JOHN H. PALMER
John H. Palmer is well entitled to representation in this publication, for his record has been a worthy one -- as a citizen, as a progressive business man and as an efficient public official. He maintains his home in the thriving little village of Sunfield, where he has important commercial and industrial interests, and he is also incumbent of the office of supervisor of Sunfield Township. Mr. Palmer was born in Canton, Wayne County, Michigan, April 4, 1860, being a son of Patrick Palmer, who was born in Ireland March 17, 1834, and who came to America in 1850, making Michigan his destination and being employed at farm work until his marriage. In 1865 he purchased eighty acres of wild land in Sebewa Township, Ionia County, reclaiming a good farm and there passing the remainder of his life, his death occurring December 10, 1904. His wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Pendergast, was born in Ireland in 1834, and came to America in company with her four sisters. She still resides on the old homestead farm, in Ionia County, she is a communicant of the Catholic church, as was also her husband, and the latter was a stanch Democrat in his political proclivities. They became the parents of five children, all of whom are living: Mary is the wife of Franklin S. Howard of Ionia County; Elizabeth is the wife of Cyrus P. Harwood of the same county; the subject of this sketch was the next in order of birth; Celia is the widow of Edward Hackett and resides in Ionia County; Martin is a resident of Ionia County; John H. Palmer was about nine years of age at the time of the family removal to Ionia County, where he secured his early educational discipline in the district schools, in the meanwhile rendering assistance in the work of the home farm. He later continued his studies in the high school at Ionia, working for his board during this interval and making the most of the advantages offered. At the age of twenty-one he began working his father's farm on shares, thus continuing for three years, and during the ensuing five years he was identified with the operation of the creamery in Ionia County, representing the same in various capacities. He then came to Sunfield, where he was employed for the following fourteen years in connection with the grain and elevator business of F. B. Nimms. In June 1904, Mr. Palmer associated himself with Homer S. Reames, cashier of the Sunfield Banking Company, in purchasing the elevator and grain business with which he had so long been identified, the alliance being a co-partnership and the enterprise being now carried on under the firm title of J. H. Palmer & Company. The firm buys and sells grain, seeds, beans, wool, etc., and controls an enormous business, as this is one of the best farming sections in the state and Sunfield one of the best shipping points of all towns of comparable population in the state. For seven years, Mr. Palmer was an interested principal in the telephone exchange of Sunfield, having been the promoter and builder of fifty miles of line, and having operated the same with two hundred telephones in actual service. He disposed of the plant a few years ago at a good profit. For the past decade and a half he has also devoted no little attention to the handling of real estate in the village of Sunfield, but he is now practically retired from this line of enterprise, through which he did much to promote the growth and material upbuilding of the town. He is a man of much initiative and much business acumen and has been very successful in his operations, but his advancement has been gained by legitimate means and he has never infringed the rights or taken advantage of others for the sake of personal gain. One of his late ventures is the starting of a dairy farm, this enterprise being taken up principally as a pastime or means of recreation from his more insistent business cares, and he will make the same a profitable business. He is the owner of an attractive modern residence in Sunfield, and the home is a center of cordial hospitality. In politics Mr. Palmer gives unswerving allegiance to the Democratic Party, and he is now serving his sixth term as supervisor of Sunfield Township and his second term as a member of the board of education of his district. He was township treasurer one term and was postmaster of Sunfield four years, during the second term of President Cleveland. He was made the candidate of his party for state senator, and though defeated by normal political exigencies he greatly appreciated the honor of being selected by his friends and his party as candidate for this office. He is not a rabid partisan, but takes a deep interest in political affairs and his personal popularity and unmistakable eligibility will undoubtedly bring him into other and more important positions of public trust. Mr. Palmer is ever ready to lend his influence and tangible assistance in upholding any enterprise tending to advance the interests of his home town and country, and he is essentially public-spirited in his attitude, as all residents of Sunfield will testify, his popularity in his home town being of the most insistent type. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of the Maccabees and the Woodmen of America. Neither he nor his father was ever involved in a legal litigation with any person, a fact indicating that both have been upright in all dealings and considerate in their treatment of others. September 4, 1888, Mr. Palmer was united in marriage to Miss Alice Commiskey, who was born and reared in Michigan, and of their five children two died in infancy, the survivors being Paul, Esther and Karl.