Monday, September 28, 2009

From The Farm And Back - The Family of Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen

Petticoat Surgeon by Bertha Van Hoosen included details of pioneer life in Oakland County, Michigan, where her ancestors, including Lemuel Taylor, his wife, Sarah (Boardman), and other family members settled. See the biography of Lemuel Taylor here. Lemuel & Sarah (Boardman) Taylor are mentioned here on Page 39.

[Click on "Petticoat Surgeon" above to read the book online.]

Bertha Van Hoosen was born on 26 March 1863 at Stony Creek, MI at the "Van Hoosen" farm.
She was the daughter of Jacob & Sarah (Taylor) Van Hoosen and the granddaughter of Elisha & Mary (Miner) Taylor.
A biography of Lemuel Taylor, brother of Sarah (Taylor) Van Hoosen, was online here:

Lemuel Taylor, a prominent citizen of the town of Jordan, was born in the State of New York, on the 26th of March, 1823. Shortly after his birth his parents moved to Oakland Co., Mich., where he remained till 1843, when he removed to Janesville [WI]. He remained at the latter place until he came to this county. He learned the trade of millwright in Michigan. He was a son of Elisha and Mary (Miner) Taylor, both of whom are buried in Michigan. He owns 365 acres on section 7, besides other lands in the county. He rents his land out, as his attention is kept on his inventions. He is an inventor, having invented many useful articles. He has on hand, at present, a portable automatic gate and portable fence. He commenced life with limited means, and has arose to affluence only by hard labor and economy. He was married Nov. 28, 1859, to Mary E. Stevens, of Franklin Co., Maine. They have seven children — Mary M., married to William Nelson; Lee, Jane, Ellen, Annie, Julia C. and Alice L., who is buried in the cemetery near Jordan Center. Mrs. Taylor is a member of the Free Will Baptist Church. Mr. Taylor is a republican politically.
Here is the Van Hoosen family in 1880:

1880 Census MI Oakland Co., Avon
Joshua VANHUSEN Self M W 50 QUEBEC Farmer NY VT
Sarah VANHUSEN Wife M W 49 MI Keeping House NY NY
Alice VANHUSEN Dau S W 25 MI At School QUE MI
Bertha VANHUSEN Dau S W 17 MI At School QUE MI
An excerpt from Petticoat Surgeon:

She [Sarah (Taylor) Van Hoosen] had been confined to her bed only two weeks when, as Father had done twenty-five years before, she fell into coma, and in a few days ceased her efforts to breathe. We took her from our Chicago home back to the farmhouse in Stony Creek, that had been her home since 1830. On the 27th of June, 1921, the ninety-eight June of the Taylor migration, the village flag flew at half-mast.... .

A chapter in the book profiled the incarceration of her friend, Dr. Lindsay Wyncoop, for the murder of her (Mrs. Wyncoop's) daughter-in-law. Drama found in an unexpected place (Petticoat Surgeon).

After a long and varied life, Bertha Van Hoosen died in 1952 and is buried at the Stony Creek Cemetery.

Bertha's niece, Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, took over the family farm at Stony Creek where she (Sarah) was buried in 1972. Sarah was the daughter of Joseph C. and Alice (Van Hoosen) Jones.

From the Michigan Archives site the following quote was found:

Her [Sarah Van Hoosen Jones] 1921 graduation heralded another event of even greater portent. On her deathbed Sarah's ninety-year-old grandmother gave her determined granddaughter the deed to the farm. "There upon, with a trembling of the lips she thrust into my outstretched hand the deed to the farm. The 'girls' had not sold the farm but rather, together with their mother, had handed it down to the fifth generation." And after an eventful trip to China, Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones returned to her ancestral home—the Van Hoosen Farm—to fulfill the desire of a lifetime. For all her deeply rooted feelings for the acres of Stony Creek, she was no impractical dreamer: "I am working for perfection through efficiency," she said, and had cultivated a magnificent background for such a venture.

Not only does Petticoat Surgeon provide "color" for the Oakland County, Michigan, area, it is also the story of strong women, one of whom (Bertha) became a medical doctor decades before women were allowed to vote.

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