Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Eliphalet Fillmore (1837-1917) and Clarissa Worden (1839-1911)

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Photo thought to be Eliphalet Fillmore and Clarissa L. Worden, circa 1900. Courtesy Anita Cook Prahl.

Eliphalet Fillmore born 12 June 1837 in New York, son of Ebenezer and Harriet Bessey Fillmore. He was married around 1859 in Hillsdale County, Michigan to Clarissa L Worden. Clarissa was born 20 October 1839 in Ohio, the daughter of A. and Matilda Parker Worden. Eliphalet and Clarissa moved to Grand Traverse County in the 1860s. Eliphalet worked as a farmer in 1870 and the farm was valued at $1000 and their personal possessions at $500. Eliphalet received a land patent for 160 acres in section 20 of Long Lake twp on 25 May 1870. In 1879, their house burned down as reported by the Grand Traverse Herald on 18 December 1879.

Fire-The house of Eliphalet Fillmore, Long Lake, was entirely consumed by fire about five o'clock Saturday morning. Mr. Fillmore got up quite early, built a fire in the kitchen, and then started for a neighbor's house to secure his assistance in moving, since he intended to take his family into the lumber woods for the winter, having taken a contract for logging. Reaching the top of a hill, about eighty rods from the house he turned and saw flames proceeding from the kitchen chimney. He hurridly retraced his steps, aroused his wife who had not yet risen, and upon reaching the kitchen found the flames making their way through the ceiling. The upper part of the house was all in a blaze by this time. In a few minutes the whole house was enveloped in flames. A few articles of clothing and furniture were secured, but there was little time to do anything. In a very short time nothing but a smoking mass was left. The house was a large, handsome frame farm house. The total loss will probably reach $1,600 to $1,800. Fortunately there was an insurance of $1,200 on the house. This is in the "Hartford," of which H.E. Steward is the agent here. The insurance was taken four (year)s ago and had one year to run. While this insurance will help Mr. Fillmore a good deal, yet the additional loss will fall heavily upon him, and he and his family have the sympathies of all their friends.The light from the fire was seen as afar away as Acme, 15 miles distant from the home site.

He recovered and by June 1883 was busy: Lafe Fillmore has put up a large number of rods of the most substantial wire fence that we have seen for some time. Has also built a good deal of board fence.

The Fillmore's lived in later life at 729 W. 7th Street in Traverse City. Clarissa died 24 March 1911 in Traverse City with the cause of death listed as rheumatism. Her obituary was published on that day in the Traverse City Record Eagle.

Long Lake Pioneer is Dead after Extended illness with Rheumatism

Mrs. Clarissa Filmore died this morning at her home, 729 West Seventh Street, of rheumatism. She was 73 years old.

Mrs. Fillmore came to this region with her husband in 1862, taking up a homestead near Long Lake where they lived until 10 years ago when they moved to the city. Mrs. Fillmore had been an invalid for the past 18 years, rheumatism having made her helpless.

She is survived by a husband, one son, B. W. Fillmore and two daughters, Mrs. Myra Brown and Mrs. J. H. Dawson, all of this city. Besides these there are ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The funeral services will be held at the home Sunday afternoon at 2 O'clock the Rev. W. W. McKee officiating. Interment will be made at Oakwood.

Eliphalet died on 9 February 1917. His obituary was published the same day in the Record Eagle.


who would have been 80 years old next June, died at 4 O'clock this morning at the State Hospital of Old Age. Mr. Fillmore was born in New York State, coming to the Grand Traverse Region one-half century ago. He leaves two children Mrs (Dr.) S. Brown and Byron Fillmore, both of this city. The funeral will be held from the Brown residence, 214 State Street, at 3 O'clock Sunday afternoon.


i. Emma J Fillmore was born September 1860 in Michigan. Emma helped organize the W.C.T.U. in 1880.

ii. Byron William Fillmore was born 4 December 1862 in Hillsdale County, Michigan.

iii. Fred E Fillmore was born 3 February 1865 in Michigan. He died on 26 September 1875 in Grand Traverse County. The cause of death was listed as diptheria. His body was moved to Linwood Cemetery in 1886.

iv. Minnie Fillmore was born 12 September 1868 in Long Lake twp.

v. Mina Fillmore was born on 12 September 1868 in Long Lake twp. Minnie died on 23 March 1869 from whooping cough in Long Lake twp.Her body was transferred to Linwood Cemetery in 1886.

vi. Inez E Fillmore born April 1871 in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

vii. Myra Marie Fillmore born on 16 Oct. 1879 in Long Lake twp.

 Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan