David Stephen Hale


(13 September 1818- 13 November 1885)

Updated 10 November 2005

Other sources list him as David “Shepherd” Hale. He was probably born in Junius, Seneca, New York, 13 September 1818 and died in Marcellus, Michigan, 13 November 1885.  His death was recorded at Cassopolis, Michigan. He may be the Son of Chester Hale and the grandson of Elijah Hale. David’s father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in New York.  David was married three times.  His first wife was Freelove Garrett. (1818-1846). Three children were born to this marriage. Their eldest son William Chester Hale was born in Janius, New York, in 1839 and died in 1864 in the Civil War.  The next son John was born in Waterloo New York and died in infancy. Since this child was born in New York and is buried in Three Rivers, Michigan, David and Freelove moved their family west in 1841.

In order to understand what follows it is necessary to keep in mind the geography of south central Michigan. David Hale evidently had hotels in two places, Marcellus, in northwestern Cass County and Three Rivers, in St. Joseph County. The two places are about ten miles apart.  David S. Hale also had just over 89 acres of pleasant rolling land in section 20 of Flowerfield Township, which lies in St. Joseph County, between Three Rivers and Marcellus. The township where three rivers is located is “Lockport” and this also appears in some birth records.

A son Caleb Henry Hale, later called Henry, was born in Flowerfield, Michigan. This probably means Flowerfield Township, where David S. Hale had land. James H. Hale was born in Michigan in 1847 or 1848. His mother is uncertain. If he was born in 1848 Mary Ann McMurtrie was his mother, however, in the 1880 census he lists his mother’s birthplace as New York, which suggests that his mother was David S. Hale’s first wife.F. J. McMurtrie wrote that Marie Antoinette Hale, who later married Hiram Holliday, a nephew of Mary Ann McMurtrie (Hale) was the daughter of Chester Hale a son of David S. Hale by a former marriage and that her mother was a sister of Laura Oakes who married Crothers McMurtrie. I have been unable to reconcile either of these names with what I know of David’s family.  David’s first wife, Freelove, died in 1846 at the age of 28 years..

 On 1 April 1847 David S. Hale married Mary Ann McMurtrie, with whom he had additional children. Mary’s father John McMurtrie had moved from Union County Pennsylvania to St. Joseph County in 1844 and settled in Park Township. The birthplaces of these children are all within a short distance of each other in St. Joseph or neighboring Cass County, Michigan. Mary Ann McMurtrie died in 1878 and was buried at Three Rivers, MI, in Riverside Cemetery

David’s third wife was Adella Priscilla Kennedy (also spelled Cannady or Canady). Her race was listed in the 1880 Federal census as a mulatto; she was born 30 September 1855 at Ft. Wayne, Indiana. David and Adella were married at Constantine, Michigan – close to both Three Rivers and Marcellus - by George D. Lee, 30 December 1878 and had two children.

In the 1850 census David S. Hale was listed as living in Lockport Twp, St. Joseph County, Michigan with his wife Mary Ann.. This is one of the townships that include parts of the town of Three Rivers. In the same census there was an E. B. Hale a 26-year-old miller born in New York, who may be a relative.

The 1860 federal Census found David S. Hale living in Marcellus. With him there were his wife Mary Ann and eight children. The oldest of the children was Chester and the youngest Mary who is listed as “M.L.”

 In the 1870 Federal Census David S. Hale is listed as a 54-year-old laborer with real estate worth $4,000 and personal property worth $ 400; these are fairly substantial sums for the period.  John and Mary Freelove, and were living with him.  At the time David S. Hale, Jr. was 21 years old, married in February of 1870, and driving an express wagon. The 1871 Three Rivers Directory lists the firm of Hale and McMurtrie doing business at 17 and 19 St. Joseph Street, Three Rivers, suggesting that he was for a time in partnership with one of his brothers-in-law. In the 1880 Federal Census David S. Hale is listed as living on St. Joseph Street in Three Rivers.  His age is given as 61 and he is a Hotel Keeper.  This census shows that David S. Hale was born in New York; his father had been born in Massachusetts and his mother in New York. His wife was Adella, 24 years old, born in Indiana with parents born in Virginia and Ohio. Living at home with the family were Frank, age 13, Mary F. age 20 and Maude,  5 mo. old born in December? David S. Hale owned two hotels one, the Central House, in Three Rivers and the other in Marcellus, Michigan.

