This folder reflects a small portion of pioneer life in early Isabella County. Although a great deal of the information deals with death, there is still a bit of history here.

It shows through the obituary’s how people felt of one another, of their emigration to this area and tells of some of the early businessmen of the area.

The articles were loaned to the genealogical committee of the Shepherd Area Historical Society to help preserve a little bit of the vital statistics of this area.

We are grateful to Julia Ruhle for the loan of her scrapbooks, newspapers and for her interest in the society.

Obituary of Martha Walling

Isabella County Republican May 27, 1920 J. Albert Gibbs

Martha Walling was born in Gouverneur, New York,

Jan. 8, 1829 and passed away at the old homestead northeast of Shepherd May 23, 1920, aged 91 years, 4 months and 15 days. She came to this state in 1870. She was united in marriage to Harrison Abott at Hartford, N.Y. May 26, 1853.

To this union were born two children, Mrs. Marilla J. Preston now of Detroit, Mich., and Mr. Miles D. Abbott who lives on the old homestead. The husband passed away in 1907 She is survived by one son, one daughter, one brother, Mr. Quincy Walling of Mt. Pleasant, one sister Mrs. Mary Northrup of Shepherd, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Funeral services at Shepherd M. E. Church May 26.

Obituary of William Hocking

Isabella County Republican May 27, 1920 J. Albert Gibbs

William H. Hocking, who passed away at 11:45 Sunday evening, May 16, 1920, at the Homeopathic Hospital, Ann Arbor, was born at Keewanaw County, Michigan Nov. 12, 1876, being 43 years, 6 months and 4 days of age.

His childhood days were spent around mining locations in

the upper peninsula.

When about 12 years of age, his parents moved to Hurley, Wisconson, where he made his home until he enlisted and served with the Michigan Volunteers in the Spanish American war. He also served in the Phillipine war and Nov. 7, 1902 he enlisted in the 93rd Coast Artillery Corps, United Stated Army, serving three enlistments at Fort Stevens, Oregon.

Sept. 15, 1911, he was united in marriage to Ida M. Johnson at Astoria, Oregon.

Nov. 16, 1911, he was honorably discharged from the service and the following January they came for a visit to Mrs. Hocking's former home at this place.

Feb. 10, 1912, he enlisted at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, for

Fort Barrancas, Florida, where he served 3 years in the 2oth Co. Coast

Artillery Corps.

Being honorably discharged from the service Feb. 9, 1915, Mr. Hocking and wife returned to Michigan and have since been living on a farm 5 miles southwest of Shepherd.

For the past two years he has at times suffered terribly with gall stones. Tuesday morning, May 4th his condition was so serious that he was taken to the hospital at Ann Arbor, where the following Tuesday afternoon May llth, he underwent an operation. The gall bladder was found to be packed with gall stones and several more were found deeply embedded in the liver.

Mrs. Hocking was with him night and day and every attention was given him.

While at first his recovery seemed doubtful, later there was some encouragement felt as to his condition. However, Sunday afternoon peritonitis set in and although the doctor and nurses did everything in their power to save him, the excruciating pain he suffered was more than he could bear.

At 11:45 o'clock Sunday evening, he passed into the great beyond.

The wife who is left to grieve has the great consolation of the memory of a perfectly happy life with her beloved husband.

Mr. Hocking was liked by everybody for his manly ways and his cheerful disposition. Close friends, relatives, and children especially loved him for his kindness and consideration. He will be deeply mourned by the loved ones who are left behind.

Funeral services were held at the home of Mrs. Hocking's parents and his body laid to rest in a pleasant place in Salt River cemetery.

A Popular Wedding

Hollis Adair Clark and Thora Norene Stahlman United in Marriage Isabella County Republican May 27, 1920 J. Albert Gibbs On Saturday, May 22nd, 1920, at the M.E. Parsonage, occurred the marriage of Miss Thora Norene Stahlman, daughter of Mrs. F.C. Stahlman, to Hollis Adair Clark, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Clark. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Audley Stahlman.

