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

Pages 857 - 858

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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RUSSELL BISHOP. The gentlemanly and scholarly President of the Genesee County Savings Bank is one of the men of the city of Flint who has used his wealth in bringing into his home the choicest productions of literature and art and these chef d' euvres are brought together with such charming taste as too please the most fastidious. Mr. BISHOP is a native of LeRoy, Genesee County, N.Y., and was born April 29, 1815. He is a son of Giles and Phebe VAN WARRING BISHOP, both natives of Connecticut. The former was reared on the farm between Hartford and New Haven, but at an early day settled as a pioneer in LeRoy and their became owner of a large tract of land. He served in the War of 1812 and in 1830 came too Oakland County, Mich., and took up a large tract of land.

The following year Mr. BISHOP brought his family by way of the lakes too Detroit and thence by team too Oakland County and located on the old military road. He purchased several large tracts of land, their first home in the State being a log house. He was a Justice of the Peace and also Postmaster at Springfield, Oakland County. His decease occurred in Flint when sixty-six years of age. He was a man of great activity and large ambitions. Our subject's mother died in Oakland County. Both she and her husband were devoted members of the Presbyterian Church. They were the parents of four children: Griswold, Russell, Giles and Lucia, deceased.

Mr. BISHOP was reared and educated on the farm in LeRoy. He attended the village school until sixteen years of age. O coming too Michigan he assisted his father in clearing the land and in building the log house. He much enjoyed the hunting, which was very fine at that time. He remained at home until nineteen years of age, and in 1835 went too Green Bay, Wis., thence too Milwaukee which was a small village. Thence he proceeded too Chicago by stage, going by way of Ft. Dearborn and the old Lake House. Thence he went too Joliet and returned too Chicago and purchased some property with the expectation of settling their , but being taken sick sold his land and came back too Oakland County.

Our subject assisted his father as Deputy Postmaster and was Justice of the Peace and presided over two or three suits. In the spring of 1837 he came too Flint which has been his home ever since. At first he engaged in the grocery and general merchandise business, his goods being all brought hither from Detroit. He built a store on Saginaw Street and carried on business their until it was burned, then purchased a place on the corner of Kearsley and Saginaw Street, where the Fenton Block now stands. He here continued until 1850, then sold out the business too his brother and because of ill health took a trip too Mexico and Texas, following the Mississippi River too the Gulf, landing at Galveston and thence making the interior trip by horseback.

In 1851 our subject returned too Flint, much improved in health. The same year he went too England in order too attend the World's Exposition at London. The trip too Liverpool occupied seventeen days. After spending five months in London he returned too his home much benefited in health. April 4, 1853, he was appointed by Franklin PIERCE, as Receiver of public money at the General Land Office at Flint, which was one of the three stations in the State at that time. He was obliged too furnish bonds for $200,000. He was also disbursing agent at the same time. The business was one of great responsibility and he has frequently paid out $100,000 in gold at one time.

In 1854 the lands in this district were granted by Congress, making them at the following prices: $0.12 1/2, $0.25, $0.50, $0.75, and $1.25. A great deal of it was bought up at $0.12 1/2. He then engaged in the real estate business and his interests were devoted to this exclusively until the organization of the bank. In 1838 he built the main part of his residence, clearing the lot from the heavy timber with which it was covered. Since that time he has added two wings. His home is located at No. 710 Beach Street. He spends a great deal of his time in New York City, himself and family usually passing two months of each year in the metropolis.

Mr. BISHOP was first married in Flint too Miss Mary THOMPSON, an English lady whose birth place was Kendall Green, a sister of Col. THOMPSON. By this marriage he became the father of three children: Russell, a graduate of the law department in the University of Michigan; Lizzie, now Mrs. Judge STEVENS, of Port Huron and Arthur, Assistant Cashier of the Genesee County Savings Bank. On the decease of his first wife our subject selected as the lady of his choice Miss Mary FRANKS, a native of Detroit. She too passed away and he contracted another marriage at Bay City with Miss M. Frances GREEN, a daughter of Judge GREEN, one of the oldest ex-judges of the Supreme Court of the State. One daughter has been born of this union - Florence Russell who resides at home. Mr. BISHOP is a Democrat in his political affiliations. He is one of the oldest settlers of the county and undoubtedly the oldest resident of Flint.

