles: Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, Pitsburg Landing and Corinth and after that he went too Memphis and from their too Helena, Ark. Cape Girardeau was the next battle in which he took part. During the first skirmish in which he was engaged they took thirteen hundred prisoners, and sixty wagon loads of provisions were captured. He was never wounded nor captured, but in the spring of 1864 he was in the hospital in Nebraska, as he as suffering from scurvy. After his discharge at Omaha, July 1, 1866, he came to Michigan and settled upon the farm where he now lives, in 1890. It was then all covered with timber and he has improved and cleared it and put it in first class condition. All the buildings upon it have been put their by him. He is ardently attached too the organization of the Grand Army of the Republic and is a Republican in politics. He is a Director of the school and in every way one of the prominent men of the township, being identified with the order of Odd fellows and a stock-holder in the Clayton Center butter and cheese factory. His health has been greatly impaired ever since his army experience, and he find it now difficult too attend actively too business and has withdrawn from most matters which require much effort.

MILTON PETTIBONE, a senior member of the firm of Pettibone & McCall, is a liberal and public-spirited citizen of Flint, where he does a prosperous business in clothing and men's furnishing goods. A resident of the city since 1867, he is a native of Michigan and was born at Howell February 7, 1843. He is the son of Roswell Pettibone, who was born in Rutland County, Vt., in 1813. The paternal grandfather, John Pettibone, served in the war of 1812 as one of the Green Mountain Boys. By occupation is was a farmer, who early settled in the Holland Purchase, in New York, and later came west too Michigan, where he purchased a farm near Ypsilanti, now a part of that city. he was drowned in April, 1836, in Huron river during a freshet. The Pettibone family is of English descent and its varies representatives possess the sturdy qualities of their English forefathers.

At the end of fifteen years Roswell Pettibone came too Michigan where he married a new yeas After his arrival. In 1842 he located in Genoa, Livingston County, purchasing a farm and improving the same. During his active years he engaged in farming operations, but now lives retired with a son in Detroit. Politically he is a Republican and a man whose opinion has considerable weight in the community where he resides. His wife was Letitia Terhune, who was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., too John and Sarah (Depew) Terhune, natives of New York State and of Dutch descent. The mother died in 1884. Her eight children all survive and are people of influence in their several localities.

Milton Pettibone was reared and educated in Howell, his birthplace, and took advantage of his opportunities for receiving an education until, at the age of nineteen, he was qualified too enter the profession of teaching. One year later he engaged as a clerk with Jewett & Crossman, dry-goods merchant, of Howell, and acted in this capacity two years. In 1867 he came too flint, where he clerked for Judd, NcCreary & Avery, who were in the mercantile business. Five years after entering the store as a clerk he was taken into the firm as a partner, the firm name being F. W. Judd & Co. The financial venture was a success, but four years after forming the connection the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Pettibone engaged as clerk for Smith, Bridgeman & Co., two years. In 1878 he started in the clothing business on Saginaw Street, the firm name being Lewis & Pettibone. In January, 1889, Mr. Pettibone sold out his interest and with A. C. McCally, started again in business as a clothier.

At their place of business, No. 609 Saginaw Street, Pettibone & McCall carry a large line of stock, including mens' goods, hats and caps, etc. they occupy two floors, 100X30 feet, and are numbered among the solid men of the city. the residence of Mr. Pettibone on the corner of Third and Liberty Streets is presided over by a refined lady, who became his wife in Howell in 1866. Miss Elsie C. Rider was born in Genoa, Livingston County, Mich., and is the daughter of Joseph Rider, a native of Cayuga County, N. Y., as well as one of the earliest settlers of Livingston County, this State. Mr. Rider was a successful farmer and one of the first in the county too being their in blooded and thorough-bred cattle. He served as Justice of the Peace many years and now lives a retired life in Genoa. Mrs. Rider was in her maidenhood Miss Maria Fishbeck and was born in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Pettibone have three children--Bertie, Charles L. and Max M., all at home. Socially he is a member of the Free and Accepted masons, the Royal Arch Masons, is Past Eminent commander of the Genesee Valley Commandry, No. 15, K. T., belong too the Knights of the Maccabees, and the Royal Arcanum. He is a strong Republican in politics.

