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Biographies relative to the Peters family of Monroe Co., Michigan
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NOXON, THOMAS
History of Saratoga County New York by Nathaniel B. Sylvester, Everts & Ensign, Philadelphia, 1878

Thomas NoxonThomas Noxon was born in Beekman, Dutchess Co., N.Y., April 20, 1813. He is of English descent on his father's side, and on his mother's side of Scotch extraction, his ancestors being common with those of the eminent Judges Noxon, of the city of Syracuse. His father, Clark Noxon, settled in the town of Half-Moon, in this county, in 1816. Here Thomas Noxon was reared on a farm, and educated primarily in the common schools, though in the school of experience and self-study he prepared himself for his successful business career.

He married, in 1836, Emma Clapp, daughter of Joseph Clapp, of Half-Moon, and engaged in farming, which he followed about two years. In 1838 he embarked in mercantile business at Clifton Park village, and continued in that business, with an intermission of five years, in which he was engaged in farming, till 1871.

He then removed to Ballston Spa, to attend to the duties of the office of sheriff of the county, to which he had been elected ia the fall of 1870. He is a Republican, and was elected on that ticket in opposition to David Harlow, the Democratic nominee. Previous to this he had represented the town of Half-Moon in the board of supervisors for the years 1856, '57, '60, '61, '64, '65, and '66. In May, 1865, he became a resident of Saratoga Springs, of which town he was elected supervisor in 1877, and was, during that year, chairman of the board. In March, 1878, he was elected president of the village of Saratoga Springs, and is at this writing discharging the duties of the office.

In all these official positions Mr. Noxon has discharged his duties with rare efficiency and integrity, and he is now retired from active business, occupying a high place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens. For many years he was postmaster at Clifton Park village.

See also: Margaret L. Noxon, Unknown link to the Knowlton Family, a blog by P. Davidson-Peters

 
 
PALMER, CAIUS CASSIUS
A Modern history of New London County, Connecticut by Benjamin T. Marshall, A.M., D.D., Lewis Historical Pub. Co., New York City, NY, 1922

Caius Cassius Palmer was born on the family homestead in North Stonington, Connecticut, January 2, 1846, and died there December 14, 1885. He grew to manhood at the home on Pendleton Hill, attended public school and prepared for college but the death of his mother caused his return to the farm, his two brothers having both entered professional life as physicians. He continued his father's assistant until the latter's death, then located in Westerly, Rhode Island, where he established a general mercantile business, which he conducted for nine years. His health failing, he sold his store and again returned to the home farm, which he cultivated until his death at the age of thirty-nine years. He was a Democrat in politics, and an attendant and liberal supporter of the First Baptist Church of North Stonington. His early death was lamented by his many friends both in North Stonington, and Westerly, Rhode Island, friends he had attracted by his manly character and pleasing personality. He was a man of high intelligence, better adapted in many ways for a professional than a business carer, but he filled well his place in the world, and left behind him the record of an honorable life.

Mr. Palmer married, in Mystic, Connecticut, February 1867, Mary Pendleton Billings, born on the Billings farm in the southern part of the town of Griswold, New London county. Mrs. Palmer was a daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Ann Potter (Palmer) Billings, her father born in the town of Griswold, her mother at Pendleton Hill in the town of North Stonington. Mrs. Palmer survived her husband, and from his death until her death which occurred on the homestead, February 17, 1921, managed this old historic Palmer farm, said to be the only one in the town which has never been out of the family name from its first holder. Mrs. Palmer was of ancient Colonial family, tracing her lines to John Alden, of the Plymouth Colony, and to Noyes Billings (Yale 1819), lieutenant-governor of Connecticut in 1846, son of Coddington Billings, and brother of William Billings (Yale, 1821), a successful New London merchant. She was a lady of education, and displayed strong business quality in the management of her business affairs during her long widowhood. Four children were born to Caius C. and Mary P. (Billings) Palmer, one of these, deceased. The living are: Winifred Irene, born on the homestead, now wife of Charles H. Cottrell, a farmer of Pendleton Hill; Mary Christie, born in Westerly, Rhode Island, resides wither her mother on the farm; Cecil Cassius, born on the homestead in North Stonington, educated in Rhode Island State Normal School, now a school teacher.

These are hallowed memories and associations which make the old home a place sacred to its occupants. Palmers have always tilled its acres and since the building of the house long years ago, Palmers only have occupied it.

 
PETERS, GEORGE
1881 Hand Atlas, Monroe Co., MI, H.H. Hardesty & Co., Chicago & Toledo, 1881

George Peters was born in Delaware county, New York, September 21, 1822. He removed with his parents, Richard and Polly (Wilcox) Peters, to Mornoe county, May 4, 1824, locating on the present site of Petersburg which was then the western terminus of the settlements. Richard served nearly two years as collector for the township of Raisinville, then embracing the western half of Monroe county. He was unable to find all the tax payers, consequently wrote to his father in New York asking for money to supply the deficiency, which he received, thereby closing up the tax roll for 1825. The first mill was built by Benjamin Davis, in the year 1827, near the present site of the mills now in Petersburg. The first bridge across the river near the present one was built in the year 1828; the crossing previous to that time was done by fording and canoes. Charles, Peters, the first white child born in the western part of the county, was born in March, 1825. The second one was Richard Ingersoll, now living in Dundee. George Peters was married in Monroe, Michigan, June 10, 1847 to Mary J. born September 22, 1827, in Batavia, New York, daughter of Benjamin S. and Minerva (Howe) Holmes, who settled in Monroe county in 1845. Mrs. Peters is the mother of Mary Helen, born May 1 1849, died February 6, 1850; infant, December 25, 1850, died January, 1851; Helen F., November 14, 1857, resides in Buffalo, New York; Richard G., June 9,1865, resides in Summerfield township. Mr. Peters was elected supervisor in the year 1855, serving until 1874; was elected to the Michigan Legislature in 1860, serving two years; was elected again in 1866, serving two years, and was postmaster through the administrations of Hayes and Grant. He is a farmer, residing in Summerfield township. Address, Petersburg.

 
PETERS, JOHN
Biographical Review - Delaware Co., New York, 1895
(Contributed by Jim Peters)

John Peters was born in the town of Stamford, Delaware County, NY,  March 22, 1804, the son of Richard Peters and Susannah Halsted, who came to this county from Saratoga, and settled in the town of Stamford about the year 1795, on the farm recently occupied by Mr. James A. Rich, bringing all their earthly possessions in a wooden chest of primitive mould and rather heroic dimensions, which served them for years in their new home, in turn as table, tool-chest, wardrobe, and cupboard, and which was carefully preserved in the family for many years, bearing the marks of teeth and claws of many wolves, bears, and other wild animals, received during their almost nightly visits while doing duty as a barricade to their doorless cabin.  It is not too much to say that the presence of some of these animals around or near their cabin during these years was almost of nightly occurrence: and the “death rate” of the item of wolves for a single season killed by Mr. Richard Peters and a neighbor, Mr.Timothy Canfield, as an occasional pastime, numbered as high as fifteen.  The writer remembers a solitary cove in the woods near the Bovina line, on the old farm, pointed out by the old gentleman (John Peters) many years ago as a spot where he was at one time attacked in open day by three of these half-starved creatures, he having only an axe and an old knife with which to defend himself, the conflict ending only when he had dispatched the most determined one and injured another, and being pretty well scratched up and done for himself. 

