LOTT F. SUTHERLAND
History of Berrien County" 1906, page 529. Note: Lott F. Sutherland, the subject of this biography, was born May16, 1871. His biography contains information about his father and grandfather.
LOTT F. SUTHERLAND. The name of Sutherland has been closely associated with Berrien county and its prominence from pioneer times. His father [Lewis Sutherland] was among the pioneers who set out for the every receding west and aided in subduing the land and extending the frontier. He was one of the sturdy, grave men who fought and toiled and hoped and who realized in varying measure the hope that led them to his section of the country. He aided in making the country known for its vast possibilities and for many years was closely associated with its development but is now living retired. He [Lewis] dates his residence in Michigan from 1838 and in Berrien county from 1842. He was born in Barker, Broome county, New York, on the 28th of February, 1831, and was a son of Lott and Lydia (Bliss) Sutherland. The grandfather was a farmer by occupation and spent his earlier life in the Empire state, when in 1836 he came to Michigan, settling in Kalamazoo. After four years he came to Berrien county locating in Bainbridge township near Millburg, where he followed farming until his death in 1873. His wife passed away shortly after their arrival in Michigan and the father reared their family of eight children, three of whom are now living. He voted with the Democracy but was never active in politics.
Lewis Sutherland, father of our subject, was reared and educated upon the frontier, pursuing his studies in a log schoolhouse. He assisted in the farm work, aiding in the arduous task of developing new fields and caring for the crops and throughout his active business career he carried on general agricultural pursuits and fruit raising. Becoming convinced of the adaptability of the county for horticultural pursuits, he began raising various kinds of fruits and this proved to him a profitable business. He continued to reside upon the farm until 1901, when he removed to Benton Harbor and purchased his present fine home on Superior street. Hew as the owner of about four hundred acres of valuable land in Benton Township, which he has now divided among his sons. A few of the old time settlers can remember the conditions which existed in this part of the state at the time of Mr. Sutherland’s arrival here. Only at rare intervals could be found a tract of land that had been placed under the plow. Wild animals roamed through the forest and herds of deer and many kinds of lesser game were seen. A wonderful transformation has been wrought since those early days, for the traveler today sees little or none of the native forest but finds instead well cultivated orchards, bearing their fruits in season and the change is due to the enterprise and labors of such men as Lewis Sutherland. In 1860 he married Matilda Howard, the daughter of Joseph S. Howard, of Ohio, who came to Michigan at an early day and here followed farming. Unto Mr. and Mrs. [Lewis] Sutherland have been born six children: Sterling, who is represented on another page of this work; Darwin B., largely engaged in the cultivation of peaches in this county; Lott F., of this review; Mrs. Addie E. Pearl; and two children who died in youth.
Lewis Sutherland, while practically retired from business cares, is a director in the State Bank of Benton Harbor. In 1902 he built the Masonic Temple of Benton Harbor and has been an active representative of Masonry since 1852. He belongs to the Universalist church and has been a champion of many progressive measures. His ballot supports the Democracy and he has served as highway commissioner and as school director. He is numbered today among the honored and prominent pioneer settlers of the county.
Lott F. Sutherland was born on the old family homestead at Pearl Grange in Benton township, May 16, 1871. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for him in his youth, for he worked in the fields through the periods of vacation and during the school year pursued his studies, thus becoming equipped for life’s practical and responsible duties. He remained upon the old homestead farm until twenty-six years of age and when twenty-two years of age he was married to Miss Lena V. Conklin, a daughter of Josiah Conklin, of Hartford, Van Buren county, Michigan. She was born in Hartford but was largely reared in Benton Harbor, where she completed her education by a high school course.
At the time of his marriage Lott F. Sutherland located upon the old homestead which he operated in connection with his father for several years, after which he removed to his own farm, purchasing one hundred and forty-two acres of rich and productive land in Benton township. He had previously become owner of the greater part of this property and it was partially improved. All is under cultivation and about seventy acres is planted to fruit, for he engages quite extensively in the raising of peaches, apples and pears, his orchards being mostly young trees. He sold over sixteen hundred barrels of apples in one season and thirty-two or thirty-three hundred bushels of peaches in a season. The soil is well adapted for the purpose for which it is used and Mr. Sutherland is among those who have made this section of the state a splendid fruit producing center, for fruit raising is now one of the chief sources of income in Berrien county. He has made a close study of the needs of the trees as to soil, climate and nourishment and has secured the nursery stock best adapted to this district, so that he has now good orchards in fine bearing condition.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. [Lott F.] Sutherland have been born three children, Iva, Hazel and Leah. Mr. Sutherland is a Mason and belongs to Pearl Grange. His political allegiance is given to the Democracy, but he has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to give undivided attention to his business affairs. He is a worthy representative of the well known and prominent pioneer family and as such and by reason of his genuine personal worth deserves mention in this volume.
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