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Hello Friends, Dale Leach, Great-Great Grandson of Sylvester Leach, and Leach Family historian has shared the following story.  It was written by Dale  in 2007 “based upon gathered information about Sylvester Leach’s (1842-1928) life from the eye-wiwtness recollections of family members: Lloyd A. Carr, Esther M. (Starr) Allen,, and Naomi (Lurvey) Blaine.” Many thanks to Dale for allowing me to post this story to “The  Family File: Leach Family” …….you’re in for a treat when you read it.

The Beloved Old Flag

The well-worn flag had always been  neatly folded with great pride and reverently kept by the old man in the top drawer of his white-oak, chest o’drawers.  Over the years, time had taken its toll as the flag had become somewhat faded and tattered from frequent use.  You see: this old gentleman had been the flag bearer  for the James Bradley G.A.R. Post no. 194, a Civil War Veteran’s organization in Clio, Michigan.  Sylvester Leach had always carried this revered national banner, with great dignity, in G.A.R. parades on Decoration Day (now Memorial Day), the Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day.  However, sadly, this flag also witnessed the burial ceremonies of camp members who finally expired leaving a dwindling troop of old veterans who had once marched to local cemeteries such as Pine Grove, Forest Lawn, or Gunnell.  It was around 1912 that old James Bradley G.A.R. Post, located at 222 E. Vienna Rd. just west of downtown, was closed and disbanded for lack of membership because most of the old veterans were either too age advanced or had passed on.  It was also at this time that this flag, that had witnessed so many local parades, ceremonies and burials over the years, was permanently presented to its long-time bearer as a token appreciation.  This tattered piece of cloth was later to become Mr. Leach’s proudest possession.

 

Sylvester 1

 

This spring day of  May in 1928, however, the old flag was being used for a different purpose:  it being wrapped about the coffin of the seasoned veteran as if in reluctance to part with the one who had held it so high and proudly for so many years.  Many mourners gathered at the gravesite burial ceremony there in Pinegrove Cemetery located in the southern portion of Tuscola County, Michigan, and each possessed vivid memories of this man and hiss well-lived age of 87.  Among those present was a small girl of 9 years old whose favorite great grandfather was being laid to rest that day.  This child’s name was Esther Starr and she had always had a special connection with this old veteran because her parents, Arthur and Lena Starr, had purchased his home, located at the NE corner of Barkley & Birch Run Roads, and cared for him in his old age. Esther remembered  him fondly as fun-loving and amiable and well known throughout the local area as “the best clogger around”  This little girl of 11 remembered  her “Grandpa Leach” as a good natured, man yet one who on occasion could also be stubbornly independent and one that could be downright cantankerous at times when crossed. For example: there was the time when the very amiable old gentleman had taken the family’s horse & buggy to one of the local dances held at nearby Buell Lake.  It was later, after being gone  all night and returning, that Arthur and Lena foolishly attempted to scold the old man for his tardiness when he emphatically responded with ruffed feathers:  “Well I’m free, white n’ twenty-one and I’ll do what I damn well please!”   She had witnessed ol’ Doc Bishop, who had cared for old man in his last hours, and heard doctors seemingly callous statement after giving her great grandfather a shot to ease the pain:  “Well I just gave the ol’ cuss a shot so he can slip out easier”.  How nonchalant and cynical this comment must have seemed to such a young girl.  Or another great grandchild of similar age, Elmer Leach, who unexpectedly discovered the lifeless body shortly after death, came running home the short distance up the hill on Barkley Road exclaiming in great horrified amazement to his older brother, Carl, “why is grandpas’s face covered up and his feet sticking out from under the sheet?!!”.  This was also a far cry other times when “Great Grandpa Leach” had played similar tricks on the boys only playing dead under those same sheets, but this time was for real.

