09 February 2011

Obituary--Matthew Mullen

Mr Mullen, while not one of our Dutch pioneers, was an immigrant, and also like many of the earliest residents a member of the logging community.  I love the extra tidbits of city history available in his obituary. 

From the 26 September 1918 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Has Been Resident of Fremont 42 Years--Built First Brick House Here
Matthew Mullen, one of Fremont's oldest residents, passed away at his home on Sullivan Ave. Wednesday, September 18.  He had been in failing health for three years.
Mr. Mullen was the son of Matthew and Mary Mullen and was born in Birmingham, England, Dec. 22, 1838.  While a lad in his teens he came to America.  He learned the trade of a mason and at the age of 21 was married to Rebecca Killeen of Waterloo, New York.  He is survived by Mrs Mullen and three  children, John Mullen of Muskegon, Mrs Mary Penrose of Fremont and Rev. Matt Mullen of Hart.  Three other children died when young. 
Mr. and Mrs. Mullen came to Michigan in 1863, living in Oakland county for two years, then locating on a homestead in Cedar Creek township, Muskegon county.  They came to Fremont in May 1876.  Mr. Mullen did a great deal of work in Muskegon mills during the lumber days.  He was especially successful on mill arches and in his prime made many trips to various parts of the United States and Canada for the purpose of installing mill and factory arches.  He build the John Cole house, the first brick house in Fremont.  He also built the Joseph Gerber residence, which is being transformed into the Gerber Memorial Hospital.
Funeral services were conducted Saturday at the Methodist Episcopal church of which he had been a faithful member for 25 years. Rev. J. W. Esveld officiated and interment made in Maple Grove cemetery.

Here is a picture of that home that was the first version of Gerber Memorial Hospital. 
 What a legacy, to know your family built the first hospital.

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