George William & Florence Elma (Ervay) Root

Submitted by: Sara Dianne Austin Myers


George William Root 

age 17 years

Florence Elma Ervay 

age 16 years

Descendants of George William Root

1. GEORGE WILLIAM ROOT, son of  WILLIAM E. ROOT and ANN ELIZABETH 'LIZZIE' INGRAM, born May 27, 1867 in Dover Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and died July 01, 1940 in Roxand Township, Eaton County, Michigan. He married FLORENCE ELMA ERVAY March 24, 1897 in the M. E. Church, Potterville, Eaton County, Michigan, daughter of ORRIN ERVAY and MARY BARNES. She was born December 25, 1875 in Stanton, Montcalm County, Michigan, and died February 08, 1964 in a Nursing home, Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan.


 i. MARJORIE ELIZABETH ROOT, b. March 29, 1898, Roxand Township, Eaton County, Michigan; d. April 07, 1936, Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan.

 ii. SUSIE LANA ROOT, b. June 21, 1900, Roxand Eaton County, Michigan; d. January 21, 1967, Eaton County Medical Care Facility, Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan.

 iii. WILLIAM ERVAY ROOT, b. January 11, 1902, Roxand Township, Eaton County, Michigan; d. March 29, 1947, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

iv. MABEL FERN ROOT, b. September 24, 1903, Roxand Township, Eaton County, Michigan; d. December 31, 1992, Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona.

v. GEORGE LEONARD ROOT, b. August 13, 1906, Roxand Township, Eaton County, Michigan; d. July 25, 1961, Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan.

vi. DOROTHY ELVIRA ROOT, b. June 22, 1908, Roxand Township Eaton County, Michigan; d. February 06, 1983, Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan.

George William & Florence Elma (Ervay) Root Family

Photo taken 1915 - 1916 at their home, 522 S. Prairie Street, Charlotte, MI

Back Row: L-R - William Ervay, George William Root, Florence Elma (Ervay) Root, 

                            Marjorie Elizabeth 

Front Row: L-R - George Leonard, Susie Lana, Mabel Fern, Dorothy Elvira


George William & Florence Elma (Ervay) Root Family

Photo taken 1919, in Charlotte, MI at the Rohm Studio 

Back Row: Susie Lana, Mabel Fern, William Ervay, George Leonard, Marjorie


Front Row: Florence Elma (Ervay), Dorothy Elvira, George William Root


    My Grandmother, Florence Elma (Ervay) Root, wrote several poems over her lifetime. She wrote about her everyday life experiences, while others were written to speak at various organizations where she was active in the community.  She wrote for special occasions, like holidays and birthdays.  Also the Methodist Church in Charlotte, Roxand School Functions, family funerals, and for her grandchildren, relatives and friends for speaking at various events and functions in her Township. 

    One of her poems was published in the 1940 edition of the World’s Fair Anthology of Verse.   

She named it: My Mother’s Old Letters 

I love those dear old letters

That my mother wrote to me

They bring to me of childhood

And bring back fond memory

They tell of joys and sorrows

And the love she had for me


My Mother’s dear old letters!

They are faded now and worn

I have read them o’er and o’er

Till the envelopes were torn

To me they are my treasure

And have a place all their own

My mother’s dear old letters

They sanctify my home 


    Today, with telephones and e-mails, letters are something that we do not have in our generation to pass down to our descendants.   They are greatly missed by all.

    I can only imagine when her children were tucked into bed, she would think about something that happened during the day, than would take a pen in hand to write about those life experiences. 

Bob Haigh (my cousin), Flo Lembeck  (my sister) and myself have some of the originals.

This is a good example of what her poetry was all about. 

Poem written by:  Florence Elma Ervay Root about her husband George W. Root. No year on poem.  

Once there was a farmer

Who had tools of every kind

All the neighbors borrowed them

But he really didn’t mind.

His wife would often chide him

For his easy going way.

But he took it all good-naturedly

And I have often heard him say


“I don’t expect to be her long

And I’d rather have a friend

Than to have my tools all shiny

And my neighbors to offend.

Some can’t afford to buy them.

And they have families to feed.

And if I wouldn’t lend them tools

They would think me mean indeed.”


And so they borrowed all his tools

Till they had worn them out

One neighbor bought a nice new drill

And he thought  ‘twould turn about’

So he went to ask the use of it

In his friendly sort of way.

“ I can’t be buying tools to lend”

Is what he heard him say?


“I’ll tell you I’m not easy,

Like some farmers that I know.

You had your tools, and still would have them

If you had done as I shall do.

Well – now, I’ll let you the take the drill”

He finally got around to say.

“But it’s going to cost you plenty!

Fifty cents an acre is what you have to pay.”


The farmer took the drill and plodded homeward

With a sadly thoughtful mien.

I asked the reason for his sadness

And he hastened to explain.

And, said he “My tools are gone

But I feel I still have friends.

And with him I’d not change places

When my time on this earth ends.”


Four Generation Photo

Florence Elma (Ervay) Root, her mother, Mary (Barnes) Ervay, her grandfather, Calab James Barnes, her daughter, Marjorie Elizabeth Root.

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