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
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
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.
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.
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