Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions,"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 











1 \;-t-:^::::->>«sisp 






Genesee County 




President Michigan Historical Ci 

With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 





Indianapolis. Indiana 




This work is dedicated to two of Flint's foremost citizens. Rev. T, J. 
Murphy and William Crapo Durant, whose friendship, covering a period 
of a third of a century, has been a constant inspiration and encouragement 
to the editor. 

The activities of these two men reach into many angles in the develop- 
ment and progress of Fhnt and Genesee county; their greatest pleasure has 
been to advance the best interests of the community and to bring happiness 
and prosperily to all of their associates. 




The history of Genesee county is moat interesting and instructive, and 
to hope, and to believe, that this volume may help to preserve for our gen- 
eration, and for generations to come, its priceless lessons, has been to the 
editor a source of great pleasure and satisfaction. The long occupation of 
our forests by the romantic, war-loving red man is proHfic of traditionary 
lore; the comparatively recent development of our county's resources by the 
white settlers abounds with instruction and interest; but the records of this 
history, while abundant, are not easily accessible to the general reader. 

From time to time, our citizens have written about the incidents of 
pioneer life among the white settlers who came to these iands in an early 
day. Each and all of these, men and women prominent in every walk of 
life — clergymen, teachers, physicians, attorneys, busy men and women of 
literary taste — have thus indirectly contributed to the present work. Books 
have been published on the history of the county, some of them works of 
high merit. One of these, of special excellence, has been largely used in 
this work. It was among the first to aj^ear — the "History of Genesee 
County," published in 1879 by the Philadelphia firm of Everts & 
Abbott, On the whole, it has been found to be, as it claimed, a reliable 
and, for its time, exhaustive history of the county in all its phases— pioneer, 
agricultural, manufacturing, civil, military, educational and religious. 

To make this old material more generally and pleasurably accessible, it 
has been here entirely rearranged and systematized, and largely rewritten. 
The present task has been to correct, eliminate and supplement. Portions 
of it have been excluded, owing to differences in historical perspective between 
1879 and 1916. Many new facts relating to our early history have been 
added. Its chapters X to XVII contained such an excellent military record 
of the county, so complete and well written, and the events have still such 
great interest for all, that these chapters have been gathered into one and 
allowed to stand, with corrections and additions. All that was interesting 
and essential in the history of the townships has been retained and supple- 
mented, with special reference to the pioneer period. 



Another mass of material largely used in the present work is that in 
"The Book of the Golden Jubilee of Fhnt." The method has been mainly 
that of quotation, partly to preserve the individuality of the writers, as well 
as to make proper acknowledgment for each portion -used. 

In chapter I, much use has been made of the excellent work entitled 
"Michigan as a Province, Territory and State." Besides the various other 
histories of Michigan, such as those by Farmer, Lanman, Cooley, Mrs.* 
Sheldon, and special works like those of Rev. T. J. Campbell, S. J., on 
"Pioneer Laynjen of North iVmerica" and "Pioneer Priests of North 
America," use has been freely made of the general sketches in other county 

All of chapters II and III, and portions of several other chapters, have 
been written by Mr. William V. Smith, of Flint, who, as secretary of the 
Genesee County Historical Society since its organization, and a life-long 
student of the Indians, particularly of this region, is an authority of emi- 
nence on the subjects to which he has made contributions. A large part 
of the material used in connection with the local history of Genesee county 
and the city of Flint was prepared by Mrs. Kate E. Buckham, to whom, as 
associate editor, especial acknowledgment is due. Invaluable information 
has been contributed by many of our citizens, whom to name individnallv 
would be impracticable, but to each and all of these the editor wishes to 
express sincere thanks. 

As Byron says: "Critics all are ready made," This volume cannot 
expect to escape a generous fusilade of their feathered shafts. Those whose 
opinions are of value will at least read it with that care which the real critic 
vouchsafes to every book; and as they read, they will remember that the 
editor has sought to make, not an encj^clopedia, but a record of our history 
whose perusal will be a pleasure, as well as a profit. 

Edwin O. Wood. 



All life and achievement is evolution; present wisfloni conies from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exer- 
tion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before 
have been instrumental in shajMng the destinies of later communities and 
states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privi- 
lege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the pres- 
ent conditions of the people of Genesee county, Michigan, with what they 
were but a little less than a century ago. From a trackless wilderness and 
virgin land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and'civilization, with 
milhons of wealth, systems of railways, educational and religious institu- 
tions, varied industries and iminense agricultural and dairj' interests. Can 
any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which dis- 
closes the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so stronglj' laid 
the foundation uixjn which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of 
later days? To periietuate the story of these people and to trace and record 
the social, religious, educational, political and industrial progress of the com- 
munity from its first inception, is the function of the local historian. A 
sincere purpose to preserve facts and persona! memoirs that are deserving 
of [jerpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for 
the present publication. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to 
those who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to 
the citizens of Genesee county for the uniform kindness with which they 
hare regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the 
gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Genesee County. Michigan," before the citi- 
zens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have carried out the 
plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every biographical sketch in the work has 
been submitted to the party interested, for correction, and therefore any 
error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for whom the sketch 
was prepared. Confident that our effort to please will fully meet the appro- 
liation of the public, we are, 








Explorers in Great Lakes Region— Samuel de Champlain — 
His Victories Over the Indians and Their Consequent Unrelenting Hos- 
tility lo the Whites— The Missionary Spirit— The Franciscan Order— The 
Jesuits and Their Work in the Northwest— Jean Nicolet— Fr, Rene Me- 
nard — First Map of Michigan— First Accounts of Copper in Northern 
Michigan- Oldest Settl-ement in Michigan— Formal Possession of Mich- 
igan by France — Jacques Marquette — Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle 
and His Explorations — Michilimackinac and Detroit, Rival Centers of In- 
fluence — M. de La Motte Cadillac— Michigan Under the British — Pontiac's 
Conspiracy — Siege of Detroit — End of the War and Signing of Peace 
Treaty— Activity in the Fur Trade— Mackinac— The Northwest Territory 
—Governor Arthur St. Clair— Indian Treaty of Greenville— British With- 
draw from Northwest — Wayne County Formed — Indiana Territory — Michi- 
gan Territory— War of 1812— Hull's Surrender— Indian Massacres and 
Depredations— End of the War— Governor Lewis Cass and His Success- 
ful Handling of the Tremendous Probletns Which Confronted Him — Sur- 
vey of Soldier Bounty Lands — Misleading Reports as to Their Character 
— Treaty of Saginaw — New Surveys by Cass and Establishment of a Land 
Office — Steam Transportation on Land and Water — Beginning of Great 
Immigration from the Eastern States — Demand for Roads — Steady Ad- 
vance in Local and Territorial Self-government — General Cass a Firm Advo- 
cate of Popular Education— A Period of Rapid Growth— The "Toledo 
War"— Admission of Michigan into the Union and First State Officials- 
Detroit in 1837— Centers of Population— Pioneer Life— An Era of Specula- 
tion — "Wild-eat" Banks — Internal Improvements — Removal of State Capital 
from Detroit to Lansing — Adoption of a New Constitutlon^A New Regime 
— Civil War Days^Michigan's Splendid Military Record — Zaehariah Chand- 
ler — Governor Henry H. Crapo^Immigration Agents — Swamp Lands — Ag- 
ricultural Education — Governor Crapo and the Pardoning Power — Public 
Aid to Railroad Enterprises^Constitutional Convention of 1867^Governor 
Henry P. Baldwin— Governor John J. Bagley— The Greenback Movement- 
Governors Josiah W. Begole, Russell A. Alger, Cyrus W. Luce, Edwin B. 
Winans, John T. Rich and Hazen S. Pingree— The Spanish-American War- 
Governors Aaron T. Bliss. Fred M, Warner, Chase S. Osborne and Wood- 
bridge N. Ferris— Natural Resources of the State— Transportation— Edu- 
cational Advancement. 


Fragmentary Character of Indian History— Seldom Written Without Bias 
—Indian Attitude Towards White Man's Curiosity— Contradictory Writers 
—Character of the Red Men— Indians at the Time of the Discovery— The 
Story of Ay-oun-a-wa-ta— The Five Nations— Cla.ssification of the Various 



Tribes — Hothelaga— Unsanitary Conditions Among the Indians — Cham- 
plain— Steiihen Brule — Conflict Between the Canadian French and Their In- 
dian Allies and the Five Nations, Aided by the Dutch and English — Disper- 
sal of the Eastern Tribes and Their Coming to the Michigan Country — Story 
of The-People-who-went-out-of-the-land^Early Maps Showing Indian Oc- 
cupancy—Former Possessors of Genesee County— Only One Tribal Identity, 
the Sacs, Preserved — The Mound Builders — Genesee County Under Huron 
Iroquois Occupancy— An Indian Home and Occupations — Agriculture — 
The Ottawas— Variant Accounts of the Occupancy at Genesee County by 
the Indians— The Chippewas— The Pontiac War— The Indians and the War 
of 1812— Romantic Traditions— The Battle of Long Lake— The Captives of 
the Saginaw. 


The Treaty of 1807 — Indian Occupancy of Genesee County — Treaty of Sagi- 
naw^Lewis Cass. Joseph Campau and Jacob Smith — Interesting Features 
of the Council with the Indians— Louis Campau's Account of the Council 
—Pertinent Provisions of the Treaty— The Tribal Reservation— Ne-o-me 
— Treaties of 1837 and Subsequently — Reservations to Individuals and 
Later Contests Over Them. 


Flint, an Early Prominent Center of Settlement- Governor Cass's Tour of 
Observation and Discovery — The Grand Traverse — Origin of the Name, 
"Flint" — ^Indian Occupation — An Ignominious Whipping — First White Set- 
tler at Flint— Grand Blanc, a Rival Settlement— John Todd— Early Perma- 
nent Settlers— Organized Government— First Officers— Early Real Estate 
Prices— First Village Plats— First Postoffice Established— Land Office- 
Road Building— Mills— Influx of Settlers— First Schools— Early Religious 
Interest— Social Amusements— The Professions— Flint in 1837. 


Original Area of Genesee County— Organization of the Townships— Flint 
Township — Land Entries — Early Neighborhood Settlements — Earliest 
Schools— Township Records— Stock Marks— Libraries— School Districts- 
Grand Blanc Township— Land Entries and First Settlers— A Pioneer's 
Description of His Experiences — Village of Grand Blanc — Fenton Town- 
ship — Settlers and Land Entries — Beginning of the Village of Fenton — 
Reminiscences of Dr. S. W. Pattison and William M. Fenton— Platting 
and Settlement of the Village— Professional Men— Linden Village— Plat- 
ting of — Schools and Religions Societies— Mt. Pleasant Village — First Elec- 
tion of Township Officers— Atlas Township— Settlement— Village of Good- 
rich—First Township Meeting— Flushing Township— First Settlers— Pio- 
neer Conditions— The "English Settlement"— Flushing Village— Mundy 
Township— Land Entries, First Settlement and Other Early Events— Ar- 
gentine Township— Settlement— Village of Booton (Argentine)— Mt. Morris 
Township — Pioneers — Schools and Churches— ^"X^old water Settlement"— 
First Township Officers— Genesee Township— Settlement— First Religious 
Services— Timber and Saw-mills — First Township Officials — Gaines Town- 
ship — Settlement — First Township Meeting — Burton Township — The First 
Settlers— Religious Interests and Schools— First Township Meeting— Clay- 
ton Township— Original Natural Features— The Pioneers— The Miller, 



Lyons and Donahoo Settlements — Organization of the Township — Vienna 
Township— First Settlers— Organization and First Officers of the Town- 
ship — Early Schools and Churches — Thetford Township — The Pioneers — 
Early Events — Organization and First Officials— Davison Townsliip — Settle- 
ment — Organization — An Early Game Law — Richfield Township — Original 
Area — First Settlement— Pioneer DifficuUies— First Events — Village Cen- 
ters — First Township Officials — Forest Township — Its Namc^Early Set- 
tlers—First Township Officials— Montrose Township— Its Name— First Of- 
ficials—Early Prominent Citizens— Mills— The Winter of Want. 


Various Judicial Districts in Which Genesee Has Been Placed^First 
County Officers — First Board of Supervisors Meeting — Tax Assessments — 
First Session of the Circuit Court— First Case Tried— Early Actions of the 
Board of Supervisors and County Commissioners. 


A Nation's Civilization Gauged by Her Transportation Facilities — ^Indian 
Trails, the First Roads— Chief Trails in Genesee County — Beginning of 
Good Roads Movement — Record of Roads Laid Out by the Commissioners 
of Highways— Adoption of the County Good-roads System in 1909 — Plank 
Road Companies— A Reminiscence of the Old Stage Coach— The Flint 
River as a Highway. 


The Bed Rock and Glacial Drift— Original Drainage Beds— Pre-glacial Val- 
leys — Movements of the Glaciers — Present Peculiar Drainage System— The 
Shiawassee River and Its Tributaries — Cement Industry — ^Salt Industry — 
Clay Mining— Brick Clays— Artesian Wells— Attempts to Develop Coal 
Mines— Altitudes— Topography and Natural Fea'tnres of the Townships. 


Husbandry, the Earliest Industry of the White Settlers— Character of the 
Soil — Timber — Early Crops — Early Interest in Live Stock — Wool-growing 
and Sheep-shearing — Cattle Breeding.— The Crapo Farm — Genesee County 
-Agricultural Society — Fair Grounds. 


Progress of Flint Typical of the Cotmty's Progress— A Period of Advance- 
ment—Mills—Roads and Railroads— First Brick Buildings— A Hidden Ro- 
mance—Early Industries— The Old Brick Court House— Early Lawyers— 
Doctors- Village Schools— The First Newspaper— Early Religious Interests 
—The First Library— Ladies Library Association of Flint— The Old Flint 


Genesee County Men in the War of 1812— The Civil War— Governor Blair's 
Patriotic Message— Other Public Utterances in 1862— Triumphant Return of 
the Soldiers at the Close of the Conflict— Michigan Battle Flags Presented 
to the State — Historical Sketches and Rosters of the Various Commands in 
Which Genesee County Men Were Enlisted— "The Heroic." 




Eacliest. Attempts at. Railroad BuiJAiiie;— Fiirst. M*ckig»n Compiany ItKior- 
porated— Railroad Building Under Difficulties— First Railroad into Flint- 
Congressional Land Grants as Aids to Railroad Building— Later Lines 
Which Have Contributed to the Development of Genesee County. 


Incorporation— The Tax Roll of 1855— First City Officers- Regarding Some 
of the Early Officers — Roster of City Officials — Financial Stringency in the 
Early Years of the City— Elements Which Gave Impulse to the City's 
Growth— A Wholesome Progress Along All Lines. 


Pioneer Beginning of the Lumber Industry — A Typical Lumter Camp and 
Methods of Getting Out the Timber — Wonderful Development of Lumber 
Business During and After the War— The Crapo Mills and Others Which 
Followed — A Summary of the Lumber Situation — Flint's Manufacturing 
Development, a Normal and Legitimate Growth^Manufacturing Interests 
at Fenton and Flushing, 


Michigan's First General Banking Law — "Wildcat" Banks and Unstable 
Currency — Low Real Estate Values — Later Splendid Results of Earlier Ex- 
periences—Legitimate Banking Houses in Flint and Brief Personal Mention 
of Some of tiie Men Interested in Their Success— Present Banks of Flint 
^Wond«rful .Growth in Bank Clearings^ 1'915 a Phenomenal Year — Banks 
at Fenton. Otisville, Flushing, Clio, Davison, Gaines, Goodrich, Swartz 
Creek, Grand Blanc, Linden and Mt. Morris. 


The Press, a Potent Agency in the Development of a New Country — An 
Account of the Various Newspapers Which Have Existed and are Now 
Being Published in Genesee County. 


Genesee First Attached to Oakland County for Judicial Purposes — 
First Practitioners Here— First Court Held in Genesee County— The First 
Resident Attorney— Edward H. Thomson and Others of the Early Attor- 
neys—Lawyers Here in 1850 — William M. Fenton and Contemporaries^ 
Judges of the Court— Judge Mark W. Stevens— The Genesee County Bar 
■ Association — Present Bar of the County — Genesee Civil List — State Offi- 
cers from This County — Circuit Judges — State Senators — State Representa- 
tives — Judges of Probate— Prosecuting Attorneys— Sheriffs — County Clerks 
—Registers of Deeds— County Treasurers. 

Comparison Between Early and Present Conditions of Medical Practice 
—Cyrus Baldwin, the First Doctor in Genesee County— Others Who Fol- 
lowed — The Genesee County Medical Association — Flint Academy of Med- 
icine—Physicians Here During the Seventies and Eighties— Genesee 
County Medical Society — Present Physicians of the County, 




Early Interest in Educational Matters— Records Meager— The Little School 
in Flint River in 1834— Gradual, but Steady, Development of the Flint 
School System— School Districts— Superintendents of the City Schools—, 
Parochial Schools— Officers and Teachers of the FKnt Schools, 1916— Miss 
Hicok's School— State School for the Deaf— Schools at Fenton— Other 
Schools and Educational Institutions— Flint-Bliss Business College— Hur- 
ley Hospital Training School for Nurses— County Normal School, 


High Intellectuality of Early Settlers of Genesee County— Books in De- 
mand—List of Library Books, 1843— Flint Scientific Institute— Ladies* Li- 
brary Association— Free Public Library— The Present Library— Burton 
Ladies' Library. 


Genesee County's Contributions to the World of Letters— "The Aeolian 
Harp"— "Evening Prayer"— ■'T3ps"—"A California Flovi-er Calendar"— A 
Thanksgiving Poem. 


Some Interesting Reminiscences of Social Customs and Events of the Pio- 
neer Days in Genesee County— Forms of Amusement— A Pioneer Menu— 
A Change in Customs— Indian Callers on New Year's Day— The Old Har- 
monia Club— The Fuguenoids and the Flint Choral Society— Bands— Gen- 
esee County Pioneer Association and Its Eearly Reunions and Picnics- 
County Historical Society— A Poetic Tribute to the Brave Men and Women 
of Pioneer Days. 


The Club, a Natural Growth in Organized Society — American History 
Class — The Art Class — Mrs. Fobe's Reading Class^The Shakespeare Club 
—The Bangs Shakespeare Club^Columblan Club — The Twentieth Century 
Club— The Garland Street Literary Club— The Research Club— St. Cecelia 
Society— The Choral Union— The Flint Dramatic Club— The Rotary Club- 
Flint Golf Club— Woman's Council. 


Independent Order of Odd Fellows— Daughters of Rebekah— Masonic Or- 
der, with Appendant Orders— Order of the Eastern Star — Royal Arcanum 
—Knights of the Maccabees— Knights of the Maccabees of the World- 
Degree of Honor — Grand Army of the Republic^National League of Vet- 
erans and Sons— Woman's Relief Corps— Daughters of the American Revo- 
lution—Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks— Knights of the Loyal 
Guard— Knights and Ladies of Security— Knights of Pythias— Tribe of 
Ben-Hur— Independent Order of Foresters— Modern Brotherhood of Amer- 
ica—Home Mutual Benefit Association— Ladies' Catholic Benevolent As- 
sociation — Knights of Columbus — Fraternal Order of Eagles — Modern 
Woodmen of America — Ancient Order of Hibernians— Brotherhood of 
American Yeomen — Royal Neighbors of America— National Union — Loyal 
Order of Moose— The Vehicle Club— Young Men's Christian Association- 
Young Women's Christian Association— The King's Daughters— The 
t:hild's Welfare Society— St. .Michael's Benevolent Society- St. Paul's 



Men's Club— Trades Unions— Flint Factories Mutual 
—Lodges at Fenton, Linden, Flushing, Clio, Otisville 
Creek and Davison. 


Daughters of the American Revolution — Order of the Stars and Stripes- 
Soldiers and Sailors of Genesee County— Grand Army of the Republic- 
Woman's Relief Corps — National League of Veterans and Sons— Regi- 
mental Reunions— Flint Union Blues — Spanish War Veterans. 


Brief Historical Description of Fenton, Flushing, Clio, Davison, Grand 
Blanc, Linden, Montrose, Gaines, Mt. Morris, Swarti Creek, Goodrich, 
Otisville, Atlas, Geneseeville, Thetford Center, Pine Run, Argentine, Whig- 
ville. Crapo Farm, Brent Creek, Rankin Postoffice, Otterbitrn, Belsay and 
Richfield Center. 


Methodist Episcopal Churches — Free Methodist Church— Methodist Prot- 
estant Church — Evangelical Churches — Presbyterian Churches — Baptist 
Churches— Catholic Churches— Episcopal Church— Christ's Mission— Advent 
Church — Congregational Church — Church of Christ, Scientist— Salvation 
Army— Flint Ministerial Association — Churches in the County Outside of 


The City's Fiftieth Anniversary— Account of the Celebration, by Rev. Theo- 
dore D. Bacon— Illumination of the City—Laying of the Cornerstone of the 
Federal Building— Dedication of Memorial Tablets— Dedication of the 
Public Library — Dedication of the County Court House. 


A Wonderful Transformation— Phenomenal Increase in Population and In- 
dustries — Early History of the Place — First Industries^Lumbering Inter- 
ests—Advent of William Crapo Durant and the Vehicle Business— Rise of 
the Automobile Industry in Flint and the Impetus It Gave to the Growth 
of the City— Population— City Officials. 1916— Flint City Plats, Additions 
and Subdivisions — Assessed Valuation, ■ Tax Rate and Amount Raised by 
Taxes for the Past Five Years— A City of Homes— Civic Building Asso- 
ciation — Board of Commerce — Parks and Boulevards — Park Board — Water- 
vforks — Sewers — Paving and Sidewalks — Fire Department — Police Depart- 
ment — General Motors Emergency Hospital Michigan State Telephone 

Company — Steam and Electric Railroad Conditions — Flint Industries, 1916— 
The Postoffice— Hurley Hospital— Oak Grove Hospital— Condensed Data 
Concerning Flint — Conclusion. 


United States Census of 1910, Relating to Genesee County— Population 
Statistics — Mortality Statistics — Occupation Statistics — Agriculture- 
Wealth, Debt and Taxation— Ownership of Homes— Manufactures. 





Academy of Medicine '. 

Advent Church I 

African Methodist Church ; 

Agricuhural Societies ^ 

Agricultural Statistics f 

Agriculture, Pioneer j 

Aitkcn, David D. 540, 566, 659, t 

Alger, Governor Russell A. „ _ 

Altitudes 2 

Amuscmehts, Early t 

Ancient Order of Hibernians t 

Ancient Order of United Workmen t 

Argentine — 229, / 

Argentine Township — - 

Lakes 2 

Land Entries 2 

Mills 2 

Natural Features 2 

Officials 8 

Organization 1 

Population 8 

Soil 2 

Streams 2 

Artesian Wells 2 

Atherton Settlement 2 

Atlas 290, 7 

Atlas Township — 

Glacial Remains 2 

Gravel __ 2 

Lakes 2 

Natural Features _ 
Officials, First ... 
Officials, Present . 



Automobile Industry 774 

Axford, Dr. S. M. S73 

Ay-oun-a-wa-ta, Story of 104 


Bagley, Governor John J. 85 

Baldwin, Governor Henry P. 84 

Bank Clearings 540 

Banking Law, First General 68 

Banks and Banking 519 

Baptist Churches ..327. 715. 718, 737, 745 

Bar Association 563 

Bates, William R. 563 

Begole, Governor Josiah W. 

86, 530, 566, 568 

Belsay 728 

Bench and Bar 551 

Benevolent and Protective Order of 

Elks — 675 

Benevolent Societies 661 

Ben-Hur, Tribe of 677 

Bishop. Russell 536 

Bliss. Governor Aaron T. 94 

Books and Libraries 605 

Booton Postoffice 229, 726 

Bounty Lands 58 

Brent Creek 727 

Brick Clays 289 

Brotherhood of American Yeomen. 680 

Burton Ladies' Library 612 

Burton Township — 

Atherton Settlement 235 

Gravel 287 

Indian Trails 254 

Natural Features 299 

Officials, First 236 

Officials, Present 831 

Organization 198 

Population 815 

Religious Interests 236 



Burton Township — Cot 

Timber 299 

Cadillac, M. de la Motte 

Campau, Joseph 152, 

Campau, Louis 152, 158, 

Care for the Poor , 

Carriage-making ! 

Cartier, Jacques 

Carton, John J. 527, 565, 56?, ' 

Cass, Lewis 55, 63, 151, 1S4. 

Catholic Churches 

194, 329, 715, 718. 721, 738, ; 

Cattle Raising '. 


Cement Industry '. 

Census Reports i 

Champlain, Samuel de 33, 113. 

Chandler, Zachariah 

Child's Welfare Society ( 


59, 118, 128, 133, 149, 151, 162, 165, : 

Church of Christ, Scientist '. 

Churches - 

Cigar Manufacturing — '. 

Circuit Judges 253, i 

Civil List ; 

Civil War ; 

Civil War Days in the State 

Clay Mining '. 

Clayton Township — 

Donahoo Settlement ■ 

Lyons Settlement i 

Miller Settlement - ^ 

Natural Features 237, ', 

Officials, First '. 

Officials, Present ) 

Organization '■ 

Population i 

Religious Interests i 

Schools ; 

Settlement ^ 

Taxpayers, 1844 : 

Timber, Original i 

Board of Commerce / 

Brick Induatl-y 2 

Churches 717, / 

Location / 

Lodges 692, / 

Officials ; 

Physicians — ^ 

Population i 

Schools .■ 

Clubs of Today t 

Coal Strata 2 

"Coldwater Settlement" 

187, 194, 230, 7 

Colleges in the State 1 

Congregational Church 7 

Congressmen from Genesee County 5 

Constitution, State, Adopted 

Constitutional Convention. 1867 

Copper in Michigan, First Account 


County Clerks 5 

County Court, First 251, 5 

County Normal School 6 

County Officers, First 2 

County Seat Located 2 

Court Calendar, First 2 

Court, First County 251, 5 

Court House Dedication 7 

Court House History 252, 3 

Crapo Farm 311, 7 

Crapo, Henry H. — 76, 77. t 

290, 311. 4S8, 507, 522, 565, 566. 7 

Crapo Mills 502, 5 

Crapo. W. W. 5 

Crosswell, Governor Charles M 

Customs of Indiarts 1 

Daughters of Rebekah 663 

Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion 674, 694 

Altitude 291 

Artesian Well 29! 

Banks 542 

Churches 718 



Lodges 693, 701, 718 

Officials ^18 

Physicians ^^1. 581 

Population ?18, 815 

Fostoffice, Early ^1^ 

Schools 598 

Davison Township — 

Drainage 302 

Game Law 243 

Gravel 287 

Lakes 302 

Natural Features 302 

Officials, First 243 

Officials, Present 831 

Organization 198, 241 

Population 815 

Settlement 241 




Deaf, State School for the 

Deeds, Registers of 

Degree of Honor 

_ 302 
. 302 

. 672 
_ 109 

Detroit 42, 47, 50, 53, 66, 149 

Dibbleville (Fcnton) 210 

Doctors 569 

Domestic Animals 824, 826 

Donahoo Settlement 238 

Dort, J. D. 

. 513, 658, 659, 685. 773, 786, 805 

Drainage Beds 283 

"Drummer Boy of the Eighth" 371 

Duffield 290, 29! 

Durand, George H. 562, 564, 566 

Durant. William C. 513, 773 

Eagles, Fraternal Order of 679 

Early Days in Flint 626 

Early Families 192 

Early Permanent Settlers 186 

Early Physicians 197, 322, 569 

Early Years of Flint City 494 

Eastern Star, Order of the .„_669, 690 

Education 582 

Educational Advancement in Statc__ 98 

Elks 675 

English Settlement 226 

Episcopal Churches 328, 715, 740, 745 

Evangelical Churches 734 

"Evening Prayer" 614 

Explorations of Michigan 36 

Factories' Mutual Benefit Ass'n..- 690 

Fair Grounds 313 

Farm Property, Value of - 824 

Fayville 241 

Altitude 291 

Banks 541, 542 

Beginning of 713 

Campaign of 1840 219 

Cement Industry 715 

Churches 715, 745 

Early Days 213 

Growth 714 

Immigration 213 

Industries 514 

Interesting Events 214 

Lawyers, Early 196, 22ft 

Location 713 

Lodges 690, 703, 715 

Mai! Routes — 218 

Manufacturing Developments 514 

Mills 514, 517 

Newspapers 550 

Officials --— 715 

Physicians 570, 581 

Platted : 220 

Population 815 

Schools 596 

Setticraent 220 

Streets 217 

Tavern, First 220 

Woman's Civic Society „- 715 

Fenton Light Guard 355 

Fenton Township — 

Glacial Remains 286 

Gravel _ 287 

Indian Burial Place 293 

Lakes - 292 

Land Entries 207 

Long Lake 293 

Natural Features 292 



Fenton Township — Cotit. 

Officials, First 222 

Officials, Present 831 

Organization 198 

Physician, First ^.. 209 

Population 815 

Settlement 207 


. 292 

Fenton, William M. 76, 211, 215, 220, 372, 

495, 522, 528, 529, 531, 556, 558, 565, 

566, 573 

Ferris, Woodbridge N. 94 

First County Court 251, 552 

First Court Calendar 252 

Five Nations, the 106 

Additions 781 

Altitude 291 

American History Class 649 

Area 784 

Art Class 649 

Assessed Valuation 782 

Automobile Industry 774 

Bands 332, 638 

Banks 520 

Blacksmith, First 187 

Board of Commerce 785 

Board of Education 590 

Board of Health ._— 791 

Brick Buildings, First 316 

Brick Clay 290 

Business College 600 

Cemetery 329 

Choral Society 638, 658 

Churches 729 

Cigar Manufacturing 512 

City Charter 494 

Civic Building Association ^ 784 

Clerks, City - 

Clubs of Today _. 
Columbian Club -. 
County Scat, Cho; 
Dramatic Club ^_ 

Earliest Days 

Early Industries . 
Early Social Life _ 

_ 649 
. 653 

. 319 
_ 626 

Education 193, 323, 502 

Election First City 497 

Federal Building 754 

Fire Department 790 

Flint— Cont. 

First Settlers 183 

First Store 191 

Fraternities 661, 694 

Fuguenoids, the 638 

General Motors Hospital 791 

Golden Jubilee 748 

Golf Club 659 

Greater Flint 771 

Harmonia Club 636 

Homes, a City of 784 

Hospitals 791, 795, 810 

Hotels, Early 194 

Hurley Hospital 

In 1837 

In 1838 

. 795 
_ 197 

. 772 

In 1886 773 

Incorporation 494 

Indian Occupancy 181 

Industries. Early 319, 502 

Industries, 1916 777, 793 

Ladies Library Association — 331, 607 

Land Office 189, 772 

Latitude 291 

Lawyers, Early 196, 321, 553 

Libraries 330, 601, 611, 762 

Lodges 329, 661 

Longitude 291 

Lumber Industry 501, 504, 772 

Mail Routes, Early 278 

Mayors 497 

Memorial Tablets 758 

Mills 190, 315, 502, 507, 772 

Ministerial Association 744 

Miscellaneous Facts 812 

Newspapers 325, 544 

Oak Grove Hospital 810 

Officials. First 497 

Officials. 1916 780 

Official Roster 498 

Old Flint Band — 332 

Park Board 788 

Parks — 786 

Parochial Schools 


. 789 

Physicians, Early 197, 322, 571 

Physicians, Present 580 

Plats 188, 781 

Police Department - 790 

Population 779, 815, 816 



Flint— Cont. 

Population, Wonderful Growth in ', 

Postoffice History 189, ', 

Public Schools — ; 

Railroad, First I 

Railroads ' 

Real Estate Prices, 1833 1 

Recorders, City "1 

Religious Interest, Early 193, ; 

Research Club ( 

Roster of City Officials -:- A 

Rotary Club ( 

St. Cecelia Society ( 

Schools 193, 328. f 

Secret Orders t 

Settlement Before 183? 1 

Settlers 183, i 

Sewers - ? 

Shakespeare Clubs C 

Social Amusements, Early 1 

Subdivisions ' 

Surveys 1 

Stage Lines 1 

Tax Rate — ? 

Tax Roll, 1855 A 

Telephones / 

Trades Unions t 

Transportation ? 

Treasurers, City A 

Trading Post 7 

Twentieth Century Club 6 

Union Blues 7 

Vehicle Club f 

Vehicle Industry 'i 

Village Plats 1 

Village Schools 3 

Waterworks 7 

"Wildcat" Banks 5 

Woman's Council 6 

Y. M. C. A. Building 6 

Flint Academy of Medicine S 

Flint-Bliss Business College -, 6 

Flint River 188, Z19, 3 

Flint Scientific Institute 6 

Flint Township — 

Education 2 

Gravel 2 

Land Entries 1 

Libraries 2 

Flint Township — Cont. 

Officials 831 

Organization 198 

Population 815 

Records, Early 300 

Religious Interest 200 

Roads, Eariy 257 

School, First 199 

Settlement 187, 199 

Soil 292 

Stock Marks 200 

Streams 292 

Flint Union Grays 340 

Banks 227, 542 

Beginning of 226 

Chamber of Commerce 716 

Churches 717, 745 

Clay Industry 289 

Clubs 717 

Improvement Club lit 

Industries 289. S18 

Location , 715, 717 

Lodges 69!, 702 

Mills 518 

Officials 717 

Physicians 572, 581 

Population 815 

Schools 598 

Settlers, First 716 

"Wildcat" Banks 237 

Flusliing Township— 

"English Settlement" 226 

Grave! 287 

Natural Features 295 

Officials - 831 

Organization 198, 227 

Population 815 

Religious Interests 227 

Schools 227 

Settlement 224 

Soil 295 

Streams 295 

Foreign-born Population 815 

Forest Township — 

Lakes 304 

I-and Entries 245 ■ 

Names 246 

Natural Features 304 



Forest Township— Con t. 

Officials. Present 831 

Organization 198 

Population 815 

Religious Interests ^ 246 

Settlement 246 

Soil 304 

Streams 305 

Timber 304 

Franciscan Order 


Fraternal Order of Eagles 579 

Fraternal Orders 661 

Free and Accepted Masons 

. 329, 664, 690, 691, 715, 717 

Free Methodist Churches 734 

Fruits — 828 

Fur Trade Activity 49 


Altitude 292 

Banks 542 

Brick Industry 290 

Churches* 721 

Early Conditions 721 

Incorporation 721 

Lodges 701 

Officials ... 721 

Physicians 572 

Plat 234 

Population 721., 815 

Schools 599 

Settlement 234 

Gaines Township — 

Crapo Farm 311 

Gravel 287 

Mapie Groves 298 

Natural Features 298 

Officials. First — 234 

Officials. Present 832 

Organization 198 

Population 815 

Schools 234 

Settlement 234 

Soil . 


County Agricultural So- 

ciety . 

_ 312 

Genesee County Bar Association — 5 

Genesee County in the Civil War 3 

Genesee County Medfcal Associa- 

- 380 

Genesee County Sheep-breeders a 

Wool-growers Association 

Genesee Light Guard 

Genesee Rangers 

Genesee Township — 

Gravel 287 

Indian Trails 255 

Mills 233 

Name 233, 297 

Natural Features 297 

Officials, First 233 

Officials, Present 832 

Organization 198 

Population 815 

Keligious Interests 232 

Soil 297 

Streams 298 

Timber 233, 297 

Geneseeville 725 

Geologic Conditions 283 

Glacial Drift 283 


, 292 

Banks ; 520. 542 

Churches 723 

Founding of 223. 723 

Hospital 724 

Physicians 572, 581 

Population - - 724 

Postoffice 723 

Schools 599 

Settlement _ 223, 723 

"Wildcat" Banks v 520 

Governors from Genesee County 565 

Governors of Michigan 65, 71, 72 

Grand Army of the Republic 672, 699 

Grand Bianc— 
Altitude 292 

.nks - 

Beginning of 

Brick Industry . 
First Events — 


„.- 542 
..__ 719 

- 190 
_ 581 

Population 720 

Postoffice 207 

Religious Interests 193, 207 

Schools 207, 599 

Settlement 185, 187, 719 



Grand Blanc Township — 

Indian Trails 254 

Lakes 293 

Land Entries 203 

Natural Features 293 

Officials, First i97, 206 

Officials, Present 832 

Organization -198, 206 

Peat Beds 293 

Population 815 

Settlement 18?, 203 

Soil 293 

Streams 293 

Tax Assessments, First 251 

Grand Traverse 181, 781 

Greenback Movement 86 

Greenville, Treaty of 52 


Hard Rock Formations 284 

Hay Production 308 

History of Michigan 33 

Hochelaga 112 

Home Mutual Benefit Asociation — 678 

Homes, Ownership of 829 

Horton, Dexter, Address by 208 

Howard, Sumner 558, 565, 566, 567 

Hull, Gen. William 53, 149 

Hurley Hospital Training School -- 600 

Hurons 47, 115, 117, 120, 124, 131 

"Hymn to the Sea" — 618 


Immigration Agents 78 

Immigration to Michigan 60 

Independent Order of Foresters 677 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 

329, 661, 690, 691, 717 

Indian Customs 126 

Indian House, Description of 125 

Indian Occupancy of Genesee 

County 150 

Indian Reservation 149, 161, 162, 167 

Indian Traditions 141 

Indian Trails 181, 254 

Indian Treaties 149 

Indiana Territory . 

Iroquois 106, 111, 118, 120, 124 


Jai! History 252 

Jesuits, The — 36 

Judges, Circuit 566 

Judges of Circuit Court 253 

Judges of Probate 567 

Kearsley Township 198 

King's Daughters 687 

Knights and Ladies of Security 676 

Knights of Columbus 679 

Knights of Honor 691 

Knights of the Loyal Guard 676 

Knights of the Maccabees 670 

Knights of Pythias 676 

Ladies' Catholic 

;volent Asso- 


Ladies' Library Association 331, 607 

Lakes 292, 295, 296, 302, 314, 502 

Land Office 1 189 

La Salle, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de- 40 

Lawyers _— 196, 321, 551 

Libraries 601 

Attitude 292 

Bank 543 

Beginning of 720 

Churches 720 


Incorporation 720 

Industries 720 

Lodges 691, 70i, 720 

Mills 221 

Officials 720 

Physicians 581 

Platted 22! 

Population 720, 815 

Religious Interests 221 

School, First 22i 

Schools — 599 

Settlement —221, 720 

Indians of Genesee County 

Internal Improvements, State , 

- 101 

Live Stock 

Live Stock, Early Interest i 

Logging, Methods 

Long Lake : 



Loyal Guard, Knights of the 6?6 

Loyal Order of Moose 681 

Luce, Governor Cyrus G 88 

Lumbering 97. 501, S04, 510. 772 

Lyons Settlement 239 



- 670 

M^aceabeean Orders 

Mail Routes. Early. 278 

Manufactures, Comparative Sum- 
mary 830 

Map of Michigan, First 38 

Maps, Early Michigan 131 

Marl Deposits 287 

Marquette, Jacques 39 

Masonic Order_329, 664, 690, 691, 715. 717 

Medical Practice 197, 322, 569 

Memorial Tablets ._ 758 

Menard. Father Rene 37 

Methodist Episcopal Churches. 200, 
221, 227, 228, 240, 245. 327, 715. 

717, 718, 720, 721, TK, 745 

Methodist Protestant Church 734 

Mexican War 334 

Michigan. History of 33 

Michigan, First Map of 38 

Michigan Territory 53 

Michigan Troops in Mexican War. 334 

Michigan Under the British 44 

Michilimackinac —42, 46, 49, 54, 119, 128 
Military Record of Genesee County 334 

Millard, Orson 524, 576 

Miller Settlement 237 

Mills 190, 229, 248. 315, 502, 507, 772 

Missionary Spirit : 35 

Modern Brotherhood of America 678 

Modern Woodmen of America 680 

Mohawks 105 

Montrose — 

Banks 542 

Churches 721 

Incorporation 721 

Lodges 692 

Officials 721 

Physicians 581 

Population — 721, 815 


. 721 

Indian Reservation 306 

Mills 248 

Name 247 

Natural Features 305 

Officials, First 247 

Officials, Present 832 

Organization 198, 247 

Settlement 247 

Soil 305 

Population 815 

Mortality Statistics 818 

Mott, Charles S 659. 685 

Mound Builders _ 122 

Mt. Morris- 
Banks 543 

Beginning of 722 

Churches 722, 746 

''Cold water Settlement" 

187, 194, 230, 722 




Mt. Morris Township 


. 701 



Natural Features 297 

Officials 832 

Organization 198, 232 

Population 815 

Religious interests 230 

School. First 230 

Settlement 230 

Soil 297 


. 297 

Mt. Pleasant 221 

Mundy Township — 

Births, First 227 

Artesian Wells 291 


Land Entrii 

. 287 
_ 227 

Natural Features . 
Officials, First .„. 
Officials, Present . 



Mutidy Township — Gent. 

Population - 815 

School Districts __ 228 

Settlement 227 

Soil — 296 

"My Harp" 619 

Nalional League of Veterans and 

Sons 673, 704 

National Union - 681 

Natural Resources of State 96 

Xayigation Companies 280 

Ne-o-me, Chief 152, 165 

New England Influence 192 

Newspaper, First in State 64 

Newspapers 325, 544 

Newton, William 557 

Nicolet, Jean 36 

Normal School, County 600 

Northwest Territory 51 


, 819 

Occupation Statistics 

Odd Fellows 329, 661, 690. 691, 717 

Officials, State, First 65 

Ojibways 45, 60, 128, 131, 133 

Old Settlers' Reunions 642 

Oldest Settlement in Michigan 38 

Oneidas 104 

Order of the Eastern Star .669, 690 

Order of the Stars and Stripes 698 

Osborne, Governor Chase S 94 

Otisville — 

Beginning of 246 

Brick Industry 290 

Banks 541 

Churches 724 

Lodges 692 

Mills 724 

Platted 724 

Population — 724, 815 

Schools 599 

Settlement 724 

Ottawas-45, 59, 60, 115, 128, 131, 149, 181 
Oiterburn 292, 728 

>cicties 694 

■. S. W., Address by 209 

Pewaiiagawink Township 198 

Physicians 569 

Pine Run 726 

Pingrce, Governor Hazen S 89 

Pioneer Agriculture 307 

Pioneer Days 198 

Pioneer Social Amusements - 194 

Pioneer Society 642 

Plank Roads 275, 315 

Poets of Genesee County 614 

Pontiac, Chief 45. 49, 136 

Pontiac's Conspiracy, 45, 136 

Poor, Care for the 253 

Population of State, Early 62 

Population Statistics 815 

Pottawatoniies 45. 60, 131, 149 

Prc-glacial Valleys 283 

Presbyterian Churches 

228, 327, 715. 717, 720. 735. 745 

Press, The 325, 544 

Probate. Judges of 567 

Professions, The 196 

Prosecuting Attorneys 567 

Railroads 97, 482, : 

Real Estate Prices. 1833 

Regimental Reunions '. 

Registers of Deeds : 

Religious Interest, Early 

Religious Societies '. 

Reminiscences, Early I 

Representatives ! 

Res Literaria I 

Reservations, Tribal 

Rich, Governor John T. 

Richfield 245, 728, ; 

Richfield Township- 
First Things ; 

Indian Relics '. 

Marriages, First ; 

Natural Features '. 

Officials. First ; 

Officials, Present ) 

Organization 198, '. 

Religious Interest \ 

Population ) 



Richfield Township — Cont. 


Settlement - 


Road Building, Early 

Road Commissioners, Work of.. 

Roads, Early 

Roads, Early, in the State 

Rosters of Enlistments 

Royal Arcanum 

Royal Xeighbors of America 


St. Michael's Benevolent Society.- 688 

St. Paul's Men's Club 688 

Salt-bearing Strata 289 

Salvation Army 744 

Sauks 131, 181 

Sault Ste Marie 38 

School for the Deaf 592 

School System of the State 99 

Schools 582 

Scientific Institute, Flint 604 

Secret Orders 661 

Senators, State 566 

Senecas 106, 119 

Settlement of Flint Before 1837 180 

Settlers, Permanent 186 

Shakespeare Clubs : 651 



Sheep Premiums 310 

Sheep-shearing Festivals 309 

Sheriffs 567 

Shiawassee River 286 

Sidney (Flint) 188 

Smith, Fhnt P. 539 

Smith, Jacob 152, 156, 171, 183, 771 

Social Amusements of Pioneers 194 

Social Life in Early Flint 626 

Soldiers and Sailors of Genesee Co.- 699 

Soldiers from Genesee County 334 

South Mundy 290 

Spanish- American War — 
Spanish War Veterans 

Speculation, Era of 68 

Stage-coach Days 277 

Stage Routes 190 

State Capital, Removal of 71 

State Constitution Adopted 65 

State Educational Advancement 98 

State History 33 

State Officials, First 65 

State Representatives 566 

State School for Deaf 592 

State School System 99 

State Senators 566 

State's Natural Resources 96 

Statistics 815 

Stevens, Jacob, Letter frorn 204 

Stewart, Capt. Damon 317, 437 

Stock Marks 200 

Stockton, Col. T. B. W 

175, 396, 398, 415, 699 

Superintendents of the Poor 253 

Supervisors, First Meeting of 251 

Swamp Lands 79 

Swart z Creek- 
Altitude 292 

Banks 542 

Business interests 723 

Lodges 693, 701 

Physicians 581 

Schools 599 

Settlement 723 

"Taps" 620 

Tax Assessment, First 251 

"The Aeohan Harp" 616 

"The Heroic"— An Oration 477 

Thetford Center 725 

Thetford Postoffice 24! 

Thetford Township- 
Citizens of 1840 241 

Indians 301 


- 240, 300 

. 90 

. 71? 

Land Speculators .- 

Natural Features 

Officials, First 

Ofticials, Present 832 

Organization __198, 241 

Population 815 

Schools 241 

Settlements 240 

Trails - 301 



Thomson, Col. Edward H 192, 

417, 497, 553, 555, 566, 567, 627, 699 

Thomson Light Guard 417 

Todd, John 186 

Todd's Ferry 186, 187 

Todd's Tavern 186, 193 

Toledo War 65 

Topography 284 

Trades Unions 689 

Trails, Indian 254 

Transportation _-, 97, 432, 792 

Treaties of 1837 .._ 166 

Treaty of 1807 

Treaty of Greenville 52 

Treaty of Saginaw 60 

Tribal Reservations 162 

Tribe of Ben-Hur 677 

Turner, Josiah 561 

Turnpikes 276 

Union Blues 705 


Value of Farm Property 824 

Vehicle Club 681 

Vehicle Industry 513, 773 

Vienna Township — 

First Events 239 

Gravel 287 

Indian Trails 255 

Natural Features 300 

Officials, First 239 

Officials, Present 832 

Vieima Township — Cont. 

Organization 198, 239 

Population 815 

Religious Interest 240 

Schools 240 

Settlement 239 

Soil : 300 

Streams 300 

Villages of Genesee County 713 

Vital Statistics 818 


Wagon-making 773 

Walker, James B. 534 

Walker, Levi 557, 587 

War of 1812 S3 

War of the Rebellion 334 

Warner, Governor Fred M 94 

Whigville 192, 727 

-Wild-cat" Banks 227, 520 

Willson, Dr. James C 573 

Winans, Governor Edwin B 88 

Winter of Want 248 

Wisner, Governor Moses 556 

Wixom, Dr. Isaac 570 

Wolverine Guard 417 

Woman's Relief Corps 674, 703 

Wool Growing 309 

Writers of Genesee County 614 

Wyandots 149 

Young Women's 
Young Men's Ch 





Aitken, Hon. David D 37 

Aldrich, Fred A 62 

Alexander, Eugene H. ?99 

Alger, Floyd P 703 

Allen, Floyd A. 79 

Andrews, George 108 

Anthony, Ray N. 210 

Arms, George W. 56S 

Atherton. Fred D. ^- 394 

Atwood, William A. 784 

Austin, B. J. 434 

Averill, David M. 553 

Averill, James W. 412 


Bachmann, George J 630 

Bacon. Samuel M. 162 

Bailey, Ernest L. 313 

Bailey, Walter C. ^_ 278 

Baker, Charles, Jr. 734 

Baker, James D. 775 

Baker, John F. 154 

Bariset, Ferdinand 502 

Bariset, Louis 502 

Barker, Frank A. _ 361 

Bassett, Harry H. .._ ^- 229 

Bates, Noah, M. D. 130 

Baxter, James H. 496 

Beach, S. F 191 

Beacraft, William E. 555 

Beebe, Walter W. 772 

Beecher, Calvin D. 204 

Beeman, Edward L. 458 

Bendle, John R. 440 

Benjamin, Lewis J. 220 

Berridge, Joseph W, 350 

Berry, Duncan 542 

Billings, Joseph F. 419 

Billings, Watson W. 417 

Bishop, Arthur G. 67 

Bishop, Clifford A. ._ 85 

Blackiuton, Charles A. 767 

Blackmore, Fred E. 593 

Blackncy, William W. 759 

Bliss, Chester H. 274 

Bloss, Frank D. 180 

Bodine, Ambrose 830 

Bonbright, Charles H. 264 

Boomer, Clement H. „. 40+ 

Borley, Rev. Howard D. 47 

Brabazon, Albert J. 674 

Brady, Samuel 664 

Bradley, Robert 200 

Branch, Edmund A. 91 

Bray, Everett L. 170 

Bridgman, Charles T 64 

Brooks, William 382 

Brown. Daniel 411 

Brown, Grant J. 45 

Brown, W. J. - „ 802 

Browne, Robert B. 443 

Brownell, Roy E. 110 

Buckingham, Lewis 69 

Bump, Hiram W. 539 

Bunnell, Calvin 697 

Burleson, Fred G. 797 

Burr. C. B., M. D. 72 

Burrough, Edward 212 

Buzzard, George M. 694 

Buzzard, Matthias 733 


Callahan, Pairick H. 778 

Callow, Francis H., M. D 444 

Cameron, Clarence A. 184 

Campbell, Charles J.. 711 

Campbell, George M. 641 

Carey, John H. 1 ^ 631 

Carmichael, Malcolm W. 387 



Carmichael, Robert 381 

Carpenter, William, Jr. 698 

Carrier, Adelbert W. 23« 

Carrier, Arthur G. 367 

Carton, Hon. John J 216 

Cartwright, Hon. John F, 112 

Chambers, Charles 592 

Chapin, F. A. 528 

Chase, George W. 834 

Chase, John 175 

Chase, Robert J 435 

Childs, Archie B. 781 

Chisholm, Mrs. Jane 53? 

Chrysler, Walter P. 152 

Cimmer, Arthur W 702 

Clark, Cranson 808 

Clark, J. R .__ 247 

Clark, John 508 

Clarke, Charles 708 

Clifford, Rev. Howard J, 136 

Cody, Alvin N. 86 

Coggins, George M. 690 

Cole, Ira W. 670 

Cole, James P, 347 

Coles, John J. 398 

Colwell, John B, 839 

Comerford, Rev. Michael J. 121 

Cook, Henry, M. D. 335 

Cook, Wilford P. 728 

Coon, George H. Til 

Covert, Alonzo J. 448 

Cox, Charles E. 785 

Crapscr, Hon. Bert F. 371 

Crego, Aaron B. 773 

Grossman, Merritt A. 198 

Curtis, S, E. 576 


Dake, Cash H. 819 

Dake, Nelson G. 457 

Daly, Martin 331 

Dauner, .Anthony J. 753 

Davie, William H. 461 

Davis, J. Frank 851 

Davis, Walter S., V. S. 276 

Davison, Matthew 80 

Davison, Robert C. 305 

DeLand, Albert M. 329 

Delbridge, Grant 298 

Dibble, Joel _ 680 

Dickinson, Guy V. 564 

Dieck, Ernest W. 377 

Doane, Clinton D. 720 

Dodge, Perry R. 525 

Dolan, Frank _ 321 

Dort, Josiah D S2 

Douglas, Dexter 499 

Downer, Menno F. 600 

Duff, William ..___ 572 

Dullani, Frank 770 

Dumanois, Charles W. 146 

Dunton, Lucius A. 712 

DuranI, William C. .13 

Dye, Marion 399 

Dynes, John L- 418 


Eamcs, Charles H. 682 

Eaton. William F. 510 

Eckles, Charles M. 289 

Eckley, Ear! 295 

Eddy, George H. 311 

Edson, Ara G 303 

Egglestoii, Jasper 206 

Eggleston, Lyman 206 

Elwood, Ernest T. 635 

Embury, Philip O. 292 

Enders, Harry H. 714 

Ennis, James 826 

Ensign, Ebern E. 736 

Erwin, William J, 226 


Fairbank, Hon. M'erton W 451 

Fairchild, Alfred 598 

Farmers Exchange Bank of Grand 

Blanc 583 

Fenton, Joseph B , 192 

Fleming, Eugene 812 

Fletcher, Albert 655 

Fowler, William S. 427 

Frappier, Era M., Sr. 701 

Frawley, William M. 853 

Freeman, Arthur M. 552 

Freeman, Horace B. 149 

French, James B. 422 



Frisbie, Marshall M 103 

Frost, Joe 392 

Frutchey, Herbert 364 

Fuller, Lewis B. 518 


Galbraith, Arthur E. 421 

Gale, Adrian P. 587 

Gale, Perry W. 599 

Gale, Will A. _. 638 

Gallaway, Frank A. 844 

Gaylord, George M. (ill 

George, Victor E. 172 

Gibson. Stanford S. 732 

Gifford, Lewis 643 

Gilbert, Horace W. 188 

Gilbert. Ira N. 687 

Gillett. Leslie D. 357 

Gillett. Ralph C. 447 

Gillett, Ralph N. 633 

Gillett, William H. 495 

Gillies, Andrew H, 544 

Gleruni. Frank F 743 

Goldstine. William H. 786 

Good. Elias F. 436 

Goodes, William 756 

Goodrich, Mrs. Emily 400 

Goodrich, William P. _ 603 

Goss, Rev. Joel B. Sl6 

Graff, Otto P. 75 

Graham, Hugh W., M. D. 805 

Grant, William 817 

Green, Frank A, 763 

Green, Patrick J. 533 

Green, Warrcii O, 646 

Greenfield, James M. 4ftS 

Haas, Herbert 159 

Hackney, George W. 790 

Halliwill, Milo B. 665 

Hardy, Fred _ 821 

Harris, Myron 676 

Hart, Robert O. 813 

Haskell, Frank H. 126 

Haskell, Frank P. 342 

Hathaway, Orlando K. 504 

Hawley, Berton J. 430 

Henderson, Thomas J. 764 

Herman, William G. 478 

Herrick, Edwin _ 827 

Hetchler, Clarence O. 750 

Hibbard, Otis G. 202 

Hill, Frank H. 269 

Hill, George W. 328 

Hill, Harry C. 302 

Hill, Israel 480 

Hill. Philip P. 488 

Hiller, James P. 501 

Hills, Harley L. 777 

Hinkley, D. Eugene 742 

Hinkley. Warren J. 164 

Hiscock, Alfred V. 841 

Hitchcock, Frank C 280 

Hitchcock, Frederick H. 705 

Hobart, Joseph 652 

Holden, Claude 285 

Holser, F>ank 316 

Horrigan. John 568 

Horton, William H. _,- 232 

Hosie, William A. 182 

Houghton, Fred M. 524 

Houghton, Hon. George E. 362 

Houton. John H., M. D. 236 

Hovey, Fred 672 

Howe, William H. 312 

Howes, Seth W 369 

Huggins, George 843 

Hughes, Herman 92 

Hughes, John 469 

Hughes, Peter 405 

Hunt, George S. 471 

Hurd, John W. 560 

Hyncs. William P. 403 

Hyiics, William T. _. 141 


Jameson, Charles S. 717 

Jennings, Byron S. 531 

Jennings, John H. 304 

Jennings, Leroy M. 492 

Johnson, Abner M. 415 

Johnson, Earl F. 40 

Johnson, Walter I,. 828 

Johnston, Daniel J. 306 

Johnston, John M. 570 

Jones, Frank E. 156 

Jones, James A, _ ],8 



Jones, James J. 453 

Judson, Fred 550 

Judson, George 793 


Kahl, Bismark 463 

Kahl, Henry H. 299 

Keddy, Wilbert H. 320 

Kellar, George C. 558 

Kendrick, Augustus C. 788 

Kerr, Henry H. 835 

Knapp, Fred W. 262 

Knickerbocker, Walter D. 260 

Knight, A. B 829 

Knight, Morris A. 115 

Kountz, John E. 390 

Kurtz, Daniel 656 

Kurtz. J. J., M. D 189 


Lahring, William H _.. 234 

Laing, Paul L. _ ^ 151 

Lake, William A. 199 

Lauderbaugh, William 748 

Leach, Clarence E. 601 

Leach, Frank B. 645 

Leach, William J. _._ 668 

Leal, Charles H. 729 

Lefurgey, Marshall C 406 

Leiand, Fred D. 557 

Leonard, Charles E. 765 

Lillie, Charles E. 228 

Linabury, Edwin B. 101 

Lobban, Alexander S20 

Long, John H. 43 

Love, George E 845 

Lowell, Fred H. 1S6 

Luby, Rev. Thomas F. 441 

Luce, Charles C. 277 

Luce, Clarence _ 282 

Luce, Ira D. 818 

McAllister, William T. 391 

McBride, Homer J, __ 83 

McCandlish, John 578 

McCandlish, John E, .590 

McCandlish, Stephen D. 6IS 

McCann, Fred W. 607 

McCaughna. Daniel 571 

McCloud, William H. 117 

McCreery, Fenton R. 104 

McDonald, A. E. 663 

McKeighan, William H. 144 

McKeon, Paul B. 823 

McKinlcy, George E. 168 

McVanncI, George H. 758 


MacNeai, George -,._ 846 

Macomber, John R. 464 

Macomber, Elmore J. 345 

Macpherson, Herbert A. 287 

Martin, Horace P. 746 

Martin, Thomas 413 

Mason, Henry G. 723 

Mathews, Charles F. 744 

Maxwell, Thomas R. 776 

Mears, Thomas 792 

Millard, Orson, M. D, 42 

Miller, Charles H, 353 

Miller, John A. 251 

Miller, Wilbert L. 379 

Minto, Charles W. 286 

Misuer, James W. 201 

Mitchell, George A. 344 

Monroe, William N. 595 

Montgomery, S. C. 407 

Moon, Charles 837 

Moore, Edward C 322 

Moran, Coleman P. 824 

Morris, Charles S. 315 

Morrish, Oscar W. _.. 245 

Morrish, Samuel 393 

Morrish, Wilbert E. 25(1 

Morrison, Walter 235 

Moss, Charles T. 649 

Mott, Charles S 208 

Mountain, William W, 248 

Mundy, Charles E 780 

Mundy, George E. 283 

Mundy, Thomas 332 

Murphy, John J. 738 

Murphy, Nicholas, Jr. 619 

Murphy, Rev. Timothy J. 48 

Myers, Hon, George C. 456 




Newcombe. Dclos E. 243 

Niles, Frank A. 7Hi 

Nimphie, Henry G. 796 

Nimpiiie, John 431 


O'Hare, Peter F. 485 

Oiiff, Thomas 5S9 

01k, Joseph P. 852 

Ottaway, Fred R. 308 


Packard, George, Sr 529 

Page, Thomas 333 

Paine, Mrs. Ruey Ann 516 

Parker, G. Russell ?39 

Parker, Col. James S. 160 

Parker, Ward H. — i 849 

Parsons, Edward D, 323 

Partridge, Elvah V. 310 

Partridge, Fred W. - 822 

Partridge, Thomas D. 575 

Paterson, William A. 138 

Patterson, Frank 158 

Petigelly, Rev. John B., A. M., D. B. 326 

Penoyer, Elmer H. 662 

Perkins, Frank D. 636 

Perry, Frank M. 685 

Perry, George E. 730 

Peterson, Ole 548 

Phillips, Andrew J. 725 

Phillips, Clifford J. 722 

Phillips, Elmer N. 358 

Phipps, L. E. _- 803 

Pierce, Franklin H 128 

Pierce, John L. 832 

Pierson, Harry C. 368 

Pierson, Herman H, 215 

Post, Earl G. 706 

Pound, Sylvester J. 487 

Price, James E. 439 

Prosser, Arthur 406 

Prosser, Hon. Hal H. 546 

Prowant, David 420 

Putnam, George F. 384 

Pnlnam. William J. 254 

Quick, John F. 187 


Raab, Arthur E. 133 

Rankin, Francis H. 472 

Ransom, Albert E, 804 

Ransom, John P. 178 

Ransom, Mark B. 563 

Ransom, Randolph H. 173 

Raiibinger, Phihp A. 624 

Reed, Rev. Seth, D. D. 424 

Reese, Andrew 704 

Reese, Loron A. 688 

Reynolds, Arthur J., M. D. 148 

Richmond, Lemuel 311 

Riker, Aral A. 176 

Riley, John W, 360 

Ripley, Warren G. 296 

Robb. George W. 574 

Roberts, Clinton 256 

Rockafellow, Emrie W. 579 

Rogers, Frank G. 268 

Rogers, James 291 

Rogers, Warren A. ._— 257 

Rolland, Charles E, 71S 

Root, Earl B. 850 

Root, William 494 

Roska, Albert F. 446 

Russell, John B. 491 

Russell, John H. 428 

Russell, Mrs. Mary .__ ,,, 482 


Sanford, Mrs. Jennie E. W 460 

Sargent, William H 514 

Sawyer. Frank J. 583 

Sayre, Frank P. 455 

Sayre, Ira T. 318 

Schmier, Edward A 745 

Schram, J. Fred 395 

Seelcy, E. A. 213 

Seelye, Nathan A. ^ 612 

Selleck, Charles B. 658 

Selleck, Robert W. 272 

Shanahan, James 522 

Shaw, William H. 388 

Shumaii, Gustav F. 190 

Sicgel. Charles B. 237 



Simmons, George L, 800 

Skinner, Bert 22i 

Skinner, J. D. 225 

Skinner, Jeptha 231 

Slattery, Patrick — ^7A 

Sleeman, John J. — 22<1 

Slocum, A. C. 338 

Sluyter, Dr. Elden R. 132 

Smith, Darwin P. 355 

Smith, Matthew B., M. D 716 

Smith. Philip wa 

Smith, Samuel E. 22/ 

Smith, William V. 240 

Smithson, Thomas W. 135 

Soper, O. Eugene 567 

Sparks, T. Albert 700 

Spenser, James L 693 

Sprague, Wesson G. 621 

Stafford, Charles M, 37^ 

Stehle, George F. 679 

Steindam, August C. - 239 

Stemmetz, Frank J-, Jr 703 

Stewart, Capt. Damon 88 

Stewart, Herbert A. 628 

Stewart, Samuel S. 60 

Stewart, William C. lH 

Stiles, Dennis R. 222 

Stiles, E. B. 312 

Stiles, W. B. 416 

Stine. Martin C. 605 

Stoddard, Claude M. ?91 

Stoddard, Frederick E, 854 

Strecter, Chancy N. 660 

Sutherland, L. C. 218 

Sutton, Charles E. 617 

Swart, Edgar J. 483 

Swayze, Judge Colonel O, 77 

Sweers, Milo 625 

Taylor, Charles E. 100 

Taylor, George E. 244 

Taylor, George E. 848 

Taylor, J. Herman 506 

Thomas, Clarence 253 

Thompson, James A. 288 

Thomson, Col. Edward H. 94 

Thomson, Mrs. Sarah T. 95 

Thompson, Edmund M. 782 

Tice, George W. 336 

Tinker, William 271 

Todd, Fred 

Topham, John L. 

Topping, Charles M. 
Trumblc, Abram M. 
Turner, John 

Upton, Charles O. 476 

Uticy, Frank H. 294 

Van Buskirk, J. M. 166 

Van DeWalker, Edward C. 46S 

Van Fleet, Jared 761 

Van Slykc, Frank M. 211 

Van Slyke, Martin B. 205 

Van VIeet, John C. 640 

Veit, Jacob 348 

Vernon, Patrick E. 142 

Vickery, Levant A, 120 

Vincent, William -- 536 

Volz, Jacob 541 


Wadley, Will N, 820 

Walker, Hon. Levi 195 

Walker, William T 125 

Warner, Charles K. 396 

Watson. Harry W. 123 

Webber, George A. 754 

Whaley, Robert J, 96 

Wheeler, Elmer G. 795 

Wheelock, Dr. Amos S. 596 

Whitehead, James B. 549 

Whitman, Grant W. _ 737 

Whitniore, Francis 301 

Wildman, Frank P. 373 

Williams, Glenn 855 

Wirth, John F. 437 

Wisner, Leslie 838 

Wolcott, Robert H. 622 

Wood, Edwin O., LL, D. 56 

Wood, John H. 534 

Wood, William N. 352 

Woolfitt, Burtis E. 340 

Woolfitt, William E. 266 

Wright, William T. 666 


York, Jerry F. 609 

Youells, Harry P 432 



History of Michigan. 

Tlie lirst wliitt' men to \enture into ihc region of the Great Lakes were 
the French, who, early in the seventeenth century, extended their discoveries 
from the regions lying; around the Gulf of St. Lawrence, inland along the 
great valley of the St. Lawrence river. As early as 1615, Chaniplain, in 
company witli the Franciscan friar, Joseph !e Caron, and other Frenchmen, 
discovered the Georgian Imy of Lake Huron. Samuel de Champlain, horn 
in 1570 at Brouage on the bay of Biscay, a poor boy, the son of a fisherman, 
had received his early education from the parish priest. From these influ- 
ences he had come to young manhood with a hunger for knowledge, a love 
for the sea, and devotion to his Catholic friends and to his sovereign. 
Before coming to Canada he had served in the French army and navy and 
conducted a successful exploring expedition to the West Indies. When, in 
1603, merchants of Rouen, France, formed a great colonizing and fur- 
trading company to the New World, the command of the expedition was 
given to the experienced and energetic Champlain. 

In 1608 Champlain founded Quebec, and in the following year dis- 
covered the beautiful lake which bears his name. Unfortunately in that 
year he won, through the superiority of European methods of warfare, a 
great victory over one of the tribes of the powerful Iroquois, which, gain- 
ing for all the French explorers and settlers to come after him the imre- 
lenting hostility of these tribes through a period of a hundred and fifty 
years, must be counted as one of the principal causes of the failure of 
France in America. In 161 1 Champlain established a trading post on the 
site of Montreal, and in 1612 he went to France. On his return to the 
St. Lawrence he displaved his zeal for the faith, bringing with him four 




Recoilect friars, of the order of St. Francis, who might bear the knowledge 
of the Cross to the benighted savages of the western wilderness. 

In 1615 Champlain, accompanied by an interpreter, Etienne Bru5^, 
one other Frenchman and ten Tnchans, made an expedition to the Huron 
region of Lake ManatouHne. In two canoes the group ascended the Ottawa 
river, crossed the portage to Lake Nipissing, and thence paddled their way 
down the French river to the waters of Georgian bay, along whose eastern 
shore they coasted for a hundred miles, landing finally at Thunder bay. 
It was only a little distance from there that they foimd I,e Caron, one of 
Champlain's four Franciscan friends, who, on August 12, 1615, surrounded 
by hordes of wondering savages at the Indian village of Carhagouha, had 
the honor of saying the first mass celebrated in this portion of the New 

Champiain exercised his noble influence as governor of New France 
for a quarter of a century, until his death at Quebec in 1635. The historian 
Dionne, in his "Samue! Champlain." ]>ays the following tribute to the mem- 
ory of "The Father of New France" : 

"In his conduct, as in his writings, Champlain was always a truly 
Christian man, zealous in the ?er\'ice of God and actuated by a child-like 
piety. He was wont to say, as we read in his 'Memoirs,' that 'the salvation 
of a single soul is worth more than the conquest of an empire, and that 
kings should never extend their dominion over idolatrous countries except 
to subject them to Jesus Christ'." 

The Kev. T. J. Campbell, S. J., from whose "Pioneer Laymen of North 
America" the above translation is quoted, says in the same volume, in 
substance : 

"One scarcely knows what to admire most in the multitude of splendid 
qualities which gave him such a distinctive place among the world's heroes. 
There was, for example, his amazing courage: nor was he an explorer or a 
discoverer of the ordinary kind. He went among the people, lived with 
them, shared in their filthy meals with as much grace and dignity as if he 
were at the table of Richelieu, adjusting their difficulties, .settling their dis- 
putes, remonstrating with them for their barbarous practices and always 
endeavoring to instill into their hearts some idea of God, of religion and 
morality. The purity of his morals was marvelous. His country, its great- 
ness and its glory, were ever in his mind. His amazing serenity of soul in 
the midst of multiplied disasters was almost preternatural. He is the real- 
ization of the old Roman poet's dream of 



'The upright man, intent upon Iiis resolve, 
Were nil the world to crash about his head, 
Would stand amid its ruin undismayed.' 

He was more than that. He was what he insisted even a captain on the 
high seas should ahvaj's he to his crew: a man of God." 

Lanman, in his "History of Michigan," says : "With a mind warmed 
into enthusiasm hy the vast domain of wilderness which was stretched 
around him, and the glorious visions of future grandeur which its resources 
opened, a man of extraordinary hardihood and the clearest judgment, a 
brave officer and a scientific seaman, his keen forecast discerned, in the 
magnificent prospect of the country which he occupied, the elements of a 
mighty empire, of which he had hoped to be the founder. With a stout 
heart and ardent zeal, he had entered upon the prospect of civilization; he 
had disseminated valuable knowledge of its resources hy his explorations, 
and had cut the way through hordes for the subsequent successful progress 
of the French toward the lakes." 


It is a noteworthy fact that in the history of the advance of civiHzation 
towards the Great Lakes, the spirit of the missionary went before the spirit 
of the colonizer. That spirit was introduced into these wilds when, in 
1615, Champlain arrived at Quebec with four members of the Franciscan 
order — Denis Jamet, Jean Dolbeau, Joseph le Caron and Pacifique du Plessis. 
These men were the first pioneers in that great and noble undertaking, so 
laboriously and persistently carried on, of bringing to the savage peoples of 
New France the light of the Gospel. 

The Franciscan order was founded in the thirteenth century by St. 
Francis of Assisi. The four members who came with Champlain belonged 
to the RecoUets, a reformed branch of the Franciscans. In 1618 Pope 
Paul IV gave into the hands of the Recollets entire charge of the mission 
work in New France. Many of these noble sons lived and died in Christian 
service among the native red men. Their headquarters were at Quebec, 
where a convent was built. Of the first four, Joseph !e Caron was appointed 
to labor among the Hurons along the upper Ottawa river. At Montreal he 
studied the Indian languages and by the time Champlain was readv to make 
his expedition to the Hurons, Le Caron was ready to go with him. This 
was typical of these early exploring and trading expeditions. Explorer, 


36 gi-:nk-See county, Michigan. 

trader, soldier and priest went hand in hand. Wherever waved the golden 
liUes of France, there the Cross was planted. The rude bark chapel took 
its place with the stockade and the trading house. Not infrequently the 
awe-inspiring ceremonies of the church preceded the pomp and pageantry 
of the military, so characteristic of the old regime in the forests of Canada. 
While the adventurous soldiers of New France dreamed of the "Great South 
Sea," to be reached by an inland waterway they should find, and in imagina- 
tion saw the lilies of France waving dominion for the "Great Kmg" over 
vast regions yet to be discovered, the soldiers of the Cross had a vision of 
that glorious time when the Indian nations of the "forest continent" should 
be gathered to the bosom of the Christian church. 

It was needful, however, that a more powerful order than the Rccollets 
shouki aid in carrying forward this pioneer work of the church to the region 
of the Great I-akes. This task fell to the Jesuits, members of the Society 
of Jesus, a powerful and aggressive order founded in the 13th century by 
the great Ignatius Loyola, a soldier, who gave from his rich and varied 
experience as a mihtary leader those qualities to his order which made it the 
most successful agency that ever worked among the almost insurmountable 
obstacles of Christian missions to savage peoples. A few Jesuits came to 
Canada as early as 1611, but not until 1625 did the work of this order there 
really begin. In that year there came to Canada, among others. Fathers 
Charles Laiement, Jean de Brebeuf and Enemond Masse, who were the first 
great pioneers of the Jesuit order in America. Brebeuf, the story of whose 
martyrdom for a great cause thrills us even at this far reach of time, 
worked among the Hurons of the Georgian bay where Le Carori had labored 
before him. Within a few years of their arrival in Canada, the Jesuits 
were officially chosen as spiritual managers, under the patronage of the 
powerful Cardinal Richefieu, of that colony the destinies of which Champlain 
controlled as governor unli! his death in 1635. 

The year before Champlain died he sent out Jean Nicolet, a friend of 
the Jesuits, a master of the Algonquin dialects, and a man of great tact and 
influence with the Indians, to discover and explore the great waterway sup- 
posed to empty into the "Great South Sea," which should open a way to 
trading operations with China or Cathay. In that year Jean Nicolet, in a 
canoe paddled by Indian escorts, passed through the straits of Mackinac, 
probably the first white man to set foot upon the shores of what is now 
Michigan. A memorial tablet, afiixed to the rocks of Mackinac island, was 
recently unveiled, marking the site of Nicolet Watch Tower, and inscribed, 



"In honor of John Nicolet, who in 1634 passed through the straits of Mack- 
inac in a birch bark canoe and was the first white man to enter Michigan and 
the Okl Northwest." The character and qualities of this early pioneer of 
the Great Lakes are worthily set forth in words used on that occasion by 
a gifted scholar of our own time, the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien, 
LL. D., president of the Michigan Historical Commission in 1915, who 
said of him: "Nature had endowed Nicolet with wondrous gifts. Grace 
had super naturalized his ambition into a burning fidelity to God and country. 
Others were blessed with great Joyalty ; others enjoyed a greater rank ; but 
none possessed a nobler nature, a stronger arm, or a more devoted heart. 
He had the soldier's aspirations, without the soldier's love of greed. He 
bad the love of victory, without the love of honors which it gave. He 
yearned for something great, yet he felt that the Old World would give 
him little to do. France had not been able to call his greatness into action. 
He sought other fields to increase his country's glory by discovery. He 
sought to spread God's kingdom. Under the banner of the Cross he went 
forward. He led his chosen bands through wilds unknown. He was as 
swift as lightning to resolve and as firm as a rock in execution. Where 
others hesitated, he tjiiailed not. He was majestic, animated, resistless and 
persistent. He did better than he knew." 

The earliest recorded visit to the shores of Michigan after Nicolet, 
was made in 1641 by two Jesuit missionaries, Charles Raymbault and Isaac 
Jogues, who in that year reached and named the Sault de Ste. Marie, and 
there preached the Gospel to two thousand hospitable Ojibways. Father 
Raymbault died shortly afterward, a victim of consumption brought on by 
exposures. Father Jogues, a short time after Raymbault's death, attempt- 
ing to return to the Sault, was captured by a marauding band of Mohawks, 
the beginning of that remarkable series of captivities and persecutions which 
ended in his being burned at the stake. 

In 1660 Father Rene Menard, another Jesuit missionary, was the first 
white man to coast along the northern shore of the Upper Peninsula, explor- 
ing the mysteries of Gitchi Gomee, the "Shining Big Sea Water," He said, 
"i trust in that Providence which feeds the little birds of the air and clothes 
the wild flowers of the desert," and in this simple faith of a little child he 
tried to found a mission among the Indians on Chaquamegon bay. In the 
following year, while on a mission of mercy, he became lost in the forest 
and perished. 




The first map of any part of Michigan was one made of the Lake 
Superior region, and the northernmcst parts of the T^kes Huron and Michr 
i^n, a few years later, by the Jesuit Fathers Allouez and Marquette. Father 
Qaude Allouez came there in 1666, naming the great northern lake "Lac 
Tracy ou Superieur," in honor of the viceroy of Canada — a name which 
it bears on his map. This map was remarkably accurate for this early day. 
"When it is considered," says a well known report of the region, "that these 
men were not engineers, and that to note the geographical features of the 
country formed no part of their requirements, this map may, for that age. 
be regarded as a remarkable production; although, occasionally, points are 
laid down half a degree from their true position. The whole coast, sixteen 
himdred miles in extent, as weli as the islands, were explored." 

The first accounts of copper in upper Michigan we have, are from the 
pen of Allouez. He writes : "It frequently happens that pieces of copper 
are found, weighing from ten to twenty pounds. I have seen several such 
pieces in the hands of the savages; and, since they are very superstitious, 
they regard them as divinities, or as presents given to them to promote their 
happiness, by the gods who dwell beneath the water. For this reason, they 
preserve these pieces of copper, wrapped up with their most precious articles. 
In some families they have been kept for more than fifty years; in others 
they have descended from time out of mind, being cherished as domestic 

Our first description of the great copper mass now in the Smithsonian 
Institute at Washington, is also from Allouez. "For some time," he says, 
"there was seen near the shore a large rock of copper, with its top rising 
above the water, which gave opportunities to those passing by to cut pieces 
from it ; but when I passed that vicinity it had disappeared. I believe that 
the gales, which are frequent, like those of the sea, had covered it with sand. 
One savage tried to persuade me that it was a divinity, who had disap- 
peared, but for what cause he was unwilling to tell." 

The oldest settlement in Michigan is undoubtedly Sault Ste. Marie. 
Fathers Jogues, Raymlxiult, Menard and Allouez had tarried there; its actual 
permanent occupation by white men began as early as 1668, with the arrival 
of Fathers Claude Dablon and Jacques Marquette, who founded there the 
first permanent mission in Michigan. 

Formal possession of Michigan, and of all the Great Lakes region, in 


Genesee: coun'ty, Michigan. 39 

the name of Kraiice, was taken in 1671 at Sault Ste. Marie, accompanied 
by one of the most imposing ceremonies ever witnessed in that region. Here 
was gathered a motley array, representing all the types of New France : 
soldier, priest, trader and trapper, the picturesque coureur de bois, and the 
native red man. Church and state stood side by side. It was Father 
Alloiiez, mindful of his temporal as well as his spiritual master, who pro- 
nounced upon T.ouis XIV a panegyric the like of which was seldom heard 
by the sons of the forest. In large measure, it was this loyalty of the church 
that made possible the extension of trade, commerce and the temporal 
domain of the French crown over the magnificent reaches of the Great 


The first permanent Michigan settlement on waters tributary to the 
lower lakes was made by Father Jacques Marquette in 1671 at St. Ignace. 
He had spent the winter before on Mackinac island, with a band of Hurons, 
but in the summer they moved to the mainland. Here he built a chapel, 
where he ministered to the Indians until his great voyage of discovery with 
Louis Joliet in 1673. It was from this point in Michigan that this great 
soul set forth on a quest which was to give to the world its first real knowl- 
edge of the "Father of Waters." It was at this point, a few years later, 
that his bones were interred by the red natives whom he loved and who had 
learned to love him. It was in Michigan that he made the last great sacri- 
fice. The story of Marquette's death is thus told by the historian Ban- 
croft: "In sailing from Chicago to Mackinac during the following spring 
(1675), he entered a little river in Michigan. Erecting an altar, he said 
mass after the rites of the Catholic church; then begging the men who con- 
ducted Jiis ranoe to leave him alone for half an hour — 

'In the darkling wood. 
Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down, 
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks 
And supplication.' 

"At the end of half an hour they went to seek him, and he was no 
more. The good missionary, discoverer of a world, had fallen asleep on 
the margin of a stream that bears his name." 

On September i. 1909, the memory of Father Jacques Marquette was 
signally honored, by loving hands, in the unveiling of the Marquette statue 
on Mackinac island. On that occasion, Mr. Justice William R. Day, of the 



supreme court of the United States, paid this fitting eulogy: "Upon the 
statue which marks Wisconsin's tribute, in the oM Hall of the House at 
Washington, are these words : 'Jacques Marquette, who with Louis Joliet 
discovered the Mississippi river at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, July 17, 
1673.' Were we to write his epitaph today, we might take the simple words, 
which at his own request mark the last resting place of a great American, 
and write upon this enduring granite the summary of Marquette's life and 
character— 'He was faithful.' " 

In the words of Rev. T. J. Campbell: "The name of Marquette will 
ever be venerated in America, You meet it everywhere. There is a city 
named after him, and a county, and a township, and a river, and several 
viiJages, in Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas and Nebraska. His Jesuit breth- 
ren of the twentieth century have built a Marquette University in Milwau- 
kee, which rejoices in the possession of some of the reUcs that were given 
to it when the grave was opened at Pointe St. Ignace." It would be well 
for the youth of today to ponder well the fact that with all his great achieve- 
ments. Marquette, at the time of bis death, was only thirty-eight years old. 

After Marquette, the greatest name among the explorers of the Great 
Lakes region is that of Robert Cavelier, Sieur tie la Salle. He was a native 
of that Normandy which in early days bore William the Conqueror. Born 
at Rouen in 1643, he came to Canada about the time Marquette first visited 
Lake Superior. He had been educated by the Jesuits, with the intention- 
of becoming a priest in that order. But his tastes led him into business, and 
the discoveries of Marquette and Joliet filled his mind with visions of wealth 
to be acquired in the regions of the West. La Salle, like the rest, was 
deluded with the idea of reaching China and the South Sea by way of the 
Great Lakes. The point on the St. Lawrence where he held lands, named 
by him La Chine, commemorates this infatuation. La Chine was to be his 
base of operations. While making great plans for the immediate future in 
the prosecution of the fur trade, he studied the Indian languages and made 
journeys into the wilderness. In 1669 he sold out his interests at La Chine 
and made the first of his great expeditions westward. 

Just ten years from that time occurred an event that is si^ecially note- 
worthy in the career of La Salle — the voyage of the "Griffin," a boat built 
under orders of La Salle by Henri de Tonti, and the first that ever sailed 
the waters of the Great Lakes. On August 7, 1679, this little vessel, of 



forty-five tons burden, set sail from the mouth of Cayuga creek, just above 
Niagara Falls, and after a stormy voyage of alxjut a month, during which it 
encountered heavy storms on I-^ake Huron, anchored in a sheltered bay at 
Pointe St. Ignace. A glimpse of the scene on her arrival is thus given by 
the historian Parkman : "And now her port was won, and she found her 
rest behind the point of St. Ignace of Michiliniackinac, floating in that tran- 
quil cove where crystal waters cover, but cannot hide, the pebbly depths 
beneath. Before her rose the house and chaiiel of the Jesuits, enclosed with 
pahsades ; on the right the Huron village, with its bark caWns and its fence 
of tall pickets; on the left the square, compact houses of the French traders; 
and, not far off, the clustered wigwams of an Ottawa village." 

Presently La Salle proceeded to Green bay, Wisconsin, where an 
advance party of his m.en had collected a large store of furs. The "floating 
fort," as the Mackinac Indians called the "Griffin," was here loaded with 
furs, and on September i8 she set out, homeward bound, with her cargo. 
Whether she again encountered storms, hke those she had met on Saginaw 
bay coming north, or whether she met her fate through some foul play of 
her crew, or of the Indians, no one knows. She was never heard of more. 
Thus perished the pioneer of the unnumbered thousands of gallant barks 
that, ere two centuries should roll away, were to whiten with the sails of a 
peaceful commerce all these mighty inland seas. 

Varied and interesting were the adventures of La Salle after he left 
the "Griffin." The one that concerns ns most is his famous "cross country" 
trip through southern Michigan, the first time, so far as the records show, 
that the southern peninsula of Michigan was ever crossed by Europeans. 

La Salle had gone south from Green bay, exploring the Wisconsin 
shore of Lake Michigan around past the site of Chicago to the mouth of the 
St. Joseph river, in what is now Berrien county. There he and his men 
built a fort, which was the first post to be established within the limits of 
the lower iieninsula. From there they ascended the St. Joseph river, to the 
present site of the city of South Bend, Indiana. They visited the present 
La Salle county, in Illinois, then the principal center of the Illinois Indians. 
La Salle then proposed to navigate the Mississippi, and it was to fit out his 
vessel, which he built near the site of the present Peoria, that he made the 
overland trip to Canada which took him across Michigan. This was in the 
spring of 1680. 

We have the account from La Salle's "Journal." He speaks of passing 
through great meadows covered with rank grass, which they burned in order 
to deceive the hostile savages who followed them, as to their route. No 



doubt these meadows were the patches of lieautiful prairie land so attractive 
to the early settlers of southwestern Michigan. Setting- out from the mouth 
of the St. Joseph river, and taking a direct line for the Detroit river. 
La Salle and his men followed, as near as can be determined, the dividing 
ridge between the St. Joseph and Kalamazoo rivers, passing through the 
southern parts of Kalamazoo and Calhoun cotmties, across Prairie Ronde 
and Climax prairies, and thence through Jackson and Washtenaw counties, 
to the Huron river. Down this stream they floated to the borders of Wayne 
county, when, finding their way barred by fallen trees, they left their canoes 
and struck across the country directly to the Detroit river. In due time 
La Salle reached the point from which the "Griffin" had first set sail. For 
sixty-five days he had plodded laboriously through a wilderness which today 
can be crossed in a few hours; but at that time, this first trip across southern 
Michigan was one of the most remarkable experiences in the history of the 

The story is well known how La Salle, amid the gloomy forebodings of 
his men, the treachery of the savages, innumerable personal losses and 
humiliations, triumphed over almost insurmountable difficulties, explored the 
great valley of the Mississippi and at length reached its mouth on the gulf 
nf Mexico. On April 9. 1682, amid great ]}omp and ceremony, the iiiies of 
France were unfurled to the southern breezes beside the cross of the church, 
and in the name of his mighty sovereign, Louis XIV, La Salle took possession 
of the vast lands watered by the great river; to them, in honor of his royal 
master, he gave the name Louisiana. The pathetic story of the faithful 
Tonti, who clung to La Salle in atl his wanderings, is one of the most 
stirring romances of any age or country; and the tragic story of La Salle's 
ending, l>asely done to death by friends whom he trusted, forms one of tlie 
saddest tales in the pioneer annals of the continent. Only forty-four years 
old at the time of his death in 1687, La Salle was one of the greatest men of 
his day. Michigan may well be proud to number him among the great 
souls connected with her early discovery and settlement. 


The two greatest centers of French influence in Michigan were Michili- 
mackinac and Detroit. Indeed, a strong rivalry existed between fhem for 
control of the fur trade. Michilimackinac, being the older, and situated at 
a point where the Indians had been wont for ages to congregate for himt- 
ing and fishing and celebrating their religious rites, had the initial advan- 


ge;n£see county, Michigan. 43 

tage. From the time Marquette founded the mission at St. Tgnace, in 1671, 
this point became a mart of trade. A fort was built about 16S0, to protect 
and foster this trade. One of its first commandants was the famous coureur 
de bois, Daniel Greysolon Du IJiut, whose meritorious services as a soldier 
and explorer-the name of the city of Diiluth, in Minnesota, commemorates. 
It was he who built old Fort St. Joseph on or near the site of Fort Gratiot, 
where is now the city of Port Huron. Another famous coinmandant in 
the earliest annals of Michilimackinac was Nicolas Perot, who succeeded 
Du Lhut. But better known to modern readers than either of these, is the 
great Cadillac, the founder of the "City of the Straits." 

M. de la Motte Cadillac became commandant at Mackinac in 1694, 
In his time he declares the place to have been "one of the largest villages 
in all Canada," with a strong fort, and a garrison of two hundred soldiers. 
In some way, Cadillac had become convinced of the need of an equally 
strong ■ fort on the Detroit river. He went to France, and succeeded in 
winning over to his view Count Ponchartrain, minister for the colonies. 
Almost immediately after his return to Canada, armed with the royal com- 
mission, he fitted out an exi>edition to Detroit, where he arrived on July 
24, 1701. A fort was built and appropriately named in honor of the French 
minister, "Fort Ponchartrain," In a little volume entitled "Cadillac's Vil- 
lage," Mr. C. M. Btirton, of Detroit, historiographer of that city, has written 
a comprehensive, accurate and very interesting account of this event. 

Cadillac was not mi.staken in choosing this site for a trading post. It 
was the site of an Indian village, Teuchsagrondie, a place much frequented 
by the neighboring tribes. Nor were Cadillac and his followers the first 
white men there. We have seen La Salle there in the spring of 1680. Still 
earlier, Father Hennepin, historian of the famous voyage of the "Griffin," 
and one of its passengers, wrote, as he passed this site: "Those who will 
one <iay have the happiness to possess this fertile and pleasant strait will be 
very much obliged to those who have shown them the way." Missionaries 
and cotirciirs dc bois had been there before. Fathers DoUiers and Gahnee, 
two Sulpitian priests, had passed through the strait in the spring of 1670. 
They record that they found on the future site of Detroit what they sup- 
posed was an Indian god, roughly carved in stone, which they piously broke 
in pieces with their axes and threw into the river. It is even probable that 
there was a French fort of very primitive sort at Detroit some years previous 
to 1701, a ix)st of the conreurs de bois not recognized by the government. 
From statements in the New York colonial documents, it seems to have 



existed there as early as 1679. The place was probably never garrisoned 
by a regular military force until Cadillac came. 

The importance of the post from a military point of view — while this 
was of some moment- — ^was subordinate to its commercial consequence. The 
principal cause of establishing the post was to control the fur trade of the 
upper Great Lakes. This trade was placed at the outset under the control 
of a company of merchants and traders formed in 1701, known as tlie 
"Company of the Colony of Canada." A contract was drawn up which 
excluded all private individuals from trading in the country. In return, 
the company was to pay six thousand Iivres every year to the French king. 

The heart of Cadillac was in his new venture at Detroit, and he became 
alienated from his old post at Michilimackinac. Trade rivalries led to some 
bitterness. The establishment of a mission at Detroit was a part of Cadillac's 
general plan. He aimed to gather all the Indians of the Great Lakes region 
around his new post and mission at Detroit. But Father Marest, one of 
the greatest of the successors of Marquette at St. Ignace, was determined 
that Michihmackinac should not lose its prestige and influence with the red 
men. Cadillac, notwithstanding, succeeded in persuading a great number of 
the Michigan Indians to come to Detroit. For many years the fur trade 
largely centered there. So desperate did the situation become at Mackinac 
that the mission was temporarily abandoned. 

From that time until the close of the French regime in 1763, the history 
of Michigan was comparatively uneventful. The post at Mackinac was 
restored, but it was built on the south side of the straits, near the site of 
the present Mackinaw City. The restored mission was established some 
miles along the shore to the west, at L'Arbre Croche among the Ottawas. 
Many of the Indians who had gone with Cadillac returned to the straits of 
Mackinac after his departure from Detroit, in 171 1. Yet Detroit continued 
to be the important center of the fur trade for the lower peninsula of Mich- 
igan. The first settlements in the present states south of the Great Lakes 
were made from Detroit. It was destined to be for many years the chief 
center of the fur trade for all the country now occupied by the states of 
Indiana and Illinois and portions of Ohio and Wisconsin. 


In 1760, Michigan and the whole country which is now known as 
British America was lost to the F>ench and came under the dominion of 
Great Britain. War broke out between the French and British colonies in 



North America in 1754, but the change did not seriously disturb the posts 
in the Great Lakes region until the year 1763. Detroit and Mackinac had 
received Enf^lish garrisons in 1760, without resistance either from the 
French or the Indians. It was fondly beheved by the EngHsh government, 
as well as bv tlie American colonists in these parts, that this meant an era 
of peace and prosperity for the region of the Great Lakes. But the calm 
was of short duration. A storm was brewing in the breast of the great 
chief, Pontiac. 

The treatment accorded the Indians by the British was very dift'erent 
from what they had been accustomed to receive from the French. The 
French alwavs paid the Indians proper respect and deference. The British, 
on the contrary, began almost immediately to thrust them aside and to treat 
them as dependents and vagabonds. The British continually encroached 
on the Indian hunting grounds. Complaints began to be heard, which grew 
louder, stimulated no doubt by the active sympathy of the French traders 
on the borders of Michigan. 


Tlie year of the treaty of Paris, 176,3, was fixed upon by Pontiac for 
a supreme attempt to hurl back the tide of English conquest and settlement. 
"Pontiac," says Cooley, "was one of those rare characters among the Indians 
whose merits are so transcendent that, without the aid of adventitious cir- 
cumstances, they take by common consent the headship in peace and the 
leadership in war. In battle he had shown his courage; in council, his 
eloquence and his wisdom; he was wary in planning and indefatigable in 
execution; his patriotism was ardent and his ambition boimdless and he 
was at this time in all the region between the headwaters of the Ohio and 
the distant Mississippi, the most conspicuous figure among the savage tribes, 
and the predestined leader in any undertaking which should enlist the gen- 
eral interest. Of the Ottawas he was the principal chief, and he made his 
home at their village opposite and a little above Detroit, with a summer 
residence In I.-ake St. Clair. But he was also chief of a loose confederacy 
of the Ottawas, Ojibways and Pottawatomies, and his influence extended far 
beyond those tribes, and placed him above rivalry in all the lake region and 
the valley of the Ohio." With the fires of discontent smouldering every- 
where, nothing was needed but the breath of his bold and daring spirit to 
blow them into flames. 

Pontiac carefully laid his plans, A "Prophet" arose, who, like Peter 



the Hermit, preached a crusade against the enemies of his people and 
wrought up the savages to the highest pitch of excitement and enthusiasm. 
By every means, Pontiac worked upon the credulity of the Indians a? to 
the weakness of the English and the power of the great French king, who, 
said Pontiac, liad been asleep, but was now awaking for a terrible vengeance 
upon their common foes. With the savages banded together from the mouth 
of the Mississippi to the northern wilds of the Ottawas (for a war of 
extermination), Pontiac planned to strike at the same moment every English 
post from the Niagara to the straits of Mackinac. 

Upon the unsuspecting garrison at Mackinac, the premeditated b!ow 
fell Hke a bolt of thunder from a clear sky. The capture of this indis- 
pensable post was entrusted by Pontiac to the Ojibway chieftain, Mih-neh- 
weh-na. The date set was June 4, the birthday of King George of Eng- 
land. The stratagem was worthy of Ulysses — a game of ball called by tJie 
Indians bagattiway, by means of which the Indians were enabled to assemble 
in the immediate vicinity of the fort to celebrate the King's birthday. 
According to the Ojibway historian, Warren, this game is played with a 
bat about four feet long, and a wooden ball. The bat terminates at one 
end in a circular curve, which is netted with leather strings, and forms a 
cavity where the ball is caught, carried and, if necessary, thrown with great 
force to treble the distance that it can be thrown by hand. Two posts are 
planted at the distance of about half a mile. Each party had its particular 
post, and the game consisted in carrying, or throwing, the ball in the bat to 
the post of the adversary. At the commencement of the game the two 
parties collected midway between the two posts. The ball was thrown up 
into the air and the competition for its possession began in earnest. It was 
the wildest game known among the Indians, played in full feathers and 
ornaments, and with the greatest excitement and vehemence. The great 
object was to get the ball. During the heat of the excitement no obstacle 
was allowed to stand in the way of getting at it. Should it fall over a high 
inclosure, the wall would he immediately surmounted, or torn down if need- 
ful, and the ball recovered. The game was well adapted to carry out the 
scheme of the Indians, During its progress they managed to send the hall 
over the stockade and into the fort. The soldiers were mostly off duty, it 
being a holiday, and were watching the game, when suddenly the fort was 
tilled with savages, the war-whoop resounded, and grasping from under 
the blankets of the Indian women the shortened guns, tomahawks and knives 
which they had concealed, the massacre commenced. Tn an incredibly short 



lime the garrison were butchered, nearly to a man, and the post was in 
possession of the Indians. 

Had not an Ojibway maiden's love for Major Gladwin, who commanded 
the fort at Detroit, led her to reveal to him Pontiac's secret plan, that post 
would probably have shared the fate that befell Mackinac. Pontiac's plan 
was to get all his warriors in readiness and have them distributed around 
the fort, while he, with sixty of his chiefs should enter the fort all armed 
with sawed-ofF rifles which could be concealed under their blankets. They 
were to come upon pretense of holding a council with Major Gladwin and 
to smoke the pipe of peace with the English. Gladwin was ready. When 
the chiefs were at length seated on the mats, Pontiac rose and, holding in 
his hand the belt of wampum with which he was to have given the signal of 
massacre, commenced a speech cunningly devised and full of flattery. He 
professed the most profound friendship for the Enghsh and declared he 
had come for the express purpose of smoking the pipe of peace. Once he 
seemed about to give the signal, when Gladwin made a sign with his hand 
and instantly there was the clash of arms without, the drums rolled a charge, 
and every man's hand was on his weapons. Pontiac was astounded. He 
caught the firm, unflinching look on Gladwin's face, and at length sat down 
in great perplexity. 

Major Gladwin made a brief and pointed reply. He assured the chief 
that he should be treated as a friend so long as he deserved it, but the first 
atteni]>t at treachery would be paid for in blood. The council broke up. 
The gates were opened and the baffled and disconcerted savage and his fol- 
lowers were suffered to depart. Pontiac plainly saw tliat his treachery was 
anticipated, but bore himself with most consummate tact. Withdrawing to 
his village, lie took counsel with his chiefs. 

Once more Pontiac tried diplomacy. On the morning of May 9, the 
common about the fort was thronged with a great concourse of Ojibways, 
Ottawas, Pottawatomies and Hurons. Soon the stately form of Pontiac 
was seen approaching the gate. The gate was closed. He demanded 
entrance. Gladwin replied that he could enter, but his followers must remain 
without. In a rage, Pontiac withdrew to where his swarming followers 
were lying flat on the ground just beyond gunshot range. Instantly the 
whole plain became dark with savages, running, whooping, screeching, and 
soon the scalp halloo told the bloody fate of the settlers outside the fort 
whom their fury could reach. Pontiac took no part personally in these out- 
rages, but rapidly completed plans for a protracted siege of the fort. 

A direct attack on the fort, made shortly afterwards, was repulsed. 



niui Gladwin seems to have felt that this would be the end. He was in need 
of provisions and thought that he could at least safely try negotiations. 
Pontiac instantly saw his op|X)rttinity ; he assumed such an honest counten- 
ance and played the game with such tact that, while planning the deepest 
treachery, he succeeded in getting to his camp the person of Major Camp- 
bell, who, before Major Gladwin, had held command at the fort since the 
country had passed into the hands of the Rritish. His life was to be made 
an equivalent for the surrender of the fort; from that lion's den Major 
Campbell never returned. In spite of Pontiac's efforts to protect him, he 
was a few days later treacherously murdered. 

For weeks the siege continued. Both sides were in sore straits for 
provisions and both were looking for reinforcements, A force sent from 
Niagara to relieve the fort was cut to pieces on the way by the Indians, and 
the supplies captured. News was received of the massacre at Sandusky. 
A schooner sent out by Major Gladwin for supplies made a successful return, 
and heartened the little garrison with a welcome supply of men, arms and 
munitions, and with news of the treaty of peace between France and Eng- 
land, by which the Canadian possessions, including Detroit, were ceded to 
the latter. Pontiac refused to Ijelieve the news of the peace and persuaded 
his followers that it was a mere invention of the English in the fort to 
defeat them. He renewed the siege with vigor. But passage of time with- 
out achievement began to tell on the spirit of the savages, A portion of 
them began to grow weary. The siege began to drag. 

In the meantime, a strong reinforcement under command of Captain 
Dalzell, was on the way from Niagara to aid the fort, and with him a detach- 
ment of rangers under the famous Major Robert Rogers. On his arrival. 
Captain Dalzell and Major Gladwin held a conference, in which the Major 
was reluctantly persuaded by the impetuous Dalzell to try to surprise the 
Indians by a night sally. Pontiac was a past-master, however, in strategems. 
At a small stream, called then Parent's creek, but since that fatal night 
named "Bloody Rim," the two hundred and fifty men of the fort's detach- 
ment were ambushed by Pontiac with a band of five hundred chosen war- 
riors, and ail but annihilated. Among the slain was Captain Dalzell. The 
immediate result was to inspirit the Indians, who were joined by large rein- 
forcements. Elsewhere on the frontier a greater degree of success had 
attended the plans of Pontiac. Fort St. Joseph, on the St. Joseph river, 
had been taken in May. Mackinac had fallen an easy prey to the northern 



Ojilnva,ys in June. The forts at Green bay, on the Mauniee river, on the 
Wabash and at Presqnc Isle, had been captured. The Indians, under the 
genius of Pontiac, had concerted their actions in a well-nigh universal 
crusade against the English, which bade fair to be successful. They yet 
lacked complete success at Forts Pitt, Niagara and Detroit. 

A gleam of hope shot through the darkness when the gallant Col. Henry 
Bouquet, defeating the Indians in a desperate and bloody battle, relieved 
Fort Pitt. The Indians about Detroit heard of great preparations to send 
a strong force against them; notwithstanding their successes, they now began 
to waver and to despair of taking the fort. The Indians were glad for a 
truce, and under its cover Major Gladwin laid in a supply of provisions for 
the winter. Only the Ottawas continued to prosecute the siege, with petty 
skirmishing. The final blow to the hopes of Pontiac was the receipt of 
advice from M. Neyon, the French commander at Fort Chartres, in the 
Illinois country, that the Indians had better abandon the war and go home. 
Pontiac had cherished the forlorn hope that the French would yet recover 
the country from the English. In great rage he now withdrew to the 
Maumee, determined on a renewal of hostilities in the spring. But in the 
spring a great council was held by Sir William Johnson at Niagara, attended 
by an immense concourse of Indians from all the western country. A 
treaty was concluded, presents were lavishly distributed, especially among 
the leaders, and the war virtually ended. On July 23, 1766, Pontiac met 
Sir Wiiiiam Johnson at Oswego and signed a definite treaty of peace, along 
with deputies from most of the western nations then living east of the 
Mississippi. A few years later, in 1769, the great Ottawa chieftain was 
treacherously assassinated by a member of one of the tribes of the IlHnois 


After the failure of Pontiac's schemes, until the War of 1812, things 
were comparatively quiet on the Michigan frontier. The English sought to 
conciliate both the Indians and the French. The fur-trade was prosecuted 
with new vigor. The Hudson's Bay Company, formed in 1700, now 
extended its sway towards the Great Lakes. Mackinac island became a 
center of this trade on the upper lakes, the fort having been removed thither 
from the south side of the straits during the Revolution. Mackinac was 
one of the main posts of the Northwest Company, where the peltries were 




received which had been collected from the forests and streams of the north, 
and were packed and shipped to England by way of Montreal. The story 
of the fur trade on the Michigan frontier in this period is the story of 
bitter rivairy between these companies for supremacy, which continued even 
after the Northwest Company transferred a large part of its Michigan trade 
to the American Fur Company, organized by John Jacob Astor. The Mich- 
igan fur trade, centering at Mackinac and Detroit, was destined to thrive 
rmder Aster's company for many years after the Great Lakes region had 
passed forever from the control of Great Britain. The historian, Lanman, 
has given a picturesque view of scenes at Mackinac as they were just before 
the War of 1812: 

"Even as late as 1812," he says, "the island of Mackinac, the most 
romantic point on the lakes, which rises from the watery realm like an 
altar of a river god, was the central mart of the traffic, as old Michilimack- 
inac had been for a century before. At certain seasons of the year it was 
made a rendezvous for the numerous classes connected with the traffic. At 
those seasons, the transparent waters around this beautiful island were 
studded with the canoes of the Indians and traders. Here might be found 
the merry Canadian voyagcw, with his muscular figure strengthened by the 
hardships of the wilderness, bartering for trinkets at the various booths 
scattered along its banks. The Indian warrior, bedecked with the most fan- 
tastic ornaments, embroidered moccasins and silver armlets; the North- 
westers, armed with dirks^the iron men who had grappled with the grizzly 
bear and endured the hard fare of the north; and the Southwester also put 
in his claims to deference. It was a trade abounding in the severest hard- 
ships and the most hazardous enterprises. This was the most glorious epoch 
of mercantile enterprise in the forest of the Northwest, when its half-savage 
dominion stretched upon the lakes for a hundred years over regions large 
enough for empires, making barbarism contribute to civilization." 

During the Revolution. Detroit was the military headquarters of the 
British in Michigan. Sir Henry Hamilton was in command there from 
1774 to 1779, when he was captured at Vincennes by George Rogers Clark. 
In 1780, Mackinac island was fortified, and strongly garrisoned, through 
fear that .Detroit might now be captured by the American patriots and the 
Indians be tempted to repeat the tragedy that befell Old Mackinac in 1763. 
The fort, built on a high cliff that overlooked the village, occupied a position 
which protected it from surprise and assault by the Indians. Reminiscent 
of the glory of this historic island region, Mrs. Stewart writes: 



"Like Detroit, Michilimackinac has been the theater of many a bloody- 
tragedy. Its posses-sion has been disputed by powerful nations, and its 
internal peace has continually been made the sport of Indian treachery and 
of the white man's dnphcity. Today, chanting Te Deums beneath the ample 
folds of the fleur-de-lis, tomorrow yielding to the power of the British lion, 
and, a few years later, listening to the exultant screams of the American 
eagle, as the stars and stripes float over the battlements on the 'isle of the 
dancing spirits.' As a military post in time of war, the possession of 
Michilimackinac is invaluable; but as a commercial mart, now that the 
aboriginal tribes have passed away, the location is of Httle consequence. 

"In these later days, to the invalid and the pleasure-seeker, the salubrity 
of the pure atmosphere, the beauty of the scenery, the historical reminiscences 
which render it classic groimd, and the many wild traditions, peopling each 
rock and glen with spectra! habitants, combine to throw, around Michili- 
mackinac an interest and attractiveness unequalled by any other spot on the 
Western Continent." 


By the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain In 
1783, Michigan became a part of the United States; but for various reasons 
the British forces did not evacuate Mackinac and Detroit. However, on the 
theory that the transfer of territory would prove permanent, the American 
congress organized a government for a vast western territory, including 
Michigan, imder the famous Ordinance of 1787. This area was called the 
Northwest Territory, out of which have been carved the states of Ohio, 
Indiana. Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin; its first governor was General 
Arthur St. Clair, a veteran officer of the American Revolution. The Ordin- 
ance of 1787 gave to Governor St. Clair wide powers. Settlers would 
want assurance that they would be adequately protected in the western 
country, before they would leave their homes in the Eastern states. His 
government was strongly centralized, and he was able to act vigorously 
under the supervision of the national government. Of Governor St. Clair, 
an able lawyer of that time has left the following estimate: 

"During the continuance of the first grade of that imperfect govern- 
ment, he enjoyed the respect and confidence of every class of the [jeople. 
He was plain and simple in his dress and equipage, oi>en and frank in his 
manners, and accessible to jjiersons of every rank. * * * fhe governor 



was unquestionably a man of superior talents, of extensive information, 
and of great uprightness of purpose, as well as suavity of manners. His 
general course, though in the main correct, was in some respects injurious 
to his own popularity; but it was the result of an honest exercise of his 
judgment. He not only believed that the power he claimed belonged legiti- 
mately to the executive, but was convinced that the manner in which he 
exercised it was imposed upon him as a duty, by the ordinance, and was 
calculated to advance the best interests of the territory." 

One of the most important events of Michigan history while St. Clair 
was governor, was the Indian treaty of Greenville, in 1795. In 1790-91 
the confederated triljes south of Michigan inflicted defeats upon Generals 
Harmer and St. Clair, but, in 1794, Gen. Anthony Wayne, at the "Fallen 
Timbers," or Maumee Rapids, gave the combined Indian tribes of the 
Northwest a bloody defeat. This brought the savages to terms, and in 
August, 1795, General Wayne executed a treaty with them, at Greenville, 
Ohio, in which, among other sections, certain lands about the posts at De- 
troit and Mackinac were ceded to the United States. 

In the meantime, John Jay had negotiated a treaty with England, in 
which it was stipulated that on or before June i, 1796, the British garrisons 
should be withdrawn from all the northwestern posts; and it was done. 
The American flag floated over Detroit for the first time July li, 1796. In 
September the county of Wayne was organized, including within its limits 
portions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Detroit, which contained 
at that time about three hundred houses, was the capital. 

In 1800 the Northwest Territory was divided, by a north and south 
line, a part of which is now the boundary between Ohio and Indiana, and 
which, extending north to the boundary of the United States, cut Michigan 
in two halves. The western half was included In the new Indiana Terri- 
tory, and when, in 1803, Ohio became a state, the whole of the lower penin- 
sula of Michigan became a part of the new territory. Of William Henry 
Harrison, its governor, it is said: "He was a product of the West, and 
was thoroughly in sympathy with western ideas and institutions. He had 
served with distinction under St. Clair and Wayne, and was well trained in 
the methods of Indian warfare. As secretary of the Northwest Territory 
toward the latter part of St. Clair's administration, and as delegate to Con- 
gress from that territory, Harrison had gained much valuable experience in 
the management of territorial affairs. Energetic and courageous and at the 
same time prudent in his undertakings, he resembled St, Clair in the strict 
honestv with which be administered the duties of his office." 




