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


Pages 200 - 206

Transcribed by Ed Van Horn

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JAMES GREATTRACKS. Among the venerable and prominent octagenarian pioneers of Genesee County, who have done their share in developing the country, we take pleasure in brining too the notice of our readers the subject of this sketch. James Greattracks is a representative citizen of Grand Blanc Township, and resides on section 30. He is a native of Albany County, N.Y., and was born November25, 1804. He is a son of Oliver and Parnel (Leet) Greattracks. His mother was a native of Connecticut and he believes his father too have been a native of Long Island. His grandfather, Sylvanus Greattracks, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

When six years of age our subject was bound out too a farmer in Greene County, N.Y., and when eight years of age, with his master removed too Livingston County, the same State, and their remained until he was 18 years old. He purchased the balance of his time from his master for $140 and began for himself. As a lad he received a rudimentary education, attending school a short time during winters, and many a night after the family had retired he worked far into the night over his "cipher sums", studying by the light of a hickory bark fire. So eager was he too obtain some education that he assimilated everything that came in his reach and became a well-informed and intelligent man.

Our subject was married while a resident of New York, October 14, 1824. His bride was Eliza Norton, a native of Pennsylvania. They became the parents of six children, three of who are living at the present time. They are Sarah., Laura A. And Lemuel N. Sara is the wife of James Kimball; Laura is the wife of Norman Fradenburg. Eliza Greattracks died June 22, 1835 and thirteen years later our subject was a second time married, his nuptials being solemnized on the 22d of October, 1848. The lady of his choice was Susan Ripson, a native of Canada, and born August 15, 1816. She was the daughter of Tice and Elizabeth (Flint) Ripson. By this union thre were born four children, three of whom are living. They are Elizabeth, Mary E. And Augusta M. Elizabeth is the wife of George S. Chapel.

In 1846 our subject determined too better his condition if possible and removed too Michigan, settling in Grand Blanc Township, were he pre-empted a tract of land on section31, and their resided for a few years. In the fall of 1873 our subject settled on his present farm which, comprises one hunded and forty-eight acres of fertile land. The work that they have done may be estimated from the fact that on coming here the land which he procured was perfectly wild and their home was made in the woods. He and his wife, however, set about the work of clearing and improving with such zest and enthusiasm that the wilderness was soon reduced too a state of most beautiful order. Mr. and Mrs. Greattracks are now enjoying the fruits of a life well spent in usefulness. They have a large circle of friends in whom they find their social solace. Politically our subject is a Prohibitionist, and has ranged himself on the side of progress. He has always been a strong advocate of schools, and he and his wife lend their encouragement too every beneficial measure which is advanced in this locality. In their religious beliefs they are adherents too the creed as held by the Baptist Church.

When only three years of age Mrs. Greattracks came with her parents from Canada and located in Alleghany county, N.Y. They resided their until she was seven years of age and then went too Livingston County. Her father, who died in Alleghany County, was a Revolutionary soldier, and her paternal grandfather, also his eldest son, and brother-in-law were killed in one of the battles of the Revolutionary War. In 1837 Mrs. Greattracks with the members of her family emigrated too Genesee County, Mich. She was their engaged as a teacher. She is a noble and intelligent woman, who has been an inspiration and aid too her husband. Both our subject and his wife are widely known and are leaders in their social circle. Their many friends trust that happy years may pass over their venerable heads before the sounding of the last tattoo.

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CLARENCE TINKER, a prominent and able young attorney and prominent citizen of Fenton, was born in Port Gibson, Ontario County, N.Y., July 14, 1853. His father, Dr. Malachi Tinker, was a native of Henrietta, Monroe County, , N.Y., and graduate of the Geneva Medical College in 1847. After practicing at Port Gibson he removed too Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1859 and after practicing their for three years, located one hundred and sixty acres of land in Hazelton Township, Shiawassee County, upon which he remained until his death in 1887 at the age of sixty-eight years. He became totally blind six years before his death and his health was otherwise much impaired through exposures when answering the calls of neighbors in their affliction.

