- Born: 19 Jun 1909, Enfield, England
- Christened: 9 Sep 1912, Trinity Church, Mackinaw Island, Michigan
- Marriage (1): Elaine Mae Miller on 8 Sep 1934 in Angola, Indiana
- Died: 7 Nov 1999, McLaren Hospital, Flint, Michigan at age 90
- Buried: 10 Nov 1999, Sunset Hills Cemetery, Flushing, Michigan
Notes by Kenneth G. Miller---
Les was born in Enfield, England. His folks emigrated to Mackinac Island, Michigan, and Les spent his early years there.
Les' father was a gardener, and so is Les. It is his occupation and his avocation.
Les has related this story:
Les' father, like many immigrants, left his family in England and made his way to the US, settling on Mackinac Island. He worked for a Mr. Hurtz who was in the asbestos business. He also worked in a greenhouse owned by the Truscott's. Mr. Truscott was Mrs. J.D. Dort's brother. (This probably led to the later connection with the Dort's in Flint). He saved his money till he had enough to bring the family over. A brand new ship, the Titanic, was in the news and he tried to book passage on it for the maiden voyage in April, 1912. Probably he was influenced by the story that it was unsinkable. But it was sold out.
He was able to get space on another later ship, (probably the Oceanic ) and he sent the tickets to England. Les' mother then made the crossing with three children; Alf 5, and twins Les and Doris 3.
Todd Pearce provided the following additional information in 2006:
It is a documented fact that my Grandpa (Les) came over from England to New York in 1912 on the Oceanic. I found the original ship's manifest from that trip which lists my grandpa, his mother Caroline, his twin sister Doris, and his older brother Alfred as being passengers on the ship. The source is www.ellisisland.org.
It was a rough crossing. The ship rolled and pitched so much that the kids kept being thrown out of their bunks.
They did get to New York, and somehow made their way to Mackinac.
Growing up on the island had some special aspects, e.g. sledding down Mission Hill in the winter, swimming in the Straits in the summer (it was cold), and ice skating in winter.
There were no motor vehicles allowed on the island so everything had to be done with horses. Les' dad had to take a horse and sleigh over the ice to St. Ignace in the winter to get provisions. He carried a large board in the sleigh for the horse to walk on when crossing big cracks in the ice.
The children's clothing was ordered through catalogs. If the shoes didn't fit, they wore them anyway.
The family moved to Flint in 1918 so the kids would have better schools. His dad worked as a gardener for the Dorts, till he started his own business in 1937.
Later, Les also worked for the Motts as a gardener. He worked for C.S. Mott in the late 20's and early 30's. Later, when Les had his own business, Harding Mott, a son of C.S., was a customer.
After retirement, Les worked summers for Harding Mott for several years.
Notes by Kenneth Miller, November 13, 1999:
I have just returned to California from attending Les's funeral in Davison, Michigan.
It was very well attended by relatives and his many friends. I spoke briefly, recounting some personal memories of Les. I also read something I had written several years ago, when we were studying geneaology at an Elderhostel in Palm Desert. We had an assignment to write about someone in such a way that the reader would know something about the person.
This is what I wrote:
" I have known Les since I was about 10 years old. Soon after he married my older sister.
Les is a gardener. He could put seeds in the middle of Highway 111, and they would grow. He has had little formal education, but somehow always seems to know the latin as well as the common name for any flower or plant. When he visited us in Europe, he pinched little pieces off flowers and bushes, and they are now growing enthusiastically at his home in Michigan.
Les is helpful. Once I took him salmon fishing out the Golden Gate on a party boat. By the end of the day he had found a way to be helpful to everyone on the boat, and everyone knew him."
Noted events in his life were:
1. Occupation: Gardener.
2. Religion: Protestant.
Leslie married Elaine Mae Miller, daughter of Clarence Fremont Miller and Ida Mae MacLennan, on 8 Sep 1934 in Angola, Indiana. (Elaine Mae Miller was born on 26 Jun 1915 in 205 Ray Street, Flint, Michigan, christened in Garland Street ME., Flint, Michigan and died on 7 Jan 2014.)