Tombstone Tuesday – April 19, 2022 – Addie Mae Densmore Anderson

Addie Mae Densmore was born on October 12, 1890 in Cottrellville, Michigan. She was the first daughter born to Charles and Mary Morgan (Hayner) Densmore. Charles and Mary had eleven children; Addie Mae (1890), Nomer (1893-1893), Charles Ray (1894), Elizabeth (1897), Dorothy (1901), Jay Morgan (1903), John Reynolds (1905), Harry Hayner (1908), Mary Kathryn (1910), Alan Glen (1912) and Alvin Chester (1912-1912).

In the 1900 Federal Census, Addie is nine years old. She live in East China with her parents, Charles and Mary Densmore and her brother Charles Ray(1895) and sister Elizabeth (1897). They had two boarders living with them who were not related.

My mother told me that the year that Andrew (a Norwegian immigrant sailor) and Addie met, Addie was a eighteen year old “milk maiden” who worked for a local dairy farmer. She drove a wagon drawn by horses around town and delivered milk to businesses and homes. Andrew was not “home” very much but when he was, he boarded at the home of his employer, Captain Gus Englehart. Gus frequently employed and sponsored Norwegian sailors as crew members for his ships. One day when Andrew was not at sea, he caught the attention of Miss Addie as she delivered milk. Soon after that Andrew spent every minute that he was on shore with Addie and the Densmore family. Addie married Andrew Anderson in Windsor, Ontario on December 9,1909. Addie and Andrew spent their first winter of their marriage on a ship in the Chicago Harbor where they “Wintered Over”. Andrew and his crew took care of the ship and Addie was the cook.

Charles Densmore Family – 1915
Back row L to R: Jay Morgan, Elizabeth, Ray Charles, Addie, Dorothy
Front Row L to R: Mary Kathryn, Mary Morgan, Harry Hayner, Charles holding Allen G, John Reynold

In the 1910 Federal Census, the newly married couple, Addie and Andrew, are found with Charles and Mary Densmore. Charles lists his occupation as a farm laborer. Andrew lists his as a wheelman on a Lake Steamer. They live in Cottrellville, Michigan. Living with them are Charles and Mary ‘s children ; Ray C, Elizabeth, Dorothy, Morgan (Jay), John, Harry, Mary Katheryn.

1920 Photo of Addie holding Robert, Olga and Ray with their new car which Addie learned how to drive as soon as she could.

By the 1920 Federal Census, Andrew and Addie Anderson are now living in Marine City, Michigan. They have two children; Olga (1912) and Ray (1917). Andrew has stopped sailing and he now an Operator in the local power station used to power the electric rail line that runs from Port Huron to Detroit.

By the 1930 Federal Census, Andrew and Addie had seven children six of whom were living at home; Ray, Robert (1920), Andrew (1922), Charles (1925), Leah (1928), Herbert (1930). Andrew has remained employed by the Electric Interurban Rail Line.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Andrew and Addie still live at 272 N Elizabeth Street in Marine City. Ray(23) is working as a Machine operator, Robert W (20) is sailor who is currently not assigned to a ship, Andrew F (18) is looking for employment. The remain children are all attending school ; Charles H, Leah M, Herbert W, and John H (1932).

Andrew Anderson Family – 1937

Back Row L to R : Andrew F, Robert Wesley, Ray D. Charles H.
Front Row L to R: Addie, John H. Andrew, Leah, Olga, Herbert.

Sixty seven years ago today, Addie died of Breast Cancer. She was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in East China, Michigan.

Rest in Peace, Addie!

Love you, Jan

Addie was my Grandmother, my Mother’s Mother. I never knew her because she died when my mother, Leah (Anderson) Smith was about 5 months pregnant with me. I have a lot in common with my Grandma Addie. She was an avid sewer and so am I. She and Andrew were avid gardeners. In the 1920s and 1930’s, you needed to be gardeners to feed a family of eight children. I, too, love gardening and canning. I do not need to, as much as I want to. I love knowing that I grew it. I love the taste of my home grown produce all season long but especially in the winter when I open that jar! My parents never gardened. I learned to garden from a wonderful old gardener who was my neighbor for five years when I was in my twenties. Lyal was nearly ninety when he set out to teach me how to garden. That was a special time for me. My children were small and we were just getting by and the garden produce was a big help.

Grandma Addie speaks to me and through me everyday. It is a very special bond that we have. Love you, Grandma Addie!

2 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday – April 19, 2022 – Addie Mae Densmore Anderson

  1. Pam

    What a beautiful remembrance of Grandma Anderson. I only remember Gma Addie as being sick, laying on the couch with a cold cloth on her head. I also remember the day she died and Mom crying as she peeled potatoes for dinner. Susie and I stayed with Gma and Gpa Smith when Mom and Dad went to the funeral. How I wish we had had time w her. Thanks for the memories, Jan.



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