History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 89



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
James W. Helme, lawyer, statesman and publicist, was born in Adrian, March 3, 186o. His parents were James W., Sr., and Phoebe (Turner) Helme, the father a native of Rush, N. Y.,. born in April, 1817, and the mother's native state was Connecticut, she having been born in Fairfield, Feb. 10, 1827. The senior Helme came to Michigan in 1836 and located in Lenawee county. When the war for Canadian independence broke out, in 1837, he raised a company for the "Patriot" army and was commissioned a lieutenant, invading Canada, and he was with his company at the engagement of Fighting Island in Detroit river. There the captain of his company was captured by the British and was later hanged, but Mr. Helme escaped and returned to Adrian and made this city his home till his death, Dec. 1, 1903. Mr. Helme, Jr., the subject of this review, attended the schools of Adrian and graduated in the high school at the age of fifteen, being the youngest student ever graduated in that institution. After teaching school several years he was admitted to the bar, March 2, 1881, the day before his twenty-first birthday, and he has the distinction of having been the youngest attorney ever admitted to practice in the state. Since his admission he has practiced law in the city of Adrian, and in connection with his law practice has held several offices. In 1884 he was appointed city attorney of Adrian, and served six years, and again in I9o8 he served in the same office. His residence has always been on the farm his father purchased in the early '4os, its location being only a few rods from the county court house in the city of Adrian, and he is one of the practical farmers of this county. In addition to a line of general farming tie is a breeder of Jersey cattle and is quite extensively engaged in the dairy line. At the present time he has a fine herd of thoroughbred Jersey cattle and is greatly interested in all branches of agriculture. In 1904 Mr. Helme was persuaded to take editorial charge of the Michigan Patron, the organ of the Grange in Michigan. At that time this paper was in financial distress, its subscribers having dwindled to less than 2,000 and publication was about to suspend. Under his vigorous management Mr. Helme has built up the subscription to 14,000 and is mailing his publication to over 700 post offices, his paper being read in every county in the state. Politically, our subject is independent of all parties, although he has had Democratic sympathies in the past. In 1882 he was elected Circuit Court Commissioner for Lenawee county and served two years. In 1880 he was again elected to the same office and served a like period. In 1898 he was elected state senator for the Fifth district-Lenawee and Monroe counties, and was re-elected in 1900. At the last session he was the only Democrat in the tipper branch of the Michigan legislature and none has been elected in the state since. Socially, Mr. Helme is a member of the Masons, the Elks, a charter member of the Adrian Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, and he also is a member of Adrian Grange, No. 213, Patrons of Husbandry. On June 27, 1900, Mr. Helme was united in marriage to Mrs. Rose E. Nichols, daughter of D. S. Edson, of Northfield, Minn. Clinton D. Hardy, who for thirty-one years has been connected with the Lenawee County Savings Bank, of which institution he is at the present time cashier, was born in Decatur, Mason county, Illinois, May 16, z86o. His father, DeWitt C. Hardy, was a native of Hollis, N. H., where he was born in 1836, and his mother, Elizabeth (Cutter) Hardy, was born in New York city in 1830. They removed to Lenawee county when the subject of this review was but two years old, and here the father passed away in 1875, the mother having preceded him several years. Mr. Hardy was educated at the grammar and high schools of Adrian and graduated in the latter in the class of 1877. While at school he was a diligent student and is one of the prominent and prosperous alumnae of the Adrian High School. In 1878, shortly after his graduation, he was employed as a messenger by the Lenawee County Savings Bank and from time to time was promoted through the various positions in that sound banking house until, in the spring of 1gog, he was elected to the office of cashier. Mr. Hardy has been prominently identified with the growth of this bank, and during his association with it the fine building now used for a banking room was erected. Lenawee county is noted among other things for its substantial financial corporations and this bank ranks with the leaders. It is located on East Maumee street, not far from the postoffice, and the edifice is one of the fine buildings of the city. Politically, Mr. Hardy is a member of the Republican party, but has had no time to court public office. While a regular attendant of the Episcopal church he is not a member of any denomination. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic Lodge,. No. 1g, of Adrian, and also has membership in the Independent Order of Foresters, Court Adrian, No. 1078, and lodge No. 429, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. On Sept. 22, 1886, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hardy and Miss Nida M. Pennock, daughter of Samuel M. and Anna Pennock, of Somerville, Mass., and of this union have been born the following children: Marjorie, Clinton P., and Helen. Stuart H. Perry, editor and manager of the Adrian Daily 'l'elegram, and one of the prominent and influential citizens of Adrian, was born at Pontiac, Mich., Oct. 13, 1874. His parents, Aaron and Sallie (Hoffman) Perry; were natives of Oakland county, and descendants of old New York state families. Aaron Perry is a graduate of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he completed both the literary and law courses, and for thirty years has been one of the leading lawyers of this state, having also held numerous public offices. Stuart Id. Perry, who is the subject of this review, was educated at the public schools of Pontiac and completed the high school course there in 1889. He then attended the University of Michigan and- received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1894. He also attended the law department of that university and was graduated in 1896 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Returning to Pontiac, he practiced law with his father for five years, the firm also having an office in Detroit. At the termination of this period he left the profession of law and took up newspaper work and, with Harry Coleman, of Pontiac, organized the Pontiac Publishing Company and became managing editor of the Pontiac Daily Press, then just starting, but now one of the strongest papers in the state. In I9oz he purchased the St. Johns, (Mich.) News, which he published till Oct. 1, 1907, when he purchased the Adrian Daily Telegram, which, under the management of D. W. Grandon (now of the Hillsdale Standard-Herald), had long enjoyed an exceptionally large circulation. Under Mr. Perry's management, the Telegram has largely increased its circulation, which now is nearly 7,ooo daily, the largest of any Michigan daily published in a town of Adrian's population. The Telegram is independent in politics and Mr. Perry is not definitely affiliated with any political party. The power naturally inherent in any owner of a newspaper of large circulation is never abused and the policy of the Telegram is that of a "square deal" to everyone. The paper is devoted thoroughly to the interests of Adrian and Lenawee county, and is always active in support of all matters pertaining to the public welfare and commercial advancement of the community. To an unusual degree, Mr. Perry has the respect and good wishes of all his ,employes, and his example and life have good influence on those who are fortunate to work with and for him. Mr. Perry is a member of the Episcopal church, and fraternally is a member of the Elks, the Masons, Woodmen and Maccabees. While in college, he was initiated into the mysteries of the Delta Chi fraternity, a legal -society of Ann Arbor. For several years our subject has been greatly interested in scientific work and is a member of several scientific societies. He is exceptionally well read and, with his wife, has traveled extensively in this country, in Mexico, Canada and Europe. On Oct. 14, 1896, was celebrated his marriage to Miss Maude E. Caldwell, daughter of the late Dr. William C. and Arrilla Caldwell, of Fre mont, Ohio. To them have been born two ,children: Elizabeth, born in October, igoo; and Lydia, in October, 19o6. Oramon Tuttle has resided upon his present homestead farm, in Seneca township, for more than half a century and is one of the venerable pioneers and honored citizens of this section of the county, where he has lived and labored to goodly ends, contributing his quota to the material and civic development of the county, and where he holds the unqualified esteem of all who know him. Though he is living virtually retired he maintains a general supervision of the farm which he practically reclaimed from the forest, and he has by no means lost his vital interest in the affairs of the day. He has well earned the dignified repose which he is nova enjoying, and finds the evening of his life gracious in its memories and its present associations. Mr. Tuttle was born in the township of Vienna, Oneida county, New York, April 27, 1824, and is a son of Oramon and Avi (Barnes) Tuttle, both of whom were natives of Connecticut and representatives of families founded in New England in the Colonial era of our country's history. The father was a substantial farmer of Vienna township, Oneida county, New York, for many years, and there both he and his wife continued to reside until their deaths. He was a Whig in politics and was a man of probity and honor, commanding. the esteem of his fellow men. The subject of this sketch was reared on the old home farm and received his early educational training in the common schools of his native township. He continued to be identified with the work of his father's farm about twenty years, and in 1855, 'lien about thirty years of age, he came to Michigan and took up his abode on the farm which has ever since been his home. He secured eighty acres, erected his primitive log house, and then set himself vigorously to the task of causing the stately forest trees to give way to cultivated fields. How well he succeeded needs no further voucher than that offered in the thrift and prosperity which mark his fine homestead today. The long intervening years brought their burdens of strenuous labor, perplexities and hardships, but he pressed forward toward the goal of success and independence, and in due time was not denied a splendid reward for his well directed endeavors. The farm is devoted to general agriculture and