John Sutter
 
Researched by: Elden Johnson, East Jordan, MI., e-mail: eldenj@hotmail.com
Thanks to Beverly Johnson, deanjohnson@torchlake.com for sending this story about the John Sutter family. The typing errors, however, are mine.

John Sutter was born in Berne County, Switzerland, in 1838. In the year 1859 he was united in marriage to Miss Verina Widner, to which union were born 8 children, five boys and three girls, four of whom were born in the old country and four in Elk Rapids, Michigan. John Sutter was a blacksmith in his native county of Switzerland.

In the year 1866 he left his native country with his wife and 4 children (Fred, John, Emma and Lewis) and came to Elk Rapids, where he secured employment with Dexter & Noble as their general blacksmith. He served them faithfully for many years. He also purchased a farm in Milton Township in 1870 and with fortitude and determined will wielded the axe and cleared the farm and brought it into a good state of cultivation. Edwin was born in Elk Rapids and Laura, Pauline and Otto were born after they purchased the farm. The first farm house built near US-31 burned (1/15/1873) but soon another house was built, placed on top of the hill. That house is still standing proudly.

As his sons reached majority he turned over the farm to them and he and his wife went to Grand Rapids and worked at his trade for several years. As age was creeping up on him and his wife, wishing to be nearer their children, they returned north and purchased a home at Torch Lake Village, where, as his strength permitted him, he worked at his trade until he died in 1915 at the age of 77. Verina died in 1918 at the age of 83.

The Sutter Farm on Sutter Road is still in the family today and has the designation of a "Centennial" farm. To receive recognition as a centennial farm, the farm must have been owned and operated by the same family for 100 years or more. The Sutter Farm received the designation in December, 1978 from the Michigan Historical Commission.

The farm was started by John Sutter, passed to son Edwin, son Mervin and now son Gary. The have given it a name of HiVuFarm because of the beautiful view they see situated high on a hill with a view of Lake Michigan in the distance.

John Sutter arriving in the United States in 1866 would never have guessed that his dream of yesterday would still be alive today.

The children of John and Verina Sutter:

Name
Born
Married
Died
Children
Fred
1859
????
????
1 child
John
1860
never married
1945
Emmail
1862
____ Cameron *
1915
Lewis
1865
1897 to Lydia Arno
1950
9 children
Edwin
1867
1898 to Louise Arno
1948
8 children
Paulina
1870
1888 to H. Marvill
1931
5 children
Otto
1872
1906 to Mable Duffell
1946
5 children
Laura
1876
to Chris Gokey
1900
1 child

* appears to have first married a John Smith in 1878