Charles Adelbert Tucker, 1881-1943
Charles Adelbert Tucker was born on 2 August 1881 at Long Rapids, Alpena County, Michigan, and was the oldest of eight children born to Adelbert and Adelia (Williams) Tucker (they also adopted one child, Ruth).
Left to right in back are James, Alice, Charles, and the bald man is unknown. Left to right in front are William, John, Adelia (seated) with Gladys on her lap, and Adelbert with (believed to be) Richard on his lap. Photo probably taken about 1898. Log cabin home was located northwest of Long Rapids.
Like his father Charles worked in the lumber camps in the early 1900's. In the photo below Charles has a black cowboy-style hat with a cant hook over his left shoulder. Ledger books posted online (rootsweb.com/~mialpena/david.htm) indicate that "Charlie Tucker" worked in David McNeil's lumber camp in the winter of 1901-1902 in Wellington Twp., Alpena County (Charlie's brother, Jim, also worked there, as well as George Tucker - Charlie's future brother-in-law). Note that this same photo is in a book, "Long Rapids and Vicinity" 1987 by Ruth Cochrane in which she labels the photo as "David McNeil's Camp - Cook's camp on far right and men's camp in center... David McNeil in front holding Ethel Thomson, his granddaughter..."
Charles's future brother-in-law, George Tucker (no relation to Charlie) also worked at this lumber camp. It was George who introduced Charles to his sister, Mary. Below is photo of George (left) and Charles.
George was from Carsonville which is about 200 miles south of Long Rapids, and because Charles's grandmother also lived at Carsonville, it is presumed that when Charles visited Carsonville he met up with George who then introduced him to Mary. Charles and Mary are the couple on the right side in the below photo taken about 1903 (the man in the center is Charles's brother, Jim, with "Mary C." behind him; and on the left is Mary's cousin, Lillie Tucker, and in front of her is her husband/fiance, Emery Sweet (Lillie and Emery married in February of 1903). Charles and Mary married on 17 December 1903 probably at Carsonville. Mary Elizabeth Tucker was born on 20 October 1882 in Carsonville, Mich., the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Maynard) Tucker.
Charles and Mary moved to Detroit shortly after they married and this is where their first child, Cecil (below), was born on January 9, 1906. Note that several siblings of both Charles and Mary were also living in Detroit about that time.
Charles worked for the Packard Motor Car Company apparently from at least 1905 through 1913. According to Wikipedia, "The Packard plant on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit covered over 35 acres. It was designed by Albert Kahn, and included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit. When opened in 1903, it was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world, and its skilled craftsmen practised over eighty trades." In the city directories from that time period Charles's occupation was listed variously as machinist, bench head, auto repair, finisher, assembler, inspector, auto worker, and laborer. Below is a photo of some of the workers for Packard Motors including Charles (seated in the 3rd row from the front with an x above his head):
In the photo below Charles and family are attending a picnic for Packard employees on Boblo Island in 1912. Seated between Charles and Mary are Cecil, born in 1906, and Ralph, born in 1910.
On 7 April 1913 Cecil was hit by a car and died. The following was reported in the Detroit Times the following day: "Frantic search for Cecil Tucker, seven-year-old son of Charles Tucker, of 545 Moran St., ended in the morgue in Grace hospital, Monday night, when Mr. Tucker was shown the body of an unidentified lad who had been killed by an automobile at East Grand Blvd. and Mt. Elliott Ave. during the afternoon, and identified it as that of his son. The boy, with a crowd of other youngsters, was playing on the boulevard when the auto of Dr. Bernard B. Neubauer approached, and the children leaped for safety, the Tucker lad jumping in front of the auto, it is claimed. He was knocked down and his skull was fractured. Dr. Neubauer immediately took him into the automobile and raced to Grace hospital, but the boy died as he was being placed on the operating table. There was nothing on the body by which to identify him, so his body was placed in the morgue, and the police and Coroner Burgess notified... When the Tucker boy failed to appear at his home at supper time, his parents started a search for him, through the neighborhood, and finally called the police, who told them of the unidentified lad in the hospital, sparing them the news that the boy was dead. Mr. Tucker went to the hospital, and was heartbroken when shown the body of his son..." The following August Charles and Mary's son, Edwin, was born and shortly after that the family moved out of Detroit.
They first moved to Luther, Mich. (north of Big Rapids), and by 1915 they moved to Bad Axe, Mich., where they lived until Charles died in 1943. This is where their two daughters were born: Dorothy, in 1917, and Grace, in 1923. For many years they rented a house next to the Presbyterian Church (the house is no longer there). Below are their 4 children in the late 1920's with the church in the background. Later in life Dorothy wrote, "I was born in a small town, Bad Axe, Michigan. I had a brother 7 years older than I, and one 4 years older. My only sister was 6 years younger. We had a happy home. There never was alcoholic drinking, smoking or ill language used. We lived next door to the Presbyterian Church. Dad was an elder and we were in every service... My father loved to square dance and families used to meet in a big hall, maybe once a month. My sister and I would go with my folks. I didn't care to dance like my dad but there were lots of young people and we had fun and we sure did like the sandwiches, dill pickles, and cakes the ladies used to bring..." Note that Charles probably attended many square dances as a youngster because his father called square dances.
Charles was listed as an "engineer" in a factory in 1920 and as a machinist in 1930. Below is a photo of Charles (with hat) working in a gas station in Bad Axe:
According to Charles's obituary, "For several years, he was fieldman here for the Belle Isle Creamery company, predecessor of the Borden Farm Products company of Michigan. In 1931, he became a deputy sheriff in the administration of the late Sheriff Joseph L. Murray. After Sheriff Murray's death, he was named under sheriff by former Sheriff John A. Graham, who succeeded Murray. He resigned Dec 31, 1938, and since had been employed by the Thumb Bottling Company [as a salesman]. He was well known in the Thumb district where his pleasing personality made him many friends... Mr. Tucker had been badly crippled in an automobile accident [in August 1941 while riding as a passenger in one of the Thumb Bottling Co. trucks delivering soda to service stations in the area] and made a valiant recovery. He finally appeared on the streets in a wheel chair, and later, through persistent and painful efforts, was able to walk again." He died in Bad Axe on 2 June 1943 at the age of 61 and was buried in Colfax Cemetery near Bad Axe. Below is a photo of Charles and Mary in 1942:
© 2008 - , Thomas D. Adams