28 June 2012

Obituary: Alfred Kingsford

With my director on "grandma duty" after the birth of a grandson last weekend, I have been keeping busy here.  So busy that I find I forgot Tuesday's cemetery posting.  I will try to do better next week, although she will still be gone then.  In the meantime, here is an obituary for Alfred Kingsford.  He was one of our non-Dutch immigrant, who instead came from Canada.  

From then 1 November 1917 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Alfred Kingsford was born in Oxford county, Ontario Canada, June 5, 1837, and died October 20, 1917.  He was married to Anna Scott December 1, 1858.  He first came to Michigan in 1863 and lived in Muskegon county for a short time, then moved his family here and settled on his Dayton township farm Mar. 1 1867, where he has since lived.
He was the father of seven children, five boys and two girls, all of whom are living.  He was the third youngest of nine children of whom only one sister, Mrs. Carter, of Canada is living.
Mr Kingsford was a great lover of nature and always got the greatest pleasure in the song of birds and observing them at all seasons.  In nature's wildest and most picturesque places were where he got his greatest enjoyment.
He will be greatly missed by his family and a host of friends.
The funeral services were held last Wednesday afternoon at the home conducted by Rev. R. A. Thibos, pastor of the Christian church.  Interment in Jewell cemetery.

The above obituary was obviously written by someone who knew the deceased.  Mr. Kingsford lived in the area Mrs. Robertson often wrote about.  While no byline for this obituary it certainly seems like one she could have written, with the personal touch of the one paragraph. 
Another thing I often wonder about is the immigration pattern.  Coming from Ontario, Canada to Muskegon, Michigan I wonder if they came by boat, around the mitten to the western side of the state.  Many passenger ships once plied the Great Lakes.  Muskegon was a major port city, so settling near there would make sense.  I love how the study of genealogy so often is a study of history in general.

23 June 2012

Obituaries-Mrs Jennie Harmsen, and son George Harmsen

This obituary caught my eye, because it was unusual in its headline mentioning the double funeral.  As I read further, I was surprised it was not two family members who died in a fire or accident or some other common cause, but simply two family members who died a few days apart for entirely independent reasons. 

From the 15 April 1920 Fremont TimesIndicator.

Mrs. Jennie Harmsen and Son, George Harmsen, Died at Gerber Memorial Hospital
A double funeral service was held at the First Christian Reformed church Tuesday afternoon for George Harmsen, who died at the Gerber Memorial hospital Friday, following an operation for appendicitis, and his mother, Mrs. Jennie Harmsen of Overeisel, who died at the hospital Sunday, at the age of 92 years.  Rev. L. J. Lamberts and Rev. J. Mokma, the pastors of the Christian Reformed churches officiated.
Mr. Harmsen was born in Germany, January 16, 1861, and came to America when 14 years old.  At the age of 22 years he married Miss Mary Meyers of Oakland who died in 1887.  To them were born two daughters, Mrs. Jennie Vredeveld of Muskegon and Mrs. Grace DeKuiper of this city.
In 1890 he married Fannie Brookhuis who died in 1891.  On March 8 Me married Mrs. Jennie Knoll, nee Warmelink.
He moved to Fremont thrity one years ago and has since that time made his home there.
He leaves his wife and six children, Mrs. Gerrit Frens of Reeman, Mrs. Dick DeWitt and Garrit and Ben of this city, and two children by his first marriage.  He was a kind husband and father and a good neighbor.
The interment of Mr. Harmsen took place in Maple Grove cemetery and the body of Mrs. Harmsen was taken to Overeisel Wednesday morning where burial will take place this afternoon.

Interesting that although the funeral was for both of them, the obituary only listed information on the son.  It makes you wonder who was providing the information for the obituaries.  Both of them died at Gerber hospital, so she made the trip, at least 2 counties from home to come here to the hospital.  Was there no information at all available on Mrs. Harmsen.  I will assume she was born in Germany, or at least Europe, since her son was born there.  Since he was only 14 when coming to America, it may be safe to assume that she did then as well.  But maybe not.  And what was the name of his father/her husband?  When did that party die?  
Once again I am left in a state of frustration with the lack of information in these obituaries.

21 June 2012

Obituary--Mrs. Alma Darling

Here is another obituary from the "Mrs.Robertson" era.  The obituary here is not attributed to her, but one of the paragraphs is similar in style enough to bring her to mind, although not from the region she usually covered.  It is always interesting to me to see how many of our residents and pioneers came to Michigan from so many parts of the country.  Mrs. Darling was one of the early citizens of the Fremont, but her roots were in Vermont.  I always want more information that the obituary gives me on these journeys here.

From the 19 April 1917 Fremont TimesIndicator first this notice from the community (gossip) column:

Mrs. Alma Darling passed away at her home, 104 Division Ave. north, yesterday after an illness of several weeks.

Then the following week, 26 April 1917, were these two further notices in the TimesIndicator:

The VanWingerden, Cochrane and Tibbitts families attended the funeral of their aunt, Mrs. Alma Darling in Fremont last Saturday.

