These obits were kindly donated by Mary Sorensen. Hon. Richard Ferris of Allegan Co., MI was the great-greatgrandfather of Rick Ferris, and was another of the 9 children of Leonard and Sarah Elizabeth Ryan Ferris. Richard Ferris and his family are buried at the Pearson Cemetery in Allegan, MI along with John Allen Ferris & family and Louisa Ferris Hawes and some of her children. Louisa Hawes husband, Elijah Hawes [originally from Conquest, Cayuga Co., NY] is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo, MI. [NOTE: contributor Mary Sorensen has passed away.]


Allegan Gazette Allegan, MI Saturday, June 4 1904, pg. 4


Hon. Richard Ferris Expired Last Saturday-One Of Cheshire's Oldest Pioneers- Had Been Prominent In Political And Social Affairs.

It had for some weeks been known that the life of Hon. Richard Ferris of Cheshire was fast going out, and anxious friends had hourly expected to learn that the end had come. Nevertheless, when death came at five o'clock last Saturday morning the news was received about the county with no small degree of sadness. Mr. Ferris had been in remarkably good health until about two years ago, when an attack of pneumonia resulted in a general breaking down, and since that time he had gradually failed. Still his energy overpowered his affliction, and he remained active to a considerable extent until some six weeks ago when he was obliged to give up. This appeared to be the first time he realized that life's course was nearly run, and he arranged his business matters.

Mr. Ferris had been one of the foremost men of his township, always having taken an active part in public affairs. He had served as a member of the school board, with perfect satisfaction to even those who sometimes opposed his election: he was a number of years school inspector, and filled the office of township clerk both in Cheshire and Lawrence, Van Buren County, at all times enjoying the respect of his acquaintances. In 1870, he was elected to the legislature, and during the years 1871-72 was chairman of the committee on lumber, a member of the committee on state prisons, and was also a member of the joint committee to visit the penal and reformatory institutions of the state. Mr. Ferris was ever an ardent worker in the cause of temperance, although his affiliations had been with the Republican Party from its organization until he supported the free-silver ideas. Up to this time he was always a conspicuous figure in Republican conventions and no one did so much as he to give to Cheshire its sterling Republican character. His first presidential vote was cast for Henry Clay.

Richard Ferris was the seventh child in a family of nine children. He was born in the town of Butler, Wayne County, New York, August 7, 1822. He remained until he was eighteen years of age on the farm of his father and then started out alone on life's journey. Two years later he came to Mishawaka, Ind., where he worked in a sawmill and the harvest fields. Later he came to Michigan, and worked eight months in Cass County. Returning to Mishawaka, he attended a select school during the winter, and in the following spring again engaged to work in the millyard at a salary of $20 per month. His employer, William Millburn, appreciated his valuable services, promoted him to the position of sawyer, and later gave him entire charge of the mill. With the exception of ten months spent as a student at Notre Dame University, Mr. Ferris remained at Mishawaka from 1845 to 1851. He then came to Michigan, passed one summer in a mill at Lawrence, and taught school during the winter. The next spring he returned to Mishawaka and bought an interest in a new steam saw-mill.

April 19, 1851, Mr. Ferris was married to Miss Hannah Milburn, a sister to his former employer, who died about two years ago. Four children were born to them, two of whom survive-William M and Marcus R Ferris. In August 1851, Mr. and Mrs. Ferris came to Lawrence, where the former bought a one third interest in a mill which he helped to operate until 1854. He then sold his property, and in December settled in a tract of 480 acres of wild land in Cheshire, where he built a large log-house and began the work of clearing. The next May he built a saw-mill which he operated until it burned down a number of years later. He erected another mill but the waterpower failed, and he gave up lumbering and turned his attention to the farm. He disposed of a part of the original purchase, and devoted his time to improving 240 acres of the 340 acres reserved. The land was all well fenced and the house he built in 1860 was many years the finest residence in the township. Mr. Ferris was an admirer of fine stock and took great pride in his high grades of sheep and draft and coach horses and upon this farm he remained the rest of his life.

Mr. Ferris was raised in the Catholic faith, but during the latter years of his life had not been identified with the church. His wife had been an active member of the Methodist church. He was an esteemed member of the Allegan Pioneer Society, seldom missed one of its meetings, and was usually ready with reminiscences of the early history of this section. Last year he attended the meeting of the Society in Allegan, and even then, in his feebleness, he contributed to the afternoon's entertainment.

