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Bob Wright (#47673981)
 member for 2 years, 7 months, 11 days
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I appreciate what a fine resource findagrave is, and feel privileged to contribute what time I have available to make it even more useful. Any pictures that I have posted can be used by anyone for any purpose. The memorials that I have created can be transferred to anyone with a strong connection.
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Nathan Leibold
Jocelynn (Crapo) Griest Photo
Thank you so much the photo of Jocelynn Griest's memorial. You are awesome!
Added by Nathan Leibold on Jul 17, 2014 2:30 PM
D.R. Scherping
article
article was too long and is under review.
Added by D.R. Scherping on May 20, 2014 3:45 PM
D.R. Scherping
Boyer article
OLDEST RESIDENTS OF EATON COUNTY

Edwin and Jorum Boyer have lived in Chester Township seventy-two years - seventy years on the same farm. Came to Michigan the year the state was admitted to the Union and have watched Eaton grow from a wilderness to the best agricultural section in Michigan. From the CHARLOTTE REPUBLICAN of September 17, 1909.

Residents of Chester Township for 72 years, 70 years on the same farm, entitle Edwin and Jorum Boyer to the honor of being the oldest pioneers of the county. Esek Pray, father of County Clerk Pray, was born in Windsor township 71 years ago, but a year earlier, or to be exact, in June 1836, Leonard Boyer, Wm. Cummins, a brother in-law of Mr. Boyer, and Parley Worden and their families, the party numbering 21, located in Chester township. Edwin Boyer was a lad of 12 when the family reached their new home in the wilderness, while Jorum was a baby of two years old.

The family emigrated from New York State, making the trip from Syracuse to Buffalo on the Erie Canal, thence to Detroit by boat and from Detroit overland, the trip from Detroit to Chester requiring 12 days, and the entire trip 37 days.Harvey V. Prentice, of Eagle, owned
hundreds of acres throughout the section of the state in the early days, and Mr. Cummins came out here to look over the land and arrange for the purchase of ten 80-acre lots, the Boyers taking four of the ten lots, two of the same buying the adjoining farm where the brothers still live. Of the entire colony the Boyer brothers are the sole survivors so far as known.

Leaving Jackson, the wagon road extended only four miles out, but the colony had the advantage of the old Clinton trail, which had been blazed through a year or so before. The men in the party were able to cut the road through almost as fast as the teams could travel.

Near Spicerville, where the party crossed the Grand River, they found a little settlement where the Wall, Pixley and Southworth families lived and while they regarded the attempt to go farther into the woods as almost foolhardy, the men in the settlement hired out to take their oxen and assist the Boyer colony in making the remainder of the journey. The fourth night the party camped at Butternut Creed, the stream being so high that it was considered unwise to attempt to cross it at nightfall. At night a heavy rain fell and every one was soaked to the skin, although the members of the party were so worn out that the rain did not interfere with their sleep to any extent.

Owing to the hard rain some time was lost in building a fire, which was started by shooting tow into a rotten basswood log, the smoking tow (coarse part of flax) setting fire to the rotten timber. The next morning the party crossed the swollen stream and came upon the pioneer shacks of Asa Fuller and Levi Wheaton, Chester pioneers, who have since passed to their reward.

The Boyers built a home, being nothing more or less than a roof to cover their heads, on the banks of the Thornapple, the location being intended as an aid to help find their home in the thick forests. With the family sheltered, the men started out to find their farms by means of the witness trees, which told the sections, etc., the same having been carved on the trees by the government surveyers. Years ago the early settlers depended entirely on the witness trees to establish their lines and there were no line fence disputes in those days.

Samuel Hoyt lived in Sunfield, a fact unknown to the colony for some little time, they being under the impression their nearest neighbors on the north were the employees of the Land Office at Ionia. Two years later the Boyers gave up their shanty home on the banks of the Thornapple and moved to the site of their present home two miles east, where they have lived for 70 years.

At Jackson, the colony had expected to replentish their supply of provisions, but were unable to do so, save the purchase of a half bushel of crackers. As soon as possible, Mr. Boyer, Mr. Cummins and Mr. Worden started for Bellevue, their nearest post office, to buy flour and were able to procure only 70 pounds. Returning home, the men realized that 70 pounds of flour would not go very far toward feeding 21 persons, so the next morning they started for Marshall, but were unable to buy an ounce of flour. Thoroughly discouraged with the outlook and knowing the immediate need of their families the men went on to Barneyville, now called Homer, in the effort to find some flour. At Homer the farmers told the men if they would stay and help them in their harvest they would give them flour as soon as they could get a grist. This looked like the only thing left to do, notwithstanding the men fully realized that famine was facing their families now.