dairying, and in the latter department the product is shipped through a dealer in the village of Seneca. Mr. Tuttle has been arrayed as a supporter to the cause of the Republican party from the time of its organization, and while he has never consented to become a candidate for public office he has given his aid and influence in behalf of all worthy measures and enterprises advanced for the genera] good of the community. He and his wife hold membership in the Christian church and he is affiliated with Fairfield Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and with the Grange at Fruit Ridge. On Sept. 12, 1844, a few months before attaining his legal majority, Mr. Tuttle took an important step in his life and one that has proven of unalloyed satisfaction during all the long intervening years. On that date he was united in marriage to Miss Sally Ann Spencer, daughter of Ephraim and Cordelia Spencer, natives of Connecticut and at that time residents of Oneida county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle became the parents of twelve children, namelyCharles, who is associated in the management of the home farm ; Mary, who is the widow of Charles Babcock, and resides in this county; Caroline, who is the wife of Wallace Bryant, of Seneca township; William Eugene, who is a resident of Adrian; Willard died in infancy; Jessie, who is deceased; Hurvey, who is a prosperous farmer of Seneca township; Ida, who is the wife of Chester Bragg, of Deerfield township; Hiram and Oramon, Jr., both of whom are deceased; Frederick, who is a farmer in Seneca township, and Edwin, who is associated with his brother Charles in the work of the home farm. Levi A. Burch is one of the well known citizens and progressive business men of Seneca township, where he is the owner of a fine farm, besides which he has for many years been engaged in the buying and shipping of grain and wool, in the village of Seneca. He has passed the major portion of his life in this county, has wielded no little influence in public affairs of a local nature, and has so ordered his course as to retain at all times the inviolable confidence and regard of his fellow men. Mr. Burch was born in Dundee township, Monroe county; Michigan, Oct. 16, 1850, and is a son of Levi and Cornelia (Morgan) Burch, both natives of Seneca county, New York, which county furnished many pioneers to Lenawee county, to which circumstance may be attributed the naming of Seneca township, this county. Levi Burch, who was born in the year 1788, was a man who was animated by unequivocal patriotism, as is evident when it is stated that he served as a soldier not only in the War of 1812, but also in the Mexican war. It was not permitted him to witness the outcome of the Civil war, for he died in June, 1861, soon after that great internecine conflict. had been precipitated upon a divided nation. His wife survived him by many years and was summoned to the life eternal July 8,. 188i. Both were devout -members of the Baptist church, and in politics he was aligned as a supporter of the cause of the Democratic party. Of the six children the eldest, Luman, died while serving as a soldier in the Civil war, as a member of a Michigan regiment; Nathaniel is a representative farmer of Seneca town-ship; Levi A. was the next in order of birth; Albert is deceased, as is also Eliza, who was the wife of Seth G. Sanger, of Seneca township ; and John is a resident of Kittitass county, Washington. Levi A. Burch secured his early educational discipline in the district schools of Chesterfield township, Fulton county, Ohio, and those of the adjoining township of Fairfield, Lenawee county, Michigan. In his youth he learned the grist and saw mill business in the combined mill operated by his brother, Nathaniel, in the village of Seneca, and after being identified with the same for three years he purchased a one-third interest in the old Hayward .Mill, in the township of Seneca, with the operation of which he continued to be thus identified for a period of five years, at the expiration of which time he sold his interest in the property.and business. He then purchased his present homestead farm, of twenty acres, to which has been added 127 acres, making 147 acres, all in Seneca township, and upon the same he has since continued to reside, giving to the farm his general supervision and being known as one of the progressive agriculturists and stock-growers of the county. He has been engaged in buying and shipping grain and wool at Seneca village for twenty years, and controls a large business in this line, as he is a good judge of values, is willing to pay the maximum market prices add has the confidence of all those with whom he has dealings. His farm is one of the model places of the town-ship and is improved with specially good buildings, including the attractive modern residence, which was erected by him. Though showing a loyal interest in public affairs and doing all in his power to insure good government in his township and county, Mr. Burch holds himself independent of strict partisan lines in matters of political import. He served five terms as a member of the board of review of Seneca township, and for eighteen years was incumbent of the office of moderator of the local schools. