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Ann Arbor 200

Titus "Potato" Bronson: Ann Arbor's Pioneering Potato Man

Year
2024

Titus Bronson
Titus Bronson, Courtesy of Kalamazoo Valley Museum

 

"A man who produces a potato for his fellowmen, is a greater benefactor to his race than the man who produces a gold dollar; for the potato is, of the most value to mankind." - Carlyle

Ann Arbor history books are replete with stories of our city's founders, John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, but have you ever heard the story of Ann Arbor's pioneering resident Titus "Potato" Bronson?

Titus Bronson was born November 27, 1788 in Middlebury, Connecticut to former revolutionary war soldier Titus Bronson and his wife Hannah Cook. He was the fifth born in a family of eight children. In 1819/1820, several Middlebury families moved west to settle in Talmadge, Ohio (near Akron) and Titus was part of that group. It was during his time in Ohio that he crossed paths with John Gilkey and his life turned to potatoes.

Neshannock Potatoes

John Gilkey was an Irish immigrant farming potatoes in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. After a few years of planting red, blue, and white potato varieties, his plants cross-pollinated. He named the new type of potato "Neshannock," after a nearby creek. The Neshannock was a large and long potato, reddish purple in color, with streaks of the same color through the flesh that generally disappeared after the potato was cooked. Most importantly, the Neshannock was more productive and tastier than older varieties. While prospecting around the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, Titus Bronson encountered John Gilkey and his Neshannock potatoes. He saw the potential in a crop of these large, delicious, high-yielding spuds, bought some, and planted them. His first crop of potatoes grown in Talmadge, Ohio secured a high price. Soon he was traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood, planting and selling potatoes, until much of the area was supplied with the Neshannock variety and he had earned the nickname "Potato Bronson". He was the Johnny Appleseed of spuds.

Neshannock Potato
Neshannock Potato Historical Road Marker - Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Ann Arbor

Much of what is known about Titus Bronson's time in Ann Arbor comes from the writing of his old friend, Ann Arbor pioneer John Geddes. According to Geddes, Titus Bronson saw the Michigan territory (Michigan would not become a state until 1837) as an opportunity for more prospecting and expanding his potato business. In 1823 he found his way to Snow's Landing (today’s Ypsilanti Township/Van Buren County) where he planted his first crop of potatoes. On May 5, 1824, shortly after Ann Arbor's founding, Titus Bronson purchased 160 acres of land in Ann Arbor township. Considered the first settler to bring potatoes to Ann Arbor, his crops greatly supplemented the diets of the early residents. Geddes described Titus "Potato" Bronson as a tall, raw-boned man, of slovenly appearance. With a quirky walk and outspoken views on politics, he was not very popular in town. His Neshannock potatoes, on the other hand, were a favorite of the earliest townies. During his brief years in Ann Arbor, Bronson bought and sold several more pieces of land. At one point he even traded property with one of Ann Arbor's founders, John Allen.

In 1826, Titus Bronson sold all of his Ann Arbor land, and travelled back to his hometown of Middlebury, Connecticut. In 1827, he married a widow, Sally (Richardson) Bartholomew. Their wedding record reads "Middlebury, January 18, 1827. This may certify that Titus Bronson of Anarbor (sic), Michigan and Mrs. Sally Bartholemew of Tallmadge, Ohio, have this day been united in marriage." The couple moved to Talmadge, Ohio the following spring, and Titus returned to Ann Arbor in the summer. Records seem to indicate that he no longer considered himself a permanent resident of Ann Arbor, and would pay with potatoes to temporarily stay in people's homes.

Kalamazoo

In 1829, Bronson was on the move again. With nearly 900 residents, he found Ann Arbor to be overpopulated. Following the St. Joseph Trail, he headed west through the Michigan territory. (Today the ancient Native American pathway is in bits and pieces of Michigan Avenue, U.S. 12, and vast swaths of I-94.) After roughly 100 miles he discovered an area on a beautiful river and decided it would be his new home. In 1830, he traveled back to Talmadge, Ohio to collect his wife and children, and John Geddes recalled them stopping their wagon and oxen in Ann Arbor on the way to their new land. The area Titus discovered would eventually become known as the Village of Bronson, which we now know today as the city of Kalamazoo (not to be confused with Bronson, MI in Branch County). Titus Bronson used the money he earned from selling potatoes in Ann Arbor to purchase the land where downtown Kalamazoo is currently located. According to Kalamazoo legend, had it not been for the intervention of his wife, he might have exchanged it all for $100 and a gun. Next time you visit Kalamazoo, remember that the city's beginnings were based on the funds of hungry Ann Arbor residents eating lots of potatoes.

In the mid-1830s, Titus Bronson was on the move again; Village of Bronson residents changed the name to Kalamazoo, which Titus wasn't happy about. He moved to Iowa where he lost his life savings in a bad land deal, and then lived briefly in Illinois. In 1843, the highly respected farmer's journal The Cultivator reported the Neshannock potato "one of the most valuable of table potatoes, white, mealy and of good flavor", although Titus Bronson was no longer in the business. In January 1853, while visiting his brother back in Connecticut, he died. His headstone in the Middlebury Cemetery reads "A Western Pioneer, Returned To Sleep With His Fathers".

Titus Bronson Headstone
Titus Bronson's Headstone, Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, CT. Not etching the image of a potato into this stone was clearly a missed opportunity.

Potatoes Coast To Coast

In the nineteenth century, the Neshannock became the standard commercial potato in the United States. A very productive and excellent all-purpose potato, it was prized for its size, wonderful flavor, and ability to keep. During the Irish famine of 1846-1847, several thousand bushels of the potatoes were shipped to Ireland. By 1851, Neshannock (under the name Gilkey) were leading prize-winners at fairs all over the United States. During the Civil War, the Neshannock potato was a favorite food of both Union and Confederate soldiers. By the 1870s, Neshannock potatoes were being shipped by rail to California. It seems that Ann Arbor, thanks to Titus "Potato" Bronson, was on the cutting edge of the potato scene when it was founded in 1824. We thank him for his starchy offerings.

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AADL Talks To: Pat Oleszko, Performance Artist and Queen of the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Pat Olezsko
Pat Oleszko, circa 1971 and March 2024

In this episode AADL Talks to Pat Oleszko, visual and performance artist and Queen of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Pat came to the University to study art in the late 1960s just as the program was experiencing a countercultural renaissance. She talks with us about her journey as an artist, from the vibrant experimental and collaborative arts community that welcomed her, to the institutions and events like the ONCE Group, the city's film festivals, and the Ozone Parade that shaped her and that she helped shape in turn. Pat also recalls some favorite performances and clashes with both feminists and law enforcement as she charted her inimitable career.

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Black Women in the Workplace

In this video complied from dozens of interviews from the Living Oral History Project, Black women speak about their experiences working in Washtenaw County, including the various obstacles they had to face in hiring and on the job.

The Living Oral History Project is a partnership between the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor District Library, providing a permanent home for 50+ interviews with Black community members collected over the past decade.  The collection continues to grow with interviews added each year.

Ann Arbor 200

Emil Weddige: Ann Arbor's Pre-eminent Lithographer

Year
2024

Emil Weddige was known as an impactful artist with a particular finesse with color and shade in his prints, technically skilled, a leader in the field of lithography. Weddige was not only among the first to teach lithography in American universities, but he is also among those credited with the revival of stone lithography in North America and Europe.

Lithographer Emil Weddige in his Studio with his Cat Tarzan, March 1992
Emil Weddige in his Studio with his cat Tarzan, March 1992. Photographed by Carrie Rosema for the Ann Arbor News

In a personal essay for his 1986 retrospective exhibition at Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor’s world-renowned lithographer wrote:

“I have worked without major interruption since a child of one and one-half years old. The records of these drawings are in the Archives of American Art. I was told that I learned to talk by hearing adults say the names of what I had just drawn.” Whether this bit of family lore of Weddige’s artistic origins is true or not, it is clear that he fervently devoted himself to a life of both creating art and sharing his passion with others through teaching. 

1907-1942: The Early Years

Emil Albert Weddige was born to Marie Emma Boismier and Carl Albert Weddige in Sandwich, Ontario on December 23, 1907. By 1909, the Weddige family had immigrated to Detroit, where Emil would grow up and attend Neinas Elementary School and Western High School. 

