Tombstone Tuesday – March 8, 2022 – Francis Jay Reynolds

Francis Jay Reynolds was born on October 11, 1881. He was the son of Charles and Jemina “Belle” (Johns) Reynolds. Charles and Belle had six children; Ida (1868), Franklin (1870), Ella (1876), Fred (1879), Francis (1881) and Minnie (1886). Due to the loss of the 1890 Federal Census, the first census that Francis Jay is found in is the 1900 Federal Census. He is already 18 years old. He is a farm laborer, also listed in the census is his sister Minnie. The census states that his mother, Jennie, has had 8 children , five of whom are living in 1900. The older children in this family have married and moved on.

Jay (Francis) Reynolds married Kate Campbell on November 30, 1904 in Allegan, Michigan. In the 1910 Federal Census, Jay and Kate are living in Martin, Michigan. They have two children; Clyde (1906) and Dorothy (1909). Jay states that his occupation is a Shoe Shiner at the local railroad station. They rent a home and have been married for five years. Kate, Jay’s wife, died in 1914 of TB.

Jay registers for the draft for WW1 on Sept 12,1918. He is currently living at 314 E Franklin St, Ostego, Michigan, He is thirty-six years old and works for Mac Sim Bar Paper Company as a Beaterman. He lists his closest relative as his father Charles E Reynolds who live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Out of curiosity I looked up what a Beaterman did at a paper mill. They were in charge of the machinery used to make wood shavings into pulp. They ensured that the pulp was the correct consistency for making paper. Mac Sim Bar Paper Company open in Ostego, Michigan in 1906 and continued operation for 98 years. It was later operated under the name of Rock-Tenn Company until it closed in 2004.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Jay is a boarder in Ostego living in the home of George R Davis. His daughter Dorothy, is living with her Grandmother Annie Campbell and Annie’s Son John in the 1920 Federal Census. This is likely another case where an adolescent daughter was not allowed to live with her father. Clyde A Reynolds is living with an Aunt and Uncle, Jennie and Frank Warrant.

By the 1930 Federal Census, Dorothy is twenty-one years old and living with her father again. By the time of the 1940 Federal Census, Francis Jay and his son Clyde are living together on 117 East Oeleane Street in Otsego, Michigan. Jay Reynolds register for the WWII draft in 1942. He was employed by the City of Ostego in the state of Michigan.

Sixty-eight years ago today, March 8, 1954, Francis Jay Reynolds died in Ostego, Michigan. He is buried with his wife and several children in East Martin Cemetery, Martin, Michigan.

East Martin Cemetery, Allegan County, Michigan

Rest in peace, Jay!

Love , Jan

Francis Jay was my first cousin 3 times removed.

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