Archive for November, 2008

Neust Family Pictures

Tonight I’m posting two lovely pictures of the Neust Family. These copies were given to my husband and I by his cousin Betty Budil who has done considerable research on the Neust Family, and has generously shared it with us. Thank you Betty!

Although the picture isn’t dated it was probably taken about 1888 as Anna Marie is still quite young (about four?) and she was the first of the Neust children to be born in America. Her birthdate was January 7, 1884.

Notice the elegant “setting” for this photograph which was no doubt taken in a studio.


Back row: Joseph

Middle row left to right: Katherine (Kate), Anna Katherine, John Christafore, Henry

Front row left to right: Elizabeth, Mary Carol and Anna Marie

In this second picture everyone has grown up! Again, we don’t have a date for this picture although it would have been prior to 1904 when John died.


Back row left to right: Katherine, Mary Carol, Joseph, Anna Marie

Front row left to right: Anna Katherine, Henry, Elizabeth, John Christophore

Pictures are the property of Betty Budil, posted with permission.

Copyright, November 26, 2008, Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington

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Anna Marie (Neust) Edminster

1884 – 1958

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The Neust Family

Good Evening,

The family of John Neust arrived in America somewhat later than many immigrants, arriving c. 1880. This is according to his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the U.S., filed July 16, 1884. John’s Declaration states that he will “renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to Wm. 1st, Emperor of Germany.”

The first five children of John and Anna Katherine (Rittenberger) Neust: (Henry, Joseph, John, Katherine and Elizabeth) were born in Germany while Anna Marie and Mary Carol were born in Akron, Ohio in 1884 and 1887 respectively.

Anna Marie Neust was married to Reuben Edminster in Summit County Ohio on August 6, 1902. Anna was 17 years old at that time, Reuben, 21. Anna Marie and Reuben were the parents of nine children:

Lillian Della Marie, dob March 20, 1902

George Shelby, dob April 5, 1904

Mildred Hattie, dob March 20, 1906

Florence Louretta, dob February 9, 1909

Clyde Dale, dob December 8, 1914

Esther Ellenor, dob July 11, 1917

Reuben Walter, dob March 18, 1925

Two others survive.

Even though the information on this family is a bit more limited than some of our other lines there are still stories to tell and these will be posted over the next few days and weeks. So keep tuned!

Sue Edminster

Copyright November 2008, Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington

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Beatrice Ruth Sherman

Born June 7, 1907 in Rexton, Michigan

This beautiful little girl was my husband’s Mother, Beatrice Ruth Sherman, known as Ruth. Look at her ornate little stroller complete with a leg rest and beautiful back rest design. What a lucky little lady.


The Sherman Family, Ruth, Johannah and Will

Ruth looks to be about 12 years old in this picture of the family so we assume it was taken about 1919. Quite the young lady. Ruth married George Shelby Edminster and they were parents to my husband and his brother. Sadly, Ruth died of diptheria November 29, 1933 after the stillbirth of twins. My husband was just a little boy then but still remembers his Mother’s body being taken from their home.

Written for “Smile for the Camera” November 9, 2008

Copyright Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington

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Mr. Ed’s great grandmother, Susan Sherman who was a right prim and proper lady was fond of telling him the reason for her longevity was that she smoked a clay pipe and had a shot of whiskey every day. So was there truth to her statement or was she just having fun at his expense? We don’t really know, but we do know Susan lived to the age of 102 years!

Born in Arbela Township, Tuscola County Michigan on December 12, 1859 to Susan (Higley) and Solomon Leach, she grew up with brothers Alison and Grant, and sisters Vera and Mary. On March 28, 1880 she married a handsome young man named Moses Benjamin Sherman who had come “west” from Pennsylvania a few years earlier. Susan and Moses became parents to Martha, William and Murry.

William (Will) Sherman worked in the woods in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he met and married Johannah (Josie) Hartwell, daughter of William Hartwell and Mary Jane Edgeworth. Josie and Will’s daughter Ruth was my husband’s Mother.

Like many other families the Shermans gradually moved westward. Moses worked for the railroad and the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census schedules show them settled in Drummond, Montana where he was a “Stationary Engineer” for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He retired in 1938. They lived in a log house next to the RR tracks and Susan said the local indians would come by regularly and she’d provide them with food; in return she was well liked and respected by them.

