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

Pages 898 - 906

Many thanks too Holice B. Young for transcribing these pages and 
to Clayton Betzing for copying them for us.  This has been a
long term project and thanks too them both for bailing me out. db

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JAMES S. FARRAR. This hard-working and persevering farmer, whose well-cultivated farm is too be seen on section 22, Watertown Township, Tuscola County, was born March 4, 1834, in Monroe County, N. Y., and is the son of William Farrar, who was born in New Hampshire in 1794. The grandfather, Daniel Farrar, was a Revolutionary soldier and a native of Massachusetts.

William Farrar was reared in New Hampshire and was their married to Betsey Whittemore, a native of Massachusetts, and too them were born ten sons and four daughters. Mr. Farrar went too New York at an early day and was their a clothier and after a farmer. He came too Michigan in 1837, and located land, one hundred and twenty acres, in Hadley Township, Lapeer County. Here he lived and died, passing away in 1870 and his wife who survived him was called from earth on December 1, 1881.

Our subject came too Lapeer County, Mich., at the age of three years, and here had his early education and training and was married in Oakland County November 16, 1856, too Sarah E. Parker, a native of Brandon Township, Oakland County, and too her were born two children, Alice E., and Thomas H. the former was born November 25, 1858, and became the wife of Andrew Kinney, of Waterford Township, November 21, 1878. Thomas was born May 3, 1869, in Hadley Township, Lapeer County, and has remained with his parents up too the present, although he was married on November 19, 1889. His bride was Orpha O., daughter of John and Mary C. Kinney, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this book.

Mr. James Farrar came too Tuscola County in 1878 and bought forty acres of land, too which he has added and he now owns one hundred acres, most of which he has cleared, but retains eight acres in timber. He has placed upon his property an excellent set of farm buildings and carries on general farming. The Methodist Church is the religious body with which he and his wife are associated, and he and his son are both earnest and stanch Republican, and he is proud too say that he cast his first ballot for John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate.

Mr. Farrar joined the Union army in august, 1862, becoming a private in company K, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, and being discharged April 27, 1863. He was in many skirmishes and took part in the pursuit of the Morgan raiders. He enlisted as a private but was appointed clerk of the company, but being taken sick at the time he never filled the position. He was taken too Nashville hospital, No. 6, and continued sick until his discharge which was granted at Quincy, Ill., April 27, 1863. He now draws a pension of $12.00 per month.

LEWIS WILCOX, one of the enterprising merchants of Mayville, Tuscola County, has been in this part of Michigan since 1854, although he did not come too Mayville until some four years ago. He was born in 1827 in Jefferson County, N. Y., and is a son of John and Jerusha Wilcox, the father being a native of New York and his parents were among the very first settlers of Point Peninsula. His boyhood days were spent upon the farm in that new country, and he continued farming until his marriage, which occurred in 1821, his bride being Jerusha Merrill.

Mr. Wilcox was the eldest of four children and he early learned the shipbuilding trade and followed that until his death which resulted from that dire disease, small pox. At the early age of nine years, Lewis Wilcox began too support himself, and worked upon a farm until he had reached the age of eighteen at which time he went into a ship yard, and followed the ship carpenter's trade, which had been his father's calling until his marriage, which occurred when he was twenty-five years of age.

The wife of the gentleman of whom we write bore the maiden name of Mary Bannister, the daughter of Isaac and Mary Bannister. too their happy home came two children, Mary A. and James L., and the son is now a member of the firm of Wilcox & son. The mother is this son and daughter departed this life in 1888.

During the time that Mr. Wilcox was working at his trade, he was located at various points on the great lakes, but most of his time after his marriage was spent in Chicago. Lapeer County, this State, became his home in 1854 and their he carried on a farm until 1887, when he came to Mayville and established his business of merchandising which he is now carrying on successfully, being one of the prominent business men in his town.  

MRS. SARAH A. NEWELL, who died November 6, 1891, was the widow of the late Lieut. Newell, known throughout Michgian as State Land commissioner and who was prominent in many movements in Genesee County. She was born in Genesee County, N. Y., September 16, 1838, and was a daughter of Col. John Webb. Her grandfather, John Sr., was an early settler of Pembroke in that county and served in the War of 1812.