Emil lived in Ypsilanti by 1928, confirms a January 25 Ann Arbor News article citing his weekend visit to his parents in Pinckney. He also appears in the 1928 Aurora yearbook, having entered Michigan State/Ypsilanti Normal College (now known as Eastern Michigan University) as a freshman that year to study fine arts. Weddige would not stay long, though, and by December 1928, the Ann Arbor News reported that Weddige was attending Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, PA, for a brief period. 

By 1932, Emil’s parents Marie and Carl had relocated to Ypsilanti, where the following year Emil would again begin attending Ypsilanti Normal College to continue studying fine arts. During his junior and senior year there, he was active in the Art Club, acting as treasurer in 1933 and president in 1934.

Emil Weddige, The Aurora Yearbook, 1934
Emil Weddige, Eastern Michigan University Aurora, 1934

He was also involved with the school yearbook, The Aurora, and in 1934 was cited as the staff artist. It was also during this period that Emil won his first award, in 1932, for an oil painting of his grandfather titled “Pipe”.

Emil married his first wife, Ann Marcus, on August 17, 1933 in Crown Point, Indiana. The following year, Weddige graduated from Ypsilanti Normal College with a Bachelor of Arts. 

Education: Toward an “everyperson kind of art”

“I’ve always tried to create art that is accessible to all people. That is why I am a stone lithographer.” – Emil Weddige

Initially, Weddige was interested in pursuing painting, but later wrote of his turn away from the medium: “In the ‘twenties’, I became very interested in the need for an everyperson kind of art.” This kind of art was one that could be, by design, reproduced in high quality and distributed as originals in larger numbers than a single painting. 

Emil Weddige, date unknown, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Emil Weddige, date unknown, photographed by Ralston Crawford, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library

Weddige was initially introduced to printmaking by Orlo Gill during his time at Ypsilanti Normal College. Weddige also credited his love of printmaking to a chance encounter with Carl Zigrosser, future curator of prints for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Though he does not cite when this encounter occurred, it is possible that this was during his brief studies at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh at the onset of the Great Depression.

The ever-busy Weddige also studied at the Art Students League in New York, where he experimented with etchings, woodcuts, and silkscreen prints. There, he studied under Morris Kantor and Harry Sternberg. From there, Weddige traveled to Woodstock and met Emil Ganso, a lithographer. Ganso first introduced Weddige to the medium that would define his career as an artist. Weddige wrote “I have been in love with Lithography as a form of Art from that day.” Weddige noted in a September 29, 1989 Central Michigan Life article that he pursued his “most important studies” at both the Art Students League and the Academy Julian in Paris.

Emil notes in his personal writings that “During the three years after graduation, there was a rapid advancement.” In this time, he received his first job teaching art, English, mathematics, and civics at an intermediate school in Dearborn. Weddige worked as a self-described unorthodox teacher at

Emil Weddige, Dearborn High School Yearbook, 1937
Emil Weddige, Art Teacher, Dearborn High School Yearbook, 1937

Dearborn High School before being appointed Art Supervisor for Dearborn Schools, where he worked for one year before becoming a teaching fellow and graduate student at University of Michigan in 1937. Many biographical accounts suggest that he began his graduate work at the University of Michigan and received his Master of Arts in 1937. However, as reported by the Ann Arbor News on June 17, 1938, he officially earned a Master of Design degree a year after he began his graduate work. 

By October 12, 1939, the Michigan Daily announced the appointment of Emil Weddige to instructor at the College of Architecture and Design. By 1941, he had received an additional promotion at the university, and was involved with the Ann Arbor Art Association, acting as vice president.

In the early 1940s, Emil would go through several significant life changes. In August 1942, at the time of his father Carl Weddige’s death, Emil was living at 1404 Broadway. There, he lived with his first wife Ann until their divorce (after ten years of marriage) on August 27, 1943. Then, on December 29, 1943,

Emil and Juanita Weddige, date unknown, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Emil and Juanita Weddige, date unknown, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library

Emil married his second wife, Juanita G. Pardon; she would play a crucial role in his life as his partner of 48 years until her death on October 6, 1990. Juanita acted as Emil’s business manager, and is said to have organized over 600 one-man shows for the artist while she was alive. The newly-married couple then moved next door to 1400 Broadway, where they would remain until 1949.

Lithography: A True Painters Medium

Weddige deemed lithography “a painter’s medium, alive to every whim of the artist and anything in painting or drawing or in combinations is possible."

Lithography was first developed in in the late 1790s by Alois Senefelder in Germany. The process of lithography was the first mass-production printing process for images, aside from hand engraving. The process also allowed for greater control over the image than previously possible. This new technique revolutionized printing until the introduction of offset printing in 1875 on tin, and 1903-04 on paper. When Weddige was first introduced to the lithographic process, it was a holdover from a bygone era.

The process of lithography involves one or more polished stones (in the U.S., historically Bavarian limestone) that act as the composition surface. The stones are heavy, typically weighing anywhere from just over 10 pounds to over one thousand pounds.

G. Ruse and C. Straker. Printing and its Accessories. London: S. Straker & Son., 1860. Robertson Davies Library, Massey College. University of Toronto.
G. Ruse and C. Straker. Printing and its Accessories. London: S. Straker & Son., 1860. Robertson Davies Library, Massey College. University of Toronto.

Before working, Weddige would grind the surface of his stones to make them more receptive to the grease-based pigment. Using a wax crayon or “tousche”, a liquid crayon, the artist applies his drawing. Then, the stone is treated with an acidic wash and gum arabic that helps the areas untouched by the wax further absorb water, and those with wax repel it. Water is placed on the surface of the stone before adding ink. The oil-based ink sticks to the grease left by the crayon, and the spaces untouched by crayon repel ink, creating an imprint of the artists’ drawing.

It was typical for Weddige to use at least six to eight stones and 12 colors for one composition in order to incorporate several layers of complex drawings. Developing the precision and skill required to produce these prints was a lifelong process. He was creating lithographs as early as 1939, but was dissatisfied with his technical skills and continued to seek training to perfect his approach.

Lithographs by Emil Weddige, December 14, 1945, The Ann Arbor News
Lithographs by Emil Weddige, December 14, 1945, The Ann Arbor News

Because the process of color lithography was so uncommon, and his approach so tied to painterly tradition, Weddige wrote that in an early exhibition he participated in, his work was taken off the wall. He was charged with using watercolor. He said “The work was removed from the frame and it was verified that the work was an original from stone in color and instead of being disqualified, it was given an award.”

In post-WWII Paris, what Weddige would later deem a “renaissance” of lithography was taking place. He asked the dean of the University of Michigan to take a semester leave to study lithography in Paris, unsure if he would have a job when he came back. Selling his car and their home, Juanita and Emil traveled on the RMS Queen Elizabeth from New York to Cherbourg, France on February 18, 1949 for a duration of five months. During this time, the couple stayed in Paris, where Emil studied under Edmond Desjobert. Thus began a long tradition of travel to Paris, where Emil would visit yearly for around 4-6 weeks. In a personal essay, Weddige wrote: “Without question, the work and friendship of Edmond and Madam Desjobert changed the entire course of my life.” 

Eastern Today Cover, Winter 1987
Eastern Today Cover, Winter 1987

And so, in 1949, Weddige began a multi-decade partnership with the Atelier Desjobert, where artists such as Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, and many others were working. In the Winter 1987 edition of Eastern Today, Weddige said “[to create] a catalog of the names of the artists who have worked in this studio would be equivalent to naming the printmakers of the 20th century”. This relationship was advantageous for many reasons, but particularly because artists’ assistants helped with much of the heavy lifting, literally moving the stones and providing materials and equipment. 

"Le Colosseum", 1949, color lithograph on paper
"Le Colosseum", 1949, color lithograph on paper, Krannert Art Museum

In 1998, George H. Roeder Jr., an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, wrote for Weddige’s one-man show at Jean Paul Slusser Gallery: “his long relation with Desjobert studio is one of the most successful examples of trans-Atlantic collaboration in all of art history.” By the time he was collaborating with Desjobert studio, Weddige had already achieved numerous honors, including his sale of the print “Le Colosseum”, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1950

Mid-Century: Making a Life of Art

Though threatened when he proposed a leave in 1949, Weddige did not lose his position at the university. He was instead promoted within the College of Architecture and Design, announced in the July 22, 1949 issue of the Michigan Daily. Upon their return to Ann Arbor, the Weddiges built a home at 870 Stein Road, where they would live together for many years, eventually expanding to include an on-site studio at 850 Stein Rd

In a 1956 article by the Ann Arbor News, Weddige was interviewed about his process. At this time, the artist had made around 100 lithographs, only considering 40 of those successes. He noted that the process of lithography is difficult to learn, stating: “One could read all the books on lithography and still not be able to print, everywhere I kept running into a closed shop attitude.” He would work to change this over the course of his career. Weddige often referred to lithography as a “democratic art”, stating that “it would be impossible for many of us to buy a drawing or painting by many artists, and yet we can afford lithographs, which are the direct product of an artists’ work”. In 1975 Weddige said “the older I got, the more I believed that art belonged to the people.” In keeping with this ethos, Weddige taught stone lithography at the University of Michigan as long as he was there.

