FROM: A History of Pickford Pioneer Families

Charles, Tom, Bill, Jim, and John Pennington were brothers born in Devonshire, England to Ann and John Pennington. They also had one sister, Margaret (Mrs. Tom Hare), whose son, Cyril Hare, still lives in Sault Ste. Marie.

Their father operated a stone mill, grinding flour. Charles helped his father run the mills, staying home from school. He would cough from the dust of the mill and go to the door for fresh air. His father would tell him to take a puff of his pipe. Eventually, Charles decided to get a pipe of his own (he was then about 12 years old). He smoked a pipe until he was 75.

Charles, Tom, Bill, and Jim came to Canada to work. Charles signed up to work on a farm for three years. One month before his time was up, Tom, Bill, and Jim came to see if he wanted to go back to England. They had arranged to work their way back on a livestock boat. To break his contract for the remaining month, Charles hired a "Williams", giving him $16 for the month, while Charles had been earning only $15 per month.

The livestock boat was half-full of wheat. On the way, they were caught in a storm. The boat went on its side as the wheat shifted. The wheat kept the boat from righting itself. There were also 500 sheep and hundreds of head of cattle on the top deck as well as those on a lower floor. The animals piled up on one side of the boat and took the railing off. The 28-man crew was ordered to throw the livestock overboard, as they had to drown in order to collect the insurance. As the men waited out the storm, they could see cattle swimming "in the air" as they were in the trough of the sea. As they went up, the cattle could be seen as far down as they could see. For several days, with engines working, they sat in one place, holding their own until the storm ceased.

At a family reunion, Charles was able to show $300 in gold that he had saved. The brothers stayed in England for some time, but eventually Charles married Melinda and brought his wife to Canada, where he cut cordwood for seven years. At about the age of 28, he came to Stirlingville by way of Sault Ste. Marie, with 2 teams of horses (either his or some he had borrowed). On the way, he upset the furniture into a creek, breaking all the glass. His brother, Bill, had arrived earlier and settled two miles east and one-half mile north of Pickford (on the hill). Jim had homesteaded two miles east, one mile north, and one and one-half miles east of Pickford.

Charles lived in Stirlingville for a while until he purchased 80 acres two miles east of Pickford from the railroad (about 1890). He walked on downed pine logs 1 1/2 miles, from one tree to another between Stirlingville and his farm. He built a home of lumber and pole rafters which he added to later. This house stood until it burned in 1949. Charles worked in lumber camps during the winter at Prentiss Bay, and cleared his own land during the summer. He also cleared land for Bill (a bachelor) to get money to live. He farmed for a living after clearing the land.

Saturday night was saved for going to Stirlingville for groceries. Supplies came there by boat. It was expected at that time that the town would be in Stirlingville.

Fresh beef could only be kept in the winter. The summer menu relied on salt pork. Homemade bread and butter were popular. Pigs and chickens were raised to provide meat and eggs.

Diphtheria struck and took the lives of three of his children: Fred died Feb. 18, 1889 (2 years). George E. died March 3, 1889 (6 years old), and Margaret A. died March 4, 1889 (5 years old.) His wife had diphtheria, but survived until Oct. 18, 1899, when she died of spinal meningitis. She was 37 years old.

Charles sold the farm to Bill Darcy, had an auction sale, and returned to England with his four surviving children, Maria, Hulda, Frank, and Melinda. He had difficulty getting through customs with crowds of people. He got some cardboard boxes piled together and put the children inside, so they wouldn't get trampled. The customs officers had to see the children before they would check the trunks and allow them to proceed. After his return to England, Charles stayed one year. He married Mary Jane Dunn during this time. He couldn't make a satisfactory living there after being in America, wages were so cheap ($0.50 a day), and he preferred the climate in North America, so with his family and new wife, he returned to Stirlingville and repurchased his farm from Bill Darcy in 1900 or 1901.

Shortly after returning to America, Charles and Mary Jane began their family with Norman, Charles, Leota, Howard James, Harvey Edwin, Doris Mae, and John Henery. died of a stroke. Charles lived until March 20, 1935. Harvey and Howard purchased the farm from their father and Howard continues to live there.

MARIA married Russel Hope. Their children are Dorothy (Mrs. James Lind), Wanda (Mrs. Edward Quinn), Willard, Kenneth, Wallace, and Fred.

HULDA (1893-1970) married Robert Roe, Jr. Their children are Evelyn (Mrs. Donald MacKenzie), Jean (Mrs. Reid Crawford), Helen (Mrs. Jack McLean), Willis and Morris who are twins, Bernard and Clayton.

