James Uhl was a resident of Chester Township for most of his life. He began life with limited means, but he managed his farming interests so well that he was among the prosperous farmers of Eaton County. He was born in Portage County, Ohio, October 11, 1845. Peter Uhl was the name of his father. He was a native of Prussia, Germany where he was born in 1805 and immigrated to this country and settled among the pioneers of Ohio, where he met and married Rebecca Moore who was a native of Ohio, born in 1816, in one of its early pioneer homes.
After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Uhl settled in Portage County, Ohio and Mr. Uhl was actively engaged in farming there for several years, though prior to coming to this country Peter had been a weaver in Germany. In 1854 he removed with his family to Michigan and settled in Chester Township, where he purchased a farm, which remained his home until death rounded out his life in 1883. He was a good man and a loyal citizen to his adopted country. He was an earnest Christian and for many years was a member of the Congregational church. His widow, Rebecca, lived to the venerable age of 76 years, dying in 1892 and was greatly respected. She was the mother of twelve children. Both Peter and Rebecca Uhl are resting in the Gresham Cemetery, Chester Township, Eaton County, Michigan.
When James Uhl was a boy, his advantages educationally and otherwise, were limited, as his parents were poor and he was early set to work to assist in the labors of the farm. His education was obtained in the local district schools. He was but nine years old when he accompanied his parents to their new home in this country, and he remained with them, assisting in the support of the family until he was twenty-two years of age. The country roundabout was but sparsely inhabited and was mostly covered with the primeval forests in which game abounded, and hard pioneer labor was necessary before the homestead that his father purchased could be placed under proper improvement.
In 1867, Mr. Uhl began his independent career as a farmer by buying land in Chester Township, which he developed into a fine farm on which he placed a neat set of building and had its soil under excellent cultivation. He owned two hundred and thirty-eight acres of good land, on which he engaged in general farming and stock raising with well-deserved success.
Mr. Uhl had by no means been without the assistance of a good wife in the upbuilding of his home, as he was married in 1871 to Miss Lura Williams. Mrs. Uhl was a woman of much capability, was a good housewife, and cheerfully co-operated with her husband in making their home pleasant and comfortable. She was born in Lorain County, Ohio in 1851, and was the daughter of Albert R. and Charity E. (Loucks) Williams, natively respectively of New York and Ohio. They removed from Ohio to Michigan in 1855. Albert died in 1878 in Ohio, at the age of fifty years, and Charity died in 1890 in Michigan. Both were true Christians and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
James and Lura Uhl were the parents of six children, of whom the following is the record: Lena, born May 26, 1872; Elroy, August 26, 1876; Leslie, April 10, 1883; Etha, December 26, 1885; Irma, November 18, 1887; and also one child who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Uhl are well deserving of respect and all who knew them accords it to them.
James died at the age of 72 years in 1917 and Lura died in 1928 at the age of 77. Both are resting at the Gresham Cemetery, Chester Township, Eaton County, Michigan.
Portrait & Biographical Album Eaton & Barry County, Michigan - 1891
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