Portrait and Biographical
Album of Oakland County, Michigan
pp.856 - 859
Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1891
one of the most successful farmers and popular citizens of Brandon
Township, was born in Clarence Township, Erie County, N.Y., September
4, 1833. He is the son of Albert, who is the son of Mathew, of Holland
descent. Mathew was a farmer and a soldier in the Revolutionary
War and lived to more than reach a century of honest and upright
living. The father followed the patriotic example of his parent
and took part in the War of 1812.
In 1840 he [Albert] journeyed by ox-team to Buffalo, by lake to
Detroit and then by ox-team again to Genesee County, Mich. He took
up land from the Government when the country was very sparsely settled.
He first came out in 1837 and spent two winters in chopping before
bringing out his household. He then erected a log house to shelter
his wife and four children. He improved one hundred and forty acres.
Deer was plentiful and the wolves killed a fine yearling heifer
for him one night. He was a hard worker and died at the age of sixty-three
years in 1865. He was first a Whig, then a strong Abolitionist,
and later a Republican.
The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Betsey Uptograff.
She was a native of Erie County, N.Y., and seven of her eight children
grew to maturity. They were named as follows: Mary; Ambrose, deceased;
Ellen, Matilda, Elizabeth, Charity and James. She died at the age
of seventy-four years, and her beautiful Christian life is the heritage
of her children. She was a member of the Congregational Church.
Our subject was only six years old when he came to Michigan, but
he recollects vividly the incidents of the journey. He stayed over
night in a log cabin in Detroit. He saw many more Indians than whites.
The log schoolhouse which he attended was one and one-fourth miles
James Vantine began life for himself at the age of twenty-six, having
spent the years after his majority in labor for his father. In return
for this his father deeded him forty acres of land. He worked out
some in the winters, receiving wages at the rate of $10 per month.
He built a frame house on his forty acres and made his home there
for twelve years, and purchased twenty-six acres in addition. He
removed to his present farm in 1874. His marriage to Ellen Truax
took place in 1850. She was a native of Michigan and lived only
eight years after her marriage, leaving one child, Oscar, now married
and employed in the white lead works at Detroit.
The second marriage of our subject occurred in 1865. The bride was
Mary J. Harvey, a native of New York. Her two children are Hattie
Mr. Vantine enlisted in December, 1864, in Company I, Thirtieth
Michigan Infantry. He was mustered in a Detroit but was never sent
to the seat of war on account of Lee's surrender. He was discharged
in June, 1865.
He has always been an ardent Republican. He has two hundred and
sixty acres here in two farms, most of it under cultivation. Here
he carries on mixed farming in which he is very successful, as he
is an excellent manager and has pursued an industrious and laborious
life. A view of his residence and the rural surroundings appears
on another page of this volume. (I have not copied that yet, but
will when I next go to the library. cvy)