Street Smarts

Ever wondered how the streets of Franklin got their names?

Bowden Lane

The Bowden family history dates back at least six generations in the village of Franklin.

Samuel and Emily Bowden, natives of Pennsylvania, came to Michigan via Ohio in 1860.  They had five sons.  Two of them, Jesse and Joseph, settled in Oakland County as did their descendants.

Their father, Samuel, was a farmer.  Many of his offspring also were farmers.  Jesse was a blacksmith.  His shop was on 14 Mile near Franklin Road.  His brother, Joseph, served in the 10th Michigan Cavalry during the Civil War.

Other notable Bowdens were Jim, Joseph’s son, who was the custodian at the Franklin school for many years.  Clyde, Jesse’s son, was a private in the 17th Airborne Division killed in action.

If you would like to learn more about the Bowden family, check out the All About Franklin book at the library or purchase one through the Franklin Historical Society.

Wing Lake Road

Austin Wing, (1792 – 1849), was originally from Massachusetts, but settled in Detroit.  He served as a private secretary for Territorial Governor Lewis Cass.

Wing was a politician who served as a delegate to the United States Congress from the Michigan Territory before it became a state.  As a lawyer, he became one of Michigan’s most prominent attorneys.

Wing Lake road is his namesake.

The home of  Daniel Thorne, one of Franklin’s original landowners, is on this road.  It is one of our treasures and a peek into our past. 

Rosemond Court, Rosemond Lane, Rosemond Drive

Have you ever wondered as you walked or passed by the Rosemond trio of streets, how they were named?  Who was this person that was given the honor of its namesake?

Rosemond Van Every Tibbits was the honoree. She was the granddaughter of Peter Van Every Sr. and Amy Dear.  Peter opened the grist mill at 14 Mile and Franklin roads around 1838.  Peter Jr., also a miller and his wife, Jane Charity Drake, were her parents.

She was born in Franklin in 1870.  She was a dressmaker at the time she married Karl Tibbits on 5 December 1888 in the same town where she was born.

By 1920, she followed in the footsteps of her mother and became a hotel keeper.  The building was called the Rosemond Inn.  It was ironic that she started her business the same year as women were allowed to vote. Times were changing.


Hersheyvale was named after Dr. Noah Lynn Hershey.

He was born in 1895 in the Oklahoma Territory.  Hershey graduated from college in Kansas, married Eloise McNutt from Missouri and made their home in Franklin sometime before the 1940’s.  They lived on Franklin Road and raised three children in the village.

Dr. Hershey had a private practice in Detroit.  He is buried in the Franklin cemetery. 

Shelleylynn Court

This street located near Hersheyvale was named for two people within the Hershey family.  Dr. Hershey’s mother’s name was Shelley and his middle name was Lynn. Shelleylynn Court became a generational name for the streets!

German Mill Road

From 1846 to 1861, John German operated a flour mill along the Franklin River.  His residence was near the mill property.

The “road” to the mill could hardly be described as a road that we experience today.  It was simply a means of getting a wagon drawn by a team of horses, loaded with grain to be ground into flour at the mill.

“Roads” were muddy sink holes, almost impossible to travel in the spring and dried great deep ruts in the summer.

There was one way in and out of the mill.  An empty wagon leaving the mill would yield to the side to allow a heavier loaded wagon of grain to enter.

The German family by name, not by ethnicity, immigrated from Biddeford, England to Michigan in 1837.  John and his wife Jane raised eight children.  Their youngest child, Grace, was Maxine Kreger’s grandmother.  Maxine, a descendant of the German family, was the last resident in the Kreger house.  Now there’s aa historical fact to chew on!

The family name inscribed on a sign post, indicates the pathway to the German Mill and pays homage to the miller and his family that provided an important service to area farmers.

Charles Lane

Charles Worthing Johnston was born in Royal Oak, Michigan two years before the Civil War began.  His maternal grandparents, Jonathan and Nancy Worthing were original landowners in Franklin.

His wife, Grace German, was the daughter of John German, the miller and for which German Mill Road was named.

Charles and Grace were married in the parlor of the Broughton house (village offices) on 18 December 1888.  They lived and worked on the Sly farm located on Wing Lake Road.  The house, originally owned by Daniel Thorne, another original landowner, is still a residence.

Here is a photo of Charlie working in the field.  Around 1900, the couple moved into a house on Scenic Highway and raised a daughter Cora and son Robert.  Charlie had an 80 acre farm raising mostly corn and potatoes.  He would load up his wagon with produce and head to Eastern Market on the weekend to sell them.  

Cora would marry Art Kreger and move into the house with Charles and Grace.  This home would be known as the Kreger house which is now located west of the Broughton house. 

Pickering Road

Pickering Road in Bloomfield Township was named in honor of five generations of the Pickering family! They settled on a 150 acre farm on Franklin Road north of 14 Mile Road.

Cooper and Elizabeth Turner came to America in 1852 from England.  In1879 he added a 166 acre farm formerly owned by Peter Van Every. 

It is located on the east side of Franklin Road about a quarter mile north of 14 Mile Road.

Cooper’s son George H. (1857 – 1931) and his wife Lottie Forman
farmed the land. He planted a variety of crops, raised a herd of cows and later planted a small orchard of peach and apple trees.

Their son Russell expanded the orchards. George R. Pickering,
Russell’s son, and 4th generation of Pickerings lived on the homestead
until his passing in 2017.

George R. and his wife had three sons. The fate of the homestead was in their hands. Recently, the farm house and outbuildings were
demolished to make room for future homes. Currently, the big red barn remains and is visible from Franklin Road.

Here is Cooper and Elizabeth Turner Pickering who purchased the land and started the legacy of the Pickering descendants.

Kreger Road

Arthur Leroy Kreger was born in 1890 in Royal Oak, Michigan.  He was a sergeant in the 10th Infantry during WWI from 1917 – 1919.  In May 1918, he married Cora Johnston, daughter of Charlie Johnston (Charles Lane) and Grace German (German Mill.)  They raised two children, Robert and Maxine and were grandparents to twin brothers, Bob and Bart.

Kreger was well-known and respected in the village, He was a builder, a church activist and volunteer in the Cemetery Association.  In 1978, he served as President of the association and was responsible for the veteran memorial and service held in  the cemetery every May.

Kreger road in the cemetery was rightly named in his honor.