And finally the regular obituary:

Mrs. Alma Darling, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arza Tibbits, was born in the state of Vermont June 4, 1843.  At the age of 12 years she moved with her parents to Newaygo county and settled on what is now the Rozema farm near Fremont Lake.  On December 25, 1863, she was united in marriage to James H. Darling with whom she shared her happiness for nearly 40 years.  Mr Darling passed away May 21, 1903.
To them were born three children, namely, Mrs. Brittie M. Gibson; who survives; Willard, who died at the age of six years, and Ralph, who died at the age of one a a half years.
Mrs. Darling became a member of the Congregational church in 1891, and was also a member of the Eastern Star.  She led an active christian life and was always ready to be of service to those in trouble.
With her decease another pioneer has gone.  Having come here when a young girl at a time when this territory was still a wilderness, living here more than 60 years, she has seen the growth and advancement of Fremont from its beginning to its present prosperous condition.
For the past eight years Mrs. Darling's health has been impaired and for several months she has gradually failed and death came April 18 at the age of 73 years, 10 months and 15 days.
Besides her daughter, she is survived by an adopted son, Edward Darling, and wife, of Cedar Rapids Iowa.
The funeral services were held Saturday afternoon from the home, 104 Division Ave. N., Rev. F. W. Magdanz, pastor of the Congregational church officiating.  Interment in Maple Grove cemetery.

Such a riches of information on Mrs. Darling.  Birth date and place, children's names, and even the names of other relatives from the gossip column notice.  Her family name even graces a street here in town, a sure sign that the Darling family was a leader in the town.

19 June 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: The Stones of Zinc

(Hopefully our connectivity problem has been solved.  So here goes.)
Last time I had attempted a regular cemetery post it was about the wonderful grave stones made of zinc.  I had waxed eloquent, with pithy and witty remarks.
That post was lost when my connection to the internet failed.
So instead, you get this this post.  Same pictures.  Less wit.
Most of the monuments I have seen that are made of zinc are made in the impressive tall monument style.  This one is one example.  It is wider than many I've seen, a bit more massive.  But the familar urn is on the top and it has the base with the family name, as well as removable plates on all four sides for later personalization of other family members' statistics.
This stone from my family, located in Copmish Michigan is an example more typical of the zinc markers I have seen.  Again tall, and very ornate, with the drapery and swags adorning the upper portion, with the urn at the top.  The four sides again have the removable plaques, although, as is normal with my family, only Jonathan's is noted with dates.  The other sides had simply impressions of sheaves of wheat or a cross with flowers adorning it. 
 I was rather surprised by this zinc marker.  I had never seen a "two-fer" like this one.  It is much lower than the most common markers of this sort.  The common zinc base with the family name is longer and narrower.  It accommodates two separate makers for father and mother.  Abraham and Elizabeth Terwilliger each have their information on plaques on the appropriate maker.  Since they died only a year and a half apart, perhaps it was easier for the family to have Elizabeth's updated.
 This maarker for Andrew A Heath is also out of the ordinary, although very similar to may military markers in size and shape.  But even though it is compact, it is quite ornate with its borders and drapery.
The last, which alas I have been unable to determine where I found this picture when I tried to post it previously is also unusual in that it is another combination of markers.  Not only is there a large family marker in zinc, complete with the side panels, easily seen here, but two independent side markers.  The two smaller markers next to the family monument record the information on the two individuals.  The front marker, although hard to read here, is full of information as well.
Since they are hard to read here, I wonder if the large stone is for the pioneer family, or at least the parent generation, with the smaller ones belonging to the next generation?
Alas, since I haven't been able to track down the cemetery, I will be unable to investigate them further for now at least.

13 June 2012

Sporadic Posting

I apologize for the off and on postings here. 
But since the pictures make the posting in most cases, and the obituaries are usually quite long, I probably will not be able to post very regularly. 
Posting from my smart phone denies access to our pictures.  And I just cannot, with my fat finger syndrome manage to type an entire obituary from my phone.  So until I have more regular and dependable connectivity, I will probably be a little sparse on the postings here.

05 June 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Holton Oakwood Cemetery--Part Two

 I was fascinated by the way old and new graves are mingled together.  Now granted the older ones are no where near the age of New England or even those in south east Michigan, but a shiny new stone could be next to a warn obelisk style stone.
This close-up of the stone for George W. Whiteside (born 1820 and died 1908 I believe) is fairly weathered, but you can see the detail still visible of flowers on one side, and a sheaf of wheat above his name.
I was struck by this newer stone I saw.  I had not seen such granite stones with added color.  And here in Holton Cemetery, there were two.
 And less I think that pictures added to stones was a newer trend, this one is from 1973.  And there were several, with another of a baby who died in 1957!
 I enjoyed this stone and added it just because of the unique landscaping.  I wonder if there is any significance to the fact that the wheel is broken?
 Yet amidst the newer stones, and very near my in-laws is this stone for Edward Ruprecht who died April 2, 1897 at the age of 85 years, 2 months and 8 days.  A bit of a lean to it, but still clear and easily read.  With the same sheaf of wheat above his name too.
 This is one of the more elaborate stones in the  cemetery.  I find the name to be confusing.  I assume the last name is Cheyne, but it is on a separate section from the large slab with Cecil Bernard's name, as well of course, as his wife Helen.
And one last stone.  Henry Potter, born February 28 1853 and died July 4, 1903, has one of those wonderful zinc monuments.  I believe it was the only one there that I saw.

Hmmmm.  I wonder if he ever went by Harry?