Good accounts and pictures of the Central House survive. The hotel was built on the top of a steep hill at the south end of the business district on a site, which in the 1600s had been occupied by a French Jesuit Mission above the St. Joseph River, and thus occupied one of the oldest European-inhabited locations in the American Midwest. The location was at the southeast corner of the intersection of St. Joe Street and Flint Avenue (which later became the intersection of East Michigan and South Main Street).   The central House was a three-story brick building with seven round arched windows on the second and third floor and glass oriel windows below. A small plaque over the middle window on the second floor contains the date 1871 and the initials D.S. H. and R. L. Mc[Murtrie?]. As the plaque suggests the hotel was built in 1871 with David S. Hale Proprietor. Later C. Underwood Fisher was proprietor. The site later became the location of the Montgomery Ward Store. Interior lighting originally came from gas jets, but electric lighting was substituted about a decade later.  The Central House was open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Every room was heated during the three winter months with hot steam radiators.  Each room had attractive all coverings, a bed, a chair, a table, and a small dresser; a few even had piped-in running water. In 1880 room rates were $1 a day and later were shown as less than two dollars. A few less expensive rooms did not have their own bathroom facilities. For travelers without their own bath facilities there was a public restroom with lavatory bathtub and commode.   “The Central House had a dining room on the first floor. The elegant and spacious facility opened at 6:00 a.m. for guests and offered a full-course breakfast with eggs, meat toast and coffee” for fifteen cents. At dinnertime, twenty cents bought a tender roast beef plate with soup vegetable and desert.

Inside the lobby were a barroom, shoeshine stand, and tobacco sales counter. There was a large first floor saloon, with a side entrance on Eighth Street. Ladies were permitted to enter only if accompanied by a gentleman. While there was no passenger elevator, the hotel did have a dumb waiter for lifting luggage. On the third floor level there was an ironwork veranda. The building was torn down in 1930.

At the time of his death David S. Hale was listed as a former resident of Three Rivers who had been living in Marcellus, Michigan. Frank Hale, who would have been 18 at the time of his father’s death, was living in Marcellus, presumably with his father. Another son Henry Hale was living near Marcellus. Darwin Hale was then living in Three Rivers, David S. Hale, Jr. in Elkhart; John Hale in Goshen; and Mary Freelove Hale with her husband Henry A. Weaver were living in New Paris, Elkhart County.  Adella is not mentioned in his obituary, but young daughters Maude and Pearl are named. David S. Hale is said to have died at a cider mill.

In 2001 I visited his gravesite. The cemetery was large and well maintained with a most helpful staff. David S. Hale is buried in Allotment H, Lot 4, and Block 2 of Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers. A modest sized obelisk marks his grave.  All three of his wives names appear on the monument, but Adella Hale has no death date and may be buried elsewhere. Those buried here include David S. Hale, 67 years, 2 months, 1885. Darwin Hale 36 years 1888. Mary F. Hale 52 years, 2 months, and 9 days; 22 January 1878, 1826-1878. Freelove Hale 28 years, 0 months, eight days, 1818-1846. John O. Hale 9 months, 1841. William G. Hale 25 years, 1839-1864. Edward Hale 6 years, 1856-1862.

The Children of David S. Hale are as follows:


Children of David S. Hale and Freelove Garrett.

1). William Chester Hale, (1839 – 7 August 1864) He was born in Junius, New York and died in Marietta, Georgia. On 11 September 1862 he enlisted in Company D of the 25th Michigan infantry. His brother Henry joined at the same time. The company assembled at Kalamazoo. On 29 September 1862 the regiment marched out of Kalamazoo with 896 officers and men. On 4 July 1863 Company D was one of the companies involved near Lebanon, Kentucky, in repulsing a raid by Confederate Cavalry under John Morgan. In May of 1864 the regiment joined in the Union campaign against Atlanta. On 7 August 1864 William died of disease at Marietta, Georgia.. During its service the 25th Michigan lost 35 men to enemy action and 139 to Illness. He was returned to Riverside Cemetery for Burial

2). John O. Hale was born in 1841 in Waterloo, NY, lived for nine months, and died the same year. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Michigan.

3). Caleb Henry Hale, (25 March 1844 – after 1880). The 1850 census shows him as Caleb, but in adult life he was known as Henry.  He was born in Flowerfield, St. Joseph County, Michigan. On 11 September 1862 , with his brother William, he enlisted in Company D., 25th Michigan Infantry. He continued to serve until mustered out in Detroit 31 May 1865 at the end of the war. He married about 1867 Eliza N. Marion. In 1870 he was working as a butcher in Three Rivers and Eliza and Henry had a two-year-old daughter Cora. In the 1880 census Henry was listed as “clerking in a store” in Three Rivers. I have not been able to trace him after 1880. His wife Eliza was still alive in 1920 when she was living in Goshen, Indiana, with her daughter Cora and her husband Amos Quinn. With them was a daughter of Amos and Cora, 23-year-old Helen E. Quinn.

Children of Mary Ann McMurtrie and David S. Hale:

4). James H. Hale born March 1848 in Park Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan. Park Township is where Mary’s parents had originally settled. If his birthplace was indeed 1848, he was the son of Mary; however the 1880 census lists his mother’s birthplace as New York and that suggests he was born before 1848 and that he was the son of David’s first wife.  In 1860 he was12 years old and living in Marcellus, Michigan. In 1880 he was a farmer living in Flowerfield Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan with his wife 34 year old Alice Atkinson (1846 – 4 November 1924). They had no children.

