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Joseph Merrill Bliss
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Birth: Jul. 23, 1834
Cortland County
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 21, 1902
Berrien County
Michigan, USA

Joseph is the son of
Peter Bliss Jr. (1794-1846), and
his wife Fannie F. Bardwell, of
Truxton, Cortland County New York.
The 1850 census shows Joseph Merrill Bliss,
age 16, and two of his brothers living in
Cazenovia, Madison County New York, with
the Henry Vandresen family.
The 1855 census shows Joseph Merrill Bliss,
age 20, living with his brother Augustine
Bliss, age 24, and his wife Sophronia, and
his mother Fanny F. Bliss, age 54, and his
sister Mary Bliss age 13, in Cazenovia,
Madison County New York.
Joseph was married twice.
Joseph's first wife was his cousin
Sarah S. Bliss, the daughter of
Jonathan Bliss Sr. and his wife
Emerancy Severance of Truxton,
Cortland Co. New York. It is
thought that they had no children
(per Bliss family genealogy).
Sarah was buried in Buchanan's
very first "public" cemetery, now
the site of Kathryn Park. (Most
of the headstones were later moved to
the Oak Ridge Cemetery). Since Joseph
was remarried at the time the
cemetery committee asked for the
graves to be moved, it is not known
if Sarah's grave was moved or not.
Note: the 1870 census shows Joseph M.
Bliss and his second wife Harriet,
living with a Francilla Bliss, age 12,
born about 1857-58 in Michigan.
Michigan death records show a
Francellia F. Bliss, born 1857 in Michigan,
and died July 24, 1871, in Charlotte,
Eaton County Michigan. She is listed as
the daughter of Joseph M. Bliss, and
his wife Harriet. (Joseph was not married
to Harriet until 1859. Could Francellia F.
Bliss be the daughter of Joseph and his
first wife Sarah? Could Sarah have died
in childbirth when Francellia was
born in 1857?).
Joseph's youngest sister Mary Ann Bliss
was also buried in the Kathryn Park Cemetery.
Joseph was married to his second wife
Harriet Loucinda Mead on Feb. 27, 1859
in Berrien County Michigan.
Harriet was the daughter of
Robert M. Mead and his wife
Emile Jones of Niles township,
Berrien County Michigan.
Harriet was born Sept. 4, 1841 in Ohio,
and she died Dec. 1, 1914 in Buchanan, MI
at the age of 73 years, 1 month, and 26 days.
Joseph and Harriet's children are:
1. Nellie Bliss
b. Oct. 8, 1863. d. Aug 25, 1865.
2. Clinton H. Bliss b. Oct. 22, 1866.
In 1892 he is listed as an engineer at
Bainton Bros., and he lived on West St.
in Buchanan, MI. In 1902, he was living
in Chicago, ILL (near his brother Eugene).
3. Henry C. Bliss.
b. 1867, in Michigan.
m. Dora Osborne, on June 14, 1890,
in Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan.
Dora is the daughter of William Osborne
and his wife Charlotte Armstrong.
4. Eugene H. Bliss.
A printer of Chicago, Cook Co. ILL.
b. Dec. 14, 1872, in Buchanan,
Berrien County Michigan.
He married Bernice Miller (who was
born in July of about 1873), in Mass.
d. Eugene died about 1931, in Rockville,
Children: Robert Morton Bliss,
born June 30, 1899 in Chicago, ILL.
and Douglas Bliss.
An article printed in the
"Berrien County Record" newspaper
in Buchanan, Michigan, on
Nov. 26, 1902, page 5, states:
Eugene H. Bliss, of the firm of
Bliss and Wilson Printers, of
Chicago, who began his career as a
printer in the RECORD office
[in Buchanan, MI], called
on us on Monday with his brother.
They were in Buchanan to attend the
funeral of their father.
5. Winfred B. Bliss (a daughter).
Winfred died in Charlotte, MI., in May
of 1880, at the age of fourteen months.
Note: Birth records show a
"Myrtie J. Bliss", born on April 1, 1879,
in Charlotte, Eaton County Michigan,
to Joseph Bliss (born in N. Y.),
and Harriet Bliss (born in Ohio).
This must be the same daughter
(or twins?).