On June 30, 1S05, Michigan became a separate territory. Gen. Will- 
iam HuH, a veteran officer of the Revolution, was appointed governor, and 
it was during his term that the War of 1812 broke out. From the very 
beginning, the period of his rule was filled with trouble. In the very year 
of his arrival in Detroit a great fire completely destroyed the village and 
post. This had its good side, for subsequently the town was laid out on a 
greatly enlarged and improved plan; but temporarily the people suffered 
great hardships. 7'he governor was also hampered by interminable bick- 
erings among the territorial officials. From 1807 on, it was evident that 
the Indians meant mischief. They complained that they had signed treaties 
without understanding them. In 1807 Governor Hull negotiated a treaty 
with them, by which they ceded lands as far west as the principal meridian 
running through the present counties of Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham and 
Shiawassee, to a point near Owosso, and thence northeast to White Rock, 
on Lake Huron. But fear of the Indians kept the lands from being sur- 
veyed, and settlers were not disposed to go inland out of easy hailing dis- 
tance from the fort at Detroit. The Indians were doubtless influenced 
somewhat by the fur traders of the Northwest Company, whose interests 
required that the country should remain a wilderness, and the British dis- 
tributed guns and ammunition and other presents with a lavish hand. 

It came about that gradually a union of the Indians was effected, some- 
what after the model of that of the famous Pontiac. Its moving spirit was 
Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, whose home was on the upper Wabash. In 
l8ri. Gen. Wiliiani Henry Harrison checked the movement temporarily by 
a disastrous defeat of Tecumseh at Tippecanoe. But when, on June 18, 
1812, war was declared by the United States against Great Britain, the 
western Indians rallied to the cause of the British. 

Governor Hull was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces on the 
Michigan frontier. His troops were eager that he should at once make a 
bold offensive and capture Maiden, but he would not, and in July General 
Proctor, commander of the British advance, reached Maiden and imme- 
diately began operations to cut off Hull's communications and isolate his 



army. In August, Genera! Brock, the British commander-in-chief, a most 
efficient and daring officer, arrived, and prei>ared to take Detroit. 

In the meantime, on July 17, Lieut. Porter Hanks, commanding at 
Mackinac, having received no word of the declaration of war, was sur- 
prised and was compelled to surrender at discretion the fort and his whole 
garrison. This was a disheartening blow to Hull and doubtless influenced 
his subsequent course. Moreover, General Dearborn, who commanded the 
American forces at Niagara, had concluded an armistice, enabling the Brit- 
ish forces there to concentrate against Detroit. Believing that Detroit could 
not be held, and that it would be a wanton sacrifice of his men to attempt 
to hold it, Hull surrendered, August 16, to Brock. Almost at the same time 
the garrison at Fort Dearborn, where is now Chicago, commanded by Cap- 
tain Heald, in acting on orders from Hull to evacuate that fort, was waylaid ' 
and massacred by the Indians. Disaster on the Michigan frontier seemed 
complete. General Hull was afterwards court-mai^ialed and sentenced to 
be shot, but, in view of his advanced age and his distinguished services 
during the Revolution, the President pardoned him. Since then Hull has 
had vigorous defenders. It is not too much to say that today, viewed in the 
sober light of all the facts, there are a few historians who are inclined to 
regard his action as wise, but the majority do not share this view. 

Regarding Hull's government of Michigan Territory, Cooley writes : 
"He had all his life lived in the smiles of public favor and his domestic and 
social relations were agreeable; and had he been made the executive of a 
staid and orderly commonwealth, with associates in government of similar 
characteristics, his administration might have been altogether popular and 
successful. But in Michigan he found uncongenial people all about him, 
and it soon appeared that he was somewhat lacking in the persistent self- 
assertion necessary to make the rough characters of a backwoods settlement 
recognize and accept the fact that within the proper limits of his authority 
he proposed to be and would be ruler and master." In private life his 
record was honorable and withovit a stain. 

One of the most lamentable events on Michigan soil during this war 
occurred in 1813, in Frenchtown, now Monroe, At that place, on January 
22, General Winchester was attacked by a consolidated force of British and 
Indians under General Proctor. Overwhelmed by the onset, Winchester 
was induced to surrender by promises of honorable treatment; but in spite 
of Proctor's promises, the Indians committed, on the following day, a most 
inhuman massacre of prisoners. Barely forty men survived out of a com- 



mand of about eight hundred. A large part of the force were Kentuckians. 
Following their fall, there ensued scenes of plundering, murdering and bar- 
barities too horrible to mention. The confusion, misery and fear caused 
by the massacre of settlers in the Raisin valley continued long after the 

With Commodore Perrj''s victory on Lake Erie, September lo, 1813, 
and the complete route of the British and Indians under Proctor and 
Tecumseh by Harrison, on October 5, the war, so far as Michigan was 
concerned, came to an end. On October 13, 1813, Lewis Cass was apijointed 
governor of Michigan territory, under whose able administration Michigan 
began a new career. 


Gen. Lewis was a native of Exeter, Xew Hampshire. His father 
fought in the War of the Revolution. Lewis was educated in Exeter Aca- 
demy and was eariy schooled in the principles and traditions of New Eng- 
land. In early life his i>arents moved with him to Marietta, Ohio, where 
he grew up and became a lawyer, and a memljer of the Ohio Legislature. 
President Jefferson appointed him United States marshal for the district of 
Ohio, in 1807, a position he held until he sought service in the War of 1812. 
In 1S13 he was made a brigadier-general under Harrison, and at the close 
of the war the qualities he had displayed marked him out as the Ijest choice 
for governor of Michigan territory. 

From 1813 to 1831, when he became a member of President Jackson's 
cabinet, Cass devoted his great energies to promoting the settlement of 
Michigan. According to one historian: "The number of white inhabitants 
of the territory when Cass became governor of it, was scarcely six thou- 
sand. No land had Ijeen sold by the United States and the interior was a 
vast wilderness, the abode, it was estimated, of forty thousand savages. 
Settlers could not obtain sure titles to their locations. No surveys had lieen 
made. No roads had been opened inland. The savages were relentless in 
their hostility to the whites. Under these circumstances, Cass assumed the 
responsibilities of governor and ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs. 
For eighteen years his management of Indian affairs was governed by re- 
markable wisdom and prudence. He negotiated twenty-two distinct treaties, 
securing the cession to the United States by the various tribes of the im- 
mense regions of the Northwest, instituted surveys, constructed roads, estab- 
lished military works, buih hght-hotises. organized counties and townships. 



and, in short, created and set in motion all the machinery of civiSized gov- 

Professor McLaughlin writes, in his "Life of Lewis Cass" : "The great 
factor of his successful administration was honesty. But fair, honorable 
dealings with the Indians was a rare virtue, and in this he never faltered. 
He was wont to say in after years that he never broke his word to an 
Indian and never exj>ected to find that the red man had broken his. Every 
exertion was made to have the funds and the allowances ready on the day 
they had been promised. Promptness and boldness in action, a firm self- 
reliance, a presumption that the power of the United States was mighty and 
would be obeyed, appealed to the Indian sense of awe and reverence. The 
respect, and even affection, which the Indian had for the Great Father at 
Detroit, was often manifest, and once felt, was not forgotten. Twelve 
years after his appointment as governor, while on a trip through southern 
Wisconsin and Minnesota, with gentle reproof he took from the necks of 
Indian chieftains their British medals, and placed in their stead a miniature 
of their great and mighty 'Father at Washington'." In concluding. Profes- 
sor McLaughlin says: "The name of Lewis Cass will not be written in the 
future with those of the few men whose inHuence is everywhere discernible, 
and who perpetuate themselves in institutions and in national tendencies. 
He was not a Washington, nor a Lincoln, nor a John Quincy Adams. But 
he was a great American statesman, building up and Americanizing an im- 
portant section of his country, struggling in places of trust for the recogni- 
tion of American dignity and for the development of generous nationalism. 
With the great slavery contest his name is inseparably connected. He stood 
with Webster and Clay for union, for conciliation, for the Constitution as 
it seemed to be established. He was one of those men whose broad love of 
country and pride in her greatness, however exaggerated, however absurd 
it may seem in these days of cynical self-restraint, lifted her from colonial- 
ism to national dignity and imjxied the people with a sense of their power." 

No greater 'testimony could be given of the merits of Lewis Cass than 
that, after almost a century of the test of time, the people of Michigan 
should erect in honor of his work, and in tribute to the man, a memorial 
such as was recently placed to his memory on Mackinac island. On this 
beautiful column of bronze, accompanying a life-like portrait of Cass, is 
this inscription: 



Cass Cliff 

NiNiietl by the 

Mk'liigiui Hislorical CoiimitsKfou 


JliK-kiUiic IsliiiKl Stiite I'nrk Comniission 

ill Lonoi- of 


Teacber, lawyei-, explorer, 

Soldier, diplomat, statesiiDiu . 

Bom, October 9tli, 1782. 

Died, June 17th, ISCC. 

Appointed by President Tboniiis JefEerson 

U. S. Mnrshal for the District of Ohio, 1807-1811. 

Brigadier-General, 1813. 

Governor of Michigan Territoi-j*. 1813-1831. 

Secretary of War in President 

Andrew Jackson's Cabinet. 1831-1836. 

Minister to France, 1836-1842. 

United States Senator from Michigan. 1845-1818; 1S40-1857. 

Secretary of State, 1SC7-1860. 

He explored the countiy from the Great 
Lakes to the Mlsslsslpiil Rlvei' and 
jSTegotiated with the Indian tribes jnst 
Treaties. His fair and generous treatment 
Accorded to the Indians of the Northwest 
Secured to the Peninsular State its 
Peaceful settlement and continued prosperity. 

Erected 1015 by 

The Citizens of Sliclilgan 

In grateful appreciation of 

His distinguished and patriotic services 

To his Country and State. 

It would be hard to exaggerate the greatness of the task which con- 
fronted Cass at the beginning of his long career as governor of Michigan 
territory. For at least two years after the close of the War of 1812, Michi- 
gan was prostrate from its effects. The French on the River Raisin were 
destitute. Near Detroit the settlers were almost as badly off. Cass worked 
with untiring vigilance to relieve their distress, calling in the national aid. 
Added to his other troubles, the Indians pillaged and murdered where force 
was not present to restrain them. 

One of his greatest problems was to convert the French settlements, 
destitute, defenseless, foreign and slow, into prosperous and progressive 
American communities. Their material distress was first attended to. In 
1813 Cass secured one thousand five hundred dollars from the government 


5o <;kneki-:e county, michican. 

to distribute among them, which he spent mainly in flour for the River 
Raisin settlers. But he saw clearly the need of American enterprise and 
skill to mix with these colonists, from which they might learn something 
of that providence and energy needed to push back the frontier which 
hemmed the French in to the river banks. To attract Eastern settlers, lands 
must be surveyed and offered for sale on easy terms ; and here he was ham- 
pered by no small difficulty. 

In 1812 Congress had provided that two million acres of government 
lands should be surveyed in Michigan, to be set apart as bounty lands for 
the soldiers of the war. On an alleged examination, the surveyors reported 
that there were scarcely any lands in Michigan fit for cultivation. Accord- 
ing to the official report of Juhvard Tiffin, surveyor-general for the North- 
west : 

"The country on the Indiana boundary line from the mouth of the 
Great Auglaize river, and running thence north for about fifty miles, is 
(with some few exceptions) low, wet land, with a very thick growth of 
underbrush, intermixed with very bad marshes, but generally very heavily 
tim1}ered with beech, cottonwood, oak, etc.; thence contimiing north, and 
extending from the Indian boundary eastward, the number and extent of 
the swamps increases, with the addition of numbers of lakes, from twenty 
chains to two and three miles across. 

"Many of the lakes have extensive margins, sometimes thickly covered 
with a species of pine called 'Tamarack,' and in other places covered with a 
coarse, high grass, and uniformly covered from six inches to three feet (and 
more at times) with water. The margins of these lakes are not the only 
places where swamps are found, for they are interspersed throughout the 
whole country, and filled with water, as above stated, and varying in extent. 

"The intermediate space between these swamps and lakes— which is 
probably near one-half of the country— is, with very few exceptions, a poor, 
barren, sandy land, on which .scarcely any vegetation grows, except very 
small, scrubby oaks. 

"In many places that part which may be called dry land is composed of 
little, short sand-hills, forming a kind of deep basin, the bottoms of many 
of which are composed of marsh similar to the above described. The streams 
are generally narrow and very deep compared with their width, the shores 
and bottoms of which are (with very few exceptions) swampy beyond 
description; and it is with the utmost difficulty that a place can be found 
over which horses can be conveyed in safety. 

"A circumstance peculiar to that country is exhibited in many of the 



marshes, by their being' thinly covered with a sward of grass, by walking 
on which evinces the existence of water, or a very thin mud, immediately 
under their covering, which sinks from six to eighteen inches under the 
pressure of the foot at every step, and at the same time rises Ijefore and 
behind the person passing over it. The margins of many of the lakes and 
streams are in a similar condition and in many places are literally afloat. 
On approaching the eastern part of the military lands, towards the private 
claims on the straits and lake, the -country does not contain so many swamps 
and lakes, but the extreme sterility and barrenness of the soil continue the 

"Taking the country altogether, so far as has l>een explored, and to all 
appearances, together with information received concerning the balance, it 
is so bad there would not be more than one acre out of a hundred, if there 
would be one out of a thousand, that would in any case admit of cultiva- 

Of course Congress had no reason to believe that the conditions were 
other than as reported. In i8i6.a new law was passed, which provided 
for locating the two million acres of bounty lands partly in Illinois and 
partly in Missouri, This, apparently, was an official condemnation of Michi- 
gan lands by the national government, an action which became widely 
known in the East, through the newspapers. The common belief grew up 
that the interior of ^Michigan was a vast swamp that might well be aban- 
doned to fur-bearing animals and the trappers and hunters. School geo- 
graphies based on Tiffin's report contained maps of Michigan with "Inter- 
minable swamps" printed across the interior of Michigan territory. The 
effect was to deter many from seeking homes in Michigan who under a 
more fai'orable report would have filled up the country rapidly. Instead of 
Michigan, the rival state of Illinois and the lands south of Michigan re- 
ceived the first great immigrations from the Eastern states. 

Besides this gross ignorance of Michigan lands in the East, due to 
misrepresentations, Cass had to contend with the natural distrust and dread 
of the Indians, who had so lately been allies of the British, and stories of 
whose horrible atrocities, with no lack of fanciful coloring, had reached 
Eastern ears. Not only was the presence of the Indians a deterrent to 
immigration and disquieting to the settlers, but they still held title to most 
of the Michigan lands. To deal with this problem, C*iss was made superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs for the Northwest, and gave early attention to 
extinguishing the Indian titles, as a first step to the removal of the Indians 
from the Great Lakes region. A grand council of the Chippewas and Otta- 



was was held in 1819 at the site of Saginaw, where a treaty was signed, by 
which one hundred and fourteen chiefs and principal sachems ceded to the 
United States a tract of country estimated to include about six million 
acres. According to the words of the treaty, the boundaries were as fol- 

"Beginning' at a point in the present Indian boundary line (identical 
with the principal meridian of Michigan), which runs due north from the 
mouth of the Great Auglaize river, six miles south of the place where the 
base line, so-called, intersects the same; thence west sixty miles; thence in a 
direct line to the head of Thunder Bay river; thence down the same, follow- 
ing the course thereof, to the mouth, thence northeast to the boundar}^ line 
between the United States and the British province of Upper Canada; thence 
with the same to the line established by the treaty of Detroit, in the year 
1807; and thence with the said line to the place of beginning." 

This treaty is Imown as the Treaty of Saginaw. In 1821 Governor 
Cass and Hon. Solomon Sibley, who was associated with him as United 
States Indian commissioner, concluded a treaty with the Ojibways, Ottawas 
and Pottawatomies on the site'of Chicago, which has since been known as 
the Treaty of Chicago. The boundaries of the lands ceded by this treaty 
included between seven and eight thousand square miles in southwestern 

The year before a cession of land was secured at Sault Ste. Marie. 
Cass was on his way to explore the northern and western portions of the 
territory, and with him \\as a considerable party, including Henry R. School- 
craft, as geoiogist. He had determined to inquire into the condition of the 
Indians; to explain to them that their visits to the British in Canada for 
presents must be discontinued, and, among other things, to investigate the 
copper region and make himself familiar with the facts concerning the fur 
trade. An incident occurred in the council at the Sault that was thoroughly 
characteristic of the personal coolness and courage of Governor Cass in his 
dealings with the Indians. In a disagreement that arose, the Indians be- 
came threatening. At the close of an animated discussion, one of the chiefs, 
a brigadier in the British service, drew his war lance and struck it furiously 
in the ground. He kicked away the American presents and in that spirit 
the council was dispersed. In a few moments the British flag was flying 
over the Indian camp. Cass at once ordered his men under arms. Pro- 
ceeding to the lodge of the chief who had raised the flag, he took it down, 
telling him that no such insult could be permitted on American soil. He 
said he was the Indians' friend, but that the flag was a symbol of national 



power, and that only the American flag could float above the soil of his and 
their country. If they attempted to raise any other "the United States 
would set a strong foot upon their necks and crush them to the earth." 
The boldness of the governor had the intended effect; soon after this, a 
treaty of cession was peaceably concluded. The expedition continued along 
the south shore of Lake Superior, whence they crossed southward to the 
Mississippi river and thence up the \Visconsin to Green bay. The return 
to Detroit was made by way of Chicago and the Indian trail through south- 
ern Michigan, thus giving to men dose to the national government a first- 
hand knowledge of the country misrepresented by the early surveyors. 

Cass now pushed forward the new surveys, which he had already in- 
duced the government to undertake as early as 1816. By 1818 they had 
progressed so far that a land office was established at Detroit and sales were 
begun. In 1820 the best of Michigan's lands then on sale could be bought 
for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and the way was open for any 
prudent and industrious man to make a moderate home for his family. 
Immigration gradually scattered settlers through the Michigan forests. The 
plow began the task of achieving the victories of peace. The settlers found, 
instead of "innumerable swamps,'' a fertile, dry and undulating soil, clothed 
with richest verdure, crossed by clear and rapid streams and studded with 
lakes abounding with fish. In the clearings of the forest, the cosy log hut 
of the pioneer soon curled its smoke to the heavens from the banks of lake 
and stream, where children played and men and women toiled, and rested 
after toil; and among the stumps and felled trunks of the trees, little patches 
of new wheat basked in the sun like green islands amid the vast and magni- 
ficent ocean of wilderness. 


Immigration to .Michigan was much helped at this time by the beginning 
of steam transportation on the Great Lakes. The da\' of the steamboat was 
dawning. In the same year with the first land sales at Detroit, "Walk-in- 
the- Water," named after a Wyandot chief, made her first appearance (1S18) 
and was hailed as the harbinger of a new era. In 1819 she made a trip to 
Mackinac Island, a voyage if not so famous as that of the "Griffin" more 
than a hundred years before, was yet one looked upon generally with much 
curio.sity, and associated in the Eastern newspapers with reference to the 
"Argosy'' and the search for the golden fleece. She ran with some regular- 
it\' between Buffalo and Detroit, until she went ashore in a storm on Lake 



Erie in 1821. A number of boats quickly succeeded her, and by the end of 
the territorial period a thousand passengers daily were landing from lake 
steamers at the port of Detroit, 

Contributory to the strength of this immigration to Michigan was the 
Erie canal. In 1825 this great "ditch" opened an all-water route from the 
Great I..akes to the Atlantic seaboard. Combined with the steamboats on the 
lakes the canal gave cheap and easy transportation for settlers and their 
merchandise from the great commercial metropolis of the Union to the doors 
of the new territory. 

This fresh impetus to immigration made a demand for roads to the 
interior. At the close of the War of 1812 there were no good roads any- 
where in the territory. While the war had taught the need of roads to 
connect Detroit with the Ohio valley and with Chicago, it was now seen 
that immigration would also be greatly helped by a road around the west 
end of Lake Erie, Cass appealed to the general government for aid and 
his call was liberally responded to. Congress provided for the construction 
of a road from Detroit to Chicago to Fort Gratiot, and to Saginaw bay. A 
road was also projected from Detroit to the mouth of Grand river. Before 
the close of the territorial period, these roads were well advanced. 

With better roads, a bountiful soil and an increasing poixilation, little 
centers of interior settlement began to crystalize. Villages sprang up at 
Pontiac, Romeo, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Tecumseh, Adrian, Jackson, Battle 
Creek, Kalamazoo, White Pigeon, St. Joseph, Grand Rapids, Flint and 
Saginaw. All of these settlements were on important roads and rivers of 

In 1S30 the population of Michigan was 31,6,^0. In the four years 
following it had more than doubled, reaching 87,273. From then to the 
end of the decade it went forward by leaps and bounds, mounting in 1840 
to 212,267. The prime secret of this great immigration was the improved 
means of transportation. In the words of one historian: 

"Michigan as well as the other Western states owe in fact their unex- 
ampled growth more to mechanical philosophy acting on interna! improve- 
ment, than to any other cause. What stupendous consequences does Ameri- 
can mechanical philosophy, the characterizing feature of the present age, 
exhibit throughout the country? The railroad, the canal, the steamboat, the 
thousand modes and powers by which machinery is proijelled, how vastly 
has it augmented the sum of human strength and human happiness. What 
glorious prospects does it open before us ? It has bound together the wealth 
of the north and the south, the east and the west, the ocean and the lakes. 



as a sheaf uf wheat; and urged forward the progress of improvement in 
mighty strides. Pouring its milhons into the wilderness, it has sent forth, 
not serfs, but hardy, practical, enterprising men, the founders of empires, 
who have finished the work of erecting states hefore the wolf and the 
panther have fled from their dens. Bestriding the lakes and the streams 
which discharge their waters through the Mississippi, it has studded them 
with hundreds of floating palaces, to conquer winds, waves and tides. In a 
single day it lives almost a century. More powerful than Xerxes when he 
threw manacles into the Hellespont, it has claimed the current of rivers by 
the dam, the millrace and the water wheel, and made them its slave. It has 
almost nullified S]>ace, by enabling us to rush across its surface like the 
wind, and prolonged time, by the speed with which we can accomplish our 
ends. It can do the work of innumerable armies and navies in war and in 
peace. It has constructed railroads across the mountains and, in the sublime 
language of another, 'the backs of the AUeghanies have bowed down like 

Under the administration of Governor Cass, a steady advance was 
made in local and territorial self-government. Cass was a democrat, in 
the broadest sense of the word, iDelieving thoroughly in the rule of the peo- 
ple, by the people and for the people. Even at the exi>ense of curtailing his 
own powers, he consistently advocated a larger measure of government by 
the people. Population had so increased by 1S19 that Michigan was allowed 
a delegate in Congress. William Woodbridge, the first delegate, was suc- 
ceeded by Solomon Sibley and he. in turn, by the beloved Father Richard. 
Under the influence of Cass, Michigan advanced a step in popular govern- 
ment by the transfer of legislative power from the governor and judges 
to the governor and a council of nine, to be selected from eighteen chosen 
by the people. In 1827 the people were given exclusive power to choose the 

Governor Cass was a firm Miever in jiopular education. "Of all pur- 
poses," he declared, "to which a revenue derived from the people can be 
applied under a government emanating from the people, there is none more 
interesting in itself, nor more important in its effects, than the maintenance 
of a public and general course of moral and mental discipline. Many repub- 
lics have preceded us in the progress of human society; but they have dis- 
appeared, leaving liehind them little besides the history of their follies and 
dissensions to serve as a warning to their successors in the career of self- 
government. Unless the foundation of such governments is laid in the 
virtue and intelligence of the community, they must be swept away by the 



first commotion to which poJitical circumstances may give birth. Whenever 
education is dilYused among the people generally, they will appreciate the 
value of free institutions; and as they have the power, so must they have 
the will to maintain them. It appears to me that a plan may be devised 
which will not press too heavily upon the means of the country, and which 
will insure a competent portion of education to all youth in the territory." 
These views seem commonplace enough today, hut at the time they were 
uttered, they M'ere on the frontier of educational thinking. Under his 
influence legi.'^lation was secured to enforce these practical propositions. 

One of Cass's strongest supporters in educating the people was Father 
Richard, who, in 1809, brought to Michigan from Baltimore the first print- 
ing press used west of the AUeghanies. One of the first things published 
was the "Cass Code," as it was popularly called, a sort of abstract of the laws 
then in force in the territory. In 1817 was founded the Detroit Gazette, 
and the day of the newspaper in Michigan had dawned. Other papers fol- 
lowed, in Ann Arbor, Monroe and Pontiac. 

Throughout his administration Governor Cass sought by every means 
in his power to strengthen the foundation of Michigan's prosperity. He 
found it weak from the throes of war and left it strong. His was a solid 
and discriminating judgment, of which the young commonwealth stood most 
in need. Discreet, sagacious, prudent, politic, he sought always the good of 
Michigan. A soldier, educator and statesman, he gave freely the best that 
was in him. A contemporary has said, "It can he affirmed safely that the 
present prosperity of Michigan is now more indebted to Governor Cass than 
to any other man, living or dead." The verdict of the passing years is re- 
flected in the language of judge Cooley, in his "Michigan," in which he 
says, "Permanent American settlement may be said to have begun with him, 
and it was a great and lasting boon to Michigan when it was given a gov- 
ernor at once so able, so patriotic, so attentive to his duties, and so worthy 
in his public and private life of respect and esteem." 


The six remaining years of the territorial period, after Cass's entrance 
into Jackson's cabinet, were years of unprecedented growth in Michigan's 
population and general development. In 1832 the question of statehood 
began to be agitated, but untoward events drew away attention for the 
moment. The western Indians had risen under Black Hawk, and spread 
terror even into Michigan. The same year an epidemic of Asiatic cholera 



broke out, the ravages of which were so severe as nearly to paralyze all 
activities. A second attack occurred in 1834, which carried away Governor 
Porter, the successor of Cass. Meanwhile a negro riot in Detroit, due to 
an attempt to return two fugitive slaves to their Southern masters, broke 
out in 183,3 'infl threatened to assume alarming proportions. 

In 1835, with the tremendous impulse given to immigration by the re- 
newed interest in Michigan lands, a decisive step in advance was taken. The 
territorial census of the preceding year showed a population of 87,278, 
nearly thirty thousand more people than were required under the Ordinance 
of 1787 for admission to the Union. In April of that year members to a 
constitutional convention were elected, who, in May, met at Detroit and 
adopted a constitution, which was approved by the people at an election in 


The people conceived tJiat they had a right, under the Ordinance of 
1787, to have the southern boundary of Michigan fixed at a line drawn due 
east from the southernmost bend of Lake Michigan. This right was dis- 
puted by Ohio, which had Ijeen a state since 1803. Indiana and Illinois were 
also interested adversely to Michigan's claim, since this would cut off a 
northern strip of territory which they had come to look upon as belonging 
to them. Toledo was the real object of the controversy which ensued, and 
it is often therefore called the "Toledo War." Toledo, then as now an im- 
portant post on Lake Erie, was in the disputed strip of land claimed by 
Ohio and Michigan. The dispute grew so bitter that both Governor Lucas, 
of Ohio, and Acting-Governor Stevens T. Mason, of Michigan, called out 
the militia on each side to enforce the respective claims. The question had 
also a i>ractical national aspect. Tlie President, Andrew Jackson, who saw 
on one side Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, with votes in the electoral college, 
and a Territory with no vote at all on the other, was between duty and a 
strong temptation. As John Quincy Adams said, "Never in the course of 
my life have I known a controversy of which all the right was so clearly on 
one side, and all the power so overwhelmingly on the other; never a case 
where the temptation was so intense to take the strongest side, and the duty 
of taking the weakest was so thankless." 

In October, 1835, the same month in which the state constitution was 
adopted, the people of Michigan elected a complete set of officials for the 
new state government. Stevens T. Mason was elected governor. Isaac E. 



Crary was elected to Congress. The Legislature met and elected Lucius 
Lyon and John Norvell United States senators. Michigan now had two 
governments. The territorial government was recognized by the President 
and Congress: the state government was recogriized by the people of Michi- 
gan. Ultimately, Michigan's view prevailed, except in relation to the south- 
ern boundary. The President and Congress would not yield on that point. 
The people of Michigan did not, in fact, yield, until they were com- 
mitted by a convention falsely purporting to represent them. This convention, 
which met at Ann Arbor, December 6, 1836, accepted the proposition of 
Congress that Michigan should lie admitted to the Union if it would relin- 
quish all claim to the disputed strip of land on the south, and accept instead 
certain lands bordering on Lake Superior — lands now known as the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan. Michigan technically became a state in the Union 
on January 26, 1837. It is very significant, however, that the constitution 
adopted in 1835 was tacitly accepted by Congress without a change, and 
without being re-adopted ; that the officers then chosen continued in office 
without re-election and the representative elected to Congress was seated 
without re-election. 


At the time Michigan was admitted to the Union, conditions of life in 
the new state were still very primitive. The French-Canadians were still 
an appreciable element in the population. French farms still clustered about 
the mouths of the rivers and along the shore north and south of Detroit. 
One of the strongest centers was still Detroit. "Detroit in this year 1S37," 
says Cooley, "had become a considerable town, having now perhaps eight 
thousand people. Old wind-mills, upon which the people formerly relied for 
the grinding of cereals, were coming now to be disused, though some were 
still standing. The noble river in front of the town offered, at all seasons 
of the year, many inducements to sports and festivities, of which all classes 
of the people were eager to avail themselves. In the winter, when frozen 
over, it became the principal highway and was gay with the swift-going 
vehicles. A narrow box upon runners, wide apart, made the common sleigh, 
and the ponies, sometimes driven tandem, seemed to enter into the spirit of 
racing almost as much as their masters. When there was no snow, the little 
cart was the common vehicle of land carriage for all classes of the people; 
ladies went in it to church and to parties, and made fashionable calls, being 
seated on a buffalo robe spread on the bottom, and they were backed up to 
the door at which they wished to alight and stepped upon the threshold from 



it. Now and then there was a family which had a caleche, a single carriage 
with the body hung upon heavy leathern straps, with a small, low seat in 
front for the driver, and with a folding top to be raised in sun or rain. 
But the cart was a convenience which all classes could enjoy and appreciate, 
and it was especially adapted to a town like Detroit, which was built upon a 
clay bank and had as yet neither sidewalk nor pavement. 

"Many Scotch, with a fondness for making money, were among the 
business men of Detroit, and they had a shrewd knack at doing so. There 
were also some Irish and some English, but the major part of the people 
who were not French were of American birth. Among those were. now 
being established — what in fact had existed before, though not in much 
strength — societies for literary culture and enjoyment. One of them was 
the Detroit Young Men's Society, which for twenty years was to be an im- 
portant institution in the town and the training school of governors, sena- 
tors and judges. At the barracks, though there was none now, there would 
shortly be a small military force to preserve peace on the frontier, and the 
officers and their famiHes would constitute an important and valuable addi- 
tion to the society of the place at all times." 

Such was Detroit when Michigan was admitted to the Union. These 
conditions throw some light upon what may be expected for other parts of 
the new state. Outside of Detroit, the largest centers of population were 
Monroe, Ann Arlior, Marshall, Tecumseh, Pontiac and Adrian, all in the 
eastern part of the state and all mere villages of very primitive life. Most 
of the people were small farmers, of New England descent, but immediately 
from New York and Ohio. Life was hard. Rude cabins, hard labor and 
chills and fever were the common lot of all. Of meats, salt pork was the 
staple, but all had wheat or corn bread and potatoes. Wild fruits and wild 
game were abundant and wild honey and maple sugar were much prized. 
Clothing was made of coarse home-made cloth. One of the great incon- 
veniences was the lack of mills. Primitive grist-mills and saw-mills began 
to make their appearance about this time. The saw-mills contributed to the 
clearing of the forests and to better homes. Framed houses gradually super- 
seded the log cabins. Among the people the domestic virtues were strong, 
and churches and schools were among the first institutions. The churches 
were of all denominations. In southeastern Michigan there were many 
Quakers, a sober, industrious, steady and thrifty people. Of this sect was 
one of Michigan's first poets, Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, whose anti- 
slavery poems were once widely read. Of lawyers, Michigan had its full 
share, and doctors were plentiful, who rode the country on horseback, with 



medicines in saddle bags. Roads were few and postal facilities were meager. 
The railroad was gaining groimd. The pioneers were not without their 
amusements, thongh the sports and pastimes were crude enough. Among 
these, the hunt, the husking-bee, the raising-bee, sleighing parties, dancing 
and the spelling-bee held first place. On the whole, the pioneers of this 
period, while suffering many privations, were contented, happy and free 
from many of the ills that a more advanced civilization has brought to the 
people of our own day. 


Up to the summer of 1837 prosperity in Michigan, considering pioneer 
conditions, was quite general. The recent immigrations were unparalleled 
in the history of the West. Michigan was the land of promise. All were 
producers. The newly elected Legislature reflected the new impulse. From 
1835 to 1837, fifty-seven new townships were provided for and sixty-six 
state roads ; eleven railroads and nine banks were chartered. Speculation was 
rife. To the imagination, nothing seemed impossible. The wildest schemes 
found ready backers. Land was bought in great quantities, at inflated 
prices, without even being seen. Fortunes were expected to be made by 
rise in prices. Everybody seemed about to grow rich. 

A most interesting phase of this mania was the condition of the cur- 
rency. The first bank established in Michigan, at Detroit in 1806, had not 
been successful. Various devices for currency were subsequently resorted 
to. In 1817 another Detroit bank was founded; fifteen banks were in exist- 
ence within the limits of the state when Michigan was formally admitted 
to the Union. A disastrous step was taken when, on March 15, 1837, the 
Legislature passed a general banking law, by which any association of per- 
sons might by voluntary action assume banking powers. This law was a 
response to the popular cry against "special privileges," enjoyed apparently 
by a few corporations who desired a monopoly of this profitable line of 
business. It was supposed that proper safeguards were made, in the various 
provisions in the law, protecting the public. Along in the spring, it happened 
that owing to financial pressure, business houses in leading Eastern cities 
failed, which, starting a panic, resulted in a run upon the banks of New 
York. Banks began to fail in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Balti- 
more. To add to the embarrassment in Michigan, the same legislature 
which had authorized the general banking law, had authorized Governor 
Mason to borrow five millions of dolkirs for the building of railroads, canals 



and other improvements. The Legislature now authorized Michigan banks 
to susijend specie payments, with the general banking law still in force; 
which, of course, left to the people authority to organize banks and issue 
bills while in a state of suspension. As a result, the state was soon flooded 
with an irredeemable currency. Issues were secured on wild land at values 
limited only by the consciences of the owners, and on city lots which sur- 
veyors afterwards located well out in Lake Michigan. Banks were located 
with a special design not to be found. In 1838 the bank commissioners 
reported: "The singular spectacle was presented of the officers of the state 
seeking for banks in situations the most inaccessible and remote from trade, 
and finding at even,^ step an increase of labor by the discovery of new and 
unknown organizations. Before they could be arrested, the mischief was 
done ; large issues were in circulation and no adequate remedy for the evil." 
It was said that every village plat, if it had a hollow stump to serve as a 
vault, was the site of a bank. The bank inspectors were deceived in many 
ways. It is said that in some cases what appeared to the inspectors to be 
kegs of specie were in reality kegs of nails, with a few coins on top. Adja- 
cent banks kept each other informed of the movements of the inspectors; as 
soon as the inspectors got through at one place, the specie inspected would 
be sent on by special messenger to the next bank, to be there again inspected. 
New banks were formed faster than the inspectors could close up the "rotten" 
ones. When a bank failed it was, of course, the lalx>rers and the small 
farmers who suffered, for they had no means of keeping informed as 
to what banks were unsound, nor of getting nd of doubtful bills. By 1840 
only about a half dozen of this brood of "wild cat" banks were still con- 
sidered sound. The paper of the others was, of course, absolutely worth- 
less. It is reported of one of the Campaus at Grand Rapids, that in grim 
irony he papered the walls of his room with them, saying, "If you will not 
circulate, you shall stay still." Land was a drug on the market. Distrust 
in business was universal. This situation was not peculiar to Michigan, 
TDther states had similar experiences and it was natural that these results 
should be followed by a [xilitical revolution; the Whigs swept into power, 
making William Henry Harrison, President of the United States, and Will- 
iam Woodbridge, governor of Michigan. 


During the period of rapid growth under the great immigration of 
1835-37, Michigan had undertaken a great system of public improvements. 



especially in roads and canals. So impressed were the people with the ap- 
parent magic of the Erie canal upon the growth of New York, that in the 
constitution of 1835 it was provided, that "Internal improvements shall he 
encouraged by the government of this state: and it shall be the duty of the 
Legislature as soon as may be. to make provision by law for ascertaining 
the proper objects of improvements, in relation to roads, canals and navig- 
able waters; and it shall also be their duty to provide by law for an equal, 
systematic and economical application of the funds which may be appro- 
priated to these objects." 

Governor Mason acted promptly upon this mandate from the people, 
recommending to the Legislature an extensive prograin of roads, railroads 
and canals. The Legislature as promptly responded, authorizing the gov- 
ernor to borrow on the state's credit five million dollars to carry out the 
proper improvements. Three lines of railroads were to be built; one from 
Detroit to the mouth of the St. Joseph river; one from Monroe to New 
Buffalo, and one from the mouth of the Black river to the navigable waters 
of the Grand river. A canal was to be built from Mt. Clemens to the mouth 
of the Kalamazoo river, and another around the falls of the St. Mary's river. 
By facts and figures it was demonstrated that the railroad from Detroit to 
the mouth of the St. Joseph must pay thirty per cent annually upon the cost. 
In vain. Governor Mason cjuestioned whether the sum the state had under- 
taken to borrow would build the works undertaken; in vain, he suggested 
leaving the minor works to individual enterprise. When a state enters upon 
a system of pubHc improvements, sections and locaUties will not submit to 
waive their claims, in favor even of the general welfare, as opposed to their 
local advantage. 

In 1839 there began a series of misfortunes which were to lead ulti- 
mately to the total abandonment of the internal improvement scheme. The 
two banks which had possession of all the state bonds for the five-million- 
dollar loan — the Morris Canal and Banking Company and the Pennsylvania 
United States Bank, which had hypothecated the major portion of the bonds 
for their own debts — had failed. About one-half the face value of the loan 
had been received by the state, but the whole amount of the bonds was in 
the hands of parties who would insist on having full payment. Should the 
state refuse to pay, it would be stamped in the money market with the dis- 
grace of repudiation, to which the people of Michigan would be extremely 
sensitive. The general bank crash of the time added to the startling condi- 
tion. Work on the state railroads was dragged along with the greatest diffi- 
culty. . Ordinary state expenses could be met only by borrowing. To raise 



the money by taxes would have been intolerable to a people already in dire 
distress. Happily, the state was able to reach an agreement with the bond- 
holders. In the end all the l>onds were retired, and the state's good name 
was saved. 

It finally began to dawn n[X)n the comprehension of even the dullest, 
that most of the projects which the state had undertaken were wild and 
chimerical. The Central and Southern railroads were an exception ; these 
were now well under way. But the idea began to mature that the building 
and managing of railroads is essentially a private business. The Legislature 
invited proposals from state creditors for the purchase of the railroads. In 
1846. both these roads, so far as then built, were sold to corporations chart- 
ered for the purpose of purchasing. Under the new management they went 
rapidly forward to completion, soon becoming great national highways, quite 
as useful to Michigan as it ever was dreamed they could be. In the con- 
stitution of 1850 the people of the state expressly prohibited the state "to 
subscribe to or be interested in the stock o£ any company, association, or 
corporation," or "to be a party to or interested in any work of internal 
improvement, nor engaged in carrying on any such work, except in the 
expenditure of grants to the state of land or other property." 

In 1841, with John S. Barry as govenior, the Democratic party came 
back to power in Michigan. Governor Woodbridge had been elected to the 
United States Senate. Barry was the man for the times — a man of hard 
sense, ecoliomy and frugality; a man of experience in public life, scrupulously 
honest there as in his business as a merchant. The story is told that he 
mowed the state-house yard, sold the grass and put the money in the state 
treasury. The farmers of Michigan gave him two terms in succession, and 
elected him again in 1850; between his second and third terms came Alpheus 
Felch, William L, Greenley and Epaphroditus Ransom. 

During the term of Governor Ransom the state capital was removed 
from Detroit to Lansing, a more central place for the rapidly growing state. 
In the same year, 1847, came two notable immigrations. The first was that 
of a group of Hollanders, to western Michigan, who, under their leader, 
Re\'. Van Raalte of the Dutch Reformed church, founded the city of Hol- 
land, and, later, Hope College. This was the vanguard of a large influx of 
Hollanders to this .section, which has built on a permanent foundation the 
interests of Grand Rapids and the neighboring country. Quite different 
was the other immigration, that of James Jesse Strang and his followers, to 
Beaver Island, in northern Lake Michigan. Strang had been a Alormon 
elder at Nauvoo, Illinois, and, upon the death of Joseph Smith, claimed to 



have been divinely sanctioned as his successor. He was defeated, however, 
by Brigham Young', who drove him away. First, he went to Wisconsin; 
but presently he removed to Beaver Island, where he founded a kingdom 
whose capital he named after himself, St. James. Here he made laws, enforced 
them, and gained a considerable following. Not the least of his achieve- 
ments was getting himself elected to the state I-egislature, for two successive 
terms, where he is said to have performed his dudes ably and to have won 
many friends. But his introduction of polygamy into his colony at Beaver 
island led to his assassination; shortly after his death, the colony dispersed. 
The experience of the people during the fifteen years since 1835 had 
revealed many defects in the first state constitution. In 1850 a new con- 
stitution was adopted ; among other provisions, the governor's power of 
appointment was restricted, and restrictions were imposed upon the legis- 
lative power of the state Legislature, esi>ecially in relation to finances. In 
general, it favored greater liberty, more privileges to individuals and less 
to the governing bodies. 


With the exception of the brief Whig ascendency under Governor 
Woodbridge, the state was continuously under control of Democratic 
power until 1854. In that year, at Jackson, was formed the first state 
organization of the Republican party in the United States, which elected as 
governor of Michigan, Kinsley S. Bingham, re-elected him in 1856, and 
maintained an ascendency unbroken for twenty-eight years. In i860 the 
Republicans elected as grwernor, Austin Blair, the "war governor," whose 
statue stands today in front of the capital in Lansing, a witness to the love 
and respect of the people. 

During the quarter of a century of statehood prior to the Civil War, 
Michigan made substantia! advance in education. The schools at the time 
Michigan became a state were very primitive. There were no professional 
teachers. The best to be had were promising sons, or daughters, who took 
what the people could afford, "boarded around," and kept the children busy 
with the "three R's" in a log shanty. Of school conveniences as we know 
them, there were few or none. Two names stand out at the beginning of 
the new regime of statehood destined to be long remembered in the edu- 
cational history of Michigan: Isaac E.' Crary and John D. Pierce. The 
former was a member of the constitutional convention of 1835; the latter 
was the first superintendent of public instruction under the new constitution. 
These men were neighbors, in Marshall, and had often discussed together 



the subject of state education. Pierce was a graduate of Brown, who, in 
1S31, bad been sent out to the West by the Cong;regationalists as a home 
missionary. Through Crary, who had great influence with Governor Mason, 
he now became superintendent of pubhc instruction, to whose charge was 
given the whole subject of state education and the management of a million 
acres of land transferred by Congress to the state as trustee of the sixteenth 
section in every township in Michigan. In response to a request from the 
Legislature, Pierce reported a system of common school and university edu- 
cation which in its essential features forms the foundation of the educational 
system in operation in Michigan today. 


In i860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States, 
by the Republican party, on a platform hostile to slavery. Some Southern 
states thereupon announced that, rather than submit to this, they would 
secede from the Union. They called popular conventions, formally adopted 
ordinances of secession, and formed among themselves the Confederate 
States of America. The Northern states held that these states were stili in 
the Union, since, by assent to the Constitution, all the states had made an 
indissohtble bond. Certain border states sympathized with the South as to 
slavery and secession, but they would not go so far as to join them in main- 
taining a new republic by force. The border states tried to be peacemakers, 
and proposed compromises. One of these is known as the Crittenden Com- 
promise, proposed by Senator Crittenden of Kentucky. It satisfied neither 
side, and a similar fate met all the compromises proposed, even those of the 
peace conference called in 1861. Michigan refused to take part in this con- 
ference. It seemed to her that no conference could be called a peace con- 
ference worthy the dignity of the state, when held under a threat of war, 
unless the North should surrender principles upon which Abraham Lincoln 
had been elected. Nor did Michigan sympathize with President Buchanan's 
view, that the federal government could not constitutionally use force to 
keep the states in the Union. 

Governor Austin Blair took a strong stand upon the platform of an 
indestructible Union, "Safety lies in this path alone," he said. "The Union 
must be preserved, and the Iflws must be enforced in all parts of it, at what- 
ever cost. Secession is revolution, and revolution in the overt act is treason, 
and must be treated as such." Michigan was at i>eace without a peace con- 
ference. Hostile action bv the Southern states would be in the nature of 



insurrection and, if need be, tlie aniiy of die federal government must be 
called upon to suppress insurrection. In case the regular army could not do 
it, the state militia must be called out. 

This sentiment was echoed by Senator Chandler, who in 1854 had suc- 
ceeded Senator Cass. "The people of Michigan are opposed to ail com- 
promises," he said. "They do not l>elieve that any compromise is necessary; 
nor do I. They are prepared to stand by the Constitution of the United 
States as it is; to stand by the government as it is; to stand by it to blood if 

War was inevitable. On April 12. 1861, Fort Sumter, in Charleston 
harbor, was attacked, and a few days later surrendered. Michigan was 
roused as one man. From the University of Michigan to the humblest red 
school house, students listened to professors and teachers on the great issue 
of preservingthe Union. Si)eakers in every center of population from city 
to hamlet spoke to thoughtful and earnest audiences of people on the duty 
of every citizen to rise to the defense of the Union, even to his last drop 
of blood, if necessary. In Detroit the citizens listened to the now aged 
General Cass, who affirmed : "It is the duty of all zealously to support the 
government in its efforts to bring this unhappy civil war to a speedy and 
satisfactory conclusion, by the restoration in its integrity of that great charter 
of freedom beciueathed to us by Washington and his compatriots." 

When the call to arms came from President Lincoln, Michigan was 
among the first to send I'olunteers to seal the Union with their blood. Dur- 
ing the great struggle that followed, Michigan put into the field nearly a 
hundred thousand men. When the war was over, no state in the Union had 
greater cause to rejoice over the record made by her sons, many thousands 
of whom were left in sokliers' graves on Southern battlefields. 


rjuring the war, and in the year immediately preceding, Michigan had 
in the Senate of the United States a man who, of all her sons, can alone 
dispute rank with Lewis Cass as the greatest figure in her political history — 
Zachariah Chandler. Chandler was fortunate in the time of his advent on 
the poHtical stage, succee<!ing Cass in 1857, when large ouestions were before 
Congress and the American i>eopie. Where Cass had been conservative. 
Chandler was the most radical of radicals; he was an anti-slavery nian, with 
the courage of his convictions. 

Zachariah Chandler was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, December 



10, 1813. He was educated for business and in early life taught school. 
In 1833 he caught the "Michigan fever," emigrated to the new territory 
and settled in Detroit, where, under the name of Moore & Chandler, he and 
his hrother-in-iaw opened a general store on Jefferson avenue near Randolph 
street. Chandler showed his husiness acumen in jpving all the speculative 
schemes of this period a wide berth, and hence was in a way to become rela- 
tively prosperous notwithstanding the genera! financial crash of 1837. He 
was also public-spirited and when, after 1850, he began to give considerable 
thought to political matters, his wide acquaintance throughout the state due 
to numerous business trips which had brought him into personal contact with 
men in every locality prominent and influential in business and public con- 
cerns, he was equipped to turn his great talents to the public service. In 
1850 he was elected a deleg'iite to the Whig state convention. In 1851 he 
was elected by the Whigs mayor of Detroit, as against John*R. Williams, 
who had held the office for six years and was one of Detroit's most con- 
spicuous and popular citizens. Three years later the Republican party was 
organized "under the oaks" at Jackson and developed strength enough to 
elect its candidate for governor. In the Republican campaign of 1856 Mr. 
Chandler gave full rein to all his wonderful energy. Michigan Republicans 
gained an overwhelming victory. Fremont, the Republican candidate, car- 
ried Michigan by nearly twenty thousand majority. The Republican state 
ticket was elected, and the Legislature was Republican by a majority on 
joint ballot of seventy-two. It was this Legislature which chose Mr. 
Chandler United States senator to succeed Lewis Cass. 

The Kansas troubles were in the front when Chandler entered the 
Senate, His plan of action was characteristic of the man : he met the threats 
of the opposition with open defiance. His first speech struck straight from 
the shoulder. He said, "The old women of the North who have been in the 
habit of crying out, 'the Union is in danger !' have passed off the stage. They 
are dead. Their places will never be supplied, but in their stead we have a 
race of men who are devoted to this Union and devoted to it as Jefferson 
and the fathers who made it and bequeathed it to us. Any aggression has 
been submitted to by the race who have gone off the stage. They were ready 
to compromise any principle, anything. The men of the present day are a 
different race. They will compromise nothing. They are Union-loving 
men; they love all portions of the Union; they will sacrifice anything, hut 
principle, to save it. They will, however, make no sacrifice of principle. 
Never! Never! No more compromises will ever be submitted to save the 
Union, If it is worth saving, it will be saved. The only way that we shall 



save it and make it permanent as the everlasting hills will be by restoring 
it to the original foundations upon which the fathers placed it. I trust in 
God civil war will never come; but if it should come, upon their heads, and 
theirs alone, will rest the responsibility for every drop of blood that may 
flow." Of the Dred Scott decision he said: "\\1iat did General Jackson 
do when the sjipreme court declared the United States bank constitutional? 
Did he bow to it? No! He said he would construe the constitution for 
himself. I shall do the same thing. I have sworn to support the consti- 
tution of the United States, and I have sworn to support it as the fathers 
made it, and not as the supreme court has altered it." Speaking upon the 
John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry, he said : "John Brown has been exe- 
cuted as a traitor to the state of Virginia, and I want it to go upon the 
records of the Senate in the most solemn manner to be held up as a warning 
to traitors, itorth, south, east, west. Dare to raise your impious hands 
against this government, its constitution and its laws, and you hang. Threats 
have been made year after year for the last thirty years, that if certain events 
happen this Union will be dissolved. It is no small matter to dissolve this 
Union. It means a bloody revolution or it means a halter." 

Senator Chandler bore his part nobly in the exciting issues of the war 
and reconstruction. Only once, in 1875, when there was a small Republican 
majority in the state Senate coincident with recalcitrancy of some members, 
was Chandler defeated for re-election to the United States Senate. But he 
was timlier too valuable to lie idle; Grant called him into his cabinet as 
secretary of the interior, where he served until the end of Grant's term. In 
1879, on the resignation oi Isaac P. Christiancy, Chandler's senatorial 
opponent in 1875. the Michigan Legislature promptly elected Chandler to fill 
the vacancy. In February of that year he took his seat in the Senate, and 
a few flays afterward made what was probably the most memorable speech 
of his senatorial career— the famous phillippic against the participation of 
Jefferson Davis in the benefits of an act pensioning veterans of the Mexican 
War. On the evening of the last day of October of that year, after a 
powerful campaign speech in Chicago, he had retired late to his room in the 
Grand Pacific hotel; the next morning he was foimd dead in his bed, from a 
stroke of apoplexy which had cut him off without warning. His body was 
laid to rest in Elmwood cemetery, Detroit, amid the grief of a nation. 

While Mr. Chandler was in the Senate of the United States, Michigan 
had had seven governors, all but one having served two terms. In 1864 
Henry H. Crapo, of Genesee county, was elected to succeed Governor Austin 
Blair. Mr. Crapo's opponent was William M. Fenton, also of Genesee, 
who went to the front as colonel of the Eighth Michigan Infantry and sen.-ed 



with distinction in several campaigns. Despite the fact that Colonel Fcn- 
ton's military record and his standing as a citizen were unimpeachable, the 
strong party spirit and Republican strength in the state elected Mr. Crapo 
by a majority of over seventeen thousand. 


Governor Crapo was born at Dartmouth, near New Bedford, Massa- 
cliusetts. May 24, 1804.* His father was of French descent and cultivated 
a farm for a livelihood. The land was not very productive and the life 
of a farmer at that time and place meant incessant toil and many privations. 
The lad was early inured to these. The opportunities for education were 
scant. But with an active mind, energy and a determination to learn, he 
took advantage of the near-by town of New Bedford to pick up some knowl- 
edge of books. There being an opening for a land surveyor, he quickly 
made himself familiar with its duties and requirements, and with his own 
hands, through the kindness of a neighboring blacksmith, made a compass 
and began life off the farm as a surveyor. In 1832 he took up his residence 
in New Bedford and followed his occupation as a surveyor and occasionally 
acted as auctioneer. He was elected town clerk, treasurer and collector of 
taxes, in which positions he served for about fifteen years. When New 
Bedford was incoqrarated as a city he was elected an alderman. He was 
appointed chairman of the committee on education and as such prepared a 
report upon which was based the estahhshment of the free public library of 
that city, the hrst of its kind in this country, ante-dating that of Boston by 
several years. He was a member of the first board of trustees. While a 
resident of New Bedford he became greatly interested in horticulture. He 
acquired a quite unpromising piece of land, which he subdued and improved. 
Upon this he planted and successfully raised a great variety of fruits, flowers 
and shrubbery and ornamental trees. He soon became widely known for 
his efforts in horticulture, was a noted exhibitor at fairs and a valued con- 
tributor to publications on that subject. The chief business of New Bed- 
ford at that period was whaling vessels and the fitting out of vessels with 
supplies, and the receipt and marketing of the return cargoes was the lead- 
ing industry. It was very profitable. Mr. Crapo became interested in this 
enterprise and was part owner of a vessel which bore his name and which 
made successful voyages. He was also interested in fire insurance and was 
an officer of two companies. 

.po is quoted substantially from the excellent work entitled, 



Having invested in pine lands in Michigan, he removed to the state in 
1856 and settled at Flint. Here he engaged extensively in the manufacture 
and sale of pine lumber. Branch establishments were set up by him at 
Holly, Fentonville and Detroit. Engaging in this business with his char- 
acteristic energy and slirewdues,'!, it was not long before he was recognized 
as one of the most successful lumbermen in a state noted for successful lum- 
bermen. He was mainly instrumental in the construction of a railroad 
from Flint to Holly, where it connected with the Detroit & Milwaukee. 
This road was afterward expanded to the Flint & Pere Marquette and 
stretched across the state to the Lake Michigan shore. From this small 
nucleus has grown what is now an elalxirate railroad system ^liich gridirons 
the state in every direction. He was active in public affairs in his home city, 
of which he was elected mayor, after a residence of only a few years. In 
1862 he was elected a state senator and proved himself to be a very prac- 
tical and useful memljer. In 1866 he was elected to a second term as gov- 
ernor. This term expired on the ist of January, 1869. His death fol- 
lowed about six months later from a disease which attacked him l>efore 
the close of his official hfe and which seriously hampered him for many 
months previous. 

The inaugural message of Governor Crapo to the Legislature of 1865 
is characterized by his hard-headed good "sense. He advocated the prompt 
payment of the state debt and the adoption of the permanent policy, "Pay 
as you go." This policy led to a close scrutiny of all appropriations and 
prevented the incurring of any indebtedness for schemes and enterprises of 
doubtful expediency. He urgently advocated measures to Induce immigra- 
tion to the state. After calling attention to the vast and varied resources 
of Michigan and its ^Xipulation so meager in proportion to its capabihties 
for sustaining many times more, he says, "We want settlers. Five-sixths 
of our entire territory remains still a wilderness. The vast tracts of wood- 
land, however rich and fertile they may be, are of no use to us until cleared 
and improved; and nothing but labor can do it. Our rich mines of copper, 
iron, coal, gypsum, our springs of salt, our fisheries, and our forests of valu- 
able tim'ber, are all calling for men; we want settlers." The I.^gislatiire 
heeded his advice and a bill was introduced and favorably reported in the 
Senate, creating an immigration commission, providing for the ap]X)intment 
of an agent and for the systematic circulation of literature, to be distrilxited 
in Europe, inviting the attention of intending emigrants to the advantages of 
Michigan. This bill was not acted on at that session, but a few years later 



the subject was taken u|) iiersistently. It appears that other Western states, 
notably Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, were already in the field and had 
agents in New York and in Europe in their own interests. It is said that 
these agents, not content with picturing in glowing colors the advantages of 
the states which they represented, sometimes went out of their way to dis- 
parage Michigan. It was cliarged that immigrants who were under contract 
and whose expenses to this country had been paid by Michigan manufac- 
turers, were tampered with on their arrival in New "i^ork by agents of rival 
states, and induced by representations of doubtful veracity to violate their 
contracts. It was this sharp practice at which one feature of the pro[K>sed 
legislation was aimed. Probably it was to avoid friction with our 
neighbors, and in this liew the bill was allowed to die. The governor called 
special attention to the natural resources and the situation of the state with 
reference to manufactures. With so many and so varied advantages, he 
argued that the state should be no longer dependent on Eastern manufac- 
turers, but should make its own supply of needful articles and also meet 
the demands of the western market. To this end he encouraged all measures 
having a tendency to invite capita! and labor in any and all branches of 

Another important subject of the time was the disposition of swamp 
lands. Tbe general government had given to the state six million acres of 
what were described as swamp lands. Not that all, nor really any consider- 
able portion, of such lands were actually in swamps. In some localities they 
were overflowed at certain seasons; in others, beaver dams had given them 
the ai^pearance of swamps, and in almost all cases they could be drained 
and sulxlued at small cost, and possessed a very rich alluvial soil. The 
question was how to dispose of these lands for the best interests of the 
state. In 1859 the Legislature adopted the ixilicy of appropriating such lands 
for the building of roads. The purpose of the general government in donat- 
ing the lands to the state, as set forth in the act of Congress making the 
cession, was to provide for their reclamation by means of levees, drains, etc. 
Nominally a road might Ire considered a levee and practically, in many 
instances, the building of a road was as good a way as any of reclaiming 
the lands and o]Jening them up to settlement. The policy had been pursued 
with satisfactory results on the start, but gradually degenerated into the 
grabbing of valuable tracts by contractors for the building of roads which 
l)egan nowhere and ended nowhere, and for roads begun but never finished, 
and by combinations of greedy persons who were robbing the state. The 



governor calleil an emphatic halt to the practice and urged the Legislature 
to take steps to rescue the remaining acres. The Legislature responded by 
passing an act for the appointment of a swamp land commissioner to 
examine all roads, inquire into the facts and circumstances of the letting of 
contracts, and requiring his aj>|)roval of all unfinished contracts before pay- 
ment should be made. 

There was considerable popular prejudice against the agricultural col- 
lege. Even the farmers themselves, who had decided views on the question 
of economy when taxpaying time came around, felt that it was an expensive 
luxury which had very little to show as justification for its existence. In 
1862 the general government made an appropriation of two hundred and 
forty thousand acres of public lands for the maintenance and support of 
such an institution, which grant had been accepted by the state. Governor 
Crapo, in his message, says regarding the college: "I am aware that in 
consequence of the very unfavorable circumstances surrounding this institu- 
ti6n during the first tew years of its existence, and which to a very great 
extent controlled its operation.^, many of the people of the state, who should 
have been deeply interested in its prosperity and success, imbibed strong 
prejudices against it, and were even disposed to abandon it altogether." But 
the governor counsels suspension of judgment and giving the institution an 
opportunity to do justice to itself and its friends. Of a!i classes, the farmer 
is most deeply interested, and the farmer should regard it with pride. While 
its demands have seemed to be large, the fact should be borne in mind that 
it is laying the foimdations and that, large as the expenditures seem, they 
are really small in comparison with the magnitude of the interests involved. 
"Agriculture is no longer what it was once regarded by a majority of other 
professions, and partially admitted bj'' the farmers themselves to be — a low, 
menial employment, a mere drudgery, delving in the soil—but is becoming 
recognized as a noble science. Formerly any man who had merely suffi- 
cient sense to do just as bis father did before him and to follow his example 
and imitate his practice, was regarded as fully competent to become a 
farmer. The idea of applying science to the business was sneered at and 
denounced by many of the farmers themselves as 'book farming.' But the 
cultivation of the soil has now justly come to be regarded as one of the 
most noble and dignified callings in which an educated man can engage," 
The Legislature heeded his advice and made a liberal appropriation to set 
the college upon its feet. This was the critical time in the infancy of the 
institution, when it might have been easily smothered. The earnest words 



of the governor, backed by his lEifluence, encouraged the friends of the col- 
lege and today the people of the state will rejoice that the strong support 
of Governor Crapo resulted in saving it for a noble and beneficient career. 

CSovernor Crapo exercised the pardoning power with extreme caution. 
He held the view that the executi\'e had no right to annul or make \'oid the 
acts and decisions of judicial tribunals in the trial, conviction and sentence 
of any person unless in the contingency of the discovery of new facts which 
would, if proved upon the trial, have established the innocence of the ac- 
cused, or so mitigated the offense that a less iienalty would have been 
imposed. While he admitted that extreme cases might arise under circum- 
stances which would make an exception to the rule desirable, he held to it 
quite rigidly. He did not admit the influence of mere i)ersonal sympathy 
for the victims of the criminal law, or their families or friends. In reply 
to the claims that a convict having suffered for a time and the public excite- 
ment and notoriety of his offense having passed away, no possible good can 
l>e gained by keeping him longer in prison, he insisted that the principle of 
justice and the claims of society for self-protection must not jje lost sight 
of. The guilty are not punished because society wishes to inflict pain and 
suffering, but liecause its own safety requires it and because the onlv re- 
paration the criminal can make is the example afforded by his endurance of 
the penalty. To effectually meet these ends, punishment must be made cer- 
tain. There have been governors, both before and since, who seemed to 
regard the executive prerogative as a matter of mere sentiment. There 
have l>een cases where sympathy went too far. There have l>een instaiices 
which were little less than unfortimate. In modern times the business of 
getting convicts out of our prisons and relieving them from the conse- 
quences of their crimes through the aid of a sympathetic governor has been 
carried to such an extent that it is refreshing to contemplate a man who, 
while he was not lacking the kindness of a gentle nature, still had the firm- 
ness to stand for justice and right, as he clearly saw them. 

At the biennial election of 1866 Governor Crapo was elected for a 
second term by a majorit}' of upwards of twenty-nine thousand. Governor 
Crapo entered ujx>n his new term of office in January, 1867. somewhat 
broken in health, but with mind as vigorous and active as ever. In spite of 
his impaired physical condition, he insisted upon personally looking after 
his extensive private interests, and kept in close touch with all public affairs. 
His second regular message to the Legislature was a full and lucid discus- 



sion of all the problems then before the state authorities. He again dwelt 
on the immigration question, but the Legislature adjourned without making 
effective his sensible recommendations. 

Governor Crapo was very sparing with vetoes and it is notable that they 
were for the most part sustained. The most exciting event during his entire 
gubernatorial career grew out of bis vetoes in the matter of municipal aid 
to railroads. That was the day of feverish railroad building schemes. Rural 
communities were exceedingly anxious for railroads, and many villages 
were induced to support projects which would make them railroad centers. 
In several instances the people did not wait for legislative authority, but 
went ahead and \'Dted aid, issued and put bonds on the market and then 
came and asked the Legislature to validate them. With a veto message. 
Governor tJrapo called a halt to this practice. It is interesting to observe 
with what neatness he riddles the sophistical arguments of those who said 
the thing being done should be legalized to save investors in the bonds. The 
schemes expanded insidiously. At first the aid voted by municipalities was 
limited by law to five per cent of the assessed valuation of the municipality; 
shortly this was increased to ten per cent, with a tendency to further in- 
crease the rate, .^.t first the district included in the liability on the bonds 
was the municipality: shortly this was extended to include the entire county 
in which the municipality was situated. 

But most important of all, he vetoed the acts passed to permit localities 
to vote aid to railroad enterprises. The thing having previously l)een done 
and lieing considered so much a matter of course, he did at the outset ap- 
prove such bills. But he soon saw the tendency of such legislation and 
when the bills came pouring in on him he wailed until some fourteen had 
accumulated and then sent them back with a message which settled the case 
for all time, so far as he was concerned. He called attention to the pro- 
vision of the constitution that "the credit of the state shail not Ije granted 
to or in aid of any person, association or corporation; the state shall not 
subscribe to or be interested in the stock of any company, association or 
corporation; shall not be a party to or interested in any work of internal 
improvement." He argued that the principle considered by the framers of 
the constitution so essential for the protection of the state should by im- 
plication, at least, apply to towns and counties. Clearly the policy of the 
state, as expressed in its constitution, was opposed to all this legislation. While 
refraining from discussing the judicial aspects of the question, he Ijelieved 
that all would agree with him that it was of doubtful constitutionality. 



He went to great length in discussing the economic i>earings of the 
question. He beheved the i>ermanent welfare of the state would be injured. 
While railroads were desirable and greatly lieneficial to a community, if they 
were secured at the cost of an accumulation of municipal debt and enormous 
taxation we should destroy the value of property and retard settlement. Then, 
instead of increased growth and resources, we should drive away population 
and wealth. At a time when other states were trying to extricate themselves 
from the burden of taxation caused by the war, and were deferring public 
improvements, the ^jeople of Michigan, by municipal action, were competing 
with each other in the creation of vast amounts of indebtedness. He 
showed how insidiously the idea of municipal aid had expanded. At the 
outset the rate was limited to five per cent and the liability was confined to 
a few localities. Within four years the restrictions had been swept away 
and there were towns which were in danger of accumulating forty per cent 
of such bonded indebtedness. Such a course could have but one ending — 
bankruptcy and repudiation. 

The aggregate length of the railroads already proposed, which relied 
for their completion upon aid from taxes, was not less than two thousand 
miles. The amount of capital necessary to construct, complete and effi- 
ciently equip this extent of railroad could not l>e less than sixty million 
dollars. It was claimed that if about one-third of the cost could be obtained 
by taxation the balance could be procured of capitalists by the issue of stocks 
and mortgages. It would then be necessary for the people of the state to 
create an indebtedness of twenty millions in city, township and county bonds. 
Could such bonds be sold for casli either at home or abroad? It was not 
likely they could be sold outside the state. There was not surplus capital 
enough in the state to take them; certainly not unless they could be bought 
at a very small percentage of their face value. Thus the actual aid to rail- 
roads would be very small indeed, compared with the amount of municipal 
indebtedness. As the Jx>nds continued to be depreciated in value, additional 
taxes would be called for and urged to make up the deficit, and thereby 
prevent the total loss of what had been already appropriated, until repudia- 
tion woidd inevitably follow. 

The gloomy picture which the governor thus drew of the results Hkelv 
to end the course which the state was pursuing in this matter, was both 
timely and truthful. It was clear to level-headed and unprejudiced men, 
Init such was the p0|njia.r furor that many minds were dulled to its appre- 
ciation. The bills lay on the table for a month while great excitement -pre- 



vailed in the popular discussion of the subject. When the matter was 
finally brought to a vote, the veto of the governor was sustained by the 
narrow margin of a single vote. It is not often that a governor has the 
delicate task of saving the people from themselves, but saneness and firm- 
ness are admirable in any emergency. 

.^fter the war, an important event in Michigan's history was the move- 
ment for a revision of the constitution of 1850. In his inaugural mes- 
sage in 1865, Governor Crapo called the attention of the Legislature to the 
constitutional provision for submission of this question to the people in the 
general election of 1866. The necessary steps were accordingly taken, and 
in due course delegates were elected to the convention. This convention 
was held at Lansing from May 15 to August 22, 1867, It proved har- 
monious and industrious. But at the election in 1868 the new constitution 
which was there drawn up ■was not adopted by the people, 


Governor Crapo's successor was Henry P, Baldwin, of Detroit, who 
served from iS6g to 1873. Governor Baldwin was a native of Coventry, 
Rhode Island, where he was bom, February 22, 1814. He had been elected 
to the state Senate in i860. During his administration as governor, several 
matters of importance developed. One of these was the resumption of the 
st:ite geological survey. He was deeply interested in philanthropic work 
and used his influence to ameliorate the condition of the unfortunate and 
the neglected. In 1871 was organized the state board of charities and cor- 
rections. The eastern insane asylum was established at Pontiac. One of 
the most notable events of this period was the great destruction of life and 
property by forest fires, which swept across the state in 1871. When this 
great calamity became known, Governor Baldwin took prompt and energetic 
measures for relief of the distressed and suffering people. In 1881, almost 
exactly ten years later, a second visitation of fire swept through Tuscola. 
Lapeer, Huron and Sanilac counties, covering a considerable part of tJie 
region which suffered so severely before. 

Tn 1871 Governor Baldwin, in his message to the Legislature, expressed 
the belief that the time had come for the erection of a permanent capitol, 
and recommended that the necessary steps be taken to that end. The old 
building erected in 1847 was a piatn frame structure, intended only as a 
temporary capitol. (jovernor Baldwin appointed the building commission 
authorized by the T-egislature and work on the new capitol was begun on 



January i, 1879. The day of the formal dedication of the building; the com- 
mission rej^xirted that every obhgation had been fully paid and that there 
remained in the state treasury upwards of $4,000 to the credit of the build- 
ing fund. 


John J. Bagley was governor from 1S73 to 1877. He was a native 
of New York, born in Medina, Orleans county, July 24, 1832. One of the 
first important events of his administration was the participation of Michi- 
gan in the centennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence at 
Philadelphia, July 4, 1S76. In Michigan commemorative exercises were 
held in all the principal cities and villages. The international exposition at 
Philadelphia was held from May 10 to November 10. An attractive Michi- 
gan building was erected on the grounds, wholly by voluntary contributions 
from Michigan's citizens. The rt^ister kept at this building showed thirty- 
two thousand signatures of Michigan visitors. Very much of the success 
of Michigan's part in the exposition was due to the generosity, energy and 
activity of Governor Bagley, who was cx-officio a member of the board of 

During the first term of Governor Bagley there was much important 
legislation. Chief among the acts was that which created a state board of 
health. Tn 1873 was created the office of railroad commissioner. The office 
of commissioner of insurance was established. The subject of banking 
was thoroughly overhauled; old laws were repealed, and a general law was 
adopted for the regulation and control of ail banks organized imder it. The 
artificial propagation of fish had been found practicable, and it seemed to be 
quite feasible to restock the lakes with more vaiuabie varieties so as to 
prolong indefinitely the life of the fishing industry; with this in view, the 
Legislature, acting upon the governor's suggestion, created a fish commis- 
sion. Governor Bagley's administration was a business administration, 
characteristic of the plain, unassuming, shrewd and well-!jalanced citizen at 
its head. 

In 1873 the question came up again of revising the state constitution. 
The Legislature appointed a commission, which formulated a new one, but 
when it was submitted to the people at the spring election of 1874, they 
rejected it. 

The successor of Governor Bagley was Charles M. Croswell, of 
Adrian, who served from 1877 to 1881. It was early in his administration 



that the reform school for girls was established at Adrian. In 1879 Thomas 
A. Edison, who, though not a native of Michigan, spent much of his early 
life in St. Qair county and made his first successful inventions in the state, 
established the success of his incandescent electric lamp, which revolution- 
ized the lighting of interiors not only in this state bvit throughout the world. 
In 1880 David H. Jerome, of Saginaw, was chosen governor. During 
his one term the St. Mary's Falls ship canal was transferred to the general 
government. About this time Judge Andrew Howell, acting under the 
auspices of the state, compiled the state laws of Michigan. An epoch in the 
commercial development of the state was marked by the connecting of the 
railway systems of the two ijeninsulas of Michigan. 


At the election of 1882 a long-established political precedent was over- 
turned. Since the founding of the Republican party in 1854, that party had 
been successful in electing its candidates to state offices. This year the 
opposition ticket won, electing as governor Josiah W. Begole, of Flint. The 
victory was the effect by a fusion of the Democrats with the "Greenbackers," 
a party which had lieen steadily gaining strength since 1876. At the election 
of 1876 the Greenback party gave a total of 8,207 votes for William Sparks, 
the Greenback candidate for governor, and about this many were cast for 
the presidential candidate, Peter Cooper, out of a total nation-wide vote of 
81,000. In 1878 their candidate for governor in Michigan receiveil 75,000 
votes. The purpose of the Greenl>ack party was to defeat the alleged 
machinations of the monied interests and save the "greenback," the people's 
money. This money had come into existence during the Civil War, great 
quantities of treasury notes, or greenbacks (from the color of the notes), 
having been authorized by Congress. A total of $450,000,000 of these notes 
had been issued, legal tender for all debts, except customs duties and inter- 
est on the public debt. This policy helped to stamp in the popular mind the 
idea that the government could create money, if only the monied interests 
were not selfishly opposed to it. Along with the demand for more "fiat" 
money went the "grange movement" among the farmers, who organized to 
cut out the middle man and to compel the railroads to exact less toll to take 
their crops to market. In the minds of the "Greenbackers," the Republican 
party, as the dominant party, was playing into the liands of the rich. Their 
natural allies, regardless of other con.siderations, would 1)e the opposition 
party, and the result was the defeat of the Republicans, 



Governor Begote was born in Livingston county, New York, January 
20, 1815. Wheii he became of age, in 1836, he came to Michigan and settled 
in Genesee county, where, with his own hands, he aided in building some of 
the early residences in Flint. Perseverance and energy won him a compe- 
tency, and at the end of eighteen years he was the owner of a five-hnndred- 
acre farm. He was an ardent anti-slavery man, his grandparents having 
emigrated from Maryland to New York about the l>eginning of the century 
because of their dissatisfaction with the institution of slavery. He joined 
the Republican party at its organization in 1854 and was early elected to 
various local nfhces. During the Civil War he did active work in recruit- 
ing and furnishing supplies for the army; his eldest son was killed near 
Atlanta, Georgia, in 1864. In 1870 he was elected state senator, and in 
1S72 was a delegate to the Republican national convention at Philadelphia. 
As a memljer of the forty-third Congress he took great interest in legisla- 
tion to better the conditions of the farmers, being a member of the commit- 
tee of agriculture. His activities along those lines was largely influenced 
by the fact that he was a practical farmer. The transition from a Republi- 
can to a Greenbacker was easy. The high esteem in which Mr. Begole was 
held by his fellow townsmen despite bis defection from the Republican party 
is well shown in the following extract from the Flint Globe, the leading 
Repiiblican paper at that time in Genesee county: 

"So far, however, as Mr. Begole, the head of the ticket, is concerned, 
there is nothing detrimental to his character that can be alleged against him. 
He has sometimes changed his mind in politics, but of the .sincerity of his 
]>eliefs and the earnestness of his [purpose, nobody who knows him enter- 
tains a doubt. He is incapable of bearing malice, even against his bitterest 
political enemies. He has a warm, generous nature, and a larger, kinder 
heart does not beat in the lx>som of any man in Michigan. He is not much 
givai to making sj^eeches, but deeds are more significant of a man's charac- 
ter than words. There are many scores of men in all parts of the state 
where Mr. Begole is acquainted who have had practical demonstrations of 
these facts. ;md who are liable to step outside of party lines to show that 
they do not forget his kindness, and who, no doubt, wish that he was a 
leader in what would not necessarily prove a forlorn hope. But the Repiili- 
lican party in Michigan is too strong to be beaten by a combination of 
Democrats and Greenbackers, even if it is marshaled by so good a man as 
Mr. Begole." 

Among the important legislation of Governor Begole's administration 



was the establishment of the northern insane asylum at Traverse City. A 
bureau of labor statistics was created. A stringent law was passed to pre- 
vent insurance companies combining to fix a rate. The labor element showed 
its increasing strength in a law forbidding the employment of children 
under fourteen years of age. A compulsory school law required the at- 
tendance of children under this age for at least six months every year. 

Returning Republican strength, combined with other causes, resulted 
in the election of Russell A. Alger in 1884 by a small majority to succeed 
Governor Eegole. ?Ie was a native of Medina county, Ohio. During the 
Civil War he was proinoted rapidly in the army, becoming, after a year of 
service, colonel of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry in Custer's famous brigade. 

During Governor Alger's administration the Portage Lake and Lake 
Superior ship canal was transferred to the general goi'ernment. The sol- 
diers' home was established at Grand Rapids, The state mining school was 
established in the copper coimtry at Houghton. A pardon board was created. 
Tn 1885 the Legislature made provision for the semi-centennial anniversary 
of the admission of Michigan as a state in the union, to lie held at Lansing, 
June 15, 1886. On the occasion of this celebration notable addresses were 
made by many prominent citizens and officials, which were printed and pub- 
lished by the state. This volume, including the ftdl proceedings, comprised 
over five hundred pages and is a ^'ahiable and highly interesting collection 
of historical data. 

Governor Alger declined to be a candidate for re-election in 1886, and 
Cyrus G. Luce, of Coidwater, I:)ecame his successor. He was a native of 
Windsor, Ashtabula county, Ohio. The Legislature of 1889 gave consider- 
able attention to the subject of woman suffrage ; the ballot was not given to 
women generally, but a law was passed permitting women in Detroit to 
vote for members of the school board of the city, which at the time was 
considered an entering wedge to lead to woman suffrage for all officers. 
Among other legislation was an act giving counties local option in the mat- 
ter of prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors. 


In the election of iSqo came the first real Democratic triumph since 
tiie Republican party was organized. Edwin B. Winans was a Democrat. 
The causes operating in Michigan in favor of the Democrats were part of a 
tidal wave which in that year swept the whoie country. One of the most 
spectacular events in the nation's history occurred in Governor Winans' 



administration, the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, to cele- 
brate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by 
Columbus. Governor Winans appointed a board of managers, of which he 
was ex-officio chairman, whose service did great credit to the state in dis- 
playing her arts and industries. It is estimated that nearly half the adult 
Ijopulation of the lower peninsula saw the exposition at some stage of its 
progress, many spen<ling sometimes a week or more and making sul>sequent 
visits. The formal opening of the Michigan building took place on April 
29, iSg.-^. This commodious and elegantly furnished structure cost upwards 
of forty thousand dollars. September 13 and 14 were set apart as Michigan 
days at the fair and were well observed. Most striking was the exhibit 
made by Michigan in the agricultural building. The hortiailtural exhibit 
hardly did justice to the state, l)ecause of the failure of the apple crop the 
season before, and the inadequate appropriation for collecting and shipping 
and the lack of interest on the part of fruit growers. The forestry exhibit 
was adequate, befitting the most celebrated of the timber states. The min- 
eral exhibit led all others in copper and iron and received more awards than 
that of any other state. The educational exhibit was fairl_v creditable. Mark 
W. Stevens, of Flint, later circuit judge, was secretary of the Michigan 
World's Fair commission. 

The administration of Governor Winans was followed by that of John 
T. Rich, of Elba, Lai^eer county, Republican candidate in 1892. Among 
the subjects of legislation considered in Governor Rich's administration 
were charters and charter amendments for municipalities, the borrowing 
power of the state, taxation of church property, the contract labor system 
in the state prisons, and the fusion of political parties. 


Hazen S. Pingree was elected governor in 1894. His career was sliort, 
but strenuous. He was a native of Denmark, Maine. Mr. Pingree's most 
marked characteristics were dislike of conventional ways of doing things 
and a determination to be his own "Iwss" while governor. He was a vet- 
eran of the Civil War, having seen service in the battles of second Bull Run, 
Fredericksburg, S pott sylvan i a. Cold Harbor, Petersburg and other desider- 
ate and bloody engagements. After the war he became a shoe dealer in 
Detroit and made wealth by hard work, good business judgment and ener- 
getic management. His business ability and freedom from pohtcal antago- 
nisms made him mayor of Detroit. His political shrewdness during the street 



car strike in 1890, while he was mayor, secured his re-election three times 
afterwards, and his genuine sympathy with working men, ampiy demon- 
strated, made possible his election as governor. 

The keynote of Governor Pingree's policy was primary election and 
railroad taxation. He also in his characteristic manner |>aid his respect to a 
class of persons who frequented the capitol during sessions of the Legisla- 
ture. He had decided views upon the question of public franchises, gained 
through his experience with the Detroit street railways. The great weak- 
ness of his administration was lack of tact in dealing with members of the 
Legislature. During his administration provision was made for agricul- 
tural institutes in the several counties. The beet sugar industry was bo- 
nused; and another law in the interest of the farmer made it a penal offense 
to color oleomargarine in imitation of butter. 


It was while Mr. Pingree was governor, in 1898, that war brolte out 
with Spain, war being formally declared on April 25. The following ac- 
comit of Michigan's part in this war is taken from the excellent work en- 
titled "Michigan as a Province, State and Territory:" 

"The state cut something of a figure in the war, aside from the regi- 
ments which it put into the field. Russell A. Alger, who was secretary of 
war, was a former governor of Michigan. Upon his shoulders fell the 
responsibility of equipping, transporting across the sea and maintaining in 
the field the troops required in the campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the 
Philippines. After more than thirty years of peace, it may well be sup- 
posed that the .sudden call to active military operations found the country 
all unprepared for such an emergency. In response to the President's call 
the country arose almost en masse. Tenders of service came from every 
direction. It is safe to say that ten men offered their services where one 
was required. These overwhelming offers were embarrassing. Meanwhile 
the war dei>artment was trying its utmost to get things in shape for equip- 
ping and hauling the recruits to the regular army and the volunteers gath- 
ered by the states. To transport the army and its equipment and supplies 
to Culm required many ships. In this emergency Secretary AFger called 
to his assi-stance Col. Frank _T. Hecker, of Detroit, of whose fitness for the 
task the secretary had personal knowledge, and assigned to him the duty of 
procuring the ships. They were promptly forthcoming. The command of 
the Fifth Corps, whicii was the army which invaded Cuba and fought lie- 


gent:see county, Michigan. 91 

/ore Santiago, was assigned to Major-Gen. William R. Shafter, a native of 
Michigan, who had served efficiently in the Civil War, which he entered as 
a Heutenant of the Seventh Michigan Infantry. After the close of the 
Civil War he joined the regular army, in which he had risen to the rank 
of brigadier-general, nix)n merit and length of service. Coi. Henry M. 
Duffield, of Detroit, was made a brigadier-general of vokinteers and was 
assigned to the command in Culja of a brigade composed of the Ninth Mas- 
sachusetts and the Thirty-third and Thirty-four Michigan Regiments of 
Volunteers. Major George H. Hopkins, of Detroit, was appointed a per- 
sonal aid to the secretary of war and was assigned to the duty of selecting 
camps and inspecting the sanitary and other conditions surrounding them. 
Only a small fraction of the regiments raised were called to the front. Others 
were gathered in camps at Tampa, Mobile, Washington and ChJckamauga, 
Besides these thus gathered in army camps, there were others in regimental 
camps in their se\'eral states, which nevei- left them, but were disbanded 
after it became e\-ident that their services in the field would not ]>e required. 
It was the duty of Major Hopkhis to familiarize himself with the conditions 
of these various camps and suggest methods of remedying defects. After 
the engagement at Santiago, which practically ended the war, the health of 
the troops in Cuba required that the men be sent north at the earliest possi- 
ble moment. Accordingly a convalescent camp was established at Montauk 
Point, Long Island, to which the whole of Shafter's army was brought. In 
this camp Major C. B. Nancrede, of the medical department of the State 
University, was chief surgeon. He had served from the l.)eginning of the 
war as surgeon of the Thirty-third Michigan, and upon his promotion was 
succeeded by Major \'ictor C. Vaughan, also of the State University. 

'"It happened that the Legislature was in session when the war broke 
out. It promptly passed an act for a war loan of a half million dollars. 
Governor Pingree threw himself with all his wonderfn! energy into the task 
of raising, etjuiiiping and sending into the field at the earliest possible 
moment the state's quota. On the day following the call of the President 
an order was issued for the mobilization of the entire Michigan National 
Guard at Island Lake within three days. Gen. F., M. Irish was placed in 
command and the work of completing the roster of the several regiments 
was earnestly prosecuted. The regiments thus organized were designated 
Thirty-first. Thirty-second, Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan Vol- 
unteer Infantry, following in numerical order the infantry regiments of the 
Civil War, The Thirty-first was mustered May loth and left on the 15th, 



under command of Col. Cornelius Gardner, for Cliicbamauga Park, Geor- 
gia. The Thirty-second was mustered May 4 and left on the 19th, under 
command of Col. William T, McGurrin, for Tampa, Florida. The Thirty- 
third was mustered May 20 and left on the 28th, under command of Col. 
Charles L. Boynton, for Camp Alger, near Washington. The Thirty-fourth 
was mustered May 25 and left June 6, under command of Col. John P. 
Petermann, for Camp Aiger. Under the second call of the President the 
Thirty-fifth Regiment was organized under Col. E. M. Irish, July li, and 
left for Camp Meade, Pennsylvania, Septemljer 15. In organizing, equip- 
ping and training these regiments while in camp at Island Lake, Captain 
Irvine, of the Eleventh United States Infantry, and Lieutenant Winans, of 
the Fifth United States Cavalry, rendered efficient service. 

"The men gathered in the southern camps, particularly at Chicka- 
nmuga and at Camp A\ger, suffered severly from sickness. At the former 
camp there was an epidemic of typhoid fever and the Thirty-first" Michigan 
was removed to Macon, Georgia, where it remained in camp until Jajiuary, 
1899, when it was sent to Cuba. It was landed at Genfugas and was thence 
distributed in the towns of Santa Clara province to preserve order and pro- 
tect property. The regiment was engaged on this service until the following 
April, when it was returned to this country and mustered out. It lost four- 
teen men who died from sickness in southern camps and hospitals. 

"The Thirty-second was one of the earliest regiments moved to Fer- 
nandina, Florida, where it remained in camp for some time. It was not 
among those assigned to service in Cuba, and after a little delay it was 
transferred to Fort McPherson, Georgia, where it remained until Septem- 
ber, when it was returned to Michigan, and mustered out of service. While 
in the service twenty men died of disease. 

"The Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth went to Tampa, whence they 
were embarked for Cuba on the transports 'Paris' and 'Harvard.' They 
were in General Duffield's brigade, which formed a part of General Shaffer's 
army which fought and defeated the Spaniards at Santiago. They did not 
participate in the fight at San Juan Hill, but were engaged in the attack at 
Aguadores. which was planned to divert the enemy from the plan of battle 
of the main army and prevent their reinforcing it. In this engagement three 
of the Thirty-third were killed or died of wounds. Yeilow fever broke out 
in the camp at .Siboney and fifty died there or at Montauk Point or on the 
transport bound for the latter camp. The Thirty-fourth suffered even more 
severeK', for eighty-eight deaths in that regiment are recorded, a very large 



lJro)»rtion of these Ijeing from_ yellow fever while in camp near Santiago 
or in hospital on Loii^ Island. These regiments were returned from Culm 
in AngTist and reached Michigan in Septemljer. They were mustered out at 
various times Isetween September 3, 1898, and January- 2, 1899. Of those 
who survived the hardships of the campaign, many returned broken in 
health. The Thirty-fifth was mustered out at Augusta, Georgia, March. 
iSyt), Of its meml)ers, twenty-three died of disease in camp. 

"The whole number of men mustered was six thousand six iumdred 
and seventy-seven, and the total number of deaths alx)Ut two hundred and 
fifty. Through the efforts of Go\'emor Pingree, the men were permitted to 
draw thirty to ninety days pay upon furlough prior to discharge. Those 
who were in Cuba were also allowed pay for the fever-infected uniforms 
they were compelled to destroy. 

"Besides the infantry regiments furnished to the volunteer service, 
Michigan was represented in the naval arm. Being encouraged thereto by 
the general government, a naval brigade was organized in Michigan in 1897. 
I.'he navy department assigned for the use of such naval brigade the United 
States ship, 'Yantic,' which was at the time in the Boston navy yard under- 
going repairs. The delicate international question of getting this war ves- 
sel through Canadian waters was successfully disposed of. The governor 
of Michigan, on behalf of the state receipted for the 'Yantic' to Ije delivered 
to her commanding officer, Lieut.-Com, Gilbert Wilkes, at Montreal, From 
that point she was taken and handled by the officers and men of the state 
naval reserves, and arrived at Detroit, December 8, 1897. The men had 
some opportunity to drill and familiarize themselves with naval discipline. 
Before the call for volunteers, Governor Pingree received a telegram from 
the navy department asking for men for service on the United States ship 
'Yo.^emite.' The call was promptly responded to and two hundred and 
sevenly men and eleven officers of the Naval Militia of Michigan enlisted 
in the navy. The 'Yosemite' was wholly manned by Michigan men and, 
imder the conunand of I.ieut.-Com. W. H. Eniory, convoyed the transport 
'Panther' to Guantanamo and covered the first successful landing of Ameri- 
can troops on Cuban soil. Afterward it maintained, single-handed, the 
blockade of San Juan, Puerto Pico, and proved the efficiency of the ship 
and her crew by the capture of prizes and the destruction of blockade run- 
ners. The governor in his annual message congratulated the state on the 
showing made in the war by its naval militia, and also congratulated the 
men upon the records they made." 




At the election of 1900 Aaron T. Bliss, of Saginaw, was eiected gov- 
ernor. He was a native of Smithfield, Madison covinty. New York, and, 
like Governor Pingree, was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in 
the Tenth New York Cavalry. In 1882 he was elected from Saginaw 
county to the state Senate; he also served one term in Congress. In 1897 
he was elected department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. 
The main subjects of legislation while he was governor were primary re- 
form and railroad taxatiiMi. The Western State Norma! School was estab- 
lished at Kalamazoo. At Saginaw was established the Michigan Employ- 
ment Jnstittition for the Blind. 

Governor Bliss was succeeded in 1905 by Fred M. Warner, of b'ann- 
ington, Oakland county. Previous to this time Mr. Warner had served in 
the state Senate and as secretary of state. He has the distinction of l>eing 
among the very few governors of Michigan who have ser\'ed three terms 
in succession, being re-elected in 1906 and 1908. During his first term the 
semi-centennial of the [lassage of the first boat through the Sault Ste, Marie 
canal was celebrated {1905V At the election in 1908 the revised constitu- 
tion, as drawn up hy tlie constitutional convention held at Lansing in 1907-8, 
was adopted. This constitution, while following closely that of 1850, cur- 
tailed the ix)wc'r of the Legislature and extended that of home rule in the 
municipalities. Among the acts of legislation while Mr. Warner was gov- 
ernor were provision for direct nomination of candidates for state offices, 
provision for a popular advisory vote for United States senator, and pro- 
vision for the present state railroad commission. 

The first governor elected under the constitution of 1908 was Chase 
S. Osborn, Republican, who served one term, beginning in 1911. He was 
a native of Huntington county, Indiana, and in early life engaged in news- 
paper work. In 1887 he purchased the Sautt Ste. Marie Nczcs. and since 
then has lived mainly at the "Soo." The principal laws enacted during his 
administration were a general revision of the primary election law, a city 
home rule bill authorizing the use of the initiative, referendum and recatl, 
provision for a state fire marshal, and a law allowing women to \ote at 
school primaries. 

Since January i, 1913, Woodbridge N. Ferris, of Big Rapids, has been 
governor. His second term will exfwre December 31. of this year (1916). 
Mr. Ferris was horn in 1853 in a log cabin four miles from Spencer, Tioga 



county. New York. In this neighlwrhcxK.! and in neiglilwring; academies he 
received his early education, and later tanght school and earned his way 
through the Oswego Normal and Training School. In 1873 he entered 
upon tJie medicaJ course in the University of Michigan. In 1875 he or- 
ganized a business college at Freeport, Illinois, and later l>ecame principal 
of the normal department in the Rock River University. In 1877 he or- 
ganized a business college in Dixon, llJiiiois, and in 1884 the Ferris Indus- 
trial School at Big Rapids, The latter school was started with fifteen stu- 
dents; the enrollment for the current year ( 1916) is about two thousand 
students. Through his extensive educational work, Mr. Ferris became one 
of the best known citizens of Midiigan. He is the first Democratic gov- 
ernor since the election of Governor Winans in 1890, and received at his 
second election nearly forty thousand more votes than the Republican candi- 
date. Chase S. Os1x>rn. 

One of the bitterly contested bills while Mr. Ferris has l>een governor 
is the "Sliding Scale"' biJ!, to increase passenger fares on Michigan rail- 
roails, which was defeated in the house by a \'ote of forty-five to fifty-four. 
A new primary election law has been passerl, pro\'i(ling for a separate Mllot 
for each party ; no person who is the regular candidate on the ballot of one 
party can have his name written in on the ballot of another parly; and in 
order to gain a place on the ticket a candidate must receive in the primary 
a ten per cent vote of his party. A teachers' retirement fund has been 
secured ; the Michigan Historical Commission created ; also an annual ap- 
propriation of one hundred thousand dollars for the use of the state board 
of health for the study and prevention of tul^erculosis. In 1913 occurred 
one of the most .^erious crises in the recent industrial history of Michigan, 
when the Western l'"ederation of Miners, attempting to get a foothold in the 
Michigan copper country, fomented a strike of the miners, which lasted 
from July, 1913, to April, 1914. Throughout this controversy the course 
of Governor Ferris was such as to secure the hearty approval of the miners, 
the mine owners and of the people of the state generally. The mine owners 
were induced to offer re-employment to all men who had not been guilty of 
violence, on condition of renoimcing membership in the Western Federation 
of Miners, which was agreed to by the striking memljers of the federation 
through a referendum vote. In addition, the main demands of the miners 
were granted, which included a minimum wage of three dollars, an eight- 
hour day and better working conditions. 




l-'rom the point to wliich we have now come, the aiitmiin of 1916, it 
iriity I)e wei! to glance at the natural resources of the state, its industrial 
an<t commercial interests, its development of land and water transportation, 
its progress in education, and its social elements. 

AlM3ve the rocks of the Michigan peninsulas lies one of the most fertile 
soils of the Union. It has furnished the Imckhone of industry in Michigan; 
as niFiny persons are engaged in agriculture as in all other indiistries com- 
bined. The climate also is favorable for the growing of all crops profitable 
in any part of the United States, eNcept cotton, sugar cane and rice. Wheat 
and corn have ahva3'S been staple and reliable cro^js, but a striking charac- 
teristic of Michigan's agricultural products is their great variety. The latest 
to be cultivated extensively is the sugar beet. 

Tn the earlier days of the lower peninsula one of the most prominent 
industries was lumliering. Practically the whole of the peninsula was cov- 
ered with forest. The removal of the forest went hand in hand with 
the advance of agriculture. Great quantities of pine were taken from the 
Saginaw country, Ijeginning in earnest about i860. It was estimated that in 
1872 two and a half billion feet of pine lumber was sawed there by fifteen 
hundred saw-mills, employing twenty thousand persons and representing a 
capital of twenty-five million dollars. The entire amount cut in the state in 
1883 was estimated at four billion feet. The industry still thrives on a 
large scale in the upper peninsida. 

The lumber industry naturally gave rise to the manufacture of furni- 
ture. r,rand Rapids and Hetroit became world-renowned centers of furni- 
ture making. The manufacture of agricultural implements was a natural 
accf)mpaniment of the clearing of the forests and the growth of agriculture. 
The same is true of the manufacture of vehicles. In Detroit, Flint and 
Lansing the manufacture of automobiles has grown to large proportions. 
Detroit, among other cities, is also the home of a large industry in stoves, 
ranges and furnaces and all varieties of heating devices. Other large De- 
troit industries arc the manufacture of cigars and tobacco goods, lx>ot& and 
shoes, and drugs. Chemical laboratories have l>een an important item in the 
aggregate industries of the state. The cities along the shores of the Great 
Lakes have engaged largely in the fresh water fisheries, the most productive 
in the United States. I.alwr conditions in all these industries have been 
excellent in Michigan, evidence for which is the attitude of organized labor 



and the absence of aiiy strikes of conseqvience in any of them. The farmer, 
the manufacturer, the irierchant and the laborers have recognized that labor 
disturbances are wasteful for all concerned and, by mutual concessions, all 
differences have been harmonized in the interest of the general progress. 

The first minerals mined in Michigan were copper and iron. Actual 
operations in copper mining were iDegun in 1843, in the vicinity of Kewee- 
naw Point, by Boston capitalists. In 1866 the discovery of the CaUimet and 
Hecla conglomerate lode marked a new era in copper mining. Until the 
development of copper mining in the Rocky Mountain states in the early 
eighties, the Michigan mines produced almost the whole domestic supjjly and 
nearly twenty per cent of the world's supply. In the production of iron, 
Michigan leads all the states, her principal iron districts being the Mar- 
quette, Menominee and Gogebic ranges in the Lake Superior region. The 
first ore was taken out in 1854 from Marquette district. 

In 1835 coal mining in Michigan began at Jackson; but the extensive 
operations have been since i860. Michigan coal has not been able to com- 
pete in price with the coal from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 
About i860 lx:gan the development of the salt industry. It has been mainly 
confined to the Saginaw country. Michigan is still a leading state in the 
production of salt. Another important mineral industry is the manufacture 
of Portland cement. It began in 1872, when a plant was built near Kala- 
mazoo. Upwards of a million barrels are now produced annually. The 
manufacture of land fertilizers from the gj-psum deposits has become an 
important industry in several localities. The largest gjpsum mills are at 
Grand Rapids, where the first was built in 1S41. Clay for brick making 
has furnished materia? for about three hundred brick kilns in the state. 
Building materials aljound in the fine sandstones, slates and other stones. 
Grindstone quarries have been oi>ened in Huron county, and graphite mines 
have been worked to some extent in Baraga county in the upper peninsula. 


The building of cars has from early days been an important industry 
in Michigan. Since 1852, when the Michigan Central railway was ccan- 
pleted Ijetween Detroit and Chicago, railroad building has developed rapidly. 
This was sul>stantial!y aided by grants of land for the purpose, given to the 
state by the national government. The Michigan Central now has branches 
to all parts of the state feeding the great trunk line from every direction 




The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, the second eariiest Hne, has h'kewise 
acquired numerous tributary hnes. The Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwau- 
kee railroad, the Pere Marquette system, the Ann Arbor railroad, the Grand 
Rapids & Indiana, and the extensions of the Grand Trunk system of Can- 
ada, afford abundant means of trans-peiiinsu]ar communication and trans- 
portation. Similar facilities are afforded in the upper peninsula by the 
Diiluth, South Shore & Atlantic, the Chicago & Northwestern, the Minne- 
apolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, and numerous branch lines. The 
development of the automobile had its inception in Michigan, and in the 
marvelous advance made in the motor car industry Michigan stands first in 
number of cars manufactured and volume of business in that Hne. The 
motor car industry is third in money value in the United States, only steel 
and cotton exceeding it. Electric roads extend into nearly every section of 
lower Michigan and in addition to passengers, do a large freight and express 

Water transportation, on the Great Lakes, has kept pace with the rail- 
roads and has given rise to the industry of ship- building. Michigan forests 
have furnished the finest ship timber in the world. In the days of wooden 
ships the principal centers of this industry were at Detroit, Bay City and 
points on the St. Clair river. With the coming of the steel ship, the works 
at these places were expanded to meet the demand and are now rivalled 
only by those near Cleveland. Of late years the growth in lake tonnage has 
been verj' rapid and the size and num'ber of water craft have increased in 
proportion. Great leviathans carry coal, iron, copper and grain from the 
far end of Lake Superior to lower Lake Erie and to Cliicago and Milwaukee, 
and smaller craft carry full loads into all harbors. Each year witnesses a 
substantial increase of investment in great plants to meet the demands of 
the Great Lakes carrying trade. 


With the material advancement of the state has gone hand in hand the 
expansion of Michigan's educational system. Rural schools, primary schools, 
grammar schools, high schools, academies, colleges and the State University 
—all have advanced together. Over the state are thousands of school dis- 
tricts, with a school population of near a million. In the cities, manual 
training has gained headway in recent years, and industrial schools, of the 
type of the Ferris Institute, have multiplied, where the talents and inclina- 
tions of boys and girls, in any given direction, are developed and that train- 
ing of hand and eye given, which In after life is useful in a thousand ways 



r^ardless of vocation. These schools have a sociological as weli as an edu- 
cational aspect, for through their training, genius may be discovered, to the 
manifest advantage of humanity. Another feature of recent progress is 
the kindergarten, starting the very youngest children along lines of health- 
ful instruction to education in the schools. Teachers' institutes mark a 
notable advance in improving the quality of the teaching force in all the 
schools, and the training of teachers in normal schools has enlisted the 
service of some of the best trained educators of the state. The oldest of 
the normal schools is that at Ypsilanti, opened in 1852. Others are the Cen- 
tra! State Normal School, at Mount Pleasant; the Northern State Normal 
School, at Marquette, and the Western State Normal School, at Kalamazoo; 
in their names the word "College" has now been substituted for "School." 

The crown of this system of schools is tlie University of Michigan. 
From the kindergarten to the university, the Michigan boy or girl will find 
the successive studies carefully graded to each stage of development and 
to the general needs of a great variety of vocational and cultural attain- 
ments. Since the Civil War the university has had three presidents, includ- 
ing Erastns O. Haven, who was president at the close of the war; the others 
have been, the well-beloved and late lamented Dr. James B. Angell, and the 
present incum'bent, Dr. Harry B. Hutchins. Dr. Henry S. Frieze was act- 
ing-president for one year, between President Haven and President Angell. 
Doctor Angell served from 1871 to 1909, and during this long period under 
his wise guidance the university gained recognition world-wide as ranking 
among the first of the leading universities of the United States. In 1870 
women were admitted on an equal basis with men, a courageous step, in view 
of the fact that no institution of similar rank had yet taken it. Women 
are now to l:>e found in all its departments — in literature, science and the 
arts, engineering, medicine and surgery, law, pharmacy and dentistr)'. These 
departments are housed in over twenty-five principal buildings at Ann Arlxir, 
on tracts of land containing over one hundred and fifty acres, valued at 
nearly six miUion dollars. During the current college year over seven thou- 
sand students have there received instruction. Since its organization over 
thirty thousand graduates have gone out from its walls into ei'ery leading 
profession, into public life, into educational work, and are to be found today 
in every state of the Union and in nearly every foreign country helping in 
every good work of the world. 

Two other state colleges, each in its line doing a great work for the 
honor of Michigan, are the Agricultural College, at East Lansing, and the 
Mining College, at Houghton, in the upper peninsula. The former, estat>- 



lished in 1857, and endowed by the national government with two hundred 
and forty thousand acres of pubHc lands, is the oldest institution of its kind 
and standing in the United States. Besides being a professional school in 
the sciences upon which agriculture depends, it aims to prepare its students 
for the duties of social and civil life. In connection is an agricultural farm 
for purposes of experimentation. Women are now admitted to all its classes. 
Like the state university, it receives part of its financial support through 
the Legislature. The Michigan College of Mines is in the heart of the 
great "copper country" of Lake Superior. It was first opened in 1886. It 
is supported by the state. 

In addition to these state institutions of higher and special learning are 
the denominational colleges. Of these, the most important are at Albion, 
Olivet, Kalamazoo. Hillsdale, Holland, Detroit, Adrian, Alma and Battle 
Creek. Albion was founded by the Methodists in 1861; Olivet in 1859, by 
the Congregationalists; Kalamazoo in 1855, by the Baptists; Hillsdale was 
founded in 1855, and Hope College, at Holland, in 1866. The latter was 
contemplated from the establishment of the Dutch colony at Holland in 
1847, and was preceded by the Holland Academy in 1851. Detroit University, 
organized in 1881, was established by Roman Catholics of the diocese of 
Detroit, and is in charge of the Jesuits, an order of the church devoted to 
education. Adrian College was founded in 1859. Alma College was 
founded by the Presbyterians in 1887. Battle Creek College was estab- 
lished in 1874 by the Seventh-Day Adventists. Besides these there are many 
denominational academies, seminaries and schools. 

Michigan's unparalleled advantages for agriculture, her unequaled 
inducements to lalwr in a great variety of factories and mines, and her unex- 
celled system of common schools and higher education, have brought to her 
farms, cities and mines, a diverse population of all nationalities— Scotch, 
Irish, English, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Hungarian, Polish and Italian 
— to make homes for themselves in her two peninsulas. At an early day 
the French came in from Canada and settled along the shore above and 
below Detroit and to the Mackinac country; and, later, the pine htmbering 
brought numljers of French-Canadians to Saginaw and farther north to the 
lands above the bay. Direct immigration from France has never occurred 
to anv extent. During the period of the British occupation of the North- 
west, English settlers came in considerable numbers, mainly to the vicinitv 
of Detroit, and also some persons of Scotch and Irish descent. The great 
immigration of the Irish came with the troubles in the homeland in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. 


The Indians of Genesee County, 

It is unfortunate for the memory of any race to have its history written 
by its enemies. This is the sad fate of the Indians. Their place in history 
has been determined by those who belong to an ahen and antag;onistic people 
with whom relentless warfare was waged almost from the period of their 
first contact. The result of these wars was the defeat of the red man, the 
spoliation of his territory, and the loss of his pristine freedom and with 
these went all those virtues and peculiarly interesting habits of mind that 
characterized him in his native wilds. In writing the history of those ene- 
mies and so justify in the eyes of posterity his own conduct, there is a 
grievous temptation to the conqueror, who may have many acts of oppression 
to palliate, to exaggerate the offenses of his enemy, even to construe into 
offenses acts which were meant to be friendly. 

The history of the Indian is at best fragmentary and often written to 
subserve some ulterior purpose ; and, paradoxical as it may seem, in addition 
to the incertitude of the white man's incomplete and often prejudiced record, 
the information we get from the Indian about himself is often less reliable 
than that given us by the white man. This grows out of certain inherent 
ethical concepts of the Indian, coupled with an inability to understand the 
white man's motive, whose insatiable desire for knowledge is quite beyond 
the ken of the less tutored or rather differently tutored red man. 

The Indian was taught from his childhood that curiosity was a vice 
leading to gossip, which soon developed into the detestable habit of mis- 
chief-making. There was not a more contemptible character, from the 
view point of the red man, than that of the mischief-maker, and any tend- 
ency toward idie curiosity which developed among the youth of the forest 
folk, and which naturally led to mischief- making, was sternly rebuked, not 
by any corporal chastisement, but by the sharp shafts of ridicule and scorji 
which seldom failed to correct the incipient habit. Had the Indian's feel- 
ing toward corporal punishment been different, the ducking-stool might have 
been invoked to put down the habit of gossip or mischief-making; but corp- 
oral punishment was so utterly irreconcilable with his conception of personal 



liberty, as to be inadmissible as a corrective. Among the Iroquois a visit to 
the offender by a delegation of the tribe eacb wearing a husk nose four or 
five inches long, suggesting that the wearer had to so elongate his natural 
nose in order to associate with one who had the habit of putting his nose 
into other folk's affairs, was generally a sufficient hint to correct the mis- 
chief-making propensities of the offender. 

Such was the result of this trait of Indian character and his ideas of 
social ethics, that when a white man came among them asking questions as 
to the affairs of the red man, which from their angle could not in any con- 
ceivable manner concern the white man, he was placed in the category of 
the mischief-maker, and as such regarded as a legitimate butt for his ridi- 
cule. This found its exercise in some versatile Indian of imagination, who, 
with the air of a Roman senator and a face immobile and inexpressive of 
any humor, would impro\'ise legends, folk lore, history, tradition, or what- 
ever seemed to appease the prurient desire of the white man ; thus many a 
faked tale has come into the literature of the white man as veritable Indian 

We might aiso add to the difficulties above specified the contradictory 
accounts of various writers, who so much differ even in those matters that 
palpably came within their own observation and which were the very sub- 
ject matter of their investigation; these further impress one with the need 
of critical examination of all the records. A prominent example is the 
estimate of the Indian by the Recollects, who brand the red men as gross, 
stupid and rustic persons, incapable of thought or reflection, with less knowl- 
edge than the brutes, and utterly unworthy of any missionary effort for 
their redemption. Over against this opinion is the Judgment of the Jesuits, 
who attribute to these same men good sense, tenacious memory, quick appre- 
hension, solid judgment, and add that they take pleasure in hearing the word 
of God. 

