Children of Will Carleton and Iva Bliss Daniells: Mary

October 7, 2009
Mary Deone Daniells Winegar

Mary Deone Daniells Winegar

My mother Mary Deone was born to Iva Bliss and Will Carleton Daniells on December 15, 1910, in Mercedes, Texas.  She was the only one of the five Daniells sisters who was not born in Wacousta.   

When she was about six months old, the Daniells family moved to Chicago and, about 18 months later, to Watertown Township near Wacousta.  Except for her third grade year, Mary and her sisters attended Watertown Center School until she completed eighth grade.  The family spent her third grade year in Tavares, Florida.  In 1923, the family moved to Eustis, Florida, where Mary graduated from high school.

Like her sister Dora, Mary attended Florida State College for Women, now Florida State University.  She completed three years of college there but was forced to drop out due to health problems.  She moved to Wacousta where her mother was living.  Mary completed her college education and received her degree in music education from Albion College in Michigan. 

Mary’s first teaching job was at the Everett School in Lansing where she taught first and second grade.  Then she taught for two years in Grand Ledge, Michigan, where she taught first and second grade music, Jr. High music, and ninth grade grammar and literature.
Mary Winegar reads her Bible at the cottage, 1986

Mary Winegar reads her Bible at the cottage, 1986

In 1938 Mary married Donald Stephenson Winegar at the Pivot in Wacousta.  The newly married couple honeymooned at the cottage built by Orla and Kate Bailey and which my wife and I now own. 

Mary and Donald had four children, Donna Lorraine, Mary Elaine, James Steven, and Carleton David.  After her marriage to Donald, Mary devoted her life to raising their children and assisting Donald while he completed his education and in his ministry.

Within a few years of Donald’s death in 1987, Mary moved into Bishops Glenn Retirement Home where she and her sister Eleanor had apartments on the same floor.  Mary died in 2003 at the age of 92 surrounded by loving family members.

More details on Mary’s life can be found in the July 26, 2009 post.

To see a Memorial for Mary Daniells Winegar, click the link.

Iva Daniells holds baby Mary

Iva Daniells holds baby Mary

Iva Daniells cares for baby Mary in Mercedes, Texas

Iva Daniells cares for baby Mary in Mercedes, Texas

Iva with Dora and baby Mary, 1911

Iva with Dora and baby Mary, 1911

Iva with 4-year-old Mary, Dora, and Betty, 1914

Iva with 4-year-old Mary, Dora, and Betty, 1914

Mary, 1933

Mary, 1933

Mary Daniells

Mary Daniells

Mary Daniells

Mary Daniells

 
The five Daniells sisters at Dora's wedding.  From left to right, Jean Lowell, Eleanor Daniells, Betty Daniells, Mary Winegar, John and Dora Panchik.

The five Daniells sisters at Dora's wedding. From left to right, Jean Lowell, Eleanor Daniells, Betty Daniells, Mary Winegar, John and Dora Panchik.

Mary Winegar on the porch at the cottage, 1992

Mary Winegar on the porch at the cottage, 1992


Mary Bliss Parsons: Was She a Witch?

September 17, 2009
This painting is widely believed to be that of Mary Bliss Parsons, but that is not certain.

This painting is widely believed to be that of Mary Bliss Parsons, but that is not certain.

On June 23 I wrote a brief posting about Mary Bliss Parsons and promised you, the reader, that there would be more information to follow.  Today I am keeping that promise.

Like most families, mine can claim a few scoundrels in our history, but few can claim to be related to a witch.  My 7th great grand aunt was Mary Bliss Parsons, acquitted twice of being a witch in early New England.  My direct ancestor was Lawrence Bliss, brother of Mary Bliss.  Here is the story.

Mary Bliss, daughter of Thomas and Margret Bliss, was born about 1625 (some references say 1628) in England.  Her family moved to the New World while she was very young and, after several moves, settled in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Thomas Bliss died, but Margret and her children prospered.

