Tuesday, January 8, 2013

William Finkle (1866-1948)

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS SERIES:

David Finkle (1844-1915)
Eliza Jane (Pemberton) Finkle (1844-1927)
Sarah Maria (Pemberton) Morrison Jones (1851-1941)
 
As I've been cleaning up the source citations and events in my RootsMagic database, I've been blogging about the individuals and families that I've cleaned up. Recently, I've blogged about David Finkle and Eliza Jane Pemberton. Eliza was the younger sister of my third-great-grandfather, John Pemberotn. David and Eliza had seven children. William Finkle, the subject of this post, was their oldest child.

William first appears in the 1870 census as a four-year-old child in the home of his maternal grandparents, Jeremiah and Susannah (Jermyn) Pemberton, in the village of Algonac, St. Clair, Michigan.

1870 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, Algonac, p. 12, dwelling 94, family 94, Jeremiah Pemberton household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 December 2007); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 698.

His parents, David and Eliza, were also enumerated in the household. This puts William's birth date around 1866 and gives his birthplace as Michigan. This means he was born approximately one year after his parents married on 27 Apr 1865 in Clay Township, St. Clair, Michigan.

William appears again in 1880, this time in the household of his parents in Clay Township.

1880 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, enumeration district (ED) 370, p. 17, dwelling 98, family 98, David Finkle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 December 2007); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 604.

His age and birthplace is consistent with that in the 1870 census. He was a 14-year-old farm laborer born in Michigan.

In the 1884 State of Michigan Census, William appears as an 18-year-old mariner living at home with his parents in Clay Township.

1884 State of Michigan Census, St. Clair County, Clay Township, p. 38, dwelling 151, family 162, David Finkle household; digital images, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 7 January 2013); citing Archives of Michigan microfilm record group 80-98, roll 2070.
Again, his birth date and place are consistent (c. 1866 in Michigan) with the 1870 and 1880 census records.

The 1894 State of Michigan Census seems to be off on the age by a couple of years for most of the members of David Finkle's household.

1894 State of Michigan Census, St. Clair County, Marine City, Ward 3, p. 42-43, dwelling 166, family 175, David Finkle household; digital images, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 7 January 2013); citing Archives of Michigan microfilm record group 80-98, roll 2073.
William is enumerated as a 26-year-old single sailor at the home of his parents on Plank Road in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan. His birthplace is again given as Michigan. His age, however, suggests a birth date of c. 1868. The record was faint and hard to read, however, so it is slightly possible that I read his age incorrectly.

William Finkle married Mary Bronson on 15 Jan 1896  in Detroit.

Michigan Department of Vital Records, Marriage Registers, 1896, Wayne County, p. 371, no. 20161, Finkle-Bronson; "Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925," digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 7 June 2008).
Name of groom: Wm. Finkle
Age: 28
Race: White
Residence: Detroit
Birthplace: Michigan
Occupation: Sailor
Father: David Finkle
Mother: Eliza Pemberton
Times previously married: [blank - seems to imply "none"]
Name of bride: Mary Bronson
Age: 23
Residence: Detroit
Birthplace: Iowa
Father: Marshal Bronson
Mother: Unknown
Times previously married: [blank - seems to imply "none"]
Date of license: 15 Jan 1896
Date of marriage: 15 Jan 1896
Place of marriage: Detroit
Officiant: H.L. Schellenberg, J.D.
Witness: Jerry Finkle, Detroit
Witness: Plum B. Schellenberg, Detroit
William's age is given as 28 and his birthplace as Michigan. This suggests a birth date of c. 1867 (possibly early January 1868). Mary was age 23 and born in Iowa, which suggests a birth date of c. 1872. Both are listed as residents of Detroit. William was a sailor, which agrees with his occupation in the 1884 and 1894 census records. His parents are listed as David Finkle and Eliza Pemberton. Mary's father is given a Marshal Bronson, but no mother is given for Mary. One of the witnesses appears to be William's younger brother, Jeremiah "Jerry" Finkle, who was also residing in Detroit. The other witness appears to be a relative of the officiant who performed the marriage. The 1895 Detroit city directory states that Harry L. Schellenberg was a Justice of the Peace who lived at 76 Forest Ave. E. His business was located at 39 Congress E. According to the 1900 census, Harry L. Schellenberg was a lawyer, and Plum Schellenberg was his wife.

