Wayne County, NY Residents

Who Moved to

Kent County, Michigan

Source: History of Kent County, Michigan: together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships... etc. Chicago: C. C. Chapman & Co. 1881.

George Brigham BALCOM was born Jan. 1, 1840, at Meridian, Cayuga Co., N. Y, and a year later his parents removed to Red Creek, Wayne Co., N. Y. He attended the Union Academy at five years of age, and at eight had become unusually proficient in music under his father's instruction. At Clyde, Wayne Co., whither his parents after removed, he studied five years under the best musical instructors. In 1858 the family removed to Lowell. In May, 1861, he enlisted as "Fifer," in a military company raised in Lowell, but in despair of arriving at distinction "whistling on a stick" he sought other fields for fame and, at the expiration of 90 days, responded to a call as leader and instructor of a regimental band for the 2d Mich. Cav., Frank Sylvester, Band Master. They wintered at Benton Barracks, and ill health compelled him to apply for a discharge the following spring. Aug. 15, 1863, he re-enlisted and was enrolled one of the first musicians in Custer's Band, 1st Brig., 1st Div. "Kilpatrick's" Cavalry, Charles H. Axtell, Band Master. The latter returned home the following December, on recruiting service, and Mr. Balcom was detailed in his place. At the opening of the spring campaign of 1864, Gen. Grant closed communication between Washington and the front, and Mr. Axtell waited, like Micawber, on one side of the bar while the band on the other "tooted" its way through every engagement of the brigade from the Wilderness to City Point, where Mr. Axtell resumed his post. Mr. Balcom shortly after was sent to New York Hospital to be treated for rheumatic neuralgia. A few weeks after he was sent home on a furlough, and later on was transferred to the new Harper Hospital, at Detroit. Four months after he was discharged from the service. In November, 1865, he opened a jeweler's store in this village, associated with E. W. Haxley. Mr. Balcom has been engaged in teaching music since he was 10 years old, and is well known as a composer and arranger of band music. He came to this county in 1858, and was married in 1860 to Augusta Carpenter. They have one child - George A., who is learning the jeweler's business with his father. In 1876 Mr. B. went to California for his health, returning in 1878. (p. 1212)

John J. CLOSS, livery man, corner Spring and Fulton streets, was born in Rose, Wayne Co., N. Y., in 1845; is a son of Caleb and Lydia (Jones) Closs. He attended common schools until the age of 15 years, when he came to Adrian, Mich., and attended the Union school two years, afterward going to the Academy at Sodus, Wayne Co., and the Seminary at Fulton, Oswego Co., N. Y. He then went into the hardware business at Rose with Lucien H. Dudley, a relation which continued two years and proved successful, but he was obliged to withdraw on account of illness and sold his interest to his partner. He engaged as traveling agent for the Howe Sewing-Machine Co., of Syracuse, N. Y. In 1S71 he operated as general agent, with headquarters at Detroit and Grand Rapids. July 3, 1877, he engaged in his present business in the Morton House stables, and April 17, 1879, located as above stated, where he keeps a livery, boarding and sale stable and hack line; owns 25 horses, boards 35 and runs three hacks. He was married at Grand Rapids, May 11, 1876, to Catherine E. (Bigelow) widow of Vine Welch, born in 1846, in Penn Yan, Yates Co., N. Y. Mr. Closs is a member of the Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 11, and 43d Encampment. He has served two and one-half years as Deputy under Isaac Haynes, Sheriff. (p. 974)

Marcus D. COURT, farmer, sec. 16; P. O., Lowell; was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., March 10,1844, and is a son of Earl W. and Malinda Court, the former a native of Cayuga Co., N. Y., born April 24, 1806, and the latter a native of Onondaga Co., N. Y., born Feb. 5, 1823. Marcus was reared on a farm, and Sept. 16, 1861, enlisted as a soldier in Co. B, 75th Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf. He participated in the following battles, viz.: Corney's Ridge, Port Hudson and Sabin Pass, where he was taken a prisoner, and was confined in prison 10 months, after which time he fought at the battle of Cedar Creek and other engagements, numbering 14 in all. Dec. 8, 1864, he was honorably discharged, and then he returned home and in 1869 he came to Michigan and located on his present farm.