By some whose observation has been obviously superficial, the Indian 
has been described as taciturn and stoical. Such a characterization is per- 
haps excusable in one who has seen the Indian in the presence of strangers, 
standing like a statue, immobile for hours, with no word but a grunted 
exclamation of negation or assent, betraying neither emotion not interest 
in his environment. But let the observer follow the apparently stolid Indian 
into his home, where he is unrestrained by the presence of strangers, and 
he would have found him the rustic humorist, rollicking, given to the exer- 
cise of practical joking, quick in repartee, ready to give and to take and 



with that philosophy that enables hini to laugh at the joke upon himself, 
however rough, as heartily as when another is the victim. Ail of these 
suggestions would seem to emphasize the need of presenting, if possible, 
the Indian as he was, carefully eliminating those matters of incertitude, and 
attempting to present him as a man, a father, husband, to introduce him 
to his 'fellow men as a provider— so we may see him in his family; in fine, 
to accentuate the human interest element in writing this account of the 
forest men whom our early writers properly called "silviages," or forest 
folk, but whose epithet has been corrupted into "savages," even as our con- 
ception of them has Ijeen corrupted. As Genesee county has an Iroquois 
Indian name, sonorous and beautiful in its suggestiveness, so let us do, at 
least, justice to these men and women from whom we have adopted the 
name, for these i>eople have a closer connection with the history of our 
locality than has generally been known. 

In considering the Indians of this county and vicinage, it is plainly 
necessary to go beyond the narrow confines of our county and take a com- 
prehensive view of the Indians of Canada and the United States. It is 
quite obvious that the American Indians, or Amerinds, to use the new word 
coined by the ethnologists, with their inborn wanderlust and frequent 
enforced migrations resultant from the exigencies of their status and hostile 
environment, could not have any distinctive history in any locality, where 
they may have for a time lived, which would form anything like a com- 
pleted narrative, or have any particular historic value if treated without 
reference to antecedent conditions. 

The discoverers of North America found north of Mexico a land 
whose extent baffled the imagination, whose inhabitants were so few that 
the greater portion of the coimtrywas entirely unoccupied — so few that 
every conception of territorial dominion, possession or occupancy, based on 
European standards, is fallacious and misleading when applied to the new 
world. Here and there regions were held by some tribe or nation, under a 
title which the other tribes conceded, but it was all based on force, the good 
old rule of Rob Roy that they .should take who have the power, and they 
should keep who can. Here and there were villages of a few families, 
located by some streatn or lake, with an indefinite hinterland forming the 
hunting grounds of the people who wandered over them in summer and 
returned to winter in the village. The intertribal lx)undary lines were gen- 
erally tlie watersheds that separated one drainage basin from another. 

A great pfjrtion of these Indians still depended on the chase and the 



Spontaneous gifts of nature in the way of fruits, nuts and edible roots for 
sustenance, and these naturally had less claim on the soil of any region 
wh«-e they roamed; some, however, had developed a crnde agriculture and, 
as tillers of the land, had a more ethical basis for their claims of ownership. 
Not only had they become more stable in their haibitations, but, by reason of 
a more dei>endable supply of food, they had become more numerous and, 
what then, as now, is more important, more able to defend their claims 
regardless of any ethical basis or abstract right. It was the variant stand- 
ards of the whites and Indians as to land tenures that caused most of the 
wars, and it is to the credit of the whites that they generally recognized 
the claims of the Indians, howe-ver worthless from European standards, and 
extinguished the same by purchase, although it must be acknowledged that 
in the bargaining for such titles the Indians were often overreached by their 
better informed purchasers. 


Many, many years ago, as the Indians say to designate time iong past, 
there was born among the people of the hills, Ono-nun-da, a boy who grew 
to manhood among the warriors of his tribe, but, unlike them, averse 
to war and oppressed by a consciousness of its wickedness and inutility. He 
saw around him the results of this wrong. He saw that his people were 
victims of the wrongs inflicted by other tribes and that in retaliation they 
gloried in returning wrong with wrong; that consequently they were feeble 
in numbers and slept insecure, for with the dawn might come a war cry of 
an enemy. The war lust had seized upon his people. He looked to the 
east and there saw the people of the stone, the 0-ney-yote-car-ono, whom 
we call the Oneidas, and in them a people of the same language as his own, 
but they were his enemies; he looked farther toward the rising sun and 
there were the Ga-ne-gao-ono (Mohawks), also of his own language, but 
they, too, were enemies; when he looked toward the setting sun he Ijeheld 
the men of the Gwe-no-cweh-ono, the Oneidas, of his own blood and lan- 
guage, and beyond them the Nun-da-wa-ono, the people of the big hill, and 
they, too, were of his own speech and blood, biit all were enemies. It 
grieved him that he was to go out some day to kill these people whose 
fathers' fathers had been his fathers' fathers, and who were his brothers. 

He often sat with bowed head and brooded over these things that were 
in his mind, while other youths exercised with the bow and the club. The 
old men said of him that he would be greater than these warriors, for his 



words burned, and that it would come to pass that he would lead the men 
who make war, and they would follow. 

And when it came for him to dream his dream, he went out into the 
deep forest and there he lay for days, fasting, and when he came to be like 
one dead, his dream came to him, and he saw a beautiful vision of a world 
at peace. After he saw the wonder river, the O-hee-o, and upon its bank 
grew the great trees and their branches hung over its waters, filled with 
fruits and nuts ; and he saw the canoes on the river, those on the right side 
floating down stream, and on the left side, they floated up the stream, and 
the paddles were idle, for they needed no propulsion. And when the people 
in the canoes were hungry they held up their hands toward the trees, and 
the boughs bent down and gave their fruit into the hands of the hungry. 
And there were no thorns on the briers, nor on the trees, no beasts of prey, 
and no wrong, for such was the world before the pride and ambition of the 
Indian had challenged the power of Rawennyo, who made the world, and 
wars had not come, nor hunger and pestilence, to curse the people of the 

And when he had dreamed his dream, he arose and, weak with fasting, 
but with a vision of the peace that was once the heritage of the world, he 
came to the village of the hili people, and there he Sifted his hands to the 
east, the south, the west and the north, and said : "Oh, Rawennyo, I have 
seen the world at peace in my dream, and I understand what you have set 
for me to do; f accept the task and will perform what you have appointed 
for me to do. I am content." 

Then Ay-oun-a-wa-ta went out among the men of his tribe and told 
them of his dream, and besought them to make peace forever with their 
brothers to the east and to the west, for they were of one blood and flesh. 
And he told them that it was the will of Him-who-made-the-world that they 
should form an alliance to last forever with these, their brothers; and the 
men said that his words were good, but in the council that was called the 
people rejected the words of Ay-oun-a-wa-ta because they feared A-ho- 
tar-o, the war cliief. who carried serpents about his neck, so he was called 
A-ho-tar-o of the Snaky Locks. 

Then Ay-oun-a-wa-ta, rejected by his own people, went to the east, 
fill he came to tiie land of the Mohawks, bearing the white wampum which 
means peace, and he told them of his mission from Him-who-made-the- 
world, to unite the people to the east and the west in one league so that the 
people of the race would be forever at peace and become numerous so they 



would fear no other tribe, and the Mohawks said that this was good, and 
they adopted Ay-oun-a-wa-ta to be one of them, for his own people had 
rejected his words, which were the words of Rawennyo. Then they sent 
him with others of the Mohawks to the Oneidas, the Cayngas and the Seiie- 
cas, bearing the white wampum, and all of these people said likewise that 
his words were good. And when they had taken council all together, they 
went to the people of the hill, bearing the white wampum, and told them 
that they had entered into an alliance forever, and that they wanted the 
people of the hill to join them, as they were the fathers of all, and that 
A-ho-tar-o should be the great chief of all the tribes, in war. So it was 
agreed that they should l)ecome the great league, and this was the great 
peace, Kayanerenh-Kowa, and all the five tribes took an oath to be forever 
at peace with each other. So became the Wis-nyeh-goin-sa-geh, or the five 
peoples bound together by an oath, and it became in the history of the land of 
America what the Romans were in the early history of Europe. 

Ay-oun-a-wa-ta, adopted by the Mohawks, became the great man of 
that tribe and honored as the founder of the confederacy of the Iroquois, 
called by the whites the "Five Nations." To this day the Mohawks in 
their new home in Ontario, whither they moved after the War of the Rev- 
olution, still have their Ay-cun-a-wa-ta, the successor in a line of chiefs, 
"raised up" to perpetuate the name and place of the great dreamer, who 
brought about the league. 

This poetic account of the formation of the great league is given here 
because it marks one of the most important events of Indian history, and 
in the opinion of the writer a far-reaching event in determining not only 
the subsequent trend of Indian history, but that of the whites in America. 


At the time of the discovery of America the league of the Iroquois 
had grown to such a status that it formed the most important political 
entity in North America, north of Mexico. Its territory was the state of 
New York except the valley of the Hudson, a small part in the northeast, 
and another in the western end of the state. This territory was poetically 
named by the Indi;iiis the Ho-den-o-sau-nee, or long house. This term, 
however, fails to express adequately the figurative meaning of the Indian. 
The Indian home was rather stibstantially built, of a frame work of tim- 
bers covered with bark. The house was orientated, and in case a daughter 
grew to marriageable age and married, an addition was built on the east 



end for the new fire, and the marriage of a second daughter resulted in a 
similar addition to the western end; a third daughter's marriage caused 
another addition to the east of the first daughter's home, and a fourth 
daughter's home was built on the western end. This resulted 'n a house of 
five fires, or a long house, and this growth of the home from the original 
fire to the five fires, is figuratively expressed by the Indians' terms, Ho-den- 
o-sau-nee, which they poetically applied to their home land, with its five 
tribes. It is also to be noted that this log-house had no other doors than 
to the east and west, so we find at the time the league first came to the 
knowledge of the whites, that their central fire was that of the Onondagas, 
the fathers of the league, the first to the east was that of the Oneidas, next 
the Mohawks, who were the keepers of the eastern door, west of the Onon- 
dagas was the fire of the Cayugas, and west of it, that of the Senecas, the 
keepers of the west door. As in case of the actual home, it was the reverse 
of etiquette to approach any fire except by the proper door, and the duty of 
protection owed by the youth to age is exemplified by the keepers of the two 
doors, who owed the duty of protecting all the fires of the interior tribes 
from assault from either direction. We hear of the Mohawks informing 
the emissaries of the whites who had come on a diplomatic errand to the 
Onondagas and had gone direct to that trilw, avoiding the Mohawks, that 
it was very improper to gain admission to the long-house through the chim- 
ney, instead of entering at the doorway. 

The tenn Iroquois, the exact meaning of which is In doubt, is racial in 
its suggestion rather than political, and included the various detached 
branches of the people of similar language and habits, as well as the consti- 
tuent memljers of the Five Nations. 

These outlying members of the Iroquois race were clustered about the 
western end of the long-house. Those to the sotith were properly called 
the Southern Iroquois. Professor Gass, in the "Historical Register." gives 
a considerable number of bands or tribes of Iroquoisan stock; these, he says, 
melted away from disease and ceased to have any place in history, their 
remnants toeing absorbed in other surviving tribes. Of them all, two tribes 
were prominent, the Andastes and the Tuscaroras. The Andastes, also 
known as the Susquehannocks. Connestogas, and other unpronounceable 
names, were later destroyed by the members of the league, while the Tus- 
caroras, in 1714, returned northward from their southern home and formed 
an alliance with the league, and are now perhaps the most progressive of 
all the remaining of the Iroquois stock. 

The western Iroquois consisted of the Eries, Cats or Gahquahs, livmg 



in the western end of New York and extending into Pennsylvania and Ohio. 
They were subdued by the Seagiie and their name is preserved as the name 
of the lake that formed the northern bounds of their territory. The Neutral 
Nation lived on both sides of the Niagara river, but mostly on the Ontario 
side. The Senecas called them the Attiowandaronks, or the people whose 
language is a little different. Further west and toward the lake of the 
Hurons, was the Tionnontates, or people over the mountain, also called the 
Petuns, or Tobacco Nation. These Canadian tribes and other outlying 
branches whose names are lost to the historian of the present day, were 
sometimes called the Hurors, and the ethnologists of today, following' the 
very apposite suggestion of the Canadians, use the term Huron-Iroquois, as 
embracing the entire family of tribes above named. 

The Tuscaroras, coming from the south in the year of 1714, asked 
for admission to the league, and a council of the five tribes was held at the 
central fire, at the rock which marked the place of these great meetings. 
After due deliberation, it was decided that the sanctity of the league was 
such that it could not be enlarged by admitting another tribe on equal foot- 
ing with its five constituent members. It was, however, determined that as 
the Tuscaroras were of their own blood and of similar language, to whom 
the right of hospitality was due, it would be cruel to ignore the petition of 
their own kindred by an utter refusal of protection, so it was in the figura- 
tive words of the Indians, decided that the Tuscaroras might come to the 
west door of the long-house to the tree which by a fiction of the Indians 
grew at the door, and there, holding onto the tree under its branches, remain 
under the protection of the league, and especially under care of the Senecas, 
the keepers of the west door; an officer was "raised up," who was called the 
ho!der-onto-the-tree, and his duty was forever to keep in the minds of the 
Tuscaroras their subordinate position in the league. To this day this condi- 
tion exists, and in the councils of the league this subordinate position of the 
Tuscarora is still insisted on by the other members; no Tuscaroras has any 
voice in the general council, except on the favor of the others, and a lifted 
finger by any of the other councilors brings him to his seat. 

After the formation of the league it is said that the members offered 
to each of the other tribes of like blood membership in the league; but they 
refused or rather ignored the invitation, and their failure to avail themselves 
of the offer resulted in their being regarded as enemies of the confederacy 
and treated as such. =■ 

North and south, east and west of this Huron-Iroquois race were lo- 
cated an alien race divided into many tn'bes, which in later vears came to 



l>e called by the name of Algonquins. This name it seems was that of a 
small and rather insignificant tribe of this stock, also called the Adirondacks. 
Of these Aigonquins, those at the south had early been brought into some- 
thing like subjugation to the league. The principal of these, the Delawares, 
who called themselves the Lenni Lenape, deserve especial attention. If the 
league of the Iroquois may be called the Romans of the new world, the 
Delawares may be called the Greeks. They were a subjugated people, but 
their conquerors always held them in highest esteem for their superior intel- 
ligence. They were in habits and character, as well as intelligence, superior 
to the other Aigonquins, and their name rather tlian the other should have 
been applied to the races now called .Algonquin, as they were regarded as the 
fathers of their race. From their traditionary history we get the key that 
unlocks the mystery of that vanished people called the Mound Builders. 
The Indians were great visitors and the Iroquois often visited the Dela- 
wares and from them learned many things. They were to the various other 
Algonquin peoples, grandfathers: and this is a term of great respect and 
suggests the highest honor, as ancient lineage and old age were to the In- 
dians proof of great wisdom. 

The Delaware tradition tells of their migration from the west, in 
which, coming to a river across which was a people numerous and powerful, 
their advance was stayed. These people were advanced in status, had fixed 
alxxles, and were of a i>eaceful dis^x^sition ; however, they objected to the 
advance of the Delawares through their territories, and thus matters stood 
when another tide of emigration of the race, called by the Delawares the 
Mengwe — that Ijeing their name for the Iroquois — also came to the same 
river with intent of seeking a homeland beyond the river. These two races, 
being thus barred from further progress by the Tailegewi, or trans-river 
people, planned to force a way through the ojiposing people. Negotiations 
followed, and the Tallegewi apparently acquiesced in their crossing, but the 
good faith of the Tallegewi was doubtful and when a portion of the forces 
had crossed, it was attacked by the Tallegewi and roughly handled; but 
the others, coming to the assistance of their people, soon routed the enemy 
and in the war that follovjed drove them out of their territory to the south- 
w^ard: the T,enni Lenaije and Mengwe passed on to their future homeland. 
The alliance between these two. however, did not continue for a long period, 
and when the whites came they found the Delawares or Lenni a subject 
race to the Iroquois, or descendants of the ancient Mengwe of the story, 
who, to make use of the idiom of the Indians, had made women of them 
and deprived them of the right to carry warlike weapons. 



The seats of the Delawares at this time was the state of Pennsylvania 
and westward, while the cognate tribes, or grandcliildren of the Delawares, 
were to Ije found in the Hudson valley, on Long Island, and in the New 
England states. Closely allied with the Delawares were the Shawanoes, 
who, if tradition may be rehed on, were driven from their early home in 
New York by the Iroquois, and who became the Gypsies of the new world; 
their habits were nomadic, even more than those of the other Indians, most 
of whom were given to wanderlust. 

The Indians to the south of the Delawares were the Povvhatans of 
Virginia, the small tribes, the Corees, Pamlicos, Mattamskeets, Pasquotanks, 
along the North Carolina coast, all of Algonquin stock, and it is even claimed 
that the Sioiix, or Dakotas, were represented near Cape Fear, by name the 
Catawbas, Waxaws, Waterees, Tntelos, Soponis and Manahoaes. Wedged 
in among these Sioux, if they were Sioux, were the Tuscaroras, ^roquois 
emigrants from the northland. South were various tribes consisting of the 
meml^ers of the Mobilian family, but of these southem Indians, the Chero- 
kees, whose ancestors are supposed to have been the once numerous Talle- 
gewi, of the Delaware tradition, driven from their former country along 
the Tallegewi Sipi], as the Delawares called the Ohio river and Allegheny 
river from the headwaters of the latter, to the entry into the Mississippi. 
These are probably the present representatives of the ancient Mound Build- 
ers, so called, whose remains are found along this river of the Tallegewi, 
especially at Marietta, Ohio, Moundsville, West Virginia, and other places 
along that river. 

The more southem Indians are for the most part known only his- 
torically. Their tribes have ceased to have any political existence, and their 
names are preserved only by the chronicler and in various geographic names 
that commemorate their former localities and suggest their former power. 

Two exceptions to this rule are worthy of mention. The Tuscaroras 
and Cherokees, who were of northern origin, showed exceptional vitality 
and to this day have their own reservations and to some extent keep up 
their tribal traditions. 

Along the valley of the Hudson river were bands of Algonquins, the 
most notable being the Mohicans and the less known Wappingers, Warana- 
waukongs, Tappans, Tachami, Sintsinks, Kitchawauks, Makimanes and, on 
Long Island, the Matonwaks. In New England were the Naragansetts, the 
Pequods, the Wampangoags and the Micamacs. In the extreme north of 
the New England states were the Wabenaki. All these were of Algonquin 



To the north of the Huron-Troquois were the Adirondacks and the 
Ottawas, and the far northern forests sheltered the men of the puckered 
blankets, the Ojibways. destined to break through the barrier and, like the 
Goths of old, to find a more congenial homeland toward the south. These 
northern people were not closely united by any political bond and many of 
them belonged to a lower stratum in the scale of advancement toward civ- 
ilization; they had not learned the art of making pottery, and in derision 
the people of the confederated Iroquois referred to them as the men-who- 
boi led- stones, referring to their habit in cooking meat by placing it in a 
skin sunk into a hole in the ground, and after pouring; in water to drop hot 
stones on it. 

For the sake of classification it is well here to divide the Indians into 
three classes: the first, the confederated Iroquois of New York, calling them- 
selves Wis-nyeh-goin-sa-geh, or the five peoples bound together by an oath, 
whose territory was poetically called the Ho-den-o-sau-nee, or the house 
that has grown out to form a home for more than one family; the second, 
the various members of the Huron-Iroquois races, forming a fringe about 
the western end of the long-house, with some branches in the far south, all 
of similar language to the Five Nations, but who failed to attach themselves 
to the league when the opportunity offered, and who may l^e called the un- 
confederated Huron-Iroquois; the third, the Algonquins, north, south, east 
and west of the Huron-Iroquois, confederated and un con federated, whose 
principal and typical member was the Delaware nation, and whose lowest 
type were probably the men- who-boil- stones, in the far north. Of the sec- 
ond division, most were conquered by the confederated Iroquois, within the 
historical period, losing their tribal identity, except the Tuscaroras, who 
came back north and took the subordinate position in the confederacy. The 
loss of tribal identity in the history- of the redmen, however, does not mean 
the loss of all its members. The habit of adoption, which prevailed among 
the Iroquois especially, suggests that the members of a subjugated tribe 
were largely incorporated into the tribe of the conquerors, so increasing its 
numbers and adding to its prestige and power. This custom of adoption 
was an ancient one and had its ritual sanctified by ancient usage, which car- 
ried with it a sacred obligation on the part of the person adopted and the 
tribe adopting. These ancient ceremonies meant much to the Indian, who 
by nature was given to formalities, especially when those rites were sanc- 
tioned by ancient usage. To illustrate, a few years ago there was still living 
on the Mohawk reservation near Brantford, Ontario, one John Key, who 
was the last survivor of the progeny of the Tutelos, who had, before the 



War of the Revolution, fled from their home on the Rapahannock river and 
became incorporated into the trj!>e of the Mohawks; hkely many others of 
various other tribes had in the same manner found refuge in adoption and 
incoqxiration into the various other members of the confederacy. The wife 
of King Tandy, a Seneca friend of the writer, admitted herself to be an 
Abenaki, and when she was bantered for her alliance with the enemies of her 
race, she suggested that it was to get e\'en with one of them that she married 
him — this with a twinkle in her expressive black eyes. 

When the white man came, the confederated Iroquois had established 
their military superiority over the Algonquins to the south and east, so that 
all fear of invasion from either of these points had ceased. Nor did they 
have any fear of the uncon federated Huron-Iroquois. To them they were 
boimd by ties of blood and a common language. Among them there was no 
power that could stand before the warriors of the league. Traffic was carried 
on between these various peoples; an aged Seneca informed the writer that, 
according to the traditions of his forefathers, the trail to Canada, whither 
they went for materials for arrow points, led under the falls of Niagara; 
that one could then walk dry shod from the American side down under the 
falling waters and come up again on the Canadian side, but that falling 
rocks in later times had obliterated and destroyed the old trail and forced 
them to resort to the canoe in crossing. 


When Jaques Cartier, in September, 1535, reached the Indian town of 
Hochelaga on the site of the present city of Montreal, he found a village 
containing about fifty houses. Jlis description of these houses is a descrip- 
tion of the Iroquois long-house. The name of the village also suggests 
Iroquois people as its inhabitants. The iinal syllable of the name is the Iro- 
quois locative, and it means "the place of." Similar to it is the same ending 
of the Iroquois name Onondaga. Here and at the village of Stadcona, 
farther down the river, the whites first came into communication with the 
people of that great and dominant race. The reports these people gave to 
Cartier were to the effect that up the Ottawa river there were fierce people 
continually waging war with each other. How far up, the Hochelagans did 
not ^now. The Hochelagans were very friendly and hospitable, and the 
method of extending their hospitality also is distinctively Iroquoisan. The 
glimpse we get of Indian character from Carder's account is one of the first 
and best, unfortunately a momentary one; but there appears to have been 



about fifty houses and a palisaded fort. There seems, too, a suggestion that 
the town was within a pahsaded enclosure, but in some portions the record 
seems to be at variance with that fact; if, in accordance with the usual cus- 
tom of the Iroquois who bnilded on a frontier, the village would be outside 
of the fort, but adjacent, and the fort of palisades would be kept up as a 
place of refuge in case of invasion. That there was a fort of palisades at 
Hochelaga also suggests the nearness of the frontier, and this supposition is 
borne out by all the facts that come down to us as to the dispersion of the 
Indian tribes. 

Much speculation has l>een in<!ulged in by later writers as to the popu- 
lation of Hochelaga, and in an article read by the celebrated Horatio Hale, 
before the Congress of Anthropology at Chicago, at the World's Fair, in 
1S93, he estimated the i^opulafion as from two to three thousand. This esti- 
mate is i^robably extremely exaggerated. If the town had as many hundreds 
as he estimates thousands, it would have been remarkable among the villages 
of that race, considering the status of the Indians of that day. The Indians 
were not prolific. 

The coming and going of Cartier gives us a glimpse of the Indians of 
the St. I..awrence. but the intercourse lietween the whites and red men soon 
ceased and a period of oblivion succeeded, continuing until the coming of 
Champlain, of renowned memory, in the year ifio.'?. In the meantime Stand- 
cone and Hochelaga had disappeared, and in the place of these villages of 
Cartier's time, Champlain found a few wandering Algonquins along the 
river. The people up the Ottawa were no longer an alien and inimical race. 
This disappearance of Hochelaga has been the subject of much conjecture; 
the historians and romancers have found in it the source of much conjec- 
tural writing, some of which is put forth as history and some purely as 
6ction. From the fact that an alien and enemy race was found to hold the 
territory of the former villagers, it has been generally supposed that the 
former and numerous inhal>itants, with their palisaded forts, had been driven 
out in war waged against them by the Algonquins who were found to 
have succeeded to the occupancy of the territories of the former Iroquois 
inhabitants. This supposition seems unfounded and carries evidences of its 
own fallacy. Assuming that the villages of Hochelaga and Staiidcone were 
of the size and importance of the assumed figures of Hale, and palisaded as 
reported by Cartier, it is difficult to concede that they would have fallen 
victims to their northern Algonquin enemies, especially as Champlain found 
these latter few in numlwr and living in mortal fear of the Iroquois; more- 



over, in all subsequent encounters the Iroquois proved themselves to be far 
superior to the Algontiuins. Probably the exaggerated idea of the size and 
importance of these towns, or hamlets, are responsible for these fallacies 
a^: to the fate of the two towns, and when we more properly come to con- 
sider them as of very httle importance, and of very small size, the his- 
toric value of their subsequent fate becomes proportionately diminished. Mr. 
Hale finds in the habits and traditions of the Wyandots evidence that they 
were the descendants of the remnant of the Hochelagaais, who fled west and 
south when their village was attacked and destroyed by the Algonquins. 
Mr. Lightall, in his most interesting romance, "The Master of Life," has 
made the disaster to the Hochelagans the starting point for the emigration 
of the Iroquois from Canada into New York and the formation of the great 

It is, however, quite unnecessary to appeal to warfare as the cause of 
the fall of Hochelaga, and it seems to be more probable that war had 
nothing to do with it. There was among the Iroquois a traditional myth 
of a great serpent whose breath was the pestilence which buried itself under 
the village of the red man and, by the emanations of its body and the pesti- 
lence of its breath, brought sickness and death to the people of the fated 
village. The first knowledge of the visitation of the sequent came from the 
appearance of these dire results and, to escape the ser|jent, the people, with 
adroit skill would gather together the few needed utensils and silently de- 
nart, in a stealthy manner so as to avoid giving their hidden enemy any 
alarm. They then sought in some remote locality a new place of habitation, 
where they might live free from the poisonous presence of the serpent, un- 
less that enemy, after long seeking again, should find them out and again 
bring the pestilence upon them. 

It is quite easy in the light of motlern sanitary science to see the cause 
of this serpent myth of the pestilence in the unsanhary conditions that 
would accumulate around a village of these primitive men. The strongest 
palisades were of no avail against its insidious approach. No remedy known 
to the medicine men of the forest folk availed to stay its ravage. This myth 
furnishes a more probable hypothesis of the di.sappearance of the two vil- 
lages of the Iroquois of Cartier's day than any forced suggestion of war 
against them successfully waged by an enemy who from every other sug- 
gestion was utterly inferior. All these attempts to explain the matter, how- 
ever, belong rather to the domain of fiction than history: suffice it to say 
that the coming of Champlain found an entirely different race possessing the 



valley of the St. Lawrence; and here turns the fate of nations. The events 
that foHowed, in which he was the prime mover and principal actor, were 
of greatest import to the generations that were to inhabit the vast country 
of northern America. If we were to apply the canons of historical criti- 
cism, it would not be difficult to see in his career and in his administration 
of the affairs of France in the new world, events that have determined the 
course of all its subsequent history; which gave tiie new world over to free- 
dom of religion, freedom of thought and democracy, and which may leaven 
the old world models and mould their tendencies, until the entire world 
shall have become democratic. 

Champlain had brought a numiier of young men, or rather boys, who 
were to learn the languages of the Indians and become interpreters. Among 
them probalily the most celebrated was Stephen Brule, who was the first 
white to come up the Ottawa river aiid the first to behold our Lake Huron. 
Wisdom would have suggested that Champlain should have waited for these 
young men to qualify for their ofifice, and to obtain the knowledge they 
could impart before entering into any alliance which might prove entang- 
ling. Champlain was ignorant of the affairs of the Indians beyond the 
valley of the St. Lawrence. The little knowle<;lge he could derive from the 
imperfect communications with the Algonquins that he came in contact with, 
ajjprised him that they were at enmity with a race to the southward, against 
which they sought his active aid. He had no means of determining the jus- 
tice of that quarrel. Who were the aggressors, what questions of right or 
wrong were involved, he knew not. Especially was he utterly imadvised as 
to the numlier or power of that southern race, or the possible results of his 
alliance with the Adirondacks. He was a dashing soldier, hut not a diplo- 
mat. Under these circumstances he listened to their siren appeals and 
formed an alliance with the enemies of the great league, an alliance cemented 
and sanctified by those ceremonies that meant so much to the Indians, but 
were lightly entered into by the French. 

He soon joined an expedition of his allies against their enemies. His 
allies included the Ottawas, who dwelt up the river that now preserves their 
name, the same warlike people to whom the Hochelagans referred in their 
taie to Cartier and the "Mantagnais," a rather indefinite term, referring to 
some highland band of the Algonquins, and some of the Hurons, who be- 
cause of territorial location had become joined to the Algonquins in the war 
against the league. 

It M'as June, 1609, when the fateful expedition of sixty red men, 



armed with their native weaixms. and three whites — Champlain and two 
others— paddled up the Sorel river out on the placid waters of the lake now 
named for ChaiTipIain. There the little flotilla of canoes sighted a similar 
flotilla of the enemy. Fighting on the waters is not to the taste of the Indian. 
The narrow confines of a canoe forbid the room for the strategy of the red 
man. Both parties took to the shore. There a few discharges of the 
guns of the Frenclimen decided the battle, and ChampJain and his red allies 
saw their enemies flee from this new and terrible instrument of destruction. 
They regarded their victory as complete and from the standpoint of the 
Indian it was. The Algonquins saw an enemy before whom they had often 
fled, and whom they had always feared, flee before the new alliance. They 
returned to the St, Lawrence and soon afterward another battle was fought 
by the French and Indian aUies against some Iroquois who held a palisaded 
fort; even this advantage was of no avail against the weapons of the white 
men. Champlain was jubilant, for he had now earned the gratitude of his 
red allies, who promised him aid in exploring the great west and northwest. 

The effect of these two conflicts on the league was the 0{4)osite. There 
was no jubilation. They saw the French in alliance with their enemies and 
with a new weapon against which their crude ones were useless. This did 
not bring them to despair, but the seeds of implacable hatred toward the 
French were sown in the breasts of the people of the long-house, and never 
afterwards could the diplomacy of the French quench that hatred. 

Not far from this same time when Champlain's canoes came up the 
Sorel from the north, Hendrick Hudson came up the Hudson from the 
south. He came in friendship and in him the leaguemen saw a different 
race of white men. He came to open up trade. The Indians had furs and 
wanted the new weapon of the white man. The Dutch were astute traders 
and they wanted the furs of the red men. They sailed up the river and met 
the Iroquois, smarting under their defeat from the French, and they soon 
supplied the new weapon to the men of the league and taught its use, and 
so commenced the traffic which was destined to make New York City the 
first emporium of the New World, as the Iroquois of the league had made it 
from the time of Ay-oun-a-wa-ta, the Empire state. 

So there began the conflict between the French of Canada and their 
Indian allies on the one hand, and the Five Nations aided by the Dutch, 
and later by the English, on the south — the French representing despotism; 
the league, Dutch and English representing the ideals of democracy. Who 
can say that it was not the power of the league that decided the fate of 



America by turning the tide in favor of the democratic principle, which 
was the vitai principle of their own polity. 

This brings the general view of Indian history down to the early years 
of the seventeenth century, and this century saw the attainment of the great- 
est power of the league. Ay-oun-a-wa-ta had dreaniefi of universal peace, 
an entire world without war, as men today dream. The fruition of this dream 
was the great peace between the five peoples; as today, their ethics were 
tribal and, l">eing at jjeace with each other, they had more oi>p;>ortunity to 
make war against those outside the league. All their history during this 
period and their activity in war were motived by their liatred for the French 
and their allies. Beginning about 1638, after their harvest of furs for a 
score of years had been great, and nearly all of which had been traded with 
the Dutch into guns and munitions, they began systematically to destroy 
the outlying bands of uncon federated Huron-Iroquois and such of the AI- 
gonquins as had joined the French. It is needless to say that this warfare 
was carried on ruthlessly, and that opposition was punished by extermina- 
tion, especially since they were located far from the home of the league, 
which made ado|>tion into the tribe less practicable. 

The superior equipment and morale of the men of the league triumphed 
over the numliers. however great, of their enemies. The Huron country 
was completely overrun. The missions shared the same fate. The Jesuit 
fathers, busied on errands of mercy and endeavoring to relieve the dreadful 
suffering, fjeing French, fell under the club of the invading force. Some 
died at the stake and so sealed a life of devotion with a martyr's death. 
But, regardless of the general cataclysm that came upon the Huron country, 
there still remained bands of this people, who came over into Michigan, or 
remnants of the Huron-Iroquois of an earlier day, who, even as late as 
1800, still lived in our peninsula and to some extent retained their tribal 
customs. According to Copway, the Hurons were divided into five distinct 
tril;es who, in imitation of the confederated five nations, had formed some- 
thing like an alliance. On their dif^ersal the first nation fled to the south 
of Lake Huron, about Saginaw ; subsequently it moved further south on the 
St. Clair. A part of the Huron ijeople fled to the isle of St. Joseph in the 
Georgian bay. A remnant of the Tobacco Nation, the Petuns, fled to Mack- 
inac island, and were joined by Ottaiwas. Here they failed to find the 
safety sought, for even in these hidden places the warriors of the league 
sought them out, and they started to the islands of Lake Michigan near 
Green bay; some went northward to Chequamegon bay, of Lake Superior, 



where Father Allouez found them. These fugitives, fleeing from one enemy, 
came info the sphere of the dreaded Sioux; driven back again they sought 
asylum on the island of the Turtle, Mackinac, where in 1671 they received 
the ministrations of the gentle Father Marquette. During these troublous 
times, in the milder parts of the Canadian northland there hung like a 
threatening cloud, a hardy race of Indians, the Ojibways— or the Chippe- 
was of later times — whose history is inseparably connected with the history 
of Michigan and of our county. The year iSoo found a village of them 
within the present bounds of the fifth ward of the city of Flint. 

Of the early habitations of the various Indians in Michigan and vicin- 
ity during the years both following and preceding the disi>ersal of the 
Hurons, we get only a kaleidoscopic view. So rapidly did one tribe appear 
in a particular locality, and so suddenly vanish; so frequent were the forays 
of the ever-active Iroquois of the league, that only certain salient points can 
here he shown. The sahent points, or landmarks, leading up to the eigh- 
teenth century appear to be, first, the formation of the Iroquois league by 
Ay-oun-a-wa-ta ; second, the coming of Cartier in 1535, and the glimpse we 
get of the condition at that date, followed by a period of oblivion during 
which we find that great changes occurred; third, the coming of Champlain 
up the St. Lawrence, his ill-advised alliance with the Algonquins and Huron 
enemies of the league, causing the French to be placed by the Iroquois 
league in the category of its enemies; fourth, the coming of Hendrick Hud- 
son up the Hudson river at practically the same time as Champlain, and the 
consequent opening of trade by the Dutch, resulting in arming the warriors 
of the league: and fifth, the successful wars of the league against the allies 
of the French, resulting in their dispersal. 

Their dispersal was the beginning of what may appropriately be called 
the volkwandenmg of the native races in and about Michigan, similar to the 
period of Eurcpean history which followed the breaking up of the Roman 
power and the irruption of the northern races. In our local volkwanderung 
we have another parallel ; there was a northern nation, which, profiting by 
the disintegiation of the more southern tribes, was to pour down into more 
congenial because more southern homes. This was the Chippewa nation, 
which was destined for a time to hold in dominion a greater extent of terri- 
tory perhaps than any other Indian tribe, not excepting the great league. 

Around these historical nuclei we may group many facts derived from 
the oral history of the various races. There are stories told by the "Keepers 
of the faith," and to these we may add the deductions of the ethnologists. 



who under governniental sanction and at governmental expense, have gar- 
nered the field, sifted out the chaff and built up a splendid monument to the 
memory of our Indian brothers. 

There is a beautiful story told of a little people who once dwelt on the 
island of the Turtle, or Mackinac. They were peaceful and happy, they 
were simple in their habits, temperate in their desires, and found upon and 
about the i.sland that was theirs and on the adjacent shores of its encir- 
cling lake all that their hearts could desire. They grew numerous, and the 
lesson they impressed upon their children was that of contentment and 
thankfulness. But even in their retreat they did not escape the baleful ac- 
tivity of the Iroquois, who came upon them and destroyed their villages, 
killed their men and women. But a few esc^ed by the direct aid of their 
manitou, and these few, transformed by their manitou into ethereal beings, 
for many years haunted the forests of the state. When some belated 
hunter, lost in the depths of the woods, heard peals of merry laughter, he 
knew it was from the little fairy folk, who had been so miraculously saved 
from the hands of the hated Iroquois, to wander in the forest far from the 
island of the Turtle, but always happy as in the day of their glory. 


There lingers in the traditions of the Senecas a storj' of a band of 
their own race who once lived on the St. Lawrence, but who in very early 
times became dissatisfied with their own country and determined upon a , 
general exodus in hopes of finding the Utopia of their desires. They gath- 
ered together their meager holdings and, like a stream, went out of the land. 
It should be remeniljered that the Indians had no domestic animals except 
the dog, consequently no beast of burden. They were their own means of 
transportation, except when their route followed a waterway, when the 
canoe furnished a means of transportation, but this also required hard labor. 
The name of these emigrants was a compound built up of Indian words: 
"Swageh; pronounced gvitturaliy, meant flowage, or flowing, like the waters 
of a stream, and it takes Ixit little imagination to see in this word the 
imitation of the noise of swirling waters of a swift stream like our word 
"swash," a name that Southey might have used in his description of the 
waters at Ladore had .he been acquainted with the dialect of the leagiiemen. 
Akin to this is the Chippewa word "See-be," which, according to Copway, 
means a stream and is also an imitation of flowing waters. If we add to 
this word the Indian word "0-no," meaning people, we have "Swageh-o- 



no," meaning the-people-who-went-out-of-the-land. If the Indian referred 
to the place, or country of this ]>eople, he appended the location, "Ga," and 
the word became Swageh-o-no-ga, hterally translated as the place-of-the- 
people-who-went-out-of-the-Iand. This Iroquois name is now preserved in 
the geographic "Saginaw" and the "Saguenay" of Cartier's record; while 
the first part is the name of the "Sauks," "Saukies," or "Sacs," an Indian 
tribe which in more recent historic times lived in Wisconsin, but whose tra- 
ditional homeland was the Saginaw country. Here we come into touch with 
our own locality, for our county of Genesee was part of this Saginaw 
country, and so the-people-who-went-out-of-the-land were our predecessors 
in occupancy of this our present homeland. 

Of the maps of the eighteenth century, the English maps generally in- 
clude this portion of Michigan as territory of the Iroquois of the league. 
On maps of Hudson's Ixty, etc., in 1755, and on later editions in 1772, we 
see the eastern portion of this peninsula as belonging to the "Six Nations," 
but they place a village of the Ottawas on our river not far from Taymouth, 
Saginaw county. These maps also place a viiJage of the Messisauges on the 
east bank of the St. Clair river jnst above the lake of St. Clair. "Accurate 
Map of North America," by Ewan Bowen, Geographer to His Majesty, and 
John Gibson, Engineer, 1763, gives the eastern portion of lower Michigan 
as occupied by the Iroquois, and also marks the Ottawa village and that of 
the Messisauges the same as in the Hudson's Bay map above. It is to be 
noted that the Senex Map (English) of 17 10, shows no name of occupants 
of this region, and the folding map in Colden's "History of the Five Na- 
tions," published in 1747, shows no name of the Indian inJiaWtants of this 
portion of Michigan except a village of the Ouwaes down toward Detroit. 
The French maps of this period do not give to the Iroquois the possession 
of this region. The map of 1746, auspices of Monsigneur Le Due D'Or- 
leans, shows the Ottawas in the lower Saginaw valley, but no Iroquois. The 
French map of Sr. Robert DeVangondy fils, dedicated to Le Conte D'Ar- 
genson, secretary of state, in 1753, shows a village of "Ouontonnais" at 
the head of Saginaw bay. 

Were there no such story as given aitx)ve of the people-who-went-out- 
of-the-land, were all the evidences given by the writers and map-makers and 
all history from the Indians themselves utterly lost, there would .still be 
indisputable proof that the Saginaw country, or the valley of the present 
Saginaw river, with the Flint, Shiawassee, Cass, Tittabawassee and their 
afiluents, was once and for a long period occupied by a branch of the great 
Huron-Iroquois family of tribes. 



The written record may be uncertain, the traditional one vague, but 
the evidence furnished by the stone implements and other relics tdl a taie 
that convinces. In the careful exploration under the supervision of Mr. 
Doyle, of Toronto, of the educational department of the province, we have 
data as to the kind and character of the things made of stone, and some- 
times less endurable materials, that once entered into the domestic economy 
of the former inhabitants. Many of these are of ethnic value, that is, they 
are of form or function pecuHar to some trite, used perhaps in some rite 
or ceremony which was not observed hy any other tribe. All over the por- 
tion of Ontario, from J.^e Huron eastward to Toronto, and even farther, 
which was the ancient home of the Huron -Iroquois, are found these stone 
implements of peace and of war, ornaments, and things used in the rites of 
squilture, and these are ahnost monotonous in their similarity. North, 
south and east we find a different condition. The testimony of these stone 
witnesses from the ancient days bears witness of a different people, whose 
habits differed, who had a different religion. There we fail to find the 
butterfly amulet of banded slate, common throughout the Huron country. 
The little stone effigy of a bird, also of the Huronian slate, which the women 
of the early day wore in their hair to announce pregnancy and claim its 
privileges, is not to be found; but in the most of this Canadian land and 
extending over into Michigan, we find the same conditions. The tell-tale 
stone bird, with the Ixise drilled at each end to receive the thong that tied 
it upon the head of the squaw, the butterfly stone, and even the etched pic- 
ture of the clan totem — all these have l>een found in profusion here in Gen- 
esee county, thus proclaiming that the same [wople who occupied the parts 
of Ontario a}x3ve referred to also occupied the eastern part of Michigan, 
including Genesee county. Were these relics found but rarely, or in iso- 
lated in.stances, the deduction would not be justified; hut such is not the case. 
They are found all over this and adjacent counties, scattered here and there 
in great numbers, especially along the streams where the Indians naturally 
built their hamlets. 

It is probable that the Iroquois people-who-went-out-of-the-land, and 
who gave us the name Saginaw, were not limited to a single migration, but 
that^many such streams of migrants, following one after another, for many 
years, came to Michigan and that the ties that bound the Hurons of Michigan 
to those of Canada were close and intimate. 

Of these former possessors of Genesee county, one alone has survived 
and preserved its tribal identity — the Sacs — and from their traditions we 
have the fact that they came from Canada to the Saginaw country, thence 



were driven out and went on to Wisconsin, where they settled and became 
closely connected with the Foxes, or, to use the Indian name, "Outagamies." 
So closely united were these two in country and policy that, in history, the 
Sacs and Foxes are generally mentioned together as forming one political 

This occupancy of our county by the Huron-Iroquois people is the 
earliest of which we have any knowledge either from the traditions of the 
Indians or from the deductions of the ethonologists. All the remains — 
whether in the form of mounds, places of sepulchre, arrow points, stone 
implements — point to these people as the earliest occupants, and also show 
that their occupancy was one of long duration. Probably they were a hun- 
dred years or more l)efore Columbus came, and continued until the disper- 
sion of the Hurons in Canada about 1638, or until what may be termed the 
volkwanderung of the Algonquins and the un con federated Huron-Iroquois 
of this region. 


The earliest explorers of America came illusioned with certain theolo- 
gical conceptions, which dominated ali their conclusions as to America and 
its people. Among these was the belief that the Hebrews were the original 
people, and that any other people must of necessity be an offishoot of that 
race. They made no exception in the case of the Indians and attempted to 
trace this entirely distinct people living in another continent, of a distinct 
language, of a different and inferior status, without flocks, back to the 
Hebrews. To do so called for the exercise of great ingenuity. The lost 
tribes of Israel furnished the basis of many fantastic hypotheses put forth 
with perfect assurance as to the origin of the Indians. The Indians being of 
an inferior status, this must be accoimted for, and it was assumed that their 
predecessors in America had been of higher civilization. With these basic 
assumptions, the investigations, as is wont to be the case, resulted in corroba- 
tory evidence of preconceived theories. Linguistic afllinities, mostly imagin- 
ary, were pointed out. Flood myths were discovered which of course must 
refer to the story of Noah. And to cap the sheaf, did not the very name of 
the progenitor of the Hebrew, race, Adam, mean red? What caviler could 
ask for more cogent evidence of the fact that the Indians were merely 
Hebrews transformed into Americans in some manner and fallen from their 
earlier and higher status of civilization. 

The result was that in the larger mounds of the Ohio valley and vicinity 
they saw the remains of the earher civilization. The men who built those 



mounds became the "Mound Builders." and they were endowed with the arts 
and customs of the civihzed status. The illusion did not stop at pseudo- 
scientific statement. It had a basis of theological misconception and it became 
the basis of a new theological system. A romancer seized on the explanation 
of the theological scientific explorers of the mounds, and wove it into a 
romance of a people who by the command of Yaveh, before the Babylonian 
captivity, left their home in Judea and, with their flocks, household goods, 
families and servants, and under guidance of deity, traveled by land to the 
sea, where, after building a ship, they set sail and after many days and the 
hardships of Aeneas, they landed in a new country. Then followed, in 
archaic language and poor orthography, a tale o£ the spreading of these 
favored people of Israel over America, who were thus led to a new world and 
saved from the impending captivity in Babylon. They separated into two 
branches, one of which, by departing from the precepts of their God, sank into 
barbarism. The wars between these two i>eople resulted in the extermination 
of the more enlightened nation, so America reverted to barbarism, and the 
ancient civilization of these Hebrews, thus miraculously led to a new world, 
ceased; and when Columbus came he found the darkness of savagery where 
once flourished a civilized and advanced race. 

Kipling, in his inimitable tale of "Griffin's Debts." tells of the drunken 
and broken soldier who went among the natives and by a heroic death became 
to them a god, and who "may in time become a solar myth." The realization 
of this suggestion could be no more astounding than the fact that this fiction 
of the romancer, whimsied by the common conception of the Indian's origin, 
has become a sacred Irook to a great religious sect, as the Mormon bible. 

For riiany years this mythical people were believed to have held sway 
over the eastern portion of the United States, and for want of any more 
definite name were called the "Mound Builders." The school books of earlier 
days had chapters about them, describing them as a people superior to the 
Indians; but later investigations, and the credence now given to the Delaware 
tradition, have relegated them to the category of the hyperboreans and cen- 
taurs of the more ancient fables. 

As an epithet, the name Mound Builders might be properly apphed to a 
number of the tribes, many of which were mound builders to some extent. 
The moimd builders par excellence were probably the Tallegewi of the Ohio 
valley, supposed to be represented in more recent historic times by the Chero- 
kee s, their descendants. 

Of the four-kinds of moimds, viz. : The "Effigy mound," made in imi- 
tation of some animal, the burial mound, made as a place of sepulture, the 



fortification inmiiid, and the plain tumulus, containing no remains of human 
beings, only two are found within the region of Michigan — the fortification 
mound and the burial mound. The first of these is generally a circular or 
eliptical mound, enclosing, with the exception of a gateway, a piece of level 
ground. The mounds were made by setting up on end a row of small logs 
as palisades, the lower end being set upon the surface of the ground, and 
these banked up with a buttress of earth piled up against the palisades inside 
and out. The fort was completed by binding the palisades together with 
withes or rawhide, and by erecting platforms on the inside to accommodate 
the warriors, who from this elevated place could throw stones or shoot their 
arrows down upon an attacking host. It was this kind of fort that Cartier 
found at Hochelaga. When this fort fell into disuse and the pahsades rotted 
and fell away, the circular ridge of earth remained for many years to tell of 
the preparedness of some band of forest folk, and the location of such forts 
marks a frontier; only the fear of attack brought them into being. Their 
presence helps us accordingly to locate the frontier line separating the hostile 
tribes and determining the boundaries of their occupancy. The burial mound 
were made by laying the remains of the dead and piHng upon them sufficient 
earth to cover them, and to raise a mound which became the marker for the 
place of burial. These two kinds of mounds, both of which are found in the 
Saginaw country, are distinctively Huron-Iroquois in form, and give added 
proof of the occupancy of this region by that race. In this limited sense the 
Iroquois are entitled to fje called the Mound Builders of the Saginaw country. 


From the analogy of Huron- Iroquois customs, domestic and social, we 
may reproduce the life and customs of our Huron predecessors who held 
and tilled the fields of our county where now we reap and gather into our 
bams. We must not picture a large population. We must not talk of vil- 
lages, much less cities, according to our conception of such political units. 
When we speak of villages the word must be used in a quaHfied sense. Among 
the Indians it was no more than hamlets, where a few families of two or 
three score of people spent the winters, and these were located along the 
streams and lakes. 

The houses of these early people of Genesee county were, we may 
assume, the framed buildings of large poles or small logs, say eighteen or 
twenty feet wide and slightly longer. The frames were bound together by 
strips of rawhide, and when completed, covered by the bark of elm or birch. 



SO joined together as to be impervious to rain, snow or wind. The four sides 
of the house faced the cardinal points of the compass, and the doors were 
toward the east and the west. The orientation of the homes was significant. 
Toward the four i»ints of the c<1mi>ass, the Indian turned reverently when 
he offered his prayers, and from each point he invoked the blessing of his 

In the niiddle of the house was a fireplace, conveniently located on the 
ground in the center of the room, and a hole in the roof over the fire gave an 
outlet for the smoke, which from an Indian fire made of dry wood of the 
approved kind was not so thick or offensive as the smoke from the white 
man's fire; besides, was not the smoke the medium of communication with the 
Master of Life and did it not in its forms give to the red man visions of the 
unseen things of the mystery world. Along the sides of the room were plat- 
forms for seats by day, for beds by night. These were covered with skins, 
and beneath were receptacles for the edible things gathered from the woods or 
garnered from the fields — the nuts, the roots, the com, the beans and the 
squashes. The husk bags, hung from the rafters, held the maple sugar or 
the meal ground from the parched com. Flere was the pottery ware, the 
mortar of wood, and the pestle of stone. Here the bag of skins in which 
the housewife kept her needles of bone and thread of sinews. Here were 
the bowls of wood and the ladles of horn or wood, and there the gourd or 
drinking cup, the heavy club, the big stone with a rawhide thong which was 
to break the ice in winter. Here were the fish hooks made of bone, and the 
spear, with its bone point. Here the deer horn, made into a spade to dig 
around the soil where the "three sisters" grew. 

The fire was kept alive by banking the coals in ashes throughout the 
winter, for fire-making was lalMrious; besides, fire was sacred and the making 
of the fire in a new home, and the making of a new fire in the old home each 
year, was a matter of ceremony sanctioned by ancient rites and sanctified by 
ancient custom. 

In winter, the period of relaxation, the men passed their time largely 
in inactivity. The women made or mended the clothing for the family. They 
wove the husk bottle for use and husk masks for rnerry-making ; the husk 
nose to wear as a rebuke to the gossip or mischief-maker. They all, men, 
women and children, rollicked and romped with each other and played various 
games. The men made bows, spears, arrows and shaped the stone by chipping 
off the fiakes of chert until the spear point or arrow was achieved. They 
polished the stone for a chisel to cut away the charred wood where the coals 
were piled on to make the wooden bowl, or the trough for the sap of the 



maple. This work was the school for manual training of the young, who 
dilligentiy helped the older folk. In the evening there gathered around the 
middle fire, the men and women, the youth and the children, and there some 
old man whose life had l>een given to keep aiive the unwritten history of the 
people, some "Keeper-of -the- faith," perhaps, stated the things of the olden 
days, as their fathers had told them, of the deeds of their heroes, of the migra- 
tion of the tribe, of their glory in war and, above all, of their duty to give 
thanks, "to our mother, the earth, which sustains us, to the rivers and streams, 
which supply us with water, to all herbs, which furnish us medicine for the 
cure of our diseases, to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squashes, 
which give us life; to the bushes and trees which provides us with fruits; 
to the wind, which, moving the air, has banished diseases; to the moon and 
stars which have given to us their lights when the sun was gone; to our 
grandfather He-no, who has protected his grandchildren from witches and 
reptiles, and has given us the rain; to the sun, who has looked upon the earth 
with a beneficent eye, and lastly we return thanks to the Master of Life, 
Rawennyo, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for 
the good of his children.'" 

And so the children and the young men and girls of the Hurons of 
Genesee county were taught reverence for the Creator, ;md obedience to their 
elders, and respect for the aged, who because of their long life knew all that 
the younger people knew and much besides; and if the speaker hesitated, the 
young people said, "I listen ;" and if any one by reason of drowsiness or inat- 
tention failed to so respond, he was disgraced, so attention to the words of 
the wise was also taught to the youth of that age. 

In early February, the month of the new year when the pleiades, which 
the Indians called "the Guides," were directly over head when the stars came 
out at nightfall, came the new year, for the Creator of the world made the 
world with these stars hanging directly over it. Then the people gathered 
together to give thanks for the preservation of their lives; smoke was sent 
up from the sacred tobacco to bear the messages of reverence and supplica- 
tion, and a white dog, pure in color and without blemish, was killed, for so 
their father had done before them. 

In March, the month of the maple sap, they gathered again, and again 
rendered thanks for the earth, and the medical plants, and the "three sisters," 
and the winds, and the trees, and the Master of Life; but especially did they 
give thanks to Rawennyo, who gave them the maple trees, and to the tree 
itself, for its sweet water from which to make the maple sugar. 

Again in May, the planting month, they gathered to recognize the aid 



of the Creator in their labor of planting the seeds, and to ask for an abund- 
ant harvest. And when the strawberry, the berry-that-gro\vs-on-the-hillside, 
ripened, this too was an evidence of the goodness of Hini-who-made-us, and 
this, too, called for recognition by a gathering together of the people, followed 
by solemn and devout worship according to the customs and ritual of their 

But of all the religious festivals of these Huron-Iroquois, the greatest 
was the green-corn festival, that occurred in the fall when the roasting ears 
were (it. With many of the Indians, this month was called the "Month of 
roasting ears." The corn was the most important food product of the In- 
dians. The ease of its production, and the variety of forms in which it was 
used made it the principal food of the red man, although its two sisters, the 
bean and the squash, came next and were almost universally referred to 
together as the three sisters. The feast in honor of this gift of the Creator 
was elaborate in its ceremonies; it covered four days, each of which was 
devoted to some particular religious service or social enjoyment. 

They had an exaggerated idea of personal liberty. The death penalty 
was inflicted for crime. But imprisonment, never— they had no jails. In 
war an honorable captivity was recognized and hostages given, but captivity 
as a punishment for crime was not sanctioned. Enslavement of an enemy 
was just, but the distinction l>etween master and slave was not broad, as 
among civilized persons. 

Those people had a rude but efl^icient system of agriculture. In summer 
the women went out into the woods and, if new fields were to be chosen for 
their planting the next year, built a tire about the trees in order to kill them 
and let in the sun. The next spring, at proper intervals between the trees so 
killed, they built small fires of the dead branches of these trees, which killed 
the vegetation, and the ashes formed' a fertilizer. On the sites of these fires, 
a little later in the planting month, after digging up the soil with a sharpened 
stick or deer's horn, the women planted the three sisters — com, beans and 
squash — all in one hill. The corn growing up made a pole for the beans to 
grow upon; the squash sent its vines out over the adjacent ground. In this 
way, with little tillage, probably as great results in the way of food supplies 
were obtained as would seem possible from any other method conceivable. 
No fences were required, as they had no domestic animal to stray or trespass. 
The crows were watched, and if the witches came, appeal was made to the 
Ga-go-sa, or cult of the false face, to exorcise them. These same medicine 
men ministere<l to the sick, especially when the disease was accompanied by 
delirium; for this symptom suggested the seeing of the flying faces in the 



sky, and the Ga-go-sa of the red face was in all the traditions of the Huron a 
symbol of blessings to come. We may believe that the visible presence of 
these florid faces at the bedside of the delirious patint may have diverted his 
visions from the black and distorted features of the vicious faces of his delir- 
ium and soothed his spirits. 

About the beginning of the eighteenth century the site of our county was 
unoccupied by any resident Indian tribe. The Hurons, who had for a long 
time held it, were gone. The Sauks had gone on to Wisconsin, and others of 
the Huron race had, with the dispersal of that people, broken up into bands 
who had sunk back into the interior, always away from the terrible men of 
the league. 

Lahontan's book published in 1703 has a map which shows our covint\' 
to have been at that date a trapping ground "for the friends of the French," 
and abounding in beaver. In the early part of 1688 Lahontan, in going to 
the country of the Ojibways and Outanos near Michillimackinac, found a 
large band of these Outauos, numbering three or four hundred, who had 
spent the winter trapping on our river and were then returning to their 
northern home. The same map shows that the Ottawas at that time had 
villages farther south and near Detroit. In 1710 there was a village of Otta- 
was between our county and Saginaw, and Colden in 1745 gives the location 
of another village of the same people between us and Detroit ; we may assume 
that they held this region for many years. The power of the league having 
declined, the Ottawas lived in comparative peace, and when the Chippewas 
came in they fraternized with them as friends and allies. The Ottawas were, 
according to Lahontan, of great agility, but were inferior to the Huron- 
Iroquois in bravery. They were, hke their Huron predecessors, agriculturists. 
Lahontan says that they had very pleasant fields, in which they sowed Indian 
corn, peas and beans, besides a sort of "citruls" (summer squash) and 
"melons" which differed much from ours. 

The ancient seat of the Ottawas was in the Manitoulin island, and the 
French called them "Cheveux releves," from their custom of wearing the 
hair erect, as appears from the account of the Jesuits. They were referred 
to in 1796 in grand council of the Indians of lower Canada as the "Courte 
Oreilles," or cut-eared Indians. They traced their own origin and that of 
the Ojibways and Pottawatomies, to a common ancestral people in the north 
land, and the relationship between these three branches of Algonquins was 
always close and friendly. 



The first white men that the Ottawas ever saw were the French at the 
time of Champlain, and they were of those who alUed themselves with him 
and went with him up the Sorel against the Mohawks of the league. The 
alHance was ever sacred to them; they fought with the French in the war 
against the F,ng]ish and when the British arms prevailed they were reluctant 
to believe it possible and slow in transforming allegiance to the English. 

The French character, with its buoyancy and love of adornment, ingrat- 
iated them with the Ottawas, who were more given to gaudiness than the 
Hurons ; during their occupancy of Genesee county there were among them 
many French and half-breeds, as traders and habitues, with whom they 
fraternized. A French patois became a medium of common communication. 
To this period we may refer the French names of our locality, of which 
"Grand Blanc," and "Grand Traverse" as applied to the place where the old 
trail crossed the Flint river, are prominent examples. 

Their allegiance, once transferred from the French to the English, was 
faithfully fulfilled, and even after the close of the Revolution they continued 
to adhere to the English, whose equivocal action in holding the military posts 
in the United States, if not the direct incitment of the Enghsh, caused them 
to refuse recognition of the American claims. The punishment they received 
from Wayne forced the treaty of Ft. Greenville, in 1795, by which they gave 
up a large and valuable part of their Michigan territory. This division did 
not include any part of Genesee county, which continued to be Indian lands 
down to the treaty of 1807. 

The foregoing account of the occupation of our county, first by the 
Hurons and, after a period of non-occupancy, by the Ottawas, and later by 
the Ojibways, materially differs from the accoimt given by Franklin Ellis 
in chapter II of the excellent Abbott history of our county. Mr. Ellis gives 
a detailed account of defeat and expulsion of the Sauks by a combined attack 
of the Ottawas and Ojibways. He tells of the occupation of the Saginaw 
valley and its tributary streams by the Sauks, except the valley of the Cass 
river, which was occupied by a kindred people, the "Onottoways ;" how the 
invaders entered the country in two columns — one, the southern Ottawas, 
through our woods from the south, the other, composed of Ojibways and 
Ottawas from the Mackinac country, coasting in their canoes along the west- 
ern shore of Lake Michigan by night, and hiding by day; how they readred 
the bay near the mouth of the Saginaw river — that half of one force was 
landed west of that point, and the other half proceeding to a point on the 
other side of the river, when both parties moved up, one on each side the 




river, in the darkness. The party on the west side attacked the village of the 
Sauks and drove them across the river where they were met and again defeated 
with great slaughter by the band on the east side. He goes on to tell that 
the remnant of the Sauk villagers then fled to an island in the river, hoping 
for safety in the middle of the river that was denied them on either bank: 
That night ice formed on the river, of sufficient thickness to enable the victor- 
ious Ojibways to cross over, where they massacred all, except twelve women. 
The invaders then separated into bands and attacked and destroyed the out- 
lying villages of the Sauks and also the Onottoways in the Cass valley. One 
deadly struggle took place on the Flint river a little north of the Saginaw 
county line, and destruction was carried to the villages of the Shiawassee, 
Cass and Tillabawasee rivers. All of this was accomplished by the invaders 
from the north, while the Ottawas from the south fell upon the Sauks just 
below the present city of Flint, defeating and driving them down the river 
to Flushing, where again they fought and again defeated the fleeing Sauks in 
a bloody battle. Out of this series of battles "a miserable remnant made their 
escape and finally, by some means, succeeded in eluding their relentless foes, 
and gained the shelter of the dense wilderness west of Lake Michigan." A 
note to the Ellis account says, "One of the Indian accounts of this sanguin- 
ary campaign was to the effect that no Sauk or Onottoway warrior escaped, 
that of all the people of the Saginaw valley not one was spared except the 
twelve women before mentioned, and that they were sent westward and 
placed among the tribes beyond the Mississippi. This, however, was unques- 
tionably an exaggeration, made by the boastful Chippewas, for it is certain 
that a part of the Sauks escaped "beyond the lake." Mr. ElHs says that the 
conquerers did not at once take possession of this conquered territory, but 
that it became a common hunting ground, and was believed to l>e haunted by 
the spirits of the murdered Sauks; that finally they overcame this supersti- 
tious terror, and the Chippewas built their lodges in the land which their 
bloody hands had wrenched from its rightful possessors. As evidence of the 
battles described, Mr. Ellis refers to the large number of skulls and bones 
found on the island and other points on the Saginaw river. 

Mr. Ellis's account is entirely at variance with many known facts, and 
bears many internal evidences of general error. In the first place, we have an 
occupancy of the Saginaw country, including Genesee coimty, by a people of 
Huron race, from an early period, presumably down to the time when the 
Hurons were driven out of Ontario, or soon after 1638. Of this Huron peo- 
ple a branch acquired the name^ "Sauks," from an abbreviated form of 
Swageh-o-no, meaning the-people-who-went-out-of-the-!and. From this 



people the name, "Saginaw," as applied to the river and coimty, arose. 
Whether the name "Sauks" was originally applied to all, or a portion of the 
Huron inhabitants, is uncertain ; but the Saginaw country in time came to be 
called by the name of the Sauks, or, to use the correct form, the Osaugies. 
The name is Huron. In 1638 began a general stampede of the Indians of 
Ontario because of the inroads of the confederated Iroquois of New York, 
whose expeditions went up the Ottawa river and even to the straits of Macki- 
nac and into the Saginaw country. All the tribes within the reach of these 
terrible enemies fled from their power. The Sauks disappeared from the 
Saginaw country. Their country became a hunting ground for the friends of 
the French. A French map of about 1680, "Carte Generale de Canada," 
marks it "Chassee de Castor des Amis des Frant^ois"' — a hunting ground of 
beaver for the friends of the French. Lahontan's map (1703) also marks it 
as a common hunting ground for the friends of the French. In Charlevoix's 
"History of New France" we find the following: "During the summer 
(1686) information arrived that the Iroquois had made an irruption into the 
Saguinam, a very deep bay in the western shore of Lake Huron, and had 
attacked the Ottawas of Michilimackinac, whose ordinary hunting ground it 
was." Lahontan tells us that in the spring of 1688 he met three or four 
hundred Ottawas returning from a winter spent here trapping. In early 
part of 1667 about one hundred and twenty Ontogamis (Foxes), two hun- 
dred Sauks and eighty Hurons came to Chagonamigon (St. Michaels Isle) in 
western Lake Superior, to hear Father Ajlouez; and in 1669 Father Allouez 
went up the Fox river to Lake Winnebago from Green bay and began his 
labors among the Sacs, Foxes and other tribes. 

Next we have the maps showing a village of the Ottawas in our valley. 
The French map and Colden's map of practically the same date (1745-6) 
show the Ottawas to be the only settled inhabitants of this region. 

In August, 1 701, when a treaty of peace was made between the Six 
Nations of New York and the French and their Indian allies at the grand 
council at Montreal, we find "the Hurons and Ottawas from Michilimackinac, 
Ojibways from Lake Superior, Crees from the remote north, Pottawatomies 
from Lake Michigan, Mascoutins, Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes, and Menomi- 
nees from Wisconsin, Miamis from the St. Joseph, Illinois from the river Illi- 
nois, Abenakis from Acadie, and many allied hordes of less account," gath- 
ered to make peace, for which all were anxious — the Hurons, Sauks and 
Algonquins, because they had been driven out from their homeland by the 
invasion of the Iroquois league; the leagtie itself, because it had, by incessant 
and wasting warfare, felt its powers waning. 



From the above authorities we find the Sauks settled in Wisconsin as 
early as 1667. It is quite reasonable to assume that when they fled from this 
country, which had for many generations been their home, which was hal- 
lowed by the associations of many, many years, they fled away from their 
enemies whom they feared, and not into closer proximity to that enemy. 
They fled from the Saginaw country and from Genesee county to Wiscon- 
sin, or away from the power of the Five Nations, just as the Ottawas, the 
Hurons of Ontario, the Petuns, and others fled from that powerful enemy, 
in one general exodus to the west and northwest, always away from the land 
of the league. 

In the light of these basic facts, can we imagine any such thing as a 
junction of the Chippewas and Ottawas in a war of extermination against a 
considerable tribe of their allies. If it took place at all, the expedition must 
have happened between 163S and 1667, at a time when both Ottawas and 
Chippewas were fighting in alliance with the Sauks for their very existence 
against a common enemy. 

Mr. Ellis gained his account from a tradition of the "boastful Chip- 
pewas." The story of the Chippewas, as stated in the note above quoted, 
sometimes claimed utter extermination of the Sauks, except twelve women. 
In another form as quoted by Albert Miller, on page 377, Vol. 13, "Michigan 
Historical Collections," the story is that a council was held by the Chippewas, 
Pottawatomies, Ottawas and Six Nations of New York, as a result of which 
"they all met at the island of Mackinac and fitted out a large army and started 
in bark canoes down the west shore of Lake Huron." Then follows a detailed 
account of various battles, each of which was disastrous to the Sauks; a 
burial of the slain in a common grave, and final extermination of the Sauks, 
except twelve women who were sent to the Sioux. This story was told by an 
old Indian, Put-ta-gua-si-mine. 

The main objection to this tale is that the Sauks were not exterminated, 
but were in Wisconsin before 1668; while the Six Nations of New York, so- 
called, did not exist until after 1714. 

It might also be said of Mr. Ellis's account that the name Onottoways, 
which he gives to the people living in the vicinity of the Sauks, and who 
suffered a like fate, is no more nor less than one of the names of the Otta- 
was, variously spelled Ottaways, Ouwaes, Ouatonais, and a dozen other ways. 
The particular form used by Mr. Ellis seems to be made by prefixing the 
Huron "Ono" (people) to "Ottaways," making "Ono-Ottaways," contracted 
to "Onottoways" (the Ottawa folk). As there was a village of the Ottawas 
here after the departure of the Sauks somewhere near the place assigned as 



the location of the "Onottoways," a tradition of which probably lingered in 
the minds of the Chippewas, their boastful story of the expedition could well 
include this "other people," although the Sauks and Onottoways were never 
synchronous residents in the Saginaw country. 

The most serious objection to the tale, however, is the fact that the 
Sauks never suffered any such crushing calamity as related. They fled to 
Wisconsin, where they were so numerous that in 1787 Joseph Aisne found 
a single village of them containing seven hundred men, and in 1763 so close 
was the bond of friendship between them that no other tribe except the 
"Osaugees" was admitted to the secret councils of the Chipjiewas in which 
were perfected the plans for taking the fort at MicbJlimackinac; the two 
alone carried the plan into effect. 

The various stories told by the Chippewas as to this war against the 
Sauks seem to have been given in explanation of various places of burial 
along the Saginaw river and its tributaries, where the remains of consid- 
erable numbers of humans were found. From first-hand evidence obtained 
by the writer of this chapter from various Chippewas of Minnesota and from 
excavations of mounds in that state, it was found invariably that the Chip- 
pewas explain a place of common burial as a "big battle." Communal inter- 
ment was the custom among the Hurons, but not among the Chippewas ; con- 
sequently a battle seemed to them to be the natural explanation of such com- 
mon burials. 

From all the facts it seems that the story referred to of the expedition 
of the Chippewas and Ottawas must be put in the category of myths, grow- 
ing out of the boastful tales of the Chippewas who invented a battle for each 
place of common burial of their Huron predecessors. 


The Chippewas, or Ojibways, were a hardy northern race, generally of 
fine physique and great powers of endurance. Their ancient seats were 
around the western end of Lake Superior, and north of the lake. They 
were of Algonquin race, closely related to the Ottawas, and became allies 
of the French together with that tribe. The rigors of their climate pre- 
vented the development of agriculture to the same extent that it prevailed 
among the Hurons and other more southern tribes, and drove them to the 
chase as a means of sustenance, making life more precarious. This also had 
its effect on their social conceptions. Among the Huron-Iroquois, age 
brought honor. The old men were recognized as the receptacles of wisdom 



garnered through the many summers. The old women were the arbiters in 
all matters of genealogy, and whenever anything depended upon birth or 
descent, whether office, heritage or honors, the decision of the oldest woman 
was the final decision, as she was the ultimate register of vital statistics. 

With the Chippewas, with a less dependable source of food supply, with 
famines occurring with almost periodica! regularity, the aged became a bur- 
den upon the band, lessening its social vitality; consequently they were to 
be eliminated in the interest of the safety of the tribe. Among all the In- 
dians of the extreme north, of the lower social status, those of feeble age 
and who were unable to earn their own living, who thus became a burden 
upon the tribe, were to be done away. 

There was a myth of the river of sacred waters, of such magical proper- 
ties that when anyone was drowned in its floods he was immediately trans- 
ported to the regions of the blessed in the hunting grounds of the Indian para- 
dise. This adhered in the belief of the Chippewas, and when any old person 
who felt himself a burden upon the community expressed a desire to go to the 
river of sacred waters, his wish was obeyed and the pilgrimages that went to 
this fabled river took with them these feeble ones who went down into its 
sacred waters, and through them to the reward of the next world, and so was 
preserved the race. 

The Chippewas were subject to frightful visitations of the pestilence, 
in the many forms of filth disease. So great had been its ravages among 
them that in the common sign language of the more western Indians, the 
sign that meant a Chippewa was made by picking with the thumb and 
finger of the right hand on- the body, in imitation of the picking of the scab 
from this disease. Their medical knowledge was much inferior to that of 
the Hurons, and far inferior to that of their "grandfathers," the Dela- 
wares, who excelled all the other Indians in this branch of knowledge, so 
much so, that, as Heckwelder states, it was common for white women who 
lived in contact with them to call the Indian doctor for their diseases in pre- 
ference to the white practitioner. 

The Chippevvas in earliest times were associated closely with tlie Ot- 
tawas, and in the language of the early French writers the term Ottawa is 
often used in a generic sense to include all the Algonquin tribes about the 
lakes who came down the river of the Ottawas to trade. Parkman, in his 
"Frontenac and New France," page 151, descril^es them as "a perilous 
crew, who changed their minds every day, and whose dancing, singing and 
yelping might turn at any time into war whoops against one another, or 
against their hosts, the French. The Hurons, he adds, were more stable. 



The later years of the seventeenth century brought about something 
like a respite for these Indians. The wasting wars had weakened the con- 
federated Iroquois, and their forays had become less frequent and less 
fierce. In 1690 the Qiippevvas and their allies came down the river of the 
Ottawas with beaver skins of the value of about one hundred thousand 
crowns, and an era of prosi>erity dawned upon them. Some of these furs 
were probably taken from the Flint river, for we have seen that in the 
spring of 1688 Lahontan found something like three or four hundred of the 
Ottawas from the north leaving the valley of our rivers, where they had 
wintered, trapping beaver. 

It was not long after the coming of the Ottawas, and probably soon 
after the peace of T7oi,that the Chippewas of the north came into our val- 
ley- They came peacefully and were welcomed by the Ottawas, their allies, 
who had preceded them in settling in the valley of the Saginaw, which had 
been the common hunting grounds after the departure of the Sauks. There 
was room for all; for, as Parkman states, referring to the Indians of fifty 
years later, the greater part of Michigan was tenanted by wild beasts alone; 
the Indians were "so thin and scattered," he says, "that even in those parts 
which were thought well peopled, one might sometimes journey for days 
together through the twilight forest and meet no human form." Such was 
the paucity of the Ottawa and the Chippewa inhabitants of our county that 
it is quite probable that, all told, they may never have exceeded five or six 

The branch of the Chippewas that settled here in our region came to. 
be known as the Chit>pewas of the Saginaw, and by the year of 1761, as we 
team from the journal of Lieutenant Gorrell, commandant at Green Bay, 
the Chippewas and Ottawas had partitioned the state of Michigan, the Ot- 
tawas taking the west portion and the Chippewas taking the east, the divid- 
ing line being drawn south from the post at Michiiimackinac, It may be a 
question as to vvliether this partition applied to the two tribes in lower Mich- 
igan, but it is quite certain that we soon find the Ottawas of the lower por- 
ions of the state, including those who were on the Flint river, settled west- 
ward; but all did not go, as appears from the fact that at the treaty of 
Saginaw some Ottawas participated and became signatory parties to the 

In the meantime, French traders and many half-breeds had become resi- 
dents for trade or otherwise among the Indians of our county, and they 
to a considerable extent adopted the dress and conformed to the customs 



and manners of the natives. They painted themselves for the feast or fight 
according to the usages of the Indians, and the people of the county of 
Genesee became a mixed race, Ottawa, Chippewa and French, among whom 
were the half-breeds; the language became a mixed one, with many French 
terms, a jargon of the three languages. The testimony of many writers 
makes these Chippewas of the Saginaw a depraved people. Under their 
dominion our county was less moral, less law-abiding, less productive, and 
in every way of a s.tatus inferior to what it was under the Huron Sauks. 
In place of the grave religious festivals of that people, the practices of the 
Chippewas were irreligious and irreverent. The Hurons had lived here 
many generations, and each place was doubtless the subject of some tradi- 
tion; sacred associations chistered about them, and here and there along the 
rivers were the common graves of their ancestors. The Chippewas were 
new comers, who had been corrupted by association with the worst element 
of the whites, and they seem to have left behind many of the sterner virtues 
of their rugged ancestors of the north. Among the more settled and devel- 
oped tribes there existed an intricate clan system, each clan being repre- 
sented by some animal. The members of each clan were of blood relation- 
ship to each other, and such consanguinity brought duties of hospitality. 
The Hurons had four of these clans, the Bear, the Wolf, the Hawk and the 
Heron. The Chippewas had only partially developed this clan system, as 
the ties of blood were less strong and relationship less certain. 

The event of greatest historical importance that happened to these 
Indians was the war of Pontiac. If we could have the history of that 
momentous event in its entirety, of the men who went out from Mus-cat-a- 
wing to fight for the mistaken cause of the conspirator who was led to his 
destruction by his faith in the French and hatred of the English; if we 
could tell the deeds of daring, the eloquence of the chiefs, the devotion of 
the men, we might have something of greatest interest as local history. 
Unfortnnatly, we only know a few of these facts, and can state them only 
in such genera! terms as quite eliminate the human interest so inseparably 
connected with personal adventure. 

The chiefs of the Saginaw Chippewas attended the council held at 
Ecorse on April 27, 1763. "There were the tall naked figures of the wild 
Ojibways, with quivers slung at their backs, and with light war-clubs resting 
in the hollow of their arms; Ottawas, wrapped close in their gaudy blankets; 
Wyatidottes, fluttering in painted shirts, their heads adorned with feathers, 
and their leggings garnished with bells. All were soon seated in a wide 



circle upon the grass, row within row, a grave and a silent assembly. Each 
savage countenance seemed car\'ed in wood and none could have detected 
the ferocious passions hidden beneath that immobile mask. Pipes, with 
ornamented stems, were lighted and passed from hand to hand." So Park- 
man described the council of our Indians, including those who came from 
Mus-cat-a-wing, on the Pewonigowinsee-be, where is now the fifth ward. 

Tliey listened to the burning eloquence of Fontiac, who played upon 
their hatred for the English and their traditional friendship for the French, 
to his appeals to their superstitions to his interpretation of the dream of 
the Delawaire of the Wolf clan, who by fasting, dreaming and incantations 
was permitted to approach the Master of Life, and of the message that the 
Delaware brought back to the Indians, of the wishes of the Master of Life 
to extirpate the dogs in red coats and restore the primitive conditions of the 
Indians when they were masters of the land. The decision of the council 
was for war, and in this decision the men of the Saginaw country joined. 

Wasso, chief of the Saginaws, led two hundred men from our valleys 
to the camp of Pontiac in May and they took an active part in most of the 
fighting that followed. The invitation from Pontiac to the Chippewas of 
this region to join him against the EngHsh is shown in the following speech, 
as reiMrted in the "Journal of Pontiac:" "I have sent wampum belts and 
messages to our brothers the Chippewas of Saginaw and to our brothers 
the Ottawas of Michilimackinac and to those of the Thames river to join 
us." This speech was delivered at the Pottawatomie village on May 5, 1763. 

Not only did the Chippewas of our region receive the belts and wam- 
pum, with the messages, but they also sent a delegation to the Chippewas 
at Michilimackinac, as appears from the report of Alexander Henry, quoted 
by Warren in his "History of the Chippewas," page 213, that there arrived 
at MicJiilimackinac a band of Indians from the bay of Sag-n-en-auw, who 
had assisted at the siege of Detroit, and came to muster as many recruits 
for that service as they could. These emissaries also wanted to kill Henry, 
who was found by them to be English, but they were prevented in their 
designs by M. Cadotte, who had acquired great influence with the northern 
Chippewas: he also advised against the participation of the northern branch 
in the war. 

Our Chippewas returned from their northern trip with little encour- 
agement, and soon afterwards there happened a most disgraceful episode 
in which our Indians were the principal actors and in which our chief, 
Wasson, lead the perpetrators. In the "Jonrnal of Pontiac," page 208, we 



find the account of this occurrence as follows: "About four o'clock in the 
afternoon an officer who had commanded the fort at Sandusky and had been 
taken prisoner by the Indians, escaped from the camp, or rather, from a 
French farmhouse where his Indian wife had sent him for safe-keeping. 
It was learned from him that the Indian who had been shot and scalped was 
a chief and nephew of VVasson, chief of the Saginaw Chippewas, and that 
Wasson, enraged that his nephew h^id been killed in the skirmish of the morn- 
ing, went to Pontiac's camp, said abusive things, and demanded Mr. Camp- 
bell for revenge, saying: 'My Brother, I am fond of this carrion flesh which 
thou guardest; I wish some in my turn; give it to me.'" The story con- 
tinues: "Pontiac gave him up and Wasson brought him to his camp where 
he had his young men strip him of his clothes. Then he killed him with a 
blow of his tomahawk and afterwards cast him into the river; the Ixxly 
floated down stream to the place where the Frenchmen had taken him when 
he left the fort, in front of M. CuUiero's house, and it was buried." 

This act of chief Wasson brought a stain on the fame of Pontiac, who 
had many excellent and chivalrous qualities. One version of the affair is 
that Wasson took the prisoner from the camp of Pontiac in the absence of 
that chief, and that on his learning of the fate of Campbell, he was so 
enraged that Wasson fled to Saginaw to escape the fury of the chief. News 
of peace between the French and English had already reached the Indians 
before this act of Wasson, and they were informed that their Great Father, 
as they were pleased to call the French king, had given up all claim to the 
land they were fighting for; but renegade Frenchmen, who wanted to keep 
alive the hatred against the English, whom they hated, to this end informed 
the Indians that the pretended peace was an invention of the English and 
that even then two French armies were coming to aid them. In their 
credulity the Indians of our region were thus stimulated to hold on, even 
after the Wyandots and Pottawatomies had entered into agreement for peace: 
and they with their allies, the Ottawas, made up the ambush at the bridge 
in the battle of Bloody Bridge, where they inflicted great loss upon the 

The deferred fulfillment of these promises of aid and, more cogent than 
this, the approach of winter, cooled the ardor of the Indians and in the fall 
they graduaJiy deserted the great chief and returned to their homes. The 
men of the Saginaw country returned to their friends at the various villages 
along the Saginaw and the Flint. 

In the council that was held between General Bradstreet, on behalf of 



the British government, and various tribes of Indians who had favored the 
conspiracy and fought in the war the year before, Wasson represented a 
considerable number of the tribes and was the principal orator of the 
occasion. In his opening speech he said ; "My Brother, last year God for- 
sook us. God has now opened our eyes and we desire to l>e heard. It is 
God's will our hearts are altered. It was God's will you had such fine 
weather to come to us. It is God's will also there should be peace and 
tranquillity over the face of the earth and of the waters." 

After this pious exordium, he frankly admitted that his Indians had 
been responsible for the war against the fort at Detroit, and, in direct contra- 
diction of the custom of the Indians to lay on the young men all initiative 
in a war, he said it was the misguided chiefs and old men who planned the 
same-. He promised to receive the English king as the father of the Indians 
in place of the French king, and so the men of Mus-cat-a-wing transferred 
their allegiance from the French to the English. This must have been a 
hard task for these people, who had steadfastly adhered to the cause of the 
French from the time of Champlain, who were bound to them by so many 
ties and associations, and whose hatred for the English had Ijeen fostered 
by every wile that French diplomacy could suggest. 

Chief Wasson, who represented the various tribes at the council alx)ve, 
was [lerhaps the most prominent chief of ail the Indians of our valley and, 
from a historical standpoint, the l>est known. We now have no knowledge 
of his Hfe here, but as the principal chief of all the Chippewas of this 
region, he was no doubt a frequent visitor to our locality and especially to 
Mus-cat-a-wing on the Flint. 

In the War of the Revolution, which followed soon afterwards, the 
Indians of this locality were not .so partisan in favor of their new masters: 
but that they joined the British in the various battles can well lie accepted. 
The activity of the Five Nations under the influence of the great Johnson 
could not have failed to influence these Indians, who were so warlike in their 

As the Indians in 1763 had refused to transfer allegiance from the 
French to the English, so in the years following the War of the Revolution 
they refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the American government. 
They were situated at a point so accessible to the Canadian side of the 
border, and were so much in contact with them, that their influence still 
continued to be felt, and the intrigues of the British in Canada, who hoped 
for the further prosecution of war, which would restore the lost colonies, 
aide{I in keeping up this equivocal relationship l^etween the Indians of the 



Saginaw region and the territorial government established in 1787. The 
Indians of Mus-cat-a-wing must have been especially effected. Among them 
were many French and half-breeds, who were very poor advisers in matters 
of tribal safety. They were also in close touch with their Chippewa brothers 
at the north, all of whom were very well disposed toward the English. 

About the close of the year 181 1 there was a noticeable unrest among 
the Indians of the lake regions generally, and this was accompanied by an 
abundance of arms, of a kind and character quite beyond the ordinary reach 
of the Indians. The source of this supply was apparent. The English of 
Canada, anticipating the coming war. had in advance armed the Indians upon 
whom they could rely, and this policy of preparedness also extended to the 
Chippewas of our region; they were one of the tribes easiest to reach and 
easiest to persuade and, in accordance with the general policy of securing the 
aid of the Indians, which is patent in the correspondence of the various 
English officials, these Indians had been approached before actual warfare 
started and their alliance sought. M. Lothier, agent for the Michilimackinac 
Company, writes January 13, i8iz, thait the Indians throughout the country 
where his company traded were all dissatisfied with the American govern- 
ment, and expresed opinion that in event of war between the British and 
Americans "every Indian that can liear arms would gladly commence hos- 
tilities against the Americans." John Askin, from Michilimackinac, in June, 
1813, tells of the activity of the Indians recruiting at that point, of which 
he ai>parently had charge. He pledges the active aid of all Indians capable 
of engaging in war to aid the British, including all the Indians along the 
Michigan side of Lake Huron and taking in the Indians of this region. 
According to communications from Wisconsin, it would seem that the 
Indians generally had been persuaded that the "lives of their children" 
depended on the success of the British in the war. 

In 1814 they were actively engaged as fighting men and as spies for the 
British. In a letter from W. Claus, from York (Toronto), dated the 14th 
of May, 1814, is the following: 

"The Indians, who arrived at Burlington on the 6th inst. from Sandv 
Creek, Saguina Bay, report that Mr. Dickson was at Green Bay during the 
whole of the winter, and that the Winnebagoes, Folavoines, Chippewas, and 
ail the Nations of the north side of Lake Michigan, met with him in sugar 
making season, and that he was collecting a great many cattle in the Green 
Bay settlement. 

"Thirteen Indians of Naywash's band arrived at Burlington on the gth 



Inst, from Flint river, and say they were informed that two vessels and six 
gunboats, with about 300 men, had passed the river at St. Clair about 22 
or 23 April, for Michilimackinac, and that about 250 men remained at 
Detroit. These Indians report that there are about 500 men at Saguina 
Bay, who are ready to show their attachment to their great father, when- 
ever his troops shal! return." 

This Naywash was perhaps that chief of the Chippewas who in 1786 
joined in a deed of certain lands near Detroit to Alexander McKee, in con- 
sideration of good will, etc, and who states that the grantee had fought 
with them in the iate war against the enemy. 

They had listened to another "Prophet", and again they had been sadly 
misled to their defeat. At the close of the War of 1812 it may be believed 
that the Indians of our valleys had-become bewildered by the various tempt- 
ing promises of the British and, earlier, those of the French; by the dreams 
of Pontiac; by the visions of this later prophet; all this had lured them to 
defeat and destruction, and when Cass and his comrades met them at Sag- 
inaw to treat with them for their lands, and reminded them that as a con- 
quered people they could not make demands but must take what their con- 
querors dealt out to them, the grim logic of this suggestion must have come 
home to these deluded people — losers in every war they had undertaken — 
with a crushing force, which, found its sequel in their giving up to such a 
large extent the territories they claimed. 


Flavius J. Littlejohn, of Allegan, whose experiences as a surveyor 
began about the time of the admission of Michigan as a state, was brought 
into close relations with many bands of Indians then inhabiting the various 
parts of this peninsula. From this contact he gleaned many stories, which 
were in part published in 1875. The edition, however, was mostly lost by 
fire and the work, "Legends of Michigan and the Old Northwest," is now 
very scarce. 

The writings of this author are ultra romantic, and in giving verbatim 
the dialogues of his very interesting characters, he places a rather grievous 
burden upon our credulity. But his stories have an apparent basis of fact, 
and most certainly a historic value. It seems proper to give in brief out- 
line some of them that deal with our locality; it would be unwise to reject 
them entirely while we treat as historically valuable the tales Herodotus 
brought out of Egypt. 



Alxint the year 1804 there was a village of the Chippevvas, known as 
Mus-cat-a-wing, located along the river within the present bounds of the 
fifth ward of Flint. The Indians name of the river was Pewonigo-win-se-be, 
or the river-of-the-flints, and from this name the band of Chippewas was 
called I'ewonigos. Up the river from Mus-cat-a-wing, and about a mile 
aljove Geneseevilie, was Kish-Kaw-bee, another village of the Pewonigos. 
At this time Ne-o-me, a name that occurs in the early accounts of our city, 
was chief of the Pewonigos and resided at Mus-cat-a-wing, his territory 
including the entire basin of the river to the headwaters of its affluents. 

At this same time a remnant of the Hurons lived on the Shiawassee 
river, their territory also extending up to the head of the tributary streams, 
and their chief lieing Chessaning, a young man who had recently become 

Ne-o-me's lirolher, Mix-e-ne-ne, was stib-chief and a relative, Ton-e- 
do-ganee, was war chief of the Pewonigos. A sister of Ne-o-me, by name 
of Men-a-cum-seqna, lived with her brothers at Mus-cat-a-wing. 

Chessaning also had a sister, Ou-wan-a-ma-che, and as the relations 
between these two hands, Huron and Chippewa, were especially friendly, it 
came shout that Chessaning paid his suit to the sister of Ne-o-me, while 
that chief became interested in the sister of Chessaning. Ton-e-do-ganee 
had been rejected by Men-a-cum-sequa, and later, seeing Chessaning's sister, 
became violentlj' in love with her, but slie rejected him. 

She had also turned a deaf ear to the suit of, Ne-o-me, whose sister, 
Men-a-cuni-sequa, instead of favoring Chessaning, had fallen in love with 
a French trader whom the Indians called Kassegans. Of this love Ne-o-me 
was ignorant, but it had come to the knowledge of the war chief, who was 
determined to profit by it in .some way to the injury of Ne-o-me, whom he 
wished to succeed as chief. 

Chessaning, being rejected by Men-a-cum-sequa, determined to appeal 
to Ne-o-me to exercise his power as a chief and coerce his sister into the 

Ne-o-me at this time had ambitions and was planning to bring under 
his rule an independent band of Chippewas to the north on the Cass river. 
To this end he was plotting an invasion of that country, and when Chessaning 
asked for his interference in his behalf with the sister, he made the same 
conditional on Chessaning's joining the proposed, expedition. Ches^saning, 
with true chivalry, said that he, a chief, could not barter for a wife, how- 
ever fair, and the diplomatic Ne-o-me then appeased him by promising the 



hand of Men-a-cum-seqiia, imconditionaliy, after which he asked Chessan- 
ing's aid as a favor to his prospective brother-in-law ; this diplomacy secured 
the promise of Chessaning's forces. 

Ton-e-do-ganee, the war chief, thought this the moment to interfere 
and he dramatically informed Xe-o-me, in presence of Chessaning, that the 
chief's sister was in love with the trader and that even then they had fled 
down the river; this fact was corroborated by Se-go-giien, the mnte foster- 
brotlier of Chessaning, who had seen the canoe and elopers on the river. 
The effect of this announcement was the opposite of the war chief's expecta- 
tions. Chessaning's chivalrous nature again asserted itself and he assured 
Ne-o-me that this fact of the elopement would not affect his promise of 
aid, as it had plainly l^een beyond Ne-o-me's knowledge, and, turning upon 
the war chief, he accused him of bad faith that merited puni,shment, which 
he promised to inflict. 

Ne-o-me during the negotiations had visited Chessaning's home and 
so ingratiated himself with Ou-wan-a-ma-che, that she relented her former 
decision and they became engaged. 

There were at Mus-cat-a-wing two renegades, outlaws from the east, 
who ]iad taken advantage of the hospitality of the Pewonigos. and loitered 
alx5Ut Mus-cat-a-wing, leading a vagabond life. One was a white man and 
the other a half-breed. To them Ton-e-do-ganee went with a plan of 
revenge upon Chessaning and Ne-o-me. 

The intended bride of Chessaning had fled, and the war chief planned 
a similar disappointment to Ne-o-me, by inducing the two outlaws to abduct 
the sister of Chessaning. ft was planned that they, taking advantage of 
the disorder of the expedition, should seize Ou-wan-a-ma-che, and take her in 
their canoe up the river to Kish-Kaw-bee, where she was to be hidden in 
the lodge of a relative of the war chief. The two were also to take informa- 
tion to the chief of the Wakisos against whom the invasion was planned, 
of the plans of Ne-o-me. 

The outlaws undertook the execution of the war chief's plan for revenge. 
Thev. however, failed in part, for, after reaching Om-a-gan-see, Chessan- 
ing's village on the Shiawassee, and seizing his sister, they paddled down the 
■Shiawassee to the Flint and on attempting to go up that river to Kish-Kaw- 
bee, thev were cut off by Ne-o-me's sentinels and had to turn down stream. 
Passing the mouth of the Shiawassee, they hrqjed to reach the Tittabawassee, 
but, here again they were obliged to turn back, because the camp fires of a 
large number of warriors apprised them of the gathering of Chessaning's 



forces. They were driven to ascend the Cass river, called by the Indians 
Wakishegan, on the headwaters of which they knew of a grotto where they 
hoped to be safe until they could communicate with the war chief. 

The trader, fleeing with Men-a-cum-sequa, had preceded them up this 
river and, after visiting the village of the Wakisos, had also sought refuge 
in this same cavern. 

The aged chief of the Wakisos, because of his infirmities, had dele- 
gated the rule to his daughter, Mo-KJsh-e-no-qua, and she hastened to meet 
the invading forces of Ne-o-me. So successfully did she prepare her defense, 
which included an ambush, that Ne-o-me's forces were severely handled and 
his advance guard nearly annihilated. Then only did Ne-o-me know that 
he was making war against a woman. Turning back, he joined Chessan- 
ing's forces, and for the first time they were informed of the abduction of 
Ou-wan-a-ma-che, This information came from the foster-mother of Chessan- 
ing, who had pursued the abductors in her canoe and had traced their flight 
up the Cass. Ne-o-me and Chessaning, with a few picked men, and the 
mute Se-go-guen, paddled up the hostile river, their objective being the 
cavern, and on their way found that the Wakisos had abandoned the river 
and retreated to some inland refuge. Keeping on, they reached the cave 
and there found the elopers, renegades and the captive. The eloping sister 
of Ne-o-me was forgiven and the captive sister of Chessaning rescued. 
Three marriages followed. Men-a-cum-sequa and the trader; Ne-o-me and 
Ou-wan-a-ma-che, and Chessaning and the Amazon leader of the Wakisos, 
for peace was happily achieved through the office of the chivalrous Chessan- 
ing. The renegades were forced to run the gauntlet and were banished. 


Perhaps the most interesting of these stories is that of the battle of 
Long Lake, the hero of which was the mute boy, Se-go-guen, the foster- 
brother of chief Chessaning, of whom we have heard in the above tale. 
It appears that this part of Michigan was, not long after the occurrences 
related above, cursed by a large number of renegades, mostly outlaws from 
the older settled portion of the east, whose crimes had driven them from 
their former homes and who had imposed on the well-known hospitality of 
the-IndifmsibyiseftHng-afnong them and there leading'lives of vicious indo- 
lence. They had formed themselves into organized bands, having their secret 
words and signs and places of rendezvous, and were bound by oath to aid 
each other. They levied a tribute upon the traders who came among the 



Indians, burdening tliat traffic with a tax that fell heavily upon both the 
traders and the Indians. In case tribute was not paid, robbery, arson, and 
even murder, were the penalties. 

Okemos, chief of the Ottawas, whose principal village was at Al-i- 
Kou-ma (Grand Rapids) on the Grand river, was an ally of Chessaning 
and Ne-o-me, and, because of an exceptionally atrocious murder of a trader 
located among the Ottawas, he called for a conference of the three chiefs to 
devise some plan for suppressing these depredations, by driving out the out- 
laws. The meeting was appointed at Owosso, some miles up the Shiawassee 
river from Om-a-gan-see, the residence village of Chessaning, that being 
handiest for the conference. 

In accordance with the arrangement, the three chiefs met, but the rene- 
gades, being apprised of the meeting and apprehensive of its object, had one 
of their number spy on the meeting. This one, lying on the ground behind 
the lodge, overheard all the plans of the three. Se-go-^ien, who had accom- 
panied Ghessaning, with an intuitive feeling of danger investigated and 
found the spying outlaw and informed Chessaning of his discovery. The 
spy esca^ied down the river to Om-a-gan-see. Chessaning, returning to 
Om-a-gan-see, soon identified the spy through the woodcraft of the mute. 
On being charged, the man at first denied, but finally admitted his guilt, 
defied Chessaning and even made an attempt with his tomahawk upon the 
life of the boy, Se-go-gxien, for his part in the capture. Chessaning, stand- 
ing by, stabbetl the renegade, but not fatally. He was then put in confine- 
ment under guard, but in the meantime it appeared that, by the secret means 
of communication of the renegades, he had made known the plan of the 
chiefs to the leaders of the outlaws. 

The plan of the three chiefs was to gather a cordon of warriors in the 
upper valleys of the rivers and like a drawn net, to close in, driving the out- 
laws down the streams and finally out of the country. 

The warning sent out by the spy, however, gave notice to the outlaws, 
who decided on a counter-stroke; this was to simultaneously attack the 
several traders, looting their warehouses, and join at a place of meeting 
known only to the initiated. 

The wounded spy, feigning complete exhaustion from his wound, 
caused his guards to relax their watchfulness, and so escaped. When his 
escape had been discovered, the mute Se-go-guen asketl the privilege of track- 
ing him, and, with his trained dog, which to some extent supplied the sense 
of hearing, set out in pursuit. Following unerringly, he traced the spy to a 




point near Long Lake, and thence saw him take a hidden canoe, cross the 
lake and disappear in a ravine on the opposite shore. Circling the lake, 
Se-go-guen discovered the place of rendezvous of the renegades, where their 
bands had already gathered with the loot of several traders and with the two 
captive daughters of one of them. Eluding the sentinels, he went back over 
his track and found the forces of the three chiefs, whom he led to the place 
of hiding. There the renegades were surrounded and killed, to a man, 
about eighty in all. This battle of Long I^ke cleared this region of out- 
laws and a few years iater, when the first settlers came, they found the 
region undisturbed by lawlessness. To these three chiefs, Ne-o-me of the 
Chippewas of the Flint river. Chcssaning of the Hurons of the Shiawassee, 
and Okemos of the Ottawas, of the Grand river, three different races, is due 
the credit for this delivery; but chiefly is the honor due to Se-go-guen, the 
mute boy of the Shiawassee. 

A sequel to these tales of romance that cluster about our present homes 
built on the site of the ancient Mus-cat-a-wing, is foimd in the unpublished 
manuscript of this same writer. It is the tale of 


The two renegades who were caught after their abduction of Ou-wan- 
a-ma-che, sister of Chessaning, chief of the Shiawassos, and punished by 
expulsion from the country after running the gauntlet, had retired to a 
remote and little visited region. They had suffered through the orders of 
Mo-Kish-e-no-qua, queen of the Wakisos, who afterward became the wife 
of Chessaning. They left with unuttered vows of vengeance, fleeing down 
stream to the mouth of the Tittabawassee, and up that stream to its remote 
headwaters, where they found the unvisited region referred to. Here they 
lived in seclusion and so escaped the fate of the other renegades of the 
battle of Long Lake. I-eaming of this, the two postponed the day of 
revenge because of the turn of that battle. But they never gave over the 

Their region was swampy and the favorite haunt of many fur-bearing 
animals. They trapped diligently, finding a market for their furs at Otasse- 
bewing, midway between the rivers, and gaining from time to time news of 
Chessaning and Mo-Kish-e-no-qua, who were now the happy parents of two 
children, a boy and a girl. 

Facts froiTi the outside world came in to the two renegades from tiie 



visits to the trading' point and from their intercourse with a band living not 
far from their trading place. Their swampy region was full of animal life. 
The muskrat, mink, otter, beaver and, in the higher regions, the lynx, bear, 
coon and marten, all of which fnriiished a tempting prize for the trappers. 
Six years of this life brought them to the year 1810, and then the time 
seemed propitious for carrying into effect their plans. 

At this time there were other Indians of Huron origin inhabiting the 
region of the territory of Chessaning, whose allegiance was given to another 
chief, then of middle age and of great energy, by the name of "Gray Eagle"; 
these Indians, more numerous than the Shiawassos, were called the Wassen- 
ings. The border line separating the regions of these two independent 
peoples was rather indefinitely drawn along the watershed between the Shia- 
wassee and the Tittabawassee, and along this watershed frequent quarrels 
took place between the hunters of tlie two bands, growing out of uncer- 
tainty about the boundary line. Generally the good sense of the two chiefs 
brought about an amicable adjustment of the differences and averted open 
hostilities, but friction continued and anything that could be construed into 
acts of aggression was magnified into undue importance. 

In the spring of 1810 our two outlaws following a band of the Wassen- 
ings into this border region with a hope of embroiling the two chiefs in war, 
found an opportunity to precipitate hostilities. Meeting a band of the Shia- 
wassos on the disputed border, a wordy dispute ensued, which would prob- 
ably have ended in words, had not one of the renegades who had furtively 
crept up to a point where he was unseen, shot an arrow that stmck and 
killed a Shiawasso brave. This precipitated a figbt that resulted in several 
deaths, but finally the Wassenings were . forced to retreat. Both l)ands dis- 
claimed the initiative in the fight, and the usual diplomacy of the two chiefs 
gave way to violent and challenging notes: preparations were made for war. 

Chessaning had offered to arbitrate, by leaving it to Ne-o-me, of the 
Pewonigos: but the Gray Eagle, whose military power was supposed to be 
superior, refused anything but war. 

The old alhance between Chessaning, Okemos and Ne-o-me was again 
appealed to. and Okemos promised aid, as did Ne-o-me. Ne-o-me at once 
repaired to Om-a-gan-see, Chessaning's capitol, and proposed a plan to con- 
fine the war area to the territory of the enemy — the Tittabawassee region — 
by a blockading fleet of canoes, which was to close the mouth of the river. 

Okemos was to march from Ak-mon-shee (Lansing) overland and 
strike the enemy on the head waters of the river, driving them down toward 



Gray Eagle's village, Wassebewing, where Midland now stands, and by a 
quick campaign from the east, south and we&t to roll up the enemy to his 
destruction or retreat northward. The two renegades who had fraternized 
with the Wassenings, were summoned by Gray Eagle, who had detected 
their part in the first fight, and who, knowing their familiarity with both 
Chessaning's and Ne-o-me's country, placed upon them the alternative of 
getting information as to the intended movements of the three chiefs, or 
death, telling them of his knowledge of their part in bringing on the war. 
The two renegades accordingly set out to the village of Chessaning, where 
they not only succeeded in getting the outline of the three chiefs' plans, but 
also succeeded in abducting Red Cloud and Dew Drop, the children of 
Chessaning and Men-a-cum-sequa, together with the young woman who had 
them in charge. 

On their disappearance it was thought they were dead, but the wood- 
craft of the mute discovered the true fact, and, with the half-breed lover 
of the young woman, they started in pursuit, 

The outlaws returned to Gray Eagle with the news, but he gave them 
strict injunction to keep the captives safely, and subject to his further orders. 
The outlaws retreated to their hiding place up the river, but as the Ottawas 
closed in from the west, the forces of Chessaning and Ne-o-me from the east 
and south soon forced Gray Eagle to sue for peace. Se-go-guen and the 
half-breed pursued the outlaws and, after shooting both, rescued the cap- 
tives, who returned to their home. This was the last foray of the men of 
Mus-cat-a-wing, and only a few years passed when the village of Pewonigos 
ceased to be exclusively the home of the Indian; for Jacob Smith, a trader. 
built a home there and he and Ne-o-me established a friendship which lasted 
until Smith's death in 1825, 


Indian Treaties and Reservations. 

the treaty of 1807. 

Governor William Hull, who, as governor of the territory of Michigan, 
was ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs, on the above date concluded 
a treaty at Detroit with the Chippewas, Ottawas, Wyandots and Potta- 
watomies, by which these several Indian tribes ceded to the United States 
that portion of Michigan east of a hne drawn north from the mouth of 
the Auglaize river in Ohio, to a point due west from the outlet of Lake 
Huron, and from that point running northeasterly on a direct line to the 
White Rock on the western shore of Lake Huron; from that place, which 
was a place well known to the Indians and a landmark in their map making, 
the line followed along the shore of the lake, and southward to the Maumee 
(Miami) river, which formed the southern boundary of the ceded lands. 
This western boundary ran north between the present counties of Lenawee 
and Hillsdale, through Jackson and Ingham, between Chnton and Shiawassee, 
to a point near the middle of the same; the direct line from thence termi- 
nated near where is now the southeast corner of Huron county. 

This grant, as a matter of fact, included nearly all of Genesee county, 
excepting a small corner off the northwest, in Montrose township. A 
considerable portion of this ceded territory had been previously ceded by 
the treaties of Fort Mcintosh, Muskingum and Greenville, so that the title 
of the United States had been four times conceded by the Indians. 

The stipulation of the government was for the payment to the Chippe- 
was of the sum of three thousand three hundred and thirty-three dollars 
and thirty-three cents, either in cash or implements or goods, at the option 
of the government, to be in the discretion of the superintendent of Indian 
affairs ; the same payment to the Ottawas, and a similar payment to the 
Wyandots and Pottawatomies together, making the sum of ten thousand dol- 
lars in all to the four tribes. It was also stipulated that the sum of six 
thousand dollars should be paid annually to the four tribes, to be divided the 
same as the former payment. These were payable at Detroit. The Chippewas 



at Saginaw and the Ottawas at Miami were each to have a government 
blacksmith furnished them, who was to aid them in their attempts at agri- 

Accompanying the article of Governor Felch on the Indian treaties, 
in Vol. 26 of the "Michigan Historical Collections," page 275 and following, 
is a map of the lands covered by this treaty, and containing practically all 
of Genesee county. The Indians, however, continued to occupy Genesee 
county; they did not understand that they had ceded these lands here, and 
a dispute arose as to this fact. The diagonal line from the White Rock, 
squthwestwardly, was beyond the knowledge of the Indians to locate accu- 
rately. It is, however, significant that Ne-o-me, during the interval between 
this treaty of 1807 and the Saginaw treaty of 1819, had moved from Mus- 
cat-a-wing (the Grand Traverse of the Flint) down the river into what 
is now Montrose township, and onto lands that were not included in the 
treaty of 1807. Whether this removal was because of the knowledge of the 
true line of the treaty is not known, but the fact remains. It was, however, 
the pohcy of Cass at the later treaty to practically concede the Indian 
claims to Genesee county, as he well knew that his careful preparations 
for the cession of the lands that he expected to secure at the later treaty 
could not fail of success; the Indian claim might better be conceded than 
to make the friction that would result if he asserted the rights of his 
government under the old treaty. 

Not only did the Indians continue to occupy this ceded territory after 
the treaty of 1807, but they even engaged in the War of 1812 against 
the Americans. A complete forfeiture of all their rights to the territories 
which they had at any time held might very properly have been claimed 
by the Americans, had it not been waived by the treaty of Spritigwells, a 
place near Detroit, which was held in September, 1815. This was essen- 
tially a treaty of peace. The cession of lands did not enter into it, unless 
the relinquishment of its right of conquest by the American government 
might be called such. The Indians had been continually at war with the 
Americans from the time of the Revolution, and their recent experiences 
in the War of 1812 inclined them to peace; so by the council of 1815 a peace 
was declared between the United States of America and the ChippewaSj 
Ottawas and Pottawatomies. The United States also agreed to restore 
to these Indians ail their possessions, rights and privileges which they 
enjoyed in the year 181 1, or previous to their engaging, in the War of 1812; 
the tribes in question agreed to place themselves under the protection of the 
United States government, and of no power whatever other than that gov- 

d by G OO"^ I c 


ernment. The treating parties also reaffirmed the treaties of Greenville 
and of 1807, and any other treaty between the contracting parties. By 
this last provision the Indians lost any claim that they had to Genesee 
county growing out of an error in the boundary line or misnuderstanding of 
its location. The object of this treaty of 1815- was to restore the status 
quo ante, and to absolve the Indians from any taint of treason in engaging 
in the War of 181 2 as allies of the British; also to secure their further 
allegiance to the United States of America. 


Lewis Cass, who became territorial governor after the War of 1812, 
was instructed to be active in securing the cession of Indian titles. The 
war had brought many soldiers of the Americans to Michigan. These sol- 
diers knew more about the lands and their possibilities for agriculture than 
did the survyor-general, who reported that not more than one acre in one 
hundred, probabh' not one in a thousand, of the lands in Michigan would 
ever be usable for agricultural purposes. A number of these soldiers were 
mustered out of service at Detroit after the war. Among them was John 
Hamilton, afterwards a resident of Flint. The demand for land by set- 
tlers was insistent. Cass was young, ambitious and resourceful. In 1817 
he treated with the Indians and got the northwestern part of Ohio and the 
northeastern jjart of Illinois. In 1818 he obtained the cession from the 
Pottawatomies of the rich valleys of the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers. 
A treaty a year seems to have been the pace he set for himself, and so in 
1819 he begun the preparations for the treaty with the Chippewas for the 
region about Saginaw bay. 