At six O'clock three coursed dinner was served at the home of the bride's mother at which the following guests were present: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jones and Dorothy Elaine, of Detroit, Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Audley Stahlman, Sumner Young and Mrs. F.C. Stahlman.

The bride and groom left Sunday by auto for Detroit where Mr. Clark has been employed for the last six years at the Hudson Motor Factory with the exception of about one year which he spent in the servive of his country.

They will reside at 730 18th street, Detroit, where a pleasant home had already been furnished and awaited their home coming.

Mr. Clark spent his entire childhood in Shepherd and remained here until some six years ago when he entered the service of the Hudson Motor Co. at Detroit. Probably no other young man of this village was entertained with a more high respect, being of exemplary habits, honest and industrious, while the bride, whose girlhood days were all spent in this vicinity, was loved and admired by all who knew her.

They embark upon the matrimonial sea with bright prospects and best wishes for a happy and prosperous voyage and may their ship never encounter the rocks of adversity.

Clifford M. Johnson Anniversary

Newspaper clipping from the scrapbook of Julia Ruhle. Newspaper unknown. Copied Sept. 16, 1978.


Mr. and Mrs. Clifford M. Johnson Celebrate Their Anniversary


Both Have Lived Nearly All Their Lives In Isabella County Special to the State Journal:

SHEPHERD, Dec. 31 --- Mr. and Mrs. Clifford M. Johnson, celebrated their golden anniversary, Christmas Day, at their farm home four miles southwest of Shepherd.

Four daughters with their families were present to help them enjoy the spirit of the day, the bountiful dinner and the beautiful Christmas tree.

Among the nice presents for Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were some lovely flowers and some gold coins.

Clifford M. Johnson, son of Amos and Matilda Johnson, of Nova Scotia, was born in Canada, October 21, 1857, coming to Gratiot county, Michigan, when he was about two years of age, and living there until 1876, when he was about 19, when he purchased 40 acres of land with solid woods, near Shepherd, Isabella county, and began cutting a trail to and clearing off a spot for a future home.

Mrs. Johnson, daughter of Knowles and Sarah Gibbs, from England, was born near Sandusky, Ohio, November 27, 1853- Soon after, the family moved to "Starving Gratiot" on a farm, one and one half miles south of Ithaca. As a young woman, Mrs. Johnson taught school several years.

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, five daughters and one son. Mrs. Ida Brooks, Mrs. Fannie Wilsey, Howard M., Mrs. Myrtle Stebelton and Mrs. Julia Ruhle, all living near. One daughter died in infancy. There are ten grandchildren.

Until early last spring, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been blessed

with fairly good health, doing most of the work on their 120 acre farm.

In June, last year, Mr. Johnson underwent a serious abdominal operation from which he is slowly recovering.

Clifford M. Johnson

Newspaper clippings form Julia Ruhle's scrapbook. Paper unknown and no dates were copied. A few dates were written in by hand. Copied Sept. 16, 1978.

Clifford M. Johnson

Old and Respected Citizen of Isabella County Buried At Salt River Cemetery

Clifford Melville Johnson, son of Amos and Matilda Johnson, was born in Canada October 21, 1857, and departed this life August 28, 1930, at the age of 72 years, 10 months and 7 days.

At the age of two years he came with his parents to Gratiot county, Michigan, where he lived until he was 19 years of age, when he purchased a piece of land four miles southwest of Shepherd to make a home.

Christmas Day, 1879, he was united in marriage to Sarah A. Gibbs, of Ithaca and the following year they moved in to their new home, where they have lived for over half a century, having celebrated their golden anniversary last Christmas Day.

Six children were born to this union: Mrs. Ida Brooks, Mrs. Fannie Wilsey, Howard M., Mrs. Myrtie Stebelton, and Mrs. Julia Ruhle, all living near home, and Lucy Agnes dying in infancy.

