29 January 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: A Rural Scene at Clark

One of the things I like best about Clark cemetery is the woodsy feeling, even though it is near two well used roads. 
Clark cemetery is located on 48th Street, a main road into Fremont.  And just west of the cemtery is the intersection of 48th and Maple Island Road.  It is also the meeting point of Newaygo, Muskegon and Oceana counties.  Maple Island Road is a main north south road for commuters heading for Muskegon.
But here at Clark, you can find new graves and stones, as well as the older ones.  Not only the older obelisk shaped stones, and the wedge shaped granite stones can be found here.  Look behind the tree in the center and you can see a couple older stones, one with a military flag, and the other with a bit of a list.
Those two are back near the edge of the cemetery, and close to the road, as can be seen by the implement dealer in the background.  Shaded, but not forgotten, as shown by the flag in the holder by that back stone.
Clark cemetery is a great mix of old and new.  It is a cemetery I love to wonder through.

24 January 2013

Obituary: Patrick Bayle

Just time for a quick post today.  This obituary has me puzzled a bit.  It is a Hesperia area death, but the font or something leads me to believe this obituary was not published in the Fremont Times Indicator, but perhaps in the nearby Muskegon Chronicle.  Many people from the Hesperia area would have it published in that paper, even though Muskegon was 30 miles from Hesperia, rather than the 12 mile away Fremont paper.  The Chronicle was even then a daily while the Times Indicator was never more than a weekly. 
So from an unknown local paper, November 1936:

Patrick Bayle, 76, Dies Near Volney.

Hesperia. Nov. 6.---(Special)--Patrick Bayle, 76 years old, a resident of near Volney since 1876 and a former lumberman, died at his home yesterday following an illness of five months.
Mr. Bayle was born in North Sheffard, Quebec, Can., March 14, 1860, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bayle.  The family came to Michigan in 1875 and to the Volney district, Newaygo county, a year later.  Mr Bayle was married in Volney, to Hattie Sweet, in 1882.
Surviving are the widow, one daughter, Mrs. Ted Lamroch of Flint and one son, Jefferie Bayle of Walkerville, and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Ann Conley of Beaver township, Newaygo county, and Mrs. Bridget McDonald of Grand Rapids.
Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2:p.m. from the Volney church, with Rev. E. M. Mumby, pastor of the Hesperia Methodist church in charge, and burial will be made in Volney.

Okay, I lied.  He was from Volney, not Hesperia.  Volney is a small settlement north of Hesperia.  But many people from that area attended Hesperia schools later on, it has sort of become lumped into that area.  And still, Muskegon is the nearest large town.  I still believe the obituary was given to us from them.

22 January 2013

Tombstone Tuesday--Area Dignitaries

 Well, okay, maybe dignitaries is pushing it some.  But I found it interesting how many family names in Holton Oakwood Cemetery were of citizens prominent enough to have area roads named after them in Muskegon county.  Which does make sense; after all, Holton is in Muskegon county.
And given the lumbering background of Muskegon county especially, it makes perfect sense that one of those families interred there would be the Ryerson family.
 One of our patrons, while I was employed at the local library, was very interested in the Ryerson family.  They have a library in Grand Rapids named after them.  They were prominent lumbermen and were later influential in the Chicago area.
 But other families, ones I am not so familiar with, that are also in Holton Cemetery and are also names I see on the nearby roads.
Ruprecht is a small road nearby.  I wonder if it was named for Edward F, or a relative.
 Marvin is another fairly short road, but a main turnoff into Holton.  Their family has their own marker here.
 Squiers are also here.  Although I think the road is now spelt Squires.
And one of our main county roads, that comes out at the point where three counties come together is Skeels.  And sure enough, they are here too.
I wonder how many other cemeteries are so well represented.

17 January 2013

Obituary--Mrs. May C. Tucker

Most of the obituaries I have shared on this blog are rather lengthy.  Let's face it.  The fun is usually in all the details.  But even when the obituary is a separate news article, it can be a very small obituary.  Sometimes even smaller than the ones that are found in the community (gossip) columns. 
That is the case with today's obituary, short and sweet.  And while some details may be missing, it is still surprising in what it does tell.
From the 4 August 1938 Fremont Times Indicator:

Mrs. May C. Tucker, Former Resident, Passes In Detroit

 Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Crandell & Ensing funeral home for Mrs. May Tucker of Detroit, a former resident of this city who died at Detroit last Wednesday, July 27.  Rev. Clyde E. Pickett, pastor of the Fremont Church of Christ officiated and burial was made at Maple Grove cemetery.  She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Ralph Carter of Garden City Mich.

There it is, short and sweet.  I decided, since Maple Grove cemetery is online, to look at the information they have on her grave. And unfortunately, it doesn't tell much.  Hmmm.  The grave for Mrs. Marion Tucker is located in a plot owned by a Mrs. Carland Hill and burial date is August 1, 1938.  It is only Tucker where the dates fit and I can see a Marion being called May.  No other Tuckers are buried in the area.  There is a Reuma A, Hill in grave 5, and Marion is in grave 2, and there is an empty one next to Marion.
And so the mystery deepens.  Did her husband die later, and was he buried elsewhere?  Did he remarry?  Or did he die earlier, and she remarried and then was buried in another plot? 
Don't you love it? 

