James Talbot (1816-1881)

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James Talbot
Talbot, James, Maria.jpg
Born: 18 Dec 1816 W Flamborough, Ontario, Canada
Died: 22 May 1881 Port Huron, Michigan
Father: John Talbot
Mother: Elizabeth
Siblings: James Talbot
Spouse: Maria House
Married: 1847 Ontario, Canada
Children: John Finley Talbot
James Hartman Talbot
Nancy Elizabeth Talbot
Harry L. Talbot
Sarah M. Talbot
Jane Clarissa Talbot

A. T. Andreas & Co., History of St. Clair County, Michigan, pp. 415-416

The Port Huron Commercial was first published June 7, 1851, with George F. Lewis, editor. ...The Commercial had W. L. Bancroft for its editor, and was as it is now, the leading Democratic journal of this portion of the State....

James Talbot was born at West Flamborough. Can., December 16, 1816. His parents came from Leland several years prior to that date, making a settlement on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. In the first American home of the Talbots, a few of James Talbot's brothers were born. About the year 1812, the family moved to London, Can., where a kinsman, Col. Talbot, resided as Land Commissioner for the British Government.

In 1835, James Talbot, accompanied by William Wheaton, arrived at Port Huron; and moved thence up Black River where Elder Beard was engaged in hewing down the pine forest. There also he became acquainted with the Brockways. After some time, he returned to his home on the Thames. There he married Miss Maria House, a descendant of the first Dutch settler of that name in New York State.

This marriage took place in 1847. In 1851, Mr. Talbot came to Port Huron to reside permanently. Here all their children were born, with two exceptions: one of them dying in infancy was buried in a Canadian cemetery. Two others died at Port Huron, while five children are living.

Mr. Talbot climbed slowly up the ladder of public esteem; he possessed many endearing qualities which won for him a large circle of friends and the confidence of the people. During the war for the Union, he was Supervisor for the First Ward of this city, and upon him devolved the duty of furnishing aid to the families of the soldiers furnished from that district of the city. How he administered this department is even to-day referred to with pleasure.

In 1868, he became the principal owner of the Sunday Commercial, which journal he conducted with marked ability. During the construction of the Great Western Railroad, he was engaged in assisting the surveyors and in other work of a similar character. Under the old city charter he was elected Street Commissioner three times successively. He had the contract for grading Pine Grove avenue and some other streets on the old Military Reserve, and lastly the paving of Military street.

His last days were devoted to a review of the condition of the land of his fathers. The interest which he evinced in the cause of Ireland, as expounded by Parnell and his associates, was such as would become the largest souled political economist in the Union. His advocacy of Ireland's cause brought to the minds of many the fact of the oppression of which they knew little, or from which they just escaped.

An accident, which must be considered the direct cause of Mr. Talbot's death, occurred May 14, 1881. It appears that he and Mrs. Talbot visited some friends at Sombra, Can., on that day. During the return journey a severe hail-storm set in, which urged the travelers to seek shelter in the house of Mrs. Brown, three miles east of the St. Clair River. Here, after entering, Mr. Talbot passed the rope halter or strap through the window, so that he could hold the horse without exposing himself to the terrific storm. The down-pour of hail and the lightning flashes made the horse fractious, and during the lunging of the animal, the finger of his master became entangled in the rope. This finger was jerked off above the middle joint, and with it a sinew, thirteen inches long, was extracted. On Saturday following. May 21, 1881, the sufferer received an apoplectic stroke, which resulted in his death early on Sunday, May 22.

The funeral of this estimable old resident took place May 24, 1881. The pall-bearers were: Dr. S. D. Pace, Dr. Kibbee, S.D. Clark, William Dwyer, Lewis Atkins and S.H. Robinson.


  • Birth: From Headstone inscription
  • Birth variations:
16 Dec 1816 [History of St. Clair County, Michigan]
25 Dec 1816 [Baptism record]
1826 [Death record]
Baptisms At West Flamboro:
James, son of John and Eliza Talbot, born 25th of December, 1816; baptized 4th February, 1817.
  • 1860 Federal Census, 3rd Ward, Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan, Family #1278:
Talbot, James, M, 43, Canada
, Maria, F, 37, Canada
, John F, M, 10, Canada
, James H, M, 8, Michigan
, Nancy E, F, 7, Michigan
, Harry L, M, 5, Michigan
, Sarah M, F, 2, Michigan
  • 1870 Federal Census, Port Huron ward 1, St. Clair, Michigan
Talbot, James, 52, male, white, Printer, Canada
, Maria, 49, female, white, Keeping House, Canada
, John T., 27, male, white, Printer, Canada
, James H., 19, male, white, at home, Michigan
, Nancy E., 18, female, white, at home, Michigan
, Harry L., 15, male, white, at home, Michigan
, Clarissa, 8, female, white, at home, Michigan
  • 1880 Federal Census, 1st Ward, Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
Talbot, James, head, married, male, white, 63, CAN, Proprietor Port Huron Commercial, IRE, IRE
, Maria, wife, married, female, white, 57, CAN, NY, NY
, Lizzie, daughter, single, female, white, 27, MI, School Teacher, CAN, CAN
, Hartman, son, single, male, white, 28, MI, Printer, CAN, CAN
, Jane C., daughter, single, female, white, 17, MI, CAN, CAN
  • Death: Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995
Name: James Talbot
Gender: Male
Death Date: 28 May 1881
Death Place: Port Huron City
Age: 55
Birth Date: 1826
Birthplace: Canada
Occupation: Builder
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Father's Name: John Talbot
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Talbot
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: B03200-0
System Origin: Michigan-EASy
Source Film Number: 976875
Reference Number: v2 pg3 ln3467