Biography of Marcus Lane

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Among the early settlers and good practical farmers of Cheshire township none have a better record for personal integrity and high moral worth than he whose life and character forms the basis of these lines. Coming to Michigan in 1851, he stopped at Allegan County with a brother, and assisted him in clearing off a piece of ground and getting in a crop of corn, which was planted among the roots, logs, and stumps, but the result of this labor was eighteen hundred bushels of corn. It was not Mr. Lane’s intention to make Michigan his home, having started for Illinois; but, meeting his brother in Buffalo, he was induced by him to come and see Michigan. After a short stay here he decided upon making it his permanent home, purchased forty acres of land, and erected a log house. The lumber used for this was brought from Pine Grove, with a creek between his cabin and the lumber. Going with an ox-team, he, on his return, found the waters so high that he must swim his oxen in order to cross. This he did. Such were pioneer experiences. Few these latter days comprehend the hardships through which the pioneers of the State passed. Neither can they understand the strength of the bonds of sympathy and fellowship which united these first dwellers in the woods. After his cabin was completed another difficulty arose, but, remembering it was said “That it is not good for man to be alone,” he returned to New York, and, Sept. 25, 1851, married Harriet F., daughter of George and Mirze Miller. Two weeks after their marriage this young couple started to their home in the wilds of Michigan. Upon their arrival they took an inventory of their stock of this world’s goods with which to begin life, and found, besides a few household effects, one cow and three dollars. But with a hearty good will both went to work to make a home, and how well they succeeded can be seen. Mr. Lane engaged in buying and selling land, owning at times several hundred acres. Their home farm now consists of one hundred and forty-eight acres. Although beginning with such small capital they have always had plenty to supply their wants, yet could look around them and see their neighbors almost destitute, at times being obliged to subsist on leeks and potatoes for weeks at a time. Mr. and Mrs. Lane have a family of seven children, viz., George M., the first white male child born after the organization of the township; Wm. C., Almon B., Herschel D., Jennie M., Edwin E., and Lena M. George M. married Miss Mary Fry, and is engaged in the grocery business in Chicago. Wm. C. married Miss Belle Bagley; is living on a fine farm in Bloomingdale. The others are at home with their parents. Mr. Lane was born in Hume, Allegeny Co., N. Y., March 15, 1827. He had the misfortune to lose his mother in 1831, when an uncle, Wm. Hill, took him into his family, where he found a pleasant home until he was twenty-seven years of age. His uncle being engaged in farming and dairying, Marcus assisted during the summer and attended school in the winter months. After arriving at his majority he returned to his native county, engaging two years in the dairy business with his brother William. Some time during these two years he lost the use of three fingers, caused by a cut received at the hands of one Hiram Turner. Later in life Mr. Lane has been engaged in farming principally, but in connection with this has spent five years in a saw-mill, lumbering, and in mercantile business in partnership with Cooley & Munger. At this time Mr. Lane owns a saw-mill. In politics he is a Republican, and has held several offices of trust in his township. In religion is a Baptist, and has ever been willing to devote a portion of his time and money for the spread of the gospel. Was one of the men who organized the first Baptist Church in his township, and so well did the members of his church appreciate his services that they elected him deacon and superintendent of the Sabbath-school, which position be has since filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to others. Mr. Lane’s father died in New York, in 1870, Mrs. Lane was born in Rush, Monroe Co., N. Y., Oct. 8, 1830. Her father, George Miller, died in Ohio in 1859. Her mother in New York in 1867.


From:
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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