History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 100



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
Mary Adelle Hazlett, for many years eminently known throughout the commonwealth as an orator of exceptional ability, for twenty-seven years an active worker in the ranks of the Repub lican party, for several years postmistress at the state capitol in Lansing, Mich., founder of the "Sacred Temple" secret society for women, and prominent in establishing lodges of the Order of the Eastern Star throughout the state, is one of the unique characters . in the history of this county. No other woman, with the possible exception of the immortal "Aunt Laura" Haviland, has been more widely or favorably known throughout this section of the nation than Mary Adelle Hazlett. She is a native of this county, having first beheld the light of day in the township of Ridgeway, May I, 1837, a daughter of John and Mary A. (La Tourette) Brown, both natives of the old Empire State. The father was born in Cayuga county, New York, March r8, r8o6, and the mother in Seneca county, New York, July 1, I8Io. For twenty-seven years subsequent to his birth, John Brown continued a resident of his native state, where he received a common school education and later gained a livelihood by retailing boots and shoes. In 1833 he migrated to Michigan, settling on a tract of government land in the township of Ridgeway, and there he resided until 1837, when, just after the birth of his daughter, who is the immediate subject of this review, he removed with his family to Wheatland township, Hillsdale county. There he purchased 40o acres of heavily timbered land from the Federal government, 'immediately set about to clear the tract of its native timber, and soon he had reclaimed a large portion to cultivation. He continued to carry on improvements of a permanent nature, fertilizing and increasing the productiveness of the soil, and replacing the original cabin and stable of a primitive kind with a house, barn and other outbuildings of modern design, which have greatly added to the attractiveness of the place. When he first became a resident of Hillsdale county he was financially encumbered to the amount of $r,roo, but being a man of exceptional industry and perseverance, and possessed of unusual business tact and shrewdness, he soon rid himself of this ,obligation and came to own one of the largest and most valuable farmsteads in that section of the state. He was broad-minded and public-spirited to an extreme degree and was especially active in .establishing churches and in promoting an advanced public school system, being the owner of several scholarships in both Hillsdale and Albion colleges, by which several of his children were educated. He reared a family of seven children, for all of whom he provided an excellent education. Five of them, all past seventy years of age, now survive. Orestes A. migrated to Idaho in his early manhood, took up a large tract of government land and is now living there virtually retired; Eugene Murat is residing retired at Manitou Beach, this county ; John, who gallantly served throughout the Civil war, later became a resident of Montana, where he was stricken with paralysis, and is today an occupant of the National Soldiers' Home at Dayton, Ohio; Levant F., a lawyer by profession, is in the employ of the Norfolk & Western Railroad Company, with headquarters in New York city, but owing to impaired health, due to overwork, is now temporarily residing in Northern Michigan. The two deceased children of John Brown are Louisa, the first born; and Araminta, who ranked fifth in point of age. The mother of Mrs. Hazlett was also a woman of exceptional qualities -of heart and mind. In early girlhood she gave her heart to God and ever lived an upright, consecrated Christian life. For upwards f seventy-two years she was an active worker in circles of the Methodist Episcopal faith, in which she came to be an acknowledged leader. She received her summons to the life eternal, in which she had the utmost faith and confidence, Aug. 24, 1907, at the age of ninety-eight years, loved and highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. The immediate subject of this review received her primary educational training in the common schools of Hillsdale county, later she became a student in Hillsdale College, and she graduated at Albion College with the class of 1857. She was subsequently tendered a degree by the faculty of Hillsdale College, but did not accept it. Mrs. Hazlett's first public speech was delivered before the Masonic lodge of Adrian, in 1870. Her political career was virtually inaugurated in the celebrated Presidential campaign of 1872, when, upon the urgent invitation of the state central committee of the Republican party, she delivered many addresses throughout this state in the interests of President U. S. Grant, and the remainder of the Republican ticket. For