The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Portrait and Biographical Album of Oakland County, Michigan, Chapman Bros. (1891), pp. 595-596

JOSEPH S. BAMBER, one of the progressive farmers of Highland Township, is located on a fertile tract of land on section 30.  He is a fine type of the Englishman in his hereditary traits, but by education and training is a thorough American.   He was born in Lincolnshire, February 4, 1835, and was but four years old when he accompanied his parents across the Atlantic.  Since that time the years have been spent in Milford and Highland Townships, this county, and he is thoroughly in sympathy with the progress of this part of the nation and has been a factor in its upbuilding.

John Bamber, father of our subject, was the son of another John, who spent his entire life in England.  The younger of the name came to this State in 1839, and made his home in Milford Township, where he lived until he was called from time to eternity in 1882.  His widow, who is now eighty-five years of age, still occupies the old homestead with a daughter.  On coming to the county Mr. Bamber took up a farm of fifty acres,which was sold, and he subsequently purchased one hundred and forty acres.  He was a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with that denomination his widow is connected.  Mrs. Bamber bore the maiden name of Susan Harrison.  She is the mother of the following children: John, Robert, Joseph, Thomas, Ann, Susan, William, Harriet, Fanny and Warren W.

Our subject was an inmate of his father's home until he was twenty-three years of age, and during those years he became practically educated and well versed in agricultural duties.  At the age mentioned he bought land, upon which he is still living and with an affectionate and efficient wife took possession of the property.  It consists of fifty-three acres in Highland and eighty in Hartland Township, and forty acres have been added by a subsequent purchase.  It bears a complete line of farm buildings and a commodious residence, and is adorned with orchards and small fruits.  Since 1877 Mr. Bamber has paid considerable attention to raising Spanish-American Merino sheep, and he has taken many premiums at State fairs and other exhibitions. Twice he carried off the blue ribbon from Detroit, and at Jackson and Saginaw he has won his share of prizes.  

On November 4, 1857, Mr. Bamber was married to Sarah A., daughter of Noah P. and Elizabeth W. (Hyde) Morse.  The bride's father was born in Norwich, Conn., in 1807, and came to this State in 1833, establishing his home in this county, where he remained until called hence, March 26, 1887.  He was married April 1, 1832, in his native State, and during his early pioneer work here was encouraged and aided by his good wife.  She did not live to see the full result of their efforts, but died in 1845, leaving two children, Sarah and Mary E.   May 22, 1845, Mr. Morse made a second marriage, wedding Elizabeth Prior, a native of Massachusetts, but at that time a resident of Milford Township, this county.  This wife died in the year 1876.  He was a member of the Baptist Church, and was Postmaster in Highland Township for many years.   He was the first Assessor here, and at a period when his work covered six townships.  When his daughter Sarah was married he sold the one hundred and thirty-three acres of land he possessed, to her husband, taking a life lease on the undivided half.  Mr. Morse was a very well-bred man, was a life-long student, and had a better education than many, the curriculum he studied having included several languages.  He was very radical in his political views, and always supported the Republican ticket. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bamber have had four children, who were named respectively, Herbert, Albert M., Mary E. and Sherman L.   The eldest son was graduated from the Agricultural College at Lansing in 1881, and since 1883 has been in the employ of the Government as a Civil Engineer. After his graduation he entered the service of a railway company in Utah, and then put in a year at the Michi-[Begin Page 596] gan University, studying for his profession.   He next became an employee on the Wabash River under Maj. Smith, and thence went to Western Virginia near Greenboro, for one summer.  On the Ohio River he was in an engineering force under Col. Merrill, and he then went to Baltimore, where he had charge of the construction of the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse on the east coast of Florida and spent three years.  Since that time he has been Superintendent of Lighthouse District, No. 4, with his headquarters at Philadelphia.  The daughter is now the wife of Lesley A. Buel, to whom she was married in 1887, and resides in Minneapolis, Kan.  Albert was completing his studies in the Agricultural College when stricken by a fatal illness, from which he died June 1, 1883; Sherman is also deceased, having breathed his last, December 29, 1877, in Highland Township

Mr. Bamber is and always has been a Republican, and has taken an active part in local political affairs.   He has been School Inspector several terms, and has held various township offices.   He was formerly connected with the Grange and he is always interested in those movements which promise to promote the welfare of society, and increase the prosperity of the community.  He and his wife have a large circle of acquaintances, and their friends are many and true.


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