Biographical sketch of JOEL M. ROBERTSON from the book entitled, "Biographical Memoirs of Saint Clair County, Michigan," published in 1903 by B. F. Bowen Publishers in Logansport, Indiana.
This bio spans three (3) pages: 603-605
JOEL M. ROBERTSON
A man who boldly faces the responsibilities of life and by determined and untiring effort carves out for himself an honorable success, exerts a powerful influence over the lives of all who follow him.Such men constitute the foundation of our republican institutions and are the pride of our civilization.To them life is so real they find neither time nor inclination to plot either mischief or vice.Their lives are bound up in their duties, they feel the weight of their citizenship, and take pleasure in sowing the seeds of uprightness.Such has been the career of the subject of this brief sketch.
Some sixty-eight years ago a child was born on a farm in China township and within a half-mile of his present home, at a time when the progress of time was not so apparent as now and when the lives of children had not their present roseate hue.Joel M. Robertson was born to John and Nancy (McQueen) Robertson, January 25, 1834.The father was a native of Michigan, having been born in Cottrellville township, St. Clair county, where he lived all his life.The mother, Nancy McQueen, was a daughter of Daniel McQueen and was born in New York, from whence her parents brought her at an early age.Her mother’s maiden name was Harrison and she, too, was a native of New York.When John Robertson was a child his parents moved from Cottrellville township and settled in China township, where the son grew up and married.Reared on the farm, the attractions of town life did not exist for him and his children, six in number, were reared in the rural districts.At his death, in 1882, he possessed sixty acres of land, all of which he had cleared himself and which he obtained by reason of his own energy and thrift.Of their six children, whose names follow, four are living:Eliza was the wife of William Butler, of China township, but both are deceased; John, who was an engineer on the lakes, died in 1892; Joel M.; Tama E. married S. Simpkins and is living in North Dakota; Martha, deceased, was the wife of Frank Phoinx, also deceased, and Christina is the wife of George Minnie.
Joel M. Robertson received only a limited education, having attended the township schools during the winter months and at the early age of seventeen sailed as an oiler on the steamer “Caspian.”This position he held for one season and the next year shipped as second engineer on the steamer “Little Huron.”For forty years he followed the lakes and held many berths on different tug boats and lake propellors (sic), advancing each time until he had reached the limit.In his sailor life only one lake was unfamiliar with his presence, that of Ontario.He loved the water and was never happier than when driving a boat at top-most speed over the lake.March 9, 1857, he was married to Ellen Wood, who was born in Liverpool, England, and came with her parents, Peter and Anna (Hope) Wood, to Cottrellville township in 1848.The family later came to China township, where the daughter was married.The members of the Wood family had always been farmers and the daughter was reared amid the scenes of rural life.The father followed the plow for some years, but in his later years has lived a retired life in St. Clair township, being now aged eighty-four years.In 1884 his first wife died and he was shortly afterward married to Lena Leterck, who died in 1900, and in his eighty-third year he was married to Miss Ann Forrister.The children of his first wife were as follows:Ellen; Anna, deceased; Elizabeth; Henry, a resident of Armada; Thomas, a farmer and builder in St. Clair; Emma is Mrs. George Lewis, of Los Angeles, California, and Joshua L. Wood lives at Flint.Mr. and Mrs. Robertson reared but one daughter, Florence, who died at the age of thirty-four; she was the wife of H. J. Bushnell, of St. Clair, and Fred.
In 1878 Mr. Robertson purchased his present farm of fifty-two acres, all of which was cleared with the exception of eight acres.Here he established a home and since coming to China township has always lived on the farm he now occupies.The tract is one of the most fruitful in the country and the owner has made a good deal of money from the soil.He carries on general farming and also raises all kinds of stock.His grains and hay, as well as his cattle, hogs and horses, find a ready sale in the markets at advanced prices.Besides being a sailor and farmer, he has also worked at odd times at carpentering and has been able to accomplish much in this line, doing his own and much of his neighbor’s work.As a neighbor the people of the township have only words of praise for Mr. Robertson as well as for his family, and this is the highest compliment that could be paid them.He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and an earnest worker in the parish.He has never had but a mild interest in politics and has, therefore, never aspired to office.His influence in this direction is always for the best and in the county where he has lived for so many years he is known as an honest, upright man, working for the good of the community.
PLEASE NOTE:I do not have any personal interest in researching the ROBERTSON surname or the St. Clair county, Michigan location.I am merely posting a select number of the biographical sketches found in the above-referenced book *upon specific written request* as a service to the genealogical community; these transcriptions are intended for personal use and are not being done for profit.Please do not contact me with regard to research interests in the above as I have no personal ties.Thank you.