From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 569-570



Philip Michael, hardware merchant at Fremont, Ind., was born in Dauphin County, Pa., Feb. 17, 1837.  His father, Philip Michael, was also a native of Dauphin County, born in 1801, where he grew to manhood and married Susannah Fitting, a native of the same county, born April 6, 1805.  Of this union fourteen children were born -- Enos, Mary, Ann, Katherine, Susan, Joshua, Sarah, Levina, Philip, Jacob, Lydia, David and two died in infancy.  Philip Michael, Sr., was a weaver by trade, and in his youth followed that occupation, often working at 50 cents per day and boarding himself.  Thus he acquired those habits of economy which helped him to succeed in after years.  In 1850 he and his family, in company with Michael E. Baum, Thomas Fisher, George Hicker, Samuel Wade and families, left their native State and started across the Alleghany Mountains with teams, for the far West, arriving at Fremont, Steuben County, May 28.  He laid out the northwestern part of Fremont known as Michael's First and Second Addition.  His wife died Aug. 2, 1864, and he March 20, 1870, leaving their children comfortably settled in life close to the old home.  In their youth they were members of the Lutheran church, but shortly after coming to this county joined the German Methodist denomination in which faith they died.  Philip, the ninth of the family, remained with his parents until he was eighteen years of age; then went to Elkhart, Ind., and was apprenticed to the carpenter and joiner's trade with Joshua Stephens, and uncle, remaining with him two years.  Soon after Mr. Michael's return to Steuben County, he began farming, which he followed for six years, when he embarked in the mercantile business.  In 1877 he commenced his present business.  Mr. Michael has been engaged in the hardware business eight years.  His salesroom is 60 x 24; tin-room 20 x 24.  His stock is carefully selected, and by close attention to business he has worked up a good trade.  He carries a stock of about $5,000.  He is agent for the Champion reaper and mower, which is meeting with good sales through his careful attention.  Mr. Michael is an honest, upright business man.  A man of keen perceptions, dignified in his bearing, yet polite and courteous toward every one, and has won the confidence and esteem of a large circle of Steuben's most worthy citizens.  In politics he is a staunch Republican.  April 26, 1860, he was married in Fremont, Ind., to Miss Martha Tillitson, a daughter of Jeremiah Tillitson, one of the first settlers of Fremont Township, settling in 1835.  She was born in Steuben County, Ind., Feb. 27, 1839.  By this union there were three children -- Clyde U., Leon E. and Ira E.



Submitted by Kim Davoli