In 1654, a few years after Mary’s marriage to Cornet Joseph Parsons, the couple moved to the newly settled town of Northampton, Massachusetts.  “Cornet” is a title, rather than a name, and Joseph earned the title as Color Bearer in the Hampshire Troop of Horses.  He was also a merchant and fur trader, eventually becoming the wealthiest man in the area.

A website developed by the University of Massachusetts describes the events leading up to the witchcraft trials of Mary Bliss Parsons.  It states:

…soon after the Parsonses moved to Northampton, rumors of witchcraft began to circulate, implying that the family’s success came at the expense of other families, and was the result of Mary’s dealings with the devil. To head off the allegations, Joseph Parsons initiated a slander case in 1656, which he won. But eighteen years later, Mary was officially accused of and tried for witchcraft in 1674. She was eventually acquitted, but it seemed that the residents of Northampton, despite any court decrees, were convinced that Mary was a witch.

The charges of witchcraft against Mary are confusing because there was apparently another woman named Mary Lewis Parsons who was also charged with witchcraft.  The two cases are unrelated, but it is easy to “merge” the two cases into a single account, which would be inaccurate.

Was Mary Bliss Parsons really a witch?  Evidence indicates that the first charge was the result of jealousy and gossip spread by another woman named Sarah Bridgman.  The UMass website goes on to say:

Joseph Parsons won the slander trial, but the feuding did not stop.  Years later, Mary was again charged with witchcraft after the daughter of the Bridgman’s died unexpectedly.  This time Mary was charged officially and tried as a witch, but was acquitted.

Mary and Joseph Parsons had 11 children.  Joseph died in 1683 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Mary lived until 1715, dying at the age of 87, also in Springfield.

You can get more information at http://ccbit.cs.umass.edu/parsons/hnmockup/home.html. 


The Bliss – Daniells Wedding, August 14, 1907

July 23, 2009
The Plowman family members who attended the Bliss-Daniells wedding.

The Plowman family members who attended the Bliss-Daniells wedding.

 

Following is the newspaper account of the wedding of Iva Bliss and W.C. Daniells.  Although I have the actual clipping, the name of the newspaper and date of the article is not on the clipping.  Group pictures were taken of the attendees and of the Plowman family by Estee Daniells, brother of the groom.  Both photographs are in the possession of Jim Winegar, the one of all the guests hanging over the mantle in his Michigan lake cottage.

The newspaper account reads:

The event of last week was the Daniells-Bliss wedding, which occurred on Wednesday at noon, every feature of which was the most auspicious possible, not a single occurrence to mar the flow of geniality and good spirits.  One hundred and thirty-five guests were present to witness the ceremony, which was the short ring service, performed most impressively by Rev. Dr. DeLamarter, of Lansing, assisted by the M. E. pastor, Rev. D. A. Rood.  The bridal party consisted of Miss Hazel Field, maid of honor; and Mr. Rex Plowman, best man, both cousins of the bride, the Misses Pearl Benedict, Lora Cooley and Deone Lee, bridesmaids, and Messrs. King Lee and Roy Rice, groomsmen, little Miss Bailey, of Lansing, flower girl, Paul Maier, ring bearer, with Mrs. Cooley at the piano, who rendered Mendelssohn’s wedding march.  They marched from an upper room in the usual manner, the bride coming last, leaning upon the arm of her father, and stood in front of a bank of ferns and water lilies, the bridal couple standing under a beautiful bell composed of sweet peas.  All the decorations were by an uncle of the bride, Mr. George Plowman, a florist of Iron Mountain, Upper Peninsula.  The bride was attired in a dress of lace net, elaborately embroidered with darned work, and made over white silk, all the labor and gift of her mother, and carried a shower bouquet of beautiful pink and white roses.  Congratulations followed the ceremony, and soon after all were summoned to an elaborate six course dinner, the preparation and serving of which would have done honor to a professional caterer.  The dining hall consisted of a large tent spread on the lawn west of the house, and was screened from the sun and street by a woven wire fence set upon the north and west sides, and thatched with wild rice seven feet high, making a decorative as well as effectual screen.  Occasionally during the dinner Rex Plowman entertained the guests by singing the verses of an original poem enlarging upon the “beauties” of the groom’s new farm in the Texas gulf country, in which cotton, cactus, mesquite, Texas rattlers, and other characteristics were touched upon in a manner peculiarly his own.  Later Miss Pearl Benedict sang magnificently several with the bride as accompanist.  Mr. Frank Andrews sang the laughing song so effectually that all his audience joined in the chorus by compulsion.  Rex Plowman recited dramatically several selections, and Mrs. Frank Andrews sang several songs, in one of which her sister, Miss Pearl, joined.  Estee Daniells photographed several groups, one of the families of Daniells’ relatives, one of the Plowman’s and branches, and one of the remainder of the guests.  It was a most genial company, every one seeking the pleasure of the rest, which is the height of entertainment.

