Samuel McNitt (1832-1925) and Cordelia McNitt (1829-1899)

Samuel M. McNitt, the seventh of Daniel and Jane's children, was born on February 6, 1832, at Victory, Cayuga County, New York, and named after his grandfather Samuel Moores. He was three years old when the family moved to Ohio. After reaching adulthood, Samuel married his first cousin Cordelia, daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca McNitt. After the wedding they apparently lived at his parent's farm in Thompson Township.

Samuel was the only child still at home when Daniel died in 1854, so the other heirs sold him their rights to the family farm. Two years later, on September 30, 1856, Samuel transferred it to John McMichael for $2800 and bought 30 acres from McMichael for $1050. One month later Samuel sold this new farm and bought a home in the nearby town of Lewisville (now Flat Rock). Later that month, he sold the house in Lewisville and bought 40 acres next to his brother Joseph on section 14 of Thompson Township.

Samuel soon decided to follow his two brothers and his sister to Michigan, so on September 29, 1857 he sold his land to Joseph. Since over half of her children would now be in Michigan, Jane Moores McNitt decided to accompany Samuel and his family on their journey. Less than three weeks later, on October 19, Samuel bought 40 acres of land in Ottawa County, Michigan, next to the farm owned by his brother William. A little over a year later William sold Samuel an additional 20 acres.

By 1860, Samuel had 25 of his 60 acres of land improved. He owned three horses, two milch cows, three other cattle, nine sheep, and 19 swine. Farm products included wheat, rye, corn, wool, potatoes, butter, cheese, hay, and maple sugar. Samuel sold his farm in 1866 and moved to the town of Lisbon, on the county line between Ottawa and Kent counties, where he operated a grocery store. He remained in Lisbon until January 1877, when he purchased an 80 acre farm in Casnovia Township of Muskegon County. The family remained on this farm until Cordelia died in 1899. Samuel soon moved into the town of Ravenna, where his brother John lived.

On May 21, 1902, at the age of 70, Samuel married Mrs. Mary J. (Hanna) Price of Ravenna, whose son John had married Samuel's niece Susan McNitt. Samuel gave his occupation as cattle buyer. After 18 years of marriage, Samuel was widowed for a second time by Mary's death in 1920. By now 88 years old, Samuel must have felt rather lonely. All of his brothers and sisters were dead, as was his son. His daughter-in-law, his granddaughter, her husband, and a great grandson had all left Muskegon County around 1915 to move to Lansing, Michigan. Several nieces and nephews still lived around Ravenna, however.

Samuel died on June 18, 1925, at the age of 93. More so than any others in his generation he had seen the emergence of modern America. His life spanned the U.S. history from the presidency of Andrew Jackson to that of Calvin Coolidge. Raised on a farm on the frontier, Samuel lived to see the era of automobiles, big cities, large factories, telephones, and radios.

Sources used in writing this chapter


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