George Michels was born in Gallatin county, Illinois, May 18, 1818. His father, for whom he was named, was a native of the State of Maine, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Getchell. George Michels, Sr. and family, in company with Moses Michels and wife, John Michels, widow of James Michels, Permelia Michels, (now Shepherd and the only survivor of the company among the grown people), and a sister of the wife of George Michels, left their homes in Maine for the West by wagons, in 1817. In this primitive manner they arrived at Cincinnati, Ohio, where they took a flat boat the following spring, which bore them on to Shawneetown. At Cincinnati they made a halt, where the men improved the time by gathering corn, receiving for their labor one half the crop. This generosity (?) upon the part of their employers was due to the fact that an unusually severe cold spell was upon them, and corn was needed for stock. Proprietors thought it too cold to engage in such labor, but these hardy sons of Maine thought differently, and were glad of the opportunity afforded of replenishing their stores. To George Michels, Sr. and wife, were born ten children; Nancy Melrose, Lucy Naylor (dead), George, Mary Naylor, William, Cyrene, Lambert, Christopher, Ezra, Reuben and Sarah Melrose. In the fall of 1818, the family came to Edwards county. Here George, in common with his brothers and sisters, obtained a fair common school education. He was married to Margaret Spencer, daughter of John Spencer, a native of England, by whom he had seven children, namely: Emily, Louis A., Frederick G., Jacob R., Isaac G. (dec'd), Joseph (dec'd), and Benjamin.
Mr. Michels is a leading republican, who early espoused the cause in the advocacy of which the party was instituted. His first presidential vote was cast for Gen. William H. Harrison. In the year 1860, he was elected Sheriff of Edwards county, and upon the occasion of the death of Mr. Morgan, who was then Sheriff, he was appointed in 1873. In 1874, and again in 1876, he was elected to the same position. Prior to his term as Sheriff, he had been elected Treasurer in 1872, and Coroner in 1856. The many official positions he has held attest his worth as a man and citizen.

Extracted 12 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 A Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, page 214.

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