A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
|BALE, Joseph A.|
|MARQUAND, John P.|
|STRONG, Van R.|
|WELLS, William R.|
Joseph A. Bale is one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Sunfield township and is a citizen who commands unqualified esteem in the community.
He was born in Niagara county, New York, May 15, 1850, being a son of Charles G. and Anna (Shippy) Bale, both natives of the state of New York, and the latter being now deceased. Charles G. Bale now lives retired in the village of Vermontville, this county. He served twenty months in the Civil War, having enlisted as a private in Company L, Eighth New York Heavy Artillery, in which he was promoted orderly sergeant. In 1865 he sold his farm in New York and came with his family to Eaton county, arriving in Vermontville on Christmas day. He bought eighty acres of land, in Vermontville township, improving the property and there continuing to reside until within the past few years; he removed to Vermontville and is now living retired, enjoying the rewards of former years of earnest toil and endeavor. His wife died on the old homestead. Of their children three died in infancy, and concerning the others the following data are available: Ella, who became the wife of James McNabb, a farmer of Sunfield township, is now deceased; Eliza is the wife of Washington Barnum, of this township; Joseph A. is the immediate subject of this sketch; Amanda is the wife of Frank Bailey, of Vermontville; Charles W. is a resident of Fenville, Allegan county; George W. and Samuel are residents of South Dakota; Gideon is a farmer of Sunfield township; Mary is the wife of Loren Blanchard, of Gaylord, Otsego county; Homer E. is a farmer of Vermontville township; and Perry O. resides in Montmorency county. Joseph A. Bale, the immediate subject of this review, was afforded the advantages of the common schools in his native county in New York and was fifteen years of age at the time of the family removal to Eaton county, Michigan, where he was reared to maturity, and where he has since maintained his home. He assisted in the clearing and other work of the home farm and remained with his father until he had attained the age of twenty years, when he began working by the month, as a farm hand. February 21, 1872, Mr. Bale was united in marriage to Miss Eva Wells, who was born on the farm which is now their home, the date of her nativity having been October 14, 1851. She is a daughter of William A. and Mary (Chatfield) Wells, concerning whom more specific mention is made in the sketch of the career of their eldest son, John, appearing elsewhere in this volume. They were numbered among the first settlers in Sunfield township and Mr. Wells was a citizen of influence and prominence, honored by all who knew him. Mr. and Mrs. Bale have eight children, concerning whom the following data are properly incorporated: Charles W., who was born August 8, 1875, and who was educated in the Michigan State Agricultural College, near Lansing, is now an expert draftsman for a leading shipbuilding concern in the city of Detroit; he married Miss Minnie Day, and they have one child, Verna Mae; Roy H., who was born July 14, 1878, and who is now a successful farmer of Barry county, married Miss Alice Downing, and they have six children, Stanley, Grace, Bertha, Bernard, Letha and Carlton; Grace E., who was born January 15, 1881, is the wife of Henry Carey, of Sebewa, Ionia county, and they have two children, Opal and George J.; Bertha B., who was born December 8, 1883, is the wife of Louis B. Allen, and they remain at the home of her parents; Joseph A., who was born May 8, 1886, is in the employ of a prominent manufacturing concern in the city of Detroit; Leslie, born August 22, 1889; Nellie, born March 23, 1892, and Shirley born September 12, 1893, are the younger members of the home circle. For several years after his marriage Mr. Bale worked the homestead farm for his father-in-law, he and his wife having resided on the place from the time of their marriage and being now owners of the property, into possession of which they came in 1901, having purchased the interests of the other heirs.
They also own seventy acres on the opposite side of the road, in Vermontville township, making the total area of their landed estate one hundred and ninety acres. The old homestead is equipped with a large and attractive residence and other substantial buildings erected by the original owner, and since coming into possession of the property Mr. Bale has built a large horse barn, with the best of equipment. He is a man of progressive ideas and keeps his place up to the highest standard in all particulars, and both he and his wife enjoy unqualified popularity in the community. He is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, but has never had ambition for public office.
