26 January 2011

Obituary--John Harwood

While many of the early citizens of Fremont were from the Netherlands, Newaygo county also had its share of people from other nations.  Hesperia had many people in the area of Scottish descent.  Many, including those Scots, also came from Canada.  This obituary is one of those who came to Newaygo county from another country.  

From the 10 February Fremont TimesIndicator:

Prominent White Cloud Citizen Had Bee Active in Newaygo County Politics
White Cloud Eagle, Feb 3--John Harwood died this morning at 6:15 after a few weeks illness of heart trouble and dropsy.
John Harwood was born in England, March 24, 1840, a son of Robert and Hanna (Rugg) Harwood.  His grandfather was named Robert Harwood, and also his great-grandfather.  Grandfather Harwood lived in England all his days, and was a blacksmith by trade.  Robert Harwood, the father was born in 1809, and died in 1862, while his wife was born in 1807 and died in 1865.  Married in England, they moved to America in 1852, settling in New York state, where the father followed his trade of blacksmith until his death.  He and his wife were members of the Methodist church, and after taking out citizenship papers in this country, he devoted his support to the Whig and Republican party.  Of the seven children, three are now living.  Mary is the wife of Dr. Welsh and now lives at Castleton, New York; Annie is the widow of Mort Heulette, and lives with her sister in New York.
John Harwood was nine years old when the family came to America, supplemented such advantages as he had received in England by further attendance at the New York public schools, and finished his education in the Normal school at Albany.  At the conclusion of his studies he went before the state board and was given after an examination a life certificate as a teacher.  Twenty years of his career were devoted to educational work, and Mr. Harwood has hundreds of fomer pupils living in various parts of the country, and many of them are prominent in affairs, all of whom recall his capable services with gratitude.  In 1869 in coming to Michigan, he settled at Concord in Jackson county, was a teacher there, and while continuing his work in the school room was also studying law.  In 1880 cam his admission to the bar, and since then he has been in practice in White Cloud, though much of his time has been taken up with official duties.
In 1866 he married Harriet A. Fuller, of Cobleskill, New York.  The one child of that marriage was Nettie who married Arthur W. Robinson of Detroit, a boot and shoemaker in that city.  Mr Harwood married for his second wife Mary A. Stoerman of Saginaw, who came to WHite Cloud when a child with her parents.  She died in Whtie Cloud, June 15, 1913.  She was the mother of two children, Robert, who is in school, and John.
Mr. Harwood affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has long been prominent in the Republican party. He served eight years as circuit court commissioner, was school commissioner for two years, a member of the county board of school examiners 27 years and supervisor of Wilcox township 15 consecutive years, on of the highest honors ever paid to a townsip official in the county.  For 11 years he held the position of postmaster here, and since retiring from the office in 1912 once more resumed the active practice of law.
The funeral will be held from the M. E. church tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock.  A cordon of county officials and old-time supervisors will act as pallbearers.

Whew!  Rather long.  But so full of background.  We get names of grandfather and great-grandfather.  Birth and death information of both of his parents, and (gasp!) even his mothers maiden name!  Occupations back to his grandfather, politics, and everything.  What a contrast this offers to the typical 1916 obituary.

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