Cemeteries Walking Tour, Page 2, D. Penney, 2001



- Royal Oak Cemetery -

State Historic Marker - Erected in 1996 to commemorate the two cemeteries.

Section B:

1. Parr, Margaret Irene - Low modern marker. 1888-1918; daughter of Captain Georges Parr; graduated from Birmingham High School and Harper Hospital School of Nursing; died of influenza (epidemic) while serving in Army Nurse Corps, WW I, at Camp Grant, IL.


Section C:

2. Lewless, Alexander - Tall grey sandstone monument facing Main St. 1841-1918; wife Emily; Township Marshall 1912-21. Known as the 'one-eyed Sheriff', was a deputy sheriff for more than 40 years. Lived on South side of 5th St. between Washington and the railroad.

3. Springsteen, Frank - Large pink granite monument with Frank's modern flat marker nearby. 1871-1936; son of Nelson E. and Della C. Springsteen; married Mary V. Erb, 1900. Built a fieldstone house facing onto 12 Mile Rd. just east of Crooks Rd. There was a large pond on his property where Wm. H. Anger said he swam each summer. The early Royal Oak water wells were on this land. Springsteen had a creamery at Main St. and University. He died in an automobile accident.

G.M. Warner - One of our local men who fell in the Civil War. The monument is in ruins. Do not further despoil it!

4. Fay, Joshua - Farm of 160 acres at Main Street and 14 Mile Road. Deacon of First Baptist Church. Original house which was built 1829, now part of Gramer Funeral home.

5. Quick, Charles F. - Charles is buried off the road near the imposing Quick/Riecks monument. 1862-1934; Village Clerk, 1891-92; Village treasurer, 1894-95; on School Board, 1900; member of I.O.O.F. Quick ran a general store on the southeast corner of Main St. and 11 Mile Rd, which burned around the turn of the century. Dr. Hammond was occupying the rooms above at the time. Upon returning to the Village after a professional call, Dr. Hammond inquired what was burning and was told it was his office and home. Nothing was saved.

6. Jackson / Harris - Handsome black monument. Lucius J. Jackson, 1895-1986 and wife Lulu Mae Harris; Veteran of WW I. Inscribed thereon, "In last class of Booker T. Washington, 1915", presumably at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, home base of the famous peanut scientist George Washington Carver. His wife was related to Hamlet Harris.

7. Briggs, James & George - Tall rectangular gray granite monument. Sons of Zebedee and Ann Maria Briggs, born in Oakland Co. Both fell at the Battle of Chickamauga, on Sept. 20, 1863. Their names are also on the War Memorial in Section J and on the Civil War monument in Birmingham.

8. Allen, Charles A. - Modern flat marker. 1850-1934, son of Courtlin D. Allen who came to Royal Oak in the 1860's. A carpenter by trade. Wife Flora E. Allen. Was called 'Father of Royal Oak' because he almost single-handedly circulated petitions to have the hamlet of Royal Oak incorporated as a village in 1891. Became President of Village, 1892-93 (also 1899-1900, 1907-1908); Postmaster, 1914-18. Post Office located at 209 S. Main St. His house was on the corner of 5th and Washington, where Grinnell Bros. later stood.

9. Starr, John Almon - Tall imposing pink granite monument upon which the names and dates of many family members are inscribed. 1828-95; son of Orson and Rhoda Starr; married Nancy P. Quick. Almon resided at what is now 3123 Crooks Rd.; made brick and tile in a kiln from local clay; served on a committee to build the township hall in 1870; strung up first telephone in Royal Oak with son Edwin in 1878.

Starr, Edwin A. -1854-1929; son of John Almon and Nancy Starr; married Mary Salisbury. Continued his father's brick manufacture. Bricks for the second First Methodist Episcopal Church came from his kilns. He also grew vegetables for sale and seeds for the D.M. Ferry Co. He served on the school board for 21 years. The present Edwin A. Starr School is named for him.

Starr, Clara Ellen -1882-1955; daughter of Edwin A. and Nancy Starr. Gave private music lessons, and is remembered by many still living in the Royal Oak area as "my piano teacher". She became head of music in the Detroit Public Junior High Schools and Assistant Professor of Music at Wayne University; also a member of School District No. 2 School Board (Starr School), then the new Royal Oak School District board. She served for 20 years, finally becoming School Board President in 1935.

10. Cressy, Erastus - Tall sandstone monument near center road, fallen and broken; one of many cited for repair. 1799-1851; operated the 'Red Tavern' on the Saginaw Trail (Woodward Ave.) near Lafayette prior to 1850, on a site previously used by 'Mother Handsome'.

11. Erb, George - Born 1821 in Tuttlinger, Germany. Came to Royal Oak in 1856, as shoemaker. Owned two blocks on either side of Main Street between Second and Third. Grand-daughter married Albert Kidder and founded Erb-Kidder Lumber Co.


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