Columns preserving history are family trait
July 18, 2007With the long-anticipated sesquicentennial finally upon us, I would like to say a few words to close out the series I've been writing on the pioneer families of Capac.
The reader response has been overwhelming. My father was right when he asked me to do this. People really do want to know about Capac's past. The long-lost relatives and friends that I have connected with and who have provided pieces of information about Capac and its citizens have made the task of gathering facts much easier.
Noble Hunter, my great-grandfather, said in an article on longevity, "The smell of printer's ink keeps you going." Every time I enter the Tri-City Times office I smell the ink and the memories rush in. The research and deadlines let me feel what he felt.
I learned many things about my family from people who contacted me from California, New Mexico, Florida, etc. Many told of the virtues of my grandmother, Myrtle Hunter, and her compassionate care for their parents and grandparents when the families were destitute with no medical assistance available. Myrtle was a registered nurse in a time when good health care was non-existent. A man from Florida told me that she delivered him into the world when a doctor wasn't available. The contributions made by her are another example of the spirit that is Capac.
To my personal editor and wife, Juanita, there are no words to describe the job you performed. The pronounciations, misspellings and run -on sentences must have made you almost suicidal and I'm sure homicidal when I presented my rough drafts to you for grammar check. Although our wedding anniversary falls during the sesquicentennial, I promise to forever remember the date...and can we celebrate the following weekend?
Many thanks to my Aunt Elisabeth and Uncle Don Jamison for all the information and photos that you supplied. Your preservation of the past made this undertaking possible.
To my friend Freeda Van Poppelen, you are a perfect example of what makes Capac great. Your interest in these columns is deeply appreciated and you always make me laugh.
To Dan Bell and the Capac Historical Society, your dedication to the past is admirable and I deeply appreciate your assistance. To the readers, please join the Capac Historical Society. Your support is important for the future of this organization.
A long time ago a teacher in Capac told me to think about the last four letters of the word American when faced with a difficult task: I Can. Thank you, Mrs. Schoonover. Also Mrs. Helen Seidell, Mrs. Hazel Higgins, Mrs. Dorothy Fischer, Mrs. Bade and Mrs. Harrison.
A special thanks to Catherine Minolli and the staff at the Tri-City Times. Your patience, support and kindness to me in my first venture as a columnist is something I will never forget. You have contributed greatly to the success of the sesquicentennial.
Although this series was limited in scope to individuals and families that were documented, in no way was its intent to diminish the contributions of others. Many people made Capac what it is today, and their efforts are equally important.
Whether you live on a village lot or on large acreage, every square foot of land is covered in the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers. Many people have told me that they could not have survived in the conditions of the past but I totally disagree. The same genes or DNA that made our ancestors take on the impossible is still in us today.
As you walk in the shadows of the sesquicentennial buildings imagine if they could tell us accounts of the past 150 years. We can only imagine life in those days, but we can keep the past alive through our children and grandchildren by never forgetting the sacrifices made.
Fifty years from now when this "little village in the wilderness" is celebrat-ing its 200th birthday, I hope that yet another descendant of Noble Hunter will step forward and take up where I left off and perform this task in a true 'I Can' pioneer spirit.
The Capac Journal
July 18, 1957
Headline: '15,000 VIEW CENTENNIAL PARADE'
Royalty of Celebration
Mr. John Clouse-King
Mrs. Charles Stieher- Queen, Mr. William Abraham-Prince, Miss Virginia Emmons-Princess
Beard Judging Results
Full or Lumberjack beard: 1st-Maynard Petz. 2nd-Lawrence Teetzel.
|Adell and Noble Hunter with children Edith, Ethel and Noble.|
Van Dyke type: 1st-Dick Krause, 2nd-Herb Seidell.
Reddest: 1st-Fred Brennan, 2nd-Eugene Jamison.
Whitest: 1st-Art Withun, 2nd-John Christie
Lincoln type: 1st-Earl McGivor, 2nd-Victor Shearsmith.
Mutton type: 1st-Howard Quillman, 2nd-John Coman.
Tug of War results:
First Round: Metamora defeats Imlay City; Almont defeats Emmett; Capac defeats Memphis.
Second Round: Almont defeats Metamora; Capac drew bye.
Finals: Almont defeats Capac.
There were 91 units entered in the parade including all local churches and Cole Church of Brockway. There were large, small, beautiful and comic floats which all added up to make the biggest and most outstanding parade this community has ever witnessed.
Excerpt-Noble Hunter Diary, Nov. 4, 1883
Dell and I went to church in the evening. On the way home I fitted a ring on Dell's finger.
Nov. 11, 1883
This evening and afternoon are the happiest I have spent with Dell. When leaving she presented me with an ink fountain and a silk handkerchief.
May 5, 1884
We took a little walk and had a long talk, the best, the sweetest and tenderest we ever had.
Note: Noble Hunter and Adell Allen were married on August 7, 1888. They had three children, Edith, Ethel and Noble. Adell died on Sept. 13, 1903 of heart failure, most likely due to the "summer chill" or ague, or malaria as we know it now, from her childhood in the swamps surrounding Capac.
Noble lived 50 more years after her death, publishing the newspaper he founded in 1887. Ironically, at the age of 96, he died after being struck by a car while carrying the Capac Journal to the post office to be mailed, a task he had performed for 66 years.