Orson B. Orcutt & Adeline Kauffman


ORSON B. ORCUTT was born in Mendon, St. Joseph County, Michigan, on August 30, 1848. (1) He was the eldest living child of James and Betsey Orcutt; he had three younger brothers and three younger sisters. Although he began his education in the schools of St. Joseph County, the family soon moved to New York for a short time and then to Canada, where they would remain until 1869. They returned to St. Joseph County, Michigan, when Orson was about 20 years old.(2)

The Village of Bellaire, Michigan, began in 1879 to serve as the centrally located Antrim County seat. Orson arrived here in 1880.(3) He lived in the Kearney Township portion of the Village of Bellaire, Antrim County, Michigan.(4) The town of Bellaire is divided by the Intermediate River, with Forest Home Township on the west, and Kearney Township on the east.(5) In 1880, Living with 30-year-old Orson were his sister Eva and a boarder, 30-year-old Emmett Maxfield. Both Orson and Emmett were grocers.(4)

Emmett and Orson had built one of the first stores in the village, Maxfield & Orcutt.(6) On February 16, 1880, Orson and Robert E. Maxfield (Emmett) purchased Lot 35 in Block H of the Village of Bellaire for $50. Orson bought Emmet’s share of the property on January 10, 1881, for $125.(7)

On November 5, 1882, Orson married ADELINE KAUFFMAN, daughter of JACOB R. KAUFFMAN and LYDIA MILLER.(8) Adeline was another interesting Orcutt wife, bringing a long line of Amish history to the family tree.

Kauffman Genealogy

amish horse & buggyThe Kauffman story is the story of the Amish, and that story begins with the Protestant Reformation. The printing press had just been invented, and, for the first time, people could read and interpret the Bible for themselves. Some of them came to believe that the church had strayed from the teachings of the Bible. Martin Luther broke with the Roman Catholic church in 1517, leading the way for a group of students and craftsmen in Zurich, Switzerland, to follow suit in 1525, when their appeals for reform were rebuffed. They wanted more separation of church and state, adult baptism, and scripture-based practices. This began the Anabaptist/Swiss Brethren/Amish movement. (9)

The church and state felt threatened by this movement, so its followers were persecuted and executed, forcing them to move from place to place in Europe. Menno Simons, a Catholic priest ordained about 1515, joined the Swiss Brethren/Anabaptists in 1535, and his followers became known as Mennonites. Their beliefs formed a large part of the Amish religion. In 1648, the Mennonites were promised religious freedom in the Palatinate, southwestern Germany, on the west bank of the Rhine River, and many of them moved there.(9)

Jakob Ammann, born in 1644 in Bern, Switzerland, became the key figure in Amish history, promoting a return from the Mennonite religion to stricter Anabaptist policies of separation from the world and shunning for those who did not live up to the standard.(9) It is here in Bern that the name Kauffman first appears. Mathias Kauffman of Kriegstetten, in the “Zolathurn district,” (The town of Kriegstetten is in the center of Solothurn in Switzerland.) was apparently among a group of Mennonites driven from Zurich to Bern, where persecutions continued. On January 20, 1660, he was one of 11 Mennonites in the Bern jail.(10) (It should be noted that not only the paternal Kauffman surname but many of the maternal surnames in the Kauffman lineage are found throughout early European Mennonite/Amish history as well.)(9, 10)

William Penn invited persecuted religious groups to worship freely in Pennsylvania, and on October 8, 1737, the first group of Amish arrived in Philadelphia. Most settled in Lancaster and Berks Counties, Pennsylvania.(9)


The progenitor of the Amish Kauffmans, JACOB KAUFFMAN, came from the Palatinate to Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1754.(11) He married ANNA, probably ANNA MAST. They had the following children, born in Pennsylvania: MARY KAUFFMAN, JOHN KAUFFMAN, BARBARA KAUFFMAN, JACOB KAUFFMAN, DAVID KAUFFMAN, ANNA KAUFFMAN, and VERONICA KAUFFMAN.(12)


