Genealogy Information of the
James Anderson Rumsey Family

Also see James A. Rumsey Biographical Sketch

#162-2

JAMES ANDERSON6 RUMSEY - son #162 Daniel A.5 & Sarah (Thomas) Rumsey,(Jonas4, Daniel3 Simon2,1) b 8 Nov 1814 - Newburgh (GRM) (poss Blooming Grove instead), Orange Co, NY
d 16 Mar 1906 (HWB) - Grand Rapids, Kent Co, Mich
(gs-yr, no b date) Fulton Cem, Grand Rapids Tp
m 17 Dec 1847 (DAR papers of Martha Rumsey Simonds) - Kent Co, Mich

CORNELIA LOVISA STONE (HWB) - dau Henry & Mary Ann (Campbell) Stone
b 4 Oct 1829 (HWB)(gs-yr) - NY
d 5 Oct 1905 (HWB)- Grand Rapids, Kent Co, Mich;
(gs-yr) Fulton Cem, Grand Rapids Tp

Children: (RUMSEY) (b Kent Co, Mich)
#162-6 i GEORGE A. - b 26 Dec 1848; d 6 Aug 1929 - Grand Rapids, bur Paris Tp
m1-CLARA WINCHESTER - by 1880 -
m2-LILLIAN H. (NEWTON) HOLMES - aft 1900 census

7 ii JAMES L. - b 16 Jan 1851; d 20 Jan 1933 - Grand Rapids, Mich
m1- --- --- - (she d bef 1900)
m2-FLORA M. NEWTON - ca 1908 -

8 iii ELLEN MARY - b 25 Jan 1853; d 10 Sep 1940 - prob Bristol, Tenn
m HARVEY PLATT WYMAN - 4 Mar 1875 -

9 iv MARTHA ELNORA - b 15 Aug 1858; d 2 Apr 1937 - Fennville, Mich
m OSSIAN COLE SIMONDS - 12 May 1881 - Grand Rapids, Mich

(10) v HENRY STONE - b Oct 1869 (1870 census, gs-yr) - Grand Rapids, Kent Co; d 1873 - (gs) Fulton Cem, Grand Rapids Tp, Kent Co, Mich

 

Another article provided by Mrs. Simonds, dated 1936 and primarily about James R.8 Rumsey (see xerox), said that James A. Rumsey also "labored making salt blocks at the old salt wells here", when he first came to Grand Rapids.
...[His son George A. Rumsey], at the death of his parent, was named administrator for the estate. One of the things he did which will serve to immortalize the name of Rumsey in Grand Rapids, was to donate to the city the land lying on Godfrey ave., between B. and Franklin Sts., which formed the basis for the present Rumsey playgrounds, named in honor of Grandfather Rumsey. The city also paid the old gentleman tribute by naming Rumsey St., SW., after him....
In the 1850 census of Kent Co,, James A. Rumsey was in Wyoming Tp. (On present maps, the city of Grand Rapids is on its northeast border, the Grand River on its northwest border, and the township of Grandville at its west.)
James was a miller who owned $4000 in real estate. His birthplace was given as Connecticut, as also in 1860 for James and his sister Agnes, but elsewhere it appears as New York. (Their mother was born in Conn.) He was 34, Cornelia S. was 21 and George was 1 year old. With them were two 17 year old laborers. One was Franklin Stone, possibly a brother of Cornelia.

In 1860 they were in the 1st Ward of Grand Rapids City, his sister Agnes Rumsey living next door with a Neal family. James A. Rumsey was a farmer with $8000 in real estate and $1000 in personal property. His age appeared to be 42 though should have been 45, Cornelia L. was 30, George A. 11, James L. 9, Ellen M. 7, and Martha E. 2. With them were two young people, probably a domestic servant and a farm hand, and Sarah Anson 69, born in Connecticut, who was mother of James. "We always called her grandma Anson. She came to Grand Rapids to live with her son, James, after [her second husband] Mr. Anson's death." (HWB)

Still in the 1st Ward of Grand Rapids in 1870, farmer James A. Rumsey now had $20,000 and $5,000 in real and personal property. He was 54, Cornelia was(James A.6 & Cornelia Lovisa (Stone) Rumsey, cont) #162-2c
50 and had $200 in personal property of her own, (her father had died in 1864). George A. was 21 and farming, and had $500 in personal proprty (probably livestock on his father's farm). James was 19, Ellen 17, Mattie 12, all attending school, and Henry who was 8 months old, born in October. Listed next to them was the family of John W. Anson, who was a half-brother of James Rumsey. The Rumseys have not been found yet in the 1880 census. With no children under 10, they were not in the Soundex.

