HON. SAMUEL NIXON, to whom this memoir is dedicated, was one of the sterling pioneers of Eaton county, where he took up government land prior to the admission of the state to the Union, and having lived a life of signal honor and usefulness, doing his quota in the up building of the civic and material superstructure of the county and serving in various offices of public trust. Mr. Nixon was born in Clarkson, Monroe County, New York, September 21, 1819, and died, on his homestead farm, in Delta Township, Eaton County, Michigan, September 20, 1896. He was a son of George and Mary (Radcliff) Nixon, both of whom were natives of Ireland and both of whom died in the province of Ontario, Canada. They were married in the Emerald Isle, whence they immigrated to America, first settling in the state of New York and later removing to Canada, where they purchased a farm, the father dying about six months later. Of their four sons the subject of this memoir was the youngest, the others being: John, who settled in Delta Township, Eaton County, in 1840, becoming the owner of a half section of land, all of which he sold prior to his death, which occurred in the village of Grand Ledge; James took up his residence in Delta Township the same year, purchasing eighty acres of land, which he eventually sold, passing the closing years of his life in the city of Saginaw; and Robert, who bought government land in Oneida Township, passing the remainder of his life in this county. Samuel Nixon passed his boyhood and youth in Ontario, Canada, assisting in the work of the farm and securing a common school education. In 1836, at the age of seventeen years, he came to Eaton County, Michigan, and purchased eighty acres of government land, in Oneida Township. He then returned to Canada, where he remained until his marriage, which occurred December 24, 1839. He then came again to his forest farm, which was located in what became known as the Canada Settlements, a number of colonists having come here from Ontario about that time. He reclaimed most of the land to cultivation and then traded with his brother James for eighty acres of wild land in section 17, Delta Township, where his son and daughter now reside. About the only improvement on the farm was a log cabin, which was the family home for some time. He improved the place, to which he eventually added forty acres lying across the road, in section 20, and at the time of his death his landed estate comprised one hundred and twenty acres, the two tracts mentioned. The first house on the place had a roof of bark and the floor was made of puncheons, split out of logs. He erected later a frame house, which is still standing, which is in use as a tenement dwelling. This was built in 1855 and was one of the first frame houses in the township. In 1877 Mr. Nixon erected the substantial and spacious brick residence now owned by his son and daughter, who occupy the same as a home, though they rent the farm to desirable tenants. Mr. Nixon experienced the full tension of pioneer life in the midst of the wilds of this section, hardships and deprivations being the common lot, but to all there was a measure of recompense in the steady progress made in the matter of development, while genuine friendship and good will prevailed on all sides, each of the settlers standing ready to aid the others, while the latch-string of the little log homes was indeed out at all times, offering welcome to all. Mr. Nixon and his young wife made the trip through from Canada with an ox team, and their progress was slow, as no roads had been constructed through this section, and he literally was compelled to hew a way through to his primitive home. He and his brother Robert and Martin Nichols were the first three settlers in Oneida Township. On December 24, 1839, Samuel Nixon was married to Miss Jane Huddleston, who was born in County Down, Ireland, October 3, 1820, being a daughter of David and Nancy A. (Dalzell) Huddleston, concerning whom detailed mention is made in the sketch of the career of their son Samuel, appearing on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Huddleston were born in Ireland, whence they immigrated to the province of Ontario, Canada, in 1827, there remaining until 1850, when they came to Eaton county, purchasing eighty acres of land, in Delta township, where Mr. Huddleston died in 1861, aged eighty-five years, his widow passing away in 1874, at the age of eighty-four years. Of their eight children Mrs. Nancy Agnes Nixon, wife of the subject of this memoir, was the eldest. Isabella became the wife of Robert Nixon; James settled on eighty acres of land in Oneida Township; David was a pioneer of Delta Township; Samuel died December 25, 1905, and the other five died in infancy or early childhood. Mr. and Mrs. Nixon became the parents of eight children, concerning whom the following brief record is entered: Maria, who has never married, remains on the old homestead farm, in the ownership of which she is associated with her youngest brother, while to her the publishers are indebted for the data from which this tribute is prepared; George died at the age of ten years, David at eight, James at six and Wealthy at three years; Milton resides in Alma, Gratiot County; Charles died in the city of Detroit, in. 1900, having been clerk of Wayne County two terms; and Cassius M. is associated in the ownership of the old home farm, where he resides with his sister, as already intimated. After clearing his land Mr. Nixon gave not a little time to the study of law, having been a man of fine mentality and having acquired a liberal fund of knowledge through personal application. He was never formally admitted to the bar but did considerable practice in the justice courts in the early days, while his mature wisdom and tolerance in judgment caused him to be arbiter in many local affairs, in which his advice was freely sought. For twenty-seven years he was incumbent of the office of justice of the peace in Delta Township, and was elected again, but refused to qualify. He served four terms as township supervisor and two terms as township treasurer, while in 1876 he was elected to represent Eaton County in the state legislature. In all positions of trust his fealty and loyalty was most marked, and he wielded much influence in local affairs of a public nature, while no man in the community enjoyed more unqualified popular confidence and esteem. In politics he became a Republican at the time of the organization of the party, and he continued a stanch advocate of its cause until the close of his life. He and his wife were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in whose work they were exceptionally active for many years, Mr. Nixon having been a licensed or local preacher in the same. His wife passed to the life eternal May 5, 1901, having been a noble type of the pioneer women who so zealously and faithfully bore their share of the burdens and responsibilities incidental to forwarding the march of civilization in a new country. In 1852 Mr. Nixon made the trip across the plains to California, starting in April, and remaining until the early part of the following year, when he returned by way of the isthmus of Panama, arriving at his home in February.