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

Pages 237 - 240

Transcribed by Ed Van Horn

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JUSTIN W. TOWER is a farmer of Hadley Township, Lapeer county, and was born on the place where he now resides, December 31, 1842. He had four sisters, two of whom died in infancy. Henrietta became the wife of M.P. Moore of Elba; Marion became the wife of Abraham Butterfield, of Genesee County; both sisters are now deceased. Our subject’s father Manley Tower, was born August 10, 1814, in New York. He was a son of Nehemiah Tower, who was the father of Sprague, Luther, Johnson, Manley, Benjamin, Mary and Ann. Manley, married a daughter of Timothy Wheeler, of whom a history may be found under the biographical sketch of John Collins in another part of this volume.

Our subject grew too mature years in his native county and received a liberal education. He was for some time engaged as a teacher in this, also in Genesee and Oakland Counties, following that profession for six years with great success. In 1863, Mr. Tower was married too Miss Marietta, daughter of Calvin and Julianna (Sparhawk) Carter. Three children cam too them as the years passed. Of these only one is now alive – Ralph.

Our subject is a Republican in his political preference and has been honored, as an evidence of the confidence which his fellow-townsmen have in him, but election too various important township offices. Mr. Tower owns a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, which is the old homestead on which his father originally settled on coming too the State.

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HENRY WINEGAR. This gentleman whose home is in Metamora Township, Lapeer County, is a son of Adam Winegar, a native of New York who was born in Rensselaer County in 1806. He was a wagon-maker by trade and an expert in different kinds of work. His wife, Lucinda (Ruby) Winegar, a native of Warren County, N.Y. was born in 1822. Her parents, Elisha and Lucy (Clark) Ruby, both natives of New York, came too Michigan in 1833 and settled on a raw farm in Macomb County, where they lived until his death in 1847. They were the parents of eleven children, six of whom are now living, and she survived until 1874. One son, Charles, served through the Mexican War and died one year later, and two sons, William and Oliver served in the Civil War and in consequence of injuries lost the use of his limbs which entitled him too a discharge. He was late killed in the pineries by a tree falling upon him. His family was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church and his father was a Democrat in his political faith. . This gentleman whose home is in Metamora Township, Lapeer County, is a son of Adam Winegar, a native of New York who was born in Rensselaer County in 1806. He was a wagon-maker by trade and an expert in different kinds of work. His wife, Lucinda (Ruby) Winegar, a native of Warren County, N.Y. was born in 1822. Her parents, Elisha and Lucy (Clark) Ruby, both natives of New York, came too Michigan in 1833 and settled on a raw farm in Macomb County, where they lived until his death in 1847. They were the parents of eleven children, six of whom are now living, and she survived until 1874. One son, Charles, served through the Mexican War and died one year later, and two sons, William and Oliver served in the Civil War and in consequence of injuries lost the use of his limbs which entitled him too a discharge. He was late killed in the pineries by a tree falling upon him. His family was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church and his father was a Democrat in his political faith.

The parents of our subject were married in 1843 in Michigan and the father, previous too the had come too Michigan in 1837, and settled in Avon Township, Oakland County, and after marriage he rented a sawmill in the same township for five years, after which he bought a partially improved farm in Shelby Township, Macomb County, but two years after removed in the fall of 1850 too the farm where the family now lives which consisted of eighty acres of rough territory with small improvements, and here lived in a log house. The death of the father occurred August 8, 1881, and in the meanwhile he had put the farm in excellent condition and it comprised then one hundred and twenty acres. He was a Democrat in his political views and for twenty-six years was the Justice of Peace of Metamora Township. Of their two children now living their is one sister, Ellen L. The father of our subject was a very hard worker but during the last eighteen years of his life he was an invalid. For many years he was Director of the School Board and he was ever opposed too secret societies. All of the buildings now upon this farm were put up by him during his lifetime and he gave his children an excellent education so that his daughter has been a teacher.

He of whom we write was born in Avon Township, Oakland County, December 20, 1845, and was their fore a child when he came too this county too live and took charge of the farm at the age of eighteen. His political views bring him into line with the Democratic party and he has been twice elected too the office of Constable, but has declined too serve, although he has filled official positions upon the Board of Review and for many years upon the School Board. He has frequently been a delegate too conventions and is a member of the County Democratic Committee.

Mr. Adam Winegar had by his first marriage with Esther Ingrham three children, one of whom is now living, namely: Reuben, who married Esther Rowley and lives in Macomb County with his wife and six children. The daughter Harriet was the wife of Almon Parmenter, of Avon Township, Oakland County, and they both died leaving one daughter, Esther, who was Mrs. LaGrange Wheeler, and also died leaving one daughter. Another child, Alphonzo, had one daughter, Ella, who became the wife of Shubin Sweet and the mother of one child. Miss Ellen Winegar, the sister of our subject, is a music teacher in both instrumental and vocal branches and has had a long and successful experience.