Among the guests from out of town were, Mr. and Mrs. George Plowman, of Iron Mountain, U.P., and son Rex; Mrs. Barbara Plowman, of Isabella county; Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Plowman, and Mr. and Mrs. B.B. Smith of Alma; Rev. Dr. and Mrs. DeLamarter, Mr. and Mrs. Del Field, daughter and son; Mr. and Mrs. Bailey and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hodges, Dr. and Mrs. T.M. Sanford, Mrs. Sarah Daniels, Mr. Sidney Bliss, and Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bliss of Lansing; Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Daniells of London, England; Mr. and Mrs. Allan L. Daniells, Chicago; Dr. and Mrs. Ralph P. Daniells, Toledo, O.; Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Escott and Miss Laura Escott, Grand Rapids, Mrs. Mary A. Bearmore and Mrs. Sarah Corey, of Brooklyn, New York; Mr. Knight of Elsie; and Mrs. Josenhans, a friend from Ypsilanti, and the others were from home and near-by towns.

About 5 o’clock p.m. a large hayrack well cushioned with hay appeared and was quickly loaded to the edge, a broom from which was suspended old shoes, their ensign, and the march taken up for the village.  At every house greetings and their yells were given – “Married, married, yes, they are; the bride and groom are going afar; hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Boom!” and a song sung which usually brought responses and congratulations.  At Daniells & Cooley’s store a shower of peanuts was rained upon them, and at Douglas’ a shower of candy kisses.

The wedding gifts were many and valuable, beautiful and useful.  The couple left for their Texas home Friday afternoon and were accompanied by several carriage loads of friends to the train at Grand Ledge, where they were sent away amid the usual showers of rice, etc., and many adieus and blessings.

They stopped over a few hours at Grand Rapids, taking supper with Mrs. C.A. Wall, an aunt of the groom, and will stop a few days in Chicago, and few days with the groom’s parents in Fort Worth, Texas.


The Daniells in the 1900s

July 22, 2009

 

Will Carleton Daniells, 1882-1973

W.C. Daniells

W.C. Daniells

Will Carleton was born in Wacousta in 1882 and graduated from the Wacousta 10th grade school in 1901 in the same class with Iva Bliss.  The following day, he left for New York where he went to work for Ingersoll Watch, testing 2500 watches per day at $9 per week.  He followed his older brothers Estee and Allan in working for Ingersoll.  In 1902, he went to Fort Worth, Texas, to Draughon’s Business College.  

W.C.'s Diploma from 10th grade in 1901.

W.C.'s Diploma from 10th grade in 1901.

He graduated in 1903 and moved to Chicago where he worked for his brother, Estee, as a shipping clerk at Ingersoll.  He held that job until 1906.  He also worked at the Auditorium nights and was head usher for Gonzales Church when he injured his knee in a fall on the stairs.

Graduation of Will Careleton Daniells and Iva Bliss in 1901.  W.C. is center back row, Iva is far right, front row.

Graduation of Will Careleton Daniells and Iva Bliss in 1901. W.C. is center back row, Iva is far right, front row.

W.C., as he was often known, purchased 40 acres of the King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas, and went there in the spring of 1906.  After a year there, he returned to Wacousta long enough to marry Iva Bliss at her family’s farm, “the Pivot”.  The wedding was quite a social event in Wacousta, and more will be described about the wedding in the next posting.

