Biography of Edward Pettis
Ada, Kent County, MI Biographies

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Edward Pettis, pioneer, was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Mass., Jan. 5, 1818. us parents, John and Lovica (Keeler) Pettis, were also natives of Massachusetts, and died while their son was but a youth. In 1826 he came with his brother-in-law, Horace Latbrop, to Oakland county, and in 1836 to lonia county and entered 80 acres of land in Clinton county. In April, 1837, he pre-empted 104 acres on sec. 6, the first land pre-empted or sold in the town. He disposed of this in 1842, and June 6 of that year, purchased 105 acres of his present homestead, increased by subsequent purchases to nearly 400 acres of well improved land. At this period there were no roads and no bridges, and the only available grist mill was at Grand Rapids. One notable occasion is related. Mr. Pettis left home with his wife, mother-in-law and 25 bushels of buckwheat, and drove his ox team to Grand river, where he kept a canoe. He ferried the women and buckwheat across, compelled the oxen to swim over, and, returning, dissected his wagon and carried the pieces to the opposite shore in his canoe, where he reconstructed his train and proceeded. The return process was the same and three days were consumed in the trip. When Ada tp. was organized Mr. Pettis represented the whole Whig party, made his own nomination and voted his ticket, He aided in building the first church and school house and roads; he piloted the first boat from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven, and in 1837-8 assisted in the subdivision of 22 townships in Oceana, Newaygo and Manistee counties. Mr. Pettis was married in March, 1845, to Harriet, daughter of Elias and Philatha Crow. She died, and Mr. Pettis was again married in February, 1855, to Hannah Crow, sister of his first wife. One son, Edwin, was born March 1, 1856, and Mrs. Pettis died in January, 1857. Mr. Pettis was married a third time to Almira Whitney Murdoch. Of three children born to them, two are living - Carrie E., born March 10, 1858, and Charles M., May 29, 1863. Mrs. Pettis died, and Mr. P. was married a fourth time, to Mrs. Maria W. (Murdech) Symes, sister of his third wife. She is a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Pettis has had a successful career. Cast out upon the world to do for himself at the age of 14, he early teamed that he was of more importance to himself than to the general community, and that his value to the last would be gauged by the discharge of his personal duties. He has accumulated a fine property and established a record for integrity and uprightness which constitutes his best achievement. Besides his home farm Mr. Pettis owns 10 acres in Allegan county. He has lumbered on the Flat river about 15 years; is a Republican.


From:
History of Kent County, Michigan
Chas C. Chapman & Company
Chicago 1881.

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