Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1874-1887 Autograph Album of Martin Luther Fenstermacher of Park, Michigan

1884-1887 autograph album that belonged to Martin Luther Fenstermacher of Park, Michigan, and, later, Brady, Michigan, and Vicksburg, Michigan.   Several of the signers were students at the Normal School at Ypsilanti, Michigan, now operating as East Michigan University.

Martin penned a dedication page.

The album measures approximately 6" x 3-3/4" and contains the sentiments of 48 of Martin's relatives, friends, schoolmates and students.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the signers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.  Martin added notes to a few of the pages.

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Martin Luther Fenstermacher was born February 4, 1851 at Catawissa, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter and Eliza (Riegel) Fenstermacher, who I believe were both Catawissa, Pennsylvania natives.  The family subsequently moved to Park, Michigan.

Martin's sister Emma Fenstermacher of Park, Michigan, inscribed a page on October 12, 1881.  Emma would marry James W. Weightman about 1891.

Another inscriber called herself Martin's sister, but she may have been a sister-in-law.  She was Mary E. Hall, who inscribed a page at Pavilion, Michigan, on October 12, 1881.

Stell, who inscribed a page on February 14, 1879, called Martin her uncle.

As noted above, it seems that Martin attended the Normal School at Ypsilanti, Michigan about 1874, as several inscribers mentioned that institution.  I didn't see his name in an 1874 catalog, but he may have graduated another year.  He was teaching at Brady, Michigan, by 1876, as several of his scholars inscribed pages.

The Preceptress at the Normal School when he attended, Ruth Hoppin, inscribed a page on June 2, 1874.  Martin added a note: "A first teacher i 1857 and last in 1874".

On January 1, 1880, Martin Luther Fenstermacher married Zelma King, or Zelena King, daughter of Jesse and Nancy King.  She inscribed a page in Martin's album on October 26, 1878.

I believe Martin and Zelma had two daughters, Jessie E. Fenstermacher and Gladys Laura Fenstermacher.  Sadly, Zelma died in 1895.  In 1897, Martin married Francis Lorinda Kennedy.  They had a daughter Gertrude L. Fenstermacher.  After teaching, Martin became a farmer.  He died in 1937.

Other relatives who mentioned a family connection:
  • Alem Brittain Cleaver and wife Addie of Catawissa, Pennsylvania, one of whom was Martin's blood cousin
  • Mary Amelia Cromley of Marcellus, Michigan, cousin
  • Emma C Handley of Danville [no state written]
If you have corrections and/or corrections to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

? [2]EKR
AElyKernR ?
Abbott [2]FKesterReed [2]
BFenstermacher [2]KingRishel
BeebeFox [2]KuhnS
CG ?Lathers [2]W
ChaseHallM ?Z
Cleaver [2]HandleyMaurerZimmerman
Cromley [2]HoppinPerrin [2]