The situation finally became so serious at the Boyer home that the mother sent Edwin and his sister to Mr. Fuller's to borrow provisions and the good woman gave the children thirteen pounds of flour and a few potatoes and string beans. The father did not return and the family did not know where he was, although they knew the men were doing their best, wherever they were, to relieve the situation, which by this time was very critical.

Again the mother sent Edwin and the sister to the Fuller home and Mrs. Fuller gave them a few potatoes and string beans, saying it would be absolutely impossible for her to come to their aid again. The father did not come home and a third time Edwin made a trip to Mr. Fuller's and although Mrs. Fuller needed every bit of her provisions, she divided her portion of potatoes and beans and the brother and sister started back through the woods.

On the edge of the Thornapple, the children spied a moving object, which they concluded was a turtle, although neither had ever seen one before. The lad managed to kill the turtle, which weighed 20 pounds, and dumping the turthle into the sack with the supply of provisions secured at the Fullers, trudged home, the weight of the turtle and other contents of the sack almost equaling his weight of 53 pounds. The mother dressed the turtle, which made a dishpan full of meant and, with the third supply from Mrs. Fuller, the situation looked more cheerful than at any time since the father left for Marshall.

In the meantime the condition was even worst at the Cummins home, the family living on leeks for two straight weeks. The tree Cummins sons finally became so discouraged over the absence of their father and their inability to get provisions or any word from him, they started for Marshall and finally remained with the elder Cummins working on shares for the farmers until cold weather.

In the meantime Mr. Boyer returned home with the flour for the entire colony and the situation grew brighter, although Edwin, the older brother, says the family was on the verge of starvation several times after their arrival. The Cummins sons and father came home late in the fall with ten bushels of potatoes, a portion of their share of their fall's work, and with a half acre of turnips the family managed to get through the winter. When the Cummins brought in a load of their potato crop the next spring, their cow got into the potatoes and ate so many of them that she choked to death, which added to the gloom of an altogether discouraging situation. The next spring the colony put in several fields of crops and the family never wanted for enough to eat after the first winter had passed.

The colony encountered their first tribe of Indians in crossing the Grand River at Spicerville, but as they made progress through the new country they found several camps of Pottawatomies. They hunted and fished along the banks of the Thornapple, which in those days was alive with game. Shortly before Michigan was admitted to the Union -- in 1837, the year the colony settled in Chester -- the government bought the interests of the Pottawatomies and they went north, near Mt. Pleasant, although the Ottawa tribe lived in that section for many years after. Chief Nemaugh (pronounced Nemaw) who was in disgrace because of the murder of his wife, was well known to the Boyers. The penalty the chief paid for his crime was doing without a good gun or blanket for the remainder of his life. Occasionally he used to borrow a gun of the neighbors to go hunting, but it was worth his life if he had been seen by members of his tribe with a modern shooting iron.

Edwin Boyer well remembers playing with the little Indian children and was sorry to see them go, as he had learned the language of the Ottawas when they followed the Pottawatomies.

Mr. Edwin Boyer recalls shooting four deer the first dy he went over to town meeting and he tells about his father and Uncle "Bill" Cummins tracking a wolf, dragging a steel rap over into Barry County. The wolf finally crawled into a hollow log, where it was killed, and the father crawled into the log and pulled out the carcass, although he first prodded the animal with a sharp stick to be sure it was dead.

Both men have seen bears, although neither brother ever killed one. Jorum tells about putting a lantern almost in the face of a big black bear, thinking it was a hedgehog, but the only weapon he and his companion had was an ax and the bear got away. Both men were expert shots and roughed it in their younger days. They still own a steel trap that belonged to their father and they may bring the trap and a Mohawk Dutch neckyoke, besides other historic articles to the curio exhibit at the fair next week.

