Biography of Robert H. Wardrop of Central Lake Township, Michigan

This representative farmer and popular citizen of Antrim county has one of the best improved and most attractive rural homes in this section of the state, the same being located in Central Lake township, and he is known as one of the progressive and public-spirited men of the county, while he wields no little influence in local affairs, though never an aspirant for office.

Robert H. Wardrop is a native son of the state of Michigan, having been born in Leelanau county, on the 2d of November, 1874. He is a son of William and Margaret L. Wardrop, the former of whom was born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, on the 9th of August, 1841, while the latter was horn and reared in the province of Ontario, Canada, where their marriage was solemnized. As a young man William B. Wardrop came to America and located in the province of Ontario, where he purchased land and engaged in farming. After a few years had passed he came to the United States and enlisted in Company C, Fifth United States Cavalry, with which he served five years and then re-enlisted for two years farther, being in the army during the war of the Rebellion and making an enviable record as a loyal and valiant soldier. After leaving the army he served for two years as clerk in the war department at Washington, D. C., and then for three years was editor of the Massachusetts Current at Boston. He then removed to Leelanau county, Michigan, where he was in the employ of a lumber company as bookkeeper for eleven years. He then removed to Antrim county, this state, where he remained twenty-four years, the greater part of the time serving as bookkeeper for a lumber company. He then went to Sparwood, British Columbia, where lie engaged in the lumber and milling business, where he is engaged at the present time, having been located in that section for the past three years and being the owner and operator of a large sawmill, whose daily output averages fifty thousand feet of lumber. While a resident of the United States he gave an uncompromising support to the Republican party and was called upon to serve in various local offices, while he has so ordered his course in all the relations of life as to command the unqualified confidence and regard of those with whom he has come in contact. He and his wife have six children, namely: Karl, who is a resident of Charlevoix, this state; Mary E., who is at the parental home; Robert H., who is the subject of this sketch; Thomas W. and William H., who are associated with their father in his lumbering operations in Canada, and John, who is deceased.

Robert H. Wardrop secured good educational advantages in his youth, having attended the public schools and made good use of the opportunities afforded him. He has been a resident of Antrim county since 1877, having here applied his energies with such vigor and discrimination as to have become one of the representative agriculturists of the county, while as a citizen his hold on popular confidence and esteem is one of utmost tenacity. His well improved farm comprises two hundred acres, and one hundred and forty acres have been brought under most effective cultivation, being devoted to diversified agriculture and horticulture, while he has also met with success in the raising of fruit, having a good orchard of apple, cherry, plum and apricot trees, to which are devoted eight acres of land. On his place he secures an average annual yield of about fifty tons of hay, and he also raises an excellent grade of cattle and swine. The permanent improvements on his place include substantial buildings of modern design and facilities, and his fine residence is one of the most attractive to be found in this section, having been erected in 1894, in a beautiful and sightly spot on the banks of Torch lake, while the well-kept grounds are beautified by native trees and attractive shrubbery, so that he and his family have no necessity for seeking summer resorts aside from their home. In politics, while never ambitious for official preferment in a personal way, Mr. Wardrop is numbered among the stanch supporters of the cause and principles of the Republican party, while fraternally he is identified with Eastport Tent, No. 627, Knights of the Maccabees.

In the year 1864 was solemnized the marriage of William Wardrop to Miss Margaret L. Wardrop, who was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, being a daughter of John and Jessie (Barr) Wardrop, both of whom were born and reared in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, the former being a cousin of the father of the subject. Upon coming to America John Wardrop settled in the city of Philadelphia, where he continued to reside for more than thirty years, having been a manufacturer of silk and woolen goods, in connection with which line of industry he had served an apprenticeship of fourteen years in the famous old city of Glasgow, Scotland. He died in the village of Paris, Ontario, Canada, while there engaged in superintending the erection and equipment of a large rug factory for the firm of Bromley & Son, of Philadelphia. He accumulated a considerable fortune and devised property to each of his children. His wife preceded him into eternal rest by many years, her death having occurred in the city of Hamilton, New York. Both were zealous members of the Presbyterian church, and Mr. Wardrop continued to be a zealous worker in the same until he was called to his final reward. This worthy couple became the parents of three children, namely : Margaret L., wife of William Wardrop; Mary, who is the wife of Captain Daniel Walter, who commands a vessel on the Great Lakes, with residence in the city of Chicago, and Walter, in British Columbia, a railroad contractor and miller.

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

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