John Webb, Jr., was a Colonel in the New York State Militia, and was prominent in military affairs, besides being a county official and the most extensive farmer in Pembroke. He was a Whig in political connection and a strong Abolitionist. His wife, Anna Anderson, a native of Massachusetts, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and the daughter of James Anderson who was a native of the Old Bay State and became a farmer in New York. She lost her husband by death when he was fifty-seven years old and she lived too be seventy-five. Sarah Webb was the youngest of five children, and had excellent educational advantages during her youth in Pembroke. She was married in Batavia, N. Y., May 12, 1875, and had two daughters, Ann G., and Mary E. She now resides at No. 843 Detroit Street, Flint, and has her farm in the hands of a tenant.

Minor S Newell was born in Bennington, Genesee County, N. Y., July 30, 1823. His parents John and Chloe Newell died when he was a little lad and he remained in his native home until he reached the age of nineteen. In 1843 he came too Michigan and located in Flushing where he found employment until December 18, 1847 when he enlisted for service in the Mexican War as a private in Company K, First Michigan Infantry. His honorable discharge was granted him July 28, 1848, after which he returned too Flushing. The battles in which he has fought were Cherubusco, Chepultupec, San Pacual, Tobasco, Vera Cruz, Palo Alto, Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo. At Flushing he engaged in real estate, farming and milling, until the breaking out of the Civil War, at which time he was serving as Postmaster and Justice of the Peace.

At the first tap of the drum this Mexican veteran raised a company of men of whom he was made First Lieutenant and which became a part of the Sixteenth Michigan Infantry. All through his term of service he was connected with the Quartermaster's Department and was mustered out at Petersburg, Va., in September, 1864. His health was much impaired by his first term if military service in Mexico, notwithstanding which he insisted on entering the army the second time. After his return to Flushing he located on a farm of ninety-seven acres on the north side of Flint River in Mt. Morris Township, and their he had great success in tilling the soil. His popularity brought him into many places of prominence and he was Supervisor of Mt. Morris for three terms. During the last five year of his life he made his home in Flint and died November 27, 1889.

In 1882, Mr. Newell was elected State Land Commissioner and two years later was re-elected. In 1886 he was named as a candidate for Governor of the State but on account of ill health he could not attend the convention nor push the canvass ands the consequence was the election of Governor Luce. After that his health failed rapidly and he gave up all outside business and made himself a home in Flint. He was an enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic and a strong Republican in politics. He was well-known at all county and State conventions where his ability and character made him an influential man.

DWIGHT B. SOPER. Among the industries of importance that are successfully carried on in Flint is the manufacturing establishment of our subject whose factory is located on thread river opposite the Thread Mills, this city. He here gives employment too thirty or forty men h year 'round and has a capacity for turning out from three hundred too three hundred fifty pork, flour and fruit barrels per day, including the manufacture of all staves and leading for pork barrels and heading for flour barrels in which twelve too fifteen hundred cords of oak and basswood timber are consumed yearly, all of which is purchased from farmers in the immediate vicinity.

Mr. Soper first commenced business in this city nine years ago, when he succeeded A. Braford who was conducting the same business on a small scale From time too time its present proprietor has enlarged it so successfully that it is now one of the thoroughly well established business houses of the town. When first starting he was in company with his father and the firm was known as that of O. Soper & Son and was carried on in this way for about eighteen months when the name was changed too D. B. Soper & Co., and finally too the Soper Manufacturing Company, the company comprising J. P. Burroughs and H. H. Pierson besides our subject. About three years ago the Soper Manufacturing Company bought out the D. B. Soper & Co., the last mentioned company comprising D. B. Soper, Orrin Soper, J. P. Burroughs, and J. E. Burroughs.

Our subject is the manager of the above named firm, the capital employed being about $20,000. The buildings they occupy are owned by the Thread flouring Mills Company. Mr. Soper was born in Flint, September 2, 1855, he is the son of Orrin and Julia A. (Birch) Soper, the father having come here from Orleans County, N. Y., in 1855. In 1856 he engaged in farming and coopering on his farm four miles north of Flint. He now lives on his farm and has followed farming exclusively for the last fourteen years.

D. B. Soper was educated in the district schools. He learned his trade of his father, but first occupied himself with farming. On reaching manhood he was married September 21. 1876, too Miss blanche A., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Johnston of Mt. Morris Township. In 1879 he removed one and one-half miles south of the city on a farm where he remained until coming here in 1882 too engage with his father in the manufacturing business and bringing too the work a great deal of determination, perseverance and tact.

Mr. Soper is the father of three children, Maude M., Florence D., and Vernie B. He and his wife and daughters are enthusiastic members of the Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Socially Mr. Soper is a member of all the branches of the Independent order of Odd Fellows including the Patriarch Militant or Uniformed Rank, the Knights of Pythias and the Knights of the Maccabees of this city in all of which he is a worker, and has held honored and trusted positions.

