Birth: 27 JAN 1892 Ludington, Mason County, Michigan
Name at Birth: William Albert Bussler
Note: No birth record on file at Mason County Courthouse.
Adoption: ABT 1904
Note: by August Laude when abt. 12 years old
1910 Census: 21 APR 1910
Place: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Living with adopted parents (Uncle and Aunt) August and Louisa Laude
1st Marriage:16 SEP 1914 Wiley, Mason County, Michigan to Nellie Elisabeth Paasch
Mar Rtn: 12 SEP 1914
Place: Wiley, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Clergyman = Otto Lossuer
Birth of Child: abt 1915
Note: Died at birth
Birth of Son: 1916
Name: Larrie LeRoy Laude
Note: Died at 10 days old
County Directory: 1919-1920
Place: Mason County
Note: Laude, William, Section 11, 10 acres, value $500, Riverton Twp, Scottville (1).
1920 Census: 12 JAN 1920
Place: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Wife, Nellie, and one child in his household.
Birth of Daughter: 14 JAN 1920
Name: Doris Ida Laude
Place: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Died at 1 month 23 days old
Occupation: Farmed in Riverton Township, Mason Co for most of his life. (These dates are approximations.)
Date: BETWEEN 1922 AND 1976
1930 Census: 29 APR 1930
Place: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Wife, Nettie, and five children are living in household. Also have family members Bob Orr and Francis Orr boarding with them.
1940 Census: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Details: Wife, Nettie, and six children are living in household
Note: William Albert Laude was as honest as they come. His son, Harry, tells of how William would sell his apples for whatever price he thought was fair, where he was able to make a small profit. He didn’t raise his prices even if there was a guy selling his apples for $2.00 more a bushel down the street.
William farmed, trapped and fished to provide for his family. He had a farm on Chauvez Road in Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan. He used to catch fish by spearing them and occasionally by hitting them with a oar as they swam by the boat. He also used to raise huge chickens. He’d get chicks in the spring and by fall they’d be 8lbs. He’d trade eggs for food. He also gathered honey from bees that were living in trees on the farm. They always had 5-8 cows on the farm and occasionally they made maple syrup. Basically, he was a well-rounded farmer with a lot of diverse skills. William also used to maintain the phone lines to make some extra money.
William wasn’t an outwardly loving man, but he definitely stood behind his children when they were right. He was especially encouraging when it came to sports. He would let his children skip chores if they played football in school. (Of course they had to walk the 8 miles home from school, so they didn’t get out of work entirely.) His son, Harry, tells of another story where the kids were playing ball in the yard and the ball ended up going through the house window and hit William while he was shaving. William cut himself, but he wasn’t angry with the kids because they were playing ball and things like that will happen… Sounds like a pretty patient man to me.
William was also very smart with a lot of common sense. He came up with some clever ways to do things. In order to keep the stovepipe clean on the potbellied stove, he stuck corn cobs and kerosene in the stove every morning and with a giant WHOOOOOOSH the stovepipe would burn clean. He also used to jack up a Model T that sat behind the barn and use the tires to buzz wood.
Speaking of wood, William also used to cut down trees in an area known as the flats to sell. One winter when they were
hauling wood the horses fell through the ice. The guys tried and tried and were unable to pull the horses out. Finally,
William decided to somewhat “choke” the horses to trap air in their lungs. This action made the horses float to the surface where the men were able to pull them out with another team of horses. Talk about ingenuity!
The children helped out quite a bit on the farm. Since there wasn’t any running water, they had to take the cows down to the creek every day to drink. They also fished to help provide food for the family. Harry used to set up a bunch of fishing lines before school and come back and check them after school, so that we was actually catching fish while he wasn’t even there!
The kids also had fun on the farm. They had a big sledding hill where you could get going so fast that you’d start at the top of one hill and almost make it up to the top of another hill. They had barn dances on a regular basis, although William’s barn wasn’t big enough to hold them so they always went to other farms for these. And every Tuesday they would go to Scottville to attend the livestock auctions. It was THE social event.
Although the children had a lot of responsibilities on the farm, they would sometimes be mischievous as well. One time Francis and Rosemary got into the car while it was in the barn up on blocks for the winter. They tried to start it up while the fluids were drained out of it and burnt up the motor.
