Adelbert Minor Tucker, 1856-1935
Adelbert Minor Tucker was born on 22 May 1856 (or 1851?) in New York, in Clayton in Jefferson County. He was the first child of Elizabeth Tucker who later married John Jones in Michigan and had six more children. Elizabeth was reportedly engaged to Adelbert's father who was a sailor on the St. Lawrence River. He went on one last voyage but was lost with the ship. Not only is the name of Adelbert's father an open question, but also Adelbert's birth year. His death record and obituary as well as the 1920 and 1930 census indicate he was born in 1851, but the 1870, 1880, and 1910 census as well as his marriage record from 1880 all indicate he was born about 1856 (he has not been located in the 1860 census nor the 1900 census). Adelbert was living with his mother and stepfather during the 1870 census and was listed as 13 years old. If he had been born in 1851 he would have been 19 years old. This is significant because Adelbert's neice, Madeline (Jones) Felker, reported that Adelbert left home when he was about 12 years old "because of friction with his step-father". Mrs. Felker reported that after leaving home, "he went to live with a family by the name of Williams, who lived on the west side of the Black River. Later he went with other young men to the lumber camps, very often driving the tote teams, or being the cook. He could load a perfect load of logs -- once winning a prize for the best load. During his young manhood he worked in the camps around the Alpena area [according to his obituary he moved to Alpena in 1876]. He married Adelia Williams, and they lived all their lives in the Leer or Long Rapids area. He bought 40 acres near Leer and that is where their family was born. In later years he owned a farm north of Long Rapids [located at what is now 6558 S. Leer Rd.] -- his son, Will, had come back home [from Detroit] and worked with him. Adelbert had a high singing voice and worked for hire as a square dance caller in Alpena. For an evening's work he made $1.50. His voice would cary for as many as 12 sets. The family consisted of 8 children. At times Adelbert was both father and mother to them. Delia went blind and Del took care of the family doing the cooking, washing and sewing. She was able to go to Ann Arbor for an operation which restored part of her vision but she always suffered from eye trouble the rest of her life. These were difficult times for the family -- money was scarce -- one son remarked in later years that he did not know young men had anything more than work shoes, shirts, and overalls. As soon as the boys became 18 they left home and went to seek work in Detroit. All five of them were in Detroit at one time. Four or five of them were on the Detroit Police Force. They were tall, husky young men who resembled their mother's family being reddish, blond six-footers -- Del's height was perhaps only 5 foot 7 inches."
Below is a photo of Adelbert and family from about 1898 in front of their log home (the name of the balding man standing behind Adelbert is not known but the others are children of Adelbert and Adelia -- next to the bald man is Charles, then Alice and James. In the front row left to right are William, John, and on Adelia's lap is Gladys, and on Adelbert's lap may be Richard):
The above log home was located southwest of Leer near the southeast intersection of Salina Rd. and Reider School Rd. Their 38 acre farm is shown in section 19 on this 1903 plat map of Long Rapids Twp., Alpena Co. Mich.
Below are two photos of Adelbert with his team of horses while logging. Reportedly a good teamster with a team of horses made twice as much money as a lumberjack.
Below is a photo of Adelbert in 1913 with his son, Richard, and daughter, Mary (and their horses). Note that Richard died in 1918 during WWI in France.
Below is a photo of Adelbert from the early 1920's:
In 1930 Adelbert and Adelia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary:
Below is a 1931 four-generation photo: Adelbert, Charles, Ralph, and Ralph Jr.
Adelbert and Adelia apparently moved to their farm north of Long Rapids (6558 Leer Rd. -- the house is no longer standing) some time between 1913 and 1920. When they were older they also lived in the village of Long Rapids during the winter (the house is also no longer standing but it was on the southeast corner of the intersection just south of Long Rapids Cemetery). Below is a photo of their "Winter Home" in Long Rapids:
Adelbert ran a sort of butcher shop from their home in Long Rapids, and he was also a driver for a local doctor when making house calls. After Adelbert and Adelia died their daughter, Alice, continued to live in the house until she died. Adelbert died on 11 November 1935 in Long Rapids and Adelia died there on 13 June 1938. They were buried in Long Rapids Cemetery.
© 2008 - , Thomas D. Adams