Press enter after choosing selection

Payeurs Of Payeur Rd. In Payeurville

Payeurs Of Payeur Rd. In Payeurville image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

It's a rare sight to betioid in these days of far-flung families, but out in Pittsfield Township in 10 homes they built around Payeur Rd. live t h r e e generations o f the Payeur family. There are about 50 or so Payeurs living put in the country southeast of Ann "Payeurville," some p e o p 1 e cali it, and the Payeurs get on rather well with one another and don't seem to mind the proximity of so many úneles, aunts, brothers, sisters and cousins. Of course, there 's a bit of family in-fighting now and then just as there is in all families, but the Payeurs are a pretty friendly clan, to strangers as well as to one another. It used to be that only farm families, or maybe immigrant families like Greeks, Italians and Chinese, stuck together so closely. It's just possible that the Payeurs may be the only family jremaining in the Ann Arbor jarea most of whose kinfolk lare still living within walking ? distance of one another. Most of the mailboxes in the area read: "Payeur." It all started back in the early 20s, when three brothers, French-Canadians from the province of Quebec, came to Ann Arbor and bought an 80-acre farm in Pittsfield Township. The three brothers were: Alphonse Payeur, now 76, who lives at 163 Payeur Rd.; Harry Payeur, 69, who lives right around the corner at 5150 Marton Rd.; and Alfred Payeur, 65, who lives at 5400 Marton Rd. The three brothers bought the 80-acre farm for $7,200, recalls Harry Payeur. Now, he says, it would go for at least $5,000 per acre. That's how much land values have gone up in the last 50 years. The three French-speaking brothers (all of the Payeurs, including their children, still speak French) became naturalized citizens, married (Alphonse and Harry married sisters), went into the construction business, and raised large families. "We came here," says Harry, "because there was a depression in Canada. I was visiting Detroit, and some guy told me they were paying carpenters $1 an hour. Those were high wages in those days, and so I became a carpenter to earn a living" Eaeh of the brothers owned a section of the farm fronting either Payeur Rd. or Marton Rd., where there used to be an Ann Arbor Railroad junction and farmers would come from miles around to load potatos and onions on boxcars. When their children came of age, all three brothers divided up their lands and gave lots to their children, who built homes nearby. The brothers went into the construction business, building homes mostly, and their company grew into what is today the A. H. Payeur & Sons Foundation Co. at 5150 Marton Rd. Alphonse and his wife, Albertine, who is deceased, had six children, four of them sons: Benoit (Ben) Payeur, 44, of 201 Payeur Rd., a sheet-metal worker) Lawrence, 42, of 5510 Marton Rd., a farmer; Joseph, 40, of 143 Payeur Rd., a contractor; and Donald J. Payeur, 31, of 5510 Marton Rd., a printer at the Aun Arbor News. Irene Swanson, one daughter, lives in Saline, and Laurette Walters, the other, lives in Dentón. Harry and his wife, Marie Louise, had four children: Richard Payeur, 38, of 5060 Marton Rd., a partner in the construction company; Russell Payeur, 34, of 5100 Marton Rd., another partner; and two daughters, Rachel, who resides in Austria, and Mary Louise, in Washington, D.C. Alfred and his wife, Catherine, had five children: Virginia, Jane and Margaret Payeur, all living at 5400 Marton Rd., and David Payeur of Birmingham, a Ford Motor Co. manager, and Rosemary Kleinheinz of Madison, Wisc. Altogether, the three eider Payeur brothers now have 32 grandchildren, most of them living in Payeurville. Alphonse and Harry are now retired, and Alfred is employed by the R. E. Davis Construction Co. But many of the sons are carrying on the work of the fathers. All of the Payeur children attended the old Sutherland School, a 75-year-old school house on Textile Rd. Joseph Payeur is sentimental about the old school house. He recently bought the building and plans to open an antique shop there. Says Russell Payeur: "I'm glad my kids are in the Saline School district. Five of the Payeurs- Donald, Russell, Richard, Joe and Ben- are volunteers for the Pittsfield Township Fire Department. There nave been a lot of changes in the area in the past half-century and the eider Payeur brothers have seen them all. "Ann Arbor is getting too big for my liking," says Harry Payeur. But even though Ann Arbor isn't what it used to be- in Harry Payeur's opinión - he says 'Tve been all over the United States, and I don't think I'd want to live anywhere else."