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submitted by Douglas C. Huggett


Charlie Halsey, third son of Warren and Electa Louise (Vashti / Walker) Halsey was born September 26, 1873. He died at the Creighton Nursing Home near St. Johns May 26 , 1959.

His marriage to Trulie Angeline Shafley occurred on June 10, 1869 at the home of her parents, Peter and Louisa Shafley, in Bengal Township. Charlie attended the Chapman Rural School completing the work of the eighth grade. Trulie attended a rural school in her neighborhood completing the eighth grade with high standings. A little later she started teaching the spring term in a rural school of Clinton County. Her wages were $20 a month but later received $30 a month which were top wages of her day. In all she taught 5 years.

Charlie worked on his father's farm until his marriage. He and his bride continued to live with his parents, Warren and Electa, for ten months, then they moved to a farm in Riley Township where their first son, Charles Edward was born in October 11 , 1897. Later they moved to a farm home in Gratiot County near Breckenridge, March 22, 1899. While there a second son, Peter Francis, was born November 3, 1900. A few months before Francis was born a tragedy occurred. Their first born, Charles Edward, died from shock following an accident in which he backed into a pail of scalding hot water. This occurred August 14, 1900. Soon after March 1901, they came back to Clinton County, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

The new home was in Bengal township two miles north and east of Fowler. The trip there was not an easy one. The goods were moved by horses and wagons (changing horses to sleighs every three miles as neither sleighing or bare roads were good) Trulie drove a trusty black horse, Fox, hitched to the buggy. The Maple River was over the roads with ice and water. Only big stones indicated the edge of the road. Fox sensed her responsibility and carried her passengers Trulie and Francis over the road.

Hazel Louise, their third child was born July 3, 1902. Lots of rain flooded the rather low land at that time. When she was 18 months old they moved to a second farm in Riley Township. This move made quite an impression on her young mind for when her father came to carry her and Francis to the new home she kept asking "Is that light ours?" A third son, Robert Warren, was born in this house December 26, 1904.

Francis and Hazel attended the same Chapman School their father had attended as a boy until September or early October 1908. The family then moved to a farm 2 miles west and one mile south of St. Johns, where a second daughter, Gladys Edna, was born.

The night of her birth Francis graduated from the eighth grade and had gone to St. Johns for the occasion. Robert and Hazel were sent to their mother's brother for the night. Francis was 12 the November before, Hazel was nearly 11 and Robert 9 the following December. Gladys was a great pet and never lacked care for all the children delighted in caring for her "Our live baby doll " we called her. The summer that she was a year old all the children had the red measles. In October baby Gladys became very ill and there didn't seem to be any known help for her. She died October 14, 1914, The doctor said that there was a bowel stoppage, but only the post mortem showed adhesions closing the bowel and one had telescoped. Grief was there in great measure. The only consolation was that though she had not been with them long, they had loved her and enjoyed her immensely.

In 1917 Francis graduated from High School in St. Johns as the youngest and the tallest of a class of 38 members. He took some short courses at Michigan Agricultural College at East Lansing. He worked the farm with his father until June 15, 1921 , when he was married to Alberta Sturgis, also of St. Johns. They lived near St. Johns for a few years and then moved to a farm near Ovid where he resided.

Hazel graduated from St. John's High School in 1922 and from Clinton County Normal in 1923 She taught rural school for two years and took courses at Michigan State Normal, Ypsilanti, Michigan, receiving a Life Certificate. She taught 4 years in Macomb County. Robert attended high school in St. Johns but quit to work on his father's farm. He married Louise Carmack June 11, 1927. They lived on the old farm until her death, November 11, 1929. He married Clara French of near Elsie, August 26, 1930. To this union 6 children came to bless and live in the home northeast of St. Johns.

Charlie and Trulie lived a busy life and he is remembered as a good farmer. Their children are now retired. The sons live in their farm homes during the summer months and spend each winter in Florida. Hazel lives in her home in St. Johns, where her parents lived after their retirement.

Hazel Halsey


This page was last updated January 14, 2004.