Biography of Alexander B. Copley



Van Buren County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Alexander B. Copley is of English descent; his ancestor on the paternal side, four generations back, having emigrated from England to Boston in the beginning of the eighteenth century, and settled in Suffield, Hartford Co., Conn. He was born in Champion, Jefferson Co., N. Y., March 11, 1822. He subsequently resided with his parents at the manufacturing villages of Whiteshoro’, New York Mills, Walden, and Mattawan, in that State, until Sept. 12, 1829, when he removed to Dayton, Ohio, from which place the family emigrated to Michigan Territory, arriving at Little Prairie Ronde July 1, 1833. His education was limited to the meagre facilities afforded at that early day by the common schools of the Territory, having been a pupil in the first school taught in Van Buren County, in the winter of 1834—35.

Left at the age of twenty with a widowed mother, and one brother and five sisters younger thaii himself, to help care for, added to the illness of his father several years previous to his death, there was not much time to cultivate the intellect, had there been opportunity to do so.

By occupation he is a farmer, taking a just pride in agricultural experiments and improvements. He has on his farm over a mile of the finest Osage hedge in Western Michigan.

In 1850 he married Jane H. Hathaway, sister of B. Hathaway, Esq., the “Farmer Poet” of Michigan; his family at the present time consists of himself, wife, and two sons, the elder of whom is married and manages the farm.

In 1874 he moved to the village of Decatur, where lie now resides. He is president of the First National Bank of Decatur, of which institution he was one of the original stockholders. Mr. Copley has frequently been honored by his fellow—citizens with places of trust and responsibility, having served as supervisor of Volinia township, Cass Co., for six years, and representing the northern district of that county in the Michigan Legislature for the sessions of 1865—72, and the eastern district of Van Buren County for the session of 1875.

The magnificent road built across the swamp southeast from Decatur was projected and brought into successful operation largely through his individual efforts.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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