It was a fitting tribute, after a large part of Mr. Ferris's life had been spent in educational work, to take his body opposite his home to the schoolhouse he had helped to build, and there at eleven o'clock Monday morning to perform the funeral rites.

Allegan County Death Records
RICHARD FERRIS: Bk. Pg.67 - Died-28 May 1904, Cheshire, age 81y 9m 21ds; widower; b. NY; farmer; parents Leonard Ferris & Betsy Ryan.

Richard Ferris was buried at the Pearson Cemetery in Cheshire, Allegan County, MI.


Allegan Gazette
Allegan, MI
Saturday, November 17, 1900, pg. 5

One Of Cheshire's Pioneers.

Mrs. Hannah Ferris, wife of Richard Ferris, of Cheshire, died last Thursday afternoon at one o'clock after a long illness. She became a resident of Cheshire in 1854, when Mr. Ferris moved from Lawrence, MI. They were married April 19, 1851, in Mishawaka, IN. She was born in England Jan. 1, 1826, and came to America in 1848 with her brother, William Milburn. Mr. Ferris and two sons, Marcus G., of Cheshire, and William M., of Waldo, Kansas, and one daughter, Mrs. R. C. O'Brien of Cheshire survive. Mrs. Ferris was a member of the Congregational Church, but in her later years was an active worker in the Methodist denomination. She was highly esteemed by many friends.

Allegan County Death Records
HANNAH MILBURN FERRIS: Bk. 2 pg. 321 - Died: 15 Nov 1900, Cheshire Township; age 75y 10m 15ds; married; b. England; housewife; parents- Thomas Milburn [b. England] & Anna Norris.

Hannah Milburn Ferris is buried in the Pearson Cemetery, Cheshire, Allegan County, MI.


The Allegan Gazette
Allegan, MI
Saturday, 23 March 1907, pg. 5

John A. Ferris, one of Cheshire's oldest residents, died at his home last Saturday, March 16, 1907. Mr. Ferris was born in South Butler, NY, February 17, 1824. At the age of twenty he went into the Mexican War. In 1849, he was married to Amy Jane Reynolds, to which union seven children were born. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted and served three years. In 1864 he moved from Indiana to Cheshire, where he has since resided until his death. Mr. Ferris was the last member of a family of nine children and leaves four children, seven grandchildren, and a host of friends who mourn his loss. The funeral was held at the Ferris schoolhouse. Interment was made at the Pearson Cemetery.

Allegan County Death Records.
JOHN A. FERRIS-Bk. 3 pg. 139 - Died-16 March 1907, Cheshire, age 83y 1m 0ds; widower; b. NY; retired farmer; parents-Leonard Ferris & Betsy Rhine.


Allegan Gazette
Allegan, MI
Saturday, March 26, 1904, pg. 6

Mrs. John Ferris, who had been sick nearly two years, died last Saturday morning. The funeral was from the Ferris schoolhouse last Sunday, conducted by Rev. Elmer Hadaway.

Allegan County, MI Death Records:
AMY JANE FERRIS: Bk 3; pg. 62 - Died 18 March 1904, Cheshire Township; age 71y 0m 20ds; married; b. NY; Farmer's wife; Parents: Elisha Reynold [b. NY] & Roxy Wood.

Amy Jane Reynolds Ferris was the wife of John Allen Ferris. She is buried at the Pearson Cemetery, Cheshire Township, Allegan Co., MI.


Allegan Gazette
Allegan, MI
Saturday, August 11, 1894, pg. 4

Cheshire: The death of Mrs. Louisa Ferris Hawes occurred at her home in this township last Saturday evening. She was nearly 66 years of age, and had been a resident of Cheshire since 1856. She was born in Savannah township, Wayne County, NY and was married to Elijah Hawes October 30, 1849. Her husband, two sons, and two daughters survive, besides one sister, Sarah Betts of Clyde, NY., and three brothers, Nelson Ferris of Mishawaka, IN, Richard and John Ferris of this township. She was an estimable woman and enjoyed the friendship of many. The funeral was conducted by Revs. W. W. Dewey of Kalamazoo and Joseph Burke.

Allegan County, MI Death Records:
LOUISA HAWES: Bk 2: p. 191 - Died 4 August 1894, Cheshire; age 66y 2m 14ds; married; b. NY; farmer; parents Leonard Ferris [NY] & Betsy Ferris [NY]

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