History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 51

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Zacharias Cook, one of the oldest residents of Lenawee county, and a retired farmer of means, was born at Verona, Oneida county, New York, March 26, 1824. He is a son of Benjamin Cook, born in the Empire state on March 3, 1789, who served in the American army during the char of 1812, and his grandfather, John Cook, was a soldier tinder Washington in the Revolution. Zacharias Cook 'obtained the educational advantages afforded by the public schools of his boyhood days and while still a young man moved to Michigan, locating in Lenawee county. He has devoted himself exclu-sively all during his active career to agricultural pursuits, has managed by patience and industry to accumulate a considerable fortune, and owns a large farm in Raisin township upon which he now resides retired after a well spent and busy career. Some years ago, in company with his father-in-law, he made an extensive tour of the West, traveling most of the way on foot to California and visiting all places of interest. Believing that the suppression of the liquor traffic is the dominant issue before the American people today, Mr. Cook has devoted his energies and influence to bringing about the success of the Prohibition party at the polls. Naturally of a deeply religious nature, he gives his best efforts to the material and spiritual welfare of the Baptist church, of which he is a mem ber. Mr. Cook has been twice married. On March 26, 1845, he was united in marriage to Miss Susan II. Knight, who died in 1850, leaving him one son, James, who served as captain's clerk in a Michigan regiment during the Civil war and consequently saw no active fighting. By his second wife he became the father of Kath- Brine. Mr. Cook is now the great-grandfather of six children. Although well advanced in years he has retained to a wonderful degree all his mental and physical faculties. His life throughout has been most exemplary and is well worthy the emulation of younger men. Edwin A. Coon, former proprietor of the Blissfield Hotel, one of the most modern hostelries in the state, was born at Butler, Branch county, Michigan, Aug. 5, 1860, the son of James A. and Nancy A. (Waterman) Coon. Both parents were natives of Orleans county, New York, and located in Branch county in an early day, where the father purchased a farm of 28o acres, mostly unimproved land. He remained there until 1878, and in that year went to" Litchfield, Hills.dale county; where he embarked in the mercantile business. For five years he continued his residence there, then, his health becoming impaired, he removed to Rockwood, Tenn., in an effort to benefit his condition, and there on Jan. 11, 1885, passed away. His wife died in Litchfield in 1883. Seven children were born to the parents, namely : Mary (Coon) Tulip, living in Jackson, Mich.; Myron, who died in Butter at the age of two years; Charles, who died in Butler in his sixteenth year; Churchill, who died in Butler at the age of fourteen; Cathburt B., now managing a ranch in Montana; and Lydia A. (Coon) Pinkley, whose husband is a ranch owner in Montana. Edwin A. Coon took advantage of the educational- opportunities afforded by the district schools of Butler, and when still a youth went to Nebraska. There for eight months he was employed in various lines and then purchased from one of the railroad companies, 16o acres of land, which he held for a year and then disposed of it at a large profit. Upon his return to Michigan he was engaged with his father in Litchfield for some time, after which he was for two years turnkey in the county jail by appointment of the sheriff of Hillsdale county. It was about this time that the father's health became affected and Mr. Coon traveled South with him, remaining as a faithful attendant until_ the parent's death in 1885. He then returned to Litchfield and was variously employed for about a year, -and during the two years immediately following managed the homestead farm. Mr. Coon for five years thereafter was one of the trusted employes of the Kimbark Buggy Company of Quincy, Branch county, and severed that connection to accept a position in the lumber mill of King & Chase. In 1896 he came to Blissfield and engaged in the hotel business, which he successfully followed until February, Igog, when he sold out and took a lease on the North Shore Hotel at Sand Lake, Mich. Fraternally Mr. Coon is identified with the Adrian lodges of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In his political views he is a staunch Democrat, but has never sought public preferment for himself. On Jan, 31, 1885, at Quincy, Mich., was celebrated Mr. Coon's marriage to Miss Ada Standish, born in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, Nov. 14, x867, the daughter of Alfred and Millie (Hedge) Standish, natives of New York. Mrs. Standish, who was born in 1834. is still living, but her husband died in Quincy on Aug. 7, 1878. For two years before her marriage, Mrs. Coon was engaged in pedagogic work in the district schools. To Mr. and Mrs. Coon was born on April 30, 1890, a daughter, Mildred A. by name, who completed her high school course in June, igog. Clark W. Corbett, one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Palmyra township, was born in that township an Sept. 8, 1873. He is the son of Chester J. and Almena (Bird) Corbett, the former born in Illinois, Jan. 16, 1833, and the latter a native of Palmyra township. They were married on April 16, 1861.