Aug. 7, 1870, he was joined in marriage to Frances L. Dewey, born in Wayne Co., N. Y., Feb. 26, 1848. Three children were added - Earl W., born Aug. 27, 1876; Chas. H., born May 3, 1879, and an infant, born Ag. 12, 1881. Mr and Mrs. Court are members of the U. B. Church, of which society Mr. C. is Classleader. Mr. C. is a Republican in politics, and he and his brother, John H., own 79 acres on sec. 16. Mrs. Court's parents were Charles J. and Sarah (Barber) Dewey, both of Wayne Co., N. Y. (p. 1213)

James S. CROSBY (deceased) was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., in 1813. He was the son of Stephen and Charity (Sears) Crosby, the latter a native of Connecticut. Mr. Crosby was reared to manhood at Herkimer, Ontario Co., where he, early in life, gave his attention to mercantile pursuits, which he afterward carried on in Wayne Co., N. Y. In 1856 he came to Michigan, remaining a short time at Plainwell, Allegan Co., within the same year proceeding to this city, where he embarked in traffic in flour and feed, and dealt in soap and candles. In 1858 he opened an office as insurance and real-estate agent, which he continued until his death, Sept. 9, 1875. He was married in 1837, in Wayne Co., N. Y., to Amelia BARNEY, born in Orange Co., N. Y. Their only child, Moreau S., Lieut. Governor of Michigan, resides at Grand Rapids. Mr. Crosby was a public man and office-holder in his native State, but in his later life he found retirement and personal privacy more agreeable to his tastes. (p. 982)

James T. CRUMBACK, a pioneer of Gaines, and a man who shows many traces of his early struggles with circumstances and responsibilities, is a native of Wayne Co., N. Y., born Jan. 31, 1808. His parents, Henry and Mary Crumback, were natives of Bucks Co., Pa. In 1811 they went to Ontario, Can., and in 1824, at the age of 16, he came to this county with a band of Indians on a hunting and trapping expedition. In 1853 he located land in Gaines, on sec. 26, and the following year took possession as a landholder. The country was all in its original condition, infested with troops of Indians and wild animals. He won a wide renown as a deerhunter, and has a supply of adventures and anecdotes of his experiences and those of others, sufficient to fill a respectable volume. The first year of residence in Gaines, he killed 158 deer, and, from first to last, the aggregate of his successes with that kind of game alone numbers 2,997, beside other varieties. Mr. Crumback is a physician of the Thompsonian school. He has studied the best authorities on herb medication, and practiced 50 years. He comes of patriotic and country-loving ancestry, both his grandfathers having been in the Revolution from first to last, under General Washington, and his maternal grandmother, Mary Froup, was in the action at Bunker Hill (Breed's Hill), and her clothing was riddled by 16 bullets. Mr. Crumback was married March 18, 1828, to Catherine, daughter of Gerhard and Agnes Wheeler, born in Montgomery Co., Pa., Dec. 16, 1807. Of 10 children born to them five are living - Harriet, Gerhard W., Samuel, Mary and James. When he first came to Gaines, Mr. C. was elected Justice of the Peace, and served one term. In politics he is an adherent to and advocate of the principles of the Democratic party. (p. 741)

