Biography of John Batey
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

This gentleman, one of the venerable pioneers of Pavilion, was born in Salem, Washington Co., N. Y., May 30, 1805. He was the second child in the family of Joseph and Jeanette Batey, which consisted of eight. When John was twenty years of age he left the paternal roof, and started in business as a farm laborer, by which occupation he was inured to the hardships and trials of pioneer life. After several changes of location, he decided to come to Michigan and hew out a home in the wilderness for himself and family. Accordingly, in the autumn of 1835, he came on with his family, and purchased from government the farm upon which he now resides. At this time there were only two other families in the town, that of Messrs. Vose and Smith. He built a rude log house, and, for lank of material for doors and windows, was obliged to use blankets instead. The fireplace was without a back; and in this uncomfortable abode they remained seven1 months, being unable to complete the structure; but despite the trials and hardships, both Mr. and Mrs. Batey still refer to the early days with evident pleasure. They speak in high terms of the friendliness of the Indians, who were frequent visitors, and of the kindly feeling and affection which existed among the settlers. The construction of a home from land so heavily timbered was a work of great magnitude; but by degrees field after field was added to the “little hole in the wilderness,” and industry and frugality were rewarded for several years. Mr. Batey was obliged to market his products at St. Joseph, situated at a distance of sixty miles away. In December, 1831, Mr. Batey was married to Eliza Olds. She was born in Massachusetts Oct. 23, 1815. They have reared a family of twelve children: Joseph, born Sept. 15, 1832; George, born Feb. 8,1834; Mary Ann, born March 14, 1836; Sarah J., born March 12, 1838; Edwin, born Jan. 29, 1840; Angela C., born July 12, 1842; Betsey, born Aug. 12, 1844; Jeanette, horn Oct. 9, 1846; John, born Aug. 25, 1848; Clara 0., born Sept. 22, 1850; Eva L., born Oct. 17, 1853; Willard, born Jan. 17, 1858. Betsey died July 6, 1848, and Jeanette died April 6, 1852. Few men in Pavilion have done more in the development of the town than Mr. Batey. He has witnessed its transition from a wilderness to a thriving and prosperous community, and in his own person typifies many of the agencies that have wrought these changes, and can justly claim distinction as one of its founders.

History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of its Men and Pioneers.
Everts & Abbott., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.