This is an excerpt from the book, 'INDIANA COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA, HER PEOPLE, PAST AND PRESENT' by JOSHUA T. STEWART, published in 1913.

MICHAEL HENRY PALMER, of Burrell township, Indiana county, is located in the village of Josephine, engaged in horseshoeing and general blacksmith work. He is a native of Jefferson county, Pa., born Dec. 15, 1846, in Perry township, son of Isaac Palmer and grandson of Henry Palmer. The latter was a son of Henry Palmer, the emigrant ancestor of this family (who came from Germany), and was one of a family of five brothers. Peter, the eldest, was twice married, and reared a large family and spent his entire life in Indiana county. John married a Miss Enfield, and died in Indiana county. Charles also married and lived in Indiana county until his death.

Henry Palmer, the grandfather, was born in Bedford county, Pa., and went to Indiana county when a young man. Some time after his marriage he moved to Jefferson county, locating in Perry township, where he purchased timberland and developed a farm in the midst of the forest. He built a hewed log house and barn on his property, and spent the remainder of his life there, dying in 1865, at the age of seventy-three. Besides farming he followed his trade, that of cooper. He is buried in Hopewell cemetery. In politics he was originally a Whig, later a Republican. He was a member of the M. E. Church.

Mr. Palmer married Barbara Empfield, who was born in Brushvalley, Indiana county, and died in 1865, the same year as her husband, aged sixty-nine years. They became the parents of twenty-four children. We have record of the following: (1) Michael, the eldest, born in Indiana county in 1812, settled in Perry township, Jefferson county, and was a lumberman and farmer. (2) Isaac is mentioned below. (3) Henry married a Miss Swisher, and removed to Lewiston, Pa., where he died a number of years ago, leaving a wife and nine children. (4) David was the father of Johnston Palmer and grandfather of Davis A. Palmer, mentioned elsewhere in this work. (5) Sarah became the wife of Peter Depp, and both died in Jefferson county, leaving three children: Isaac M., deceased; Mary Ellen, wife of Joseph Newcomb. of Perry township, Jefferson county; and Henry, who died in Jefferson county. (6) Jane, born in Indiana county, became the wife of James Ross, of Perry township, Jefferson county, and re sided near her father’s farm. Both are now deceased. She died in 1897, at the age of seventy-five years, leaving four children, namely: Madison, who is married and lives with his family in Jefferson county; Isaac, who follows lumbering in West Virginia; Matilda, wife of Samuel Williams, of Clayville; and Jane, wife of Joseph Stewart, of Indiana county. (7) Clement married Ella Rogers, of Jefferson county; and died leaving a wife and one son, Donald. (8) Peter, born in Indiana county, died on the homestead in Perry township at the age of eighteen years. (9) Mary, born in Indiana county, became the wife of Philip Whitsell, and lived on a part of her father’s farm until her death. (10) Caroline, born in Perry township, became the wife of Charles Williams, and died at their home near Clayville, Pa., leaving three sons, Henry, William and Clauson. (11) George, born in Jefferson county, in 1839, lives at Frostburg, Jefferson county. He married Martha Bowersox, and they have had four children: Laura, who first married John Tucker (now deceased), of Punxsutawney; Ward; Etta, wife of Patrick Mann, of Punxsutawney; and Joseph. (12) Martha, the youngest child of Henry and Barbara Palmer, died in early life.

Isaac Palmer, son of Henry and Barbara Palmer, was born in 1813, in Burrell town ship, Indiana county, and removed to Jefferson county with his parents. He located upon a part of his father’s farm, and followed farming and lumbering all his days. He died in the prime of life, in 1855, at the age of forty-two years, and was buried in the Hopewell cemetery. He was a member of the M. E. Church. His wife, Mary (Whitesell), of Armstrong county, Pa., daughter of Philip Whitesell, died in October, 1890, at the home of her son George, at Bigrun, Pa. She was a member of the M. E. Church. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Palmer: Sarah, who married James W. Wachob, of Henderson township, Jefferson county, and lives at Bigrun (he was a lieutenant in the Civil war); Michael Henry; Philip, a black smith, who married a Miss Brown, of Jefferson county, and died at Bigrun, Pa. (he served ten months during the Civil war as a Union soldier, and afterward lived at Bigrun until his death) ; George, of Bigrun; Barbara Ellen; and Mary, who married George Fetterman, of Punxsutawney. Pennsylvania.

Michael Henry Palmer was only in his ninth year when his father died. He attended school in his home township and was engaged at farm work upon the homestead until he entered the army during the Civil war. In 1864 he enlisted in Company C, 206th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, serving under Capt. W. C. Brown (who was later sheriff of Indiana county) and Col. Hugh J. Brady. He was in the army until the close of the war, and upon his return home went to learn the trade of blacksmith with his brother Philip, at Bigrun. He has followed blacksmithing ever since, having had shops in different places. In 1902 he came to his present location at Josephine, in Burrell town ship, Indiana county, and in the ten years and more of his residence there has built up a fine business and made a respected position for himself among his fellow citizens. Mr. Palmer possesses a genial personality and is well liked by all who come in contact with him. He is liberal in his views on religion, a firm believer in the golden rule, and a strong advocate of the doctrines of the Socialist party, whose principles he supports with unwavering faith; he is one of the leaders of the party in his township, and by his personal popularity is enabled to exert considerable influence in its behalf. Mr. Palmer is a member of the G. A. R. post at Hortons, this county.

Mr. Palmer married Josephine Stiver, of Clayville, Jefferson county, and they had one child. Manila, who is now the wife of William H. Saltsgiver, of Young township, Jefferson county. His second marriage was to Sarah Ellen Saltsgiver, of Jefferson county, and nine children have been born to this union: Leonard J., who is a resident of Can ton, Ohio; Nora M., wife of Elmer Brickel, of Hortons, Pa.; James, a blacksmith and farmer of Center township; Perdy M., wife of J. K. Woodside, of Canton, Ohio; Joseph M., of Josephine; Hiram D., a miner, who lives at Josephine; Edith A., wife of Joseph H. Palmer; Jesse, a blacksmith, living at home, and Martha, who died when five years old.