Biography of Nehemiah Elwell
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Nehemiah Elwell, Sr., was born in Danbury, Conn. From Danbury he went, prior to his marriage, to Albany Co., N. Y., where he married a Miss Martha Babcock. Mr. Elwell was a shoemaker, and worked at his trade until the infirmities of age compelled him to quit the bench. After his marriage he moved into Schoharie County, and from there to Monroe Co., N. Y., where he owned a farm. He remained in Monroe County a few years, when he sold, and purchased a new farm in Niagara Co., N. Y., which he cleared and improved with the assistance of his sons. In 1830 he again sold and came with his son to Climax, and again settled on a farm of wild land, the east half of the northwest quarter of section 15, which Nehemiah, Jr., had entered for him the year previous. The town was organized, and he was elected highway commissioner and fenceviewer. On this farm he lived, and died at the age of sixty-two years. Nehemiah Elwell, Jr., was born in the town of Berne, Albany Co., N. Y., Oct. 31, 1811. He lived with his father until he was of age, when he commenced business on his own account. He had always worked at farming, and we find him working at whatever he could find to do that would earn him an honest penny. In the fall of 1835 he came to Detroit by steamer, and thence on foot to Climax, in Kalamazoo County. He bought for himself the west half of the northwest quarter of section 15, in Climax, and the balance of the quartersection for his father. He then returned to New York, and the following year came with his father's family to the new home. They came through Canada with a team and wagon. On his father's laud they built a log -shanty, where they all lived in common until 1840, young Nehemiah clearing and improving the land, which he has lived to see in a fine state of cultivation, while cleared farms, school houses, churches, and villages have taken the place of the forest. After his marriage, in 1840, he went on his own lot, living in a log house he had previously built, and which did good service for many a year, but which has been replaced by a handsome new house, built in 1876. The farm he has cleared and improved, and on it he intends to pass the remainder of his days.

In politics Mr. EIwell was first a Whig, then an Abolitionist and Free-Soiler, and is now a Republican. At the first township-meeting he was elected constable and collector, and' has since been highway commissioner. Mr. Elwell is a man whom to know is to esteem and respect,- a man with many friends and no enemies. He married, Sept. 17, 1840, Ruth Whitford, daughter of Eli and Nancy (Sims) Whitford, who was born March 14, 1818. There have been born to them the following children: Homer N., born May 10, 1842; Martha M., May 2, 1845; Byron E., July 25, 1848, died in infancy; Warren, March 19,1851; Louisa P., Sept. 27, 1853; and Hubert, Aug. 26, 1855.

Homer N. Elwell enlisted, Aug. 6, 1862, in Company E, 25th Michigan Infantry, as a private; was promoted to second sergeant Sept. 14, 1863; acted as orderly during the campaign of 1864; was in the battles of Tubb's Bend, Ky.; Kingston, Tenn.; Mossy Creek, Penn.; Rocky Face; Resaca; Dallas; Culp's Farm; Atlanta; Utoy Creek; and Nashville, Penn., and was mustered out June 26, 1865, at Salisbury, N. C.

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.