The children all attended Butler School on Morton Road in Riverton Township from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Then they attended Ludington High School. While at Butler, Harry was playing ball one day out by the flagpole. The ball hit a big cement piece that was on the top of the flagpole and a large chunk of cement came crashing down on his head. The doctors said he was fortunate to survive that mishap.
Life on the farm was a lot of work but it was also a place were many fond memories were created.
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Some of my fondest childhood memories are the days I spent on the Laude farm in Riverton Township. There are wonderful memories of Grandma Laude’s kitchen… the smell of the wood stove, homemade cookies, homemade everything! There was the creek running through the east side of the property where we could go dip for tad poles. Then there was the spooky trail back through the deep, dark woods that led to the river where they always had those mysterious poles with cans attached that would clang when a fish was on the line. There were fruit trees to pick from, beautiful flower gardens; gladiolas being grandma’s specialty. Grandma used to set up a roadside stand with buckets of glads to sell. I would always get some of the profit that would allow me to run down the road to Wiley’s corner store to buy candy.
Grandma was always loving and affectionate with me. If she did get angry, it was usually with grandpa and she would set her chin and glare. That usually took care of the problem. She used to cook huge Sunday dinners. Family and sometimes neighbors would come for dinner. She would serve huge platters of chicken. Grandpa’s chickens were so big their legs looked like turkey drumsticks. She used to sneak out and skim cream off the milk separator (which grandpa would sell and didn’t want her to use) and make delicious gravy to pour over her homemade baking powder biscuits. I can still remember the smell of earth in the fruit cellar. I was terrified to go down there to get a jar of fruit thinking some giant rat would jump out and devour me…never saw so much as a mouse.
Along with the nine children, Grandpa Laude had his crops, cows, chickens, pigs, cats and usually a dog around to care
for. He used to get a kick out of showing me how one black cat would sit up on its hind legs and he could squirt milk into its mouth when milking the cows. Grandpa was always in the fields… a hard working man. There was a big, old, iron bell that grandma would ring to bring him in from the fields to eat. He always had a smile on his face for just about everyone… a mischievous smile and a twinkle in his eyes. He used to hide Easter eggs in the barn loft for my brother Dennis and I to hunt for and he always made delicious popcorn balls for Christmas. Grandpa smoked cigars and always carried a spare in his pocket. We used to play a game where I would take the cigar and he would get my nose… the old put your thumb through and behind your two fingers and joke that “I got your nose”. He wouldn’t give me back my nose until I returned the cigar!!
Uncles Bob, Harry and David were around those early years I spent on the farm. Uncle Bob was my chewing gum uncle. He always had a pack of gum for me. When I had my tonsils out at age 6, he brought me a grocery sack full of Wrigley’s spearmint gum. The family never knew, or told us if they did, why he just left town one day and never returned.
Harry was a lot like grandpa. Always teasing and having a big smile on his face. He owned a Texaco gas station and he let my brother work for him when he was about 13-14 years old. If I went to visit them at the station, Uncle Harry always let me get a Doctor Pepper out of the cooler.
David was the youngest and spent a lot of time with my brother and me. He used to take me skiing. One year he took my mom, brother and me to Virginia to visit my Aunt Gladys and cousin Linda. That was an experience. They lived in a town called Lee Hall. They had a house like something out of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. It was a boarding house in which one had to walk down a hall of strangers to get to their room. That was Virginia back in the 50’s. I didn’t understand why all of the black people that walked by would move aside then stop and let us go by them on the sidewalks, never looking us in the eye. Being from a small town in Northern Michigan, I had never been exposed to segregation.
The other aunts and uncles I saw less frequently. Aunt Frances was the “artistic” one. She is a wonderful poet and was always a boost to my self-esteem. We were quite close and could talk about anything. Aunt Rose Mary was so pretty. She was always smiling and had a great sense of humor. Uncle Earl (Francis) and Aunt Gladys also had a farm and I would sometimes visit my cousins Carole and Beverly. There was also an Aunt Sherry, but she had been in a home since she was 5 years old and no one wanted to talk about that. As the cousins grew up and particularly after Grandma Laude passed away, we all grew apart. No more big family dinners or beautiful flower gardens. The core of the family was gone. – Deb Friar
1910 Census: 19 APR 1910
Place: Eden Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Living with parents, William and Nellie Paasch.
Death: 14 MAY 1920 At the home of her sister, Rose Comstock, Ludington, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Died of bronchial pneumonia.
Burial: Center Riverton Cemetery, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: There is no headstone on her grave…