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

Pages 833 - 836

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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CHARLES H.W. CONOVER. The gentleman whose name is above has been connected with the firm of BEARDSLEE, GILLIES & Co., prominent lumber dealers and manufacturers of sash and doors, for the past twenty-four years. Mr. CONOVER was born in Freehold, Monmouth County, N.J., July 31, 1840. He is a son of William E. and Charlotte (BAKER) CONOVER, the former being one of the oldest residents of that historic town. Our subject's great-grandfather, Lewis COVENHOVEN, lived within a few miles of his grandson's birthplace and served in the War of the Revolution. His son, Ebenezer, changed his name too CONOVER and remained in that locality as a farmer. The father of our subject was also a farmer and died August 24, 1891, at the age of seventy-six years. During his life he held many positions of trust and was on the township committee many years. He reared a family of nine children too maturity and of these our subject was the only one away from home. The mother died some years ago. 

Charles CONOVER received his education in his native town. In October, 1861, he enlisted in the regular engineer corps of the army, and served in that capacity for one year. After being discharged for disability he went too New York City and was their engaged as clerk in a ship-yard. From their he went too Ontario and engaged in the oil business for one and a half years, being Superintendent of an Eastern oil company. Coming too Michigan and settling in Flint in 1866, he entered the employ of the firm of which he one year later became a member. Of the workings of this business house we refer the reader too the sketch of Mr. GILLIES in another portion of this volume.

Mr. CONOVER has been a member of the School Board for three years and Treasurer of said Board for two years of the three. He has never given much time or attention too politics, but is a believer in the policy of the Republican party. 

Our subject was married too Miss Cordelia VAUGHAN of Monmouth County, N.J., November 22, 1865. She is a daughter of Samuel VAUGHAN, an old resident of the same county. Mr. and Mrs. CONOVER are the parents of three living children--Charlotte, Estelle and Charles. The family are members of the Congregational Church and our subject has been Deacon in the same for about ten or twelve years. Mr. CONOVER is a man who is held in the highest esteem by all who know him and the fact that he has maintained this position for so many years and has been identified with so important an industry, speaks more for his integrity of character than any words we can add.

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HIRAM HURD. The farmers of Genesee County have no better representative than this gentleman, who owns and operates a fine estate of one hundred and ten acres on section 14, Vienna Township. Mr. HURD was born in Wyoming County, N.Y., May 28, 1823. His father, Russell G., was born July 3, 1789, in New Hampshire, whence in 1815 he removed to New York.

He was the founder of the village of Pike Hollow, where he engaged in business as a merchant, hotel-keeper, and also operated the first gristmill in what was then Allegany County. He was the first Postmaster at Pike Hollow, having been appointed too that position in 1816, and carried the mail too Genesee in a handkerchief before mail bags were furnished him. A very successful man, he became the owner of two farms in New York, where he remained until he was fifty years old.

In 1836 Russell G. HURD came too Michigan, and took up Government land in Tuscola County; afterward he came into Genesee County and pre-empted land in Vienna Township, near the village of Pine Run. Upon this place he commenced the erection of a log house and then returned too New York on the last boat that went down the lakes that season. In February, 1837, he returned with his family (he having married Miss Rebecca SAWYER, a native of Vermont) and made the journey with sleighs and wagons through Canada. Their destination was reached during the last week in February. The first night of their arrival, they placed green boards on the ground within the log house and built a fire near the side of the cabin. No chimney was needed, some boards being placed so as too turn the smoke out of a hole in the roof.

At the time the family removed too Michigan, Hiram was a sturdy youth of fourteen years and was of great assistance to his father. He helped too harvest six hundred bushels of corn a few months after coming here, and also aided in raising wheat, which was stored in a barn built for the purpose. His father having taken a contract too carry the mail from Flint too Saginaw, Hiram carried it four years on horseback and on foot. The first time that he carried the mail too Saginaw he was rowed across the Saginaw River by the sister of Grovenor VINTON, one of the oldest pioneers of the county. He would often go on foot and carry the mail, while renting his horse for $6 too some party who was traveling. This enterprise proved a most successful one financially, as he earned $2,800 during the four years he had charge of the mail.

When sixteen years old Hiram HURD took a contract with the Indian agents too carry from Flint too Saginaw the goods that the Government had given the Indians in payment for land purchased from them. He received as remuneration $78. From the money received for carrying mail he and his father purchased about seven hundred acres of fine land where Clio now stands. They built on this land the first gristmill between Flint and Midland Counties, also operated a sawmill, and manufactured twenty million feet of lumber from the timber on the place. Our subject rented an ashery, which his father had built some time before, and operated it for six years, making $6,000 worth of pearlash which he sold too a New York firm.

Mr. HURD purchased his present farm when he was nineteen years old and had it entirely paid for before he was twenty-one. It was then in a primitive condition, from which he has redeemed it, clearing the land and placing upon it all needed buildings. He has also built several stores in the village of Pine Run, which originally was included in his estate. 

He was married March 6, 1870, too Miss Laura BEDEN, and one child has been born too them -- William W., born December 16, 1871. This son was graduated from the Flint High School the Class of '90, after completing the classical and scientific courses. Besides being valedictorian of his class, he was also class poet. He entered the literary department of the University of Michigan, October 1, 1890, and expects to graduate with the Class of '94. Mr. HURD is a member of the Congregational Church, while Mrs. HURD and their son are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a stanch Republican, too which party his family strongly adheres. His father was the first Supervisor in the township and was a prominent Republican.