Moses, Susan and Martha Sherman near RR Water Tower

Moses & Susie by the Train

Their final move west brought the Shermans to Tacoma, Washington and it was there Susie lost her dear Moses on December 5, 1942.

Susie lived on and was active in the Violet Prairie Garden Club, Tacoma African Violet Society and Order of Eastern Star. She enjoyed quilt making and made many lovely quilts over the years.

The last time my husband visited her, Susie greeted him and told him to sit down a minute, that Moses was down at the barn, harnessing up the horses and would be back up to the house shortly. That was about two weeks before her death on July 3, 1962 at the age of 102.

But back to the clay pipe and shot of whiskey….. my husband did see the pipe but never actually witnessed her smoking it. As to the shot of whiskey… well, I guess some mysteries are never quite resolved.

Susan Viola Leach Sherman

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Good Afternoon,

Today I’m going to bounce back to the Leach family for just a bit. I’d asked cousin Dale Leach if he’d be willing to write a biographical sketch on the life of his great-great-grandfather, Sylvester Leach. Dale was indeed willing! So he’s started us off with this introductory version to whet our appetites and will create the “rest of the story” as time permits. Enjoy this lovely tidbit!




“People will not look forward to posterity who will not look backward to their ancestors.”

Sir Edmund Burke – 1729-1797, British Political Writer, Statesman

And so it was on that cold, January day in 1979 when I first began my journey as my father & I trudged back through the snow-drifted, country cemetery in Michigan to find the grave of my great, great grandfather, Sylvester Leach, whom I was later to discover had been a Civil War veteran and a private in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The occasion was my 31st birthday and I had recently developed an interest in family history, being a father myself with a 1 year old son, and was thus eager to learn more about my father’s family which had always been a great mystery as I grew up. Not the least of which was the perplexity of this man, whose posterity and long decayed remains, now lay frozen beneath my feet.

My avid interest in the Civil War did not originate on that winters day at Pine Grove Cemetery, but years before when I made a trip to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with my parents and older brother, to visit some of my Mother’s relatives. As a nine year old: I vividly remember the wonderment I felt at first seeing the numerous Civil War battlefields & relics in an area which, unlike Michigan where I had grown up, was heavily touched by that great war 100 years before. How enthralled I was to hear the fearful family stories told of hated and much feared Federal troops who once burned and pillaged this beautiful valley that I now stood within as a wide eyed boy. Little did I realize then the great irony I was later to discover that my paternal great, great grandfather was among those marching with invading Union army of 1864 nor, quite simply: just how he would profoundly affect my life hence forward. A blessing this journey has been to my life since that cold winters day not only to have glimpsed the life of this admirable man, Sylvester Leach, but also the special people I have been privileged to meet along the way such as Lloyd A. Carr, Esther Starr Allen, Naomi Norton Blaine, and many, many more.

Dale H. Leach
April 2008

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Good Evening,

This is the Funeral Card for Susan (Higley, Hoard) Leach who died in 1901.  Susan was quite an amazing woman who had an eventful pioneer life.

Click on the image to enlarge it.



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Good Evening,

Tonight I have a special treasure to share: a family painting of Susan Viola (Leach) Sherman which was painted many years ago. She made many handmade quilts during her lifetime and you can see her working on one here. We were fortunate to see the picture a few years ago, and be allowed to take a photograph of it; I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.


Susan Viola (Leach) Sherman.

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Dear Friends,

Tonight I’ll share with you three obituaries found in the scrapbook of Susan Viola (Leach) Sherman. Unfortunately I have no idea exactly where or when these obituaries were published….

And today, (October 25, 2010) I’ve added the obituary of Mary E. (Bunn) Leach, wife of Sylvester, who died in 1909


Mrs. Mary Goodwin, age 75, died Wednesday morning at her home on South Mill Street following an illness of six months’ duration. She was born in Arbela September 1, 1862, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Leach, and had spent her entire life in this community.

Surviving are her husband, Sylvester, three sons, Philo Thompson of Detroit, Lloyd Carr of Arbela and Harry Carr of Saginaw; three grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Susie Sherman of Montana, Mrs. Alma Coles of Millington, one brother, Grant Leach of California.

Funeral services were held last Friday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Free Methodist Church, Rev. C.B. Loree officiating. Burial was at Pine Grove cemetery.

Note: Alma Coles of Millington is the same person as Veiva Coles.



