Working in the Mills

An aspect of researching my family history that really interests me is the occupations of my ancestors. A common occupation that crops up again and again is working in various types of mills.

My Harris family has a long history in the mills. Ezekial Harris owned a saw mill in Bedford, NY in the the mid 1700′s. Nelson Harris built a saw mill in Cato, WI and then in Forest Junction, WI in the 1850′s. It was Forest Junction’s first business and was later operated by his brother, Isaac. Nelson’s son, Orville, worked in the Cato mill and later was an engineer in at a flour mill in Appleton, WI.

Walter Kachelski came to America in 1870, and during his early years, was employed as a weaver in a woolen mill in Beaver Dam, WI

Reuben Perry Benjamin operated a saw mill in Pierpont, Ohio in the mid 1800′s

In 1897, Daniel Webster Allen build the first grist mill in Custer, MI.

In the mid-1800′s, Lysander Ormsby operated a stave mill in Deerfield, MI. Stave mills produced the narrow strips of wood that composed the sides of barrels.

Family Matters | LYSANDER ORMSBY

Lysander Ormsby was born in Massachusetts and lived there until April of 1837, when resolving to see something of the great West, he started out and made his way by team to Albany, NY, the nearest point to the Erie Canal, and then by canal to Buffalo.

After arriving in Buffalo, Lysander had to wait two weeks for the ice to break up. He hired a team to Dunkirk and then took a steamer for Toledo, OH, which was just a small village. From there he made his way to Blissfield, MI via the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad, which had just been completed to Adrian. The train cars were pulled by horses over wooden rails.

Lysander spent his first summer in Blissfield and then moved to nearby Summerfield Township, where he purchased thirty-five acres of timber land and put up a log house. He had married Olive Burnham in 1840, and a substantial frame dwelling took the place of the log cabin. They later moved to Deerfield where he worked as a clerk in a general store. Two years later, he bought a stave mill and then opened a grocery store.

After 1877, Lysander devoted his time and attention to the duties of his office. He was appointed Notary Public in 1855, and continued to receive the appointment every four years after that for many years.  He served as postmaster for a period of ten years and was Village Attorney for some time.

Born:  July 5, 1855 in Westhampton, Hampshire Co., MA
Married:  Olive Clerinda Burnham on February 27, 1840, Mary Ellen Masters on February 24, 1887
Died:  January 23, 1911 in Deerfield, Lenawee Co., MI and is buried in the Deerfield Twp. Cemetery

Relation:  5th cousin, 4 times removed

**Much of this content was taken from An Index of Pioneers from Massachusetts to the West. The photo courtesy of http://www.ormsby.org.

 

Surname Saturday | ORMSBY/ORMSBEE

My Ormsby ancestry in America dates to the late 1630′s when Richard Ormsby came from England and settled in Maine. The family name was often times spelled Ormsbee. Richard made his way to Massachusetts.

His descendant, Isaac, was born in Rhode Island. He served in the Revolutionary War and was with General George Washington at the defeat of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. In 1796, he walked to Greenfield, NY to purchase land. After the purchase, he walked back to Barrington, RI, then returned, on foot, to Greenfield with his wife, Patience (Chase), and their four children. He and Patience are buried in the Ormsbee family burying ground on the site of the Ormsbee farm near Porters Corners near Greenfield.

One of their children was Russell Ormsbee. He was instrumental in documenting his family’s history. Early in life, he developed the habit of making family records and preserving them. He inspired his descendants to do the same. He was also quite a traveler for those days. His diary mentions trips to Vermont, Rhode Island, New York City, Boston and Michigan.

Another of Isaac and Patience’s children was Nancy. She married my third great grandfather John Earl Harris. They settled in Greenfield after their 1820 marriage, before leaving for Indiana in 1837. Later, they moved to Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. Both Nancy and John Earl are buried in Cato Heights Cemetery in Cato.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | August 9 – August 15, 2009

William Salisbury, Jr. – Born August 14, 1659 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony. He married Anna Cole on July 30th 1664 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts Bay Colony. William is my 7th great grandfather.

Joseph Benjamin, III – Born August 15, 1699 in Preston, New London, Connecticut Colony. He married Deborah Clark on April 3, 1722 in Preston. Joseph is my 6th great grandfather.

Richard Ormsby and Sarah Upham – Married August 9, 1640 in Saco, York Co., Province of Maine. They are my 8th great grandparents.

William Bradford, III and Alice Carpenter – Married August 14, 1623 in Plymouth Colony. William was the second governor of the Plymouth Colony almost continuously from 1621 until 1656. William and Alice are my 9th great grandparents.

Mary “Polly” Bromley – Died August 10, 1845. She married Asa Benjamin on January 4, 1787 in Worthington, Hampshire Co., MA. Mary is buried in the Hall Rd. Cemetery in Pierpont, Ashtabula Co., OH. She is my 4th great grandmother.

Wilhelm Hau – Died August 12, 1884 in St. Joe, Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. He came to America from Prussia in the 1860′s and married Kathrine Tuepper on January 12, 1869 in Mt. Calvery, Fond du Lac Co. He is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Marshfield Twp. Wilhelm is my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Louise Harris – Died August 13, 1972 in Clintonville, Waupaca Co., WI. She was born on July 17, 1900 in Appleton, Outagamie Co. Dorothy married Russell Bernard Weller in 1929. She is buried in St. Rose Cemetery in Clintonville. Dorothy is my grandmother.

Maria Katherine Michels – Died on August 14, 1923 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI. She was born in Germany and married Anton Fuhrmann on June 19, 1860 in Johnsburg. She is buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Johnsburg. Maria is my 2nd great grandmother.

Henry Lawrence Heim – Died on August 15, 1959 and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co., MI. Henry married Vera Gage in 1916 in Jackson, Jackson Co., MI. He is my wife’s great grandfather.