History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 50



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
Edwin H. Cogswell, who is now living virtually retired in the city of Hudson, was long numbered among the representative business men of the county and through his varied operations he accumulated a competency-a just reward for years of earnest toil and endeavor. He is a citizen who has ever commanded the. unqualified confidence and esteem of the community and is a member of a family which settled in Michigan in the pioneer epoch of the state's history. - Mr. Cogswell was born in Alleghany county, New York, Oct. 7, 1834, and is a son of Seth H. and Nancy (Bosworth) Cogswell, both of whom were born in the vicinity of Palmyra, N. Y. The father was reared on a small farm in the old Empire state, and after attaining to his legal majority he married and initiated his independent career. . He then entered upon an apprenticeship at the trade of blacksmith, to which he continued to give his attention in his native state until 1844, when he came with his family to Michigan and located near Grass Lake, in Eaton county, where he engaged in farming, though his principal line of operations was in the buying and selling of land. In 1851 he came with his family to Hudson, which was then a small village, and here he continued' successfully in the business of handling real estate for a number of years. He died near Lansing in 1899, at a venerable age, and his wife died in 1885. They became the parents of four sons and one daughter, all of whom are living except one of the sons. The parents were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the father gave his support to the cause of the Republican party from the time of its organization until his death. He was a man of integrity and marked business acumen, and he was one of the honored pioneer citizens of Hudson at the time he was called from the scene of life's activities. Edwin H. Cogswell, the immediate subject of this review, was a lad of ten years at the time of the family removal from New York to Michigan, and for a time he was a pupil in the-pioneer district schools of Eaton county. After the family removal to Hudson he continued his studies in the public schools of this village, and he was also afforded the advantages of a local private school. At the age of twenty years he left school and initiated his independent career by engaging in the lumber business. He went to Lowell, this state, where he became associated in the erection and operation of a saw mill, and there he continued his residence for a period of six years, at the expiration of which he returned to Hudson, where in the ensuing years he followed such lines of enterprise as proved expedient and remunerative. For a number of years he did a successful business as a contractor and builder, in which connection he erected many houses in the village and vicinity, besides other buildings. He also handled lumber and was a buyer and shipper of live stock and various farm products, especially apples. He recalls with humorous satisfaction his first speculative enterprise, made when he was a young man. He purchased fourteen barrels of eggs and handled the same with such consummate discrimination that upon disposing of the product he realized a profit of fourteen cents, without taking account of his time and labor. He has lived retired for several years, and finds his "lines to be cast in pleasant places," since he is surrounded by a host of tried and true friends and is living amidst the associations which many years have endeared to him. He has never entered the arena of "practical politics, but has ever been a stalwart supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party, in whose cause he has rendered effective aid, though never a seeker of preferment for himself. He served two years as a member of the board of aldermen of Hudson, but this was essentially a case where the office sought the man and not the man the office. He and his wife are among the oldest and most zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church in their home city, and their home is a center of gracious hospitality. Mrs. Cogswell has long been prominent in church work and in the best social life of the community. She holds membership in the Twentieth Century Club and the Friday Club, and her circle of friends is circumscribed only by that of her acquaintances. On May 1S, 1862, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Cogswell to Miss Adelia S. Miller, daughter of Isaiah C. and Deborah F. (Pratt) Miller, who were numbered among the honored pioneers of Lenawee county, whither they came from the state of New York. They settled in Rollin township, where Mr. Miller reclaimed a farm and became one of the representative agriculturists of the county. He was born in 18io and died Aug. 7, 1893. His wife was born in 1815, and died Nov. 3, 1899. Of their seven children, six attained to years of maturity, and of the number four are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Cogswell became the parents of one daughter, Josephine, who became the wife of Amos Hollinger, and who died in Columbia, Penn., March 7, 1903. Miner Thomas Cole is now living retired at his pleasant home in Palmyra township