South Evergreen Schoolhouse

Saving an important piece of history

South Evergreen Schoolhouse  -  First Teacher

Fanny M.Wilson was the first South Evergreen School Teacher.


Fanny was the sister of James A Wilson.  James was the husband of Sarah J. Severance.  Sarah was the daughter of Nelson C. Severance.  Nelson was one of the four founders of the South Evergreen School.


The four founders were:


Nelson Chase Severance

David Derial Rice

Samuel Smith

Jacob Potts

Here are some things we know about Fanny Wilson


Fanny M. Wilson

b. 1845 or 1846 in New York


Parents:         Robert Wilson, b. 1805 – 1810, Ireland, d. July 26, 1887, buried in Spring Lake Cemetery

                      Maria McEwen Wilson, b. 1817, Ireland, d. Feb 7, 1893, buried in Spring Lake Cemetery


Siblings:         James A. Wilson, b Sept 1838, New York, d. July 13, 1919 in GR, buried in Spring Lake

                                 married Sarah J. Severance (daughter of Nelson Severance) in 1866


                      Eliza Wilson, b. 1841, New York


                      John Wilson, b. 1844, New York, d. 1904 in Allegan County, MI


                      Fanny M. Wilson


                      Maria Wilson, b. 1847, New York



1850 Federal Census: family home town was Augusta, Oneida, New York.  Shows parents Robert & Maria, siblings James, Eliza, John, Fanny & Maria.  Fanny was listed as being born in abt 1845 in New York, age 3.  Father was a farmer.


1851: according to Fanny’s brother James obituary, the family arrived in Spring Lake during the spring of 1851 by steamship.  The ship’s name was either Algoma or Algomah.


1860 Federal Census: Fanny Wilson was age 14 and working for the John H. Newcomb family in Spring Lake as a “domestic”.


1868 Marriage: Fanny Wilson age 23 married Orson Vanderhoef age 30 on March 2, 1868 in Spring Lake.  Her siblings John Wilson and Maria Wilson stood up for them.  They lived in Grand Haven.


Children: Fanny and Orson had at least 2 daughters.  Francis Louise (b. 1869) and Bessie Ruth (1873)


Death: Fanny died November 1, 1879 and is buried in the Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven.

All federal census and marriage documents lists Fanny’s year of birth as 1845 or 1846

Thanks to Claudia Timmerman Throop for providing all of the information on this page


Claudia has compiled a very informative booklet on Fanny M. Wilson.


The following is a link to Claudia’s booklet.


Fanny M. Wilson booklet