Biography of Samuel Shearer



Kalamazoo County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

SAMUEL SHEARER, of whom this sketch is written, was among the first settlers of the town of Brady. He was born in Dutchess Co.,. N. Y., Feb. 22, 1811. The death of his parents, when he was seven years old, left him almost friendless. From that time be lived among strangers, doing whatever, he could find to do. In this way he lived until he reached man's estate, early learning lessons which made him well fitted for a pioneer. At the age of nineteen he went to Wayne Co., Pa., and worked on a farm for Moses Kellam five years. He then, for a year or two, rafted on the Delaware River, leading a life of adventure and hardship. In 1836 he came to Michigan, by the way of Detroit. From Detroit he came with a team to Brady township, in Kalamazoo County, where he settled on the northwest quarter of section 31. It was then all new; his nearest neighbor was at Parkville, in St. Joseph County, seven miles away.

After locating his land be went to Allegan, driving the first loaded team from Allegan to Kalamazoo. In Allegan he worked for a Mr. Bailey, drawing supplies from Allegan to Kalamazoo for his mills. Worked at this two years. When his laud came into market in 1842 he had saved from his earnings money enough to pay for it, and that was all. He moved upon his farm and built a log house, and commenced to improve and clear it. He lived alone, taking his meals with Thomas Smith, a bachelor. In 1838 he married Miss Fanny Smalley, who was born in Somerset Co., N. J., Oct. 24, 1811. She was daughter of Elias and Catherine Smalley. They were married on Wednesday, and the next Monday took their goods in a wagon and started for the farm in Brady, Mrs. Shearer going on foot.. Their neighbors were Indians; wolves howled around their house by night, and the deer browsed in sight by day. When Wisner was murdered by an Indian, Mr. Shearer and Mr. Nolan pursued and caught him. On the farm he cleared and improved Mr. Shearer lived until his death, Oct. 17, 1872. He was a true friend and valuable citizen, one whom to know was to respect and esteem. Was a Democrat in politics.

here have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Shearer the following children: Mary Jane, born April 5, 1843 (married to Daniel J. Fort, who was born Jan. 7, 1840; their children are as follows: Alonzo, born April 15, 1867; Berdena, Dec. 16, 1869; and Ethelinda, June 1, 1871, died Dec. 11, 1878); Theodore Shearer, born Feb. 10, 1847 (married Mary Jane Cooper, who was born July 28, 1851. They have two children, Samuel R., born Jan. 29, 1876, and John T., April 26, 1878).

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.