Lithography in the Classroom, from The Michigan Daily, November 6, 1955
Lithography in the Classroom, from the Michigan Daily, November 6, 1955

In another attempt to bring art to the public sphere, Weddige was active in several local and state-wide organizations dedicated to the arts. Early in his career while he was still an assistant professor at U of M, he was elected to membership for the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. He co-founded the Michigan Printmakers’ Society in 1952, and acted as founder, president and chairman of the Michigan Watercolor Society in 1947.

In addition to his involvement in community groups and development of his own artistic practice, Weddige also worked on art restoration. In 1963, a touring collection of restored lithographs debuted at the Dearborn Historical Museum. The show--which was commissioned by Heritage Workshop--selected a sampling of stones from over 5,000 specimens, and was the culmination of several years of work spent researching and developing a chemical process to pull prints from a collection of “abandoned limestone lithographs.” Weddige used a hand press that “is as old or older than many of the stones themselves.” The process of lithography also relies on the artist’s skill and knowledge, as the “chemical balance of the work and the stone can alter radically with the slightest change in technique.” Weddige published a book three years later, in 1966, titled Lithography. This volume cataloged his technique and approach to printmaking, and is considered a definitive work on the medium.

Emil Weddige,Still Life with Lemons, color lithograph, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Emil Weddige, Still Life with Lemons, color lithograph, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Commissions & ArtTrain: Bringing Art to the Public

In another effort to make his art “work” for the people, Weddige participated in fundraising and scholarships over the course of his lifetime. Among Weddige’s numerous significant commissions was his 1967 series observing the sesquicentennial of the University of Michigan. Over a two year period, he produced 300 sets of lithographs which consisted of 11 prints, for a total of 3333 individual works. The prints were produced in his Paris studio using 74 individual stones, with each print being run through 6-8 times, requiring precise registration, or the “matching of images”. For this series, Weddige pulled somewhere around 23,000 individual prints to create the final sets.

In March of 1992, Weddige exhibited 74 works at The Workbench in Kerrytown in order to raise funds for the University Musical Society. In the end, Weddige raised $43,500 for UMS. By October, Weddige was collaborating with John W. Barfield of Ypsilanti in hopes of raising $150,000 for the United Nego College Fund.  In 1974, Weddige donated 10 works to Eastern Michigan University, including “Still Life With Lemons”

In keeping with Weddige’s mission toward a democratic art, in 1971, Weddige helped form ArtTrain (also spelled ArTrain) with an eye toward exposing small, rural communities without museums to artworks that they might not otherwise get to engage with. On October 8, 1999 in Detroit, Weddige was honored as artist of the year by Artrain USA and recognized for his work conceptualizing the initial exhibit that launched ArtTrain.

Detail from The Ann Arbor News, December 25, 1969
Detail from the Ann Arbor News, December 25, 1969

He was tasked with the creation of the original designs for the inaugural exhibition in 1971, when it made its first tour. Stopping first in Traverse City, the train was dedicated by then governor William Milliken and first lady Helen Milliken. Weddige designed three of four exhibit cars in the first run, which included “an Egyptian mummy,” that today we would likely not encounter in any museum setting, and “a Greek head of Apollo over 2,000 years old, a Ming Dynasty Chinese terra cotta, African carvings and a group of contemporary paintings.” 

Also during this time period, Emil Weddige was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Art, from EMU on April 15, 1973 at the same time as Fred Rogers of PBS fame. Then, in 1974, Weddige was named Professor Emeritus of Art and retired from University of Michigan, but remained active in the local arts community. 

First Day UNICEF Stamp, 1982
"...and a Host of Angels", First Day UNICEF Stamp Cover, 1982

Weddige’s work, having been internationally renowned for decades, was awarded a new honor in 1982. A few years before, in 1979, Weddige had been commissioned by the Methodist Children's Home in Detroit to create a series of lithographs, among them “… and a host of Angels”, which was selected for the “first day” collection of UNICEF flag stamps released September 24, 1982. 

The Final Years & Ongoing Legacy

Weddige was, even in his lifetime, considered a very accomplished artist with immense devotion to his craft. His works remain in countless collections across the globe. At the age of 90, Weddige recalled that he could “modestly” estimate that over his lifetime he created over 700 print editions. His lithographs were typically released in small editions of 300 or less, but even with a conservative estimate of 700 editions at 100 prints in each edition, he would have personally pulled at least 70,000 prints. 

Weddige died in Ann Arbor, Michigan on February 11, 2001 at the age of 93. Upon his death, he left charitable gifts to many organizations, and left scholarship funds at Washtenaw Community College, Eastern Michigan University, and the Schools of Music and Art at University of Michigan. Emil remained active in art up until the end of his life. His final show while he was alive was held in December, 2000 in Saline, just months before his death. 

Not only was Weddige a true leader in his field, he was committed to a democratic art, to conservation of the environment, of historical art processes and artworks, and bringing his love of art to a wider audience. 

Emil Weddige, date unknown, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Emil Weddige, date unknown, Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor 200

Weber's

Year
2024

Since 1937, three generations of the Weber family have maintained a series of independently owned restaurants and hotels in the greater Ann Arbor area. 

Hi-Speed Inn & Oak Grove Tavern

Herman Weber grew up in Chelsea where his family farmed and raised chickens. He got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at family-owned German restaurant Metzger's after selling them some of his family's poultry. At the age of 23, Herman and his brother, Rheinhold, started the Hi-Speed Inn, a cozy space at 3060 Washtenaw Ave could seat 40. The diner-style restaurant was linked with an Abbott Gasoline Company Station. The brothers put in long hours, operating from 7AM to 2AM. Customers could order a hamburger for 15 cents and a 12 ounce beer for 10 cents. Within a year the quality of food and inclusion of imported Lowenbrau beer had brought steady business. 

An empty restaurant full of rectangular tables dressed with white table cloths and folded napkins, leather chairs are seated around it.. The floor is linoleum in a checkered pattern. Sputnik-style chandeliers line the ceiling.
Weber's Supper Club, Interior Dining Area, June 1956

Their popularity in a mostly residential area led to an increase in traffic that was not appreciated by the neighbors. Pittsfield Township chose not to renew their beer license. The brothers remained devoted to owning their own business and pivoted to renting the turn-of-the-century Oak Grove Tavern on Jackson Rd (then US-12). They invested in renovations and kitchen updates, but within a year the building’s owner decided to sell to another restaurateur. 

Weber's Supper Club & Holiday House

After their experiences with fickle landlords, the brothers set out to purchase land of their own. They bought an acre and constructed a simple cinderblock building at 3715 Jackson Rd, located on the busy US-12 just like the tavern was. Weber's Supper Club opened in the winter of 1939-1940, but only a few months later in March of 1940 Rheinhold was drafted into the military. While he was away he married and the couple made the choice to live near his wife’s native West Coast. Herman bought out his brother's stake in 1947 and became the sole owner. 

Seven years later he found a business and life partner when he married Sonja Roth in 1954. Her taste became an integral part of Weber's, where she helped select menu options, decor and furnishings, and to supervise staff. In addition to the restaurant, the couple opened a simple seven-room motel next door named Weber’s Holiday House. 

