The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Portrait and Biographical Album of Oakland County, Michigan, Chapman Bros. (1891), pp. 420-422

EDWIN P. FLOWER.  In traveling over this county one sees many finely-improved farms, the appearance of which betokens more than ordinary enerlgy and good judgment on the part of those who own and operate them. In tracing the history of the fortunate possessors of such lands we find many an one that is worthy of consideration and affords lessons of industry, frugality and uprightness, deserving the emulation of [Begin 421] others.  There are features in the career of the gentleman above named that stamp him as one deserving of representation in such a volume as this and his friends will be pleased to read an account of his life.  He owns a landed estate of goodly size and occupies a beautiful home on section 1, Highland Township.

The paternal grandfather of Mr. Flower was born in Vermont and removed to New York in an early day.  There his first wife died and he was killed in an accident, while raising a barn on his own property.  He had married a second wife and she in later years contracted a second marriage and came to Macomb County, this State, where she breathed her last.  The first marriage of Grandfather Flower was blest by the birth of a son, Alanson, father of our subject; and the second by the birth of two sons and one daughter.  Alanson Flower was born in Warsaw, Geneva County, N. Y., April 22, 1810, and when a young man came to Macomb County, this State.  He bought two hundred acres of Government land in Lennox Township and there spent the remainder of his life.  He was engaged in farming from his youth, but also followed the profession of teaching for many years.   He was mainly self-educated and had gained his knowledge by reading by the light of an open fire.  He was the first School Inspector elected in Lennox Township. He was a Republican from the organization of the party, and he and his wife belonged to the Baptist Church.

Alanson Flower was married in New York to Angeline Collins, a native of Massachusetts, and to them there came two sons and two daughters - Lydia, Norman L., Edwin P. and Mary A.  The first two are deceased; Mary is the wife of James Mitchell and lives in Shiawassee County, near New Lothrop.  When the parents of our subject came to Michigan they found their way to the new location by following blazed trees, that being the mark made by the Government to indicate the road to the township.  Mr. Flower had visited Michigan a year or so prior and selected his land.  For many years their nearest neighbors were Indians and they went to church with an ox-team for eighteen years.  They endured all the hardships of pioneer life, but by their courage and cheerfulness brightened the gloomy days for themselves and others.  Mr. Flower was always a student and an omniverous reader of all that came in his way.  Mrs. Flower was a faithful worker in protracted meetings and through her influence in the public gatherings and in private life she brought many souls to Christ.  She was loved by all who knew her.  She died in February, 1889, in Highland Township, while living with her son, Edwin; she was then seventy-eight years old.  Mr. Flower died on the farm in Macomb County in 1876.

The subject of this biographical sketch was born October 4, 1842, in Macomb County, and lived on the homestead there until he was twenty-five years of age.   He then married and for three years rented a farm on-shares.  The fourth year he paid cash for the rental and then, having saved $2,000, he came to Highland Township, this county, and bought ninety acres.  He made a cash payment of the amount he had saved, and gave a mortgage for $2,500.   Before he had the land paid for he bargained for thirty acres more, and as soon as he was clear of debt bought an additional fifty-seven acres, incurring another indebtedness of $2,800.  When this was nearly paid up he bought twenty-three acres and he now has two hundred acres, which fine tract is a monument to his good management and thrift.  The residence he occupies was built in 1884, and a large and substantial barn was put up in 1880.  Mr. Flower carries on general farming and breeds sheep and horses, the latter being mostly of the Percheron stock and the sheep Hampshires.

Mr. Flower was married in his native county to Betsey E., daughter of Ezra and Margaret Bates, who came to the State from New York at quite an early period in its settlement and established their home in Chesterfield Township, Macomb County.  Both belonged to the Free-Will Baptist Church and their home was an hotel for ministers, who were always cordially welcomed under its roof.  Mr. Bates was engaged in farming during his entire active life.  He cast a Republican ballot.  He died in 1872 and his wife in 1885.  When they came to this State they were accompanied by their respective grandmothers and the aged ladies spent the remnant of their days here. The family of Mr. and [Begin Page 422] Mrs. Bates comprised four sons and four daughters.   The union of Mr. and Mrs. Flower has been a childless one.

Since 1883 Mr. Flower has been identified with the Prohibition party, but prior to that time he was a Republican.  He has never aspired to office, but has preferred to lead the life of an independent farmer, and to discharge the duties which belong to every citizen, in a quiet manner.  He and his wife belong to the Presbyterian Church and he has been one of the Trustees of the society with which he is connected for more than fourteen years in succession.  He was converted at the age of sixteen years, joining the Baptist Church, but when he came to Highland Township lie united with the Presbyterians.  Mrs. Flower, who was also converted early in life, was also a Baptist until their removal hither.


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