Mrs. Artie Leach died at her home in Clio, Monday, November 25, 1929 after a long illness. Artie Guthrie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Guthrie, was born in Mundy Township, April 6, 1855. She moved to Arbela with her parents when a young girl. The family were among the early settlers of Arbela and passed through the hardships of pioneer days. She was united in marriage to Enard Leach of Arbela, September 21, 1873, where they continued to live until 1911, when they moved to Clio, where she had since lived. Mr. Leach pased away February 20th, 1920. She was a devoted wife and mother and a kind neighbor and was very highly respected by all who knew her. She leaves to mourn two daughters, Mrs. Ora Allen of Millington, Mrs. John Nelson of New Lothrop, one son, M.C. Leach of Flint, and a stepson, Edgar Leach of St. Charles, and a host of relatives and friends.

Funeral was held Wednesday from the family home. Burial in Woodlawn Cemetery, Rev. Manahan officiating.



Allison Leach, son of Solomon and Susan Leach, was born on a farm in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan on the 12th day of September, 1857, and had been a lifelong resident of that township.

On December 21, 1890, he was united in marriage to Miss Ida Hossler of Millington.

For over 30 years he was a faithful worker in the Methodist church. He was a kind husband and father.

On April 16 he passed away very suddenly, the result of heart disease. He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Althea, at home; three sisters, Mrs. Susan Sherman, of Drummond, Montana; Mrs. Mary Goodwin and Mrs. Veiva Coles, of Clio; one brother, Grant, of Long Beach, California; two half-brothers, Sylvester Leach, of Arbela, and Mose Leach, of Akron, Ohio.

Funeral services were held from the late home, Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Etsel Stubbs, of Tuscola, officiating. The choir sang his favorite hymn, “In the Sweet Bye and Bye,” and all that was mortal of our dear one was tenderly born to it’s last….. (remaining article destroyed).


October 25, 2010

Thank you to cousin Dale Leach for providing this obituary of Mary E. (Bunn) Leach 1847-1909



Mrs. Sylvester Leach Settled With Husband in Arbela – Died Last Week


Central Arbela, June 30 – When the country about Arbela center was new, Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Leach settled one mile south of the center of the township and lived there in peace and happiness until Wednesday, June 23, when the wife and mother was called to her home.

Mary E. Bunn was born in Pennsylvania, but early in life moved to Ohio where she was married.  Four children came to bless the union.  Walter and William now live in Ohio; Louisa of St. Charles and Myrtle of Arbela.

She had been afflicted with cancer and had been a sufferer several months.  She was a member of the M.E. church of Arbela and of the Grange; was a kind loving wife and mother, good neighbor and friend.  She will be greatly missed in the circle in which she was an active figure and husband and children have the sympathy of all.  Her last words were “I am going home.”

She was 62 years and 10 months old and the funeral services in the church conducted by her pastor, were largely attended and the floral offerings were  many and beautiful.  Burial was in Pine Grove cemetery.

Source:  The Tuscola County Advertiser Newspaper – July 2nd, 1909 – p. 6 (microfilm copy).  Courtesy of Dale Leach.

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, October 28, 2010 All Rights Reserved.

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Good Evening,

The following undated letter is from the collection of Dale Leach who has again, generously given his permission to publish it. The letter was found in the Bible of Mary E. (Bunn) Leach, wife of Sylvester and daughter-in-law of Solomon. It was given to Dale Leach in 1983 by Esther (Starr) Allen, great granddaughter of Mary E. (Bunn) Leach.

The following thumbnail is a copy of the original letter, click it to see a larger version.


Mr. Solomon Leach Dir Sir i now take my pen to write you A few lines to in forme you of your brothers deth he dide the 25 of may i wold like to have you to tell me what he toled you When he Came there about his faimely and how he left them i didnent now that he was a goen a way he tuck me about 15 miles a way frome home and left me and my Children and i want you to Write and tell me worther you got that over coat that he left if i had it hear i could sell it for 20 dolers and it wold help me for i am a hard up he left me to pay a very big dat and i don t now how i can pay it and live we are all well at present and i hope these few lines will find you the same i hope that you will excues my poor writen for it very lait to nite so i must bring my writen to a close so good nite plese write as sune as you get this

from maria leach to her brother and sister

i epect drect your leter to blooming dail senter van buren co michigan

i am coten leaches wife he wished that you was heare with him before he dide and i wished that you was to be was wilen to die he said if the lord sean fit to tak him a way

SOURCE: Dale Leach collection. Published here with permission. 2/26/2008

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