Almira Elizabeth was born on November 21, 1835 in Groveland, Oakland County, Michigan. She is the daughter of Victor and Mary (Stephen) Leet. Victor and Mary Leet had three children; Almira (1835), Thomas (1838), and Jacob (1844).
In the 1840 Federal Census, Victor Leet, his wife and a son and a daughter who are both under five years of age are found in Wabash, Illinois. Victor’s parents, Jonathan and Deborah Leete / Leet moved to Wabash, Illinois with several of their children between 1834 Michigan Census and the 1840 Federal census. Jonathan received a land grant in Illinois as a result of his service in the War of 1812. Most of the children of Jonathan and Deborah and their families also went to Illinois at least for a period of time. One daughter, Nancy Leet Boyer remained in Michigan. It appears that Victor and his wife return to Michigan. I do not find them in the 1850 Federal Census in either Illinois or Michigan.
Almira Elizabeth married William Shank on January 12, 1859 in Oakland County, Michigan. In the 1860 Federal Census, William and Almira are living in Walled Lake, Michigan. They have one child whose name is Frank and he is six months old. Also listed in this Census there appears to be Mary Lut which I believe is Leet. The Census seems to imply that she is ten years old. The only 10 year old Mary Leet that I can find is the daughter of Ashel and Emeline Grace Leete from Ionia County, Michigan. She is listed with her parents in the 1860 Census. So this data is a bit bit confusing. Most other researchers believe that Mary Stephen Leet, Almira’s mother died in February of 1850 at the age of 43. I can not at this time confirm this but Victor Leet and his son, Thomas are listed in Milford without his wife in the 1860 Federal Census. Could this be Mary (Stephen) Leet and the age is transcribed wrong? Maybe she is ill and living with her daughter? Or could this be an “unknown to me ” niece or cousin who actually is 10 years old. More for me to investigate.
In the 1870 Federal Census, William and Almira live in Brighton, Michigan. They have two children; Albert (1861) and Frances (1867). Almira’s father, Victor Leet, is now living with them. And appears to remain with them for the remainder of his life. In the 1880 Federal Census, Almira and William remain in Brighton with their son and daughter, Albert and Frances and Victor Leet.
In the 1900 Federal Census, William and Almira live in Milford, Michigan. In the 1910 Federal Census, Almira remains in Milford and her nineteen year old granddaughter is living with her, Anna E. Cooley. She is a widow. She has had three children one of whom (Frank) has died. I do not find a death certificate for her son, Frank. It is my belief that he died as an child.
Ninety three years ago on June 9,1927, Almira died in Livingston County, Michigan at the age of ninety one years old. She is buried with her husband in Milford, Michigan at the Oak Grove Cemetery.
Rest in peace Almira!
Almira Elizabeth Leet Skank is my first cousin four times removed