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submitted by Douglas C. Huggett


Electa Louisa Walker was born in 1837, the year Michigan became a State, and she died in 1914, the year the First World War started. Born in Washtenaw County, she moved with her parents to Ingham County at age ten. As a young woman, she taught school a few years before becoming, in 1862, the wife of Warren Halsey, her cousin Celia's widower.

She brought to the marriage a team of horses and 40 acres of land, according to my mother. What property Warren had at the time of the marriage I do not know, but he did have a son Francis or Frank, age seven and a half. Warren's wife, Eunice, had died in childbirth in 1861.

Electa became the mother of Henry, William (who died in infancy), Cora, Emma, Luna, Charley and Sylvia. The first five children were born in the first seven and a half years of marriage. My mother, Sylvia, was much the youngest, Charley being five years older.

This picture which hung in my mother's bedroom many years is now owned by Thelma Cheney, my brother Ralph's widow. The little I know of my grandmother Halsey is made up of recollections of what my mother told me, augmented by memories written down by Francis and Hazel Halsey.

Mother recalled that her mother, Electa had a back deformity, whether congenital or from disease I don't know. This difference in appearance disturbed Electa Louisa's mother so much that she often called her into the house from play with other children.

My mother recalled being unjustly punished once by her mother. Secretly she gloated over the apology that would be hers when her mother discovered the truth. Instead grandmother informed her that that would make up for sometime she should have been punished and wasn't.

"Grandmother was a very good, quiet Christian woman," Francis wrote. " I never knew of her getting angry or excited. Grandmother didn't think children should waste their time playing---- should be busy doing their work, reading some good literature or resting.

One time Reverend Northrup came out from St. Johns to visit the Halseys. Their children brought along a Tiddly-Winks game. Grandmother was a bit perturbed. I've heard father tell about grandmother paying some relative $1.00 for their checker board, then taking it out to the wood pile and breaking it up. And $1.00 was quite alot of money in those days.

This picture of Grandmother always seemed so serious to me-- even grim. I have concluded that in Electa Louisa's time there was little time for leisure or levity. No wonder she looked so serious.

Eleanor Cheney Fowler 1985


This page was last updated January 14, 2004.