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he has seen civilization advance and the Indian disappear, the forest melt away and the country blossom as the rose.
George S. Stranahan was born Oct. 4, 1783, probably in New Canaan, Columbia Co., N. Y., where in his father's family he spent much of his early life. From that place he removed to about 20 miles east of Buffalo, on the Holland purchase, Erie Co., where he remained many years in the capacity of a farmer, and where he also taught school. The spring of 1833 Mr. Stranahan, in company with his son-in-law, Leonard Taylor, visited Michigan with the view of prospecting for a home in that State. Arriving at Napoleon, they were shown the country about Clark's lake, one of the most beautiful sheets of water in Southern Michigan. Here he decided to settle and accordingly purchased from Government about 400 acres of land adjoining the north and west sides of the lake, on secs. 17 and 18, and went back to New York. Spending a few weeks with his family, he with his son George returned to the site of their new home the following summer, where they cleared some land and erected a log cabin at the northwest corner of the lake. Purchasing 100 apple-trees at Clinton, he also put out the first orchard in the tp., of which about 70 trees remain. Going back in the fall, they remained until spring, when Mr. Stranahan re. turned with his family, consisting of his wife, George, Catherine, Maranda, now wife of A bram Sanford, of Brooklyn; Julia A., now widow of J. D. White, of Columbia; Mariett, now wife of Stacy Clark, of Liberty; Cordelia, now wife of George W. Lobdell, of Jackson; Caroline, now the widow of Leonard Taylor, of Branch county, Mich.; Betsey (deceased), who was wife of A. S. Clark, formerly of Columbia; Hiram (deceased), Minnesota.
The family saw a great difference in their western from that of their eastern home: inany incidents of venture came with it. One may be worth recording. One night Mrs. Stranahan was awakened by the squealing of a pig kept in a pen a few rods from the house, and informed her husband accordingly. Mr. Stranahan immediately arose and, seizing a large fire-shovel common to the fire places of those days, proceeded to the pen, where, despite the darkness, he was able to discover some animal annoying his hog: Letting down the fence for the hog to escape, the animal jumpedu pon him just as the hog was passing from the pen, whereupon Mr. Stranahan struck and killed the intruder with his shovel. Further investigation showed this creature to be a wolf; and what was Mr. Stranahan's surprise when after nine days the hog ran mad, proving that the wolf had hydrophobia!
In the war of 1812 Mr. Stranahan served in the American army and witnessed the burning of Buffalo, N. Y., when that now important city was but a small village. On another occasion he was a spectator of the blowing up of the British by the Americans, in retaliation for a like act done to our men by the enemy. His brother, Farrand Stranahan, was Colonel of a regiment in the same war, and is favorably mentioned in the history of that event.
Mr. Stranalan came of a large family, remarkable for fearlessness and independence of spirit, and for vigor of body and mind. He was a public-spirited man and of much benevolence of heart. He was Justice of the Peace, and Road Commissioner, which last was a responsible office in those days. In politics he was a staunch, uncomprising Democrat.
Mr. S. had the honor of naming the tp. of his-adoption, which he called the beautiful and national name of Columbia, after Coluunbia, his native county, in New York. In his home in the West Mr. Stranahan lived about 30 years, and died at the ripe age of 81 years.
Theophilus W. Thompson, a man whose untiring energy and ambition has served in developing one of the most productive farms in Jackson county, is a native of the Empire State, and was born in Oneida county, Oct. 29, 1808. His father's name was Cyrus Thompson, a farmer and a native of Massachusetts, as was also his grandfather. Mr. Thompson's boyhood and youth were spent in the town of his nativity, where he received a liberal schooling according to the general understanding of the ineaning of the phrase in those days, and in 1837 left his home and friends to seek his fortune in a wilderness, and pressed his way westward to Manchester, Washtenaw Co., and here he remained two years, during which time he taught school. In 1839 he came to Columbia tp., and located on sec. 23, where he bought of Royal Watkins 120 acres of land, which from year to year has gradually been transformed to rolling meadow and productive wheat fields. He has from time to time added to his homestead until it now contains 280 acres. Mr. Thompson married April 25, 1839, Miss Ruth M. Watkins, daughter of Royal Watkins, of Norvell, and they have 2 children-Freeman, and Edwin Clarence. Mrs. Thompson's great-grandfather, Nathan Watkins, was of old Connecticut stock and of Welsh and Scotch descent. Different branches of the family were of the original settlers of New England and Virginia, and the family ancestry are traceable as far back as the 15th century. Mrs. Thompson now has in her possession several very old fainily relics that establish without a doubt the fact that she is a descendant in a direct line from May Flower stock, via the Carpenter and Howard family, of which the late Hon. Matt Carpenter, of Wisconsin, is a member.
