Van Buren County
Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
John Cross was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, in 1810, married Miss Martha Sterling, and in 1840 removed to Hancock
Co., Ohio, where be remained twenty-three years. In 1863 came to Bangor, where he purchased a farm, upon which
he still resides. In Columbiana County three children, viz., James, Mary, and Margaret Jane, were born to them,
and in Hancock County six more, named as follows: Thomas, Wilson, Cornelius, Jacob Sampson, Clarissa, and Nancy.
Jacob Sampson and Clarissa died in Hancock County, and Wilson and Nancy in Bangor. Also Mrs. Cross died in Bangor,
Jan. 27, 1877.
Thomas Cross was born in 1841, and when sixteen years of age, his father having only fifty acres of land and a
large family, he started in the world for himself; worked for Thomas Morgan three seasons, going home to attend
school during three winters; the fourth year worked for a Mr. Sampson; then moved to Bangor, where he arrived Oct.
16, 1861. Necessity compelled him to commence work at once, and in eighteen days he had earned as many dollars;
then contracted with Daniel Taylor for one year's labor, receiving therefor one hundred and sixty dollars; second
year received one hundred and eighty, and the third two hundred and twenty dollars. With this money, in 1863, he
purchased his first farm of eighty acres, a view of his residence on which appears in this work. In November, 1864,
he married Mary J. Bennett, a native of Cleveland, Whitley Co., Ind., who was born in 1844. Her father, Hiram Bennett,
was born in Brooklyn, Madison Co., N. Y., in 1806; removed to Pennsylvania in 1824, to Indiana in 1834, and to
Geneva in 1855, and since the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Cross has resided with them. They removed to their farm
in 1865. Their first child, Amanda J., was born in July of that year, died in July, 1876; Linford T., in September,
1867, died in July, 1870 ; Carrie L., in May, 1869; Gertrude N., in October, 1871; Irving J., in May, 1873; and
Emma E., in September, 1875. In 1871, previous to the construction of the railroad,-anticipating it and realizing
its tendency to advance the interests of his seetion,-he purchased three hundred and twenty acres, incurring a
debt of five thousand dollars, necessitating the mortgaging of his original farm for full value. In 1872 the road
was built, making a market for lumber. Then came the Chicago fire, to which point he made profitable shipments,
and by disposing of one hundred acres to the Bangor Furnace Company he was enabled to remove all ineumbrances.
The reader will perceive from the foregoing that Mr. Cross has carved out his own fortune, with the assistance
only of Mrs. Cross, who has contributed her share towards his success. His farm is highly cultivated, with fifty
acres of timber, good improvements, and he claims the best barn in Van Buren County. His children are educated
at home, employing a teacher in the house. A Republican since the organization of the party. Independent in circumstances,
he enjoys all the comforts it affords.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.