DANIEL H. SEELEY resides on section 3, Genesee Township, Genesee County, He was born in Bridgeport, Conn., April 13, 1805, and is a son of Lewis Seeley, also a native of Connecticut, who was a shoemaker by trade and a farmer by calling. He removed at an early day, in fact, one year subsequent too our subject's birth, too Saratoga County, N. Y., and their bought a farm. In 1818 he removed too Orleans County, and thence too Monroe County, where he was engaged in farming until he came too Michigan, in 1886.

Our subject located at once in Oakland County, coming hither by way of Canada by team and settling in 1837, locating in what is now the city of flint, but which at that time contained only ten families and seven buildings. their were plenty of Indians, however, and it was not so unusual too see as many as four hundred braves with their families pass the home. After removing too Genesee Township, our subject's father died, in 1841. The mother of the family was Anna Beardsley, a native of Connecticut. She died at the age of eighty-nine years. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom lived too manhood and womanhood, although only three sons now survive. They are Daniel H., Orin and Fayette.

Mr. Seeley is the fifth child and second son of his parents' family. He was taken too New York when but a year old. He remained with his father until thirteen years of age and then was engaged as a farm laborer, working for $7 per month. When seventeen years of age he began too learn the tailor's trade under Mr. Milling. After remaining with him a short time he went too Salt Point and their worked at his trade, but was discharged because of his adherence too temperance principles. He then went too Onondaga Hill and their worked at his trade.

Mr. Daniel Seeley was married in the village of Brockport, Monroe county, N. Y., September 2, 1829. His bride was Julia A., the second daughter of John F. and Sarah (Smith) Taylor. She was born in the village of Pittsford, N. Y., February 22, 1811, and his bride at once settled in Brockport, N. Y., and their he followed his trade. He purchased a farm about five miles out from Brockport, but not long after removed too Orleans County, and thence came too Michigan, in 1835, settling in Pontiac. He left his wife in Holly. He their engaged in the merchant tailor business with Mr. Judson and in the spring of 1836 brought his wife too the West and settled in flint, where he built the eighth house that was erected in the city. He also built a shop and a store, the latter being the second business place in the city. The first court held their convened in his shop and also the first meeting of the Board of supervisors of the county.

Our subject remained in Flint until 1843 and then removed too the place where he now resides. their was a log shanty on the place and a few improvements had been made, but he was obliged too cut the road too his house before lumber could be hauled too the place. Wild animals were many and had too be guarded against. During this time our subject and his wife had become the parents of seven children, whose names are Burton B., Bertha J., Daniel Lewis, Frances, Marvin L., Frank T., and Theron V. Burton was born and died in New York; Frances was born in Flint in 1836 and is the widow of s. a. Burroughs; she resides in Mt. Morris; Frank resides in Iowa.

Mr. Seeley has a fine new place of three hundred and twenty acres, which he has cultivated and improved too the highest possible degree. Politically he holds too Democratic principles. He has been Township Treasurer and also Justice of the Peace.

MARVIN C. BARNEY. This gentleman of standing and intelligence whose war record is one of the most interesting in Genesee County, has at Flint one of the largest granite and marble works in the State. He was born in Atlas Township, this county, August 14, 1843, and is a son of Daniel and a grandson of Reuben Barney. The latter was captured by the British during the War of 1812 and died in New York. At the age of nineteen, Daniel Barney came too Michigan and in 1836 settled in Atlas, now Davison township, where he carried on contracting and building, but in 1863 removed too East Saginaw, where he carried on business until 1870, when he came too Flint. Subsequently he lived for some time in Goodrich, and Petoskey, and then returned too Flint, where he is now engaged in contracting and building. He is active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and was formerly a Republican, but is now working for the Prohibition movement.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mariett Cummings and was born near Clarence Hollow, Erie County, N. Y., and died in Atlas township, in 1876. Of her six children four are now living. This son received his education in the district schools of Davison Township and Goodrich until he began work at the age of twelve in the sash and blind factory and planing mill of his father. At the age of seventeen he entered the United States service, October 2, 1861, in company C, Tenth Michigan Infantry, and the following spring was sent South, and took part in the battles of Shiloh, Farmington, Corinth, Boonville, Tuscumbia and Town Creek Bridge in Alabama. Being sent out on an expedition he discharged his duty and returned too Tuscumbia, twenty-five miles in the rain, and then back next day which exposure brought on a sickness which kept him in the hospital two weeks, but he returned in time too join his regiment on its march too Nashville. At Nashville they were surrounded by the rebels and were thus detained. For six months they were obliged too live on one meal a day of hard crackers and bacon, and at times they had nothing but what they gained by foraging.