The family of Richard Peters (whose father and grandfather both bore the same name) consisted of nine children, five sons and four daughters.  Of these John was the sixth child and the youngest son.  One of the social features of our country during these early years, worthy of note, was the existence of slavery throughout the Northern as well as the Southern States.  That previous to the passage of a law about the year 1820 fixing at latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes a division know as the “Compromise Line,” dividing States that should henceforth be recognized as “slave” and “free,” slavery existed to a limited extent in Delaware County, is a fact which doubtless many of the present generation have but imperfectly comprehended.  A considerable number of the prominent farmers, however, owned one or more slave.  One such was among the chattels of the Peters household - a colored girl whose name is now forgotten.  Her acknowledged value appeared to have been estimated at from two hundred and fifty to three hundred dollars: and she was “swapped” around among the families of the neighborhood at about one of these prices, with nearly the same frequency and as little ceremony as the good woman of the house in our day changes her servant girl.  The sequel of the particular Topsy’s history was that during her forced migrations she chanced to fall into hands that were reported as not being any too gentle toward her: and some of her former owners, having learned of this fact, straightway consulted with the good minister, the Rev. Robert Forrest, in reference to the matter.  A purse was raised, a large proportion of the amount having been furnished by the preacher: and the slave girl soon became the property of the venerable Scotch divine. There being a worthy colored man in the neighborhood who had lately obtained his own freedom, and was matrimonially inclined, the good man sought out the sable Romeo, and in course of time, with the fullest consent of all parties interested, sold to him the faithful Juliet for the sum of one dollar, marrying them in the bargain, the couple living happily together for many years, the firm friends of their generous and saintly benefactor.

At the age of twenty-six years, July 1, 1830, John Peters married Jane, daughter of William Blakely, Esq., of Kortright, N.Y., and shortly thereafter purchased of his father the Stamford homestead, the father removing shortly afterward, with the unmarried portion of his family, to Tully, Onondaga County, N.Y. There was born to John and Jane Peters four daughters and two sons; Nancy C., who became the wife of Samuel McCune; Sarah A., who died unmarried at the age of eighteen years; William B., now residing at Bloomville; Elizabeth J., wife of the late Judge D.T. Arbuckle; Susan F., wife of the Hon. Henry Davie; and John R. Peters-all of whom are living except the two first named. Although succeeding well as a farmer, the rather restless spirit of John was not to be confined to the limits of the homestead domain: and forming a partnership with a friend and neighbor, Mr. John Loughren (who later became the senior member of the butter firm of Loughren & Edbert, of New York City), carried on with him for many years a quite extensive and profitable business as dealers in butter, wool, etc. Later he added to this quite an extensive business in the manufacture of horse-rakes, being one of the pioneers in this industry, beginning with that marvel of labor-saving appliances, the wheelless scratch rake, which in these progressive days would be regarded as a marvel of the man-killing art. The favorite branch of his business, however, during his early life, and that to which he devoted most of his attention, was dealing in wool. In the earlier years nearly every farmer living in the towns of Andes, Bovina, Middletown, and Stamford kept more or less sheep, many of them from two hundred to five hundred, and some as many as a thousand; and the sheep and wool industry was the most important in the county. Fulling and carding mills were as common as grist-mills at the present day. Every house has its spinning-wheels, and very many contained looms for weaving their yarn into cloth for family use. Buyers of wool were abundant in the county about sheep-shearing time, the latter part of May or early June; and activity meant success. Sleep on the part of local speculation during this rather brief portion of the season was a matter that was left almost out of the question; and many were the "lots" of wool that were purchased for future delivery during the midnight and early morning hours, the good man of the house being "rattled" out of the bed, and the negotiations carried on and completed through the keyhole or open window, the purchaser having no time to wait to appear in his "proper person."

During these years he was seldom without two or three farms on his hands, it being as much in the line of his speculative disposition to buy a drove of cows as a dairy of butter, and a farm as either, providing always there was promise of quick returns and a fair commission; and it might, we think, be safely said of him, as many of his early acquaintances would testify, that he possessed in a large degree a spirit of determination which usually "made thing go." In the year 1850, having purchased a farm in the village of Bloomville, he removed to that village, where he shortly after engaged in that mercantile business. This was the period when the gold excitement of California was at white heat; and as an experiment, he made at different times large shipments of butter to that market.  One of the methods adopted with fair success for preserving it sweet during the journey of two or more months necessary for its transit was that of packing the butter in small wooden kegs, holding about one gallon, identical in style with the old-fashioned oyster-kegs. These kegs were in turn packed in large casks of sixty or more gallon capacity, and the vacant spaces carefully filled with Turk's Island salt. These weighty packages were then carted by team to Catskill, thence by water to New York, and thence around Cape Horn, crossing the equator twice on their journey to the "forty-niners" in that then far-off land of gold-a venture which proved a financial success. The advent of the hop-growing industry into Delaware County gave scope for speculation; and Mr. Peters, although well advanced in years, took his chances with the others, and, like most others who dealt in this rather treacherous commodity, met with varied experiences as to the results. Many of the members of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment will recall a characteristic incident which occurred during a visit made by Mr. Peters to their camp at Upton Hill, Va., during the war.

It is needless to say that to many of the boys he was a welcome visitor; and, when night came on, they succeeded in arranging for him a comfortable sleeping place in one of the tents. This, however, the old gentleman, being a good sleeper, entirely ignored; and wrapping himself in a blanket, he took his place with "the rest of the boys." stretched at full length around the camp-fire, where he was soon sleeping soundly. The night was cool, the disposition was to unconsciously snuggle up a little closer to the embers; and toward morning the "mess" were awakened by him with the caution; "Take care there, boys! some of you are burning! It's somebody's boots!" Then, suddenly getting out of his, he said: "Well, well! I guess it's my boots, after all!" They were burned to a crisp - a joke which furnished sufficient fun for the rest of the night, and which no one seemed to enjoy better that himself. A pair of army "schooners" about as wide as they were long were substituted which "did him proud" until he returned to Washington. 

Mrs. Jane Peters, his wife, died at Bloomsville, March 7, 1879, at the age of sixty-eight years, after having spent a busy and in many respects an exemplary life. Of slight frame and never physically strong, she shared the spirit of activity and ambition which has characterized the life of her husband. Her kind disposition and gentle manners deserved and were rewarded with the respect of all with whom she mingled.  Her remains are resting beside those of her husband's parents, Richard and Susannah Peters, who, after living about twenty years in Cortland County, returned to Delaware that they might spend their last days near the scenes of their early married life, and in the year 1853 were, within a few weeks of each other laid to rest in the cemetery at Bloomville.  Mr. John Peters is living with his son, William B. Peters, at Bloomville, hale and hearty, and still full of business projects at the age of ninety -one years.  His long and active life, crowing hard upon a century, has been to a greater extent than that of any other man now living identified with the history of the village in which he dwells.

 
PETERS, JOHN
1881 Hand Atlas, Monroe Co., MI, H.H. Hardesty & Co., Chicago & Toledo, 1881

Who removed with his parents, Richard and Polly (Wilcox) Peters, to Monroe county in 1824, was born in Delaware county New York, December 16, 1823. His wife, Ellen, to whom he was married in Lenawee county, Michigan, was born in Summerfield township, December 16, 1843, deceased. Her parents, Calvin and Mary A. (Bruce) Burnham, settled in Monroe county in 1837. Mr. Peters, residing in Summerfield township, is the father of Frances, born January 8, 1865; Mary A., March 23, 1856; Ellen L., December 17, 1875. Mr. Peters is engaged in farming. Address, Petersburg.

 
PETERS, RICHARD
History of Monroe County, Michigan, ed. by Talcott E. Wing, 1890

Of Petersburg, was one of the early pioneers of Monroe county, and his services has been invaluable in aiding to clear up and redeeming an unbroken wilderness from the savages and wild beasts which inhabited it.  He purchased from the United States Government some six hundred acres of land, about five hundred of which he cleared and brought into an excellent state of cultivation.

He emigrated from Harpersfield, Delaware county, New York, in 1824, at which place he received a common school education, and at which place he was married to Polly Wilcox, and proceeding directly to the spot where the village of Petersburg now stands, where he built a hut and commenced improvements, with Morris and Lewis Wells and their families the nearest neighbors, two miles distant.  The last two or three miles of road he cut through the wilderness. The family then consisted of a wife and three children, the former died in 1834, and the latter are all still living. Mr. Richard Peters held himself aloof from all kinds of offices; was highly esteemed as a citizen and first-class farmer, and though averse to holding office, was, notwithstanding this, frequently forced to accept township offices, and was supervisor of the town of Raisinville eight or ten years, which town then embraced Summerfield, Dundee, Whiteford, Bedford, Ida, London and Milan.  He died at the old homestead of inflammation of the lungs after a short illness of six weeks, at the advanced age of sixty-four years.  His eldest son George was born September 21, 1822, at Harpersfield, now residing on a part of the old homestead far; has been repeatedly honored with offices, indicating the esteem in which he is held; has serve the town as school inspector; was nineteen years supervisor; member of the House of Representative in 1861 and 1862, and a member of the State Senate in 1867 and 1868. He married Miss Mary J. Holmes; has one son Richard G., who resides on the home farm, and one daughter, who was married to Mr. Rea, and resides in Buffalo, New York.

John resides on a portion of the old homestead farm; married Ellen Burnham; has two daughters receiving their education in Oberlin College, Ohio.  he is esteemed as a very substantial enterprising farmer, and has always resided on the farm, with the exception of a few years that he spent in California.

 
PETERS, RICHARD G.
History of Manistee, Mason & Oceana Counties, MI by H.R. Page & Co., Chicago, 1882

Manistee is noted for the number of its business men who have risen by their own unaided efforts from poverty and obscurity to wealth and prominence in the commercial world. The city is very largely made up of men who were poor boys and have fought their way over obstacles to success. These men to-day are strong, financially, and they are also strong in character, and their names command respect wherever they are known. Of this class the subject of this sketch is a prominent member.

He began at the foot of the ladder, and to-day is one of the boldest and most extensive operators in pine on this shore.

He was born in Delaware County, N.Y., July 2, 1832. He lived at home upon the farm, until eighteen years of age, when he started out into the world to delve for himself.

In the Spring of 1850, he started for Cincinnati, Ohio, and from that place he came to Michigan. He landed at Point Sable in 1858, and went to work for Charles Mears. He is naturally one of the irrepressible kind of men, and his great energy and business ability very soon made themselves manifest.

From Point Sable he went to Ludington to take charge of lumbering interests for James Ludington.

In July, 1866, he came to Manistee and became a member of the lumber firm of M.S. Tyson & Co. From that time to the present he has been a bold and successful business man. His remarkable energy and great vital force have enabled him to execute the great purposes of a clear brain.

At the present time he is the proprietor of Eastlake, a neat little village on the east shore of Lake Michigan, where he has two mills, a salt block, store and boarding home. He is a member of the firm of Butters, Peters & Co., whose mill is at Tallman, and of the firm of Peters & Butters, at Ludington. He is interested in the ownership of about 8000,000,000 feet of standing pine, 700,000,000 of which he owns individually. His own mills and those in which he is part owner cut 60,000,000 feet of lumber a season. He is president of the Manistee National Bank, and is also interested in a refrigerator manufactory at Michigan City, Ind.

He is perfectly familiar with all the minute details of his vast business, and knows personally all the men in his employ. His manner is sharp and decisive, though always courteous and affable. He always interests himself in all local enterprises, and is ever ready to contribute liberally to anything of benefit to Manistee. No fitter monument of individual liberality could be erected than Union Hall, erected by him. This magnificent building is described elsewhere on these pages. He has held the office of mayor one term.

Mr. Peters was married April 6, 1858, at Oberlin, Ohio, to Miss Evaline N. Tibbitts, of that place, and in his domestic relations he has been truly blessed. Mrs. Peters is one of the noble women of the land, whose whole life seems to be devoted to doing good and bringing comfort and happiness to others, and in this work she has the generous sympathy and co-operation of her husband. The family residence of Mr. Peters is a handsome and spacious structure, surrounded by beautiful grounds, a fine full page view of which is given in this work.

 
PETERS, RICHARD G.
Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches of Representative Michigan Men. Evening News Association, Detroit, 1900.
Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910, Library of Congress

Richard G. PetersMr. Peters was born July 2, 1832, in Delaware county, N. Y., upon the farm of his parents, James II. and Susan (Squires) Peters. The family removed to Syracuse, N. Y., and later to Cincinnati, Ohio, where, as well as at Syracuse, they were engaged at hotel keeping. In 1847 the mother died, and the son, now fifteen years of age, went to live his grandparents at Tully, N. Y., where he worked upon the farm, and employed his winters in completing his education in the district schools. For a year he was employed by his uncle as gate-keeper on a toll road, and in this school of "human nature" he learned much which in his subsequent career has enabled him to estimate man at their proper value. At the age of eighteen years he returned to Cincinnati, and in 1850 went to Monroe, Mich., where he worked on a farm belonging to a cousin, leaving in the fall to enter the employ of the michigan Southern Railroad Company, in the engineering department. He was soon placed in charge of a division of the road, in the capacity of assistant civil engineer, a position which he occupied for five years.

In 1855 Mr. Peters' star beckoned him northward, where he took charge of the lumber and mill interests of the late Charles Mears at Big Point Au Sable, being thus employed for five years. He then went to Ludington, where he purchased a small tract of government land, and proceeded to get out timber on his own account, giving up this enterprise, however, to accept a position with James Ludington, as superintendent of his mill and lumber operations at the month of the Pere Marquette river (now the city of Ludington), where he remained two years. In 1866 Mr. Peters, together with M. S. Tyson and G. W. Robinson, of Milwaukee, purchased the mill and timber property of Filer & Tyson, at Manistee, comprising the sawmills on Manistee lake and a large portion of the site of the city of Manistee, for which the sum of $250,000 was paid. His connection with this firm continued for two years, since which time Mr. Peters has been practically alone in his business affairs, which have been mainly conducted under the style of "The R. G. Peters Salt & Lumber Company."

In 1869 Mr. Peters bought the Wheeler & Hopkins mill on Manistee Lake, which he operated until it was destroyed by fire thirteen years later. His next step was the purchase of forty acres of land, and a mill at East Lake, the site of the present Peters plant. This mill was rebuilt and a second mill added and upon the discover of salt in this vicinity, a well was struck at the Peters plant and salt struck, adding this industry to that of the manufacture of lumber. The Manistee & Luther railroad, extending from East Lake to near Le Roy, Osceola county, eighty miles, is part of the Peters plant. In the last named year also, Mr. Peters, in connection with Horace Butters, purchased two large tracts of land, twenty-eight miles south of Manistee, on the F. & P. M. R. R., containing 130,000,000 feet of pine, and laid out the town of Tallman. This firm acquired mill property and a salt block at Ludington, together with thirty miles of Logging road.

Mr. Peters' timber holdings in Michigan and Wisconsin have been estimated at 150,000 acres, with 100,000 acres in the south, and he has been styled the "King among lumbermen." Mr. Peters is president of the R. G. Peters Salt & Lumber Company, of the Manistee & Luther Railroad, of the Peters Lumber and Shingle Company of Benton Harbor, is vice-president of the Butters & Peters Salt & Lumber Company of Ludington, and the Bachelor Cyprus Lumber Company with mills at Panasoffkee, Florida, a director in the Manistee National Bank, in the Michigan Salt Association, and in the Manistee (Furniture) Manufacturing Company. His religious connection is Congregational. He is Republican in politics and a member of the Michigan Club. Mr. Peters has been twice married, but has no children. First to Miss Evelyn N. Tibbits, at Oberlin, Ohio, April 6, 1862, who died Feb. 14, 1879. Again June 15, 1898 to Miss Jeanet Telford, of Onekama, Mich.

 
PETERS, WILLIAM BLAKELY
Biographical Review - Delaware Co., New York, 1895
The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY
(Contributed by Jim Peters)

William B. Peters, third child and eldest son of John Peters and Jane Blakely, was born in the town of Stamford, Delaware County, N.Y., December 23, 1837, in the same house in which his father first saw the light, and took his name from his maternal grandfather, William Blakely.

Since the age of twelve years he has been a resident of Bloomville, having removed with his parents to that village in 1850, on the same day in which Simon B. Champion, the now venerable editor of the Stamford Mirror, took up his abode therein. Being a boy of an inquistive turn on mind, his time for the following four years was about equally divided between the district schoolhouse, his father's store, and the printing-office, with odds probably in favor of the latter. At the age of sixteen he was placed in Harpersfield Union Academy, at that time under the supervision of the Rev. Robert Rogers, and remained for two years, at the end of which time he entered Delaware Academy at Delhi, in the old building which is now standing, opposite the County Clerk's office, it being the first term in which Professor John L. Sawyer was in control of that institution. He remained a student there for about three years, during which time the present buildings were erected and the school was removed into its more commodious quarters; and during the same time he taught two winter terms of school. At twenty-one years of age he entered into mercantile business at Bloomville with Samuel McCune, under the firm name of McCune & Peters, and the following winter was elected Justice of the Peace, his opponent being the honorable Stephen H. Keeler, now deceased. 

July 17, 1861, four days previous to the battle of Bull Run, he married Hannah Rich, of South Kortright, daughter of James Rich and Jane Southard, and a granddaughter of the Rev. Robert Forrest. Mrs. Peters is a sister of Captain John Rich, late of Jacksonville, Fla. Like her husband, Mrs. Peters was for a time student at Delaware Academy under the tutorage of Professor Sawyer. During the war Mr. Peters was a member of the town board, and was for some time engaged in the recruiting service, being later appointed at assist Colonel Robert Parker and the Hon. James H. Graham in looking after the just apportionment of State military credits in Delaware County, at Albany, and elsewhere. After the war, having closed out his mercantile business, he engaged in agricultural pursuits on what was then known as the John Bathrick farm in Bloomville, and continued to make this his business, in part, for about four years. In this short period he entitled himself, as he declares, to be regarded as one of the most unsuccessful farmers in the community; and, feeling a particular respect for men who succeed in employments where he cannot, he to this day feels like raising his hat when he meets a prosperous farmer. Mathematics was his favorite study, and he had a special fondness for mechanical pursuits.  The astonishing development of the watch-making industry about 1870 led him to engage in the watch and jewelry business; and this occupation, together with that of surveying, to which he has from boyhood given more or less attention, have for the past twenty-five years furnished him with sufficient and fairly remunerative employment. As a surveyor and draughtsman, Mr. Peters is said to have no superior in Delaware County. 

Mr. and Mrs. Peters have had a family of four children, three daughters and one son, named respectively, Jennie, who died at the age of eleven years; Lizziebell, who pursued a course of study at Delaware Academy, and afterward graduated from the Oneonta Normal School; James R., who was for a time a student at Delaware Academy, and also at D.L. Moody's school at Mount Hermon, Mass.; and Sarah, who finished a course of study at Delaware Academy. 

 
PIKE, EZRA
History of Franklin and Grand Isle counties, Vermont: With illustrations and biographical sketches ..., ed. by Lewis Cass Aldrich, D. Mason & Co., 1891

Pike, Ezra, was born in Massachusetts, and came from Hoosick, N. Y., among the first settlers, clearing a farm on which he died at the age of about sixty-eight. He was a pensioner of the war of the Revolution and held many offices of trust in the town of Isle La Motte. He married Polly Garlick, and his children were Ezra, Reuben, Jesse, Jarvis, Jerod, Henry, Sally, Terms, Lucy, Emeline, Mercy, Polly, and Anna.

Ezra Pike was born in Massachusetts and came to Isle La Motte with his father, where he died at the age of eighty-three, in 1873. He married Barbara Hill, of Isle La Motte, daughter of Caleb and Cynthia (Strong) Hill, and their children were: William, Preston, Emily, Mariah, Albina, Theresa, Mary, Mehitable, and Seneca H. The latter, born on Isle La Motte, September 13, 1816, married, first, Cynthia E. Hall, of that town, on March 2, 1840, daughter of Rev. Ira and Cynthia (Wait) Hall, and his children by her are Perry, Ambrose, Thererina, Seraphina, Ezra, Ira E., Seymour S., Sidney L., Fillmore, Linnie, and Merritt L. He married, second, March 24, 1888, Martha, daughter of Hiram and Susan (Hall) Hall.

Mr. Pike has served as representative of Isle La Motte two terms, and has been justice of the peace for several years. He is now side judge, and has been constable twenty-one years. He was twice elected High Sheriff of his county, and was captain of the first company organized in the town during the late war, the company being an independent one. Martha Hall married, first, Winfield S., son of Charles and Lucy (Barney) Carew, and had one son, Herbert L. (deceased). Mr. Carew died March 17. 1876.

REA, THOMAS ALLEN
History of Monroe County, Michigan ed. by Talcott E. Wing, 1890

Was born at Dartmouth, Crystal county, Mass., in 1823. In early life he came with his parents to Wyoming county, N.Y., where in 1848 he was married to Miss Esther E. Mann, by whom he had two children. From Wyoming county he next settled at Aurora, Erie county, N.Y., where he wife died in 1859; and in 1861 he was married to Miss Harriet E. Havens, of Aurora, by whom he has three children now living. In 1868 Mr. Rea came to Monroe county, Mich., with his family, and located on 60 acres of land about one-half mile east of Petersburgh, where his widow still resides, and where he died May 19, 1887. he had been a member of the Presbyterian church for seventeen years.

 
REXFORD, EDWARD
History of Saratoga County New York, Illustrations and Biographical Sketches ... by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, Philadelphia, Everts & Ensign, 1878

Edward Rexford came to what is now Clifton Park (Saratoga Co., NY) just before the Revolution, and his family were here through all that struggle. He bought a tract of some three hundred acres, near what is now known as Rexford's Flats, at $5 per acre. Their first pioneer house was of logs, built under the bluff near a spring; afterwards a frame house was erected on the hill, the present Allen McKain's place.

Mr. Rexford was himself away as a soldier in the American army a large part of the time. His wife was often obliged to take the children and flee into the woods for safety from roving parties of savages, and yet many friendly Indians made their house a stopping-place. It is remembered by Mrs. Haslam, of Rexford Flats, that she has often heard the aged grandmother tell of the dangers and hardships of those early times. Often her house would be filled at night with thirty or forty Indians, and herself and children alone with them. Little can the children of this generation now living here in peace and quiet appreciate these early struggles of the pioneers.

Mr. Rexford left three sons - Elisha, Edward, and Eleazer - all of whom settled in Clifton Park, the last two on the old homestead. Cyrus W. Rexford, a son of Eleazer, is now a merchant at Rexford Flats. There was one daughter, Luzina, who married Ephraim Knowlton and settled in Clifton Park.

Edward Rexford, the pioneer, was from England. He married in Herkimer county. His wife's name was Eaton.

