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George William Bedell

Male 1825 - 1914  (88 years)


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  • Name George William Bedell  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Born 2 Aug 1825  Coeymans, Greene Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1838  West Vienna, t Vienna, Oneida County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1857  Bernhard's Bay, Oswego County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Abt 1860  West Monroe, Oswego County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1879  Forest Home Twp, Antrim County, MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 21 Jun 1914  Bellaire, Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Lakeview Cemetery, Bellaire, Antrim County, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Person ID I088  Bedell-122689
    Last Modified 16 Feb 2006 

    Father John G. Bedell,   b. 18 May 1794, Greene Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Mar 1880  (Age 85 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Dorcas Powell,   b. 28 Feb 1794, Dutchess Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 1875  (Age 81 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 22 Jun 1814  [5, 10
    Notes 
    • Ceylon H. Bedell, Bedell Family Notes gives date of marriage as 1 Jun 1814.

      Dietz, "Under the Care of Friends", p 9: marriage announcement May 1814.
    Family ID F29  Group Sheet

    Family Almira A. Janes,   b. 14 Nov 1831, Baldwinsville, Onondaga Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1902, Forest Home Twp., Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 15 Feb 1853  Oswego Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 11
    Children 
     1. Hannah H. Bedell,   b. 1 Feb 1854, Oneida Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1947  (Age > 94 years)
     2. Ella Janes Bedell,   b. 4 Aug 1855, West Vienna, Oneida Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Feb 1948, Central Lake, Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
     3. John James Bedell,   b. 10 Jun 1858, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep 1891, Forest Home Twp., Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
     4. Delos Janes Bedell,   b. 21 Nov 1859, Oneida Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1947, Bellaire, Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     5. George William 'Skip' Bedell,   b. 1 Jan 1862, Oswego Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1940, Bellaire, Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     6. Edgar E. Bedell,   b. 7 Mar 1864, Oswego Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1940, Bellaire, Antrim Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     7. Ada A. Bedell,   b. 1 Jul 1866, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1947  (Age > 82 years)
     8. Jeremiah Gilbert 'Jerry' Bedell,   b. 24 May 1868, Oswego Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1960, Flint, Genesee Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years)
     9. Sarah Elizabeth Bedell,   b. 18 Mar 1872, West Monroe, Oswego Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 27 Jan 1955  (Age 82 years)
     10. Marian Anna Bedell,   b. 27 Feb 1874, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1965  (Age 90 years)
    Family ID F28  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Resided in Forest Home Township, Antrim County, MI [Ceylon H. Bedell, Bedell Family Notes, p 136; Rhea Bedell Research Notes].

      The Traverse Region, p 284: George was a carpenter and farmer. He moved with his parents from Greene County to Oneida County, NY where he was initially a farmer and later employed for 12 years in boating on the Erie Canal. In 1859, he moved to Oswego County, NY where he purchased lands and a sawmill, and spent about eight years in lumbering. This was followed by fourteen years in farming.

      Peters, Powells of the Hudson Valley Research Notebooks: 1855 NY Census, t Vienna, Oneida County, NY, 1st District, 191-199: George Bedell (29), farmer, b Greene County, 19y t Vienna; Almira A. (23), b Oswego County, 21y Vienna; Hannah H. (1), b Oneida County, 1y Vienna.

      Njora Brewer Everett (comp), Records of Antrim County, MI; Early Settlers, p 218: Came to Section 12, Forest Home Township in 1879.

      Grace Hooper, Pioneer Notes, Elk Rapids, MI: Fen's Rim Publications, Inc., 1993, pp 359-360: "He [George], as the other children had done, attended school until fifteen, then went out to work. He drove a team on the tow-path along the Erie Canal. He put his horses in the stable on the bow of the long boat at the end of six hours of work and, walking along the path at the side, made his way to the cabin at the stern where, with the man who had stood at the rudder six hours, he ate supper and went to bed. He worked at this for fifteen years. Here in 1853, he married Miss Almira Jones [Janes] of Onondaga County. The wife's parents had a spring on the slope near their buildings, and the ingenious father devised a way to utilize it. With an augur, he bored holes the length of timbers, boring from each end, making a cylinder of each one. Short wooden tubes connected these and carried the water to the yard below where a hollowed-out post received the flow and discharged it through a hole to the watering trough in the barnyard. A spile [wooden spiggot] closed that side and the stream flowed to the house.

      "The grandchildren liked their grandfather Jones. In fall they came to his place in the democrat wagon and filled its low box with butternuts and hickory nuts which he gave them permission to gather and take home. In his own attic above the woodshed were nuts aplenty and apples in the cellar. The always hungry children were welcom to all they wanted. In the woodshed the maple sap was boiled down into syrup and maple sugar and the children might eat all of this they wanted. Small wonder they liked grandpa.