Front cover for a 1963 Weber's menu featuring a coat of arms style logo with a W at the center and a large drawing of a beer stein. The background color is peach. Text toward the bottom left of the page reads, "Weber's Ann Arbor, Michigan"
Weber's Menu, 1963
A group of four adult men & women sit around a table with umbrella looking out on an indoor kidney shaped pool. On their right is a man and woman in lounge chairs. The back wall is made entirely of windows. Plants hang from the ceiling, which is made of wood with skylights.
Indoor Pool, Weber's Inn, May 1974

Weber's

In the latter half of the decade construction of I-94 was completed. Travelers driving from one city to another no longer used US-12 and Weber’s business suffered as a result. Around this time the city of Ann Arbor also began to offer licenses to restaurants to sell liquor by the glass. The Weber's campaigned for Scio Township to allow the same, but the request was denied. Once again, they resolved to move. In 1963 the new Weber's opened near I-94’s exit 72, where it still stands today. The successful restaurant was joined by Weber’s Motor Inn (later Weber's Inn) in 1969. Both were designed by famed Ann Arbor architect James H. Livingston. The Inn set itself apart with a fully enclosed, atrium style pool and recreation area accessed by guests with a spiral staircase.

The next generation eventually took over operations, with son Ken becoming the president in 1978 and daughter Linda handling marketing and sales. The business expanded with a new wing 1986 and continual upgrades since. Weber's is still family-owned and independent from any corporate chain. Ken's sons Michael and Brian continue the family legacy by overseeing operations. 

Learn More

Weber's Collection

AADL Talks To: Ken Weber

AADL Talk To: Michael Weber

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AADL Talks To: Jeff Mortimer of the Ann Arbor News

Jeff Mortimer, June 1976
Jeff Mortimer, June 1976

In this episode, AADL Talks To Jeff Mortimer. Jeff began his writing and editorial career in New York before moving to Detroit for a brief period. Soon after, he came to the Ann Arbor News as a sports writer, where he worked for 13 years. Then, he worked as arts and entertainment editor for an additional 4 years. Jeff shares many memories from his time at the News, and talks about his lifelong interest in journalism.

 

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AADL Talks To: Fred LaBour, former writer for The Michigan Daily and member of the musical group Riders in the Sky

Fred LaBour
Fred "Too Slim" LaBour (Photo courtesy of Riders in the Sky)

In this episode, AADL Talks to "Too Slim" Fred LaBour. Fred is a member of Riders in the Sky, an American Country and Western music and comedy quartet that has performed together since 1977. From '67 to '71, Fred was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan where he covered sports and wrote music reviews for The Michigan Daily. Fred discusses the campus culture that shaped his career and he walks us through a day in the life of a too-slim "wise ass" English major whose satirical review of the Beatles’ "Abbey Road" album propelled the “Paul McCartney is Dead” urban legend that took the country by storm.

Read Fred's October 14, 1969 "Paul is Dead" article in The Michigan Daily.

Check out Riders in the Sky in the AADL catalog. The group is also featured on the following CDs: Toy Story Favorites, Toy Story 2, Disney Pixar All Time Favorites, and Woody's Roundup.

Ann Arbor 200

Asian American Contributions in Ann Arbor

Year
2024

In the last 200 years, Asian Americans have thrived in this magnificent and diverse city in academic, art, engineering, and scientific advances and in city landmarks. This list covers only a small sample of their contributions. 

1. Samuel C. C. Ting, born in 1936 in Ann Arbor, received his Ph.D. in physics in 1962 at the University of Michigan. He received the Nobel Prize in 1976, which he shared with Burton Richter, for the discovery of the J/ψ meson nuclear particle.

Newspaper article showing picture of man receiving prize, audience clapping
Published in the Ann Arbor News, December 11, 1976

2. James P. Wong, born in Buffalo, NY, and a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Architecture, designed Lamp Post Plaza on E Stadium Blvd (where Trader Joe’s is located) in 1962. It was Ann Arbor’s second unenclosed shopping mall, after Arborland Center. James P. Wong designed many of Ann Arbor’s landmark buildings, including the St. Francis of Assisi Church in 1969, Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1969, and the Glazier Way United Methodist Church (currently called the Green Wood United Methodist Church) in 1975.

Man seated in a chair in house with Chinese artwork on display
Architect James P. Wong At Home, June 1984

3. In 1969, Joseph T. A. Lee, Canadian Chinese American professor of architecture at the University of Michigan, joined attorney Arthur Carpenter and ten other Ann Arborites to form Arbor-A to revitalize the area around the Farmers Market. Professor Lee was the chief architect and planner, responsible for designing the Farmers Market and turning the vacant warehouse buildings of the Washtenaw Farm Bureau into a well-known Ann Arbor landmark, the Kerrytown Market and Shops.

Head and shoulders photo of Chinese man in business suit
Joseph T. A. Lee - School Board Candidate, April 1967

4. In 1978, Cynthia Yao, who hailed from Kingston, Jamaica, initiated the idea of a hands-on museum and became the first Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum in 1982. She was one of the Inductees of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Chinese woman stands in front of fire house
Cynthia Yao Presents Plans For A Children's Museum In Old Fire Station, November 1978

5. In 1990, Lucy Alexis Liu, graduated from the University of Michigan, and is now an award winning film and television actress, director, as well as an artist.

Chinese American woman speaks into microphone
Photo by Bethany Egan/USAID

6. In 1992, S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center at the University of Michigan was named in honor of Professor Shien-Ming Wu, Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology. The Center works with dozens of automotive and industrial manufacturers.

Newspaper article with photo titled 'U-M Mourns Loss of Engineering Professor'
Published in the Ann Arbor News, October 30, 1992

7. In 1993, Michigan Chinese American News (密西根新聞), a Chinese language weekly newspaper in Michigan, began publication in Ann Arbor.

Chinese language newspaper front page
Michigan Chinese American News, August 19 2022

8. In 1993, Dr. Theresa Chang formed Citizens for Quality Care Co. headquartered in Ann for long term care and assisted living services. 

Dozens of Chinese / Taiwanese women standing with celebratory sign
Dr. Shirley Chang Honored By Chinese American Parent Student Council

9. In 1993, Wei and Lisa Bee founded the first Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea coffeehouse in Ann Arbor. More than 30 years later, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea has around 40 locations across 12 states. 

Asian man and woman pose in brick-walled cafe
Wei and Lisa Bee, Owners of Sweetwaters, April 1993

10. In 1994, the Chinese American Society of Ann Arbor (CASAA) was founded.

Newspaper article with photo titled 'Friendship Is Fostered'
Published in the Ann Arbor News, November 1, 2000

11. In 1995, Jimmy Hsiao, a University of Michigan graduate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, founded Logic Solutions to provide a comprehensive range of technology solutions and services to businesses across the U.S. The company now has offices in Ann Arbor, Irvine, Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Taipei. 

Chinese man speaking into microphone
Jimmy Hsiao, Founding CEO of Logic Solutions

12. In 2002, Michigan Taiwanese American Organization (MITAI) was founded to promote cultural exchange between residents of Michigan and those of Taiwan.

Taiwanese woman and man stand next to poster display
Michigan Taiwanese American Organization Hosts Event at the Ann Arbor District Library

13. In 2006, Dr. Cheng-Yang Chang, a resident of Ann Arbor, donated $1 million in honor of his wife Shirley to be recognized in the naming of The Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art in the new addition of UMMA (The University of Michigan Museum of Art). Dr. Chang also gifted more than 30 traditional Chinese paintings by his father, noted artist Ku-Nien Chang.

Newspaper article highlighting $1 million gift in the arts
Published in Crain's Detroit Business, July 3, 2006

14. In 2010, the Nam Center for Korean Studies at U-M, the first named Korean studies center in the U.S., was established in honor of Elder Sang-Yong Nam and Mrs. Moon-Sook Nam. Elder Nam, a U-M graduate in 1966, was the founder and CEO of Nam Building Management Co. 

Korean woman cooks over tabletop grill
Moon Nam Grills Traditional Korean Dish, October 1973

15. Since 2013, Grace Meng, a U-M graduate, has been the Congresswoman from New York, being the first Asian American elected to Congress from New York.

Asian woman in business suit in front of US flag
U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng represents New York's Sixth Congressional District

16. In 2022, the Ann Arbor District Library began receiving annual gifts of 16 award-winning art prints for the Lunar New Year from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, through the introduction of MITAI. These gifts have helped diversify the art appreciation of library patrons.

Art print showing dragon landing among flowers in mountain scene
Dragon Jade's Dance in the Mountains by Ya-lan Yu
Art print showing two tigers, flowers, and butterflies
Lucky Tiger Brings Abundance by Shu-Feng Lin
Art print showing seated rabbit
Jade Rabbit Welcoming the New Year by Chia-I Liao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. In 2022, Dr. Santa Ono began his five-year term as the 15th president of the University of Michigan and its first Asian American president.