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, including its adjunct organization, the Order of the Eastern Star, of which Mrs. Burch also is a member, and they are both zealous supporters of the Union church at Seneca village, in which Mrs. Burch is a member of the Ladies' Aid Society. On Sept. 30, 1875, Mr. Burch was united in marriage to Miss Laura Hayward, daughter of Stephen and Jane (Sanger) Hayward, honored and well known residents and pioneers of Seneca township. The only child of this union is Luman S., who is a representative farmer of Seneca township. Mrs. Burch's parents were natives of Canandaigua, Ontario county, New York, where her father was born May 25, 1815, and her mother, Dec. 30, 1816. Their marriage was solemnized in Seneca township, Lenawee county, Jan. 9, 1838, and this date alone indicates how well authenticated is the statement that they were pioneers of the county. Mr. Hayward secured a large tract of government land in Seneca township, where he developed a good farm, and 'he was one of the .honored and influential citizens of this part of the county. He was a Democrat in politics and served as justice of the peace of Seneca township for a number of years. Both he and his wife were birthright members of the Society of Friends, commonly designated as Quakers. He died on the old homestead, Dec. 28, 1861, and his wife died Sept. 14, 1892, having thus survived him by thirty years. Frank L. Elliott is one of the progressive farmers and highly honored citizens of his native. township of Seneca, where he owns and occupies a well improved farm of sixty acres, and he is a rep-resentative in the third generation of one of the sterling pioneer families of this county, with whose annals the name has been identified from the Territorial era in the history of Michigan. Mr. Elliott was born in Seneca township, April 2, 1876, and is a son of Lazarus and Adaresta (Burtch) Elliott, the former of whom was born on a vessel on Lake Erie, while his parents were en route to Lenawee county, Oct. 2, 1833, and the latter was born at Deposit, N. Y., May 14, 1844. Aden Elliott, paternal grandfather of the subject of this review, took up a tract of government land in Fairfield township, this county, in 1833, and forthwith instituted the herculean work of clearing away the forest and making his land available for cultivation as rapidly as possible. He later removed to Seneca township, where he lived tip to the full tension of the pioneer days and was a man of influence in his community. Both he and his wife continued to reside in this county until their deaths. Lazarus Elliott was reared amidst the scenes and influences of the pioneer era, and his early educational advantages were such as were afforded in the little log school houses . of the locality and period. In his youth he learned the trade of shingle-making, and to this vocation he gave his attention until he had attained to the age of thirty years. About 1866 he -purchased his homestead of 120 acres, in Seneca township, and here he was a successful farmer and stock-grower for the remainder of his active career. During the last twenty years of his life he lived virtually retired, and his death occurred March 28, 1888. His widow now resides with the subject of this sketch, on a part of the old homestead. She has long been' a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Weston. Her husband was a member of the Disciples' church until the time of his demise, and he was also identified with the Masonic fraternity and the Grange. He was a man of high order of mentality, and, living a "Godly, righteous and sober life," he held as his own the inviolable confidence and esteem of his fellow men. Frank L. Elliott gained his preliminary educational discipline in the district schools of Seneca township, and supplemented this by a course in the high school at Weston. He was reared to the beneficent and invigorating life of the farm, is familiar with all details of the work, has gained a definite knowledge of the various scientific principles involved, and has never found it necessary or desirable to seek other vocations. He has thus been identified with agricultural pursuits in his native county from his boyhood to the present time. He was associated in the work and management of the old homestead until 1898, when he purchased sixty acres of the same and here he has since continued his successful operations as a general farmer. In politics he gives an unqualified allegiance to the Republican party, but he has never held public office. IIe is one of the most zealous and valued members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Weston, and in the same he is serving as steward,' while he also holds license as a local exhorter of the church. He is affiliated with the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, and with the Grange at Fruit Ridge. He is a bachelor, and his loved and devoted mother presides over the domestic economies and social affairs of their hospitable home. Mrs. Elliott's father came to the West from New York state in the year 1846 and first settled in Fulton county, Ohio, whence he later came to the adjoining Michigan county of Lenawee, settling in Dover township, where he passed the residue of his life. His wife died prior to his removal from New York. Robert N. Sims, who is one of the substantial farmers and honored citizens of Medina township, has been a resident of Lenawee county from his boyhood days, and when it is stated that the period thus represented is nearly seventy years it will be readily understood that he has witnessed the development of this section from the conditions of the pioneer epoch to the present day of opulent