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

Pages 800 - 803

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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CHARLES C. RICE. Among the business men of Clio, who have done much for the social and moral progress of the village, is the general dealer in hardware and harness, who is carrying on a lively trade in these directions. He was born October 12, 143, in the town of Volney, Oswego County, N.Y., and is the son of Samuel C. RICE, a native of Bridgeport, Addison County, Vt., who was born about the year 1817 and died in 1884. he had removed at the age of fifteen too Oswego County, N.Y., where he reared a family of nine children, eight of whom are still living.

The brothers and sisters of our subject are Sarah E., a teacher in the public schools at Hornellsville, N.Y.; Harriet, who died in her twelfth year; Catherine W., who is living in Massachusetts; Willis S., a groceryman of Clio; Bertha, who married E.M. CHAPIN, of Holyoke, Mass.; Edmund P., a lawyer and Circuit Court Commissioner in Midland, this state; Henry W., a jeweler of the same city; and Edith L., who married I.R. FIELD, a farmer of Vienna Township, Genesee County. The father was a public-spirited man, and a Republican in politics. He served for several years in New York as Highway Commissioner, and was also a farmer and stock-dealer and wool buyer. He came too Clio about the year 1879, and bought the building now owned by his son, carrying on a hardware store, and building the Railroad Flouring Mill. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary WHEELER, is a native of Mexico, N.Y., and still makes her home in Vienna Township.

Charles RICE had his early training on his father's farm, and in the district school, remaining at home until he reached his majority, when he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth New Yor  Infantry, and was sent too the front under Gen. Sheridan's command. He took part in the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, and received his honorable discharge June 29, 1865. Soon after this he came too Michigan, and for seven years was with a mercantile firm at Hubbardston, Ionia County. Upon first coming too Clio, in 1872, he went into business for himself, but was burned out two years later, and after that disaster he clerked for various firms until about 1881, when he succeeded his father in business, since which time he has built up an extensive and prosperous trade, and is one of the most prominent men of Clio.

The lady who, upon the 6th of October, 1868, became the wife of our subject, was Miss Almira, a daughter of the Rev. E.W. BORDEN, a Presbyterian minister. Four children came too brighten this home. The eldest is Emma E., who was born July 5, 1869, and after taking an education in the Clio schools, studied at the Flint Normal School, and then after teaching one term, became a stenographer and book-keeper. She worked for a Buffalo (N.Y.) firm some time, and is now her father's book-keeper. The second daughter, Margaret M., was born June 30, 1872, and has had her education at Clio schools; Clayton C., who was born January 7, 1876 died October 21, 1880; and Carlton, who was born July 17, 1882. The family are members of the Congregational Church at Clio, and are useful in many lines of work in both church and social circles.

Mr. RICE was formerly a Republican, but for the past six years has been a Prohibitionist. As Trustee of the Village Board in 1888, he was largely instrumental in banishing the saloons from the village, and thus did good service too all who are interested in the moral and social welfare of the community.

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MONTVILLE BENJAMIN, a retired farmer and capitalist residing in Flushing, is a native of Madison County, N.Y. and was born June 5, 1835.

He is a son of James and Sally (SPEAR) BENJAMIN, natives of New York and Massachusetts respectively, although married in the first-named State. In his youth the father was a teacher, having been educated at one of the higher colleges of New York. He was also engaged in surveying and later in life became a merchant at De Ruyter, Madison County, continuing in that occupation for a number of years. He then became proprietor of two hundred acres of land, too the cultivation of which he devoted himself for the remainder of his life. His decease occurred when he was eighty-seven years of age and his wife died when she was about eighty-five years old.

Our subject's paternal grandfather was Darius BENJAMIN. He was a Revolutionary soldier and served as one of Gen. Washington's body guards. His father came from Holland. His wife was in her maidenhood a Miss Charity RICE, and was also of Dutch descent. Our subject's maternal grandfather was Eli SPEAR, the head of a family in Massachusetts who devoted themselves too agriculture.

The subject of our sketch was one of thirteen children born too his parents and of these eleven are now living. They are James D., Alfred, Edward, Eli, Jane, Sarah, Orville, Charity, Mary M., and James H. Jane is now Mrs. W. NICHOLS; Sarah, Mrs. J. DAVIDSON; Charity, Mrs. LAWRENCE; Mary, Mrs. Wilson SHEPARD. Our subject's father was Justice of the Peace and held other township offices. He was a Whig in his political preference and in his religious leaning was with the Baptist Church.