 
RICH, ROBERT S.
Biographical Review - Delaware Co., New York, 1895
The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY

Robert S. Rich, one of the oldest business men of this section of Delaware County, is carrying on a profitable trade in general merchandise in the village of Hobart, where he has been located for two score years. During this length of time the sterling traits of his character have become thoroughly known to his fellow-citizens, by whom he is held in high esteem. Mr. Rich was born in the town of Stamford on March 7, 1823, son of James and Helen (Marshall) Rich. (For further ancestral history see the sketch of Mrs. Sarah Rich, which appears on another page of this work.)

After leaving the district school he continued his education in New York City. When eighteen years old, he secured a position as clerk in Hall's retail dry-goods store, where he remained five years, faithfully fulfilling his duties, and at the same time acquiring a good insight into the business. At the expiration of that time Mr. Rich, in company with an associate, opened a store for the sale of dry goods; and for five years they carried on a successful business under the firm name of Rich & Blish. The firm being then dissolved , the senior partner came to Hobart, where in 1855 he formed a partnership with John F. Grant, and , buying out the general merchandise establishment of Dr. McNaught, continued in trade, the firm of Rich & Grant being for a number of years one of the most active and thriving in the village. Mr. Rich subsequently bought the interest of his partner, and has since conducted the business by himself. He is one of the oldest and best known merchants of Hobart, a man of excellent capacity and business talents; and his honest dealings and uniform courtesy have secured him the general respect and good will of the community.

On April 25, 1850, Mr. Rich was united in marriage with Caroline D. Blish, a native of Stamford, and a descendant of one of the oldest families of the county, being the daughter of Aristarchus and Nancy Merriam Blish, formerly prosperous members of the farming community of Stamford. Two sons and two daughters have been born to this union, the family record being as follows: James B., a single man, is a partner in his father's business. Caroline M., the wife of L.E. Higgley, resides in North Adams, Mass. Stephen W., a farmer, lives in Stamford. Bertha E. lives with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Rich are members of the Presbyterian church at Hobart, and contribute liberally and cheerfully toward its support. Politically, Mr. Rich is a steadfast Republican, and is a man of decided views, although quiet and unobtrusive in his manner. His influence has always been strongly in favor of the maintenance of schools and churches, and whatever else is calculated to benefit the community.

 
MRS. SARAH RICH
Biographical Review - Delaware Co., New York, 1895
The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY

Mrs. Sarah Rich, who lives on the Rich homestead of two hundred and seventy-five acres in Almeda, in the town of Stamford, N.Y., and carries on the place with marked ability, is the widow of Stephen Rich. The Rich family, hers by birth as well as marriage is one of the oldest and best established in the county.

The present record begins with James Rich, who was born in New York City in 1764, and was therefore a boy eleven years old when the Revolution began, and still older when the patriotic tide reached his native city. By trade he was a tailor, but died at the early age of thirty-five, only ten years after his marriage and in the same year with the Father of his Country. His wife was Mary Altgelt, also a native of the metropolis, where she was born, July 30, 1769. She outlived her husband many years, and twice entered again the holy estate of matrimony. Her second husband was Joseph Thomson; and the other was Robert Forrest, of Stamford, who left her the third time a widow. Her own death occurred in Stamford on December 6, 1857. To her first husband she bore three sons, Stephen Altgelt Rich, a grocer in New York City, grandfather of Mrs. Sarah Rich, was born August 4, 1790, during Washington's first Presidency, and lived till 1858, when Buchanan was in the White House.

The next son, to whose line this sketch specially relates, was born October 23, 1791, and was named for his grandfather. James Rich was a Stamford farmer, and carried on the place subsequently owned by his son Stephen. This he did so practically and progressively as to make agriculture a profitable pursuit. He was an old-time Whig, and an Elder and Trustee in the United Presbyterian church in South Kortright. His first wife, Miss Helena Marshall, was born in New York City, October 13, 1792. They were marred in 1816, just a week before Christmas, when the second peace with the mother country had been finally declared, and praises of General Jackson's warlike pluck echoed on every hand; and she died on Christmas Day, 1835, aged forty-three, while Jackson was President, so that the great Christian holiday and America's democratic and autocratic statesman were peculiarly associated with her life.

From this union came ten children, two of whom survive. Henry Marshall Rich was born September 12, 1819, and lived, unmarried, on the homestead with his brother's widow until his death, August 24, 1894. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and a Republican, greatly respected by his associates. Robert S. Rich was born March 7, 1823, and is a merchant in Hobart village. Helena Jane was born on February 24, 1832, and is now the widow of Hector Cowan, of Stamford, of whom a sketch may be found elsewhere in this volume. The eldest child, James Altgelt Rich, a Stamford farmer, named for his grandparents, was born in October, 1817, and died March 5, 1894. Mary Rich was born February 17, 1821, and died unmarried in New York City on April 3, 1842. Stephen was born October 8, 1824; and he died July 6, 1884, at the sound age of sixty. Of him more hereafter. Thomas Rich, a farmer, was born August 28, 1826, and died in Mexico on the last day of April, 1852. Alexander Rich was born on the first day of November 1830, became a New York plumber, and died February 18, 1854. Ann Eliza, twin sister of Helen, died in October 1889, at fifty-seven. James Rich's first wife, as already stated was Helena Marshall; but he was married again. The second wife was Jane Southard, a native of Dutchess County, and by her he had three children. The eldest, Hannah Rich, born July 17, 1838, married William B. Peters, of Bloomville, of whom a sketch may be found in its proper place in this volume. John Rich was born December 14, 1839, and died March 19, 1885, in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was acting as agent for the Mallory line of steamers. Isabella Rich was born April 10, 1841, four days after the country was appalled by the sad news of the death of General Harrison, when only a month in the Presidential chair. She married Rev. James M. Stevenson, and died December 19, 1893. Thus we see that James Rich was indeed a patriarch, with one more child than Jacob, of the Bible history he so loved. He was also an Elder in the Presbyterian church, and a Whig in politics, but would have rejoiced over the triumph of Abraham Lincoln, which occurred three years after Mr. Rich's death on the homestead, July 10, 1857.

The father of James Rich's first wife, Henry Marshall, was born in Scotland, and came to America before his marriage. He studied medicine, became a successful practitioner in Kortright in pioneer days, and reared a boy and six girls, all of whom have passed away. Dr. Marshall died in Hobart at threescore and ten, an Elder in the Presbyterian church, and a Whig in politics. His wife also lived to a good old age.

Stephen Rich grew up on the Stamford farm where he was born, and which had been bought by his grandmother, Mrs. Mary Altgelt Rich (Thomson) Forrest, of its former owner, Mr. Sheldon, early in this century, and upon which the widowed Mrs. Stephen Rich now resides. After attending the district school, Stephen went to New York City when he was eighteen, and found work with James Buchan & Co., manufacturers of soap and candles. In due time he was able to buy an interest in the concern, and pursued a successful trade until 1865, after the war, when he returned to Stamford, bought the old homestead, passed his last days there farming, and died July 6, 1884.

He was married May 6, 1869, at the mature age of forty-five, to his cousin, Sarah Rich, a native of New York City, the daughter of Stephen Altgelt Rich and his wife, Jane Oliver, who was born October 22, 1788. These parents were married May 12, 1812, by the Rev. Robert Forrest. Stephen A. Rich died August 29, 1858, and his wife on February 25, 1868. They had ten children, half of whom survive. Charlotte and Rachel are both widows in New York City, the former having married William Patterson, and the latter Mr. Buchan, of the firm above mentioned. Jane Rich lives with her sister Sarah on the homestead. Elizabeth Rich is the wife of James Rintoul, of New York City. Sarah Rich married her kinsman, Stephen Rich, as before stated. The five deceased children are as follows: James B. was born on the first day of March, 1813, and died in Alabama, August 12, 1844. Mary Struthers Rich was born March 18, 1815, and died January 28, 1892. Robert Forrest Rich, born January 3, 1820, died November 11, 1872, in New Jersey. Hannah Thomson was born November 19, 1822, and died March 27, 1852 in New York City. Andrew Mather Rich was born December 23, 1823, died August 17, 1826.

