March 4, 2012

Grandmother's Brothers - First, Guy J.

Grandmother Dorothy Doty was the little sister to three big brothers, Guy, Harry and George. 
Front, L to R: George Washington Doty, Guy J. Doty
Back, L to R: Harry R. Doty, George Lewis Doty

Guy J. Doty, the firstborn of George W. and Alice Doty, entered this world on June 20, 1890.  Born on the Doty homestead, he lived there his entire life.

After his father's death in 1910, he helped take over the responsibilities on the farm.  His World War I draft registration, dated June 5, 1917, gave his age as 26 and his status as single, a farmer on his farm in Raisinville.  He described himself as tall, of medium build with brown hair and eyes.

Just a few years later, on March 4, 1920, when he was 29, he married Elsie Reber, also 29,  and they settled in on the homestead.  The couple had three sons: Robert, Donald and George J. 
Doty cousins under a mulberry tree that the first Joseph Doty brought to Michigan from New York, according to the writing on the back of the photo.
My mother identified those in the photo as: Back Row, L to R: Dorothy and Fred Ordway, Guy J Doty, Don Doty (child), Martha Doty, Kathleen Doty (child), Elsie Doty, Dorothy Kemmerling Yeager, Harry Doty, Becky Kemmerling.  Front Row, L to R: Don Kemmerling, Ed Yeager, Jack Doty, Tippy the dog,  Johnny Kemmerling, Alice Yeager, Bonnie Doty and Donna Ordway (my mom with the print dress).
My mother dated this photo circa 1934-1935.

Guy J. Doty was an incredibly active man in his church and community.  Perhaps his obituary, published after his death on October 15, 1944, says it best.

Raisinville Farmer Gave Unstintingly of His Energy to Many Worthy Causes
Guy J. Doty, a man who gave unstintingly of his ability and energy in the constructive work of the farmer, the grange member, the township official, the selective service official, and the multiple duties of production credit and farm insurance, of farm cooperatives and many others, died at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.  His death created an inestimable loss to the county community in which he was one of the most widely-known citizens.
Mr. Doty, who was 54 years old, had not been feeling well for about six weeks, but he had not lessened his activities in his many fields.  He was the chairman of the special committee of the board of supervisors which visited three counties and brought back a report vigorously recommending the purchase of mechanical tax equipment as a necessity of good government.  Within the last two weeks, he had devoted considerable energy to work out a cooperative financing plan between three townships for a unit of the county library.
He attended the meetings of the board of supervisors early last week.  He was elected supervisor of Raisinville township in 1940, having served previously as township treasurer from 1932-1936.  He was reelected in 1941 and again in 1942 and 1943 when the term was lengthened to two years.  He was one of the first to espouse the cause of the county health department on the board of supervisors. 

Mr. Doty went to bed last Friday and remained confined to his bed until death.  The Doty farm is on the North Custer road, the Doty family occupying the homestead since 1837.
Mr. Doty's grandfather, Joseph Doty, moved to Monroe county from New York state in 1837, and established the farm on the north bank of the River Raisin.  The Doty ancestry goes back to early Pilgrim days, Edward Doty being one of the signers of the Covenant of the Mayflower.  Edward married Hope Standish, a member of the Standish family of Mayflower and Plymouth history.

Guy Doty was the son of George W. and Alice Newcomer Doty and was born on the homestead on June 20, 1890.  He attended the Grape school and then Monroe high school as have all the members of the Doty family.  His student trips to Monroe were made by buggy over muddy roads.  He did not graduate, however, the death of his father during his school days requiring his full services on the homestead.  He later took a farm course at Michigan State College and studied and read intensively on all modern farm technique. 

Through his interest in farming, he became active in the work of the county fair and in 4-H club programs.  His sons have all been active in 4-H Club work, Donald receiving the state's highest 4-H award during the late summer.
He was active in grange work for many years and was currently master of the Raisinville grange, a post he had held previously.  He was secretary-treasurer of the Ida Farmers Cooperative, a highly successful organization.  When farmers needed financial help and the federal government provided loaning agencies for machinery and equipment, Mr. Doty became president of the Jackson Production Credit Association when that organization, handling credits for four counties, had its office in Adrian.  Later the offices were moved to Jackson and distance became too great a factor.  Mr. Doty was vice president at the time of his death.  He was recently renamed a director of the Patrons Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

With the outbreak of the war, the demands upon Mr. Doty's time increased and he patriotically answered every call to service.  He was appointed to the original membership on the county selective service board in late September of 1940, serving with C. Ward Andrews and Norbert F. Yaeger.  He has served continuously, remaining on the board when he felt his health dictated that he should resign.  He stayed on because he felt he was ably qualified to serve as the representative of the farmer.  He received many visitors on draft matters at his home at all hours of the day and night.
Early in 1941, he became a member of the United States Department of Agriculture war board, an organization of representatives of all government agencies in the county, seeking to correlate their activities.  Mr. Doty represented farm production credits.  Finding a conflict of interest with those of selective service, Mr. Doty resigned from the war board about 14 months ago.

Mr. Doty suffered an illness several years ago which forced him to curtail his physical activities on the farm.  The death of his father at an early age, followed by the deaths of two younger brothers, Dr. George L. Doty in October of 1941 and Harry R. Doty on April 3, 1942, all from heart ailments, caused Mr. Doty to be aware of the possibility of his death.  Having enjoyed the longest life of his immediate famly, Mr. Doty often remarked that he was "living on borrowed time" but that fact never caused him to hesitate an instant in calling upon his resources to do what he felt was necessary.
Of a sunny, sometimes ribald disposition, Mr. Doty loved the humorous story and his hearty goodfellowship made him the life of most meetings he attended.
One of his numerous interests was the Monroe County Historical Society, his own family's long connection with the community being of value in the work of the organization.

Mr. Doty married Elsie Reber on March 4, 1920, at Dundee, the service being performed by the Rev. J. Sommers.  Her father, John Reber, was a Raisinville supervisor.  Mrs. Doty survives, in additon to three sons and a sister.  The sons are Sergeant Robert D. Doty, now stationed at Salina, Kansas, in the Army Air Force; Donald D. Doty and George J. Doty, both at home.  The sister is Mrs. Fred (Dorothy) Ordway of Malinta, Ohio...
(Funeral arrangements omitted here.)
A staunch Republican in politics, Mr. Doty sought political preferment outside his own township only once.  He was a candidate for state representative in 1932, being unopposed for the nomination and losing to Tracy Southworth.  Mr. Doty was always outspoken and stated his position on most questions in terms which were unmistakable.  One admirer today likened the death of Mr. Doty as a county loss similar to that sustained by the nation in the death of Wendell Wilkie."

Elsie Reber Doty lived until June 1973.  Her obituary stated that she was a lifelong resident of Raisinville herself and "when she married, she merely moved from one side of the river to the other."  After her husband died in 1944, Elsie was appointed to finish out his term of county supervisor which expired in April 1945.  She was a very active member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church and the Raisinville Grange.  I found an interesting interview with Elsie at this website, where she shares her memories of the early days of Monroe.

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