Biography of John F. Oliver
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

JOHN F. OLIVER was born, in Springfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., Oct. 2, 1820. His father, George C. Oliver, was born in Scotland, and came to this country in 1795, being then ten years of age. He moved to Niagara Co., N. Y., in 1826, where he lived until 1843, when he came to Kalamazoo County, and settled in Portage, where he died, Feb. 11, 1850, aged sixty-five years.

John F. Oliver lived with his parents until March, 1849, at which time he married Lucy, daughter of Elijah Root, who came from Genesee Co., N. Y., and settled in Portage, in 1833. He was one of the earliest settlers in this town. He was supervisor in the years 1861 to 1865 inclusive. He died April 16, 1861.

Soon after Mr. Oliver was married he built a small honse on fifty acres of unimproved land, which was a portion of his father's farm. From this small beginning he has become the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres, well improved, with fine buildings and pleasant surroundings. Politically, Mr. Oliver was originally a Whig. Since the organization of the Republican party he has been identified with it. He has held the offices of school inspector, town clerk, supervisor, and justice of the peace for several years, and is the representative of his district in the present Legislature (1880).

He has two sons: the oldest, William H., married Georgiana Marsh, and lives near the old home; John K. resides at home, and a danghter died in infancy.

Coming into the county in the early days of its settlement, Mr. Oliver has watched the progress of improvements in the various branches of industry with interest. A man of strong personal character, he is plain and unassuming; largely interested and well versed in the important topies of the day, and possesses that sound judgment characteristic of the self made men of Miohigan.

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.