Frederick Heimforth was born in Prussia, in September 1824, and when he reached adult age he wedded Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, in June 1835. In the year 1850 Frederick Heimforth crossed the Atlantic to the new world and Elizabeth Zimmerman came about a year later. They were married in New Jersey and almost immediately afterward they came to Michigan, settling on North Manitou island, where they remained for several years, covering a decade or more. They took up their abode there in 1855 and Mr. Heimforth devoted his energies to farming. A previous visit to this section of the state, made Mr. Heimforth in 1850, had led him to become imbue with a desire to establish his home in this section of the country, for he had faith in its development and future growth. On his first arrival here he located on North Manitou island, where he spent two years, and then returned to New Jersey, where he was married. He then brought his wife to the west and several years were happily passed at their home on the island, during which time children came to bless their home. In the latter part of the 'fifties Mr. Heimforth bade adieu to his family and went to Colorado, owning a claim on the site of the present city of Denver. He spent several months in the west then returned to his family, again taking up his abode on the island, where he remained until September 1864. At this date he removed with his family to Elmwood township, and has since resided upon his farm on section 1. He has a good property here well improved, and provided with all modern equipment and accessories for facilitating farm work. He is one of the energetic and progressive agriculturists of the community and is also one of the honored pioneer settlers. Years have passed since he first came to this part of Michigan, finding the conditions of pioneer life - the uncut forest, uncultivated fields, the streams unbridged and the roads uncut. He has watched the transformation which time and man have wrought and has taken a helpful part in reclaiming the wild district for purposes of civilization.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Heimforth have been born ten children: William; Elizabeth, who was the wife of William Berringer and died in Ohio; Fred, who died in Elmwood township, Leelanaw county; Catherine, the wife of H.B. Conine; Philip, who is a resident farmer of this county; Peter, who resides in Rosdale, California; Sophia, the wife of Fred Weigand; George H., who is a farmer of Elmwood township; Minnie, at home; and Lena, the wife of Emory Weigand.
One of the owners of extensive landed and farming interests is William Heimforth, who resides on section 8, Elmwood township, Leelanaw county. His valuable property has been acquired through his own efforts - his persistency of purpose, his laudable ambition and his determination, and the prosperity which is the legitimate rewards of all earnest labor is today his.
Mr. Heimforth is one of the native sons of Leelanaw county, but is of German descent and he possesses many of the strong and commendable traits of character of the Teutonic race.
Mr. Heimforth was born on North Manitou island, Leelanaw county, April 20, 1856, and remained at home with father until eighteen years of age, during which time he mastered the branches of English learning taught in public school near his home. On leaving the parental roof he made his way to Ohio, where he spent about two years, after which hr removed westward to Kansas, where he lived for two years. For about three years he was in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, engaged in prospecting and lumbering, and on the expiration of this period he returned to Leelanaw county. For two years he was upon the home farm, assisting his father in its cultivation, and then settled upon the farm which is now his home, on section 8, Elmwood township. He owns two hundred and seventy acres of land, of which two hundred acres is improved. This is the old Dunlap farm and is valuable property, splendidly equipped with modern accessories, with the latest improved farm machinery and with good buildings. His methods of farming are in keeping with the advanced ideas of the twentieth century and in his work he is systematic, energetic and diligent.
Rhoda Hatch Heimforth
Mr. Heimforth was married in Elmwood township, Leelanaw county, on the 1st of January, 1889, to Miss Rhoda E. Hatch, who was a native of New York, her birth having occurred in Oswego county, October 3, 1855. Her parents were Smith and Cornelia A. (Lince) Hatch, who came to Leelanaw county about 1867 and settled in Elmwood township, where the father died on the 18th of August, 1887, but the mother still survives. They were the parents of five children, of whom Mrs. Heimforth is the second in order of birth. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Heimforth three children have been born, Fred, Elizabeth and Mary.
In township and county affairs Mr. Heimforth takes an active and abiding interest and views all such matters from a practical and progressive standpoint. He votes with the Republican party and is one of its stanch advocates. He has never been active as an office seeker, however, preferring to give his time and attention to his business affairs, in which he has met with signal success. He is a man of varied experiences, gained during his sojourn in different parts of he country. There is nothing narrow in his nature, he looks at the world from a broad standpoint and stands as a high type of American manhood, reliable, enterprising and with due regard for the rights of others.