Mr. Johnson had been an intense sufferer for about two years and death came as a relief to him.

He had all the attributes which go to make up a full and splendid life. Always kind, honest and sincere, considerate and ready with a helping hand to all his fellow beings.

He had been a master mason for more than 28 years, having joined Salt River Lodge, #288, F.A.M. on Feb. 7, 1902.

Those left to grieve, are his wife, five children, ten grand-

children, two brothers, two sisters, and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held at the home Saturday afternoon with burial in the family lot in Salt River cemetery, Rev. Mayhew of Mt. Pleasant officiating.

Mrs. S.A. Johnson Succumbs Here

Clipping from the scrapbook of Julia Ruhle. Paper unknown. Some dates are handwritten on the article.

Mrs. S.A. Johnson passed away at her home near Shepherd Monday, April 12, following a brief illness. (Hand written on the article is 1943)-

She was born November 27, 1853 at Sandusky, Ohio and came to Michigan at the age of four with her parents, to reside on a farm in Gratiot, county. She was married to Clifford M. Johnson December 25, 1880. For the past 63 years she has resided on a farm near Shepherd in Coe township. During her illness she was cared for by her four daughters.

Funeral services will be conducted from the home Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock. The Rev. L.J. Hoover will officiate,

Survivors include the daughters, Ida Brooks, Fannie Wilsey, Julia Ruhle, of near Shepherd, and Myrtle Stebelton of Clare; a son, Howard of near Shepherd; a sister, Mrs. Fannie Genner of Charlotte; two brothers, James Gibbs of Greendale, and Henry Gibbs of Ithaca; and ten grandchildren.

Mary Ann Dunmire

Newspaper clipping from Julia Ruhle's scrapbook. Newspaper unknown. Copied Sept. 18, 1978.

Mary Ann Dunmire was born November 13th, 1859 near Lindsey

Ohio and departed this life at her home, August 2, 1938 at the age of

78 years, 8 months and 20 days.

She was united in marriage to Rhinehart Ruhle, February 7, 1882. To this union six children were born, Clara Rosella, who departed this life at the age of ten years, Lena, now Mrs. Hal Walter, Jesse of Shepherd, Roy, Toney, and Clifford of Coleman.

In 1893, she was baptized and united with the Dunkard church. She showed great patience during her last illness.

Those left to mourn are a sorrowing husband, four sons, one daughter, 13 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted at the home by Elder W.O. Cline of Kalamazoo and Rev. C.B. Wilson of Coleman. Interment in the Coleman cemetery.

Rhinehart Ruhle

From the scrapbook of Julia Ruhle. Newspaper unknown. Copied

Sept. 18, 1978.

Well Respected Resident Dies After Long Illness

Rhinehart Rhule, son of Mr. and Mrs. Krist Ruhle was born June 28, 1860 at Columbus, Ohio and departed this life at his home November 8, 1940 at the age of eighty years, four months, and eleven days.

He was united in marriage to Mary Dunmire, February 7, 1882. Six children were born to this union, Clara Lena, Jesse, Roy, Toney and Clifford.

He was predeceased by his wife, who died two years ago last August and a daughter, Clara who departed this life at the age of ten years.

Mr. Ruhle came to Michigan in the year 1898 and lived on the same farm ever since. From a child he was connected with the Lutheran church, having been confirmed in that faith.

Those left to mourn his passing are one daughter, Mrs. Hal Walter, four sons, Jesse Ruhle of Shepherd, Roy, Toney, and Clifford, of Coleman; thirteen grand children and three great grand-children; one nephew and many, many friends.

Funeral services were held at the home Sunday afternoon with Elder W.O. Cline of Kalamazoo officiating, assisted by Rev. Bernard Hearl at the grave. Those from away attending the services were Mrs. Ella McFarland, Mrs Ada Curtice, Mr. and Mrs. Friedli and Robert Burns of Saginaw, Mr. and Mrs. D. Meese of Lansing.


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