The Daniells home in Mercedes, Texas.

The Daniells home in Mercedes, Texas.

 

The couple spent two years at Santa Maria, Texas, two miles from the Rio Grande, growing cabbages, beans and onions and then two years at Mercedes, Texas.  Mary Daniells was born in Mercedes, the only one of the five daughters not born at the Pivot.  By the time of her birth, Will and Iva had prospered enough to be able to purchase a glass window for their house.   During the family’s time in Texas, Iva maintained a regular correspondence with her mother in Michigan.  Those post cards are in the possession of Jim Winegar.

Iva and W.C. in Texas

Iva and W.C. in Texas

In 1911, the family moved back to Chicago where Will worked for his brother Allan.  From 1915-1916, he was in Tavares, Florida, developing groves for D.B. and W. at Lake Harris.  He sold watches part time in Florida and South Georgia.  In 1919, he was called to New York by his brother Allan to run the watch service bureau.  He alternated between New York and Florida.  Iva and the four daughters returned to Wacousta during this time, soon to be joined by a fifth daughter in the same year.  In 1923, W.C. purchased a home in Eustis, Florida, and the family rejoined him.

Don't mess with Iva!

Don't mess with Iva!

Will spent the rest of his career involved with citrus. Working with Frank Savage, he developed the tangelo, a cross between the tangerine and the grapefruit.  He became known as the “Tangelo King of Florida” and, at one time, owned the largest acreage of tangelos in the world.  He was known as a businessman of upmost integrity and honesty. He died in Eustis in 1973. 

 

 

Iva Bliss Daniells, 1884-1946 

Iva was born in Riley Township, Clinton County, Michigan, and later moved with her parents to Watertown Township, near Wacousta.  She was an only child but grew up close to many cousins.  One of her best friends was Deone Oppenlander, for whom she named her daughter Mary Deone.  Iva graduated from the Wacousta School in 1901, along with W.C. Daniells, her future husband.  She attended Michigan State Normal College at Ypsilanti for two years and then taught at the Simmons district school and at New Baltimore.  She was a
Iva Bliss Daniells and her daughters.

Iva Bliss Daniells and her daughters.

very able musician (pianist, accompanist, member of vocal quartet) and a leader in community affairs.  She was president of the Lake County, Florida, PTA, active in church work, and involved in the Eustis, Florida, PEO.  She saw to it that all five daughters got through college during the Great Depression.  After a two-year fight against cancer, she died at the Pivot in 1946.

  

The five daughters of W.C. and Iva Daniells were:

  • Dora Katherine
  • Mary Deone
  • Estella Elizabeth (Betty)
  • Eleanor Grace
  • Iva Georgean (Jean)

 

 

The Daniells home in Eustis, Florida.
The Daniells home in Eustis, Florida.

The Pivot Burns

July 20, 2009

The story of the fire that consumed the Bliss house, “The Pivot,”  in 1911 was told in a letter from Bel Maier to her cousins: 

Bel Gensterblum Maier

Bel Gensterblum Maier

 

 March 14, 1911

 Dear cousins,

The Pivot

The Pivot

  

 

 

 

               So you want to know how it all came about.  Well, Uncle Herman and Aunt Dora were eating dinner, just begun, had parsnips and apple grunt with sweetened milk, and warm biscuits.  The grunt was still in the oven, where it still reposes, the range being down in the cistern, bottom side up.  Something dropped past the south window, and they went to see what, and it proved to be a piece of cornice on fire.  Herman started for the pig-pen where the ladder was, and Dora to the telephone.  Erma and Mrs. D. Lowell were talking.  She asked for the line to turn in the alarm, and of course both women went to tell the men.  Uncle C.N. and George were in the front yard, went for pails and started at once.  A man by the name of Parks was going by with a load of lumber, and he ran his horses until one laid down when they stopped at Blisses’.  The man Parks was good help they all say.  Mrs. D. Lowell saw Openlander feeding sheep by his west barn and told him.  He started on foot.  When he reached the corner, a funeral procession was passing (a lady over in Mr. Goodnoe’s neighborhood, Crofts), and the M.E. preacher was at the head.  He took in Mr. Openlander and they both came.  (Preacher went back later and did the ceremony.)

