Fenton Historical Society

March 2005 Vol 1 Issue 2

News !
Queries & Items
Research Room
Civil War
Our History
Local Events
Ken's Room
Harry's Room
Contact Us

Fenton Historical Society Newsletter

    Donna Seger
Vice President
    Nat Woodward
    Jane Reed
    Donna Seger
    Ken Seger
    Marjorie Nierescher
Research Room
    Eileen Brown
    Cheryl Canty
    Pauline Foley
    Jill Gibbs
    Nellie Gould
    Phyllis Schaefer
    Cheryl Canty

Origins of Street Names - PlatMap Fentonville
George Street: Robert LeRoy's brother
Henry Street: William Fenton's brother, an attorney, died 1838.
Parke Street: After Harvey Parks, Government surveyor from Pontiac. He laid out the Town on the pine board plat map
Adelaide Street: After Adelaide Birdsall, wife of William Fenton. She was born April 30, 1812, daughter of Judge James Birdsall. They also had a daughter named Adelaide.
LeRoy Street: Robert LeRoy, one of the first settlers in Fenton.
Rockwell Street: After Benjamin Rockwell, brother-in-law of William Fenton. He married Lavina Bigelow Fenton.
Elizabeth Street: Robert LeRoy's wife Elizabeth Birdsall, also sister to Adelaide Birdsall Fenton, wife of William Fenton.
Ellen Street: After Robert LeRoy's sister Ellen. Born 1821, died 1888.
Caroline Street: After Robert LeRoy's sister, Caroline St. Amand, wife of Augustus St. Amand. She died at age 31 on April 12, 1847. Her tombstone is all in French.
Lavina Street: After Lavina Bigelow Fenton, sister to William Fenton and married to Benjamin Rockwell.
Roberts Street: After Robert LeRoy.
Common names in town are Oak, Pine, Walnut, Elm, East, West, South, and North.
The original Fentonville Plat was patterned after New England villages, which is where LeRoy and Fenton families are from.
Part 2 of Street Names will be in the next newsletter.

Fenton's Bust
I came upon a picture of Col. Fenton's bust in a newspaper article dated 1941 sitting in the library. It made me think, who made this bust of Col. Fenton, and how did it end up in the library in 1941 and why is it now in the museum in the front room. After doing some research it seems the bust was presented to the Queen of Fenton at the Centennial in 1934 along with his Civil War sword. The Queen was Marjorie Parker Nierescher (descendant of Clark Dibble) and the presenter was Hon. Fenton R. McCreery, grandson of Col. Fenton. They were presented to the city.
But who made this bust of Col. Fenton? I contacted Bill Fenton of Midland, who is also a direct descendant of Col. Fenton. He knew the full story about the bust. It was made by Col. Fenton's son, Joseph Brush Fenton, born June 1843 in Fentonville, and was in the Mich 8th Infantry in the Civil War with his father. He was an avid hunter both in Northern Michigan, out West, and Canada. He was a man of very high character. Brush was a sculptor of no mean ability and the bust he made of his father graced the Capital at Lansing for many years before coming to Fenton.
So thanks to Bill Fenton and some newspaper articles we now know that Col. Fenton's son, Joseph Brush Fenton made the bust and it was presented to the city in 1934 at the Centennial. The city put it in the library and when the library became the museum, the bust of Fenton just stayed there.

Upcoming Events
The March Meeting of the Fenton Historical Society will be held at the Museum on March 23, at 7:30 p.m. The topic of the evening will be "RESEARCH ROOM 101" or how to find what you need in our new research room by Donna and Ken Seger. There will be refreshments and chit chat after the orientation. Hope to see you there.
The April meeting of the Fenton Historical Society will be held at the Museum on April 27, at 7:30 p.m. The speaker will be BETSY ROSS from the Davison Historical Society. She will tell us all about George Washington and show us her first flag that she made for him. She will also discuss her BETSY ROSS House that is an historical home in Philidelphia. This would be a good program for children so if you have any or know of any that would enjoy this subject please bring them. Refreshments will be served after the meeting. Hope to see you there.
We have had inquiries on the Jones, Hovey, Jennings, and Fred Sharp families and also WPA. The research was done by Ken Seger, Cheryl Canty and Eileen Brown.

