Dervin E(ldon?) GEARHART

Born: 19 Jul 1876 at Vermontville, Eaton Co., MI
Died: 12 Dec 1950 at Lansing, Ingham, MI

Father: John S. GEARHART (1843-1903)
Mother: Sarah Catherine SMITH (1847-1906)

Spouse1: Alice Flora DUNSMORE (1873-1947)
Spouse2: Francis L. ?


  • Pearl Ethel "Peggy" (1899-1981), m. Wainard GARDNER (no children)
  • Eldon (1904-1936) m. Marguerite Thelma BROKAW
  • Fern Isabelle (1906-1923)

    At right, the family on 19 Mar 1914 (17th anniv. Pearl 15, Eldon 10, Fern 8) ===>>

  • Dervin grew up on a "sugur-bush" (i.e. maple syrup) farm in Vermontville, near Lansing, MI. I believe Dervin followed the same profession (don't know if he inherited the same farm). He and Alice were married 19 Mar 1898 at Ionia, Ionia Co., MI (Ionia Co., MI Marriage Records p. 225 #391 Dervin E. GEARHART age 21 years Alice DUNSMORE age 24 years witnesses Thos. E. DUNSMORE [Alice's older brother] and Arthur E. COLLOW). Later in life, he may have worked at Oldsmobile in Lansing. He and Alice moved into Lansing from the country later in life and died in the city. His granddaughter (Eldon's daughter) remembers going to their house every Christmas until they got too old, then they went to Aunt Peggy's house instead. She remembers them as warm and friendly grandparents. Once Eldon died, though, they didn't have nearly as much contact with that side of the family as before.

    Dianne RICHARDS provided the text of Dervin's obituary (she wants noted that it came from a scrapbook at the Vermontville Public Library, 120 E. 1st Vermontville, MI 49096; passed to her by Jan SEDORE):

    VERMONTVILLE, EATON COUNTY, MI OBITUARY: DERVIN E. GEARHART Funeral services for Dervin E. GEARHART of 724 W. Mt. Hope Ave., who died Tuesday evening at a local hospital will be held at the Estes-Leadly Colonial Chapel at 1:30 o'clock Friday afternoon. Rev. Malcolm R. CRONK of the South Baptist church will officiate and interment will be at Deepdale cemetery. Pallbearers will be Carl and John GEARHART, Clair, Ernest, John and Alton BENNETT. Mr. GEARHART had been a resident of Lansing for the past 30 years, coming here from Nashville. He was a member of the South Baptist church in Lansing and the Maccabee lodge at Nashville. The survivors are the widow, Francis L., a daughter, Mrs Wainered GARDNER of Lansing; a brother, Henry GEARHART of Vermontville; five sisters, Mrs Sarah WEEKS of Lansing, Mrs Frank WINCHELL of Kansas City, Kansas, Mrs Sidney ROBART of Walkerville, Michigan, Mrs Ella BENNETT of Bellevue and Mrs George HARVEY of Nashville and three grandchildren.

    I have most of the same text in some family papers (cut off after Mrs. Frank WINCHELL), although unfortunately no date is shown for the obituary. Since Alice died 3 years before Dervin and his obituary shows the widow as Francis L., Dervin apparently remarried.

    Dervin and Alice 1 yr anniv.

    Dervin and Alice ca. early 1930s

    Dervin and Alice ca. early 1940s

    Eldon and Dervin ca. 1926

    Below is a picture from Diana ROCHE that has on the back "Fern, Sarah, Dervin and wife with me behind." The "me" is Diana's Aunt Bertha (WINCHELL) ENGLAND and Sarah is Dervin's sister. Since the picture was taken 19 Jun 1950 (Alice d. 1947), this must be Dervin's second wife Francis. This "Fern" can't be Dervin's daughter, since she d. 1923. Diana thinks it may be the wife of Maggie and Dervin's brother Henry's son. One of Diana's family stories: "Grandma's brother, Henry, lived on the home place until he died. His wife then moved to Nashville, Michigan. Their son and his wife, Fern, are operating the business with their sons -- Glen and Karl -- at the time this story was written." The story refers to an article Diana doesn't have that appeared in the March 19, 1967 State Journal of Lansing Michigan. It relates a story of maple syrup, how it is gathered and made by three generations of Gearharts. Carl Edwin GEARHART, son of Henry, married a Fern BRIGGS.

    From Diana ROCHE:
    Dervin died 12 Dec 1950 and was buried 15 Dec 1950 in Lot 36, Space 6 at Deepdale Cemetery in Lansing, Delta Twp., Eaton County, MI. Eldon was buried there too 3 Sep 1936 in Lot 36, Space 9. Eldon's son Willard was buried 21 Jun 1939 in Lot 36, Space 10. John H. GEARHART owned Spaces 1-5 in Lot 36. Dervin owned Spaces 6-10. Fern was buried 8 May 1923 (didn't get the space but she's in Lot 36). Alice Flora (A.F. Gearhart) was buried there in 1947. Edith Gearhart (wife of John H.) was buried October 22, 1932 in Lot 36, Space 2. Edith's mother, Mary SNYDER is buried next to Edith in Lot 36, Space 1 (didn't get the date of burial).


  • Family papers and stories
  • Some details came from Dianne RICHARDS (
  • birth day from Diana ROCHE family papers