Cemeteries Walking Tour, Page 5, D. Penney, 2001



Royal Oak Cemetery, cont..........

Section E:

33. Knowles, William H. - Impressive monument of pink granite which provides birthplace of William and Amelia. 1807-1892; born Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England. Knowles came to the U.S. in 1827 with little money; skilled as a carpenter; lived in NY and then Detroit, buying land. He moved to Royal Oak Township in 1867, to a house on Lincoln Ave., still standing and for some time owned by the McCavey family. Taught Sunday school at the Episcopal (now United) Methodist Church. Knowles was married 3 times, fathering more than 15 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. Third wife was Amelia S. Ashton Montgomery, of Morristown, NY.

34. Knowles, Frank Lincoln - Red granite monument (error seen in lettering). 1860-1919; wife Eliza Ann Watts of Greenfield Township, Wayne County. Frank was the son of Willaim H. Knowles of 8th St. (Lincoln Ave.); a carpenter by trade who loved hunting. His house and farm on N. Main St. between Austin and Willis was demolished by the cyclone (tornado) of April 12, 1893. He was President of the Village of Royal Oak 1897-98, 1901-04. Some land from his estate was sold to the Royal Oak School Board to build the new (now Geo. A. Dondero) High School, 1926. His daughter Olive Eliza married George Washington Penney.

At right, Wm. H. Knowles monument with great great grandson, David G. Penney.

35. Decker, Amos W. - Small low marker next to the road. 1832-1913. House on Southeast corner of Main St. and Lincoln Ave., site of present Erb Lumber Co. One of his daughters married a Lochman and his widow married John Campbell.

36. Storz, Louis - Large dark granite monument. 1854-1921; born in Germany, son of Frederick and Fredericka Storz. He came to the U.S. in 1871, where he worked as a shoemaker. He worked for awhile for Edwin Starr, and in 1876 purchased a small general store. His store on south Main St. was very successful and widely known. Storz built a beautiful home adjacent. Louis Storz married Catherine Landau. He served as Postmaster 1885-89, 1893-97, Township supervisor 4 years, Township treasurer 8 years, justice of the peace 8 years, and member of the Village Council 1891-1908.

37. Schneidt / Schnaidt - Many family markers, among them an unusual tree stump to Fred Schneidt, born Jan. 18, 1841, died Feb. 6, 1906. Members of family at various times owned businesses which engaged in threshing with a steam traction engine, house-moving, and undertaking.

38. Watch, Oliver - Large tree trunk near the center road. Died July 3, 1888, aged 79 years; wife Sarah. Note damage by vandals in mid-90's.

39. Williams, Sherman - Tall white monument which lists his wife and daughters, but not him. 1825-1918. Born in Royal Oak Township, son of David and Betsy Williams. Sherman Williams married Mary Smith and they had 9 children. Late in life he moved to a house on the southeast corner of Third and Williams Sts. He was a charter member of Oakland Co. Pioneer and Historical Society.

40. Finn, Revr. Silas - Most of the Finn markers are large rough chunks of dark granite only partially worked, giving a natural look. 1811-1895; wife Cynthia Eaton Finn. They resided on the east side of N. Main St. and conducted a general store. He contributed much money and time to the construction of the First Baptist 'Greek Cross' Church on land on Main St. donated by Athalinda Phelps. Silas Finn was pastor of that church 1871-94.


Section D:

41. Hamer, Elizabeth - Small low, mottled marker. 1824-1913; married Gilbert Preston. They were former slaves in Covington, KY; escaped in early 1850's and were helped by the underground railroad. They first went to Canada, then to Detroit, and finally to Royal Oak, near Chase's Corner. The Hamer named was made-up to foil slave-hunters. Only a few days before President Lincoln was shot, they had a house moved from the site of Roseland Park Cemetery to Crooks Road. The house was occupied by her descendants until 1965 when it was torn down. Members of the Royal Oak First Baptist Church and good friends of and workers for the Starr family.


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