JACOB KAUFFMAN was baptised at Oley Hill Church in Berks County November 16, 1760. He married possibly ANNA YODER. Born to them in Pennsylvania were the following children: ANNA KAUFFMAN, JOHN KAUFFMAN, MARY KAUFFMAN, JACOB KAUFFMAN, JOSEPH KAUFFMAN, DAVID  KAUFFMAN, ELIZABETH KAUFFMAN, and possibly others.(12)


DAVID KAUFFMAN was born March 6, 1807, in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. He married BARBARA SMUCKER, and they had the following children: VERONICA KAUFFMAN, born June 14, 1833, in Ohio; married JOSEPH J. SCHROCK; died December 14, 1890. JACOB KAUFFMAN, born December 28, 1834, in Ohio. ANNA KAUFFMAN, born April 10, 1836, in Ohio; married JOSEPH EASH; died December 23, 1920. JOSEPH KAUFFMAN, born July 30, 1839, in Ohio, married REBECCA YODER; died August 16, 1905. MOSES KAUFFMAN, born September 10, 1844; married MARY ANNA STUTZMAN; died January 28, 1918. JOHN D. KAUFFMAN, born July 7, 1847, in Logan County, Ohio (twin of Elizabeth); married SARAH STUTZMAN; died October 22, 1913. ELIZABETH KAUFFMAN, born July 7, 1847, in Logan County, Ohio (twin of John D.); married CHRISTIAN C. EASH. LYDIA KAUFFMAN, born July 18, 1849, in Logan County, Ohio; married first CORNELIUS LANTZ and second JOHN T. YODER; died July 23, 1928.(12)


JACOB R. KAUFFMAN was born December 28, 1834, in Ohio. On January 10, 1858, he married LYDIA MILLER near Topeka, LaGrange County, Indiana. She was the daughter of SOLOMON MILLER and RACHEL LEHMAN MILLER, born October 30, 1839, near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Children of Jacob and Lydia were MARY KAUFFMAN, born January 24, 1859, in LaGrange County, Indiana, and married GEORGE MAGGERT on August 17, 1882. EMELINE KAUFFMAN, died young. ADALINE KAUFFMAN, the subject of our story. REBECCA KAUFFMAN, born February 10, 1862, and married MR. HULLENBAUGH. BARBARA ANN KAUFFMAN, born May 10, 1863; married ALLEN ROUSH on June 18, 1882, at Goshen, Indiana. LYDIA ANN KAUFFMAN, born February 18, 1865; married A.E.RANDALL July 29, 1883 at Mancelona, Michigan; died December 2, 1934. MARTHA KAUFFMAN, born May 19, 1867; married JOSEPH M. STUTZMAN. DANIEL KAUFFMAN, born October 30, 1868; married first MARY ALICE COLF and second HALLIE WARD. SAMUEL KAUFFMAN, born November 27, 1870, at Millersburg, Indiana; married IDA F. WINKLER at Walloon Lake, Michigan, on July 3, 1804. FANNIE KAUFFMAN, born July 20, 1874, at Millersburg, Indiana; married FRED SHEPPARD on May 11, 1895, at Bellaire, Michigan. ELLA KAUFFMAN, who died as a child. EMANUEL KAUFFMAN, born September 2, 1879; married STACIE ELDER on October 21, 1903, at Bellaire, Michigan. LENNETTA KAUFFMAN, born July 26, 1881; married LESTER GORDON on December 23, 1901, near Bellaire, Michigan.(13)

Picture is labeled "Addie Orcutt." Is this her childhood home?

Picture is labeled “Addie Orcutt.” Is this her childhood home?


