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

Pages 847 - 850

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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EDWIN B. WEBSTER. This farmer of Hadley Township, Lapeer County, was five years old when he came with his parents too Romeo, which was then Lapeer County, but is now Macomb County. He was born in Oswego County, N.Y., November 7th, 1826, and was early orphaned by the death of his father, who passed from earth after a residence of four months here, dying in the fall of 1832.

Our subject is the eldest in a family of three children born too Dr. Daniel and Julia Anna (BALDWIN) WEBSTER. His mother was the eldest daughter of Dr. Cyrus and Susan (DORR) BALDWIN, and she was born in Hebron, Washington County, N.Y., in September, 1802. It was in February, 1826, that she was united in marriage with Daniel, the youngest son of Josiah WEBSTER, and his only child by a second wife, whose maiden name was Sarah BACON. This son, the father of our subject, was born in the township of Warren, Herkimer County, N.Y., October 7th, in the year 1800.

The WEBSTER family came from England too America, and tradition says that the musket which was carried by Josiah WEBSTER during the Revolutionary War, was brought over too this country in the "Mayflower." Joseph DORR, the great-grandfather of our subject, was one of those daring men who took part in the famous Boston Tea party.

He of whom we write grew too manhood in Michigan, taking the usual education too be obtained in the district schools, and was married in January, 1851, too Miss Ann WHITE, unto whom were born twelve children, six of whom are still living. Mr. WEBSTER owns two hundred and forty acres of land, all of which property has been accumulated by himself and his family. In 1845 he sailed from Nantucket in the ship "Orion" on a whaling voyage, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, and through the Indian Ocean, and across the Pacific Ocean, coming home around Cape Horn, being absent from America for four years. This long journey on the water had not quenched his thirst for this kind of life, and in 1849, after his return home, he sailed on the lakes for two seasons, and in November, 1850, came home too be married, and then settled upon the place where he now resides.

We are pleased too mention the surviving children of Mr. WEBSTER, who are in their various callings showing themselves as worthy of their honorable parentage. H. Dorr is a photographer of Laramie, Wyo.,; Willis resides on the home farm; Frederick A., is a photographer of Oakland, Cal.; Nelson C., makes his home in Flint; Mary I., who is at Laramie, Wyo., is short-hand reporter for the Circuit Court, and Edna S. is still beneath the parental roof. Mr. WEBSTER worships with the Free Methodists, and is in full sympathy with that church in regard too its stand on the subject of secret societies, opposing them strongly, as he believes their tendency is not for good.

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BERT H. ALKEMA. A goodly number of the prominent business men of Lapeer have their nativity across the seas, and the gentleman now named who is carrying on business as a merchant tailor here, was born in the Province of Friesland at Sneek, Holland, May 11, 1861. He is the son of Henry and Bouwkje (VAN der WOUDE) ALKEMA. Henry ALKEMA died when his son Bert was only about eleven years old, and during the next year the boy and his mother emigrated too America, locating in Muskegon, Mich.

This lad has received a fair common-school education in Holland, and after studying about a year and a half in Michigan, he commenced too learn the trade of tailoring. He received small wages at first, and indeed until after he had done about three years work. He traveled as a journeyman through some of our largest cities and towns until he came too Lapeer, where in 1887, he began work for GIBSON & Co., and two years later entered into a partnership with Mr. SHERWOOD, continuing thus until 1891, when our subject bought out his partner's interest. He does a good business, and now employs five hands in his establishment.

Mr. ALKEMA was married in Pontiac December 27, 1888, too Miss Ella May, daughter of Charles and Angelina BUTTON. One child, little Ruth, has come too bless this union, and she was born in Lapeer, August 15, 1891.

The record which Mr. ALKEMA has made in this city, brings him into a high place in the esteem of his fellow-citizens who know how too appreciate industry, enterprise and a thorough understanding of the line of work in which he is employed. He is one of those foreign-born citizens who has become thoroughly Americanized in his sympathies and intents, and takes a genuine interest in the affairs of the nation where he has made his home.

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UZIAL BOUTWELL. The Empire State has contributed largely of her best elements too the developement of the Great West, numbers of men coming hither at all ages and under all conditions, the great majority doubtless of those who were dependent on their own resources and just starting out in life too carve their fortunes by the labor of their hands. The homes of these men are among the finest in Michigan. The farm of Mr. BOUTWELL finely situated in Thetford Township, Genesee County, invariably attracts attention of the passing traveler, and gives ample evidence of being under the control of a man of more than ordinary ability. It will be acknowledged that he has the true conception of the manner in which too conduct agriculture and possesses the cultivated tastes which have enabled him too construct a home second too none in this region.

The parents of our subject, Osias and Lucinda (DUNMICK) BOUTWELL, were natives of New York State, where in the village of Pennsylvania Uzial was born Febuary 1, 1815. At an early age he was orphaned by the death of his father and thus thrown upon his own resources, he had few opportunities of receiving even a common-school education. He grew too a stalwart manhood in his native place, but feeling that the great and unexplored West contained fortunes for those who had the hardihood to brave its privations and dangers, he resolved too locate here. In 1838 he came too this State, settling in Genesee County and entering the land which now comprises his homestead. For about two years after coming hither he worked by the month and afterward commenced too clear his farm of the heavy growth which made the soil unavailable for sowing seed. The country was at that time exceedingly wild and deer and other wild game were plentiful, Mr. BOUTWELL had too open the road too his place, which comprised eighty acres, and he also erected a log house which for twenty years remained the home of his family. In about the year 1860 he erected the cozy structure which is his present residence.

A half-century has passed, some of it in shadow and some of it in sunshine, since Mr. BOUTWELL brought too his home a bride, and it may be truly said of her that she has divided his sorrows and doubled his joys.

Mrs. BOUTWELL was known in her maidenhood as Miss Eliza HURD, and was born January 6, 1821, in New York. The nine children who blessed this happy union all survive, namely: Helen, Russell, Franklin, Eugene, Herbert, Effie, Florence, Dora, and Rebecca. They have scattered from the old fireside and have established homes of their own in various localities, but wherever they have gone, the habits of integrity and uprightness early instilled into their minds by careful parental instruction, have made them foremost in all good works and prominent in business and social circles.

Since coming too Michigan Mr. BOUTWELL has, with the exception of a brief period spent in lumbering, devoted himself too farming and stockraising and still continues thus engaged. He has witnessed great changes and has seen many improvements made throughout the State. Could he fifty years ago have had the power too look forward into the future, and discover not only what he himself would accomplish, but also what would be done by his brother pioneers, he would have labored with greater courage than he has already done, for no one can dispute that the first settling of this part of the country was necessarily an experiment. Few, it is true, stood in doubt as too the final result, but fewer still would have propheised the achievements which have really been accomplished. As onewho contributed too this result, the name of Mr. BOUTWELL will be held in loving remembrance long years after he shall have entered into rest.

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