Edward Tompkins was born July 25, 1836, in Columbia tp., on the honestead which his father, William Tompkins, had taken from the Government that year, having come from Saratoga county, N, Y., and the town of Stillwater. Edward received a commonschool education at Clark's Lake school-house, and learned the car. penter's trade in Liberty tp., which he followed for several years until 1872. He hired to the United States Government in 1863, and went West to Little Rock, Arkansas, and worked at his trade on Government warehouses then being erected there. His father was one of the first settlers in Jackson county, and was an experienced and skillful hunter and trapper. He raised a family of 4 inont.
sons, all of whom are now living in Columbia tp. Edward was married Aug. 1, 1870, to Miss Ellen Loomis, daughter of Benjamin Loomis (deceased), who was a resident of Liberty tp., and they have 3 children-Bruce C., Percy B. and Charley L. Mr. Tompkins owns 122 acres of good farining land, well in proved, on sec. 30.
Henry Warnes was born at Norfolk, England, July 21, 1837. His father, John Warnes, is a farm laborer of Norfolk. Henry was reared and received his schooling in his native county, and came to America in 1861, making the first halt in his journey at Te. cumseh, Mich. Here he worked on a farm for B.J. Bidwell six years and nine months, and then bought 10 acres of land in the town of Raisin. This property he soon sold and came to Columbia tp., and bought 100 acres on sec. 21, of N. H. King, on which he has made many improvements, among them a fine residence, where he lives in independence and comfort. Jan. 3, 1865, he married Miss Elizabeth McCaughen, daughter of Dougal McCaughen, then a blacksmith of Tecumseh. . They have 3 children-Ellen J., Lucy E. and Henry Lester.
Wm. P. Watterman was born in Massachusetts, Franklin county, in the town of Shutesbury, Oct. 29, 1828. His father, Dexter Watterman, was a farmer, and was born at Royalton, Ver.
His mother's name was Polly Severance, and of her father very little is now known, from the fact that he died when Polly was a small child. William lived with his parents until 17 years of age, and received his early schooling at Shutesbury, and, being possessed of a mechanical turn of mind, soon turned his attention to that trade. From 1866 to 1870 he resided in the town of Bloomer, Montcalm Co., Mich. From Bloomer he came to Columbia tp., and settled on sec. 20, where he purchased 80 acres of land of M. Grosvenor, which property he sold to Philip S. Howland, and pur. chased his present farm of 80 acres, one-quarter of a mile east of his former' home. He was married June 6, 1854, to Miss Harriet N. Hemingway, daughter of N. H. Hemingway, at that time a resident of Prescott, Massachusetts, and now living at Mr. Howland's. He was born in Cumberland county, R. I. His father, Josiah, was a blacksmith by trade, and figured quite conspicuously in the local politics of his county. Mr. Hemingway was married Oct. 23, 1831, to Miss Hannah B. Hill, daughter of Cyrus Hill, of Shuteshury, Mass., a native of that State, who had married Miss Olive Hunting. Mr. Hill died at his native home in 1843, and Mrs. Hill at the same place in 1867. Mr. Hemingway's father, Josiah, died in 1865, at the age of 84; and his mother, whose maiden name was Betsey Hall, died in 1863, aged 84. Mr. Howland has 2 sons—Edward W., an instructor by profession, and Fred. N.
John T. Weeks, whose portrait appears in this volume on page 821, is another one of the pioneers to whom Columbia tp. owes not a little of her early history and development. His father, James Weeks, was born in Vassalborough, Maine, June 7, 1784, and
moved from his native State to Weathersfield, Mass., in 1808, where he remained until 1834. He married Miss Betsey Tilton, daughter of John Tilton, a farmer of Genesee county, N. Y. They had a family of 5 children, of which John T. was the oldest. A sister, Lurinda, was next, and next were Laura, Erastus and Lucy. James Weeks came directly to Columbia tp. and settled on sec. 10, entering from the Government five lots, or 400
His first dwelling was soon erected from logs cut on the place; it was a single-story cabin 18x20 feet square. John T. Weeks came on with his young wife and son, Willard C., in the spring of 1835, and settled on the first 100 acres west of his father, James, on sec. 10. He had married the previous year, Jan. 19, Miss Lucy Phelps, daughter of John Phelps, of Oneida county, N. Y., who became the mother of 6 children, of whom 3 are now living: Willard C., on the homestead; Lucy M., now Mrs. Julius P. Dean, of Napoleon tp; and Allie A., wife of Chas. A. Wood, of this tp.