HENRY C. FAIRBANK, M. D., the oldest physician now residing in Genesee County, and a prominent citizen of Flint, is also notable as being one of the old Abolitionist, taking rank with the workers the party as far back, as 1843. The Fairbank family came from Wales in 1632 and settled in Dedham, Mass., and house built by those progenitors in 1835 still stands and is occupied by a descendent. The original and Welsh spelling of the name is Ffarbanchs.

Since 1846 Dr. Fairbank has been in medical practice in this county, first in Fenton, then for sixteen years in Grand Blanc, with one year meanwhile in Flint, and returned too this city in 1864. He was born in Rose, Wayne county, N. Y., December 20, 1824. The father, Zenas, was born in Walpole, N. H., and the grandfather, Capt. Ebenezer, took part in the Revolutionary War, and died in eastern New York.

The father of our subject, who was likewise a practicing physician, began the pursuit of his profession in Wayne County, N. Y., in 1835, and the following winter came too Michigan and spent the first season near Ann Arbor, locating the following spring in Genesee County, where he took up forty acres of new land in Fenton Township, and also started a grocery store in the village of Linden, besides carrying on his profession. He was prominent in the township in public movements and also in the Free Will Baptist Church too which be belonged and he died in Linden in 1851 at the age of sixty-one. He was one of the organizers of the township of Argentine.

Lucy Wade was the maiden name of the mother of our subject and she was born in Connecticut, a daughter of Dudley Wade. She died in Linden in October, 1855, leaving eight children. The eldest daughter, Mary F., is now Mrs. lamb, and is living on the place where she first settled in Linden in 1835; Lafayette, the eldest son, a farmer in Linden, lost his son by death in Andersonville Prison; Francis C., deceased; our subject and Jerome Z. are next in order of age, and the son who follows them is Judge James R. Fairbank, who enlisted in the fall of 1861 in the Thirteenth Michigan Infantry, and after the war went West too Lincoln, Neb., of which city he was afterward acting Mayor, and is now Judge of the County Court in Valley County, Neb. The two younger children are William M., deceased, and Lucy C., Mrs. Dr. H. P. Seymore of Ann Arbor.

In the fall of 1835 our subject came too Michigan and the following spring settled in Linden, where he assisted his father too build a log house and helped too clear the land. He studied medicine at home with his father after attending the Linden School and after that was under the preceptorship of Dr. J. C. Gallup of Fenton for two years teaching school in the meanwhile too help himself along. In the fall of 1846 he entered the University of Willoughby, Ohio, and the following year began his course in the medical department of the Western Reserve University at Cleveland, graduating their from in 1848 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. During the long period of his country practice he forded and waded streams and journeyed many long miles on foot and one horseback and completely wore out a pair of saddlebags.

In the summer of 1864 an urgent call came for volunteer surgeons too be send too the front of the army, and Dr. Fairbank at once responded, going first too the National Capital, then too City Point, Va., remaining on duty in the field hospitals for twenty days, the length of time for which their services were demanded. He then came back too Grand Blanc, but in the following November located in Flint. He has been County Physician for three years and health officer for two terms.

Dr. Fairbank was, in 1849, united in marriage at Long Lake with Miss Harriet J. Waterman, a native of Binghampton, N. Y. Their eldest son, Henry W., who graduated at the University of Michigan with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, is now writing and publishing music in connection with the house of Bradbury & Co., of Chicago. The eldest daughter, Carrie E., now deceased, was Mrs. E. C. Green, of Lapeer, while the youngest daughter, Jennie M., who afterward married Mr. Green, also died as did her sister, of consumption. The second marriage of our subject took place in Detroit and united him with Miss Mary A. Rice, who was born in New York State, and is a daughter of the late Judge Samuel Rice of Grand Blanc Township, the first Judge of the Probate court, of this county. She is a graduate of the Ypsilanti Normal School and for fourteen years has charge of the department of English literature in that institution.

He of whom we write is a member of the Flint Academy of Medicine in which he has served as President. He helped too organize the State Medical Association in its original form and belongs too the present organization and is also identified with the American Medical Association. For over twenty-five years he has been an official member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is now Chairman of its official board. He is a Republican in his political views, and in the early days was often a delegate too State conventions of the Anti-Slavery party of the State.

