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Curtis Twp. and Curtisville Area Biographies

Including Surnames, Census info, Land Descriptions, etc.

ALBER FAMILY

In 1920, the Alber family owned a 160 acres farm located in the NW 1/4, Section 21, T. 25 E., R. 5E., Curtis Twonship.


BAMFIELD FAMILY

The 1910 Census identified the following Bamfield family members living in Curtisville: Mary Bamfield (head of household), Thomas Bamfield (son) and William Bamfield (son).

The original Bamfield homestead was flooded when the Alcona Dam was built. The house and barn are under the Alcona Pond.


BARNES FAMILY

The 1900 Census identified the following members of the Barnes family living in Curtisville: James Barnes (head of household), Mary Barnes (wife), La Fleur (step-son), Harriet T. (step-daughter), and Manley Bell (son-in-law). James was identified as being a farmer.

This farm was located on the southeast corner of Bamfield and Curtisville Roads. James Barnes operated a "Squaring Mill" on this property. He built a two story log house on the property that was later sold to John Wesley Redmond.

Mary A. Barnes was a member of the Ancient Order of Gleaners - Curtis Arbor in 1903.


BERMAN FAMILY

In 1920, R. Burman owned a 40 acre farm located in the SW 1/4, NW 1/4, Section 16, T. 25 E.-R. 5E., Curtis Township, Alcona County.


BERRY FAMILY

The 1910 Census identifies the following members of the Berry family living in Curtisville: Evor Berry (head of household) and Marie (wife); Arvinton Berry (head of household), Ellen (wife), Florence M. (daughter), Ernest (son) and Clara (daughter). Evor Berry was identified as being a School Teacher. Alvinton Berry was identified as being a Farmer.

Clara Berry was attending the Hillside School in the Fall of 1908.

Ernest Berry died while serving in the Polar Bear Division in Russia during World War I.


BIELBY FAMILY

The 1910 Census identifies the following members of the Bielby family living in Curtisville: George Bielby (head of household) and Blanche (wife).


BOUVIA FAMILY

Fred, Florence, Louis and Mertle Bouvia were attending the Hillside School in the Fall of 1908.

The 1910 Census identifies the following members of the Bouvia family living in Curtisville: Nelson Bouvia (head of household, Maud (wife), Myrtle (daughter), Fred (son), Lou (daughter), Arlena O. (daughter) and Ray (son). Nelson Bouvia was identified as being a Farmer.


BOWSER FAMILY

John Bowser married Clarissa Merrit, daughter of Rev. George Merrit. They came to Curtisville in the late 1800's. John Bowser helped organize Curtis Township. The Bowsers were active workers in the Curtisville Baptist Church and the Gleaner Life Insurance Society.

They had an interest in eduction. The first Curtisville school was held in their home. They boarded the school teachers for many years. Rev. George Merritt was ordained in the Bowser barn, which had been used for church services at that time.

John and Clarissa had one son, Fred. Fred married Emma Sinclair. Fred and Emma's only son, Walter, married Lois Healy of Glennie. Fredrick and Emma Bowser were members of the Ancient Order of Gleaners - Curtis Arbor in 1903.

The 1900 Census identified the following members of the Bowser family living in Curtisville: John Bowser (head of household), Clarissa (wife) and Fred (son). G. Goodfellow and ? Mc Dermott were listed as servants in this household. John Bowser was identified as being a Farmer.

The 1910 Census identified the following members of the Bowser family living in Curtisville: John Bowser (head of household) and Clarissa (wife). John Bowser was identifgied as being a Farmer.

The 1920 Census identified the following members of the Bowser family living in Curtisville: Fred M. Bowser (head of household), Emma (wife), Walter (adopted son) and Clarissa (mother).

In 1920, Fred and Emma Bowser owned a 120 acre farm consisting of the Sw 1/4 and E 1/2, SW 1/4 of Section 17, T. 25 N., R. 5E., Curtis Township. This property was located to the north of the Curtisville Civic Center.

One old timer told us that John Bowser always held a St. Patrick's Day party for the young folk.

Although we haven't been able to find out much about the Bowser's background, their influence on this community speaks well of them. The epitaphs on their tombstones are fitting eulogies:

Clarissa Bowser
1852 - 1926
She has done what she could
She has gone to rest

John Bowser
1843 - Oct. 4, 1918
I have fought a good fight
I have kept the faith


CAGE FAMILY

Richard Cage and his family lived on what was later known as the Tanner Farm. Mrs. Cage served as midwife for the first white child, Richard Curtis, born in Curtis Township in 1868.


