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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day Family Love Stories #6: Ben and Mary

     This story is more the tragic side of love.  I wasn't going to write it but I seem to be strongly prompted to do so.  Maybe they want their story told.

     Benjamin Lester Hudson was born in 1828 in Quebec province, Canada.  The family eventually settled in Bristol, Pontiac County, Quebec on the Ottawa River right across from Ontario.  Mary Yuiel (or Yuill, Yule, Yuil, etc.) was born in 1835 in Campsie, Stirlingshire, Scotland and came with her family to Pontiac County in the early 1850's.  She and Ben were married in about 1854, exact date unknown, their first son being born in October 1855. They had six children by 1865, one of whom died young. Ben and Mary moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1866 or 67 along with most of Ben's family. Two more children were born to them in Saginaw.  Then in 1874 Mary was again pregnant with her ninth child, she was thirty-nine years old. Unfortunately Mary and the child died in childbirth on 28 Dec 1874.

     I believe that Ben was overwhelmed with grief at this loss.  He apparently couldn't cope and sent his children to live with his brothers and sisters or in the case of his three middle boys, Alfred, Robert and Ben, he put them into a logging camp. This Ben, Benjamin Melvin Hudson, my great grandfather, was only nine years old. Family records say that he "lost track" of his father. They were quite estranged until much later in life. I just think that Ben, the father,  went a little nuts at the loss of Mary.  By 1880 he had remarried a woman named Mary Ann Halliot and they had a one year old son. But in the 1880 Census she and her son are living alone in Ohio! I still haven't found Ben in the 1880 Census.  Mary Ann died before Oct 1891 when he married Elizabeth Roberts. The 1900 Census finds him living with Elizabeth and his son from Mary Ann, Bartlet Hudson. But in 1905 they were divorced on the grounds of desertion with Ben as the complainant. What this says to me is that Mary was the love of his life, when she died he went kind of crazy.  He abandoned his children, married again but them abandoned his wife and son.  When the second wife died, he married again only to get a divorce for desertion.  It appears that she deserted him but the data is not clear.

     Ben died in 1917 and was buried next to Mary in Oakwood Cemetery in Saginaw.  They lie there together still.
 Campsie, Scotland
 Bristol, Canada
 Mary Hudson Death Certificate
 Benjamin Lester Hudson with son, grandson and great grandson 1912
 Saginaw in 1867, below is Oakwood Cemetery

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine having eight children, but then to have your wife die and be left as the sole caregiver could well be too much! Interesting that he was buried next to Mary. But I suppose if it was their children who needed to make the arrangements, it makes sense that they would want to reunite them.