from Provo Family History, by Birdie Villeneuve:
She was of Irish descent (full blooded Irish). After she married Frank, they came back by boat from Montréal, Québec and landed at Escanaba, Michigan on April 17, 1868.
This was the only grandparent I ever knew or saw, the others dying before my birth. Grandma Provo died before I was nine years old. Her death was due to a broken hip in December of 1922 and of old age. Grandma Provo was small woman, probably never weighing over the weight of of a hundred pounds. She was very active and ambitious. She loved flowers and always had a nice flower garden. I remember seeing her work out there on her crutches. She was very good to my parents and us children. Grandma Provo made many pretty quilts and did a lot of canning. My dad brought a thousand or more canning jars home after her death. Many of them were still full. Most of them had spoiled though, because she hadn’t canned in her later years.
After Grandpa’s death 17 years previous to hers, she took care of the loan business. She must have done well at it, as she left each of her four remaining children $5,000 cash each, and to each child she left several pieces of property, which was good for those days.
Abbie was a very thrifty woman, but not stingy. She would pick up every marble, pin, etc. that she would see as she walked down the street or in the alley. When she had accumulated a good bunch, she would bring it to us kids when she came to spend time with us on the farm. She would also bring a lot of material for Ma to sew something for us.
She always wore a big apron. I remember going for walks with her when she would come to the farm. Abbie would always pick up chips of wood and have her apron full when we got back home. These were used for kindling wood.
Abbie would also take us picking wild strawberries. At night after supper, we would spread them all around our big dining room table. Then we would all sit around it and clean then, sometimes working with the kerosene lamp in the middle of the strawberry pile and all very tired of it.
Abbie had a sister, Lucinda, born January 6, 1841. Lucinda was married to Lieutenant William Abel (March 31, 1824-January 20, 1902). Both are buried next to each other in the Provo lot in Lakeview Cemetery, Escanaba, Michigan. Their home still stands at the corner of 19th St. and 1st Ave. So, on the even number side of the street. Some of Lt. Abel’s relatives may still live in Escanaba. Lucinda also had a sister “Aphilia” that I heard mother speak of but do not know where she lived or her married name. In Grandma’s obituary it mentions two brothers and two sisters. Grandma went back to Canada to visit her people around 1920 or 1921. I have no further information on her family.
March 2, 1924 in Escanaba Newspaper
Mrs. Abbie Provo Had Lived in Escanaba Fifty-Six Years
Death claimed another resident yesterday when Mrs. Abbie Provo, aged 77, died at her home at 206 South Sixth street after an illness of long duration. In December 1922, Mrs. Provo fell at her home, fracturing a hip. For weeks she lay in a local hospital and was feeling fairly well when she returned to her home. She was able to be about the house with the aid of a crutch but for the last few months her health had been failing.
She passed away quietly Saturday morning at one o’clock, surrounded by all of the members of her family.
Mrs. Provo came to this city April 17, 1868, as a bride. The journey was made by boat from Montreal, Canada. Mr. Provo, who was a contractor, had been in this city for some time and returned to Canada to marry her at her home in Foster, Province of Quebec.
Saw Escanaba Grow
When they landed in this city it was in its infancy, there being only a few buildings. The site on which her house is built was dense forest with blueberries growing in the back yard. Many times she took her babies’ cradle on the back step and filled a large basket with blueberries without going more than 20 feet from the door, all the while talking to her babies who never lost sight of their mother.
Mrs. Provo was a keen and shrewd business woman and looked after all her business affairs personally. Her husband died seventeen years ago. She is survived by one daughter and three sons; Mrs. Katherine McGirr of this city; Frank Provo, of Ogontz, Mich.; Charles Provo of Sagola, Mich; and Horace Provo of this city. There are twelve grandchildren; also two brothers, William and Albert Young of Foster, Quebec; two sisters, Mrs. Mark Bannister of North Troy, N.Y., and Mrs. Jos. Atkinson, of Coleman, Mich.
Garden Her Hobby
Mrs. Provo had one hobby, her garden, which she took particular pride. She was always busy with plants and flowers.
The body was prepared at the Allo Funeral Home and will be removed to the family residence today. The funeral services will be conducted Monday at 2 o’clock at the home and 2:30 at the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Boss officiating. Burial will be in the Lakeview Cemetery in the family lot.
LATER IN NEWSPAPER
A large number of relatives attended the last sad rites which were conducted over the body of Mrs. Abbie Provo at the family home, 206 So. 6th St. at 2:30 o’clock. Rev. A. I. Boss officiated at the services. The large number of beautiful floral tributes were silent testimonials of the esteem in which she was held.
The pallbearers were: Charles Ehnerd, D. A. Oliver, Fred Frasher, M. E. Main, George Hogan, and Matt Peterson.
The out-of-town relatives who came here for the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Provo and family of Ogontz; Charles Provo of Sagola, Mich. Mrs. Abbie Stickonbach of Green Bay, Wis.; Miss Anne McGirr of Green Bay, Wisc.; Mrs. Thomas Jones; Miss Caroline Barron of Flat Rock; and Mrs. Wm. Firth of Gladstone.
Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery in the family lot.