prosperity and advanced civic status. Robert Newton Sims was born in Berkshire, England, Jan. 10, 1830, and is a son of Richard and Susan (Dandridge) Sims, both of whom were likewise born in what Max O'Rell has whimsically designated as the "right little, tight little isle." About 1838 Richard Sims came with his family to the United States, and shortly after his arrival in the port of the national metropolis, he proceeded to the city of Rochester, N. Y., where he was employed for a time in connection with the nursery business, after which he purchased a farm in that locality. In 1842 he disposed of his farm and came as a pioneer to Lenawee county. He purchased eighty acres of land in Seneca township, and the greater part of this he reclaimed from the virgin forest. He developed a productive farm and on this homestead both he and his devoted wife passed the residue'of their lives, secure in the high regard of all who knew them. They were consistent members of the Congregational church, and in politics he was an adherent of the Democratic party, whose cause he espoused as soon as he be- came a naturalized citizen of his adopted country. He was a man of strong and vigorous mentality, his life was one of exalted righteousness, and his name merits a place on the roll of the honored pioneers of the county, to whose civic and material development and progress he contributed his quota. Of the seven children, Richard, Emma, Nancy, Frederick and Frank are deceased. The two surviving are Robert N., subject of this sketch, who was the second in order of birth, and Sarah, who is the wife of Nelson Baldwin, of Morenci, this county. Robert N. Sims passed his early boyhood in the state of New York, in whose common schools he secured his rudimentary education, and after coming to Lenawee county he was enabled to attend the pioneer schools of Seneca township during the winter terms, when his services were not in requisition in connection with the work of the home farm. After leaving the home farm he was employed on another farm in the vicinity for one year, and in 1852, when twenty-two years of age, he purchased eighty acres of land in Seneca township, where John Spooner now lives. He remained at the parental home about five years thereafter, and then devoted several years to work as a farm hand. In 1831 he purchased his present fine homestead of 20o acres, in Medina township, where he has since maintained his home and where the labors of years are definitely shown in the general air of thrift and prosperity which pervades the place and marks it as one of the model farmsteads of the county. Under his personal direction and labors the major portion of this splendid farm was reclaimed from the wild state, and the attractive- and substantial buildings were all erected by him. He has shown in his career a signal devotion to the duty represented in the affairs of every-day life, and has been one of the world's noble army of workers. Than this commendation no man needs more. His life has been guided and governed by strict principles of personal integrity and honor, and the objective sequel has been the reposing in him of unqualified confidence and esteem on the part of his fellow men. His advancement has been coincident with the progress and development of the county, and in these latter days, when the shadows of his life begin to lengthen from the golden west, "with the glory of. God in the after-glow," he may revert to what has been lost and what has been won, and find that little has been left undone that was possible of accomplishment on his part. In matters of public import Mr. Sims has always shown a deep interest, and he has done his part in sustaining all worthy enterprises and measures advanced in behalf of the general good of the community, though he has never sought nor desired public office. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and the only local office in which he has ever consented to serve is that of pathmaster. He and his wife are devout and zealous supporters of the Congregational church, and he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and its auxiliary body, the Order of the Eastern Star, of which Mrs. Sims also is a member. As a young man Mr. Sims was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Ann Garlick, daughter of Horace Garlick, a well known pioneer of Medina township. They became the parents of two children-Horace, who died in childhood, and Sarah, who remains at the paternal home. Mrs. Sims was summoned to the life eternal in the late '7os, and on Jan. 15, 1884, Mr. Sims was united in wedlock to Mrs. Hester Rhoades, widow of William Rhoades and daughter of John D. and Mary Catherine (Hake) Shafer, of Mahoning county, Ohio. The children of the second marriage are Ray Newton, Frank Earl and William Kirk, all of whom remain with their parents. John D. Shafer was born near Oberhauser, Germany, and his wife was born in Eastern Ohio. He came to the United States about 1828, and located in Mahoring county, Ohio, where he secured a tract of wild land and developed a farm. Later he removed to Fulton county, Ohio, near West Unity, where he still resides and where he is the owner of a valuable farm. His wife died several years ago in that county. He is a Republican in his political proclivities and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as was also his wife.

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

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