Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
The subject of this sketch, Elijah Bishop, was born at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., in 1811, and is a son of Sylvester
and Ruth (Duel) Bishop.
The life of Mr. Bishop has been no holiday affair, for his parents being poor, he was obliged to face the stern
realities of life, and assist in obtaining a livelihood by performing the laborious work on a farm when so young
that he had not strength sufficient to straighten up the plow he was vainly endeavoring to guide. His opportunities
for obtaining an education were quite limited, and like many of the solid, substantial and successful men of our
country, commenced life with but little book knowledge, but having early acquired habits of industry, was prepared
for the hardships of pioneer life he was called upon to endure, and success has crowned his labor. When four years
of age, he removed to Cayuga County, of his native State, with his parents, and remained there until attaining
his majority, when he emigrated to Medina County, Ohio, and made it his home until coming to Cass County, in 1838,
at which time he was accompanied by his father.
Mr. Bishop purchased his farm of George Redfield, and can now look back with much complacency to the hard struggle
necessary to pay for it. The first payment of $25 was made by splitting fence-rails, but those succeeding were
the most difficult to meet, for wages were but 50 cents per day and store pay legal tender, and for one year's
labor one would sometimes procure but $5 in cash. Corn brought but 20 cents per bushel; wheat from 40 to 50 cents
per bushel pork, $1.50 per hundred; and it was so difficult to obtain money, that he had almost decided to surrender
his farm, when all but' three of the forty acres were cleared when Mr. Redfield extended the time indefinitely,
and he concluded to resume his labors. It was a joyful time when the last dollar was paid, although it took his
work oxen to make up the amount. At this time he discarded his squirrel skin cap and purchased a plush one which'
was looked upon as the height of extravagance by his neighbors. Mr. Bishop avers that his sugar bill now aggregates
more than his entire household expenses at this time.
He now possesses a fine farm, all the results of his own untiring industry, and the highest meed of praise is due
for his energy and enterprise, and he is now numbered among the progressive and prominent farmers of Mason Township.
In politics, he affliates with the Democratic party. In 1832, he was married to Amelia, daughter of Jonatan Stephens,
who came to Cass County in 1836, where his death occurred at the residence of his daughter, in 1851. Mrs. Bishop
has well performed her part in the struggle for a livelihood and ultimate competency, and is the mother of five
children, viz.: Jonathan, who resides in Mason; Augusta, now Mrs. J. W. Thomas, in Indiana; Mary and Hiram, who
reside at home, and Eleanna, now Mrs. David Holderman.
(Also see Daniel Bishop)
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.