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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent


This is an assembly of R.G. Crawfords' recollections of life in early Stalwart, recorded sometime in the 30's, and embellished by stories from others as noted. The larger work was compiled and written by Robert B. Crawford in 1969. I have taken no liberties with this text in transcribing, except to add an ocassional comma, change surname sequence for family grouping, or to complete a word in order to maintain continuity and readability.

The original 1969 compilation has 32 typed and numbered pages. Pages 5 and 27, which were previously missing, have now been located and are included in this update. My greatest appreciation to Judy Adams, Rhonda Jenks, Edie Debro McDermott, and M. Miller, all descendants of the Crawford family, who made this possible, and the numerous additional families who have now joined us for this virtual adventure with our Stalwart friends and kin. Special Thanks to Donna White (, Chippewa County researcher, for her work with local cemeteries and documentation. Remember; if you have histories, stories or anecdotes, or (especially) photographs of early Stalwart or any of its families, please forward copies to me. All such submittals are added to the existing surname space, but in a colored box with the name of the submitter, in order to identify and keep newer material separate from the original document.

Skip Gottfried, great-grandson of Robert KINGHORN and Annie McEVERS, and grandson of their daughter Agnes KINGHORN BROWN. April 1999, Memphis, TN.

Text and several photos updated October 2002 - added Thomas Reynolds, Robert O'Brien, and the contracting of Evaline Hall as first Teacher

Thank you to those who have helped me get this far with this Project. Especially to my Mom, Moretta, daughter of Agnes KINGHORN BROWN, who provided the first few KINGHORN-related pages of this text, and Beverly KINGHORN, wife of James Robert KINGHORN, a grandson of Stalwart's Robert KINGHORN. It is Beverly and her daughter Amy who were able to provide the first bulk of the missing History pages, and the very special photograph of Robert and Annie. A HUGE Thank You to the folks at who have made this online presence possible. They clearly understand the positive role and contributions of the Scots worldwide, as evidenced in the Stalwart story.

The early STALWART community, and our pioneer ancestors who founded it, should be a cherished keepsake, as well as an inspiration to us, in our modern too-busy world. You can contact me at, anytime.

Text appearing in a colored box such as this has been found and/or contributed from sources other than the original R.G. Crawford collection, and is duly noted. These additions have been included in an effort to provide perspective and detail. My most sincere thanks to all contributors.
INDEX Use this chart to jump to surname sections, or to send e-mail to a descendant. INDEX This is NOT a complete list of all names. Many families married locally!
family & year of homestead came to Stalwart from ... descendants found! family & year of homestead came to Stalwart from ... descendants found!
Hanna - 1878 Donegal, Ireland>Owen Sound, Ontario Robert Tompsett Mike McEvers Richard Hannah Shannon Davis Campbell - 1881 Goderich, Ontario  
Scott - 1878 Canada McWilliams - 1881 Ireland>Ellengowan & Paisley, Ontario  
Johnston - 1878 Tara, Ontario     Waybrant - 1881 Kinkardine, Ontario Jan Francis Judy Adams Chuck H. Hall
Forgrave - 1879 Owen Sound, Ontario     Hewer - 1881  Gloucester>Beevin, Ontario  
Boskill - 1879 Canada Jane Harrison Duncan - 1881 Canada  
McKenzie - 1879 Canada   O'Brien - 1882  eastern Canada Mary Etta Kreklau  
Purdy - 1879 Canada   Carr - 1882    
O'Neil - 1879 Port Hope, Ontario Jane Harrison   Maltas - 1891 Toronto, Ontario  
Kinghorn - 1880 Scotland>Colbourne, Ontario Skip Gottfried

Amy Sather

Betty Johnson

Jon Travis

William Kinghorn

Scott Kinghorn

 Jeff Foreman Pogue  Canada Jennifer Nalley
Tripp - 1880 Percy, Ontario Jan Tripp Reynolds  Massachusetts
Martin - 1880 Canada McEvers Guelph or Cobourg, Ontario Mike McEvers Skip Gottfried
Beggs - 1880 Canada Johnson
Kay - 1880 Kinkardine, Ontario Cotton Canada
Storey - 1880 Canada Jon Travis Norlin Sweden
Hall - 1880 New England>Ontario Chuck H. Hall Eva Ward Shawn Marie Ribble Kaylene
Crawford - 1880 Donegal, Ireland>Owen Sound, Ontario Sandy Caden Edie McDermott Judy Adams Mary Miller Rhonda Jenks
Kelly - 1880 Ireland>Canada Dawn Thurlow
Stevenson - 1880  Moskoka, Ontario Dawn Thurlow
Sims - 1881  Scotland>Canada Dawn Thurlow


Some of the first settlers came by way of the Mackinac Trail to Strongville, then east to Pickford, then south and east through what was later known as Sunshine, past Bassett' s and Sampson' s to Riley's, then east following the ridges until they came to Richard Hanna's homestead.

Others like McKenzie and Forgrave came by sail boat to Sharp's Landing on Munoskong Bay. Then they walked across the Gogamain Swamp to the sand ridge where John Campbell had his place. Or they came up the Munoskong River on the John Auger to Stirlingville and from there either they followed the sand ridge past where Kelly's settled and to the Ames place and the O'Briens. Others came south from Stirlingville and joined the trail by way of Riley's and Hanna's.

McKenzie and Forgrave carried their furniture a distance of over two miles across the Gogamain swamp including a cookstove which they carried on a pole between them. Whether they carried their furniture the remaining three or four miles to their homesteads is not recorded. R. G. Crawford and others brought their household goods with horses or oxen and "jumper" from Stirlingville by way of Riley's and Hanna's. A jumper was a sort of sled with wooden runners made from maple saplings with the frame or bed raised to about eighteen inches above the ground so as to pass over low stumps and stones. Sometimes the load would be on the jumper and sometimes the jumper was on the load!

Robert G. Crawford was a sailor on the Great Lakes. After his ship had tied up for the winter one fall, he walked from the Sault and located his homestead, and returned and filed his claim. Then he came back and built a shanty and chopped the required acreage that winter. One night as he and his brother, Tom, were sleeping they were awakened by some animal among the cooking utensils. There was a hole in the bottom of the door and as it was a bright moonlight night, they could see the hole. R.G. got his muzzle-loading shotgun ready and told Tom, "When he darkens that hole, I'll let him have it." It wasn't long until the hole was darkened and the shotgun roared and then -- They knew they had killed a skunk.

The next spring R.G. went back sailing as he was single and wanted to earn enough to keep improving his property. During the summer his cousin, George Crawford, who was living east of Pickford, heard that a friend of Bill Scott's named Robert Kinghorn was coming to "jump" his claim. So George walked to the Sault and met Robert Crawford's boat as it was passing through and told him what was intended. He went on to Marquette and went to the land office to see what he could do. He was told to go back and if no one was on the property to stay, but if the man was there it would be better to leave it.

In the meantime, Bill Scott was moving Kinghorn in to occupy the homestead with all his belongings on a jumper and got mired in the beaver meadow. They had to unload and carry everything up to higher ground, then get the jumper out. When Scott started to load up again Kinghorn said, "Never mind, one place is as good as another. I'll stay here." It seems that Scott had that quarter section planned for another friend and tried to persuade Kinghorn to go on, but he had gone far enough. So R.G.'s place was unoccupied when he got back, and he stayed on it.

The shanty in which he had killed the skunk caught on fire when he was burning the wood he had cut in the winter, so he built another, bigger and better than the first had been, and he put it back farther from the line. That winter he worked in the lumber camps, and for many winters after. In the winter of 1883 he came home from camp on a weekend and there was a Methodist missionary in the neighborhood, so he and Evaline Hall decided it was a splendid time to get married. They were married on the 29th of January, and set up housekeeping in the shanty. He went back to the lumber camp. The missionary was Robert A. Wood.


1878 Richard Hanna, John Johnston, William Scott, John Scott, --- Harris.

1879 Thomas Forgrave, John J. McKenzie, Thomas Boskill

1880-1882 Robert G. Crawford, Joseph Storey, --- Begg, Sam Martin, James Duncan, Alexander Kay, Robert Kinghorn, John Crawford, James Stevenson, Robert O'Brien, John Campbell, Richard Hewer, Charles Tripp, Philip Waybrant, Alexander McWilliams, Henry Carr, Andrew Sims, John Flood, Henry Hammond Hall, William Maltas, --- McGinnis.


As reported to the Chippewa County Historical Society by R. G. Crawford sometime in the 1930's


Stalwart received its name when the post office was established in 1881 at this settlement. Edgar J. Swart, postmaster at Prentis Bay at the time, and John J. McKenzie made application for a post office for the new settlement and it was finally granted. The Post Office Department at Washington, D.C. asked the settlers to submit a name for their post office. As Garfield was the new President of the United States, they chose this name for their settlement. Word came back, however, that there vas already a post office established by that name. So the name of Arthur was submitted by the settlers, but there was a Post Office in Michigan by this name also. So the Post Office Department at Washington, D.C. submitted to the settlers the name of Stalwart, because president Garfield was a Stalwart factor in the Republican party, and it would still be named for him. The name was accepted and the little village still honors in name the unfortunate President whose untimely end brought about the Civil Service Reform Law. (President Garfield met his death at the hands of a man who had been begging the President to give him a job. As the President could not do this, the man shot him. Soon after, Congress passed the law whereby those desiring government jobs must pass a civil service examination. This gives all an equal chance of looking out for themselves and placing no responsibility on the President.)

- photo of the Stalwart Post Office (closed 6/5/1995) - contributed by John (


Stalwart is located on State Highway M-48, 10 miles south and east of Pickford and 24 miles north and west of DeTour, and 8 miles north of Prentis Bay on Lake Huron. Many settlers referred to this community as the "Green Bush".


The first settlers who came to Stalwart in the summer of 1878 were Richard Hanna, John Johnston, William Scott, John Scott, and a Mr. Harris. They came by way of Pickford and cut a trail through the woods from the burnt land from a point on the Munoskong River at what is now Sunshine community. The trail was cut in a southeasterly direction for about four miles. Mr. Hanna had a yoke of oxen, but one of these died before all his goods were landed, which made it necessary for his wife and young children to stay in Pickford until the following spring.

The Homesteaders:

These first pioneers took up homesteads on the four corners of sections 25-26-35-36 Town 43 N-one east.

1) John Johnston on the S.W. Quarter of Section 25,

2) Harris on the S.E. Quarter of Section 26,

3) William Scott on N.W. Quarter of Section 36, and

4) John Scott on the S.W. Quarter of Section 36,

5) Richard Hanna on the N.E. Quarter of Section 35, all in township 43-one east.

In the spring of 1879, Thomas Forgrave and John James McKenzie and Thomas Boskill came to Stalwart and took up homesteads as follows:

6) Thomas Boskill on the S.E. Quarter of Section 24;

7) John James McKenzie on the N.E. Quarter of Section 25 town 43 - 1 east.

8) Thomas Forgrave on the N.W. Quarter of Section 30-43-2 east.

Later in the same year

9) William Purdy took up a homestead on the S.W. Quarter 19-43-2 east.

In the fall of 1879,

10) Henry Hammond Hall took up a homestead on the east half of 30-43- 2 east, and

11) John 0'Neil took up a homestead on the S.E. Quarter of Section 25-43-1 east.

In the month of January 1880,

12) Robert George Crawford took up a homestead on the SW quarter of 30-43-l east.

In the same year,

13) Andrew Sims and

14) James Sims took up homesteads on the west half of section 31-43-2 east.

Also Joseph Storey and Mr. Beggs came the same year and took up homesteads,

15) Storey on the NW quarter of 25-43-1 east and

16) Beggs on the NE quarter of 26-43-1 east.

In that same year

17) Samuel H. Martin took a homestead on the SE quarter of section 31-43-2 east. Also

18) James Duncan took a homestead on the SE quarter of section 36-43-1 east.

[then in 1881:]

19) Alexander Kay located on a homestead on the NW quarter of section 32-43-2 east;

20) Robert Kinghorn the NE quarter of section 36-43-1 east;

21) John Crawford on the NE quarter of section 24-43-1 east;

22) Robert O'Brien on the NW quarter of section 18-43-2 east;

23) James Stevenson on the SW quarter of section 13-43-1 east;

24) John Campbell on the NE quarter of section 18-43-2 east;

25) Richard Hewer on the SE quarter of section 18-43-2 east; and

26) Charles Tripp on the NE quarter of section 19-43-2 east

27 [?] in Two Miles

This is a complete list of homesteaders up to December 31, 1882, making a total of 27 within a radius of two miles. All these came from Canada.

