From Chapman's Portrait and Biographical Album; found at OCPHS, and Mich. Hist. Library in Lansing:
James H. Rockwell, a successful farmer residing in Bloomfield Twp, was born in the same township on a farm which adjoins his, April 16, 1845. He is a son of James M. and Eliza E. (Harff) Rockwell, natives of Monroe and Rensselaer Counties, N.Y., respectively. They both came to Michigan with their parents when quite young and settled in this county. The paternal grandparents were John and Sarah (Leet) Rockwell, both natives of Connecticut and early settlers in Monroe County, N.Y. They came to Michigan in 1827 and settled in Bloomfield Township on the farm now owned by Frank Harff. A little later they bought a farm which is now owned by Alfred and Charles Rockwell. They were among the very earliest settlers and here ended their days.
The father of our subject was one of a family of eight children. At a very early day he settled on the farm where he ended his days, and which is now owned and occupied by his second wife and two sons. Under contract with the Government he built the Grand River Turnpike and also the Ft. Gratiot Pike. He was a man of considerable means in his later years, having gained by his own efforts all his fortune. He was an earnest Whig and later a Republican, but was never an aspirant for any office. He was a well-read man and possessed of an unusually good memory. Both he and his good wife took and active part in church matters, being members of the Congregational Church.
The mother of our subject was born in Rensselaer County, N.Y., and was a daughter of Jacob and Susan (Newton) Harff, who were both natives of Vermont. They came to Michigan at an early day and settled in Troy, this county, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The mother died April 22, 1848, at the early age of twenty-eight years. The father was afterward married to Zada A. Adams, of Rensselaer County, N.Y. Our subject was the only child of the first marriage. By the second marriage there were four children- Zada M., Sarah E., Alfred A. and Charlie L.
James was reared in this town and remained with his father until his death. He continued in the management of the old home until 1874, when he bought his present farm, which is known as (Hickory Grove Stock Farm." He has one hundred and thirty acres of land all well improved, and is raising Jersey cattle. He has devoted his life to farming and has been a successful farmer as the fine condition of his land and the excellent buildings testify. A view of his home is shown elsewhere in this volume.
The political sympthies of our subject are with the Republican party and he has held some minor town offices. He and his good wife are both efficient and active members of the Baptist Church. He is identified with the order of the Free and Accepted Masons and with that of the Knights of the Maccabees.
Miss Emma E. Waterbury, of Huron, Wayne County, N.Y., became Mrs. James H. Rockwell December 24, 1874. She was born in Rensselaer County, N.Y., November 22, 1848, and is daughter of John D. and Emma (Addams) Waterbury, both natives of New York. Mrs. Rockwell died May 8, 1887, having been the mother of one child, Hial D., who is now twelve years of age.