I have not found William in the 1895 or 1896 Detroit city directories at Fold3.com, but I have found a Matie Bronson, a maid residing at 17 Ledyard in 1895. The homeowner at this address in 1895 was Charles Reaume, who owned a real estate business.

William and Mary (Bronson) Finkle were enumerated on 12 Jun 1900 in Clay, St. Clair, Michigan.

1900 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, enumeration district (ED) 78, sheet 4A, dwelling 74, family 74, William Finkle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 December 2007); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 741.
They did not have any children. William was listed as a 33-year-old sailor born in Apr 1867. Mary was age 25 and born in Mar 1875. Both birthplaces are given as Michigan. The birth date and place for Mary are both off from the 1896 marriage record.

I cannot seem to find William and Mary in 1910. In January 1920, they were again enumerated in Clay Township.

1920 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, enumeration district (ED) 97, sheet 8A, dwelling 188, family 191, William Finkle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 December 2007); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 795.
This time Mary is listed as "Margaret." William was a 52-year-old sailor born in Michigan. This puts his birth date around 1867. Margaret was age 50 and also born in Michigan. This puts her born around 1869. Again, her age and birth place do not match those found on her marriage record nor the age given in the 1900 census. No children were enumerated.

In April 1927, William was listed as residing in Tashmoo Park in his mother's obituary. Tashmoo Park was actually an amusement park that opened in 1897 and closed in 1951. It was located on Harsen's Island in the St. Clair Flats at the northern end of Lake St. Clair. There were several steamships that sailed between Detroit and Port Huron that stopped at Tashmoo Park. I have to wonder if William possibly worked for one of these steamships, since he was a sailor. Harsen's Island is part of Clay Township and is where the David Finkle family lived for the 1883 and 1885 county directories.

William and "Matie" Finkle were enumerated on 25 Apr 1930 in Clay Township.

1930 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, enumeration district (ED) 7, sheet 10A, dwelling 249, family 252, William Finkle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 December 2007); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1024.
They owned their home, which was valued at $3,500. According to the inflation calculator, this is valued at approximately $48,250 today. Again, there were no children. William was a 63-year-old (born c. 1867) sailor on the Great Lakes. Matie was 59 and born in Michigan. This suggests a birth date of c. 1871. William's birthplace was also Michigan.


In 1940, we once again find William and Matie in Clay Township.

1940 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Clay Township, enumeration district (ED) 7, sheet 18B, household 442, William Finkle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 July 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 1815.
This time their home was valued at $1,500, which would be almost $24,700 today. Not sure why the price difference existed between 1930 and 1940. Perhaps they moved between 1930 and 1940, but all the neighbors from 1930 are still close by and their home values seem to have dropped as well. Perhaps Tashmoo Park was on its downward swing. William was a 74-year-old farmer (guess he had given up his sailing days). This puts him born about 1866 in Michigan. Matie was age 70 (born c. 1870) and born in Michigan.

Six years later, Mary "Matie" (Bronson) Finkle died from chronic myocarditis and generalized arteriosclerosis (i.e. heart disease) on 12 Sep 1946 in Clay Township. A transcription of her death record from the St. Clair County Clerk:
Decedent: Mary Finkele
Date of death: 12 Sep 1946
Place of death: Clay
Sex: F
Race: W
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: William
Cause of death: chronic myocarditis, generalized arteriosclerosis
Occupation: Housewife
Age: 76 y, 0 m, 18 d
Birthplace: Michigan
Father: Marshall Brunson
Father's birthplace: Michigan
Mother: Unknown
Mother's birthplace: Unknown
Source: St. Clair County, Michigan, Death Book 9: 151, Mary Finkele, 1946; County Clerk, Port Huron.