Mrs. Stephen Rich belongs to the United Presbyterian church in Kortright, in which her husband held the birthright office of Elder. He was also a Republican and a thoroughly good citizen, and left his widow well endowed. Both the land and house are valuable. In her management of the place Mrs. Rich was aided by her brother-in-law, Mr. Henry Rich, until the time of his death.

 
ROSE, BENJAMIN F.
1881 Hand Atlas, Monroe Co., MI, H.H. Hardesty & Co., Chicago & Toledo, 1881

Removed with his parents , Oliver and Eliza A. (Mumford) Rose, to Monroe county in the autumn of 1833. The village of Petersburg consisted of a store and post ofice. There wre no schools or churches in the township. Benjamin attended the first school taught in the township. Oliver Rose took out the letter-patents for his land. He served twenty-five years as justice of the peace; was also supervisor and township clerk a great many years. He was foremost, in public improvements, giving liberally to churches, schools and to the poor. He was born November 11, 1799, died April 26, 1873. His wife was born April 2, 1806, died April 1, 1850. B.F. was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, May 7, 1831. He was maried in San Juan, Bridgeport township, Nevada county, California, October 13, 1857 to Susan A. Main, born in New York City, February 13, 1838. Their children are: Mary E, born in Eureka, California August 6, 1858, died August 16, 1858; Tirzah A. (Holland), born in Greenville, Colorado, October 38, 1859, died July 5, 1878; Frances O. (Vandercook), June 7, 1862; died December 23, 1879; Minnie A., January 31, 1864; Henrietta E., October 14, 1865 died February 18, 1870; Oliver T., October 5, 1871; Laura J., August 13, 1874; Elizabeth M., July 22, 1877; Jennie E., April 21, 1880. All except the three elder were born at Petersburg. Mrs. Rose's father, Thomas J. Main, was born March 14, 1807, died April 4, 1862; her mother, Henrietta (Williams) Main, was born March 25, 1814, died September 17, 1854. Mr. Rose is a farmer of Summerfield township. Address, Petersburg, Monroe county, Michigan.

 
SMITH, LEWIS E.
History of Saratoga County, New York by Nathaniel Barlett Sylvester, 1878

Samuel Smith, the grandfather of the subject of this notice, originally came from the State of Connecticut, and settled on the east line of Ballston before the Revolutionary war, where he remained until his death. Lewis Smith, his father, was born Jan. 15, 1786, at Ballston, but afterwards removed to Stillwater, in which town he has continued to reside, living at the present time in Mechanicville, on the Half-Moon side. He has always been a farmer, leading an active, outdoor life, and is alive to-day at the mature age of ninety-two years, and so far possessed of health and strength as to be able to saw wood, work in his garden, and perform other similar labor. He was never especially interested in political affairs, and is a member of no particular church. His mother's name was Azuba Garnsey. She died in December, 1877, in her ninetieth year. She and her husband had lived together for sixty-nine years, having married Jan. 25, 1809; and at their death their combined ages made one hundred and eighty-one years. They had two daughters and five sons, viz., Esther, Silas G., Lewis E., Daniel G., Isaac M., Elizabeth M., and Charles, of whom the last three are dead, the remainder living in the neighborhood of their father's home.

Lewis E. Smith was born Dec. 23, 1815, in the town of Stillwater. He has always resided either in Stillwater, Half-Moon, or Mechanicville. He received an academic education at Wilbraham, Massachusetts, where he went in 1835 and remained three years. On Nov. 6, 1839, he married Phebe E. Peters, daughter of William Peters, of Clifton Park, and took up his residence at Half-Moon, where he farmed until the spring of 1852. In the fall of 1851 he took stock in the American Linen Thread Company, located at Mechanicville, and the only patent linen thread company then or now in America. He took charge of this business in April, 1853, and has had full charge of it ever since. This company manufactures all kinds of sewing and machine threads, finding a market entirely in this country. They employ about one hundred and fifty people, and are doing a thriving business. Mr. Smith has had three children - Daniel L., Josephine A., and Elizabeth G., - of whom are married and live in the vicinity of their old home.

Lewis E. Smith was formerly closely identified with the interests of the national guard of this State. In 1839, Governor William H. Seward appointed him quartermaster of the 144th Regiment, old State militia. In 1843 he was appointed major inspector of the Fifth Brigade of Infantry by Governor William C. Bouck, an office which he continued to fill until the militia was abolished. In 1861 he was named by Congress, with Generals Hooker, Wadsworth, and nine others, as suitable persons for brigadier-generals from New York; but he did not accept the position because of ill health.

In political affiliation, Mr. Smith was formerly a Democrat; but he was never a seeker after office. In 1843 he was elected a justice of the peace, and served as such for five years. After the firing on Fort Sumter he was a delegate to the convention held at Syracuse to nominate State officers without regard to party. From that time he identified himself with the Republican party, and was a firm supporter of the war.

In 1872, Mr. Smith was chosen president of the village of Mechanicville, and has been elected every year since, most of the time without opposition. Many improvements have been made under his administration: brick sidewalks have been laid down, an engine-house built, a good fire-engine purchased, and other measures taken to make Mechanicville one of the most attractive and beautiful villages in the State.

In 1877, Mr. Smith and his estimable wife made an extensive tour through Europe. He has been repeatedly urged to accept the position of commissioner to the Paris Exposition, but has firmly declined. He is an attendant upon the services of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Smith was sixty-three years of age in December, 1877, and bids fair to be spared for a long time to his family and to the community, for the material growth and advancement of which he has done so much.

 
SMITH, SAMUEL
History of Pettis County, Missouri; Webster County Citizen, 1882
(Contributed by Brooke Adams)

Samuel Smith, Farmer; Post office Smithton. the subject of this sketch is a native of New York State and was born July 18, 1837 and he was there raised and educated until he was about sixteen years of age, when he emigrated to Warren County, IL, where he lived until 1865. He was married on the 29th day of August, 1849 to Miss Cornelia Buck. She is a native of Ohio, and their union has blessed them with thirteen children: Ryan; Roland; Mindwell; Alice; Sidney; Seth; Cora; Charles; Norman; Warren; Olive; Lucretia; and Ira Smith. In 1865 Mr. Smith became impressed with the idea that Missouri offered superior inducements to men of energy and he came to Pettis County, where he owns a fine farm of 220 acres of fine land. He is a consistent member of the Christian Church.

 
SMITH, WILLIAM A.
History of Smithton, Missouri, Webster County Citizen,1882
Contributed by Brooke Adams

W. A. Smith - Residence, Smithton. Merchant, Pacific Express Agent, and dealer in dry goods, groceries, hardware, etc. The subject of this sketch was born Sept. 3 1842, in Saratoga County N. Y., where he remained until 1847, when his parents emigrated to Warren County, IL, where he grew to manhood.

When our country was involved in war, Mr. Smith offered his services and enlisted Sept 26,1861, in Company B, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, and he was in Battle of Pea Ridge. He was discharged on account of disability at Jackson, Tenn. Oct 3, 1862. He returned home, and when he regained his health he again enlisted, May 14, 1864, in Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, for the term of three months, when he was promoted to Third Sergeant. He was honorably discharged Oct. 28, 1864, and he again enlisted Feb. 11, 1865. He then returned to Galesburg, Ill., and in 1867 he came to Pettis County.

His father died in December 1870, and his mother the following year. He was married in 1868 to Miss Mary Gallup, who is a lady of refined tastes. This union has blessed them with three children: Alforth W., Ida May and Clarence F.

