Abigail Catherine (Graham) Adair, 1833-1913
Abigail on the right (with white bow)
Abigail Catherine Graham was born on 16 December 1833 in Ohio, and was the youngest of seven children born to Thomas and Anna (Norton) Graham. The seven children were: Thomas Jr., Ebenezer, George, Norton, Sarah, Guy, and Abigail (seated next to Abbie in the above photo is her sister Sarah, and behind Sarah is their brother George, and behind Abbie is their brother Norton). The obituary of Abbie's oldest brother, Thomas Jr., states that he was "educated in New York, and afterward accompanied his father into Pennsylvania, where his father died from paralysis, leaving Thomas to take care of a widowed mother, and a large family. He raised and educated his brothers and sisters, all of whom filled honorable positions in life -- Guy Graham a brother, being a prominent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. From Pennsylvania the family moved into Ohio, where the deceased met Sophronia Black, and in August 1839, they were married, in Lucas county..."
Abbie's family was living in Erie County, Pennsylvania, in 1830 so that is apparently where the father died just before his widow moved into Ohio where Abbie was born in 1833. It is not known if Abbie's mother had relatives in Ohio or if she was just following the lead of her son, Thomas, Jr., who was 20 years old at the time. In 1837 he purchased 40 acres (the NW ¼ of the SW ¼ of section 10) in what is now Pike Twp., Fulton County (at the time it was in Lucas County. Fulton County was created partly from Lucas County in February 1850). The household of "Anna Graham" was located near Thomas in both the 1840 census of Lucas County, and the 1850 census of Pike Twp., Fulton County. In 1850 Abigail, age 16, born in Ohio, was living with her mother, Anna, age 57, and her brother, Guy, age 22 (Guy was a farmer at the time and the value of their real estate was fifty dollars).
About 1854 Abbie married Micah Adair who was born in 1818 in Connecticut. He was the youngest of eight children born to James Lewis Adair and Bathsheba Griffin. It is likely that Abbie and Micah married in Fulton County which is where their son, Augustus G. Adair, was born in 1855. In 1857 Micah and family moved for a short time to Columbia Co., Wisconsin, which is where Abigail's brother, George L. Graham (see above photo), was living.
By 1860 Micah and Abigail moved to Thetford Twp., Genesee Co., Michigan, which is also where Abbie's brother, Guy, was living with his family (Abbie's brother, Thomas Jr., was living in an adjacent county at that time). Abbie's mother, Anna, was living with Micah and Abbie during this 1860 census and she apparently died shortly after that (she has not been found in the 1870 census). The community where they lived in Thetford Twp. was called East Thetford or Henpeck and consisted of about a dozen dwellings, a saw mill, two stores, a schoolhouse, and a blacksmith shop. They lived there about 30 years, and it is where Micah and Abbie's only child, Augustus, went to school and eventually met and married Clara Bishop. They were living there during the early 1870's when the above photo of Abbie and siblings was taken. Augustus married in 1881 but died of liver failure ten years later. He left Clara with two children and the older, Roland, was 6 years old. A family story was that when Roland was seven years old he left home and walked to the home of his grandparents (Abbie and Micah) and continued to live with them from then on. By that time Abbie and Micah had moved to a 15 acre farm in Genesee Twp. on the northwest corner of Pierson and Center Road. The 1900 census of Genesee Twp. indeed lists Roland, 15 years old, living with Micah and Abbie.
Shortly after 1900 they all moved into the city of Flint where Micah died in April 1903. He was buried in Avondale Cemetery in Flint, which is where Augustus had been buried nearly 12 years earlier, and where Abbie would be buried nearly 10 years later. The 1903 Flint city directory lists Abigail as widowed and working as a dressmaker (Roland was living at the same address). In 1904 Abbie visited her sister, Sarah, shortly after Sarah's daughter, Mary, died in Mason, Michigan. The photo below was taken there and shows Abbie seated on the right (with white bow) and her sister Sarah to her right and Sarah's husband, Augustus Howard, directly behind Sarah:
The 1905-06 Flint directory states that Abigail had "removed to Chic. Ill." Perhaps Abbie was visiting her cousin, Anna Graham Gurley, who had moved to Chicago in 1898 and lived there until her death in 1918 (Anna and her husband were wealthy - they had donated $50,000 to the University of Chicago in 1900. Abbie's great-granddaughters, Margaret and Anna, recalled receiving gifts from Mrs. Gurley of five dollars each at Christmas time when they were young). Another possible reason for Abbie's trip to Chicago may have been to visit her granddaughter, Tressia (Roland's sister), although it is not known for sure whether Tressia was actually living there in the early 1900's. Tressia died in Chicago in 1918, but it is a mystery where she was living between 1903 and 1918.
By 1909 Abbie was again listed in the Flint city directory. Although Roland married in 1908, Abbie continued to live with Roland until her death in February 1913. Below is a photo of Abbie with Roland's first child (Abbie's first great-grandchild), Margaret Abigail Adair. Margaret was born in September 1909 so this photo was apparently taken in the spring of 1910 (the census was taken in April that year and listed their residence as 616 Oak St., so that is likely where this photo was taken):
Abbie's obituary in the Flint Journal reads: "Died - Adair - At the home of her grandson, Roland Adair, 428 W. 2nd Ave., Feb 20, 1913, Mrs. Abigail Catherine Adair, aged 79. Funeral from the house at 10:30 o'clock Saturday morning, Feb 22. Rev. Dr. Rider officiating. Burial in Avondale cemetery." The house where Abbie died (428 W. 2nd Ave.) was listed for sale in 2014 and was described as a multi-unit Victorian Style home built in 1909:
© 2008 - , Thomas D. Adams