Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Emmett Fillmore (1849-1922) and his wives Harriet E. Chase (1852-1887) and Effie Hildebrandt (1870-1937)

emmett.jpg (27347 bytes)

Elijah Fillmore (age 13), Emmett Fillmore, Ettie Hildebrandt Fillmore, Wilhelmina Fillmore (age 1), and Minnie Fillmore, ca. 1899, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Courtesy, Laurie Fillmore Williams.

Emmett M Fillmore was born 2 January 1849 in Steuben County, New York, son of Ebenezer Fillmore and Harriet Bessey. He moved with his parents in 1866 to Grand Traverse County and was soon employed in the lumber woods, working for 35 winters as a scaler and during the drives during which the logs were sent downstream to the mills or to ships waiting to take them to market. In one case, in 1871, he started on a drive with twelve other men and did not sleep in a bed until July 3rd. "When it came time to rest he simply cleared away the snow and made himself a rough couch of hemlock boughs".

Emmett was married on 4 July 1873 to Harriet E. Chase. Harriet was born in 1852. In 1880, the Fillmores lived on a farm in Long Lake twp. She and Emmett became members of the Friends church (Quaker) in 1881. In May 1884, Emmet began to build a house in Traverse City, planning to move his family there. The following spring he moved in with his parents to help care for their farm. Emmet was an innovator and the Grand Traverse Herald noted: Emmet Fillmore purchased a mowing machine and rake a few days since. He is doing a great deal of mowing for other parties. A great deal of money has been expended for farming implements in this locality during the past season.

Emmet and Harriet had eight children, however seven died during childhood, most during a scarlet fever epidemic. The children are buried in Linwood Cemetery. Harriet subsequently died on 31 March 1887 in Long Lake township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. She was buried in Linwood Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Grand Traverse Herald on 7 April 1887.

Mrs. Emmett Fillmore of Long Lake, died at the home of her parents in Traverse City, March 31st, of consumption. The funeral services were held on Saturday least at the friend's church, of which she was a member. the services were conducted by Rev. O. G. Whitman. The deceased leaves a large circle of friends and relatives to mourn her loss, of which she leaves a husband and, one small child, who have the sympathy of the entire community.

After her death, Emmet left and went on a long trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, returning home in mid-July 1887.

Emmet was married on 20 April 1889 in Long Lake to Effie Hildebrandt. The ceremony was performed by Minister Jonathan Hodgson, and was witnessed were Benton and Laura Moler. Effie was born in April 1870 in Long Lake township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. She was the daughter of John and Mary Spankenburg Hillebrandt. Effie became a member of the Long Lake Friends Church in 1894. Emmet and Effie moved to Minnesota in 1899 where he operated a dairy farm for five years in Benton County. They were dropped from the Long Lake Friends Church in 1900. In 1904 the family moved to Barron County, Wisconsin where Emmett purchased 280 acres in Arland township. He worked as a dairy farmer, milking 15 purebred Holsteins. Again he seems to have been an innovator, using Empire milking machines and lighting his place with a Delco electric generator. He also raised purebred Percheron horses. Emmet was still living with wife Effie in 1922 in Arland township, Barron County, Wisconsin. He died in Arland, Barron County, Wisconsin on 24 May 1922. Effie died at Prairie Farm, Wisconsin on 14 August 1937.

Relatives from the Grand Traverse area continued to keep in touch with Emmet and Effie into the 1920s. The following postcards were sent to me by Evangeline Anderson, a descendant of Emmet Fillmore.

postcards.jpg (83902 bytes)

The postcards were sent by Emma Ransom Harris, Ada Ransom, Lucy Kingdon Ransom, and Herbert Durga.


i. ______ Fillmore (boy) was born and died on 16 April 1873 in Long Lake twp. This child was "head affected."

ii William Fillmore was born 20 May 1874 in Long Lake twp. He died from scarlet fever on 4 June 1883. He was buried in Linwood Cemetery. The Grand Traverse Herald for 7 June 1883 reported "Long Lake- The six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Fillmore, died on the 2d or 3d inst., of scarlet fever. Owing to the disease being contagious the funeral was not public. The deceased was sick only a short time. The little fellow will be sadly missed by his little brothers and sisters and playmates, and more especially by his fond parents."

iii. Delia M Fillmore was born 23 August 1876 in Long Lake twp. She died from scarlet fever on 11 June 1883 in Long Lake twp. The Grand Traverse Herald stated: The white horse and his rider, death, has again visited the quiet home of Emmet Fillmore, and taken two more of their darling children, the past week. This makes three children they have lost within two weeks, with scarlet fever. Words are no condolence to the bereaved parents in this, their hour of sore affliction. She was buried in Linwood Cemetery.

iv. ______ Fillmore (boy) was stillborn on 10 February 1878 at Almira, Benzie County, Michigan.

v. Mattie (Hattie?) Fillmore was born in March 1879. She died from scarlet fever on 3 June 1883. She was interred in Linwood Cemetery.

vi. Joseph Fillmore was born in 9 April 1881. He died from scarlet fever on 11 June 1883 in Long Lake twp. The Grand Traverse Herald noted on 5 July 1883: The fourth, and only child of Mr. and Mrs. Emmet Fillmore died last week, and was buried at the head of the lake. Joseph was buried in Linwood Cemetery.

vii. Emmet Fillmore was born 1 December 1883 in Traverse City. He died from inflamation of the lungs in December 1883. The death was later reported on 3 April 1884 in the Grand Traverse Herald: Emmet Fillmore's infant child was buried a few days since. Was sick only a few days. The parents have the heart-felt sympathy of the community. This makes the seventh child that death has called from them, leaving them not one living. Emmet is buried in Linwood Cemetery.

viii. Elijah Fillmore was born in February 1885 in Michigan.

ix. Minnie Albertha Fillmore was born on 4 August 1890 in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

x. Wilhelmina Fillmore was born on 14 July 1898. She died on 17 November 1901 in Wisconsin.

xi. John F Fillmore was born on 8 Aug 1900 in Minnesota.

xii. Melvin E Fillmore was born on 21 August 1902 in Wisconsin.

xiii. Charles E Fillmore was born on 23 November 1904 in Wisconsin.

xiv. Theodore M. Fillmore was born on 21 February 1908 in Wisconsin.

xv. Edwin Fillmore was born on 5 October 1913 in Wisconsin.

Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County