Category: Flynn Township

Portraits of Pioneers: William Henry Shrier (1849 – 1936)

Portraits of Pioneers: William Henry Shrier (1849 – 1936)

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A snippet from a 1906 plat map showing W. Henry Shrier’s farm near the upper right corner.

William Henry Shrier

6 Aug 1849 — 1936 (aged 86–87)


Bio

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

William [Henry] Shrier, farmer, section 35, Flynn Township, was born Aug. 6, [1849], in Middlesex Co., Ont. He is the son of Jacob and Mary (Motter) Shrier, natives of Germany. Mr. Shrier remained at home until he was 26 years old, during the last six years of which he was engaged as a grist-mill assistant with his brother-in-law. He was married Feb. 11, 1875, to Sarah Foster, a native of Middlesex County, where she was born Dec. 28, 1856. After his marriage, he was employed for five years in a grist-mill in his native county. In 1879 he came to Michigan and purchased 80 acres of land on section [thirty-]five, Flynn Township. The place was under partial improvement, and he has increased his estate by an additional purchase of 120 acres. Of this, he has placed 70 acres under cultivation. In political faith and action, he is a Republican. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Shrier are named Delman, Cephas and Mary O.


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


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Flynn History (by Ben Isles, ca. 1940s)

Flynn History (by Ben Isles, ca. 1940s)

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Elk Presbyterian Church

Elk Presbyterian Church

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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, by the first president of Alma College, Dr. George F. Hunting. 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.

E.S.S.H. Club

In June 1911, Mrs. Joe Murray’s (b. Edith R. Clark) young ladies Sunday School class decided that they wanted to form a club. The first project of the newly formed club was to make infant clothes for the Florence Crittenton Home in Detroit. They eventually expanded and began sending boxes of food, clothing, and other necessities to various charity distribution groups.

During these early days of the club, the group presented the then pastor Theron Alexander with a fur coat which was “very acceptable” as it took three hours (one-way) to travel to the church from Sandusky with his old horse.

Soon after this, the club was officially organized and the name was created by Joe Murray (then clerk of the sessions) who suggested Elk Sunday School Hustlers Club (E.S.S.H. Club).

Charter members of the Elk Sunday School Hustlers Club were Barbara McAllister, Mayme and Cassie Crawford, Lessie Phillips, Blanche Pettit, Eliza Pettit, Anna Daws, Nora Alexander, Ethel Hillman, Anna Frank, Winifred Bower, Elsie Bower, Byrd O’Morrow, and Minnie Apsey. Anna Bowen and Mable Lees joined soon after the charter members.

The “City” of Cheyenne

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)

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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.


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Portraits of Pioneers: Albert Beals (1842 – 1924)

Portraits of Pioneers: Albert Beals (1842 – 1924)

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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.


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Portraits of Pioneers: Daniel Brooks (1850 – ?)

Portraits of Pioneers: Daniel Brooks (1850 – ?)

Reading Time: 2 minutes
A snippet from an 1894 plat map showing Daniel Brooks’s farm (displayed under his wife Olive’s name)

Daniel Brooks

2 June 1850 — ?


Bio

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

Daniel A. Brooks, farmer, section 18, Flynn Township, was born June 2, 1850, in Elgin Co., Ont., and is the son of Daniel and Mary (Chase) Brooks, both of whom are still living. He was an inmate of the paternal household until he was 22 years of age. On leaving home to make his first effort toward independent existence, he engaged as a farm assistant, in which employ he remained until his marriage to Olive L. Bates, May 25, 1872. She was born in Ontario, Aug. 10, 1851, and is the daughter of George A. and Rose (Muncill) Bates. Her parents were natives respectively of New York and Ontario and of New England ancestry on both sides. They now reside in Elgin County and belong to the agricultural class. Their respective ages are 67 and 62 years. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Brooks includes three children—Benj. L., Charlotte E. and Earl William. Ettie, third child in order of birth is deceased.

They remained in Ontario until November 1880 when they removed to Sanilac County and settled on the place on which they have since resided. Mr. Brooks purchased 160 acres of land and has improved 70 acres, built a large barn, 40 x 68 feet in dimensions and supplied the place with other good and suitable farm fixtures. He is a Republican in political sentiment.


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

Portraits of Pioneers: John Isles (1850 – 1934)

Portraits of Pioneers: John Isles (1850 – 1934)

Reading Time: 2 minutes
A snippet from an 1894 plat map showing John Isles’s farm.

John Isles

7 Feb 1850 — 1934 (aged 83–84)


Bio

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

John Isles, farmer, section 24, Flynn Township, was born Feb. 7, 1850, or 1851, in the city of Hamilton, Ontario. His parents, James and Mary (Scott) Isles, were natives of Scotland, whence they came to Ontario in early life, afterward settling in Hamilton. They removed at a later date to Luther, Wellington County, where they reside at present and are respectively 70 and 69 years old.

Mr. Isles is the second son and child of a family of 12 children, eight of whom (five sons and three daughters) are still living. He was but four years of age when his father removed to Luther, where he was brought up to the period of his majority under the charge of his parents. A year later he became a farmer on his own responsibility and rented a place which he continued to manage four years. During this time he was married, March 31, 1875, in the township of Luther to Susan, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Carson) Coe. She was born May 24, 1857, near Paris, Oxford Co., Can. Mr. and Mrs. Isles have had four children, all of whom are living save one. They were born as follows: Mary E., Feb. 19, 1876; John H., April 22, 1877; Frederick J., Dec. 25, 1879, died March 7, 1880; James Scott, May 16, 1884.

