JOHN H. ALTHOUSE

      JOHN H. ALTHOUSE is one of the sterling pioneer citizens of Oneida Township and is an honored veteran of the civil war, in which he rendered loyal and gallant service in defense of the Union. The fine old Empire state of the Union figures as the place of his nativity, since he was born in Saratoga county, New York, November 3, 1836, being a son of John and Gertrude (Van Vranken) Althouse, who was the widow of John Burns, both likewise natives of New York State, where the father passed his entire life, having been forty-five years of age. He was a farmer by vocation, having owned a farm of seventy acres, in Saratoga County. After the death of John Althouse, his widow came to Eaton County, Michigan, and settled in Oneida Township. She lived to the venerable age of ninety-two years. John H. Althouse is the only one living of four children born to his parents. He secured his early educational discipline in the common schools of his native county, and was sixteen years of age at the time of the family removal to Michigan. He attended school about one year in Marshall, where he entered upon an apprenticeship at the painterís trade, which he followed as a vocation two years. He then returned to the state of New York, where he passed one winter. In 1855 he returned to Michigan and purchased eighty acres of land in section 14, Oneida Township, Eaton County. About eight acres had been cleared and a log house had been built on the place. He continued his residence on this farm, save for the period of his service as a soldier in the civil war, until 1866, having reclaimed a considerable portion of land and made other improvements. In that year he sold the property and removed to Charlevoix, Michigan, where he was engaged in the hotel business four years. He then returned to Eaton county, to care for his wifeís parents, who were of advanced age, taking charge of their homestead farm, which he now owns, the same comprising eighty acres of excellent land, in section 23, Oneida township. He has personally cleared and improved a considerable portion of the land, and since the death of his wifeís parents has erected the present commodious and attractive frame house. He has assisted in clearing five different farms in Michigan, and has attended many logging bees in the early days, having thus gained his full quota of pioneer experiences. In February 1864, Mr. Althouse enlisted in Company B, Second United States Sharpshooters, formerly known as Berdanís Sharpshooters. He was mustered in at Jackson, and thence went to the national capital and then to the front. The first engagement in which he took part was the battle of the Wilderness, and thereafter he was with his command in about thirty other engagements, ever being found at the post of duty and showing true soldierly qualities. He was present at the surrender of General Lee, at Appomattox, and saw Generals Grant and Lee pass through the line to arrange the terms of surrender. The exposures and hardships endured by Mr. Althouse during his army service have left permanent effects upon his health, and he receives a well-merited pension of thirty dollars a month. He received his honorable discharge at Washington, May 30, 1865.

            In politics Mr. Althouse is independent. While resident of Charlevoix he served as township clerk and highway commissioner, but he has never sought or held office in Eaton County. November 3, 1859, Mr. Althouse was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Charter, who was born in Calhoun County, Michigan, February 10, 1841, being a daughter of Hiram and Hannah (Ketcham) Charter, the former of whom was born in the Dominion of Canada and the latter in the state of New York. Both died in Eaton County, Michigan, where they were honored pioneers, the father having attained the age of seventy-nine and the mother the age of eighty-four years. They came to Michigan in the territorial epoch and took up government land near Marshall, Calhoun County, where they remained until 1849, when they removed to Eaton County and bought the farm of eighty acres now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Althouse. Mr. Charter reclaimed a considerable portion of this land from the virgin forest, and continued to occupy his original log house until his death. In the family were thirteen children, of whom only three are living, --Mrs. Mary E. burns, who resides in Oneida Township; Mrs. Armenia Kyes, who resides in Charlevoix County; and Mrs. Althouse, wife of the subject of this sketch. One son, George Carter, was a member of Company H, Sixth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in the civil war, and died while in the service, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as the result of disease there contracted. Mr. and Mrs. Althouse became the parents of four children: Gertrude became the wife of Charles L. Brown, and died in Wexford County, Michigan; Amy is the second wife of Charles L. Brown, and they now reside in Oregon. John died at the age of two years; and George has charge of his fatherís farm: he married Miss Hattie Wilkinson, and they have one child, Ruby.