In 1900, A.James and L.Cornelia Rumsey were living at 374 Granville Ave, in the 12th Ward of Grand Rapids. He was 85, his parents' birthplaces unknown. He had been married 52 years to Cornelia who was 70, the mother of 5 children, one of whom had died. Only "L. James" was with them, a widower aged 49. He was a notary public. They had a domestic servant of "Netherlands" parentage.

Probates of Kent County, Michigan have not been checked.
From a Grantor Index of Kent Co Deeds, abstracted by The Sophie de Marsec Campau chapter, DAR, the following were found by Judith A. Longley of Detroit:

RUMSEY, James A., to Carlton Neal, both of Grand Rapids, 6 Nov 1861, land in Sec. 36, Walker Twp. 26:493

James A., & wife Cornelia to Agnes N. Rumsey, all of Grand Rapids,31 Mar 1862, land in Sec. 36, Walker Twp. 31:144

James A., & wife Cornelia of Grand Rapids, to Detroit & Milwaukee; RR Co., 25 Apr 1862, land in Sec. 13 & 14, Walker Twp 20:482

Agnes N., to Georgiette E. LeRoy, both of Grand Rapids,3 June 1863, land in Sec. 36, Walker Twp. 31:156
(Agnes was married the following year.)

There are inscriptions in the Rumsey lot in the Fulton Street Cemetery, on a central stone, with small headstones, for: Sarah Rumsey Anson, Henry Stone Rumsey, Elizabeth B. Rumsey, James Anderson Rumsey, Cornelia Stone Rumsey, and individual stones only for James R. and Irene with their dates.

Ref:

Baxter, Albert - History of the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1891), p.60 (biog), 110,417-8,424,426,496,557 (GRM)
Rumsey, Mrs. James R., Grand Rapids, Mich (1959) (JRR)
Bradley, Harriet (Wyman), Ann Arbor, Mich (1960) (HWB)
DAR, Sophia de Marsec Campau Chapter - Kent County Cemetery Records,
Grand Rapids Township (typescrpit, n.d.), Fulton Cemetery,
verified by Robert L. Simonds 1990, with photos

(#162-2)

(1908) OLD RUMSEY MANSE TO BE TORN DOWN
One of the Historic Residences of the Grand Rapids of Early Days to Give Way to the Press of the City's Demands

I will receive bids until March 31 for the old Rumsey homestead, No. 374 Grandville avenue, the purchaser to remove same by June 1, 1908.

In reading the above advertisement recently appearing in the newspapers recently every old settler who has lived in Grand Rapids for a period of 50 years or thereabouts will experience a feeling of sorrow, which is not uncommon in these days of progress when old landmarks must eventually yield to the inevitable hand of advancement and give way to more modern structures and the hammer of the real-estate auctioneer.

In the sale of the old property on Grandville avenue, near Fifth, which has been for half a century the property of the Rumsey estate, there passes one of the oldest and best known landmarks in Grand Rapids. In the days "when knights were bold" and Indians made their haunts and held their pow-wows in the outskirts of the city; when deer, wild turkey and other game was plenty in many parts of the city now taken up by big business blocks and fine residences, the old Rumsey mansion was regarded as one of the finest and most elegant residence structures in the city. A two-story red brick structure, flat-roofed and furnished with wide piazzas, set back from the street now amid a group of fir trees and in the midst of what was once as fine an apple orchard as could be found in the country hereabouts, for the old house was on a farm then, the imposing old building presents even today an appearance of luxury and home-like beauty when viewed from the street that is equaled by few modern homesteads.

As a matter of real estate the old home is by no means a fruitless investment either, as the interior is every whit as substantial and even as lumber is worth vastly more today than it was when erected 50 years ago.

Fifty years ago to the month James A. Rumsey built this old structure of red brick on his farm and finished it off inside with the best procurable Michigan pine. There are six or seven rooms on both floors of the house and the dining room of the quaint old mansion is entered by as many as ten doors opening into adjoining rooms. The house is approached from the outside by a dilapidated tar sidewalk, which leads through a lane of fir trees to the steps and the large piazza.

The history of the structure is a most interesting one. It was built in 1858 by James A. Rumsey, who in connection with a man named Van Allen had purchased a farm of 160 acres on both sides of the Grandville road and extending across the large valley in which the Grand Rapids & Indiana railway now has its right of way, between Buchanan street and Godfrey avenue, and through the woods from Fifth aveneu to Hall street on the south. This large tract was purchased in 1850 and a small wooden log house, the picture of which is shown herewith, was put up by Rumsey. Here two of his children, including(#162-2)George, the present owner of the property, were born. In 1858 Rumsey built the more substantial structure of brick. The historic little wooden residence stood on the property for 50 years and was torn down but two years ago.

