Submitted by: M. E. McWhorter  


Aaron Bark

Julia L. Bosworth

Past & Present of Eaton County, Michigan

     Aaron Bark was one of the honored pioneers of Eaton county, where he made is life count for good in all its relation, commanding the confidence and high regard of his fellow men and being a valued and influential citizen of his community. He died on his fine homestead farm, in section 25, Sunfield township, October 13, 1903, and his widow still remains on the farm, the same being endeared to her through the associations and memories of the past. Mr. Bark was born in North Royalton township, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, May 15, 1828, being a son of Francis and Lucina (Granger) Bark, both natives of New York state, where the former was born November 19, 1779, and the latter March 12, 1804. Both died in Ohio,--- the father at the age of eighty and the mother at the age of eighty-seven years. Francis Bark was sixteen years of age at the time of his parents' removal from New York to Ohio, and he walked the entire distance, while the other members of the family rode in a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen. He became a pioneer farmer of Cuyahoga county, and also worked at the shoemaker's trade. Cleveland was a small village at the time of the arrival of the Bark family in the county, and at one time he knew every man in the town. A few years before his death he left the farm, passing the closing years of his life in Cleveland. Of the nine children of Francis Bark eight attained maturity and four are still living. Thomas died in the state of Ohio and his only child, Burton died in Cuba, having been in service as a soldier in the late Spanish-American war; Granger resides in Cleveland, Ohio; Aaron, subject of this memoir, was the next in order of birth; Almira became the wife of Kelly Bosworth, an early settler of Chester township, this county, where she died; Maria is the wife of Charles Robinson, of Cleveland, Ohio; Nancy Ann is a resident of the same city, being the widow of Edmond Towsley; Eliza is the wife of William Edgetant, of Cleveland; Charles died many years ago; and the ninth child died in infancy. Aaron Bark was reared to the invigorating discipline of the farm, and received a common school education. He continued to reside in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, about two years after his marriage and then, in 1853, came with his family to Eaton county, Michigan, making the trip from Cleveland to Detroit by boat, and from the latter city proceeding by the Michigan Central Railroad to Jackson, and thence by stage to Charlotte. From Charlotte he and his family drove through to the land which he had secured, in Roxand township. In crossing the Thornapple river the water ran into the box of the wagon, and finally the wagon broke down, compelling them to leave their goods in the forest. Mr. Bark and his brother-in-law swam across the Little Thornapple river and then constructed a raft from hog troughs, utilizing this primitive arrangement to transport Mrs. Bark across the stream, the parents of Mrs. Bark having come to the county at the same time. Mr. Bark purchased ninety acres of heavily timbered land, in Roxand township, erecting a log house and stable on the place and eventually reclaiming the greater portion of the land. He later sold the property and purchased the homestead of one hundred and sixty acres where his widow now resides. this land was still covered with the native timber and no improvements had been made. He erected a "side-hill shanty," which continued to be the family home until he completed the erection of the present commodious frame residence, in which he continued to live until he was summoned from the scene of this mortal life. He made the best of improvements on this farm, clearing the land and developing one of the valuable places of this part of the county. He endured the vicissitudes common to pioneer epoch, but won a success worthy the name, while his faithful and cherished wife ever stood by his side, aiding and encouraging him. The home life was ideal in its nature, and to Mrs. Bark there comes a measure of consolation and recompense in the gracious memories of the long years of her happy wedded life. In political matters Mr. Bark was found a staunch supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party, and he was called upon to serve in various offices of local trust, having served thirty-one years as justice of the peace and having been highway commissioner several years. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Grange. The village of Shaytown is located on a portion of his farm, nine acres of the property having been sold by him for the platting of the village. He and his wife celebrated their golden wedding in 1901, and the occasion was made a most delightful social event. Mr. Bark was married February 2, 1851, the lady of his choice having been Miss Julia L. Bosworth, who was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, December 14, 1831, being a daughter of Luther and Lucy (Sprague) Bosworth, father having likewise been a pioneer of Eaton county, where he resided until his death. Mrs. Bark is a half-sister of Kelly Bosworth, of Charlotte, concerning whom individual mention is made on other pages of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Bark became the parents of seven children, all save two of whom died in infancy. Diana is the wife of J. F. Ives, a successful farmer in Sunfield township; and Libbie is the wife of Albert McWhorter, who likewise is a farmer of Roxand township. since the death of her husband Mrs. Bark has rented her farm, though she still resided in the old homestead. Her circle of friends is wide and she is one of the noble pioneer women of the county.





Photo taken before 1916

Back Row: Left to Right Harry Granger (1865 - 1926);   Zetta Granger (1867 - 1959);   Elihu Granger (1827 - 1922);  Unknown;   Ed Ives (d.1954);  Unknown;   Lon Lake;
Middle Row: Left to Right Dana (Bark) Ives;   Lucy Pugh (1858-1929);  Unknown;    Eliza (Bosworth) McDowell (1840-1916);   Charles  McDowell (1848-1932);   Unknown:   Unknown:  Unknown:
Lone, Front: Julia (Bosworth) Bark, (1831-1918)

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