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

Pages 811 - 813

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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MENZO D. BULLOCK. The gentleman whose name is above is one of the successful farmers of Elba Township, Lapeer County. He was born in Decatur, Otsego County, N.Y., in 1832, and was the ninth in order of birth in a family of twelve children, whose names are as follows: Abigail K., Mary A., Caroline, Martha J., John, Almira, Alvira, William, our subject, Elizabeth, Saloma and Irving. The parents of this large family were Shubael and Sally (CAMPBELL) BULLOCK. The father was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1793, the mother in Otsego County, N.Y., about 1795.

Our subject's paternal grandfather, William BULLOCK, was a native of Massachusetts. He served in the Revolutionary War. He reared a family of four sons and one daughter, as follows: William, Cyrus, Israel, Schubael, and Electa who became the wife of Benjamin STARKWEATHER. The family are of English descent and have ancestors in the past who distinguished themselves in the history of their country. Menzo BULLOCK's father was a cabinet maker by trade and a skilled workman.

The original of this sketch reached years of maturity in the Empire State and came too Lapeer County, Michigan, in 1854. He purchased the farm where he now resides in 1857 and the same year he assumed the duties and responsibilities of married life, his bride being Miss Sarah J. VILAS. As the years passed the home circle has been increased by the advent of eight children, seven of whom are still living, and whose names are as follows: Selinda A., Edward I., Julian W., Lizzie A., Albert M., George and Edith M. Edward is a resident of Dakota; Lizzie is the wife of A. SUTHERLAND.

Mrs. BULLOCK is a daughter of Oreb VILAS, who was born Derby, Orleans County, Vt., in January, 1803. He removed to Canada East in 1822, where he remained until 1835, when he removed too Wheatfield, Niagara County, N.Y. In 1847 he came too Elba, Lapeer County. In 1829 he married Jane SEVERANCE, a daughter of Ebenezer SEVERANCE; she died, leaving no issue and in 1832 he married Sarah, daughter of Elijah HALL. They came too this county and here resided until the time of the father's death, which occurred in September of 1859. The children are as follows: Lucy, who married William HEWETT; Alden, who resides in Isabella County; Edward R. lives in Elba; Sarah J. is Mrs. BULLOCK; William died in the army.

Oreb VILAS was a son of Aaron VILAS, who was born in Worcester County, Mass. in March, 1770; he died in March, 1859, in Quebec, where he spent the last days of his life. He was a brother of Levi B. VILAS, who was father of Hon. William VILAS. Politically, Mr. BULLOCK is a Prohibitionist and votes as he thinks; in their church preference he and his wife are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church

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BENJAMIN COTHARIN. This gentleman is one of the oldest settlers now residing in Flint, he having bought property in 1836 upon the site of the present city. A native of Seneca County, N.Y., he was born September 10, 1812, and is the son of Samuel and Leah (DUTCHER) COTHARIN. The father followed the occupation of a carpenter and joiner, as well as a millwright, and removed in 1815 too Genesee County, N.Y., south of the town of Brockport. At that time our subject was a child of three years, and he later went too Avon, Monroe County, with his parents. Afterward the family removed too Mendon, N.Y., where Benjamin attended school and received a common-school education. This, however, was not the permanent location of the members of the family, for they finally settled in Rochester, N.Y., where the parents spent their remaining years.

When sixteen years old Benjamin COTHARIN left home too make his own way in the world and engaged as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Palmyra, N.Y. After the time of his apprenticeship expired he worked at his trade in Reynolds Basin and in the spring of 1831 he started in business for himself at Johnson's Creek. After a close confinement of two years, devoted assiduously too his trade, his health failed and he sold out his business and engaged as a journeyman, peddling his wares from Rochester, N.Y., for three years, and becoming well known in the vicinity of that place as a reliable dealer and an honest man. The year 1836 marked his arrival in Genesee County, this State, the journey being made by way of Buffalo, N.Y., through Ohio too Detroit.

In Shiawassee County, this State, Mr. COTHARIN purchased one hundred and twenty acres of unimproved land and also bought a lot in this city on Saginaw Street between Second and Third Streets, paying $300 for the same. In the fall of 1836 he returned too the State of New York where he spent the following winter. February of 1837 found him on the return trip and he reached the city of Flint on March 10. Here he opened the first shoe shop in the place and engaged as a shoemaker. On March 31 he traded his land in Shiawassee County for property in Oakland County.

About this time he established domestic ties of his own, choosing as his wife Miss Eliza CARTER, of Oakland County, and with her he was united in the holy bounds of wedlock February 18, 1841. Mrs. COTHARIN was born March 22, 1822, and was the daughter of Joseph CARTER.

After his marriage Mr. COTHARIN farmed until 1847 when he sold his place, which he had partly improved, and purchased the Dow farm in Springfield Township, Oakland County, which was his home for eight years. Upon this farm he made extensive improvements, bringing the soil too a high state of cultivation and erecting substantial buildings. After having farmed until 1855 he embarked in the mercantile business in Springfield Township and was engaged for ten months. At the same time he managed an hotel with success. Having from these varied sources accumulated considerable money he removed too Flushing, this State, and bought a farm which he operated for two years. We next find him in Flint, where he was engaged in the grocery business twelve years and general merchandise until 1868. At that date he retired from active business and has since, in the enjoyment of a comfortable competency, passed his declining years. His course in business has been such as too gain for him the confidence of all who know him and in social circles his kindly heart and genial manners win for him the friendship of everyone who meets him.

Aside from the various line of business above mentioned Mr. COTHARIN has engaged in other enterprises. He has been a Director in the First National Bank since the second year of its existence, making twenty-nine years in all, an has also loaned money. Until 1889, when he disposed of it, he owned six hundred and five acres in Grand Blanc Township, this county, and now owns one hundred and sixty-one acres in Genesee Township, this county, on which his son resides. He is the owner of city property of considerable value, including three stores on Saginaw Street, one brick store at Flushing, and has disposed of twenty-five acres situated mostly within the limits of the city of Flint. In the growth of the city he has always been interested and has served efficiently as Alderman of the First Ward.

The congenial marriage of Mr. and Mrs. COTHARIN brought too them seven children, only three of whom are now living. Martha died at the age of Seventeen years; John, who resides in Flint, operates a farm in Genesee Township; he married Belle FERGUSON and they have two children--William and Hattie. B.F., who married Nora BEHEE, is in the furniture business in Flint. He and his wife, who was known in maidenhood as Emma GOLDEN, have four children--Arthur, Jessie, George and Blanche. Mrs. COTHARIN was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which Mr. COTHARIN attends and supports by liberal and regular contributions. The wife passed from earth Dec. 18, 1888. This worthy couple were highly esteemed wherever known, and it is with pleasure that we present this brief sketch of their lives. They were instrumental in bringing Flint too its present position among the prominent and most thriving cities of the State, and long after they both shall have passed hence, their names and memories will be held dear in the hearts of citizens of Genesee County.

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