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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 10:42 am:   

Mabel Drake Kanouse dau of Gideon and Maria (Pope) Drake of Alleghany County, N.Y and Livingston Co., MI

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album Ingham & Livingston Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent Representative Citizens of the Counties, Together with Biographies of all the Governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States; Chapman Bros, Chicago, 1891. [Roy, This book is an e-book and can be found by doing a Google search for ‘Portrait and Biographical Album Ingham & Livingston Counties Michigan’. Judith Weeks Ancell

Page 863: HON. JACOB KANOUSE. Undoubtedly of German descent, our subject belongs to a family whose more recent representatives have been closely associated with the growth and history of New Jersey. The representative of the present generation, of whom we are writing, residing in Cohoctah Township, has been a Representative of his district in the State Legislature. Now one of the leading farmers and citizens of this vicinity, he was born August 23, 1817, in the town of Rockaway, Morris County, N.J., and is a son of Peter and Sarah (Cook) Kanouse, and a grandson of Jacob Kanouse, who in turn was a son of Jacob Kanouse, who came from Germany. He came here in Colonial days and was a representative of the class of toilers whose native shrewdness and wit was their only stock in trade, for he was sold to pay his passage hither. His wife, who accompanied him, was also sold to the same man to whom her husband was bound, and together they served for seven years, after which they married and were successful in accumulating a handsome property, comprising over two hundred acres of land. The first wife, who was the companion of his days of poverty and privation, bore him four children, all sons; she died and he married again. The second wife presented him with three sons and one daughter. As was the custom at that time, on the decease of the first wife she was interred on his farm. The frame house in which they lived when beginning life still stands, and his descendants, who are very numerous, find in it a fitting memorial of the industry, sacrifice, prudence and economy of their early progenitor.

Page 864: Our subject's grandfather was born in Morris County, N.J., and was reared a farmer. As the domestic altar was raised the household was enlarged to include four sons, whose names were Joseph, Peter, Frederick and Conrad, all of whom married, with the exception of Conrad, who died in the War of 1812. The father died in New Jersey. Our subject's father, Peter Kanouse, was a native of New Jersey, and early learned the blacksmith's trade. During the War of 1812 he went to New York City to help defend the city, and in 1836 he determined to strike out in a new line from the rest of his family and came West, going up the Hudson River and west by the Erie Canal to Buffalo, where he took a boat for Detroit, and settled in the town of Burns, in Shiawassee County, this State. He entered three hundred and twenty acres of land on section 27. Of this he gave each of his children eighty acres, reserving a life interest in eighty acres for himself. Originally he was a Whig, but later became a Republican. His decease took place on the farm which he had purchased, August 24, 1871, at which time he lacked only four months of being eighty years of age. The father of six children, only four grew to maturity; these are Jacob, Edmund, Peter and Agnes. These all reared families. Adherents of the Presbyterian Church, our subject's father and mother were the first representatives of that body in this section and were instrumental in organizing a church of that denomination here. At the time of their advent here there was no store, mill or church within forty miles. For twenty years after coming to this State the elder Mr. Kanouse worked at his trade.

The mother of the original of our sketch was born in 1793, in New Jersey. She was a daughter, of Henry and Sarah (Ryerson) Cook, farmers of New Jersey of Holland-Dutch origin. They had four sons and four daughters. Our subject's mother died September 12, 1870. Mr. Kanouse received only a common-school education in his youth; he is a man, however, to make the most of every opportunity and has learned much by observation. As soon as he was strong enough to swing the hammer he began to learn the trade of a blacksmith and when seventeen years of age went to New York City, where he worked for one year, and at the end of that time came to Michigan with his father and for forty years was engaged in working at his trade; at the same time he was the proprietor of farming interests. His trade, which was chiefly the ironing of breaking plows, left him time to attend successfully to his other business. On coming to the State he entered land, which was afterward patented by his father, and cleared twenty acres of the eighty, which was his portion of the estate.

In 1844 he of whom we write sold his tract and bought two hundred and ninety acres where he now resides on section 5, Cohoctah Township, Livingston County, paying $3 per acre for his purchase. He made a payment by trade in flour at $4 per barrel, drawing it to Detroit and Pontiac, and did not free his place from debt for five years, although he was quite successful in crops. He planted forty acres to wheat the first year and it yielded him a return of five hundred . For a time he was very closely pressed for the necessities of life, but since that time he has never wanted for anything. For twenty years his brother Peter was in business with him. They kept no account whatever of the possessions of either, but at the end of that time divided the farm and each took half of everything. Our subject now owns one hundred and five acres, having given ten acres to his son and sold him twenty acres, besides fifteen acres disposed of to another.

Mr. Kanouse and his brother made all the improvements that the estate boasts. Our subject served for six or eight years as Supervisor of the township, his first election taking place in 1851. He was also Justice of the Peace for twelve years and was elected to the State Legislature in 1860, and although the popular majority was against him, he received the election by a majority of seventeen, and while thus engaged served on the State Affairs Committee. In the fall of 1872 he was elected Probate Judge, and as a Republican has been active and influential in politics, and is proud of having been one of the original Abolitionists.

The marriage of Mr. Kanouse took place December 17, 1840, at which time he was made one with Miss Mabel Drake, who is a native of

Page 865: Alleghany County, N.Y., and a daughter of Gideon and Maria (Pope) Drake, who came to Adrian, Mich., in the fall of 1835, thence removing, in 1838, to Burns Township, where he entered and cleared a farm. Our subject and his wife are the parents of four children--Luther C., Mary A., Emma J. and Nettie J. The eldest son was a lieutenant in the late war, belonging to the Sixth Michigan Cavalry. Mary A. is the wife of William Randall; Emma is the wife of George E. Foster. In 1864 our subject was appointed by Gov. Blair to go South and take the votes of the soldiers of the First, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Michigan Cavalry. Mr. and Mrs. Kanouse have been active members of the regular Baptist Church for fifty years and our subject has served as Deacon and Clerk for many years. Both are members of the first church organized here.

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