 

Sylvester 2

 

Or, among those a bit older in attendance at this burial ceremony, were Lloyd A. Carr, a nephew and local farmer by trade.  As a young man Lloyd remembered how his Uncle was well liked locally and also Sylvester’s stately team of giant Belgian workhorses were the envy of all around in the local township of Arbela.  To Lloyd:  this expired man represented countless fond memories of his dear Uncle “Vet” such as the time when this old gentleman, who walked a great deal and often traveled about, came to his farm complaining excitedly that he had misplaced the cloth satchel he always carried:  “I lost muh’ grip” and can’t remember where I left the darn thing!”  Or another time: upon seeing his uncle after a long absence, asked him where he had been to which the old man exclaimed: “Oh – I been layin’ low lately ’cause I got all loused up!”

 

Sylvester 3

 

As Rev. Stubbs, the officiating minister of local M.E. Church, spoke to the small group standing there at the gravesite and  offered a humble prayer to the All-Mighty, the casket was slowly lowered into the soil from whence it came.  No one seemed to take notice at first that this beloved and tattered, old flag was not removed and about to be buried with its long time bearer.  None the less: there were those that sad day that did agree with what they considered the flag’s being “disgraced” and chief among them was certain a grand niece on this brother, Enard Leach’s side.  As a result of this supposed affront: argument that ensued but it was Lloyd Carr, much loved great grandson, who calmly stepped forward and took control of the ugly situation saying: ” leave that flag be and let go to rest with this old soldier that loved it so dearly”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted with the  permission of  Dale H. Leach sole owner of the text and pictures contained in this document.

Copyright Dale H. Leach, All Rights Reserved.

 

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Hi Folks,

Isn’t this a lovely picture of Moses and Susie?  It was taken in Drummond, Montana, probably about 1938, prior to Moses retirement from the Railroad.  Moses and Susie subsequently moved to Tacoma, Washington where he died December 5, 1942.  Susie lived until July 3, 1962…. at the time of her death Susie was 102 years of age.

Susan and Moses Sherman in Drummond, Montana

Susan  J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, September 2, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Photograph is the sole property of Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington

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This obituary was generously shared by Dale H. Leach, descendant of Sylvester Leach. Many thanks to you, Dale!

Obituary Mary E. Bunn (1847-1909)

WHEN COUNTRY WAS NEW
_______________
Mrs. Sylvester Leach Settled With Hus-
band 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 Pennsyl-
vania, 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 great-
ly missed in the circle in which she was
an active figure and husband and chil-
dren 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) Obituary of Mary E. Bunn (1847-1909)

Records of Dale H. Leach, 21 October, 2010

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls WA, November 12, 2010, All Rights Reserved.



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Anniversary Picture

This picture was taken in 1908 at a 35th wedding anniversary party for Enard and Artie Leach… isn’t it wonderful?  Many, many thanks to Dale Leach for making this photo available and for identifying many of the people.

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls WA, 11/12/2010, All Rights Reserved

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Generation I

Solomon Leach Born abt March 17, 1814* in New York (note: some records show Ohio as place of birth) Married: (1) Harriet Fowler on January 8, 1835 in Geauga County, Ohio, (2) Mary Maynard on March 28, 1847, (3) Susan (Higley) Hoard on December 20, 1856 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan. Solomon Leach died January 19, 1892 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan.

* Date taken from “History of the Leach Family” as Known in 1936. Cemetery headstone states that Solomon Leach died January 19, 1892 at the age of 76 years, 11 months, 2 days which, if correct would mean his date of birth was February 17, 1815.

Generation II

Children of Solomon Leach and Harriet Fowler

(1) Philetus E. (Nick) Leach, born January 15, 1836 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Died February 21, 1915. m. (1)Louisa (unknown)(2) Amanda or Amelia Farrier, (3) Louisa Doran

SOURCE(S) : Files of Betty Crockett received September, 2000. The marriage of Philetus and Louisa can also be confirmed by the Civil War Pension application as can the date and location of his death. Missouri: State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate of death#64566.

(2) Enard Leach, born November 25, 1837 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Died February 20, 1920 in Clio, Michigan. Married: (1) Barbara A. Bunn, 1/1/1861, (2) Artie J. Guthrie 9/21/1873.

