Author: Collin

Full-time college student, part-time coder—and a lover of history.
Portraits of Pioneers: William Kerr (1843 – 1924)

Portraits of Pioneers: William Kerr (1843 – 1924)

William Kerr

7 Oct 1843 — 27 Apr 1924 (aged 80)


Bio

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

William [Wrex] Kerr, farmer, section 7, Flynn Township, was born Oct. 7, 1843, in “Old Cambridge,” Mass. His parents, Joseph and Ann (Campbell) Kerr, were born respectively in Ireland and Scotland. The father was a farmer, and when the son was but a few months old the family removed to Huron co., Ont, where the senior Kerr was again engaged in that pursuit until his death, Dec. 7, 1883, at the age of 80 years. The mother is 68 years of age and is a resident of Ontario.

Mr. Kerr was reared to the vocation of a farmer and obtained a good education in the district schools. He remained with his parents until he was 24 years of age when he was married to Tabitha E. Ervin. She was born June 21, 1851, in Oxford Co., Can., and remained with her parents until her marriage. Her father and mother, Alfred and Anna E. (Carroll) Ervin, were born in Ontario and Germany, descended from German and Irish parentage. The father died about 1873 in Marlette, Mich., when he was 47 years of age. The mother resides in Marlette and is 53 years of age. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kerr, in the following order: Mary J., James D., Alfred A., Anna E., Joseph, William G. and Ogle V. C.. At the expiration of the first year of their marriage the parents removed to the village of Marlette, then in its incipiency, where they resided 12 years, the father being engaged in farming. In 1880 he exchanged his property for 160 acres of land, on which some improvements have been made, on sections 7, 12 and 18, in Flynn Township, of which he at once took possession and entered vigorously into the work of putting the property in first-class condition. He now has 60 acres under the plow. Mr. Kerr is a Republican in political connection and has held the minor offices in his township. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.

 

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


William Kerr on FindAGrave

Portraits of Pioneers: John Beckton (1851 – ?)

Portraits of Pioneers: John Beckton (1851 – ?)

John Beckton

28 Feb 1851—?


Bio

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

John Beckton, farmer, located on section 26, Flynn Township, was born Feb. 28, 1851, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. When he was 18 years old his parents emigrated to America and became residents of Middlesex Co., Ont., where they have since resided.

The first event in the life of Mr. Beckton, out of the common routine of his youth and early manhood, was his marriage to Anna E. Lodge [(or possibly “Large”)], which occurred May 9, 1878, in Middlesex co., Ont. She was born Jan. 17, 1859, in England. She was 16 when her parents removed from their native land to America, and she remained with them in Ontario until her marriage. Mary E. and George H. are the names of the children which have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beckton. The year following their union in wedlock, they came to Michigan and located on a tract of 80 acres of land which Mr. Beckton had purchased the previous year. He has placed 25 acres in fine tillable condition. In political sentiment, he is in sympathy with the Republican party but is not yet a citizen of his adopted country. He and his wife are members 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.


Portraits of Pioneers: Peter Banks (1846 – 1893)

Portraits of Pioneers: Peter Banks (1846 – 1893)

 

Peter Banks

29 Jun 1846 —  1893 (aged 46–47)


Bio

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

Peter Banks, farmer, section 26, Flynn Township, was born June 29, 1846, in Caithness Shire, in the north of Scotland, and is the son of James and Georgiana (Sinclair) Banks, both natives of Scotland. He grew to manhood among the Scottish “braes and tarns” and remained in his native land two years after he obtained majority. He then emigrated to America, and for a time was a resident of Middlesex Co., Can., coming thence to Lapeer Co., Mich., where he remained but a brief period. He went next to Toronto, Ont., where he was married July 14, 1873, to Annie Nicholson, a native of Scotland and daughter of William and Isabella (Nichols) Nicholson. She was 22 years of age when she came with her two sisters to Canada, where she was married soon after. Mr. and Mrs. Banks have seven children, born in the order named: Georgiana, June 28, 1874; James A., July 9, 1875; Margaret E., Sept. 16, 1876; Minnie C., May 24, 1878; Jessie, Sept. 16, 1879; Annie, June 1, 1881; William John, Oct. 28, 1882.

Soon after marriage, Mr. Banks rented a farm in the township of Eckfrid, Middlesex Co., Ont., where he operated until his removal to Michigan, in October, 1879, when he located on 80 acres of land in Flynn Township, of which he became the proprietor by purchase. This has since been the home of the family and there is now 35 acres of the place under creditable cultivation. In political belief Mr. Banks favors the views of the Republican element. In religious sentiment he and his wife are Presbyterians.

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


Peter Banks on FindAGrave

My First 100 Years by Edith Clark Shephard

My First 100 Years by Edith Clark Shephard

I was born 100 years ago.
In a log cabin, the place I do not know.
Much different than the homes of today.
We put paper between the logs to keep the snow away.
We slept on ticks filled with straw for a while.
We soon had feathers, which made us smile.
Our clothes were·also different than now.
Mother made most of them —somehow.
They were higher at the top and lower at the bottom. Must be so the knee you never did see.
There were no zippers, that is true.
So a button or a safety pin had to do.
Father grew different grains and had them made into flour. Mother baked with a wood burning stove by the hour.
We had Indians and Gypsies come to our door.
Mother gave them some food, they wanted no more.
Father half-soled our shoes to make them stronger.
And sewed up the rips to make them last longer.
We had a little house way out back.
With a Sears and Roebuck Catalog in a rack.
Not in a roll like we have today.
But it answered the purpose in its own way.
Our neighbor had a team of oxen who were fun but slow. They didn’t like very fast to go.
In the summertime a horse and buggy we would use.
But in the winter a cutter or sleigh we would choose.
The sleigh bells rang out on a cold crisp night.
Much to everyone’s delight.

