JAMES B. PEABODY, one of the substantial farmers and esteemed citizens of Sunfield township, is a veteran of the civil war, a member of a pioneer family of Michigan, and a scion of stanch colonial ancestry. He was born in Lorain county, Ohio, January 30, 1844, the place of his birth having been a farm in Henrietta township. He is a son of Nathan and Hannah (Marshall) Peabody, the former of whom was born in the state of New York September 20, 1808, and the latter in Dunstable township, Hillsboro county, New Hampshire, May 2, 1805. Their marriage was solemnized in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 10, 1830, and the first ten years of their married life were passed in New England, principally in Merrimac, New Hampshire. In 1840 they removed to Ohio, making the trip by way of the Great Lakes to Cleveland and settling in Henrietta township, Lorain county, where Mr. Peabody developed a farm, upon which they continued to reside until 1850, when they came to Michigan and settled on eighty acres of wild land, in Raisinville township, Monroe county, where was reclaimed a good farm within the next decade. At the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion, Nathan Peabody went forth in defense of the Union, as did also two of his sons, enlisting in Company K, Fifteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with which he proceeded to the Southwest, serving with his command in Missouri and adjoining states until he contracted the illness which terminated his life, his death occurring in a hospital in the city of St. Louis, April 2, 1862. After the death of her husband Mrs. Peabody sold her property in Monroe county and came to Eaton county, where she passed the remainder of her life with her children. She was residing in the home of her son, J. Bowers Peabody, in Sunfield township, at the time of her death, which occurred on January 16, 1898, at which time she was ninety-three years of age. She was a veritable "mother in Israel," and her memory rests like a benediction upon those who came within the sphere of her influence. Andrew Peabody, father of Nathan, was a privateer in the service of the Colonial government during the war of the Revolution and was twice captured by the British and imprisoned in England. Of the children of Nathan and Hannah (Marshall) Peabody the following data are entered: Nathan, Jr., died in 1861, in Monroe county; Lydia M., died April 7, 1889, the widow of Richard Lassey, who was a soldier in the civil war, having been taken prisoner at the battle of Gettysburg and having died of starvation while incarcerated in Andersonville prison; J. Bowers, who was a representative farmer of Sebewa township and who is at present sojourning in New Mexico for the benefit of his health, married Ann A. Wolcott, eldest sister of the wife of his brother James, subject of this sketch, his wife dying March 9, 1904; Mary A. became the wife of Moses Kelley, died on consumption in Lorain county, Ohio; John Snow Marshall, who married M. Louisa Wolcott, sister of the wives of his brothers, J. Bowers and James B., and who was a member of the same company and regiment as was the latter in the civil war, is now a resident of Sebewa township, Ionia County, and James B., to whom this article is dedicated, is the youngest of the children. James B. Peabody was six years of age at the time of the family removal to Monroe county, Michigan, where he was reared to manhood on the homestead farm, receiving such advantages as were afforded in the schools of the locality and period. December 14, 1863, at the age of nineteen years, at Toledo, Ohio, he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Twenty-eight Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which command was mustered into the Union service shortly afterward, in the city of Cleveland, where it remained until May, 1864. The regiment thence went to Sandusky, Ohio, remaining one month, and was then sent to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie, where it remained on duty in guarding Confederate prisoners until the close of the war. Within the time Mr. Peabody was on this island there were five thousand Confederate officers held in captivity there at one time. Members of James B. Peabody's regiment were selected as roll-callers in the prison and four of the number had been hanged by the prisoners, and volunteers were then called for to serve in this capacity. James B. Peabody was one of those who tendered his services, and he was roll caller for fifteen months, the position being a trying and dangerous one, but he was not molested. He also acted as commissary clerk for his company. His regiment was not called into active field service, but they performed the duties assigned them and deserve as much credit as did those whose fortune it was to serve on the field