The Chippewas had not received all the pay due them under previous 
treaties and Cass, realizing the difficulties tliat would arise if he atternpteii 
to create further obligations while previously incurred ones remained unfui- 
fiiled, secured on his own personal responsibility from the banks at Detroit 
the funds and paid the Indians what was due them. The prize was over six 
million acres of land, situated around the bay of the Saginaw, accessible 
and promising great future development. This tract was known to be rich 
in timber and salt. Its fisheries were attractive and its agricultural wealth 
untold. The position of the Indians was equivocal. They had fought 
against the Americans during the war just closed. They could expect no 
considerations of friendship to protect them. Their title was by conquest 
and the\' were now conquered, and the right of the United States had the 



same sanction as their own. The treaty of Springvvells had formally for- 
given them their transgressions in the war, but there was nothing of good 
will behind it and the power of the Americans had been demonstrated. They 
came into the treaty with a consciousness of the weakness of their own 
position and of the strength of the government against them. 

Cass did not neglect any precautions. He had at his command a staff 
of the ablest men of the army, men who had great experience with the 
Indians. His interpreters were men who had passed a life among the 
Indians and who knew the Indian language as well, in some instances 
better, than their native tongue. Cass brought into his councils the men 
who of all were best equipped to estimate and know the wants and weak- 
nesses of the Indians, namely, the traders. These men had been brought 
into touch with the Indians not as enemies, but as friends, and the friend- 
ships that had grown up between these traders and the Indians were assets 
that Cass did not fail to see and enlist. These men could go as the friends, 
ostensibly, of the Indians, in reality as the paid agents of the whites; while 
acting in these dual relations, they could, and, as the sequel shows, did, 
help themselves by reserves, and the knowledge they had made the location 
of these reserves very desirable. 

Joseph Campau was then a trader of great experience, located at 
Detroit, from which point he traded with the Indians in every direction. A 
nephew, Louis Cami>au, had been a trader in the interior of the state, but 
in 1815 had settled at Saginaw, Jacob Smith, of Detroit, located among 
the Indians on the Flint river at Ne-o-me's town, where Montrose now is, 
and at Mus-cat-a-wing, the present location of the fifth ward of Flint. He 
was called Wahbesins, by the Indians. He was a great friend of Ne-o-me, 
the principal of the four chiefs of the Pewanigos of the Flint river. Smith 
had fraternized with these Indians; he had an Indian family and was thus 
more than a disinterested adviser. He went to the council as the friend 
of Ne-o-me and his activity and influence were perhaps the most effective 
factors in determining the trend of the treaty. He afterwards received five 
hundred dollars from Governor Cass for his services, and the interest that 
he received from the reserves that his family managed to secure was much 

■ Many other white men attended the council. Whitmore Knaggs, an 
interpreter, whose name is frequently seen on the pages of the early history 
of Michigan; Henry Connor, Wabeskendip, companion of Cass, and a son 
of Richard Conner, captive among the Indians; Louis Beaufait, an edu- 
cated Frenchman and a colonel, who in the early fall of iSi8 had followed 



the old trail out into the vicinity of Genesee county and explored the adjacent 
country; Col. Louis Godfroy, a trader of experience and an officer of 
ability; John G. Leib, afterwards judge; Andrew G. Whitney, a young 
lawyer, who afterwards became the attorney-general of the territory; Archi- 
bald Lyons, an Indian trader, with his half-breed wife; Henry Riley, the 
"old man," with two of his three half-breed children, John and James, 
both of whom received reserves, as did their absent brother Peter; Major 
John Whipple, of the United States army, who in 1816 kept one of Detroit's 
five taverns ; Capt. Jacob Visger, who with three others had secured from 
some Indian chief, purporting to represent the Indian owners, the grant of 
thirteen counties at the rate of about nine dollars a county ; William Tucker, 
called "Tucky" in the Abbott history, an interpreter, the son of the cele- 
brated William Tucker, Sr. ; John Hersey, called "Hursen" in the Abbo^: 
history, who made the second entry of lands in Oakland county; Ms^jor 
Robert A, Forsythe, private secretary to Governor Cass, who afterward 
drafted the treaty. 

The Indians of Genesee were represented by their four chiefs, Ne-o-me, 
who came from his town in Montrose, with four members of his family; 
Mix-e-ne-ne, and his squaw and two girls, Taw-cum-e-go-qua and Nah-tun-e- 
ge-zhic; Ton-e-do-gan-ee, war chief and second to Ne-o-me, and Kaw-ga- 
ge-zhic, the fourth chief, a younger brother of Ne-o-me and who lived far 
up the river above Mus-cat-a-wing. These four represented the Pe-wan-i-gos 
of the Flint river. These Indians had not become so far democratic as to 
have "head men," but "they all moved together in a mass as their chiefs 
directed," as was afterwards related by one of them. The government 
of these four was a family matter, three of the chiefs being brothers and 
the other a near relative. 

The most interesting personage there, the one who in after years caused 
the greatest litigation and whose identity was a matter for determining 
the title of a great tract of the city of Flint, was the half grown daughter 
of the chief, Mix-e-ne-ne, Taw-cum-e-go-qua, then about "three feet high" 
as related by the witnesses in the canse of Dewey vs. Campau, and dressed 
in a calico skirt, a iong dress, pantalets and smoked skin moccasins. She 
was there with her father's family, and probably "hung on the outskirts 
of the crowd, timidly," with the women and children, for the most part, 
except when she was taken by Smith and presented to Cass, as one of 
the children of his Indian friends for whom he was desirous of providing 
with a reserve at Mus-cat-a-wing. She did not live at this place, but down 
the river at Pe-won-i-go-wink, as the reservation came to be known, and 
was there married. 



The place of the treaty was on the bank of the Saginaw river just 
below where the present court house of Saginaw county now stands. Louis 
Campau had, under directions of General Cass, built a council house of some 
considerable capacity, and also had built a small house, or both, nearer the 
river for the governor and staff. A dining room and office were also prepared 
in the trading house of Campau. 

In the middle of the council house was a platform of hewn logs raised 
about a foot from the floor, for the use of the governor and his staff of 
ofl^icials who attended him. Around this platform were left spaces for the 
Indians, into which logs had been rolled to form seats. 

General Cass arrived on September lo, 1819. Very few Indians had 
come although many had camped in the immediate vicinity. Two vessels, 
a schooner and a sloop, had come up from Detroit with supplies and goods, 
and a company of the Third United States Infantry, under Capt. C. L. 
Cass, brother of the governor, had come along as military escort. They 
. anchored in the river opposite the council house. The uncertain attitude 
of the Indians made this precautionary measure advisable. Campau's trad- 
ing house was at the service of the governor. Here was a dining room and 
office. Here in the dining room the private council was held, at a short dis- 
tance from the grand council house. The various conferences at this place 
determined the treaty. It was a few days after Cass's arrival before the real 
sessions of the council commenced. They lasted many days and not until 
the third day did all the Indians attend. The entire numi>er of Indians 
of all kinds has been estimated as high as four thousand and as low as 
fifteen hundred. Of the real councilors of the Indians, who finally signed 
the treaty, the number was one hundred and fourteen — chiefs, head men, 
braves and warriors. These favored ones were the only ones admitted 
to the council, the women and children remaining in timid groups around the 
building awaiting the outcome. 

General Cass, knowing the Indian love of ceremony, opened the coun- 
cil with due formality, and then proceeded to inform the Indians of the 
object of the assembly — that is, the object of his government in calling 
them together. As stated by him, the desire for the welfare of his red chil- 
dren was the motive of the Great Father at Washington; to promote and 
perpetuate the friendly relations which had Iieen formally declared at the 
treaty of Springwells in 1815. He pictured the irresistible advance of the 
white settler; the pressure they would exercise upon the lands of the red 
children; the driving out of the game, necessitating a different mode of hfe; 
that it was the part of wisdom for the chiefs to lead their people into newer 



and better ways of living; that they should abandon the old things and 
should adopt the new ; that less dependence should be placed on the pre- 
carious hunting and fishing, which often failed to bring sustenance, and 
that more dependence should be placed on the fruits of the earth, to be 
developed by agriculture on the fertile fields to be reserved for the Indians 
sufficient to meet their needs, and to be selected by the Indians themselves; 
and that the government was willing to buy their lands at a fair, even a 
generous price, for the use of the white emigrants who would come among 
them and live as neighbors and friends. 

The Indians heard this in sullen silence. Plainly the agriculture of 
the white man did not appeal to them. The suggested pressure of the 
settlers aroused antagonism. 

After Knaggs and Connor, the interpreters, had ceased, and an inter- 
val of silence had elapsed, O-ge-maw-kete arose and spoke with gravity, 
hut decision. He opposed the proi>osition of Cass. He was barely tweniy- 
one in years, but eloquent and a mode! of Indian beauty. He was the 
principal speaker and acknowledged leader of the Indians. Addressing the 
governor, he said : 

"You do not know our wishes. Our people wonder what has brought 
you so far from your homes. Your young men have invited us to come 
and light the council fire. We are here to smoke the pipe of peace, but 
not to sell our lands. Our American Father wants them. Our English 
Father treats us better; he has never asked for them. Your people tres- 
pass upon our hunting grounds. You flock to our shores. Our waters 
grow warm; our land melts like a cake of ice; our possessions grow smaller 
and smaller; the warm wave of the white man rolls in u^ron us and melts 
us away. Our women reproach us. Our children want homes ; shall we 
sell from under them the spot where they spread their blankets? We have 
not called you here. We smoke with you the pipe of peace." 

Others of the chiefs spoke, among them Mishenenanonequet and Kish- 
kawko— the latter a wily, troublesome person who had come from Canada 
among the Chippewas of the Saginaw. Here he had, by his ability, attained 
some considerable influence and, although an interloper, was allowed partici- 
pation in the council, where by right he had no voice. His vehemence of 
expression so irritated Cass that he answered with earnestness, reproving 
the speaker for his arrogance and reminding the Indians that their Great 
Father at Washington had just terminated a war in which he not only 
defeated the Enghsh king, whom they called their English Father, but also 
the Indians themselves; that by their hostilities against the Great Father 



at Washington they had forfeited their lands by all the rules of warfare, 
and that he might rightfully take them without payment of anything, but 
that he preferred to act magnanimously and pay them for their lands, and at 
the same time secure to them ample reserves where their women and chil- 
dren could live in security and spread their blankets, receive aid from their 
Great Father and 1^ taught to make the soil productive. 

With this the council closed for the day, followed by a period of con- 
ferences- — the Indians among themselves, the traders with the Indians, and 
the traders with the commissioners. Intrigues, threats and advices, all 
governed by the interests of the parties, filled the interim between the meet- 
ings of the council. A day, two, three, passed, during which the Indians 
smoked and counselled together, as told by the governor, but from all their 
dehberations there resulted nothing definite. One baleful influence was 
removed, however; Kish-kaw-ko, the vehement Indian from Canada, con- 
soled himself by drink, and after the first day's council became too besotted to 

If left to the Indians themselves, the council would have been barren 
of results for Cass. They continued to be sullenly opposed to any cession 
of lands. But here the power of the traders was felt. Smith in particular 
influenced Ne-o-me, who is described by Campau as an ignorant, but kind 
and well-meaning man. Not only was he powerful with the Pewanigo 
chief, but he was i:)ersonally acquainted with about every chief present, each 
of whom had some act of kindness on his part to remember. He had 
entertained them and in their need had given them something to aid them. 
With Ne-o-me it was more. It was a brotherhood in which the Indian 
recognized his brother Wahbesins as his wiser counsellor. Smith had a 
tent and Ne-o-me was with him daily. Smith, seeing that the cause of 
the Indians was desperate, was determined to help his friends and set about 
securing such reservations as he could for those in whom he was especially 
interested, Ne-o-me candidly said, as related by Nau-gun-nee, "I know not 
what to do in the case," and put it into Smith's hands to secure for his 
family such benefits as he could. Smith accepted the commission and thence- 
forth used his good offices for the benefit of his friends. So the council 
seemed to be dead-locked, until word came to Ne-o-me, through Whitmore 
Knaggs, the interpreter, that the wishes of Wahbesins should be acceded to. 
Then did Ne-o-me oppose the purpose of the Indians, as expressed by 
Ogemawkete in council. The dominant influence of Ne-o-me soon brought 
about a change in the attitude of the Indians. Beaufait and Campau had 



also been working along lines similar with Smith's. Thej', too. had friends 
to be provided for, and they too received promises. 

The second assembly of the council found a more receptive represen- 
tation of Indians. Cass, also, had waived the matter of removing the Indians 
beyond the Mississippi. At this council there was a great deal of dis- 
cussion, but it referred to matters of detail, rather than main issues. These 
had been disposed of by the negotiations in the interval between the two 
grand councils. Among these it had been agreed that eleven reserves of 
six hundred and forty acres each should be made at the Grand Traverse of 
the Flint, to be given to as many Indians by name, such names to be handed 
in by Smith. At this second council all was adjusted, and its adjournment 
was only to give time for drafting the treaty preparatory to signing, which 
was reserved for the last grand council. 

It is said in the Abbott history that tlie talents and powers of Smith 
would seem to have suggested to Cass his employment as interpreter and 
negotiator for the government, and that the fact that Cass did not so employ 
him implied a distrust of Smith. It would, however, seem that some arrange- 
ment existed between Cass and Smith, and that the course was evidence of 
Cass's astuteness. Smith as an open employee of the United States would 
have lost much of his influence with the Indians, which bore such good 
results. It is very significant that Cass paid Smith afterwards five hun- 
dred dollars for his services at the council. The conclusion is quite justified 
that he was there from the first as the paid agent of Cass, while ostensibly 
wholly on the side of the Indians. 

The last day of the grand council, on which the treaty was to be 
signed, was the greatest of all. The council house was crowded with 
Indians, all being admitted, to the full capacity of the building. While 
the treaty purports to be between the United States of America and the 
Chippewa Nation of Indians, there were present, and participating, a num- 
ber of Ottawas, some of whom signed the treaty. Military pomp and 
ceremony attended the signing. First, Lewis Cass, as commissioner of 
Indian affairs, signed the document. Next, one hundred and fourteen 
Indians, being the chief's head men and warriors of the Chippewas of the 
Saginaw, signed the same. The name of Ne-o-me, signed by another, 
appears as Reaune. The totem sign of the Indian generally appears accom- 
panied by the name written by the secretary. The subscribing witnesses 
were Secretaries Lieb and Whitney; Forsyth, private secretary of Governor 
Cass; Captains Cass and Root; Lieutenant Peacock; Godfrey, Knags, Tucker, 
Beaufait, Hersey, interpreters; John Hill, army contractors; Barny Campeau, 



V. S. RyJey, J, Whipple, Henry I. Hunt, William Keith, A. E. Lacock, 
Richard Smythe, John Smythe, B. Head, Conrad Ten-eyck and Louis Deqiiin- 
dre. This last grand council at which the treaty was signed as above was 
September 3, 1819, a memorable day whose centennial anniversary ought 
to be observed fittingly, as it was one of the most dramatic events of our 

The testimony of Louis Campau, the trader, given at the trial of the 
Dewey-Campau case at Saginaw in i860, is worthy of preservation as the 
sworn account of the treaty in question, and as bearing upon the family 
of Ne-o-me and the Indians of Mus-cat-a-wing. He said, "1 live at Grand 
Rapids; am sixty-eight years old last August. I remember the treaty of 
1819. I then resided here. I had then resided here four years before the 
treaty. I was then trading with the Indians. Joseph, one of the defendants, 
is my uncle. I had a trading house; this was opposite the lower end of 
the bayou; the house now there I built in 1822; it was farther up that 
my store was, I was here at the treaty. There was old Mr, Riley, Con- 
nor, Eeaufait, Knaggs, Godfrey, Whipple, Visger, Forsyth, Tucker, Hersey, 
and a halfbreed named Walker, brought from Mon-a-qua-gon. I have 
seen the treaty and know the witnesses without looking at the treaty book. 
If any of those are alive it must be Mr. Hersey; I heard this summer 
that he was alive; I saw him in 1836 in Chicago; we traded then together; 
think he is the only one living. I was requested by Cass to come on ahead 
and make suitable provision for a store house and dining room and council 
room, etc. The most of the business was at General Cass's office, going in 
and going out. There was a long table in the dining room, and the private 
council was held there. The office and the dining room were separated 
only by a storehouse. There were four log buildings all together, end t{i 
end. These were six to eight rods from the room where the grand council 
room was, I think Cass arrived in the afternoon, and sent his agents for 
the Indians to gather next morning at ten o'clock. This was after all the 
departments got here^all the principal officers had got here. The next 
morning the)- met at the council house. The first council was to let them 
know that he was sent by the Great Father to make a treaty with them, 
that he wanted to buy their lands, stating the points, and for them to go 
back and smoke and think about it; they then worked at private business 
for three or four days, when he called them together again. After he 
got the will of the principal chiefs, there was much trouble to get the consent 
of all. At the second council there was great difficulty; hard words; they 
threatened General Cass among the rest. The object of the council after 



they consented to treat, was to state the terms on which he was authorized 
to treat. From the second to the third council was five or six days. They 
stayed nine or ten in all. The last council was to read the treaty to them ; 
it was read and interpreted to them. Harry Connor was the interpreter. 1 
was present at the last council; went in the morning, and did not leave 
until they all left. I cannot tell everything that was done there, for it is 
impossible to recollect them all. Tribal reservations were first made. Gen- 
eral Cass sat at the northeast corner of the shanty; the table was next to 
him, then a row of logs, and beyond that the Indians — women, children 
and all. Then after the reservations for the tribes were made, the reserva- 
tions were made for the half-breeds — first the Riley's, then a Campau, and 
then mentioned Mrs. Coutant; she was right opposite General Cass, and 
Connors when reading the treaty pointed her to the Indians as their rela- 
tive, and when her name was said they resfxinded as though pleased. After 
the treaty was read and approved by the Indians and signed by them, 
which was as soon as read, Genera! Cass ordered the money to be brought 
to the table — it was all in half dollars — for the i>ayment After the treaty 
was made, it was sundown, and the Indians all got drunk and nothing could 
be said by anyone, and General Cass gave the order to be off. The Crow 
was a good looking young fellow^ooked like a half-breed; he had a little 
log house and a store house and a hen house, and tried to imitate the whites 
as much as he could in cooking, etc. He had a tent he made himself. I 
knew Ne-o-me and his band after the treaty; knew him well; he traded 
with me as long as I sold here. Knew Ne-o-me before the treaty from 
the time I came here in the spring of 1815; knew his hunters; he never 
had any children that I know of; I paid no attention to any of them unless 
they were able to trade with me. Ne-o-me was very ignorant, but he was 
very good, honest and kind. I knew Ton-dog-a-ne well, as well as I 
knew Ne-o-me; he was the second chief of Ne-o-me at the time, and after- 
wards head chief. I knew all the head men of the band who was a hunter; 
heard them after the treaty converse about the treaty, and Mix-e-ne-ne; also 
he used to trouble me. I understood the Chippewa language at that time; 
I was brought up with them from the time I was seven years old. I was 
sixty-eight last August. I was never in the office; I was in the council 
room from four in the morning till the evening, and this is a statement of 
the facts as they took place before my eyes, as I was there after the treaty 
was signed, and the goods and money distributed, and the Indians were all 
drunk. Cass and his party left before daylight next morning; the troops 
before ten o'clock. At the time of the treaty there was no Flint village where 



Flint now is. Where Ne-o-me lived was called Ne-o-me"s village. Where 
Flint now is was called Musca-da-win. The English called it Grand Traverse, 
Ne-o-nie was a short, thick-set man, a little stooped at the time of the treaty; 
he must have been forty-five to fifty-five years old." 

According to Kaw-ga-ge-zhic, brother of Ne-o-me, also a chief of a 
band about six miles up the river from the village of h'lint, at "Tobosh's" 
trading house, Ne-o-me was the principal orator at the treaty. 

Ne-o-me lived at his village, Ne-o-me town, on the reservation in the 
present town of Montrose until his death, in 1827. He was the last to exer- 
cise the real powers and prerogatives of a chief over the Chippewas of our 
county. His territories had diminished, his i>eop!e had decreased in num- 
bers, and their old customs had been lost. He outlived his good friend 
Smith by about two years. In his earlier years he had all the fierceness and 
blood lust of the wild Chippewa, and extorted a large ransom for a white 
captive that he had taken, James Hardin, in the war, whom his brother, 
Mix-e-ne-ne, was determined on torturing. Like the Chippewas in general, 
he was a believer in evil spirits, Munesous, the spirits of the departed Sauks, 
who still haimted the valleys of the Saginaw and Pewanigowink. The 
law of retaliation was recognized by the Chippewas, and what could Ije 
more natural than that the ghosts of these murdered Sauks should come 
back to retaliate upon the Chippewas. Ne-o-me, if we credit Campeau's 
estimate of his age at the time of the treaty of Saginaw, was not much over 
sixty at the time of his death. He left children and grandchildren. A 
brother was alive to testify in the Dewey suit in i860. His name was ICaw- 
ga-ge-zhic. Ne-o-me's daughter, Sa-gos-a-qua, also testified in that suit, and 
identified Taw-cnm-e-go-qua as the daughter of Mix-e-ne-ne. This daughter 
of Ne-o-me was the same for whom one of the si x-hundred-and- forty -acre 
reservations was made at Flint. 

Ephraim S. Williams, of Flint, many years after the treaty of Saginaw, 
told the following story: The Indians of the Saginaw had become indebted 
to Louis Campau, who had traded among them for four years prior to the 
treaty in the sum of about fifteen hundred dollars, and there was an under- 
standing between him and the chiefs that he should receive this money 
from the funds that might become due to the Indians on account of the 
treaty. General Cass was also informed of this agreement, and at the time 
when the money was brought in he called the attention of the chiefs to the 
matter, and asked if he might pay Campeau the sum due him in accordance 
with the understanding. They told him that they were his children, under 
his protection, and that he should pay the money to them directly, which 



Cass accordingly did. This attitude of the Indians was by Campau charged 
to the influence of the other traders. Smith in particular, who, anticipating 
a harvest of traffic when the Indians came into their money, were averse 
to seeing so much of it go to Cami>au. Smith had, through Kishkawko 
and other chiefs of the Indians, very easily persuaded the Indians that their 
present needs were more imperative than the payment of old debts. Cara- 
peau, seeing his money lost, hopped from the piatfomi and struck Smith 
twice in the face; but further fighting between him and Smith, who was 
quite willing to fight it out, was stopped by the interpreters, Beaufait and 
Connor, who interposed and separated the belligerents. 

The traders, interpreters and others pacified the Indians finally and 
they returned to sleep off the effects of their debauch. After they had 
entirely recovered from the same, they were both tractable and amiable— so 
much so that after the governor and his staff had left, they sent the orator, 
Mishenenanonequet, to overtake and convey to the governor their complete 
satisfaction and pleasure at the council and resulting treaty. 

The pertinent provisions of the treaty were as follows : 

iiticle'i of n treit( iinile imd miKluded it Siginin lu tUe Territui-y of ■vriLhlgnn 
hetiipeti the United States of -inieiici in their (^nimlsMimei lenis Ca-w nnd the 
Chippewi Nation of ludlnus 

*rt 1 Ihe Chlppenn Nation of Indians In i^jub) deration of the stipulations 
lieiein mide on the paiTr of the Lulted 'States do herein foreier cede to the Iiitted 
States the land comprehended nithm the foUonme lines ind boundaries Beginning 
flt ii point lu the ]>reseiit Indian boundai\ line which non rung due north from the 
mouth ot the gieat Yuglalze rliei six miles south of the place where the base Hue 
so tailed intersects the same thente nest sixti miles thence in a dliect line to the 
head of Thunder Bl1^ liier thence down the same following the courses thereof to 
the mouth thence northeast to the bound'>r\ line between the United States ind the 
Bilttsh Proiinoe of tipper Caiiada thence with the same to the line established b\ 
the tieitj of Detroit iu the \eor oue thousand eight hundied and seicn thence with 
said line to the place of be^liminf; 

\rt 2 From the cession aforesaid the follonliig ti ids, .)f imd shill be res^r^el 
for the use of the Chippewa Nation of Indians 

One tract of fiie thousand and seien hundred and si^ty acies up< n Flint rher to 
include Keaumes tillage and a place called kishknwbawee 

\it 3 There sLiH le reser\ed for the use (f each of the persona herpuiafter 
meiiti >ned nnd then hen-, nhich persons ire all Indnn b^ descent the filloning ti itts 
ff land 

For the use of Nowoke^ik, MetawMiene, Mokltchenoqua. Nondaahemau, Petabona- 
qu!i, Messiiwakut, Chehalk, KItchegeequa, Sagosequa, Annekeitogua and Tawcumego- 
Qim, each si.-c hundred and forty acres of land, to be located at or near the Grand 




ImeisB of tiie Hiut liiei lit p.u ii lii mii« iH thi. lie \nn of tlje liiltel vt tps 
may direct 

4.rt 4 In conaideiatluii of the ceiwkii nforesaltl the lulled statea tigiee t ! ■> 
to tlie Chltpewu Niition it ludi iiis iiiiiiiiilU foreier the sum of one thousand il II ih 
111 slUer and do alao agree that all aimxiities due h^ am foiuiei tieatv to the mII 
tribe shall be hereafter paid In silvei 

4rf "i The Sptlpwlation (.outjiiiied iii the tiettj of (.leemiDe lehithe to the light 
of the ludlawB to huut upon the laud ceded while it continues the piopem of the 
Lutted Stitea shall apylj to this tieitv and the Indians shall f*i the Raiue teim euj )y 
the privilege if luiklHj, aiigii ujitii the aiiiie 1 nd couinilttin^ «j unneieh'<ar\ \\ iste 
tipon the trees 

Art 7 The T nited Stiiteh lesene the light to the ti t ei itl ilti t ii il i 1 
thiough any pait of the Imd lesened h\ this tie. tj 

Art s The 1 nlted Istates eii^it.e to pio\ide nil Miiii«it hlitksmith f i the 
Indians it Suglnan so long as the Pie'ildent of the T nited Stiites luny think pri per 
imd to furnish tlie Chippen i Indiims nith snch ruiinluL uteuHiN imd cuttle and to 
eniplo\ suih pefjoiis ti. aid them in tlieli ivntnltuie is the Irwident m ii deem 

The names <f the Inch in v.h signed this treats in liuled the n-imt 
Reaume meint lar \e i me ind the viHige referreil tj ts Reinme s 
village, was the village of Ne-o-me. Mix-e-ne-ne, brother of Ne-o-me, also 
signed the treaty, his name appearing as "Meckseonne." Ton-e-do-gaunee 
appears on the treaty as "Fonegawne," and Kaw-ga-ge-zhic appears as "Kog- 

Of the eleven reserves made for persons named, "all Indian by descent," 
six are names of women, as the ending, "qua," the Chijjpewa word meaning 
woman, denotes. The other five are masculine names in the same language. 


Of the tribal reservation <jf five thousand seven hundred and sixty 
acres of land, to include the village of Ne-o-me, and the place called Kish- 
kawbawee, there could be no dispute. No caviler could suggest that the 
tribe was any other than the Chippewas of the Saginaw, and so the United 
States on the next season after the treaty was made surveyed the same 
and set off for the tribe the reservation, partly in the present county of 
Genesee and party in Saginaw, to include the two villages named. 

In Genesee county, the reservation contained all of section 4, the east 
half of section 5, the west half of section 3, the north half of section 9, the 
northeast quarter of section 8, and the northwest quarter of section 10, all 
in the town of Montrose. This reserve in Genesee county was a rectangular 



piece of land, containing one thousand nine hundred and twenty acres, with 
the FHnt river running approximateiy through the center of it. 

This reservation was known by the Chippewa name for the Fhnt 
river, Pewonigowink, and afterwards the town containing it, was given the 
name of the town of Pewonigowink ; but this was later changed to Montrose. 
Upon this same land afterwards the Flint River Agricultural Society estab- 
lished its fair grounds and held its fairs, and in later times it had been 
known as the Taymouth fair. 

A celebrated place is known as the Old Indian field, where travelers up 
and down the river were accustomed to camp. This was on the Pewonigo- 
wink reservation in Saginaw county. It is said that the Indians planted 
their own corn on this field for years ; but finally the grub worms destroyed 
their crop for two or three years in succession, when they abandoned the 
field, believing that the Manitou had cursed it. These Indians were extremely 
superstitious and believed in evil spirits, especially the ghosts of the Sauks, 
who in their traditions were murdered by their ancestors under circumstances 
of great cruelty. Ephraim S. Williams, the Indian trader of Saginaw and 
Flint, tells of their fears as follows: 

"It has been mentioned that the ancient Chiiipewas imagined the coun- 
try which they had wrested from the conquered Sauks to be haunted by 
the spirits of those whom they had slain, and that it was only after the 
lapse of years that their terrors were sufficiently allayed to permit them to 
occupy the 'haunted grounds." But the superstition still remained, and in 
fact it was never entirely dispelled. Long after the Saginaw valley was 
studded with white settlements, the simple Indians still believed that myste- 
rious Sauks were lingering in their forests and along the margins of the 
streams for the purposes of vengeance; that 'Manesous,' or bad spirits in 
the fonn of Sauk warriors, were hovering around their villages and camps 
and the flank of their hunting grounds, preventing them from being suc- 
cessful in the chase and bringing ill-fortune and discomfiture in a hundred 
ways. So great was their dread that when (as was frequently the case) 
they became possessed with the idea that the 'Manesous' were in their imme- 
diate vicinity, they would fly as for their lives, abandoning everything — 
wigwams, fish, game and all their camp equipment — and no amount of 
ridicule by the whites could induce them to stay and face the imaginary 
danger. Some of the Indians whose country joined that of the Saginaws 
played upon their weakness and superstition and derived profit from it 
by lurking around their villages or camps, frightening them into flight and 
then appropriating the property which they abandoned. There was a time 



every spring when the Indians from Saginaw and the interior would con- 
gregate in large numbers for the purpose of putting up dried sturgeon, 
which made a very delicate dish when properly cooked, and was much used 
in those days in the first families of Detroit. We used to purchase con- 
siderable of it for our use. The Indians would select the best, flay them, 
hang them across poles in rows, about four feet from the ground and two 
feet apart, then a gentle smoke was kept under them until they were per- 
fectly dry, then packed up in bales of perhaps fifty pounds each. When 
their bales were put up for summer use, then the poor lazy, worthless Indians 
from a distance who had an eye to supplying themselves with provisions 
which they never labored to obtain, would commence in different ways to 
excite their fears that the 'Manesous' were about the camp, until at last 
they would take to their canoes and flee, often leaving almost everything 
they possessed. Then the 'Manesous' — thieving Indians from the bands who 
had cunningly brought about the stampede for the sake of plunder— would 
rob the camps of what they wanted and escape to their homes with, per- 
haps, their supplies of fish for the summer, and often of sugar and dried 
venison. I have met them fleeing as above; sometimes twenty or more 
canoes; have stopped them and tried to induce them to return, and we 
would go with them; but no, it was the 'Manesous,' they said, and nothing 
could convince them differently; away they would go, frightened nearly 
to death. I have visited their camps at such times and secured their effects 
that were left in camp from destruction from wild animals. After a while 
they would return and save what was left. During these times they were 
perfectly miserable, actually afraid of their own shadows. 

"Similar scenes were enacted by their hunting parties in the forests 
of the Shiawassee and the Flint, and at their summer camps, the beauti- 
ful inland lakes of their southern border. I have had them come to me 
from places miles distant, bringing their rifles to me and asking me to 
examine and re-sight them, declaring that the sights had been moved; and 
in some cases they had, but by themselves in their fright. I always did, 
when applied to. re-sight and try them until they would shoot accurately 
then they would go away cheerfully. I would tell them they must keep 
their rifles where the 'Manesous' could not find them. At other times 
when they had a little bad luck hunting or trapping, they became excited 
and would say that the game had been over and in their traps, and they 
could not catch anything. I have known them to go so far as to" insist 
that a beaver or otter had been in their traps and had gotten out; that 
their traps were bewitched or spellbound, and their rifles charmed by the 



'Manesous,' so they could not catch or kill anything. They then got up a 
great feast, and the medicine man, or conjurers, through their wise and 
dark performances, removed the charm and all was well; traps and rifles 
did their duty again." 

Ne-o-me continued to live at his village on the reservation after the 
treaty of Saginaw was made. The pictures of Indian life given above will 
aid in understanding the life he led. He continued to be a close friend 
of the trader, Jacob Smith, until Smith died in 1825, Ne-o-me died in 
1827, and was succeeded by Ton-e-do-ganee, the war chief, who had become 
second chief to Ne-o-me. As the name of the new chief in his language 
means a furious dog, perhaps he was better adapted to ruhng these super- 
stitious people of Pewonigowink than was the amiable Ne-o-me. In this 
succession of the new chief, we may see the fulfillment of the long deferred 
ambition of the war chief, of which the romantic tale tells when he dra- 
matically annoimced to Ne-o-me and Chessaning the fact of the sister's 
elopement with the French trader. 

At the treaty of Saginaw, Cass was obliged to give up his attempt to 
provide for the removal of the Chippewas to some point west of Lake 
Michigan, The reservations for the Indians at that treaty were small and 
insignificant as compared to the great extent of the ceded territory of over 
six milUon acres. But even these insignificant and relatively unimportant 
tracts were envied by the settlers, and Cass never gave up his intention of 
removing the Indians. In pursuance of the general policy of his govern- 
ment, various treaties were made with the different tribes by which they 
were induced to move to the westward, on lands given them in lieu of their 
Michigan reserves. 

The Chippewas of our locality had become divided into three bands, 
the Swan Creek band, the Black River band and the Saginaw band. These 
were regarded as separate and distinct from the northern Chippewas. In 
March, 1836, a treaty was made by the United States, on the one hand, 
and the Chippewa nation and Ottawa nation on the other, by which cession 
of their lands were made. The benefits of this treaty, however, were con- 
fined to the Chippewas of the upper peninsula and the region between the 
Grand river and the "Cheboigan." It was not intended that the affairs 
of the three bands above named should be involved in this treaty. On 
May 9, 1836, a treaty was made by the United States, through Henry R. 
Schoolcraft, commissioner, and the Swan Creek and Black River bands 
of the Chippewas, by which they gave up their reservations and in return 
were to receive thirteen sections of land west of the Mississippi river, or 



northwest of St. Anthony falls. Among the chiefs who signed this treaty 
was Kay-way-ge-zhig (imentling day), the father of David Fisher, who 
hved many years in Gaines near the Crapo farm ; he died, respected by all 
who knew him, on April 26, 1884, and is now buried on the Crapo farm. 
Of all the Chipiiewas who once held title to this county, his family were 
prol>abIy the last residents. His Indian name was Wah-e-lenessah and he was 
]>rol)aWy the last chief within this county. A great-great-grandtlaughter of 
his is now living in the city of Flint. 

On Januar)' 14, 1837, at Detroit, was consummated the treaty between 
the Saginaw band of the Chippewas and the United States. This treaty 
was also negotiated by Schoolcraft, as commissioner for the United States. 
Among the provisions of this treaty, the Saginaw l>and ceded to the United 
States all the reservation on the Flint river, or the Pewonigowink reserva- 
tion. Ey this cession the last vestige of tribal lands within the county of 
Genesee was surrendered. The Indians had the right to Hve on certain 
reservations further north, for five years, and were then to remove to a 
western location to be selected for the purpose by a delegation of the Indians, 
who were to make a personal examination of the same. The place was to 
be in proximity to kindred tribes who had already moved there. It was 
contemplated thai if such location could be satisfactorily made, the ("liiiv 
pewas should then form a "re-union'' with such kindred tribes and move 

The lands ceded were to Ije sold by the United States government and 
the moneys received for them were to be used for the benefit of the Indians. 
Tonedogaunee. successor of Ne-o-me, signed this treaty, with twenty-six 
other chiefs of the Saginaw band, of the Chippewas. It is also significant 
that ten of the chiefs who signed it w^ere to receive each the sum of five hun- 
dred and one dollars, and Tonedogaunee was one of these. 

On Deceml)er 20, 1837, a further treaty was made between this band 
and the United States, with Schoolcraft acting as commissioner. The coun- 
cil was held "on the Flint River," and this was the only instance of a treaty 
being made here; it was at the present site of our city of Flint, or the Grand 
Traverse of the Flint, that the Indians gathered for council and made the 
treaty. The delegation of Indians who had. under the stipulations of the 
earlier treaty of January, visited the western location and selected a place 
for their future home, had reported, and this council wasi to give tribal sanc- 
tion to the re|X>rt nf the delegation. The reservation selected was "on the 
headwaters of the Osage river, in the country visited by the delegation of 



the triJie during the present year, to be of proper extent, agreeably to their 
numbers, embracing a due proportion of wood and water, and lying con- 
tiguous to tribes of kindred languages." To this treaty were signed the 
names of Tonedogaunee and Kau-gay-ge-zhig, the latter as having been a 
party to the treaty of the Swan Creek Indians, whose son was David Fisher 
of Genesee county. John Garland, major of the United States army; Henry 
Connor, the interpretei- and sub-agent, T. B. W. Stockton ; G. D. Williams, 
commissioner of internal improvements, South Michigan; Jonathan Beach, 
Charles C. Hascall, receiver.-i of public moneys; Ailwrt J. Smith, Robert J. 
S. Page. Wait Beach, l^ev. I,utl'er D. Whitney and T. R. Cimimings signed 
as witnesses. 

Another treaty was made by the government of the United States and 
the representatives of the several bands of Indians within the Saginaw dis- 
trict, at Saginaw, on the 23rd day of January, 1838. By its provisions, 
which were in the nature of additional safeguards to the Indians in securing 
the proper sums for the sale of the lands ceded, the United States agreed 
that the sales should be conducted the same as other sales of public lands; 
that the lands slionki be ]>nt up for sale by the register and receiver of the 
land office at five dollars per acre, and should not go at less than that price 
for two years: after that the price of lands unsold should be two and a half 
dollars uer acre. The object of this agreement was to quiet the fears of the 
Indians that a combination might be made to get the lands for a small sum. 
This treatv seems to have lx:en the last that in any way affected Genesee 


The difficulties of carrying into effect the provisions of the treaty of 
Saginaw, 1819. so far as they effected Genesee county, arose from disputes 
as to the identity of the persons for whose use the reservations "at or near 
the Grand Traverse of the Flint," were made. 

There were eleven of these. They were surveyed by the government 
in the early part of i8::>0, and the survey showed each reservation with the 
name of the person for whom it was reserved. Six of these were located 
along the north side of the river, each of six hundred and forty acres. 
^~hey were irregularly tonnded. by the river on the south, the other three 
Ijounds l>eing right lines, hut not parallel. They were numbered from east 
to west: Niiml)er one, for Taw-cum-e-go-qua : number two, for Meta-wa- 
ne-ne; number three, for Annoketoqua; numl>er four, for Sagosequa; num- 



ber five, for Nondasheniau ; number six, for Messawawkut. The five 
reserves south of the river were similarly surveyed, with the river for their 
northern boundary, and numbered from east to west: Number seven, for 
Nowokezhik; number eight, for Mokitchenoqiia ; number nine, for Che-I>alk; 
number ten for Petabonequa; and number eleven, for Kitchigeequa. These 
are all Indian names; those ending in "qua" are feminine, the others mascu- 
line. All the persons named were, by the treaty, to 1« "Indians by descent," 
words which would seem to be unequivocal and quite incapable of misappli- 

To treat these various reserves seriatim: Number one, for the use of 
Taw-cum-e-go-qua, was the subject of long and strenuous litigation, the 
issue of the dispute de[x:nding on the identity of the Indian woman. Taw- 
cum-e-go-qua, Two Indian women were brought forward, each as the per- 
son so named in the treaty. One of these was a girl, of tender age at the 
time of the treaty of 1819. She was the daughter of sub-chief Mixenene 
and was present at the treaty with her father and his family. She was also 
a niece of Ne-o-me, the head chief. Being a full-blooded Indian, she came 
within the treaty provision. She lived with her parents on the reservation 
af Pewonigowink until she grew to maturity and married an Indian by the 
name of Kahzheauzungh. They had three children. In 1841, she sold her 
interest in the reservation to John Barlow and Addison Stewart and later 
their rights passed by certain conveyances to George H. Dewey and Rufus 
J. Hamilton. Of all the claims put forth by various persons to the Indian 
reserves, theirs seemed the best. They had acquired by purchase the title 
from an Indian woman who it was conceded bore the name for which the 
reserve was made. She was an Indian by descent. Her relationship was 
such with the ruhng chiefs who made the treaty, that she was the logical 
person for whom such provision would naturally be made. 

Even with all these equities, the title of Dewey and Hamilton was con- 
tested. A trader bv the name of Bolieu, the same who was called Kasseqaus 
bv the Indians, and who figures in one of the romantic tales, had married an 
Indian wife, and their daughter, Angelique Bolieu, whose Indian name was 
said to be Tawcumegoqua, was claimed to be the true beneficiary of the first 
reserve. .She had been sent to a school and educated, and afterwards mar- 
ried a man named Coutant, by whom she had two children, a son and 
daughter. Her husband dying, she married Jean Baptiste St. Aubin. She 
was of middle age, and married, when the treaty was made in 1819, and she 
died about eight years after that date, leaving her two children. She had 



never had possession o£ the reserve, although it was said she had claimed it 
as her property. After her death, her two children, Simon Coutant and 
Angchque Coutant Chauvin, conveyed the reser\'ation to Joseph Campau of 
Detroit. This was in October, 1833. In 1839 other deeds were made in 
confirmation of these deeds of 1833, and Joseph Campau, claiming the 
reserve, took possession by placing tenants on the same. A patent was 
issued to Campau by the United States government. 

These two conflicting claims to the reserve came into court on a suit 
by Dewey and Hamilton against Campau. At the first trial, Campau was 
successful. The case then went to the supreme court, where it was affirmed. 
This case was determined on a technical defect in the deed and the merits 
involved were not decided. Dewey and Hamilton then secured other deeds 
that obviated the technical defects and another suit was begun, which was 
transferred to Saginaw county for trial because of the influences that might 
operate in Genesee county to prejudice the jury. The growth of population 
in Flint, which had become a city before the suit was instituted, made the 
reserve a tempting prize. The best legal talent of the state appeared for 
the litigants. Moses Wisner, (at one time governor of Michigan, the father 
of the late Judge Wisner of Flints, M. E. Crowfoot and J. Moore, repre- 
sented Dewey and Hamilton. S. T. Douglass, W. M. Fenton, J. G. Suther- 
land and Chauncey P. Avery were attorneys for Campau. The trial of 
this suit at Saginaw in i860 resulted in a verdict to the effect that Tawcume- 
goqua, daughter of Mixenene, was the person of that name for which resei-ve 
number one was intended, and that Dewey and Hamilton, who had acquired 
her rights in the same, were the owners of it and entitled to its possession. 

This suit went to the supreme court and the decision of that court, in 
the Ninth Michigan Report at page 381, et seq., contains a great deal of 
historical interest. "Evidence was adduced," says the Reporter, "tending 
to prove that at the time of the treaty of Saginaw, and for many years prior 
and subsequent thereto, a band of Chippewa Indians resided at the village 
of Pewonigowink. on the Flint river, and alxiut ten miles below the Grand 
Traverse of that river, in the place where the present city of Flint is located; 
that during all the time referred to, Neome was the chief of this band ; that 
Tonedogane was the principal warrior, or second chief of the band, and 
succeeded Neome in the chieftianship on his decease; that one Mixenene was 
also a member of this band, and a brother of Neome, and that Mixenene 
had a daughter named Tawcumegoqua, who was about six years of age at 
the time of the treaty, and was a member of Neome's family; that Neome 



also had three children — -two females, Segosaqua and Owanonaquatoqna, 
the former ai>out ten or twelve years old at the time of the treaty, the latter 
a woman grown, and one boy, Ogibwak, who was aliout fifteen years of 
age, and a grandson, Metawanene ; that all tlie children named were full 
blood Indian children ; that at the time referred to, Jacob Smith had a store 
near the Grand Traverse of the Flint river, in which he carried on trade 
with the Indians of that vicinity, and was a man of considerable influence 
among them; that Neome. his children and said grandchild, and his l>and, 
including Tonedogane and also Mixenene and his little daughter Taw- 
cumegoqua, were present at the treaty ; that on the night prior to the last 
council, at which the treaty was read over, agreed to and signed, Jacob 
Smith came to Neonie's tent and advised him to get special reservation of 
land for his children and ])romised to assist bim in doing so: that at the 
grand council held the next day between the Indians and General Cass, 
Neonie came forward before General Cass, with his three children, Owan- 
onaqnatoqua, Sagosaqua and Ojibwak, and said grandchild Metaquanene 
lieing with him, and Jacob Smith standing by his side, and asked for reserva- 
tions of land for these children ; that General Cass assented, and that the 
names of the children were written down, and that it was talked of and 
understood at the treaty that these children got special reservations of land; 
* * * that for thirty years or more, subsequent to the treaty, N'eome's 
liand continued to reside at Pewonigowink. uixin the reservation described 
in article 2 of the treaty as 'one tract of five thousan<l seven hundred and 
sixty acres upon the Flint river, to include Rheaume's (Neonie's) village, 
and a place called Kishkawbee'; and that during a portion of this time the 
Indian children above named, including Tawcumegoqua, resided with the 
band upon this tribal reservation, and a portion of the time 'J'awcumegoqua, 
with her family, and another family of said Imnd resided on the premises 
in question." The court affirmed the judgment of the court lielow. and so 
the verdict of the jury giving the land to Dewey and Hamilton stood. The 
result appears to have been eminently just. 

Reservations numbers two, three, four, five and six, which were reserved 
for the following persons, "all Indian by descent," respectively, Metawan- 
ene, Annoketoqua, Sagosequa, Nondasheman and Messaw-wakut, were the 
subject of litigation. The names Metawanene, Nondasheman and Messaw- 
wakut are masculine, and the names Sagooequa and Annoketoqua are 
feminine names, so it might very reasonably be assumed that numbers two, 
five and six were for males and numbers three and four for females. At 



least to the lay mind, to use the language of a Connecticut judge, "in the 
absence of judicial construction the writing would !>e held to mean what it 
says." In the case of these reservations, unfortunately, litigation arose, 
leading to judicial construction, with the following results : 

Jacob Smith, the trader, who had so actively aided Cass in bringing 
about the treaty of Saginaw, soon after the treaty built a log storehouse for 
his trade. The site of this trading post was in the fifth ward near the comer 
of Lyon street and First avenue, and not far from the present situation of 
the office of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company. Smith had Iieen here at 
the Grand Traverse of the Flint for some years previously to the treaty. 
In 1806 his home was in Detroit at the corner of Woodward avenue and 
Wnodbridge street, and his white family continued to live in Detroit until 
after his death. He, like other traders, doubtless had his trading post at the 
most convenient place for communication with the Indians with whom he 
traded — that is, on the Fhnt river where the grand trail crossed it. His 
residence there can only lie i^egarded as temporary, go\-erned by the exi;'- 
encies of his traffic with the Indians. He had during his stay there formed 
a strong friendship with the chief Neome, who lived at the Mus-cat-a-wing, 
or the Grand Traverse of the Flint, in the early years of the nineteenth 
century, l>ut who had moved down the river to "Neome's town," in the 
present town of Montrose, .some time before the treaty of iSiQ. The usual 
reference made by writers of local history to Smith's settlement at FHnt, 
places the date immediately after the treaty. The fact is that he had a 
trading post there liefore that date. proUabiy as early as 1810, and that he 
never settled there in the sense of l>ecoming a permanent resident. He kept 
his family in Detroit and sojourned on the Flint for the puqxise of traffic 
with the Indians; in 1819, he built a log trading store, of a more substantial 
character than his previous store of which we have no record except the 
deduction that during several years trading he must have had some place 
suitable for his business. His log store was built before the reservations 
there were surveyed, and when surveyed, the one numbered two. for Meta- 
wanene, included the site of his btulding. His store was built at the fork 
of the trail where the grand trail from Detroit after its Grand Traverse 
of the Flint separated into two trails, one going down the right bank of the 
river to Saginaw and the other following the more direct route north to Mt. 
Morris, Pine Run, Birch Run and Saginaw. It was a central point and 
esi)ecially favorable for trade with the surrounding Indians. There Smith 
continued to remain and trade with the Indians, his family lieing in Detroit. 
In 1822 his mother and sister were with him, for a time at least. Fie con- 



tinned to have friendly relations with Ne-o-me and the Indians generally. 
At the time Smith built his log: house in 1819, another trader, a Frenchman 
by the name of Baptiste Cochios was also located there in trade. The 
friendly relations between him and Smith continued until Smith's death. 
An Indian boy, An-ne-me-kins, called "Jack" by the whites, also Hved with 
Smith a considerable part of the time. Ephraim S. Williams, of Flint, 
whose knowledge of the matter makes his statement of high authority, says; 
"He [Smith] lived there [at Flint] during the trading season, making occa- 
sional visits to his family in Detroit. In 1825 he died, from neglect as 
much as from disease, at his trading post, after a lingering and pitiable 
sickness. A good-hearted Frenchman, by the name of Baptiste Cochios, 
who was with him upon the trading ground in 1819 and was himself an 
Indian trader, having his posts upon the Flint and on the Saginaw, per- 
formed for the brave but unfortunate man the last sad rites of humanity. 
An Indian lad who had lived with Smith for several years and who attended 
him in his sickness, was the only household mourner — a few Indians gath- 
ered in mournful groups about the grave as the remains of the unfortunate 
man were committed to the earth. Ne-o-me was there, his trusty and reli- 
able friend, mute with grief. With that feeling of gratitude which belongs 
to the Indian character, and which takes rank as a cardinal virtue in their 
untutored minds, the Indians proved true and faithful throughout his sick- 
ness to the last. The brave, warm-hearted, generous Indian trader, Jacob 
Smith, the earliest white pioneer upon the Saginaw and the Flint, lingered 
and died in a sad condition and, but for the good Cochios and his Indian 
assistants, would have gone to his grave uncoffined. Within a few days 
after his decease, his son-in-law, C. S. Paine, came from Detroit to the trad- 
ing house, which had so recently been the scene of such long, unrelieved 
suffering, and gathered up most carefully and carried away the few poor 
remnants of the earthly store left by the noble-hearted Indian trader. Sa-gos- 
e-wa-qua, the daughter of Ne-o-me, in recounting this history, expressed 
herself with a sententious brevity peculiar to the Indian, which is worth 
recording; it points to a moral if it does not adorn a tale: 'When Wah- 
be-sins [Smith] sick, nolxidy come; him sicker and sicker, nobody come. 
Wah-be-sins die, little tinker come and take all him blankets, all him cattle, 
all him things.' Neome soon followed his friend Wah~be-sins, to the spirit- 
land. He died in 1827, at the tribal home, a few miles above Saginaw city, 
faithfully attended through a long and severe sickness by his children and 
relatives, enthroned in patriarchal simplicity in the hearts of his people, 
beloved and mourned." 



At the time of his death Smith had a family in Detroit, consisting of 
a son, Albert J. Smith, and four daughters, Harriet M. Smith, Caroline 
Smith, Louise L. Smith and Maria G. Smith. Soon after the death of 
Smith, Major Garland, the husband of one of these daughters, took posses- 
sion of the place where Smith had had his post, and made claim in behalf 
of the heirs to the title of the five reservations from 2 to 6 inclusive, his 
claim Ijeing that the Indian names of the persons for whom these reservations 
were made were the names of these children of the trader; that Metawanene, 
the owner of the second reserve, did not mean the grandson of chief Neome, 
an "Indian by descent," but it meant Albert J. Smith, the white son of 
Jacob Smith the trader; that Annoketoqua did not mean the daughter of 
Ne-o-me by that name, an Indian by descent, but it meant the daughter of 
Smith, of Detroit, a white woman; that Sagosaqua, the daughter of Ne-o-me, 
an Indian by descent, was not intended as the beneficiary of reserve numljer 
four, but that the real Sagosaqua was another white daughter of the trader 
in Detroit; that Nondashenian, a man's name, did not mean any man at all, 
but it meant the white daughter of Smith at Detroit; the sixth reser\'e, for 
Messaw-wakut, a male Indian by descent, also meant another white daughter 
of Smith. It was claimed that the Indians who had visited Detroit had 
given these names to the children. Such occurrences were not uncommon, 
but this casual use of such names by individual members of a tribe was not 
equivalent to adoption, which was a matter of ceremony and an act of the 
tribe. Only formal adoption by act of the tribe in its collective capacity 
could give any tribal rights and, in the language of the whites, such adopted 
member probably could not be called an "Indian by descent." 

The great demand for lands in the vicinity beginning in the early thirties 
gave the five square miles involved a prospective value to which the claim- 
ants were fully alive. In 1839, Albert J. Smith came on and took actual 
possession of the lands in question for himself as reserve in number two, 
and for his three sisters then living and for the heirs of the one who had 
died. They ciaimed, and asserted, ownership of the same, and at the next 
session of congress they brought the matter before that body, asking its 
authority for grants of the five reserves to the children of Smith, Their 
claim was based upon the services of the trader at the treaty of Saginaw, 
the successful termination of the same being attributed largely to these 
services. The following is an excerpt from their petition to congress: 

"Although the reservations intended for your memorialists under the 
treaty of .Saginaw have been partially occupied under them, and always 
known and acknowledged as being intended for them, yet they never have 



received or obtained such a title from government as would authorize them 
to sell or convey any portion of the said lands, in consequence of their hav- 
ing been embraced — -unintentionally, as your memoriabsts believe — among 
the numlier uf reservations intended for ])ersons l>eing 'Indians by descent' ; 
owing to which the general land office has not felt authorized to issue pat- 
ents for the said land in the name of your memorialists." 

The claimants had, in January, 1835, procured a certificate signed by 
ten of the one hundred and fourteen Indian signers of the treaty. Of the 
obtaining of this certificate Ephraim S. Williams, of Flint, gives the fol- 
lowing account : 

"This docimient being an important one, it is given here entire. With- 
out it the heirs of Smith could never have obtained titles to their lands, 
for the go\-emment had refused for years to grant them; and many, even 
members of Congress, in those days doubted the right of Congress to pass 
an act to set aside the treaty of 1S19 and grant these lands to others than 
persons of Indian descent. Many persons have thought that Congress might 
as well pass an act to grant one man's farm to another. All those acts 
were a violation of the granted rights of the treaty of 1819. 

Ilic HiibsinlieiH (.liiefs mil liuid men of ttie ( hipiie^v 1 11 itiuna uid subscribm-s of 
the tieiiti of Sii.iliuiw do heieln tertifj tliiit the fiie lesetvations iit and neai tbe 
(.1 iiid Ji nei'-e of the Unit ihti uimle bi the tieiitj of 181'> were made aud 
]iit<(HRil f 1 the rtie f"ll Hill.: iioiied iieiwais 1!? Mehnvaueiie ill m Ubert J <?inith 
Mi's" m « ikiit I I III HI s iMiiK I ilijii Hnrrlet M Smitli Sagomiqiwi ilias Csrolliie 
Miittli Mill Mi H|iii 111 s I iiis.i [ Smith Noudasho-iuin (mans name) alias inrlii 
I siiiitli ictih --K liimtlied aiitl tmU uiAen) kuown to ui tiud diHtiuguished b^ the 
afoie«iiil iiiiiies is tbi, thiltlieii of the lute Jatob Smith and furthei <*rtif\ that the 
Hfores.iId (liiintiuis to the ihildieu iifoiewild neie made iu coiiKideratlon of seniLfS 
leurteied b^ siUl Taiob Smith (deteawed) to the Chliipewa natlou and the frleiidii 
lUteitoui-Be tliiit wubeilHted between the yarties foi niniij \eais ftp further certifj thit 
Metawaiiene alias Albert J Suiith now pieseiit at the evetutlon of this oertiflcate H 
the turn of Jacob Smith deceased mid we lecogiiiae hiui us oue of the foui i.hlldien 
to >\houi the before mentioned donations were made and intended 


(5. n. WltLUMS. \\'.\Rr,KT01JHCE. 

Ch,*s. H. Rodd, Sabwarbon, 

Witnesses present. Chunetosh, 

Wash WIN, 



"Saginaw, .Tanniiry 22. 1S35. ToteiiiH. 



"Territory of Miehigiiii, ^ 
'■Oakland County, r^^" 

"Personally iiiiiienretl before me tbo sutist-ribpr, :i jiiKlk-e i 
for the f(iiiiit.v of OiikliUKl. Kiiliniiiii S. Williainw, Eaiiiire, 
iitcoiilluj;; to Jaw, (le]irisctl] and Kailli tliHt lie was present i 
withiu certifii^iite anil kuw tlii' nitliiii iiameil chiefs luul liend men uinke their uiiirks 
to the said i-ertiflcate. Deiioiient lurtlier aiiith that the subscribers, chiefs, and hetiil 
men -m aforewiiil, i-esiile In the vicinity of Saginaw, Oaklsuii Pounty, Territory of 
Mk-liii;an. I)e(nnifnt fni-ther siiitli tliiit the contents of the certificate aforesaid were 
by him fnlly exiitained and wei-e i-heerfnily assented to by the iiforesald chiefs find 

"This statement of the Chippewa chiefs was made at a council that 
had been called for the purpose at the place and date tnentioned, chiefly 
through the influence and instrumentality of the brothers, G. D. and E. S. 
Williains, who were then traders at Saginaw.'" 

The conncil was attended by Albert J. Smith and Col T. B. W. Stockton, 
rep resell ta ting the Smith heirs. At the first meeting the "chief speaker." 
O-ge-maw-ka-ke-to, spoke, claiming that the reserves were made for Indians 
by descent and not for the white children of the trader. At the second 
meeting after "certain influences brought to bear upon the chiefs," to quote 
from William's account, the chief sjwaker and the other nine chiefs signed 
the certiflcate. Similar certificates were procured from other signers of 
the treaties, one at Big Rock village on the Shiawassee, one at Flint River, 
and another at Grand Saline, We again quote Ephraim Williams, who 
Iwd probably as great knowledge of these transactions as any disinterested 
witness : 

"All the above documents were laid before Congress in support of the 
petition of the Smith claimants; also a tnemorial from persons residing at 
Flint and vicinity. Here follow the names of fifty persons, not one in 
twenty of whom knew anything of the treaty besides what they had heard 
talked by others. 

"How inconsistent and ridiculous to suppose for a moment that Jacob 
Smith would have done so inconsistent a thing as to have presented, at the 
treaty of 1819, the names of three Indians for the names of three of his 
daughters as given in the treaty; not at all probable. I knew Mr. Smith 
and I never believed he did any such thing. 

"The result of the laying of all these things before Congress was the 
passage of an act, 'To authorize the President of the United States to cause 



to be issued to Albert J. Smith and others, patents for certain reservations 
of land in Michigan Territory.' 

"In accordance with the provisions of this act, five patents were issued 
June 2, 1836. 

"This was, at that time, considered a final settlement of the question 
of title to those reservations, but it was not very long before the opinion 
began to be entertained by some (an opinion that was afterwards sustained 
by the courts) that these patents did not and could not convey a title as 
against any person or persons who could prove themselves to be the right- 
ful reservees in the true intent and meaning of the treaty. It would seem 
that the proofs adduced by the Smith heirs had been ample for the estab- 
lishment of their claims, but there were still doubts whether they could 
hold under the article of the treaty which provided that the lands granted 
should be for the use of persons of Indian descent only. 

"About this time it was discovered that a young Chippewa whose 
name was Jack, and who had been brought up and protected by Jacob 
Smith, claimed to be the real Metawanene, and consequently, the owner of 
the reservation numbered two on the land plat, and that some Indian women 
made the same claim to sections that had been patented to the daughters of 
Jacob Smith. 

"In March. 1S41, the Indian claimant to reservation numbered two 
deeded this tract to Gardner D. Williams, of Saginaw, who, in June, 1845, 
conveyed one moiety of the same to Daniel D. Dewey, of Genesee, and by 
these persons a suit was commenced in the circuit court for the establish- 
ment of the claim of the true Metawanene and the possession of the lands. 

"After many years of delay, this cause came to a final trial in 1856, 
at the March term, held by Judge Sanford M. Green, in the city of Flint. 
Plaintiff, Messrs. Williams and Dewey; defendant, Chauncey S. Payne." 

"Albert J. Smith had, in 1S36, deeded to Mr. Payne an undivided three- 
fourths, and to T. B. W. Stockton, an undivided one-fourth of the reserva- 
tion. In 18^0 Mr. Stockton conveyed his interest to Mr. Payne, who thus 
became the sole owner. Attorneys for the plaintiffs were Hon, Moses Wis- 
ner and James C. Blades ; for the defendants, Messrs, E. C. and C. I. Walker, 
of Detroit, John Moore, of Saginaw city, and Charles P. Avery, of Flint, 
which last named gentleman had then recently purchased an undivided half 
of Mr. Payne's interest in the property thus becoming equally interested 
with him in the result of the suit. Many witnesses, both white and Indian, 
were produced on both sides and, after an expensive and lengthy trial, it was 
decided in favor of the defendant, thus deciding a case which during years 



of litigation had caused much excitement and some bitter feeling, and which 
is a matter of general historic interest in the annals of the county of Genesee. 

"The trial Of a similar suit, involving the title to reservations numbers 
three and four, was also had before Judge Green, at Flint, in the December 
term in the same year, resulting, as in the case of section two, adversely to 
the Indian title. The suit was brouglit in the names of two of the Indian 
women before mentioned, who claimed to be the real Annoketoqua and 
Sagosequa, and consequently owners of the tracts that had lieen patented 
respectively to Louisa L. Smith and the heirs of Caroline Smith, deceased. 
For the plaintiff there appeared several Indians who were, or claimed to 
have been, at the treaty of 1819, and whose testimony was given to show 
that the reservations were not intended for the children of Jacob Smith, but 
for the daughters of Nc-o-me, and that the Indian claimants in this case 
were the daughters of that chief. There were other claims made, under the 
treaty, to those reservations, by persons of Indian descent, but they were 
defeated by the claims and influence of the white Smith children and the 
treaty set aside and violated. 

"The violation of sacred treaties by the government, made with the 
Indians, has been one great cause of so much trouble with the western 
tribes of Indians, T think." 

The above resume of the htigation over the hve reserves by Mr, Will- 
iams seems very just in its conclusions. That the Indians, in parting with 
their title to their lands, reluctantly giving to the whites, whom they hated, 
the territories that bad been their homes, should in making reserves from 
the grant consider the children of any white man in preference to their own 
children is quite unlielievable, and the final determination of the claim to 
these reservations adversely to the Indians must stand as an example of 
fraud, legalized by the white man's courts, and a justification of the distrust 
that the Indians have of the white man's justice. 

From the contents of a letter written by General Cass in 1S31, it would 
he implied that Smith had a flock of half-breed children, as well as a legiti- 
mate family at Detroit; from this letter it would appear that the provision 
as to reserving the lands for Indians by descent was inserted in the treaty 
to prevent the fraud afterwards legalized by Congress and the courts, which 
Cass had reason to believe Smith anticipated. The letter is as follows; 

Detroit, Juue 22, 1831. 
I ([iiv(! (»eeii i-eijiieKted fi) stiilii the fiu-ts ciiniiected with the reservation of eleven 
KfH-tioiin of liiiid at Flint ri\ef, innrte nndev the treaty of Siiglnaw, bo far as respects 




aiij interests held thetem by the (.hildrpii of Ji<.>b Smith \.t thp time this resen 1 
tUn was mnde I understord thjit the Indinns intencled that a nmnlipr of the spl 
tlons — I belieie Ave or 3i\ — should be gtanted to the children of Smith iiid tlie names 
given by them to the grantees of these sections were sjid to be his childien 

Fiom Urtumstiinces not necessjrv to detail here I was led to suspect thit Sinitii 
designed the land for bis white ihlldieii and thit most ot the names purioitiu^ to he 
those of his Indttn children were in fiiet the names if his white childien nhlcli 
the Indians who were in the Jiahlt of freqoentlug his, house had gUen to them To 
gniid ngiiiist the consequent e^ of theii ittenipt I tlierefoie mserted in the iiti le 
lio\ldlng for these reseriatious a cHuse confining them to iiersons of Indian descent 
I hiie an indistmct recollection tliat one voung tirl was Mpoken of is in Iiidlnn 
daughter of Smith but cannot rememhei the name I Itnow I ewis Be.iufuit and Henry 
Connof well they were both at the treitv of Saglinw and thev are veiy honest men 
in whose htatements full confldence mav be placed 

(Msned) lEwis Cass 

Of resen'C number seven, on the south side of the river, the l>eneficiary 
was plainly one Edward Campaii, the half-breed son of the trader. His 
Indian name was Nowokezhic, and he was here in the possession of his 
reserve when John Hamilton, Ephraim S. Williams, Harvey Williams and 
Schuyler Hodges came through Flint, in the winter of 1822-3, en route for 
Saginaw with supplies for the garrison there. His title was conveyed to 
John Todd, the tavern keeper, and there is no reason to suggest that the 
intent of the treaty was not fully carried out so far as this one reserve was 
concerned. As to reservation number eight, to Mokitchenaqua, there were 
two claimants, one a half-breed daughter of Archie Lyons, who married a 
squaw by the name of Ka-zhe-o-ije-oii-no-qua. This woman outlived him 
and was a witness on the trial of Dewey and Campau at Saginaw in i8fio. 
The Mokitchenqua, daughter of above, was Elizabeth Lyons by her white 
name. Another claimant was Marie Lavoy, and stili another was Nancy 
Crane. All of these were halfbreeds, and so answered the requirements of 
the treaty that they should Ix; of Indian descent; all were Mokitchenaquas. 
As the Indians had no surname, the reservation to Mokitchenaqua was quite 
like a reservation for "Mary" in a white man's deed. The determination 
of identity naturally depended on evidence of facts and circtimstances out- 
side the document itself. Each of these three claimants had applied for 
and obtained certificates of identity from the authorities of the land office 
at Detroit. The Lyons woman received hers, August 2, 1824; the Lavoy 
woman received hers, February 37, 1827, and the Crane woman, claimed 
to be the half-breed daughter of Jacob Smith, by name Nancy Smith, 
received hers July 22, 1831. This certificate to Nancy Smith Crane as the 
Mokitchenaqua entitled to reservation number eight received sanction from 



the general land office, whose commissioner, on August 5, 1835, approved 
the same, and a patent was granted to her on March 7, 1840. Major John 
Garland appears to have l>een the real party in interest in urging the claim 
of his wife's half-breed sister, for her rights had been transferred to him 
before patent issued. The interest of the Lyons claimant had been trans- 
ferred to Gardner Williams and ICintzing Pritchette. Garland's title had 
been transferred to Payne and Stockton, and the litigation was between 
Williams and Pritchette, on the one hand, and Payne, Stockton and others, 
on the other hand, involving the question as to whether EHzaljeth Lyons or 
Nancy Smith was the Mokitchenaqua for whom the reserve was made. 
On trial, the court determined that Elizabeth Lyons was the true owner of 
the reserve and that Williams and Pritchette were entitled to it under their 
deeds. In this case, Payne, who was the husband of one of Smith's white 
daughters and whose title had come through John Garland, the husband of 
another of Smith's white dai^;hters, was confronted by a certificate of cer- 
tain Chippewa chiefs similar to those upon which their wives predicated 
their claims to the reserves north of the river, to the effect that Elizabeth 
I^yons was the person entitled to the reserve and not the Nancy Smith from 
whom they claimed title. This case is reported in Walker's Chancery 
Report, page 120, and in Douglass's report at page 546 and the following 
pages, and forms an interesting chapter in our !oca! historj'. 

Reserves mimliers nine, ten and eleven, from their location, had little 
value as compared to the other reserves, and consequently were not so allur- 
ing to the white men and did not become the object of their cupidity and 
iitigation. They went to the half-breeds, Jean Visgar, son of the trader who 
was at the treaty, and who had been in the attempt to acquire lands in Mich- 
igan at nine dollars a county (this reservation was probably intended for 
the son of Ne-o-me) ; to Phillis Beaufait, half-breed daughter of the French 
trader, and to Catherine Mene, half-breed. It is to be noticed that in each 
case the reservations south of the river were given to persons of the gender 
suggested by the Indian name of the reservee, contrary to the case of the 
claim of the children of Smith to certain of the reserves north of the river. 



Settlement of Flint Before 1837. 

Flint was the first prominent center of settlement planted beyond Pontiac 
on the old Saginaw Indian trail, and the second settlement planted bej'ond 
that cordon of tangled forest and dread morass surrounding Detroit, which 
was popularly supposed to be the vestibule of a vast uninhabited wilderness 
whose lands were barren and where nothing but wild beasts, migratory birds 
and venomous reptiles were ever destined to find an alxxle. Only a little 
time before, the great interior of the lower peninsula of Michigan was an 
unexplored and unknown country. The story has already been told, how, 
after the War of 1812, the United States surveyor-general, Edward Tiffin, 
declared to the national government that "the intermediate space between tliese 
swamps and lakes — which is probably near one-half of the country — is, with 
very few exceptions, a poor, barren, sandy land, on which scarcely any vege- 
tation grows except very small, scrubby oaks," and concluded with his opin- 
ion that "there would not be more than one acre out of a hundred, if there 
would be one out of a thousand, that would in any case admit of cultivation." 
Thanks to Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan territory, and others whom he 
was able to influence, this judgment was soon proved to be false. In 1818 he 
set out from Detroit, accompanied by Hon. Austin E. Wing and two or 
three other friends, on a tour of observation and discovery. Through the 
first stage of their northwestern journey after leaving Detroit the as^iect was 
by no means reassuring. At times their horses sank knee-deep in the sloughs 
or wallowed through the marshy places along the trail. It really seemed as 
if the dismal tales of the surveyors and Indian traders would prove true. At 
last, after floundering over a distance which seemed a hundred miles, but 
which in reality was little over a dozen, they came to higher ground and 
more open country, which is now the southeastern part of the county of 
Oakland. From that point they continued their journey with comparative 
ease northwestward over a dry roiling country through beautiful open groves 
of oak and along the margins of pure and limpid waters. During their jour- 
ney, which lasted about a week, they penetrated nearly to the southern bound- 
ary of Genesee. When they returned they carried back with them the knowl- 



edge and proof that Michigan was not a worthless desert, as represented, 
but a beautiful and fertile land awaiting only the touch of the settler's axe 
and plow to yield an abundant increase to reward his toil. 

The broad Indian trail taken by this i)arty of explorers, which ran from 
Detroit to Saginaw, and along which for many years the northern tribes of 
Indians came down in large numbers to barter their furs for supplies and to 
receive their annuities from the English and United States governments, 
crossed the Flint river at a point called by the I'Vench traders the Grand 
Traverse, and it was a favorite resting place and camping ground for them 
and the neighlxjrJng tribes, as game and fish were there especially abundant. 
It is owing to this circumstance that Flint became a center of settlement. 

Its name, however, is not so easily accounted for. According to some, 
the Chii>pewa Indians called the region now occupied by the city Mus-cu~ta- 
wa-ningh, or "open plain, burned over," and the stream which flows through 
it Pe-won-nuk-cnmg, or "the river of the flint." Just why they should have 
named the river so is unexpiainable, for, though its bed is rocky, there is 
nothing about it suggestive of flint. Judge Albert Miller, who worked for 
John Todd in the early thirties, records in the "Michigan Historical Collec- 
tions" the name of the settlement as Pe-won-a-go-seeba. William R. McCor- 
mick, who as a Ixjy lived with his parents at this site in 1832, gives the name 
of the settlement as Sco-ta-wa-ing, or "burnt opening," and tliat of the river 
as Pe-won-a-go-wing-see>ba, or "flint stones in the river." It is clear that 
whichever name in the Indian language was correct for the river, it meant 
"flint," in some form. Col. E. H. Thomson concludes the matter by saying: 
"After wrestling for several years with these Chippewa jawbreakers, the 
early settlers ended the struggle by calling both river and settlement 'Flint,' " 
and Flint they are. 


The story of the Indian occupation of Flint as sketched in tlie Abbott 
history, may be here briefly retold. The Sauks and Onotawas held in peace 
the Flint river and the country of its neighboring streams. I^ng ago the 
Chi[>pewas and Ottawas of Mackinac formed an alliance with the Qttawas 
about Detroit and by preconcerted agreement met near the mouth of the Sagi- 
naw and proceeded to destroy the Indian villages along its banks. They suc- 
ceeded there and turned to destroy the remainder of the Sauks. One of the 
most imiwrtant of these battles was fought on the high bluff that overlooks 
the Flint a half mile below the present city, almost directly across the river 
from the school for the deaf, .\nother battle was fought down the river a 



mile above Flushing, and a third sixteen miles beiow Flushing on the Flint 
The allied forces mastered this territory, and eventually joined the British 
troops with a view to exterminating the Americans who had settled on the 
St. Ciair, the Clinton and the Detroit rivers. This alliance continued to the 
close of the War of 1812. But with the success of the Americans the spirit 
of the Indians was broken, and when the first white settlers came to the banks 
of the Flint, the Chippewas were inclined to be very friendly. Indeed, traffic 
with the red man was the potent incentive that attracted the first white men 
to the depths of the wilderness about Flint, The furs secured by the bullets 
and arrows of the Indians were of great value. The Indians often exhibited 
traits of character in transactions with their pale-faced neighbors quite as 
commendable as the copies set for them by their white invaders. There were 
several villages of Indians in the vicinity of Flint. They were glad to bring 
to traders and merchants not only their furs, but their baskets and maple 
sugar, in exchange for the white man's wares. Too often the red man wanted 
"firewater," and while under its influence he needed to be met with firmness 
and caution. We are toid of but few collisions between settlers and natives 
which could not be amicably adjusted. Many interesting and thrilling experi- 
ences have been told by some of the pioneers who had won the confidence of 
the Indians. 


A story is told of a fight between one of the chiefs and "Aunt Polly" 
Todd, who kept the first tavern at Flint. She was of the stuff of which the 
wives of pioneers are made. One day the old Chippewa chief Ton-a-da- 
ga-na called through the door for whiskey. Mrs. Todd, who was alone, 
refused him, whereupon the chief forced his way into the room, drew a long 
knife and was about to attack her when she struck him across the face with 
a heavy splint broom, knocking him down. She then jumped on him, placed 
her knees on his chest and held his wrists until help came in response to her 
screams. The next day the old chief came back to the tavern and, baring 
his breast, invited death at her hands, saying, "Old chief no good. Whipped 
by white squaw." 

Aunt Polly's son, Edward A. Todd, says that he saw the sub-chief Pero, 
who was of a very jealous disposition, shoot his wife to death. The shooting, 
he says, occurred near where now is Genesee Mill. She was buried on the 
north side of the river in an orchard of plum trees about half way between 
Garland street Methodist Episcopal church and Saginaw street bridge; a 
kettle, tobacco, beads, etc., were buried with her and, adds Mr. Todd, "noth- 
ing was ever done about it." 




The distinction of being the first white settler on the site of Flint prop- 
erly belongs to Jacob Smith, a man closely associated with the Indians of 
Flint and Genesee county throughout a long life. He was descended from a 
German family, but was born in the French city of Quebec. From early boy- 
hood he was intimately connected with the English, the French and the 
Indians, and naturally he grew up able to speak their languages fluently. He 
became a resident of Detroit and after the War of 1812 engaged in trading 
with the Indians in the region which includes Genesee county. After Cass's 
treaty with the Indians in 1819 at Saginaw, he made the Grand Traverse of 
the Flint his permanent trading post. By making himself one with his Indian 
friends, and by his habits of fair dealing, he inspired their confidence and his 
sound judgment and sagacity were their unfailing resource in time of need. 
This bond of friendship between Smith and the Indian chiefs of the region 
was strongly cemented as time passed, until his relations with them were those 
of a brother. Down to a very late day the remnants of these once powerful 
tribes cherished his memory with sincere affection. 

The conditions at the site of Flint were most favorable for Smith's pur- 
pose. The Indian trail leading from Detroit to Saginaw crossed the Flint 
river just above the bridge on Saginaw street, where there was a fording 
place, long known to the early French traders as the Grand Traverse, or 
"great crossing." Here, on the site of the first Baptist church in Fhnt, Jacob 
Smith built a log trading post in 1819, where he lived until his death in 1825. 
Without doubt this log house was the first building erected for a white man's 
occupancy in the county of Genesee. 

There can be no question that Smith's principal object in locating at 
this place was to take possession of the reservations which he had caused to 
be granted in the treaty of Saginaw, and to hold them for himself and chil- 
dren. It seems to be quite generally believed among those who have not 
examined into the facts, that Smith was entirely engrossed in the Indian 
trade and made no agricultural improvements at all. But there are papers to 
show that a part of his lands were cleared and cultivated by him, or imder 
his direction. One of these papers is a sealed instrument which is self- 
explanatory, and of which the following is a ctpy 

Wliei'tiiM, I, David ^ W Lnibin hue this div cmfeled iniS gneu up to Jacob 
Smith 11 certain leiise foi 11 SPttiou of land on Flint rher in the county oC OakUnd 
dated the 'Jlst day of DeLembei In the yeir of our li<iid one thou-wind eight hnndred 
and twenty-one (18211 is 1\ lofereice tr said lei'se mil miie fulU appeii and 



Wliereua the sa'iil Jui/iib >Smltli hiitli heretofore commeui.-eil a (.-erlaiii suit mi i\ l""il; 
account agftinst nie before Jolm lIcDoiiiild, Esq.. a justice of tlie peace iu aud for the 
county of Wayne. Now, (herefove, in conalderiitlon of the wild Jacob Smith hnving 
discontinued said suit, aiul having given me a general release of all debts and demauas 
whatsoever, I do hei'eby ghe. arant, sell, and convey Into the said Jacob Smith all 
my right, title, interest, anil claim wiiatSoever to all the wheat, com, potatoes, barlej-. 
peas, beans, and oiita, and all other crops whatsoever, now growing on said section of 
land, or elsewhete in the county oC OaiilHnd, and likewise all other property of every 
kind and description which I now own hi the comity of (lakhinil. In witiicw-! «lieri"if 
I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this fifth diiy ut \iimi^t, in tlic jeiu' cf our 
Lord one thousand eight hundreil and twenty-two. 

Witness: Geobgf, A. Gage. I>i\m \i. W. Cobuin. (Seali 

From this it clearly appears that a part of the reservation had been 
cleared and that crops were growing upon it at least as early as 1822; that 
in 1822 it was occupied as a farm by Mr. Corbin under lease from Jacob 
Smith, and that Mr. Corbin, who for some reason was unable to meet his 
payments, relinquished the lease to Mr. Smith in that year. That the farm, 
after being given up by Corbin, was carried on by Mr. Smith until his death, 
seems clear from another paper, which is as follows: 

Detroit, April -i, 1S25. 
To all wliiim 11 m.ii riiuri-ni : Mr. (Jeorifp Lyons is hereby authorized to take 
possession, in the )i;mie of -Metaw.nieiie, I'V Albert J. Wmitli. a minor, of the house 
and faian, situated on T'liiit rii'er, lately <nni[)ied liy .Tiicob Smith, deceased, until some 
further definite arrangement. The horses, cattle, hogs, one wapin. three plows, and 
four sets of hariiew belonir to ine. ami Jlr. Lyon is liereiiy authorized to recelie thein 
In my naaie from any person now at tlie farni. 

(Signed) JouH Gakland. 
P. S. — All other iiroiierty on tlic premises beloiiis' to the estate of Jacob Smith. 
It is my wish tliat an Inventory be taken of them by Mr. Lyons and Mr. IC., 
ami left with Mr. Caiiipiiii, 

ISit;nein .Ioiin (;.\ki..vmi. 

Mr. Smith's death, at the age of forty-live years, was the tirst death of 
a white person which occurred within the present limits of Genesee county. 
It left a name which runs through all of the litigation over title to the lands 
now occupied by the city of Flint and which dragged its slow length along 
down even to the time of the Civil War, retarding the development of the 
north side of the river and causing family and neighlxDrhood heart-burnings 
for many a year. 

Mr. Corbin, to whom reference is made in the Smith papers, had been a 
soldier in the War of 1812, and died at Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mr, E. 
Campau (Fran^;ois Edouard Campau) was a half-breed, who owned reserva- 
tion No. 7. There he lived in a cabin built by himself, and was frequently 
employed by Mr. Smith. On Jtme 12, 1825, he obtained a patent for this 



land and. as he removed from it soon afterwards permanently, it is probable 
that the motive of his residence was to help him get the patent; in that case 
he could hardly be classed as a settler. George Lyons lived on the Flint river 
five years, but exactly where is not known. Neither can the exact date of his 
residence be given; probably he lived near the Grand Traverse at the time of 
Smith's death. 

IJIVAl, setti,!-:ments. 

The earliest rival of Flint as a center of settlement was Grand Blanc. 
Previous to the death of Jacob Smith, Grand Blanc received settlers in the 
persons of Jacob Stevens and his sons. Rufvis and Sherman. This was in 
1823. They came from western New York, whence came so many of the 
early pioneers of this county; indeed, it is probable that the county was named 
for Genesee county, in New York, and appropriately, for another reason — ■ 
the word Je-nis-he-yuh signified in the Seneca tongue "the beautiful valley." 
The name of one of the tribes belonging to the Six Nations in western New 
York was Chennussie, probably from the same root as Genesee. In 1826 
there were added to this settlement Edmond Perry, Sr., and Rowland B. 
Perry, from Livingston, county, New York. In 1827-29 came Edward H. 
Spencer, from Vermont, William Roberts, George E. Perry (Connecticut), 
Joseph McFarlan, Ezekiel R. Ewing, Jeremiah Riggs and family and a num- 
ber of others. Most of these were from western New York; a few were 
from New England. By 1830 Flint had quite a respectable rival in village 
beginnings in the southeasteni part of the county, which would tend to inter- 
cept settlers moving towards Flint. 

In that year, 1830, John Todd, then living at Pontiac in Oakland count}-, 
during a prospecting tour visited the Grand Traverse of the Flint and, being 
pleased with the location, purchased from Edouard Campau a section com- 
prising seven hundred and eighty-five acres for eight hundred dollars. The 
deed was dated April i, 1830. Returning to Pontiac, he took his wife Polly 
and two young children, Edward and Mary (later Mrs. David Gould, of 
Owosso), and, cutting the road through the woods from Grand Blanc to 
Flint, returned to his new purcliase. The journey took three days. In the 
emigrant train were stock, farm implements and household goods enough to 
begin pioneer life. To them belongs the distinction of being the first per- 
manent residents on the site of Flint. Mr. Todd at once repaired the Campau 
cabin, sixteen by eighteen feet in dimensions, and his wife, known then and 
for years afterward as "Aimt Polly Todd," soon made things comfortable 
within. In the neighboring Grand Blanc settlement Rufus W. Stevens was 



just completing a sawmill on the Thread river, and from there Mr. Todd got 
lumber with which he enlarged these humble quarters and opened, in 1S21, 
the famous inn known as "Todd's Tavern." The hospitahty of the host and 
the good management and energetic lalx»rs of "Aunt Polly" made it a popular 
public resort. It was situated on the site of the Wolverine Citizen office, and 
some time after its removal was destroyed by fire. 

From the time of Mr. Todd's arrival, the Grand Traverse was known 
as Todd's ferry. He kept a canoe at the crossing for the accommodation of 
travelers. Usually he did duty as ferryman himself, but in the absence of 
himself or the men, the women lent a helping hand. The ferry was almost 
directly back of the Wolverine Citizen office. The canoe was hollowed from 
a tree and was about six feet wide and large enough to carry over wagons 
and sleighs. There was no charge for crossing, but the fame of this conveni- 
ence doubtless brought a good revenue to the tavern. 

Mr. Todd later sold a part of his land to John Clifford and Wait Beach 
and removed to the present site of the First National Bank, on Saginaw 
street. He afterwards bought a farm on the I-lushing road, where he and his 
wife lived for many years. Later they moved to Owosso, where "Aunt 
I'oily," honored with years, died at the home of her eldest son, ex-Mayor 
E, A. Todd, in 1868. "Uncle John Todd" died in that city on May 15, 1882, 
having lived to the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. He was born in 
Pennsylvania, in the valley of the Susquehanna, March 5, 1784, whence he 
removed early in life to Palmyra, New York. He was a soldier in the War 
of ]Si2 and was in the battle of Fort Erie. He came to Michigan in iSni. 
crossing Lake Erie on the second trip of the "Walk- in -the- Water," and later, 
in 1825. was married to Polly Smith, who lived near Pontiac. 


The same spring that Mr. Todd came to the Grand Traverse, came also 
Benajah Tupper and his brother-in-law, Archikdd Green, and a cousin of 
Tupper's, named Preston. They came from Rush, Monroe county. New 
York, and for a time occupied the deserted cabin built by Jacob Smith. Mr. 
Green intended to buy land and become a permanent settler, but his wife 
died soon after his arrival and he returned to New York. Tupper and 
Preston stayed for a couple of years, hunting and trading. Finally a violent 
quarrel broke out between Preston and the Indians, who made it so uncom- 
fortable for the two that they returned to the East. They are, therefore, not 
in the same class of i>ennanent settlers as Mr. Todd and his family. 



In the summer of 1S31, Nathaniel Ladd and his wife arrived from Utica, 
JVew York, and hved for a short time in the Smith cabin with Tupper and 
Preston. The same year came Col. James W. Cronk and family ; Mr. Cronk 
died while serving in the Mexican War in 1847. Mr. Ladd and his family 
remained until 1832, when they removed to Grand Blanc. r..yman Stow, to 
whom Mr, Ladd sold his property on the Flint river, was the first blacksmith 
on the site of Fiint, and had his shop just across the street from the Cttisen 
office. In 1832 George Oliver, an Englishman, joined the little settlement; 
also Elijah N. Davenport, who occupied a small log house which stood near 
the site of the later Hamilton's mill, and who soon afterward moved to Bay 
City, where he died. He was one of the first highway commissioners in the 
old town of Grand Blanc, in 1833. He kept a tavern at the Grand Traverse 
in 1834. Another settler of 1832 was James McCormick, but he moved away 
in 1835. 

Neighboring parts of the county were slowly receiving settlers by 1833. 
In that year Asa Farrar had made his appearance in what is now Atlas. 
Benjamin Pearson and .Addison Stewart had built their cabins near the north 
line of the present township of I'lint. In that year, too, came Lewis Buck- 
ingham, later the first sheriff of the county. With him came several associates 
from western New York who formed a settlement on the line between the 
present townships of ]\'Ioimt Morris and Genesee. By reason of their opposi- 
tion to the use of intoxicating liquors their place was by a few derisively 
called "the Cold \A'^atcr Settlement." 


In the same year of 1833 occurre<! the firsl election of officers for the 
new township of Grand Blanc, which included the settlement at the site of 
Flint. The following citizens received official honors: Lyman Stow, justice 
of peace and assessor; John Todd, highway commissioner; Elijah N. Daven- 
port, constable ; James W. Cronk, trustee of school lands ; George Oliver, 
overseer of highways. 

One of the first decisions of the new town government was to dispense 
with Todd's ferry and build a good bridge over the Flint river at the foot of 
Saginaw street. The contract to build the bridge was sublet to a Mr. Davis, 
and with its completion and the erection of the Thread grist-mill the settle- 
ment began to wear the aspect of a village. Augustus C. Stevens, a man of 
considerable means, came on from Buffalo, New York, and bought two hun- 
<lred acres on the east side of the Saginaw road from James Cronk, while his 



brother, Kufus W. Stevens, established a small store similar to the one he 
had in Grand Blanc. It was their money that built the grist-mill. At this 
time, too, came Daniel O'SulIivan, the first school teacher in Flint. 

Pioneer conditions are reflected in the prices of real estate at this time. 
In 1833 James W. Cronk purchased the Todd domain for seven hundred 
and fifty-one dollars, Mr. Todd reserving his house and one and a half acres 
of land. In August, 1834, Augustus C. Stevens purchased of Cronk and wife 
aii the section lying on the east side of Saginaw street for eight hundred 
dollars, and on January 31, 1835, James W. Cronk and wife sold the 
remainder, or that ixjrtion lying on the west side of the same street, to 
William Morri,son and J. C. Dubois for one thousand dollars. Six montl's 
later, however, Messrs. Morrison an'd Dubois reconveyed to Cronk for the 
s:ime amount. Colonel Cronk and wife then sold to John Todd the Morrison 
and Dubois purchase, or the lands west of Saginaw street for two thousand 
twii hiKKlred and fifty dollars. 


The village was first platted as early as 1830, the plat being filed by A. E. 
\\ iithares. who called it the village of Sidney. His plat embraced four 
blocks, from Saginaw street to Clifford, east and west, and from the river 
to First street, north and south. In 1833 the site was resurveyed, a new plat 
\\u^ made, and the name of Flint River was substituted for Sidney. The 
new plat covered the Sidney plat and more, extending to the present Fourth 
street on the east to Harri,son street. On October 9, 1835, J'^hn Clifford had 
registered in Oakland county a plat bounded as follows : commencing at the 
bridge, thence along Saginaw street to Fourth, Fourth to Harrison, Harri- 
son to Kearsley, Kearsley to Clifford, and along Clififord to the river. Wait 
Beach platted the west side of Saginaw street, July 13, 1836; his plat covered 
the land bounded by the Flint river, Saginaw, Eleventh and Church streets. 
September 6, 1836, John Clifford and others platted that portion of the 
village bounded by the Flint river, thence along East street to Court, Court 
to Saginaw, Saginaw to Fourth, I'-ourth to Harrison, Harrison to Kearsle\-, 
Kearsley to Clifford, and Clififord to the river. September 22, Elisha Beach 
platted the tract bounded by Eleventh, Pine, Fifteenth and West streets. 
January 12, 1837, Chaimcey S. Payne platted and offered for sale lots in 
the village of Grand Traverse. This plat lay upon the east side of Saginaw 
street and was bounded by the river, Saginaw and North streets. Four days 
later he made an addition on the west side of Saginaw street, which was 


GENFlSEE county, HICIIiCAN. 189 

Ixtuiided by the latter street, North and West streets, and the FHnt river. 
This was the extent of the settiement on the Flmt at the time when Michigan 
l>ecame a state in the Union. Except the first ones, these plats were all sur- 
veyed hy Capt. Harvey Parke, of Pontiac. 


Before that event the first postoffice had been established there. The 
name of the office was Flint River. The first po.'^tmaster was Lyman Stowe. 
appointed August 5, 1834. Tt is said that, like many another ohliging public 
servant under similar circumstances, he at times carried the ix)stoffice about 
the streets in his silk hat. When the office was at home it was situated on 
the north west corner of the pre.sent Saginaw and Kearsley streets, on the 
site of the First National Bank. Mr. Stowe was reappointed, Septemlier. 
1836, but was succeeded by John Todd the following year, whose commis- 
sion was dated October 2, 1837. While Flint was still a village the fol- 
lowing postmasters succeeded Mr. Todd: William P. Crandall, l)eceml)er 
28, 1839; William Moon, June 16, 184 1 ; William P. Crandall, Octolwr 12. 
1844; Alvin T. Crosman, April 28, 1849: Ephraim S. Williams, Mav 7, 


An event of much significance for the increase of settlement in Fhnt 
was the establishment of the United States land office there August 23. 
1836. This institution was a center of interest wherever established, as the 
place where title to lands was secured. There all sales of United States 
lands were recorded, and reports of these were made to the commissioner of 
the general land office at ^Va?hington, D. C : anri in due course a patent for 
the land purchased, signed bv the president, was sent to the local office and 
delivered to the purchaser. This office was continued at Flint until January 
14, 1857, when it was removed to East Saginaw. Following are the officials 
who served at Fhnt: Registered: Michael Hoffman. July 5, 1836; John 
Earston, August 10, 183*^; Comehus Roosevelt. May 21, 1849; William M. 
Fenton, March 25, 1853. Receivers: Charles C. Hascall, July 5, 1836; 
Elijah E. Witherhee. February 23, 1843; Rol>ert J. S. Page, October T2. 
1844; Charles C. Hascall. March 21. 1845; George M. Dewey, March r8, 
1849: Russell Bishop, March 18. 1853. 

From East Saginaw the office was remo\-ed to Grayling, where the 
maps, field notes and all the records were destroyed by fire. The office was 
then moved to Marquette in the upper peninsula. 




Another impulse to the settlement of Flint was the road from Detroit, 
which was first improved by the national government. It followed very 
nearly the old Indian trail, its piir[X)se being originally to connect the forts 
at Detroit and Saginaw. It was first cut out in the winter of 1822-1823 
from Saginaw to Flint by detachments of the Third United States Infantry, 
sufficiently to allow the passage of horses to and from Saginaw. Previous 
to this a road southward from l-'lint had been cut and partially corduroyed 
through the swampy lands between Royal Oak and Detroit, by soldiers under 
command of Colonel Leavenworth. In 1824, the territorial government 
authorized the appointment of a commissioner to lay out and establish a 
territoriaf road from Detroit to Saginaw. Though this was surveyed in 
1826. it was four years before the construction of the road reached Genesee 
county and 1833 when it had reached as far as the present Kearsley street. 
In 1834 the swamp was filled in between Kearsley street and the Flint river, 
the bridge was started, and in the same year, or in the spring of 1835, the 
road was finished to a point aix;nt five miles north of the river, which was 
the end of the work done upon it by the national government. Judged by 
standards of today, this road was scarcely deser\'ing of the name, but for 
those days it was serviceable and over it came a large [xirtion of the early 
settlers to their homes in Genesee county. 

With the improvement of this road and the establishment of the post- 
office and the land office at Flint, a line of stages from Flint to Pontiac was 
begun by William Clifford. As early as 1833 Joshua Terry carried tlie 
mails over the route l:>etween Pontiac and Saginaw, making weekly trips, 
with limited accommotiations for passengers. The Clifford stage-line was 
a much needed improvement and was continued under variotis managements 
imtil the completion of a railway. 

Not least among the attractions for settlers in the neighborhood of 
Flint were the Thread river mills. The saw-mill started at Grand Blanc 
in 1828 has the honor of l^eing the first effort in a line of industry that gave 
Flint its initial prominence as a manufacturing city. It provided lumber 
for the first homes in the county. The proprietors were Rowland Perry 
and Harvey Silencer. According to some accounts the first saw-mill near 
Flint was built by George Oliver as early as 1830, but in 1833 or 1834 one 
was built nearer Fhnt by Rufus W, Stevens. In 1836 another was begim by 
Stage, \\''right & C'ompany. AIx>ut the same time the Ste\'ens Iwothers buiit 



the first grist-mill in Flint, at the intersection of Thread river and the Sag- 
inaiw road. This greatly promoted imniigratioii, by furnishing means of 
making flour or meal without having to make the long trips to Pontiac or 
to Detroit, and drew to Flint the trade for many miles around. A season's 
crop of grain would sometimes come from Saginaw by canoe to be ground 
in Flint, The grist-mill occupied the place of first imiwrtance in this budd- 
ing industrial community, but along in the fifties the saw-mill finally came 
into its own with the development of lumbering as a commercia! enterprise. 
In 1836 was started the first mercantile enterprise of importance in the 
growing village, when Messrs. Robert F. Stage and Ira D. Wright built 
the first store, an adjunct to their milling enteq>rise. It was situated on 
Mill and Saginaw streets not far from the bridge. The stock was valued 
at twenty thousand dollars, a large sum for that time. The store was a 
substantial frame building, the upper story of which was used as a public 
hall. In it were convened all the religious meetings of the day and the court was held within its walls. 

These impulses to the early settlement of Flint are reflected in the 
marked increase oi settlers from 1835 to 1838. Among others who came 
in 1835 were Oliver A, Wesson and John M. Cumings, men of much im- 
portance t(i the early growth of Flint. Among those who settled here 
during the years 1836-1838 were the following: Samuel Alport, Asa An- 
drews. John Bartow. Chauncey Barber, Rev. John Beach, Wait Beach, 
Lewis G. Bickford, James Birdsall, Giles Bishop, Sn, Giles Bishop, Russell 
Bishop, Rev. Daniel R. Brown, I>e\vis Buckingham, Wilham Clifford, Thomas 
R. Cumings, (irant Decker, George M. Dewey, Dr. Elijah Drake, Thomas J. 
Drake, W'illard Eddy. William Eddy, George W. Fish, David Foote, Daniel S. 
Freeman, Miles Gazlay, Ward Gazlaj', J. C. Griswold, George H. Hazelton, 
Charles Heale, Henry M. Henderson, James Henderson, George J. W. Hill, 
Waldo Howard, Dr. John A. Hoyes, W. Lake, Robert D. Lamond, Daniel 
B, Lyon. James McAlester, R, McCreery, Edmond Miles, William Moon, 
William A. Morrison, Roliert J. S. Rage, William Patterson, Chauncey S. 
Payne, Benjamin Pearson, Nicholas Russell, Orrin Safford, D. S. Seeley, 
Charles Seymour, Robert F. Stage, Addison Stewart, Col. Thomas B. W. 
Stockton. Artemas Thayer, Edward H. Thomson, John Townsend, Eugene 
X'anilevcnter, James B. Walker, Henry C. Walker, Ephraim S. Williams, 
Elijah B. Witherbee and Ira D. -Wright. 



Thomas P. Wood, later a resident of Goodrich for more than sixty 
years, came to VVhigville, Genesee comity, in 1834, when only twelve years 
of age. He returned to New York state later, finishing his education, and 
removing again to Genesee coimty after his marriage to Pauliita M. Hulbert, 
of West Bloomfield, New York, residing at Goodrich more than sixty years. 

Particulars about some of these families may be of interest, Benjamin 
Cotharin was engaged in boot and shoemaking, in a shop just north of the city 
hall. Messrs. Seeley and Howard conducted a tailor shop over Stage & 
Wright's store. Beyond the Thread river was a brick yard owned by Reuben 
Ttipper and Silas Pierce. William A. Morrison was engaged in the primi- 
tive lumbering industry. The Bishop brothers, Russeil and Giles, were em- 
barked in commercial pursuits. Daniel B. Lyon was also engaged in business. 
The year 1836 witnessed the advent of a small colony from Batavia and the 
adjacent parts of Genesee count)-. New York. Among them was Willard 
Eddy, who was instrumental in establishing the first bank in Flint. He was 
the father of Hon. Jerome Eddy, later mayor of the city of Flint and one of 
the representatiA-e business men of the city. Robert Patrick assisted in the 
construction of the first grist-mill. Orrin Safford was one of the first justices 
of the peace in Flint township. One of the first lawyers was Col. E. H. 
Thomson. Ephraim S. Williams and George M. Dewey were early mer- 
chants and were largely engaged in land operations. Among those whose 
names apjiear conspicuously as givers of liberal gifts to encourage the growth 
of the city is Chaimcey S, Payne, a large landowner and one of the i>arties 
in the litigation involving the Smith reservation. Henry M. and James Hen- 
derson contributed much to the growth of early Flint, building later a block 
of stores and conducting a large mercantile bu.siness. Few early citizens were 
Ijetter Iieloved than Rev. James McAlester, who for many years was engaged 
in ministerial labor, helping to organize .several Methodist churches in the 
county. By trade he was a wagon maker, devoting his Sabbaths to clerical 
work. Another local preacher was Daniel S. Freeman, who in early years 
in Flint, followed blacksmithing. Hon. James B. Walker was for manv 
years engaged in commercial pursuits, but afterwards identified himself with 
the state charitable institutions and wa.'; active in promoting enterprises for the 
welfare of the city. 

The great majority of the early pioneers of Flint and Genesee countv 
brought with them from the East the staunch old New England equipment 
of mind and morals — intelligence, education, the qualities that make for a 
wholesome society, and the sweet remembrance of family ties; for this rea- 
son Flint has won fame among her sister cities as a community of honor- 



able, hospitable and law-respecting people. Churches and schools were early 
built in the clearings. And though education was often dispensed in the 
cramped cabin of the settler, and never in any edifice more pretentious than 
the single-roomed log school house built in a day by the combined labors of 
a few earnest heads of families, yet in these rude institutions of learning 
there have been laid the foundations of many an honorable and useful career. 


.According to Edward A. Todd, the first school teacher in Flint was a 
man by the name of Billings, whom he describes as a "tall, raw-boned, red- 
headed fellow," whose school was across the road from Todd's tavern. But 
Col. E. H. Thomson gives the generally received opinion that the first school 
was kept by Daniel O'Sullivan. This was in 1834, in a shanty on the river's 
bank, near Hamilton's dam, or upon the site of the present Genesee mills. 
His terms were ten cents per week for each pupil. There were about a 
dozen pupils, sons and daughters of John Todd, James McCormick, R. W. 
Stevens, James W. Cronk, I,yman Stowe, and his own. He thus netted 
for his labors less than one dollar and twenty cents per week. 

In 18,^5 a man by the name of Aaron Hoyes taught a school in the 
same place and during his illness a young woman by the name of Lucy Riggs 
temporarily filled his place. At that time the pupils were the three Stevens 
children, Leander, Albert and Zobedia: the Cronk children, Corydon, Wal- 
ter and Abagail; Edward Todd; Adeline and Emeiine Stowe, and the Mc- 
Cormick children, William, Ann and Sarah. In 1836 a small school house 
was put up on the comer now occupied by the Fenton block, in which the 
first school was kept by a Miss Overton. She received a dollar a week. 


As with education, so with regard to religious observance. The pio- 
neers recognized it as being among the necessities of life, equally with food, 
raiment and shelter. As soon as they had secured these in the most primi- 
tive form, they embraced every op]^K>rtunity to enjoy the privilege of divine 
worship. It is told of a lady living in Flint in the seventies, that when she 
first came to the place with her husband their first inquiries were concerning 
religious services, and when informed that such were to be held in a barn at 
the Grand Blanc settlement on the following Sabbath, they prepared to at- 




tend. They learned that the distance of the place of meeting was fully seven 
miles, ovei* bad roads, with streams to \x forded, requiring more than a day 
of difficult, slow and unpleasant travel, but, with others, they set out in an 
ox-wagon on Saturday, reached their destination the same night, attended 
seivice on Sunday, and arrived back in p-Hnt Monday afternoon. So intense 
was their longing for religious companionship that they had taken three 
days of difficult travel and precious time before a tree had been felled or 
other step had been taken towards building them a roof to shelter their 

Among the earliest of the pioneer preachers in Genesee county were the 
Rev. W. H. Brockway, a Methodist missionary to the Indians; Elders Fra- 
zee and Oscar North, Methodists; Benedict and Gambell, both Baptists; 
Rev. Isaac W. Ruggles. a Congreg;ationalist. and others. The first religious 
meetings were held at Grand Blanc, whence they extended northward to 
Flint and other points. The first services at Flint were held by the Rev. 
Oscar North. The ncighlxjring "Coldwater settlement" was a favorite |X)int 
for traveling preachers who passed through the county. One feature that 
specially distinguished the spirit of these early services was the small atten- 
tion paid to denominational differences. Any Christian service was eagerly 
welcomed by the pioneers, who fully appreciated the value of the church 
privileges they h;id left behind when they emigrated from their old homes 
in the East. 

Among the first Catholic clergymen to visit the field were Rev. Law- 
rence Kilroy and Rev. Martin Kindig, afterward vicar-general of Milwau- 
kee, Wisconsin, who figured so conspicuously in the cholera epidemic which 
decimatet! Detroit in 1S34. The reverend father was indefatigable in his 
efforts to alleviate distress among all sects and classes and used his private 
means so liberally as to impoverish himself and contract an indebtedness 
which it required years to liquidate. After a long life of ceaseless toil and 
benevolence, he died at the ripe age of seventy-two years, 


The pioneers were not averse to the lighter and gayer side of life. The 
craving for social enjoyment comes from one of the deepest instincts of 
human nature. The outsider is lonesome. Good cheer has always been an 
important element in normal human life. Feasting and making merry went 
along with the more serious things, and of all the places to feast and make 
merry in early Flint, the chief was Todd's tavern. "Aunt Polly" Todd, if 



we may l>e!ieve half that is told of her, was abnndantiy able to shine in the 
social sphei'e of white traders, half-breed and full-blooded Indians and 
thrifty pioneers. And the landlord of Todd's tavern could easily set a good 
table with venison, with turke}' and fish, abundantly supplied by the Indians, 
Talking was not one of the lost arts at the Ixiard of "Uncle John" Todd, 
and good stories never failed. 

One of the first social events of Flint took place in this old tavern. In 
the winter of 1831 Mr, and Mrs. Todd gave a wedding reception in honor 
of George Oliver and Miss Keziah Toby, lx>th of whom had been in the 
employ of my lord and lady of the inn. That same winter Mr. and Mrs. 
Todd gave a "house warming." An adequate idea of this grand occasion 
was given years afterwards by "Aunt Polly" Todd herself: 

"in February, Mr, Todd had the frame addition to his house all fin- 
ished, and as Sam Russell— -the only violinist in the county — was procurable, 
Mr. and Mrs. Todd determined to give a housewarming. For this purpose 
all the settlers in Flint and Grand Blanc — about thirty in number— were 
invited to the 'Flint Tavern,' to pass the following evening. Meantime all 
the ladies put their best garments in readiness, and Mrs. Todd — who had 
better facilities for importing new articles into the settlement than many of 
the others- — had a full new suit and a splendid new dress cap. ready for that 
special occa,sion, all purchased some weeks previously by Mr. Todd in De- 
troit. As the evening advanced, the guests commenced arriving, and 'Aunt 
Polly' concluded to dress up. As she appeared among the ladies they ail 
expatiated on her becoming dress and 'perfect love of a cap.' Mrs. Todd, 
ha^'ing a light in her hand at the time, stood opposite a looking-glass and, 
casting an admiring glance at herself therein, mentally agreed that she did 
look well, and that it ivas 'a love of a cap.' While elevating the light to get 
a more correct view of the Isanti ful piece of finery, it caught in some of the 
delicate Ijorders or riblx>ns, and a fire ensued which reduced the gay head- 
dress to a few burned rags in less than three minutes. However, the tuning 
of the fiddle previous to the dance set the gentlemen to looking up their 
partner, and Mrs. Todd, who loved dancing, was on the floor one of the 
first, looking just as well and as happy in another cap of less pretentions 
than her lost beauty. In those times a dance was the only amusement 
lookerl for at any gathering, and when an invitation was given, it was sure 
to be accepted." 

Other centers of hospitality and social life in early Flint were the 
Northern Hotel and the Genesee House. The Northern Hotel, which was 
built and kept for a short time by Captain Crane, was conducted by William 



Clifford, who founded the River House, which he had taken over from John 
Todd- in' 1838, too small for his increasing business. The Northern Hotel 
then became headquarters for the Flint-Pontiac stage-line. The Genesee 
House was built in 1S37 by Thomas j. Drake, and stood at the angle formed 
by Detroit and Saginaw streets. Mr. Drake's successors were Cornelius 
Roosevelt, S. W. Gil>son, W. R. Scoville. Mr. Allen. Mr. Pettee and Jared 
Mason. Mr. Mason subsequently built the Carlton House, which stood upon 
the site of the present Bryant Hotel, and was first opened January i. 1836. 
This hotel was afterwards changed to the Irving; House, and was destroyed 
by fire. 


The professions of law and medicine were not represented in early 
Flint. The first residetit attorney in the county, however, lived in Fenton- 
ville. He was Philip H. McOmber. About 1832 he came to Michigan from 
Saratoga county. New York, practicing first in the Oakland county courts, 
but removing in 1834 to Fenton township. Hon. William M. Fenton, who 
knew him very well, says of him^ that his talents as a lawyer were of a 
superior quality. He not only stood high as a lawyer, Ijut was most highly 
esteemed as an honest and public-spirited citizen and a hospitable gentleman. 
He was the first prosecuting attorney of Genesee county. His death oc- 
curred about 1844. The first resident attorney in Flint, who settled here 
in 1836, had also previously practiced law in Oakland, to which, after a 
few years, he returned: this was Thomas J. Drake. According to Judge 
Baldwin, Mr. Drake was connected as counsel with most of the leading- 
cases in northern Michigan during a long term of years, and was always 
happy and in his element when advocating the interests of the people. He 
was senator from Genesee county from 1S39 to 1842. The same year Mr. 
Drake settled in Flint, 1836, came John Bartow, who was soon after ap- 
pointed register in the land office. He was elected state senator in 1837. 
In partnership with Mr. Bartow was Edward H. Thomson, who had been a 
student in the office of Millard Fillmore, afterwards President of the United 
States. He had practiced in New York. He caime to Flint in 1838. In 
1845-6 he was prosecuting attorney for Genesee county and was state sena- 
tor from Genesee for the years 1848 and 1849. He also served in the lower 
house and filled many other important offices. 

