52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 42 – Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
|No Story Too Small|
Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
Rufus Holton Darling was born in New York State about 1816. This was the year that the U.S. Supreme Court affirms its right to review state court decisions, James Monroe was elected 5th president defeating Federalist Rufus King, and Indiana became the 19th state. Michigan wouldn’t become a state for another 21 years. Rufus is not a British name and it would be easy to speculate that Rufus was named after the presidential candidate, but we don’t really know where the name “Rufus” came from.
Nothing is known of Rufus’ youth, but in 1840, he left Rome, Oneida County, New York for the wilds of the new state of Michigan and settled in Kalamazoo. 1840 was the year Army troops “transported” the local Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi. Kalamazoo was a fledgling village; the first permanent cabin was built there in 1829 and by 1840 the population had grown to over 1200 individuals in the village. Sometime in the 1840s, Rufus went into partnership with Milo J. Goss and established the Goss & Darling General Store. In 1844, Rufus’ first son, Abner, was born. We know nothing about his first wife, her name, if they were married, or when she died, but in 1846 Rufus married Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wiseman, a widow, also with one child, a daughter. Also in 1846, the Michigan Central Railroad connected Kalamazoo to Detroit.
In 1852, Rufus ran for City Supervisor as a Whig. He lost, however, it is clear that he was a leader in the city. Rufus and Elizabeth had twins, Eva and Emily; Eva died in 1853. Emily was disabled; she never married and lived to be 65.
In 1854, Rufus was a Trustee for the city of Kalamazoo.
|Marker: Father - Rufus Holton Darling 1816--1857|
Courtesy: Find a Grave Memorial #30754149
In June of 1857, Rufus and Elizabeth had a son they named Rufus Harry Darling. The following month Rufus Holton Darling died of consumption (probably tuberculosis – although “consumption” was used to describe any degenerative lung disease). He was buried with Masonic honors at Mountain Home Cemetery, in Kalamazoo.
List of Greats
- Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1907)
- Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
- Abner Darling ( ? - ? )
- - - - - - - - - - - - - Disclaimer - - - - - - - - - - - -