JACOB P. HARSEN. This experienced and enterprising farmer was born on Harsen Island, in St. Clair county, Michigan, November 25, I829, a son of William and Isabella (McCollum) Harsen, the former of whom was a native of Albany, New York, and the latter of Scotland. Jacob Harsen, paternal grandfather of Jacob P., came from the Empire state in 1769, and was the first of the family to come to St. Clair county, Michigan. He settled on the island which has since borne his name, the island, like all the surrounding country, being at that time the home of numerous redskins and wild animals. Mr. Harsen was a GUNSMITH by trade and the only one in that region of the country, but was always friendly with the Indians. His island home conmprised over 3,000 acres, for which he received a grant from the government. and there he worked at his trade, farmed, tradled with the Indians and there passed the remainder of his life. He was the father of 6 children, William, James, Francis, Jacob, Barney and Catherine.
Jacob P. Harsen was a babe but 6 weeks old when his mother was called away, and the child was adopted and reared by a paternal uncle, Jacob Harsen, whose sole heir he became, receiving 540 acres of farming land, as well as everything he possessed, horses, cattle, etc., Jacob dying when he was but 55 years old. March 8, 1851, Jacob P. Harsen married Miss Pollv A. Perrv, who was born in Canada, a daughter of James W. and Elizabeth (Ward) Perry, who came to St. Clair county in 1837, and settled in Clay township, at Point Tremb1le, and here Michigan. Perry engaged in farming, and here he and his wife passed the remainder of their days. To the marriage of Jacob P. Harsen and Polly A. Perry have been born the following named children: Mary L., deceased wife of Alfred Johnson, who is also deceased, leaving two children, Harry, wnho has since died, and Burton, a sailor; Augustus is the proprietor of the Kimball House at Algonac, and is married to Nancy Lee, who has borne him three children, viz: Clark, Florence and Floyd; the third child is named Alfred, lives at Grand Point, and is married to Etta Johnson, who has borne him two children, Mabel and Maggie. Mr. Harsen was but a lad of 10 yrs when his uncle Jacob died and he chose his brother William as his guardian, with whom he lived till 21 yrs, when he took possession of the property and to which he has ever since devoted his attention. His residence was built before he was born by his uncle Jacob and on which practically his entire life has been passed. In 1769 the north channel of the St. Clair river was the boundary line, Harsen island being in Canada. Jacob Harsen bought the island of its Indian owners, five chiefs signing the grant. Harsen was an Indian trader and free buyer. By later arrangements the island passed to the United States, the south channel being deemed the boundary. He carries on general farming, cattle raising, fruit growing, etc., and has made a success of life at this place, having never been away from home with the exception of 5 days, and out of the state but once. Mr. Harsen is a member of the Methodist church, to which he is a liberal contributor, is well known throughout St. Clair county, and is greatly respected everywhere.
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