Both men are close students of outdoor life and are experts in matters pertaining to reforestation. Mr. Jorum Boyer has a small piece of the heart of a big oak cut fifty years ago in the woodlot back of his home. The stick shows the hacking of a blunt implement, which leads Mr. Boyer to believe that their section was inhabited three hundred years ago, as the butt of the tree, when it was cut down, indicated the old oak was 300 years old, the brothers measuring the surface of the stump by placing their jackknives after each count of ten. The hacking of the splinter taken from the heart of the oack was done when the tree was a sapling. In the 72 years the two brothers have lived on their present farms they have seen their 24-acre woodlot grow four separate forests. As lads they saw their father take hundreds of big oaks out of the woods. This growth was followed by beech, which has been succeeded by maple and the undergrowth now growing is white ash, making four different kinds of wood on the same lot within a century. They claim that any lot set apart will reforest itself and that a woods will trim itself and showed many instances of the last statement on their lot.

Both men have seen trees in front of their own homes grow from saplings, and Mr. Edwin Boyer recalls the time when his mother planted the walnut tree which now completely shades his home on the west. Mr. Jorum Boyer has a cedar box tree in his front yard he planted himself 30 years ago. Both men say that any forest judiciously handled, will pay a fair rental every year. Before the war, their father let the job of clearing a strip alongside their woods, but the man gave up the job and the second growth timber on the section cleared substantiates their claim that reforestation will come without legislation.

To give the reader some idea of how the country has developed since the Boyers first set foot in Eaton County it is only necessary to state that Charlotte and Grand Ledge had never been heard of, and not a frame building was standing in Lansing. They recall the strife brought on by the location of the state capital at Lansing, and how a man by the name of Townsend figured to locate the building at Grand Ledge, but was outgeneraled by "Laddy" Seymour, who owned considerable property in Lansing and vicinity.

Their father measured the first sill used in the old State House and vividly they recall that a man was killed at the raising of the first State House in Lansing, which marred the otherwise pleasant ceremony. It may be interesting to know that Eaton Rapids was a leading contender for the State House and only lacked one or two votes of landing the plum.

Both men are in splendid health and bid fair to live many years, which we trust will see them enjoying full measure of health and prosperity, which their long and useful lives have earned for them.
Added by D.R. Scherping on May 20, 2014 3:44 PM
D.R. Scherping
RE: Boyer
Thanks. That confirms it to be Elizabeth his wife. Do you want to created Find-a-grave memorials for Elizabeth & Harriet? If not, I could do so. Let me know. There is a cool article about Jorum in the 1909 Charlotte Republican. I transcribed it and I'll post it in another message. It's a cool story about Michigan in the 1830's.
Added by D.R. Scherping on May 20, 2014 3:42 PM
D.R. Scherping
Boyer
Jorum Boyers's first wife was Harriet E. Harmon, born 27 Dec 1839, died 16 Apr 1885. Married 01 May 1859.

Jorum 2nd wife was named Elizabeth L. (unknown maiden name). Born 23 Aug 1862, died 17 Jul 1892, married 2 Feb 1887.

Jorum's 3rd wife was Marcia Beeman, born 1846, died 24 Jan 1923. Unknown where she is buried.

Jorum also had a sister Elizabeth, born 1830, died 1885. She maried Jacob Inselman. I found his grave, but not hers. It's possible that the Elizabeth you found is her, but it seems more likely to be his wife Elizabeth.

Added by D.R. Scherping on May 20, 2014 2:34 PM
D.R. Scherping
Thanks!
Thanks for the photos of Margaret, Leonard & Jorum Boyer's graves. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
Added by D.R. Scherping on May 20, 2014 12:32 PM
RLE
Cade family
Thank you so much for taking the pictures I requested. I do not get to that part of Michigan often so your work is appreciated. RLE
Added by RLE on Apr 01, 2014 2:06 PM
Timothy Gorman
Dillingham Ancestors
Bob,
Thanks very much for the images of my Dillingham family members. You have an excellent eye as well.
Tim Gorman
Added by Timothy Gorman on Mar 28, 2014 6:15 AM
Mari-Jo Crow
Atha Carter
Thank you so much for the photo!!!
Added by Mari-Jo Crow on Nov 01, 2013 8:29 AM
Red
Maple Cemetery
My that was quick! Thank you for the photos of William and Dora Smith and Eli Reynolds. I appreciate you taking the time to do this for me. Red
Added by Red on Oct 13, 2013 3:33 PM
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