The 1880 census shows Joseph and
his family living in Charlotte,
Eaton Co. MI. Joseph is working
as a foreman in a stove factory.
Note: Joseph's brother Albertus
Stebbins Bliss was living in
Charlotte, Michigan in 1874.
An article in the "Berrien County Record",
newspaper, in Buchanan, Michigan on
May 27, 1880 states:
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mead,
of Niles Twp., were called to Charlotte,
[MI] last Saturday to attend the
funeral of their little grand-daughter,
[Winfred] the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
J. M. Bliss, aged fourteen months.
The 1892 Berrien Co. MI directory
shows Joseph was working as a
laborer at Rough Brothers and
resided on West St. in Buchanan, MI.
He had also worked as an assistant
foreman in a handle factory and
lived on Second St. in Buchanan, MI.
Joseph was a trustee and a charter
member of the first Advent Christian
Church in Buchanan, Michigan.
His obituary states that he built
the "first" Advent Christian church
in Buchanan, Michigan.
It was built in 1866-1867, and
was located on the East side of
South Oak Street, just one block
off Front Street.
Note: Some records state that
George Noggle Cottrell also
helped to build this church.
The 1899 Berrien County Michigan
Directory shows Joseph Bliss and
wife living at 41 Moccasin Ave,
in Buchanan, Michigan, and Joseph
is working as a carpenter.
The 1900 census shows them living
in the Village of Buchanan, MI.
Joseph is working then as a carpenter.
The "Michigan State Gazetteer and
Business Directory" lists
Joseph M. Bliss, as a carpenter,
in Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan.
Joseph died at his home at 41 Moccasin
Avenue, in Buchanan, Michigan, in 1902,
at the age of 68 years, 3 months,
and 28 days.
Joseph's obituary was published in
the "Berrien County Record" newspaper,
in Buchanan, Michigan, on
Nov. 26, 1902, Page 2.
It reads as follows:
Was born July 23, 1837
[1834 per headstone and death certificate],
in Truxton, Cortland county, New York,
and passed away at his home in
Buchanan, Mich., Nov. 21, 1902, aged 68
years, 3 months and 28 days. He was
married to Harriet L. Mead, of Buchanan,
Feb. 27, 1859. Four children were born
to them, two sons and two daughters,
of which the two sons remain with their
afllicted mother to mourn the sad loss.
Brother Bliss was a charter member of
the Advent Christian church and has
always taken an active part in its
welfare. He also built the first Advent
church of Buchanan. There was a large
number of friends and members of the
church present at the funeral to show
their love and sympathy for the
The funeral was held at the house and
conducted by Elder S. C. Grundy
assisted by Elder Charles Shook, the
pastor of the Advent Christian church.
The text was chosen by the deceased,
Psalms 17:15; which shows his strong
faith in a literal resurrection to
immortality and eternal life at the
coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ to
all who have loved and obeyed him.
So sleep and rest dear brother till
the King shall come and call thee to
the marriage feast.
Note: If he died on Nov. 21, 1902,
at 68 years, 3 months, and 28 days,
that would make his "date of birth"
July 24, 1834.
Joseph's death certificate states that
Joseph was the father to five children,
but only two were still living,
that he was a carpenter, and that he
died at the age of 68 years, 3 months,
and 28 days, of tuberculosis.
An article in "The Berrien County Record"
in Buchanan, Michigan, on
Nov. 26, 1902, Page 2, Col. 3, states:
Household Goods for Sale and
House for Rent. Entire contents of a
10-room house for sale at a bargain.
Will be sold together or seperate to
suit purchaser. Mrs. J. M. Bliss,
41 Moccasin Avenue (Buchanan, MI).
The "Berrien County Record" states:
Sidney L. Bliss, the oldest brother
of the late Joseph M. Bliss was in
town Sunday. He is 8 years older than
the deceased and is in vigorous health,
regularly employed on the St. Paul R. R.
Also, published in the "Berrien County
Record" in Buchanan, MI on Nov. 26, 1902,
page 5, is the following:
Eugene H. Bliss, of the firm of Bliss &
Wilson printers, of Chicago, who began
his career as a printer in the RECORD
office [the "Berrien County Record"
newspaper office], called on us on
Monday with his brother [Clinton].
They were in Buchanan to attend
the burial of their father.
Joseph also had two brothers, who
had lived in Buchanan, MI.....
1. Peter Augustin Bliss (He
worked as a clerk in Buchanan).
2. Albertus Stebbins Bliss
(Albertus lived on Days Ave. and
worked as a wood turner).
Albertus was married in Buchanan, MI
on Feb. 16, 1858 to Mary Ann Moon.
He enlisted Aug. 26, 1864 as a
private in Company E., 1st Michigan
Light Artillery Volunteers, and
was discharged on July 30, 1865.
Albertus had four children, two
of them born in Buchanan, MI:
1. Kattie May Bliss.
2. William Albertus Bliss.
Joseph Merrill Bliss also
has two Aunts, one Uncle,
and one cousin named "Bliss"
who are buried in the
Howe Cemetery, in Bertrand twp.
South of Buchanan,
Berrien Co. MI. They are:
(Aunt) Polly (Bliss) Howe, of MI.
(Aunt) Sarah (Bliss) French, of MI.
(Uncle) Hiram Bliss Sr., of MI.
and (Cousin) DeBert Bliss, of MI.
See their memorials on this web site.
(Joseph also, had numerous cousins
named "Howe" and "French", who
lived in Buchanan, Michigan).
Photos of the Advent Christian Church
(built about 1866 on South Oak Street),
courtesy of the Buchanan District Library.
Family links: 
  Peter Bliss (1794 - 1846)
  Sarah S. Bliss Bliss (1834 - ____)
  Harriet Loucinda Mead Bliss (1841 - 1914)*
  Frances Fidelia Bliss Pierce (1819 - 1873)*
  Amelia Bardwell Bliss Cadugan (1820 - 1862)*
  Diantha Elizabeth Bliss Pierce (1822 - 1899)*
  Martha Ann Bliss (1825 - 1835)*
  Lucius Sidney Bliss (1828 - 1908)*
  Joseph Merrill Bliss (1834 - 1902)
  Albertus Stebbins Bliss (1838 - 1917)*
  Mary Ann Bliss (1842 - 1858)*
*Calculated relationship
Oak Ridge Cemetery
Berrien County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Section 1, lot 6.
Created by: Nancy Heib
Record added: Apr 25, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14064459
Joseph Merrill Bliss
Added by: SeaBee Diver
Joseph Merrill Bliss
Added by: SeaBee Diver
Joseph Merrill Bliss
Added by: Nancy Heib
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- Shari
 Added: Aug. 23, 2014
In memory of Joseph Merrill Bliss.
- Laurel Robson
 Added: Jun. 21, 2011

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