History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 80



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
Fred C. Schneider, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser residing near Adrian, was born in the Maple City, Aug. 8, 1867. His parents were both natives of Germany, where the father, J. L. Schneider, was born May 20, 1826, and the mother, Katharine (Handacker) Schneider, was born AL%g. 3, 1828. The elder Schneider was a brick mason, but later became a farmer. This couple came to America in 1851 and located first in Monroe, Mich., where they stopped for a short time, and then came to Adrian. The first work that engaged the father here was with a construction train on the railroad, and after that his trade of mason was followed, and about twenty years later a farm was purchased near Adrian and this was the family home till his death, Jan. 25, 1905, his wife having died in 1898. Their principal occupation on the farm was in the dairy and they engaged quite extensively in milk selling. They were devout members of the Lutheran church in Adrian. In politics, the father was a Democrat, but never held any public office. Seven ' children were born to : them, namely: Carrie, deceased; George, who resides on the old homestead; John, who resides in Adrian and is fireman at the Industrial Hon-ie ; Fred C., subject of this review; Louise, wife of William Weise, of Palmyra township; Charles, who makes his home in Oklahoma; and Anna. Mr. Schneider, our subject, was educated at the English and German schools of Adrian and resided at home till the time of his marriage, when he engaged in the milk business-an occupation that had engrossed his time previous to his marriage. The father's interest was purchased and for thirteen years this was our subject's principal occupation, and at the end of that period he sold out and purchased the farm of eighty acres where he now resides. His farm is operated in a general way and,he makes a specialty of the dairy. From fifteen to twenty milch cows, of the Holstein and Jersey breeds, are kept by him, his preference being for the former, as the better for all purposes. The farm is well stocked with other cattle and also with horses, of which our subject has eight. In politics he is a Democrat, but in all matters of a local nature he is independent. In April, 1891, was celebrated his union to Miss Anna Minholin, who was born in Sweden, June 13, 1868. She is the daughter of Charles and Anna Minholin, natives of Sweden, where the father was born in 183 and the mother in 1831. The father was foreman in the steel mill of a ship yard in Motalla, and is living in his fatherland, his wife having passed away in January, 1909. To this couple of far-off Sweden, four children were born, as follows: Emeline, who is married-and resides in the land of her fathers; Anna, wife of our subject; August, who resides in Jackson, Mich., and is a blacksmith; and Hilma, wife of Emil Martinson, a stone-cutter, residing in Detroit. To Mr. and Mrs. SLhneider four children have been born. namely : Harold, born Feb. 12, 1893; Gladys, May 7, 1896; Welcome, Dec. 5, 19o4; and Lucile, Feb. 15, 19o8, all residing with their parents. Mr. Schneider is a member of the Maccabees and the Foresters. His intention is to spend his days on this farm near Adrian.George A. Kies.-No family in Lena-wee county is held in higher regard or is better known than that of which the subject of this sketch is a representative in the third generation. and when it is stated that his paternal grandfather was the founder of the village of Clinton, which was named by him, it becomes evident that the family name has been identified with the annals of the county from the pioneer days-in fact, it has been linked with the civic and industrial history of this favored section of.the state for eighty years. It has stood for the highest type of citizenship as one generation has followed another onto the stage of life's activities; and those who have borne it have contributed in a large measure to the development and upbuilding of what is now an opulent and populous county. George A. Kies, who is now Living virtually retired in Clinton, was born in this village, Jan. 8, 1851. and is a son of Joseph S. and Frances E. (Parks) Kies, the former of whom was born in Cayuga count),, New York, Jan. 13, 1820, and the latter in Meadville, Pa., Oct. 19, 1823. Joseph S. Kies was a son of Alpheus and Elizabeth (Lazell) Kies, the former 'of whorl was born in Woodstock, 1Vindham county, Connecticut, April 18, 1788, and the latter in Ashfield, N. H., Oct. I6, 179o. Both families were founded in America in the early Colonial era and the respective names were prominent in the annals of New England, where was cradled so much of our national history. Joseph P. Kies, father of Alpheus, was a valiant soldier in the War of 1812, in which two of his brothers also participated. One of the brothers served under I-lull at Detroit and was killed in an engagement prior to the surrender of that city by its over-timid commander. The other brother succumbed to an attack of smallpox while still a soldier in the War of 1812. In the possession of the subject of this review, and prized as a family heirloom, is a fine powder-horn which was carried by one of these two brothers. Alpheus Kies removed from his native state to New York state, where he remained until 1829, when 'fie came to Michigan, which Territory was then considered in the East as being on the very frontier of civilization. Within the same year he made a trip of investigation through Lenawee