Thomas J. Fordyce Biography

Thomas J. Fordyce, resident at Mt. Pleasant, was born in the village of Clinton, Greene Co., Pa. Sept. 4, 1834, and is the son of John W. and Sally (Bane) Fordyce. His father in a native of Greene County, where he was born Feb. 13, 1813, and in early life was a tailor by profession. He is now a resident in section 27 of Coe township, this county, where he owns 40 acres of land. His mother was a native of Washington Co., Pa. and died in May 1880 in Coe township.

Mr. Fordyce was reared to the age of 17 years on his father's farm in Pennsylvania, and at that age he went to Preston county, W. Va., and passed between six and seven years in railroading, about two-thirds of that time as superintendent of a construction corps. He was married while there, Aug. 22, 1856, to Elizabeth Turner, daughter of Z.C. and Sarah Turner. She was born Jan. 7, 1835. After his marriage, Mr. Fordyce engaged with James Kane as foreman in the lumber woods of West Virginia and operated in that capacity until the spring of 1864, when he engaged as assistant superintendent of the Preston County Candle and Gas Coal Company.

He remained with them until Sept. 30, 1865 when came to Isabella County. He made the route by stage from St. John's to St. Louis and thence through the woods to Coe township, where he bought 40 acres of timber land on section 26. On this he resided about eight years and cleared nearly 30 acres. He sold the place in 1872 and bought 80 acres of land on section 11, of Coe township, 40 acres of which were improved and under cultivation. The place was in his possession but one year, as he sold it in the spring of 1873.

In the fall of 1872, Mr. Fordyce was nominated on the Republican ticket for Sheriff and was elected over Cornelius Bogan by a majority of 273 votes. He was re-elected in l874, and a year after the expiration of his term of office he moved to a farm of 80 acres in Chippewa, which had previously come into his possession by exchange. Sixty acres of the place was under cultivation and he continued to reside on and manage it until Jan. 1, 1884. He moved into Mt. Pleasant Feb. 1, following and has since continued to reside there. He owns two residences and lots in town, situated on Bennett's Addition. He is a member of the Order of Masonry and belongs to the fraternity of Odd Follows. He has held numerous township offices and school offices and has officiated as constable.

Portrait & Biographical Record, Isabella County, Michigan, 1884, pages 433-434

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