Published Biography of John AVERY 1798 - 1883

Source:  History of Shiawassee and Clinton counties, Michigan, with illustrations and biographical sketches of their prominent men and pioneers; pages 385-386. Publication Info:  Philadelphia ,: D.W. Ensign & co., 1880.

"John Avery was born in the town of Lyme, Conn., May [Mar] 4 , 1798, and is of English and Scotch descent [the origin of the Groton Avery's is Devon, England]. When six years of age his parents moved to Jefferson Co., N.Y., and when the war of 1812 broke out, John Avery, then a lad of thirteen years, moved by a spirit of adventure and independence which has characterized him through life, enlisted in the Twenty-third Regiment of United States Infantry. He participated in the capture of Fort George, and nearly all the engagements on the frontier during the war, and took part in the capture of the brigs “Adams” and “Caledonia;” was taken prisoner at the battle of Fort Erie by the Indians, who took him to the forests of Canada, where he remained more than a year in charge of Jack Brandt [Ahyouwaighs, a Mohawk leader, supported the British throughout the War of 1812, participating in the Battle of Queenston Heights and encouraging other members of the Six Nations from along Grand River to fight the American invaders.], when his freedom was purchased by Adams & Ball, merchants at Twelve-Mile Creek. He then returned to Adams, Jefferson Co., N. Y., where he was married, August, 1821, to Sarah Cooper, of Watertown. After a few years they went to Chautauqua County, and in 1836 came to Michigan, stopping in Oakland County two years, arriving in Clinton County the fall of 1838 with fifty dollars; purchased forty acres of land in the town of Greenbush, where he remained five years, then purchased eighty acres in Bingham where he has since resided. At that time this part of the county was sparsely settled, and all new beginners, with limited means. Mr. Avery cut out the road for two miles, and put in the first log bridges on that road, The country was heavily timbered, and the process of making a farm was slow, but by the indomitable perseverance and strong arm of this pioneer the improvements were made, other lands added, until at one time he had more than four hundred acres of land, with large and substantial improvements. He raised a family of seven children, -five sons and two daughters,-besides three children which they adopted. Five of his own children are now living. Three of his sons took part in the late civil war. John , Jr., was educated for a physician, was surgeon of the Twenty-second Infantry, and with Sherman on his march to the sea; is now practicing his profession at Greenville, Mich. Marvin [Emory] was sergeant in the Sixth Cavalry, and killed at Trevillian Station, Va., June 12, 1864. [James] Merritt was living in Minnesota [probably Wisconsin], and joined a regiment [actually 42nd Wisconsin Regiment - see regimental roster] from that State. Politically, Mr. Avery was a Democrat, and remained with that party until the exigencies of war appealed to the patriotism of every friend of his country, when he joined the Republican party and cast his vote for President Lincoln.

Mr. Avery was a warm supporter of the Union cause. In 1863 he called on President LIncoln, and was furnished with a pass to the front; went to Fairfax Court-House, where his son was stationed. Here he was furnished a horse and rations, and rode with the regiment for four weeks, during which time he witnessed the battle of Gettysburg.

John Avery and his wife were well calculated for a new country, being blessed with strong constitutions, untiring energy, and good common sense, She died [thought to have died as a consequence of an encounter with an inmate of the poor farm run by John Avery late in life] Dec 6, 1877, aged seventy-eight years, after a married life of more than a half-century.

Mr. Avery, although past his fourscore years, enjoys good health, His faculties are unimpaired, and he manages his large farm with the same energy and care of former years."

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