Biography of Albert G. Dewey



Barry County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

As an example of what a life of industry and perseverance will accomplish in forming and shaping the character, we present this subject. He was born Nov. 25, 1816, in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., is the oldest child of Eliphalet and Fannie (Morton) Dewey, who were natives of New York, and married in 1815, Mr. Dewey, being quite a prominent man, holding the office of sheriff of Chautauqua County ten years, besides other offices of trust. When Albert was six years of age his father died, leaving a widow and the two sons. After the death of her husband, the mother with her boys returned to her old home, in Madison County, where Albert remained until he was twelve, when he went to what was then Allegany County, now Livingston County, and lived with his uncle, Mr. S. Morton, remaining there until 1838. Having arrived at the acknowledged age of manhood, he came to Michigan with his uncle and family, landing in Emmet, Calhoun Co., where he made his first purchase of land, containing sixty acres, which he improved and kept four years, and then sold, and devoted his time to milling, having interested himself in that before, owning a half-interest in a grist-mill at Lowell, which was burned in January, 1849. His insurance having expired the first of the month, it was a total loss, leaving him incumbered with a debt of three thousand dollars.

To recover this he conceived the idea of going to the farfamed gold-mines of California, and the same spring, receiving help from his uncle, he started, taking the overland route in March, arriving there in September, agreeing to give his uncle one-half of what be made in two years to repay him for his kindness in starting him. In October be was taken sick, and in December, fearing he would be no better, he sailed for the Sandwich Islands, where he remained until February, when he returned to San Francisco dead broke, but with earth's richest blessing, health. He then went to mining, which he followed diligently three years.

At the expiration of his second year, having never forgotten his promise to his uncle, he sent him one thousand dollars, being one half of what he had earned by the sweat of his brow. He then returned to Michigan, and in 1854 was married to Mrs. Mandana Wallace, of Gull Prairie, Kalamazoo Co. Her parents were natives of New York, where she was born, but came to Michigan when she was but twelve years old. After marriage they moved to Kent County, where he owned laud near his brother, remaining only a short time, when they both sold out, moving on the farm where he now lives, which consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, twenty improved.

To Mr. and Mrs. Dewey was born one son, who died in infancy, but Mr. Dewey passed through his severest trial in September, 1855, being bereft of his wife, thus leaving a vacancy in his home and a void in his heart which time alone can heal. In March, 1858, in Battle Creek, he married Emeline Cookson, who was born in Livingston Co., N. Y., Nov. 19, 1820. Her father was a native of Maine, her mother of New York, she being one of a family of five children. The mother died in New York in 1832; the father in 1842.

In politics Mr. Dewey is an ardent Republican. He cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Harrison. Himself and wife have been members of the Congregational Church since 1866. His advantages for education were limited, attending only the common schools, such as the country afforded in his youthful days. He has a very fine farm, under a good state of cultivation, yet this does not represent his entire property, he having quite an amount invested in the far West. He is what might be termed a mixed farmer, making a specialty of no one thing.

Though they have never been blessed with children of their own, still they have been allowed to enjoy the society of them, having adopted four orphans,-raising two girls and one boy until they started in life for themselves, adopting from the orphans' home in Chicago a bright, promising youth of little less than three summers, who only lived two short years.

Mr. Dewey's mother, who passed her later years with him, died at his home in 1875, and when her lamp of life went out they laid her in a sunny nook, where she is quietly sleeping the sleep of the blest.

History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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