Allen DURFEE, funeral director and retail dealer in caskets, coffins, robes and funeral fittings, Grand Rapids, was born at Palmyra, Wayne Co., N. Y., Jan. 15, 1829. His parents were William and Permelia (Chase) Durfee, the former of whom was born at Palmyra, May 3, 1800, and was engaged in farming and milling until his death. His mother's family emigrated from Connecticut and settled in New York at an early day, where she was born Feb. 7, 1806. Mr. Durfee was reared on a farm, and received his education in the public schools and at an academy of his native place. He was engaged in his father's mill for three years, and in October, 1853, came to Grand Rapids, purchasing a farm of 80 acres in Walker tp., or what is now sec. 5 of Wyoming tp. Here he resided for 15 years, during which time he was elected to several tp. offices. In 1868 he sold his farm, and the following September removed to the city of Grand Rapids. He purchased two pieces of property on Jefferson avenue, on which he erected substantial residences the coming winter. On June 15, 1854, he engaged in the undertaking business with J. H. Farwell, and remained with him two years and four months. He then commenced business on his own account, and has carried it on with success to the present time, now doing the largest trade of the kind in the city. He is a member of Enterprise Lodge, No. 12, I.O.O.F., of the Knights of Honor and the A. O. U. W. He is also a member of the Northern Mutual Benefit Association, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and the Covenant Mutual Association, of Galesburg. Mr. Durfee was united in marriage Oct. 5, 1853, to Phebe B. Thayer, a native of Wayne Co., N. Y. Both are members of the First Congregational Church and are numbered among its earnest supporters. Politically Mr. Durfee is a Republican. He is tall and of commanding presence, temperate in all his habits, of a genial nature, kind and affectionate in his family, and has a warm and generous hand for all in real need. These qualities, coupled with his unswerving integrity in all business affairs, secure for him the good will and esteem of the better class of citizens of Kent county. In the latter part of 1879 Mr. Durfee and other leading funeral directors of the State conceived the idea of forming a State Association of funeral directors, for the purpose of improvement in the business, and to discuss the better modes of burial, etc. Mr. Durfee and five others issued a circular to the different directors in Michigan, calling a convention at Jackson, on Jan. 14, 1880. The convention assembled on the date named, and the association formed, the first of the kind in the United States. Allen Durfee was chosen its President and has ably filled that position to the present time. His ability, reputation and worth form a combination of qualities which admirably adapt him for the important head of this new association. (p. 994)

A portrait of Mr. Durfee is presented in this volume.

John H. FRASER was born Aug. 21, 1863, in Huron, Wayne Co., N. Y. His parents were natives of the same State. His father, John C. Fraser, was of Scotch descent, born June 6, 1795, and died March 18, 1872. His mother, Isabella (Slaght) Fraser, was born July 10, 1796, and died Aug. 20, 1872. They came to Kalamazoo county April 15, 1859, removing to Gaines Feb. 2, 1861. They bought 80 acres on sec. 35, Cascade tp., March 15, 1866, where they died. Mr. Fraser succeeded to the ownership of the homestead, and Dec. 25, 1862, was married to Isabella A., daughter of S. A. and Elmina Hammond. The record of their children is as follows: Albert H., born Dec. 20, 1864; Almina I., born Feb. 14, 1869; Willie A., born Nov. 21, 1872, died Feb. 17, 1873; Ida F., born in September, 1875. Mr. Fraser is Secretary of the Whitneyville Grange, and is a Republican. (p. 706)

Cornelius FRIANT, an old and much respected citizen of this tp., was born in New Jersey in 1806. He went from there to Wayne Co., N. Y., and thence in 1837 to Plainfield, Kent Co. He located land and built a cabin, and in the fall went in a canoe to "Scott's" to obtain their household goods left there in the previous spring. Mr. Friant was a powerful, vigorous man, and besides stalwart strength and unbroken health, he brought to the accomplishment of his life purpose an indomitable will and most persistent energy, the results of which are plainly manifest in his present surroundings, and do eminent credit to his efforts. He was married in Wayne Co., N. Y., in 1827, to Huldah HATCH. They have had six children Geo. W. Andrew J., Catherine, now wife of A. Watson, of Grand Rapids; Caroline, wife of Henry Norris, of Grand Haven; Cornelia, now Mrs. H. W. Hall, of Grand Rapids, and Thomas, dealing in lumber at Grand Haven. (p. 1314)

