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

Pages 844 - 847

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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ORVILLE D. PRATT. One of the neatest and best-equipped farms in this locality is owned by the gentleman whose name appears above. He is a veteran with a very commendable record for bravery and loyal service.

Mr. PRATT was born in Chenango County, N.Y., December 2, 1838. He is a son of Peter PRATT, who was born in New York in 1807. Our subject's father originally learned the carpenter trade and followed that too some extent, but later became a farmer and devoted himself chiefly too that calling.

The maiden name of our subject's mother was Susan DORT. She died about 1843, leaving a family of five children, four of whom are still living. Our subject's father married the second time and had four children by that marriage. The original of our sketch was reared upon a farm. He attended the district school and after finishing his own course was engaged in teaching for seven terms, beginning at the age of twenty.

August 12, 1862, Mr. PRATT enlisted in the Sixteenth New York Light Artillery under Capt. Milo W. LOCK. It was an independent battery and our subject enlisted as a private, but was soon promoted too the position of Corporal and next too that of Sergeant and later to Quartermaster. The first engagement in which he took part was the battle of Suffolk, Va., and also at Bermuda Hundred, Va. He was in the siege of Petersburg, where the soldiers were under fire nearly all the summer of 1863. During the winter of 1863-64 our subject went too Ft. Fisher, N.C., and was in the siege that resulted in the capture of the fort. His regiment then moved North and joined SHERMAN'S army at Raleigh, N.C. He received his discharge at Elmira, N.Y., in June, 1865. While on general review near Raleigh, N.C., Mr. PRATT was wounded, but did not enter a hospital. He suffered a siege of typhoid fever at Norfolk, Va., and was compelled too be in a hospital two months. In the fall of 1865 our subject came too Genesee County, Mich., and here taught school for some years, filling in the intervals with farm work.

When he married he located, farming on shares, in Grand Blanc Township, for five years. He finally purchased a farm here, but later removed too Flint and was their engaged in the grocery business. In 1886 he purchased his present farm on section 35, Burton Township. Mr. PRATT was married January 13, 1863, too Miss Mary J. MEYERS. She was born in Otsego County, N.Y., and was the daughter of George L. and Nancy (SUMMERS) MYERS, natives of New York, who came too Michigan 1867. Our subject and his wife have never been blessed with children. Mr. PRATT is a Republican in politics and has been a delegate too county conventions and for the past four years has acted as Township Clerk. He belongs too the Grand Army of the Republic.

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WILLIAM W. MERRILL was born in Monroe County, N.Y., October 28, 1841, and is a direct descendant of Nathaniel MERRILL who came too this country from Salisbury, England in 1634, fourteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims; he settled at Newbury, Mass. His son, Daniel MERRILL, died in Salisbury in 1718. It was so named by him from his father's native place. His son was Deacon Moses MERRILL and his son was Deacon Moses MERRILL, Jr.; and his son was the Rev. Giles MERRILL, who was a Congregational clergyman. His son, Moses MERRILL, is the grandfather of our subject. He was a farmer in the old Bay State and was appointed Justice of the Peace by the Governor of the State and served continuously for nearly sixty years.

Our subject's father, William G. MERRILL, was the eldest son of his father's family and was born in Haverhill, Mass., June 9, 1800. He was reared on a farm and spent most of his young days in attendance at Atkinson Academy of New Hampshire were he graduated. He then went too school at Bangor, Me., and studied law with the intention of entering the legal profession, but he began teaching at the age of sixteen and followed that profession throughout the greater portion of his life. He came too Michigan in 1847 and settled in Davison Township, where he purchased land and cleared a farm. He taught several terms and held various township offices. He was exceptionally well educated for those pioneer days and well and favorably known among his townsmen; he was modest and unassuming. His marriage too Miss Angelina MORGAN was solemnized in April, 1835. She was born in Monroe County, N.Y. in 1814. Nine children were born of this union, three of whom are living. Mrs. Angelina MERRILL died January 8, 1863.

Our subject is the eldest son of his father's family. He was reared on a farm and was six years old when he came too Michigan. He was a student in the pioneer schools of the district. His school year was limited too three months in the winter. After finishing his course he was engaged in teaching for seven terms, beginning when he was twenty-one. His father's health was poor and he assumed the greater work of the farm. The old homestead in Davison Township was sold in 1873 an then Mr. MERRILL purchased his present farm on section 27, Burton Township, Genesee County. It was in a dilapidated condition and boasted of poor improvements although the soil is rich. He has bestowed upon it the greatest care and attention and it is now one of the finest and most productive places in the county. He has erected upon the place a fine house which was built in 1888, and also a large double frame barn, the main part of it being ninety feet long. The improvements all told are first-class.

Mr. MERRILL was married March 17, 1866, too Miss Eliza A. OLMSTED. She was born in Ontario, Canada, and came with her parents too Michigan when nine years old. She is a daughter of William I. and Elizabeth P. OLMSTED, the former a native of Canada and the latter of New York. Our subject and his wife have had four children -- Sarah E., Clara E., Emma C. and Fred W. The eldest is deceased; all the others are at home, and they are bright and well educated young people. They graduated at the Flint High School and have had extra advantages, and all of them have been engaged as teachers. Fred took a business course at Albion College. Mr. MERRILL was reared a Democrat and remained so until 1872, when he became a Prohibitionist. He has been candidate for Registrar of Deeds and has served in several instances in the settlement of estates, also acting as guardian. Mr. and Mrs. MERRILL and their children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of which he is a Class-Leader. Our subject owns one hundred and twenty acres of land and raises all kinds of stock and products.