twentyseven years consecutively thereafter she was prominently identified with the affairs of the Republican party in this state, enacting a leading role as a public speaker and rendering advice and council in the innermost circles of the organization, and doing all within her power to promulgate party success and harmony. She became a frequent visitor at the state capital, where she was received with great cordiality, and later she received the appointment of postmistress there. In later years she founded the "Sacred Temple," a secret society devoted exclusively to women, and she became active in establishing throughout the commonwealth lodges of the Order of the Eastern Star. On May-i, 1858, was solemnized the marriage of the subject of this review to M. R. Hazlett, of Rochester, N. Y., who at that time was in Michigan as a traveling salesman in the employ of an Eastern carriage firm. After his marriage Mr. Hazlett continued in the carriage business for several years, and later became a resident of the present city of Hudson, this county. When his wife became active in public life he removed to Detroit, Mich., where his death suddenly occurred. One child was born of this marital union-Romeo B., who was born Nov. 18, 186o, and received his primary education in the public schools of his native county, and later for a period of two years was a student at Oberlin College, Ohio. After leaving college he married, and for a number of years was actively engaged in the installation of independent telephone plants throughout the country. He passed away June 18, 1905, and his widow is residing in Philadelphia, Pa. Of late years Mary Adelle Hazlett has discontinued her public activities and now, at the age of seventy-two, she lives virtually retired in a comfortable residence in the immediate vicinity of Addison, enjoying the fruits of a long, enterprising and extremely useful career. Such is a brief glimpse of the life of one of the most re-markable characters in the history of Lenawee county. May her virtues be emulated and her life be a source of inspiration to those who would attain results. Eugene A. Clark, the popular and highly esteemed merchant of Geneva, is another of Lenawee's native sons, who has attained to success and prosperity in the general mercantile business. He first beheld the light of day on the old Clark homestead in the township of Rollin. Nov. 28, 1846, and is a son of Hosmer and Eunice (Pennett) Clark, natives of the great Empire State. Hosmer Clark, born in May, 1812, when this nation was plunging into its second conflict with Great Britain, was reared and educated in his native state, and in 1834, when twenty-two years of age, migrated to Michigan, locat-ing on government land in what is now Rollin township, but which was then a part of the township of Adrian, and there he became numbered among the pioneer settlers of the county. He immediately set about to reclaim his acres to cultivation, and built a cabin and stable of the primitive type, which have long since been replaced by a modern house and farm buildings which now adorn the place. Here, for forty-six consecutive years, he continued to reside, enjoying the respect and high regard of the entire community, and here, in the year 188o, at the ripe age of sixty-eight, he received his summons to the eternal rest. His beloved wife, the mother of Eugene A., passed away in 1854, aged thirty-six years, and the community joined her bereaved husband and children in mourning her extremely untimely death. Six children, four of whom survive, were born to this worthy couple: Mary E., the wife of George Ayers, resides in the state of Colorado, near Denver; Flora married Henry Seeley, and both are now deceased; Eugene A., of this sketch, ranks third in point of age; Harriet, wife of Milton Lamb, passed to the Great Unknown in 1904; Chester is a farmer and merchant at Townley, this county; and William follows agricultural pursuits in St. Clair county, Michigan. The subject of this review passed the days of his boyhood and youth on the parental farmstead in Rollin township, meanwhile availing himself of the educational advantages afforded at the old Stone school-house in that township, and later he attended Raisin Valley Seminary. Subsequently to the passing of his school days, Mr. Clark continued to make his home with his parents until, in the fall of 1867, he attained his legal majority, at which time he removed to Montcalm county, where for one year he was engaged as the teacher of a district school. In the following summer he returned to this county, and during the succeeding two years 11e worked as an ordinary farm hand throughout the summer months, and was occupied as a pedagogue in the winter time. In 1870, soon after his marriage, Mr. Clark returned to Montcalm county and purchased a farm, which he continued to reside upon and operate for a period of eleven years, until 1881, when he disposed of this