after a well-spent and useful life, no small part of which. was his more than four years' service in behalf of the nation during the great internecine struggle of 1861-65. ' He was born at Spencer, Lucas county, Ohio, July 3, 1839, the son of Aaron Hazen and Lydia Bloomer (Rappleye) Cole. Both parents were born in Seneca county, New York, the father on Feb. 26, 1813, and the mother on Feb. 18, 1817, and they were married in New York on March 21, 1835, Shortly afterward they came west to what is now Lucas county, Ohio, where the father took up 24o acres of government land. He had been ordained a local minister of the Baptist church, and served as such throughout the period of his residence in Ohio. Lucas county constituted a portion of that strip of territory which involved Michigan and Ohio in what is locally known as the Toledo war, a boundary dispute; which was finally settled by giving to Ohio the strip of territory claimed by Michigan, and for several years tinder the jurisdiction of the then territory, the upper peninsula being traded for that disputed strip . The father continued farming operations until 1864, in the meantime inventing what is known as the Cole wedge trace buckle. In the above named year he removed to Adrian to engage in the manufacture of that buckle, and death thus engaged when he was summoned by the angel of death on Oct. 27, 1867. His widow passed away on Oct. 8, 1889, while visiting a son at Dallas, Tex. Seven children were born. to the parents: Harriet Calista, born Dec. 20, 1835, died March 4, 1868; William Rappleye, born Sept- .:25 1837, is engaged in fruit-raising near Dallas, Tex. ; Miner Thomas is the subject of this sketch; Adoniram Judson, born at Spencer, Ohio, Oct. 11, 1843, died at West Barre, Ohio, Jan. 21, 1861; Frank Marion, born Dec. 25, 1851, at Maumee City, Ohio, is a farmer at Chester, Va. ; Ralph Tunis, born Dec. 25, 185'3, at Maumee City, Ohio, now a resident of Brighton, ColĄ where he is in the mercantile business; and George Ide, born April 14, 1857, at Grand Blanc, Mich., is now a bookkeeper in the Troy Laundry at Los Angeles, Cal. Miner Thomas Cole, to whom this review is dedicated, received his educational training in the schools of Spencer and Maumee, Ohio, and later took a course of study at Kalamazoo College. Until he was sixteen years of age he remained on his father's farm, and then for two years worked as a farm-hand in Grand Blanc, Genesee county, Michigan. With an older brother he then leased the father's farm and 'was engaged in operating it at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. On Aug. 26, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company F, Fourteenth Ohio infantry, for a three-years term. Col. James B. Steedman commanded the regiment and Capt. John A. Chase the company. With his regiment Mr. Cole participated in many of the hardest fought contests of the war, including Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Jonesboro, the advance upon Atlanta, and Sherman's march to the sea. Of the 449 men and officers of the regiment who participated in the battle of Chickamauga, 233 were killed, wounded or missing; at Missionary Ridge it charged and captured a Confederate battery of three guns which General Hardee was commanding in person, losing sixteen killed, ninety-one wounded and three missing. In the charge at Jonesboro the Fourteenth took nearly as many prisoners as the regiment numbered men, a battery of four guns, several stands of colors and two lines of trenches full of Confederates; and it was on the streets of Atlanta when the city was burned some days after its capture. On the arrival of the regiment at Goldsboro, N, C., after marching with Sherman, Mr. Cole found a commission awaiting him as first lieutenant of the Twenty-second United States colored infantry, which was later sent after J. Wilkes Booth, the slayer of President Lincoln, and subsequently participated in the obsequies of the martyred president and also in the Grand Review at Washington. Later Mr. Cole was in command of the colored troops at Brownsville, Tex., and in November, 1865, was honorably discharged from the service. He returned to Adrian and engaged with his father in the manufacture of the ,vedge buckle. Two years later he purchased thirty-seven acres of land, part of his present farm, and has gradually added to it until today he is the owner of 165 acres. While he was actively engaged in agriculture he made a specialty of dairying. Some years ago he determined to retire from active participation in the affairs of daily life to enjoy a well earned respite, and since that time he has rented his property, although he still lives on the place. In the platter of politics Mr. Cole has given unswerving allegiance to the risen and measures of the' Republican party, and has been the recipient of numerous official honors at the. hands of the constituents of that organization. He has held all the different local offices and served his district two terms as 'a representative in the state legislature. On May 30, 1867, was celebrated Mr. Cole's marriage to Miss Mary Jane Taylor, born in Spencer.. Ohio, Sept. 14, 1842, the daughter of William and Mary (Corson) Taylor. Both Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were born in Lvcoming