CAMPBELL FAMILY

In 1920, the Campbell family owned an 80 acre farm located in S 1/2, NW 1/4, Section 29, T. 25 E., - R. 5E., Curtis Township.
Kathryn and Jimmy Campbell attended the Hillside School during the period 1915-1917.

The 1920 Census identifies the following members of the Campbell family living in Curtisville: Catherine Campbell (head of household), Catherine Campbell (daughter) and James Campbell (son).


CLAREY FAMILY

The 1910 Census identifies the following members of the Clarey family living in Curtisville: William Clarey (head of household), Caroline (wife), Willhenina (daughter), William (son) and Catherine (daughter). William Clarey was identified as being a Farmer.

In 1920, the Clarey family owned an 80 acre farm located in N 1/2, NE 1/4, Section 19, T. 25 E., R. 5E., Curtis Township.


CUSHWAY FAMILY

Beumont Cushway attended the Hillside School during the period 1915-1917.


ELDEN FAMILY

In 1920, E. Elden owned a 160 acre farm located in the NE 1/3, Section 30, T.25 E. - R. 5 E., Curtis Township.


ELLIS FAMILY

The Ellis family came to work at Gates Camp from the Tawas are, sometime before the McMillens. The Ellis family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ellis, sons Claude and Jay, and daughter Lizzie.

Lizzie had a unique occupation. After leaving Curtisville, she worked in a silk worm factory at Greenville, Michigan. She married and had a daughter, Lucille Webb. Lizzie died young and Lucille came here to live under the guardianship of uncle Jay. Claude and Jay remained bachelors and spent their entire lives working in the Cedar swamps.

Mrs. Ellis was totally blind and yet was known for her excellent housekeeping. Her other senses were very keen. For example, she could tell by walking across the floor if Lucille had swept it clean.

The Ellis' bought 20 acres from the Fales family next to the McMillens. Today, there is still a good sized orchard on the old place. Minnie Fales earned the money to buy the trees, washing clothes on a scrub board for the lumbermen at Gates Camp.

This farm was located in E 1/2, NW 1/4, Se 1/4, Section 18, T. 25 N.-R. 5E., Curtis Township.

NOTE: The above information on the Ellis family was supplied by John McMillen, Johanna Vausasparin, James Heilig and Minnie Fales.


HAMILTON FAMILY

In 1920, the Hamilton family owned a 160 acre farm consisting of the E 1/2, SE 1/4, Section 17 and W 1/2, SW 1/4, Section 16, T. 25 E., - R. 5 E., Curtis Township.


HAMPTON FAMILY

Andrew, Jennie, John, George and Chistina Hampton attended Hillside School during the period 1915-1917.

In 1920, the Hamton family owned an 80 acre farm located in the SW 1/4, NE 1/4, and NW 1/4, SE 1/4, Section 29, T. 25 E., R. 5E., Curtis Township.

The 1920 Cenus identifies the following members of the Hampton family living in Curtisville: George Hampton (head of household), Christie (wife), John J. (son), Jennie E. (daughter), George (son), Christina (daughter), Anna J. (daughter) and Richard (son).


HAYES FAMILY

In 1920, the Hayes family owned two 80 acre farms in the Curtisville area. The first was owned by T. Hayes in N 1/2, SW 1/4, Section 21, T. 25 E., R., 5E., Curtis Township. The second was owned by L. Hayes in the S 1/2, SW 1/4, Section 21, T. 25E., R. 5E., Curtis Township.

The 1920 Census identifies the following members of the Hayes family living in Curtisville: Thomas Hayes (head of household), Joseph H. Hayes (head of household), Fannie (wife), Milton (son) and Wilma (daughter).


HOLLOWAY FAMILY

The 1910 Census identifies the following members of the Holloway family living in Curtisville: William Holloway (head of household) and Laura (wife). William Holloway was identified as being a Farmer.


LA CHAPELLE FAMILY

Ernest and Edith La Chapelle were both employed as teachers at the Curtisville School. Edith La Chapelle was a member of the Ancient Order of Gleaners - Curtis Arbor in 1903.


LANDON FAMILY

William Landon served in France during World War I.