At the time of the building of the present brick structure, which is about to be sold to meet the demands of real estate growths, the house was the only one within a radius of a mile. It was just outside the city limits and on the high hill in the center of a thick oak woods, in which George Rumsey remembers vividly of going hunting for deer, wild turkey, squirrels and other smalland sometimes large game. At that time the Grandville road ran straight through to Monroe street, going along with a [slig]ht jog where Ionia street now is. The Rumsey home was just outside the famous "Shanty Town" district and was near the old fair grounds on Goodrich street.

Many are the stories that George Rumsey, son of James A., who first owned the tract, tells of the visits of the Indians who camped near his home on "pay day," when the government officials gave them their monthly stipends. And vividly does he remember the struggles of the few farmers round about to keep the Grandville road open and protected from the excursions of the Irish in "Shanty Town," who were determined to close it to traffic, and who finally succeeded between Ellsworth avenue and Monroe street.

The 70 acres owned by Rumsey on Grandville avenue cost him just $900 -- barely enough to purchase a single lot in the same neighborhood today. The property at present consists of some 15 acres, and it is the intention of Mr. Rumsey to plat it into lots and sell it for residences. An alley which extends through from Fifth avenue would run directly through the old house if extended, and it is for this reason that the mansion will be sold to the highest bidder, perhaps to be erected again, perhaps to be put into the construction of other modern buildings.

Much of the property between Fifth avenue and Hall streets, and on both sides of Grandville avenue was originally owned by James Rumsey, and his son tells interesting tales of the property litigation and land troubles which at that time were the talk of the town.

 

Now the last remnant of the Rumsey estate is to give way and be cut up into innumerable lots and several streets. And the historic old homestead, with its square roof and old French windows reaching from ceiling to floor, is to ring with the hammer of the prosaic and unsentimental auctioneer.  James A.6 (#162-2)

1850 CENSUS - KENT CO, MICH (microfilm Roll 353 Vol. )
WYOMING TWO - fol.237A (473) - 2 Sept
L 16 - James A. Rumsey 34 M Miller $4000 CT
D1052 Cornelia S. " 21 F NY
F1052 Geo. " 1 M Mich
Franklin Stone 17 M Laborer --
David Robinson 17 M Scotland

1860 CENSUS - KENT CO, MICH (Roll 550 Vol.10)
GRAND RAPIDS, 1st Ward - p.307 (37) - 7 June
L 32 - James A. Rumsey 42 M Farmer $8000 $1000 CT
D302 Cornelia L. " 30 F NY
F277 George A. " 11 M Mich
James L. " 9 M "
Ellen M. " 7 F "
Martha E. " 2 F "
Elizabeth Bates 16 F NY
Sarah Anson 69 F CT
William Kearsey 19 M NY

1870 CENSUS - KENT CO, MICH (Roll 681 Vol.12)
GRAND RAPIDS, 1st Ward - p.5 (214) - 1 June
L 18 - Rumsey, James A. 54 M Farmer $20,000 $5000 NY
D 35 " Cornelia 40 F Keeping House $200 "
F 34 " George A. 21 M Farming $500 Mich
" James 19 M At School "
" Ellen 17 F " "
" Mattie 12 F " "
" Henry 8/12 M At Home (b Oct.) "

1900 CENSUS - KENT CO, MICH (Roll 721 Vol.41); GRAND RAPIDS TWP, Grand Rapids, Ward 12 (ED90)- Fol.30 (13) - 374 Granville Ave
L 30 - Rumsey, A. James Head M Nov 1814 85 M52 NY Un Un ----- OFH
D248 " L. Cornelia Wife F Oct 1829 70 " " 5 4 " " "
F255 " L. James Son M Jan 1851 49 Wd MI NY NY Notary Public
Kool, Anna Serv F Jan 1880 20 S " Netherlands HseWork

KENT COUNTY CEMETERY RECORDS, GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP
(Sophia de Marsec Campau Chapter, D.A.R. (at Detroit Lib)

FULTON CEMETERY
RUMSEY, Cornelia Stone 1829-1905
(on stone with J.A., H.S., Eliz.B. and Sarah R. Anson)
ANSON, Sarah Rumsey 1787-1862
RUMSEY, James Anderson d. 1906(
RUMSEY monument,from photo by Roberta L. Simonds 1990)
RUMSEY - Sarah Rumsey Anson 1787-1862
Henry Stone Rumsey 1869-1873
Elizabeth B. Rumsey 1883-1906


URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/histories/rumseyhouse.html