Mrs. Weeks was born April 11, 1816, and died, at the age of 65, March 23, 1881. Mr. Weeks is a mechanic by trade and inheritance from his forefathers, and devoted much of his time in pioneer days to making cabinet-ware, pails, barrels, shoes, etc., for which in those days he found a ready market among the settlers at remunerative prices. He is the inventor and patentee of a centrifugal honey extractor. This has received general endorsement through the country. Willard C. Weeks was born Nov. 23, 1834, and received his schooling in Columbia tp., and his business experience with his father, mostly on a farm. Dec. 4, 1857, he married Miss Helen A. Moon, daughter of S. C. Moon, of Napoleon, but later of Cedar Springs, Mich. He is a pioneer of this State and a mason by trade, but has devoted the past few years of his life to farming. He was a native of Ontario county, N. Y., and the town of Gorham. His wife was Mary Ann Snyder, of New York, and was of direct German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks have 4 children-Eva L., Bell C., John W. and Pearl.
Walter White was born Dec. 8, 1801, in Vermont, town of Tapson, Orange Co. His father, Ebenezer, was a native of Orange county, and a farmer by occupation. Walter received his education in his native town, and after leaving school acquired his trade, that of a shoemaker, which occupation he followed first in Vermont and for several years after coming to Michigan. His advent to this State took place in 1835, and he first settled in the village of Brooklyn, and occupied as a shop the second floor of the building now owned and used by W. B. Sherman as a general store. He was soon tendered an opportunity of entering the Michigan State's Prison as foreman of the boot and shoe manufacturing department, which he improved, and remained there two years, after which he returned to Brooklyn and resumed trade here. In 1838 he purchased 100 acres of land on sec. 20, Columbia tp., to the development of which he devoted a portion of his time, and afterward relinquished the pursuance of his trade to devote his entire time to farming, and in the latter occupation has been engaged to the present time. In 1823 he married Miss Malany Rotnour, daughter of George Rotnour, a farmer of Lenox, Madison Co., N.Y., and they have 4 children-Fayette, George A., Jefferson T. and Amos W. Mr. and Mrs. White have been for many years members of the Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn.
Joseph B. Whitney, of Brooklyn, was born in Volney tp., 08wego county, N. Y., a son of Berkey Whitney (deceased), who was a native of Oswego county, and of New England ancestry. He died in 1838 at his home, leaving a widow and 2 children-Joseph and a sister, Cordelia. Joseph B. was born Oct. 14, the year of his father's death. He improved the educational opportunities afforded by a district school and obtained a practical education, which has enabled him to secure for himself and family a competency, and has placed himself among the thriving and prosperous merchants of the village of Brooklyn, now being a member of the furniture and undertaking firm of Hoag & Whitney. Mr. Whitney is a practical business man and a mechanic, having learned the carpenter's trade when a young man, which he followed until 1870, when he came to Michigan, settling in Brooklyn. He married Amelia W. Randall, daughter of S. S. Randall, of Fulton, Oswego Co., N. Y., a contracting carpenter of that locality, and they have 3 children—2 sons, Frank and Mortimer, and 1 daughter, Bruce.
William Windle was born at Newton, Truinbull Co., Ohio, Jan. 2, 1808. This much is known of his ancestry: His greatgrandfather, Francis Windle, emigrated to Pennsylvania from England, and was of good old Quaker stock. His grandfather, William, and father, Francis, were born and reared in Chester county, Penn. Francis afterward moved to Mifflin, and there married Miss Eleanor Holt, and they had 8 children-Betsey, Mary, Dorcas, Eleanor, Rebecca, Francis, Martha J. and William. William remained at home until 1834, when he came West to Indiana, attended the first sale of public lands in that State, and made a purchase of one qnarter-section. This land he, however, sold in 1839, and came to Michigan, settling at Hudson. In 1854 he came to Jackson county and bought his present property of A. P. Cook. Mr. Windle has had to mourn the death of two devoted wives. The first he mar. ried June 16, 1831. This was Miss Mary McLain, and was mother of 7 children-Margaret B., Francis, David (deceased), William, Mary J., Ella, and Rosa (deceased). Mrs. Windle died March 13, 1839. Aug. 11, 1839, Mr. Windle again married, this time his brother's widow, Mrs. Francis Windle, whose maiden name was Mary Nichols, and this added to his family 4 fatherless childrenJames P., Mifflin, Joseph and Mercy. Before her death they were blessed with their only child, Goodwin C., Nov. 23, 187.6. Mr. W. took for his third wife, Mrs. C. E. Wheeler, daughter of Benjamin R. Swick, a clergyman of Lima, Livingston Co., N. Y. She had 1 child, Stanley Wheeler. Mr. Windle sent two brave soldiers to the war of the Rebellion. His son William enlisted in