As with the lawyers so with the doctors — the first physicians who 
served the settlers of Genesee county came from the neighboring Oakland. 
Among these pioneers of the profession were David L. Porter, J. B. Rich- 



ardsoii and Olnistead Chamberlain. The one most frequently employed was 
Doctor Chamberlain, although he was not compelled to rely on his pro- 
fession for a iivelibood and did not follow it as a regular business. He 
was present with Colonel Cronk in the fatal sickness of the latter at Flint 
in 1832. The first physician to locate and practice in the county was Dr. 
Cyrus Baldwin, who settled at Grand Blanc in the spring of 1833, where 
he became a deacon in the Presbyterian church. In the following year Dr. 
John W. King located in the same settlement and for many years was a 
mighty influence for moral and spiritual, as well as the physical, health of 
Genesee county. l"he first resident physician in Flint was Dr. John A. 
fioyes, who settled here in 1835. He was a graduate of the medical school 
at I'"airfield, Herkimer county. New York. About 1847 his health began to 
fail and two years later ,on December 20, he died at Flint, aged forty-three 
years. Another of the earliest physicians in Flint was Doctor Richardson, 
who came about 1837, but removed west soon after 1840. Thus in the 
professional as well as in the business and social life of Flint there has been 
considerable progress by the time Michigan was formally admitted to state- 

The rapid growth of Flint, and its condition at the time Michigan 
became a state, is fairly reflected in Blois' "Gazetteer of Michigan" : 

"Flint: A village, postoffice and seat of justice for Genesee county, 
situated on Flint river. It has a banking association, an edge tool factory-, 
saw-mi!l, two dry goods stores, two groceries, two physicians, a lawyer and 
the land office for the Saginaw land district. The United States road passes 
through it. There is a good supply of water-power in and around it. The 
emigration to this place has been very great the past two years, and still 
continues. The village is flourishing and the country around it is excellent. 
It is estimated to contain three hundred families." 


Pioneer Days in the Townships. 

The county of Genesee ;is laid out by the act of 1835 embraced all of 
its presait area except the eastern range of townships, which then belonged 
to I-.apeer. The oldest township in the county is Grand Blanc, organized 
March 9, 1833. It was larger than now, including its present area and all 
of the present townships of Fenton, Mundy, Flint, Mount Morris, Genesee, 
Burton, Atlas and Davison. The second township was Flint, erected March 
2, 1836. It, too, was larger than now, embracing not only its present area 
and that of the city of Flint, but also the present townships of Burton, Clay- 
ton, Flushing, Mount Morris, Genesee, Thetford, Vienna and Montrose. 
Argentine was organized July 26. 1836, which included the township of 
Fenton besides its present area. On March 11, 1837, was organized the town- 
ship of Mundy, which then included also the present township of Gaines. By 
the same act Vienna was organized from the northern part of f'lint, to include 
also the lands now in Montrose and Thetford, Thus, in 1837, all of Genesee 
county was included in five townships. Grand Blanc, Flint, Argentine, Mundy 
and Vienna, the latter having been added only a few weeks after the state 
was admitted to the Union. 

The remaining townships of the county were organized in the following 
order : 

1838, March 6, Genesee, fenton and Flushing. 

1839, April 19, Kearsley, covering territory absorbed later by Genesee 
and Burton. 

1842, February 16, Thetford and Gaines. 

1S43, March 9, Forest, Richfield, Davison and Atlas were added from 

Lapeer county. 
1846, March 25, Clayton and Montrose; the latter was first called 

"Pewanagawink ;" changed to "Montrose"' by act of January 15, 

1855, February 12, Mount Morris. 
1855, October 12, Burton. 






Much that is of interest to the early settlement of the township has been 
given in the history of Flint, with which the township is very closely allied. 
The earliest land entries were made in 1833, by Nathan M. Miles, Levi Gilkey 
and Nathaniel Nelson. Most of the lands of the county were taken up in 
the year 1836 and i^carcely an acre was left in the hands of the government 
after that year. To the families of Jilijah Carmen and Jesse Torrey belongs 
the honor of first breaking the forests of the township. Mr. Carmen, who 
was slightly earlier than Mr. Torrey, settled in 1835 on section 25. He died 
there in 1840. Mr. Torrey settled in 1836 on section 24, with his wife, 
daughter and four sons, and their neighborhood became known as the Torrey 
settlement. At this settlement were ait the first logs ever floated down the 
IHint river, about one thousand, for which a compensation of fifty cents a log 
was received. 

Other early neighborhood settlements in the township were the Dye, 
Utley, Cronk, Bristol, Stanard, Carter and Crocker settlements, all originally 
founded by the gentlemen whose names they bear, who were leading spirits in 
these localities. One of the earliest of these was the Stanard settlement, on 
section 35, founded in 1836 by William N. Stanard and sons, of Genesee 
county, New York. The Cronk settlement, originally on sections 7 and 8, 
was founded by James W. Cronk in 1837. The I>ye settlement was founded 
by James W. Cronk in 1837. The Eh-e settlement was founded by Ruben 
Dye, who located in 1843 on section 20: his sons established themselves 
around him and populated the settlement — hence the name. 

Among other leading .settlers of the township in the earliest period were 
Lysander Phillips, Daniel O'Sullivan, Andrew Hyslop, George Crocker, 
Jeremiah Kelsey, Dewitt C. Curtis, Capt. Benjamin Boomer, Horace Bristol, 
Marvin E. Persons, Wilham Van Slyke. Philip Beltsworth, J. D. Eggleston, 
John Thome. Jabez Blackinton. F. A. Begole, Anson Gilbert, Edward Tup- 
per, A. Herrick, Robert, P. Aitkin, Morgan Chapman, Alfred Gifford, Cor- 
nelius I.-ane. Thomas Daly, Stephen Crocker, Robert Dultam and others. 

The first school house in the township was built in 1838, on the bank 
of Swartz creek, on the corner of .section 23. The teacher who disciplined 
the youth of this early period was Miss Louisa Kimball, who afterwards 
became Mrs. Joseph Freeman and, later, Mrs. Horace Bristol. The second 
teacher was Miss Jane Watkins, whose brief career there was terminated by 
the burning of the log school house. Thereupon Mrs. Alonzo Torrey opened 
her own house for the school and for three months the pupils were taught 



by her, while a frame building of more extended proportions was being con- 
structed. The new building was opposite the old site on section 24. 

It was in this building that the early religious services of the township 
were held. Previous to this, however, in 1836, Rev. James McAlestcr, of 
the Methodist denomination, formed a class and held service at the house of 
Alonzo Torrey. The class embraced members of the Torrey, Kelsey and 
Bristol families. The first circuit preacher who ministered to the spiritual 
wants of the little flock was Rev. Luther D. Whitney, who held services there 
during the years 1838 and 1839. 

We are happy to say that by the aid of Ernest Nefif, clerk of FUnt town- 
ship, the early records of the township have been found and their valuable 
contents are now accessible to the historian. These records consist of various 
books: Book of Road Records; Book of Estrays and Marks; Record of the 
School Inspectors; Record of Town Libraries; Minutes of Surveys of Roads 
of Town of Flint. These books probably contain the earliest records in the 
county, except the records of the town of Grand Blanc, which are earUer by 
two or three years. 

Among the curios of these records are the records of marks, by which 
each owner of stock identified his property, and which suggests the time 
before fences were in order among the settlers. The first entry was made on 
the 4th day of April, 1836, as follow : 

"Lyman Stow's mark, A slit in the right Ear. Recorded this 4th day of 
April, 1836." 

Then follow ; "Alanson Dickinson's Mark, A Square Crop off the left 
ear. Apr. 8. 1836." 

"Ezekiel R. Ewing's Mark, A Swallow tail in the end of the right ear. 
May 2, 1836." 

"Lewis Buckingham's Mark, A hole in the right ear, square left, Aug. 
25. 1836." 

"John Patton's Mark, A square crop off the right ear. Oct. 11, 1836." 

"Grover Vinton's Mark, A Half Crop off the under side of the Right 
Ear and a Half crop off the upper side of the left Ear. Oct. loth, 1836." 

"Sherman Stanley's, Mark A Crop off the right ear and half penny 
under the Left. January 25th, 1837." 

"Ephraim S. Walker's Mark a crop off the left ear and a slit in the 
right. April 12, 1837." 

"Asa Torrey's Mark, A Crop and a slit off the Right Ear. April 17, 




"James W. Cronk's Mark, A Swallow tail in the end of the left ear. 

April 20th. 1837." 

"Jeremiah Kelley's Mark, A slit in the left ear. May 5, 1837." 
"John P. Kelley's Mark, A slit in the end of both ears. June 2, 1837,'' 
"Alonzo Torry's Mark, A hole in the right ear. Jnne 12, 1837.'' 
"Lysander Phillips' Mark. A Crop ofi the right Ear and A SHt in 

the Left. July ist, 1837." 

"Jessee Torrey's Mark. A Crop and a Slit olT the Left Ear. Julv 6, 


An interlineation says "deceased 1865.'" 

"Rufus W. Stevens' Mark. A crop and a half Cn^p of the right ear. 
July 8, 1837." 

"Philo Fairchild's Mark. A Half crop uf the underside of the right ear. 
Jany. 14, 1839." 

"Plinny A. Skinner's Mark A Swallow tail in the left ear and a slit in 
the right. May 22, 1839." 

"Eben Storer's Mark A Slit in the end of the rig'ht car and a slit on the 
under side of the same. Oct. 26, 1839." 

"Shuhal Atherton's Mark A Square crop off the left ear. April 17. 

"Adonijah Athcrton, Mark \ Swallow tail in the end of the left ear. 
April 17, 1S40." 

"Perus Atherton Mark a hole through the left ear. May 2, 1840." 

"James Ingalls Mark a srjuare crop off the left Ear and a hajipennv 
under the right." 

"Albert Storer's Mark -\ Slit in the end of the right Ear and a slit on 
the upper side of the same. January 22, 1842." 

"Nathan J. Rublee's Mark a Square Crop of the Wright ear. 
"Flint, January 29, 1S42." 

"Stewart H. Webster's Mark a Slit in the Point of each ear. 
"Flint. Oct. 27, 1842. ■■ 

h'rom this time on the entries of marks are less fre(]uent. as probably 
the fences were Jieginning to hold the stock and make the car-mark record 
of less utility. 

Charles C. Curtis. A.sahel Curtis, Asahel Robinson, O. Parker, Lewis 
Colby, Jesse Whitcomb, George R. Sprague and William Barnhart had 
entered their respective marks before 1850, and on January 21. 1851, the firm 



of Hazleton & McFarlan recorded their mark for logs, it being the letters, 
"H. M. T. B." This was the only mark for logs entered. 

The first entry of strays was in the month of December, 1839, and is as 
follow; "Came into the enclosure of the subscriber one j-earling heifer on 
or about the fourth of December, 1839. Said heifer is red, with one white 
star in her forehead and the end of her tail white; also said heifer is very 
small in size. Flint Dec. 17, 1839." Another similar finding of estray is 
entered in December of same year by John P. Kellogg, and thereafter from 
time to time strays were so reported by those who took them up. 

In the middle fifties the stock evidently had become more numerous 
and many entries are made of strays in 1855 and 1856. Later on they were 
less proportionately and the last is entered on November 21, 1896. 

The record of libraries is a valuable index to the literary tastes of the 
earliest settlers of the county. From it we have taken. some interesting data 
in "Res Literaria." After the formation of the Ladies' Library Association, 
in 1851, the activity of the school district libraries was not so pronounced. 
It was, however, kept up for many years more and the high standing of the 
books bought was maintained to the last. Many of the older ]^>eople of the 
county can remember of school libraries and the educational work they did 
among the hungry minds of the patrons. The entries of the old book come 
down to 1859, among the last entries being a list of books bought in 1858. 

The record of school inspectors opens with the records of a meeting 
of the board of school inspectors held at the town clerk's office. April ti, 

1837, at which Ephraim Walker was elected chairman, Orrin Stafford, 
town clerk, signed the minutes of the meeting. At this meeting the inspectors 
divided the town into ten school districts, number one of which covered 
the territory of the present city south of the river and number two, that 
north of the river. The growth of the region rendered it necessary to create 
three more districts during the year. For the year ending with September, 

1838, the report from district number one shows the attendance of pupils 
between five and seventeen years of age to have been thirty-nine in a!!; over 
seventeen, twenty-one; making the total number of scholars, sixty. The 
term of school was nine months. Most of the districts made no report. The 
amount of money raised in the first school district was ninety dollars for a 
school building and four hundred ninety-nine dollars for current school 
expenses. School district number five had School for six months, and raised 
seventy dollars for school purposes. School in the sixth district was kept 
seven months, and one hundred and ninety dollars was raised for exi>enses. 



After paying therefrom one hundred dollars for a school house. No other 
district made report of any school supported in the districts. 

It appears that Lyman Stow, E. S. Walker and J. L. Gage were insiiect- 
ors of schools for Flint township, and Josiah Alger, W. D. Morton and 
Dudley Brainerd, of Mundy township, in 1839. In 1839 districts numljers 
one, three, four and five reported schools, and an attendance in all of the four 
reporting, one hundred forty-seven pupils. The text books were Kirkham's 
Grammar, Blake's Philosophy, Webster's Spelling-book, Hale's United States 
History, Cobb's I^eader, as standards; while in some, the report shows a 
number of text-books, including Peter Parley's Geography, Olney's Granmiar, 
Emerson's Arithmetic, Smith's Arithmetic, Botham's Arithmetic, Adams' 
Arithmetic, ail in the same school. 

In 1840 the inspectors of the county, E. Drake and L. Stow, reported 
district number one as having the same number of pupils as in 1838, namely, 
sixty; district number two, however, reported thirty-three, making the num- 
ber within the territory of the present city of Flint, ninety-three. District 
number four had twenty-nine pupils ; 'district five had twenty-five : number six 
had forty-two, and number eight, thirty-six. 

The record shows the reports of 1841, 1842, 1843, 1844, and so on. down 
to the organization of the city, and then continues until t!ie year i86q. This 
old volume contains a mass of information as to the early schools of the 
county, and as such is invaluable. 


The oldest land entries in the jiresent Grand Blanc township were made, 
July 17, 1824, by parties from Livingston and Ontario counties. New York. 
From Livingston were William Thompson and Charles Little; from Ontario, 
Samuel B. Perkins. The purchases were made on sections 9, 10 and 15, 
amounting in all to five hundred acres. Section 15 was the first section to be 
entirely bought up, the last purchase being made prior to July 4, 1829. The 
lands of the entire township had been taken up by 1836, excepting, of course, 
section 16, which was school land. 

The first white settlers in Grand Blanc were Jacob Stevens and his famiKl 
who came to the township in the spring of 1823. Besides Mr. Stevens and 
hi.s wife, the family consisted of two sons and five daughters. They had 
arrived in Detroit from New York in August, 1822, and first settled in Oak- 
land county, on the Saginaw trail, where they made some improvements ; but 
finding their land title defective, they sold out and removed to Grand Blanc. 



A letter written by Mr. Stevens in 1825 may be given as typical of the experi- 
ences of a settler removing with his family from "York State" to Genesee 
county in these early days : 

(iriiuliliiw. July, A. D. lS2j 

Honored Psireiita — Tlie iieriod since I wrote yon 1 iicEiuowletlge Is a long one. 
iiiMl I lirue not sufficient reasons to offer to Justify so shiiiiieful 11 neglect. Vnrions. 
indeed, huve been tLe cliaujfea and vk-lssltiwles of my life since tbnt time. An ntteniiit 
to describe tlieiu in a single letter would be unLivalllng. ^^o ftimily, jjerlniits. the siae 
of mine can have enjoyed better heiilth, say for twenty yeiirs past Our doctors' bills 
lin^e scarcely exceeded that uunibev of dollars. 

I sold my fiirui in Ijinia. soon after the close at the war, for four thousand 
dollars. I whs some In debt, and my Intention was to have naited a few years to see 
what the tuiTi of the times might be, and then luiivhase somewhere quite within the 
bounds of my capital , but fate or fortune determined otherwise. The family soon 
became uneasy lit having no permanent home of their own. ludeeil, I disliked a statp 
so inactive myself, and determineil to purchase, ami did. to nearly the amount of uiy 
money. It was well laid out, but at a bad time. 

1 was sensible a depreciation on property nmst take place, but put it off till by and 
by, and souie way or other was blind to Its approach. The farm admitted of gi'eat 
improvements being made, and a good house among the rest would be vei'y convenient, 
and, accordingly, the best we had were taken to procure materials, viz; stone, 
brick, lumber, etc. About this time the amazing fall in the value of real estate, as 
well as of all other iiroperty, and the many complaints from other people, whom 1 
thouglit forehanded, but in debt to me. whs alarming. I told Rufus (who seemed the 
boy destined to live at home) my fears, and I thought we had better sell off our 
Inniber, etc., and eiideaior to back out. Naturally ambitious, this ide.i he could not 
bi-ook. He Tircferr^l to drhe the buildiiis and risk the consequences. We finally did, 
and it Is only necessary to observe that It tlung us completely in the background in 
bad times. Since that we tiave had many shifts and but few shirts. Too proud to 
be iioor among my old friends, 1 determined to try a new country again. Michigan 
seemed tlie most proper, being nbont (he same latitude and easiest of access. We 
arrned in Detroit the latter part of August. lR2a, with about eight hundred in cnsn 
and some other jiroperty. Sllsfortune, however, seemed unwilling to Quit us at this 
point. Itufus had been in the counfiy one year previous to this and had contracted 
for a piece of land, second-handed, and had done considerable labor on the same. I 
did not altogether like the land, but omctiided to niake » stand and go to work. We 
built a good log house, dug a well, and made some other Improvements, but before 
one year had jHissert we found we could get no title to the land. This place was 
about twenty-five miles northwest of Detroit Tprobably in the (iclnity of Pontlac], and 
what to do in this case was n material question. Our e^vitenses drew hard upon our 
little capitJil, and to siiend more money and more time there was preposterous. 
Kventnally. we agi-eed to try another venture. At this time there were troops stationed 
at Saginaw, a place about seventy-five miles northwest of Detroit, and on our route. 
A settlement had been commenced there and the siiirit of settlement seemed bent for 
the northwest. We sold our i 111 proi emeu ts to Mr. Oilier Williams, and took his note 
for thirty-five dollars a year, for five years, reseriing the use of the honse for one 
year. In Mui-ch, 182:-{, Rufus and I started to explore to the northwest. We were 
much pletsed with the country nud prosjiects at this place. The road thus far had 
no obstacles to impede n tejim with n reasonable load for any country, and at this 



time was considerably tnueied liy oftt<!eva, IndiaoM, traders nnd settlers nt Siigiiiaw. 
We believed that an establiahnient hero nilglit not only be beneflcial for ourselves, hut 
coiiveoient for travelers uud emigriints. 

It Is an old Iiidiiin settlement, situated about twenty miles from our fli'st place, 
and about the same distance from the fartliest wlilte settlement northwest of Detroit. 
There are some French families seven miles northwest of us [Flint], and no more 
iititll we reach Saj^maw. Bufus and 1 flung up a siuall log house, and on the 23d 
of May, 1823, Eunice, mywelf, two youngest childi-en, Ruftis and Sherman, with a good 
team, and as many goods ris would make us comfortable, arrived here. We cleared, 
plowed and sowed with wheat and oats about ten acres, completing the same June lOtL. 

Sirs. SteveuH and the <'hifdren then returned, and one of the girls liept house, and 
BO through the season. At this time we felt morally certain of hailnj; neighbors the 
nest spring; but here, sir, I must inform yon that the government saw fit the winter 
following to evacuate the post at Saginaw, which measure has, so far. completely 
paralyzetl all settlemewts to the northwest, turning the tide of emigration, which has 
been lei-y great, to the s<)uth and we^t. This was, indeed, very discourasiing, Imt for 
ns tiiere was no fair retreat. • » • 

After Speaking of hi* Indian neig;hhors, who wei'e very friendi}, he 
concludes as follow : 

^eieril purchases hn I iteh 1 een mile it iieini«es idJoinni„ us iiid we 
hase little doubt will bt settled ne\.t spiiii^, Jind pieiioiations seem to be making ;>uce 
more foi a settlement it '^uiniw 'ne ha^e this jeii one huudied ind seieutj shocks 
of wheat and about mne ities of com the stoutest growth of coin I e^er loiaed If 
nothing befalls, I lutiLipite fifty bushels to the icre TVe haie two voke of oxen, two 
hoises iiie cows plentv of hogs and a number of voung cattle and such is the 
(ountij that thej keep fat snmmei and wiutei The winteis are surpriaingh mild 
last winter in fact nan no wlntei at nil l\e did not spend three tons of hay with 

ill om stock V liigt iwition of the covintn is openings and the cittle get their 
iliing in old fog and has-jwood spioiits in tlie swale*" The greatest countij foi wild 
feed and hay I eiei saw ^\e can summei ind winter my numbei of cattle if ne had 
them Blue joint is the jrincipal ^iss in tlie low meadons On the higher parts is 
fomid consideitble led top lud foul meadow glass Jemima has a faniil> and Hies 
m the state of New Toik Horatio niid Augustus ire merdiints In thnt stite Horatio 
I undeistand is quite foielianded lugustua is ilso domg well Eunice and Charlotte 

lie theie it present on » iisit I'ntt* leeis •- ho>l this snmmei In the teiitt r\ Ihe 
list if tlir fnniilj aie m tin wooils 

Jacob Stevens was then a man of hne proportions, about sixty years of 
age. As is said by one who knew, "He was a true type of the gentiemen of 
the old school, to whose moral and physical courage as a pioneer was united 
a rare intelligence marked by a Uterary taste, showing itself conspicuously 
even in the few scattered remnants of his correspondence which have come 
down to this day." About 1831 he returned to New York, with the majority 
of his family, where he passed the remaining portion of his hfe. 

Rufus W. Stevens, his son, traded with the Indians in a log house situ- 
ated on the site of the later Grand Blanc Hotel. He became the first post- 



master of Grand Blanc. In 1830 he commenced a saw-mill, and soon after a 
grist-miil, on what became known as the Thread Mill property. These mills 
performed a most important function, for years supplying all the people 
living between Pontiac and Saginaw, In the early thirties Stevens moved 
to Flint and became identified with the milling interests there. 

In October, 1825, Edmund and Rowland B, Perry entered lands situ- 
ated upon sections 11 and 14. In the following February, Edmund removed 
some of his family here from Avon, Livingston county, New York, and the 
rest of the family in 1826. He was a native of Rhode Island, an educated 
Quaker, possessed of great energy and force of character, a respected citizen 
and a kind friend who believed in doing good without ostentation. His 
granddaughter, Isabella, was the first white child born in Genesee county. 

Other settlers of Grand Blanc prior to the winter of 1830-31 were, 
Edward H. Spencer, William Roberts, George \L. Perry, Judge Jeremiah 
Riggs and sons, Joseph Mci'arlen, Jeremiah Ketchum, Caleb S. Thompson, 
Jonathan Dayton, Caleb Embury, Ezekiel R. Ewing, Washington Thompson, 
I'hineas Thompson, Judge Jeremiah R. Smith, Silas Smith, R. T. Winchell, 
Clark Dibble, Jonathan Davison and Pearson Farrar. 

Caleb S. Thompson relates that at the time of his arrival in 1829 there 
were about forty-five persons in Grand Blanc, all of whom, with one or two 
exceptions, were Avon, Livingston county. New York. Edward PI. Spencer 
ha<] a rough log house, and about one acre cleared aud planted to corn, pota- 
toes, etc. The Stevenses had some forty acres under cultivation and there 
were some fifty or sixty acres in cultivation in the Perry settlement. Judge 
Riggs and his sons had also made a good beginning. Thirteen lots lying 
along the Saginaw road and seven lots on Perry street had already been pur- 
chased and ten more eighty-acre lots were entered during the remaining part 
of the year 1829. The Saginaw road was laid out and staked so that it was 
easy to find it. but no work had been done upon it. The traveled highway, 
which followed the Indian trail, went rambling around through the woods, 
avoiding hills and swamps, and was quite a comfortable wagon road. The 
streams and low places had been bridged some time previous by the Unitc<l 
States soldiers stationed in garrison at Saginaw. 

After 1830 settlers began to come in rapidly, mainly from western New 
York. In 1833 the township was organized, and the first election, which was 
held at the hou=e of Rufus W. Stevens resulted in the choice of the following ' 
officers: Supervisor, Norman Davison; clerk, Jeremiah R. Smith; assessors, 
Rufus W. Stevens, Lyman Stow and Charles Buder; justices of the peace, 
Norman Davison, Lyman Stow and Jeremiah R. Smith; constable and col- 



lector, Augustus C Rjggs; highway commissioners, John Todd, Edmund 
I'erry and Jonathan Dayton; constable, Elijaii N. Daveii]^x)rt ; trustees of 
school lands, Loren P. Riggs, Clark Dibble and James W. Cronk; commis- 
sioners of schools, Jeremiah Riggs, Jeremiah R. Smith and Norman Davison ; 
school inspectors, David Mather, Paul G. Davison and Caleb S. Thompson; 
director of tlie poor, Edmund Perry; overseers of highways, District i, 
George Oliver; District 2, Jonathan Davison; District 3, Norman Davison; 
District 4, Ira Dayton. 

The village of Grand Blanc was one of the earliest village centers in the 
county. As early as 1826 a postoffice was established, with Kufus W. 
Stevens as postmaster. His house was also the first public tavern in the 
place. The first regular store was opened by Robert r~. Stage and Ira D. 
Wright in 1835, with a stock valued at twenty thousand dollars, though 
this was moved to Flint in 1836. The first school was a small frame build- 
ing built by Edmund Perry, Sr., about 1830, and Miss Sarah Dayton taught 
the first school there. The earliest church societies were the Baptist, Congre- 
gational and Alethodist, all organized by 1835, with goodly congregations. 

fentoin; town.'^hip. 

'i"he lirst land entered in the township of Fenton was taicen in March, 
1834, by Clark Dibble, on section 34. In April of that year Dustin Chene> 
and family came from Grand Blanc township and settled where now is the 
village of Fenton, The years immediately following witnessed the growth 
of a considerable settlement in the southern part of the township, settlers 
coming in from neighlxtring counties and from New York. A settlement 
was made at the site of Linden in 1836. Very little land of the township 
remained in the hands of the government by the end of that year and bj' the 
following year settlement was reached up into the northern sections. 

In 1834 came R. A. Carman and A. S. Donaldson; in 1835, Jonathan 
Shepard, Joseph Thorp, William Remington and Elisha Larned. Mr. Earned 
was from Yates county. New York, and settled on section 32, but in 1837 
moved to Fenton. William Remington, a native of Rhode Island, and later 
a resident of New Bedford. Massachusetts, and of Dutchess and Ulster 
counties, New York, came with Mr. Larned in 1835, settling near him. 
Joseph Thorp came from Genesee county. New York, and settled finally on 
section 36, at the site of Fenton. 

■The Chapin brothers, Alonzo and Murzah, were two of the first settlers 
in Fenton township. Originally they were from Irondequoit, Monroe county, 



New York, but had come tu Wayne county, Michigan, in 1833, where they 
located in the township of Dearborn. Murzah Chapin and his family moved 
into Fenton township in 1836, and Alonzo and wife, the year after. They 
settled first near Mud lake, and later near Linden. During the years of his 
early residence in the township, Alonzo engaged in teaming in various parts 
of the state, transporting goods for settlers and making trips as far west as 
Lake Michigan, becoming widely acquainted with pioneer families and the 
conditions of settlement over a wide area. He became one of the most pros- 
perous farmers in the county and was for many years a strong influence in 
the growth of the Fenton neighlxirhood. 

Prominent among others who came to the township before 1840 were 
Oliver Warren, Theophilus Stone, Waiter Sluyter, A. Kirby, H. M. ThoTUp 
son, H. Lee, M, Walton, J. Van Winkle and S. I'. Thompson. 

Very early in the settlement of the township, population began to con- 
centrate about a site of great natural beauty on the Shiawassee river, in the 
extreme southeast, which was destined to develop into the present flourishing 
village of Fenton. The story of the discovery of this site and of its first 
settlers, cannot be better told than in the words of Hon. Dexter Horton in 
an address made in the centennial year of 1876: 

Eiirl.v In the yeiii' 1S3J, Clark Dibble iviis threiulhig liis wtiy tiirougli ;i trackJess 
wildemesMs from Slilinviiasee to Ui'uuiliin- (noir (iriuid Bliiuc), ana by some mlstaKe 
lie got on the White Lube trnil. lieiit-liiiig what is uon- llillniiin'a, he started to make 
farther iiortii imtl fli'st discovered this beiiutlfiil iiluce wlUc-h la now our village. Me 
wjia su fiji'cibly strucit with ItM locutlou that he st'nnied for a day and examined thor- 
oughly the lay of the land. So takeu uii was he with the place that ou his arrival 
at "(iraiiilaw" he luduced Duatln Cheney, Jjoren Higgs and Jobu Gallowiiy, with their 
faiidlles to couie with him to thia spot: (theuey and faniiiy came firKt, then Clitrb Dibble, 
then Oalloway and Uiggs — all iu April, 1834. 

Mrs. Dtistiu Chenej' was the first while woni:iu that steppe<l ou the spot where 
OTir flouriahing viiliige now shimlB. Toiliiy ahe is slowly [laaaiug itway. She realdeit 
withiu oue mile of wliei'e I uow stand, liiiviiig acted well her part In the great draniit 
of life— the mother of eight cliildven. For the last fifteen years ahe can truly say, 
"I'm blind, oh, I'm blind.'' Go and visit her, as I Lave done, and Jlsten to her words 
of wisdom and her tale of pioneer life, and then say, if you can. If she has not per- 
formed well ber iinrt in life. Though blind to the world, though dnrbneas obsti'ucts 
her vision, she wees arross the river with a vision aa bright as the dazzling raya of the 
ooonday sun. What a chapter, what a hlstoi-y nilght be written of this truly good 

Harrison Cheney waa tlie flrat while cliild Imu'u beve, and both mother and child 
are living. Cheney's family built the first honse, i>u the ground where Jlrs. E. Btrd- 
aall now i-esldes, the next where Mllery Aniiers<ni uow lives; Galloway the next, near 
the gate to the fair ground. 

Many weeks had not passed before the cry came from the little band in the wlldei'- 
neaa, "Lost I Lost!" Ixmlse Cheney, a little prattling, sweet cherub of seven years. 



liiid Htniyed uwiiy. Hei- motJier, with sonif of tlie older childreu, hiid goUB iifouiiii ii 
little Mwale, where Clioudler's house now Btuiids, to see if there would uot be a good 
lilnce to plant com. She told the little girl to go back, but somehow she strayed 
jiway. and Oie cry ot "I-ost! Lost" reacheil (irand Btaiic, Oi'oveland, Holly uiid White 
liiike, and the ploueers citnie to assist. 

On the thii-d dnj. 11. Wliichell, who lind been lit work on Dibble's mill, aud who 
had been hiuitlug fur the chil<1. came hi iiejrly exhausted and threw himself on the 
lied at ahout twelve o'clock. At iibont two o'clock he awoke, having dreauieil where 
tJie child was. He luHiiedliitely iiut on his hat and went iind found tlie child iu the 
exact spot where, but a few nionieiits befoi-e, hf saw her In his dream. Hhe hud been 
lost three days and was found jnst over beyond the hill where the Baptist seminary 
uow stands, uear a little pool of water. She wan In nearly an exhausted condition. 
The little thing would crawl down and tiike a drink of water, and then crawl back on 
dry ground to die. She afterwards l>ecame the tirst wife of Galen Johnson. 

Dibble built the first saw-inill, in 1S34, and got It running in the fail. Due by one 
the pioneers came: It. H. JlcOmber and faniilj-, Uncle Dick Doniitdson and family, 
it. LeRoy, W. 31. Fenton, K, Ijiriied. W. Remington, Walter Dibble, E. Pratt. A. 
Bailey, etc. 

The lirat hotel was built, in ISIT, by It. J^Koy and \V. M. Fenton, where the 
Kvei'ett House now stands, and Mr. bVuton opened it with a dunce. July 4th of the 
same year, Uncle Dick Doualdson'B band did the fiddling aud EUsha I.anied grace- 
fiilly mode music with the tumblers aud decanters behind the bar 

11. LeKoy opened the tirst store, where Richardson's wagon-shop uow stands, in 
1«37, and in 1838 was appointed tirst postmastei-, and held that office for thirteen years. 
A Mr. Taylor succeeded him, aud after his death a part of the poatolfice was found 
iu his pocket. 

This year (ISas) tlie tirst school house was built and a Mr. Nottingham was the 
first teacher. At that time the right of the schoolmaster to whip was not questioned, 
and II deei>er and more lasting Impi-ession wan often uiade with the gad thnn witli 
the blackboard. 

At this time, and in tills old log school house, a ploneei" and geutleiuan, now 
Ihlng H short distance from here, was cnlled, us be thought, to preach, and In an 
hour of work and religi<tnK excitement be had what was called In those days the 
■"imwer." He rolled over and over on the floor. Scott McOmber played that the young 
man had fainted, seized a pall of water, and immediately the "power" left him and 
the would-be preacher revived. 

The first physician was Doctor Pattlaou; the first blacksmith was Elisha Holmes, 
and tlie first bricklayer, John Harmon. The fir.-<t church organization was that of the 
First Presbytevian church, which took place February 28. 1810. In the third story of the 
uow Krlttou stoi-e, and the following constituted its membei-ship: Silas Newell, Sarah 
Newell, George H. Newell, John Hadlej, Jr.. Sophia Hadley, Benjamin Rockwell, Louisa 
Rockwell, Daniel I,eRoy, Blra. T*Roy, I,ucy Thorp, John Fenwick, Jane Fenwlck, JameK 
K. Wortmaii. John G. Gallup, Mrs, Gallup, Eliza McOmber and I-ucy LeRoy. The giant 
oaks were felled, migration continued to How 111. and God was in the wilderness. 

Another interesting reminiscence of early days in Fenton is found in 
an address made in 1878 by Dr. S. W. Pattison, who was the first resident 
physician in Fenton. Following is an extract from this address : 



Dl^bleville, now Fentonille, wns ii centi-iil point wheve several Iiidlun trnils came 
together, about sixty inilea from Detroit and twenty-el Klit miles from Pontiae, liaving 
Holly on the east, Kose on the south, Byron on the west iinil Mundy on tiie north. 
I was satisfied that eventually it would become n |ilHce of soine importance, and time 
nas justified my expectation. 

At this time the IrniiaiLti were in tlie neighborhood In large numbers, oiittvating 
Bome land near by. I will relate a little circumstance to Illustrate the state of society 
in Dibbievilie in 1836. While I was exploring as already stated, leaving my family 
In the building where the Indians hjid for a long time iirocured whlsliy, they could 
not realize the change and still visited the houwe In eeai-ch nf their poison — whlnkj. 
One day a very fierce and «Kly-l<M>l'ing Indian came in and insisted u|)ou being fur- 
nlslied whislty. Peeltina; ai'ound, he discovered a small trunlt and, shalting It. produced 
quite a Jingling, as It contained one or two hundred dollars In silver. His conduct quite 
alarmed my wife, who feiired siie would receive another visit from this ugiy-lool;ing 
salvage. Her fears were fully realized, for about one or two o'clock at night he i-oui- 
menced a violent knocking at the door, which was well barricaded, saying he wanted 
scoter (fire). He continued his knocking until it was evident he would break Auvm 
the door. Wife calling for a gun to shoot the Indian, my sou (editor of the Ypnilaiiti 
Commercial), then twelve years of age, found his way out from a chamber eiilrunce 
and alarmed Mr. Dibble, who scared the nini'awder off, imd the next day scared lilin 
from the vicinity. 

It soon became knowni tiiat n physician lind settled at Dibbievilie. and I had pro- 
fessional calls quite a distance — ^to Highland, White Lake, Grand Blanc. l>eerfield. Hart- 
land, etc I was guided to many of these places through timbered o[ieniugs by nmrkwl 
trees, often following ludian trails. At this time government lands were being rapidly 
taken up, and while some lands were t.'ikea by si)eculator8, the country was being 
dotted all Oier by real residents, aud the greater number were enterprising, thrifty 
and Intelligent, making good societj-. Highland, generally known as "Tlimey Settle- 
ment," and White Lake are samples, building sciicM)l honse-; .tnd chuivheH lUmn^r tmiu 
the first aettlemeut. 

Mariy of the first settlers, however, were poor, and when tbey liad tiiki>ii up tlicir 
homes had but little left to live on, and provisions were very liigh. I well remember 
paying fifteen dollars for a barrel of flour and every kind of eatables in proiioi-tlon. 
Much of coru. oats, etc., came fi-om Ohio, but Ttnney settlement wns our Egyi't. There 
was coiTi there. The second year I made several meals among the farmers on boiled 
wheat for bread, and it was no sucriflce This scarcity was of short duration. Siion 
there was a surplus of provisions, and Detroit, sixty miles away, was our market, and 
money was as scarce as provisions had been. During the months of August and Sep- 
■ tember the intermittent and remittent fevers — diseases peculiar to low or flat countries — 
prevailed to a large extent. The well were the exception; whole families were down; 
many became discouraged, and some fled back to New York; but It was remarkable 
that most of these retnrneit again to Michigan. But here and there an old pioneer 
can realize the prii'ations and hardships of the first settlers of this part of Michigan. 
They were generally Industrious, and the axe and the plow soon converted the forests, 
oak-openings and prairies into fruitful fields. 

The first Sabbath si-hool at Dibbievilie was begun in my house and conducted by 
my wife, assisted by Norris Thorp, then a young man. It was soon after removed to 
a log school house on the east side, and strengthened by a Mr. Warren's family and 
others moving in, it became a permanent institution." 



William M, Fenton, once lieutenant-governor of Michigan, after whom 
the town and village were named, writes interestingly about this time of the 
early days in Fenton; especially appropriate here is the following: 

Dlbbleville— so cnlled from Clai'k Dibble— In 1836 compriaea n sjniill saw-mill, situ- 
ated wliere tbe flim ring-mill in tile lillage now stands, a small frame shell of a house, 
uear Clark's houae (a shell also), and another occ-upled by Dr. S. W. Patterson. 

The road from Springfield passed the bouse of James Thurp, east of the village, 
and crossed near the present bridge. Dibble's liouse was near the west end of the 
bridge. Tiience the road to the "Grand River country" passed on to the west, striking 
the present road near the piibllc square; tlience by L. P. Riggs' and Bailey's farms 
and on by "'Sadler's Taiem" west. Anotliei' road branched off to "Warner's Mills," 
now I,inden, passing John Wiilbur's and Duatin Pbeney's forms. Wallace Dibble occu- 
pied the farm snutli and Ebenezer Pratt, that north of the village, and a road ran 
uortli passing McOmber's and so on to William Gage's and thence to Grand Blanc. 

The above names comprise ttie nearest settlements at that time, and tlie above all 
the roads, which were simply tracits mnrktug the first passage of teams througii the 
county. This point was early noticed by business men of Pontlac, which was the 
market for flour at that time fi'oiu Scott's Mills at DeWitt: the flour bemg drawn 
down this roud. crosseil the stream here, tlience to Springfield and to Pontiac. Scott's 
gray team was familiar with its load to all on this line, walking at the rate of four 
miles an hour day after day, and fed only nights and mornings. 

In tlie year 1830. Robert LeRoy and William JI. Feutou were seillns goods in 
I'lintiac. Their attention was tnnied in this direction. Judge Daniel LeRoy (father of 
Robert) predicted that tbis iioint would be on the gi' and principal thorouglifare 
and line of railroad to the westera portion of the state, and LeRoy and Fenton, liaving 
the clioice of buying liere or tluit jwirt of Flint west of Saginaw street and soutli of 
the river, chose by Judge T^Hoy's advice tlils point, estiiblished tliemselves here In 
December. 183ti, and, at tlie judge's suggestion, [>latted and named tbe village Fenton- 
lille io tbe spring of 1837. The work of starting a village was commenced by putting 
the little uncovered saw-mill, with Its single saw, in motion; a road to Flint (present 
plank road), another to Wiiite Ijike, etc., were projected, and a new saw-mill, a grist- 
mill, tavern, store and dwellings begun, lienjamln Rockwell purchased a third intei-est 
and added by his means to the enterprise. The first building tliey erected was the 
house, corner Adelaide street and Shiawassee avenue (southwest corner), built of plank, 
sawed wltliiu the week in which it was erected, and at once occupied by Mr. and 
Mrs. Fenton as residence and boardmg-house for fifteen to thirty mechanics until the 
hotel was built. 

The household goods were brought on lumber- wagons from Pontiac and the stream 
was crossed on a bridge of logs. 1 well remember driving sucii a load, reaching the 
stream after dark, finding it swollen by rains, hailing "Clark," who cume down to 
the river-Bide with a lantern, and tlien, with its light as my "guiding stiir," cracking 
my whip and driving across, every log afloat and sinking a foot or more undei' the 
horses' feet; but we were sitfely across, and that little pioneer experience only added 
zest to our enjoyment of npw scenes and primitive modes of life, which must be seen 
to be appreciated. 

In tlie siiring of 1M3T a townBlii|> meeting was held at the house called "Sadler's 
Tavern," four miles west of Fentoiiville. The towns of Fenton and Argentine were then 
one and called Argentine. About tno o'clock p. m. of town meeting day, a load of 
working mciL (a« were .ill the ]>ii>iipert.) from Fentonvillf drove U|i to the iHillt. and 



offeied their lotts Jumes H Mumij iiiid Di S tt P itterson were on the bojiid 
and lefused to accept the lotes atnting thev had ^oted foi supei\isor in the inoiuine, 
and (iecliiretl off Ihe bt-cret was the^ hiid detlared off fm i XVhig and the load 
were Democrats Ihej fenred the result An argnnient enwoeiH thej Laniassed md 
counted up, md hiiding the \ute uttered would not change the lesutt received theui 
Doctor Patterson stating thetr win of decl tring off w is the law becauw thej did so 
iu Yoik State We coH)dt see It lud the lesult o£ this trifling affair was that appll 
(iitlon wai made at the ne\t session of the Ijesiiilnture and through the Influence "t 
Daniel B Wakefield tlieu senatoi froui this district the township of lenton was set 
off and hencefortli niaiiated its onn buHlueHM In Michigan and not in loik i>tatc 
fishion » « * « * 

Prudence and foretlH uglit an seldom the cliaiacteristlcs of the iiioneei lo iliii« 
trite On itsltiug this place In the wiutei of lH3(y37 Clark Dibbles hjuse furnished 
the onlj eutertaninient He nas a pioneer pioper He had a wife and plenty of 
smali children his hunte nab a shell onh sided up rooms It had none but a blanket 
tieparated the bonideis from the famll} the lattei occu|>ieil the stove-ioom In wht<n 
were i bed i fe« chaiis and h table Heie were the family and what few clothes 
belonged to them with some sets of croikeri kni\es and foiks and heie we must 
eat oi starve ( laik nuutd iilse with the Ink go to a log be hid diawn up befoie 
the door chop off enough to make i hie then take bis gun and go to the woods ind 
in a little time bring in a deei \enlson wan the staple meat ind bucknhe^t cake^ 
the bread Tea could be had at lntei\'(ls nnd whtskv occasionally butter wheit flour 
and pork were scarce commodities 

Many a cuiious scene has tiansplred in that shanty Old Nate I('ille\ was one 
of the characters John Wllbm mother md the traveler stopiiiig to wirm would le 
regaled by a coniersatlon and see the peculiai leer of the eje md shrug of the shoni 
ders of those half ragged ai'd bandit loiiking men and feel as he left them he h id 
escaped a dangei I'eace to (.lark Dibbles ashes' He has gone from among us killed 
b^ the fall of a tiee on his own place to which lie had lemoved f\er the hills soutn 
But his hoiisekeeijer nniat come tu foi a note hi histoiicnl incidents 

At dinner one dav the boiled lenlsoi and buckwheat cakes weie being rapldiv 
boltetl bi hungn men lloie venison was called foi She put hei fork Into the kettle 
foi anotbei piece and latsed to the i.onstemation of his guests what' "Vot a piece 
of venison as was anticipated but one of Clarks cistoff stockings no doubt ucl 
dentally Inserted in the boiling lessel b^ one of the little imps cutting capers arouiul 
bed and stoie It can be better imagined than described how hungry men seized a 
buckwheat eiike and dec] t red themselves perfectly content to go tbeti wavs md eat no 
more of that particular mess of pott-i|:e 

One of Wilburs fmilliar lllustiatlcns when he wished to be cousideied is saying 
something shrewd was lliere is a wheel within i wheel Mi LeRoj for manj 
years the settlers were amused bj his saving while thev recollected and recounted then 
earliest impressions of Uncle Tnhn ind old ^ate Biilev the lattei pecnllatlj looking 
the brigand although m fact is harmless is a doie 

One of the ina'^inis of that day was that n barrel of whisky was better In i fainih 
(especially to bring up a fimilv) than i fairnw cow This m ly be so — It is not neces 
Sary to argue the point — but there seemed reason to believe that \rj,entlne Mideli i 
as whisky from Murraj s was called had t good deil to do with the brlgandi their 
queer looks and mi sterlous saj Inffs and shrugs 

Let not old Nate be confounded with one of the earliest settlers Plislia Bailey 
He was a welKliggei md ilth ueh adi im ed m yenrs jt one time received ui w his 



buL'li, 111 tiie Ijotlom of riie \vell. ;l falling tub filled with stoite. Most men would have 
been killed by the blow. Bailey survived rind, while much Injured, still i-ei'overed and 
dug luoi-e wells. * * • 

The imiiiigrution of lUSti wiis continued, but with some rtbiitemeut, in 1.S37. The 
Influx ot settlers in and uround Ifeiitoiiville was hirge; farmers settled ybout the vll- 
l.ige .iiid for several miles in each direction, uiid eiicli iiiiide hia bee and summoned 
nil to liis iild; mechanics and men of all eniptoymeiit sought this i>oIut and soon after 
the opeulug of the spring, ii stoif and hotel, saw-mill. grM-mlll, blacksmith shop, car- 
lienter'B and iMilnter's stioiis and houses wei'e under way and In rapid progress of con- 
struction. The hotel firnt bnllt was what is now known as the Rli^s House; it was the 
flrst store on the opt>osite comer of the street, since changed to face south, and is the 
building now standing on the northwest comer of Shiawassee avenue and LeRoy street. 
Xi> better store or taveni was known north of Detroit in those days. The house on 
the north side of the iiubllc square {occuiiieil by Sheldon) whs erected also by William 
JI. teuton, ami theti considered a big house. Houses on both aides of the river were 
erected: Judge I>eIioy built the house now constituting part of LeRoy Hotel and 
Benjamin Itockwell, one on the north side of the river now occupied by Nathaniel Hodge 

These, in iny I'ecol lection, not to forget Ullsha Holmes' blackAunltb shop, were among 
the first buildings and mostly finished in lsa7-3S. The lumber was auwed principally 
at the old mill, and the new, after It was up. Including some jilne logs from Long Lake. 
Whitewood and basswood were used to a considerable extent, but the better quality of 
pine required. Including sash- and door-Stuff and shingles, were hanled from Flint. 

This spot showed in that year all the bustle, activity and enterprise of a village 
soon to gi-ow into large proportions, and Iiere let me remark, as a well-known fact, that 
but for the pecuniary embarrassment and want of capital of the early proprietors, 
Feutonvllle in Its first thi-ee years growth would have Increiiseil in popnlatlon at least 
fourfold beyond what, with its limited means at hand, it was destined to reach. But 
there was no lack of perseverance and unity of feelini; then among its iKipulntion : all 
labored late and early, and when any public occasion caileii them out, none remained 

The Fourth of July was celebrated that year in iierhaps as gay and festive style 
as it eier has been since. The hotel was nnflnisheil. bnt its roof was on. sides Inclosed 
and doors laid, and Esquirp JleOmbec was Invited to deliver the usual address. JIarshal 
Ilamlltoii, as he was called U cai-penter. since renio\Gd to Tuscola), in the red sash of 
one of Ills ancestors, directed the procession, and an extensive one, rest assured, it 
was; not a pioneer-wagon for ten miles ai'ound had dejiosited its load in the forest but 
it was here that day. with all its former living freight, and the newborn Infants to 
boot. Fifes and drums, too — the remainders, perhaps, of some ¥ork state milltia- 
tralning — were in requisition, and gnns were fired from Holmes' iinvil. Shiawassee, 
r.lvlngston and Oakland tiinied out In numbers large for the time and seats of rough 
boards were placed for the assemblage as they gathered to that promising building — 
the hotel. Esquire McOnilier delivered one of his finest siieeches, a free lunch was 
zealously partaken, the toasts were jiatrlotlc to the coi-e, and, to crown .ill. we had. as 
usnal, not only grest heat, but a liolent thunder-storm just at the close of our feast, 
which shook the earth and heavens, and made the building tremble and dishes rattle, 
whereat Esqnire McOinber, being in his happiest mood, turning his eyes upward, poured 
forth a stream of fervid eloquence and made use of some tremendous expletives which 
it becomes not a veracious writer of history — to be read by ail the human family here- 
abouts — to relate. The old settlers, if any read this, will remember and supply the 



Philip H. llcOmbei. the father of the McOmbera ui.w Lmnvn m Feiitoii, w;i8 ii 
lawyer from Savafoga county, New York. At an early diiy (say 1835) he settled in 
Genesee couQty. I>Dug Ijabe was the spot he selected nnd uiioii its banks, where now 
stands the Ixmg Lake Hotel, he erected a dwelling. Enteiiiri^ilng and talented as a 
lawyer, he soon became widely and favorably known • • * aud It is due to Philip 
H. McOmher, as well as to bis sons, that honorable mention in this sketch of our 
eiirly history should l)e made of one who, with Others, made the wilderness "to bud 
and blossom as the rose" For many years, on the banks of Ixing Lake, a hospitable 
mansion welcomed all who came, and the delicious peaches raised by him for many 
years on the l)anks of the Jake were freely bestowed and gratified the palates of all who 
ranked among his friends or who made his house their home for the time being. He, 
with many other pioneers of this region, has gone to his last resting-place, and to 
him, with others, we who sui'Tive Hhonid not hesitate to award the meed of praise 
for their untirmg energy in bringing into notice this region of country, now teeming 
with its busy population and its Industrious citizens. 

Among the many incidents of interest In the early settlement of this town, let 
me not forget to name the fact that the first piano, the tones of which were heard 
in Fentoiivllle, was brought hfre m 1837 by Mrs. Benjautln Rockwell, a Ulster <jf 
W, M, FMiton. It was placed lu the hotel (now Eiggs House), in the large room, sonth- 
east corner, second story. Mrs. Rockwell and Mrs. Fentou were both good players At 
a place north of Long Lake resided a band of Indians; many of them were well known, 
but more 6si)ecially the one called "King I'jsher." He was the chief of the tribe and 
from year to year received the presents of his tribe, not only from the T'nlted Stafe-i. 
but from Canada, traveling annually for that purpose to Detroit and Maiden. The 
band was large. Fiwher, the chief, was, on occasions of his visits, dressed in a frock 
coat of navy bine, a tall hat of furs, ornamented with ^Iver bauds and medals, rluss 
pendent from his ears, gaiters and legfilngs of deerskin and strings of wampum and 
heads appended Take him all in alt, he was worthy of his name. iJmall in stature. 
but with a bold, manly bearing, erect and dignified, he trod the earth as one of nature's 
noblemen, which he certainly was. His house (of logs* was always open to welcome 
and cherish the weary traveler, and no more hospitable board or convenient lodging 
was found in all the countiy round. The traveler was furnished with the skins and 
fars of the wild beasts of the forest for his bed, and as by magic, when he retired to 
repose around him fell, in gentle folds, the light gauae protection from the enemy of 
sleep (mosquitoes), in those days so little known to ordinary inhabitants, bnt care- 
fully provided for his quiet by "King Fisher." Would you know how in those 
days he looked, find the portrait of Aaron Burr, or one who has been him 
MS he trod Wall street in his failing days, and the one is a counterpart of the 
other. Fisher, with some of his family (now living and known to most of the readersi. 
came down to hear tile music of which he had been told. He, in his full dress, 
was, with some of bis tribe, ushered up and In his klngij majesty took the chair 
offered him and sat, but without uncovering; his attendants stood respectfully about 
him and a little retired. Petowauokuet, an Indian and a good deal of a Joker, 
familiar to the pioneers aud usually full of fun, awed by the presence of majesty, 
stood back in resjiectfui silence. Mrs. Kockwell struck the keys. The Indians gen- 
erally seemed enchanted; King Fisher's muscles were rigid, not a movement or sound 
of surprise from him ; he was all dignity and bore himself as a king. The piece 
pla.ved, the song sung, and he turned to Mrs. Fenton and. through Dan Runyan, who 
was present as his interpreter— for he disdained to speak English, although he fully 
understood it, as in his squiby (drunken) moods was readily seen — asked her to 



Uaui-e! Ot toiiip* tliis niis too niut-li and wiis respectfully declined, but it was about 
as uiucli as kingly dignity could do to prevent all the little Indians from trijjiilng 
it on the liglit, fantastic toe, to tbe music of the [liano as played by Mrs. Bockwell. 
Arising witli the flignlty peculiar to his race, Fisher exclaimed, as he gazed at the 
piano, "Man could not uiake it ; Maiiltou made It !" 

lu frout of the Itiggs Hotel, and near the sidewttlk, stood then two or three 
oak trees of medium size and fine shade. In preparing for building, these were 
carefully preserved tititil after the hotel was completed, and traielers and others 
b^au to hitcli their horses near, when the constant stamping of horses and cattle 
iibout their roots cnuaed their decay. I have often thought it would have been money 
well Invested to have inclosed those trees with a anbstuntial fence, far enough from 
their roots to have preserved tlieui. Like the one which still remains at the houne 
of Ben. llird'4n]l, those ti'ees would now hn^e towered up in the grandeur of the 
"tall oak of the forest," and spread their branches wide, and shaded and sheltered 
and protected from storm and smi not only the hotel, but many buildings near, and 
the traveler and pedestrian as th^' passed along I^elioy street. But they have gone; 
the doom of decay was upon them, and, like all things terrestrial, they were soon 
passing away. 

My i-etoUectiou is that the first pre-.icliing we had in Fentouiille was from Elder 
Jones (late of Holly, and whose sons are settled there, or near), a Baptist mmister. 
and that he held forth at the house of Doctor Patterson, 

On the north side of the river, about whei-e David Smith's house Is, was a log 
school house. Ministers of other denominations made occasional visits and preached 
there. The want of istrnie convenient place for church and public meetings was soon 
seen and a house for that puriioBe was built by William M. Fentou on the southwest 
corner of KliKubeth and Ix'ltoy streets. It was a one-story building of fair length 
and width, fitted up with seats and a plain desk, and auswei'ed the purpose, not only 
for i-ellgfons. hut public ineetingg for some years, and was free of rent. The first 
Presbytei'lau minister was Mr. VaniS'ess, who was succeeded by Mr. Burghardt, and 
all seemetl *ery glad to have a place for worship. Several political meetings were 
held there also and a debating school was started with headquarters In the same 
building. It may be that the numerous young men of Fentonvllle who have become 
soinenhat eminent in the legal profession gained their first ideas of oratory in that 
same first cliurch edifice, which, after the building of the First Presbyterian church, 
wa& «old to Kobert I.eKoy, who removed It to where Roberts' hotel is, and it 
now constitutes his bar-i-oom. Among the young men, graduates from Mr. Fenton's 
law ofllce, which stoinl adjolnhig. may be named Thomas Steere, Jr., now of Woon- 
socket, Rhode Island., and late United Stiites consul at Dundee, Scotland : Thomas A- 
Touug, late a soldier in the Tlilrteenth Michigan Infantry, killed and burled on the 
battlefield of ShHoli; J. (!. Sutherland, of ijaglnaw, now Judge of that circuit: and 
Hciir.! Clag Itiggs, Esq.. well knomi among us, now journeying to tlie far West, 
seekliiK perhajis a new home and more rooD) for his ambition to soar in. They have 
all done themselves credit in their lU'ofession. and we need not be ashamed tliat 
their (Irst training constitutes part of our early history. Among the merchants of 
reiitonvllle may he named Samuel N. Warren and William M. Thurber, now of Flint, 
and David ,^nw. of the same iilace. Physicians of an early day were Doctor Pat- 
terson, before named; Dr. Tltranae Steere, long and favorably known, whose reiualns. 
with those of his wife, now repose In the cemetery ; Doctor Gallup, now principal 
of a female seminary In Clinton, New York; all Intelligent and highly respectable as 



priLtitioners and as citizui^ nud doiig tLLinaehes lurt the leaidente of tLi ii iil i 
tion credit while among us. 

The log htuse wib sooii found h sniill for the rising geneiation (for be it Itnjwn 
that pioneers are geneiaiii lomi? miriied Tieopie Bhc^e offspring come fi'it ui jii 
the stage and require schooling) and a school house of fall dimensions and toleriblu 
aipeannte wis eietted near the site of tliB rirst PreHb\teilm church The I )t fii 
this as well as the chnich were donations— so was the cenieterv — to tlie public but 
church and school house ha^e disnpi>eired Ike title to the lots is seated in pili ite 
leisons but the cemetery renums i monument to thtw who hine iiassed awm and 
there ire none among us who visit Its Scenes i\itliout l)eing reminded of the fimiliai 
ind beioied faces }f fiiends lelatlons and companions wlio once trod the stage of 
life and mmgled in the buey scenes of the little village in its incipient enteiprise 
md giadual de^eitpment 

\mong the eailier mechanics weie one S ijje i \eii Jotiiei 5-nipi a mill 
wright iiimg new I belieie ind one if tlie flr&t who heliied to stait Fast 'gagman 
in building its tlrst mill David Smitli was prominent imong them and could then 
dc more work hi a di^ than an^ man I eier kne^ perhips he can now — at all 
events, he is reliable every waj Ed Fi mbs was another he is father in law of 
Kusaell Bishop of Flint, and keeps hotel at Macklnic Mis Bishop vyis bom in Fen 
tonville (I believe in the second sfoi\ of the store coiner IjcRov imd fehiawnssee ave 
nue where Franks kept house) Let me not forget Seth Rhodes who was a timber 
hewer ind one of the best ever Inonu It was said after a stick wis toleriblj stoied 
and Rhodes had struck his line each blow of his broad nxe {and it was a vei\ briid 
one) would carrj the keen edge throut,h the «tick leaving a surfite as stiaight md 
smooth IS If r-ountershiv cd Rhodes had forty acies of land adjoining Wilburs, 
enough to have made him comfortable could he have kept it Hut alas' like mam 
ctheiK his lunnlng e\ienses outrin his lucime and aftei he had ^M out md hewed 
the timbei for the fiist gristmill and settled his accounts, he found it necessary to 
sell out to pay his debts it was fimliinrly stid of him that he with his family (ill 
huge eaters and provisions, high) had eaten up his veai s vioik ind foity attes of 
Imd He too has gone from among us— peace to his ashes— vet histoi-y would be 
imperfect v^ithout mention of his name 

The first re|L,ulai hotel keeper was Thomas Iiish inri tit that hotel the fiist town 
meeting was held after the orKaniiiition Irish was a cirpenter ilso — in fact there 
was no man amoug us who could not turn his hand to bulldtng fences putting on 
sidintr lajlng floor painting etc and this ill who particii ited m the earliei settle- 
ment of our place will remember well In the earh part of March 1S3S (sav 5tb) 
the giound between Ben Blidsalls house and the west line of the village e"£teiiding 
from 'ihliwas&ee avenue down north to the mirsh hid been plowed and was sowed 
with oats It was protected bj a rail fence During the month there was nr i lin 
m the dajtime hut like the period In the building of King Solomons temple gentle 
showers watered the earth at night The air was balmv and warm as in the months 
of June and July ind vi^etatlon vms well advanced until befou tin dose of the 
month (say 25th) there could be seen where now stand several fine dwellings i 
beautiful green field — oats springing up iuxuiiantly and the oak opeiunss nil around 
presented to the eye the beauties of siiring lu the early history of the country it 
was not unusual to plow in Febru irv but in this year (l'*38) crops were generally 
sown In March The variation of the seasons then was remarkable ftr the pieeedmg 
jear ice was upon the giound up to April 

Some one who has preceded me in relating the histoiiial incidents of this town 



!iiis suUl tluit tlie cijiiiif.'ea in streets lijive created some coiiCusloii anil that the record, 
tbei-eof eonld iiiit be found. For the eoiivenlence of reference to Inquiring minds in 
tliiit iTgard. I hai'e caiiaed exiiiiiinntlon to be made, iind find that the record exists 
among the aivhivea of the cli'C'ilit court for tlie county of Genesee, in the first volume, 
on iiage 75. It is an order vacating certain streets, and was made the 7tii of March, 
1S42, Hefore that time that highway commissioners (In 1839) had nltered Shiuwassee 
nvenue and the Jwelllng house of Judge T^eltoy liiid changed liiiuds. Its front, once 
noi-tli, hud lieen revei'aed to face the new sti'eet, and in n sliort time after, by the 
iild of the lirst eburcL moved to ils new front, was converted Into the "IjeRoy House,'' 
and keiit for a while liy liobert Leltoy It is a little curious to exaudne that old 
i-eiiffd. It was made at a time wlien the court had wliat the lawyers called 
ejHiulettes^that Is. associate judges. At that time the counties kept in otBce Ity 
election tiio judges, who sat ujiou the bench with the cii'cult judge (who was also 
11 justice i)f the au|ireme court, as then formed), and tiiat is about all tiiey did, viz. 
to sit ou the bent-li with the [ireBiding judge. True, the two could, being the ma- 
jority of the bench, oveiTule the iiresidhig judge, but tliey seldom did It. Sometimes 
their ^uiijutliles for their neighbors Involved In litigation. iMrhaps under indictment, 
would lead tlieni to act and In such case, if they hapiieued to differ with the learned 
circuit judge, he would, after consultntion, give the judgment of the eourt .iccord- 
Ingly, but with n frown and a distinct announcement that It was not his opinion, 
but he was overnded by his learned (71 asaociatea. 

In the court where the order referred to was made sat only one, as the records 
show — I.ynutn Stow, formerly of Flint, now sleeping that long sleep that knows no 
wjiklng. Xo one accused Judge Stow of nnj- remarkable legal acumen, but he was 
one of the earliest of the pioneers of our county, and as such deserves honorable 
mention. When the red man waw almost the only human being in all the country 
round. Judge Stow penetrated the forest and preceded at first, but ultimately lived 
to see developed, the march of civilization which levels the forest and brlt^s in train 
t'utenir'sing vlllagew, mills and ma nnf actor iei, and con*erts the wilderness Into pro- 
iluctlve farniK May he be as liajiiiy in the home to which he has gone as his honest 
worth in this world seemed to entitle him ! 

One of the earlier settlors of the town was Josiqdi A Ityram, who lived on a lake 
beai-ing his name (Byram lake). He was from Flushnig, Ix)ng Island, and with his 
family had lived m luxury. The quiet of his grounds was seldom disturbed by the 
white man's tread until Augustus St. Amand— then a young Frenchman, just from 
I'arls, who, by the way ot New Orleans and the Mississippi, hud reached Michigan — - 
made Byrani's aciiu.ilutance. The result was he came out with Byram from Detroit 
and purchased near liim. His fowling-piece and flshlug-rod brought with him afforded 
him nuiuaement. and In the bachelor's hall which he erected out of logs were all the 
various articles of luxury he had beeu able to bring with him. He was hospitable 
and glad to entertain any friend who udght visit him— Indeed, we found in the first 
experience of pioneer life a real treat and pleasure is visiting the beautiful openings 
and clear lakes, as well as the hospitable dwellings of both Byram and St Amand. 
Not the least romantic of the earlier scenes of pioneer life was what befel St. Amand. 
In one »f his journeys to Detroit for provisions (for be it known what little money 
a man brougiit here was soon used up in that way), on his return, when on the 
Saginaw turnjiike. near Springfield, he found a carriage broken down. A gentleman 
and ladj were there — father and daughter; the lady appeared to be in distress, the 
gentleman takiug things easy, as was his wont. But the cblvalrlc feelings of St. 
Amand could not he restrained, esiieclally as he gazed ou the young form and saw 



the youth iiud beruitj. with the lutelligeiice auJ sparklltij; eje of ii drmisel lu distress, 
iiinl q\iick as thought he was upon his feet, rendering such iisststauce as was required 
to repiiir damages aud see the travelers on tbeir way to Pouttac. St. Amand (.■ould 
at that time speak but few words of Englisli, but a look of gratitude and admiration 
beamed in tender eyes, aud St. Amand felt the dart of love iiiercliig his heart, ai, 
moving his hand, he hade the damsel adieu, and exclaimed. "Au revolr." It was 
Indeed with them "Au revolr," for the attachment foinied on that then roniautie and 
forest road eoou culmluuted, and Augustus St. Amand became the husband of c'ai'oline 
I*Roy. Sweet girl she was, and became the mother of suu«, one of whom has laid 
down his life in the cause of hia country, falling a sacrltice In the war to resti>r<' 
the Union. 

In times gone by there was an excitement known as "Antl-Masoni-y," in western 
New York, aud there was a place called Stafford, near Batniia. At the first-named 
place dwelt, among others, a man named Blisha Holmes, who removed to aud became 
one of the pioneers of FwitouvUle. In the days of our early settlement, after Holmes 
had flnlslied htS' labor in his shop (he was a blacksmith), he would regale his listeneri^ 
with racy anecdotes and with many a tale of how Morgan was supposed to pass 
through Stafford, inside the stagecoach of the "Swlftsure Llue," gagged and uiainieleil. 
on his way to "that bourne from which no traveler returns," Just before the dan-u 
of day: and, as he was iiostmaster, he would say, "If there was anything of the kiml, 
wouldn't I have known it!'' Aud so he would defend those who had been acijused 
of the big crime of abduction, and wind up by saying that "Weed, the whisker- 
clipper, circulated the stoi'j-, and boasteil that the body he found was a good enough 
Morgan uutli after elwtion." 

Eilsha Holmes was a wan of strong memory, and esiiecialiy in the political his- 
tory of the country unequaled. From his postofflce of Stafford he brought barrels of 
news|iai>ers, and if e^cr at a loss for facts (which seldom happened), would ransack 
the barrel", until he found the dociinicnt— and he was alwajn right, his memory 

The first mail obtaineil in the new village was by a mail-route, procured after a 
long effort, running from Poutiac vm White Lake twice a week. I well remember, in 
those days of flow malls, the anxiety we experienced on the eve of an ImiMirtant 
event. One with which Holmes was connected is illustrative of many ■ 

The national convention of Democrats was assembled for nomination of a lYesi- 
dent in 1844. and anxiety to hear the result was general. Cass was a candidate, and 
others. A crowd had assembled, waiting for the e\pected mall, which was sare to 
bring the news, and after nmch speculation. Holmes, In his dry way, said, "Gentlemen, 
you are all mistaken. The nominee will be a iie\v man; guess who." At last Holmes 
said, "Gentlemen, I have got the history of tills coimtry, and its statesmen in and 
out of Congress. In my head, and the nominee will be James K. Polk." "Polk — -Polk 
—who is he!" "Why," said Holmes, "you don't read the newspapers ; It is James K. 
Polk, of Tennessee." Yet the bystanders were not satlsfled; indeed, they ai! agreed 
that for once Holmes was ndstaken. But the mail came and Holmes was right. The 
old anvil was brought out, the nomination saluted in ancient style, amid sliouts of 

"James K. Polk, of Tennessee, 
The very man I thought 'twould he." 

Latourette, Esq, now an enterprising citizen and banker among u 

! early day David : 



home. He was tbe first tu eiieonriijrt' tlie ^rowtli of iiiiil eutei-etl iiit<) the uiiiiiii 
fai;tu!-e of linseed oil. IJke many other pioneers, thia aida't make him rich. Ijut his 
enterprise in another sphere of iiction did (so said); nud now, wltli new life iiud 
energy, he Is putting hia slioulder to the wheel to oi)en another iron mail to our 
pleasant village. Maj' his elfovts meet the success they deseri-e '. 

Among the men of Pontine who came here at an etirly daj was Judge Diinlel 
I-eRoy, of whom mention hixf before been mniie. He was sliigiilfli- in ninuy thiu^ 
not the least of whicli was thjit he became pious. Joined the church and thereupon 
became one of the nbollttonists of the old stamp, who, though In a veiy small minority, 
thought they were right, and went ahead, believing that time would, witli patience 
and perseverance. accom|iliah all things, and like Wellington at the buttle of Waterloo. 
that they could pound the longest— and so they have. • ♦ • This is a (ligi'esslon, 
jierhaps, but lllusti'ative of the times when the Judge took the only abolition )>aper 
circulated in Fentouvllle — ThP Star of the East — pubtlshtil In the state of Maine. 

While on this subject let me call to mind some of the scenes of 1S4I>— -Tippecanoe 
and Tyler, too." There was an immense gathering and great excitement in our 
usually quiet village. Tom Drakp and others were here, and the frame of the new 
flourlng-niill was uji and tbe roof on There the people began to assemble, I>rake 
walked to and fro in front of the hotel — hands In his pockets, eyes on the ground- 
digesting the matter for the coming speech and preparing, as well .ts he could, to 
digest the pork and beans and hard cider with which the ci'owd was to be regaled. 
Wagons with hard elder were diawn up In front, the kettles were on the fire, the 
pork and beans were boiling, and one team had arrived from Flint with a load of 
shingles to be used In dealing out the refreshments, for be it known that kulvea, 
forks and spoons were alike interdicted; pork and beans were her\e<l on shingles 
iitid from a split shingle spoons were formed. The sjieeches went on in the usual 
way. The iieople were told that In the White House gold spoons were used, that 
Vnu Bnren contemplated a standing army of at least twenty thousand uieiu .ind 
insisted on that odious scheme called the "sub-treasury." whereby the money of the 
jieople was to be locked up and we were all to be reduced to lieji^'ary^ NhllllnK a 
djiy and a sheeii's pluck for wages and meat— and "that same old coim," dead but 
stuffed, was run up on a iiole, and all the people shouted and roared, and drank hard 
cider, and pulled out their "latch- strings," and ate pork and beans off .t shingle with 
a split shingle for a aimon, while Ellsha Holmes, quietly hammering away at his anvil, 
looked down the ilsta of time, ransacked hia memory (or a parallel, and with pro- 
phetic vision, exclaimed, "Go it while you're young, boys; feel good while you may; 
but if my name is Klisha Holmes, your 'Tyler, too,' wiil be a tartar; for my history 
tells me Tyler Is a life-long Democrat, and you will find his policy stamped on the 
uext administration, or I am not Ellsha Holmes." 

And history has recorded the ti'uth of his jirophecy. Would thai thei-e were mrup 
among us who looked to the lessons of the past, nnd so performed their duties as 
good citizens to bring about the greatest possible good In the future 1 

Another of our early settlers deserves mention here. Hon. Jeremiah RIggs. who 
settled In Michigan when It was a territory, was a member of the territorial council 
(as was Judge Lelioy), and at tbe formation of the state government took part as 
one of the framera of the first and best constitution— for surely Innovations have not 
Improved our flrat constitution. He was a man of kind and genial disposition, beloved 
by all, and for many years after he came to this village might be seen at the RIggs 
hotel, his mind treasured with memories of the past and his conversation instructive 
and amusing beyond what Is often found. He has left behind him sons, some of 



wbom lire jiiihdi;; iik. mid ;i iiieiiiory wlilcli will hu cherlKlied with reB|>ect by :i]l to 
wliiHii he \i-iiK kniiwii, 

Dustiii Cheney, the tirst settler in the township as well as in the village 
of I'enton, was a veteran of the War of 1812. Mr. Cheney's son, Harrison 
Cheney, was the first white child born in the township (1835). Imtnediately 
following the arrival of Dustin Cheney at the site of Fenton, came Ciark 
Dibble, George Dibble, Lauren P. Riggs, John Galloway and Robert Win- 
cheil. With them at the early "raisings" were John Alexander Galloway, 
William Gage and Hannibal Vickery. One of the early "characters" in Fen- 
ton was "Johnny" Wilber, also a veteran of the War of t8i2, noted for his 
jovially, qiiaintness and honesty. "Uncle Dick" Donaldson was another 
favorite among the pioneers of Fenton. Robert LeRoy, the partner of William 
yi. I'^enton in laying out and building up the village, came with his father, 
Daniel LeRoy, from New York to Detroit in 1818 and, after a residence in 
Pontiac from 1830, came with Mr. Fenton, in the winter of 1836-1837, to 
the site of the latter village. They oi^ened the store in the place. Others 
came in rapidly and in a short time the settlement began to take on the aspects 
of a promising viHage. 

The village of Fentonville was platted in 1837 and included the portion 
which extends from Robert street, on the north, to South street, on the south, 
and from East street to West street. These remained the hmits until 1859. 
Previous to the first platting, the place was called Dibbleville, from one of its 
early settlers, Clark Dibljle. 

Fenton and LeRoy built the first tavern in the village, named later the 
Riggs House, from Judge Jeremiah Riggs, who occupied it from 1843. Thev 
also purchased and greatly improved the saw-mill which the Dibbles had built 
previous to 1837, and built a grist-mill. Robert I^Roy liecame, in 1838, the 
first postmaster of the village and held the office for thirteen years. Mail 
was first brought here on horseback over the Grand River road. 

'["he first law office in the village was opened by William M. Fenton, 
and several who afterwards became able practitioners received the rudi- 
ments of their legal education in his office. Another pioneer lawyer of 
Fenton was Alexander P. Davis, a native of Aurelius, Cayuga county, New 
York, who later became state senator.' The first physician to practice here was 
Dr. Samuel W. Pattison, who came in 1836. The second was Dr. Thomas 
Steerc, who came about 1838. from Norwich, Chenango county, New York. 
With him for a short time was Dr. John C. Gallup. Very promineiit among 
the early physicians who came later to the township was Dr. Lsaac Wixom, 



who, previous to his residence in the township, practiced in jVrgentine and 
was a state senator in 1841. 

Fentonville had an early rival for village honors in what has heconie 
the village of Linden. The first settlers here were Richard and Perry I^nib, 
who settled in 1835, on section 20. For a long time the house of Perry 
Lamh furnished accommodations for travelers and Mrs. Lamb was known 
far and wide as an excellent housewise, a courteous entertainer and a most 
exemplary pioneer lady. Mrs. Lamb's father, Zenas Fairbank, came to the 
neighborhood in 1836 and began the practice of medicine. Other early 
settlers in the vicinity of Linden were Asahel Ticknor, Charles and Joseph 
Byram, Seth C. Sadler, Consider Warner, Eben Harris, Jonathan Shephard 
and Beniah Sanborn. 

The village was first platted in February, 1840. Consider Warner and 
Kl)en Harris were among the ori^nal proprietors. Mr. Warner built a 
saw-mill here in 1837, and in 1838 began the erection of a grist-mill. In 
1839 Warner and Harris opened a store and. in 1840, a drug store. Be- 
tween 1836 and 1840 a log bridge was built across the Shiawassee at Lin- 
den, and soon after it was carried away by the raising of the riam a frame 
bridge was thrown across, the first of many others to follow. 

The first school in Linden was taught in 1839, by a daughter of Al>el 
]'). Hunt, in a shantj- which stood in front of the grist-miil. Walter Brown 
taught at the same place the following winter; he had taught earlier a school 
about three-fourths of a mile east. The first building erected purposely for 
a school house within what are now the corporate limits of the village, was 
a log structure put up in 1840 on the street running south from the Union 
Block. Louisa Hillman and John Morris were among its early teachers; it 
was used only about two years, when a frame building was completed. 

The first religious society in the village was organized previous to 1838 
by the Free-Wiil Baptists; its first minister was Rev. Mr. Jones, from 
Holly, Oakland county, who is said to have preached his first sermon here 
the previous year from a pile of saw-logs in the mill-yard. Rev. Hiram 
Madison was also early, having preached a funeral sermon in August, 1836. 
The second religious organization was formed by the Metliodists, who or- 
ganized a class about 1838-39. An early minister was Rev. Daniel Miller. 

In 1840 a village was laid out at Mount Pleasant, by John Cook, who 
with his l^rotber, Solomon, had settled there. On the eastern shore of Long 
lake, below the "narrows." Pliilip H. McOml>er settled in 1834 and long 
kept a tavern known as the I-ong T-ake House. The vicinity of this pleasant 



lake was destined to l>ecome a favorite summering; place and picnicking 
ground for the surrounding region. 

The first meeting in the township for election of officers was held 
April 2, 1838, at the Fentonville hotel, with results as follows: Supervisor, 
Walter Dibble; town clerk, I-auren P. Riggs; justices of the peace, Asahel 
Ticknor, Tliomas Irish, John Cook and Elisha Lamed; school inspectors, 
Asahe! Ticknor, Charles J. Birdsall and R. J. Gage; assessors, P. H. Mc- 
Omber, Herman Lamb and Jacob Knapp: commissioners of highways, 
James Thorp, Seth C. Sadler and H. Garfield; coHector, Ehsha W. Postal; 
directors of the jxior, James Thorp and E, A. Byram; constables, John 
Nichols and Morris Thorp; pathmasters, William Nichols, Seth C. Sadler, 
Elisha Bailey. Perry Lamb, Charles Tupper. William Remington, Philip H. 
McOmher, John Cook and Hiram Lamb. 


Atlas township was originally a part of Lapeer county, being detached 
from Lapeer and added to (^nesee county in 1843. ^^ was organized in 
1S36 and was one of the earliest townships in this region to receive settlers. 
The first settler was Asa Farrar, who, in September, 1830, purchased land 
on section 1 8 and buih a log house upon it the same year. He was a brother 
of Pearson l'~arrar, who settled the same year in Grand Blanc upon an 
adjacent section. They came from Monroe county, New York. The first 
birth and the first marriage in Atlas township occurred in Asa Farrar's fam- 
ily, respectively, in, 1833 and 1831I. 

The second settlement, as well as land purchase, was made by Judge 
Norman Davison in 1831 on the banks of Kearsley creek in section 8. Mr. 
Davison and family were from Avon, Livingston county, New York, Soon 
after his settlement he buih a two-story frame house from lumber obtained 
from Rowland B. Perry's mill. This was the nucleus of Davisonville, orig- 
inally known as Atias Postoffice. Here were situated the first postoffice, 
merchants, mills, workshops and schools. The saw-mill was built in 1833 
and the grist-mill in 1836, Mr. Davison was the first postmaster. Elias 
Rockafellow established here the first blacksmith shop in 1837, and in 1838 
Fitch R. Track opened the first store. In 1840 William Thomas opened a 
tavern, and in the next year Oliver Palmer first began wool-carding and 
stock-dressing. The first school in the township was taught here by Sarah 
Barnes, in a lean-to adjoining Davison's house, as early as 1836, the earhest 
religious services in the township. Judge Davison was a meml>er of the first 



constitutional convention of 1835, the first supervisor of the old town of 
Grand Blanc in 1833, and while Atlas was still attached to Lapeer county 
he was one of the judges of that county. He held various other offices and 
in the discharge of his official duties gave genera! satisfaction, securing the 
respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends. 

In 1833 also came John and Aaron Brigham, brothers, from Lewis 
county. New York, settling ujMn section 5 ; but in 1836 they removed to 
Hadley. Nehemiah S. ?>urpee and Samuel Lason settled in 1834. In 1835 
came Alexander and James Lobban, James McCraith and two sons, Ezra 
K. Paschall, Noah and William Owen, Joseph R. Johnson and son, James 
(;. Horton, Talford and Daniel Poweil and Lewis Mentor. 

In Septeraijer, 1835, was founded the nucleus of the village of Good- 
rich. In that month Moses and Enos Goodrich, brothers, from Clarence. 
Erie county, New York, purchased more than one thousand acres on sec- 
tions near the center of liie township. After building a log house on sec- 
tion JO. they returne{i to Clarence, and in the following year brought out a 
numljer of relatives to the new home. The father. Levi H. Goodrich, a 
native r)f Hampshire county, Massachusetts, joined the family here in the 
fall of the same year. From this time the name of Goodrich has Ijeen inti- 
mately connected with all the social, commercial and political history of 
.\tlas township. Shortly after the father's arrival a frame house was built 
on the corner of what were later Main and Clarence streets, directly east 
from the later Bushaw Hotel. Here was kept a general store and the 
"Goodrich Bank." A saw-mill was put in operation in April, 1837. The 
Goodrich mill, built and equipi>ed by the Goodrich brothers at a cost of eight 
thousand five hundred dollars, l)egan merchant work in 1845. The first 
frame dwelling was built in 1838 by Enos Goodrich, which later became part 
of the home of William H. Putnam. Hon. E. H. Thomson, the first attor- 
ney and later a prominent lawyer in Flint, first settled here in 1837. For 
many years Moses Goodrich continued to reside upon the fine farm, which 
was included in the purchase of 1835, surrounded by an affectionate family 
and all the comforts which are the reward of an honorable and industrious 

During the year 1836 many families took up their residence in Atlas 
township. Among these were Daniel and Manley Swears (brothers), Hiram 
Fillmore (a cousin of President Fillmore), Albert Demaree and his sons. 
David, Cornelius, Jacob and Garrett, Daniel Swears, Sn. James Black. James 
Kipp, Peter Lane, John Mancour, James Burden, Jacob and Thomas Van- 
tine. John Hosier. William Carpenter, Joseph Russell, Hiram Husted, John 



L, McNiel, Jacob Thomas, Levi Preston and Lewis Cumniings. In 1837 
Dr. Cyrus Baldwin, the first resident physician, Lewis Van Cleve, his son, 
Lewis, Jr., Samuel Winship, Eiias Rockafellow, the first blacksmith and 
iron founder in the township; Fitch R. Tracy, the first merchant; Samuel 
Walker, John K. Pearsons, William (loodrich, Moses Wisner and Michael 
Bowers. Other settlers who became residents in the early period were Brad- 
le}' Cartwright, Freeman Coolage, John V'antine, Julius Barnes, Amos H. 
Fisk, Stephen Horton, William Surryhiie, Moses Frost, William Roberts, 
Joseph Tyler, Fdward Fortune, Albert V'antine, Cliarles \^antine Jonathan 
Frost, E[Jiraim S. Frost, Ralph C. Atkins, Albert J. Bates, Ira G. Hootnn. 
Peter Vantine, Paul Liscomb, James Vantine, John Perritt, Matliew P. 
Thomas, Jacob H. Howe, Isaac Carmer, Elijah Carmer, Oliver Palmer, 
Nathaniel Fairchild, Clark Hutchins, Hiram Maxfield, Marlin Davison and 
Thomas P. Wood. 

The first town-meeting was held in Atlas on April 4, 1836, at "Davi- 
son's Mills." Twenty-two voters were present, and the result of the elec- 
tion of officers was as follows: Sui^ervisor, Ezra K. Parshall; township 
clerk, Nonnan Davison; assessors, John Brigham, Asa Farrar and James G. 
Horton; collector. Tames Lobban; directors of the poor, Moses Goodrich 
and Aaron Brigham; commissioners of highways, Moses Goodrich, Paul G. 
Davison and Asa Farrar; constable, James Lobban; school commissioners 
for three years, Oliver P. Davison, I^vi W. Goodrich and Ezra K. Parshall; 
justices of the peace, Norman Davison, l-'zra K. Parshall, Moses Goodrich 
and Alexander Lobban ; fence-viewers, Moses Goodrich, Oliver P. Davison, 
Alexander Lobban and Samuel Lason; jwund keeper, Xorman Davison; 
overseer, road district No. i, Oliver P. Davison, road district No. 2, John 
Brigham, road district No. 3, Samuel I-ason, road district No, 4, Moses 
Goodrich; school insjiectors. Ezra K. Parshall, Oliver P. Davison, James 
G. Horton. Paul G. Davison and Levi W. Goodrich, 


Rufus llarrison has the honor of l)eing the first white settler of Flush- 
ing township. He settled on the north side of the river near the south- 
east comer in the fall of 1835. The second permanent settler in the town- 
ship was Henry French, who located on section 36 in the same fall. His 
brother, Eljenezer, came the next year. Probably the only other permanent 
settler of 1835 was John Evans, of Manchester, England, who came to 
Michigan after a brief residence in New York. Others who came Ijefore 



1840 were Thomas L. Brent, David and James Penoyer, Ezra Smith, Origin 
Packard and Alexander Barlx:r. 

Thomas Brent was one of the most prominent of the earlier settlers, 
having acquired, before his coming, a national reputation and a large for- 
tune. At one time he paid taxes on about seventy thousand acres of land 
in Michigan. He was a Virginian by birth and married a noble Spaiiish iady 
with whom he had Income acquainted while on a mission to that country 
in the employ of the United States government. His married life is said 
to have been unhappy. Before his death he sank his fortune and became 
"land poor." In 1836 he built a saw-mill near his place on section 3, but a 
freshet in the following spring destroyed it. This part of the township con- 
tained a large acreage of pine and a second mill was soon built, up from the 
river out of reach of freshets. It is said that nearly every man who settled 
early in the township worked at some time or other for Mr. Brent, clearing 
up land and earning enough money to pay for homes of their own. The 
"Brent farm" was widely known throughout the region. 

John Paton, a native of Blackford, Perthshire, Scotland, and later a 
resident of Paterson, New Jersey, purchased lands on section 22 and 27 as 
early as 1834, but did not settle until 1837. He had come to America in the 
spring of 1827. In 1843 Mrs. Paton wrote a letter to a friend in England, 
which is worth repeating as typical of pioneer conditions in Flushing town- 
ship at that time, being written during the closing days of the famous "hard 
H mter 

Flushing Near Flint River 4prII 6 1&43 
I «ill n t itten pt tr jij)olt^i7t foi not wilting eiilier but let tlie simple truth 
suttue I line ind four lettois I nn\ mj wrlttai (one entlielv finished) but litked 
funds to pet tlieni It Is eTsler to lelease n dozen letters than to prepay one For 
tile one tbev will take produce for the otbei tbey eiact cfieh ind that is a very 
Ht iroe article heie foi oui hnsluei-s Is carried on mosth by barter We sold about 
two bundled dolliii<i uoitti of stock in the last ^eiii and it was with gie-it difflculti 
we Kot sill dolliirs in cash limes lin\e been veri hard and I feir not yet it the 
worst Vccortliug to accounts tlint fin be relied on we hiie liad the hirdest winter 
that Ltf. occuired for fifty foin yens It commenced in October and Is now snow 
lug the snon m the wood*! is from two to thiee feet deep But we don t suffer on 
the timbered land anything like those on the 01k openings, as regirds our stock 
nlthou^li we jire destitute of anithmg In the shape of fodder In our barns for we 
luiie the woods to resort to where tiiere is plenty of maple and basswood and we 
lilt them down and tlie cattle feed on the tops ind loik pretty well where thev are well 
attended t» But w« liear of cattle dyinE in all diiections and of some farmers knock 
ing the whoie of their cattle on the bead to 8a\e them from 1 lingering stanation iiftei 
feeding out all their stoie others austainlng them tn flour ytctmls all othei being 
exhausted last winter (! e 1S4142) we had an unusually open season and ■\ ^ery 




early spring Our fleld'^ neiet looked so well— fruit tiees lii full bloom— imd ail seemed 
cheering in tlie month of Aijril but oui hopes were soon blighted We had ^eveie fio^ 
in Mn wLitii LUt (S oui liloisiimH and whfit was still norse oui i.oin the" ii tedious 
drought succeeded whifh almost burnt up the nheat— nt least stunted it so the stnw 
wta worth little then to finish when it wiis lu the milk there weie t>unitt sbuweis 
tiiat stiuck it with rust— the late sown suffereO most • * • I am Lappj to saj 1 
hate enjoyed bettei heilth thif, wmter than I haie wils I came lu the m >oOs (oier 
six ^ears) and if the tormeiitiuK ague ttdl keeii awai I will es-titse It It Is i siu 
gular thing to find one put of the day a person wiil feel able to go about and do u 
little work and anothei pait not Lble to ilse from the pillow and is ciazj as lhi be 
&uih has been hanging on me foui \eai8 New settleis Reneiallj hate it but aftei 
they get Hctlimated it is very he.ilth\ Cousiderlng the haid times our count> is set 
tling very fist Ihere are six families froiu Stockiioit settled near to ua and there 
ire spieral moie coming out fiom there this spring We hme let a biiek ground to 
two of these 1 must tell ^ou ne Ua\e had the good lU(.k to find a co^imlue on oui 
farm but we ha\e not been ible to aacertiin its e\tent it Is of e\.celleiit quality 
We sold seien dollirs worth of it last fall when we found it iliings ^neially pmspei 
with us since I last wiote loii 

About 1840 there began to form in the northwestern part of the town- 
ship the "EngHsh settiement." In that fali came John Reed and James 
BaiJey, soon followed by Samuel and James Wood, of Lancashire, and 
Mary Vernon, who became the wife of Samuel Wood, and her father, John 
Bailey, who was the father also of James Bailey- Later there settled 
Thomas Hough, Sr. and J,, Richard Bowden, William Bailey and Thomas 
Newell, ail of the same nativity. Most of them had been farmers in the 
old country, but their newness to pioneering in a western wilderness led to 
some amusing exj>eriences. 

A good story is told by John Reed, who had a fierj' temper which was 
not always under control. On one occasion he became angry with his cow 
and drove her away into the woods to the north, kicking her at every stqi, 
until finally both were tired out. He had tried to turn her !mck at first, but 
she was obstinate and that roused his ire. His boot came up at the same 
time with his ire and when at last he stoi>ped to rest he found himself in a 
strange neighborhood, lost in the forest. He finally pulled off one of his 
boots, milked the cow in it. drank the milk and lay down on a log, where he 
was found the next day by the neighbors, who had instituted a search for 
him. He had fought mosquitoes ail night and looked somewhat the worse 
for wear. 

The beginnings of Flushing village are marked by the purchase of the 
water power there by Horace Jerome, from St. Qair, Michigan, in 1836. 
Jerome was working in co-operation with Charles Seymour, of Litchfield 
county, Connecticut. The frame of the mill was put up in the summer of 



1837 and in 1838 one saw was in operation. In 1840 Seymour, in company 
with Benjamin Bowers, built the first grist-mill in the place, on the site 
of the later Flushing mills. In the same year Seymour platted the village, 
on lx)th sides of the river. 

Horace Jerome is connected in Flushing's history with the ill-fated 
"wild-cat" institution, "The IHint J^apids Bank."' of 1838. The experiment 
resulted in such ill repute for its sponsors that soon after failure Jerome left 
the region and did not return. 

Flushing township was organized in 1838; the early records being lost, 
no account can be given of the earliest official history of the township. 

The first religious society in the township was formed in the English 
settlement, where the pioneers were mainly Methodists, A class was formed 
soon after the first arrivals and the first meetings were held in James 
Wood's Ic^ house. Their first preacher was a Mr. Whitwam and their first 
class leader James Wood. A church was not built, however, until 1864. 

Marshall Talbot taught the first school in the township as it was then, across the present boundary in Mount Morris. At the English settle- 
ment a school house was built about 1845, 


The earliest land entries in Mundy township were made in 1833 on 
sections 13, 14, 11 and 12, respectively, by Daniel Williams, of Lapeer 
county, Michigan, John Richards, of Niagara county. New York, and Brad- 
bury Eastman, of Tompkins county. New York. The only lands of the 
township in the hands of the government at the end of 1836 were forty 
acres in section 28, which were taken up in 1S37. 

The first permanent settlements effected in this township were by Dan- 
iel Williams, Eli Gilbert and Jason L. Austin in 1833 on section 13. Volney 
tSiles settled soon afterward on section 11. In the following year came 
Morgan Baldwin and George Judson. All of the settlers were from the 
state of New York. 

Among those who had made their homes in Mundy township before 
Michigan was admitted to the Union are the following: Thomas Glover, 
David Gibson, Seth Kitchen, Ebenezer Bishop, Josiah Alger and family of 
ten children, Mr. Barnum, Asa Pierce, William Odell, Jeshurum Leach, Jon- 
athan G, Firman and others. 

The first white male child born in the township of Mundy was Thomas 



CJlover's son, Henry Glover, and the first white female child was Hannah 
Baldwin, daughter of Morgan Baldwin, her birth occurring March 30, 1835. 

The township was named in honor of Edward S. Mundy, who was 
lieutenant-governor of Michigan when the township was organized, March 
II, 1837. On April 3 the first township meeting was held at the house of 
Josiah Alger, when eighteen votes were cast, of which only three were from 
the west half of the township. The following officers were chosen: Super- 
visor, John Alger ; town clerk, Morgan Baldwin ; assessors, Jonathan G. 
Firman, Morgan Baldwin, Benjamin Simmons and Seth Kitchen; collector, 
George Judson; commissioners of highways, J. G. Firman, George Judson 
and Jeshurum Leach; school inspectors, Jonathan G. Firman, Ira Dunning 
and Dudley Brainard; justices of the peace, Benjamin Simmons, one year, 
JoSiah Alger, two years, Morgan Baldwin, three years and Henry M. 
Thompson, four years: constables, George Judson and Volney Stiles. 

The condition of settlement in 1840 is reflected in the vote at the 
general NovemJjer election, whose interest was sufficient to bring out the 
total voting strength of the township. Eighty-nine votes were cast. 

The first school district organized in the town.ship was in the Baldwin 
neighborhooil, in the spring of 1837. A school was taught the summer fol- 
lowing by Miss Mary Gazley in a log school house which .stood on the cor- 
ner of the farm later owned by LaFayette Odell. Mrs. Conant kept school 
temporarily in her own house in the summer of 1836 before the school 
house was built. The first winter term was taught by a Scotchman named 
McClergan, or McClagan, DeWitt C, Leach taught a number of terms 

In 1837 the Methodists formed a class at or near the Odell school 
house, but it is was not of long duration there. A Presbyterian society 
was formed in 1844. The first sei*vices were held by Rev. P. H. Burghardt. 
This church was for many years a mission, receiving aid from the Home 
Missionary Society. In 1845 a Baptist society was organized near Mundy 


-By far the larger portion of the lands of. Argentine township were 
taken up in the year 1836, and very little was entered before then. As 
early as 1825 Samuel Dexter, of New York, entered lands in sections 19 
and 27, but for speculation rather than for settlement. Two years later 
Elijah Crane, of Wayne county, entered eighty acres in section 26. In 



1835 James fl. Murray and Sa% Murray, of Washtenaw county, made 
entries in lands entered before 1836, 

The first white men who became residents of what is now Ai^entine 
township were James H. Murray and Wiiiiani Lobdell, in 1836. Mr. Mur- 
ray, who formerly hved near Rochester, New York, came from Cayuga 
county, in that state, with his family, and first settled in Washtenaw county. 
His purchase of land in section 35 of Argentine township, was made to 
secure a water privilege, and as soon as he moved his family -thither, in 
March, 1836, he built the dam now standing at the village and erected a 
saw-mill. Two or three years later he built a fram.e grist-mill, from whicb 
flour was drawn to Detroit in wagons. Mr. Murray also built the first store 
in the village, opposite the grist-mill. He also built the second hotel in the 
place, the first having been built by Abram Middlesworth. Argentine soon 
became a village center of considerable importance. 

Among the earliest settlers who contributed to the growth of the-town- 
s!iip may be njentioned William Ix>bdell, William Alger, William Jennings, 
William and Iienr>' Pratt, Ira Murray, Israel Crow, Calvin W. Ellis, Benja- 
min Taylor, Amos Sturgis, David Brooks, Solomon Sutherland, Halsey 
Whitehead, Asa Atherton, David Brooks and others. 

A postoflice was established at the village at an early day and called 
Booton; but, owing to the fact that there was another office in the state 
with a similar name, it was finally changed to Argentine. James H. Mur- 
ray was the first postmaster and to him is given the credit for naming the 
township. Mail was carried on horseback over a route which extended from 
Pontiac to Ionia. William Hubbard and Brown Hyatt were among the 
earliest mail carriers. 

A village plat for Argentine was laid out in 1844, but the building of 
the Detroit & Milwaukee railway through Fenton left Argentine so far to 
one side as to destroy its prospects of growth as a village. 

As in the case of IHint township, the earliest records of Argentine 
township can not be foimd. No records exist earlier than 1850, 


Mount Morris, while being one of the earliest townships to receive 
settlers, was one of the latest to be separately organized, its lands having 
formed a part of Flushing and Genesee until 1855. From 1833 to ^^3^ 
its territory was. a. part of Grand Blanc township. It was under the juri^- 



diction of IHiiit township from 1836 to 1838, when it was divided between 
Fhishing and Genesee, 

The first ripples of the oncoming tide of immigration readied the iands 
of Mount Morris in May, 1833. In that month "Uncle Ben" Pearson, of 
Avon, Livingston county. New York, purchased lands on sections 25 and 36. 
Shortly afterwards there arrived at Todd's tavern on Flint river, which 
was Mr. Pearson's headquarters, four men^Lewis Buckingham, John Pratt, 
Isaac N. Robinson and Richard Marvin, from Mount Morris, Livingston 
county. New York, — who were also in search of lands. Happy in the 
prospect of securing neighbors, Mr. Pearson guided them to the neighbor- 
hood of his claims, about four miles north of Flint on the Saginaw road, 
where all except Marvin entered lands and later settled. This was the be- 
ginning of the "Cold Water settlement." The first dwelling erected in this 
settlement on lands in Mount Morris was that of Mr. Pearson, upon the 
northeast corner of section 36. 

In this settlement was kept the first .-chool in the township. It was 
tanght in the house of I^wis Buckingham by Miss Sarah Curtis as early 
as the winter of 1835-36. There were some eight or ten pupils. In 1836 
or 1837 the children of the settlement went to a log school house built on 
section 31 in Genesee township, in which the first teacher was Miss Flarriet 
Hoyes. Soon afterivard another log school house was built on Moses 
Camp's farm, on section 19 in Genesee township, in which it is claimed 
Newton Robinson taught the first school. The first school house in Mount 
Morris township was not built until alxiut 1848. 

At this settlement also was formed the earliest religious association of 
the township, in 1834. Among the prominent Mount Morris members were 
John Pratt and Charles N, Beecher. The society was Presbyterian, but any- 
one was counted a member who helped to pay the preacher. A church was 
built here as early as 1836, where .services were held for twenty years. The 
first pastor was Elder Cobb. 

During 1834, 1835 and 1836 the "Cold Water settlement" was con- 
siderably increased by new arrivalsj among whom were Lyman G. Bucking- 
ham, Alanson and Luther Dickinson, Ashael Beach, Daniel Curtis, Ezekiel R. 
Ewing, Charles N. Beecher, Edwin Cornwell, Frederick Walker and Henry 
Parker. Previous to 1840 there had arrived in the east half of the town- 
ship Rodman W. Albro, Manley Miles, Lyman G, Buckingham, Alanson 
Dickinson, William Pierson, John Rusco, near Devil's Lake, Jesse Clark, 
Porter Flemings, John Pratt, Daniel Curtis and his father-in-law Bacon, 
Luther Trickey, who had been here two or three years, Juha Barrows, Elder 



Cobb, of the Presbyterian church, Daniel Andrews, Pratt's brother-in-iaw, 
Humphrey Hunt, Charles N. Beecher, who owned a large tract of land, 
Edwin Cornwell, Linus Atkins, - — — Twogood, William Woolfitt, Frederick 
Walker, Henry Barber, George Schoiield, with a large family of sons, Will- 
iam Bodine and Richard Johnson. In the west half of the township were 
James Armstrong, Abial C. Bliss, Sylvester Beebe, William Chase, Jacob 
Dehn, Ezekiel R. Ewing, Nathaniel Hopson, William H. Hughes, Dominick 
Kelly, Vincent Runyoii, l^ussell Welch and Alvin Wright, who were all 
there prior to 1840. 

The settlement made in October, 1836, by Frederick Walker on section 
12, was the first made on the site of the later village of Mount Morris. Mr. 
Walker was an Englishman, who had lived for some time in EKitchess county. 
New York. When the postoffice was established he became the first post- 
master, the office being kept at his house. In the beginning there was little 
to indicate this as the place for a village, but its destiny was decided when 
in 1857 it was designated as a station on the Flint & Pere Marquette rail- 

The township takes its name from Mount Morris, Livingston county, 
New York. When it was erected into a separate township in 1855 the 
meeting for the election of officers was held in an old abandoned log house 
which stood on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 34. The 
whole number of votes polled at this election was seventy-four, and the 
following officers were chosen: Supervisor, Ezekiel R. Ewing; township 
clerk, Bradford P. Foster; treasurer, Samuel R. Farnham; justices of the 
peace, P'reclerick Walker, H. S. Root and Daniel Pettengill; highway com- 
missioners, Alanson Payson. Rodman W. Albro and H. S. Root; school 
inspectors, G. L, Ewing and J. L. Deland; overseers of the poor, Alanson 
Payson and William S. Pierson; constable. E. L. Johnson. 


Until 1833 no white person resided in the township of Genesee. Then 
came Luman Beach and Addison Stewart, between whom lies the honor of 
being the first settler. Beach settled in section 30 and Stewart on section 
31. This was the nucleus of the "Cold Water settlement." The name, 
jokingly conferred by their neighbors, in reality was a tribute to the exemp- 
lary habits and irreproachable character of these settlers, who were all 
total abstainers. Good health gave them good appetites, for which their 
settlement received the ambiguous compliment of "Hungry Hill," Other 



than Beach and Stewart, the earHest members of this settlement were Lewis 
Buckingham, Isaac N. Robinson, John Pratt and Benjamin Pearson. 

The intelhgence and progressiveness of the pioneers of the "Cold Water 
settlement" insured the prompt establishment of a school for the education 
of their children. The first school in the township was kept here at the 
house of Lewis Buckingham, by Sarah Curtis, as early as 1835-36, with 
some eight or ten pupils. In 1836-37 a school house was built on section 
31, in which the first school was taught by Harl-iet Hoyes. 

Here also was organized tlie first religious society in the township. The 
Methodists held meetings in 1836 at the house of Lewis Buckingham, which 
were addressed by Rev. William Brockway, a missionary and Indian agent, 
who afterwards stopped there on his way between Detroit and Saginaw. 
Previous to this, in 1834-35, Elder Gambell, of Grand Blanc, a Baptist 
minister, held occasional services at the house of John Pratt. A Presbyter- 
ian society was organized in May, 1834, by Rev. Mr. McEwin, of Detroit, 
either at the house of John Pratt or Isaac N. Robinson, The society built 
a frame church in 1834 or 1835. One article of faith adopted reflects the 
strong sentiment which gave the settlement its name : 

"Article 3. We believe that the manufacture and vending and use of 
all intoxicating liquors, except for medical and manufacturing purposes, is 
morally wrong, and consequently do agree to abstain therefrom," 

From this beginning settlement extended into other parts of the town- 
ship. A settlement almost as well known as "Cold Water settlement" was 
the "Stanley settlement." This was begun in 1835, at the comers of sections 
8, 9, 16 and 17, and was named from its first settler, Sherman Stanley. 
Mr. Stanley was a very thorough, energetic farmer, a man of the strictest 
integrity and a conscientious member of the Baptist church. He came from 
Mount Morris, Livingston county, New York, With him came Albert T. 
Stevens. Both men brought their wives and children, who later married- 
and settled about the old homes. The same year came Cyrenus Lake, with 
his wife and five children, and Joseph Simons, with his mother, two sisters 
and three brothers. In 1837 Ezra Stevens and numerous relatives added 
their fortunes to the colony. The next year came Peter Snyder, Henry D, 
Hunt, Charles R. Cooley and an Irishman named Patrick Daly. The whole 
settlement except three Stevenses and Daly were from Mount Morris, New 
York. Daly was from Ireland and Cooley from Wayne county, New York. 

The lands of the township were rapidly taken up, in 1833, a httle more 
than one thousand two hundred acres; in 1834, a little more than one thou- 
sand five hundred acres; in 1S35, almost four thousand acres, and in 1836, 



when the grand rush came and the tide of immigration was at its flood, 
over fifteen thousand acres were entered. 

At this time about a quarter of the township was covered with pine, 
following generally the course of the river and lying principally on its south 
bank. The rest was mainly white oak. A number of saw-mills were early 
built, the first by Mr. Harger, probably in 1834. The power was furnished 
by Kearsley creek. A second mill was built on the Kearsley in 1836 by the 
Joneses about a mile above the Harger mill. Another was built there in 
1837 by Ogden Clark. 

Probably the first white child born in Genesee township was Damon 
Stewart, a son of Addison and Lucy Stewart, in 1834; this honor is dis- 
puted between Mr. Stewart and Edward Beach, son of Luman Beach, who 
was Ixjm in the same month, the exact birthdays l>eing uncertain. Henry 
Cadwell and Ann M, Stanley were the first persons to \x united in the bonds 
of matrimony, in the fall of 1838. During the same fal! occurred the first 
death among the settlers, that of Abigail Stevens, the little daughter of 
Weed H. Stevens. The first death of an adult was that of Eliza Bucking- 
ham, wife of Isaac N. Robinson, in February, 1839. In 1840, or 1841, the 
first burial ground was opened in Genesee, on land purchased by John E. 

Genesee township takes its name from the "Genesee country," New 
York, from which came many of its early pioneers. It was organized in 
1838. The first meeting was held in the "Cold Water settlement" at the 
house of Juba Barrows. The following officers were chosen : Supervisor, 
John Pratt; town clerk, Charles N. Beecher; assessors, Addison Stewart, 
Daniel Curtis and A. H. Hart; school inspectors, Addison Stewart, Juba 
Barrows and I. N. Robinson; commissioner of highways, Sherman Stanley, 
Bushnell Andrews and Alanson Dickinson; justices of the peace, A. H. Hart, 
Jeremy Hitchcock, C. N. Beecher and Asa Spencer; collector, L. G. Buck- 
ingham ; constables, L. G. Buckingham, Frederick Walker, Albert T. 
Stevens and G. I.. Jones; directors of the poor, John Martin and Peabody 
Pratt; overseers of highways, road district No. i, B. Piersons, road district 
No. 2, N. Cone; road district No. 3, William Thayer; road district No. 4. 
Sherman Stanley; road district No. 5, J. Hitchcock; road district No. 6. 
William Tillori; road district No. 7, Samuel Clark, Jr. 


The history of Gaines township began later and developed perhaps Jess 
rapidly than most of the other townships of the county. This was due 



partly to the large acreage of dense and heavy timber, the lack of streams 
large enough for mill purposes and the situation of the township on the 
western border of the county. Philander McLain, who moved his famil;- 
from Oakfend county to this township in December. 1838, has stated that 
the only settlers in the town of that time were Hartford Cargili, the Fletch- 
ers and the Darts — probably the Darts had not yet come in. 

Hartford CargiU, the first settler o£ the township, moved in from 
Bloomfield, Oakland county, in 1836, and settled on section 36. liphraim 
Fletcher, from "York state," settled in the same year in the locality known 
as "Fletcher's Comers." Joshua Dart settled a little to the east of the 
"Corners" in 1839. As the oldest man in the township at the time of its 
separate organization, he was given the privilege of naming it, which he did, 
after an acquaintance of his, General Gaines. 

The first township meeting for the election of officers was held in 1842 
at the house of Ephraim Fletcher, at which twenty-one votes were polled. 
The following officers were elected : Supervisor, William B. Young ; town- 
.ship clerk, Martin Dart; treasurer, Ephraim Fletcher; school inspectors. 
Martin Dart, Marvin Williams and Walter B. Beers; directors of the poor, 
Martin Dart and Ephraim Fletcher; commissioners of highways, James P. 
Allen, Lyman Perkins and William Gazlay; justices of the peace, James P. 
Alien. Philander McLain, Walter B. Beers and Frederick Wilcox; constables, 
Elisha Martin and Lanman Davis : overseers of highways, William B. Young, 
Jonathan Yerkes, Marvin Williams, William Gazlay, Walter B. Beers, John 
Rood, Hartford Cargili, Fred Wilcox and Ehjah Lyman. 

Owing to the relatively slpw development of Gaines township, it was 
not until 1842 that the number of children warranted the formation of a 
school district. About 1845 the settlers living in the Van Fleet and CargiU 
neighborhood hired a teacher and had a school kept in the Cargili place. It 
is probable that a daughter of Mr. Cargili was the teacher. 

It was 1856 before the first settlement was made on the site of the vil- 
lage of Gaines. On the Fourth of July in that year the first passenger train 
over this portion of the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad passed over the site 
of the village, then in the midst of heavy forest. In that year the first 
dwelling house was built there by Thurston Simmons, who came in from 
Livingston county. In the same year came George B. Runyan, who was 
appointed postmaster at the new "Gaines Station Postoffice." The village 
was platted in 1859. 