Asian man in business suit with arms crossed
Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Michigan

18. In 2022, Dr. Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, a retired Eastern Michigan University professor and resident of Ann Arbor, and her family members, Jiu-Fong Lo Chang and Kuei-sheng Chang, gifted the Lo Chia-Lun Calligraphy Collection of 72 important works of art from six centuries of Chinese history to UMMA. It was the single most valuable gift of art in the University of Michigan’s history.

Chinese calligraphy manuscript
Yang Weizhen (1296– 1370), Two Calligraphy of Poetry (detail), Yuan dynasty

19. In 2024, it was announced that the Song Foundation and Linh and Dug Song donated a total of $300,000 to renovate the only museum dedicated to Washtenaw County’s Black history. Dug Song is the co-founder and general manager of Duo Security, a cybersecurity provider. In 2018, Duo was acquired by Cisco for $2.35 billion, making it the largest exit ever for a Michigan-based software company. Linh Song is the first female Asian American City Council member of Ann Arbor.

Asian American couple smiling together
Philanthropists Dug and Linh Song

20. Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is journalist, poet, and scholar based in Ann Arbor and Hawaii, focusing on issues of race, justice, culture, and Asian America. She was a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge winner receiving $25,000 for her project "Beyond Vincent Chin: Legacies in Action and Art," which addresses a key case in Asian American history and its impacts since his murder in 1982. She is a PBS NewsHour reporter on Michigan.

Asian American woman stands in front of flowers
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

 

Ann Arbor 200
Graphic for events post

Media

AAPI Washtenaw Oral History Project - Cynthia Yao

Photo of a Chinese American woman with gray hair and glassesCynthia Yao was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where her parents settled after immigrating from China. In 1959, she moved to Boston to attend Emmanuel College. She met Edward York-Peng Yao who was at Harvard finishing his PhD in Physics. They married and came to Ann Arbor where they raised four children: Michelle, Mark, Steven and Lisa. She received a Master of Museum Practice from the University of Michigan in 1979. She was inspired by science centers and children's museums that she visited with her children. Yao proposed to the city a museum in the former firehouse building and worked with many community members to create the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum which opened on October 13, 1982. She served as Executive Director for 18 years. 

Note: Cynthia and Ed’s eldest daughter Michelle passed away in 2022, after the recording of this interview. All four of their children have successful careers–three became doctors, and one became an engineer.

View historical materials.

Ann Arbor 200

In Memory Of Ann Arbor's Student Army/Navy Training Corps, 1918

Year
2024

 

Student Army Training Corps Collar Pin
Student Army Training Corps Collar Disc, WWI

In the spring of 1918, the first phase of a massive influenza pandemic swept the globe. Known as the "three day fever", few deaths were reported and most victims recovered. When the illness surfaced again, in the fall of 1918, it was much more severe. Some victims died just hours after their first symptoms, some within a few days. One group of individuals hit particularly hard in Ann Arbor was the Students' Army Training Corps, who arrived in the city just as the second phase of influenza did.

The Students' Army Training Corps (SATC) was established in the summer of 1918 by the U.S. War Department's Committee on Education and Special Training. The U. S. needed more skilled technicians for World War I and this program would use colleges/universities across the country for vocational training and military instruction. The government had contracts to establish SATC programs with over 500 schools across the United States, including the University of Michigan and Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). Enrollment in the SATC was completely voluntary, and those who were inducted earned the status of private in the U.S. Army AND college student. In theory, the inductees would be learning and training at the same time. In reality, the primary focus was haphazard military training, with little time left for an actual college education. Critics of the program were quick to dub the SATC "Safe At The College" and "Saturday Afternoon Tea Club". 

The SATC completely changed the landscape of the University of Michigan. In October 1918, two sections of the organization formed in Ann Arbor. The collegiate Section A enrolled 2,150 students. The vocational trainee Section B enrolled 1,000. Also included was the Students' Navy Training Corps (SNTC). The U. S. Navy's equivalent to the SATC enrolled 600 students in Ann Arbor. A total of 3,750 young men - the largest program in the country - traveled to Ann Arbor from all over Michigan, some even from outside of the state. Major Ralph H. Durkee, U. S. Army, oversaw Ann Arbor's operations and stood witness to thousands of young men squeezed into housing in thirty-five fraternity houses, the Waterman Gym, and the Michigan Union. Several temporary structures were quickly added to the campus. Normal University activities, and female students, were scarce. As students arrived in the city, so did the deadly wave of influenza. The idea of "Safe At The College" was far from accurate. Crowded into group housing, illness spread rapidly and some men died within days of appearing in Ann Arbor. 

Looking back on this pandemic, it killed far more people than died in World War I. Unfortunately, the sacrifice of men in SATC camps around the United States has largely been forgotten or overlooked.  “Part of the problem was that dying from flu was considered unmanly. To die in a firefight -- that reflected well on your family. But to die in a hospital bed, turning blue, puking, beset by diarrhea — that was difficult for loved ones to accept. There was a mass decision to forget.” said Catharine Arnold, the author of “Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts From the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History.”

Below are the stories of this unique group of young men lost in Ann Arbor during October and November of 1918. We are grateful for their service. For a deeper look into Ann Arbor's influenza experience, be sure to read Influenza Pandemic of 1918. For a closer look at the University of Michigan SATC, read James Tobin's Two Weeks in 1918.

Vocational training for S.A.T.C.
Vocational training for SATC in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Class in Pole-Climbing in the course for telephone electricians, with some of their instructors. University of Michigan, ca. 1918, Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

 

Private John William Arthur was born July 28, 1894 in Marlette, Michigan to Canadian Immigrants Charles & Mary Arthur. He was a lifelong resident of Michigan's "thumb" region. At the time of his draft registration he was supporting his widowed mother as a farmer. Two days after his arrival in Ann Arbor, he was stricken with influenza. He wrote home to his mother saying he was doing well and would soon be in the convalescent hospital. The next day a telegram came stating that pneumonia had developed, and that night another message came saying he was critically ill. He died, before family or friends could reach him, on October 27, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Marlette's McLeish Cemetery.

 

William BakemanPrivate William “Will” Howard Bakeman was born January 15, 1897 in Belding, Michigan to August & Mary Bakeman. A lifelong resident of Ionia County, Will graduated from Belding High School, Class of 1916. At the time of his draft registration he was working at the Belding Basket Company. He was inducted into Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 20, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Belding’s River Ridge Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

Private Hollis Clark Barr was born September 8, 1900 in Saline, Michigan to George & Agnes Barr. He worked as a night operator for the Saline Telephone Company during his four years at Saline High School, and graduated in 1918. After graduation he started working for the Western Electric Company in Detroit, until he enlisted. He arrived at Company 16, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan on October 1st. In less than a week, he was sick with influenza. His mother was with him when he died from pneumonia in St. Joseph Hospital on October 15, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Saline’s Oakwood Cemetery.

 

Harold Paul BeiswengerPrivate Harold Paul Beiswenger was born November 21, 1897 in Jackson, Michigan to Jacob & Emma Beiswenger. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1917, and enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as a medical student.  At the time of his draft registration he was already in Ann Arbor, and was inducted into Company 11, Section A of the SATC.  He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 22, 1918 and now rests with his parents in Jackson's Woodland Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

Private Merle Washington Boyer was born February 22, 1898 in Lindsey, Ohio to John & Martha Boyer. At the time of his draft registration he was living in Monroe, Michigan with his parents and working as a carpenter. Ten days after he left home for the SATC in Ann Arbor, the News Messenger of Fremont, Ohio published his obituary titled "YOUNG SOLDIER BOY IS VICTIM OF DREAD FLU". He died of pneumonia and influenza on October 28, 1918 and now rests with his parents in Lindsey, Ohio's Lindsey Cemetery.

 

Rodney Fairchild BrownPrivate Rodney Fairchild Brown was born January 27, 1900 in Detroit, Michigan to Winfield & Louise Brown. He attended Highland Park High School until 1916 when he moved to Ann Arbor. He graduated from Ann Arbor High School, where he was voted ‘steepest bluffer’ in the class of 1918, and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He was inducted into Company 6, Section A of the SATC and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 14, 1918. He now rests near his mother and sister in Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor.

