Biography of John Savage
Cass County, MI Biographies



Cass County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The progenitor of the Savage family, in-this country, was an officer in the army of Gen. Wolfe, who came to America about 1758. He took part in the battle of Quebec, and shortly after that event emigrated to Massachusetts, settling near Salem, where Daniel Savage, the father of John, the immediate subject of this memoir, was born. But little is known of his 'history further than that he was a typical pioneer, hale, hearty and resolute even in his old age. He was married, in Salem, to a Miss Parish, and it was here that our subject was born, June 1, 1788. About 1800, the family separated, a portion of them removing to Virginia, while the remainder emigrated to the State of New York, the family of Daniel settling in Washington County, where they remained until about 1808, when they removed to Camillus, Onondaga County, which, at this time, was on the extreme frontier. Johnwas at this time in the prime of his early manhood, and well fitted for the arduous duties incident to the settlement of such a forbidding country, and well prepared' to undergo the severe privations and hardships of pioneer life, in a region so far removed from civilization. Some idea can be formed of their sufferings from the fact that during the first year of their residence there, over fifty heads of 'families died. During the war of 1812, when an invasion by the British was threatened, he, with others, hastened to Sackett's Harbor and Oswego, to defend the frontier. In July of 1812, he was married to Miss Laura Patch, by whom he had two sons - Harrison H. and Lewis. Shortly after the birth of the second son, Mrs. Savage died, and in 1821 he was again married to Miss Hannah Skinner, who was born in Vermont in November of 1803. She was a lady of remarkable beauty, and possessed of many ennobling traits of character. Mr. Savage resided in Onondaga several years after his last marriage, and was engaged in farming and at his trade-that of a cooper. From Onondaga he removed to Wayne County, N. Y., and from thence to Ohio, where he remained until 1840, when he emigrated with his family to Cass County. He purchased a farm on Section 28, in the township of Marcellus, where he was also a pioneer, the first settlements having been made only some three or four years previous. After a residence of sixteen years, during which time he became closely identified with all the varied interests of the township, he removed to Cassopolis, but village life was not congenial, and he yearned for the associations of farm life, and the society of his children and neighbors, and he returned to Marcellus, where he died at the home of his sonin-law, Christopher Patrick, in November of 1878, "full of days and honor." His wife died in January of 1881. Mr. Savage was a pioneer in the fullest and strictest sense of the term. Born in a new country, and being so well qualified, both mentally and physically, for pioneer life, he became one of that band of adventurous characters who preceded civilization in its westward march. He was a man of great natural ability. His youth and early manhood were passed far beyond the limits of educational opportunities, but this deficiency was more than made up in after yesrs, by extended reading and close observation, aided by the possession of an extraordinary memory. He was well versed in history, both civil and political, and it is said that he was able to give from memory, with remarkable accuracy, all of the important events in America's history. He was possessed of a large fund of general information, and in many things was regarded as an oracle. His physical, moral and intellectual powers were harmoniously blended, and he retained them in frill perfection to the last. He was a man of noble impulses, and with that innate sense of right that made his name a synonym for integrity and generosity. His social qualities were marked, and, perhaps, no one stood higher in public esteem than he.

As before stated, he was twice married, first, to Miss Laura Patch, of Camillus, N. Y., By this union there were two children- Lewis and Harrison H., the former of whom, at the time of his death, was a resident of Oregon, where, by superior! ability, he had attained prominence in many ways. He was a prominent member of the State Senate from 1872 to 1874. The latter is a reáideut of Junction City, Kansas. By the second marriage there were thirteen children, three of whom died in infhncy. The rdmaining ten grew to maturity, and death did not again invade the family circle until March, 1863, when Henry, the second son, was killed at the battle of Spring Hill. Three other sons-John, George and Frank-did honor to the family name in the war of the rebellion. With the exception of two daughters-Laura and Elizabeth, deceased (the former in Minnesota and the latter in Michigan) - all of the family are living, among whom are George and Frank, prominent farmers of Marcellus.

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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