History of St Clair County, Michigan; 1912

JOHN LETT. A substantial and prosperous agriculturist of Greenwood township and an esteemed Citizen of that vicinity is John Lett, whose biography is one of especial interest, not only of his own life and work. but also because he is the worthy descendant of one of the, notable pioneers of St. Clair county. The Letts, Hollanders, went to England with William Henry, Prince of Orange, Nassau, and afterward William the Third. There the race developed, mingling German and English blood. They embraced Protestantism, and like many other Englishmen desiring religious liberty they lived for a time in Holland. The parental grandmother of John Lett, Elizabeth Jacobus, came from Holland also, and there Thomas Lett, father of John, was born. When he was but an infant he was taken to Wexford, Ireland, which was his home for eight years. He subsequently lived in Canada until 1861. There he married Jane Craig, who had been born in Ireland and had been brought by her parents to Canada when nine years of age.

In their home in Ontario, Canada, was born to Mr. arid Mrs. Thomas Lett the son whose life is the subject of this account, and the date of whose birth was May 2, 1848. Besides John Lett, nine other children came to share their home. Four sisters are deceased, and of the four brothers one, at the early age of nineteen, lost his life by drowning while assisting in log-rolling.

When Thomas Lett removed with his family to Michigan, the boy, John, was about twelve years of age. They settled in Greenwood township, St. Clair county, after making the journey by stage from Port Huron to Old Brockway and making the last two miles of their way through a dense wood that was all but trackless. Forty acres of wooded land in section 6 were purchased and improved and have ever since remained the property of the Lett family. John Lett well remembers the primitive conditions of that country in those first years of his life there. Settlers were few and far between, but deer, wild cats, bears, wild turkeys and game of all kinds were plentiful, thus assisting greatly in keeping the family larder well stocked. Securing these supplies and clearing the wooded farm required the services of the youthful members of the family as their father's assistants. John Lett therefore had little opportunity to acquire the education to be derived from books. Instead he had the practical training to be gained from the purposive endeavors of life. The theory and practice of agriculture having been the chief motive of his life, he has attained thorough skill in many of its phases. He remained an the parental farm through youth and much of his manhood. His parents passed from earthly existence some years ago, Thomas Lett having reached the age of seventy-eight and his wife that of seventy-three.

John Lett's marriage occurred on March 29, 1870, his bride being Sarah F. Currier, a native of Concord, New Hampshire, and the daughter of Henry and Eliza Currier. Mrs. Lett's mother had been a member of the Morrill family; she, like her husband, had been born in the New Hampshire town which was the birthplace of their daughter. The Morrill and Lett families came to St. Clair county when the country was all a wilderness. Mrs. Lett still recalls the time when only one house stood on the site which has since become the city of Yale. Her father died during her earliest years, and Mrs. Currier, her mother, died at the age of sixty-six years.

To Mr, and Mrs. John Lett four children were born. Their son, Thomas, is now living in his parents' home, as is also his daughter, Hazel. who is fifteen years of age. Loretta, the older daughter of John Lett, is Mrs. Lyman Guillard, of Greenwood township. The second son, Jesse, lives in Yale, Michigan. The younger daughter, Lydia, died in 1897, at the age of twelve years.

In 1908 Mr. Lett bought his present farm of one hundred and twenty acres. The attractive appearance of this home and premises indicate the care and supervision of an excellent manager and thorough-going, skillful farmer, In addition to the son and his daughter, the hospitable portal of that home has also received a niece and nephew of John Lett, Nygie and Clarence Lett. The family is one in which the ties of kinship are ever kept fine and true. The one other member of his father's family of ten children who still survive to share in old age the memories of their childhood home is his sister. Sarah J., the wife of George Yeets (recteTeets - ML), of Sanilac county.

Unlike his-father, an active Republican, who served as road commissioner and in various school offices, John-Lett has preferred not to accept public office. He and his wife are among the most estimable members of the Mennonite church.

submitted by Vickie Hintz

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