            I, like a miserable unfortunate, had gone to spend the forenoon at school, and Hazle Daniells was with me.  Jake had a man setting up a manure spreader, and Ma had dinner ready and waiting.  In some way, she doesn’t exactly know how, she saw some smoke and thought the Bliss house was on fire.  In the mean time Dora had told Erma to call other lines, and she left the phone and rang the dinner bell.  Our folks had not heard the fire alarm, and thought nothing of the dinner bell at noon, so did not know until they saw smoke.  Well Ma said, Jake, I guess Blisses’ house is on fire.  He looked and said for Heaven’s sake, and made a dive for the extinguisher.  Ma thought he was crazy to come into the house instead of taking a bee line for Blisses’.  Next Mr. Corey came out of the barn, thinking as he said that Jake was crazy as he saw him make a dive for the house.  Ma yelled at him and he too started for Blisses’ on the run.  Mrs. Loomis and Della were sitting in their front window, and they saw Jake and Corey run, and went to the west window to see what they were after and discovered the fire.  (I have been at this long enough to burn up several houses, and Rices and my poor miserable self haven’t got there yet.)  Well Eddie saw uncle C.N. and George race out with pails and went and did likewise thinking there must be fire somewhere, and when he reached the road saw where.

            Now to myself.  I had Fan untied and was taking off my blanket when one of Tom’s mill men came by and said Blisses’ house is on fire.  I looked up and saw a little smoke, said something expressive, jumped in and tried to hurry Fan, but seemed as if walking would be faster, so took out the whip and soon had the little lady laying straight.  Erma was just coming out the yard with pails.  She said take my pails and one of the men.  Tom and three of his mill men (Ben D., John Welton, and Deverill) were ahead a little way.  I slacked up a little, stopped for Tom, and raced on up Rice’s hiss and saw a sight that made me sick, kitchen all on fire and about half big part, with smoke and cinders going directly over Maiers’ house.  We had quite a strong south west wind.

            Well I dumped Hazle and Tom in front of our house, tied my horse, and went by the back steps, grabbed a pail and got as far as the lilac bush, when Jake came out of the house helping carry some big thing.  The men thought it was time he went home and made preparations to save his buildings.  It was not safe in the house then for women, so I went home to help Jake carry ladders and get pails of water and watch the roofs.

            Now to go back to Dora ringing the dinner bell and Herman getting a ladder.  She did not ring long, then went after pails of water.  Herman got up on the porch roof and threw one pail of water at the fire (which by this time had spread about half way along the kitchen roof, at first it was blazing only round the chimney).  Part of the water came back and made the porch so slippery that he lost his balance.  Dora heard him, and he says he started down feet first, but when Dora saw his feet come in sight she grabbed them and then he went down head first from the porch roof.  He said he struck on his face and thought he had driven his nose clear into the ground.  He cut his chin some, and his head is bothering yet.  He went to see the Dr. Friday and he says he has slight concussion of the brain, doesn’t seem to get any worse, and is taking medicine.  Now for some more fire news.  He went back and Dora handed several more pails of water, much of which came back into Herman’s boots and over his lower extremities.  He did not change clothes all afternoon and nearly froze part of the time.  Herman also got up the short ladder and fixed it to reach the kitchen roof.  Somewhere about here Jake and Corey and the fire extinguisher arrived.  (Uncle C.N., George, and Parks close behind.)  Jake went up both ladders and turned on steam, and Ma watching from home (she can’t step very lively yet, and her heart was playing tricks so she hadn’t tried to go up) thought they were going to put it out, but the wind was against them.  Uncle Herman was up one ladder with a pail of water when Jake came down from the kitchen roof onto the porch roof, threw his extinguisher and kicked out the little window and went into the boy’s room.  Uncle Herman dropped his pail of water and started after the ax.  You see the attic over the boy’s room was inaccessible, and there was where the fire was.  (Uncle C.N. was busy getting water down below, and says when pails and water and extinguishers began to come down from overhead he left.)

