Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Francis Drake Ransom (1816-1884) and Chloe Streeter (1813-1904)

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Francis Drake Ransom, ca. 1880                                                                                                                         Chloe Streeter Ransom, ca. 1880

Francis Drake Ransom was born 5 June 1816 at Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York, son of James Ransom and Phebe Hand. When he turned 21 he traveled through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio exploring the largely untamed area. He returned to New York and married on 5 September 1837 at Elbridge Chloe Streeter. Chloe was born on 19 February 1813 in New York, the daughter of Benjamin and Abigail Spaulding Streeter.

The Ransoms moved to Algansee, Branch County, Michigan in 1842. Francis worked as a farmer. In 1846 the Ransoms were members of the Hog Creek district Baptists. In 1855 the Ransoms helped form the Second Algansee Baptist Church. Eventually Francis served as deacon of this church. Francis was also a Justice of the Peace and began marrying people in 1859. By the 1860s Francis was successful enough to invest in a lumber mill at Lake Ann, Michigan. His sons Benjamin and Elijah ran this mill. Eventually Benjamin returned to Branch County and took over the family farm.

Family stories suggest that Chloe was a somewhat discordant mother-in-law. On 5 June 1880 the family of Francis Ransom gathered for a surprise birthday party with 135 guests "(varying) in weight from 301 pounds down, and in age from 86 years to 3 months". His sons gave him a fine couch and everybody had a good time.

Francis died 5 March 1884 at Algansee. His obituary was printed in the Quincy Herald.

Francis D. Ransom died at his home in Algansee Wednesday morning aged 68 years. He was son of James Ransom and was born in Elbridge, Onondaga Co., NY June 5, 1816. His father was a mechanic and followed farming. At the age of 12 years, Francis started out- worked among farmers. In 1832 apprenticed himself to Jacob Campbell of his native township. Stayed with him till he was 21. In 1837 he traveled west by way of Ashtabula & Wellsville, Ohio and the Mississippi to New Boston, Mercer Co., Illinois where he landed and started inland to hunt up a soldiers claim of his fathers. The claim was found near the present county seat of Mercer, but did not please Francis and he started east- via Chicago, then Michigan & Ohio by turnpike. At Erie his eldest brother lived and he bargained with him for 40 acres in Michigan- part of the farm he lived on. He returned to Onondaga County and in September 1837 married with Chloe Streeter of the same county. He then worked for farmers and in 1842 removed to his 40 acre farm in Algansee twp., this county on October 10. From time to time he added to his farm until he had 336 acres. He had six children, of whom four are now living: James A., Benjamin, Alvorado B., and Elijah L., all excepting the latter are located on the home farm. Elijah is in Benzie County, Michigan.

Mr. Ransom was a Deacon and one of the founders of the Quincy Baptist Church. He took letters from there and organized the Algansee Baptist Church & and was Deacon ever since. He held office as Justice of the Peace and as County Supt of the Poor.

Chloe died 8 February 1904 at the home of her eldest son, James, in Algansee, Branch County several days after falling and injuring her hip. Her obituary appeared in the 25 February 1904 issue of the Quincy Herald:



Chloe Streeter was born at Elbridge, N.Y., Feb. 19, 1813, and died at the home of her eldest son, James A. Ransom, in Algansee, Mich., February 8, 1904, being nearly 91 years old.

Sept. 5, 1837, she was married to Francis D. Ransom, of Onondaga, N.Y., and in 1842 they came to Michigan when this was nothing but a wilderness and settled on the farm now owned by A.B. Ransom in Algansee township. They worked hard and by their industry and economy accumulated quite an amount of property, suffering the hardships that only those know and can tell who endured the early pioneer life.

Six sons were born to this union, two being born in York State and four were born on the old homestead in Algansee, one dying in infancy, the other five growing to manhood, viz: James A., George A., Benjamin S., Alvorado B., and Elijah L., George A. dying at the age of 22 years, and Benjamin S. passed away in 1901. Her husband preceded her to the better land in 1884.

When 15 years of age she sought the love of the blessed Saviour, upon whose arm she rested during her entire life, often calling on Him during her last hours of suffering, she being a great sufferer during the last fwe days of her life. Soon after coming here Mr. and Mrs. Ransom united with the regular Baptist church at Quincy, at which place they made their home until they withdrew and helped establish the Regular Baptist church in Algansee, Mr. Ransom being deacon of the church until death claimed him.

Deceased leaves three sons, who were with her at the time of her death, 24 grand children, 26 great grand children, and three great-great grand children, beisdes a host of relatives and friends to mourn their loss."

Both Francis and Chloe are buried in Fisher Cemetery, Branch County, Michigan.


i. James A Ransom was born on 22 September 1838 at Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York.

ii. George A Ransom was born on 25 May 1840 at Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York. He died 28 September 1862.

iii. Male Ransom. Chloe was reported to have had six sons, the most likely time for one to have been born was around 1842, in Algansee, Branch County, Michigan.

iv. Benjamin Samuel Ransom was born on 25 May 1844 at Algansee, Branch County, Michigan.

v. Alvorado Burton Ransom was born 11 December 1846 at Algansee, Branch County, Michigan.

vi. Elijah Leland Ransom was born on 3 August 1848 at Algansee, Branch County, Michigan.


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The Ransom Brothers. Elijah and Alvorado seated. James and Benjamin standing,

about 1870-1875

Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County