SOURCE(S): Civil War Pension file and attendant documents and affadavits, showing date of birth, marriage and death. Michigan, Department of State – Division of Vital Records. Death Certificate, Genesee County. Copy included with Pension Application packet.

(3) Francisco Leach, born September 25, 1839 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Died September 18, 1893. Married Melissa Sanford, December 11, 1866.

SOURCE(S): Civil War Pension application, file of Betty Crockett received September, 2000. Ohio GenWeb Archives, Ohio death index, accessed 2/2/2008.

(4) Sylvester Leach, born March 15, 1841 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Died May 25, 1928. Married: (1) Mary E. Bunn, 12/2/1865, (2) Katherine Emo, (3) Delilah Fall.

SOURCE(S): Civil War Pension file and attendant document and affadavits, death certificate for Sylvester Leach showing dates of birth and death.

(5) Edgar Fenton Leach, born December 15, 1842 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. m. Indiana Stambaugh, died 5/25/1922

SOURCE(S): file of Betty Crockett received September, 2000, Civil War Pension application showing death date. Missouri, State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate of death#15476.

(6) Harriet Leach, born January 12, 1845 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Died February 23, 1883 in Arbela, Michigan. Married John Nelson.

SOURCE(S) file of Betty Crockett received September, 2000, Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System: Online Index. Entry for Hattie Nelson.

Children of Solomon Leach and Mary Maynard

(7) Moses S. Leach, born May 27, 1850 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. m. Lucy Minerva Dayton 2/26/1870, d. 2/20/1934

SOURCE: OHIO. Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death# 12820. Moses Leach lived in Akron, Ohio at the time of his death in 1934. Informant for the certificate was Gifford Harry Leach.

(8)Charles Leach, born August, 1851 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. d.2/4/1875 (click the link for a picture of Charles).

SOURCE: Tuscola County Death Records Index, Caro, Michigan. Cause of death: Consumption.

Children of Solomon Leach and Susan Higley/Hoard

(9) AlisonAllison Leach, born September 12, 1857 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan. m. Ida Mae Hossler 12/21/1890. d. 4/16/1898
(10) Susan Viola Leach, born December 12, 1859 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan, m. Moses Benjamin Sherman 3/28/1880, d. 12/5/1942
(11) Mary A. Leach, born September 1, 1862 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan, m. (1) Jackson Thompson, (2) Alpheus Carr*, (3) Sylvester Goodwin
(12) Veiva (Vera) Leach, born January 24, 1865* in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan, m. Elmer Coles 4/19/1885. d. August 22, 1941.
(13) Ulysses S. (Grant) Leach, born October 8, 1867 in Arbela, Tuscola County, Michigan, m. Ida Foot (date unknown), d. 3/1942

Generation III

Children of Philetus Leach and Sarah (unknown)

(1) John Leach, born abt 1866 at Iowa

Children of Philetus Leach and Amanda/Amelia Farrier
(2) Eddie M. Leach, born abt 1876 at Iowa.

Children of Philetus Leach and Louisa Doran
(3) Clinton Leach, born abt. 1879 (4) Budd P. Leach, born abt May, 1882 at Iowa (5) Artice M. Leach, born abt May, 1884 at Iowa (6) Vernia V. Leach, born abt April, 1886 at Iowa (7) Enard D. Leach, born abt July, 1889 at Iowa (8) Grant Leach, born abt September 1895 at Nebraska

Children of Enard Leach and Barbara A. Bunn:
(1) Charles H.D. Leach, born January 1, 1862 (2) Edgar F. Leach, b. 9/18/1865 (3) Hattie Mae Leach, b. 6/16/1867

Children of Enard Leach and Artie J. Guthrie:
(4) Ora A. (Orrie) Leach, b. 9/10/1874
(5) Manuel C. Leach b. 10/31/1880
(6) Josephine A. Leach, b. 8/22/1884
(7) Loverna E. Leach, b. 7/19/1891

Children of Francisco Leach and Melissa E. Sanford
(1) Verna Leach, born abt 1868 (2) Roy H. Leach, born abt. 1880