            Aunt Dora left the porch when the extra men came, and went to clear out the back stair-way, the preacher helping.  In this stair way was two bushel baskets of unshelled hickory nuts and one shelled market basket full.  All these were carefully saved, also a little peach basket on the back porch containing a dozen more nuts that Mr. Openlander took to clear off the dinner table in.  He saved three of Dora’s new teaspoons and two best knives and forks, also a tin of 6 biscuit, the bowl of sweetened milk, and the dirty dishes off the stove.  Dora’s first act towards saving things was to help carry out Ma’s new table which they had bought and 1 table leaf.  Then she got two wash tubs and put in the dishes from the kitchen cupboard.  The churn was saved from the back porch, and a half bushel of parsnips Aunt Dora had just bought, from the east porch, was all that was saved from the kitchen wing.  Then Aunt Dora went into sitting room closet after their clothes, and into the bed-room closet and cleared that out, and then Uncle Herman told her she must leave the house.  By this time plenty of help had arrived, and all the furniture in sitting, dining, parlor, and bed room was carried out, including pictures, curtains, carpets, in parlor and sitting room.  The clock and things on wall of dining room and everything in the built-in cupboard behind the door in this room was lost.  Everything in the pantry went.  No one event went the room.  From the cellar they saved 30 quarts of fruit and 16 bu. of Baldwin apples.  They had bbl. of groceries they had just bought with apples, 100 lbs. of sugar, etc., etc.

            The last thing Herman did was to go back after Carleton’s and his own fiddle and brought along back the buffalo robe.

            Mr. Openlander made a desperate effort to get the cream separator, Eddie got the ax which had been carried down stairs and set out the front door, but the fire broke through the wall and scorched his cheek, at the same time the west walls began to fall.  George and Jake and Corey combined saved the bedding from two front beds and front bed-room dresser, had to break off the glass to get down stairs.  And when we came to get things together, half of one mattress was gone.  I forgot to tell about the ax and Jake.  When he got the ax he undertook to chop a hole in the ceiling in the boy’s room near the door and maby head the fire off from the main part.  George and Herman were present watching, and all tell the same story, about the 3rd or 4th time he struck the whole ceiling caved in, so you see the fire must have eaten pretty nearly all through the attic of this wing.

            About 200 people had gathered by this time and were helping watch our buildings and Loomises’.  The grass caught fire near our fence once, and Loomises” straw stack, but as H.P. said, there was men enough around then to cover his stack.

            In one hour and twenty minutes the very last stick of timber had burned and fallen.  When I went tough the corner to go up, every roof was burning including the front porch roof.  They burned just like pasteboard.

            It looked pretty tough to see all the things piled together out under the little thorn-apple tree, where the fire had thawed out puddles, some things across the road in the wheat field and mud.

            We finally came home and ate our dinner at a little past two.  Went back and sort of picked up, and the men put everything in the barn.

            Washed dinner dishes at 5, got supper, talked everything over and iffed and supposed and answered telephone till the day was finished.  Dora and Herman have put their bed and clothes in my downstairs bedroom.  Have got things shaped around some.  Herman, Dora, and Lide are making out their list, and it is just something awful.  They expect to settle Thursday.  Had $1000 on house and $600 on contents.

            George saw Dora’s hand bag hanging on stair-door knob and threw it out, but no one picked it up, and her watch which was inside was destroyed.  Her pocket book had been taken out to pay for parsnips, and laid on table, so Parks put it in his pocket and it was saved.  All the shoes they saved were on their feet, and Dora can’t find her corset, also her best handkerchiefs.

                                     Then in different handwriting:

             Tues. morn —- Bel is washing and says sign her name and get it ready.

                                                             Bel

                                                            Per M.E.B.