ADELINE KAUFFMAN was born August 26, 1860, at Middlebury, Indiana, and married ORSON B. ORCUTT on November 5, 1882, forming the Seventh Generation of Orcutts.(13)

4 Generations (left to right): Jacob R. Kauffman, Myrtle Orcutt, Orrin Orcutt, Adeline Kauffman Orcutt About 1909

4 Generations
(left to right): Jacob R. Kauffman, Myrtle Orcutt, Orrin Orcutt, Adeline Kauffman Orcutt
About 1909

Orson and Adeline: Life Together

On February 9, 1883, Orson and Sam C. Cook put a shingle mill into operation. “They bought it of a gentleman at Mancelona where it has been running till recently. The engine and boiler of the steamer Belle furnish the power.”(3) The Belle was a small propeller of 237 tons. She began service between Traverse City and Manistee in 1867.(14) In July 1882, she moved to Bellaire, making trips to Central Lake.(15) Perhaps supplying the energy for the sawmill was her winter activity.

The Maxfield & Orcutt general merchandise store is said to have gone out of business after five years.(2) Actually, it may have been less than that, because Orson sold this property to Stephen S. Doake on March 8, 1883, for $400.(7)

The first–and only–child of Orson and Adeline, ORRIN JAY ORCUTT, arrived November 1, 1883.(16)

Throughout their lives, Orson and Adeline, separately and together, bought and sold numerous pieces of property in the Village of Bellaire and in the countryside surrounding the town. Adeline’s many purchases and sales show her to be a saavy and independent woman, unusual during the time in which she lived.(7)

The 1897 plat map below shows them on forty acres in Custer Township, just down the road from Adeline’s parents.(17) Orson also worked as a carpenter.(18)

Custer Township, Antrim County, Michigan, 1897 (12)

Custer Township, Antrim County, Michigan, 1897 (17)

Bellaire, about 1900 (14)

Bellaire, about 1900 (19)

2 Generations: Orrin Orcutt, Hattie Wilks Orcutt, Adeline Kauffman Orcutt, Orson B. Orcutt (l to r)

2 Generations:
Orrin Orcutt, Hattie Wilks Orcutt, Adeline Kauffman Orcutt, Orson B. Orcutt (l to r)

Orson “gave his attention to various occupations during his youth and finally decided that the art of agriculture offered attractions worthy of his efforts, and…(he) secured a tract of land which he reclaimed from barren waste, the greater portion of the land being covered with the native timber at the time when he secured possession. His attractive homestead comprises one hundred and ninety-seven and one-half acres, of which about forty acres are under cultivation (1905.)

Orson Orcutt, probably picking apples in his orchard

Orson Orcutt, probably picking apples in his orchard

Evidences of his industry and good management are seen in the substantial buildings which he has erected and in the fine appearance of the farm and the excellent crops which he raises each year. In addition to the general cereal products usually grown here, he has a fine orchard of apple, cherry, plum and peach trees, while he also makes a specialty of raising potatoes, in the production of which staple tuber this section of Michigan has the highest reputation.”(2)

The 1910 plat map below shows Orson on Crystal Brook Farm, the farm next to the one that he previously owned. Adjacent to him is son Orrin. Also nearby are Adeline’s brothers, Samuel and Daniel Kauffman.

Custer Township, Antrim County, Michigan, 1910 (12)

Custer Township, Antrim County, Michigan, 1910 (17)

Orson & Adeline Orcutt

Orson & Adeline Orcutt

Orson was active in community affairs. He served as clerk of Kearney township for several years before moving to Custer Township, where he was supervisor for 13 years, clerk for a number of years, and treasurer several years.(20) “For ten years was a valued and zealous member of the school board of the district.” He was a member of the Grange and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.(2)

Orson B. Orcutt Aug. 30, 1848-Sept. 5, 1929

Orson B. Orcutt
Aug. 30, 1848-Sept. 5, 1929

Adeline, too, was active. She was a member of the Methodist Church, the Grass Lake Grange, and Grass Lake Aid Society. She was well known for the readings that she often gave at various entertainments.(21)

During the last three years of his life, Orson suffered from arteriosclerosis, which contributed to the apoplexy that caused his death on September 5, 1929, less than a week after his 81st birthday. He is buried at Fairview Cemetery, Mancelona, Antrim County, Michigan, not far from Bellaire.(22)