I graduated from Brown City High School
We always followed the golden rule.
Then I went to Ypsilanti without any fears.
Next, I taught country school for seven years.
Then Otis and I were married, June 11th, 1927.
We had a home wedding at half-past eleven.
Next a delicious dinner with a beautiful cake.
That was made by my sisters, who could bake.
We were planning to leave right after our fill.
But our car was padlocked to the windmill.
Mother was kind enough you see.
To tell us where the key might be.
So off we would go very happily.
But old shoes and tin cans were tied on behind.
Where they would be hard to find.
We had our tent and planned to camp you see.
Soon to Niagara Falls, we would be.
A week was overall to fast.
In our memory, it will always last.
Now for some of the trips we made.
After our honeymoon.
Back to Flint, we must go.
Work before play don’t you know.
Otis worked for G.M. for 35 years.
He retired in 62 almost in tears.
We have 3 children Jean, Donna, and Wayne.
Nine Grand Children, 20 Great, and 1 Great Great, none the same.
We spent about 20 winters in Arizona.
We went Alaska wore Parkas and rode in a dog sled.
We also had a hood on our head.
We went to Hawaii by ship.
It was a beautiful trip.

It took one day to go through the Panama Canal. But it was worth it the trip was swell.
Took a ski lift ride to the top.
And wondered every minute if it would drop. We rode two hours in a hot air balloon. Thought we were almost to the Moon.
Had a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Even had a ride in a Blimp.
At my age, I’ve seen it all, heard it all, and done it all. I just can’t remember it all.
But, by the way, I’m glad I live in the U.S.A.

Edith M. Shephard née Clark
November 3, 2000

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28587024

Information on Omard and Flynn Township from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)

Information on Omard and Flynn Township from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)

Some corrections have been made for the sake of accuracy.


The following is an excerpt from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)

At the organization of Sanilac County, the Township of Lexington ran from Lake Huron to Lapeer County on the west and included the present townships of Lexington, Buel, Elk, and Flynn. In 1855 Buel township was organized and set off from Buel and included Elk and Flynn. Up to this time, some lumbering had been done in this area and a lumber company had taken up some land.

In the summer of 1855, William Fitch took up land in Section 36 of what is now Flynn and settled on the banks of Elk Creek. Thomas Flynn came later that summer and bought part of the Fitch land, returned to Lexington for the winter but returned with his family (the first in the township) in the Spring of ‘56.

William McGregor also came about this time and settled on Section 23. Richard Nichol came soon afterward and took up 160 acres on Section 36. Nichol did not remain here at this time because he was a United States government employee during the Civil War and led a very exciting life. He was present at Ford’s Theater when President Lincoln was assassinated and was drafted into a posse to chase Booth, the assassin. Later in 1868, he was Superintendent of a railroad in Nebraska and wrote home hair-raising tales of his encounters with the Indians. He brought home a Sioux scalp to add impetus to his tales.

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William Henry “a.k.a. Thomas Flynn” Ellington

William Henry “a.k.a. Thomas Flynn” Ellington

I found this interesting information on FindAGrave.com. After reading, I contacted the author of this post, who is a descendant of the Flynn family via Ruth Ellen Flynn Hook. He gave me permission to re-publish this information and informed me that he got his information from a relative who has since passed.

 

 

William Henry “a.k.a. Thomas Flynn” Ellington

Birth: Sep. 15, 1815, England
Death: Oct. 14, 1872
Sanilac County
Michigan, USA

William Henry Ellington ran away on 24 May 1829 from the English Army because he was indentured to serve the rest of his life in the Army. He set sail from Plymouth, England on 24 of May 1829; after 9 weeks and 2 days on the ship, he landed in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Arriving in Canada, he changed his name to Thomas Flynn. He lived there until the fall of 1855. He moved and settled in Lexington, Sanilac County, Michigan. Shortly afterward he moved to Omard Township section 36, which is now Flynn Township. He met Rachel Boothby’s parents on the ship coming to America and he and Rachel married shortly afterward.

He was the first man buried in Peck Cemetery (Elk Township Cemetery). In 1855 Thomas bought part of William Fitch’s land and returned the following spring with his family. They were the first family to live in the township section 36. Fitch moved out of the area shortly afterward. Thomas Flynn remained until his death.
In January 1858 Ruth Ellen Flynn was born she was the first white child born in the area. The house she was born in is still standing; one mile north of Peck and Melvin roads. In 1869 township elections were held in the home of Thomas Flynn and he was elected supervisor.
Thomas and Rachel had 12 other children, 8 of them born in Michigan, including Ruth Ellen.

 

 

Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=116594135

Flynn Family

Flynn Family

In this post, I will be discussing my findings on the Flynn Family. This will be a general post about general information. More detailed discussions concerning the mysterious origins of Thomas Flynn (first permanent settler of Flynn Township in 1856) will soon follow.

Once I have compiled my findings in an orderly fashion, the most concise information will be posted on one of the permanent pages on this site. For discussion purposes, I have chosen to post this here on the “Journal” page for now.

 


Most of the information on the Flynn Family comes from FindAGrave.com—an extremely helpful resource.


The Journey Begins. . .

The Journey Begins. . .

In April 2017, Collin Blatt, a college student and former resident of the Omard-area launched Omard.info.

Our Focus

The main purpose for this website is to compile all available information regarding the ghost town of Omard, Michigan.