After his marriage, Mr. Isles remained a resident on the farm he had rented nearly four years and in the fall of 1877 he came with his family to Michigan and took possession of a farm he had purchased a short time previously. It comprised 80 acres of land in an unbroken, unimproved state and he has labored and managed to such good purpose that he has now 65 acres in most creditable agricultural condition, with first-class arrangements for the successful prosecution of his chosen calling. He is a Republican in political views and action and has discharged the duties of the minor official positions of his township.


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


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Portraits of Pioneers: Thomas Mahaffy (1850 – 1921)

Portraits of Pioneers: Thomas Mahaffy (1850 – 1921)

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Thomas Mahaffy

26 July 1850 — 1921 (aged 70–71)


Bio

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

Thomas H. Mahaffy, farmer, section 9, Flynn Township, was born July 26, 1850, or 1851, in County Armagh, Ireland. His parents, William and M.A. Mahaffy, were also natives of the “Green Isle,” where they passed their entire lives. When he was 23 years of age he came to America and at first located in Ontario, Dominion of Canada. He went thence to Romeo, Macomb Co., Mich., where he entered the employ of E.W. Giddings, a banker of that place. He came to Sanilac County in the fall of 1879 and purchased the property where he has since resided and operated as a farmer on 160 acres of land. He has cleared and improved about 20 acres.

Mr. Mahaffy was married May 17, 1882, in Marlette to Rebecca Murphy. She was born in Ireland, March 12, 1864, and came to this country when she was 16 years old. Arthur is the name of the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Mahaffy. The parents are members of the M.E. Church, and Mr. Mahaffy is a Democrat in political belief.

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


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Portraits of Pioneers: Thomas Welch (1819 – ?)

Portraits of Pioneers: Thomas Welch (1819 – ?)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thomas Welch

24 Feb 1819 — ?


Bio

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

Thomas Welch, farmer, section 19, Flynn Township, was born Feb. 24, 1819, on Grand River, in Chatham, Province of Lower Canada, and is the son of William and Mary Welch. His parents moved to Upper Canada when he was 12 years old, and at the age of 17 he came to Chicago and Galena, Ill., where he spent 12 years. He was employed about 14 years in the lead mines at the latter place, afterward returning to Canada. He was married at Malahide, Ont., Oct. 20, 1850, to Mary Brooks, a native of that place, where she was born Jan. 6, 1829. Eleven children have been born of her marriage, four of whom are deceased. They were named Mary G., Charles, Daniel, Walter, Alma, Catherine E., Levi, Junius, Andrew, Ellen, and Laura. The four last named are deceased. Mr. Welch was a resident of Elgin Co., Can., after his marriage about 20 years, and operated as a farmer on 100 acres of land of which he was the proprietor. He removed thence to Lambton County, where he remained until 1882. He owned 70 acres of land and at the date named disposed of his property by sale and came to Flynn Township, where he purchased 80 acres of land situated on sections 18 and 19 and where he has since been vigorously and successfully engaged in improving his farm. He is a Republican in political sentiment.

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

Portraits of Pioneers: Morris Rockwell (1830 – 1914)

Portraits of Pioneers: Morris Rockwell (1830 – 1914)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Morris Rockwell

13 Nov 1830 — 15 Feb 1914 (aged 83)


Bio

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

Morris Rockwell, farmer, section 19, Flynn Township, was born Nov. 13, 1830, in Ridgefield, Fairfield Co., Conn. His parents, Charles and Sarah A. (Brotherton) Rockwell, were also natives of the same section of the “land of steady habits,” Yankees by birth but of a line of descent which originated in the “land of the shamrock.” The father was a farmer in his native State, and in 1849 removed with his family to Oakland Co., Mich., where the parents resided the remaining portion of their lives; the demise of the father occurred June 9, 1851, that of the mother, Oct. 1, 1882. Their family comprised ten children, all of whom are still living, and eight of them are residents of the Peninsular State.


Mr. Rockwell is the eldest son and second child of his parents. He was reared to the vocation of farming and obtained a reasonably fair education in the common school. He was 19 years of age when his parents became residents of Michigan, and he remained under their control until the period of his majority. He then entered upon the contest of life on his own behalf, engaging at first as a common laborer on a farm. He continued to operate in that manner until his marriage, Dec. 10, 1862, in Washtenaw Co., Mich., to Eunice Eaton. She was born in that county and was the daughter of Hosea Eaton. She died in her native county May 29, 1865. Mr. Rockwell was again married Jan. 1, 1868, in Oakland Co., Mich., to Mary E. Beaumont, daughter of Francis and Maria (Rosebone) Beaumont. Her parents were natives of England and New York and of English and German descent. They are still living in Oakland County, and are actively engaged in farming. They are aged 74 and 70 years. Mrs. Rockwell is the eldest daughter of her parents, whose family included nine children. She is the fourth in the order of birth and was born in Highland, Oakland County, Aug. 26, 1845. She was reared and educated in her native county. Five children are now included in the household of Mr. Rockwell, who were born as follows: Charles G., April 7, 1870; Walter L., Sept. 16, 1872; Elsie, June 28, 1874; Elmer A., Jan. 24, 1880; Harry H., June 25, 1883.


After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Rockwell remained two years on a farm in Oakland County, and in December 1875, they removed to Sanilac County and entered a claim of 142 acres of land on section 19 of Flynn Township. To this, they have added 40 acres by later purchase. The place is now in prosperous condition, with 40 acres under the plow and a fine young orchard. It is supplied with a good house and suitable farm buildings. In social standing the family rank with the community of which they are members, and they are an influential element in the local matters of the township. Mr. Rockwell is a Republican and has been Justice of the Peace eight years.

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


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