Sunday, December 4, 2011

Deliverance S. Priest (1814-1888), Deliverance Bell Hervey (1788-1870)

   Today's article centers on two obscure politicians with a unique first name: Deliverance. The first of these men is Deliverance Priest, a New York native who eventually made his political mark in Michigan. Information has proven to be quite scant on Mr. Priest, and the only substantial biography on him is located in Michael A. Leeson's History of Macomb County, Michigan, which was published in 1882. 
   Deliverance S. Priest was born in Arlington, Vermont on August 7, 1814, the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Squires Priest. He and his family removed to Monroe County, New York when he was five and as an adolescent, Priest began a teaching career in his home state. Little else could be found in relation to his early life, with the exception of his relocation to Michigan in 1837. After settling in the town of Ray, Priest married Ms. Charity Thompson in 1841 and the couple eventually had three children: Chester (born 1843), Laura (died at 4 months in 1850) and Myron (died at age 15 in 1869). Leeson's History of Macomb County also gives note that Priest owned a large farm with "211 acres of valuable and finely improved land."
   Throughout his life, Deliverance Priest proved to be one of Ray, Michigan's favorite sons, and he was often named to offices of the public trust. He served as Supervisor for the town of Ray for a number of years and later was named as a school inspector. Priest was also involved in local business pursuits in addition to the latter activities and served as both Director and Chairman of the Farmer's Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In 1869 the citizens of Macomb County honored Deliverance Priest by electing him to the first of two terms in the Michigan State House of Representatives.
   He served in the state house until 1873 as a Republican, and after his service returned to his farm in Macomb. Priest died at age 74 on February 4, 1888, and was subsequently buried in the Procter Cemetery in the town of Romeo, Michigan.

  The second man profiled today is Deliverance Bell Hervey, who was born July 30, 1788. Mr. Hervey is even more obscure than the man who preceded him in this article, and nothing could be found on his place of birth or early life. What is known is that Mr. Hervey was elected to a term in the New York State Assembly from Greene County in 1845. Little else could be found on this man, other than his date of death, which occurred on May 3, 1870.

You Can Help!
I am currently seeking more information (as well as possible photographs) of Deliverance Priest and Deliverance Hervey. As there is next to nothing (information wise) on these two gentlemen, maybe someone out there knows more than what is already stated in this article. If any reader/lurker/amateur historian wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you can dig up on these two obscure politicians!


  1. As a descendant of DB Hervey, I would suggest looking in Beer's History of Greene County which has some information about him and his ancestors, one of whom, his grandfather Obed, was a Capt. in the Dutchess Co. (NY) Militia in the Revolution. DB was a successful businessman in Hervey St., an area of Greene Co.

    1. Hello! Thank you for your response! I've been trying to locate more info (as well as a picture) of Mr. Hervey since putting his article up last year, and have come up empty on all fronts! I hope that the book you mentioned is available online somewhere, as it will certainly help me construct more of an article for him! If you have any leads on where to find a portrait of this man, I'd be most appreciative. I've taken the liberty of contacting many historical societies in the hopes that I might get more facts/possible portraits of some of these oddly named folks, and this "strategy" has worked out rather well thus far!
      Once again, thank you for your comment and if you have anymore information on your wonderfully named ancestor, please don't hesitate to contact me here or on the sites Facebook page!