Thursday, February 3, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Backus-Pemberton Warranty Deed


This is the actual warranty deed that was signed on the property in the land contract from last week's Treasure Chest Thursday post. I obtained this copy from my maternal grandmother's personal papers a few years ago. Apparently, I made a bad scanned copy because some of the parts are blurry, and it seems like the bottom was cut off, but I believe that I have inherited the original as part of my grandmother's family paper collection when she died in 2008.

The warranty deed was recorded on 30 Jun 1964 at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Port Huron, Michigan. The liber number (886) and page numbers (252-253) are stamped on this copy. The deed was entered into on 29 Jun 1964 between the sellers, Thomas H. Backus, survivor of himself and Bertha E. Backus, now deceased, and Zella Backus, his wife, of Carsonville, Michigan, and the buyers, John P. Pemberton and Violet M. Pemberton, his wife, of 1828 Stone Street, Port Huron, Michigan. The buyers were my maternal grandparents, and the house they purchased is the one at 1828 Stone Street, where my mom and her siblings were raised for most of their childhood. They had been living in the house since at least 1956 (maybe earlier), when they entered into a land contract to purchase the house from Thomas and Bertha Backus.

This deed says the selling price was $1, but we know that they entered into a land contract in 1956 to purchase the home from Thomas and Bertha Backus. They presumably made monthly payments of $40 to Thomas and Bertha Backus until the principal of $4,000 was paid off, including interest at 6%. The timing seems a little early, because if they had paid all principal and no interest at $40/month, they would have paid it off in 8.33 years. The warranty deed was signed a little less than 8 years after the land contract was signed, so they must have made a few extra payments. Or, perhaps Thomas Backus was anxious to finally get rid of the property, since his wife had passed on, and he was living in another county and getting up there in age (I found him in the census records; he was born in the 1880s).

What is interesting about Thomas H. Backus is that he never seems to have lived in the house. I looked through the 1900-1930 U.S. census records, and he always lived in Sanilac County. I wonder if this was an investment property for him, or if he somehow inherited it. It would be interesting to find out the house history on this place.

Stay tuned next week for occupational records of John Peter Pemberton.

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