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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!

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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
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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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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.

painting-2-of-great-grandma.jpg

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

MARY (LEACH) GOODWIN

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.

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LEACH

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.

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Leach

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).

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October 25, 2010

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

WHEN COUNTRY WAS NEW

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

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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.

maria-leach-letter-copy.jpg

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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Hello Everyone,

Among the items Dale Leach has generously provided for the Leach Family pages of this blog is a letter written to him by Lucille Leach in 1979. Lucille was the daughter of Harry Gifford Leach and granddaughter of Moses S. Leach and provides a list of his descendants. Here then, is the text:

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283 Michigan Ave.

Elyria, Ohio 44035

July 15, 1979

Dear Cousin Dale,

Excuse the informality, but I believe we are really cousins! I was glad to receive your letter and learn that at last someone is working on the Leach genealogy. Also, I learned several other things from your letter.

I had always thought that my grandfather was born in Michigan. I can remember his talking about boyhood days there. I think I understand the situation better now. After his mother died, the family must have moved to Michigan when his father re-married. This would account for the item in the 1860 Michigan census stating that he lived with Moses Maynard. That would be his maternal grandfather. His mother was Mary Maynard. I also remember his talking of half-brothers. My grandfather often entertained us children with tales of bears seen in the Michigan wilds.

I wish I could tell you more about Solomon Leach, but I can give you the following information taken from a book on the descendants of Michael Dayton. My grandmother Leach was a Dayton.

Lucy Minerva Dayton, b. 1857, d. 1921, m. 2-26-1880 Moses Leach (son of Mary Maynard and Solomon Leach)

Moses Leach died in 1932. Both grandparents are buried in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

(1) Their son: Harry Gifford Leach, b. 10-26-1881, d. 10-30-1912, m. Lucy M. Combs , b. 11-23-1878, d. 10-26-1959. Both are buried in Akron, Ohio (my parents)

Their children:

Lucille Leach, b. 3-27-1908

Gifford Harry Leach, b. 3-15-1910, married Marie Mollohan.

Jeanette Fay Leach, b. 3-4-1913, m. Karl Mayer

(2) Their son: Roy Leach, b. 8-9-1886, d. 1916. m. Leila Ely.

(3) Their daughter: Cordelia (or Abbie) Leach, b. 3-27-1884, m. Wm. Holbrook.

Their children: Lewis, Bertha, Ruth.

It was B. J. Shanower of Burton who told you about me, a granddaughter of Moses Leach. Mr. Shanower is Emeritus Director of the Geauga County Museum in Burton. I am a retired high school teacher in Elyria, which is 25 miles west of Cleveland. My brother is also retired and lives in Akron. My sister is married to a veterinarian and lives in Buffalo, New York.

I hope you can use some of this material, and I shall be glad to help you in any way I can.

I shall look forward to hearing more about your work in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Lucille Leach

SOURCE: Letter from Lucille Leach to Dale Leach. Dale Leach collection, used with permission.

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Notes: Gifford Harry Leach and Jeanette Fay Leach each had children. Because of privacy concerns these individuals are not listed here as they are probably living.

According to the Social Security Death Index Lucille Leach died in July of 1993, Gifford H. Leach died December 5, 1992.

SOURCE: Social Security Death Index, Rootsweb, funded and supported by Ancestry.com and the RootsWeb community. Accessed 2/23/2008

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