Peter Sinclair drove harness race horses all his life. He was forced to retire when nearly 80 yrs. of age. He came to Curtisville from Sanilac County and took a homestead. A son and daughter came with him, but later left their father and returned to the thumb area. Mr. Sinclair sent for Rebecca, his other daughter, to come and care for him. He wrote an eloquent letter to Rebecca convincing her that this was a wonderful place to live. Becky and two small children, Winifred and Thomas had a frightening trip. A big forest fire was raging. Even the train tracks were afire. Becky recalls that her impression of Curtisville was frightening. Her dad took them to live in an old log lumber camp on Smith Creek. Becky says, “Oh, how I wish to be back home! What an awful place!” Rebecca soon changed her mind and found the neighbors friendly and kind. She recalls that E.D. Curtis and Orra Spencer Sr. were “such nice elderly men”.
Rebecca’s bachelor brother Daniel lived with Coles all his life. Dan was a great trout fisherman. He played the violin for area house parties.
Peter, Rebecca’s father, lived to be 97. He is buried in the Curtisville Cemetery.
Peter Sinclair, b. 1829, d. 1926
Rebecca’s parents were: Father - Peter Sinclair born in Scotland, 1829 Died in Curtisville 1926. Buried in Curtisville cemetery. Mother - Sarah Elizabeth Edwards. English descent Born Marine City, Michigan. Died in Sanilac County when Becky was born, then raised by an aunt.
Dan Sinclair, b. August 7, 1875, d. October 31, 1952
Rebecca - Born November 29, 1878 at Port Sanilac, Michigan, d. November 3, 1979. Rebecca and Mr. Cole had two Children:
Winifred, b. February. 11,1899, Blaine, Michigan. Married Guy Rickel of Glennie.
Tommy Cole with team
Tommy Cole, Winnie (Cole) Rickle
Son Thomas, born July 30, 1902 Croswell, Michigan, d. May 21, 1984.
We are justly proud of Rebecca Cole, our oldest Curtisville citizen. At 97 she is still able to help prepare meals. She says when she was 80 she could work circles around a number of youngsters! Becky and Tommy entertain several lonely ladies for dinner every Sunday. Her black eyes snap as she recalls happy moments of yester-years. Rebecca Cole is truly Curtisville’s First Lady.
Rebecca Coles’ 100th Birthday - November 29, 1778
Left to Right: Ynonne Grush, Carolyn Grush, Rebecca Cole, Winnie Rickel and Rebecca Webster