county, and he was sufficiently impressed with this section of the state, which was then but sparsely settled, that he determined to make a permanent location here. He secured from the government a tract of 24o acres of land, in iyhat is now Clinton township, and both the village and the township were named by him, in honor of DeWitt Clinton, one of the early governors of the state of New York. On the land which he thus acquired is located the greater part' of the present thriving and attractive village of Clinton. and he was the founder of the village, where his was the first house to be erected-a log structure of the type common to the early pioneer days. In order to encourage settlement in and the upbuilding of the embryonic village he donated an acre of land each to a blacksmith and a carpenter, for the industries thus represented then formed the principal nucleus of business in the various forest hamlets of Southern Michigan. Alpheus Kies was a,man of strong mentality, marked individuality and much initiative power, so that he nat-urally became a leader in the pioneer community, and he contributed in large and unselfish measure to the development of this section along civic, industrial and 'economic lines. He reclaimed to cultivation a large part of his land and continued to be actively identified with the management of his farming and other interests until his death, which occurred Oct. 6. 1864. His wife passed away Dec. 20, x877, and the names of both have an enduring place on the roster of the honored pioneers who aided in laying deep and fast the foundations upon which has been reared the superstructure of a great county. The maternal great-grandparents of George A. Kies were likewise pioneers.of this county. They were John and Desire (Galuslia) Parks, the former of whom was born at Salisbury, Conn., Dec. 28, 1769, and the latter in the same place, in 17722- They cane to Lenawee county in 1834, about three years before the admission of Michigan to the Union, and settled ill Bridgewater township, Washtenaw county, where Mr. Parks followed agricultural pursuits until his. death, which occurred in 1850. His wife passed the closing days of her life at WW'heaton, Ill., where she died in 1853. The maternal grandparents of the subject of this review were James and Lucretia (Kirby) Parks, the former born at Salisbury, Conn., April 20, 1792, and the latter at Middleton, that state, Aug. 12, 1795. They were married Oct. 31, 1815, and in the late '20's or early '30's they came to Michigan and located in Detroit, where they remained until 1833, when they came to Lenawee county and took up their abode in the village of Clinton, where they conducted a hotel for many years. Their little "tavern," as such places were then commonly designated, was one of the popular places of entertainment in this section in the pioneer days and they were folk of that genial character and sterling integrity that ever begets popular confidence and esteem. Mr. Parks was for a number of years a member of the state militia. His widow long survived him, and at the ,time of her death, Nov. 9, 1884, she was eighty-nine years of age. Joseph S. Kies was a lad of nine years at the time of the family removal from the state of New York to Lenawee county, and here he was reared to manhood, in the meanwhile having duly availed himself of the advantages ,of the pioneer schools which were principally conducted on the old-time subscription plan. He became one of the most prominent and influential citizens of the county. He was for many years engaged in the hardware business in Clinton and was the founder of the .Clinton Woolen Mills, the original plant of which, was erected in 1867. From 1868 to 1886 he was president of the company, and it was largely through his efforts that this important industry was built up. He was a stockholder in the company and did much to further the success of the enterprise, which represented one of the leading industries of Lenawee county. In politics he was an uncompromising adherent of the Democratic party, and during the Civil war and for many years thereafter, he field the office of supervisor of Clinton township. He and his wife were communicants of and earnest workers in the Protestant Episcopal church, and were charter members of the church in Clinton. They were married Sept. 28, 1846, and the dates of. their respective deaths are as here noted: Joseph S. Kies, June 8, 1889, and Frances E. Kies, Dec. 20, 1889. They became the parents of five children, concerning whom the following data are consistently entered in this record: James A. died Sept. 3, 1863, at the age of sixteen years; Mary Ida, who was born Jan. 10, 1849, and died on Oct. 26, 1888, became the wife of Dr. Samuel W. Chandler, of Saline, Washtenaw county, and she is survived by three childrenFrederick K., a resident of Atlanta, Ga.; George F., of Waco, Tex., and Abigail, wife of Frederick Koenig, of Clinton, this county; George A., the immediate subject of this sketch, was the third in order of birth. Kate, who was born Dec. 20, 1853, is the wife of Charles F. Field, editor and publisher of the Hastings Herald, at Hastings, Mich., and they have two children-Joseph W., of Chicago, and Elizabeth L., wife of Adelbert M. Hall, of Belding, Mich. William J., the youngest of the five children, was born June 30, 1856, and is now a resident of Elkhart, rnd. He married Miss Ruby Freeman, of Tecumseh, and they have,three children-Edna Elizabeth; Vesta M., wife of Hans Diedricksen, of South Bend, Ind., and Joseph S. George A. Kies, whose name initiates this article, is