Joseph A. Weatherwax Family History

Portrait and Biographcial Album of Branch County, Mich., 1888, p. 588-9:

Joseph A. Weatherwax, farmer, residing on section 31, Butler Township, has 
long been identified with the agricultural interests of Branch County, and 
while actively assisting in its development, has, by his shrewd management 
and skillful and well-directed labors, laid up a comfortable competency for 
himself and family, so that now as the shadows are lengthening along life's 
highway, he can rest free from the cares and burdens that beset him at 
noontide in the pleasant home that he has built.

Mr. Weatherwax traces his ancestry through several generations back to 
Germany, his forefathers emigrating from that country to this in colonial 
times (see sketch of John T. Weatherwax).  His parents were Thomas and Mary 
(Ketcham) Weatherwax, and they settled in Schoharie County, N.Y., where the 
father was engaged as a farmer.  He took part in the War of 1812, doing 
efficient service for his country as a brave and patriotic soldier.  During 
some period of his married life he and his wife moved to Orleans County and 
located in the town of Shelby, where he was very much prospered and became a 
large land-owner.  He died there Aug. 10, 1827, aged forty-five years.   Thus 
in the very prime of life a good and competent citizen was removed from his 
useful sphere, and he was greatly missed as a wise counselor and a true 
friend by the people among whom he had made his home.  His amiable wife 
survived him scarcely more than two years, dying Nov. 19, 1829, at the age of 
sixty-two years. (Note from jc - think this is an error).  Fourteen children 
were born to them, and thirteen of them grew to maturity, of whom eight were 

Joseph Weatherwax was the twelfth child and the youngest son born to his 
parents, his birth taking place July 5, 1822, in Shelby Township, Orleans 
Co., N.Y.  He was five years old when his father died, and eight years old 
when his mother's death occurred, and when he was thus so sadly bereaved of 
both father and mother, he was bound out in his native town to his guardian, 
Mr. McCargney (or McCargar from other records, jc), and for awhile worked on 
his farm.  Subsequently that gentleman bound him out to Mr. Henry Ryan, under 
whose roof he remained until he attained his majority.  His education was 
limited to three months' schooling during the winter terms of seven years, 
but by close study he managed to acquire considerable knowledge in that time. 
 At the age of twenty-one he started out in the world to make his own way by 
the strength of his muscle in any honorable way that might present itself, 
and the succeeding four years he worked out by the month.  At the end of that 
time he had employed his time to such good purpose that, having prudently 
saved his earnings, he was able to marry and make a comfortable home for the 
woman he had asked to share his life.  He was then twenty-five years of age, 
and his union with Miss Rachel, M. Veeder took place in 1847, in ridgeway, 
Orleans Co., N.Y.  She was the daughter of Abraham and Lydia (Lansing) 
Veeder.  Her father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and her grandfather 
served in the Revolutionary War.  Her ancestors came from Holland in early 
Colonial times and settled in New York.  Her parents lived and died in Fonda 
Township, Montgomery Co., N.Y., her father having been a farmer.  His death 
occurred Feb. 7, 1839, at the age of fifty-one years; his wife survived him 
until Sept. 25, 1846, dying at the age of sixty years.  They were the parents 
of nine children, seven of whom grew to maturity.  Mrs. Weatherwax was the 
fifth child, and she was born Aug. 21, 1819, in Fonda Township, Montgomery 
Co., N.Y.  She was educated in the common schools of her native town, and the 
household cares devolving on her when she was quite young, she became a 
skillful housewife.  She learned dressmaking and tailoring, and was thus 
employed for two years prior to her marriage.  To her and her husband one 
child has been born, Elizabeth Jane, who was married in 1877 to Mr. Jason 
Nichols.  Both she and her mother are ladies of rare qualities, and are much 
respected and esteemed by all who know them.

In 1850, Mr. and Mrs. W. came to michigan and settled in Butler Township, 
Branch County, on the eighty acres of land that he had previously bought on 
sections 31 and 32, which constitutes a part of his present landed estate, he 
having forty acres more land in Barry County.  His farm is classed as one of 
the best and most profitable in the township, and it is under the most 
careful management; it is well supplied with the necessary buildings and 
machinery, and everything about the place betokens thrift and prosperity.

Mr. Weatherwax has endeared himself to his neighbors and associates of many 
years standing, by his kind and obliging manners, and his steadfast integrity 
has won the confidence of all in the community.  In his political views in 
early life he was a Whig, but he has now for many years been a stanch 
Republican.  Our subject can look back upon a long life spent in usefulness 
and well-doing, and may well be proud of what he has accomplished by his 
perservering toil.