The Grobbel Family Farms in Warren Twp., Michigan

The 1859 Wall Map of St. Clair and Macomb Cos., MI (published by Geil, Harley & Sevard ) shows "A. Grovel" (Anton GROBBEL) as owning an 80 acre farm on the westerly half of the south-east quarter of Section 17 in Warren Twp. This 80 acre parcel was 1/4 mile wide (east to west) & 1/2 mile deep (north to south) and was fronted along the north side of 11 Mile Road. The southeast corner of the property was 1/4 mile west of the intersection of 11 Mile Road and State Road (the present-day Mound Road). Anton farmed the westerly 40 acres of this parcel while his younger brother John GROBBEL farmed the easterly half until his untimely death in 1870.


The 1875 Atlas Map of Macomb Co., MI (published by D.J. Stewart of Philadelphia, PA) shows the westerly 40 acres of that same 80 acre parcel in Section 17 of Warren Twp. as owned by "Anthony Grobbel" (Anton GROBBEL) and the other half owned by "Jos. Rinka" (Joseph Rinke, who married Mary WARNER Grobbel, widow of John GROBBEL). The "Business Directory of Macomb County, Michigan" that was published along with this Atlas indicated that Anton Grobbel's "Date of Settlement" in Section 17 was the year 1849. This is the only written piece of evidence uncovered so far that places a date on his arrival anywhere in the United States.


(photo courtesy of Clark Heath)
The Anton Grobbel farmhouse on 11 Mile Road (ca. 1885-1887).
Left to right: son Ben, wife Elizabeth, Anton, (unknown), son Anthony.
Anton was born on Nov. 4, 1819 in Cobbenrode, Westphalia, Prussia and emigrated from there in about 1849.
During the winter of 1865-66, Anton and his brother John worked in the copper mines near
Houghton, Michigan. Anton returned to his farm in Warren Twp. where he died on March 24, 1900.

The 1895 Atlas Map of Macomb Co., MI ( published by Geo. A. Ogle & Co. of Chicago, Ill. ) shows the westerly 40 acre parcel as owned by "A. Gobble" (Anton GROBBEL) and the easterly 40 acre piece as owned by "Fred. Gobble" (Ferdinand GROBBEL, the eldest son of John & Mary Grobbel). Some time after Anton's death in 1900, the westerly 40 acre parcel was sold to Ferdinand.

The 1895 map also shows a 26 acre parcel owned by "A. Gobble" (Anthony GROBBEL, the son of Anton & Elizabeth Grobbel, who married Mary MINICK in 1894) that was located at the southwest corner of Section 16 in Warren Twp. The 26 acre parcel was located at the northeast corner of the intersection of 11 Mile road and the present-day Mound Road, with frontage along both roads. Anthony and Mary lived in Warren Village until 1905 when they moved to the farmhouse on their farm in Section 16. According to his son, Edward, Anthony operated a saloon/pool hall at the corner of Mound and Chicago Roads prior to moving onto the farm. Anthony and Mary's children attended a one-room schoolhouse in Section 9 from 1905 until about 1911, when they began attending St. Clement School in Center Line. The map at left shows the location of the school as being on the east side of Mound Rd. on the property of William Halmich.

Click here for a photo of Anthony and other members of a threshing crew on the nearby LeFevre farm, ca. 1912

During the early 1920's, Anthony Grobbel was also a Roads Commissioner for Warren Township. The Feb. 2, 1922 minutes of the Macomb County Road Commission indicate that they approved payment of a bill for $10.50 that had been submitted by Anthony. Anthony and Mary were in the process of building a new home in Center Line (Lot 145, which is today 8166 Dale Ave.), when their farmhouse in Section 16 burned down on Sunday, May 16, 1926. While they were away working on the new house, the refrigerator on their back porch shorted out and flames quickly engulfed the old farmhouse. The family heard the fire department siren and saw the smoke off in the distance so they rushed home only to discover that they had lost everything except their barn. They had to live with relatives until July when they completed the house enough for them to move in. Anthony and Mary eventually lost their farm land to their creditors during the Depression. The land was later sold to the U.S. Government for inclusion in the Detroit Tank Arsenal property just prior to the start of World War II.

According to the "Rinke Family History", the farm in Section 17 remained in Grobbel family ownership for more than 100 years until 1963, when Raymond (Jim) GROBBEL, grandson of John GROBBEL, sold it and moved to another farm near Richmond, Macomb Co., MI. The farmland was then subdivided into lots for single family dwellings, however, the last of three dwellings built on the property remained standing well into the 1980's.

Street sign at the corner of 12 Mile Rd. and Grobbel Drive

Today, the only remaining evidence of the Grobbel farms is a subdivision street named "Grobbel Drive" that runs through portions of the old Grobbel farm acreage.

Return to the Center Line Historical Information page

Webmaster: Mike Grobbel
Created: 15 Dec 2004; Last revised: 07 Jan 2005