Tours at the Museum
February 14, The Bay View Club held their meeting at the museum. Their speaker gave a talk on Martha Washington. They gave a donation to the museum.
February 14, A Cub Scout Troop took a tour of the museum at 7:30 in the evening. There were 11 boys and 11 adults.
March 7, The Warner Mills Quester Club held their meeting at the museum and took a tour. They gave a donation to the museum.
April 7, The Flushing Antique Woman's Club will be holding a meeting at the museum and taking a tour.
On March 9, Ken Seger was the speaker at the Hadley Historic Home in Holly. His talk was on the History of Fenton.
Ken Seger has been giving these tours and talks. If anyone would like to help him with this project please contact him.

Update on WWII Booklet
In the last newsletter, I talked about my project, the Worl War II book. Well, since then, Kenny Trimmer from the VFW has added many more pictures and information to the book. I am going to make a few copies for the museum for all to enjoy.
All the aquisitions we receive are wonderful pieces of Fenton History and we thank everyone for donating to our museum. But every once in a while something really special comes to the museum and this month we received such a donation. Dorothy and Jerry Neeley decided they would part with there family heirlooms. Dustin Cheney's letters. Dustin Cheney was one of the very first pioneers to settle in Dibbleville with Clark Dibble. These letters are in excellent shape and have been taken very good care of. They are dated 1834 the year Clark and Dustin came to this area to live. Thank you Jerry and Dorothy, we will take very good care of these precious items.
(Added note from your Webmaster: I have typed up the letters into the computer at the Historical Society, so that they will not have to be handled all the time but the contents can be read by anyone. This will help preserve the books for a long time to come.)

Last Words
We would like to welcome our new member, Lorraine Hanson of Longmont, Colorado. Her family name was Adams and she attended grade school in Fenton. Her family had a homestead farm on Owen Rd. with a 200 year plaque on it untill it was torn down. Does anyone have any infor on her family or remembers the Adams on Owen Rd.? If so, please contact me so I can supply her with this information. Thanks.

About Our Organization
In the last newsletter, I put in a genealogy sheet for all to fill out.The responce has not been good, would you try again? We really need this info for our Fenton Family File both on our computer and in our book. You do not have to be an old Fenton family to take part in this. You are in Fenton now, so you are part of Fenton's history..

Acquisitions From Ken Seger
*One book "Michigan Historic Cemeteries Preservation" by King from matt Adair.
*One Political fan of Tim Faricy and one small Hillman's thermometer, the store for men, from Ron Bigelow.
*One Fenton Band belt buckel and one picture of WWI Flint Parade from Pete Hartley.
*Nineteen pictures of Lake Fenton Homes from Jan Rynearson.
*Seven WWII booklets from the estate of Alice Pasco Thompson through Chuck Pasco.
*One red helmet, 1947 Soap Box Derby, from Dr. Frank Piccinni from Colorado.
*Three paintings from Pauline Foley, two were done by her father Everett Francis and one was done by Shirley Essex of Laura Alice Shepherd Giles. Also one photography and poetry picture done by Jane Hodgman Delcarson and Pauline Francis Foley.
*One Holly history book, "Images of America", bought from the Holly Historical Society.
*Seven Fenton postcards, picture of Methodist Church burning, Cheney genealogy by Charles Pope, book "Portrait and Biographical Record of Genesee, Lapeer and Tuscola Counties", and a booklet containing letters from Dustin Cheney dated Dec. 27, 1834; Oct. 5, 1840; and Dec. 15, 1863, from Jerry and Dorothy Neeley (Direct descendants from Dustin Cheney).
*One postcard from Rowena Theater, Mary Pasco's check book from State Savings Bank, three American Legion Aux. cards and one WWII overseas cap from Chuck Pasco.
*One WWII Navy uniform from Zeb Holland, Boatswains Mate stationed in Shanghai.
*One history book "Davison - Then and Now" bought from the Davison Historical Society.

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