Albert Augustus Vesey was born in Whiteford Township, Monroe County, Michigan on November 21, 1852, the second of ten children born to Edwin and Angeline (Merriman) Vesey. His father owned 80 acres of land. When he was a young boy, Albert and a friend were in a field with a bull. Albert tried to outrun the bull and jump the fence, but he didn’t make it. He was gored in the hip. He could still walk, but his leg was very stiff and lame. His son, Leslie, referred to this as the “Battle of Bull Run”. He was known as “Bert” to his siblings.
Albert wanted to be a drummer boy in the Civil War, but he was too young.
The 1860 US Federal Census lists Albert, age 7, living in Whiteford Township, Michigan. The 1870 US Federal Census lists Albert, age 18, at home in Whiteford Township, Michigan.
In the 1880 US Federal Census dated June 1, 1880, he is 26 years old and living with his parents in Whiteford Township, Monroe County, Michigan. He was working as a farm laborer.
Albert (age 27) married (1) Sarah Alvinne Kile (age 19) on December 23, 1880 in Monroe County, Michigan. Sarah was the daughter of Ira and Mary Kile. She was born in Licking County, OH. She died May 5, 1882 at age 20 years and 5 months and is buried in the Van Auken Cemetery, Whiteford Township, Monroe County, Michigan. Albert’s occupation was farming. Foster Ellis and Sarah Ann Ellis served as witnesses, and M.J. Scott served as the officiating minister.
He married (2) Harriet (Hattie) Alberta Hill, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Hamilton) Hill, on March 12, 1884 in Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana.
From Lola (Vesey) Merrill’s book “A History of Holland, Ohio, 1829-1953”
“In the year 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Vesey moved from Ottawa Lake, Michigan to the Lewis Holloway farm on Pilliod Road where their first son Claude was born July, 1886. In three years the family moved to Holland into the house where the Souslin family now reside. They opened a grocery in the Palmer house and Mrs. Vesey managed alone, while Mr. Vesey worked as a section hand on the railroad. Their first daughter, Goldie, was born in this home October, 1889. In early 1892, the Vesey’s moved to the brick home on the south side, now across from the Holland Coal Yard. Mrs. Vesey opened a Millinery Shop and also sold home-baked bread in addition to the regular grocery items. Their second son, Leslie (now Rev. Leslie D. Vesey of Hayes Methodist, Fremont, Ohio), was born April, 1892.
The purchase of the vacant corner lot which was part of the Shaner Estate, then owned by Barbara Holloway, and with the completion of this new place of business, the moved in the early spring of 1898, a couple of months before the arrival of twin girls, Lela and Lola. Lela died September 22, 1910.
In the 1900 US Federal Census, Albert (age 47) is listed as a general merchant in Springfield Township, Ohio with his wife Harriet (age 35) and children Claude R. (age 14); Goldie F. (age 11), Leslie D. (age 8); Lola and Lela (age 2). Claude, Goldie and Leslie are students. Martha Neitcka (age 14) is also listed in the Albert Vesey household. She worked as a servant. The 1910 US Federal Census includes the same information, with the exception that Martha Neitcka is no longer listed in the household. Mary Taylor (age 79, Hattie’s mother) is included in the Albert Vesey household in 1910.
In the 1920 US Federal Census, Albert, Hattie, Leslie and Lola are listed in Springfield Township, Ohio. By the 1930 US Federal Census, Albert (age 77) and Hattie (age 65) are listed in Holland, Ohio.
Wesley Vesey, their grandson, recalls Hattie still working in their grocery store down the street when she was in her 70s. She often walked to work, about 4 blocks. She was noted, too, for mowing their lawn with a push mower. One time, at the store, she was cutting a great round of cheese with a butcher knife, the knife slipped and she cut herself quite badly.
Albert had chickens in a coop behind the house. To get the chickens laying eggs early, he used to turn on the lights in the hen house and get them scratching. At the table, he used to sip his tea from a saucer, which the grandchildren thought was strange. Why not use the cup! He nearly always washed the dishes, while others stayed at the table and talked. He whistled, too, while he worked. When he was on his deathbed, and didn’t have much more time to live, he either cracked some joke or responded to someone humorously, which everyone thought was typical of him and highly unusual for that serious time.
Death records indicate that Albert Augustus died July 29, 1939. Harriet died January 26, 1944. Both Albert and Hattie are buried in the Springfield Township Cemetery.
as provided byDawn (Vesey) Puliafico, Ashland, Massachusetts