Her age is given as 76 years, 0 months, and 18 days. This would give her a birth date of 24 Aug 1870. Her birthplace is given as Michigan. So where in the heck did her birthplace of Iowa come from on her marriage record to William? This time her father is given as Marshall Brunson (slightly different spelling), born in Michigan.

I also found her obit when I visited the St. Clair County Library in Port Huron, Michigan, in 2009.

"Mrs. William Kinkele," obituary, The Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald, 12 September 1946, p. 22.
Harsen's Island, Sept. 12 -- Mrs. Mary Finkele, 76, wife of William Finkele, died early today in her home here after a long illness.
She was born Aug. 24, 1870 in Wyandotte, Mich., and has lived here for 50 years.
Mr. Finkele is survived by her husband.
The remains are in the Gilbert & Son funeral home.
Funeral arrangements are not completed.
Her birthplace here is given as Wyandotte, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. Her birth date in the obit agrees with the one in the death record.

Almost two years to the day later, William Finkle died from cerebral thrombosis (blood clot) and senility on 11 Sep 1948 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan, at the home of his younger brother, Roy.
Decedent: William Finkle
Date of death: 11 Sep 1948
Place of death: Port Huron
Sex: M
Race: W
Marital Status: Widowed
Cause of death: cerebral thrombosis, senility
Age: 82 y, 5 m, 24 d
Birthplace: Michigan
Occupation: Sailor
Father: David Finkle
Father's birthplace: Michigan
Mother: Eliza Pemberton
Mother's birthplace: Michigan
Source: St. Clair County, Michigan, Death Book 9: 309, William Finkle, 1948; County Clerk, Port Huron.

His age of 82 years, 5 months, and 24 days gives him a birth date of 17 Mar 1866.

"William Finkle," obituary, The Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald, 13 September 1948, p. 10.
The obit gives his birthplace as Pointe Tremble. The official name is Pointe aux Tremble. This is an unincorporated area of Clay Township near Pearl Beach. The obit does not mention him being a sailor, but it does mention that he was known in the area as a fisherman and hunter. I have been looking for the death date of his sister, Eva, and I just noticed that she is not listed as a survivor. Perhaps she died between 1940 (she is in the 1940 census) and 1948. Oaklawn Cemetery is located in Clay Township. According to an online transcription, Mary is buried there too (her obit said funeral arrangements were not finalized). Trinity Methodist Church (today called Trinity United Methodist Church) is located at 424 Smith St. in Algonac. I have not seen this church referenced in any other family member obituaries. No children were listed as survivors in the obituary. It does not appear that William and Mary/Matie had any children.

One other source that I still need to record in my database is a new source that I've found. It's a book called Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Hunting and Decoy Carvers by William A. Stout. Apparently, William Finkle and his brother Hayes were duck decoy carvers. I do not know the source, but his birth date is given as 18 May 1866. The author apparently had one source who knew William "Bill" Finkle during his lifetime. This source stated that Bill lived a simple life and did not own a car and raised his own vegetables for sale to others. He drove Bill around to sell his vegetables. The book states that after his sailing days, Bill earned a modest living by hunting and fishing and selling his duck decoys and fishing lures. Bill lived on Harsens Island throughout his life.

In summary:
  • William Finkle was the oldest child of David and Eliza (Pemberton) Finkle.
  • He was likely born 17 Mar 1866 in Pointe aux Tremble, St. Clair, Michigan.
  • He was a sailor. He became a hunter and fisherman after he retired from sailing.
  • He married Mary "Matie" Bronson/Brunson 15 Jan 1896 in Detroit.
  • Mary was likely born 24 Aug 1870 in Wyandotte, Wayne, Michigan. She was the daughter of Marshall Bronson/Brunson.
  • William and Mary lived in Tashmoo Park on Harsen's Island (Clay Township) for most of their married life.
  • It does not appear that William and Mary had any children.
  • Mary died 12 Sep 1946 in Clay Township, St. Clair, Michigan.
  • William died 11 Sep 1948 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan.
  • William and Mary are buried in Oaklawn Cemetery in Clay Township.

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