Haldimand Township Descendant


Charles WILLIAMS

Contributed by: Leslie Williams at

Charles WILLIAMS was born 4 Jan 1858 in St. Clair Twp, St Clair Co, MI and died 8 May 1933. He is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Kalkaska, Kalkaska Co., Michigan.

When he was eight years old he saw the last major migration of passenger pigeons going east. The pigeons were so thick that the sky was black with them, and the flight lasted three days. He grew to manhood in St Clair Co. Before settling down, Charles worked on the Wood Bros. Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he purchased a saddle for $25 and had his pick of the horses in the corral for $6 a head, He also helped survey for the Union Pacific Railroad. He returned to St Clair, MI where he met his wife to be, Harriet Caroline MITCHELL, and in 1893 moved to Mio, MI where he was employed in the logging camps as a lumberjack and as a road builder in the Harrison and Farwell area. In 1898 they moved to a farm a mile and a half west of Standish.

In the fall of 1905 the family moved by covered wagon to a forty acre farm in Cold Springs Twp, Kalkaska Co. where they lived until 1926, logging, road building and farming. In 1926 Charles and Harriet with two sons, Bruce and Fred moved to Elk Rapids, MI where they started Williams Bros Oil Co. In 1933 Charles died following several days of illness with pneumonia.

He married 19 Mar 1890, Harriet Caroline MITCHELL, daughter of George Henry and Rachell Melissa MITCHELL. Children:

Bruce A WILLIAMS, Born, 03 Jan 1891, in Columbus Twp, St Clair Co, Mi. Died 21 Oct 1966 in Munson Hospital, Traverse City, Mi. Burial in Elk Rapids, Mi, Maple Grove Cemetery.

Eight grades was all that was available in Cold Springs Twp, Kalkaska Co rural area where he grew up, farming in the summer and working in the woods during the winter was the way of life until he was old enough to travel to Flint during the winter to work in the automobile factories. He worked as a millwright during some of these winters installing machines for fabrication of automobile parts. Later he worked in Detroit as a carpenter building houses similar to the one that we later built and lived in Elk Rapids. Bruce and two of his brothers joined the army during World War I. Bruce because of his experience logging in Michigan was sent to Fort Lee in Oregon to cut Spruce lumber for building military airplanes. At one time Bruce and his brother Henry owned and operated a grocery store in Mancelona, Mi. In 1926 Bruce, his father and younger brother Fred started the Williams Brothers Oil Co in Elk Rapids, Mi. This business grew and provided income for the families until 1946 when the business was sold. In 1947 Bir-Pines Cottages was developed on Birch Lake, Bruce built and operated nine cottages until he was in his seventies. He began to sell them off one at a time to previous renters until only one remained for the family's use during summer vacations.

Bruce married M. Helen PITMAN, daughter of Adam and Minnie PITMAN on 19 Jun 1926 in Alden, MI. Bruce and Helen aside from raising a family were active in the community, the Presbyterian Church, Masons and Eastern Stars. Their four children include:


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