Signers in the Album        [Note: Given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]
  • Mollie, signed on March 9, 1880
  • Stell; Martin's niece, signed on February 14, 1879
  • George W. Abbott of Mosherville, Michigan, signed at Normal School on June 18, 1874
  • F. Abbott
  • A. E. Beebe of Mendon, Michigan
  • A. L. Blanchard of Farmington, Michigan, signed at Normal School on June 15, 1874. Asa L. Blanchard.
  • Elvira Carman, signed on February 9, 1877; Martin's student. Martin's note: A scholar Schoolcraft"
  • Melville L. Chase, signed at Ypsilanti, Michigan, on March 18, 1874. He was in the Language Course at Normal School
  • Addie Cleaver; Martin's cousin or cousin-in-law. Adelaide Adell (Baker) Cleaver of Catawissa, Pennsylvania, wife of Alem Brittain Cleaver.
  • A. B. Cleaver, signed at Catawissa, Pennsylvania, on November 18, 1876; Martin's cousin [or cousin-in-law]. Martin had traveled to Catawissa for a family visit. He was Alem Brittain Cleaver, whose wife Addie signed a page in the album as well.
  • C. E. Clipfell of Fulton, Michigan; incorporated his name into an intricate design
  • Lizzie A. Cromis of Washingtonville, Pennsylvania, signed in 1876
  • Mrs. J. Cromley, Age 44, Signed at Marcellus, Michigan, on January 2, 1880. Susan (Brooks) Cromley, wife of Joseph Cromley.
  • M. Amelia Cromley, signed at Marcellus, Michigan, on June 2, 1880; Martin's cousin. Mary Amelia Cromley, daughter of Joseph and Susan (Brooks) Cromley
  • Very ornate initials, but I believe the signer was Mr. J. Cromley of Detroit, presumably Joseph Cromley.
  • Sarah E. Dinger of Brady, Michigan, signed on February 2, 1876
  • P. F. Dodds of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, signed at Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 14, 1874. Peter Fabian Dodds, who graduated from the Normal School in 1874, then went to law school and became a lawyer, judge and author. 
  • C. H. Doolittle, signed at Kalamazoo, Michigan; Martin's classmate
  • K. W. Ely of Alma, Michigan, signed at Ypsilanti, Michigan, on June 17 [no year written]; Martin's seatmate
  • Martin Luther Fenstermacher, album owner. He inscribed a Dedication page.
  • Emma Fenstermacher, signed at Park, Michigan, on January 4, 1880; Martin's sister Emma, who would marry James W. Weightman about 1891
  • William C. Fox of Park, Michigan, signed on September 15, 1874
  • Lorenzo Fox of Park, Michigan, signed on September 20, 1874; Martin's schoolmate
  • S. A. G., signed on November 22, 1880
  • Mary E. Hall, signed at Pavilion, Michigan, on October 12, 1881; called herself Martin's sister.
  • Emma C. Handley, signed at Danville on November 7, 1876, Centennial Year; Martin's cousin
  • Andrew J. Hettler, signed on December 21, 1880; Martin's student
  • F. A. Hinkle, signed on March 15, 1879
  • Ruth Hoppin, signed at Ypsilanti, Michigan on June 2, 1874. Martin's note: "A first teacher in 1857 and last in 1874". She was Preceptress at the Normal School in 1874.
  • Dora Howe of Schoolcraft, Michigan, signed on February 5, 1877; Martin's student
  • A. Hutchison of Milton, Pennsylvania, signed on March 12, 1879
  • F. L. Kern, signed at Vicksburg, Michigan, on February 23, 1879
  • Charles G. Kester, signed on December 16, 1882
  • Zelma King, or Zelena King, signed on October 26, 1878. Martin and Zelena would marry on January 1, 1880. Zelena died in 1895. Martin married Frances Lorinda Kennedy in 1897.
  • Emma Kuhn; "Remember the Institute at Vicksburg" [Michigan]
  • Joseph Lathers of Perrinsville, Michigan
  • Robert J. Lathers of Inkster, Michigan
  • Melissa J. Mahaney or Maloney or ? of Brady, Michigan, signed on March 2, 1876 or 1878; Martin's student.
  • Kate S. Maurer, signed at Moor Park, Michigan
  • G. H. McLean, signed at Normal, presumably Normal School on June 16, 1874, at Manchester, Michigan.  George H. McLean
  • Amos Perrin of Parkville, Michigan
  • Mrs. A. B. Perrin, signed at Parkville, April 7, 1879. Martin's note: "A. B. Perrin taught our school"
  • Cassie Rine, signed on February 9, 1877; Martin's student. Not sure of surname
  • H. S. Reed
  • Sam S. Reed of Parksville, Michigan, signed at Normal School in 1875; intricate bird design
  • Libbie Rishel of Brady, Michigan, signed on March 2, 1876
  • L. H. Smith, signed on October 9, 1887
  • Nellie M. Woodward, signed in 1876
  • D. Zimmerman or Zimmer? of Toledo, Ohio, signed at Ypsilanti, Michigan, on May 14, 1874. Perhaps the David Zimmerman listed in the English Course in the Class of 1874 in a school catalog.
Kalamazoo County, Michigan, which contains the towns of Park, Brady, Schoolcraft and Vicksburg, where Martin lived.

Thanks for stopping by!

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