A majority of the early settlers of Burton township carne from the 
towns of Adams and Henderson, in Jefferson county. New York, and their 
location was known for many years as the "Atherton settlement." In 1835, 
two brothers, Shulxiei and Perus Atherton, settled on the Thread river. 
With them was Pliny A. Skinner. They came in from Oakland county. 
These three families passed the winter alone in the wilderness, but before 
the lapse of twelve months there was destined to be here a thriving settie- 
ment of some thirty families. 

Previous to the coming of the Athcrtoiis, Levi Gilkev, one of the very 
earliest pioneers in the vicinity of f^Iint, came from Genesee county. New 
York, and for a few years lived on or near the mouth of the small stream 
which still bears his name. The date of his purcliase, which was all that 
part of section 7 remaining outside the reservation, was May 11, 1831. 
Very little is known about this first settler. But in 1834 Reuben^ Tupper 
came in from Grand Blanc and located on the Saginaw road near the site 
of the later Atherton settlement. Mr. Tupper was thus the first permanent 
white settler in the township. Among those who settled, mainly at the 
"Atherton settlement," previous to 1840 were Henry Schram, Capt. Nathan- 
iel Curtis, Adonijah Atherton, Ashael Robinson, Elisha Salisbury, all with 
their families, and Harmon Clark, Barnabus Norton, James Ingalls, Joseph 
Chamliers and sons, John Hiller, William Tilton, Thomas Bownes, William 
Bendle, Benjamin Boomer, Horace iioomer, Clark Boomer, Cephas Car- 
penter, Tunis Cole, Adonirani Dan, Daniel Kstes. Col. T. Gorton, John T. 
Gage, Ovid Hemphill, Harris Hiblrard. Charles Johnson, John McCormick. 
Samuel McCormick. Benjamin F. Olmstetl, Walter Rail, William Rail. 
Thomas Sweet, EphraJm Walker and Jesse Whitcomb. Jacob Eldridge, Ed- 
ward Eldridge, John Clifford, Levi Walker, Benjamin Pearson. Samuel S. 
Todd. Zenas Goulding, Charles P. Day, Nathaniel B. Overton, Jesse Chap- 
man, Joel Bardwell, Jr., Jonathan Harrington, Albert G. Gage, l^Janiel Hil- 
ler, fra Donelson, Timothy B, Tucker, Peter Stiles, Samuel C. Stiles, Abel 
S. Donelson, George Beckwith, Warren Annable, Oliver Short, and a large 
family of sons, Nathan I^mison, Mark M. Jerome and Andrew Cox. 

The first years were trying ones to the people in the "Atherton settle- 
ment." The removal from New York to Michigan and the purchase of 
their lands had in most instances exhausted their means. For a year oi- 
two many of them worked for the Atherton brothers, Captain Curtis and 



Pliny A. Skinner. But soon their resources were gone. Poor crops re- 
duced all to ;i common poverty. Destitution and privation existed upon all 
sides. Women, nurtured amid the comforts and luxuries of their eastern 
homes, wept and prayed alternately as their vision took in the dense forests 
.stretching beyond the few acres of stumpy land which had been cleared 
alxjut their rude cabins. But the band of common suffering only the more 
(irmly knit the ties of friendship and neighborly affection and urged oi] 
the strong arms and undaunted hearts that were to wring from the frown- 
ing wilderness a competence. 

The consolations of religion naturally formed a bulwark of strength 
among these pioneers. A religious society was eariy formed. A majority 
in the "Atherton settlement" were, or became soon after their arrival, mem- 
liers of the Baptist and C"ongregational societies. Shubae! Atherton was a 
deacon of the Baptist church. His brother, Adonijah, was a deacon of the 
Congregational church. The iirst religious meeting in the township was 
held in Shul>ael Atherton's house some time during the summer of 1836. 
The following winter a revival took place. Meetings were held in thi 
sch(x)l house. Baptists, Congregationahsts and Methodists joined in the 
services and, as a result, every man, woman and child of the thirty families, 
except one family, was converted and baptized. 

The first school house was built in the "Atherton settlement" in the 
summer of 1836. .The first teacher was Betsey Atherton, daughter of 
Adonijah. From 1836 to 1856 the schools and school reports are so inter- 
woven with those of Flint township that separate school data for Burton 
is practically impossible to obtain. 

On April 7, 1856, the first town.ship meeting was held at the Atherton 
school house, when the following officers were elected: Supervisor, Harlow 
Whittlesey; township clerk, Daniel E. Salisbury; treasurer, Robert Cham- 
liers; school inspector, Henry D. Frost; justices of the peace, Jacob M. 
Eldridge, Talman Frost, Nelson Norton and Joel Bardwell; highway com- 
missioners, Enoch M. Chambers, Abalino Babcock and Harrison G. Conger; 
directors of the poor, Ira Chase and Salmon Stone; constables, Edward 
Eldridge, Lorenzo T. Frost, Charles Pettis and Perry Judd; overseers of 
highways: District No. i, William Van Buren; No. 2, Francis Hitchcock; 
No, 3. James BigeJow; No. 4, Jacob Plass; No. 5, Richard Bush; No. 6, 
Joseph W. Metcalf: No, 7, Salmon Stone; No, 8, John P". Alexander; No. 
9, Caleb Gillett; No. 10, Daniel Jeffers; No. 11, Ambrose Jones; No. 12, 
William L. Van Tuyle; No. 13, Perus Atherton; No. 14, Henry F. Frank- 
hn; No. 15, John O'Conor; No, 16, David Smith; No. 17, JoeJ Wardwell; 



No. 18, Asa Wolverton; No. IQ, Ira Chase; No. 20, Wallace W. Gorton; 
No. 21, Rnfus Chase; No. 22, Henry F. Hill. 


The township of Clayton was originally covered with dense forest, 
where the wolf, the panther and the bear found safe retreat, where the 
pride of the forest— the deer— had his home and where the red mail am- 
bushed his foe or stalked his game. A more herculean task than that of 
clearing away this sturdy greenwood and preparing the pleasant farms 
which today dot its surface can hardly be imagined, but the indemitable will 
and perseverance of the pioneers, together with their ability to endure long 
and severe toil with all its attendant hardships, accomplished the mighty 

The history of this achievement l>egan in the locality known as the 
"Miller settlement." In 1836, Adam Miller, a native of Germany who had 
lived for a time in Livingston county. New York, settled with his family on 
section 35. They came into the township by way of Flint, following ; 
well-worn Indian trail which led north as far as the Indian sugar camp in 
Gaines township. This trail became approximately the line of a portion of 
what afterwards came to be known as the "Miller road," the first in the 

During the infancy of this settlement, people coming here from lb- 
direction of Flint spoke of going "up the Swartz." In time the small stream 
flowing near liecame known as Swartu creek, though only a branch of the 
main stream, which gave its name to the postoffice established there in 1S42. 
The mail route extended from Flint north to the Grand river road, via 
Vernon and old Shrawasseetown. Peter Miller, a son of Adam Miller, was 
one of the first postmasters. In the same year with the postoffice a store 
was started in the Miller settlement by Miller and Rail. The village of 
Swartz Creek was not platted until 1877, the year after the railway was 

It was probably in this settlement that the first school in the township 
was taught. The children of the settlement first attended a school kept bv 
Miss Watkins, of Mundy, in a log school house built across the line in 
Gaines in the spring of 1838. In 1S39 a frame school house was erected 
on the north side of the line where later the store of Messrs. Miller stood. 
.A religious society was here organized by the Methodists as early as the 



fall of 1837. Kev. Whitney, then stationed at Flint, was the first preacher. 
In 1856 a frame church was built on land taken from the Miller property. 

Early pioneers of 1837 in or near the Miller settlement were John 
and Thomas Nash, John Hartsock, Seth Silsby, Emir Woodin, Seth Hath- 
away and Sedgwick P. Stedman. 

Another early beginning was the "Lyons settlement," in the northwest 
part of the township. In the winter of 1839 Isaac Lyons, in compan}- 
with his brothers-in-law, Jacob Coddington and John Clement, all from 
Tompkins county. New York, but residing since 1836 in Flint, settled here. 
Mr. Lyons built a log blacksmith shop on the comer of his place, for a long 
time the only one within a radius of many miles. About 1844 a log school 
house was built on the corner of his land, in which the first school was kept 
by Miss Angeline Smith. 

A third settlement of note in the early days was the "Donahoo settle- 
ment." In 1845 Michael Donahoo, always known here as "Squire" Etona- 
hoo, came from the north of Ireland to America and settled in Clayton. 
When he came to the township there was but one team of horses in it except 
a span of ponies owned by Daniel Miller, although several owned one horse. 
Oxen were used universally for teaming. "Erin's green isle" sent several 
sons to become residents of Clayton. Considerably earlier than Squire 
Donahoo were Bernard Lennon and Patrick Conlen, who came in 1834-40. 
Both later married sisters of Michael Donahoo. Bernard Trayor, who also 
married a sister of Mr. Donahoo, came with the latter and located in the 
same neigh Iwrhood. Three Carton brothers, William, Peter and John, set- 
tied about 1842 in die northern part of the township. Patrick Bradley located 
four miles east of Lyons Corners. A near neighlx>r was James E. Brown, 
who settled in 1840 and became one of the most prominent men in the town. 

Among other first settlers of the township were Joseph iJurbridge, from 
England, who settled near the center of the town in 1837; the Ottawa broth- 
ers — James, Stephen, George and John— also from England, who settled in 
the summer of 1840; Albert, Granger, William and Richard Goyer, about 
1840-42; James W. Cronk, E. W. Fenner, James Glass and Peter Lan- 
non. Sr. 

In 1844, as shown by the official list, the resident taxjmyers in what 
is now Clayton township numljered seventy-four. In 1846 the township 
was deemed to have a sufficient jKipulation to warrant its separate organiza- 
tion. At the first election, which was held in the school house in district No. 
6, fifty-one votes were cast. The following officers were elected: Super- 
visor, Alfred Pond; town clerk, Francis Brotherton; treasurer, Theron Wal- 



lace; justices of the peace, Seth Neweil, Isaac Lyons and Caleb Calkins; asses- 
sor, Harry Brotherton and Seth Silsby ; commissioners of highways, Richard 
C. Goyer, John C. Clement and John M. Nash; inspectors of schools, Alan- 
son Niles and Alfred Pond; directors of the poor, Alex. H. Fenner and Barn- 
ard Carpenter; constables, John M. Nash, Silas Henry and Elhanan W. 
Fenner ; overseers of highways, Alfred Richardson, Wright N. Clement, Albert 
Granger, Alexander H. Fenner, William Piper, Bernard Lennon, John M. 
Nash, Morgan D. Chapman, Abraham Knight and David Felt. 

In July, 1833, Charles McLean came to \'ienna township from Sagi- 
naw county, whither he had emigrated about 1826 from "York state." His 
house became one of the earliest hostelries in this township, on the Saginaw 
turnpike. He also built the first frame school house in the township, about 
opposite the later village school house; in this house was kept the postoftice, 
established in 1836 or 1837, for all the region lying between Flint and Sagi- 
naw, and there also was held the first township election. 

Prominent among the early settlers of this township were Sylvester Vib- 
bard, Hiram Benjamin, Joseph C. Winters, Humphrey Mclean, George 
Sparks, Waterman W. Neff, Clark Abbey, George Huyck, Theodore P. 
Dean, Reuben and Daniel Warner, Russell G. Hurd, William Hotchkiss, 
Isaiah Merriman, Edward Maybee, ChristojiJier Hughes, William Sissins, 
Joshua Pattee, George T. Bingham, Samuel Rone, John R. Whittemore, 
Ormond and Joel Booth, Marcus Goodrich, Nahum N. Wilson, Lemuel John- 
son. John Jackson, Charles Montle, Justin S. W. Porter, Nicholas Sigsby. 
Daniel N. Montague, Capt. Robert L. Hurd, Grovener Vinton and Seth N. 

Among the "first things" in the township, to Hiram Benjamin is ascril^ed 
the honor of being the father of the first white child born in the new settle- 
ment — a daughter — her birth occurring early in 1836. Theodore P. Dean, 
from Saginaw county, built the first saw-mill in the township, in 1838, at 
the site of the present Clio. 

By the same act as Mundy township, Vienna was organized March 11, 
1837, and the first township meeting was held April 3 at the house of 
Charles McLean. Officers were chosen as follows: Moderator, William 
Hotchkiss; inspectors of election, Hiram Benjamin. Grovener Vinton, Josiah 
C. Winters; clerk, Thomas J. Drake; supervisor, William Hotchkiss; town 
clerk, Hiram Benjamin ; assessor, Clark Abbey, Isaac Van Tuyl and George 



Sparks; collector, Edward Maybee; directors of £he poor, Charles McLean 
and Theodore P. Dean; highway commissioners, Grovener Vinton, Hiram 
Benjamin and Waterman W. Neff; constables, Edward Maybee and Charles 
McLean; school inspectors, Russell G. Hurd, William Hotchkiss and L Mer- 
riman; justices of the peace, Russell G. Hurd, Hiram Benjamin, George 
Sparks and Isaiah Merriman; fence-viewers, Grovener Vinton, Hiram Benja- 
min and Russell G. Hurd; overseer of Highways, Russell G. Hurd; pound- 
master, Charles McLean. 

The first school house in Vienna township of which record is pre- 
served was a frame building, situated in the "Pine Run settlement." Josiah 
W. Begole, later a prominent resident of Flint and governor of Michigan, 
taught the first school there, in the winter of 1837-38. 

The Methodists were the first to hold religious meetings in the township. 
Their circuit preachers came to Pine Run as early as 1836. A class was 
formed here in 1837 or 1838, the leader being Isaiah Merriman. A Congre- 
gational society was organized here in 1845, by Rev. Orson Parker, an evan- 


As late as the beginning of 1S35, Thetford, which was heavily timbered, 
remained still a wilderness unbroken by the axe of the white man. From 
1835 to 1840 scattered settlements were made in different parts and a large 
share of the town was purchased from the government. A considerable por- 
tion, especially the best pine lands, were bought up by speculators. The first 
land was taken by Grovener Vinton, in January, 1835; he was also the first 
settler. He came originally from Avon, Livingston county. New York, but 
had lived since 1831 in the Saginaw valley. His location in Thetford was 
on section 31. His second daughter, Roxy Ann, was the first white child born 
in the township. Mr. Vinton occupied a prominent and influential position 
among the pioneers of Thetford and enjoyed their unlimited confidence and 
esteem. He lived to a hale and hearty old age, witnessing the vast changes 
and improvements in the region with whose history his name was so inti- 
mately connected and interwoven. Until the fail of 1836 Mr. Vinton's was 
the only family in the township, when Isaac and Nelson Van Tuyl, with 
their families, came in from Oakland county, settling on section 29. 

One of the earliest and most influential pioneers of Thetford townshijj 
was Corydon E. Fay. He came from Avon, Livingston county, New York, 
and settled in the fall of 1837 on section 30. His house was about a quarter 
of a mile north of Vinton's. He was a blacksmith by trade and built a 



small log shop on the section corner, the only one in the region. The iirst 
job of blacks mi thing consisted of making a plow-clevis out of the poles 
of two old axes; the clevis was made for Grovener Vinton. In 1850 travel 
on the Saginaw turnpike had so increased as to call for houses to entertain 
the travelers and Mr, Fay opened the first inn in the town. It was known 
as the Fay House, and was in excellent repute with the travelers who then 
thronged the roads leading to the pineries of Michigaii. This was the begin- 
ning of I'^ayvilie. Several other buildings were built and quite a settlement 
sprang up. But its life was short. A postoffice was established here in 1842, 
with Corydon I*"ay as postmaster. It was called Thetford and was kept in 
Fay's log house. A school house was built here as early as 1838, known 
as the Fay school house, on section 31. This was a frame building and 
was built by Isaac and Nelson Van Tiiyl. It is probable that the first school 
was taught previous to this by Josiah W. Begole, in a private log house. 
The first school taught in the Fay school house was kept by Miss Calista 
Hnrd, of Fine Run. in 1836. 

By 1840 Thetford township numbered among its citizens Benoni and 
Quartiis W. Clapp, Crawford Barkley, Charles M. Bouttell, Richard Buell, 
Ezra H. Martin, Thomas Alpin, Leonard Beckwith, William Rice, William 
W. Boughton, Reuben J. D>'e and Nahum N. Wilson. 

In 1842 the township was organized. The first meeting was held 
April 4, in the Fay school house, when the following officers were elected: 
Supervisor, Isaac Van Tuyl; town clerk, Corydon E. Fay; treasurer, Simeon 
Simmons; justice of the peace, one year, Isaac Van Tuyl, two years, Rich- 
ard Buell, three years. William Rice, four years, Ezra H. Martin; highway 
commissioners, Benoni Ciapp, Crawford Barkley and Thomas Aplin; asses- 
,sors, Albert Castle and Nelson S. Van Tuyl; school inspectors, Richard 
Buell, Isaac Van Tuyl and Nelson S. Van Tuyl; overseers of the poor, 
Benoni Clapp and Grovener Vinton; constables, William W. Boughton, 
Quartus W. Clapp and Uzial Boutwell. 


Davison township became a part of Genesee county March 9, 1843^ six 
years after receiving its first settler. Since its organization in 1840 it had 
been a township of Lapeer county. Its settlement began in the year Michi- 
gan was admitted to the Union, when Andrew and Alson Seelye and their 
sister, Debby. settled on section 31. They came from Charleston, Saratoga 



county. New York. In September, 1837, the father, Abel Seelye, accom- 
panied by his wife and four sons, came from Saratoga and settled near the 
other children. Miss Debby Seelye married Seth J. Wicker, who, in 1852, 
erected the first hotel tn the township and sold the first goods in the same 

About a mile from the Seelyes, on section 35, settled Christopher 
Miller in 1S37. Mr Miller later claimed to have settled first. He and 
his sons came in from Chautauqua county. New York. He built the first 
frame house in the township in 1839 and the first school was taught in his 
vacated shanty about the same time by Miss Sabrina Barnes. In 1838 Ira 
Potter, a native of Vermont, later residing at Rochester, New York, and 
near Port Huron, Michigan, brought his family to Davison townshipj set- 
tling on section i. 

Mr. Potter's family did not suffer the wants and privations so common 
to the lot of many pioneers, as he purchased in Detroit and brought here 
with him sufficient flour and pork to last one year. Still for many yeans 
they were far from markets, Pontiac being the principal point and but little 
money comparatively was received from farm products. Ira W. Potter 
recalls the fact that he very frequently made the journey to the latter 
city, hauling with an ox-team thirty bushels of wheat, for which he received 
five shillings per bushel, the journey occupying three days' time. All other 
early residents here can relate the same experince and recall with great 
animation the terrible condition of early roads and the consequent struggle 
to obtain a few dollars in money at far-away markets. 

In the years immediately following Mr. Potter's arrival came Justice 
Henry and William Sheldon, from F.rie county, New York; Abelino Bab- 
cock, from Oakland county, Michigan; Jacob Teachout, Harrison G. Con- 
ger, Samuel Crandal! and Goodenough Townsend. Mr. Townsend was a 
native of Wheelock, Caledonia county, New York. His ancestors served 
in the American Revolution. He was the first super^-isor of Davison town- 
ship and later served in many official capacities. He was the first post- 
master, from 1849 to 1852, and established the first Sabbath school in 1842. 

Previous to 1844 the following additional settlers were residents : Calvin 
Cartwright, James A. Kline, Almeron Perry, William Phillips, Henry Hast- 
ings, Thomas Park, William Thomas, Clark Potter, FJeazer Thurston, 
Samuel Johnson, Abraham HotchkJss, Samuel J. Ashley, Abner Hotchkiss, 
Robert Knowles, John Austin, David Casler, John Casler, Daniel Dayton. 
Hart W. Cummins, Silas S. Kitchen, Iddo H. Carley, S. M. Fisk. Ira Cobb. 
Elias Bush and Thomas O. Townsend. 



The first township meeting was held Apri! 6 at the house of Goodenough 
Townsend, when fourteen legal votes were cast. The following officers were 
chosen: Supervisor, Goodenough Townsend; town clerk, Jacob Teachout; 
treasurer, Justin Sheldon ; collector, Abel Seeley, Jr. ; assessors, Jacob Teach- 
out, Robert E. Potter and Alson Seeley; school inspectors, Jacob Teachout, 
Robert E. Potter and Goodenough Townsend; directors of the poor, Justin 
Sheldon and Abel Seeley; highway commissioners, Abelino Babcock, Good- 
enough Townsend and Harrison G. Conger; justices of the peace, Jacob 
Teachout, Goodenough Townsend, Abel Seeley and Justin Sheldon; con- 
stables, Ira W. Potter and Abel Seeley, Jr. ; pound-master, Samuel Crandall ; 
overseers of highways, Harrison G. Conger, Jacob Teachout, Justin Sheldon, 
John C. Miller and Abel Seeley, Jr. 

One of the earliest game laws in Michigan was that enacted at the annual 
meeting in 1841, when it was voted, "That no person or persons shall kill 
any deer in the limits of this township between the loth day of January 
and the loth day of July of each year, and all persons killing deer contrary 
to this law shall forfeit the sum of five dollars for every deer killed in said 
township, and such offenders may be prosecuted before any justice in said 
township or county," 


Richfield was originally a part of Lapeer county. It was organized 
in 1837, embracing within its limits also the present towns of Forest and 
Davison. It was added to Genesee county in 1843. The earliest settlers 
of what is now Richfield were received only a little previous to its organ- 
ization. In the year 1836 nearly all the land in the town was bought up, a 
very good recommendation of its land for the purpose of settlement. One 
of the most extensive buyers was Thomas L. L. Brent, a Virginian, who 
explained as the reason for his extensive purchases that he wished to keep 
the land out of the hands of speculators. 

The first settlement was made in 1836 by Rial Irish, of Pontiac, who 
cut his way through from there over a route known from that time as "the 
Irish road," over which many other settlers came into Uiis township. He 
settled on section 19, in the midst of considerable pine, and in 1837 com- 
menced building a mill on Belden Brook to convert it into lumber. This 
mill property was afterwards sold to David L. Belden for seven thousand 
dollars; he began operations in 1S39, but, owing to his inexperience and the 
extremely moderate price at which lumber had to be sold, he was unsuc- 



Shortly after the arrival of Rial Irish came George Ohver and family, 
who settled on section 21. During the several years of his residence in the 
town he made shingles and acted as guide to newcomers who were looking 
for land. His daughter was the first white child bom in the town. With 
Mr. Oliver came Samuel Johnson, who worked for him awhile, but did not 
become a permanent settler in the town. Thomas Clark was the third set- 
tler. He was a native of Rutland county, Vermont. Early in life he had 
removed with his parents to Saratoga county. New York, and lived later in 
Otsego and Jefferson counties in that state. It was from the village of 
Lyme, in the latter county, that he came to Michigan in 1836 and settled on 
section 22, A little later the same year came Orsimus Cooley, from Oak- 
land county, to section 20. The next family was that of William Teachout. 
in 1837, who settled on section 30. In the spring of 1839 EHas Van Schaick 
and family settled on section 39, A few weeks later came Jeremiah R. 
Stanard and Argalus Matthews to section 6. 

Some of the difficulties to be overcome by the pioneers are shown by 
what Mr. Matthews had to go through with to get a small quantity of wheat 
prepared for use. He had no team or wagon, and to get them, had to work 
one day for the wagon and two and one-half days for the oxen. Then it 
took him one day to get the oxen, go after the wagon and get to his home 
ready for a start tP the mill. All the next day was spent in getting to the 
mill with his grist and then he found that he could not get it ground under 
two or three weeks. So home he returned and took his wagon and oxen 
to their respective owners. Three weeks later the perfonnance had to be 
rei>eated to get the flour home. Each night that he remained in Flint he 
had to pay one dollar lor his entertainment, ,so that when he finally cast up 
accounts, he found that he had given thirteen days' work and two dollars 
in money to get seven and one-half bushels of wheat ground into flour. 

Among others who settled in the town at an early day were Asa Davis, 
William Draper, E. B, Witherbee. Isaac and Phineas J. Tucker, Zebulon 
Dickinson. Andrew Chapi>ell, John Van Bu,skirk, Joseph French, Frederick 
Olds, Francis Davis. Amherst W. Matthews, Alanson Munger, Jephtha 
Stimpson, Nathaniel Hart. Joseph Morford, William Throop, John, Sr., 
John, Jr., and Leander E. Hill, Garrett Zufelt, Stephen Cady, Caleb Lank- 
ton, Henry F. Shepiird. Nelson Warren, Samuel Elmore, Thomas Dibble, 
William Munger. Noah Hull, William W,, Cyrus, and Isaac L. Matthews, 
I-aban and Alvah Rogers and Andrew Cook. 

The "first things" in the early settlement of a locality always have a 



special interest. In this town the first saw-mill was completed by William 
Draper and E. B. Witherliee in 1838 on section 17. It was the largest and 
Ijest mill built in the town for a score of years. The Belden mill was 
second. The first bridge over the Flint in this town was biiilt in 1848 at 
the crossing of the Irish road. 

As was frequently the case in this part of Michigan, the Methodists 
were the first denomination to enter the field of religions labor in Richfield, 
holding services here as early as 1839 or 1840; among the members of the 
first class organized were Asa and Martha Davis, Nelson and Elizabeth 
Warren, and Joseph and Julia Morford. The first school hou-se was built 
in 1838, in the southwest part of the town. The second was built on the 
school section, in 1839, and the third in 1843 on section 6. 

The first couple married in Richfield were R. E. Potter and Abigail 
Clark. Tbey were married on the 5th of January, 1840. at the residence 
of the bride's father, Thomas Clark. The ceremony was performed by 
Nathaniel Smith of the town of Forest, then a part of this town. The 
company present on the happy occasion consisted of the families of the 
parties, George Oliver and wife and Elias Van Schaick and wife. Mrs. 
Potter died Angust 19, 1845, leaving three children, the eldest of whom 
was the first white mate child bom in the town. The second marriage was 
that of Caleb Lankton and Maria Teachout, which took place atout two 
years later. 

A'iHage centers in this town developed late. Not until 1855, when V. 
Maxfield and E, R. Goodrich built their saw-mill near the place where the 
state road cro.sses the Flint, did the first symptoms appear. A tavern and 
store followed. Much later began the village of Richfield Center, though 
the first jKistoffice in the town was established there in the early forties, 
with Pliineas J. Tucker as postmaster. 

Of the first town meeting, and of all the proceedings of the town from 
1837 to 1857, no records can now lie found. From tradition it is learned 
that the first town meeting was held in a small shanty at Draper and Wither- 
bee's saw-mill. Less than a dozen voters were present. The following is 
a list of the first officers, as near as can be determined : 

Si!]>ervi,sor. William Drajier; town clerk, E. B. Witherbee; collector, 
George Oliver ; justices of the i>eace, Orsimus Cooiey, Thomas Clark, George 
Oliver and Nathaniel Smith : assessors and school inspectors, George Oliver 
and Thomas Clark; commissioners of highways, George Oliver, William 
Draper and Thomas Clark; constable, William Rettan. 




The name of this township, as might be supposed, was derived from 
its heavy growth of timber. About three-fourths of it was covered with 
pine, which stood in its natural state for many years. Speculators, who 
bought up the land for the pine timber, let the trees stand till lumber was 
worth a price which would warrant them in cutting the timber. At the 
time the act was passed by the Legislature organizing the township there 
was some difficulty in fixing upon a name, until a facetious member of the 
House said, "As it is all woods, and nobody lives there, I think we had better 
call it Forest." and Forest it was called. 

James Seymour entered the first land in this township, March i, 1836, 
on section 36. The first land entered by an actual settler was that by Henry 
Hiester (or Heister), November 9, of the same year, on section 19. Mr. 
Hiester bi'ought his family here from Livingston county, New York, eariy 
in the spring of 1837. For about two months the Hiesters were the only 
white residents of the town. Then the Smith family came. The head of 
the family was Nathaniel Smith, a man of a religious turn of mind, steady 
and industrious habits and upright, straight-forward, irreproachable char- 
acter. The first rehgious meetings in Forest were held at the houses of 
Mr. Smith and Mr. Hiester. The members of the Smith family grew up in 
this community and were numbered among the most influential citizens of 
the town. Next after the Smiths in 1837 came the Eegel family, from the 
town of Howard, Steuben county. New York, at whose head was Stephen 
Begel. The site of their settlement became later the village of Otisville, on 
section 21, about which grew up this numerous and useful family of four- 
teen children. 

Other early settlers were Matthew McCormick (1839), an Irish immi- 
grant who had for some time lived in Washtenaw county; Stephen J. Seeley 
(1841}; John Nixon; John Crawford (1S42), a native of the county of 
Antrim, Ireland; James Crawford, John's father (1844); Jeremiah Olds, 
William H. Diamond, John H. Fry and John Darling. 

Forest township grew slowly for some fifteen years after its first settle- 
ment, on account of the heavy timber and the great quantities of the test lands 
held by speculators. About 1845-50 the trade in Michigan pine lumber 
began. In 185 1 the Hayes saw-mill was built near the Begel settlement. 
A boarding-house, store and several dwellings for the mtll hands were built. 
This was the first impulse to the future village of Otisville. John Haves 
was from Cleveland, Ohio. 



In April, 1843, the first town meeting was held at the house of Stephen 
Begel. Thirteen votes were cast, with the following result, so far as can 
be ascertained: Supervisor, Nathaniel Smith; town clerk, Chauncey W. 
Seeley; treasurer, William R. Smith; justices of the peace, John Crawford, 
Nathaniel Smith, William R. Smith, Amos Begel; commissioners of high- 
ways, John Crawford, Nathaniel Smith and Amos Smith; overseers of the 
poor, Amos Begel and Nathaniel Smith. 

The act detaching Forest front I^peer county and adding it to Genesee 
took effect on March 31, 1843, a fe^v days previous to the first town meet- 
ing. The reasons for this change of county relations were principally busi- 
ness convenience and ease of communication. The main business of the 
peoj>le of the town centered at Flint, and Flint river formed the principal 
means of transporting their produce and manufactures to their principal 


The original name of Montrose was Pewanigawink ; a portion of the 
Pewanigawink reservation of the Saginaw Chippewas extended into this 
township. The new name was given by an act of the state Legislature in 
1848. The township was organized in 1846 and the first meeting was held 
at the house of George Wilcox, April 5, 1847. . The following officers were 
chosen: Supervisor, John Farquharson; town clerk, John R. Farquharson; 
treasurer, John McKenzie; justices of the peace, George Wilcox, Charles 
Hartshorn, Benjamin H. Morse and Asahel Townsend; assessors, Seymour 
W. Ensign, Sr., and Archibald Morse; highway commissioners, John Farqu- 
harson, Benjamin H. Morse and Seymour W. Ensign, Jr. ; school inspector, 
George W'ilcox; directors of the poor, John McKenzie and Benjamin H. 
Morse; constables, William Wilcox and Seymour W. Ensign, Sr. ; overseers 
of highways, Charles Hartshorn and John McKenzie. 

Se}'mour W. Ensign, who was chosen at this meeting assessor and 
constable, was the first settler of the township. He came originally from 
Stafford, Genesee coimty. New York, in 1832, and first settled at Grand 
Blanc. Later he removed to Saginaw county. In the spring of 1S43 he 
brought his family to section 22. The same season came George Wilcox 
and Richard Travis. 

The most prominent man in the township during his lifetime was John 
Farquharson. who came from Scotland to America in 1830. After a resi- 
dence in Albany, New York, and Saginaw county, Michigan, he came to the 
township in 1845. He was the first supervisor. To him is accredited the 



change of the name of the town from Pewanigawink to the Scottish name 
of Montrose, His reason probably was to attract his friends in Scotland 
and others of that nativity to the settlement. Among other early Scotch 
settlers was John McKenzie, from Aberdeen, who came in 1847. ^n later 
years a considerable number of Scotch families of sterilng worth made 
Montrose their home. 

Owing to the lumbering interests and its interior situation, the early 
growth of Montrose was slow. The first mill was put in operation in 1849, 
on Woodruff's creek, and was built by a colored man, James Sisco. A few 
months later Russell Wells erected a saw-mill on Brent's run. The first 
tavern was not opened until 1866 or 1867, by William H. Ried, and in the 
latter year Thomas W, Pettee established the first store. The number of 
voters in this township in 1859 was less than fifty. 


Any historical record of the early days in the township;^ of Genesee would 
be incomplete without reference to the hard winter of 1842 and 1843. This 
was a record breaker in the annals of the old inhabitants, and we may judge 
something of its severity from the fact that snow fell on the i8th day of 
November, 1842; as late as April ist the depth of snow was recorded as 
three and a half feet on the level, while snow squalls were noted on the 
17th of that month. Over one hundred and fifty days of sleighing were had 
during the year. It is difficult at this time to realize that want could come 
to the i>eople of this fruitful county, with its bountiful harvests of wheat 
now being garnered and its crops of al! kinds that make for plenty. But 
then the land had been but recently taken up. The great tide of immigra- 
tion that poured into Michigan and into Genesee county came in 1S36, and 
the swamps and forests had hardly been opened in most favorable localities 
when the winter of '42 and '43 set in. Cattle, hogs, horses, sheep and 
poultry had become rather plentiful, and the hay of the swales and scanty 
grain that could be raised in the small clearings were all the fodder. Hay 
in the fall of 1842 was six dollars a ton. In April, 1843, it was twenty 
dollars, and twenty dollars represented a big sum at that time. When the 
early spring came, even the best provided for of the settlers were coming 
to be without fodder and with little or no grain. Silas D, Halsey, then liv- 
ing in Grand Blanc, and one of the most prosperous farmers of the time, 
records in his diary these hard times and the fact of fodder being exhausted 
and cattle starving. Wheat in the fall had been three shillings and oats a 



shilling [)er bushel ; in the spring the prices were one dollar and three shill- 
ings, respectively. 

These prices nominally as stated do not, however, represent their real 
valne, as their scarcity made them cash articles and only a very few of the 
settlers had any money, so the ]>rices asked and the cash payment exacted 
made them utterh' unobtainable by the great majority of the people of the 
county. Add to this the fact that the market was at Pontiac, and that the 
transportation to Flint involved a three or four days trip, with a team which 
must be fed by the way, and the difficulties appear. 

On March i8, 1843, Mr. Halsey in his diary says: "A very gloomy 
time. Fodder almost all gone and many cattle already dead and dyhig. 
Some have had to browse their cattle for six weeks already, and many 
Iieople arc destitute, and no prospect of winter breaking yet. What we are 
going to do I do not know. It looks gloomy. The only hope we have is 
that it will soon come around warm. If not. we are all gone." Later he 
records the continuance of the cold, and even as late as March 24, the coldest 
day of the year is recorded, and the freezing of the well twenty-four feet 
deep, and iK)tatoes in the cellar lost by the cold. He goes out in to the 
woods around, and with his son cuts down the bass woods; the cattle eat 
their twigs, and by this process of "browsing" they ward off starvation 
after the hay has lieen all consumed. A neighbor comes to report that his 
family are reduced to the point of starvation. Potatoes are all that is left; 
flour has been gone for a considerable time. He asks that his better pro- 
\-ided neighiwr, who has some money, shall go to Pontiac and get flour to 
save the lives of himself and others similarly situated. These api>eals are 
not to be turned aside. Mr. Halsey takes his team and cash and after four 
(.lays returns from l^ontiac with five Jjarrels of flour, and men and women 
come from the surrounding region with pillow cases and other improvised 
recqitacles, and the five barrels are distributed among the needy according 
to their wants and as near as may be ; so famine is averted in the town of 
Grand Blanc and many children live to bless the benefactor. All uncon- 
scious of any merit, he had done his pioneer duty and, although he religiously 
kept a diary of the events of each day, yet he modestly refrained from any 
mention of this act, leaving it to be told by those who had been saved. Add 
to the fears of of their cattle, upon whose preservation so much depended, 
the religious excitement caused by the "Millerite" prophecy of the coming 
end of the world which was devoutly believed in by many and which was 
cause of anxiety to many who doubted, and the extreme condition of the 
men and women of this county may be imagined. Not only did the people 



of this county face want, but the people of the entire state were similarly 
situated. In Washtenaw county, Mr. Halsey records, the same conditions 
prevailed, and even those who had money and wanted to buy, went out with 
their teams throughout the state and came back to report failure, as there 
was no wheat to Ije lx)ught. "Help, Lord, or we ijerish," records the pious 
man. The middle of April saw a changed condition of weather and the 
songs of the birds cheered the people; the snow melted away; the grass, 
springing before its usual time, for the snow had kept the groimd from 
freezing, soon brought back the pioneer hope, and the hard winter became a 



First County Court. 

All or portions of the lands now in Genesee county have at different 
times Iwen included in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer, Saginaw and 
Shiawassee counties. Genesee was set off as a separate county by an act of 
the territorial Legislature aiJproved March 28, 1835, ^'^'^ ^'^■' judicial pur- 
poses remained attached to Oakland. About a year later, on March 8, 
1836, Genesee became an organized county. 

The first county officers were elected for Genesee on August 22, 1836, 
as follow: .Associate judges, Jeremiah R. Smith and Asa Bishop; judge of 
probate, Samuel Rice ; sheriff, Lewis Buckingham ; clerk, Robert F. Stage ; 
treasurer, Charles D. W. Gibson; register of deeds, Oliver Wesson; coroners, 
Chauncey Chapin and Rufus W. Stevens; county surveyor, Ogden Clarke, 

On October 4, 1836, the supervisors from the three townships then 
organized held the first board meeting in the tailorshop of Daniel H. Seeley, 
in Flint, These memibers were Samuel Rice, of Grand Blanc. Lyman Stowe, 
of Flint, and Samuel W. Pattison, of Argentine. But on finding that no 
iKioks or stationery for their use had l>een provided, the board adjourned 
to October 17. Again adjournment was necessary, because of the absence 
of Mr. Pattison, but he was present on the i8th. The first important action 
of the county Iward of supervisors was therefore taken on October 18, which 
was a resolution to raise a tax of $2,000 assessed and apportioned as follows : 

Assessment. Coimty. Town. Collector. 

Flint $203,973 $1,267.43 $23' 52 John Todd 

Grand Blanc 117,896 732-57 146.20 Caleb S. Thompson 

Some idea of relative values is given when it is understood that the 
assessment and apportionment of Argentine was included with that of Grand 
Blanc, together making oniy a little over half of Flint's assessment, which 
doubtless reflects the property values in Flint village. 

The county seat for G«nesee was located by an act of the territorial 
Legislature, August 25, 1835, "on the west side of the Saginaw turnpike, 
on lands recently deeded by John Todd and wife to one Wait Beach, known 



as the Todd Farm, at Flint river, at a ix>iiit commencing at or within twenty 
rods of the center of said described land on said turnpike." It was pro- 
vided, however, that the owner of the land should deed to the county two 
acres of land for a court house and public square, an acre for a burial 
ground, and two church and two school lots "of common size," which was 
done. A building for the county jail and court room was begun in the fall 
of 1838 and completed in the fail of ]83q at a cost of about five thousand 
dollars. It was a solid, rectangular building of oak logs. The lower and 
stronger part was the jail; the upi>er part was the court room. The persons 
appointed as a building committee to superintend the construction were 
Charles Seymour, Robert F. Stage and John Pratt. 

Temporarily, for the holding of the circuit court of Genesee for 1837 
and 1838, the sheriff provided, first, the upfjer story of Stage & Wright's 
store, and afterwards the hall over Benjamin Pearson's store. At the 
former place the first term of court was held in February, 1837, by the Hon. 
George Morell, one of the justices of the state supreme court. The first 
case tried and decided api}ears to have l^en that of Andrew Cox vs. Goshen 
Olmsted, which was an ap-jieal from Justice Lyman Stowe's decision in 
justice's court, in which judgment was rendered for the plaintiff for the 
sum of five dollars and sixty-three cents, together with costs taxed at seven 
dollars and sixty-three cents. The attorney for the plaintiff was Thomas 
J. Drake. Barton and Thomson were attorneys for the defendant. The 
case was appealed and a verdict returned for the defendant of sixteen dol- 
lars damages ; the judgment of the justice of the peace was "reversed, 
vacated and annulled, and altogether held for nothing," and Goshen Olm- 
sted was directed to recover from Andrew Cox the damages and also the 
sum of eighty-eight dollars and forty-two cents for costs of the appeal. 
This judgment was given February 12, 1841, nearly five years after the 
commencement of the case. 

The other cases on this first calendar were: 

1. Chauncey Bogue vs. Timothy J. Walling. Action for attachment. 
Thomas J. Drake, attorney for plaintiif. 

2. Jason L. Au.stin vs. Daniel R. Williams. Action, an appeal. 
Attorney for plaintiff, P. If. McOmber. Attorney for defendant, Thomas 
J. Drake. 

3. Charles McLean vs. Theodore P. Dean. Action, an appeal. 
Attorney for the plaintiff, T. J. Drake. Attorney for defendant, George 


(;eni;see county, ancHiGAN. 253 

The first circuit court held in the new log building was the January 
term for 1840. In reference to the first case tried there, Alvah Brainard, 
for niany years a loved and respected citizen of Grand Blanc, who was one 
of the jurors on the case, relates the following amusing anecdote: 

"The difference between the parties was trifling. One of the parties 
had shut up one of the other's hogs and was going to fat it. There was no 
place prepared for the jurors to deliberate in. Mr. Hascall was building ;t 
dwelling house on the opposite side of the turnpike from the court house, 
so the arrangements were made for the jurors to go over to this place in the 
cellar part. The house was set upon blocks about two feet from the ground 
and the dirt had been thrown partially out, so that we had a shady, airy and 
rustic place, with plenty of shavings under foot which had fallen down 
through the loose floor above. There were no seats, but we could change 
positions very readily, by lying down, or standing or sitting upon our feet. 
It was a pleasant and secluded place — we could look out on all sides and 
see what was going on u[>Dn (he outside. Being so open, the wind would 
blow through and fill our eyes with sawdust, and it was a very warm day; 
so, under all circumstances, we were not in a very urgent hurry and we 
could not agree upon a verdict. The constable would look under often: 
'Gentlemen, have you agreed?' Our answer would be, 'More water, more 
water.' So along toward night we ventured out of the den or pen, and 
went before the court without having agreed on a verdict, for or against," 

Judge Marell presided at this meeting. His term as justice of the 
supreme court began in 18,^2 and he was chief justice in 1843. His suc- 
, cesKors in the circuit court of Genesee county have been as follow: William 
A. Fletcher. Charles W, Whipple, Sanford M. Green, Josiah Turner, William ' 
Newton, Charles H, Wisner and Mark W, Stevens. 

In the proceedings of the board of supervisors for a meeting held 
December 5, 1836, is found the earliest official reference to the county poor. 
The sum of seventy-two dollars and fifty cents was allowed to Jason L. 
Austin for care of county paupers, and sixty-three dollars and fourteen cents 
to the township of Flint for care and removal of a family of county pau]>ers. 
On January 8, 1839, county superintendents of the poor were appointed: 
they were Benjamin Rockwell, of Flushing. Lyman Stowe, of Flint, and 
lohn Pratt, of Genesee. The following day the board of county commis- 
sioners abolished the distinction between town and county paupers; all paup- 
ers in the county were thereafter to be considered a county charge. It was 
nearly a <lecade. however, l>efore a county farm was purchased and still 
longer before the fir.=t county poor house was bnilt. 


Indian Trails and Public Highways. 

It is well known that the degree of civilization to which a nation has 
attained may be judged by the number and quality of her means of com- 
munication and transportation. In the zenith of her power, ancient Rome 
built a superb system of communication for the empire, radiating from the 
"city of the seven hills" to all important points in the provinces. In the 
sixteenth century the Spaniards found in Central and South America an 
admirable system of solid and durable roads, which were built centuries 
before the coming of the invaders; almost equaling the famous Roman 
roads were those built by the Incas in Peru and by the Aztecs in Mexico 
and Yucatan. 

The earliest roads of the United States in historic times are the Indian 
trails. In large measure, these primitive lines have been followed as settle- 
ment has arlvance<l from the Atlantic seaboard westward. The early turn- 
pike built through New York, the Erie canal opened in 1825 and the great 
New York Central railway follow closely the ancient war-trail connecting 
the confederate nations of the Iroquois from the Hudson to the foot of 
Lake Erie. Michigan was traversed in all directions by the trails of the 
Indians and their numerous paths in Genesee county bear witness that 
here was a region important before the advent of the white man. In press- 
ing their way through the lands of the county from one township to another, 
the settlers constantly found the lines marked out by the Indians the most 
expeditious and, later, many of them were made the lines of township roads. 

Among the chief Indian trails of Genesee county was the great trunk 
line for travel north and south, having its terminals at Saginaw and Detroit, 
It came into the county on section 35, township of Grand Blanc, from 
Holly in Oakland county, passed through the township of Grand Blanc 
where the Saginaw road now is, and entered the township of Burton on 
section 32. Thence it crossed sections 30 and 19, passed through the pres- 
ent city of Flint and crossed the river at the Grand Traverse of the Flint, 
It divided into two trails north of the river, one running along the eastern 
bank of the river to Saginaw, and the other towards Mt. Morris, following 
the highlands, thence to Pine Run and Farrandville and left the county 



from section 3, township of Vienna. The swampy nature of the lands of 
the county in early times made the ridges and highlands the natural lines 
for the minor trails. 

By an early writer the trails of the valley of the Saginaw river have 
been likened to a fan spreading out in various directions from the lower 
valley and reaching the headwaters of various affluent streams. There is 
now great uncertainty as to the exact location of these trails, but one ran 
from a place up the river near Geneseeville southward on the watershed 
between Kearsley creek and the stream that enters the river on section 18, 
of Richfield. This trail passed across near the springs on section 35 of 
Genesee, and crossed Kearsley creek on section 2 of Burton, circling east- 
ward on the watershed between Kearsley creek and Gilkey creek, coming 
into Grand Blanc on section i, and crossing the main trail at Grand Blanc; 
thence it ran through sections 16 and 21 nearly along the state road to 
Oakland county, thence into Fenton, terminating at Long lake. Another trail 
followed the watershe<l between the two streams that enter the river, one 
on section 27 and the other on section 36 in Flushing township, and, fol- 
lowing the watershed through Hushing, Clayton and Gaines townships, it 
crosse<l the Shiawassee river where the road now crosses on section 26, 
coursed around Lobdeii's lake into Argentine township and thence across 
the comer of section thirty of I-^cnton. 

These were probably the principal trails across the county of Genesee 
(luring the time of the Sauks and down to the time of the coming of the 
whites. Of these, the Abbott history says : 

"The present county of Genesee was crossed in various directions by 
Indian trails, which by being traveled for years by themselves and their 
ponies had Ix:conie hard-l^eaten paths worn into the soft soil in some places to 
the depth of more than a foot. The principal of these was the "Saginaw 
trail," which was the Indian road from Saginaw to Detroit. Its' route lay 
through Genesee count}' from Pewonigowink up the Flint river to its south- 
ern bend, thence south by way of Grand Blanc and the Big Springs (Oak- 
land county) to Detroit. The place where it crossed the Flint was known 
as the Grand Traverse, or great crossing place, a name probably given to it 
by Boheu, the P>ench trader. A Ijeautiful open plain lying in the bend of 
the river, on the north side and contiguous to the crossing, was named, in 
Indian, Mus-cat-a-wing, meaning 'the plain burned oven' This is now in 
the first ward of the city of Flint, A part of it had formerly Ijeen used by 
the Indians as a corn field, and it was always a favorite cami>ing ground, 
as many as fifteen hundred of them having been seen encamped on it at 



one time by people who are still living. Over this trail, too, for years after 
the first settlers came to Genesee county, thousands of Indians passed and 
repassed annually, the throng always being particularly large at the time 
when they went down to receive their annuities. These yearly payments 
were made in the early times by botli the United States and the British 
governments ; the latter was usually paid at Maiden. The amount paid there 
was fifty cents a head to Indians for all ages from the red patriarch of ninety 
years to the papoose upon its mother's back. On these occasions, therefore, 
every member of the tribe took the trail tu be present at the muster for 
pay. After a time the British payments ceased and the United States adopted 
a plan of paying at inland points to avoid the demoralization which resulted 
from vast collections of Indians at Detroit. These interior payments were 
oftenest made at Saginaw, but on one or two occasions they were made at 
Pewonigowink. The money was silver coin and this was brought up from 
Detroit on pack horses. Two boxes of one thousand dollars each, weighing 
one hundred and twenty pounds, slung on each side, were a load for a pack 
horse. The party (generally consisting of an interpreter and sub-agent) 
made its way twenty miles per day and slept out in the woods without 
fear, though without firearms. The journey occupied four days from 
Detroit to Saginaw." 

The good roads movement, which has assumed such proportions in 
recent years, may be said to have begun in 1822. The old Indian trail from 
Detroit to Saginaw, by way of Royal Oak, Birmingham, Pontiac, Water- 
ford, Holly, Grand Blanc and the Grand Traverse of the Flint, had served 
for the traffic of the Indians and the early traders and as bridle path for 
the earliest white explorers, who followed it in their ex]>lorations. 

In 1822, the unrest of the Indians growing out of their dissatisfaction 
with the treaty of 1819, and their divided allegiance between the English 
and the Americans, caused the government to establish a military ^xist at 
Saginaw. Two companies of the third United States Infantry, under Major 
Baker, were transferred from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Saginaw, and tlie 
necessity of supplying this post made it imperative to improve the old trail. 
This was done by detachments of the soldiers, under the command of Lieu- 
tenants Brooks and Bainbridge. When their work was completed, it was 
so cut out and leveled that horseback travel in summer and sleighs in winter 
were possible. The old trait then ceased to be a trail and took upon itself 
the dignity of a road. It is said by one of the old chroniclers, that the 
soldiers built a bridge across the Flint, but if they did it was temporary and 
soon ceased to Ije usable for the puqKise intended. 



The garrison, notwithstanding the skillful attendance of the post sur- 
geon, Doctor Pitdier, found the place so unhealthy that it was withdrawn 
in the fall of 1823, and with its departure the needs that had caused the 
betterment of the road ceased and it fell into decay. 

While the garrison was at Saginaw, a contract was let to John Hamil- 
ton and one Harvey Williams to transport the supplies for the troops 
from Detroit to Saginaw. These two, with Ephraim S, Williams and 
Schuyler Hodges, went over the new road in the winter of 1822-3 with 
three sleigh loads of supplies. They had to put ail three teams of oxen to 
one sled to get it across the river and up the banks. 

With the coming of settlers the need for road repair being imperative. 
The terminus at Saginaw was a place of importance as the Indians there 
were expert fishermen and the trout they took were in demand by the set- 
tlers. In 1831 the sum of one hundred dollars was raised by popular sub- 
scription for the puqxise of cutting out the road from Flint to the Cass 

On November 15, 1831, John Todd, tavern keeper at Flint, Phinneas 
Thompson, and Albert Miller, school teacher of Grand Blanc, started out 
with axes, a tent and supplies for two weeks on their backs, to do the work. 
They moved out northward a few miles and camped, cutting back a day 
and then ahead a day, and then moving their camp again. At night, as 
Miller afterwards related, they were serenaded by wolves that gathered in 
large bands alx5Ut the tent at night. While at Birch Run, Miller thought- 
lessly left his leather mittens outside the tent and in the morning they were 
not to bt found; the wolves had eaten them. Reaching the Cass river 
they made a raft of ash logs cut out of trees on the river bank and crossed. 

The section of the road south from the Hint was not so well treated, 
for in 1832 Mr. William McCorniick, who came over it from Detroit, 
characterizes the road from Detroit to Royal Oak as the worst he had 
ever seen. He also says that the portion of the road from the old Indian 
trading house of Riifus W. Stevens, at Grand Blanc, to the Flint river, was 
only a sleigh road cut through the woods for winter use, and in many places 
not passable for wagons because not wide enough. Soon afterwards, he 
was called to go down the river as escort for a young lady who was to visit 
friends at Saginaw, and, with Colonel Marshall, of Flint, they accomphshed 
the route in two days by drawing the canoe over the riffles in many places 
where the water was too low for free navigation. 

The territorial roads built previous to the admission of Michigan as a 




State were practically all built to connect Detroit with Chicago and St, 
Joseph, and all of them, with the one exception of that from Rochester to 
Lapeer, ran south of Genesee county. 

W. R. Bates, in the Golden Jubilee history, says that the road from 
Detroit to Saginaw by Flint was surveyed in 1826, but that it did not reach 
Flint until 1833. The road map of the land commissioner of the state, 
which gives the territorial roads, does not include this one In question; it 
would seem that the road became a highway de facto, by its transition from 
an Indian trail to a road by the work of the soldiers, and that its further 
betterment depended more upon the vohintar\' ai<I of the settlers along the 

The "Emigrants and Travelers' Guide," published at Philadelphia in 
1834, contains a map of Michigan territory, and only one highway is desig- 
nated in CJenesee county, the one from Detroit to Saginaw, marked "Gov- 
ernment road." 

The early desire of better facilities for transportation, and the lines of 
communication most urgently needed by the settlers of Genesee after the 
state was formed, are reflected in the action of the first Le^slature of 
Michigan from 1835 to 1848, which authorized the laying out and establish- 
ment of a number of state roads. Among routes authorized for Genesee 
county, were the following: from Grand Blanc through the county seat 
of Lapeer to the mouth of the Black river, in St. Clair county; from Flint 
through Lapeer and Romeo to Mt. Clemens; from Flint to Ann .Arlwr; 
from Flint through the towns of Atlas, Groveland, Brandon and Indepen- 
dence, to Pontiac; from Flint through the Miller settlement, Shiawassee Town 
and Hartwellville, to Michigan village, in Ingham county; from Flint through 
the town of Gaines to Byron; from Flint through Conmna, to Lansing; 
from a point on the Saginaw turnpike about fourteen miles north of Flint, 
through Flushing, Murray Mills and Brighton to Ann ArijOr; from Fenton- 
ville to Brighton; from Fentonville to Byron, in Shiawassee county; from 
Fentonvilie to Springfield, in Oakland county. To authorize roads, how- 
ever, was not to build them; many of these roads "laid out and established" 
by the Legislature on paper were not for many years made ready for travel, 
and some of them were not built at all in the way originally intended. 

Road making, other than the state roads above <!escril>ed, began in 
the activities of James W. Cronk and R. J. Gilman. road commissioners of 
the township of Flint, which then included the present township of Clayton. 
Flushing, Montrose, Vienna, Mt. Morris. Thetford, Flint. Genesee and Bur- 



ton. On June 15, 1836, these two commissioners laid out ten roads, which 
were numbered one to ten inclusive, and were as follows : 

Road number one ran across the country from the Lapeer line on the 
east to the Shiawassee line on the west, its eastern terminus being the 
northeast corner of section i, tow-nship 8 north, range 7 east, and its western 
and northwest corner of section 6, township 8 north, range 5 east. This 
road is now the Frances road, except the eastern six miles between Forest 
and Richfield towns — those towns being then a part of Lapeer county. This 
Frances road therefore, has the honor of being the first recorded road in the 

lioad number two ran from the northwest corner of section 6, town- 
ship 7 north, range 5 east, east on township line six miles and a half to 
quarter stake on north side section 6, township 7 north, range 6 east. This 
road is now the Potter road between Flushing and Clayton, extended half 
a mile eastward. 

Road number three is described as running from southeast corner of sec- 
tion I, township 7 north, range 5 east, to southwest corner of section 6, same 
township, six miles. This is now the Beecher road, through the town of 

Koad num]>er four began at the southwest corner of section 6, town- 
ship 7 north, range 6 east, and ran one mile east, thence south five miles, 
along the section line, ending at the southeast comer of section 31 in the 
same township. The first mile of this road is now part of the Beecher road. 
One mile of the north, and the south five miles of this road, were discon- 
tinued by the commissioners of highways. December 17, 1850; the other 
four miles are not now used as a highway. 

Road number five ran south five miles from the corner of 
section 5, township 7 north, range 6 east, on section line, and is now the 
northern part of the Linden road, in the township of Flint, 

Road number six, commencing at the southwest corner of section 7J 
township 8 north, range 7 east, ran thence east three miles on section hne, 
and formed three miles of the Stanley road in the township of Genesee, 

Road numl>er seven commenced at the southwest corner of section 6, 
town.ship 8 north, range 7 east (the center of the village of Mt. Morris). 
and ran thence six miles east along the section line, and is now the Mt. 
Morris road across Genesee township to the Richfield line. 

Road number eight was the present Bristol road across the township of 



Roaii number nine was that part of the center road from Frances road 
south to the Stanley road and half a mile farther south, in the township 
of Genesee. This road now passes through Geneseeville and departs from 
the section line on which it was laid out to accommodate itself to the surface 
of the river valley. 

Road number ten, the present Hemphill road, just north of the county 
farm, one mile and five chains long, had its western terminus in the "Sagana" 
turnpike, and its eastern at the quarter stake between sections 29 and 30, 
township 7 north, range 7 east (Burton). 

On July 25, 1836, James W. Cronk and Charles McLean, road com- 
missioners of Flint, laid out four more roads. 

Road ntimber eleven was the present Vienna road across Thetford, 
running through Thetford Center and East Thetford. 

Road number twelve is now the Wilson road across the township of 

Road number thirteen is now the Dodge road across the township of 

Road number fourteen runs from the center of Clio due south on the 
section line to the town of Mt. Morris, a part of the Clio road. 

On August 3, 1836, commissioners Charles McLean and R. J. Oilman 
laid out road number fifteen, from a point on the "Sagana" turnpike, east to 
the quarter stake on the east side of section 24, township of Vienna, a 
distance of fifty-seven chains and sixty-seven links. This is now that part 
of the Smith road in the township of Vienna. 

On September 20, 1836, road commissioners James W. Cronk and 
K. J. Oilman laid out three more roads. 

Road number sixteen, from the quarter stake on the south line of 
section 30, township of Oenesee, east forty chains, thence north on section 
line forty chains, and east on the subdivision line twenty chains. This is 
now part of Pierson street, I^wis road and a short unnamed road in the 
township of Genesee. 

Road number seventeen was the present Calkins road across the town- 
ship of Clayton. 

Road number eighteen is now the county line road between Genesee 
and Shiawassee counties, along the west bounds of Clayton. 

Road number nineteen seems to have been partly recorded by the com- 
missioners, but the record was-erased, andon September 5, 1837, the then 
commissioners, James W. Cronk and John L. Gage, in order to keep up 
the consecutive numbering of roads, laid out a road and gave it number 



nineteen, as follows: Beginning on the east line of section 12, twenty-two 
chains and twenty-five links south of the northeast comer of said section 
12, in township 7. north, range 5 east, thence west nineteen chains and eighty- 
five links and ending north forty-five degrees west, thirty-two chains and 
fifty links. The record is attested by Orrin Safford, town clerk. This road 
was in north part of the city of Flint. 

Road number twenty, laid out September 20, 1836, by Commissioners 
Clark and Oilman, is, or rather was, a road within the present city limits 
and in this record we find the first mention of Saginaw street. The road 
commenced "at the stake in the center of 'Sagina' street, from which the 
section corner of sections 17, 18, 19 and 20 in township 7 north, range 7 
east, bears south nine degrees east, twenty-nine chains; thence south fifty- 
one degrees west, ten chains and fifty links on Shiawassee street, thence 
north thirty-nine degrees west, two chains and thirty-four links to a stake, 
from which a white oak eight inches diameter, bears north seventy-six 
degrees west, twenty links; thence south fifty-one degrees west, ten chains 
to a stake, from which a white oak bears north forty-five degrees west, 
sixty links; thence south six degrees east four chains to a stake, from which 
the quarter stake standing on the south line of section 18, bears north fifty- 
two degrees east, four chains and ninety-two links." 

Road number twenty-one, laid out September 20, 1836, by commissioners 
Cronk and Gilman. was the south three miles of Center road, in Burton, 
running from Maple Grove road north to Mill road. 

Road number twenty-two, laid out September 20, 1836, by the same 
commissioners, was the one mile of the Lennon road between sections 19 
and 30, township of Flint. 

Road number twenty-three, same date as number twenty-two, ran from 
the southeast corner of section 33, township of Flushing, north five and a half 
miles on the section line. This road as it now exists conforms to the descrip- 
tion alxjve only in two places. 

Road number twenty-four, of the same date as number twenty-two, 
is the road running north from the village of Flushing to the Stanley road 
and a half mile east of Stanley road. 

Road number twenty-five, of the same date as above, is three and a 
half miies of Elm road between Mt. Morris and Flushing from the north 
line of those townships. 

Road number twenty-six, of the same date, is the Stanley road from 
road number twenty-four east seven and a half miles, to the "Sagana" 



Road number twenty-seven, oi^^tlie saiii« *fate, is the ^tiort Of ihe Bris- 
tol road running from the Shiawassee" courlty line east eig'^ miles thff?(Igh 
Clayton into Flint township, to Otterbuiin. 

Road number twenty-eight, of the saiHe date,, is the Leiinon ("o^d ffoi# 
the Shiawassee line nine miles east through Glayt-inn to the middle «>^ flint 

Road number twenty-nine, of the same date, i& tfee Nichols road ;.''.«6ss 
Clayton from Gains to Flushing. 

Road number thirty, same date, is the river roftdl on west side of thf« 
Flint river from the southwest corner of Mt. Morris to the north line of 

Road number thirty-one, of the same date, is the Liiniieii road from 
north line of Mt. Morris to the south line of same, and south: by the set-off, 
half a mile into township of Flint. 

Road number thirty-two, same date, was the Corunnai road' hv>ret Shia- 
wassee county to Smith's reservation. This was afterwards- ihclbded in 
the northern state road of 1838. 

Road numlner thirty-three, same date, was the Calkins road' eaat from 
Clayton two and a half miles to Smith's reservation. 

Road number thirty-four, of same date, was the Webber mad. aiGiross 
Mt. Morris, from Francis road to the Potter road. 

Road number thirty-five, same date, was a section of the Pierson: roaid 
four and a half miles west from section 25 in Mt. Morris. 

Road number thirty-six, same date, is the Jennings road across- Mt. 
Morris, from the Frances road to the Potter road. 

On October 10, 1S36, Commissioners Cronk and Gilman laid out roads 
thirty-seven to forty, inclusive. 

Road number thirty-seven is the Morrish road from Swartz Greek,, 
six miles north. 

Road number thirty-eight was a road from southeast corner of^'seotibni 
34, Clayton, north six miles on the section line. The south mile'of this- 
road is now part of the Seymour road, and the north, two miles part of.' 
the Marshal! road ; the other three miles do not seem to have been opened^ 

Road number thirty-nine was to run from the southwest corner of 
■section 34, township of Clayton, north on the section tine six miles.- The 
south three miles of this road is now part oi the VanVleet road; the 'oliier 
three were not opened. 

Road number forty is the Mt. Morris road west from the center- of. 
the village of Mt. Morris, eight miles. 



On October 29, 1836, Commissioners Cronk and Gilman laid out the 
Dodge road across Thetford as road number forty-one. 

Road number forty-two, of Novemlier 8, 1836, was a road of the early 
day from the "Sagina"' turnpike, eastward to a point near the first of Smith's 
reservations; its exact location is now difficult to define. 

Road number forty-three, of March 20, 1837, laid out by Commis- 
sioners Cronk and Gilman, included a section of the Potter road, also of 
the Richfield road ami Western road. 

Road number forty-four, same date as forty-three, is the road running 
north and south through the middle of section 3, township of Burton, to 
the Ritchfield road in township of Genesse. 

Road number forty-five, laid out March 28, 1837, was the first road 
laid out by the commissioners with reference to the piat village of Grand 
Traverse; it commences in center of Detroit street, where North street inter- 
sects it, and runs north thirty-four degrees east to section i, etc. 

Road nunil3er forty-six was laid out December 19, 1836, by James W. 
Cronk and R, J. Gilman as road commissioners of the township of Flint, 
and Daniel B, Blakefield and C. D. W. Gibson as road commissioners of 
the township of Grand Blanc. It was eighteen miles long, and followed the 
three township lines between the township of Flint and Grand Blanc as 
then constituted. This road was divided into two parts of nine miles each; 
the township of Flint assumed the maintenance of the eastern part, and 
Grand Blanc, of the western. The portion of Flint was erected into road 
districts No. i of Flint, and Grand Blanc's portion into road district No, 
3 of Grand Blanc. 

Road number forty-sei'en, laid out by Commissioners Cronk and Gil- 
man, March 29, 1837, was a road in the vicinity of Farrandville and Clio, 
from the "Sagina" road. 

Road number forty-eight was the road from Clio north to the Saginaw 

On April 20, 1837, road commissioners, Cronk and Gilman, divided the 
township of Flint into seventeen road districts. On March 29, 1837, they 
altered the road running easterly from Kearsley street in the village of 
Fhnt to the southeast corner of section 5 (the Ridifield road) and, as defined, 
it became road numlier forty-nine. The record of this road is attested by 
Addison Stewart, town clerk. 

Road number fifty was declared such after a jury of twelve had declared 
the necessity of opening it, on the 29th day of March, 1837. It was in 
the heart of the present city of Flint, 



Road number fifty-one wels an alteration of the river road north of 
the river, in the vicinity of Flushing, made on May i, 1837; it was attested 
by Orrin Safford, town clerk. 

Road number fifty-two, opened May 15, 1837, by James W. Cronk, 
John L. Gage and A. H. Hart, road commissioners, was three miles of 
the present Atherton road in Burton, between the Center road and Vassar 

Road number fifty-three, laid out June 24, 1837, by Cronk and Gage, 
commissioners, was the street between the Stewart plat and Maplewood 
plat in the north end of Flint. 

Road number fifty-four, laid out July i, 1837, was a definition of the 
highway to connect with the easterly end of Fifteenth street as iaid out 
on the map of F'iint village. 

Road number fifty-five was the alteration of a pre-existing road in 
■ the southern part of Burton, but the road as so ahered appears to have 
been discontinued. 

Road number fifty-six was laid out on July i, 1837, by Commissioners . 
Cronk and Gage, from the present city of Flint to the southwest corner 
of section 35, township of Flint; part of it is now the Torrey road. 

Road number fifty-seven, laid out July i, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is the two miles of the VanSlyke road in the townshi]> 
of Flint, between the Atherton road and Maple avenue. 

Road number fifty-eight, laid out September 5, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, was a highway across section 34, township of Clayton ; but 
it appears to have been discontinued. 

Road number fifty-nine, iaid out September 5, 1837, by Cronk and 
Gage, commissioners, is now the Miller road from Flint to Otterburn. 

Road number sixty, altered and laid out September 5, 1837, by Cronk 
and Gage, commissioners, defines the river road down the river on south 
side and alters the earlier surveys of the same. 

Road number sixty-one, laid out June 8, 1837, by Commissioners Cronk 
and Gage, was a road on section 25, township of Burton, which seems to 
have been discontinued. 

Road number sixty-two, laid out September 26, 1837, by Cronk and 
Gage, commissioners, is the south half mile of the Lewis road north of 
the city. 

Road number sixty-three, laid out August 20, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is a small section of the Potter road from the Clayton- 
Flushing line to the river road. 



Road number sixty-three, laid out August 20, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is a small section of the Potter road from the Clayton- 
Flushing line to the river road. 

Road mimber sixty-four, laid out November 7, 1837, is obsolete. 

Road number sixty-five, laid out November 18, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, opened a mile of highway, now the Dye road between 
Beecher and Calkins roads. 

Road number sixty-six, laid out November 10, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is now the Eray road from Frances road to Stanley. 

Road number sixty-seven, laid out December 13, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is now the half mile of the Lewis road running south from 
the Carj^enter road. 

Road number sixty-eight, laid out Decemlier 22, 1S37, by Commis- 
sioners Cronk and Gage, is now the Atherton road from the Fenton road 
to the Van Slyke road. 

Road number sixty-nine, laid out December 22, 1837, by Commission- 
ers Cronk and Gage, was designed to change the course of the McKinley 
road three miles north of Flushing to curve eastward around the bend of the 

Road number seventy, laid out December 22, 1837, by Commissioners 
Cronk and Gage, is now the mile of the Need road between Frances and 
Mt. Morris roads. 

Road number seventy-one, laid out January 17, 1838, by Cronk and 
Gage, commissioners, defines a portion of the river road to Flushing through 
.section 5 and adjoining sections, town of Flint. 

Road number se\'enty-two, laid out January 24, 1838, by Cronk and 
Gage, commissioners, and road numljer seventy-three, laid out at the same 
time, described roads entering the site of our city; but they were evidently 
not of permanent use. The later highways of the city and the building 
of the roads outside on section lines seem to have supplanted these mean- 
dering roads. 

Road number seventy-four, laid out January 24, 1838, by Commis- 
sioners Cronk and Gage, is now the Linden road from the Potter road south 
to the river road. 

Road number seventy-five, laid out March 26, 1838, by Cronk and 
Gage, commissioners, appeared to have been straightened to conform to 
the section line and is now part of the Atherton road, immediately east of 
the Grand Blanc road. 

Road number seventy -six, laid out March 26, 1838, by John L. Gage 



and A. 11. Hart, commissioners, is now the Belsay road from ICai^t C^ourt 
road south three miles to the Bristol road, in Burton. 

Road number seventy-seven, laid out at same time as number seventy- 
six, across section 13, Burton, is supplanted b\' the Northern state road. 

Road number seventy-eight, laid out at same time as number seventy- 
six, is now the Davison road to Davison township, which then was the 
county line. 

Road number seventy-nine, laid out March 27, 1838, by Commissioners 
James W. Cronk, A. H. Hart and John L. Gage, now the Genesee road, 
north from Kearsley road in Burton to the corner of sections 34 and 35 in 

Road number eighty, laid out March 28, 1838, by Commissioners Gage 
and Cronk, includes the Clark road in Genessee, from Vassar road west. 

The town of Flint having been cut down in its territory by the forma- 
tion of the town of Vienna by Act 31, of Laws of 1837, comprising town- 
ship 9, of ranges 5, 6 and 7 (now Montrose, Vienna and Thetfonl), a 
re-districting of the town was made by Commissioners of Highway James 
W. Cronk and John L. Gage, March 27, 1838, dividing the town into eight 
road districts. 

Atlas, including the present Davison township, had also Ijeen formed 
into a township of Lapeer county, and by joint action of T. R. Cummings, 
Ira D. Wright and Parus Atherton, commissioners elected in the spring of 
1838 for the township of Flint, and Charles Vantine and Asa Farrar, com- 
missioners for the new township of Atlas, a new road, numbered eighty-one, 
was laid out along the then county line, now forming three miles of the 
Vassar road from Maple Avenue road north. This new road was to be 
maintained, as to the south half, by the township of I-'lint, and as to the 
north half, by Atlas. 

On June 18, 1836, Ira D. Wright and Parus Atherton, commissioners, 
laid out road number eighty-two, which is now that mile of the Geneset: 
road from Bristol road to Maple avenue road in Burton; and on the same 
day they laid out road number eighty-three, being the two miles of the Belsay 
road between the Atherton road and Maple avenue road, in Burton town- 

T. R. Cummings and Ira D. Wright, commissioners, on March 28, 
1839, laid out road number eighty-four, running across section 13 of Bur- 
ton, now part of the Lapeer road. This road was surveyed by C. G. 
Curtis, surveyor. 

On same day these coinmissioners laid out road number eighty-hve. 



to commence in "the old road on the north side of FHnt river where Wilham 
Blackington's west Hne crosses it," running thence by courses to connect 
with Third street, in the village of Grand Traverse. 

The same day the commissioners redistricted the town of Flint, divi<i- 
ing it into fifteen road districts. 

At the spring election of 1839 fra D. Wright, Ovid Hemphill and 
Willard Kddy were elected commissioners of highways of Flint, and on 
April 10, 1839, Wright and Hemphill, commissioners, laid out road number 
eighty-six, which commenced at the quarter stake in the east side of section 
29, Burton, and run west half a mile to the center of the section. This 
appears to have been the first act of Commissioner Hemphill and the road 
is appropriately called the Hemphill road. 

Road number eighty-seven, laid out July 15, 1809, by Commissioners 
Eddy and Wright, was an extension of TweUth street, village of Flint, 
and was attested in 1844. 

On November i, 1839, Commissioners Wright and Eddy laid out, as 
road number eighty-eight, a mile of road across the middle of section 36, 
Burton, from east to west. Only the west end of this is at present a highway. 

On December 12, 1839, the same commissioners laid out what is now 
-the Atherton road, from the Fenton road east to the Grand Blanc road, 
,as road number eighty-nine. 

P,oad number ninety, laid out December 30, 1839, by the joint action 
of Ira D. Wright and Willard Eddy as highway commissioners of the town- 
ship of Flint, and William Blades and John P. F-ritz. commissioners of the 
township of Grand Blanc, commenced at the southeast corner of the town- 
ship of Flint, on the county line between Genesee and Lapeer counties, and 
ran west on the township hne between Flint and Grand Blanc four miles 
and sixty-one chains to Saginaw turnpike. This is now part of the Maple 
Avenue road. 

Road number ninety-one, laid out March 13, 1840, by Commissioners 
Wright and Eddy, is now the Davison (formerly the Lyon) road from the 
curve in section 1, Burton, west to the "reservation," 

Road number ninety-two, laid out March 13, 1840, by Commissioners 
Wright and Eddy, is Fifth avenue from E>etroit street to the west line 
of Smith's reservation. 

On April 6, 1840, the commissioners again divided the town of Flint 
into sixteen road districts. 

John L. Gage. Asa Torrey and Henry Schram were elected commis- 
- of highways for Flint at the spring election, 1840. 



Gage and Torrey, July 4, 1840, laid out more accurately the portion 
of the Torrey road in section 26, township of Flint, as road number ninety- 

On January i, 1841, the three commissioners, Gage, Torrey and Schram, 
opened as a highway the mile of the present Belsay road between the Bristol 
and Atherton roads in Burton. This road was not designated by number. 

In March, 1841, the commissioners again re-districted the town of 
Flint into seventeen road districts. 

At the election of 1841 WilHam Blackington, Benjamin Boomer and 
Daniel Andrews, were elected highway commissioners and E. O. Leach, 
town clerk. 

On July 12, 1841, Commissioners Blackington and Andrews laid out 
road number ninety-four, in section 25, Burton. This does not appear to 
be a highway now. 

On June 14, 1841, the same commissioners laid out road number 
ninety-five, which is now part of the Vassar road. 

Road number ninety-six, laid out March 31, 1842, by Commissioners 
D. Andrews and William Blackington, was a road within the present city of 
Flint and had its terminus at "railroad''; it is now superseded by city streets. 

Road number ninetj'-seven, laid out March 29, 1842, by Commissioners 
Andrews and Blackington, began at the end of River road on the town line 
between Flint and Flushing running southeasterly to the road across Black- 
ington 's land. 

Road number ninety-eight, laid out March 29, 1842, by Commissioners 
Andrews and Blackington, is the present Western road in Burton from 
the Maple ave!iue road north to the Atherton road. 

Road number ninety-nine, laid out March 12, 1842, by D. Andrews and 
Benjamin Boomer, commissioners of highways, was a meandering road run- 
ning up the river from E. S. Walker's land to the village of Flint, to con- 
nect with road running northerly from Hazleton's Mills. 

Road number one hundred, laid out March 29, 1842, ran north from 
the village of Grand Traverse; it began at the southeast corner of block 
36, Grand Traverse (corner of Third avenue and Henderson street), and 
ran northeasterly by courses to the Genesee line. A part of this is n<nv 
St. Johns street. 

On April 23, 1842, William H. Lyon, Ada Torrey and Emery Church, 
newly elected highway commissioners of the township of Flint, laid out 
road number one hundred and one, now the east half-mile of the Hemphill 
road, Burton. 



Road number one hundred two was laid out, June 4, 1842, by Com- 
missioners Lyon and Church, from Court street south along the railroad. 

Road number one hundred three, laid out September 17, 1842, by Com- 
missioners Lyon and Torrey, is the mile of the center road between the 
Atherton road and Lapeer road, Burton. 

On June 6, 1842, William H. Lyon, Emery Church and Asa Torrey, 
Commissioners of highway of the township of Flint, and S. M. Smith, 
George Crocker and Andrew Hyslop, commissioners of highways of the 
township of Flushing, laid out road number one hundred four, running 
from the southeast corner of section 33, township 7 north, range 6 east, 
north to the Crocker {now Miller) road. 

It is to be noted that the Legislature bad set the west half of the 
present township of Flint into the township of Flushing, and by survey 
made January 21, 1843, Isaiah Merriman, county surveyor, defined the 
line by distances and courses. 

Road number one hundred six was laid out by Commissioners Lyon, 
Torrey and Church, January 28, 1843. It is now. that part of the Mill 
road in Burton, between Western road and Genesee road. 

The changes made in the boundary of the township of Flint neces- 
sitated the re-districting of the same, which was done April 23, 1843, by 
Commissioners Torrey and Church, dividing the township into twenty road 

Road number one hundred seven, laid out April 23, 1843, by the new 
commissioners of highway, C. B, Petrie, John Hiller and Horace Bristol, 
is now a small portion of Center road from Mill road north, in Burton. 

Road number one hundred eight, laid out at the same time by the 
same commissioners, connected the "river road'' with the "division road," 
now in city of Flint. 

Under head of road numljer one hundred nine, on May 10, 1843. the 
commissioners above named discontinued road number sixty-one, in sec- 
tion 25, Burton. 

Road number one hundred ten was located the same day by the com- 
missioners along the south line of .section 25, to take the place of the dis- 
continued road. 

On June 3, 1843, Commissioners Petrie and Bristol, of Flint, acting 
with Highway Commissioners Richard Johnson and Hanly Miles, of Genesee, 
altered a road between their township, as road number one hundred eleven. 
As this road commences at the Saginaw turnpike, at a certain distance from 



a white oak tree, it is rather uncertain to locate. It was somewhere in the 
north end of Flint. 

Road number one hundred thirteen was laid out by order of the court. 
Associate Judge Jeremiah R. Smith and Probate Judge Samuel Rice, and 
ran from quarter stake in south line of section 27, Burton, north to the 
former boundary of "town of Kearsley" three miles. Of this, only the 
mile between the alteration road and Mill road, and the part between Lapeer 
road and Court road, api>ears to be opened at this date. 

Under head of road number one hundred fourteen, is discontinuance 
order by the court in confirmation of the determination of the commis- 
sioners, under road one hundred nine. 

Under heading, road number one hundred fifteen, we have discontinu- 
ance of a road from the intersection of Kearsley street with Saginaw turn- 
pike, dated March 6, 1844. It appears that this road was discontinued on 
verdict of a jury composed of Adonijah Atherton, Perus Atherton, Joseph 
Chambers, John F. Schram, James Ingalls, Tunice Cole, Henry Schram, Ira 
Chase, H. Clark, P. A. Skinner, Truman Echram and William Chambers. 
The record is attested by Henry C. Walker, town clerk. John Hiller, 
Willard Fddy and Ira D. Wright were commissioners of highways of 
Flint in 1844. Pratt R. Skinner, deputy surveyor, did the survey work. 

In 1845, Ira D. Wright, Charles W. Grant and Daniel McKercher 
became highway commissioners of Flint and George R, Sprague, town 

In 1846, the highway commissioners of Flint were Gilbert Conklin, 
James Carter and T. J. Gates. These commissioners caused to be recorded 
certain surveys of roads. Of these, road number one hundred eighteen, 
laid out November 5, 1833, by J. Dayton and Edward Perry with John 
Todd, the first commissioners of highways of Grand Blanc, and the first 
in the present county of Genesee, surveyed by H. Park, surveyor. The 
record is as follows: 

"Mlnutea of 11 roiid ueur Steeveus' Grist Mill. Comiueuclng sit jin Elm tree four- 
teen incbea iu diameter, standing on the line of the V. B. Road soutli tliirty-eiglit degrees 
west, twenty-foni- chains and nlnety-flve links froni tbe N. B, comer of section nineteen 
township seven north of range aeveii east, thence south forty-live degrees west eighty-six 
chains and twentj-elght links to a iKist standing on the west side of said section. Thence 
on said line sonth one degree and thirty minutes east, four chains and sixty-eight Units 
to the southwest comer of siild section. Variation 2:30' east Nov. 5th, 1.S33. H. Park, 

J. Dayton ) Coins, of 

Edward Peri7 ) Higliways. 

Recorded at Flint the 5th (l;iy of Mny, A. D. IStC. 
Attest Geo. R. Sprngue town clerk." 



The grist-mill referred to was on Thread lake and, at the time the 
road was laid out, in the township of Grand Blanc. 

Road number one hundred nineteen was also laid out by Jonathan 
Dayton and Edward Perry, commissioners of highways of Grand Blanc 
township, August 29, 1833, also surveyed by H. Park, surveyor, com- 
mencing at a post on west side of lot i, and running- by courses and with 
reference to certain ]josts and trees now gone. This road was recorded in 
Flint township May 5, 1846, attested by George R. Sprague, town clerk. 

Road numljer one hundred twenty, a road from Steevens grist-mill, 
was also laid out by J. Dayton and E. Perry, commissioners of Grand Blanc, 
February 28, 1834, and it opened what is now four miles of the Fenton 
road south of Flint. This was recorded in Flint township, May 5, 1846. 
It was surveyed by Paul G. Davidson, surveyor. 

Road number one hundred twenty-one, laid out February 24, 1834, by 
John Todd and Edward Perry, commissioners, was "a road north of Flint 
river," and Ijegan in the middle of the United States road at southwest 
corner of section 30, of Genesee, and ran east to river, being the present 
Pierson road to river. This road was surveyed by James McCormick, sur- 
veyor, and was recorded in Flint township records, May 5, 1846. 

The activities of the commissioners of highways of Flint in 1846 were 
mostly in the line of correcting the surveys of existing roads, and espe- 
cially in making their roads conform to the road laid through the county 
by the state officials as the Northern State road. 

On February 16, 1847, they laid out, on the survey of Julian Bishop, 
county surveyor, the road now the Dye road north of the Calkins road 
in Flint township. And on March 2, 1847. they laid out the present Atherton 
road from the United States road east about two hundred rods. 

The commissioners of highways for Flint, elected in 1847, were Charles 
W". Grant, George Crocker and Jacob Eldridge, and A. Bump was clerk. 

In 1848 the commissioners were Ellas J. Bump, George Crocker and 
Charles W. Grant. On December 16, 1848, they recorded the survey of 
the State Road Commissioners J. P. Bloss, P. Miller and S, P. Stedman, of 
the State road from Flint to the town of Clayton. They also laid out 
certain roads within the present city of Flint. 

The changes of township lines by erection of new townships, and altera- 
tion of old township lines caused by the growth of new settlements, necessi- 
tated the recording by transcript of roads laid out in other jurisdictions, 
and we find on page 117 of the Book of Road Records of Flint town- 
ship the transcript of a road opened on the 15th day of May, 1838, by 



Gilbert Caswell, Benjamin Bower and Peter Miller, commissioners of Flush- 
ing township. This was a part of the present Beecher road and the river 
to Flushing west of the river. 

The next transcript is of an alteration of the road which would seem 
to have been the original Torrey road, made by Commissioners Gilbert, 
Caswell and Bower of Flushing, on May 23, 1834, 

The next transcript is of a road laid out along section line between 
sections 5 and 6 of Flint, to the river bank, and appears not to be used as 
such at the present time. 

The portion of the Dye road running one mile south from the Corunna 
road was laid out by Andrew Hyslop and Isaac Lyons, Jr., commissioners 
for Flushing, November 10, 1840, and recorded by transcript in Flint town- 

The next recorded transcript from the Flushing records was a road 
laid out March 24, 1842, by Anson Gilbert and William Lyon, commission- 
ers of Flushing, from the quarter stake in south line of section 4, township 
7, range 6, and running south thirty-seven degrees and fifty-five minutes 
east to the river road. 

Next we find a mile of the present Dye road between the Lennon 
road and the Bristol road, laid out by Simon M. Smith and Andrew Hyslop, 
commissioners for Flushing, July 25, 1842. 

On the 25th day of June, 1842, these two commissioners, with William 
Smith and M, L. Barret, commissioners of highways for the township of 
Mundy, laid the part of the present Calkins road running east from the 
present town line between Clayton and Flint, this road when so laid out 
being on the township line of Mundy and Rushing. 

Commissioners George Crocker, S. M, Smith and Andrew Hyslop, laid 
out, on May 23, 1845, the present Linden road from Maple. avenue three 
miles north. 

On March 18, 1884, George Crocker and S. M. Smith, as such com- 
missioners, laid out the mile of the Bristol road immediately east from 
the Linden road. 

On December 7, 1845', Commissioners of Highways E. G. Langdon 
and Jacob H. Coddington, of Flint township, laid out one and a half 
miles of the Lennon road east from the Dye road. 

On March 12, 1849, E. Walkley, surveyor, laid out a part of the road, 
now the Potter road, between Flint and Mt. Morris, and it was adopted and 
declared a highway by action of Ira D. Wright and William Bendle, for 
Flint, and C. B. Seelev and Joseph W. Metcalf for Genesee township. 



On August II, 1849, H. S. Penoyer, surveyor, laid out the road after- 
wards known as the Murray road, now a street in the newer part of the 
second ward of Flint, and his survey was made a record ' and the road 
declared such by action of Commissioners Ira D, Wright and Elias J. 
Bump, for Flint, the same day. 

The present Jiidd road from the Western road to the Saginaw road 
was declared a highway by the action of Commissioners William Bendle 
and Ovid Hemphill, November 6, 1849. 

Kearsiey street had been used as such and was so laid out and dedi- 
cated on the plat of the village of Flint river, so far east as East street, 
which was so called because it was the eastern boundary of the village at 
that time, so, on application of interested jjersons made to the commission- 
ers on the 3rd day of December, 1849, the commissioners, William Bendle 
and Ovid Hemphill, declared it to lje a highway farther out to the extent of 
an additional forty-one chains and twenty-five links, to west line of section 
7. This was in accordance with survey made b}^ Julian Bishop, surveyor. 
In I'^bruary of next year, 1850, the commissioners extended it still further 
and made a more correct description. These records of the opening of 
Kearsiey street are on pages 134 et seq. of the Book of Road Records of 
Flint township. 

The many roads evened by the commissioners of the townships of 
inint, Flushing, Mundy, Grand Blanc and other townships had by the middle 
of the century so covered the county with roads that their activity in that 
line ceased to a considerable extent, and thereafter we find them giving their 
attention to the improvement of roads already laid out and to correcting the 
descriptions, etc. 

On January 8, 1851, Supervisor A. T Davis, of Flint township, acting 
with James Carter and Ira Stannard, commissioners of highways, granted 
to tlie president and directors of the Genesee County Plank Road Company 
the right of way to use. for the purposes of planking the same, the Saginaw 
road so called, from Flint to the north line of Grand Blanc township. This 
action was cancelled by the same officers the same day and renewed by a 
more formal and accurately described road, immediately after such cancella- 

Thomas B. Begole ajjjiears on the records as one of the commissioners 
of highways for Flint, in the year of 185 1. 

We find about this time, alterations of the earlier roads, many of which 
were laid by metes and courses, to conform to the topographical conditions 




of the lands traversed; also changes to make the roads conform to the sec- 
tions Hnes. Among the activities of Commissioners Begole and Carter, in 
the !ast of 1851, were laying out a mile of road north from the Davison 
road, through the middle of section 3, now a part of our good roads system; 
the survey of a section of the road to the home of "Alonzo Torrey." St. 
John street was surveyed and recorded from a place near the "steam mill lot" 
to the Genesee town line. A section of the Calkins road west from the 
present city was another of their road creations. The "Northern wagon 
road" was altered by them. In conjunction with C. Cartwright and Nich- 
olas Hosmer, of Davison, which had now been set off from Lapeer county 
and into Genesee, they laid out the township hne road between Davison 
township and Flint, now part of the Vassar road. 

In 1852 we have the name of Grant Decker as commissioner of bijih- 
ways of Flint township, he who was the first mayor of the city of Flint. 
In that year they laid out a small part of the Jennings road north from the 
"reservation." This was accomplished in conjimction with commissioners 
of highways of Flushing, Arthur C. Andrews and Truman Herrick. The 
most important part of their official activity was the laying out of Court 
street east from East street, and the record of this act may be found on 
page 167 of the Book of Road Records of Flint township. 

In i85,-5 the additional commissioner was W. J. Cronk and the board, 
at that time arrived at the dignified position of having a clerk in the person 
of G. W. Hood. During that year they opened several roads, and among 
them one, in conjunction with the Flushing commissioners, along the line 
between the two townships, now part of the Potter road. 

Court street was o[}ened from a point near the small bridge eastward to 
a road "known and designated as the railroad." A part of Stockdale street 
was opened this year and a rather indefinite road near that extending east- 
ward. In December they laid out the Dye road from Maple avenue north 
to the Miller road. It appears that the latter road had acquired the name 
Miller road as early as 1853. 

In 1854 the commissioners had little in road opening to do, and the 
founding of the city of Flint in 1855 took away from them a great part 
of their resiwnsibility, the transfer of the city's street from them to the city 
authorities confining them to the country roads. The rather anomalous 
conditions that had existed when the growing population of the present city's 
limits had made a center of population that warranted the formation of a 
city government out of the township government, had placed a great burden 
of responsibility upon the township's officials, and it is to their credit that 



they did so well meet their arduous tasks and so well solved the matter of 
road making, upon which so much depended in the development of the county. 

A little before 1850 a new experiment in road making was tried in 
Genesee county, in common with the rest of the state. It consisted in 
covering a proposed route with a layer of wood, generally in the form of 
piank, from two to four inches thick, laid upon timbers placed lengthwise 
upon a graded roadbed. In the absence of railways these "plank-roads" 
answered a most excellent purpose. This was particularly so in those parts 
of Genesee where the sandy character of the land made obtaining a solid 
roadbed doubtful. Large corporations, heavily capitalized, were created 
by state legislation to exploit plank-roads in various parts of the state. In 
1847 was organized the first company whose proposed route lay across any 
part of Genesee — the "Pontiac and Corunna Plank-Road Company." It 
was authorized to construct a piank-road from Pontiac to Corunna, via 
Byron, in Shiawassee county, which would pass through the southwestern 
corner of Genesee; for some reason the road was not built. 

During the decade 1848 to 1858 several of these companies were char- 
tered for parties in Genessee county, and some of them built roads. Among 
them were the Genesee County Plank-Road Company, the Flint and Fenton- 
ville Plank-Road Company, the Saginaw and Genesee Plank-Road Com- 
pany, and the Oakland and Genesee Plank-Road Company. They first pro- 
posed to build a road from Flint to the south line of the township of Grand 
Bianc, on the Saginaw road. The plans of this company came to naught, 
though in 1854 Flint was connected through Grand Blanc with Holly on 
the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad; as early as 1858 more than fifteen thou- 
sand passengers a year were carried over it; its practical usefulness ended 
in 1864 with the opening of the Flint & Holly railroad. The second of 
the companies named proposed a road from Flint to Fentonville. This 
road was finally completed and proved very useful. Its charter was repealed 
in 1871 and no toll was taken after 1872. A fine graveled road has taken 
its place. The proposed road from Flint to the Saginaw river was also 
completed in 1852. This was of great benefit and was largely used until 
the opening of the FHnt & Pere Marquette railroad, from Flint to East 
Saginaw. The company last named was unsuccessful. Their purpose was to 
connect Flint with Pontiac by way of Grand Blanc and Atlas townships. 
Notwithstanding the "plank road fever" was at its height, the road was never 

Jn igog the board of supervisors adopted the county good road svstem 
and appointed the three members of the county good roads commission. At 



that time, 110 roads in the county could be classified as good roads, except 
some sniaJl isolated stretches. The standing of the county as one of the 
great auto niannfacturing centers of the world made this condition seem 
quite inconsistent, and the people of the county, realizing this, voted four 
hundred thousand dollars for road improvements. It has been the [wlicy 
of the commissioners to construct the main traveled roads and unite these 
into a system to meet the requirements of the county as a whole. Several 
trunk lines iiave been constructed across the county ; one hundred and ninety 
miles have been built and six miles were, in July, 1916, under construction. 
In the gravels of the glacial deposits have been found fine materials for road 
construction, and thus the ice age is doing an economic benefit to the people 
in Genesee county today. The Miller road to Swartz creek, the Flushing 
road, the old State road to Fenton, the old Saginaw turnpike from Grand 
Blanc to Pine Run, the Lapeer road, and the Corunna road, are among the 
best improved and most traveled of the new roads. This good work of the 
good-roads commissioners meets the hearty approval and co-oi^eration of 
the people of the county. The members of the commission are at the present 
time Lynus Wolcott, Fred R. Ottaway and Wilbur Becker. In the fall of 
1916 the board of supervisors took preliminary steps toward presenting to the 
people of the county a one-million-dollar bond issue for good roads. 

The activity in road-making throughout the county has t>een equaled 
only by the road improvement within the city. The commencement of 1916 
found Flint with twenty-four and one-half miles of paved streets, and the 
present season will add ten miles. The expenditure of igi6 within the city 
for pavement and sewers will approximate half a million dollars. This 
furnishes a fitting sequel to the subscription of one hundred dollars raised 
in 1831, and the cutting out of the brush and trees from the old trail between 
Flint and the Cass river, in November of that year, by John Todd, Phinneas 
Thompson and Albert Miller. 

Graveled turnpikes have taken the place of the short-lived plank-roads. 
Gravel beds are abundant in Genesee, and conveniently distributeil. At times 
these roads have been constructed by corporations, which have kept them in 
good condition and charged a nominal toll for all vehicles passing over them ; 
at other times, they have been kept in repair by the various townships. The 
automobile has worked a marvelous transformation in the condition of roads 
in the county, and the "good roads" movement has placed Genesee among 
the first counties in the state for the number and quality of her public road- 

The conmion public conveyance over the early roads from Genesee 



county to the rest of the world was the stage-coach. A reminiscence of this 
vehicle, given by a well-known newspaperman of other days, is as follows : 

Tlie old stage-coucli was the fastest and best public couveyauue by limd foi'ty-flve 
years ago. Its route was along the muin puHt-roads, and, iiltbougb u third of 11 century 
has elapsed since steam wae harnessed to the flying car and the whistle of the locomo- 
tive usurped the place of the echoing stage-horn that heralded the coDiing of the "■four- 
wheeled wonder," bearing the mail with the traveling public and their ba^uge, yet 
along the byways iind more secluded portions of our country the old stjige-coach, the 
venerated relic of our past, is still the speediest mode of ti-iivel and the stage-liom yet 
gives notice of its approach. Thus, In this "llrectloB, and In ninny others, we cany 
the |)ast with us. 

As one makes a pilgrimage, in imagination, along tlie old stnge-ronte, the spirit 
of the jiast seems to start Into charm, bringing back the old associations, "withdrawn 
afar" and mellowed by the light of other days. 

Reader, you can fancy this ancient vehicle — a black-painted and deck-roofed hulk — 
starting out from Detroit with its load of pasaengers. swlnghig on its thorough-br.ices 
attached to the fore and hind axle, and crowded to its fullest capacity. There was a 
boot projecting three or four feet behind for luggage; an iron railing run oroimd the 
top of the coach, where extra baggage or passengers were stowed, as occasion reyulred. 
The drher occupied a high seat In front: under his feet was a plitce for his trai's and 
the mail: on each side of his seat was a lamp firmly fixed, to light his way by night; 
inside the coach were three seats, which would accommodate nine passengers. You can 
Imagine the stage-coach, thus loaded, starting out at tiie ■'get-ape" of the driver, as 
lif (vai'ks his whip oicr the bends of his leiiders. when all four liois*s spring to their 
woik and anay goes the lumbering \ehicle. soon loht to sight in the woods, struggling 
along the old Saginaw road, lurching from side to side Into deep ruts and often into 
deeper mudholes. 

For bringing people to a common le^el, and making tlieni acijualnted with each other 
and tolerant of each other's opinions, gli'e nie the old stage coach on the old pioneer 
road. You can ride all day bj the wide of ii man in a riiilwny car and he will not 
deign to speak to you. But in the old coach, silence found a tongue, and unsociability 
a voice ; common, wants made them companions and common haiilships made them friends. 

Probably this was the only place where the Democrat and old-line Whig ever wei^e 
tn quiet juxtaposition with that acrid, angular, intensely earaest and cordially hated 
man called an Abolitionist. Spumed and "tabooed" as an agitator, fanatic and dis- 
turber of the public peace by both the old parties, his presence was as much shunned 
and despised as were his political principles. But tliis mnu thus hated was fouuil "cheek 
by jowl" with Democrat and Whig in the old stage. Who shall say that these old jiol- 
itlclans, sitting face to face with n C'lmmon enemy, and compelled to listen to "Abolition 
doctrine," were not benefited bj It? Perhaps this was the laiveu cast Into the Democ- 
racy and Whiggery of the past that fimilly leadened the nliole lump. 

When the roads were very bad the "mud-wagon," on thorough-braces, di-iiwii by 
two s|ian of horses was substituted for the regular coach. The verb tint was obsolete 
at such times, but the lerb xpnitrr was conjugated througli nil its moods and tenses. 
The wagon, the horses, the driver, and the iwissengers could testify to this, fur they 
were often literally covei'ed with "free soil." The driver, sitting high up on the front, 
was monarch of the road. B*ei-ytliing that could, must get out of his way. If there 
was any opitosltlon. he had only to slap his hand on the uiail-bag, and say, ''tincle 
Sam don't want this little satchel detained." And thus on they co. The drher, as 



lie ueais a tuioiu postofliLe bv the roadside oi *illafce nliip'i out ILie tin liorn fi iii 
its sbe^tli It his side iiud s^ids fortb a succesbiun of peulmg uotea that wake tlie 
slumbering echoes whjLh leierbuate and die awij in the dl&tant aicadea of the 
foiest The taiem oi iilHge citchiug the farat note of the horn iw im mediately 
awake 411 aie on the qui im to witness the coming In of tlie stage with its loiid 
if passengers aud to heai tht news fiom the outei norld loutxined lu the old itid 
locked leather mnilbag 

The stage-coach of loitj fiie jeais ago was an imiHutaiit institution Its coihIUb 
wns alnaj-a in inteiesting event It had ill the enchmtment about It that distance 
lend" The settlement or Milage hiiled its advent as a ship returning from i long 
Liulse bringing ielali\es friends ind news fitm i foreign land It linked the mood 
land ullages with each other and kept tiiem all in (.ommunicatkn with tlie i utslde 
"orid But tlitw little foui ntoked missives oming from long dis.tjute& whether 
biltct dour oi business notes had each i poatnl chiige of one-quirter of a dollii 
Correspondence cost something in those days 

The stat,e-coach so finiiliar to tlie flist geueritiou of the piesent centon wis 
famlliarl\ known is the Concoid coich and this no donbt oilglnated fiom the fact 
thtt the oiigluil pattern was built in Concord New Hampshire, which in fact is 
the habitat of this kmd of vehicle and the manufactnie is cairied on there to the 
I lespiit time 

The common stvle ot (onh coat probjbh fiom two huudied to thiee hundred 
doLlar« lud hnd i« ni iiiv kmd* of lunning and standmg rigging as a lebei wagon 
oi an iverage lake schooner On a lough load tlie middle seat was pieferable be- 
<a«se being placed aniidship the motion was a minimum one while the ftiwiid 
and i>iitlcHlarlT the lear seits snung up and down like the bow and stem of u sea 
going ship in a heavy sen bows on On a smooth road the back seat wis the 
lie plus vltia of comfort and the firat pisseigeis were suie to secure it With ii coach 
full of Jolly pissengtis in plensaiit weather and cuitaius close diawn it wts renllv 
a lUMiiious mole of tnveling, only es-telled on l.ind bj the palace cjr of aftei days. 
As early as 1833, Joshua Terry had a contract for carrying- the mails 
over the route between Pontiac and Saginaw. His trips were made weekly 
and he had limited accommodations for passengers. Upon the establishment 
of the land office and postoffice at Flint River village, WiUiam Cltfiford ran a 
line of stages to Pontiac. This line was continued under various manage- 
ments until the completion of a through route by railway. In an early num- 
ber of the Whig we find the following advertisement of Messrs. Pettee and 
Boss, stage proprietors : 

The stage for Pontiac leaves Flint each morning (Sundays excepted), stopping at 
Grand Blanc, Stony Run, Groveland, Springfield, Clarkstou, Austin and Waterford, 
and arrives at Pontiac in time to enable passengers to take the cars the Siime day 
for Detroit. 

E. N. Pettee, 
A. J. Boss, 
Flint, March 23, 1850. Proprietors, 

Mr. M. S. Elmore has written the following interesting reminiscence of 
the old IHint stage lines : 


GENTlSEE county, MICHIGAN. 279 

i''cmr or flvi! — surely not moip than a lialf doaeii— luerrbimts of earlier Flint 
reiuiiin to talk o\er exiiyriencos, when their goods and wiires were "liauled" on wagons 
from the stiitiona on the D. & M. nillway at Pontiac, FeiitonvUle or Holly — James 
Decker, WllUuni Stevenson, Jerome Eddy, Robert Ford, W. H. Hammersley, 51. S. 
Elmore, et al. Please note. I do not say earliest Flint, or, siiades of Cotharin, or 
I )'Doiioughue, tJrant Decker, Fox, Cuttiuiings. the Hendersons or Deweys mlgbt pro- 
test my little list were too recent, Sam Aplin, Charles Selleck and John Atchison 
n'ere the res|jonslble teamsters by whom all freight of whatever sort was transported 
fi'oiii the D. & M. R. R. to Flint, each malting not more than one trip per day over 
the uneven planlt roads, tiiroiigh ail seasons and in every kind of weather. The com- 
bined loads of these three teams would not have tilled the smallest modem freight 
i-ar on the F. & P. M. Travel over the siime routes on Boss & Borrell's line of stages 
was r^arded good evidence of progress and the plank road to Saginaw an important 
fact in facilitating travel and traffic, in tlie year of the advent to the writer to the 
city — 1858— more than fifteen thousand passengers having been transported oier this 
line of stages. One recalls the anticipated arrival and departure of stages — two, three, 
and BOmetinies six — at tlie old "Carletou," on fair days or four. And right here I 
^Uli take the liberty of quoting from an interesting letter to the writer, from a former 
Flint boy, J. Earl Howard, assistant treasurer of the P. M. Company and of the 0., 
H. & D. Railroad Company office at Cincinnati. Referring to this stage line. Mr. 
Howard says: "What a stir they used to make in the usually quiet town when they 
came in from Holly and Fentoii. More noise and bustle around the old 'Carieton' than 
there has been since with the new 'Brj-unt.' W. W. Barnes was the stage and express 
agent, and subswjuently the railroad agent when the line was opened to Saginaw, 
and the depot was located about JIcFai-lan's Mill, afterward joint freight agent of 
the F. & P. M. and Flint and Holly roads. Afterward the depot building nas removeil 
to the juncture of these two i-oads, on the river bank opposite the present passenger 
station of the P, SI. The old freight building Is yet doing duty in the railroad yards, 
on Kearsley street." 

'I~lie oldest highway in Genesee county is the FHnt river, which is men- 
tioned in the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787 admitting the Northwest 
Territory. By that ordinance it was provided that the waters of all the 
streams that found outlet of their waters through the St. Lawrence, and 
which were susceptible of navigation by boats or batteau, should be free for 
the use of the people forever. The Flint river has been held by the courts 
to be one of the streams that come within this provision, and hence we may 
say that this river is the oldest legal highway in our county. Even before 
this provision of 1787, the river was used for the canoeS of the Indians and 
batteau of the French traders who trafficked among the Indians for their furs. 
The Indians had many villages, small hamlets, along the banks of the streams 
of the Saginaw valley and to these the traders resorted; the river was the 
logical highway for coming and going among these villages. Mus-cat-a-wing, 
a Chippewa village on the site of the fifth ward of Fhnt, and Kishkawbee, 
another village of the same people, located on the bank of the river about a 
mile above Geneseeville, were two of these. On this waterway the most 



important place was the Grand Traverse, the ^xiint where the old trail from 
Saginaw to Detroit crossed the river, then the Pewanigo-win-see-be, or river 
of the fJints. This point was destined to develop into the city of Flint. If 
we were to go back into geological history, we would find a time when a 
great lake spread out over a great part of the county, covering half the 
present towns. Its waters, overflowing finally, by erosion of the glacial 
drift, found an outlet through the great moraine deposit which had dammed 
its floods. It drained these waters until the lake became a series of swamps ; 
then a drainage channel, developing through these swamps, gradually grew 
into a river and, sinking deeper into the till of the pleistocene over which 
it flowed, drained the swamps and became the highway for the canoes of 
the natives, just as the moraine where the lake found its outlet formed the 
line of least resistance to their travel overland. So the two routes, one by 
water and one by land, crossed where Flint now stands. It was not chance, 
but the slow evolution of natural forces, working through the ages, that 
ordained the building of our city where it now is. 

The navigability of our river, in common with the others of the Sagi- 
naw valley, was firmly believed in by the earliest settlers. Canal utility in 
the development of a country was firmly fixed in the common thought. The 
Erie canal was the great example. The guide books used by emigrants from 
the East advised them to take the Erie canal to Buffalo and the steamboat 
from there to Detroit. Many had come here by that route. 

In 1839, Gardner D. Williams, Ephraim S. Williams, Perry G. Gard- 
ner, James Frazier, Norman Little, W, L. P. Little, Thomas J. Drake, Ben- 
jamin Pearson, Rotjert F"". Stage, Wait Beach, Charles G. Hascall and T. L. 
Brent were authorized by the Legislature to o^wn books for the stock of 
the "Genesee and Saginaw Navigation Company," which was thereby incor- 
porated. This corporation was authorized to enter upon the Flint river and 
lands on either side; to use such materials as it required to erect its dams, 
locks, tow path, etc.— in fine, to do anything proper to canalize the river 
from Flint village to a point in section 35 or 36, town 11, range 4 east, near 
the city of Saginaw. Not only did the ambition of this company contemplate 
the navigation of the river from Flint to Saginaw, but it proposed to connect 
the Cass river by the most direct and eligible route. 

So certain was the navigibility of the river fixed in the minds of the 
Legislature even, that when, in 1835, the legislative council of the territory 
gave to Rufus W. Stevens, of Grand Blanc, and James McCormick the 
authority to build the dam in the Flint river "at or near where the Saginaw 
turnpike crosses the river," it was expressly provided that they should make 



and maintain a lock for the passage of water craft, ninety feet long and 
sixteen wide, and from slack water below the dam to slack water of sufficient 
depth a)x)ve the dam for the protection of the navigation rights of the nsers 
of the river. 

The navigation company apparently did not succeed in its promotion 
plans, for in 1844, by an act entitled "An act to improve the navigation of 
the I'lint river," there was appropriated out of the lands of the state for 
internal improvements a tract of five thousand acres "for the purpose of 
clearing the fiood wood from, and otherwise improving the navigation of, 
the Fhnt river from the village of Flint to the Saginaw river." The improve- 
ment contemplated by this act was left to the commissioner of internal im- 
provements, who might dig a canal around the obstructions in case it seemed 
to him the better way to accomplish the desired ends. 

In 1846 a new corporation was organized, "The Genesee and Saginaw 
Navigation Company," with Chancy S. Paine, George M. Dewey, Eugene 
Van Deventer, James Frazer, Henry M. Henderson, Porter Hazelton, Ezek- 
iel R. Ewing, James B. Walker. Joseph K. Rugg, Elijah N. Davenport, 
Nelson Smith and William McDonald as incorporators. This company had 
the same powers as the former company, but their limits were from Flint to 
the mouth of the Shiawassee river. Similar organized efforts were made 
aljout this time to navigate the Shiawassee and the Cass. 

This company was, by an act of the Legislature of 1850, authorized 
to make the charges therein specified for carriage of one thousand pounds 
per mile, for freight of various classes; flour, salted pork and beef, butter, 
cheese, whJske}' and beer, cider, etc., were in the same class. This act was 
passed on the 2nd day of April, 1850, and a few days afterwards the scow 
"Empire," frying the flag of the United States, had left Flint for its maiden 
trip to Flushing with jmssengers and a cargo of freight. Some later trips 
are recorded. But the navigation on the river was not demonstrated to l>e 
feasible and, as Mr. Bates in the "Jubilee Historj' of Flint" says, the coming 
of the plank road soh-etl the trans}>ortation question against the waterways 
and the attention of our road builders was turned into another channel. 

