Biographical Sketches of Jamestown Township
From the 1882 Ottawa History

Gardner Avery  *  George A. Brown  *  Lucius B. Brown  *  Thomas Garfield  *  S. L. Gitchel  *  Lambert Luten  * 
Charles Richardson  *  Thaddeus Skeels  *  Riley Standish  *  Jan Tiesinga  *  John N. Waite  *  Theron C. Whipple  * 

Thomas Garfield brother of the late President, was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 16 October 1822. On account of the indigent circumstances of his parents he never received what might be called a common school education, but spent his whole energy in laboring on the farm "to keep the wolf away from the door". It is perhaps but just to say of him that the late President, James A. Garfield, was largely indebted to him for the advantages which he received for obtaining his education. Thomas labored incessantly that his brother might improve himself educationally, and not unfrequently carried him, when young, on his back through the snow drifts.

Mr. Thomas Garfield remained in the town of his birth till 1853 when he settled in Byron, Kent county, Michigan, but after s stay of three years returned to Ohio, and settled in Solon Township, where he remained till April, 1867, when he made Jamestown, Ottawa County, Michigan, his home, settling on section 11, where he still resides. He never made a success of life financially, which, perhaps, is partly owing to the fact that in youth he toiled so hard as to occasion fits, which have troubled him more or less during his whole life. He was married 18 Oct 1849 to Miss Mary J. Harper, who was born in Oxford County, Maine, 25 Nov 1828. Two children, James A. Garfield, who was born 26 Aug 1850, and Florence E., born 26 Apr 1855.
James A. was married 26 Sep 1876 to Miss Amelia Cramer, born in Madison County, NY, 31 May 1848. Florence E. was married 1 Sep 1878 to Charles A. Odell.

Gardner Avery was born in Madison County, NY, 17 Feb 1844. Thrown upon his own resources at the age of 10, he labored in different occupations until 1862 when he enlisted in Company B, 157ty New York Volunteers, rank, Sergeant. Served one year in the army of the Potomac, when he was transferred to the army of the South, and remained until the close of the war. He was married 3 May 1866, to Helen Kern, who was born in Madison County, NY, 2 Nov 1842, when he settled in Jamestown, Ottawa County, in section 12, but now resides on section 17, of which township he is now serving his third term as Supervisor. He has six children whose names are: Irvette E., Aggie V., Clara J., Blanche A., Arde--- and Earle.

Charles H. Richardson was born in Lenawee County, Michigan on 28 Feb 1838, settled in Jamestown in 1847, and resides on section 21, being a farmer. He enlisted in Company F, 15th Michigan Infantry, in 1865. He married 24 Feb 1860 to Mrs. Mary E. Bowen, whose maiden name was Stevens, who was born in Wayne Co., NY, 22 Mar 1833, and settled in St. Joseph County, Michigan in 1838. He has two children, Minerva Bowen and Cora E. Richardson.

George A. Brown was born in Greece, Monroe County, NY, 16 Dec 1845. At the age of majority he settled in Grand Haven, Michigan, engaged as an engineer, and remained with different parties until 1877 when he settled in Jamestown, on section 10, where he now resides. He married 23 Nov 1865, Sophia Hoffkoutz, who was born in Prussia, near Dantsic, 4 Nov 1856. He has two children, Joseph K. and Mary L. His father, Joseph T. Brown, originally purchased the entire half of section 10, and settled on it in 1857, where he lived until his death, 1 Jan 1861.

Thaddeus Skeels was born in Onondaga County, NY, 21 Jul 1815, settled in Jamestown on section 16, in 1851. Has been township clerk about ten years, and postmaster eight years. He married 27 Aug 1840 Mary Arnold, who was born in Ontario County, NY 20 Mar 1820. He has one living child, Richard. His oldest son, William, enlisted in 1863 and died 15 Apr 1865, from disease contracted in the service.