Philip Waybrant came to Stalwart in 1881 and located on the homestead first taken by Harris.

Alexander McWilliams, Sr. also located in 1881, on the homestead first taken by William Purdy.

William Waybrant and Henry Waybrant located on homesteads in section 1-42-1 east in Mackinac County just south of John Scott and James Duncan.

Henry Carr bought the NW quarter of section 6-42-2 east from the Detroit Mackinac and Marquette Railroad Company in 1882. This company had acquired a grant from the state to build a railroad but the railroad was never built.

Sawmill at Prentis Bay

When the first settlers came to Stalwart there was a sawmill running at Prentis Bay, and a store, postoffice, and camp were located here also. The pioneers of Stalwart cut a trail south to an old tote road which had been used by the people of Prentis Bay for hauling supplies to their camp. This new trail was used by homesteaders of Stalwart to carry their supplies from the mill and store to their homes in the new community. These sturdy pioneers needed no physician to inform them that exercise was healthy. For they surely had all the exercise they needed when they carried their groceries on their backs for eight miles or more.

These old pioneers experienced many hardships because they lacked conveyances and roads. When John McKenzie, Thomas Boskill and Thomas Forgrave came in the spring of 1879, they moved their goods in by way of Munoskong Bay. They bought a sailboat in the Sault and came to what was known as Sharps Landing on the South of the bay. There was an old lumberman's tote road from the Bay to within two miles of their homesteads. The distance being about five miles. Half of the way was swampland, which made it very wet and muddy to travel. Added to this discomfort was the fact that the only method of conveying their goods was on their backs. Thomas Forgrave and John McKenzie carried a cookstove on two poles all of the distance from the shore to their home. (Modern men should think of this when they grumble because they have to carry something heavy up a flight or two of stairs to their new apartment.) These two men stated that this was their hardest trip.

It is quite surprising just what one really can do when determination takes possession of the mind.

Surplus Burned

Added to this trying experience, Providence again tested the stamina and fiber of these men in a most unlooked for manner. A little shack near the store was used for a storehouse for the excess goods which they were not able to take with them. One day when they returned for another load they found the shack and most of their goods burned. This was certainly an application of the old saying, "when it rains it pours." Did they give up? Well, many would have felt like doing so, and some might actually have carried out the threat. But not they. They "put their chins up", and with them went their determination to conquer these new difficulties in the wilderness. When the altitude of your chin, your hopes, and your determination are high, you just have to succeed.

Henry H. Hall moved some of his goods up the river in a flat bottom boat for the most of the way. The remainder he carried up the old tote road from the shore.

But the men were not the only ones who bore the burdens. We must not forget the women. One cannot fully describe the weary heartaches which the mothers in these new-found homes must have endured - perhaps silently - because the pioneer women had to carry the torch and make the little homes in the wilderness a haven of rest for their husbands and children. Even though the furniture, kitchen utensils, and even the groceries were scarce sometimes, they had to smile and encourage the rest of the family. For happiness and contentment are greater than all.

The postoffice at Prentis Bay was the nearest point for mail for the Stalwart homesteaders. The mail came from St. Ignace by sailboat in the summer and by dog team in the winter.

The first post office at Stalwart was established in 1881 with John J. McKenzie as the first postmaster. (Mr. McKenzie carried the mail from Prentis Bay for 14 months without compensation.) The site of the first post office was on the NE quarter of section 25-43-1 east, in the J. J. McKenzie home. [It was later moved to Forgrave's store, and postmasters were Thomas Forgrave, Chester Crawford, James C. Crawford, and Donna Watson. This location was closed October 31, 1992.]

The first school district was organized at Stalwart in 1882. The site was SE quarter of section 26-43-1 east on Philip Waybrant's land. John J. McKenzie was the first director and Miss Evaline Hall the first teacher.

First Church in 1883

The first church was organized in 1883 known as the Stalwart Presbyterian Church, with Rev. John Benton the first pastor. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized the following year, with Rev. Arthur Woods as pastor.

The Grange was established in 1904, and the Stalwart Agricultural Society in 1911.

The Pioneer Historical Society was established in 1925 at Stalwart. The object is to preserve in written form a history of Stalwart from its earliest founding, and to add to this history year after year. Twenty-three pioneers passed away before the organization of the Historical Society, and seventeen since, making a total of forty who have passed on to their reward.

This is a copy of the history of Stalwart, made up by Robert George Crawford sometime in the 1930's for the Chippewa County Historical Society.

Most of this information was taken from A History of Pickford, Michigan, compiled by the Freshman Class of 1960.

The first permanent settler in Stalwart was Richard Hanna. Mr. Hanna claimed his homestead in 1878 and moved his wife and three sons John, William, and Wesley, and three daughters, Mary Anne, Margaret, and Elizabeth, to the site of the homestead in May, on which Mr. Hanna had previously constructed a crude log cabin. Two years after they had moved, the youngest and last child, Alex (Sandy) was born.

As Mr. Hanna got some land cleared and necessary improvements made, he built another larger and more comfortable log house which still stands on the old homestead.

Richard Hannah (left) and his father Edward. Photo taken in Pickford during Edward's visit to Stalwart. Photo courtesy of Dr. Richard Hannah, Calgary, Alberta. 

All necessary household goods, food items and mail were carried through the woods by blazed trail from Prentiss Bay, where it came by boat.

When Alex Hanna was still quite young, Mrs. Hanna's brother came to the home to visit and brought with him the dread Black Smallpox - every member of the family was stricken and Mrs. Hanna and the oldest son John died. Also the carrier Sandy Montgomery. The disease was so highly contagious and deadly that nobody came or left the place thus necessitating their burial on the homestead. The platt was later set aside and recorded and is still on record in the Chippewa County Court House.

The Hanna Cemetery today

The struggle for a mere existence in a new raw settlement was exacting and hard work; mistakes were costly. One had to be on the alert at all times. Medical help was impossible on short notice. Only the absolute necessities were carried in. Sugar was obtained by tapping the maple trees in the spring and boiling the sap to make syrup and sugar.
Still in use on the old homestead are two old iron sugar kettles brought from Canada, More and more settlers moved in and eventually a sort of town council was formed. Mr. Hanna was put in one of their magistrates. Trials were held for petty crimes in the community.

The last two members of the family are now gone. Mrs. Elizabeth Sims, who was well up in her 80's, died in 1962. MISS MARGARET HANNA was born Nov, 25, 1865, and died Jan. 15, 1964. She was 98 when she died.

Melvin Hanna, ALEXANDER HANNA's son, still lives on the original homestead. He married Doris Rosing and they have four children. Carl married Barbara Thompson and they have four children. Carl married Barbara Thompson and they have one son, Brian, and live in Pickford. Noel is a Captain in the Air Force, stationed in North Carolina, where he flies the C-130 Hercules. Dianne married Kenneth Schmitigal. Shannon lives in Sault Ste. Marie.

Kermit Hanna married Mildred Leach and they have two children. David married Andrea Greggs and lives in Sault Ste. Marie. Gloria is Mrs. James Clegg and lives in Pickford.

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text can be found on the internet at .

Melvin Hanna, son of Alex, lived on the old homestead, and died in 1995 (Doris, his wife, in 1990). Dianne (Hanna) Schmitigal and her husband are both retired and living in Goetzville. They have two sons: Jeffrey-married with one son, living in Hartland, Michigan; and Philip - married with two daughters, living on the Hanna homestead in Stalwart. Noel Hanna is father to three sons - he is retired from the US Air Force and Michigan Air National Guard where he was a pilot - flying the famous A-10 Warthog. He resides in Battle Creek. His three grown sons are Michael, Christopher, and Andrew. Shannon is living in Galesburg, Michigan. She has two daughters - Jennifer, living in Grand Rapids, and Allison, a student at Eastern Michigan University.

submitted by Shannon Davis 8/7/1999

Obituary - Richard Hannah

The community was exceedingly grieved last Thursday evening December 26th, 1912 when word of the death of Richard Hannah of Stalwart, Michigan, one of Chippewa County's most honorable citizens, was received.

Richard Hannah was born in 1835 (presumed Ireland) and when but 13 years of age he moved with his parents to Lindsay, Ontario, Canada where his boyhood days were spent.

In 1865 he married Catherine Montgomery, and to this union were born eight children - one dying in infancy.

In 1878 the family moved to Sault St. Marie, Michigan where they resided one year before moving to his homestead at Stalwart.

In 1886 the home was saddened by the death of his wife and the eldest son during an epidemic of smallpox.

Mr. Hanna was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Stalwart for 22 years, seldom failing to take his place at the prayer class or preaching services until the last two years, during which time his health was failing.

The deceased is survived by three daughters, Mrs. John McEvers (Mary Ann); Mrs. Alex Sims (Elizabeth) and margaret; also three sons Wesley, Alexander and William, all of Stalwart. One sister, Mrs. William Templeton (Sarah) of Hannah, North Dakota.

- excerpted from the files of Dr. Richard Hannah


John James Campbell was born in Goderich Ontario, on November 25, 1863. His father died before he was born and in 1880, he and his mother migrated to Sault Ste. Marie, where John worked for a year on the construction of the locks.

In 1881 the Campbells settled on a homestead north and east of Stalwart in what is called "The Sand Ridge". That was one of the first homesteads on the sand ridge. 0'Briens were on the west side and Hewers on the south, the Gogamain Swamp was on the north. Other neighbors on the sand ridge were the Tripps, the Reynolds, and the Floods and Brindleys.

Summer days were spent in clearing land and caring for small crops. In winter most of the men went to lumber camps where the wages run from $20 and $3O a month and board and room.

Mrs. Hannah Campbell, John's wife, was a native of Applegate, Michigan, and came by sailboat from Harbor Beach to Point Aux Frenes and from there to Kirkbrides south of Raber. John and Hannah had nine children, four of which reached adulthood. Earl was killed in an auto accident, John married and moved to Muskegon, Harvey lives in the Pickford area with two sons, and Marie is a teacher in the Sault School System.

The old Campbell homestead, like the other "Sand Ridge" farms, is slowly going back to nature and the hardy pioneers who worked so hard and suffered so many hardships are just fond memories.


Charles Tripp came to Michigan from Percy, Ontario, in the early part of 1880. Coming first to St. Ignace and later to the Stalwart area. He homesteaded the North East quarter of Section 19 43-2 East. South of Richard Hewer's.

The Tripp family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tripp [she, the former Maria Streavers], Charles Allen, James, Hiram, John, Minnie, Mina, and Bertha. Charles A. never married but was a lumberman working in the lumber camps and running sawmills. He also operated threshing machines of his own in the steam engine days.

Jim and his wife had two daughters, Bertha and Tillie. They obtained the farm of Philip Waybrant on which the school was built, and they boarded the teachers. Bertha died while she was a young woman. Tillie married Johnston Duncan and they made their home with her parents. They had one son, Earl. Not long after Tillie and Johnston were married they all moved to Cedarville where they kept a dairy for many years.

Hiram married Kate McInnis and they lived for many years at "Diamond Springs" corner, on the west half of the southwest Quarter of Section 24. They didn't have any children. They had a store at one time near the corner, but later moved the building to higher ground, where he built other more permanent buildings.

John married Nellie Hewer. They lived by the Hanna creek to the west of his brother Jim. John died when the family was small, and Nellie moved to Cedarville where she could get work, and later moved her family to Flint. There she married John Maxwell.

Minnie married Gray and lived in Stirlingville, and Mina married Hank Farney and lived at Rosedale.

Bertha married Bert Smith, a railroad engineer. They lived in different places around Stalwart, and Bert worked for Al Tripp quite often running the steam engine. He also worked as an engineer for the lumber company at Raber, running the engine on the log train.

Charles Tripp owned a farm a half mile north of Pickford which was later known as the William Miller farm. Charles Tripp is buried in Bethel Cemetery north of Pickford.

James and his family are buried in Cedarville Cemetery.

Bert Smiths are buried in Stalwart.

[* Emma Tripp (see JOHNSON below)]


In writing about the family of Charles Tripp, somehow the name of Emma was not included. Emma married William Johnson. He came to the area as a lumberman, working at Point Aux Frene and Raber. They moved around considerably, living in Pelston in the Lower Peninsula, and out west. Emma was a good cook, and was employed in camps and boarding houses.

