Biography of Lucien Kaiser of Milton, Michigan

We are pleased to incorporate in this volume a resume of the life history of this worthy representative of one of the leading pioneer families of Antrim county, with whose annals the name has been identified since 1869, prominently concerned in the founding and upbuilding of this favored section of the Wolverine state.

Mr. Kaiser, who is one of the influential citizens and substantial farmers of Milton township, was born in the province of Switzerland on the 24th of October, 1852, and is a son of Frederick and Martha (Harney) Kaiser, both natives of one of the German provinces of Switzerland. The father continued to be engaged in farming in Germany until 1869, when he immigrated with his family to America, landing in New York city and forthwith making his way westward to Michigan and locating in Antrim county. He was one of the first settlers in Elk Rapids township, where he erected a log cabin in depth of the unbroken forest and then began the reclaiming of his land, the subject rendering- material aid in this connection, as he was about seventeen years of age at the time. The early returns in a financial way came from the timber product thus secured, and each year further progress was made in the cultivation of the land. Purely individual enterprise, however, was not all that was the portion of these sturdy pioneers, for they aided in the construction of the new roads, which were cut through the virgin forest, and in other work which was of general benefit to the new country. In the early days the subject frequently walked to Elk Rapids for supplies, which he transported on his back, often carrying a burden of from one hundred to one hundred and fifty pounds. His parents both remained in this county until they were summoned to eternal rest, and their names merit a place of honor on the roll of the worthy pioneers of the county.

Lucien Kaiser, whose name introduces this article, secured his early educational discipline in the excellent national schools of his fatherland, and, as before stated, was about fourteen years of age at the time of the family immigration to America. A youth of energy, sturdy physique and distinctive ambition, he was well fitted to take up the arduous work of a pioneer in the forests of Antrim county, and he may well be considered as one of the founders and builders of the industrial and civic structure of this section of the state. He also secured a tract of land in Milton township and at once began its reclamation. He had no team during the first three years of his residence in the county, and his first one was a yoke of oxen, for which he paid two hundred dollars. With the passing of the years the results of his labors and good management have grown more and more obvious, and he today is the owner of one of the best improved and most attractive farm properties in the township mentioned. His estate comprises one hundred and ninety-two acres, and one hundred acres are under a high state of cultivation, rendering tribute in large yields of grain, hay and various horticultural and pomological products, while the enterprising owner also devotes considerable attention to the raising of live stock, giving preference to the Durham type of cattle and the Chester White and Poland China swine. For the first ten years after locating on his farm Mr. Kaiser occupied his primitive log cabin, and then erected his present comfortable and commodious residence, on which he has since made improvements from time to time. He has ever shown a deep interest in all that has tended to conserve the material and civic prosperity and progress of the county, and while he has not aspired to office he is stanchly arrayed as a supporter of the cause of the Republican party and has consented to serve as a member of the school hoard of his district. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his wife is identified with the Baptist denomination, while in a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Eastport Tent, No. 657, Knights of the Maccabees.

In 1873 Mr. Kaiser was united in marriage to Miss Julia A. Rutherford, daughter of Maxim and Julia J Levi ) Rutherford, and she was summoned to the life eternal in 1898, leaving one child, George, who is a successful farmer of this county. He married Miss Gertrude Fox and they have two children, — Hazel and Helen. Mr. Kaiser has reared four adopted children, to whom he has given a generous ‘and affectionate care and a good home, their names being Frank, Velma Rutherford, Kittie Kiser and William Wamus. In ‘1902, June 16, Mr. Kaiser consummated a second marriage, being then united to Mrs. Teresa Densmore, who had three children by her first husband, — Edna, Roy and Alva. The family stand high in the community of their residence.

Source: Biographical history of northern Michigan containing biographies of prominent citizens; Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1905.

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