George Henry Juhl was born on September 24, 1906 in Juhl, Sanilac, Michigan to Henry (Hans) C. Juhl (1860-1960) and Elizabeth Alice Stevenson Juhl (1878-1975). George joined older brothers Harold James Juhl (1902-1987) and Ralph Juhl (1903-1935).
Henry Juhl came to America in 1882 with his parents, Jens Christensen Juhl (1826-1904) and Marie Catherine Juhl (1837-1883) and brothers; Peter Juhl (1862-1906), Anton Lenard Juhl (1864-1927), and John J. Juhl (1868-1949). Henry Americanized his name from Hans to Henry. They settled in Sanilac County, Michigan and helped found Juhl, Michigan.
George’s parent’s married on Jan 15, 1901 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. They resided in Juhl after their marriage. In 1918 the family moved to Manitoba, Canada where George experienced his teenage years and twenties working on the family farm. After brother Ralph left the farm and brother Jim went to work in the Central Patricia Gold Mine, George worked the farm by himself with what very limited assistance his parents could give him. By 1935 they sold the farm and Henry moved back to Michigan and was living in Grosse Ile, Michigan. George then went to work with his brother Jim at the gold mine.
Shortly before 1940, George moved back to Michigan and was living in Detroit. Canada entered World War II in 1939 and it is possible that was the reason he moved back to the States.
He courted and married Maxine Lois Howland on June 22, 1940 in Highland Park, Michigan. Maxine Lois Howland was born on December 10, 1910 in Pend Orielle County, Washington, to Arthur B. Howland (1871-1948) and Zoe S. Smith Howland (1878-1946). Even though Maxine was born in Washington State, she had deep roots in the Almont community on both sides of her family.
Prior to getting married, George was working as a boiler operator for a tool manufacturing company. After getting married, he worked for Chrysler as a security guard. When they got married and after, Maxine was teaching in the Berkley School District.
After the United States’ entry into World War II, despite being in his late 30s, George enlisted in the Navy “Seabees.” Maxine went to work for Ford at the Willow Run airplane factory, building B24 bombers—making her a “Rosie the Riveter.” George was discharged October 29, 1945.
Maxine and George lost a baby in 1942 and he was laid to rest in the Hough Cemetery in Almont. Son William Juhl was born in 1944 and son Timothy Juhl in 1949.
After the end of the war, George went to barber college and did his apprenticeship. In 1949, shortly before Tim’s birth, George bought the building at 129 South Main Street and opened his own barber shop. The shop had two chairs, so George rented the second chair out to Ivy Van Connant and later Ace Feys.
The shop quickly became a place for men to stop in and chat. George was eventually elected to the Village Council and became Council President—a position he held for a number of years.
Maxine initially substituted at Almont Community Schools and was hired full-time to teach first grade possibly in 1953, but definitely by 1954. She would continue teaching until about a year after George retired in 1971.
When they came to Almont, they initially lived over the barber shop but in 1959 they bought the house at 325 West St. Clair Street. The house is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It was built in 1855. Just to the southwest of the home is the location where “The Indian Tree” once stood.
With the purchase of this home, George could enjoy one of his favorite pastimes, horseback riding. The barn and a small corral allowed them to stable their horses at home. Sons, Bill and Tim, joined the 4-H Saddle Club run by Red and Gertie Brooks.
In 1957, George, along with Red Brooks, Ed D’Arcy, Keith McGregor, Dr. Bill Mackie, Melvin D’Arcy, Milt D’Arcy, Clifford Keefer and Albert Hall and under the direction of County Sheriff Bill Porter, formed the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Posse. The Posse was used for crowd control and search and rescue operations. They also rode in all of the area parades. They were quite a sight. They met twice a month for drills and in the fall they took a five day-long weekend trail ride. George remained active with the Posse until his death.
Besides his election to positions on the Village Council, George was also active with his church, acting as a Deacon for the First Congregational Church. He was an active member of American Legion Post No 479. He held several offices, including president, with Almont-Dryden Lodge 51 F & M. He was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Romeo Commandary No. 6 of the Knights Templar, and the Elf Khursef Temple of the Shrine.
About 1971, George decided to retire. He sold the business and building to Ace Feys, who had been renting the second chair in his shop.
After both George and Maxine had retired, they enjoyed traveling. Maxine was diagnosed with leukemia. She put up a good fight but succumbed to the disease on July 2, 1978 at Community Hospital in Almont. She was laid to rest in the Hough Cemetery.
After Maxine’s death, George went to live with his son Tim’s family in Carsonville in Sanilac County. Soon after moving to Carsonville, George went on a lengthy trip back to Manitoba, Canada where he had spent his teens and twenties. In Manitoba, he reconnected with old friends and acquaintances including one in particular, Isa Shearer McRea (1911-2006). He had known Isa (Isabel) when living there. When he returned home, he was engaged. George and Isa married and were companions until George’s death of cancer on February 21, 1988 at Marlette Hospital. George was laid to rest next to Maxine in the Hough Cemetery.
Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.