One of the attractive farm properties of Central Lake township, Antrim county, is that owned and occupied by Mr. Mudge, who has here resided for nearly a quarter of a century, having reclaimed his land from its wild state and thus having aided in the development of this section, of which he may consistently be termed a pioneer, while he is assuredly a public spirited and loyal citizen and one who has the respect and good will of the community. Mr. Mudge is a native of the dominion of Canada, having been born in Norfolk county, province of Ontario, on the 29th of January, 1846, and being a son of Joshua and Eliza C. (May) Mudge, both of whom are likewise native of the province of Ontario, where the father was born in the year 1820. Both are still living. They became the parents of two children, Elkanah, the subject of this sketch, and Eliza Jane, who is now deceased. Joshua Mudge is a man of high intellectuality and was a successful teacher in Canada for many years, while later he there served as constable and bailiff, while he also held the office of supervisor. He became the owner of a farm in Ontario, but his health has been delicate during the greater portion of his life, so that he has been unable to do hard manual labor. He is a man of the utmost integrity and both he and his wife are zealous and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Elkanah Mudge passed his boyhood days in the province of Ontario, Canada, and in addition to being afforded the advantages of the common schools he had the added privilege of being reared in a home of distinctive culture and refinement. He began to depend upon his own resources when still a lad, and he is to be considered as the architect of his own fortunes, having worked assiduously and having gained success by legitimate and well directed industry. He devoted his attention principally to farming during the years of his residence in Canada, where he remained until 1880, when he came to Michigan, locating in Antrim county, where he purchased a tract of wild land in Central Lake township and forthwith instituted its reclamation. He has developed one of the fine farms of this county, and his land is of exceptional fertility. His homestead, upon which he has erected good buildings, comprises eighty acres, and his son Grant owns forty acres in the same township. Mr. Mudge has forty-five acres under cultivation, and the land is devoted principally to the raising of wheat, oats, corn and hay, while he makes a specialty of raising sweet or sugar corn for supplying a local canning factory. In his political adherence Mr. Mudge is a stalwart Republican, and he has served as justice of the peace of his township for the past eight years, being a man of mature judgment and absolute impartiality, so that he has brought about the amicable adjustment of many difficulties which have come to him for adjudication in his official capacity, while his advice and counsel are frequently sought by his neighbors. Fraternally he is a valued member of the Grange of his township.
In the year 1S65 Mr. Mudge was united in marriage to Miss Melissa Olmstead, who was born in the county of Norfolk, Canada, being a daughter of William G. and Amanda (Heath) Olmstead, who removed from the old Empire state to Ontario, Canada, the father having been a farmer by vocation. The mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Mudge have four children: William G., who is associated with his father in the management of the home farm, married Miss Alice Williams and they have two sons, Earl L. and Grant E. Hettie is the wife of A. E. Cross, who is engaged in the seed business in Charlevoix, as representative of the D. M. Ferry Seed Company, of Detroit, and they have four children, Lulu, Maude, Victor and Robert B. Olive, the younger daughter of the subject, is the wife of James Hamilton, a successful carpenter, and they have two children, Charles L. and Hettie L. Jay B., the youngest of the subject’s children, married Miss Carrie Johnson, and they have one child, Victor I. Jay is also with the Ferry Seed Company, of Detroit. All of the children are well established in life and are a credit to themselves and to their honored parents.
Source: Biographical history of northern Michigan containing biographies of prominent citizens; Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1905.