15 January 2013

Tombstone Tuesday--Great Great Great Grandpa Jacob Gilbert

The stone below, located in a Chester township, Ottawa county, Michigan cemetery.
Not much information is it?
I can tell only by the death date given here, and by all the Gilberts that surround him.
Many of his children are here, as well ast this large family stone.  I didn't record the exact location, but I believe that is his stone the the left of this pink granite one.
What I found funny was that although all the information of his wife Sarah is complete, the death information for Jacob has been left off the large stone.  Perhaps he died after putting this monument on the plot.  And after he died, no one updated the large stone, but just provided the small one with the death information. 
Don't these ancestors just drive you crazy sometimes?

10 January 2013

Obituary--Rens Hoekert

This obituary caught my eye, as he is the immigrant patriarch of several families in my neighborhood, those who were his grandchildren, great, and great-great grandchildren still live in the same area, and even possibly the same farm.  There was no headline for the obituary.  It appears it was just a news item reported in one of the community gossip columns that filled the papers at that time.

From the 22 Dec 1920 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Rens Hoekert died at his home near Reeman last Thursday at the age of 75 years.  He was born in the Netherlands June 13, 1845 and came to this country 39 years ago settling at Drenthe.  After remaining there for three years he came to Reeman and has lived on a farm there for 36 years.  His wife died December 14, 1888.  Mr Hoekert was an active member of the Christian Reformed church and assisted in the organization of the Reeman church.
His surviving children are Fannny Lydens, Henry Hooker, Marinus Hooker, Bertha dunnink, Jake Hooker, Jennie Zagers and Maggie Klooster.
The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the Reeman Christian Reformed church, conducted by Rev. J. L. Heeres, the pastor.  Interment in Reeman Cemetery.

Notice that the children had Americanized the surname from Hoekert to Hooker.  Easier to say and spell.  And before Hooker gained the meaning it currently has.  I learned from one of Mr. Hoekert's great-grandsons that a branch of the family that moved out of the area even changed their name back to the original spelling, to avoid the harassment that came from that unfortunate meaning of the modernized spelling of Hooker. 

08 January 2013

Tombstone Tuesday--Hanna Rogers, one of the Pioneers

One of our local cemeteries is now called the Pioneer Cemetery.  It was called the old cemetery, and at times the East Cemetery.  That fact caused much confusion when reading old obituaries, because the East Hesperia Cemetery, was also often just called the East cemetery.  I related the story of this cemetery back in July of 2010.
This cemetery was the main Fremont cemetery, until the city established Maple Grove cemetery on the south side of the town.  At that time many bodies were transferred from the older cemetery to Maple Grove.   After a time, the cemetery was abandoned and the remaining stones were piled in a corner and the lot left to grow wild.
When Harry Spooner, a local educator and historian, started efforts to restore the cemetery and identify those people who were still buried in Pioneer Cemetery some of the stones were uncovered in the back corner.  Among those discovered stones was this one for Hannah Rogers, born 18 April 1891 and died 14 October 1861. 
Those stones that were discovered were lay down flat, some were broken and re-assembled flat. But it is great that these stones, like Hannah's have been preserved.  I love the scroll work on the top that would probably have been broken if the stone were left upright.  And engraved picture is one I do not recall seeing before, with both a lamb and a willow.
I'm so glad that at least some of these early stones have been preserved.

03 January 2013

Obituary--George Seymour

I hope you are still with me after the holiday hiatus.   Hopefully, with all we have going on and coming in here at the History Center, I will be able to post more regularly. 
The obituary for George is typical for this time period.  The Civil War vets were passing away, and most of their obituaries tell of their service, as well as where they came from prior to coming to Michigan.  Many were from other states, usually northern ones.

From the 1 May 1930 Fremont TimesIndicator:

George C. Seymour, one of the few surviving veterans of the Civil War and a resident of this community for the past 55 years, died at his home 618 State street, Tuesday at the age of 83 years, three months and 26 days.
Mr Seymour was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1845 and lived there until he was 16 years of age when he went west to Wisconsin from which state he enlisted at the age of 17 in the Union forces for service in the Civil War.  He was in company B, 16th Regiment, 1st Brigade, Third Division.  He gave heroic service to his country for one year and three months during which time he had an active part in several great victories, the outstanding success being his march with Sherman to the sea.
He was united in marriage December 3, 1875 to Miss Jennie VanderLeest of Muskegon and to this union four children were born--Harvey of Fremont, Florence Smith of Grand Rapids, and Minie Hoyt and Ida Dykman of Dayton Center.
Mr Seymour was for many years an active member of Henry Dobson Post, No. 40, Grand Army of the Republic.
Besides his wive and four children, he is survived by eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren
The funeral service will be held this afternoon at 2:00 o'clock from the home and will be in charge of Rev. F. J. Schlueter, past or of the Methodist Episcopal church, assisted by the American Legion, Interment will be in Maple Grove cemetery.

Over the next few years most of the remaining Civil War veterans would pass away.  My own Civil War ancestor died in 1936.  What a wealth of information and experience was lost then.