The real utility of the river as a water highway began about the year 
1846 when the lumbering interests commenced the operations that after- 
wards became so extensive. When the attention of the builders of our 
county was directed to the value of the timber along the river above the city, 
its manufacture into lumber soon became the leading industry. The first 
uses of the river were of little importance measured by the value of the logs 
transported, but the larger operations of the years beginning with 1848 made 



it a matter of vital import to the groyving lumber industry. For a genera- 
tion after 1848 the river was the center of the greatest activity. Rafting 
was never a part of this transportation, as the distance was not so great as 
to require rafting of the logs; but the drive, in the earlier period was very 
important, as was later the booming of logs and transporting of same by 
the boom company which was organized to meet the greater needs of the 
growing industry. 

The use of the river for log driving ceased about 1878. Since that time 
the river has been deserted by craft of industry, but its use for pleasure 
craft has grown to a considerable extent. Alx)ut the year 1900, "Cap" 
Foster owned and ran the "Caprice," a steamer of about one-hundred-pas- 
senger capacity, on the slack water of the dam above the city to Hitchcock's 
Grove, a favorite place for picnics. Shortly after that time W. H. Smith 
came to Flint and he built the "Dawn," a steamer of about the same capacity, 
and ran it for pleasure parties on the river. He was joined later by his 
brother, Louis Smith, and together they have navigated the river for pleas- 
ure seekers since that time. Their gasoline launch, the "Mego," was a 
familiar sight along the river for years, and later the "Genesee" and the 
"Belle" have carried many thousands. The opening of Owana Park, farther 
up the river, made a new place of resort and there are now from seventy- 
five to eighty launches on the stretch of river above the dam. The limit 
of this navigation was the Hitchcock grove for many years, but later im- 
provement has made it possible to run launches five or six miles up the river 
and in very favorable water conditions some have gone up to Geneseeville. 


Geoz,ogic Conditions of Settlement. 

In its geological structure the county of Genesee presents ;i double 
aspect. The geologists of the state a,ptly call the first the "bed rock" geology. 
This is the bed rock basis upon which the other structure, consisting of 
glacial drift, is superimposed. If this covering of glacial materials couid 
be removed and the basic rocks underlying I;>e exposed in their contours, 
the landscape that would be presented would be of extreme interest. It is 
not at all easy to visualize this hidden formation that upholds the later 
deposits, but from the data that we have from driiiing wells, from some 
shafts that have been sunk for purposes of coal explorations, and from 
excavations for quarries and clay mining, we may get a glimpse of it. 

Certain river beds and smaller drainage courses would be seen, and 
the general course of the principal one would be found meandering across 
the county from the southwest toward the northeast, and at this time but 
partially defined, as the drillings have not been sufficiently extensive to give 
all the desired data. 

Outcropping the rocky banks of these courses would be found sand- 
stone, of considerable thickness in places, interstratified with shales, thin 
veins of limestone and, rarely, very thin coal veins. In the bottom of these 
Iieds might also be formd, exposed at intervals, coal veins of considerable 
thickness. The depth of this principal drainage bed has been determined at 
certain points to have been at least three hundred and twenty feet — in the 
northeastern part of the country. 

It may be said that this river bed runs approximately across the towns 
of Argentine, Gaines, Mundy, curving eastward through Grand Blanc into 
Burton and toward Thread Lake, crossing the city of I-ilint toward the hos- 
pital, thence northward toward Mt. Morris, turning then into Genesee town- 
ship, and through that meandering toward Forest and through that town, 
where it reaches its greatest depth. 

This pre-glacial valley, which the oil drillers of Ohio would call the 
"lobe," had its lateral affluent valleys. To Henry Meida, an experienced well 
driller, whose work has extended through many of the towns of our county 



antl who hiis been interested to keep records of other wells, we are indebted 
for these facts. From his statement the various depths of hard rock under 
the city of Flint are as follows : On edge of Thread Lake and near Stan- 
ford avenue, 220 feet; on Nichols street, near Swartz creek, 20 feet; on 
Grand Traverse street, corner of Court, 70 feet; on comer of Beach and 
Ninth streets, 100 feet; on Fenton road east of G. T. tracks, alxiut 56 feet; 
near M. S. D., ico feet; a mile south of that, 150 feet; coal mine of Old 
Genesee Coal Company, 150 to 180 feet; corner of Detroit and Ninth ave- 
nue, 130 feet; near Crosby and Detroit streets. 200 feet. Away from the 
principal drainage course as given above, the depth in many places runs 
:iIjout twenty to thirty feet. 

In general terms, the hard rock formation under our county may be said 
to be of the Saginaw and Woodvitle formations, as classified by our state 
geologists, corresponding to the Conemaugh of Pennsylvania. It is of the 
upper coal measures and a part of the great central coal basin of lower 
Michigan, which comprises the coimties of Shiawassee, Clinton, Ionia, Gratiot, 
Isabella, ilontcaini. Midland, Saginaw, Bay, Genesee, and parts of many 
adjoining counties. Saginaw, in particular deserves special mention, as it is 
there and in Bay county adjoining, that this coal region referred to has been 
commercially developed. If we will bear in mind the mitten shape of our 
peninsula, this coal basin might be' figurativeh said to lay in the niittenod 

]\lr. Brentz, now of the geological department of Chicago University, 
when he was teacher of Flint high school made some geological explora- 
tions of the county. He states that the general surface of the underlying 
hard rock foundation of tlie county conformed generally to the surface of 
the present time, suggesting that the distribution of glacial materials over 
thi*^ hard rock Ixisis was ratlier uniform in thickness, or relatively so. 

The present surface of our county, its physiographic features, the con- 
tour of its hills and valleys, however, are the results of a different and later 
geological period — the period of glacial action, when the ice fields that covered 
the greater part of northern United States hid this hard rock, filling in its 
drainage courses, its river l)eds that had been eroded through the action of 
water during the long geological ages, and made a new surface. The old 
things passed away and new conditions reigned. The rugged rocky hills, that 
towered above these ancient valleys and ravines, with their caverns, and rivers 
running over rock and shingle, were hidden by tlie gravels, sand, till, clay and 
boulders that were transported by the mighty force of the moving river of 
ice from the north, which flowed a few feet each year over our land, and 



finally, when that ice sheet receded under the heats of an aUcred chniate, tlie 
receding glacier, halting its retreat here and there as though reluctant to 
give back the land that it had conquered, standing at bay for a time, spread- 
ing tiie earth that was part of itself, here in mounds, there in ridges, damming 
the waters, or directing their courses, made a new land and prepared for a 
new life. The river that had been, ceased to be, and a new river was born, to 
run according to the will of the glacier that gave it being. The genius of the 
ice was not content to take a life, as in the poem of Goethe, but busted itself 
with making a continent. 

When the receding glacier had so far retreated that the southern portion 
of the state was freed from the ice, the lobe that pushed itself up through the 
bay of Saginaw, lingered, and its various stages of recession and retrogres- 
sion made the hilis and valleys, guided the waters of our county, made the 
soils, piled up the gravels, spread the clay, the sand and gravels, and gave 
]K>tential being to the deposits of mar! in the lakes; then the county of 
Genesee was formed and its future was determined. 

This lobe, the Saginaw glacier, spread out over the entire county. Its 
effects upon the drainage were especially interesting and here is perhaps the 
best example of what the geologists have termed the "willowy" system of 
drainage. If we will note the direction of tlie streams, that together are the 
drainage of the Saginaw valley in its extreme extent, we will see this system 
in its perfect development. Turn a map of Michigan over so that we face the 
head of the bay of Saginaw. Note the Saginaw river entering the head of 
the bay, then follow the Cass river up from the entrv^ of that river into the 
Saginaw, to its head waters, and we see that the main river follows along a 
course that almost parallels the shores of the bay, curving around southwest- 
erly, then west, then north by northwest, until it joins the Saginaw ; then 
follow the course of the Tittabawassee. as it curves around parallel to the 
western shore of the bay, in a similar way, until it reaches and joins its waters 
with those of the Saginaw and Cass, and all are discharged tlirough the Sagi- 
naw into the bay. This system of drainage, from its similarity to the willow 
tree, gives the name "willowy" to the geological nomenclature of this day. 
The Saginaw river forms the trunk of the tree, the two rivers named form 
the drooping branches, and the other affluent streams, the tree top, and the 
striking similarity is apparent. 

The question occurs. What is the cause of this pecuHar drainage system? 
Why did not these rivers all flow direct toward the bay which finally received 
their waters? The explanation is the glacier. The waters of Genesee county 



furnish a less conspicuous example o£ the same kind of drainage and its 
course is also assignable to the same cause. 

The sites of the two most southern townships of our county, Atlas and 
Fenton, were the first to emerge from the ice of the glacier. For a con- 
siderable period of time after their emergence the rest of the county con- 
tinued to deposit its earthy materials along its edge, forming a distinct 
moraine across these two townships, and damming the waters that were along 
one edge, which, following the line of least resistance, toward the west, formed 
the Shiawassee river; its course is directed by moraines of the two townships. 
The emergence of these two townships from the field of ice meant their 
general submergence by the waters of the glacier. The lakes formed by these 
waters still exist in the following: Copnaconiec, Long, Loon, Mud, Silver, 
Ryan, Pine, Squaw, Lobdell, Shina, Mecastin, McKane and Myers, together 
with nianj- unnamed ponds and kettle holes. 

The Shiawasse river receives its tributaries from the south, except some 
of the lakes mentioned, which discharge their waters into that river. These 
two towns cHspIay the most striking evidences of giaciai action ; the names and 
ridges are marked, in many places, of considerable magnitude. There are few 
places Ijetter adapted to the study of glaciation than this portion of Gene- 
see county, not even excepting the region of Green Bay, Wi,sconsin, nor the 
Leaf Hills of Mmnesota. 

Of the Shiawassee river, Mr. Bretz says: "Bnt a few miles north the 
land lies lower than the level of the stream (Shiawassee). The river does 
not flow north seeking this lower level, because a moraine borders its north- 
em side and the valley it occupies was first formed by border drainage from 
the ice sheet at the time the moraine was built. The actual surface of Gene- 
see county at that time was much higher north of the Shiawassee river, be- 
cause the great ice sheet covered the land. As it melted, its waters ran along 
its edges through this part of the county, eroding a valley, which the pres- 
ent Shiawassee now occupies, though a puny successor to the glacial streams." 

A further recession of the Saginaw glacier, and a temporary stand of its 
field of ice, is marked by a line running through the townships of Forest, 
Richfield, Genesee, Flint (city and town), the corner of Clayton, and per- 
haps Gaines. This stand is evidenced by morainic deposits along the north- 
em banks of the Flint river and the Swartz creek. This moraine holding 
back the waters, and the glacier itself, which as Mr. Bretz suggests, made the 
northern part higher, dammed the waters, forming an extensive lake cover- 
ing the greater portion of Burton, Mundy. Grand Blanc, Davison and Rich- 
field. And this lake finally, after the glacier had further receded, found an 
outlet through the great moraine where the city of Flint now stands and in 



the fifth and third wards, forming the Fhnt river as the trunk of the willow, 
which with the upper Flint river, the Swartz creek, the Thread rJver, the 
Kearsley creek and the smaller streams, make up our local willowy drainage. 
This drainage basin is made up of gently sloping general surfaces, all tend- 
ing toward the eroded outlet of the ancient lake at Flint, and coming- from 
the east rather than from the west, as the general slope of the county towards 
the northwest would lessen the drainage from the west. The Swartz creek, 
because of these facts, furnishes the smaller contribution to the waters of 
the outlet, the Fhnt below the city, than the other side of the willow tree. 

To quote Mr. Bretz again, "Thus, practically the whole drainage of the 
southern half of Genesee county, excepting the Shiawassee river, comes to 
one point where the Flint river cuts through this moraine in the west part 
of the city of IHint. North of this barrier, the Flint moraine, the streams 
again take the consequent course with minor deflections. Since the surface 
is more or less irregular with small moraine ridges and the beaches of a 
second glacial lake, the adherence to a strictly consequent course is not 

This covering of the basic rock formation by the glacial detritus, be- 
longs to the pleistocene i>eriod. In this drift may be found the rounded 
boulders from the granitic rocks of the far north, the sands and gravels, 
decomposed remains of the sandstones, clays of various kinds, in which the 
blue clay predominates, and which, in some of the lower portions, assumes 
a semi-stratified appearance. 

The materials of this period have been of great importance in the econ- 
omic development of the county. The absence of exposures of stratified 
rocks made the quarrying of stone impossible except in the township of 
Flushing and along the lower stretches of the river; the boulders entered 
into tiie building of the foundations of the early homes of the city and 
rural portions of the county. Sand of suitable quality for building purposes 
is found in nearly every town. In many places it was not uncommon to 
find sand in the excavation for the foundation, of suitable grade to make the 
mortar for the walls. Gravel for road-making was also common as a part 
of the glacial materials. In 1913 there were thirty-three dealers in sand and 
gravel for commercial purposes in the county of Genesee; the townships of 
Atlas. Burton, Davison, Fenton, Flint, Flushing, Chines, Genesee. Mundy, 
liichfield and Vienna were all represented in the list. 

The lakes of the southwest part of the county contain marl of a high 
degree of purity and great commercial value. The deposit is both rich and 
of great depth. In the early days the settlers used it to a limited extent for 
burning lime, and it entered into the building of foundations and the plast- 



ering; of houses of settlers. The lime used in the early building activities 
of the city of Flint came for the most part from similar marl deposits in 
similar glacial lakes of Lapeer county near the line of Genesee. Of these, 
Lime lake furnished i^erhaps most. l"his marl was also used 1)\' the house- 
wives for scouring materials. 

Transported boulders of limestone sometimes occurred of sufficient size 
and frequency to use for lime burning. One instance of this was an especi- 
ally large boulder of that stone on section 7, township g, range 8, east, 
Forest township. 


The growth of the Portland cement industry in Michigan from a single 
plant in 1896, with an output of seven thousand dollars value, to ten plants 
in 1912, with an annual output of more than three millions value, has caused 
the marl deposits in the glacial lakes of Genesee county to become of great 
industrial importance. Before the year 1900 options were taken upon the 
marl rights in several of these lakes, and in 1900 these options were taken up 
and the rights secured from the farm owners of the lands around and under 
the lakes. That year the Detroit Portland Cement Company and the Egypt- 
ian Portland Cement Company began building o^jerations on the shores of 
Silver and Mud lakes. Since then their operations have increased. They 
first began to produce cement in 1902 and, with some exceptions caused by 
re-organization and Htigation, have done an increasing business. The Aetna 
Portland Cement Company, under the management of Mr. Simmons, has 
been especially active and prosperous. It now has eight kilns and a daily 
output of about thirteen or fourteen hundred barrels. They are now instal- 
ling two new kilns of great capacity, and their prospective output when these 
are in operation will be about eighteen hundred barrels of cement per day. 
The market is practically all in the state of Michigan, about fifty^ per cent 
going to Detroit. Their mad runs over ninety per cent of carbonate of 
lime and an analysis of this marl some time ago shows as follows: 

Silica .96 

Alumina and Iron .44 

Lime 5-43 

Magnesia i-66' 

Carbon ioxide 42-99 

DilYerence 1.52 



The depth of this marl deposit is in some places as great as twenty-seven 
feet, and enough is in sight, as stated by Mr. Simmons, to assure the active 
operation of their plant for thirty years. The clay, sufficiently rich in com- 
bined silica, has not as yet been found in quantities in Genesee county, and 
at the present time it is brought from the vicinity of Corunna. The estimated 
possible production of one of these companies in 1900, after a careful examin- 
ation by competent persons, was over twenty-eight million barrels, and the 
present output of the two companies must run near eight hundred thousand 
barrels per year, with prospect of over a million next year. 

The salt industry has ne\'er been a part of the activities of this county, 
although some attempts were made in the days of the saw-mills. The salt- 
bearing strata underlie our county, and about fifty years ago a well was 
drilled by H. H. Crapo near the present lumber yard of the Randall Lumber 
Company with a view to salt-making. The use of sawdust for fuel to evapor- 
ate the brine was one of the plans of the mill men. The well was sunk fifteen 
hundred feet or more and brine was found, but the plan was abandoned, the 
brine Ijeing insufficiently rich in salt to make the manufacture of salt an allur- 
ing field. Somewhere in the boulevard Jjetween the lumberyard of the Ran- 
dall Company and the river, you may walk over this buried salt well. 

One of the mining industries of the county is the clay mining of the 
Saginaw Paving Brick Company, of Saginaw, which for some years has 
operated a clay mine down the river from the village of Flushing. The clay 
is called "fire clay," and it forms a stratum beneath some overlying strata of 
sandstone and shale. It is taken out by a power plant on an inclined tram- 
way and shipped to Saginaw. The extent of this mining has resulted in an 
excavation of large dimensions, and to a depth considerably below the level 
of the river which runs nearby. This excavation furnishes one of the very 
few exposures of hard rock in the county, and the strata consists of sand- 
stone and shales. It is said that a thin coal vein was also tapped that fur- 
nished coal sufficient to run the engine for power. The mine is on the 
southwest quarter of section 22, township 8 north, range 5 east. 

Following are the chief physiographic characteristics of the townships 
of Genesee county, and some of the ways in which they have been related 
both to the red men and to the white settlers. 


There is hardly a township in the county of Genesee where clays suit- 
able for brick making are not found. In the earliest times, when the city of 




Flint was Just l^eginning to grow and brick stores were coining into use, tlie 
brick was made near Detroit street, in the present fifth ward. Later it was 
also made in various portions of the second, third and fourth wards. At 
the present time a sandstone brick is made in larg-e quantities on the western 
side of the city of Flint by the Flint Sandstone Brick Company. This brick, 
unlike the other makes, is of sand and stone lime. The sand is taken from 
the lands of the company just outside of the city, and is rich in silica, while 
the lime comes from the northern part of the state. The annual output of 
this company is over six million brick, and all of this product finds a market 
in the city of Flint. 

Brick of the common kind is made at CHo, Atlas, Duffield, Gaines, Grand 
Blanc, South Mundy and Otisville, lieing the ordinary red brick, from the 
clays containing oxide of iron. 

The coimty of Genesee contains many artesian wells, the most prominent 
one being the mineral well at the corner of Saginaw and First streets, in the 
city of Flint. This well is alx)ut three hundred and seventy-six feet deep. 
When it was first bored, and not to its present depth. Dr. Orson Millard, of 
Flint, a physician and chemist of recognized ability, analyzed its waters and 
found it to contain organic elements as follows : 

To one pint of water- 
Sodium Carbonate 0.434 gr. 

Magnesium Carbonate 0.432 gr. 

Ferrous Carlxinate 0.088 gr. 

Calcium Carbonate 0.724 gr. 

Potassium Chloride 1.227 §•"- 

Sodium Chloride i-SQi gr. 

Magnesium Chloride S--^^^ gr. 

Calcium Chloride 0.761, gr. 

Calcium sulphide 9-392 gr. 

Silica 0.064 gr. 

Alumina 0.054 gr. 

Org. matter and loss 0.083 gf. 

20.081 gr. 

The well bored for salt by H. H, Crapo was also an artesian well and flowed 
for many years ; its waters were too salty for domestic use and were also 
charged with minerals other than salt. Artesian wells have been drilled at 



many places in the town of Davison, the one in the village near the de[)Ot 
being typical, the depth running from two to three hundred feet. There are 
many flowing wells in this township. In Mundy township, and near the line 
between Flint and Mundy, there are quite a number of artesian wells, also 
some near the Genesee line northeast of Flint. On the river flats near the 
Chevrolet plant there are several such wells in use, and (if great utility. 

Another plant that uses the materials of the county economically to a 
great extent, is the Ruilders' Supply Company, of Flint, which manufactures 
building blocks, tile and ornamental cement work, from the cement made at 
Fenton of the marl described above. This company also finds in the sands 
of the county another material for its manufacturing purposes, and is now 
putting out twelve to thirteen hundred blocks of different dimensions per 
day, all of which is eagerly waited for by the builders of Flint. 

Tile making from the clays of the county has been an industry of Grand 
Pilanc, Atlas and Davison, and also of Duffield, but the present operations are 

That the greater portion of Genesee county is underlaid by coal strata 
of economic value is quite certain. In times past there have been attempts to 
open mines for taking out coal, but until recent years it has not been of great 
success, nor is it at the present time of importance in supplying the needs of 
the city and county. Mr. Brueck, of Bay City, at one time operated a mine 
in the northern part of the county, in Montrose, but it was not a paying 
business and soon ceased. The Genesee Coal Company and others in recent 
years have opened some shafts in the vicinity of Flint, especially on the Burr 
farm in the eastern part of the city, but their output has been small and 
difficulties in getting rid of the water has made the mining costly. The 
industry will probably become important in the future when engineering has 
solved the water problems, and perhaps it is for the l>enefit of all that this 
valuable natural resource be conserved in nature's storehouse under the county 
of Genesee for the future use of its teeming thousands, than to have it 
exhausted by the present generation. 

The latitude of the city of Flint is forty-three degrees and one minute 
north ; its longitude is eighty-seven degrees and four minutes west. As the 
city is nearly the geographical center of the countj-, the latitude and longitude 
of the other portions of the county may be determined from that of the city. 

The altitudes of the various railway stations, as determined from rail- 
way surveys and levelings, are as follows: Crapo F'arm, 774 feet above sea 
level; Davison, 788 feet: Duftield, 780 feet; Fenton, 907 feet; Flint City, at 
the Grand Trunk depot, 712. and at the Pere Marquette depot, 711 feet; 



Gaines, 857 feet; Goodrich, 733 feet; Grand Blanc, 839 feet; Linden, 872 
feet; Otterburn, 771 feet, and Swartz Creek, 779 feet. At the weather 
bureau station in Fhnt, the altitude is 726 feet. 


The surface of Flint township is undulating, comprising some fine 
stretches of level land, varied by gentle declivities, which give variety to the 
landscape and make it one of the most attractive townships in the county. 
The soil is a mixture of clay and sand, and generally of good quality, though 
varying in localities, and affords a bountiful crop to the farmers. The 
streams of water which traverse its surface are the Flint river and Swartz 
creek, the first of which passes through the city, flows through the northern 
portion of the township and passes out near the northwest corner. Swartz 
creek rises in the township of Gaines and enters the southwest corner of the 
township of Flint, meandering in a northeasterly direction, flowing into the 
Thread, and eventually into the Flint river. 


The physical features of Fenton township are varied and interesting. 
The principal stream in the Shiawassee river, an insignificant stream at its 
entry in the southeast corner of the township, but attaining to respectable 
proportions before it leaves it on the west. Its general course is northwest, 
and its waters furnish several excellent mill-powers — notably at Fenton and 
Linden villages. After leaving Fenton, it receives the surplus waters of 
numerous lakes, large and smalt. Of these lakes, the township contains no 
less than twenty, covering a total area of about 2,160 acres, apportioned as 
follows: Long lake, on sections 2, 11, 13. 14, 23 and 24, 850 acres; Hib- 
bard's lake, section 12, 30 acres; Crooked lake, section 13, 50 acres: Loon 
lake, sections 15 and 16, 150 acres; Squaw lake, principally on section 15, 60 
acres; Ball lake, section 21, 40 acres; Mud lake, section 22, 225 acres; Silver 
lake, sections 27, 28 and 33, 275 acres; Pine lake, sections 28, 29, 32 and 33, 
160 acres; Byram lake, sections 29 and 30, 130 acres; others, 190 acres. 
Aside from these, are miUponds, making the total lake and pond area of the 
township about 2,200 acres, or more than that of the entire balance of the 

Many of the lakes of Fenton possess clean, bold shores, sandy bottoms 
and deep waters, and most of them abound in numerous varieties of fish, 



such as bass, perch and others. Silver lake is tributary to Mud, and through 
the latter to the Shiawassee river, and is so named from its clear waters and 
bed of light sand. Byram lake was named from an early settler on its shore, 
and the others, from various circumstances and surroundings. 

Long lake, the principal .sheet of water in the township and county, is 
about three miles in length and averages nearly half a mile in width. With 
the exception of its southwestern shore, which is marshy tn places, its borders 
are most picturesque and beautiful. The southern extremity, below "the nar- 
rows," is in most places shallow and wild rice grows profusely in localities. 
High banks extend along a great part of the eastern shore. The 
outline of the lake is broken by "points" and bays, and a fine island of over 
twenty acres is situated near the center, north and south, and somewhat 
nearer the western than the eastern shore. Another small island is near the 
extreme southern margin of the lake. Long lake is one of the prettiest inland 
lakes in the country and has become one of the most popular summer resorts 
in southern Michigan. 

The vicinity of the lakes of Fenton was the favorite resort of the red 
tribes who occupied the region ere the advent of a paler race. The clear 
waters tempted them to launch their canoes thereon and entice from their 
depths their finny inhabitants, or disport in wanton glee amid their waves. 
The surrounding hills and forests afforded them rare sport in the chase, for 
deer, wolves, bears and other animals — fit targets for the hunter's skill — 
abounded.' So much attached were the red men to this beautiful "land of 
lakes" that it was their desire, when their days of hunting on earth were over, 
to be laid to rest amid the scenes made dear by life-long association. Here, 
on the border of the lake, their remains were laid, their faces to the setting 
sun, and the rippling waters murmured their funeral songs, while the breezes 
wailed a mournful requiem through the pines, as the spirit of the warriors 
journeyed to the happy hunting-grounds of their fathers. 

The principal Indian burial-place in the township was on the northeast 
shore of Mud lake, and close by was their camping ground. A large number 
of graves were long to be seen in the burying-ground. Others were also 
found, but not as extensive. The Indian corn-fields were sometimes sources 
of inconvenience to farmers, as they were diflScult to plow, owing to the fact 
that corn was year after year planted in the same hills, while the latter were 
raised a little higher each year and were often ten or twelve feet apart. Quite 
an extensive corn-field was found east of the present village of Linden. This 
was on a farm once owned by Alonzo J. Chapin, 

On the edge of the township of Mundy dwelt a small tribe whose chief 



was one "King Fisher," or Fisher, corrupted from Visger, the name of a 
French-Indian half-breed. Their biirying-ground was the one mentioned as 
having existed near Mud lake, in Fenton, and at present no traces of it can 
be found, owing to long cnltivation. Fisher was a lover of athletic sports, 
as well as whiskey, and on occasions of town-meetings was accustomed to 
visit the village and join in whatever of the nature of sport was going on. 
Among the feats of the young men of that day was the one of jumping over 
a string held at a certain distance above the ground. Alonzo J. Chapin was 
rather more than the equal of Fisher, one of whose toes was so long that it 
would catch on the string. The chief would take hold of it angrily, and 
exclaim, "Toe no good! Me cut him off — me jump you!" He was exceed- 
ing loth to speak English, except when under the influence of liquor. 

In the fall of 1877, while constructing a dirt-road across Crane's Cove, 
on the west side of Long lake, a party of workmen found a skelton of very 
large size, some two or three feet below the surface. As it is a well-known 
fact that this locality was the favorite Indian resort for hunting and fishing, 
the skeleton was supposed to have been the frame-work of a gigantic warrior, 
though why he should have been buried just there was not satisfactorily 
explained, as it was some distance from their common burial-place on Mud 


The surface of Grand Blanc township is a rolling upland. Originally, 
the northern part was covered with dense forests of the deciduous trees so 
common to Michigan, while the central and southern parts of the township 
afforded a fair representation of the lands called hazel-brush openings. 

Thread river, its principal water-course, takes its rise in Oakland county 
and, flowing to the northwest, leaves the township near the center of the 
north border. This stream in its course affords good water-power privileges, 
which were early utilized, and with its numerous small tributaries rendered 
feasible a complete system of ditching and drainage adopted where swampy 
lands existed. 

Grand Blanc lake includes a small portion of section 31 ; Slack's lake, of 
sections 34 and 35. A small lake of some twenty acres in extent, called Smith 
lake, is situated upon section 22. Numerous springs are found in various 
parts of the township, some of them quite strongly impregnated with 

The soil is of an excellent quality, and consists of a dark, sandy and 
gravelly loam, alternating with clay loam and alluvial deposits of a vegetable 



cliaracter. Peat beds are found in some portions of the township, also brick 
and potter's clay of a good quality. The staple products are live stock, wool, 
pork, corn, fruit, sugar beets, beans and the various cereals. The cultivation 
of winter wheat is especially successful. 


The surface of .\tlas township is rolling and. in a state of nature, was 
quite heavily timl>ered in the north part. The southern portion consisted 
generally of rose-willow and hazel-brush o]}enings. The soil — a sandy loam 
—is of an excellent quality and in the quantity and excellence of its products 
Atlas takes a front rank among Genesee county townships. 

Its water courses are the Thread and Kearsley rivers. The former 
takes its rise in Oakland county and flows in a northwest course across the 
southwestern corner of the township. The latter stream also finds its source 
in Oakland county and, entering the township from the southeast, receives 
as a tributary the outlet of Lake Keshinaguac, flows on in a northwesterly 
direction through the central part of the town, and leaves it from the north 
border of section 4. In its passage the Kearsley affords excellent water- 
power privileges, which have lieen in use at the villages of Goodrich and 
Davisonville (Atlas) since the first settlement of the township. 

Neshinaguac lake, with an area of aljout one hundred and sixty miles, 
lies in the central part of section 2^. Other small bodies of water are sit- 
uated upon section 3. Numerous springs, several of whose waters are im- 
pregnated with iron, exist in all portitms of the township and, as a whole, 
the township is well watered and drained. The i«ople are successfully en- 
gaged in agricultural pursuits and their farms are in an advanced state of cul- 
tivation. Neat residences and farm buildings alxiund on every side. 


The township of Flushing is watered by the Flint river and its tribu- 
taries, enters near the southeast corner of the town and, after a winding 
course, leaves it near the center of the northern boundary. The mill-sites 
along the river were early improved, and it still furnishes power at mimer- 
ous places within the limits of the county. Along the river the surface of 
the township is somewhat varied, the banks in places being high and steep 
and the land in the immediate vicinity rolling, while at others they are 
gentlv sloping and the neighboring country nearly level. A large portion 



of the township is exceedingly level and the whole was originally covered 
with a dense growth of heavy timber, in which was considerable pine. 

The sail of Flushing is of the nature of that common to this region, 
having a large proportion of sand. Upon the lands where pine grew thickly 
it is more sandy than elsewhere, and some of the "pine plains," or "pine 
barrens," as they are called, are of comparatively small value. Flushing is 
one of the wealthiest townships in the county. 


The natural characteristics of Mundy township are much the same as 
those of its sister towns, consisting of a generally level surface, with por- 
tions considerably undulating, a variety of soil and originally a considerable 
acreage of timber. In many respects it is one of the best townships in the 
county and its improvements are very generally excellent. It was settled by 
an energetic, thrifty class of farmers and the success which has attended 
their efforts to build up substantial and comfortable homes in the wilderness 
is everywhere apparent in the fine farms and dwellings, and the various 
accompaniments of a well-ordered agricultural community. Its first settlers 
possessed intelligence and this, combined with enterprise, wrought a wonder- 
ful change in the face of the region which frowned upon them many years 
ago in all the majesty of a forest-crowned domain, where the axe of the 
pioneer had never swung nor its strokes echoed through the primeval aisles. 
But as change is the order elsewhere, so was it here, and the pleasant and 
peaceful homes of today are a marked contrast to the wilderness of earlier 


Much of the surface of Argentine township is rolling and many pleas- 
ing landscapes are within its borders. Its soil has the same character- 
istics as all that in the immediate region. Fine improvements are met with 
throughout the township and evidences of prosperity and weahh are seen 
on nearly every hand. The township is well watered by the Shiawassee 
river and its tributaries, which furnish considerable power, and numerous 
lakes and ponds add to the water-area. Principal among the latter are Lob- 
dell, on sections 35 and 36, named after an early settler on its shore; Mur- 
ray, on section 34, named after first settler in the township; McKane, on 
sections 28 and 32; McCasiin, section 22; Bass, section 27, etc. Lobdel! 
lake was changed somewhat in area by the raising of a dam at Argentine 



village. The shores in many places are marshy, and in various parts of the 
township tamarack swamps exist. A large acreage of timher is yet left, al- 
though but a portion of this township was heavily timbered, the balance 
l>eing "oak-openings." 


In its natural features Mt. Morris township is very similar to other 
interior <Iivisions of the county already described, the surface being slightly 
rolling and covered originally with heavy forests of beech, maple, oak, ash 
and many other varieties of deciduous trees indigenous to the soil in this 
section of the state. The Flint river, in its flow to the northwest, crosses the 
extreme southwest corner. Devil's lake, a small body of water containing 
from ten to fifteen acres, is situated upon section 35. Brent's run takes its 
rise from this lake, and flows northerly through the central part. Several 
other small tributaries of the Flint cross the township and flow in a general 
northwest course. Stone similar to that obtained in the Flushing quarries 
is found in the bed of the river upon section 31. The soil is very productive. 
The people are chiefly agricultunsts. and wool, live stock and wheat are the 
principal products. 


The township called Genesee received its name from the pioneers, many 
of whom came from the "Genesee country" in western JVew York, and a 
goodly number of them from Genesee county. It was btit natural that they 
sliould desire to perpetuate the name of that fair country, whose fertile soil 
had already made it famous throughout the country as a sort of modem 
.-\rcadia. where to dwell was to enjoy the best things of life- — not alone in a 
material, but also in an aesthetic sense. And it was also fitting that this 
township, having so large an area of the beautiful oak or timbered oi>enings, 
thus resembling in its primitive form that pleasant land, should also bear its 

Its surface is comparatively lexel. though it might properly be called 
lightly rolling in some parts, principally on the south and east side of the 
river. About one-fourth of the surface was originaly covered with pine, the 
pinerv generally following the course of the river and lying principally on 
its south bank. The soil of the pine land was of a light, sandy nature. The 
rest of the town was timliered with hardwood, white oak predominating, 



and in the southwest part there was considerable timbered opening. The 
soil in the parts of the town free from i>ine is of a fine quality and com- 
posed of a rich clayey loam, mixed with some gTa\'el and sand. 

The town is well watered. Flint river, the principal water-course, enters 
from Richfield, near the southeast comer of section I2, and pursues a some- 
what torturous course through the town in a general southwest direction, 
passing through some parts of sections 12, 13, 11, 10, 15, 16, 21, 28, 29 and 
32, at the southwest corner of which it crosses the line in the township of 
Burton. Its course is crooked and its current generally sluggish. Near the 
southwest corner of section 11 it is more rapid and furnishes a very good 
water-power which has lieen utilized for many years. The stream second in 
importance is Kearsley creek, which enters from Burton at the southwest 
corner of section 35. crosses sections 34, 33 and 32, till it reaches Flint 
river, into which it discharges its waters a little south and west of the 
center of the latter section. The third stream is Butternut creek, coming 
from the north, draining portions of the towns of Forest and Thetford. It 
enters near the northeast corner of section i, crosses it in a southerly direc- 
tion, flows across the corner of section 12, turns to the west, and crosses 
section ii till it joins the Flint river, a little distance east of Geneseeville. 
Stanley creek. Bray brook, and a half dozen or more lesser streams are 
tributaries of Flint river. 


The surface of Gaines township is generally level and was originally 
covered with a dense growth of hea\'y timlier. In places slight undulations 
are met with, but nothing rising to the dignity of hills. The soil is very 
good and adapted to the growth of ail grains raised in this region. The 
township had a large acreage of timber and its development has Ijeen [per- 
haps less rapid than that of most of the other townships in the county. That 
its resources are abundant, however, is evident from the fine improvements 
in its older settled portions. It has no streams of consequence, a branch of 
Swartz creek, in the northern part, l>eing the principal one. Along the lianks 
of the latter, in early years, were extensive groves of maple, and a trail 
reached from Flint, which was used by the Indians, who manufactured here 
large (|uantities of maple-sugar. The ancient trail has disappeared and the 
dusky people who threaded it eighty years ago and more have been laid to 
rest beside their fathers and entered upon the happier hunting-grounds of 
which they dreamed. 



Burton township is comparatively level, yet sufficiently ele\ated above 
the iied of its water-ccmrses to afford gootl surface drainage. It was heavily 
timbered, originally, with fine forests of l>eech. maple, red and black oak, 
Ijasswood and other varieties of deciduous trees. Upon sections 5, 6. 19 
and 20 was found considerable pine, while sections 27 and 34 were what 
was termed by the original settlers "staddle lands.'' 

The Flint. Thread and Kearsley rivers are the principal wafer-courses. 
The former flows in a southwesterly course across the northv^-est corner of 
the township; the latter runs in a northwesterly direction across the north- 
east comer of the same; while Thread river enters the town from the 
south and, flowing in a general northwest course, leaves the township near 
tlie center of the west border. 

The soil consists of an admixture of sand and clay loam, alternating 
with a dark vegetable mould, and in it general characteristics are the same 
as predominates in all drift formations. It is highly productive and, with 
careful cultivation, yields handsome returns to the husbandman. The i>eo- 
pie are chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits. Their farms are under a 
good state of cultivation and neat farm houses and sul>stantial outbuildings 
abound. The rapid growth of the city of Flint has taken largely from Bur- 
ton township, first for factories and later for many additions and plats for 
residence and business purposes. 


Clayton, with the exception of a few slight undulations, is generally 
level. The soil is of the nature ])eciiliar to this part of Michigan and. from 
appearance of the farms and their improvements— Clayton is exclusively an 
agricultural township — the inference is that its fertility is Ijeyond question. 
Originally the township was covered with a dense forest, where the nightly 
howl of the wolf resounded; where the Hthe panther often lurked: where 
bears found safe retreats: where the pride of the forest— the deer— had his 
home, and where the red man was the only human being who trod its mazes, 
"ambushed his foe, and stalked his game." A more herculean task than that 
of clearing awa\- this sturdy greenwood and preparing the pleasant farms 
which todav dot the surface, can scarcely be imagined. It was only the 
indomitable will and jmrseverance of the pioneers coupled with their ability 



to undergo long and severe toil, with all its attendant hardships, that accom- 
plished the mighty work. That it was accomplished is the pride of the actors 
in the scene, who, axe in hand and rifle on shoulder, marched conquering 
through the wilderness. There is said to be no better agricultural land in 
America than obtains in Clayton township. 


The surface of Vienna township may be described in general terms as an 
elevated plain, cut by the rather deep ravineii formed by its water courses. 
On several sections to the immediate west and southwest of Clio village pine 
originally predominated- The remainder of the township was covered prin- 
cipally with heavy forests of deciduous trees, common to this portion of the 

Brent's and Pine runs are the principal water courses. These streams 
flow towards the northwest and ultimately empty their waters into Flint 
river. They have rendered service in former years to assist in sawing into 
merchantable lumber the valuable pines which once swayed their towering 
tops over a large portion of the township, and the latter stream has done 
duty in propelling the machinery of the grist-mills in Clio. The people are 
chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits, the staple products Ijeing wheat, corn 
and live stock. Since the disappearance of the [jine forests and lumbering 
interests the attention of the inhabitants has been more exclusively devoted 
to agriculture. The soil, though light and sandy in those portions once 
denominated "pineries," is well adapted to wheat and other cereals. The 
whole township is Ijeing rapidly developed into good farming lands, and a 
corresponding increase in wealth and population is the result. Since Flint 
1)ecame a city of approximately eighty thousand, the scarcity of houses there 
has brought to Clio and Mt. Morris many who are employed in the factories. 


Thetford township contains some of the good farming lands of Genesee 
county, and the beautiful scenery, the well-tilled fields, the majestic woods, 
and the fine dwellings and barns that denote the thrift and industry of its 
people, well repaj' the observant traveler for the trouble incidental to a trip 
through the town. 

Down to a period of time as late as the l>eginning of the year 1835 it 
had been a wilderness. The surveyors in the employ of the United States 



had passed throiig:h the trackless maze of its dense forests, recording their 
progress by, and leaving as tokens of their presence the "blazes" on trees 
that marked the section lines and corners. Some wandering, adventurous 
white hunter or trapper may have casually passed through in pursuit of his 
perilous calling, but, aside from these persons, it is probable that, of human- 
kind, none save the moccasined foot of the Indian had trod the virgin soil 
or rustled the leaves with which the lofty trees had carpeted the earth be- 
neath their spreading branches. 

These Indians belonged to the Chippewa nation and were only transient 
inhabitants here, they not having any village within the limits of this town- 
ship. They came here to hunt and fish, though the latter s|x>rt was not as 
plentiful as the former on account of the lack of lakes and large streams. 
They had a well-defined trail, which started from the banks of the Flint 
river, in the present township of Richfield, and ran in a direction a Httle west 
of nortli and in a nearly direct course to Tuscola, on the Cass river, and to 
Saginaw l>ay, near the present site of Bay City. This trail entered Thet- 
ford not far from the southeast corner, followed the pine ridges and crossed 
the line into Tuscola county near the corner of sections 3 and 4. Along this 
trail the Indians traveled for many years, sometimes in large i>arties and 
again singly or by twos and threes. They were generally mounted on their 
hardy ponies and in sandy places the hoofs of these sturdy little animals had 
worn away the soil to the depth of a ffwt or more. These Indians remained 
here many years after the settlement of the country by the whites began and 
the most amicable feelings existed l>etween the two races at all times. They 
had a favorite camping-place near the residence of Richard Buell, where two 
or three families, more or less as the case might be, would come and stay 
for a few days at a time while they hunted the deer and other game with 
which the forest teemed. They were on esj>ecially friendly terms with the 
Buell family, for whom they had conceived a great liking when they first 
settled here and with whom they often engaged in trade. Another of their 
favorite camping-grounds was on the l»nks of Butternut creek, in the south- 
east corner of the town, near the present village of Whitesford. 

In the work of cultivating the soil the farmer's plow frequently brings 
to the surface some relic of the aborgines. in the shape of flint arrow or 
spear-heads, stone' knives, pii>es, or pieces of rude pottery. Frequently, too, 
the plow breaks into the shallow grave of some of these former dwellers 
and turns their Ixjnes up to bleach in the sun- — to be destroyed by the chafing 
fingers of the storm and the ever-destructive touch of time. Do these sense- 
less bones represent the once proud form of the haughty warrior who strode 



forth defiantly to battle with his equally haughty ;md courageous foe. and 
fell Ijeneath his enemy's superior prowess? 


The surface of ]^avison township, north of a Hue drawn diagonally 
from the northeast corner to the center of the west border is comparatively 
level. That portion lying south of this line is roUing, with an altitude of per- 
haps forty-five feet above the former. Kearsley and Black creeks are the 
principal water-courses. The former enters the township from the south 
and, flowing in a general southwest course, leaves it on the west border of 
section y. The latter takes its rise from Potter lake and, flowing thence 
north, describes in its passage through a ]>ortion of Richfield township, the 
arc of a circle. It then enters Davison from the north Ixirder of section 2. 
and continues in a southwesterly course until it effects a junction with the 
Kearsley, on section 7. 

Potter lake, containing an area of about one hundred and fifty acres, 
lies mainly within section i of this township, the remainder in Lapeer county. 
Hasler lake, considerably larger in extent than the former, lies also across 
the line dividing the counties of Genesee and Lai^er, though the greater 
portion is within section _'?6. Vast tamarack swamps, now partly drained, 
extend across sections i. T2, 1,1, T4. 23 and 24, making an almost continuous 
waterway Iietween the tH-o lakes. This was a timl>ered township originall)', 
oak, beech, mapie and other varieties of deciduous trees predominating. 
Small groves of pine were found on ixjrtions of sections 14, 27 and 33. 

The soil is of the same character as that of surrounding townships — a 
sandy loam on the knolls and higher portions, a dark alluvium mixed with 
vegetable mould on the lowlands. A system of drainage has been inaugurated 
by many landowners within the past few years, by which the value of their 
acres has been vastly enhanced and many other fields reclaimed an<l rendered 
productive which, but a few years since, were considered valueless. The peo- 
ple are chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits, stock raising, wool growing 
and the cultivation of fruits, com, potatoes, beans, sugar beets and the cereals 
being the specialties. .Many fine farms, residences and commodious outbuild- 
ings dot its landscape, giving evidence of the enterprise and thrift of the 
people who reside here, and that they are rapidly surrounding themselves 
with all the comforts, conveniences and many of the luxuries of life. 




The surface i>f Richfield township is shghtly roHiiig. being roughest in 
the northeast jxirt and along the course of Flint river. The original forest 
of this town was in most parts a variety of all kinds of hardwood timber, 
but along the course of the river was a belt of pine of an average width of 
about one and a half miles, and along Hasler and Briar creeks similar 
growths were found. This pine, covering about one-lhird of the town, was 
to some extent interspersed with other timber and was of good quality and 
size. The soil of the pine lands is lighter than that of the rest of the town, 
which varies from a sort of marl to a black, gravelly or sandy loam, fertile 
and easily tilled. The Jjest part of the township for agricultural purposes 
lies in the southwest half, but all is productive, and well repays the toil of 
the husbandman with remunerative crops. 

Unlike many townships in Michigan, there are none of those small 
lakes, so common in this state, within the borders of Richfield. The princi- 
pal water-courses are the Flint river and Black creek. Flint river enters the 
town near the northeast corner of section 12, and runs in a somewhat tor- 
tuous, but generally westerly, course, jxtssing through portions of sections i. 
2. 7, 9, 10, II, 12, 16, 17 and 18, passing into the township of Genesee near 
the southwest corner of section 7. Its course in this town is about twelve 
miles in length and its current, rather sluggish. Black creek, which is tlie 
outlet of Potter lake, enters the town near the center of the east line of 
section ;^6, runs westerh' alxiut a mile and three-quarters, turns sharply to 
the south and passes into Davison. Ilasler's creek is the outlet of a lake of 
the same name lying in the town of Elba, Lapeer county, and runs northerly 
along the east border of the town through section 13, and in a northwest 
course across section 12 till it reaches the Flint river and unites its waters 
with those of the lai-ger stream. Briar creek, Belden creek and four other 
small streams are tributaries to Flint river. The two first named unite with 
it in the eastern jiart of section t8. the former flowing from the north and 
the latter from the south. 

ilany traces still remain to testify of the presence here of the aborigines 
—those nomadic wanderers who have now so nearly disappeared from this 
cfrtmtry which was once one of their favorite hunting-grounds. Numerous 
trails led in various directions through the township, the principal ones being 
the Saginaw trail, near the Irish road, and one from the vicinity of Nepes- 
sing lake, in Lapeer county ; in this township the Indians had a camping- 



place on the south bank of Fhnt river, in section 11. Near this place they 
cultivated some corn on a sort of opening, which gave to the locality the 
name of "the Indian garden." On sections 20 and 21 and in other localities 
in the town they had "sugar-bushes," where they tai>ped the maple trees and 
in their rude way manufactured an inferior kind of maple sugar. Among 
these traces of former inhabitants of this section of our country none [Mssess 
a greater interest to the antiquary or the historian than the mysterious 
mounds that here and there He scattered alraut throughout the state. In the 
pinery, on section 5, is a large mound, evidently formed by the work of 
human hands, as is proved by the mixed condition of the soil composing it. 
Its diameter is some twelve or fourteen feet and its elevation above the sur- 
rounding surface, about five feet. A smaller movind on the bank of Black 
creek, in section 35, was opened and a skull and some other bones taken out. 
Upon these mounds large forest trees were growing at the time of the first 
settlement, indicating that they had then reached an age of at least a hun- 
dred years since the mounds were piled up. 


The lands of Forest township were originally heavily timbered and gen- 
erally with pine of fine quality and large size, intermingled with oak, maple, 
l>eech, ash, elm. butternut and many other varieties of timber in limited 
quantity. Owing to the fact of the existence of this pine timber, the land 
was largely taken up by speculators or by those who held them till lumber 
was worth a price which would warrant them in cutting the timJ>er. 

The soil is \'aried in its composition, being composed of sandy, gravelly 
and clay loam, distributed very irregularly. Tt is all underlaid by a heavy 
clay -subsoil of great depth, and is fertile and easily worked. It is well suited 
for the cultivation of general crops and is excellent for wheat. 

The surface of the land is usually lightly rolling in its nature, though 
in some parts it becomes a little more uneven and rises in low hills. In the 
south part of the town Hes what is known as Compton hill, which is the point 
rising highest above the surrounding surface. Proljably the most elevated 
part of the town is the northern portion. Commencing with the lakes, near 
Otisville, a strip of territory made up of alternating knolls and marshes runs 
in each direction, reaching nearly across the town from north to south. 

There are quite a number of small lakes scattered about the town. At 
Otisville a cluster of them, seven in number, lies south and east of the vil- 
lage. It is supposed that originally these were all united in one body of 



water, but that the changes in the streams, the decreased rainfaU caused by 
the clearing up of the forests, and the accumulation of decayed vegetation, 
have lowered the surface of the water and \yai\t bars and marshes that now 
separate them one from another. Two others of these lakes are found one 
and a half miles west of Otisville, one on section 20 and one on section 29. 
Anotlier, known as Crawford's lake, is located in the south part of section 
24. Near the northeast corner a small [Kirtion of Otter lake extends into 
this township. These lakes are all of the same general character, having an 
average de]>th of soitie thirty or forty feet and a sandy or muddy bottom. 
The shores in some places are bold and in others, more or less marshy. 
These lakes were formerly abundantly supplied with fish of various kinds 
and, though somewhat depleted by unseasonable and unsportsmanlike fish- 
ing, stili furnish a fine field for six>rt to the lover of the piscatorial art. 

The principal stream of the town is the outlet of Otter lake, which Sows 
across the town diagonally, in a southwest course, entering Thetford near 
the west quarter line of section 31, and is a tributary of Flint river. Its 
shores were originally covered along its whole course with a heavy growth 
of butternut trees, which fact gave it the name of Butternut creek, a name 
which it still bears. It receives the waters of a few tributary streams, the 
largest one being the outlet of the Otisville lakes. 


The surface of ilontrose township is varied and cut by the valleys and 
ravines formed by the Flint river and its tributaries. This was a pine town- 
ship orij^naily and during the first years of the white man's occupancy the 
inhabitants were chielly engaged in the various occupations incident to a him- 
Ijering region, p'or this reason, added to the fact that it was tlie latest 
settled district in the county, Montrose long wore a general aspect of rough- 
ness or newness in strong contrast to the major portion of the county. 

The present inhabitants are princi]>ally employed in the pursuits of 
agriculture. The soil, though in some places hght and sandy, produces fav- 
orably and time only is needed to bring the products of this up to the best of 
the other townships in the county. Its principal water-course, the Flint river, 
enters the town near the center of the south border and, flowing in a general 
northerly direction, passes through the central part and leaves the township 
just west of the center of the north border. Brent's run enters from the south- 
east corner and, flowing in a northwest course, discharges it^ surplus waters 



into the Flint on section 15, and Pine run, another tributary of the Fiint 
river, in flowing to the northwest crosses the extreme northeast corner of the 
township. Coal — -and rock similar to the Flushing sandstone — crops out in 
the bed of the Flint on section 28. 

A portion of the Pewangawink reservation of the Saginaw Chippewas 
extended into this township, including the whole of section 4, the west half 
of section 3, the east half of section 5, the north half of section 9, the north- 
east quarter of section and the northwest quarter of section 10, 



Pioneer Agriculture. 

When the settlement of Genesee county began in earnest, after the day 
of the redman and the adventurous hunter and trapper, the earhest industry 
that engaged the white settlers was agriculture. The soil of the county is 
not imlike that of the "Genesee country" of western New York, whence came 
so many of the settlers of Genesee county. The surface was then largely 
covered with timber of various kinds and the soils varied somewhat with 
the timber. There was some heavily timbered land, especially in the region 
of Forest township: there were oak openings, burr oak plains, some pine 
tracts, and numerous spots where the land was treeless and covered with 
grass suggesting the prairies of the west. The heavily timbered hardwood 
lands were largely clay. This soil, although as productive as any in the 
state, was more difficult to clear, and usually cost from ten to fifteen dollars 
an acre to fit it for cultivation. There was one advantage in timbered land, 
however, for the settler of small means; after the timber was cut down the 
soil scarcely required plowing. A drag drawn by one yoke of oxen gen- 
erally was sufficient to render this highly mellow land ready to receive the 
seed. The pine lands were somewhat sandy. The white oak oi>enings, which 
covered a large part of the county, were quite different from the timbered 
lands. Their surface was covered with a layer of vegetable mould. Marl 
was generally found under this surface, and limestone, pebbles, sand, and 
frequently clay and yellow loam, were found below. This soil was specialty 
favorable to wheat and was among the most valuable wheat lands in the 
county. It was easy to till and seldom failed to produce a good crop even in 
the most unfavorable seasons. Oats and com throve well on it, though it 
was not so good for hay. The only disadvantage was that the soil, on ac- 
count of the thick tufts of matted grass, required sometimes four or five 
yoke of oxen in order to make any headway in breaking it up for the seed. 
The burr-oak plains presented the appearance of vast cultivated orchards. 
The soil was somewhat like that of the white-oak openings. It contained a 
great deal of lime and its great productiveness made it specially prized by 
the settlers. 



In the hea\ily limbered township the settler's first problem was to clear 
the land. If he could afford to hire this done he could generally get it for 
the equivalent of about fifteen dollars an acre. The trees were felled and 
either were split into rails for fences or logs for the buildings, or were rolled 
together and burned. Where the timber was liglit the trees were frequently 
girdled to let in the sun. 

The settlers usually judged the lands of the county by those with which 
they were familiar. The prime test was its ability to produce wheat, and 
the frequent verdict respecting the lands of Genesee was that in this respect 
they were superior to those they had left in New York. The first care of 
the settler was the immediate needs of his family. Wheat was generally the 
first crop he sowed, and in quantity limited to the extent of the small clear- 
ing in the timlier or the amount of land he and his sons could bring under 
cultivation. Enough j^Mtatoes and other vegetables were raised for the fam- 
ily use. Abundant crops usually rewarded these first labors. After a little 
while they began to haul a surplus to Pontiac or other distant market, though 
the price received was often scant reward for the labor. Wheat has been, 
and still is. one of the leading agricultural products of Genesee county, 
although beans and sugar beets are prominent factors in the Ust. Wheat har- 
vested in 1840 amounted to 37,399 bushels. In 1910 it reached 278,064 

The production of hay in Genesee county is contkicted on a large scale. 
At first it was grown only in sufficient quantities for stock. At an early 
day, however, it began to l>e produced in excess of stock requirements. The 
first marketed was sold to lumiiermen and brought a considerable revenue. 
Later it was pressed into liales, first by hand and then by power-presses. 
The hay product has increased from 1,941 tons in 1840 to 121.209 tons in 

Stock, especially sheep and cattle, were raised at an early day. Even 
the earliest settlers raised some sheep, from whose wool garments were made 
in the home by the thrifty housewife and daughters. "Home-^un" was the 
prevailing style of cloth among the |>ioneers. A comparatively large numl^er 
of fine-wooled breeds of sheep were earlj' introduced into Grand Blanc, and 
a little later into the adjoining towns. In 1852 it was officially reported at 
the county fair that, "If Genesee county deserves special credit for her pro- 
ductions in any one department of stock over others, it was obsen'able in 
the sheep-pens. It is but a very few years since the fine-wooled varieties 
were first introduced amon^ us, yet we now find them represented here in a 
display which would be creditable to much older counties." That year 



33.000 pounds of wool were sold at Flint, at twenty-nine cents :i pound. 
On this record an agricultural journal comments, that "wool is commencing 
to be an article of considerable revenue to the farmers of Genesee county." 
The following year, 50,000 pounds were sold in the same market at prices 
varying from thirty-five cents to fifty-five cenis a pound. These amounts 
steadily increased with the years. The price also increased under the extra- 
ordinary demand created by the Civil War. At one time it exceeded one 
dollar a pound. 

These war prices led to the formation of the Genesee County Sheep- 
Breeders' and Wool-Growers' Association. The meeting to organize was 
held. May 25, 1865, at the house of Jonathan Dayton in Grand Blanc. A 
large numlier of the leading farmers of the county were present. At the 
same time, there was considered the plan of holding annual sheep-shearing 
festivals. The plan was adopted, and continued to bring, annually, pleasure 
and profit for many years. At this meeting Henry W. Wood was chosen 
to preside; F. H. Rankin was secretary. The report on a plan and constitu- 
tion, made by D. H. Stone, E. G. Gale, and T). H. Seeley, was adopted. The 
following officers were chosen: President, H. W. \Voo<!, of Flint City; 
vice-presidents Emmaus Owen, of Grand Blanc, R. A. Carman, of Flint, and 
A. P. Gale, of Atlas; secretary, Francis H. Rankin, of Fhnt; treasurer, D. 
H. Stone, of Grand Blanc; auditors, Charles Pettis, of DavLson, and Henry 
Schram, of Burton: executive committee, C. H. Rockwood, of Genesee, 
Jonathan Dayton, of Grand Blanc, J. Is. Pierson. of Atlas, H. C. Van Tiffin, 
of Flint, E. G. Gale, of Atlas, I']. J. Pierson. of Grand Rlanc, and Edmond 
Perry, of Davison. 

l'"or this meeting a sheep-shearing program had l>een prepared and was 
greatly enjoyed by all. Many people were present from neighboring counties 
and some from the state of New York. Among those who took part in the 
shearing were josephus Morgan, Joseph Barton, Benjamin Newman and S- 
Miner, of Grand Blanc; M. F. Dunn and Orson Bingham, of Genesee; Will- 
iam Hawkins, Alfred Ewer and Edward Ewer, of Flint City; J. C. Rocka- 
fellow, of Davison: W. H. Borden and Elien Higgins, of Mundy; Levi 
Beecher and Charles Beecher. of Atlas; William Dullam and Frank Cousins, 
of Flint township. Some one hundred and fifty sheep were in the yards, but 
not all were shorn. The judges were asJ follows: On bucks, J. W. Begole, 
R. A. Carman; on ewes. David Schram, C. C, Pierson, Stephen Jordan; on 
weighing, Oren Stone: on shearing, J. W. King, C. H. Rockwood, A. S. 
Doneison. Among owners of sheep whose fleeces were specially commented 



on, were E, J. Pierson, D. H. Stone. Charles Bates. Gurdon Watrous and J. C. 
Dayton, of Grand Blanc; H. W. Wood, of Flint City; A. P. Gale, of Atlas; 
P. A. Montgomery, of Burton; Charles Pettis of Davis, and C. H. Rock- 
wood, of Genesee. A meeting was held the following year at Flint. Of 
this meeting Mr. Rankin, the secretary, published in the next issue of his 
Wolverine CtHsen the following comment: "There was not an inferior 
sheep ui>on the grounds and, although in older counties larger exhibitions 
may have l>een had, we (juestion if anywhere in this state an equal humi>er 
of better animals have ever been collected together. * * * Xhe wool of 
the fleeces was all of line texture, good length of staple, pliant and soft, such 
as any locality might feel proud of producing and such as would do credit 
to a display of such animals (Merinos) even in those parts of Vermont and 
New York, where their care and cultivation is made a specialty. The flocks 
of Messrs. Gale, of Atlas, Dewey, of Mount Morris, Rising & Munger, of 
Richfield, .Stone, of Grand Blanc, Rockwood and Beahan. of Genesee, Pettis, 
of Davison, Crasper, of Burton, and others, are destined yet to have a fame 
in the annals of sheep-husbandry." The following premiums were awarded: 

On bucks, three years old and over, first premium to E, B. Dewey, of 
Mount Morris; second premium to E. G. Gale, of Atlas. 

On imcks. two years old, first premium to P. A. Montgomery, of Burton; 
second premium to William Lobban, of Davison. 

On bucks, one year old. first premium to D. H. Stone, of Grand Blanc; 
second premium to Stone & Dayton, of Grand Blanc. 

Judges on above classes, James Faucett, of Bath, Steul>en county, New 
York; Stephen Hillman, of Pontiac, Oakland county, and M. M. Hillman, 
of Tyrone. T-ivingston county, Michigan. 

On ewes (pens of three), three years old and over, first premium to 
D. H. Stone, of Grand Blanc: second premium to Rising & Munger, of Rich- 

On ewes (i>ens of three), two years old. first premium to Rising & 
Munger; second premium to E. G. Gale, of Atlas. 

Judges on two Jast-mentioned classes, Henry Schram. of Burton; 
Stephen Jordan, of Atlas, and Charles Bates, of Grand Blanc. 

On ewes (l>ens of three), one year old, first premium to D. H. Stone; 
second premium to P. A. Montgomery, of Burton. 

Judges on this class, S. Andrews, of Howe!! ; Phineas Thompson, of 
Grand Blanc, and M. M. Hillman, of Tyrone, Livingston county. 

The breeding of sheep stiil continues to be a leading industry of Ciene- 
see county. The flocks of the county have been constantly improved by the 



importation of approved breeds from the most successful wool-lowing states 
in the country. The present extent of the industry may be judged by the 
census of igio which shows the clip of that year to be 60,304 fleeces, valued 
at $125,476. Dr. B. F. Miller, of Flint, is known throughout Canada and the 
United States as one of the best breeders and judges of Oxfords, his sheep 
taking prizes in both countries. 

The breeding of cattle for the market came somewhat later than sheep. 
The cow was an essential sup|x>rt of the pioneer househokl. Milk, butter 
and cheese added no small comfort to the settler's table. Gradually, how- 
ever, the settlers began to raise cattle to sell, and finally for the outside 
market. The first eastern market was Buffalo, New York. The beginning 
of this trade was when a drove of cattle were driven thither by Porter 
Hazelton and James Schram, of Flint. The first blooded animals brought 
into the county were Durhams and Devons; after them, the Ayrshires. Jona- 
than Dayton and Rowland B. Perry were among the first owners of Dur- 
ham? in the county. The first full-blood Shorthorns were brought into the 
county by David Halsey, of Grand Blanc. At an early date they were 
brought into Fenton township, by Elisha Larned, and into Burton by Perus 
and Adonijah Atherton. These came from the Birney herd at Bay City. 
The first Herefnrds were brought to the county by Governor Henry H. Crapo, 
from Stone's herd at Guelph. Ontario. In later years the Holstein became a 
favorite and some of the best herds in America were owned in Genesee county, 
notahlv those of ex-Congressman D. D. .'\itken, W. E. Fellows and J. Ed. 


Tlie farm of tlie late Governor Crapo, in Gaines township, may be taken 
as tyjiical of the best stock farms of the county, indeed of the best farnis in 
every way. In its origin it is remarkable; it comprises over a thou- 
sand acres, of which some six hundred acres were originally a malarious 
swamp considered by many quite worthless. These were reclaimed by Gov- 
ernor Crapo and brought to a state of high productiveness. These pro- 
ductive acres are commonly known as the "Crapo farm," a permanent monu- 
ment to Governor Crapo's far-seeing sagacity, his practical agricultural wis- 
dom and his vigorous business ability. Previous to the enactment of the 
drainage laws now in force he had frequently driven over the rough cordu- 
rov road crossing, the "Dead Man's Swamp," as it was locally called, on 
account of its miasma. The rank growth of wild grasses indicated a luxuri- 
ant soil, which he believed could be reclaimed by proper drainage. He set 



about the task and succeeded in ha\'ing an outlet opened foi- the swamp 
waters into Swartz creek. A main ditch, four feet in width at the bottom 
and ten feet at the top, was made, nearly four miles in length. A descent 
of twelve feet from the marsh to the creek was secured, furnishing a reliable 
and rapid current. This scheme of drainage involved a large outlay, Ixit 
an extensive acreage, before absolutely worthless, was reclaimed, and other 
lands which were more or less damaged by the dead water of the marsh 
were rendered capable of much higher cultivation. During his life-time 
Governor Crapo, and his son, William W. Crapo, after him, gave special 
attention to the raising of pure-blood Herefords. 

On the death of Mr. Crapo the farm went to his grandson, also named 
Henry H. Crapo, of New Bedford, Connecticut. A brother, however, Stan- 
ford T. Crapo, of Detroit, whose tastes run more to agriculture, has had the 
active charge of the farm. The specialty of the farm is Hereford cattle 
raising. The grave of David Fisher, the last chief of the Chippewas, is on 
this place. The farm lalxir was done for years almost entirely by Indians of 
the Fisher and Chatfield famihes, allied by affinity, who moved in i8gi to 
Isabella county, where they have lands, but who came back lo the old home in 
summer and find employment on the farm. 


To encourage the agricultural interests of the county there was early 
formed the Genesee County Agricultural Society. For this purpose a pre- 
liminary meeting of prominent farmers of the county was held January 12. 
1850, in Flint. At an ad'oined meeting on Februar}' 15. a constitution was 
adopted and the following officers elected: President, Hon. Jeremiah R. 
Smith, of Grand Blanc; vice-presidents, Elhridge G. Gale, of Atlas, Isaac 
Middleworth, of .Argentine, Alfred Pond, of Clayton. Daniel Dayton, of 
Davison, George W. Piper, of Forest, James Hosie, of Flushing, Benjamin 
Pearson, of Flint, William Tanner, of Fenton, E. Fletcher, of Gaines, Daniel 
H. Seeley, of Genesee, Rowland B. Perry, of Grand Blanc, John Farquhar- 
son, of Montrose, John Eiichards. of Mmidy, Garret Zufelt, of Richfield, 
Richard Buel. of Thetford, and Daniel Montague, of Vienna; recording 
secretary, James B. Walker, of Flint: corresponding secretary, George M. 
Dewey, of Flint; treasurer, Augustus St, Amand, of Flint; executive com- 
mittee, Jonathan Dayton, of Grand Blanc, C. D. W. Gibson, of Grand Blanc, 
John L. Gage, of b^lint. C. N. Beecher, of Genesee, and Peabody Pratt, of 



The object of the society, as set forth in the first article of the consti- 
tution, was "to promote agriculture, horticulture and mechanical arts in 
Genesee county, Michigan." The first fair of the society was held in Flint, 
October 2 and 3 of that year, in a grove near the Methodist church. In 
1871 the society was legally incor^jorated, the cor^xirators and trustees l>eing 
Elijah W. Rising, Francis H. Rankin, Oren Stone, Charles C. Beahan, 
Charles Pettis, Henry Schram, William J. Phillips, Frederick H. KelHcutt. 
Jesse M. Davis, Grant Decker, Levi Walker and John L. Gage, 

The fair-gromuls of the society were from time to time enlarged 
and improved. In 1854, four acres known as the "Stockton tract," then 
recently added to the village plat of Flint, were purchased of Messrs. Fenton 
and Bishop, for alwut four hundred dollars, on which the annual fair was 
held in October of that year. The proceeds of the fair in 1855 enabled the 
society to pay in full for the grounds. Two years later this area was nearly 
doubled, by the purchase of an adjoining tract, from Jlon. Artenias Thayer, 
at two hundred and twenty dollars an acre. Later a small tract was added by 
purchase from Colonel l-'enton. These grounds were in the south part of the 
city near the Thread river. In 1870 new fair-grounds were selected. The 
society purchased of John Hamilton, for ten thousand dollars, tracts from the 
McNeil and Hamilton out-lots, to which the buildings of the society were 
removed. The old grounds were sold and platted as city lots. In 1877 the 
new grounds were enlarged by tlie purchase of two more lots from "John 
Hamilton's out-lots'' for five hundred dollars. 

Among the early presidents of the society were Jeremiah R. Smith. 
Benjamin Pearson, Grant Decker, Jonathan Dayton and Henry Schram. For 
many years F. H. Rankin, Jr., was the secretary and a leading spirit in keep- 
ing up interest in the annual fair. With the growth of the city of Flint, the 
lands of the societ)' were sold for platting purposes, and the society disbanded. 



Flint River Village, 1837-1855. 

The progress of Flint in the years 1835-37 was typical of the progress 
in Genesee county and Michigan as a whole, a growth which was Iroth cause 
and effect of the general mania of wild speculation in lands and village lots 
to which Flint and Genesee county were not exceptions. The story of wild- 
cat banking in the Michigan of this period has been told in the portion of 
this work devoted to the state's history; it was under the general banking 
law of Marcli, 1837, that Genesee county began its lessons in financiering. 
The county then had a population of less than three thousand people, of 
whom about three hiuidred were in the Flint settlement at the Grand Traverse, 
ffere were situated The Farmers' Bank of Genesee County and The Genesee 
County Bank. Both of them were tenks of issue ; officially connected with 
these and other banks of the county were Delos Davis, John Bartow, Charles 
C. Hascall, Roljert F. Stage and Robert J. S. Page. The notes of these 
hanks circulated, however, for but a short time; all l>anks in the county sus- 
j>ended payment in 1838. on the decision of the supreme court relieving the 
stockholders from any liability touching the redemption of the bills of the 
bank, Flint and Genesee county suffered their full share of the hard times 
which followed in the wake of this lamentable experiment in every settle- 
ment in Michigan. 


But the vears following recovery from the fmancial panic of 1837 were 
a period of marked development in the history of l-Tint. The lands especially 
on its south and southeast were being rapidly settled and pioneers were push- 
ing northward to the Flint river and beyond. The establishment of the land 
office at Flint greatly promoted immigration to the vicinity. The beginnings 
of agriculture reflected upon the growth of trade in the village. The sur- 
plus of wheat and corn demanded Ijetter facilities for grinding and a market 
nearer than Pontiac or Detroit, and in 1837 a grist-mill was established in 
Flint where the Saginaw turnpike crossed the Thread river. ' For some years 



this was the only grist-mill within reach of settlers for many miles around 
Klint and was of vast importance in the development of the region. A saw- 
mill had been in operation since 1830. A second saw-mill was built by Stage 
and Wright in 1836 on the south bank of the Flint river near where the 
present Grand Trunk depot stands. Flint had become a little industrial 
center, destined to achieve a great future in manufacturing. The Hydraulic 
Association, in which Chauncey S. Payne was senior partner, followed soon 
with another mill. The Stage and Wright mill was sold about 1840 to 
Messrs. Stevens and Pearson, and when John Hamilton l>ecame sole pro- 
prietor, he added, about 1844, a grist-mill ; in 1852 his son, William, became 
sole proprietor. In 1850 the Flint mills sawed 5,200,000 feet of tumlwr. 
By 1854 there were four steam mills and three water mills, with an aggregate 
capacity for cutting 16.800,000 feet of lumljer, which established permanently 
Flint'g reputation as a himliier market. 

To facilitate communication and transjHjrtation to and from Flint, to 
stimulate trade, and to increase immigration to the neighborhood, increased 
attention was given to roads and railroads. In 1837 the Northern Railroad 
Company was chartered. Although this virgin effort was fated to end in 
little more than prehminary work for an indifferent wagon-road, it raised 
the hopes of pioneers who had already settled along its route and attracted 
the attention of others who were in, search of new homes. In 1839 a stage 
line connected Flint with the new railroad from Detroit, at Birmingham. 
In 1843 the railroad reached Pontiac. Stages were nm from Flint to Fentou- 
ville from 1856 on, to connect with the new railroad lieing built througli 
there by the Detroit & Milwaukee Railway. The next year was organized 
a Flint company looking to a railroad through Saginaw to the northwest, 
which marked the Iieginuing of the Flint & Pore Marquette. Previous to 
the completion of these hoi>eful projects the Indian trails furnished primitive 
passageways through the forests, and were soon improved to l>ecome the 
first new roads over which the pioneers from the outlying settlement.^ 
journeyed to Flint for lumber, fiour and other merchandise. A plank road 
was built south through Grand Blanc to connect with the northern terminus 
of the Holly, Wayne & Monroe railroad, at Holly. Another was laid to 
Fenton to connect with the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad. A third wa,s 
built to Saginaw. The ri\-er also furnished an outlet to some degree. In a 
local paper of March 27, 1852, ai^ears the following item: 

"Port of Fhnt- — Arrivals and Departures. 

Departed, scow 'Kate Hayes', Captain Charles Mather." 




It was in this period that the first brick building was erected in Fhiit. 
In 1844. Alexander Ward, a brick maker, came to Flint, His operations 
and those of his sons and others associated with them have made a continuous 
record in that industry down to the present time. John Zimmerman was 
one of Ward's apprentices, who at the start was just a German lad, unable 
to si>eak a word of English. They first used clay along the borders of 
Thread creek at the head of Church street, but later worked over many 
blocks on Ijoth sides of Saginaw- street, from Eighth street south. This 
industry has played a very significant part in the history of Flint. It has 
for its monument many large stores, schools, churches, homes and factories. 
The story of the two first brick buildings for business in THint has been well 
told by Mr. M. S. Flmore : 

"With one's municipal pride stimulated anew almost any day when one 
walks abroad in our fair city, to discover new structures not before seen, 
lofty, imposing, picturesque or pretentious, the homes of vast enterprises, 
or the dwellings of contented citizens, one who has noted through develop- 
ing decades this evolution in architecture is apt to rememlier the distant days 
when brick and stone were less in evidence in building, and but little appeal 
was made to the aesthetic fancy of the beholder. Nor does it seem so long 
ago that this condition obtained in the future Vehicle City. 

"There seems to !« a diversity of opinion regarding the priority of two 
brick buildings, each thought by some to have been the first structure of 
brick for business purposes in the place — the Cumings or Crapo store, on 
north Saginaw street, and the building once known as the Hazelton store, on 
south Saginaw street, west side near First street. This building, now three 
stories high, and occupied by Campbell & Ingersoll, music dealers, and George 
E. Childs, jeweler, was originally built with steep gable roofs, pitching to 
front and rear, alrove a second story and big attic. 1 remember it well, 
although both this and the Cumings buildings were built before I came to 
Fhnt. Various authorities agree that the 'Scotch store' of Cumings & Cur- 
ren was built in 1851-2, while I have l>een informed by an old citizen familiar 
with the event, Hon. Jerome Eddy, that the Hazelton stores were built in 
1854; the building was thought to be quite a marvel in architecture. It has 
been said that George Hazelton and George W. Hill joined in its con.struc- 
tion : but this I do not find substantiated. The stores were originally occu- 
pied by the Flazelton brothers; the south store for dry-goods, by George; 



the north store )>y Homer and Porter, with hardware. George W, Hill 
afterward occupied the stores with furniture and undertakers' wares for 
many years, l>efore Ijeing improved by an additional story and modern roof. 

"The corner, or north part of the 'Scotch store,' as it was known, was 
occupied by Cumings & Curren as a general store in the fifties; and some- 
one else, probably Jerome Kddy, was selling goods in the south half of the 

"It should not l)e forgotten that, at the time of which 1 write, the north 
side of the river was the popular side, and was confidently ex[>ected to remain 
the princi]>al section for business in the hopeful hamlet and future city. Real 
estate controversies, familiar to the citizens of that time who remain, were 
regarded the unhappy and effectual means of driving business and building 
to the south side. This will account for the existence, during the earliest 
history of the town, of thriving shops on the north side, when D. S. Fox. 
\V. O'Donoghue, the Deweys, Witherbee, Jerome Eddy, William Stevenson, 
Cumings & Cnrren, O. F. I'orsyth, and others, as also for two taverns, 
believed to have selected the l>est locations in the town for future success and 

"The 'Scotch store' was sold to Hon, H, H. Crapo, proprietor of the 
Crapo lumber mills and business, and was for many years conducted in its 
interest and for its benefit. 

"Capt Damon Stewart, too well known as a native to require an intro- 
duction, talked with me entertainingly of this old building when asked for 
data, saying 'I ought to know, for I helped to carry the brick,' and he seems 
to have been generally useful for so young a lad. An experience of the 
liuilder that could scarcely Ije had in this day. was to discover, when ready 
for it, that he could find no timber long enough for so big a roof, and the 
completion of the buikling as planned was achieved only after men had gone 
into the woods, far up the river. Young Stewart ('Damon' will make his 
recognition easy) was one of the 'gang' on a job that proved 'strenuous.' 
The time was in January and the water was low in the streams, so that often 
dredging had to Ije resorted to, to float the logs to deeper water. Much of 
this cold work was done while wading: yet it was more comfortable, he 
declared, than working in the cold on land. 

"Captain Stewart tells of an incident which occurred while the walls 
were Ijeing built, wherein one of the bricklayers, an unpopular fellow, was 
one day late, and one of the men seeing him coming, mischievously or 
viciously threw the mason's trowel into the space between the outer and inner 
lavers of brick, emptying a full trowel of mortar on the tool ; and, added 



Captain Stewart, 'today it might be found in the south wall, near the three 
windows, which were not there at that time.' Interest has been added to the 
foregoing story by a fortunate statement of George C. Willson, that this 
trowel was found in the wall, during recent changes in the building, as Mr. 
Stewart predicted, and, I believe, is now in Mr. Willson's possession. (\ 
Free and Accepted Mason might fear that the symbolical uses of the trowel 
had hardly been exeniphfied in this incident.) 

"But I think the strangest story in connection with the Cumings-Crapo 
store comes from George (". Willson, under whose management the building 
is, and is yet to be told. It now appears that during all this half-centnry 
of momentous years, the prosaic and plain structure we have thought of, and 
spoken of, as the 'Scotch store' or the 'Craixi store,' had secreted from the 
ken of mortals, a romance. While men did come and men did go, during 
the years when lovers have had time to be born, to have found their ailinity, 
wed, divorced, and died; when passers-by have daily looked upon the severe 
and angular as[>ect of this famihar pile; this act in an unpubhshed drama 
was waiting for its recall. Hidden, irrecoverably, it was believed, in the 
fastnesses of a rude and narrow sepulchre, was found a small box in the 
wall, containing numerous letters, written in a style of chirography that indi- 
cates the writer to ha\'e been an accomplished lady; the composition of the 
letters in language one might expect from the pen of a school teacher, which 
she evidently was. These epistles tell us only one side of a story, the fair 
writer often complaining that she had received no replies to her letters. 
They were written from HamiMon, Michigan, and Mount Morris, New York, 
under date of 1849 and 1850 to James Curren, who was at that time asso- 
ciated with his brother-in-law, Mr. Cumings, in the mercantile business in 
Flint. Cumings & Curren were then erecting the brick building at the comer 
of North Saginaw^ street and Second avenue, which was for years familiarly 
known as the Crapo Variety Store, and later occupied as a 'general store' 
by Pomeroy Brothers. While remodeling the building in the fall of 1898 
for the manufacturing plant of the Flint Gear and Top Company, the letters 
above referred to were found in the west wall, in a round wooden box, 
together with a lock of hair, and a card on which two hands were clasped, 
entwined with ribbons with the inscription: "True Friendship," and date 
June 10, 1849. On placing these letters Ijetween walls of brick and mortar, 
Mr. Curren undoubtedly sought to hide forever all traces of a sweeter senti- 
ment which he wished to banish from his future life. Shortly afterward he 
sailed for Australia, where, we understand, he met with reverses, returning 
home to die. George Willson had the peculiar pleasure, during the fall oi 



1905, of delivering the box with letters enclosed to the original writer, a 
resident of Flint, and an interesting invalid .of advanced years. These inci- 
dents invest the ancient Cumings-Crapo-Durant & Dort buildings with more 
than a cold commercial atmosphere for future dwellers of the north side 
when passing by it. 

"The patronage enjoyed by these first stores in Flint was not limited 
to the radius of a few miles, between county towns, or less, but trade invited 
the sparse population from long distances every way, when days were required 
to come and return. Produce, furs, butter and eggs, maple sugar and berries 
were brought to exchange for goods, and the stores on the north side of the 
river did a thriving business. 

"The Brent family, whose great farm was located three or four miles 
below Flushing, were quite distinguished for their wealth and position. It 
is said that they and their neighbors were accustomed to come to 'the Flint' 
by boat on Flint river, projwlled by Indians, to exchange produce, furs anti 
Spanish dollars for goods, which being loaded into their boats, they could 
return to their homes with less effort, by the helpful course of the current. 
It is likewise currently believed that these native boatmen loaded themselves 
with fire-water, sometimes, imbibing with the fluid a sportive disposition to 
tint the little town a warm Indian red; but they were usually peaceable. 
sturdv anfl skillful men with oar or paddle." 

i:arly industries. 

Alxnit this time ?M:gan the manufacture of hoots and shoes in Flint. 
Reuben McCreery, Augustus Knight, Abram Barker, Royal C. Ripley, John 
Ouigley and John Delbridge were the most prominent men early in this 
industry. The needs of the' pioneer settlers were cared for in a different 
manner then than are the needs of our citizens today. A recent writer 
remarks ; 

"In 1840 and 1850 shoe stores did not keep a record of the sizes of 
their customers' feet and shoe them on a telephone order by a uniformed 
dehvery service. In those days lx)0ts and shoes were not articles of com- 
merce, hut of manufacture, and the stores could not supply the call for foot- 
wear. The customer was sent to the neighlx>ring shoe shop to leave an order 
and a measure. For men, the product would be cowhide or calfskin boots, 
and for women, bootees. As the population of the village and county grew, 
so grew the boot factories until at the height of the industry this village had 
five or six shops, not then dignified by the name of factories, and from fifty 



to seventy-five employees steadily occupied in the making of boots and shoes 
to measure. Akin to this production was that of the leather from which the 
boots were made, and, while not a Flint industry, it was installed by Flint 
capital and directed by Flint energy. The greater part of the leather for all 
the boot work of this section was made by Barker & Ripley in a tannery 
which they operated at Vassar, in the heart of the hemlock territory. Their 
product was largely cowhide and calfskin for the factory purpose, but there 
was a surplus over local demands left in the rough and shipped East from 
Flint after there were shipping facilities. This industry contributed to Flint's 
material prosperity and figured in the volume of its output." 

The Genesee iron works were built in 1847, '^y William Cough, and 
among their early products was the mowing machine. They made agricul- 
tural implements of a primitive kind and cared for such machine work as 
the few mills then in operation required. In 1848 a steam engine was started 
in this plant: prior to this time there was only one steam engine in this 
region, which ran a pail and tub factory operated by Elias Williams near the 
river bank about where the Crapo saw-mill was afterwards located. These 
works were allied to the lumljering activities of Flint and played a vastly 
important part in pioneer development. With them may Ije classed another 
shop, that of A. Culver. Rev. John McAlester's wagon-shop began its 
valuable service at an early day. Over the Genesee Iron works, Merriman 
& Abernathy started in 1S46 a pioneer effort in the nature of caqjenter shop 
work. This was a planing-mill to dress lumljer and to make sash, doors and 
blinds, turning, cabinet work, frames and scroll work. Thomas Newell 
later became interested in this venture. Mr, Newel! was for many years a 
partner of S. C. Randall, founder of the Randall Lumber and Coal Company, 
which is the successor of this pioneer industry. 

Also auxiliary to the lumiwring industry was the manufacture of [jotash 
and pearl. The asheries in the village shipped great quantities to the East. 
The financial returns of this industry were generous and contributed to the 
capital that was rapidly starting Flint on its prosperous career. 

In Octolier, 1835, J. F. Alexander established a wool-carding mill on 
the Thread river. Ten years later John C. Griswold engaged in the .same 
business at the Thread mills. For years these mills carded all the wool of 
this section and the product was taken home to the women, who spun it into 
yarn and wove it into the native homespun of the pioneers. Mr. Alexander 
advertised his carding mills in verse, as follows : 



"Wool-carding done at the Alexander carding-machine ; 
All being new, nothing said about it being washed clean. 
The women's instructions are, 'Tell Mr. Alexander, please. 
Make me as good rolls as yon can; it will my mind ease.' 

"I will, if you grease the wool so and so, and be sure 
Then your rolls shall be nice, can't lje beat, nothing truer; 
And your mind will be at rest when yon see that they are 
Made at the Carding-Mills, No. i, of J. F. Alexander." 


One of the earliest brick buildings erected in Flint village at this time 
was the new court house. At a meeting of the supervisors in 1S47 a move- 
ment was begun for a fire-proof building; no results were obtained until 
1851, when the board appointed Julian Bishop, of Grand Blanc, D. N. Mon- 
tague, of Vienna, and William Patterson, of Flint, as a building cominittee 
"to receive proposals, and cause to be erected a substantia! fire-proof county 
btiilding," for offices for the county clerk, treasurer, register of deeds and 
judge of probate. The building was to be erected on the court house square 
at an expense of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars. It was 
finished the same year by Enos and Reuben Goodrich at a cost of about nine 
hundred dollars. 


Among the Flint lawyers who probably tried cases in this building was 
James Birdsall, who came to the village in 1839. He was a native of Chen- 
ango county. New York, where he had been a banker, politician, extensive 
lumberman on the Susquehanna river, president of the Norwich bank, and a 
member of the lower house of Congress; he was seventy-three years old at 
the time of his death in Flint in 1856. Artemas Thayer was admitted to 
tlie bar in Flint in the same year Mr. Birdsall came; he later became an 
extensive dealer in real estate. Alexander P. Davis, a native of Cayuga 
countv, New York, removed to Flint in 1843 from Livingston county, Mich- 
igan, and for nearly thirty years was one of the most prominent lawyers in 
the county; he n^as elected to the office of prosecuting attorney, state senator 
and other positions of honor. Levi Walker, a native of Washington county. 
New York, came to Flint in 1847. He held many positions of high honor 



and rendered signal ser\'iccs to his fellownien. Of him it has been said. 
"As a lawyer, he stood in manjr respects at the head of his profession. Hi.? 
opinion upon any law point was considered by his professional brethren as 
ahnost conclusive." At the time of his death, while he was a member of 
the Legislature, the sj^x^aker of the house said, "It is no exaggeration to say 
that in the death of Mr. Walker the house has lost one of its best and ablest 
members. Shrinking from no la!x»r, with watchful attention to every detail, 
he was never satisfied until he had thoroughly mastered his subject. Then, 
with clearness of argument and aptness of illustration he presented his views, 
almost invariably to receive the sanction and approval of his associates." 

The medical profession in Flint village was represented by several physi- 
cians of considerable eminence. Dr. Robert D. Lamond, a graduate of the 
medical school at Castleton, V'ermont, and also of the Fairfield Medical 
College, in Herkimer county. New York, came to Flint alxjut 1838 from 
Pontiac, where he had commenced practice soon after 1830. He repre- 
sented Genesee counly in the Legislature in 1844. and continued to reside in 
Flint until his death in 1871. Before 1840 Dr. Elijah Drake settled in Flint. 
practicing here until his death in 1875. In 1840 came Dr. George W. Fish. 
Doctor Fish removed to Jackson in 1848, holding subsequently many high 
positions of trust which kept him from Flint, to which he did not return 
until late in life. Dr. Daniel Clarke, a graduate of Harvard, removed from 
Grand Blanc to Flint in 1844, where he continued to practice for the greater 
portion of his life. In 1845 ^^- ^^ I-^skie Miller came to Flint from Lai>eer, 
but after seven years remo\'ed to Chicago and was subsequently appointed 
professor of obstetrics in Rush Medical College. In 1848, Dr. John Willet, 
a graduate of Geneva (New York) Medical College, began his practice in 
Flint, where he continued until appointed as surgeon in the army in 1862, 
On his return he entered the drug business, and later was elected to the state 

In the winter of i8.ii-i84> there was organized at Flint the Genesee 
County Medical Society, the first organization of the kind in the county. Of 
this society the following mention was made in an address by Dr. G. W. 
F'ish in 1876; 

"About thirty-five years ago. four physicians met in an office in the 
Uttle village of Flint, and, after much deliljeration and consultation, organ- 
ized the first medical society ever formed in this part of the state. They 



were all young men, but recently from the schools, natives of the state of 
New York, and had all a common alnui maier— the old Fairfield Medical 
College, in Herkimer county. New York. Of those who that day attached 
their signatures to the constitution and by-laws of the first Genesee County 
Medical Society, one. Dr. John A. Hoyes, has been dead almost a score of 
years; another, Dr. Robert D. Lamond, died some five years since; the third, 
Dr, John W. King, lies in his coflin and will soon be ]>orne by ns to his last 
resting-place, and the fourth is he who now addresses you." 

In a letter written later by Doctor Fish he sjjeaks of this old society as 
follows; "We sent to I!)etroit and to Pontiac for copies of the constitution 
and by-laws of their respective medical societies, and framed one suited to 
our wishes. My impression is that Doctor Hoyes was the first president 
and Dr. I,amond, secretary. I also think that the first annual meeting was 
held at Flint, the following June, at which meeting Doctors Steere and 
Gallup, of Fentonville, and Doctor Baldwin, of Atlas, became members, and 
perhaps Doctor Miller, of Flushing, may have joined at that time, or soon 
after. I may Ix: mistaken one year in the date of the organization, but I 
think I am right. The society remained in active operation for many years, 
until I went south. J Ijelieve ail the regular bred physicians who came into 
the county became members of the society, l^e.'^ides some from Lapeer, Shia- 
wassee and Saginaw coimties.'' 


The schools of Flint during the period of village growth made a notable 
advance, as will appear from the following sketch; 

"The first ofiicial report of the school inspectors was made Octoljer 20, 
1838; from which report we learn that the whole number {>f scholars attend- 
ing was 60, of whom, 39 were between the ages of five and seventeen years ; 
the nunil>er under five and over seventeen being 21. Duration of school, six 
months. Amount raised by tax was $586, of which $499 was for building a 
schoolhouse. and $87 for the support of schools. This house must have been 
the frame building which formerly stood at the comer of Clifford and First 
streets, on. the site now occupied by Mr. Browning's hotise. Although the 
public school was thus legally organized, there were man)- and formidable 
obstacles to its success. Hard times soon came on and money was scarce, 
and the teachers often doubly earned, by delays and duns, the pittance which 
they received. But the greatest obstacle was want of faith in the free- 
school system, and hence the attempt to run the mongrel system hampered 



with rate-bills, which were often very onerous, especiaUy in the primary 
department, offering a temptation to parents with large families of small 
children to tolerate, if not encourage, absence from school; and as each 
absence increased the burden on those remaining, the evil grew in a con- 
stantly increasing ratio, until sometiines the school was brought to a prema- 
ture close. After struggling thus for several years without recognizing the 
real impediment in the way, the friends of education made a rally on the 
union-school system as a sovereign remedy for all scholastic ills. That por- 
tion of the district lying north of Flint river having been set off as a separate 
district, those remaining purchased an entire block and proceeded to erect 
a house in the second ward. But here, at the outset, a most egregious and 
irreparable blunder was perpetrated. The lot at that time was covered with 
a fine growth of young oaks, which were most carefully exterminated; 
whereas, had they been left to grow, they would by this time have formed one 
of the finest groves in the county. This house, which was a two-story wooden 
building, surmounted by a cupola not remarkable for its grace or artistic 
effect, contained four commodious rooms. It did good service for many 

"On the completion of the house a union school was inaugurated in the 
fall of 1846, under charge of N. W. Butts, with an ample corps of teachers. 
Years passed on and many a faithful teacher did valiant service, though often 
with a depressing consciousness of Egyptian taskwork to make scholars of 
pupils who attended at random. As an illustration of the extent of this evil 
of irregular attendance, we cite a report for the term ending August, 1853, 
as follows: Whole number enrolled, 64; average attendance, 18; average 
absences, 46. The total result, under this incubus of the rate-bill, was not 
very satisfactory; the panacea had failed and a new remedy must Ije tried. 

"Accordingly, we find that at the annual school-meeting held in 1855 
the following resolutions were adopted, prefaced with a preamble, setting 
forth that the experience of ten years had demonstrated the failure of the 
union-school system to give any adequate return for the expense incurred, 
while it completely excluded four-fifths of the children of the district from 
any participation in its questionable benefits ; and believing that the great 
interests of education would be advanced, the burden of taxation diminished, 
and the harmony of the second and third wards improved by a frank and 
open abandonment of the present system, and the division of the district; 

" 'Resolved, that the union system as adopted, so far as it goes to estab- 



lish the academic department in said school, be and the same is hereby 

" 'Resolved, that we have ten months of school the coming year in this 
house. That we have one male and two female teacliers qualified to teach 
the primary and English branches of education. 

" 'Resolved, that, in the opinion of this meeting, the great interest of 
education in our city would be advanced by a division of Union school district 
No. I, so that Saginaw street should be the dividing line.' 

"In accordance with this expression of public sentiment, upon petition 
of the parties interested, the division was made by the school inspectors, 
and district No, 3, embracing the then third ward, was formed. But, the 
disintegration having commenced, another division was called for and made, 
forming district No. 4, of that portion of the third ward lying north of 
Court street. 

"The old District, No. i was now left in an anomalous position, for, as 
jnight have been expected, with the adoption of the foregoing resolutions 
no provision was made for sustaining a public school, the customary asses.'i- 
nient of one dollar per scholar being ignored, with the following curious 
results; From the report of 1855-56 it appears that the whole amount of 
teachers' wages was $1,235, of which the amount assessed on rate-bills 
($646.47) was more than one-half, while the moiety of less than one-fifth 
($214.82) was derived from the primary-school fund and mill-tax, and 
$343.52, more than one-fourth, was received from non-residents, a propor- 
tion unparalleled in the history of our schools, and an evidence of the [wpu- 
larity of the teacher then in charge. Prof. M. B. Beals. 

"This was certainly bringing the free public school to its lowest terms, 
and a continuance of the same must soon have led to the total abandonment 
of the whole system. But the people were not ready for such a catastrophe 
and ever after, at the annual meetings, voted as liberally as the law allowed 
for the support of schools, and would gladly have anticipated, by a decade, 
that relea.l:e from the thraldom of rate-bills which the legislature ultimately 


These early years of Flint under statehood were signalized especially 
by the growth of the press. All of the newspapers in Grenesee county up 
to 1854 were pubhshed in Flint. The first was published as early as January, 
1839. It was a democratic sheet known as The Flint River Gazette, pub- 
lished by Joseph K. Averill. The press, fixtures and type with which it was 



Started had previously been in use in the state of Xew York, and the extent 
of the equipment may be judged from the purchase price paid by Mr. Averill, 
namely, one thousand ninety-three dollars and ninety-one cents. Its publica- 
tion proved unsuccessful and in 1841 it ceased to exist. 

The following story about this paper is told by Mr. W. R. Bates : When 
the population of the embryo city of l-'lint was well down in the hundreds, 
the community was somewhat startled by the appearance of a boy on the 
streets of the hamlet offering for sale a paper. The boy's name was Edward 
Todd and the name of paper was the Whip Lash. Mr. Todd informs nie that 
nearly everyone bought a copy because, as he naively added, 'nearly everybod}' 
was mentioned in its columns.' He says that for many years no one knew 
who was responsible for it, but that William P. Crandall and Cornelius Roose- 
velt secured his services to sell it on the streets and that they were its editors. 
This gossiping sheet was printed on the hand press of the first paper pub- 
lished at Flint — The Flint River Gasette — and nearly every item had its sting. 
So it seems that the modern Town Topics of New York City had its proto- 
type in the forests on the banks of the Flint way back in the thirties." 

The second newspaper in the county was The Northern Advocate, Whig 
in politics, published in 1840 by William Perry Joslyn; but the following year 
it was removed to Pontiac. In June, 1843, appeared the first number of 
The Genesee County Democrat, published by William B. Sherwood, who 
before had unsuccessfully published the Shiawassee Democrat and Clinton 
Express, at Corunna in Shiawassee county; he was not more successful 
at Flint. The Genesee RepnhUcan, a democratic paper, first appeared in 
April, 1845. It was understood to lie owned by Gen. Charles C. Hascall. 
In the same year appeared The Flint Republican, published by Daniel S. 
Merritt. It was this paper which, iu 1848, came under the proprietorship 
of Royal W. Jenny, who had been connected with it at least since 1840. 
In 1853 he ceased to publish the Republican and immediately commenced 
the publication of the Genesee Democrat, one of the most successful of the 
early newspapers. Two short-lived papers. The Western Citisen and The 
Genesee Whig, the first owned by O. S. Carter, the second by Francis H. 
Rankin, were published about 1850. In that year Mr. Rankin founded 
what proved to be a worthy rival of the Genesee Democrat, namely The 
Genesee Whig, whose name after the dissolution of the Whig party was 
changed first to The Wolverine Citizen and Genesee Whig and finally to 
The Wolverine Citizen. From the organization of the Republican party 
at Jackson in 1854 this paper was a distinctively Republican paper of the 
"stalwart" type. Its editor was actively instrumental in reorganizing the 



anti-slavery elements of the old Whig and Democratic parties of Genesee 


The oldest religions organization in Flint is the Court Street Metho- 
dist Episcopal church, which hegan in a humble way in 1B35 when Rev. 
William H. Erockaway established the first preaching at Flint in the bar- 
room of Mr. Beach's tavern. Next year the upper story of Stage & Wright's 
store was used and the first class was organized. The first quarterly rneeting 
of the Michigan conference was held at IHint in 1837. The name "Flint 
River Mission" appears on the minutes in 1837 for the first time, with 
Luther D, Whitney as preacher in charge and Samuel P. Shaw, presiding 
elder. During the athiiinistration of I^ev. F. B. Bangs, who was appointed 
to the Flint work in the autumn of 1841, a church edifice was built on the 
lot donated to the societj' by Wait Beach, on the southwest corner of Beach 
and Sixth streets. It was dedicated on the evening of December 21, 1844. 
The size of the building was thirty-five by fifty-iive feet, with a small gallery 
in one end. The annual conference of 1847 made Flint village a station 
entirely distinct from the circuit. About this time a number of improvements 
were made in the church property. Among those who served on this appoint- 
ment previous to 1855, after Rev, Whitney, were Revs. I^rman Chatfield, 
Ebenezer Steel, F'. B. Bangs, William Mothersill, Harrison Morgan, David 
Burns, M. B. Cambuni, Dr. B, S. Taylor, William Mahon, J. M. Arnold 
and George Taylor, 

The first Presbyterian church of Flint had its beginning with members 
of another conmiunion. In 1837 their leader. Rev. M. Dudley, organized 
seventeen persons into a Congregational church, at the "River House." In 
1840, there being no Congregational association in this region, they placed 
themselves under the care of the presbytery of Detroit. At about the same 
time they built a church where later stood the Henderson warehouse. By 
1845 this building had been enlarged and removed to the east comer of 
Saginaw and First streets, and not long afterwards the members entered 
upon the work of erecting a new house of worship, which was dedicated 
on January 26. 1S48. The Congregationalists remained connected with this 
church until 1867. Pre\'ious to 1S55 the principal pastors of this society 
were Revs, Dudley, Bates, Parker, Beach, VanNest, Atterbury and Northrop. 

As earlv as 1837 an efifort was made to organize a Baptist church in 
Flint, which was presently successful. An event which considerably strength- 
ened the movement was the disl>anding of a church of fifteen members five 



miles from Flint in present Burton township, who transferred their mem- 
bership to the Flint church. The meetings of the new society were 
held in a room over the jail in the court house, but repeated disturbances 
in those quarters led them to take a room in the Crapo building, on the 
north side of the river, until a church should be built. The erection of 
the first meeting-house was accomplished only with great difficulty and was 
dedicated in 1855. 

St. Paul's church, Protestant Episcopal, began in 1839. In that year 
the missionary. Rev. Daniel E. Brown, visited Flint and reported that 
"The voice of an Episcopal clergyman in celebrating the services of our 
church had never been heard here." In October the bishop visited Flint 
and reported such zeal manifested for the organization of a parish that he 
consented at once to the proposed measure. Rev. Mr. Brown bega» work 
here in November and in the following month a church was organized, among 
whose members were George M. Dewey, Grant Decker and Henry C. Walker. 
The wardens elected were T. D. Butler and Milton A. Case. On the original 
vestry were Reuben McCreery, Jonathan Dayton, Henry M. Henderson, 
Chauncey S. Payne and James .B. Walker. The holy communion was cele- 
brated for the first time on Christmas day, 1839. Rev. Daniel E. Brown 
became the first rector. In March, 1S49, the bishop visiting the new parish 
found that a temporary building had been neatly fitted up for the accommo- 
dation of the congregation, but it was forced to solicit help from the Fast 
to complete the building of a church. Rev. Mr. Brown succeeded in raising 
from that source about one thousand seven hundred dollars above expenses. 
Many difficulties, however, still attended the achievement of putting up the 
new church building, which was not completed until July, 1843. This was 
known as the "Old church." a building thirty-four by forty-eight feet, stand- 
ing on village lot No. 5, block No. 2. In his report to the convention in 
1S44, the Rev. Mr. Brown speaks of liberal donations "received from the 
friends of the church in New York, of an elegant set of communion plates, 
also a superb copy of the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer, for the use 
of chancel and reading-desk." In 1846 the resignation of the Rev. Mr. 
Brown was accepted "with deep regret." During a period of seven years 
his official acts were as follows: Baptisms, 47 (infant, 33; adult, 14), con- 
firmations, 24; funerals, 21; marriages, 12. His successor was Rev. Charles 
Reighley, who resigned in 1850. His official acts during these three years 
were; Baptisms 35 {infant, 28; adult, 7); confirmations, 12; marriages. 3; 
burials, 33. In 1852 Rev. John Swan Ijecame the next rector, who still held 
that position when the village became a city. 



In this period also were laid the foundations of St. Michael's Roman 
Catholic church. Bishop P. Lefever, of the diocese of Detroit, was the 
impidse which placed in form of organization the material for a Roman 
Catholic church in Flint. The first efforts date back to September 2, 184,3, 
tliough the building was several years in process of erection. The ground 
on which it stands was deeded by Chauncey S. Payne and George M. Dewey 
gave two hundred dollars towards the fund, while many leading citizens 
contributed more or less liberally as their means ]>ermitted. Among the 
friends from Detroit who rendered material aid to the struggling enterprise 
were Lewis Cass, Joseph Campau, Bishop P. Lefever, Peter Desnoyer, and 
many other names well known in olden times. Daniel O'Sullivan, whose 
arrival in Flint occurred in July, 1834, was largely instrumental in the con- 
struction of the building, having contributed both in means and lalxDr to 
the enterprise. The first regularly installed pastor was Rev. Michael Mona- 
ghan, who remained some time after the completion of the church, and was 
succeeded by Rev. Joseph Kinderkins, brother of Vicar-General Kinderkins, 
of Detroit, who, in turn, was succeeded by Rev. C. L. Deceuninck, in 1856, 
who organized a school under the management of two lay teachers. His 
pastorate extended over a period of fifteen years, during which time he was 
active in many benevolent enterprises and did much for the relief of the 
poor of the church. 

The first cemetery in Flint was a piece of ground about an acre in 
extent known as the "old Patterson homestead." It was bounded on the 
south by Fifth street, on the west by Grand Traverse, on the north by Court 
and on the east by Church. This acre was deeded in 1835 by Mr. and Mrs. 
Wait Beach to the county for a burial ground. It was in use about eight 
years and twenty-five interments were made in it, when it was vacated. In 
1841 a new location was chosen, known as the "old burial ground," situ- 
ated on the north side of the Richfield road on Kearsley street about half a 
mile east of Saginaw street. The bodies were disinterred from the original 
ground and reburied here. In 1842 John Beach deeded to the county an 
acre of ground as a first addition to this plat, which was the last addition 
made while Flint remained a village. 

Flint village saw also the beginning of two leading benevolent associa- 
tions, the Masons and the Odd Fellows. The first lodge of the order of 
Free and Accepted Masons was convened in Flint, April 6, 1848, and was 
organized as Genesee Lodge No. 23. Its first officers were H. I. Higgins, 
worthy master; Chauncey S. Payne, senior warden; Willard Eddy, junior 
warden ; Charles Reighley, secretary and treasurer ; — Wright, senior 



deacon; Benjamin Boomer, junior deacon; Ingals, tiler. The lodge 

held its early meetings in the Starr building, in the first ward, owned by 
Chauncey S. Payne, and since burned. I'he first member initiated was Col. 
E. H. Thomson. It then moved into the Hil! building, on the south side 
of Saginaw street. In December, 1845, it surrendered its charter and its 
books and papers were, by order of the grand lodge of the state, together 
with jurisdiction over its membership, transferred to FHnt Lodge No. 2;^, 
Free and Accepted ■ Masons. 

Genesee Lodge No. 24, Independent Order of Odd Fellows was insti- 
tuted, June I, 1874, by Deputy Grand Master Alfred Treadway, of Pontiac, 
under a dispensation granted by the Most Worthy Grand Master Andrew 
J. Clark, of Niles. The dispensation was replaced by a charter from the 
grand lodge, July 22, 1847. The lodge reported on the 30th of June of 
the same year thirty-three contributing meml>ers. Its first officers were 
Edward H. Thompson, noble grand; George M. Dewey, vice-grand; Charles 
D. Little, secretary; Sylvester A. Pengra, treasurer. E. H. Thomson was the 
first representative from Genesee Lodge to the grand lodge of Michigan and 
was also its first district deputy grand master. The second corps of officers 
of the lodge, installed in January, 1848, were George M. Dewey, noble 
grand; Charles D. Little, vice-grand; Sylvester A. Pengra, secretary; George 
H. Hazelton. treasurer. 


In the closing-years of tliis period was organized an institution of much 
interest to a group of Flint people desirous of improvement in scientific 
knowledge. Feeling the want of Irooks which they could not individually 
command, they associated for the purpose of forming a library. The charter 
members of the club were: D, Clarke, M. Miles, R. S. Hutton, C. L. Avery. 
William Stevenson, S. E. Wilcox, F. H. Rankin and A. B. Pratt. 

At a meeting called at the office of F. H. Rankin, February 8, J853. a 
society was organized and the following officers were elected : President, 
D. Clarke; secretary, F. H. Rankin; librarian, M. Miles; treasurer, William 
Stevenson. The object of the society was fully set forth in the constitu- 
tion as follows : "The society shall be known as the Flint Scientific Insti- 
tute. Its objects shall be to promote the study and investigation of the sev- 
eral branches of scientific knowledge, the estabfishment of a library of scien- 
tific works and a museum of natural history; and its funds shall be devoted 
to the procuring of such l>ooks, charts and other matters as shall promote 
those objects." The objects were further elucidated in a paper "On the 


(;i".M-si':ic couN'i'y, Michigan, _^3t 

iinporttiiice of acquiring and extending scientific knowledge," read by the 
president at the first qnarterly meeting, held April 6, 1853, which paper was 
by request published in the Genesee Whig. In May, 1853 a circular was 
issued calling public attention to the objects and needs of the institution 
and soliciting aid in membership and donations of books, and also specimens 
of natural history to form a cabinet. In resixinse to this appeal, the fol- 
lowing names were added to the list of members : T. Newail. E. Dodge, 
H. R. Pratt, J. N. Lake. M. Pratt, S. B. Cummings. G. Andrews. D. Glen- 
dall, J. Guild, M. B, Deals, C. E. McAlester, J. Kellancl. William B. 
McCreery, Charles Rankin, M. D. Seeley, J. N. Burdick, H, Wilson, R. P. 
Aitkin and William Travis. 

Many specimens were brought in by farmers and others and the mem- 
bers generally went to work with a will. Some, who were occupied during 
business hours, brought in valuable contributions as the result of their morn- 
ing and evening excursions with the gun or fishing-rod, and obtained for 
their reward, in addition to the consciousness of aiding a worthy cause, 
improved health and renewed vigor. 

In March, 1854, a course of twelve lectures having been completed, a 
series of weekly informal meetings for the discussion of stated" subjects 
was commenced. The subject of geography in all relations was taken up; 
the topic was announced two weeks in advance and was discussed after the 
report of standing committees. A wide range was taken and a large portion 
of the earth's surface was passed in review. Many facts of interest were 
noted, much thought elicited, and without donbt all engaged in the work 
profited by it. 

The Ladies Library Association of Flint was organized in 1851. It 
was the first of its kind in Michigan. By special invitation of Mrs. T. B. 
W. Stockton, a small band of ladies met at her residence to consider the 
practicability of forming some society to supply the lack of culture for them- 
selves and their families. This work the ladies of Flint felt to be theirs. 
\\'hile the fathers, brothers and husbands were felling the forests, erecting 
mills, tilling the soil and Iniilding for their families new homes, the mothers, 
wives and daughters did what was in their power to furnish wholesome 
food for the intellect. The result of the first meeting was the forming of 
an association for mutual improvement, and the decision to meet once a week 
to discuss literary subjects, to read and com[>are ideas on what was read, 
and a resolution to do what they could to establish and sustain a i>ermanent 
library. v\ constitution was written and presented by Mrs. R. W, Jenny, 
which was adopted. TJie following officers were chosen for the first year : 



President, Mrs. T. B. W. Stockton; vice-president, Mrs. J. B. Walker; record- 
ing secretary, Mrs. R. W. Jenny; treasurer, Mrs. Dr. Manly Miles; libra- 
rian, Miss Hattie Stewart. A corresponding secretary, a book committee of 
three and an executive committee of five persons were added to the list 
of officers during the first year. After some discussion relative to ways 
and means, and the prospect of supporting a library, the ladies adjourned 
to meet the following week at the residence of Mrs. WilHam M. Fenton. 

