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



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
the spoils." In 1888 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress, and he made the most vigorous campaign ever witnessed in the district, but notwithstanding the fact that he received more votes than had ever before been cast for a candidate for Congressional honors by either party in the district, the opposition vote was also largely increased and he was defeated by Captain Allen, of Ypsilanti. In 1898 Mr. Stearns made an unsuccessful race for the office of circuit judge, and the following spring he was elected mayor of the city of Adrian. So successful and satisfactory was his administration of municipal affairs that he was re-elected in 1poo, and as a candidate for a third term, in 1901, he was defeated by only eighty three votes, notwithstanding the fact that the normal Republican majority in the city was about 300. His interest in political and other affairs of a public nature induced him to enter the field of journalism, and in 1878 he purchased and assumed control of the Adrian Press. Almost immediately he took high rank as an editorial writer, and for more than a quarter of a, century he conducted one of the most vigorous Democratic papers in the state of Michigan, his editorial utterances being widely copied and commented upon. Fearless in the expression of his views and thoroughly posted upon the issues under consideration, he hewed to the line of his honest convictions and gave but little attention to the direction in which the chips flew. Admired by his friends and respected by his foes in political contests, in the other affairs of life the verdict as to his honor, integrity and usefulness as a citizen was unanimous. He continued to publish The Press until April I, 1905, when he sold the plant and good will; and thereafter devoted his attention to the practice of law. He died in the closing days of December, 19o8, deeply mourned by a circle of friends that extended far beyond the confines of Lenawee county. Aside from his public career he gave considerable attention to fraternal matters, as is evidenced by the fact that he served as master of Greenly Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; noble grand of Adrian Lodge, No. 8, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; commander of Woodbury Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and as chancellor commander of Maple City Lodge, No. 39, Knights of Pythias. On May 5, 1868, Mr. Stearns was married to Martha E. Porter, in Batavia, Mich., and to them were born four children: Harry P., Frances L., Virginia and Jennie. Samuel Ackley, who has been a resident of Lenawee county since 1886, was born in the state of New York, Jan. 3, 1831, the son of Jonathan M. and Rhoda A. (Reynolds) Ackley. The parents removed to Medina county, Ohio, in 1840, and lived on a farm which the father had purchased until 1856, when they came to Michigan and located on an unimproved farm in Blissfield township. This remained their home during the balance of their lives, the father's death occurring in September, 1881, and the mother's on Feb. 14, 1891. Seven children were born to the parents : Joseph died May 11, 1904; Susan (Ackley) Young now lives in Deerfield township; Conrad died Oct. 28, 1907; Gilbert lives in Deerfield village, and Charles and Jonathan live in Adrian. Samuel Ackley received his elementary education in the schools of the Empire state and finished his scholastic training with a course in the district schools of Medina county, Ohio. For about a year immediately thereafter he assisted his father in the conduct of the farm and then removed to New York, where he continued his residence for a period of five years. At the end of that

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

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