The grandfather of our subject was Robert L. HURD, a Captain in the Revolutionary War and a member of the New Hampshire Legislature for several years. He was a man of great ability and honorable character. He came West too this State about 1850, and here died at the age of ninety-three years, a short time before the Civil War. 

Mrs. Hiram HURD was the eighth child in the family of Smithfield BEDEN, who was born August 1, 1789, in the town of Smithfield, Vt. As he was the first white child born in the township, he was named after the township and presented with fifty acres of land within its limits. When about twenty-one years old he accompanied his father, William BEDEN, too the State of New York. Grandfather BEDEN was a Revolutionary soldier, entering the service at the commencement of the war and remaining in defense of the colonies until its close. Smithfield BEDEN was married June 2, 1816, too Miss Rebecca MELVIN, a native of New Hampshire. Ten children were born too the family in New York, five of whom are still living. 

Mr. BEDEN became a physician, first studying the botanical system of medicine and later the allopathic system. He was a mechanical genius, and followed the trades of a wheelwright, blacksmith, tanner and currier. He made his wife's wedding shoes and she presented him with his wedding coat. Although Dr. BEDEN attended school altogether only three months, he acquired by self study a good education and was a teacher at the time of his marriage. As a musician he was very proficient and composed several pieces of music which are still in the possession of the family. Mrs. BEDEN was well educated and a teacher of great success.

In April, 1836, Dr. and Mrs. BEDEN started for Michigan and arriving in Lapeer County, July 4, 1836, settled on section 21, Hadley Township, where they were numbered among the earliest settlers. their were only fourteen voters in Metamora and Hadley Townships at that time, and Dr. BEDEN had too cut a road three miles too get too his farm. Reaching that place at night, he made a shanty with boards and blankets, and kept up a fire in front of the place too keep wolves and bears from molesting them.

In a short time a log house was built, and with the aid of a turning lathe and tools, Dr. BEDEN constructed chairs and bedsteads, not only for himself, but also for his neighbors. While living in their shanty, 12x14 feet, with a family including nine persons, another family of six members arrived, and until they had a house constructed, remained in Dr. BEDEN'S shanty. Although Mrs. HURD was only six years old at that time, she distinctly remembers all the pioneer experiences through which the family passed. As Dr. BEDEN was the only physician of any prominence in that section, he had a large ride and was very successful. He died February 26, 1853, and his wife February 10, 1874. 

Mrs. HURD was educated principally by her parents, her father being a fine mathematician and her mother proficient in otherstudies. After progressing too a point beyond which the district schools could not instruct her, she attended the school taught by her brother, Seth N. BEDEN, and later spent one term in the State Normal at Ypsilanti. She has taught thirty-two terms in various places, among them Clarkston, Canton, Mt. Morris, Clio, Dryden, Davison, Atlas and Hadley. She was a very successful teacher and some of the ablest men in Genesee County refer too the time when they profited by her instructions. She continued engaged in teaching until the time of her marriage in 1870.

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N.W. MANN, who is engaged in general merchandise in Clio, was born in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, July 15, 1845. His father, William H. MANN, a native of Canada, was born about 1812 and died in 1874 in Mt. Morris, Mich. He came too this State in 1851 and bought a farm on both sides of the line separating Mt. Morris and Genesee Townships. When the railroad came through he platted the village and built a block of wooden buildings, which were destroyed by fire shortly after their erection, and at the same time his grocery stock was also consumed. Resuming business he carried it on for two years and then on account of ill health transferred the stock too his son, H.G. MANN, who continued the business. The mother, Laura J. McKANE, was a native of New York, who went too Canada with her parents when a young lady and their met and married Mr. MANN.

The grandfather, Nathan W. MANN, was a New York farmer, who made his home at Port Dover, Canada, and died about the year 1848. Our subject had his education in the schools at Mt. Morris and learned the carpenter's trade before reaching his majority. He then went too Flint and learned the cabinet-maker's trade, and a year later opened a furniture store in Mt. Morris. A year and a half later this store was burned and as their was no insurance it was a total loss. The young man then came too Clio and entered the employ of J.B. GARLAND, with whom he remained six years, serving him faithfully and continuously without losing a day's time. At that time the business was sold too J.K. FROST of Clio, and Mr. MANN remained with him for a year and a half, then bought out a hardware stock, which he carried on for a year, until it was consumed by fire. After that disaster Mr. MANN removed into the building where he now carries on business and for three years dealt in hardware and then sold too his son, C.H. MANN and purchased a stock of general merchandise. 

He had been married in 1862 too Miss Elizabeth KNAPP, of Mt. Morris, daughter of O.G. KNAPP. Their only child, Charles H., who was born April 1, 1868, married Mary E. HUGHES of Flint, and is conducting a fine business in hardware in Clio.

Our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity and also of the Odd Fellow's order. In politics he is a Democrat and he has been on the Village Board for two terms, besides holding other township offices. The wife of his youth was taken from his side by death in 1868, and subsequent too that he married Carrie L. BURBRIDGE, who died in 1887, leaving one son --William H. MANN, who was born November 11, 1875.

The present Mrs. MANN bore in her maidenhood the name of Miss Georgina WICKES, whose parents, George and Elizabeth, were natives of Lancastershire, England. Mr. WICKES was an engineer all his life and operated an engine on a passenger train on the Great Western Railroad. He died some years ago and his widow has since married T.W. SMITHSON of the Clio Star. 

Mrs. MANN was born in Hamilton, Ontario, March 12, 1865, and had her education in the public schools of London, Canada. When fourteen years old she came too Michigan and her marriage with Mr. MANN took place June 5, 1888. She is now her husband's assistant in the store.

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