This gentleman comes of good stock, some of his ancestors having figured in the war of 1812. Alexander Shippey was born in Oxford township, Oakland county, Michigan, March 17, 1847. His father, John Shippey, was a native of Seneca county, New York, where he first saw the light of day in 1809, and his mother, Mary (Graham) Shippey, was born in Ontario, Canada, 1813, and died August 26, 1897. Mr. and Mrs. John Shippey were married at Rochester, Michigan, October 30, 1830. Previously to this date John Shippey came to Michigan, and took up forty acres of government land in Oxford township, Oakland county. On this he built a log house and barn, eventually clearing the land and subsequently adding one hundred acres, which also he cleared. He afterward erected a frame house and barns. He lived on the place at the time of his death. Detroit was his market for trading in the early days, and he went from Pontiac to Big Rapids to make a millstone at a time when there was nothing but an Indian trail between the two points.
Alexander Graham, maternal grandfather of our subject, was in the war of 1812, and his daughter, mother of Mr. Shippey, was kept in the fort at Detroit, the only companions being "papooses." She was in the fort when it was attacked by the English and Indians and for a time it was thought that the stronghold would be captured and the inmates taken prisoners. At the close of the war Mr. Graham removed with his family to Rochester, Michigan, near which place he settled on a large tract of government land, where he and Mr. Shippey's mother drove the ox team which turned the first furrow ever plowed in Oakland county—a distinguished honor which falls to the lot of few women. John Graham, brother to Mr. Shippey's mother, was the first male child born in Oakland county.
Alexander Shippey was the seventh of nine children. Maria, now living in Lapeer county, first married Frank Wilder and had four children. After his death she married Hiram Travis; they have no children. Clarica [sic], who lives at Hadley, Lapeer county, married Ernest Mann, and had three daughters. John, who lives near Bad Axe, Michigan, married Emma Hallenbeck and they have one child. Ann is the wife of Martin Jersey, of Romeo, Michigan, and has three children. Jane, who is living at Metamora, Lapeer county, married Hiram Lee, and had three children. Olive, who is deceased, lived at Metamora, Lapeer county, having been the wife of Enos Pitcher, and having had three children. Alexander is the subject of this sketch. Benjamin died in Oakland county, at the age of ten years. Ada, now living in Lapeer county, married Mr. Marston, and had two children. Her second husband is Mr. Barber, by whom she has had four children.
Mr. Shippey started the battle of life for himself at the age of sixteen years, beginning to work on a farm by the month. He continued this for six years. At the end of that time he rented a big farm in Lapeer county, for one year, but owing to ill health he found it necessary to sell out in 1871, and he subsequently spent six weeks prospecting in Kansas. Prior to going to that state, however, he visited Hazelton township, at which time he made the declaration he would not take it as a gift. In the fall of 1871, however, he experienced a "change of heart" and after returning from Kansas bought eight acres of wild land, on section 2, Hazelton township, for which he paid four hundred dollars. During the first year he lived in a board shanty twelve by sixteen feet in dimensions. This he afterward tore down, and started to build a frame house sixteen by twenty-four feet in dimensions, but before it was completed it was blown down. Finally, however, the damage was repaired and the structure completed. He continued to occupy it till eighteen years ago, when he built a larger and finer residence with suitable and more commodious barns. All the land has been entirely changed, by clearing off the timber, thus making it a beautiful and attractive spot. Three years ago Mr. Shippey retired from the old homestead, on account of poor health, and located in New Lothrop, this county, where he purchased a house and four lots and where he now lives in ease and comfort.
In 1869 Mr. Shippey was married to Amanda Campbell, who died in 1878, leaving three children: Arthur, who was born September 7, 1872, lives on his father's farm; he married Myrta Smith and they have two children, Mildred and Vivian. The second was Ernest, born March 6, 1875, and the third was an infant which died at the age of three weeks, the same time as did its mother.
In 1880 Mr. Shippey took a second wife, Ella Enders, who was born March 28, 1856. To them one child, Iva, was born, June 10, 1885. She married Oscar Bower and has two children: Roy, born May 5, 1903, and Kenneth, born January 14, 1905.
The father of Mrs. Shippey was Samuel Enders. He settled in Oakland county, where he bought eighty acres of partly improved land. At the time of his death, in 1898, he lived in Ortonville, Michigan. His wife is still living at that place. Mrs. Shippey was the fourth of eight children: Charlotte, who lives at Ortonville, Michigan, married Damon Irish, and they have no children. Almeda, who resides at Port Jarvis, New York, is the wife of Richard Whitmore and they have five children. Warren, who lives in Colorado, is married and has six children. Ella is the wife of Mr. Shippey, subject of this review. Charles, who resides at Ortonville, Michigan, is married but has no children. Norman, who is living in Bay county, married Etta Wilkins and they have one child. Jennie, who lives at Vassar, Michigan, married George McGinnis, and they have two sons. Lucius died in Montana, having been married. The father of Mrs. Shippey was a native of Pennsylvania, while her mother, Nancy (Rhodes) Enders, was born in New York state. Endersville, Pennsylvania, was named in honor of Mrs. Shippey's family.
Alexander Shippey is a Democrat and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Source: The past and present of Shiawassee County, Michigan (Lansing, Mich. : Michigan Historical Pub. Association, [190-]). p. 481-483, Alexander Shippey.