MELINDA married Reuben Hunter. Their children are Pauline (Mrs. Basil McCulligh), Beverly (Mrs. Lorne Sibbald), Donna (Mrs. Bruce Martyn), Marilyn (Mrs. Will Frederick), Shirley (Mrs. Gerald Maleport), Clark and Charles.

FRANK (1891-1948) married Margaret Nelson. Their children are Maitland who married Patricia Roe, their children are Ron, Marsha, Dennis and JoAnn. Edna married Jack Roe, their children are Jim, Roger and Francis. Dean married Patricia Johnson, their children are LynnDean, Pamela, Franklin and Carol.

LEOLA married Clifford Bawks and they live in Sault Ste. Marie. Their son, Gerald, and his wife, Ina, have four children: Debbie, Wally, Bonnie, and Lori. Their daughter, JoAnn, married Al Wegner and lives in North Carolina. Their children are Linda, Donna, Larry, and Pam.

NORMAN married Opal Patton (died in 1968) and lives in Sault Ste. Marie. Their daughter, Margaret Joy, married Bill Smith and lives in Ohio. Their children are Norman, Bill, Cindy, and Mark. Another daughter, Norma Jean, married Fred Schmidt and lives in Florida, they have a daughter, Michelle.

HOWARD married Eleanor Abbott (deceased 1968) and lives in Pickford with his children, Mary Jane and Charles.

HARVEY married Lois Ryan and lives in Pickford.

DORIS married Manford Holter and lives in Dearborn. Their daughter, Patricia Anne, and her husband, Ulysses, live in Lansing. Their children are Katherine Ann, Nancy Lorraine, Matthew Curtis, and and David Alloysius. Their son, Ronald Colin, married Iona Mae Johnson and they live in Detroit. Their children are John Colin, Tina Mae, and Karen Ann.

JOHN married Helen Harrison and they live in Westland. Their daughter, Bonnie, married Dave Beck, and they have a son, John Henry, Jr., (Bud)

(A copy from Mrs - Frank Pennington's diary, in 1972.)

Penningtons; Five of them, pioneer in Canada and America.
Charles Pennington- Born June 14, 1860. Devonshire, England. One brother, possibly Thomas, came from England, when it took a month to cross the ocean on freighter. He came to Canada near Godrich, and spent a winter or longer, they cut wood in the winter by hand, they caught rain water to drink, having no well, and melted snow in the winter. On toward spring when the sap began to run, they drank sap, untill they found it was making them both ill, they got so weak they could scarcely go about.

Then Chas. Pennington who was engaged, to be married, before leaving England, went back to get married, he married Miss Melinda Davey, also of Devonshire, and returned to America, landed at Godrich, Canada first. This time, three other brothers came also, there were now Charles, Tom, William, James, and John. How their mother must have felt to see five sons leave England, knowing she might never see them again. But gave them her blessing and $500.00 each, to help them get started in the new world, or land. (Their father was deceased).

The Daveys had a large family and were poor, and did not have anything to give their daughter (Melinda) now Mrs. Chas. Pennington, so gave her the Family Bible, a prized possession, this Bible had been a gift to her mother, (Huldah Cory) in August, 1860, from her father James Cory.

Melinda, (Mrs. Chas. Pennington) received the Bible in 1881, when leaving England. Years later the Bible was given to Frank Pennington from his father, (Charles Pennington) and after Frank Pennington's death in 1948, was given to his daughter, Edna (Pennington) Roe.

When they arrived in Canada, Thomas farmed near Godrich, and John stayed there also, had a furniture factory in Hamilton, Ontario and think family is still there. Charles, William and James, came up to Soo Michigan. And leaving his wife (Melinda) there, the three brothers left to look for farms. Eventually choosing Pickford, a very small place at that time. The head man about was named Pickford. There was only a trail to Pickford, wide enough for one horse, also there was a boat which came to Stirlingville, have forgotten if it was running as early, as when they came. They each choose a farm two miles east of Pickford, in the third mile section. Charles choose the first farm, 180 acres. William choose the next 80 acres, and Jim Pennington the last 80 acres in that mile. Jim, married Margaret Watson, from Detour, Michigan, they had four children. William remained a bachelor.

Charles and wife Melinda, had nine children. After the death of five children, and wife, he stayed one more year, then took his four remaining children, and returned to England in 1899, had sold his farm here, hoping, to marry his deceased wife's, sister and help raise the children, in those days folks done that sometimes. But he found her either married or just about to be married. Charles and two smaller girls, (Huldah and Melinda) stayed with his mother. The two older children (Maria and Frank) stayed with their grandparents, the Daveys.

