Nov 10, 2009

Pioneer Family

This is the first in what I hope are many submissions to 'Pioneer Family'. I was recently contacted by Scott Ackerman requesting some information. I then contacted another Ackerman descedent, Kathy Farrell and we researched this family from there. Here is the first pioneer family post. If you have a pioneer family you would like to see posted please contact me at the above email address.


Sanford J. Ackerman and family

Sanford Jobe Ackerman, son of Sanford Ackerman and Maria Davenport, was born on April 9, 1826 in Cattaraugus County, New York. He moved to Ohio around 1834, then later bought 80 acres in Sauk County, Wisconsin sometime after 1854. The family migrated between the two states before coming to Ravenna. They spent their first year in Michigan in the Six Corners area of Ravenna township. They may have stayed with a related family, the Davenports who first came to the township in 1855 to section 23. Sanford later settled on 80 acres in section 4 in the NW quarter of the township in 1864 with his family. He acquired 40 additional acres in 1871 to total 120, in the section where their home was built. That 40 acres is later owned by his son S.L. Ackerman. He also bought an additional 40 acres that same year in section 9, later owned by another son O.L. Ackerman.

Sanford married Christena Bunnell September 25, 1848 near Mt Gillead, Ohio, and together they raised six children to adulthood. The following were born in Ohio, Orison L. born 1849, Sanford Lafayette born 1851, Mary M. born 1853. Charlotte in 1856 and Harriet in 1858 were both born in Wisconsin. Charles B. was born 1861 in Ohio.

The children would have attended the Price School on the corner of Muskegon Street [now known as Heights Ravenna Rd.] & Price Road, just minutes in walking distance from the Ackerman home also on Muskegon Street.

Besides the occupation of farmer, Sanford was elected Sheriff of Muskegon County in 1867 and City Marshall of Muskegon in 1870, where he and his family spent a brief residence during this term. He also served as Supervisor of Ravenna from 1871-1878, and was the Justice of the Peace for over ten years. He is listed as a druggist in the State 1877 business directory and also served as postmaster in Ravenna.

Sanford was a freemason member of the Masonic Lodge as were his sons Charles and Orison ‘Orson’. Christena was a Rebekah, of the Evening Star Lodge #21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Orson and Sanford L., were both members of the I.O.O.F. Lodge #355 and their wives Ella and Maggie were Rebekah members. Ella was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Charles was affiliated with several other organizations besides the Masons, the I.O.O.F., the Elks, and Knights of the Maccabees. Some of their stones are marked for their memberships.

Sanford and wife Christena made Ravenna their home and lived the rest of their lives there. Several of their children married and continued to live in Ravenna for many years. Many of the Ackerman family are buried in the Ravenna Cemetery. Charles and Harriet lived with their families in Northern Michigan, and later Harriet and her family moved to Montana.

Sanford J. Ackerman died in Ravenna on May 13, 1890, his wife Christena J. Ackerman died February 25, 1914. Both are buried in the Ravenna Cemetery.

Sanford J. Ackerman b. April 9, 1826 d. May 13, 1890
Christena J. Ackerman b. August 23, 1827 d. February 25, 1914


Orison Laroy Ackerman ‘Orson’ b 1849 Delaware Co Ohio d 1924 bur Rav Cem, m(1) Mary Caroline Anderson, m (2) Eldora L. [Ella] b 1851 Connecticut/Vermont d 1926 bur Rav Cem
children: Maudye E., Carrie, Ella, Sanford G., Martin

Sanford Lafayette Ackerman b 14 Oct 1851 Ohio d. 7 April 1941 bur Ravenna Cemetery. 17 May 1874 m Margaret E Moore. b 7 Oct 1856 Canada d. 30 March 1918 bur Ravenna Cemetery
children: Christina , Edith M. m Arthur Scholes, Bell M. m George Woodbury, Millie m William H. Hill, Nettie m Judson G. Hiscutt
Sanford lived in Ravenna twp and was a farmer, growing peppermint.

Mary M. Ackerman b 5 Sept 1853 Ohio d 11 July 1915 bur Ravenna Cemetery, m (1) Hugh Hunter-
children: Nellie b 1876, Sanford b 1880 m Orpha Higley both bur Ravenna Cemetery.
m (2) John Laubach b 1851 d 1928 bur Ravenna Cemetery
children: Eva b 1892 m Mahlon Snowdin both bur Ravenna Cemetery, twins born 1895 Merton L. & Mertie M.

(S)Charlotte A. Ackerman b 1 May 1856 Wisconsin d 1930 bur Ravenna Cemetery, m Henry Hull, Ravenna Physician
children: Blanche b 1873 d 1888 bur Rav Cem, Charlotte A. m John McNitt Jr, and a daughter 'Dot'.

Harriet Janet Ackerman
b 14 Sept 1858 Wisconsin d Jan 2, 1933 Montana; m (1) Phillip P. Shorts-Physician; Ludington Mi.
Ch: Grace C. m James W. Speer; Attorney and Mayor Great Falls, Mn.
m(2) Louis Pelletier-Physician; Ludington, Michigan, lived Montana.

Charles B. Ackerman b 5 Jan 1861 Ohio d 18 Dec 1915 bur Ravenna Cemetery, m (1)Julia F. Loughrie(Loughrey) b 1862 d 1893 bur Ravenna Cemetery
children - Jessie, Charles Dayton Ackerman b 11 Dec 1885, m (2) Ruth Tremain, Lafayette m Elsie Dougherty, Lottie
m(2) ‘Frankie’ Francis C. Selby
children: Ruth E. m David Sutton, twins b 1898 Benzie Co Mich Vera & Verl C. m William Marz
Charles’ family Lived in Empire, Leelanau Michigan, and was a prominent businessman.

Sources: 150 Years 1849-1999 Ravenna Township Michigan; By Ravenna Area Historical Society, Published by Rogers Printing Ravenna, Michigan 1999. Michigan State Gazetteer & Business Directory 1877; RL Polk Publishing. Family Search Record Search, Library Edition, Heritage Quest-Library Subscription. Ravenna Museum Archives, Muskegon County Clerks Office BMD records, Hackley Public Library; Muskegon Chronicle Newspaper-microfilm


  1. Marvelous research and extra helps you give.
    The Historical Society is a cut above many.
    Great information of the time and place.

  2. Thank you Frances, I do appreciate the comment!! Sometime I wonder if the blog is being read much and if people like what they read, so again I do appreciate it. That encourages me to continue on! Holly

  3. Is this a family you are researching?