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Clayton Eastman "Clay" Call
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Birth: Aug. 31, 1848
Allegany County
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 26, 1924
Cook County
Illinois, USA

1848 - 1926

Clayton Eastman "Clay" Call was born on August 31, 1848 at Phillipsville, Allegany County, New York. He was one of eleven children to be born to Reverend Orlando Boardman Call and his wife, Caroline Crandall Call. The Call family can trace its lineage as far back as 1425, with John Calle who resided in Norfolk, England. Members of this family later moved to County Kent, England where they remained for several generations- immigrating to the United States in the 1670's and settling in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Several generations later Clayton Call's great-great grandfather, John and son, John Jr. fought in the Revolutionary War. His grandparents, Levi and Mercy Purinton Call who later migrated their family from Massachusetts to Steuben County, New York. It was then Clayton's father, Reverend Orlando B. Call who brought the Call family from New York to Ingham County, Michigan sometime after 1853.

In 1850, at the age of 2, Clayton was found residing with his family at Friendship, Allegany County New York. The decision to come to Michigan may well have been to make a new start on the farmland, which was just opening up to the public. In 1860, a plank road between Detroit and Lansing had opened, making the state capital more accessible and attractive to settle. Many people took advantage of the still sparsely populated areas and improved travel conditions to settle and farm the land. By 1860, at the age of 12, he had moved from New York to Michigan and was found residing with his family at Alaiedon in Ingham County, Michigan. It was here that he grew to adulthood and remained through 1870, where he is again listed, at the age of 22, as residing in Alaiedon. At that time Clayton is found living on his brother, Harrison Orlando Call's farm and his occupation is listed as that of farm laborer- leading us to believe that he had not, at that time, obtained his law degree.

Although it is unknown at the present time, Clayton Call may have studied law at the nearby State Agricultural College. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876. In 1877 Clayton is listed as a member of the Mason Light Guard, a Civil War organization which later became Company K of the 1st Michigan Regiment. In 1878, he moved to the backwoods of northern Michigan, where he hung out his first shingle to practice law on January 18, 1878 in the Village of Petoskey. By 1880, the 32 year old Clayton E. Call was found residing in Petoskey, Emmet County, Michigan and is listed as being a "lawyer and prosecuting attorney." Obviously in the early stages of his law career, Clayton is found "boarding" with the family of Otis and Cora Watson in Ward 1 of the city of Petoskey. Mr. Watson was the proprietor of a local hardware business at that time. With a new baby in the Watson family, this was probably not the best living arrangement for a young bachelor trying to read up on the law in the evenings! During this same period of time Clayton is found listed as a "partner in the law firm of Call & Dart- offices over Central Drug Store," a "Village Attorney," and a "member of the Mason's Lodge #344, F&AM."

Although county records have revealed no record of the marriage to date, Clayton Eastman Call married Miss. Janet Armstrong sometime in the year 1886- presumably in Ingham County, Michigan. Janet was the daughter of William A. and Elizabeth Armstrong. She was born c1862 at Caledonia, Livingston County, New York. She later migrated with her family to the Village of Moscow in Hillsdale County, Michigan. She spent her growing up years in this location, and attained a teaching certificate. She is said to have been teaching school at Morenci, also in Hillsdale County, Michigan at the time the couple was married.

After their marriage, Clayton and Janet Armstrong Call returned to Petoskey. It is here that Clayton's career seems to have rapidly become successful. By 1892, Clayton had become a developer- opening a block in downtown Petoskey that housed several business ventures. It was also in Petoskey that their three children were born.

On February 13, 1889, their son, Clayton Donald "Don" Call was born. Don Call married Miss. Blanche E. Aubry of Bay City, Michigan on January 22, 1916 at Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. He spent most of his life in the Lansing area where he was a journalist and newspaperman. They had two known children: Janet and Della. Clayton Donald Call is said to have died in 1945.

Daughter, Francis Louise Call was born on October 26, 1892. On June 28, 1922 she married Ward LaVere Wylie in Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. Ward was the son of Lovel A. and Ellen H. Thekeberry Wylie. Francis, like her mother, was a teacher at the time of her marriage. The couple had three known children: Ward LaVere Jr., Barbara Louise and a third child. Francis L. Call Wylie died in December 1982 at Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi.

Little is known about their third child, Benjamin F. Call. He was apparently born in May 1895 at Petoskey, Michigan. However, shortly after his appearance in the 1900 census, at age 5, no further record has been found. It would appear that Janet Armstrong Call's eventual cause of death, "cancer of the womb," perhaps had some correlation with the birth of this child. If her obituary is to be read correctly, sometime on or around the birth of her third child, Clayton's wife was diagnosed with cancer of the womb. She would later succumb to the illness on October 10, 1895 at Petoskey. Following is a transcription of her obituary as it appeared at that time.
Extracted from:
The Petoskey Record
Wednesday, October 16, 1895
Page 4 Column 3

Passed from Suffering to Rest. Funeral on Sunday Afternoon.