The Johnson family were Charles (deceased), Everett, William (deceased), Ethel, and Sidney. Everett married Katherine Crawford. Their children were Robert, Everett (Junior), Dale (killed in action in WW II and buried in Fairview Cemetery), Lois married William Carlson, Charles (Jack), Lawrence married Shelva Warren - granddaughter of Mae Warren, Donald married Nona, a daughter of Louis Crisp, Betty, Ethel, and Jim.

William married in Toledo, Ohio, and he died in Toledo. Ethel married a doctor in New York, and Sidney married Jane Clegg. They have a home in DeTour.

Emma Johnson obtained the homestead of Rev. Benton on the Sand Ridge. After William Johnson, Sr., died, his wife Emma married Frank Morrell, and they lived on the Sand Ridge until she died. After her death Frank went back to Iron Mountain where some of his family lived. He was French, and in his prime of life worked in the lumber camps in Dickinson County in the winter and in the spring drove logs on the Menominee River. He told a story of one time when the drive ended at Menominee and the whole river crew had a big celebration. They were in a hotel dining room dressed as they had been on the river, including calk boots. One of the men called in French to a big Frenchman at the end of the long table, "Can you walk her, Pierre?" Pierre stepped up on the table and walked it full length over dishes and food. That was one way that Michigan Lumberjacks celebrated the end of the drive or camp breakup in the spring.


William Scott was one of the first settlers in Stalwart, coming here with brother John in 1878. His place was later better known as the "Maltas" Place. His log house still stands on the Pogue place where it was moved after Maltas built a new home. William Scott married Catherine Waybrant, but they didn't stay long in Stalwart, moving to Virginia. In later years, Mrs. Scott and family came back to Michigan, living in Stalwart and DeTour, but the only one of the family who stayed was George, who married Mildred Lehman, and made his home in DeTour. He had a son Charles who married Mildred Sims.

Different from his brother, John Scott lived on his homestead all his life. He was married to Nettie McInnis and had as a family; Laura, who moved to Vancouver when she grew up; Nettie, who went to the Stalwart Schools and became a registered nurse. She spent most of her nursing career in Detroit. She married Wilbert Reynolds and retired to the Soo. After teaching School, Irene became Mrs. David Lavender and lived in Flint. She also retired to the Soo. After serving in World War I, Vernon married and lived in Detroit. Alvin farmed the original Beggs homestead until ill health forced him to move to the Sault where his wife taught school. Marie became Mrs. Garrison Reginald and lived in Texas and Flint, Michigan. Nina married Ed Bertram and lives in Sault Ste. Marie. Reginald makes his home in Durand, Michigan. Leslie didn't marry, and has been a janitor in the Soo Public Schools.

Mr. and Mrs. John Scott are buried in Stalwart Cemetery.


Parts of the story of the Maltas family are taken from the 1960 Freshman Class History of Pickford.

William Maltas was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1850, and was over ninety when he died. At the age of 18 he was converted, and after serving as a blacksmith's apprentice for several years, he married. He worked in the lumber business and operated a store before coming to the Soo with six children: Joseph, Charles, William, Annie, Tillie, and Jessie. Mrs. Maltas died shortly after they moved to the Soo. William Maltas peddled groceries and dry goods, and preached in several communities where he was asked to preach.

In 1891, over the bitter protests of his children, they moved to a farm in Stalwart. It was the former homestead of William Scott. There he farmed and preached in surrounding localities. He remained on the farm until 1925 when he moved to Pickford.

In November 1892 he married Annie Miller. She was a school teacher, and was a big help to him as an itinerant preacher. To this later marriage were born two children, Ethel and Harry.

The Episcopal Church at Fairview was first called the Maltas Memorial Church. Later the name was changed to St. Mathias Episcopal Church, but the old timers still call it the Maltas Church.


Furnished by Mae Warren

John Johnston was one of the first settlers to come to Stalwart, coming in 1878, the same year as Hanna and John and William Scott. He took up the southwest quarter of Section 25 north of William Scott and east of Phillip Waybrant. He was married to Mary Sims on May 15, 1882, in the home of the bride's parents. The minister was Thomas D. Davis and the witnesses were James Sims and Evaline Hall.

When not working on his homestead, he operated a meat market on Water Street in Sault Ste. Marie. John Johnston developed a disease of the spine and moved back to Tara, Ontario, and died there and was buried in the family lot.

Mrs. Johnston gave the north half of the homestead to their daughter, Maggie Mae, and sold the south half to John Pogue. She later married Edward Flood and lived for a while in Fairview. She had two more daughters, namely Mary and Roberta. Maggie Mae married Lionel Warren and they lived on her half of the old homestead.


By Pickford Freshman Class of 1960

Richard Hewer came from Gloucester, England in 1875. With him were his wife and two sons, William aged seven and Robert age five. His wife was the former Mary Victoria Benfield. They settled in a place called Beevin near Manitoulin in Canada. Here he was employed by a railroad construction company. Three more children were born here: Nellie, Mary and Richard.

In 1881 they came from Beevin to Raber, Michigan, by sailboat, and from there made their way to Stalwart and settled on what is known as the Sand Ridge, clearing land to make a home.

It was while living there that the story was told of how Mr. Hewer had a habit of going away without leaving any firewood for his wife to cook with. She threatened many times what she would do to break this habit. One day he came home for dinner to find no fire and no sign of a meal being prepared. He inquired as to the reason. She pointed to a stump in the dooryard with a pan of biscuits on top of it, and she said, "As soon as the sun gets hot enough to cook the biscuits, we'll have dinner."

The oldest son, William, married Bertha McInnis and they took up a homestead in Stalwart on what is now known as the William Waybrant farm. The land grant to Benjamin Harrison was dated March, 1893. Their family included: Roy, William, Voyle (deceased), Catherine (deceased), Austin (deceased), Frank (deceased), and Doris.


From an interview with Thomas A. Forgrave on September 17, 1969

Thomas Forgrave came to the Stalwart area in 1879. The same time as J.J. McKenzie and Thomas Boskill.

Thomas Forgrave brought his wife, Janet, and three children Minnie, Annie, and Robert. They brought their household goods from the Soo to Munoskong Bay by sailboat, and carried it all piece by piece through the Gogomain Swamp to the Sand Ridge at John Campbell's.

Forgrave built a log shanty first where the Stalwart Fair Ground buildings are now. Rob and Minnie planted two little spruce trees near the shanty. One of them blew down before the fair buildings were built, but the other one still stands at this time. The homestead was hardwood forest and the land was cleared by chopping down those large maple trees, cutting the limbs off, chopping them into sections and rolling them together and burning them, Nobody today knows what work that was because no one does that kind of work anymore. After land was cleared of trees there was still a lot of big stumps and stones. But the soil was good and good crops were raised.

Another son was born on August 17, 1882. He was named for his father, Thomas. The nearest doctor was Dr. Webster at Pickford. Forgrave didn't have a horse, but he got Robert and Evaline Crawford to stay with Mrs. Forgrave, and he either walked or borrowed a horse and went for the doctor. Dr. Webster made the trip by horseback. It was his first patient in the area, and the first baby born in what became Stalwart.

Thomas Forgrave had good crops and was able to offer a stack of hay and some potatoes for sale to Hossacks for their lumber camp. He knew what he wanted and held out for it till finally Hossack gave him the $400 he wanted. That money gave him a start in the new country. He built a new frame house and set up a store in one part of it. The story is told that one time he was bringing home a supply for the store on a jumper and it broke down between Riley's and Hanna's. He walked home to get material to make repairs. It was after dark and while he was eating his supper, Mrs. Forgrave suggested that he wait until morning to go back and bring the load home. In telling about it, he said, "I just looked at her."

Again Forgrave built a new store building near the road. He ran the store in that building until his health failed and he turned it over to Tom. Besides Tom, other operators were Rob Forgrave, Ed Duncan, Thomas Rothwell, William Talbot, and Chester Crawford.

Other Forgrave children were Janet and William. Janet died quite young, and of the Forgrave family, Thomas A. Forgrave is the last of that generation.

The Forgraves were community leaders in church, school, and social activities.

When asked why they left Canada and came to Stalwart, the reply was that there wasn' t any homestead land in that part of Canada. Forgrave bought a farm and there was a drought for three years. He didn't have his farm paid for so he lost it. That was why they came to Michigan. Tom said that Rob was born in Owen Sound in 1877.

Note: Tom said he was born in 1882, but Crawford's were married in January 1883.

The following newspaper clipping, assumed to be from the Pickford newspaper, was found in Agnes Kinghorn's photos. If anyone can help affix a date to this series of local Stalwart events, I would appreciate hearing from you. I know nothing about why my grandmother "made her home for several years with Mrs. Forgrave", and I have no fixed year for my grandmother's journey from Stalwart to Port Hope, Ontario, where she married my grandfather in 1910. However, her older sister Jennie was not married until 1894 (becoming "Mrs. William Brown"), which thereby defines the possible date range, 1894-1910.

(Special Correspondence)

- Miss Maud Nally has returned home from Gatesville.
- Miss Maud Moore is visiting friends here this week.
- Miss Susie Crawford of the Soo visited friends here during the week.
- Mrs. Brooks of Pickford visited her parents Sunday and Monday last.
- Mrs. James Foreman [Nellie Kinghorn] spent a few days with her parents during the week.
- Miss Martha Duncan has gone to visit her sister, Mrs. William Spencer.
- H.H. Hall has gone to the Soo to make an extended visit with relatives.
- Robert Forgrave is in the Soo for a load of merchandise for Stalwart store.
- The subject for discussion at Grange meeting Thursday was "The Rural School".
- Tuesday's rain made plowing possible and the farmers hereabout are improving the time.
- Miss Nettie Scott has been engaged by Mrs. Forgrave to take the place made vacant by Miss Kinghorn's departure.
- William Osborn of Grand Valley, Ontario, is visiting friends and relatives here. He is on his way to the Canadian northwest to make his future home.
- A pleasant dancing party was given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kinghorn Tuesday night. It was in the nature of a farewell for their daughter Agnes.
- Miss Agnes Kinghorn, who has made her home for several years with Mrs. Forgrave, departed Wednesday for Port Hope, Ontario, to live with her sister, Mrs. William Brown.


James Duncan was one of the early settlers in Stalwart. He came first in 1879 but he didn't take up a homestead and bring his family until 1881. Jim Duncan was a tall man with a black beard. Some of the boys, when asked how big they wanted to be, would say, "As big as Duncan." He was born in Canada in 1846 and died in Stalwart in 1911. His family - Edward, Norman, Minnie, Susie, Emily, Johnston, Martha, George, Alma, William, and Earl. Ed was a brick and stone mason. He married Annie Forgrave, who died when their daughter Annie was born. Later he married Lena Renshaw and lived in northwest Canada. Norman was also a mason and plasterer. He married Mabel Clark. Minnie married William Johnson, a lumberman; Susie married Charlie McConkey and they went out west. Emily married William Spence. They lived in Raber until the lumbering business closed down. They had a large family. Johnston worked in the woods and on the highways. His wife was Tillie Tripp. Martha lived in the Sault. She married Tom Butler. George became a dentist and lived in Ferndale. Alma died from after effects of the measles. William died in infancy. Earl stayed on the farm with his mother after his father died. He and Kate Sims were married and lived in the Sault, where he worked on the police force and on the locks.

James Duncan served on the school board and like all the early settlers took his politics seriously. During the Presidential campaign in 1896, he put up a tall flagpole but couldn't get paint to paint it so he mixed buttermilk and red ochre to paint it. Every one knew Duncan's Morgan horse he called "Dolph", just as they knew Ed Flood's "Fly", Forgrave's Blacks and John Crawford's "Old Mag", the old gray mare with the crooked hind leg.


Sam and George Martin, brothers, came to Stalwart in 1880 and took up homesteads in the east half of Section 31-43-2 east. George didn't stay long, but Sam built a house and cleared a farm. Their road was across the Andrew Sims homestead. They boasted that their house was the first one in Stalwart with factory-made windows. Sam Martin had the first yoke of oxen, and he did freighting for neighbors. The nails in the house were all wooden pegs which Sam made himself. Mrs. Martin was Katherine Richardson. Her brother James came and helped her farm after Sam died. Sam died in 1891 at the age of 52. The family, most of them born in Canada, were: Cynthia, Myrtle, Lottie, Charlie, Orrie, and Agnes. Cynthia didn't live in Stalwart; Myrtle married Dan Smith and lived in DeTour, Pickford, and Sault Ste. Marie. Lottie was married to Angus McLeod and lived in DeTour, but came to Stalwart and lived on the old homestead many years. Orrie was crippled with rheumatism when he was a boy. He walked with a cane, and was loved by all the children. Agnes married and went to California.