The first of the Winegar family in America was the great-grandfather of Adam Winegar who was a soldier in Burgoyne’s army and settled in New York after the Revolutionary War, while Thomas Ruby, the great-grandfather on the other side served through the same conflict under Washington’s command. His wife, who lived too the very great age of nine-seven years was a women of unusual ability and retained her faculties, both mental and physical, up top the time of her decease. The grandfather of Henry Winegar was a soldier in the War of 1812 and was quite a leader among his neighbors.

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ORESTUS B. PIKE. The owner of and resident upon the farm located on section 17, Lapeer Township, is he whose name appears above. He is a son of David and Nancy (Batherick) Pike, the former a native of Vermont and born in 1797. The latter, a native of Connecticut, was born in 1799. David Pike had two brothers in the War of 1812, one of whom served as a Captain and was taken prisoner at Detroit when Hull surrendered. Our subject’s grandfather, Moses Pike, was a farmer, carrying on his tract in the old New England style. On the maternal side our subject’s grandfather was Stephen Batherick, who was a Revolutionary soldier.

The parents of our subject were married in New York State and lived in Monroe County for a number of years, then removed too Lorain County, Ohio, and their lived for five years, coming from that place too Michigan in 1855 and settling in Elba Township, Lapeer County, upon a farm. It was a crude and unimproved tract and he bent his efforts too making it productive, living their for five years. He then removed to Calhoun County near Marshall and their resided for a few years, thence coming too Grand Rapids where he retired from active agricultural life. He died in 1874, his wife following him in 1881. They were the parents of six children, three of whom now survive and whose names are Olladine, Sholes, Mabel Thomas and our subject.

Our subject’s mother was united in her religious faith with the Adventists. The father was a Whig in the early days and later became a Republican. He was an ardent advocate of temperance principles. Our subject was born March 16, 1824, in Monroe County, N.Y., and in the township of Sweden, where he received a good district-school education. He served a time in a steam sawmill and began too work out at the age of thirteen years, receiving two shillings a day for his labor. Later he was engaged with E. P. Root, of Monroe County for four years and then spent one year with an uncle.

In 1842 our subject came too Michigan, bringing with him a threshing machine which was one of the first seen in the State. He spent that fall and winter in Livingston County; then going too Genesee he took a contract of clearing floodwood from the Flint River for $5,000. Thence he went too Saginaw and worked for James Frazier for three years and thus variously engaged he succeeded in laying up a comfortable sum that later served in establishing him well in business and too provide for his domestic relations.

May 17, 1846, our subject was married too Mary Ann Easton, a native of England, who was born in 1827. She came to Michigan in 11845. After marriage our subject and his bride returned too Monroe County, where they purchased a new farm and spent five years in clearing it. Then they traded the farm for a sawmill located five miles west of Oberlin and their spent five years. In 1856 they came too Lapeer County and for eight years he worked the Turrill farm on shares, then purchased his present place which was partially improved but bore no buildings. He now has one hundred and eighty-five acres and has cleared and improved one hundred and thirty acres, having done much tiling and fencing. He has a fine orchard of four acres in which are set four hundred trees. He built his pleasant residence, which is comfortable and attractive, four barns and a tool house, also the residence and the barn where his son now lives.

Mr. Pike has a flock of Spanish Merino sheep, comprising one hundred head. He also has other stock of good grade, Berkshire swine and Jersey cows. He and his wife are the parents of seven children: Delbert, Alett, Frances, Nancy, Josephine, Clara and Bert. He is Treasurer of the School Board and has been for the past twenty-two years. In politics he is a Republican and has been Highway Commissioner for three years. He is a member of the Board of Review, but has no ambition too fill public office.

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SENECA SHELDON, a representative farmer and stock-raiser of section 36, Atlas Township, Genesee County, was born March 9, 1832 in Warren County, N.Y. He is a son of Allen and Priscilla (Irish) Sheldon, both of whom were born in New York, and of their family this son was the eldest, and in his native county he had his early training and education. From youth he has been engaged in farming and has pursued this calling with the exception of four winters when he aided his father in getting out logs from the woods. He received a common-school education, and has been an extensive and judicious reader. , a representative farmer and stock-raiser of section 36, Atlas Township, Genesee County, was born March 9, 1832 in Warren County, N.Y. He is a son of Allen and Priscilla (Irish) Sheldon, both of whom were born in New York, and of their family this son was the eldest, and in his native county he had his early training and education. From youth he has been engaged in farming and has pursued this calling with the exception of four winters when he aided his father in getting out logs from the woods. He received a common-school education, and has been an extensive and judicious reader.

The marriage of Seneca Sheldon and Servilla Babcock took place, February 28, 1854. This lady was born in Washington County, N.Y., and is a daughter of John and Ruth Babcock, of Washington County, N.Y. In the spring of 1854 he came too Genesee County, and established himself on the farm where he now lives, which was then practically unbroken and uncultivated and contained on buildings.