A. R. HOAG was born in New York in 1817. His parents, Burtis and Phebe (Raymour) Hoag were of English descent, the former born in Ulster Co., N. Y., the latter in Vermont. Mr. Hoag was educated in the subscription schools of New York and Michigan, his parents being pioneers in Ulster Co., N. Y., as well as Kent and Washtenaw Cos., Mich., in 1829. Mr. Hoag came to Kent county in May, 1841, and is familiar with the entire role of pioneer life, including wolves, Indians, etc. He has made farming the pursuit of his life and still lives where he settled, on a quarter section entered from Government, to which he has added by later purchases, until he owns 256 acres of first-class land. He was married in 1844 to Mary Ann McDOWELL (born in Scotland) of Wayne Co., N. Y., and daughter of Thomas McDowell and Margaret Williams. They have three children - Rosetta (Mrs. William H. Hall), Adella (Mrs. Orton Hill) and Artimus E. Mr. and Mrs. Hoag belong to the M. E. Church, of which Mr. Hoag has been Steward for many years. He is a Republican in politics and a leading member of the Grange. He was among the first in the movement to organize the Kent County Insurance Company, served four years as its first President, and has been a director ever since. He is one of the best known and most universally respected citizens in Vergennes. He is famous for his generous liberality; his house is always open to his frinds, and the needy find in him a sympathetic and open-handed benefactor. Mr. Hoag's portrait appears on another page. (p. 1379, Vergennes Township)

Thomas J. LUCAS, retail dealer in boots and shoes, 83 Monroe st., was born at Canandaigua, Ontario Co., N. Y., in 1833. He is a son of Seth and Betsey (Martin) Lucas, the former of whom was a native of Vermont, and died in 1873; the latter was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., and departed this life in 1852. When five years of age, Mr. Lucas accompanied his parents to Constantine, St. Joseph Co., Mich., where they remained two years, and then settled in Hillsdale county. Seven years later, they located in Allegan county, and Mr. Lucas obtained his early schooling in Byron and Gaines tps. When 20 years of age, he went to work on a farm, chopping 10 acres of heavy timber to pay his father for the years' services due the latter, before reaching his majority. Then hired out to work on a farm for Charles Kelley, of Gaines tp., at $10 per month. He went to Missouri, and after a winter there, returned to Michigan, and was employed in a saw-mill, by William T. Powers, for seven years. He had charge of C. C. Comstock's business for two years, and soon after formed a co-partnership with Benjamin Robertson, in the manufacture of coffins, the firm being the founders of that business in Kent county. In 1872 the factory was destroyed by fire. Mr. Lucas then bought out O. K. Pearsall, his partner, and started the business alone. Soon after W. H. Walker and William T. Addis were admitted as partners, and the firm remained as Lucas, Walker & Co. for two years. Mr. Lucas then sold his interest, and the firm was subsequently organized as a stock company under the name of the Grand Rapids Burial Case Co. On April 13, 1874, he purchased the interest of William Hess, of the firm of Woodard & Co., boot and shoe dealers. On April 17, 1876, he purchased Mr. Woodard's interest, and has since continued the business alone. Mr. Lucas is a member of the Masonic order, and the First Congregational Church. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Old Residents' Association. He was married in May, 1858, to Mary DAVIS, a native of Wayne Co., N. Y. (p. 1069, Grand Rapids City)

MUNSON & KNAPP, proprietors of the Grand Rapids nurseries. These popular nurseries were established in the spring of 1873, by Wm. K. and Edward A. Munson, under the firm name of Munson Bros., both of whom had served an apprenticeship in the large nurseries of Geneva, N. Y. They first rented 10 acres of land of E. U. Knapp, on sec. 17, tp. of Grand Rapids, one and one-fourth miles N. E. of the D. S. & M. R. R. depot. In the spring of 1878 E. A. Munson sold his interest to Chas. E. Knapp, and the business was continued under the firm style of "Munson & Knapp." Their business now covers upward of 60 acres of ground, and they offer for sale a first-class assortment of apple, standard and dwarf pear, cherry, plum and peach trees. Of the latter they make a specialty. Their trade includes strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, grapes, currants, evergreens, deciduous and weeping trees, roses, climbers, etc. They have 7,000 peachtrees and 2,000 grape-vines, and are planting more every year.

Wm. K. Munson and wife were both born near Syracuse, N. Y., and came to Grand Rapids in the spring of 1873. Chas. E. KNAPP and wife were born in Butler, Wayne Co., N. Y., and moved to Grand Rapids in the fall of 1873. (p. 791)

George W. MALLORY, M. D., was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., Dec. 14, 1826. His parents, Azariah and Azuba (White) Mallory, were natives of Berkshire Co., Mass., the former of Dutch, the latter of Swiss lineage. He was educated at Albion College, and pursued his medical course at Starling Medical College, Ohio, graduating in 1851. He practiced in Hillsdale, and six years subsequently in Jackson county. After two years professional labor in Illinois he came in 1871 to Lowell. He has some specialties, among which is a diphtheria remedy, very nearly amounting to a specific. He has made considerable progress in a financial sense, his cash balance being but $10 when he established himself in Lowell. He was married in 1861 to Minerva C. Simpson, a cousin of Gen. Grant. She died in 1864, leaving one son - Henry C. He married Matilda M. Powell in 1866 - They have one child - Jacob C. Dr. M. has been identified with Republicans until the prevalence of National principles, which he adopts. (p. 1222)

A. B. TOWN was born June 18, 1831, in Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y. His father, William Town, was born in 1801, in Connecticut. In 1836 he settled in Oakland county, and eight years after in this tp., where he bought 105 acres on sec. 31. He is still living, at Brighton, Livingston Co. Mr. Town's mother was born in New York, April 25, 1806. He was married Dec. 4, 1855, to Minerva, daughter of Geo. W. and Samantha Teeple, of this tp. (See sketch above.) They have four children, born as follows: William, Sept. 28, 1857; Elbert A., April 28, 1863; Samantha, March 5, 1865, and Jennie B., May 4,1867. In 1864 Mr. Town bought 80 acres on sec. 33, where he has since lived. He has a new and substantial house, and values his place at $6,000. A mineral spring on the farm has gained considerable notoriety. Mr. Town is a Democrat. P. 0., Alaska. (p. 716)

Burtis WHITE (sec. 11, Lowell P. 0.) was born March 3, 1835, in Wayne Co., N. Y. His parents, Leonard and Hannah V. (Hoag) White, were natives of Massachusetts and New York. They settled in Hillsdale county in 1843, and seven years later took up their residence in Lowell. At 16 Mr. W. began work as a carpenter, which business, in connection with farming, he has followed since. He was married Dec. 28, 1856, to Miss Delilah Robinson. She was born Feb. 18, 1839, in Vergennes. Her parents, Rodney and Marv (Shaw) Robinson, natives respectively of New York and Pennsylvania, settled in Ottawa county in 1835, and two years later in Vergennes. The former died in 1874; the latter in 1859. Mr. and Mrs. W. have two children - Rodney A. and Charles L. They have a farm of 80 acres. (p. 602)

The first settlers of this township were Solomon WRIGHT and family, who came from Wayne Co., N. Y., in the year 1837, and located on the south line near Indian creek. The family consisted of the old gentleman and lady and five sons, Benjamin, Solomon, Noadiah, Andrew and Jeremiah, only one of whom remains in the township, and that is Solomon. The old people are both dead; one son lost his life in the recent war, one is living at Lowell, and two are in Walker. (p. 553, Alpine Township)