indebted to the public schools of the village of Clinton for his early educational discipline, which included a course in the high school, and his initial services in the field of practical business were as a clerk in the hardware store of his father. He was thus employed from 1867 to 1870, and on Feb. '1, of the latter year, he became a traveling salesman for the Clinton Woolen Mills, which he thus represented "on the road" for a period of twelve years, after which he was traveling salesman for an Eastern clothing house for fifteen years. After this he was engaged as an industrial representative for a New York company. In July, 19o8, after nearly forty years of active service in various business associations, he retired, and he still resides in Clinton, where he is giving his attention to his various capitalistic and real estate interests. For the past eight years he has devoted all of his spare time to the beautifying of the cemetery at Clinton, and through his personal efforts it has been made one of the most beautiful "cities of the dead" in the state of Michigan. This cemetery was established through the efforts of his father, Joseph S. Kies, and after the death of the parent the son took a personal interest in the care and adornment of the place. In politics, Mr. Kies is aligned as a stalwart supporter of the cause of-the- Democratic party, but he has never cared to enter the arena of "practical politics." He is affiliated with Clinton Lodge, No. 175, Free and Accepted Masons; Clinton Chapter, No. 40, Royal Arch Masons; Clinton Council, No. 40, Royal and Select Masters; and Adrian Commandery, No. 4, Knights Templars. Nov. 16, 1875, recorded the marriage of Mr. Kies to Miss Adelia B. Van Demark, who was born at Phelps, N. Y., Aug, 7, 1851, and who is a daughter of Lodewick and Jane (Westfall) Van Demark, of whom mention is made on other pages of this work. Mrs. Kies was summoned to the life eternal, Dec. 20, 1895, and is survived by no children. On June 8, 189c}, Mr. Kies was united in marriage to Miss Eva G. Shinman, who was born at Petersburg, this state, April 14, 1861, and who is a daughter of Thomas A.. and Mary A. (Dencear) Shinman, the former of whom was born in France- and the latter in England; they were early settlers at Petersburg, Mich., where they continued to reside until their deaths. Myron E. Knight, deceased, was born in Almond, Allegany county, New York, March 25, 1820. His parents were both natives of Allegany county and came to Riga township, Lenawee county, Michigan, in 1836, when Myron was sixteen- years of age, and they continued to reside on their farm in Riga township until their respective deaths. They were the parents of a large fan-tily of children, of whom but two are now living-Lewis Knight, who is now a resident of Riga township and postmaster at Riga Station, and Mrs. Bliss, of Blissfield. Myron E. Knight received his education in Blissfield, where he was married. In 1841, to Miss Caroline Bliss, a native of Blissfield township, and the daughter of Hervey and Nancy (Woodhury) Bliss, who, in 1824, purchased and settled oil government land now occupied by the village of Blissfield, of which Hervey Bliss was the founder and which was named in his honor. To Myron E. and Caroline (Bliss) Knight was born one son, IIollis, whose death occurred in January, lgog. The second marriage of Myron E. Knight occurred June 5, i88o, when he was united to Mrs. Delia (Scott) Husted, the widow of Henry E. Husted, -she being a resident of Berlin Heights, Erie county, Ohio. She was the mother of five children by her first marriage, namely Arthur C., born Aug. 28, 1848, who went to the far West about 1878 or 1879 and who, as he has not been heard from since, ispresumed to be dead; Rosa, born Feb. 5, 1850, died Oct. 28, 1872, the wife of Robert McKimm, resident of Clarksfield, Huron county, Ohio; Lucia F., born Aug. 13, 1852, was married Sept. 10, 1877, to George Faust, a carpenter residing at Berlin Heights, Erie county, Ohio; Harriet Anna, born Oct. I I, 1854, died in Detroit in November, Igo6, the wife of John M. Smoots, a machinist, who now resides in North Dakota, but was formerly an instructor in the University of Michigan, at Ann Harbor; Cora A., born Oct. 11, 1856, died at leer mother's home in Adrian, on May 4, Ipog. Mrs. Delia Knight, born August 27, 1828, in Georgia township, Franklin county, Vermont, was the daughter of Isaac B. and Elmira (Smith) Scott, the former a native of the sane place and the latter of Saulsbury, N. H., but a resident of Vermont from the time she was three years of age. The paternal grandfather, Ethiel Scott, was a native of Connecticut, where he was horn July 24, 1762, and reared as a farmer, which vocation he followed his entire life. He distinguished himself as a Revolutionary patriot by serving from 1i77 to 1781 in Capt. Theophilus Munson's company in the Eighth Connecticut Line, commanded by Col- John Chandler. Later, from 1.781 to 1783, he served as a private in Captain Rice's Company in the Fifth Connecticut regiment, commanded by Col. Isaac Sherman. After the war was over the government recognized his services by granting him a deed for a tract of land just north of the Ohio river, but as he had to return to his home in Connecticut on foot his shoes soon gave out and he was compelled to trade the deed to his land for a pair of shoes; but neither the grant of land nor the pair of shoes, as a reward for his patriotic services could be compared with the precious inheritance he aided in achieving for himself and his posterity-American independence, After the Revolution he removed from Connecticut to Franklin county, Vermont. where he continued to reside until his death. Isaac Scott, the father of Mrs. Knight, resided with his father until 1838. when he came to Ohio and located at Madison, Lake county. This continued to be his home .for about nine years, after which he removed to Huron county, Ohio, and engaged in farming several years; then he sold his farm and came to Toledo. Ohio. where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives at the home of their son, Charles Scott, who was- a veteran of the Civil war. There the father died on Sept. 2, 1899, aged ninety-three years, and there also occurred the mother's death. Feb. 16. 