of conflict. After receiving his honorable discharge, James B. Peabody returned to Monroe county, Michigan, and purchased a farm of partially improved land. He remained on that place until 1870. when he removed with his family to Eaton county, purchasing a farm of wild land in Oneida township. He reclaimed the greater portion of the land and put up a frame house and other buildings. In 1881 he sold this property and removed to his present homestead farm, in section 1, Sunfield township. He also owns a good residence property in the village of Sunfield. For seven years he was associated with his brother-in-law, John L. Wolcott, in business in that village. They originally were engaged in the livery business, later building a brick block and in the same opening a grocery and meat market. Mr. Peabody finally disposed of his interest in the business and returned to his farm, to which he has since given his attention. While resident of the village he was a stockholder in the Sunfield Banking Company and also served as school director. He has ever given an unqualified allegiance to the Republican party, but has never consented to become a candidate for political office. He is a loyal and valued member of Samuel W. Grinnell Post, No. 283, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has passed all of the official chairs, having served as commander and being officer of the day at the present time. He and his wife hold membership in the Protestant Methodist church, but as there is no organization of this denomination in their vicinity they attend and support the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Peabody is a woman of culture and gracious personality, and is a valued and active member of the Woman's Relief Corps and the Woman's Literary Club of Sunfield. Prior to his enlistment as a soldier in the civil war, Mr. Peabody was united in marriage to Miss Emma J. Wolcott, the ceremony being performed at Ida, Monroe county, September 4, 1846. She is a daughter of Henry E. and Martha (Sanderson) Wolcott, the former of whom was born in the state of New York, October 16, 1814, and died in Monroe county, Michigan, July 22, 1855, and the latter of whom was born in Ireland October 20, 1815, and died in Sebewa township, Ionia County, Michigan, June 25, 1888. Mr. Wolcott was a blacksmith by trade, and he finally purchased a quarter-section of wild land in Monroe County, building a log house and barn on the place and removing to the same with his family when the wife of the subject of this sketch was about six years of age. He reclaimed a portion of the land and after his death unscrupulous persons took advantage of his widow, practically compelling her to sacrifice the entire property. She bravely faced the obstacles and difficulties which faced her and managed to keep her family together. After her children had attained maturity and established homes of their own they measurably recompensed her devotion by caring for her with all of filial solicitude. The children were ten in number, and concerning them the following record is consistently given: Ann A., who was born April 28, 1838, became the wife of J. Bowers Peabody, as already noted, and died March 9, 1904; M. Louisa, who was born February 23, 1841, is the wife of John S. Marshall Peabody of Sebewa township, Ionia county, three sisters having thus married three brothers of the Peabody family; Martha M., who was born April 15, 1843, and who resides at Lake Odessa, Ionia county, is the widow of Rufus Goddard, who was a soldier in the civil war and who died as the result of disease contracted while in the army; Cornelia E., who was born January 3, 1845, is the wife of John Dickinson of Monroe county, who was also a soldier in the civil war; the wife of the subject of this sketch was the next in order of birth; William Henry, who was born January 24, 1848, died at the age of fourteen months; G. Franklin and Frances G., twins, were born May 9, 1850, the former being a resident of Pittsford, Hillsdale county, and the latter being the wife of Lyman Payne, of Milan, Washtenaw county; John L., who was born December 8, 1851, is engaged in the lumber business at Sunfield; Abbie L., who was born December 9, 1854, and who died May 1, 1888, was the wife of John Freehouse of Sebewa township, Ionia county. Mr. and Mrs. James B. Peabody have three children;: Luella O., who was born July 19, 1864, is the wife of Homer Wolpert of Oneida township, and they have three children-Courtland, Keith and Vivian; Minnie May, who was born May 27, 1868, is the wife of Daniel Aungst, of Sunfield township, and they have two sons, Don and Bona and also an adopted daughter, Velma; Nathan W., who was born September 1, 1874, owns a farm adjoining his father's, married Miss Gladys Chamberlain, and they have two children-James Lee and Lynn.