Frederick Harrison Sourbeck, was born on December 3, 1867, in the city of Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of George Washington Sourbeck and Mary Galbreath. On September 2, 1890, he was married to Adda May Anderson, at Canton, Stark County, Ohio, by Reverend Jasper N. Field, of the First Baptist Church, located at the corners of South Market and Ninth streets. The church is no longer there.
Adda was born on July 29, 1872, at Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of James Tillman Anderson and Laura Bell Bowermaster. She died on September 11, 1938, at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.
Fred died at Eloise Hospital, Eloise, Wayne County, Michigan on November 21, 1953. The Eloise Hospital was located on Michigan Avenue, and no longer stands. Fred is buried next to his wife in Woodmere Cemetery, located at 9400 West Fort Street, Detroit, Michigan. For many years, a mystery surrounded the identification of Fred’s parents. According to Fred’s Social Security record and his Death Certificate, his father was George W Sourbeck and Mary Galbreath. Also, in interviews with three of his children, Viola Eleanor (1902-1972), Corene Ethel (1904-1999) and Frederick Harrison Sourbeck, Jr (1911-1976), their grandfather was “George Washington Sourbeck,” and their mother was “Mary Galbreath,” and according to my DNA, I am a Sourbeck.
His daughter Corene told me the following: She remembered her father telling her that his mother died giving birth to twins. Her father's side of the family always seemed to be a mystery. There were half-brothers, and in fact at the time of Mary's marriage a man came to the house to meet with Fred. They went into the living room and the stranger told Fred that he was his half-brother. She thought his name was Al. After her father Fred died, a business card was found in his personal belongings that said, “The Earl, Fostoria, Ohio, Alva L. Sourbeck, Manager.” Also, she thought his hair had some red in color. There was always talk about someone being born out of wedlock. This information confirmed what Viola Sourbeck, told me when I met with her several years prior to my interview with Corene. (See Alva L. Sourbeck (1861-1936).
August 9, 1979 - Conversation with Corene by Dale A. Sourbeck: Corene stated that her father Fred came to Detroit, with the intent of obtaining employment at the Ford Motor Company. Fred heard that Ford was hiring, after Henry Ford I came of Alliance, Ohio, and visited with Transue & Williams, (T&S), located in Alliance. Mr. Ford was looking for a lighter weight steel for his automobiles. Fred’s father-in-law-in worked there and was involved with steel engineering, and that’s where Fred learned about automotive jobs. Fred went to Detroit with the intent of going to work for Ford, but ended up at Dodge as a Night Superintendent, for many years. Corene thought he may have worked at Ford for a short time. She said that he had a lot of drive and charm. Her brother James was her most "favorite person." She said that he died of an injury from cranking a car and the crank slipped back and hit him in the chest and broke a main artery in his heart. (This is what my father Arthur Albert Sourbeck (1917-1994) told me). Her sister Viola died about seven years ago and Viola's husband Floyd died about three years ago, in the Spring, within three weeks of her brother Frederick. Corene stated that she was named after an opera singer who was playing at the "Sourbeck Opera House," in Alliance, Ohio, at the time of her birth. She said that she was about four years old when the family moved from Ohio to Detroit.
Jun 8, 1980 - Conversation with Corene and Dale A. Sourbeck: Corene stated that sister Laura had no children. She identified sister Lillian's husband and children, sister Mary was married three times, provided info on sister Viola's family. Now, she said she thought her father had some half-brothers, and she remembered an Uncle John. Her father's parents were George Washington Sourbeck and Mary Galbreath. Her grandparents on her mother's side were Laura Bell Bowermaster and James Anderson. On this side of the family the name Miller comes in somewhere, way back. She also told me that her grandfather, George Washington Sourbeck (The Sourbeck’s), owned Main Street in Alliance, Ohio, which she remembered for sure, included an Opera House and a restaurant. Corene said that when her sister Mary was getting married, a man, she thinks his name was Al, show up at the house and her father Fred went into another room and they talked for a while and then he left. Her father told her that it was his half-brother. (Alva L Sourbeck).
Based on this conversation we researched various records and came up with the following: Based on City Directories of Alliance; 1889-1890, George Washington Sourbeck, was the proprietor and manager of the People's Theater (see his notes), on West Main Street. William Henry Harrison Sourbeck, his daughter Bertha, and son Frank, resided on East Main Street (see his notes). In 1899-1900, George's son Alva was operating a restaurant on East Main Street. His son Harry P., was managing the Main Street Opera House, and Alva's mother Mary, owned and operated a boarding house on East Main. In 1904, Alva and his sister Matilda, were listed as residing on East Main. The 1910 US Census listed Alva and his family residing on East Main. Just a few names down on the list was William Anderson and his family. Corene's Uncle. Yes, Main street was certainly part of the family history. In addition, Corene thought that her father lived with his Uncle for a while in Texas. He told her about the long train ride, and that he hated being out there. All she remembers is that he didn't like it because he had to cut a lot of wood. April 4, 1991, Conversation with Corene and Dale A. Sourbeck: Corene said that her father Fred was 5'11" her mother Adda was 5'4" her brother James was 5'9" - 5'10” Corene is 5'6". She said she remembered her father Fred telling her that the Sourbeck's bought some land from the Indians for a pair of boots. He had an old yellow piece of paper that explained this, but she doesn't know what happened to it. She said that Adda met Fred one day in Canton, OH, when she was walking down the street with a girlfriend and she saw Fred and had seen him before. He was a railroad worker at the time and was so dirty from coal, that she thought first that he was a black man. She remembered her father telling her that his mother died giving birth to twins. Her father's side of the family always seemed to be a mystery. There were half-brothers, and in fact at the time of Mary's marriage a man came to the house to meet with Fred. They went into the living room and the stranger told Fred that he was his half-brother. She thought his hair had some red in color. There was always talk about someone being born out of wedlock. This was confirmed by Viola Sourbeck, when I met with her several years back from my interview with Corene. I had another conversation with Corene, on July 23, 1981: “My grandfather was George Washington Sourbeck. Also, my father Fred had a cousin born out of wedlock, who had white hair and was very pleasant. I had heard that Fred’s mother Mary, died while giving birth to twins, around the time my brother Jim was born, 1893. Fred never really knew his mother or talked about her”.
I had another conversation with Corene, on July 23, 1981: “My grandfather was George Washington Sourbeck. Also, my father Fred had a cousin born out of wedlock, who had white hair and was very pleasant. I had heard that Fred’s mother Mary, died while giving birth to twins, around the time my brother Jim was born, 1893. Fred never really knew his mother or talked about her”.