William, born on Leap day of Leap year Feb. 29, 1820, and died Jan. 9, 1912; at the age of 91y, 10m, 11d. He was was born in Scauado, Oneida Co. NY. (It may have been Petersborough, Madison County NY.) and died in Jackson, Mich.
He married Mary Bristol (May 26, 1828 – May 18, 1906) in Jamestown, NY. on Mar. 12, 1843. On June 17, 1843 William bought land from Huram & Nancy Bristol (Mary's parents) in Chautauqua County, New York. March 20,1845 William bought land from Hervey Smith of Attica, Wyoming County, NY. March 9.1847 William bought land from Digby V. Bell, Auditor General of Mich. November 18, 1847 William Near of Alaiedon Township bought land from Booth and Freelove Fairchild of Vevay Township.
They came to Michigan in the fall of 1843, by way of Cleveland to Detroit by boat, then by rail to Jackson and hauled their goods with teams to Mason where Mr. Bristol had purchased some land the year before. They stored their goods in Mr. Blaines tavern-barn while they went out into the woods 1 1/2 miles and built thier log house (at Columbia & College Roads). At that time, Mason had only 26 buildings.
The following spring they took over the County Poor House, where they remained for 4 years.
At one time William was involved as a produce dealer in the Mason area, and also in Politics. The Ingham County News states that "WF Near utterly disregarded all insructions given him by the city council in laying sidewalk". He was ordered to take it up and relay it within 10 days.
William is survived by 1 son, William Lafayette Near (Millie) and 4 daughters: Emily (Emma) Watson, Lucinda Seely, Amelia Evarts and Luella VanCamp.
He was preceded in death by one daughter, Elvira Annie Vandercook who died in 1884, and one daughter, Mary Martha, who died in infancy, and his wife, Mary.
Mary M Bristol Near
1828–1906 (m. 1843)
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