Tuesday, October 6, 2009


These obituaries are Russell Genealogy Team discoveries from my April 2009 visit. Some were found at the Rochester Hills Library and some at the Library in Lansing. Mt. Avon Cemetery is referred to as the Rochester Cemetery.

John Warren Powell died at the Pontiac Asylum last Saturday night, aged 73 years. He was a native of Rochester and lived here all his life up to 16 years ago when he removed to Pontiac. He was an old soldier and pensioner and for more than 50 years was a familiar figure in and about Rochester. He had been deranged for some time and arrangements had been made for his admission to the Pontiac asylum, when death intervened. The remains were brought up to Rochester Tuesday for interment. Besides his wife he leaves a daughter by a former marriage, one brother, William of Rochester, and two sisters, Mrs. Lewis, of Pontiac, and Mrs. Tom Cooper, of Rochester. So passes another of Rochester’s early pioneers and old soldiers. He had been married five times.

Personal Notes: John W POWELL is the brother of Lydia (POWELL) WILSON which makes him the brother in law of Frank RUSSELL AKA Milo Verta RUSSELL.
John is buried at Mt. Avon and his death certificate lists his cause of death as Organic Heart Disease, Arteriosclerosis and something called Urania Nepteritis. As far as I know we only have three wives on file for him.
Wife: Almira HALL of Ontario b 1844 with which Laura and May were born with only May surviving.
Wife: Hattie b 1860-something in MI
Wife: Sarah A VAN BRACKLEY b 1840 in MI

Jerry R. Wilson, 84, of 2804 Oldsmobile Avenue. LaSalle park died at St. Joseph Mercy hospital Wednesday after a three years illness and five days in the hospital. He was born at Rochester, Feb 27, 1860, the son of Reuben and Lydia Wilson. Mr. Wilson married Minnie A. Hier Dec 24, 1886 at Ovid and came here from Carson City. He was employed as a maintenance superintendent at the Hudson Covert school and prior to that at the Pontiac Motor division. He was a resident of the city for 21 years.

Survivors include his widow: his daughters, Mrs. Asceneth Stevens of Drayton Plains, Mrs. Cleo Brownell of Detroit and Mrs. Leila Weisenberger of Pontiac; his sons, Guy of Flint, Lloyd C. of Auburn Heights, Norman D., of Pontiac, and Paul E. of Benton Harbor; his brothers, Frank Russell, of Royal Oak and Cordie Russell of Rochester, 23 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday from the Sparks-Griffin chapel, and burial will take place in the Rochester cemetery.

Personal Notes: Jerry is the son of Reuben WILSON (of the WILSON/FOX family native to the area as far back as the 18-teens) and Lydia POWELL. Lydia's marriage to Frank RUSSELL AKA Milo Verta FREEMAN made Jerry WILSON (and sibling Robert) step-sons to Frank/Milo and half siblings to Cordie, Frank, Lewis and Cora May. We have been in contact with living descendants of the Wilson's, namely one very helpful Cheryl Burtch. She has provided picture of Jerry WILSON. The home Jerry lived in at his time of death (2804 Oldsmobile Ave Waterford) still stands and is/was inhabited by a WILSON as recently as 2002. There is no proof of relationship as the WILSON residents have not been approached. (Pardon me, can you tell me who your father is? And his father's father? What's your mother's maiden name? Where is your family from? Can I see some identification?) Jerry died of a heart attack at the age of 84. He outlived two brothers Lewis RUSSELL and Robert WILSON and two sisters Minerva (WILSON) and Cora May (RUSSELL) HILTON.

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