Archiver > MIKALAMA > 2005-04 > 1113290205

Subject: John Milham - bio
Date: 12 Apr 2005 01:16:45 -0600

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Surnames: Milham, Millham, Anderson, Rathbone, Poucher, Michel
Classification: Biography

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Portrait and biographical record of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties, Michigan, containing biographical sketches of ... citizens ... governors of the state, and ... presidents of the United States.............

pub 1892

This prominent and well-known pioneer of Kalamazoo county became a resident of the county in 1845 and passed the remainder of his life in the midst of its people, deeply interested in a practicable and serviceable way in its multitudinous industries and all its educational, moral and social activities. He was a native of Columbia county, N. Y., born on May 24, 1805, and the son of Mathias and Gertrude (Michel) Milham, who were also born in the state of New York and passed the whole of their lives there actively engaged in farming. There they reared their family and gave them all the advantages their circumstances would allow. Their son John was brought up on the farm and early in his life began farming for himself, adopting his vocation from choice and never quiting it to the end of his days. Early in the '40s he made a tour of observation through this portion of Michigan, and being pleased with the outlook, came here in 1845 to live, settling on a tract of wild land which h!
e purchased two miles and a half south of Kalamazoo. He erected a frame dwelling which is still standing, and pushed the improvement of his farm so vigorously that in 1848 he was awarded a prize of half a dozen solid silver spoons by the Kalamazoo County Agricultural Society for having the best farm in the county. The spoons are still in the family and are cherished as a valuable souvenir, much more for the tribute to his worth they embody than for their intrinsic value. He added to his original purchase until he owned four hundred and forty-six acres of excellent and highly improved land at his death, on February 7, 1885. While living in New York he was an officer in the state militia and as such acted as a part of Lafayette's escort in 1824. There he also represented his district a number of terms in the state legislature and filled several other local offices. After coming to Michigan he served as supervisor of his township and filled other offices of local prominence an!
d importance. Throughout his long life he adhered faithfully to the De
mocratic party in politics, and was ever an earnest and forceful advocate of its principles. He was active and energetic also in business, being one of the founders of the Kalamazoo Paper Mill Company and one of its stockholders to the day of his death. In addition he was president of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company fifteen years, being the first incumbent of the office, and for many years an officer of the agricultural society, in which he took a deep and zealous interest. He was four times married, first to Miss Eva Poucher, a native of Columbia county, N. Y., who died there in 1831, leaving four children, all sons. The second marriage was with Miss Almira Rathbone, also a native of New York, who died in this county in 1848, leaving a family of three sons and two daughters. The third wife was Miss Louisa Anderson, of Kalamazoo county, and the fruit of this union was four sons and three daughters. She died here in November, I866. Samantha Anderson, who then becam!
e his wife, survived him a number of years. Mr. Milham was one of the first trustees of the Michigan Female Seminary and also a trustee of the Congregational church.

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