Children of Sylvester Leach and Mary E. Bunn: (1) Walter Solomon Leach, b. 10/25/1866
(2) William H. Leach, b. 1/17/1868
(3) Myrtle U. Leach, b. 1/2/1872
(4) Allie Louisa Leach, b. 5/20/1882
(5) Louise Leach, b. 5/20/1883 (may be same person as Allie Louisa Leach)

Children of Sylvester Leach and Katherine Emo
(none known)

Children of Sylvester Leach and Delilah Fall
(none known)

Children of Edgar Fenton Leach and Indiana Stambaugh
(1) Harriet Ann Leach, born April 10, 1871 (2) Ada Viola Leach, born November 11, 1872 (twin) (3) Ida Vienna Leach, born November 11, 1872 (twin) (4) Robert Franklin Leach, born July 20, 1874

Children of Harriet Leach and John Nelson (1) Florence Nelson

Children of Moses S. Leach and Lucy Minerva Dayton
(1) Harry Gifford Leach, born December 26, 1881 (2) Cordelia (Abbie) Leach, born March 27, 1884 (3) Roy Leach, born August 9, 1886

Children of Charles Leach
(none)

Children of Alison Leach and Ida Mae Hossler (1) Althea Leach, b. abt 1893

Children of Susan Viola Leach and Moses Benjamin Sherman
(1) Edward Sherman, b.1881 (2) Martha Almena Sherman, b. 1882 (3) William Clay Sherman, b. Septermber 19, 1885 (4) Murry Bird Sherman, b. 1888 (5) baby Sherman, b. 1902

Children of Mary Leach and Jackson Thompson (1) Philo Thompson, born September 9, 1899

Children of Mary Leach and Alpheus Carr
(1) Lloyd Carr, born abt 1897 (2) Harry Carr, born abt 1905

Children of Mary Leach and Sylvester Goodwin
(none)
Children of Veiva Leach and Elmer Coles
(1) Alvin Coles, born abt February 1888 (2) Allison Sidney Coles, born abt June 1889 (3) Harrison Coles, born abt March, 1892

Children of Ulysses S. (Grant) Leach and Ida Foot (1) Clarence Leach, b. 1892 (2) Mabel Leach, b. 1898

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Good Evening,

Tonight I have two pictures to share with you, generously donated by Emily and Nelson Coles.  Thank you!

The first picture features Sidney and Opal Coles with baby Ruby and grandma Veiva Coles.  This picture would have been taken before 1941 when Veiva died.

The second picture is that of  Harrison Coles, youngest son of Elmer Coles and Veiva (Leach) Coles.  The date is unknown.

*********************************

Again, many thanks to Nelson and Emily Coles for sharing these two photographs.

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

 

 

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aunt-ura

Aunt Ura

This portrait was among several inherited by my husband from the possessions of his great-grandmother Susan (Leach) Sherman. It’s quite a large portrait measuring 20″tall by 16″wide and you quickly see that the portrait has been touched up to a considerable extent, in fact the clothing looks like it’s been painted on. In comparing her hair style style to picture samples from various eras, it appears that this portrait could have been taken in the 1860′s although that’s far from clear. And her dress with a little white ruffle and bow at the neck compares with dresses from the 1860′s and 1870′s as does the smooth (vs puffed) sleeve. This dignified and stately lady is only identified (on the back of the portrait) as “Your Father(s) Aunt Ura.” Unfortunately we don’t know to whom Susan Sherman was addressing that statement. Since the portrait was in with very similarly styled portraits of Solomon Leach and Susan (Higley) Leach, Charles Leach, and Milton Higley, it’s probable that Aunt Ura was connected to either the Higley or Leach lines. But just what the relationship is we have no idea. Yes, Aunt Ura, we’d really like to know who you are!

Written for the “Smile for the Camera” Carnival of Genealogy, January 9, 2009. Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, All Rights Reserved.

Portrait is the sole possession of Susan J. and Howard D. Edminster.

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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!

_______________________________________________________

 

JOURNEY TO PINE GROVE

“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.

Sue

susan-higley-leach-funeral.jpg

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