The paternal grandfather, Clark E. Corbett, was one of the early pioneers of Lenawee county and Palmyra township, where he entered government land and continued to, reside on the farm he made until his death. The father worked two different farms early in his career and in 1848 removed to the farm where the subject of .this review now makes his home. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company C, Eighteenth Michigan infantry, and served throughout the Civil war. His death occurred on May 9, 1883, and his widow, who continued to reside on the farm until 1903, now makes her home in Palmyra village with a sister. Clark W. Corbett is the only child of his parents. His educational advantages were limited to the district schools of Palmyra -township, and when he had finished his studies he began his career as a farmer in the employ of his father. He remained on the home farm after the latter's death,.working for the lessee until he was twenty-five years of age. Then he assumed the entire management and conduct of the property, which comprises fifty-six acres of fine arable land, and has since devoted his entire attention to bringing it to the highest point of efficiency. He has made many valuable improvements and additions to the farm, and by the application of scientific and modern methods of agriculture has brought the land to the best state of cultivation. In the matter of politics Mr. Corbett is aligned with the Republican party, but has never sought public preferment for himself. His religious belief finds expression in attendance upon the services of the Methodist Episcopal church, to the material advancement of which he contributes liberally. On Sept. 1g, 1900, Mr.. Corbett married Miss Elva White, born in Ogden township, Aug. 20, 1877, the daughter of Francis M. and Philenda A. (Conklin) White. Her father was the scion of a family descended from Mayflower immigrants, and was born in New York, June 21, 1843. ' During the Civil war he served as a private in Company F, Sixty-seventh Ohio infantry, and his fatherin-law, Martin Conklin, was also a soldier in that struggle in the ioo days' service. His death occurred June 30, 19o6, and his widow, who is a native of Ohio, still makes her home on the old farm in Ogden township. Mr. and Mrs. White had six children: Orville M., born May 21, 1869, died March 6, 1896; Clayton, born Aug. 14, 1872, is a bookkeeper for the'-rational Supply Company in Toledo, Ohio; Edith, born Oct: 11, 1874, is the wife of Frank l+forey, a resident of Adrian and a fireman on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railway; Elva is the wife of Mr. Corbett; Ivon. born Jan. 25, 188o, is a farmer residing in Ogden township, and Ella, born Sept. 29, 1885, lives With her mother. The issue of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Corbett has been two children, namely: Leland F., born March 16, 1902, and Chester L., born May 10, 1905. William F. Cowan, one of'the substantial citizens of Blissfield, was born in the state of New York on Feb. 23, 1852, the son of John and Mary (Strong) Cowan. The father was born in Ireland in 1818 and died in November, 1893, and the mother was born in New York state in 1822 and died in December, 1907. The father was a- tanner and leather finisher by vocation and came to this country with his mother in 1828, locating in New York. There he remained until 1859, and then purchased a farm in Pennsylvania which he conducted for two, years. From 1861 to 1865 he was engaged in his vocation in the Empire state, leaving there to come to Washtenaw county, Michigan, where he owned and managed a farm for three years. In the fall, of 1868 he again returned to New York and worked at his trade until 1872, going then to Maryland to engage in agricultural pursuits. In 1878 he disposed of his interests there and went to live with a son in Pennsylvania, where his death occurred. Nine children were horn to the parents George lives in Buffalo, N. Y.; Louise (Cowan) Frain is a teacher in the schools of Honolulu; Sophia (Cowan) Lamb, now Mrs. Saddlemeyer, lives in Oakland, Cal.; John F. Cowan is a minister of the Methodist Protestant church in Honolulu, and his family lives in Boston, Mass.; Charles Cowan was a resident of Galveston, Tex., at the time of the flood and has not been heard of since; Horace Cowan is a minister in the Methodist Protestant church in Montana; Carrie (Cowan) Knight lives in South Dakota; and Harry Cowan is superintendent of the Heinz Pickle Company's Michigan branch. William F. Cowan. received his preliminary educational advantages in the schools of the Empire state and graduated at the high school in Cuba, Allegany county, in the class of 1870. The first three years after his graduation he was employed in a cheese factory in his native state and then came to Michigan, securing employment in the hotel at Deerfield in which he remained for seven years. He leased the hostelry at the end of that period and for seven years conducted a modern, well equipped hotel. Dur-' ing the four years immediately following he was engaged in agricultural pursuits on a farm which he had purchased in Deerfield township, removing thence to Blissfield to operate on a lease the hotel known as the Pennsylvania House. Three years later he returned to his farm-in Deerfield township, but two years afterward returned to Blissfield and purchased the Pennsylvania House, which he successfully conducted for eight years. At the end of that time he sold it to E. A. Coon and purchased a farm in Deerfield township and a home in the village, where he now resides, the income from the farms in Deerfield township bringing him a lucra-tive income on which he lives. Politically Mr. Cowan is aligned with the Democratic party, and fraternally is prominently connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On May 10, 1876, Mr. Cowan was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Doyle, born in Liverpool, England, Jan. 27, 185o, a daughter of David and Jane (Talbott) Doyle. Mrs. Doyle was born in the County Tipperary, Ireland, April 22, 1814, and died in Blissfield in 1896. After the death of Mr. Doyle she was married to Thomas Blacker, who died in Deerfield in 1885, and who for forty years prior to his death was a prominent agriculturist of Ridgeway township. To Mr. and Mrs. Cowan was born in January, 1881, a daughter, Loana, now a teacher in the Tecumseh schools. William B. Cox, a native pioneer of Lenawsee county, is now living a retired life after a busy and useful career as an agriculturist, He was born in Ridgeway township on July 20, 1844, and is the son of John and Jane (Thompson) Cox, both of whom were natives of Bucks county, Pennsylvania. The former was reared in Pennsylvania and resided there until he was thirty-two years of age, when he decided to remove to Lenawee county, Michigan, where he purchased a tract of government land, in section 24, Ridgeway township, on which he erected a log cabin and began developing a home. His trip, from Pennsylvania to this county required several weeks, as he came overland with teams, and in that day they traveled many miles on a trail through the forests with scarcely anything to guide them except blazed trees.