George Martin lived in the Sault and owned considerable property. The Martin subdivision was some of his property.

Charlie didn't marry, but followed the woods work. He was reputed to be among the toughest of lumberjacks. Working camp in the winter and rafting the summer. He was last seen in Iron Mountain in 1926. Believed to have met with foul play.


John J. McKenzie was one of the settlers who came to "the Green Bush" in 1879. With him were his wife and one son, James, one and a half years old. In 1880 another son, Alex, was born, and a daughter Kate was born in 1883. Douglas was born in Stalwart, August 14, 1885; Ruby, in the Soo, June 1, 1889; and Alice, the youngest, was born in Bay City, June 18, 1893.

Like most of the first settlers, McKenzie built a temporary cabin and after a few years built a better one. The second one was of logs, too, and to date it still stands, although the outside is covered with shingles and the logs cannot be seen. Although the McKenzie family didn't live very long in Stalwart, he was a prominent citizen while they were there. He was the first Director of the School Board, Justice of the Peace, and the first postmaster. He carried the mail from Prentis Bay the first fourteen months he was postmaster without compensation.

Like the other men in the new settlement, John McKenzie had to work in the woods in the winter. He worked in the office at Prentis Bay and slept in the same room as the boss. One evening while Mrs. McKenzie and the children were at home alone, one of the neighbors came and told her that the grocer in Pickford had put poisin in the flour that he bought and wanted her to go with him and have the grocer arrested. She realized that the man was mentally ill, and persuaded him to go home until she got the chores done. As soon as he was gone, she fastened all the doors and windows and wouldn't let him in when he came back. She put the lights out and prayed for John to come home.

John woke up with the feeling that his wife needed him badly. It was so real that he got up and dressed. The boss asked what he was doing, and he told him that his wife needed him and couldn't be persuaded to wait until morning. When he got home and learned what was going on, he went to Thomas Forgrave across the road and together they planned what they would do. They had to get him to the Sheriff, but they couldn't arouse his suspicions, so they told him that they would go with him and help him get the Sheriff to arrest the grocer. That way they got him to the Soo, and under the control of the Sheriff.

When Kate McKenzie was three years old, the family moved to the Soo, where John became a customs officer, a position he held for many years. In 1901, Kate McKenzie taught school in Pickford and boarded with Mr. And Mrs. Fred Johnson in Pickford. Mrs. Johnson was a sister of Jim Stirling. She rode her bicycle to the Soo and back on weekends when the weather permitted. Mrs. Kate (McKenzie) Evans has a China cup and saucer which the Kinghorn sisters brought as a gift when she was born. It came from Scotland.

I had a visit with Mrs. W. A. Evans in East Tawas, Michigan, on October 20th, 1969. She was the Kate McKenzie who was born in Stalwart. I wish I could write all the things she told me about the early days in Stalwart.


John Crawford was born in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1832. He had three brothers and a sister. His mother brought the family to Canada when John was fourteen years old.

He told this story of his boyhood in Ireland. One day he and some other boys were playing on the sidewalk in front of a tavern. They were trying to see who could jump the farthest from the edge of the sidewalk into the street The tavern keeper came out and jumped, and told them that the boy who could beat that jump would get a gallon of whiskey. Johnny Crawford beat the tavern keeper, so he got the jug of whiskey and "We all got drunk."

He learned the shoemakers trade, and had shoe shops in several places. There were always better opportunities in the next town. He married Mary Fair, and they lived in Milbank, Ontario, for quite a few years. Most of their family was born there. Once he went to California, going by boat to Panama, crossed over to the Pacific on foot, and up the Pacific Coast again by boat to San Francisco. There he set up shop and stayed a year. During that year the trans-continental railway was completed, so he came home by train. He had jobs for the whole family, and was for moving right away, but his wife Mary refused to go. The only time she wouldn't go along when he wanted to move.

About 1870 the family moved to Owen Sound and lived there until they moved to Sault Ste. Marie. They kept a boarding house, and he had his shoe shop where the Park Hotel was later built. It was there that his mother died at the age of one hundred and five years. She was buried in the cemetery on Ashmun Hill, beside the ravine. He could have bought the site where the First National Bank is now for $600, but he didn't think it was worth it.

Another move, this time to Stalwart, where he took up a homestead between two hills. He built a log house and log barn. The house was on the south side of the river, and the barn was on the north side. He had an abundant water supply, the east branch on the Munoskong River. He had a shoe shop in DeTour for a while, and one in Pickford.

His family: Sarah, married Lot Roe and lived in Toronto; Robert G. married Evaline Hall and lived in Stalwart all his married life; Jennie married John Mattern and lived in Sault Ste. Marie; Adaline married Joseph LaLonde and lived in Montana; Tom married Susannah Stevenson and lived in Stalwart; Ida Victoria married James Stevenson and lived in Stalwart; Bessie (deceased); Effie (deceased); Maud married James Richardson and lived in the old home.

They didn't live many years in the log house. They built a frame house close to the town line road, and he had his shop in the front part of the house. The last move was from a shop and home which he had moved to a location on his son Bob's place back to the old home again. They are both buried in the Stalwart Cemetery.


Robert G. Crawford, [son of John Crawford], was born in Milbank, Ontario, on November 21, 1858. When he was twelve years old his family moved to Owen Sound, Ontario. He lived in Owen Sound with his family until he was about seventeen, when he went sailing. He sailed for seven years and in that time he was on all the great Lakes. He worked on one steamship. It was in 1880, after navigation closed, that he walked from the Soo to Stalwart and located his homestead, sleeping in the woods at night. He stopped at his Uncle William' s east of Pickford and he wanted him to take the farm land a mile east of Pickford, on the north side of the road, but for some reason he didn't.

One winter he worked in a camp on Maud Bay. A lumber company on the south end of Sugar Island hired him to carry supplies to Maud Bay because he could handle a sailboat. On one trip down he had a pony to deliver to John Stevenson at Raber Bay. He sailed in as close as it was safe and John came out with a rowboat. They jumped the pony overboard and John led it, swimming to shore. That was the beginning of a friendship that lasted until John Stevenson died.

His pay that winter was twelve dollars a month with board and bunk, two dollars more than the others because he sailed the boat in the fall. He was told in DeTour that there was good farmland west of there, so one morning he set out to see. He thought he must have gone as far as what was later Neil Cameron's, but didn't find what he wanted.

R. G. Crawford and Evaline Hall were married on January 29, 1883. They became active in church work early in their lives in the new community. Mrs. Kinghorn died and there was no church and no cemetery, so Thomas Forgrave and Robert Crawford each donated a half acre joining each other for a cemetery, and Mrs. Kinghorn was the first to be buried in the Stalwart cemetery.

For the first Presbyterian Church, Thomas Forgrave donated the land next to the cemetery, Andrew Sims donated the tamarack logs, and the neighbors built the church. The Methodist Church was a frame building with flattened poles for studding. It was built on land donated by John J. McKenzie.

After his marriage, R.G. didn't sail any more. He devoted his summers to work on the farm, and in the winter he usually went to camp. He was Superintendent of the Sunday School, and Elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years, going to the General Assembly in Chicago once. He was sexton of the cemetery, where all grave lots were free. Many times he had to leave his work in the fields to help someone pick out a lot, or to show someone where their lot was. He was Master of the Grange, Secretary of the Foresters, Secretary of the Fair Society, and Treasurer of the Raber Township Schools.

Their children were: Harry, who died in infancy; Chester, married Mabel Waybrant; Ida Grace, married George Hewitt; Robert, married Ethel Waybrant; Kate, married Everett Johnson; Janet, married George Slater; twins Virgil and Virgillia, (Virgil died in infancy) and Virgillia married Vern Eveliegh; Olive, married Russell Sims; Susan M., married William Hewer; and Mary, married Clifford MacLean.

Robert G. Crawford was 84 years old when he died, and Evaline Crawford was 87 when she died. They are buried in the Stalwart Cemetery.

(L to R) - 1971 - Ethel Waybrant & Robert B. Crawford (son of R.G. Crawford), their daughter
Judith and her husband Ronald Adams, and his parents Ruth Chamberlain and Arthur Adams.
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Jenks.


Thomas Crawford, son of John Crawford, was born in Milbank, Ontario, about 1865, and lived with the family until they came to Michigan. He was a good shot with the rifle, and got his quota of deer and other game in the new country. He married Susanna Stevenson and they built their home on the river between his father's and her father's.

Their family consisted of: William (deceased), James, Bell, Mary, Myrtle, Robert, Lyla, Susie, Fred, and Ward.

Tom Crawford bought his land from his father and father-in-law and other parties. He was a good farmer, and they were both economical. He made money on peas which he grew on contract with a seed company. In the winter he didn't go to the lumber camps as much as the other men did, but he had good timber of his own, and worked at that.

After his farm was well cleared, he built a large frame house close to the county road, and that is where their family grew up and left for homes of their own.

He belonged to the Orange Lodge, and was Master for many years.


Henry H. Hall brought his family to Stalwart in 1880. He took up a homestead a mile long and a quarter mile wide. He later on traded one forty to Thomas Forgrave for forty of hardwood. Forgrave wanted some clay land, and Hall wanted a maple sugar bush. With his wife Katherine he brought two sons, Charles and James, and a daughter Evaline. Charles married Mary Jane McKinney and they made their home in Fairview, where George Sims lived for many years. James married Annie Scott, sister of William and John Scott. At first they lived in a log cabin across from brother Charles, but took the east half of section 30 beside his father. Charles moved to the Soo with the McKinney's, and his family grew up in Algonquin (then called "Nieceville"). His family: George, Minnie, Katherine, William, Florence, and Ella.

James' family grew up in Stalwart. John, Hammond, Lawrence, Alex, Robert, Dewey, Myrtle, Malcolm, George, and Leonard.

Evaline married Robert G. Crawford, and her family is listed in the account of her husband.

It is understood that Henry Hall was born in New England. His father was an English surveyor. After his marriage, he was called back to England, and didn't return, and Henry was born after he left. His mother remarried a man named Cameron, and had children named Cameron who were half-brothers to Henry. One, named Angus Cameron, visited Hall's in Stalwart.

Henry married Katherine Robertson in Tingwick, Quebec. Her mother made her home with them until she died. They lived in Vermont, and Upper and Lower Canada, before coming to Sault Ste. Marie. He was a cooper and surveyor. The first two winters spent in Stalwart were in a log house built by a man named Purdee. The first winter Purdee lived with them. Once Jim Hall shaved using Purdee's razor. When Purdee learned about it he remarked, "It may be good for the razor to be strapped on a calf skin." Jim replied, "It should be almost as good as a goat skin." The second winter Alex McWilliams lived with them, having become owner of the property where he remained the remainder of his life.

Mrs. Hall was a good cook, having been a cook at Sailor's Encampment and at Prentis Bay. She was a mid-wife for many births. While at Prentis Bay, she was present at the birth of Arza Swart, who was one of the sheriffs of Chippewa County. Their door was always open to the sick, the weary, the homeless, and everyone else.

Daddy and Granny Hall are buried in the family lot in Stalwart Cemetery.
Charles H. Hall's children, of course, were my aunts and uncles.

George became a sailor on the Great Lakes and ended his career on the Detroit River as captain of the mail boat which provided mail service to the big ships passing through. He married Belle ? and had one son named John (Jack). He lived with my mother Kathryn (or Catherine as it appears in the book) the last few years of his life, and died around 1960.

Minnie lived her entire life around the Soo and her house was on Ashmun Hill in Algonquin. She married Steve Bernier and had 3 sons and 1 daughter. She died at 59 yrs.

