Biography of Harvey N. Sheldon



Barry County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Harvey N. Sheldon was born in the town of Brutus, Cayuga Co., N. Y., Sept. 14, 1819. His parents, Ira and Mary Sheldon, were distantly related, and were natives of Connecticut. They reared a family of six sons. In 1827 the elder Sheldon died, leaving the care of the family and the management of the farm to Mrs. Sheldon. Harvey remained at home until he was sixteen years of age, availing himself of such means of education as were afforded by the ordinary district school of that day. In the spring of 1835 he came to Michigan in company with his eldest brother, Newton Sheldon, who settled in the town of Lodi, Washtenaw Co., where he became one of its prominent citizens. Harvey remained with his brother three years, when he returned to the State of New York, where he resided until he was twenty-one years of age, when he came back to Michigan. In 1841 he came to Castleton, and purchased from the government the north half of the northwest quarter of section 1; he immediately commenced work upon it, making his home with A. B. Cooper, Esq., then a resident of the town of Woodland. In the spring following he erected dwelling, and during the summer returned to the State of New York, where, on the 14th of September, 1842, he was married to Miss Lydia Miller, of Steuben Co., N. Y. She was born Nov. 22, 1826. In October, 1842, in company with his wife and two brothers, D. C. and O. B. Sheldon, and their families, he returned to Castleton. His brothers purchased land, and settled in the immediate vicinity of his home, the former on section 36, in Woodland, where he still resides, the latter on an adjoining farm on section 1, in Castleton.

The following winter was one of unusual severity; snow fell to a great depth, and Mr. Sheldon and his wife experienced many hardships and privations, among which
was the loss of their only cow. In the spring Mr. Sheldon was attacked with that disease so dreaded by the early settlers, the ague, which, in connection with a lame arm, so impaired his health that he was obliged to return East. After a residence there of one year he so far recovered his health that he came back to his farm, on which he resided until 1854, at which time he was elected to the office of county treasurer, which position he filled with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the people for twelve successive years. Previous to his election to this position he had served his fellow townsmen as clerk and treasurer, and for three terms had represented Castleton on the board of supervisors, where he was appreciated not only for his sound judgment upon all matters of public interest, but for his sterling integrity.

Upon the expiration of his term of office as county treasurer he removed to the township of Hagar, Berrien Co., to engage in fruit growing, an industry to which he gave all his energies and to which he was very much attached. His reputation as a citizen and an official had preceded him, and soon after his settlement in ilagar he was called upon to take an active part in public matters. He was elected to the office of treasurer, and for three terms has been a member of the board of supervisors. In September of 1846 his wife died, leaving three children. In July, 1847, he was married to Miss Almira Wheeler, of Woodland. The better part of the life of Mr. Sheldon has been spent in Barry County. He saw it developed from a semi-wilderness into one of the productive and important counties of the State. He identified himself prominently with its growth and prosperity. He perfected an enviable record as a citizen, and will always be remembered for his ability as an official, his sterling integrity, and his marked social qualities.

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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