They continued to reside on the original homestead, developing it into a fine farm, and were in the midst of prosperity when his wife was called to her reward, her death occurring on Nov. 29, 1844, when William, the subject of this sketch, was about four months old. The father survived her until in September, 1871, when he passed away. Some years after his arrival he sold the original tract of land at a goodly advance, then purchased sixty acres of wild government land and resided on this, and it was on this last named tract that he was living at the time of his death. He was a soldier iri the army formed to put down the Indian uprising in Tllinois and Wisconsin which was known as the "Black Hawk" war. He was the father of nine children, viz: John, deceased; Eliza, deceased; Lewis, deceased; Sarah, who is now living in Tecumseh; Mary, deceased; Charles, residing in Ridgeway township; Theodore H., residing in Clinton county, Michigan; Thomas J., deceased, who was a veteran of the Civil war; and William B., the subject of this sketch. William B. Cox received his educational training in the district schools of Ridgeway and Raisin townships. After completing his education, the best that the schools of that early day could give, he engaged in agricultural pursuits and continued farming until about ten years ago, when he disposed of his loo-acre farm, which he had so successfully managed; and retired from active work. Since that time he has traveled extensively, visiting practically all of the interesting points in the country, and when at home be resides in a fine residence in the village of Holloway. On March 20, 1865, he enlisted as a private in Company F, Twentyfourth Michigan infantry, but the cessation of hostilities soon after his enlistment, prevented him from seeing much active service. Fraternally Mr. Cox is allied with the Tecumseh Lodge of the Masonic order, and politically he is prominently identified with the Republican party, but has never aspired to office. He has been twice married. The first marriage was in 1870 to Miss Frances Kelly, who died in 1895, and in May, 1896, occurred Mr. Cox's marriage to Miss Laura E. Braman, the daughter of Samuel S. and Polly (Raymond) Braman, both of whom were natives of New York, and who came to Michigan in an early day, locating in Raisin township, where they were married in 1840. Soon after their marriage they removed to Ionia county, Michigan, and there on Aug. 2, 1858, their daughter, Laura E., was born. When she was about nine years of age she accompanied her parents to Iowa, where her mother died and is buried in Black Hawk county of that state. Samuel S. Braman died on Jan. 4, 1896, at Mancelona, \MIich., and was buried there. He and his wife had six children, viz : Ransom, who served in the Civil war; Elizabeth; Mary A.; Charles F., deceased; Charles H., and Laura E. Neither of, Mr. Cox's marriages were blessed with children. As stated, he and his wife reside in their beautiful home in the village of Holloway, surrounded by all modern comforts, and as he secured a competency during the active years of his life they now take advantage of every opportunity to travel, and enjoy the pleasures incident thereto in various parts of the United States, but when they grow weary of sightseeing their minds turn back to the scenes of their childhood, for it matters not where they go or how grand the scenery may be, there is no place so dear' to then as their Michigan home.

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

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