Edgar Joseph McMellen (1866-1924) Timeline

Grandpa McMellen drove a Model T Ford, 1920.  It had an oval back window, one door on the passenger side.  The passenger’s seat folded down to accommodate the backseat riders, then the driver would get in and last the front seat passenger would get in.  The question comes to my mind as to who would be cranking the car to start this or any other trip?  It took the driver to turn on the key and pull the choke, and put his foot on the gas, so with the man in the driver’s seat, it seems to have been left for the passenger!!!  Lots of people had a hired man on their farms and perhaps he would save the lady in distress and crank the car for them!!  The car had three pedals, clutch, brake and reverse.  When going uphill, usually the low gear was too weak from over use and so they would use the reverse and back up the hills!  Can you imagine doing that today when our cars go too fast for the regular driver?  Our rate of accidents would surely go down if we all drove the 1920 cars.  Grandpa would drive his car in the driveway and start into the garage, he would always kill the motor, get out and start it and then turn it off with the key.

Grandpa had varicose veins and Grandma would tear strips of rags and every evening when he would take the wrappings off his legs, Peggy and Arlene would roll them up so that they would be ready for him the next morning.  His health was not too bad but one day after going to see the Doctor, he started to go downhill.  The Doctor told him that he had Brights Disease and he only lived six months after that.  Possibly he didn’t have the disease and would have lived many years if the Doctor had never told him this.  This story was related to me by my sister, Peggy, during one of my short stopovers.

Abstracted by Paula M. Hillman of Middleburg, Florida, February 1989

1924.  Edgar Joseph McMellen was born on 26 May 1866 in Michigan to Cornelius McMellen and Fannie [sic] Dart.  He died on 14 July 1924 while living at Comstock Park RR1, Walker Township, Kent County, Michigan from Chronic Nephritis [Kidney Disease], a disease Edgar had for a period of 9 months of suffering.  Sherman L. Barns of the same address was the informant.  Edgar worked as a machine hand.  He was 58 years, 1 month, and 18 days old at time of passing.  He was married to Alice (Porter).  Edgar is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Walker, Michigan.

1929.  Alice (nee Porter) McMellen was born on 8 September 1872 in Michigan to Stillman H. Porter and Laurie Puecipher [sic].  She died on 22 July 1929 while living at R.F.D. #2 in Grand Rapids.  Alice was a widow her husband passing 5 years earlier.  Alice died from Chronic Bronchitis (contributory).  Mrs. Henry B. Rose of R.F.D. #8, a neighbor, was the informant.  Alice was 56 years, 10 months, and 14 days old at time of passing.  She is buried adjacent her husband in Greenwood Cemetery though she has no stone.

Hayes Ionia Plant

1916 Grand Rapids City Directory.

McMellen Edgar, lab, h 14 Shelby
McMellen Edward J, h 404 Burton SW
McMellen Lavina Mrs, bds 340 King ct

1915 Grand Rapids City Directory.

McMellen Edgan [sic] J, lab, h 216 Albert
McMellen Edward J, h 404 Burton SW
McMellen Ethel B, bds 206 Albert

1920.  US Census – Ionia, Ionia, Michigan.
Joe McMellen, head, age 53, rents home, born Michigan, both parents born New York, works as a laborer for Hayes Ionia.
Alice McMellen, wife, age 47, born Michigan, both parents born New York

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1910 US Census.

Wyoming, Kent County, Michigan
Edgar McMillen, head, age 42, married 20 years, born Michigan, section foreman for railroad, rents home.
Alice, wife, age 38, mother of 2 – 2 living, born Michigan
Edgar, son, age 19, single, born Ohio, common laborer – odd jobs.
Ethel, daughter, age 16, single, born Ohio
Elvy, niece, age 16, single, born Ohio

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:ML5P-K8J : accessed 9 August 2018), Edgar Mcmillen, Wyoming, Kent, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 148, sheet 19B, family 448, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 656; FHL microfilm 1,374,669.

1906 Family Church Membership.

The McMellen family placed membership with the Second Street Methodist Episcopal Church (sat corner Second and Turner streets) in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 2 September 1906.  They were received by letter on 20 October 1906 indicating a prior membership with the similar body of believers in their prior location (Newaygo County).

1900 US Census.

Garfield, Newaygo County, Michigan
Edgar J. McMellen, head, born May 1866, age 34, married 10 years (1856), born in Michigan, parents born in Michigan, section railroad hand, rents home.
Alice, wife, born Sept. 1872, age 27, mother of 2 – 2 living, born in Michigan, parents born in New York
Edgar, son, born March 1891, age 9, born in Ohio
Ethel, daughter, born August 1893, age 6, born in Ohio

“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS9K-ZBF : accessed 9 August 2018), Edgar Mc Mellen in household of Edgar Mc Mellen, Garfield township Newaygo village (part), Newaygo, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 95, sheet 2A, family 35, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,735.

1890 Marriage.

On 3 February 1890 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Edgar Joseph McMelen [sic], age 23, a laborer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, married Miss Alice A. Porter, age 17, also of Grand Rapids.  Parents of the groom: Cornelius McMelen and Fannie Dart.  Parents of the bride: Sherman H. Porter and Laura Pulsifer.  Neither were previously married.  They were wed by C. S. Preston, an Ordained Elder.  Witnesses: Chas. A. Schooley and Sophrona L. Schooley, both of Grand Rapids.

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925”, database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQWX-8PD : 15 May 2018), Edgar Joseph Mcmelen and Alice A. Porter, 1890.

1884/1894 Michigan Censuses.

The 1884 and 1894 Michigan Censuses for Berrien County are missing.

1880 US Census

Not found on the Lincoln, Berrien, Michigan 1880 US Census.  Also searched in Berrien County (negative searches): Lake, Watervliet, Royalton, Bainbridge, Three Oaks, Sodus, Millburg, New Buffalo

As the Cornelius McMellen family was in Lincoln in 1870 and 1890, it would seem the best place to look for the 1880 Census is also Lincoln.

1870 US Census – Lincoln, Berrien, Michigan

Neal (Cornelius) McMillan was 35 in 1870 (born 1835); place of birth – Ohio; his personal estate was valued at $700; he had no real estate; no occupation given.
Fanny, his wife, was 24 (born 1846); place of birth Ohio.
John, his son, was 6; born in Michigan
Edward, his twin son, was 4; born in Michigan
Edgar, his twin son, was 4; born in Michigan.

“United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHHZ-D4J : 12 April 2016), Edgar Mcmillan in household of Neal Mcmillan, Michigan, United States; citing p. 12, family 99, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,162.