On Saturday morning, after months of intense suffering borne with Christian fortitude and the serenity of entire submission, the life of Mrs. Call was terminated by kind death. Quite a year ago her health began to fail and she suffered much pain, but it was not until several months later that the cause was definitely decided to be an internal cancer.

Although her husband insisted upon consultation with eminent physicians abroad, she resigned herself to the inevitable from the moment the disease was clearly indicated; and the days since, slowly lengthening into weeks and months, though filled with pain, have been illumined with a patience, a sweetness of spirit, a tender thoughtfulness for others, a serene Christian faith, which has made an alter of her death bed, from which the holiest of influences have entered into living hearts. She was a woman of fine intellectual gifts and culture, but above all a womanly woman, whose heart was full of affection for those nearest her, of charity for all, and of tender compassion for the homeless, sad and sorrowing ones. She has long been the secretary of the Home Benevolent Society, and gave generously of her means, her time and her empathy to the unfortunate.

As Janet Armstrong she was born in Caledonia, New York, 35 years ago, but came with her parents to Moscow, Michigan in girlhood. After completing her education she taught successfully and at the time of her marriage to Mr. Call in 1886, was teaching in the public schools of Morenci. She leaves two exceptionally bright and beautiful children- Donald, aged seven, and Louise, three. She became a Christian in early girlhood, and united with the Presbyterian Church, but in the absence of church privileges joined the Methodist Church at Hanover. The funeral took place from the residence on Sunday afternoon. Reverend James G. Ingalls officiating.

Her father, William A. Armstrong of Moscow was unable to come because of sickness but her sister, Miss. Armstrong and her aunt, Mrs. McNaughton were here. The floral offerings were abundant and beautiful, and the number in attendance testified to the regard in which she was held and the universal sympathy for the bereaved husband and children.

Janet Armstrong Call was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Petoskey and it was here that a large monument of a life size, weeping angel was set into place in her memory. Clayton Call and his three children remained in the City of Petoskey after the death of their wife and mother, where all are listed on the 1900 Federal Census. Although still a resident of Emmet County, Mr. Call's personal and professional ties seem to have remained strong with Ingham County where he spent much of his youth. In 1898, for example, he represented Emmet County as prosecuting attorney in the Michigan Supreme Court for the case, People vs- Scoonmaker. Among his acquaintances there was a Dr. John H. F. Mullett- a prominent physician and surgeon. It was in Ingham County that he would meet and marry his second wife, Dr. Mullett's sister, Miss. Katherine Mullett.

Katherine Hall Mullett was born on April 2, 1866- the daughter of John H. Mullett and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Brown Mullet. Her maternal grandfather Brown is said to have been a drummer boy in the War of 1812. Her father, John Mullett, was a second-generation surveyor, following in the footsteps of his father, (Katherine's maternal grandfather), John Mullett Sr. who came to Michigan from Buffalo, New York in February 1814 and was also a prominent surveyor. He assisted in many of the government's original surveys of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, and did much of the surveying for the plank road between Detroit and Grand Rapids. In 1849, he moved his family to a farm in Meridian Township, Ingham County, Michigan. It was in this same location that Katherine grew to adulthood.

The 47-year-old Clay Call and 36-year-old Katherine Mullett were united in marriage on October 8, 1902 at Meridian, Ingham County, Michigan. The witnesses at the wedding being Dr. Mullett and his wife, Martha. After their marriage, the couple returned to the Call home in Petoskey, and it was there that a son, William Alden Call would be born on February 6, 1907. According to family oral history, William Call was never married and had no children. He is said to have been a graduate of West Point Military Academy and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. He died on October 7, 1990 at Seattle, King County, Washington.

In the 1903 Polk Directory for the City of Petoskey, Clay E. Call is listed as being in the "Real Estate and Insurance" business at 304 Howard Street- his residence being at 309 Michigan Street. The records of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Petoskey also show both baptisms and confirmations taking place on April 17, 1905 for Clay, Katherine, Donald and Louise Call. Sadly, Clayton's second wife, Katherine H. Mullett Call died just days after the birth of her son, William, on February 11, 1907. According to some records, it would appear that Katherine Call died in Okemos, Ingham County, Michigan and was buried at Riverside Cemetery in that city. However, local records would seem to disprove this and indicate that she was interred at Greenwood Cemetery, Petoskey.

