The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Portrait and Biographical Album of Oakland County, Michigan, Chapman Bros. (1891), p. 340

JOSEPH M. WARDLOW, who owns a large and splendid farm of two hundred and seventy-seven acres in Highland Township, is a son of James, whose father, Joseph Wardlow, was a native of Scotland, although most of his life was spent in Ireland.  Here he married and reared a family of five sons and three daughters, and here both he and his wife remained until they passed from earth.  The father of our subject was born in Ireland in 1800, and was twenty-six years old when be came to America.   He was a marble cutter by trade and he followed this calling for eleven years in New York City.  Here he was married to Elizabeth McGhee, and unto them were born the following children: Elizabeth, Jane, Joseph M. and Mary A.  All but Jane are living.

In 1837 the father of our subject came to Michigan, and settled on the farm where his son now resides.  He took eighty acres from the Government and added an equal amount later.  He was one of the first settlers in the township.  Deer, and wolves were in plenty, and bears were occasionally seen.   He caught a fawn when he first came on the farm.  He was a hard worker and saw very hard times, having much sickness in his family.  He was a Whig in politics and a Methodist in his church connections.   He died in 1852, and his wife survived until 1887, when she passed away at the age of eighty-five years.  The death of James Wardlow was caused by a tree falling upon him.

The birth of our subject occurred in Highland Township on the farm which he now owns and where he has lived all his life.  As he was born in 1838 he was only thirteen years old at the death of his father, and he and his mother then undertook the charge of the farm, and he cared for her until her death.  He has cleared and broken sixty acres of land, and has helped others to break as much more.  He preferred to keep the farm in his own hands and bought out the other heirs.  More than one-half of his nearly three hundred acres is under cultivation.  His marriage with Mary J. Magill, occurred August 23, 1866, and was an event of great importance in the life of the young man.  The lady is a daughter of David and Jane (Short) Magill, natives of Ireland.  In 1838 they came to Michigan and settled in Commerce Township.  The mother is still living, but the father died in 1869.  Mr. and Mrs. Magill were the parents of seven children: James, Mary J., Susan, Elizabeth, Thomas, Emma and David.

To Joseph M. Wardlow and wife have been born two children - George M. and Bert J., both of whom are at home.  The religious home of the family is with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Highland Station.  Mr. Wardlow was drafted in the late war but furnished a substitute. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Milford Lodge No. 165 and No. 71.   He is an ardent Republican, and a favorite with his party and has served as Township Treasurer for four terms. 


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