Kathryn (my mother) married Francis (Frank) Stephens of Devonshire England and they had 6 children - 4 sons and 2 daughters. They moved to the lower Peninsula and the last 3 were born there. Frank was sent back to England in 1936 and Kathryn raised the family by herself and her early training from Stalwart must have helped her as she was one brave and tough lady. Mother died in 1981 at the age of 92. Bill went to California and married Ruth? He never returned to Mi. as far as I know and sort of lived the life of a cowboy in the mountains there. Florence married Hugh Miller and had 2 sons. They lived in the Soo all their married life. Ella married Fred St. Amand and had 1 son and 1 daughter. They lived many years in a suburb near Detroit.

As a side note, my middle name is Florella, made up of parts of Florence and Ella. So that continues the Hall legacy. Mom spoke often of R.G. Crawford, the Waybrants, her Uncle Bill Scott and Aunt "Kate" and so many of those names I remember hearing in my early years.

Contributed by Eva F. Ward.



Alexander McWilliams was born in Northern Ireland and his wife, Mary Lowney, was born on the Isle of Man. They both came to Canada and met there and were married. They lived in Ellengowan and Paisley, Ontario. Their family consisted of: James, John, Maggie, Tillie, Alex, Annie, Mary, and Harry. Jim was a blacksmith and worked for John Bone in his shop on West Spruce Street for many years. His wife, Rose, ran the Belle Isle Inn on Ridge Street. John went to North Dakota and raised his family there. His wife's name was Ellen. Maggie and Tillie went to the Canadian Northwest. Maggie's married name was Blythe, and Tillie's name was Osbourne. Mary married Alva Hillier from Dafter, and they lived on Carrie Street in Sault Ste. Marie. Alex and Annie and Harry were the only members of the family who lived in Stalwart. Alex married Cassie Crawford, Harry married Mary Crawford, and Annie married Hank Waybrant.

Hank and Annie had eight children: Harry, Bert (killed in World War I and buried in France), Ida, Annie, Dorothy, Della, Ethel, and Mary. Anne died when Mary was less than a year old, and Hank was killed in a farm accident a year and a half later. The four older children went on their own, but the younger ones were raised by uncles and Aunt Mary Hillier. Jim and Rose raised Dorothy, Alex and Cassie raised Della, and Harry and Mary raised Ethel, while Mary Hillier raised Mary.

Alexander McWilliams was up in years when he came to Stalwart, so he didn't do much farming, and the land was hard to clear and to work. He kept a few cows and he had one horse, "Old Jack". Jack was the only horse in the community for some time. He was a black indian pony, and he lived until after he was thirty. They had a grove of apple trees grown from seed, some of them were very good, and some were very sour. In the spring they would tap trees in the maple woods and make syrup and sugar. A story Harry told about the syrup making was: They had a good run of sap and had boiled it down in the big iron kettles in the woods until they could get it all in two milk pails. Annie and Harry wanted to carry the pails, but the old man said they would only spill it, so he started for the house with a full pail in each hand. They were just about out of the woods when he tripped and fell flat, spilling all the syrup. We don't remember what was said.

Alexander McWilliams and wife Mary were among the first members of the Stalwart Presbyterian Church. I can still see them in memory, coming down the road to the little log church at night. He had a lantern in one hand and a cane in the other, and she had her hand on his arm.

Alexander McWilliams was born in 1827 and died in 1919. Mary Lowney McWilliams was born in 1830 and died in 1918, and they are both buried in Stalwart Cemetery.


Alex and Cass made their home next to his fathers on the bank of the Little Munoskong. They didn't have any children, but they raised his niece, Della Waybrant. They kept quite a herd of cows and made butter and sold it to customers in Sault Ste. Marie, Pickford, Raber, and DeTour.

Cassie died in the spring of 1926 from the after effects of the flu. Alex lived alone for about ten years before he died. They are both buried in Cottle Cemetery.

Della Waybrant taught school for several years, teaching in Stalwart, Pickford, and Cedarville. She married Howard (Mike) Rudd and lived in Cedarville and Sault Ste. Marie. Their children: Wayne (deceased), Dean, Myles, Jocelyn, Mickey, and Thanna.

Harry McWilliams, the youngest of the family of Alexander and Mary (Lowney) McWilliams worked in lumber camps and on farms until he married Mary Crawford, sister of Alex's wife. He homesteaded forty acres a mile west and a mile and a half north of Stalwart corner. When Harry's sister died they took her daughter, Ethel Waybrant, into their home and raised her.

When Harry's parents became old and feeble he built another house beside their house and cared for them as long as they lived, receiving their property in return. After the parents died they moved back to the homestead, but after a few years trying to make a living on forty acres, they went to Flint Michigan, where he worked at the Buick Factory until he retired. They sold their property in Flint and bought a home in Pickford where they lived out their lives.

Ethel Waybrant stayed with her Uncle and Aunt until after her Grandparents died and after the end of World War I, when she married Robert B. Crawford. They bought her grandfather's place and lived there a few years. Her children were: Evelyn married Eldon Debro; Anne married Kenneth Bennett; Berniece married Ruben Waybrant; Peggy married Ben Zenda: Harry married Hazel Gugin; Kathleen married Howard Parrish; Ronald married Rosel Kuehne; Eugene married Loretta Carr; and Judith not yet married.

Harry and Mary McWilliams are buried in Stalwart Cemetary.

Harry McWilliams and Mary Crawford in front of their farmhouse, with Ethel Georgiana Waybrant, who lived with them after her father died (see story below).
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Jenks.


Philip Waybrant came to Michigan from Kinkardine, Ontario. He had been married twice. His first family remained in Canada. Among those who remained in Canada were Arminnie, John, Alexander, Philip, and Hector.

His second wife was Anne Splan. From that union were: William, George Henry, John, James Ruben, Thomas, and Sarah, Kate, Clara, Becky and Ida.

Philip Waybrant acquired the southeast quarter of section 26 which was originally homesteaded by Harris. It was on Waybrant's farm that the first school was built, the site being leased from Waybrant for one dollar a year. Philip Waybrant contracted to complete the school house after the log walls had been raised.

William Waybrant brought the first team of horses and wagon to Stalwart. He took a homestead in Mackinac County south of John Scott's place. After his father died, William's mother had her home with him. He didn't farm very much, but moved to DeTour where he worked on Watson's coal dock. Then he left DeTour and the coal dock and moved back to Stalwart and bought the homestead of William Hewer, which was the southeast quarter of Section 32-2-east. He married Anna Pratt and had two children, William and Edna. William Jr. was born on his father's sixty-fifth birthday.

George Henry (Hank) homesteaded the north east quarter of section 1-42-2 east, being the quarter section east of William Waybrant's in Mackinac County. Hank Waybrant married Annie McWilliams and they had eight children: Philip Henry, Albert, Ida, Anne, Dorothy, Della, Ethel, and Mary.

Hank worked his farm in the summer and worked in the woods in the winter. He was foreman of the Mud Lake Lumber Co., and for H. P. Hossack and Company. On December 24, 1902, Annie died from quinsy, and a year from the next August, Hank was killed while helping Jim Duncan stack hay. One of the stacking poles broke and struck him in the back. The four older children were old enough to care for themselves, but the others had to be cared for by others. James McWilliams and wife, Rose, raised Dorothy. Alex and Cassie McWilliams took Della, Harry and Mary McWilliams brought up Ethel, and Mrs. Mary Hillier, her aunt, raised Mary.

Jack Waybrant went to Colorado to live.

James Ruben married Nellie Kay. They moved to Hermansville, Michigan, where he worked on the railroad. They moved back to Stalwart when the children were still quite young. They were Ida, Mabel, and James Clifford. Jim bought the Alex Kay homestead and worked in the woods, sometimes as foreman and sometimes as a jobber.

James Ruben and wife were both born in Kinkardine, Ontario, in 1867 and they both died in Stalwart in 1926, and were buried in the Stalwart Cemetery.

Tom Waybrant and wife had quite a family. They were: Caroline, Tom, Albert, James, Edmund, Philip, Adaline, and Loraine.

Tom worked in the woods in the winter, rented farms in summer or worked on contract. Thomas Waybrant spent his old age in Cedarville and at the last with his daughter Adaline and her husband, Melville Moore.

Kate Waybrant married William Scott. See the William Scott item.

Ida was the youngest of Philip Waybrant's children. She married Martin Francis at DeTour. Their children were: Allen, Edna, Ruben, and Audrey. Martin Francis died and Ida married Kennedy.


Andrew Sims was born in Scotland in 1825 and his wife was born in Wales in 1826. Her maiden name was Mary Thomas. Andrew died in Stalwart in 1896 and Mary died in 1925. She was six years old when she crossed the ocean and the trip across the ocean took six weeks. The Sims family came to Michigan in 1878. They had eleven children, all born in Canada, but only five came with their parents to Michigan; George, Alex, Bob, Lizzie, and Mary. There was another son, James, who came to Michigan and took up a homestead. It was beside his fathers, and the two took up the west half of section 31-2-east. Their homesteads were filed in 1881.

Andrew Sims was a lay preacher, called a circuit rider. He went to different settlements to preach. The family walked from the Soo to Stalwart, called "The Green Bush", and carried their belongings. Bob, the youngest, was 14 years old, and had to carry his share. They built a log cabin near the road where they lived for a few years until they could build a better house on higher ground. The lumber for the new home had to be brought from Prentis Bay with oxen and jumper. The roads where the mud was too deep had to be corduroyed, and the mud was too deep in many places. Before Andrew Sims died, he left the homestead to Alex with the provision that Alex's mother have her home with him.

George Sims [married Mary Milne and] homesteaded in Barbeau, but after eleven years he sold out and moved to Fairview, where he bought the homestead of Charles Hall. That was the George Sims home for many years. They had a family of: Andrew, Annie, Mary, Fairly, William, and Alex.

George Sims and his wife Mary Milne, surrounded by their family:

back row: sons Andrew, Farell, William, Alex

front row: Bell and Maggie (daughters-in-law), George, Mary, and daughters Annie and Mary.

photo of the George Sims family provided by Dawn Thurlow, Punta Gorda, FL

Alex married Lizzie Hanna. Their children were: Annie, Frank (Robert), Kate, Emily, Ethel, Douglas, George, Jean, and Mildred.

Robert married Minnie Forgrave. They had two boys: Thomas and Russell. Robert died in 1916 at the age of 49. Minnie died in 1925 at the age of 53. Both are buried in Stalwart.

Lizzie Sims married Joseph Barton. Their home was in Fairview until their family grew up and then they moved to Pickford. Their family was Tom, Minnie, Joe, Georgina, and Wilbert.

Mary married John Johnston and they had one child, Maggie Mae. More of them in the John Johnston story.

The Sims family played an important role in the development of Stalwart. Always in front when anything of importance to the welfare of the community came up.

James Sims homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 31, on the south side of his father's homestead. He married Sadie Crawford, daughter of William Crawford [brother of John Crawford], near Pickford. It seems that Sadie's father was opposed to the marriage, so they had to elope. Alex was taken into confidence, and he had to go and find the horses over near Kay's, bring them home and hitch them to the wagon, and take them to meet Jim and Sadie somewhere near Riley's. They took the team from there and went to the Soo and got married, and Alex walked back home. They moved out to the state of Washington, and Bob Sims took over Jim Sims' homestead.


Alexander Kay came to Stalwart from Kinkardine, Ontario in 1880 and homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 32-43-2 east. His wife was Arminnie Waybrant, daughter of Philip Wavbrant and his first wife Kay Britten Waybrant. Their children were Alex, John, Mrs. James (Helen) Waybrant, Mrs. William Watchorn, Mrs. Abe (Swede) Johnson, and Mrs. William Hill.

Alex Sr. and Alex Jr. are buried in Stalwart Cemetery, as are the Watchorns and John Kay.

Alexander Kay had a brother Hugh who, with his family, lived in Stalwart for some time, but went back to Canada.

William Watchorn lived in various places in Stalwart. He farmed some, but most of the time he worked out. Their family consisted of six girls and three boys: Minnie, Fanny, Mary, Charlotte, Marvel, Annie, Harry, William, and Albert.

"Swede" Johnson was a lumberman and a jobber. After a few years in the Stalwart area the family moved to the Rexton area.

Alex Kay, Jr. lived with his father and worked out. He was killed by a train accident at Echo Bay, Ontario, when he was 28 years old.

John Kay was born in 1880 and married Elizabeth Campbell. He owned his father's place and lived across the road from Jim Waybrants. John entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church and served in DeTour and other neighboring churches. He died at the age of forty one. He left two sons and a daughter, Alex, Raymond, and Marjorie.