Note: The biography of William Heimforth does not mention his first wife, Mary Gordon, or his son from that marriage, William Oliver Heimforth.
John Phillips Marquand (November 10, 1893 - July 16, 1960) was an American novelist. He was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and grew up in New York City and Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was on the editorial board of the Harvard Lampoon and graduated from Harvard University in 1915. He served in the Field Artillery in the First World War.
He achieved great popular and commercial success with a series of entertaining, formulaic spy novels about the fictional Mr. Moto. The first, "Your Turn, Mr. Moto" appeared in 1935; the last, "Right You Are, Mr. Moto" in 1957. The series inspired eight films, starring Peter Lorre, which are only very loosely based on the novels. James S. Koga states that Moto is not a proper Japanese surname. He notes that "[Mr. Moto] is never the main protagonist of the story-rather he appears at strategic points in the story, a catalyst for action." "The typical story-line," he says, "involves an American male, somewhat tarnished by past experiences in the U.S., who finds himself in the Orient ... overwhelmed by the foreignness of Asia. This protagonist gets involved in some international intrigue by happenstance, usually coinciding with meeting Mr. Moto, ... falls deeper into the plot and then finds himself in deadly peril. Along the way, he meets an attractive American woman who also becomes entangled, and by resourcefulness (and not a little help from Mr. Moto) overcomes the peril and then gets the girl." In 1938 Marquand won the Pulitzer Prize for "The Late George Apley", a gently satirical novel about New England society. The barbs are so subtle and affectionate that when first published some readers mistook it for an actual biography. Other novels in the same vein include "Wickford Point", "H. M. Pulham", "Esquire", "Point of No Return", "B. F.'s Daughter", and "Melville Goodwin", "USA".
Marquand, in eclipse since his death in 1960, may be poised for a revival.
Jonathan Yardley, in a 2003 Washington Post column entitled "Zinging WASPs With a Smooth Sting" says Marquand's contemporaries "found [his satires of that world both hilarious and accurate, and so do I. That Marquand has almost vanished from the literary landscape is to me an unfathomable mystery. From ... 1937 ... until 1960, Marquand was one of the most popular novelists in the country. The literati turned up their noses at him (as they do to this day) because he had done a fair amount of hackwork in his early career and continued to write, unashamedly, for popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post." Critic Martha Spaulding, writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 2004, noted that "in his day Marquand was compared to Sinclair Lewis and John O'Hara, and his social portrait of twentieth-century America was likened to Balzac's ''Com die Humaine,'' [but] critics rarely took him very seriously. Throughout his career he believed, resentfully, that their lack of regard stemmed from his early success in the 'slicks.'" Praising his "seductive, sonorous prose" she states that he "deserves to be rediscovered."
Van R Strong, farmer and stock-raiser, section thirty-four, post-office Conway, is one of the pioneer settlers of Grove township. Was born in Madison county, New York, in 1830. At the age of eighteen he went to Wisconsin, and after remaining there five years, he removed to Illinois. In September, 1861, he enlisted in the Forty-sixth regiment Illinois veteran-volunteers, and served through the entire struggle for the perpetuity of the Union. Subject participated in the battles of Shiloh, Donelson, Bolivar, Tennessee and Vicksburg, where he was taken prisoner, but exchanged after four months' confinement. He then joined his regiment at Vicksburg and took part in all subsequent marches, skirmishes, etc. He veteranized in 1863 and was discharged in February, 1866, at Camp Butler, Illinois. He then returned to his native State and was married soon after to Miss Martha Hodge. From this union there are four children living: George L., Lucinda, Lydia and Phebe. Mr. S. came to Taylor county in 1869, and settled where he now lives. Previous to his coming there were but three families in Grove township. He was appointed township trustee in 1861, and has since held many offices of responsibility, always with the strictest integrity. He now has a good farm of eighty acres, and enjoys the quiet of a comfortable home.
Note: This biography states that he was appointed township trustee in 1861. I assume this is a typo and should be 1871.
