Month: January 2019

Elk Presbyterian Church

Elk Presbyterian Church

Brief History1

“The First Presbyterian Church of Elk” (located on the northwest corner of Mowerson and Stilson roads) was recognized by a committee from the Presbytery of Saginaw on September 2, 1888. The Elk Presbyterian Church or more commonly known as the Stone Church wasn’t built until 1891 on property purchased from local resident Richard Mellon and still held services until January 2, 19722. The cornerstone was laid on June 23, 1891. Richard Mellon also donated the stone used in the construction of the church. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur (Elizabeth “Lizzie” Johnson) Parkin were the first couple married in the Stone Church on July 6, 1892, by Minister William Whitfield.

The first members were Mr. Finlay McLeod, Mr. and Mrs. George Murray, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Bruce, Mrs. Lyttell, Mrs. Mary Hillman, Mr. Benjamin Phillips, and Mrs. Ann McLeod. The first elders were Donald Bruce, Finlay McLeod, and George Murray. The first trustees appointed were Finlay McLeod, George Murray, John Douglas, John Inman, Benjamin Phillips, and Donald Bruce.

Whether it is true or not, a Sanilac Jeffersonian article referred to Elk Church as the first stone church built in the county. Another article was possibly written around the same time (1890s) and refers to the Elk Church as being built a mile west of the “city” of Cheyenne which was a settlement at best located around the intersection of Melvin and Stilson roads.


Portraits of Pioneers: Hugh Mahaffy (1853 – 1931)

Portraits of Pioneers: Hugh Mahaffy (1853 – 1931)

A snippet from an 1894 plat map showing Hugh’s farm near upper right corner.

Hugh Mahaffy

29 Aug 1853 — 1931 (aged 77–78)


Bio

The following is an excerpt from a book published by Chapman Brothers, 1884.

Hugh Mahaffy, farmer, section 9, Flynn Township, was born Aug. 29, 1853, or 1852, in Ireland and is the son of William and Mary Ann Mahaffy. He emigrated to America when he was 23 years of age. He made his first location at Romeo, Macomb Co., Mich., where he lived some years. He was married there March 9, 1875, to Anna E. Murphy. She was born May 31, 1854, in Ireland and in 1869 she went to England where she lived until 1875. In that year she emigrated to the United States and stopped in the city of Detroit where she was soon after married. Three years after that event, Mr. Mahaffy came to Sanilac County and purchased 80 acres of land on section 18 of this township.

In 1880 he sold that place and purchased 160 acres where he has since operated with vigor and good management until he has placed 40 acres under creditable cultivation. Mr. Mahaffy is a Democrat and has held the minor local offices of the township. He and his wife are members of the M.E. Church. They have three children—John A., Rebecca, and William A.K., who at present is a Class-leader in his Church.


Portrait and Biographical Album of Sanilac County; Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Citizens of the County. Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1884.


Hugh Mahaffy on FindAGrave

Portraits of Pioneers: Albert Beals (1842 – 1924)

Portraits of Pioneers: Albert Beals (1842 – 1924)

A snippet from an 1894 plat map showing Albert Beals’s farm near the lower right corner.

Albert Beals

13 Nov 1842 — 1924 (aged 81–82)


Bio

The following is an excerpt from a book published by Chapman Brothers, 1884.

Albert Beals, farmer, section 25, Flynn Township, was born Nov. 13, 1842, in Ontario, Can. His parents, Samuel and Sarah Beals were natives of New Brunswick of English descent. They were members of the agricultural community all their lives. In May 1859 they came to Michigan and settled in this township in the fall of 1860 with their family. Both parents died in Flynn Township.

Mr. Beals is the eldest son and fifth in order of birth of ten children. He was married Sept. 19, 1867, in this township to Sarah J., daughter of William and Margaret (Pomeroy) Dimond. The former died in 1853 in Pine River, Mich. The latter is now a resident of this township. The daughter was born July 8, 1850, in Ontario and came with her parents to Michigan when she was four years old. They were among the earliest settlers in the township. Nine children have been born of her marriage, as follows: Warren F., June 7, 1869; Samuel H., Nov. 17, 1870; Mercy J., Aug. 30, 1872; Amos R., Sept. 10, 1874; George E., Sept. 14, 1876; William W., Feb. 22, 1878; Gracie, Feb. 2, 1880; Maggie, July 11, 1881; Robert, June 10, 1883.

After marriage, they settled on 80 acres of land which Mr. Beals had purchased some years previously. It was wholly unimproved, and he has placed about three-fourths of the tract in creditable cultivation besides having erected farm buildings of a first-class order. He is a Republican of decided type and has held the offices of Treasurer and Road Commissioner several years. Mrs. Beals is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Portrait and Biographical Album of Sanilac County; Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Citizens of the County. Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1884.


Albert Beals on FindAGrave