(Charles H., Philip Jr., Philip Sr., John Sr., Peter I, Peter Gerardus, Jean)

In Oct. 1871 due to dry conditions for lack of rain, gale force winds whipped up the small fires farmers had been using to clear their lands at that time. The fire spread over the Thumb area so fast that it did not consume the trees it killed, but merely left dead and charred stumps. Redford’s buildings were spared but he lost all his fences. This fire began the decline of lumbering in the Thumb.
By the time of the 1880 federal census, Redford and Julia were living in Sheridan Twp., they had six children and farming was still his occupation. The agricultural portion of the census is shown in the box to the right.

September 5, 1881 brought more disaster by fire for the Thumb of Michigan. The March 1940 Tuscola County Advertiser did an article on Redford where he recalled how the great fire affected him and his family. “The first sign of fire that I noted was a small blaze in my barn which spread rapidly. I saved a fanning mill and some sacks which we carried with us to a field of uncut corn away from the wind. In just a few minutes all our buildings burned. We remained in the field from 2:00 in the afternoon until the middle of the next day. At the back end of the farm was a pond hole. I made my way back and after skimming the ashes from the water, carried pans of water back to my children who were crying for a drink. We put up the fanning mill against a slope, covered it with the sacks, and this became our home until I was able to build another. We were thankful that we had escaped with our lives.” A million acres were devastated in Sanilac and Huron Counties alone. At least 125 persons died, and thousands were left destitute. This was the first disaster relief effort taken on by the new American Red Cross.

In 1881 or 1882 another daughter, Eva May was born. Sept.Redford and 2nd Wife 16, 1883 Emeline was born. She must have been stillborn or died in infancy as no mention was made of her when the 1959 family tree was compiled. On Feb. 8, 1884 Julia gave birth to a daughter Bertha. Ten days later Julia died and was laid to rest in the Tyre Cemetery in Bingham Township. Baby Bertha only survived until August of that year.

In all, Redford and Julia had 10 children: Charles Henry 1870-1947, William Clark 1872-1950, Edith Rebecca 1873-1958, Hulda Mariah
1876-1928, Effie Louina 1878-1963, Eva May 1879-1893, David Almond 1880-1972, Kitti Mabel 1881-1881, Emeline 1883-1883,
Bertha 1884-1884.

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