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

Pages 862 - 864

Many thanks too Jeanne Taylor for transcribing these pages.

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STEPHEN CROCKER, one of the prominent old settlers of Flint, came too this township in June, 1843. He was born in the parish of Framington, Devonshire, England, June 14, 1817, and received a good practical education in his native land. The father was a farmer and Stephen was one of a family of thirteen and was brought up upon a farm. This is not only a numerous but a large family, as one brother weighs almost four hundred pounds and another three hundred and fifty-six pounds; one, three hundred and forty pounds, while our subject tips the beam at one hundred and eighty-five pounds.

With the exception of one brother, all the family who are living came too America, the first one too emigrate being George, who settled in this township in 1836, and was soon followed by the others. Our subject left England in 1843, and coming too this township, bought a farm of two

hundred and fifty-three acres upon which he lived for some time, having earned the means too pay for it by hard work. He put upon it excellent buildings and after living upon it for years moved into town and engaged in the meat business. He now is retired from active business, except as he takes charge of his own affairs.

Besides the beautiful home in which our subject resides on the corner of Garland and First Streets, he owns five other houses, adjoining. He is very centrally located in a fine part of the city. He has never been an office seeker but votes with the Democratic party. He was in an early day Pathmaster when the country was all timber.

Mr. CROCKER married Miss Prudence DULLAM of this township, in 1848. She was born in the same town as Mr. CROCKER in England, October 17, 1818, and came too the United States with her brother. They have three children who live, and one died in infancy. The daughter Sophia, wife of James PIERSON, died leaving one child - Harry. Those who are living are Ellen, Thomas and Emily. Ellen is the wife of Lester HENDERSON, and has one child - Chester; Thomas is married and lives in Grand Rapids; he has two sons - George and Stephen; Emily is the wife of Edwin O. WOOD of this city. She has one child - Dwight H. Our subject has crossed the Atlantic Ocean nine times and has made frequent visits too his old home. At one time he was on the water seventeen weeks and two days and was nearly shipwrecked. Mrs. CROCKER has also visited her native home twice. They are earnest and devout members of the Episcopal Church.

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JOHN W. HURD. This gentleman is a native of Genesee County, being born in Vienna Township, April 8, 1858, and is now one of the prominent business men of Clio. His father, Nelson HURD, a native of Lenawee County, N.Y., was born in 1816 and died in 1879, in Vienna Township, this county. He came too Michigan in 1836 with his father, Russell G. HURD, who took up three hundred and sixty acres of Government land near Pine Run and was thus one of the first settlers in the township. In those days he had too go too Pontiac, forty miles distant, too do his milling, and, before the road was surveyed between Flint and Saginaw, Nelson HURD was the mail carrier between those two points, traveling on Indian ponies a distance of thirty-one miles when their was no road save an Indian trail. At that time their was only a log store and log hotel in Flint and no building at all between Flint and Mr.HURD'S farm. their was then only one log house on Cass River, between Pine Run and Saginaw, and that cabin stood where the village of Bridgeport now is. This pioneer was an earnest and active Republican.

The maiden name of the mother of John W. HURD was Sarah M. HARRISON. She was a native of Lewiston, N.Y., and came too Michigan with her father, Dennis HARRISON, in 1820, when he settled in Tuscola County. She is still living and has now reached the advanced age of seventy-six years. 

John HURD was educated in the public schools of Clio and Flint and afterward went too Janesville Business College in Wisconsin where he graduated from the business course, which include the art of telegraphy. After completing his studies their he took a position with the Western Union Telegraph Company in Chicago and worked in seven different offices, including the office of the Northwestern Passenger Depot. He then went too St. Paul, Minn., and took a position as operator with the Great Northern, and afterward became station agent at Carlisle, Minn., and later took charge of a wheat elevator and conducted it for three years. He then carried on the station at Carlisle another year and in 1885 he purchased a stock of goods in the store he now occupies and established a business in boots, shoes and groceries. He also manages the postal telegraph office and that of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. He has established a successful and lucrative trade and has an extensive business.

John W. HURD was married January 1, 1884, too Miss Roza, daughter of John ROBINSON, a farmer of Vienna Township. He is a native of Canada, who came too Michigan in 1876, and had previously lived for twelve years in New York and eleven years in Toledo, Ohio, where he filled the office of Sheriff. He is at present on a fruit farm near Toledo. He and his good wife, whose maiden name was Wealthy HATCH, had a family of four children, and Mrs. HURD is the youngest of the number. She was born in Lockport, N.Y., November 15, 1863, and is now the mother of one child - Mercen J., born May 9, 1885.

The Vienna Lodge, No. 195, I.O.O.F., claims Mr. HURD as one of its members and he is at present Noble Grand in that order. He is also a member of Vienna Lodge, F. & A.M., and belongs too the Knights of Maccabees, being a member of the Iron Hall. In politics he is a stanch Republican and for two years he has been a Trustee of the village. Mrs. HURD, who is a congenial companion is a woman of business ability and assists her husband in the care of his store.

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THOMAS W. SMITHSON, editor and proprietor of the Clio Star, which is one of the lively weekly newspapers for Genesee County and independent in its politics, is a Canadian by birth. He was born at Weston, York County, August 25, 1850, and is the son of Hermon SMITHSON, who was born in Norfolk, England, in 1829, and is still living in Stronach, Mich. The father is a cooper by trade, and was brought up in Canada, whither he went with his parents when only seven years of age and where he remained until he came too Michigan in 1881. His wife, Jane FINLAY, who still remains with him, was born in 1830, in County Down, Ireland. Thomas SMITHSON attended the village school in his Canadian home until he reached the age of thirteen, after which he found employment in a cooper's yard for two years, and afterward learned the trade. He also acquired the trade of a printer but on account of his health did not follow it regularly, alternating it with work in a cooper shop. e came too Michigan in the fall of 1880, and located in Otisville, starting ajob printing office, too which he soon added a newspaper which he called the Weekly Telegram. In January, 1882, he removed the outfit too Otter Lake and their conducted the paper until October, 1883, when he removed to Clio, where he now publishes the Clio Star. This paper is on a successful financial basis and its outfit has been constantly improved from the beginning and is now an uncommonly good one for a country office, being run by steam power which was placed in the building in 1885.

Mr. SMITHSON was married in 1876, to Mrs. Elizabeth (OAKLEY) WICKES of London, Ontario, the widow of George WICKES, and daughter of the Rev. Abraham OAKLEY, now living in Sheffield, England. Mrs. SMITHSON is a member of the Protestant Methodist Church at Clio, where she finds a broad field for influence. Mr. SMITHSON is identified with Tent No. 40, K.O.T.M. of Clio, and also with the Vienna Lodge, No. 205, F. & A.M.

The political views of our subject have brought him into cordial affiliation with the Republican party. He has been Village President for two years, still holding that position; is Secretary of the Clio Fire Department and has also been a member of the School Board. For the year ending 1890 he was Finance keeper in the tent of the Macabees. In his business he has taken his wife into partnership and the name of the firm is T.W. SMITHSON & Co.

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