JOHN B. NICKLE
JOHN B. NICKLE, one of the representative farmers and honored citizens of Roxand township, is a member of one of the well known and honored citizens of Roxand township, is a member of one of the well known pioneer families of Eaton county, while he was one of the first white children born within the limits of Roxand township, the date of his birth having been November 7, 1840. He is a son of Andrew and Diadema (Barton) Nickle, the former of whom was born in Ireland, in 1804, while the latter, who was born in the state of New York, died in Roxand township, a number of years prior to the demise of her husband, who died, in the same township, January 21, 1884. Andrew Nickle came to Michigan in the early '30's and first located in Oakland county, where he purchased land and where he remained until 1837, the year Michigan was admitted to the Union, when he came to Eaton county, where he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of government land, in sections 10 and 15, Roxand township. Concerning him a previous historical compilation has spoken as follows: "Andrew Nickle, who had come from Ireland in the fall of 1828 and located in New York city, came to Roxand in 1837 and purchased land, upon which he commenced improvements January 1, 1838. When he bought there was not a white person residing in the township. During the summer of 1838 Mr. Nickle made a clearing, built a shanty, and raised some corn and potatoes. When Me. Nickle first came in there was but one house between his place and Grand river, and that was in Ionia county, near the river." After making the improvements noted Andrew Nickle returned to the state of New York where his marriage was soon afterward solemnized. he returned to his pioneer lodge in the midst of the forests of Eaton county, being accompanied by his bride and by his sister. While en route to their future home they camped on the bank of the Grand river on the site of the present capital city, not a single building having been erected there at the time. They came through from Detroit with wagon and ox team. Andrew Nickle was one of the sturdy, energetic and worthy pioneers of the county, and did his full share in aiding in the development and upbuilding of this beautiful division of the Wolverine state. He reclaimed a large portion of his land, and passed the closing days of his life in the home of his daughter, Mrs. R. D. McConnell. He had sold eighty acres of his land and deeded the remainder to his children, for each of whom he made ample provision in this way. In politics he was first a Whig and later a Republican, and he was one of the first justices of the peace elected in Roxand township, having been chose for this office in 1843, the year in which the first election in said township was held. He also served as township treasurer and was otherwise prominent in the public and civic affairs of his county. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They became the parents of four children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first born. Susanah, who married Delos Reed and had one son, Myron, who died at the age of twelve years, has a pleasant home in the village of Mulliken, where she remains during the summer seasons, passing the winters in Florida, where she also owns a residence; her husband is deceased. Diadema Ann is the wife of Richard D. McConnell, of Moscow, Idaho, and of their four children three are living, Mary, Frances and Bradford. Mary, the youngest of the children of Andrew and Diadema Nickle, died at the age of fifteen years. John B. Nickle passed his boyhood days amid the scenes and labors of the pioneer epoch in Eaton county, early becoming inured to the sturdy work in forest and field and receiving such educational advantages as were afforded in the district or subscription schools of the locality and period. He remained at the parental home until he had attained the age of twenty-one years, when he married, and shortly after this important event in his life his father deeded to him eighty acres of land, upon which a few improvements had been made, the property being located in section 10, Roxand township. The timber had been cut from twenty acres. This trat6 is a portion of the present homestead of Mr. Nickle and the property is now well improved throughout, showing the evidences of his energy and good management. To his original farm he later added, purchasing an adjacent tract of eighty acres of wild land in section 15. this also he has reclaimed and otherwise improved. In August, 1903, on this latter portion of his homestead, Mr. Nickle completed the erection of a spacious brick residence, which is one of the finest in the township, being modern in architectural design and in all its equipments. Prior to the erections of this residence he continued to occupy the original frame house, across the road, in section 10. He is now recognized as one of the substantial farmers and progressive business men of his native township, where he commands the high regard of all who know him. In politics he formerly gave unqualified allegiance to the Republican party, but he now holds himself aside from partisan lines, voting in accord with the dictates of his judgment. He has served as township treasurer and also as drain commissioner, and was a member of the grange for many years. December 4, 1861, Mr. Nickle was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Ann Hiesrodt, who was born in Lenawee county, Michigan, being a daughter of John Hiesrodt, who was born in the state of New York, and who died in Roxand township. He was an early settler in Lenawee county, where at one time he owned a farm, while he was also employed for some time by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Company. He finally sold his property in that county and purchased a farm of eighty acres in Roxand township, Eaton county, where he passed the remainder of his life. Of his first marriage there are two children, of whom Mrs. Nickle is the elder. Martin is a farmer of Roxand township. The half brother, Courtland Hiesrodt, is likewise a successful farmer of this township. Mr. and Mrs. Nickle became the parents of eight children, of whom Dora and Martin died in early childhood. Samuel, who resides on the old homestead, in section 10, is one of the representative farmers of Roxand township; Andrew J. is a resident of the state of Washington; John E. remains at the parental home; Frank is a resident of Wyandotte, Wayne county; Addie and Mary remain with their parents.