Biography of Charles S. Dunham
Berry County, MI Biographies



Barry County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Charles S. Dunham, one of Maple Groveís best known citizens, has lived in the town upwards of twenty-seven years, and in the State since 1837. He was born in Orleans Co., N. Y., Feb. 24, 1820, of good old New England stock, his father having been a native of Massachusetts, although his mother was born in New York State. At the age of ten the lad Charles was called upon to mourn his fatherís death, and with his mother, brothers, and sisters faced the stern necessity of battling for an existence. In 1837 the family moved to Michigan, and, still pursuing the path of dependence upon his labors, Charles engaged in whatsoever industry his hands could find to do, his chief fields of toil being in Jackson and Kalamazoo Counties, and his pnrsuits those of farming and painting, as occasion served. In 1841, he and his brother Casper purchased some land upon section 30, in Eaton County, and to that place the family moved that year, Dec. 25, 1844. Mr. Dunham married Catharine, daughter to Peter and Pamelia Downs, of Maple Grove township, Barry Co., and upon the Dunham farm, in Eaton County, the worthy couple lived until April 25, 1853, when they moved to Barry County, where Mr. Dunham had bought new land, and in Maple Grove they have ever since resided.

Mr. Dunham has always concerned himself in a spirited way with the advancement of the interest of his adnpted town, has frequently been called upon to fill various offices of local trust, and has in short been a man of mark and influence in the community. He has long been a member of the orders ef Odd-Fellowship and Freemasonry, and is now connected with Nashville Lodge, No. 255, F. and A. M., and Hastings Chapter, No. 68, It. A. M. Mr. Dunham takes a good deal of pride in the recollection that for thirty-nine years he has not missed a season of sugaring. He proposes to make the record an even forty years and rest content. Mrs. Charles S. Dunham, as already recorded, was the daughter of Peter and Pamelia (Styles) Downs. Her father was born in Vermont, Dec. 11, 1795, and her mother in Massachusetts, Aug. 2, 1791. They were married in New York, July 21, 1817, and shortly afterwards settled in St. Lawrence County, where Catharine (now Mrs. Dunham), their fourth child, was born Dec. 20, 1824. In 1837, Mr. and Mrs. Downs settled in Calhoun Co., Mich., and in January, 1841, became settlers upon section 36, in Maple Grove township, in Barry County. Later they removed to section 15, and upon the place now owned and occupied by Charles S. Dunham died,óMr. Downs, Oct. 4, 1871, and Mrs. Downs, June 5, 1873.

Mr. and Mrs. Dunhamís children, three in number, are all living, and are named Peter 0., born Aug. 3, 1846; Esther, born June 29, 1848; and Matthew H., born Aug. 3, 1861. Living with them are their two adopted children, Evey L., adopted February, 1863, and Charles E., adopted February, 1880. Of Mrs. Dunhamís family two brothers are now living, and of Mr; Dunhamís one brother and two sisters.

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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