In the year 1871 Mr. Smith began in mercantile business, and since that time has built up a large trade, and has won the esteem and confidence of the people of this community, and he is a zealous worker or the advancement of education.

 
SPIER, JOSEPH
Memorial & Biographical History of the Counties of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern, California, 1890
Contributed by JoElyane Johnson (2008)

Joseph Spier, a prominent horticulturist of Visalia, and an early settler of California, was born in Saratoga County, New York, November 15, 1826. He is of English ancestry, and three generations of the family, including himself, were born in the State of New York, all having the same name. Grandfather Joseph Spier was one of the brave soldiers who fought to free the colonies from the dominion of King George. Spier’s father married Jerusha Taylor, a native of his own state, and descendant of Holland ancestry, who settled on the Mohawk river. To them were born four children. The subject of this sketch was educated in New York. He learned the sign-writer’s trade and ornamental painting, and developed much taste and talent in decorative and also in landscape painting. He emigrated to Illinois in 1844, being in Chicago in August of that year, growing up with that country. He lived in Chicago, Elgin and Peoria at different times.

In 1852, Mr. Spier came to California, Tuolumne County, and in company with others he mined in various mining districts of California, often meeting with good success, finding as high as $500 per day. Like nearly all the early miners of California he would be rich one day and lose everything the next, and nothing daunted, start in again and make more. While in Tuolumne County he improved a nice home, but when the mining interests declined he sold out for a trifle. In 1868, he located in Tulare County, being at that time financially embarrassed, and took up a government claim of 160 acres. The county was then a great cattle range. He went to work and made improvements on his land, but sold his claim, as he was unable to keep it. Shortly afterward he purchased forty acres of land, the property on which he now resides and which is now within the city limits of Visalia. Gradually, as he was able with his own labor, he improved this property by planting it with fruit trees of every variety grown in California. He has seedling orange trees twenty years old, grown from seed he himself planted. On the 6th of May, 1891, the writer of this sketch had the pleasure of eating an orange plucked from one of these trees. Mr. Spier has also gone into the nursery business, employing several men as assistants. In 1890, they sold 60,000 young trees, and that year, for the large variety of fruit exhibited at the agricultural fair, received the sweepstakes. Mr. Spier also delights in the cultivation of choice flowers, and this his wife takes equal pleasure. During all his horticultural experience in this county he has been constantly making experiments to discover the varieties of trees and fruit best suited to this locality, and at considerable expense has gained valuable information. Some of his young trees have been sent to all parts of California and portions of Oregon. In the production of table grapes he has also been very successful, and has a large variety of the best kinds.

Mr. Spier is one of the pioneers in the use of water both for mining and agricultural purposes. In 1854, with Andrew Fletcher, Dr. Windler, John Jolly and others, he organized a company and built one of the extensive ditches of that time, being over six miles in length; and the organization was incorporated as the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Water Company. Spier and Fletcher superintended the construction of this immense water course, which cost $2,000,000. The company met with strong opposition by rival water companies, and they were finally financially swamped. Mr. Spier always relied upon his talents with the brush to help him out in case of financial failure in business, and never has parted with his artist outfit, frequently being called upon to paint some fine silk banner or some scenic work for the ladies’ social socials and dramatic entertainments. He has not confined himself to the artistic part of painting, being one day working on a fine silk banner, the next painting the side of a house; the next painting a fine carriage, and the next day he might be seen on the stage of a theater, flinging colors on a big canvas flat to be used in some extravaganza soon to be brought out, etc. Nor did he confine himself to painting alone. Being a natural mechanic, he frequently worked at other mechanical business or professions. The knowledge of engineering, acquired while ditching in an early day, make him quite proficient with the transit, and many times he has been called upon to survey mining claims involving intricate underground engineering work. But particularity did the knowledge acquired in early days prove to great benefit in locating ditches or canals in this and other portions of the state.

In 1861, in company with two others, he built a flouring mill near Columbia, one of the partners being a professional miller. After one year, the miller being dissatisfied, the partner bought him out, and therefore Mr. Spier became his own miller, making a superior quality of flour and taking first premium at the Stockton district fair. In 1863, during the last of April, in company with two others, Mr. Spier crossed the Sierra Nevada range on foot. There were no inhabitants for 60 miles, and only a blazed trail to follow. They had to carry their own blankets and provisions, and traveled 20 miles over deep snow. On this trip Mr. Spier discovered a new pass, through which the Sonora Road now runs, being near 1,000 feet lower than the other one passed over by the trail.

Mr. Spier was married in 1848, at Saratoga, New York to Miss Sarah M. Green, a native of Saratoga and daughter of Daniel D.A. Green, who was born in Albany, N.Y. The Greens descended from an old American family who make their home at Greensend, R.I, the place taking its name from the first family who first settled there and passed through many trying scenes in the Revolution. The celebrated Greening apple originated on this farm. Mr. and Mrs. Spier have had five children, two sons and three daughters, only two of whom survive, viz.: Josephine, wife of George Hale, now residing at Sonora, Tuolumne County; and Charles A., who is in partnership with his father. Their oldest son Thurlow, lived to be 21 years of age, and died at their home in Visalia.

Mr. Spier was made a Mason in 1847, at the age of twenty-one, and is still a member in good standing. Among his other paintings he has made three allegorical pictures in Masonry, namely, Sunrise, High Meridian, and Sunset. They are creditable paintings and illustrate his talent in that direction.

In his early life Mr. Spier was a Whig. At the organization of the Republican Party he joined it and voted for Fremont. When the Greenback Party organized he united with it, and he now works in the ranks of the Farmers’ Alliance. He strongly favored the new Constitution of California, and was chairman of the Workingman’s Committee of his county. At his own expense he published a campaign paper in their interest, and every candidate he worked for was elected. Mr. Spier, as is readily seen by a perusal of this sketch, is a man of versatility of talent. He has done much in many ways to advance the interests of California, and is well and favorably known by many of the pioneers of this state.

Such, in brief, is a sketch of one of the most prominent citizens of Tulare County.

TROMBLEY, HORACE JEROME
History of Monroe County, MI, Personal Histories, ed. by Talcott E. Wing, 1890

Born Nov 20, 1837, about three-quarters of a mile north of the village of Petersburgh, in this country. His parents were Lewis Trombley, of Chazy, Clinton county, N.Y. and Sophia (Gregory) Trombley, of the Isle of Mott, Vt. He at an early age manifested a fondness for music. When 13 years of age he became possessor of his first violin, on which he soon became quite a performer for a boy self-taught. His younger brothers, William and Lewis E., also having a musical turn of mind, the three brothers formed themselves into a band, which became known as the "Trombley's Quadrille Band." The little trio was much sought after to furnish music on all occasions, and for many years enjoyed the reputation of being the best in the county.

Jerome, in after years, became a traveling musician in connection with circus and theatrical companies, being leader of orchestra for eight or ten years. This gave him an opportunity of seeing much of this great and glorious country and its people. He gave up traveling in 1874 and has since lived on the old homestead, one mile west of Petersburgh. For several terms he has been elected treasurer of the township of Summerfield, and is the present township treasurer [1887]. For the last few years he has devoted considerable time to the study of natural history, his favorite branches being ornithology and conchology. He now possesses a fine collection of bird's eggs, which is believed will compare favorably with any in the State, there being over 300 species of eggs in clutches and comprising nearly 1,500 specimens. The eggs of every species of bird in the country is represented. His collection of shells, consisting of land, fresh water and marine, includes over 500 species, and his library, chiefly devoted to natural history, contains about 200 volumes.

