Herman Sidney Bliss, 1861-1946
(From the Notes of Betty Daniells) Herman was born in Riley Township in 1861 either in the D.P. Bliss place or in the home of P.P. Peck. He grew up in both places. In 1883, he married Dora Plowman. Dora and her twin sister Nora were the youngest of 11 children of William Tuthill Plowman. W.T. Plowman had three children by his first wife, Mary Ann Potts, and the other eight with Emily Crane, our ancestor.
The couple moved to Watertown Township to a farm they called Bunker Hill. Their only child was a daughter named Iva. Later they lived in Lansing for a year or two, where, as an excellent carpenter, he helped build many of the old houses. Then, on the illness and death of John Benedict, husband of his wife’s eldest sister Eliza (Lide), he took over the operation and half ownership of the Benedict farm, The Pivot, 80 acres ¾ mile west of Watertown center. The old house burned to the ground in 1911 and Herman built the house that now stands there. It is now owned by Tom Lowell, Herman’s great-grandson. The story of the fire, as related by Bel Gensterblum Maier, will be in the next posting on this blog.
Herman was much loved and respected in the community. He was on the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church and served a term as Watertown Township treasurer. He played fiddle, sang tenor, and whistled at his work. He had the sweetest of tempers and a delightful sense of humor, which was at its best when the joke was on himself. He loved a good argument and would talk either side. He died at the Pivot in 1945 and is buried at the Wacousta Cemetery.