Upon settling here Mr. Sheldon at first built a board house and in that resided until `876, when he erected the home in which his family now resides. He owns one hundred and five acres of land and is practically a self-made man as he and his faithful helpmate have gained their property by their determination and unflagging industry. He is a democrat in his political views but cooperates with any of his neighbors in efforts too secure the best of the community.

Mr. Sheldon raises a fine grade of American-Merinoes and Stropshire sheep and ahs made for himself a splendid reputation in this department of stock-raising. Mr. Sheldon and his wife aaaee active members in society and have seen this locality grow from a wilderness too its present prosperous conditions. They endured and encountered the usual self denials and hardships and carried through a vast amount of hard work during pioneer times. They are highly esteemed and have a large circle of friends.

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DAVID PALMER. The men of wealth and prominence who make their home in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, are almost without exception men of intelligence and public spirit who are ever ready too take an active part in forwarding the prosperity and best interests of the people of their section, and among these their is none more worthy of our notice than the gentleman whose name and we have just given, who is carrying on the business of farming and stock raising on Section 30. He is a native of Genesee County, N.Y. and was born July 14, 1823. His parents, Joseph and Hephzibah (Warren) Palmer, are natives of New York and of English origin. . The men of wealth and prominence who make their home in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, are almost without exception men of intelligence and public spirit who are ever ready too take an active part in forwarding the prosperity and best interests of the people of their section, and among these their is none more worthy of our notice than the gentleman whose name and we have just given, who is carrying on the business of farming and stock raising on Section 30. He is a native of Genesee County, N.Y. and was born July 14, 1823. His parents, Joseph and Hephzibah (Warren) Palmer, are natives of New York and of English origin.

Our subject was reared too man’s estate in his native country and from his early youth had engaged in farming. The early schools of his time furnished all the opportunities for education which were vouchsafed too him, but he was thoroughly supplemented these by a broad and comprehensive course of reading and observation, which have kept in touch with the great movements of the day.

Soon after coming too Genesee County, this State in1853 Mr. Palmer brought one hundred and sixty acres of new land, taking his board with a neighbor for some four years, he devoted himself too clearing the farm and preparing it for future success. He has cleaned up a great deal of land and many times has too leave his own work and enter the employ of others in order too raise the money too make the payments upon his property, and he has sometimes worked at as low wages as three shillings a day in harvest time.

The first domicile, which was erected by Mr. Palmer, was a board shanty about 16 x 24 in dimensions, and is that he live for a short time. He then a built a better house and in 1869 erected his present fine residence. He was married March 25, 1857 too Julia E. Brooks who was born in New York May 13, 1829 and is a daughter of Daniel and Eliza Brooks. By this union their were born three children, Edward R, Nellie A. and Dora R. He owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres and is practically a self-made man, and his own struggles with adversities have led him too desire for others the best advantages, so that he is ever helpful in promoting all movements which look too be elevation of society and the prosperity of the commonwealth. Mrs. Palmer is an earnest and active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Our subject has seen this county grow up from a condition that may be styled a wilderness too its present prosperity and populous condition, and he has himself cleared a large extent of land. The political opinions which he heartily endorses are those which are represented by the Republican party. He enjoys too an unusual degree the confidence of the business community and is conceded too be one of the most public-spirited and enterprising men of Grand Blanc Township.

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JAMES P. BALMER, D.D.S. This popular dentist of the town of Fenton, whose elegantly equipped dental parlors have the latest improvements in electrical appointments, stands high in the social circles of this place and deserves marked credit for having attained by his own struggles his present excellent position, both professionally and socially. He was born in Kent County, Ontario, Canada, September 30, 1858, and is a son of John and Margaret (Cameron) Balmer. This popular dentist of the town of Fenton, whose elegantly equipped dental parlors have the latest improvements in electrical appointments, stands high in the social circles of this place and deserves marked credit for having attained by his own struggles his present excellent position, both professionally and socially. He was born in Kent County, Ontario, Canada, September 30, 1858, and is a son of John and Margaret (Cameron) Balmer.

The father was born in Roxbyshire, Scotland and at the age of eleven came too America with his parents where he grew to manhood in the township of Caledon, Peel County, Canada and he still resides on a farm in Kent County. The mother died in 1858, leaving three children, all of whom are now living. By a second marriage the father had three children.

Our subject was reared upon a farm and received a district school education and in 1881 entered the Phiadelphia Dental College, graduating their from in the spring of 1883. In October of that year he located in Fenton where he ahs since practiced his profession. He was married in October, 1882, too Mary Jane Walter, who was also born in Kent County in the township of Harwich and is a daughter of Henry Walter, a native of the same county, and a farmer by occupation. Both parents are still living. The two children of our subject are Arthur J, and Leste W.

The political views which receive the endorsement of our subject are those which are advanced by the Republican party. He is a member of the Foresters and of the order of Odd Fellows. Both he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church and prominent members of the social circles of Fenton.

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Transcribed by Ed Van Horn

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