Sarah Melissa Tucker: Birth: 7 JAN 1843 in Clayton, Jefferson Co., New York. Death: 7 MAY 1930 in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Butler, at Highland Park, Mich.
Source: John's birth date is from a family Bible, and he was born somewhere in Ontario, Canada, according to census records. He was living in Jefferson Co., N.Y., as early as 1826 when he married. Jefferson C
Note: John's birth date is from a family Bible, and he was born somewhere in Ontario, Canada, according to census records. He was living in Jefferson Co., N.Y., as early as 1826 when he married. Jefferson County borders the St. Lawrence River adjacent to Ontario. When his first wife, Roxy, died in 1845 at the age of 35, she left John with 9 children ranging in age from a few weeks to 17 years. John arranged for various neighbors and relatives to care for them. The youngest, Erastus, was living with Roxy's parents at Clayton during the 1850 and 1855 census. In the late 1840's John married Sally (Farr) Swartz and had 5 more children (Sally had at least one child from a previous marriage: Lyman). John, Sally, and Lyman were in Port Huron Twp., St. Clair Co., Mich., during the 1850 census. By 1860 many of the children were living near their father in Michigan. His obituary from July 1891 reads: "Died, June 22nd, John Tucker, aged 90 years. He moved from the state of New York with a large family in the year of 1856, and located in the township of Bridgehampton, which was then a perfect wilderness, with hard work and perseverance he made himself and family a home. No matter what discouragements he met with, he always looked upon the bright side of everything, and his kind, cheerful and jovial disposition made him just the man to endure the hardships and privations incident to a new country."
According to the Portrait and Biographical Album of Sanilac Co., Mich., (1883, Chapman Bros.) John was one of the earliest settlers in Bridgehampton Twp. arriving about 1853. He bought a farm in section 20 where they lived the rest of their lives. The 1870 agricultural census lists them as owning 80 acres of improved land, 2 horses, 2 mules, 2 milk cows, 7 other cattle, 10 sheep, 8 swine, 120 bushels of wheat, 140 bushels of oats, 40 bushels of potatoes, 50 bushes of peas/beans, and 6 tons of hay. In 1864 John and Sally sold part of their farm to the township as a "burying ground," since then known as Tucker Cemetery. John and Sally were buried in the northwest corner of the cemetery, although there are no grave stones for them. Several members of their family, as well as neighbors, were buried there, including those who died during a smallpox epidemic in 1872 which took the lives of their daughters, Mary and Roxy. Their granddaughter, Roxie Ann Nichol, 1861-1933, told the following story to her granddaughter, Viola Young: "During the epidemic people died off 'like flies,' and a man helping to carry the casket containing the remains of a member of his family, or that of a neighbor, might be in the casket being carried to the cemetery the next night. Many of the families lived in one room log houses with only curtains used as partitions. When a person became ill, there was no way to isolate them from the rest of the family. The disease, being so very contagious, soon became an epidemic. There was barely time to bury one resident of the community before still another must also be buried. Caskets were made from pine boards, oblong, square cornered, like what we later called 'rough boxes.' A member of the family would die and the well ones would quickly build one of these boxes, wrap the deceased persons quickly in a blanket, place the remains in the casket and immediately nail it shut. He would then gather 4 or 6 of his own family, or neighbor men, and they would meet together after dark, place poles under the casket and then lift and carry the casket, walking to the cemetery. All burials were made at night and most always it was not known to any one, but those who carried the casket, who had died and was being buried. This secrecy and fast burial of the dead was their only means of combating the disease and to keep it from spreading in to the homes where it had not gotten a start."
"Roxie Ann tells of her mother and her watching the road from inside their home and seeing the dark ghostlike shadows of neighbors carrying their dead past and on down the road to the Tucker Cemetery." The preceding is told by Roxy Ann's granddaughter, Viola L. Young.
Roxy Ann's mother, Sarah (Tucker) Nichol (daughter of John and Roxy) wrote a letter in 1872 to her sister, Lucinda, in which she talks about this epidemic. She the notes for Sarah for a copy of the letter.
Although Roxy was referred to variously as Rocksey, Roxann, etc., the application for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1932 by her granddaughter, Anna Jones, refers to her as "Roxy" and this seems as definitive as any other source.
See album for photo of John and his second wife, Sarah.
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