James Bartholemew VODDEN 

*17 Feb 1840 - †4 Jul 1920


a) JAMES B. VODDEN. This model farmer and sturdy pioneer of Burton Township,
Genesee , has a record of which both he and his posterity may well feel proud
and it is with pleasure that we here bring it before our readers. He was born in
Stafford, Ontario , N.Y., February 17, 1840. His father, Henry VODDEN, came
from England to America at the age of nineteen, and migrated from Stafford to
Michigan in 1845, taking up a farm on section 14, Burton Township. This property,
comprising eighty acres, cost him $1 an acre and on it he erected a house, 12x16 feet,
and when he settled his family of a wife and four children in this new domicile he had
three cents left in his pocket.

The Indians occupied the land directly in front of his home, and deerand other wild game
abounded. Few white people were then in the township, and Flint was amere hamlet.
Henry VODDEN cleared a few acres of land and put it under cultivation. His taxes
the first year amounted to ten shillings, and even that small amount was hard to
obtain, as money was scarce and labor cheap. He ditched in the township of Mundy
for one week for fifty cents, and there were few opportunities for gaining even as
much ready cash as that. He passed from earth May 26, 1862, at the age of fifty
years, and his good wife, Mary DELBRIDGE by name, who had been his companion
through many hardships, lived until December 15, 1889, when she died at the age of
seventy-seven. Seven of their thirteen children are now living.

Our subject had his early training upon the farm where he now residesand being the
eldest son was greatly depended upon for help in the heavy pioneer work, and had few
opportunities for attending school. After his father's death he took charge of the
farm and since the death of the mother he has purchased the interestsof the other
heirs in this county.

He was married February 22, 1871, to Lucy A. JOHNSON, who was born near
Syracuse, N.Y., and is a daughter of Henry and Lucy JOHNSON, natives of New
York, who came to Michigan in 1876. Mr. JOHNSON died in 1884, but hiswife is still
living. The six children who have brightened the home of Mr. and Mrs.VODDEN are:
Edith B., ALma, Fred, Lillie, Gracie, and Ethel L. The latter died November 2, 1891,
aged four months. The house upon the farm is a pleasant and desirableone, and the
barns and outbuildings are in an excellent condition and well accommodate the work of
the farm and the stock which is there raised. Mr. VODDEN makes a specialty of
Durham cattle and of Shropshire sheep d has his farm under excellent cultivation, its
eighty-nine acres being all rich and arable soil. The political convictions of our subject
ally him with the Republican party, and he is a member of the Ancientorder of United

Among the pleasing and interesting incidents of pioneer life which Mr. VODDEN is able
to relate we give the following: When the father of the family was away from home,
as he often was, the mother and James in making maple sugar met with difficulties, as
in going from tree to tree collecting the sap they were occasionally chased to the
house by wolves and once by a panther. For several years an Indian camp of some
fifty braves was located directly in front of this pioneer home, and these friendly red
men alway remembered their pale faced friends by a gift of venison when they killed
a deer. Although this home was four miles from Flint, the mother of our subject
thought nothing of walking to and from the town as she was accustomedthese long
walks through the woods and was sturdy and vigorous in her habit of life.
[1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros. ]

Household Record 1880 United States Census

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
James VODDEN Self M Male W 41 NY Farmer ENG ENG
Lucy VODDEN Wife M Female W 31 NY Keeping House NY MA
Edith B. VODDEN Dau S Female W 8 MI NY NY
Alma VODDEN Dau S Female W 6 MI NY NY
Fred VODDEN Son S Male W 4 MI NY NY
Lillie VODDEN Dau S Female W 2 MI NY NY
Source Information:
Census Place Burton, Genesee, Michigan
Family History Library Film 1254579
NA Film Number T9-0579
Page Number 33B

Death Index, Genesee County, Michigan:
SurName«tab»FirstName«tab»SEX«tab»DIED«tab» VOL«tab»PAGE«tab»RECORD
VODDEN«tab»JAMES B.«tab»M«tab»07/04/1920«tab»V6«tab»281«tab»16

  • Farmer
  • 1880