Israel J. Mead Family
L to R Back Row:
Mary Lucinda, Mark, Israel J. "Jay," & Phoebe Anne
L to R Front Row:
Cora Z., Israel J., Clarisa (Austin), & Eliza
Portrait and biographical album of Clinton and Shiawassee counties, Mich., containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States, and governors of the state.
Israel Mead, a well-known and prosperous resident in Duplain Township, Clinton County, was born in Chester, near Lake George in New York, March 30, 1811. His father, Nehemiah Mead was a farmer by occupation and brought his son up in his own line of work. The mother Zilpha Wilcox Mead, gave to her son the inheritance of a sound constitution and an honest love for work but could not give him good educational advantages as the family was so situated as to debar him from such opportunities. Most of his education he has had to attain for himself since he reached his majority.
When our subject was a mere infant his father removed to Washington County, N. Y., and five years later transferred his home to Wayne County, the same State. The young man remained with his parents until he reached his majority, and then decided to come West. This was in the old Territorial days and our subject arrived in Novi Township, Oakland County, in 1832, thus becoming one of the sterling pioneers of that region. That county was then an unbroken wilderness, and the new settler could scarcely find even a cabin within its confines. He took up a place of eighty acres to which he afterward added forty acres more. He was then a man of Herculean strength and wonderful endurance and during the twenty-five years when he made his home in Oakland County he accomplished marvels in subduing the wilderness and bringing his land from the condition of a forest to that of a rich and productive farm. He placed upon this land an excellent house, fine barns and every appurtenance necessary to carry on a farm.
Previous to his migration this young man had taken to himself a wife in the person of Livisa Knapp, who became Mrs. Mead in May, 1831. Five children blessed this home, but one only of that little circle, Lovilla, remains to cheer the heart of her father. The four others, Loretta, Maria, Samantha and Andrew lie with their mother in the "city of the silent." Mrs. Livisa Mead passed away from earth in 1844.
The second marriage of our subject united him with Clarissa Austin, of Oakland County, and by her he had nine children, namely: Phoebe, Mary, Jay, Mark, Eliza, Cora, Milton, Clarissa, (who died in infancy) and Frederick. The mother of these children died about eighteen years ago.
Mr. Mead removed from Oakland County, to Clinton County, in the year 1855, and located on the place where he now resides, which was then also a wilderness. He had to cut his way through the woods to his new home, and only a few inhabitants were then to be found in the bounds of the county. He has thus done double pioneer work. He has cleared about one hundred and forty acres out of the three hundred and seventy which he took when he first came to the county. He designs to give this place to his children, when his time comes to resign his earthly possessions. His youngest son and his daughter Lovilla make their home with him as does also the husband of the daughter. He is a sturdy specimen of the old fashioned farmer of the early days of Michigan, and calls himself a "square toed Democrat." He keeps ten head of horses and some very fine ones and a small herd of good cows. He has held school offices and some other township positions of trust and responsibility.
Courtesy of Jack Sheldon, Great Great Grandson of Isreal Mead Sr.