 

 

 

Private Werner Walter Bury was born June 27, 1896 in Centerville Township, Leelanau County, Michigan. He was the youngest son of Swiss immigrants, John & Eliza Bury. Described as “well known and exceedingly popular” in his obituary, Werner was a lifelong resident of Leelanau County. He left for the SATC in Ann Arbor on October 15th, and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 22, 1918. His mother departed immediately for Ann Arbor upon hearing he was ill, but did not reach him before his death. He now rests in Leland's Beechwood Cemetery with his parents. 

 

Private William Thomas Conboy was born April 14, 1888 in Sibley County, Minnesota to James & Mary Ann Conboy. Raised in an Irish Catholic family, he attended Holy Rosary and De La Salle Schools in Minneapolis. In 1912, William married Margaret Murray at the Church of the Incarnation in Minneapolis. In 1913, they had a daughter, Jane. In 1914, they had a son, Mark. At the time of his draft registration he was a farmer in Webster, Wisconsin. He entered the SATC at Valparaiso University in Indiana, and then transferred to the University of Michigan. He was inducted into Company 4, Section B, and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 15, 1918. He now rests with his parents in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

 

Private Gilbert Henry Couden was born August 18, 1895 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Edward & Olivia Couden. He was raised in Clarksville, Ohio, and attended the Ohio Military Institute in Cincinnati. At the time of his draft registration, he was living in Indianapolis, Indiana, working as a tractor salesman for the Eastern Rock Island Plow Company. He was inducted into Company 4 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 21, 1918. He now rests in the Clarksville IOOF Cemetery in Ohio.

 

John Rowan CrawfordPrivate John Rowan Crawford was born May 4, 1899 near Caldwell, Kansas to Dr. Thomas & Ada Crawford. When he was young, his family moved to Coldwater, Kansas, where his father worked as both a surgeon and a farmer. John graduated from Coldwater High School, class of 1918, where he was captain of their military training class. He was inducted into Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and, on October 6, 1918, was the first soldier in the program to die of influenza and pneumonia. He now rests in Coldwater’s Crown Hill Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

Seaman Apprentice James Gerald Darby was born March 28, 1900 in St. Ignace, Michigan to Dr. James F. & Mary Darby. Known as Gerald, he graduated from St. Ignace's LaSalle High School. On July 16, 1918 he married Edna Gleason in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Gerald was inducted into Company 3 of the SNTC at the University of Michigan. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 18, 1918. On the day of Gerald's burial, October 20, 1918, Edna gave birth to their son and named him James Gerald Darby Jr. (He would go on to father a son of his own, James Gerald Darby III.) Gerald now rests in St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery of St. Ignace with his parents.

 

Davis Alcorn DiffenderferPrivate Davis Alcorn Diffenderfer was born September 14, 1897 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to William & Blanche Diffenderfer. His mother died six days after his birth. Davis graduated from Fort Wayne High And Manual Training School, Class of 1916, and enrolled in the University of Michigan the following fall. In his junior year, 1918, he was inducted into Company 7, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 19, 1918. He now rests in Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Lindenwood Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

Karl Francis DyerPrivate Karl Francis Dyer was born July 8, 1898 in Eaton County, Michigan to Harry & Jennie Dyer. He grew up in Charlotte and attended Charlotte Grammar School. His family moved to Dowagiac, and he graduated from Dowagiac Union High School. After graduation he worked as a stonecutter at his father’s monument business. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 26, 1918. After Karl’s death, his father sold the monument business when he was unable to face customers dealing with losses similar to his own. Karl now rests in Adamsville Cemetery, Adamsville, MI with his parents.

 

Private Theo Eugene Ebbitt was born August 31, 1898 in Missaukee County, Michigan to Frank & Etta Ebbitt. In 1900, his family was living in Superior Township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1910, his family was living in Deerfield, in Mecosta County, Michigan. When Theo enlisted, he was living in Morley, Mecosta County, working as a farm laborer on his father’s farm. He was inducted into Company 1 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 31, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Morley’s Rustford Cemetery.

 

Private Glen Merlin Eberhard was born 3 Feb 1898 in Colon, St. Joseph, Michigan to David & Alice Eberhard. At the time of his draft registration he was a student at Three Rivers High School in Three Rivers, Michigan, where he was a member of the basketball and baseball teams. He left home for the Ann Arbor SATC and died of influenza and pneumonia just two days later on October 17, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers.

 

Private Harry Tilden Evers was born July 18, 1900 in Hamburg, New York to Harry & Sarah Tilden Evers. A lifelong resident of Erie County, New York, he graduated from East Aurora High School, Class of 1918. He was inducted into Company 5, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. His remains were delivered to Buffalo, New York. His place of rest is unknown.

 

Private Ralston Hillis Fleming was born June 22, 1899 in Detroit, Michigan to Rev. Jessie & Sarah Fleming. His father, a Presbyterian minister, moved the family to several different towns in Michigan as assigned, including Hillsdale, Alma, Saginaw, and Grayling. Ralston graduated from Alma High School, Class of 1917. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 26, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Oak Grove Cemetery, Saint Louis, Michigan.

 

Sergeant William Goldstein was born August 24, 1898 in Detroit, Michigan to Polish Jewish immigrants Louis & Ethel Goldstein. He lived most of his life in St. Clair, and graduated from St. Clair High School, Class of 1916. His father was the owner of Goldstein Dry Goods store in St. Clair. After graduation, he enrolled in the University of Michigan. At the time of his draft registration, he was already a student. William was inducted into Company 10, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and promoted to Sergeant. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 23, 1918. He now rests in Birmingham’s Clover Hill Park Cemetery with his parents.

 

First Sergeant Ursen Harvey Graham Jr. was born September 22, 1896 in Maher, Colorado to Ursen & Lucy Graham. In 1906, his father died and his family moved to Allegan County, Michigan, to be close to his maternal grandparents, Henry & Sarah Buxton. At the time of his draft registration, he was working for the Michigan Paper Company in Plainwell. Ursen was inducted into the SATC at the University of Michigan, and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in Company 3, Section B. He soon would have received a commission as lieutenant. When many of the soldiers he instructed contracted influenza, he cared for them as a nurse. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 24, 1918, and now rests in Plainwell’s Hillside Cemetery with his maternal grandparents.

 

Private Bryan Ralph Gump was born August 22, 1897 in Milan, Michigan to Postmaster Joseph R. Gump and his wife, Cora. He graduated from Milan High School in June 1916, and then attended Michigan Agricultural College. Bryan was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 26, 1918. He now rests in Milan’s Marble Park Cemetery with his parents. 

 

Earl Walfred GustafsonPrivate Earl Walfred Gustafson was born October 1, 1898 in Marquette, Michigan. He was the youngest child, and only son, born to Swedish immigrants Emil & Hilma Gustafson. Familiarly known as ‘Alec’, he attended Marquette schools and Northern State Normal School. He resigned from a teaching position in the Ironwood school system to enlist, and was inducted into Company 14, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan. His sister, Edna, was with him when he died of influenza and pneumonia, in Ann Arbor, on October 22, 1918. He now rests in Marquette’s Park Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ernest Erastus HarshbargerPrivate Ernest Erastus Harshbarger was born January 5, 1894 in Worth Township, Boone County, Indiana to Arlando & Sarah Harshbarger. A lifelong resident of Boone County, he was working on a farm when he enlisted. Ernest was sent north to Indiana’s Valparaiso University for special training, and then transferred to the University of Michigan. He was inducted into Company 4 of the SATC and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 19, 1918. He now rests in Boone County’s Mounts Runn Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

Private Paul Howland Hogle was born June 12, 1898 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to Fred & Eleanor Hogle. He was raised in northern Illinois. In 1916 the Hogle family moved from Chicago to Alanson, Michigan. At the time of his draft registration, Paul was working on his family's large farm near Alanson. He was inducted into Company 3 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 30, 1918. He now rests with his mother in Alanson's Littlefield Township Cemetery.

 

Private Oscar Henry Holmes was born in Sidnaw, Michigan on February 1, 1898 to Swedish immigrants Fred & Anna Holm (later changed to Holmes). Raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, his father worked as a railroad foreman, and the Holmes family housed several railroad laborers as boarders. At the time of his draft registration, Oscar was living in Cornell, Michigan and working as a telegraph operator in Woodlawn for the Escanaba & Lake Superior railroad. He was inducted into the SATC at the University of Michigan and was assigned to the Ann Arbor Radio School. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 30, 1918 and now rests in Escanaba’s Lakeview Cemetery with his parents.