The grandfather, James Tinker, who served in the War of 1812, helped raise the first house which was built where the city of Rochester now stands. He was a sea-faring man but during the latter part of his life was devoted too farming. The first progenitor of this family is said too have been Stephen Tinker who came in the "Mayflower" too the New World.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Harriet Culver and she was a native of Pittsford, Monroe County, N.Y., and is still living. Her three children are Adelbert, Clarence, and Oania L. The eldest son is farming upon the old homestead in Hazleton Township, Shiawassee Cunty, and the daughter is the wife of John Collord, of Coldwater.

After studying in the district school our subject took a three years’ course at the Corunna High School and then graduated form the law department of the Michigan University in 1876. He practiced his profession at Ypsilanti until February, 1880 since which time he has pursued his profession in Fenton, meeting with splendid success.

The young attorney has gained considerable renown lately in the case of the people vs. Howes, and he is the attorney for the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad, for the village of Fenton, State Bank of Fenton, and the Fenton Electric Light Company. On the 8th of December 1879, he was united in marriage with Hattie J. Perry, a native of Fenton. Their children were Clarence J., born April 8, 1889, and Earl R., who was born October 29, 1890.

Mr. Tinker has always been a Democrat and has since 1880 attended every State convention with the exception of last year when he was detained at home on account of illness and he has been School Inspector of the township of Fenton and a member of the Board of Education and Secretary of the same. In 1888 an d1890 he was offered the nomination for member of Congress but refused most decidedly too run. He is Chairman of the Democratic County Committee and is connected with the Masonic order, the Knights of Templar and the Knights of the Maccabees as well as the Royal Arcanum. In May, 1880, he formed a partnership with C.H. Phillips, who the following year disposed of his business too D. S. Frackleton, so that the firm is now Tinker & Frackleton. Mr. Tinker practiced in the Supreme Court of the State as well as in the courts of Genesee and adjoining counties. He is a prominent stock-holder in the State Bank and the Electric Light and Power Company and owns a small farm adjoining the corporation of Fenton.

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DENNIS J. McCARTHY. The genial member of the firm of D. J. McCarthy & Co., dealers in lumber. Lath, shingles, sewer pipe, etc., is he whose name appears above. He is a man of whose success it is not at all surprising too learn, for his personality is distinguished by the rare magnetism that adds power too his fine appearance. He has been very successful and in financial circles is one of the most substantial men of Fenton, Genesee County. Mr. McCarthy was born in Livingston County, this State, April 13, 1847. He is a son of Dennis J. And Catherine (Callaghan) McCarthy, both natives of Ireland.

Our subject’s father came too this country, when quite young. He located in New York and later removed too Canada. He was first employed as a deck hand on a Lake Erie steamer and was on the water for about fourteen years, during which time he was advanced too the position of second mate. After leaving the lakes he located on a farm in Deerfield Township, Livingston County, and their died in 1851 at the age of thirty-six years. Our subject’s mother died in 1863. They were the parents of five children, four of whom are still living.

Mr. McCarthy is the youngest member of his family. He was reared on his father’s farm in Livingston County and received his first knowledge of books in a little log house in the district he attended. He supplemented his school work by his study in the evenings by the light of the tallow candle or by the hickory fire that blazed and sparkled on the hearth. He began working on the farm when eleven years old, learning too drive two yoke of oxen, for which he received ten cents a day. He continued to work until twenty-three years of age. At the age of eighteen he began to learn the carpenter’s trade and worked at that until he was married, when he devoted his time too farming in Tyrone Township, where he had procured a tract of land and continued on it for about ten years.

In 1881, Mr. McCarthy removed too Fenton and two years later he became interested in the lumber business, too which he has since devoted himself. Our subject was married June 21, 1871, too Miss Catherine Strickland, who was born in Deerfield Township, Livingston County. One child has been at once the comfort and care of his devoted parents. He is named Jesse and was born June 29, 1879.