John Wells merits recognition in this historical publication not only by reason of the fact that he is a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of the county but also on account of his standing as one of the progressive farmers and highly esteemed citizens of his native township of Sunfield. He was born on the old Wells homestead, in section 33, this township, September 21, 1842, and is the son of William A. and Mary (Chatfield) Wells, the former of whom was born January 1, 1813 in Onondaga county, New York, being the son of William Augustus Wells and Deborah (Converse) Wells. Concerning his early career the following has been written: "His early life was uneventful. At an age when most lads of the present day are engaged in studious occupations he relinquished school for the more serious labor whereupon depended his subsistence. He engaged in farming pursuits until twenty-one years of age, when an opportunity for acquiring the blacksmith's trade offered and was accepted by him. This was followed with zeal for a period of eight years, when the cheap lands of Michigan proved a sufficient attraction to lead him to remove to the west. He made Eaton county his destination and purchased one hundred and twenty acres in the township of Sunfield. He settled on this land in 1841, his widowed mother accompanying him. It was in the midst of a forest, with no near neighbors and no suggestions of civilized life in the immediate proximity. In December of the same year he married Miss Mary Chatfield, daughter of Abraham Chatfield, one of the oldest of the township pioneers. By his industry and capacity he established a reputation as one of the most successful farmers in the township, while his integrity of character won for him the respect and admiration of his fellow townsmen." It should further be stated that the wife of this honored pioneer was born October 26, 1822, and that their marriage was solemnized December 20, 1841, by John Dow, a justice of the peace. Mr. Wells developed one of the valuable farms of the township, the same now being owned by his daughter Evangeline, wife of Joseph A. Bale. Mr. Wells was a Republican in politics but was not intolerant in his attitude in this or other lines. He was a true type of the sturdy pioneer and he won success by hard work, he and his wife enduring all the vicissitudes and deprivations of the early days and manifesting unflinching fortitude in the face of all trials and labors. They continued to reside on the old homestead until their death. They became the parents of six children, of whom John, subject of this sketch, is the eldest; Ellen M., who was born May 24, 1844, is the wife of Hollis Y. Patterson of Vermontville township; Henry, who was born November 23, 1848, died December 5, 1872; Evangeline, who was born October 14, 1851, is the wife of Joseph A. Bale, individually mentioned in this volume; Frederick, born August 26, 1864, resides in Vermontville township; William R., who was born December 18, 1868, is a resident of Woodbury township, Eaton county, and is the subject of a personal sketch on another page of this work. John Wells was reared on the old homestead farm and well recalls the scenes and conditions of the pioneer days in Eaton county, while he soon became inured to the strenuous work of clearing land and cultivating and plowing among the stumps. His educational advantages were necessarily somewhat meager, but he attended the little log school house when opportunity presented and thus laid the foundation for that large fund of practical knowledge and information which is today his. He continued to reside at the parental home until his marriage, in 1866, though he had initiated his independent career when twenty-one years of age. In 1864 he purchased eighty acres of wild land where he now resides, not a "stick of timber" having been cut from the tract when he came into possession of the property. He made a clearing and erected a small frame house, the same continuing to be the family home for a number of years. He then erected his present commodious and substantial brick residence, one of the best in this locality. There are now twenty-two buildings on the farm, and all were built by him, while he has developed his land until it is in a good state of cultivation. Mr. Wells has the distinction of being the oldest living person born in Sunfield township, and he remembers when there were but twelve families within its borders, this section then having been a part of Vermontville township. In politics he was formerly aligned with the Republican party, but he is now Independent in political affairs, supporting men and measures rather then observing partisan dictation. He served eight years as justice of the peace, was school inspector one term, school director for twenty years and highway commissioner one year and notary public eight years. He is a man of strong individuality, having the courage of his convictions and ever striving to be fair in all his dealings, but demanding the same treatment on the part of others. He is well known and highly esteemed in the township which has been his home from the time when he "first ope'd wondering eyes to view a naughty world." September 2, 1866 Mr. Wells was united in marriage to Miss Esther Coleman, who was born in New Haven, Ohio, August 29, 1840, and they have two children, Mary M., who is the wife of William Dunbar, of Vermontville, and Priscilla W., who is the wife of Seth Magee, of Sunfield township.