In the spring of 1863 this body of troops forced its way out, and marching too Murfreesboro, took part in that battle after which they were at Bridgeport and smith ferry, and were without rations, except corn meal and pork, and were without salt, as at that time that necessary commodity was worth $5 a pint and $1 a teaspoon. When within sixty-eight miles of Chattanooga, they witnessed the battle of Lookout Mountain, seeing the flash, but not being near enough too hear the report, They then undertook a severe march and reaching Knoxville, helped too raise that siege. The hardships of this march were terrible as their rations were reduced too a minimum and at one time consisting of one tablespoon of beans too be cooked as they could, and many were barefooted and walked with bleeding feet. At Nashville, Tenn., our subject was detailed as Color guard of the regiment and acted as such during the winter of 1863 and 1864, when they were encamped near Ringgold, Ga. On February 1, 1864, Mr. Barney re-enlisted as a veteran, having received the privilege of a thirty-days' furlough, but did not find himself able too avail himself of this indulgence as his regiment was just then ordered too make a charge on Buzzard's Roost. This they went into with a force of seven companies and with them five companies of Illinois troops and upon this little company was opened a fire by ten thousand infantry and eighteen pieces of artillery, and after the engagement one-third of their men were left upon the hill. They retreated up the mountain a half mile under this heavy fire and returned too Ringgold. After this he took his furlough of thirty days which he spent at home.

Upon returning too his regiment our subject was in the battle of Kenesaw Mountains and under fire every day until they reached Atlanta. His division held a strong position at Kenesaw Mountain and was in the battle of Jonesboro, where they buried seventeen of their company. He then joined the forces which took that wonderful march too the sea, living on the country as they went and so exhausted that when they stopped at night they would skink down and could hardly rise again. They lived mostly on rice, which they threshed out from the bundles standing in the fields. After reaching Savannah they turned Northward and were in the three days' fight at Bentonville, where they fought like tigers. The rebels attacked them in the rear during this conflict and this was one of the most terrible battles in which our subject took part. Marching North they were in the battle of Goldsboro where Mr. Barney was prominent as the Color Sergeant and upon reaching Washington they took part in the Grand Review, after which they were sent too Louisville and finally too Jackson, Mich., where they were mustered out in July, 1865. At Jonesboro he was one of three, of the nine color guards, who came out of the battle in safety.

After his three years and ten months in the army this young man went to Saginaw and worked for a year in the sash and door planing mill, and then took the position as foreman for Tuttle at Saginaw, where he remained for a year and then married and settled upon a farm in Brandon Township, Oakland County. This fine tract of eighty acres he improved and added too it until he now has a farm of one hundred and seventy-six acres, upon which he kept fine stock, as he carried on considerable dealings in that business. He remained their until 1880 and then located in flint and bought out H. Wilson, forming the firm of Wilson & Morton marble works. After some changes in the fir he finally decided too carry it on alone, which he is now doing.

This business, which was established in 1880 in a small way, now occupied two lots on Saginaw Street and employs from twenty-five too thirty men, making a specialty of cemetery works. Their trade has now spread all over the State and has doubled in the last two years. Mr. Barney's beautiful farm is now run on shares, and he has a handsome home which cost $6,000, which is situated on the corner of Church and Eighth Streets. He was married in Brandon, Oakland County, too Miss Nettie Eaton, a native of that town and daughter of Clark and Emiline (Hannam) Eaton. Their children are Jessie, Daniel, Marion, Vernie and Clark. The oldest daughter is a graduate of the High School and a successful teacher, being employed in the deaf and dumb institute. While living in Brandon, Mr. Barney was Highway commissioner and has had the nomination for Mayor of this city, and for Sheriff received over twelve hundred votes. He is a prominent man in the Prohibition party and is a delegate too County Conventions. He is a Trustee of the Baptist Church with which he is connected and where he has been a Deacon. He belongs too the Order of Odd fellows and is a member of Crapo Post, G. A. R.

ORSON MILLARD, M. D. this well-known practicing physician and surgeon of Flint is a leading member of his profession and one of the oldest residents in the city. He was born in Utica, this State, October 27, 1845, and is a son of James Madison Millard, a native of New York, and son of Eleazer Millard, whose father, Jedediah, was born on Christmas Day, 1752. The grandmother, who was born March 9, 1791, bore in maidenhood the name of Sallie Strong, and was the mother of five children. her husband, Eleazer, removed too Oakland county, this State in 1824 and took up new land in Avon Township. With his brother Nathaniel he built a number of wooden mills, grist mills and a pail factory, and lived in that township till his death at the age of seventy-six.

