Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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FERRY, William Montague, clergyman, born in Granby, Massachusetts, 8 September 1796; died in Grand Haven. Michigan, 30 December 1867. He was graduated at Union College in 1817, studied theology, and went as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church to Michigan in 1821. He established a school for both whites and Indians at Mackinac, and labored successfully for twelve years. His health failing, he was obliged to seek a different employment, and in 1834 purchased with others a tract of land in the Grand River valley, where he founded a settlement and went extensively into the manufacture of lumber. He was one of the first to perceive the future value of the immense pine forests of Michigan, and extended his operations so that in a single year he shipped not less than fifteen million feet of lumber. At his death he left bequests for different benevolent objects, amounting to $120,000.
His son, Thomas White Ferry, senator, born in Mackinac, Michigan, 1 June 1827, received a public school education, and engaged in business pursuits. He was a member of the House of Representatives of Michigan in 1850, of the state senate in 1856, and vice president for Michigan of the Chicago Republican convention of 1860. He represented his state on the congressional committee that accompanied the body of President Lincoln to Springfield, Illinois, served in congress from 4 December 1865, till 3 March 1871, and was reelected but did not take his seat, having been chosen to the U. S. Senate to succeed Jacob M. Howard. He took his seat in the senate, 4 March 1871. As chairman of the committee on rules he reported a reclassification and revision of the rules of the senate, which were unanimously adopted without amendment. He was a member of the special committee of the senate that framed the resumption act of 14 January 1875, was chosen president pro tempore, 9 and 19 March and again 20 December 1875, and by the death of Vice president Wilson became acting vice president, serving as such until 4 March 1877. While acting vice president he was called on, in the absence of President Grant, to deliver the address and preside at the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia, 4 July 1876, and he also presided at the impeachment trial of Sen. Belknap, and over the sixteen joint meetings of congress during the electoral count of 1876'7. He was reelected senator, 17 January 1877, and was reelected president pro tempore of the senate, 5 March 187'7, 26 February 1878, 17 April 1878, and 3 March. 1879. He traveled extensively in Europe, the Holy Land, and Egypt, during the years 1883'6.
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