LINDAY FAMILY

In 1920, the Linday family owned a 120 acre farm consisting of the W 1/2, NW 1/4 and NW 1/4, SW 1/4, Section 20, T. 25 E.,R. 5E., Curtis Township.


McCOLEMAN

Godfrey P. and Neil P. Mc Coleman were members of the Ancient Order of Gleaners - Curtis Arbor in 1903.


McDERMOT FAMILY

The 1920 Censu identifies Daniel Mc Dermot (head of household), Carie (wife) and Catherine (daughter).


MILLS FAMILY

Violet Mills attended the Hillside School during the period 1915-1917.


MONTNEY FAMILY

Cashius Montney was a member of the Ancient Order of Gleaners - Curtis Arbor in 1903. Stanley and Mary Montney were added to the membership in 1904.


MONTGOMERY FAMILY

W. Montgomery, his wife Elizabeth, and family lived on the south side of Route 604 a short ways west of Emily Lake. Elizabeth died on February 1, 1903 at age 61 years.

Their daughter Minnie was married to Peter Emily who was employed as a cook at Gates Lumber Camp. The Curtisville Civic Center (previously the Curtisville School) is built on the property were Peter and Minnie lived.

Their daughter Clara Montgomery was married to Orra Spencer, Jr.

W. Montgonery and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the Curtisville Cemetery.


O'MEARA FAMILY

William O'Meara was married to Thelma Stevens. They had two sons: Franklin was killed in an automobile accident, Robert and his wife Dorthy, lived in the old Stevens homestead. Robert still lives in Curtisville.

William O'Meara served in the Army during World War I. Hisi son Franklin served in World War II.


PEMBERTON

The 1900 Census identifies the following members of the Pemberton family living in Curtisville: Walter Pemberton (head of household), hannah (wife), Walter (son), Marlon R. (son), Leslie (son), William (son), Albert W. (son) and Brett (son).

Walter Pemberton was identified as being a Blacksmith.

Albert and Brett Pemberton were attending the Hillside School in 1908.


RYEMER FAMILY

The 1910 Census identified Chritopher Ryemer and his son Jay as being Farmers.

The 1920 Census identified the following member of the Ryemer family living in Curtisville: Christopher Ryemer (head of household) and Jay Ryemer (son).

In 1920, Chris Ryemer owned a 20 acre farm in E 1/2, SW 1/4, SE 1/4, Section 8, T. 25 E., R. 5E., Curtis Township. This farm was located on the north side to the Wissmiller Road between the S. Adams and J. Heilig farms.

His son Jay Ryemer served in France during World War I. Chris Ryemer was the local "Water Witch."


SWAZYE GORDON FAMILY

Swazye Gordon and his family were pioneers in the Curtisville area. They are recorded as living here on the 1880 Census. Swazye was born in Pennsylvania. He homesteaded a piece of land across the road , to the west, of the present Curtisville Civic Center.

This property has been owned by James Simons, Wm. Clarey, Daniel McDermott, Cliff Latter, Larry Du Bois, Rev. Earl Redmond and Harold Schultz. Catherine Clarey Latter has a record that her father paid $1,500 for the 80 acres in 1903 and paid 6% interest.

Pastor Curtis Carrol and his wife Jackie currently own and live in the original Gordon house. Gary and sandy Myers of Munger, Michigan, own the remainder of the property and use it as a hunting camp.

The 1900 Censu identified the following members of the Gordon faimily living in Curtisville: Swazye Gordon (head of household), Frank (son), Bertha D. (daughter) and Guy (son).

Swazye Gordon was the first director of the Curtis School.

Swazye's children were: Frank, married to Olive Simons; Bertha, married to Reuben Simmons and Guy. Bertha and Reuben Simmons children were: Lynnie, married to George Perreutt Russel; Alice, married Charles Curtis and Stella, married to Ted Redmond.

Guy was very talented. James Heilig, Sr. recalls that when Guy was a small boy living at Gates Camp, he invented a small engine that actually worked.

Guy invented a 3-dimension camera and made prisms during World War II. He had a photo studio in Natick, Massachusetts. He also taught the science of photography at a college in Massachusetts. Guy also repaired clocks and watches.

[NOTE: Much of the information on the Swazye Gordon family was supplied by: Stella Simons Redmond, Inez Byce Abbott, Catherine Clarey Latter and Arbutus Milholin.]


Copyrighted2014 by Norman M. Vance.
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