      "Grandmother Jones [Janes] had an old Holland Bible. She liked her daughter, Almira, to read the English Bible aloud that she might compare them. This dear old lady liked to keep geese and she plucked them several times a year to make feather-beds to sleep on and under. On one rainy day she went out to gather in her goslings when a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree. The shock stunned her so terribly that she spent her remaining days in an asylum.

      "George Bedell and his young bride Almira lived on the canal boat. Later he became captain of one of these boats, having two drivers and two steersmen. As captain, he paid the men and was responsible for the cargo, delivered it and sometimes collected the price of its sale.

      "Once, in going to the bank on this business, he forgot to change his clothes. The man in the bank looked at him critically as if to inquire if he were responsible. He said, 'Oh, these aren't the worst-looking clothes I've got. I have some so bad I can't get into them anymore.'

      "One day he saw two men in difficulty over which should have the right of way. The man coming from market would not lower his line and let the other pass, as was the custom. The other man, in anger and disgust, began kicking the mean fellow and when he tried to get away, kicked him as he ran. Someone called out, 'Why don't you let him go?' and he answered, 'Hain't I lettin' him go?' (One would conclude he was helping him go.)"

      In 1857 he moved to Oswego County, NY where he purchased lands and a sawmill. He spent about eight years lumbering, and about fourteen years after that in farming. Actually, the Grace Hooper account that follows is more descriptive.

      "George left the canal boat to work in his father's saw mill at Bernard's Bay in Oswego County. Later when this property was sold, George put his share of the proceeds, three thousand dollars, into a fin farm at West Monroe, seven miles away.

      "The price was seven thousand dollars for one hundred seven acres. He was pleased with the property, but when hard times came after the war [Civil War], he could not make the payments and finally lost it all, after ten years. His brother Henry had come to northern Michigan. George decided to go there and see if he liked the country, if not, he would go to Montana where his sister Nell and her husband had gone.

      "So George came by boat to Cheboygan, then Petoskey and Mancelona. His brother had a farm three miles north of Bellaire. George liked the country, so bought a farm of Jerome Sprague and wrote for his family to come. His oldest sister, Hannah, and her husband, Ed McIntyre and three little boys came with them. They drove with two teams and wagons twenty miles to Syracuse and shipped the team, some implements and household goods on a Monday and they started on Thursday. They crossed Niagara Falls and came on to Detroit. Friday night they spent in the depot in Grand Rapids. When they arrived by train in Mancelona on Saturday afternoon, November fourteenth, the mother's birthday, George and the team were not there to meet them. They had written him they were coming, but he was away helping Charlie Mathers husk corn.

      "They waited a while, then set up the wagons and all fifteen got in and started out. The landlady insisted that they take a lantern with them, so they got one and started out at four in the afternoon. They went several miles west, then lost the trail and night had come on. Awakening settlers, they inquired the way and were told of a shortcut that would bring them to the right road. They rode wearily on, the little boys sleeping on the bottom of the thumping wagon box and the two month old baby in its mother's arms. They came to a cluster of buildings and followed the main travelled road they thought, but it took them to the river and ended there. They had a terrible time turning around among the cedars, but finally made their way back to the buildings and there, where they had seen a light and inquired the way to Frank Bedell's, a nephew [this would be Frank Alvah Bedell, Henry's son]. The man, Mr. Hall, went to guide them the last two miles of the way. When almost there, they got into a spring-hole and the wagon went in to the axle. They all got out and walked the rest of the way, young George [son of this George] going on crutches, for he had infection of the bone in one leg. They arrived at two in the morning and awakened a surprised family. The father [George] had received the belated word and would have gone for them in the morning. Would they had waited for him to come."

      [Bellaire, Antrim County, MI was established in 1879 when the County Supervisor wanted a more centrally located county seat than the one then located in Elk Rapids. So, he chose to move the county seat to the property of Ambrose E. Palmer, who named the new town for its pure air. Initially, Bellaire was given a post office with the name Keno, and Rufas Hall was its first postmaster on 20 Jun 1879. It was renamed Bellaire on 26 May 1880, and given a railroad station on the Chicago and Western Michigan Railroad, later to become the Pere Marquette Railroad, in 1891. It was also incorporated as a village in that year.