Being a prominent family within Petoskey and Emmet County, a survey of the local newspapers for this location would certainly prove of interest and perhaps shed additional light on the activities of the Call family. To date, the only newspaper item to be located is the following. Family oral history states that Clay "was a lawyer of distinction and later became a judge." Fortunately, this item provides a point of reference as to the period of time in which Clay Call was acting in the role of Judge.
Extracted from:
The Petoskey Evening News
July 1, 1908

Judge Clay E. Call returned yesterday from the south part of the state, where he attended the funeral of his brother.
In the 1910 Federal Census, the widowed Clayton Call is found listed as a "lawyer and prosecuting attorney" and residing at 309 Michigan Avenue, Petoskey, Michigan, along with his two eldest children, Donald and Francis. By this time he was engaged in practice with the firm Clay and Lilly- being in partnership with Mr. Lyman A. Lilly. According to Petoskey City Directories of the day, the law office was located at 304 Howard Street in downtown Petoskey. Around this same time, The Michigan Association of Cartoonists deemed Clayton Call as an important enough figure to include a caricature of him in their book, Our Michigan Friends as We See ‘Em, a collection of prominent men in early Northern Michigan.

Clayton would remain single until April 20, 1910, when he married his third and final wife, Susan Mary Damaris Rice Appleton. Susie Rice was born c1870 in Michigan, the daughter of Alanson Jason and Avilda Elizabeth Hoover Rice. She was a teacher in Muskegon and had apparently divorced from her first husband, Egbert George Appleton, as he did not die until December 16, 1933 at Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. The couple had one son- Kenneth Egbert Appleton. Kenneth, who was born February 6, 1907, later graduated from West Pointe Military Academy and went on to become a Lt. Colonel.

It is interesting to note that by 1916-1917, Clay Call and wife Susie must have made a decision to relocate their residence to Ingham County, Michigan. Although the residence at 309 Michigan Avenue remains in their ownership from 1912-1918, beginning in early 1917, Susie Call is listed as renting out furnished rooms from the home. In this same year, Clay and Susie Call, along with three children, are found listed in the 1916-1921 Rural Directory for Ingham County, Michigan. Clayton's occupation is listed as "farmer" at that location, and is said to be the owner of 270 acres; 15 horses; and 26 head of cattle. The property and farm are said to be located on Rural Route 2 near Williamston, Ingham County, Michigan- on lands that had once been owned by the John Mullett family.

By 1920, Clay Call and his third wife, Susie had amicably parted ways and were divorced. In the 1920 Federal Census a retired Clay Call (age 71) and his two younger children, Francis and William, are found residing in Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. Clay is once again shown listed as a widower. It appears that after their divorce, Susie Call and her son, Kenneth, relocated to Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan where they remained. Here, Kenneth Appleton would follow in the footsteps of his once-step-father, Clay Call and become a general practice attorney. Susie Rice Appleton Call died in Muskegon on November 30, 1942 and is presumed buried in that county as well.

Outside of the court Clayton was involved in real estate, served as chairman on the Petoskey School Board, and represented the Emmanuel Parish as a warden at the 33rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Western Michigan. These positions were considered the proper offices for a well-respected lawyer and judge and would have helped to advance any political ambitions he may have held. Despite his success in the legal field however, or perhaps because of the constant stress associated with it, Mr. Call retired from practicing law around 1914. It was then that he returned to Ingham County with his children and became what was then known as a "gentleman farmer."

Clayton Eastman Call departed this life on February 26, 1924 at the age of 76 at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, while visiting his daughter. His remains were later brought back to his long-time home and interred in Greenwood Cemetery, Petoskey, Emmet County, Michigan- next to his first two wives. At the time of his death, the following notice appeared in the local newspaper. To date, this author has located no further obituary or other written account of his life, family and accomplishments.
Extracted from:
The Petoskey Evening News
Tuesday, February 26, 1924
Page 1 Column 4

Former Petoskey and Emmet County Resident Passes Away Tuesday

Was County Judge of Probate and Attorney Here. Resided in Ingham County Ten Years.

Clay E. Call, for forty years a resident of Emmet County, and Judge of Probate for a number of terms, died today in Chicago, according to word received from his son, Don Call, at Lansing. He was 78 years of age.

Mr. Call was prominent and influential in Emmet County activities, practicing law and dealing in real estate being his principal business. About ten years ago he moved to Ingham County where he operated a large farm.

He was regarded as one of the sturdy and substantial figures in the early history of northern Michigan and held many responsible positions of trust during his residence in this region.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later, and it is believed that interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery of this city.
Family links: 
  Orlando Boardman Call (1810 - 1871)
  Caroline C. Crandall Call (1813 - 1884)
  Janet Call (1860 - 1895)
  Harrison Orlando Call (1842 - 1926)*
  Carrie Call (1844 - 1865)*
  Clayton Eastman Call (1848 - 1924)
  Lorenzo Swarthout Call (1853 - 1919)*
*Calculated relationship
Greenwood Cemetery
Emmet County
Michigan, USA
Created by: patrickinpetoskey
Record added: Nov 06, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 119918089
Clayton Eastman Clay Call
Added by: patrickinpetoskey
Clayton Eastman Clay Call
Added by: patrickinpetoskey
Clayton Eastman Clay Call
Added by: Mary Briggs
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- Mary Briggs
 Added: Aug. 9, 2014

- patrickinpetoskey
 Added: Nov. 6, 2013

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