Avery W. Selkirk (1861 – )

”Avery W. Selkirk. The fishing industry has been one of the leading business mediums of Michigan for many years, and has developed men of industry, perseverance and excellent ability, whose operations have assisted materially in developing the interests of the state. Many of these men are self-made, and a notable example of this class is found in the person of Avery W. Selkirk, one of the proprietors of the firm of the Selkirk Fish Company, whose market is located at the foot of Bard street, Port Huron. Mr. Selkirk was born at Cooper, Kalamazoo county. Michigan, March 27, 1861, and is a son of William Henry and Amanda P. (Ware) Selkirk.

William Henry Selkirk was born in Connecticut, in 1830, and as a young man secured an excellent education, becoming a commercial teacher at Kalamazoo, Michigan. While there he met and married Amanda P. Ware, who for some time was a teacher of grammar in Mrs. Stone’s college at Kalamazoo. She is now deceased, and Mr. Selkirk died December 28, 1911, at the home of his son Avery W. He became widely known through his activities in connection with church work. He was a devoted and active member of the Congregational church.

Avery W. Selkirk received his education in the common schools of Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, and later took a course in a commercial college. His first employment was as a hand on lake steamers and sail-boats, and he then went to Toledo. Ohio, and engaged in the fish business. After five years there, in 1888. Mr. Selkirk came to Port Huron, which city has been his field of operations to the present time, and year by year he has built up his trade until he is now at the head of one of the leading establishments of its kind in Michigan. All kinds of salt and fresh fish are shipped all over the United States east of the Mississippi river, and the firm’s name appearing on any case of goods is an absolute guaranty of excellence of quality. Mr. Selkirk is interested in other business enterprises in Port Huron, being a stockholder and secretary of the O. K. Laundry Company, and in every line he has characterized his work by honest dealing and honorable business methods. He is a Republican in politics, and his earnestness in supporting movements of an educational nature caused his election to the board of education. Fraternally he is associated with the Elks, the Foresters, the Modern Maccabees and Modern Woodmen. Broad and liberal minded, always ready to assist those less fortunate than he, Mr. Selkirk numbers his friends by the hundreds and has won the reputation of being a most desirable citizen.

In the spring of 1888 he was united in marriage with Miss Edith Hildyard. who was born in Seokuk, on the Bay of Bengal, India, in 1870. Her father was a native of England, a very highly educated man. and for a number of years head schoolmaster of a district in India, and died in 1895, being buried at Lakeside. Her mother, who was born in India, of English parents, still survives, and makes her home with Mrs. Baker, of Port Huron, a sister of Mrs. Selkirk. Two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Selkirk, both in Port Huron: Mrs. Jessie Dewey Markey. born in November, 1888, a graduate of the Port Huron high school, and now the wife of Lewis K. Markey, of Morrison. Illinois; and Elva Ethel, born in November, 1890, also a graduate of the Port Huron high school, living at home with her parents. Mrs. Selkirk and her daughters are devoted members of the Episcopal church.”

Source:  St. Clair County, Michigan: Its History and Its People, Vol. 2, by William Lee Jenks, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1912, pages 739-40


Avery W. Selkirk (1861 – ) — 1 Comment

  1. Hello.
    I have been researching the history of commercial fishing on the Great Lakes for more than forty years. I am wondering if there are any pictures of Mr. Selkirk or his fishery or more information on his operations. I understand he had a boat that went along the Canadian shore line to buy fish from producers there. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Frank Protero.

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