BENJAMIN HULCE is one of the honored pioneer citizens of the city of Grand Ledge, where he has made his home for more than half a century and where he is now living retired, enjoying the well-earned rewards of former years of well-directed toil and endeavor. He was born in Elmira, Chemung County, New York, September 4, 1829, being a son of Benjamin and Sally (Lewis) Hulce, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in the state of New York. The father died in June preceding the birth of the subject of this sketch, and the latter has no definite information relative to the family history. The mother died in Jackson County, Michigan, at the age of seventy-two years. After the death of her first husband she married John H. Burroughs and in 1832 they came with their family to Michigan, arriving in Jackson County on the 3d of June. There Mr. Burroughs bought one hundred and sixty acres of government land, in the midst of the forest primeval, and the family lived in their wagon, which was provided with a canvas cover, until he could chop trees and from the same built his little log house, which they occupied two years before the same was provided with either doors or windows. Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs continued to occupy this log house until 1851, when the subject of this sketch, who had located in Eaton County in the meanwhile, returned and built for them a small but comfortable frame house, in which they passed the remainder of their lives. Six children were born of the first marriage and seven of the second. Of the children of the first union Mr. Hulce and his brother Warren, of Michigan City, Indiana, are the only survivors so far as he knows. Mr. Hulce was less than three years of age at the time of the family removal to Michigan and he passed his boyhood days on the pioneer farm, in the midst of the woods of Jackson county, and the nearest school house was nearly two miles distant from his home, so that his educational advantages were very limited in scope. He has made good this early deficiency by personal application and through the lessons learned in the valuable school of experience. At the age, of sixteen years Mr. Hulce left the home roof and went to Medina, Lenawee County, where he entered upon an apprenticeship at the trade of carpenter and joiner, remaining there until he had attained the age of twenty-one years and having become a skilled artisan. He then passed one winter in the village of Onondaga, Ingham County, whence he removed to Grand Ledge in the spring of 1851, having continued to make his home in this city, which was then but a little forest hamlet on the bank of the Grand River. Here he began working at his trade, his first job having been that of hewing timbers for the old grist mill, which was erected by the firm of Wood & Allen. For many years Mr. Hulce did all the repair work on this mill, as well as on the saw mill, which was located on the site of the present chair factory. Mr. Hulce is the owner of a well-improved farm of forty acres, in Oneida Township, having bought the land when it was still covered with timber, and the same is now in charge of his eldest son. In addition to his beautiful brick-veneered residence in Grand Ledge he also owns two small buildings on South Bridge Street. Mr. Hulce continued to follow his trade, as a contractor and builder, until 1899, since which time he has lived practically retired. September 4, 1864, at Grand Ledge, Mr. Hulce enlisted as a private in Company I, Seventh Michigan Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war, having been mustered out, in the city of Detroit, August 12, 1865, and having duly received his honorable discharge. He took part in all the engagements in which his command was involved, the regiment having served under General Sheridan, and he was present at the surrender of General Lee, at Appomattox. Some of his regiment had the distinction of affecting the capture of John Wilkes Booth after that actor had assassinated President Lincoln and escaped from the capital city. Mr. Hulce has been aligned as a supporter of the Republican party from the time of its organization, but he has never sought public office, the only position of the sort of which he was ever incumbent having been that of village marshal, in which capacity he served one year. He was a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic and one of the first initiated in the local lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. In the Masonic fraternity he has attained the K. T. and Shrine degrees. Of the persons who were resident of Grand Ledge at the time he located here only three others are now living here and no male citizens. July 30, 1853, Mr. Hulce was united in marriage to Miss Roxana Bronson, who was born in the state of New York, February 1, 1835, and who died in Grand Ledge, November 17, 1869. Concerning the children of this union the following data are given: Edith M., who was born October 1, 1854, is the wife of Frederick Lewis, of Lansing; Horace B., who was born April 30, 1856, resides on his father's farm, in Oneida township; Ida M., who was born May 1, 1858, is the wife of Peter Campany and they reside in the state of New York; Ada D., who was born May 16, 1860, is the wife of Andrew J. Sweet, of Grand Ledge; Perley B., who was born December 2, 1863, and who married Miss Clara Doty, died in Grand Ledge, November 24, 1905; Custer C., who was born August 14, 1866, married Miss Deborah Gayer, and they reside in Grand Ledge. March 16, 1873, Mr. Hulce consummated a second marriage, being then united to Mrs. Hannah (Skinner) Atkinson, who was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, September 7, 1836, being a daughter of John D. and Clarissa (Strong) Skinner, who were numbered among the first settlers of Windsor township, Eaton county, whence they removed from Lenawee County. Mr. and Mrs. Hulce became the parents of three children: Jay D., who married Miss Fannie Nixon, is manager of the Clark hardware store, in Grand Ledge; Cassie D. died at the age of nine months; and Clarissa S. remains at the parental home.