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Rebecca May Cole

“One hundred years of love and laughter”

On November 29 1878 at Marlette, Michigan a baby girl was born to Peter Sinclair and his wife the former Sara Elizabeth Edwards.  They named her Rebecca May.  Rebecca’s mother died when she was about two years of age.  Becky was taken to Canada to live with a ninety year old grandmother for a short time.  Then back to Sanilac county where her childhood was spent with various relatives.  Her early life had several tragedies, first the death of her mother - then the big fire in April 1881 near Port Sanilac. The memory of being put down in the root cellar for protection is still vivid - a horrifying experience.

Rebecca was left to raise her two small children, Winifred and Thomas.  She states that the most enjoyable time in her life was raising her children.  “It was a hard thing to do alone - but most rewarding” she says.

When asked how she decided to come to Curtisville which was the a wilderness she gave this account.  “My father Peter Sinclair had been a harness racer all his life.  When forced to retire from his profession at nearly 80 years of age, he went to the north woods and filed an homestead.  (He lived to 97).  A son and a daughter came with him.  They soon returned to Sanilac county.  Peter sent for Rebecca and her children.  He wrote and eloquent letter describing  what a wonderful place it was to live.  Becky and the children had a scary trip.  A forest fire was raging.  Even the railroad tracks were burning.  Becky recalls that her first impression of Curtisville was frightening.  Becky says “Oh, how I wanted to go back home” “What an awful place!”  She soon changed her mind and found the people friendly and kind.  She recalls that Ebenezer Curtis and Ora Spencer were such nice old gentlemen.

This quiet gentle lady with the snappy black eyes and infectious laughter has drawn to herself and enormous circle of friends. Petite in stature but big in character describes our Becky!

She has a remarkable memory; those of you who have never met her p if you were to call on her today she would greet you with - “It about time you called - or, “Lets see now, I had tea with your grandmother 75 years ago.”  Those of us who do drop in from time to time are told with unbelievable accuracy - “You haven’t been to see me since last year from last Tuesday!”

The best years were the ones spent on the old homestead on Curtisville Road.

Rebecca feels that the young people of her day had the most fun.  She recalls attending church near Port Sanilac.  Traveling by wagon or sleigh according to the season.  After church every one piled in together and has Sunday dinner at different neighbors houses.  “Such fun and fellowship”>

Our honored citizen has seen five wars beginning with the Spanish American.

When Rebecca was born Andrew Jackson was our 17th President.  The firest presidents she remembers are Harrison and Cleveland.  Her favorite of all was McKinley.  “Everyone loved him she said.  “I saw him in Port Huron 82 years ago.”  “We lost a great statesman.”

Her one regret is the loss of her mother.

Rebecca had a great talent for needlework until failing eye sight made her put her fancy work aside.  If you want to see a lovely peice of work ask to see the Texas Star quilt she made when only 92!

Rebecca is one of whom it can be said “She has a love affair with life.  Never complaining - always concerned about others.

For several years Becky and Tom have prepared Sunday dinner for several ladies, making lives a little brighter.

Curtis township can be proud of Rebecca.  She is truly of First Lady.

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Last updated on:  Friday, June 17, 2011