Biography of the McOmber Family
Cass County, MI Biographies



Cass County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The McOmber family became residents of the southwest corner (Section 30) of Wayne Township in the year 1837, and a portion of the village of Dowagiac was subsequently built upon their land. James McOmber was born in the town of Berkley, Mass., February 28, 1801. His father died before he was born, and his mother still a widow, in 1805, removed with her children to Vermont. James was there married in 1824, to Nancy McArthur, and the pair took up their residence in Castleton. To them were born several children. In 1832, they removed to New York, and in 1834 to Michigan. They stopped in Adrian one winter, removed to Jackson in the spring of 1835, and, as we have said, to Wayne Township in 1837. They settled on the farm now owned by David McOmber (and owned also a part of the Jay McOmber farm). They had some trials in coming to their new home, that part of the journey between Kalamazoo and the site of Dowagiac alone occupying four days. Mr. McOmber was a surveyor, and spent much of his time in seeking locations for those who intended to become settlers, or who had a speculative interest in seeking purchases. He surveyed the road through the swamp by the Watson settlement, assisted by his sons, Patrick Hamilton, the Hills and the Watsons. Mr. McOmber continued to reside on his Wayne farm until his death (with the exception of two years spent in Kalamazoo), and was once elected Supervisor of the township. He entertained in his little log cabin many men who were passing through the country in the early forties, and five years after he made his settlement he built a larger house, in which he kept hotel. The stages of the Humphrey line stopped there until the railroad was built and the old-fashioned means of travel superseded by the iron horse. A store was also kept in a portion of the house before the village was laid out, by Messrs. Goss & Darling. James McOmber died in December, 1848, and his wife in May, 1851. Their children were Susan N., born in April, 1825; Jay W., in 1826; Daniel M., in 1828; Angeline S., in 1830, and Marietta. The last named died in 1839. Susan N. married A. J. Wares in 1841, and built the Dowagiac House soon after the village was laid out. Their daughter Fiankie, now Mrs. C. J. Geenleaf, was the first girl child born in Dowagiac. Jay W. McOmber was married in 1861, and still lives in Dowagiac; Daniel M. still claims Cass County as his home; Angeline S. was married to Charles Northrup in 1847, and died in 1861; Mrs. Wares is still living, a resident of Fargo, D. T.

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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