Biography of Leander Lapham
Berry County, MI Biographies



Barry County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Among the honorable names associated with the early history of Baltimore, that of Eli Lapham stands conspicuous, not less from the purity of his character than from the fact of his hating been the earliest settler within its boundaries. His birth occurred in the year 1791, and his marriage at the age of twenty-one. Having, at the expiration of the third year after, been left a widower, he later married Miss Rachel Crandall, mother of Leander Lapham. Their residence, for a period of years after this event, was in Erie Co., N. Y. During the year 1831, Mr. and Mrs. Lapham and six children removed to Livonia, Mich., and six years later to Maple Grove, Barry Co., Mich. Eli Lapham survived until May, 1864, when his death occurred at Augusta, Mich. His memory is still tenderly cherished by all who were familiar with his kindly nature and his unselfish life. Leander Lapham was born in Collins, Erie Co., N. Y., in the year 1819, and was eighteen years of age on his arrival in Maple Grove. Four years after he was married to Miss Irena Smith, born in Connecticut in 1815, who came with her parents to Michigan in 1837. Three children graced their cheerful home,- Gilbert, born Aug. 12, 1846; Alice M, whose birth occurred Nov. 26, 1851; and Melville, born Apt-il 28, 1853. Alice, the daughter, died Feb. 24, 1852. Mr. Lapham early became interested in public affairs, voted first the Whig ticket, was later an advocate of the FreeSoil platform, and is now an ardeat Republican. He has represented his township on fifteen occasions as supervisor, and was in 1864 a represcutative in the State Legislature.

Since that time he has been engaged in the cares of his estate and the superintendence of his mercantile interests. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lapham passed through all the privations and hardships incident to the settlement of a new country and were successful, not so much from aid and encouragement tendered them as from a firm reliance upon their own energy and capacity. While carving out a career of success for themselves, they were not unmindful of the kindly word and helping hand which was frequently a powerful lever to the success of others.

Mrs. Lapham died in October, 1877, and in January, 1878, Mr. Lapbam married Miss Hannah M., daughter of Lonson Dewey, born in Almont, Lapeer Co., Oct. 5, 1840. They still reside in Maple Grove, surrounded by a pleasant circle of old friends and relatives, whose esteem and regard they possess to an eminent degree.

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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