 

Private Joseph Adolph Jacobson was born July 21, 1897, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents, Benjamin & Rachel Jacobson, were Jewish immigrants from Kurland, Russia. At the time of his draft registration, Joseph was living in Copemish, Michigan. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 25, 1918. He now rests in Ferndale, Michigan's Machpelah Cemetery.

 

Private Gordon B. Jaedecke was born October 10, 1888 in Ishpeming, Michigan to Herman & Bessie Jaedecke. Gordon attended Ishpeming High School and was a man of many talents and interests. He led the Jaedecke Orchestra for many years, and was prominent in musical circles. He was also prominent in the fire department, to which he belonged. He was an Elk, a Mason, and had worked as a geologist for the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in Marquette. His father was the owner of Jaedecke Bros. in Marquette, one of the leading cigar manufacturers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After his father’s death, he worked with his mother to maintain the business. At the time of his draft registration, Gordon was working as his mother’s chauffeur and secretary.  He was inducted into the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 20, 1918. He now rests with his parents in the Ishpeming Cemetery. 

 

Lawrence Dewey KnoxPrivate Lawrence Dewey Knox was born September 18, 1898 in Olivet, Michigan to Fred & Lillie Knox.  Better known as Pete, he was raised in western Michigan. At the time of his draft registration, he was a partner with his father in the Knox Hardware Co. in Plainwell, Michigan.  Pete was inducted into Company 13, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 27, 1918. He now rests with his family in Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emery Hugo KrebsPrivate Emery Hugo Krebs was born August 24, 1900 in Blumfield Township, Michigan to Walter & Fredericka Krebs. He attended the Blumfield District schools and graduated from Saginaw High School, Class of 1917, where his senior yearbook described him as “Ever Komical”. At the time of his draft registration, he was working on his father’s farm. He was inducted into Company 16 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Saginaw’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claus KroppPrivate Claus Kropp was born September 18, 1893 in Leelanau County, Michigan to Charles & Mary Kropp. A lifelong resident of the Leelanau peninsula, he was working on his widowed father’s farm when he registered for the draft. Claus was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. He now rests in Cedar’s Good Harbor Church Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Benjamin “Ben” Lambers was born July 3, 1897 in Fremont, Newaygo County, Michigan, and was a lifelong resident of the area. His parents, Lambert & Aaltje “Ellen” Lambers, were German immigrants and farmers. He had a twin brother, Lambert Lambers Jr. who enlisted in 1918 and was sent to Michigan Agricultural College's Training Detachment in East Lansing, MI. Lambert Jr. survived the war. Ben was inducted into Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 28, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Fremont's Maple Grove Cemetery.

 

Private Otto H. W. Lewald was born October 21, 1892 in Detroit, Michigan to German immigrants, August & Louise Lewald. August, a carpenter, died of typhoid fever in 1901 when Otto was 8 years old. Otto was a lifelong resident of Detroit. At the time of his draft registration he was supporting his widowed mother by working as a chauffeur for a Detroit furniture dealer named John P. Yuergens. He was inducted into Company 9, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. He now rests in Detroit’s Woodmere Cemetery with his mother.

 

Lester Earl LoringPrivate Lester Earl Loring was born February 9, 1899 in Indiana, the oldest child of Howard & Laura Alice Loring. His family moved to Kalamazoo County, Michigan where his father was a farmer. Lester was involved with the Gleaners, and the Reformed church. He was inducted into Company 1, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 27, 1918. He now rests near his parents in Virgo Cemetery in Kalamazoo County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Wilson MarshallCorporal Vincent Wilson Marshall was born March 22, 1899 in Chicago, Illinois to Joseph & Mary Marshall. He attended boarding schools: Asheville School (North Carolina) 1914-16, and Worcester Academy (Massachusetts) 1916-18. He graduated from the Worcester Academy, Class of 1918, where he was a member of the Sigma Zeta Kappa society and the soccer team. He was inducted into Company 16 of the SATC at the University of Michigan. In the few weeks that he had been in Ann Arbor he had become enthusiastic about his work, and hoped to obtain an officer's commission. He had already been elected corporal. He was taken sick with influenza and pneumonia, and died within a few hours, on October 15, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.

 

 

 

 

 

James Robert McAlpinePrivate James Robert McAlpine was born July 20, 1898 in Marinette, Wisconsin to Charles & Edith McAlpine. His family moved to Philadelphia, and then to Indiana where he graduated from South Bend’s Central High School. His father was the superintendent of the La Salle Paper Company in South Bend, and James was working there as a backtender when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 18, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan, and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 18, 1918. Four days later, on October 22, his older brother, Malcolm W. McAlpine, 1st. Lieut. 28th. Aero Sq., died of influenza & pneumonia while serving in France. James now rests with his parents, and his brother Malcolm, in South Bend, Indiana’s Riverview Cemetery.

 

Private Cecil Dewey McEvoy was born December 11, 1898 in Jackson, Michigan to John & Mary McEvoy. Raised in an Irish Catholic family, he was a lifelong resident of Jackson. Cecil was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan. He reached Ann Arbor on October 15th, and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 29, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Jackson's Saint Johns Catholic Cemetery.

 

William McKinleyPrivate William McKinley was born September 5, 1898 in Deerfield, Michigan to farmers Thomas & Rosella McKinley. His parents died when he was young, and he grew up around Livingston County farms in the care of his older siblings. He was inducted into Company 3 of the SATC at the University of Michigan, and died of influenza and pneumonia on November 1, 1918. He now rests in Deerfield Center Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Frank Molesta was born June 15, 1892 in Kent County, Michigan to Aart & Minnie Molesta. A lifelong resident of Paris Township, Kent County, he was raised in a Dutch family. His grandparents on both sides of his family were immigrants from the Netherlands. On May 24, 1917, Frank married Annette Van Duinen. He was working as a greenhouse gardener at the time of the draft. Frank was inducted into Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 17, 1918. He now rests in Oak Grove Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his parents.

 

Claude Raymond MoorePrivate Claude Raymond Moore was born June 17, 1899 in Caro, Michigan to Canadian immigrants William & Lovilla Moore. His father, founder of the Moore Telephone System, was well known for bringing telephone service to the thumb area of Michigan. Claude was a lifelong resident of Caro, and valedictorian of the Caro High School class of 1918. He was inducted into the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. His father was with him when he died. He now rests with his parents in Caro's Indianfields Township Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Max Smith Moore was born September 8, 1899 in Cass County, Michigan to Walter & Mabel Moore. The Moore family owned a farm in Pokagon Township. At the time of his enlistment, he was living in nearby Dowagiac, working for the Beckwith Company. Max was inducted into Company 5, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan. When he became ill with influenza and pneumonia, he attempted suicide by falling out of a window. He died October 22, 1918, and now rests with his parents in Franklin Cemetery, Berrien Township, Michigan. 

 

Private Joseph Benjamin Moquin was born April 27, 1890 in Bay City, Michigan to French Canadian immigrants, Julius & Victoria Moquin. At the time of the draft, he was living in Reese and working as a farmer with his father in Gilford Township, Tuscola County, Michigan. He entered the SATC at Valparaiso University in Indiana on July 15, 1918, and then transferred to the University of Michigan. Joseph was inducted into Company 4 of the SATC, and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 22, 1918. He now rests in Saint Elizabeth Cemetery in Blumfield Corners, Saginaw County, Michigan.

 

Private Ottie Mart Myers was born August 25, 1897 in Trowbridge, Allegan County, Michigan to William & May Myers. A lifelong resident of Allegan County, Ottie was working as a bookkeeper for the Allegan County Gas company when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 2, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 31, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Allegan's Oakwood Cemetery.

 

Private Carl Fritiof “Fritz” Peterson was born April 28, 1896 in LeRoy, Osceola, Michigan to Swedish immigrants, Charles & Elizabeth Peterson. A lifelong resident of the area, known for his sunny disposition, Fritz attended LeRoy High School. At the time of his draft registration, he was working on his father’s farm. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 21, 1918. He now rests in LeRoy’s Maple Hill Cemetery with his parents.

 

Private Carl Engelbert Quarnstrom was born April 20, 1898 in Sweden, Västernorrland, Gudmundrå to Fred & Emma Quarnstrom. In 1910 his family emigrated from Sweden to Rapid River, Michigan. Known as Bert to his family, he was working as a railway clerk for the Soo Line in Gladstone, Michigan when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 13, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 20, 1918. He now rests in Gladstone's Fernwood Cemetery with his parents.

