Biography of Bartholomew W. Schermerhorn
Cass County, MI Biographies



Cass County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The subject of this sketch is descended from one of the old families in tbe colonial history of the State of New York.

Some time previous to the old French war, the progenitors of the family came from Rotterdam, Holland, and settled in Schenectady, where many of their descendants still reside. They were a staid, sober and industrious people, and devotedly attached to home and country. Bartholomew Schermerhorn, grandfather of the subject of this memoir, was a Revolutionary patriot and served during the continuance of that sanguinary struggle. His son, William B., was a native of Schenectady, and married Miss Sarah Taylor Kelly. She was of Scotch extraction and a woman of many ennobling qualities. They reared a family of nine children, Bartholomew W. being the third. He was born December 7, 1823, and received an academical education, and at the age of eighteen went to learn the trade of a carpenter and joiner. In 1848, he embarked in company with his father in the grocery business in Schenectady. He was engaged in this business about two years, during which time he was married to Almera W., daughter of Isaac Tice, of Albany. In 1850, he made his first visit to Michigan, on business for his father-in-law, who had extensive landed interests in Cass and Berrien Counties. After the completion of his business he returned to New York, and in 1851 came back with his family and settled in Niles, where he remained until the spring of 1852, when he removed to Silver Creek and engaged in farming.

Mr. Schermerhorn immediately took an active interest in township matters and in 1854 was elected Supervisor, which position he held until 1857. Since this time he has been continuously before the people in some official capacity, and it can be said to his credit that in a career as a public officer extending over a period of over twenty-five years, that in no instance has he done aught to mar his record as an official or a citizen. In 1858, he was elected to the Representative branch of the Legislature, which position he filled with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. On his return to Silver Creek, he was again elected Supervisor, and in 1860 was elected Sheriff. Upon the expiration of his term of office he returned to his farm, which he sold in 1866, and moved to Dowagiac, and shortly after he received the appointment of Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue. In 1869, he was elected Magistrate, which position he has held continuously to the present, and during six years of the time he has represented Pokagon npon the Board of Supervisors.

In his political affiliations was originally a Whig, and made his debut on that ticket when twenty-five years of age as Alderman of the Fourth Ward of the city of Schenectady. Upon the formation of the Republican party he joined its ranks and was an ardent supporter of the principles of that organization until about 1863, when in common with many otbers he became a Democrat.

He has been prominently identified with the growth and development of the city of Dowagiac and in many ways has left his name indelibly stamped on its history.

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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