316 South Adams in 1900 was the home of Rebecca York and her step-son Walter and his wife Bell. Rebecca, born in 1863 in Canada to parents from Ohio, was the second wife of David, born in Kentucky in the 1840s, David’s parents, Washington York and Mary Artis, were early Ypsilanti residents; possibly arriving before 1850. In 1854 they were charter members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Their daughter Lucy married John Anderson and lived nearby on Adams.
David and his younger brother, George, both joined the 102 USCT in October, 1863. George died of illness before leaving Michigan at only 15, 18-year-old David served in Company B.
David married a woman named Mary on his return to Ypsilanti and they moved to 316 South Adams by at least 1882. Together they had several children. Mary died in the 1880s. David died in January, 1896. He and Rebecca, maiden name unknown, were likely married in the late 1880s or very early 1890s. Walter would become a barber and he and Bell would move to Cleveland. Rebecca was still living at the 316 home until at least 1906.
The Yorks were leading members of Ypsilanti’s black community. David was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Good Samaritans among other organizations. The family were long-time members of the AME Church where a stained glass window was erected in David’s memory. Walter assisted in building Brown Chapel, finished in 1904.