Showing posts with label Luther Colby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luther Colby. Show all posts

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Colby Family of Grand Rapids Michigan

Information furnished from Barbara Wilson, a descendant Also included records from and a little research of my own. If you would like a copy of this file please post or e-mail. Any contributions please e-mail.

Sarah Francis Colby Wood was born on 31 JUL 1839 in Haverhill, Grafton County, N H. She was the daughter of Luther Colby and Hannah Page. She married Arthur Wood on 6 DEC 1860 in Kent County, Michigan.

John Ball Line
From Ball Family History The Ball Family Lineage from their arrival from England to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1) Nathaniel (1618-1706) & Mary (Mousal) Ball
2) Nathaniel (1663–1725) & Mary (Brooks) Ball
3) Nathaniel (1692-1749) & Sarah (Baker) Ball
4) Ebenzer (1721-1790) & Sarah (Goodkin) Ball
5) Nathaniel (1751-1834) & Sarah (Nevins) Ball
6) John (1794-1884) & Mary (Webster) Ball

John Ball (1794–1884) photo circa late-1870s or early-1880s.
Joshua Ball son of Nathaniel
From Michigan Historical Collections, Volume 35
John Ball was born on Tenny Hill, Grafton county, New Hampshire, November 12, 1794. He was educated in country schools and at Salisbury academy. He worked his way through Dartmouth college and was graduated in 1820. During the next four years he studied law at Lansingburg, New York, and taught school. He was admitted in 1824. His brother-in-law, a business man of extensive interests, died soon after and John Ball settled his estate, which took several years. In 1832 John Ball crossed the continent by way of Pittsburg, St. Louis, Independence, the South Pass, and the Columbia river. He was gone two and a half years, during which time he visited much of the territory now composing Washington, Oregon, California, and also the Hawaiian islands.
For two years he practiced law at Lansingburg and then came to Grand Rapids as a land-broker for capitalists and investors in 1836. During the next few months he located much land in Kent county and in the spring of 1837 he opened a law office at Grand Rapids, where he practiced for nearly fifty years. He had at different times for partners, George Martin, S. L. Withey, Edward E. Sargeant, E. S. Eggleston, and James H. McKee. The partnership of Ball & McKee continued for thirty-two years, from 1852 to Mr. Ball's death. No law firm of the Kent county bar has had a longer existence. The firm was never active in litigation, but was engaged in money loaning, real estate and business matters and often acted as counselors. Mr. Ball died at Grand Rapids, February 5, 1884. He left a gift to the city of forty acres of land which now forms a beautiful park that bears his name. Mr. Ball traveled and saw much of life. He did not marry until late in life, but left a family of several children who have every reason to be proud of their father. He was a representative progressive citizen who won the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.
For a Complete Account of John Ball Publications of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids, Issue 1

The Page Line Hannah R. Page was born on 14 SEP 1805 in Dorchester, Grafton County, New Hampshire and died on 23 FEB 1870 at Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.She was the daughter of Gov John Page and Hannah Merrill.

John Page moved with his parents to Rindge NH, helped build a log house, performed settler's duty and thus secured a lot of land there. He moved to the Coos meadow in September 1762, wintered on the Great Ox Bow, took charge of General Bailey's cattle, in company with one other man and a boy, worked for General Bailey, and thus paid for a right of land in Haverhill. He went to Lancaster, worked for his uncle David and paid for another right of land in Haverhill. He then came back to this town, built a log house on the meadows, and married Abigail Saunders, daughter of the first settler south of him, and who died twelve years after marriage, without issue. He married for his second wife, Abigail Hazeltine, of Concord NH, who died without surviving children, and then married, for his third wife, Mrs. Hannah Green, daughter of Samuel Rice of Landaff, who bore him four sons, namely, John, William G., Samuel and Stephen R. John, the eldest, was born in Haverhill, May 21, 1787, was fitted for college in his youth, but just as he was about to enter, his father became embarrassed through having become bondsman for another party, and was likely to lose his farm. His son therefore relinquished his high ambition, turned his attention to saving the homestead, which was done, and which afterwards came into his possession. When twenty-five years of age he married Hannah, daughter of Maj. Nathaniel Merrill, of North Haverhill, who bore him nine children, namely Frederick, William, John Alfred, Henry Harrison, Nathaniel Merrill, Stephen Rice, Sarah Hazen, George Washington, George Brackett and Edward Livingston. All of these, with the exception of George W., grew to adult age.

Rev John Merrill father of Nathaniel Merrill
See Havehill NH Historical Society

John Page was elected governor of New Hampshire in 1839 by a Democratic vote of 30,518, and re-elected in 1840 and 1841. Edward L. Page succeeded his father in the ownership of the homestead, was a successful farmer, and held various local offices. He served as selectman several years, during the civil war, when his patriotism and activity in securing recruits caused the burning of his buildings. He married Laura M. Batchelder, of Franklin in 1855. For seventeen years he suffered with consumption, and died November 4, 1878, aged forty-six years. His widow survives him.

