Kent County Biographies
Names A to E
Names F to O
Names P to Z
Railway Officials in America 1906
Haratio N. Stinson, of Rockford, was born in Georgetown, Lincoln Co., Maine, Oct. 19, 1820. He was reared on
a farm, and educated at Freedom Academy. When quite young he went several trips to sea with his relatives, who
were seamen. He came to Plainfield in November, 1841, and followed lumbering the succeeding winter in Algoma tp.
for flames Gordon; and for the following eight summers sawed lumber for him and others, and taught school during
the winter. In 1849 he purchased a farm on sec. 33, Cortland tp., and engaged in farming until 1853. He then (in
1853) went to California. He drove an ox team and walked all the way from Leavenworth, Kansas, through to California.
He then engaged in mining for six years, and in 1859 returned to Michigan, and to Southwest Missouri the same fall,
locating in Dade county, at Greenfield. He then engaged in the hardware trade with R. B. Cook, a former partner
in California. At the breaking out of the war he was obliged to leave Greenfield, for he was known to be a Union
man, and such characters were not harbored in that region; but soon afterward returned to sell his property. Be
was there taken prisoner by the rebels, kept three days, and then released; but soon afterward they learned that
Mr. Stinson had made cartridges for the Union army, and they then and there resolved to punish him with death.
One of the rebels happened to is a personal friend of Mr. Stinson, and informed him of their murderous intentions.
They placed a guard about the house in which he was stopping, and intended to hang him to a tree the following
morning; but a little after midnight the guard at the door fell asleep, and Mr. Stinson made good his escape.
But the danger was not over yet, for the woods were full of rebels. He, however, succeeded in concealing himself
through the day, and at night, when the Union ladies called their cows, he would go, and these good Samaritans
would feed him. The calling of the cows was a signal which the ladies had of calling the concealed Union men out
to get something to eat when there was no danger from the enemy. On one occasion, when he and some others came
out for refreshments, they took a circuitous route hack to their hiding place. Scarcely had they reached their
retreat when they heard the blood hounds on their trail. After some deliberation they concluded to remain there
and sell their lives as dearly as possible; but just before the bloodthirsty canines reached them, a fox chanced
to jump up and run in a different direction. The dogs gave chase to the fox and left the trail, and the rebels,
who were closely following, were led astray by the dogs, which gave the pursued men a chance for their lives once
more. They proceeded a short distance, to Lynn branch, a small stream that flows into Turuback river. They followed
this stream to its confluence with the latter, and still continued to wade another half mile, when they left, and
crossed the divide to Sun's creek, where they again secreted theroselves. At last, after many other hairbreadth
escapes and privations, on the first thy of November, he reached Gen. Lane's brigade, which was then on its way
to join Fremont at Springfield, Mo. Mr. Stinson was nearly three months in reaching the Union army, having effected
his escape on the night of Aug. 28. At one time he went three days without food. On reaching the army he immediately
enlisted in Co. D, Sixth Mo, Cav.
While in the service he participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Pea Ridge, Siege of Vicksbnrg, Arkansas
Post, and others. He took sick at Vicksburg, and resigned his commission, which was then that of 1st Lieutenant
Regimental Quartermaster. He returned to Michigan in 1864, and removed to Rockford (then Laphamville) and lived
in the old Algoma house six weeks, when it was destroyed by fire. He rebuilt it and ran it as a hotel for about
12 years. Mr. Stinson has held many offices of trust, viz.: Supervisor, 12 years; Assessor, six years; School Director,
12 years, etc. He is Secretary of the Royal Arch Masons. and also of the Blue Lodge Masons of Rockford, He was
married, Oct. 17, 1846, to Miss Marion A. Haynes, by whom he had two children - Clarence F. and M. Adelia. Mrs.
Stinson died, and he again married, this time Mrs. Eleanor C. Hoeg, who had two children by her first husband,
viz.: Lottie E. and Henry Hoag. They have an adopted daughter, Nettie.
History of Kent County, Michigan
Chas C. Chapman & Company