 
TROMBLEY, LEWIS
History of Monroe County, Michigan, ed. by Talcott E. Wing, 1890

Was born at Chazy, Clinton county, NY, March 24, 1805; died Feb 13, 1880, aged nearly 75. He was married in 1831 to Sophia Gregory, of Isle of Mott, Vt. He emigrated to this State in June, 1833, when he settled in this county, near the present village of Petersburgh. He was accompanied by Horace Hill and wife, the latter being a sister to Lewis Trombley. they came on the first steamboat that landed in Toledo, then in the Territory of Michigan. The steamer was named "Walk-in-the-water." There was at that day but 25 or 30 families in what now comprises the township of Summerfield. The country was yet compartively a wilderness. Wild game was abundant, and Lewis, who was passionately fond of hunting, secured many a trophy in the shape of deer and wild turkeys, and an occassional bear. He located on a small farm, which he worked when not occupied in hunting. He was also for many years in the lumber business. He became familiar with every uninhabited portion of Summerfield at an early day; could guide any one through the woods to any desired spot, and thus became useful on more than one occassion. He was the first butcher in Petersburgh, supplying the village and vicinity for a few years. He also held public offices of trust, among them being township treasurer, in which capacity he served several terms. He was a zealous supporter of the the old Whig party, and afterwards became a firm member of the new Republican party until his death. He became the father of ten children, but four, however, attaining the age of manhood, viz.: Jerome, William, Lewis E. and Victoria E., who are now living in and near Petersburgh.

 
TROMBLEY, MOSES
History of Monroe County, Michigan, ed. by Talcott E. Wing, 1890

Son of Lewis and Victoria Trombley, was born in Clinton county, N.Y., in 1820. He came to this county in 1839, and in 1849 took 44 acres of land in section 5 of Summerfield township, which he still owns and occupies. He was married in 1847 to Edith Drewior, daughter of John and Catherine Drewior, of the town of LaSalle, this county. They have two children.

Note: Wife of Moses, was Edith Drouillard, her French name being "Edesse Drouillard" as written on her Baptismal record. The was the legitimate daughter of Jean Baptiste Drouillard and Catherine Arcouet.

VALRANCE, DAVID
1881 Hand Atlas, Monroe Co., MI, H.H. Hardesty & Co., Chicago & Toledo, 1881

Was born in Monroe City, October, 2, 1848. He was a member of Company G. 24th Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted at Detroit, August 12, 1862, going directly to the front. He was engaged in battles of Fredericksburg, Antietam, Fitz Hugs Crossing, Chancelorsville, Mine Run, Gettysburg, and others; served three years under General Meredith, and was discharged at Detroit, July 12, 1865. His parents, David and Harriet (Nedeau) Valrance, the former of whom is deceased, settled in Monroe county in 1842. David, sen., was the first foreman of the Monroe City Mills. He served as a cavalryman in the Ohio and Michigan war. Mr. Valrance was married in Monroe City, Michigan, October 13, 1866. His wife, Sara E., daughter of Ebenezer and Julia A. (Snook) Knight, was born in Berlin township, August 25, 1845. She is the mother of Anna H., born March 1867, died September 23, 1867; Howard D., born February 19, 1868; Cora D., born July 18, 1869; Carrie M. born November 16, 1870; Edson E., born November 20, 1874; Franklin A., born April 27, 1870 and died july 20, 1876; Clarence W. born April 29, 1878 and died February 20, 1879; Daisy born November 16, 1880. David Valrance, residing in Berlin township, is a farmer and thresher. Address, South Rockwood, Monroe county, Michigan.

WILCOX, M.S.
History of Delaware Co., NY by W.W. Munsell, 1880

M.S. Wilcox, attorney and dealer in real estate and Jersey cattle at Jefferson, Schoharie county, was born in Harpersfield March 11th, 1836. He read law with A. Beecher, of South Worcester, Otsego county, and was admitted in May, 1860. In September of that year he removed to Delhi, and went into partner ship with Robert Parker. In March 1865, he removed to Jefferson, which has been the home of his wife, formerly Lydia G. Beard. The grandparents of Mr. Wilcox came into this region in 1784, and from them he learned many incidents in the early history of Harpersfield, which he has furnished for publication in this work.

Besides the foregoing there are a number of well known citizens, some of whose names and addresses follow: E.G. Beard, Harpersfield Centre; N. M. Dart; R.T. Hume, Hobart; D.M. and J.S. Peters, Stamford; Rev. N. Sumner North Harpersfield, a notice of whom, accidentally misplaced, appears on page 148, in connection with the town of Davenport; and J.W. Tanner, Stamford.

 

WILCOX, SAMUEL
History of Delaware Co., NY by W.W. Munsell, 1880
Town of Harpersfield

Samuel Wilcox was born in Dover, Dutchess county, N.Y., and married Sally Hunt, of the same place, just before moving to Harpersfield, early in the spring of 1784. In the winter of 1783 and 1784 he started out viewing to buy a place and build up a home. He first went to Saratoga, but took no fancy to the pitch pine land there. An accidental meeting with Colonel John Harper induced him to turn his attention to Harpersfield. Arriving there with Colonel Harper he chose the farm, about one mile east from the center of the town, upon which was a log house, and quite a clearing, made before the war, and purchased two hundred acres, being lots No. 57 and 58. He afterward sold one hundred acres to Abner Davis for $800, reserving one acre where the Wilcox house now stands. Some years after his son, Alonzo B., repurchased the lot, paying $1,600. When Samuel and his young bridge moved into the town they came to Albany, then to Schoharie, and thence followed an Indian trail and blazed trees to their new home. They had an ox team and one horse, the young wife riding on horseback, and from Schoharie carrying with her their beds and bedding, the remaining effects being put upon the oxen. the log house stood about eighty-four rods from where the road now runs, and near a spring about four-teen rods from the north line of lot No. 57. The floor, which was of split logs, was yet covered with stains of blood, where the Indians had killed the settler Stevens while boiling sap four years before; the house was covered with bark. the next summer the road was cut through on the line where it now is, and the next season they built a new log house with what was known as a mud wall, made of hewn logs filled with mud, with a large stone chimney at the end of the house. The ox team and horse proved of great advantage to young Wilcox. As settlers came in he would change works with them, getting two days' chopping for one day's use of team, and his farm in a few years was well cleared up. This family was the third to settle in the town after the war. A few years later Samuel Wilcox's brothers John, David, Eliab and Josiah came and settled, John and David on the Delaware, David upon lot No. 205, known as the McPherson place, and John upon lot No. 206, known as the Silliman place. Eliab settled upon lots No. 139 and 164, near Odell's lake; Josiah lived with his brothers and never married. The only sister married Elisha Sheldon, who settled upon lot No. 138, now owned by Peter McAlpine. For several years after Mr. Wilcox moved into the town the settlers went to mill (first to Schoharie, and then to North Blenheim) carrying their grain on horseback. Mrs. Wilcox related being once frightened by the howling of wolves while returning from the mill with a bag of flour across the back of her horse, and Mr. Wilcox (then a deacon), one Sunday morning, shot a wolf that was prowling about the log pen in which the sheep were kept, the noise of the gun making quite a stir in town. It was thought at first that Indians must be around, but on finding that there was only a wolf there it was seriously questioned whether the holy Sabbath had not been desecrated by the good deacon, who was a strict Baptist; but finally the excitement died away, and it was considered proper to shoot wolves on Sunday, provided the wolves were hunting your property and you were not really hunting the wolf. The Wilcox house (still standing and in good condition) was built in 1790.

After the death of Mr Wilcox his youngest son, Alonzo B. remained on the old farm until 1865, when he removed to Schenectady, where he now resides, the farm being now owned by M.S. Wilcox, a grandson of the original owner.

 
Brief Biographical Sketches A-M
 
 


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