The Estate of Susie Melissa (Burdick) Fenton Longstreet
Susie Melissa (Burdick) Fenton Longstreet died intestate on 20 December 1931. Her second husband, Harmon H. Longstreet predeceased her on 28 June 1931. The inventory of her estate was limited to undivided ½ interest in three pieces of property in Wexford Co., MI. Alfred Fenton, Susie’s son, had previously been granted a license to sell two of the pieces of land, the third was already sold by land contract. The Determination of Heirs for Susie lists the children we know to be hers and living at her death, Emma Barnes, Lila Fellows, Alfred Fenton, Ross Fenton and Mary Houghtalin.
The documents in the file were nearly impossible to read, they were reverse images of a microfilm sent to my by the probate court. They present no significant facts beyond the real estate deeds I have previously transcribed.
Those deeds are as follows:
- Liber 101-180, Alfred Fenton granted a license to sell real estate.
- Liber 101-433, two twenty acre pieces of land sold by Alfred on behalf of the estate.
- Liber 119-530, a deed confirming the land contract sale of a 40 acre piece of land.
- Liber 12-469, a deed granting the interests of Susie’s heirs to the estate of Harmon.
The fourth document was the most significant in the probate file of Susie M. Longstreet is a letter transcribed here:
Transcribed 16 March 2003 by GrannyPam
August 25, 1932
Mr. Frank Longstreet
Bagot, Manatoba, (sic) Canada
I enclose, herewith, Agreement in the matter of the estate of your late father, Harmon H. Longstreet, interest of your father’s estate in certain real estate will amount to approximately $125. The heirs-at-law are desirous of purchasing a suitable marker for the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Longstreet with the balance of the estate after expenses have been paid. The real estate is of very little value. The administrator has an opportunity to sell one piece, forty acres, for $150. This is more than any of the heirs living in the County would be willing to pay for it. The other forty acres belonging to the estate was sold on a land contract, previous to Mr. Longstreet’s death for $150.00. There is a balance due on this contract of $100. Mrs. Longstreet in her life time held a deed for an undivided one-half interest in both pieces of real estate, which of course would become a part of her estate. Therefore you can readily understand that the entire estate of Mr. Longstreet would only amount to $125. The heirs of Mrs. Longstreet, as you will understand from this agreement are also willing to contribute the entire proceeds of their Mother’s estate to the purchase of a suitable marker for the graves of both Mr. and Mrs. Longstreet.
If this is all satisfactory with you will you kindly sign the enclosed agreement and forward same to Mrs. Adams at Georgestown , Ontario, Canada and also request her to sign the agreement and forward same to Mrs. Retta Adams and Williams, Michigan. I would suggest that you forward this letter to each so that they too will clearly understand the situation. Mr. Alfred Fenton, the administrator, Wishes you to understand that all of the heirs who reside here will get together and will decide on the purchase of the marker. He does not wish to assume this responsibility himself. If the residue of each estate was to be divided among the heirs after the expenses of administration and indebtedness were paid the amount would be very small to each.
Very truly yours,
Judge of Probate.
Notes to the transcription: No name or signature on the file copy. No evidence of a copy of the agreement, signed or unsigned was found. Whether or not the agreement was signed, markers were placed at the cemetery.
It is not clear if Mrs. Retta Adams was of Williams Michigan, but it seems so from the letter. There is a Williamsburg in Grand Traverse County , MI, a Williams Crossing and Williams Landing in Alger Co., MI, a Williamston in Ingham Co., MI and a Williamsville in Cass Co., MI. There is no Williams, MI.
The Related Deed
In Wexford County, Deed book 101, page 601 a document related to the estate of Susie M. Longstreet was filed. It described the land, and listed the heirs: Emma Barnes, petitioner and daughter; Lila Fellows, daughter; Alfred Fenton, son; Ross Fenton, son; and Mary Houghtalin, daughter. This deed is not included on my spreadsheet, but is linked above.
The many lives of Harmon H. Longstreet
I do have some information on Harmon’s previous marriages and offspring. “Retta” was probably Alfaretta Longstreet, born 26 January 1871 in Canada to Harmon and his first wife Ann Martin. Alfaretta married Frank Ames [not Adams, my emphasis] in 1888, in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. I have found Alfaretta, Frank and their family on the census in 1900, 1910, and 1920; in Alamo Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan.
In 1880, Harmon, age 32, his wife Harriet [my emphasis] age 24, daughter Alfaretta, age 8, and brother Alford, resided in Charleston, Kalamazoo, Michigan.1
In 1881 Ann Longstreet resided in Caldeon, Cardwell, Ontario with two children, John, 12; and Francis [m], 8. Her mother Ann Martin also lived in the household.2
I have not found a marriage record for “Harriet”, or a divorce record for Harriet and Harmon, or a death record for Harriet. Who the Mrs. Adams referred to in the letter might be is beyond me.
The end of the Story
I am unlikely to further research Harmon H. Longstreet and his family, since our family descends from Susie, not her second husband. I will be happy to share my findings with descendents of Harmon.
- 1880 US census, Brady, Kalamazoo, Michigan, population schedule, District 127, page 6 (penned) dwelling 59, family 59, Harmon Longstreet; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) : accessed 26 January 2010; from National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 586.
- 1881 Canadian census, Caldeon, Cardwell, Ontario, population schedule, page 33 (penned) dwelling 154, family 169, Ann Longstreet; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) : accessed 26 January 2010; from Library and Archives Canada, Census of Canada 1881, Statistics Canada Fonds. Series RG31-C-1, Microfilm Roll: C_13253.