The grandfather ran a grist mill, by water wheel, also had a donkey and cart, Frank got to drive the donkey to pick up the grain. The millers done that in those days. They had to take some of the grain as pay. The grandparents wanted to keep Frank, he was about nine years old then, he wanted to stay until he seen his Dad ready to leave. Charles Pennington stayed in England a year this time, he married his sister's best friend, Mary Jane Dunn, he called her Paul always, a nickname. She was 20 years younger than Chas. She was quiet, nice, Good looking and loved children. They arrived back in Pickford, Michigan about June 1901. They lived in a little brown house, 3 miles east and 1 mile north of Pickford, while looking for a farm again and was lucky enough to get the same farm back, for the same money. Than came the second family, Norman, Leola, Howard, Harvey, Doris and John Pennington, Charles had one sister, Mrs. Thomas Hare. They came here from England, in 1914 and lived in Soo Michigan. They had one son Cyril, he has a grocery store on east Spruce St. now. When they first came it was hard to understand their language, but they  soon learned the American way. They were exceedingly nice people.


JOHN PENNINGTON - 1820 - 1903
Married ANN WAKELY - 1823 - 1910
Lived in Devonshire, England area.

CHARLES PENNINGTON - Born June 14,1860 Married MELINDA DAVY in Devonshire, England in 1881 - Died March 21, 1935 at age of 74 - Buried in Bethel cemetery Lot 4, Section C, Block 2 - (His 2nd wife, Mary Jane, is also buried in this lot) Bethel cemetery is 3 1/2 miles north of Pickford, Michigan. - Charles and Melinda had nine children. Five died young, and are buried with Melinda in Bethel - The four others lived to maturity - They were MARIA, born August 24, 1888. Died December 1972. Was married to Russel Hope. - HULDA, born July 10, 1893. Died November 21, 1970. Was married to Robert Roe Jr. - MELINDA, born December 19, 1895, died Was married to Reuben Hunter. FRANCIS, known as "FRANK", born March 6, 1891, died December 31, 1948. Was married to Margaret Nelson.

After Melinda died of spinal meningitis in 1899, Charles returned to England with his four surviving children, Maria, Hulda, Melinda and Frank. They stayed in England one year and during this period Charles married Mary Jane Dunn, and all returned to his former farm, 2 miles east and 1/4 mile north of Pickford, Michigan in 1900 or 1901. Shortly after their return to America, Charles and Mary Jane began their family with Norman, Charles, Leota, Howard, Harvey, Doris and John . I n 1925, Mary Jane died of a stroke.

JAMES CORY - Father of Hulda Cory.

HULDA CORY - born in 1841 - Was married to GEORGE DAVY - Hulda died May 5, 1910 at Lane Mills, Woolsery, and is buried in Woolsery Church Yard, England. (This information from James Cory family bible which he gave to his daughter Hulda in 1860. Then given to granddaughter Melinda Davy, (Married to Charles Pennington) Then given to Great grandson Frank Pennington, (Married to Margaret Nelson, Then given to great great granddaughter
Edna Pennington, (Married to Jack Roe). As of December 1984, Edna still has
this bible.

MELINDA DAVY - Born March 4, 1862 - Married CHARLES PENNINGTON in Devonshire England in 1881 - Died October 18, 1899 at age of 37 years - Buried in Bethel Cemetery, Lot 10, Section I, Block 2 - Five of her and Charles
children are buried in this same lot.

FRANCIS "FRANK" PENNINGTON - Born March 6, 1891 at Pickford, Michigan. Married: MARGARET JANE NELSON, on May 6, 1914 - Died: December 31, 1948 at age of 57 - Buried in Fairview cemetery, 5 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Pickford, Michigan - Frank and Margaret's home/farm where they raised their family was 2 miles east, and 1 1/8 mile north of Pickford.
They had four children: Phyllis Imogene, born November 16, 1914 and died January 10, 1922 at age of 7 years. The other three lived to maturity - Maitland Francis, Born May 31, 1916 (Married Patricia Evelyn Roe) Margaret Edna, Born November 30, 1920 (Married Jack Edwin Roe) NOTE: Brother/sister married Brother/sister. Dean Earl, born May 24,1926. (Married Janet Patricia Johnson) The road past Frank and Margaret's farm is now named the "Pennington Road".