John Norlin was born in Sweden and came to this country for work in the lumber camps. He married Minnie Watchorn, daughter of the William Watchorn's. He farmed on land in the southwest quarter of section 23-43-1 east and the northwest quarter of section 26-43-1 east. Their children were: Otto, John, Hilda, Edna, and Minnie. John was an officer in the Presbyterian church, and a member of the Board of the Stalwart Agricultural Society. He was the designer and builder of most of the Agricultural Society Buildings. Most of the frame barns built in Stalwart were the work of John Norlin. He was tireless in his efforts to better his community.


Joseph Storey was one of the 1880 settlers. His family were: James, John, Hannah, William, and Harry. His homestead was the northwest quarter of section 25-43-1 east. Joe started his career as a resident of Stalwart by serving on the school board. He had some good cedar timber on his land, so he got a start by cutting the timber and selling it. He also worked in the lumber camps in the winter.

After the family was grown they sold the farm and moved to the "Half-Way", where Mrs. [Jenny Splan] Storey kept a boarding house and served meals to travelers. Joe was caretaker of the stage horses which were used to carry the mail and passengers between the Soo and Pickford.

James Storey married Lyla Kinnee. Their family happened to be all boys: Mervin was the oldest, and as he didn't get married, he lived at home, taking over the farm work. Voyle worked with his father in the timber business. When the Dolmite Quarry opened, he went to work there, and got married and built a home on the north half of the Jim Tripp quarter section. Paul didn't marry either. He lived in Flint and Detroit for a time but came home before his mother passed away and took his place beside his brother Mervin. Mason married Ruth McLean. He went to work at Dolmite, too. Their children are James, Sharon, Mary Jane, Richard, and Charles. Wayne served in World War II, and after getting out of the service he married Doris Batho and went into the meat business with Clifford Harrison. Their children were Beverly, Martin, and ???

Jim Storey did some farming, but the most of his life work was in the timber business. He had lumber camps and saw mills and shingle mills. Jim lived to be 88.

Jack, Will, and Harry didn't live in Stalwart after they married.


James Stevenson and wife [Isabella] and children came from the Moskoka Country in Canada. They had lived in Pennsylvania where Mr. Stevenson worked in the mines where conditions were much different for the miner than they are now. Stevenson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 24-43-1 east. He built their home on the north bank of the East Branch of the Munoskong River, down river from John Crawford. This is now the McCord farm.

The family, including Becky who remained in Canada, were Jack, Jim, Bill, Susie, Bob, Nellie, and Janie.

Jack married Eleanor Jane Kelly and settled two miles south and four and a half miles east of Pickford. They had six children: Joe, Jack, George, Alvin, Esther, and Mary. Jack Stevenson was killed in the saw mill at Raber.

Jim Stevenson married Ida Crawford and settled five miles east and two miles south of Pickford. They had eight children: Maud, Lillie, Tom, Susie, Mary, Jim, Ida, and Gordon.

Susie married Tom Crawford and they made their home on the south bank of the Munoskong River between Jim Stevenson's and John Crawford's. Their children were William, Thomas, James, Bell, Mary, Myrtle, Lyla, Bob, Fred, Susie, and Ward.

Bella married Fred Ball. They settled across the line from Jack Stevenson's. Their children were Bill, Jim, Mabel, Edith, and Carrie.

Bob married Kate McGuire. They didn't have any children.

Nellie married Tom Travis, settled in Raber, then moved to Pickford and ran the hotel; then moved to a farm now owned by Leo Nettleton. they later made their home in Detroit. They had six children: Charlotte, Mim, Louella, Fred Russell, and Lillie.

Becky, who had remained in Canada, married Bill McKewon.

Bill married Annie Sims, and settled five miles east and two miles south. They had 11 children: Bill (who married Bess Tripp), Fred (who married Pearl McCleod), Clifford (who married Delphina Harrison), Otto (who married Violet Rye), Alex (who married Ellen Hill), Annie (who married Clark Allen), Robert (who married Shirley Thompson), Mary (who married Bill Cruickshank), Charlotte (who married Ernest Kaspar), and Susie (who married Frank Coppel).Vern is deceased.

missing data (above) and photo of James Stevenson and wife Isabella, provided by Dawn Thurlow, Punta Gorda, FL


Bill married Annie Sims. They made their home across the road from his brother, Jim. They had eleven children: Bill, Fred, Otto, Annie, Mary, Clifford, Bob, Alex, Charlotte, Susie, and Vein.

Nellie married Tom Traverse. They lived in Raber where she kept a boarding house, later to a hotel in Pickford, to a farm east of Pickford, and their last home was in Detroit. Their children were Lilli., Fred, Charlotte, Russel, Jim, and Luella.


Thomas Reynolds was born in Vermont in 1848. He died in 1930 and is buried in Stalwart cemetary. His wife, Rachael, was born in 1861 and died in 1941. They came to Michigan from Springfield, Massachusetts and homesteaded on the southwest quarter of section 17-43-2 east. There were then homesteaders on the four corners on the sand ridge - Richard Hewer, Thomas Reynolds, John Benton, and Charles Tripp.

Reynolds bought the Boskill homestead and lived there the rest of his lifetime. That corner of Stalwart was called Stalwart or Reynold's Corner. The nearest stores were at Stirlingville and Pickford and Mrs. Reynolds marketed her butter and eggs by riding on horseback. Tom Reynold's brought his first barrel of flour from DeTour on a jumper drawn by an ox. Their children were Wilbert, Thomas, Lizzie, Emily, Mabel, Ruth, and Della.


By Frank H. O'Brien
Grandfather, Grandmother, and two children came to Stalwart from eastern Canada in the year 1882. They left the oldest daughter, Hattie (Cooks) with her uncle and aunt. She is still living at the age of 91 near her birthplace. The other members of the family are all deceased.

Robert O'Brien homesteaded 160 acres of sand land two miles north of Stalwart, and three more children were born there. George, that lived all his life in Stalwart, was the last in the vicinity. He was my father, and told of hunting cows with a riding horse and the old family dog. The dog rushed a mother bear with a cub and the bear, fighting mad, rushed the dog. The horse became excited and ran for home, with the dog a close second, and mama bear closely pursuing.

- photo of Robert Francis O'Brien and wife Mary, submitted by great-granddaughter Mary Etta O'Brien Kreklau

The children in the home had no school bus to take them to a one room school about three miles distant. There was no hot lunch and the parents had to pay tuition to Pickford Township. Education came hard in those days, but there were those who revolted against discipline and one day the school was burned by a riot student.

I had the pleasure of driving along some of the water that my grandparents traveled. The country was beautiful, the land was level and fertile and the climate was warm, with enough rainfall for general farming and much less cold winters and snow than Chippewa County offers. I wondered why these pioneers came so far. The answer I received when I asked the old timers seem to be [that] the rapids at the Soo allowed them to go no farther.

These folks were a hardy independent type. They wished to do for themselves. They had dreams of ownership. They were not afraid of hard work, they appreciated their neighbors, and exchanged ideas. They were very moral and religious in their own humble way. They had respect for others, and the children obeyed their parents.

I remember my grandmother O'Brien. She had great respect for better educated people, but would fight for her rights. Once she approached a man that had bought her property at a tax sale. She produced a tax receipt for her home for every year since moving up on the homestead, and chased the man away with rough words and the family dog.

[This family is added due to the close proximity of Fairview to Stalwart, and the marriages that took place between descendants of families from both communities.- SG, 2001]

"Joseph W. Kelly was born on Feb. 29, 1855. Mrs. Kelly (Margaret Jane Curry) was born in July, 1857 [both born in Ireland]. They were married in Canada and had six children when they came to Pickford from Goderich, Ontario, 1880. They were the first settlers in the Fairview area, at that time a wilderness. The six children that were born in Canada were EDWARD, MARY, ELEANOR, GEORGE, BOB, and JOE. Three born here: ALBERT, WESTLY, and MARGARET.

EDWARD never married.

MARY married Jim Sanderson and had three children, Westly, Russel, and Maggie.

ELEANOR married Jack Stevenson and had 13 children. 7 died during childhood and 6 grew to adults: Joe, Jack, George, Alvin, Esther, and Mary. One of their babies, Edie, was the first baby to be buried in the Fairview Cemetery.

GEORGE died at the age of 28 while working on the Soo Water Power Canal. He is buried in Bethel Cemetery.

BOB married Kate Spence and had two children, Margaret and Violet.

JOE married Mary Sims and had three children, George, Joseph, and Ethel.

ALBERT married Barbara Pierce. They had 5 children: Lloyd, Violet, Robert, Etta, and Orville. Violet died in her childhood.

WESTLY died in childhood.

MARGARET never married and is still living at the age of 88.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Kelly picked up a homestead where Lloyd Kelly lives now. Six years later they built a big log house on the east end of the homestead, across the road from where their son, Joe Kelly, now lives. They lived there until he died at the age of 75 in 1920. Mrs. Kelly died at the age of 72 in 1919.

Joe Kelly married Mary Sims and homesteaded across from his parents, where he still lives today. Mrs. Kelly died in June, 1962. Mr. Joe Kelly, age 93, lives alone next to the homes of his sons, Joseph William and George. George died in October, 1971, at the age of 58.

Mr. Kelly remembered when they first came that it was a heavily wooded area with only trails through the woods. They came from Goderich on the boat that goes to the Soo. They stopped off at Sugar Island and stayed overnight with an Indian family. Mr. Stirling brought them from Sugar Island with a tug to Stirlingville. Mr. Robert Campbell brought them with their belongings about half-way from Stirlingville to Fairview with his oxen. They didn't have any neighbors for a while, until Richard McConkey moved next to them.

There have been four generations of Joe Kelly's living in this same location. Three generations are still living: Joseph R. Kelly, Joseph W. Kelly, and Joseph C. Kelly."

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text is unaltered from the last update in 1973 and is presented on the internet at for the first time. No update work has been attempted in recent years, but the door is open to anyone who wishes to. This site is the product of a Pickford FCCLA project undertaken by Wendy Galer and Daniel Morrison and assisted by Angie Mishler and Sara Ramsey. The project won a gold medal at the 1999 Michigan FCCLA State Leadership Conference.


Part of this was furnished by Mrs. Thomas Kinghorn, Soo, Michigan, August, 1969.

Tom' s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kinghorn, came to Stalwart from Colburn, Ontario, and homesteaded 160 acres. Mr. Kinghorn had come from Scotland and married in Canada not long before.

They sold John McEvers 80 acres not long after they came. Mr. Kinghorn was a carpenter by trade. He built his own house, also the McEvers' house. Tom can remember when they brushed and corduroyed the road. They hewed their own logs; no shingles were available, and they had to split and whittle (with a knife), shakes about four feet long for the roof.

Thomas and Ellen Kinghorn, brother and sister of Robert Kinghorn, came from Scotland, but they didn't stay long, and went back to Scotland.

Mr. Henry Carr and Robert Kinghorn used to walk to the Soo to do carpenter work for 50 cents a day. They walked around by the sand ridge trail to get to the Soo. They walked home on Saturday night and back on Sunday night. One night they saw two wildcats fighting in the path ahead of them.

Tom remembers when he bought 200 pounds of pork for $2.00 and beef was a half a cent a pound for front quarters and 1 penny a pound for hind quarters. Tom's mother was a tailor by trade. She did a lot of sewing for neighbors - if paid at all she got 5O cents a garment. She even made ladies corsets. Tom remembers one night when Tom Reynolds came in early evening with some full cloth (heavy Soo Woolen Mills cloth) to have a pair of pants made. While he and Dad Kinghorn talked in the kitchen, she made them and pressed them and had them ready for him when he left.

Mrs. Hall was sick one summer and Mrs. Kinghorn took care of her at night, walked through the woods coming home each morning. She acted as midwife and also laid out the dead.