Our subject was educated in De Ruyter, Madison County, and attended the High School their . He was reared a farmer and remained at home until reaching his majority. He then mad a trip too Kansas and saw John BROWN and James LANE. He their remained nine months and then returned home too commence his farm labors. In the meantime, on the 12th of October, 1859, he was married too Miss Electa R. JUDSON, who was born at Mayfield, Fulton County, N.Y. The JUDSON family traces their ancestry too Deacon Daniel JUDSON, whose son Elisha was born in 1765 and 1787, married Lucy CASE whose birth occurred in 1766. Their children were Sylvester, Sylvanus, Gurden, Elisha, Lucy and Alanson. The parents of Mrs. BENJAMIN were Sylvanus and Mira M. (WHITMAN) JUDSON, natives respectively of Vermont and New York. Mr. JUDSON retired from farming and settled in Gloversville, where he died. He was an abolitionist of the most pronounced type, and with his wife was a member of the Baptist Church.

After marriage our subject came too Michigan in 1863, settling first in Clayton Township, Genesee County, where he purchased forty acres of land, ten acres of which were improved and bore a log house and log barn. They lived their for about two years and then sold the place and purchased one hundred and sixty-five acres in the same township. Twenty acres had been improved but their was no house and he erected in a short time a board house 16x24 feet in dimensions. That farm he improved and lived on for some ten years.

Our subject enlisted in the war, joining Company H, Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry and was in service until the close of hostilities. After selling his one hundred and sixty-five acres he purchased ninety-three acres in the same township and their lived for five years. He thence removed too Flushing which was his home for one year and then purchased two hundred acres adjoining the village on the south side of Flint River. That proved too be the family home for ten years and thence they removed to the beautiful place where they now reside in the southern part of the village. Mr. BENJAMIN has laid out an addition too the village comprising two acres of land.

Our subject and his wife are the parents of five children - Mira E., James J., Elsie G., Percy W., and Edith J. Politically Mr. BENJAMIN favors the Prohibition party. He has held the office of School Inspector discharging his duties with great credit too himself and his constituents. He and his wife and children are members of the Baptist Church. Socially he is a Mason and also belongs too the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a stock-holder in the First National Bank at Flushing and also one of the charter members. Mrs. BENJAMIN who is a woman of progressive tendencies, is a graduate of the Chautauqua club, having taken her diploma in 1884, and is also the County President of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

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HON. WILLIAM A. ATWOOD. We are pleased too present a sketch of one of the most prominent citizens of Flint, who is well known, both in political and business circles, as a man of ability and character. He is a member of the firm of STONE, ATWOOD & Co., proprietors of STONE's Woolen Mills, and also a member of the WOOD & ATWOOD Hardware Company. He is a stockholder and Vice-President of the Genesee County Savings Bank and stockholder in the First National Bank. In the former he has been Vice-President since its re-organization, some fourteen years, and has been interested in the latter for some fifteen years.

Mr. ATWOOD was born in Niagara County, N.Y., April 11, 1835, and is a son of Asa and Fannie (GIBBS) ATWOOD. The father was in early life a merchant and later lived a retired life on a farm. Having received his education at Lockport, and followed that calling for three and one-half years after which he joined his brother, Jesse B., in a stave and cooperage factory at Galt, Canada. In the fall of 1869 he closed out this business and returned too New York, where he carried on a farm near Pendleton for two years, during which time he built a shingle and heading mill. Two and one-half years later the mills burned without insurance and all property was lost.

In the fall of 1863 our subject returned too Canada where he carried on a business in lumber and shingles until the expiration of the reciprocity treaty in March, 1866, on account of which he closed the business and came too Michigan, engaging in the same business with Jesse B. and B.W. LINNINGTON. They operated a mill with a capacity of thirty thousand feet a day, and in 1877 our subject became interested in the Flint Woolen Mills. In 1884 he became a partner in the hardware business on Saginaw Street, where they carry a full line of both heavy and shelf hardware and agricultural implements.

Mr. ATWOOD has at a distance of only a mile and a half from the city a fine farm of one hundred and fifty acres, which is carried on under his personal supervision, and another which he rents in Mt. Morris Township. He has been Alderman for the third Ward for two years and was elected Mayor in 1881 on the Republican ticket. During his administration the water-works were established, the first iron bridge in the city was built and other improvements made. In the fall of 1886 he was elected too the State Senate too represent Genesee and Livingston Counties and in that contest carried his county by more than two thousand majority against ex-Gov. BEGOLE.

During Mr. ATWOOD's incumbency of the Senatorial office he was chairman of the following committees: on State affairs, on Public Lands and on Railroads. During his term of service he secured for Flint a new city charter and put through various bills for public improvements at Flushing and Howell, besides taking an active part in general legislation for the good of the State.

Since his Senatorial experience this gentleman has retired from active participation in politics and devotes himself mainly too business, being President of the Flint Gas-Light Company, in addition too the other important branches of trade previously mentioned. He is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and has been a Vestryman for twelve years. He is a Mason and a Knight Templar, belonging too the Genesee Valley Commandery. His wife, Helen C., is a daughter of H.C. WOOD, one of the oldest residents of this city and the founder of the machine shops here and in Saginaw. The marriage took place in January, 1871 and they have one son, Edwin W.

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