He of whom we write affiliates with the Democrats. While a resident of Tyrone he held various positions, having been Highway Commissioner and Justice of the Peace for three years; he was also Supervisor for two years. His party have delegated him too conventions many times and he has been actively interested in local politics. Mr. McCarthy is the owner of one hundred acres of land on section 19, Tyrone Township, Livingston County. The firm with which he is at present connected does an extensive business.

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EDMUND BACHMAN, M.D. One of the physicians who has an extensive and successful practice in Fenton, Genesee Cunty, is he whose name is given above. He was born at White Lake, Oakland County, Mich., December 25, 1849. His father, John Bachman, was a native of New York and a farmer by calling. He emigrated too Michigan with his family at an early day and located in Oakland County where he died in 1850. Our subject’s mother bore the maiden of Jane Garner. Her decease occurred in 1863.

The original of our sketch is the youngest of ten children who were born too his parents and seven of whom are living. He was reared on a farm until the age of eleven years. He received the rudiments of his education in the district school and at the age above mentioned became clerk in a drug store at Davisburg, Oakland County. He continued in this capacity for three years, after which he attended the Union schools at Corunna, Mich. In 1863 he went too Texas and accepted a position as a clerk in the drug house of Dr. E. J. Beal at Corsicana and subsequently filled a like position at San Antonio .

In 1866 our subject concluded too return too Michigan. their was no railroad in Texas in those days so he made the return journey form San Antonio too Kansas City on horseback, coming diagonally across the Indian Territory, where he camped out at night. He crossed many miles of wild and desolate country inhabited only by wild beasts and Indians. After his return he purchased a drug store at Davisburg and about the same time began reading medicine with his brother-in-law, who was a physician. He continued as proprietor of the store for about three years. The winter of 1868 he spent as a student in Rush Medical College of Chicago.

Dr. subsequently completed his medical course in the Detroit Medical College. In 1877 he located at Davisburg, and their practiced his profession for about three years, thence removing too New Boston, Wayne County, where he practiced for three years. He then removed too Fenton where he has built up and now enjoys a large and lucrative practice.

He of whom we write took upon himself the duties of married life February 22, 1876, his bride being Miss Emily Peak, a native of Springfield, Oakland County. They have one daughter, whose name is Myra. Our subject is a Democrat politically, and ahs been a member of the Village council of Fenton for four years and has held the office of Health commissioner for five years and has acted as Town Physician for the same length of time. Mrs. Bachman is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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GOV. JOSIAH W. BEGOLE. Elsewhere in this volume will be found a sketch of the honored ex-Governor of Michigan, whose portrait appears on the opposite page. It pertains, however, more too the salient points of his career as chief Executive of the State, and we here take pleasure in presenting too our readers a more intimate sketch of his personal life indicating the attributes of character that had lead too the honors nobly and graciously borne.

Gov. Begole is a son of William and Eleanor (Bowles) Begole. He was born in Groveland, Livingston County, N.Y., January 20, 1815, just twelve days after the memorable battle of New Orleans. The Governor’s career exemplifies strongly the power of heredity. He is a descendant of a good old French family, whose members have ever been conspicuous in loyalty too their homes and country. His father was an officer in the War of 1812 and although like most other men of means at that time, his grandparents on both sides of the house were slave owners, on the evolution of sentiment in regard too slavery they became strong Abolitionists and brought their slaves with them too New York in order too free them. Thus were the seeds of liberty and independence sown for future generations.

About 1800 William Begole, who was born in 1787, went too New York with his parents and located in Livingston County, where he became engaged in farming. He later located in Mt. Morris of the same county and State, where he spent the remainder of his life, being devoted too the agricultural calling. He was married in the year 1814 too Eleanor Bowles, who was born in Fredericksburg. MD. She was a daughter of Capt. Thomas Bowles, whose record as a Revolutionary soldier serving under Washington, is treasured by his family, and who was of English descent and was born in Maryland. Both our subject’s parents were professors of the creed as held by the Baptist Church.