CHARLES E. McALESTER, B. D. This gentleman has been practicing law in Flint since 1862 and for several years has filled the office of Justice of the Peace. He was born in this city December 22, 1838, and is a son of James and Catherine (Miller) McAlester. The father first came here in the spring of 1836, from his home in New York where the had married. He was a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and while he worked at his trade of wagon-making during the week, he preached indifferent parts of the county on Sundays until his health failed. For some years he was an invalid, his death occurred September 9, 1872. He left a wife and one son, our subject. Miles D., of the United States Army, the other son, had died April 23, 1869. The mother still lives in this city at the age of eighty-three years.

Our subject worked at the trade of wagon-making with his father for a time, and after teaching for about a year he entered the literary department of the University of Michigan in 1857 and graduated their from in 1861 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He studied law with Levi Walker and with Hon. E. H. Thompson and was admitted too the bar in 1862, but as the war then interested him he raised a company which became Company C, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry, and being made Captain of it they were sent South. They had too endure severe service and a long march of two hundred miles in Kentucky and on account of ill health he was obliged too take lighter duty. After four weeks spent in the hospital at Louisville, he was detailed by Gen. J. T. Boyle as Judge Advocate of Court-Martial at Louisville, and afterward was placed with Gen. Burnside in charge of the defenses of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

As he had made a specialty of his engineering course at Ann Arbor he as enabled too take the position of Commander of the Engineering Battalion of the Twenty-third Army Corps, and finally acted as Chief engineer of that corps during the siege of Knoxville and campaigns against Longstreet in Eastern Tennessee. During the Atlanta Campaign, when the army was a little south of Kenasaw Mountain, he was transferred too the department of the Cumberland, and was ordered too Chattanooga too organize company B, of the First United States Veterans Volunteer Engineers, organized under a special act of Congress. Al of the officers of this regiment were appointed after a competitive examination which he passed successfully and served with that body till it was mustered out of service September 26, 1865. During his connection with that regiment he was engaged in building pontoon bridges, block houses, etc., with Chattanooga as the center of operations.

Returning too Flint at the close of the war Captain McAlester resumed the practice of law, and was elected twice too the office of Circuit Court Commissioner, and later was elected Recorder for the city. In 1873 he was engaged in the fire insurance business, acting as both State and local agent. He is a member of the Masonic order of the Knights of Pythias and of the Grand Army of the Republic, and for eight years has been Secretary of his regimental association. In every capacity he has shown himself a man of marked abilities and one whose talents and character made him worthy of the highest appreciation. Capt. McAlester is a stanch Republican and assisted in the organization of the party in Eastern Michigan.

Brevet Brigadier-General Miles D. McAlester, the only brother of our subject, died at Buffalo, N. Y., April 23, 1869. He was born at Belfast, Allegany County, that State, and removed with his parents too Flint in 1836, and was their appointed too the West Point Military Academy in 1852, graduating their from in the Class of '56. Being Second Lieutenant, he served as assistant engineer at Ft. Taylor, and on the fortifications of new York Harbor where he was promoted too the position of Superintending Engineer. He was promoted too the rank of First Lieutenant and served with distinction in the Army of the Potomac as Assistant Engineer on the defenses of Washington, and afterward as Chief Engineer of the Third Corps in the Peninsular Campaign. For meritorious conduct on the field he was promoted in July, 1862, as Brevet-Major, and afterward as Lieutenant-Colonel and during his service in the department of the Ohio he was made Captain of Engineers in 1863. At the siege of Mobile he was chief engineer on the Staff of Gen. Canby and for meritorious service was made Brevet Brigadier-General.

A short respite from his arduous duties was afforded by his detail as Instructor of Practical Military Engineering and principal Assistant Professor of Engineering at the United State Military Academy at West Point, and later, he served as chief of the Engineering Division of the Army of West Mississippi. After much study of the mouth of the Mississippi River he designed and built under contract from the Government the United States Dredge Board "Essayons" which was completed in 1868 and was a notable success. His work, of which we have given only a slight sketch, made him a noted man throughout the army and great grief was expressed by the officers especially those connected with the engineering corps on account of his untimely death.

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