Benjamin B. WRIGHT, farmer and stock breeder (sec. 14, P. O. Lowell), was born June 15, 1815, in Wayne Co., N. Y. He is the son of Solomon and Polly (Boyce) Wright, pioneers. They probably located in the county in 1835 (in Walker tp.), where they died about 1852-'3. Mr. Wright settled in Alpine tp. where he selected a farm which he afterward bought of the Government when it was thrown upon the market. As he had improved it somewhat by his labor he received a small compensation. He worked in the first mill-race constructed at Grand Rapids. After 15 years' residence in Alpine tp. he removed to Lowell village, and five years later to his farm in this tp., where he has since lived, with the exception of four years, which he spent in the improvement of town property in Lowell. He married for his first wife Cleantha Inglesbee, and they became the parents of four children, but one of which, Eber, survives. Mrs. W. died and Mr. W. was married Oct. 10, 1850, to Martha Scadin. She was born Sept. 15, 1828, in Niagara Co., N. Y. Seven of their eight children are living, viz.: Rosa W., Esther C., Charles F., Buel W., Amy C., Edith M. and Heulett C. Julius, the deceased son, died from the effects of confinement in Libby prison. Mr. Wright owns 160 acres of finely located and improved land. (p. 602)

Jeremiah S. WRIGHT, deceased, son of Solomon and Mary Wright, was born in Wolcott, Wayne Co., N. Y., in 1828. His parents are among the first settlers in Alpine, where they located in 1837. Mr. Wright was engaged for a period of 16 years in the sale of agricultural implements on Bridge street, Grand Rapids, and owned 80 acres on sec. 27, in this tp. He married in 1878 Mrs. Mary Patterson, daughter of Joel and Margaret Churchill, born in Cayuga Co., N. Y., in 1844. Mr. Wright died Jan. 26, 1880. Mrs. Wright's parents came to Grand Rapids when she was nine years old. Her father was born in 1813, and lives with her in Walker; her mother was born in 1826, and died in 1839. She has one son by her first husband, William A. Patterson, born in Grand Rapids, Aug. 28, 1863. Mr. Wright had four children by a former marriage - Andrew, Addison, Valeria and Estella. Mrs. Wright is in possession of 50 acres of her husband's estate, all improved. (p. 1407)

Noadiah C. WRIGHT, son of Solomon and Mary (Boyce) Wright, was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., April 5, 1822. His parents came West when he was 14, and stopped several months in Toledo, O., where his father bought a team and employed it profitably during the winter, making his way Westward in the spring. He left his family in Jackson county, near Jacksonburg, and proceeded with his household goods and 50 bushels of potatoes on a scow down the Grand river, and landed at North's Landing, now Plumb's Mills. In September Mr. Wright came across the country with an ox team. His father had pre-empted 480 acres for himself and sons, Solomon and Benjamin, on the line between Walker and Alpine, on secs. 32 and 33 Alpine tp. The Baptist and Congregational churches are situated on this tract. The senior Wright sold 160 acres to P. F. Covell, and moved across the road into Walker tp., and bought 120 acres on sec. 4, where he died in June, 1845, and his wife three years later. Mr. Wright took possession of his present farm in 1865. He owns 212 acres on secs. 22 and 15, and 20 acres of woodland on sec. 33, Alpine tp., with 195 acres under cultivation. He has three houses, four barns and two large orchards on his homestead. His property has been acquired by his own unaided efforts, and he values his farm at $200 per acre. His residence, with barn, cost $3,300, and the place is well watered with springs. He was married at Grand Rapids, Oct. 11, 1842, to Ann, daughter of Eleazer C. and Ann (Walbridge) Tabor, natives of Ithaca, N. Y. Mrs. Wright was born in the same place April 3, 1830. Three of four children, born in Walker, are living - Milo, April 6, 1852; Emmagene, in August, 1854; and Parker, in October, 1856. Mr. Wright was a resident of Grand Rapids a number of years, was Constable nine years, and owns two houses and lots, corner of Leonard and Scribner streets, valued at $2,500. (p. 1407)

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