Biography of Wells Byington
Berry County, MI Biographies



Barry County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Among the venerable pioneers who by their own industry laid the foundation for the present wealth they now enjoy, we offer the gentleman whose name heads this brief history as an example, feeling that what is said of him is but a fitting tribute to his sterling worth. He was horn Nov. 8, 1808, in Connecticut, was the third in a family of six children of Daniel and Hannah (Alcox) Byington, who were both natives of Connecticut. When Wells was but seven years of age his parents moved to Chenango Co., N. Y., where they both died, the mother in 1835, the father struggling against the vicissitudes of life until 1843, when he too was called to the unknown. His father was a farmer, consequently his boyhood days were similar to those of the majority of farmers’ sons,—plenty of hard work, and but little time for education or recreation. When he reached his majority, he started in life for himself, hiring out by the month, which he pursued for three years, or until 1832, when he turned his face towards the far West, leaving home and friends behind, having one hundred dollars laid by of the wages earned by the sweat of his brow. The first two years he worked for Mr. Barnes, with whom he came to Michigan. In 1834 he located the farm where his son now lives, section 28, Barry township, it being the secoiid farm located in that town. In the fall of 1834 he returned to New York. Oct. 6, 1836, he secured a helpmeet by marrying Miss Betsey Gordon, of Madison Co., N. Y., where she was born March 7, 1809, she being the oldest in a good old Fashioned family of eleven children. Her father was a native of New Hampshire, her mother of Connecticut, but both died in New York, the father in 1827, the mother in 1850, and now lie quietly resting, side by side, with naught but a marble slab to mark the sacred spot. After marriage, he, with his young bride, started for the West, arriving in Kalamazoo County, Nov. 8, 1836, working by the mouth some two years on Gull Prairie then moved on their farm, located in 1834, and commenced in earnest to improve their new home. Here they remained some thirty five years, when he sold it to his only surviving child, Henry N., who is now on the farm. They never had but two children. Their oldest, George N., born Dec. 30, 1837, died Oct. 18, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Byington have a fine home at Hickory Corners, Barry township, where they expect to pass the remainder of their days in ease and comfort. Mr. Byington is in the truest sense of the word a self-made man; starting in life his only capital a strong arm and willing heart, by industry and economy he has amassed a comfortable competency. In politics he is a Democrat, casting his first vote for Jackson, and has represented his party at different times in minor offices. Mrs. Byington is a worthy member of the Baptist Church,— his views on religion being liberal. Mr. Byington’s grandfather was a native of Connecticut, and held a commission as lieutenant from George III. in the French war, but when the Revolutionary war broke out he took up arms with the colonies, serving through the struggle. Died in May, 1824, at the advanced age of eighty seven years.

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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