Robert Kinghorn and wife had two children in the first school census in 1883. Minnie, aged 10, and James [transcibed incorrectly, s/b Jennie], aged 7. Mrs. Kinghorn died early in their life in Stalwart, and was the first body interred in the Stalwart cemetery [see comments in Robert G. Crawford history, and insert on Stalwart Presbyterian Church]. The second Mrs. Kinghorn, Anne McEvers, (Tom's mother), was sister to John McEvers. Her children were: Nellie, Agnes, Robert, William, Tom, Aaron, Arthur, and Wilford. Mrs. Kinghorn used to walk to Prentis Bay for groceries. One time she carried 50 pounds of flour. Robert Kinghorn did carpenter work for neighbors. About the last job he did was the building of the Raber Township School in 1900.

photo of Robert Kinghorn and Annie McEvers, provided by Beverly Kinghorn, Esko, MN

Stalwart Presbyterian Church

"When Mrs. Robert Kinghorn died in the new community of Stalwart, Michigan, there wasn't any church in which to hold funeral services nor a pastor to conduct a service. This led to a meeting of some of the pioneers in Thomas Forgrave's home. Among those present were Mr. and Thomas Forgrave, Robert G. Crawford and J. J. McKenzie. As a result of this meeting, the Stalwart Presbyterian Church was organized on March 12, 1883. For the church building, tamarack logs were cut on the homestead of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Sims and hauled to the site donated by Thomas Forgrave. Mr. Forgrave and Robert Crawford donated adjoining half acres for church grounds. What lumber was needed was hauled from Swart's sawmill at Prentiss Bay. The charter members were Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Forgrave, Henry H. Hall, Robert G. Kinghorn, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander McWilliams, and J. J. McKenzie.

Sometime between March 11, 1883, and June, 1890, the session records were destroyed by fire together with some money $7.00 belonging to the session. On June 11, 1890, a congregetional meeting was held for the purpose of adopting a constitution and by-laws and election of officers. The following officers were elected by unanimous agreement: R. G. Crawford, elder; Thomas Forgrave and Henry H. Hall, trustee and managers. In 1934 the old log church had to be abandoned and the congregation leased the vacant Methodist Church for one dollar a year. In 1954 plans were made to build the new church. The men cut timber in the woods and the women raised money as only church women can and now the church is finished and completely furnished. The Stalwart Presbyterian Church is a member of the Mackinac Yoked Parish and is served by Pastors Walter, Venn, and Wartes."

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text is unaltered from the last update in 1973 and is presented on the internet at for the first time. No update work has been attempted in recent years, but the door is open to anyone who wishes to. This site is the product of a Pickford FCCLA project undertaken by Wendy Galer and Daniel Morrison and assisted by Angie Mishler and Sara Ramsey. The project won a gold medal at the 1999 Michigan FCCLA State Leadership Conference.


By Mrs. Charles H. Smith (Lulu O'Neil)

John O'Neil was born January 7, 1849 and died October 3, 1931. His wife, Margaret Deborah Boskill, died September 12, 1912. They came to Sault Ste. Marie with two children, John aged 9 and James A., aged 7, from Port Hope, Ontario. They walked from the Soo to Stalwart carrying all their belongings with them. O'Neil built a small log house and a log barn. Later, they built a two story frame house. Mrs. O'Neil grouted the house with lime and sawdust, and her hands were severely burned by the lime, but it had to be done. John was a blacksmith, and used the log house for a blacksmith shop. He cleared half of his quarter section and sold a forty to a relative, Otto Thompkins. Thompkins was a handy man. He made cedar cisterns, sleighs, and most anything a neighbor needed. His forty had large cedar trees, and he made railroad ties from them. He used a maul and iron wedges and by splitting the large eight foot blocks he made as many as twenty four ties from one tree, for which he got 25 cents a piece, delivered, at Raber.

John O'Neil, Jr., lived in a house across the road from where the Raber Twp. School was later built, but he went to the Canadian Northwest, and his property went back to the original O'Neil farm.

James A. went into business in Pickford, and later went to Seattle, Washington. Other members of the O'Neil family were Norman, who lived in Port Huron, Laura married Ben Sachett and lived in Chassell, Soo, and Battle Creek. Lulu married Charles H. Smith. She still lives in the Soo with her daughter, Elva. Annie married, and now lives in Orlando, Florida. Lorne lives in Detroit.

Thomas Boskill, Mrs. O'Neil's brother, homesteaded the northwest corner of Stalwart corner, later known as the Reynold's place.

 THOMAS  BOSKILL, Jr. (son of homesteader Thomas Boskill)

wife Inez Mary Coulter, children Elizabeth Inez, Irene Josephine, Dorothy Bernice

contributed by grand-daughter Jane Sanford Harrison


Alfred and Mae Cotton came to Stalwart from Canada. Although they were not among the early homesteaders, they were early settlers. They bought the north half of Joseph Storey's homestead and built their home near the spring known as "Diamond Spring."

Alf was a steam engineer and sawmill owner, and built his sawmill near the spring for water for his steam power. His biggest log was a pine log sixteen feet long that was too large to float down the Munoskong river with the other logs, and laid in the river for a long time between Hall's and Kay's. Each spring the spring flood would move it farther down stream. One spring an unusually deep flood brought it into Jim Hall's yard. He rolled it out of the river, loaded it on a dray, and took it to Cotton's mill. It was too big to get inside the mill, so it was split into four pieces. When sawed into lumber, it scaled 1,100 board feet.

Cotton's had a family of four. They were Dolly, Clara, Don, and Eva. They also raised a nephew of Mrs. Cotton, Jack Thomas.

Alf also had a mill at McWilliams' spring, where he sawed the hemlock and elm logs from the McWilliams' place for a lumber company in Raber.

When the Cotton's sold their farm and retired, they moved to Sheboygan, Michigan, and lived with their daughter, Eva. After Alf died, Mae came back to Pickford and lived with Dolly. She was over ninety when she died.


John McEvers came to Stalwart from Canada near Guelph. John was a brother of the second Mrs. Kinghorn. He married Mary Ann Hanna and they had two children, George and Margaret. John bought a half of the Kinghorn homestead, but as Robert Kinghorn had built his house on the half that John McEvers wanted, they ran their line on a diagonal, northwest and southeast, and Kinghorn kept the north half and McEvers had the south half which he wanted, and everybody was happy.

John McEvers was the last farmer to change from oxen to horses. His last yoke of oxen were called Buck and Bright. Other oxen in the pioneer days were Star and Spot owned by R. G. Crawford, and Jack and Jerry owned by James Y. Hall.

John McEvers was the undertaker for the Stalwart community. When someone died, John was usually the first neighbor to come to the home, and he stayed with the family until the last nail was set in place by the screw driver in John's hip pocket. John was very thorough in every thing he did. He never gave his solemn promise to do anything or to go anywhere, it was always, "Yes, as far as I know." He said that there was always an uncertainty about the future.


John Pogue came to Stalwart with his wife and family from Canada and bought the south half of the John Johnston homestead. Mrs. Pogue was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Tompkins. Their family consisted of: Percy, Gladys, Jennie, Laura, Fairly, and Lena.

John's farm was small and hard to work, so he had to find outside work. He worked in the woods in the winter and worked at whatever jobs he could get in the rest of the year. One of his jobs was helping Al Tripp with his threshing machine and sawmill. He was a good teamster and a good caretaker of horses.

He bought a farm in the Sunshine area, and they lived there for some time. Finally, they moved to St. Ignace. In his old age he was a familiar figure, fishing off the ferry dock. Mr. and Mrs. Pogue both died in St. Ignace.


To the north of Stalwart and toward Pickford was the neighborhood known locally as Fairview. In Fairview were the Brindley's, Flood's, Ames', George Sims', Barton's, Ball's, Nalley's, Kelly's, Campbell's, Cochran's, and McConkey's.

The other way towards DeTour was the Spence Settlement. Across from Leaches swamp were Leaches', Bank's, Butler's, Carey's, Bell's, Crisp's, Moore's, Spence's, and Wahl's.

There is much that could be said about these good neighbors and the interchange of work and pleasures, but we have to draw the line somewhere, so we are confining it to patrons of the Stalwart Post Office.

Stalwart Businesses

"The first recorded postmaster was John McKenzie in 1890 through 1894. Thomas Forgrave was next from 1894 to 1900. Then his son, Thomas Rothwell, bought and kept it until 1925. In 1925 Chester Crawford became postmaster. In 1946 his son, James C. Crawford, took over and is the present postmaster.

A grocery store has always been operated along with the post office. William Tolberth opened the first gas station in Stalwart when he was postmaster.

Other places of business in Stalwart were a blacksmith shop at what is now the corner of M-48 and the Bill Crawford farm. John McKenzie was the owner in 1888 before he had the post office. George Henry had a blacksmith shop on the opposite side of the road from 1909 to 1920.

A sawmill was run by steam and owned by Alfred Cotton near Robert O'Brien's before 1900. In 1900 Mr. Cotton moved his mill to Diamond Springs corner. James Storey had a shingle mill on the other side of the Springs. Al Tripp had a sawmill in Sand Ridge in 1913. In 1940 James Storey started another shingle mill and saw mill on the East Branch of the Munuscong River, two miles east of Diamond Springs.

Russell Sims opened a gas station in 1935, later adding a grocery section. In 1956 he sold it to Mason Storey, who later sold it to John Williams."

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text can be found on the internet at .


The first School District was organized in 1882, and the first classes were held in May, 1883, with Evaline Hall as teacher. (See the minutes and contracts of the first schoolboard.) According to papers found in James Duncan's trunk, it would seem that there had been some thought about making one school district in the community, although a part of the community was in what was called DeTour Township. But the District was made entirely in Pickford Township. The pupils who went to the school from DeTour and Raber townships paid tuition. At first the school term was for three months and later extended to five months. In 1899 the Raber Township Board of Education opened a school over Forgrave's store, the term extending from September, 1899, to February, 1900. During the summer of 1900, the Raber School hired Robert Kinghorn to build a school on the farm of Robert G. Crawford, and school began there on September 1st.

Among the first teachers in the District 13 School were Evaline Hall, Elizabeth Banks, Martha A. Willoughby, Annie Miller, Oscar Edgar, Minnie Duncan, Ted Brown. Pupils at that time went to the "Tripp School"; to Ted Brown in the summer of 1899, the fall of 1899 to Raber Township School to Ted Brown, the spring and summer back to the Tripp School, and fall and winter to Raber Township again. Always to Ted Brown, six terms in all.

Stalwart School

"Around 1898 the children of Stalwart first went to the Stalwart District school located on the Tripp farm about one mile south of Diamond Springs Corner. This school was later called the Tripp School.

In those days the children and teacher had to walk to and from school, but now transportation is provided for them. They did not have school nine months of the year as we do now. School started around the 15th of April and ended the last of June, then started again in September and ending in the latter part of November when the cold weather set in.

In 1899 the country was divided into Townships, so the children of Stalwart and Raber Township had classes above the old post office in Stalwart. Mr. Edward Brown was the teacher there at that time. Meanwhile a new school was being built by Robert Kinghorn. This school was a frame building 24' x 30'. It was completed in time for school to open in September of 1900 and classes were held there the full nine months.

Some of the families sending their children to this school were the Forgraves, Martins, Crawfords, O'Neils, Kinghorns, and Halls. Edith Sprig, Mr. Holt and Mrs. Maltas were some of the teachers that taught in the Stalwart School. Their salaries were about $30 a month.

In 1941 it was decided to sell the old school house and buy a larger one from Cedarville and have it moved to the present location about a quarter mile south of the Stalwart post office. Bernice Crawford, Robert Beacom, and R. B. Crawford were the teachers for eight years, followed by Mrs. Ford Bawks. The Stalwart School was closed in 1956 and the students transported to the new Raber School and then to Pickford."

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text can be found on the internet at .