1896, at the age of eighty-seven years. No children blessed Myron E. Knight's second marriage. His first business venture on his own responsibility began when he engaged in 'general merchandising in Blissfield, un der the firm name of Knight & Bliss, in which he continued until 1882, when he disposed othis interests and removed to Adrian, where he located at No. 7 West Church street, where Mrs. Knight still resides. He also owned other valuable realty in Adrian, as well as in Blissfield. While never aspiring for office, he believed in the principles of the Republican party, and the confidence and esteem of his political associates were. manifested by election as president of Blissfield, and he also served as register of deeds, filling both positions with credit to himself and his party. His death occurred in Adrian, April 26, 1896. Mrs. Knight is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, belonging to Wolcott Barnum Chapter, of which she is a charter member. It was organized in April, 1909, at Adrian. Barney H. Wheeler, deceased, was born in the state of New York, May 13, 1823. He was the son of Nathan and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Wheeler, who were both natives of New York, where the former was horn May 30, 1776, and the latter Dec. 25, 1783. The father's vocation was that of a farmer, and his death occurred when Barney H.. was about two years, old. The mother, together with the subject of this sketch, removed to Homer, Mich., Dec. 5, 1854, but later removed to Blissfield, where she continued to reside until her death, April 25, 1867. There were nine children in the family, of whom Barney H. was the youngest, and all are deceased. His educational privileges were those offered by the schools of Benton, N. Y., and at the early age of eighteen years he began to assume life's responsibilities. A few years later he married and bought a small farm in Ontario county. New York, on which he operated a saw mill about ten years. He disposed of this property by trading it for a farm of thirty-one acres in Homer township, Calhoun county, Michigan, upon which he re moved and remained two years, after which he sold the farm and located in Blissfield, Lenawee county, where he was the proprietor of a hotel for fourteen years. This property and business were ex changed for a grist mill, which was burned some years later and which he rebuilt, but later he traded it for a farm north of Detroit and located between that city and Pontiac. He resided there twelve years, then sold and' came to Adrian, in 1893, and bought the house and lot where the widow now resides, located at 50 East Front street. He retired from the active cares of life and en joyed in quietude and peace the results of his long years of in dustry, and his death, on hay 24, 1897, terminated a long and use ful career in the county. On Jan. 3, 1844, was solemnized the mar riage of Mr. Wheeler to Miss Polly Teneyck, who was born in Vermont township, Oneida county, New York, Dec. 1. 1823. She was the' daughter of Jacob and Eva (Wheeler) Teneyck. the latter of whom was a cousin of Barney H. Wheeler. Mr. Teneyck was a carpenter by trade and came to Michigan in 186o, locating in -Blissfield township, where he bought a farm and resided several 'years. He later sold this farm and purchased a residence property in the village of Blissfield, which continued to be his home until his death at the age of seventy-one years. Mrs. Teneyck continued to reside in Blissfield several years after her husband's death and then accompanied a daughter to Hillsdale county, where her death occurred some years later. Mr. and Mrs. Teneyck were the parents of ten children, of whom four are living, namely : Mrs. Wheeler, who was the second in order of birth; William, a resident of Blissfield, who is retired on account of ill heath; Albert, who is also retired, a resident of Hudson; and Elizabeth, the widow of Henry Gillman, resides in Blissfield. To Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler were born four children, as follows: Miles A., born Oct. 9, 184}, is married and resides in Lansing, Mich., where he at present holds a responsible official position; Charles Augustus, born Jan. 25, 1847, died May 2, 1849; Darwin Pearl, born Sept. 22, 1848, has an invalid wife and lives retired in Blissfield; and Ellen Irene, born Sept. 21, 1856, died April 25, 1862. Mr. Wheeler's political allegiance was given to the Republican party, and he served efficiently as under sheriff for a time. His fraternal affiliations were with the Masonic order. Mrs. Wheeler has a very comfortable competency for her old age, having about $3,000 on deposit in the State Savings Bank, preferring the interest on this amount rather than the annoyance incident to a property investment.

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

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