county, Pennsylvania, and came to Ohio in 1835. The former engaged in farming and mill work and at one time served as county commissioner. He remained at Spencer until a few years before his death, and then disposing of his sawmill interests moved to Toledo, where he. became president of the narrow-gauge railway between Toledo and Waterville, Ohio. Mrs. Taylor died on Dec. 29, 1882, and her husband survived her but a short time, his demise occurring on Nov. 18, 1884. Four children were the issue of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Cole: Harriet Calista, the eldest, born Sept. 1g, 1868, was united in marriage on Nov. 29, 1893, to Herbert R. Clark, a lawyer at Adrian and the local attorney for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad; Harley Linn, born March 20, 1874, is now employed by a large concern boring for oil at Old Castle, Ontario, Canada; Florence Marion, born Jan. 25, 1876, has followed the calling of school teacher at Adrian, Reed City, Houghton and Escanaba, but at present is living with her parents; Mary Taylor, born Aug. 31, 1877, became the wife of Dr. G. B. M. Seager. Mr. Cole's greatgrandfather, Elisha Cole, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and his paternal grandfather, Daniel Cole, served in the United States army in the war of 1812. All his daughters are members of the Daughters of the Revolution. Hon. John H. Combs, the genial sales manager of the Anthony Fence Company and president of the village of Tecumseh, was born in Rome township, Lenawee county, Michigan, on Dec. 22, 1'861. His father; Dr. Henry P. Combs, was born in Onondaga county, New York, on June 1g, .1820, the son of John and Maria S. (Platt) Combs. John Combs was a native of New Hampshire but removed to New York when a young man and there in 1816 married Miss Maria S. Platt, a daughter of one of the pioneers of Onondaga county, Henry S. Platt. He died there at the age of thirty-four years and his widow afterwards married Joseph Rhoads and came to Michigan in 1838 where she passed away at the age of sixty-two years. Dr. Combs lived with his mother until he was eighteen years of age and attended the district schools of his day. About 184o he began the study of medicine and after his graduation from the Ohio Medical College in Cleveland in 1845 he started his practice in Rome township. He was very popular and his success dated from the day when he first opened his office. In 1865 he retired from active practice and devoted himself to public affairs, taking a great interest in all that concerned the political, religious and educational development of the county. In his earlier life he was a Whig, but after the birth of the Republican party he was allied with that organization. In 1857 he was chosen to represent his district in the Michigan legislature, and in 1863 was again accorded the honor. He also served as school inspector and township clerk for a number of terms and was county superintendent of the poor for thirteen years. In the fall of 18S7 Dr. Combs was united in marriage to Miss Lucy A. Sharer, a native of Clyde, Wayne county, New York, where she was born on March 30, 1834_ David Sharer, the father of Mrs. Combs, was born in Maryland in 1807 and brought his family to Michigan when Mrs. Combs was but three years old. He was the chief contractor and the builder of the old plank road from Adrian to Hillsdale. Dr. Combs died on Jan. 1, 1895, and his widow passed away on Dec. 2, 1898, in the house which had been her home for fifty-seven years. They had, two children, the subject of this sketch and a daughter, Alice E., born in 1872, and who died in infancy. Hon. John H. Combs attended the district schools. of Rome township until he was seventeen years of age, and then spent the years 1877 and 1878 at Adrian College. In 1881 he was graduated at Goldsmith's Business College of Detroit, and then returned to the farm. For five years he served as school inspector, township clerk five years, and as supervisor four years, his election each time being as the candidate of the Republican party. In the fall of I9o0 he was the candidate of his party for member of the legislature and after the votes were counted it was found that he had triumphed over his Democratic opponent, AV. H. Hayden, of Tecumseh, by 107 votes. The campaign was hard fought throughout`, and his election was a personal .triumph. In 19o2 he was again elected to the same office, his majority over his chief opponent, Don H. C. Bowen, of Tecumseh, being 224. While a member of the legislature he served as chairman of the committee on education and was a member of the committees on the college of mines and on apportionment. He is a convincing, earnest speaker and his talks have done much to bring about the success of the party at the polls. Mr. Combs is now the incumbent of fhe office of president of the village of Tecumseh, and in a business way is highly esteemed as sales manager and a director of the Anthony fence Company. On June 11, 1884, Mr. Combs was united in marriage to Miss Nellie E. Williams, a daughter of John D. and, Mary J. (Downer) Williams, of Detroit, Mich. They have one daughter, Alice Elizabeth.

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

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