At their next meeting was expressed their firm resolve to establish a 
library, and their organization was called the "Ladies' Library Associa- 
tion" ; although they had no funds in the treasury save the small sum of 
ten dollars from membership fees. This sum was immediately laid out for 
books and the members decided to supply the lack of reading matter by 
furnishing, each from her own store, books and periodicals, and exchanging 
with others. Some donations of books followed, the most valuable of 
which was a complete set of works known as "Harper's Family Library," 
the gift of Chauncey S. Payne. Lectures and various kinds of entertain- 
ments were improvised to gain funds for books, the proceeds of which the 
first year amounted to one hundred and sixty dollars only; still, the ladies 
were in no wise disheartened, and they continued to feast and to entertain 
the public by lectures, readings, tableaux and dramatic representations until 
two hundred and forty volumes were placed upon their shelves, as shown 
by their first catalogue. These were all carefully chosen. With increase 
of meml>ership, some liberal donations and renewed efforts, the next cata- 
logue, in 1854, numbered about five hundred volumes. In 1853 ^^^ asso- 
ciation became incorporated under the direction of the following olBcers: 
President, Mrs. C. S. Payne; vice-president, Mrs. H. I. Higgins; recording 
secretary (pro tem), Mrs. A, Thayer; corresponding secretary, Mrs. F. H. 
Rankin: treasurer, Mrs. A. T. Crosman; clerk, Mrs. R. W. Jenny; librarians, 
Mrs. J. B. Walker and Mrs. O. Hamilton. The fine Flint public library is the 
successor of the Flint Ladies Library Association. 


Among the organizations which began in Flint village and continued 
to give pleasure to the people of the later city, none were more appreciated 
than the old Flint Band. This was organized in the summer of 1848, and 
was composed of the following gentlemen : Leader, E-flat sax-horn, E. F. 
Frary ; B-flat clarionet, Leonard Wesson ; cornopean, William Hamilton 
and Franz Barnhart ; shde trombone, Ira F. Payson and G. H. Hazelton ; 



French horn. Homer HazeUon; ophicleide, Charles D. Littie; trumpet, 
George W. Hill; drum, Willard Pettee. 

The instruments were purchased of Adam Couse, then the sole music 
dealer in Detroit. The first instructor of the band was T. D. Nutting. An 
old member says, "I took my place in the band very soon after its organi- 
zation, having succeeded Willard Pettee (bass-drum). I held my position 
for fifteen years, during which time forty- four persons had belonged; not 
one of the original mem1>ers remained at the expiration of that time, and 
yet, to use a solecism, it was the same old band. Practicing in those old 
times was pleasant enough to the members, but there were persons Uving 
within one or two blocks of the band room who never greeted us with 
smiles, but, on the contrary, some maternal members of households gave 
strong evidences of nervous derangement. The old residents that yet 
remain will remember that those discordant sounds were not confined to 
the band-room alone; night was made hideous as we wandered up and 
down the streets playing the music that had charms for us. This band 
was originated and sustained by the members for their enjoyment and 
recreation, rather than for any profit connected therewith. Most of the 
members were from the ranks of prominent citizens — merchants for the most 
part. This gave cliaracter to the organization, and it in time helped Flint, 
rendering it pleasant for our neighbors of the surrounding townships and 
villages to come in on the 'day we celebrate,' and others. We played at 
political gatherings — ^for all parties alike — for church festivals, on 'St. Pat- 
rick's Etay in the Morning,' for steamboat excursions to Saginaw river 
bay, and for nearly all public gatherings in the city. Strangers visiting 
Flint were very sure to hear from us in the way of serenades. The band 
members were elected honorary members of the old 'Harmonic Society," 
etc., and came to be one of the 'institutions.' Whenever we went abroad, 
we were taken by Will Pettee's four-horse team, which was considered some- 
thing pretentious in those days of ox-teams— no railways with us until long 
years after. For the purchase of instruments and other expenses, ,the 
members were assessed, each member on entering the band paying thirty 
dollars. After this, assessments followed at the rate of from three to 
eight dollars per capita. I notice the initiation fees of the forty-four mem- 
bers before referred to aggregate one thousand three hundred and twenty 
dollars, and with assessments added would leave little less than two thou- 
sand five hundred dollars paid by these band members out of their own 


Mexican and Civil Wars, 

The tirst public exigency which required the calling out of troops after 
Genesee became a cotinty was the war with Mexico — 1846 to 1848. At 
that time the population of the county was small and among its people 
there would be found comparatively few who could l>e spared from the cabins 
and clearings, where they stood on constant duty as sentinels to guard, their 
families against the assault of hunger and want. Nevertheless there were 
some men of Genesee, both officers and soldiers, who followed their country's 
flag to the fields of far-off Mexico. The First Regiment of Michigan Volun- 
teers was cotnmanded by Col. T. B. W. Stockton, of Flint, and among the 
companies which composed it was that of Captain Hanscom, of Pontiac, 
which, though made up largely of Oakland countj' volunteers, contained a 
few from Genesee. The Fifteenth United States Regiment also contained 
Michigan companies, and one of these was commanded by Capt. Eugene 
Van De \"eiiter, of Genesee. In that company were Alexander \V. Davis, 
of Grand Blanc, severely wounded at Churubusco; ^V'illiani R. Buzzell, who 
died of disease in the city of Mexico, October 29, 1847; Claudius H. Riggs, 
of Grand Blanc, who died at Vera Cruz, July 12, 1847; Robert Handy, 
reported as dead in Mexico ; Henry L. Brannock, who survived his term 
of service, and perhaps others, whose names cannot lie given. The regi- 
ment of which Captain Van De Venter's company was a ^lart was in the 
division of Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, of Tennessee. Of Genesee county soldiers 
who served in Captain Hanscom's company we can give only the names 
of James W. Cronk and Norton Cronk, of Clayton, the former <if whom 
died in Me.xico. 

The ne.xt military history of Genesee county commenced in those 
spring days of 1861, when the guns of besieged Sumter sounded a war- 
signal which reverberated across the hills and streams from ocean to ocean. 
The intense earnestness with which Michigan entered into the war is 
reflected in the burning message of Governor Blair to the Legislature in 
extra session, January 2, 1862, 



i c^iiiiiot .•lll^e rliLW lu-ie£ ilddress wltllciut iin illustnitiuii of the Kleat ol.jwt tli;it 
.Hi-iiplt'w nil iiieu'w Diliuls. The Wmitheni i-*-belllou still nmintnins ii twld front jiKiiinst 
ihi' I'liioii iiruiieH. That Is thi- ciiuse of nil our complU-iitimin jiin'Oiiil mid onv trimliles 
nt luijiie. To ileal wisely with It is Ui fiiicl ti- abort riiid eiiay deliveninee of thciii iill. 
'J'ho DiHiijIi. of Mi<-hlgiiii Jire no lille spwtntors of this tti^ent contest. They hiive fur- 
nished all the tvooiiB reijutreil of them jind nre in-eiitii-ing to imy the taxes and tn 
submit to the most onerous Inu'deiis without a niurnnii-. They are ready to inii-ease 
their sa<Till<-eB, if need he, to refjHlre ImpoaBihilities of no man, but to be iwtieHt and 
wiiit But to see the viist armies of the reiiubltc, and nil its iietunliiry reaourcea, used 
t() protect mid sustain the accursed system which lins been a iiei-petwal and tyrannical 
diafm-liei-, and which now makes s;iiiguinary wai- upon the I'nion and the constitution, 
is iirei-lsely whiit they will never submit to tamely. The loyal states, hiiving fui- 
nisheil ade(|UHtc means, both of men and money, to crush the rebellion, have a i-iKht 
to e.\|icct those men to he used with the utmost vigor to accomiillsh tlie ob.lect, and 
that ivithout any mawkish symiiathy for the Interest of traitors in arms, rpoii thohi' 
who caused the war, and now maintain il, its chief burdens oujeht to fall. Xo iiroii- 
frty of a reliel ought to he fi-ee frian C'ouhseiition — nut even the saei'eti slave. The 
objet-t of war Is to destroy the iwiwei- of the enemy, aud whatever measui-es are cnlcu- 
iated to iiccompllsh that oWe'-t a]i<l are in accordance with tlie iiBnges of civilized 
nations. ouRlit to be employeil. To undertake to put down a iMiwerful rebellion and, 
at the same time, to save aud protect all the chief soui-ces of the power of that rebel- 
lion, aeems to conimon mhuls but a short remove from simple folly. He who is not 
for the rniiiii, uni-caiditlonally, lu this iiiortnl struggle, is against it. The hlgheNt 
dictates of iiatriolism, Justice aud humanity combine to demand that the war should 
lie conducted to a speedy close upon principles of the moat heroic enerity and retri- 
butive power. The time for gentle dalliance has long shice passed away. We meet 
ail oieiny. vindictive, bloodthirsty and cruel, jn-ofoundly In earnest, Inspired with an 
I'LLcri.',! atid self-sacrifice which would honor a good cause, respecting neither laws, coii- 
-ititutions nor lilstorlc lueuKiries, fantastically devoted only to his one wicked puri«>so 
to destroy the govenmieut and establish his slave-holding oligarchy in ita stead. To 
treat this enemy gently is to excite liis derision. To pi-otect his slave property is to 
help bim to butcher our jteople and burn odr houses. No. He must he met with au 
activity and a purpose equal to his own. Hurl the t'nlon foi-ces, which outnumber 
him two to one, upon his whole line like a tliunderbolt ; pay tliem out of his pi-operty, 
feed them from his gi'anaries, mount them upon bla hoi-ses. carry them In his wagons. 
If be haw any, and let bIm feel the full force of the atorni of war which he has 
raisiil. I would apologize neither to Kentucky nor anybody else for these measures, 
but quickly raiiRe all ueutriils either on the one side or the other. Just a little of 
the courage and ability which carried Najioleon over the Alps, di'a^ng his caunon 
thniugh the snow, would quickly settle this contest, and settle It right. If our sol- 
diers must die, do not let it be of the inactivity aud dise;ises of camps, but let them 
at least have the satisfaction of falling like soldiers, amid the roar of battle and hear- 
ing the shouts of victorj-; then will they welcome It as the tired laborer welcomes 
Hleej). Let us hope that we have' not much longer to wait. 

That Michigan nobly responded to the spirit of these words in this 
great crisis of onr national life, evidence abounds. The cry was everv- 
where, "Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever." At 
a patriotic meeting held in Detroit, the following well-known poem bv 



Julia Ward Howe was read, with thrilling- effect, cheer upon cheer greeting 
each stanza: 

\Ae me cjining I tliti iliilniii thjep liii liert. IhtniMii 1 uuie 

Froaj UisslsHliif 1 s nliidlD„ stieiiui aud fitiui \en i-agl inds slure; 

^^e lea^e oui iilonu iinil wuikshopa out ni\es and tbildieu (lent 

With he^rtH too full for utterjiiice witli lint ti silent teai 

W e tlure not look beLlud us, but btendfiistlT before — 

fle are eouilB^ir lather ibiahim — ^tliiee liniidted tbouaind moie' 

If von tooL. acioss the htlltopa thflt meet the uortheiii sir 

Long moling line* of iHlug dnat youi M-Jijn uin\ deien 

And now the wind in Liiatant teais tlie cloudj lell aside 

And Boats iloft oni spiiugled flag in (ilorv and In pride 

And bayonets m the snnllght gle^ni and binds braie muRic ijoui — 

We me coming lather Abiaiiani— tbiee limidred thoitamd moie' 

If lou look all up our lallevs, wheie tin, growing liiiiests ahine 
You niay see oui sturdj fimietbcya fast forming Into line 
And children fioni theii mothers huees, aie pulling at the weeds, 
And learning hon to leap aud wjw igainst their counti-j s needs 
And a faiewell gioup stands weermg it erery cottage door — 
Me are coming Fatliti ibrahani — three Uundied thousand nnie' 

You ha^e culled ua md were coinin). bj RlebniondB bloody tide 

To lav ns down for fieedoms soke our brothers bones beside 

Oi from foni tieiB<Hia savage grasp fd wieuch the muideiouM 1 hide, 

^Uid In tlie fnce of f lelgn foes its fiaginents to ptiade 

Six hundred thousind loyal men and tine litwe gone befoie— 

■Re are coming Father Abraham— thiee hnudied thouwmd more' 

In the adjutant-generars report for 1862 we read: 

The res|iont-e of the iHiople of thi: stiile to the Trealdent's i-ull wan iiatriotii" and 
prompt almost beyond expettatiou. Individuals of eiery degi'ee of iiromliiente forth- 
irith began to interest themwives iu the busineMS of lining the regiuients. Cummiiui- 
tles ga\e to It their time and their alniowt exclusive attention while, better than all. 
the substantial masses of the people offered tlienisel*es in person. War meetings wei-e 
hold In almost every village and tomishlp iu the state. Uepreaentatlves of all classes 
coaverted themselves either hito i-ecruits or rKTultlng oUicers, and among the most etli 
dent of the latter were ministers of the gosiiel, some of whom led the men they bad 
enlisted into the Held. 

Immediately f<)llowIng the issue of the oi-der referred to, applications reached the 
adjutaut-geuernl's oftice, by telegraph aud othej'wlse, from all sections of the state, 
urging authoiit.v to recruit and desiring lustl'UL-tlons and forms for the enlistment of 
tompanies. Fai-llitles to promote this purpose nere proniptly furnished and as soon 
as the camp grounds could be provided with suitable quarters, men began to flock in 
by companies and detachments. The gentlemen who had been eliarged with the duty 
uf suiiervising the organization of the raiments performed their labors with diligence 
and success, and In little over a month fi-oni the liate of the Prenident's call, men 
Rufflclent had been raised in the state, and nearly enough were in camp, to fill all the 
raiments wblch the war deiiartment had asked for under the President's requisltlcni. 



The church and the press rendered immense service. The "Red Book 
of Michigan" says: 

lli*^ Ctiiistim Uiiiiili til tLis st lo fetiid Ih iHved b\ lis imuumed pitiiotsui 
111(1 m ini/est cleiotiou to tlit t iiise of riie cuuntr^ in element of Immense success 
Ul true pitiluts ((uiuieti<l its iioliie coarse all f iltliful ( hilstlnuH eiiduise its glorious 
iHIou iiom tliu time tliiit Suiuttr wns flr*^ on until lee lud Jolinslon laid doBii 
llieii lebelhous iims mil I>(nK fleil foi lits lift it eiicoui ifeed and neived b^ word 
iiui deed tiie soldipi lu tlif field ilded luufli m the ntiuitmeiit of the men bs, its 
iili[iriniil of the muse iiid ila i]H?nU moned iibboiiiiice ot rebels uDd those who 
Hjiiiiiithi^wl «itli tlitin lud < 1 1 ' •< ■'1 Ihe win \\lieit It did wot cowiudtce most meitji 
nid gtmeinig disloMiIt^ U'-M-'- nul hi itl est tieiaoii pie\euted its being included In 
the l*io^ldeiKT of Uod union, the instiuinintiiiitles to sine the notion and hence 
neither deseiies iioi csiii eYfiect iin bettei fate thi>u the ceitim condemmtlon of e\en 
tiTie lover of his counti-j and of hiB race and the dtopprOMil of the God of nations 

llie ■valuable serilces lendend nt this time bj the loyil press throughout Oib 
Btite till! neicr be oieiestimated for Its succ^iful efforts iii atrengtheinng the hind') 
of iiubin ofticeis iu niouldluK [inblit opinion in faioi of !o\nltv to the goiernment 
in eucournging putitotisni amon-, the misses and insimlns, thfse t Ihe front «lth i 
heiolsiii leiidiiio to giiH int deeds 

At the close of 1862, the loyalty of the people of Michigan and the 
splendid service of the Michigan troops had won a high place in the esteem 
of the nation. The adjutant-general in closing his report for the year said: 

Tlie same determluiilion seems to exist as at the commeuceuient of the war, that 
it must be iiut down and the nation redeemed at iiny sacriflce. The promptness and 
cheerfulness witli which e*ei'j- cull umde by the general government upon the state 
bus been responded to, hesiienks the intelligent, loyal patriotism of its people. The 
[leoiile of Jlichigaii in-e Intelligently loya! on the subject of war, and lier soldiery are 
bilelllgeutly brave and pati'lotlc, true to the honor of their state and their nation, 
preferring on all occasions death before dishonoring either. The troops from the state 
of Michigan have gained a prominent itosition in the armies of the nation. They hjive 
done their duty faithfully and fearlessly and borne tlie brunt of many well-fought 
battles. Some of them hare fii-oved an anomaly In modem warfare. Suddenly called 
fl-om the conmion vocations of life, and within a ^pvy few days of the time of leaiing 
their native state, they have been pitted against the veteran trooiis of the enemy o( 
their country in superior nimibers, and completely routed them. It has been the for- 
tune of some of them voSinitarily and successfully to lead the "forlorn hope," regard- 
less of opposing numbers. Their scars and thinned ranks now attest their seriices 
to their countrj-. The honor of their nation and their state has been safe in their 
hands, and botli wiH cherisli and reward them. Monuments to the memory of the 
brave dead are now erected In the hearts of the people and national monuments to 
their memory will be erected by a grateful countrj. 

With the surrender of the Southern army under General Lee, April 9, 
1865, and the surrender of Johnston's army the same month, came peace. 
The first of the Michigan troops came home in the following June, and 



on the 14th, Governor Crapo, recently elected from Genesee county to suc- 
ceed Governor Blair, issued the following proclamation of welcome and 
thanks to the returning soldiers : 

In the imuie of the reople if MichiKiiii 1 tliitnk tou f i the hoiioi yon Iim^ (Inn 
UB t>i jour I iloi your soldieili betilng vom m\incible cournge evei\wlieit (lis 
pliiyed whether upon the fielil of battle in the perilous assault 01 iu the deidlT 
bieiith for your patience undei the fatigues and }nivatlous and suffeilnga niciileiit tt 
w tr nnd foi your discipline and ready obedience to the oideis of vour supeilois l\e 
are proud in believing that when the history of this rebellion shall hue been mitten 
where all haie done well none mil stiiid hlfchei on the roll of fame thin the flfi'" is 
and soldieis sent to the field fr m the Uyal ind pafilotic sta.te of Michltin 

At the dose of the war each returning regiment delivered to its state 
its colors, the governor being avithorized by the war department to receive 
them. On the Fourth of July, 1866, the colors of the Michigan regiments 
were formally presented in Detroit, through the governor, to the state, and 
the occasion was honored by an appropriate celebration. A great procession 
Vi^as formed by the soldiers of the war, which marched through the streets 
of the city, in regimental order, bearing through the isles of assembled 
thousands the emblems of patriotism, bravery and gallant services. At the 
close of the procession, which was one of the finest and most inspiring 
ever witnessed in Michigan, the soldiers were massed in front of the speaker's 
stand on the Campus Martius, where they delivered their flags to the gov- 
ernor. Appropriate addresses were made, among them an address by Go\-- 
ernor Crapo, on receiving the flags, in which he said in part : 

I receive, in behalf of the ueopie of Michigan, these lionovahfe meninrialN of your 
valor and the nation's gJory, and, on their part, I once more thank youi' for the lii'lde 
sacrifices you ha\'e rendered m defending and preservlnc the life of the nation, iit iiu- 
hazard of your liiea and at the sacrifice of so many of your conn-jdes. I maj- ventHre 
to give you the assurance that you haie the unbounded gi'iititurte and love of your 
fellow-citizen a, and that between you auil them the glory of these defaced old flags 
will ever be a subject of Inspiration — a common bond of affection. To you they vep- 
vesent a nationality which you have periled your lives to maintain and are emblematic 
of a liberty which your strong arms and stout hearts have helped to win. To ua 
they are our fathers' flags — the ensigns of all the worthy dead— your comrades, our 
rehithea and frienda— who for their preservation haie given their blood to enrich the 
battlefields and their agonies to hallow tlie prison pens of a demoniac enemy. They 
are your flags and ours. How rich the treasure! They will not be forgotten nor 
their histories he left unwritten. 

Their stories will be household woids iind the laiiids of those who come after us 
will dwelt upon the thoughts of manly endeavor, of stanch endurance, of lllnstrlous 
achievements, which their silent eloquence will ever suggest. They will ever lypify 
the grand results accomplished by the loyal men of the nation in this ijreat rebelltoii. 
and shoMid the flame of patriotism ever wane upon our altar-stone, the halo from these 
mementoes wilt kindle again the ancient fire that electrified the world. 



Let us, then, tenderly dciiosit them, as siit-red i-elics, hi tile jirohives of oiii" state, 
there to stand forever, her proudest iwssession — a revered incentive to liberty imd 
imtrlotlsni Jind a conataiit rebulte and terror to opi>resslon and treason. 

In the interior arrangement of the new capital at Lansing the soldier 
and his services were not forgotten, but were most favorably and substantially 
remembered. With almost a profuse liberality, a large and cominodious 
rotunda was set apart, designated as the "War Museum." This is the deposit 
of the Michigan battle flags, properly placed in regimental order in magnifi- 
cent vertical cases, reaching almost to the ceihng, erected around the sides 
of the apartment, superbly mounted with heavy plate glass; these builet- 
raarked and battle-worn flags are the grandest and most impressive monu- 
ment to the soldiers of Michigan. In addition, elegant table cases now 
encircle one of the rotundas, containing a large and interesting collection 
of relics of the war. 

During the period which intervened between the birth and the death 
of trie great Rebellion, Genesee gave to the war more than two thousand 
men, whose names are recorded on the rolls of one rifle, one engineer, ten 
cavalry and twenty-three infantry regiments and nine batteries of Michi- 
gan, besides several infantry, cavalry and artillery organizations of other 
states and one regiment of United States volunteers. Several of the regi- 
ments most noticeable for the number of Genesee county men serving in 
them are especially mentioned below in historical sketches of their organi- 
zations and services in the great war for the Union. 

When, at the fall of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln called on the 
several loyal states for an army of seventy-five thousand men to sustain 
the power of the government again,st a rebellion which had unexpectedly 
proved formidable, Governor Blair of Michigan responded by issuing his 
proclamation calling for twenty companies out of the uniformed volunteer 
force of the state, with field and staff officers to compose two regiments 
of infantry, to be placed at the disposal of the President if required. The 
war department had placed the quota of Michigan at one full regiment, 
but the governor very wisely concluded that a second regiment should be 
made ready for service if it should be needed, as he believed it would be. 
Three days after the governor's call (April 19) the state's quota was filled 
and her first regiment was ready for muster into the service of the United 
States fully equipped with arms, ammunition and clothing, awaiting only 



the orders of the war department. On the 13th o£ May it left Detroit 
for Washington, being the first regiment to arrive at the capital from any 
point vyest of the AHeghany mountains. 

The governor's call for twenty companies had heen promptly and fully 
responded to, and so after making up the First Regiment there still remained 
ten coniiKinies which, having failed t<3 secure places in the First, were ready 
and anxious to he organized as the Second Regiment of Michigan. And 
among these companies was "The Flint Union Grays." This company had 
existed in the city of Fhnt from the year 1857. We find mention of the 
first Ojpening of their armory in Flint, October 2, 1858, when they were 
expecting, but had not yet received, their arms from the state arsenal; the 
election of civil and military officers of the company was as follows : 

President. L. Wesson; vice-president William P. Humphrey; secretary, 
W. I. Beardsley; treasurer, Wilhani R. Morse; captain, T. B. W. Stockton; 
first lieutenant. William R. Morse; second lieutenant, William Turver; third 
lieutenant, Levi Failing; first sergeant, 1.. Wesson; second sergeant, C. Pea- 
body; third sergeant, R. M. Barker, fourth sergeant, James Farrand; first 
corporal A. J. Boss, Jr.; second corporal, L. Church; third corporal, W. 
Boomer; fourth corporal, WiHiam Charles; armorer, O. McWilliams. 

Probably there was not one among these officers who had then ever 
dreamed of such scenes as some of them afterwards saw at Williamsburg, 
Malvern Hill and the Wilderness, or of the fame which their comiKiny was 
destined to win on a score of bloody fields. But the people of Flint and of 
Genesee county were proud of it then, as they had reason to be in far greater 
degree afterwards. This com])any furnished to various commands in the 
union army during the war of the Rebellion, six field officers, eleven cap- 
tains and eighteen lieutenants — a very unusual company record. 

Immediately after the publication of the governor's proclamation and 
when it was known that the Qrays would volunteer in a body, a large and 
extremely enthusiastic public meeting was held, April 18, at the court house 
in Flint. A circular letter of the war committee in Detroit was read and 
acted on, and the meeting adopted a series of intensely patriotic resolutions 
among which was the following: "That the young men comprising the mili- 
tary company of this city, and those who may volunteer to fill up its ranks in 
this emergency of our common country, are worthy of all encouragement and 
praise for their patriotism, and that we will contribute all sums necessary to 
sustain and support the families of all members of said company who may l>e 
mustered into the service of the United States, if they need such aid; we will 
also contribute mir full proportion of the amount required to e<|uip and muster 



into the service of the United States the two regiments required from the state 
of Michigan." A committee composed of William M. Fenton, E. H. McQuigg 
and H. M. Henderson, was appointed to carry out so much of this resolution 
as applied to the raising of money as a loan to the state, and J. B. Walker, E. S. 
Williams and A. P. Davis were appointed a like committee to carry into effect 
that [Kirt which promised aid and sup^mrt to the families of volunteers. In the 
puhlished account of the proceedings of that meeting it is mentioned that 
"every union word uttered was greeted with thunders of applause." 

On April 23 the Grays met for the choice of officers, and the following 
we're elected to the commissioned grades: Captain, William R. Morse; first 
lieutenant, William Turver; second lieutenant, James Farrand. On the eve of 
their departure to join the Second Regiment at its rendezvous, the Grays 
paraded through the principal streets of Flint and were addressed in the pres- 
ence of a great concourse of i>atriotic and admiring spectators by Colonel 
F'enton, whose remarks on the occasion were reported by the Citisen in its 
next issue as follows: "The Hon. W. M. Fenton had been with the com- 
pany for alx>ut a year, and constantly engaged for two weeks past in per- 
fecting the enlistment and preparing for its departure. At the request of 
Captain Morse, he now addressed the officers and men, alluding to the new 
position they were alxiut to occupy— its great importance; the entire change 
now to take place in their habits of life: the necessity for prompt obedience 
to the commands of their superiors, and of true courage, as contradisting- 
uished from brutality. He exhorted them to remember that the eyes of the 
frieutls they were to leave behind woidd lie constantly on them in whatever 
situation they might be placed, their ears oi>en to every report of their action, 
their pniyers ascending night and morn for their welfare and success, and 
that the fervent hope would animate them that those who now went forth to 
stand by their country in its hour of trial would return with laurels honorably 
won in its service. After giving them some practical hints as to their mode of 
life, the importance of strict cleanliness and temperance in both meat and 
drink, he asked if anv one of them would object to take an oath, substantially 
as follows : 

" 'T do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty Go{l, that 1 will 
support the constitution of the United States, and maintain it and my country's 
flag, if necessary, with my life: that I will obey the commands of my super- 
ior officers while in service, and will defend and protect my comrades in bat- 
tle to the best of my physical abihty.' None objecting, the oath was repeated 
aloud, with uplifted hand, by all the officers and members of the company. 



The scene was solemn and impressive, and was appropriately closed by a 
benediction from the Rev. Mr. Joslin." 

Another ceremony, no less interesting, was the presentation to eacii 
member of the company of a copy of the New Testament. Ninety-five of 
these had been furnished and prepared for the purpose by the members of 
the Methodist fipiscopal Sabbath school, each book having upon its fly-leaf 
this inscription : "Presented by the Sabbatli School of the Methodist E. 

Church, l'~lint, Michigan, To , of the I^"lint Union Grays, 

April 30, 1861. 'My men, put your trust in the Lord, — and l)e sure you 
keep j^our powder dry. — -Oliver Cromwell.' " 

This presentation was made while the Grays stood in line, with open 
ranks, at the corner of Saginaw and Kearsley streets. A number of ladies 
of Flint passed along the line and pinned upon the breast of each soldier a 
tri-colored rosette, bearing the words, "The Union and the Constitution!" 
and nearly every one of the spectators wore the red, white and blue upon 
some part of their dress. A presentation of revolvers to the commissioned 
officers of the company was made by the Hon. E. H. Thomson, and as he 
assigned to each pistol its particular mission and alluded to their uses, the 
enthusiasm of the crowd around was enkindled anew. 

The company left Flint on the 30th of May, being transported to Fen- 
tonville in wagons and other vehicles of which a greater number than were 
needed for the purpose were furnished by the patriotic citizens. The column 
was headed by the Flint Band and was accompanied by a large number of 
relatives and friends of the soldiers; the plank-road company passed them 
all toll-free. Taking the cars of the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad, at Fen- 
tonville, the Grays soon reached Detroit and were reported at Ft. Wayne, 
the regimental rendezvous. 

The companies volunteering for the Second Regiment had clone so in 
the supposition that it would be mustered for a three-months term of serv- 
ice, as the First Regiment had l>een. But a few days later instructions were 
received from the war department that no more troops l>e mustered or ac- 
cepted for a less term than three years; when this was announced, there were 
some in all the companies who naturally enough objected to the longer term 
and declined to l^e mustered for it. This was the case in the Flint company, 
as in others. The vacancies in its ranks from thi.s cause, however, were not 
numerous, but it was necessary to procure recruits to fill them; and for this 
purpose Captain Morse returned to Flint on the i8th of May, The alacrity 
with which this call was responded to is shown by the fact that he arrived in 
Flint on Saturday and on the following Monday reixirted with tlie requisite 



number of recruits at Ft. Wayne. On the same day — May 20 — the Second 
Regiment was announced as fu!l, and on the 25th it was mustered into the 
United States service for three years by I-ieut.-CoI. E. Backus, of the United 
States Army. The field officers of the regiment were Israel B. Richardson, 
colonel ; Henry U. Chipman, lieutenant-colonel ; Adolphus W. Williams, 

In the organization of the regiment, the company from Flint was desig- 
nated as F Company. A list, purporting to be a correct one, of the members 
of the company as mustered at Ft. Wayne is found in newspapers of that 
time, and as it contains names which are not found on the rolls in the adjutant- 
general's office, it is given below in full: 

Captain, William R. Morse; first lieutenant, William Turver; second 
lieutenant, James Farrand; first sergeant, George R. Bisbey, second sergeant, 
William B. McCreery; third sergeant, Sumner Howard; fourth sergeant, 
Goundry Hill; fifth sergeant, Joseph McConnell; first corporal, Edwin C. Tur- 
ver; second corporal, James Bradley; third corporal, Damon Stewart; fourth 
corporal, Joseph Van Buskirk; fifth corporal, William L. Bishop; sixth cor- 
poral, Walter H. Wallace; seventh corporal. Nelson Fletcher; eighth corporal, 
Walter E. Burnside; wagoner, James S. Smith; drummer, Elisha Kelley. 

I'rivates: William H. Allen, Milton S. Benjamin, George L. Beamer, 
Tnse[>h N. Bradley, Robert S. Bostwick, Andrew A. Baxter, LaF'ayette Bost- 
wLck, Myrick S. Cooley, S. Bradford Cummings, Charles B. Collins, Thomas 
Cbapin, Jr., Clark F. Chapman, John Cavanagh, George Carnier, James Coe, 
Edward A. Dennison, George Davis, Charles C. Dewstoe, Pratt Day, Cornel- 
ius D. Hart, Daniel J. Ensign, Orlando H. Ewer, John G. Fox, Squire E. 
F'oster, William F". F^irgerson, Horatio Fish, Charles L. Gardner, Joseph H. 
George, Richard H. Halsted, George Hawkins, Henrj' W. Horton, Francis 
Haver, William Houghton. Julius A. Hine, Charles E. Kingsbury, Philip Kel- 
land, John Kain, Sheldon B. Kelley, George Lee. Harrison Lewis, Merton E. 
Leland, John B. Miller, Charles D. Moon, Dehon McConneii, David McCor- 
nell, Charles W. Mitchell, George L. Patterson, Samuel L. Ploss, Hamilton 
PIoss, James F. Partridge, John A. Palmer, Cornelius E. Rulison, Charles J. 
Rankin. Edwin Ruthruff, Andrew J. Rogers, Arba Smith, Jacob C. Sackner, 
Charles Sickles, James Scarr, George H. Sawyer, Lyman Stow, Alva L. Saw- 
yer. Hercules Stannard, Andrew M. Sutton, Frederick B. Smith, Albert 
Schultz, Hiram Tinney. I^'rankHn Thompson, Edgar Tibbets, Charles Tuttle, 
Cornelius Van Alstine, Richard S. Vickery, James N. Willett, John.Weller, 
George Walter. Emory A. Wood and William E. Williams. 

In the afternoon of Thursday. June 6, the Second Regiment, one thou- 



sand and twenty strong, embarked on three steamers, and at eight o'clock p. 
m. left Detroit for Cleveland, arriving there the following morning. From 
Cleveland it proceeded by railway, via Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Baltimore, 
to Washington, reaching the capital on the lOth. The following account of its 
arrival, which appeared under the head of "Sjiecial Dispatch to the New York 
Tribune," is taken from that paper and given here in full as showing the 
excited state of public feeling at that time, as well as the crude and peculiar 
ideas of military discipline and movements which then prevailed. The accnunt 
dated Washington, June lo, 1861, was as follows: 

The Second Micliigaii Itegiiiieiit, Colonel RleliJinlsiin, nrrivetl nt four o'clock tills 
moviiiDg. * ■> * Word lind come from tlie Tlnltwl Stiites niiii-Khjil that iin jittiick 
would be make on them in Kjiitlniore, iuul the trnin lialted seven miles on the otliei" 
side of the Monunientiil City wliere the men londed their muskets. The orders were 
to avoid an encounter If DORslble, hut tf nnnvoidiilile to tiiko no hiilf metisureH. but 
for each company to liKht tn the death and for the pioneers to make rieim work with 
houses froDi which they were assailed. 

In a suburb on the otlier side :i brick was thmwn at .1 laiv.iti'. It did iiol hil, 
but the orderly sei'geunt of CouiiKiny E drew Ills rvM.lviT and llred :it the stoni'r. 
He was seen to full, hnt whethei' killed or not Is uuknoivn. 

At the depot 11 riiw private accidentufly discliarged his innsket, tlie liall whisk.'d 
through the car, ciiuslng {jreiit excitement, but no harm was done. 

Two miles this aide of Utiltimore 11 shot from behind a fence went thrcmgii :i car. 
The lights were extlujiuished and the men ordered to form in line of battle if the shot 
should be followed by more. Sentinels were posted In each cnr. Neiir the Relny houwe 
firing was heflrd from one of our picket guards. It was reported that they had been 
attacked and had killed four men. The trutli Is not known. The informant adds tliat 
the rt^iment received a lienrtj- welcome from the wi>niui in and beyond llaltininre, 
while no mim, so far as he saw. sreeted theni. 

The I'egimeut Is a flne-lookluj; bodj-, UHiiibcrliis; ti'ii iiitndred and tweoty. 'J'lieir 
uniforms are dark hliie, like the I'ir.^t Michigun, and they are armed piu-tially with 
new Minie guns aud partially with the Hariier's FeriT musket of 1846, They are well 
supplied with clothing and camp equipage. Thli-ty women, wlio will serve as nurses 
and laundresses, accompany the regiment. This afternoon the regiment was received 
by General Scott and the President at their residence^. 

The regiment made a stay of several weeks in the District of t.olumliia, 
its camp being named "Camp Winfield Scott." It was brigaded with the 
Third Michigan, First Massachusetts and Twelfth New York, the brigade 
commander being Colonel Richardson, of the Second Michigan. When 
General McDowell made his forward movement towards Manassas, this 
brigade moved with the army into Virginia and was engaged in the fight at 
Blackburn's Ford, July 18, and in the battle of Bull Run, Sunday, July 21. 
In the panic and disorder which ended that disastrous day the Second Regi- 
ment behaved with great steadiness, covering the retreat of the brigade to- 


(.;ENi;st:E county, Michigan. 345 

wards Washingtiin, for which it was warmly comphmented by the heroic 

After Bull Run the regiment was encami^ed for some weeks near Arl- 
ington, an<l later in the season at Ft. Lyon, Virginia, where it remained dur- 
ing the fall. About December 20 substantial and comfortable winter-quart- 
ers were constructed at "Camp Michigan," three miles from Alexandria, on 
on the Acotink road. While this camp was in process of construction an 
officer wrote that "Cabins are growing up on every side, adorned with doors 
and windows, procured by a process called 'cramping,' which is somewhere 
on the debatable ground between buying and stealing." Here the regiment 
remained until March, 1862, when it moved with its brigade and the .Vrmy of 
the Potomac to Fortress Monroe, and thence up the Peninsula to Yorktown 
and Williamsburg, at which latter place it took active part in the severe engage- 
ment of Monday. May 5. sustaining a loss of fifty-five killed and wounded. 
Among the latter were Captain Morse, of F Company, who was afterwards 
transferred to the invalid corps, and Capt. William B. McCreery, an original 
member of F Companj-, but who had been promoted to the command of Com- 
pany G: he received three severe wounds, by one of which his left wrist was 
])ermanently disabled. Afterwards having recovered sufficiently to return to 
the field, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-first Mich- 
igan Infantry, and two months later iiecame its colonel. He led his regiment 
.gallantly through the fire and carnage of Stone's River (December 31, 1862, 
to January 3. 1863), and fought at its head at Chickamauga (September 20, 
1863), until he had received three severe wounds, and was finally taken pris- 
oner by the enemy. He was sent to Libby prison, Richmond, from which, 
however, he succeede<! in making his escape by tunneling under the walls, 
February 19, 1S64. Six days later he returned to Flint, where a public recep- 
tion was extended to him by leading citizens and a banquet was given in his 
honor at the Carlton House, March 2. The disability resulting from his num- 
erous wounds coni]>elle(l his retirement from the .service and he resigned in 
September. .1864. Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas, in reluctantly accepting his 
resignation, took occasion to compliment him highly, in orders, on his honor- 
able rec(jrd and the gallantn,' of his service in the Army of the Cumberland. 
These facts relating to the military career of Colonel McCreery are mentioned 
here in connection with the battle of Williamsburg Ijecause that fight virtually 
severed his connection with the Second Regiment, in which he was among the 
most honored and popular of its officers. 

From Williamsburg the Second Regiment moved with the army up the 
Peninsula to and across the Chickahominy and fought in the batde of Fair 



Oaks, May 31 and June 1, 1862. Its loss in that engagement was fifty-seven 
killed and wounded; tliat of Company F was fourteen, or one-fourth the total 
killed and wounded of the regiment. Three companies of the Second, how- 
ever, were not engaged in the fight. 

In the retreat, or "change of base" as it has sometimes been called, from 
the York River railroad to James river, the regiment fought at Glendale, or 
Charles City Cross-Roads, June 30, and at Malvern Hill, July I. From the 
latter field it retired with the army and moved to Harrison's Landing on the 
James, where it remained until the general evacuation of that position, August 
15, when it marched down the Peninsula and was moved thence by way of the 
Chesapeake bay and Potomac river with other troops to the assistance of the 
imperiled army of General Pope in the valley of the Rappahannock. During 
this campaign it took part in the fights of August 28, 29, 30, and in the battle 
of Chantilly, Septemljer i. 

At Frederickburg the Second was not actively engaged. It crossed the 
Rappahannock on the 12th of December, but in the great battle of the next 
day was held in reserve and sustained only a loss of one killed and one 
wounded by the enemy's shells ; but, with the Eighth Michigan it was among 
the last of the regiments of the army to recross to the north side of the 
river on the i6th. 

On the 13th of February, 1863, the regiment moved to Newport News, 
Virginia, and on the igth of March took its route to Baltimore, and thence 
by the Baltimore & Ohio railroad and steamers on the Ohio river, to Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, with the Ninth Army Corps, of which it was a part. The 
corps remained in Kentucky during the months of April and May, and in 
June was moved to Mississippi to reinforce the army of General Grant near 
Vicksburg. The Second went into camp at Milldale, near Vicksburg, on 
the 17th and a few days later was stationed at Flower Dale Church. On the 
4th of July, the day of the surrender of Vicksburg, the regiment left Flower 
Date and moved east towards the capital of Mississippi to take part in the 
operations against the rebel army of General Johnston. It arrived in front of 
Jackson on the evening of the loth, and on the i ith advanced in skirmish line 
on the enemy's rifle-pits, which were taken and held for a time. Superior 
numbers, however, compelled the Second to retire from the position, with a 
loss of eleven killed, forty-five wounded and five taken prisoners. On the 
13th and 14th of July the regiment was again sUghtly engaged. On the 17th 
and iSth it was engaged in destroying the Memphis & New Orleans railroad 
in the vicinity of Jackson and Madison and then moved through Jackson, 
which had been evacuated by the enemy, back to Milldale ; it remained there 


(;kni;see county, MiciiiGAN. 347 

till August 5, when it marched to the river, and thence moved with the Ninth 
Corps by way of Cincinnati, to Kentucky, and encamped at Crab Orchard 
Springs, in that state, on the 30th of August. Here it remained twelve days 
Before September 10 it broke camp and took the road for Cumberland Gap 
and Knoxville, Tennessee, reaching the latter place September 36. It mo\'ed 
from the vicinity of Knoxville, October 8, and was slightly engaged at Blue 
Springs on the loth. On the 20th it was again at Knoxville, but immediately 
afterwards moved to I-oudon, and thence to Lenoir, Tennessee, where, on 
the 8th of November, its men commenced building winter quarters. Ilie 
strength of the regiment at that time was rejiorted at live hundred and three, 
present and absent. 

The anticipation of passing the winter at Lenoir was soon dispelled by 
the intelligence that the enemy under General Longstreet was moving up the 
valley of the Tennessee in heavy force, evidently having Knoxville as his 
objective point. On the 14th of November the Second Regiment, with its 
division, the First Division of the Ninth Corps, was ordered out to meet and 
repel Longstreet, who was reported to be crossing the Tennessee below Lou- 
don. He was found in force near Hough's Ferry, on the Holston, and the 
division fell back to [,enoir. Here a line of battle was formed; but, on the 
enemy coming up, the retreat towards Knoxville was resumed, the Second 
l^egiment, with its brigade, forming the rear guard. On the i6th it again 
stood in line at Campbell's Station to resist the advance of Longstreet. who 
■\\as pressing up with great vigor. A sharp engagement ensued in which the 
Second lost thirty-one in killed and wounded. The position was .stubbornly 
held tilt dark, when the retreat was resumed. The regiment reached Knox- 
ville at five o'clock in tiie morning of the 17th after a march of nearly thirty 
miles through mud and rain and a battle of several hours' duration, all with- 
out rest or food. It took position on a hill below the city, at Ft. Saunders, 
i\'here rifle-pits were constructed and where the regiment remained during 
the siege which followed. On the 19th and 20th it was slightly engaged, and 
on the 24th, under orders to attack a line of rifle-pits, it advanced under 
command of Major Byington, moving several hundred yards across an open 
plain swept by a front and flank fire of musketry and canister. The line was 
carried, but could not be held: the attacking force was dislodged and com- 
pelled to retire, with a loss to the Second Regiment of eighty-one killed ami 
wounded — very nearly half its whole number in the fight. Among the killed 
was .A.djutant William Noble and Major Byington was mortally wounded. 

On the morning of Sunday, November 29, 1863, a force of the eneniy 
consisting of two veteran Georgia brigades of McLaw's division, made 



a furious and persistent assault on Ft. Saunders; but they were repelled 
and finally driven back in disorder with a loss of eight hundred in kiJIed, 
wounded and prisoners and three stands of colors. With the force inside 
the fort during this assault were Companies A, F, G and H, of the Second 
Michigan. Their loss, however, was inconsiderable, being only five killed 
and wounded. From that time the regiment saw no fighting at this place 
other than slight skirmishes, and on Friday night, December 4, the enemy 
withdrew from Ijefore Knoxville, after a siege of eighteen days' duration. 

The Second marched from Knoxville, December 8, and moved to Rut- 
ledge. On the 16th it moved to Blain's, which was its last 
march in 1S63. During the year that was then about closing, the regiment 
had moved a distance of more than two thousand five hundred miles. It 
remained at Blain's for about a month, during which time it was "veteran- 
ized;" the number re-enlisting as veterans was one hundred and ninety-eight. 
About the middle of January, 1864, it moved to Strawberry Plains, thence 
to Knoxville and to Erie Station, remaining at the latter place until Febru- 
ary 4; it then moved under orders to proceed to Detroit, Michigan, and 
reached there twenty days later. Here the veteran furlough was given 
to those uho had re-enlisted, and Mt. Clemens was made the place of 
rendezvous. At this place the regiment received orders on the 4th of 
April to proceed to Annaimlis, Maryland, to rejoin the Ninth Army Corps, 
which had in the meantime moved from Tennessee to Virginia to reinforce 
the Army of the Potomac. The regiment left Annapolis on the 22nd, pro- 
ceeded to Washington, ;ind. thence into Virginia, where on the 5th of JiTay 
it crossed the Rapidan and joined the army which was then moving into 
the Wilderness. For six weeks following this time the Second was, with 
its companion regiment of the brigade, so constantly employed in march, 
.skirmish or battle, that it is hardly practicable to follow the intricacies of 
the movements; but the following statement of casualties during that time 
shows where and how it fought. The statement, which includes only tlie 
killed and wounded (and not the missing), is taken from the report of 
the regimental surgeon, Richard S. Vickery: In the Wilderness l>attle. May 
6, killed and wounded, 38: at Spottsylvania Court House, May 12, killed 
and wounded, 11; at Oxford, North Anna, May 24. killed, i; skirmish of 
May 24. killed, r ; Pamunkey River, May 31, 2; skirmish, June i, 5; skirm- 
ish. June 2, 2; battle of Eethesda Church, June 2. 38; Gold HartKir and 
other actions, from June 4 to June 10, 9, 

The regiment crossed to the south side of the James river on the 15th, 
reached the enemy's works in front of Petersburg on the i6th, and took 


(;c:neser county, Michigan. 349 

part in the attack of the next two days with the following losses in killed and 
wounded: In battle of June 17, 91; in battle of June i8, 83. 

Recruits to the number of Hve hundred or more had joined the regi- 
ment since the veteran re-enlistment— otherwise such losses would have been 

On the 30th of July the Second took part in the engagement which 
followed the explosion of the mine and Hustained a loss of twenty killed 
and wounded and thirty-seven missing. Having moved with the Ninth 
Corps to the Weldon railroad, it there took part in repelling the enemy's 
assault on our lines August 19, losing one killed and two wounded. On the 
30tli it crossed the Weldon railroad and, moving towards the enemy's right 
flank, participated in the engagement of that date at Poplar (irove Church 
about a month at Peebles' Farm, but moved, October 27, in the advance on 
Boydton Flank-Road, losing seven wounded in that affair. It then remained 
at Peebles', engaged in picket duty and fortifying, till November 29, whet 
it moved to a point about ten miles farther to the right on the City Point & 
Petersburg railroad, and there remained m the trenches during the winter. 
On the 25th of March it fought at Ft. Steadman and sustained severe loss. 
It again lost slightly at the capture of Petersburg, j\pril 3. It then moved 
to the South Side railroad, eighteen miles from Petersburg, and remained 
nearly two weeks, but in the meantime the army of Lee had surrendered and 
the fighting days of the regiment were passed. It moved to City Point 
and embarking there on the i8th, was tran,sported to Alexandria, Virginia, 
from whence it moved to a camp at Tenallytown, Maryland. On the 27th 
of May it was detached for duty in Washington City and remained there 
for about two months. On the 29th of July, having on the previous daj' 
been mustered out of the service, it left by railroad for Michigan, and on 
the 1st of August it reached Detroit and was soon afterward paid and dis- 
banded. In a published account of the regiment's return, it was stated that 
of ail the original members of Company F, Orlando H. Ewer, of Flint, 
was the only one who remained in its ranks to t)e included in the final 
discharge "after four yeans and a quarter of honorable ; 

Headciunrters First J 

Opposite Frederieksbiire, Yi\. 
DecPiiiber otii, 1SG2. 
S|ifriiil Orders. No. 111. 

II. Private Frank Tlioiuiisoii. Coiupauj- F, Second Miehlgiin Voluiiteera, is detiiiti'tl 
oil siiecial duly nt these lieiidqiiiirtei-s ns postmnster nnd ninil cflirier for tbe brPgyde. 

(Signed) O. M. Poe, 
Olfioiiil: Jnutes Reld, Lieut, .ind A. A. A. C Colonel Commnniliiig BrlgHde. 



In Company F, Second Michigan, there enhsted at Flint, Franklin 
Thompson (or Frank, as nsnally called) aged twenty, ascertained after- 
ward and about the time he left the regiinent to have been a female, and a 
good looking one at that. She succeeded in concealing her sex most admir- 
ably, serving in various campaigns and battles of the regiment as a soldier, 
often employed as a spy, going within the enemy's lines, sometimes absent 
for weeks, and is said to have furnished much valuable information. She 
remained with the regiment until April, 1863, when it is supposed she appre- 
hended a disclosure of her sex and deserted at Lebanon, Kentucky, but 
where she went remains a mystery. 

.\t the reunion of the regiment held at Lansing. October ir, 1883, the 
mysterious disapi^earance of F'rank Thompson was cleared up, and in Mav, 
1900, Colonel Schneider published a complete history of Frank Thompson, 
or Mrs. Seelye, who died at Laporte, Texas, Septem1>er 5. 1898, and was 
buried under the auspices of Houston (Texas) Post of the Grand Army of 
the Republic, of which she had been an honored member. 


During the preliminary organization of the Second Infantry, nearly 
every company was presented with a flag by the citizens of the locality where 
it had been recruited, and upon arriving at the rendezvous in Detroit, the 
Niles company having been designated as the "color company," the flag 
brought by them was used as the regimental colors. In February, 1862, 
this flag, being of very light silk, had become unserviceable. Col. O, M. 
Poe, commanding the regiment, obtained from the war <lei>artment a set of 
regulation infantry colors, which he presented, with a stirring speech, to the 
regiment, and the original flag was returned to its donors. This second flag 
was carried in thirty-four engagements, and under its folds eleven officers and 
one hundred and ninety-four men were killed in action or mortally wounded. 
On the 24th of November, 1863, at Knoxville, Tennessee, the regiment, under 
command of Major Byington, charged the enemy's rifle pits. Eighty-four 
were killed and wounded out of one hundred and fifty engaged, including 
Major Byington, who was mortally wounded, four officers and the cok)r serg- 
eant killed, and six sergeants who lost a leg each, the flag staff being hit three 
times. On July 30, 1864, during the attack which followed the blowing up 
of a fort within the enemy's lines, near Petersburg, Virginia, known in the 
list of engagements as "The Crater," the regiment was in the advance of the 
charge made by the Ninth Corps. At every step the fire of the enemy in front 



and on each flank concentrated upon them and plowed their ranks with great 
slaughter. The charge was checked on the side of the crest; there was a halt, 
and finally the whole line of the brigade, wavering under terrible odds, 
recoiled; nearly surrounded through lack of proper support, the regimental 
commander among the dead, fifty-seven men killed and prisoners, and seeing 
escape hopeless. Color Sergeant Jesse Gaines ran to the rear as far as possible, 
and cast the flag over the parapet towards our lines, trusting it woiild be seen 
and saved by some of our men; he was almost instantly a prisoner, with 
others of the color guard. The flag was found and taken by the enemy and 
carrictl a trophy to Richmond. 

A Richmond paper, narrating the events of this desperate battle, said, in 
substance: "Among the flags taken was that of the Second Michigan Infan- 
try, an organization well known in our army since the first Bull Run battle. 
It bears the names of many prominent engagements with both the eastern and 
western armies. This regiment must have Ijeen nearly annihilated, or it would 
never have lost its colors." And Sergeant Gaines, in his interesting sketch, 
pithily says: "It is true the flag was lost, but it was never surrendered." 
\Vhen Richmond was taken it was found in the rel>el capitol, removetl to 
Washington, and later, by an order of the war department, sent to the regi- 
mental association, and is now among the war relics in the capitol at Lansing. 

As a proof that no dishonor was attached to the regiment for its loss 
under such trying circumstances. General Mead, commanding the Army of 
the Potomac, ordered a new flag to be presented to the regiment, which was 
done. Upon general orders of army headquarters, the following most ]irom- 
inent battles and sieges, in which the regiment had borne a creditable part, 
were printed u]X)n this last flag, as far as practicable, all minor engagements 
being left out for want of space on the flag: Blackburn's Ford, BuH Run, 
siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks. Glendale, Malvern Hill, Ciian- 
tilly, Fredericksburg, siege of Vicksburg, siege of Petersburg, Crater, Weldon 
Railroad, Ream's Station, Poplar Springs Church, Hatcher's Rim. Fort 
Steadman, Capture of Petersburg and Appomattox. 

Of scenes lung [i [ssed mid bittles stilfe 

Wlieie it inlned a hnlo of glon 
Tliis tleii old flag eafli stai and strtiw 

t'oiild tell mtny a toncliniK strm 

At the annual meeting of The Association of Sunuors of the Second 
Michigan Infantry, at Kalamazoo, October i6, 1888, a committee consisting 
of Capt. John V. Ruehle, Jr., Capt.. John C. Hardy and Capt. William J. 
Handy, was ap]>ointed to report upon a design for a regimental badge. At the 



reunion held at Saginaw, August 29, 1S89, this committee reported as fol- 
lows: "A design for a badge has been considered and a sketch is herewith 

submitted : Material of badge and bar to be of gold. The cost will be $ ■, 

the badge to be a seven-pointed star, in general form and dimensions similar 
to the one adopted by the Kearney Division Association; a circle of leaves 
enclosing the diamond or lozenge of the Third Army Corps in red enamel, the 
same resting upon the cannon and anchor of the Ninth Army Corps in blue 
enamel; around the corps badges the words 'Blackburn's Ford, 1861, to .\p- 
pomatto.x, 1865' ; below in a scroll '2d Mich. Infty' ; the l>adge to be susi>ended 
from a bar pin by a red ribbon. The committee also suggests that the issue of 
badges shall be confined to the following persons only: First, to those who 
were identified with the regiment and served in it during any of the following 
campaigns, and were honorably discharged from the regiment : The Penin- 
sular campaign, under McClellan; in Virginia, under Pope, Virginia, under 
Burnside, Kentucky under Bumside, Mississippi under Grant, Mississippi 
under Sherman, Tennessee imder Burnside, or the final camjiaign against 
Richmond under Grand; second, to the nearest surviving heir of any member 
of the regiment who was killed, died of wounds or disease in the service or 
died since mustered out (if honorably discharged), the intention being that 
e\-ery memlier who served creditably with this regiment may hereafter be 
represented by this badge, and none others." This report was ado])tetl and 
the same committee made a permanent one to carry out its provisions. 

Sa). UleliJinl SI. Million, (ieiiesee Co.: priviitf Co. K; pro. to coiu.-sei^t., Nov. 7, 
].S01; pro, to 2d Heut. Co. K; pi-o. to Iwt lieiit. jiiiil ;ulj.. M;uth Ci, 18(12: resigned 
Aug. ;■». 1W!2. 

giiiii'.-MiiBter Hwgt. .Tiinn's Hm.ilfy, (•'Ihir; jii-o. Ii> 'M liftil. Vo. I: Is! Jienr. ;iiid 
Ciipt. Co. F. 

QiiiuvMnsiter Sei-Kt. (ioniiilrj Hill, IHint: ]>ro. lo 2(1 lii'iit. Vi>. F; jiin, ti> Isi licut. 
niid qii,'ii-.-niiiNtcr. IJpc. :[. lStK>; must, out Sept. SO, l.Slil. 

Scrgt-jriU. Josepli Vjiu BiiBltii-k, Fiiiit; iiro. to 1st lieiil. t'o. li. 

Company F. 

Capt.. WilliiiJii 11. Miifse, Fliut; eiil. ApriJ ^5, 18C1; wounded fit Wlllliiiii8bui-g, Vn., 
lliiy G, 1802; res. Aur. 22, 1S63, to accept iippointnieut in Invalid corps. 

Ciipt. Juiues Bradley, FJInt; enl. Dec. 3, 1863; wub qr.-inr.-serKL ; pi-o. to 2rt lieut. 
Co. I, Aug. 25, 1862; pro. to let lieut. Co. F; died of wounds received in action near 
Petersburg, Va., June 17, 1804; buried at Arlington National Oenieterj', Vri. Now 
burled at Hiver Uun, Mich. 

Fli-st Lieut. Win. Puvvcr, Flint: eiil.. Ajiril 2T,. IMl! ; res. .Inly 2!l, 1K(!2. 

Second Lieut. .lauies Fiirrand. Flint: enl, -Vju'il 25, 1.SII2; ])ro. to 1st lieut. Co. G, 
March 6, 1862; pro. to capt. Co. V, Axifi. 1,,].8«2; killed in actioLL near Wpottsyli-iiniii 
Court House, May 12, 1864. 



Seuoiul Lieut. Gouudry Hill (qr.-mr.-sergt.) ; 2(1 lieut. Co. F; onl. Aug. !). 1802; 
lat Ueut. aud qr.-mr. Dec. 3, ISt>2 ; must, out Sept. 30, 18«4. 

Second Lieut. Nelson Fletolier (sergt,), Flint; 2d lieut, Dec. 1.SC2; killed in action 
near Oxford, Noith Anna river, Vti., May 24, 1864. 

Sergt. George R. Blsbey, died nt Cnnip Winfield Scott, Md., July 11, 1S61. 

Sergt. WlUiain B. McCreerj-, Flint; pi-o. to CHpt. Co. G. 

Sergt. Sumner Howard, Flint; pro. to 2d lieut. regular army, August, 1861. 

Sergt. Goundry Hill, Flint; pro. to qr.-mr.-sergt. March 7, 1862. 

Covp. Edwin C. Turver. enl. May 25, 1661 ; disch. for dtsal)lllty, Sept, 1861. 

Coip. James Bradley, enl. May 25, 1861 ; pro. to qr.-mr.-sergt. Aug. 1, 1S62. 

(torp. Damon Stewart, enl. Mtiy 25, 1861 ; disch. to nccept commission In Twenty- 
tliii-d Infantry. 

Corp. Joseph \";in BiiBldrk, enl. May 25, 1861; pro. to sergt.-maj. Sept. 16, 1862. 

Coi-p. William L. Bisliop, enl. Mny 2."), 1S61 ; kille<l in battle at Yorktown, Vn., 
April 16, 1862. 

Corp. Selson Fletcber (sergt. I, eiii. May 25, 1861; pro. to qr.-nir.-sergt. Dec 1, 1862. 

Privates-— William H. Allen, must out June 28, 1865; Bavid Anderson, Vienna, 
must. oHt July 28, lS6Ei; William J. Allen, Vienna, must, out June 25, 1865; William L. 
Bisbojt, erti-p., died at Yorktowu, Va., April 16, 1862; George R. Bisbey, sergt., died of 
diseiise irJ Camp Winfield Scott, Va., July, 1861; Joseph N. Bradley, disch. for disability, 
Dec. 2, 1862; Adln C. Billings, sergt., Flint Tp., pro. to 1st lieut. Co. K; Andrew A. 
Baxter, disch. for disability, July 14, 1862; James Bensou, Flint Tp., killed at Wilder- 
ness, Ya., May 6, 1864;. George Beemer, died in action at Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 24, 
1863: Milton S. Benjamin, Vienna, dlscli. for wounds, Jan. 28, 1865; George Gamier, 
dleil in action at Wtliiamsburg, Va., May 5, 1862;- Oharlea B. Collins, disch. to enlist 
in regular sei-vice, Dec. 5, 1862: S. Bradford Cnmmings, disch. for disability, Feb. 19, 
1803: Tbonias Chupin. Jr., disch. at end of service, June 21, 1864; Clark F. Chapman, 
Flhit Tp., disch. for wounds, Feb. 26, 1865; James Coe, must, out July 28, 1865; John 
Deltz. disch. for disability, Jan. 5, 1863; George Davis, discli. at end of service. May 
25, 1864: Cornelius De Hart, disch. at end of service, Dec. 25, 1864; Charles E. 
Deioster, disch. at end of sei-vice, Deo. 25, 1S64: Daniel J. Ensign, died June 3, 1862, 
Qt wounds received at Fair Oaks, Va.; Orlando H. Ewer, Flint Tp.,.must out July 28, 
ISIiTi: Cliurles L. Gardner, died of disease at Camp Lyons, Va., Oct., 1861; Joseph H. 
iiei)r^'e. disch. for disability, Sept., 1861; John R. Goodrich, disch. for disability, Oct. 
i::t. isi;2: William Honshton. disch. for dlsabllitj-, Sept., 1861; Julius Heine, disch. (or 
ili*il)ility, Jan. 5, ISIS: Frederick Holtz, CIa>-ton, died nt Knoxville, Tenn., Dee. 12, 
1863, of wounds; Fi-ancls Haven, Flint; died In action near Petersburg. Va., June 17, 
1S64; A'irgii Hadstitlt, missing In action at Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 24, 1863; Henry W. 
Hoi-tou. trans, to I'et. Res. Corps. Mai-ch 15, 1864; Richard H. Halstead, disch. at end 
of service, June 21, 1864 ; Charles Hnrtner, disch. to re-enilst as veteran, Dec. 31, 1863 ; 
James V. Homell, absent, sick, not must, out with company; Sheldon B. Kelly, died In 
action at Fair Oaks, Va., Slay 31, 1862: John Kane, disch. for disability, Sept., 1861; 
Philip Kelland, disch. for disability, July 19, 1362; Elisha Kelly, nmslcian; disch. to 
i-e-enlist as veteran, Dec. 31, 1863 ; Charles E. Kingsbury, Fort Tp., must, out July 28, 
1865; George Lee, Grand Blanc Tp., must, out July 28, 1865; Charles D. Moore, died 
June 6, 1802, or wounds received at Fair Oaks, Va.; Dellion McConnell, died in action 
at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862; John B. Miller, died in action at Chantllly, Vn.. July 1, 
1862: David McConnell, disch. to enlist in regular service, Dec. 5, 1862; Peter McNally, 
Vienna Tp., must, out May 26, 1865 ; Samuel L. Floss, died of disease at Washington, 




UlS -•» 1H)1 HuiilltiJ lie* (lie.1 (tilistisL It ^^ lshillfrt<li iug 2!> ISbl Time-i F 
Pirtudge musfchu dlscli foi dls-iMlitj l>ec '* IfeGl AVnllace I Paikei Genesee 
Ijj (eteran must out Jiilj 2S 1SG5 (.Ufirles lljuiklu died o£ dinetise it iiliuittoii 
Heights Va Sept 20 ISbl Loinellua £. Rutison diacli iit end of serWee June 21 
1804 Nithan U KlLliaidson Unit uuiBt mit Tuly 2^ 1sIj5 George Ruddlmnii Tllnt 
must out July 28 1865 TiLOb C Sackrler, died Tune 24 18(i2 of wounds Jjiuies s 
SmltJi disch fjr disiibillti sqrt: isoi irbi hmltli, dlucli for dlsublliti Sept ISOl 
Geoige Sawvei disch foi di'iililht* Oct ISbl Jimes '«ciii dtscli nt eiid of serute 
June 21 1864 lymun Stow discli it end of serMce June 21 1S04 Vlbert L »>i»-(ii 
dls*,li at eud of sen ice June 21 ISW limUliuB <linltli diwii Jan. 27 isea Hei 
cules 'itunuaid veteran must (ut Tulj 2S 1S6I) Geoige Sheldon dlscU to le enlist 
It veteran Dee il I'iGS ilbert sUiultz dlscli l.i leeuiist it leteiin Dec 81 ISixJ 
ClMiiles H «!tone Hint died of diser^e neu 4.1e\indilu \a Oct 6 1«64 Tolni G 
Sanford Vienna Tp died of disease neir AJeMiidmi ^a Oct 20 1864 Matliiiis 
Schermerbom mubt out Mu 20 1S65 Idnln (_ lunei corii dl'*,b foi dls,ibllit\ 
Sept ISGl Jobn 01 Josepb W TonipkiiiM mu^t out Aug '> 1S65 Hlnui Tennev 
discb It end of semci Miy 25 1S04 Edgar Tibbnls disch at end of seiske Maj 
25 !'*(>* Tohn H Tibbnli disch at end of wrwce No\ 'I lSfl4 John Waltci dlstb 
at «id of senlce Jiiue 21 ISOi Jimen WiUett dl*^U it end of senite Miy 21 l'*64 
TVmiim B Wlllinini. dlwch foi disabllitj Oct 1801 bnion A Wood discb foi dis 
ability Aug 4 1S62 lohii i ttpller trans to ^ et Res Loips Noi 15 1864 Don \ 
Williams must out Tnly >\ 1*5(1-. Rolieit H 7 ^^ iinei ^leimi 1\t mwit out Iiux 

19, 1S(15. 

romp-iiiu I'r. 
William li. AI.-Gm'i.i. Fliat; (.Mpt. .Sept. 10, l.SOl : wouiuled »t Willhimsburg. V^i.. 
In three places severely. Hay ■>. lvfS2: pro. to lieut.-oolonel 21st itegt. llicb. Inf.. Nov. 

20. 1862; colonel. Feb. S. IRIB: token prisoner at Cbickamausa, Teui., Sept. 20, ISaS: 
wounded in three places sevei'ely : escaped from Llbby Prison. Feb. 10, 1864 : reslsrned 
on account of woiuids. Seiit. 14, lS(y. 

James Tairind iiint; 1st lieut. March 0, 1S62; pi-o. to capt. Co. C, Aug. 1, 1862: 
killed In ictlon near fepottsylvnnla Ooiirt House, Va., May 12, 1864. 

Geoige Sheldon fcenton, com.-wrgt.; sergt. Co, K; pro. to lat lieut. Co. C; iinist. 
out ns sergt 

Hercules Staiiuaid Flint (sergt.); pro. to 2d lieut.; must, out as sergt. 

PrUatei — W ird Beiry, Argentine, Co. E, died of wounds, June 19, 1804, near 
Petersburg, Va. , Heiiiy Ilormiin, Grand Blanc, Co. O, must, out July 28, 18(15; llyrou 
Green, Atlas, Co. B, died June 17, 1804, of wounds; James M. Hill, Atlas. Co. R, iiiiMS- 
ing In action, July 30, 1864; Ijafayette Hill, Atlas, Co. B. must, out Aug. 2. 18(!sT; 
Walter P. Jones, Fenton, Go. B, must, out July 28, ISfiS; Charles K. Litson, Atlas, 
Co. H, must, out July 28, 1865; Read IJirde, Argeutlne. Co. E, muHt. out ,Tii].v 2«, ]«(iri: 
Robert P. Meddleivorth, Argentine, Co. B, died neai- Petevsbui-ft. X-.y.. .Time in. isa4. 
of wounds; Abra'm D. I'eiTy, Atlas, Co. K, died nt Waslilngtou. -Tuly 17. 1W4, of 
wounds; Orrin D. Putnam, Argentine O., died at Washington, .Tune 2, 1864, of aci-i- 
deiital wounds; Thomas Pei'17, Fulton, Co. I, must, out July 2S!, 1865: Chiirles It. 
Snook, Argentine, Co, E. died July 6, 1S64, <)f wounds; As.i Rhepiird, Argentine. Co. G. 
must, out July 28, 18G5; George W. Tliarrett, Davison, Co. H, must, out July 28. 1865: 
Joseph B. Vamum. Atliis Tp.. Co. H. must, out Aug. IT. 18n">: Ghiiries Webber, 1-Viiloii. 
Co. B, must, out Aug. 2, lS(ir.. 




The Eighth Regiment was formed in the summer and fall of 1861. 
Its organizer and commanding officer was Col. William M, Fenton, of 
Flint, previously major of the Seventh Infantry, from which he was pro- 
moted to this. The nucleus of the Eighth Regiment was a Genesee company 
called the "F'enton Light Guard" which had been organized at the armory in 
FUnt, May 10, a few days after the departure of the Flint Union Grays to 
join the Second Regiment at Detroit. It had been expected that the Light 
Guard would take the field as a part of the Seventh Regiment, and in fact 
it had Ijeen designated as E Company in that organization; but as the 
Seventh was able to muster its full complement of ten companies without 
this, it was transferred to Colonel Feiiton's command, not only with the con- 
sent but in accordance with the wishes of the officers and men. Another 
Genesee company which entered the Eighth was named the Excelsior Guard, 
and representatives of the county were found in all of the eight other 
companies of the regiment. These last-named companies, however, were 
principally made up of men from the counties of Shiawassee, Clinton, Gratiot, 
Montcalm, Kent, Ingham, Jackson and Barry. 

On the I2th of .Vugust the several companies were designated and ordered 
to rendezvous at Grand Rapids on the 21st. Under these orders the Kenton 
Light Guard, one hundred and seven strong, under Capt. Russell M. Barker, 
anil the Excelsior Guard, Capt. Ephraim N. Lyon, left Flint and moved to 
Fentonville, and thence by the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad to Grand Rapids, 
where the regimental camp was pitched in the fair grounds and named "Camp 
Anderson." Here the regiment remained for four weeks engaged in drill, 
organization and the filling of its ranks to the maximum number. On the 
I Sth of Sqjtember it moved to Detroit, and thence to a camp at Ft. Wayne, 
below the city, where, on the 23d, it was mustered into the United States 
.service for three years by Capt. H, R. Mizner, United States Anny, its 
strength when mustered was nine hundred. Its field officers, besides Colonel 
Fenton, were Lieut. -Col. Frank Graves and Maj. Amasa B. A\'atson. 

In the organization of the regiment the Fenton Light Guard was desig- 
nated as A Company and it was mustered under the following named com- 
missioned officers: Captain, Simon C. Guild, promoted to captaincy in place 
of Captain Barker, who resigned at Camp Anderson on account of ill-health; 
first lieutenant, George E. Newell; second lieutenant, George H. Turner. 

The Excelsior Guard was designated as G Company, and its first com- 



missioned officers were: Captain, E. N. Lyon; first lientenant, Horatio 
Belcher; second lieutenant, N. Miner Pratt, 

Orders for the departure of the regiment were received on the 26th of 
September, and on the 27th it embarked on the steamers "Ocean" and "May 
Qiieen" and, moving down the river and lake, arrived at Cleveland the follow- 
ing morning. From there it moved b)' railroad through Pittsburgh, Harris- 
burg and Baltimore to Washington, where it arrived on the 30th and en- 
camped on Meridian Hill; its camp was named "Camp Williams." In due 
time the men received amis and equipments. On the gth of October the regi- 
ment moved to Annapolis, Maryland, and there occupied the ground.'^ of the 
Naval Academy. 

On October 19 the regiment was ordered to embark on board the ocean- 
steamer "Vanderbilt," then lying at Annapolis. It was evidently bound on 
some distant expedition, but its destination and object were unknown and 
were matters of endless surmise and speculation among the officers and men 
during the passage down the Chesapeake. On the "Vanderbilt" with the 
Eighth was the Seventy-ninth New York Regiment, called the "Highlanders,"' 
and neither regiment appeared to be very favorably impressed with the appear- 
ance or presence of the other. One who was present on board the ship at 
that time wrote afterwards concerning this: "The men of the Eighth Mich- 
igan and Seventy-ninth New York looked distrustfully on each other. The 
ship was rather uncomfortably crowded, having eighteen hundred persons on 
board, and every effort to obtain }>etter storage by one party was jealously 
watched by the other. The Eighth regarded the Seventy-ninth as a set of 
foreigners and sots, and the latter regarded our men as a lot of undrilled 
bush-whackers tinged with verdancy." How long this state of feeUng con- 
tinued does not appear, but it is certain that there was afterwards developed 
between the Eighth and Seventy-ninth a friendship which became absolute 
affection — so strong and marked that it was proverbial among the different 
commands of the army where the two regiments were known. It was a chain 
whose links were forged under the hammers of suffering and danger and 
welded in the fire of battle. 

When they arrived at Fortress Monroe they found the roadstead crowde<l 
with a fleet made up of war-steamers and transports filled with troops. This 
fleet, including the "Vanderbilt," went to sea in the morning of October 29, 
and the sight was grand and inspiring. For a time the winds favored and 
the sea was comparatively smooth, but afterwards a heavy gale came on in 
which the vessels were scattered and three or four of them lost. During 
this time the troops suffered greatly from sea-sickness and overcrowding on 



the transports. The fleet had sailed under sealed orders and its destination 
was as yet unknown except to the naval and military commanders. At last 
the storm abated, the vessels, one by one, returned within signaling distance 
of each other, and the low shores of South Carolina became visible on the 
starboard hand. Six days, from the time of its departure from Fortress 
Monroe, which seemed as many weeks, the fleet arrived off Hilton Head, 
South Carolina, November 4, 1861. The object of the expedition was now 
apparent, and with a smoother sea and an enemy almost in sight, sea-sickness 
and dejection gave place to buoyant spirits and eager enthusiasm. 

The fleet was composed of fourteen armed vessels, twenty-two first-class 
steamers, twelve smaller steamers and twenty-six saihng vessels. The com- 
mander of the fleet was Commodore S. F. Dupont, whose flag-ship was the 
splendid steam-frigate "Wabash." The land forces consisted of thirteen 
regiments of volunteers in three brigades — in all, about eleven thousand men 
— under command of Gen. W. T. Sherman. The Second Brigade, composed 
of the Fiftieth and One Hundredth Pennsylvania, Eighth Michigan and 
Seventy-ninth New York, was under command of Brig.-Gen. Isaac I. Stevens. 

The channel connecting Port Royal harbor with the sea was guarded on 
either side by a strong rebel fortification. These were known as Forts Walker 
and Beauregard, and the reduction of these by the navy was the first work to 
be done. For three days after their arrival the vessels remained in quiet 
below, as the weather was not considered sufficiently favorable for operations, 
but on the 7th the "Wabash" set her .signal for battle and advanced to the 
attack, followed by the other armed ships in their proper order. They moved 
in a circular line, up past one fort and down past the other, delivering their 
tremendous broadsides into each as they came abreast of it. With the fire 
from the ships and the responses from the forts it was ahnost a continuous 
volley of artillery, which shook the earth and made the very waters tremble. 
But at length the fire of the forts began to slacken, their replies grew more 
and more feeble, and finally the Stars and Bars above their ramparts gave 
place to the white flag. A little later the standard of the Union floated above 
the captured works on both sides of the channel. 

On the following day the Eighth landed at Hilton Head and occupied 
Ft, Walker. On the 17th of December it moved to Beaufort, a place of sur- 
passing beauty, where many of the wealthy people of Charleston had in the 
old days of ])eace made their summer residences. It was now found deserted 
by nearly all its inhabitants except negroes. The camp here was made in a 
grove of stately and magnificent live-oaks; and but for the losses sustained in 
the vicinity, the stay of the regiment at this place would have been among the 



most pleasing of all its experiences during its term of service. On the i8th, 
Companies A and F of the Eighth were sent on a reconnoitering expedition 
to the mainland, across Coosaw river, and while engaged in this service David 
Burns Foote of Captain Guild's company, was killed hy the enemy; he was 
the first man of the regiment who fell in his country's service. The Eighth 
during the time it was stationed at Beaufort was engaged in other reconuois- 
sances and in picket duty: detachments occupied Grey's Hill, Ladies' Island, 
Brickyard Point and some of the neighboring plantations. 

The first battle in which the regiments was engaged was that of CoDsaw 
River, or Port Royal Ferry, January i, 1862. An official refwrt by Colonel 
Fenton to General Stevens, embracing an account of that engagement, is 
here given : 

MviisLVND Post Koi \r I fbri T 11 1 IM! 

Bki(. GtB SinLNs — Ml I li \e tile honor to leiwrt that in LOiuplifiiict, with \<m 
[iiilei tlilH tcgliiieiit mis sdfeiv Imdeil nt the Adims IIou<ie on tlie umliitHud, liimug 
effected the crossliif. In fliitbdits ftoui Brickyard Point Port Ro\ tl Islimd and took 
u]) its line of morcb towTids tlie enemj s buttery it this plice iit one oclock p m Oh 
our iippioach toTsimls the ferr\ we weie ordered to attiitk (as sbirml'dKis) n mnaketl 
battery which ojeiied flie on us fiom the light I InimedliitelT detit-bed the flrat tn 
and tenth comiw nks and dliwted then miirch to the left and front ou the bjitterj 
which Has followed hi four iddltlonal companies to the light and fioiit The flie of 
the battery with shells continued on our lines until the sktimishers reached the light 
when it was turned on them ind on their apjiroith right left and fiont to within 
hfty to one bundled yirds of the eueui\ a pobition i fiie (f luiiaketry wiib oii«ied 
upon them The foirt of the eiieniv na well as the bitter* witfc concealed to 1 con 
slderable extent bv treea, brush tnd underwood but iippeared to onwlst 1 f two mounted 
honltzers snppoited bi a legimeiit 11 inoie of infnntrv and some eavjilry The akii 
iniaheis neit mensunlU intctted bj undeil rusli md furrows and continued theii 
are upon the eiiemi which mus leturned b^ volleys f miiaketii md shellH fioin the 
lattery Oui Are was well diiected nid seenied to be effectlie One mounteii oflicer 
wh( seemed to be lery actue wis seen to fali fiom his horse it which the (iio|», 
on the enemy s right were tliiown into confuai n Their 1 osltlon seemed to be ch iiii, 
Ing to the rear and is oiii sMrmlshers were cilled off ind the raiment fjimed m 
line the enemy- fire ceased The r^ment wia then miicbed to Its postti n In Hue 
of battle in reir of the f ut it this point 

I lent Col Graces led the left and Mij « itson the right of the sklnnisheis Tin 
major In leading on the Imi lecened i seiere flesh wound In the let, I hue t< 
report that officers and men behaved with idmiriible bra\en md coolntss Tbc loss 
of the enemy from the wclUlliected Are of our skirmishers cannot be less thin foiti 
Our loss Is se^en wounded two missing I ba^e the honor to be ^erv resiectfiilU 
jour obedient sei\ant Wm M rENTOH 

Col. Eighth MichigRU Regiment. 

Among those who fell in the action at Beaufort Ferry was Corp. John 
Q. Adams, of Captain Guild's company, mortally wounded and left in the 



eiieiiiy's hands. Some negroes who came into the Union lines two or three 
days afterwards gave Colonel Kenton an account of his death. They said 
they saw him after the battle in a wagon at the railroad surrounded by spec- 
tators. He received water to drink from them hut would give no informa- 
tion. They asked him if it was right to come into their country and drive 
tiieni off their land. He said it was and that there were those behind who 
would avenge his fall. He remained true to his flag and was conscious until 
midnight, when he died. Upon these facts being sworn to, Colonel Fenton 
embodied them in an official re[xirt, to which was appended the following 
order : 


Cnmp iieiir BeiUifort, S. C, .Tun. 7, 1862. 
S|iecirti OrJers. — In I'liusiilcriiUon of tlie noble Jiud heroic tleatli of Jolm Q. Adams, 
eorporfll In Co. A, the iibovc reiiort will Im entered on the regimental rceords, with 
this order. Ry order of 

Coi.. Wji. :\r. 1'>:nk)N. 
X. .\liNK« PKAiT, Adjiitniir. 

During the months of January, hebriiary and March the regiment was 
employed in drill and [)icket duty, l>ut was always ready to respond to march- 
ing orders. These were constantly expected and were finally received on the 
9th of April, when the l^ighth left Beaufort and moved to Tybee Island, 
Georgia, where it was reported to Gen, Q. A. Gillmore commanding the 
operations against Savannah. It was present, bnt not engaged, at the bom- 
bardment of Fort Pulaski on the loth and nth, as also at the surrender of 
that formidable work. 

On the i6th of April seven companies of the regiment (A, B. G, D, H, 
I and K, each about forty strong) were detailed with a detachment of Rhode 
Island artillery as an escort to Lieut. C. H. Wilson, chief of the topographi- 
cal engineers, department of the South, to make a reconnoissance of Wilm- 
ington Island with a view to the erection of fortifications upon it if found 
practicable. The force was embarked on the steamer "Honduras" and moved 
to the execution of the duty assigned. This resulted in an engagement with 
a force of the enemy consisting of the Thirteenth Georgia, "Ogiethrope Light 
Infantry," and the "Altamaha Scouts." in all about eight hundred strong. A 
detailed account of this movement and battle is given in Colonel Fenton's 
official report of which the following is a copy: 

Ht:.uiQu.\BTKBa, ICiuuTU UiiuriiKNT iMiUH. Vols. 

Oil boHi-d steiimer "Hondnriis," off Wilmington Islnnd, Gn., Aiirll 16, 1862, 11 p. m. 
LiKUT. W, Ij. M. BiiKoKR, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Genei-iil : 

8!K— I have the hon()r to i-ejwrt, for tl)e Hiforuiiitlon of llie general conimimdlng, 
thai in i-nmi))i:niee with S|>erinl Orders No. 41, I embarked with seven companies of 



tLe Eighth Michigan Regiment, as an escort to Lieut. C II. Wiisou, Tripographic.ii 
Euglueer, on a reconnoiss»nce of Wlluiington Island. Two coiupaoles were lan(3ecl at 
Sci'lven's plantation under command of Capt. Pratt, with orders from I.leut. Wilson to 
Bkirt Turner's Creek. The other five comiianles were lauded at Gibson's piautation. 
Two of these t-ompiiuies were ordered to sitirt Turner's Creek. A third was to take 
the roud to the right, towui'ds the terry at (Janan's BfufT, to protect the boat-imrty uii 
Oathind Creek. Owing to the small number of boats, and the distance from the 
Hteiimer, which was aground, some delay occurred in the disembarkation. I dire'-ted 
Lieut.-Col. Grsiea to follow with the second company to skirt Turner's Creek; but 
he by misdirection look the road to the right, towards Canan's BlufC, and on lauding 
with the reniatnlng companies, I reoeiied information fi-om him that the euemj' were 
In force at Flatwood's plantation, and to the left of the road. This made the recon- 
noissance with boats unsafe, and I ordered the companies ail in and stationed the 
remaining companies to guard against au attack at our landing, and seut out strong 
pickets on both roads. I believe the advance of the company to the right, instead of 
along Turner's Creek, saved my i-ommaiid, as it sooner enabled me to post the men 
to advantage, and take a position from which the enemy's appi-oach could be obseried. 
The enemy appeared to be the Georgia Thirteenth, about eight hundral strong, ariiied 
nith Enfield rifles. As they apiiroached, about four p. m., with a strong body of skir- 
mishers in the skirt of woods below the roiid, the companies to the right and left cit 
the road, in accordanre with my lntatruetlon», opened fire. I immediately sounded the 
charge for an advance of the companies in the rear of the first line; but the flr-*t line, 
misunderstanding the signal, fell back to the next coiupauj-. A constant and effective 
Bre was kept up on both sides from the cover of the trees and bushes. Lieut. Wilson, 
who had returned with the boat's party, here proved of great service to me, and took 
a party, at my request, to the left. I ordered a company to the right to flank tlio 
enemy. Both operations were sutvessful, and 111 a few moments the enemy retreated 
m confusion, leaving several dead on the iield, and followed by om- men with loud 
cheers. It being now about sunset, I recalled our ti'oops, and, giving to Lieut. Wilson 
the conunand of pickets stationed to guard against surprise, formed the companies 
into line as originally posted, sent the dead and wounded lu boats to the ship, and 
gradually, and lery quietly, under cover of darkness, withdrawing the men, sent them 
on board as fast as our limited transportation would allow. At the last trlji rif the 
boat I embarked, accompanied by Lieut. Wilson, Lleut.-Col. Urates, and the i-emainder 
of the command, at about ten o'clock p. m., and immediately brouglit on board the two 
eompanles left at Scriven's plantation. After the enemy retreated we were unmolested. 
It is due to the ofBcers and men of the command to my that generally they behaved 
with cool and Intrepid courage, .id.!- Pratt fell dead near my side, gallantly fighting, 
musket in hand, and cheering on the men. Our loss. I regret to say, was compara- 
tively large — ten killed and thirty-five wounded, out of a command of three hundrwl 
men. Among the wounded was Acting Lieut. Badger, of Co. C, who was in eiiarge 
of the advanced picket, and exhibited undaunted courage. He, with one of his men, 
was taken prisoner. Both escaped, and were brought In when the enemy retreateil. 
The captain of the "Honduras'' is deserving of great credit for hla kind attention to 
the wounded, and he aiforded us every facllitj for the comfort of officers .ind 
men in his power. I respectfully refer you to Lieut. Wilson's report, which I 
have seen, which contains some facts not embraced In this report: among others, in 
relation to the men detailed in charge of the field-pieces on board ship, who were 
vigilant and attentive. Herewith I transmit a list of casualties. I iiui, very respect- 
fuUy, your obedient servant, 

William M. Fenton, Col. Ommanding. 



The part of Lieutenant Wilson's report to which Colonel Fenton alluded 
as having reference to the detachment in charge of the field-piece was as fol- 
lows: "Lieutenant Caldwell and sixteen men of the Rhode Island volunteers, 
with one light six-pounder, were left in charge of the steamer. The gun 
could not be handled on account of the inability of the boat to lie alongside 
the landing. . . . After holding the ground for three hours the entire 
force was quietly eralmrked without further accident, though it must be con- 
fessed that had the enemy renewed his attack while we were embarking we 
should have suffered great loss. Our five small boats could not move more 
than fifty men every thirty minutes, and the steamer lay in such a iwsition 
that the six-pounder could not be brought to bear without jeopardizing the 
lives of our own people.'" 

From Wilmington Island the command returned to Beaufort, and the 
first knowledge which General Stevens had of the battle of the i6th was 
conveyed by the arrival of the dead and wounded from that field. The dead 
were buried with all military honors, the entire brigade attending their funeral. 

Next came the present;ition to the regiment of a beautiful fiag furnished 
by citizens of Genesee county and forwarded by a committee composed of 
Hon. j. Ij. Walker. George T. Clark and Charles P. Avery. It was of the 
richest and heaviest silk, and fringed, tasseled and starred with gold. On its 
stripes in golden letters were the words "One Country, One Destiny," "Eighth 
Michigan Infantry." On its staff was a silver plate bearing the engraved 
inscription: "Presented to the Officers and Soldiers of the Eighth Regiment, 
Michigan Infantry, by their friends and neighbors of Genesee County." It 
was sent by the donors "in token of their high respect for the Eighth Regi- 
ment, on account of their gallant conduct at the battle of Coosaw," and it 
arrive<l at Hilton Head on the very day when the men of the Eighth were 
again distinguishing themselves at Wilmington Island. 

The ceremony of presentation was imposing. At evening parade on the 
25th of April the regiment was formed on three sides of a hollow square, of 
which the fourth .side was formed by General .Stevens and his staff. The 
color was in the center. It was formally presented to the regiment by General 
Stevens, who, after making a few introductory remarks, and reading aloud 
the letter of the committee at Flint, said : 

Solrtiei's of Mielilgiin: It is criitifying to know by tliis Ifttcr from your frleiuls 
that your services nre niijireointed by tbem ; .and I, \yho on tiie day niluded to, w:is 
yonr comuiandliiK general, feel proud in referring to tbe occasion which cnlis fortb 
from your friends at home such an acknowledgment. Your bravery and undaunted 
conrnse, led on by your gallant colonel in face of the enemy at the battle of Coosaw, 
deserves, as it has received, the bighest commendation. 



TIlis biiiLiU'i- ciiiUL'S iit ji j>ri>iil(ious iiumieiit. Vou Line; iuMtd tii tlie reiJUtiiHoii 
ulreiiily ;n-(|Uire(l [iiiotliei' briliiuiit nehievenient. Wliilo tliis fln? wiis coimisuert ns 
it wci'o ri> tlie teiirtsr lucivlvR of tlie ileeii. ami on the very day of Its ante jirrlvnl 
lit Hilton HctLil, you were teMtliig tlie streufe'tli iit yiniv arms iigalnst overwheliiiiiig 
(Kids of the eiit'Uiy on WiliHtiigton Isliiiul, inldiiig new liistve to your iilreiKly lii'illiiuil 
career, iind tiiviiig new evidence of your Intrepidity and braiery. * * * 

T'nfiirl that flag I Let It float to the Iweeae! Thei*. fellow- soldi erw, is your 
banner ! Inscribed uiion its inutile folds is the motto, "One Couutvy. One Kentlny !" 
It Is Rurumuuted hy tlie oasl*"^ — emblem of Htrenjjtb— and beflriug on its ontsti'etcbed 
wlngM the iirestlue of vittorj-. I,ike tile eagle of Nai'oleon and of ancient Itonie, 
its luartb iw onward and upward. I'lioii the folds of that banner is the work 
of fair bauds, the da nirUter.-i of Jltehigan. your hued ones nt home, endeared to yon 
by the tender ties of mother iinil daufrbter, sister and friend. That l.-i the Haj; the 
Kiillant .Taekson bore aloft when he said, "The Union; it must, it shall be preserved!" 
It is the fliig Wttshlngton ftmght for and sustained. We iii-e following in the foot- 
steiiH of our brave and lieroie iincestors. Let us, like them, while in tlie diseharge 
of our duties as soldiers, and rejoicing In Huccosses, remember our obligations ns 
Christians, t'ommlt It to the CJod of Battles. His arm will be stretched forth to 
succor and to save. Here, niion onr knees, tn the preHence of Almighty <J<»iI. let \tn 
invoke His blessing. I t-all njion you. .'hiiplain. If is fit and jiroper rh;]t if he con 
secrated with [iruyer. 

The chiiplain resix>nded in an earnest and eluipent prayer. 'J'he colors 
were received in due form, with drnm,s beating, and arms presented. Then 
Colonel I-"enton six)lce, thanking the general and congratulating the officers 
and men of hi-, regiment. In conchiding, he turned towards the flag, as it 
was held aloft b>' the tall color-ljearer, and said : 

(_'olor-hearer and Oolor-guards : I know you all. and know you well. That 
Imniier in your hands will be iiroudly borne and bravely defended. And shtaild you 
full, you will H-ra|i its folds around yon. defending it while life remains. Soldiers, 
you miiy well feel pri)nd that yon have been honored by your general. In the presen- 
tation of that Hag. You will stand by It to the last. I feel aud know yoii will. 
Yon have tried on the soil of both South Carolina and (Jeorgiu, and, one and all, you 
will maintain the elinracter you have acf|u!red, and do honor to the state which has 
sent .von forth. 

The speech was followed by three-times-thrce cheers for the colonel, the 
color, and its donors, and the ceremony, which had been witnes.sed by a large 
number of soldiers of other commands and by many citizens of South Caro- 
lina, was over. 

During the month of May the ['Eighth was engaged on picket duty and 
other similar service on Port Royal Island. On the 2d of June it moved 
thence to Stone's River, South Carolina, to relieve the Twenty-eighth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment on picket on James Island, where the Eighth arrived on 
the day fallowing its departure from Port Royal, Here it was attached to 
the First Brigade of the Second Division under General .Stevens; the brigade 



was placed under coinniand of Colonel l'"enton. and I,ieutenant-Co!onel 
Graves succeeded to the command of the regiment. 

The battle of James Island, or Secessionville, as it is frequently called, 
was fought on the i6th of June. In it the Eighth Michigan took a more 
prominent part and suffered more severely than any other regiment, and. 
taking everything into consideration, its losses here were more terrible than it 
sustained on any other lield during its long and honorable career. Secession- 
ville, the scene of the battle, was described by Dr. J. C. Wilson, surgeon of 
the Eighth Regiment, ;is "a \'illage composed of a few houses whose owners 
have seceded from them, situated on a narrow neck of land jutting intfi the 
stream on the east side of James island, skirted by tidal marshes and swamps 
on either side, and difficult of approach, except from the westward, where is 
a rebel fort which commands this entrance."' The fort was a formidable 
earthwork with a parapet nine feet in height, surrounded by a broad ditch 
seven feet deep and protected by a broad and almost impenetrable abatis. The 
i!eck of dry land over which alone it was approachable was barely two hun- 
dred yards in width and every inch of it could be swept at close range by can- 
ister from the six heavy gims of the fort and by musketry from its defend- 
ers. And it was over such ground and to the assaiilt of such a work that t!ie 
troops of Stevens' division moved forward at four o'clock in the morning of 
that bloody and eventful i6th of June, 1862, 

The attacking column was made up of Colonel Kenton's and Colonel 
Leasure's brigades, the former composed of the Eighth Michigan, Seventh 
Connecticut and Twenty-eighth Massachusetts regiments, and the latter of 
the Forty-sixth and Seventy-ninth New York and One Hundredth Pennsyl- 
vania, with four batteries of artillery — in all three thousand three hundred 
and thirty-seven men. The following account of the battle was written b\- 
the correspondent of the New York Tribune, then at James island, and pui)- 
iished in that paper immediately after the fight ■ 

The ndvnuced regiuieuts were the Eighth Mlchlsii". rhe KHieiLO-iiUitli Xew York 
ntid the Seventh Counectlcnt There in some coiifusiiiu iia lo the oriler in which tiii'se 
resiuieiits ciMiie op to the furt; it seems, however, from the best iiifonoiitiou witbiii 
reiiCh, tlint the glorioiiR Imt iinfortuniite Righth Mlchlgtm was the flrKt there, led hy 
Its giillnnt LleiiteHiint-rolouel Ci-aves. The lumiediate assault upon the fort wni 
not siiccessfti), and the canse of tta failure, as 1b uaual iu such p»w Is ililtieult to 
determine. * ♦ • It iirpeiirw,, from the statenieuts of some of the ofhcecs aurt 
uieu ill these regimentM, that about one half-mllo from the fort there wuh a narrow 
liass through a hedge, and the men were comiielied to pass through, a very few ahreast. 
thus delaying their advance. The Eighth Michigau got through and pushed on with 
gi-eat vigoi- lip to the fort, wbli-h tliey assaulted with a shout. They were met nltb 
a murderous lire from f!ic fiM't In fi'ont and fi'oni flanliing batteries. A few of those 



Iir;ne iiiei] <j\Pfcume .ill diinKers jind dlfficultips mul, rusliiiit,' r.ier tlip dtad bodie's 
(if tLeii' slimgtitered comrades, actuiilly climbed Into the fort; but It was Imiwssible 
for tliem to lUiiiiitiiin tlielr ground there agJLinat the feai-ful odds which opijosed them, 
ihe uieii wlio should hine supported them being delayed In passing through the 

The Eighth was obliged to fall back as the Seveuty-ulnth New Xork came up. 
led by the brave Colonel Morrison, who mounted the walls of the fort and discharged 
all the barrels of his reiol^er m the very faces of the enemy. Wounded In the head, 
and unsuiiported, he was ohligwl to retreat. About ns far hehiud the Seventy-ninth 
as that regiment was behind the Eighth Michigiin Ciime the Seventh Connecticut, 
which niad« a spasmodic and almost ludeiieiident effort against the fort, but was 
obliged to fall back. Thus the brave regiments which were intended to act In concert 
.IS the advance went into the fight one at a time, one repulsed and falling hack as the 
other came up, thus creating confusion, and rendei'lng iibortive the charge on the fort 
at this time. 

A failure like this always disheartens troops. It was just in front of the fort, 
■ind in the fivHt cliiirise, thivt the noble and brave ("aiitain Church LComiwiny D, oC 
the Eighth] fell, piei'ced through the bead with a niusliet-ball. He was a fine ofBcer 
and beloved by his men. I knew and admired his commanding person and 
honest beiirlng. Although HUfCeriiig from, he arose from his bed and led his 
men to the fatal ditch. 

The Klglith Michigan lia-< been most unfortunate. Forward in every akli'mlsh and 
i-iin now wcarcel; number thi-ee hundred men. All these i-egimeiits fought well, and 
piled their dead around the fort; but It was a terrible sacrifice, and a vain one. 

The fii-Ht, as has been said, to re.ieh the fort were the Michigan Eighth and New 
York Seventy-ninth. This wiiK not the natural oi'der, but the Seventi--ninth, he.irlng 
the cheern of the Eighth, ran past the other regimcntn and joined the Eighth as it 
reached the works. lioth regiments suffered terribly from the fire of the enemy as 
they ai)proached — the Eighth from graiie and canister, the Seventy-ninth from mns- 
ketiy, as the nature of the wounds showed. Badly shattered and wholly exhausted 
fi'om three-fourths of a uille of the double-iiuick, many fell jmwerless on reaching 
the works: while a few. In sufficiently good condition, mounted the parapet, from 
which the enemy had been driien by our sharp and effective fire, and called upon the 
others to follow them. 

At about nine o'clock, which seemed to be the crisis of the battle, and when tlie 
generals seemed to be consulting whether they should again advance upon the fort, 
or retire, the gunboats decided the question by opeiilug a heavy c.iiiuonade in our 
i-ear, which. Instead of telling upon the rebels, threw their shot and shell hito our own 
ranks. This must have resulted from Ignorance on their part as to our precise posi- 
tion, owing to the rapid changes upon the field and In the intervening timber. The 
sheila fell and burst in the vei-y midst of our men, sei-eral exploding near the com- 
manding general and staff. The effect of this unfortunate mistake was an order for 
the troops to retire, nlilch they did in perfect order, taking position on the old picket- 
In the Scottish American newspaper, of New York, there appeared a 
few days after the battle a communication from an ofificer of the Seventy- 
ninth Highlanders in which the gallantry of the Eighth at Secessionvillc is 
thus noticed : 



I sliouM menti 11 tint tlie Tlglitli Mklilgim siiuill m uumliei lilt e^cn nun a 
Leio hid been reiiuised tuna tlie tcit wltli tetilWe loss jnst is we adi meal liie 
llichignn men fouUl not Liie uaniberert four liuudred wlien tbey adianced nlieii 
the\ retired thej hid one hundred ind ninety killed nn.l wounded One compauj 
ilone lost I uuderitmid no less than iiinet> eitfht men Ihe ordejl thiough which 
thev hiid pa^jsed the Seveutj uintli were now eiperienclDg bhot down b^ unseen 
enemies, and without hn^ing jin opportunltj of letuiulng the flie with im effect 
the men got diSLOin iged but lenmlned stubbornli on the groimd until tlie ordei nna 
giien to letiie— an older let me noj which was only rendered\ b* the 
shameful fact that notwith&tiiHdlng the strong forte within auppnting distance no 
supijort came The foit was ours had we received iiBsiatance but It is 1 fact thit 
<iinnot be gainsaid that eieiy man who fell around its lamparts bel>iii,ed to the 
Figlith Michigan and the 'Seventh ninth New Toiii — the two neikest leg niciits In 
point of numbers in the whole forte under command of <,eneril 

The Eighth Regiment went into the fight with a tota! strength of five 
hundred and thirty-four officers and men, and its loss in the assault was, 
according to the surgeon's re|xjrt, one hundred and forty-seven killed and 
wounded and thirty-seven missing; this was more than one-third of the num- 
ber engag-ed; the first report of its loss made it somewhat greater than this. 
General Stevens, in his "General Order No. 26'' dated James Island, South 
Carolina, June 18, 1862, mentinned the hemisni of the Eighth Michigan a;> 
follows : 

* * ' Parties from tlie leiiding regiments of the two brigades, the Mlglitli 
Jiichigan iiiid the Seventj--nlnth Highlanders, mounted and were shot down on the 
piittipet, oflicers and men. These two regiments especially covered themselves with 
jilory and their fearful i-asualties show the hot work in which they were engaged. 
Two-fifths of the Eighth Micbigjui and n«irly one-quarter of the Sei-enty-niiith High- 
landers were domi. either kilied or wounded, and all the reinniulng regiments had a 
large number of casualties. * • • In congratulating his comrades on their heixilc 
valor and constancy on that terrible field, the commanding genera! of the division hats 
not words to express his and your grief at the sacrifices that have been niade. Our 
best and truest men now sleep the sleep that knows no waking. Their dead Iwdles 
lie on the enemy's iiarapet. riini-ch, Pratt, Cottriil. Guild. Morrow, Ilorton. Hitchcock, 
and niaiij- other gjillant iiiul iir)Me men we shall see no more. 

Among the killed of the Eightli Regiment in this action was Capt. S. C. 
Guild, of Flint, commanding Comi>any A. On the 14th of June he had writ- 
ten a letter to friends in Michigan in \yhich he said, "I cannot but regret that 
I am so long delayed from the prosecution of my studies, but this war must 
first be settled, and the majesty of truth and the constitution vindicated; and 
if I do nothing more in life, it will be sufficient service that I have been a 
soldier in this war. Yet it is needless for me to conceal my dislike of this 
kind of life, and that my earnest desire is to escape from it the first opportun- 
ity. It is entirely dissonant with my feelings, habits and thoughts, and can 



iicver ]x less than an unplejisant duty; and yet, as a duty, it is, in a sense, a 
pleasure to perfonu it. I have learned much, however, which will serve me 
ill all my future life." I'wo days later this hero died on the hostile rampart, 
with his face to the foe. 

Colonel Fenton was relieved from the command of the brigade, at his 
own request, on the 21st of June. On resuming command of the Eighth 
Rtgiment, he made a very earnest and determined effort to have it relieved 
fur a time from active service, on account of the arduous service it had per- 
furmed and the fearful losses it had sustained. But the answer was, "At 
present all the regiments in the department of the South are needed, and 
more than needed, in the [xjsitions they now occupy." 

Cieneral Stevens' command evacuated James Island on the 5th of July, 
the P-ighth Regiment being the last to leave as it had been the first in advance. 
Moving to Hilton Head, it embarked there, July 13, with the Seventy-ninth 
New Yfirk, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, Seventh Connecticut, and other 
regiments, fi>r I'ortress Monroe, where they arrived on the i6th and landed 
at Newport News on the following day. They knew they were destined to 
"reinforce the Army of the I'otomac after its disasters in the Seven Days' 
fight: they did not like the change, for they preferred to remain in the Sooth, 
where their laurels had been won. The Eighth remained three weeks in camp 
at Newport News, and during this time Colonel Fenton left for Michigan to 
obtain recruits, leaving Lieutenant- Co Ion el Graves in charge of the regiment. 
The command left this camp August 4 and, moving to the Rappahannock 
river, took part in the campaign of General Pope, fighting at second Bull 
Run August 29 and 30, and Chantilly, Sej}teml>er i, losing considerably in 
both engagements. Soon after it moved with the Ninth Army Corps, to 
which it had been attached, into Maryland. It fought at South Mountain. 
Septemljer 14. losing thirteen wounded, and was again engaged in the great 
battle of Antietam, September jy. Early in that day it formed in fine, with 
its brigade, on the right; but about noon, when the battle Ijecaine general, it 
was ordered to the left and took possession near the historic Stone Bridge. 
"A more terrific fire than we here met with," wrote an officer of the regiment, 
"it has not been my lot to witness. It equaled, if it did not exceed, that of 
James Island. At first our men gained ground and drove the enemy half a 
mile, but the battery that covered our advance and answered to the enemy's 
in front getting out of ammunition, together with the arrival of a fresh rebel 
brigade from Harper's Ferry flanking our position and bringing our men 
under a cross-fire, changetl the fortunes of the day in their favor, and when 
night closed up(m the scene of carnage the enemy reoccupied the ground 



wrcsteil from them ;it such fearful sacrifice in the afternoon." The bridge, 
however, was not retaken Ijy the enemy and, although the Union forces had 
been driven back here on the left, the advantage remained with them on 
other parts of tlie field. The battle was not renewed to any extent on the 
following day, the enemy, while keeping up the appearance of a strong line in 
front, retreated from his ]^x)sition to the Potomac, pre[jaratory to crossing 
back into Virginia. 

The loss of the Kighth at Antietam was twenty-seven killed and wounde<l 
— a loss which appears quite severe when it is remembered that the regiment 
went into action with considerably less than two hundred men. having been 
reduced not only by its terrible losses in previous battles but also by dis- 
charges; more than two hundred and fifty men were discharged from the 
Eighth in the year 1862. of whom just one hundred enlisted in the regidar 
army. 'J'he places of these were filled to some extent by recruits, of whom 
a mimlier joined the regiment the day Ijefore Antietam: it was said of them 
that, although they had never before heard a hostile gun. they endured the 
terrible initiation of that day with almost the steadiness of veterans. 

For about a month after the battle the regiment remained in Maryland, 
a short time in the vicinity of Antietam and a longer time in Pleasant \'allev. 
During this time Colonel I'^enton returned, and Capt. Ralph Ely was pro- 
moted to major, in place of Watson, resigned. On the 26th of October the 
Eighth marched to Weverton, thence to Berlin, Maryland, where it crossed 
the Potomac on pontoons into Virginia. It i>assed through Lovettsville, 
Waterford, Slack's Mills, Rectortown and Salem, to Waterloo, where, on the 
nth of November, it received the announcement of General Burnside's pro- 
motion to the command of the army. On the 15th it was at Sulphur Springs, 
and moved thence, by way of Fayetteville and Bealton Station, to a camp 
about ten miles east of the latter place, where was read the order forming 
the "right grand division" of the army, by uniting the Second and Ninth 
Corjjs, under command of Gen. E. V. Sumner. On the i8th the regiment 
marched, leading the brigade, and on the 19th reached Falmouth, opposite 
Fredericksburg, where the army was rapidly concentrating. Here it remained, 
a part of it acting as provost-guard of the division, until the 12th of Decem- 
ber, when it crossed the Rappahannock to Fredericksburg, but was not en- 
gaged in the great battle of the i^tli. It recrossed on the 15th, and remained 
at Falmouth until February 13, 1863. when it moved with the Ninth Corps, 
which had been detached from the Army of the Potomac, to Newport News, 
\'irginia, and there camped, evidently waiting orders for a further movement 
which the officers and men hoped might take them back to the department of 



the South. The regiment remained in camp at Newport News for more than 
a month; during this time Colonel Fenton resigned, his health having become 
greatly impaired. Major Ely was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and was 
then in command of the regiment; Capt. E. W. Eyon, of G Company, was 
made major. 

On the 20th of March the Eighth Regiment, being again under march- 
ing orders, embarked at Newport News on the steamer "Georgia" prepara- 
tory to the commencement of the long series of movements and marches in 
the Southwest which afterwards gave it the name of "the wandering regiment 
of Michigan." It left Newport News on the 21st, arrived at Baltimore on the 
22(1, and proceeded thence by the Baltimore & Ohio railroad to Parkersburg, 
West Virginia. It reached there on the 24th, and embarked on the steamer 
"Majestic" for Louisville, Kentucky, where it arrived at noon on Thursday 
the 26th. At that time it was brigaded with the Second, Seventeenth and 
Twentieth Michigan regiments, under Brig.-Gen, Orlando M. Poe as brigade 
commander; this was the First Brigade, First Division Ninth Army Corps. 
This corps, then a part of the Army of the Ohio, had for its immediate mis- 
sion in Kentucky to observe and hold in check the forces of the guerrilla chief 
Ji>hn Morgan, who at that time seemed to be omnipresent in all that region 
and whose movements were giving the government no little trouble and 

The Eighth, moving by railroad from Louisville on the 28th, proceeded 
to Lebanon, Kentucky, and remained stationed there and at Green River 
Fort, Kentucky, for some weeks. While the command lay at Lebanon there 
was issued the first number of a paper entitled The Wolverine, which was 
announced as "published by members of the Eighth Michigan Infantry, and 
will be issued as often as circumstances will permit.'' How many numbers 
of this journal were ever published is not known. 

About the ist of June the Ninth Corps, which had been scattered in 
detachments at various points in Kentucky, was ordered to move to Missis- 
sippi to reinforce the army of General Grant, then operating against Vicks- 
burg. The Eighth Regiment moved with the corps, going to Cairo, Illinois, 
by rail, and then, embarking on boats on the Mississippi river, was trans- 
ported to Blaynes Bluff, Mississippi. From there it moved to Milldale, Mis- 
sissippi, remaining there and at Flower Dale Church near Vicksburg until 
the operations against that stronghold ended in its capitulation, July 4. Then 
it moved with the corps towards Jackson, Mississippi, in pursuit of the army 
of Johnston, who had been hovering in General Grant's rear, attempting to 
raise the siege of Vicksburg. In the several engagements which occurred 



from the loth to the i6th of July the Eighth participated, but suffered Httle 
loss. After the evactiation of Jackson on the i6th it returned to its former 
camp at Milldale, remaining tliere till August 6, when it again took boat on 
the Mississippi and moved north with the corps. It reached Memphis in the 
night of the nth and [xissed on to Cairo, and thence to Cincinnati where it 
arrived on the i8th; crossing the river it camped at Covington, Kentucky. 
From Covington it moved by way of Nicholasville to Crab Orchard, Ken- 
tucky, reaching there August 27 and remaining there in camp two weeks. On 
the loth of September it was again on the march and moved by way of Cum- 
l)erland Gap to Knoxville, Tennessee, reaching there on the 26th. 

The Eighth was slightly engaged with the enemy at Blue Springs, 
October 10, and after considerable marching and countermarching went into 
camp October 29 at I^enoir Station where it rem