« PreviousContinue »
He was twice chaplain of Jackson prison. After having returned from the western trip, which was his first journey out of the State since the memorable march to Toledo, he tried to take up work again but his strength was not sufficient. For a short time he acted as chaplain for the Soldier's Home at Grand Rapids but even this was too much and he was obliged to cease work altogether. For a few years he lived with his sister at Byron and then went to the home for superannuated preachers at Grand Rapids where he died last year in his ninety-third year.
From nearly the beginning of this Society his name appears frequently on the records as contributor and chaplain. He served the Society on the executive and historical committees, but more often as the author of narrative verse for he had a wonderful facility for rhyming.
In person Mr. Crawford was below the average height with the bold features of a strong man and the kindly expression of a very good man. He didn't care much about theology; to him the differences between Christian churches were too insignificant for serious consideration though his loyalty to the Methodist Episcopal church was steadfast and strong. No one was more benefitted by the yearly meetings of this society than Mr. Crawford because he could meet so many dear old friends, gathered from the twenty or thirty places where he had lived during his eightyfive years in Michigan.
It is a noteworthy fact, that in referring to any of these many “abiding places," as he called them, he always spoke first of the people of the community—the good men and women made the place, to him life was a complex of human relations, and people constituted a brotherhood welded by affection. His faith in God was as strong as that of any martyr that ever burned, but it was a God not only of love, justice and ethics but of clean wholesome humor of poetry and of song.
JOHN WETMORE DEWEY
John Wetmore Dewey, one of the earliest settlers of Shiawassee County, died at his home in Owosso Township, Sunday night, September 11, 1910, at the advanced age of ninety-two years, three months and seven days.
He was born in Erie County, New York, June 3, 1817, and was the son of Apollos and Abigail Wetmore Dewey. Mr. Dewey remained at home until twenty-four years of age. Previous to this he had purchased eighty acres on what is now section 32 in Owosso township, paying four dollars per acre. This tract of land was his home for almost all
the remainder of his life. His father had given him 160 acres across the road on section 29. His mother advised him against building a house until such time as he could erect a permanent one and he acted upon her judgment. Of the 240 acres he improved all but forty acres of timber.
When Mr. Dewey's parents located in Owosso township they brought plenty of supplies until they could raise crops. This was in 1839 when Owosso was a part of Middlebury township. The pioneers walked through the woods as there were no roads. Mr. Dewey and his father helped clear up most of the woods in their section of the country. The elder Dewey had in 1835 taken up 2410 acres of government land. They built a row of shanties sixty feet long and had to split lumber for floors and benches. Five years later Apollos Dewey built a brick house, with brick made on the farm and he handled every brick in the structure. He lived in the place until his death. He made his home with his son for seven years after the latter's mother died. This was during the time of wildcat money. Apollos Dewey deposited some money in a Pontiac bank, but the institution failed before he got around to draw it.
When John W. Dewey came to the township, Owosso consisted of but a few huts. The first grain grown by his father in Michigan had to be cut with a sickle, threshed with a flail and cleaned by the wind. When taken to the mill in Detroit the farmer was forced to wait for the wind before it could be ground.
Mr. Dewey had seen hundreds of Indians in a body with Governor Cass negotiating a treaty with them. Then the Indians used to go through to Detroit on their trails, once a year, to receive their pay from the government. He had seen half a mile of them in a string.
Mr. Dewey was originally a Whig, but later a Republican. He represented this district in the state legislature during 1881-82 and was present at every session. He served as justice of the peace for eight years and three times as highway commissioner. He never sought office, however, the office invariably seeking him. He was educated in the district schools of Oakland and Shiawassee counties.
Mr. Dewey was a constant supporter of the M. E. Church at Benning, ton, and for many years one of its valued trustees. He was an honored member of the Pioneer societies of the State and county, and a familiar figure at all those gatherings. He bore the distinction for many years of having lived longest in the State.
Mr. Dewey was twice married, first to Fidelia S. Mather, who bore him one child, which died in infancy, and who was soon followed by its mother. Later he married Mrs. Nancy M. Frink with whom he lived many years in the greatest harmony till she too was taken from him in 1899.
Four orphaned children found a home under his sheltering roof. They were Burr Curtis, a nephew; George P. Jenkins, both now deceased, Mrs. A. M. Hume of this city, and Mrs. Ellen Dewey Wimple, who has remained in the home. The only near relative surviving him is a sister, Mrs. Mary Tranger of Niles, Mich.
CHARLES E. FOOTE
BY ORAMEL B. FULLER
Colonel Charles E. Foote, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, died at his home in the City of Kalamazoo, June 5th, 1909.
I had the honor of serving in the legislature with him in 1895 and 1897, and served on committees with him and we became intimately acquainted. Through our association I was drawn to him by his manly qualities and appreciated his sterling worth. He gave the same devotion to the interests of his constituents and the state that he gave to the Nation in its hour of need. His vote in the legislature was always given for the right, and in opposition to everything that appeared to him to savor of wrong.
Colonel Foote resided at Cobleskill, New York at the outbreak of the rebellion, and at the age of twenty-two he enlisted on July 18th, 1861 at Milford, in Co. D., 3rd. New York Cavalry and served with that command until August 11th, 1864, being mustered out at Bermuda Hundred, Va. While in the service he was severely wounded in an engagement with the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry.
The 3rd New York Cavalry was one of the hard working cavalry regiments of the civil war. They were in the Army of the Potomac, and operated in the states of North Carolina and Virginia. The records in the office of the Adjutant General in Albany, N. Y., show that the regiment was in one hundred and twenty-six engagements with the enemy, and that they suffered a loss of 207 men by death. This establishes the fact that Colonel Foote was not a holiday soldier as he served over four years with his regiment during the war.
After peace was declared Colonel Foote returned to his home in New York state, and still evinced his patriotism by taking his place in the civil walks of life and did his part in healing the sores caused by the greatest conflict recorded in the history of the world. He came to Michigan in 1883 in the service of the Pension Bureau; his first place of residence 'Read at the annual meeting, June, 1910.
was Jackson. He moved to Kalamazoo in 1888 and by his efforts in behalf of the soldiers, their widows and orphans he was able to give relief in thousands of deserving cases, and made happiness and comfort prevail wherein, without his aid, would have been despondency and despair. His first care was the interest and welfare of his surviving comrades at arms, and no labor was too severe or arduous for him in their behalf.
While death is the common heritage of man, the death of Colonel Foote coming at the time it did, on the eve of the encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic in his home city, is fraught with the deepest sadness and sorrow. The summit of his ambition had been attained in his being Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the crowning act of his administration as commander would have been at the encampment. I remember his plea to the State Military Board to allow the regimental battle flags to be taken from the Capitol and carried in the parade of the Grand Army of the Republic at Kalamazoo, and how he became personally responsible for their safety, his idea being that the veterans be allowed to march once more under the flags that they had followed on the fields of carnage and blood, the flags they loved so well and under whose gleaming folds they had offered all and dared all that the Nation might live. The Military Board granted the request of Colonel Foote, but it will be the last time the flags will ever leave the Capitol as they are sealed in cases in the rotunda ever to remain to the honor of Michigan, and to the patriotism and bravery of her sons.
That Colonel Foote was loved by the soldiers and by the citizens of his home city is attested by the many heartfelt tributes to his memory.
To know Colonel Foote was to love him, his strong, sturdy character, his manly qualities and love of truth and justice attracted men to him. He was a typical American gentleman, a chivalrous and brave soldier, an upright, honorable citizen, and in his death Michigan has sustained a great loss.