Friday, July 22, 2011

Breining Farm in Augusta Township, Whittaker Road, c. 1895

German immigrant Martin Breining was an Augusta Township farmer. In 1880, he was 43. His English immigrant wife Mary was 39 and had had the first eight of her 13 children: Lizzie, Austin, William, Melvin, Charles, John, Mary, and Verny. By 1900, at age 59, she had also given birth to Clarence, Mertie, Fread, Walter and the youngest, 6-year-old Wesley.

The Breiner farm was just south of Ypsilanti off Whittaker Road.

An aerial view from Google Maps shows that the Breining land outlines are still visible over a century later. Here is it visible as a lush green square just south of Bemis.

A photo from around 1900 shows the family members:

Some closeups:

This person is a bit of a mystery. I don't see any non-relative farm hands listed on the old censuses, but this man's old overalls and work boots suggest that that was his role on the farm.

At least two of Martin's sons left the farm and moved into Ypsilanti for urban jobs. William worked as a baggageman and Charles as a clerk. Martin died in 1906 and his wife Mary a year later. He is buried in Stony Creek Cemetery. Several of his children are buried there, and later others were buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

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