Family:Michael Wilson and Catherine Woerner (2)

Facts and Events
Marriage? April 7, 1855 M.E. Church, Tecumseh, Michigan

Michael Wilson and Catherine Martha Woerner married April 7, 1855 in the Tecumseh M.E. Church By W. P. Judd (S1). By 1860, they and their first four children are living on the farm in Franklin Township (S2), where they spent the rest of their lives (S3 through S7) on the west side of North Adrian Highway at the tee intersection with Russell Road from the east. In 1860, they may have been renting this farm because the homestead 40 acres was not purchased until 1862 and by Catherine M. Wilson (S8). We have not found the deed on the “back forty” acres, but apparently Michael bought it prior to 1874. In 1871, Michael bought the NW partial quarter of the NW quarter of Section 6 in Raisin Township (S9), containing 35 acres and is catty-cornered across the road intersection from the homestead forty acres.

Michael is shown as “owning” 85 acres in Franklin Township and the 35 acres in Raisin Township in both the 1874 and 1893 Lenawee County Plat Books (S10 & S11). In the 1893 Plat Book (S11), the 85 acres in Franklin Township contained 5 buildings worth $2,500; the land was worth $70 per acre; the value of land and improvements was $5,950; there were 72 acres of improved land and 13 acres of timber including 2 acres of orchard. In Raisin Township, all 35 acres were improved and valued at $2,500 with no buildings. Michael is listed as engaged in “general farming and a breeder of fine wool sheep” (S11).

Michael and Martha had nine children (S1) all born on this farm as follows:

  • Juliann: b. May 2, 1856; d. December 24, 1886
  • Martin Warner: b. July 18, 1857; d. November 19, 1881
  • John George: b. October 2, 1858; d. March 20, 1929
  • Daniel S.: b. December 4, 1859; d. Abt. March 1916
  • Mary: b. April 10, 1861; d. October 16, 1901
  • William: b. February 15, 1863; d. August 23, 1933
  • Dorothea C.: b. June 27, 1864; d. October 24, 1932
  • Christine Catherine: b. June 20, 1866; d. March 19, 1908
  • Elizabeth Emma Jane: b. May 16, 1868; d. November 19, 1891

On September 11, 1871, Michael, Martha, and all nine of their children became members of the Adrian Monthly Meeting of the Friends Church (S12). On August 13, 1874, Michael was disowned from the Adrian Monthly Meeting of the Friends Church (S12) with no reason given. On September 26, 1893, Michael was set off from the Adrian Monthly Meeting to the recently formed Tecumseh Monthly Meeting of the Friends Church (and we assume the family went with him) (S12).

In the 1870 U.S. Census (S3), all nine of their children are living with them. In the 1880 U.S. Census (S4), seven of their children are living with them as well as Martha’s divorced sister (Dorothea Hachule) and her three children. Also in 1880, Michael’s parents, Richard and Julia Ann Wilson are living “next door”. In the 1884 Michigan State Census (S5), the only single children remaining at home were John G. and Elizabeth Emma Jane; however, Daniel S. and his new wife, Emma Billington, (S1) were also living with them as well as an adopted son (Martin J. Amsden).

Martha died December 19, 1891 (S1, S13 & S14).

On December 29, 1893, Michael married his second wife, Louisa Hoople (S15). The 1894 Michigan State Census (S6) has Michael and Louisa sharing their home with Michael’s divorced son, William, his 89 year old mother, Julia Ann, and a hired hand. On October 16, 1894, an argument between Louisa and Julia Ann resulted in both Michael and Louisa being convicted of assault and battery with Michael serving 60 days in the Detroit House of Corrections (S16 & S17). William Wilson swore out the warrant for their arrest. In the newspaper articles Louisa is described as a “large woman”. [In an interview with Mildred (Sales) Fuller (one of Michael’s granddaughters) in 1997 (S18) and in response to a question if she remember anything about her maternal grandparents; she replied, “Well let’s put it this way, when grandma got into a buggy, there wasn’t much room for anyone else.”]

In April 1902, Louisa filed for divorce from Michael claiming cruelty (S19) [and we think moved into Tecumseh]. Although there are several legal filings in the court record, there is no indication that the divorce was ever granted. In March 1903, Michael purchased Louisa’s rights of dour and homestead in the “back forty”, a one seventh undivided interest in the “homestead forty”, and the 35 acres across the road in Raisin Township for $500 by quit claim deed (S20). Also in four more quit claim deeds, he purchased the one seventh undivided interest in the “homestead forty” for $371.43 each from his four living children, who inherited their interest when their mother died (S21 through S24). At this time, John George Wilson was living next to Michael on the farm to the north in Franklin Township (S7); William Wilson was living in Milan, Sumner County, Kansas; Dolie C. Karns was living in Marion, Indiana; and Christie C. Sales was living in Rollin Township, Lenawee County.

Michael Wilson died July 4, 1903 of dropsy (S1, S25 & S26). He is buried along with his first wife, three of his children (Juliann Burger, Martin W. Wilson, and Elizabeth Emma Jane Merx), and 3 of his grandchildren in the Raisin Valley Cemetery (next to the Raisin Valley Friends Church) in the very northwest corner.

  1.   Wilson Family Bible.
  2.   1860 U.S. Census, Franklin Township, Lenawee County, MI..
  3.   1870 U.S. Census, Franklin Township, Lenawee County, MI..
  4.   1880 U.S. Census, Franklin Township, Lenawee County, MI.
  5.   1884 Michigan State Census, Franklin Twp., Lenawee Co..
  6.   1894 Michigan State Census, Franklin Township, Lenawee County.
  7.   1900 U.S. Census, Franklin Township, Lenawee County, MI.
  8.   Michigan Deed of Sale to Catherine M. Wilson.
  9.   Michigan Deed of Sale to Michael Wilson 1.
  10.   1874 Lenawee County Plat Book.
  11.   1893 Lenawee County Plat Book.
  12.   Ann and Conrad Burton. Michigan Quakers. (MICHIGAN QUAKERS, Abstracts of Fifteen Meetings of the Society of Friends 1831-1960, Glyndwr Resources, 43779 Valley Roas, Decatur, MI 49045, 1989).
  13.   Catherine M. Wilson Death Record.
  14.   Catherine M. Wilson Obituary.
  15.   Michael Wilson - Louisa Hoople Marriage Record.
  16.   Michael Wilson, Horsewhipping Incident. (Adrian Daily Times and Expositor).
  17.   Louise Wilson Convicted.
  18.   Personal Interview with Mildred (Sales) Fuller/Sloss.
  19.   Louise Wilson Files for Divorce.
  20.   Michigan Quit Claim Deed from Louise Hoople Wilson.
  21.   Michigan Quit Claim Deed from John George Wilson.


  22.   Michigan Quit Claim Deed from William Wilson.
  23.   Michgan Quit Claim Deed from Dollie C. Karns.
  24.   Michigan Quit Claim Deed from Cristie C. Sales.
  25.   Michael Wilson Death Record.
  26.   Michael Wilson Obituary. (Tecumseh Herald, Tecumseh, Michigan).