property and returned to his native county. He immediately purchased a general merchandise store in Geneva, which he occupied for one year, at the expiration of which he erected another store building, which continued to serve as his business headquarters until it, with a large portion of his stock of goods, was entirely consumed by fire, in 1888. Undaunted by this calamity, he built the structure which he now occupies, beautifully situated on the shores of Round Lake. In his business affairs Mr. Clark has always been keen, sagacious and active, and his kindly, courteous demeanor has won him hosts of friends in every walk of life. In commercial circles his value as a citizen and business man is known and fully appreciated, and he enjoys an extensive and lucrative patronage. He carries a complete and up-to-date line of general merchandise, and is recognized throughout his community as one of the trustworthy, substantial business men of the county. Though he has never aspired to a public career, he was for several years the incumbent of the offices of town clerk and school commissioner, the duties of which he dis- charged in a manner entirely satisfactory to all concerned. Nor has he cherished aspirations for fraternal relationships, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to business and domestic af-fairs, though while engaged in agricultural pursuits he was affiliated with the Patrons of Husbandry, in common parlance termed the Grange. On Feb. 24, 1870, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Clark to Miss Mary Seeley, who was born in Adrian township, July 8, 1848, daughter of John and Margaret (Snyder) Seeley, both natives of the Empire State. Mr. and Mrs. Seeley migrated to Michigan about 1840, locating in the township of Adrian on what is now commonly known as the Winnie farm. In 1850 they removed to Rollin township and purchased the farm upon which they continued to reside during the remainder of their days, the mother passing to the life eternal Sept. 20, 1896, and the father, Jan. 6, 1901. They became the parents of four children: Edward, a retired railroad employe, is a resident of Parsons, Labetta county, Kansas; Mary, the beloved wife of the subject of this record, is the second eldest of the children; Angeline died in infancy; and Leonard resides on the old homestead in Rollin township. The happy marital union. of Mr. Clark and wife has been blessed with the birth of six children : Angeline, born June 2, 1871, is the wife of Allen Cole, a prominent farmer of the township of Rollin ; Allie, born Oct. 21, 1873, is the widow of the late lamented Henry Ormsby, and is now making her home with her parents; George, born Nov. 4, 1876, is the husband of Irene Willgus and is also a resident of. Rollin township; John L., born Dec. 18, 1882, unmarried, is a barber in the village of Onsted; Edward, born Sept. 13, 1885, is also a barber by occupation, and is a resident of Augusta, Kalamazoo county; and Frances, born July 6, 1881, resides with her parents. Elbert Lewis Selleck, the popular postmaster and general merchant of. Manitou Beach, this county, is one of Lenawee's native sons, having been born in the township of Adrian, Feb. 7, 1875, a son of C. W. and Phoebe Jane (Kelly) Selleck, the former of whom is also a native of the above township, and the latter of New York state. C. W. Selleck, born March 9, 1843, is a son of Ehenezer Selleck, a native of the Empire State, who migrated to this state in a very early day, settling in the township of Adrian. where he successfully pursued the occupation of farming for many years. Later he removed to the Maple City, where he lived retired for several years. The father of the subject of this review was reared on the old Selleck homestead in Adrian township, his educational advantages being those of the district schools -of that place, and after leaving school he followed agricultural pursuits in various communities of the county. He is now living retired in the city of Adrian, enjoying the fruits of an eventful and enterprising career, the father of three children : Clara Irene, the wife of L. C. Britton, a farmer of the township of Rome, this county; Lottie E., married to J. H. Maynard, also a resident of the above township ; and Elbert Lewis, of this record. The last named acquired his edu-cational training at the Raisin Valley Seminary in this county, in the palmy days of that institution, at Hillsdale College, and at Brown's Business University in the city of Adrian. Upon completing his scholastic training he returned to the parental farmstead, where he continued to reside until 1894, when he accepted a position in the freight department of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Company in the city of Chicago, where he remained one year, returning to Lenawee county in 1895. For a period of five years he was in complete charge of the old Selleck homestead in his native township, and in 1903 he purchased the store and business which he still conducts, at Manitou Beach. He carries a complete line of general merchandise and enjoys an extensive and lucrative patronage, supplying many of the homes in that vicinity with the necessaries and the various luxuries of life. Mr. Selleck is one of the enterprising and loyal citizens of his native county and is held in high regard in the community. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and for several years has been post-master at Manitou Beach, which position of public trust he has occupied to the general satisfaction of all concerned. In a fraternal way he is admirably affiliated, being a member of the Masonic fra-ternity, Finch Lodge, No. 407, of the village of Onsted ; and the Knights of Pythias, Maple City Lodge, No. 39, of Adrian, and Mr. Selleck and wife belong to the Onsted lodge of the Order of the Eastern Star. On Dec. 12, Igoo, was-solemnized his marriage to Miss Eva F. Ayers, who was born in the township of Cambridge, this county, Aug. 15, 1874, a daughter of Andrew and Josephine (Des Ermia) Ayers, the former a native of Franklin township, Lenawee county, and the latter of the township of Cambridge.- Andrew Ayers, born Dec. 13, 1839, a farmer by occupation, and his beloved wife, born June 16. 1844, have always resided in this county, and are now living retired in the village of Onsted, the former having attained the advanced age of seventy and the latter sixtyfive. Eight children were born to them: Etta and Clora, the wives of Charles D. Smith and W. E. Rogers, respectively, reside in Spokane, Wash., where their husbands are engaged in the contract ing and building business; Eva D., the wife of Charles Kerr, re sides in Onsted, where her husband is a local lumber and grain dealer; Eva F. is the wife of the subject of this sketch, and there were four children who expired in infancy. Lorenzo S. Towne, M. D., the prominent and influential physi cian and surgeon of Geneva, is one of Lenawee's native sons who has attained to pronounced success and prestige in the medical profession. He was born in Rollin township, Oct. 3, 1850, a son of George F. and Rosanna (Derbyshire) Towne, the former a na tive of Canada, and the latter of New York state. The father came to Michigan in 1837, when twelve years of age, in company with his parents, the family locating in Rollin township, where the father, Nathan Towne, grandfather of the immediate subject of this. review, and also a physician and surgeon, successfully practiced his profession until his death, 1853. George F. Towne continued to reside with his parents until 1847, when he purchased the farm upon which Lorenzo S., of this sketch, was born, and there the for mer resided continuously up to the time of his demise, in 1860, aged sixty-four years. His wife preceded him in death, in 1857, when but twenty-eight years of age, and her untimely taking away was mourned by the entire community. George F. Towne was a suc-cessful and enterprising follower of agricultural pursuits throughout his entire career and was held in high repute by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He was ever a loyal and public-spirited citizen, and was for years an active and devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he rendered effective service in behalf of the Kingdom of Righteousness. He was the father of two children, both of whom survive: Alphonso, a resident of Arlington, N. J., and a solicitor and publisher by occupation, and Lorenzo S., of this record, the younger of the two. The last named acquired his elementary educational training in the district schools of his native township and remained upon the parental farmstead until he attained the age of twenty years, in 1870, when he removed to the city of Adrian, where he secured employment in the machine shops and continued to reside for some time. Later he put his early educational training to practical use by teaching in various schools of the county, and in 1876, at the age of twenty-five years, he commenced his study for the medical profession, graduating at the Detroit College of Medicine with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in 1879. He immediately launched forth in the practice of his profession in Geneva, where for a number of years he was professionally associated with an uncle, Dr. William B. Towne, but since the death of the latter, in 1903, the subject of this sketch has been successfully practicing by himself. His capabilities as a physician and surgeon are recognized far and wide, his kindly, courteous demeanor has won him friends in every walk of life, and he enjoys an extensive and lucrative practice. In 1891 Dr. Towne erected the handsome and commodious residence, which he now occupies, and in which he maintains a pleasant suite of offices, pleasingly situated on the south shore of Round Lake. He is a member of the board of directors of the Addison State