John N. Waite was born in Summit County, Ohio, 10 Sep 1840, settled in Macomb County, Michigan, in 1854, and in Georgetown, Ottawa County, in 1856. He engaged in general business until 10 Jun 1861, when he enlisted in Company I., 3rd Michigan Infantry. Served in the army of the Potomac until 27 Sep 1862, when he was discharged for disability. In 1870 he engaged in the mercantile business at Hanley, a hamlet in Jamestown, where he still transacts business. He has been postmaster and Justice of the Peace. He married 14 Dec 1862 to Jennie L. Johnson, who was born in Orleans County, NY, 1 Jun 1846. He has five children: Eva R., Louis R., John J., Carrie L. and Glenn H.

Theron C. Whipple was born in Erie County, NY, 20 Aug 1852, settled in Kent County, Michigan in 1855, and in Jamestown, Ottawa County, in 1865, follows farming and coal burning, and resides on section 1. His father, Inman, was born in Oneida County, NY, 9 Sep 1816, died 27 May 1871, and married Harriet N. Olds, 15 Mar 1840, who was born in Onondaga County, NY, 27 Apr 1822.

S. L. Gitchell was born in Erie County, PA, 11 Feb 1811. While very young he became an orphan and engaged in general farm work until July 1846, when he settled in Jamestown, Ottawa County, Michigan, being the second settler in the township, also built the second house in the township, on section 1. He now resides on section 33, and spends his time mostly in his farm employments. He has enjoyed the confidence of his townsmen to a large extent, having been Supervisor four times, Justice, Commisisoner, etc., was also the first to receive the appointment of Postmaster, which was in 1857. He married 19 Dec 1838 to Louisa C. Brown, who was born in Windham County, Connecticut, 5 May 1818. He has six living children and lost four by death. One son, David M., enlisted in Company I., 3rd Michigan Infantry, May 1861, and died July 12th following from disease contracted in the service. Another son, George W., who remains at home, was born 13 May 1857, married 23 Sep 1879 to Paulina L. Hall, who was born in Kent County, Michigan, 19 Nov 1856.

Jan Tiesinga was born in the Netherlands 9 Aug 1844, settled in Holland, Michigan in 1868, and in Jamestown Apr, 1869. Followed farming until 1878, when he established a general store at Forest Grove, where he still does business, also is the Postmaster there. He married 20 Mar 1868, to Maggie Feenboer, who was born in the Netherlands 25 Feb 1849, and settled in Ottawa County in 1868. Her father, Wilhelm, was born 20 Oct 1823 and died 21 Sep 1871. Her mother, Jantje (Clooster), was born 16 Jun 1825, is still living.

Lambert Luten was born in the Netherlands, 5 Oct 1837, settled in Holland, Michigan in 1847, thence to Grand Rapids in 1848. He enlisted 12 Sep 1861 in Company B, 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, being a mason by trade. He served in the department of the Cumberland until the close of the war, was with Sherman on his march to the sea, etc. He married 6 May 1866, Minnie Hagens, who was born in the Netherlands 11 Jan 1844. The same year of their marriage they settled in Jamestown on section 10 where he now resides. He has five children: Betell, Daniel B., Grace C., John H., and Alice J.

Riley Standish was born in Livingston County, NY, 16 Nov 1834, settled in Jamestown in 1852, now lives on section 15; a farmer. He enlisted 4 Sep 1861, in the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Served in the army of the Cumberland, rank of Sergeant, was wounded in the leg while skirmishing in Tennessee, 27 Jan 1864, and never returned to the front. He married 2 Aug 1856, Lucy Church, who was born in Lorain County, Ohio, 29 Nov 1840. He has three children, Carrie, Luther and Martha.

Lucius B. Brown born in Chautauqua County, NY, 23 Jan 1822, settled in Crawford County, PA, in 1837, and in Georgetown, Ottawa County, Michigan, in 1856, on section 25, removed to section 1, Jamestown, where he now resides, in 1865. He married 18 Oct 1842, Caroline E. Hamlin, who was born in Saratoga county, NY, 14 Jul 1823. He has two children, Annie L., born 29 Jul 1843 and married to George D. Lane, Oct, 1859; Annes R., born 26 Jun 1850, married William H. Thresher 31 Dec 1876.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 11 Jun 2008