Gilford Township Biographies

Gilford Biographies

Contributed by Debbie Axtman. Extracted from, "The History of Tuscola, MI," H. R. Page and Co., Chicago, 1883

EBENEZER BATTILLE was born in Pittsfield, Mass., March 23, 1816, and when but a child moved with his parents to Schaghticoke, N. Y., where he remained till the spring of 1844. He then removed to Washtenaw County, Mich., and settled in the town of Sylvan, remaining there till February, 1856, when he came to Tuscola County and settled in Gilford, on section 36. Four years thereafter he sold out, and purchased a farm on section 13. Mr. Battille did not escape the hardships of pioneer life, but nobly surmounted them all, and has made out of the wilderness a comfortable home. He was married in March, 1842, to Miss Olive Fairman, of Schaghticoke, formerly of Springfield, Mass., where she was born Jan. 1, 1818. Mr. Battille has served his township in the offices of supervisor, assessor, treasurer, highway commissioner, and justice of the peace, still retaining the latter-named.

F. M. FRENCH was born in the township of Ray, Macomb County, July 6, 1845, and while young went with his parents to the State of New York, where he remained until twelve years old. In the fall of 1858 he came to Tuscola County, and in 1804 enlisted in Company B, Twenty-ninth Volunteer Infantry, and served to the close of the war. He then purchased land in Gilford, on section 24, which he has cleared and otherwise improved, until he now has a fine farm. Mr. French has held the office of township clerk seven years, and supervisor one year. He was married in 1871 to Miss Mervada Hand, of Clinton County, N. Y., formerly of Yates County, N. Y., where she was born July 26, 1849; they have two children.

HAMILTON HOBART was born in Cortland County, N.Y., Jan. 25, 1811, and in his younger years served an apprenticeship in the machinist’s trade, which he followed the greater part of his life. He was married Nov. 18, 1840, to Miss Perley C. Atwood, of Groton, Thompkins County, N. Y., who was born April 18, 1816, by whom he had six children, three of whom are now living, Lucy, born August, 1848; H. Everets, born May 21, 1852, married Sept. 16, 1876, to Miss Mary E. Ganet; and Marcus M. Hobart, born July 8, 1856.

MARCUS M. HOBART is a young man of good abilities and character. He left his native place in the spring of 1844, and went to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he remained eight years. In February 1843, he and family came to Gilford, and settled on section 36 on a piece of land he had taken up some years before. He built a shanty, and commenced to rough it in the bush, but as he had brought supplies with him, did not suffer for provisions, as some of the early settlers did. Nevertheless he passed through many of the unpleasant features of pioneer life. He was the first supervisor of Gilford, and has also been township clerk.

ALFRED MILLER was born in Fulton County, Ohio, May 11, 1845, and lived at home until he was sixteen years of age. In 1861 he went to California to join his two brothers, who had preceded him eight years before, and were engaged in mining. He remained there four years, and saved $3,000 as his share of the earnings. He then came to Tuscola County, and bought a farm in Gilford, on section 86. Feb. 21, 1858, he married Miss Wealthy Hayes, of Gilford, formerly of Brighton, Livingston County, where she was born in 1849. Mr. Miller has held the office of township treasurer two years and justice of the peace twelve years.

J. J. OLIVER was born in Oakland County, Mich., in 1842. In 1862 he enlisted in Company A, Second Michigan Calvary, and served to the close of the war. After his discharge he went to Saginaw, and was in the fire department there about one year, when he engaged in mercantile business for about the same period of time in Ohio. He then returned to Saginaw, where he was on the police force six years, and in the spring of 1879 came to Gilford, and opened a general store. In 1881 he bought a saw-mill which he is now operating. He was married in 1863 to Miss Justine Merril, of Memphis, Macomb County, and has four children.

LEMUEL A. PARKS was born in Wayne County, Mich., in 1844 and resided there till he was seven years of age. He then came to the township of Juniata, Tuscola County, and in 1855 went to Vassar, where he remained about one year; thence to Fairgrove, where he lived until eighteen years of age. He was afterward in Bay City three years and in Genesee County five years, and in 1870 bought a farm in Fairgrove on section 31, which he sold in 1878, and purchased his present place in Gilford, on section 26. He was married in 1866 to Miss Annette Phillips, of Genesee County, who died in 1878, leaving four children. Was again married in 1877 to Miss Rhonda Steel, of Fair Grove, by whom he has one child.

JOHN PAUL was born in the township of Blenheim, Ont., November 14, 1835, and when two years of age came with his parents to Michigan and located in Cass County. He returned to Canada in 1846, and in 1852 again came to Michigan and settled in Calhoun County, where he followed the shoemaker’s trade, having served an apprenticeship in Canada. He worked in Calhoun County and other parts of the State until 1877, when he came to Gilford and purchased property, where he has since been engaged in business. A postoffice was established in Gilford in 1878, and in 1880 he was appointed postmaster and the same year was elected a justice of the peace. In 1856 was married to Miss June Ferrin, of Ypsilanti, and has two children.

Contributed by Debbie Axtman

September 1998

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