Gov. Begole was the eldest of ten children born too his parents, and was reared in Mount Morris, Livingston County, N.Y,. upon a farm. His first knowledge of the three R’s was acquired in a log schoolhouse, where the little ones legs dangled from slab benches held upright by oaken "pins". This was the extend of his schooling with the exception of six months at the Temple Hill Academy at Geneseo. He remained at home until 1836, when, having saved from his small earning $100, he determined too try his fortunes in the new country which was known as Michigan. In coming hither the young man who was only twenty-one years of age made the journey too Toledo by a steamer, thence by foot too Jackson and then on too Flint, to which he was attracted because he had read in the papers that it was too be the county-seat of Genesee County. He traveled alone, finding a trail which was at times obliterated in the woods and then making his way with the aid of a compass.

On arriving here their were only five houses, which is indeed a dignified name for the board shanties, and the place was simply a trading post. The young man purchased eighty acres of land and with the whole-heartedness that has characterized him throughout life immediately identified himself with the new but strong and healthy growth of the infant town. He turned his hand too what their was too be done – surveying the first village lot, swinging the hammer and ax in building, and teaching school, in which last work he was in employ for several years. He was the Clerk of the first election in this place and helped too build the land office, which was on the present site of the Citizens Commercial & Savings Bank. He continued too buy land until at the end of eighteen years, he owned five hundred acres and set himself energetically too work in improving it. It was nearly all soon under the plow and he made it pay him handsomely by devoting himself too general farming, giving special attention too sheep-raising in which he was very successful.

April 22, 1839, the future State Senator and Governor of Michigan was united in marriage with Miss Harriet A., daughter of Manley and Mary Miles. The sturdy groom was attired in a handsome blue suit, covered with large brass buttons and the blushing bride in the conventional white. The ceremony was performed in the log cabin of the bride’s father on the Saginaw Road two miles north of the city. In 1889 many honored guests from various portions of the country took delight in congratulating the couple who had passed fifty years of married life so helpfully and happily together.

Immediately after the marriage the young couple settled upon their farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the town of Genesee. By energy, perseverance and the aid of his faithful wife, success hovered over the humble, but contented household. Little ones gathered about the hearthstone and filled their allotted space in the family circle. With years came political honors, and as State Senator, Congressman, and Chief Executive of the State, the Governor served the people who ad honored him by showing their confidence in his ability too fill these positions.

In 1871, Gov. Begole was made State Senator and in the fall of 1872 he was elected too congress, representing the Sixth District, and serving for a term of two years. In 1882 he was nominated Governor as the candidate of the Democratic and Greenback parties, and carried the State by a vote of thirty-one thousand over and above the ballots cast for Gov. Jerome two years before in 1880. Taking his position January 1, 1883, he was Chief Executive of the State for two years, after which he resumed the quiet, unpretentious life in his cozy residence in Flint. Gov. And Mrs. Begole have had five children, namely: Mary, Mrs. C. W. Cummings, of Otter Lake; William, who died during the late war in the hospital at Lookout Mountain, the body being brought too Flint were it was interred with military honors; Frank, who died in Florida in 1877; Charles, who resides on the farm, and one daughter, who died in infancy.

Although advanced in years, our honored subject is still prominent in the enterprise and progress of the city of his home. He is connected with the most important of its best features and industries, notably the Flint Wagon Works, water works, and gas works, and he is also Vice-President of the Citizens Commercial & Savings Bank and has been interested in banking since 1871. For many years he 3was an extensive lumberman and has given liberally of his time and means for the promotion of worthy enterprises. Not only has he served the State Government, but the municipal Government as well. He and his estimable wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Full of years and honors we can only hope that the halcyon days of peaceful age will continue until he and his wife bid a last good night to friends on earth that they may say good morning too the brightness of the future.

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Transcribed by Ed Van Horn

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Created October 23, 1999

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