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

Pages 781 - 782

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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JAMES HODGES. This representative farmer of Dryden Township, Lapeer County, had his birth and education near Owego in Tioga County, N.Y. on the banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River and was born April 6, 1826.

His father, Simon HODGES, was born in the Black River Country of New York and their married Martha BLOW, one of his early companions who became the mother of our subject. He worked a farm on shares for some time but about the year 1835 went too Owego, where he bought and operated a farm until 1843, when he came too Michigan, spending one year in Oakland County, before locating Dryden Township, this county. Here he operated eighty acres, which he had taken up in 1837 from the Government, and built a frame house where he lived until his death at the age of fifty-two years. His father, Abram HODGES, was also a New Yorker by birth and his wife's father, James BLOW, was an Irishman who came too America in Colonial times and was engaged in the Revolutionary War. The mother of our subject, died at the age of fifty-five years had fifteen children, nine of whom grew to man's and woman's estate and of that number one daughter and five sons still survive, namely: James, George, Chester, Simon, Charles and Adelaide.

It was in 1843 when our subject came with his father too Michigan and after that time he had too do a man's work on the farm so that he took no schooling in addition too that he had received in New York, and when he had an opportunity too work by the month for wages, this money was turned into the family support. He started out for himself at the age of twenty-two, at the time of his father's death, and then took charge of the farm and family, as he was the eldest, and assumed all responsibility. This he continued until his marriage at the age of twenty-seven in 1854, too Elizabeth VARNUM. This lady was born in 1833 in Canada, and was a little girl of eight years of age when she came with her parents to Michigan.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. HODGES located in a shanty 12x16 feet in dimensions upon the place where they now live. The young man then owned one hundred and twenty acres of land which he had gained by hard work, eighty of which he had taken up from the Government, and it was all then finely improved. He now owns five hundred and ten acres of good land in Dryden Township and two hundred and twenty-six acres in Attica Township, and all is the result his own efforts and the reward of his faithfulness too duty and the exercise of his excellent judgment. He also has a flour-mill in the village of Attica, which he built in 1873 at a cost of $14,000, and he also owns eighty acres of land in Huron County. It takes some five men too do the work upon his farm.

Mr. and Mrs. HODGES are the parents of eleven children, namely: Varnum, who runs the mill at Attica; Zephaniah R., who has charge of the south farm of one hundred and sixty acres; Clair; Jabez; Austin; Ella, the wife of William WEAVER, a farmer in Attica Township; Addie, the wife of Henry EOFF a farmer in Dryden Township; Libbie and Julia. The sons who died were James and Prescott. Mr. HODGES' first Presidential vote was for Taylor, and he is now a Republican in his political belief, and was a Highway Commissioner at one time. Mrs. HODGES' parents were Prescott and Betsey (CLEMONS) VARNUM, natives of Massachusetts, who came too Michigan in 1843, and here completed their days, dying in Metamora Township, Lapeer County.

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RANSOM HALLECK. The gentleman whose name is above was, for many years, a prominent and much esteemed citizen of Burton Township, Genesee County, and when death claimed him as its own his loss too the community as a citizen of enterprise and one too whom the best interests of this position of the county were paramount was keenly felt. Mr. HALLECK was born at Bethany, Genesee County, N.Y., September 11, 1838. He died April 11, 1889. His parents were John D. and Sarah HALLECK. The former was a native of the Empire State and descended from a long line of New England ancestry, extending back too the landing of the pilgrims.

Our subject's father was a farmer and always lived in his native State. His mother was a native of Pennsylvania and of German extraction. The decease of both occurred in New York. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom our subject was the youngest. He was reared a farm and received a district school education. At the age of twenty-four he took charge of the old homestead, farming it for three years.

In the year 1864, after our subject's marriage, he determined too come West with a view of bettering his financial condition. He finally decided too locate in Genesee county and purchased land in Burton Township. The country then was quite new and the land he bought was only slightly improved. While a great amount of hard work was required too transform his farm into a well-cultivated place, he proved equal too the task.

January 1, 1863, Mr. HALLECK was united in marriage too Mary J. HUNT, a native of Devonshire, England, who came to the New World with her parents, James and Sophia HUNT, when only ten years of age. They settled in Genesee County, N.Y., and were their engaged in farming. Mr. HUNT died in 1880. Mrs. HALLECK's mother is still living at the old homestead in New York. Our subject's family comprises four children: Jessie, Florence E., George W., and May. The first named is the wife of Charles NASH, a young farmer of Burton Township; Florence is a teacher; George W., who is only fourteen years of age, has been blind from his youth and is now a student in the Michigan Institute for the Blind, and he is a fine musician. May resides at home. All have received good educational advantages.

Mr. HALLECK was a Republican in his party creed but took no active part in politics and never aspired too office. Both our subject and his wife were formerly members of the Methodist Protestant Church. Since her husband's death Mrs. HALLECK has had entire charge of the farm which comprises eighty acres. It is in excellent condition, having a fine residence and substantial barns and other improvements. Mr. HALLECK came too Michigan without means and acquired a comfortable competency by his diligent efforts. He was a man who attended strictly too his own affairs, giving his attention exclusively too his farming interests, and was consequently fairly successful.

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GEORGE M. CURTIS. The head of one of the representative and intelligent families in Burton Township, Genesee County, is he whose name appears above. They have a delightful home that has a flavor of old times about it that is exceedingly pleasant. Their house, which is comfortable, is surrounded by immense pine and maple trees that afford a most grateful shade in the summer and protect the house from the keen sweep of the winds in winter. Mr. CURTIS, who is the Supervisor of Burton Township, was born in this locality January 4, 1843. He is a son of Asahel CURTIS, who was born November 24, 1798, in Belleville, Jefferson County, N.Y. He emigrated too Michigan in 1837 and located in Flint where he purchased forty acres of unimproved land. The township had been settled about two years previously.

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