"AGED CHARLEVOIX COUPLE SUCCUMBS
MR. AND MRS. DAN WILLIAMS DIED 28 HOURS APART
Were Born on Mackinac Island and Associated With Early History of Northern Michigan
Charlevoix today mourns the death of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Williams, whose passing within almost a 28 hour period ended 63 years of wedded life and two careers closely associated with the early history of northern Michigan.
Mr. Williams died at 12:30 oclock Sunday morning and Mrs. Williams at 4:30 oclock Monday morning. They had been under the constant care of nurses for a year.
Both were born on Mackinac Island, Elizabeth Whitney on June 24, 1844, and Mr. Williams on May 13, 1851. Her father , Walter Whitney, a ship builder, served in the Seminole wars. Her mother, who lived to be one hundred, was the daughter of British parents, her father having served in the garrison there.
The family lived on various islands, their habitate [sic] being determined by the work the father could find. They lived on Beaver Island shortly after King James J. Strang established his Mormon colony. Faced with the choice of joining the Mormons or leaving the island, they moved to Pine River (now Charlevoix), returning to St. James following King Strangs death.
It was at St. James that the then Elizabeth Whitney married a man named Van Riper, a school teacher at Garden Island and later appointed keeper of the Beaver Harbor lighthouse. He lost his life by drowning while engaged in rescuing sailors from a sinking ship. His wife was appointed to succeed him a lighthouse keeper.
On September 10, 1875, the then Mrs. Van Riper and Daniel Williams, who was a cooper by trade, and was engaged building fish barrels on Beaver Island, were married. She continued as lighthouse keeper at Beaver Harbor until 1884, when she was transferred to Harbor Springs as keeper of the Harbor Point lighthouse on Little Traverse Bay. Mr. Williams operated a photographic gallery at Harbor Springs during their residence there which terminated in 1906 when Mrs. Williams retired after 43 years with the government light house service. The same year the couple moved to Charlevoix,, their residence since.
Mrs. Williams gained prominence as author of the book, Child of the Sea, and Life Among the Mormons, which gave the impressions of life beginning with the early 80s [sic] and coming down to the present century. It was an accurate account of early northern Michigan history, gathered through Mrs. Williams personal experiences as one of the oldest native-born Michigan residents.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams were well known as musicians, this accomplishment resulting no doubt from the necessity of providing their own entertainment during long hours of lighthouse vigil. In the early days they were in great demand to furnish music for dances, many times at distant points, and Mr. Williams often related fiddling at northern Michigans first 4th of July celebration at Cheboygan. Mrs. Williams played the piano and mouth organ together and Mr. Williams was equally proficient with the violin, accordion and numerous reed instruments. Until ill health prevented, they entertained hosts of friends with their music.
Mr. Williams is survived by a brother, Milton, residing in California. Mrs. Williams is an aunt of Harry Gebeau and Mrs. Floss Ripley, this city.
Double funeral services were conducted at 2 oclock Tuesday afternoon from the See Funeral Home by Rev. G. R. Parker. Burial at Brookside cemetery."
Charlevoix Courier, Wednesday, January 26, 1938
Charlevoix Public Library, newspaper microfilm
Elizabeth Whitney Williams
1844–1938 (m. 1875)
1851 - 1938"
Located next to Elizabeth Williams, which is next to Harry E. and Mary Alice Gebeau
Transcript, 22 Sep 1982, Brookside Cemetery, Charlevoix
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