In the early days of Stalwart, what recreation the people had, they made themselves. They co-operated in clearing land, in raising buildings, and in threshing grain. When a house was to be built, the logs were assembled at the chosen site, then the neighbors chose sides and proceeded to raise the building. There had to be four corner men, chosen for their skill with the axe. Each corner man cut his end of the log so that it dovetailed with the log it joined. They cut them on a bevel so they locked and couldn't fall apart. The houses were later hewed on the inside and outside so the walls were smooth. Perhaps the contract between Philip Waybrant and the School Board can show how a log building was finished. The logging bees were to clear the land of heavy logs that one man couldn't handle alone. The logs were brought together with horses or oxen, and the men piled them in heaps for burning. The threshing machines were owned by one or two men who went from farm to farm and the neighbors helped each other. It usually required twelve or fifteen men for a threshing. The first threshing machine in Stalwart was run by horsepower, the horses traveling in a circle turned a sort of capstan which supplies the power. For all these bees and threshing, there had to be food, and that was where the women had their part. There didn't need to be as many women as men, but it was an opportunity to get together and visit, so there was always enough help. After the logging bee or raising, the people hurried home to get the chores done and get back for the dance, because there was usually a dance after the bee. There had to be someone to furnish the music and to call off for the square dances. If there wasn't a violin, there were mouth organs, and they had fun. People were just as happy then as now, or maybe happier. Their wants were fewer, and no one was in want if his neighbor knew of his need. On the Fourth of July there was the annual picnic in McKenzie's grove. Families came with their food, and a long table was set up and the food all mixed so no one family ate by themselves. After dinner there were swings for any who desired it. There were contests of many kinds, and usually a ball game. It could be a home-made ball and bat. Maybe someone had a mit, but it was quite likely that someone would get a finger or thumb out of joint. Another get together exclusively for the women was the quilting bee. That needs no explanation, because they still have them. I have tried to make this as interesting as I could. I have tried to get something about each family that had a part in making family history in Stalwart. I especially enjoyed visiting Thomas A. Forgrave, the first child born in Stalwart, Mrs. Mae Warren (Maggie Mae Johnston), Mrs. W.A.Evans (Kate McKenzie). They enjoyed our talking about the early days of Stalwart, too. I tried to get some information about Beggs, who homesteaded across the section line from Storeys; William Clark, who was active in the first school meetings; George Nickols (Lulu (O'Neil) Smith said he was 'Uncle George'); and Henry Carr, who bought the northwest quarter of section 6-42-2 east from the railroad. Carr's had one son, Cecil. They sold their place to Thomas Forgrave and moved to Zion, Illinois.

Stalwart Fair (Best Little Fair in Michigan)

"The Stalwart Fair was started in 1906. An Agricultural Society was organized to carry on the work of the fair. Those who were admitted were Alex Sims, R. G. Crawford, William Clark, Robert A. Sims, Thomas Forgrave, Chester C. Crawford, and James Richardson. The main purpose of the fair is an important and colorful part of our American tradition. Generations of Americans have come to love and eagerly look forward to what is coming each year. The County Fair is much more than entertainment, however. It serves an important educational function in many ways. It is a valuable competitive spur to farmers, young and old, to do their utmost in increasing the quality of our already excellent farm products. Today the County Fair is of great interest to city dwellers, as well as to farmers. The County Fair, therefore, has become a meeting place between our state, city, and rural dwellers. It is indeed an important event in the lives of the people in this district."

...Quoted from A History of Pickford Area Pioneer Families 1973. The full text can be found on the internet at .


I remember the first Threshing Machine, owned by Bob Hewer. It was a horse-powered machine driven by horse going in a circle, and a man on the seat in the center of the circle with a whip in his hand keeping the horses going. Part of the old machine lay for years on the side of the road at the north west corner of the Bill Waybrant homestead in Mackinac County. Grandfather Crawford had his shoe shop in the front room of his house, the new one he built on the south side of the river, near the road. The cobblers bench was in front of a large two-sash window. The different kinds of leathers were in piles along the wall. The bench was low, and had a seat in one end made by a hole cut into the top and filled with brown leather, which was tacked all around, making a depression to sit in. On the other end were compartments for the different kinds of tacks and pegs. Then there was an assortment of lasts and bristles and shoemakers wax and linen thread. He showed me how to make a waxed-end using a bristle which was about five or six inches long, and a linen thread and wax. He said the bristles came from the backs of wild boars. He always put a bristle on each end of the thread so that he could sew from both sides using both hands. The thread was made of several strands of thread twisted together, depending on how strong a sewing thread he wanted. The strands were twisted by rolling the threads together on his knee. Grandfather or father made all my shoes until I was old enough to earn money to buy my own. Father learned the shoemakers trade from his father. While living in Canada, father made a pair of boots for Dave Stevens, who later came to Pickford and had a blacksmith shop near the bridge. He put Dave's initials on the soles of the boots with nails. Later Dave wanted to go with a gang cooning apples, and came to Father to have him take the initials off the boots for fear they might incriminate him.


There was a period around the turn of the century when there developed a pack of wild dogs. No one knew where they came from, or how they got started, but a lot of domestic farm dogs left home and ran with them. Some of them never came home, presumably they had been killed by the pack or shot by some farmer. They seemed to be only in the area around Stalwart, and they became a real pest because they would travel mostly at night and kill sheep, pigs, and fowl. Different neighbors captured pups from time to time, and tried to tame them, but that didn't prove very satisfactory. Richard Hanna got two or three of them and tried to domesticate them, but gave up and decided to hang them. So he rigged hangman's rope on the underside of a ladder, but had difficulties that way, too. The pup would swing up and get his paws on the rung of the ladder to take the strain off his neck. So Mr. Hanna had to get up on the ladder with a stick and rap his toes, saying "Put your feet down Sir. Sure you'll never hang with your feet up there." Alex McWilliams, Sr.'s old pony, Jack, died and Ham Hall got the carcass over on the Sand Ridge and salted it good with strychnine after the wild dogs started coming to eat on it. That ended the wild dogs.



April 6, 1881

The qualified voters of District No. 13 assembled pursuant to notice for the purpose of electing district officers.

Moved by Philip Waybrant, seconded by J. J. McKenzie that Mr. John Crawford act as Chairman. Carried.

Moved by John Johnson, seconded by John Scott that Philip Waybrant be Moderator. Carried.

Moved by John Oneil, seconded by William Clark, that Thos. Boskill be Moderator.

Moved by Philip Waybrant, seconded by John Johnson that John J. McKenzie be Director. Carried.

Moved by John Johnson, seconded by Robert Kinghorn that Wm. Scott be Assessor. Carried.

Moved by John Oneil, seconded by Wm. Clark that Thos. Boskill be Assessor.

The above officers duly elected have filed their acceptance of office.

Notice of formation handed by Philip Waybrant to Chairman and by Chairman to the Director.

John J. McKenzie, Director

Syned: John Crawford, Chairman

May 18, 1881

Moved by John Oneil, seconded by Wm. Scott that the school site be on Philip Waybrant's lot on the east line, 30 rods from the southeast corner. Said site to contain 1/2 acre. Said lot to be square and the south side of said lot to be 30 rods from the SE corner. (The same to be leased.)

Moved by John Oneil, seconded by Wm. Scott. Carried.

Moved by John Oneil, seconded by Wm. Scott that the job of a school house be let to the lowest bidder. If the bidder is reliable said job to be let at the school site on Saturday, the 21st of May... Said schoolhouse to be 20 ft.x 24ft in size, 10 ft wall.... Carried.

May 31st, 1881

Moved by Joseph Storey, seconded by John Oneil that the school site be leased for 10 years from Philip Waybrant for the yearly rent of one dollar --$l.00. Carried.

Moved by Joseph Storey, seconded by John Oneil that the job of building of a school house be left over until the annual school meeting. Carried.

Sept. 5th, 1881

Moved by Jos. Storey, seconded by Richard Hanna that Thomas Boskill be assessor for the incoming 3 years.

Moved by John Scott, seconded by Wm. Scott that Joseph Storey be assessor for the incoming 3 years. Carried.

Moved by Wm. Clark, seconded by R. Hanna that all hands turn out on 13th September to cut logs for school house. 20 x 24 ft. outside Carried.

September 24th, 1881

Moved by P. Waybrant and seconded by John Johnson that Joseph Storey be or act as director at this meeting. Carried.

Moved by John Johnson and seconded by Thomas Boskill that we borrow One Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($150.00) for the purpose of building a school house, to take effect immediately. Carried.

For Thirty Dollars ($30.00), John Johnson agrees to take out logs for the school house and hew them, the bottom side logs to be hewed on the upper side and also to clear the ground.

February 26th, 1882

Job of finishing school house let to Philip Waybrant for the sum of $109.75 - to be finished by the 24th of May 1882.

School District No. 13 CONTRACT...


The work would be as follows: Sleepers to be got out and put in - hewed on one side, 2 ft. centers large enough to size 6 inches at top end. Sleepers to be good straight cedars - Floors to be double - well laid - joints to be well broke, and well nailed -- Roof to be well put on with good shingles well nailed. (Shingles to be 16 inches by 5 inches to weather) boards to be laid close and well nailed. Rafters to be poles peeled and 2 ft centers. Pitch of roof, third pitch. Gable ends to be boarded upright and cracks battoned - - four openings for windows and one for door to be cut in walls - frames made for same - Cased on 2 sides. Door to be batton door, tounged and grooved - 3 battons - sash to be made for 12 x 14 lights and door to be hung with good strap hinges and latch fastenings and good lock. Sash to be fitted and glazed -- 12 lights to each window. Beams to be 2-ft. centers hewed to 5 x 6 inches, well pinned at the ends. Walls to be chinked and well plastered inside and outside with lime and sand (the sash to be primed and well glazed) long cedar sleepers to be laid for the other sleepers to bear on -to be well blocked up - windows and doors to have jamb on outside of casing on the ends of logs - door to be in end of the building next to the road.

To be finished on or before the 24th of May, 1882.

Job let for One Hundred and Nine Dollars and Seventy Five Cents ($l09.75) to Philip Waybrant.

Signed Philip Waybrant - Contractor

John Johnston ) Directors - Witnesses

John J. McKenzie)

Present at the meeting were -- Richard Hanna, John Johnson, William Scott, Philip Waybrant, Robert Kinghorn.

April 12th, 1882

Moved by Philip Waybrant, seconded by Joseph Storey that the district borrow Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for five years - interest payable yearly and that district give bonds for the same.

Yeas - -

Richard Hanna

William Clark

James Duncan

John Johnson

John Scott

John Oneil

Robert Kinghorn

William Scott

June 5th, 1882

The district has borrowed the sum of $200 from the Wayne County Savings Bank, Detroit, Michigan for the term of five years, with interest at 10 percent payable yearly.

The district board has also hired Miss Evaline Hall as teacher for three months - at $20 per month.

School starts today, June 5th, 1882


It is hereby contracted and agreed between the district Board of School District No. 13 in the Township of Sault Ste. Marie, County of Chippewa and State of Michigan, and Evaline Hall, a legally qualified teacher in said township. That the said Evaline Hall shall teach the school of said district for the term of three months, commencing on the 5th of June, 1882 and the said Evaline Hall agrees faithfully to keep a correct list of the pupils and the age of each attending school. And the number of days each pupil is present and to furnish the director with correct copy of the same at the close of the school, and to observe and enforce the rules and regulations established by the district board. The said district in behalf of said district agrees to keep the school in good repair, to provide the necessary fuel to keep the school house in comfortable condition, and to pay said Evaline Hall for the said services as teacher to be faithfully and truely rendered and performed, the sum of twenty dollars per month. The same being the amount of wages above agreed upon, to be paid on the expiration of each month. Provided, That in case said Evaline Hall shall be dismissed by the district board for gross immorality or violation of the contract or shall permit her certificate to expire or shall have her certificate annulled or suspended by the county board of school examiners or other lawful authority. She shall not be entitled to any compensation from and after annulment.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names this Fifth (5th) day of June, 1882.

Philip Waybrant)

John J. McKenzie ) District Board

Joseph Storey)

Evaline Hall - Teacher

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NO.     NAME                                             AGE  

1     Mary J. Duncan                                         9

2     Margaret Hanna                                      13

3     Archibald Begg                                        14

4     Agnes Begg                                               9

5     Edward Duncan                                         8

6     Thomas Waybrant                                    12

7     Rebecca Waybrant                                   14

8     Lizzie Hanna                                               6

9     Susanna Duncan                                         6

10    Minnie Kinghorn                                      10

11    James Kinghorn [s/b Jennie Kinghorn]     7

12    James Oneil                                              7

13    Catherina Waybrant                                18

14   William J. Hanna                                      16

15    Mary Ann Hanna                                    19

16    John Oneil                                              11

17    James McKenzie                                      5

18    John Hanna                                            18

19    Addie Crawford                                     16

20    Ida Crawford                                         11

21    Maud Crawford                                       9

22    Ruben Waybrant                                    16

Sept. 10, 1883

J. J. McKenzie, Director

I certify that the above is correct.

John J. McKenzie, Director

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This transcription by

Skip Gottfried, great-grandson of Robert KINGHORN and grandson of his daughter Agnes KINGHORN BROWN. April 1999, Memphis, TN.

Text and photos last updated October 2002

If YOU can provide any further documentation relating to the early STALWART community, or any of it's people, and would like to see it presented and shared here on-line, please let me know, and I will transcribe the materials. You can contact me at, anytime.

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