Lucinda Crandle, the third wife of my great great granduncle, Leman Case Jenks, was born 178 years ago on 17 July 1842 in Humphrey, Cattaraugus, New York, to Jerimiah and Hannah Marsh Crandle. In 1860, Aunt Lue was living in Hamburg, Erie, New York, with her uncle and aunt, Henry and Rhoda Marsh as a servent. This did not last a long time as by 23 March 1865, she was in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan marrying Uncle Leman. Uncle Leman and Aunt Lue had 3 children: Justin Rosenthral (1868), Anna May (1872), and Emma Alice (1878). This was in addition to parenting Albert Arlington (1856), Uncle Leman’s son by his first wife.
Aunt Lue was a favorite of the Jenks Family Historian, Evelyn Seymour Jenks and she wrote a great deal about her in The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911-1927, Evelyn Sermour Jenks, pp 199-204:
“The bride herself described her wedding as taking place at he home of the Rev. Mr. Thorley (now the home of Charles Bilkosky). Mr. Thorley was a farmer as well as a preacher and was outdoors when they arrived, and the one that went to call him in had to stand on the fence as the water was so high around there. Mrs. Thorley started a fire in the parlor and Tom Thorley and one of his sisters hurriedly dressed up and stood up with them. The bride, herself, was dressed in a gray wool skirt and a pink merino waist trimmed with black velvet collar and cuffs – which was all the style in 1865. Their wedding picture shows him a very satisfied, happy looking bridegroom and she a most demure and sweet looking little bride, and that sweetness stayed with her all her life.”
“Of dear Aunt Lue, I must say I never saw a quicker witted person for getting or helping others out of tight places. I remember one time I had a house full of unexpected company, she was one of them, and she went to the kitchen with me to help get supper. I had the kettle on, potatoes frying and started to set the table when I made the startling discovery that I did not have enough bread to go round. I was just floored, and said, “my goodness, Lue, I haven’t got half enough bread, what in the world shall I do?” Quick as a flash she says, “whack up some biscuits and I will set the table.” Well, she set and I whacked and the biscuits were ready with the rest of the supper and cousin Hattie McCloskey says, “when in world did you make these biscuits? They are the best I ever ate.” All the rest praised them up so that I whacked up some more, a day or two later, and took them to the Redford Fair, and got first premium. So, I guess they are better whacked up then puttered with. I remember at that memorable supper, there were Hattie and May McCloskey and May’s little girls, Ethel and Hattie, Uncle Leman, Aunt Lue, Justin, Anna, and Emma, Oliver, Seymour, and myself. One other time, Aunt Lue piloted your old Auntie to the safety zone. It was the first time I ever went to Anna Hodges’. Justin took Aunt Lue and I to Redford in the buggy. We took the street car from there to Orchard Lake where we had to wait for an hour for a train to New Hudson. It was nearly dark and no one around, but the ticket agent and he locked his office, shut up the stove, and left. It was very cold and in a minute Aunt Lue says, “Maybe he thinks we are going to freeze , but I don’t.” And she opened up the drafts and we got good and warm before the train came. When we got off at New Hudson, it was dark as a pocket except for a couple of lanterns. And no one to meet us. It looked like the jumping off place to me and I didn’t know which way to turn. Aunt Lue did. And she told the lady postman, if she would let her put our suitcases in the mail cart, she would help wheel it to the office. So they started ahead with cart and lantern and I brought up in the rear, stopping every few steps to pull on my rubbers that the muddy path was bound to swipe off my feet. We got up to town all right, went into a store, Aunt Lue called up Anna, and we rested till they came for us. They had been to meet an earlier train, but not knowing I was coming, did not look for her on evening train.”
“One time someone let Aunt Lue know there was to be a surprise on them. She did not want to spoil the surprise, so the woman folks were all very busy sewing carpet rags, when the crowd arrived and thought they had surprised them for keeps – they did in a fine way for they presented them with a nice big rocking chair. Once, when Anna Hodges was very sick, her mother spent several weeks with her, and whenever the folks from home came out they brought her extra clothes. When she came to go home on the train, she had more clothes than her suitcase would hold. Twas a poser for so me, but Aunt Lue always had her thinker along, so she put on five petticoats and dress skirts under her dress and wore them all home. Dear Aunt Lue always busy, always helping someone else. I remember going to see her once, I went into the kitchen door and followed Hattie into the front room. Aunt Lue was sitting in the corner, behind the stove, busily pealing potatoes, singing, and rocking baby Amy. She did not see me until I stood before her and she was so surprised she says. “Oh, good-bye.” As old Laddie dog had nipped my heels when I came in, I told her I guessed I ‘d better go while the going was good. We often laughed over my funny reception. Oh many, many happy and many sad hours Aunt Lue and I have passed together. She was always ready to help care for the sick and tenderly nursed her beloved husband through his fated illness. Her own death, April 11, 1916, was a great shock to me. I had not even heard of her sickness. Her son, Justin, was very, very sick and I had word that he was not expected to live and when a long distance call came, I expected to hear that he had passed away, but, they said, no, it is Aunt Lue. I was shocked and surprised, and yet how glad I was to know that her sufferings were short and that she passed on while sleeping.”