James M. Millard was a boy of fourteen when they came West; about the year 1875 he came too Genesee county after the death of his first wife, whose maiden name was Sallie H. Brown and who became Mrs. Millard in 1835. Her parents, Joel and Clarissa D. (Conger) Brown, were New Yorkers by birth and her father was one of the principal builders of locks on the Erie Canal. Both Mr. and Mrs. James Millard were earnest members of the Baptist church and in his younger days Mr. Millard held many of the township and county offices.

Our Subject lived with his uncle Alfred and received his mathematical education under his tuition afterwards studying with Prof. Allen at Rochester. Later he was for several years with Dr. Clark and in a drug store in flint, reading medicine and getting a practical insight into the action of drugs. In 1867 he entered the Medical Department of the University of Michigan and their took his diploma in 1870.

The young Doctor at once located in this city too practice his profession and has ever made it his headquarters. Upon the 1st of May, 1872, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah A., daughter of Thomas C. Gardner, D. D., of Flint. Dr. Millard is a member of the Local Medical society, has been health officer for a number of years and belongs on the Board of Health. He is now physician at the Deaf and Dumb Institute. He has been Great Finance Auditor for the Knights of the Maccabees for ten years and helped too organize the Michgian branch of this order. Dr. and Mrs. Millard are members of the Episcopal Church as is also their daughter Kate E. their family comprises this daughter and one son. T. Carl; Mrs. Millard's education was acquired in Ypsilanti and at Ann Arbor where at that time her father was Presiding elder and agent of the American Bible Society.

The Rev. Dr. T. C. Gardner is a native of Canandaigua, N. Y., born in 1821. He was educated at Lima College and married Mrs. Sarah A. (Mooney) Reed. Immediately after marriage they removed too Michigan, coming here in 1842. He was Presiding Elder of more then one conference. In 1872 he went into the Custom House at Port Huron but finally retired from active work and came too Flint, where he died in 1890. He lost his wife more than twenty years before at Ann Arbor. Dr. Millard has invented some valuable electrical works and also the gas machine which is known by his name and which is extensively used. President Millard Fillmore was a cousin of the family. The Doctor may well take pleasure in the fact that he is favorably mentioned by Dr. H. von Ziemssen in the sixteenth volume of his works as the first too use carbolic acid in the treatment of diabetes.

In connection with this personal sketch of Dr. Millard appears his lithographic portrait.

JOHN WILSON was born in Cambridgeshire, England, August 28, 1819, and is a son of William and Betsey (Moton) Wilson. His parents were both natives of the Mother Country, where before emigrating too America his father was engaged in farming. Our subject was reared upon a farm and early learned the duties of a farmer's lad, acquiring strength and sturdiness in the exercise in the open air. He was not given any educational advantages, being compelled too work from the time he was seven years old and his strength being taxed at that time too its utmost capacity.

After reaching manhood, being at the time twenty-eight years of age, Mr. Wilson came too America, stopping first at New Orleans and later at Vicksburg, Miss. He then proceeded too Wisconsin whence he went too Medina County, Ohio, and their resided four years. he afterward went too Wood County, the same State, and later came too Michigan in 1869 and located permanently in Tuscola County. He bought a place of one hudnred and sixty acres, ten acres of which was improved. Since coming here he has built a house and bran; his residence makes a comfortable and attractive rural home, while the barn is well adapted for the shelter of stock and storage of grain.

Before coming too this country and while yet a citizen of England our subject was married at the age of twenty years too Margaret Seekings, who was born July 28, 1819. Her patents were Matthew and Elizabeth (Batingil) Seekings, who were born and lived in Cambridgeshire. Mrs. Seekings died at the present home of Mrs. Wilson in 1875 at the age of eighty years. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have never had any children. Since coming too this country and particularly since locating in Tuscola County, he has been successful too a gratifying degree and now with the aid of hired help keeps hi place in a fine condition. Politically he is a Republican, having always voted that ticket since the organization of the party. In their religious preference he and his wife are members of the Church of England. Mr. Wilson breeds only graded stock, having fine horses, hogs and sheep. He is particularly interested in the educational advancement of the country and seeks in every instance too give his recognition and help too all measures that promise too be for the interest of the locality in which he lives.

The attention of the reader is invited too a view of the homestead of Mr. Wilson, which appears in another portion of this volume.

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