Family Weddings in the 1900s

July 19, 2009

 

In the post “Coming to Wacousta,” I set out to trace the path of the families of my grandparents from Europe to Wacousta, Michigan.  By the time of the Civil War, all four families — the Blisses, the Daniells, the Stephensons, and the Winegars — were situated in Clinton County, Michigan.  In the 1900s, the families merge.  Following are pictures from the weddings.

Edd Ashbel Winegar marries Myrtie Stephenson in 1900 at the Stephenson home.

Edd Ashbel Winegar marries Myrtie Stephenson in 1900 at the Stephenson home.

W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss marry in 1907 at the Bliss house, the Pivot.

W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss marry in 1907 at the Bliss house, the Pivot.

Donald Stephenson Winegar marries Mary Deone Daniells in 1937 at the Pivot.

Donald Stephenson Winegar marries Mary Deone Daniells in 1937 at the Pivot.

Other Daniells Weddings

Iva Georgene "Jean" Daniells marries Don Lowell in 1942 at the Pivot.

Iva Georgene "Jean" Daniells marries Don Lowell in 1942 at the Pivot.

Dora Katherine Daniells marries John Panchik in 1950 at the Pivot.

Dora Katherine Daniells marries John Panchik in 1950 at the Pivot.

Other Winegar Weddings

Esther Alta Winegar marries Clarence Kirkpatrick in 1941

Esther Alta Winegar marries Clarence Kirkpatrick in 1941 in Eagle Twp, Michigan.

Paul Ray Winegar marries Mary Margaret Biergans in 1947.

Paul Ray Winegar marries Mary Margaret Biergans in 1947 in Grand Ledge, Michigan.

 

Bill and Ruth Winegar married 1942.

Bill and Ruth Winegar married in 1942.

A fire destroyed the original Pivot in 1911 after W.C. Daniells and Iva Bliss married.  Subsequent Pivot weddings were at the home that was rebuilt by Herman Sidney Bliss.  A description of the fire, written by Bel Gensterblum, will be in the next post. The rebuilt Pivot is currently owned by Tom Lowell, a Bliss-Daniells descendant.


The Bliss Family in the 1800s: Herman Sidney Bliss

July 9, 2009
 

 Herman Sidney Bliss, 1861-1946

(From the Notes of Betty Daniells) Herman was born in Riley Township in 1861 either in the D.P. Bliss place or in the home of P.P. Peck.  He grew up in both places.  In 1883, he married Dora Plowman.  Dora and her twin sister Nora were the youngest of 11 children of William Tuthill Plowman.  W.T. Plowman had three children by his first wife, Mary Ann Potts, and the other eight with Emily Crane, our ancestor. 

 
William Tuthill Plowman

William Tuthill Plowman

Emily Crane Plowman

Emily Crane Plowman

The 11 Plowman brothers and sisters.  Dora is 2nd from left, back row.

The 11 Plowman brothers and sisters. Dora is 2nd from left, back row.

 The couple moved to Watertown Township to a farm they called Bunker Hill.  Their only child was a daughter named Iva.  Later they lived in Lansing for a year or two, where, as an excellent carpenter, he helped build many of the old houses.  Then, on the illness and death of John Benedict, husband of his wife’s eldest sister Eliza (Lide), he took over the operation and half ownership of the Benedict farm, The Pivot, 80 acres ¾ mile west of Watertown center.  The old house burned to the ground in 1911 and Herman built the house that now stands there.  It is now owned by Tom Lowell, Herman’s great-grandson.  The story of the fire, as related by Bel Gensterblum Maier, will be in the next posting on this blog.

Original Benedict-Bliss House: The Pivot

Original Benedict-Bliss House: The Pivot

Herman was much loved and respected in the community.  He was on the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church and served a term as Watertown Township treasurer.  He played fiddle, sang tenor, and whistled at his work.  He had the sweetest of tempers and a delightful sense of humor, which was at its best when the joke was on himself.  He loved a good argument and would talk either side.  He died at the Pivot in 1945 and is buried at the Wacousta Cemetery.

Herman Sidney Bliss

Herman Sidney Bliss

Dora Plowman Bliss

Dora Plowman Bliss


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