 

Private Elmer Roos was born circa 1892. He was inducted into Company 2, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 27, 1918. He now rests in Oakhill Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

Private Jacob “Jack” Rubin was born in Russian Poland on September 11, 1899. His father was Samuel Rubin. When he registered for the draft, he was a student at the University of Michigan and was employed by the Detroit Evening News. Jack was inducted into Company 7, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 11, 1918. He now rests in Ferndale, Michigan's Machpelah Cemetery.

 

Private Lisle Burneddette Saxton was born November 17, 1897 in Lakeview, Montcalm County, Michigan to Roy & Alice Saxton. His parents divorced when he was young. A lifelong resident of the area, he was a farmer in Montcalm County at the time of his draft registration. Shortly before he left for Ann Arbor, on September 23, 1918 he married Minnie Teske. He was inducted into Company 4 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 27, 1918. He now rests with his mother in Lakeview Cemetery. 

 

Joseph C. SchmidtPrivate Joseph C. Schmidt was born September 22, 1896 in Menominee County, Michigan to German immigrants Ben & Magdalena Schmidt. Joseph was working on his father’s farm in Wallace, near the Wisconsin border, when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 18, 1918. He now rests in Menominee’s Birch Creek Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Orville SmithPrivate Ralph Orville Smith was born May 17, 1900 in New Castle, Pennsylvania to David & Mella Smith. A lifelong resident of the area, he graduated from New Castle High School, Class of 1918, where he was a football player fondly known as “Tubby”. Ralph was working as a dairy driver for the Edward Rieck Company in New Castle when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 12, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 15, 1918. He now rests in New Castle’s Oak Park Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

Private Victor L. Spangle was born June 12, 1897 in Rome Township, Lenawee County, Michigan to Frank & Daisy Spangle. A lifelong resident of the greater Onsted area in Lenawee County, he was working as a carpenter when he registered for the draft. Victor was inducted into Company 2, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan. When he fell ill, he was sent home to Onsted. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 28, 1918 and now rests with his parents in Onsted's Maple Shade Cemetery.

 

Private Ralph Blake Stallard was born January 12, 1899 in Pikeville, Kentucky to Dr. H. H. & Kate Stallard. Known as Blake, he was a lifelong resident of Pikeville and graduated from Pikeville College, Class of 1917. When he registered for the draft, he was working as a miner for the Blake Coal Company.  Blake was inducted into Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 14, 1918. His mother, Kate, died of influenza and pneumonia just days later, on October 22nd. They now rest together in the Pikeville Cemetery.

 

Private Albert Dewey Summerfield was born July 29, 1898 in Michigan to William David & Mary Summerfield. Known as Bert, he was a resident of Brampton, Delta County, Michigan when he registered for the draft. He was inducted into Company 4, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 29, 1918. His sister Ruth, who resided in Flint at the time of his death, accompanied his body home to the Upper Peninsula. He now rests in Gladstone's Fernwood Cemetery with his parents.

 

Seaman Apprentice Franklin Mathew Thomas was born October 17, 1899 in Cleveland, Ohio, the only child of Clarence & Henrietta Thomas. At the time of the draft, he was a student enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was inducted into the SNTC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on his nineteenth birthday, October 17, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Cleveland, Ohio's Riverside Cemetery.

 

Private Leonard James Thompson was born Aug 10, 1899 in Mesick, Michigan to Dudley & Mamie Thompson. At the time of the draft, he was living in Flint, Michigan and working at the Buick Motor Company. Leonard was inducted into Company 3 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 30, 1918. He now rests with his parents in Manton's Fairview Cemetery in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Private Milton Charles Tiedeman was born December 23, 1898 in Gloversville, New York to Frank & Elizabeth Tiedeman. In 1917 he entered Albion College in Michigan as a freshman. He was known as “Tee Dee” on campus, and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. In the fall of 1918 he was inducted into Company 19, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 15, 1918. He now rests in Ferndale Cemetery, Johnstown, New York, with his mother.

 

Corporal Lawrence M. Tubbs was born December 3, 1896 in Ottawa Lake, Michigan to Henry Clayton & Orpha Tubbs. His parents divorced when he was young. In 1913, Lawrence, his mother, and his sister Mary were all living together in Adrian, Michigan and all worked at F. W. Prentice & Company, a business that made screen doors. At the time of the draft, he was still living in Adrian, Michigan, and worked a variety of jobs as a laborer. Lawrence was inducted into Company 2, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 29, 1918. He now rests in Adrian's Oakwood Cemetery.

 

Herbert Alton TuckeyPrivate Herbert Alton Tuckey was born July 20, 1899 in Kalamazoo County, Michigan to Phillip & Rozella Tuckey. A lifelong resident of the area, he was working on his father’s farm in Oshtemo when he registered for the draft. He hoped for special training in auto mechanics. He was inducted into Company 2, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 24, 1918. He now rests in Oshtemo's Genessee Prairie Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

Private Charles Jesse Underwood was born February 13, 1899 in Michigan to Cyrus & Anna Underwood. A lifelong resident of Lenawee County, Michigan, he graduated from Tecumseh High School, Class of 1915. In 1916 he enrolled at the University of Michigan, and he was in Ann Arbor at the time of the draft. He was inducted into Company 14, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 23, 1918. His brother, Private David Underwood, Company B, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Division, A.E.F., had recently been killed in action while serving in France. Charles and David both rest with their parents in Lenawee County's Ridgeway Cemetery.

 

Private William Carl Voepel was born August 19, 1886 in Sebewaing, Michigan to German parents, Louis & Fredericka Voepel. His mother died of influenza in 1890, and his father remarried two years later. For roughly ten years, William worked as a rural mail carrier in Sebewaing. He eventually switched careers and became one of the most prominent young farmers in Sebewaing township. When he registered for the draft he was secretary of the Sebewaing Township Farmers’ Co-operative club. William was inducted into the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 14, 1918. He was a member of the masonic order - Wallace Lodge No. 434 F & AM, and Sebewaing Chapter O.E.S. He now rests in Saginaw’s Oakwood Cemetery with his father and stepmother, Bertha.

 

Private John Douglass Watson was born November 9, 1898 in Unadilla, Michigan to Albert & Mima Watson. He attended schools in both Chelsea and Gregory, Michigan. He was working as carpenter in Gregory when he registered for the draft. John was inducted into Company 16, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 24, 1918. He now rests in Unadilla Cemetery his mother and his sister Agnes.

 

Harold Duane WattersonPrivate Harold Duane Watterson was born August 11, 1896 in Cascade Township, Michigan to Supervisor William & Minnie Watterson. He graduated from South Grand Rapids High School in 1915. He was inducted into Company 3, Section B of the SATC at the University of Michigan, and was one of the students injured in Waterman Gymnasium when the floor collapsed. After recovering from the Waterman accident, he contracted the flu. He died of influenza and pneumonia on October 24, 1918, and now rests in Cascade Township’s Cascade Cemetery with his parents and several of his siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ewald August WegnerPrivate Ewald August Wegner was born on October 6, 1897 in Detroit, Michigan to Emil & Wilhelmina Wegner. In 1900, the family moved to Gladwin, Michigan, where his father opened a grocery store. He graduated from Gladwin High School, and then attended Michigan State Normal School in Ypsilanti. At the time of his enlistment, he worked in the drafting department of Henry Ford & Son in Dearborn. He was inducted into Company 19, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 17, 1918. He now rests in Gladwin’s Highland Cemetery with his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Clyde Edwin Worth was born on August 16, 1895 in East Jordan, Michigan to Wallace & Isabelle Worth. His family moved to Petoskey, Wolverine, Tower (where he graduated from high school), and finally Onaway. In 1917 he was farming and raising cattle in Montmorency County. He was inducted into Company 4 of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on November 1, 1918. He now rests in East Jordan’s Sunset Hill Cemetery with his parents.

 

Private Marion Clifford Wyland was born on September 3, 1898 in Harbor Springs, Michigan to Daniel & Mary Wyland. He graduated from Harbor Springs High School, class of 1915. At the time of the draft, Marion was living in Battle Creek, Michigan and was working as a freight trucker for the Michigan Central Railroad. He was inducted into Company 6, Section A of the SATC at the University of Michigan and died of influenza and pneumonia on October 16, 1918. He now rests in the Harbor Springs Lakeview Cemetery with his parents.

 

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