      The Traverse City Region, p 284: In the Fall of 1879 they moved to Forest Home, Antrim County, MI, and purchased 80 acres in Section 12. In coming from NY they brought a team of horses with them on the train. At Mancelona, they unloaded the horses and the baggage, hitched the team to a wagon, and then loaded the ladies and the baggage on the wagon. The family group, 15 people in all, started at 4:00 p.m. to travel the 14 miles to their new home. The roads in places were nearly impassable with log bridges that were floating. Night fell and they still persevered hour after hour until finally they were within a half mile of their new home. There the wagon became stuck in the mud and they had to abandon it. The family had to grope their way on foot in the darkness to their new home, finally arriving at 2:00 in the morning.

      The Grace Hooper account continues: "George and his family lived in a small house down by Intermediate Lake for a few months, then moved to the place bought of Jerome Sprague. The timber in it was unbroken except a very small clearing for a log house and barn. They took great care to not fell timber on their tiny house. On the first floor were only a bedroom and a living room which served all purposes from kitchen to parlor. Above were two bedrooms, one for the five girls, the other for the boys. They made their bedsteads and filled the bed ticks with corn husks. They made a pine table and some benches. The chairs they had brought with them. They had an elevated oven stove and a large brass kettle for boiling down maple sap into sugar and for cooking apple butter.

      "Small Delos, watching his father sow oats, had a bright idea. So, taking some of the pennies from his bank, he sowed them hopefully. The mother noticed some of the pennies were gone and the little fellow showed her where he had sowed them.

      "Here on the farm in Forest Home Township, the family worked and the children grew up and married. These ten children were given high school educations and all but two received advanced training besides."

      In 1884 they had 25 acres under cultivation and a young orchard. George was a highway commissioner, assessor, and overseer of the poor for several years while they were in New York. George and his family were church members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). The original homestead comprised 80 acres.

      George became a member of the Masonic Lodge a little over 50 years before his death, and was a life member of the Bellaire Lodge, No. 398. His funeral was conducted in the home of his son, George W. Bedell, according to the ancient Masonic rights.

      George was known as a kind man, genial in disposition, friendly and welldisposed to all who knew him. He was the type of man who gained many friends and kept them all his life. At the time of his death he had 9 living children, 37 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. [Rhea Bedell Research Notes; Jean Bedell Fuller and Doug Bedell Research Notes, Antrim County News obituary.]

      Peters, Powells of the Hudson Valley sources and notes: 1) Norman Powell, Bedell Family Chart; 2) Willard Powell, Medway, files, Hannah H. Parker letter, 22 Apr 1881 to Allen L. Dean, "George is 'in the west' near Bellaire, Antrim County, MI"; 3) long rambling letter, 30 Mar 1852, from George Bedell at West Vienna to Allen L. Dean mentions "Leap Year" cousins; 4) 1855 Census, t Vienna, Oneida County, George, age 29, b Greene County, farmer, in town 19 years; 5) Norman Powell Data Sheet 510A, George, son of John, has 10 children listed; 6) listed in 1831 Quaker Records, New Baltimore Monthly Meeting, George, b 2 Aug 1825; 7) mentioned in removal certificate in Coeymans Monthly Meeting Quaker Records, George from Coeymans to Bridgewater, 1 Jun 1836; 8) Quaker Removal Certificates from Coeymans, Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, George removed 22 Aug 1838 to north side of Oneida Lake, Lowville Monthly Meeting.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1856] Albright Bedell Genealogy, Allan Albright, (AAlbri4819@aol.com).

    2. [S1857] Jeremiah and Mary Bedell Descendents Chart, Lindley H and Charles H. Bedell, (Lindley H. Bedell, 1909 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia, PA and Charles H. Bedell, Swarthmore, PA).

    3. [S1858] Steven Hauck, (shauck@d.umn.edu).

    4. [S1839] Bedell Family Notes, Ceylon H. Bedell, (Photostatic Copy, Connecticut State Library, 1926), pp 48, 136.

    5. [S1859] Powells of the Hudson Valley, Alicia A. and George H. Peters, (Source card file, Vedder Memorial Library, Greene County Historical Society, Coxsackie, NY).

    6. [S1860] New Baltimore Quaker Monthly Meeting Records.

    7. [S1861] Records of Antrim County, MI, Michigan Society of NSDAR, Early Settlers, p 218.

    8. [S1863] The Traverse City Region, (Chicago: H.R. Page, 1884), p 284.

    9. [S1864] Antrim County Michigan Headstones, (Lansing, MI: Michigan State Library, reviewed Aug 2003), p 30.

    10. [S1839] Bedell Family Notes, Ceylon H. Bedell, (Photostatic Copy, Connecticut State Library, 1926), pp 11, 49.

    11. [S1839] Bedell Family Notes, Ceylon H. Bedell, (Photostatic Copy, Connecticut State Library, 1926), pp 49, 137.


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