Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
John Avery was born in the town of Lyme, Conn., May 4, 1798, and is of English and Scotch descent. When six
years of age his parents moved to Jefferson Co., N. Y., and when the war of 1812 broke out, John Avery, then a
lad of thirteen years, moved by a spirit of adventure and independence which has characterized him through life,
enlisted in the Twenty-third Regiment of United States Infantry. He participated in the capture of Fort George,
and nearly all the engagements on the frontier during the war, and took part in the capture of the brigs “Adams”
and “Caledonia;" was taken prisoner at the battle of Fort Erie by the Indians, who took him to the forest
of Canada, where he rpmained more than a year in charge of Jack Brandt, when his freedom was purchased by Adams
& Ball, merchants at Twelve-Mile Creek. He then returned to Adams, Jefferson Co., N. Y., where he was married,
August, 1821, to Sarah Cooper, of Watertown. After a few years they went to Chautauqua County, and in 1836 came
to Michigan, stopping in Oakland County two years, arriving in Clinton County the fall of 1838 with fiftydollars;
chased forty acres of land in the town of Greenbush, where he remained five years, then purchased eighty acres
in Bingham, where he has since resided. At that time this part of the county was sparsely settled, and all new
beginners, with limited means. Mr. Avery cut out the road for two miles, and put in the first log bridges on that
road. The couutry was heavily timbered, and the process of making a farm was slow, but by the indomitable perseverance
and strong arm of this pioneer the improvements were made, other lands added, until at one time he had more than
four hundred acres of land, with large and substantial improvements. He has raised a family of seven children,
flve sons and two daughters, besides three children which they adopted. Five of his own children are now living.
Three of his sons took part in the late civil war. John, Jr., was educated for a physician, was surgeon of the
Twenty second Infantry, and with Sherman on his march to the sea; is now practicing his profession at Green, ville,
Mich. Marvin was sergeant in the Sixth Cavalry, and killed at Trevillian Station, Va., June 12, 1864. Merritt was
living in Minnesota, and joined a regiment from that State. Politically, Mr. Avery was a Democrat, and remained
with that party until the exigencies of war appealed to the patriotism of every friend of his country, when he
joined the Republican party and cast his vote for President Lincoln.
Mr. Avery was a warm supporter of the Union cause. In 1863 he called on President Lincoln, and was furnished with
a pass to the front; went to Fairfax Court House, where his son was stationed. Here he was furnished a horse and
rations, and rode with the regiment for four weeks, during which time he witnessed the battle of Gettysburg.
John Avery and his wife were well calculated for a new country, being blessed with strong constitutions, untiring
energy, and good common sense. She died Dee. 6, 1877, aged seventy eight years, after a married life of more than
a half century.
Mr. Avery, although past his fourscore years, enjoys good health. His faculties are unimpaired, and he manages
his large farm with the
History of Shiawassee and Clinton 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.