Brother of Hannah Page John Page, JR

Fulton Street Cemetery
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA

SOURCE: "A Genealogy of the Descendants of Abraham Colby and Elizabeth Blaisdell, his wife Who settled in Bow in 1768" By one of them, Concord, NH Printed by the Republican Press Association 1895
History of the city of Grand Rapids Michigan 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colby descendants make mark as social reformers

From My Story in Newburyport News Part 2 Macy-Colby House See Part One Vibrant energy of the Colby family 

The descendants of Amesbury’s frontier crusader Anthony Colby inherited his avant-garde spirit. The archives are brimming with Colby movers and shakers whose roots hinge from the sturdy foundation forged by the paternal patriarch in “the tenantless town in the wilderness.”

The Macy-Colby house is where Colby line emerged and comrade families like Sergeant, Hoyt, Blasdell and Bagley bred and fostered several generations of progressive souls.

In this home lived soldiers, shipbuilders, farmers, men of the cloth and others of worthy callings. Among the treasures not mentioned in yesterday’s column to visit at the home: the ancient horn beam barrel, Quaker hat of John Greenleaf Whittier, original communion table with pewter chalices from the Sandy Hill Meeting House and portraits gracing the walls of the Colby ancestors.

Among the potent pedigrees are social reformers openly ready to take on the tasks to build a better world. Here are a few among these notable men and women.

George J.L. Colby juggled several vocations. His crafty knack for the oral and written word matched his effervescent passion for social reform. He was in the Liberty Party, editor for an abolitionist paper in Amesbury and a traveling lecturer.

In 1856 George became co-owner and editor of the Newburyport Herald. He was made postmaster, Naval Officer of Customs and elected to the General Court. In 1872, he launched The Merrimack Journal, which his colleagues in the Port applauded as “a good looking, well-made newspaper” (Lowell Daily Citizen).

In politics, George was known to be bold and savvy, as one newspaper reports he “came down on the state constables with forty horse power” and dubbed them with “hard names,” more specifically “pimps,” and that his assertiveness made him a “Hail Columbia” champion type (Herald 1870). He was cherished among his peers, well known in Washington for his strong support of the coalition and became county commissioner.

Over the years, George contributed several articles to “The Standard History of Essex County.” He is noted for his valuable contribution and labors by George Wildes, author of “The Memoirs of Captain William Nicholas”: “I have been throughout indebted to the notes of George J. L. Colby, the intimate friend of Capt. Nichols.” He adds that if George had not “prepared extensive notes of the personal history of Capt. Nichols,” a heroic and noble character may not have been preserved.

Luther Colby published a Spiritualist paper “Banners of Light” (1857) with William Berry, who worked with him at the Boston Daily Post. Although Spiritualism was referenced to a Victorian trend where the rage became table wrapping and seances, Luther forged a campaign to establish creditability in the religion. He believed if society could fully embrace the ideals of Spiritualist enlightenment, it would inspire one toward social reform and thus heighten the moral conscience of each individual.

Luther had the longest run for a publication in his genre; Bennett in “World Sage: Thinkers and Reformers” asserts: “It is impossible to estimate the great influence Colby has wielded, and the vast amount of opinion he has been instrumental in forming.” Colby family from all over the country was advocating Luther’s “Banner of Light.” Some were Quaker abolitionists and others fighting for women’s suffrage.

Amelia Colby Luther (direct from Philbrook) lectured throughout the Midwest, speaking out against slavery and often participating in the Spiritualist sessions run at Camp Chesterfield.

Clara Bewick Colby, wife of Gen. Leonard W. Colby (direct from Zaccheus), (Pic below) was president of the Woman’s Suffrage Association and founded the Woman’s Tribune in 1883. In her speeches, the femme fatale applied the Spiritualist practice of non-resistance, “instantly aligning themselves with infinite strength” as did the ancient sages “who stopped the mouths of lions; quenched the violence of fire; escaped the edge of the sword; out of weakness made strong” (Portland, Ore. 1908).


Myra Colby Bradwell (direct from Ensign Enoch) was one of the most influential forces in the Woman’s Suffrage movement. She was denied the right to practice law in Illinois because she was married, but truth be told the old boys club just was not ready to accept a woman in this position. Myra remedied her loss by establishing The Chicago Legal News (1868), which became the most widely circulated legal newspaper in the United States. Her influence was massive and she helped pass laws giving women equal rights in guardianship custody cases, wages and property.

There are many more Colbys to explore at a visit to the old homestead. And one thing is for certain — little did Anthony and his “band of exiles” know their sacrifices spurred a force that will never expire. Anthony “is not dead,” affirms James W. Colby; “greatness and goodness are not perishable commodities.”

Also Visit Turn the Hearts Blog