Biography of Henley W. Bly
Cass County, MI Biographies



Cass County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The history of Marcellus would be incomplete without a sketch of Henley W. Bly, one of the pioneers who has gone to his long rest. He was born in the State of Rhode Island, July 29, 1812, and moved from there to Greene, Chenango County, N. Y., where he learned the harness maker's trade. Thinking a change of location desirable, he moved to Manchester, Ontario County, in the same State, andthere, in addition to his trade, he devoted considerable attention to law practice. Although not a regular practitioner, by due diligence he became possessed of much legal lore, and Manchester being but six miles from Canandaigua, Mr. now Senator Lapham, Mark H. Sibley and Mr. Wilson, all attorneys of the latter place, intrusted much bnsiness to his care, and he became conversant with the law practice of that State.

While a resident here, in 1840, he was united in marriage with Miss Louisa Cook.

From Manchester they moved to Royalton, N. Y., and two years later, in 1852, came to Michigan and purchased land in Marcellns Township, which was almost in a state of nature, and here he applied himself assiduously to the task of clearing up and improving a wild farm, although laboring under physical embarrassment, for, while young, an overdose of calomel so afflicted him that he was quite lame. Here it was that the true heroism of his wife displayed itself, for, although reared in luxury, she adapted herself to existing circumstances and did not disdain to assist in outdoor work in order that they might succeed, and it is conceded that she did her part faithfully and well. With such a wife, and fine business management on his part, it is no wonder that success crowned their efforts and that he became one of the most wealthy and extensive land owners and dealers in the township, and his farm buildings among the best.

For a long time after coming to the township, it possessed no attorney and did much legal business, and in addition, although a Democrat, and this a Republican township, he seryed in the elective office of Justice of the Peace for twenty six years. He was a man of public spirit and was always ready to encourage public enterprises, and as an illustration, not only gave $500, but the right of way across his farm, to the railroad that passes through this township.

May 21, 1869, he mourned the death of his loved companion, and January 16, 1871, he filled the vacancy in his home by a marriage with Miss Nellie Cook, a sister of his first wife, who is a most estimable and highly esteemed lady and who now resides in Marcellus, in widowhood, Mr. Bly having deceased January 6, 1877, leaving no children.

History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.

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