By April 2, 1930, the date of the 1930 federal census, Adeline had gone to live as a boarder with her sister Lydia and brother-in-law Alvin E. Randall.(23) Sadly, Alvin spent the last 24 days of his life in the Traverse City State Hospital suffering from pharyngeal diphtheria; he died October 10, 1932. Then, Lydia passed away on December 2, 1934.(22)

Adeline Orcutt Aug. 26, 1860-July 28, 1939

Adeline Orcutt
Aug. 26, 1860-July 28, 1939

It is likely that Adeline spent her final years in the home of her son, because the residence listed on her death certificate is RR #1, Bellaire, his address. She suffered from pernicious anemia the last year and a half of her life, and this was the cause of her death on July 28, 1939, at age 78 years, 11 months, and 2 days. (22) She is buried alongside her husband at Fairview Cemetery, Mancelona, Antrim County, Michigan.



(1) Ancestry.com. Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Hostetler, Harvey,. Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Pub.

(2) Biographical history of northern Michigan, containing biographies of prominent citizens …[Indianapolis]: B.F. Bowen & company, 1905. (database online). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 2005. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/BAD6022.0001.001.

(3) Neuman, Glenn. Bay Breezes: Local History Unfolding. Volume III. (Excerpts taken from the Elk Rapids Progress.)

(4) Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(5) Bellaire, Michigan. (2016, January 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:33, June 26, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bellaire,_Michigan&oldid=702287891.

(6) http://genealogytrails.com/mich/antrim/citybellaire.html. Accessed June 26, 2016.

(7) Antrim County Land Records, Recorder of Deeds, Antrim County Courthouse, Bellaire, Michigan.

(8) Ancestry.com. Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952 (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics.

(9) Amish History is a Story of Struggle and Faith. http://www.exploring-amish-country.com/amish-history.html. Accessed August 10, 2016.

(10) Ancestry.com. Historic background and annals of the Swiss and German pioneer settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Eshleman, H. Frank. Historic background and annals of the Swiss and German pioneer settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania, and of their remote ancestors, from the middle of the Dark Ages, down to the time of the Revolutionary War : an authentic history from original sources, of their suffering during several centuries before and especially during the two centuries following the Protestant Reformation, and of their slow migration, moved by those causes, during the last mentioned two hundred years, westward in quest of religious freedom and their happy relief in the Susquehanna and Schuylkill Valleys in the New World, with particular reference to the German-Swiss Mennonites or Anabaptists, the Amish and other non-resistant sects. Lancaster, Pa.: unknown, 1917.

(11) Bender, Harold. S. “Kauffman (Kaurman, Kaufmann, Kauffmann, Coffman, Cauffman) family.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kauffman_(Kaufman,_Kaufmann,_Kauffmann,_Coffman,_Cauffman)_family&oldid=119465. Accessed August 9, 2016.

(12) Gingerich, Hugh. F. and Rachel W. Kreider. Amish and Amish Mmeonite Genealogies. Gordonville, PA 17529. Pequa Publishers, 1986.

(13) Hostetter, Harvey. Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman. Scottsdale, PA. Mennonite Pub. House, 1938. HeritageQuest Online. Accessed December 1, 2006.

(14) Wakefield, Lawrence & Lucille. Sail and Rail. c1980. From files of Bellaire Historical Society.

(15) Cowles, Walter C. Antrim Steamers : A Brief History of Steam Navigation on the Inland Lakes of Antrim County Michigan. c1997.

(16) Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2011. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

(17) Ancestry.com. U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Various publishers of County Land Ownership Atlases. Microfilmed by the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

(18) United States Census, 1900, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M91F-M9S : 20 January 2015O, Orson B Orcutt, Cusster & Helena townships, Antrim, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 13A, family 257, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archcives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,24 0,699.

(19) From files of Bellaire Historical Society, Bellaire, Michigan.

(20) Obituary of Orson B. Orcutt, from files of Bellaire Historical Society, Bellaire, Michigan.

(21) Obituary of Adeline Orcutt, from files of Bellaire Historical Society, Bellaire, Michigan.

(22) Death Records, 1921-1947. http://www.seekingmichigan.org. Accessed June 28, 2016.

(23) Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.


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