5). David Hale, Jr. (27 December 1849 – ?) in Lockport Township (Three Rivers) Michigan. In 1870 he was listed as “driving express wagon” and living in Three Rivers. He married Hettie E. Feas. The 1880 census records David, Jr. as still living in Three Rivers and working as a teamster. It notes his wife was born in Pennsylvania in July 1849. In 1900 he was living in Benton Harbor, Berrien County, Michigan at 204 McGuigan Street. In 1910 he was in Seattle, Washington with his wife and his son Eugene.  The children of David S. Hale and Hettie include 1) Harbert (or Herbert) Hale, (December 1870 - ?) wife’s name Kittie M.; 2) Alfred Eugene Hale, (December 1872 - ?); 3) Mabel B. Hale  (July 1879 - ?)  Michigan, and 4) Lillie M. Hale (December 1880 - ?)

 6). Darwin Hale, born March 28, 1851.On 1 January 1873 he married Rachel Virginia Jacobus who had been born 7 September 1853. In 1880 Darwin Hale was working as a marble Cutter in Marcellus, Michigan. He had a wife “Jennie”, who was two years younger than himself, and a 5 year old son Edwin David Hale (24 July 1874 – 19 October 1914); He married Daisy Electa Kellett on 1893; their children were Inez Electra Hale (17 April 1895 – m. 1 Sept 1923 Alfred Bethke and Theodore Benedict Hale (26 October 1896 – m. 13 June 1920 a daughter Barbara Louise Hale was born 12 July 1923. Darwin Hale of Tuberculosis at age 36, 2 January 1888, leaving one son – a member of the M.P. Church.

7). John Hale, born 20 March 1854 at Lockport (Three Rivers), Michigan. Died 18 March 1910.. Living in Marcellus with the family in 1860. He may be the same John T.Hale (age 20) who served in Company E of the 11th. Michigan infantry during the civil war. On 21 July 1877 he married Emma Coup (ca. 1858 - 8 July 1897) In 1880 he was living in Goshen, Indiana, with a 24 year old wife Emma F., and working as a “mechanic.” At the time of his father’s death John was still living in Goshen. John and Emma had one daughter Bernis Hale (b. 2 January 1881, m. 1905 to August McBride, d. 15 February 1915). On 14 July 1903 John Hale married for a second time to Clara Rhine (9 March 1857 - ?). They had no children.

8). Edward (Elwood in some sources) Hale born Feb 1856, at Park Michigan, died at age 6 in 1862. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Michigan.

9). Mary Freelove Hale (15 August 1859 – 2 August 1916), she was born at Marcellus, Michigan. Mary’s middle name has been the center of some disagreement. Some sources make it “Freelove” after her husband’s first wife and use “F” as her middle initial. Other sources use “Love” and L. for a middle initial. In the 1860 census she is listed as “M.L.” Her nephew gave the name as Freelove. Riverside cemetery, where she is buried gives her middle name as Freelove.  On 8 October 1882 she married Henry Albert Weaver (1856-1912) and settled in Goshen, Elkhart County, Indiana, just over twenty miles south of Three Rivers. Their children were Bernice Lore Weaver (1884-1939), married Vernon.B. McConnehay; Blanche Violet Weaver (1886-1939), married Rollo Frank Walters (1884 –1949); Hazel Margaret Weaver (1894-1968); married Max Hilmer. Nobel Ridel Weaver (1897-1955); Mary Katherine “Kappy” Weaver (1902-1982) who married  Paul Schneider. Harrison Morton Weaver (1888 – 1955); Howard Henry Weaver (1891- ) See separate file for details of her life.

10). Frank Hale born 1867 at Flowerfield, Michigan. A note from Helen Routon says “His wife Mary Ann died in 1868. Alive in 1870.


Children of David S. Hale and Adella Kennedy:

11). Maud Francis Hale, born 28 December 1879, at Constantine, St. Joseph County, Michigan, died 14 December 1976, She married Stephen Wessells on 12 December 1912., and died 14 December 1976  The children of Maud and Stephan were 1)Adella Margaret Wessells (15 September 1913 – 11 January 1995), born Newago, Michigan,  married Victor Banks 8 April1944; the children of this marriage were Adella Francis Banks (20 February 1945 -?); married James Gould;  Victoria Jean Banks (26 June 1947 - ?); Winifred Margaret Banks (16 November 1948), and Helen Banks (married name Routon). (15 July 1956 - ?) 2 Jeanne Wessells (December 1915 - ), married name Martin; 3) Stephan Wesslles

12). Pearl May Hale, born 7 February 1882, died in November 1955. She married Guy Husband on 2 February 1909. They lived in Hesparia, Michigan. Their daughter Helen Turple died in the spring of 1999.

William D. Walters, Jr.
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