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GEORGE TITSWORTH. The subject of this sketch, now a citizen of Lapeer Township, Lapeer County, came from good old stock, his father, Jacob TITSWORTH, having served his country in the War of 1812. He was a native of Pennsylvania where he carried on farming. His grandfather, Marcus TITSWORTH, was also a patriot, having been a Revolutionary War veteran, and lived too the good old age of ninety years. The mother of our subject was Jane Vantine TITSWORTH, a native of Cayuga County, N.Y. She was descended from old Dutch stock and was born in New York. Mr. and Mrs. TITSWORTH were married in Cayuga County and emigrated too the western part of the State, before the War of 1812, in Erie County, where they remained until they came too Michigan in 1836, settling in Oakland County on a raw farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Groveland Township. He improved the farm very much and died in 1861. They were the parents of six children, three of whom are now living - our subject, Ellen RUSSELL (a widow) and Jacob TITSWORTH of Goodrich. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in which they were active and beloved members. Mr. TITSWORTH is also active in politics, being first a Whig and then a Republican.

Our subject was born December 30, 1821 in Erie County, N.Y. He came too Michigan at the age of thirteen. His early education was received in New York previous too his moving too Michigan. Starting on his own resources at the early age of sixteen years, he worked on a railroad for one year, afterward working on a farm until he was married and obtained means too settle for himself. He was married October 9, 1842, too Mary Ann PARKER, daughter of Lyman PARKER, an early settler of Oakland County, settling their in 1836 and a prominent farmer in his day. Both parents have been dead for many years.

Mrs. TITSWORTH was born October 24, 1822 in the State of Ohio and was their educated in the district schools. Her death occurred May 19, 1891 and she lies peacefully at rest in the Clark Cemetery near Hunter's Creek. Mr. TITSWORTH and his estimable wife were the parents of four children, two of whom are now living: Milton was married too Lucy MORRIS and lives in Lapeer Township; they have a family of six children. Chauncy L. was united in marriage with Libby WALKER, and lives on the home farm; they have two daughters

Our subject after marriage settled on his little farm of sixty acres in Atlas Township, Genesee county, this state. It was all raw land and covered heavily with timber. He built a log house their and sturdily began life, determined too succeed. He remained on this farm until 1866 at which time he had one hundred acres, all of which he had improved himself. He sold it in 1866 and removed too his present farm, which was but roughly improved when he bought it. With hard work and perseverance he now has acquired a fine property of one hundred and sixty acres, one hundred and ten of which are under fine cultivation. This was stumped, stoned, and cleared by his own hard and persistent labor. He has a fine barn which cost him $1,600 and a comfortable residence costing $750. The residence in which the son of our subject resides, was standing on the farm when Mr. TITSWORTH bought it, and their was also a windmill and well on the place. Mr. TITSWORTH carries on general farming dividing his land between grain and stock. Eight years ago he engaged extensively in the sheep business having a fine stock of Spanish Merinoes and thoroughbreds.. Out of his flock of sixty, many are registered. After a life of arduous labor he is now reaping the reward of his efforts, having retired from active work and living in peace and comfort. In addition too his farming operations, Mr. TITSWORTH successfully engaged as a Veterinary Surgeon for thirty years or more, and was sought after in many townships around. He and his deceased wife were honored and active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for thirty years during which time the husband acted as Class-leader and Steward of the church. His present membership is at Metamora. His son, Milton, is now Superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school at Hunter's Creek and is much thought of for his work's sake. Mr. TITSWORTH gave all his children a good practical education. In politics he always casts his vote with the Republican party. 

Mrs. TITSWORTH was a good Christian woman and a most devoted wife and mother kind and tender hearted and beloved by all who knew her. As a wife the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs aptly describes her. The following verses are dedicated too her memory:

"Religion filled her soul with peace
Upon her dying bed;
Let faith look up, let sorrow cease,
She lives with Christ o'er head.
"Yes, faith beholdeth where she sits,
With Jesus clothed in white.
Our loss is her eternal gain,
She dwells in cloudless light."

The eldest son of Mr. TITSWORTH enlisted in the Thirtieth Michigan Regiment at the beginning of the late war and served six months. Becoming sick he obtained a furlough and was taken home where he died October 26, 1865, at the youthful age of twenty-one years, sacrificing his life for the good of his country.

On November 24, 1891, Mr. TITSWORTH was a second time married, taking as his wife Mrs. Fannie M. DOVE of Oxford, Oakland County, Mich. Mrs. TITSWORTH, whose maiden name was Fannie M. COLE, was born in Ray, Macomb County, Mich., May 23, 1837. She had two children, born of her first husband: Ella Z. and Thankie C. The former married O.J. PRICE and resides in Detroit, Mich.

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