Silas B. Anway is one of the honored pioneers of Antrim county, and has been an active factor in connection with the industrial, material and civic development and progress of this section of the Wolverine state, while he has been concerned with the broad interests which have to do with the welfare of the community. A veteran of the Civil war, an upright, enterprising citizen, and a man of marked ability, he is specially worthy of consideration in this volume.
Mr. Anway is a representative of one of the old and honored families of Ohio. His grandfather, William Anway, came from Cayuga county, New York, to Seneca county, Ohio, soon after the land sales of 1821, and took up his abode in Scipio township, where he entered a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of government land, becoming one of the honored pioneers of that section. The work of improvement and development was at that time scarcely begun, and he rendered substantial aid, as did also his son, the father of our subject, in laying broad and deep the foundations for the opulent prosperity now in evidence in that favored portion of Ohio, where many of his descendants still remain. The subject was born on the old ancestral homestead in Seneca county, Ohio, on the 9th of March, 1839, and is a son of Harvey and Eunice (Brown) Anway, the former of whom was born in Seneca county, New York, in 1815, while the latter was born in the same state, in 1820, while she died in 1844, at which time our subject was but six years of age. Harvey Anway was one in a family of seven sons and three daughters, all of whom accompanied their parents on the removal from New York to Seneca county, Ohio, and they took up their abode in the forest wilds, where the Indians were more in evidence than the white settlers. There the father of the subject was reared to maturity, having all the experiences of pioneer life and becoming a man of vigorous and productive energy. He devoted the major portion of his life to agricultural pursuits, while he was also identified with the lumbering industry to a considerable degree, having been the owner and operator of sawmills. During his active career he lived in several states of the Union, passing the last six years of his life in the home of our subject, in Antrim county, where he died on the 29th of April, 1897, at the venerable age of eighty-two years. In politics he was originally an old-line Whig, but he espoused the cause of the Republican party at the time of its organization, ever afterward supporting- its principles. He was a zealous and earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was a man whose life was unshadowed by wrong in thought, word or deed. He was three times married, and the children of the first union were as follows : Silas B. (subject of this sketch), Phoebe, Bethana, Samuel H. and Eunice. The maiden name of his second wife was Maria Lewis, and she died in 1878, seven children having been born of this union, namely : Eliza, Elmira, Ann, John, Charles, Zella and Fanny M. Mr. Anway was again married to Mrs. Kellogg, of Seneca county, Ohio, no children having been born from this union.
The subject of this review was reared to maturity in the old Buckeye state, assisting in the work of the farm and duly availing himself of the privileges afforded in the common schools of the locality and period. In 1854 he came to Michigan, where he remained until 1859, when he returned to Ohio, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits at the time of the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company H, One Hundred and First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, his company being commanded by Captain Shriver, and he thereafter continued in active service until practically the close of the great struggle through which the integrity of the Pinion was perpetuated. His command became a part of the Army of the Cumberland, and he participated in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, and the various skirmishes of that campaign and in all other maneuvers in which his regiment was concerned, being fortunate in escaping serious wounds or illness. He received his honorable discharge on the 20th of June, 1865, and then returned to Ohio, where he remained until 1867, the spring of which year he came again to Michigan, locating in Barry county, where he purchased land and engaged in farming, continuing to there make his home for a period of twelve years. He then made a trip to Colorado and other portions of the West, returning to Michigan in 1880 and coming to Antrim county, where he took up his permanent abode, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land, in Central Lake township, and forthwith initiating the task of reclaiming and otherwise improving the property, which has ever since continued his place of residence. Within the intervening year he has compassed the reclamation of about one hundred acres of his farm, a small portion of the place having been cleared at the time when he purchased the property. At the present time one hundred acres are available for cultivation, and the farm is one of the best in this section, both in matter of fertility and superiority of buildings and other permanent improvements. Mr. Anway devotes his attention to diversified agriculture, horticulture and fruit raising, while he also places on the market each year a number of excellent grade cattle, horses and swine. He is one of the substantial and influential men of his township and is signally progressive and public-spirited in his attitude, so that his aid is ever potent in the carrying forward of enterprises for the general good of the community. In politics he accords an unwavering allegiance to the Republican party, with which he has been aligned ever since attaining his legal majority, and he has received unmistakable evidence of the high regard in which he is held by the people of Antrim county, in that he has been called to offices of distinctive trust and responsibility. He was for eight years superintendent of the poor of the county, and served six years as treasurer of Central Lake township, while he has been a school official during the greater portion of the time of his residence here. His wife is a member of the Baptist church, and in a fraternal way he is a valued member of the post of the Grand Army of the Republic at Eastport.
In 1867 Mr. Anway was united in marriage to Miss Sarah R. Sanford, who was born and reared in Ohio, being a daughter of Andrew and Eliza A. (Shriner) Sanford. She was summoned into eternal rest in 1897, and in the year 1899 the subject consummated a second marriage, being then united to Mrs. Margaret J. (McKibben) Sanford, widow of David Sanford and a daughter of William and Sarah (Falloon) McKibben, the former of whom was a prosperous farmer of Crawford county, Ohio, in which state she was reared and educated. Mr. Anway has two children, both of whom were born of the first marriage: Sanford B., who married Miss Ada Dolph, is a railroad man and now makes his home at Midway, Clark county, Ohio; and Bertha is the wife of R. T. Edwards, who is engaged in the seed business at Cheyboygan, Michigan, being a representative of one of the leading concerns of the sort in the Union.
Source: Biographical history of northern Michigan containing biographies of prominent citizens; Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1905.