Savings Bank, and is the proprietor of the old Towne homestead in the township of Rollin. In politics he is a loyal advocate of the Democracy, and though a loyal and public-spirited citizen, he has never fostered any aspirations for a public career, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his professional and business affairs. Religiously he clings to the faith of his worthy father, being an active and loyal member of the Methodist Episcopal church. On March 11, 1878, Dr. Towne was happily united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Chatfield, who was born in New York state, Oct. 7, 1852, a daughter of Sinieon and Harriet (Howell) Chatfield, the former a native of England, and the latter of the Empire State. The father immigrated to America with his parents when only one year old, the family settling in New York state, where they resided for several years. In his early manhood Simeon Chatfield learned the mason's trade, which he pursued during most of his career. In an early day he migrated to this state, locating in the township of Rollin, where he resided continuously up to the time of his death, in January, 1886, after which his beloved wife made her home at the residence of her son-in-law, Dr. Towne, until she, too, received her summons to the life eternal, in November, 1904, leaving two children to mourn her loss: Harriet R., who is making her home in the city of Adrian, tesiding at No. 9 Front street; and Mary A., the wife of Dr. Towne. Two children have been born to the subject of this review and wife: Earle A., born April i9, 1882, is a graduate of the Michigan Agricultural College, and is a resident of Lansing, this state, where he is pursuing his occupation of mechanical engineer; and Lawrence C., born Jan. 21, 1884, is a graduate of the medical department of Northwestern University, Chicago, class of I9og, and now resides at the parental home. Archie Thomas Wheeler, for many years a representative farmer of Cambridge township, and now an enterprising and pros.perous blacksmith in'the village of Geneva, in this county, was born on the old Wheeler homestead in the above township, March 27, 1857. (For ancestral data see sketch of Clarence R. Wheeler, on another page of this volume.) Mr. Wheeler's educational advantages were those afforded in the public schools of the village of Springville, this county, and the city of Adrian. Upon the passing of his school days he continued to work on his father's farm until he attained to his twenty-sixth year, in the meantime learning the blacksmith's trade and passing three seasons as a sailor on the Great Lakes. Later he worked at the above trade for several years and then purchased a portion of the old homestead in Adrian township, where he successfully engaged in the farming industry for upwards of twenty years. He then disposed of this property and purchased the blacksmith shop, which he still conducts, carrying on a general repairing and horse-shoeing business, in Geneva. He is also the owner of a comfortable residence, pleasingly situated on an acre of fertile land on the western shore of Round Lake. He is also financially interested in a Canadian mining company. Mr. Wheeler has attained to success and prestige in his various undertakings, having been indefatigable in his efforts and having brought to bear good business judgment in his diversified operations. In politics he acts independently of any political organization and has never aspired to a public career. Neither has he aspired to fraternal affiliations, preferring to devote his entire time-and attention to his own business and domestic affairs. On March 27, 1904, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Grace Upton, a native of Rome township, this county, and a daughter of Charles and Hattie (Maxon) Upton, the former a native of this county, having been born in Rome township, in 1848, and the latter is a native of the old Empire State, born in October, 1849. The parents both survive and are residents of the township of Rome, where they have passed the greater portion of their days. Seven children have been born to them: Paulina, now the wife of Andrew Merx, a farmer of Rome township; Olive married George Bell, who is also engaged in farming in the same township; Grace, the wife of the subject of this review; Hattie, who is unmarried and resides on the parental farmstead; Asis, the wife of Harley Kerr, who operates a farm in the township of Dover; Harry, who makes his home with his parents; and Bessie, who died in infancy. To the happy marital union of Mr. Wheeler and wife have been born three children: Hazel, born in April, 19o5, died when two years old; Allen, born July 10, 1907; and Stella, who was born May 6, 1909.

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History of Lenawee County
published by The Western Historical Society in 1909. Book 1
Book 2

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