It was 149 years ago, 11 November 1869, that George W. Churches was born in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan to Thomas and Harriet Roper Churches. George became part of the family when he married, Ora Lee on 2 September 1896 in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan. Aunt Ora was Great Grandmother Effie Lee Weaver’s sister. Uncle George and Aunt Ora had three daughters: Pearl Geneva (1899), Erma Lorene (1906) and Ella Madelene (1913). All except Pearl seesawed the use of their given and middle names in documents. Uncle George and Aunt Ora would have been fairly non-distinct except for this one article in the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, 16 October 1913: “Redford Builder Still Missing Belief Strengthened that George Churches Met With Foul Play.
Belief that George Churches, builder, 44 years old, has met with foul play, was given stronger credence Wednesday by his wife and family in Redford as the day passed without a word of the missing man.
Churches left Redford at 5 o’clock Saturday morning carrying between $1,200 and $1,500 [this is the equivalent of a bit over $30,000 in 2018 dollars] which he intended to bank in Detroit. Before leaving he told his wife he would be back during the afternoon. Thus far nothing has been heard of him. Members of the sheriff’s force have failed to learn even that he had arrived in Detroit.
Mrs. Churches [Aunt Ora] does not believe that his stay from home is voluntary. There are three young daughters, Pearl, 14 years old, Loraine, 7 years old, and a babe [Ella Madelene] 4 months old.”
I have not been able to find a follow up article telling where Uncle George was or what he was doing. I do know that he did return. Aunt Ora and he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a big family party in 1941 (also covered by the DFP). Uncle George lived until 29 December 1960 and is buried next to Aunt Ora at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.