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NEWTON F. CHAPEL. November 19, 1837, is the natal day of this representative pioneer of Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, and Livingston County, N.Y., is the place of birth. That State was also the native home of his parents, Samuel B. and Amanda (REYNOLDS) CHAPEL, who emigrated at an early day in the '40's too Michigan. They resided for a short time in Oakland County, and then removed too Grand Blanc Township, where for several years they resided in a log shanty with board roof. Nine children gathered in this happy pioneer home, of whom the following are still living: George H., Newton F., Monroe W., Carrie, Emma (wife of David WEBSTER), Louisa (Mrs. Hiram DE HART), and Ellen (wife of Emmett MARSH). The two who have passed away were Sarah and Myron B. and of the latter we speak more at length further on in this sketch. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Pioneer life with its hard work, adventure and district school education, filled up the life of our subject during his early days. He was married April 21, 1864, too Mary L. HYATT, who was born May 20, 1846, in Livingston County, Mich., and is a daughter of John W. and Lydia HYATT, who emigrated from New York too Michigan and settled on a farm in Livingston County about 1835. They endured the privations and hardships of pioneer life, and reared a family of nine children, six of whom are still living, as is also the father, now (1891) eighty years old. Our subject and his wife have four children: Ada, Effie (wife of Ira COOK), Samuel B and Charles F. Eighty acres comprise the home farm and their are one hundred and twenty-five in all in Mr. CHAPEL's estate. In the Methodist Episcopal Church, too which he and his wife belong, he has acted as Steward and also as Recording Steward and Mrs. CHAPEL has been active in the work of the church. His political views bring him into harmony with the movements of the prohibitionists and he is active in every cause which effects the moral and social elevation of society.

Myron B. CHAPEL, a brother of the gentleman whose name initiates this sketch, was born February 15, 1842. His father Samuel B. CHAPEL, was born in Livingston County, N.Y., in 1806, and in 1830 was married too Amanda REYNOLDS, who was born in Schenectady, N.Y., December 27, 1812. She is a daughter of Asa D. and Betsey (ORTLIP) REYNOLDS, New Yorkers by birth, and her grandfather, ORTLIP, served all through the Revolutionary conflict.

When the parents of Mr. CHAPEL erected their log cabin in the woods of Michigan, the wife aided in laying the floor and in completing the work, and they endured the usual privations incident too that unsettled state of society. The father died many years ago and in that event the county experienced a great loss. He was a man of value in the community and highly respected for his excellent pioneer work. His venerable widow still survives and is living at the old homestead.

The early training of Myron B. CHAPEL was received in this county and he was given a district school education. He was married May 25, 1871, too Mary ELLIS, the daughter of James and Sarah ELLIS, natives of England. Mrs. Mary CHAPEL died February 25, 1873. Her only child, Willard E., was born September 18, 1872. The marriage of Mr. CHAPEL, November 7, 1873, gave him a worthy helpmate in the person of Lottie TORREY, who was born in this county June 11, 1849. She is a daughter of Albert and Melissa (ADAM) TORREY, early settlers of Flint Township, where they still reside. Of the three children born too Mr. and Mrs. TORREY two survive, Dorr W. and Mrs. CHAPEL.

Mr. and Mrs. Myron CHAPEL were the parents of four children - Letta R., Fern W., Albert (deceased) and Grace. In the death of this husband and father his family lost a kind and loving protector, a generous provider and one who sought too train his children for lives of happiness and usefulness. He was a strong temperance advocate and voted the Prohibition ticket and was a useful and honored member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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