Biography of Orren Silver
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Probably no one family were more prominently identified with the early history of the southern portion of Cass County than the Silvers. Orren Silver, the subject of this memoir, was born in Hopkinton, Merrimack County, N. H., December 8, 1812, and is a son of John, Jr., who was born in the same place May 30, 1788, and Julia (Colby) Silver, who was born in 1785.

John, Jr., was taught the mason's trade by his father (John), but in 1827 commenced keeping a tavern, and also became proprietor of a stage route in Newport, which business he pursued for many years. After his first wife's death in 1821, he married Susan Russell, who accompanied him to Cass County in 1846, and who some two years subsequent departed this life. About ten years after this event, he returned to New Hampshire, where he died August 22, 1864.

Orren Silver, who was raised on a farm, had no opportunity for scholastic attainments other than those afforded by the common schools. He removed with his father to Newport when fifteen years of age, where he remained until coming to Cass County in October, 1835.

Being conversant with the business of hotel life, on reaching Edwardsburg he commenced keeping a tavern on the Thomas H. Edwards stand, where he remained for two years, and after three years spent in farming, he disposed of his property and returned East, but returned one year subsequently, and after a few changes purchased his present farm, and has since been prominently identified with the agricultural interests of Ontwa. As his business has been managed with prudence and sagacity, coupled with marked industry, success has crowned his efforts, as will be indicated by a view of his fine farm residence to be found on another page.

In politics he is a Democrat, but has eschewed active political life; nevertheless, has filled several important township offices, and is accounted among the substantial and honored residents of Ontwa.

In October, 1833, he was united in marriage to Abigail, daughter of Jonathan and Hannah (Thompson) Fifield, who was born in Salisbury, N. H., April 8, 1815, near the birthplace of Daniel Webster. In May, 1845, Mr. and Mrs. Silver united with the Swedenborgian Church, of which they have since been consistent members. They are the parents of one child, George F., who was born in Newport, N. H., January 9, 1835, and has filled the offices of Township Treasurer and Clerk of Ontwa. He was united in marriage May 6, 1863, to Miss Sarah J. Haney, and they are blessed with five children, viz.: Mary, Ray, Isabelle, Dora and Benjamin. The two first named are deceased.

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.