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Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



William A. Chandler (1817-1893) and his wives Fannie Green (1820-1849) and Margaret K. Newman (1832-1912)

William A Chandler was born on 15 April 1817 (or possibly 1819) in Genesee County, New York, son of David and Comfort Gilman Chandler. William moved as a young man to Lenawee County, Michigan and he was married there in December 1841 Fannie Green. Fannie was supposedly born in Michigan in 1820, however a biography of William states she came from New York. Additionally, the 1880 census listing for her son indicates she was born in New York. Fannie's father may have been a man named David Green, since this was the name given to one of her children. A David Green was living in Lenawee County around 1840, but nothing is known about him.

The Chandlers moved from Lenawee County to Washtenaw County before relocating again to Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan in 1845. On 18 March 1845, William (listed as being a resident of Cambridge twp) purchased land from John B. Groger. William worked as a farmer and a miller. William and Fannie had three children born in Genesee County, Michigan: Caroline M, Winfield S, and David Green Chandler. Fannie died 17 January 1849. William purchased land from his brother-in-law Alanson Mallery in June 1849 in the community of Macon, Lenawee County.

William subsequently remarried in 1850 in Lenawee County to Margaret M (or K?) Newman. The marriage took place prior to 6 May 1850 because William and Margaret sold land in Macon twp to William's sister Angeline E. Mallery on that date. The Chandlers were counted there in the 1850 Census in Macon township. Margaret was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. The 1880 census lists her father as being born in New Jersey and her mother as being born in Pennsylvania.

In 1850, Caroline was living in Raisen twp with Felix and Comfort Holdridge. Felix was born in 1780/1781 in New York and Comfort was born in 1785/1786 in New Hampshire. Felix was a farmer and had property worth $2000. A dictionary owned by Felix has an inscription reading "Felix Holdridge October 14 1827 Royalton Neagara New York".

Margaret had a single child William A Chandler Jr in 1851. In 1860 the Chandlers were living at Ridgeway, Lenawee County. In 1864 the Chandlers moved to Grand Traverse County, Michigan and settled in East Bay township in Section 4, Township 26, Range 10.

William submitted a claim on 1 July 1865 from the estate of Elijah Mills for "to 1 wks for Mrs. Chandler taking care of Mrs. Mills $3.00". William served as an executor for Charles Robertson's estate in 1867. He was paid $3.00 by the estate of Elijah Mills in 1866.

William worked as a farmer in Grand Traverse County. He and his son Winfield had adjoining farms. In 1870, William, Margaret, Winfield, and David lived on a farm in Traverse twp. William received 160 acres of homestead land in 1871 from the United States government. He purchased additional land in 1871 and 1874, totalling 118.7 acres.


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Chandler Homestead, East Bay township. Left to right: David Chandler, William Chandler, Jr., Winfield Chandler, Margaret Newman Chandler, Caroline Chandler, and William Chandler, Sr. , circa 1870, courtesy Debra Muehling Kurtzal.

William died 17 April 1893 of paralysis at his home in East Bay township, Grand Traverse County. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City, Michigan. The Grand Traverse Herald reported the death on 27 April 1893:

"WILLIAM A.CHANDLER an old and well-known resident of East Bay township, died on Wednesday of last week, at his home in East Bay. Mr. Chandler was born in Genesee county, N.Y., in 1819. He came to Michigan when quite young, and lived for several years in Lenawee county and afterwards in Washtenaw county, In 1864 he came to Grand Traverse and settled on the land which he occupied as his home at the time of his death. His death was not unexpected as he had been in failing health for some time. Funeral services were held at the Potter school house on Friday, Rev. D.J. Youker officiating."

In his will, prepared on 24 June 1891, he left all of his property to his wife Margaret with instructions to pay his debts and buy tombstones for him and his wife. the property included pieces of property in Sections 4, 12, 30, and 32 in Township 27 North and Range 10 West as well as a land in Section 4 of Township 26 North and Range 10 West. Among his personal possessions were a span of old horses and harnesses, one old pony, five cows, a yearling heifer, an old hay rake, a lumber wagon, a light wagon, one buck-board wagon, a plow, a harrow, one set of old trucks, and a set of logging sleighs.

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William Chandler's tombstone at Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City.

Margaret subsequently sold to her stepson David all the farm animals and equipment and William's personal estate except for a pony named Ned, which appears to have been her pet. David was required to lease the farm to her, provide wood and provisions to her and a companion, feed Ned, and was not expected to pay her medical bills. In 1903, it was noted that "(Margaret) is still living, spending her declining years in comfort and contentment, as she well deserves, on the old homestead". Margaret died on 28 February 1912 at the family farm. The Record Eagle noted on 1 March 1912 (page 1):

Margaret M. Chandler

Pioneer of East Bay Township Has Passed Away

Margaret A. Chandler, wife of Wm. A. Chandler, deceased, died Feb. 28, aged 79 years and four months. Funeral services will be held at the farm in East Bay twp Sat., March 2, at 9:30 o'clock a.m.

Children of William A Chandler and his wives Fanny Green and Margaret M Newman

by Fannie Green Chandler

i. Caroline M Chandler was born on 16 August 1843 at Bridgewater, Genesee County, Michigan.

ii. Winfield S Chandler was born 25 February 1845 in Genesee County, Michigan.

iii. David Green Chandler was born 3 March 1847 in Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan.

by Margaret M Newman Chandler

iv. William A Chandler Jr was born in 1851 in Michigan.

Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County