Vermontville Michigan Pioneer Society
Top Row (left to right): Henry HANER, Wells R. MARTIN, Jonas DAVIS, Morris WELLS, Rufus HANER, William WELLS , Bottom Row (left to right):George ANDREWS, David CHATFIELD, Asa BENEDICT, Argalus SPRAGUE, Daniel BARBER and Simeon Mccotter
ca. 1890USGenWeb Project - Submitted by Ernest L. Wells - http://www.rootsweb.com/~mieaton
William A. Wells, who resided on section 33, town of Sunfield, was one of the wealthiest farmers in Eaton County. He was born in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York on January 1, 1813, and was the son of Augustus and Deborah (Converse) Wells, natives of Connecticut. His brothers and sisters were Orrin M., Priscilla, Maria, Russell B. and James R. Wells.
William A. Wells was reared under the paternal roof in Onondaga County, New York, and received only a limited education. He was thrown upon his own resources at an early date in his existence and by working by the month and year provided for his support. He subsequently learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed for a time. Acting on the advice of Horace Greeley, he came west in 1840, making the journey from New York to Detroit by water, and from there across the country with an ox-team. In Eaton County, he made a claim of one hundred and twenty acres of land, settling thereon in the spring of 1841. There was no clearing within a mile and a half of his place and no road near it, but all was in a primitive condition, untouched by the hand of man. His first house was a shanty, 12 x 15 feet, built of logs, and the only board in the whole structure was that forming the door. With a capital of $30 he began life on the Western frontier and his lot was not exempt from the hardships and trials, which beset the path of the pioneer. After seven years a substantial log home replaced his cabin. As time passed, acre after acre of land was placed under the plow until as the result of his own labors, one hundred and sixty acres of richly cultivated land pay tribute to the care and cultivation he bestows upon them, while an additional thirty-five acres was also comprised within the boundaries of his farm. His progressive and enterprising spirit had manifested itself throughout all his work. He and his brother, Orrin M., purchased the first threshing machine brought to the town of Sunfield and also brought the first mower and reaper, and the first fanning mill and windmill.
On the 20th of December 1841, Mr. Wells wedded Miss Mary Chatfield, also of Eaton County, who was born in Oneida County, New York, October 26, 1822. Her parents, Abram and Sarah (Bixby) Chatfield, came to Eaton County in the autumn of 1837, and located in Sunfield, where they died, both at the age of sixty-six years. Mrs. Wells was one of the first white women who came to Sunfield Township and her home had been in Eaton County since January 1, 1839. She was in every way worthy of the high esteem in which she was held. Her hospitable home showed marks of her care and culture and the welcome she extended to the many friends of the family made the Wells home a favorite resort to the people of the community. Six children were born to William and Mary Wells; John, the eldest who was a farmer of Sunfield Township, married Esther Coleman, by whom he had two children: Mary and Priscilla. Palmer H. Ellen M. was the wife of Hollis Y. Patterson, of Vermontville, and unto them were born seven children: Cora, Mary, Henry, Homer, Ruby, Bernice and Jesse. Eva was the wife of Joseph A. Dale, of Vermontville, by whom she had six children—Charles W., Roy H., Grace E., Bertha, Joseph A. and Leslie. Frederick I., who married Miss Idell Kenedy, by whom he had one child, Perry, was a farmer in Vermontville. William R., who wedded Cassie Rawson of Vermontville Township, and was engaged in merchandising in Shaytown, Michigan.
To say that Mr. Wells had succeeded in business hardly expresses the excellent prosperity, which had crowned his efforts, and to his own labors may be accredited all that he had made. Since coming to Eaton County he never purchased a bushel of grain or potatoes except for seed; had never paid a dollar’s interest on borrowed money, did not owe a dollar; nor was he under obligations to any man. A wealthy citizen, his property has been acquired through the legitimate channels of business and in no way forfeited the confidence of his fellow townsmen in his business integrity. In politics he was first a Whig and later supported the Republican Party. He was never connected with any religious denomination or secret organizations.
William died May 2, 1903 at the age of 90 years and Mary died March 21, 1897 at the age of 75 years, both are resting at the Freemire Cemetery, Sunfield Township, Eaton County, Michigan.
The career of this representative merchant and popular citizen of the village of Woodbury, indicates the consistency of the statement that success is the result of the application of one's powers and abilities along those lines which his natural tendencies select. Mr. Wells was reared on a farm but had no predilection for its work, and he has proved himself in no uncertain way in the vocation which he has adopted. He was born on the homestead farm, in Sunfield township, this county, in December, 1868, being the youngest son of that well known pioneer, William A. Wells.
He was reared on the farm, doing such work as he was compelled to do but with so manifest reluctance and distaste that the other members of the family pronounced him lazy and irresponsible. He attended the district school in a desultory way, but much preferred to go fishing or to visit the village of Vermontville. When he reached his legal majority his father gave him three hundred dollars in cash, with the stipulation that if he spent it foolishly he could expect no more. His father had a horse called "Boney," which the son had used as a driving horse, and though the animal was a good roadster it well deserved its name. The value placed on this horse by its owner was about seventy-five dollars, but when William R. approached his father with a proposition to buy the animal he asked double the price, considering it foolish for the son to make such an investment. But the latter had decided to have a horse and wagon and to engage in peddling groceries. Noting his determination his father gave him the use of "Boney," with the provision that he must feed and care for the animal himself. The young man rigged up a wagon, purchased some goods, which he stored in a bedroom in the parental home, and on this basis he initiated his independent career as a "man of business." He went out through the country, selling goods, securing partly cash payments and also taking in exchange butter, eggs and whatever other produce could be converted into money. The "lazy" boy worked early and late, devoting his Saturdays usually to crating eggs and taking them to market in Vermontville.
Eventually the father began to manifest a certain amount of interest in the work which the son was doing, and would often wait on persons who came to the house to purchase goods which William R. had for sale. The father had believed his boy would not stick to the business and that his investment was a foolish one, but he was open to conviction and as winter approached and it became evident that the wagon trips would have to be abandoned, at least to a large extent, William R. began looking about for a store in an eligible location. He finally made overtures to purchase the stock and business of Perry Welch, who had been conducting a general store at Shaytown, in the eastern part of Sunfield township, but the price demanded was greater than the cash resources of Mr. Wells, though he was given the opportunity of applying a properly secured note in part payment. His father considered the venture too great a one and would not aid him, and he then appealed to his mother, who offered to sign a note with him.
Under these conditions Mr. Wells was enabled to become a full-fledged merchant, adding his own little stock of goods to that already in the store. He continued the enterprise at Shaytown from the autumn of 1890 until October, 1893, when he leased a small store building in Woodbury and moved his stock of goods to the same. He finally purchased the building, to which he has added until it is now the largest store in the village, and that he has had courage, ambition and good judgment is shown not less in the appearance of his establishment than in the marked success which he has attained.
His stock has a conservative valuation of ten thousand dollars, including a full line of hardware, dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, men's furnishing goods, etc., and in connection a meat market is conducted, while the annual sales reach an aggregate of twenty thousand dollars. The store has a frontage of one hundred feet, and in addition to owning this excellent property, Mr. Wells has erected a fine modern residence, of ten rooms, with furnace heat and other facilities unusual to the smaller villages. His real estate investments in Woodbury aggregate about six thousand dollars in value.
He has not lost his fealty to the business of operating a wagon, having constantly continued this feature of his business during the season, his sales in this department averaging fifty dollars a day and the accommodation being greatly appreciated by patrons. He has personally taken his turn in driving about with the wagon and visiting his customers, and he has the esteem and good will of the people of his community, who also admire him for his pluck and perseverance in the face of obstacles. In view of the facts here given nothing farther need be said against the business record of the "lazy farmer boy."
Mr. Wells is independent in politics, though favoring the principals of the Republican Party. He was postmaster at Shaytown three years and is now serving his second year as postmaster of Woodbury. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.
October 15, 1890, Mr. Wells was united in marriage to Miss Cassie M. Rawson, who was born and reared in Vermontville, this county, being a daughter of Benjamin F. Rawson.
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